Saturday, July 30, 2011

Symantec announces July 2011 Symantec Intelligence Report

BANGALORE, INDIA: Symantec Corp. announced the publication of its July 2011 Symantec Intelligence Report, now combining the best research and analysis from the Symantec.cloud MessageLabs Intelligence Report and the Symantec State of Spam & Phishing Report.

This month’s analysis reveals a significant increase in activity related to what may be described as a aggressive and rapidly changing form of generic polymorphic malware. With one in 280.9 emails identified as malicious in July, the rise accounted for 23.7 percent of all email-borne malware intercepted in July; more than double the same figure six months ago, indicating a much more aggressive strategy on the part of the cyber criminals responsible.

“The number of variants, or different strains of malware involved in each attack has grown dramatically, by a factor of 25 times, when compared to the previous six months. This is a disturbing proliferation in such a short time, increasing the risk profiles of many organizations as these new strains are much harder to detect using traditional security defenses,” said Abhijit Limaye, director, Security Response, Symantec.

The report shows that the malware is frequently contained inside an executable within the attached ZIP archive file, and often disguised as a PDF file or an office document, for example. “This new aggressive approach to distributing generic polymorphic malware on such a scale should be concerning for many businesses, particularly for those who rely solely on more traditional security countermeasures, which this type of malware is designed to evade. One example of this technique involves changing the startup code in almost every version of the malware; subtly changing the structure of the code and making it harder for emulators built-in to many anti-virus products to identify the code as malicious,” added Limaye.

Further analysis also reveals that phishing attacks have been seeking various means to exploit vulnerable cell phone users. According to Limaye, “Two key areas in which we can see this trend are, firstly, the increase in phishing against wireless application protocol (WAP) pages, which are lightweight Web pages designed for smaller mobile devices such as cell phones; and secondly, the use of compromised domain names that have been registered for mobile devices, for example, using the .mobi top-level domain.”

Symantec has identified phishing sites spoofing such Web pages and has been monitoring the trend. In July, social networking and information services brands were frequently observed in these phishing sites. The primary motive of these attacks continues to be identity theft. Targeting cell phone users is just part of a new strategy for achieving the same result.

Other report highlights:
Spam: In July 2011, the global ratio of spam in email traffic rose to 77.8 percent (one in 1.29 emails); an increase of 4.9 percentage when compared with June 2011.

Phishing: In July, phishing email activity increased by 0.01 percentage points since June 2011; one in 319.3 emails (0.313 percent) comprised some form of phishing attack.

E-mail-borne threats: The global ratio of email-borne viruses in email traffic was one in 280.9 emails (0.333 percent) in July, an increase of 0.01 percentage points since June 2011.

Web-based malware threats: In July, Symantec Intelligence identified an average of 6,797 Web sites each day harboring malware and other potentially unwanted programs including spyware and adware; an increase of 25.5 percent since June 2011.

Endpoint threats: The most frequently blocked malware for the last month was W32.Ramnit!html. This is a generic detection for .HTML files infected by W32.Ramnit[3], a worm that spreads through removable drives and by infecting executable files. The worm spreads by encrypting and then appending itself to files with .DLL, .EXE and .HTM extensions. Variants of the Ramnit worm accounted for 17.3 percent of all malicious software blocked by endpoint protection technology in July.

Geographical trends
Spam:
* As the global spam level declined in July 2011, Saudi Arabia remained the most spammed geography, with a spam rate of 85.6 percent Russia remained the second most-spammed.
* In the US, 78.0 percent of email was spam and 77.7 percent in Canada.
* The spam level in the UK was 78.2 percent.
* In The Netherlands, spam accounted for 78.8 percent of email traffic, 77.9 percent in Germany, 77.6 percent in Denmark and 75.8 percent in Australia.
* In Hong Kong, 76.8 percent of email was blocked as spam and 75.7 percent in Singapore, compared with 74.7 percent in Japan.
* Spam accounted for 76.9 percent of email traffic in South Africa and 78.7 percent in Brazil.

Phishing
* Phishing attacks in the UK increased to overtake South Africa and become the most targeted geography for phishing emails in July, with one in 127.9 emails identified as phishing attacks. Phishing in South Africa fell slightly to make it the second most targeted country, with one in 163.1 emails identified as phishing attacks.
* Phishing levels for the US were one in 1,237 and one in 192.6 for Canada.
* In Germany, phishing levels were one in 798.3, one in 1,448 in Denmark and one in 526.9 in The Netherlands.
* In Australia, phishing activity accounted for one in 850.8 emails and one in 2,503 in Hong Kong; for Japan it was one in 13,167 and one in 872.9 for Singapore.
* In Brazil, one in 382.4 emails were blocked as phishing attacks.

E-mail-borne threats
* E-mail-borne malware attacks rose in South Africa as the country became the geography with the highest ratio of malicious emails in July, overtaking the UK as one in 125.2 emails was identified as malicious in July; in the UK one in 127.0 emails was malicious.
* In the US, virus levels for email-borne malware were one in 634.8 and one in 255.9 for Canada.
* In Germany, virus activity reached one in 482.1, one in 1,033 in Denmark and in The Netherlands one in 451.3.
* In Australia, one in 654.8 emails were malicious and one in 748.7 in Hong Kong; for Japan it was one in 2,093, compared with one in 761.8 in Singapore.
* In Brazil, one in 332.1 emails in contained malicious content.

Vertical trends
* In July, the automotive industry sector remained the most spammed industry sector, with a spam rate of 80.7 percent.
* Spam levels for the education sector reached 80.3 percent and 77.9 percent for the chemical and pharmaceutical sector; 77.8 percent for IT services, 77.8 percent for retail, 77 percent for public sector and 77 percent for finance.
* The public sector remained the most targeted by phishing activity in July, with one in 73.2 emails comprising a phishing attack.
* Phishing levels for the chemical and pharmaceutical sector were one in 799.0 and one in 566.2 for the IT services sector; one in 482.3 for retail, one in 87.8 for education and one in 396.7 for finance.
* With one in 62.1 emails being blocked as malicious, the public sector remained the most targeted industry in July.
* Virus levels for the chemical and pharmaceutical sector were one in 438.9 and one in 390.0 for the IT services sector; one in 418.3 for retail, one in 79.1 for education and one in 443.5 for finance.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lenovo launches M60e desktop PCs

BANGALORE, INDIA: Lenovo India, a frontrunner in product innovation, has introduced the Lenovo ThinkCentre M60e – one of India’s first Desktops with the Rupee symbol on its keyboard which is Microsoft compatible.

Lenovo will incorporate the rupee symbol in all its products in the next few months. This initiative is in line with the Government of India’s regulations for PC manufacturers to make the new Rupee Symbol a standard introduction in all PCs sold in India.

To make this feasible Lenovo’s technical teams from India and US worked closely with Microsoft in designing a user friendly software solution for enabling the new Rupee symbol as stipulated in the BIS (Bureau of Industry Standards) guidelines.

Incorporating the rupee symbol on keyboards is sure to enhance the ease with which PC users utilize various Microsoft software applications – such as spreadsheets, word documents etc; as a result, this will greatly impact the day-to-day business of Indians.

Rahul Agarwal, executive director - Commercial Business, said: “The Rupee symbol highlights India’s critical role in the global business landscape. Lenovo is proud to be one of the first PC players in India to launch Microsoft software compatible rupee ready keyboards. We are in the process of transitioning the entire product range to be rupee ready in the next few months.”

The incorporation of the new Rupee symbol on keyboards will facilitate a wide usage of the symbol and help the Indian Rupee join the elite club of globally accepted currencies like USD, Euro, Yen, etc.

Pradeep Parappil, lead product manager, Windows, Microsoft India, said: “The rupee symbol lends a distinctive character to the currency and reinforces India’s growing role as a global economic power. We are delighted to have partnered with Lenovo to create one of the first PCs in India with the Rupee symbol!”

The Lenovo ThinkCentre M60e is the latest ‘Think’ Desktop by Lenovo. Carrying forward the ‘Think’ legacy, this ThinkCentre ensures smooth enterprise rollouts. Its ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery backs up the data at all times and helps recover it in times of crises. Equipped with the Lenovo’s exclusive Windows 7 Lenovo Enhanced Experience system, it delivers a faster startup and shutdown.

LogMeIn simplifies patch management for Windows

BANGALORE, INDIA: IT professionals can now use LogMeIn to keep remote Windows-based computers up to date and secure. Part of a new release to LogMeIn Inc.’s remote access and management product lines, LogMeIn Pro and LogMeIn Central, the new patch management capabilities give users an end-to-end way to identify, select and apply one or more available updates, and install those updates over the Internet.

As a result, IT managers, Managed Service Providers (MSPs), and IT consultants can update all of their employees and clients computers – regardless of location – in a timely, prioritized, and secure manner.

LogMeIn’s new Windows patch management features are designed to let IT professionals and other power users:

* Support Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008 updates.
* Securely schedule and manage updates to off-LAN computers using LogMeIn’s cloud-based connectivity platform.
* Easily and simultaneously manage Windows Updates on multiple computers to keep systems up-to-date and secure.
* Automatically push updates to multiple systems at the same time.
* Individually select which Microsoft updates to apply.
* Check for Windows Updates at the click of a button.
* Instantly view Update status of remote computers.
* Work with Windows Update or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

Pickering continues to follow LXI standard's evolution!

CLACTON-ON-SEA, UK: IEEE AUTOTESTCON is the United States' largest conference focused on automatic test systems for US military systems, and has been held annually since 1965. The conference is held in Baltimore this fall, all themes focused precisely on the current issues facing military automated test.

Pickering Interfaces, a leading PXI/LXI Supplier, has continued in 2011 to regularly release a steady flow of new products in both the LXI and the PXI platforms. In addition, all Pickering Interfaces LXI products are now fully LXI compliant to the latest 1.4 specification. Pickering Interfaces is committed to following the LXI standard’s evolution and adopting its newest features to improve user experience of Ethernet controlled instrumentation.

There is a demand for high pole count multiplexers in PXI based test systems where the test system will test multiple devices in sequence with minimal operator handling. The ability to move 10, 20 or more signals simultaneously from one device to another improves the efficiency of a test system.

In addition, the market is demanding new matrix configurations, including these that do not fit easily in a single slot 3U module. Matrices can be expanded to make up larger configurations but the methods used are time consuming for the user to configure, often have performance implications and add costs.

Amongst other products we highlight: First models in a new range of 6GHz switch solutions, these compact switch modules offer an alternative to mechanical microwave switches for applications up to 6GHz. Their excellent isolation and crosstalk performance combined with fast operation and long life makes them ideal for both production and development testing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Small-sized display shipments decline amid weak demand from all markets—except tablets

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Shipments of small- and medium-sized display (SMD) panels fell for the second straight month in May as demand decreased from cellphones and all other major product categories—with the major exception of tablets—according to a new IHS iSuppli Small & Medium Displays PriceTrak report.

Coming on the heels of a 6.9 percent decline in April, shipments of SMD displays from the two major groups of suppliers in South Korea and Taiwan in May fell further to 187.1 million units, down 4.2 percent from 195.3 million units during the earlier month.

SMD panels, which range in size from 1.0 inches to 9 inches, are used in a variety of popular consumer items, including smartphones, tablets, digital still cameras and personal navigation devices. Nearly all of these displays employ liquid crystal display (LCD) technology.

“SMD demand in May was impacted by declining sales to the cellphone market—the leading application for such displays—along with other key areas, including digital still cameras and portable navigation devices,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, director for small and medium displays at IHS. “The only exception was the tablet market, where demand continued to exceed supply.”

Cellphone market suffers in the short term
Suppliers of SMDs for cellphones in May trimmed their forecasts in light of weaker-than-anticipated handset shipments from Nokia Corp. and Research In Motion Ltd. Both companies have been under intense pressure because of strong competition from Apple Inc.’s iPhone as well as from handsets based on the Android operating system.

Handset panel shipments to China during the period were also disappointing, with officials in the country cracking down hard on an illegal gray market estimated at 255 million units this year, according to an IHS iSuppli China Research Service report. No relief appears in sight, with the gray market in China projected to decline starting next year

The market for SMDs in digital cameras continues to be impacted as panel supplies are shifted to the more lucrative smartphone and tablet spaces. Meanwhile, the portable navigation device segment continued to shrink steadily.
This is expected to be a short-term slowdown, with shipments set to rise for the entire year and during the following years.

Happy tablets for SMDs
The one positive aspect in the SMD market is the fast-growing demand from the tablet segment. Along with their high shipment growth, tablet displays command a relatively high price compared to SMDs in other applications. This is because of their high specifications required for advanced performance.

Taiwanese vendors will start mass-producing for Apple iPad panels starting in the third quarter, while Korean vendors have aggressive plans for capacity expansion to meet demand for PC-type tablets, such as Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad.

Earthquake aftereffects
Fearing possible component shortages after the Japan quake disaster in early March, branded vendors and channels pulled in SMD shipments ahead of time to bolster stocks. However, with inventory in the channel building up and in light of endemic weak demand, panel shipments could not recover and declined in April and May. The uncertain picture in Europe, with rising inflation and sovereign debt issues, was also a contributing factor to the SMD panel decline in general during the period.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA

National Instruments technology helps Virginia Tech win EcoCAR competition

INDIA: Virginia Tech recently was named the overall winner of EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, a three-year collegiate vehicle engineering competition sponsored by the US Department of Energy and General Motors (GM).

The Virginia Tech Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) designed and built an extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) that uses E85 (ethanol) and achieves fuel efficiency of 81.9 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent. With National Instruments reconfigurable software and hardware, the team used a graphical system design approach to design, prototype, validate and deploy a control strategy for the vehicle’s hybrid components.

To interface with and control the vehicle, the team chose NI CompactRIO, which acted as a hybrid vehicle supervisory controller that balanced power distribution between the vehicle’s combustion and electric systems. They programmed the controller with NI LabVIEW system design software, which also served as the runtime environment for the main driver display in the vehicle.

The LabVIEW Statechart Module was used to create a high-level state machine control architecture for splitting torque between the hybrid components. Before deploying their control strategy to hardware, the team used NI VeriStand real-time testing software and NI PXI to create a hardware-in-the-loop simulation and validation system that evaluated the vehicle’s fuel and electric energy consumption and tested safety features.

“The members of the HEVT come from a variety of engineering backgrounds and concentrations, and it was critical for us to have an easy-to-use platform that could be used by everyone and from start to finish,” said Jesse Alley, graduate advisor for the Virginia Tech HEVT. “National Instruments software and hardware streamlined our vehicle development, allowing us to rapidly develop a sophisticated hybrid control strategy that ultimately helped us win EcoCAR.”

Sixteen North American universities participated in EcoCAR and re-engineered GM-donated vehicles to minimize fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining utility, safety and performance. The competition culminated in a trip to the GM Proving Ground in Milford, Mich., where the teams put their vehicles through a series of safety and technical tests.

In addition to winning the overall competition, Virginia Tech won awards for Shortest 60-0 MPH Braking Distance, Best AVL Drive Quality, Best Dynamic Consumer Acceptability and Best Fuel Consumption. The team also received the National Instruments Most Innovative Use of Graphical System Design award. National Instruments is a platinum sponsor of EcoCAR.

Australian investment in healthcare IT to top $2.4 billion by 2016

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Spending on healthcare IT in Australia will hit $2.4 billion in 2016, a CAGR of almost 10 per cent from 2010, predicts Ovum in its latest healthcare IT market forecast.

The independent technology analyst finds that Australia’s investment in healthcare IT is driven by the need to cut costs in the sector as well as to improve patient outcome. The Australian government is trying to remedy the enormous cost pressures by launching initiatives to adopt the deployment of IT.

Cornelia Wels-Maug, Ovum’s healthcare technology analyst, commented: “Investment in IT healthcare is increasing in Australia, mainly driven by the public health reforms and state-funded development of technology infrastructure.

According to Ovum’s figures, investment in Australia’s healthcare IT market will reach only $1.5 billion in 2011, far less than that in North American and European markets.

Digital imaging solutions, especially picture archiving system (PACS), will continue to be the key investment area for Australia, closely followed by expenditure on electronic health records (EHRs). However, telehealth, where services such as the monitoring of conditions are delivered via telecommunications technology and EHRs, are expected to have the strongest growth, with CAGRs of 14.1 per cent and 12.1 per cent, respectively.

Ms Wels-Maug commented: “Increasing access, accuracy, and availability of healthcare data are absolutely fundamental to cutting costs. It reduces double testing of patients for various diseases and improves the overall efficiency of hospitals and surgeries.”

Software for health information exchanges (HIE) that allow the exchange of health information stored in disparate IT systems both within healthcare organizations as well as among them, will also see growth in investment.

Ms Wels-Maug added: “This is an area where we will see more and more investment. Indeed, sharing health information electronically helps providers gain a more complete picture, giving them a holistic view of patients and their history.

Monsoon offers Placeshifting and multi-screen technologies to semiconductor, STB and smart TV manufacturers

SAN MATEO, USA: Monsoon Multimedia, a leading provider of convergence products, is licensing its TV Anywhere placeshifting Linux-based software engines to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). TV Anywhere capabilities are in high demand as the explosion in tablets and smartphones is driving MSOs (Multiple System Operators), such as Comcast and Time Warner, Smart TV companies, such as Sony and Samsung, and set-top box suppliers, such as Cisco, Motorola and Pace, to have a TV-on-the-go solution.

Only Monsoon’s solutions enable MSOs to manage which channels and shows can be placeshifted, recorded or side loaded, to avoid recent controversies between service providers and content owners. Furthermore, similar to Sling/EchoStar’s offerings, Monsoon’s solutions can also employ analog capture, providing a solution for streaming content to multiple screens anywhere.

“Strong demand from OEMs for our TV Anywhere technology has been the impetus behind our new licensing strategy,” said Paul Friedman, EVP of Business Development at Monsoon Multimedia. “We are currently the only proven independent one-stop-shop for companies looking to quickly deploy a live TV placeshifting solution for smartphones, tablets and computers.”

Monsoon’s integrated Placeshifting Linux modules
Monsoon has developed five integrated modules that enable semiconductor encoder companies to easily begin offering placeshifting capabilities. Including Adaptive Bit-Rate Encoding and Transcoding, Http Live Streaming (HLS) for Live Video Sources, Proprietary Streaming Protocol, Connection Management and Multi-Screen Client Technologies. Monsoon has already ported these modules on multiple encoders.

Monsoon will also make a large number of applications, such as YouTube, VoD, Web Browser, Time Shifting, UPnP/DLNA and other Smart TV applications, available as part of its licensing arrangements.

Adaptive Bit-Rate Encoding continuously measures the available network bandwidth and adjusts the encoding bit rate to deliver smooth video streaming Quality of Service (QOS) over a wide range of network conditions.

Http Live Streaming (HLS) has been extended by Monsoon to support a real-time bit-rate control method of delivering live video sources via the industry standard HLS protocol, without requiring pre-encoding and caching of multiple bit-rate copies of the file.

Proprietary Streaming Protocol moves video from inside the house to outside the house with much finer granularity of the video encoding and without requiring any router set up. UDP protocol with hole punching and NAT (Network Address Translator) traversal is deployed to eliminate the need for router port forwarding.

Connection Management is a secure cloud-based service that allows clients to connect to servers without using fixed IP addresses or DNS (Domain Named Service).

Multi-Screen Client Technologies include video playback of placeshifted live TV streams, recording and trick play (Pause/FF/RW) on clients, and virtual on-screen remote control for set-top boxes, EPGs and side loading. Client technologies are available on iPads, iPhones, Android smartphones and tablets, Blackberry phones and tablets, PCs and Macs.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Telesphere’s new enterprise-grade cloud videoconferencing service powered by BroadSoft, CounterPath and Polycom

PHOENIX, USA: Telesphere announced commercial availability of VideoConnect – a cloud-based, CapEx-free videoconferencing solution for business powered by BroadSoft’s BroadCloud Video, a hosted, enterprise-grade videoconferencing service incorporating the Polycom UC Intelligent Core software platform and open standards-based video collaboration solutions along with CounterPath’s Bria softphones.

By enabling one-to-one and group face-to-face communications, VideoConnect improves productivity, collaboration and relationships among customers, partners and employees. In packaging together the combined capabilities of BroadCloud Video, CounterPath and Polycom, Telesphere now offers businesses of any size cost-effective, enterprise-grade videoconferencing that employees can connect to ranging from room telepresence environments, desktops and the rapidly expanding user base of video-ready smartphones and tablet devices.

By using the BroadCloud Video call-bridging technology that is powered by the Polycom UC Intelligent Core software platform, Telesphere’s VideoConnect offers support for up to 12 simultaneous meeting participants across various videoconferencing platforms, endpoints and protocols during a single HD videoconference. This protocol- and vendor-agnostic approach allows participants using a wide variety of room-based videoconferencing systems, videophones and softphones to all see, talk with and hear one another immediately, offering businesses a range of choices at an affordable and predictable monthly subscription rate.

“VideoConnect makes video conferencing easy for every employee to use and extremely cost effective for every size business to deploy,” said Telesphere CEO Clark Peterson. “By working with BroadSoft, CounterPath and Polycom, Telesphere can now deliver enterprise-grade, cloud-based video communications to every conference room, office, business desktop and laptop in the world.”

In November 2010, Polycom extended its relationship with BroadSoft with the announcement of BroadSoft's BroadCloud video service. This cloud service is a hosted infrastructure that integrates with Polycom’s UC Intelligent Core software platform to enable leading service providers like Telesphere to lower the cost and complexity of delivering videoconferencing and unified communications (UC) services.

“Telesphere VideoConnect is exactly the type of service-provider offering BroadCloud Video was designed to enable – HD videconferencing that supports multiple devices and integrates seamlessly with key unified communications services, and can be offered with a pricing structure compelling to cost-sensitive and underserved mid-market enterprises,” said Leslie Ferry, vice president of marketing, BroadSoft. “We applaud Telesphere’s innovation in bringing a capex-free videoconferencing solution to market that we believe can accelerate adoption of video.”

“Polycom works closely with partners such as Telesphere and BroadSoft to deliver affordable, cloud videoconferencing solutions that can be offered as a service to customers,” said Sue Hayden, executive VP, Polycom. “Telesphere’s VideoConnect is powered by the Polycom UC Intelligent Core software platform and provides unmatched scalability, interoperability, reliability and security. Tailored for the tighter budgets and leaner staffs of emerging companies, cloud-delivered solutions like VideoConnect are integral to Polycom’s strategy to offer businesses, through our partner ecosystem, a fast on-ramp to the benefits of video collaboration and a flexible expansion path in line with their business growth.”

VideoConnect features an intuitive user interface (UI) with a nearly flat learning curve for employees. For example, when employees place a call from a videophone or a webcam-equipped personal computer using a softphone such as CounterPath’s Bria, Bria for BroadWorks, Telesphere’s infrastructure detects whether the called party also is video-enabled and, if so, automatically sets up a one-to-one video call. This design eliminates the need for employees to maintain separate videophones, additional numbers or special addresses for colleagues, clients and business partners.

Direct one-to-one video calls are free, while charges for group videoconference calls using the BroadCloud Video bridge are based on minutes and port usage.

Additional key VideoConnect features and functionality include:
* BroadCloud Video-enabled support for HD video quality at up to 1080p and connection via SIP, H.264, H.263, H.323 and H.320.
* Employees within the same company can use four-digit dialing for video calls.
* BroadCloud Video-enabled seamless integration of videconferencing with additional or existing enterprise and unified communications services such as web collaboration, IM and Presence, and HD voice.
* An intuitive UI that automatically displays the video feeds from the six most recent speakers, with the current one in the center pane.
* For videoconferences with more than two parties, a Telesphere-provided video attendant welcomes each participant to the bridge, requests a passcode and places them in a virtual waiting area if the conference hasn’t begun. This feature enables any size business to provide a highly professional, concierge-level user experience.
* Real-time monitoring that automatically moves participants back to the waiting area if the moderator unexpectedly drops.

“Business use of video conferencing has expanded from room-based systems, to dedicated desktop devices, quickly followed by laptops and desktop computers. Now we’re starting to see tablets and smartphones as endpoints, too,” said Todd Carothers, CounterPath’s senior VP, Products and Marketing. “It has reached a point where leading cloud communications companies like Telesphere can quickly deploy softphones as part of their VideoConnect service, lowering the cost of access and making participation much more widely available.”

Aberdeen Group projects increased demand for smart cards to continue

BANGALORE, INDIA: ActivIdentity Corp., a global leader in secure identity solutions, part of HID Global, today announced that Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Co., has published a new market alert titled “The Case for Smart Cards.”

The study, commissioned by ActivIdentity and HID Global, explored the RSA SecureID breach and subsequent industry shift toward smart cards. The resulting paper identifies the breach as the primary market driver for this trend along with the erosion of traditional network perimeters, the weakness of traditional username and password authentication methods, and the potential compromise of privileged systems and accounts.

According to two recent Aberdeen research studies – "The Zen of Network Access" (December 2010) and the "Q1 2011 Aberdeen Business Review" (May 2011) – there was a noticeable shift in market trends in the area of end-user authentication, showing a decreased use of OTP by a factor of 2.5- to 3-times, whereas the demand for smart cards increased by a factor of 1.5- to 2-times. As noted in the “The Case for Smart Cards” paper, the multi-factor authentication provided by smart cards makes elevation of access privileges (as seen in the RSA attack) considerably harder, and also inhibits untrustworthy insiders.

“The Case for Smart Cards” is available for free download on the ActivIdentity and HID Global websites. It outlines the following key factors and benefits that are driving the smart card market opportunity:

* The multi-purpose nature of smart-cards.
* Advancement in credential management systems that support the management of smart cards and card-based credential throughout their lifecycle.
* Greater vendor-integration and out-of-the-box support for essential capabilities, such as certificate authorities, hardware security modules and integration of card-based authentication with applications, networks, endpoints, servers, physical access management systems, etc.
* Greater flexibility and choice in terms of deployment models.

“Recent solution provider enhancements make smart cards more accessible to a broader market, especially small- and medium-sized organizations,” said Derek Brink, vice president and research fellow for IT Security at Aberdeen Group. “At the same time, the RSA breach and other headlines are raising industry awareness and prompting fresh consideration of strategies for end-user authentication.”

“The study makes it clear that the old, perimeter-based defense model that has been used for decades, is no longer effective by itself,” said Julian Lovelock, ActivIdentity’s senior director of product marketing. “Use at work of personal mobile devices, sophisticated malware and popularity of social networks are making it increasingly difficult to keep the perimeter secure. Companies are realizing that they need to implement strong authentication to secure access, even for users on the internal network.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CSR wireless audio platform brings HD voice, noise reduction and music streaming to new LG HBM-260

NEW DELHI, INDIA: CSR announced that the new LG HBM-260, the first Wideband Speech enabled Bluetooth mono headset from LG, was created using the CSR BC6145 Bluetooth audio platform, the first such solution to be qualified to the new Bluetooth HFP 1.6 profile. In addition to its high-quality HD voice capability, the LG HBM-260 headset also benefits from the BC6145’s support for CSR’s sixth-generation CVC bi-directional noise reduction technology and audio enhancements for superior call clarity, as well as A2DP1.2-based music streaming.

“We determined that one of the things consumers most want from a headset is crystal-clear voice calling quality, and have worked to develop a headset with HD voice support as quickly as possible,” said Harris Ahn, general manager of LG Accessory Product Business Leader Group. “Our continued close collaboration with CSR has helped us secure early entry to the market for HD Voice enabled headsets and allowed us to concentrate on the attractive design of our headset and ensure the high build quality our customers have come to expect from LG.”

The CSR BC6145 was the first mono headset platform in the world to support the newly-ratified HFP 1.6 Bluetooth profile, which includes Wideband Speech, often referred to as high definition voice or HD voice. As major wireless operators roll out HD voice services across their networks, the LG HBM-260 will rely on the mSBC Wideband Speech codec in the CSR BC6145 Bluetooth audio platform to give consumers one of the first products offering the benefits of HD voice’s significantly clearer and more natural speech quality, and the intelligibility improvements that result from this.

"CSR’s platform philosophy is to make it as easy as possible for customers like LG to offer consumers a superior audio experience with the latest features" said Anthony Murray, senior vice president of CSR’s Audio and Consumer Business Unit. "The early provision of wide band speech technology in our audio platform supports the roll out of HD Voice and coupled with CSR’s latest 6th Generation CVC audio enhancements we are able to meet demands for the highest quality audio, even in very noisy environments."

CSR’s BC6145 brings the enjoyment of music listening to the consumer using the mono A2DP streaming capability featured in the LG HBM-260. Consumers can now conveniently listen to music on their voice headset.

CSR’s BC6145 is built to deliver advanced Bluetooth audio functionality to a wide range of consumer audio devices. As well as mono headsets, the BC6145 is also suitable for after-market car kits and speakerphones, where it can greatly reduce the impact of speaker distortion and enhance the echo cancellation performance in the demanding noise environment of a car.

Dongbu CNI delivers cloud services powered by CA AppLogic cloud platform and Nimsoft unified manager

BANGALORE, INDIA: CA Technologies Korea announced that Dongbu CNI, Korea’s leading integrated IT service provider, has launched a cloud service platform using the CA AppLogic cloud platform, and Nimsoft Unified Manager.

Dongbu CNI, which is growing its cloud business as part of its next generation business milestone, selected CA AppLogic software and Nimsoft Unified Manager to implement key functionalities, such as provisioning and execution control, in a faster and more cost-effective way for its cloud service platform. Dongbu CNI will provide cloud services to small medium businesses (SMBs) and medical institutions, which are facing challenges in establishing dedicated data centers and attracting skilled IT staff.

CA AppLogic software offers a turnkey cloud computing platform that enables users to develop a virtual business service that consists of the application and the supporting infrastructure. The service is designed using a graphical tool, after which it can be hosted at either an on-premise data center or managed service provider.

The platform offers fully automated provisioning, so clients do not have to worry about aspects like migration and scaling. The CA AppLogic platform has received numerous industry accolades, including HostReview's Annual Web Hosting Award, which cited the software as one of the top 10 best cloud solutions, and the Cloud Computing World Series Award for Best Cloud Platform.

Nimsoft Unified Manager is an integrated solution for IT monitoring and service management that allows integrated management of all infrastructures, including server, storage, network and database in the IT and cloud environments, while improving the response time of applications and services. Through Nimsoft, companies are able to have greater visibility into the cloud environment and can provide high-availability services at affordable prices.

Record results from Microsoft

Ovum principal analyst Richard Edwards

AUSTRALIA: "It's the ‘quantity of motion’ that defines momentum, and even though some parts of the Microsoft machine may be slowing, others are picking up the pace nicely.

“Like its archrival Apple, Microsoft appears to be making plenty of money from the sale of consumer entertainment and tech devices, resulting in a 45 per cent revenue increase for the company's entertainment and devices division over the year. However, there was no mention of Windows Phone 7 in the Microsoft earnings press release, and so one doubts if Microsoft will ever catch iPhone and Android in the mobile phone market.

“Microsoft Office and server products got a mention in the earnings headline, and the company also stated that it had sold over 400 million Windows 7 licences. As a comparison, an estimated 30 million iPads have been sold to date. This is good news for the Microsoft business partner ecosystem, as it signifies there is still plenty of opportunity for the provision of services and solutions in the desktop market.

“With technical support for Windows XP due to end in less than a thousand days, conscientious businesses and institutions will soon have to make their move and upgrade to Windows 7, or Windows 8 if it's any good when it ships some time in 2012, and so this should give Microsoft and its service partners an added boost in the months ahead.

“Microsoft has exceeded analyst expectations and looks to have gained some momentum over the last 12 months: Steve Ballmer will be hoping this impetus can be sustained as the company places big bets on cloud, mobile, and of course Windows.”

Monday, July 25, 2011

In 2Q11, QoQ growth of 12.7 percent in large-sized panels reaching 177 million units

TAIWAN: According to the survey on global shipment of large-sized panel in Q2 by the research institute WitsView under TrendForce, there is a QoQ growth of 12.7 percent and YoY growth of 8 percent reaching 177 million units. However, WitsView also found that the YoYs of Q2 shipments of Netbook/LCD monitor/large-sized NB/LCD TV panels in Q2 are 4.9 percent/-0.1 percent/-5.7 percent/0.01 percent, respectively, excluding the strong growth of Tablet PC.

With the original forecast of growing demands for all kinds of application products, such weak performance of shipment YoY is an indication of cool-down demands for all related LCD devices among all major consumer markets in the first half of the year due to debt crisis in Europe and US and the inflation issue. With the over-supply of panels, downstream brands are confident that there will not be any panel shortage issue. Although panel price remains rather low recently, panel procurements in the first half of the year have been rather conservative due to ambiguous market demand and tighter control over inventory levels among downstream channels and brand name makers.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

In terms of applications: TV market in Q2 driven by the sales in China during May Day Holidays has been supportive to panel shipment leading to QoQ growth of 6.1 percent. The QoQ growth of monitor panel shipment is only 1.8 percent under the effects of offseason and prior inventory. The QoQ growth of Notebook panel shipment is 11.8 percent due to a QoQ growth of 7 percent of downstream shipment of entire machines.

The QoQ growth of shipment of tablet PC has been terrific at 108.3 percent stimulated by the introduction of new models from Apple and non-Apple vendors. Although the market of Netbook below 12.1” has been affected by tablet PC, second tier white-box makers have been installing Netbook panels on white-box tablet PCs such that the QoQ growth of Netbook panel shipment has been driven to 13.3 percent.

By observing the regional shipment of large-sized TFT-LCD panels in 2011, in Q2 Taiwanese panel makers such as AUO and CMI have all raised production capacity utilization rates for actively improving overall profit performance after being stimulated by market demands in China. They have been actively securing their relationships with downstream customers such that customer orders have not been shifting to their competitors. As a result, the overall share of panel shipments of Taiwanese panel makers only drop slightly to 40 percent from 40.5 percent, while the overall share of panel shipments of Korean panel makers has slightly climbed from 51.7 percent to 51.8 percent.

As for the shipment ratio of TV panels, due to the popularity of Taiwanese panels in China panel market, the re-stocking among customers in China market after May Labor Day Holidays, and the secured tie between Taiwanese panel makers and downstream customers, the market share of Taiwanese panel makers has bounced back to 41.9 percent from 41.1 percent, while the market share of Korean panel makers have also bounced back to 50.7 percent from 49.2 percent.

Japanese panel makers failed to actively restore their utilization rates due to earthquake and inventory issues such that their market share has dropped from 9.1 percent to 5.8 percent. BOE has aggressively attacked the market share of TV/IT panel markets based on its Gen6 line driving the growth of shipment ratio of China panel makers from 0.6 percent to 1.6 percent.

As for the shipment ratio of monitor panel, Taiwanese panel makers still hold the leading position in spite of the shipment ratio sliding from 45.6 percent to 43.8 percent. As for the shipment ratio of Tablet PC panels, along with CMI securing iPad2 panel order, and ensuing introductions of own brand Tablet PCs among non-Apple makers, the shipment ratio of Taiwanese panel makers has grown significantly from 9 percent to 21.2 percent.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

GIGABYTE A75 motherboards for AMD Llano A8 and A6 APUs

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: GIGABYTE TECHNOLGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, recently launched its latest series of motherboards supporting the new AMD A75 series chipsets, and the latest AMD A-Series APUs (codenamed Llano) that are set to take the world by storm with the best graphics performance ever seen on an onboard graphics processor.

GIGABYTE A75 based motherboards offer DIY PC builders and integrators a new world of 3D and multimedia performance with the most scalable, and best value upgrade path imaginable.

“At GIGABYTE, we are delighted to bring to market this new and exciting motherboard range, delivering our renowned durability and exceptional feature support to AMD’s ground breaking APU technology,” commented Henry Kao, VP of Worldwide Service and Marketing at GIGABYTE.

“As well as bringing AMD A-Series technology to DIY users who demand excellent gaming and multimedia performance on a budget, these motherboards also offer a compelling upgrade path that includes Dual Graphics configurations.”

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Isola Group announces membership in EICC

CHANDLER, USA: Isola Group, S.a.r.l. has joined the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) as an applicant member. The EICC is a coalition of electronics companies working together to improve efficiency and social responsibility in the global supply chain.

Isola fully supports the vision and mission of the EICC and is committed to meeting the high standards embodied in the EICC's code of conduct to create better social, economic and environmental outcomes for all those involved in the electronics industry. Isola will progressively align its operations with the provisions of the EICC's code of conduct and will encourage its first-tier suppliers to do the same.

Raymond Sharpe, Isola's president and CEO, commented: "Isola is proud to be an applicant member of the EICC and to join over 50 leading global companies in support of the EICC's code of conduct. We believe that the responsible stewardship of the environment and sustainable business practices promoted by the EICC are important to Isola's long-term success."

Friday, July 22, 2011

World's first IEEE 1901 full compliant LSI ready for stamping HD-PLC logo

FUKUOKA, JAPAN: HD-PLC Alliance, the world leader of the promotion and certification of powerline communication technologies and products, has announced the first full compliant IEEE 1901 BPL PHY and MAC standard based LSI is ready for certification of embedded products.

The world's first IEEE 1901 LSI, 'KHN13100 Chip Set' was developed by Kawasaki Microelectronics,Inc, which is a member company of HD-PLC Alliance. The products embedding this LSI are the 3rd generation of HD-PLC products. In addition to the full compliance to the IEEE 1901 Standard, the 3rd generation of HD-PLC products improves the total performance, reduces power consumptions, and downsizes the total circuit size.

The certification requirements defined by the alliance provide interoperability with all existing HD-PLC products and provide coexistence with other BPL technologies including other IEEE 1901 FFT OFDM based systems and Access BPL system. The coexistence specification, known as Inter-System Protocol (ISP), is mandatory in the IEEE 1901 standard. The same coexistence protocol was also approved as ITU-T G.9972 in June 2010, and also recently approved by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SGIP PAP15 as a mandatory requirement for all Broadband over Powerline (BPL) systems for home area network.

HD-PLC Alliance has recently announced a joint certification program for China named IGRS-PLC. IGRS-PLC certification is conducted in a special designated facility at National Engineering Laboratory for IGRS in Shenzhen, which is the first National Engineering Laboratory in China for Computer, Communication, and Consumer Electronics technologies. With this announcement, National Engineering Laboratory for IGRS is also ready for stamping the IGRS-PLC for China market.

"We dedicated over 5 years jointly with around 100 companies from the different countries and industries in the development of the IEEE 1901 standard. I am convinced this news is really encouraging not only the BPL industry but also whole communication industry, just like WiFi was a major break in the market after IEEE802.11 standard was released.", said Tomiya Miyazaki, vice president of HD-PLC Alliance.

"We are pleased with this announcement to become the world first supplier of IEEE 1901 full compliant HD-PLC LSI, 'KHN13100 Chip Set'. We hope to accelerate the wide adoption of this IEEE 1901 standard compliant products in the world." said Kyoichi Kissei, executive VP of Kawasaki Microelectronics Inc.

HP brings full TV and full PC experience to Indian households

NEW DELHI, INDIA: HP, the world’s number one desktop manufacturer, has introduced the HP Omni 200-5310IN, a desktop PC with Full TV and Full PC functionality. This desktop PC is an ideal balance of form and function, offering consumers the performance of a traditional tower and monitor solution in one sleek, integrated design that is ideal to serve the twin purpose of the second TV in your kid’s room and a fully functional powerful PC for your computing needs.

“With today’s announcement we are delighted to bring to the market a first of its kind desktop that is stylish, portable and perfect for comfortable TV viewing as well as the high performance computing needs of our consumers.” said Vinay Awasthi, Senior Director Product & Marketing (PSG), HP India. “We have always been forerunners in the technology space and with this launch we introduce a revolutionary experience in the desktop computing space that would fit perfectly into the Indian households.”

Full TV experience
Large 21.5” (54.61 cm) high definition screen, inbuilt speakers, windows 7 premium with media center for TV viewing, live TV recording, with an inbuilt TV tuner card (including remote control).

Full PC experience
It is also a complete PC with an Intel Dual core processor, 2GB RAM, 500GB Hard disk drive, DVD drive, Wireless LAN, inbuilt webcam, mic, speakers, USB ports and comes along with a standard keyboard, optical mouse and the latest Windows 7 Home Premium edition (64 bit).

Put your PC on display
From the easy set-up and elegant design, this all-in-one desktop fits anywhere and does everything you would expect of a full-featured PC, while keeping your world uncluttered, uncomplicated, and looking good.

Aberdeen Group projects increased demand for smart cards to continue

FREMONT, USA: ActivIdentity Corp., a global leader in secure identity solutions, part of HID Global, announced that Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Co., has published a new market alert titled “The Case for Smart Cards.”

The study commissioned by ActivIdentity and HID Global explored the RSA SecureID breach and subsequent industry shift toward smart cards. The resulting paper identifies the breach as the primary market driver for this trend along with the erosion of traditional network perimeters, the weakness of traditional username and password authentication methods, and the potential compromise of privileged systems and accounts.

According to two recent Aberdeen research studies – "The Zen of Network Access" (December 2010) and the "Q1 2011 Aberdeen Business Review" (May 2011) – there was a noticeable shift in market trends in the area of end-user authentication, showing a decreased use of OTP by a factor of 2.5- to 3-times, whereas the demand for smart cards increased by a factor of 1.5- to 2-times. As noted in the “The Case for Smart Cards” paper, the multi-factor authentication provided by smart cards makes elevation of access privileges (as seen in the RSA attack) considerably harder, and also inhibits untrustworthy insiders.

“The Case for Smart Cards” is available for free download on the ActivIdentity and HID Global website. It outlines the following key factors and benefits that are driving the smart card market opportunity:

* The multi-purpose nature of smart-cards.
* Advancement in credential management systems that support the management of smart cards and card-based credential throughout their lifecycle.
* Greater vendor-integration and out-of-the-box support for essential capabilities, such as certificate authorities, hardware security modules and integration of card-based authentication with applications, networks, endpoints, servers, physical access management systems, etc.
* Greater flexibility and choice in terms of deployment models.

“Recent solution provider enhancements make smart cards more accessible to a broader market, especially small- and medium-sized organizations,” said Derek Brink, vice president and research fellow for IT Security at Aberdeen Group. “At the same time, the RSA breach and other headlines are raising industry awareness and prompting fresh consideration of strategies for end-user authentication.”

“The study makes it clear that the old, perimeter-based defense model that has been used for decades, is no longer effective by itself,” said Julian Lovelock, ActivIdentity’s senior director of product marketing. “Use at work of personal mobile devices, sophisticated malware and popularity of social networks are making it increasingly difficult to keep the perimeter secure. Companies are realizing that they need to implement strong authentication to secure access, even for users on the internal network.”

ActivIdentity recently revealed best practices for avoiding enterprise security breaches and issued recommendations outlining three keys to success in addressing them.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

LCD TV outsourcing set to double as competition intensifies

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Worldwide production of liquid crystal display televisions (LCD TV) conducted by contract manufacturers is expected to nearly double from 2010 to 2015, as plummeting prices and eroding margins force many brands to outsource their factory operations, according to a new IHS iSuppli Global Manufacturing & Pricing report.

The two major segments of the outsourced electronics business—electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers and original design manufacturer (ODM) companies—together will produce 127.9 million LCD TVs in 2015, up from 65.1 million in 2010. The EMS and ODM companies will account for 43.0 percent of LCD TV unit production in 2015, up from 36.2 percent in 2010, as presented in Fig. 1.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

“The continued growth of the LCD TV industry during the last couple of years, in spite of the economic downturn, has further intensified the competition among television brands and contract manufacturers,” said Jeffrey Wu, senior analyst for EMS and ODM at IHS. “However, even amid this growth, prices have fallen, causing profit margins to dwindle and prompting brands to increase outsourcing to achieve greater cost efficiency.”

LCD TVs clearly have become the dominant segment in the flat-panel TV market and will continue to drive growth of the flat-panel TV industry. From the 2010 to 2015 period, LCD TV shipments are projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6 percent, expanding from 179.8 million units to 297.6 million units. In comparison, plasma television shipments will decrease from 19.6 million units to 8.6 million units, equivalent to negative 16.5 percent CAGR during the same period.

In order to capitalize on the growth momentum in the LCD TV industry, brands need to maintain attractive product lineups while containing their costs, Wu said.

Benefits from outsourcing LCD TVs
Beyond cost reductions, a host of other benefits can be obtained by manufacturers in outsourcing LCD TV brands, IHS iSuppli research shows.

One advantage is greater asset flexibility. A number of Japanese and South Korean brands operate LCD panel and module production plants in addition to LCD TV manufacturing facilities, which require significant capital expenditures and high overhead. These original equipment manufacturers (OEM) increasingly utilize contract manufacturers in order to improve asset flexibility, reduce headcount and contain operating expenses.

The use of contract manufacturing also mitigates the impact of exchange rate fluctuations. In particular, the Japanese yen’s appreciation by approximately 25 percent in the last three years has hurt the export business of Japanese brands, forcing many to resort to ODMs for lower-cost LCD TV manufacturing.

A third advantage is that EMS and ODM companies deliver an enhanced manufacturing footprint to help OEMs establish presence in the end market, allowing them to enjoy economies of scale and operate LCD TV activities across multiple locations cost effectively. Hon Hai and TPV, two of the largest LCD TV contract manufacturers, now conduct LCD TV manufacturing activities across Asia (mainly China), Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Finally, an increasing number of contract manufacturers offer vertically integrated production, delivering benefits such as cost savings and a leaner supply chain.

Among the leading Japanese brands, Toshiba has been the most aggressive in outsourcing. Sony also has been active on this front, initiating rounds of restructuring efforts in 2009 and divesting its LCD manufacturing facilities in Mexico and Slovakia, contributing to the increased use of contract manufacturers in the LCD TV industry.

IHS iSuppli previously estimated that the share of production of outsourced LCD TVs would surge to 35.1 percent in 2010, up from 27.5 percent in 2009. Further research suggests that the percentage of outsourced LCD TVs hit an all-time high in 2010 and reached 36.2 percent—a significant increase driven by Sony’s divestiture of its manufacturing facilities to Hon Hai, aka Foxconn.

Many troubled Japanese OEMs, including Sony, Sharp and Panasonic, may further increase their reliance on contract manufacturers in order to remain competitive in the LCD TV market.

UK 2012 helps create the largest manufacturing event in the UK

UK: Next year NEW:UK (National Electronics Week) will be co-locating with seven other industry events to create the largest manufacturing event in the UK with over 1,000 exhibiting companies, covering in excess of 37,000 square metres of exhibition space.

Claire Saunders, event director, comments: “In 2012 we want to build a bigger and better event for the industry, so we are announcing that NEW:UK will be co-locating with MACH, Drives and Controls, Air-Tech, Ifpex, Plant and Asset Management, Electrex and Independent Power, Energy and Electic Expo, to create the largest manufacturing event in the UK in 2012. These exhibitions will run side by side at the NEC transforming the Piazza into a must attend industry event.

“These co-located exhibitions are expected to attract over 33,000 visitors and will cover sectors such as test, measurement and inspection, assembly, automation and robotics, contract manufacturing, design, CAD/CAM, rapid manufacturing, rapid prototyping, power supplies, sensors and much more.”

Prior to this announcement NEW:UK had already signed up 40% of the space for next year’s show. Now with the move to Hall 2 it offers the opportunity to accommodate the demand for more space in a bigger hall. This co-location has already attracted the support of key industry associations and government with more announcements promised to be following soon.

NEW:UK 2012 will now take place on 18th-19th April 2012 in Hall 2 at the NEC Birmingham UK, strategically positioned to make most of the co-locating events and networking opportunities.

Wealth management industry IT spend in Asia-Pacific to top $4.6 billion by 2015

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Asia-Pacific spending on IT by the wealth management industry will top $4.6 billion by 2015, a significant growth rate of 8 percent over a five year period, predicts Ovum in a new forecast.

The independent technology analyst finds that the ramping up of technology spend by the sector will be driven by a return to better days for the industry, as the number of wealthy consumers looking for opportunities to invest their money slowly increases. In Asia-Pacific, China and India will be the major driver with a CAGR of 14 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively compared to 8 percent in Australia and 7 percent in Korea.

Ovum senior analyst, Jaroslaw Knapik, commented: “The recession had a big impact on the wealth management industry and it was one of the sectors that bore the brunt of the fall-out, resulting in growth in tech spend slowing considerably.

“With recovery now underway, the outlook for IT investment is much more positive. Strong growth in the Asia-Pacific market, a need to invest in channels such as internet services, and compliance requirements of new regulations such as Basel III, are all fuelling Asian growth in technology investment.”

All channels will see an impressive growth; however this increase will be stronger in the internet services. The high net worth banking and financial planning sectors of the Asia-Pacific wealth management industry will increase spending in this area by 8.6 per cent from the beginning of 2011 to the end of 2015. Meanwhile in the retail brokerage sector growth will be 7.3 percent for the same period and in retail asset management, 8.6 percent.

Knapik commented: “The need to create websites and applications that allow customers and financial advisors access to company websites via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will drive some of this growth in internet spend. Much of the rest will come from upgrading online services with personal financial management tools and closer integration of the online channel with middle and back office technology such as product origination, customer information or investment and portfolio management systems."

Ovum’s forecast shows that while there will be healthy growth in IT spend by the wealth management industry in Australia, China, India and Korea, that is slightly above the global figure of 6.5 percent.

“While the amount of money spent on IT will be greater in the developed world, emerging Asia-Pacific market is set for explosive growth in the next five years,” concluded Knapik.

Blackmagic Design releases support for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

MILPITAS, USA: Blackmagic Design released a new software update for its desktop video products that adds full support for the new Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. This Desktop Video 8.2 software update includes support for Apple’s new Core Video and Core Audio processing pipelines for professional grade video and audio functionality across a wide variety of applications.

Core Media is the new exciting way video hardware devices capture and playback to software applications and it's the future of video API's on the Mac OS X platform. Blackmagic Design is the first company to support this new standard, right from the very first day it's available to customers. Now all developers can design modern 64 bit video software and get high performance capture and playback to hardware, while having the benefit of high quality broadcast solutions for video with new Core Media technology.

“Our close relationship with Apple has enabled Blackmagic Design to take full advantage of the many exciting new features in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, such as Core Video and Core Audio, from the very first day of its release,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. ”Our customers are constantly looking for performance improvements to their workflows and they will not be disappointed when they upgrade to the incredible new performance of Mac OS X 10.7 and Blackmagic Design products.”

This new software update supports all of Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink, Intensity, Multibridge and H.264 Pro Recorder products.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Atlona expands DisplayLink-certified device offering for extending PC content to multiple screens

PALO ALTO & SUNNYVALE, USA: DisplayLink, the leading provider of technology for virtual graphics and USB-connected computing, announced that global manufacturer Atlona Technologies has delivered a trio of cutting-edge connectivity solutions that incorporate DisplayLink-certified USB technology. These products unleash the power and reach of personal computers, providing them with more display output capabilities.

Atlona’s solution lineup includes the AT-HDPiX2, AT-PCLINK, and AT-AiR3. Each of these three Atlona products, with DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology, provides a unique way to extend notebook content from Intel-based Mac or Windows PCs to a variety of displays for more business and entertainment versatility.

“Atlona has a comprehensive product offering that allows for content from your notebook (Mac or PC) to be enjoyed on almost any screen,” said Dennis Crespo, executive VP of marketing and business development at DisplayLink. “Whether you are extending to a second monitor or an HDTV, the uses for simple connectivity between computer and display become endless.”

“Together with DisplayLink, business users and consumers alike can untether their content from wherever the computer sits,” commented Michael Khain, CEO of Atlona Technologies. “These are simple solutions with big computing rewards.”

LogMeIn acquires Pachube, takes aim at Internet of things

BANGALORE, INDIA: LogMeIn Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based connectivity solutions, has completed the acquisition of the Pachube service and substantially all other assets of Connected Environments Ltd.

Pachube (pronounced “Patch Bay”) is a web-based service for connecting people and devices to the Internet of Things – a network of sensor-enabled devices publishing and sharing data that some predict will exceed 50 billion devices worldwide by the next decade[1]. This acquisition furthers LogMeIn’s investment in highly scalable connectivity and data sharing platforms, and extends its reach beyond computers, smartphones and tablets to potentially all Internet-connectable devices.

“We believe the volume of devices coming online and the amount of data they will generate will dwarf the Internet as we know it today,” said Michael Simon, CEO of LogMeIn. “This investment extends our Gravity platform for scalable, secure connectivity and storage into the universe of smart and embedded devices and the complex systems that the Internet of Things makes possible. The Pachube team has a deep understanding of the technical challenges and opportunities that this phenomenon represents, and we believe they’ve built a service that will change the way people interact with their devices, their environment and each other.”

Pachube service and user community
Pachube is an Internet of Things pioneer. Their service, launched in 2008, offers real-time monitoring and management of any type of connected device. Pachube makes it easy for people to connect their devices and sensors to its service, to publish data, and to receive data and instructions from other devices.

The Pachube service also collects and stores the published datastreams for further analysis and visualization. Using the Pachube service, individuals, developers and businesses can create applications, services and products that leverage the data created by these connected devices. In doing so, Pachube empowers people to share, collaborate and make use of the information generated by the world around them. Currently, Pachube users send more than seven million datapoints to the service each day.

The Internet of things, smart devices
New classes of devices are increasingly becoming Internet-enabled. Energy monitors, home appliances, health monitors, environmental sensors, automotive components – all manner of electronic, sensor-enabled devices are becoming capable of connecting to the Internet.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, executives from Verizon and Ericsson estimated that the number of Internet-connected devices will reach between 50 and 60 billion by the end of the decade. Moving beyond the challenge of simply connecting to a single device, the Internet of Things envisions that devices and the data exchanged between them will form new complex systems -- better energy management systems, smarter homes, smarter cities. When devices work together and people can make use of data from a collection of diverse datastreams, the result is better control of these complex systems and a better understanding of IT, physical and even environmental systems.

“We are very excited to join LogMeIn, an ideal partner for Pachube. Together, we are in a strong position to bring our shared vision for the Internet of Things to fruition,” said Pachube’s founder, Usman Haque.

“We believe uniting the Pachube and LogMeIn teams, who have an expertise in building both large-scale user communities and the secure platforms to support them, will accelerate the growth of Pachube’s global community, introduce Pachube to new people and markets and enable companies to develop products that leverage our service. LogMeIn understands Pachube’s mission and brings the resources, knowledge and experience that will help us deliver our goal of providing the world’s leading open, interoperable platform for the Internet of Things.”

Terms and financial impact
Under the terms of the transaction, LogMeIn acquired Pachube for approximately $15 million in cash, a portion of which is performance and retention based and is expected to be paid over time. In addition to the amortization of the acquisition cost, LogMeIn will absorb approximately $1 million per quarter in ongoing operating costs related to the operation of the Pachube business.

Desktop virtualisation poses risky problem for CIOs

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: CIOs see selecting the right technology provider for their desktop virtualisation strategy as a “significant risk”, according to Ovum.

In a new report, the independent technology analyst claims that CIOs harbour concerns about the immaturity of the market and some are reticent to take the plunge for fear of purchasing the wrong solution for their enterprise.

Roy Illsley, author of the report and Ovum principal analyst, commented: “CIOs are coming under increasing pressure due to the escalating cost of maintaining corporate-owned remote PCs and laptops, demands for more end-user flexibility and mobility, and the proliferation of personal mobile devices in the workplace.

“Desktop virtualisation can go a long way towards alleviating these issues. However, the move away from business PCs towards desktop virtualisation has been hampered by the fragmented market.

“The general view is that as the market is relatively immature; selecting the correct technology represents a significant risk because nobody wants to invest in the Betamax of the desktop virtualisation world.”

Ovum’s research has found that desktop virtualisation currently represents approximately 15 percent of the business PC market. However, this figure is dominated by the traditional terminal services model (12 percent), typically used in call centre-type environments, and has been for the last 10 years.

If terminal services are excluded, the next generation of solutions aimed at CIOs, from the likes of VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft, hold less then three per cent of the market, showing that many CIOs are holding back from taking the plunge. In addition, Ovum has found that most CIO deployments are small scale, and the number of large deployments is few and far between.

VMware and Citrix are currently the most dominant vendors in the space and between them account for 83 percent of the market. However, while Microsoft only holds 11 percent market share, its range of technologies is beginning to make gains. Meanwhile, niche solutions will continue to be developed, leading to more choice for CIOs, but more confusion about which vendor to back.

Illsley added: “A recent CIO survey Ovum conducted found that simplifying the management of desktops to reduce costs and increasing business agility were the top two reasons for implementing desktop virtualisation, so awareness of the potential benefits is high.

“But an often overlooked aspect is the need to shift thinking from a device-centric perspective to a user-centric one. This is where adjacent solutions from the likes of AppSense, RES Software, and Centrix Software in the user-virtualisation space become important considerations to any desktop strategy.

“Defining a strategy centred on the user is the first step many should take, then CIOs could select the best approach for users’ needs.”

Harry Potter: Record box office is just the beginning of the cash bonanza for Warner Bros.

EL SEGUNDO, USA: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2” achieved a record-opening weekend at the box office with $168 million domestically, positioning it to outperform “Deathly Hallows - Part 1”, which earned a total of $295 million after an opening weekend of $125 million.

IHS estimates that “Deathly Hallows - Part 1” generated $153 million in theatrical revenue to the studio, and expects the title to pull in another $150 million in US video revenue for Warner Bros. from its initial release on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

The first six films in the series—“Sorcerer's Stone,” “Chamber of Secrets,” “Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Goblet of Fire,” “Order of the Phoenix” and “The Half-Blood Prince” — shipped an estimated 89 million video units in their initial releases to the US video market during the past eight years, as presented in the table. This single revenue source more than covered the total estimated production budget of $1.4 billion for the entire film series, which includes an IHS Screen Digest preliminary budget estimate of $260 million for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.”

Even with the recent declines in US packaged video sales, a major hit can still match the theatrical revenue to the studio when it arrives on video some four months later. The only thing that might keep the initial US video release of “Deathly Hallows - Part 2” from matching—or exceeding—its domestic box-office revenue for Warner Bros. is if the theatrical total pushes much past $500 million. Once a film reaches those exalted levels, it becomes hard for video sales to keep up.

“Beyond that initial video release, the ‘Harry Potter’ series will continue to sell to new generations of kids for decades to come,” Saxton said. “It used to be that only Disney had such evergreens, a fact that prompted all the studios to jump into the animation business as the home video market developed. But ‘Harry Potter’ video sales will likely prove far more lucrative than those of other children’s franchises.

“First of all, there is the book, as well as merchandise and theme park support to help keep interest alive, though other franchises have some or all of that. However, the real difference is that once a kid is hooked on the first book and begins to beg his parents for the movie, Warner gets that sale—and almost inevitably, seven more soon thereafter.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fidus Systems celebrates major booking with Silicon Valley customer

OTTAWA & MILPITAS, CANADA: Fidus Systems Inc., a leader in Electronic Product Development, Staff Augmentation, and Consulting Services, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded, and has commenced, the design of a high-performance, high-reliability PCIe card for a major Silicon Valley Customer.

"In delivering this program, Fidus will draw on its expertise in computing platforms, power systems, high-speed memory, signal integrity, and reliability engineering," says John Bobyn, Fidus VP, Engineering. "These are exciting times for Fidus — Not only are we looking forward to delivering a world-class product, but also building a long term relationship with our customer."

Why Fidus? Our customer explains: "We can rely on Fidus to take our flag-ship product to market. During our evaluation phase we met with the Fidus Management and Engineering teams. The Management showed commitment, maturity, and experience in understanding the core challenges of delivering Enterprise quality, while Engineering showed hands-on, specific expertise in the areas of hardware design, signal integrity, and reliability. Fidus' work to date has validated our assessment."

Fidus' other Enterprise developments have included: SAS/SATA Solid State Drives (SSDs), Security Devices, Processor Systems, and Server Monitoring platforms. This extensive experience makes Fidus a compelling solution to undertake your next product design.

Fortemedia SAM VE technology powers next generation voice processing solution for smartphones and tablets

SUNNYVALE, USA: Fortemedia’s FM34-500 is the latest dual microphone noise suppression and echo cancellation chip for mobile applications based on its SAM VE. The voice inclusion zone created by SAM VE thoroughly isolates caller’s voice and filters out unwanted background noises. The result is a pure and clear full duplex conversation with superior voice quality for mobile communications and voice search applications.

To accommodate various holding positions for smartphones, FM34-500 extends the effective noise suppression from the handset mode to look-and-talk mode (landscape profile) with the same microphone placement.

A conferencing function is supported by Fortemedia’s proprietary Far-Field-Pickup technology in FM34-500, where the Tx voice remains the same loudness level wherever the users speak within a five-meter range.

The FM34-500 automatically calibrates the digital microphones in every power up process in order to simplify the sourcing, reduce production cost, shorten time-to-market significantly, and lengthen the end product’s life cycle.

In addition, FM34-500 allows a broad range of sampling rates from 8KHz, 16KHz (wide band voice) and up to 48KHz with a sample rate conversion. With the lowest power consumption (18mW) and smallest footprint (6.25mm2), FM34-500 meets the demands from the power-sensitive and space-limited mobile devices.

Key features:
* Up to 74dB Acoustic Echo Cancellation with 64-100ms tail length.
* Up to 37dB non-stationary noise suppression and 35dB stationary noise suppression (Tx).
* Up to 12dB stationary noise suppression on the receive end (Rx).
* Bright Voice Engine technology improves intelligibility of loudspeaker output in the presence of loud ambient noises.
* Far field pick up for conference applications
* Dynamic Range Control, Bandwidth Expansion, and bi-directional Equalization.
* Internal 32Ω speaker driver and 1.2V LDO to minimize external components.
* Flexible clock sources: 3-32MHz plus 38.4 and 48MHz.

Santur ramps-up production of 10X10 MSA compliant 100Gbps CFP optical modules

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: To extend its leadership in delivering photonic integrated solutions with disruptive cost per bit and unmatched energy efficiency, Santur announced the general availability of its 100Gbps CFP Optical Modules compliant with 10X10 MSA.

The 2Km reach of this new version of Santur’s 100Gbps CFP Optical Modules bridges the gap between 100m multi-mode and 10Km Single Mode Fiber (SMF) solutions enabling the roll-out of new networks capable of delivering exponentially higher bandwidth at a significantly lower cost per bit. Unlike 100m Multi Mode based on ribbons of fiber, this solution operates on a conventional Single Mode Fiber (SMF) enabling extended reach of 2Km. Compared with other 4x25G 100Gbps implementations for single-mode fiber, this approach does not require 25Gbps electronics such as gearbox ICs to convert 10Gbps data streams to intermediate 25Gbps lanes.

“For more than 20 years, we have been discussing the possibility of integrating multiple active optical components on a single chip to reduce cost and power. Over time, several companies have tried but none offered such high level of integration that allowed us to meet our cost and power targets,” said Paul Meissner, president and CEO of Santur. “The hybrid integration platform scales to higher data rates and wider WDM lanes to create many product variants based on a common architecture targeted at cost effectively meeting the needs to expand the global Internet infrastructure.”

Santur’s new 100Gbps CFP Optical Modules, which entered full-scale production in early June, deliver disruptive cost per bit at 100Gbps comparable to that of 10G XFP modules shipping today. Based on volume production pricing, the new 100Gbps CFP module will have an entry point of below $5K in 100 units or higher volumes. In addition to enabling lower cost, the new modules further improve the energy efficiency by slashing max power dissipation down to 13W to match power per bit metrics comparable to 10Gbps SFP+ optical modules.

Imbalanced panel supply-demand continues under gloomy European and US economies

TAIWAN: According to the survey announced by the research institute WitsView under TrendForce on latest shipment of large-sized panels in June, the total shipment of large-sized panels in June 2011 are 59.53 million units with MoM regression of 2.8 percent and YoY growth of 8 percent.

Surprising YoY -1.2 percent and -3.3 percent of shipments of large-sized panels in May and June
However, as indicated by the WitsView analyst Jien-Ann Chen, if we exclude the shipment of red hot Tablet PC panels this year and only compare shipments of LCD TV/LCD monitor/large-sized NB/Netbook panels in the first half of this year with the number during the same timeframe in 2010, we will see the YoY -1.2 percent and -3.3 percent of panel shipments in May and June, respectively.

According to WitsView’s observation on the panel shipment trend from 2006~2010, there have been positive growths among YoYs of every May and June. This year the market scales of LCD TV, LCD monitor, and large-sized NB have also been predicted to have positive growths. Therefore, the YoY regressions in May and June this year is an indication of the lack of consumer confidence in European and US markets in the first half of 2011 due to the debt crisis in Europe and high unemployment rate and pending debt ceiling issue in US, while worsening global inflation issue has also led to weak buying power of end market.

In this gloomy atmosphere, downstream customers have been much more conservative than usual with their stock preparation attitudes under the pressures of quarterly and semi-annual financial reports.

Sufficient endurance of tablet PC demand led by i-Pad
From the perspectives of applications, even with promotion slogans of 3D features and LED stylish design, the sales performances of all TV brands have been mediocre under the effect slow economic recoveries in Europe and US. The TV panel shipment in June is around 16.76 million units, which is almost identical with the shipment in May.

The latest prediction of global LCD TV demand by WitsView has been modified downward to 203~205 million (unit) from 211 million (unit); IT market has also been weak with monitor panel shipment at 16.13 million units in June with MoM regression of 7.2 percent; the shipment of NB panels is 15.71 million units with MoM regression of 4.3 percent. The only application product with contrarian growth is tablet PC panel with shipment at 7.23 million units and MoM growth of 8 percent. The shipment of Netbook is 3.68 million units with MoM regression of 8.9 percent.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

Key for operations of panel makers in Q3: performance of utilization rate, and steady outlet
WitsView analyst Jien-Ann Chen has pointed out that downstream brand customers have been taking conservative procurement strategies with respect to large-sized panels (excluding Tablet PC panel) in Q2 this year.

There are four major reasons for the YoY shipment regressions in May and June this year:
1) the ensuing production capacity expansions were too large to be digested by growing panel demand, leading to imbalance between supply and demand;
2) the introduction of Tablet PC has been attracting both the attentions and buying powers of global consumers such that the growths of demands for other LCD application products have been directly or indirectly squeezed;
3) buying powers among end consumers have been suppressed because recovery of the global economy has been impeded by various natural and man-made calamities such as debt crisis in Europe, global inflation, and the earthquake in Japan;
4) asymmetric variation of regional demand where the growth of demand for LCD devices in the emerging market has not been enough to fill the blank created by slowed down demands for LCD products in European and US markets. All these factors have led to low panel prices with no signs of recovery in recent months.

For panel makers, to modify their operating strategies for facing the hot seasons in the second half of the year, steady panel outlet and reasonable utilization have been the most crucial factors in Q3. Korean panel makers have their own brands for support; on the contrary, panel makers in Taiwan and China will face great challenges in their wisdom and determination in order to blaze new trails in terms of price, utilization rate, and operating profit.

NI announces closing of AWR acquisition

INDIA: National Instruments announced the successful completion of its acquisition of AWR Corporation (AWR) as planned and as previously announced on May 23. Effective July 1, AWR, a leading supplier of electronic design automation (EDA) software for designing RF and high-frequency components and systems for the semiconductor, aerospace and defense, communications and test equipment industries, will operate as a wholly owned NI subsidiary under the leadership of the existing management team.

The fast design cycles and increasing complexity of RF and wireless systems demand more integration between design and test. RF system designers need to validate their simulations with actual measurements, while RF test engineers need to increase test reuse and decrease test time through more design integration. By increasing the level of integration between AWR design tools and NI test software and hardware, NI and AWR can significantly improve customer productivity through increased connectivity between design, validation and production test functions.

“We are excited to welcome AWR into the National Instruments family,” said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and cofounder of National Instruments. “The full suite of AWR design tools in combination with a complete RF testing platform from NI will give customers a solution to decrease the time to market of their RF designs.”

NI and AWR both understand and embody the value of high-quality software design tools and world-class customer support. The acquisition strengthens both core software brands – primarily NI LabVIEW and AWR Microwave Office – as it reinforces their breadth and credibility while positioning both as unique but complementary tools in the RF design flow. Additionally, the companies can better service key accounts that use both companies’ tools through a worldwide sales infrastructure that provides local support, a critical requirement for multinational customers.

Customers should continue to contact each company through their respective channels.

CSR wireless audio platform brings HD voice, noise reduction and music streaming to new LG HBM-260

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND & SAN JOSE, USA: CSR announced that the new LG HBM-260, the first Wideband Speech enabled Bluetooth mono headset from LG, was created using the CSR BC6145 Bluetooth audio platform, the first such solution to be qualified to the new Bluetooth HFP 1.6 profile.

In addition to its high-quality HD voice capability, the LG HBM-260 headset also benefits from the BC6145’s support for CSR’s sixth-generation CVC bi-directional noise reduction technology and audio enhancements for superior call clarity, as well as A2DP1.2-based music streaming.

“We determined that one of the things consumers most want from a headset is crystal-clear voice calling quality, and have worked to develop a headset with HD voice support as quickly as possible,” said Harris Ahn, general manager of LG Accessory Product Business Leader Group. “Our continued close collaboration with CSR has helped us secure early entry to the market for HD voice enabled headsets and allowed us to concentrate on the attractive design of our headset and ensure the high build quality our customers have come to expect from LG.”

The CSR BC6145 was the first mono headset platform in the world to support the newly-ratified HFP 1.6 Bluetooth profile, which includes Wideband Speech, often referred to as high definition voice or HD voice. As major wireless operators roll out HD voice services across their networks, the LG HBM-260 will rely on the mSBC Wideband Speech codec in the CSR BC6145 Bluetooth audio platform to give consumers one of the first products offering the benefits of HD voice’s significantly clearer and more natural speech quality, and the intelligibility improvements that result from this.

"CSR’s platform philosophy is to make it as easy as possible for customers like LG to offer consumers a superior audio experience with the latest features," said Anthony Murray, senior VP of CSR’s Audio and Consumer Business Unit. "The early provision of Wideband Speech technology in our audio platform supports the roll out of HD voice and coupled with CSR’s latest 6th Generation CVC audio enhancements we are able to meet demands for the highest quality audio, even in very noisy environments."

CSR’s BC6145 brings the enjoyment of music listening to the consumer using the mono A2DP streaming capability featured in the LG HBM-260. Consumers can now conveniently listen to music on their voice headset.

CSR’s BC6145 is built to deliver advanced Bluetooth audio functionality to a wide range of consumer audio devices. As well as mono headsets, the BC6145 is also suitable for after-market car kits and speakerphones, where it can greatly reduce the impact of speaker distortion and enhance the echo cancellation performance in the demanding noise environment of a car.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Freedom of choice in platforms

David Owen, Business Development Manager, and Bob Stasonis, Marketing Manager Pickering Interfaces USA

USA: This year has seen three test platforms continuing to develop their market message and attract new users from older platforms such as GPIB and VXI, the choices seem to continue to expand for users. From a professional and a business standpoint, we see the choices as good for both vendors and customers as it allows for a broader range of applications to be supported by a greater number of products and platforms that address every budget and requirement. In this short article, we point out where the various platforms appear to be headed and why, from a Pickering standpoint, the freedom of choice is a good thing.

LXI milestone
The LXI Consortium has announced that by May 2011 it has certified more than 1,500 products from 35 different vendors since products were first launched in December 2005. That is particularly impressive since the consortium requires third party certification of LXI Devices to ensure vendors maintain the interoperability standards set by the specification for Ethernet (LAN) controlled instruments.

What does that mean for the vendors and users of LXI products? First of all, it certainly ensures that complete test systems can easily be assembled with a number of LXI products. Second, certification reinforces the robustness of the Ethernet interface and its widespread availability on computing platforms and ensures that it has the same feel and stability associated with GPIB systems. For vendors, it validates that their product line is compatible with all LXI products.

For Pickering Interfaces the core of our business is PXI based switching systems, but we have invested heavily in the LXI platform for good business reasons.

Doing the impossible in LXI
Many of our dedicated LXI solutions were simply impractical to implement in a PXI form factor. PXI imposes modular mechanical constraints on product design and when there is a requirement for a large and/or very complex switching system, it simply will not fit. Creating a cross-point matrix for example with 4,000 off 2A rated relays requires a great number of modules to be interconnected, often completely filling or exceeding the capacity of a single PXI chassis.

Some products require the use of large components such as microwave relays which simply take too much of the space in a PXI chassis, in doing so inflating the real cost of the switch and taking up valuable rack space. Each PXI module has its own overhead from the PCI interface it carries and the slots it occupies in the chassis.

In comparison the LXI platform requires its own LAN controller interface – Granted, a higher cost than the PCI interface on PXI – and its own case system to support its switch payload which is typically much lower cost than the PXI chassis. An added advantage is that external cabling is usually greatly simplified as any inter-module is eliminated as it is handled internally. In the case of a large complex switching application, the overall cost advantage can be a 40 percent saving or even more.

So, for Pickering Interfaces, the advantages of LXI are clear, they enable us to provide switching systems with LXI which are hard, impossible or uneconomical to do in PXI. It is not just switching systems these arguments apply to, in almost all product categories of test and measurement there are clear differences in what can be achieved in one platform compared to another. The differences may lie in measurement traceability, accuracy or particular areas of performance and they vary from one category to another.

PXI and AXIe market growth
PXI continues with its own milestones and the entry into this market of Agilent Technologies is certainly a very major event that will ensure the continued adoption of that platform into wider markets. We believe it is a very welcome event and one that will help expand the overall PXI market size and increase its adoption as the primary modular standard.

PXI is not the only modular standard that is growing. AXIe also has its adopters for higher performance systems and has embedded interfaces based on both LXI and PXI. More options on the platform of choice arise with Pickering Interfaces supporting its PXI switching modules in an LXI controlled modular chassis, so sales of Pickering PXI switching modules can be placed in an LXI or or a PXI controlled environment.

Summary
It is unusual to have three relatively new (in terms of test and measurement) standards making market progress at the same time, but it seems the future for test and measurement is principally with these growing instrumentation standards. Users have more choice, that is good news for the industry and vendors have the opportunity to promote the platform that best suits their products knowing that all three standards will have their place in test systems.

Eurotech selected by DRS Defense Solutions for ultra low-power embedded computing platform

COLUMBIA, USA: Eurotech, a leading supplier of embedded technologies, products, and systems, has been selected to supply embedded computers to DRS Defense Solutions. The program is expected to require some thousands of embedded computers over a three-year period, for a program value estimated at more than $2 million.

The Eurotech Catalyst TC modules will provide the embedded computing platform, along with carrier card, for communications equipment for security applications from DRS Signal Solution. Initial deliveries begin this year with production volumes anticipated in the following two years.

"We selected Eurotech for this program for several reasons, including their ability to deliver products based on the latest technology in time to meet our development commitments. In addition, we have consistently found Eurotech to offer the most efficient products when it comes to power management and low heat dissipation," said Aaron Hankins, VP, Tactical Terminals for DRS ICAS, a DRS Defense Solutions business unit.

"Eurotech values the long-term relationship we have with DRS," explains Greg Nicoloso, CEO for Eurotech North America. "Together we have worked on many programs, and Eurotech is committed to delivering the embedded products and high-quality support DRS requires and deserves. With this strong history and firm commitment, we look forward to the successful, timely launch of this new program as well."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Myriad Group announces $10 million Taiwanese deal to power Blu-ray solutions

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: Myriad Group AG, a global leader in mobile technology having shipped over 3.8 billion software applications on more than 2.2 billion phones, announced a $10 million customer contract renewal with a leading Taiwanese semiconductor company, which extends the partnership through to 2013.

Since 2007, Myriad Group has worked with customers to offer game-changing technologies for the Blu-ray industry. Under the renewed contract, Myriad Group will integrate its Jbed Advanced CDC technology into Blu-ray chip technology to offer one complete, high-performance solution. Myriad's ongoing collaboration with companies in this sector will continue to dramatically enhance Blu-ray chip performance, while accelerating shipments to fuel further expansion into the APAC region.

Leveraging its deep expertise in embedded software technology, Myriad's Jbed Advanced CDC solution, a powerful, fully compliant Java ME platform, enables Java programs and Java-based middleware to quickly and seamlessly improve user experience through faster start-up and response times.

"All metrics continue to indicate APAC as one of the fastest growing regions for consumer electronics, including Blu-ray," said Simon Wilkinson, CEO of Myriad Group. "We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationships in the region, and we are eager to carry on playing an integral part in supplying the cutting-edge solutions needed to fuel growth in the APAC marketplace as well as further afield."