Thursday, May 3, 2012

1Q12’s large-sized panel shipments reached 1.71 million units with QoQ regression of 3.1 percent

TAIWAN: Coupled with new product quality problems and cutting-edge technology adopted in production lines that brought about capacity loss, 1Q12 LCD panel shipments of main applications categories were restrained by fewer working days and labor shortage due to Chinese Lunar New Year holidays.

According to WitsView, the panel research division of TrendForce, large-sized panel shipments in 1Q12 amounted to 1.71 million units with QoQ decline of 3.1 percent.

In terms of application categories, TV panel shipments declined by 7 percent QoQ, dragged down by slow season and disappointing sales performance in China during Chinese New Year. However, aided by the healthier year-on-year panel inventory levels, new-model launches, and inventory preparation for May 1st Labor Day in China, TV panel shipments increased by 3.1 percent YoY, accordingly.

Although overall monitor panel inventory level appeared healthy, monitor panel shipments fell by 3.9 percent QoQ and 8.2 percent YoY, respectively, resulting from most downstream brand vendors’ conservative attitudes toward future panel market outlook, causing them to pull-in inventory cautiously. 1Q12 regular laptop panel shipments declined by 1.3 percent QoQ due to offseason; however, helped by recovered HDD supply momentum and demand for new models with Ivy Bridge, regular laptop panel shipments rose by 10.3 percent YoY.

Shipments of netbook below 12.1” appeared a 15.5 percent QoQ growth with the help of downstream vendors’ inventory restocking, while the shipments dropped by 20.2 percent YoY due to tablet PCs’ taking over the market. Tablet PC shipments in 1Q12 slid by 0.9 percent QoQ due to two factors:
1) Apple’s New iPad panel were in short supply, resulting from yield rate issue raised in the transition from iPad 2 to the new iPad, and
2) non-Apple campaigns mostly launch their new models after the 2nd quarter.

However, a surging YoY increase in tablet PC panel shipments indicates that tablet PCs are continuously taking over other brands’ laptop sales in terms of prices and functions.

Meanwhile, with the sequential trends in developing high resolution panels, tablet application market has been expanded from personal entertainment to education market, and is expected to further dominate commercial tablet market with the introduction of Windows 8 in 2H12. As a result, the overall growth momentum of tablet PC is projected to persist.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

NASA awards Redfern integrated optics (RIO) with phase 2 contract for development of 1064nm laser for space LIDAR

SANTA CLARA, USA: Redfern Integrated Optics Inc. (RIO) announced that it has been awarded a Phase 2 SBIR contract for further development of its breakthrough single-frequency narrow-linewidth semiconductor laser technology in the 1064nm spectral region, suitable for spaceflight operation.

RIO's proprietary external-cavity semiconductor laser is packaged in a standard 14-pin compact "butterfly" package and produces a single-frequency output with a linewidth less than 2 kHz, ultra-low phase and relative intensity noise, and high immunity to vibrations, all under a wide range of operating temperatures.

"Our partnership with NASA in the development of superior laser sources for the next generation space LIDAR instruments has reached a new stage with this award which will enable RIO to expand its narrow-linewidth laser product line to 1064 nm," said Dr. Radu Barsan, chairman, president and CEO of RIO. "We are very proud of the confidence NASA has placed in RIO's game-changing technology and we are strongly committed to providing the best-in-class lasers for LIDAR applications in the aerospace, atmospheric, and wind energy markets."

RIO's PLANEX, ORION and RIO-Grande lasers are ideal solutions in multiple applications where absolute accuracy, lifetime reliability over demanding field conditions, and high resolution are critical, including remote sensing, distributed temperature, strain, or acoustic fiber optic monitoring, high resolution spectroscopy, LIDAR and other precision metrology applications.

LG to lead flat panel market with cinema 3D smart TV line-up

BANGALORE, INDIA: LG Electronics India announced the launch of its latest series of Cinema 3D Smart TVs incorporating Cinema Screen design and large screen size 3D TV’s.

Soon Kwon, MD LGEIL, said: “Technology and design are key factors behind LG Home Entertainment products. With our 2012 CINEMA 3D Smart TV line-up, we have been able to take a significant step forward, thanks to a series of new and upgraded 3D features led by the CINEMA SCREEN Design.”

The CINEMA SCREEN Design translates the latest advances in LG’s Flat Panel TV technology into an aesthetically superior form. The Bezel that surrounds the new CINEMA 3D Smart TVs has been slimmed down to negligible levels (1 mm), creating a more optimal and comfortable environment for immersive 3D viewing. The picture goes virtually from edge to edge.

Talking about targets, he added: “With 2012 Olympic to be broadcast in 3D and more than 30 English and Hindi 3D movies to hit Indian Cinemas hall, 3D entertainment is set to explode in India at a steady growth of 500 percent. We are targeting business worth Rs. 1,000 crore from 3D TVs and aim to consolidate our position in the Flat Panel TV segment with 30 percent market share. To ensure the numbers we have an aggressive marketing strategy with a target investment of Rs. 100 crore in flagship product communication. This will be accompanied by experiential marketing campaigns.”

The new range of CINEMA 3D Smart TVs are accompanied by new CINEMA 3D glasses for 2012. Presented in four elegant series, the new glasses are 20 percent lighter than the previous ones, which were already the lightest in the industry, thus increasing comfort of users to watch countless 3D content for hours at a stretch.

Gamers will no doubt welcome the inclusion of Dual Play feature. For, it includes special glasses which allow two players see only their perspectives simultaneously on the full screen at once without having to split the screen. This elevates the gaming experience a full notch up, truly an encounter of the first kind.

Immersive 3D experience is accompanied by 3D audio in new range of Cinema 3D smart TVs. 3D Sound Zooming generates 3D sound that is synchronized with the displayed 3D content, allowing users to not only see, but also hear in 3D. The TV also boasts of innovations like Intel’s WiDi (Wireless Display) technology that enables easy and fast connection between TVs and PCs without requiring any internet, wires or wireless network.

As always, the new CINEMA 3D Smart TVs come equipped with LG’s Smart TV functions. Featuring exciting apps, LG’s Smart TV offers a variety of premium content services, including 3D World, where viewers can access a growing abundance of 3D content. Furthermore, the embedded 2D to 3D conversion engine makes it possible to convert any 2D show to 3D, thus making 3D content practically limitless.

One of biggest hits in 2011, LG’s Magic Motion Remote Control, is even more magical this year. With 3 enhanced modes – Pointing, Gesture & Wheel - it allows users to easily control their Smart TVs.

LG is expanding the 3D market in a big way with Cinema 3D Smart TV range and is now poised to offer the widest range of 3D entertainment products - 3D LED, 3D Ultra Slim LED, 3D Home Theater systems, 3D Blu ray players and the futuristic 3D OLED TV by second-half of 2012.

The Cinema 3D Smart TV range is available in 21 SKU’s from 32 inches to 72 inches in the price range of Rs. 55,000/- to Rs. 7,00,000/-. The new series hits the Indian market from May’12 onwards.

Samsung’s interactive smart TV debuts in India

CHENNAI, INDIA: Samsung Electronics announced the launch of its new, more interactive and intuitive Smart TV models - its flagship LED ES8000 and ES7500 series and the Plasma E8000 series in the Indian market.Samsung’s Smart Interaction technology provides Smart TV users with a new, more natural and intuitive option for controlling and interacting with the TV - breaking the physical boundaries between the consumer and screen. Samsung’s new Voice Control, Motion Control, and Face Recognition commands advance the user experience in a competitive TV market that values ease, convenience and choice.

Users can turn the TV on or off, activate selected apps or search for and select content in the web browser—all without touching the remote. The Samsung 2012 Smart television series feature a built-in camera that recognizes movement in the foreground, as well as microphones that recognize voice.

Announcing the launch of the Samsung 2012 Smart television series, Raj Kumar Rishi, VP & Business Head, Audio Visual Business, Samsung India, said: “Samsung’s global leadership in televisions has rested on our continued thrust on innovation and excellence. In India too, we have been the first to introduce the latest, innovative technology products such as LED TVs, 3D TVs and now 2012 Smart Television series. Samsung’s 2012 TV and AV strategy rests on three pillars: Smart Interaction, Smart Content, and Smart Evolution, and our 2012 Smart television range exemplifies the same. I am confident that the new Smart television range will help us create new segments and further fuel the growth of the flat panel television market in India.”

As the Smart TV platform of choice, Samsung provides consumers access to the widest variety of premium content available, with over 1,500 apps offered worldwide. In 2012, Samsung is taking content one step further and evolving the way consumers discover and access apps—through a new Smart Hub that features a simpler, more personable UI in Full HD. Samsung’s Smart TVs also provide a much faster Smart TV experience powered by a new dual-core processor.

Further, Samsung’s AllShare Play, the essential tie between Samsung’s products, content and services allows content to be pushed or pulled—regardless of the user’s location—from device to device and device to cloud for limitless sharing. AllShare Play enables consumers to push content manually to the cloud or pull the content directly from their Smart TV or other mobile devices.

Further, Samsung has strengthened its Smart TV content experience through the introduction of new exclusive services. The first-of-their kind services allow for easier content sharing among families across TVs and a number of connected personal devices.

Dell’s enhanced Alienware portfolio delivers exceptional mobile gaming experience

INDIA: Alienware, Dell’s high performance PC gaming brand, is taking the mobile gaming experience to a new level with its enhanced gaming laptop portfolio that lets gamers choose a system that best fits their mobile lifestyle. The enhanced systems include: the M14x, the most powerful 14-inch laptop in the universei, for the gamer who requires a balance between mobility and performance; and the 3D-capable M17x for top performance with an immersive high-definition, surround-sound sensory experience.

The Alienware M14x and M17x laptops deliver immersive sensory experiences, with each offering the latest NVIDIA GeForce HD graphics cards and the Creative Sound Blaster audio chipset with THX 7.1 digital surround sound and Klipsch-branded speakers.

High-performance mobile gaming
A perfect balance of performance and mobility, the Alienware M14x allows gamers on-the-go to experience uncompromising gaming performance. The M14x features optional dual drive configurations, up to 16GB of memory[iii] for extreme multitasking, a Blu-ray combo optical drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics engine with GDDR5 graphics memoryiii – the most advanced GPU in a 14-inch form factor and the first time Alienware is offering GDDR5 graphics on a laptop of this size.

The Alienware M17x immerses the customer in the game with every dimension, pixel and sound, for a bigger, richer gaming experience. The M17x delivers the latest NVIDIA graphics card options, up to 32GB of memoryiii, optional 17.3-inch 120Hz WideFHD WLED 3D display, and THX 3D surround sound. It is one of the first laptops to offer the latest GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M and 675M graphics solutionsiii.

Both laptops feature Intel’s 3rd Generation processors and Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technologies, HDMI 1.4, USB 3.0 for fast data transfer, Bluetooth 4.0, optional 3D HD gaming capabilityii, optional Blu-ray disc drive and exceptional surround-sound quality from Klipsch speakers. In addition, the Alienware laptops feature AlienAdrenaline, which enables users to create shortcuts associated with games, or applications capable of triggering a chain of commands meant to improve system performance or to customize the experience.

“Our customers want the most immersive gaming experience possible, and we’ve taken the all-powerful M14x and M17x laptops and made them even better, delivering the latest technologies for almost every need,” said Shishir Singh, director – Product Marketing, Dell India. “We’ve always offered the latest technology for the best gaming experience possible, and our enhanced lineup will let you ‘pwn’ any competitor and provide the sensory experience that we know you crave.”

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Panel makers plan on price increase, monitor shipments continued to grow in Mar-12

TAIWAN: According to the Worldwide LCD Monitor Shipments Report from WitsView, the research division of TrendForce, both global top 10 LCD monitor brands and SIs’ shipments enjoyed a continuous growth in Mar-12. Shipments of brand vendors amounted to 11.64 million units with MoM increase of 5.1 percent, while SI shipments reached 12.27 million units with a surging MoM of 8.1 percent.

Brand vendors’ overall shipments continued to increase as Samsung, the leading brand vendor, launched new models mostly in Mar-12 while some retailers in the U.S. restocked their inventory. A continuous uptrend in SI shipments was due to three factors:
1) some of the February’s orders being postponed to March,
2) there were relatively more working days in Mar-12,
3) some brand vendors’ were launching new model.

However, both brand vendors and SIs’ shipments in Mar-12 surged while their shipments fell by 12.4 percent and 14.4 percent YoY, respectively, unveiling a still-fragile terminal demand that cause downstream vendors to be cautious about inventory preparation.

Anita Wang, TrendForce’s analyst, indicated that only few brand vendors have stocked up their inventory aggressively in preparation for panel makers’ plan for a price increase, while some brand vendors have replenished their inventory based on sizes needed. For instance, Samsung’s attitude towards inventory stocking is likely to turn aggressive for its largest panel supplier is having adjustment in product capacity distribution.

Due to limited price uptrend in LCD monitor panel and the lack of strong end market demand, the remaining majority of downstream LCD monitor brands, after evaluating the capital and room it might take for stocking up, have adopted wait-and-see attitude instead of aggressive stock preparations, leading brand vendors’ shipments between Apr-12 and Jun-12, expected to peak at Jun-12, which is closer to a high season.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

Global OEM connected car system shipments to exceed 39 million by 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND: OEM connected car system shipments are expected to grow from 8.22 million in 2012 to 39.5 million in 2016. While the United States and Western Europe remain the leading regions, car OEMs such as GM, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, and Mercedes Benz increasingly look to China as the next major expansion area for launching connected car solutions in order to maintain or enhance their competitive position in this fledgling market.

Dominique Bonte, vice president and group director, telematics and M2M, comments: “Clearly the automotive industry has moved on from looking at telematics and connected car solutions as a nice premium add-on option to seeing bringing connectivity to the car as an essential tool to create more value to the end user, driving loyalty via advanced CRM-based customer experience tools and strengthening their overall branding and positioning in an increasingly competitive market.

“In the US, connected car solutions have already become a must have – the dynamics of which were set in motion by Ford - with almost every single OEM now having launched solutions including Chrysler, coming to the party rather late with their enhanced Uconnect offer.”

While connected automotive infotainment continues to steal the limelight, traditional safety and security functionality remains important from an OEM perspective, due to either historical reasons (US – GM OnStar) or driven by mandates such as eCall in Europe, ERA-GLONASS emergency calling in Russia, and the Contran stolen vehicle legislation in Brazil. Finally, usage based insurance (UBI) – aka insurance telematics – is making a strong comeback.

NTT America continues focus on cloud, global expansion and green initiatives

NEW YORK, USA: NTT America, a global IT infrastructure services provider and wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications Corp., announced its continuing support for the company’s cloud, global connectivity and green efforts and the refocus of key business units to address customer requirements and market dynamics. In addition the company has won awards for both green efforts and in marketing.

As enterprise cloud demand continues to grow in parallel with customers’ interest in global connectivity to support large scale cloud deployments, NTT America has ensured its leadership through a variety of partnerships and an ongoing speaking platform to bring insights and information to the industry.

Enterprise cloud
* NTT America’s president and CEO, Kazuhiro Gomi, participated in the Executive Forum on Cloud Computing at the IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM) 2011. He shared the vision and strategy which has enabled NTT Communications to provide efficient and cost effective cloud computing solutions. NTT Communications combines a base of worldwide public and private networks, more than 30 strategically placed data centers, and a VMware vCloud powered cloud computing architecture, allowing the company to implement some of the most complex projects for today’s enterprises.

* NTT America CTO, Doug Junkins, presented the service provider keynote at the Carrier Cloud Forum, an event hosted by Light Reading at the Cloud Connect conference. During the talk, titled “Cloud Reality for the Global Enterprise,” he covered the different challenges large enterprises face in migrating to the cloud and provided an example of how a large systems integrator has made the successful transition.

* At the VMware Partner Exchange 2012, the annual virtualization and cloud infrastructure event for VMware Partners, Craig Hurley, senior product manager at NTT America and global product manager for cloud computing services at NTT Communications, discussed NTT America’s Global Virtual Data Center and the significant and strategic investments the company has made in its infrastructure to deploy global enterprise cloud solutions.

NTT Communications is one of the few available resources for companies in providing access to a virtualized global data center and a Tier-1 high speed network, eliminating the necessity of duplicated data centers in global regions. NTT Communications provides VMware vCloud Powered global public, private and hybrid cloud hosting services to enterprises both directly and through a worldwide network of partners.

* At this year’s RSA Conference 2012, NTT America and Integralis, a global provider of IT security and information risk management solutions, announced an ongoing partnership to provide global enterprises with secure, high performance, streamlined and cost-effective use of cloud computing. NTT America brings virtualized global data centers and high speed networks to enterprise cloud computing, while Integralis offers comprehensive Managed Security Solutions (MSS) to form a complete cloud computing solution for enterprises. Through this partnership, NTT America’s customers can maintain the integrity of payment information through the PCI DSS standard.

* At Capacity LATAM, Michael Wheeler, VP, NTT Communications Global IP Network, NTT America, participated in a panel titled, “Infrastructure Development and Investment in Latin American Markets: Terrestrial, Submarine and Satellite Connectivity.” While David Berrios, director, business development, Latin America, NTT America, contributed to the panel, “The Carrier Perspective: Managing and Monetizing Content Delivery in South America.” At Capacity Caribbean, Brent Duncan, vice president, sales and marketing, Global IP Network, NTT America, joined other industry leaders to share insight on the telecommunications customer landscape in the Caribbean.

Business unit re-alignment
As of February 1, 2012 the company created the Global Solutions Business Unit to join the Data Center Services and Global IP Network Business Units. The newly named Global Solutions Business Unit is responsible for all NTT America products sold domestically and internationally, as well as NTT Group company services, including Dimension Data, NTT Data and Integralis.

Michael DeVito has been promoted to executive VP to run this business unit, while Doug McMaster will oversee the Data Center Services Business Unit in his role as VP. This restructuring is designed to provide customers with the flexibility of an expanded product set, combined with the ability to integrate across all NTT Group company global resources, creating a custom solution that best meets their needs.

In addition, Michael Wheeler has been promoted to executive VP of the Global IP Network Business Unit and Leewen Chen has been promoted to CFO, where she will be responsible for corporate finance, accounting and treasury activities across all NTT America business units.

Samsung intros series 7 Gamer

RIDGEFIELD PARK, USA: Samsung Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, today announced the Samsung Series 7 Gamer, the ultimate laptop for gaming enthusiasts.

Designed with feedback from passionate PC gamers in mind, the Series 7 Gamer features a 17.3-inch full HD LCD display, high quality Dolby Home Theater surround sound, rich NVIDIA Geforce graphics and a 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor, as well as a unique dial that allows users to easily transition between four modes for maximum performance at all times.

“The Series 7 Gamer offers all the elements of a high-powered gaming machine with the convenience of the mode-changing dial, which enables you to switch off components in order to save power and have a quieter experience when you’re using it as a more traditional laptop,” said Todd Bouman, VP of marketing at Samsung Enterprise Business Division.

“When the product is in gaming mode, it takes the experience to the next level by optimizing the graphics and sound, turning on a pulsating light in the speakers and highlighting the gaming keys in red, which truly allows users to immerse themselves in a game.”

HGST demos industry’s first 12Gb/S SAS SSD

SAN JOSE, USA: HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and now a Western Digital company), announced the storage industry’s first technology demonstration of a 12 gigabit per second (12Gb/s) SAS solid state drive (SSD), representing the next performance step in the evolution of SAS, the preferred interface technology for enterprise servers and storage solutions. HGST is participating in the 12Gb/s SAS demonstration at the SCSI Trade Association Technology Showcase on May 9, 2012, at the Hyatt Hotel in Santa Clara, Calif.

SAS SSDs and hard disk drives (HDDs), with their rich SCSI heritage, continue to be the building blocks of choice for enterprise and cloud storage. Enabling next-generation storage solutions, 12Gb/s SAS is a broadly supported industry standard as it delivers twice the throughput compared to today’s 6Gb/s SAS solutions, while maintaining established enterprise protocols and attributes. It is also backward compatible with 6Gb/s SAS for investment protection in current SAS infrastructures.

One of the enterprise features of today's SAS drives is a second interface port that provides additional bandwidth to the drive. With 12Gb/s SAS on each of these ports, the drive can transmit and receive data at a rate of 12Gb/s, resulting in a total available interface bandwidth of 4.8GB/s per drive. With this speed, enterprise and cloud datacenters will be able to reduce latency by harnessing the ultra-high performance of SSDs or by improving the performance of large-scale HDD infrastructures.

“We have successfully achieved interoperability between our 12Gb/s SAS drive and 12Gb/s SAS HBAs and expanders from both LSI and PMC-Sierra,” said Brendan Collins, VP of product marketing, HGST. “Meeting these interoperability milestones is critical when preparing the industry for the adoption of a new interface standard. We will continue to promote broad industry support for 12Gb/s SAS, including our sponsorship and participation in the SCSI Trade Association Technology Showcase on May 9.”

“Since the inception of SAS, LSI has delivered an industry-leading portfolio of SAS-based products,” said Bill Wuertz, senior VP and GM, RAID Storage Division, LSI. “As the preferred enterprise interface of the future, 12Gb/s SAS will be essential to unleashing the full performance potential of SSD storage solutions to help datacenters and cloud environments contend with massive data growth and accelerate application performance. With our ongoing validation processes and compatibility testing with HGST, we are paving the way for a smooth industry transition and market adoption of 12Gb/s SAS solutions by 2013.”

“PMC’s 12Gb/s SAS protocol controllers, RAID-on-Chip (RoC) controllers and expanders enable breakthrough performance and scalability for next-generation server and networked storage systems,” said Derek Dicker, VP of marketing for PMC’s Enterprise Storage Division. “We have been working closely with HGST on interoperability testing, and the high-performance benefits of our 12Gb/s SAS solutions, coupled with HGST’s 12Gb/s SAS drives, will enable a new generation of cutting-edge, scalable tiered storage for corporate and cloud datacenters.”

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pioneer intros most powerful internal BDXL/BD/DVD/CD recordable drive

LONG BEACH, USA: Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. unveiled the BDR-2207, Pioneer’s most powerful and full-featured drive. The internal SATA drive can read and write to all BDXL disc formats, including BD-R and BD-RE triple-layer 100GB media, BD-R quad-layer 128GB media, as well as conventional recordable Blu-ray Disc (single-layer 25GB media and dual-layer 50GB media). In addition, the drive features PowerRead and Pioneer’s PureRead2, Auto Quiet mode, QuickStart, and Peak Power Reducer technologies.

The BDR-2207 is packaged with CyberLink software that gives users the ability to play standard Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D titles on correctly configured computers, as well as author and record high-definition Blu-ray Disc content and standard-definition DVD content.

“Consumers do so much with their computers that we wanted to create a drive that does pretty much everything you’ll need, whether it’s saving data or playing back content,” said Steven Cohn, director of Optical Sales for the Home Electronics Industrial Department at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “Plus, the BDR-2207 is extremely fast and powerful to match the processing capability and speed consumers are used to with today’s computers.”

BDR-2207 advantages
PowerRead – Through its PowerRead feature the BDR-2207 provides smoother movie playback when a disc is marked with fingerprints or has minor surface scratches. When the drive is not able to read through these obstructed areas of a disc, it will quickly move forward to the next available data point, resulting in smoother Blu-ray and DVD movie playback.

PureRead2 – Clicking or popping sounds that might normally occur due to minor scratches and fingerprints on CDs can be prevented on some discs with the drive’s PureRead2 technology, which allows the drive to dynamically adjust its optical playback settings through the use of a unique algorithm.

Auto Quiet Mode – The drive also features an Auto Quiet mode that minimizes its operating noise based on the type of use. The rotation speed changes to a quieter mode (slower speed) when watching Blu-ray and DVD titles or listening to conventional audio CDs.

QuickStart – The amount of time between inserting a disc and the disc being ready for use has been reduced by up to 42 percent over previous generation models.

Peak Power Reducer – Some computers do not provide enough power to the drive during operation. In the case of a write operation, an error will occur and cause the disc to become useless. To prevent this, the Peak Power Reducer feature, when enabled, monitors the power and can reduce the drive’s peak power to ensure stable operation.

Bundled Software – For additional convenience, the BDR-2207 is bundled with the following CyberLink software: PowerDVD 10 BD3D, PowerDirector 9 and Power2Go 7.

The Pioneer BDR-2207 will be available in early May with a suggested retail price of $99.99.

Essar Group unleashes power of cloud with Windows Azure

INDIA: In an effort to offer its customers Web-based applications with high performance and scalability while maintaining low infrastructure and management costs, multinational conglomerate Essar Group has implemented Windows Azure,Microsoft’s cloud services platform, to deliver some of its applications.

A leader in various business sectors, including steel, energy, power, communications, shipping ports, logistics and construction, and with operations in more than 25 countries across five continents and revenues at $17 billion, Essar remains competitive in an aggressive marketplace through a focused effort on superior customer service.With its enterprise customers in mind, the company sought to enhance its offerings with a cloud version of some of its applications.

Microsoft Services approached Essar with a cost-effective solution in Windows Azure that allowed the company to obtain the benefits of both public and private cloud computing while also reducing the level of IT maintenance required to manage the applications on-premises. Because it is hosted in Microsoft datacenters, Windows Azure is able to provide developers with on-demand computing and storage, as well as the ability to scale and manage Web applications.

Essar expects that the delivery of its applications through Windows Azure will enable the company to increase profitability and reduce costs by as much as 65 percent. Because IT staff members are also no longer allocating time to infrastructure management, they can devote more time to mission-critical operations.

Zenith Infotech launches TigerCloud powered by Intel Xeon processor

MUMBAI, INDIA: Zenith Infotech announced the launch of its new product TigerCloud which is primarily aimed at mid-size organisations. TigerCloud is a high performance private cloud product that combines server, storage and network virtualization technology and allows customers to build and have their own sophisticated private clouds at costs lower than public clouds. Based on Intel Xeon E3 processor family, TigerCloud is a three-in-one product, combining private cloud, business continuity and backup, as well as scale out iSCSI storage.

As per IDC, though cost continues to be an important variable constraining technology adoption, small and medium businesses (SMBs) are also exhibiting a perceptible desire for customized solutions and products that cater to their unique requirements. IT spending in SMB will reach record levels in 2012 and as such this market presents huge opportunities. The growing role of "social, mobile, and virtual" will drive major SMB investments in Cloud.

Zenith Infotech’s TigerCloud costs 70 percent less than similar converged infrastructure products from the major multinationals. Based on Intel Xeon E3 processor family, Intel DBS1200BTS board and Intel 320 series SSDs, TigerCloud is a high performance system and is built around Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology. Zenith Infotech has invested over Rs.200 crore on R&D for its private cloud products.

LG unveils BX503B and BX403B - high brightness semi shot-throw projectors

NEW DELHI, INDIA: LG Electronics have scaled to new heights with the launch of two high brightness projectors, BX503B and BX403B in India. These high resolution projectors provide short projection distance and uses DLP technology. Powered by DLP technology, these projectors are virtually immune to color decay and offer an extended lifespan lasting year after year.

The technology also boasts of a filter free design to eliminate the need for filter cleaning and filter replacement which not only reduces labor for support staff but also saves money for companies and schools.

“With the launch of these two models in India, LG’s focus would be expanding its portfolio. LG's customer-centric approach ensures industry-leading premium products with exceptional quality and the most relevant features and technology to make consumers' lives easier”, said Soon Kwon, president, South West Asia Region and MD, LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd.

“With super compact and ultra bright projectors, LG continues to develop and display products that lead the way in both design and capabilities.”

The projectors offer XGA native resolution of 1024x768 and a 2800:1 contrast ratio. While the BX503B projector packs 5000 ANSI lumens, BX403B offers 4000 ANSI lumens. The projectors have a 6 segment color wheel which results in vivid colors, a defined picture quality and easy detection of even subtle color differences. BX403B and BX503B comes with HDMI 1.3V deep color which eliminates on-screen color banding for smooth tonal transitions and enables increased color ratio.

The Brilliant Color technology infused with projectors breathes life into every picture and delivers incredible depth and color range. The VIDI technology enhances video performance, provides better contrast due to ‘dark pulse’ and has intelligent light control. Both the projectors are LAN enabled and have a lamp life of 2000 hrs (normal mode) and 2500 hrs (ECO mode). They also feature a quick power on/off so that the user can save the waiting time before and after usage.

These projectors light up the living rooms with their unbeatable picture quality and are ideal for home theatre enthusiasts. Both the projectors weigh 5.8 kg, and have a front exhaust and auto-altitude detection and are priced at Rs.1,65,000/-and Rs.1,10,000/-, respectively.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

More than one in five US households have TV connected to Internet

SCOTTSDALE, USA: At least 21 percent of US households (approximately 27 million) have either an Internet-ready TV, game console, standalone Blu-ray player, and/or smart set-top box connected to their home network. Of these four device categories, the game console is the most used device, reaching over 80 percent of these connected TV households, followed by Internet TVs (27 percent), standalone Blu-ray players (24 percent), and smart set-top boxes (13 percent).

“Game consoles got an early lead in the connectivity space when Microsoft’s Xbox 360 launched in late 2005. Multiplayer gaming, along with the attention devoted to features outside of gaming from all three key console manufacturers, Microsoft and Sony in particular, have helped catapult the game console to the top of the connected CE space,” says senior analyst, Michael Inouye.

In total, nearly half of US households have at least one current generation game console, while almost 16 percent has an Internet-ready TV, a base similar for standalone Blu-ray players (smart set-top boxes comes in at under 5 percent).

Considering the aforementioned connect rates, it is clear that a relatively large number of consumers have not connected some of these devices to the network, most notably Internet-ready TVs. Looking out to 2017, the penetration rates are expected to exceed 60 percent for game consoles, TVs, and Blu-ray players, and while not all of these devices will be connected, there is certainly room for growth, as only 48.5 percent of consumers with a home network currently have one of these devices connected to the Internet.

Inouye adds: “As CE manufacturers increase the value proposition by adding new services and features to these connected devices, the connect rate will certainly climb. This in turn will lead to an increased amount of time spent on these devices, but currently ABI Research does not anticipate a significant shift away from traditional pay-TV services, although it is possible these devices will contribute to limiting pay-TV’s growth potential.”

Friday, April 27, 2012

US Department of Defense counterfeit regulations impact global suppliers

EL SEGUNDO, USA:Stringent new counterfeit-part regulations contained in the 2012 US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) may have broad international implications, impacting hundreds of overseas companies that have supplied billions of dollars’ worth of items to the American government.

Non-US-based suppliers accounted for more than $2 billion during the five-year period from 2007 to 2011, with European Union (EU) and Middle Eastern companies accounting for the bulk of the American government’s procurement spend, according to the IHS Haystack Gold service.

“There’s a perception that U.S. regulations such as 2012 NDAA, Section. 818. Detection and Avoidance of Counterfeit Electronic Parts,is only an issue for American companies, and that they don’t impact firms in Europe, the Mideast and elsewhere,” said Greg Jaknunas, senior product manager, supply chain solutions, at IHS. “However, the impact is beginning to be felt worldwide, as many international companies and global manufacturing facilities can directly participate in the defense supply chain and begin to see customer requests for counterfeit detection and avoidance measures that are flowed down through the supply chain.”

Even though the regulations in 2012 NDAA are from the United States, they will become an international issue as defense contractors place requirements on their suppliers, who then place similar demands on their suppliers, and so on, Jaknunas added

“The 2012 NDAA requirements will get pulled through the global supply chain,” Jaknunas observed. “Owing to the complex nature of the supply chain, it will become an international concern. In a way, this is similar to the EU’s restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) environmental directive, which called for the elimination of six hazardous materials in electronic components and systems, most notably lead. While RoHS requirements appeared to be European in nature, they had a ripple effect worldwide as suppliers all over the world changed their products in order to continue to do business in the key EU markets.”

IHS estimates that the 362 non-US companies worldwide that are supplying the US government could be directly impacted by the NDAA counterfeit regulations, with many more that could be indirectly affected.

The very real problem of counterfeits
Reports of counterfeit parts have soared dramatically in the last two years, presenting huge challenges for electronics manufacturing and especially the military and aerospace industry. Supply chain participants in 2011 reported 1,363 separate verified counterfeit-part incidents worldwide, a fourfold increase from 324 in 2009, according to IHS.

The bulk of these incidents were for commercial electronic components that have wide use across every major technology end market.

Counterfeit parts often are often cheap substitutes or salvaged waste components that fail to meet strict military and aerospace specifications, leading to potential failures.

To help combat the problem, President Obama on December 31, 2011 signed the fiscal year 2012 NDAA, which adds regulations for counterfeit part detection and avoidance. Members at all tiers of the defense supply chain must put counterfeit risk mitigation procedures in place, and certain steps must be completed within 270 days of the president’s signature.

Regional impact
Companies based in the European Union represent the largest group of foreign suppliers to the US government.

During the five-year period from 2007 through 2011, the region accounted for $1 billion in sales, or 51 percent of the total. The area, by a large margin, also had the most number of companies—283 firms.

Next was the Middle East with $951.2 million, representing 47 percent of the global total during the past five years. This revenue was generated by just 32 companies. The region, particularly Israel, is involved in extensive defense spending, and provides technology in this area to the United States. A major purchaser and user of U.S. military equipment, Israel is also involved in the joint development of military technology and regularly engages in joint military exercises involving United States.

Other regions trailed far behind, including Asia-Pacific, with the region’s 38 companies accounting for just 2 percent of global revenue.

Managing NDAA
To manage the wrenching changes wrought by the NDAA regulations, companies throughout the world must have tools that allow them to identify components at risk of counterfeits.

IHS provides content, software and expert analysis about worldwide electronics for component selection, sourcing, and logistics, as well as integrated obsolescence management, bill-of-materials management, environmental compliance and counterfeit risk mitigation.

IHS Haystack provides critical, integrated and interpretable logistics information to the government and contractors so that processes can be automated, labor and research costs saved, and new levels of efficiency as well as return on investment realized.

IHS Haystack allows users to locate a part number, determine its manufacturer, research past award histories, conduct competitive analyses, identify alternative sources, and find parts and manufacturers qualified against military specifications. Companies can use IHS Haystack’s Qualified Products Dataset to locate the most current information on certified government manufacturer and supplier sources of qualified products, in order to stay within a trusted supply chain of authorized suppliers.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Hitachi Unified Storage embraced by partner ecosystem

BANGALORE, INDIA: Hitachi Data Systems Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, announced broad global partner support for the company’s new Hitachi Unified Storage family.

The ecosystem includes support from strategic technology partners and the Hitachi TrueNorth Partner community, and complements Hitachi Data Systems solutions and services organizations to help customers successfully and efficiently manage their critical business applications and meet their growth requirements.

The new Hitachi Unified Storage, with a single management framework, redefines unified storage by storing multiple data types with more flexibility and balanced scalability than any other midrange solution, and without compromising performance, scalability or cost efficiency.

Several strategic partners, including technology partners Brocade, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft Corp. and VMware, and Hitachi TrueNorth Partners including ASG, Datalink, HighVail Systems, Intel Corporation, Lumenate and ViON, have provided their perspectives on the new Hitachi Unified Storage.

Built on a heritage of market-leading innovation, Hitachi Unified Storage provides organizations with a reliable, dynamic and open architecture that lets them meet their service level objectives more efficiently, save costs and protect their long-term investments. HUS is supported by a proven services organization and a network of partners to help reduce operational and capital costs:

HUS integrates with industry-leading strategic alliance partner technologies to deliver to customers the highest performing, most scalable solutions that address data growth and help customers reduce CAPEX and OPEX while meeting rigorous SLA requirements.

HUS enables Hitachi TrueNorth Partners to help their customers do more with their data than ever before. The offering aligns with the Hitachi TrueNorth Partner Program which is committed to enabling partners to build a sustainable, agile and profitable Hitachi Data Systems business supported by industry proven technology.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Point Grey launches HD 6.0 MP FireWire camera with industry leading CCD sensitivity

RICHMOND, CANADA: Point Grey, a world-leading designer and manufacturer of digital cameras for industrial, scientific, and traffic applications, announced the addition of new 6.0 megapixel models to its Grasshopper Express IEEE 1394b (FireWire-b) digital cameras series. Building on Point Grey's experience with Sony EXview HAD CCD II technology, the new Grasshopper Express GX-FW-60S6 uses the Sony ICX694 to deliver high resolution and extreme sensitivity in a compact and low-cost package.

Following the successful release of the ICX674 used in the GX-FW-28S5, the ICX694 applies EXview HAD technology to higher resolution, multi-tap image sensors. Compared to other CCD devices, EXview is known for higher quantum efficiency, reduced smear, and increased near infrared sensitivity. The ICX694 is a full 1" CCD that features 4.54 micron square pixels and is capable of sending 2736 x 2192 images at 11 FPS.

Every Grasshopper Express camera is equipped with a tripod mounting bracket, on-board temperature and power sensors to monitor camera status, and Point Grey's rich feature set. Also included with every camera is the FlyCapture SDK software library, which provides a common control interface for all Point Grey cameras under both Windows and Linux. The Grasshopper Express camera utilizes the FireWire-b interface. The 800 Mbit/s of bandwidth delivers low latency, deterministic image transfer without CPU loading. Industry-leading pricing and best-in-class image quality make the new GX ideal for applications in machine vision, bioscience, traffic and GIS applications.

"Applications imaging fast moving objects will benefit from improved sensitivity, shorter exposure values to eliminate motion blur, and post capture gain," says Michael Gibbons, director of Sales and Marketing. "With its high infrared response, this new Grasshopper Express allows customers to detect features and defects at higher wavelengths."

The Grasshopper Express GX-FW-60S6M-C (monochrome) and GX-FW-60S6C-C (color) models are list priced at $3,995 and are available to order now from Point Grey and its network of distributors.

China will overtake US in connected TV sales in 2014

BOSTON, USA: The global connected flat-panel TV (FPTV) market will increase to 91 million units in 2012, according to the Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices service report, “Global Flat-panel TV and Connected TV Forecast 2012.”

By the end of 2011, nearly 100 million households worldwide owned at least one Connected FPTV, 6 percent of global household penetration. Strategy Analytics projects that the number of global connected FPTV households will reach 502 million by 2016.

Content providers and Pay TV operators will increasingly leverage the growing presence of connected TVs to reach consumers, driving the growth of connected TVs. Nearly 40 percent of all FPTVs sold in 2012 are projected to be internet-enabled; and this figure will rise to 80 percent in 2016. The United States will remain the largest market for connected TVs in 2012, with sales projected to reach 18 million units.

However, China will soon seize the top spot of the connected TV market, as it is expected to exceed US connected TV sales in 2014. The Asia Pacific region, driven by China and India, will account for 42 percent of all connected TV sales in 2016.

Jia Wu, director, Connected Home Devices (CHD) at Strategy Analytics, commented: “Consumers are starting to enjoy services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer on their internet-enabled televisions. The increasing availability of a broad range of other services, like Skype and YouTube, will make the proposition of connected TVs more compelling.”

Kantideep Thota, CHD Analyst, added, “Despite rapid connected TV growth in China, its household penetration of connected TVs will remain low, with less than one-third of Chinese households owning a connected TV by the end of 2016.”

Microsoft security intelligence report warns of ongoing conficker threat and clarifies reality of targeted attacks

REDMOND, USA: Microsoft Corp. released the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report volume 12 (SIRv12), which found that the Conficker worm was detected approximately 220 million times worldwide in the past two and a half years, making it one of the biggest ongoing threats to enterprises. The study also revealed the worm continues to spread because of weak or stolen passwords and vulnerabilities for which a security update exists.

According to the SIRv12, quarterly detections of the Conficker worm have increased by more than 225 percent since the beginning of 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, Conficker was detected on 1.7 million systems worldwide. In examining the reasons behind Conficker’s prevalence in organizations, research showed that 92 percent of Conficker infections were a result of weak or stolen passwords, and 8 percent of infections exploited vulnerabilities for which a security update exists.

“Conficker is one of the biggest security problems we face, yet it is well within our power to defend against,” said Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing. “It is critically important that organizations focus on the security fundamentals to help protect against the most common threats.”

The SIRv12 also revealed that many of the threats often referred to as Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are no more advanced or sophisticated than other types of attacks. In most cases, these attacks leverage known vectors such as exploiting weak or stolen passwords and vulnerabilities for which security updates exist, but their success lies in the persistence and determination in trying different tactics to compromise the target. This is why Microsoft refers to these types of threats as Targeted Attacks performed by Determined Adversaries, rather than APTs.

Microsoft recommends that customers and businesses adhere to the following security fundamentals to help ensure they are protected:
* Use strong passwords and educate employees on their importance.
* Keep systems up to date by regularly applying available updates for all products.
* Use antivirus software from a trusted source.
* Invest in newer products with a higher quality of software protection.
* Consider the cloud as a business resource.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Norton Secured seal is most recognized trust mark on the Internet

USA: Symantec Corp. announced that it is combining the power of the VeriSign checkmark with the industry-leading Norton brand, to create the most recognized trust mark on the Internet – the Norton Secured Seal. It will be displayed more than half a billion times per day in 170 countries on websites and in search results on enabled browsers. The Norton Secured Seal provides consumers and businesses with the assurance that the website is highly-trusted and secure.

Together with the combined brand equity strengths, Symantec and Norton have created the most trusted global brand for protecting information and identities online. Since the acquisition of the VeriSign Authentication Services business, Symantec has expanded its authentication business, integrating rigorous website security and anti-malware technologies, to develop market-leading solutions. The company builds on its leadership, as the world's largest and most trusted provider of Security Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, into offering comprehensive website security solutions.

Business customers will value the Norton Secured Seal, for its proven ability to enable a secure online experience while increasing visibility and transactions. The seal can attract new visitors and potential customers that are crucial to a website’s success. This may result in increased traffic, more click throughs and higher rankings in search results. A U.S. online consumer study1 found that recognition of the Norton Secured seal is high.

* 94 percent of consumers are likely to continue an online purchase when they view the Norton Secured Seal during the checkout process, more than other seals or when no seal was displayed.
* 77 percent of consumers recognized the Norton Secured Seal, more than competitors' trust seals.
* 65 percent of consumers agree that a website displaying the Norton Secured Seal is “safe to browse and won’t give me a virus,” more than any other online trust mark.
* 90 percent of respondents indicated they would not continue a transaction if they saw a browser warning page indicating the absence of a secure connection.

Protecting consumers’ information and preserving their trust is central to Symantec’s business. And the Norton Secured Seal provides further assurance to businesses that their customers’ online information and transactions are protected at all stages of their engagement online.

Norton helps consumers stay safe online
* Symantec’s consumer products are used by more than 150 million people worldwide and Norton products ship on more than 60 percent of Windows-based consumer PCs.
* The Norton Secured Seal is already familiar to consumers who use Norton Safe Web, a site ratings service that makes it easy for consumers to differentiate between a safe and risky site. In addition, Norton Safe Search leverages Safe Web technology to provide users visual site ratings within search results before they visit a site.
* For consumers, seeing the Norton Secured Seal lets them know it is safe to communicate, transact and exchange information on that site.

IBM addresses big data with best in class search, and partners with Cloudera

Mike Davis, Ovum Senior Analyst

AUSTRALIA: IBM has announced that it is to acquire next generation search vendor Vivisimo, and is expanding its big data platform to run on other distributions of Hadoop, beginning with Cloudera.

Mike Davis, Ovum senior analyst, said: “If people didn’t think big data was in the mainstream of information management before – it is now.

“As predicted in our 2012 Trends to Watch research, vendors are now clearly seeing the benefits of investing in tools to help organisations navigate big data. Since its inception, we’ve highly rated the search technology from privately held Vivisimo. Cloudera is respected for providing not only a distribution of the Open Source Hadoop platform for Big Data, but also for delivering the support, professional services and training that enterprises require before they will deploy open source software.

“Vivisiomo’s Velocity search compliments IBM’s analytic tools for discovering the information ‘nuggets’ that are often obscured by the rapidly increasing volumes of corporate and associated social media data.”

Norton and Facebook to make the web safer

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Norton by Symantec and Facebook announced a partnership to help protect Facebook users and make the web a safer place to connect with friends and family.

As a member of the Facebook AV Marketplace, Norton will provide Facebook users with a six-month trial to the award-winning Norton AntiVirus 2012. Norton will also work with Facebook to detect and alert users to potentially malicious URLs on the site, helping to provide a safer experience for members.

"As the world's largest online community, Facebook is committed to ensuring security for our members," said Joe Sullivan, chief security officer, Facebook. "Norton has long been a trusted brand in security and through our partnership, we will help ensure our members are protected from threats on Facebook and any other site they visit."

Facebook and Symantec have also released a joint whitepaper, "Scams & Spam to Avoid on Facebook," illustrating the most prevalent security issues and threats targeting Facebook today and how users can protect themselves. The whitepaper can be accessed at the Facebook Security Blog.

Facebook members who are PC users can obtain their six-month trial subscription to Norton AntiVirus 2012 by visiting the Facebook AV Marketplace, which features a variety of consumer security offerings to protect against online threats. Mac users can obtain a six-month trial subscription to Norton AntiVirus 12 for Mac. At launch these partnership offerings will be available in English.

"Norton and Facebook share a common goal of protecting consumers online," said Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate. "This partnership brings the industry's best security to the Facebook community and is one more step in Norton's effort to protect consumers and the stuff that matters to them, whatever device or platform they choose."

CTS awarded four new automotive production programs in Asia

ELKHART, USA: CTS Corp. announced that its Automotive Products group has been awarded three new production programs to supply pedal modules for major Japanese and Chinese vehicle manufacturers.

CTS Automotive has also been awarded a new production program to supply exhaust gas recirculation sensors for a leading EGR valve supplier serving the Chinese and Korean markets. These new business wins further demonstrate CTS’ continuing success in the rapidly growing Asian markets.

Total revenues from these awards are expected to exceed $17 million over the five-year life of these programs. The pedal module programs have expected revenues of approximately $10 million with first deliveries in 2013 and will be manufactured in CTS’ Zhongshan, China facility. The EGR program has expected revenue of approximately $7 million and will be manufactured in CTS’ Elkhart, Indiana facility starting this year.

Samsung intros world’s thinnest optical disc drive for ultrabooks and tablets

SAN JOSE, USA: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd announced its new slim external DVD writer, the SE-218BB optical disc drive (ODD) that sets the industry standard for ultra portable drives.

Built to accompany a new generation of ultrabook and slim laptop designs, the SE-218BB features a compact size that is 18% thinner than conventional DVD writers and is the world’s thinnest external optical disc drive with a 14mm height. The drive is 8 percent lighter than Samsung’s conventional DVD writer and built to accommodate today’s mobile lifestyle.

“With its ultra small footprint, consumers will appreciate the SE-218BB sleek drive as an ideal companion for ultrabook users that quickly connects and is USB powered to access content wherever they are,” said Maverick Choi, ODD senior manager, Samsung Semiconductor Inc. “Through its AV connectivity mode, the drive is also ideal for Tablet PC users that want to view or hear content from a disc.”

Using Smart Power technology, SE-218BB connects through its single USB port to power the drive and provide AV connectivity to PCs and notebook computers. For Tablet PCs with a built-in USB port and supporting Android Honeycomb OS 3.1 or above, the SE-218BB allows users on-the-go to watch DVD content on their tablets.

The SE-218BB DVD writer is engineered to be compatible with all major operating systems, including Win7 and Mac OS. Featuring Buffer Under Run technology, the drive works to prevent errors that result from writing speeds that can exceed data transfer speeds, while also enabling PC multi-tasking.

The SE-218BB DVD writer is an eco-friendly product, manufactured with lead-free soldering technology that eliminates harmful materials such as Pb, cd, cr+6, Hg, PBBs and PBDE.

The external DVD drive is capable of reading and writing files at a variety of speeds across different data media types including: 24X CD-ROM, 24X CD-RW, 8X DVD±R recording, 5X DVD-RAM recording, 6X DVD+R Dual Layer recording, 6X DVD-R Dual Layer recording, 8X DVD+RW recording and 6X DVD-RW recording.

The SE-218BB is available now worldwide at online retail outlets with a MSRP of $59.99.