Friday, December 30, 2011

Invensas purchases 73 MoSys patents

SANTA CLARA & SAN JOSE, USA: MoSys Inc. and Invensas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies Inc., have entered into a patent purchase agreement. Under the agreement, Invensas purchased 43 United States and 30 foreign memory technology patents from MoSys for $35 million in cash.

MoSys retained a royalty-free license to the patents to cover its Bandwidth Engine product line and technology partners, along with related rights to offer sublicenses to current and future partners.

“The MoSys patents are very relevant to industry-standard DRAM products that have been shipping from the fabs of our potential licensees. The MoSys transaction represents an important milestone in our ongoing acquisition program,” said Simon McElrea, president, Invensas.

“We are pleased with this transaction as it provides MoSys and its current licensees with continued access to the patents and allows us to strengthen our balance sheet,” stated Len Perham, president and CEO, MoSys. “The combination of the retained license and the non-dilutive source of funding made this transaction very appealing.”

E-waste environmental crisis is being mitigated by strong growth in electronics recycling and re-use

BOULDER, USA: As the adoption of consumer electronics, mobile phones, and computer equipment continues to increase around the world, the business and environmental challenges associated with electronic device disposition at end-of-life (EOL) grow greater and greater.

According to a new report from Pike Research, as devices become obsolete and are replaced, the total volume and weight of EOL electronics, which is known as e-scrap, will more than double in the next 15 years, rising from 676 million cubic feet (and 6.0 million tons) in 2010 to 1,465 million cubic feet (and 14.9 million tons) by 2025. This trend will place increasing pressure on industry players, governments, and advocacy groups to find new ways to expand electronics recycling and reuse. E-scrap that is not recycled, reused, or stored becomes e-waste and is buried, incinerated, or dumped, representing a significant environmental hazard.

During the same forecast period, Pike Research anticipates that the electronics recycling movement will make strong progress, and the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that electronics recycling and reuse will rise from 122 million cubic feet (and 1.1 million tons) per year in 2010 to 789 million cubic feet (and 7.9 million tons) annually by 2025.

By the early 2020s, the firm expects that recycling and reuse activity will surpass the annual volume and weight of electronic devices that become e-waste, and thus will play a large part in mitigating the e-waste crisis. However, these promising trends will still not be enough to solve the entire problem, as Pike Research anticipates that the total volume of e-waste in landfills will continue increasing throughout the period.

“Electronics recycling and reuse is expanding at a significant rate,” says industry analyst Bob Boggio. “The growth in responsible disposition of obsolete electronics is being driven both by environmental legislation around the world as well as the sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs of leading electronics manufacturers and service providers.”

However, Boggio adds that unwanted electronic equipment is still easily and inexpensively sent to landfill burial rather than being directed toward reuse or recycling. Trans-boundary shipments of e-waste from developed countries to developing countries continue, and the informal recovery of components and materials in developing countries remain a concern for human health and the environment.

Boggio states that the gap may be narrowed in the coming years if national and regional governments modify their legislative mandates to close perceived loopholes and increase e-scrap diversion rates.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

App environments likely to grow 20 percent in 2012, yet IT ops and dev teams aren't ready!

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: AppDynamics, the leading Java/.NET application performance management (APM) solution for highly distributed applications, announced the results of its annual Application Performance Management survey.

Based on the responses by over 250 IT operations and development professionals, the survey revealed the existence of a "perfect storm" on the horizon in terms of the growth of complex application environments, the relatively long Mean-Time-to-Resolution to resolve performance problems, and the overreliance on outdated tools such as log files during production firefights.

According to the survey:
Applications are heading for massive growth. Survey respondents indicated that they have a significant number of applications under their watch: over 40 percent have more than 10 mission-critical applications, with many being customer-facing and a surprising percentage (nearly 40 percent) processing more than 10,000 transactions a day.

In addition, the need for agile release cycles is clearly the "new normal" with 85 percent of respondents participating in either multiple releases per year or even daily/weekly releases. At the same time, the majority of survey respondents expect to see growth in their environments in 10-25 percent range or even more throughout 2012.

The Cloud is adding to the complexity. Nearly 50 percent of respondents plan to move 20 percent or more of their mission-critical applications to the cloud. This demonstrates the significant upswing in planned cloud adoption versus the same survey last year (where only around 15 percent were seriously considering the cloud in the design of their applications). And, 36 percent of respondents have begun architecting their new applications to fit the cloud.

Managing application performance has never been more difficult. Over 80 percent of respondents reported that they have experienced at least one Severity 1 problem in regards to mission-critical apps in the past 12 months, and over 50 percent have experienced five or more such problems. Furthermore, the Mean-Time-to-Resolution to resolve these issues was not speedy: over 60 percent of respondents took longer than two hours to achieve problem resolution.

Despite all of this change and complexity, Application Teams are relying on log files for troubleshooting. Surprisingly, very few respondents—despite their general expectation for growth in their application environments throughout 2012—are using modern products designed for managing distributed applications. In fact, over 60 percent are using log files as their primary approach to application performance.

"These survey results confirm what we see every day: application performance environments are already complex and facing a high rate of change, and the complexity is only going to grow in 2012," said Jyoti Bansal, CEO of AppDynamics.

"Our customers tell us that prior to using AppDynamics, they engaged in production firefights that took hours or even days. Given the expected growth in business-critical applications throughout 2012, AppDynamics recommends that Ops and Dev teams consider the new breed of JVM Monitoring and .NET Monitoring solutions designed to make their lives easier. AppDynamics is built from the ground up for dynamic and distributed environments and is uniquely suited for the challenges of agile release cycles."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Micro Interconnects receives IPEX certification

PORTLAND, USA: Micro Interconnects is the proud recipient of IPEX certification. The IPEX certification grants Micro Interconnects the ability to support all IPEX customers with Cabline V, VS, MHF, and CBL micro coax assemblies. These Micro Interconnects assemblies are offered in multiple position counts, standard, and custom cable configurations.

IPEX is the first company who successfully developed Small Gauge Coaxial Connector of gang wire termination type, and brought a sensation in electronics field by taking a major role for high-speed transmission in lap-top computers.

CABLINE-VS series are formally certified the latest VESA standard specification, "VESA 16:9 Wide Notebook Panel Standard Version 1" as a standard connector.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Consumer confidence in economy, technology increase in December

ARLINGTON, USA: Consumer confidence in technology reached a yearly high in December, while confidence in the overall economy also improved this month, according to data release from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Consumer confidence in technology reached its highest level of the year and second highest level ever this month. The CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) reached 93.6, up more than two points from last month. The ICTE, which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, is nearly even with this time last year, when the ICTE reached a record-high of 93.7.

“Technology continues to be the leading category for shoppers during the holiday season and this year was no exception,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and director of research. “Looking ahead to 2012, consumer tech remains well positioned compared to all other durable good categories.”

Confidence in the economy also increased this month after reaching an all-time low in November. The CEA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) reached 170.7, an increase of more than 14 points. The ICE, which measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, is at its highest point since February but remains down four points from this time last year.

“The holiday season closed out on a strong note with consumers feeling more optimistic about the overall economy than they have in months,” said DuBravac. “While the economic landscape will remain rocky for 2012, December’s numbers show signs of hope as we head into the New Year.”

Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures takes significant stake in HzO

SALT LAKE CITY, USA: HzO Inc., a leading technology company with proprietary advanced materials that protect electronics from water, humidity, and other liquids, announced that Horizons Ventures Ltd, a Hong Kong investment firm that manages the private investments in the technology sector for Li Ka-shing, purchased a $3 million stake in HzO as part of a preferred equity investment.

“We are grateful for the interest Horizons and Mr. Li have taken in HzO,” said Paul Clayson, president and CEO. “This investment again demonstrates the global potential of our technology to protect electronics assemblies in multiple markets from damage resulting from water and other liquids. The investment also affiliates HzO with one of the most notable and successful global investors in technology and a world-class business operator.”

With the investment Horizons, becomes a shareholder in HzO with other preferred equity investors, including ZAGG, the publicly traded maker of the invisibleSHIELD and other accessories for mobile devices. ZAGG originally acquired HzO in 2009 then spun off HzO as a private independent company to improve and commercialize its WaterBlock technology.

“Horizons Ventures believes HzO’s technology expands the world of mobile connectivity as it meets global consumers’ new expectations for mobile devices," said Jason Wong, CFO of Horizons Ventures, who will serve in Horizon’s seat on the HzO board of directors.

KYOCERA to acquire 100 percent ownership of LCD manufacturer OPTREX

KYOTO, JAPAN: Kyocera Corp. has completed a share transfer agreement with three investment funds operated by Japan Industrial Partners, Inc. to acquire all shares of Optrex Corp. — a specialized manufacturer of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and related products — in order to further strengthen and expand its LCD and touchscreen panel businesses. Effective February 1, 2012, Optrex will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kyocera Corporation.

Kyocera's corporate Thin Film Components Group develops, manufactures and markets small- and medium-sized LCDs for industrial applications worldwide. The company has been successful in establishing a business structure capable of responding to customer needs, which requires the ability to meet custom orders and to manufacture a wide range of products even in small volume.

Since 2010 Kyocera has been expanding its capacitive touchscreen panel business and has garnered a good reputation for product quality and features such as thinness, strength and waterproof functionality for use in smartphones.

Demand for LCDs used in industrial equipment and automotive applications is expected to steadily increase; and the expanding market for capacitive touchscreen panels used in high value-added products such as smartphones and tablet computers is expected to see continued high-growth in the coming years.

Optrex has a high level of technical ability in manufacturing LCDs for automotive applications and a strong customer base both inside and outside of Japan. Kyocera expects that the acquisition will allow the company to further enhance the product lines of both its conventional industrial equipment applications and newly acquired automotive applications, and thus contribute to business expansion.

Optrex also possesses excellent production technology for touchscreen panels, thus by effectively combining both companies' product technologies and operating resources including customer bases, Kyocera also expects to further enhance and expand its touchscreen panel business.

This acquisition will enable Kyocera to further expand its LCD and touchscreen panel business and to meet a wider range of customer needs.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sony and Samsung shift to new LCD panel business alliance

TOKYO, JAPAN: Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd announced that the two companies have signed agreements to transition the current business relationship with respect to LCD panels.

Under the agreement, Samsung will acquire all of Sony’s shares of S-LCD Corporation (“S-LCD”), the two companies’ LCD panel manufacturing joint venture, making S-LCD a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung. In consideration for the share transfer, cash consideration of approximately KRW 1.08 trillion will be paid to Sony by Samsung.

Concurrently, the two companies have entered into a new strategic agreement for the supply and purchase of LCD panels with a goal of enhancing the competitiveness of both companies. The agreement also allows Sony and Samsung to continue cooperative engineering efforts focused on LCD panel technology.

For Sony, this transaction will enable it to monetize its shares in S-LCD and aims to secure a flexible and steady supply of LCD panels from Samsung, based on market prices and without the responsibility and costs of operating a manufacturing facility. With whole ownership of S-LCD, Samsung anticipates heightened flexibility, speed and efficiency in both panel production and business operations.

Established in April 2004, S-LCD has continued to deliver advanced and cost-competitive LCD panels to both of its parent companies, contributing to the expansion of the respective parties’ TV businesses, and the large-sized LCD TV market overall. However, LCD panel and TV market conditions have now changed. To respond to such challenging conditions and to strengthen their respective market competitiveness, the two companies have agreed to shift to a new LCD panel business alliance.

The share transfer and payment are targeted to close by the end of January 2012, subject to necessary approvals from regulatory authorities.

As a result of this transaction, a non-cash impairment loss of approximately JPY 66 billion is expected to be incurred by Sony in the third quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, due to the reevaluation of its S-LCD shares. This loss includes an impact from the fluctuation of exchange rate.

Despite this one-time loss, Sony estimates that the transaction will result in substantial savings on and after January 1, 2012 in respect of costs associated with its procurement of LCD panels. The current estimate of the yearly savings in respect of such costs is approximately JPY 50 billion, compared to LCD panel procurement costs estimated for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. Neither the one-time loss nor the estimated cost savings were included in Sony’s forecast of consolidated financial results for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, announced on November 2, 2011.

Sony is currently reevaluating this forecast, taking into account this transaction and other factors that might affect its full year FY2011 consolidated financial results forecast.

HID Global access control solution helps Beijing Metro ensure safety

CHINA: HID Global announced that Beijing Metro has deployed an access control system consisting of the company’s network access controllers and contactless readers to help ensure the safety of its passengers and staff. The centralized, web-based system delivers real-time monitoring with multi-layered access control security, flexible remote-management capabilities and robust failure detection and backup support.

Beijing Metro is using HID Global’s VertX V1000 network access controller and iCLASS R10 readers to monitor and control access to, a variety of facilities along its nearly 25-kilometer-long, 11-station Fangshan line. The system makes it easier for staff to prevent unauthorized access to electrical substations, parking lots and other key metro facilities, offices and equipment areas at its stations, most of which are remotely managed.

HID Global’s solution enables control center staff to perform centrally-managed station monitoring and access control operations spanning a complex range of entry points, access rules and cardholder information. At the same time, each metro station office can also perform its own station-level management, reporting and data tracking. Control center staff and station-level managers also have real-time access to system status, entry records and card information and are each connected to the central server via TCP/IP for data transmission so they can respond quickly to network failures.

The new system also provides multi-layered security and fail-over support using remotely deployed computers at high security level zones and backup communications systems.

“There has been substantial investment in metro system development across China, which drives the need for advanced, web-based access control solutions,” said Eric Chiu, director of sales, Identity & Access Management, China with HID Global. “We are proud of our showcase installation for Beijing Metro, which demonstrates our continuing commitment to providing first-class access control solutions that are helping to fuel the growth of critical transportation infrastructure throughout China.”

Top technology trends for 2012

BANGALORE, INDIA: Here are the top technology trends for 2012, as told by Anil Bajpai, senior VP & Head - Research & Innovation at iGATE Patni.

Cloud Computing will be driven by low investment projects such as application development and testing
Although global customers have been discussing cloud computing and the probability of adopting a cloud strategy, we have seen very little adoption in the last year. The year mainly focused on creating consensus among CIOs and CTOs to analyse the impact cloud computing can have on businesses.

However, beginning 2012, we are expecting low cost cloud based projects to pick up, especially those which do not necessitate heavy investments. For instance, cloud computing can play a role in applications that need to be developed from scratch and eventually tested as such an activity does not demand locked infrastructure. However, we are yet to see traction with legacy applications that need to be moved to a cloud environment.

Usability now in enterprise applications from just end user applications
For the uninitiated, Usability refers to making products more convenient, practical and functional; and this principle is now being applied to software applications as well. Until now, Usability as a concept used to be associated only with those applications that were focused on end-users. However, with enterprise applications like CRM, Business Intelligence, ERP etc becoming accessible on mobile devices customers are increasingly looking at infusing the element of usability for enterprise applications as well to garner higher and faster adoption of such applications in a corporate environment.

Content management being monetised
Initially organizational content such as documents, videos, web based applications, mobility applications was delivered only through traditional technologies. But increasingly content delivery and distribution is undergoing a transformation. The boundaries between e-commerce and content management are shrinking and companies are thinking in terms of how their content can be delivered across various devices and how this delivery can be eased creating a business value out of it. Hence companies are putting focus on how content can be managed within the organization, how it can be distributed and how it can be monetized.

In the wake of explosive mobile phone penetration, mobile commerce and Near Field Communication will see a surge in 2012 and serve as pivots for an intelligent ecosystem towards customer delight. For instance - Advertisements on mobile phones customised to a user’s location and preference will become mainstream.

If a user while strolling on the road does a Google search to find the nearest restaurant, the advertisements from the nearest restaurants will show up on his mobile screen to satiate that specific customer need. On the other hand, mobile payments will revolutionize the transactions scenario. Tightening the biggest challenge of security on this platform will ensure that user concerns are allayed thereby making this platform much more popular than web based banking in the near future.

Social media apps
Over the next two years, we will see social media applications being created by traditional technology companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple; committing themselves to interoperability and platform agnosticism. With the big guns entering social media analytics scene, smaller and niche social media companies will need to reconsider their strategies to adapt or they will perish.

To analogise, consider the dot com companies that went through a boom cycle until traditional companies started foraying into their domain which led to their burst. Similarly, traditional companies will start raking in greater profits in the social media space than the niche social media and analytics companies. Separately, we will see social networking sites catapulting to the next level to serve the purpose of corporate interactions. We will also see very interesting applications being built on social networking platforms for corporate interactions customized to each company’s need. This will be typically beneficial as a collaborative tool for geographically dispersed teams.

Zero footprint technology
In sectors that are concerned with confidential data or regulatory compliance etc., where security is key, we are seeing the use of zero footprint applications whereby the application doesn’t save any data, code, link, history, and temporary files etc on the device. Zero footprint applications run on web based servers and can be accessed on either a traditional PC or a mobile device such as tablets etc. Zero footprint technology will see an increased adoption in 2012, particularly in markets such as US and Europe which have laws like HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley etc.

Rise and rise of ‘Bring your own devices’ movement
With the increasing accessibility to and affordability of mobile devices such as smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc; bringing technology to the workplace is definitely an upcoming trend in the near future. This is in-line with the global trends of “Consumerization of IT” and “Bring Your Own Device”.

In today’s cloud era, the PC-server environment will undergo a change transforming the future of business by redefining the workplace. However, while companies embrace this new trend, they will need to mindful of challenges such as security risks and managing the life cycle of mobile applications and devices, right from procurement to de-commissioning stages.

Software in UK likely to increase to $20.2 billion by end of 2015

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Software in the United Kingdom" report to its offering.

* The computer software market consists of systems and application software. Systems software comprises operating systems, network and database management and other systems software. Application software comprises general business productivity and home use applications, cross-industry and vertical market applications, and other application software. Market value figures are assessed at manufacturer selling price (MSP), based on revenues from software sales and licenses.

* The UK software market had total revenue of $14.8 billion in 2010, representing a CAGR of 3 percent between 2006 and 2010.

* Network and database management sales proved the most lucrative for the UK software market in 2010, with total revenues of $3.7 billion, equivalent to 24.7 percent of the market's overall value.

* The performance of the market is forecast to accelerate, with an anticipated CAGR of 6.4 percent for the five-year period 2010-2015, which is expected to drive the market to a value of $20.2 billion by the end of 2015.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Can ultraViolet revitalize video retail business?

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Warner Home Video’s launch of the first UltraViolet-enabled Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles sounds the starting gun for the studios’ bid to resuscitate the health of their flagging video retail business by enhancing the value of physical media through the addition of enhanced digital access, which buyers can use to play the content on their computers, tablets and mobile phones.

The stakes are enormous for the studios, with combined US consumer purchasing of video content—both physical and electronic—expected to decline to $9.9 billion in 2011, down 29 percent from its $14.1 billion peak in 2004, according to the IHS Screen Digest US Video Intelligence Service. Unless there’s a change in the consumer proposition, revenue is expected to continue to fall in the coming years to $8.1 billion in 2015, as presented in the figure.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

"The US video retail business is in decline,” said Tom Adams, principal analyst and director, US media, for IHS. “Although the rate of decrease moderated during the last two years from the double-digit drop in the recessionary year of 2009, we don't see those declines turning into renewed growth without a fundamental change in the ownership proposition for consumers. UltraViolet delivers that kind of change. In the absence of easy access to all their purchased content across all their proliferating number of screens, consumers have been cutting back on buying discs, while the growing electronic sell-through (EST) market is simply too small to make up the difference."

Instead, consumers are increasingly turning to the already popular disc-rental option, while consuming more and more on-demand video through both their pay-TV subscriptions and Internet-based subscription services like Netflix, Adams noted. The problem for film and TV producers is that the purchase models—both physical and electronic—produce far more revenue per view than do rentals or subscription services.

That's why five of the six major studios—all save Disney—have joined in the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) consortium with leading physical and electronic retailers and key technology companies to develop UltraViolet.
UltraViolet is a common file format and digital rights authentication system designed to allow a digital copy of a film or television show bought from any vendor—physical or electronic—to be played on any one of 12 devices owned by up to six members of a household, either via download or streaming from the cloud.

Warner Home Video kicked off the UltraViolet market in October in the United States with the release of the first Blu-ray Discs (BDs) enabled with the technology. The company rolled out “Horrible Bosses” on Oct. 11 and “Green Lantern” Oct. 14.

"We think it's important that UltraViolet is being launched not so much as a feature of EST files, but as a value-added feature of the digital disc, on which consumers have spent $113 billion since they were introduced in 1997," Adams added.

"Even if our projections are correct that annual disc sales in the United States will have declined to some $9.3 billion in 2011, that's still about 14 times the size of the EST business. So, there are two advantages to a disc-focused strategy. First, tens of millions of the studios' best customers will be quickly exposed to the UltraViolet pitch in the box. Second, if UltraViolet it sparks just a 7 percent increase in consumer disc buying in the years ahead, it would pay off for studios as much as a doubling of the EST business."

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

First quarter critical to 2012 TFT-LCD industry development

TAIWAN: In 2011, the LCD panel industry was hit hard by the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, worsening credit crisis in Europe and the US, and China’s economic growth slowdown. Not only did this put panel makers’ businesses in the red, it also dealt a severe blow to the consumer market confidence.

The sluggish market demand and downstream clients’ conservative inventory stock-up resulted in the panel industry to stagnant, deep slump since the second half of 2011. Back in 2009, spurred by the Chinese government’s relevant polices and measures in expanding its domestic demand, panel makers aggressively raced against each other to seek China’s approval in setting up production lines there.

But as the market evolved, the worsening oversupply conditions in 2011 led to panel makers posting severe losses, forcing them to continuously delay their plant building plans. On the other hand, backed by China’s strong support, the Chinese panel makers have now built a strong manufacturing base. Undoubtedly, this development will further complicate the panel demand and supply dynamics in 2012.

In terms of 2011, the annual large-sized panel demand grew by 7 percent YoY, fueled primarily by the huge growth in the tablet PC segment. Meanwhile, the 2011 LCD TV, Monitor and Netbook panel demand declined by 1 percent, 5 percent and 15 percent YoY, respectively.

As for the regular-sized NBs, although it enjoyed a 5 percent annual growth rate, which still significantly fell short of original projections. These figures evidently indicate how the weak macroeconomic conditions have seriously affected the overall market demand.

For this December, due to preparations for the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year holidays and the shorter working days in January and February 2012, brand vendors have been conducting earlier-than-usual inventory preparations. The increased panel orders have helped stabilize panel prices. In response, panel makers have raised their utilization rates in hoping to improve their financial performance in the fourth quarter of 2011. Yet, it should be noted that as the inventory pull-in schedule has been moved up, it will also affect the demand during January and February 2012.

For next year, if panel makers maintain their average 75 percent utilization rate as seen in the current fourth quarter, the inevitable rise in the inventory may render panel prices and market confidence to spiral downwards again. But if panel makers timely reduce their overall production output, it will provide support to the panel price trend.

By March 2012, downstream clients will begin to replenish their inventory, as they make preparations for the market release of new models and upcoming sales campaign for China’s Labor Day holidays in May 2012. By then panel prices may finally experience a rebound, thereby providing a strong stimulus to the market doldrums.

Nevertheless, if prices begin to move upwards, it would be a double-edged sword to the market, especially during the second half of 2012. On the positive side, as long as panel makers keep stringent controls on their respective utilization rates, potential oversupply problems would be of less concern.

By contrast, if panel makers aggressively raise their utilization rates in order to enhance their cost competitiveness, the industry could plunge into another vicious cycle of oversupply during the traditional strong seasonality. The upward panel price trend would then be a mere short-term occurrence. In short, how panel makers adjust their future utilization rates will play a pivotal role in shaping the TFT-LCD industry landscape in 2012.

In 2012, both Europe and the US will continue to devote significant resources in combating the still existing credit crisis. Combined by China’s economic slowdown, this will all hamper any rapid recovery in demand. To stimulate sales, panel makers are striving to develop more advanced specs and further optimize the panel cost structure. In addition, they are also developing new panel sizes that can be even more efficiently produced.

For 2012, WitsView, TrendForce's panel research division, believes that the key highlights will be on low cost direct type LED TVs, 3D TVs, super narrow bezel, LED monitors, ultra slim modules, high resolution, new TV sizes, high transmittance panels and Microsoft’s Windows 8. Driven by these new features and operating system, WitsView cautiously holds an upbeat outlook toward the large-sized panel demand in 2012. Aggregated demand is expected to reach 178 million units, up by 12~14 percent YoY.

Tablet PC and color E-reader panels are projected to grow by more than 60 percent over 2011, reaching 115 million units. As the average selling price of each panel continues to slide, the larger the display size, the more appealing the price will be. Thus, area-wise, the panel area demand in 2012 is expected to reach 135~137 million m2, amounting to an annual growth rate of 17~19 percent.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

ITT Exelis awarded contract for mission-critical F/A-18 electronics

CLIFTON, USA: ITT Exelis has received a $5.7 million multiyear award to produce 375 generator control modules for F/A-18 aircraft. Production will take place through January 2015.

F/A-18 aircraft carry two of the modules, each controlling one side of the aircraft’s power requirements. In case of a power failure to one module, the other can pick up the entire aircraft’s power load. The contract, awarded by GE Aviation, Dayton, Ohio, will be completed by the Exelis Electronic Systems operation in North Amityville, N.Y.

“This demanding application required us to design high power components to go in small spaces that wouldn’t overheat,” said Rich Sorelle, VP and GM of Exelis Electronic Systems’ integrated electronic warfare systems business. “Because of our success during design, development, and early production, we earned preferred supplier status with GE Aviation.”

Exelis uses innovative electronic packaging technologies that reduce the size and weight of the generator control modules. The company has produced more than 2,200 surface-mount, double-sided, constrained core technology assemblies to date; this award continues production.

ITT Exelis Electronic Systems division provides innovative integrated solutions for the global defense, intelligence, information assurance and commercial aerospace sectors. As a leader in electronic warfare and communications, we leverage our experience and innovation to ensure the success of our customers’ critical missions.

The technology leadership extends into the areas of airborne electronic attack, networked and satellite communications, counter-improvised explosive devices, airspace management, surveillance systems, airborne and shipboard radar, acoustic sensors, advanced composite structures and electronic weapons interfaces.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sify launches ‘Sify mystorage’

BANGALORE, INDIA: Sify Technologies Ltd has launched Sify mystorage, a cloud-based online storage and backup solution targeted at Consumers and Small Businesses. Sify mystorage enables users to insure critical files—documents, mail, photos, videos, music, etc.—in the computer against everyday risks like virus attacks, file corruption, accidental deletion or a PC crash.

Sify mystorage automatically and continuously backs up and stores the users’ files in a secure cloud thus providing foolproof protection against data loss.

Advantages of Cloud-based online storage:
a) Unlike hard drives, cloud-based online storage is not susceptible to hardware failure/software corruption/theft
b) Ease of data access – from anywhere
c) Cost-effective - no investment in additional hardware

With a single mystorage account, a user can backup and store documents from any number of devices. A file saved in Sify mystorage can be accessed online from anywhere or can be shared with friends and family easily. Sify mystorage is intuitive to the extent that the user’s files are organized and stored in the cloud in exactly the same folder structure as in his/her device.To cater to the different storage needs of Consumers, SOHOs and SMBs, Sify mystorage service is available in a wide range of prepaid plans, starting as low as Rs. 175/- per month for 10 GB storage. Users can effortlessly renew plans or upgrade their current plans to higher storage, online.

Sify mystorage encrypts the users’ data before transferring the same to the storage cloud thereby ensuring advanced security.

Special Sify mystorage MS Office plug-in: Sify mystorage comes with a special Microsoft Office plug-in which enables users to upload and backup documents directly from MS Office applications: MS Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.

Natesh Mani, president – Commercial & Consumer Business, Sify Technologies, said: “Sify is deeply committed to enabling a digital lifestyle for its consumers. As one of India’s largest and most advanced data centre companies, we are confident of revolutionizing daily life with valuable and novel cloud services. To bring cloud and thereby a host of digital services to the common man, we launched Sify mylife, India’s first Consumer Cloud Platform, last year. Now with our latest offering, Sify mystorage, an intuitive automatic backup and storage service, we wish to bring the benefits of cloud services to consumers and small business."

Features of Sify mystorage
* Automatic storage: Backs up files automatically.
* Safe & secure: Highly secure, state-of-the-art data centre used.
* No license: No license per device required; unlimited access with single account.
* Access anytime, anywhere: Your digital life travels with you, no need to carry external hard drives.
* Share: Share with family and friends from anywhere.
* Mirror: Mirrors the folder structure of device; easy to use, intuitive.
* Sify mystorage MS Office plug-in: Plugged into MS Office as a tab. Users can easily backup the working file with a single click.

To start with, Sify plans to market Sify mystorage among its 80,000 broadband customers and 19 million visitors on In a country of over 90 million internet users and 7.6 million SMBs, it sees a huge need and opportunity for cloud-based storage. In this environment of exploding data, Sify looks forward to innovating constantly on Sify mystorage.

Online video fuels traffic explosion in Asia Pacific

CDN Asia 2012, HONG KONG: Informa estimates that users in Asia Pacific generated approximately 67,000 petabytes (PB) of Internet traffic in 2010 and forecasts that this volume will rise to almost 530,000PB in 2015.

This volume means that the region’s users generated, on average, 7.1GB of traffic per month in 2010, which will rise to 31.2GB in 2015.

“Traffic in Asia Pacific is very much a tale of two regions. Developed Asia Pacific, which Informa defines as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, features countries with some of the fastest broadband infrastructure in the world.

The rest of the region is much less developed in terms of infrastructure but, principally down to China and India, will be a huge contributor to traffic because of the sheer number of Internet users in the region,” Giles Cottle, principal analyst from Informa Telecoms & Media said.

Giles adds: “Asia Pacific is already the largest region for Internet traffic and by 2015 it will account for 42 percent of the world’s Internet traffic. Asia Pacific Developing in its own right will be the second biggest region, after North America, in 2015. Informa expects it to overtake the US in 2016.”

More of Giles’ market analysis on internet traffic in the APAC region can be seen by reading the CDN Asia brochure. Please download the CDN Asia brochure by clicking on the link.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

LDRA supports NI LabVIEW for early development and test of DO-178 systems

WIRRAL, UK: LDRA, the leader in standards compliance, automated software verification, source code analysis and test tools, has integrated the LDRA tool suite with National Instruments LabVIEW Virtual Instruments.

The LDRA-NI solution offers hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation, a technique used to develop and test the complex real-time embedded systems commonly found in military and aerospace designs. Thanks to LDRA’s expertise in safety-critical systems, NI’s hardware testing capabilities are fully matched with the software competencies necessary to achieve DO-178 certification up to and including Level A.

By using the joint NI hardware testing capabilities with LDRA’s software testing expertise, developers can simulate how a complete hardware-software system will react to real-life test conditions. Used in conjunction with NI’s hardware, LabVIEW Virtual Instruments creates a simulated system with an extensive range of capabilities for testing target hardware that includes signal generation, signal measurement, control actuation and real-time measurements. When these systems are exposed to an extensive range of test data, they simulate the responses of a system to the data, enabling developers to quickly identify the likely response of a target system under test.

The integration with the LDRA tool suite ensures that full software analysis is applied to the systems under test on the simulated target hardware. With the ability to test software systems up to DO-178 Level A, LDRA includes code standards enforcement, structural coverage analysis including modified condition/decision (MC/DC), object code coverage, unit testing, data and control coupling, and requirements traceability. The integration allows LDRA’s automated unit testing tool TBrun to generate inputs to and read outputs from LabVIEW Virtual Instruments, resulting in bidirectional control and data collection.

“The complexity of today’s avionics systems demands improved software-hardware validation systems,” confirmed Ian Hennell, LDRA Operations director. “Our joint solution supports the entire DO-178 process from requirements through to deployment, helping to eliminate or reduce the labor-intensive, error-prone elements of the process. For applications where system failure can result in loss of life or prohibitive financial burden, this method of testing is preferred. Companies cannot afford the risk of systems failures in such environments.”

He said: “A recent customer used the integrated LDRA-National Instruments solution to simulate aircraft control commands and sensor inputs and measure actuation signal outputs of the hardware unit under test. Our solution allowed developers to test identical instrumented executables and test harnesses on target hardware with actual data without testing the plane in the air. Not only does this testing substantially reduce the testing risk, but it greatly reduces the time needed for development, provides DO-178 certification evidence, and accelerates time to market.”

Test harnesses for customers using the integrated products can be run with the software fully simulated in LabVIEW or with hardware-in-the-loop using NI’s Reconfigurable Input/Output technology. Data is collected in one location, reducing expensive testing time by collecting test results for certification evidence in a single location. Also, on-target testing can be minimized because the same software tests can be run on both the simulated and actual target hardware using the same test cases.

With the integration of LabVIEW Virtual Instruments into the LDRA software test harness, standard-specific tests can be run. Although this rigor is commonly found in DO-178 applications, analogous medical and industrial qualification environments also demand extensive testing. LDRA’s standard-specific templates that streamline certification processes ensure that this level of testing competency can be extended and tailored to many industrial standards, such as ISO 26262, IEC 62304 and IEC 61508.

Benchmark Electronics' Thailand facility re-opens ahead of schedule

ANGLETON, USA: Benchmark Electronics Inc. announced that its Ayudhaya, Thailand facility has restarted operations a week ahead of our planned schedule. The factory, located in the Hi-Tech Industrial Estate in Ayudhaya, sustained damage to its buildings and equipment as a result of floodwaters breaching the levee protecting the industrial park, and the Company ceased production at the factory in October until the floodwaters receded and operational safety could be confirmed.

Benchmark's factory was the first to reopen in the Hi-Tech Industrial Estate. This rapid recovery was made possible because of the effectiveness of the company's Emergency Management Business Continuity Plan. Going forward, the company will continue operations in both Ayudhaya and its recently restarted Korat facility.

"It's remarkable that this facility could be up and running and producing product for our customers a week ahead of our aggressive schedule. It is a testament to the quality of our employees and to all the Thailand people," said Cary T. Fu, CEO. "Also and very importantly, the Thai government has vowed to invest in new infrastructure to ensure that such a disaster will not be repeated, including the creation of new floodways to more efficiently channel water through the central region and Chao Phraya river basin to the Gulf of Thailand, and increasing the levee system around the Hi Tech Industrial Park to a level exceeding the 100 year flood plan which is well in excess of the flood levels recently experienced."

Benchmark Electronics provides electronics manufacturing, design and engineering services to original equipment manufacturers of computers and related products for business enterprises, medical devices, industrial control equipment, testing and instrumentation products, and telecommunication equipment. Benchmark's global operations include 20 facilities in 10 countries.

Worldwide system management software market to reach $15.4 billion in 2011

FRAMINGHAM, USA: International Data Corp. (IDC) has released the latest results from its Worldwide Semiannual System Management Software Tracker. The Tracker monitors more than 110 vendors globally in a total of 49 countries, providing biannual market size, vendor share, and forecast data for the six functional markets that comprise the system management software market in IDC's software taxonomy.

"The system management software market achieved double-digit growth during the first half of 2011; this was an improvement of almost 70 percent compared to the results from a year ago," said Wilvin Chee, associate VP, Worldwide Software Trackers. "The Change and Configuration Management (CCM) and Workload Scheduling and Automation (WSA) markets maintained the best growth among the functional, but the strongest gains were in the Event Management market, fueled significantly by the US, Japan, and CEMA region."

Among the six functional markets, three had revenues of more than $1 billion for the first half of 2011 (1H11). These were CCM, WSA, and Performance Management. All three markets experienced very strong growth in the US, while other regions such as Western Europe and CEMA also had good year-over-year growth. Canada and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) had somewhat lower growth in 1H11 compared to previous cycles, but maintained double-digit momentum. Japan and Latin America held steady growth in most markets.

"The first half 2011 results show continued healthy growth in worldwide system management software revenue," said Tim Grieser, program VP, Enterprise System Management Software. "Growth was fueled by increases in IT spending due to the continuing economic recovery and associated hardware refresh and upgrade cycles, and new investments in managing virtualized and cloud infrastructures. Automation to simplify and optimize IT operational costs was a key factor."

IBM, BMC, and HP held the top three spots in terms of revenue share in 1H11, though none were able to generate growth exceeding the market average. IBM and BMC had solid growth in the WSA market while HP achieved its best gains in CCM and Problem Management markets. Meanwhile, a number of vendors, including Microsoft, Hitachi, NEC, VMWare, Symantec, and Dell, enjoyed above market average growth in 1H11.

Microsoft, NEC, and VMware performed well in all the system management software markets where they compete. IDC also observed that a total of 14 vendors achieved worldwide revenues of more than $100 million in 1H11. That was one more than a year ago; the newcomer being Citrix, which had strong growth, particularly in CCM, its primary market.

Worldwide database and data integration software market likely to grow 11.6 percent in 2011

FRAMINGHAM, USA: International Data Corp. (IDC) has released the latest results from its Worldwide Semiannual Database and Data Integration Software Tracker. The Tracker monitors more than 100 key vendors across a total of 49 countries, provides biannual market size, vendor share, and forecast data for the four market segments involved – relational database management systems (RDBMS), non-relational database management systems, data integration and access software (DIA), and database development and management tools.

"We expect the database and data integration market to experience year-over-year growth of 11.6 percent in 2011, reaching a total market size of $35.5 billion," said Wilvin Chee, associate VP, Worldwide Software Trackers. "While the relational database management software (RDBMS) market should grow at the same rate, the best improvement will be seen in the database development and management tools (DDMT) market, where year-over-year growth of more than 300% is expected."

In the DDMT space, a host of countries are exhibiting strong growth in 2011, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, India, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US. The RDBMS market is expected to see even more countries making strong gains, including Chile, Indonesia, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the UAE.

"The need for better overall management in enterprises has expressed itself in initiatives to collect and manage high quality, trusted data for use in decision support as well as driving increasingly automated business processes," said Carl Olofson, research VP, Application Development and Deployment. "This has resulted in strong growth for database management systems, data quality, dynamic data movement, and other software that supports growing efforts in the areas of master data management, data governance, and enterprise data integration."

During the first half of 2011 (1H11), the three traditionally strongest vendors (Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft) further consolidated their positions with a 2 percent increase in collective market share compared to a year ago. For 1H11, the three vendors now hold 75 percent of the global market. Among them, Oracle notably outperformed the market with year-over-year growth of 22.4 percent.

Along with Oracle, HP and Informatica experience the best revenue growth among all the major vendors. HP has been growing consistently above market average over the past several semiannual periods, while Informatica has been increasing steadily with strong double-digit revenue growth. HP also had revenues above the $100 million mark for the first time in a semiannual period.

Opportunities for vendors to penetrate sustainability-related IT solutions

LONDON, ENGLAND: Penetration of sustainability-related IT solutions stands at about 10 per cent worldwide, indicating substantial opportunity for vendors of these solutions and competitive advantage for companies that move quickly to adopt them, according to new research by Ovum.

A global survey of nearly 1,500 organizations with 1,000 or more employees found 151 that had adopted an IT solution for one or more of four purposes: to manage energy consumption, to reduce the environmental footprint, to manage corporate social responsibility overall, or to manage reporting and compliance. The survey found that energy management emerged as the strongest of the four drivers of solution adoption.

About 60 per cent of adopters called sustainability “very important” or “important” to their organizations, but it still ranked sixth on a list of 13 priorities, below cost reduction, customer satisfaction, revenue growth, responsiveness and risk avoidance.

Warren Wilson, Lead Analyst, Energy & Sustainability, Ovum, said, “Among the three components of triple-bottom-line reporting – planet, people, profits – it was clearly the latter that adopters deemed most important.”

Wilson and his team found that the solution penetration was remarkably even around the world. Ovum contacted roughly 500 organizations (about 80 per cent private sector, 20 per cent public sector) in each of three regions – North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific – to find 50 in each region that had adopted an IT solution for any of the four sustainability-related functions. The survey sample was dominated by mid-sized companies; some three-quarters of the 151 adopters had 1,000 to 4,999 employees.

The survey also looked a variety of other factors, such as linkage between sustainability and executive compensation, which executives within the organization are responsible for sustainability strategy, solution penetration rates by industry, and key metrics such as time to benefit and return on investment. Strikingly, two-thirds of adopters reported time-to-benefit of a year or less, and two-thirds said their solution paid for itself within two years.

Polaris implements Brocade for campus and data center network revamp

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Polaris Financial Technology Ltd, a leading global financial technology company, has upgraded its campus and data center network with new switching infrastructure from Brocade. The solution will support increased developer productivity with improved performance, greater security while delivering a 30 percent lower total cost-of-ownership.

Polaris offers state-of-the-art solutions for Core Banking, Corporate Banking, Wealth and Asset Management and Insurance. It is the chosen partner for nine of the top 10 global banks and seven of the top 10 global insurance companies, and is recognized by Forrester and Gartner as being among the global leaders in the BFSI sector.

“We work in an environment which is highly critical, real-time and runs 24X7X365, this makes our network even more vital and spurred the need for a revamp of our campus and data center networks,” said Shashi Mohan, CIO and CTO, Polaris. “The solution proposed by Brocade answered our need for increased performance and security while offering greater scalability, flexibility and a 30 percent better total cost-of-ownership compared to the present system.”

Brocade FastIron SX Series switches have been deployed to form a scalable, secure, low-latency, and fault-tolerant 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) IP core. The high port-density and high-capacity backplane of the FastIron SX 1600s enables Polaris Software to dispense with a conventional aggregation switching layer, connecting access switches that support 5,000 staff and 400 servers directly to the switching core.

Within the Polaris data center FastIron SX 800s have been deployed to handle physical and virtual server access while Brocade's FCX Series and FWS Series switches connect workstation and IP phones. The FCX Series supports 10GbE uplinks to the core network and up to 48 GbE Power-over-Ethernet access ports per switch while the FWS Series provide 1GbE uplinks and 48 GbE Power-over-Ethernet access ports per switch.

Aegis software improves engagement for customer spectrum assembly

HORSHAM, USA: Spectrum Assembly Inc. (SAI) has recently purchased Aegis iLaunch and iView Manufacturing Operation Software modules for their Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) operation.

Together, these provide SAI with a distributed, paperless environment to replace their earlier paper-based manufacturing process instructions. SAI purchased the software after their market investigation revealed it to be the most powerful yet most cost-effective solution available.

iLaunch allows automated development of text and graphics documentation for the production staff. It will also handle program generation for SAI’s Mydata production equipment, using Gerber files as input.

iLaunch’s role is comprehensive, extending to BOM management, component engineering, process route design and other functions essential to new product introduction and modification.

iView works seamlessly with iLaunch, sharing a common SQL database. iView automatically dispatches iLaunch-generated documentation to each workstation under revision control. It can also broadcast change notices, process deviations and quality alerts throughout the system immediately on request.

Mo-DV endorses "next generation secure memory initiative" for HD content delivery

CAMPBELL, USA: Mo-DV, Inc., an innovator of HD content delivery to consumers, has announced that it supports the "Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative" consortiums effort to enhance secure delivery of content over USB flash drives and SD cards for use in consumer equipment such as tablets and smartphones.

"Mo-DV's proven technology not only enables secure content management solutions, but also automatically orients and sizes content to fit different screen sizes and shapes, ranging from low to full high-resolution HD," said Jessica Fullmer, CEO of Mo-DV. "The patented technology from Mo-DV is ready to go and meet the consortiums' goal of deployment in 2012."

Mo-DV's common medium technology allows playback of movie content from flash memory devices on all platforms regardless of operating environment. Its software-based copy protection is an unbroken anti-copy solution for delivering movies stored on flash memory devices.

Movie delivery through flash memory devices solves the problem of the lack of wireless bandwidth needed for streaming and downloading. The technology also enables the rapid loading of movies direct from a kiosk to a device, permitting, for example, a two-hour HD movie to load in seconds.

US flat-panel TV pricing declined in November to lowest level in eight months

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The prevailing economic uncertainty, along with frantic efforts among television manufacturers to boost year-end sales, combined to drive down the price of US flat-panel TVs to their lowest level in eight months in November.

Average pricing in November for flat-panel TVs, a category consisting of liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma technology, dipped to $1,113.91, down 3.3 percent from the October level of $1,152.55, according to an IHS iSuppli US TV Price & Specifications Tracker report. The November figure reversed the pricing uptick in October, and also was the lowest point seen since the March level of $1,086.64.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

“The November low reflects the usual trend of television prices beginning their descent as the holiday season begins, punctuated by the major discounts seen during Black Friday,” said Lisa Hatamiya, research associate for displays at IHS. “This is also the time of sharp price reductions in the channel, with brands eager to move shipments to meet revenue targets and pushing out sets with older features to make way for new models in the coming year.”

To be sure, television manufacturers are encountering strong headwinds that also are contributing to price reductions. Television demand in the United States continues to be weak because of the country’s staggering unemployment, and consumer confidence has been low in the face of a slow economy.

As a result, competition among manufacturers is extremely cutthroat at this point, exemplified by Black Friday prices that show how low manufacturers are willing to go in order to court the consumer. For instance, Sharp was selling a 42-inch 1080p LCD TV at Best Buy for $200, Hatamiya noted, while a 47-inch 3-D LCD TV with a bundled Blu-ray player from LG Electronics was priced at just $799 at Walmart.

In the LCD category of flat-panel TVs, prices in November were consistent with general trends and fell 2.7 percent on average to $1,020. Compared to October levels, LCD TV prices in November slipped in a range of 1.5 percent to 4.5 percent in almost all categories. The only exception was in the 21- to 29-inch segment, where pricing rose an unexpected 1.5 percent following increased demand for premium-branded TVs in that size class.

Within the LCD group, prices fell more among older LCD TVs featuring cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) technology, compared to their newer light-emitting diode (LED) counterparts, which sport thinner panels. For instance, 50-inch-and-larger CCFL sets saw a drop of $201, compared to $54 for 40-inch-and-larger LED televisions. The large price reductions in CCFL are consistent with manufacturer goals to clear their inventories of CCFL-type LCD TVs going into 2012, in hopes of focusing greater sales efforts on LED-backlit sets that provide greater margins.

The general retreat in prices also was seen in 3-D LCD TVs, with average pricing in November down to $2,201—a decline of 0.7 percent from October, and 27 percent less than the year-ago level.

Among plasma sets, rival to the LCD technology, average prices were down 4 percent in November to $1,533. Here, brands are expected to continue focusing on 3-D plasma models to keep up revenue and average selling prices, even as the plasma market is gradually being phased out altogether.

With retailers now at their year-end pricing structure, TV prices are expected to continue their descent in December. This should help boost sales for the fourth quarter, Hatamiya said, compensating for some low points in a year of generally weak TV sales.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Avenview now selling 8X8 video switches with 3D

KENMORE, USA: Avenview Corp., a leading manufacturer of A/V extenders, video splitters, and video switches, has released a new 8X8 Matrix Switcher with 3D over CAT-5 with IR Pass-Through, the most flexible and cost-effective solution in the market to route high-definition video sources plus multi-channel digital audio from any of four HDMI sources to remote displays at the same time.

The Avenview SW-HDM3D-C5-8X8 HDMI Matrix Switch with 3D over CAT-5 with IR Pass-Through not only transmits high-quality video and audio to the display sites, but users can switch among four HDMI sources using the push-in button or remote control. With single power design at the source site, each remote module is easily installed without a power supply. Furthermore, the built-in IR extension function allows users at the display site to access the DVD player, PS3 or any HDMI supported devices directly.

"Our new 8X8 Matrix Switcher is a valuable addition to any business or company with video feeds because it allows any source to be displayed on multiple displays at the same time," said Umar Qureshi, VP of Product Development at Avenview. "That means any HDMI display can view any HDMI source at any time, including DVD and TiVo."

The Avenview 8X8 Matrix Switcher allows the user to control local HDMI sources such as DVD and TiVo by attached an IR extender from the remote receiver to the matrix master. It's easy to install, with rack-mounting and wall-mounting designs for the master and receiver respectively. It extends video signals up to 35m (115 ft) over CAT5e at 1080p.

The Avenview 8X8 Matrix Switcher's low-cost Cat-5/5e/6 LAN cables make it the most cost-effective solution to routing HDMI sources to remote displays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Big data, security and cloud identified as IT 'super themes' in 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND: “Big data” analytics, security and cloud computing will be three of the most significant drivers of technological change in 2012, according to Ovum. The predictions for the coming year also include the growing impact of social networking platforms on enterprise collaboration strategies, convergence of selected software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM and marketing services, and the consumerisation of IT, which looks likely to accelerate the adoption of self-selected SaaS by line-of-business owners and the deployment of mobile device management solutions to support bring-your-own-device strategies.

The independent technology analyst also expects the role of chief information officer (CIO) to continue evolving next year as it faces strong pressure to develop operational and investment models that embrace technology-led innovation from all functional units within the organisation.

“The adoption of new smart devices and sophisticated web services in the consumer market is accelerating, extending the gap between user expectations and the services being delivered by corporate IT,” explains Tim Jennings, Ovum’s chief analyst for Enterprise IT. “To minimise this disconnect the CIO will need to act as an enabler of innovation for the business, and this creates the opportunity to play a central role in both operational and commercial strategy.”

With an increase in the number of employee-owned devices being used in the workplace, datasecurity and best practice will remain a top concern for CIOs next year. Organisations will need to protect and secure corporate information, whilst also providing access to corporate data on self-provisioned devices. However, selecting the right mobile device management or mobile desktop virtualization solution must be accompanied by consideration of both country-specific employee data privacy and industry-specific compliance requirements.

“We expect these overarching themes to be pivotal to the success of business strategy next year. Only businesses considering the opportunities that each trend presents, and the challenges that may exist, will ensure that they remain at the forefront of their respective industries,” concludes Jennings.

Key predictions for 2012

Cloud Computing: 2012 to be the year of PaaS
Organisations' approach to cloud will shift from a low-level infrastructure-as-a-service/cost-cutting discussion to a higher-level platform-as-a-service/SaaS discussion. Access to innovative mobile, social and collaborative apps underpinned by analytics and management reporting will drive adoption.

Big Data & Analytics: new data sources create transformation opportunities
Applying analytics to social media, machine-to-machine and location data will create new business opportunities and drive new investment in business intelligence and data warehousing infrastructure. However, only organisations using big data and analytics in a transformative way will realise substantial benefits. The advanced "social media command/control centre" will increase in appeal as more organisations engage directly with their markets and constituencies through the vehicle of social media, rather than via marketing services agencies, and look to measure the effectiveness of their investments in this channel.

Security: mobility multiplies the data leakage points
Going forward, organisations must learn to live in a state of compromise and should plan and act as though they have already been breached. The flip of the consumerisation of IT is that customer complaint will increasingly take the form a malicious attack on the corporate network. The use of employee-owned devices also will continue to grow the number of data leakage points for the enterprise. This will continue to drive both the need for more rigorous penetration testing and advanced MDM capabilities.

IT Consumerisation: a source of contention in the workplace
The consumerisation of corporate IT will create contention within the workplace as line-of-business owners confront the CIO, arguing that the corporate IT function is no longer able to satisfy the particular requirements of the department. “Personal computer” gives way to “personal cloud” as users consume mobile and web apps, making bring your own software (BYOS) more common than bring your own device (BYOD). Consumers will increasingly provide new sales channels for vendors to sell into the enterprise, so the role of the CIO has to change in order to deal with "proliferative innovation" – technological innovation driven from all parts of the organisation.

Social Media: rapid growth in social enterprise platforms
The social networking market will not see any major disruption to its current growth trajectory in 2012, and Facebook will continue to drive the evolution of employee communications as organisations look to enterprise social networking software. However, as Facebook has turned its social networking service into a platform, there will be a growing focus on third-party application development for emerging social enterprise platforms such as Jive and Yammer. Ovum expects to see innovative new services pushed into the enterprise through this channel by new market entrants.

Mobility: tablets deployed as an enterprise tool
Mobile apps in both the commercial and public sectors will mature to become a lever for change and innovation in 2012. The debate over native apps vs. browser-based apps will continue to be driven by the growing exploitation of HTML5 and CSS5. The tablet computer will continue to see deployment by the enterprise for specific roles, particularly for customer-facing staff in service industries, as a tool to close the knowledge gap with customers who themselves are increasingly armed with product and price search services on their own smart devices.

Seagate completes acquisition of Samsung’s HDD business

CUPERTINO, USA: Seagate Technology plc announced the closing of the transaction to acquire the hard disk drive (HDD) business of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

Under the terms of the transaction, Seagate has gained select elements of Samsung’s HDD business, including assets, infrastructure and employees that enable Seagate to drive scale and innovation. These assets include Samsung’s leading M8 product line of high-capacity, 2.5-inch HDDs.

Samsung employees joining Seagate include a number of senior managers and design-engineering employees from Samsung's Korea facility, who will focus on development of small form-factor products for the mobile compute market. N.Y. Park, senior vice president and general manager, will oversee Seagate’s product development activities in Korea and serve as country manager of the Korea design center, reporting to Bob Whitmore, Seagate’s executive vice president and CTO.

“Together, Seagate and Samsung have aligned our current and future product development efforts and roadmaps in order to accelerate time-to-market efficiency for new products and position us to better address the increasing demands for storage,” said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. “It is an exciting time in the industry with rapidly evolving opportunities in many markets including mobile computing, cloud computing, and solid state storage.”

This transaction was announced in April 2011 along with a series of other agreements between Seagate and Samsung. Seagate is supplying disk drives to Samsung for PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics devices. Samsung is supplying its market-leading semiconductor products for use in Seagate’s enterprise solid state drives (SSDs), solid-state hybrid drives and other products. The companies have also extended and enhanced their existing patent cross-license agreement and have expanded cooperation to co-develop enterprise storage solutions.

“The strategic relationship will open new opportunities for the two companies by mutually complementing each other’s creative technology solutions for a broad diversity of IT applications,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon, vice chairman of Device Solutions of Samsung Electronics.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Positive or negative effects for surging advance stocking demand for large-sized panels remains to be seen

TAIWAN: Following several consecutive quarters of financial losses, operating pressures on panel makers have been significantly increased such that the improvement over financial deficit has become the primary operating objective of panel makers.

Benefitting from both production reduction in Q3 and stocking for hot season in Q4, large-sized panel prices has been stabilized; panel makers have increased their utilization rates to improve production cost. Therefore, the financial losses among panel makers can be effectively reduced in Q4.

WitsView research manager, Jeffy Chen, indicated that after December, the market demands for LCD TV, monitor and NB panels have slowed down topped with the conclusion of downstream manufacturer’s stocking. However, with the January working days in January 2012 to be reduced due to Lunar New Year Holidays, downstream manufacturers have been considering to increase stocking by the end of this year.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

It would be alarming if the increased utilization rate and supply side sustain until Q1 next year, there could be potential risk of increased panel inventory and supply-demand imbalance, pushing the panel price downwards again. This result would not be conducive to the financial performances among panel makers in Q1 next year.

According to the latest investigation reports on large-sized panel shipment in November published by WitsView, TrendForce's panel research division, the large-sized panel shipment in November reached 58.37 million units with MoM regression of 1.6 percent and YoY growth of 0.2 percent.

The LCD TV market, under the positive effects of stocking activities for Christmas and Lunar New Year Holiday promotions among downstream manufacturers, the total shipment of TV panel has come to 18.74 million units with MoM growth of 4 percent. In the November shipment report, the shipment of 39-inch panel first introduced by CMI has increased 10 times compared to previous month, while 50-inch panels are also starting to be shipped in small quantities.

The market acceptance of TV products of new sizes during the Lunar New Year promotion in Mainland China should be closely monitored. The total shipment of monitor panel reached 15.92 million units with MoM growth of 4.3 percent, and the shipment of NB panel has reached 16.69 million units with MoM growth of 9.5 percent.

As for tablet PC, with Apple’s continuous control over iPad2 inventory and the supply of new generation iPad3 limited due to yield issue, the shipment of 9.7-inch panel has been sliding greatly leading to the MoM regression of overall tablet PC panel shipment by 42.8 percent coming down to 4.95 million units. The shipment of netbook panel has come to 2.07 million units with MoM regression of 3.6 percent.

Zebronics intros powerful 2.1 mega bass multimedia speakers

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Top Notch Infotronix has launched its latest 2.1 multimedia speaker set, the ZEB-SW3500RUCF with digital display. The new model features a fantastic bass reflex subwoofer with full functional remote control, adding to Zebronics’s extensive lineup of speakers, one of the widest range in the industry.

This smart speaker system features a soft surface and has volume control and power buttons, indicated by a vibrant orange LED. It is suitable for iPOD's and PC's with a stereo line cable and 3.5mm stereo adaptor. With its high-gloss, black-satin finish complementing the smart present-day styling, Zebronics' latest offering in the consumer electronics segment is a energetic and smart 2.1 multimedia speaker system.

The ZEB-SW3500RUCF offers a very friendly user interface coupled with a fully functional remote control for ease of operation. The bass/treble and volume controls add to the clarity and crispness of the music produced.

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 preferred music. The speaker system is lightweight that makes it an ideal sound solution while on holiday or travelling when users like to carry their favourite audio collection in portable and mobile devices.

The ZEB-SW3500RUCF is also a pretty unique well-designed PC multimedia speaker system with easy-to-use connectors, extra input and output ports and a fully functional remote control. The build quality and the FM reception are excellent so if you are looking for these features in a 2.1 speaker system, here is the best deal for you.

The trendy design ZEB-SW3500RUCF, a fitting addition to the modern bookshelf or table, is now available at an affordable price of Rs 1,999, including one year warranty.

Key forces shaping software development and lifecycle management

LONDON, UK: 2012 will see software development and lifecycle management taken to new heights, predicts Ovum.

In a new report, the independent technology analyst firm has identified four key trends in software development and lifecycle management which will shape the prospects for businesses in 2012:

* There will be greater adoption of second-generation Agile and Lean ideas.
* DevOps is changing the roles of developers and operators.
* HTML5 will dominate rich-user interface development.
* Software lifecycle management for embedded software will become instrumental in avoiding future crises in product manufacturing.

Chandranshu Singh, senior analyst, IT Services at Ovum and co-author of the report, said: “The software lifecycle management (SLM) market has continued on its evolutionary trajectory since 2011. Application development cloud services continue to play a role in the market as customers look for cost savings and confidence grows in using off-premises solutions.”

Ovum expects to see more large-scale projects adopting Agile practices in 2012, but with some fine tuning to fit the needs of particular business and engineering domains. Kanban is a practice that is being melded into Agile practices. This second-generation approach has grown from the influence of Lean development on Agile development.

While Agile is using a second-generation approach, the DevOps movement is a grassroots initiative for process reform in IT operations. It takes its cue from the development side, which has adopted newer development methodologies and practices, such as various flavors of Agile.

Singh suggests a shared value system changes the way IT professionals think about how they work, interact and communicate with others, and how they rise to meet challenges. He also says that the operations function is looking to re-engineer its processes for greater capacity and agility, better and reliable releases, and fewer production defects.

Elsewhere, HTML5 has entered the mainstream with support for mobile devices that is now consistent enough to make it a good choice for mobile app development. Ovum predicts that in 2012 that this position will strengthen. The rise in embedded software has brought to the fore the need to integrate the worlds of SLM and PLM.

Michael Azoff, principal analyst and co-author of the report, added: “HTML5 will become an important requirement for application developers who wish to reach as many devices as possible without having to make client-dependent changes. This application is being looked at as a long-term web application platform by key players such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.”

The HTML5 applications will be the cause for the shrinking plug-in market. Ovum believes that in 2012 HTML5 for mobile application development will grow significantly as this standard becomes the neutral ground in a market that some players are attempting to corner with proprietary rules.

Azoff commented: “The amount of embedded software in manufactured products is already high and is expected to double in the next few years. In order to manage embedded software effectively, organizations would need to address performance, quality, and security issues. This is why in 2012 we see manufacturing organizations realizing the need to manage the software lifecycle in an integrated way with the product lifecycle.”

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Networxx opens centre in Bangalore to offer Cisco Certification in networking

BANGALORE, INDIA: India’s leading animation and visual effects training institute, Frameboxx Animation and Visual Effects, has launched Networxx in association with world’s leading Penta CCIE & Master Trainer, Khawar Butt, to provide internationally recognized Cisco certification to the Indian IT professionals.

Headquartered at Mumbai, Networxx has opened 14 cities across India in Hyderabad, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Indore, and Pune, besides Bangalore at Indra Nagar.

Networxx would be offering its Cisco certification programmes of eight months duration each, including Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) and the most sought-after qualification, Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), informed Khawar Butt, the co-founder of Networxx.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Trend Micro #1 again in worldwide server security market share

CUPERTINO, USA: Trend Micro Inc. maintains its lead in the corporate endpoint server security market with an estimated 23.7 percent market share, according to IDC's "Worldwide Endpoint Security 2011-2015 Forecast and 2010 Vendor Shares" report.

The current overall IDC estimate for the server security market is $439.2 million, with a growth rate of 6.1 percent, and expected to reach $694.4 million by 2015. IDC noted in the report that the growth of mobile devices within the workplace, and the intersection of mobile and virtualization helped fuel the need in server security. Cloud adoption is also driving the upward trajectory of the server security market as enterprises seek to secure their cloud environments.

For comprehensive server protection, Trend Micro offers Deep Security, which is designed to provide system and application security across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Deep Security meets the challenging operational security and compliance needs of today's dynamic data center. It combines intrusion detection and prevention, web application protection, firewall, integrity monitoring, log inspection and anti-malware capabilities in a single, centrally managed enterprise software solution.

Deep Security also provides the industry's first and only agentless security suite for VMware environments, enabling enterprises to attain even higher consolidation rates, faster performance, better manageability and stronger security.

"This is further validation that worldwide, enterprises are looking to Trend Micro for their server security needs," said Eva Chen, CEO. "Today's quickly changing infrastructure requirements make Trend Micro's ability to provide a server security platform that spans physical, virtual and cloud environments a truly strategic advantage for enterprises large and small. Our introduction of an agentless solution in conjunction with VMware has been a huge success."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

BinOptics attracts $13.3 million in funding

ITHACA, USA: BinOptics Corp. has closed $13.3 million in new funding. The Ithaca-based manufacturer of lasers and monolithically integrated optoelectronic components will use the funding to continue expansion of its product lines and to accelerate development of new products.

Five new investors participated in this round: Advantage Capital Partners, Enhanced Capital Partners, Gefinor Ventures, Onondaga Venture Capital Fund, and Rand Capital. Existing investors ArrowPath Venture Partners, Cayuga Venture Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and FA Technology Ventures also participated.

“This funding enhances our ability to meet strong demand for our current 2.5 Gbps and 10 Gbps Distributed Feedback (DFB) laser products,” said BinOptics chairman and CEO, Alex Behfar. “We look forward to continuing to provide the most innovative and highest value products in the industry to our customers around the world.”

“Advantage Capital Partners is pleased to support BinOptics and its impressive array of unique products,” said Reid Hutchins, Advantage Capital senior VP, who joins the board. Rand Capital’s president, Allen "Pete" Grum added, “BinOptics has great potential to create new jobs here in upstate New York, another welcome outcome of this funding.” The business currently employs over 50 people, with plans to hire additional engineers and technicians in 2012.

BinOptics, founded in 2000, uses proprietary processes for manufacturing lasers and integrated photonic devices at low cost. In recent years, the company has established a strong global market presence by shipping more than 25 million Fabry-Perot (FP) and DFB lasers in high-growth markets such as EPON (Ethernet Passive Optical Network) and GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network).

“The current funding will enable BinOptics to leverage its patented laser structures and manufacturing processes to move into new materials and markets,” said Gefinor Ventures’ Chris Davis.

US industry affirms commitment to India in ICT sector: USIBC

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The US-India Business Council (USIBC) concluded a five-day mission to New Delhi to participate in the US-India Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Dialogue, holding bilateral discussions with key Government of India officials.

Chaired by Ambassador Phillip Verveer of the US Department of State and Secretary R. Chandrashekar of the Indian Ministry for Information Technology, the ICT Dialogue is a crucial industry-government vehicle for addressing a range of issues regarding information technology, media and broadcasting, and telecommunications.

USIBC led one of its largest delegations ever, representing 20 of the top IT and telecom companies operating in India, to participate in the Dialogue. The meetings provided a unique opportunity to identify barriers to doing business in these sectors and develop specific recommendations and action items for both governments to address obstacles to trade and investment.

One of the top priorities of the Government of India currently is to increase ICT manufacturing and drive high-tech innovation. In meetings with Government of India officials, USIBC reaffirmed its commitment to help India to develop non-discriminatory policies based on global standards and best practices that will encourage the in-flow of investment to India and incentivize companies to develop local manufacturing.

In partnership with the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), USIBC members held four days of consultations with key Government of India officials to discuss a range of issues including local manufacturing, innovation, standards and testing certification, telecommunications infrastructure security, e-waste and environmental protection, tax policy, and incentives for technology companies to invest and grow in India. All of these issues are crucial to the strength and competitiveness of India in the global economy and to the long-term health of US companies.

Second half of info age to focus on exploitation of technology and info it processes

STAMFORD, USA: The Information Age is an 80 year wave of economic and societal change that is in its second half, where business value comes from exploitation of technology rather than from installation, according to Gartner Inc.

"In the first half of the Information Age, the primary focus was the technology itself; this is where great fortunes were made by companies like IBM and Microsoft," said Mark Raskino, VP and Gartner Fellow. "In this period, the majority of companies that gained competitive advantage did so by differential access to the technology from these providers — for example, by having more capital to invest in it or better skills at installing it in their businesses.

"In the second half of the age, as technology becomes ubiquitous, consumerized, cheaper and more equally available to all, the focus for differentiation moves to exploitation of the technology and to the information it processes," Raskino said. "It is already noticeable that the great fortunes of the second half of the age are being made by companies like Google and Facebook, which are not traditional makers of technology. In this period, the majority of companies that enjoy competitive advantage will gain it from a differential ability to see and exploit the opportunities of new kinds of information."

In the report, "Strategic Information Management for Competitive Advantage," ( Gartner identified four particular types of generally useful information likely to dominate competition this decade, in the way that process information and customer information did in the past 15 years:

* Location information, which is now maturing in availability, will offer opportunities to better optimize the utilization of almost any movable physical asset (human or inanimate) in almost any business.
* Sustainability information will be vital in advancing business models in industries that are adapting to the realities of a finite Earth meeting the demands of massive, consumerizing emerging markets.
* DNA information and the rapidly falling cost of obtaining it will obviously be critical to innovation and productivity leaps in agriculture, medical care and pharmaceuticals, but it will also impact insurance and other sectors.
* Social graph information will help companies "X-ray" and understand organization, team design, culture and other factors impacting knowledge worker productivity, yielding valuable insights to advance the intellectual service economy the way time and motion study did for manufacturing in the 20th century.
* Beyond these, context, gesture, the live state of everyday objects (Internet of Things), inherent identity (untagged, image-recognition-based), human emotional state and even brain response to stimuli are all new types of information that are at the radar's edge or are starting to be brought into play within businesses.

Ebook reader display market to double in 2011

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Although worldwide shipments of displays for pure-play ebook readers are set to more than double in 2011, growth will slow in the coming years, prompting suppliers to consider spicing up their products.

Shipments this year of displays for pure-play ebook reader will reach 27.1 million units, up a resounding 108 percent from 13.0 million in 2010, according to an IHS iSuppli Small & Medium Displays Market Tracker report. The vast majority of these displays are monochrome.

The strong growth this year arises from a relentless marketing push and attractive pricing by ebook reader brands in order to promote sales of the devices. However, in the face of stiff competition from color-display tablets like Apple Inc.’s iPad, sales growth of ebook readers and displays will slow in the coming years. Display shipment growth next year, for instance, will drop by two-thirds to 37 percent based on projected shipments of 37.1 million units, as shown in the figure.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

In 2015, the market will suffer a decline in shipments. This will prompt ebook reader makers to seek new markets and adopt color display alternatives to freshen up their product offerings.

“Ebook readers have made great inroads among consumers following their introduction a few years ago, exemplified by the success of the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, senior manager for small and medium displays at IHS.

“However, ebook readers’ monochrome displays are being challenged today by the vibrant color displays of tablet devices like the iPad. Ebook readers can increase their appeal by adding color displays and by focusing on vertical markets like education.”

Qualcomm hopes Mirasol color display will prove enticing
Ebook readers long have employed a type of electronic paper known as the electrophoretic display (EPD). However, an alternative microelectromechanical system (MEMS) color display technology known as Mirasol has been introduced by San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc.

The Mirasol display technology has been implemented in a non-English ebook reader called Kyobo, developed in tandem with the biggest bookseller of South Korea. The Kyobo ebook reader features a 5.6-inch, 1024 by 768-pixel Mirasol display, with a pixel density of 225 ppi.

Mirasol matches typical EPD characteristics, such as wide viewing angles and readability in sunlight. But what sets the Qualcomm technology apart is its capability to exhibit full color and deliver fast response speeds, without compromising the low-power benefits provided by traditional monochrome ebook readers. A charge on the Kyobo ebook reader can last for weeks, based on 30 minutes of reading per day on the device.

The Mirasol-based Kyobo is not cheap, coming at a price tag of 349,000 Korean won, equivalent to $319. This is even more expensive than a tablet device such as the Amazon Kindle Fire or the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, and nearly four times as much as the cheapest monochrome Amazon Kindle ebook reader at $79. What will be required for Mirasol to gain share will be improved cost competitiveness, deployment in large-volume products and an aggressive strategy to help create devices for attractive markets.

The road ahead, however, is uncertain. Even though Mirasol technology has the potential to become a game-changer in the ebook market, the years ahead could prove challenging, IHS believes, given the current limited manufacturing capacity and associated higher costs for producing the color display.

Ebook growth opportunities
Future growth in the ebook reader space likely will come from vertical markets such as education, where a single use case may be preferred over the multiple features and functionalities supported by a converged device like a tablet.

The challenge here is that the ebook reader devices for possible use in these markets have not yet been defined or designed. Nonetheless, pure-play ebook readers have a number of built-in advantages, including light weight and a battery life lasting weeks on a single charge.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Notebook HDD may recover by 1Q12, desktop HDD to see improvement in 2Q12

TAIWAN: According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, the Thailand flood-induced HDD supply chain disruption has resulted in a 4Q global PC shipment shortage of approximately 4 million units, of which 3.5-inch desktop (DT) HDD accounts for around 80 percent.

From the market perspective, the notebook (NB) HDD shortage occurred around mid-November, right after the traditional peak shipment season in October. Therefore, the 4Q NB shipment decline only increased slightly, from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent. The DT market decline, on the other hand, increased from the initially forecasted 5 percent to 15 percent.

DRAMeXchange indicates, around 40 percent of global HDD production comes from Thailand. Of the companies affected by the flood disaster, Western Digital’s two plants and the Toshiba plant suffered the hardest hits, accounting for approximately 20-25 percent of the global shortage. Thus, PC OEMs immediately sought to prevent disruptions to their HDD supply.Source: DRAMeXchange, Taiwan.

First-tier US PC OEMs’ shortages were relatively minimal due to their large shipment volumes and deeper ties with HDD makers. Japanese maker, Toshiba, and Korean makers were also relatively unaffected, as they benefitted from having their own capacity.

Smaller Japanese makers and other PC OEMs in Asia, on the other hand, suffered more severe shortages as they lack the support of major HDD manufacturers. The retail channel market has seen the greatest price increases, as HDD makers are giving priority to companies they have close cooperation with; this has indirectly affected the DT and DIY markets. Furthermore, in consideration of supply, profitability, product demand, and client relationships, HDD makers are reallocating capacity to favor 2.5-inch HDD production, exacerbating the DT HDD shortage as well as the quarterly decrease.

Looking towards the next quarter, concerns towards HDD key component part supply will slowly dissipate and HDD makers in other countries, including China, the Philippines, Malaysia, etc. will increase their capacity utilization rate, making up for the capacity loss in Thailand. Furthermore, as Thailand’s transportation has returned to normal, Hitachi and Seagate’s distribution centers will be able to resume operations shortly. As for demand, alarmed PC OEMs were stocking up HDD inventory early on, but have currently returned to more rational strategies.Source: DRAMeXchange, Taiwan.

As HDD contract price has increased by 20-30 percent, PC OEMs are decreasing shipment volumes, planning to clear inventory via retail channels while they wait for HDD supply and price to stabilize. As for next year, overall NB HDD supply and demand may return to normal in 1Q12 at the earliest, while DT HDD may see supply and demand balance in 2Q12.