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What is behind the ARM Holding’s acquisition by SoftBank Group?

Update: Recently SoftBank Group among other Silicon Valley notaries such as Apple and Facebook, have poured over $100 billion into a new Softbank “vision Fund” that Founder Masayoshi Son says is going to be used to help develop AI. This is allocated to spending on emerging technology companies in the next 5 years. To put that number in perspective, the entire global venture capital “industry” is only $65 billion in size. Here is his presentation about that from MWC 2017:
March 3, 2017: Globalfuturist.org: Softbank CEO, Masayoshi Son Keynote at MWC 2017 (25 and half min)

The How to Invest in the Singularity – It’s Near from June 3, 2017 will also give you a deep analysis of this initiative. Highly recommended!
End of Update

The quick answer is that “ARM is the driver of the IoT era” when every thing is interconnected. Another reason is that they have been steadily working in an early investment mode from very beginning, and quite successfully.

SoftBank CEO and Founder Masayoshi Son has been referring back to the PC and Internet era when his company invested into Yahoo US which had only 16 employees then. In the beginning of PC broadband they have invested into mobile internet. And now is one of the biggest paradigm shifts is coming BIG TIME, that is IoT — he says. Some of his quotes shed light on what kind of perspective he is thinking of:

I truly believe Singularity [*] is coming and that computers will one day become smarter than mankind.

Every street light will be interconnected to the internet because we can save when car is not passing.

Automobile will all be connected so driverless car much safer.

All the things will be connected and what is biggest common denominator, that is Arm.

Technological singularity (Wikipedia): “is a hypothetical event in which an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) enters a ‘runaway reaction’ of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence.[1][2] This would signal the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence would continue to upgrade itself and would advance technologically at an incomprehensible rate.[3]
For more information see the rest of the Wikipedia article.

And about the automobile opportunity alone he said:

I would say automobile is becoming smarter and smarter so when automobile becomes so smart it is required to have more and more chips integrated inside the car, especially when it becomes a driverless car. Automotive itself will become a super computer which consists of a bunch of multiple chips so ARM will be going into that market very aggressively.

More information along these lines see in the SoftBank CEO: the average person will have 1,000 internet-connected devices by 2040 article by Tech in Asia.

July 18, 2016: ARM CEO Simon Segars about SoftBank acquisition 

Official video released at https://www.acceleratingtech.com/ a site to explain the SoftBank acquisition of ARM, they claim:
– SoftBank’s £17 offer price gives ARM shareholders a 43% premium on Friday’s closing share price and a 41.1% premium on the all-time high share price
– Assurance to double ARM’s UK headcount in the next five years and increase headcount outside the UK
– Leaves ARM’s successful partnership business model, culture and brand unchanged
– Great endorsement of UK tech

July 18, 2016: Acquisition of ARM Holdings plc
Background and Rationale by SoftBank Group Corp.
(from Recommended Acquisition of ARM by SoftBank)

The acquisition of ARM by SBG will deliver the following benefits:

  • Support and accelerate ARM’s position as the global leader in intellectual property licensing and R&D outsourcing for semiconductor companies

SBG’s deep industry expertise and global network of relationships will accelerate adoption of ARM’s intellectual property across existing and new markets.

  • Maintain ARM’s dedication to innovation

SBG intends to sustain ARM’s long-term focus on generating more value per device, and driving licensing wins and future royalty streams in new growth categories, specifically “Enterprise and Embedded Intelligence.”

  • Increased investment to drive the next wave of innovation

SBG intends to support ARM’s multiple growth initiatives by investing in engineering talent and complementary acquisitions with the aim of ensuring ARM maintains a R&D edge over existing and emerging competitors. SBG believes such an investment strategy in long-term growth will be easier to execute as a non-listed company.

  • Shared culture and long-term vision

SBG believes the two companies share the same technology-oriented culture, long-term vision, focus on innovation and commitment to attracting, developing and retaining top talent. These common values will be the foundation for the strong strategic partnership necessary to capture the significant opportunities ahead.

  • Maintain and grow the UK’s leadership in science and technology

SBG is investing in the UK as a world leader in science and technology development and innovation and, as evidence of this, intends to invest in multiple ARM growth initiatives, at least doubling the number of ARM employees in the UK over the next five years.

July 18, 2016: Our Business Model (from Presentation material (English) (PDF) )

SoftBank Group Corp. Business Model -- 18 July 2016

Everything in violet color has been added by myself to the slide.

July 2015, from CEO Message:

Transformation into “SoftBank 2.0”

Thirty-four years have now passed since the foundation of SoftBank, and so far, our position has been one of SoftBank holding assets in overseas companies as a company in Japan. Now, however, we are going to the second stage of SoftBank—“SoftBank 2.0”—in which we will transform SoftBank into a truly global company that can ensure sustained business growth over the long term. We are now in a major transition period.

As the founder, I have set out to create a business model that can deliver continued business growth for centuries. However, many technology companies face the common challenge of a 30-year life cycle where growth is followed by decline. This decline stems from factors such as the increasing obsolescence of technologies and business models, and an over-reliance on founders.

What is the solution? Not only do we need to transform our existing businesses, we also need to have a comprehensive structure in place for supporting disruptive entrepreneurs and facilitating continued development with them.

… [the rest is to see at the place of original]

July 18, 2016Press Conference: ARM to be acquired by SoftBank

Japanese SoftBank CEO and Founder Masayoshi Son (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Masayoshi+Son), the richest person in Japan, speaks at the SoftBank Press Conference to announce the acquisition of ARM Holdings for $31.4 Billion, SoftBank promises to keep the same business model for ARM, to increase the employee count in the UK by 2x within the next 5 years, to increase ARM’s employee count around the world. You can read the official presentation materials here:
http://www.softbank.jp/corp/d/sbg_press_en/list/pdf/pressconference_01/material_en.pdf
[i.e. Presentation material (English) (PDF)]

July 2015, Major Subsidiaries

Company Name Voting Rights (%) Principal Business Activities

Mobile Communications Segment

SoftBank Mobile Corp.*1                         100 Mobile communications services, sale of mobile devices
BB Mobile Corp.                         100 Holding company
Ymobile Corporation*1*2                        99,7 Mobile broadband services, development and sale of communications devices, ADSL services, PHS-based mobile communications services
GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc.*3 40.2
[18.6]*
Production and distribution of online games for smartphones and other devices
Wireless City Planning Inc.                        33,3 Planning and provision of mobile broadband services
SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp.*5                         100 Manufacture, distribution, and sale of IT-related products, IT-related services
Brightstar Global Group Inc.                         100 Holding company
Brightstar Corp.                         100 Mobile device distribution, supply chain solutions, handset protection and insurance, buy-back and trade-in, omnichannel solutions and financial services
GRAVITY Co., Ltd.*6                        59,3 Planning, development, and operations of online games
Supercell Oy*7                        53,7 Production and distribution of mobile game applications

Sprint Segment

Sprint Corporation                        79,5 Holding company
Sprint Communications, Inc.                         100 Mobile communications services, sale of mobile devices and accessories, fixed-line telecommunications services

Fixed-line Telecommunications Segment

SoftBank BB Corp.*1                         100 ADSL services, IP telephony services
SoftBank Telecom Corp.*1                         100 Fixed-line telephone services, data transmission and leased-line services

Internet Segment

Yahoo Japan Corporation                        43,0 Operation of the Yahoo ! JAPAN portal, sale of Internet advertising, operation of e-commerce sites, membership services
IDC Frontier Inc.                         100 Data center business
ValueCommerce Co., Ltd.                        50,6 Ad affiliate marketing service, StoreMatch online advertising distribution service

Others

Mobiletech Corporation                         100 Holding company
SB Energy Corp.                         100 Generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, supply and sale of electricity
SoftBank Payment Service Corp.                         100 Settlement services, card services and related services
Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS Corp.                         100 Ownership of professional baseball team, operation of baseball games, management and maintenance of baseball stadium and other sports facilities, distribution of video, voice and data content via media
SoftBank Robotics Holdings Corp.                         100 Planning, development, and sale of robots
SBBM Corporation                         100 Holding company
ITmedia Inc.                        57,9 Operation of comprehensive IT information site ITmedia, etc.
SoftBank Technology Corp.                        55,4 Solutions and services for online businesses
Vector Inc.                        52,4 Operation, sales, and marketing of online games, software downloads, advertising
SFJ Capital Limited                         100 Procurement of funds by issuing preferred (restricted voting) securities
SB Group US, Inc.                         100 Holding company
SB CHINA HOLDINGS PTE LTD                         100 Holding company
SoftBank Ventures Korea Corp.                         100 Holding company
SoftBank Korea Corp.                         100 Holding company
Starburst I, Inc.                         100 Holding company
SoftBank Holdings Inc.                         100 Holding company
SoftBank America Inc.                         100 Holding company
STARFISH I PTE. LTD.                         100 Holding company
SB Pan Pacific Corporation                         100 Holding company
Hayate Corporation                         100 Holding company
*1   On April 1, 2015 SoftBank BB, SoftBank Telecom, and Ymobile, merged into SoftBank Mobile.  On July 1, 2015, SoftBank Mobile changed its company name to SoftBank Corp.
*2   eAccess merged with WILLCOM on June 1, 2014 and changed its company name to Ymobile on July 1, 2014.
*3   As a result of the completion of a tender offer by GungHo for its shares on June 1, 2015, and other factors, GungHo became an equity method associate of SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.).  Please refer to page 190 for details.
*4   Holdings by parties in close relationships, etc., with SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.)
*5   SoftBank BB Corp., divided its commerce and service business and newly established SoftBank C&S on April 1, 2014.  All shares of SoftBank C&S held by SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.) were transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary of Brightstar.
*6   Since GRAVITY Co., Ltd.’s parent company GungHo is an equity method associate, as noted in *3, as of the publication of this annual report, GRAVITY is not a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. (currently SoftBank Group Corp.).
*7   The Company purchased additional shares of Supercell from existing shareholders on May 29, 2015.  After this transaction, the Company’s share of voting rights stands at 77.8%.

July 2015, Major Associates

Company Name Voting Rights (%) Principal Business Activities

Internet Segment

ASKUL Corporation                    41,9 Mail order sales of stationary, office products, services, etc.
The Japan Net Bank, Limited                    41,2 Banking business
BOOKOFF CORPORATION LIMITED                    15,0 Auction service and reuse business

Others

Scigineer Inc.                    33,2 Provision of Internet marketing support services using the personalized engine “deqwas” for e-commerce business operators and retailers
Bharti SoftBank Holdings Pte. Ltd.                    50,0 Holding company
Renren Inc.                    43,0 Investor company of company operating Renren.com SNS site in China
Alibaba Group Holding Limited                    31,9 Investor company of companies operating e-commerce sites Alibaba.com, Taobao. com, and Tmall.com
InMobi Pte. Ltd.                    35,2 Mobile advertising services

Main Overseas Fund Data

Fund Name
Subsidiaries
SoftBank Ranger Venture Investment Partnership
SoftBank Capital Fund ’10 L.P.
Associates
SoftBank US Ventures VI L.P.
SoftBank Capital Technology Fund III L.P.

 

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Embedded Android — A VIA Technologies Strategic Direction in addition to its earlier joint CPU venture with the Shanghai government

– Nov 12, 2012 – July 11, 2014: Can VIA Technologies save the mobile computing future of the x86 (x64) legacy platform? for preliminary reading on this blog
– October 8, 2014: Coming very soon from Centaur Technology: A Leap Ahead in Chip Design as a very small glimpse into the next generation by the Centaur Technology
– October 13, 2014: Centaur Technology: Do the same job that an Intel processor can do, but doing it less expensively, with a much smaller group and Glenn Henry in charge as another as a very small glimpse …
June 3, 2015VIA pushing for profitability in 2015 by DIGITIMES

VIA Technologies [威盛電子] president Chen Wen-Chi [陳文琦 the spouse of Cher Wang Chairwoman and CEO of HTC] has maintained that the company will not be delisted from the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) and will have a good chance of turning profitable in 2015. [http://technews.tw/2015/06/02/via-technologies-condition/: “this year the operation has turned the corner, there is the opportunity to turn profit, but not sure]

Chen said during a shareholders meeting on June 2 that VIA’s revenue performance became stable in 2014, while losses have also started narrowing. With its embedded platform and digital signage businesses starting to contribute profits, VIA is expecting an optimistic result for 2015.

As for the recent market rumor about Intel considering acquiring its subsidiary GenieNetworks[a CDMA licensing business having 2 clients by the end of 2014], Chen declined to comment.

December 29, 2014: Ownership of the Centaur Technology has been transfered to VIA CPU PLATFORM, INC. established on December 17, 2013 (⇒威盛電子:代子公司VIA USA Inc.公告進行美國子公司Centaur Technology Inc.股權之投資架構調整) and whose president is Timothy Chen (陳主望), Cher Wang’s nephew

December 25, 2014VIA to return to profitability in 2015, says company president by DIGITIMES

… As for the China government’s recently announced strategy to fully support and nurture local semiconductor players, Chen believes it could bring a strong challenge to the Taiwan and worldwide semiconductor industries, but VIA has been forming partnerships with China’s players and will only see limited impact from the policies.

November 21, 2014VIA stock demoted in TSE; expects strong performance in 4Q14 by DIGITIMES

VIA Technologies has recently been demoted to become a full-cash delivery stock by the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) because its stock’s net asset value dropped below NT$5 (US$0.16) in the third quarter. Commenting on the incident, special [technical] assistant to the president [also Head of Sales and Marketing since 1996 according to LinkedIn and VP Business Development and Strategy, VIA Technologies, HTC according to World Economic Forum 2015], Timothy Chen pointed out that the company had losses in the third quarter because its embedded solution orders were delayed and it had non-recurring engineering (NRE) expenses.

Although VIA’s CPU business continues to suffer from losses, the company’s invested Wondermedia [in 2014 focused on ARM-based tablet and STB processor development], VIA Labs [having USB 3.0 chips already for the 2014 market] and GenieNetworks as well as the joint venture with the government of Shanghai, China still contribute income.

Chen noted that VIA has not yet given up the x86 CPU market and its licensing agreement with Intel is valid until 2018. Although VIA did not achieve much performance in the PC market, the company is seeing stable orders for embedded applications such as digital signage.

The company’s joint venture with the Shanghai government is currently developing x86-based processors and 3D graphics chips and should help the company return to the PC market in the second half of 2015. The joint venture has R&D centers in Shanghai, Beijing and Wuhan, China and has about 600 employees currently.

February 19, 2014VIA reportedly moving x86 CPU resources to new joint venture in China by DIGITIMES

VIA Technologies is rumored to have started shifting its x86 CPU technologies and related personnel to its newly formed IC design joint venture with a China government-owned investment firm, according to market watchers

The joint venture was announced in early 2014 with VIA owning a 20% stake in the company.

Because VIA’s x86 CPU business is licensed by Intel, moving related resources to a new joint venture is expected to attract Intel’s attention. However, the chip giant may not be able to do much because Intel reached an agreement with the US’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in 2010 to not interfere with competition in the CPU and chipset markets, and extend its licensing of PCI Express to VIA by at least another six years. Intel is also unlikely to wish to offend the China investment firm, which has support from the China government, the market watchers analyzed.

VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. > Introduction:

VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. [磐聚网] was established in April 2013 with a total registered capital of USD$250M. As a joint venture between Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. [SAIL] who is affiliated to Shanghai SASAC and VIA Technologies, Inc., VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. has about 1000 employees and locates its headquarter at Zhangjiang of Shanghai with branches in Beijing, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Taiwan, California and Texas of America.

With the forefront technologies and know-how in the design of CPU, GPU and chipsets, VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. is well known to provide high security, high performance, low power dissipation, and low cost SoC solutions.

As a fabless SoC factory, VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. adopts advanced 40nm and 28nm semiconductor processes. VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd.’s main products include CPU and chipsets for desktop PC and laptop and ARM Cortex series SoC with its state of the art Elite series GPU and Video Engine IPs. VIA Alliance Semiconductor Co., Ltd. aims at becoming the leading SoC solution supplier for smart TV, smart phone and enterprise

January 17, 2013: VIA forms IC joint venture with Shanghai Alliance Investment by DIGITIMES

VIA Technologies has announced that it has set up an IC design house jointly with Shanghai Alliance Investment Company targeting the growing chip market in China.

The joint venture will be capitalized at US$250 million with Shanghai Alliance Investment contributing 80.1% of total capital, while VIA makes up the remaining 19.9%. An initial investment of US$100 million is slated for completion by the end of March 2013, VIA said.

VIA posted revenues of NT$3.36 billion (US$115.47 million) for 2012, decreasing 20.8% from a year earlier.

September 2014: Research and development of Lenovo M6000/S6000 desktops with ZX-A C4350AL [VIA Nano X2 announced on January 4, 2011] CPU have been completed
November 2014: Mass production of Great Wall desktops using ZX-A C3450AL total solution have been achieved

– Targeting a range of Desktop products ZX-A processors and V11PH solution extend the reach into multitasking and performance-oriented segments and offer end users an optimal, power-efficient computing experience
ZX-A processors are built using the latest 40nm fabrication process. ZX-A processors’ package size is 21mm x 21mm and the die size is only 11mm x 6mm. The launched processor name is C4350AL (the Clock Speed is 1.6G+).
– ZX-A processors are x86 architecture CPUs, support 32-bit/64-bit and the extended instruction sets. ZX-A are the first truly optimized, low power dual-core processors delivering industry leading performance-per-watt and improved multi-tasking ability, without consuming more power. ZX-A processors leverage a multi-core architecture to offer up to twice the performance in multi-thread optimized applications, while staying within the same signature low-power envelope.
– Featuring two out-of-order x86 cores, ZX-A processors come with native 64-bit software support, VT CPU virtualization technology, and PadLock hardware security features.

– Targeting a range of Mobile Notebook products ZX-A processors and VX11H solution extend the reach into multitasking and performance-oriented segments and offer end users an optimal, power-efficient computing experience
– ZX-A processors are built using the latest 40nm fabrication process. ZX-A processors’ package size is 21mm x 21mm and the die size is only 11mm x 6mm. The launched processor name is C4350AL (the Clock Speed is 1.6G+).
– ZX-A processors are x86 architecture CPUs, support 32-bit/64-bit and the extended instruction sets. ZX-A are the first truly optimized, low power dual-core processors delivering industry leading performance-per-watt and improved multi-tasking ability, without consuming more power. ZX-A processors leverage a multi-core architecture to offer up to twice the performance in multi-thread optimized applications, while staying within the same signature low-power envelope.
– Featuring two out-of-order x86 cores, ZX-A processors come with native 64-bit software support, VT CPU virtualization technology, and PadLock hardware security features.

ZX-C series processor is a new generation of quad-core processors, they are designed for high-performance computing
– ZX-C processors are built using the latest 28nm fabrication process. ZX-C processors’ package size is 21mm x 21mm and pin to pin match with ZX-A.
– There are 4 CPU cores integrated on the single chip packaging. Delivering industry leading performance per watt and improved multi-tasking ability, without consuming more power. ZX-C processors leverage a multi-core architecture to offer up to quad the performance in multi-thread optimized applications, while staying within the same signature low-power envelope.
– Featuring four out-of-order x86 cores, ZX-C processors come with native 64-bit software support, VT CPU virtualization technology, and hardware security features.
VX11PH Chipset offering a world-class HD multimedia platform for media-intensive applications

Already visible in July through benchmarks the next stepping of the legacy Isiah line: CentaurHauls Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 14 ⇒ VIA Technology Inc. VT3456 6628AMB, VIA QuadCore @ 2.00 GHz 2 processors, 8 cores

So the once influential VIA Technologies is desparately trying to regain its stance by capitalising on the technological fruits of the smartphone revolution which has already ended by Qualcomm’s alignment with latest developments in China via downsizing, Allwinner and Microsoft collaboration.

There are two lines of strategic actions for VIA which have become public as such recently:

1. May 20, 2015VIA Smart ETK For Embedded Android 

The VIA Smart ETK for Android provides an application programming interface (API) that simplifies Android system development on VIA Embedded ARM platforms by enabling the Android application to access I/O and manageability services provided by the system hardware that are not supported in the Android framework. These APIs help safeguard against system crashes and provide the ability to schedule auto power on and off, as well as periodic system reboots to ensure maximum performance.

The VIA Smart ETK for Android is also bundled with Smart ETK Demo, which is easy to install and has a user-friendly GUI for demonstrating the functions of VIA Embedded ARM platforms. Both the VIA Smart ETK and Smart ETK Demo are easy-to-use tools that help to shorten development time and speed up time to market. Key features include the following:

Watchdog:
This provides an API which allows the user to set a timer to ensure proper operation and help the applications/system to recover from a dead circle or breakdown. When it is set, the system will automatically reboot if no “feeding dog” signal is received.
System Power Off / Reboot:
This provides APIs that allow the user to use an Android application to schedule when the system should power off as well as set periodic reboots to ensure maximum performance is maintained.
RTC Wake-Up:
This provides an auto power on feature by setting the Remote Time Clock (RTC) auto wake-up timer. The RTC supports three auto wake-up modes:
  • Wake-up on a specified hour and minute every day
  • Wake-up on a specified day/ hour/ minute every week
  • Wake-up on a specified day/ hour/ minute every month

Legacy I/O Support:
The VIA Smart ETK enables legacy I/O support such as RS-232, by opening up GPIO, I2C, and CAN bus ports to the application.

February 26, 2015: VIA SMART ETK for Android post on VIA News by Richard Brown VP of International Marketing

We’ve seen a tremendous amount of interest in the VIA SMART ETK at Embedded World this week, particularly for embedded Android system design applications.

As its name implies, the VIA SMART ETK is an embedded tool kit that we offer as part of our software engineering services in order to facilitate the development of embedded systems and devices on based on our ARM and x86 platforms.

The VIA SMART ETK for Android is available with the VIA VAB-600, VIA VAB-820, and VIA VAB-1000 boards, as well as the VIA ALTA DS, VIA ALTA DS 2, VIA ARTiGO A900, and VIA Viega systems. It provides an application programming interface (API) that simplifies Android system development by enabling the Android application to access I/O and manageability services provided by the system hardware that are not supported in the Android framework. These APIs help safeguard against system crashes and provide the ability to schedule auto power on and off, as well as periodic system reboots to ensure maximum performance.

One of the key features we have enabled in the VIA SMART ETK for Android is support for legacy I/O such as RS-232 by opening up the GPIO, I2C, and CAN bus ports to the application. Others include Watchdog, System Power Off/Reboot, and RTC Wake-Up. To learn more, please visit the ARM Software Engineering Services page on our website and download our white paper “Cracking the Embedded Android Code” [January 26, 2015].

We are committed to the continued long-term development of the VIA SMART ETK for Android and regularly issue new releases of it for the boards and systems listed above. Watch this space for news of the latest updates.

2. [February 5, 2015Android-Based Digital Signage SolutionsSignage Solution Pack for Android as the first of software solution packs optimized to meet the requirements of specific vertical market segments

The Signage Starter Solution Pack for Android has been designed to accelerate the development of digital signage solutions using the VIA ALTA DS and VIA ALTA DS 2 [Oct 15, 2014 ⇒ the Solution Pack already came with ⇒Android Signage Goes Dual Screen with VIA ALTA DS 2] systems. It includes a number of APIs that help safeguard against system crashes provide the ability to schedule auto power on and off as well as periodic system reboots to ensure maximum performance, unique to Android OS for digital signage applications. Key features include:

Watch Dog:
Provides an API which allows the user to set a timer to ensure proper operation and help applications/system to recover from a dead circle or breakdown. When it is set, the system will automatically reboot if no “feeding dog” signal is received.
System Power Off / Reboot:
Provides APIs which allow the user to use an Android application to schedule when the system should power off as well as set periodical reboots to ensure maximum performance is maintained.
RTC Wake-Up:
Provides an auto power on feature by setting Remote Time Clock (RTC) auto wake-up timer. The RTC supports three auto wake-up modes:
  • Wake-up on a specified hour and minute every day
  • Wake-up on a specified day/ hour/ minute every week
  • Wake-up on a specified day/ hour/ minute every month

Customer ID:
Provides a unique ID which matches the software to a particular VIA ALTA DS system helping to protect the customer’s application or to identify a particular system.

July 9, 2015: Embedded Android Survey – The Results Are In! by Michael Fox of VIA Technologies

Android-survey-1

The growing popularity of visual applications for displaying increasingly rich data sets is clearly a key driver behind the rising momentum of Android among embedded developers. Industrial Automation (28%), Infotainment (20%), and Digital Signage (12%) were the top three applications in the survey, closely followed by HMI (11%) and Medical (11%).

Andorid-survey-benefits

The ability to add a touch interface (26%) was listed by respondents as the main benefit of adopting Android, with reduced time to market (25%) and customizability (19%) coming in second and third respectively. Native multimedia support (14%) in the O/S and the robust Android app ecosystem (12%) were also seen as important.

As a mobile O/S, Android does offer some critical challenges for developers to overcome when implementing it for embedded applications, including its lack of I/O support for peripherals (23%), the need to maintain different versions of it, and ensuring security (17%). Building up internal Android development expertise (21%) and finding the right development tools (19%) are other key issues embedded developers face in adopting the O/S.

We’d like to thank everyone who responded to the survey for the invaluable feedback they provided. We have already begun analyzing the results in order to determine how we can improve the platforms and services we offer for Embedded Android, and will be updating you on our progress.

Download the full results here.

As the enhancement of the technology portfolio there is the new
Apr 8, 2015: HD Video Monitoring Starter Kit

The VIA HD Video Monitoring Starter Kit is a turnkey solution aimed at accelerating the development of wireless multi-node video monitoring systems for the rapidly growing home and commercial markets.The starter kit includes:


VIA ALTA DS 2 System

ALTA_DS_2_ProductAt the heart of the starter kit is the ultra-compact fanless VIA ALTA DS 2 system. Powered by a 1.0GHz dual core VIA Elite E1000 Cortex-A9 SoC with a high-performance 2D/3D graphics and video engine that supports Open GL ES 3.0 hardware acceleration and simultaneous multiple Full HD video playback. The VIA ALTA DS 2 includes SATA and Micro SD Card support, allowing recorded footage to be stored locally for playback at a later time or offloaded to the cloud.


Customized Android BSP & Smart ETK

Included with the ALTA DS 2 system is an Android BSP (Board Support Package) customized for video monitoring applications which includes the following enhancements:

  • Storage – performance improvement
  • Hardware enabled decoding
  • RTSP & WVTP parse performance improvement
  • Hardware acceleration for on screen preview playback

To enable customers to shorten their development time and speed time to market for their specific application needs, the starter kit also includes the VIA Smart ETK (Embedded Tool Kit), which provides a set of APIs for applications to access I/O and manageability services provided by the system hardware.


VIA Video Management Software (VMS)

VIA VMS application framework provides basic functionality including HD playback support, hardware accelerated decoding for live streaming and local/network backup support.Video Streaming & Recording Performance

Live Stream: (Channels/Resolution/Bitrate) Playback Frame Rate/Stream Recording Performance
1ch 1080p @ 8Mbps 30fps 1Ch 1080p @8Mbps
4ch 720p @ 4Mbps 30fps 4Ch 1080p @8Mbps

Live Playback Layouts

VMS-Layout


Wireless IP Cameras

The starter kit includes 4 validated IP cameras featuring OmniVision’s OV9712 CameraChip™ sensor, developed with their proprietary OmniPixel3-HS™ high sensitivity pixel technology to provide excellent scene reproduction in both extremely high and low-light environments, and their OV788 video signal processor for video compression, 720p HD video streaming, and AES-256 encryption over any Wi-Fi network, the system offers ‘instant-on’ crisp HD video and streaming capabilities in an extremely power-efficient, battery operated package.

Which is related to the
April 8, 2015: OmniVision and VIA Announce Partnership to Develop Battery-Powered Wireless HD Video Monitoring Solution news release as well

Customizable Android™ Based Reference Design to Accelerate Time to Market, Optimize Home and Small Business Monitoring Systems

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 6, 2015 — OmniVision Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI), a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, and VIA Technologies, Inc., a leader in embedded IoT and M2M platform innovation, today announced a partnership to develop a battery-powered high definition (HD) video monitoring solution that enables OEMs to dramatically reduce time-to-market for wireless multi-node monitoring systems in homes and small businesses.

“This partnership between OmniVision and VIA Technologies exemplifies both companies’ desire to meet the rapidly growing demand for turnkey solutions that can give OEMs the ability to quickly and cost-effectively bring innovative smart devices to market,” said Paul Gallagher, senior director of marketing at OmniVision. “By offering ‘instant-on’ crisp HD video and streaming capabilities in an extremely power-efficient, battery operated package, OmniVision’s OV9712 and OV788 video signal processor together provide excellent capabilities for the advanced solution now under development.”

“By combining OmniVision’s industry-leading imaging technologies with VIA’s advanced video processing technologies and embedded Android system design capabilities, we have produced a highly competitive turnkey solution,” said Epan Wu, head of VIA Embedded. “We look forward to collaborating with OmniVision and driving the development of new and innovative technologies for the rapidly growing market for home and commercial monitoring systems.”

Utilizing the OV9712 CameraChip™ sensor developed with OmniVision’s proprietary OmniPixel3-HS™ high sensitivity pixel technology, the solution will be designed to achieve excellent scene reproduction in both extremely high- and low-light environments. The OV9712 will operate in conjunction with OmniVision’s ultra-low power OV788 video signal processor. That processor will provide video compression, 720p HD video streaming, and AES-256 encryption over any Wi-Fi network, thus allowing users to quickly stream high quality video content using the video monitoring solution.

About OmniVision

OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI) is a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions. Its award-winning CMOS imaging technology enables superior image quality in many of today’s consumer and commercial applications, including mobile phones, notebooks, tablets and webcams, digital still and video cameras, security and surveillance, entertainment devices, automotive and medical imaging systems. Find out more at: www.ovt.com

With DragonBoard™ 410c Qualcomm is pioneering the high performance, 64-bit capable, low cost ARM based platform market for communities of embedded developers, educators, makers et al.

This is Qualcomm’s first initiative to target the communities. Since the company’s Snapdragon 410 SoC had already been designed into no less than 291 smartphones available on the market community members are assured of getting their costs incredibly low. In addition to that Cortex-A53 is used alone in higher and higher-end devices as the result of increased competition between MediaTek and Qualcomm, which will assure the communities a continuous supply of leading edge SoCs in the future. Read that companion post of mine in which you could also find the basic facts about the advantages of the Cortex-A53 cores vs. the earlier designs from ARM.

Charbax from Maker Fair Shenzhen 2015 (June 19-21, 2015)

Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c is a credit card sized http://96Boards.org compliant development board based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, with I/O like USB device, 1080P HDMI, micro USB port, support WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, support Android, linux, planned to support windows 10 in the near future. The DragonBoard 410c is designed to support rapid software development, education and prototyping, including the next generation of robotics, cameras, medical devices, vending machines, smart buildings, digital signage, casino gaming consoles, and much more. At Maker Fair Shenzhen, Qualcomm is showing off how easy it is to get going with development using their new DragonBoard 410c, being released now

June 18, 2015: Welcome to the DragonBoard™ 410c

Available now! The DragonBoard™ 410c by Arrow Electronics is the first development board based on a mid-tier Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 series processor. The board is designed to build a software ecosystem around the Snapdragon 410 processor, as well as offering uses in education, prototyping, and commercial embedded computing products. Featuring the 64-bit capable Snapdragon 410 quad-core ARM® Cortex® A53 processor, the DragonBoard 410c supports Android 5.1Linux based on Ubuntu and there are plans to offer support for Windows 10. It offers advanced processing power, integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS, all packed into a board the size of a credit card. The board supports feature-rich functionality, including multimedia, with the Adreno™ 306 GPU for PC-class graphics, integrated ISP with up to 13 MP camera support, and 1080p HD video playback and capture with H.264 (AVC).

The DragonBoard 410c is an ideal foundation for prototyping and includes 1GB 533MHz LPDDR3 memory, 8GB eMMC 4.5 storage and a micro SD card slot, as well as one 40-pin low speed and one 60-pin high speed expansion connector, and the footprint for an optional analog expansion connector for stereo headset/line-out, speakers and analog line-in. The board can be made compatible with Arduino using an add-on mezzanine board.

The DragonBoard 410c has the rich feature set and mid-tier accessibility to enable wide-ranging embedded and Internet of Everything (IoE) applications, including the next generation of robotics, cameras, medical devices, vending machines, smart buildings, digital signage, casino gaming consoles, and much more.

March 18, 2015: Qualcomm Announces Support of Windows 10 for the DragonBoard 410c Development Platform and Mobile Device Reference Designs

Support brings OEMs and developers high-performance Snapdragon enabled platform to help accelerate development for Windows 10 mobile and Windows 10 IoT devices

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced its support for Microsoft Windows 10 for IoT devices and Internet of Everything (IoE) applications with the DragonBoard 410c development board. Based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon 410 processor by QTI, the DragonBoard 410c platform has superior functionality and computing capabilities, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and is one of the world’s first high performance, low cost ARM®-based platforms for Windows 10.  It is a credit card-sized development kit designed to support rapid software development and prototyping for commercializing new inventions and products, such as the next generation of robotics, cameras, set-top-boxes, wearables, medical devices, vending machines, building automation, industrial control, digital signage, and casino gaming consoles.

“Qualcomm Technologies continues to offer the mobile device and development community the foundation and resources they need to build their portfolio of Windows devices across smartphones, tablets and IoE applications,” said Jason Bremner, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm Technologies. “We are thrilled to demo DragonBoard 410c running Windows 10 IoT at WinHEC. DragonBoard 410c is an ARMv8-based development platform which is designed to support a wide array of embedded computing and IoE devices, drivers and application development.”

Microsoft is committed to advancing the Internet of Things with Windows 10 and Azure Cloud Services. Our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies to provide Windows 10 for the DragonBoard 410c is an important milestone in realizing a new device-as-a-service proposition for device builders,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager, IoT Team, Operating Systems Group, Microsoft. “Combining Windows 10 with the performance of Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processors will help the ecosystem realize robust, feature-rich use cases and enable developers to quickly commercialize their hardware products.”

The first live demos on the DragonBoard 410c will occur at WinHEC on March 18-19, 2015, in Shenzhen. The event will also feature technical sessions on Qualcomm Reference Designs (QRD) by QTI, as well as a QRD-based Windows Phone device display. For more information on WinHEC, please visit www.winhec.com. Additional information about QRD can be found at https://qrd.qualcomm.com/, or on the DragonBoard 410c at http://developer.qualcomm.com/dragonboard410cThe DragonBoard 410c is anticipated to be made commercially available by third party distributors this summer.

In addition to the introduction of Windows 10 support for the DragonBoard 410c, QTI’s long-standing collaboration with Microsoft has resulted in 25 OEMs developing over 30 new Windows Phones based on various Qualcomm Reference Designs to date. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor-based reference design will be the first reference design from Qualcomm Technologies to support the new Windows 10 operating system, with both phone and tablet reference designs to help manufacturers quickly introduce feature-rich Windows mobile devices.

About the Qualcomm Reference Design Program

To date, the Qualcomm Reference Design program by QTI has helped OEMs and ODMs around the world to accelerate their product development time and reduce related costs.  More than 1,080 commercial QRD-based devices have been shipped or are in the pipeline across 21 countries. Additionally, there are more than 270 commercial QRD-based LTE devices with more than 180 designs in the pipeline, helping provide consumers with more connected devices around the world.

March 19, 2015: DragonBoard 410c for Embedded Computing and IoE bí Leon Farasati, senior product manager at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) responsible for Snapdragon Mobile Development Platforms

What will you build with this dragon?

As mobile devices powered by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors have grown in functionality and number, the processor has become attractive to manufacturers of adjacent products like robots, kiosks, display signage and arcade machines.

Most of the interest has come from companies in embedded computing, where applications are more often industrial than consumer-facing and require parts designed for longevity, so they have often lacked features we take for granted in mobile, like a small footprint and low power consumption.

It turns out that Snapdragon processors have been quite a nice surprise for them.

Why Snapdragon processors for embedded computing?

As the Internet of Everything (IoE) takes off, manufacturers of embedded products are looking at everything they can do with Snapdragon processors, including HD video, Wi-Fi, multimedia, computer vision and cameras. They like what they see, and they really like that they can build those functions into embedded products with greater energy efficiency, no fans, no noise and a low thermal profile.

We’ve been working with them for the last few years with tools, kits and platforms that the hardware ecosystem has rolled out based on Snapdragon 800 and 600 series processors. Now we’re gearing up to support Snapdragon processors for a broader group of developers, makers and manufacturers with a new low-cost development board design based on the 64-bit capable Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 processor which has been designed for longevity.

DragonBoard™ 410c

The “c” is for “community”, and that’s exactly what this board is intended to support. The DragonBoard 410c is one of the world’s first high performance, 64-bit capable, low cost ARM based platforms. It has integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth® and GPS, all in a board the size of a credit card. It’s designed to be compatible with the 96Boards Consumer Edition, which supports the hardware community to develop a range of compatible add-on products, shields and accessories. 96Boards is the open platform specification for high-performance development boards supported by Linaro.

DragonBoard based on Snapdragon 410

The DragonBoard 410c has support for Android, Linux and Windows 10, providing incredible options for software solutions. And as you would expect with any Snapdragon processor, it’s well equipped to support rich multimedia applications with an Adreno™ 306 GPU, 1080p HD video playback and capture with H.264 (AVC) and integrated ISP with support for 13 MP camera.

It also comes equipped with high- and low-speed expansion connectors, analog expansion connector for headset, speakers and FM, plus I/O interfaces for HDMI, USB 2.0 and micro SD card slot. All said, we believe this will make a great platform for rapid prototyping and commercializing a broad range of new inventions. The path to commercial devices is supported by an established ecosystem of embedded solutions providers who provide off-the-shelf or custom system-on-modules, support and design services for commercial deployments.

Last week we announced DragonBoard 410c. This week we are showing the first live demos of it at Microsoft-hosted WinHEC, and this summer DragonBoard 410c is anticipated to be commercially available through third party distributors.

Next Steps

With DragonBoard 410c we’re working to make made-for-mobile Snapdragon features a lot more accessible to help fuel innovation of embedded products. Adjacent products can benefit from AllJoyn™, Adreno GPU, Fast CV™, Vuforia™, audio and video features that seemed far beyond embedded computing just a couple of processor-generations ago. We can’t wait to see what you’ll invent.

Intel’s new era of integrated computing: Look inside, looking ahead by Renee James, President

Intel App Show for Developers – IDF 2013 Day 1 Keynote Review [intelswnetwork YouTube channel, published on Oct 2, 2013]

Bob and Eric Mantion [Capt Geek] breakdown IDF13’s day one keynote and discuss why they believe this could be the best keynote in recent memory.
imageFrom: 2013 Intel Developer Forum Opening Keynote [transcript, Sept. 10, 2013] Brian Krzanich, CEO, and Renee James, President
Brian Krzanich: … to show just how far we’re looking ahead, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Intel’s newest president, Renee James. [The inserted images are from the presentation PDF]
Renee James: Good morning. For 45 years, Intel’s been inventing the future. For 45 years, we’ve been building the foundation of this industry, which is the silicon transistor, which you just saw. And for 45 years, we have been doing the things that everybody said can’t be done.

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Now, we’re going to lead the industry into a new era of computing, an era of computing where everything computes. And we’ll transition from worrying about the form factor, or the look and feel of the device, to the real problems that computing has solved for us — compute that’s integrated into the fabric of our daily lives, and assists us in solving problems, like managing huge global cities, or finding cures through personalized healthcare.
We’ll be able to solve ordinary problems in extraordinary ways, and extraordinary problems will be solved in seemingly ordinary ways. It will be from the mundane to the miraculous, when integrated computing is in our future.
For the rest of this talk, what I’m going to do is give you a glimpse of some of the projects that are started today using integrated computing to solve really tough problems that are out there, and give you a glimpse of what the world’s going to look like, from our point of view. But first, I’d like to take you back to the beginning, where all good stories start.
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Forty-five years ago, when Intel was founded by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. Bob was the inventor of the silicon transition and integrated circuits, and he gave us a mandate, to go out and do something wonderful. Gordon gave us the compass for that mission with Moore’s Law, and since then Intel has been on the relentless pursuit of the essential underpinnings of this industry, improving the silicon transistor.
All of you know this, because some of you have written it. Moore’s Law has been declared dead at least once a decade since I’ve been at Intel, and as you know, you heard from Brian, we have 14 nanometers working, and we can see beyond that. I assume you, it’s alive and well, and we’re going to enable many, many things with it.
One of the things that Moore’s Law enables is the mobility that all of you are using to tweet and surf and text while I talk. We’re going to talk about that.
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All right, today we work in the nano-world, and for those of you that aren’t big aficionados of semiconductor technology, I thought I’d take a second and just explain to you what it really is like. We build transistors atom by atom. Not long ago, we actually didn’t imagine how we would build a transistor that was smaller than 22 nanometers, and now you’ve seen 14 working in Brian’s talk this morning. So, if you don’t know how small that is, consider this. A nanometer is to a yardstick — let me get my marble — as this marble is to the planet earth, that’s how small.
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And we build billions of those transistors on every chip, and hundreds of millions of those chips a year. At our scale, what we do is as complex as putting a man on the moon was in 1969, or putting a rover on Mars in the 21st century. What we do takes fundamental scientific breakthrough. Just to make a single new feature or a new product, something for example like HKMG [High-K Metal Gate] or a 3D transistor, both of which were research projects until Intel had fundamental breakthroughs that moved them into high production and scale.
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These are a few of the additional technological breakthroughs that people said they were barriers. You can’t overcome them, it can’t be done. And the fact is, we have, and we’ve done it so consistently that we make it look easy. Every time you turn on your phone, your tablet, your PC, it just works. It seems easy. And behind that are tens of thousands of people fundamentally making scientific breakthrough so that works.
These are the breakthroughs that fuel the entire industry, and they make the foundation of the compute platform that you as developers do your work on. And compute platforms and devices follow Moore’s Law as well, not just silicon transistors. They continue to evolve in power and features and performance, and it’s all based on that underlying progress that we make.
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So, I want to give you some examples — they’ll be super fun. So, here’s one. I know all of you are going to recognize this. This — right, the DynaTAC 8000, Motorola phone. In 1980, this phone was built using 1500-nanometer technology, which was state of the art, for 22 nanometers today, right? Some of you remember this was your first cellphone, and it was super cool — not so much today. Today it looks like a prop from a movie. Wasn’t very pocket friendly. Battery life measured in — anybody? — minutes, exactly.
Okay, here’s state of art today. This is an Intel-based phone, it’s a Lenovo K900. And this phone is state of the art. Twelve days in standby, 12 hours in talk time. So remember, until 1990, most phones were installed in cars permanently, because they needed a power source, right? And all you could do was make a voice call. Could you imagine buying a phone that could only do a voice call today? No one would buy that, right? Making a call is not the most extraordinary thing that this phone does.
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So, let’s talk about what’s extraordinary about it. It has more performance than Pentium® 4. It runs at two gigahertz, that phone, which 12 years ago was the fastest desktop computer you could buy. This is the fundamental advancement of what Intel does. It’s what Moore’s Law brings you, and it’s what we’ve done to make that phone’s performance seem totally mundane.
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We’ve driven three breakthroughs in computing. The first one was very much about task-based computing. And the next phase — the one that I think we’re living in today — I call is lifestyle computing. I’ll talk a little bit more about why. The next phase is very much about integrated computing.
I’ll start with task-based. Task-based computing really started with origins with the mainframe. It was very much about the scarce resource, and your important task, and what you had to get done. In fact, Intel’s first significant products were memory products for working in mainframes.
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The PC changed that. The PC democratized computing and allowed everybody to be able to do their own tasks. It was still very task-based. But, of course, the PC evolved. It evolved into the era that we’re in now, lifestyle computing. Lifestyle is very much about you, your data, wherever you want it, whenever you want it, to do what you need to get done.
I want to just pause there and think about evolutions in computing. They don’t come that often. When they do, at the beginning, we think it’s the next big thing. Everything that came before it, dead. But that’s not true. Right? It’s an evolution. Evolutions in computing don’t end. What happens is they continue forward, like the mainframe does today, and they evolve, and they adapt. You should think about each new phase in computing as not an ending but the beginning of the next frontier of where we’re going to go.
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So the next chapter. What happens in the next chapter of computing? We think that familiar objects that occur in your everyday life get new capabilities. So I’m going to give you a pretty mundane example — a car headlight. What has been the greatest breakthrough in the car headlight in the last decade? Not that much. But now we can add silicon-based sensors to them and make them smart so they can detect the rain. Okay. But I don’t need to detect the rain. I need to actually see individual raindrops so that they can shoot the headlight beams around them.
What it allows you to do is, of course, safer driving, better clarity at night. Ordinary or extraordinary? Mundane or miraculous? Safer driving. When silicon can be made small enough, smart enough to transform a headlight, it can transform every other area of our life.
Quark — which Brian just talked about — is our new family of products that are targeted at integrated computing. And I use that term to be inclusive of Internet of things, of wearables, of traditional embedded. All of these new areas, and some of the older areas in embedded technology, that are getting smarter, and they’re getting connected. All of them will be connected, all of it will compute.
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So let me show you a few examples of what’s happening today. The city of Dublin, Ireland — not the one in the East Bay — has a program that’s called City Watch and City Sensing. And what they’re doing is they put sensors into the street drainage system, which sounds pretty boring. But it allows them to monitor the flood warnings in the city of Dublin. And it alerts the crews to what’s happening.
But more importantly, it sends out some other information through their cloud servers. It sends out signals to the traffic system to divert [unintelligible] away from the high water area, and it also sends out a city map so that if you live in Dublin, Ireland, you can figure out what’s going on. And the citizens get to participate because, of course, there’s an app for that. There’s a City Watch app. And so they submit real time update reports. And they basically use all of that data together in a crowd sourcing way to put real time status as to what’s going on in the city of Dublin.
Most people don’t even know what’s happened. They don’t know that there’s sensors in their street. They don’t know that the traffic lights are timing or diverting them in different places, getting multiple sources of data real time, being put into a cloud service and sent out back to their smartphones.
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Why is this important? Because by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population are going to live in these megacities — Dublin not being one of the biggest ones, of course. And something as mundane as a clogged drain becomes more than an annoyance. It becomes a systemic problem that needs the ability to fix it quickly, to manage massive amounts of data, to alert a huge number of populations.
Imagine, as developers, for you, what this means. Whole new platforms that we haven’t even thought about as compute platforms. Brand new kinds of applications that can be built. And managing [mega]cities is just one of those examples.
The other really interesting example — and there are so many that we actually had to pare it down so we could get it into this time slot — is in healthcare. 70 percent of these people that I was talking about that are going to be living in big cities, they’re going to be aging — as am I. We have these questions that we keep asking. Are we going to have enough hospitals? Will we have enough clinics? Will we be able to train enough doctors with this aging population?
They need more than just hospitals and clinics and doctors. They need care that’s affordable and is easy to administer. And the era of integrated computing allows us to offer some new answers to those old questions.
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What if we’ve moved healthcare out of a hospital? [14:31]
[This – for some unknown reason – was left out of the published keynote at http://intelstudios.edgesuite.net/idf/2013/sf/keynote/130910_rj/index.html 
So here is that video part starting at [0:32] of this report:
Amazing New Wearable Devices demonstrated by Intel President Renée James at IDF 2013 [Santa Barbara Arts TV YouTube Partner Global News YouTube channel, Sept 10, 2013] covering eveything, except the dimmed two paragraphs in the end. 

] Brian talked about wearables, and you’ve seen kind of a glimpse of what’s coming. It’s going to be beyond jewelry and eyeglasses into devices like this one.

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Let me show you this. This is a wearable from Sotera Wireless, in trials right now. I will put it on. I’m going to see if my heart rate’s really high here. What it’s doing is it’s taking a constant reading and transmitting reports wirelessly to a service. This is actually a real time EKG, blood pressure, and other vitals, just from a wristband. It is pretty big and unattractive but what this replaces is an entire — on this table, on the end — bunch of equipment that you would have to have in a medical clinic, and it gives you real time results to the doctor.
Here is another example of innovation in medicine by MC10. Through the magic of what silicon and transistor technology, in the future, this patch — this prototype silicon-based patch – could take the wonderful innovation shown by Sotera and perhaps even do much of the same in an even smaller package. This will be directly on your skin. This patch will perform all of the same functions that that wearable does today. This is from a company called MC10, and it’s a prototype right now.
So why is this important? That little patch thing is like a Band-Aid. You just peel it off and stick it on. So why is it important?
Because it’s a constant data stream that your doctor can see, that if something’s wrong it’s immediate, it’s up-to-date and accurate. And it allows us to move into the most exciting phase of healthcare that I think is in this frontier for us, and that is moving into customized care.
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[14:31] Care that’s actually tailored to the things that are going on in your body. There are a tremendous number of other devices and other applications — injectables, ingestibles — that we’ve looked at. I didn’t have time for all of them today. But all based on a fundamental, foundational building block of this industry, which is the silicon transistor.
Customized care, with your own genomic data, is the pinnacle of healthcare. And we first mapped the human genome using an Intel high performance computer, a Xeon-based computer. That’s pretty exciting for us. And as you can imagine – as we like to talk about Big Data – there is one Big Data challenge.

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I’d like to share how big a Big Data problem. One person’s genomic map is a petabyte of data. That’s 1000 terabytes for one person, enough to fill 20 filing cabinets of information. And through the work that we do, the advancements in price performance, Moore’s Law, what we do every single day, we’ve transformed the ability to sequence. And what used to take years in 2000 is now down to two weeks, and we’re working to get that down to days and hours.

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But more importantly, a single sequence used to be $70 million. It’s now less than $5,000 to do one sequence, and we are on route to make that $1,000, which means personalized genomic sequencing is within our reach. And it’s moving faster than the rate of Moore’s Law.
But let’s think about the benefits of that. Why are we excited? Why am I excited about that? Why do we get up every day and say, you know what, working with Intel, working at Intel, it’s pretty excited because we get to change the world? Why?
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One-third of all women and half of all men are going to be diagnosed with cancer, right? Early detection and treatment is the way to solve cancer in most cases, and it’s customized to that individual, it makes the profoundest difference in its effectiveness. And that’s where we can make a difference.
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Using high-performance computers, the Knight Center for Cancer Research at the Oregon Health Sciences University is working on analyzing human genomic profiles and creating searchable DNA, customized DNA maps. And what I’d like to do is share directly from them with you what they’re doing. [17:15]
[Video plays.]
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[19:21] Renee James: As doctor Drucker said, in this next era, we’re moving the biology problem to a computational problem in the treatment of cancer.
Computing doesn’t get any more personal than when it saves your life, so I’d like to share another story with you. And it’s the story about an Intel employee, in fact, one of our fellows, who’s here with us at IDF. He fought a 24-year battle with cancer. When he was a young man in college, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and he was given a few years to live. And he went through dozens and dozens of debilitating cancer therapies, and he was very brave, and he defined all his doctors’ odds with his longevity, but in the end, the cancer never went away, and his kidneys did eventually fail.
Recently, in his work that he’s been doing, he was visiting a genomic company, and they asked if they could sequence his tumor. And he said yes. He allowed them to do it. And what they did is they shared that data with all of his doctors. I’m not going to tell you the end of this story. I would like you to help me welcome Intel fellow Eric Fishman to tell his story.

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Eric Dishman: Thank you. Alive and well. I think I’ve had more predictions of my death than maybe even Moore’s Law.
Renee James: [Moore’s Law, alive and well, ladies and gentlemen.]
Eric Dishman: [Unintelligible.]
Renee James: Why don’t you tell everybody what happened the day that you showed up to your doctors and they had your tumor sequence?
Eric Dishman: It was just miraculous. At that point, I was so sick, I was going to the doctor twice a week. So it was my Thursday appointment, and I walk in, and they’ve got some of my East Coast physicians on Skype and some doctors on the phone, and all my doctors are working together, and I’m like, uh oh. And then they basically tell me that 90 percent of the drugs that they’ve put me on were never going to work because this genomic map had revealed this to them. And they basically admitted that they had mischaracterized and sort of misunderstood my cancer for over two decades.
Renee James: And then what happened?
Eric Dishman: Well, at that point, then they had the good news, which was we think we understand enough about your cancer, and it’s really Eric’s cancer, it’s unique, like the [physician] said, we’re going to put you on this drug for completely different organs and see how it goes. Four months later, I walk into my diagnostics, the technicians, you know, looking in shock at the scans, they do them again, and they’re like you’re cancer free, you can start the whole kidney transplant process at this point in time.
Renee James: That is miraculous.  And I want you to share with us how now your work at Intel is about scaling that out, so that other people can have this experience.
Eric Dishman: That is exactly true, and scale is the thing. That’s one of the reasons I work at Intel. [I mean], probably less than 50,000 people on the planet have had access to the kind of whole genome sequencing that I’ve had, and that’s generated about 2.5 petabytes of data. If we had every cancer patient today having a whole genome sequence like once every two weeks, which is what they would ultimately want to do, we’d generate 500 exabytes of data, and that’s just in the U.S.
So as we think about this globally, how do we scale? So we’ve got our product teams in there working on the fabric, the storage, the compute, I mean, the whole system — how’s it possibly going to be done? On the policy side, we’re working on how do we deal with the privacy and the security and the ethical issues of sort of scaling this?
On the R&D side, it’s everything like you showed, from biochips to Big Data and solving breakthroughs there. And then, finally, on the sort of human and sort of education side, we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to create a genome-ready workforce, train a million doctors on how to incorporate this data and move forward on getting biologists to understand programming and programmers to understand biology.
Renee James: Wow. Thank you for sharing your very personal story with the audience, and congratulations on being cancer free.
Eric Dishman: Thank you.
Renee James: Thank you. So 20 years of ineffective therapies at an expense and certainly the worry of what Eric went through, all of that changed by the benefits of personalized medicine and cost-effective integrated computing. Affordable genomics,  cities that reroute traffic and alert you to problems — a few years ago, a lot of what I talked about seemed like science fiction, and today, you can see it’s in our near future.
It’s the future before us when computing becomes truly integrated into our lives. For 45 years, Intel has done the things that everybody said couldn’t be done, and we’ve invented the future time and time again. I’d like to close by saying, in the words of Intel founder Bob Noyce, I’d like to invite all of you to not be encumbered by history and to go off and do something wonderful. Thank you.

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[End of presentation.]

IDF13 Day 1 Keynote Highlights & Takeaways [by CaptGeek [Eric Mantion] (Intel) on Intel® Developer Zone, Sept 10, 2013]

So, this is not my first rodeo (as the saying goes) – in fact, I’ve been going to IDF, on and off, for over 10 years, starting with my time when I was a semiconductor analyst. And, yes, I now work for Intel, so some may feel my opinion is biased, but, regardless, here it is anyway:
     This morning was the best IDF Keynote I’ve ever seen
What made this morning better? If I had to summarize it, I’d say it breaks down into 3 things: Intimacy, Lifestyle, and Leadership. Let me explain…
Intimacy
The very first thing I noticed this morning was, before Brian Krzanich said his first word was how he was dressed. Not only did he not wear a tie, but he didn’t even wear a jacket. The tone was very casual, but not in a lazy way. When he spoke, on stage, he went right out to he front of it, basically as far out to the audience as he could, as if he wanted to say “I am one of you – I’m a Geek & I’m proud of it.” Now, someone will say that a slight shift to a dress code & positioning on stage doesn’t much matter, but I would completely disagree because, before joining Intel in 2005, I knew well the biggest criticisms of Intel. In one word, it would have been Arrogance. In three words, it would have been “Intel Doesn’t Listen.” Now, I think that is changing, which I think is a great thing. But it wasn’t just the lack of a jacking and where he stood – the subtleties continued when our new President, Renée James did her keynote. Not once did she hold up a wafer. Not once did she say the word Gigahertz. But, what she did talk about was how Intel was making life better. During Brian’s portion, he talked about the   Intel Quark SoC, which is planned to be 1/5th the size of Intel Atom processors and 1/10th the power consumption. But when Renée spoke, she addressed the why wearables mattered. A great example was what I called a “Hospital-in-a-Patch” that didn’t look much different thank an anti-smoking patch, but would be able to monitor several of your medical vitals no matter where you were. While still in development, it shows the amazing promise of the not-too-distant-future. But she didn’t just pontificate, she brought out an Intel Fellow, Eric Dishman who told a very personal story. Arguably, it was the most personal story a person could tell because it was not only about his own 24-year battle with Cancer, but also how mapping his genome has led his doctors to a path that, thankfully, gave them the opportunity to tell him the magical words: “Eric, you’re cancer free.” I don’t know how you can get more personal, more intimate that that in a story. But it didn’t stop there. Then Renée was finished, Brian re-joined her on stage for the first-ever, “open Q&A with the CEO and the President of Intel.” This has never been done in the history of IDF, but I loved that it did. To me, it signaled change. To me, it was a message: “Yes, we know we make amazing silicon, but none of it means anything if we don’t have get hardware partners to put them into products and great software partners that make the magic happen. In short, Intel is nothing without our partners, so we want you to know that we care, deeply, about you. We want to have a closer, more intimate relationship with you and do amazing, wonderful things together…
Lifestyle
What is the difference between Ordinary and Extraordinary. Renée said it best: Intelligence. What happens when everything gets smarter? The simple answer is life gets better. Whether it is critical technology like the Hospital-in-a-Patch mentioned above or just convenient technology, as things get smarter, life gets better. For example, what if every parking meter was smarter? What if, before you leave your car, you put your smart phone next to the NFC sensor on the parking meter to register your phone. Then, if your meal is running long, it sends you a quick message of “your meter is running low, would you like to refill it?” and, with a simple press of the button, you can. How great would that be? When I was trying to explain the implications today at lunch, I used the table we were eating at as an example. What if, when you sat down, your table was your menu? Instead of the wait staff having to go back and forth, asking if you were ready to order, as soon as you were, you ordered. Also, the moment the kitchen runs out of “Catfish” then all the menus are automatically updated so that option would be grayed out. Also, as soon as you were ready to pay your bill, you could, right on the table, with the NFC on your phone. Or, if you wanted some help, you could just push a button like you do on an airplane & your server could come right out. But this doesn’t just help customers, it would help the restaurateurs as well. If you could save 10 minutes for every customer, a eating establish might be able to fit an entirely extra sitting in the course of a dining cycle. For the fixed costs of the chief & kitchen staff, that could be the difference between being profitable and closing your doors. But these types of “Lifestyle Computing” – or integrated computing, depending on how you looked at it – wasn’t just about tiny, minuscule computers, but also on the other end, the Big Data server rooms. For example, you want better healthcare, then your doctors need to get to know you better, and far better than you can do from just a form. They need to map your Genome, which, if your curious, is about a Petabyte of Data. For those not so familiar with these prefixes, that is around a thousand Terabytes or around a million Gigabytes. So, take that smart phone with 1GB of memory & put it in a pile with a million other phones – that’s the data required to map EVERY person’s genome. Multiple that by the 1/3 of all women and 1/2 of all men that will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and you get to the legal definition of a “butt-load of data.” But, never fear, the new i5 Xeon processors being launched this week are up to that task. So, your lifestyle computing – whether it is wearables devices or warehouse of servers, Intel has got you covered. And that brings us to our last category…
Leadership
It was subtle, but our new CEO – affectionately called “BK” in the halls of Intel – put all Intel employees on notice:
  • If it computers, we will lead
To me, that is vision. That is leadership. There was no squishy areas there, no caveats, no outs. It was simple, straight-forward, and to the point. If it computes, than Intel will do its best so serve that market segment as well as we can. Oh, and, if you missed it, in the future, everything will compute. Your grandpa’s favorite recliner won’t just recline, but rather it will watch him. It will monitor his vitals it will check to see if he’s been siting there past when he was supposed to take his medication and alert him if it needs to. And, heaven forbid, he should have a heart attack while sitting there in an empty house, he will be helped, immediately, even faster than if you were in the next room. In essence, in the future, no seasoned citizen will ever be sitting in an empty house again, but houses, furniture, kitchens, everything will be smarter and connected. Making your life, my life, and most importantly, the lives of the people we love, not only better, but, ideally, longer – as long as possible. Roughly a century ago, we were went through an important transformation – an electrical one. Instead of candles, we gained electric lights. Instead of washboards, we gained washing machines. Instead of a hand pump in your kitchen, we gained running water. Now we are on the cusp of the next transformation: Intelligence. Instead of an electric light, we’ll get a smart one – that turns itself off when not needed (like when no one is in the room) and turns itself on when needed. Instead of washing machines, we’ll get smart ones that analyses the soiling of your clothes and put in the right combination of detergent chemicals to optimize the cleaning. Instead of running water, we’ll gain smart faucets that automatically detects if the water coming out has a higher than allowable amount of harmful chemicals. It doesn’t matter what you pick – a bed, a pool, and gym, with greater intelligence comes a better life, just as electricity has been improving life for the last century or more. General Electrics’ age old tag line has been “We bring good things to life.” Perhaps Intel should adopt: “We bring better things to life,” because, as we lead in everything that computes, from wearables to phones to tablets to 2in1s and Ultrabooks to desktop PCs, and, of course, servers, life will get better, for everyone. And I, as one particularly proud Intel employee, doesn’t mind saying, that is a future that feels wonderful. Which, as it happens, was one of the pieces of closing advice from this morning’s keynote – a quote from one of our founders, Robert Noyce:

Q&A: Intel president Renee James on wearables [CITEworld, Sept 11, 2013]

After calculators, PCs and mobile phones, Intel is now jumping into wearable devices with an extremely low-power chip called Quark, which was big news at the company’s annual Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. Leading the charge into the new market is Intel’s new leadership team consisting of CEO Brian Krzanich and President Renee James, who also articulated on plans to achieve fast growth in the mobile market while trying to reinvigorate PC sales.
It’s been an especially busy few months for James, who became Intel’s president on May 2 after running the company’s software unit as executive vice president and general manager of the software and services group. She is laying the groundwork for Quark chips to succeed in areas such as eye wear, personalized medicine and cloud services. In an interview with the IDG News Service, she talked about the wearable market, Quark and partner relationships.
IDGNS: Where do you see the wearable market going?
James: I think it’s way beyond wearables, I think it’s about integrated computing. I don’t think we know the boundaries of that. The silicon patch — the thought of just ripping something off like a band-aid, putting it on your arm, your doctor being able to know what your vitals are at that moment, that sounds like science fiction, but it’s real. That’s where we are at. That’s today’s outer boundary of where we are going with computing.
IDGNS: When do you see integrated computing becoming a practical market for Intel?
James: For Intel it is a practical market right now, we have different products and platforms that are being developed. That is why we introduced Quark. We believe in the things that you saw — they are not three, five or 10 years out, they are in the next 12 to 18 months.
IDGNS: Will you sell wearables directly to consumers? Intel is already planning to launch a TV service.
James: We tend to believe that our business model is best helping other people build things. It’s in these really highly integrated designs, you need to build one to know that everything is working systemically. We tend to build reference platforms, and we’re going to stick with that.

Insert of mine: nScreen Noise: Intel Media, UK kids love tablets 10/4/13 [Colin Dixon YouTube, Oct 3, 2013]

Lots of bad news for Intel Media’s OnCue virtual pay-TV operator service. Will it every launch? OfCom in UK says kids love tablets. Same in the US?
IDGNS: Quark is really low-power, but will it replace the Atom platform?
James: No. It’s the low Atom. You should think of Core, Atom, Quark. I love the Quark name, it’s so nerdy and funny. Quark is intended to look below Atom. It’s 10 times more power efficient, and it’s five times smaller. Atom is teeny, Quark is the smallest thing we’ve ever built.
IDGNS: Intel and low-power still raise a question mark today. How will Intel achieve low-power on Quark?
James: No, no, Intel and low power are not a question mark. We have lots of low-power products. It’s not a question at all. Maybe that was five years ago. If you look… at Haswell 22-nanometer, that product is a four-watt product with Core i5 performance and Core i5-level graphics in fanless [devices]. That’s the most [power-efficient] product ever built, anywhere.
IDGNS: Are you offering licensing or customizing Quark chips for third parties?
James: What we are offering is the ability to connect their intellectual property around ours. We also are offering fully designed products as well. It’s a broad range that we’re going to offer to customers in this category.
IDGNS: Intel is looking beyond Windows and moving to Android and Chrome for tablets and PCs. How is your relationship with Microsoft?
James: Our relationship with Microsoft is as good as ever. They are going to participate in IDF and you will hear from them about what’s going on with Windows 8.1. I think it’s just a matter of balance. Microsoft is not the only client operating system anymore. The same way for years and years Microsoft balanced between Intel and AMD, we’re in the same situation now. Our customers want choice, and we offer choice.
IDGNS: What’s the next big thing for Intel?
James: Integrated computing is the next big thing, I think it is the future of what we are going to do. It’s not going to be necessarily about this device or that device, it’s going to be about what problems we solve through computation. The final barriers, the things we don’t understand, and what does it mean to have a mesh network of connected devices with cloud services and how does it change what we think about. That’s the final frontier.
IDGNS: How important is your software background in leading a company that is traditionally focused on chips?
James: It’s actually more useful than people would imagine. It’s very relevant to the level of integrated platforms that we see people starting to build, even the way PCs are built now, servers, different workloads, what happens in the cloud. More so than ever on a forward-looking basis, the way computing is developing is going to be about the application, the workload, the right kind of compute for the right kind of task. The other thing is building system-on-chips and products today is very software oriented.
IDGNS: What is Intel’s direction in chip development?
James: The direction for us is to continue with “tick-tock” for the microarchitecture, but to consider how to do derivativesusing the system-on-chip methodology.

Intel President Renee James: Interview with the Wall Street Journal [Intel® Developer Zone, Aug 28, 2013] i.e. Intel’s own report 2 weeks later

Intel President Renee James recently sat down for a video interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler. In this interview, Ms. James discussed a wide range of issues around Intel’s computing strategy, anything from mobile to what’s coming up at IDF in September. You can watch the entire video below:
Intel’s New President Outlines Company’s Plans
[WSJDigitalNetwork YouTube channel, Aug 14, 2013]
Renee James sits down for a Big Interview with Rolfe Winkler. Photo: Getty Images.
On mobile:
Ms. James has been with Intel for 26 years, and worked closely with former Intel CEO Andrew Grove. She recently was named Intel President, and directs company-wide strategy with CEO Brian Krzanich. She noted that Intel wants people to know that “we love computing”, and aim to serve every segment, not just PCs.
Intel’s new focus is on mobile, especially on the Atom power line for ultramobility. There will be increased efforts on Android, with an equalization of efforts between Windows and Android. Everyone currently in this market space has advantages, and Intel’s is design and integrated manufacturing, the combination of process technology, and communications. It’s the integration that counts; the combination of all these elements that makes Intel the winner in the market.
In many ways Intel has led the exploration into mobility. James noted that “sometimes you don’t always know about the next thing being a disruption….it wasn’t the form factor, it was how people using computing changed – touch, voice, app models, all of that shifted. That combination with the new form factor really changed the way we look at computing.”
On IDF:
Intel’s premier developer conference is coming up September 10-12. There will be a lot of new things to see and talk about there as far as mobility, where Intel believes computing is heading, and future predictions on computer/human interactions.
On Atom:
Atom is a smaller, less expensive chip. James noted that the Intel point of view with this chip was that you didn’t need all the features and performance you need in more expensive chips since Atom is primarliy for phones, but now as mobile devices are becoming more important and prevalent, it’s also taken on more importance. Intel is building parts of Atom that come all the way up to the Core family with greater compatibility. All new Atom products run Windows.
On transparent computing:
People want their apps to perform no matter what platform they might be using. This aligns with the “Internet of Things” mentality; consumers want lower cost devices, but are also looking for compatiability with the rest of the software ecosystem.
On the shift to a more mobile computing ecosystem:
Mr. Winkler posed an interesting question: “As PCs are increasingly replaced by mobile devices, how do you navigate that transition?” Ms. James answered that Intel does not believe that PCs will ever be replaced, rather, different form factors will continue to emerge with the performance of the core product line in mobile devices. There are also different modes of usability in form factors such as the tablet, PC, 2 in 1’s, etc. It’s not a “one for one” replacement; James noted that these form factors are refreshing the market.
On form factors:
James noted there is a segmentation of tablets – the ones on the higher price point side generally offer more performance, and the ones on the lower price point side offer less. Intel has created Atom products that scale all the way up and down this ladder, with Haswell core-based products as well. These form factors overlap with price points, and some cannibalization is expected, but Intel is looking to create devices at every price point for more customer availability, opportunities, and innovation.
On Moore’s Law
When asked if Intel sees a finite ceiling as to how small chips can be produced, Ms. James replied that “we don’t see that”. There is more performance in a lower power envelope, and Intel has moved ahead multiple generations, becoming much more competitive in the mobile landscape.
How small can the chips actually get? James replied that Intel has “line of sight” for a couple more generations, but after that the future is unclear.
Data center
The data center arm of Intel is an important business, currently holding a 90% market share and bringing in substantial profits for Intel. Mr. Winkler asked about avoiding server upsets, and Ms. James noted that there is a market shift with new competitors, and the way you react initially is how the dynamic is going to go. She mentioned that “it’s good for Intel to have competitors” because it makes the company as a whole better. Intel is not waiting for the industry to change, and has already announced SOC server products based on the Atom family.
On Intel television
What does Intel plan to bring in the television space? James replied that just like everything else, television has gone digital. It’s delivered over an IP network, which is an opportunity for data to be broadcast to devices. Intel can bring tech integration and leadership to this area, making it more cost effective. It’s also a new market opportunity and area of growth.
Exciting times for Intel
This interview with Ms. James was extremely informative, and gave a great overview of where Intel is headed. Be sure to register for IDF 2013 and hear more from Intel leadership on the future of the company.

Which was reported by The Wall Street Journal as Intel Chips Away at Mobile, Wearable Computing [The CIO Report – WSJ, Aug 14, 2013] in the following way

As consumers shift spending to smartphones and tablets from PCs, mobile processors made by rivals have chipped away at Intel Corp.’s sales and profits. Intel in July reported $2 billion in profit for the second quarter, a drop of 29% from a year earlier, on sales of $12.8 billion, down 5% for the same period. The chipmaker, which once milked its Intel Inside brand, can no longer rely as much on PC chips as its cash cow. While PC sales decline, rivals building low-cost, low-power chips based onARM Holdings plc. designs dominate the mobile chip market.
Intel President Renee J. James admitted in an interview, Wednesday, that chips, as well as software for smartphones, tablets and embedded systems, are “markets that we need to go win.” Ms. James, who assumed her role in May after 25 years in various management roles at Intel, is particularly keen on Bay Trail, energy efficient chips she said will appear in tablets and convertible PCs this holiday season. Intel will unveil some of these products – and possible show off a wearable computer – at its developer forum next month. This is an edited transcript of a Q&A conducted with Wall Street Journal reporters and editors.
As you push harder into mobile, you also have to keep a strong hold on the PC. What is your strategy there?
We don’t see the PC going away overnight, but we do see a blending across the bottom end of [PC chips] and the high-end of the Bay Trail chips. You have to recreate the segmentation because [PCs and tablets] are overlapping now [with the proliferation of two-in-one, or convertible computers]. And 7-inch tablets and below are very much like phones and we have an objective in that market as well. By blending and having a shared goal for total compute, you start to think creatively about managing the transition. The suppliers and customers are the same.
How do you steal market share from ARM?
We believe we have better products, but we know we have better process technology. It will take us some time to get to the lowest end, but we have every intention of having products at every price point.
What was gist of the presentation you and new CEO Brian Krzanich gave to the board of directors on how to point Intel in the right direction?
We talked about getting back into the role of technology leader and really making sure that we’re leading into the next generation of where computing gets used. There’s a tremendous explosion in embedded computing, and the way people are thinking about computing, and we hear a lot about wearables, and there’s experimentation and new products like Google’s Glass. Our strategy is to win in every segment of computing and grow our share in overall compute. If it computes, we want to be in that market.
Do you have any wearable computers now?
None that are announced, but you should come to our developer conference in September. We’re going to be talking about where we see computing is going, where Intel is going, and a lot more about how we think computing will be used in the future, beyond the form factors you see today.
What are you doing to advance the Internet of Things?
We bought embedded software leader Wind River Systems, so we’ve done a lot of work creating combined product lines between Wind River and our embedded systems group. We’ve focused our work on specific vertical segments, such as in-vehicle entertainment, retail, point of sale and digital signage and infrastructure projects.
What about Internet of Things in the home?
We have not done as much in the home. I’m sure the team is working on things I don’t know about but… it’s a big opportunity.

Upcoming H2CY13 revitalization of E Ink Holdings’ business by greater cost effectiveness and next-gen EPD technology for the traditional e-book reader market (remaining flat), exiting the commodity LCD market, and addition of new applications for digital magazines, smart watches, handset covers and luggage tags

$66 6″ front-lit E Ink e-readers from Jawei [Charbax YouTube channel, May 26, 2013]

Jawei shows their latest range of E Ink based e-readers, starting at $40 for a 4.3″ E Ink e-reader without touch, $66 for 6″ without touch, add a bit for touch. Minimum order quantity is 2K.

OR While the jury is still out on E-paper renaissance because of A4 format on a lighter, plastic substrate? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 15, 2013] E Ink Holdings’ so far ‘LCD only’ subsidiary Hydis gathers ammunition with e-paper displays [The Korea Herald, June 26, 2013]:

Hydis Technologies is not what one would call a big company, but for Korea, it has a symbolic meaning. It was one of the firms that foreign capital gobbled up, only to spit out after stripping it of vital assets and technology.

Now, Hydis, owned by Taiwan-based E Ink Holdings, is out to get back on the map with the production of e-paper displays, the main element for e-books.

Starting in July, Hydis expects to start rolling out electronic paper displays, an area that E Ink is a global leader in.

Hydis officials said the contract is expected to extend to December.

“These displays are next-generation displays, and our technology is sufficient,” said one official, speaking anonymously.

Rollable displays also are in discussion, but that needs to be seen, as Hydis currently lacks the right equipment and capital.

Hydis was formerly a unit under Hyundai Electronics, the precursor to SK Hynix. It once supplied some of the big fish in the industry, such as Samsung and LG.
Prior to the acquisition by E Ink, Hydis had been exploited by China-based BOE Display, which bought Hydis from Hyundai, only to feed its technology to BOE’s Chinese operations.
E Ink initially appeared to have similar plans as it was reticent to make big investments, but both Hydis and E Ink claim that the only plans they have are to get the Gyeonggi Province-based display manufacturer back on track.
“The turnaround plan is aimed to optimally resize the company so that it can focus manufacturing on existing industrial products and explore other new high-margin niche opportunities,” the Hydis management said in a statement to The Korea Herald.
The management added that the focus now will be on high-margin industrial products, such as panels used in applications for medical equipment, avionics and automobiles.
The restructuring itself was painful as it involved letting go of more than half of the workforce, which at one point reached nearly 1,000.
There are now fewer than 400 employees, but those who left are said to have departed in peace, as they were offered an acceptable retirement package.
The restructuring was completed as of May 30.
The plants at Icheon are not yet running, but employees hope they can reactivate them by July, when the EPD orders go in.
“We are trying to optimize and rationalize productivity,” said Oscar Huang, a spokesperson for E Ink in Taiwan.
He also said he knew of the restructuring, but was not aware of the details, saying E Ink chose to leave those up to the Hydis management in Korea.
E Ink acquired Hydis in 2008. Prior, it was named PVI.
As the pioneer in electrophoretic displays used in gadgets like the Amazon Kindle, PVI also merged with E Ink, which is where it got its name.
E Ink is known for having only a small assembly line of its own, choosing to make money mainly from licensing deals.

E Ink suffers sharp revenue drop in 2Q13 [DIGITIMES, Aug 16, 2013] with slide inserts from E Ink Investor Conference Presentation [Aug 15, 2013]

image

Electrophoretic display (EPD) maker E Ink Holdings has reported consolidated revenues of NT$2.928 billion (US$98 million) for the second quarter, decreasing 45.56% sequentially and 34.61% on year mainly because Hydis Technologies, its South Korea-based subsidiary, has been reducing production of commodity LCD in line with its operational transformation.

E Ink said during its investors conference on August 15 that it has adjusted the organization of Hydis, downsizing its personnel from 800-900 to about 400.

image

But E Ink noted global demand for e-book readers is on the rise. According to the company, Amazon started selling Kindle Paperwhite in China and India in June 2013. Japan-based Rakuten has been selling its e-book reader Kobo Aura HD in the US and Europe and will soon tap the China, India and Russia markets. Korea Epub will launch its Android 4.0 e-book reader Crema Shine in late August 2013.

North America will account for 35% of global e-book reader shipments in 2013, Western Europe and Asia Pacific each for 27%, Latin America 6%, the Middle East and Africa 3% and East Europe 2%, E Ink cited forecast by IHS as indicating.

EPD can also be used in smartwatches and other types of wearable devices, electronic tags and back covers of handsets, E Ink indicated.

E Ink posted gross margin of 7.14%, net operating loss of NT$953 million, net loss of NT$1.008 billion and net loss per share of NT$0.93 for the second quarter.

Hands on with the Sony 13.3 inch e-Reader [Goodereader YouTube channel, May 21, 2013]

Sony announced a new 13.3 inch e-Reader and we got a chance to play with it at SID 2013 in Vancouver. This is simply the best e-Reader if Complex PDF documents or editing them appeals to you. Check it out.

E-paper firm posts worst loss in 4 years [Taipei Times, Aug 16, 2013] with slide inserts from E Ink Investor Conference Presentation [Aug 15, 2013]

INNOVATE OR DIE:With demand for e-paper displays plunging, the firm has turned to other growth areas, including digital magazines, smart watches and luggage tags

image
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), which supplies e-paper displays for Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle e-reader series, yesterday reported a widening net loss of NT$1.01 billion (US$33.63 million) for last quarter because of slack demand for e-paper displays and LCD panels.
The quarterly net loss represented a deterioration from the first quarter’s net loss of NT$492 million and a net loss of NT$818 million in the second quarter of last year, the company’s financial statement showed. That also marked the worst quarterly loss in about four years.
Last quarter, E Ink also booked a one-time severance payment of NT$500 million for a 50 percent workforce layoff at its South Korean LCD manufacturing subsidiary Hydis Technologies Co. The number of Hydis employees has been halved to about 400 from between 800 or 900 before the personal adjustment, E Ink said.

Meanwhile, the Hsinchu-based company said it received a record high royalties fee at NT$400 million [US$13.4 million] by licensing Hydis’ patents to Sharp, LG Display and other panel makers to make high-resolution LCD panels that are partly used in Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics patents.

E Ink was upbeat about this quarter’s prospects.

Customers have put off their new product launches to the third quarter from the second quarter,” company chief financial officer Eddie Chen (陳彥松) told investors.

“There is enormous growth momentum to arrive in the third quarter. You will feel the [strength of] an upswing,” Chen said.

This quarter, revenue is expected to at least double last quarter’s NT$2.93 billion, as customers were scheduled to ship new e-readers for the holiday shopping season, Chen said.

E-paper displays made up about 70 percent of the company’s overall revenue last quarter, according to E Ink.

Gross margin would rise further from last quarter’s 7.1 percent and 5 percent in the first quarter, as the company would ship more higher-margin e-paper displays, Chen said.
To reduce the impact of tablets, E Ink is seeking new growth areas in developing new e-paper applications such as displays for digital magazines, smart watches, handset covers and luggage tags.

By the end of this year, e-paper for those new applications are expected to make up less than 5 percent of the company’s overall revenue, Chen said.

Overall e-reader shipments are expected to be flat at a range between 10 million and 15 million units, compared with last year, E Ink said.

E Ink shares fell 1.23 percent to NT$16.1 yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX, which was down 0.81 percent.

Allwinner E200 Powered Gajah InkCase E Ink phablet case to be $99-$129 [Charbax YouTube czhannel, Aug 2, 2013]

Gajah International design house shows a unique Allwinner E200 powered E Ink Bluetooth case for you Galaxy Note 2 smartphone/phablet. “InkCase” works like a second casing or another panel for your gadget, On the back side of the casing you find E Ink panel serves as second panel to display photographs, you can read e-book, see the pop-up’s of Facebook and Twitter too. You can have eye on weather apps from your phone and all viewable apps you can see through this second panel. It works on Bluetooth connectivity has micro USB port for charging InkCase. Inside it has memory to facilitate switch over to next picture/page and to do this back panel has two keys.Price yet to be finalised may expect between $99-$129 You can have look here in this video of InkCase for Samsung S2. InkCase is also available for iPhones but works only as photo viewer, . Two colour variants Black & White are available. features: Ink Case Photo Epi reader FBInk TwitInk The problem is the way this one works is to beam pictures that it has to transmit, decode, instead of sending data to interpret and integrate in clever apps on the E Ink case device. That makes for slowish e-reader mode for now. But maybe they can improve this in software and other device like it a bit better integrated and much thinner and lighter could be huge advancement for changing the back-cover on your smartphone that has removable back-cover or for adding a back-casing to your smartphone and phablet to use the back surface of your devices for new smart potentially ultra-low power E Ink functionality. Filmed at Computex 2013

Here’s the flexible E Ink screen that could be in the 2014 Kindle [CNET, July 12, 2013]

Expect some incremental improvements to new e-ink e-readers this holiday season, but superslim designs are probably a year or two away.
I asked Giovanni Mancini, E Ink’s director of product management, what Amazon would be releasing this holiday season because, well, Amazon wouldn’t tell me.
“I can’t tell you, either,” he said. “We can’t comment on customers plans.”
I expected him to say that, but I figured I’d ask anyway. However, what he could tell me about was the advancements E Ink’s technology, some of which of which will find their way into new devices as soon as this year. In the next few months the company will announce its next-generation e-ink platform for e-readers, the successor to Pearl. That screen, released in 2010, is the one used in most current e-ink readers, including the Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader.
The new platform will offer slightly improved contrast and better optical performance that’s “better tuned to capabilities of higher-resolution TFT displays that are making their way into e-readers,” Mancini said (the $169.99 Kobo Aura HD is an example of a high-resolution e-reader).
Also, and perhaps most importantly, the company has introduced new technology that reduces the amount of ghosting (the digital artifacts left behind as pages are turned), so you won’t have to refresh the page as much. A lot of people don’t like the flash a page refresh creates, and the new screens won’t have to refresh as much. Today, the outer limit is around every six to seven page turns, and some devices now allow you to customize the frequency of page refreshes. Mancini said you’d potentially be able to read up to 100 pages without having the page flash.
“So, is it called Pearl 2?” I asked.
“It doesn’t have a name we’re sharing just yet,” Mancini said. “But before the end of the year we expect to not only bring our technology to market but to have customers announce products with that technology.”
With the next e-ink Kindles, I expect to see some slight improvements to the design and some small performance gains, as well even more uniform lighting in the Paperwhite. And we may see an entry-level Kindle priced at $49 ($20 less than its current price). Just how much weight, if any, Amazon can shave off its e-ink Kindles remains unclear. But I know a lot of people who prefer the entry-level Kindle to the Paperwhite because it’s lighter (5.98 vs. 7.5 ounces*. An ounce and half doesn’t seem like a lot of weight, but in a handheld device it’s very noticeable.
Imagine a 6-inch e-reader that weighs just 3.5 ounces [~100 grams]. That just might make you want to upgrade your device.

* [one ounce is approximately 28 grams]

E Ink Booth Tour at SID 2013 [May 21-23, 2013] [EInkSeeMore YouTube channel, July 19, 2013]

Giovanni Mancini, Director of Marketing at E Ink, gives a tour of E Ink’s new products and technologies at SID 2013 in Vancouver. He shows new E Ink products Mobius, Spectra, and Aurora, as well as signage, ESL, and displays with even faster page turns.

Shares of E Ink rise on upbeat Q3 sales prospects [Focus Taiwan, Aug 16, 2013]

Shares of E Ink Holdings Inc. got a boost Friday morning after the electronics paper display supplier said a day earlier that its sales for the third quarter could double from the second quarter on peak season effects, dealers said.
The optimistic third quarter forecast led investors to think that E Ink has hit a turning point in the current quarter, despite the fact that the e-paper maker remained in the red the previous quarter, dealers said.
As of 11: 29 a.m., shares of E Ink had added 5.90 percent to reach NT$17.05 (US$0.57) with 11.36 million shares changing hands. The index of the over-the-counter market, where the stock is traded, was up 0.12 percent at 118.89 points.

E Ink said that Hydis owns patents in display production, in particular fringe field switching (FFS) technology [see: Hydis: its FFS succeeding IPS [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 11, 2011 – Oct 12, 2012]], and that the unit’s FFS technology generated about NT$400 million in licensing fees in the second quarter.

Hydis licensing fees are expected to continue to serve as an income source for the parent company, E Ink said.

“The current buying helped E Ink shares clear the strong technical hurdles at around NT$16.80 so the stock has become technically healthier,” [Ta Ching Securities analyst Andy] Hsu said.

image

E Ink Launches Spectra, The World’s First True Three Pigment Electronic Paper Display [press release, May 21, 2013]

E Ink Technology Solves Unmet Need to Include Color on Electronic Shelf Labels to Highlight Promotions, Sales and Logos
May 21, 2013 – Cambridge, MA — E Ink® Holdings, “E Ink” (8069.TW), an ePaper and Electronic Shelf Label visionary, today introduced E Ink Spectra, the world’s first three pigment electronic paper display (EPD), featuring black, white and red pigments. Spectra is currently being demoed at SID Display Week 2013 in Vancouver, CA.
Price optimization strategies and adaptable technology are vital to ensuring retailers’ competitive advantage, success and growth. By using electronic shelf labels (ESL) with E Ink’s technology, retailers have the ability to change pricing strategies as needed in real time, allowing them to stay one step ahead of competitors while attracting consumers based on changing market conditions. Spectra allows retailers to elevate the impact of their ESLs, by adding color to logos and quickly directing consumers’ attention to important information, such as product sales and promotions.
“The three pigment system is a major achievement for E Ink, and a technological accomplishment in our industry,” explained Giovanni Mancini, director of product management, E Ink. “As the first product line to feature this advanced ink, Spectra provides retailers with the same visual and power savings attributes of our black and white ESL products, with the option of adding a third color to highlight promotions or other relevant information.”
“We are excited to see the addition of color, something requested by many of our customers,” said Niclas Qvist, Head of Marketing and Global Partner Management at Pricer, the leading Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) solution provider. “Pricer use E Ink’s e-paper in all our graphic products today. E Ink and Pricer are leading the way by giving shoppers the best in-store experience with clear and easy to read price tags. Product development is guided by market feedback and the first products will be developed in close cooperation with both E Ink and selected customers.”
“Pervasive Displays is committed to delivering innovative electronic paper enhancements and solutions that enable revolutionary commercial industrial electronic paper display applications,” said Scott Soong, CEO of Pervasive Displays. “Adding color to electronic paper is an effective advancement to this technology. Color adds the benefit of being able to quickly draw attention to specific messages – in retail, red is prevalent for promotions; in other industries red is used for exception management. The ability to quickly discern the importance of a message is critical in any environment.”
Spectra will support both active matrix and segmented format ESLs, making it the ideal product for a range of retail applications. The three pigment EPD is also appropriate for industrial, smart card and medical market applications, where Spectra can be used to display information on electronic identification badges.
While the eReader market continues to be an important part of E Ink’s business and the company is unequivocally committed to the eReader product line, over the past few years E Ink has invested resources into supporting different applications across markets.
“We have always been fortunate to have high customer demand for our electronic paper displays for non-eReader applications,” stated Mancini. “The results of our investments will be evident in 2013 as more non-eReader products using E Ink EPDs are released into the market.”
Spectra will be available in Q3 2013.

E Ink Triton II Won 2013 Display Taiwan’s Outstanding Photonics Product Award [press release, June 17, 2013]

June 17, 2013 – Cambridge, MA — E Ink® Holdings, “E Ink” (8069.TW), a global leader in ePaper technology today announced that its E Ink Triton II has won the 2013 Display Taiwan’s Outstanding Photonics Product Award with superior product performance.
E Ink ePaper technology is featured by reading comfort, sunlight readability, high contrast ratio, and low power consumption. Triton II, the award-winner, applies the optical design of front light module and optimize color resist arrangement of color filters, to reach high color saturation, high brightness, high contrast and low power consumption. This has led to the development of the new generation of color electronic paper display, and come into mass production. This is another award won by E Ink after its Spectra obtained the Display Week Best in Show Award by the Society for Information Display in 2013.
“We are honored that the organizers of Display Taiwan have selected Triton for this award.” said Felix Ho, interim chairman for E Ink Holdings, “E Ink continues to invest significantly in the development of electrophoretic display technology. It is great to see the results of this work incorporated into a product such as the PocketBook Color eReader.”

E Ink Introduces New 1.73″ Flexible Mobius Display For Smartwatch Applications [press release, June 3 2013]

image

June 2, 2013 – Cambridge, MA — E Ink® Holdings, “E Ink” (8069.TW), a digital signage and display visionary, announces the addition of a 1.73″ flexible display to its Mobius product line of flexible electronic paper display (EPD) technology. The 1.73″ display has been specifically engineered for smartwatch and watch applications. The display is based on flexible TFT technology developed and brought to production by E Ink. The first commercial product to use this 1.73″ display is the Sonostar Smartwatch announced this week at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan.
The Sonostar smartwatch was jointly developed by E Ink’s subsidiary Transmart Co. Ltd and Sonostar. The smartwatch was chosen by the Taipei Computer Association as one of only 10 major product highlights at Computex, which will run from June 4-8 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The 1.73″ Mobius display supports a resolution of 320X240 pixels with 16 greyscale levels. The display size and characteristics make the technology ideal for the smartwatch market. Using a flexible substrate, the 1.73″ Mobius is lightweight and rugged and is conformable so the end product has a better fit for the consumer. Its low power usage and sunlight readability make this technology ideal for mobile devices. Unlike conventional displays, the 1.73″ Mobius display can be cut into different shapes.

“The joint development between Sonostar and Transmart is the perfect example of the how E Ink can help its customers get their product to market,” said Giovanni Mancini, director of product management for E Ink Holdings. “E Ink displays enable unique products that capture the customer’s imagination. Our business development team has the expertise to help our customers design the displays into their products in ways never before thought possible.”
More information on the Sonostar smartwatch can be obtained by visiting the Sonostar booth at Taipei World Trade Center Hall I (No: C0317) during Computex Taipei 2013 (June 4 to 8) or by going to www.sonostar.com/Smartwatch/. You can get more information about the Mobius 1.73″ display by visitingwww.eink.com.

E Ink Unveils Aurora, The World’s First Low Temperature Matrix Electronic Paper Display [press release, June 3 2013]

image

May 21, 2013 – Cambridge, MA — E Ink® Holdings, “E Ink” (8069.TW), an ePaper and Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) visionary, today announced the upcoming release of E Ink Aurora, a first-of-its-kind electronic paper display (EPD) able to withstand freezer’s temperatures. The new solution provides retailers and business owners with greater flexibility and a more efficient solution in managing pricing strategies for products sold in freezers and cold outdoor climates. A demonstration of Aurora, along with E Ink’s latest products can be seen at Display Week 2013 in Vancouver, CA from May 21-23.
Providing low power usage and cost optimization through a 5-volt driving capability, Aurora supports applications in conditions as cold as -25 C. Additionally, Aurora has been tuned for non-eReader applications, and is ideal for electronic shelf labels (ESLs) and smart cards in the retail, medical and logistics markets. Aurora will be available to partners and customers starting in July 2013.
The release of Aurora is an indication of E Ink’s product diversification strategy and commitment to providing the ESL market with an extremely durable, low power display technology. While eReaders continue to be an important market for E Ink, and the company is unequivocally committed to the eReader product line, E Ink believes that its unique technology addresses retailers’ and business owners’ needs to install displays in previously impossible or impractical locations across markets.

“Opticon is excited to work with E Ink to expand our portfolio of e-paper based electronic shelf labeling (ESL) products. With the integration of a low temp film, we can finally install our ESL solution into all departments in a grocery or convenience store,” said Mike Waters, Opticon, Inc. “To date, we’ve lacked the technical capability to operate our wireless shelf tags inside a freezer, limiting the opportunities to completely eliminate manual paper price changes. Opticon will now be able to offer a line of IP rated freezer tags in 2″, 2.7″, 4.41″, and 7.4″ form factors.”

“Pervasive Displays is committed to advancing the use of electronic paper in industrial applications,” said Scott Soong, CEO of Pervasive Displays. “The new Aurora product from E Ink extends the reach of electronic paper to cold chain applications, signage, automotive and a myriad of additional industries, unlocking new ROI potential for e-paper applications.”
“Inaccurate prices are one of consumers’ major gripes when shopping at supermarkets,” said Giovanni Mancini, director of product management, E Ink. “With an average of close to 40,000 items carried in supermarkets, effective price management can become a herculean task. At E Ink we believe that ESLs not only cut down on the instances of mislabelled information, but also can ultimately help retail stores maximize profits.”
In the Food Marketing Institute’s 2012 Shopper Trends report, consumers rated accurate shelf tags as one of their most important criteria in selecting their primary store. Learn more about Aurora and E Ink’s other breakthrough digital signage and display technologies by visiting booth #1215 at SID from May 21-23.

Windows Embedded is an enterprise business now, like the whole Windows business, with Handheld and Compact versions to lead in the overall Internet of Things market as well

OR Windows Embedded: Recommitting to x86 across all of the edge devices of the future intelligent systems of enterprise customers and consumers while pushing ARM along its current positions in mobile and real-time, which is essentially corresponding to the Windows 7 licensing and pricing described by this source 
OR Windows Embedded enterprise solutions strategy based on creating actionable operation intelligence extended to edge devices in retail and hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and automotive industries
OR Capitalizing on the Internet of Things [WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, March 20, 2013] and Transforming Business 
OR Building Edge Devices & Intelligent Solutions [WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, March 20, 2013]
OR (as stemming from The future of Windows Embedded: from standalone devices to intelligent systems [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, March 9-29, 2012], note however that ARM architecture support was delivered only in Handheld and Compact versions despite original hint included into that post)
An intelligent system built on Windows Embedded—with the expertise of the extensive community of established Windows Embedded partners—extends the power of Windows and Microsoft technologies to edge devices. Our portfolio of products powers solutions that meet unique industry needs and span enterprises of any size and complexity.
coinciding with:
1.  Microsoft betting on boosting Windows RT demand with top level ARM SoCs from its SoC partners, Windows 8.1 enhancements, Outlook addition to the Office 2013 RT and very deep tactical discounts to its OEM partners for tablet offerings of more value and capability [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 6, 2013] and
2. “Cloud first” from Microsoft is ready to change enterprise computing in all of its facets [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 4, 2013], as well as
3. Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 is here [The Visual Studio Blog, April 4, 2013] which according to ANNOUNCING VISUAL STUDIO 2012 UPDATE 2 CTP 2 [BlendInsider, Jan 30, 2013] providing the utmost effectivity in developer productivity, finally achieving uniformity in XAML based embedded user experience design as well with one version of Blend for everything (highlighted inserts are mine):
image

as Windows Azure is providing a leading cloud application platform for all that (download): image
and an excellent  testimony to that is given in Discovering Intelligent Systems at work in Manufacturing [Windows Embedded Blog, Nov 27, 2012] from which it is important to include the basic story (just substitute “’intelligent’screwdriver” with “any enterprise or consumer device enhanced with ‘intelligence’”, “larger network in the factory” with “classic and mobile Internet” and the “backend” with “Windows Azure” to understand the enormous potential which is becoming available for Microsoft in terms of the Internet of Things market):

Hey everyone, recently our Windows Embedded team was on a customer site visit in Europe, and we came across a fantastic example of Intelligent Systems in action. While we were touring an automobile manufacturing plant, we observed the line using electric screwdrivers like the one pictured below. They had two cables running into them. Power and Ethernet. We asked the tour director about the network cable, and they explained that the screwdriver was actually an ‘intelligent’ screwdriver.
We smiled at the thought of this basic piece of hardware actually being able to think about what it was doing. Then he explained it and we were amazed. The screwdriver was hung off a manufacturing line Windows Embedded Compact PC that was connected to a larger network in the factory. The backend provided the screwdriver engineering specs about the screw going into that location on the car, including the required torque and even the number of revolutions that Class 1 screw should take to achieve the desired torque. So, when the technician popped the screw into the chassis, all they had to do was fire the trigger, and everything was automatic. They even had some scenarios where this was done using robotic arms instead of people.
imageWhen the screw was installed in the car, a data point was generated that came back down the network cable and registered in the factory database. Basically, an ‘OK’, or ‘NOT OK’ was registered, and in the case of either the torque being missed, or that torque being achieved in an unexpected number of revolutions, a flag was popped to investigate further. In summary, the car would not get off the production line if the quality bar wasn’t met.
We have learned since this visit that a number of our partners, and several large automotive manufacturers have deployed this technology in their factories both here in North America and in Europe.
The volume of parts going into just one car is massive, a true big data story, and the business doesn’t necessarily want to know about the hundreds of thousands of screws installed in their factory. What they do want to know is when a threshold like an engineering spec is missed. This type of approach enables business critical data to be presented, relevant, and not washed out in the volumes of activities/events happening minute by minute on the factory floor. …

In the IDC iView, sponsored by Microsoft, The Rise of Intelligent Systems: Connecting Enterprises and Smart Devices in Seamless Networks [April 18, 2012], you can find the following market forecast:

embedded and intelligent systems represent a much larger opportunity than the PC, tablet, or even the smartphone market. IDC estimates that the intelligent systems market will grow from 19% of all major electronic system unit shipments in 2010, to more than 27% of all systems by 2016. Revenue for the intelligent systems market will grow from more than $649 billion in 2012, to more than $1.4 trillion in 2016 (PCs and smartphones excluded from market-size numbers).

On the market for more than five years and with more than 5 million cars sold already, but in joint development since 2005, Ford SYNC based on Microsoft embedded technology is the best showcase of both the market potential and the level of achievements possible in this post-PC market for Microsoft:

The Ford Focus now comes with the optional Ford Sync system, which provides voice control and smartphone app integration. Jason Johnson, of Ford, takes us through a detailed demonstration of the system, showing off its ability to recognise navigation and phone book commands, as well as its wireless hot spot feature.

Soon we will have further advancements: Ford to Show the Smarter Way to Get There at Computex 2013 [press release, May 23, 2013] which you can follow on a special Ford Motor Company – Computex FB site which currently contains teaser videos about Future Technology Trends, Open Innovation and Device Interaction featuring Microsoft as well(note that those things are quite necessary as competition is getting stronger)

  • Ford will be the only automaker at Computex 2013, the largest computer exhibition in Asia
  • Ford will make several major announcements on its smart technologies for both Taiwan and Asia Pacific and Africa markets
  • Ford to showcase its most advanced class-leading technologies, designed to take the driving experience for customers to a new level
Inserted later: Ford Press Conference Highlights at Computex 2013  [FordAPA YouTube channel, June 6, 2013]
Ford Motor Company today announced it will bring its Ford Developer Program to markets in Asia Pacific and Africa to allow developers to create voice-activated apps for the car, further reinforcing its position as a global leader in technology.
    TAIPEI, Taiwan, May 23, 2013 – Ford Motor Company will show the Smarter Way to Get There at Computex 2013 with the most advanced class-leading technologies to further enhance the driving experience for customers.
    Ford will be the only automaker at Asia’s biggest computer exhibition from June 4-8, 2013, where it will make several major announcements for both Taiwan and Asia Pacific.
    “As one of the world’s largest and most influential technology shows, Computex is the ideal platform for Ford to showcase how our smart technologies are improving the driving experience for our customers in the digital age, ” said John Lawler, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China.
    “In a world where consumers want to be connected all the time, be it at home, in the office or in their cars, we have a great opportunity to provide driver-connect technologies in our vehicles which enable drivers to stay connected through voice commands while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The technologies we are bringing to our vehicles not only give our customers a connected driving experience, they also make that experience simple, safe and personalized.”
    The Ford stand at Computex will not only feature the company’s most advanced technology developments, but also the all-new Ford Kuga, dubbed by Ford as the “Smarter SUV” because of its fuel economy, versatility and new technology that makes driving easier and more fun.
    Inserted later: Ford at Computex 2013 – Panel Discussion
    [FordAPA YouTube channel, June 5, 2013]
    On June 4, Ford will be part of the Computex Smart Living Industry Forum at which Edward Pleet, Connected Services Director, Ford Motor Company, Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe will discuss The Smart Living, Networked Society.
    The Ford booth will be located at Taipei Word Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall, 4th Floor, booth number M2005.

    image

    OR Windows Embedded: Recommitting to x86 across all of the edge devices of the future intelligent systems of enterprise customers and consumers while pushing ARM along its current positions in mobile and real-time, which is essentially corresponding to the Windows 7 licensing and pricing described by this source as (here only WIN7 COMPACT (CE) has ARM support as well):image
    (click here or on the above image to see the full table, note also that the true enterprise licensing via even cheaper SELECT and EA (Enterprise Agreement) programs is not shown in the table, for explanations also see WES 7 “E” & “P”, WES SKU Differences, FES, FES 7 Pro, FES 7 Ultimate, WES vs FES, FES Pro & Ultimate SKU Differences, Win7 Compact (CE), Win7 Compact (CE) SKU Differences, Win7 Compact (CE) OS Components and “SKU rationale” from Microsoft) on which I overlaid the corresponding Windows Embedded 8 products and their already known (like General Embedded / NR / Entry for Windows Embedded Compact 2013 to be generally available on June 13) or supposed (like Standard ?…? / Standard ?Enterprise? for the Windows Embedded 8 Standard) SKUs. 

    imageNote that the above table could be misleading since it is just representing low-volume purchases while Microsoft is using License Packs as well where the per unit price is non-linearly decreasing with the number of licenses in the Pack. Fortunately I’ve found current trade data records for WINDOWS EMBEDDED STANDARD 8 EMB ESD OEI RUNTIME -7WT-00094(N-77P-3153) [April 9, 2013] and WIN PRO EMBEDDED 8 EMB ESD OEI -42C-00051(N-77P-3154) [April 9, 2013] from Taiwan to India which I could use as Model 1 and Model 2 for supposed pricing of the Windows Embedded 8 Standard, see the results on the above right. This could certainly be not so steep in reality (e.g. the model numbers were “more decreased” in trade declarations for the larger License Packs representing higher absolute value in order to decrease the absolute tax even more) as it is only giving a kind of idea for License Packs.

    It is also important to include here the argumentation why Isn’t a Linux or Android solution cheaper? [one of FAQs answered by Avnet Embedded, May 1, 2013]:

    Linux or Android solutions may seem cheaper initially. However, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) should be taken into account as a useful metric for assessing the overall cost impact of your investment. For example:

    • Acquisition costs— Inexpensive comparable products can cost as much or more than Windows to acquire and support.
    • Total costs—Acquisition costs are a very small component of TCO. Even when the costs of different operating systems are comparable, research shows that Windows often offers a lower TCO because of cost advantages in the other, larger components, such as staffing and downtime.
    • Cost vs. Value—In addition to what you must pay for, if you are making an investment in IT you should also consider what you will get in return; including features or capabilities that improve productivity and deliver additional value.   

    To find out more about the TCO of Windows Embedded, read ‘The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) benefits of Windows Embedded software’ ebook

    If the runtime license still looks too expensive than it is important to consider that we are talking here about very special types of devices with the x86 based Windows Embedded 8. Here is how Microsoft representing that x86-only focus on the top of “edge devices of the future intelligent systems of enterprise customers“: image
    This has even very strong industry focus: Retail (from Kiosk to ATM), Manufacturing and Health Care. So we can proceed to other post titles which are equally important to properly represent the redefined Windows Embedded positioning:

    OR Windows Embedded enterprise solutions strategy based on creating actionable operation intelligence extended to edge devices in retail and hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and automotive industries

    OR Capitalizing on the Internet of Things [WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, March 20, 2013] and watch also: Transforming Business

    The Internet of Things is prompting businesses to re-think how they use their digital assets. Kevin Dallas, GM of Windows Embedded at Microsoft, tells GigaOM Research’s Adam Lesser how companies can build intelligent systems to take advantage of the data their devices are already generating, for better business intelligence.

    OR Building Edge Devices & Intelligent Solutions [WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, March 20, 2013]

    To be a part of the Internet of Things, businesses need the right kinds of devices. Kevin Dallas, GM of Windows Embedded at Microsoft, tells GigaOM Research’s Adam Lesser what OEM/ODMs should think about as they help their customers build intelligent systems to take advantage of the data their devices are already generating.

    Other videos in the “Building Edge Devices & Intelligent Solutions” series:
    Dell Wyse, HP, Omnicell and ParTech, Inc. I will embedd here even Bravo Outdoor Advertising Reaches Greater Heights With Intelligent System [WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, Feb 11, 2013] as it shows very well how the range of edge devices could be hugely extended over the years (here with digital signage on the public transport in Ireland):

    Adrian O’Farrell, former marketing director for Bravo Outdoor Advertising, describes the many benefits — flexibility, customization and cost — of digital signage as opposed to traditional advertising on the Dublin bus system.

    OR
    (as stemming from The future of Windows Embedded: from standalone devices to intelligent systems [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, March 9-29, 2012], note however that ARM architecture support was delivered only in Handheld and Compact versions despite original hint included into that post)

    An intelligent system built on Windows Embedded—with the expertise of the extensive community of established Windows Embedded partners—extends the power of Windows and Microsoft technologies to edge devices. Our portfolio of products powers solutions that meet unique industry needs and span enterprises of any size and complexity.

    From Learn more about intelligent systems subpage linked on Microsoft > Windows Embedded > Products and Solutions page [May 6, 2013] which page also contains:

    Unlock intelligence with the full breadth of Microsoft technologies
    What happens when devices at the edge of enterprise networks are connected to software and services in the back end or the cloud? Suddenly, a rich new source of information is available. The data has always been there—but today, an integrated stack of Microsoft technologies, extending from the server room to the customer’s fingertips, can help evolve business intelligence to operational intelligence by enabling enterprises to identify and act on opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. For OEMs, the ability to harness the power of Microsoft technologies to capitalize on data gathered from edge devices translates to new and expanded potential for creating solutions for customers.

    [The Big Shift From Software to Cloud Services video of Nov 13, 2012 from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel is quite important to embed here, since it clearly shows that Microsoft is shifting from being a software company to a hardware & services company:]

    Windows Azure Marketing General Manager Eron Kelly discusses Microsoft Corp.’s focus on delivering software through the cloud and the opportunity it creates for devices and intelligent systems.
    One Microsoft, everything you need
    When connecting industry devices powered by Windows Embedded to back-end systems running SQL Server on-premise—or secured by Azure in the cloud–business data is without boundaries. Those building intelligent system solutions will shorten development time, and simplify implementation and management by harnessing the full breadth of Microsoft technologies, from the rich, familiar experience of Windows, to simplified management with System Center and security with Forefront. Device manufacturers, evaluate your intelligent systems business capabilities with Microsoft.
    Devices at the network edge: critical infrastructure for intelligent systems
    Intelligent systems are revolutionizing business, and Microsoft is focused on driving innovation in a number of industries, including retail and hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing and automotive. Whether streamlining inventory management with industry handheld devices, securely handling medical records using a thin-client solution, reinventing the customer experience with point-of-sale devices, transforming factory efficiencies with embedded robots, or reimagining the driving experience with an in-car infotainment system, edge devices are all around us. Powering these devices with Windows Embedded harnesses Microsoft technologies to create customized solutions that address specific industry needs and drive innovation—and profits—forward.
    According to IDC, unit shipments of IP-connected embedded systems, excluding mobile phones and PCs, will more than double by 2015, growing from approximately 1.4 billion in 2010 to over 3.3 billion.

    Source: IDC, “Smart Tech Market Forecast and 2020 Vision.”

    Specialized devices in the marketplace

    Select an industry [with a latest video of May 6, 2013 embedded here for each from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, in order to let you see how Microsoft and Windows Embedded are providing the technology, strategic leadership and partner ecosystem that are driving innovation]

    As far as the Windows Embedded 8 is concerned we have a pretty clear picture now:
    Windows Embedded 8 [Microsoft > Windows Embedded > Products and Solutions > Windows Embedded Products page, May 6, 2013]

    From this page the basic offerings (based on Windows 8) are the following ones:

    The Windows Embedded 8 family of platforms and tools helps companies extend their operational intelligence [by harnessing the flow of data across industry devices on the edge and back-end systems], using their existing IT infrastructure and industry devices that securely exchange data with back-end systems. Offering the same rich, multi-touch experience as Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 , Windows Embedded 8 delivers compelling user experiences on a range of industry devices.

    Windows Embedded 8 Pro

    The power and flexibility of Windows 8 in a platform designed specifically for building edge devices [digital signs or point-of-service terminals in a store environment, handheld devices, robots on the manufacturing floor, or thin client devices in hospitals to transform business intelligence to actionable operation intelligence] and intelligent systems solutions [such as kiosks, medical devices, digital signage and HMI (human machine interface)].

    • Deliver a user experience that’s identical to Windows 8.
    • Design custom apps that feature the fast, fluid behavior of Windows 8.
    • Security features such as Bitlocker and Trusted Boot.
    • Compatible with line-of-business and productivity apps.

    Learn more

    [The Next Generation Digital Signage on Display at Computex 2012 video of June 25, 2012 from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel is quite important to embed here, since it clearly discusses the direction for digital signage systems where full Windows compatibility is essential:]

    Windows Embedded’s John Boladian and Intel’s Gark Tan show off today’s interactive digital signage that create an engaging and connected experience for customers through combined technologies from Kinect for Windows, Windows Embedded and Intel’s Core processors.

    Windows Embedded 8 Standard

    Offers flexibility for purpose-built devices, such as thin clients, kiosks [digital signage] and automated manufacturing solutions.

    • Compelling UI, powerful app support, security and manageability of Windows 8.
    • Modular format allows you to use only the components needed.
    • Ensure consistent configuration with embedded specific lockdown features.
    • Custom branding feature.

    Learn more 

    [The Demo: Windows 8 on Embedded Devices video of Nov 13, 2012 from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel is quite important to embed here, since it clearly shows the actually best example of a purpose-built ruggedized device (from a long-time partner Motion Computing) based on Windows 8 which is a kind of prototype of similar “custom branded” devices based on Windows Embedded 8 Standard:]

    Embedded Group Manager John Coyne shows off an industry application on a PC running Windows Embedded 8.

    Windows Embedded 8 Industry

    A consistent, streamlined application platform that shortens development cycles for specific industry device scenarios in retail, manufacturing and other industries [such as POS terminals, ATMs, automated manufacturing solutions and medical devices].

    • Compelling UI, powerful app support, security and manageability of Windows 8.
    • Ensure consistent configuration with lockdown features.
    • Fixed platform provides a consistent development experience.
    • Plug and play peripheral capabilities with POS for .NET.

    Learn more

    [The Intelligent Systems Making Vending Machines Fun at Computex 2012 video of June 25, 2012 from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel is quite important to embed here, since it demonstrates an interactive smart vending machine where retail peripheral support is essential:]

    Windows Embedded’s John Boladian and Intel’s Gark Tan discuss the value and growth of intelligent systems across devices and the cloud. By highlighting an interactive smart vending machine, they show that intelligent systems not only make the purchase experience fun, but give the vendor a competitive advantage through increased connectivity, data collection, manageability and business analytics

    [Read also: Windows Embedded 8 Industry: A Modern OS for Industry Devices [Windows Embedded blog, April 2, 2013] “On the heels of our recent release of the Windows Embedded 8 platform, we’re making another member of the Windows Embedded family available today — Windows Embedded 8 Industry. David Wurster, Microsoft Windows Embedded’s senior product manager, has details on how Windows Embedded has evolved beyond point-of-service (POS) systems in retail to do much more in the Windows 8 era.”]

    Compare Windows Embedded 8 products

    Features
    Pro
    Standard
    Industry
    Rich multitouch, multi-user interface
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    Connectivity features, including connected standby, mobile broadband and WiFi
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    Powerful security features, including anti-malware support, BitLocker and Trusted Boot
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    Lockdown support, including unified write filter, gesture and keyboard filters
     
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    Retail peripheral support

     

     

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    Custom branding
     
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    Full Windows compatibility
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    Fixed image
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    Easy end-to-end device management with Microsoft System Center
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    Modular OS
     
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    In addition there are the following complementary offerings, which are not based on Windows 8, are shown on the same page as well:

    Windows Embedded 8 Handheld

    Built on Windows Phone 8 to offer intuitive line-of-business applications [such as package delivery, mobile point-of-service, communication and collaboration, and scanning and data capture], with proven integration and security for industry handheld devices.

    • Common application programming interfaces so that devices easily integrate.
    • Manage devices across the network through the use of Windows Intune and SCCM 2012.
    • Benefit from a large selection of Windows Phone 8 apps.
    • Use the Windows Phone 8 SDK and Visual Studio 2012 to create custom apps.

    Learn more

    [Read also: Windows Embedded 8 Handheld joins the Windows Embedded 8 family [Windows Embedded blog, Jan 14, 2013] “Windows Embedded 8 Handheld is more than just the successor to Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5. It’s a complete re-imagination of the enterprise mobile device. With Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, the platform is now based on the Windows Phone 8, which itself is built on Windows 8. In addition to the highly-praised Windows Phone 8 user interface, both Windows Phone 8 and Windows Embedded 8 Handheld now share a common kernel with Windows.”]

    Windows Server 2012 for Embedded Systems

    Binary identical to Windows Server, a proven, highly reliable operating system for embedded applications in server appliances [such as of telecommunications, medical imaging, industrial automation and corporate headquarters]

    • Enable informed, real-time decisions that keep your enterprise ahead of the competition.
    • New storage features optimize the reliability and efficiency of data stores and scale to meet demand and reduce costs.
    • Equip employees with insightful analysis and reporting services.

    Learn more

    Microsoft SQL Server 2012 for Embedded Systems

    A database management tool, binary identical to Microsoft SQL Server, for use with purpose-built hardware running the Windows Embedded Server operating system [such as in telecommunications, medical imaging, industrial automation and corporate headquarters].

    • Glean new business insights from data, and harness it in real time.
    • Provide access to powerful data analysis and visualization tools.
    • Flexibility and usability for auditing and security manageability across SQL Server environment.

    Learn more

    Windows Embedded 8 Mission and Vision (from  Microsoft’s Intelligent Systems [Microsoft > Windows Embedded > Intelligent Systems page, May 7, 2013])

    Actionable data fueled by intelligent systems is the new currency for business, and its value is expected to increase exponentially, improving how people live, learn and conduct business. Gartner predicts that big data will “deliver transformational benefits to enterprises” in the coming 2-5 years, and that by 2015, enterprises that employ big data strategies “will begin to outperform their unprepared competitors within their industry sectors by 20 percentage in every available financial metric.” (Source: Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, August, 2012.) With intelligent systems, Microsoft is helping organizations access and transform critical data into operational intelligence by providing a wide range of operating systems, tools, and systems and services.

    Our mission is to drive business growth and competitive advantage for our enterprise customers and partners through technology innovations that capitalize on the vast potential of data. Your investment in Windows Embedded is backed by Microsoft’s proven commitment to intelligent systems through more than 15 years of experience in the market.

    Industry Focus (from Microsoft’s Intelligent Systems [Microsoft > Windows Embedded > Intelligent Systems page, May 7, 2013])

    Intelligent systems are revolutionizing business and Microsoft is focused on driving innovation in retail and hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and automotive industries. Customized solutions built with Windows Embedded harness Microsoft technologies to address specific industry needs by connecting devices on the edge of enterprise networks with existing IT infrastructureson a single platform. The resulting intelligent systems help retailers deliver personal, seamless and differentiated experiences to customers; manufacturers increase efficiencies at every level of the operation to deliver innovative services, implement best-practice operations and enhance planning and decision-making processes; healthcare institutions optimize patient care and outcomes by bringing people, processes and information together; and automakers evolve “intelligent car” experiences, allowing drivers to access innovative in-car communication, infotainment, navigation and fuel-efficiency features.

    Our Solutions Approach (from Microsoft’s Intelligent Systems [Microsoft > Windows Embedded > Intelligent Systems page, May 7, 2013])

    Microsoft’s tools and technologies for intelligent system solutions extend beyond a software package or device; the great power and flexibility of industry devices running the Windows Embedded platform is that it works in concert with Microsoft’s cloud products and services, and with existing IT infrastructure to customize a complete connected system.

    Windows Embedded minimizes risk and complexity by providing one trusted platform with which to build solutions and broaden business opportunity. Windows Embedded fits with your needs, connecting data across a diverse set of technologies, providing compatibility across your existing systems, and enabling customization through a worldwide network of partners, to increase ease of use and drive efficiency. And a Microsoft solution extends the intelligence of your organization, increasing opportunities for your workforce to act on data and insights that would otherwise be out of reach.

    On the adjacent to the above “Windows Embedded Products” page there is a “Product Lifecycles” [May 7, 2013] page which contains the following

    Road map for intelligent systems

    With Windows Embedded 8, Microsoft extends Windows 8 to intelligent systems, creating the next wave of enterprise tools and technology. The release schedule includes the Windows Embedded 8 family of device operating systems, each with a distinct feature set that includes the building blocks for an intelligent system across hardware, software and services.

    image

    It means that from the whole portfolio the “Windows Embedded Compact 2013” was missing on May 7 as it was to be delivered in Q2 2013. When clicking on its “+” sign one gets the following description (corrections came in the first week of June with v.3 mark deleted after Blend and “sensory input and Kinect for Windows” deleted, and XAML for Windows embedded, multi-core support as well as Snapshot Boot added; it also coincided with “Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 2013 ISO-TBE” availability for download):

    imageA streamlined, componentized device operating system, Windows Embedded Compact 2013 gives developers all the tools they need to create the next generation of intelligent systems solutions. Compact 2013 provides the flexibility and real-time support to reduce time to market, while creating an easy-to-use, multi-touch experience that helps enterprise customers improve worker productivity.

    • Access to up-to-date tools such as Platform Builder, Visual Studio 2012 and Expression Blend v.3 helps developers to streamline development.
    • Support for XAML for Windows embedded, multi-touch, sensory input and Kinect for Windows and multi-core support enables the creation of immersive applications.
    • Leverage the power of cloud computing through Windows Azure Application Services, giving customers a greater ability to extend their intelligence.
    • Improved file system performance and Snapshot Boot gives companies the confidence that their devices will always be available, whatever their current state .

    The first description of it was given in Windows Embedded Compact v.Next uncovered [Windows Embedded Blog, Nov 14, 2012] as follows

    Posted By David Campbell
    Program Manager

    Woo hoo, it’s finally time to share more information about the upcoming release! First, the release now officially has a name: Windows Embedded Compact 2013. (I know that folks probably have questions around why we chose this name. We thoroughly considered a long list of potential names, including Windows CE again, and Windows Embedded Compact 2013 really did receive the best response.)

    I’ll be doing a number of posts about the various key features and changes in Windows Embedded Compact 2013 over the next few posts, but I want to start with arguably the most interesting of the new features: the investments made for Visual Studio 2012 support, both ISV/app development via Visual Studio directly; and the OEM/device development experience with Platform Builder, now hosted in Visual Studio 2012!

    With all development now in Visual Studio 2012, there is no longer a need for multiple versions of Visual Studio to support Compact development alongside other Windows platforms. Plus, you’ll get many of the new features and productivity improvements available in Visual Studio 2012 when developing for Compact! We now have the same C++ toolset and standards supported everywhere. (And of course Visual Studio 2012 includes the new features from Visual Studio 2010, which were not previously to Compact developers.)

    We also have a new CRT, which has key new functionality aligned as well. (The existing CRT on Compact hasn’t been updated in some time.) And the new optimizer supports functionality like auto-parallelization of your code and auto-vectorization–so if your processor has FP registers, the optimizer will automatically generate code to use vector FP. The 2012 C++ compiler also includes many of the language features from the new C++11 standards.

    C++11 has new language features that allow you to write better performing, safer code and code it faster than ever before. For example, RValue references let you operate on data without having to copy it. And C++11 brings in functional semantics to make writing code more efficient, like having anonymous functions. We also support range based loops, letting you iterate over members of a list directly. More information is available on the Visual Studio team blog.

    .Net CF has also been upgraded to 3.9, which inherits the support Windows Phone updates while still being app compatible with 3.5. This upgrade improves performance significantly in a number of ways. .Net CF 3.9 has greatly improved performance overall, as well as memory allocation and garbage collection using the generational garbage collector. This not only improves performance, but also provides more predictability in the execution of applications. The memory footprint of the runtime is also smaller for both the framework and applications, using what is known as “the sharing server,” allowing loaded code to be reused across applications. The runtime itself is also multi-core enabled, which can improve the performance of all your applications. More information on the updated .Net CF is available on the .NET Framework blog.

    The embedded developer experience improvements of bringing the new features of Visual Studio 2012 to Windows Embedded Compact are amazing, and I’m sure you’ll be as excited as I am to get started using the new features of Visual Studio 2012, Platform Builder and the new Compact OS.

    For information on the upcoming Windows Embedded Compact release, visit www.windowsembedded.com.

    Previous versions with some important new features (my own judgement + Windows CE Wikipedia article + other inputs):

    CE7: Windows Embedded Compact 7 (March 2011)
    – Silverlight for Windows Embedded (UX C++ XAML API): application development made easy, synching designers and developers.
    – Windows Phone 7 IE with Flash 10.1 support: panning, zooming, multitouch and viewing bookmarks using thumbnails, etc
    – Multi-core support
    CE6: Windows Embedded CE 6.0 (September 2006)
    – Significant change in architecture over previous versions of CE (process address space is increased from 32 MB to 2 GB, number of processes has been increased from 32 to 32,768 etc.)
    – Incremental updates to features as R1, R2 and R3 releases
    – Silverlight introduced, Microsoft Office and PDF viewers support too.
    CE5: Windows CE 5.0 (August 2004)
    – Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) introduced
    – Updates to Graphics and Multimedia support
    CE4: Windows CE 4.x (Jan 7, 2002)
    – .Net Compact Framework introduced
    – Since Windows CE.NET 4.2 system uses a new shell with integrated Internet Explorer
    CE3: Windows CE 3.0 (June 15, 2000)
    – Major recode that made CE hard real time down to the microsecond level
    – Base for the Pocket PC 2000, Handheld PC 2000, Pocket PC 2002 and Smartphone 2002
    CE2: Windows CE 2.x (Sept 29, 1997)
    – Real-time deterministic task scheduling
    – Architectures: ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, StrongARM, SuperH and x86
    CE1: Windows CE 1.0 (November 1996)

    Related post: Introducing NETCF 3.9 in Windows Embedded Compact 2013 – a faster, leaner and multi-core runtime! [.NET Framework blog, Nov 16, 2012] 

    Ever since .NET Compact Framework was introduced at the PDC conference in 2001, programming with .NET has scaled from some of the smallest devices to the largest servers. With C# and Visual Basic, developers can apply the same skills to program both devices and servers to form a complete end-to-end solution. As the devices become more prevalent in our daily lives, .NET is evolving too. Abhishek Mondal, the program manager for .NET Compact Framework [note that Abdishek Mondal was the program manager for GC as well], shares the following highlights of the latest version. –Brandon

    NETCF 3.9 advances the Windows Embedded Compact Platform

    We are happy to announce that we will be including the .NET Compact Framework 3.9 in Windows Embedded Compact 2013, as part of its upcoming release. We have made major updates in this version of the .NET Compact Framework, which deliver benefits in startup time, application responsiveness and memory utilization. You should see significantly better performance characteristics of your applications on both x86 and ARM devices, running Windows Embedded Compact 2013. You can read more about the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 release at the Microsoft News Center.
    The .NET Compact Framework is a version of the .NET Framework for embedded devices. It provides .NET development support for low-end embedded devices that run the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 OS. NETCF provides a familiar and rich development platform for embedded application development, with a small foot print and an extensive set of .NET functionality. For clarity, the other Windows Embedded OSes use the desktop .NET Framework, the same version that is included with desktop Windows.
    NETCF 3.9 is based on the NETCF version that shipped with Windows Phone 7.5. The following features are the key advances in NETCF 3.9, all big steps forward for app performance:
      • New Generational Garbage Collector for more responsive apps
      • NETCF runtime is now multi-core safe to take advantage of multi-core hardware  
      • Sharing Server feature that reduces working set and improves app launch
        Another major benefit of NETCF 3.9 is Visual Studio 2012 support! You will be able to use the same tools for Windows Embedded Compact 2013 development as you use for Windows, Windows Phone and Windows Azure development. Visual C++ development for this new Windows Embedded Compact version will also be supported in Visual Studio 2012, as reported on the Visual C++ team blog.

        Applications run (a lot) faster with NETCF 3.9

        NETCF 3.9 is a faster and leaner runtime for Windows Embedded Compact 2013. We have made many changes that should enable your apps to run much faster. NETCF is also multi-core safe, enabling you to take advantage of multiple cores on embedded devices. Multiple cores are increasingly available on today’s devices, and can be an important part of delivering a compelling experience to your customers. Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the additional improvements that are part of NETCF 3.9.
        Faster app performance
        NETCF 3.9 has greatly improved performance overall. There are three key features that will speed up your apps. Let’s start with the new garbage collector in NETCF. We have observed app performance in the lab that shows 50-60% drops in GC time. We no longer see GC pauses significantly affecting app responsiveness, in our lab apps, which was a problem that was reported in the past. The new GC is a lot faster!
        For apps that use floating point arithmetic code, you may notice an additional performance boost, since NetCF takes advantage of ARM VFP instructions.
        Last, we’ll look at the new Sharing Server feature. Sharing Server enables a significant improvement in the warm start-up time of your app, particularly in scenarios where multiple applications run on a device. It is able to achieve this benefit by sharing loaded assemblies and JITed machine code across apps (including re-launching the same app).
        Efficient memory utilization of managed application
        The Sharing Server feature also enables lower memory use for NETCF 3.9 apps. As already discussed, the Sharing Server allows code to be reused across applications. In addition to benefiting app launch performance, this feature significantly lowers the aggregate memory use of devices in scenarios where multiple apps are in use.

        Developing apps with NETCF 3.9

        You will find that NETCF is a great addition to a modern development environment. You can use Visual Studio 2012 for development, including features such as Team Foundation Server for source control and feature management.
        Visual Studio 2012 will support Windows Embedded Compact development
        The single most compelling attraction of this release for many of you is the support for embedded development in Visual Studio 2012. This support will simplify development if you are already developing for both Windows or Windows Phone and Windows Embedded Compact, since you can do all of your work in a single Visual Studio environment.
        If you develop exclusively for the embedded platform, then Visual Studio 2012 support will enable you to use ALM tools and TFS in your development environment. There are also other benefits to Visual Studio 2012 such as performance improvements and other tools, which you can explore and enjoy.
        Here is a snapshot of a sample managed application developed using NETCF 3.9 with VS2012:
        imageA simple “Hello World” application on NETCF 3.9
        You can see this same app, running in Hyper-V, stopped at a breakpoint in Visual Studio 2012, using remote debugging:
        imageDebugging a NETCF 3.9 app on Windows, using Hyper-V
        NETCF 3.9 is source compatible with NETCF 3.5
        NETCF 3.9 is a big step forward for performance, however, the APIs that you’ve used in NETCF 3.5 stay the same. As a result, you can move existing .NETCF source code and investments forward to NETCF 3.9.
        You may wonder why NETCF 3.9 is source compatible with NETCF 3.5 and not binary compatible, since .NET assemblies are compiled to the machine-independent MSIL format. There is no change in our assembly format, nor are there any compatibility checks in NETCF 3.9.
        We chose a single compatibility message for Windows Compact Embedded 2013, for both native and .NET development, which is source compatibility. The single biggest driver of this support policy is C++, which needs to be re-compiled for the ARM thumb2 instruction set, with the new Visual Studio 2012 Visual C++ compiler. We have also found that many of you pair your managed code with native implementations. As part of re-compiling that native code, we expect that you may make API changes that would affect your P/Invoke declarations. As a result, we decided that a single compatibility policy for the whole release was the best choice.

        Wrapping Up

        If you are an embedded developer, I’m sure that you are excited that we are making NETCF 3.9 available to you for your embedded apps. We have already talked to a set of developers, who are looking forward to this big update, to significantly improve the runtime performance of the apps that you run on your devices. We look forward to seeing your new devices and the rich experiences that they deliver, after Windows Embedded Compact 2013 is released.
        NETCF 3.9 will be made available with the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 OS, when it is released. It isn’t available at this time. It will also be included in the SDK for the OS, for use with Visual Studio 2012. Watch the Windows Embedded Newsroom for future updates on release plans.
        Follow us or talk to us on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/dotnet.

        Then here is Windows Embedded Compact 2013 presentation @Embedded World 2013 [kojtp2 YouTube channel, March 3, 2013]

        [2:55] The “Silverlight for Windows Embedded” name was changed to “XAML for Windows Embedded” because Silverlight was associated with a browser plug-in technology in developers’ minds while here we have nothing like that.

        Since this video has bad voice recording quality it is also worth to watch the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 Technical Overview of what’s new [Microsoft Webinar Live Meeting record, April 30, 2013] from which I will include the following slide screenshots and some transcripts of my own:

        image

        image

        image

        image

        image

        image

        [21:35] Very cool news: „an entirely rewritten and upgraded .NET Compact runtime

        clip_image002[83]

        [25:25] „XAML for [Windows] Embedded” [changed the name to XAML from Silverlight] allowing UI developers to write using Silverlight, in Expression Blend 5.0 with this release [vs Blend 3 in the previous], which will generate XAML describing the user inerface and the user interactions. We link that in with native C++ code in the back-end, and that allows for extremely powerful interfaces while still allowing for high performance that we use native code plus there’s nothing between us and the operating system, and there’s nothing between us and the hardware, so we have clip_image002[85]much better performance, from real-time perspective as well, not just general performance perspective. … There is increased functionality [in this release] in terms of data binding and data context. … We’ve got new triggers that are supported. … This is still a very, very important area for Microsoft, and frankly from embedded perspective XAML gives you in many ways a superior user interface description environment compared to HTML5. … [27:30]

        clip_image002[87][36:00] .. all-up general SKU … NR SKU for personal navigation devices … and we are coming with a brand new SKU „Windows Embedded Compact 2013 Entry” SKU. And this is the SKU for smaller devices that don’t need XAML capability. .. We haven’t announced our pricing for the 3 SKUs yet. That will be announced around the general availability [GA] timeline. … Windows Embedded Compact 2013 is still on schedule to ship in the first half of 2013. That means June. So we will be shipping and announcing the product in June. What we are giving now is a kind of sneak preview which will give you a technical introduction to the product. [27:53]

        From Q&A

        Using the same rendering engine as before

        XAML for Windows Embedded is not supporting C#

        More information:
        Windows Embedded Compact 2013 [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
        from which of particular interest are:
        What’s New (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
        Expression Blend and XAML for Windows Embedded (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
        XAML for Windows Embedded Application Development (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
        Developer Guides (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
        from which of particular interest is:
        .NET Compact Framework (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]

        Windows Embedded Compact 7 [Windows Embedded Products Overview > Windows Embedded Compact 7 Product Details page, May 7, 2013]

        Windows Embedded Compact 7 is a componentized, real-time operating system designed for small-footprint devices at the edge of enterprise networks. With support for x86 and ARM architectures, Windows Embedded Compact 7 allows devices to leverage the latest innovations in hardware, and equips developers and device manufacturers with the tools they need to create nimble, enterprise-class intelligent system solutions, while reducing time to market.

        Top features 

        Rich user interface
        Includes XAML for Windows Embedded, a powerful technology that allows you to build interfaces that incorporate touch and gesture support.
        Flexible architecture
        Real-time operating system supports an array of hardware requirements and key processor architectures, including x86 and ARM, to power everything from tiny controls to fully automated factories.
        Secure and reliable
        One-tier security model feature is SDL compliant and helps ensure that only authenticated applications can run on an industry device, with reliable wireless connectivity and networking performance.
        Ease of development
        Familiar tools like Visual Studio and Expression Blend allow you to create attractive and intuitive user interfaces, and bring differentiated devices to market faster than ever before.

        Things you can do

        For Enterprises

          One trusted platform
          Devices running on Windows Embedded Compact 7 are covered under a 10-year support program from Microsoft. You can deploy industry devices with the assurance that technical support will be there, when and if it’s needed. And because you can continue using your existing applications based on Windows Embedded CE 6.0, there is a smooth upgrade path for using current applications while moving to the next generation of touch-enabled apps that provide an easy-to-use experience for getting things done more quickly.
          Meets your needs
          Arm your employees with a new breed of business applications harnessing touch and gesture input that showcase your company’s work and give employees better tools to get things done with intuitive access to information. Windows Embedded Compact 7 also provides a flexible device platform that can run on the smallest of devices, or power rich device experiences. And with the capabilities of a real-time operating system, you can be confident of its ability to meet the most exacting of industry requirements.
          Extend business intelligence
          Windows Embedded Compact 7 supports a variety of connectivity options, providing more flexibility for connecting industry devices to your company’s network. Support for enhanced WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth and USB enables you to deploy devices across your corporate network, where they can help automate business processes and generate data that leads to greater insight. Collectively, these devices can provide you with greater visibility into what’s happening throughout your company. As critical components of an intelligent system, these devices can help you make decisions in real-time, as well as formulate long-term plans for the growth of your business.

          For OEMs

          One trusted platform
          With Windows Embedded Compact 7, you can develop industry devices within the integrated environment of Platform Builder, to allow adjustments on the hard, real-time operating system while working on specific projects simultaneously. And support for Visual Studio 2008, Expression Blend 3.0 and the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 provides access to the tools that OEMs rely on. Windows Embedded Compact 7 also ensures a consistency of APIs and SDKs, making it possible to leverage past investments and current skillsets to create products that are supported by a 10-year support program from Microsoft, along with the assurance that Windows Embedded Compact 7 will be available for 15 years from the time it was first released.
          Create differentiated devices
          Windows Embedded Compact 7 includes a development framework based on XAML and supports a range of architecture options, including ARM, MIPS and x86. As a result, you have greater flexibility to create devices that match your customers’ specifications. Creating these experiences is simplified with tools such as 3D transformation and Pixel/Shader effects. Your devices will give customers the ability to seamlessly share content on business networks, as well as network devices. And the introduction of touch gesture interface allows developers to create a more natural, interactive experience.
          Extend business intelligence
          Create an experience that helps companies get more done. With Windows Embedded Compact 7, you can design a solution that’s more seamless, making it easier for companies to synchronize content with their Windows PCs. And with the Connection Manager feature and multiple connectivity options, you can ensure that businesses have the optimum level of connectivity across the workplace. Support for enhanced WiFi, Ethernet, USB and Bluetooth virtually guarantees that your device will connect with the other devices, PCs and servers already running in the enterprise. With this connectivity in place, employees will be able to remotely access Microsoft Outlook via Microsoft Air Sync. And the ability to view Adobe and Microsoft Office files will help them stay current on business developments.

            Sample device types

            Human machine interface (HMI)
            The devices provide the ability to monitor automated processes, such as manufacturing, to safegueard against diminished product quality or equipment breakdowns
            RFID scanners
            Speed the completion of common tasks such as inventory, shipping and receiving with these devices
            Medical devices
            Sonograms and other medical devices enable doctors to monitor a baby’s health in utero and send images to researchers in real time via a wireless network
            GPS devices
            Help people stay on course to their destination with these navigation devices

            News: Building the intelligent car of the future
            [Microsoft feature story, May 7, 2013]
            Microsoft: Working with automotive industry to design an updateable car that’s easier to use and responds to the driver’s needs.

            In the 1920’s, carmakers started offering an accessory that would revolutionize the driving experience: the radio. While tooling down the road you could tune into the nightly newscast, a live jazz performance or the seventh game in the series. It provided a connected experience that replaced the steady drone of the four liter under the hood with the soaring notes of Duke Ellington’s bugle or the crack of Babe Ruth’s bat as the ball hurtled toward the right-field stands.
            Since then, the notion of the connected car has changed. Features such as streaming music from your smartphone and using voice commands to control the stereo and environment are standard equipment in many models. And Microsoft has a vision for in-car technology that takes us beyond the confines of the cockpit to what they call the intelligent car — a scenario in which telematics data can help improve the driving experience, and the design of the vehicle.
            Led by Group Program Manager Pranish Kumar, the Windows Embedded Automotive team is focused on fulfilling this vision and, in the process, developing an upgradeable technology solution that extends the useful life of the vehicle.
            Says Kumar: “The automotive industry faces a lot of unique challenges, perhaps first of which is that cars must be supportable for much longer than consumer electronics devices — 10 or 20 years, in most cases. I think we’ve developed a solid understanding of some of these challenges and how technology can address them, while providing drivers with a better experience.”
            Microsoft’s Pranish Kumar and his team work to develop reliable in-car experiences, not by sitting at a desk but by working behind the wheel of a fleet of test vehicles.

            A relationship built on experience and trust
            Microsoft’s involvement in the automotive industry stretches back 15 years to 1998 when the company partnered with Clarion to announce the Auto PC, a first-of-its-kind solution that gave drivers access to email, driving directions, paging and traffic alerts, and their entertainment system. And in 2003 Microsoft developed the Microsoft TBox, a telematics device that went on to power infotainment systems for a variety of carmakers.
            When it came to working directly with carmakers, Kumar says it was an uphill battle to gain their trust. Many had tried to design their own infotainment system and were convinced that it couldn’t be done in a shorter time than seven or eight years. Microsoft has since proven itself by reducing development time down to just two to three years.
            Kumar’s team also adopted the same level of rigor and many of the testing methodologies that carmakers use when conducting customer road tests. Making this change gave the team a “greater degree of confidence” that their development and reporting processes met the carmaker’s need and that the finished product would meet or exceed the driver’s expectations.
            From the connected car to the intelligent car
            For carmakers, the Promised Land lies in giving drivers the ability to access information and services anywhere they live, whether an app on their smartphones, a music file on their tablet at home, or customer contact information on their computer at work or in the cloud. Over time, members of the Windows Embedded Automotive team have earned a reputation for providing solid insight to help make these experiences a reality.
            Together with Kumar, Creative Director John Hendricks, Principal Program Manager Jay Loney, Partner Development Manager David Kelley, and Experience Designers David Walker and Melissa Quintanilha are part of a larger team developing and designing the future of Microsoft’s automotive technologies.
            Top Gear U.S.’s Tanner Foust talks with Microsoft engineers and designers about their vision for the future intelligent car.
            In doing so, they are moving away from a focus on creating in-dash technologies, such as the entertainment or navigation systems, to an emphasis on creating a solution that would power these technologies as part of an overall user experience. Taking this approach has given carmakers the ability to provide periodic updates that refresh the driving experience and extend compatibility to the latest consumer devices.
            In the future Microsoft wants to take that experience a step further. Whereas today consumers demand a car that’s more connected — to their phones, their music and their services — Windows Embedded Automotive is focused on designing intelligent cars that respond to the driver’s needs.
            One example that Kumar cites involves the difficulty of pairing new phones, which is one of the most frequent problems facing car owners. According to IDC, 722 million smartphones were shipped globally in 2012, a 46.1 percent increase over the previous year.[1] As demand for smartphones continues, ensuring compatibility between new models and infotainment systems will remain a challenge.
            A Windows Embedded-based system could transmit data about the unsuccessful pairing to Microsoft and overnight a solution could be identified and downloaded to the car. When the owner gets in his car the next morning, his phone would automatically pair. Over time, that same data could be used to design a user experience that’s not only easier to use but that performs tasks on your behalf, such as tuning to your favorite station or rescheduling a meeting due to traffic delays.
            Drivers also stand to gain from the availability of data. Many vehicles contain sensors that monitor factors such as speed, braking, fuel consumption, tire pressure and environmental conditions. Drivers can already use this information to assess their performance and get recommendations on how to improve fuel efficiency or vehicle maintenance.
            Using the same data, carmakers could augment the existing battery of tests that are part of their proving process. So in addition to putting a vehicle through the environmental extremes of Northern Sweden or California’s Death Valley, they could evaluate its performance in day-to-day conditions. Engineers and product planners could get a head start on the next year’s model through insights around where design improvements are needed or where a car has been over-engineered. They could even fine tune an engine over-the-air to improve fuel economy of the current model year.
            Kumar believes that many of the systems are already in place to make this vision a reality. Using technologies such as Windows Update, cars could be automatically updated — in much the same way as smartphones automatically update when you activate them. And the combination of big data and machine learning could lead to cars that develop an understanding of your preferences and driving behavior to become more responsive to your needs.
            “We’ve come a long way in terms of creating a product that works reliably and meets the quality standards of the automotive industry. And we’re continuing our work with carmakers to reach the full potential of in-car technology,” says Kumar. “Through a combination of software, hardware and user-centric design, we believe that car owners will experience driving like never before possible.”
            [1] IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, Jan. 24, 2013

            See also: Maximizing Internet Explorer in Windows Embedded Compact 7 [Windows Embedded blog, June 11, 2012]

            Windows Embedded Compact has a customized version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer named Internet Explorer (IE) for Embedded. This powerful browser can be used in a number of ways in an embedded system to enhance the functionality of the system. This post will discuss the various ways to tune, customize and even embed IE for Embedded inside embedded applications.
            IE for Embedded is a customized version of Internet Explorer 7 for the desktop with performance enhancements from IE 8 added as well. Specifically, the JScript engine brought from IE 8 provides a 400% performance improvement over the original IE 7 scripting engine. In addition gesture support along with zoom and pan support is in this browser.
            Internet Explorer for Embedded is fundamentally an HTML rendering engine. As such, the user input surrounding the engine, (the “chrome”) isn’t really part of IE for Embedded. Windows Embedded Compact comes with two examples of IE for Embedded; one with classic “Windows” controls and the other one with the chrome rendered with the XAML-driven, Silverlight for Embedded framework. Both of these examples come with the source code that demonstrates how to host the IE control. They also both illustrate that almost all the functionality of these Browsers is contained within the control itself. The chrome only provides input from the user and a platform for returning feedback.
            The classic browser example, IESample, supports a favorites list, browser history and URL completion. It incorporates an internet control panel that can tune how the browser connects to the web as well as setting security settings. The XAML-based browser, IEExr, has a vastly different look and feel. However, it too handles a favorites list, history and control pane. IEExr even supports tabbed browsing using a thumbnail page to switch between pages. The reason the two examples have similar features is that most of the functionality, is incorporated in the IE ActiveX control itself.

            Silverlight for Windows Embedded (Windows Embedded Compact 7) [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]

            Microsoft Silverlight for Windows Embedded is a native (C++) UI development framework for Windows Embedded Compact powered devices that is founded on Microsoft Silverlight 3. You can use Silverlight for Windows Embedded to do the following:

            • Separate programming logic and UI design.
            • Define visual UIs for applications in XAML.
            • Add, modify, and customize the UI at run time.
            • Create interactive multimedia UIs.
            • Collaborate with designers who use Microsoft Expression Blend 3 projects.
            • Simultaneously develop applications for Microsoft Silverlight 3 and Silverlight for Windows Embedded with a common UI defined in XAML files.
            Silverlight for Windows Embedded is compatible with Silverlight 3 XAML and provides a set of equivalent classes for supported XAML elements. For information about Silverlight 3, see http://www.silverlight.net/.
            Silverlight for Windows Embedded is also compatible with existing Windows Embedded Compact window controls, so you can use your existing window controls.
            To add this feature to your OS, see Silverlight for Windows Embedded Catalog Items and Sysgen Variables.
            For reference information, see Silverlight for Windows Embedded Reference.

            For step-by-step guidelines and code examples to help you learn how to create a UI by using Silverlight for Windows Embedded, see Silverlight for Windows Embedded Application Development.
            For recommendations on which hardware to use with Silverlight for Windows Embedded, see Silverlight for Windows Embedded Hardware Recommendations.

            More information:
            Differences Between Microsoft Silverlight 3 and Silverlight for Windows Embedded [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]
            Silverlight for Windows Embedded Application Development [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]

            Microsoft Silverlight for Windows Embedded is a “UI development framework” for “embedded devices” and is based on Microsoft Silverlight for the desktop browser. By using Silverlight for Windows Embedded, you can create an application that supports features such as storyboard animations, transformations, interactive controls, a layout system, and a visual tree.
            Silverlight for Windows Embedded is a native C++ development framework in which you can design a UI for the shell and applications for a Windows Embedded Compact device. You can use Microsoft Expression Blend 3 to quickly design a UI in Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML), which you can then convert, or you can build your application from scratch in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 by using one of the Smart Device project templates. In the native C++ source files for your application, you can use the rest of the features of Windows Embedded Compact 7, including any existing window controls.
            By using Silverlight for Windows Embedded, you can create a UI that provides advanced visual effects for your Windows Embedded Compact device shell and applications. Silverlight for Windows Embedded makes this possible by supporting a subset of Silverlight XAML elements and by supplying a set of C++ classes that provide access to these elements.

            Graphics and Performance in Silverlight for Windows Embedded (Windows Embedded Compact 7) [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]
            Hardware Acceleration in Silverlight for Windows Embedded (Windows Embedded Compact 7) [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]

            Many modern device platforms include on-board graphics processing units (GPUs) with two-dimensional or three-dimensional capabilities or both. Microsoft Silverlight for Windows Embedded provides support for using a GPU to accelerate certain types of animations. Hardware acceleration is accomplished by using the GPU (rather than the CPU) to do some critical composition steps in the rendering process. Silverlight for Windows Embedded supports hardware-based acceleration of graphics for both Microsoft DirectDraw and OpenGL.
            For information on how to implement hardware acceleration, see Implement Hardware Acceleration for Graphics in Silverlight for Windows Embedded [Reference].

            With Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 Now Available [Somasegar’s blog on MSDN, April 4, 2013]

            It includes support in Blend for SketchFlow, WPF 4.5, and Silverlight 5.

            which according to ANNOUNCING VISUAL STUDIO 2012 UPDATE 2 CTP 2 [Blend Insider, Jan 30, 2013]

            Blend for Visual Studio [as part of a consolidated designer/developer offering retained only from previous Expression products that were phased out with the Visual Studio 2012] now support WPF, Silverlight and SketchFlow projects in the same version of Blend (support for these was previously available only as a standalone Preview release of Blend). With this CTP release, Blend now supports developing Windows Store, Windows Phone, WPF and Silverlight apps without needing to have multiple versions of Blend on the same machine. The table below highlights the various platforms that are now supported in Blend for Visual Studio 2012:

            TARGET PLATFORM

            VERSIONS SUPPORTED

            SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS

            Windows Store XAML and HTML

            Windows 8

            Windows 8

            Windows Phone

            Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7.5

            Windows Phone 8 SDK

            WPF

            3.5, 4.0, 4.5

             

            Silverlight

            4, 5

             

            SketchFlow

            WPF 4.0 and Silverlight 4

            Visual Studio 2012 Premium or higher

            Additional details:
            – in Silverlight 5 Beta – available now! [Silverlight Team blog on MSDN, April 22, 2011] for Silverlight 5 Available for Download Today [Silverlight Team blog on MSDN, Dec 9, 2011]
            – in What’s New in Silverlight for Windows Phone [MSDN Library] (which is part of Silverlight for Windows Phone [MSDN Library])

            Silverlight for Windows Phone OS 7.1 is based on Silverlight 4. That means if you create a new Silverlight for Windows Phone application that targets Windows Phone OS 7.1, you can take advantage of several new features. You can still write applications that target Windows Phone OS 7.0, but to take advantage of the new features, you must target Windows Phone OS 7.1. Applications that target Windows Phone OS 7.0 will run on devices running Windows Phone OS 7.1. This topic introduces some of the new features and improvements in Silverlight for Windows Phone.

            – in What Version is Windows Phone Mango? [Shawn Wildermuth blog, Aug 19, 2011]

            In finishing up my new Windows Phone book, I had to deal with the confusing version problem. There are three version numbers to be aware of:

            • Windows Phone 7.5
            • Windows Phone OS 7.1
            • Windows Phone SDK 7.1

            So what is Mango? It comes down to this:

            • Windows Phone 7.5: The marketing name of the phone. This is the phrase you’ll see in the ads to consumers.
            • Windows Phone OS 7.1: The name of the actual operating system. When you create a new application in Visual Studio (or upgrade an existing one), you’ll see this version.
            • Windows Phone SDK 7.1: The name of the Mango tools.

            So get your nomenclature right and stop being confused.

            Features Differences Between Silverlight and Silverlight for Windows Phone [MSDN Library]
            Implementation Differences Between Silverlight and Silverlight for Windows Phone [MSDN Library]

            Microsoft’s Future Vision: Live, Work, Play [March 1, 2013]

            http://aka.ms/envision – Technology could transform our life at work, on the go, and at home. This is a snapshot of what the future will look like five to ten years from now. In the years ahead, technology will amplify our senses; help us stay connected to the people we care about and transform the way we live, work and play.

            Inside Microsoft’s house of the future [BBC, March 4, 2013]

            Microsoft invited BBC News to take a first look at its revamped Space of the Future at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The facility is used to portray what the firm thinks life might be like five to 10 years in the future.

            A lot is riding on its vision being correct.

            In a recent interview when chairman Bill Gates was asked if he was happy with the performance of the firm under chief executive Steve Ballmer’s rule, he replied: “There are a lot of amazing things that Steve’s leadership got done at the company over the last year… but is it enough? No. He and I are not satisfied in terms of breakthrough things that we’re doing everything possible.”

            The firm’s stock price is roughly where it was five years ago while rivals Apple, Amazon and Samsung have all seen theirs more than double.

            So, launching best-selling products for the home could help bolster Microsoft’s reputation for innovation and reinvigorate investors.

            And its engineers revealed a host of ideas including desks that recognise users and match their ergonomic requirements, widespread gesture control and online content that queries itself.

            Video produced by the BBC’s Matthew Danzico