Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lenovo jumps to No. 2 PC rank in Q3, challenging HP’s lead

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Riding a strong surge in shipments, China’s Lenovo in the third quarter jumped one rank to become the world’s second-largest PC brand, surpassing Dell Inc.—and mounting the most serious challenge to Hewlett-Packard Co.’s (HP) hegemony that the market has been seen in more than three years.

Lenovo’s global PC shipments in the third quarter rose to 12.5 million units, up 14.5 percent from 10.9 million in the second quarter, according to the IHS iSuppli Compute Platforms Service at information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). This strong growth dramatically exceeded the growth of the overall PC market, which expanded by only 5.5 percent during the same period, causing Lenovo’s share of global shipments to rise to 13.9 percent, up from 12.8 percent in the second quarter. Lenovo’s performance also enabled it to rise from the third position to take the No. 2 ranking in the market, surpassing Dell.

With its strong performance, Lenovo managed to close its market share gap with No. 1-ranked HP to just 4.2 percentage points. This represents the closest any company has come to taking the lead position from HP since the second quarter of 2008—more than three years ago—when Dell came within 2.7 percentage points of the perennial market leader.

“Lenovo continues to capitalize on strong demand for PCs in its home market of China,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms research for IHS. “While PC sales in the United States, Europe and many other regions are suffering because of weak economic conditions and rising competition from media tablets, desktop and notebook sales remain red hot in China. This is allowing Lenovo to outgrow US rivals—and putting it in position to contend with HP for market leadership.”

Lenovo delivered sequential growth of 12 and 16 percent in its desktop and notebook PC shipments. Beyond its home-field advantage in China, Lenovo’s performance was aided by its venture with NEC and the acquisition of Medion. Lenovo’s rise to second place is all the more impressive considering the company was ranked fourth as recently as the first quarter of 2011.

HP: To PC or not to PC?
HP in the third quarter expanded its shipments by 5.9 percent to 16.3 million units, up from 15.4 million in the second quarter. This was roughly in line with overall industry growth.

Former HP chief executive Léo Apotheker in August said the company likely would spin off its PC division. Observers noted the company may have considered this move because it has faced slowing growth in the overall PC market, combining with dwindling profit margins amid tough competition from Asian rivals.

In October, new company chief Meg Whitman reversed this decision. However, this came after Apotheker’s statement cast major uncertainty on the future of HP’s PC business, causing the company’s stock price to fall and resulting in the loss of some distribution deals in China.

PCs come up short
Global PC shipments increased to 90.4 million units in the third quarter, up from 85.6 million in the second quarter. Shipments rose 2.6 percent compared to 88.1 million one year earlier, short of the IHS iSuppli forecast of 6.8 percent growth.
“While third-quarter PC shipments came in lower than our predictions, the attainment of any growth at all represents a victory for the market,” Wilkins said. “This increase in sales comes at a time of weak consumer sales and a strong challenge from alternative platforms—specifically the media tablets. In this environment, all growth is progress.”

Asian tigers keep charging
Asian-based PC makers, including Lenovo, outperformed their top-tier US-based rivals in the third quarter.

Asustek Computer Inc. of Taiwan delivered the best performance among the Top 5 brands, with 36 percent sequential growth. Acer achieved the third-best results after Lenovo, with shipments increasing by 6.8 percent.

Outside of the Top 5, Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd—ranked seventh and eighth, respectively—also reported very strong year-over growth of 27 percent and 36 percent in the quarter.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

LDRA tool suite supports QNX Neutrino RTOS and QNX Momentics tool suite

WIRRAL, UK: LDRA, the leading provider of automated software verification, source code analysis, and test tools, has announced that its LDRA tool suite now supports QNX Software System Limited’s QNX Momentics Tool Suite and QNX Neutrino Realtime Operating System (RTOS).

This offers a best-in-class approach fine-tuned for development needs and compliance to industry standards. Increased government scrutiny and new standards have created a compliance burden that challenges time-to-market goals and threatens to explode software development costs. By providing compatibility with QNX technology, LDRA confronts the burden of regulatory compliance and unrealistic schedules, which in turn supports companies’ efforts to build reliable, safety-critical systems without sacrificing development speed or cost.

The LDRA support for the QNX Momentics Tool Suite and QNX Neutrino RTOS brings a boost in quality and performance that can accelerate time to market. The QNX Momentics Tool Suite features application profiler and system profiler tools, which enable developers to visualize performance and operations at the system level across multiple cores, chips, or boards. Using these tools, developers can quickly identify and correct bottlenecks and deadlocks, and better manage resource utilization.

LDRA’s static and dynamic analysis capabilities include specific implementations for regulatory standards. Developers gain application feedback tailored to the specific safety-critical industry standards they must meet. LDRA tool suite users may quickly and efficiently achieve the highest possible certification standards due to this tuned and optimized monitoring of code coverage, identification of untested code, and auto generation of test harnesses.

Following the avionics standard of DO-178B, many industry standards—IEC 62304 for medical, IEC 61508 for industrial safety, and the newly ratified ISO 26262 for automotive—demand focus on requirements traceability as well. LDRA’s superior MC/DC code coverage is ideal for ISO 26262, which requires more strenuous code coverage requirements. As well, the LDRA tool suite traces all application requirements and offers bidirectional graphical insight into the relationships between the requirements, code, and tests, exposing process-level problems that are difficult to find. The improved compatibility enables greater insight and compliance with the targeted industry standard.

The LDRA solution serves as a frontline of defense for medical, industrial safety and automotive markets where industry standards are taking on an increasingly significant role as system complexity increases. In combining the strengths of system-level performance monitoring and requirement traceability within a standard-specific framework and compliance check, the regulatory process is streamlined. With better management of the development process, developers can concentrate on innovation, knowing that the tools support and enforce the software quality fundamental to certification of the product.

“Key trends driving today’s eHealth market—aging populations, rising health care costs and demand for remote access to medical diagnosis and treatment—have caused medical-device manufacturers to create telehealth and telemedical devices,” noted Kroy Zeviar, business alliance manager, QNX Software Systems. “Issues such as portability, wireless connectivity, compelling user experiences, safety, data security, quality, and reliability have become paramount. By working with leading experts such as LDRA to provide compatible technologies, we can help customers deliver solutions that manage system complexity and software compliance.”

“Similar shifts are evident in other industry sectors as well,” confirmed Ian Hennell, LDRA’s operations director. “Entrenched hardware assets are being replaced with software solutions in industrial automation, automotive and medical, and the need for an end-to-end software environment that traces all system requirements to prove proper design, code and test through development to certification has been painfully obvious. For many of these companies, the need to comply with industry standards is new. Our goal in ensuring that our tools work in conjunction with leading software providers such as QNX Software Systems is to enable such companies to streamline their processes in their efforts to deliver reliable, safe and secure embedded systems.”

The LDRA tool suite can verify applications created with the QNX Momentics Tool Suite, not only in the desktop simulated environments, but also on the target device. Using network communication to download the executable to the target, LDRA monitors and analyzes the execution history and unit test data. Comprehensive static and dynamic analysis can be run on the target system with the benefit of full report management from a common platform. Thanks to LDRA Eclipse plug-ins, developers can choose to use either the LDRA GUI interfaces or those of QNX Momentics Tool Suite.

The QNX Momentics Tool Suite is a comprehensive, Eclipse-based integrated development environment with innovative profiling tools for maximum insight into system behavior. Developers gain at-a-glance views of real-time interactions, memory profiles, and shorten their debug times—all factors that can lead to faster time to market. Using this suite, developers can target the QNX Neutrino RTOS, a full-featured, robust OS optimized to meet the constrained requirements of real-time embedded systems.

The LDRA tool suite offers complete lifecycle software testing covering all phases of development from requirements traceability, modelling, coding, analysis and test. Extensive compliance checking for both programming and industry standards, as well as requirements traceability establishes the LDRA tool suite as the most comprehensive, best-in-class software testing environment for mission- and safety-critical software.

Mu Dynamics allies with Atlassian to intro industry-first continuous performance management solution for app developers

SUNNYVALE, USA: Mu Dynamics Inc., the leader in validating and testing applications and application-aware networks, announced that Blitz has been integrated with the Atlassian development tool, Bamboo, a Continuous Integration (CI) server. Atlassian has made Blitz available on its Plugin exchange, in use today by leading application development organizations.

Integrating Blitz and leveraging its unique, cloud-based application load and performance testing service empowers Bamboo app developers to quickly and affordably identify the performance of their applications in real-time during the entire development and deployment process. This continuous performance management offered by the integration of Blitz and Bamboo guarantees app developers a better user experience for their customers.

Blitz was created to address the unique needs of the rapidly evolving application development market. Only Blitz makes testing a continuous and integrated part of the development and deployment process. By being incorporated into the Atlassian Bamboo CI server, Blitz now enables Bamboo developers to load and performance test their applications as a part of the continuous development and deployment process. Tests can be run the moment changes are checked in, ensuring those changes don't degrade performance. By tracking Application Performance Index (Apdex) scores as part of the build process, developers can also quickly detect and remediate application performance issues in the staging process -- an industry first.

"Blitz gives our app developers something they haven't had before -- true continuous performance management," said Jens Schumacher, Atlassian Bamboo product manager. "Developers can, extraordinarily, for the first time, make changes to applications and obtain continuous feedback on the impact on app performance."

Application Performance Management (APM) has become critical for cloud applications as the continuous integration development model delivers regular updates to both developing and "live" applications. By integrating Blitz into the CI process, developers now have the tools to ensure that changes to their application do not vitiate performance. And Blitz does, fast, through its elegant user interface (UI) and at an affordable price for developers through its Development, Staging, Deployment and Operations functionalities.

"By integrating Blitz into the Atlassian Bamboo CI server, developers can now proactively quantify the performance of their applications throughout the entire development process -- something that is absolutely critical for a high quality end-user experience," said Ajit Sancheti, co-founder, Mu Dynamics. "Blitz succeeds where other solutions fail. Traditional performance testing tools suffer from confusing user interfaces, which make them difficult to use and challenging to incorporate into the Continuous Development process demanded today."

Notebook forecast to grow 8.8 percent in 2012; Ultrabook to play key role

TAIWAN: According to the survey conducted by DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, affected by the economy downturn, the Japan Earthquake and the Thailand Flood, the notebook industry sees a mere 1 percent YoY growth in 2011. However, Ultrabook and the launch of Windows 8 in 2012 are expected to spur an 8.8 percent YoY growth for the notebook industry in 2012.

Regular notebook is expected to grow by over 10 percent and its shipment volume is estimated to increase from 173.4 million in 2011 to 194.6 million in 2012. On the other hand, compromised by the rising popularity of tablet PC, netbook’s shipment volume is expected to fall from 22.4 million in 2011 to 18.6 million in 2012, representing a 17 percent decrease. Netbook’s weak performance placed a dent in the growth momentum of notebooks, and notebook’s YoY shipment growth rate has reached a plateau, declining from 20 percent over the past few years to 5-10 percent.Source: DRAMeXchange, Taiwan.

In light of the uncertain global economic outlook in 2012, PC-OEMs are seeking new opportunities. The Ultrabook concept, proposed by Intel at Computex 2011, was well-received by major brand vendors in hopes that Ultrabook can revive NB market demand. TrendForce believes that whether or not Ultrabook can become a big hit in 2012 is contingent upon its cost and price.Source: DRAMeXchange, Taiwan.

Ultrabook’s exterior design and performance remind people of CULV notebooks. However, Ultrabook adopts the superior ULV processor, which provide better performance and longer battery life, not to mention that Ultrabook’s instant on technology gives it an edge over the traditional NB. The only thing that holds the consumers back is Ultrabook’s costly price. The Ultrabooks’ prices launched in 2011 average over $1,000, much higher than the prices of NB ($550-650) and making it difficult for the Ultrabook to obtain large market share.

For that reason, Intel aims to lower the price of Ultrabook from $1,000 to $699 by 2H12. It is expected to help increase Ultrabook’s market share if Intel’s effort turns out successful. At present, the NB supply chain is striving to lower the cost. In terms of Ultrabook’s key components, CPU and chipset account for 25-30 of the total cost, SSD for 25 percent, LCD for 10-15 percent. Lowering the cost of key components will be the key to a higher market share for Ultrabook in 2012.Source: DRAMeXchange, Taiwan.

Zebronics intros 2.1 multimedia speakers

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Top Notch Infotronix, India’s leading supplier of products and accessories for Computers, Consumer Electronics and Communication under the brand ‘ZEBRONICS' has launched its latest 2.1 multimedia speaker set, the Zeb-SW4100RUC dubbed the Sound Monster.

The new model features a bass reflex wooden 5-inch ported subwoofer and 4-inch magnetically shielded satellites, adding to Zebronics’s extensive lineup of speakers, one of the widest range in the industry.

The ZEB-SW4100RUC speaker set features front-mounted volume and bass level controls on the subwoofer and a 3.5mm input for any MP3 player or cell phones. With its high-gloss, black-satin finish complementing the smart contemporary styling, Zebronics' latest offering in the consumer electronics segment is a vibrant and smart 2.1 multimedia speaker system. The ZEB-SW4100RUC offers a very friendly user interface coupled with a fully functional remote control for ease of operation. The bass/volume controls adds to the clarity and crispness of the music output.

The most attractive feature perhaps is the SD/USB input facility which enables direct playback of music from memory cards and data storage devices, so users can just plug in a pen-drive or an SD card and enjoy their desired music. That is truly convenient, especially in the present times when users like to carry their favourite audio collection in portable and mobile devices.

The ZEB-SW4100RUC is also a pretty unique well-designed PC multimedia speaker system with easy-to-use connectors, extra input and output ports and a remote control. The build quality is excellent so if you are looking for these features in a 2.1 speaker system, you should definitely give it a consideration.

The trendy design ZEB-SW4100RUC, a fitting addition to the modern bookshelf or table, is now available at an affordable price of Rs 1950/-, including one year warranty.

Lenovo lines up two new AIOs for SMBs

BANGALORE, INDIA: Lenovo, the world’s 2nd largest PC maker and the market leader in the All-In-One (AIO) desktop segment in India recently launched two powerful AIOs: the ThinkCentre Edge 71z and the ThinkCentre Edge 91z. The new range has been designed specifically keeping in mind the entrepreneurs and small businesses, with sleek designs and spectacular features for performance, productivity and space saving.

Small businesses need to take advantage of PC hardware and software innovations like faster processors, stability and security, that are most likely to make them more competitive. With a good line up of products for the SMB segment, Lenovo is evolving as a preferred partner in this category with both consumers as well as small businesses. Today, it enjoys a leadership position in the AIO segment with market share close to 45 percent.

Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71z is the company’s latest mainstream all-in-one AIO powered with Intel Core i5 power efficient processors and upto 8GB RAM enabling better stability and speed. The Edge 71z is more eco-friendly than its predecessors enabling greater energy savings along with 20” widescreen display for stunning, high-resolution visuals and standard digital display port for Dual Independent Display.

With the ThinkCentre Edge 91z, small details make a big difference. The AIO brings with it VESA mount (A device used to mount conveniently on a wall) with multiple mounting options and can be fitted anywhere in your workplace. The 21.5” full HD 1080p LED Infinity Screen enables clearer display and the optional 1GB AMD Radeon discrete graphics card provides superior multimedia capabilities. The Edge 91z cuts the clutter and space that a traditional desktop demands, creating a pleasant workspace.

Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 71z and 91z will be available at all Lenovo Exclusive Stores (LES), and are available in the market at an attractive price starting from Rs. 26,400/- + tax and Rs. 43,500/- + tax, respectively.

IT services market recovers slightly in Q3 of 2011

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Following a disastrous second quarter of 2011, IT services contract signing activity picked up slightly in the third quarter. However, both the number of deals signed and the total contract value (TCV) recorded during the quarter were below the levels tracked in the same period of the previous year, according to Ovum.

In a new report, the independent technology analyst firm states that the total contract value (TCV) of deals announced in the three months to the end of September was $27.3 billion, up 43 per cent on the dismal $19 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2011, but down 9 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2010.

According to data from Ovum’s IT Services Contracts Analytics tool, the number of contracts announced also increased to 416, from 384 in the second quarter of 2011. However, this was down 12 per cent on the number tracked during the third quarter of 2010.

Ed Thomas, Ovum analyst and author of the report, commented: “After another uninspiring quarter, there is the very real possibility that annual TCV for 2011 will be the lowest in eight years. Vendors will now be looking to see if there will be a repeat of last year's dramatic fourth quarter, when a bumper crop of megadeals propelled TCV for the three months to the end of December close to the $50 billion mark.”

After falling to its lowest level since 2000 in the second quarter of the year, private sector TCV increased in the third quarter, although it still fell some way below the total recorded in the same period of 2010. In the three months to the end of September, TCV derived from private sector clients was $9.2 billion, up 31 per cent on the previous quarter of the year, but down 21 per cent on the third quarter of 2010.

Activity in North America picked up after a terrible start to the year, with TCV of $3.1 billion derived from the private sector, higher than the total generated in the first six months of the year. In Europe, private sector TCV came in at just under $3 billion in the third quarter, with more than one-third of the total derived from the UK.

However, the overall lack of significant activity in the private sector over the first nine months of 2011 is the primary reason for the low level of TCV recorded so far this year. The value of deals awarded by businesses worldwide in the first three quarters of the year was just $25.6 billion, down from $36.1 billion in the same period of 2010 and the worst performance since 1999, when TCV of $23.5 billion was recorded in the first three quarters.

“The drop in demand for IT services among enterprises has been most apparent in the US, the world's largest and most mature outsourcing market,” said Thomas. “In the first nine months of the year, just 145 deals involving US businesses have been announced (the lowest return since 2001), and the total value of these deals came to a meagre $4.6 billion. To find a lower TCV in the first nine months of a year, it is necessary to go back more than a decade, to 1997, when deals worth a combined $4.1 billion were announced.”

OmniVision’s OV6930 high-performance camera supports medicare-accepted disposable medical device

SANTA CLARA, USA: OmniVision Technologies Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, announced that its ultra-compact, high-performance OV6930 CMOS image sensor performed exceptionally well in a recent 448-patient clinical study on Avantis Medical Systems’ Third Eye Retroscope.

The study, published in the March issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, demonstrates that the Third Eye Retroscope can increase the accuracy in diagnosing adenomas, or pre-cancerous polyps, by 23.2 percent when used in conjunction with a traditional colonoscope.

The Third Eye Retroscope is an FDA-cleared, disposable, catheter-based camera for use with a standard colonoscope that provides a continuous backward-looking view while the colonoscope provides the usual forward view. In 2010, Avantis received a Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement code for the Third Eye Retroscope. The companies believe that this recognition by Medicare and Medicaid, combined with the favorable results from this recent clinical study, may significantly accelerate the adoption rate by healthcare providers in the United States.

“The OV6930’s excellent low-light sensitivity and image quality enabled the Third Eye to perform extraordinarily well in the clinical study, drastically improving colonoscopy accuracy,” said Matthew Whitcombe, senior marketing manager, OmniVision. “Moreover, by providing this superior performance in a form factor with an exceedingly small footprint, the OV6930 allows for ultra-compact camera designs, making these medical procedures minimally invasive for the patient.”

“With currently more than 150,000 cases of colorectal cancer reported annually in the US, and more than 400,000 in Europe, it is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US and Europe,” said Doug Gielow, VP of sales and marketing at Avantis. “However, using today’s advanced imaging technologies, it can be highly preventable through early detection. Now that this product is Medicare approved, we hope to see greater adoption of this technology by healthcare providers, who can now submit claims for reimbursement. We’re extremely excited to watch the disposable medical imaging market grow as physicians and patients continue to experience the added benefit of our medical imaging solutions.”

The OV6930 is a CMOS image sensor designed specifically for use in medical devices. With a packaged footprint of only 1.8 x 1.8 mm, the OV6930 is an ideal solution for endoscopic applications that require a small profile, including bronchoscopy, colonoscopy, gastroscopy, OB-GYN and urology. It combines ultra-low power consumption with OmniVision’s best-in-class OmniPixel3-HS technology, enabling low-light performance of 3300 mV/lux-sec.

Its 1/10-inch array is capable of operating up to 30 frames per second (FPS) in 400 x 400 HVGA or 60 FPS in 400 x 200 resolution, providing RAW serial output. The low-voltage OV6930 allows cabling up to 14 feet, and is now shipping in volume to multiple medical device customers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bomgar leverages Intel technology to extend remote support below OS

JACKSON, USA: Bomgar announced it can enable IT support professionals to remotely troubleshoot and resolve issues below the operating system level by using Intel technology. Bomgar users can now access devices powered by Intel Core vPro processors to power up or down and reboot PCs, read and update the BIOS, reimage the drive, and more, all from a remote location. As a result, IT service desks can further reduce onsite visits and decrease end-user downtime, simultaneously increasing technician productivity and customer satisfaction.

Bomgar has worked very closely with Intel to develop a seamless integration between the widely-adopted Intel vPro Technology and the Bomgar enterprise remote support solution, resulting in an unprecedented opportunity for IT service desks. After provisioning its Intel vPro Technology-enabled devices, a support organization simply needs to configure Bomgar to match the settings. Support technicians can then use their centralized Bomgar solution to remotely access and control desktops and laptops at the sub-OS level, even when the devices aren’t turned on.

“Today, when an operating system isn’t functioning or a device crashes, the support technician typically has to do a desk-side visit or ask the end-user to send in the broken machine,” said Troy Harrison, VP of product management at Bomgar. “With the new Intel vPro-enabled Bomgar solution, service desks can handle those types of support tickets remotely; eliminating a lot of travel time and shipping fees, while also decreasing time to resolution. This means lower overall IT support costs and ultimately better end-user support and satisfaction.”

“By adopting PCs based on Intel Core vPro processors across the enterprise, IT organizations can greatly improve user productivity and reduce IT costs due to fewer service calls and faster response times,” said Rick Echevarria, VP and GM Business Client Platforms at Intel.

“When combined with Intel vPro Technology, the Bomgar remote support solution will enable customers to provide leading edge PC support and business process automation capabilities. The close collaboration with Bomgar is making a big impact for business customers, and we look forward to continued engagements that further enhance remote management capabilities for enterprises.”

The Bomgar remote support solution with Intel vPro capabilities will be available in January 2012.

Pickering Interfaces appoints Scientific Devices as new rep for Australia

CLACTON, UK: Pickering Interfaces, a fast growing worldwide manufacturer of signal
switching modules and instruments announced the appointment of Scientific Devices Pty. Ltd as its representative for Australia.

"We are very excited to be working with such a well known brand like Pickering," says Mark Lotter, National Sales & Marketing Manager for Scientific Devices. "Our customers appreciate the fact that we are always looking for new brands to add to our product portfolio. Our innovative approach to selling combined with our line of varied and latest technology products makes us a considerable resource in Test and Measurement.”

Bob Stasonis, Pickering’s Sales and Marketing Director, added: “Scientific Devices 40 year plus reputation for servicing their customers is second to none in the region. Their market presence, combined with their complimentary product range, assures that our mutual customers have access to the right products for their application. We are very excited to work with Scientific Devices.”

Asia Pacific server market continued double digit growth in Q3 of 2011

SINGAPORE: The Asia Pacific server market continued its double digit growth in the third quarter of 2011, with year-on-year shipment growth of 23.9 percent and revenue up 18.5 percent compared to the same quarter last year, according to Gartner Inc.

“Asia Pacific remained the strongest region for server shipment growth during the third quarter of 2011,” said Gartner principle analyst Erica Gadjuli. “Greater China (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in combined) ruled 69.7 percent of the region’s total market, up 2 points from the same quarter last year.”

Server shipments in other major markets in Asia Pacific experienced double digit growth year on year: 20 percent in Australia, 14 percent in South Korea and 18 percent in Singapore. Meanwhile vendor revenue rose moderately from the same quarter last year with 6 percent growth each in Australia and Singapore and 2 percent in South Korea.

Asia Pacific as a region recorded the fastest year-on-year growth in the x86 server platform during the quarter, up 29 percent in revenue and 25 percent in shipments. Besides the virtualization implementation on x86 servers that forged ahead in this region, demand from internet companies continued to be part of the main driver for server growth, especially in China. Revenue from RISC/Itanium Unix servers increased 11 percent from the same quarter of 2010, fostered by core infrastructure build out predominantly in the financial and telecommunication sectors.

Despite a modest increase of 8 percent in unit shipments, blades saw more rapid growth in revenue (14.5 percent) compared to the same quarter of 2010. For the period, rack optimized servers climbed the fastest with 32 percent in shipment and 22 percent in revenue.

Tables 1 and 2 show the top five vendors in Asia Pacific server market for the quarter. HP remains the leader in shipments with 25 percent of the total market and IBM led by revenue with 42 percent share.

Table 1: Asia Pacific: Server Vendor Revenue Estimates, 3Q11 (Thousands of U.S. Dollars)Source: Gartner, USA.

Lenovo more than doubled its revenue from the same quarter of 2010, as shown in Table 1, driven mainly by its aggressive move in China across all major verticals. Similarly, Dell was second in-line in witnessing a robust year on year growth in the third quarter, owing its success mostly to Internet companies buying its DCS offerings.

Table 2: Asia Pacific: Server Vendor Shipments Estimates, 3Q11 (Units)
Source: Gartner, USA.

Decreased LCD shipment in October; Raen and HKC have positive outlooks

TAIWAN: According to the shipment report of top ten global LCD monitor brands and SIs in October published by WitsView, TrendForce’s panel research division, October shipment by brands dropped by 5.2 percent compared to September, while October shipment by SIs decreased by 8.8 percent.

The shipments decline by brands and SIs was due to: advanced distribution by downstream vendors in August and September, pull-in strength for October sales decreased affected by the expansion of the Europe debt crisis and weak global economic momentum. Shipments by SIs experienced more pronounced decline compared to brands in October as their production capacity was cut by the long weekend October 1st National Holiday in China.

In terms of the Q4 shipment outlook, a decrease in shipment demand is due to several factors:
a) Orders were made in advance inQ3;
b) The flood in Thailand has indirectly impacted shipments of LCD monitors for PC bundles due to HDD shortage;
c) While panel prices are expected to stabilize in the Q4, there is no momentum to support a rebound as demand grows weak.

Only 19W and 23.6W products will experience tight supply due to panel supply decrease. Since downstream vendors will generally remain conservative in stocking up, WitsView forecasts SIs and brand vendors to experience shipment decline between 1 percent and 5 percent in the Q4.

Panel makers are aggressively nurturing joint venture SI makers such as Raken Technology Ltd (a joint venture by LG Group and Amtram Group) to consolidate downstream outlets and digest huge panel production capacity as feeble global economic environment puts the panel industry in long term oversupply condition.

In such phenomenon, Raken’s contracting scale has grown from 300K units in 2010 to 1 million in 2011, with its shipment number is expected to double next year. Its drastic growth against market trend makes Raken a strong contender among the LCD monitor SIs. China LCD monitor and TV SI, HKC, on the other hand, has been growing quietly but steadily and is expected to pose a total monitor shipment volume of 5.5 million to 6 million this year while its TV production volume is expected to reach 1.5 million to 2 million units. The company is surely not to be underestimated in the future.

1Q11~4Q11 LCD Monitor Top10 SIs and Brands ShipmentsSource: WitsView, Taiwan.

Social media’s impact on traditional communications

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The extent to which social media is affecting traditional communication channels has been revealed, with almost half of UK consumers stating that their use of platforms such as Facebook has adversely affected their use of email services, according to Ovum.

In a new report, the independent telecoms analyst unveils the findings of a survey it conducted into the impact of social media on traditional forms of communication among UK consumers.

Forty-five per cent of respondents claimed that social media had caused a decline in their use of email. In addition, 40 per cent said that it had reduced their use of fixed voice services, 34 per cent said it caused them to make fewer mobile phone calls, and 29 per cent said the number of text messages they send had declined.

Mark Giles, Ovum telecoms senior analyst and co-author of the report, commented: “The results of our survey show that social media is negatively impacting all forms of communication provided by telecoms companies.

“The trend is being driven by younger age groups. While it could be argued that younger users will change their habits with age and trend towards the habits of older users who are more reliant on traditional forms of communication, it would be naive to assume this. This is because players such as Facebook are constantly innovating, and are likely to increase their communications capabilities.”

According to the report, while it had initially been thought that social networking would only have an impact on email volumes, its impact is far more wide-ranging. Neha Dharia, Ovum analyst and co-author of the report, commented: “The functional development and increasing availability of social networking platforms on mobile devices is seeing communication via social media eat into more traditional forms of communication such as voice.

“As a result, telco voice and messaging revenues and telcos’ increasingly outdated pricing models are coming under pressure as a new wave of substitution threatens to sweep the telecoms market.”

According to the report, telcos will try to defend themselves against the threat by offering more inclusive minutes and text messages at lower prices. Some operators have sought to charge a levy on over-the-top applications, such as Whatsapp and Skype,that reduce operator revenue and use a significant amount of bandwidth.

Dharia added: “Other operators seem to be utilising a wait and watch approach to social media applications, with some stating that there has been no impact on revenues. However, their stance is likely to change in the future as the battle for voice and messaging heats up.”

ADLINK COM Express type 6 module provides Extreme Rugged solution for mobile environments

SAN JOSE, USA: ADLINK Technology Inc., a leading global provider of ruggedized embedded products, announced the release of its latest Ampro by ADLINK Extreme Rugged COM Express module, the Express-HRR for mobile applications running in harsh environments.

The Ampro by ADLINK Express-HRR is a COM Express Type 6 module based on the quad/dual-core 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 processor and Mobile Intel QM67 Express Chipset. Following ADLINK's Rugged By Design methodology, the Express-HRR is ideal for use in environments prone to severe shock, vibration, humidity, and extended temperature ranges.

"The strength of COM Express has always been its flexibility and modularity," said Jeff Munch, CTO of ADLINK Technology and chair of the COM Express COM.0 R2.1 Subcommittee. "We see our digital signage, transportation, and military customers building industry-specific applications powered by our COM Express modules, like the Extreme Rugged Express-HRR. Delivering an effective, standards-based product that supports vendor interoperability gives our customers many more solution options than would a non-standard COM Express design."

The Ampro by ADLINK Express-HRR is a modular, power efficient solution for mobile applications running in space constrained, extreme rugged environments. The Express-HRR is compatible with the COM Express COM.0 Revision 2.0 Type 6 pinout, which is based on the popular Type 2 pinout, but with legacy functions replaced by Digital Display Interfaces (DDI), additional PCI Express lanes, and reserved pins for future technologies. The new Type 6 pinout also supports the SPI Interface, which was unavailable in COM.0 Rev. 1.0.

The Ampro by ADLINK Express-HRR is powered by a quad- or dual-core 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 processor and offers up to 16GB ECC 1333MHz DDR3 memory in two SODIMM sockets; three DDIs for DisplayPort/HDMI/DVI/SDVO; eight PCIe x1 and one PCIe x16 (Gen2) for graphics (or general purpose x8/4/1); as well as two SATA 6 Gb/s, two SATA 3 Gb/s, Gigabit Ethernet, and eight USB 2.0 interfaces. The Express-HRR is validated for reliable performance in extended temperatures ranging from ‑40 degrees C to +85 degrees C and features a 50 percent thicker PCB for high vibration tolerance.

ADLINK Technology's Extreme Rugged modules, boards, and systems are designed for harsh environments from the ground up. Robust test methods, including Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT), ensure optimal product design phases and meet stringent requirements, such as extended temperature range, MIL-STD, shock and vibration, and long-term reliability.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Autonomic signs new contract that will allow cloud enablement of IBM software via ARC-P cloud

CARY, USA: Autonomic Resources, a GSA IaaS Cloud provider has recently executed the necessary contractual agreements with IBM to allow for SaaS enablement of IBM’s software assets. Utilizing Autonomic’s ARC-P cloud as the delivery method, government agencies will soon be able to utilize IBM technologies in utility based, elastic compute offerings.

Autonomic has initially decided to focus on several of the Tivoli software assets including: Tivoli Endpoint Manager (TEM formerly BigFix), Tivoli Identity Manager (TIM), Tivoli Access Manager (TAM), and Federated Identity Manager (FIM). Also included in the ARC-Platform will be products from the Tivoli Maximo family.

Autonomic worked diligently with IBM to leverage its GSA IaaS ARC-P cloud to allow government customers access to technologies in an as-service model. The combination of shifting budgetary targets, conditional funding streams, and cloud first / future first policy initiatives has driven the need for utility based compute. One of the key benefits identified in cloud computing is that government won't have to overhaul its software and hardware every few years, removing political, budgetary and integration headaches.

“The traditional reseller model is under-going significant change; the ability to simply turn paper orders over is quickly losing value in the channel. IBM has indicated it is looking for channel partners that can deliver more for the customer. The ability to SaaS enable IBM assets is a key differentiator that Autonomic brought to the table.” stated John Keese, president of Autonomic Resources. “We understand the security requirements, hold the correct contracts, and have the proper cloud platform to deliver this for IBM and their customers. We are quicker and more nimble, and it is why we are first to our market with these offerings.”

Autonomic plans to SaaS enable a number of the products and will not be limited to IBM products only. Additional offerings include a number of Commercial Open Source stacks as well as Microsoft Exchange and Autonomy E-Discovery. Autonomic will be applying the same government security processing it has under gone for its IaaS platform to its SaaS choices.

Aurrion wins $13.9 million contract to advance electronic-photonic integration

GOLETA, USA: Aurrion Inc., a world leader in silicon photonics, announced that is has been awarded a $13.9 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) multi-year R&D contract through the Electronic-Photonic Heterogeneous Integration (E-PHI) program.

Working in collaboration with the University of California at Santa Barbara, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Virginia, the University of Washington and Rockwell Collins, Inc., Aurrion will develop new technologies and architectures for electronic-photonic integrated circuits on a common silicon substrate.

Dr. Greg Fish, Aurrion’s VP of Research and the Principal Investigator, explained that the components developed in this program will not only meet the performance of native substrate devices but exceed them, leading to a dramatic enhancement in systems.

“E-PHI is enabling key More-than-Moore technologies. The key innovation is leveraging both CMOS and MEMS silicon processes to produce 3D heterogeneous electronic/photonic silicon circuits that use diverse materials for photonic components yet are still processed and interconnected at wafer scale,” Dr. Fish said.

Using established foundry infrastructure, the technologies developed in this program are expected to dramatically improve both the performance and cost of complex photonic systems in multiple markets such as optical sensors, next generation transceivers and high performance computing.

“By combining the best photonic materials for the required functions closely integrated with electronics, we will demonstrate 3D chip scale systems that can achieve optical bench performance on a single silicon substrate,” Dr. Fish said.

Panasonic delivers MirrorLink-certified display-audio system for Toyota iQ

OSAKA, JAPAN: Panasonic Corp. has delivered its in-car Display-Audio system compatible with the new MirrorLink smartphone-to-car connectivity standard for the Toyota iQ city car being sold by Toyota Motor Europe NV/SA becoming the world's first OEM supplier of such product for the car industry. This genuine Toyota accessory named "Toyota Touch Life" is being offered as a dealer option for the iQ in Europe.

The 2-DIN-sized Display-Audio system features an AM/FM radio and a seven-inch WVGA TFT color touchscreen display, which literally mirrors the user's smartphone screen, showing MirrorLinkTM-enabled applications running on the smartphone. Using the in-dash touchscreen display, the driver can access smartphone applications by the new industry standard connectivity technology, such as maps, car navigators and music players that are designed with driver safety and convenience in mind.

The MirrorLink standard was developed and is promoted by Car Connectivity Consortium, which is dedicated to cross-industry collaboration in developing global standards and solutions for smartphone and in-vehicle connectivity.

Nokia provides the first MirrorLink-certified smartphone to work with in-car headunits. Nokia smartphone users can download the Nokia Car Mode app from Nokia Store for Nokia MirrorLink-enabled smart phones to be connected with Toyota Touch Life. Nokia Car Mode app (available in December) which simplifies the user interface to give direct access to the device's telephony, navigation, and music player functions. This easy-to-use GUI (graphical user interface) ensures that drivers can access only the most essential and non-distracting functions on the smartphone while the car is on the move.

Differently from MirrorLink, Apple iPhone users can use iPhone applications, including navigators such as the Garmin StreetPilot® app, internet radios and news apps such as AUPEO! and Stitcher*8, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter*9 using the proprietary built-in application interface and the custom protocol with Apple's product certification. Users of iPhones (running iOS 4 or later) can download the free Application Launcher app from the App Store to connect their devices with Toyota Touch Life.

Enhanced Micro Focus SilkTest suite cuts testing costs, helps build better software faster

BANGALORE, INDIA: Micro Focus, the leading provider of enterprise application modernization, testing and management solutions, announced the general availability of SilkTest 2011. The new suite of application testing software enables organizations to achieve the highest level of quality, flexibility and scalability possible throughout the entire software development lifecycle.

SilkTest now increases the quality of mission-critical applications running on any terminal-based host system through its integration with Micro Focus Rumba. In addition, SilkTest increases flexibility by extending its Web 2.0 capabilities with additional support for Silverlight, as well as enhanced support for Adobe Flex and Firefox. Additional features include User Access Compliance to support effective testing in standard user privileges, which not only makes it easier for users to work with SilkTest, but also eases admin control of the desktop environment.

As product lifecycles shrink, development practices must adapt to meet the demands of business. Organizations once had the luxury of time between product releases, but today’s fast business pace demands better software quality and quicker delivery times with fewer resources.

SilkTest delivers advanced test automation capabilities that drive productivity, predictability and cost savings throughout the software development lifecycle. This latest release continues to push the boundaries of software development by enabling business domain experts to collaborate on test automation.

“Our mission with SilkTest is to help organizations achieve predictability and productivity throughout the development lifecycle and to drive smart innovation that enables effective collaboration across lines of business,” said Archie Roboostoff, Borland Portfolio Director, Micro Focus.

“Where our competitors might focus on throwing complicated technology at a problem, we focus on fostering collaboration between the people developing the technology. Our first priority is providing our customers with tools that turn whiteboard ideas into customer-facing products faster than anyone in the industry. From cost savings to faster product delivery cycles, organizations using SilkTest will continue to build better software faster, regardless of framework, platform or system.”

NI empowers big physics solutions

INDIA: National Instruments continues to empower the research and physics industries with high-performance measurement and control technologies. NI provides commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) tools that help the thousands of engineers and scientists who are trying to solve alternative energy challenges with sophisticated devices.

With NI LabVIEW system design software, PXI modular instrumentation, the NI CompactRIO reconfigurable control and data acquisition platform and other tools, National Instruments has helped many physicists streamline project development and simplify advanced control solutions that otherwise would be cost-prohibitive.

“For more than 35 years, National Instruments has provided innovators with the tools they need to address the world’s biggest engineering challenges,” said Stefano Concezzi, director of the science and big physics segment at National Instruments. “We are excited about the many ways we are helping customers streamline the development of advanced physics and energy projects.”

Innovators throughout the world are using the NI graphical system design approach to efficiently address the world’s grand engineering challenges in medical technology, urban infrastructure, alternative energy and other critical applications.

In physics specifically, NI has contributed product solutions to some of the most advanced projects including the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and tokamak fusion device control systems. Additionally, the Leonardo Corp. has intentions to incorporate NI tools in its control system.

IT services: End of multi-sourcing is nigh

MELBOURBE, AUSTRALIA: Multi-sourcing is dead; long live the trusted advisor. As contracts reduce in size, power is being redistributed to the key players in many outsourcing engagements, according to Ovum.

In the new report, the independent IT and telecoms analyst firm finds that on the back of an ever reducing number of megadeals the average contract value has fallen to USD$65m in the first nine months of 2011.

Jens Butler, Principal Analyst of Ovum and author of the report commented, “The mix of major providers in outsourcing contracts has shifted from the much-heralded multi-sourcing approach to a more contained portfolio of suppliers and services in recent contracts.”

The report uncovered the increasing prevalence of single “capstone’ vendors “controlling” larger proportions of contracts. On average 60 per cent of total contract values (TCV) are being allocated to a single, lead supplier across multiple supplier deals signed since 2009 highlighting the fact that consolidation of control and governance is shifting to a single, trusted supplier model.

“The more mature markets are moving towards consistency in contract size and length, enabling suppliers the ability to plan and think strategically and develop value that can be delivered through the lifecycle of the contract”, said Butler.

The report notes that in the emerging markets, cost management and control are less of a core factor in decision making and there is a tendency to leverage IT to support business growth and expansion. As such, the key driver for enterprises when investing in IT is speed of delivery.

Butler recommended that enterprises need to be prepared to engage with multiple suppliers, offer a big enough carrot of additional services and to be prepared offer more applications into the mix in the emerging markets.

2012 cyber security predictions from Websense

MUMBAI, INDIA: With all of the crazy 2011 security breaches, exploits and notorious hacks, what can we expect for 2012? Top researchers of the Websense Security Labs have provided their top predictions for the coming year.

* Your social media identity may prove more valuable to cybercriminals than your credit cards. Bad guys will actively buy and sell social media credentials in online forums.

Trust is the basis of social networking, so if a bad guy compromises your social media log-ins, there is a good chance they can manipulate your friends. Which leads us to prediction #2.

* The primary blended attack method used in the most advanced attacks will be to go through your social media "friends," mobile devices and through the cloud.

We've already seen one APT attack that used the chat functionality of a compromised social network account to get to the right user. Expect this to be the primary vector, along with mobile and cloud exploits, in the most persistent and advanced attacks of 2012.

* 1,000+ different mobile device attacks coming to a smartphone or tablet near you.

People have been predicting this for years, but in 2011 it actually started to happen. And watch out: the number of people who fall victim to believable social engineering scams will go through the roof if the bad guys find a way to use mobile location-based services to design hyperspecific geolocation social engineering attempts.

* SSL/TLS will put net traffic into a corporate IT blind spot.

Two items are increasing traffic over SSL/TLS secure tunnels for privacy and protection.First is the disruptive growth of mobile and tablet devices. And second, many of the largest, most commonly used websites, like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are switching to https sessions by default, ostensibly a more secure transmission. But as more traffic moves through encrypted tunnels, many traditional enterprise security defenses are going to be left looking for a threat needle in a haystack, since they cannot inspect the encoded traffic.

* Containment is the new prevention.

For years, security defenses have focused on keeping cybercrime and malware out. Organizations on the leading edge will implement outbound inspection and will focus on adapting prevention technologies to be more about containment, severing communications, and data loss mitigation after an initial infection.

* The London Olympics, US presidential elections, Mayan calendar, and apocalyptic predictions will lead to broad attacks by criminals.

Cybercriminals will continue to take advantage of today's 24-hour, up-to-the minute news cycle, only now they will infect users where they are less suspicious: sites designed to look like legitimate news services, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts/emails, LinkedIn updates, YouTube video comments, and forum conversations.

* Social engineering and rogue anti-virus will continue to reign.

Scareware tactics and the use of rogue anti-virus, which decreased a bit in 2011, will stage a comeback. Except, instead of seeing "You have been infected" pages, we anticipate three areas will emerge as growing scareware subcategories in 2012: a growth in fake registry clean-up, fake speed improvement software, and fake back-up software mimicking popular personal cloud backup systems.

Friday, November 25, 2011

ID solution helps to transform India’s rural communities

EINDHOVEN, THE NETHERLANDS: NXP Semiconductors N.V. is working with Glodyne Technoserve, the technology service provider of the Indian State Government of Bihar, to provide citizens living in rural communities with access to banking and social welfare facilities for the first time. Ultimately, residents of Bihar can use the SmartMX-based e-Shakti card as their identity card, employment card, and bank card.

The e-Shakti transformation project aims to improve the purchasing power of Bihar’s large rural population, to stimulate the rural economy and to further develop the Bihar region. Using an end-to-end solution based on cutting edge technologies such as NFC, government officials can register participants as they arrive at work and pay wages directly into their newly created bank accounts – bringing banking to the unbanked.

Using secure handheld terminals, bank clerks can quickly set up virtual banks in even the most rural areas, providing access to full banking services and eliminating the cost and effort required to set up physical branches. The terminals are equipped with NXP’s NFC technology, integrated biometrics, and GPRS and GPS technologies to connect directly to the bank’s central server. The NFC reader built into the terminals authenticates the user via their contactless SmartMX-based card while biometric data stored on the chip provides an additional level of security.

Steve Owen, vice president, global sales Identification, NXP Semiconductors, said: “India’s e-Shakti scheme is an example of the added-value NXP’s advanced multi-application ID solutions can bring to millions of people. Our ID technology offers a secure, robust and convenient way for the residents of rural Bihar to identify themselves. In doing so, they gain access to a multitude of services accessed on a daily basis by those living in cities.”

Multiple application schemes are enabled by NXP’s advanced SmartMX technology that is specifically designed for running different applications on a single chip, without compromising on convenience, performance or design productivity.

Binod Mishra, senior VP and project director at Glodyne Technoserve, commented: “To implement this project, Glodyne has partnered with leading technology providers who deliver high quality, efficient and best-in-class solutions. NXP has been our preferred partner for the e-Shakti card due to its superior identification technology. Basing card and banking terminals on contactless technology offers numerous benefits. In addition to accelerating transaction speeds, contactless-based systems also require a reduced level of capital expenditure compared to equivalent magnetic-based or contact chip systems. We typically find that contactless systems have longer lifetimes and are much cheaper to maintain, which is essential for states such as Bihar with many rural villages.”

In addition to the e-Shakti project, eGovernance is high on the agenda of the Indian government. NXP’s is currently involved in several of the country’s eGovernment ID projects, including the National ID card and electronic driving license schemes. The e-Shakti scheme complies with the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), which guarantees 100 days of paid work a year to unskilled manual workers.

Ajesh Kapoor, Director, NXP Semiconductors, said: “With approximately 100 million citizens, Bihar is the third most populated state in India, with 85 per cent of people living in rural areas. The e-Shakti scheme is a groundbreaking project that ties in closely to the Indian Central Government’s desire to promote financial inclusion for the entire population of India.”

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crystal CG licenses CryENGINE 3 for digital visualization projects

FRANKFURT, GERMANY: Crytek GmbH (Crytek) closed a licensing deal for CryENGINE 3, its proprietary real-time development solution, with Crystal CG, a world leading digital image service provider.

Crystal CG is dedicated to providing customized solutions based on 3D digital visualization technologies and has been working on a number of widely recognized projects such as the 'Grand opening ceremony of Beijing 2008 Olympics' and the 'London 2012 Olympics mascot promotional film' as well as various visual communication projects. For their upcoming projects Crystal CG will use CryENGINE 3 to further enhance their production values and achieve even better outcomes in a significantly shorter timeframe.

"We're aiming at being the leading first class digital visual solution provider in the world. Choosing CryENGINE 3 for our upcoming projects was a natural step for us to ensure we stay ahead of our competition. Crytek's visualization solution suits our needs for flexibility and efficiency," said Chai Kefu, department manager of R&D at Crystal CG.

"When we saw the first results from Crystal CG's work with CryENGINE 3, we were blown away. The combination of the incredible talent and our all-in-one real-time development solution not only ensures brilliant visuals but also a very smooth workflow. We are really looking forward to seeing more from Crystal CG," said Carl Jones, director of Global Business Development - CryENGINE.

NI adds options for extending NI RIO technology platform with custom electronics

INDIA: National Instruments announced a new version of the NI CompactRIO Module Development Kit (MDK) and the introduction of the RIO Mezzanine Card (RMC) specification for NI Single-Board RIO.

These additions expand the options for adding specialized or custom I/O to packaged and board-level embedded control and monitoring systems. With these technologies, system integrators and OEMs now can fully integrate custom electronics with the proven and reliable NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware systems and provide their users with the same experience that scientists and engineers expect from NI products.

“The new CompactRIO Module Development Kit improves our ability to create complementary embedded modules to serve our customers and build our business,” said Wolfram Koerver, program manager for CompactRIO modules at S.E.A. Datentechnik GmbH, a company that provides advanced products and solutions in the field of industrial automation and measuring technology.

“We designed a RIO Mezzanine Card and NI Single-Board RIO into our BMX Embedded Measurement and Control Platform in a much shorter timeframe than a full-custom solution. With the RIO Mezzanine Card feature, we now can provide cost-effective solutions for higher volume applications which require specialty I/O and communication features.”

Incorporating updates based on customer feedback, version 2.0 of the CompactRIO MDK provides engineers and scientists additional time-saving resources that simplify the processes of creating any custom module. The 2.0 version features a new field-programmable gate array (FPGA) communication core that automatically implements NI technology best practices and low-level housekeeping tasks including module detection, identification, data transfer and other common functions.

By starting with the NI communication core, engineers can access years of NI research, development and optimization to accelerate their design process and maximize compatibility of custom modules within the RIO ecosystem. The new MDK also includes slot-agnostic code generation and an elemental I/O node paradigm, making it possible for module designers to provide the same user experience whether engineers and scientists use third-party modules or NI modules.

Pay-TV strategies must reflect the evolving market landscape

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Changes in market conditions and consumer behaviour are forcing dramatic shifts and an uncertain future for the pay-TV industry, according to Ovum.

In a new report, the independent telecoms analyst firm states that new technologies and players offering alternative ways to view video are undermining the established order of pay-TV operations.

The study also indicates that pay-TV subscriber growth is slowing in several markets, with free-to-air digital TV and web-based offerings luring consumers away from traditional pay-TV services.

Jonathan Doran, Ovum principal analyst and author of the report, commented: “While these changes have already started to occur, their impact will become increasingly pronounced over the next five years. This will force a shift in the strategic approaches of pay-TV operators if they are to ensure their continued success and survival.

“In isolation, none of the challenges faced by traditional pay-TV operators present an insurmountable barrier. Many operators have demonstrated their ability to fight back against these threats by rapidly adapting to the changing environment and turning challenges to their advantage. However, when combined, these disruptive factors represent an evolution in the TV market landscape that cannot be reversed.”

Ovum’s report offers several recommendations for pay-TV players to help them survive these significant shifts in the competitive environment.

Firstly, it advises operators to review existing approaches to content packaging so as to ensure that they are providing choice and quality to consumers. Doran commented: “To offset the increasing homogeneity of TV offerings, operators must adapt their portfolios through creative and shrewd packaging and pricing initiatives. Service providers will need to continually review and revise their content offerings in order to accommodate consumers’ evolving and increasingly fragmented preferences.”

The report also advises players to exploit triple-play opportunities, employ new user-experience enhancements, and emulate and outdo competition from adjacent operators.

Doran added: “As subscription-free alternatives and paid propositions from adjacent players improve in range, quality, and user experience, pay-TV providers will have to work harder to attract and retain customers. Where possible, operators should strive to exceed the levels of choice, flexibility, and personalisation offered by their Internet-based competitors. This will involve developing services that resemble open, web-delivered offerings, while at the same time differentiating from over-the-top players based on service quality, reliability, and device interoperability.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lenovo gets glamorous with Ultraportable U300s

BANGALORE, INDIA: Lenovo India sashays into the fashion world with its new luxury laptop, the IdeaPad U300s Ultrabook.

Bridging haute couture with superior technology, this laptop is designed for fashion-conscious consumers who want a product that is cool, powerful and productive; the ultimate fusion for those who take technology and design seriously. The U300s is not only thin and light-weight but also power-packed with myriad features.Unveiling the new Lenovo U300s in India, Rajesh Thadani, Director, Consumer Business Segment, Lenovo India, said: “The new IdeaPad U Series laptops from Lenovo provides style aficionados everything they need in a slender yet efficient super chic, mobile package. The U300s laptop is slated to become the perfect style accessory this season, liberating consumers by combining productivity and entertainment in one elegant device.”

Shailendra Katyal, director, Marketing, Lenovo India, added: “We plan to wow our consumers with the ultraportable U300s that merges incredible high performance with stunning, tasteful designs. The product will deliver a great user experience and a long battery life. Today, youngsters look for no compromise machines which combine both mobility and performance and U300s provides both, in addition to other smart features.”

R. Ravichandran, director-Sales, Intel South Asia, noted: “Powered by our 2nd Gen Core processors, the U300s will deliver great capabilities with a wonderful user experience and long battery life that people increasingly want. We’re particularly excited by Lenovo’s innovation and as one of the leading time to market partners in the new Ultrabook category with the U300s device that combines a no-compromise, must-have mobile experience with performance, security, responsiveness and style.”

The IdeaPad U300s features HD graphics support, an HDMI output and integrated stereo speakers with SRS Premium Surround Sound for an immersive sound experience. You can bring computer content to life-sized magnitude wirelessly onto a big screen from the U300s Ultrabook with Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology.

Key features
* Features up to 2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0.
* With a thickness of just 0.6 inches (14.9mm), the U300s is built from a single-piece aluminum shell to create a sleek and lightweight product weighing in at less than three pounds.
* Lenovo RapidCharge enables the battery to be charged to 50 percent capacity in just 30 minutes.
* Smarter boot with Enhanced Experience 2.0 RapidDrive SSD technology.
* 13.3" ultra-slim HD display (1366x768), 16:9 widescreen.
* Intel GMA HD 3000 graphics.
* Up to 4GB DDR3 memory, up to 256GB SSD storage.
* Integrated Bluetoothand high-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi.
* Intel Advanced Cooling Technology that allows air to flow in through the keyboard and out of the sides and rear hinge.
* Integrated USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connectors.
* Integrated 1.3M (720p HD) webcam.

The Lenovo IdeaPad U300s will be available in all Lenovo Exclusive Stores (LES) and select Large Format Retailers (LFR). Priced at INR 67, 990 (plus taxes) only, Lenovo U300s is available in a cool graphite gray color.

Major study benchmarks testing services providers; Capgemini is #1; IBM and Wipro tied at #2

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: In a new report, Ovum, the independent technology analyst firm, has benchmarked 13 software and systems testing services providers. Capgemini was #1 and IBM and Wipro tied at #2, followed by Cognizant, HP, and Infosys.

Ovum rated the providers on 20 key criteria that organizations use to select testing services providers. Although the market sees similar messages broadcast by providers, Ovum found significant differentiators.

Dr. Alexander Simkin, lead analyst and author of the report, warned that organizations must assess their own requirements for these criteria against the strengths and weaknesses of the providers.

Dr. Simkin said: “All testing services providers are not the same. Capgemini, for example, excels in its test process capabilities. IBM, in contrast, leads the market in its portfolio of test services and its expertise in testing. Wipro came out top for cost and value. SQS, the German testing pure-play, was #1 for customer intimacy and responsiveness. Users of testing services need to know where providers are strong – and weak. Selecting a provider that does not meet your needs can have costly ongoing consequences.”

Simkin found that providers were differentiated in how well they were aligned to demand-side drivers. “Our analysis shows that some providers have a better understanding of the market and are more effective at building capabilities that matter most to users. TCS and HP stood out as being particularly well aligned to the testing services market, which suggests that they will gain market share.”

Rankings of testing services providersSource: Ovum, Australia.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MAIT foresees big impact of global IT supply chain disruptions on India

BANGALORE, INDIA: The Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT), the apex body actively representing entire IT Hardware ecosystem for India, requested the industry and consumers for support and patience caused due to severe shortage of IT hardware products. This is due to unprecedented rains and floods in Thailand, which has severely disrupted the global supply chain for many key components in the IT Hardware industry.

Many IT component manufacturers are based in Thailand. In the flooding the Computer Hard-disk manufacturing got the maximum impact as manufacturing plants of all four large players are located in the flooded area.

Dr Alok Bharadwaj, president – MAIT, said: “The situation in Thailand is directly affecting the Computer Hard disk manufacturing as it has impacted all four large manufacturers. As per initial estimates the impact is 40 percent of worldwide demand. This has caused tremendous supply shortage for laptops and desktops. The immediate impact is being felt for bulk supplies to Government bodies like Elcot and DGS&D.MAIT is keeping all State Govt and Central Government ministries informed. Meanwhile, all laptop and desktop companies operating in India are reaching out to customers to request their patience.”

Overall challenges to the global IT/electronics industry following the Thailand calamity are likely to tell on the prices of the components. Manufacturers are also not able to commit deliveries, in spite of price increase, which in turn is bound to have a cascading effect.

Dr Bharadwaj added: “We are appealing to the government and consumers to allow longer delivery period to combat the sudden shrinkage in the supply situation. Suppliers are making all efforts to divert stocks to India to cater to few large orders but it takes time. They should be spared of penalties or strictures on delays caused by the devastation as this is an act of God. The global price increase due to the shortage are not being passed on to Indian consumers as of now. The impact of this shortage is also being felt on few other IT peripherals too.”

Dell announces India launch of DELL LATITUDE ST

INDIA: Dell has expanded its Latitude series with the Latitude ST Tablet. The Latitude ST is built for business – ideal for mobile professionals and the IT professionals supporting them to do more while carrying less, in a secure and manageable environment you know and trust.

The Latitude ST can be tailored to your specific business or end user needs with certified applications and professional services that help you do more. It is ideal for any organization where employees need to run a core set of applications in safe computing environments.

For healthcare, the Latitude ST easily integrates into Dell’s Electronic Medical Records and Mobile Clinical Computing solutions. For education, the device is certified for use in our Connected Classroom solution.

Check Point extends 3D security with acquisition of Dynasec

MUMBAI, INDIA: Check Point Software Technologies Ltd announced the acquisition of privately held Dynasec Ltd., a leading provider of Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC) solutions.

The acquisition extends Check Point 3D Security that enables companies to view security as a business process, focusing on policy, people and enforcement. The combined security and GRC solutions will enable customers to manage their entire 3D Security process from corporate objectives, to policies and security enforcement – maintaining a continuous holistic security and compliance picture.

Organizations today face a growing number of industry standards and government regulations that require CIOs and security officers to implement a consistent security framework that adheres to GRC requirements without disrupting the flow of business – a nearly impossible task when done manually.

The acquisition of Dynasec will help organizations accelerate the path to 3D Security by enabling customers to easily translate compliance requirements into IT security policies that map to their overall business objectives.

Check Point’s offering will include security, business and consulting services together with Dynasec’s easy2comply leading GRC software solution that provides a rich set of GRC frameworks with built-in best practices that are customizable for hundreds of compliance standards. The Check Point solution will offer a simple way for businesses to automate the manual task of handling a growing number of regulations and compliance standards.

A major advantage of easy2comply is the ability to implement the technology in less than two weeks, helping customers streamline compliance efforts. By leveraging GRC frameworks that include pre-defined regulatory standards, customers are able to quickly translate business and compliance requirements into IT policies at a fraction of the time it takes most companies.

Integrating these tools with Check Point’s existing security solutions enables customers to define and manage policies that can be applied to all of the company’s leading protections, including Firewall, VPN, Application Control, Intrusion Prevention, Data Loss Prevention, Mobile Access and Endpoint Security – helping organizations create a security blueprint that reflects their specific business needs.

NI intros first low-speed CAN and LIN interfaces for NI CompactDAQ

INDIA: National Instruments has introduced the C Series NI 9861 CAN interface and NI 9866 LIN interface, the newest modules in the NI-XNET family of products and the first low-speed CAN and LIN modules that integrate with the entire NI CompactDAQ platform.

As part of the NI-XNET family, the new modules provide engineers with productivity advantages such as hardware-accelerated messaging and onboard processing. The single-port, low-speed C Series NI 9861 CAN interface module features integrated CAN database support for importing, editing and using signals from FIBEX, .DBC and .NCD files. It is capable of 100 percent bus load communication up to 125 kbit/s without dropping any frames.

The NI 9866 LIN module is also a single-port interface with integrated support for importing and using signals from LDF databases along with master/slave support and hardware-timed scheduling for master tasks. It is capable of 100 percent bus load communication up to 20 kbit/s without dropping any frames.

Engineers can use the new CAN and LIN modules with the same NI LabVIEW or ANSI C/C++ software code on a variety of platforms including NI CompactDAQ, CompactRIO, PXI and PCI. Project reuse saves time as the same applications can be used, for example, in labs with PCI; in manufacturing end-of-line tests with PXI; in portable in-vehicle communication settings with NI CompactDAQ; and in headless in-vehicle logging with CompactRIO.

With native support in NI VeriStand real-time test development software, the new modules are ideal for real-time automotive testing applications, including hardware-in-the-loop simulation and test cell applications. Both modules support synchronization and triggering with other CompactRIO and NI CompactDAQ modules. NI CompactDAQ offers a platform for portable in-vehicle network communication, in-vehicle logging and basic automotive electronics communication in a USB, Wi-Fi or Ethernet form factor.

The NI-XNET family provides a common programming interface for multiple automotive networks such as CAN, LIN and FlexRay. With NI-XNET interfaces, engineers can develop applications for prototyping, simulating and testing these networks faster and more easily in LabVIEW and LabVIEW Real-Time software as well as ANSI C/C++.

The interfaces combine the performance and flexibility of low-level microcontroller interfaces with the speed and power of Windows and LabVIEW Real-Time OS development. Engineers can easily integrate them with desktop real-time PCs and real-time PXI systems.

Kyobo Book Center, Qualcomm intro world's first e-reader to include mirasol display technology

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA & SAN DIEGO, USA: Qualcomm MEMS Technologies Inc. (QMT) a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc., and Kyobo Book Centre, Korea's largest seller of books, announced the retail availability of the world's first e-reader to include mirasol display technology.

Kyobo and Qualcomm have collaborated to deliver an unmatched reading experience by providing a large and diverse content portfolio spanning books, magazines and video on a touch display that features vibrant color in bright sunlight. The device will allow for weeks of reading under typical usage.*

"Kyobo is a recognized content leader focused on bringing unique and innovative experiences to its customers," said Clarence Chui, senior VP and GM of Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc. "Kyobo's customers will be the first to enjoy the exceptional color e-reader experience and long battery life that only mirasol displays can provide."

The Kyobo e-Reader includes access to Kyobo's 90,000 ebook library, notably including early rights from Korean publisher Minumsa for the much-anticipated Steve Jobs' exclusive biography, a full one-month before any other Korean digital outlet.

Additionally, the device features: video lecture content exclusive to EBS, a leading Korea-based provider of educational material; content sharing through Korean social networking services; English language text-to-speech capabilities; and searchable content through the popular Diotek dictionary application.

"The Kyobo e-Reader brings the user a true book reading experience," said Seong-Ryong Kim, CEO of Kyobo Book Centre. "With our diverse content and leading edge technology from Qualcomm, Kyobo Book Centre will provide a premium reading experience to our customers."

The Kyobo e-Reader features a 5.7" XGA format (1024 x 768 pixels) mirasol display (screen resolution of 223 ppi) and Qualcomm's 1.0 GHz Snapdragon S2 class processor. Kyobo's custom application interface sits atop an Android 2.3 base.

Kyobo's e-Reader is now available for purchase at the full retail price of KRW349,000 ($310). Kyobo Platinum Book Club members can purchase the e-reader at a discounted price of KRW 299,000 ($265). Kyobo's e-readers are available at bookstore locations across South Korea, including Kyobo's flagship Gwanghwamun-jum location in Seoul.

LCD TV shipments rebound ahead of 2011 holiday selling period

SANTA CLARA, USA: 2011 has been a challenging year for the TV industry. Sluggish consumer demand in developed regions, like North America, Japan and Western Europe, has led to poor profitability on the part of TV set makers and panel makers.

With supply chain inventory problems persisting well into mid-year, many TV brands cut back on their shipment plans for 2011 and reduced panel orders in Q3, which resulted in larger price declines for those core panels. The upside for consumers is more attractive retail set prices during the upcoming holiday season, particularly during Black Friday in the US.

“End-market demand has been weak in North America during most of 2011, with unit shipments falling around 4 percent Y/Y through the first three quarters of the year,” noted Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Research, DisplaySearch. “However, consumers, still quite sensitive to pricing, may be delaying purchases until the holidays when they expect to see the best deals. Consumers have learned this practice from observing previous holiday selling periods.”

According to the latest figures published in the DisplaySearch Advanced Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, total TV market shipments were up 3.7 percent Y/Y in Q3’11 to 62 million units, a 12 percent increase from Q2’11. This marks a healthy rebound from the 1 percent Y/Y shipment decline in Q2’11 and weak 1 percent Y/Y gain in Q1. However, orders for LCD and plasma panels used in the production of TV sets were both down in Q3’11, resulting in a somewhat lean inventory situation towards the end of the quarter.

Many suppliers have taken a conservative approach to inventory for the holidays. Therefore, if demand is better than expected, there may not be much slack in the supply chain to fulfill restocking orders. This could potentially lead to some product shortages.

LCD TV shipments worldwide were about 1 percent better than forecasted, rising 12.9 percent Y/Y to 51.5 million units compared to single-digit annual growth during Q1 and Q2’11. This is a good indication of improving demand in end markets. Retail prices for some LCD sizes are falling below key price levels, like $300 for 32” and $500 for 40-42”.

The transition to LED backlights continues, but the rate of adoption has been slower than expected. LED-backlit models have not been able to pass the 50 percent level, accounting for 48 percent of total LCD TV shipments, with the vast majority of those being edge-lit models.

Similarly, higher frame-rate models (120Hz or higher) have been mostly unchanged through 2011, representing about 22 percent of LCD shipments in the quarter. 3D grew to about 11 percent of LCD TVs, up from 9 percent in Q2. The slower growth of these two advanced features is indicative of a continuation of conservative consumer spending and reluctance to pay significant premiums.

Plasma TV shipments had shown increasing softness in recent quarters, declining 6 percent Y/Y in Q2’11 and falling 14 percent Y/Y in Q3’11 to 4.1 million units. The decline in plasma TV shipments is the result of closer price competition with LCD models, leading to a transfer of market share at key sizes like 42” and 50”.

In addition, poor profitability at plasma TV heavyweight Panasonic has led to a shift in focus to larger models and more richly-featured sets with less emphasis on price competition. Within plasma, 720p models account for about two thirds of unit shipments, but DisplaySearch forecasts a bigger shift to 1080p in the near future. Finally, 3D rose to about 27 percent of plasma TV shipments in Q3.

By region, China increased to more than 21 percent of all global TV shipments to become the clear leader in global TV demand. Shipments to China seasonally increase during Q3, ahead of October Golden Week promotions, but the level of share gain was substantial compared to previous years.

The softness in consumer demand seen for developed regions led to much weaker growth than for emerging regions, with total unit shipments rising 12 percent Y/Y in emerging regions and falling 8 percent Y/Y in developed regions, and China is a major driver of the stronger growth in emerging regions. In addition, adoption of advanced features, like 3D, has performed better in China than any other region. In fact, China was the leading region for LED LCD TV shipments as well as for 3D LCD TVs.

3D accounts for 11 percent of total TV units and 27 percent of revenues
3D continued to see solid gains in shipment and revenue penetration worldwide, but the focus of those gains is somewhat surprising. Through the first three quarters of 2011, Western Europe and China were the leading adopters of 3D at 13 percent and 11 percent of total TV unit shipments, respectively.

North America was initially forecast to be the leading market for 3D TV, but 3D accounted for only about 8.5 percent of total unit shipments. An unwillingness to pay much of a premium for 3D, and lower availability of low-cost 3D sets, compared to regions like China, have impacted uptake of 3D. During the upcoming holiday selling season in the U.S., 3D is not expected to be highly promoted. Instead, retailers will focus on large sizes with strong value pricing, but with lighter feature content.

Samsung remains #1 global TV brand, leading in LCD and plasma TV
Samsung’s global flat panel TV revenue share was up slightly in Q3’11 to 22.8 percent, a substantial lead over the #2 brand LGE. Samsung was the #1 brand on a revenue basis in every region, with the exception of Japan, where it does not sell TVs, and led LGE (a strong emerging market brand) in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Samsung was #1 in LCD and plasma TV revenues, #2 in CRT TV revenues, and was the only top 5 brand to post Y/Y growth in revenues.

LGE was the #2 brand worldwide at 13.1 percent with small Q/Q and Y/Y revenue declines. LGE was #2 in LCD TV and #3 in plasma TV, but continued to lead in CRT TV with more than double the revenue share of any other brand. Sony remained the #3 brand in global flat panel TV revenues during Q3’11, but saw a significant decrease in market share and posted a 13 percent Y/Y decline in total revenues.

Panasonic and Sharp rounded out the top 5 with Sharp gaining revenue share on increased shipments of large sizes like 60”.

Samsung was the #1 global brand of 3D TV overall, accounting for all technologies, with 31 percent of revenues. Within the 3D LCD TV category, Samsung was #1 while Panasonic claimed the top 3D plasma TV revenue share.

Open Source web server leader NGINX and CDN provider Jet-Stream form commercial partnership

SAN FRANCISCO, USA & GRONINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS: Open source web server developer NGINX and Jet-Stream, the award-winning market leader in Content Delivery Network (CDN) technologies and intelligence, have formed a commercial partnership to deliver enhanced CDN products and services to network operators, content publishers, telecommunications companies and enterprises.

Under the agreement, Jet-Stream will integrate the NGINX open source version into its software suite, incorporating proprietary extensions and additional controls. Jet-Stream will leverage high-performance NGINX edge nodes, capable of delivering multiple gigabits of outbound traffic per hardware server, to improve performance and reliability for customers. For its part, NGINX will provide additional commercial extensions to its open source product to fine-tune NGINX edge nodes for the CDN environment.

“Jet-Stream is the most innovative company in the multimedia content delivery space with enormous influence on this segment of the industry,” said Andrey Alexeev, co-founder of NGINX. “We are very pleased to inaugurate this new partnership, which enables both our companies to provide a rich new set of performance benefits to a wider range of enterprise and telecommunications customers.”

The NGINX web server currently powers 25 percent of the top 1,000 busiest websites in the world, and its unique ability to deliver 10-times performance improvements on existing operating systems and hardware—combined with lean architecture, scalability and security—has propelled it to become the second most popular open source web infrastructure platform on the Internet.

The award-winning Jet-Stream CDN technology is an advanced, next-generation solution for network operators and content publishers used by IP network operators worldwide to offload traffic on their infrastructures and to monetize premium content delivery services across a variety of fixed and mobile platforms.

“NGINX is the best-performing and most flexible caching solution on the market,” said Stef van der Ziel, founder and CEO of Jet-Stream. “Our technologies and philosophies of innovation are highly complementary, and provide us with a unique opportunity to change the market by providing advanced solutions to our customers.”

In addition to offering integrated products to the market, Jet-Stream will leverage NGINX’s services to implement and maintain the combined offering, incorporating a license within the Jet-Stream software licenses. NGINX will open its sales channel and referral sources to Jet-Stream.

Monday, November 21, 2011

CE market faces reality of weak year on Black Friday eve

EL SEGUNDO, USA: A sharp slowdown in spending due to continuing economic chaos will cause revenue growth in the global consumer electronics (CE) market to fall short of growth expectations by more than 75 percent this year, according to an IHS iSuppli Consumer Platforms Market Tracker report.

CE revenue in 2011 will amount to $357.3 billion, up a scant 1.5 percent from $351.9 billion in 2010, and equivalent to a 77 percent reduction compared to the previous IHS forecast of 6.4 percent growth for the year.

“Black Friday is prime time for consumer electronics manufacturers, when they can count on huge sales to achieve profitability for the entire year,” said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst for consumer platforms at IHS. “However, as the year draws to a close, it’s becoming apparent that sales in 2011 will fall well short of expectations, as economic issues take their toll. While market conditions are improving in the fourth quarter because of Black Friday and the rest of the holiday selling season, this three-month respite won’t be sufficient to salvage the entire year.”

The lower CE revenue growth in 2011 represents a significant slowdown compared to 2010, when the market ramped up at a much quicker 7.9 percent annual rate. However, CE revenue will resume moderate growth during the next two years before slowing down in 2014 and then flattening out in 2015. By then, overall CE revenue will approach the $400 billion level.

A broad slowdown for CE
The consumer electronics space covers a variety of devices, including liquid crystal display televisions (LCD TV), DVD and Blu-ray players as well as recorders, digital still cameras and portable media players.

Other important categories are video game consoles and handheld game players, ebook readers, digital set-top boxes and battery chargers. For most of these categories, IHS has reduced its forecasts to reflect the ongoing economic slowdown in many parts of the world, resulting in revenue projections being pulled back.

Although 2011 began on a positive note with CE revenue up 3 percent in the first quarter compared to the same time last year, the market notably slowed in mid year as the global economy sputtered. In particular, uncertainties on the US employment front and the financial turmoil resulting from the European sovereign debt crisis have led consumers to hold back on purchases in those regions—the biggest CE markets in the world.

TV and MP3 sales disappoint
A big factor in this year’s forecast reduction is the slowing of the LCD TV space, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of CE revenues. LCD TV revenue in 2011 is now anticipated to reach $104 billion instead of $110 billion, although the segment retains solid momentum going forward.

A different part of the CE market—the portable media and MP3 player segment—is in even more dire straits, IHS believes. While the LCD TV space is enduring a reduction in growth, the MP3 market is experiencing an accelerating fall in prospects, as the once ultra-hot systems are now being cast aside in favor of high-profile devices like smartphones and tablets. Even the iPod from Apple Inc., the best seller in its class, is not immune: iPod shipments in the third quarter were down to 6.6 million units, compared to 9.1 million units the same time last year.

Black Friday still looks bright
Not all the news is negative, however. While CE revenue in the second and third quarters fell just short of their levels the same time last year, the trend is beginning to reverse starting in the fourth quarter as holiday sales of televisions and Blu-ray players top their levels from the same period in 2010. Growth exceeding 4 percent will occur in 2012 and 2013, and most CE segments should regain strength, IHS believes, compared to the current lackluster climate.

Unit shipments also will remain solid, with volumes projected to increase at a pace that will neutralize the effects of any price declines. By 2015, shipments will reach 300 million units for LCD TVs and 80 million for Blu-ray players. Even stolid segments like the set-top box player market and the digital still camera sector will fare comfortably at well above the 100 million-unit level.

The single most pressing issue remains that of pricing, an ongoing concern in the dollar-conscious CE market. While consumer appetite will remain strong for CE equipment, manufacturers will be increasingly hard-pressed to offer their products at competitive prices. Eventually, price pressure will outweigh the growing number of pieces of CE equipment, capping CE market revenue in the process and slowing growth to a trickle.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

India IT spending to reach $79.8 billion in 2012

MUMBAI, INDIA: IT spending in India is projected to total $79.8 billion in 2012, a 9.1 percent increase from 2011 spending of $73.1 billion, according to Gartner Inc. Despite global economic challenges, enterprises will continue to invest in IT.

India is the ninth-largest economy in the world, and the pace of economic growth in India — with a mild (by global standards) dip during the worldwide recession in late 2008 and 2009 — has brought the role of IT into sharp focus within many enterprises.

India like other emerging markets continues exercising strong momentum despite inflationary pressures and appreciation of local currencies, which are expected in rising economies. Gartner's forecast shows that worldwide IT spending will reach nearly $3.7 trillion in 2011. From this amount, emerging economies will account for $1.013 trillion.

Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research, provided the latest outlook for the IT industry today to an audience of more than 700 CIOs and IT leaders at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through November 23.

“Businesses are increasingly looking to IT to help support the challenges of enhancing customer support, supply chain management, optimizing business processes or helping drive innovation in the business,” Sondergaard said. “These demands are being placed on IT in an environment in which the infrastructure (hardware and software) foundation of IT within many enterprises may not be entirely in place. IT is also in transition from being viewed as a back-office support function to a frontline business-focused function.”

The telecommunications market is the largest IT segment in India with IT spending forecast to reach $54.7 billion in 2012, followed by the IT services market with spending of $11.1 billion. The computing hardware market in India is projected to reach $10.7 billion in 2012, and software spending will total $3.2 billion.

“The days when IT was the passive observer of the world are over. Global politics and the global economy are being shaped by IT,” Mr. Sondergaard said. “IT is a primary driver of business growth. For example, this year 350 companies will each invest more than $1 billion in IT. They are doing this because IT impacts their business performance.”

Sondergaard said two-thirds of CEOs believe IT will make a greater contribution to their industry in the next 10 years than any prior decades.

“For the IT leader to thrive in this environment, IT leaders must lead from the front and re-imagine IT,” said Partha Iyengar, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner and head of research in India. “IT leaders must embrace the post-modern business, a business driven by customer relationships, fueled by the explosion in information, collaboration, and mobility.”

This new era brings with it urgent and compelling forces. They include: the cloud, social, mobility, and an explosion in information.

“These forces are innovative and disruptive just taken on their own, but brought together, they are revolutionizing business and society,” Mr. Sondergaard said. “This nexus defines the next age of computing. To understand this change, you must appreciate each of the forces.”

The Cloud. The cloud combines the industrialization of IT capabilities and the disruptive impact of new IT-led business models. However, the shift away from traditional IT acquisition models to public cloud services is still in the very early stages. For example, Gartner estimates that while $74 billion was spent on public cloud services in 2010, that only represented 3 percent of enterprise spending. But, public cloud services will grow five times faster than overall IT enterprise spending (19 percent annually through 2015).

“What supply chain models did to manufacturing is what cloud computing is doing to in-house data centers. It is allowing people to optimize around where they have differentiated capabilities,” Sondergaard said.

Social. The next stage of social computing is about mass-customer, mass-citizen, and mass-employee involvement with enterprise systems.

“With 1.2 billion people on social networks, 20 percent of the world’s population, social computing is in its next phase,” Sondergaard said. “IT leaders must immediately incorporate social software capabilities throughout their enterprise systems.”

Information. The concept of one enterprise data warehouse containing all information needed for decisions is dead. Multiple systems, including content management, data warehouses, data marts and specialized file systems tied together with data services and metadata, will become the “logical” enterprise data warehouse.

“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine,” Sondergaard said. “Pursuing this strategically will create an unprecedented amount of information of enormous variety and complexity. This is leading to a change in data management strategies known as big data. This creates what we call a Pattern-Based Strategy architecture. An architecture that seeks signals, models them for their impact, and then adapt to the business process of the organization.

Mobile. The shift to mobile is almost overtaking many IT organizations who can’t move fast enough to catch up. Mobile is not a coming trend. It has already happened. In 2010, the installed base of mobile PCs and smartphones exceeded that of desktop PCs.

Less than 20 million media tablets, such as the iPad, were sold in 2010, but by 2016, 900 million media tablets will be purchased – one for every eight people on earth. By 2014, the installed base of devices based on lightweight mobile operating systems, such as Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows 8 will exceed the total installed base of all PC-based systems.

“That’s incredible change, not only for individuals. It requires IT to re-imagine the way it provides applications,” Sondergaard said. “By 2014, private app stores will be deployed by 60 percent of IT organizations. The applications themselves will be redesigned – they will become context-enabled, understanding the user’s intent automatically. Mobile computing is not just the desktop on a handheld device. The future of mobile computing is context-aware computing.”

Cloud, social, information and mobile, combined the new nexus. Where data centers will give way to data clouds, mobile devices become windows into personal clouds. Personal computing will become massive collaborative computing, and information technologies will be overshadowed by information ecologies.

“The impact of these forces will make architectures of the last 20 years obsolete,” Sondergaard said. “Together, they force the issue – they drive us to create the post-modern business, drive simplicity and force creative destruction.”