Friday, May 31, 2013

KATHREIN TechnoTrend presents new generation of hybrid receivers for DVB, IPTV, OTT and HbbTV environment

GERMANY: KATHREIN TechnoTrend (KTT), one of the leading international developers and suppliers of innovative digital technology, is presenting for the first time its new TT-smart device series at this year’s ANGA COM trade fair from 4th to 6th of June in Cologne.

With these new devices based on BroadCom chipsets enabling tailored OTT, HbbTV and SmartTV solutions, KATHREIN TechnoTrend is establishing itself as partner for network operators and platform providers in the international operator market.

The new receiver portfolio with modern design ranges from DVB and IPTV Zappers with embedded Conax, Verimatrix, Irdeto or Nagravision CA systems and CI+ modules over powerful hybrid receivers and PVRs with own and third party middleware to OTT- and cloud-based solutions.

KATHREIN TechnoTrend’s unique open-API middleware PHOENIX enables KTT and our partner system middleware providers to adapt to specific customer requirements and thus allows versatile new business models to operators.

The new SmartTV platform, which was implemented in cooperation with FOXXUM, one of the leading specialists in SmartTV solutions, gives access to over 250 SmartTV apps. In addition, KTT offers newly integrated solutions for Video-on-Demand, Catch-Up TV und IP-Streaming. At the ANGA COM premiere, KTT will also be showing its home networking solutions for multi-screen and multi-device applications, such as LiveTV streaming or uPnP applications.

CDNetworks launches cloud portal for all devices including Apple iOS

USA: CDNetworks announced the enhanced Cloud Portal.

Customers can now access real-time traffic reports on any device including Apple iOS, Mac OS, Android, and Windows. Granular user management allows companies with many domains and reseller partners to precisely manage who sees usage and traffic reporting for each domain or customer.

"We are very excited to provide this enhanced portal experience for our customers,” said Jeff Kim, president and COO, CDNetworks. “Accessing the portal anywhere, from any device helps our customers make critical decisions on web resources and performance.”

Traffic data is instantly available in the portal with menus reduced from ten to three for consolidated views and fewer clicks to data. Three entry points exist for easy access to statistics and monitoring on Traffic, Visitors, and Content.

Gumstix announces customizable 3.5" touchscreen device

USA: Gumstix Inc., the premier provider of Linux computers-on-module (COM) for electronics manufacturers, announced the Alto35, an expansion board built entirely with Gumstix' Geppetto custom design platform.

The Alto35 replaces Gumstix' Palo35 Overo-series expansion board, offering all of the same off-the-shelf features and the added benefit of customizability via Geppetto.

Like its predecessor, the Alto35 features a 3D accelerometer, audio in/out jacks, two USB mini-B jacks and a console port. The Alto35 also adds an RC servo, LEDs in four different colors, two tactile switches and an included 3.5" resistive touch-screen display from InTouch Electronics to the expansion board. All Overo computers-on-module are compatible with the Alto35 expansion board, providing access to the versatile software solutions supported by Gumstix, including Linaro Ubuntu with Robot Operating System and the Yocto Project for easy development.

The standard Alto35 expansion board can be ordered from Gumstix; and cloning and customization to custom specifications takes just three weeks with Geppetto. Embedded developers can leverage the availability of the Alto35 as a pre-built product for evaluation, with Geppetto-customized boards later offering greatly enhanced potential for tailored solutions and certain compatibility. Geppetto users may choose to keep customizations private, or share their version of the Alto35 with the Geppetto developer community.

The Alto35 is available for $89.

Blue Star Infotech to make strategic investment in Activecubes

INDIA: Blue Star Infotech Ltd has entered into definitive agreements for a strategic alliance and investment in the equity of Activecubes Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., a global firm operating in the Decision Management Space. Activecubes is a leading provider of Business Intelligence and Analytics solutions.

Emerging technologies such as BI/ Analytics and mobility are a key component of the company’s strategic focus areas for growth in the near future and this alliance will enable Blue Star Infotech to strengthen its foothold in this space.

Being a cash rich company, Blue Star Infotech plans to enhance its capabilities through the inorganic route and investment in Activecubes is a step towards that growth path. Blue Star Infotech and Activecubes have a strong presence in the US, with significant areas of synergy and leverage.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tablet shipments reaching tipping point for Android to overtake Apple

USA: Apple has been able to maintain its tablet lead by delivering a quality experience at a premium price.

The iPad maker exited the first calendar quarter of 2013 with 50 percent share of all tablet shipments, though, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research, the Android ecosystem is poised to overtake iOS.

The big variable for Android is China. The Middle Kingdom is passionate about the Apple brand as well as the masses’ ability to afford technology devices. Smaller, 7-inch Android tablets have become popular though most lack the Google suite of apps and Android Play marketplace. A push for sub-$200 tablets is keeping Android relevant in both developed and emerging markets.

“It’s inevitable that Android tablets will overtake iOS-powered slates, though we see no single vendor challenging Apple’s dominance anytime soon,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr. “With media tablets commercially available for more than 4 years, momentum is shifting toward value and affordability, putting tablets in more of the population’s reach.”

Average selling price (ASP) and size have been moving down-market since Android tablets started honing in on the opportunity in 2012. Rather than try to unseat Apple in the 10”-class space, tablet vendors sought a defensible area they could own; the result is the 7”-class devices.

Facing manufacturing limits in its first quarter of offer, the 7.9-inch iPad mini put a dent in the larger iPad sales and Apple profits. The first quarter of 2013 saw Apple cover its backlog and approach the typical 4-6 weeks of sales channel inventory while recording its second-best ever quarter for total iPad shipments.

ABI Research estimates that iPad mini represented 49 percent of units and 39 percent of total iPad revenues. “Expect iPad minis to become the predominant iPad model after the June quarter,” adds Orr.

Tablet shipments into US education sector expanded by 103 percent in 2012

USA: While personal computers are facing weak demand and reduced budgets in the US education sector, tablets are experiencing exceptionally strong interest among education stakeholders, from school managers, teachers, and governments, to parents and students.

New International Data Corp. (IDC) research shows that shipments of client devices (notebooks, desktops and tablets) to the US education sector grew 15.3 percent year over year in 2012 with volume nearing 8.5 million units. IDC estimates the value of these shipments at $5 billion.

Much of this growth can be attributed to tablet shipments, which grew 103 percent year over year in 2012. Strong demand for these devices increased the share of tablets in the education client device market from 19.4 percent in 2011 to more than 35 percent in 2012, and that momentum will continue as the 2013 back-to-school season approaches.

The impetus to go digital in the education sector can be found among virtually all US education institutions as well as around the world. Government mandates from all levels to digitize education, the relatively low cost of tablets, and a proliferation of funding sources are providing an enormous push to tablet adoption, effectively bringing the concept of one device per student closer to reality.

LDRA integration with Lauterbach TRACE32 simplifies code analysis, test and certification

UK: LDRA, the leader in standards compliance, automated software verification, source code analysis and test tools, has integrated the LDRA tool suite with the Lauterbach TRACE32 Debugger and Simulator.
Lauterbach’s hardware-assisted debug tools ease the interface to the embedded device, enabling developers to download and fully test an application on the target.

Thanks to the interface, rigorous safety-critical testing and certification—a traditionally time-intensive, manual process—is automated, enabling a broad range of microcontroller and processor-based applications to achieve medical (IEC 62304), industrial safety (IEC 61508), automotive (ISO 26262) and avionics (DO-178B/C) compliance.

An extension to the LDRA tool suite uses the TRACE32 Debugger to download the code being tested on the target and provide a mechanism for results capture back to the host via a one-click button added into the TRACE32 in-circuit debugger (ICD).

Given the limited resources of some embedded devices, the integration offers two options for dynamic analysis of executing code. If memory is limited, test results can be streamed back to the host via the ICD. However, if performance is important and memory available, test results can be compressed on the target and uploaded at a suitable time via the one-click upload button.

Neonode signs license agreement with CheonJo for high-end outdoor color LCDs

USA: Neonode Inc., the optical touch technology company, announced the co-operation with CheonJo Corp., a leading LCD module manufacturer in South Korea.

CheonJo will initially integrate Neonode’s Multisensing® technology into to high-margin 15-inch outdoor touch displays for bank ATM’s, estimated to go into production towards the end of this year.

Neonode’s Multisensing solution provides an unmatched high speed and accuracy, and is designed to withstand frequent use and wear. The technology is resistant to false touches caused by dust, grime or water droplets, which is a prerequisite for open-air displays.

The design allows for any object input, such as pens or styluses, and enables excellent optical clarity - an important factor for outdoor displays that are exposed to sunlight.

Metaio and Vuzix to showcase AR-ready smart glasses

USA: Metaio, the world leader in augmented reality (AR) software and solutions and Vuzix Corp. will join forces to showcase AR experiences built on the powerful Metaio SDK running on the AR-Ready Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses, at one of the largest gathering of AR professionals, the 2013 Augmented World Expo (AWE), June 4-5 in Santa Clara, CA.

Metaio’s AR software is currently used by over 30 million consumers and 50,000 developers, powering more than 1,000 apps for enterprise, marketing, retail, publishing and industrial markets. Vuzix’ products, including its smart glasses, have won 14 Consumer Electronics Show Innovations Awards.

With its origins in defense research and development for next generation display solutions, Vuzix is a technology leader and early entrant in the Smart Glasses field

Metaio, an AWE Silver Sponsor, will be demonstrating the latest in next-generation AR at its booth at AWE, including numerous apps built with the Metaio SDK, the first SDK ready for wearable computing- as shown by its compatibility with the powerful and lightweight Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses.

NI hosts sixth ‘Indian Defense and Aerospace Symposium 2013’

INDIA: India Defense and Aerospace symposium, organized by Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies & Industries (SIATI) in association with National Instruments (NI), a technology pioneer, completed the sixth edition of the India Defense & Aerospace Symposium (IDAS) 2013- in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi.

IDAS 2013 commenced in Bangalore, with a key note addressed by Dr. Tamilmani - DS & Chief Executive, CEMILAC & Chief Controller- R&D (Aeronautics)- Ministry of Defence, amidst other eminent industry leaders from NAL, HAL, BEL, DRDO, LRDE,BHEL, IISC , TPCL and more.

Dr.Tamilmani said: “Multiple facilities need to be created for flexibility in defense solutions. Capabilities need to increase in manufacturing of defense and aeronautics products -a static segment for the last 30-40 years. Globally things have transitioned to automation to improve design and production. This is where our solution and evolution lies – it’s time for India to focus on production – in a cost-effective way. This is not possible overnight – which is why COTS technology is crucial.”

The event hosted various technical sessions on radar test and validation, wireless sensors and apps, scalable architectures for spectrum monitoring, large channel data acquisition, RF hardware-in-loop design, versatile Record & Playback, simulators, autonomous systems etc.

These sessions were attended by defense personnel, engineers and researchers representing various functional groups, government authorities and multi-national companies. Other highlights at the event included a unique exhibition arena that displayed live demonstrations, case studies presentations, innovative products from NI partners and technical consultation.

Touch NB to challenge 15 percent penetration rate in H2’13

TAIWAN: The new touch NB carrying Windows 8 hit the market with luster in Q4 last year, but its elevated price and Windows 8 user interface were hard to attract consumers.

The penetration rate of the touch-related products accounted for only 6.3 percent of the global NB shipment in Q1, which is projected to reach only 8.7 percent in Q2 with more new models joining in, the combined H1’13 penetration rate is around 7.5 percent, and the overall performance is relatively dim.

According to WitsView, the display research division of the global market intelligence provider TrendFroce, operating system developers, touches module makers, and brands continue to modify strategies in an effort to accelerate the popularization of touch NBs. The development of touch NBs in H2’13 turns heating up, and the average penetration rate is likely to more than double to 15 percent.

According to WitsView’s research director Eric Chiou, Microsoft’s recent SST (Small Screen Touch) promotion program, providing the 11.6”-and-under products using Windows 8 with a $ 30 rebate which directly helps NB brands to compensate the costs arisen from the touch modules. The move stimulates brands to launch the entry-level 11.6” touch NBs priced only at $400-450, which not only lifts the touch NB penetration rate, but lowers the threshold for consumers to use the touch function on the NBs.

When it comes to touch module makers’ influences, they are mostly focusing on two aspects, the capacity supply and the price cut. In an attempt to attack the touch NB market, not only the industry leaders, such as TPK, inject the new G4.5 and G5.5 capacities, but panel makers enter the field with their advantages on capacities and total solution products.

The surge in touch module capacity eases the OGS short supply issue for NBs, while panel makers joining in the competition presses down the OGS prices indirectly.. Generally speaking, the softening short supply issue and the dropping touch costs are both beneficial to the touch NB promotion.

The 2013 NB shipment is projected to be 175.4 million units, dropping 5 percent from 2012. Chiou indicates that NB carrying the touch function injects freshness to the mature product on top of providing the hardware spec, furthermore, the touch NB is viewed on one hand to shoulder the responsibility to stir the demand and on the other hand as the fort to conquer for brands. In addition to Asus, Acer, and Sony who have been actively cultivating in the segment for a long time, brands including Lenovo and HP also unveil plenty of products to fight back.

Taking the 14.0” and the 15.6” for example, which account for more than 70 percent of the market, there should be many high-quality-and-inexpensive choices in the $600 range for consumers.

Subjectively speaking, the touch NB has large room for improvement on supply chain, costs, and design, and the high penetration rate is hard to reach in the short term. However, WitsView says that, with the positive stimulants such as the launch of the new platform Haswell, the implementation of subsidy program, the cut in key component prices and the repositioning of product’s selling price, the market atmosphere may turn from cold in the first half of this year to warm in the second half.

The fact that gloom comes first and prosperity follows is the best description for the touch NB segmentation with a penetration rate forecast of 11.8 percent for the entire year.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Large-sized LCD suppliers ship more than they produce to keep inventory in check

USA: Shipments in March of large-sized liquid crystal displays (LCD) exceeded total production when measured in terms of area, the result of a deliberate move by panel manufacturers to digest accumulated inventory, according to an LCD Fab and Inventory Management Tracker from IHS.

Large-sized LCD displays in March reached a total shipment area of 11.3 million square meters, a metric showing the expanse of shipped panels during the period and distributed among the panels’ four major applications for TVs, notebooks, monitors and tablets. In comparison, production area measuring the spread and breadth of manufactured panels equated to 11.0 million square meters—approximately 340,000 square meters less than the total shipment area.

“March represented the first time in four months that shipments outpaced production for large-sized LCD panels,” said Ricky Park, senior manager for large-area displays at IHS.

“The last time the same phenomenon took place—when shipment was higher than production—occurred in November 2012, an understandable occurrence as manufacturers raced to pump out more displays in time for the December holiday season and Lunar New Year holiday season in China. In March, panel suppliers applied the same tactic to chip away at creeping inventory, the upshot of shipments falling below production levels from December 2012 to February 2013.”

After March, however, the current dynamic took a different turn. Pending final figures, forecasts show that production would catch up to shipments starting in April as both indices reach 11.0 million square meters, with production then exceeding shipments beginning in May, as shown in the attached figure. The new movement starts as the industry ramps up for the higher demand anticipated in the second half of this year.

Calculated efforts pay off
For all the vicissitudes of the market, panel manufacturers need to continually negotiate a delicate balancing act—between making sure there is enough inventory, and preventing the inventory at hand from ballooning and crossing into dangerous oversupply.

A potent weapon in their arsenal is to turn the screws on production, intentionally limiting manufacturing capacity in fabs, while continually shipping out panels taken from both current assembly and leftover inventory in their possession. Constant vigilance is required in an industry where oversupply is usually the norm, with panel manufacturers always striving to perfect their game.

Utilization rates are also adjusted to achieve targets. In March, utilization rose to 80 percent from 72 percent in February, but the pace of fabrication remained lower than was originally intended, estimated at 82 percent and consistent with the plan to keep production lower than shipments. Fab utilization rates were expected to remain unchanged in April and then jump to 83 percent in May—again in keeping with plans for production to start growing and overtake shipments.

Even so, panel manufacturers are not expected to exceed 85 percent utilization and risk producing more than the channel can swallow. Inventory has been particularly problematic because of slow demand, but manufacturers are also careful that pricing doesn’t drop further even with anemic demand plaguing the system.

Tablet panels continue to reign
Overall, shipments for large-area LCD displays during the first quarter this year compared to year-ago levels fell for monitors and notebooks, but rose for TVs and tablets. Monitor panel shipments were down 17 percent to 38.7 million units, while notebooks suffered an even larger 20 percent contraction to 43.2 million units.
Shipments for TV panels, however, climbed 10 percent to 55.9 million units, while tablets posted an outsized 175 percent increase to 60.3 million units.

The reason for such disparate movements is not hard to guess. Monitors and notebooks have been under a cloud for some time, overshadowed among consumers by more appealing devices like smartphones and tablets. TVs, while a mature commodity in advanced markets like the United States, Europe and other highly industrialized countries, continue to enjoy increasing demand in the vast China market, compensating for any losses that may occur elsewhere.

Tablets are in even more fortunate circumstances. The devices continue to shine with blockbuster sales, their powerful status also demonstrated in unbeatable panel shipment numbers.

Pacnet deploys Bangalore content delivery network point-of-presence

INDIA: Pacnet, a leading provider of integrated and full-service network and data solutions to the Enterprise, and Carrier customer segments in the Asia Pacific region, today announced that it has completed the deployment of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) Point of Presence (PoP) in Bangalore.

The new PoP complements its existing CDN PoP in Mumbai, which was deployed in 2012.  By deploying more CDN PoPs across Asia-Pacific, Pacnet is able to store and deliver digital content at CDN PoPs in local markets, which accelerates the speed and distribution of content, such as rich media and applications, to Internet users.

Pacnet deployed two new PoPs in China early this year to increase the performance and speed of digital content delivery in that country. Pacnet also has access to a worldwide footprint through its CDN federation partners in Europe and the United States.

Pacnet’s service portfolio includes extensive MPLS and International Private Line coverage throughout India, Asia-Pacific, North America, and Europe along with interconnected data centers in most major markets in the region. Over the past several months, Pacnet has announced a new data center build in Singapore, the opening of its facility in Chongqing, China, and an expansion of its Sydney, Australia facility.  The company also announced an investment into its sub-sea fiber networks to build a 100Gbps network, and an expansion of its IP VPN license in China.

Agilent intros electrical retimer solution to solve key challenges in designing chip-to-chip links

USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced the latest addition to its repeater model library for quickly and accurately solving the challenge posed by signal distortion in the multigigabit-per-second regime.

The retimer solution, available in the Advanced Design System 2013 Transient Convolution Element and SystemVue 2013 AMI Modeling Kit, is used for designing electrical retimers in chip-to-chip, high-speed digital links.

Before the multigigabit era, chip-to-chip digital signals propagated across entire printed circuit boards with little distortion. However, at today’s speeds, rising and falling edges degrade after traveling only a few inches on production board materials like FR4. In digital applications, it is cost-prohibitive to use high-frequency laminate board materials to solve the problem. A more economical solution is to insert a mid-channel retimer circuit.

Up to now, simulation tools used to design in these nonlinear devices have used computationally expensive SPICE techniques like Newton-Raphson iteration on modified nodal analysis of Kirchoff’s current law. With this latest breakthrough, Agilent offers a quick solution based on bit-by-bit channel simulation and the IBIS AMI flow to retimer applications. Unlike SPICE, these techniques include computationally efficient algorithms like superposition.

Using a prestandard, novel extension to the industry-standard IBIS AMI flow, SystemVue 2013 now offers model builders (typically integrated circuit vendors) a tool to build retimer models. The models run in ADS, the tool that IC consumers (typically data center and telecoms equipment manufacturers) use to design these chips into their systems.

Trimble tops ABI Research’s 2013 commercial fleet telematics competitive assessment

ENGLAND: For the first time, Trimble is ranked the No. 1 telematics service provider in ABI Research’s Competitive Assessment of the commercial fleet telematics industry, with Telogis and Omnitracs occupying second and third places respectively.

The annual survey assessed 19 fleet telematics service providers based on a number of “Innovation” and “Implementation” criteria. Telogis, XRS, and Trimble were the top three players in the Innovation category whilst Trimble, Omnitracs, and Mix Telematics led the Implementation category.

Key factors which contributed to Trimble’s top rating were its global presence, its increasing subscriber base, its ability to address multiple vertical sectors, strong technological innovation in its service and hardware offerings, plus its secure financial position.

Bosch announces global system integration partnership with HCL

USA: Bosch Software Innovations, the software and systems division of the Bosch Group, announced a global strategic business relationship with HCL Technologies.

The partnership aims to accelerate delivery of innovative and scalable software solutions and reduce time-to-market across multiple industries with a specific focus on High Technology and Manufacturing sectors.

Bosch Software Innovations’ advanced product portfolio and industry expertise along with HCL’s global system integration capabilities will enable the two technology innovators to offer customized solutions and first class experience.

Bosch Software Innovations globally works with clients to address their business challenges and to redefine business processes. The company’s core software products for Business Process Management and Business Rules have been globally implemented across multiple industries including Manufacturing, Finance, Healthcare, Insurance and Energy markets.

Worldwide enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence market sees continued weakness in Q1 2013

USA: Results from the International Data Corp. (IDC) Worldwide Enterprise Videoconferencing and Telepresence Qview showed first quarter 2013 (1Q13) videoconferencing equipment revenue declined 13.2 percent year over year and 21.9 percent quarter over quarter.

Total worldwide enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence equipment revenue was $563.4 million in 1Q13, its worst result since the second quarter of 2010, according to IDC.

From a market segment perspective, endpoints, which include multi-codec immersive telepresence, single-codec telepresence, and personal videoconferencing, declined 10.7 percent year over year and video network infrastructure decreased 20.5 percent year over year in 1Q13.

Regionally, Latin America declined just 3.5 percent year over year, followed by the 9.1 percent year-over-year decline in Asia/Pacific and the 10.1 percent decrease in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). North America was a particular area of weakness this quarter with its 20.3 percent year-over-year drop.

Are cloud-based services right for the government?

UK: A growing number of small- and medium- sized enterprises are adopting cloud-based software to aid in lowering overhead and increasing productivity; software as a service, a popular earning model for cloud platforms, is becoming increasingly attractive to small business owners that simply don't have the capital to pay for the large upfront costs associated with maintaining their own technology infrastructure.

The UK Cabinet Office is also pushing the government to implement cloud-based services due to the benefits of working in the cloud; the UK Cabinet's latest directive urges employees to utilise these services when possible, although they haven't yet set any requirements for particular businesses offering the services.

Opponents of the services cite a lack of control over their own data and the past security breaches of major cloud companies, such as Nasdaq's Director Desk back in 2010. Another large concern is instability; if a cloud-based service ceases to exist, there's no guarantee that customers will be able to recover all of their data stored on the service's data centres.

Harvey Raybould, managing director of COMPILA, a web hosting company that offers cloud-based services such as secure email hosting and virtual private servers, says that the benefits of working in the cloud far outweigh the risks; "The most important thing for SMEs when using cloud-based services is to ensure that they choose an established, reputable company.

"Companies, like COMPILA, have been around long enough to develop intricate security protocols to keep their client's data secure and are more likely to remain in business compared to brand new services.

"Security is an especially big concern with the government. COMPILA is working on improving security protocols for use in government and military establishments, which is historically one of the most competitive markets."

By 2017, the anticipation is that the UK Government will shift the majority of their documentation to cloud-based streams, although security will be of the utmost concern on the agenda to ensure all data that is streamed through cloud services are completely secure.

LG Electronics intros 84-inch ultra HD display

INDIA: LG Electronics announced the launch of world’s first built-in IPS panel 84 inch Digital Signage Display – LG 84WS70.

The Ultra HD eco friendly and professional display fully brings more realistic image than reality.  LG impresses the new professional public display with a super high resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. The sheer size of the display, which is equal to 4 displays of 42 inch, gives a breath taking experience.

The built-in IPS panel gives high image reproducibility and wide viewing angles, therefore 84WS70 enables people to see a brightly-colored display from any angle. It is capable of 24 hours of continuous use as a public display. By realizing the LED display with the large screen size, super high resolution becomes possible to offer high realistic sensation and immersiveness.

The 24/7 usage is possible in landscape as well as in portrait mode. The display is equipped with numerous connectors such as HDMI 1.4 and Display port 1.2 for native Quad full-HD content. Even from a sharp angle of vision, the LED maintains the same color intensity and contrast ratio.

LG 84WS70’s Local Dimming Technology allows brightness to be controlled in block units. This ensures brightness and clarity providing high picture quality. As a bonus, power consumption is reduced. The screen brightness is automatically adjusted by its surrounding illumination level. In daylight it automatically raises the brightness level for better visibility and during nights; automatically lowers the brightness to save energy.

Cost comes first! Cost-oriented OGS attracts NB brands

TAIWAN: Despite of the freshness of touch NBs, the relatively high price has been the obstacle to lift the sales.

WitsView, the display research division of the global market intelligence provider TrendForce, indicates that lowering prices will be the strategy core to promote touch NBs this year, and cutting the OGS touch module cost will be the key to reach that goal. In addition to cutting prices of key components and driving up yield, the choices of materials and structures help press down OGS costs.

According to WitsView research director Eric Chiou, compared to the tablet and the smart phone that also carry touch modules and are operated on the move, the NB is used in fixed places during most of time, and it reduces the risk of being dropped with lower mobility.

On the other hand, as the touch module is mostly protected in the clam-shell case, the strength requirement for NB OGS is clearly lower than that for other mobile devices, which naturally makes the cheaper Soda-lime glass become the mainstream for NB OGS glass.
Contrarily, the Alkali-Aluminosilicate glass, such as Corning’s Gorilla, that was the long-term forerunner in the cover lens market now sees difficulties to sell under the cost-oriented atmosphere due to its four-to-five time prices than that of the Soda-lime glass.

Besides, the secondary strengthening, aiming to compensate the OGS strength, is less required as the NB OGS with several cutting edges is not exposed externally but protected in the case. The glass alternative and the remove of secondary strengthening make a $3-$5 difference, undoubtedly a short-cut for brands to save costs.

Chiou adds that the application of the direct bonding also affects the touch NB costs largely. Compared to the air bonding, the direct bonding on one hand improves the display effect and on the other hand reduces the thickness. However, as the direct bonding yield hasn’t reached maturity yet and its current price is as high as $1.2 per inch with its 80-90 percent yield and the panel touch module waste included.

The price is four to six times higher than the $2-4 for the air bonding and forces many brands to quite the direct bonding and use the air bonding.

Although certain panel makers use 100 percent direct bonding to sell the solution combining in-house panels plus touch, the relatively expensive direct-bonding is less used to NBs this year with a proportion of only 34 percent.

Brands are gradually aware the economically reasonable pricing is more practically useful than the high-end positioning to open the touch NB market, WitsView concludes. Touch NB’s additional costs are mostly from the touch module, and hence, the lower-priced OGS touch module will be definitely a positive factor to the touch NB popularization.

Back to the future with AI

USA: The Smile is the world's first smart phone you can wear like a bracelet! Not only that, but it can also read your mood. It will know if you're stressed out or relaxing.

It can monitor your diet and your health. It will inform you when you should get up and move or take a rest. It can suggest where you should spend a night out on the town. It can control how awake you are as well as your sleep stages and your dream time. And if you're in trouble, the Smile will call for help.

You can use your Smile as an independent cell phone as well as answer calls from your smart phone via the Smile. It's quite easy to answer a call this way, just reply "Yes" or use any other affirmative word. You do not have to memorize command words, since the Smile understands your natural language. Or you can just press a button, as usual.

Sending a text, email messages or video, listen to or read the messages on Facebook, blogs or Twitter Tweets. All these things are quite simple to do.

Paying for the purchases has never been so convenient! B With the wireless NFC payment system which is built-in into the Smile just wave your hand above the sensor of a wireless payment system at the check-out and you're done! (You choose a bank card or e-account number before) Now The Smile, which is always with you, is your handiest tool for paying for your purchases.

As a nice add-on feature, the Smile's memory can store all of your personal key information including permanent keys for your house, garage, office and car and temporary ones for your hotel or season tickets. The Smile's memory will also hold a large amount of discount card information. We also hope that soon the Smile will be able to receive, copy, and store e-ticket information as well.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BluePay partners with Payfirma to offer tablet payment solutions

USA: Credit card processor BluePay is partnering with mobile payments provider Payfirma to offer a full point-of-sale (POS) for tablets.

Integrated seamlessly with BluePay’s payment platform, Payfirma's tablet solutions are yet another value-added module integrated with BluePay technology. The collaboration further expands and differentiates BluePay’s secure payment platform to enable multi-channel payment processing.

"At BluePay, we’ve always been committed to giving customers as many simple and effective payment solutions as possible,” said Kristen Gramigna, chief marketing officer at BluePay. “Through this partnership, we’re able to pair our secure payment processing with Payfirma’s tablet point-of-sale system, giving businesses the ability to offer mobile payments in their stores as well as a huge aesthetic improvement over traditional terminals."

Designed to simplify payments and engage customers, Payfirma’s tablet solutions provide a new way for BluePay to offer innovative payment processing to its customers. Now, in addition to providing true eCommerce, MOTO, retail, and virtual terminal transaction processing, BluePay’s platform also provides tablet-based mobile payment solutions. Ever on the rise in diverse industries, from retail to food to hospitality, smartphone and tablet payments will eventually replace traditional POS systems and credit card terminals altogether.

"Mobile is the future of computing and payments," said Michael Gokturk, CEO of Payfirma. “Businesses of all sizes, from large enterprises to small retailers are adopting mobile devices like tablets as the way to get paid. Our solutions let businesses engage their customers in new ways and ultimately increase revenue.”

By collaborating with BluePay, Payfirma benefits from its leading-edge secure payment platform and gateway, as well as its direct merchant and enterprise sales teams. Payfirma’s smartphone solution became available last month by BluePay and the tablet point-of-sale launches today.

DMTF to address need for open software defined data center standards

USA: Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), the organization bringing the IT industry together to collaborate on systems management standards development, validation, promotion and adoption, has formed a group to address the need for Software Defined Data Center management standards.

The DMTF’s Open Software Defined Data Center (OSDDC) Incubator will work to develop standard architectures and definitions to describe the emerging technology that is expected to revolutionize IT infrastructure in the coming years.

While various management standards exist for physical, virtual and cloud-based systems, the industry is currently lacking standard architectures and definitions to describe the abstract, pooled resources of the Software Defined Data Center.

Led by Broadcom, Cisco Systems, EMC, Fujitsu, Huawei, NetApp, Oracle and VMware, Inc., DMTF’s OSDDC Incubator will develop a set of whitepapers to outline a clear definition and scope of the SDDC concept, including Use Cases, Taxonomy and Terminology, High-level Architecture and Standards Gap Analysis.

HDBaseT Alliance membership tops 60

InfoComm 2013, USA: The HDBaseT Alliance (Booth #2889) at InfoComm 2013 next month will announce it has doubled in size in less than a year to more than 60 member companies.

The HDBaseT Alliance InfoComm exhibit will feature dozens of new HDBaseT-enabled components across new categories including new projectors from Hitachi and NEC, displays from Panasonic and AV receivers from Pioneer.

The HDBaseT technology, powered by Valens chipset, enables all-in-one connectivity between HD video sources and remote displays through a single 100m/328ft CAT5e/6 cable, delivering uncompressed high definition 4k video, audio, Internet, control signals and up to 100 watts of power.

“The growth of HDBaseT since InfoComm 2012 in terms of adoption rate, the product ecosystem and the HDBaseT Alliance membership exceeds what even we had hoped for,” said Micha Risling, Marketing Committee chair, the HDBaseT Alliance. “We’re heading into InfoComm 2013 having added several new Alliance members this year including Belkin, Epson, Pioneer, Onkyo and Hitachi, and visitors to our booth will see the fully interoperable HDBaseT ecosystem of end-to-end solutions.”

The HDBaseT Alliance will demonstrate the HDBaseT Whole Home Networking model, and HDBaseT home theater set-up connected to a single-wire TV. In addition The Alliance booth will feature HDBaseT-enabled products from dozens of vendors, including: AquaVision, Atlona, Crestron, Emcore, Epson, Geffen, Hall Research, Hitachi, Kordz, Kramer, NEC, Panasonic, Pioneer, Primeview, Savant Systems, Shenzhen Shunxun Electronics Co., Ltd, Shinybow, Silver Telecom and Wyrestorm.

TomTom expands India map coverage and unveils intuitive software for portable navigation devices

INDIA: TomTom India announced new map update, software enhancement and up gradation to its MyTomTom application for faster map downloads.

With the new map update, the coverage now expands to more than 7200+ cities and towns across India. This helps our consumers abreast with the rapid changes in the Indian land routes.

The new navigation software incorporates all the key navigation logic and every element  has been enhanced to deliver an improved user experience including Points of Interest (POI) stepper, Advanced Lane Guidance  with split screen, modified address search functionality, device boot up during Ignition On, Improved Zoom In/Out, Interface changes, Improved display with font size & line result display changes.

Worldwide tablet shipments to surpass portable PC shipments in 2013

USA: According to a new forecast from the International Data Corp. (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, tablet shipments are expected to grow 58.7 percent year-over-year in 2013 reaching 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units last year.

IDC now predicts tablet shipments will exceed those of portable PCs this year, as the slumping PC market is expected to see negative growth for the second consecutive year. In addition, IDC expects tablet shipments to outpace the entire PC market (portables and desktops combined) by 2015.

While Apple has been at the forefront of the tablet revolution, the current market expansion has been increasingly fueled by low-cost Android devices. In 2013, the worldwide average selling price (ASP) for tablets is expected to decline -10.8% to $381. In comparison, the ASP of a PC in 2013 is nearly double that at $635. IDC expects tablet prices to decline further, which will allow vendors to deliver a viable computing experience into the hands of many more people at price points the PC industry has strived to meet for years.

"Apple's success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device," said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. "These devices are learning companions, and as tablet prices continue to drop, the dream of having a PC for every child gets replaced with the reality that we can actually provide a tablet for every child."

In addition to lower prices, another major shift in the tablet market has occurred around screen sizes. Apple's first generation iPad, which included a 9.7-inch display, was perceived by many as the sweet spot for tablets. That is, until 7-inch Android-based tablets began to gain traction in the market. Apple responded with the iPad mini in the fourth quarter of 2012, and in the space of two quarters the sub-8-inch category exploded to overtake the larger-sized segment in terms of total shipments.

Agilent 3-D electromagnetic simulation software release targets EMI compliance

USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. announced the latest release of Electromagnetic Professional (EMPro), its 3-D electromagnetic simulation software.

EMPro 2013 helps design engineers identify and resolve difficult electromagnetic interference (EMI) problems. It also offers a number of new capabilities to reduce simulation time and increase design efficiency.

EMPro 2013 allows engineers to simulate the radiated emissions of electronic circuits and components and then determine whether these emissions are within levels specified by common electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) standards, such as FCC Part 15, CISPR 22 and MIL-STD-461F.

This capability is enabled by new specification-compliance templates, as well as several enhancements to both EMPro’s finite element method (FEM) and finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulators.

Tektronix to showcase real-time signal analysis portfolio

USA: Tektronix Inc. will feature the industry's most extensive and advanced set of RF and Microwave signal generation and analysis solutions at the IEEE MTT-S 2013 International Microwave Symposium (IMS) June 4-6 in booth #820.

Tektronix will showcase solutions across its portfolio for such applications as radio communications, spectrum management, radar and electronic warfare, and WLAN 802.11xx signal testing. On hand will be the new AWG70000 series arbitrary waveform generator that offers the industry's best combination of high sample rate, long waveform memory and deep dynamic range.

In addition, attendees will be able to experience Tektronix' premier Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer solutions along with the world's first mixed domain oscilloscope.

The growth of digital RF across a crowded wireless spectrum has led to the need for signal analyzers able to capture the briefest of spectrum occurrences. Tektronix stands as the first test and measurement provider to address this need with its revolutionary DPX spectrum display technology that provides an intuitive live color view of signal transients as they change over time.

Today, Tektronix offers the industry's broadest and most advanced portfolio of instruments equipped with DPX real-time signal analysis capabilities, extending from H500/SA2500 hand-held models to the high-performance RSA6000 series for the most demanding applications.

Gilat to intro enhanced forward and return channel technology in SkyEdge II-c

ISRAEL:  Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd will introduce an enhanced forward channel technology in SkyEdge II-c that will provide an increase in the DVB-S2 bandwidth forward channel to 66Msps and improve efficiency with a 1.1 roll-off factor and savings of up to 10 percent in satellite capacity.

By increasing carrier throughput to 250Mbps, 66Msps carriers enable the support of more bits to Hz. The platform also supports multi forward carriers managed as a single pool, with automatic load balancing of terminals.

The high throughput carriers enable coverage of wide multi-spot beam transponders with less forward channel carriers. This reduces gateway capital expenditures and increases utilization of space segment resources.

On the return channel, Gilat's patent pending algorithm for adaptive return channels preserves network capacity and automated network operation and planning. The advanced multidimensional adaptive return channel supports automatic up link power control (AULPC), adaptive channel rate, and adaptive modulation and coding of up to 8PSK.

WiLAN and Dell sign license agreement and settle litigation

CANADA: Wi-LAN Inc. announced that Dell Inc. and WiLAN have signed a license agreement to settle patent litigation.

Dell has obtained a license to a subset of wireless patents for certain wireless products and the litigation between the two companies will be dismissed. Terms of the agreement are confidential.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Nordson ASYMTEK selects Partnertec as representative in Benelux region

USA: Nordson ASYMTEK, announced that Nordson B.V. has signed a representation agreement with Partnertec to act as a commercial representative for Nordson ASYMTEK’s fluid dispensing, jetting, and conformal coating equipment in Benelux.

Partnertec strengthens Nordson ASYMTEK’s printed circuit board assembly presence in this region.

“There are a substantial number of small- to medium-sized EMS and electronic OEM companies in the Benelux area. Partnertec is well placed to increase our visibility in that local market with experienced people and with an adequate pallet of products. They are well-known for their quality, reliability and performance, expertise and knowledge, and the latest technology,” said Jacques Mycke, regional sales manager, Nordson ASYMTEK.

“In addition, we will continue offering our direct support to customers through Nordson ASYMTEK’s Maastricht-based Technical Support Group and fully equipped demonstration and lab facilities.”

Partnertec, The Netherlands, has been providing equipment and process solutions for surface mount technology to the Benelux region since 2004. They offer advanced technologies through exclusive representation of global market-leading companies whose products are used across a wide range of process applications in the electronics subassembly and assembly manufacturing industries.

Optimize automated test systems with NI PXI programmable power supplies

USA: National Instruments announced its newest general-purpose programmable power supplies, which offer the highest power density available in PXI and form the foundation of automated test systems.

The NI PXIe-4112 and NI PXIe-4113 modules provide high power density that saves rack space while simplifying design by eliminating the need to mix multiple instrumentation form factors. When programmed with NI LabVIEW software and paired with a range of PXI hardware instrumentation, the new power supplies can help engineers create a complete, customized test solution.

“With the capability of these new programmable power supplies, PXI demonstrates yet again its unique value in building automated test and benchtop validation systems,” said Charles Schroeder, NI director of test systems.

“When engineers combine NI PXI hardware with LabVIEW, they simplify their programming experience and quickly gain access to the latest technology – all within a thriving ecosystem. Engineers incorporating these latest technologies into their automated test systems have technical and time-to-market advantages over those using legacy box instrument approaches.”

The new programmable power supplies are ideal for a range of applications from aerospace and defense to automotive and component test. These modules feature two 60 W power supply channels in a single PXI Express slot. The NI PXIe-4112 power supply features 60 V at 1 A per channel and the NI PXIe-4113 power supply offers 10 V at 6 A per channel. The two channels can be combined to create a single 120 W channel.

To easily synchronize measurements, engineers can combine the power supplies with more than 1,500 PXI modular instruments ranging from digital multimeters to RF analyzers and generators, and simply trigger the instruments across the PXI chassis backplane.

Engineers can quickly take measurements using soft front panels with an interactive user interface or build fully automated applications using the LabVIEW example programs that come with the power supplies. There are example programs to perform voltage sweeps, source DC current and source DC power. With seamless LabVIEW integration, engineers dramatically reduce development time while improving system scalability for a range of applications.

Friday, May 24, 2013

HGH Infrared Systems announces new Blackbody releases

FRANCE: HGH Infrared Systems announced three exciting new releases to its Blackbody product line. Releases include new dual Blackbody, Labview drivers and a smartphone application to remotely control the blackbodies.

HGH Infrared Systems has been making infrared test equipment for over 30 years. Their latest innovation is the TwiN1000. The TwiN1000 double extended area Blackbody is an absolute infrared reference source. It consists of a head with two independently regulated emissive surfaces, controlled via a single electronic unit. Compact and cost-effective, TwiN1000 is the ideal Blackbody for applications which require calibration temperatures to jump from one to another within a second.

With the will to meet increasing customer expectations in convenient tools - facilitating test campaigns, HGH has developed an eBlackbody application and a LabVIEW driver. eBlackBody is a smartphone application acting as a remote control for HGH’s blackbodies. With a swipe of a finger on a smartphone or tablet, all blackbodies parameters can be displayed and modified. With their LabVIEW driver, HGH’s blackbodies can be easily integrated into complex multi-devices test benches.

Global touch-screen panel shipments to double by 2016

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Worldwide shipments of touch-screen panels are set to double from 2012 to 2016, reaching nearly 3 billion units as a wide variety of products beyond smartphones and tablets adopt the technology, particularly notebook PCs.

A total of 2.8 billion touch-screen panels will ship in 2016, up from 1.3 billion in 2012, according to the IHS DisplayBank “Touch Panel Issue and Cost/Industry Analysis Report.” Shipments this year will surge 34 percent to reach 1.8 billion units.

“Growth in the touchscreen market will be driven by increasing penetration in markets beyond the smartphone and tablet businesses,” said Duke Yi, senior manager for display components and materials research at IHS. “Demand so far has largely been limited to these two markets. However, touch-screen sales are increasing dramatically across a broad range of products, particularly notebook PCs.”

Yi addressed his remarks to a large audience at the SID/IHS Touch Gesture Motion Focus Conference  here on Wednesday.

Yi presented 14 different products that all will see growth in penetration of touch-screen technology through the year 2016. In addition to smartphones, tablets, notebooks and PCs, Yi said opportunities exist in the markets for liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors, digital still cameras, portable navigation devices, portable media players, portable game devices, automobiles, ebook readers, camcorders, digital photo frames, and portable DVD players. While the size of these markets varies widely and some are quite small, their aggregate growth will propel the rapid expansion and massive volumes of the touch-screen market in the coming years.

Notebooks get touchy
“The notebook represents the key near-term growth generator for touch-screen displays,” Yi told the SID audience.

As IHS noted this week, global shipments of touch-screen-equipped notebook PCs will rise to 78 million units in 2016, up from just 4.6 million in 2012. By 2016, notebooks will account for 12.3 percent of global touch-screen shipments by area, up from less than 2 percent in 2012.

Prices for touch-enabled notebooks are declining, with a popular model from Asustek Computer Inc. falling to a $700 price in China, Yi noted. This is making the touch screens more affordable for mainstream consumer notebook PC buyers.

The form factor of notebooks is evolving to suit touch technology, with new alternatives to the traditional clamshell arising, including detachable, slide, foldable, flip and twist.

Touch leaders
Projected capacitive is expanding its dominance of the market with 96 percent of touch screens expected to use the technology in 2016, up from 79 percent in 2012.

Asustek of Taiwan took an early lead in the touch notebook market, taking the No. 1 rank in the first quarter.

Atmel Corp. of the United States was the top touch controller integrated circuit (IC) chip supplier in in the first quarter.

Among touch-screen panel suppliers in China and Taiwan, the dominant suppliers in 2012 were No. 1 TPK and No. 2 Wintek, which are far ahead of the other suppliers in terms of revenue. In Korea, Iljin Display was the top touch panel supplier.

LogMeIn previews AppGuru

INDIA: LogMeIn Inc. announced a preview of AppGuru, the company’s new product specifically designed to help IT professionals embrace, secure and manage the rapid influx of business and employee-introduced cloud applications in the workplace – apps that have been adopted with little or no IT involvement.

Built to help IT pros redefine their strategic role in today’s cloud-centric work environment, AppGuru’s identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) features are designed to centralize the management of users in the cloud, thereby easing the onboarding and off-boarding of employees, while providing a single tool for setting and enforcing policies for business and personal productivity cloud apps.  As a result, IT pros can encourage and even empower the widespread use of such apps, while mitigating potential inherent data loss and compliance risks.        

As business applications move to the cloud and new, employee-introduced cloud apps take hold in the workplace, the nature of and need for identity management is changing.  A December 2012 study conducted by Edge Strategies on the bring-your-own-app (BYOA) trend found nearly 70 percent of companies reported active use of employee-introduced cloud apps at work.

According to the findings, only 22 percent of IT pros indicate they are fully prepared to handle BYOA and 43 percent are concerned with the lack of control over these apps. In addition, SaaS enterprise apps (e.g., are often controlled by line-of-business owners, thus putting traditional IT tasks such as provisioning and policy control in the hands of business users outside the IT department.

AppGuru is aimed at addressing the management challenges caused by this new dynamic by introducing an approach to cloud based identity management – or IDaaS – that centralizes management and control while providing an alternative to the disparate, ad-hoc and often error prone process of procuring, configuring and deploying cloud applications into a business environment.

Supermicro server platforms use NVIDIA GRID technology

USA: Super Micro Computer Inc. announced that Supermicro SuperServer platforms integrate NVIDIA GRID K1 and K2 boards for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) support in the enterprise.

These VDI solutions can be deployed in high-density clusters to serve large-scale user pools. Supermicro’s NVIDIA GRID technology-based platforms are fully validated to provide the most responsive user experience and support virtualization via software solutions from Citrix, VMware and Microsoft.

NVIDIA GRID K2 boards are optimized for graphics and 3D-intensive tasks in Adobe applications, Autodesk and SolidWorks, while NVIDIA GRID K1 boards offer high-density VDI for knowledge workers.

OEMs and service providers looking to take advantage of this new virtualized computing power can deploy highly scalable solutions on Supermicro 1U, 2U, 4U/Tower, and 4U FatTwin NVIDIA GRID enterprise server configurations.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Photonics Societies unite to announce National Photonics Initiative

USA: The American Physical Society (APS), IEEE Photonics Society, Laser Institute of America (LIA), the Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the International Society of Optics and Photonics, announced the launch of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), a collaborative alliance seeking to unite industry, academia and government experts to identify and advance areas of photonics critical to maintaining US competitiveness and national security.

“Life without photonics is almost unimaginable. From the moment you wake up to the alarm on your smartphone, to swiping your credit card to pay for coffee, to logging into your computer and connecting with the world through the Internet, photonics makes it possible,” said OSA CEO, Elizabeth Rogan. “The NPI will work to advance photonics in the areas that are most critical to the US, like improving the economy, creating jobs, saving lives and sparking innovation for future generations.”

Photonics generates, controls and detects light to advance manufacturing, robotics, medical imaging, next-generation displays, defense technologies, biometric security, image processing, communications, astronomy and much more. Photonics forms the backbone of the Internet, guides energy exploration and keeps men and women in uniform safe with night vision and physiological feedback on the battlefield.

Worldwide software market forecast to continue on modest growth trajectory through 2017

USA: International Data Corp. (IDC) released the latest forecast from the Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker. For 2012, the worldwide software market grew 3.6 percent year over year, less than half the growth rate experienced in 2010 and 2011.

IDC believes these results mark the beginning of a more conservative period of growth. The forecast growth rate for 2013 is 5.7 percent, while the CAGR for the 2012-2017 forecast period is 6.3 percent.

The collaborative applications software category is forecast to have the highest growth in the short term (2013). This category includes social software, which is growing from a lower revenue base. The collaborative applications category is also experiencing more cloud deployments than other categories and this represents new software investments.

The structured data management software category is expected to show the strongest growth over the five-year forecast period with a 9.3 percent CAGR from 2012-2017, fueled by faster growth in the last two to three years of the forecast. Data management is at the core of the information-driven economy and will play a critical role in the implementation of Big Data and analytics.

On a regional basis, the emerging economies will experience stronger growth than in mature economies. The average 2012-2017 CAGR for Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, and Central Eastern, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) is 8.8 percent, while the average CAGR for the mature regions – North America, Western Europe, and Japan – is 5 percent.

The emerging regions have been gaining almost 0.7 percent of market share every year since 2008 and they are expected to represent almost 19 percent of global software revenues in 2017.

US installed base of connected devices to reach 900 million by 2017

USA: Multimedia Research Group Inc. (MRG) announced the release of Connected Device Usage for US Multiscreen Entertainment, part of its new US Multiscreen Entertainment syndicated service.

Internet-connected CE devices, including smartphones, PCs, tablets and connected TVs, are no longer reserved for the younger generation. Today, consumers of all ages live the connected lifestyle. In fact, MRG estimates that the US installed base of Internet-connected devices will grow to 900 million by 2017.

Since 2010, the largest growth in connected devices has been experienced by smartphones, tablets and connected TVs. The US smartphone installed base alone grew from 88 million units in 2010 to 170 million in 2012.

MRG's VP of Research, Norm Bogen, explains: "The driving force behind these mind-boggling growth statistics has been the creation of digital ecosystems. Devices are no longer sold based exclusively on product design, or their features and functions. Digital ecosystems combine devices, services and content from multiple suppliers to generate greater consumer value than each element could offer independently."

Government and enterprise adoption driving 44 percent shipment growth in pre-paid payment card market between 2013-2018

ENGLAND: A combination of open and closed loop pre-paid cards in both the government and enterprise sectors will result in cumulative shipments totaling 3.6 billion between 2013 and 2018.

ABI Research forecasts that 53 percent of 2018 shipments will be smart card enabled, up from 24 percent in 2013. The sharp rise is driven by an increasing move to open loop adoption, set to increase by 64 percent over the same time frame.

International networks are actively promoting pre-paid as a means of accessing markets and increasing transaction volumes in areas which have previously remained out of reach. These markets include campus cards and government issued pre-paid cards for welfare and social applications.

The additional security and efficiency delivered through smart cards is appealing to government and enterprise entities, providing a platform to reduce fraud, bring digital payments to those that previously remained out of reach, and gain further control over spending.

From an enterprise point of view, there are multiple drivers in pre-paid adoption. Organizations are looking at pre-paid as a means of reducing costs, providing wages directly onto cards for migrant and temporary work forces. Additionally, pre-paid cards are being increasingly used for expense purposes, providing workers with pre-paid cards as an alternative to company credit cards to keep closer control on expenses.

Research analyst Phil Sealy comments: “Serving the pre-paid market is not as easy as providing a simple reloadable card anymore. The emergence of additional functionalities, including simple banking applications, such as online account applications, direct debit set-up and transfer capabilities have further driven up demand.” ABI Research expects future pre-paid cards to be judged on how they compare to traditional banking cards in terms of services offered.

Indian software industry poised for strong revenue growth

INDIA: The Indian companies in the top 100 emerging markets list bring combined revenue of $797 million. India ranks fifth among the emerging markets based on revenues. The findings are part of PwC’s Global 100 Software Leaders report, a revenue based study on the world’s top 100 software vendors.

The report also contains indices of the top 100 software vendors in North America, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the emerging markets.

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Sanjay Dhawan, leader, Technology, PwC India, said: “The Indian IT industry has been primarily identified with software services and this focus has relegated the software products segment to the background. However, off late, we are seeing a change in the fortunes of this segment due to significant growth. Emerging technologies such as Social media, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) are driving the growth in this segment and helping it move to the next level.”

The report is a clear indicator that the emerging markets are poised to play an increasingly pivotal role in the global software industry. Focus on innovation, growing talent pool and government support are just some of the advantages of this market segment.

A number of software product firms have grown over the last decade from a little over 100 in 2000 to nearly 2400 in 2013. According to the industry body NASSCOM, the revenue from the software product segment currently stands at $2.2 billion and is expected to reach $10 billion by 2020.

The findings from the research show that some key forces are causing deep structural changes in the industry, fundamentally reshaping how software companies do business:

Software-as-a-Service is gaining traction: Although SaaS represented only 4.9 percent of the total software revenues in 2011; there is a consistent and significant shift towards SaaS. Perpetual licence revenue has been shrinking since 2004 while subscription revenue (including SaaS) is forecast to grow at a 17.5 percent compounded annual rate, amounting to 24 percent of total software revenue by 2016.

Customer is king: With the adoption of intuitive cloud services, mobile devices and low-cost apps, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are no longer the sole decision makers in the software purchase process. The end users must be satisfied in order to retain and grow enterprise sales.

Emerging hybrid models bring new challenges: There will be a range of business models from traditional licensed software  to pure SaaS and hybrid approaches, which will pose challenges for the vendors in the future. Vendors will need to identify and adopt new business models while trying to maintain revenues and profits during times, when the overall industry pricing is under pressure.

Priority on pricing: Pricing is paramount to the entire sector. With the rise in IT consumers via low and no cost online platforms, the software companies are already struggling to explain the difference in value between a low-cost mobile app and a full-strength, licensed enterprise software package.

IOActive discovers backdoor vulnerabilities in TURCK industrial automation devices

USA: IOActive, Inc., a leading provider of application security, compliance and smart grid security services, announced that company security consultant Ruben Santamarta, uncovered hard-coded user accounts that could act as backdoors in two devices from German industrial automation manufacturer, TURCK.

The affected devices from TURCK, which could be exploited remotely, are the BL20 and BL67 Programmable Gateways.

These devices, primarily used in the US, Europe as well as in Asia, are deployed across many industries that include agriculture and food, automotive and critical manufacturing.

“These hard-coded user accounts pose a significant threat to organizations that have deployed the vulnerable TURCK devices. Any attacker with knowledge of the credentials can effectively remotely control the devices and reap havoc on the network - easily disrupting or shutting down critical production lines. Affected organizations should immediately apply the updated firmware from TURCK to remove these backdoors,” said Ruben Santamarta, security consultant for IOActive.

“It is both surprising and disappointing that hard-coded user accounts like these continue to crop up in Industrial Control Systems. Vendors and purchasers of such critical technologies should take great care to ensure that similar vulnerabilities do not affect future product lines. The industry as a whole still has a long way to go in implementing secure development lifecycle principles.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Citrix extends enterprise mobility strategy with XenDesktop 7

USA: Citrix announced the next major release of the market-leading Citrix XenDesktop desktop virtualization solution.

XenDesktop 7 is the first release of Project Avalon, a multi-phased initiative to deliver Windows as a cloud service. XenDesktop 7 offers integrated Windows app and desktop mobility, easier deployment options and simplified management, all delivered through a new, cloud-style architecture.

Current XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp customers will find the new architecture easier than ever to deploy, manage and support. XenDesktop 7 represents the state-of-the-art in app and desktop virtualization, enabling any business to mobilize Windows apps and desktops and deliver them as a cloud service to any device.

Over 20 additional partners, including Cisco, HP, IBM and Microsoft have signaled their support and are optimizing their solutions for XenDesktop 7.

Software revenues grew twice as fast in emerging markets as in mature markets in 2012

USA: The worldwide software market grew 3.6 percent year over year in 2012, less than half the growth rate experienced in 2010 and 2011, according to the International Data Corp. (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker.

Although some deceleration was expected, the economic contraction in the mature markets of Western Europe and Japan played a determinant role in the overall market performance. Meanwhile, the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA), Latin America, and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan, Australia, and New Zealand) enjoyed year-over-year growth of 7.2 percent in 2012. This was the fourth consecutive year of solid growth in these emerging markets, enabling them to collectively gain more than two points of worldwide market share over this period.

Mature markets still represent more than 85% of the worldwide software opportunity, but in recent years the strong growth in these emerging markets has attracted the attention of industry leaders. On the surface, the high-level competitive scenario within the emerging markets is not much different from mature markets.
The five largest vendors are the same as in mature markets. However, there is a growing dependence on the emerging markets among these top players. Emerging markets now represent a higher share of global revenues for them than the market average of 14.4 percent. And emerging markets represent a higher share of Oracle and SAP revenues than for the other top players, representing more than 20 percent of their worldwide software revenue.

Among the top vendors, IBM, Oracle, and SAP stand out with growth rates that outperformed even the emerging market average. For IBM, the Latin America database and data management business was very successful in 2012 as was the application server business in CEMA and Asia/Pacific. In addition, IBM's software solutions have shown high double-digit growth rates in all emerging regions.

Oracle enjoyed similar results for its database and data management solutions across all emerging regions while its ERM business was a top performer in Asia/Pacific. But the fastest growing vendor among the top five within the emerging markets was SAP. Its ERM market positioning was particularly good, growing at a double-digit pace, while its CRM and SCM solutions also experienced high double-digit growth, especially in Latin America and Asia/Pacific. SAP's data management and infrastructure software solutions also contributed to the vendor's overall performance within the emerging markets.

One quarter of all notebooks to ship with touchscreens by 2016; Intel endorses touch technology at SID

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Driven by falling prices and a major initiative from Intel Corp., shipments of touch-enabled mobile PCs are expected to enjoy rapid growth in 2013 and the coming years, rising to about 25 percent of all notebooks by 2016.

Global shipments of touchscreen-equipped notebook PCs will rise to 78 million units in 2016, up from just 4.6 million in 2012, according to the Notebook Touch Panel Shipment Database from information and analytics provider IHS.

By 2016, touch notebooks will represent 24.6 percent of all global PC notebook shipments, as presented in the attached figure. This year is expected to represent a major threshold for market growth, with shipments expected to surge to 24 million, up more than 400 percent—the highest rate of growth the market is anticipated to achieve for the next four years.

The year 2013 will be a banner year for touch notebooks because prices for low-end 14-inch capacitive touchscreen display panels fall to $35—down dramatically from $60 to $70 in 2012. The $35 price will help spur widespread market acceptance, enabling the production of more affordable touchscreen mobile PCs.

This pricing breakthrough, combined with Intel’s supply-chain muscle, will boost market growth this year and beyond.

“Touch displays are reinventing the PC market and there is a substantial growth opportunity in this area,” said Zane Ball, Intel VP and GM, Global Ecosystem Development. “At Intel, we have adopted a strategy that touch should be everywhere. We believe that as touch moves into the PC space, it will be a transformative product and will unlock new demand.”

Ball addressed his comments here Monday to a large audience at the Society for Information Display (SID) IHS/SID 2013 Business Conference.

Ball said that new mobile PC designs based on the company’s new Haswell processor are well underway in 2013. These designs combine touchscreen displays with innovative form factors.

In addition to Haswell, Intel is taking steps to ensure the stable supply of inexpensive touchscreens. The company also had to do some evangelizing to convince sometimes doubtful members of PC supply chain of the merits of touchscreen technology.

“We’re glad we’ve made this investment because now there’s little doubt there’s demand for touch in any number of PC form factors,” Ball said.

Ball noted that Intel’s touch ambitions are much larger than the mobile PC space. He outlined Intel’s vision for touch-enabled all-in-one PCs, including devices that are portable and battery powered.

Tablet usage among India SMBs will continue to skyrocket

INDIA: In the immediate future, Indian small and medium businesses indicate a rapid anticipated growth trend for tablet acquisition. A deep-dive analysis of the India SMB expenditure on these devices shows that small businesses are the major contributors to this accelerated spending, outpacing their medium business counterparts.

Moreover, total tablet penetration is projected to increase dramatically within India SMBs over the next three years. Nearly two thirds of PC-owning SMBs in India have stated plans to purchase one or more tablets in the next 12 months. These are a few highlights emerging from the soon-to-be-published “2013 India SMB Mobility Landscape, Opportunity Assessment & Outlook” study conducted by New York-based AMI-Partners.

India SMBs are indeed considering tablets an essential workplace companion. There are several components to the overall tablet spend. AMI research indicates that more than six in ten tablet-owning SMBs would like to utilize keyboards and other add-on devices. A similar proportion of these SMBs have realized the enhanced need for data security and access control.

The need to access data while on the move is key for tablet users. Hence, a large majority (over three quarters) of India SMBs connect to the internet via their tablets through either Wi-Fi or some kind of data plan such as 3G. In turn, spending on tablet data plans will display high double-digit growth rates in the near future.

There is no doubt that the need to access and work on files/documents on the move via cloud applications has been a significant growth driver for tablet usage. When considering key business applications, India SMBs tend to utilize tablets for productivity suite applications – viewing and editing documents on the go. Other oft-used applications are online file storage, CRM, completing finance/accounting-related tasks, e-mail, messaging and accessing calendar and contact information.

On a personal level, tablets are used to connect to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. As expected, when comparing tablet applications usage by India SBs versus MBs, MBs are significantly greater users of these applications.

China’s labor day LCD TV sales surge by double-digit percentage

USA: Sales of liquid crystal display televisions (LCD TV) during China’s Labor Day holiday rose 18 percent in 2013 compared to a year earlier, as consumers were lured by attractive promotional pricing and a government subsidy program.

Chinese consumers bought 4.2 million LCD TV sets in a three-week stretch from April 15 through May 5, the Labor Day selling season for this year, according the TV Systems Intelligence Service.

Sales were up from 3.6 million units in 2012. With a nearly 20 percent expansion, the results in 2013 for the period represent a major growth rebound compared to the tepid increase of 9 percent during the same time last year.

“After disappointing results in 2012, the Labor Day holiday returned the China LCD TV space to strong growth in 2013,” said Kathleen Zhang, senior China television analyst for IHS. “Following a strong first quarter, the top domestic LCD TV brands marched into the Labor Day period with very high expectations. Brands wanted to clear their television inventories going into the holiday, which is the last selling cycle for the first half of the year.”

The TV brands also hoped to sell as many sets as possible before a government subsidy program and incentive expired on May 31, Zhang noted.

Buy local
China’s top six domestic LCD TV brands together achieved a sales uptick of 28 percent during the Labor Day period, exceeding the market average. While companies had built up excess television inventories in the channel, the stockpiles were down to moderate levels by the time the selling season was over.

Government incentive powers up the TV market—for now
The Labor Day sales season in 2013 was boosted by an energy-saving subsidy offered by China’s National Development and Reform Commission on home appliances in five categories: TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines and water heaters. The incentive went into effect on June 1, 2012.

However, Labor Day 2013 may be the last hurrah for the sales stimulus in the television market.

If the Chinese government doesn’t extend the energy-saving TV subsidy program in June, the television market in the country is expected to undergo a major slowdown. As of May 10, Beijing had not announced a decision on whether to continue the program after the end of May.

As a result, television brands have had to prepare for the worst-case scenario by trying to make good use of the last few weeks before the subsidy ends.

Domestic television brands continue to engage in aggressive marketing campaigns even after the end of the Labor Day season. For example, Konka initiated a five-day nationwide sales promotion during May 17 and May 21. Furthermore, some e-commerce dealers have been offering special discounts.

“How healthy China’s LCD TV demand in the second half this year is highly dependent on the Chinese government’s decision to keep the incentive or to let it expire,” Zhang said.

UHD goes on the air
Ultra-high-definition (UHD) televisions were a hot topic for LCD TV marketing during the Labor Day season. Nonetheless, these expensive sets still represented only a small portion of total sales.

All top six local brands had launched UHD TVs in China by April. Sets sized 50-, 55-, 65- and 84-inches were already available by Labor Day, and 39-/58-inch sets were added during the season.

Still, the lack ultra-high definition content is a big obstacle for UHD TV market growth. Undeterred, local brands remain aggressive in promoting the product, hoping to entice consumers with attractive prices. For their part, retailers are showing UHD content demonstration in stores, also in a bid to attract consumer attention.

AMOLED displays to have major influence on innovation in cloud computing era

Display Week 2013, BRITISH COLUMBIA: "In the cloud computing era, AMOLED displays are most likely to have the greatest amount of influence on innovation in smart devices."

Kinam Kim, CEO of Samsung Display, delivered this statement as part of a keynote speech on "Display and Innovation" to attendees at the Society for Information Display's Display Week 2013 in the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Kim said that the future of displays will change considerably, with special attention to be given for the virtually infinite number of imaging possibilities in AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) display technology.

Kim emphasized that three evolving “environments” are likely to make displays the central focus of the increasingly pervasive use of electronic devices.

The first environment is the spread of cloud computing. In the cloud environment, the capability of electronic networked devices for data processing and storage will be extended infinitely, allowing users everywhere to easily enjoy content that only highly advanced devices can fully process today, including ultra HD (3840 x 2160) images and 3D games. Higher levels of display technology will be required to support our increasing reliance on the cloud.

The second environment is the accelerating evolution of high-speed networks. By 2015, the velocity of 4G LTE will rise to 3 gigabits per second (Gbps), so the transmission time for a two-hour UHD-resolution movie will be under 35 seconds. Mr. Kim said, “As image quality of video content improves, larger and even more vibrant displays will emerge as a key differentiating point in mobile devices.”

The third environment is the spread of connectivity among electronic devices. As the use of Wi-Fi networks explodes, the N-Screen era is on its way. A massive network environment will be established by connecting not only smartphones and tablet PCs but also automobiles, home appliances and wearable computing devices. Due to this explosion in “data flow,” there will be a huge surge of interest in touch-enabled displays.

HDS unveils industry’s first integrated file sync and share for enterprise

USA: Hitachi Data Systems Corp. (HDS) has unveiled new solutions and services that allow enterprises to adopt cloud computing more readily, enable their mobile workforce more securely and reliably, and provide a better IT experience to their end users.

The Hitachi Data Systems family of cloud services and solutions offer new options to help manage the multiple demands of IT. These demands include explosive growth of unstructured data, user expectations to access information from anywhere, and the requirement to ensure security, simplicity and protection of all data wherever it lives.

Rohde & Schwarz empowers mobile operators to deliver quality of experience

CTIA WIRELESS 2013, USA: Rohde & Schwarz has expanded its portfolio of solutions focused on the three key aspects that impact mobile network operators’ customer satisfaction: the devices subscribers use, the networks they use them on and the services and applications they use.

In the user-equipment domain, mobile operators and test labs throughout the world rely on Rohde & Schwarz to ensure that mobile devices designed for use on today’s networks deliver high-quality performance and adhere to the latest industry standards. Radio communication testers and conformance test systems from Rohde & Schwarz are able to test industry and operator-specific use cases to ensure user-equipment performance and quality.

In the network domain, Rohde & Schwarz solutions provide test solutions for the complete lifecycle of the network from vendor selection in the lab, to deployment and optimization in the field, enabling operators to maximize network performance and efficiency. In June 2012, Rohde & Schwarz enhanced its portfolio with the acquisition of SwissQual, an industry leading provider of drive test, optimization and benchmarking solutions for measuring network quality of service (QoS).

In the usage domain, it is important for mobile operators to know how their customers are interacting with the network as well as the services and applications they are using. Rohde & Schwarz acquired ipoque in May 2011, a company that uses deep packet inspection technology to enable network operators to anaylse, control and monetise the traffic running on their network, allowing them to address many of the issues that are critical to them today such as over-the-top revenue leakage, tiered pricing, and traffic optimization.

Roland Steffen, head of Test and Measurement at Rohde & Schwarz commented: “As LTE networks continue to expand throughout the world, new opportunities are created and also new challenges are emerging. Rohde & Schwarz has expanded its portfolio of test solutions to ensure device quality, maximize network performance and provide insight into customer usage, which ultimately empowers operators to deliver the quality of experience that their customers expect.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Agilent intros OpenLAB data store for mass spectrometry

USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. announced the OpenLAB Data Store for MS, a simple and affordable networked solution for compliant storage of mass spectral data acquired with Agilent’s ICP-MS MassHunter system.

The software is designed for medium to small laboratories measuring inorganic impurities in pharmaceutical products and ingredients in accordance with upcoming specifications from the United States Pharmacopoeia.

The OpenLAB Data Store for MS bundle allows customers to grow their compliant data storage to a second ICP-MS system at a lower price than standalone workstation solutions.

The United States Pharmacopoeia has proposed two new general chapters to test for inorganic impurities in pharmaceutical products and ingredients: Elemental Impurities—Limits <232> and Elemental Impurities—Procedures <233>. Effective May 2014, the new chapters specify maximum daily dose limits for 15 elements.

These elemental impurities are most efficiently measured using ICP-MS because of its low detection limits, dynamic range and throughput. Electronic management of the ICP-MS data is required as defined in Part 11 of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR Part 11) and the European equivalent (EU Annex 11).

Can UHD TVs avoid the fate of 3D sets?

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Television industry participants gathering at the Society for Information Display (SID) 2013 Display Week event here this week are showcasing the product they hope will rejuvenate the market: the Ultra-High Definition (UHD) set.

But, can UHD avoid the dismal fate of another product touted as the industry’s savior just a few years ago, the 3-D TV?

TV panel makers are betting on a high rate of growth for UHD LCD TVs during the next four years. These companies expect to ship nearly 943,000 UHD LCD panels this year, up from less than 33,000 units in 2012, according to the Display Materials & Systems Service.

The next two years will see shipments ramp up even more quickly to 7.1 million units in 2015, on their way to reaching 20.8 million units by 2017.

The total rises much higher when including a type of lower-priced, lower-specification product called “UHD Ready,” panels, which mainly are targeted at the Chinese market. Suppliers collectively plan to ship as many as 4 million UHD Ready panels this year alone.

But, with such lofty targets, is the TV market setting itself up for failure once again?

“A few years ago, 3-D TV came onto the market with tremendous hype and promise to transform how people watch television,” said Sweta Dash, senior director of display research and strategy at IHS. “This promise never came to fruition.  Instead, faced with a lack of content, high pricing and inconvenient technology, 3-D never emerged from a niche status—a situation that continues today.”

Many now predict the same fate for UHD television.

“However, having learned from past mistakes, TV suppliers are gearing up to make UHD TV a success, determined not to repeat the mistakes they made with 3-D. However, the level of consumer demand for UHD is still not clear. Lower yields, higher costs, slower TV sales, lack of content and delays in production all will lead to lower shipments than many in the industry expect.”

3-D’s doom
When 3-D debuted, brands touted the technology as a fundamental shift on the scale of moving to color from black-and-white. It also provided hope for brands to differentiate their products, to gain a competitive advantage and to increase profitability.

However, the reality of 3-D TV did not meet these high expectations. The poor adoption rate of 3-D was a wakeup call for major TV brands, forcing them to shift strategy away from focusing on selling 3-D TV sets to selling 3-D TV capability as an added feature.

Brands also learned they could not charge a price premium for 3-D. This changed the adoption rate, and by the end of 2012, only about 20 percent of all LCD TVs sold had 3-D capability, according to IHS.

Learning from the past
The market for 3-D TVs faced three major obstacles when it launched: content, price and technology. Even with 3-D popular in cinema thanks to movies such as “Avatar,” there was simply not enough 3-D content for televisions. 3-D TV also doubled the price premium of regular sets, and in perhaps the most significant obstacle of all, required consumers to change their viewing behavior by wearing a pair of glasses. For all these reasons, 3-D adoption stalled.

Many believe that UHD will suffer a similar fate because like 3-D, the format lacks television content, and introductory prices are very high.

Still, there are some major differences.

First, UHD TV does not require any change in consumer behavior, as there is no need to wear glasses. UHD TV also provides greater depth to picture quality, giving a more immersive experience. And with upscaling technology, consumers can see better picture quality even when watching FHD content.

Learning from past experience, many TV brands are actively working to provide UHD content, either through upscaling or through the creation of proprietary UHD content. Already, Japan has plans to begin UHD broadcasting as soon as 2014, two years earlier than originally planned. Also, 4K cameras and camcorders are now on the market, enabling creation of 4K content. Movies in 4K are likewise starting to show up.

Working aggressively to entice consumers
The increased focus on UHD LCD TVs comes in part from delays in commercialization for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs, an advanced technology that has encountered various challenges in manufacturing. As UHD is now taking over for the meantime, panel suppliers and brands are working aggressively to reduce prices, with lower-cost UHD TV sets expected later this year, mostly in sizes from 50-inch to 100-inch.

Availability of low-end UHD LCD TV panels from suppliers, especially from Taiwan, may also help trigger UHD market growth, particularly in China. Some brands are already planning to introduce a 50-inch UHD TV in China at a $2,000 price point.

But even with lower prices, UHD TV quality has to be accepted by consumers For long-term sustainable growth to occur, the quality of UHD TV must be deemed acceptable by consumers to justify the switch.

Top panel suppliers such as Samsung, LG Display, AUO and Innolux are all introducing UHD TV panels, with TV brands like Sony, Sharp, Samsung, LG Electronics, Vizio and many Chinese names planning to launch their own offerings later this year. The variety of products available, as well as the different price points and sizes for the sets, will help increase adoption rates, IHS believes.

On the technological front, oxide thin-film transistor (TFT) is considered to be a superior technology compared to conventional amorphous TFT LCD for achieving higher-resolution products. But oxide TFT faces challenges in capacity and yield issues, whereas panel suppliers have been able to offer lower-cost UHD panels produced from conventional amorphous TFT LCD.

After year of decline, global flat-panel TV market ekes out marginal growth in Q1

USA: Bringing an end to a full year of declines, global flat-panel television shipments rose slightly in the first quarter, paving the way for marginal growth in 2013, according to the “Monthly Worldwide FPD TV Shipment Data Report” from the IHS TV Systems Intelligence Service.

Global shipments of flat-panel televisions comprising liquid-crystal display (LCD) and plasma sets amounted to 47.6 million units in the first quarter, up 0.4 percent from 47.5 million during the same period one year earlier. This represented the first year-over-year quarterly growth for the market since the fourth quarter of 2011.

“While a less than 1 percent increase in the first quarter may not seem like much, it’s a major achievement for a TV market that was stuck in the doldrums throughout 2012,” said Jusy Hong, senior analyst, television research, for IHS.

“Just one year earlier, in the first quarter of 2012, shipments fell by 5 percent—and then continued to decline by 3.5 percent, 0.3 percent and 2.4 during the next three quarters. Even with weak results in February and March, the rise for the entire first quarter sets the stage for the global flat-panel TV market to return to growth this year, with a slight 0.4 percent increase expected in 2013.”

An up-and-down quarter
Global flat-panel television shipments started the year with a bang, rising by 11 percent in January compared to the same month in 2012 because of strong seasonal Lunar New Year demand.

However, shipments declined 9 percent in February and 3 percent in March as demand plunged following the Lunar New Year buying season, according to the latest IHS figures. The strong performance in January was just high enough to offset the declines during the next two months.

The market is now showing signs of rebounding, with estimated year-over-year growth of 10 percent in April and another 9 percent increase forecast in May.

LCDs grow—and grow their sales
LCD TVs are leading the growth for the overall market, with a 2 percent expansion in shipments in the first quarter compared to a year earlier. Shipments of LCD TVs amounted to 45.2 million units, up from 44.3 million.

Sales of LCD TVs are being boosted by 50-inch and larger sets, whose share doubled to 10 percent in February this year, up from 5 percent during the same time last year.

“LCD TV brands are aggressively increasing their super-larger-sized TV lineup and shipments in order to improve profitability,” Hong said. “Panel makers are following suit. This is resulting in declining prices for the larger sets, attracting more consumer interest.”

Plasma plunges
In contrast to the strong performance of LCDs, plasma sales are dropping like a rock, constraining the growth of the overall flat-panel market. Global plasma TV set shipments declined to 2.5 million in the first quarter, down a gut-wrenching 22 percent from 3.2 million one year earlier.

“Plasma shipments are declining because they are losing ground to LCDs in the market for super-sized TVs, especially in the 50-inch segment,” Hong said.

E Ink launches Spectra, world’s first true three pigment electronic paper display

Display Week 2013, USA: E Ink Holdings has introduced E Ink Spectra, the world’s first three pigment electronic paper display (EPD), featuring black, white and red pigments. Spectra is currently being shown at SID Display Week 2013 in Vancouver, CA.

Price optimization strategies and adaptable technology are vital to ensuring retailers’ competitive advantage, success and growth. By using electronic shelf labels (ESL) with E Ink’s technology, retailers have the ability to change pricing strategies as needed in real time, allowing them to stay one step ahead of competitors while attracting consumers based on changing market conditions.

Spectra allows retailers to elevate the impact of their ESLs, by adding color to logos and quickly directing consumers’ attention to important information, such as product sales and promotions.

E Ink unveils Aurora, world’s first low temperature matrix electronic paper display for freezers

Display Week 2013, USA: E Ink Holdings announced the upcoming release of E Ink Aurora, a first-of-its-kind electronic paper display (EPD) able to withstand freezers temperatures.

The new solution provides retailers and business owners with greater flexibility and a more efficient solution in managing pricing strategies for products sold in freezers and cold outdoor climates. A demonstration of Aurora, along with E Ink’s latest products can be seen at Display Week 2013 in Vancouver, CA from May 21-23.

Providing low power usage and cost optimization through a 5-volt driving capability, Aurora supports applications in conditions as cold as -25 C. Additionally; Aurora has been tuned for non-eReader applications, and is ideal for electronic shelf labels (ESLs) and smart cards in the retail, medical and logistics markets. Aurora will be available to partners and customers starting in July 2013.

The release of Aurora is an indication of E Ink’s product diversification strategy and commitment to providing the ESL market with an extremely durable, low power display technology. While eReaders continue to be an important market for E Ink, and the company is unequivocally committed to the eReader product line, E Ink believes that its unique technology addresses retailers’ and business owners’ needs to install displays in previously impossible or impractical locations across markets.