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    • How many antennas does it take to screw autonomy into a car? In the emerging era of highly automated vehicles, as many as 18 antennas are needed to power the next-generation connected car, according to antenna supplier Taoglas.

    • Car companies rarely discuss behind-the-scene development work on their autonomous vehicles. The notable exception is Intel, which styles itself as a data company. Intel laid out how custom data center architecture is critical in processing autonomous vehicle data.

    • For a highly automated car in, say, 2020, how much memory capacity, to capture, process and store data, will be enough? An industry consensus is this connected vehicle will require data storage of close to a terabyte.

    • It's time to separate the science-project robotic car from the commercially viable autonomous vehicle that carmakers need but don't have. Here are five open questions that await the tech revolution.

    • Lucio Lanza believes that billions of things, once connected, will eventually embody intelligence. The notion makes us feel a little uneasy.

    • Mentor Graphics Corp. will come to SAE World Congress in Detroit to demonstrate how raw data fusion - not the fusion of processed data generated by sensor modules - can provide dramatic improvements in sensing accuracy and overall system efficiency.

    • Chronocam, a developer of revolutionary event-driven sensor, is emerging in a red hot ADAS/Autonomous vehicle market where big players - Intel/Mobile -- are now beginning to merge. Is the startup tilting the windmills?

    • How many autonomous driving startups are out there - waiting to be snatched up, or hoping to become the next Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project)?

    • Thread Group set its goal high in enabling not just conformance but also interoperability among Thread 1.1 products.

    • Obstacle-detection technology, enabled by sensor fusion, is at the core of autonomous cars. What are the possibilities of applying the same sensor-fusion technology to wearable devices to aid the visually impaired or blind?

    • At this year's CES, ARM brought Renault's Twizy to its booth, typically full of mobile devices. Calling Twizy the world's first OEM open-source vehicle, ARM said Renault is seeing a wave of open-source hardware and software developments.

    • Now that Qualcomm has announced its NXP acquisition, it's time to examine the deal's potential consequences. Qualcomm, $35 billion chip company, will affect both the combined companies' internal operations and competitors on the market -- especially in the automotive segment.

    • Earlier this week, when the Department of Transportation laid out cybersecurity guidance for carmakers, U.S. Transportation Secretary called cybersecurity a safety issue. The latest survey, however, found that automakers still haven't made cybersecurity a priority in vehicle development.

    • Michael Bloomberg, CEO of Bloomberg, and Emmanuel Macron, former French Minister of Economy, came on stage together at a two-day conference in Paris, talked to the entrepreneurs about startups, roles of the government and taking risks.

    • Silicon Labs announced Monday the acquisition of Micrium, a supplier of real-time operating system software. The move effectively positions Silicon Labs as the only IoT chip vendor offering multiprotocol wireless MCUs complete with an embedded RTOS.

    • Over-the-Air vehicle updates and cyber-security for connected cars are two closely intertwined, red-hot issues in Detroit. Rambus is diving into the field--presumably at an opportune moment in partnership with Movimento, a leader in automotive reflash services.

    • Despite Nvidia, Mobile and NXP talking about their autonomous car platforms, do carmakers already know what their self-driving car architecture will be in 2020? They don't. At least, not yet, says Kalray's CEO.

    • With a growing number of connected cars and autonomous cars planned for rollout, automakers know they have a bulls-eye on their back. The question now is how best to deal with this imminent threat.

    • Tell us who makes the best 10 IoT processors. Is there a table somewhere that lists the top 10 IoT processors? What makes one IoT processor more successful than others?

    • On the heels of NXP's Bluebox announcement, Mobileye and STMicroelectronics rushed to reveal a Vision SoC, EyeQ5, touting it as a sensor fusion central computer for autonomous vehicles. Unlike Bluebox, already sampling, EyeQ5 won't be ready until 2018.

    • NXP is unveiling a comprehensive ADAS vehicles platform. Central to the platform is its new Bluebox computing engine, capable of fusing data processed from different sensor nodes such as radar, lidar, vision sensing and an onboard V2X system.

    • IoT system designers and service providers often don't realize until much too late in the design cycle that their data costs are quickly spiraling out of control, Windspring CEO observed.

    • Silicon Labs has rolled out multi-protocol SoC devices. Based on ARM Cortex-M4 core, they integrate a 2.4 GHz radio with up to 19.5 dBm output power and hardware security. How do they stack up against their competition?

    • In response to increasing competition from non-cellular players such as LoRa Alliance and Sigfox, cellular network operators will return to the Mobile World Congress next week to demonstrate a renewed commitment to Cellular IoT, recently agreed upon and designated as LTE Cat-M1 and LTE Cat-M2.

    • Google will buy Movidius vision processing chips and license the entire Movidius software development environment. Google's goal is to expand its machine intelligence technology beyond the data center, by bringing it to mobile devices.

    • Given that taking connectivity away from drivers is nearly impossible (well, it won't happen), what is the key to reducing accidents?

    • Since the Volkswagen scandal first broke, we know a lot more about how Dieselgate started to unravel. Here's a list of five automotive issues the recent scandal has exposed.

    • The Thread Group is gathering momentum, laying a foundation for much needed unity in Internet of Things, and rolling out the networking layer designed to interoperate with a broad range of IoT solutions.

    • Chinese designers know they've got to rethink wearables in a market where 45.7 percent of consumers stop using their wearables within a month. In six months, that number swells to almost 99 percent.

    • Triggering differences in IP policies of AllSeen and Open Interconnect Consortium is an ongoing tug of war between engineers and lawyers.

    • We illustrate the benefits of connected cars. We analyze the driving force behind the connected car. We will scout security measures necessary inside cars in order to make connected cars less vulnerable to external malicious attacks.

    • V-Nova will next week at NAB demonstrate a new video codec called Perseus. It's designed to do hierarchical and scalable video encoding by leveraging massive parallel processing, while sidestepping the complexity of block-based compression algorithms.

    • Deep learning is changing the way computers see, hear and identify objects -- but will it ever migrate into smartphones or vision SoCs for cars? Has anybody come up with SoCs optimized for neural networks?

    • Bosch grew its MEMS revenue by 20% in 2014, with sales revenues totaling $1.2 billion, according to Yole. Yole now calls Bosch a future MEMS titan, noting a widening gap between Bosch and STMicroelectronics.

    • Amazon received an experimental airworthiness certificate from the FAA, but is it a breakthrough?. Not so much. Here's why Amazon Prime Air's dream of package delivery via drones is still a long shot.

    • Microsemi Corp. will acquire Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. for $389 million to focus on communications semiconductors. On horizon is the MIPS vs. ARM conflict as the two companies use two diverging processor cores of their product lines.

    • Marvell CEO has been obsessed with a computer architecture that's unchanged for decades. Why must its progress depend on more memory and faster CPU? We are going to fix it for once and all.

    • The Mobile World Congress has literally morphed into the Everything Connected Show. What we saw ranged from foldable connected electric bicycle to connected car keys, a Project Ara Phone, M2M and lots of slideware for the 5G network.

    • Marvell has open-sourced its software crown jewel, KinomaJS. Marvell, which has been using JavaScript-based Kinoma, developed by ex-Apple Team, hopes to accelerate IoT development by making it open source.

    • Along with advanced vision algorithms and sensor data fusion features, a new Freescale SoC provides protection against external wireless attacks.

    • Dialog Semiconductor is expanding its product portfolio. In addition to audio codec and driver ICs for mobile displays, Dialog is launching a real-time 2D-to-3D video conversion IC specifically designed for portable devices.

    • Anticipating an emerging 3-D trend on the digital video camera market, Ambarella has unveiled a 3-D video pre-processor, called S3D, designed to be used with the company’s camera SoCs such as A5 or A7.

    • TI is putting floating point in every DSP core – a smart move for applications like MIMO. But will it cost them a penalty in latency? Freescale believes it will.

    • When close to 350 LSI Logic alumni last week showed up for the 30th reunion of LSI Logic, they shared tales of glory days in Silicon Valley and reminisced unexpected turn of events in the global electronics industry – many of which LSI Logic was very much part of.

    • IP specialists Trident Microsystems and Zoran are set to square off on a video technique called frame interpolation. Warning: You could be their next lawsuit target.

    • In a sharp contrast to a year ago, the Wall Street loves MIPS. Share holders love them. Even the media seems to be in love. But MIPS CEO believes that’s not enough: “Companies need to have a soul.”

    • Broadcom’s $86 million acquisition of Percello validates the fledgling femtocell market; it presents a scenario for femtocell to get integrated in another box; and it shows the future of femtocells priced on par with WiFi.

    • Amimon promises the universal proliferation of Wireless High-Definition Interface (WHDI) -- not only for wireless PC-to-TV but in mobile-to-TV streaming apps. But do we still need wireless HD video networking at home?

    • CEATEC, Japan’s premier consumer electronics show held here this week, illustrated three principle trends within the Japanese electronics industry: Android, sensors and display technologies

    • Femtocells, small basestations designed for homes or small businesses to extend cellular networks’ indoor coverage, are poised to enter the public access infrastructure market, posing a possible disruption to the traditional macro basestation industry.

    • MIPS Technologies said it added 13 licensees in the last quarter, including four new customers. CEO Sandeep Vij (shown) says there are more customers in the pipeline.

    • ESilicon aims to become to the semiconductor industry what EMS is to system OEMs. Just as OEMs like Apple and Sony grew their business by leveraging EMS, eSilicon CEO insists that it’s about time for semiconductor companies to wise up and pass off much of their operational activities to companies like eSilicon.

    • Here are the five reasons why the Japanese are losing confidence against Samsung -- and why they’re feeling whipped by their erstwhile whipping boy, Korea.

    • Yasushi Akao, president of Renesas Electronics Corporation, who spoke in an exclusive interview with EE Times , said the new company’s priority is to make hard choices, laying out clear timelines and action plans, all before barely three months have passed.

    • A three-day tour of Samsung's operations was definitely not enough time to take in the vibrant city of Seoul and its technology. Nevertheless, here are some snap shots.

    • When you travel all the way to Giheung, Korea, the last thing you expect is to meet an ex-Apple engineer who has morphed into a hotshot at Samsung Electronics, committed to pushing OLED for large-size TVs.

    • Samsung Electronics, already the world's largest LCD panel producer, has plans to add more LCD cell fab lines in its Tangjeong Crystal Valley. The company is likely to skip generations 9 and 10, going directly to 11 with the new fab.

    • MIPS has landed a major cellular baseband/application chip company based in Asia. The deal represents MIPS' first win on the cell phone market, displacing ARM as the processor IP core.

    • Pistorio Pasquale, the honorary chairman of STMicroelectronics, will be next week in San Jose, Calif., to receive the Life Time Achievement Award at the EE Times' Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Awards ceremony.

    • In almost all cases, factors that influence eye strain, nausea or headache in 3-D viewing are neither 3-D displays nor 3-D glasses. But they are [related to] content creation, post-production and mastering processes used in 3-D video production. Here's a three-step plan to prevent 3-D disaster.

    • Virage Logic no longer sees itself as just a provider of a collection of semiconductor IP cores. Instead, it's betting on a future of becoming a supplier of "subsystems" that can be quickly, painlessly and deeply embedded in SoCs for its licensees.

    • Rambus is seeking to cast a kinder and gentler light on the company's feisty reputation. Heretofore, Rambus has been largely known as a litigious memory technology company. Rambus now wants to be viewed as more conciliatory, as it diversifies its IP portfolio far beyond memories.

    • As the wireless industry transitions to WiMax/LTE, gone are the days when baseband chip vendors could continuously hold onto their existing 3G/2G solutions. On the horizon is the industry's growing appetite for DSPs -- specifically designed to run Software Defined Radio (SDR), according to CEVA.

    • The success of Symbian is intimately tied to Nokia. But Nokia's much needed success in the U.S. market is not necessarily tied to Symbian. Symbian today lacks the newborn cachet that has attached to its competition — Google's Android, Apple's mobile OS and Palm's webOS.

    • MIPS, next week, is attending the Mobile World Congress for the first time. By promoting MIPS cores in baseband and apps processor ICs in 3.5G/4G handests, MIPS is on a mission to challenge the industry's prevailing pre-conception: ARM for mobile; MIPS for digital consumer.

    • Signing Sandeep Vij as its new CEO may turn out to be just what MIPS Technologies needed, as the world's number two processor IP company struggles to steal the spotlight back from ARM -- both in media attention and the industry's mindshare.

    • Not only Japan is a nation of gadget-lovers, it's a country where people still read -- a lot. And yet, there is this unanimous ennui among the Japanese over iPad and, more significantly, e-books in general, due to a total lack of e-book eco-system in Japan.

    • Here's our take on what was hot and what was not at CES. If you attended, or have strong opinions based on what you have been reading, we invite you to chime in with your own picks and pans.

    • NXP Semiconductors is looking for buyers of TriMedia -- once the Dutch company's most coveted VLIW multimedia processor. Those with potential interest in TriMedia's intellectual properties are in Las Vegas this week during the Consumer Electronics Show.

    • Sony Corp. is sending a clear message at Consumer Electronics Show: It will work with others and will no longer resist developing new products based on competitors' ideas.

    • Netbook leader Asus at CES avoided tech debates that could pit Intel Corp.'s Atom against ARM, or that could promote Android over Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 7. Instead, the Taiwan-based company is focused on fashion statement for its new notebook PCs.

    • As John Bourgoin, president and CEO at MIPS, retires on this Thursday, his successor will find plenty on his plate. The new chief's to-do list includes: defending its turf against ARM; further proliferating its cores in new markets; and re-energizing the company as a new offensive player in the IP processor market.

    • The CE industry always talks about offering "better experiences" via brighter, larger-screen flat-panel TVs or ever smaller mobile phones. If they really mean it, then, why are they forcing everyone to wear 3-D glasses which will be -- for most people -- an uncomfortable experience?

    • EE Times offers five unsolicited tips for conventional CE vendors in a new CE era -- when superior hardware specs alone won't help them gain market share or even assure their survival.

    • Innovations will be abundant at the 2010 CES. But new twists on connected devices and applications/services will put many traditional CE vendors under tremendous pressure. Business-as-usual in 2010 won't be an option for many Japanese and Korean consumer companies.

    • ARM's processor div. chief faces a plenty of headaches. They include: serious competition posed by Intel; how best to help ARM licensees navigate uncharted shoals of multi-core and multi-threaded CPUs; whether graphics companies like Nvidia, AMD or Imagination will become serious rivals.

    • Leading analog chip vendors have all recently come out with "better than expected" quarterly results. Analog Devices CEO Jerry Fishman talked to EE Times of the market, the company's recent reorganization and what it takes to navigate the company in a global recession.

    • Apple is already a great consumer electronics company. But the big question is whether Apple has also secured its position as a leader of the consumer market in the future.

    • Creative Technology is betting its survival on two things: a new system-on-chip combined with its system module called Zii Platform; and a new business model targeting a growing number of no brand name Chinese OEMs.

    • The possibility of 3-D entertainment in the home is a foregone conclusion according to Japanese consumer electronics giants Sony and Panasonic. But here are four reasons for their 3-D push, and seven reasons for why it's still a long shot.

    • Toshiba Corp. revised Tuesday its first-half operating profit forecast to be 2.0 billion yen, against an earlier prediction for a loss of 30 billion yen, attributing it to exceeded business results in areas such as semiconductors, digital media and power systems.

    • Scan the dyslexicon of products targeting the territory between laptops and mobile phones--e-books, mini-notebooks, mobile Internet devices, netbooks, smartbooks, smartphones, tablet PCs and tomorrow's cloudbooks--and you understand why consumers are confused.

    • ARM dominates the global cell phone market, and many industry observers scoff at MIPS as a viable player in mobile phone designs. But MIPS disclosed that over the next one or two years' time, there will be MIPS-based handsets shipped.

    • Some new AV receivers or sound bars -- scheduled for Christmas launch -- may come with HDMI 1.4 features including audio return channel and 3D processing, but they will be powered by Analog Devices' new HDMI 1.4 transceiver IC, rather than those by Silicon Image.

    • Scan the dyslexicon of products targeting the territory between laptops and mobile phones--e-books, mini-notebooks, mobile Internet devices, netbooks, smartbooks, smartphones, tablet PCs and tomorrow's cloudbooks--and you understand why consumers are confused.

    • Benoit Schillings, until recently Nokia's chief technologist and technology advisor to its CEO, has left the world's largest mobile handset company to work for Myria Group, a relatively small mobile software developer in Switzerland. What does this mean?

    • While Silicon Image is methodically paving the way for LiquidHD -- a new protocol suite designed for networked digital consumer devices -- by integrating Ethernet support in HDMI 1.4 spec-based chips, the company so far has yet to entice any service operators or OEMs onto the bandwagon.

    • Riding on Google's fame and momentum, Japanese companies hope to own, seize control of and leverage the Google-developed Android operating system as a key to the future for their consumer devices, by creating a host of extensions to Android.

    • Linear Technology's multi-cell battery monitoring IC got a design win for Mitsubishi Motors' zero-emissions i-MiEV -- Japan's first all electric car. Calling the auto industry entering "an innovation cycle," Lothar Maier, CEO of Linear Technology, expects Linear's automotive revenue to double to 20 percent in the next few years.

    • SiRF, a pure-play GPS chip vendor, faces: a declining personal navigation device market; tougher competition getting into mobile handsets; and legal entanglements with Global Locate, acquired by Broadcom. SiRF's best hope is a pending merger with CSR. But can SiRF surf a sea of troubles?

    • CEVA, a DSP core IP supplier, is emerging as one of the big beneficiaries of the rapidly changing mobile handset IC market, in which Nokia recently changed its strategy to multiple sourcing on the open market, and Texas Instruments is exiting from the merchant baseband processor market.

    • ARC International is adding "media phones" in the mix of a growing roster of new connected consumer products -- netbooks, smartbooks, media players, personal navication devices and digital photo frames -- dominating the show floor of Computex in Taipei this year.

    • Monotype Imaging, which launched today "FlipFont," a downloadable app for mobile handsets, believes that typeface fonts, in great variety, may become the new battleground for mobile handset applications, as more people get engaged in mobile data services.

    • MIPS Technologies, Inc. who bought in August, 2007 Chipidea, a Portuguese analog and mixed-signal IP company, has divested its analog business group to Synopsys, Inc. in an all-cash transaction for $22 million. What has gone wrong?

    • ARC's announcement of the resignation of its former CEO Carl Schlachte was taken positively by the market. But the survival of ARC remains in precarious balance, as new CEO Geoff Bristow seeks ways to bring ARC back to profitability.

    • What's next for Nokia? Nokia's biggest enemy is Nokia itself. And it's about time for the world's largest mobile phone vendor to address the issue.

    • Taking advantage of Nokia's newly exposed camera API, eyeSight Mobile Technologies developed an image processing algorithm, which translates a mere wave of the hand -- captured by a camera sensor on mobile handset -- into a gesture-controlled user interface.

    • Nokia and Symbian Foundation find themselves between a rock and a hard place. While they have to fight against Apple's iPhone, a closed platform, they'd also have to fight against Google's Android built around Linux designed to leverage its free, open-source community.

    • Accenture's new report warns that a growing number of employees at chip companies are becoming "distrustful" of upper management, "disenchanted" in their work, and "fearful of losing their jobs."

    • At trade shows these days, everyone wants to know the number of attendees. This tends to drown out a somewhat more important issue: the quality of the show. But when we walk into unexpected encounters with people we've never met before at a trade show, we are always reminded of one thing: This is why we travel.

    • Gen Y consumers' use of consumer electronics and related services is showing an overall slowdown and, in some cases, a flattening or decline compared with boomers, according to Accenture's latest consumer electronics products and services usage report.

    • Three months after a horrific tragedy in which three SiPort executives, including its CEO, were fatally shot by a former employee, SiPort is heralding its return to normalcy by rolling out a low-power, single-chip HD Radio solution, now in mass production at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. using its 130nm RF CMOS process technology.

    • In-Stat's recently conducted Technology Adoption Panel offers some insight into early adopters of wirelessly connected digital photo frames. Developers, take note: These sophisticated users want their video.

    • Siano Mobile Silicon, whose mobile digital TV receiver chip is designed into the recently launched iPhone 3G accessory in Japan, hopes to ride on the coat-tails of the iPhone boom worldwide, taking the SoftBank's "TV & Battery" unit to the global market.

    • Panasonic Corp. is expected to post a consolidated net loss of about 350 billion yen ($3.89 billion) for this fiscal year ending March. The news came on the heels of a series of red ink warnings from Japan's leading electronics companies.

    • In a stampede toward the PC-TV market, the mobile TV industry's debate is now on whether to embrace CrestaTech's "programmable broadband" solution using the increasing horsepower on multi-core CPU cores or go with a dedicated hardware for hybrid TV receiver launched by Telegent Systems.

    • In hard economic times, chip vendors and consumer electronics OEM are focused on designing their next new consumer products with a magic $199.99 retail price tag in mind. Here's a sample from the Consumer Electronics Show.

    • Philips used to routinely fly 600 employees to the Consumer Electronics Show. This year, reportedly, there are two. Cisco was nowhere to be seen on the CES show floor either. Technology suppliers, including NXP Semiconductors, are hit hard, because their customers are unable to project the market demand.

    • LG Electronics and Panasonic are following two sharply divergent directions on 3-D, with LG going for an interim approach for 3-D by using a proprietary method, and Panasonic proposing a full-blown 3-D HD standard based on what the MPEG group has already developed as Multiview Video Coding.

    • Toshiba's Cell TV, configured as a combination of a set-top box " an HD server " and a 4k x 2k pixel panel, will be first launched in Japan later this year, followed by a U.S. launch early in 2010.

    • As more and more higher definition content gets distributed -- over distances longer than several feet -- around the "connected home," consumers may soon need to start looking for higher speed and more reliable HDMI cables.

    • Promotion & Display Technology Ltd. launched at Consumer Electronics Show the Minoru 3-D webcam, a single unit integrated with two CMOS image sensors and an internally-designed chip capable of processing stereo images into one, in real time, for the first time.

    • IEEE 802 working groups are in the process of completing Ethernet AV, a set of modifications to existing Ethernet standards to make the protocol "rock solid" for transmitting streaming audio and video. Some are betting on Ethernet to become the answer for home networks by late 2009 and beyond.

    • Every technologist, marketer, industry analyst and reporter on a hunt for the next big thing is bracing for the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show scheduled less than a month away.

    • More than half of Japanese engineers have not changed employers even once, according to an EE Times Japan survey. But there's growing evidence--albeit anecdotal--that some older Japanese engineers are receptive to moving to China or Korea for a few years to fatten their retirement stash. Others are moving to the United States for permanent stay.

    • In 2009, consumer electronics companies will deploy widgets across a broad range of devices, including digital photo frames, game consoles and mobile internet devices. With widgets, consumers will soon decide on feature sets and applications for their favorite CE devices.

    • Expect a gesture-controlled large-screen TV to emerge in 2009. The goal here is to enable consumers, simply by waving a hand at the screen, to turn the TV on or off, switch channels, or browse multiple video windows on display and select one. No remote needed.

    • The new Energy Star 3.0 guidelines slashing the standby power consumption requirement to 1 watt or less will stump TV designers, as SoC to monitor the Consumer Electroincs Control (CEC) command alone could easily blow the 1 watt budget.

    • The jury is still out whether Mimics Semiconductor's hybrid approach -- offering multi-standard TV tuner in hardware and demodulator in software -- is a solution coming to the market too late or it proves to be a ground-breaking solution that could kick start still a lukewarm mobile TV market.

    • More than half of Japanese engineers have not changed employers even once, according to an EE Times Japan survey. But there's growing evidence--albeit anecdotal--that some older Japanese engineers are receptive to moving to China or Korea for a few years to fatten their retirement stash. Others are moving to the United States for permanent stay.

    • The investment fever for the Chinese semiconductor/electronics industry has been cooling since a year ago, well before the current credit crisis hit the global market. Many industry experts put the blame squarely on the first wave of Chinese domestic chip companies--Actions, Vimicro and Spreadtrum--for failing to deliver results.

    • A report issued last week by market researcher iSuppli found there are more than 550 fabless semiconductor companies in China, but at least 100 will disappear within two years.

    • With ultrawideband technology losing steam, a wireless connectivity contest is narrowing down to SiBEAM-led WirelessHD running at 60 GHz and Amimon-led WHDI running at 5 GHz.

    • A move to unleash Nokia's S60 and the Symbian operating systems to the open source community hit all the right notes at the Smartphone show here this week. But is it really a "win" for everyone?

    • David Rivas, once Java TV architect at Sun Microsystems, is back in the industry spotlight again, this time as vice president of technology management for S60 Software in Nokia's device business, responsible for the transition of S60 and Symbian OS to the open source community.

    • How Samsung electronics made the transition from a consumer electronics dwarf to a global brand is a well-told story. Over the past decade, Samsung has ascended to the status of media darling and envy of the industry as it has transformed itself into the world-leading supplier of everything from consumer electronics to PCs to wireless handsets to flat-panel displays to memory and semiconductors.

    • Samsung Electronics co-opted the Japanese technology playbook, which calls for a commitment to win at any cost, and eventually beat Japan at its own game.

    • Sharp Corp. and TDK Corp. have revived the apparently never-ending DC vs. AC debate, first contested by Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

    • The Cell processor chip, originally developed for Sony's PlayStation 3 game console, will power "Cell TV," Toshiba Corp.'s next-generation, flat-panel TV scheduled for launch in the fall of 2009.

    • For sure, Hollywood studios, broadcasters and service providers are still the glamour part of the news, and they do indeed exert huge influence over the adoption of specific technology standards. But it dawned on me, while in Amsterdam last week covering the International Broadcast Conference (IBC), this service provider-driven mentality is flawed, and it may be finally fading to black.

    • CMMB may not be the only mobile TV standard in China for long, as Legend Silicon is rolling out more new digital TV chips based on China's terrestrial digital television broadcast standard called GB20600-2006, designed for both fixed and mobile TV receptions.

    • BBC has pitched at IBC 2008 a brand new codec called Dirac whose key advantages include low complexity, royalty free and flexibility that appeals to a broader spectrum of applications ranging from post production to web streaming.

    • Forget Verizon, ignore AT&T. Disregard cell phone operators. This is the scorched-operator attitude that appears to be the prevalent business model among mobile-TV technology suppliers at IBC 2008.

    • NHK, BBC and others banded together at IBC 2008 to demonstrate live "Super Hi-Vision" feed from London, carried via an ultra-broadband IP network. But some critics called it "too high resolution for humans" to see the difference when sitting several feet away from a TV.

    • A consortium of European broadcasters, academia and technology companies including Pioneer and STMicroelectronics is hoping to turn P2P on its head to create a next generation P2P content delivery platform, by connecting millions of TV sets at home.

    • Mobile TV chip suppliers, such as Siano, have moved on, looking elsewhere for potential homes for their products -- especially outside the cellular phone realm where too many stakeholders are gridlocked and the technology stagnant.

    • But despite all of DVB-H's inherent advantages, the mobile industry in Europe is now going back to the drawing board, engaged once more in the "DVB-T vs. DVB-H" debate. Pundits are now saying that the survival of the DVB-H mobile TV standard is up to the fickle French.

    • NXP Semiconductors, now a skeleton of its former self, faces formidable challenges in redefining itself as a going concern.

    • A marriage of TV and Internet has been on the minds of many for more than 15 years. Why should we believe Intel's Canmore is better positioned than others to solve the fundamental Internet TV problems the CE industry couldn't figure out for years?

    • Making chips and developing reference designs may no longer be enough to sustain traditional semiconductor companies, especially Application Specific Standard Product (ASSP) vendors.

    • Every one of 92,000 people in the stadium, including President Bush, received a MEMS-enabled electronic toy torch, along with instructions to coordinate waving in the stands with professional performers on the field during the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

    • Will China's Olympic Committee allow spectators during the opening ceremony to use the Waving Torch -- a replica of the Olympic Torch designed to spell out messages?

    • In an ambitious move to extend its HDMI dominance to the mobile world, Silicon Image is unveiling a dual-mode solution that pitches its proprietary MHL (mobile high-definition link) interface as a smaller-form-factor, lower-power-consumption, lower-BOM solution for interfacing handsets to digital TVs.

    • With the average resolution of camera phones fast approaching 3 Megapixels, handset designers need to design mobile phones that can efficiently handle large image files — increasing in size — without having to add more memory and processing power.

    • Samsung Electronics has become the second company, after Zenith Electronics, to file a patent infringement suit, related to the U.S. digital TV standard, against Polaroid Corp. and Westinghouse Digital Electronics. Expect the U.S. digital TV patent battle to get even hotter in the coming months and year.

    • The top five threats to wireless growth identified by panelists at the Design Automation Conference ranged from regulatory issues to mobile phone users, complexity of software concurrency and verification of mobile chips.

    • Analog and mixed signal chips are the foundations that determine many digital consumer systems' time to market. This theory is what Analog Devices Inc. is banking on after announcing recent design wins with Yamaha and Hitachi.

    • Microsoft's global recall of Xbox 360 one year ago happened because Microsoft designed the graphic chip on its own, cut a traditional ASIC vendor out of the process, and went straight to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., according to Bryan Lewis, research vice president and chief analyst at Gartner. The graphic chip turned out to be the source of the game console's heat problem.Microsoft's effort to save tens of millions dollar ASIC design cost backfired, because it ended up paying more than $1 billion for its Xbox 360 recall.

    • When something goes wrong with a digital consumer device that needs to be connected to a computer, no one can determine whether it's a problem with the computer or the consumer device. Manufacturers and retailers, maybe, should be paying a "refund" for the time and effort the buyer wastes trying to get the thing to work " all in vein. I joined the "refund" camp after buying a brand new Flip Video last week. My Flip flopped.

    • OmniVision Technologies, Inc., together with Taiwan Semiconcutor Manufacturing Corp. , developed a novel sensor design that adopts backside illumination (BSI) technology. OmniVision's competitors such as Micron Technology and MagnaChip, however, have been also granted patents related to BSI.

    • Nokia, under pressure from Apple's iPhone, Google's Android platform and a host of new devices based on open source operating systems, needs to demonstrate its S60 platform will offer advantages like compatibility.

    • According to research findings released by BDO Seidman, LLP, tech companies are more worried about risks associated with international operations (85 percent) than the struggling U.S. economy (73 percent).

    • Zilog, Inc. last week made a long overdue decision to solidify its 32-bit MCU strategy by licensing ARM's Cortex M3 processor. The company's broader 32-bit move seems inevitable, but it may have come too late.

    • Just as teenagers crave fame, fortune and friendship on MySpace, engineers also seek recognition and camaraderie among their peers on the Internet.

    • It's one thing for a technology reporter to chronicle, step by Orwellian step, the development of RFID and its associated privacy issues for the past several years. It's another thing— exciting, disappointing and troubling—to face all those RFID concerns in reality, in the form of a brand new, Patriot Act-mandated electronic passport.

    • Demonstrated earlier this week by Dolby/SIM2 LCD TV, LED-backlit LCD TVs produce stunning pictures. Unclear, though, is how much consumers will have to pay for that kind of picture quality.

    • Dolby showed off a High Dynamic Range technology in its full potential--by using a 46-inch LCD panel featuring 1,838 LEDs for backlighting.

    • Armed with a novel programmable architecture--with its processor embedded with an FPGA in the center--Stretch has raised an additional $15 million in Series B funding, stirring excitement among investors looking for the growth of video-surveillance market.

    • Ray Stata understands the strategic value of silence. "Generally, if you really listen, the story is there," he says, and it becomes "quite clear" what you need to do.

    • No prudent chip company would admit as much to customers, but the unspoken truth in today's complex world of system-on-chip design is that most ICs will neither be developed nor delivered on time. EE Times has learned that an enterprise resource planning tool is coming to the rescue.

    • Under its recent reorganization, Hewlett-Packard Labs won't complete the process of winnowing its slate of R&D projects to 30 "big bets" until May 1.

    • HP Labs director Prith Banerjee, in his efforts to "manage" technology innovations among creative R&D talents, has instituted a new process that can be best described as the "eHarmony of R&D match-making."

    • Electronics engineers can no longer content themselves with tending to the cozy business of circuit design. We are witnessing the integration of technology with society to an unprecedented degree. In this special report, we offer a glimpse of the next 35 years--what's coming down the pike, and how we might begin to make sense of it.

    • If you thought it was cool tying a video game to the physical world via consoles equipped with MEMS accelerometers--the technique Nintendo used to make "Wii" a household name--wait until you see what GPS can do to expand the future of video gaming.

    • Apple's iPhone, Google's Android OS platform and Nokia's Maps 2.0 GPS technology are striking a blow against cellular network operators' closed and lucrative business model.

    • Under its new wireless business unit management, NXP Semiconductors is hoping to bring clarity to the company's once sprawling wireless business strategy.

    • YouTube is coming to mobile handsets, as On2 Technologies rolls out a multi-format configurable hardware decoder, called Hantro 8190, which supports H.263, H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1, Sorenson Spark and VP6 video formats, along with up to 16MP JPEG still images.

    • SiRF Technology Inc., often viewed by its competitors as a one-trick pony focused solely on GPS, has entered the competitive multimedia phone race, rolling out a new multifunction platform called SiRFprima.

    • The oft-hyped mobile TV market is re-emerging with a vengeance at the Mobile World Congress as Broadcom joins the fray with the industry's first single-chip DVB-T/DVB-H system-on-chip based on 65-nm CMOS process technology.

    • According to Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog at Oxford University--who recently published the paper "Engineers of Jihad"--there is a strong relationship between an engineering background and involvement in a variety of Islamic terrorist groups.

    • Warner Bros.' defection from the HD-DVD camp to Blu-ray Disc, a bombshell that burst only days before the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), has done irreversible damage to the market's perception of HD-DVD.

    • Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show, Frans Van Houten, president and CEO at NXP, said, "We still think [going private] was a good idea and it's been a good experience."

    • Expect broadcasting to make a comeback this year and beyond in the mobile and wireless world. Particularly in the global market, the smart money in 2008 is on free-over-the-air digital TV and radio.

    • The pleasure of writing for--and, we hope, reading--EE Times is the breadth and depth of news we cover. For more than 35 years, this publication has never been about a single technology or topic; rather, we've striven journalistically to connect all the myriad dots that matter to the industry at large.

    • Panasonic cut through the Consumer Electronics Show's (CES) annual blizzard of wireless hype by showing off a variety of its new products featuring an SD card slot, signaling the revival of a sneaker net.

    • Start-up Quartics is rolling out a media processor based on a proprietary VLIW core, specifically designed for "screen shifting," allowing video content to move from one type of platform to any type of display.

    • At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, HD Radio developer iBiquity will show new features for the terrestrial digital radio format, such as an iTunes "tagging" feature that makes it easier to purchase music, while touting low-power chip support and reference designs tailored to move the HD Radio platform into portable devices.

    • I only met John Apostolopoulos, manager of the HP Labs Streaming Media Systems Group, over the phone the other day. Yet, talking to John was almost nostalgic.

    • Microchip Technology Inc., which climbed from 23rd place to first in the 8-bit microcontroller market in a span of 15 years, is set to take on the 32-bit MCU segment with designs based on MIPS Technologies Inc.'s M4K processing core. Microchip will announce the MCU family on Nov. 12, EE Times has learned.

    • MIPS Technologies Inc., best known as a supplier of IP cores used in SoCs, will enter the fast-growing, high-volume 32-bit microcontroller market.

    • The electronics industry has been counting on RFID's adoption as the antidote to drug counterfeiting. But legal wrangling and federal foot-dragging, abetted by the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, are raising concerns that the technology's adoption for tracking drugs through the supply chain may no longer be a given.

    • Even among promoters of RFID tagging for pharmaceuticals, there is contention over whether HF or UHF tags are the best route forward. Some warn the debate could be used as yet another justification for delaying investment in RFID infrastructure.

    • MIPS Technologies Inc.'s $147 million acquisition last week of Chipidea Microelectronica S.A., a privately held supplier of analog and mixed-signal intellectual property, advances both companies' ambitions for transforming system-on-chip design.

    • With interoperability issues for digital entertainment systems still dogging the consumer electronics industry, a subsidiary of the chip vendor that invented the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) has seized the opportunity to turn the industrywide problem into a profit center.

    • Three different identification card programs under development in the United States will use three different technologies with no consistency, little long-term strategy and a virtually nonexistent regime of government coordination.

    • Three professors from the electronics and computer engineering department at the Technical University of Lisbon--José Franca and two colleagues--founded Chipidea 10 years ago. At the time, the digital revolution was transforming the electronics industry, and many universities' engineering schools were beginning to jettison their analog curricula.

    • There are two good reasons you probably haven't heard about Chipidea Microelectronica. First, it's an IC company based in Portugal, where no large semiconductor manufacturer exists and the local IC market is virtually nil. Second, anyone who understands the complexity of analog technologies and the intellectual property business wisely regards "analog IP" as a risky proposition.

    • Get ready for Pause TV, a television receiver equipped with flash memory that lets TV viewers pause for a fridge break or rewind in midbroadcast for instant replays.

    • Get ready for Pause TV, a television receiver equipped with flash memory that lets TV viewers pause for a fridge break or rewind in mid-broadcast for instant replays.

    • The Apple iPhone may spark a new round of conflict over who will define the future of the handset and control the customer experience.

    • As the hype over Apple's iPhone reaches its climax, an industry consultant is posing a fundamental question: Can Apple sustain iPhone's initial momentum over the next four months in areas like volume, price and profitability?

    • Fabless chip company Mobilygen (Santa Clara, Calif.) is betting its new family of next-generation H.264 codecs, in tandem with swiftly sinking prices for solid-state memory, will spur development of such products as TVs that can accomplish "pause" and "instant replay" of broadcast programming without a hard drive.

    • Eastman Kodak Co. unveiled what it says are "next-generation color filter patterns" designed to more than double the light sensitivity of CMOS or CCD image sensors used in camera phones or digital still cameras.

    • Tessera Technologies has developed licensable intellectual property that allows camera module companies and sensor makers to develop a camera so small, it can be manufactured on a semiconductor wafer.

    • DVD counterfeiting and piracy cost content creators and disk sellers billions a year in lost revenue. But even as the industry scrambles to get a step ahead of the digital thieves, a low-tech form of larceny--the snatching of packaged DVDs from stores, warehouses and other points along the supply chain--continues to yield losses "on the same order of magnitude," said Paul Atkinson, president and CEO at Kestrel Wireless. Indeed, Atkinson said, "10 to 15 percent of the disks--especially newly released films--shipped [annually] in the United States are believed to be stolen."

    • A fearsome secret--kept by cable operators and equipment vendors alike at last week's National Cable Television Show in Las Vegas--is quietly surfacing in the form of multiple patent-infringement lawsuits by Rembrandt Technologies against U.S. cable companies.

    • A fearsome secret--kept by cable operators and equipment vendors alike at last week's National Cable Television Show in Las Vegas--is quietly surfacing in the form of multiple patent-infringement lawsuits by Rembrandt Technologies against U.S. cable companies.

    • Digital DVD piracy may grab the headlines, but low-tech thievery costs content creators and disk sellers billions a year in lost revenues. NXP Semiconductors and Kestrel Wireless have teamed on a digital solution to foil those who would snatch packaged optical disks from warehouses and retailers' shelves.

    • Kin Wah Loh, CEO of Qimonda, is out to prove that his company can be nimble and aggressive rather than a problematic memory division cramping the style of its parent company, Infineon Technologies.

    • LynuxWorks Inc., an embedded software vendor, said it has been selected by the European Space Agency to supply the real-time operating system for the Galileo project, the European global navigation system.

    • Technology innovations in digital imaging are stymied because there is very little opportunity for engineers to "air their ideas" with others in public, according to consultant Jean Barda.

    • The CEO of Opera Software ASA wants all your consumer devices to work in harmony, with Opera's browser technology wielding the baton.

    • Widgets have supplanted multimedia messaging this year as the hottest topic in mobile-phone software. But there's a problem: "A lot of the solutions out there are proprietary. It's more WAP than Web," said Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software ASA.

    • Chip and handset suppliers were rethinking their Digital Video Broadcast-centric mobile-TV strategies last week after Cingular's bombshell announcement that it would use the MediaFLO technology to offer broadcast TV services. The nod from the largest U.S. cellular operator tipped the scales definitively in favor of Qualcomm Inc.'s Forward Link Only scheme, making MediaFLO essentially the de facto standard for mobile TV over cell phones in the United States. Cingular will launch Media- FLO services

    • Penthera Technologies Inc. will show off this week at the 3GSM World Congress a new software platform designed to enable error-free delivery of MP3 files, podcasts, video clips, full-length TV shows and movies to phones, PDAs and laptops.

    • Nokia Corp. announced a new partnership with YouTube that will allow Nokia customers to view YouTube content on their handsets via broadband links.

    • Dartdevices' DartPlayer virtual machine is similar in concept to Xerox Parc's Obje technology. The Obje interoperability framework, essentially a software layer, is designed to allow devices, services and networks to teach each other how to work together.

    • Consumer device interoperability is a goal so seemingly intractable that most companies have paid it little more than lip service. Now a 14-person startup with no consumer products to protect is taking on the challenge with a software technology that could circumvent the longstanding consumer electronics model of closed, proprietary platforms.

    • Startup Dartdevices Corp. uses a new software interconnect technology that allows any device equipped with its DartPlayer to obtain direct access to the combined resources of all devices with such equipment.

    • NXP Semiconductors' imminent exit from Europe's chip-making R&D club could signal the beginning of the end for the Crolles2 Alliance. The alliance will be in trouble if it can't find a cash-rich partner to replace NXP, which last week confirmed earlier speculation it would leave the organization.

    • I received a flood of e-mail from readers after I wrote an opinion piece about the problems with my HDTV, which showed all the crime scene tapes and yellow cabs in New York in pink (see Jan. 1, page 4).

    • Frans Van Houten, president and CEO of NXP Semiconductors, talks of the future of Crolles2 Alliance after its buyout from Philips Semiconductors, the company's portfolio and its hunt for big and small acquisitions in 2007.

    • Near Field Communication technology may finally become commercial products in the United States, as Nokia launched at the Consumer Electronics Show the company's first NFC-enabled phone scheduled for delivery to the U.S. wireless carriers at the end of this month.

    • Delivering on a promise made at the Consumer Electronics Show a year ago, Panasonic said Sunday that it will start offering this spring a Java-enabled digital cable set-top box to U.S. cable operators. The set-top will be compliant to the software specification called OpenCable Application Platform.

    • By partnering with AOL, Yahoo and Grouper Networks on Sony's newly unveiled Internet Video Link unit, Sony hopes to bring Internet video content, scaled up to HD, to its new Bravia flat panel TVs, without using a personal computer.

    • The many players in today's consumer electronics industry share a vision of digital entertainment content flowing easily across all manner of networked products.

    • The Consumer Electronics Show could see the beginnings of a resurgence of CableCard, the PCMCIA Type II card that authorizes and decrypts a cable TV signal for a TV or TV peripheral. Many PCs, set-top boxes and some TVs may get their first CableCard slots this year.

    • The demand to easily generate and share personal content over the Internet, YouTube style, has already spilled over onto even a traditionally big-time media conduit like cable.

    • One of the early Christmas presents I gave myself and my husband this year was an HDTV. Unlike Jessica Simpson, who says in a DirecTV commercial, "I totally don't know what that [1,080i] means, but I want it," I've been talking and writing about high-definition TV since I first saw Japan's HDTV demonstration--not in digital, but in analog--more than 20 years ago.

    • The Consumer Electronics Show could see the beginnings of a resurgence of CableCard, the PCMCIA Type II card that authorizes and decrypts a cable TV signal for a TV or TV peripheral. Many PCs, set-top boxes and some TVs may get their first CableCard slots this year.

    • By any measure, 2006 has been Sony Corp.'s annus horribilis, a year of high-profile manufacturing snafus that have cost the company dearly--in revenue, market share and prestige.

    • In a move that may foreshadow dark days for the U.S. mobile-TV industry, Michael Schueppert, CEO of fledgling mobile-TV operator Modeo LLC, has abruptly quit the Houston-based company.

    • Shifting warily from the fast-growing but increasingly commoditized H.264 decoder IC market, a couple of semiconductor companies are testing the waters for H.264 High Profile encoder/decoders.

    • Shifting warily from the fast-growing but increasingly commoditized H.264 decoder IC market, several semiconductor companies are testing the waters for H.264 High Profile encoder/decoders.

    • AMD's new executive vice president Mario Rivas sees Microsoft Corp.'s Vista bringing the biggest change to the computer user in the 3-D graphics-intensive environment, creating the demand for increased performance per watt processors such as Fusion chips combining CPU and GPU.

    • For the second time in less than two years, a packaging defect in its captively manufactured CCD image sensors has prompted Sony Corp. to recall multiple models of its digital still cameras.

    • Emerging consumer applications combined with strides in manufacturing, testing and packaging could transform microelectromechanical systems from last year's trendy technology into a viable market.

    • Coming soon to a mobile phone near you: digital mirror technology that can analyze facial skin, warn three days in advance of an impending pimple and enable the victim to take preventative measures.

    • By squeezing into a cellphone a motion sensor based on microelectromechanical system ICs, suppliers of sensor and MEMS devices are hoping to raise the visibility of the technology.

    • The smart-card chip industry is pinning hopes for a growth spurt on electronic passports, national ID cards and national health cards, suppliers said here last week at the Cartes 2006 conference.

    • Two years after the launch of an industry consortium to push near-field communication technology into handsets, mobile phones equipped with the contactless capability remain few and far between.

    • Machines capable of playing both Blu-ray and HD-DVD disks will emerge next year to short-circuit the format war in next-generation DVD.

    • Mobile TV is shaping up as the ultimate test of handset quality. While driving around Italy--where DVB-H-based broadcasts enabled by handsets from two vendors debuted over the summer-- Yannick Levy, CEO of DiBcom, found "there were incidents where one handset received a clear mobile digital TV signal while the other screen went dark." On a regular voice call, it's impossible to tell if one handset's voice quality is better than another, because the call can only go to one phone at a time. But, said Levy, "With mobile TV, consumers can say, for the first time, yours works better than mine."

    • As mobile TV gears up in earnest, operators and handset vendors are finally coming to grips with a slew of problems that are impeding its uptake--including some of their own making. Among the challenges cited here last week at IBC, Europe's largest broadcast technology conference, are a persistent lack of interoperability, quality-of-service issues and a nonexistent certification process for any of the handful of competing mobile-TV standards.

    • Qualcomm Inc. disclosed at the IBC broadcasting conference that it will offer royalty-free licensing of its multimedia FLO technology for mobile TV to chip vendor Newport Media Inc.

    • While mobile operators are still figuring out how best to deliver mobile TV via wireless networks or a mobile TV broadcast networks like DVB-H, they've already found another new wrinkle: the emergence of Sling Media.

    • Philips Semiconductors, reborn as NXP Semiconductors, is reviewing whether it should extend its involvement in the Crolles 2 Alliance, according to Frans van Houten, chief executive officer of NXP.

    • The commercial deployment and market potential of HD-DVD and Blu-ray remain conundrums shrouded in mystery, despite assurances that all parties--hardware vendors, content owners and architects of a new copy-protection scheme earmarked for both of the competing formats--are all dressed up and ready to go.

    • As Philips Semiconductors gains its independence from Dutch giant Royal Philips Electronics and is reinvented as NXP, it may be pondering a move that could rattle its industry partners: withdrawal from the Crolles2 Alliance.

    • With an ownership change from Royal Philips Electronics to a consortium of private equity investment companies, Philips Semiconductors will become NXP. Semiconductors, or NXP.

    • The "EE Times 2006 State of the Engineer Survey" paints a portrait of contrasts between go-getter engineers in India and today's typical U.S. engineer, who is older, better compensated and generally more complacent.

    • As Internet users around the globe have watched the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict unfold in graphic detail this summer on YouTube.com, digital-TV design engineers are getting a glimpse of a future in which compelling Internet content propels next-generation DTV and set-top architectures toward IP video capability.

    • Texas Instruments Inc. today will announce an RFID chip that complies with the Electronic Product Code Generation 2 (EPC Gen 2) specification. The latest RFID spec, designed for a global market, operates in the UHF band centered around 900 MHz.

    • An STMicroelectronics executive provided a glimpse of its future Nomadik multimedia processor platform consisting of multiple CPUs, DSPs and subsystems on a single chip.

    • Joe Costello, chairman of Orb Networks and former CEO of Cadence Design Systems, used his keynote address at this year's Design Automation Conference to say VCs see EDA as "dead space" and that "This industry needs to change."

    • Paris -- Analog Devices Inc.'s JPEG2000 video compression chip, the ADV202, has been designed into Doremi Labs Inc.'s movie mastering systems and digital cinema servers, ADI will announce today. The win supports industry hopes that digital cinema may finally be catching hold, driven by movie studios eager to capitalize upon its cost-saving potential.

    • After a sluggish 2005 that marked a dip in its once-dominant share of the set-top market, STMicroelectronics is back to "kicking butt," according to Christos Lagomichos, vice president, general manager of ST's Home Entertainment Group.

    • Berlin -- Will the 2006 World Cup be the defining moment for mobile TV? Not quite--at least, not judging by my own, unscientific mobile-TV experiment here last week.

    • Audio, not video, was the highlight of the Brazil-Croatia World Cup match in Berlin. Our reporter says it's far better to watch matches live than viewing them on a mobile TV.

    • Grenoble, France -- Among all the possible places in the world, where should U.S. companies look for expert help in R&D? How about France?

    • Dresden, Germany -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s outlay of a whopping $2.5 billion to expand two microprocessor fabs here, announced last week, is testimony to the booming tech economy in Dresden and the surrounding state of Saxony.

    • Silicon Valley is no longer the end of the rainbow for companies in search of R&D talent, advanced research opportunities, submicron-process expertise or applications development prowess.

    • Paris -- The World Cup is revealing an inconvenient truth to the thousands of Italians and Germans trying to watch the games on their cell phones: The physical world is the enemy of mobile TV.

    • Dolby Laboratories may no longer have a lock on the multichannel-audio market, thanks to the emergence of a new surround-sound technology that stole the limelight at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Expo here last week. MPEG Surround allows broadcasters or content owners to add high-quality surround sound, with very little overhead in bandwidth, to MP3 files or other MPEG audio streams for Internet Protocol TV, mobile entertainment and Internet streaming applications, proponents said.

    • MPEG Surround, a new surround-sound technology targeting a broad range of digital applications, emerged as the star of this week's Audio Engineering Society Expo in Paris.

    • A nagging fear that the market for videogame consoles is about to plateau has Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo rethinking their next-generation boxes in hopes of attracting a new audience.

    • A watered-down version of France's proposed copyright legislation is likely to keep Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes service alive in France, contrary to initial fears that an "interoperability" provision in the original bill might force Apple to shut down its online music service here.

    • Dans un élan qui pourrait bien couper court à la bataille des consoles de jeux vidéo, en passant de dispositifs rapides et puissants à des interfaces utilisateurs plus intuitives, Nintendo a dévoilé son contrôleur de jeux vidéo qui utilise une technologie de traitement des signaux de mouvement triaxial.

    • Der französische Senat hat dem massiven Druck der Industrie nachgegeben und sein Copyright-Gesetz für digitale Inhalte in entscheidenden Punkten abgeschwächt.

    • Nintendo has unveiled a videogame controller that uses three-axis motion signal-processing technology.

    • Mit einer Demonstration haben am Sonntag (7. Mai) mehrere hundert Menschen mehr "digitale Freiheit" gefordert und gegen die Überhandnahme des Digital Rights Management (DRM) protestiert. Die Proteste richteten sich auch gegen die Änderung der Copyright-Gesetze, die gegenwärtig im französischen Senat diskutiert werden.

    • A proposed new copyright bill in France is feeding into stereotypes of the French as cranky and idiosyncratic. The controversy over music-download rights grabbed headlines that read, for example, "Apple vs. France," "France Takes a Shot at iTunes" and "France Breaks iPod's Dominance." Thus expressed, big bad France is the villain and little-bitty Apple is the good guy.

    • A peaceful crowd of several hundred gathered at the Place de la Bastille in Paris Sunday afternoon (May 7) to march in support of “digital freedom”—and against digital rights management and a proposed change in France's copyright law.

    • Le débat sur l’addition de la télévision numérique mobile sur les téléphones mobiles est passé de la phase « faut-il se lancer dans cette aventure » à des questions sur la meilleure façon de segmenter le réglage, la démodulation et le décodage audio/vidéo dans le combiné.

    • Le nouveau projet de loi sur les droits d’auteur a encore une fois confirmé les particularités que plusieurs éditeurs occidentaux non français attribuent aux Français. La controverse sur les droits de téléchargement musical a fait la manchette avec des titres comme « Apple contre la France », « La France s’attaque à iTunes » et « La France met fin à la domination de l’iPod ».

    • Cette semaine, le Sénat français va clore le débat sur une loi qui pourrait bien faire disparaître en France tous les services de vidéo et de musique en ligne utilisant un système assurant la Gestion des Droits Numériques (Digital Rights Management ou DRM) compatible exclusivement avec les appareils de la société (sont incluses dans cette catégorie les plates-formes en ligne d’Apple, iTune Music Store, et de Sony, Sony Connect).

    • The French Senate this week is concluding debate on a law that could effectively shut down online music and video services in France using a digital rights management system exclusive to one company's device.

    • Cable TV operators today distribute their MPEG-2 program signals via coaxial cable, with a cable set-top box at each TV receiver. Coaxial cables abound in most homes in the United States.

    • Microsoft Corp. will provide support for the IEEE1394b standard "within a reasonable time" after the launch of Windows Vista, according to a Microsoft Corp. representative who attended the IEEE1394 Trade Association meeting held here last week.

    • Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s 300-mm wafer ramp-up here is "right on schedule, not a single day behind," according to Hans Deppe, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD Saxony.

    • The debate over adding mobile digital TV to cell phones has moved beyond the "should we do it" phase to ponder how best to partition tuning, demodulation and audio/video decoding in the handset.

    • A high-stakes battle between Microsoft Corp. and the European Union has resumed today, as the Court of First Instance in Luxembourg, Europe's second highest court, has set aside five days this week to hear Microsoft's appeal of European regulators' 2004 antitrust ruling.

    • A meeting in Beijing is being staged by promoters of the Digital Audio Broadcast spec who have invested heavily in China and are now seeking a return on their investment after years of DAB technology development.

    • After two years of suspense worthy of a Hitchcock movie, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) has released complete specifications for the VC-1 video compression standard.

    • Modeo, a Houston-based mobile TV company, is demonstrating reportedly the first DVB-H incorporated handset at CTIA WIRELESS 2006 in Las Vegas.

    • Camera phones are undeniably handy for capitalizing on the unexpected photo op. But even the most casual photographers have been loath to give up their standalone digital still cameras and rely on camera phones for capturing "important" images. Image sensor companies and camera phone designers must work their way down a long and formidable to-do list if camera phones are to make competitive headway against standalone DSCs.

    • Une société d’équipements de diffusion britannique dont le profil, jusqu’à présent, n’avait presque aucun rapport avec les télécommunications migre vers le marché de la télévision sur mobile avec un outil qui, selon elle, convertit la vidéo diffusée de haute qualité pour un affichage sur les téléphones mobiles aux débits binaires les plus bas et aux débits de trame les plus élevés requis par les opérateurs de réseau.

    • Paris -- A U.K. broadcast equipment company with virtually no previous profile in telecom is moving into the mobile-TV market with a tool that it says converts high-quality broadcast video for viewing on mobile phones at the lower bit rates and higher frame rates required by network operators.

    • Paris -- The 1.5-GHz L-Band is fast becoming disputed territory as mobile TV's backers escalate hostilities in the battle for spectrum.

    • The Digital Video Broadcast Project has launched a "study mission" on the next-generation terrestrial digital TV standard, dubbed DVB-T2, Ulrich Reimers, chairman of the DVB Technical Module, said last week at the DVB World forum in Dublin, Ireland.

    • Dublin, Ireland -- The 30-odd DVB-Handheld mobile-TV trials in progress around the word have drawn positive responses from consumers. But speakers at DVB World here last week warned that the incompatibility of two protocols developed to deliver interactivity and content protection to handsets could irreparably splinter the nascent market.

    • Brasilien will heute (6. März) die Entscheidung über die Zukunft seines terrestrischen Digital-TV-Standards bekannt geben. Der Weichenstellung wird eine große Bedeutung für den lateinamerikanischen Markt beigemessen.

    • Microtune is sampling a three-in-one silicon TV tuner that it bills as the industry's first. The single chip can reliably receive traditional over-air analog TV, over-air digital TV and cable TV signals, the company said.

    • Zwei inkompatible Protokolle drohen den Markt für Handy-TV-Kombinationen nach der DVB-H-Norm zu spalten. Trotz guter Resultate bei Ferldversuchen könnten der Streit um die Protokolle den Marktstart der Technik behindern.

    • Die Digital Broadcast Group (DVB) hat eine 'Studienmission' zum nächsten Generation eines terrestrischen digitalen TV-Standards begonnen. Ziel ist vor allem eine höhere Bandbreite und eine robustere Übertragung.

    • The Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) group has launched a "study mission" on the next-generation terrestrial digital television standard, dubbed "DVB-T2," according to Ulrich Reimers, chair of DVB Technical Module at the DVB Forum.

    • Motivated by the burgeoning market for high-definition multimedia interface devices, startup Vativ Technologies Inc. will introduce this week what the company says is the industry's first "three-input, dual-output" HDMI receiver chip.

    • S’il y avait un thème récurrent au Congrès mondial 3GSM de Barcelone la semaine dernière, Thomas Ganswindt, le PDG de Siemens Communications, l’a résumé sans ambages : « Aujourd’hui dans l’industrie mobile, l’argent facile n’existe plus. »

    • Même avant l’ouverture du Congrès mondial 3GSM, la plus grande conférence européenne sur la téléphonie mobile qui a lieu cette semaine à Barcelone, les sociétés technologiques présentent sans relâche la TV mobile comme la prochaine chose marquante pour dynamiser la vitesse de remplacement des téléphones mobiles et soutenir le prix en recul des services sans fil.

    • Les participants au Congrès mondial 3GSM ont pu noter que les files d’attente avaient diminué cette semaine, lors de la vérification des badges dans le hall d’entrée de la convention. Tous ceux brandissant un nouveau téléphone mobile GSM Samsung ont pu entrer encore plus rapidement et ont également pu télécharger les coordonnées d’autres participants en posant simplement leur téléphone sur les badges à saisir.

    • Besucher des 3GSM World Congress in dieser Woche konnten sich über kürzere Warteschlangen beim Einlass freuen. Das lag nicht etwa an einem Rückgang des Besucherinteresses, sondern an der Technik: Die Messeleitung hatte Near-Field-Communciations-Lesegeräte an den Eingängen installiert.

    • Anyone brandishing a new Samsung GSM mobile phone at the 3GSM World Congress got through the registration line even faster, and could download other attendee's contact information just by placing the phone on a name tag.

    • Technology companies are becoming highly skilled in the politician's art of saying nothing. This is conference season, a time when reporters covering the industry are bombarded with announcements of new technologies and products. But we don't expect to learn anything from them. We journalists embrace our responsibility to cull the facts from the hype; that's part of the job. The challenge can seem intractable, however, when our "sources" ignore the facts altogether.

    • Even before the opening bell sounds at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week, technology companies are furiously pitching mobile TV as the way to boost the replacement rate of mobile handsets and prop up the slip-sliding price of wireless services.

    • Im Vorfeld der Mobilfunkmesse 3GSM World in Barcelona (13.-16. Feb.) preisen Technologie-Unternehmen das mobile Fernsehen als Allheilmittel für die Mobilfunkbranche an. Mit der 'Glotze für unterwegs' wollen die Hersteller neue Handys unter das Volk bringen – und die Mobilfunk-Carrier wollen so ihren Preisverfall stoppen.

    • Eager to bring to mobile phones full 30 frames per second digital video in D1 resolution, high fidelity surround sound and console class 3D gaming, Nvidia Corp. Monday (Feb. 13), at the 3GSM World Congress, unveiled the company’s newest graphics processing unit (GPU) called GoForce 5500.

    • Even before the opening bell sounds at the 3GSM World Congress, technology companies are furiously pitching mobile TV as the way to boost the replacement rate of mobile handsets.

    • Philips Semiconductors has scored a significant win in the emerging Wi-Fi and cellular converged phones business and said Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)-enabled phones, based on its Nexperia cellular system solution, will soon become available in the U.S. market from a major operator.

    • Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has joined forces with Nokia and Symbian to offer later this year a 3G handset reference design. It will run Nokia’s S60 software on Symbian operating system, using Freescale’s single core modem.

    • Je mehr die Pläne von Philips für die Ausgliederung seines Chipgeschäfts Gestalt annehmen, desto illustrer wird der potenzielle Käuferkreis. Auch Intel scheint sich nun für die Halbleiterdivision zu interessieren. Zumindest steht der US-Chiphersteller bei Analysten auf der Liste potenzieller Philips-Partner.

    • Atmel Corp. has developed a high-performance 32-bit RISC processor core with an instruction-set architecture de- signed from the ground up to increase computational throughput per cycle.

    • As Royal Philips Electronics moves ahead with its plan to spin off its semiconductor division, a surprising name has cropped up on analysts' lists of potential suitors: Intel Corp.

    • Il est assez facile de renvoyer la plate-forme Viiv d’Intel Corp. au rang de nouvelle initiative commerciale/de marque visant à favoriser les PC de divertissement basés sur des puces propriétaires. Mais si on l’observe de plus près, on s’aperçoit que l’ambition va bien au-delà : il s’agit de redéfinir non seulement les PC de divertissement mais également l’avenir des boîtiers électroniques grand public.

    • Auf den ersten Blick scheint Intels neue Viiv-Plattform nur ein weiterer Marketing-Schachzug, um Entertainment-PCs mit proprietären Chips an den Mann zu bringen. Doch bei näherer Betrachtung entdeckt man höhere Ambitionen.

    • Consumer electronics giant Philips said annual sales grew 4 percent to 30.4 billion euros ($36.7 million) in 2005 as a result of the strong sales of flat-panel TVs and the recovery of the semiconductor market cycle.

    • It's easy to dismiss Intel Corp.'s Viiv platform as just another marketing/ branding initiative to promote entertainment PCs based on proprietary chips. But a closer look reveals a grander ambition: to redefine not just entertainment PCs but also the future of consumer electronics boxes.

    • Royal Philips Electronics, which last month announced plans to spin off its semiconductor business by mid-2006, has confirmed it wishes to pursue a merger for Philips Semiconductors, but remained quiet about potential partners.

    • Royal Philips Electronics, qui a annoncé en décembre dernier, des projets de scission de son activité semi-conducteurs d’ici mi-2006, confirme qu’il souhaite poursuivre une fusion mais reste discret sur ses partenaires potentiels.

    • Vergangenen Monat verkündete Philips Pläne für den Verkauf seiner Halbleitersparte. Nun will der niederländische Elektronikkonzern sein Chipgeschäft vielleicht doch nicht völlig abstoßen. Auch eine Fusion mit andern Halbleiterherstellern ist jetzt denkbar.

    • Royal Philips Electronics, which announced plans last month to spin off its semiconductor business by mid-2006, has confirmed it wishes to pursue a merger but remained quiet about potential partners it may be pursuing.

    • Hisashi Yamada, chief technology fellow at Toshiba's Digital Media Network Co. and chief HD DVD backer, says he isn't worried about the Blu-ray Disc group's seeming momentum.

    • Die führenden Anbieter von Produkten der Heim-Elektronik aus den miteinander verfeindeten Lagern der optischen Speichertechniken HD DVD und Blu-ray liefern sich im Vorfeld der Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas bereits heftige Marketing-Gefechte.

    • Leading consumer electronics manufacturers in the competing HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc camps scrambled to announce market plans for their high-definition optical disk players at the Consumer Electronics Show.

    • Crown Castle International's renamed mobile TV subsidiary, Modeo LLC, announced plans at the Consumer Electronics Show here to launch commercial services in 30 U.S. markets this year based on the Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld standard.

    • For many of the world's service providers, cell phone vendors and consumer electronics companies, the budding opportunities in mobile television are a siren's song.

    • After months of intense wrangling between the competing Blu-ray and HD-DVD groups, the battle lines in the war over a next-generation high-definition DVD format have moved to the doorstep of Microsoft Corp.

    • Hewlett Packard Co. reversed course by officially joining the competing HD-DVD group while maintaining its ties with the Blu-ray Disc camp.

    • Dans l’espoir d’amener des consommateurs américains à se connecter à la télévision numérique en direct sur leurs téléphones mobiles, Philips Semiconductors lance un dispositif de TV sur mobile complet doté d’un syntoniseur TV et d’un démodulateur conforme à la norme DVB-H et conçu pour une bande de fréquence spécifique des Etats-Unis.

    • It's not a brand name you've ever heard of, but a little Swedish company called Neonode has come up with a mobile phone, the N1m, that replaces the traditional keypad with a touch-activated screen.

    • Philips Semiconductors is rolling out a TV-on-mobile device complete with a TV tuner and a demodulator that complies with the DVB-H standard and specifically designed for us in a U.S. frequency band.

    • In a country where cell phone market penetration exceeds 110 percent and 3G networks already cover 98 percent of the geography, you'd think delivery of TV to consumer handsets would be a pushover. However, such an assumption fails to take into account both the logistics and the politics of mobile TV in Sweden, where broadcasters are pitted against mobile operators, the technology landscape is a battle of the titans (Ericsson vs. Nokia) and regulators face huge pressure to revise — or not to revise — their plans for the digital TV spectrum.

    • Kaum eine Industrie ist heute stärker an globalen Strukturen ausgerichtet als die Elektronik und die Informationstechnik. Doch sind Ingenieure und Technische Hochschulen für die Globalisierung gerüstet? Weltweit haben sich nur eine Handvoll Universitäten zur Spitze vorgearbeitet – in Deutschland ist die TU München dabei.

    • The top 10 universities involved in the business of training EEs — schools located in the United States, Europe and Asia — are increasingly thinking global, not local, as they compete to attract the top scholars from all regions of the world. U.S. universities are already a magnet — indeed, roughly 50 percent of postgraduates enrolled in the top U.S. engineering schools today hail from abroad. But educators believe the count will drop as foreign universities scale the academic heights now occupied by the likes of MIT, Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon, which top our list of the best engineering schools in the world.

    • Browser developer Opera Software has launched a software development kit designed to bring to mobile phones dynamic Web applications using Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX)-based technologies.

    • My ailing father passed away just about a month ago. His wake and funeral, followed by myriad legal and bureaucratic arrangements, kept me busy, not maudlin. I conveniently thought it more important to protect my mother from getting depressed than to indulge myself in mourning the loss of my father.

    • Marktforscher sagen dem Fernsehen via Internet (IPTV) eine große Zukunft voraus – allerdings tun sie das schon seit langem, aber am Markt hat die Technik bislang kaum eine Bedeutung erlangt. Es könnte sein, dass dem IPTV das gleiche Schicksal blüht wie den ebenfalls von großem Hype begleiteten interaktiven TV-Plattformen.

    • Will Internet Protocol TV follow the path of other interactive-TV platforms, blazing onto the scene only to fizzle into a minor market that leaves pundits grasping for explanations? IPTV is the real deal, sources said, noting that operators in Europe and Asia have already pulled off successful deployments. Many of those pioneers are telcos that earlier deployed broadband over digital subscriber lines for Internet data service and are now expanding into IP voice and video for "triple play" service.

    • Philips Semiconductors is putting its weight behind a lobbying effort aimed at convincing policy-makers to adopt RFID tag technology. Speaking at a meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris last week, Indro Mukerjee, executive vice president for the automotive and identification business unit at Philips, predicted that RFID will become the most prevalent "electronic-based intelligence" technology of the 21st century.

    • Der Prozessohersteller AMD will offenbar seine Wireless-Strategie stärken. Zu diesem Zweck hat er den ehemaligen Philips-Manager Mario Rivas angeheuert, der als Mobilfunkexperte gilt.

    • AMD Inc. beefed up its wireless strategy with the hiring of Mario Rivas, a former Philips Semiconductors executive.

    • A cross-industry debate over the next-generation high-definition optical-disk format turned uglier, perhaps irreparably so, last week after Microsoft and Intel publicly backed the HD-DVD standard over its Blu-ray rival. Moving beyond the turf war talk of whether PCs or consumer electronics will rule the digital living room, the HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray battle is focusing more on which device — or whose technology — is best positioned to deliver high-definition video throughout the home.

    • Wischip International Ltd. has become the second chip maker, after Sigma Designs Inc., to announce support for Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Protocol TV software platform, as the Redmond giant attempts to secure a market toehold for its Microsoft TV IPTV Edition.

    • Texas Instruments will seine Zukunft aus eigener Kraft meistern. Das Unternehmen vertraue auf seine eigenen Herstellungsverfahren, erklärt Unternehmenschef Richard Templeton. Allianzen mit anderen Halbleiterherstellern lehnt der Manager ab.

    • A Chinese equipment maker will launch Internet Protocol TV set-top boxes in the United States today that are designed to receive consistently high-quality video when used with any broadband modem connected to any broadband network. Beijing Digital TransVideo Technology Co.'s set-tops run a proprietary algorithm that compensates for current Internet distribution limitations — namely, variable data speeds, packet loss and inconsistent quality-of-service (QoS). Such variables, present in a wide variety of U.S. broadband connections, tend to degrade reception for IP-based streaming video — a phenomenon sometimes referred to as the "Max Headroom effect."

    • A Chinese equipment maker will launch Internet Protocol TV set-top boxes in the United States today that are designed to receive consistently high-quality video when used with any broadband modem connected to any broadband network.

    • A Chinese equipment maker will launch Internet Protocol TV set-top boxes in the United States that are designed to receive consistently high-quality video when used with any broadband modem connected to any broadband network.

    • Avec la nouvelle direction, Philips Semiconductors a désigné le marché des PC comme étant « un des trois premiers domaines à très forte croissance » pour Home, la nouvelle entité du groupe récemment créée.

    • Das neue Management von Philips Semiconductor hat den PC-Markt ins Visier genommen – als eine der drei am schnellsten wachsenden Märkte für die neu geründete Geschäftseinheit Home-Elektronik.

    • Philips Semiconductors has designated the PC market as “one of the top three high-growth areas” for the company’s newly organized Home business unit.

    • Nach über einem Jahrzehnt verbissener Bemühungen, eine interaktive TV-Plattform auf Windows-CE-Basis in Set-Top-Boxen für Kabel und Satellit zu vermarkten, visiert Microsoft nun den aufkeimenden TV-Markt über das Internet-Protokoll an.

    • After more than a decade of dogged efforts to wedge its Windows CE-based interactive-TV platform into cable and satellite set-top boxes, Microsoft Corp. has targeted the emerging Internet Protocol TV market. Given its limited success with TV in the past, the company faces a fresh wave of skepticism. Nonetheless, the huge lounge space and theater Microsoft installed at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) here last week demonstrated the software giant's confidence.

    • A new, media-independent control-networking technology that has trained its sights on an eventual role in the low-cost wireless-sensor network market could pose a challenge to ZigBee, the open wireless standard based on IEEE 802.15.4 radio.

    • Pace Micro Technology hat einen mobilen Festplattenrecorder-Prototyp vorgestellt, der auf dem mobilen TV-Standard DVB-H basiert. Das Unternehmen aus dem britischen Yorkshire zeigte einen DVB-H-Live-Empfang mit seinem mobilen Personal-Videorecorder auf der 'International Broadcast Conference in Amsterdam.

    • Bislang nutzte Texas Instruments seine DSP-Technologie, um sich im Telefonie- und Handy-Markt als dominanter Player zu etablieren. Jetzt planen die Texaner den gleichen Schachzug beim digitalen Video, denn TI stellte seine neue Video-Plattform 'DaVinci' vor, die ebenfalls auf der hauseigenen DSP-Technologie basiert.

    • Hi, MikeD658. I'm glad you feel that way. That was my thoughts too. I wonder where else we should look to find simiar "engineer's engineer" CEO.

    • So, what's next after iGrill? As my colleague Mark LaPedus mused, we will soon have iBlender, iVacuum cleaner, iShaver and iPotato Peeler!

    • Dialog's aggressive moves into a variety of growth areas are fascinating. Dialog's CEO insists, though, what tie everything together is that the company is there to serve low-power, mobile devices.

    • Personally, I wouldn't (because I am a cheap skate). But we would all have to note that this will be a clear, visible differentiator. How cool would that be if you can show off your mobile can do 3D, while your friends' phones can't!

    • Interesting. What aspects of Powell's FCC was attractive to you guys? I actually liked Reed Hundt's FCC a lot. While some may put him in a category of "doing too much," it was exciting to cover the FCC chairman who had vision and was ready to fight all the time.

    • Thanks, Rene. You know, we do Salary Survey every year at EE Times. Much of the frustration we hear from our engineering audience is this: companies don't realize the value of the great "people" (engineering) assets they have. I actually found it very refreshing when Sandeep talked about his initiative to invite the company's key customer every month to talk to the employees of the whole company. The knowledge of meeting with key customers shouldn't stop at the management/marketing level. Nothing satisfies engineers more than hearing how their technology is actually used!

    • I don't think Sandeep was talking like a "spiritualist." As a reporter, I can be as much a cynic as anyone. But I was certain that Sandeep meant it, when he talked about "the company's soul." Well, we will see if he will keep up.

    • Thank you for all the comments here. We will take your suggestions to our heart. No, LarryM99, this is the product developed specifically to cover things that are NOT said in press releases. I hope all of you can download a sample issue and see it yourself.

    • Acquisitions and integrations are Broadcom's two hallmark strategies since the inception of the company. Broadcom has great eyes in terms of which technology/companies to buy. But more importantly, the company really knows how to execute all these acquistions very well. There is no other company -- except for Cisco -- who is so disciplined to pull off and manage a series of acquisitions.

    • You are absolutely right. "Geopolitics are a complex game" -- indeed. I do see China's point of view, too. If they have resources that others don't, why wouldn't use them to their advantage? The problem is, once you become a member of WTO, there are certain rules that we all need to abide by in our busienss conduct. I don't mean to get on the high horse (but you are right, the media tends to do that). But look, pointing out the obvious (even if they happen to be some sore issues to certain parties) is also our job, rather than letting it pass as "well, that's the way China does its busienss."

    • We will all miss Jack. At a time when so many editors want to have this so-called attitude of "authoritative voice," Jack always had the ultimate humbleness when meeting with people in the industry. I remember when I first moved to Silicon Valley and started covering the cable industry ("500 channel cable set-top boxes"!), I remember Jack, who was so much more experienced than I was, always somehow positioned himself right behind me (standing tall) and interviewed the same executives (say, from Motorola), asking a lot of questions, right along with me. He never showed any attitude of "I know more than you do." Instead, he always had twinkles in his eyes, when he asked questions. That's when I learned that the utlimate curiocity is what every reporter should have -- no matter how experienced he/she is!

    • Thanks, Warren. Yes, that is my understanding. I am not a lawyer, but this is one of the guiding principles of the WTO rules. "Most-favoured-nation (MFN): treating other people equally Under the WTO agreements, countries cannot normally discriminate between their trading partners. Grant someone a special favour (such as a lower customs duty rate for one of their products) and you have to do the same for all other WTO members.

    • I think you have a point, Jun Yang. However, there are some basic differences between what China is trying to do here and what Shimizu is implying. Remember, W.T.O. rules bar export quotas and export taxes in most cases. They particularly prohibit the use of export restrictions to force other countries to buy more value-added products. That's a different argument from so-called "export" restrictions, which a lot of countries do impose on their own missiles and other military high-tech technologies -- in the name of protecting national security. But it's been speculated that this may be a hard case for Japan to win, even if the case is successfully brought to the attention of the WTO. It's because the WTO rules have an exception for the conservation of scarce natural resources. (Obviously, that's the argument China is using. Premier Wen Jiabao reportedly suggested in Europe last week that "conservation of resources" was China’s goal in restricting rare earth exports.) Another reason why this may not be a slam dunk case for Japan is because China has not acknowledged the halt in exports through any documents or public statements. The WTO requires that documentation or public statements. So, it appears that diplomacy demands a lot more patience from all of us, before it succeeds. But of course, that doesn't mean we should give up that venue, in my humble opinion.

    • got it, doc. I will definitelyl make a note to do a follow-up. As for the video quality of the flexible display, it was pretty descent. In fact, they were doing a live steraming (the person you see on the pix is myself, and the guy standing in front of me was feeding the bubbles on the curved display).

    • Chanj, I think you hit the nail on the head. Perhaps the real value of wireless video is not so much for "home networking" but for enabling the magical wireless transmission from "small screen to big screen"...what do you think?

    • I am not sure how many of these products shown here could actually succeed on the market. But here's the thing. Many Japanese engineers don't have to operate under constant scrutiny of VCs or shareholders... That tends to lead them to some wild ideas which may not be too practical. Yes, it's a good thing that they can run their imagination wild. But it's not so good when many of these pre-commercial products could end up being just a "show" product at a trade show.

    • I actually loved the digital heart. When I first looked at it, I thought this was sort of trivial, not to mention, a little strange. Then I overheard a gentleman, over 60 years old, standing next to me asking a lot of questions to NTT Docomo guy at the booth. It turns out this guy's mother recently had a stroke. Since then, she has been unable to speak. This gentleman was saying, "Wouldn't it be nice if I could get one of those for her; she can hold this tight, she can feel she is not alone. She can see the heart vibrate and change colors... I can at least let her know how much I care about her." OK. It may sound corny, but I was touched.

    • “Apps vs. Web” debate is not just a passing trend but a hard reality affecting everyone – not only you as a consumer, but you as a designer and engineer of new devices. Java was supposed to unite everyone on the Internet – regardless which device you use to access to the Internet. Now, we are facing an age-old challenge all over again: The fragmentation of apps among different platforms. How should we deal with it?

    • Data centers are where many network chips are being consumed these days, according to Freescale's senior vice president Lisa Su. Considering data centers are the place where Oracle/Sun play a major role, I would vote for Oracle's acquisition of a network chip vendor...

    • Details are sketchy, but according to the company's website (http://www.nano-opt.jp/en/), Nano-Optonics Energy appears to be engaged in the development of such technologies as "3.8m diameter astronomical telescope," and "high temperature superconducting power transmission and battery technology," aside from manufacturing SIM-Drive's first EVs.

    • Well, actually, what is beginning to happen is, if you complain to Provider A, they may send a free femtocell to your home -- especially if you are already a good customer to them. It's in the Provider A's best interest to keep you as their customer. And the femtocell shouldn't be that expensive...perhpas as low as $50...

    • For consumers suffering from weak cellular phone signals, femtocells should be a relatively easy sell – in theory. On the other hand, the issues cellular network operators are faced with are: a) business model; b) cost; and c) how well the technology actually works in signal handover. What was unimaginable, even a few years ago, though, was that more and more consumers – particularly in the U.S market – start heavily using smartphones and iPads, etc., thus prompting network operators to genuinely worry about their limited network capacity. Sure, that will certainly push operators to move to LTE. But as PicoChip’s Baines would say, “LTE isn’t a panacea.” Operators need cost effective solutions to boost their capacity -- pronto. If not femtocells, what other options do network operators have to cater to their subscribers’ data needs?

    • Exactly. Joe Nocera of New York Times has an excellent column on "HP's Blundering Board." http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/business/11nocera.html In his column, he writes: "The central difficulty facing the H.P. board as it contemplated asking Mr. Hurd to leave is that California frowns on noncompete agreements. The board could ask him to sign a dozen trade secret agreements — as, indeed, it did — but it couldn’t legally prevent him from joining a competitor. "Over the years, this has become settled law in California: lawsuits aimed at preventing, say, a brilliant software engineer from joining a competitor have invariably failed. The concept of “inevitable disclosure” of trade secrets by such an employee — which has been upheld elsewhere — is a nonstarter in California." In either way,this whole thing sure makes HP's board look like amatuers.

    • Qualcomm now pitching Flo TV for data download is a clear sign that the San Diego-based company wants to sell the spectrum it paid at a higher price. Qualcomm wants to unload the company's disappointing Flo TV properties -- whether its service or spectrum. The company now needs to demonstrate to the world that the infrastructure the company built is valuable for SOMETHING other than mobile TV. Let's see if anybody would go for that.

    • Thanks for giving us the URL of your article on Better Place, Rick. Swapping batteries and leasing batteries are similar ideas. It's sensible, and it does make a lot of sense. And yet, the biggest hurdle for such an idea to take off is the very fact that the e-vehicle market is still an emerging market -- far from maturing. Everyone wants to see more technology getting developed before standardizations... But hey, how long have we been working on rechargeable batteries for EVs? Maybe it's time for key automotive companies to come to the table?

    • I am with bpa1. Of course, the falsification of the expense reports can't be the real reason for Hurd getting fired. It's either the HP board didn't want to see more details coming out of the scandal (original lawsuit against Hurd by "that" woman) or there was something else the board didn't like about Hurd. Well, that's just my speculation. What I am really interested in finding out, though, is the role that a corporate board is supposed to play. Is it my imagination that HP's board seems to get tangled up in different scandals more often than other corporate boards? There was Walter Hewlett's proxiy fight against Carly Fiorina (for a controversial merger with Compaq); Fiorina's dogged hunt for board room leaks; HP's spying scandal; and now this with Hurd. What does this tell you about HP's board? And what roles should a corporate board play?

    • Wow. That is very interesting. I hadn't heard that before. So 3D scare some of us consumers are talking about could be just an urban legend? We do need more samples and data. And perhpas, the only way to make that happen is to actually see more of 3D TV on the market...

    • Indeed, EE Times covered this issue more than a few times. 3-D TV health issues could prompt refinements http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4088985/3-D-TV-health-issues-could-prompt-refinements?pageNumber=0 Opinion: 3-D TV can't make your kids sick...can it? http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4088642/Opinion-3-D-TV-can-t-make-your-kids-sick---can-it- The jury is still out. Truth to be told, we just don't have enough long-term experience with 3D TV. But of course, that's not stopping any vendors from venturing into the 3D TV market.

    • Mark, I think you hit the nail on its head. What's happening here is almost like a revolt by consumers. Yesterday, I talked to someone working in the CE space, who told me that he no longer subscribes to cables or satellite. He can watch pretty much whatever he wants to watch on the Internet -- he simply connects his notebook computer with his flat panel TV. It's the ala carte model consumers want. If that's possible, people will be willing to pay for hardware.

    • Does anybody have done any comparison -- which on-the-fly 2D-to-3D conversion solution looks the best? Using whose software running on which hardware? I am curious. Many TV OEMs last year said that they wouldn't offer such a feature because they didn't want to give bad names to 3D. But since the CES this year, everyone has jumped on the idea of 2D-to-3D conversion, because there just won't enough 3D content available. I am curious if anyone out there has any experience on this.

    • Hi, Goafrit. Just to set the record straight here. EE Times reported on Memristor back in 2008: The long-sought after memristor--the "missing link" in electronic circuit theory--has been invented by Hewlett Packard Senior Fellow R. Stanley Williams at HP Labs (Palo Alto, Calif.) Memristors--the fourth passive component type after resistors, capacitors and inductors--were postulated in a seminal 1971 paper in the IEEE Transactions on Circuit Theory by professor Leon Chua at the University of California (Berkeley), but their first realization was just announced today by HP. According to Williams and Chua, now virtually every electronics textbook will have to be revised to include the memristor and the new paradigm it represents for electronic circuit theory. "My situation was similar to that of the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev who invented the periodic table in 1869," said Chua. "Mendeleev postulated that there were elements missing from the table, and now all those elements have been found. Likewise, Stanley Williams at HP Labs has now found the first example of the missing memristor circuit element." Read the whole story entitled " 'Missing link' memristor created: Rewrite the textbooks?" here: http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4076910/-Missing-link-memristor-created-Rewrite-the-textbooks-?pageNumber=0

    • Actually, I think Trident's Duane went a little too far by calling Rambus "patent troll." In defense of Rambus, the company has interest in marketing their patented invention. That said, it isn't clear to me if Philips or Micronas over the last decade ever made any genunine efforts to license their patented motion estimation/motion compensation (MEMC) technologies to others. I suspect that Trident is hot to trott to market their IPs now because MEMC has become increasingly important for the upcoming 3D TV (240MHz).

    • So, will Intel's new wireless group work on chips only for mobile handsets? Or does their work also involve chips for MID and tablets as such? Where do you draw the line?

    • Jimcondon, yes, it is the same video clip of Google TV demo I flagged in my story. Isn't it fascinating? I was never a big fan for some lame ideas of bringing interactive elements from the Web to TV; but I do like the "search" function Google TV brings.

    • I think this whole notion of Web-connected TV will become obsolete soon. Sure, many of us have had an experience -- say, a family sitting in a living room is watching TV, while one of the family members with a notebook PC opened, trying to show us something he found on the Net: "Hey, look at this!" It can be YouTube video clips or the past video shows now only available on the Internet. There are moments you wish you could get your TV connected to the Web. But the emphasis won't be so much on bringing the Web to TV; but it should be allowing you to search and watch what you want to watch now on TV -- whether that content resides on the Web, DVR or in broadcast. I know, maybe I drank too much koolaid talking to Sony on Google TV.

    • OK, Selinz. You win. Obviously, you beat me with your PS3. One tends to forget what a powerful box that is. That's a good reminder for everyone. But then, how do you plan to upgrade your PS3-based entertainment system with a new "Google TV" feature?

    • Hi, suckme. I am actually with jimcondon and goafrit. What bothers me about this is these US senators' letter has nothing to do with engineering or the job protection for the U.S. engineers. These Senators are using what seems like an engineering issue to promote their political agenda. And to that end, I am not even sure what political agenda they are promoting! At any rate, I think it's misguided to get into the Democrats vs. Republicans spat, especially on this issue, in this message board.

    • Hi, Jimcondon. Again, it really depends on how you define "embedded." Are you talking about cell phone market? Or are you talking about wireless modems used at home? It's all about segmentations and that's partly why this number game gets even more complicated.

    • Hi, KB3001. I think you are spot on. I think this has a lot more to do with the escalating competition on the comms market rather than the comms market going through another downturn. Those supplying chips to the comms market are pretty bullish -- including Freescale. See the story on "MIPS vs Power: Truth about comms market share"

    • The networking market is getting very competitive. As Rick pointed out, Intel's embedded group is targeting communications infratructure, especially after the acquisition of Wind River. PiperJaffray's analyst Baxter thinks that it will make "the competitive landscape more difficult for Cavium and Netlogic in the communication processor market."

    • Wait, I am reading this headline that says "Smartphone growth lies in the low-end phone." I had to do a double take. Huh? What is ABI's definition of a "smartphone" then? I do understand that Nokia is very strong in low-end feature phones, etc., but that is not to say that those feature phones are smartphones...correct? We need clarification.

    • When I write stories, I usually refrain from giving too much credit to a company's CEO or management. But MIPS falls into an exception. I haven't seen a new CEO making such an impact on the market for a long time. Of course, great financial results help. After all, the business is business. If you are not making money, you aren't worth much. And yet, there is something about Sandeep Vij: his straight talk and his attitude of rolling up his sleeves and going after new customers appear to impress a lot of us including financial analysts. Is your CEO also like Sandeep?

    • Thanks, Yalanand. Roughly, how much does a smart phone cost in India (in cojunction with the 3G network fee in US $) today? I am curious. Is the cost no longer an issue? Actually, in the case of Japan, the cost is a non-issue for Japanese consumers (they can afford it). The real problem is the service providers' unwillingness to embrace a truly open application world.

    • Smartphones are coming fast, indeed. What shocked me, though, is when I was recently back in Japan, Nikkei newspaper carried its own survey results showing only a fraction of Japanese mobile phone users are using smartphones. Wait. Wasn't Japan the nation of hardcore mobile phone users --- ahead of everyone else on earth? Apparently not any more. It turns out that many of the phones they use are apps that are based on the walled garden stuff. A friend of mine in Japan, who is a lawyer, in fact carries two phones. One is a regular mobile phone to talk and another an iPhone to check her e-mails. Damn. No wonder Japan is in trouble these days...

    • This is very interesting. I wonder if any other technology companies like Qualcomm actually own any part of licenses for broadband spectrum anywhere in the world. Does anyone know? I am curious because I am not exactly sure what Qualcomm's intent is here. Does this mean that Qualcomm plans to add any of its own proprietary elements of technologies to this LTE implementation in India?

    • It's all about business model. If it is free, people will come. Look at the mobile TV broadcast in China, Korea and Japan. Free-to-air mobile broadcasting (whether analog or digital) is doing well all over the world. Japan may be behind in terms of smart phone penetration, but a lot of handsets come with an ability to receive mobile digital TV broadcasting (free to air). And it seems popular. I do see people using them on train to watch whatever games or shows. This is one area -- a lot of companies poured their resources -- but everyone in the West got it wrong.

    • Since when the dropped call is OK? I mean, I understand that it has unfortunately become the fact of life these days; but really, should we consumers really lower our expectations to that level? Or more importantly, is that what the antenna designers and cell phone design engineers expect? Yeah, I am fed up with this "rebooting" culture.

    • Luis, the number one and the number two largest chip vendors are obviously Intel and Samsung. Many leading chip vendors including TI and ADI dropped out of the baseband business when they saw it becoming commodity, with the past generation baseband chips. Now with LTE/HSPA+, we are seeing the beginning of a whole new battle brewing with a different set of players including some start-ups coming from the WiMax experience. Obviously, the world's number one chip vendor Intel has its sight set in the LTE (pending Intel-Infineon deal). Renesas is clearly seeing an opening with this Nokia deal. Much of Renesas' future rides on it.

    • It is now widely reported that STMicroelectronics was the one to be blamed for causing Nissan's production suspension. Suspecting that might be the case, my colleague Peter Clarke got in touch with ST yesterday. Peter is sharing ST's comment in his opinion piece: "Lessons unlearned and Nissan's pigeons" http://new.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4204521/Opinion-Lessons-unlearned-Nissan-pigeons

    • Yes, that's a good thing! It is reflected in many chip vendors' good performances in the last several quarters. However, this is also problematic to some chip vendors. Your ability to secure the capacity at foundries becomes much more important. You will be spending more time in managing your customers' expectations. And imagine the efforts it takes for them to restore relationships with their important customers!?!

    • You have a point, selinz. The automotive industry is very sensitive to quality issue. It would be fascinating if this has anything to do with any quality, reliability issue of Hitachi's ECU. However, as a reporter of the story, I actually don't think so. Executives at the joint Hitachi/Nissan press conference made it clear that this is an issue of the component shortage. Translation: whoever this chip vendor is, that IC supplier is on allocation by a foundry. The company obviously can't produce enough chips (that must go inside Hitachi's ECU) to satisfy its big-time customer like Nissan.

    • The full effect of the Renesas/Nokia deal still remains to be seen. Renesas claims that as a result of this alliance, Renesas will be able to provide "a complete mobile platform by combining Nokia's modem technology and Renesas' multimedia and RF technologies." More importantly, according to the Japanese company, Renesas "expects to double sales of mobile multimedia business by March 2013 and to increase sales and quadruple it from its current amount by March 2016." This does sound very ambitious. Will this lay the groundwork for the true "renaissance" at Renesas after the merger with NEC Electronics?

    • I totally agree with you, Feory. Why are consumers always asked to buy "packages" of programming? "Pure Internet TV," in my opinion, should allow you to watch only the stuff you want on as a la carte! Will that create any technology issue for the carriers?

    • For those who have been with NXP had always predicted this: the eventuality of Van Houten's return to Royal Philips. So I am not surprised. Van Houten was regarded as an heir apparent to Royal Philips for a long time. The question now is how his experience of having headed up NXP (at a difficult time) has prepared him to steer wheel at a much bigger ship today.

    • Hi, Peter. Clearly, this is a big play for Renesas. I just heard from the Japanese company stating: "As a result of this alliance, Renesas will be able to provide a complete mobile platform by combining Nokia's modem technology and Renesas' multimedia and RF technologies and expects to double sales of mobile multimedia business by March 2013 and to increase sales and quadruple it from its current amount by March 2016." What I am not clear on is how the Nokia's LTE modem solution -- sold to Nokia -- will eventually stack up against other LTE modems we are about to see on the market.

    • Selinz, you have a good point. Where do you draw the line between smartphones and "dumb" phones? As more and more "feature phones" (translation: lower-cost phones) start packing more functions, how will market research firms put different phones in different categories? I used to think that's the access to the web, but I am wrong about that as you pointed out. What about a full access to one's e-mail? Or maybe an easy access to those (annoying but popular) "social media" will make a difference? What do you think?

    • My recent trip to Korea was a real eye opener. But my subsequent trip to Tokyo was even more shocking -- in a sense that many in the business community in Japan are shell shocked about such a rapid growth of Samsung in recent years. Samsung does look invincible. Many Japanese are in a soul searching mode, asking themselves: "How did we let this happen?"

    • One of the things that really struck me while I was visiting Korea recently was this: the significant importance in developing technologies for "manufacturability." Without someone making massive investment in figuring out how to "manufacture" new technologies like OLED for a large screen TV, OLED continues to be the emerging technology for next year. While many companies embrace the outsourcing mantra and take light of "manufacturing," a lot of engineering efforts are still needed in rolling out new technologies to the masses.

    • Wow, both Dennis and Camille pretty much wrote a set of great guidelines on the forum that we could publish and we can start using right now. I do agree with Camille. I do sometimes see remarkable individuals on the forum, and I actually look forward to reading their posts. I also encourage everyone to bring his/her knowledge, expertise andl life experience to the forum. And then, don't be afraid of disagreeing with others. That's the only way we can get the forum going.

    • Parity, the story you mentioned in your comment is not an urban legend. I heard him passionately talk about how he was persuaded by his son. Pasquale has a way of embracing ideas and people in such a genuine way.

    • BicycleBill, yep, it's the content. But I am actually fascinated by the varying degree of 3-Dness you can create in 3-D content production. Obviously, there are still a lot to learn for every producer and camera person in the world... My question, though, is to extend this 3-D experience to a living room using obviously a much smaller screen compared to that of theater screen may cause more sickness to some people. "Is it still premature to bring 3-D TV home?" is essentially what I am asking.

    • Colin, I think your drawing a parallel to the experience of early days of VR is very astute and interesting. But I also think that we may be missing a point if we just dwell on the hardware side of the issue. A lot can be done when one is creating 3-D content and post processing it -- in order to prevent the potential 3-D disastar, according to Insight Media's Chris Chinnock. See the follow-up story at: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=224500003

    • Thanks for your responses. To Imodu, we are not asking readers to gather news or news analysis. To asdlfkj, we are not turning the complete control of the forum over to readers, either. We will continue to observe the flow of commentary, with an emphasis on balance and variety. If we need to tweak the format to prevent the result you predict, asdlfjk, we will do so. You are the kind of scheptic we are looking for.

    • The big question mark hanging over my head before this interview with Craig Hampel was this: "Does Rambus still matter to the memory industry?" I think Craig made the case for affirmative, although the world may not agree. The truth is, if you can't lead the industry to adopt your technology, you do lose the public perception battle. But then, I learned that Rambus no longer wants to be known as just a memory technology supplier. It aspires to become a formidable IP company with a broader IP portfolio -- that goes way beyond memory. What's your take on Rambus these days. Do they still matter to you?

    • That may be so; but the point here is that there are already so many permutations of 2G/3G implementation -- depending on cellular network providers and depending on different parts of the world. LTE being the first truly global standard, SDR may be just the way to go, not just as an interim solution, but as a long-term solution. At least, that was the sense I got talking to CEVA's CEO.

    • Journalists won't be able to get to the bottom of any stories, unless our sources -- including readers like yourselves -- tell us why you decided not to go with an Atom-based SoC. We want to hear from those who, even briefly, might have considered the option; but we also want to hear from Intel. Tell us what's really going on.

    • I received an interesting e-mail from one of our readers today. The reader wrote: The real problem behind not having sufficient contents for e-readers is that the Japanese publishers in their contracts with writers only cover the right to publish books in paper but nothing else. Another reason is that royalties for printed book is 90% for the publisher and 10% for writers. Kindle pays as much as 50% to the writer. If e-books do pick up in Japan, publishers will inevitably go out of business. Apple or any on-line publisher for that matter can only succeed by signing on the writers directly and not go through the publishing houses who do not have be rights to represent writers anyway. # # # Now, that's very interesting. I talked to a couple of Japanese people working in the publishing industry today to confirm these facts. Our reader is correct on most accounts. There is really no contract between writers and publishing houses on e-books. Actually, for that matter, there is no "written" contract per se -- in general. Moreover, a substantial share – out of publisher's 90 percent cut – goes to two large book distributors in Japan. If a new book comes out, these two distributors decide how many copies should be distributed to which book store throughout Japan. So, what really comes down to is this: If anyone (Amazon included) wants to break into a non-existent Japanese e-book market, one needs to come up with lots of creative thinking and deal makings. But will Japanese publishers be up to break a very arcane publishing eco-system they themselves have built? I remain skeptical. But if the Japanese publishers decide to delay the e-book market any further, they would be doing it at their own peril.

    • Of course, there was a fair amount of media coverage on iPad in the local Japanese language, including the front page article of the evening edition of Nikkei. But my point was that no media coverage in Japan matched the breathlessness of reporting and iPad speculation feeding frenzy that occurred in the United States, especially leading up to Apple's actual announcement. Unless you are really tuned in, no average Japanese person knows much about e-books, period. And that was the mystery I wanted to solve.

    • Thanks. Yes, it was an eye-opener for me, too. No e-book fad in Japan? But anyway, Manga (comic books) is a natural. I hear that some Manga are already distributed via mobile network. So, the question really comes down to: Will the Japanese choose mobile phones for their reading needs over e-books or iPad, for that matter? I am betting on the former.

    • I agree. For those of us who covered TriMedia since its inception, it does feel like an end of the era. I am curious to learn, though, how much TriMedia's IPs are worth today. Is TriMedia architecture still relevant?

    • Thanks, Invisblenetman. I do think that the industry is underestimating the 3-D glasses issue. I am glad that Invisblenetman shared his real-life experience. Ask your own kids. They can tell you how uncomfortable they are. Meanwhile, you raise an interesting point here. You suggest us to own a pair of our own 3-D glasses that we use at home -- which we can bring to theaters. Hmmm. That means, whatever 3-D technology our new TV set deploys in the future needs to be compatible with 3-D format used in theaters. No wonder many in the 3-D technology business see the CES this week in Vegas as a do-or-die event.

    • For many Americans generally averse to regulations, carbon-footprint labeling may sound like bit too much. But some of the methodologies being developed to measure carbon footprints, i.e. Life Cycle Assessment, could be a useful tool for managing the supply chain and devising better recycling startegies. It's one thing to dismiss everything EU is doing, but it's another to take a closer look at what makes sense to one's business...

    • NaliniKumarMuppala, that's interesting. Do you think that there is a chance that ARM's own ecosystem could be fragmented in the future?

    • Hi, John. Historical context always makes stories interesting and it does teach us a few things. As the market change, the company's strategy also changes. I fully get that. But there is one thing that those of us who have been chronicling what's going on in this industry shouldn't do. That is to rewrite that history. So, in that sense, I am glad you chimed in. Thanks for your contribution. Now here's my question. As companies like TI and Analog Devices begin throwing more weight behind analog, who are going to pick up DSP advancements where they left off?

    • As Imodu pointed out, I agree the rivalry building up in the CE market is going to be a big factor for Apple's future. However, one of the reasons why I still bet on Apple is the very fact that many traditional CE vendors have thus far failed to compete against Apple effectively on a new ground -- where impeccable user interface, design, apps and service matter. They are still too slow, too conservative and too bogged down by their legacy products...

    • True. Thanks for correcting me. I am a firm believer that Apple's strength is in its execution. When I asked a chip company executive (who had a desin-win experience with Apple's products)about what makes Apple succeed, he bluntly responded, "They rarely make a stupid mistake -- when it comes to design and execution."

    • To Lynn_AL: Actually, I used to think WiFi + H.264 is "the" solution for video networking at home. But no more. The proliferation of so many incompatible codecs used on various Web sites makes it very tough to settle on one codec -- for home networking. What do you think?

    • It does make sense for combining WHDI with WiFi -- definitely for Amimon, and perhaps for some service operators who want to offer multi-room wireless HD home networking solutions. A bigger question, however, is: Have you ever heard anyone asking for it?

    • For those of us who live outside Japan, 3-D TV sounds like a pure wishiful thinking on the part of Japanese CE vendors. But once I am back in Japan, I realize how seriously they are betting their future on this. Are you or your company also thinking about making seroius money on 3-D?

    • You're absolutely right. Watch this space, as we are getting ready to post a new analysis piece this week, following this story on outgoing CEOs.

    • EE Times is planning on a follow-up analysis piece next week on this very topic. Did we miss anyone on this list? Please let us know and feel free to chime in.

    • Hi, Richard J. Thanks for your analysis. As for your first question about the numbers, I would defer that to my colleague Bolaji Ojo for response. As for your question about the parallel between the CEO’s exit and the business model, OK, that was my idea, and I take full responsibility. But here's the thing. One has to wonder if Silicon Image can keep up with all the activities (standardizations/product development/IP licensing/testing) in so many different fronts (LiquidHD, Mobile HD Link, etc.)without overextending themselves. These are all BIG moves involving big guns in the industry. I can't recall a single chip company which successfully led the industry-wide (de facto) standardization efforts in so many areas. OK, perhaps, the only exception is Intel...

    • Actually, I still think that Silicon Image has an intriguing business model. I would even call it "genius." The problem is that I am not seeing the direct benefit of the tree-pronged strategy (its own chip; IP licensing; testing services) in the company's financial results. But Silicon Image claims that it is the fifth largest IP license vendor in the world.

    • You are correct to note that EE Times has suffered especially during the current economic downturn, just as virtually all media suffered. However, despite the hard times and staff reductions, we've never compromised our journalistic standard or professionalism among our editors, reporters and staff. Meanwhile, we will welcome your opinions about which companies should be in this list and which companies should be taken out.

    • This market figure, I'd have to say, is the most optimistic number for ARM I have ever seen. As long as smartbooks are concerned, I haven't found anyone in the market research community saying that the Netbook vs. Smartbook nubmer would flip any time soon -- certainly in 2012 or even in 2014, for that matter. I recently did a research on the netbook, smartbook, MID market. See the story entitled "Netbook, smartbook, tablet PC: Can anybody straighten this out?" here: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml;?articleID=220200269 Even, the emergence of slim clients for cloud computing included, The Information Network's numbers may be a little unrealistic.

    • mstockfisch, thanks for the clarification. My understanding of HDMI 1.4 spec -- in order to enable 3D video -- is that the digital interface needs to support 220MHz bandwidth per eye (for 1080P), hence for both eyes, it demands 450MHz. Am I wrong about this?

    • I guess I do understand that USB 3.0 and Light Peak can co-exist. But as loekf pointed out, why Intel is promoting Light Peak now is beyond me. Especially, what I don't get is why Intel is keeping mum on its plans to support USB3.0 in its own PC chip set...what's the big secret? Intel's delayed support for USB 3.0 will only delay the whole process of the market acceptance of USB 3.0. Am I wrong about that?

    • What do you believe the biggest technology challenge for a generation of engineers of our time -- equivalent to the Apollo project? We'd like to know what you think.

    • Do we think we are so smart? Not really. But we don't think we are so naive, either. The consumer pays for everything any corporation does. When the corporation operates legally, the consumer pays for legitimate operations, like buying materials, marketing, advertising, wages, etc. When the corporation violates regulatory standards and breaks the law and gets caught, followed by huge fines, then the consumer pays more, for illegal acts. The guys who perpetrated the illegalities don't have to come up with the fines, do they? The only way to spare the consumer every single corporate cost of doing business is to separate the legal from the illegal and take the illegal costs directly from the CEO's felonious hide. What are the odds of that?

    • I am no historian, just a reporter. But it does bother me when "revisionists" change the historic events or facts willy nilly -- at their pleasure. Share your anecdotes with us in this forum.

    • Thanks for pointing us to your blog, Eric. I get the picture of what you're saying -- "Everything without a screen will eventually get connected." I agree. But my question is, do you see ARM moving into set-tops and other consumer audio/video products, traditionally dominated by other processors (MIPS, PowerPC), as they begin to get connected? If so, do you see it's because Android is a factor? Just curious.

    • Marvell's strategy to drive its Sheeva CPU in billions of consumer devices is more than just its CEO speak. The growing tide for Android could also help the company. What Android-based connected devices -- beyond smartphones -- are you working on?

    • I think we all share similar experiences. For years, I struggled to define who the embedded crowd was. This year, by meeting with the unexpected, I got a glimpse of the vast world out there -- which I have never imagined before -- being enabled (or yet to be enabled) by many technologies we cover.

    • I find it fascinating that wireless carriers are wanting to get into the "connected" digital photo frames fray. Two-way communication potentials are particularly interesting, but come on, $10 per month service charge? What do you want your next digital photo frame to do?

    • Hey, Wireless guy. I think you are missing the point. I am not saying Flip sucks. I know it works -- most of the time. And I still adore it. I borrowed my colleague's Flip and did a short video interview with Gary Smith at DAC, just last night. My problem is that when something doesn't work, especially in digital consumer devices, it's often left for consumers to figure it out. You said "We've all gone through this." But that's almost like saying, "well, we should all expect such ordeals." Imagine 11 - 12 percent of automobiles are left unsold (or returned) every year on a dealer's lot because consumers couldn't figure out how to drive them?

    • Hi. Just so that everyone knows, there is EETimes Forum. Please go to the left hand column on our website that says "Site Features." Below that header, there is "Forum." Click that, you will see various threads. Junko Yoshida, editor-in-chief, EETimes

    • My understanding is that Samsung did its own proprietary LED backlit implementation. Dolby has not announced any licensees for its HDR technology -- yet.