Home » Posts tagged 'IOT'

Tag Archives: IOT

DataStax: a fully distributed and highly secure transactional database platform that is “always on”

When an open-source database written in Java that runs primarily in production on Linux becomes THE solution for the cloud platform from Microsoft (i.e. Azure) in the fully distributed, highly secure and “always on” transactional database space then we should take a special note of that. This is the case of DataStax:

July 15, 2015: Building the intelligent cloud Scott Guthrie’s keynote on the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2015, the DataStax related segment in 7 minutes only 

Transcript:

SCOTT GUTHRIE, EVP of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise:  What I’d like to do is invite three different partners now on stage, one an ISV, one an SI, and one a managed service provider to talk about how they’re taking advantage of our cloud offerings to accelerate their businesses and make their customers even more successful.

First, and I think, you know, being able to take advantage of all of these different capabilities that we now offer.

Now, the first partner I want to bring on stage is DataStax.  DataStax delivers an enterprise-grade NoSQL offering based on Apache Cassandra.  And they enable customers to build solutions that can scale across literally thousands of servers, which is perfect for a hyper-scale cloud environment.

And one of the customers that they’re working with is First American, who are deploying a solution on Microsoft Azure to provide richer insurance and settlement services to their customers.

What I’d like to do is invite Billy Bosworth, the CEO of DataStax, on stage to join me to talk about the partnership that we’ve had and how some of the great solutions that we’re building together.  Here’s Billy.  (Applause.)

Well, thanks for joining me, Billy.  And it’s great to have you here.

BILLY BOSWORTH, CEO of DataStax:  Thank you.  It’s a real privilege to be here today.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  So tell us a little bit about DataStax and the technology you guys build.

BILLY BOSWORTH:  Sure.  At DataStax, we deliver Apache Cassandra in a database platform that is really purpose-built for the new performance and availability demands that are being generated by today’s Web, mobile and IOT applications.

With DataStax Enterprise, we give our customers a fully distributed and highly secure transactional database platform.

Now, that probably sounds like a lot of other database vendors out there as well.  But, Scott, we have something that’s really different and really important to us and our customers, and that’s the notion of being always on.  And when you talk about “always on” and transactional databases, things can get pretty complicated pretty fast, as you well know.

The reason for that is in an always-on world, the datacenter itself becomes a single point of failure.  And that means you have to build an architecture that is going to be comprehensive and include multiple datacenters.  That’s tough enough with almost any other piece of the software stack.  But for transactional databases, that is really problematic.

Fortunately, we have a masterless architecture in Apache Cassandra that allows us to have DataStax enterprise scale in a single datacenter or across multiple datacenters, and yet at the same time remain operationally simple.  So that’s really the core of what we do.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Is the always-on angle the key differentiator in terms of the customer fit with Azure?

BILLY BOSWORTH:  So if you think about deployment to multiple datacenters, especially and including Azure, it creates an immediate benefit.  Going back to your hybrid clouds comment, we see a lot of our customers that begin their journey on premises.  So they take their local datacenter, they install DataStax Enterprise, it’s an active database up and running.  And then they extend that database into Azure.

Now, when I say that, I don’t mean they do so for disaster recovery or failover, it is active everywhere.  So it is taking full read-write requests on premises and in Azure at the same time.

So if you lose connectivity to your physical datacenter, then the Azure active nodes simply take over.  And that’s great, and that solves the always-on problem.

But that’s not the only thing that Azure helps to solve.  Our applications, because of their nature, tend to drive incredibly high throughput.  So for us, hundreds of millions or even tens and hundreds of billions of transactions a day is actually quite common.

You guys are pretty good, Scott, but I don’t think you’ve changed the laws of physics yet.  And so the way that you get that kind of throughput with unbelievable performance demands, because our customers demand millisecond and microsecond response times, is you push the data closer to the end points.  You geographically distribute it.

Now, what our customers are realizing is they can try and build 19 datacenters across the world, which I’m sure was really cheap and easy to do, or they can just look at what you’ve already done and turn to a partnership like ours to say, “Help us understand how we do this with Azure.”

So not only do you get the always-on benefit, which is critical, but there’s also a very important performance element to this type of architecture as well.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Can you tell us a little bit about the work you did with First American on Azure?

BILLY BOSWORTH:  Yeah.  First American is a leading name in the title insurance and settlement services businesses.  In fact, they manage more titles on more properties than anybody in the world.

Every title comes with an associated set of metadata.  And that metadata becomes very important in the new way that they want to do business because each element of that needs to be transacted, searched, and done in real-time analysis to provide better information back to the customer in real time.

And so for that on the database side, because of the type of data and because of the scale, they needed something like DataStax Enterprise, which we’ve delivered.  But they didn’t want to fight all those battles of the architecture that we discussed on their own, and that’s where they turned to our partnership to incorporate Microsoft Azure as the infrastructure with DataStax Enterprise running on top.

And this is one of many engagements that you know we have going on in the field that are really, really exciting and indicative of the way customers are thinking about transforming their business.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  So what’s it like working with Microsoft as a partner?

BILLY BOSWORTH:  I tell you, it’s unbelievable.  Or, maybe put differently, highly improbable that you and I are on stage together.  I want you guys to think about this.  Here’s the type of company we are.  We’re an open-source database written in Java that runs primarily in production on Linux.

Now, Scott, Microsoft has a couple of pretty good databases, of which I’m very familiar from my past, and open source and Java and Linux haven’t always been synonymous with Microsoft, right?

So I would say the odds of us being on stage were almost none.  But over the past year or two, the way that you guys have opened up your aperture to include technologies like ours — and I don’t just say “include.”  His team has embraced us in a way that is truly incredible.  For a company the size of Microsoft to make us feel the way we do is just remarkable given the fact that none of our technologies have been something that Microsoft has traditionally said is part of their family.

So I want to thank you and your team for all the work you’ve done.  It’s been a great experience, but we are architecting systems that are going to drive businesses for the coming decades.  And that is super exciting to have a partner like you engaged with us.

SCOTT GUTHRIE:  Fantastic.  Well, thank you so much for joining us on stage.

BILLY BOSWORTH:  Thanks, Scott.  (Applause.)

The typical data framework capabilities of DataStax in all respects is best understood via the the following webinar which presents Apache Spark as well as the part of the complete data platform solution:
– Apache Cassandra is the leading distributed database in use at thousands of sites with the world’s most demanding scalability and availability requirements.
Apache Spark is a distributed data analytics computing framework that has gained a lot of traction in processing large amounts of data in an efficient and user-friendly manner.
The joining of both provides a powerful combination of real-time data collection with analytics.
After a brief overview of Cassandra and Spark, (Cassandra till 16:39, Spark till 19:25) this class will dive into various aspects of the integration (from 19:26).
August 19, 2015: Big Data Analytics with Cassandra and Spark by Brian Hess, Senior Product Manager of Analytics, DataStax

September 23, 2015: DataStax Announces Strategic Collaboration with Microsoft, company press release

  • DataStax delivers a leading fully-distributed database for public and private cloud deployments
  • DataStax Enterprise on Microsoft Azure enables developers to develop, deploy and monitor enterprise-ready IoT, Web and mobile applications spanning public and private clouds
  • Scott Guthrie, EVP Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft, to co-deliver Cassandra Summit 2015 keynote

SANTA CLARA, CA – September 23, 2015 – (Cassandra Summit 2015) DataStax, the company that delivers Apache Cassandra™ to the enterprise, today announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to deliver Internet of Things (IoT), Web and mobile applications in public, private or hybrid cloud environments. With DataStax Enterprise (DSE), a leading fully-distributed database platform, available on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, enterprises can quickly build high-performance applications that can massively scale and remain operationally simple across public and private clouds, with ease and at lightning speed.

Click to Tweet: #DataStax Announces Strategic Collaboration with @Microsoft at #CassandraSummit bit.ly/1V8KY4D

PERSPECTIVES ON THE NEWS

“At Microsoft we’re focused on enabling customers to run their businesses more productively and successfully,” said Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft. “As more organizations build their critical business applications in the cloud, DataStax has proved to be a natural  Azure partner through their ability to enable enterprises to build solutions that can scale across thousands of servers which is necessary in today’s hyper-scale cloud environment.”

“We are witnessing an increased adoption of DataStax Enterprise deployments in hybrid cloud environments, so closely aligning with Microsoft benefits any organization looking to quickly and easily build high-performance IoT, Web and mobile apps,” said Billy Bosworth, CEO, DataStax. “Working with a world-class organization like Microsoft has been an incredible experience and we look forward to continuing to work together to meet the needs of enterprises looking to successfully transition their business to the cloud.”

“As a leader in providing information and insight in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape, we knew it was critical to transform our back-end business processes to address scale and flexibility” said Graham Lammers, Director, IHS. “With DataStax Enterprise on Azure we are now able to create a next generation big data application to support the decision-making process of our customers across the globe.”

BUILD SIMPLE, SCALABLE AND ALWAY-ON APPS IN RECORD SPEED

To address the ever-increasing demands of modern businesses transitioning from on-premise to hybrid cloud environments, the DataStax Enterprise on Azure on-demand cloud database solution provides enterprises with both development and production ready Bring Your Own License (BYOL) DSE clusters that can be launched in minutes on theMicrosoft Azure Marketplace using Azure Resource Management (ARM) Templates. This enables the building of high-performance IoT, Web and mobile applications that can predictably scale across global Azure data centers with ease and at remarkable speed. Additional benefits include:

  • Hybrid Deployment: Easily move DSE workloads between data centers, service providers and Azure, and build hybrid applications that leverage resources across all three.
  • Simplicity: Easily manage, develop, deploy and monitor database clusters by eliminating data management complexities.
  • Scalability: Quickly replicate online applications globally across multiple data centers into the cloud/hybrid cloud environment.
  • Continuous Availability: DSE’s peer-to-peer architecture offers no single point of failure. DSE also provides maximum flexibility to distribute data where it’s needed most by replicating data across multiple data centers, the cloud and mixed cloud/on-premise environments.

MICROSOFT ENTERPRISE CLOUD ALLIANCE & FAST START PROGRAM

DataStax also announced it has joined Microsoft’s Enterprise Cloud Alliance, a collaboration that reinforces DataStax’scommitment to provide the best set of on-premise, hosted and public cloud database solutions in the industry. The goal of Microsoft’s Enterprise Cloud Alliance partner program is to create, nurture and grow a strong partner ecosystem across a broad set of Enterprise Cloud Products delivering the best on-premise, hosted and Public Cloud solutions in the industry. Through this alliance, DataStax and Microsoft are working together to create enhanced enterprise-grade offerings for the Azure Marketplace that reduce the complexities of deployment and provisioning through automated ARM scripting capabilities.

Additionally, as a member of Microsoft Azure’s Fast Start program, created to help users quickly deploy new cloud workloads, DataStax users receive immediate access to the DataStax Enterprise Sandbox on Azure for a hands-on experience testing out DSE on Azure capabilities. DataStax Enterprise Sandbox on Azure can be found here.

Cassandra Summit 2015, the world’s largest gathering of Cassandra users, is taking place this week and Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie, DataStax CEO Billy Bosworth, and Apache Cassandra Project Chair and DataStax Co-founder and CTO Jonathan Ellis, will deliver the conference keynote at 10 a.m. PT on Wednesday, September 23. The keynote can be viewed at DataStax.com.

ABOUT DATASTAX

DataStax delivers Apache Cassandra™ in a database platform purpose-built for the performance and availability demands for IoT, Web and mobile applications. This gives enterprises a secure, always-on database technology that remains operationally simple when scaling in a single datacenter or across multiple datacenters and clouds.

With more than 500 customers in over 50 countries, DataStax is the database technology of choice for the world’s most innovative companies, such as Netflix, Safeway, ING, Adobe, Intuit and eBay. Based in Santa Clara, Calif., DataStax is backed by industry-leading investors including Comcast Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Meritech Capital, Premji Invest and Scale Venture Partners. For more information, visit DataStax.com or follow us @DataStax.

September 30, 2014: Why Datastax’s increasing presence threatens Oracle’s database by Anne Shields at Market Realist 

Must know: An in-depth review of Oracle’s 1Q15 earnings (Part 9 of 12)

(Continued from Part 8)

Datastax databases are built on open-source technologies

Datastax is a California-based database management company. It offers an enterprise-grade NoSQL database that seamlessly and securely integrates real-time data with Apache Cassandra. Databases built on Apache Cassandra offer more flexibility than traditional databases. Even in case of calamities and uncertainties, like floods and earthquakes, data is available due to its replication at other data centers. NoSQL and Cassandra are open-source software.

Cassandra database was developed by Facebook (FB) to handle its enormous volumes of data. The technology behind Cassandra was developed by Amazon (AMZN) and Google (GOOGL). Oracle’s MySQL (ORCL), Microsoft’s SQL Server (MSFT), and IBM’s DB2 (IBM) are the traditional databases present in the market .

datastax[1]The above chart shows how NoSQL databases, NewSQL databases, and Data grid/cache products fit into the wider data management landscape.

Huge amounts of funds raised in the open-source technology database space

Datastax raised $106 million in September 2014 to expand its database operations. MongoDB Inc. and Couchbase Inc.—both open-source NoSQL database developers—raised $231 million and $115 million, respectively, in 2014. According to Market Research Media, a consultancy firm, spending on NoSQL technology in 2013 was less than $1 billion. It’s expected to reach $3.4 billion by 2020. This explains why this segment is attracting such huge investments.

Oracle’s dominance in the database market is uncertain

Oracle claims it’s a market leader in the relational database market, with a revenue share of 48.3%. In 2013, it launched Oracle Database 12C. According to Oracle, “Oracle Database 12c introduces a new multitenant architecture that simplifies the process of consolidating databases onto the cloud; enabling customers to manage many databases as one — without changing their applications.” To know in detail about Database 12c, please click here .

In July 2013, DataStax announced that dozens of companies have migrated from Oracle databases to DataStax databases. Customers cited scalability, disaster avoidance, and cost savings as the reasons for shifting databases. Datastax databases’ rising popularity jeopardizes Oracle’s dominant position in the database market.

Continue to Part 10

Browse this series on Market Realist:

September 24, 2014: Building a better experience for Azure and DataStax customers by Matt Rollender, VP Cloud Strategy, DataStax, Inc. on Microsoft Azure blog

Cassandra Summit is in high gear this week in Santa Clara, CA, representing the largest NoSQL event of its kind! This is the largest Cassandra Summit to date. With more than 7,000 attendees (both onsite and virtual), this is the first time the Summit is a three-day event with over 135 speaking sessions. This is also the first time DataStax will debut a formalized Apache Cassandra™ training and certification program in conjunction with O’Reilly Media. All incredibly exciting milestones!

We are excited to share another milestone. Yesterday, we announced our formal strategic collaboration with Microsoft. Dedicated DataStax and Microsoft teams have been collaborating closely behind the scenes for more than a year on product integration, QA testing, platform optimization, automated provisioning, and characterization of DataStax Enterprise (DSE) on Azure, and more to ensure product validation and a great customer experience for users of DataStax Enterprise on the Azure cloud. There is strong coordination across the two organizations – very close executive, field, and technical alignment – all critical components for a strong partnership.

This partnership is driven and shaped by our joint customers. Our customers oftentimes begin their journey with on-premise deployments of our database technology and then have a requirement to move to the cloud – Microsoft is a fantastic partner to help provide the flexibility of a true hybrid environment along with the ability to migrate to and scale applications in the cloud. Additionally, Microsoft has significant breadth regarding their data centers – customers can deploy in numerous Azure data centers around the globe, in order to be ‘closer’ to their end users. This is highly complementary to DataStax Enterprise software as we are a peer-to-peer distributed database and our customers need to be close to their end users with their always-on, always available enterprise applications.

To highlight a couple of joint customers and use cases we have First American Title and IHS, Inc. First American is a leading provider of title insurance and settlement services with revenue over $5B.  They ingest and store the largest number (billions) of real estate property records in the industry. Accessing, searching and analyzing large data-sets to get relevant details quickly is the new way they want to do business – to provide better information back to their customers in real-time and allow end users to easily search through the property records on-line. They chose DSE and Azure because of the large data requirements and because of the need to continue to scale the application.

A second great customer and use case is IHS, Inc., a $2B revenue-company that provides information and analysis to support the decision-making process of businesses and governments. This is a transformational project for IHS as they are building out an ‘internet age’ parts catalog – it’s a next generation big data application, using NoSQL, non-relational technology and they want to deploy in the cloud to bring the application to market faster.

As you can see, we are enabling enterprises to engage their customer like never before with their always on, highly available and distributed applications. Stay tuned for more as we move forward together in the coming months!

For Additional information go to http://www.datastax.com/marketplace-microsoft-azure to try out Datastax Enterprise Sandbox on Azure.

See also DataStax Enterprise Cluster Production on Microsoft Azure Marketplace

September 23, 2015: Making Cassandra Do Azure, But Not Windows by  Co-Editor, Co-Founder, The Next Platform

When Microsoft says that it is embracing Linux as a peer to Windows, it is not kidding. The company has created its own Linux distribution for switches used to build the Azure cloud, and it has embraced Spark in-memory processing and Cassandra as its data store for its first major open source big data project – in this case to help improve the quality of its Office365 user experience. And now, Microsoft is embracing Cassandra, the NoSQL data store originally created by Facebook when it could no longer scale the MySQL relational database to suit its needs, on the Azure public cloud.

Billy Bosworth, CEO at DataStax, the entity that took over steering development of and providing commercial support for Cassandra, tells The Next Platform that the deal with Microsoft has a number of facets, all of which should help boost the adoption of the enterprise-grade version of Cassandra. But the key one is that the Global 2000 customers that DataStax wants to sell support and services to are already quite familiar with both Windows Server in their datacenters and they are looking to burst out to the Azure cloud on a global scale.

“We are seeing a rapidly increasing number of our customers who need hybrid cloud, keeping pieces of our DataStax Enterprise on premise in their own datacenters and they also want to take pieces of that same live transactional data – not replication, but live data – and in the Azure cloud as well,” says Bosworth. “They have some unique capabilities, and one of the major requirements of customers is that even if they use cloud infrastructure, it still has to be distributed by the cloud provider. They can’t just run Cassandra in one availability zone in one region. They have to span data across the globe, and Microsoft has done a tremendous job of investing in its datacenters.”

With the Microsoft agreement, DataStax is now running its wares on the three big clouds, with Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine already certified able to run the production-grade Cassandra. And interestingly enough, Microsoft is supporting the DataStax implementation of Cassandra on top of Linux, not Windows. Bosworth says that while Cassandra can be run on Windows servers, DataStax does not recommend putting DataStax Enterprise (DSE), the commercial release, on Windows. (It does have a few customers who do, nonetheless, and it supports them.) Bosworth adds that DataStax and the Cassandra community have been “working diligently” for the past year to get a Windows port of DSE completed and that there has been “zero pressure” for the Microsoft Azure team to run DSE on anything other than Linux.

It is important to make the distinction between running Cassandra and other elements of DSE on Windows and having optimized drivers for Cassandra for the .NET programming environment for Windows.

“All we are really talking about is the ability to run the back-end Cassandra on Linux or Windows, and to the developer, it is irrelevant on what that back end is running,” explains Bosworth. This takes away some of that friction, and what we find is that on the back end, we just don’t find religious conviction about whether it should run on Windows or Linux, and this is different from five years ago. We sell mostly to enterprises, and we have not had one customer raise their hand and say they can’t use DSE because it does not run on Windows.”

What is more important is the ability to seamless put Cassandra on public clouds and spread transactional data around for performance and resiliency reasons – the same reasons that Facebook created Cassandra for in the first place.

What Is In The Stack, Who Uses It, And How

The DataStax Enterprise distribution does not just include the Apache Cassandra data store, but has an integrated search engine that is API compatible with the open source Solr search engine and in-memory extensions that can speed up data accesses by anywhere from 30X to 100X compared to server clusters using flash SSDs or disk drives. The Cassandra data store can be used to underpin Hadoop, allowing it to be queried by MapReduce, Hive, Pig, and Mahout, and it can also underpin Spark and Spark Streaming as their data stores if customers decide to not go with the Hadoop Distributed File System that is commonly packaged with a Hadoop distribution.

It is hard to say for sure how many organizations are running Cassandra today, but Bosworth reckons that it is on the order of tens of thousands worldwide, based on a number of factors. DataStax does not do any tracking of its DataStax Community edition because it wants a “frictionless download” like many open source projects have. (Developers don’t want software companies to see what tools they are playing with, even though they might love open source code.) DataStax provides free training for Cassandra, however, where it does keep track, and developers are consuming over 10,000 units of this training per month, so that probably indicates that the Cassandra installed base (including tests, prototypes, and production) is in the five figures.

datastax-momentum[1]

DataStax itself has over 500 paying customers – now including Microsoft after its partner tried to build its own Spark-Cassandra cluster using open source code and decided that the supported versions were better thanks to the extra goodies that DataStax puts into its distro. DataStax has 30 of the Fortune 100 using its distribution of Cassandra in one form or another, and it is always for transactional, rather than batch analytic, jobs and in most cases also for distributed data stores that make use of the “eventual consistency” features of Cassandra to replicate data across multiple clusters. The company has another 600 firms participating in its startup program, which gives young companies freebie support on the DSE distro until they hit a certain size and can afford to start kicking some cash into the kitty.

The largest installation of Cassandra is running at Apple, which as we previously reported has over 75,000 nodes, with clusters ranging in size from hundreds to over 1,000 nodes and with a total capacity in the petabytes range. Netflix, which used to employ the open source Cassandra, switched to DSE last May and had over 80 clusters with more than 2,500 nodes supporting various aspects of its video distribution business. In both cases, Cassandra is very likely housing user session state data as well as feeding product or play lists and recommendations or doing faceted search for their online customers.

We are always intrigued to learn how customers are actually deploying tools such as Cassandra in production and how they scale it. Bosworth says that it is not uncommon to run a prototype project on as few as ten nodes, and when the project goes into production, to see it grow to dozens to hundreds of nodes. The midrange DSE clusters range from maybe 500 to 1,000 nodes and there are some that get well over 1,000 nodes for large-scale workloads like those running at Apple.

In general, Cassandra does not, like Hadoop, run on disk-heavy nodes. Remember, the system was designed to support hot transactional data, not to become a lake with a mix of warm and cold data that would be sifted in batch mode as is still done with MapReduce running atop Hadoop.

The typical node configuration has changed as Cassandra has evolved and improved, says Robin Schumacher, vice president of products at DataStax. But before getting into feeds and speeds, Schumacher offered this advice. “There are two golden rules for Cassandra. First, get your data model right, and second, get your storage system right. If you get those two things right, you can do a lot wrong with your configuration or your hardware and Cassandra will still treat you right. Whenever we have to dive in and help someone out, it is because they have just moved over a relational data model or they have hooked their servers up to a NAS or a SAN or something like that, which is absolutely not recommended.”

datastax-table[1]

Only four years ago, because of the limitations in Cassandra (which like Hadoop and many other analytics tools is coded in Java), the rule of thumb was to put no more than 512 GB of disk capacity onto a single node. (It is hard to imagine such small disk capacities these days, with 8 TB and 10 TB disks.) The typical Cassandra node has two processors, with somewhere between 12 and 24 cores, and has between 64 GB and 128 GB of main memory. Customers who want the best performance tend to go with flash SSDs, although you can do all-disk setups, too.

Fast forward to today, and Cassandra can make use of a server node with maybe 5 TB of capacity for a mix of reads and writes, and if you have a write intensive application, then you can push that up to 20 TB. (DataStax has done this in its labs, says Schumacher, without any performance degradation.) Pushing the capacity up is important because it helps reduce server node count for a given amount of storage, which cuts hardware and software licensing and support costs. Incidentally, only a quarter of DSE customers surveyed said they were using spinning disks, but disk drives are fine for certain kinds of log data. SSDs are used for most transactional data, but the bits that are most latency sensitive should use DSE to store data on PCI-Express flash cards, which have lower latency.

Schumacher says that in most cases, the commercial-grade DSE Cassandra is used for a Web or mobile application, and a DSE cluster is not set up for hosting multiple applications, but rather companies have a different cluster for each use case. (As you can see is the case with Apple and Netflix.) Most of the DSE shops to make use of the eventual consistency replication features of Cassandra to span multiple datacenters with their data stores, and span anywhere from eight to twelve datacenters with their transactional data.

Here’s where it gets interesting, and why Microsoft is relevant to DataStax. Only about 30 percent of the DSE installations are running on premises. The remaining 70 percent are running on public clouds. About half of DSE customers are running on Amazon Web Services, with the remaining 20 percent split more or less evenly between Google Compute Engine and Microsoft Azure. If DataStax wants to grow its business, the easiest way to do that is to grow along with AWS, Compute Engine, and Azure.

So Microsoft and DataStax are sharing their roadmaps and coordinating development of their respective wares, and will be doing product validation, benchmarking, and optimization. The two will be working on demand generation and marketing together, too, and aligning their compensation to sell DSE on top of Azure and, eventually, on top of Windows Server for those who want to run it on premises.

In addition to announcing the Microsoft partnership at the Cassandra Summit this week, DataStax is also releasing its DSE 4.8 stack, which includes certification for Cassandra to be used as the back end for the new Spark 1.4 in-memory analytics tool. DSE Search has a performance boosts for live indexing, and running DSE instances inside of Docker containers has been improved. The stack also includes Titan 1.0, the graph database overlay for Cassandra, HBase, and BerkeleyDB that DataStax got through its acquisition of Aurelius back in February. DataStax is also previewing Cassandra 3.0, which will include support for JSON documents, role-based access control, and a lot of little tweaks that will make the storage more efficient, DataStax says. It is expected to ship later this year.

 

Advertisements

The Dawn of the SoC 2.0 Era: The TSMC Perspective

From its companion post The Dawn of the SoC 2.0 Era: The ARM Perspective

futureICT - Cortex-A Roadmap Strategy -- April-2015

Source of the slide: ARM Cortex系列核心介绍 (Core ARM Cortex Series Introduction, 52RD, April 13, 2015)

Regarding TSMC itself the April 8 conclusion in TSMC Outlines 16nm, 10nm Plans article by EE|Times is:

“It’s not completely clear who is ahead at 16/14 but I think TSMC is making a major commitment to trying to be ahead at 10,” Jones said. “If that happens and TSMC has closed the gap with Intel, the issue is then if TSMC’s 10 and Intel’s 10 are the same,” he said.

Background from the April 14, 2015 TSMC Symposium: “10nm is Ready for Design Starts at This Moment” article in Cadence Communities Blog:

The 10nm semiconductor process node is no longer in the distant future – it is here today, according to presenters at the recent TSMC 2015 Technology Symposium in San Jose, California. TSMC executives noted that EDA tools have been certified, most of the IP is ready or close to ready, and risk production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Here are some more details about 10nm at TSMC as presented in talks by Dr. Cliff Hou, vice president of R&D at TSMC (right), and Dr. BJ Woo, vice president of business development at TSMC (below left). At the TSMC Symposium, speakers also introduced two new process nodes, 16HHC and 28HPC+ (see blog post here).

According to Woo, TSMC is not only keeping up with Moore’s Law – it is running ahead of the law with its 10FF offering. “We have done a lot more aggressive scaling than Moore’s Law demands for our 10nm technology,” she said. A case in point is the fully functional 256Mb SRAM with a cell size that is approximately 50% smaller than the 16FF+ cell size. She called this an “exceptional shrink ratio” that goes beyond traditional scaling.

And it’s not just SRAM. The 10FF node, Woo said, can scale key pitches by more than 70%. Combine that with innovative layout, and 10nm can achieve almost 50% die size scaling compared to 16FF+. “And this is very, very aggressive,” she said.

After noting that the 16FF+ already provides “clear performance leadership,” Woo said that 10FF offers a 22% performance gain over 16FF+ at the same power, or more than 40% power reduction at the same speed. This comparison is based on a TSMC internal ring oscillator benchmark circuit. For the Cortex-A57 test chip used to validate EDA tools, the result was a 19% speed increase at the same power, and a 38% power reduction at the same speed.

New features in 10FF include a unidirectional (1D) layout style and new local interconnect layer. These features help 10FF achieve a 2.1X logic density improvement over 16FF+, whereas normally TSMC gets about a 1.9X density boost for node migration, Woo said. In addition to the density improvement, the 1D Mx architecture can reduce CD (critical dimension) variation by 60%, she said.

And an already remarkable quote from April 12, 2015 TSMC Symposium: New Low-Power Process, Expanded R&D Will Drive Vast Innovation: TSMC Executive article in Cadence Communities Blog:

Hock Tan, CEO of Avago, described a symbiotic relationship between TSMC and his company that led to a super high-density switch for a networking customer, implemented in 16FF+. The switch has 96 ports, each running 100G Gbps, and drawing less than 2W each. That enables, in a next-generation data center, the tripling of a switch performance to more than 10 Tbps.

Moreover, according to the April 12, 2015 TSMC Symposium: New 16FFC and 28HPC+ Processes Target “Mainstream” Designers and Internet of Things (IoT) article from Cadence Communities Blog:

16FFC is a “compact” version of the 16nm FinFET+ (16FF+) process technology that is now in risk production at TSMC. It claims advantages in power, performance, and area compared to the existing 16FF+ process, along with easy migration from 16FF+. It can be used for ultra low-power IoT applications such as wearables, mobile, and consumer.

28HPC+ is an improved version of the 28HPC (High Performance Compact) process, which is itself a fairly recent development. Late last year 28HPC went into volume production, and it provides a 10% smaller die size and 30% power reduction compared to TSMC’s earlier 28LP process. 28HPC+ ups the ante by providing 15% faster speed at the same leakage, or 30-50% reduction in leakage at the same speed, compared to 28HPC.

TSMC also provided updates on other processes on its roadmap, which includes the following:

  • High Performance – 28HP, 28HPM, 20SoC, 16FF+
  • Mainstream – 28LP, 28HPC, 28HPC+, 16FFC
  • Ultra Low Power – 55ULP, 40ULP, 28ULP, 16FFC (16FFC is in both mainstream and low power categories)

In connection with that remember the September 29, 2014 announcement:
TSMC Launches Ultra-Low Power Technology Platform for IoT and Wearable Device Applications

TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today announced the foundry segment’s first and most comprehensive ultra-low power technology platform aimed at a wide range of applications for the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable device markets that require a wide spectrum of technologies to best serve these diverse applications. In this platform, TSMC offers multiple processes to provide significant power reduction benefits for IoT and wearable products and a comprehensive design ecosystem to accelerate time-to-market for customers.

TSMC’s ultra-low power process lineup expands from the existing 0.18-micron extremely low leakage (0.18eLL) and 90-nanometer ultra low leakage (90uLL) nodes, and 16-nanometer FinFET technology, to new offerings of 55-nanometer ultra-low power (55ULP), 40ULP and 28ULP, which support processing speeds of up to 1.2GHz. The wide spectrum of ultra-low power processes from 0.18-micron to 16-nanometer FinFET is ideally suited for a variety of smart and power-efficient applications in the IoT and wearable device markets. Radio frequency and embedded Flash memory capabilities are also available in 0.18um to 40nm ultra-low power technologies, enabling system level integration for smaller form factors as well as facilitating wireless connections among IoT products.

Compared with their previous low power generations, TSMC’s ultra-low power processes can further reduce operating voltages by 20% to 30% to lower both active power and standby power consumption and enable significant increases in battery life — by 2X to 10X — when much smaller batteries are demanded in IoT/wearable applications.

“This is the first time in the industry that we offer a comprehensive platform to meet the demands and innovation for the versatile Internet of Things market where ultra-low power and ubiquitous connectivity are most critical,” said TSMC President and Co-CEO, Dr. Mark Liu. “Bringing such a wide spectrum of offerings to this emerging market demonstrates TSMC’s technology leadership and commitment to bring great value to our customers and enable design wins with competitive products.”

One valuable advantage offered by TSMC’s ultra-low power technology platform is that customers can leverage TSMC’s existing IP ecosystem through the Open Innovation Platform®. Designers can easily re-use IPs and libraries built on TSMC’s low-power processes for new ultra-low power designs to boost first-silicon success rates and to achieve fast time-to-market product introduction. Some early design engagements with customers using 55ULP, 40ULP and 28ULP nodes are scheduled in 2014 and risk productions are planned in 2015.

“TSMC’s new ultra-low power process technology not only reduces power for always-on devices, but enables the integration of radios and FLASH delivering a significant performance and efficiency gain for next-generation intelligent products,” said Dr. Dipesh Patel, executive vice president and general manager, physical design group, ARM. “Through a collaborative partnership that leverages the energy-efficient ARM® Cortex®-M and Cortex-A CPUs and TSMC’s new process technology platform, we can collectively deliver the ingredients for innovation that will drive the next wave of IoT, wearable, and other connected technologies.”

“Low power is the number one priority for Internet-of-Things and battery-operated mobile devices,” said Martin Lund, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the IP Group at Cadence. “TSMC’s new ULP technology platform coupled with Cadence’s low-power mixed-signal design flow and extensive IP portfolio will better meet the unique always-on, low-power requirements of IoT and other power sensitive devices worldwide.”

CSR has an unequalled reputation in Bluetooth technology and has been instrumental in its progression, including helping to write the Bluetooth Smart standard that is meeting the demands of today’s rapidly evolving consumer electronics market,” said Joep van Beurden, CEO at CSR. “For many years, CSR has closely collaborated with TSMC, and we are pleased to demonstrate the results of that collaboration with the adoption of the 40ULP platform for our next generation of Bluetooth Smart devices including products for markets like smart home, lighting and wearables that are enabling the growth of the Internet of Things. Our solutions simplify complex customer challenges and help speed their time to market by allowing them to design and deliver breakthrough low power wireless connected products on these powerful new platforms.”

“The imaging SoC solutions of Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited bring the best balance between high imaging quality and low power consumption, to meet the significant demand from our customers and the electronics market,” said Tom Miyake, Corporate Vice President, at System LSI Company of Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited. “We welcome that TSMC is adding the 28ULP technology to its successful 28nm platform. We believe this technology will provide our SoCs with the key feature: low power consumption at low cost.”

Nordic Semiconductor has been a pioneer and leader in ultra-low power wireless solutions since 2002, and with the launch of its nRF51 Series of Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) in 2012 the company established itself as a leading vendor of Bluetooth Smart wireless technology,” said Svenn-Tore Larsen, CEO of Nordic Semiconductor. “We have been collaborating closely with TSMC on the selection of process technology for our upcoming nRF52 Series of ultra-low power RF SoCs. I am happy to announce that we have selected the TSMC 55ULP platform. This process is a key enabler for us to push the envelope on power consumption, performance and level of integration of the nRF52 Series to meet the future requirements of Wearable and Internet of Things applications.”

“Built on TSMC’s Ultra-Low Power technology platform and comprehensive design ecosystem, Realtek’s Bluetooth Energy Efficient smart SoC, BEE, supports the latest Bluetooth 4.1 specification featuring Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and GATT-based profiles,” said Realtek Vice President and Spokesman, Yee-Wei Huang. “BEE’s power efficient architecture, low power RF, and embedded Flash are ideal both for the IoT and for wearable devices such as smart watches, sport wristbands, smart home automation, remote controls, beacon devices, and wireless charging devices.”

Silicon Labs welcomes TSMC’s ultra-low power initiative because it will enable a range of energy-friendly processing, sensing and connectivity technologies we are actively developing for the Internet of Things,” said Tyson Tuttle, Chief Executive Officer, Silicon Labs. “We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with TSMC to bring our solutions to market.”

“Synopsys is fully aligned with TSMC on providing designers with a broad portfolio of high-quality IP for TSMC’s ultra-low power process technology and the Internet of Things applications,” said John Koeter, Vice President of Marketing for IP and Prototyping at Synopsys. “Our wide range of silicon-proven DesignWare® interface, embedded memory, logic library, processor, analog and subsystem IP solutions are already optimized to help designers meet the power, energy and area requirements of wearable device SoCs, enabling them to quickly deliver products to the market.”

As well as the ARM and Cadence Expand Collaboration for IoT and Wearable Device Applications Targeting TSMC’s Ultra-Low Power Technology Platform announcement of Sept 29, 2015:

ARM® and Cadence® today announced an expanded collaboration for IoT and wearable devices targeting TSMC’s ultra-low power technology platform. The collaboration will enable the rapid development of IoT and wearable devices by optimizing the system integration of ARM IP and Cadence’s integrated flow for mixed-signal design and verification, and their leading low-power design and verification flow.

The partnership will deliver reference designs and physical design knowledge to integrate ARM Cortex® processors, ARM CoreLink™ system IP, and ARM Artisan® physical IP along with RF/analog/mixed-signal IP and embedded flash in the Virtuoso®-VDI Mixed-Signal Open Access integrated flow for the new TSMC process technology offerings of 55ULP, 40ULP and 28ULP.

“TSMC’s new ULP technology platform is an important development in addressing the IoT’s low-power requirements,” stated Nimish Modi, senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Cadence. “Cadence’s low-power expertise and leadership in mixed-signal design and verification form the most complete solution for implementing IoT applications. These flows, optimized for ARM’s Cortex-M processors including the new Cortex-M7, will enable designers to develop and deliver new and creative IoT applications that take maximum advantage of ULP technologies.”

“The reduction in leakage of TSMC’s new ULP technology platform combined with the proven power-efficiency of Cortex-M processors will enable a vast range of devices to operate in ultra energy-constrained environments,” said Richard York, vice president of embedded segment marketing, ARM. “Our collaboration with Cadence enables designers to continue developing the most innovative IoT devices in the market.”

This new collaboration builds on existing multi-year programs to optimize performance, power and area (PPA) via Cadence’s digital, mixed-signal and verification flows and complementary IP alongside ARM Cortex-A processors and ARM POP™ IP targeting TSMC 40nm, 28nm, and 16nm FinFET process technologies. Similarly, the companies have been optimizing the solution based around the Cortex-M processors in mixed-signal SoCs targeting TSMC 65/55nm and larger geometry nodes. The joint Cortex-M7 Reference Methodology for TSMC 40LP is the latest example of this collaboration.

For the above keep in mind The TSMC Grand Alliance [TSMC, Dec 3, 2013]:

The TSMC Grand Alliance is one of the most powerful force for innovation in the semiconductor industry, bringing together our customers, EDA partners, IP partners, and key equipment and materials suppliers at a new, higher level of collaboration.

The objectives of the TSMC Grand Alliance are straightforward: to help our customers, the alliance members and ourselves win business and stay competitive.

We know collaboration works. We have seen it in the great strides our customers and ecosystem members have made through the Open Innovation Platform® where today there are 5,000 qualified IP macros and over 100 EDA tools that supports our customers’ innovation and helps them attain maximum value from TSMC’s technology.

Today Open Innovation Platform is an unmatchable design ecosystem and a key part of the Grand Alliance that will prove much more powerful. Looking at R&D investment alone, we calculate that TSMC and ten of our customers invest more in R&D than the top two semiconductor IDMs combined.

Through the Grand Alliance TSMC will relentlessly pursue our mission and collaborate with customers and partners. We need each other to be competitive. We need each other to win. Such is the power of the Grand Alliance.

[Some more information is in the very end of this post]

A related overview in Kicking off #ARMWearablesWK with an analysts view of the market post of November 17, 2014 of ARM Connected Community blog by David Blaza:

Today as we kickoff ARM Wearables Week we hear from Shane Walker of IHS who is their Wearables and Medical market expert.

Shane’s take on this market is that it’s for real this time (there was a brief Smartwatch wave a few years ago) and will continue to be a hot growth sector through 2015. One of the great benefits of talking with analysts like Shane is they help you think through what’s going on and bust a few myths that may have found their way into our thinking. For example I asked Shane what the barriers to growth were and he carefully and patiently pointed out that Wearables are growing at a 21% CAGR already and will hit $12b in device sales this year (without services, more on that later in the week).  So this is not an emerging or promising market, it’s here and growing at an impressive rate. By 2019 Shane’s estimate is that it will hit $33.5b in device sales and services are increasingly going to factor into the wearables experience (Big Data is coming!).

Shane breaks the Wearables market down to 5 major categories:

  1. Healthcare and Medical
  2. Fitness and Wellness
  3. Infotainment
  4. Industrial
  5. Military

I’m glad he did this for me because wearables are incredibly diverse and this week you are going to see some category defying products here such as smart Jewelry where does that fit?

Below you can see a table chart that Shane was willing to share that shows his estimate for market size and units sold, the main learning for me is how much of this market is healthcare related. Also attached below are details on what services IHS offer in the Wearables market or you can find them here.

futureICT - World Market for Wearable Technology - Revenue by Application -- IHS-November-2014

attached is: Wearable Technology Intelligence Service 2014.pdf  [IHS Technology, November 17, 2014]

Note the following table in that:
futureICT - Wearable Technology Data Coverage Areas by IHS

More information:
– A Guide to the $32b Wearables Market [IHS Technology, March 11, 2015]
– which has a free to download whitepaper:
Wearable Technology: The Small Revolutions is Making Big Waves

Brief retrospective on the SoC 1.0 Era

futureICT - Shipments of TSMC Advanced Technologies Q1'2009 - Q1'2015

Detailed Background from TSMC’s quaterly calls

Q1 2015:

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO
[update on new technology]

The continuous demand of more functionality and integration in smartphones drives for more silicon content. We expect smartphones will continue to drive our growth in the next several years.

In the meantime, we see IoT appears us — present us new growth opportunities. The proliferation of IoT not only will bring us growth in the sensor, connectivity and advanced packaging areas, the associated application and services, such as big data analytics, will also further our growth in the computation space, including application processor, network processor, image processor, graphic processor, microcontroller and other various processors. That was the long-term outlook.

I’ll update some of our 10-nanometer development progress. Our 10-nanometer technology development is progressing well. Our technology qualification remains in Q4 this year.

Recently we have successfully achieved fully functional yields of our 256-megabit SRAM. Currently we have more than 10 customers fully engaged with us on 10-nanometer. We still expect to have 10-nanometer volume ramp in fourth quarter 2016 and to contribute billing in early 2017.

This technology adopts our third-generation FinFET transistor and have scaling more than one generation. Its price is fully justified by its value for various applications, including application processor, baseband SoC, network processor, CPU and graphic processors. Its cost and price ratio will comply to our structural profitability considerations.

As for new technology development at TSMC, I’d like to start with — to update you our 7-nanometer development. We have started our 7-nanometer technology development program early last year. We also have rolled out our 7-nanometer design and technology collaboration activity with several of our major customers. Our 7-nanometer technology developments today are well in progress.

TSMC’s 7-nanometer technology will leverage most of the tools used in 10-nanometer, in the meantime achieve a new generation of technology value to our customers. The 7-nanometer technology risk production date is targeted at early 2017.

Now I would like to give you an update on EUV. We have been making steady progress on EUV. Both our development tools, we have two NXE 3300 have been upgraded to the configuration of 80 watt of EUV power, with an average wafer throughput of a few hundred wafers per day. We continue to work with ASML to improve tool stability and availability. We also are working with ASML and our partners on developing the infrastructure of EUV, such as masks and resists.

Although today the process on record of both 10-nanometers and 7-nanometer are on immersion tools, with innovative multiple patterning techniques, we will continue to look for opportunity to further reduce the wafer cost and simplify the process flow by inserting EUV layer in the process.

Now I’d like to give you an update of our recently announced ultra-low-power technologies. We have offered the industry’s most comprehensive ultra-low-power technology portfolio, ranging from 55-nanometer ULP, 40-nanometer ULP, 28-nanometer ULP, to the recently announced 16 FFC, a compact version of 16 FinFET Plus, enable continual reduction of operating voltage and power consumption. Today more than 30 product tape-outs planned in 2015 from more than 25 customers.

This 55- and 40-nanometer ULP will be the most cost-effective solution for low- to mid-performance wearable and IoT devices. The 28 ULP and 16 FFC will be the most power-efficient solution for high-performance IoT applications. In particular, our 16 FFC offers the ultra-low-power operation at a supply voltage of 0.55 volts, with higher performance than all of the FD-SOI technologies marketed today.

Lastly I’ll give you an update of our recent IoT specialty technology development. We have developed the world’s first 1.0-micron pixel size 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor, with stacked image signal processor, which was announced in March by our customer for the next-generation smartphone. Secondly, we continue to drive the best low resistance in BCD [Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS for DC-to-DC converter: together with Ultra-High-Voltage (UHV) technology for AC-to-DC converter—are the key to enable monolithic integrated PMIC design] technology roadmap, from 0.18 micron to 0.13 micron and from 8-inch to 12-inch production for wireless charging and fast wired charging of mobile devices. We continue to extend our 0.13 BCD technology from consumer and industrial applications to automotive-grade electrical system control applications.

Lastly, recently we have started production in foundry’s first 40-nanometer industrial embedded Flash technology that was started from November last year. And this technology recently passed automotive-grade qualification, that was in March, for engine control applications.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

I will update you the 28-nanometer, 20 and 16 FinFET status and also our InFO business.

First, 28-nanometer. This is the fifth year since TSMC’s 28-nanometer entered mass production. 28-nanometer has been a very large and successful node for us. Our market segment share at this node has held up well and is in the mid-70s this year. We expect this to continue in year 2016. In comparison, this is better than what we had in the 40-nanometer node.

The demand for 28-nanometer is expected to grow this year due to the growth of mid- and low-end smartphones and as well as the second-wave segment, such as radio frequency, circuit product and the Flash controllers that migrate into this node.

However, due to some customers’ inventory adjustments, which we believe is only going to be for the short term, the demand for 28-nanometer in the second quarter will be lower than our previous quarter, resulting in 28-nanometer capacity utilization rate to be in the high-80s range. But we expect the utilization rate of the 28-nanometer to recover soon and to be above 90% in the second half of this year.

While we are in the mass production, we also continue to improve the performance of our technology. Last year we have introduced our 28-HPC, which is a compact version of 28-HPM. For the purpose of helping 64-bit CPU conversion for mid- to low-end market, this year we further improved the 28-HPC to 28-HPC Plus. For comparison, 28-HPC Plus will have 18% power consumption — lower power consumption at the same speed or 15% faster speed at the same kind of power.

As for the competitive position, we are confident that we will continue to lead in performance and yield. So far we do not see there is a very much effective capacity in High K metal gate at 28-nanometer outside TSMC. And since we have already shipped more than 3m 12-inch 28-nanometer wafers, the learning curve has given us an absolute advantage in cost.

Now let me move to our 20 SoC. TSMC remains the sole solution provider in foundry industry for 20-nanometer process. Our yield has been consistently good after a very successful ramp last year. But recently we have observed customers’ planned schedule for product migration from 20 nanometer to 16 FinFET started sooner than we forecasted three months ago.

As a result, even we continue to grow 20-nanometer business in the second quarter of this year, our earlier forecast of 20-nanometer contributing above 20% of total wafer revenue this year has to be revised down by a few points to a level about the mid teens. That being the case, we still forecast the revenue from 20-nanometer will more than double that of year 2014’s level.

Now 16 FinFET. The schedule for 16 FinFET high-volume production remains unchanged. We will begin ramping in the third quarter this year. And the ramp rate appeared be faster than we forecasted three months ago, thanks to the excellent yield learning that we can leverage our 20-nanometer experience and also due to a faster migration from 20-nanometer to 16 FinFET.

In addition to good yield, our 16 FinFET device performance also met all products’ specs due to our very good transistor engineering. So we believe our 16 FinFET will be a very long-life node due to its good performance and the right cost. This is very similar to our 28-nanometer node.

We are highly confident that our 16 FinFET is very competitive. As we’ve said repeatedly, combining 20-nanometer and 16-nanometer, we will have the largest foundry share in year 2015. And if we only look at 16-nanometer alone, we still can say TSMC will have the largest 16- or 14-nanometer foundry share in year 2016.

Now let me move to our InFO business update. The schedule to ramp up the InFO in second quarter next year remains unchanged. We expect InFO will contribute more than $100m quarterly revenue by next year, fourth quarter next year, when it will be fully ramped.

Right now we are building a new facility in Longtan, that’s a city very near to Hsinchu, where our headquarters are, for ramping up InFO. Today a small product line is almost complete and it’s ready for early engineering experiment. This pilot line will be expanded to accommodate the high-volume ramp in year 2016.

Andrew Lu – Barclays – Analyst

… I think Mark presented at the Technology Symposium in San Jose mentioned that 16 FinFET versus competing technology is about 10% performance better. So can you elaborate what’s 10% performance better? If our die size is larger than our competitors, how can we get the 10% performance better?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

In the conference we talked about 16 FinFET Plus. That is our second-generation FinFET transistor. In that we improved our transistor performance a great deal. According to our information, that transistor speed, talk about speed at fixed power, is higher than the competitor by 10%. That’s what I meant. …  Because of the transistor structure, transistor engineering.

Andrew Lu – Barclays – Analyst

Compared to competing — is the competing the current competitor’s solution or the next-generation competitor’s solution? For example, LPE versus LPP or something like that?
Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO
The fastest one. The fastest.
Andrew Lu – Barclays – Analyst
Their best one?
Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO
Yes.

Dan Heyler – BofA Merrill Lynch – Analyst

My second question is relating to 20-nanometer. Here you certainly have a lot of growth in 16, with customers taping out aggressively, especially next year. Given your high share at 28, how do you keep 28 full? You obviously have a lot of technology there. Customers will move forward.

So I’m wondering, could you elaborate on new areas that are actually creating new demand at 28, such that you can continue to grow 28 next year. And do you think you can grow? I think previously you said maybe hold it at current levels even with 16 growing. So just maybe revisit that question.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

To answer the question, I think the high-end smartphone will move to 16 FinFET. However, the mid- to — and lower-end smartphones will stay in the 28-nanometer because that’s very cost effective. And mid- and low-end smartphone continues to grow significantly. So that will give a very strong demand on 28-nanometer. In addition, we still have a second-wave product, like RF and Flash controller, as I use as an example, move into 28-nanometer.

So summing it up, I think the 28-nanometer’s demand continue to grow while we move into the 16 FinFET for high-end smartphone.

Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

As Mark has highlighted your EUV program, Does that imply you may consider using EUV in the second stage of your 16-nanometer — 10-nanometer ramp-up, potentially in 2018 or 2019? 

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Yes, we always look for opportunity to insert EUV in both 10-nanometer and 7-nanometer. The EUV technology provides not only some cost benefit, but also simplify the process. That means you can replace multiple layers with one layer that helps your yield improvement. So there’s opportunity both in quality and cost always exist so long as EUV’s productivity comes to the threshold point.

And in — as you noticed on 10-nanometer, our capacity build will largely done in 2016 and 2017. So 2018 will be inserted, if inserted, will be combined with some other tools upgrade, some tool upgrade to 7, for example, and replaced by the EUV tools. In that node it will not be a fresh capacity build with EUV at that time because that’s a little bit late in the schedule for the 10.

7-nanometer, of course it will be higher probability adopting EUV. And the benefit will be bigger because the 7-nanometer has a lot of multiple layers, quadruple, even multiple patterning layers, thus EUV can be more effective in reducing the cost and improve the yield, for example. So that’s our current status.

But today EUV is still in the engineering mode. The productivity, as you heard, will still have some gaps for practical insertion of the technology. So we’re still working on that, in that mode. And we have — although we have one-day performance up to 1,000 wafer per day, but I was talking about average still a few hundreds. And we need to get to more than 1,000 to consider a schedule to put it into the production.

Randy Abrams – Credit Suisse – Analyst

As you go to fourth quarter, how broad is the customer base? Is it a single key product or are you seeing broadening out of 16 FinFET as you ramp that in fourth quarter?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

… As for the second half, we think, first of all, the inventory adjustment will largely complete towards the end of second quarter.

We think the end market of smartphone is still healthy growth this year. Therefore the second half will resume the growth. And, more importantly, our 16 FinFET technology will start to ramp in the second half. So that will contribute a lot of growth, more than the 20-nanometer shipment reduction. So those two factors.

Roland Shu – Citigroup – Analyst

My first question is on given the fast ramp of 16-nanometer, so are we going to see meaningful revenue contribution for 16 in 3Q?

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

We ramp up in third quarter this year, but it’s many layers of process, plus about one month is back-end. So in 3Q we expect just the revenue just very minimum.

Bill Lu – Morgan Stanley – Analyst

This is a follow-up to Randy’s question. But I’m going to go over some numbers with you first before I ask the question, which is we did the math. I don’t think these are exactly right. But over the last five years we’ve got IDM zero growth, fabless 8%, but system houses above 20%, right. So system houses, I’m excluding memory, just the system LSI, the logic portion. I think that might be slightly conservative.

Now that’s a pretty big change. And I’m wondering how you should think about that, how you should — if you look at TSMC addressing the system houses versus the fabless customers, if you look at, for example, your market share, if you look at your margin for the system houses versus the fabless, how do you think about that?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Yes. Indeed, in the past five years the system houses sourcing and foundry business to us has a much higher growth rate, as you quoted. But remember, that came from a very small base. Okay? But we welcome system house sourcing because we consider them are fabless too, fabless companies, the companies without fabs, bring business to us.

It’s not necessarily the margin has to do with what type of company sourced. It has to do with our value to that company and also the size, the size of the business. If the business is bigger, of course the — we probably can enjoy a slightly — a little bit better price. So it depends on the size of the business, less dependent on what company, system company or non-system company’s business.

Steven Pelayo – HSBC – Analyst

For the last three years or so, TSMC’s been growing 20%, 30% year-on-year revenue growth rates. First quarter 50% year on year. But to Bill’s question there, it does look like in the second half of the year, if I play around with your full-year guidance and what you’re doing, low single-digit year-on-year growth rates. And if we exclude maybe 16-nanometer, above 16-nanometer, maybe it’s flat to down. Is that the new industry? What are we talking now for industry growth rates for both the semi industry and in the foundry market this year?

90 days ago you suggested the semi market was going to grow 5% this year with foundries growing 12%. In light of your new guidance, in light of what it looks like you’re going to have very slight year-on-year growth rates in the second half of the year, what do you think that means for the overall industry?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

We think the semiconductor growth this year currently is indeed we adjusted down from 5% earlier to 4% at this time. Yes. We think it’s really due to the macroeconomic situation around the world today. And therefore the foundry market — foundry growth rate will adjusted down too. We are looking at about 10% range. So that’s why we revised our view on the current semiconductor growth.

Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst

My question on 10-nanometer, I know it’s still 18 months away from ramp-up, but can you talk about how fast this ramp might scale relative to 20-nanometer or 28-nanometer?

And as you ramp up 10-nanometer for high-end smartphones, would you expect low-end smartphones to start migration from 28 with 16 FinFET in 2017?
Elizabeth Sun – TSMC – Director of Corporate Communications
… Your question seems to say that if we ramp 10-nanometer in the future, which will be targeting the high-end smartphone, will the low-end smartphone be migrating from 28-nanometer into 16-nanometers.
Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst
And  just to add to that, Elizabeth, how quickly will 10-nanometer scale up relative to the scaling of 20-nanometer — the ramp-up of 20-nanometer and 28? Will it be as fast?
Elizabeth Sun – TSMC – Director of Corporate Communications
So the profile of the 10-nanometer ramp, will that be steeper than the profile of the 20 or the 28-nanometer?

Mark Liu – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Okay. The first part of the question has to do with 10-nanometer ramp for the high-end smartphone, will the mid/low-end move to 16? I think we — this is up to our customers’ product portfolio. We definitely know a lot of customer is looking at 28-nanometer to use — to do as the low end. But the specification, the smartphone processor specification changes constantly. So what portion of that product will move to 16-nanometer? We think definitely there are some portion, but how a big portion really depends on their product strategy.

On the 10-nanometer ramp, I wouldn’t say it’s bigger. But at least it’s similar scale of our ramp as we do in 16 and as we do in 20.

Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst Great.

Thank you. And let me just have a follow-up here. There’s been a lot of talk in the industry about one of your larger customers [Qualcomm] planning to introduce a new application processor on both Samsung’s 14-nanometer process as well as your 16 FinFET for the same chip later this year. And we haven’t really seen a single chip get taped out on two new processors at the same time before in the industry. So my question, how does this really work between the two foundries? Does it mean that that one customer can adjust dynamically, month to month, how they allocate wafers between you and Samsung? Or am I — or how might this work?
Elizabeth Sun – TSMC – Director of Corporate Communications … So your question seems to say that there is a customer that appeared to be working with two different foundries on the 14 and 16-nanometer node. And the products are about to arrive. You would like to understand how this customer will be allocating month by month the — what’s the production or the orders with both of the two foundries. Is that your question?
Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst
Yes, that’s right. Whether they can move around dynamically how they allocate wafers. That’s right.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Well my answer is very typical. Our 16 FinFET is really very competitive. And we did not know that customer going to — how they’re going to allocate. I cannot even make any comment on that.

Gokul Hariharan – JPMorgan – Analyst

First of all on 16-nanometer, since Dr. Wei mentioned that next year a lot of demand on entry-level to mid-end smartphone is still going to stay at 28-nanometer, could you talk about your visibility for second-wave demand for 16-nanometer? 

What is the visibility that you have? Is it going to be really strong? Because you mentioned that a lot of the cost-sensitive customers would still stay on 28, at least for next year.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

For 28-nanometer I said mid to low end this year that, and next year probably, that smartphone will stay in 28-nanometer because it’s very cost-effective and performance-wise is very good. For 16 FinFET I think that people will start to move with their product plan and some of the mid-end smartphone will move into 16-nanometer. That’s for sure.

In addition to that, we also see improving our 16 FinFET ultra-lower-power Mark just mentioned. And that will have a lot of application. And every product, lower power consumption is one of that advantage.

And so that would be our second wave of 16 FinFET.

Dan Heyler – BofA Merrill Lynch – Analyst

… So on 16, this FinFET Compact which is getting introduced, when would we expect to see that in volume production?

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

FFC? That will be ready next year. And we expect that high-volume production starts probably two years later. That’s year 2017. 2018 will reach the high volume.

Dan Heyler – BofA Merrill Lynch – Analyst

Okay. So is there a — so the cost-down version for mid-end phones FinFET that you alluded to, plus low power, when is that available?

C.C. Wei – TSMC – President & Co-CEO

Probably in 2017 second half.

Q4’2014:

Lora Ho – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – SVP and CFO

During the fourth quarter, the strong 20-nanometer ramp was mainly driven by communication-related applications. As a result, communication grew 18% sequentially and the revenue contribution increased from 59% in the third quarter to 65% in the fourth quarter. As for other applications, computer grew 7%, while consumer and industrial declined 21% and 11% respectively.

On a full-year basis, communication increased 39% and represented 59% of our revenue. The major contributing segments included baseband, application processors, image processors and display drivers. Another fast-growing application in 2014 was industrial and standard, which grew 30% year over year. The growth was mainly driven by increasing usage of power management ICs, near-field communications and audio codec within the mobile devices.

By technology, 20-nanometer revenue contribution started with a very small number in the second quarter, jumped to 9% in the third quarter and reached 21% in the fourth quarter. Such unprecedented ramp cannot be achieved without seamless teamwork with our customer, the R&D and operational people in TSMC.

On a full-year basis, 20 nanometer accounted for about 9% of our full-year wafer revenue. Looking forward, we are confident that 20 nanometer will continue its momentum to contribute 20% of the revenue for the whole year 2015.

Meanwhile, customer demand for our 28-nanometer wafers remained strong. Accordingly, these two advanced technologies, 20 nanometer plus 28 nanometer, represented 51% of our fourth-quarter total wafer revenue, a big increase from 43% in the third quarter.

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Now I’ll give you a few words on 10-nanometer development update. Our 10-nanometer technology development is progressing and our qualification schedule at the end of 2015, end of this year, remains the same. We are now working with customers for their product tape-outs. We expect its volume production in 2017.

On the new technology development in TSMC, I’ll begin with beyond 10 nanometer I just talked about. We are now working on our future-generation platform technology development, with separate dedicated R&D development teams. These technologies will be offered in the 2017-to-2019 period. We are committed to push forward our technology envelope along the silicon scaling path.

In addition to the silicon device scaling, we are also working on the system scaling through advanced packaging to increase system bandwidth, to decrease power consumption and device form factors. Our first-generation InFO technology has been qualified. Currently we are qualifying customer InFO products with 16-nanometer technology. And it will be ready for volume ramp next year, 2016. We are now working on our second-generation InFO technology to supplement the silicon scaling of 10-nanometer generation.

On the other side, in addition to the recently announced 55ULP ultra-low power technology, 40ULP, 28ULP technologies for ultra-low power application, such as wearable and IoT, we are also working on 16ULP technology development. This 16ULP design kit will be available in June this year. It will be just suitable for both high-performance and ultra-low power or ultra-low voltage, less than 0.6-volt applications.

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I’ll update you on 28, 20, 16-nanometer status and the InFO business.

First on 28 nanometer. Since year 2011, we started to ramp up 28-nanometer production. Up to now we have enjoyed a big success in terms of a good manufacturing result and, most importantly, the strong demand from our customers. This year we expect the success will continue.

Let me give a little bit more detail, first on the demand side. The demand continues to grow, which are driven by the strong growth of mid- and low-end 4G smartphones, as well as the technology migration from some second-wave segments, such as the radio frequency, hard disk drive, flash controller, connectivity and digital consumers.

Second, on the technology improvement, we continue our effort to enhance 28-nanometer technology by improving the speed performance while reducing the power consumption. 28HPC, 28 ultra-low power technology are some examples.

So to conclude the 28-nanometer status, we believe we can defend our segment share well because of excellent performance and performance/cost ratio and our superior defect density results.

Let’s talk about the 20 SoC business status. After successfully ramp up in high volume last year, we expect to grow 20-nanometer business more than double this year due to high-end mobile device demand, which were generated by our customers’ very competitive products. Our forecast of the 20-nanometer business, as Lora just pointed out, will contribute 20% of the total wafer revenue. That remains unchanged.

Now on 16-nanometer ramp-up. We expect to have more than 50 product tape-outs this year on 16-nanometer. High-volume production will start in third quarter, with meaningful revenue contribution starting in fourth quarter this year. In order to stress again what our Chairman already mentioned, that combining 20 nanometer and 16 nanometer we expect to enjoy overwhelming market segment share.

Last, I will update on the InFO business. The traction on InFO is strong. We have engaged with many customers. And a few of these customers are expected to ramp up in second quarter next year. Right now we are building a small pilot line in a new site to prepare for high-volume production next year. Also we expect this InFO technology will contribute sizeable revenue in 2016.

Dan Heyler – BofA Merrill Lynch – Analyst

…. I guess as we look at your pie chart on your slide with communications and computer being amazingly only 9% of your revenue, and, say, 10 years ago that chart was much, much different, with computer being the biggest. As we look at computer opportunities going forward, I think to some extent there’s maybe a sense of a little bit of disappointment in that we don’t see ARM necessarily in PCs yet. We haven’t really necessarily seen that ecosystem come through in the server business. And big data being such an important trend going forward, with compute growing about 15% per year, I’m wondering what TSMC is doing or what your view of that opportunity will be in the future as a potential growth driver.

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

Server is one of them, Mark. Well there’s IoT actually also, and just don’t forget that mobile actually we think has a few more years to run yet. Really the TSMC silicon content in the average phone is actually increasing, which is something that is not recognized by a lot of people, because everybody says that the weight, the gravity is shifting to the middle level, lower-level priced phones. But according to our data, and we have kept track of it for quite a long time, the average of TSMC silicon content in the average phone is actually increasing.

So — and look, we still look for over — I think the number we have is that by 2019 there’ll be 2b phones manufactured. It is — I think last year it was, what, 1.3b? I think, yes, 1.3b. 1.3b to 2b. And, well, and the average TSMC silicon content per phone is increasing. And the number of phones is going up. So that’s by no means a — it’s still there. It’s still a growth engine.

And then IoT, I think we talked about IoT before, and now we are certainly not oblivious to the server possibility. So why don’t I ask Mark to talk about the server and maybe C.C. will talk a little about the IoT.

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Okay, Dan. I’ll just respond to you on the server part. Chairman talked about the area we’re mostly focused on, phone, today. And that would drive — give us growth momentum in the next several years.

On server, we work with the product innovators around the world. And such a field definitely we’ll not lose in our radar screen and theirs. And TSMC has been, over the years, developed our technology to suit for high-power computing.

And from 65, 40, 28 to 16 nanometer, we continuously improve our transistor performance. And today we believe our 16 FinFET Plus transistor performance probably is the top of — is one of the top of the world. It’s well suitable, well capable of doing the computing tasks.

And actually before server, and there are several supercomputers around the world, in US and in Japan, already powered by our technology, doing the weather forecasting, whether the geo exploration applications today. And on the server, on ARM in particular, we have very close partnership with ARM in recent years. And ARM is a very innovative company. They produce CPU core and new architecture every year. And we reached our leading-edge technology very early with ARM and to design their leading-edge CPU cores. And that will continue and several of our customers are taking advantage of that.

Yes, in the past it’s been getting into slower as expected. That’s because the software ecosystem is slower to come. And — but actually a lot of the server companies, system company is continuing investing in this ecosystem. Linux-based ecosystem is coming very strong too. So I think the trend will continue. And we will, with our customers, get into these segments in the next — in the near future. Yes.

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

For the IoT, that would be a big topic right now in the whole industry. All I want to say is that we are happy to share with you that, a long time ago, we already focused on our specialty technology, which are the CMOS image sensor, MEMs, embedded Flash, all those kind of things. Today we add another new technology, ultra-low power, into it. And that will be the basis for the IoT technology necessary in the future. We believe that when the time comes and IoT business becomes big, TSMC will be in a very good position to capture most of the business. That’s what I share with you. Thank you.

Randy Abrams – Credit Suisse – Analyst

… And the follow-up question on profitability. If you could give a flavor on structural profitability for 2015 and some of the flavor for 20, how quick that may get to corporate margins, and for 16, because it’s an extension, whether that could be near corporate margins as that comes up. And if you could give a comment on the inventory at current levels, if there’s any — if that will stay at these higher levels from the WIP you’ve been building or if that may come back down to a different level.

Lora Ho – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – SVP and CFO

Randy, you have multiple questions. I recall you asked for the structural profitability. That’s you first question, right? From what we can see now, we are quite confident we can maintain equal or slightly better structural profitability, standard gross margin versus 2014.

For the 20-nanometer and 16-nanometer ramping, how would that affect corporate margin? I have said in last July it usually takes seven or eight quarters for any new leading-edge technology to get close to the corporate average. So for 20 nanometer, it will take eight quarters. So we believe — so 20 nanometer start to sell in second quarter 2014, and we expect by first quarter 2016, that’s eight quarters, it will be at corporate average level.

For 16, we are going to mass produce this product. It will follow the similar trend. 16 nanometer will be based on the feature of 20 nanometer, so the margin will start to be higher. But it will also follow the similar trend. It takes seven quarters to reach to corporate average. So say we plan to mass produce 16 FinFET in third quarter 2015, so by first quarter 2017 you will get close to corporate average. So there will — before that there will be still small dilutions. For this year, the dilution will be 2 to 3 percentage points. And the last year, the second half will be 3 to 4 percentage points and very low in 2016.

Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs – Analyst

… Chairman, about six months ago you gave us a comment on your estimate on TSMC’s market share in FinFET in 2015, 2016, 2017. So has that changed?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

… Donald’s question was I said — actually I looked up my statement at that time, July 16 of last year. I said on the subject of 16 and 20, 16-nanometer and 20-nanometer technology, I said that — I actually made three statements.

The first statement was that because we started 16 a little late, our market share in 2015, our 16-nanometer market share in 2015 will be smaller than our major largest competitor’s.

The second statement I made was that we started 16 late because we wanted to do 20. And so if you combine 20 and 16, our major competitor, who will be slightly ahead of us this year on the 16, he has very little 20. Almost no 20 at all. And if we combine 20 and 16, our combined share in this year will be much higher than that competitor’s.

The third statement I made is that in 2016 we will have much larger share in just 16 nanometer than that competitor.

All right. First I want to say that I, at this time, stand on those statements. In fact, I now will add a couple of statements. The statements I will add are — that’s fourth statement now. Okay? When we have a larger share of just 16 alone in 2016, the 16 market will also be much larger than this year, 2015. So, yes, we’re slightly behind. We have a smaller market share in 2015 in a smaller market. Next year we will have a larger share, in fact much larger share, in a much larger market, 16.

So — and another statement I want to make is that I’m, at this point, very, very comfortable with all those statements that I have made on July 16 last year and the statements that I have added today. I’m very comfortable. I don’t know whether I answered your question or not, Donald.

Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs – Analyst

Yes. How about 2017, if –?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

What? Well, 2017, the share is going to continue. We’re not going to lose the leadership on 16 market share once we recapture that in 2016. It’s going to continue 2017, 2018. And also both 20 and 16 are going to live longer than you might think now. Well 28, for that matter, will also live longer than you’d think.

Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

… Can we say your 16-nanometer market share in 2016 will be quite similar to your dominance in 28 nanometer, given that your 20 nanometer is the only provider? So the apple-to-apple comparison should be 28 to 16 nanometer.
Elizabeth Sun – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Director of Corporate Communications
So market share in 16 nanometer in 2016, will that be the same as our market share at 28 nanometer, I would say, back in 2013, 2014?
Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst Yes

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

Well, no, I don’t think so, because 28, of course we were virtually sole source. And 16, we already know we’re not. There’s at least one major competitor and then there’s another one that’s just eager to get in. I don’t mean that first competitor’s accessory, I mean another one.

Brett Simpson – Arete Research – Analyst

My question is around 28 nanometer. You’re running a large capacity at 28 nanometer at the moment. So can you share with us what your capacity plan is for 28? As you migrate more business to 20 nanometer and below over the next couple of years, do you intend to convert 28-nanometer capacity to lower nodes, or do you think you can keep the existing 28-nanometer capacity running full going forward.
Elizabeth Sun – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Director of Corporate Communications
All right. Let me repeat Brett’s question so that people here can hear it better. Brett’s question is TSMC’s 28-nanometer capacity is very large. As our technology migrates to more advanced nodes, such as 20 and 16, in the next few years, what will be our plan on capacity of the 28 nanometer? Will we still have large demand to utilize those capacities or we need to do some changes?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

Every — in every generation we worry a lot about the conversion loss we will suffer when we convert the equipment of that — the existing capacity of that generation to the capacity of the next generation. Now, so we do two things. First, we try to minimize that conversion loss. And since we’ve been living with the problem for so long now, I think we’re getting to be pretty good at it. So the conversion loss from one generation to another is normally in the low single digit, low middle single digit. Now the second thing we try to do is, and I think we actually have been doing it perhaps even more successfully than the first thing. The first thing was to try to minimize the conversion loss. The second thing we try to do is we try to prolong the life of each generation. And I was saying just five minutes ago that I think that the life of 28 nanometer may be longer than a lot of people think. And I mean it. Actually we’re still making half-micron stuff. And we try to prolong the life of every generation as we continue to migrate to advanced technologies. And 28 is certainly a generation that we want to prolong the life of.

Bill Lu – Morgan Stanley – Analyst

My first question is on 28 nanometers. If I look at your capacity this year versus 2014, how much is the increase in capacity?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Chairman

High teens. High teens actually.

Gokul Hariharan – JPMorgan – Analyst

… First, I had a question on there’s been a lot of controversy about cost per transistor, whether Moore’s law — the economics of Moore’s law are slowing down. Your competitor Intel has put out a very emphatic statement saying that until 7 nanometer they’re seeing that continuing at the same pace as before. But there has been a lot of noise from the fabless community in the last couple of years that at 20 nanometer or at 16 nanometer there is a potential slowdown.

Could we have TSMC’s version now that you’re pretty much ready to start 10 nanometer and thinking already about 7? That’s my first question.
Elizabeth Sun – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Director of Corporate Communications
So, all right. Let me repeat. Gokul, your question is mainly on the comments on cost per transistor. Some of the other players, I think you’re referring to Intel, who has made comments that they do see the cost per transistor to continue into 7 nanometer and so they can handle the economics of the Moore’s law. Whereas, on the other hand, fabless companies begin to complain about not seeing enough economics, starting with 20 nanometer. So what is TSMC’s statement regarding this economics issue?

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Let me answer this question. The cost of transistor continues to go down. And by scaling mostly is — everybody knows, nobody I think has refused that statement — we see the cost of transistor continues going down in a constant rate. And in going forward, the cost of transistor going down probably at slightly slower rate. That’s the argument. But it really depends on companies. And for some companies simply do not have the technological capabilities. And today, further going down the Moore’s Law technology developments, just a few. And we — as far as whether those costs can — is — can get enough returns, and of course that has to do with how much that technology brings value to the product where they command the price. And today we see certain segments will continue to need that type of system performance to get enough return. So this is the reason we committed to push the system scaling.

Roland Shu – Citigroup – Analyst

Just a 10-nanometer question to C.C. Since, C.C., you said we are expecting to volume production of 10-nanometer in 2017. But I remember in the past two quarters actually our goal was to pulling in 10-nanometer mass production by end of 2016. So are we pushing out the 10-nanometer mass production schedule a little bit on that?

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President and Co-CEO

Let me explain that, because 10 nanometer, the mask layers is about 70 to 80. So you’ve got to start in 2016 to have output in 2017. So what I’m talking about is 2017 is to start to have revenue.

Q3 2014:

Lora Ho – TSMC – SVP & CFO

By technology, after two years of meticulous preparation we began volume shipments of 20-nanometer wafers. The revenue contribution went up from 0% to 9% of the third quarter wafer revenue. This is the fastest and the most successful ramp for a new technology in TSMC’s history.

Mark Liu – TSMC – Co-CEO


On 10-nanometer development, our 10-nanometer development is progressing according to plan. Currently we are working on early customer collaboration for product tape-outs in 4Q of 2015. The risk production date remain targeted at the end of 2015.

Our goal is to enable our customers’ production in 2016. To meet this goal, we are getting our 10-nanometer design ecosystem ready now. We have completed certification of over 35 EDA tools using ARM’s CPU core as the vehicle. In addition, we have started the IP validation process six months earlier than previous nodes with our IP partners.

We are working with over 10 customers on their 10-nanometer product design. The product plans show wide range of applications, including application processors, baseband, CPU, server, graphics, network processor, FPGA and game console. Our 10-nanometer will achieve industry-leading speed, power and gate density.

C.C. Wei – TSMC – Co-CEO


Next, I’ll talk about the 16-nanometer ramp and competitive status. In 16-nanometer, we have two versions, 16 FinFET and the 16 FinFET Plus.

FinFET Plus has better performance and has been adopted by most of our customers. 16 FinFET we began the risk production in November last year and since then have passed all the reliability qual early this year. For the FinFET Plus, we also passed the first stage of the qualification on October 7 and since then entered the risk production. The full qualification, including the technology and product qual, is expected to be completed next month.

So right now we have more than 1,000 engineers working on ramp up for the FinFET Plus. On the yield learning side, the progress is much better than our original plan. This is because the 16-nanometer uses similar process to 20 SOC, except for the transistor. And since 20 SOC has been in mass production with a good yield, our 16 FinFET can leverage the yield learning from 20 SOC and enjoy a good and smooth progress. So we are happy to say that 16-nanometer has achieved the best technology maturity at the same corresponding stage as compared to all TSMC’s previous nodes.

In addition to the process technologies, our 16 FinFET design ecosystem is ready also. It supports 43 EDA tools and greater than 700 process design kits with more than 100 IPs. All these are silicon validated. We believe this is the biggest ecosystem in the industry today.

On the performance side, compared with the 20 SOC, 16 FinFET is greater than 40% speed faster than the 20 SOC at the same total power or consumes less than 50% power at the same speed. So our data shows that in high-speed applications it can run up to 2.3 gigahertz. Or on the other hand, for low-power applications it consumes as low as 75 miniwatts per core.

This kind of a performance will give our customer a lot of flexibility to optimize their design for different market applications. So far we expect to have close to 60 tape-outs by the end of next year.

In summary, because of the excellent progress in yield learning and readiness in manufacturing maturity and also to meet customers’ demand, we plan to pull in 16-nanometer volume production through the end of Q2 next year or early Q3 year 2015. The yield performance and smooth progress of our 16 FinFET, FinFET Plus further validate our strategy of starting 20 SOC first, quickly follow with the 16 FinFET and FinFET Plus. We chose this sequence to maximize our market share in the 20-, 16-nanometer generation.

Next, I’ll talk about 28-nanometer status. We had strong growth in second quarter on 28-nanometer. And the business grew another quarter and accounted for 34% of TSMC’s wafer revenue in third quarter. On the technology side, we continue our effort to improve yield and tighten the process corners, so that our customer can take advantage of these activities and shrink their die size and therefore reduce the cost.

Let me give you an example. On 28LP, the polysilicon gate version, we now offer a variety of enhanced processes to achieve better performance. We also offer a very competitive cost so that our customers can address the mid- to low-end smartphone market. In addition to the 28LP, we also provide a cost-effective high-K metal gate version, the 28HPC for customers to further optimize the performance and the cost. Recently, we added another 28-nanometer offering we called 28 Ultra Low Power, for ultra low power applications obviously. We believe this 28ULP will help TSMC customers to expand their business into the IoT area.

In summary, we expect our technology span in 28-nanometer node will enhance TSMC’s competitiveness and ensure a good market share. We also expect the strength of the demand for our 28-nanometer will continue for multi years to come. In response, we are preparing sufficient capacities to meet our customers’ future demand.

Q2 2014:


Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

Now a few words on 20-nanometer and 16-nanometer progress. In the last two and half to three years, 28-nanometer technology has driven our growth. In the next three years, 20 and 16-nanometer technologies are going to drive our growth; 28 in the last two and half to three, 20 and 16 in the next three.

After two years of meticulous preparation, we began volume shipments of our 20-nanometer wafers in June. The steepness of our 20-nanometer ramp sets a record. We expect 20-nanometer to generate about 10% of our wafer revenue in the third quarter and more than 20% of our wafer revenue in the fourth quarter. And we expect the demand for 20-nanometer will remain strong and will continue to contribute more than 20% of our wafer revenue in 2015. It will reach 20% of our total wafer revenue in the fourth quarter of this year and it will be above 20% of our total wafer revenue next year.

The 16-nanometer development leverages off 20-SoC learning and is moving forward smoothly. Our 16-nanometer is more than competitive, combining performance, density and yields considerations. 16-nanometer applications cover a wide range including baseband, application processors, consumer SoCs, GPU, network processors, hard disk drive, FPGA, servers and CPUs. Volume production of 16-nanometer is expected to begin in late 2015 and there will be a fast ramp up in 2016. The ecosystem for 16-nanometer designs is current and ready.

A few years ago, in order to take advantage of special market opportunities, we chose to develop 20-SoC first and then quickly follow with 16-nanometer. We chose this sequence to maximize our market share in the 20/16-nanometer generation. As the 20/16 foundry competition unfolds, we believe our decision to have been correct.

Number one, in 20-SoC, we believe we will enjoy overwhelmingly large share in 2014, 2015 and onwards.

Number two, in 16-nanometer, TSMC will have a smaller market share than a major competitor in 2015. But we’ll regain leading share in 2016, 2017 and onwards.

Number three, if you look at the combined 20 and 16 technologies, TSMC will have an overwhelming leading share every year from 2014 on.

Number four, in total foundry market share, after having jumped 4 percentage points in 2013, TSMC will again gain several percentage points in 2014. This is the total foundry market share covering all technologies. After having increased 4 percentage points last year, TSMC will gain another several percentage points this year.

Now a few words about 10-nanometer. The 10-nanometer development is progressing well. The 10-nanometer speed is 25% faster than the 16-nanometer. The power consumption is 45% less than 16-nanometer and the gate density is 2.2x that of the 16-nanometer. Power is 25% faster. Did I say power? I meant speed. Speed is 25% faster, power is 45% less, gate density 2.2 times more, all compared with 16-nanometer.

We work closely with our key customers to co-optimize our 10-nanometer process and design. We expect to have customer tape outs in the second half of 2015.

William Dong – UBS – Analyst

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman. I guess — we keep talking about technology. I guess the question I want to ask is that with all this rush to continue to push down technology roadmap, to go down to 16, to 14 and to 10 nanometer, what are our thoughts about what’s driving this demand? As we move toward, for example, Internet of Things, is there such a requirement to keep pushing on the technology front to actually have enough, sufficient demand to keep driving it down?

Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

Well, if the cost is low enough — cost is very much a part of the equation. If the cost is low enough, the demand will increase because we can see a lot of applications that are just waiting there. Of course I’m talking about the mobile products, but I’m also talking about Internet of Things, so wearables and so on, so on, Internet of Things. The applications are just waiting there for better, for faster speed and lower power and higher density ICs. Cost is definitely in the equation.

So, yes, when you ask will the demand be there. If we can get the cost down to an acceptable level, demand will be there. And of course that’s why — that’s how things like EUV come into the question. Nobody has asked about that yet. We actually were prepared to answer that with the same answer that we gave you last time, by the way, that we are still planning to — there’s still a possibility to use EUV on one, one or two — or just one layer in the 10 nanometer, yes. One layer, one layer in 10 nanometer and 7 I think is, of course, an even better candidate.

Dan Heyler – BofA-Merrill Lynch – Analyst

Hopefully this question simplifies and doesn’t complicate things. Just to make sure I understand this share loss thing, so basically what you’re saying is the share loss at 16, these are customers that are choosing to skip 20? Is that how should I think of this that these are not any — are any of these customers that are currently 20 that are going to 16 next year or is this all people that are choosing to skip 20?

Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

Well, first of all, I want to question the word share loss. I don’t consider there is share loss because just like 32/28 we had zero share in 32. But then we were very successful in 28. The two really belong to the same generation. And 20 and 16 also belong to the same generation. So, yes — and share loss means that you start with something and then you lose it, it becomes less. Well, this year nobody has — everybody has zero share, okay. And I am just saying that we will start on 16, we will start with a lower share than we did with 20 or 28. We start with a lower share than we did with 20 or 28. And then we’ll get back to a high share in 2016. I’m just arguing with him, but he did have a question; what was that?

Dan Heyler – BofA-Merrill Lynch – Analyst

Or just simply are your — are these customers moving to 16, are these the ones that have currently been on 20 or are these the guys that have skipped because the debate in the industry is should we go straight to 16 and skip 20. So are these customers that have basically been at 28 and are skipping 20 and going straight to 14 at your competitor?

Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

Mainly because our customers wanted it sooner. We got in a little late, as I said; our customers wanted it sooner. So that’s why we’re starting — and we’ll catch up only a little later.

Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

Chairman, regarding the 16/20 nanometer, could we say your total market share in 16 and 20 nanometer will be similar to 28/32 for the corresponding period? Can we say that?


Morris Chang – TSMC – Chairman

The combined 20 — I just ran an analysis just a couple of weeks ago, so I know exactly the answer to your question. The combined 20/16 market share in the first two years of its existence, which is this year and next year — well, I guess I have to add in 2016 — the combined — our combined 20/16 share in 2014, 2015 and 2016 will still be greater than our combined share of 32 and 28 in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Q1 2014:


Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

Then I cover the updates on 16 FinFET, 16 FinFET plus and our 10 FinFET. First, we have two general offers for customers, 16 FinFET and 16 FinFET plus. 16 FinFET plus offers 15% speed improvement, the same total power, compared to 16 FinFET. More importantly, 16 FinFET plus offers 30% total power reduction at the same speed, compared to 16 FinFET.

Our 16 FinFET plusmatches the highest performance among all available 16-nanometer and 14-nanometer technologies in the market today. Compared to our own 20 SoC, 16 FinFET plus offers 40% speed improvement. The design rules of 16 FinFET and 16 FinFET plus are the same; IPs are compatible.

We will receive our first customer product tapeout this month. About 15 products planned for 2014, another about 45 in 2015. Volume production is planned in 2015. Since 95% tools of 16 and 20 are common, we will ramp them in the same gigafabs in TSMC. 16 FinFET yield learning curve is very steep today and has already caught up with 20 SoC. This is a unique advantage in TSMC 16-nanometer.

For 10 FinFET, 10 FinFET offer TSMC’s third generation FinFET transistor, designed to meet the power and the performance requirement of mobile computing devices. 10 FinFET will offer greater than 25% speed improvement, the same total power, compared to 16 FinFET plus. More importantly, 10 FinFET offer greater than 45% total power reduction at the same speed, compared to 16 FinFET plus.

10 FinFET will offer 2.2X of density improvement over its previous generation, 16 FinFET plus. So, currently, 10 FinFET development progress is well on track, but risk production will be in 4Q 2015. Above are the key messages on three items.

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

…  I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the two topics with you; namely, the 20 SoC ramp and TSMC’s advance assembly solution to our customer. First, I will brief you on the status of 20 SoC ramp.

Let me recap what we had said in the last meeting here. We started 20 SoC production in January this year and by fourth quarter of this year, the 20 SoC will account for 20% of the quarterly revenue — wafer revenue. And for the whole year of 2014 we expect 20 SoC will be about 10% of our total wafer revenue of the year of 2014, of course. All these expectations remain the same today.

Now, there are some major achievement I would like to share with you. First, on the ramping speed. 20 SoC by far is the fastest ramping in TSMC’s history. Of course, this fast ramp is to meet customers’ strong demand. And I believe this production of 20 SoC in TSMC represents one of the largest mobilization in semiconductor history. Let me share with some numbers, so you can have a snapshot on this ramp.

In about one year’s time we have built a manufacturing team of 4,600 engineers and 2,000 operators in two fabs; Fab 14 in Tainan and Fab 12 in Hsinchu. More impressively, in the same time period, close to one thousand engineer has been relocated among TSMC’s fabs in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan. All these are prepared for the 20 SoC’s ramp-up. This magnitude of mobilization, I believe, is not an easy job. We move people around that show our strength in manufacturing and this highly mobilization is not moving the tool or just a handful around. We’re talking about we’re moving the engineer and operator among TSMC’s fabs. In the meanwhile, we have installed more than 1,500 major tools for this 20 SoC ramp.

Of course, the faster ramp has done with a very good device reliability and a very good wafer defect density. Without those, the fast ramp will make no sense. Now how important are these 20 SoC ramp? Well we knew that 28 nanometer provided the engine of TSMC’s profitable growth in the years of 2012 and 2013 and similarly, we expect 20 SoC will provide the engine of TSMC’s profitable growth in year 2014 and 2015.

Now let me switch gear to advanced assembly technologies. The purpose of — for us to develop advanced assembly technology is to provide our customer a better performance and a lower power consumption, while at a lower cost as compared to the previous assembly solution. For example, we have developed CoWoS and CoWoS has been developed to connect two dies or more dies together to have a very high performance and a very low power consumption and today CoWoS is in a small volume production already. However, the cost structure of CoWoS has made CoWoS only suitable for some very high performance applications and the products. To address the cost structure issue and for those mobile — very large volume mobile devices, we have developed a derivative technology called InFO; that stands for integrated fan-out.

InFO will have significant lower cost as compared to CoWoS and at the same time, InFO also can have the same capability to connect multiple dies together just as the CoWoS did. Currently, we’re working with major customers and the InFO, to incorporate this structure into their future product. We have delivered many functional dies to our customers already and the process optimization are ongoing.

In fact, we are very excited about TSMC’s advanced assembly technology development as we’re building a innovative solution for our customers product, which requires high performance, lower power consumption and at a very reasonable cost structure.

Michael Chou – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

I don’t know, C.C. Wei, could you give us more color on the advanced packaging you just mentioned. What’s the difference between this one and CoWoS?

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

The difference between the InFO and the CoWoS is actually the geometry to connect multi-dies together. In the CoWoS, actually we are using very small geometry, actually 65 nanometers of geometry to connect the multi-dies together. In InFO, we’re using the larger geometry, which are still technical confidential information. But the cost is much, much lower.

Brett Samson – Arete Research – Analyst

Just had a quick question. Can you give us a sense within the 28 nanometer nodes, how does that split between poly-SiON and high-K and how do you think this might trend through this year?
Elizabeth Sun – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – Director, Corporate Communications
So Brett’s question is what is really the mix between poly-SiON, that is our 28 LP, versus our high-k metal gate and what is going to be the trend with respect to that kind of mix throughout this year?

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

Allow me to answer that. Our 28 nanometer high-k metal gate has three options, 28HP, 28HPM and 28HPC. And this year these 28 high-k metal gate technology will be about 85% of the overall 28 nanometer in terms of the wafer.

Dan Heyler – Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Analyst

… I want to follow up on this InFO, this is quite interesting. Could you just maybe elaborate a bit more on what exactly are you going to be attaching, so which devices are we talking about in terms of what – with CoWoS it was pretty much PLD [Programmable Logic Devices, like Altera] companies were there and others, some baseband. So what devices are you attaching on the initial generation between the different chips? And second part of that question would be what kind of — how many customers do you expect to manage to have in this area, because you start peddling lots of devices and lots of customers it gets really complicated, you start to look more like an OSAT [Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test]. So I wonder if this is going to be a pretty small group of high volume products? And finally on — as you attach — are you actually doing a chip attach or will you be doing only the wafer level activity and will you be having — working with the OSATs to do the actual chip attach?

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd – President & Co-CEO

Dan, to answer your question, the InFO actually we’re right now working on application processor together with memory dies. That’s good enough for you. I cannot say anything more than that. We’re working with mobile product customers and we did not — we expect very high volume, but we did not with many, many customers as current status. We’re working on the wafer level process, stacking die, and couple of them, we’re able to do the complete line all here.

Q4 2013:


Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – Chairman

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Today, our comments are scheduled as on the slide on your left. First, I’m very glad to have the opportunity to introduce our new top management team.

I’d first start with Lora, although I think everyone knows Lora well. Lora has a bachelor’s degree from Chengchi University, a master’s degree from National Taiwan University, both degrees in finance. She worked for Cyanamid, Wyse, Thomas & Betts and TI-Acer before she joined TSMC in 1999. And she has been TSMC’s CFO since 2003.

Next, Dr. C. C. Wei. C. C. has a bachelor’s degree from Chiao Tung University and a Ph. D. from Yale University, both in electrical engineering. C. C. worked for TI, SGS, Chartered before joining TSMC in 1998. C. C. has been Senior VP of Operations, Senior VP of Business Development, Co-COO, and in the Co-COO job CC was successively responsible for R&D and Operations. Now C.C. is President and Co-CEO.

C.C. is 60 years old and I should add that Lora is 57 years old.

Mark Liu; Mark has a B.S. from National Taiwan University and a Ph. D. from Berkeley, both in electrical engineering and computer science. Mark worked for Intel, Bell Telephone Labs before joining TSMC in 1993. And at TSMC he has been VP, Senior VP of Operations and he was also a Co-COO, and all the time he was Co-COO he was responsible for our sales, marketing and planning.

And now Mark and C.C. are Presidents and Co-CEOs of the Company. Mark is 59 years old.

C.C. Wei – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – President & Co-CEO
[about the technology aspects of TSMC’s growth engine]

Good afternoon everybody. I am C.C. Wei and I will give you the update of our 28-nanometer high-K metal gate version. Let me recap the history. We started 28-nanometers volume production in year 2011 mainly on the 28LP, the oxynitride version. And since then the business continued to grow. So last year, we had tripled 28-nanometers of business versus year 2012. That in this year, year 2014, the business for 28-nanometer will continue to grow at least by another 20%, and all the increase are coming from the 28-nanometers high-K metal gate version, which is we name it 28HPM.

Let me add more color to it. We expect we’re going to have about more than 100 tape-outs from about 60 customers in this year in 28HPM. Now you may ask it why? Why there are so many products that were designed on this technology? One of the main reason I can give it to you is the performance, the superior performance. For example, 28 HPM compare with the 28LP that will gain another 30% of the speed at the same kind of power consumption, or you can say that at the same power consumption — at the same speed, you will consume 15% less power. And everybody knows that the power consumption in the mobile device is very important. That’s why we think we have a very high, good business on the 28 HPM.

Now, furthermore, after the 28HPM, we also offer 28HPC, which is a low-cost version of the 28HPM. The 28HPC is developed to meet the customers’ demand to compete in the mid-to-low-end smartphone market. We expect that this 28HPC will have a very strong demand in the next two years. That’s what we have.

Okay, let me give you some information on the competition to explain why we are so confident on this 28 nanometers high-K metal gate business. If you still remember that long time ago, we mentioned about gate-first and gate-last. Still remember that terminology? All right. So, simply to say that gate-last version will give you better performance and a better process control. As a result, all our customers will enjoy using the gate-last versions that technology to have a higher or better performance than other products which are designed with a different approach.

In addition to that I’ll say that because of the better process control and TSMC’s manufacturing excellence, we have a much better yield than our competitor, so that our customer will enjoy the lower die cost. That’s what we have. And that’s why we explained that our confidence that the 28 nanometers business continue a very good business for us.

Now, let me switch the gear to 20-SoC. That’s another exciting news that we have, I want to share with you. 20-SoC is a technology that we developed to enable TSMC’s customer to lead in the mobile device market. And this technology we are believe in this year, next year, well I have a very good business to capture. So, what is the status now of the 20-SoC? We have two fab, Fab 12 and Fab 14 that complete the qual of 20-SoC. And as a matter of fact, we started production. We are in volume production as we speak right now. So, it’s in the high-volume production as we are speaking right now.

Let me add more information to that. First, there are more than $10 billion had been committed to build capacity. Second, we have more than 2,500 engineers and 1,500 operators right now in manufacturing, doing the 20SoC volume production. The ramping rate will be the fastest one in TSMC’s history. Using the ramping rate, you can get the hint of the business, how big the business is.

Another fact to share with you, we have probably — at the end of this year, we have more than dozens of tape-out from about a dozen customers that they are producing the 20SoC product, okay? You may ask, good business, how about the competition? If you have a very strong competition, you might — cannot have too much of confidence on the future. Let me talk about the competition.

I’m very confident that our 20SoC is the highest gate density in volume production at 20 nanometers node. And please remember that; highest gate density and a high volume production. I don’t see any company today can claim on this kind of production and with this kind of gate density at this time, nobody. And most of our competitors, to be frank with you, they’re not even into this game yet. So we are confident to have a good business that will contribute to TSMC’s revenue — wafer revenue by probably around 10% this year. And with that I conclude my presentation and thank you for your attendance.

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – President & Co-CEO
[about TSMC’s competitiveness versus Intel and Samsung]

I will start this topic by update you our recent development status of our 16-FinFET technology. 16-FinFET technology has been a very fast paced development work in TSMC and we have achieved the risk production milestone of 16-FinFET in November 2013, November last year. And this month, we should pass the 1,000 hours so-called the technology qualification. So the technology is ready for customer product tape-out.

Our 16-FinFET yield improvement has been ahead of our plan. This is because we have been leveraging the yield learning of 20SoC. Currently 16-FinFET SRAM yield is already close to 20SoC. And with this status we are developing an enhanced transistor version of 16-FinFET plus, with 15% performance improvement. It will be the highest performance technology among all available 16 and 14 nanometer technology in 2014. The above progress status is well ahead of Samsung.

Let me comment on the Intel’s recent graph shown in their investor meetings, showing on the screen. We usually do not comment on other company’s’ technology, but this is — because this has been talking about TSMC technology and as Chairman said, has been misleading. To me it’s erroneous, based on outdated data. So I like to make the following rebuttal.

futureICT - 2013--Intel Is Committed to Press Ahead on Density - Enables a 'Transistor Like' Lead in Density

2013: Intel Is Committed to Press Ahead on Density – Enables a “Transistor Like” Lead in Density

futureICT - Jan-2014--Density Comparison by TSMC vs Intel 2013 statement

January 14, 2014: Density Comparison by TSMC vs. Intel’s 2013 statement at its Investor Meeting

On this view graph, the vertical axis is the chip area on a log scale. Basically this is compared at chip area reduction. On the horizontal axis, it shows four different technologies; 32/28, 22/20, 14/16-FinFET and 10-nanometer. 32 is Intel technology and 28 is TSMC technology. So is the following three nodes; the smaller number 20, but on 14-FinFET is Intel, 16-FinFET is the TSMC. On the view graph shown at Intel investor meeting, it is with the grey plots showing here. The grey plots shows the 32 and 20 nanometer, TSMC is ahead of the area scaling, but however, with 16, the data, grey data shows a little bit uptick. And following the same slope, go down to the 10 nanometer. What’s the correct data we show on the red line, that’s our current TSMC data. The 16, we have been volume production on 20 nanometer, as C.C. just mentioned, this is the highest density technology in production today.

We took the approach of significantly using the FinFET transistor to improve the transistor performance on top of the similar back-end technology of our 20 nanometer. Therefore, we leveraged the volume experience into volume production this year, to be able to immediately go down to 16 volume production next year, within one year. And this transistor performance and innovative layout methodology can improve the chip size by about 15%. This is because the driving of the transistor is much stronger, so that you don’t need such a big area to deliver the same driving circuitries.

And for the 10 nanometer, we haven’t announced it, but we did communicate with many of our customers that that will be the aggressive scaling of technology we’re doing. And so, in the summary, our 10 FinFET technology will be qualified by the end of 2015. 10 FinFET transistor will be our third generation FinFET transistor. This technology will come with industry’s leading performance and density. So, I want to leave this slide by 16 FinFET scaling is much better than Intel said, but still a little bit behind Intel.

However, the real competition is between our customer’s product and Intel’s product or Samsung’s product. TSMC’s Grand Alliance; that is the alliance of us, our customers, EDA, IP, communities and our supplier is the largest and the only open technology platform for the widest range of product innovations in the industry today. As for the tape-out of our 16 FinFET, more than 20 customer product tape-outs on 16 FinFET technology is scheduled this year already. They include wide range of applications; baseband, application processors, application processor SoCs, graphics, networking, hard disk drive, field programmable array, CPUs and servers. Our 16 FinFET technology captured the vast portion of products in the semiconductor industry.

We’ve been actively working with our customer’s designer on this since last year. TSMC’s speed and productization of the customer’s product and our ability to execute for a short time-to-market for a customer are far superior than Intel and Samsung.

Lastly, I would comment on the mobile products. With this 16 FinFET technology and the innovations of processor architecture and various IP from our customers, we are confident that this planned, 16 FinFET mobile product, which is going to tape out to us, will be better than Samsung’s 14 nanometer and better than Intel’s 14 SoC. Thank you very much.

Roland Shu – Citigroup Global Markets – Analyst

… Is the 16-plus is improving from the design you were saying or this is just for the performance enhancement or are we going to consider to change our 16-plus to — even to the — same as the 14-nanometer? …

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – President & Co-CEO

16 FinFET-plus is a transistor enhancement. For the design — back-end design rule are similar to 16 FinFET, therefore designer can design on 16 FinFET and re-characterize, upgrade their product performance. This transistor, as I mentioned, also can reduce the cell size, standard cell size, and with the enhanced performance transistor. That’s the way to reduce the chip size. So we do not intend to change the naming. I mean this is engineering, this is the word — this is the name that we chose earlier based on the physical consistent number and we do not intend to change name.

Randy Abrams – Credit Suisse – Analyst

My first question on the management structure now with the Co-COOs promoted to Co-CEOs. If you could talk about how the responsibilities would change with their promotion to Co-CEO? And for yourself, Dr. Chairman, how will your activities change versus before this move? So if you could talk about the roles for each of the different Co-CEOs and yourself now.

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – Chairman

We started with President and the Co-CEO in November, and it has been now two months. And if you ask me now, has my life changed in the last two months? My answer is no. It has not changed. But I think that my effort, my time has been spent more on the coaching aspects. I think that — I do believe that I do more coaching. If I spend 100 hours and — I now perhaps spend 20 hours of the 100 hours on coaching, whereas in the past, I’d probably spend only 5 or 10 hours of the 100 hours on coaching.

Now, actually, this is an overseas call, is this correct? Yes. So let me just explain very briefly what the Taiwan law and customs are in relation to a Chairman’s authority and responsibility. Basically, by both law and custom, the Chairman of a company has the ultimate authority and responsibility, basically. However, he may delegate his authority and responsibility to the President. He may also take it back anytime. He can delegate any and all, any or all of the responsibilities to the President. And now these two gentlemen, their titles is President and co-CEO. President comes first. They are, in a very legal sense, Presidents. Now the co-CEO is basically a Western term. And then in the United States, a CEO usually bears the final ultimate responsibility and authority as a Chairman in Taiwan does. In the US, it’s the CEO. Now — so my role in the future is really to convert these two gentlemen from the Taiwan sense President to the US sense CEO, and it will be a gradual process.

Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs – Analyst So Chairman, (spoken in foreign language).

First question is, I want to ask the Chairman, how would you — are you satisfied with the transition so far and also, how the two Presidents would share their work? Are they still rotating or not? And (multiple speakers) but probably not now. And maybe give us some details about how the Company is run. And I have a follow-up question on competition.

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – Chairman

All right. I am quite satisfied with the transition. And these two gentlemen; Mark is now responsible for sales, marketing, strategic planning, business development, and yes, information technology and materials management, all those. And C.C. is responsible for operations, all the operations, and he is also responsible for specialty technology R&D. Specialty technology incidentally accounts for 25% of our total business. So now, Donald, your other question is whether they’re going to rotate. My plan currently is, I don’t plan it that way, I don’t plan it that way right now. However, I deem it’s a pretty flexible thing. Tomorrow, I may take one part of Mark’s and give it to C.C. or vice versa. But I’m not considering rotation, per se. Yes, does that answer your first question?

Donald Lu – Goldman Sachs – Analyst

… Okay, since we are already doing it, why don’t you give us more color? 16-nanometer, for example, are we saying that in terms of die size, performance, our product will be very similar to Intel’s 40-nanometer FinFET? And also, Mark commented that for the FinFET tape-outs, specifically there’s a CPU and server chips, and can we say that TSMC’s CPU and server chips will have the similar physical performance as Intel’s products today?

Morris Chang – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – Chairman

Well, I think, Donald, we have already given everybody enough information on our 16-FinFET. I think that if we keep giving more, we would be helping our competitors who have picked on us. And so, now, we do stand on what we said. We are going to — our Grand Alliance will out-compete Intel and Samsung. Our Grand Alliance on the 16-FinFET will out-compete. By that I don’t mean that we’ll completely exclude them, no, no, no. We can’t do it. We won’t be able to do that. But our Grand Alliance, with us as foundry supplier, will capture a large share of the 16-nanometer. You agree with that don’t you?

Mark Liu – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. – President & Co-CEO

The fabless companies in China are very aggressive approaching leading-edge technologies. To tell you, our 16-FinFET this year, already some of the fabless companies will be using it in tape-outs. So, I think all those fabless companies’ subsidy will propel them into the leading-edge technology more.

July 20, 2013: TSMC takes on rivals with Grand Alliance strategy, says Chang [Global Data Point] by TMC News

(Global Data Point Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) chairman and CEO Morris Chang, at a July 18 investors conference, talked about the importance of the foundry’s close ties with customers and ecosystem partners, and described how TSMC has formed a “Grand Alliance” with EDA, IP, software IP, systems software and design services providers.

TSMC has been competitive against fellow pure-play foundries, said Chang. In the face of rising competition from IDMs, TSMC with its ability to deliver cutting-edge technologies and advanced manufacturing capacity is also able to outshine the rivals, Chang indicated.

With the industry moving towards sub-20nm technologies, Chang believes that TSMC will become more capable of fending off rivals like Samsung Electronics and Intel. “Now in this new era of competition, the competition is not between foundries. It is not between foundries and IDMs. It is between ‘Grand Alliances’ and IDMs,” Chang pointed out.

Chang named ARM, Imagination, Cadence and Mentor as some of TSMC’s IP and EDA partners.

TSMC’s so-called “Grand Alliance” seems like an expansion of its Open Innovation Platform (OIP), which was announced in 2008. TSMC’s OIP is a business strategy aiming to provide integrated services from design to manufacturing to testing and packaging. According to TSMC, the platform is to bring together the thinking of customers and partners under the common goal of shortening design time, minimizing time-to-volume and speeding time-to-market.

In addition, Chang noted that TSMC’s 28nm process technology is on track to triple in wafer sales in 2013. TSMC made 29% of its NT$155.89 billion (US$5.18 billion) revenues from selling 28nm chips in the second quarter of 2013.

Chang also reiterated TSMC’s plans that 20nm technology will begin volume production in early 2014, followed by volume production of 16nm FinFETs within one year.

MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy for devices, wearables and IoT

After what happened last year with MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [this same blog, ]. The last 10 years’ strategy was incredible!

MediaTek - The Next 10 years Enablement NOWEnablement is the crucial differentiator for MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy, as much as it was for the one in the last 10 years. Therefore it will be presented in details below as follows:

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market (MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)
I/2. MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements
I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

II/1. CrossMount: “Whatever DLNA can plus a lot more”
II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT
II/3. LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform for WiFi enabled IoT

MWC 2015: MediaTek LinkIt Dev Platforms for Wearables & IoT – Weather Station & Smart Light Demos

MediaTek Labs technical expert Philip Handschin introduces us to two demonstrations based on LinkIt™ development platforms:
-Weather Station uses a LinkIt ONE development board to gather temperature, humidity and pressure data from several sensors. The data is then uploaded to the MediaTek Cloud Sandbox where it’s displayed in graphical form.
-Smart Light uses a LinkIt Connect 7681 development board. It receives instructions over a Wi-Fi connection, from a smartphone app, to control the color of an LED light bulb.

II/4. MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT
II/5. MediaTek Ventures Logo: to enable a new generation of world-class companies

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoCs for Android Wear and Android based wearables

Before these details let’s however understand the strategic reasoning for all that!
March 5, 2015: MediaTek CMO Johan Lodenius* at MWC 2015

MediaTek appoints Johan Lodenius as its new Chief Marketing Officer [press release, Dec 20, 2012]

MediaTek's Brand New World - The Big Picture -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Device Evolution -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Business Evolution -- MWC2015MediaTek's Brand New World -- MWC2015

MediaTek - Enabling a Brand New World

Next here is also a historical perspective (as per my blog) on MediaTek progress so far:
– First I would recommend to read the “White-box (Shanzhai) vendors” and “MediaTek as the catalyst of the white-board ecosystem” parts in the Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! Feb 21, 2011 post of mine in order to understand the recipe for its last 10 years success ⇒ Johan Lodenius NOW:
MediaTek was the pioneer of manufacturable reference design
– Then it is worth to take a look at the following posts directly related to MediaTek if you want to understand the further evolution of the company’s formula of success :

MediaTek on Experiencing the Cloud

#2 Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement — UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming in Q4 2012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 (The MT6588 was later renamed MT6589). On the chart below of the “Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors Q4’09-Q4’14” by Statista it is quite well visible the effect of MT6575 (see from Q3’12 on) as this enabled a huge number of 3d Tier or no-name companies, predominantly from China to enter the smartphone market quickly and extremely competitively (and Nokia’s new strategy to fail as well)
Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors 4Q09-4Q14 by Statista#6 MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 internationally (via LightTake)
#13 MediaTek’s ‘smart-feature phone’ effort with likely Nokia tie-up
#16 UPDATE Aug’13: Xiaomi $130 Hongmi superphone END MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery
#24 Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung
#42 MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones UPDATE: from $147+ in Q1 and $132+ in Q2
#67 MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC
#93 Phablet competition in India: $258 Micromax-MediaTek-2013 against $360 Samsung-Broadcom-2012
#128 MediaTek’s 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 octa-core SoC MT8752 is launched with 4G/LTE tablets in China
#205 Now in China and coming to India: 4G LTE True Octa-core™premium superphones based on 32-bit MediaTek MT6595 SoC with upto 20% more performance, and upto 20% less power consumption via its CorePilot™ technology
#237 Micromax is in a strategic alliance with operator Aircel and SoC vendor MediaTek for delivery of bundled complete solution offers almost equivalent to cost of the device and providing innovative user experience
#281 ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips

As an alternative I can recommend here the February 2, 2015 presentation by Grant Kuo, Managing Director, MediaTek India on the IESA Vision Summit 2015 event in India:

– MediaTek Journey Since 1997
→ Accent on the turnkey handset solution: 200 eng. ⇒ 30-40 eng., time-to-market down to 4 months
→ Resulting in MediaTek share with local brands in India of 70% by 2014
 The Next Big Business after Mobile
 Partnering for New Business Opportunity
 Innovations & Democratization
→ Everyday Genius and Super-Mid Market

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market
(MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)

July 15, 2013:
Technology Spotlight: Making the big.LITTLE difference

MediaTek 2014 Market PerformanceNo matter where the mobile world takes us, MediaTek is always at the forefront, ensuring that the latest technologies from our partners are optimized for every mobile eventuality.

To maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture, MediaTek has delivered the world’s first mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) – the MT8135 – with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP), featuring MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology.

ARM big.LITTLE™ is the pairing of two high performance CPUs, with two power efficient CPUs, on a single SoC. MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology uses HMP to dynamically assign software tasks to the most appropriate CPU or combination of CPUs according to the task workload, therefore maximizing the device’s performance and power efficiency.

In our recently produced whitepaper, we discussed the advantages of HMP over alternative forms of big.LITTLE™ architecture, and noted that while – HMP overcomes the limitations of other big.LITTLE™ architectures, MediaTek’s CorePilot™ maximizes the performance and power-saving potential of HMP with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

To learn more, please download MediaTek’s CorePilot™ whitepaper.

Leader in HMP

As a founding member of the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation, MediaTek actively shapes the future of heterogeneous computing.

HSA Foundation is a not-for-profit consortium of SoC and software vendors, OEMs and academia.

July 15, 2013:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology [whitepaper]

Delivering extreme compute performance with maximum power efficiency

In July 2013, MediaTek delivered the industry’s first mobile system on a chip with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing. The MT8135 chipset for Android tablets features CorePilot technology that maximizes performance and power saving with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

Table of Contents

  • ARM big.LITTLE Architecture
  • big.LITTLE Implementation Models
  • Cluster Migration
  • CPU Migration
  • Heterogeneous Multi-Processing
  • MediaTek CorePilot Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology
  • Interactive Power Management
  • Adaptive Thermal Management
  • Scheduler Algorithms
  • The MediaTek HMP Scheduler
  • The RT Scheduler
  • Task Scheduling & Performance
  • CPU-Intensive Benchmarks
  • Web Browsing
  • Task Scheduling & Power Efficiency
  • SUMMARY

Oct 29, 2013:
CorePilot Task Scheduling & Performance

Mobile SoCs have a limited power consumption budget.

  • With ARM big.LITTLE, SoC platforms are capable of asymmetric computing where by tasks can be allocated to CPU cores in line with their processing needs.
  • From the three available software models for configuring big.LITTLE SoC platforms, Heterogeneous Multi-Processing offers the best performance.
  • MediaTek CorePilot technology is designed to deliver the maximum compute performance from big.LITTLE mobile SoC platforms with low power consumption.
  • The MediaTek CorePilot MT8135 chipset for Android is the industry’s first Heterogeneous Multi-Processing implementation.
  • MediaTek leads in the heterogeneous computing space and will release further CorePilot innovations in 2014.
(*) The #1 market position in Digital TVs is the result of the acquisition of the MStar Semiconductor in 2012.

Feb 9, 2015 by Bidness Etc:
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) To Lose Market Share: UBS

UBS expects Mediatek to gain at Qualcomm’s expense this year

Eric Chen, Sunny Lin, and Samson Hung, analysts at UBS, suggest that Mediatek will control 46% of the 4G smartphone market in China in 2015. Last year the company had a 30% market share. Low-end customers, as well as high-end clients that are switching to Mediatek MT6795 from Snapdragon 800 will help Mediatek advance.

“We believe clients for MT6795 include Sony, LGE, HTC, Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu, TCL, and Lenovo, among others. With its design win of over 10 models, we anticipate Mediatek will ship 2m units per month in Q215 and 4m units per month in H215. That indicates revenue will reach 14% in Q215 and 21% in H215, up from 3% in Q115,” reads the report.UBS also said that Mediatek will witness a 20% increase in its revenue and report 48% in gross margin in 2015. Earnings are forecasted to grow 21%.

“We forecast MT6752/MT6732 shipments (mainly at MT6752 of US$18-20) to reach 3m units per month in Q215, up from 1.5m units per month in Q115,” read the report*.

My insert here the Sony Xperia E4g [based on MT6732] – Well-priced LTE-Smartphone Hands On at MWC 2015 by Mobilegeeks.de
* From another excerpt of the UBS report: “In the mid-end, UBS believes China’s largest smartphone manufacturers from LenovoGroup (992.HK) to Huawei will switch from Qualcomm’s MSM 8939 [Snapdragon 615] to Mediatek’s MT 6752 because of Qualcomm’s “inferior design.” ” 

Further below in the section I/2. there will be an image enhancement demonstration with an MT6752-based Lenovo A936 smartphone, actually a typical “lower end super-mid” device sold in China since December just for ¥998 ($160) — for 33% lower price than the mid-point for the super-mid market indicated a year ago by MediaTek (see the very first image in this post).

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek 64-bit LTE Octa-Core Smartphone Reference Design “In Shezhen MediaTek showed off their new Smartphone Reference Design for their LTE Octa-Core line up. The MT6595 and MT6795 are both high end processors capable of taking on Qualcomm in terms of benchmarks at a budget price.

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek: How They Came To Take on Qualcomm?

Brief content: When I found out about the MediaTek press conference, I immediately picked up a ticket and planned to spend a few days in one of my favorite cities on earth, Shenzhen. MediaTek is one of the fastet growing companies in mobile. But where exactly did this Taiwanese company come from?
Back in 1997 MediaTek was spun off from United Micro Electronics Corporation which was Taiwan’s first semi conductor company back in 1980 and started out making chipsets for home entertainment centers and optical drives. In 2004 they entered the mobile phone market with a different approach, instead of just selling SoCs they sold complete packages, a chip with an operating system all ready baked on, they were selling reference designs.
This cut entire heavily manned teams out of the process and more importantly reduced barriers for entry, small companies sold phones under their own brand. This is why most people have never heard of MediaTek, they merely enabled the success of others. Particularly in emerging markets like China.
With Feature phones peaking in 2012 and Smartphones finally taking over the top spot in 2013, they had to move on, it took them longer then they should have, regardless, they are here now. MediaTek is applying the same strategy for dominating the Feature Phone market to low and mid range Smartphones. They are already in bed with all the significant emerging market players like ZTE, Huawei & Alcatel. And getting manufacturers on your side works for gaining market share when carriers don’t have much control. Unsubsidized handsets make people purchase more affordable devices.
Despite its enormous success in the category where the next Billion handsets are going to be sold, they have yet to make a name for themselves in the West. Fair enough, being known for cheap handsets will create challengers to entering the high end market. But that hasn’t stopped them from coming out with the world first 4G LTE Octa core processor. And they even set up shop in Qualcomm’s backyard by opening an office in San Deigo. Which is a pretty big statement, especially when you take into consideration that MediaTek is bigger than Broadcom & Nvidia.
But as they push into the US, Qualcomm seeks to gain a foothold in China. So let’s take a closer look at that because this race has less to do with SoC’s than it does with LTE. MediaTek’s Octa-core processor with LTE put Qualcomm on alert because they always had to lead when it came to LTE. I found some stats on Android Authority from Strategy Analytics in Q3 2013 66% of their cellular revenue came from LTE, which MediaTek claimed second place at 12%, and Intel in third with 7%. Qualcomm even has a realtionship with China Mobile to get their LTE devices into the hands of its local market.

Even still, it is a numbers game and if MediaTek’s SoC performance is at the same level as Qualcomm’s mid range SoC offering but at a lower price, it won’t take MediaTek to catch up. But even on a more base level, let me tell you about a meeting that I had in Shenzhen with Gionee I asked about developing on Qualcomm vs MediaTek. They said, MediaTek will get back to you within the hour, Qualcomm will get back to you the next day, and when I mentioned Intel they just laughed.

Consumers might find it frustrating that MediaTek takes a little longer to come out with the latest version of Android, but the reason is that they are doing all the work for their partners. When you’re competing with a company that understand customer service better than anyone else right now, it’s going to be hard not to see them as a real threat.

MediaTek Introduces Industry Leading Tablet SoC, MT8135

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 29, 2013 – MediaTek Inc., (2454: TT), a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its breakthrough MT8135 system-on-chip (SoC) for high-end tablets. The quad-core solution incorporates two high-performance ARM Cortex™-A15 and two ultra-efficient ARM Cortex™-A7 processors, and the latest GPU from Imagination Technologies, the PowerVR™ Series6. Complemented by a highly optimized ARM® big.LITTLE™ processing subsystem that allows for heterogeneous multi-processing, the resulting solution is primed to deliver premium user experiences. This includes the ability to seamlessly engage in a range of processor-intensive applications, including heavy web-downloading, hardcore gaming, high-quality video viewing and rigorous multitasking – all while maintaining the utmost power efficiency.

In line with its reputation for creating innovative, market-leading platform solutions, MediaTek has deployed an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture. This technology enables application software to access all of the processors in the big.LITTLE cluster simultaneously for a true heterogeneous experience. As the first company to enable heterogeneous multi-processing on a mobile SoC, MediaTek has uniquely positioned the MT8135 to support the next generation of tablet and mobile device designs.

“ARM big.LITTLE™ technology reduces processor energy consumption by up to 70 percent on common workloads, which is critical in the drive towards all-day battery life for mobile platforms,” said Noel Hurley, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “We are pleased to see MediaTek’s MT8135 seizing on the opportunity offered by the big.LITTLE architecture to enable new services on a heterogeneous processing platform.”

“The move towards multi-tasking devices requires increased performance while creating greater power efficiency that can only be achieved through an optimized multi-core system approach. This means that multi-core processing capability is fast becoming a vital feature of mobile SoC solutions. The MT8135 is the first implementation of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture to offer simultaneous heterogeneous multi-processing.  As such, MediaTek is taking the lead to improve battery life in next-generation tablet and mobile device designs by providing more flexibility to match tasks with the right-size core for better computational, graphical and multimedia performance,” said Mike Demler, Senior Analyst with The Linley Group.

The MT8135 features a MediaTek-developed four-in-one connectivity combination that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM, designed to bring highly integrated wireless technologies and expanded functionality to market-leading multimedia tablets. The MT8135 also supports Wi-Fi certified Miracast™ which makes multimedia content sharing between devices remarkably easier.

In addition, the tablet SoC boasts unprecedented graphics performance enabled by its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU from Imagination Technologies. “We are proud to have partnered with MediaTek on their latest generation of tablet SoCs” says Tony King-Smith, EVP of marketing, Imagination. “PowerVR™ Series6 GPUs build on Imagination’s success in mobile and embedded markets to deliver the industry’s highest performance and efficient solutions for graphics-and-compute GPUs. MediaTek is a key lead partner for Imagination and its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU cores, so we expect the MT8135 to set an important benchmark for high-end gaming, smooth UIs and advanced browser-based graphics-rich applications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Thanks to our PowerVR™ Series6 GPU, we believe the MT8135 will deliver five-times or more the GPU-compute-performance of the previous generation of tablet processors.”

“At MediaTek, our goal is to enable each user to take maximum advantage of his or her mobile device.  The implementation and availability of the MT8135 brings an enjoyable multitasking experience to life without requiring users to sacrifice on quality or energy. As the leader in multi-core processing solutions, we are constantly optimizing these capabilities to bring them into the mainstream, so as to make them accessible to every user around the world,” said Joe Chen, GM of the Home Entertainment Business Unit at MediaTek.

The MT8135 is the latest SoC in MediaTek’s highly successful line of quad-core processors, which since its launch last December* has given rise to more than 350 projects and over 150 mobile device models across the world. This latest solution, along with its comprehensive accompanying Reference Design, will like their predecessors fast become industry standards, particularly in the high-end tablet space.

* MediaTek Strengthens Global Position with World’s First Quad-Core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip – MT6589 [press release, Dec 12, 2012]

See also: Imagination Welcomes MediaTek’s Innovation in True Heterogeneous Multi-Processing With New SoC Featuring PowerVR Series6 GPU [press release, Aug 28, 2013]

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Announces MT6595, World’s First 4G LTE Octa-Core Smartphone SOC with ARM Cortex-A17 and Ultra HD H.265 Codec Support

MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology enables outstanding performance with leading energy efficiency

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 11 February, 2014 – MediaTek today announces the MT6595, a premium mobile solution with the world’s first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone SOC powered by the latest Cortex-A17™ CPUs from ARM®.

The MT6595 employs ARM’s big.LITTLE™ architecture with MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology to deliver a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) platform that unlocks the full power of all eight cores. An advanced scheduler algorithm with adaptive thermal and interactive power management delivers superior multi-tasking performance and excellent sustained performance-per-watt for a premium mobile experience.

Excellent Performance-Per-Watt
  • Four ARM Cortex-A17™, each with significant performance improvement over previous-generation processors, plus four Cortex-A7™ CPUs
  • ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture with full-system coherency performs sophisticated tasks efficiently
  • Integrated Imagination Technologies PowerVR™ Series6 GPU for high-performance graphics
  • Integrated 4G LTE Multi-Mode Modem
  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE with data rates up to 150Mbits/s downlink and 50Mbits/s uplink
  • DC-HSPA+ (42Mbits/s), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • 30+ 3GPP RF bands support to meet operator needs worldwide

World-Class Multimedia Subsystems

  • World’s first mobile SOC with integrated, low-power hardware support for the new H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, in addition to Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9
  • Supports 24-bit 192 kHz Hi-Fi quality audio codec with high performance digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) to head phone >110dB SNR
  • 20MP camera capability and a high-definition WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display controller
  • MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices
  • MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

First MediaTek Mobile Platform Supporting 802.11ac

  • Comprehensive complementary connectivity solution that supports 802.11ac
  • Multi-GNSS positioning systems including GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS
  • Bluetooth LE and ANT+ for ultra-low power connectivity with fitness tracking devices

World’s First Multimode Wireless Charging Receiver IC

  • Multi-standard inductive and resonant wireless charging functionality available
  • Supported by MediaTek’s companion multimode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek is focused on delivering a full-range of 4G LTE platforms and the MT6595 will enable our customers to deliver premium products with advanced features to a growing market,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

“Congratulations to MediaTek on being in a leading position to implement the new ARM Cortex-A17 processor in mobile device”, said Noel Hurley, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, ARM Product Division. “MediaTek has a keen understanding of the smartphone market and continues to identify innovative ways to bring a premium mobile experience to the masses.”

The MT6595 platform will be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year.

Sept 21, 2014:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Technology

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Launches 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE Smartphone SoC with World’s First 2K Display Support

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 15, 2014 – MediaTek today announced MT6795, the 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE smartphone System on Chip (SoC) with the world’s first 2K display support. This is MediaTek’s flagship smartphone SoC designed to empower high-end device makers to leap into the Android™ 64-bit era.

The MT6795 is currently set to be the first 64-bit, LTE, True Octa-core SoC targeting the premium segment, with speed of up to 2.2GHz, to hit the market. The SoC features MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology providing world-class multi-processor performance and thermal control, as well as dual-channel LPDDR3 clocked at 933MHz for top-end memory bandwidth in a smartphone.

The high-performance SoC also satisfies the multimedia requirements of even the most demanding users, featuring multimedia subsystems that support many technologies never before possible or seen in a smartphone, including support for 120Hz displays and the capability to create and playback 480 frames per second (fps) 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion videos.

With the launch of MT6795, MediaTek is accelerating the global transition to LTE and creating opportunities for device makers to gain first-mover advantage with top-of-the-line devices in the 64-bit Android device market. Coupled with 4G LTE support, MT6795 completes MediaTek’s 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio: MT6795 for power users, MT6752 for mainstream users and MT6732 for entry level users. This extensive portfolio allows everyone to embrace the improved speed from 4G LTE and parallel computing capability from CorePilot and 64-bit processors.

Key features of MT6795:

  • 64-bit True Octa-core LTE SoC* with clock speed up to 2.2GHz
  • MediaTek CorePilot unlocks the full power of all eight cores
  • Dual-channel LPDDR3 memory clocked at 933MHz
  • 2K on device display (2560×1600)
  • 120Hz mobile display with Response Time Enhancement Technology and MediaTek ClearMotion™
  • 480fps 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion video feature
  • Integrated, low-power hardware support for H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9, as well as for graphics-intensive games and apps
  • Support for Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150Mbps/50Mbps), as well as modems for 2G/3G networks
  • Support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac/Bluetooth®/FM/GPS/Glonass/Beidou/ANT+
  • Multi-mode wireless charging supported by MediaTek’s companion multi-mode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek has once again demonstrated leading engineering capabilities by delivering breakthrough technology and time-to-market advantage that enable limitless opportunities for our partners and end users, while setting the bar even higher for our competition,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.  “With a complete and inclusive 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio, we are firmly on track to lead the industry in delivering premium mobile user experiences for years to come.”

MT6795-powered devices will be commercially available by the end of 2014.

*  Instead of a heterogeneous multi-processing architecture, the MT6795 features eight identical Cortex-A53 cores. 4xA53 + 4xA57 big.LITTLE was unofficially before.
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek Launches MT6735Mainstream WorldModeSmartphone Platform

By adding CDMA2000, MediaTek accomplishes WorldMode modem capability in a single platform and meets wireless operator requirements globally; putting advanced yet affordable smartphones into the hands of consumers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 15 October, 2014 – MediaTek today announced a new 64-bit mobile system on chip (SoC), MT6735, incorporating the modem and RF needs of wireless operators globally.  By offering a unified mobile platform, MediaTek is enabling its customers to develop on the MT6735 and sell mobile devices globally, thereby creating significant R&D cost savings and economies of scale in manufacturing.  The MT6735 builds upon MediaTek’s existing line-up of mainstream LTE platforms by adding the critical WorldMode modem capability.

The MT6735 incorporates four 64-bit ARM® Cortex®-A53 processors, delivering significantly higher performance than Cortex-A7 for a premium mobile computing experience, driving greater choice of smart devices at affordable prices for consumers. As projected, MediaTek sees a continued consolidation of smartphones into a very large mid-range, termed by MediaTek as the “Super-mid market”.

“The MT6735 is a breakthrough product from MediaTek,” said Jeffrey Ju, SVP and General Manager of Wireless Communication at MediaTek. “With CDMA2000, we offer global reach, driving high performance technology into the hands of users everywhere. We also strongly believe that as LTE becomes mainstream in all markets, the processing power must be consistently high to ensure the best possible user experience. That’s why 64-bit CPUs and CorePilotTM technology are standard features across all of our LTE solutions.”

“MediaTek wants to make the world a more inclusive place, where the best, fully-connected user experiences do not mean expensive,” said Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer for MediaTek. “We are committed to creating powerful devices that accelerate the transformation of the global market and strive to put high-quality technology in the hands of everyone.”

The MT6735 platform includes:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Quad-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor control system, providing a performance boost for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 13MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1280×720 resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

MT6735 is sampling to early customers in Q4, 2014, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

March 4, 2015:
LTE WorldMode with MediaTek MT6735 and MT6753, now ready for the USA market and worldwide!

ARMdevices.net (Charbax): MediaTek now supports worldwide LTE with the 64bit MT6735 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 and the 64bit MT6753 octa-core ARM Cortex-A53. This is LTE Cat4, they claim to be 10-15% faster in single SIM mode and 20-30% faster with dual-sim support compared to perhaps a Qualcomm LTE Worldmode. They also claim to use less power than competitor for standby, 3G and LTE mode. Many LTE Telcos around the world have already certified support for these new MediaTek LTE parts, with support on Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Three, Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom, China Mobile, Telefonica, Verizon and AT&T. This LTE Worldmode processor is a big deal for MediaTek as it opens up the USA market for them, where MediaTek previously didn’t have much support for American telecoms as MediaTek’s previous 3G and LTE solutions mainly was working outside of the USA.

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Releases the MT6753: A WorldMode 64-bit Octa-core Smartphone SoC

Complete with integrated CDMA2000 technology that looks to meet the needs of the high-end smartphone market worldwide 

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the release of the MT6753, a 64-bit Octa-core mobile system-on-chip (SoC) with support for WorldMode modem capability. Coupled with the previously announced MT6735 quad-core SoC, the new MT6753 is designed with high performance features for an ever more demanding mid-range market.

Reinforcing MediaTek’s commitment to driving the latest technology to customers across the world, the MT6753 SoC will be offered at a price that creates strong value for customers, especially as it comes with integrated CDMA2000 to ensure compatibility in every market. The eight ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors and Mali-T720 GPU helps to ensure customers can meet graphic-heavy multimedia requirements while also maintaining battery efficiency for high-end devices.

“The launch of the MT6753 again demonstrates MediaTek’s desire to offer more power and choice to our 4G LTE product line, while also giving customers worldwide greater diversity and flexibility in their product layouts”, said Jeffrey Ju, Senior Vice President at MediaTek.

The MT6753, which is compatible with the previously announced MT6735 for entry smartphones, also enables handset makers to reduce time to market, simplify product development and manage product differentiation in a more cost effective way. MT6753 is sampling to customers now, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

Key Features of MT6753 include:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Octa-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor technology, providing a perfect balance of performance and power for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 16MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1920×1080 60fps resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

January 2015: MediaTek leaked smartphone roadmap (note the MT67xx scheduled for 4Q 2015 and using 20nm technology, as well that the new smartphone SoCs, except the very entry 3G with Cortex-A7, are based on Cortex-A53 cores while still using 28nm)
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek leaked smartphone SoC roadmap -- Jan-2015
The availability dates shown above are for the first commercial devices!

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into MediaTek Helio Logo(starting with the MT6795 now denominated as Helio X10), after the Greek word for sun, “helios”:

March 12, 2015:
MediaTek Helio explained by CMO Johan Lodenius at MWC 2015

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into Helio

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek SVP Jeffrey Ju introducing the new Helio branding for premium (P) and extreme (X) performance segments of the smartphone SoCs at MWC 2015


I/2. Then continues with the presentation of MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements (click on the links to watch the related brief videos):
MiraVision picture quality enhancement
SmartScreen as “the best viewing experience across extreme lighting conditions”
120Hz LCD display technology for a whole new experience (vs. the current 60Hz used by everyone)
– Super-SlowMotion, meaning 1/16 speed 480fps video playback (world’s first)
Instant Focus, meaning phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) technology on mobile devices cameras
– preliminary information on the new high-end Helio SoC with the new Cortex-A72 relying on 20nm technology, MiraVision Plus and their 3d genaration modem in 2nd half of 2015 (so it is quite likely the MT67xx mentioned in the above roadmap)

Note that 3d party companies are providing additional imaging enhancements to the device manufacturers, like the ones demonstrated by ArcSoft for the Lenovo Golden Warrior Note 8 TD-LTE (A936) at MWC 2015. Designed with Chinese (TD) and global market capabilities in mind, and available there from Dec’14 for ¥998 ($160) it is based on the MT6752 octacore which is providing the ARM Mali™-T760 GPU. ArcSoft is exploiting the GPU Compute capabilities for the additional imaging features shown in the video below:


I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

MediaTek To Redefine the Android Tablet Industry with world-first ARM® Cortex®-A72-based tablet SoC – MT8173

Revolutionary new 64-bit ARM processor ramps up tablet performance and battery life for heavy content Android users

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek today announced the first tablet system-on-chip (SoC) in a family that features an ARM® Cortex®-A72 processor, the industry’s highest-performing mobile CPU. The Quad-core MT8173 is designed to maximize the benefits of the new processor and greatly increase tablet performance, while extending battery life to ensure a premium tablet experience. The MT8173 meets the growing demand for 4K Ultra HD content and graphic-heavy gaming by everyday mobile computing device users.

The MT8173 is designed with a 64-bit Multi-core big.LITTLE architecture that combines two Cortex-A72 CPUs and two Cortex-A53 CPUs, extending performance and power efficiency further. MT8173 boasts a six-fold  increase in performance compared to the MT8125 released in 2013. MT8173 offers up to 2.4GHz performance, supporting OpenCL with the deployment of MediaTek Corepilot® 2.0, and enables heterogeneous computing between the CPU and GPU. The SoC also ensures the ultimate in display clarity and motion fluency on 120Hz display, promising smooth scrolling with crystal clarity as compared to a normal 60Hz display.

“MT8173 highlights the significant shift in how mobile devices, such as Android tablets, are used and, with the combination of ARM’s latest technology, we are delivering a platform that answers the growing demand for improved mobile multimedia performance and power usage.  By presenting CPU specs that outperform any other device currently on the market, we are bringing PC-like performance to tablet form factor, reinforcing MediaTek’s continued commitment to deliver premium technology to everyone across the globe.” said Joe Chen, Senior Vice President of MediaTek.

“MediaTek has been a strong adopter of ARM big.LITTLE processing architecture, extending it with CorePilot, to deliver extreme performance, while maintaining power efficiency,” said Noel Hurley, General Manager, CPU group, ARM. “Decisively and quickly incorporating the second-generation of our 64-bit technology into a market-ready product, underscores the partnership between ARM and MediaTek.”

The MT8173 platform features:

True Heterogeneous 64-bit Multi-Core big.LITTLE architecture up to 2.4GHz

  • Features ARM Cortex®-A72 and ARM Cortex®-A53 64-bit CPU
  • Big cores and LITTLE cores can run at full speed at the same time for peak performance requirement
  • Performance of up to 2.4GHz

Imagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU

  • Supports OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL for future applications
  • Delivers 350Mtri/s and 2.8 Gpix/s performance
  • Provides uncompromised user experience for WQXGA display at 60fps

Comprehensive Multimedia Features

  • 120Hz mobile display
  • Ultra HD 30fps H.264/HEVC(10-bit)/VP9 hardware video playback
  • WQXGA display support with TV-grade picture quality enhancement
  • HDMI and Miracast support for multi-screen applications
  • 20MP camera ISP with video face beautify and LOMO effects

Security hardware accelerator

  • Supports Widevine Level 1, Miracast with HDCP
  • HDCP 2.2 for premium video to 4k TV display

MT8173 is available for customers now, and will be featured in the first commercial tablets in second half of this year. MT8173 is being demonstrated at 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain at MediaTek’s booth – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 

MediaTek CorePilot 2.0 technology

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek CTO Kevin Jou on CorePilot 2.0 at MWC 2015


Then continues with the presentation of the new:
– MT8173 with the world’s first Cortex-A72 in the “big” role
– worldmode modem technology with LTE category 6

CrossMount technology as the “not yet another DLNA solution, as it does whatever DLNA can plus a lot more


II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

Feb 27, 2015:
II/1. CrossMount
Unite your devices: Open up new possibilities

Technology makes it easy to share the things we love, but only when we use it in a certain way.

Making a video call just needs a smartphone with a camera, for instance, but what if you want to talk using the big screen on your HDTV? And what happens when you want to watch video from your set-top IPTV box on your tablet when you’re lying in bed — and use your smartwatch as a remote control?

With technology playing an increasingly important part in our lives, these are the kind of problems we can expect to face every day. And they’re the kind of problems MediaTek solves with CrossMount.

MediaTek CrossMount is a new standard for sharing hardware and software resources between a whole host of consumer electronics.

Based on the UPnP protocol, CrossMount connects compatible devices wirelessly, using either a home Wi-Fi network or a Wi-Fi Direct connection, to allow one to seamlessly access the features of another.

So you can start watching streaming video on the living room TV, for example, then switch it to your tablet when you move to another room, or use your TV’s speakers for a hands-free phone call with your smartphone. The possibilities are endless.

The CrossMount Alliance for MediaTek partners, customers and developers makes developing CrossMount applications as easy as possible, many brands and developers are already on board.

CrossMount will be available in late 2015 for MediaTek-based Android devices

MediaTek Introduces a New Convergence Standard for Cross-device Sharing with CrossMount

Fast and easy sharing of content, hardware and software resources enable multiple devices to combine and act together as a single, more powerful device

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015– MediaTek today announced CrossMount – a new technology that simplifies hardware and software resource sharing between different consumer devices. Designed to be a new standard in cross-device convergence, the CrossMount framework ensures any compatible device can seamlessly use and share hardware or software resources authorized by the user. CrossMount is an open and simple-to-implement technology for the wide ecosystem of MediaTek customers and partners that opens the possibilities for multiple devices effectively working as one or sharing applications and hardware resources.

CrossMount defines its service mounting standard based on UPnP protocol, and can be implemented primarily in Android and Linux as well as other platforms. CrossMount works through simple discovery, pairing, authorization and use between devices of both hardware and software resources across smartphones, tablets and TVs. Communication between devices is achieved directly between devices via home gateways (Wireless LAN) or peer to peer (Wi-Fi Direct). Discovery and sharing are granted through an easy software implementation that allows all Wi-Fi capable devices to share resources without the need for cloud servers.

“Consumers have adopted a wide array of Internet-connected devices at home, in schools and workplaces, CrossMount sets the new standard for easy cross-device interaction and resource sharing.  We are particularly keen to open up this innovation to our wide ecosystem of customers and partners around the world, unleashing their imagination to create new immersive experiences that further enrich peoples’ lives” said, Joe Chen, Senior Vice President, MediaTek.

With CrossMount enabled devices, for example, viewers can simply pair their TV sound to their smartphone earphones or use their smartphone microphone as a voice controller to search content on their smart TV.  This is a breakthrough in user experience as the CrossMount standard means several devices can act as one together rather than simply share content.

“CrossMount is a lot more than mirroring from phone to TV – as has already been developed within the industry”, added Joe Chen. “CrossMount goes the extra mile with hardware and software capability sharing between smart devices, thereby creating many useful and more complex use cases, such as mounting a smartphone camera to a TV and enabling the TV for video conferencing session.”

To further drive the adoption of CrossMount as an industry standard, MediaTek is establishing the CrossMount Alliance to bring its wide ecosystem of partners and customers together and explore new possibilities to drive the technology forward. CrossMount will be open for developers to further expand the ability for innovative and new applications to be created, potentially changing the way we use and share devices and content. Chang-hong, Hisense, Lenovo and TCL are the first MediaTek customers to support CrossMount.

CrossMount will be made available to MediaTek customers and partners in the third quarter for Android-based smartphone, tablet and TV products, with devices expected on the market by end of this year.


II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT

March 20, 2015: MediaTek Labs – IoT Lab at 4YFN Barcelona

See how MediaTek Labs supported the winning team, Playdrop, who took advantage of the MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board to build an innovative water monitoring and control system prototype. Playdrop was just one of the competitors at IoT Lab, where developers from all over the world formed new teams and had less than two days to ideate, create business cases and working prototypes for the Internet of Things (IoT).
You can also hear from VP of MediaTek Labs, Marc Naddell, about how our development platforms will be supporting more developers on their journey into Wearables and IoT devices.

To find out more about MediaTek Labs & our offerings:
LinkIt ONE development platform: http://labs.mediatek.com/one
MediaTek Cloud Sandbox: http://labs.mediatek.com/sandbox
Get the tools you need to build your own Wearables and IoT devices, register now:http://labs.mediatek.com/register

Feb 18, 2015: What is MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform?

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development platform enables you to design and prototype Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, using hardware and an API that are similar to those offered for Arduino boards.

The platform is based around the world’s smallest commercial System-on-Chip (SoC) for Wearables, MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This SoC works with MediaTek’s energy efficient Wi-Fi and GNSS companion chipsets also. This means you can easily create devices that connect to other smart devices or directly to cloud applications and services.

To make it easy to prototype Wearables and IoT devices and their applications, the platform delivers:

  • The LinkIt ONE Software Development Kit (SDK) for the creation of apps for LinkIt ONE devices. This SDK integrates with the Arduino software to deliver an API and development process that will be instantly familiar.
  • The LinkIt ONE Hardware Development Kit (HDK) for prototyping devices. Based on a MediaTek hardware reference design, the HDK delivers the LinkIt ONE development board from Seeed Studio.

Key features of LinkIt ONE development platform:

  • Optimized performance and power consumption to offer consumers appealing, functional Wearables and IoT devices
  • Based on MediaTek Aster (MT2502) SoC, offering comprehensive communications and media options, with support for GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth 2.1 and 4.0, SD Cards, and MP3/AAC Audio, as well as Wi-Fi and GNSS (hardware dependent)
  • Delivers an API, to access key features of the Aster SoC, that is similar to that for Arduino; enabling existing Arduino apps to be quickly ported and new apps created with ease
  • LinkIt ONE developer board from partner Seeed Studio with similar pin-out to the Arduino UNO enabling a wide range of peripheral and circuits to be connected to the board
  • LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino) offering instant familiarity to Arduino developers and a easy to learn toolset for beginners

LinkIt ONE SDK                                                      LinkIt ONE HDK

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform

LinkIt ONE architecture

Running on top of the Aster (MT2502) and, where used, its companion GNSS and Wi-Fi chipsets, the LinkIt ONE developer platform is based on an RTOS kernel. On top of this kernel is a set of drivers, middleware and protocol stacks that expose the features of the chipsets to a Framework. A run-time Environment then provides services to the Arduino porting layer that delivers the LinkIt ONE API for Arduino. The API is used to develop Arduino Sketches with the LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino).

MediaTek LinkIt ONE architecture*MT3332 (GPS) and MT5931 (WiFi) are optional

Hardware core: Aster (MT2502)

The hardware core for LinkIt ONE development platform is MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This chipset also works with our Wi-Fi and GNSS chips, offering high performance and low power consumption to Wearables and IoT devices.

MediaTek Aster (MT2502)Aster’s highly integrated System-on-Chip (SoC) design avoids the need for multiple chips, meaning smaller devices and reduced costs for device creators, as well as eliminating the need for compatibility tests.

With Aster, it’s now easier and cheaper for device manufacturers and the maker community to produce desirable, functional wearable products.

Key features

  • The smallest commercial System-on-Chip (5.4mm*6.2mm) currently on the market
  • CPU core: ARM7 EJ-S 260MHz
  • Memory: 4MB RAM, 4MB Flash
  • PAN: Dual Bluetooth 2.1 (SPP) and 4.0 (GATT)
  • WAN: GSM and GPRS modem
  • Power: PMU and charger functions, low power mode with sensor hub function
  • Multimedia: Audio (list formats), video (list formats), camera (list formats/resolutions)
  • Interfaces: External ports for LCD, camera, I2C, SPI, UART, GPIO, and more

MediaTek Aster (MT2502) vs the competition

Get started with the LinkIt ONE development platform

Nov 12, 2014: MediaTek Labs – LinkIt workshop presentation


MediaTek Labs technical expert Pablo (Yuhsian) Sun provides an overview of the LinkIt Development Platform, in this presentation recorded at XDA:DevCon. Pablo describes what LinkIt is and discusses why its capabilities — such as support for Wi-Fi, SMS, Groove peripherals, and more — make it the ideal, cost effective tool for prototyping wearable and IoT devices. He also covers the LinkIt ONE board, offering an in-depth look at its hardware, introduced the APIs, and shows you how software is developed with Ardunio and the LinkIt SDK. Link to additional resources are also provided. If you haven’t used the LinkIt development platform, this video provides you with all the basics to get started.

MediaTek Launches LinkIt™ Platform for Wearables and Internet of Things

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – June 3, 2014 – MediaTek today announced LinkIt™, a development platform built to accelerate the wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster System on Chip (SoC), the smallest wearable SoC currently on the market. The MediaTek Aster SoC is designed to enable the developer community to create a broad range of affordable wearable and IoT products and solutions, for the billions of consumers in the rising Super-mid market to realize their potential as Everyday Geniuses.

Key features of MediaTek Aster and LinkIt:

  • MediaTek Aster, the smallest SoC in a package size of 5.4×6.2mm specifically designed for wearable devices.
  • LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster SoC and is a developer platform supported by reference designs that enable creation of various form factors, functionalities, and internet connected services.
  • Synergies between microprocessor unit and communication modules, facilitating development and saving time in new device creation.
  • Modularity in software architecture provides developers with high degree of flexibility.
  • Supports over-the-air (OTA) updates for apps, algorithms and drivers which enable “push and install” software stack (named MediaTek Capsule) from phones or computers to devices built with MediaTek Aster.
  • Plug-in software development kit (SDK) for Arduino and VisualStudio. Support for Eclipse is planned for Q4 this year.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) based on LinkIt board by third party.

“MediaTek is now in a unique position to assume leadership by accelerating development for wearables and IoT, thanks to our LinkIt platform,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.  “We are enabling an ecosystem of device makers, application developers and service providers to create innovations and new solutions for the Super-mid market.”

Eric Li, Vice President, China’s Internet giant said, “Baidu provides a wealth of services for its users on our Internet portal, and our offerings will enable MediaTek-powered devices to do much more than they already can. The IoT is inter-connecting devices, and we’re connecting people with information via such devices. Our partnership with MediaTek will bring both of us closer to our respective goals.”

Gonzague de Vallois, Senior Vice President of Gameloft, another one of MediaTek’s ecosystem partners, said, “The wearable devices era is a fascinating one for a game developer. Proliferation of devices equipped with all sorts of different sensors and measured information from human body are creating possibilities for us to develop games that are played differently and in ways that were never imagined before. We are pleased to be a partner of MediaTek, who is enabling the wearable devices future for us to continuously bring innovative games to gamers around the world.”

The launch of LinkIt is a part of MediaTek’s wider initiative for the developer community called MediaTek Labs™ which will officially launch later this year. MediaTek Labs will stimulate and support the creation of wearable devices and IoT applications based on the LinkIt platform. Developers and device makers who are interested in joining the MediaTek Labs program are invited to email labs-registration@mediatek.com to receive a notification once the program launches. For more information and ongoing updates, please go to http://labs.mediatek.com.

Oct 30, 2014:
LinkIt ONE Plus Version from SeedStudio (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/LinkIt-ONE-p-2017.html)


Jan 3, 2015:
II/3. What is MediaTek LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform?

There is an increasing trend towards connecting every imaginable electrical or electronic device found in the home. For many of these applications developers simply want to add the ability to remotely control a device — turn on a table lamp, adjust the temperature setting of an air-conditioner or unlock a door. This is where the MediaTek MT7681 comes in.

MediaTek MT7681

MediaTek MT7681 is a compact Wi-Fi System-on-Chip (SoC) for IoT devices with embedded TCP/IP stack. By adding the MT7681 to an IoT device it can connect to other smart devices or to cloud applications and services. Connectivity on the MT7681 is achieved using Wi-Fi in either Wi-Fi station or access point (AP) mode.

In Wi-Fi station mode, MT7681 connects to a wireless AP and can then communicate with web services or cloud servers. A typical use of this option would be to enable a user to control the heating in their home from a home automation website.

To simplify the connection of an MT7681 chip to a wireless AP in Wi-Fi station mode, the MediaTek Smart Connection APIs are provided. These APIs enable a smart device app to remotely provision a MT7681 chip with AP details (SSID, authentication mode and password).

In AP mode, an MT7681 chip acts as an AP, enabling other wireless devices to connect to it directly. Using this mode, for example, the developer of a smart light bulb could offer users a smartphone application that enables bulbs to be controlled from within the home.

To control the device an MT7681 is incorporated into, the chip provides five GPIO pins and one UART port. In addition PWM is supported in software, for applications such as LED dimming.

MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform

To enable developers and makers to take advantage of the features of the MT7681, MediaTek Labs offers the MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform, consisting of an SDK, HDK and related documentation.

For software development MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 SDK is provided for Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux. Based on the Andes Development Kit, the SDK enables developers to create firmware to control an IoT device in response to instructions received wirelessly.

For IoT device prototyping, the LinkIt Connect 7681 development board is provided. The development board consists of a LinkIt Connect 7681 module, micro-USB port and pins for each of the I/O interfaces of the MT7681 chip. This enables you to quickly connect external hardware and peripherals to create device prototypes. The LinkIt Connect 7681 module, which measures just 15x18mm, is designed to easily mount on a PCB as part of production versions of an IoT device.

Key Features of MT7681

  • Wi-Fi station and access point (AP) modes
  • 802.11 b/g/n (in station mode) and 802.11 b/g (in AP mode)
  • Smart connection APIs to easily create Android or iOS apps to provision a device with wireless AP settings
  • TCP/IP stack
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation
  • Software PWM emulation for LED dimming
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation

Jan 15, 2015:
II/4. Join MediaTek Labs

MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT

Get the tools and resources you and your company need to go from idea to prototype to product.

Register now to get access to:

  • MediaTek SDKs
  • MediaTek hardware reference designs
  • Comment posting in our active developer forum
  • Private messaging with other MediaTek Labs members
  • Our solutions catalog, where you can share your project privately with MediaTek to unlock our support and matchmaking services

MediaTek Labs gives you the help you need to develop innovative hardware and software based on MediaTek products. From smart light bulbs, to the next-generation fitness tracker and the exciting world of the smartwatch, you can make your journey with our help.

As a registered Labs member you’ll be able to put your project in front of our business development team, who’ll help you find the partners you need to get you on the road to success. We’re here to help guide you through the exciting possibilities offered by the next wave in developer opportunities: Wearables and IoT.

MediaTek Labs is free to join:

Register today!

About MediaTek Labs

MediaTek is a young and entrepreneurial company that has grown quickly into a market leader. We identify with creative and driven pioneers in the maker and developer communities, and recognize the benefits of building an ecosystem that fosters your talents and your efforts to innovate.

MediaTek Labs is the developer hub for all our products. It builds on our track record for delivering industry-leading reference designs that offer the shortest time-to-market for our extensive customer and partner base.

MediaTek Launches Labs Developer Program to Jumpstart Wearable and IoT Device Creation

Unveils LinkIt™ platform; simplifies the development of hardware and software for developers, designers and makers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu — Sept 22, 2014 — MediaTek today launched MediaTek Labs (http://labs.mediatek.com), a global initiative that allows developers of any background or skill level to create wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The new program provides developers, makers and service providers with software development kits (SDKs), hardware development kits (HDKs), and technical documentation, as well as technical and business support.

“With the launch of MediaTek Labs we’re opening up a new world of possibilities for everyone — from hobbyists and students through to professional developers and designers — to unleash their creativity and innovation,” says Marc Naddell, vice president of MediaTek Labs. “We believe that the innovation enabled by MediaTek Labs will drive the next wave of consumer gadgets and apps that will connect billions of things and people around the world.”

The Labs developer program also features the LinkIt™ Development Platform, which is based on theMediaTek Aster (MT2502) chipset. The LinkIt development Platform is the one of the best connected platforms, offering excellent integration for the package size and doing away with the need for additional connectivity hardware.  LinkIt makes creating prototype wearable and IoT devices easy and cost effective by leveraging MediaTek’s proven reference design development model. The LinkIt platform consists of the following components:

  • System-on-Chip (SoC)MediaTek Aster (MT2502), the world’s smallest commercial SoC for Wearables, and companion Wi-Fi (MT5931) and GPS (MT3332) chipsets offering powerful, battery efficient technology.
  • LinkIt OS — an advanced yet compact operating system that enables control software and takes full advantage of the features of the Aster SoC, companion chipsets, and a wide range of sensors and peripheral hardware.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) — Launching first with LinkIt ONE, a co-design project with Seeed Studio, the HDK will make it easy to add sensors, peripherals, and Arduino Shields to LinkIt ONE and create fully featured device prototypes.
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) — Makers can easily migrate existing Arduino code to LinkIt ONE using the APIs provided. In addition, they get a range of APIs to make use of the LinkIt communication features: GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

To ensure developers can make the most of the LinkIt offering, the MediaTek Labs website includes a range of additional services, including:

  • Comprehensive business and technology overviews
  • A Solutions Catalog where developers can share information on their devices, applications, and services and become accessible for matchmaking to MediaTek’s customers and partners
  • Support services, including comprehensive FAQ, discussion forums that are monitored by MediaTek technical experts, and — for developers with solutions under development in the Solutions Catalog — free technical support.

“While makers still use their traditional industrial components for new connected IoT devices, with the LinkIt ONE hardware kit as part of MediaTek LinkIt Developer Platform, we’re excited to help Makers bring prototypes to market faster and more easily,” says Eric Pan, founder and chief executive officer of Seeed Studio.

Makers, designers and developers can sign up to MediaTek Labs today and download the full range of tools and documentation at http://labs.mediatek.com.

Mar 2, 2015:
MediaTek Labs Partner Connect

Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices.

To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help find you the partners you need to make your idea a reality. The program includes some of the world’s best EMS, OEM and ODM companies, as well as distributors of MediaTek products and suppliers of device components. But the real benefit comes from our MediaTek Labs experts, who will work with you to match your requirements with the right partner or partners.

Getting started is simple. Once you have registered your company on MediaTek Labs, submit your Wearables or IoT project to our confidential device Devices Catalog. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the development process — perhaps you have an early prototype running on a LinkIt development board or have full CAD and BOM for your product — our experts can help. Simply select the “Seeking Partner” option when you submit your device for review by MediaTek Labs and, once approved, one of our partner managers will review your requirements and get to work finding the right partners for you.

Designers and developers

Our design partners can assist with specific expertise in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer aided design (CAD), industrial design, regulatory compliance testing, software and more. Whether you’re looking for specific expertise to assist with a single aspect of your project or want a turnkey solution that delivers the vision of your prototype directly to manufacturing, these partners can help.

Manufacturers

From the late stages of development, where you need batches of production prototypes, through low volume pilot runs for consumer testing and marketing, to full production these partners can help. From your designs they’re able to turn your Wearables or IoT idea into a commercial consumer or enterprise product. They’ll do this employing the latest in manufacturing technology, from flexible facilities that can adapt to your needs as you find success in the market.

MediaTek distributors

If you have your own manufacturing facilities or partner and are looking to source MediaTek chipset modules in volumes beyond retail, these partners will be able to help you. In addition to providing for your volume requirements, they’ll also provide additional technical information and support to ensure you make optimal use of MediaTek chipsets in your product and manufacturing process.

Component suppliers

This group of partners will be able to assist you from prototype to production: from selecting the components for your pre-production prototypes through to production run quantities of specific components. Batteries, sensors, screens and much more can be supplied by these partners, from evaluation batches to production quantities delivered to your manufacturing facility or manufacturing partner.

MediaTek Labs Launches New Partner Program to Help Bring Wearables and IoT Devices to Market Faster

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect provides matchmaking for developers and partners in support of MediaTek LinkIt™

SPAIN, Barcelona March02, 2015 – As part of its global developer initiative, MediaTek today announced MediaTek Labs Partner Connect at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The new supply chain partner program will help developers of Wearables and IoT devices design and launch their products based on MediaTek LinkIt by matching them with members of MediaTek’s extensive network of partners.

Today’s launch complements existing development platform offerings from MediaTek Labs and aims to reduce time to market for developers of new Wearables and IoT devices:

  • MediaTek LinkIt is a portfolio of development platforms – currently consisting of MediaTek LinkIt ONE and MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681– for Wearables and IoT, offering a broad range of connectivity options and the software and hardware development kits (SDKs, HDKs from Seeed Studio and Modules from AcSiP) needed for makers to create their own devices powered by MediaTek chipsets.
  • MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (also launched today) is a complimentary cloud-based IoT platform and playground to store, display and remotely access IoT device data during prototyping.
  • MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will assist registered developers of MediaTek Labs in finding appropriate supply chain partners to help with design, development and manufacturing, sourcing of MediaTek chipset based modules and other key components. MediaTek ODM partners have available off-the-shelf reference designs to rapidly serve developers with different design capabilities.

“Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help developers find the partners they need to make their ideas a reality”.

To gain access to Partner Connect matchmaking services, Labs member companies submit their Wearables or IoT projects to the Labs confidential Device Solutions Catalog and select the “Seeking Partner” option. MediaTek Labs will then help evaluate the business case and technical feasibility of the device, and, once vetted and approved, a partner manager will get to work finding the right partners in MediaTek’s network.

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect is the latest initiative to expand the company’s 17-year legacy of working closely across a wide ecosystem of TV, phone, tablet, navigation, router, gaming and multimedia customers. Over the years, MediaTek has provided efficient, turnkey solutions that give these clients a cost-effective and rapid time to market for their new devices and has taken many start-ups from humble beginnings to established, global enterprises. Now MediaTek is extending partner network to developers and makers in the Wearables and IoT space through MediaTek Labs Partner Connect.

To hear more about MediaTek Labs and see live demos of its unique offerings for developers, visit MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21. To learn more about MediaTek Labs Partner Connect, visit http://labs.mediatek.com/partners.

Mar 2, 2015:
Introduction to MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

When prototyping Wearables and IoT devices, you may want to collect, sort and visualize the data captured by your prototype. You may also want to test how your device could be controlled remotely and make these features available to testers and collaborators.

To save you from having to find and pay for cloud services, MediaTek Cloud Sandbox offers you a free service that you can use to quickly prototype your planned cloud implementation.

Using a RESTful API you collect data from your devices, which you can view in a powerful web-based dashboard. The dashboard offers a range of display and graphing options. Then you can control your Wearables and IoT devices by issuing commands from the dashboard. In addition, a complementary smartphone app lets you review collected data and control your devices from anywhere.

Key Features

  • Define Wearables and IoT prototype device data and other properties
  • Define data types such as geo-location, temperature, humidity and more
  • Create multiple devices from one profile
  • Push and Pull data between a device and the sandbox using a RESTful API
  • Remotely control devices using states, such as switch-state and more
  • Visualize data graphically
  • Receive notifications when data are collected or changed
  • Manage and control remotely, using the complementary mobile app
  • Create reports about prototypes and collected data
  • Perform FOTA firmware updates
  • Control access to data and devices with granular security control
  • Includes full API reference, FAQ and set of tutorials

Access MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

MediaTek Labs Helps Simplify Wearables and IoT Development with Free Cloud Service

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox accelerates device prototyping by offering developers a complimentary cloud service to host prototype-device data

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 2, 2015 – MediaTek Labs, today announced general availability of its new Cloud Sandbox data platform to better help developers bring their ideas to life for the Internet of Things (IoT). The new service, which is free to all registered MediaTek Labs members globally, offers convenient storage of and access to data from wearable and IoT devices during prototyping.

“MediaTek recognizes the importance of a cloud-based IoT platform and playground to service developers and makers who are prototyping wearable or IoT devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “With this complimentary offering from MediaTek Labs, IoT developers no longer need to set up and manage their own web server or source third-party cloud platform services. Instead they can focus on their IoT device prototyping and value proposition, accelerating the time from solution ideation to prototype and proof-of-concept”.

A considerable challenge for developers in the early stages of device creation is not only the management of large amounts of data but also a convenient and simple way to visualize the data and demo prototypes to collaborators. MediaTek Cloud Sandbox helps solve this with a variety of invaluable features , including:

  • Data storage and visual charting
  • Data monitoring with notifications
  • Device remote control
  • Firmware upgrades over-the-air (FOTA)
  • RESTful API support, TCP socket connection
  • Web or mobile app based access

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (MCS) will be on display in MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 – with three compelling demonstrations, including:

  1. Wine Brewer – A MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board implementation that won first prize in ITRI Mobilehero 2014 competition in Taiwan.
  2. Weather Station – A LinkIt ONE development board implementation that gathers and pushes real-time temperature, humidity and pressure data to MCS, and is able to have its fan controlled from MCS and the MCS companion mobile app.
  3. MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 demo – A LinkIt Connect 7681 development board implementation and its companion mobile app to demonstrate real-time LED color control.

MediaTek Labs was launched in September 2014 and continues to provide developers, makers and service providers with SDKs, HDKs and documentation, as well as technical and business support. To learn more about MediaTek Cloud Sandbox and get access , visit http://labs.mediatek.com/mcs .


MediaTek Ventures Logo
II/5. MediaTek Ventures launches to enable a new generation of world-class companies

MediaTek Allocates US$300m to Invest in New Business Opportunities

SPAIN, Barcelona March1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the launch of MediaTek Ventures – a new strategic investment arm within the company.  Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, MediaTek Ventures will initially invest in startups in Greater China, Europe, Japan and North America, with a US$300m reserve.

MediaTek Ventures will actively invest into innovative startups in semiconductor-system-and devices, Internet infrastructure, services and IoT, with the goal of creating a collaborative ecosystem around MediaTek’s corporate objectives in communication, computing, online media and analytics.  Investments will include all stages of funding with a disciplinary approach focused on value creation.  Through MediaTek Ventures, the company is seeking to extend its 17 year heritage of innovation to the broader electronics value-chain, diversify product solutions, and monetize opportunities with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“We will not constrain ourselves to any single region in pursuit of innovation and excellence. Through MediaTek Ventures, a new generation of world-class companies will be empowered. We are excited to enable entrepreneurs and start-ups in achieving their dreams and fostering companies that have the potential to create value to end-users around the world and solve the world’s biggest problems”, said David Ku, Chief Financial Officer, MediaTek.

Further details on the company’s investment strategy and roadmaps will be made available in the second half of 2015.

Entities interested in investment by MediaTek should send proposals to: ventures@mediatek.com. For more information, please visit www.mediatekventures.com.

March 5, 2015: MediaTek CFO David Ku on MediaTek Ventures at MWC 2015

MediaTek Ventures - Mission and current investment amount

MediaTek Investment Focus

MediaTek Cross-Platform Synergy and User Experience

MediaTek Geographic Focus

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoC for Android Wear and Android based standalone wearables

Note that this initiative is also for the standalone Android based wearables (i.e. working with no reliance on an Android based smarthone) as shown by the new production line of MediaTek’s lead and pilot partner Burg Wearables: Android 4.4 based Smart 3G & WiFi WatchPhones of 55g weight (and up), 10mm depth (and up) [this same blog, March 15, 2015]

Charbax: Best of MWC: MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch and Smart Glass!!

MediaTek launches their MT2601 Android Wear ready (soon) Smartwatch platform, and also they show off their Kopin micro LCD Smart Glass solution on MediaTek Aster MT2502. In my opinion, these are the best looking Smartwatch and Smartglass at Mobile World Congress 2015. The Smartwatch that MediaTek is showing is designed by GoerTek and it runs Android 4.4 for now but Android 5.0 with Android Wear UI is coming soon for the MT2601 platform according to MediaTek. MediaTek MT2502 is running an ARM11 core to run the MediaTek LinkIt OS while MediaTek MT2601 is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 to run a full Android Lollipop with Android Wear soon supported! This is perhaps the optimal low cost Smartwatch and Smart Glass solution for the market, finally available from MediaTek, with soon to come Lollipop thus Android Wear supported.

Specs of the GoerTek MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch:
– 1.5” circular TFT LCD 320×320
– IPX7 waterproofing
– BT/BLE, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G cellular supported
– Android 4.4 OS (Lollipop Android Wear soon!)
– PPG heart-rate sensing
– Built-in microphone and speaker

Remark: This GoerTek smartwatch uses the same MediaTek technology than the WatchPhones from Burg Wearables. The software technology is however quite better on the latter ones.

MediaTek Introduces MT2601 in Support of Google’s Android Wear Software

Higher energy efficiency and reduced component count of MT2601 in relation to competition translate into significant cost, size and usage time benefits

Las Vegas – Jan. 6, 2015 – MediaTek, a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its MT2601 System on Chip (SoC) for wearable devices based on Google’s Android Wear software. By enabling Android Wear on MT2601, MediaTek is offering a comprehensive platform solution for device makers to implement their own hardware and software, and introduces a multitude of possibilities in Android Wear devices for the fast-growing consumer class globally.

The MT2601 packs a robust set of features in its small size with 41.5 percent fewer components and lower current consumption when compared with other chipsets in the market. Its design advantages translate into lower bill of materials (BoM) costs, smaller printed circuit board (PCB) size and longer battery life, which in turn yield fashionable wearable devices with long usage times and affordable prices.

The MT2601 includes 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A7, ARM Mali-400 MP GPU, and supports qHD display resolution. The MT2601 interfaces with a whole host of external sensors and the wireless connectivity SoC MT6630 for Bluetooth – all in a PCBA footprint of less than 480 mm2. This small PCB size meets the design requirements of the widest variety of wearable devices in sports and fitness, location tracking, and various other categories. MediaTek is a strong supporter of Android Wear and will continue to evolve MT2601 to align with the Android Wear road map.

“The MT2601 has an incredibly small die size and is highly optimized for cost and power performance. The platform solution, comprised of MT2601 integrated with Android Wear software, will fuel the maker revolution and empower the application developer community worldwide to create a broad range of innovative applications and services,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.

The MT2601 is in mass production now and ready for inclusion in Android Wear devices.

Mediatek Announces MT6630, World’s First Five-in-One Combo Wireless Connectivity SOC for Mobile Devices

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 25 February, 2014 – Mediatek today announced MT6630, the world’s first five-in-one combo wireless system-on-a-chip (SOC) to support full featured smartphones, tablets and other premium mobile devices.

The MT6630 dramatically reduces the component count and eBOM while improving ease-of-design for manufacturers by eliminating external low noise amplifiers (LNAs) and integrating the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz power amplifiers (PAs), Bluetooth PA, and transmit-receive (T/R) switch into a PCBA footprint less than 65 mm2.

Key features

  • Dual-band single-stream 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with 20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth
  • 802.11v time of flight protocol support and management engines to enable higher accuracy of indoor positioning via Wi-Fi
  • Advanced support for Wi-Fi Direct Services and Miracast™ optimization for easier pairing, increased robustness, advanced use-cases and lower power
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with Classic, High-Speed and Low-Energy support, and ANT+ for compatibility with the latest fitness tracking, health monitoring and point of information devices and applications
  • Concurrent tri-band reception of GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS with industry leading sensitivity, low power, positioning accuracy, and the longest prediction engine
  • FM transceiver with RDS/RBDS
  • Integrated engines and algorithms for full concurrent operation and co-existence, including industry-leading throughput during LTE transmission

MT6630 delivers full concurrent operation of all 5 systems operating at maximum compute intensity with no degradation compared to single-system operation while offloading the mobile device CPU for design ease and extended battery life.

As a focus on low power and digital home convergence, the MT6630 uses a configurable PA architecture to save current at commonly used power levels, including those used for Miracast™ Wi-Fi Direct services. MT6630 implements advanced co-existence techniques, including for LTE to deliver industry-leading throughputs. MT6630 also supports Wi-Fi diversity for premium smartphones and tablets to improve antenna angle sensitivity and handheld scenarios.

“MT6630 makes it simple for manufacturers to bring mobile devices to market with sophisticated wireless features, lower power and uncompromised performance,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit. “MT6630 furthers MediaTek’s focus to deliver the best experiences across the digital home and mobile applications by using its unique leadership position in digital TV host processors, smartphone platforms, and connectivity.”

The small-footprint design is available in 5 x 5mm WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) or a 7 x 7mm QFN (Quad Flat No-Leads) and requires only 44 components, which is around half that of other integrated wireless solutions.

Mediatek MT6630 is sampling now and complements the recently announced MT6595 octa-core SOC with LTE for premium mobile devices. The first commercially available devices to use MT6630 are expected in the second half of 2014.

Then there is a MediaTek Protea platform for Android based wearables:

For mobile networking the optional parts of the Protea have the following characteristics:
– 2G Quad Band GSM (900/1800/850/1900)
– 3G Mono Band WCDMA (2100 or 1900) GPRS, EDGE, HSDAP, HSDAP+


Potential generic tags when clustered (selected ones are in blue):

#1 CLUSTER:
strategy: 671,000,000
business development“: 164,000,000
time to market“:  70,200,000
ecosystem: 53,200,000
marketing strategy“: 34,500,000
business strategy“: 25,800,000
rebranding: 6,750,000
strategy development“: 5,720,000
market strategy“: 1,430,000
developer program“: 751,000
strategic investment“: 609,000
corporate objectives” 526,000
partner ecosystem“: 397,000
design partners“: 439,000
supply chain partners“: 331,000
investment focus“: 364,000
reduce time to market“: 305,000
business development strategy“: 417,000
strategy development process“: 268,000
ecosystem partners“: 177,000
innovative startups“: 159,000
enable entrepreneurs“: 39,300
semiconductor market“: 244,000
smartphone strategy“: 77,700
strategic reasoning” 58,200
semiconductor vendors“: 49,000
SoC market“: 28,800
chip strategy“: 17,000
SoC vendors“: 11,300
“semiconductor strategy”: 9,280
“SoC strategy”: 4,330
“fabless strategy”: 3,840
“MediaTek strategy”: 616

#2 CLUSTER:
SoC: 238,000,000
quad-core“: 60,700,000
octa-core“: 2,660,000
smartphone chip“: 207,000
mobile SoC“: 63,400
smartphone SoC“: 43,700
SoC family“: 35,500
tablet SoC“: 23,500
SoC market“: 28,700
smartphone SoC market“: 14,200
SoC vendors“: 11,300
system on a chip“: 733,000
system on chip“: 625,000
fabless semiconductor“: 323,000
“fabless semiconductor vendors”: 4,890

#3 CLUSTER:
smartphone market“: 964,000
“phone market”: 632,000
“high-end”: 159,000,000
high-end market“: 425,000
LTE-Smartphone“: 605,000
“high-end phone”: 221,000
high-end smartphone“: 444,000
high-end smartphone market“: 67,900
“premium phone”: 356,000
premium smartphone“: 348,000
“premium smartphones”: 94,400
premium market“: 467,000
superphone: 435,000
superphones: 264,000
“superphone market”: 4,640
super-mid“: 177,000
“super-mid market”: 5610
“super mid-range”: 5570
mid-range“: 61,000,000
mid-range smartphone“: 400,000
“mid-range smartphones”: 153,000
“mid-range market”: 89,500
mid range smartphones: 2,460,000
best mid range android phone: 15,800,000
android phone“: 30,200,000
android smartphone“: 13,800,000

#4 CLUSTER:
tablets: 578,000,000
Android tablet“: 22,200,000
Android tablets“: 15,100,000
tablet market“: 919,000
premium tablet“: 152,000
high-end tablet“: 111,000
tablet chips“: 26,000
“high-end tablet market”: 8,450
“premium tablet market”: 8,050

#5 CLUSTER:
64-bit“: 135,000,000
forefront of technology“: 8,740,000
“64-bit computing”: 411,000
extreme performance“: 630,000
CPU+GPU“: 1,010,000
heterogeneous computing“: 312,000
“Heterogeneous System Architecture”: 60,100
“Heterogeneous Multi-Processing”: 42,800
“heterogeneous computing with OpenCL”: 15,400
big.LITTLE“: 863,000
“ARM big.LITTLE”: 95,800
“big.LITTLE Architecture”: 22,400
“big.LITTLE computing”: 18,400
“big.LITTLE cluster”: 16,600
multi-core processing“: 153,000
GPU compute“: 92,300
display technology“: 1,070,000
HDTV: 84,200,000
“power efficiency”: 819,000
premium mobile computing“: 762,000
“premium mobile computing experience”: 17,800
LTE: 170,000,000
“LTE World Mode”: 3,220
“LTE WorldMode”: 2,280
“LTE with CDMA”: 3,660
integrated CDMA2000“: 13,400
development platform“: 928,000
reference design“: 940,000
cloud computing“: 114,000,000

Imagination’s MIPS based wearable and IoT ecosystem is the alternative

image… the technological alternative relative to what is given in the Wearables Trend and Supply Chain, Samsung Gear Fit as the state-of-the-art wristband wearable, i.e. the hybrid of a smartwatch and a fitness band, as a demonstration [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 17, 2014] post

Wearable and IOT [designreuse YouTube channel, May 2, 2014]

By Mike Hopkins, Senior Technology marketig Specialist, Imagination Technologies at ChipEx 2014, Tel Aviv, Israel

Imagination highlights solutions for IoT and wearables at EE Live!

Featuring hands-on demonstrations of technologies
and end products

EE Live! Conference & Expo, San Jose, CA – 1st April, 2014 – Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) will highlight its expertise and momentum in IoT and wearables at the EE Live! Conference and Expo, being held March 31st – April 3rd at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA.

Imagination is working closely with partners to enable creation of SoCs for IoT and wearable devices that feature extended battery life and enhanced security, as well as device and infrastructure ecosystems, all driven by the right IP solutions.

Says Kevin Kitagawa, director of strategic marketing at Imagination: “Imagination has all of the IP needed to create complete, class-leading IoT and wearable solutions, and our technologies are already powering numerous SoCs designed for these applications. Through industry initiatives such as the AllSeen Alliance, and key partners including Google, Ineda, Ingenic, Microchip Technology and others, we are building the ecosystems and technologies needed for a new generation of IoT and wearable SoCs.”

In its booth number 816 at EE Live!, Imagination will feature hands-on demonstrations and highlight many of its technologies for IoT and wearables including:

  • MIPS Warrior CPUs: a highly scalable family of CPUs including the new MIPS M-class M51xx cores, which have features that make them ideal for IoT and wearables including DSP engine, small code size, hardware virtualization support and ultra-secure processing
  • PowerVR GPUs: the de facto standard for mobile and embedded graphics including the new PowerVR Rogue 6XE G6050, one of the industry’s smallest OpenGL ES 3.0-compliant GPUs delivering high fillrate and exceptional efficiency—perfect for a range of high-end IoT devices
  • Ensigma Series4 Explorer radio communications processors (RPUs): a unique universal and highly scalable solution for integrating global connectivity and broadcast communications capabilities into SoCs, including solutions for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE (low Energy)
  • FlowCloud: an application-independent technology platform for emerging IoT and cloud-connected devices, enabling rapid construction and management of device-to-device and device-to-cloud applications.
  • PowerVR Series5 video processors (VPUs): the most efficient multi-standard and multi-stream video decoders and encoders, which offer a range of solutions for video intensive IoT applications such as security cameras or wearable devices such as smart glasses
  • PowerVR Raptor imaging processor cores: scalable and highly-configurable solutions which join other PowerVR multimedia cores to form a complete, integrated vision platform that saves power and bandwidth for today’s camera applications and other smart sensors
  • Caskeid: unique, patented technology that delivers exceptionally accurate synchronized wireless multiroom connected audio streaming for audiophile-quality stereo playback with less than 25µs synchronization accuracy
  • Codescape: a complete, proven and powerful debug solution that supports the full range of MIPS CPUs, offers Linux and RTOS awareness features, and provides heterogeneous debug of SoCs using one or more MIPS and Ensigma processors

Imagination will also feature IoT and wearable related products and technologies including:

  • New MIPS-based IoT development platform “Newton” from Ingenic Semiconductor, which integrates CPU, Flash, LPDDR, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, PMU and various sensors on a single board around the size of an SD card
  • imageDevelopment boards for MIPS including those for Microchip Technology’s 32-bit PIC32MZ MCUs and a new a complete low-cost MIPS-based Android and Linux platform for system developers
  • Comprehensive development tools for all MIPS CPUs, including the latest GNU tools for Linux and bare-metal embedded systems from Mentor Graphics’ Sourcery CodeBench, and Imperas’ high-speed instruction-accurate OVP models and QuantumLeap parallel simulation acceleration technology
  • Smartwatches that are shipping today based on the MIPS architecture, including the SpeedUp Smartwatch as well as those from Tomoon, HiWatch, SmartQ, Geak and others
  • Toumaz’ solutions for the SensiumVitals® System, an ultra-low power wireless patch remotely managed via Imagination’s FlowCloud technology
  • FlowTalk and FlowAudio – Imagination’s solutions for connected audio and cross-platform V.VoIP/VoLTE, leveraging the FlowCloud

Imagination’s vice president of strategic marketing, Amit Rohatgi, will participate in a Technology Workshop during EE Live!, “The Role of Embedded Systems in the Internet of Everything,” sponsored by the Chinese American Semiconductor Professionals Association (CASPA). The event will be held on Wednesday, April 2nd, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. For more information and to register, visit http://www.caspa.com/node/6349.

About Imagination Technologies
Imagination is a global technology leader whose products touch the lives of billions of people throughout the world. The company’s broad range of silicon IP (intellectual property) includes the key multimedia, communications and general purpose processors needed to create the SoCs (Systems on Chips) that power all mobile, consumer, automotive, enterprise, infrastructure, IoT and embedded electronics. These are complemented by its unique software and cloud IP and system solution focus, enabling its licensees and partners get to market quickly by creating and leveraging highly differentiated SoC platforms. Imagination’s licensees include many of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, network operators and OEMs/ODMs who are creating some of the world’s most iconic and disruptive products. See:www.imgtec.com.

Creating next-generation chips from the ground-up for wearables and IoT [Imagination Blog, April 1, 2014]

There has been a lot of momentum lately around Imagination’s initiatives and technologies focused on creating a new generation of chips built specifically for IoT and wearable use cases. We thought we’d take a moment to fill you in.

The problem

Today, low-end IoT devices and wearables typically use multiple general purpose chips to achieve microcontroller, sensor and radio functionality, leading to expensive, compromised solutions. At the high end, devices such as smartwatches use existing smartphone chips, leading to overpowered, expensive devices.

The solution from Imagination

To reach the incredible volumes predicted by analysts, SoCs for wearable devices and IoT must be designed from the ground-up. Working with our partners, Imagination is enabling the design of new chips that extend battery life, enhance data and device security and feature the right CPU, graphics, video and multi-standard connectivity solutions. We’re also focused on building the needed standards, operating environments, and other ecosystem technologies to support these chips.

Imagination is proud to already have our IP in such SoCs, and our customers are giving us great feedback on our wearables roadmap. Together with industry initiatives such as the AllSeen Alliance or the cool new Android Wear from Google, and key partners includingIneda Systems, Ingenic Semiconductor, Microchip Technology and others, we are taking a leading role in building the ecosystems and technologies needed for a new generation of SoCs.

Extending battery life

With the always-on requirement for sensors in most wearables and IoT devices, together with their tiny form factors, battery life is a more critical concern for designers than ever before. Using power and area efficient silicon IP is therefore a must.

In wearable and IoT applications that require a CPU, an intelligent hierarchy of CPUs optimized for specific tasks can lead to extremely low power consumption. For example, an SoC can use a MIPS CPU such as a new Warrior M-class core, which achieves the highest CoreMark/MHz scores for MCU-class processors, to perform the function of monitoring sensors and also to manage the connectivity peripherals. When the SoC needs to process or analyze data, the system can wake up other CPUs in the system to perform their dedicated tasks. Such an implementation offers key benefits for extending battery life in wearables and IoT devices.

Ineda, a developer of low-power SoCs, is uniting various Imagination IP cores in its ultra-low power Wearable Processing Units (WPUs) designed to reduce power consumption in a variety of devices, including fitness bands, smartwatches and IoT. With unique combinations of Imagination’s MIPS CPUs and highly efficient PowerVR GPUs, the new Ineda WPUs represent one of the first SoC architectures built specifically for this new generation of devices.

image

Ineda Systems’ WPUs will address the wearable platforms from a ground-up manner

Enhancing security

As more and more devices are connected to the cloud and each other, security becomes an ever-growing concern. Imagination has the right IP for public key infrastructure and crypto functions needed to provide trusted execution environments, secure boot, secure code updates, key protection, device authentication and IP/transport layer data security to transmit data to the cloud. Virtualization and security features across the range of MIPS Series5 Warrior CPU cores make them ideal for meeting next-generation security needs.

In space-constrained, low-power systems such as IoT or wearable devices, a virtualization based approach could be used to implement a multiple-guest environment where one guest running a real-time kernel manages the secure transmission of sensor data, while another guest, under RTOS control, can provide the multimedia capabilities of the system. For applications that demand an even higher level of security, the new MIPS Warrior M-class cores include tamper resistant features that provide countermeasures to unwanted access to the processor operating state. A secure debug feature increases the benefit by preventing external debug probes from accessing and interrogating the core internals.

image

MIPS M51xx CPUs support multiple guest operating systems

Driving new ecosystems and standardization efforts

Due to small device size, as well as a new and different functionality required in emerging IoT and wearable devices, much of the device and infrastructure ecosystems will be different than what’s needed for smartphones and other connected products. This includes standards in the areas of APIs, device-to-device communications, data analytics, device authentication, low-power connectivity and protocols, and even operating environments, which are critical to driving consumer and industry adoption.

At Imagination we are partnering with Google and other industry players on Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables, beginning with smartwatches. Already a strong player in the Android ecosystem, MIPS is one of the three CPU architectures fully supported by Google in each Android release, including the latest Android 4.4 KitKat.

image

Images from the Android Wear Developer Preview site

To drive ecosystem development for IoT, we’ve also recently joined the AllSeen Alliance, which has been formed to create an open, universal development framework to drive the widespread adoption of products, systems and services that support IoT. The goal is to enable companies and individuals to create interoperable products that can discover, connect and interact directly with other nearby devices, systems and services regardless of transport layer, device type, platform, operating system or brand.

Imagination’s own application-independent FlowCloud technology platform enables rapid construction and management of M2M connected services. Designed to address the needs of emerging IoT and cloud-connected devices, FlowCloud enables easy product registration and updates as well as access to partner-enabled services including FlowAudio, a cloud-based music and radio service that includes hundreds of thousands of radio stations, on-demand programs, podcasts and more. Imagination intends for FlowCloud to be easily integrated with products using the AllSeen Alliance framework.

image

Imagination’s FlowCloud enables device-centric services including registration, security, storage, notifications, updates and remote control

Flexible, multi-standard connectivity

Wearables and IoT devices today use existing connectivity standards, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth LE (Low Energy), but new standards, such as ultra-low power Wi-Fi extensions, are still in development. This means that choosing future-proofed, flexible solutions is a must for companies who want to create a product today that will still be viable when new standards are ratified.

Imagination’s programmable, multi-standard Ensigma radio processors (RPUs) can accommodate such emerging standards with a powerful and uniquely optimized balance of programmability and hardware configurability, delivering impressive functionality in compact silicon area.

image

The right IP for the application

Imagination’s IP is already integrated into wearable and IoT products that are shipping today. This includes a number of smartwatches that leverage the MIPS architecture and smart glasses with PowerVR graphics and video.

image

Imagination’s IP is already integrated into wearable products such as the SpeedUp Smartwatch, the world’s first Android 4.4 KitKat smartwatch

For example, Ingenic Semiconductor is offering a new MIPS-based IoT development platform called Newton. The Ingenic Newton platform integrates a MIPS-based XBurst CPU, multimedia (2D graphics, multi-standard VPU) low-power memory (mobile DDR3/DDR2/LPDDR and flash) 4-in-1 connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, FM) and various sensors on a single board around the size of an SD card (find out more about Ingenic Newton here).

In addition, MIPS-based 32-bit PIC32MZ MCUs from Microchip Technology [all details are given here in the 2nd half of this post] are ideal for a number of wearable and IoT applications.

For designers of next-generation SoCs, Imagination’s broad IP portfolio offers scalable solutions for their specific application. This includes our MIPS Series5 Warrior CPUs including the new MIPS M-class M51xx cores, PowerVR Rogue GPUs including the PowerVR G6050, Ensigma Series4 Explorer RPUs with solutions for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE and more, PowerVR Series5 video processors (VPUs), PowerVR Raptor imaging processor cores, our unique Caskeid audio synchronization technology, and of course FlowCloud.

MIPS Powered Wearables from Imagination Technologies [RCR Wireless News YouTube channel, Jan 15, 2014]

Mike Hopkins, Marketing Manager for Imagination Technologies talks about their innovation of their MIPS processor in creating smart wearable devices. All of the watches in the video are running full Android operating systems, capable of running any Android app.These smart watches are available now to the general public.

Smart watches: The first wave of wearable and connected devices integrating Imagination IP [Imagination Blog, Jan 27, 2014]

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a new wave of announcements related to Internet of Things (IoT) and other ultra-portable devices integrating Imagination IP. One of the biggest buzz words right now is wearable devices; there were several wearable concepts introduced at CES 2014, covering any and every use case, from augmented and virtual reality or entertainment to fitness, health, and many more.

At Imagination, we are well prepared to deliver innovative hardware and software IP that has been specifically designed to address the rapid growth in demand for these applications. Imagination is the only IP company that can deliver a full suite of low-power, feature-rich technologies encompassing CPU, graphics, video, vision, connectivity, cloud services and beyond. Our market-leading PowerVR GPUs and VPUs, efficient MIPS CPUs, innovative Ensigma RPUs and other IP solutions create the perfect  foundation for developing new processors for ultra low-power wearables that will be soon find their way into a myriad of devices such as smart watches, health and fitness devices and more.

MIPS and smart watches

One of the companies that have been at the forefront of innovation in the mobile and wearable market is Ingenic. Their MIPS-based XBurst SoC is an innovative MIPS32-based apps processor which redefines the performance and power consumption criteria for modern embedded SoCs.

Among the recent design wins, one interesting use case for the MIPS architecture is the smart watch. There were several smart watch designs on display on our booth at CES 2014; this article is a quick summary of what we and our partners were showcasing on the show floor.

  • imageThe GEAK smart watch runs stock Android 4.1 out of the box, can be used to monitor your heartbeat and blood pressure, and acts as a pedometer or smartphone remote to snap pictures. The GEAK smart watch is a water-resistant (IP3X) device and comes with a 1.55″ color IPS screen.
  • The NextONE smart watch from YiFang Digital uses the Android 4.1 OS to create imagean open architecture system that can run any verified third party applications. The smart watch is customizable to every aspect of a user’s life, from communicating with work and friends to health and fitness. The NextONE smartwatch improves the smartphone experience by making the information a user wants accessible at any time.
  • Tomoon T-Fire is another exciting smart watch design coming out of China. It has an innovative curved E-ink screen measuring 1.73″, it runs Android 4.3 and is expected to ship soon. It currently comes in three colors and promises to deliver on the fitness front, with a trio of sensors (gyroscope, g-sensor, compass).
    image
  • SmartQ Z Watch promises to deliver an incredible standby time, can record motion data and even analyzes the quality of your sleep. It provides good water resistance, can pair up with your smartphone and tablet and doubles as an MP3 player too.image

The smart wearables of the future

Wearable electronics cannot accommodate the larger batteries of their bigger counterparts (smartphones, tablets) so ultra-portable devices must use SoCs that have low power consumption. Because our technologies have been built around efficiency, we can help our partners design highly competitive solutions that enable them to achieve design wins in multiple markets. Companies looking for proven, low power multimedia and connectivity IP can rely on Imagination to provide the building blocks for IoT-ready chips.

A recent example is Ineda who have licensed PowerVR GPU and MIPS CPU IP to design System-on-Chip solutions for portable consumer electronics like wearable devices. Ineda CEO Dasaradha Gude says that Imagination’s IP cores provide the power efficiency required for wearable devices to succeed but also accelerate time to market, since everything they needed was provided by Imagination which simplified all the integration work.

Smart glasses: The first wave of wearable and connected devices integrating Imagination IP [Imagination Blog, Jan 23 2014]

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a new wave of announcements related to Internet of Things (IoT) and other ultra-portable devices integrating Imagination IP. One of the biggest buzz words right now is wearable devices; there were several wearable concepts introduced at CES 2014, covering any and every use case, from augmented and virtual reality or entertainment to fitness, health, and many more.

At Imagination, we are well prepared to deliver innovative hardware and software IP that has been specifically designed to address the rapid growth in demand for these applications. Imagination is the only IP company that can deliver a full suite of low-power, feature-rich technologies encompassing CPU, graphics, video, vision, connectivity, cloud services and beyond. Our market-leading PowerVR GPUs and VPUs, efficient MIPS CPUs, innovative Ensigma RPUs and other IP solutions create the perfect  foundation for developing new processors for ultra low-power wearables that will be soon find their way into a myriad of devices such as smart watches, health and fitness devices and more.

PowerVR and smart glasses

An example of a type of wearable device that has benefited from Imagination’s IP is smart glasses. Google Glass has been the first; featuring a Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processor with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, Glass is able to take pictures, record videos, search the internet, and navigate maps.

But in the hand of ingenious developers, it can do so much more. For example, a recent article in the MIT Technology Review highlights an app that can recognize objects in front of a person wearing a Google Glass device.

image

This type of functionality opens up a whole new range of applications related to computer vision and augmented reality, two applications where wearables have clear potential.

However, there were multiple PowerVR-based smart glasses introduced at CES 2014:

  • Recon Instruments introduced Snow2, an iPhone-connected HUD (Heads-Up Display) for winter sports. The Recon Snow2 project is a collaboration between Recon and Oakley and can be found as a complete kit called Oakley Airwave 1.5. Recon however is working with multiple companies to build several products that are tuned to their requirements. Recon Snow2 features an integrated GPS and can can display your speed, altitude, location, and act as a navigation instrument. For example, there is an iOS app that allows you to share your position on a map and locate your friends or family on the slopes.

image

  • XOne is the first product from startup XOEye Technologies and took five years to design. XOne is a pair of safety glasses designed to improve efficiency and enhance safety for skilled labor jobs. The glasses rely entirely on audio and LEDs to communicate messages to the wearer. XOne integrates two 5MPx cameras (one inside each lens), speakers and a microphone, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer; the system is powered by a TI OMAP 4460 processor, running a custom version of Linux designed for enterprise use.image
  • The Vuzix M100 is one of the first commercially available smart glasses. They are an Android-based wearable computer, featuring a monocular display, recording features and wireless connectivity capabilities. Vuzis M100 has been designed to cover a range of applications; powerful, small and light, the M100 is well suited for a variety of industrial, medical, retail and prosumer users.image
  • The Epson Moverio BT-200 smart glasses are designed for users who like to enjoy their multimedia and do their gaming on a pair of glasses. Epson have put a lot of effort into integrating the technology (an OMAP processor) with the physical design. Even better, the smart glasses run Android 4.0.4 and apps from the Epson store; another unique feature is how users interact with the device, which is mainly done via a hand-held touchpad controller wired to the glasses. Epson has been named a 2014 CES Innovations Awards honoree in wearable tech for its Moverio BT-200 smart glasses.image
  • Lumus generated a lot of attention around its DK-40 wearable smart glasses at CES. They were very eager to show off the new developer unit in public focusing on how the monocular headset overlays a full VGA digital image over the right eye instead of using a small window for notifications. Lumus DK-40 runs Android, includes an OMAP processor and comes in multiple colors.image

I hope you’ve enjoyed our recap of some of the most interesting smart glass designs revealed at CES 2014. If you are interested in this category of devices and want to know more about the wearable gadgets that use our IP, make sure you follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR) and keep coming back to our blog.

Imagination and Google partner up for Android Wear and the wearable revolution [Imagination Blog, March 24, 2014]

Earlier this week Google announced a developer preview of Android Wear, a mobile operating system designed to extend the Android experience to wearable devices. This initiative will help jumpstart developers building innovative applications specifically targeting the next generation of innovation in wearables. The initial focus is on the smartwatch space and leverages the rich notification APIs already defined in Android.

Android Wear extends the Android platform to wearables, starting with a familiar form factor — watches. Download the developer preview at: developer.android.com/wear

Google is using this developer preview to give app developers the chance to experiment with enhanced notifications (e.g. weather, sports scores, navigation, etc.) for their applications to display on the smaller screen of smartwatches. For example, Android Wear supports notifications on a watch similar to how Google Now displays notifications on the smartphone. The next step for Google is to publish a full SDK that allows app developers to create complete, smartwatch-centric applications.

Delivering the ultimate wearable experience with MIPS  processor IP

Imagination has been a pioneer in delivering ultra-low power technologies across its entire IP portfolio. Following the acquisition of MIPS, one of the first things we did was to scrutinize all the CPUs from low end to high end to ensure we applied our leadership in low power design to MIPS CPUs. As a result, we believe MIPS is the ideal CPU for wearables, enabling our partners to build some of the most innovative solutions around for this growing market.

This year at MWC, wearables-focused startup Ineda demonstrated its ultra-low power Wearable Processor Unit (WPU) SoCs which deliver exceptional low power consumption. Ineda’s SoC devices integrate multiple IP processors from Imagination, including MIPS CPUs and PowerVR GPUs. Also, SpeedUp Technology announced its first wearable technology product, the SpeedUp SmartWatch, a revolutionary wearable device which incorporates an ultra-low power MIPS-based CPU from Ingenic.

Imagination is a Google launch partner for Android Wear – something we’re pretty proud of. Already a strong player in the Android ecosystem, Imagination’s MIPS architecture is one of the three CPU architectures fully supported by Google in every Android release including the latest Android 4.4 KitKat.

image

All MIPS CPUs are optimized to offer the best Android experience on smartphones, tablets, wearables and other mobile devices

Low power, high performance MIPS CPUs already power billions of products around the globe. Thanks to a flexible architecture that scales from entry-level 32-bit embedded processors to some of the industry’s highest performing 64-bit CPUs, MIPS CPUs pave the way for next-generation embedded designs, including a growing presence in wearables. The Series5 Warrior generation includes two new processors (MIPS M5100 and M5150) that provide key features ideal for wearables such as a high-performance DSP engine, small code size, virtualization, and ultra-secure processing. All Series5 Warrior CPUs deliver industry-leading CoreMark performance in a very efficient area and power envelope.

Look for a MIPS-based smartwatch in a store near you

Several of our licensees are working very hard to deliver MIPS-based, Android Wear-compliant devices that will be available in the market once the operating system is officially released.

By being a launch partner, we will work very closely to ensure that Android Wear will be optimized for MIPS CPUs as well as our other IP technologies such as PowerVR graphics, video and vision, and Ensigma RPUs.

The list of members in the Android Wear alliance includes several leading consumer electronics manufacturers (Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung), chip makers (Broadcom, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm) and fashion brands (the Fossil Group), all keen to bring you watches powered by the new operating system later this year.

image

The list of official Android Wear partners

For more info about Android Wear and what was announced, visit:

Make sure you follow Imagination on Twitter (@ImaginationPR, @MIPSGuru) for the latest news and announcements from the wearable ecosystem.


I. Microchip Technology

From: IoT Era excites Semiconductor Players [Electronics Maker, May 6, 2014]
(other than Microsochip Technology companies are covered in the Wearables Trend and Supply Chain, Samsung Gear Fit as the state-of-the-art wristband wearable, i.e. the hybrid of a smartwatch and a fitness band, as a demonstration [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 17, 2014] post)

image


Linear Technology

STMicroelectronics
(see in Wearables Trend and Supply Chain, Samsung Gear Fit as the state-of-the-art wristband wearable, i.e. the hybrid of a smartwatch and a fitness band, as a demonstration [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 17, 2014])

InvenSense, Inc.
(see in Wearables Trend and Supply Chain, Samsung Gear Fit as the state-of-the-art wristband wearable, i.e. the hybrid of a smartwatch and a fitness band, as a demonstration [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 17, 2014])

Texas Instruments

Microchip Technology [https://www.facebook.com/microchiptechnology]

Mike Ballard, Senior Manager, Home Appliance Solutions Group, Microchip Technology Inc.

Microchip has many devices that are well situated to enable IoT functionality, such as 8, 16 and 32-bit PIC® microcontrollers, analog, mixed-signal, memory, and embedded Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® modules.  In addition, IoT designers can take advantage of Microchip’s flexible development environment, broad connectivity solutions and product longevity.

Microchip is so broad based, with 80,000+ global customers, that we do not see any singular market or application that will drive our growth in IoT.  Our customer value proposition is that we provide a very broad embedded portfolio, including both the hardware and software solutions to help companies create their IoT products.

Microchip has a significant number of products that fit well into the IoT markets.  We have close relationships with our customers and have been incorporating these technologies into our products, based on their feedback.  Technologies such as XLP in our MCUs (which enables low-power designs), Wi-Fi Modules (Microchip offers two approaches, giving customers flexibility), and power-measurement devices, all enable our customers to meet their design and cost goals.  In addition, we have been acquiring companies and technologies to ensure that we continue to meet these markets’ needs today and in the future.

What is Deep Sleep [MicrochipTechnology YouTube channel, April 22, 2009] with which the minimal power consumption could be as low as 20 nA which allows years of operation on a single battery:

http://www.microchip.com/xlp Learn about Microchip’s extreme low power mode that can drop microcontroller currents to virtually zero. This webseminar provides an introduction to Deep Sleep mode found on these microcontrollers.

Microchip Technology Inc., December 12, 2013

Our Home Appliance Solutions Group can help you implement the new features and functionality needed for your next design. This short video introduces you to our Induction Cooktop Reference Design, which can significantly shorten your design cycle: http://mchp.us/1hI8kip

Induction Cooktop Reference Design [MicrochipTechnology YouTube channel, Dec 5, 2013]

In this video we will introduce the Microchip Induction Cooktop Reference Design. http://microchip.com/appliance

microchip.com/appliance: Home Appliance

Appliance manufacturers face numerous challenges in today’s ever-changing global market. Government regulations, customer expectations, competitive forces and application innovations are fueling the integration of new technologies into many appliances. Bringing these technology advancements to market can be even more challenging with shorter deadlines, the pressure to maintain and grow market share and the constant need to innovate. In addition, finding partners with technical solutions to enable these goals can be daunting and drain your resources.

Microchip Technology can help you implement the new features and functionality required for your next appliance design. By providing Microchip’s solutions for user interface, motor control, sensing, connectivity and more, your design teams can focus on implementing the application.

Microchip’s cost-effective tools enable your design to reach the market faster.  Our free, award winning MPLAB®X Integrated Design Environment (IDE) provides a single development platform for all of our 8-, 16- and 32-bit microcontrollers and 16-bit Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs). Microchip makes it easy to develop your code and migrate to higher performance solutions as needed. Learning curves are minimized even when changing cores due to additional features, increased code size or the need for more computing power.

MIPS MCUs Outrun ARM [Processor Watch from The Linley Group, Feb 18, 2014]

Author: Tom R. Halfhill

Microchip’s newest 32-bit microcontrollers not only match the features of their Cortex-M4 competitors but also achieve higher EEMBC CoreMark scores. The new PIC32MZ EC family is powered by a MIPS microAptiv CPU core running at 200MHz—a speed demon by MCU standards.

These MCUs have more memory than comparable chips (up to 2MB of flash and 512KB of SRAM) plus Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB2.0, an LCD interface, and a cryptography accelerator. An early sample scored 654 CoreMarks—the highest EEMBC-certified score for any 32-bit MCU executing from internal flash memory.

Microchip’s earlier PIC32MX family uses the smaller MIPS32 M4K core running at a maximum clock speed of 100MHz. The microAptiv CPU in the new family not only runs twice as fast but also supports the microMIPS 32-bit instruction-set architecture. MicroMIPS combines 16- and 32-bit instructions to achieve better code density than previous MIPS32 cores or even Cortex-M cores using 16/32-bit Thumb-2 instructions. Microchip claims the PIC32MZ family has 30% better code density than similar ARM-based MCUs. Also, microAptiv adds 159 new signal-processing instructions.

The PIC32MZ family is designed for high-end controller applications, such as vehicle dashboard systems, building environmental controls, and consumer-appliance control modules. Some PIC32MZ chips will begin volume production in March, and the remainder by mid-year. Prices for 10,000-unit volumes will range from $6.68 to about $10—relatively expensive for MCUs but reasonable for the performance and features.

Leading performance and superior code density for new microAptiv-based PIC32MZ 32-bit MCU family from Microchip [Imagination Blog, Nov 25, 2013]

Although mainly known for our leadership position in CPU IP for digital home and networking, the MIPS architecture has recently seen rapid growth in the 32-bit microcontroller space thanks to the expanding list of silicon partners that are offering high-performance, feature-rich and low-power solutions at affordable price points.

The most recent example of our expansion into MCUs is the 200MHz 32-bit PIC32MZ family from Microchip. PIC32MZ MCUs integrate our microAptiv UP CPU IP core which enables Microchip to offer industry-leading performance at 330 DMIPS and 3.28 CoreMark™/MHz.

The PIC32MZ comes fully loaded with up to 2MB of Dual-Panel Flash with Live Update, 512KB SRAM and 16KB Instruction cache and 4KB data cache memories. This newest family in the PIC32 portfolio also offers a full suite of embedded connectivity options and peripherals, including 10/100 Ethernet MAC, Hi-Speed USB MAC/PHY (a first for PIC® MCUs), audio, graphics, crypto engine (supporting AES, 3DES, SHA) and dual CAN ports, all vital in supporting today’s complex applications.

By transitioning to the new MIPS microAptiv core, the PIC32MZ family offers a more than 3x increase in performance and better signal processing capabilities over the previous M4K-based PIC32MX families. In addition, the microAptiv core includes an Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) called microMIPS that reduces code size by up to 30% compared to executing 32-bit only code. This enables the PIC32MZ to load and execute application software in less memory.

The MIPS microAptiv family is available in two versions: microAptiv UC and microAptiv UP. microAptiv UC includes a SRAM controller interface and Memory Protection Unit designed for use in real-time, high performance low power microcontroller applications that are controlled by a Real Time OS (RTOS) or application-specific kernel. microAptiv UP contains a high performance cache controller and Memory Management Unit which enables it to be designed into Linux based systems.

image
A block diagram of the microAptiv UP CPU IP core inside PIC32MZ MCUs

Why choose MIPS32-based CPU IP for your MCUs?

MIPS-based MCUs are used in a wide and very diverse set of applications including industrial, office automation, automotive, consumer electronic systems and leading-edge technologies such as wireless communications. Furthermore, we’ve recently seen growing demand from the wearable and ultra-portable market; companies targeting these markets are looking to silicon IP providers like Imagination to deliver performance and power efficient solutions that can be easily integrated in fully-featured products.

CPU IP cores for microcontrollers need to be all-round flexible designs that are able to deliver higher levels of performance efficiency, improved real-time response, lower power and a broad tools and developer ecosystem. And the requirements continue to grow, especially with the new challenges presented by designing for the Internet of Things: better security, the ability to create more complex RTOS-controlled software and the ability to support a growing number of interfaces.

The microAptiv and future MIPS Series5 ‘Warrior’ M-class cores are perfectly positioned to provide an ideal 32-bit MCU solution for these next-generation applications. We understand that picking the right processor architecture is a key decision criterion to achieving performance, cost and time-to-market objectives in a MCU product. This is why we’ve made sure that the MIPS32 architecture enables our partners to design higher performance, lower power solutions with more advanced features and superior development support.

In the words of Jim Turley from his “Micro-Super-Computer-Chip‘ article inside the EE Journal: “With sub-$10 chips and sub-$150 computer boards, it looks like MIPS took over the world after all.”

We will be demonstrating the PIC32MZ on a Microchip multimedia board at the Embedded World 2014 event (February 25th – 27th) in in Nürnberg, Germany, so make sure you drop by our booth if you are attending the conference. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR and @MIPSGuru) for the latest news and announcements from Imagination and its partners.

Microchip’s PIC32MZ 32-bit MCUs Have Class-Leading Performance of 330 DMIPS and 3.28 CoreMarks™/MHz; 30% Better Code Density [Microchip press release, Nov 18, 2013]

New 24-Member Family Integrates 2 MB Flash, 512 KB RAM,
28 Msps ADC, Crypto Engine, Hi-Speed USB,
10/100 Ethernet, CAN and Many Serial Channels

image

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, today announced the new 24-member PIC32MZ Embedded Connectivity (EC) family of 32-bit MCUs.  It provides class-leading performance of 330 DMIPS and 3.28 CoreMarks™/MHz, along with dual-panel, live-update Flash (up to 2 MB), large RAM (512 KB) and the connectivity peripherals—including a 10/100 Ethernet MAC, Hi-Speed USB MAC/PHY (a first for PIC® MCUs) and dual CAN ports—needed to support today’s demanding applications.  The PIC32MZ also has class-leading code density that is 30% better than competitors, along with a 28 Msps ADC that offers one of the best throughput rates for 32-bit MCUs.  Rounding out this family’s high level of integration is a full-featured hardware crypto engine with a random number generator for high-throughput data encryption/decryption and authentication (e.g., AES, 3DES, SHA, MD5 and HMAC), as well as the first SQI interface on a Microchip MCU and the PIC32’s highest number of serial channels.

image

View a brief presentation:  http://www.microchip.com/get/1WEC

image

Embedded designers are faced with ever-increasing demands for additional features that require more MCU performance and memory.  At the same time, they are looking to lower cost and complexity by utilizing fewer MCUs.  The PIC32MZ family provides 3x the performance and 4x the memory over the previous-generation PIC32MX families, along with a high level of advanced peripheral integration.  For applications requiring embedded connectivity, the family includes Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet and CAN, along with a broad set of wired and wireless protocol stacks.  Many embedded applications are adding better graphics displays, and the PIC32MZ can support up to a WQVGA [400×240] display without any external graphics chips.  Streaming/digital audio applications can take advantage of this family’s 159 DSP instructions, large memory, peripherals such as I2S, and available software.

Field updates are another growing challenge for design engineers and managers.  The PIC32MZ’s 2 MB of internal Flash enables live updates via dual independent panels that provide a fail-safe way to conduct field updates while operating at full speed.

image

“Our new PIC32MZ family was designed for high-end and next-generation embedded applications that require high levels of performance, memory and advanced-peripheral integration,” said Rod Drake, director of Microchip’s MCU32 Division.  “The PIC32MZ enables designers to add features such as improved graphics displays, faster real-time performance and increased security with a single MCU, lowering both cost and complexity.”

The PIC32MZ is Microchip’s first MCU to employ Imagination’s MIPS microAptiv™ core, which adds 159 new DSP instructions that enable the execution of DSP algorithms at up to 75% fewer cycles than the PIC32MX families.  This core also provides the microMIPS® instruction-set architecture, which improves code density while operating at near full rate, instruction and data cache, and its 200 MHz/330 DMIPS offers 3x the performance of the PIC32MX.

Microchip is a flag-bearer for the MIPS architecture in microcontrollers, having created its performance-leading PIC32 line around MIPS.  Additionally, Microchip was a valued partner in defining the feature set for the new MIPS microAptiv CPU, which is designed to fulfill next-generation application demands for increased performance and functionality,” said Tony King-Smith, EVP Marketing, Imagination Technologies.  “With its new microAptiv-based PIC32MZ family, Microchip is again taking MCU performance and feature innovation to new levels.  Imagination is delighted with this latest achievement of our strategic relationship with Microchip to address ever-evolving market needs.”

Development Support

Microchip is making four new PIC32MZ development tools available today.  The complete, turn-key PIC32MZ EC Starter Kit costs $119, and comes in two flavors to support family members with the integrated crypto engine (Part # DM320006-C) and those without (Part # DM320006).  The Multimedia Expansion Board II (Part # DM320005-2), which is available at the introductory rate of $299 for the first six months and can be used with either Starter Kit to develop graphics HMI, connectivity and audio applications.  The 168-pin to132-pin Starter Kit Adapter (Part # AC320006, $59) enables development with Microchip’s extensive portfolio of application-specific daughter boards.  The PIC32MZ2048EC Plug-in Module (Part # MA320012, $25) is available for existing users of the Explorer 16 Modular Development Board.  For more information and to purchase these tools, visit http://www.microchip.com/get/JDVB.

Pricing & Availability

The first 12 members of the PIC32MZ family are expected starting in December for sampling and volume production, while the remaining 12, along with additional package options, are expected to become available at various dates through May 2014.  The crypto engine is integrated into eight of the PIC32MZ MCUs, and there is an even split of 12 MCUs with 1 MB of Flash and 12 MCUs with 2 MB of Flash.  Pricing starts at $6.68 each in 10,000-unit quantities.  The superset family members and their package options are the 64-pin QFN (9×9 mm) and TQFP (9×9 mm) for the PIC32MZ2048ECH064; 100-pin TQFP (12×12 and 14×14 mm) for the PIC32MZ2048ECH100; 124-pin VTLA (9×9 mm) for the PIC32MZ2048ECH124; and 144-pin TQFP (16×16 mm) and LQFP (20×20 mm) for the PIC32MZ2048ECH144.  The superset versions with an integrated crypto engine are the PIC32MZ2048ECM064, PIC32MZ2048ECM100, PIC32MZ2048ECM124 and PIC32MZ2048ECM144.

PIC32MZ EC Family
Device Details (Non Crypto)
image

Device Details (Crypto Engine)
image

For more information, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit Microchip’s Web site athttp://www.microchip.com/get/ESJG.  To purchase products mentioned in this press release, go to microchipDIRECT or contact one of Microchip’s authorized distributors.

Follow Microchip

RSS Feed for Microchip Product News: http://www.microchip.com/get/E09A

Twitter:  http://www.microchip.com/get/VR8V

Facebook:  http://www.microchip.com/get/H7DH

YouTube:  http://www.microchip.com/get/KMKU

Microchip’s New Cloud-Based Development Platform Now Available on Amazon Web Services Marketplace [Microchip press release, Oct 22, 2013]

Allows Embedded Engineers to Easily Connect Designs
to Amazon EC2 Instances;
Bridges Cloud and Embedded Worlds, Enabling Internet of Things

imageMicrochip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, today announced a simple Cloud Development Platform that is available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace and enables embedded engineers to quickly learn cloud based communication.  Microchip’s platform provides designers with the ability to easily create a working demo that connects an embedded application with the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service.  At the heart of this platform is Microchip’s Wi-Fi® Client Module Development Kit (Part # DM182020), which offers developers a simple way to bridge the embedded world and the cloud, to create applications encompassing the Internet of Things.

A rapidly growing number of embedded engineers need to add cloud connectivity to their designs, but have limited experience in this area.  Microchip’s new Cloud Development Platform builds designer confidence by making it quick and easy for them to get up and running on the proven Amazon EC2 cloud infrastructure.

Amazon EC2 is a Web service that provides scalable, pay-as-you-go compute capacity in the cloud.  It is designed to make Web-scale computing easier for developers.

“I view this as a huge step forward for corporations who produce embedded products, to quickly develop infrastructure and connect their devices to the cloud,” said Mike Ballard, senior manager of Microchip’s Home Appliance Solutions Group and leader of its Cloud Enablement Team.  “With the vast amount of expertise and scalability provided by AWS, developers can easily customize their connectivity instances and the user’s experience.”

“With Microchip’s Wi-Fi Client Module Development Kit available via our AWS Marketplace, customers can easily learn to connect embedded products to AWS,” said Sajai Krishnan, GM, AWS Marketplace.  “This is an effective step to help bridge the embedded world and the cloud.”

Pricing & Availability

Microchip’s Cloud Development Platform is available today at http://www.microchip.com/get/R837.  As part of this platform, its Wi-Fi Client Module Development Kit (Part # DM182020) is available for purchase today for $99, at http://www.microchip.com/get/0D84.  For additional information, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit Microchip’s Web site athttp://www.microchip.com/get/ST1C.  To purchase products mentioned in this press release, go to microchipDIRECT or contact one of Microchip’s authorized distribution partners.


Ineda Systems

Smart Move [Business Today [India], May 11, 2014]

Why venture funds are rushing to back Ineda, maker of chips for wearable devices.

image

Ineda Systems is just the sort of company you’d expect from Dasaradha R. Gude, who has spent a large part of his career in the world of processors. “We are processors” is how he describes himself and his team of nearly 200 people.

Gude, or GD as he is known to many of his colleagues and business associates, is clearly excited about the power of wearable chips. Ineda – the name is derived from ‘integrated electronics designs for advanced systems’ – designs chips for use in wearable devices.

From 2007 to 2010, Gude was Corporate Vice President at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Inc, and later Managing Director at AMD India. He founded Ineda in 2011, and members of his team have previously worked in global companies such as AMD and Intel. He says: “They are people with courage to leave big companies and step out to do something innovative.”

To his customers, he plans to offer chips in sizes of five, seven, nine and 12 square millimetres, which can fit into wearable devices such as smart watches, health and fitness trackers, and pretty much anything that needs to be connected to the emerging ‘Internet of things’ which allows users to monitor connected devices from a long distance.

He promises chips that not only go easy on battery life, but also versions that can provide a range of features, almost like a smartphone. He says his potential customers are leaders in wearable technology, who would need tens of millions of chips a year, and this would bring his costs down.

The going has been good so far for Ineda. The company has just received funding from the US-based Walden Riverwood Ventures, from the venture capital arms of Samsung and Qualcomm, and a UK-based research and development company called Imagination Technologies. The total funding is to the tune of $17 million or Rs 103 crore, and Gude intends to use the money to ensure that the chips attain stability for mass production. In April 2013, Ineda raised $10 million (more than Rs 60 crore), with Imagination Technologies as the lead investor.

imageThe chips will be manufactured in Taiwan, and Gude is in talks with about two dozen potential customers, big names in the wearable technology market such as Nike and Fitbit. “Because we have a unique proposition and will need huge volumes, we are talking to the really big guys,” he says.

Clearly, wearable technology is a growing market. Gude says it is already worth a couple of billion dollars globally, and is expected to be a $10-billion industry by 2016. Everyone, from Google to Intel to fitness companies, has its eye on this market. For instance, Theatro, a US-based company, is developing voice-controlled wearable computers for the retail and hospitality segments of the enterprise market. It emerged from stealth mode in December 2013 when it announced its product’s commercial availability and relationship with its first customer, The Container Store. Its tiny 35-gm WiFi-based wearable device enables voice-controlled human-to-human interaction (one-to-one, group and store-to-store) and replaces two-way radios. It also enables voice-controlled human-to-machine interaction with, say, in-store systems for inventory, pricing and loyalty programmes. Another potential use is in-store employee location-based services and analytics.

There is so much excitement about wearable technology that some companies are even crowdsourcing ideas. For instance, Intel has launched its ‘Make It Wearable’ challenge, which offers prize money to the best real-world applications submitted by designers, scientists and innovators.

So Ineda’s chips could be used in devices such as Google Glass, smart watches, and Nike’s FuelBand. And when does Ineda expect its chips to become commercially available? “End of this year or the by the first quarter of 2015,” says Gude.

He says that at the moment, he has no direct competitor with whom he can do an apples-to-apples comparison. His rivals are either too big and expensive, or too small with few functionality options. He positions Ineda somewhere in between in terms of functionality and price. How the market will respond remains to be seen, but investors are clearly interested.

Ineda Systems Delivers Breakthrough Power Consumption for Wearable Devices and the Internet of Things [press release, April 8, 2014]

Extends Battery Life for Wearable Devices Up to a Month

Ineda Systems, a leader of low-power SoCs (system on a chip) for use in both consumer and enterprise applications, today announced its Dhanush family of Wearable Processing Units (WPU™). The Dhanush WPU family supports a large range of wearable devices including fitness bands, smart watches, glasses, athletic video recorders and the Internet of Things. The Dhanush WPUs will enable a new industry milestone for always-on battery life of up to one month.

image

The Dhanush WPU is powered by Ineda’s patent pending Hierarchical Computing architecture. Dhanush is sampling to tier-one customers now, and will be available in volume production in the second half of 2014.

The Hierarchical Computing architecture, along with low power, high-performance MIPS-based microprocessor cores and PowerVR mobile graphics and video processors, enable the Dhanush WPU to offer leading performance with unprecedented low power consumption. The Dhanush family of SoCs also supports a scalable range of connectivity from Bluetooth LE through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to address a range of applications.

“The Ineda engineering team in India has developed an innovative, low-power architecture designed specifically for wearable devices,” said Dasaradha Gude, CEO of Ineda Systems.

“The Dhanush family of WPUs offers better power consumption by an order of magnitude than smart phone processors that are currently being retrofitted for wearable devices.”

“The smart phone market grew substantially with the advent of smartphone-specific dedicated application processors. Dhanush WPU SoCs will enable a similar transformation in the wearable market segment,” Gude added.

Dhanush WPU

imageThe Dhanush WPU is an industry-first wearable SoC that addresses all the needs of the wearable device market. It features Hierarchical Computing architecture that allows applications and tasks to run at the right power optimized performance and memory footprint and has an always-on sensor hub optimized for wearable devices. The Dhanush WPU family consists of products – Nano, Micro, Optima and Advanced – which are designed for specific applications and product segments. Each of these products will aim to provide 30-day always-on battery life, up to 10x power consumption reduction compared to the current generation of application processors and be available at consumer price points.

“Ineda Systems is bringing the first wearable-specific chipset design to market,” said Chris Jones, VP and principal analyst at Canalys. “Strict power constraints are the greatest technological challenge for smart wearables, and Ineda is the first company taking this challenge truly seriously at the SoC level with Dhanush. Always-on sensor functionality is also critical and inherent to its design.”

The Dhanush family of SoCs comes in four different tiers that are designed for specific implementations:

  • Dhanush Advanced: Designed to include all the features required in a high-end wearable device – rich graphic and user interface – along with the capability to run a mobile class operating system such as Android™.
  • Dhanush Optima: This is a subset of the Dhanush Advanced and retains all the same features except the capability of running a mobile class operating system. It offers enough compute and memory footprint required to run mid-range wearable devices.
  • Dhanush Micro: Designed for use in low-end smartwatches that have increased compute and memory footprint. This contains a sensor hub CPU subsystem that takes care of the always-on functionality of wearable devices.
  • Dhanush Nano: Designed for simple wearable devices that require microcontroller-class compute and memory footprint.

Hierarchical Computing Architecture

Hierarchical Computing is a tiered multi-CPU architecture with shared peripherals and memory. This architecture allows multiple CPUs to run independently and together to create a unified application experience for the user – allowing optimal use of CPUs per use-case for power efficient performance.

With Hierarchical Computing, all the CPUs can be individually or simultaneously active, working in sync while handling specific tasks assigned to them independently. Based on the mode of operation and the applications being used, the corresponding CPU is enabled to provide optimal performance at optimal power consumption. Resource sharing further enables Hierarchical Computing to work on the same hardware resources at different performance and power levels.

Ineda’s reference design, SDK and APIs enable OEMs and third-party application developers to seamlessly realize the benefits of the Hierarchical Computing architecture and provide a better user experience for their end products.

Ineda Systems plans to begin producing its WPU this year and will offer multiple SoC variations that will correspond with a specific class of wearable device. Ineda’s development kits are available for evaluation to select customers today.

About Ineda Systems

Ineda Systems, Inc. (pronounced “E-ne-da”) is a startup company founded by industry veterans from the United States and India with an ultimate goal of becoming a leader in developing low power SoCs for use in both consumer and enterprise applications. The advisory and management team has world-class experience working in both blue chip companies as well as fast-paced technology startups. Ineda’s expertise is in the area of SoC/IP development, architecture and software that is necessary to design silicon and systems for next generation of low power consumer and enterprise applications.

The company has offices in Santa Clara, California, USA and Hyderabad, India.

Ineda Systems, Inc. has applied for the trademark of WPU. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

Microsoft BUILD 2014 Day 1: consistency and superiority accross the whole Windows family extended now to TVs and IoT devices as well—$0 royalty licensing program for OEM and ODM partners in sub 9” phone and tablet space

OR Microsoft is going against Android and Apple with a vastly updated Windows/Windows Phone 8.1 for $0 royalty fee on smartphones and tablets with screens under 9”, integrated Windows desktop experience (upcoming in the next update), capability of creating Universal Windows apps accross the whole Windows family (demonstrated with the Modern version of the Office upcoming later), an open-source cross-platform WinJS framework, the first true digital assistant for phones (Cortana), showing that for TVs, as well as planning for IoT devices.

Update: the expectation was somewhat higher: image
although was met when looking back to Nadella’s March 27 Office for iPad announcement:
image

Microsoft showcases latest updates to Windows, opportunities for developers April 02, 2014
Unveils converged developer platform, new software advances with Windows Phone 8.1, and Windows 8.1 Update and new licensing; Nokia announces new Lumia phones.

SAN FRANCISCO — April 2, 2014 — Wednesday at Build 2014, Microsoft Corp.’s developer conference, the company announced several advances to Windows including Windows Phone 8.1, the availability of Windows 8.1 Update, a converged developer platform, and a $0 royalty licensing program for OEM and ODM partners developing smartphones and tablets with screens under nine inches.
Microsoft detailed new developer opportunities on the Windows platform with a common platform across devices, a single toolset, a common infrastructure across the Windows and Windows Phone stores, and a clear commitment to interoperability. The announcements highlight Microsoft’s continued commitment to its partners and the developer community by maximizing opportunities across the broadest range of devices and services.
Also as a part of the conference, Nokia announced three new Lumia smartphones for Windows Phone 8.1, including the flagship Lumia 930, the affordable Lumia 635 and the first dual-SIM Lumia 630.
“The news today shines a light on continued Windows innovation in ways that benefit our customers, partners and developers alike. Our commitment is to make Windows more personal and accessible to individuals, and to ensure a vibrant ecosystem through closer collaboration with our industry partners,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president, OS Group at Microsoft.

… <more is inserted in the below keynote report>

The essence of the Day 1 keynote:

Microsoft Build 2014 keynote in seven minutes [The Verge YouTube channel, April 2, 2014]

Couldn’t sit through Microsoft’s three-hour Microsoft Build conference? We’ve cut it down to just the highlights for your viewing convenience.

The Full Day 1 Keynote record on Channel 9: 2 hours, 59 minutes, 13 seconds or a YouTube copy of that from MicrosoftEurope:

Attention developers and tech-fanatics! Build 2014 has started with breaking news and updates! Catch-up with the key announcements made by Satya Nadella, Terry Myerson, Joe Belfiore, David Treadwell and Stephen Elop.

Terry Myerson: Executive Vice President, Operating Sy stems group

    • Making your creativity come to life
    • Using public translation APIs to translate everything said here

Joe Belfiore (~ 1 hour): Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems group
==> Full transcript

  • Running PC, tablet and phone within the Operating Systems group

Windows Phone is the world’s most personal phone

image

  • 2 additional partners: Micromax and Prestigio (working with Qualcomm and Longcheer)
  • Windows Phone 8.1: ==> Made more personal
    – new Action Center
    – new lock screen APIs
    – option to choose a high density tile layout with custom background as well … even on a small screen

    Microsoft Build 2014 8.1 Update Personalized Digital Assistant named CORTANA

    Cortana Microsoft Build 2014 8.1 Update Personalized Digital Assistant named Cortana Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore unveils 2 new phones with hardware partners Micromax and Prestigio using Windows Phone 8.1
    Windows Phone gets even more personal
    Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8.1 and introduced Cortana, the world’s first truly personal digital assistant with a persona inspired by a much-loved “Halo” character. Powered by Bing, Cortana gets to know you and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you’re interested in something. She detects and monitors the stuff you care about, looks out for you throughout the day, and helps filter out the noise so you can focus on what matters to you.
    Other new features that make Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones even more personal include Action Center, which complements Live Tiles by showing new activities and notifications at a glance; and Senses, a suite of features that takes the work out of managing data use, storage space and battery life. Windows Phone 8.1 also makes it easier for IT professionals to manage devices and for professionals to connect to essential business apps and services with features such as simplified device enrollment, a built-in mobile device management client, S/MIME for encrypted mail and VPN support.
    Windows Phone 8.1 will start rolling out to current Windows Phone 8 users over the coming months. It will also come pre-installed on new phones starting this month. Cortana will launch shortly in the U.S. as a beta, in the U.K. and China in the second half of 2014, and in other countries in 2015. Registered developers can update their phones to Windows Phone 8.1 as part of the developer program later this month.

    – working long for one a half year on (video): Cortana (launching as a Beta, in order to learn with linguistic & search things) – a digital assistance for Windows Phone; powered by Bing (knows the whole Internet); learns about you …; also replaces the search function for you …; can be extended via 3d party apps; giving Cortana a notebook in order to put the user in contact with Cortana; about the people matter most to you; about the places you use to frequent; has permission to read all e-mail on the phone in order to prompt pro-actively the owner on …; good with the calendar too; … example queries via voice …; works with typing as well; reminders; only Cortana can do: people reminders …; new version of Skype; starting apps for you via Cortana (like Hulu, even yommunicating with like for Facebook);
    ==> The first true digital assistant for phones
    ==>
    The Ultimate Assistant: Halo’s Cortana Coming to Windows Phone

    ==> Searching for something more personal
    ==>
    Bing at Build 2014: More Helpful, Personal and Intelligent/
    ==> Introducing the New Skype for Windows Phone 8.1 and Improved Skype for Windows 8.1

  • Consumers can choose for their device:
    image
    – VPN, S/MIME support, MDM capabilities, … many, many more hosted capabilities
    ==> The right choice for business
    ==> Building the Mobile Workplace with Windows and Windows Phone
  • Apps from the Store: … store experience more engaged for you …, new version of Calendar … with other views
  • Improved basic performance: … WiFi Sense to connect to automatically when sensed … even securely share with friends automatically (no need to tell the WiFi password); … from ordinary phone call to a video call, even for RCS apps as well; Word Flow [Keyboard] typing … world’s fastest typing on the smartphone (the previous record was Samsung Galaxy …); focus on settings; IE11 with a bunch of new features
  • to consumers rolling out in next few months
  • on very new phones late April

==> Announcing an updated version of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows and introducing IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1

==> Windows & Windows Phone 8.1 – Better Together

See how we’ve reinvented the Windows experience across all your screens so you can shoot, share, work and play while on the go.

Windows 8.1 Update

  • boot straight to the desktop
  • going automatically to enterprise mode
  • mouse and keyboard experience of Windows, e.g. enhanced taskbar to work with Windows Store apps: no different swithching mode for Modern apps and desktop apps; PC settings tile on Start Screen; right click context menu …; power user … on Start Screen; pre-pinning the Windows Store to the taskbar to make it mouse and kleyboard friendly; new apps pin to the Start Screen or the taskbar …
  • starting April 8
  • [The update also enables Microsoft’s hardware partners to deliver low-cost machines that require only 1 GB of RAM and 16GB HDD. On Intel’s Bay Trail Cost Reduced options.]
Windows 8.1 Update: easier to use, runs great on more devices
Continuing its commitment to deliver improvements through regular updates, Microsoft also announced Windows 8.1 Update, which includes improvements that provide more of what people love about Windows across more devices: quicker access to what’s important, a more familiar and consistent experience across touch and non-touch devices, and more ways to discover great apps.
Key features of the update include user interface improvements for mouse and keyboard users, the ability to access the taskbar from any screen and pin Windows Store apps to the taskbar alongside desktop apps and favorite websites, and performance and compatibility enhancements to Internet Explorer 11. These improvements provide faster, more direct access to the things customers care most about, so activities such as powering down, searching the Web and switching between apps are easier than ever. Navigating with the mouse and keyboard will feel more familiar and intuitive because there’s more consistency with where controls are and how they work. Specific to the enterprise, Windows 8.1 Update offers improved Internet Explorer 8 compatibility on Internet Explorer 11, extends mobile device management functionality, and eases deployment with increased predictability for new operating systems and line-of-business apps by leveraging familiar management tools.
Current Windows 8.1 customers will receive the Windows 8.1 Update for free through Windows Update, while Windows 8 customers will receive the update free through the Windows Store, beginning April 8, 2014.*

David Treadwell: Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems group
==> Full transcript

  • about things for developers

Microsoft’s Universal Windows App Allows Devs To Create For Any Platform [Pureinfotech, published on April 3, 2014]

Microsoft announces universal Windows apps, which simply means that apps created for the Windows platform will now run on all platforms including PCs, tablets, phones, and Xbox One.

image

Universal Windows apps:
==> Windows Runtime comes to phones

image

image

Windows developer platform: easily build innovative apps, reach more people
Microsoft also announced enhancements in the way developers can build applications that target the full range of Windows devices using Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 Release Candidate. Among other new capabilities, with the introduction of universal projects, developers are able to create apps that can be easily optimized to take full advantage of Windows devices. Developers of all types can draw upon their existing skills to deliver shared experiences for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update. Universal projects allow developers to use approximately 90 percent of the same code, a single packaging system, and a common user interface to target apps for phones, tablets and PCs.
To improve the developer experience on Windows, Microsoft announced updates to Windows Store to improve app discoverability and monetization, as well as easier shopping for end users with improved search, more personal recommendations and better merchandising. In addition, later this week, Microsoft will release the next version of Windows App Studio, a Web-based tool for non-developers that enables the creation of universal Windows apps in a single project.
To help developers build innovative apps for Windows using a natural user interface, Microsoft detailed plans for Kinect for Windows v2, coming this summer, with a new sensor and SDK that will enable developers to create Windows Store apps, with the Kinect sensor, for the first time. The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor offers more precision, responsiveness and intuitive capabilities. Developers and partner companies, such as Reflexion Health and Freak’n Genius, are already doing great things through the Kinect for Windows v2 developer preview program.

image

image

image

  • DEMO of the above

Windows enabling cross-platform apps:

image
frameworks, libraries, tools and services for Universal Windows apps

image
Web GL
– Cutting Edge video playback etc.

image

image

image
– announcing: making WinJS cross-platform
open-source via GitHub
==> MS Open Tech Open Sources WinJS, Part of the Windows App Platform

  • DEMO My

==> Announcing New Microsoft Advertising SDKs, Tools to Help Devs Do More and Earn More with Apps

Terry Myerson:
==> Full transcript

    • Now about the TV … no better television than Xbox
    • going to enable Universal Windows apps running on Xbox
    • DEMO
My insert here: Satya Nadella email to employees on tuning our organization [Microsoft, March 31, 2014]

Today marks the start of another big week for Microsoft as we gear up for the Build conference in San Francisco. We continue to push on the momentum from last week’s news about how we will thrive and grow in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, as shown by the great Office apps for iOS, rich new APIs for developers and our new Enterprise Mobility Suite.
In advance of Build, I want to highlight three announcements about how we’re continuing to evolve and tune our organization for maximum focus and impact.…
Next, I have asked Phil Spencer to take on a new role leading Xbox, combining the Xbox and Xbox Live development teams with the Microsoft Studios team. Phil will report to Terry Myerson, allowing us to keep gaming close to the group developing operating systems across devices. In this new job, Phil will lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, and Microsoft Studios. Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team under a single leader and aligning with the OSG team will help ensure we continue to do great work across the Xbox business, and bring more of the magic of Xbox to all form factors, including tablets, PCs and phones. Phil will continue his close partnership with Yusuf Mehdi, who leads business strategy and marketing for Xbox, George Peckham, who heads up third-party partnerships and Mike Angiulo, who will continue leading Xbox hardware. Over the years, Phil’s team at Microsoft Studios has helped build a community of more than 80 million Xbox owners and 48 million Xbox Live members through blockbuster game franchises such as “Halo,” “Gears of War,” “Kinect Sports,” “Fable,” “Forza Motorsport” and many others. He’s helped drive the development of brand-new entertainment offerings like the partnership with the NFL and the formation of Xbox Entertainment Studios [Nancy Tellem]. I love the way the Xbox team is focused on great games and gaming experiences (go, “Titanfall”!), connects with its fans, pushes the boundary of entertainment and has embraced the power of the cloud in such interesting and impactful ways. Phil is the right person to lead Xbox forward.
    • bringing Kinect to PC ==> Kinect 2.0 for Windows with greatly improved SDK, not just for games
    • non-gaming Kinect apps: video
Developers are excited to bring their apps to the Windows Store for the first time this summer following the release of Kinect for Windows v2, with its improved precision, responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities.

image

  • DEMO

Internet of Things (IoT):

image

  • Windows ported to ARM
  • Now Intel Quark (i.e. x86 for IoT)
  • Windows for IoT will be available for $0

Windows desktop:

  • Universal Windows apps to run in a window
  • New Start Menu: live tiles combined
  • what is shown here is just for start to improve the Windows desktop
      • (upcoming in the next update of Windows)

Pricing:

image

Making Windows devices more affordable
Microsoft is evolving its Windows business model to enable partners to offer lower-cost devices in the highly competitive smartphone, tablet and PC categories. Microsoft will offer to hardware partners $0 Windows with services including a one-year subscription to Office 365.
With Windows 8.1 Update hardware partners can also more easily build lower-cost machines — such as devices with 1 GB of RAM and a 16GB hard disk drive — without sacrificing the experience customers expect. The combination of new efficiencies and innovations from Microsoft hardware partners means customers will be able to choose from a wider range of Windows devices, particularly budget-friendly notebooks and tablets.

Additional information from Terry Myerson’s Thoughts on Day 1 of Build 2014 [Blogging Windows, April 2, 2014] post:

I wanted to use this post to share some thoughts from what I said in the keynote:
1. We believe in our ecosystem of device manufacturers and devs (developers, developers, developers!), and that their creativity has incredible potential to change the world – and we want to help them do that.
2. We believe in the Internet of Things, and that as the devices get smaller, the cloud gets bigger.
3. We believe in natural user interfaces, and the power of things like voice and gesture to transform how users will interact with their devices and apps in the coming years.
Today we announced that the Windows 8.1 Update will support Intel’s Bay Trail Cost Reduced options, along with 1GB RAM and 16 GB storage configurations which are popular on entry level tablets and notebooks. We’re also working with Intel on enablement programs that make it easy for their partners to onboard new Windows devices quickly, much as we are with Qualcomm.
We showed Windows running on an Intel Quark chip. It’s a processor the size of a pencil eraser that is running a full version of Windows, enabling developers to use all their Windows knowledge and skills to create new and exciting devices and experiences. When we are ready to ship Windows for the Internet of Things, we will make that available for zero dollars to encourage creation of these new devices and experiences in this new and exciting category.
Finally, I previewed some work we are doing for the next iteration of Windows, which builds on the journey we began with Windows 8 just over a year ago as well as the releases we’ve done since then. In particular, I showed some early thinking on how the user experience in Windows will evolve in a way that will help developers’ apps make their way to users across devices and form factors.

image

We set out to do this is a thoughtful way – one where we could enable more productivity for customers working in desktop mode, while building smart bridges to the new modern user experience and ensuring customers can get access to all your great apps in the Windows Store no matter where they are in the experience, or which device type they’re on.
As I said today, these are glimpses of our roadmap, with a particular focus on the parts of our roadmap that are most relevant to our developer partners. We’ll continue to invest in these and many other areas to build a great platform and experiences for developers, customers and partners and you’ll hear more from us when this work is closer to being ready to ship out to the world.

Stephen Elop (still Nokia, but soon Microsoft):
==> Full transcript

    • Lumia 520 the best selling smartphone in the world: will have WP 8.1
    • WP 8.1 for all other existing Lumias
    • The next-generation of Lumia devices:
      Lumia 930: flagship for WP 8.1, with unprecendented images and video, Creative Studio app grealy updated, new/updated Living Images app, fantastic cinema video experiences (4 microphones included), all MS services well integrated, 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 SoC, from June starting in Europe, with more more than 100 operators
      Lumia 630: 4.5” ClearBlack display, 3G dual-SIM as well (different tiles for each SIM),  designed for hyper-social people, Cortana is also available, SensoreCore introduced for health and fitness apps … Lumia services (HERE maps, etc.), 1.5GHz Snapdragon 400 quadcore, from May starting in Asia, $159 single SIM
      Lumia 635: 4.5” ClearBlack display, 4G LTE, …, 1.5GHz Snapdragon 400 quadcore, from May starting in Asia
    • Two new SDKs:
      – Imaging SDK 1.2
      – new SensoreCore SDK to create motion based apps

Satya Nadella: CEO
==> Full transcript

    • developer roots of Microsoft
    • Q&A via the DPE collection made before the conference
    • Why build for Windows if one develops for Android? –> innovating in every dimension … you will see a progress in a rapid pace … pretty unique pieces, e.g. bring end-users, IT profs and devs together … create a developer opportunity accross the Windows family expanding … we are betting on this platform ourselves
    • Plans for easy development accross platforms? –> David Treadwell part … the only platform with APIs on every platform amd native, managed and the web … working w/ PhoneGap, Unity e.t.c. …
    • What MS is doing to compete against Apple and Google in the tablet space? –> tablets accross all prices ranges … innovate with Surface to make the most productive table … what is the role of a tablet in the device family … consistency of user experience
    • Approach to UX design now and in 5 years with Microsoft? –> we have fantastic people for UX … see inspiration for other platforms … Cortana … modern apps to mouse and … Bill Buxton about natural UI … the broadest range of input modes today
    • How to design for the cloud, and how MS is supporting that? –> Scott Guthrie tomorrow … data-tier built for scale-out and other consideration long taken into account, Service Bus etc. … lot of focus on tools, samples that truely take advantage of the cloud
    • Different APIs released for different products? –> Windows Universal apps is the first step in the direction of bring great consistency for developers … consistency of semantics for these APIs
    • What’s the plan with latency as we are moving and more apps to the cloud? –> build robustness … data center build-up throughout the world … great effort to enable apps to run in a true distributed way
    • How MS can better support start-ups? –> BizSpark program with 70K start-ups … seed fundings and accellerators throughout the world
    • The vision for Microsoft going forward? –> Drive in this world of mobile first, cloud first … interactions of differnt kinds getting digitized … create platforms .. build the best experiences
    • Plans to becoma a Master CEO? –> … 2514 … watch Scott Guthrie keynote tomorrow

Cortana (yes!) and Many, Many Other Great Features coming in Windows Phone 8.1 [by  Joe Belfiore on Windows Phone Blog, April 2, 2014]

Whew, what a day! What a week! I’ve just gotten off the stage at Build in front of 5,000 of our beloved developers talking about the future of the Windows platform. And now I’m here to tell YOU about the stuff we’ve been working on to delight all our Windows Phone users and fans!

During my time on stage, I went over what’s next for Windows PCs, tablets, and phones with two major updates: Windows Phone 8.1 and the Windows 8.1 Update. Both releases bring a lot of new features for consumers and businesses alike, built from the feedback we’ve heard from customers along the way. We’ve also continued to invest in our partners, enabling lots of great new phones, tablets, laptops and PCs for you to choose from in the months ahead.

Windows 8.1 Update: Focused on Mouse/Keyboard

For PCs and tablets, we’ve made improvements in Windows 8.1 that will noticeably improve the experience when you’re using a PC without a touch-screen. We’ve made commands easier to find with mouse/keyboard, we’ve made switching between apps—especially Windows Store apps—much easier with mouse/keyboard… and we’ve made it easier to find new apps to install.

To learn more about the update to Windows 8.1 for your PC and tablets, head on over to the Windows Experience Blog and read Brandon’s post. What I really want to cover in detail here is…

Windows Phone 8.1: More Personal, Smarter, and even a “World Record Holder”!

If you’re a Windows Phone user, you already know that we set out to create an experience that puts you and the things you care about most front and center. As a result, we believe Windows Phone is the world’s most personal smartphone… and with Windows Phone 8.1, we’ve added a BUNCH of new features that make your smartphone even more a reflection of your personality and desires.

Want to experience it all in one giant demo? Then watch this marathon 15-minute video. Else… read on!

The world’s most personal smartphone just got more personal. Watch the innovations of Windows Phone 8.1 come alive.
Start screen: Make the Live Tiles Yours
We want your Windows Phone Start screen to genuinely reflect your personality and the people and things you care about—so we are making it even more customizable!

image image

In 2013, we added a third column on devices for 5-inch screen or larger devices, like the Lumia 1520, to enable more stuff to show up on the screen. People really liked this so we are enabling this on all screen sizes in Windows Phone 8.1. Pin away! We’ve also added the ability to customize your Start background with a favorite picture or one of the options we’ve provided, which will make many of the tiles on your Start screen become clear so you can see the background you selected as you scroll up and down.
Lock screen: Lots of new “themes” to choose from!

image

The Lock screen is the very first thing you – or your friends—see when you grab your phone, and in Windows Phone 8.1 we’re providing a new app that lets you set a wide range of interesting “Lock Screen Themes” which show all kinds of different visuals and animations. Make it yours…
Cortana: Your PERSONAL Digital Assistant
Of everything we’re announcing today, I’m most excited to introduce you to the world’s first truly personal digital assistant, now on Windows Phone. We were inspired by the popular character from Halo who served as a brilliant AI and a deeply personal digital assistant to Master Chief… so we called her Cortana.
Powered by Bing, Cortana is the only digital assistant that gets to know you, builds a relationship that you can trust, and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you’re interested in something. She detects and monitors the stuff you care about, looks out for you throughout the day, and helps filter out the noise so you can focus on what matters to you. Cortana will launch shortly here in the U.S. first as a “beta,” and then will launch in the US, the U.K. and China in the second half of 2014 with other countries to follow afterwards into 2015.

image image

In Windows Phone 8.1, you get to Cortana by either a Live Tile on your Start screen or by pressing the search button on your device. This will take you to Cortana Home. To interact with Cortana, you can either speak or type—if you’re in a meeting, just type and Cortana won’t talk out loud. But if you ask her a spoken question, she’ll answer verbally and even carry on a natural conversation.
When you interact with Cortana for the VERY first time, she will start learning things about you… like your name, how to pronounce it, and ask for some personal interests.
Once she’s learned a bit about you, Cortana’s home populates with information that is curated just for you. You’ll see things like flight information she’s found from your email confirmations, weather, the latest news, and even traffic information once she learns your commute routine, such as from work and home.

image

To develop Cortana, we talked to a number of real personal assistants. One technique these assistants spoke about was keeping track of the interests and preferences of their bosses in a notebook. We thought… what a great idea! So all the stuff Cortana curates for you is stored in Cortana’s Notebook. This information enables Cortana to be proactive and helpful throughout the day. For example, she’ll let me know if my upcoming flight back to Seattle is on time and, if I choose, will even pop-up to recommend what time I should leave for the airport based on traffic. Cortana can also manage your phone when you don’t want to be disturbed by setting quiet hours where she will silence any notifications, in-coming calls, and texts. Cortana understands the “inner circle” of people-closest-to-you, and she can let them break through at any time during quiet hours. And Cortana is the only digital assistant that lets you setup people reminders. You can have Cortana remind you that your buddy owes you $20 the next time you talk to him. And ALL of these interests and preferences are under YOUR CONTROL via Cortana’s notebook.
What’s more, because Cortana is powered by Bing, some of the interests in Cortana’s Notebook will light up on Bing.comwhen you sign in on the web. Bing.com will give you access to the things Cortana tracks for you, like your weather, stocks, news, and flights.
We’ve also designed Cortana to be able to interact with 3rd Party Appsinstalled on your phone. You can ask Cortana to help you make a video call in Skype, watch a TV show in Hulu Plus, look up a news feed on Facebook or send a tweet using the Twitter app – all of which we demoed during this morning’s keynote.
And finally, Cortana isn’t just a dry computer returning search results. Just as she has in the game Halo, Windows Phone’s Cortana has a bit of personality. But you’ll have to talk to her yourself to see what I mean by that. Or… I bet you’ll be able to find some videos on the web pretty soon to see what I mean.
We think you’re going to really love having Cortana as your personal assistant!
A Whole Slew of New Delighters

image

Action Center: Live Tiles are a great way to “glance and go,” and now we’ve added Action Center to enable you to see notifications from ANY app – pinned or not—and to give you a customizable way to quickly access the settings you care about most, like Wi-Fi, Flight Mode, Bluetooth and Rotation Lock.

image

Word Flow Keyboard: The keyboard in Windows Phone is smart enough to learn your writing style and even knows the names of people in your contacts for faster typing. Best of all, our new Word Flow Keyboard lets you glide your fingers over the keys to type INCREDIBLY quickly… a kid was able to BREAK THE OFFICIAL WORLD RECORD previously held by the Swype keyboard on a Samsung Galaxy S4 using Word Flow by 8 seconds!

image

Skype:The new Skype app for Windows Phone 8.1 brings the best of Skype on a smartphone. It’s integrated with the Phone dialer, so if you’re on a call you can quickly and easily “upgrade” your ordinary phone call to a Skype video call at the tap of a button! And… the new Skype app is designed to work seamlessly with Cortana so you can use Cortana to setup your calls within Skype.

image

Calendar:The new Calendar has been redesigned to add a new week view which lots of people have been asking for and it has many nice touches—like panning right to get to the next day or week or month! What’s more, it looks a lot like Outlook on your Windows PC… e.g., the weather is integrated at the top – just like in Outlook.

image

Music, Video, Podcasts: We’ve made a ton of improvements to these experiences, which are now split out as separate apps and all of which can be updated via the Store. In Music, you can edit your playlists and manage your cloud collection really easily and effectively. Video makes it possible to buy or rent videos from Xbox Music, and Podcasts now lets you subscribe to any RSS feed AND provides a Bing-powered podcast search for every country where Windows Phone is available. Oh… and we’ve improved the phone volume control by including separate sliders for your ringer/notifications and for your apps and media. Just the way you asked for it!

image

People Hub, Email and Accounts: The People Hub has higher-fidelity feeds for your social network content (large photos!) and it connects directly to 3rd-party social networking apps so that you can have easy access to all the full functionality of the 3rd party apps once they are installed. Email now supports S/MIME secure email, and we’ve broadened our support for different account types, now including iCloud.

image

Photos & Camera: The Photos experience now jumps directly to your most recent photos and shows as collections automatically organized, in a view grouped by date and location. Online photo albums are now supported via app-extensibility, so 3rd parties can plug in their services. In the Camera, we’ve updated the UI and added “burst mode” photography that lets you capture exactly the perfect moment—just like on Windows 8.1.
Data Sense, Wi-Fi Sense, Storage Sense, and Battery Saver:We’ve added a number of features in Windows Phone 8.1 that are designed to help you get the most out of your data allowance, battery life and storage.

image image

Data Sense lets you track how much data usage you use in a given month and will give you a breakdown of usage by app so you can see which app is using the most of your data. As you near your data limit, Data Sense will more aggressively offload data to Wi-Fi and limit cellular usage… and in 8.1 there’s a new “high savings” mode that cranks up the compression of images as you browse the web so you can browse even farther using less data than WP8.
Wi-Fi Sense will automatically connect you to free public hotspots it finds to help you save cellular data. And, if you’d like, you can opt-in to automatically and securely enable your friends and contacts to auto-connect to your home Wi-Fi, so they can use the internet connection at your house without hassling you for the password and typing it in manually. If you turn off Wi-Fi in Wi-Fi Sense, you can have Cortana automatically turn it back on when you reach one of your favorite places as identified in Cortana.

image

We’re introducing Storage Sense to help you get the most out of the memory and storage on your phone. It will help you manage content you have on an SD memory card if your device supports those. You can also move content – like apps, music, photos – between the storage built in to your device and an SD memory card.

image

And Battery Saver gives you a clear breakdown of how apps are using your battery so you can make more informed usage decisions. With “automatic mode” enabled, it can dramatically extend your battery life.

Windows and Windows Phone Together

Your Microsoft Accountallows Windows and Windows Phone to work together in amazing ways. Windows Phone 8.1 furthers the integration between phone and PC. If you change your theme color, that change will sync across all your Windows devices. If you buy an in-app purchase in some of the newer apps written for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1, the purchase works on your phone AND your PC. And other settings like your home Wi-Fi password will also sync.

Ever wanted to project your phone screen onto a PC, TV set or projector? We’ve added support for that as well—connect your Windows Phone to a compatible PC using a USB cable and you can run an application on the PC to show the phone screen. Some of the forthcoming new phones will also support wireless Miracast display to compatible TVs and other devices.

And finally with Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone, you will be able to see all the open tabs you have on all your Windows devices and all your Favorites too. Plus the new Internet Explorer gives you InPrivate browsing, password caching, and a super-handy reading mode.

Great for Business Users and IT Managers

Windows has long been the choice for the enterprise and professionals. Windows Phone fits easily and seamlessly into a corporate ecosystem making it easier to work when you are on the go. Last year, PC Magazine’s readers selected Nokia Lumia/Windows Phones as the Business Choice Award for smartphonesby scoring them the highest in end-user satisfaction.

With Windows Phone 8.1, we’re making it even easier for IT professionals to manage devices and for professionals to connect to essential business apps and services with features such as customizable MDM enrollment, support for loads more MDM policies, LOB application & certificate management, S/MIME and VPN support. Stay tuned for a detailed blog post later today on the Windows for your Business Blog that covers all the key features for businesses.

Sounds Great! When Can I Get It? And on which phones?

Windows Phone 8.1 will start rolling out to existing Windows Phone 8 users and will come pre-installed on new phones, including the Lumia 630 and 635 and Lumia 930announced by Nokia today, in the coming months. If you want to try out Windows Phone 8.1 and you are a registered developer, you can update your phone as part of the Developer Preview Program in the first part of April.

We are very proud of the progress we are making with Windows Phone. Industry analyst IDC proclaimed Windows Phone the fastest growing smartphone platform in 2013, and we think the future is even brighter. At Mobile World Congress, we announced our commitment to growing the number of device partners making Windows Phones, and were proud to welcome nine new partners to the Windows Phone ecosystem. Today we announced two more partners – Prestigio in Europe and Micromax in India – to further ensure that individuals around the world will have access to the amazing experience that only Windows Phone delivers consistently across all price points.

We know we have lots more to do – for developers, for business customers, and for consumers. Today’s announcements at Build were all about taking the next steps – making it easier than ever to build great devices and write great apps for Windows, and enabling a new generation of cool experiences for customers that show the power of designing around people, delivering truly personal computing, and helping us all to get more out of the technology in our lives.

Tags: Windows phone, Build 2014, Word Flow Keyboard, Battery Saver, Start screen, Email, camera roll, Windows Phone 8.1, Xbox Video,Enterprise, Announcement, inprivate, Action Center, Photos, Windows 8.1, Business, Devices, VPN, Cortana, Platform, skype, Xbox Music,Lock Screen, Windows 8.1 Update, podcasts, People Hub, calendar, Microsoft Accounbt, Windows, Live Tiles, Internet Explorer 11, Nokia, Wi-Fi Sense, Data Sense, Storage Sense

Windows 8.1 Update – important refinements to the Windows experience [ by  Brandon LeBlanc on Windows Experience Blog, April 2, 2014]

As Joe mentioned here, today we’re announcing two important updates to the Windows platform: Windows Phone 8.1 andWindows 8.1 Update. With these updates, we continue to refine and improve Windows based on feedback from customers to deliver ongoing value to all their Windows devices. Joe’s post goes into detail on all the awesomeness that’s in Windows Phone 8.1(Cortana is rad – trust me!) but also gives some great context around our new engineering culture in the Operating Systems Group now that we’re in this mobile-first, cloud-first world. It also underscores how we are moving more quickly to improve the Windows experience for customers. In this post, I wanted to share a little bit more about the update for Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1.
With the current generation of Windows, we made a pretty big bet on touch and mobility. Along with building on top of the strong foundation in Windows 7, we also introduced a brand new approach to the Windows user experience that brought touch to the forefront. Since the original introduction of Window 8 in 2012, we have been continuously refining the experience, and we are making steady progress. More than 40 percent of Windows PCs at big box retailers, like Windows Stores Only at Best Buy, this past holiday season were touch-enabled – up from only 4 percent a year ago. As Joe recently said at Mobile World Congress, customer satisfaction for a device running Windows 8 with touch is actually higher than it was for a PC running Windows 7 without touch. We believe deeply in the notion that delivering a compelling personal and modern experience across all the devices that matter in your life should not mean sacrificing familiarity. Windows 8 and 8.1 were first steps, and we continue to make refinements based on customer and partner feedback.
Last fall, less than a year after we shipped Windows 8, we released Windows 8.1– bringing a large set of customer-driven improvements including the return of the Start button, tutorials, more personalization options, the ability to boot to desktop, improvements to multi-tasking, and more. Today marks the next step as we release a new update for your Windows experience.
The Windows 8.1 Update delivers a collection of refinements designed to give people a more familiar and convenient experience across touch, keyboard and mouse inputs. It also brings improvements for business customers, really accelerates opportunity for developers, and enables device makers to offer lower cost devices.
See what’s new with Windows 8.1 in the latest update, including easier mouse and keyboard functions, a new taskbar, and Bing’s improved Smart Search!
Easier access to your favorite apps and key controls:
image
On the Start screen, on select devices you will now find Power and Search buttons at the upper-right corner next to your account picture. You can now more quickly shut down your PC if you need to and do a search right from the Start screen.
If you like using the desktop, you will be happy to know that select devices will now boot to desktop as the default setting. And on your taskbar, you can now pin both desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store as well as your favorite websites. You can now pin any app you want to the taskbar so you can open or switch between apps right from the desktop. I’ve got some of my favorite apps like Xbox Music, Skype, Facebook, Flipboard, and Mint pinned to my taskbar. You can also access the taskbar from anywhere when you’re using a mouse; you can see the taskbar on any screen by moving your mouse to the bottom edge of your screen. Just click on any of the apps pinned to your taskbar to open or switch to them.
More familiar mouse and keyboard options:
image
We’ve made it so your mouse works more consistently anywhere in Windows. If you move your mouse to the top of the screen when using a Windows Store app, you will see the familiar Close and Minimize buttons. And as I mentioned above, when you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen in a Windows Store app, the taskbar comes up.

image

On the Start screen, if you right-click on an app tile, you will get a context menu next to the app tile that shows you what you can do with the tile, like unpin from Start, pin to the taskbar, change the tile size or even uninstall the app. Right-clicking on an app tile on the Start screen works just like right-clicking on something on the desktop.
Simpler way to find new apps:
image
After installing the update, you’ll find the Windows Store is now pinned to the taskbar by default so you can easily discover new apps (yes, you can unpin it if you don’t want it there).
image
And after installing new apps, you’ll notice a message at the lower-left corner of the Start screen that points you to the Apps view so you can see what you recently just installed.
Seamless browsing on all devices:
image
With today’s update, Internet Explorer 11 adapts your browsing experience by detecting your Windows device and input type – whether an 8-inch touch tablet in portrait mode or a 24-inch desktop with mouse and keyboard. The web is still front-and-center but new design enhancements make your browsing experience feel like it was made just for your device – like the number of tabs on-screen, the size of the fonts and menus. You can also now control when the browser remains on-screen or hides away for full-screen browsing. Check out 22tracksto see these updates in action.
Improvements for business customers: We are introducing several key improvements for businesses such as Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE) and extended Mobile Device Management (MDM). EMIE enables Internet Explorer 8 compatibility on Internet Explorer 11 so companies can run existing web-based apps seamlessly on Windows 8.1 devices. And with extended MDM, we are introducing additional policy settings that can be managed with whatever MDM solution an enterprise chooses including whitelisting or blacklisting Windows Store apps and websites. Look for a blog post later today on the Windows for your Business Blog that discusses these in greater detail and a post on the Springboard Series Blogon deployment guidance for the Windows 8.1 Update.
New low cost devices:With the Windows 8.1 Update, we have enabled our hardware partners to build lower cost devices for Windows such as devices with only 1GB RAM and 16GB of storage that provide customers with the experience they expect from a Windows device without sacrificing performance.
We have made the Windows 8.1 Update available today for MSDN subscribers, and will begin to roll it out for free to Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 customers via Windows Update next Tuesday April 8th. For the majority of folks, they will receive the update automatically. If you are still on Windows 8, you can get the Windows 8.1 Update via the Windows Store on April 8th as well.
NOTE: The Windows 8.1 Update will be KB2919355 for those of you interested.
We’re really excited to get this update out to everyone! Moving forward, we’ll continue to deliver improvements through regular updates like this one to Windows, allowing us to respond more quickly to customer feedback as your needs change.
Tags: Windows 8, Keyboard, Start screen, Windows Store, Windows 8.1, search, Apps, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows, Update, Pinning,Taskbar, Mouse

Extending platform commonality through universal Windows apps [by  Kevin Gallo on Building Apps for Windows, April 2, 2014]

Today during our BUILD conference in San Francisco we unveiled the latest Windows software for phones, tablets, and PCs. Windows Phone 8.1 further establishes Windows Phone as the world’s most personal smartphone, with an even more engaging Start screen, the fastest keyboard on the market, thanks to Word Flow, and of course Cortana – the only personal digital assistant built around you. We also shared Windows 8.1 Update features such as UI improvements for mouse and keyboard users, the ability to pin Windows Store apps to the taskbar, and Internet Explorer compatibility enhancements. These OS features, and a new wave of devices that consumers will love, open up new opportunities for developers.
With this release of the Windows developer platform we set out to accomplish three major goals: 1) Reach customers across phones, tablets, and PCs; 2) Deliver innovation that supports developer investments; 3) Make cross-platform technology easier and more capable.
Reaching customers across phones, tablets, and PCs
Windows Phone 8 brought the same core set of operating system components used by Windows 8 to the modern UI of Windows Phone. Today we’re taking an even bigger step with Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update by empowering developers to create universal Windows apps for a common Windows runtime.
Since universal Windows apps run on the same Windows runtime, developers have a common way of building and architecting apps for phones, tablets and PCs; from how they handle suspend and resume and do background processing, to the way they manage in-app security.
To help developers create universal Windows apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, we’ve announced the release of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC. In addition to enhanced productivity and collaboration features, Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC includes Shared Projects that allow developers to create an app that is easily tailored to render a contextually appropriate experience across Windows phones, tablets and PCs. Get the tools now!
Innovation that supports developer investments
We’ve designed Windows for the long term, to address developers’ needs today, while respecting prior investments. We do this with one familiar toolset based on Visual Studio 2013, with support for C#, C++, JavaScript, XAML, DirectX, and HTML. The tools and technology stacks already used by hundreds of thousands of developers extend app development across Windows devices. Developers who have built apps for Windows 8.1 will find it fairly easy to reuse their work and bring tailored experiences to Windows Phone 8.1. Windows Phone 8 developers can use the same code, and also access new features, when they develop for Windows Phone 8.1.
Windows now also offers an expansive set of common APIs for everything from displaying notification toasts to accessing the file system and device capabilities. With Windows Phone 8.1, we are adding a wide array of new features including support for Bluetooth LE to connect to devices, Action Center extensibility to more effectively connect with users, triggers to ensure battery-friendly multitasking, VPN so end users can connect to their workplace, and many more.
Even Cortana delivers developer extensibility. Cortana brings a significant evolution of the speech technology developed by Windows and Bing, which first appeared in Windows Phone 8. In Windows Phone 8.1 we expose new enhancements to the Speech API that developers can use to integrate their apps with the Cortana family of services. Developers can now leverage speech recognition and voice commands to denote a series of actions triggered by heuristically derived scenarios that are surfaced through the Cortana speech recognition service. Fewer steps and more types of natural verbal exchanges open more apps. All of this is delivered through a simple API so developers who use Windows Phone 8 speech features today can plug into Cortana with little additional effort.
Developers are interacting with tablets and Windows computers in new ways as well. Kinect for Windows v2 will be released this summer. Soon developers can start building Kinect apps for Windows Store and publish or commercially deploy Kinect apps and solutions.
We’re also improving the way people find and use apps, as well as increasing monetization options and providing a more consistent Store experience across devices and markets. Developers can choose to link apps among phones, tablets and PCs so when a user downloads an app on one device they can install it on all of their Windows devices, increasing usage and engagement. Windows 8.1 Update brings the Store icon and pinned apps to the taskbar on the desktop. Developers are also getting more ways to market and monetize apps, such as common price tiers that bring the popular $0.99 and $1.29 price point to PCs, and updated advertising SDKs that support more rich media standards for better fill rates.
Also, by popular demand, we’ll soon be piloting a program through which developers can directly respond to app reviews to address potential confusion or other issues that may be hurting their ratings. These are just a few of the new Windows Store features being detailed this week during BUILD. Todd Brix will share much more detail about what’s new in Windows Store later today.
Make cross-platform technology easier and more capable
We’ve also been working for developers who may not already be on the Windows platform by supporting a mix of languages, runtimes, frameworks, and protocols that run across devices. Middleware partners like Unity have helped developers bring thousands of titles to the Windows Store. In a newly released beta version, Unity is delivering support for Windows Phone 8.1, including universal Windows apps.
Microsoft Open Technologies also works with various open source communities to contribute code to popular C++ frameworks and optimize them for Windows devices. For example, Windows Store supports Cocos2D-X, openFrameworks, OpenCV, Cinder, and Ogre3D apps. Box2D and Bullet also have joined the Windows Store. jQuery now fully supports Windows Runtime, so web developers can build Windows 8 apps reusing their existing code and skills. Developers who use HTML5 to build cross-platform apps for iOS and Android with tools like Apache Cordova will find it easy to port their apps to Windows.
In fact, we’re taking a much more pragmatic approach to the web in general. We know that HTML is a critical cross-platform technology. Windows Phone 8.1 brings the same powerful hardware-accelerated IE11 HTML engine in Windows 8.1 to the phone. We’ve made great strides in extending IE to developers by focusing on open standards. Now we want to focus even more on interoperability. We already support WebGL and other technologies, such as media streaming extensions for adaptive streaming scenarios.
Today we’re also announcing that Microsoft Open Technologies has brought the Windows Library for JavaScript (WinJS) cross-platform apps and is open sourcing it under the Apache 2.0 license. Find the source code on GitHub. Use this powerful Windows development framework to build high-quality web apps across a variety of browsers and devices beyond Windows, including Chrome, Firefox, Android, and iOS.
Where we go from here
We’re enabling universal Windows apps for a common Windows runtime today, and we know we have more work to do, including expanding the range of devices running universal Windows apps so developers can reach more customers in more places, from Xbox One and the Internet of Things scenarios, to millions more desktop Windows users. We also continue to strive to make the app development, submission, and management process faster and easier. In the coming weeks and months, you’ll see additional updates to the Windows platform – including tools and Store – all designed to deliver even better experiences and enable greater opportunity for our developer community.
Tags: phone, PC, Tablet

MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC

wPAN = wireless Personal Area Network    
In case of MediaTek a wPAN is organised around the smartphone. Take special note of the new ANT/ANT+ wearable link, Bluetooth 4.1 or Bluetooth Low Energy as called otherwise, as well as the 802.11ac Wi-Fi and multi-system GNSS technologies, all described in this post as new ones with roles in wPANs/IoT.
IoT = Internet of Things

Update: Shipment ratio of 8-core smartphone solutions to be lower in 2014 [DIGITIMES, March 13, 2014]

The shipment ratio of 8-core processors to total smartphone solution shipments will not be higher in 2014 as brand and white-box handset vendors in China will still prefer to use quad-core models in order to build their share in the entry-level to mid-range segment, according to industry sources.
While Samsung Electronics has been more upbeat about sales of 8-core smartphones, it remains unknown whether shipments of the Galaxy S5 will be as brisk as expected, said the sources.
Although a number of handset vendors in China have voiced their support for MediaTek’s 8-core CPUs, few of them have completed the design-in process for 8-core models, which will limit shipments of 8-core processors in 2014, revealed the sources.
Additionally, MediaTek has maintained a price gap between quad-core and 8-core CPUs in order to continue ramping up shipments of its quad-core solutions, said the sources, adding that MediaTek is also unlikely to adopt an aggressive price strategy to promote 8-core CPUs for the time being.
Since suppliers of 8-core chips are limited and demand for the top-end 8-core smartphones is getting lower, shipments of 8-core solutions are unlikely to ramp up until 2015, the sources commented.

First let’s look at the current standing of MediaTek on the market, and then at their strategy and products in Mediatek@MWC 2014: Jeffrey Ju, Head of Smartphones, Pre-MWC Presentation [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 5, 2014]:

Jeffrey Ju, Mediatek Head of Smartphones, talks about new product announcements at an exclusive invitation-only event for press and analysts ahead of Mobile World Congress.

imageNote that at this MWC event for the press and
analysts Ju’s presentation was the 2nd one, following a repositioning/rebranding presentation by Johan Lodenius, CMO of MediaTek which will be embedded here later on.

Note: As the MT6595 was announced earlier it has been presented with all related details in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

Just 4 slides from that presentation in order to show here what kind of giant MediaTek is:

image

image

image

image

Then Mediatek@MWC 2014: Words from the media at the Fabrica Moritz Launch Event [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 3, 2014]

Mediatek hosted an exclusive invitation-only event for press and analysts ahead of Mobile World Congress to unveil the new Everyday Genius campaign and its forthcoming product announcements. Find out what the media thought about the new direction and products announced by Mediatek.

image

image


image

from PDF, also available as MediaTek to focus more on western markets as it targets Qualcomm
Watch also: Interview – CFO, MediaTek [Mobile World Live, March 3, 2014]

Targeting Qualcomm with products announced at MWC 2013 for the “super-mid market” just being born:
64-bit quad-core LTE SoC MT6732 [MediaTek press release, Feb 24, 2014]

MediaTek wants to make the world a more inclusive place, where the best user experiences and fully connected does not mean expensive,” said Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer for MediaTek. “We are committed to power devices that accelerate the global demographic and cultural transformation. Inclusiveness is such an important part of MediaTek’s vision, which is why we strive to put technology in the hands of everyone, to enable everyone to be an everyday genius.

Following the launch of the world’s first 4G LTE Octa-core smartphone SOC – MT6595 – earlier this month*, we are quickly expanding our LTE offering across a range of performance points to meet the growing demand for smartphone devices across all markets. The MT6732 provides excellent performance and a very comprehensive feature set.

…added Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

* The 32-bit octa-core LTE SoC MT6595 is to be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year. See the details in the roadmap slide following the MT6732/MT6752 spacifications (the table below), as well as in the press release included in the end of this post.

Update: MT6732—64-bit LTE SOC with ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cluster and Mali-T760 GPU [product page, March 13, 2014]

Overview

MediaTek MT6732 targets the rising ‘super-mid ‘market with LTE and a next-generation coherent 64-bit ARM® Cortex®-A53 cluster and Mali™-T760 GPU.

Features

64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Quad-core 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 processor
  • ARM Mali-T760 GPU with Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 support

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Low-power 1080p video playback at 30sps
  • H.265 and H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording 
  • 13MP camera image signal processor with PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices 
  • MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated Multi-mode 4G LTE Modem

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42Mbit/s downlink, 11Mbit/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0 for low-power connections to fitness gadgets, wearables and other wireless accessories

64-bit octa-core LTE SoC MT6752 [MediaTek press release, Feb 25, 2014]

“The MT6752 is part of our commitment to provide high performance yet cost effective solutions, accelerating the global demographic and cultural transformation for the Super-mid market. We continue to democratize technology as previously seen in the TV and DVD industries. We launched world’s first true octa-core solution in November 2013 and now we continue to extend our lead to deliver on our vision to make the world a more inclusive place,”  said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

image

This is how the latest SoCs fit into the traditional roadmap (leaked in China) structure from which the new “super-mid market” is going to be born (according to MediaTek):

imageSee the MT6595 details in the press release included in the end of this post. Alternatively all details are provided in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

The essence of this repositioning: Mediatek – Everyday Genius [mediateklab YouTube channel, Feb 23, 2014]

We’re Mediatek. We make the technology that’s at the heart of the things you use every day, from smartphones and tablets to smart TVs and wearable devices. Technology solves problems and makes exciting new things possible. It makes us smarter in ways we don’t always expect, enabling us to do more — and enjoy more. At Mediatek, we believe technology can fulfill the potential that’s inside all of us and that’s why we’re making the world a more inclusive place. We want technology to be accessible to everybody. We want everyone to be an Everyday Genius.

From Everyday Genius [MediaTek campaign page, Feb 22, 2014]

Introducing Everyday Genius

The world is becoming a more connected place and MediaTek is making it happen. Our technology not only powers the smartphones and tablets helping people around the world get online for the first time, but also the Smart TVs and wearable technology that offer completely new ways to communicate. We’re even working hard to bring the Internet of Things to life, where everything and everyone can talk to each other using the internet. MediaTek makes life easier and more enjoyable, often in ways we couldn’t even imagine a few years ago. Our technology expands horizons and creates new opportunities to discover more about the world. We’re giving rise to a new generation of coders, unlocking new creative talent and inventing new ways of doing business — and we want to do it for everyone. With the right help, we believe anyone can achieve something amazing, even if it’s just in a small way. And we believe they can do it every single day. We call this idea Everyday Genius and everything we do is dedicated to making it happen.

What we do — and why we do it

MediaTek is a fabless semiconductor company, which is another way of saying we design chips for electronic devices that our partners manufacture. Our expertise is in shrinking multiple components into a chip no larger than your fingernail. So where anything from a DVD player to a smartphone used to require a complex array of chips to perform their many sophisticated tasks, they can now do the same thing with just one or two. This tight integration of components makes all kinds of technology much more efficient and the more efficient something is, the more it can do with even less resources. More importantly, it makes technology affordable to all. Making technology more affordable and more accessible is something MediaTek is deeply committed to — and something that’s at the very heart of Everyday Genius.

imageThe repositioning/rebranding presentation which was actually the 1st one at the event for the press and analysts: MWC 2014 Cocktail Party – [MediaTek] CMO Johan Lodenius Presentation [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 3, 2014]

We have been on a fast moving journey since 1997.
Now we are taking our game to the next level with our products, business models and marketing.
The new branding is the foundation and this is the kick-off, but it’s just the beginning!

There is a huge transformation going on in the marketplace.
Emerging markets are disappearing and the general view in the west of the developing world is being challenged. This means a lot more opportunity for everyone, wherever you are.

Everyday Genius is the great outcome of the new all-inclusive connected mobile world.
For the first time it’s a level playing field, we can all be an Everyday Genius in this day and age.
– Whoever we are, wherever we are;
– Whatever our interests and desires are.

image

image

image

image

image    image

Subsidies are being to be replaced by new buy-back and trade-in incentive programs. … Average prices will have to be adjusted to more normal, commoditized market levels

image

Android is now in over eighty percent of the world’s smartphones. That’s my own calculation because it was seventy-nine percent according to Strategy Analysis at the end of 2013. Android works the same way in all devices across phones and tablets creating a uniformed user experience. There’s more differentiation in the apps than in the OS itself. This means that Android is a great user experience leveller cross price tiers as the world is flattening.

All this gives strong reasons to believe that the current market structure is going to change, radically:image

The super-mid market is born, fueled by global middle-class growth and the key industry changes we just talked about. We characterize super-mid as eighty percent in the middle with two dotted lines as boundaries at the opposite ends. The low boundary is set at 79 dollars, and the high boundary at 399 dollars. … This means that at the top of the range performance products are being pushed down into the super-mid, and price levels are getting adjusted.

image

image

image

Mediatek@MWC 2014: Everyone can be an Everyday Genius [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 3, 2014]

Mediatek introduced its new Everyday Genius campaign at Mobile World Congress 2014. Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer, explains the rationale behind the concept and how it addresses the needs of the new super-mid market segment that has emerged.

Mediatek@MWC 2014: Internet of Things, Wearable Technology, Wireless Charging and more. [mediateklab YouTube channel, March 5, 2014]

In addition to a new brand identity, Mediatek introduced a number of new products at Mobile World Congress 2014. Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer, talks about resonance wireless charging, wearable technology, the Internet of Things, the new high powered MT6595 mobile chip and the company’s ambitions.
Note that the MT6595 was announced earlier, and also has been presented in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

resonance wireless charging: MediaTek MT3188 Multi-Mode Wireless Charging ASIC Supports Inductive and Resonant Modes [press release, Feb 25, 2014]

MediaTek today announced MT3188, the world’s first multi-mode wireless charging ASIC that supports multiple competing standards. MediaTek MT3188 is a tightly-integrated solution that supports resonant charging technology and is fully compatible with current inductive chargers certified by the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) and the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).

Key features

  • Compatible with existing PMA and WPC inductive standards as well as emerging resonant wireless standard A4WP
  • Ultra-compact design for smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices
  • Highly integrated, with an optimized bill of materials that requires no external active components
  • Supports out-of band communications in resonant mode (A4WP)
  • Provides the option of in-band communications in resonant mode for applications where a Bluetooth transceiver is not available
  • Operates stand alone or with Mediatek MT6595, MT6732 or other systems on a chip
  • Sampling now, with first commercial devices expected in Q3 2014

“With resonant charging, MediaTek makes consumer lives better. The devices can be placed in any position on a resonant charging mat and one mat can simultaneously charge multiple devices with different power needs at their optimum rates,” said Mark Estabrook, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at MediaTek. “Resonant charging also works through non-metallic materials, so there’s no need to remove a smartphone case before charging and the chargers can be built easily into furniture and vehicles.”  

MediaTek’s in-band communication technology for power control provides a simple and reliable way to add resonant wireless charging support to a whole host of consumer devices where Bluetooth transceivers may not be available for out-of-band communication, such as ebook readers, noise-cancelling headphones and even spare batteries.

MediaTek MT3188 requires no external active components and its highly-optimized bill of materials (BOM) is comparable to best-in-class WPC inductive solutions. The solution can be mounted on a mobile device’s main PCB or battery cover, and provides a programmable output voltage from 1.5V to 5V at 1.4A (7.0W maximum). MT3188 is powered wholly by the charger and works even with a completely discharged battery.

MediaTek is an active contributor to the wireless charging standards community, and is co-vice chair for resonant technology at PMA and a member of WPC. Mediatek is also a member of the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) — a not-for-profit organisation that supports Rezence™ resonant charging technology.

MediaTek MT3188 is sampling now and expected to feature in commercial devices within Q3 2014.

More information: The convenience of wireless charging: It’s just physics [MediaTek whitepaper by Mark Estabrook, Jan 10, 2014]

wearable technology: MediaTek to Showcase Multiple New Products and Technologies at CES 2014 [press release, Jan 3, 2014]

MediaTek presents the all-in-one solution for wearables, Aster. It is not only the smallest SOC with high integration, but provides also a comprehensive Application Framework, MRE (MediaTek Run-time Environment) that allows users to install and upgrade APPs.

Internet of Things
Cloud applications, video over Wi-Fi (VoW), indoor positioning and smart home automation

MediaTek Going Wearable, Chinese & Cheap [EE Times, Jan 31, 2014]

MediaTek is quietly going after the emerging market of under-$50 wearable devices.

The company’s new “all-in-one” SoC, called Aster, is sampling now only to a select group of customers. The chip is not officially announced yet, with no datasheets or block diagrams publicly available.

Aster integrates ARM7 ESJ, Bluetooth 4.0/Bluetooth Low Energy, power management IC, and memory (4 Mbytes of flash and 4 Mbytes of SRAM). Housed in a 5.4 x 6 mm package, MediaTek describes Aster as the “smallest SoC” with “highest integration” for wearable devices.

Aster also comes with a comprehensive Application Framework. Its Run-Time Environment will make it easy for users to install and upgrade apps and run them on wearable devices, according to MediaTek.

With an ear close to the ground in China, Taiwan’s consumer chip behemoth MediaTek appears to know about something not readily evident to most system vendors and chip companies in the West: a surge in Chinese consumer demand for new gizmos designed to leverage the power of smartphones.

“Innovation can come up very quickly in China compared to Western society,” Cliff Lin, senior director of MediaTek’s US corporate marketing, told EE Times.

Let a thousand flowers bloom
MediaTek’s Aster, together with the company’s wearable “turnkey solutions,” is designed to let a thousand flowers bloom in a number of new consumer devices, ranging from a Bluetooth dialer to a smartwatch. These devices are meant to be wirelessly connected to a smartphone, a device already ubiquitous.

It’s important to note that these wearable devices MediaTek has in mind are not positioned to replace smartphones — an idea sharply divergent from the hopeful thinking, more popular in the West, that wearable devices will supplant phones.

A Bluetooth dialer, for example, is, technically, not a phone. But the sleek, convenient device helps a user dial or receive a call without forcing her to haul a bulky tablet or phablet out of her bag.

Some in the industry, especially in the West, might argue that calling such a device — whose function appears to be simply a remote-control unit inside an already available smartphone — “wearable” is an overstatement.

After all, today’s wearable devices, if loosely defined, are all over the map — ranging from wristwatches, shoes, and glasses to headbands, clothing, and home healthcare devices — with no killer wearable form factor on the horizon, at least not yet.

Different wearable devices demand a different set of sensors. They also come in different shapes and sizes, as they will be worn on different parts of the body. Their evolutionary trajectory suggests that they will be far more diverse and complex than mere remote-control units in smartphones.

And the fact is, many smartwatches on the market today are designed for just that purpose. Besides email, voice mail, and social network message notifications, a smartwatch can control various functions of a smartphone remotely.

MediaTek’s Lin added that its Aster is even capable of offering a “viewfinder function” on a wearable device, when wirelessly connected to a smartphone’s camera. By reducing the image size, the picture can be transferred via Bluetooth from a camera in the smartphone to a small display of the new smartwatch. It allows a user to remotely frame a picture right on a smartwatch display, instead of awkwardly tilting a bulky phablet in the air.

Although MediaTek displayed Aster at its suite during the International CES earlier this month, the company is not giving out any more details of the SoC. When asked about its price, Lin noted that Aster is “suitably priced for end-products ranging from $20 to $50.” The SoC’s mass production is slated for the third quarter of 2014.

Internet of Things: MediaTek and ANT Create New Opportunities for Connected Lifestyle, Health and Home Management [ANT Wireless press release, Feb 26, 2014

New chip links mobile platform innovators to millions of available ANT+ wearables and devices

ANT Wireless, proven innovator in ultra low power (ULP) short range wireless technology and ANT+ interoperability, and MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company of wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announce native support for the ANT wireless protocol in MediaTek’s new MT6630 5-in-1 combo connectivity chip. Targeted for premium smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices aligned with the super-mid category of chips, the single chip MT6630 allows integrators to link end users to the millions of leading ANT+ wearables and products for sport, fitness and health as well as smart home and location based service devices.

The feature-rich MT6630 combines the latest connectivity options in a low power, small footprint chip including 802.11ac Wi-Fi, ANT, Bluetooth 4.1, multi-system GNSS, [Global Navigation Satellite System may also refer to GLONASS], and FM. Delivering full concurrent operation of all five systems, the MT6630 offers the advanced capabilities of ANT+ interoperability and connection to the vast array of certified ANT+ devices including monitors and software that track activity, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle oxygen, running, cycling, swimming, hiking, weight, etc..  ANT wireless communication will also facilitate the expanding connected use cases in home and industrial environments.

“MediaTek is committed to bringing an optimal experience to the digital home and mobile applications.  ANT complements our unique leadership position,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit.  “ANT will continue to be a driver of wireless and wearable solutions for the Internet of Things.  MediaTek’s inclusion of this established protocol gives manufacturers and their consumers simple and direct access to these innovative ANT+ products.”

“Our collaboration with MediaTek greatly expands access to more ANT+ enabled phones and ANT+ sensors, in more markets and regions, which is fantastic for everyone:  mobile OEMs, ANT+ product manufacturers, and consumers,” added Rod Morris, Vice President, ANT Wireless.  “The result will be a great range of offerings and best-in-class lifestyle products worldwide.”  

MediaTek will be demonstrating ANT+ in combination with the MT6630 solution at Mobile World Congress, Feb 24-27, Hall 6, Stand 6E11. The MT6630 is sampling now and the first commercially available devices to use MT6630 IC’s are expected in the second half of 2014.  ANT Wireless is also exhibiting at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain, February 24 – 27, Hall 7, Stand 7M49.

Celebrating over ten years in ultra low power wireless technology, ANT also offers its expanded suite of ANT+ Plugins for Android applications to app developers and manufacturers selecting the MT6630.   ANT+ Plugins eliminate the need for ANT+ profile development and technical expertise and facilitate the path to seamless ANT+ connectivity.

###

About MediaTek
MediaTek is a pioneering fabless semiconductor company, and a market leader in cutting-edge systems on a chip for wireless communications, HDTV, DVD and Blu-ray. MediaTek created the world’s first octa-core smartphone platform with LTE and its CorePilotTM technology released the full power of multi-core mobile processors. MediaTek [TSE:2454] is headquartered in Taiwan and has offices worldwide. Please visit www.Mediatek.com for more information.  Press Office:  PR@Mediatek.com  +1 650 283 2781

About ANT / ANT+ (www.thisisant.com**)
ANT is a proven protocol and silicon solution for ultra low power (ULP) practical wireless networking applications. ANT+ is the pervasive ULP wireless technology facilitating the capture of critical market share in the exploding mobile sensor sector. With over 100 million devices in the market, ANT+ facilitates interoperability between ANT+ devices and the collection, automatic transfer and tracking of sensor data. This standardized communication platform enables quick-to-market solutions for application developers, sensor manufacturers and cell phone makers. ANT+ has amassed an ecosystem of world-class technology vendors in the ANT+ Alliance, an open special interest group of companies who have adopted the ANT+ promise of interoperability. These industry leaders offer readily-available brand name products for sport, wellness management and home health monitoring. 

** Note that the web pages of www.thisisant.com describe ANT as:
ANT is a Wireless Personal Network [otherwise wPAN] protocol, by Dynastream Innovations Inc., with small size, reasonable cost and Very Low Power requirements.

My insert here: ANT+, from technology to the ecosystem [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, Oct 13, 2010], read also on Wikipedia:
ANT (a proprietary  open access  multicast  wireless sensor network  technology)
ANT+ (an interoperability function that can be added to the base ANT protocol)

ANT+ business development manager, Dallin Doney, walks you through ANT technology to many branded ANT+ products in sports, fitness and wellness. Products showcased are from Adidas, A&D, Digifit, Garmin, Star Trac, Tanita, Timex and Wahoofitness

The company behind ANT Wireless is Dynastream Innovations Inc. (www.dynastream.com).   Dynastream was established in 1998 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. in December 2006. Dynastream is based in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, and is a world innovator in the research and development of inertial and wireless technology.

ANT+ Product Directory (www.thisisant.com/directory)
The ANT+ Product Directory is a complete inventory of all ANT+ certified or verified products. It is a tool designed specifically to help consumers source hundreds of industry-leading devices and all compatible products within the vast ANT+ ecosystem. Devices may be searched by product name, brand, activity or product category, allowing the consumer to create a monitoring system that meets their specific needs.

To get some idea watch these ANT-related videos
(see more in http://www.thisisant.com/news/video-gallery/):
– for lifestyle:  Technology in Fitness – Enhancing the User Experience! [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]

FIT-C President, Bryan O’Rourke, and ANT Wireless Sales Manager, Paul Lockington, discuss technology in fitness, the opportunities, and the need to enhance the user experience through data monitoring and wearable technologies. http://www.thisisant.com http://www.bryankorourke.com

– for health: 4iiii Innovation’s Cliiiimb System Demo [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]

4iiii’s Product Manager, Alana Baxter, demonstrates the new Cliiiimb system – an ANT+ enabled KOM experience powered by Strava that combines Sportiiiis heads-up audio visual display, Viiiiva heart rate monitor with iPhone connectivity. http://www.thisisant.com. http://www.4iiii.com.

– for home management: ANT Lighting Control Demo [ANTAlliance YouTube channel, July 31, 2013]

ANT Wireless Global Sales Manager, Mike Paradis, demonstrates the features of an ANT enabled lighting control system and explains the benefits of ANT/ANT+ home and industrial automation. For more information visit http://www.thisisant.com.

Mediatek Announces MT6630, World’s First Five-in-One Combo Wireless Connectivity SOC for Mobile Devices [press release, Feb 25, 2014]

Mediatek today announced MT6630, the world’s first five-in-one combo wireless system-on-a-chip (SOC) to support full featured smartphones, tablets and other premium mobile devices.

The MT6630 dramatically reduces the component count and eBOM while improving ease-of-design for manufacturers by eliminating external low noise amplifiers (LNAs) and integrating the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz power amplifiers (PAs), Bluetooth PA, and transmit-receive (T/R) switch into a PCBA footprint less than 65 mm2.

Key features

  • Dual-band single-stream 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with 20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth
  • 802.11v time of flight protocol support and management engines to enable higher accuracy of indoor positioning via Wi-Fi
  • Advanced support for Wi-Fi Direct Services and Miracast™ optimization for easier pairing, increased robustness, advanced use-cases and lower power
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with Classic, High-Speed and Low-Energy support, and ANT+ for compatibility with the latest fitness tracking, health monitoring and point of information devices and applications
  • Concurrent tri-band reception of GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS with industry leading sensitivity, low power, positioning accuracy, and the longest prediction engine
  • FM transceiver with RDS/RBDS
  • Integrated engines and algorithms for full concurrent operation and co-existence, including industry-leading throughput during LTE transmission

MT6630 delivers full concurrent operation of all 5 systems operating at maximum compute intensity with no degradation compared to single-system operation while offloading the mobile device CPU for design ease and extended battery life.

As a focus on low power and digital home convergence, the MT6630 uses a configurable PA architecture to save current at commonly used power levels, including those used for Miracast™ Wi-Fi Direct services. MT6630 implements advanced co-existence techniques, including for LTE to deliver industry-leading throughputs. MT6630 also supports Wi-Fi diversity for premium smartphones and tablets to improve antenna angle sensitivity and handheld scenarios.

“MT6630 makes it simple for manufacturers to bring mobile devices to market with sophisticated wireless features, lower power and uncompromised performance,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit. “MT6630 furthers MediaTek’s focus to deliver the best experiences across the digital home and mobile applications by using its unique leadership position in digital TV host processors, smartphone platforms, and connectivity.”

The small-footprint design is available in 5 x 5mm WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) or a 7 x 7mm QFN (Quad Flat No-Leads) and requires only 44 components, which is around half that of other integrated wireless solutions.

Mediatek MT6630 is sampling now and complements the recently announced MT6595 octa-core SOC with LTE for premium mobile devices. The first commercially available devices to use MT6630 are expected in the second half of 2014.

new high powered MT6595: MediaTek Announces MT6595, World’s First 4G LTE Octa-Core Smartphone SOC with ARM Cortex-A17 and Ultra HD H.265 Codec Support [press release, Feb 11, 2014]

Note: As the MT6595 was announced earlier it has been presented with all related details in the earlier ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Feb 18, 2014] post of mine.

MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology enables outstanding performance with leading energy efficiency

MediaTek today announces the MT6595, a premium mobile solution with the world’s first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone SOC powered by the latest Cortex-A17™ CPUs from ARM®.

The MT6595 employs ARM’s big.LITTLE™ architecture with MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology to deliver a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) platform that unlocks the full power of all eight cores. An advanced scheduler algorithm with adaptive thermal and interactive power management delivers superior multi-tasking performance and excellent sustained performance-per-watt for a premium mobile experience.

Excellent Performance-Per-Watt
Four ARM Cortex-A17™, each with significant performance improvement over previous-generation processors, plus four Cortex-A7™ CPUs
ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture with full-system coherency performs sophisticated tasks efficiently
• Integrated Imagination Technologies PowerVR™ Series6 GPU for high-performance graphics

Integrated 4G LTE Multi-Mode Modem
• Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE with data rates up to 150Mbits/s downlink and 50Mbits/s uplink
• DC-HSPA+ (42Mbits/s), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks
• 30+ 3GPP RF bands support to meet operator needs worldwide

World-Class Multimedia Subsystems
• World’s first mobile SOC with integrated, low-power hardware support for the new H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, in addition to Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9
• Supports 24-bit 192 kHz Hi-Fi quality audio codec with high performance digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) to head phone >110dB SNR
20MP camera capability and a high-definition WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display controller
• MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices
• MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

First MediaTek Mobile Platform Supporting 802.11ac
• Comprehensive complementary connectivity solution that supports 802.11ac
Multi-GNSS positioning systems including GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS
Bluetooth LE and ANT+ for ultra-low power connectivity with fitness tracking devices

World’s First Multimode Wireless Charging Receiver IC
• Multi-standard inductive and resonant wireless charging functionality available
• Supported by MediaTek’s companion multimode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek is focused on delivering a full-range of 4G LTE platforms and the MT6595 will enable our customers to deliver premium products with advanced features to a growing market,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

“Congratulations to MediaTek on being in a leading position to implement the new ARM Cortex-A17 processor in mobile device”, said Noel Hurley, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, ARM Product Division. “MediaTek has a keen understanding of the smartphone market and continues to identify innovative ways to bring a premium mobile experience to the masses.”

The MT6595 platform will be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
MediaTek Drives Global LTE Adoption with New ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7 [press release, Feb 25, 2014]

Powered by MediaTek’s 4G LTE Platform, ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7 will be available in Q2 delivering high-speed data performance to consumers worldwide

image

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 23 February, 2014 – MediaTek and ALCATEL ONETOUCH today announce the LTE-enabled ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7, powered by MediaTek’s 4G LTE quad-core platform. Available in Q2 this year, the POP S7 launch will bring 4G LTE to the mass market at an affordable price point, and will further extend the product range for both ALCATEL ONETOUCH and MediaTek across their respective global portfolio of LTE devices.

The POP S7 features MediaTek’s 1.3GHz quad-core processor and multi-mode 4G LTE modem MT6290.  By combining fast 4G connectivity with a sharp and bright 5” IPS display, users can enjoy a truly immersive mobile experience with the POP S7 such as streaming high-definition video content. 

The MT6290 multimode 4G LTE modem embedded within POP S7 supports LTE Release 9 CAT 4, enabling data rates as high as 150Mbit/s downlink. The MT6290 modem is also compatible with FDD and TDD modes, as well as HSPA+, W-CDMA, TD-SCDMA, EDGE and GSM/GPRS radio technologies. 

“MediaTek is proud to again be selected to power the latest ALCATEL ONETOUCH smartphone. The new ALCATEL ONETOUCH POP S7, designed for the mass market and featuring our multimode 4G LTE modem, is the exciting first step for MediaTek to demonstrate its global capability in the fast growing LTE market.” said, Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of Smartphone Business Unit, MediaTek. “Our aim is to unleash the potential of everyone for the creation of a better world by maximizing the capacity of technology innovation,” Jeffrey added. 

Dan Dery, CMO of ALCATEL ONETOUCH added, “The POP S7 is the first entry-level LTE-enabled smartphone powered by MediaTek’s innovative technology, and we’re rolling out across EMEA, APAC and other regions. We foresee a huge increase in LTE adoption worldwide in 2014, and we are pleased to working in close collaboration with MediaTek to meet the market demand at the right time.”

Samsung has unbeatable supply chain management, it is incredibly good in everything which is consumer hardware, but vulnerability remains in software and M&A

Crisis Message of Aug 29, 2015 from Hunbiased: Immigration which I very much felt to share here before anything else of my own: “ Immigration is *the* topic in the news in Hungary. It’s what all newscasts lead with and it’s the issue that dominates the front pages. How bad is the situation?  I take a look at some basic figures to see whether or not the current EU policies regarding immigration are fair and answer the question, “if Hungary is expected to absorb 140,000 people without batting an eyelid, how many people should Germany and the UK take?”


Samsung has unbeatable supply chain management, it is incredibly good in everything which is consumer hardware, but vulnerability remains in software and M&A

This is what people with software engineering background cannot understand at all and therefore significantly overestimate Microsoft’s chances to succeed in the consumer device space.

Previously I discussed on the ‘Experiencing the Cloud’:

which clearly indicated quite a number of exceptional corporate qualities of Samsung.

Now I will have a discussion heavily focussed on Samsung’s extraordinary strengths (from SCM to the Samsung Memory business), as well as on the company’s most pressing weaknesses (software and M&A) based on Samsung Analyst Day 2013, Nov 6, 2013, reflecting the below presentations and their reports in the worldwide media:image
See as well: As It Happened: Samsung’s Analyst Day [live blog on The Wall Street Journal Asia, Nov 6, 2013] and an analytic reflection of that Across Fonblets and Phablets Samsung Has 63% Share of all Android Mobile Devices [Localystics, Nov 7, 2013].

Accordingly this post contains the following sections:

  1. Samsung Supply Chain Management (SCM) information
    1. Historic Samsung SCM information
  2. Market/Business-specific current and strategic information
    1. Smartphones
    2. Phablets (‘Fonblets’ per Samsung)
    3. Tablets
    4. Wearable devices
    5. New [mobile/device] Market: The Next Big Thing
    6. Samsung System LSI
    7. Samsung Display
    8. Samsung Memory Business
    9. Software
    10. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As)

1. Samsung Supply Chain Management (SCM) information

image

Supply Chain Management (SCM) [Samsung SDS, Aug 27, 2013]

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a comprehensive and innovative activity, including process, system, and governance, which optimizes marketing, sales, development, manufacturing, purchasing, logistics, and service over the entire supply chain. We support the successful SCM innovation of your business by offering globally competitive services such as SCM diagnosis, Process Innovation (PI), integration establishment, Cello [Supply Chain LogisticsSCL] solution.
image
  • Demand Satisfaction
    Increase in demand forecast accuracy and supply ability index
  • Increased Market Response Ability
    Improved adherence to deadlines and shortened lead time in setting up plans
  • Global SCM Establishment and Integration
    Setting up and carrying out Global Single Plan in the Governance system

image

image

We are Samsung SDS! [SamsungSDSA (Samsung SDS America) YouTube channel, June 24, 2013]

From Samsung SDS leads in ‘shared growth’ [The Korea Times, Oct 30, 2013]

In July this year, it realigned structures into the following six smart town, smart manufacturing, smart convergence, smart security, smart logistics and smart ICT outsourcing for customized approaches to existing and future clients, according to the statement.

Service Overview [Samsung SDS, March 29, 2013] (see also: OverviewVisionHistoryGlobal Network >> Samsung Data System, established in May 1985)

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

image

1/A Historic Samsung SCM information:

The Samsung Group of companies is recognized as a leading global manufacturing, financial, and services conglomerate. It was founded in 1938 and focused its businesses on areas such as textiles, shipbuilding, machinery, and chemicals. Since the 1980s, the group has made enormous efforts and investment in the electronics and semiconductor industry. As a result, the Samsung Group has experienced a dramatic growth in net profits since the 1990s. The flagship unit, Samsung Electronics Company (SEC), was one of only two manufacturing companies worldwide to post profits of more than $10bn in 2004 (Toyota Motors being the other). Many regard these successes as reflecting a continuous and relentless effort at Samsung to improve the way it conducts business. For the last few years, SCM and six sigma have been two pillars of business innovation at Samsung.
The Samsung Group of companies has large, complex, global supply chains in most of the products it manufactures and makes extensive use of SCM solutions and process innovations to support and improve its operations. Most notably, at SEC, advanced planning and scheduling (APS) systems have been adopted since the 1990s and have brought the company many successes in terms of operational excellence. Recently, Samsung Electronics was ranked seventh in a respected analyst’s ranking of the global top 25 companies in supply chain excellence.
Six sigma has been a key enabler for the group’s success. The Chairman of the Group proclaimed the adoption of a business innovation approach called “new management” in 1993. “New management” is the pursuit of quality-oriented management in business operations as well as in manufacturing. Along with the “quality movement” in industry, new management evolved from initial product quality assurance but later shifted its focus to include the quality of the entire business process, which is the rationale behind six sigma. The outcomes were high-quality, innovative product developments, and consequently an increase in customer satisfaction and profits, and are well demonstrated by many of the world’s best technological resources.

Samsung’s SCM Business Team (SBT) researched six sigma approaches at General Electric (GE), DuPont and Honeywell to get perspectives on how other companies have innovatively applied six sigma to similar needs: … Each of the above approaches was analyzed and the following conclusions drawn, which fed into the subsequent development of the Samsung SCM six sigma methodology: …

Future direction
Today, there are various approaches and systems available for process innovation. Six sigma and supply chain management (SCM) are among those techniques aiming for process and quality improvement, and synchronization of a company’s value chain, from inbound logistics to sales and customer services.
At Samsung, SCM and six sigma have been two important enablers for the group’s management innovation and growth. However, Samsung realize that there is significant room for improvement in its SCM operation. Thus, the effort has been synthesizing SCM and six sigma and developing a unique six-sigma based methodology to improve its SCM operation.
Samsung’s effort and investment has turned out to be fruitful. Their SCM six sigma program has produced highly qualified and talented SCM specialists, who are currently training the methodology to other members in their organizations and leading SCM projects. SCM projects are being prepared and conducted in a more disciplined way and their outcomes are continuously monitored and shared through Samsung’s repository for six sigma. Samsung’s endeavour for global optimum is continuing and SCM six sigma is expected to play an enabling role.
imageSamsung Electronics, a leading Korean company as well as a symbol of the IT industry, carried out an innovative project to strengthen its global Supply Chain Management (SCM) execution ability, gaining the industry’s interest. Samsung Electronics placed its emphasis on the business management scenario of predicting and preparing for future environmental changes and competitiveness, which is one of the survival strategies of an industry with an unpredictable future. The company is aggressively establishing the foundation for enhancing business management speed and efficiency-oriented business management innovations since early this year. In accordance with this type of scenario, Microsoft’s Business Intelligence (BI) Platform provided life to Samsung Electronics’ SCM system. Samsung Electronics decided to implement an action-oriented BI solution that enables on-demand changes of business management plans and reflects these adjustments. As such, it decided to deploy SQL Server 2008, which can satisfy all three major requirements of BI solution, including ‘performance and reliability’, ‘cube write-back’ and ‘user convenience’, and the company is thoroughly experiencing the benefits of this IT innovation. In the face of enterprise-wide application, it has completed application in only its video display business division, so it is still too early to mention any fixed quantity of benefits. However, with this system implementation, Samsung Electronics expects to increase its forecast accuracy for product demands by more than 20%.

2. Market/Business-specific current and strategic information

2/A Smartphones:

imageSamsung executives said the biggest growth in smartphones would come in developing countries, where smartphone penetration remains lower. Worldwide, the company said, there are still three billion more basic “feature phones” in use.

“We believe there is substantial room for smartphone demand to grow,” said J.K. Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile division.

Mr. Shin said the company also intended to increase its market share in tablet computers, where it still trails Apple. Other executives painted a bullish picture even on televisions and home appliances, areas in which sales have been growing slowly or shrinking in recent years.
imageAt a rare analyst day event held in Seoul today, Samsung’s JK Shin announced that the company had sold more than 100 million Galaxy smartphones and Note phablets this year alone. … While the industry is expecting the high-end smartphone segment to slow down, Samsung is anticipating that the premium smartphone segment will outgrow market forecasts and is also gearing up for ultra premium smartphones. The company is rumored to launch a Galaxy F range of ultra-premium smartphones next year. … Overall, Shin believes that Samsung’s smartphone division still has room to grow with upcoming LTE deployments and the company’s innovations around bendable displays and companion devices.
Samsung’s stock price plunged 15 percent in June after JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley cut their profit outlooks, citing weaker-than-expected demand for its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4. However, the company is rebounding, having sold more than 40 million Galaxy S4s as of last month, according to executives. … It sold about 120 million handsets in the third quarter, researcher Strategy Analytics said on Oct. 29.
image… “People say the growth of the premium smartphone market will slow, but we don’t think so,” said Shin. “There are lots of opportunities for growth in various areas.” Shin said the market for Long-Term Evolution (LTE) smartphones, the fastest broadband devices, will grow 30 percent on average through 2017. About 680 million smartphones will be shipped in 2017, half of them LTE enabled, he said. [correctly from ZDNet: “The expansion of new LTE services, including LTE Advanced, will be the key growth driver,” said Jong-Kyun Shin, president and CEO of Samsung IT & Mobile Communication at an analyst event in Seoul on Wednesday. “Until 2017, we expect an annual average growth of near 30 percent in the LTE smartphone market, reaching 680 million units.” Shin said that come 2017, half [45%] of all phones sold will be LTE phones.]
imageThe craziest announcement was that 5.2-inch 560 PPI AMOLED smartphone displays are due in 2014, with 3840×2160 displays following in 2015. Assuming a screen size of around five inches, 3840×2160 (UHD, 4K) works out to be around 880 pixels per inch. By virtue of being based on OLED tech rather than LCD, Samsung says that the next few years will see lots of flexible displays being used in curved and bent devices, with foldable devices arriving around 2016. (Read: 8K UHDTV: How do you send a 48Gbps TV signal over terrestrial airwaves?)
… Is it really beneficial to keep pushing pixel densities as quickly as Moore’s law allows? The higher the pixel count, the more energy a display consumes. Considering our eyes have a tough time seeing the difference between 200 and 300 PPI, let alone 441 (current 5-inch smartphones) and next year’s 560 PPI, it seems a little counterintuitive to intentionally reduce battery life for negligible gain. Yes, Samsung and its users get to wave their huge PPIs in the face of the Apple opposition — but is that really what the smartphone market has come to?
imageJK Shin, Samsung’s president and chief executive of IT & Mobile (the business segment of Samsung Electronics that compares closely with Apple), outlined his outlook for the smartphone and tablet markets, promising that the company would “play a key role in the premium smartphone market.” He stated that from Samsung’s perspective, the premium market will continue to outgrow market forecasts, an apparent reversal of the company’s warnings from the beginning of the year about increasing competition in the plateauing market for premium Android smartphones.
That also seems to contradict Samsung’s sales results throughout the year. The company just stated that in its September quarter, premium smartphone sales “stayed about the same” rather than keeping pace with Apple’s growth, which comes entirely from premium smartphones.
imageJK Shin added that the global smartphone penetration rate is only at 21 percent so far, meaning there’s plenty of room for growth. Worldwide, about one billion smartphones will ship this year, with data from Strategy Analytics suggesting that’ll grow to 1.5 billion by 2015.

2/B Phablets (‘Fonblets’ per Samsung):

imageBy introducing its Galaxy Note product, Samsung highlighted its status as the creator of‘Fonblet’ market with large display, portability and handwriting technology. We believe that Samsung has a high hope for the big-sized smartphone market with over 5 inch display, which we define as phablet. Also it made us predict that Samsung may be working on a completely new type of ‘Fonblet’ to target both smartphone and tablet segments at the same time in around 2015 or 2016 timeframe.

2/C Tablets:

imageA top executive, Shin Jong-kyun, told analysts on Wednesday that Samsung’s tablet business is growing rapidly and the company will become the biggest maker of tablet computers. He didn’t give a timeframe. Shin said Samsung’s tablet sales will exceed 40 million units this year, more than double sales in 2012. “Samsung tablet shipments started to grow remarkably since the second half of last year,” he said.
Research group IDC estimates that Samsung sold 16.6 million tablets in image2012, lagging far behind Apple Inc. which sold 65.7 million iPads. But Samsung is on the rise, capturing 20 percent market share in the July-September quarter while Apple, which led the commercialization of tablet computing, fell to 30 percent. Apple previously had more than half of the global tablet market but its dominance has eroded as Samsung boosted sales with cheaper Galaxy Tab computers that offer many different screen sizes.
Source: http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24420613

according to which the Q3’13 Samsung tablet sales is 9.7 million, i.e. with H1’13 17.6 million the Q1-Q3’13 Samsung tablet sales are already 27.3 million units.

2/D Wearable devices:

imageSpeaking at the company’s Analyst Day, Samsung Vice Chairman and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun said Wednesday that his company has been dedicating significant resources to several technologies, including “wearables,” according to the Wall Street Journal, which was in attendance at the event. The slide to accompany his comment showed the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and also eyeglasses that might compete with Google Glass.
Rumors have been swirling that Samsung is at work on smart eyewear. Last month, a patent filing surfaced in Korea for Samsung eyewear. That application indicated that the device would be connected directly to a smartphone and feature built-in earphones.
Samsung has not announced any plans to launch a Google Glass competitor, but Kwon’s comments seem to indicate such a device is coming.
Samsung surprised attendees at its analyst day by announcing it will be bringing fully foldable screens to the market “sometime in 2015” and even teased the product with a chintzy promo video. Although the video’s focus was on phone and tablet combinations, the real opportunity here is in wearable techApple and Google should be on notice. Samsung could have a game changer with its foldable screen.
As the market for smartphones and tablets continues to become more contested, tech companies are increasingly looking at new growth opportunities. They may have found it in wearable tech: According to Juniper Research, worldwide imagespending on wearable tech will hit $1.4 billion this year and increase to $19 billion by 2018. Of these companies, Samsung has the most recent commercial product launch of these new generation of wearable tech products with its Galaxy Gear smart watch. So far, the product has witnessed tepid demand and modest reviews—mostly due to the fact it must be tethered to other Galaxy products for full functionality.

2/E New [mobile/device] Market: The Next Big Thing

imageInteresting to note here that, in tandem with talk of shareholder-friendly dividend increases, Samsung is also talking up growth, growth, growth. Mr. Shin just ticked off wearable devices, flexible devices, big data, the Internet of things [, and convergence]– “and much more” — as growth opportunities for the mobile division. “Therefore, we expect another huge growth in the mobile market in the near future,” Mr. Shin says.

Mr. Shin touches on big data, saying that the company will encorporate big data technology in providing software features for its devices. He says the company aims for a “fully integrated” user experience across all Samsung devices.

2/F Samsung System LSI:

imageAlluding to Apple’s custom 64-bit A7 Application Processor (which Samsung is manufacturing), [Dr. Namsung Stephen] Woo[, president of Samsung’s System LSI] said “many people were thinking ‘why do we need 64-bit for mobile devices?’ People were asking that question until three months ago, and now I think nobody is asking that question. Now people are asking ‘when can we have that? And will software run correctly on time?'”
Woo told his audience, “let me just tell you, we are… we have planned for it, we are marching on schedule. We will offer the first 64-bit AP based on ARM’s own core [reference design]. “For the second product after that we will offer even more optimized 64-bit based on our own optimization. So we are marching ahead with the 64-bit offering, and even though it’s a little too early, I think we are at the leader group in terms of 64-bit offerings.” … Woo … offered no comment on how Samsung planned to support existing software on its planned 64-bit offerings, nor even whether such a chip would get custom Android support or use Samsung’s own Tizen or some other operating system.

2/G Samsung Display:

image

According to ZDNet Korea, it looks like Samsung is going to focus on a particular type of tablets, AMOLED ones. So far, the tech giant has released only a handful of AMOLED display devices, so it will be pretty interesting to see what else gets produced.

A patent of a foldable mobile device filed with authorities in South Korea last month gave some clues as to the future of Samsung mobile devices.
But at an analyst day on Wednesday, some investors saw prototypes of a range of foldable mobile devices that Samsung is testing,  giving more details  on what they would actually do and look like. Reporters were banned from the conference and were not given access to see the prototypes, while the attendees were not permitted to take any photos inside the venue.
“The first one they showed us was the size of a [Galaxy] S3 smartphone which can be folded in half from top to bottom. So like a compact powder used by women,” said Jae H. Lee, an analyst with Daiwa Securities who attended the event.
“There was also one in the size of a lengthy wallet which can be unfolded on both sides into the size of a tablet computer,” Mr. Lee said, adding that both devices looked pretty good.
Other analysts  also seemed to be impressed.
Such devices “would further expand Samsung’s competitive advantage in premium smartphones,” Sundeep Bajikar, an analyst with Jefferies LLC who flew in to attend the event, wrote in a research note.
A spokesman for Samsung Display Co., which makes screens for Galaxy smartphones, said that designs displayed yesterday were “concept versions,” that do not have all the components needed to make a working smartphone.
The products are likely years away from commercialization; Samsung Chief Executive Kwon Oh-hyun, said that “foldable displayswould be presented in 2015.

2/H Samsung Memory Business:

Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chipmaker, vowed to take a solid lead in the global memory market with its advanced vertical NAND flash memory technology, based on plans to unveil 36-layer V-NAND flash memory chips next year.
“Samsung will definitely, if we can, enjoy an 80 percent market share,” said Robert Myung Yi, senior vice president of Samsung Electronics’ investor relations team, on Wednesday at Samsung Analyst Day 2013, where the company laid out its mid- and long-term strategies to investors and analysts.
A top executive from Samsung told The Korea Herald that “3-D NAND flash memory stacking 36 layers of memory cells will be mass produced by the latter half of next year.”
Samsung is currently the sole producer of V-NAND flash memory chips with 24 layers of cells.
This level of stacking is deemed sufficient to make the product profitable, according to Samsung.
In terms of V-NAND market share, Yi said the firm would not just pursue higher market share, but also make efforts to secure a high profit margin as well as balance supply between the planar NAND flash memory and V-NAND flash memory. V-NAND chips’ 3-D structure gives them a higher density and capacity than their 2-D rivals.
image
The Korean electronics giant expects the 3-D NAND market to grow 105 percent every year until 2017, and its market size to exceed that for planar NAND flash chips next year.
Stacking memory cells is a core technological issue for chipmakers, including Samsung’s local rival SK Hynix and U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology.
Despite their technology for the V-NAND, other chipmakers have yet to start mass producing 3-D memory chips due in part to underachievement in cell stacking.
SK Hynix CEO Park Sung-wook said in October that his firm, the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker, would be able to stack as many as 24 layers next year, adding, “We can do as well as Samsung.”
In an earnings conference call later in the month, the firm announced that it would be able to start producing 3-D NAND flash memory either in the second half of next year or in 2015.
Global competitors have also announced they would jump into the race for V-NAND production.
Micron CEO Mark Durcan told tech news outlet CNET in August that his company would start providing samples of 3-D NAND to customers in the first quarter of 2014.
Producers are competing to scale down planar NAND flash memory, still the top product in the chip market.
After the technology proceeded to the 10 nanometer-class chip and beyond, the chipmakers faced more cell-to-cell interference, which risks the reliability of NAND flash memories.
The 3-D NAND could be used for a wide range of equipment and devices including enterprise servers and solid-state drives.
Samsung launched a V-NAND-based enterprise solid-state drive in August.

2/I Software:

Samsung today admitted it needs to work on software, an area it’s “not as good” at as hardware. Samsung vice chairman & CEO Kwon Oh-hyun compares the company’s software efforts to the World Series-winning Boston Red Sox’s pitching performance. Kwon notes the Red Sox led the pack in batting this year, but were only an average pitching team. His conclusion? “Even though we’re doing the software business, we’re not as good as we are in hardware.” The Red Sox still won the World Series, though, with the implication being that Samsung is “winning” at technology right now.
It’s true that software imperfections have yet to hamper Samsung’s march to global dominance. 2013 has seen the Korean company post consecutive profit records and improve its marketshare in key areas, including strengthening its grip on the number-one spot in the smartphone market. That said, Samsung isn’t taking any chances; Kwon says that half of his Research and Development (R&D) workforce is focused on software, and the efforts to improve software are likely to grow moving forward. Given the company is currently spending over $3 billion per quarter on R&D, that represents a colossal investment in software.
imageCompany president Lee Sang-hoon reaffirms Samsung’s focus on getting software right. “Industry-wide tech development is shifting from hardware to software.” Lee says the company’s recent efforts to acquire fresh talent from startups— including the establishment of overseas R&D centers —  are an effort to “address region-specific needs.”
… Samsung Electronics says that around 40,000 of its 326,000 employees worldwide are software developers – roughly half of them based in South Korea.
Samsung customises the user experience on its Android-based phones and tablets like the Galaxy Note 3 with software called TouchWiz, which is often heavily criticised for being cluttered, confusing and detracting from the standard Android experience.
Additional features in its handsets such as “air gesture” (to move pages without touching the screen), “air view” (to enlarge previews without touching the screen) and “smart scroll” (to scroll through pages using eye movement) have been dismissed as gimmicks by some reviewers, who don’t see them bringing any value to users.
“Industry-wide tech development is shifting from hardware to software,” said Lee Sang-hoon, Samsung’s president and chief financial officer.
In response Samsung will aim to “reinforce our competitiveness in software platform, design and IT” through hiring more software experts, and through the use of overseas research and development centres “to address region-specific needs,” Lee said.
South Korean Giant Weighs Software Deals to Better Compete With Apple, Google
Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE -1.88% is stepping up its hunt for acquisitions and building out its presence in Silicon Valley to try and overcome its key weakness: software.
The South Korea-based company became the world’s largest maker of smartphones by manufacturing attractive devices that hit the market quickly and cheaply.
But to thrive in a mobile-device market increasingly dominated by software specialists likeApple Inc., AAPL +1.57% Google Inc. GOOG +0.80% and Microsoft Corp. MSFT +0.75%, which acquired Nokia Corp.’s NOK1V.HE -1.22% phone business last month, Samsung is aiming to become a software power in its own right.
Earlier this year, Samsung was among the bidders for Israeli mobile-mapping service Waze Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter. Google eventually bought Waze for about $1.1 billion in July, a deal that is under review by the Federal Trade Commission. According to one person, Samsung had approached Waze in hopes of making a large investment and forming a partnership, before acquisition talks kicked off.
imageSamsung has plenty of other Silicon Valley software startups in its sights, particularly in games, mobile search, social media and mapping-related services, according to employees and an internal document reviewed by the Journal.

The document, a mergers and acquisitions presentation prepared in February by Samsung’s Media Solution Center, the arm that works on software initiatives, lays out the company’s rationale for bulking up in each category and lists potential acquisition and investment targets.

According to the document, Samsung has evaluated startups such as Unity Technologies, a San Francisco-based developer of gaming platforms, and Green Throttle Games Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based company that makes game controllers and software that connects mobile devices to televisions. It has also considered gaming pioneer Atari Inc., which Samsung could have used to offer classic games like Asteroids and Pong exclusively on its mobile phones. Atari auctioned off some of its properties this year as part of a bankruptcy filing after rejecting preliminary bids from several companies for its portfolio of games.
Samsung has also looked closely at Glympse, a Seattle-based company that allows users to share their location with their friends—a service that Samsung says could be integrated into their phones’ native calendar and contacts functions, differentiating it from competitors.
Samsung first reached out to Glympse in early 2012, and has raised the prospect of an equity investment, though discussions remain ongoing, according to a person familiar with the matter. Last month, Glympse unveiled an app for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Elsewhere in the document, Samsung named Tel Aviv-based mobile search engine Everything.me as a possible target. It has also looked at video-chat app Rounds, another Israeli startup, that would help Samsung compete with Apple’s FaceTime and Google’s Hangouts.
Samsung declined to comment on its acquisition plans—but it has made no secret of what it calls its “embracing the culture of Silicon Valley.”
In recent months, the Suwon, South Korea-based company has broken ground on a major research facility near Apple’s offices and launched a software startup accelerator with locations in Palo Alto, Calif., and Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. It will make early-stage investments in startups, especially developers of software for Samsung devices.
Samsung, which has $1.1 billion set aside for early-stage startup and venture capital investments in the U.S., is also poaching software engineers from its U.S. rivals and, at a hotel in San Francisco later this month, will host its first ever developers’ conference, an important step toward creating an “ecosystem” of applications unique to its devices.
“The kind of things that happen in the Valley are really exciting to Samsung,” said David Eun, the head of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center, which operates the software-startup accelerator.
The aggressive move into its rivals’ backyard is unusual for Samsung, a company that has historically kept its operations heavily centralized and shied away from outside deals. The emphasis on self-reliance runs so deep that Samsung manufactures some 90% of its products within its own factories.
Privately, company executives portray the recent shift not as a repudiation of its long-term strategy, but rather as a complement to its own research and development efforts, which remain substantial.
The company spent $10.8 billion on R&D last year, with 67,000 employees devoted to helping Samsung maintain its edge in the global television, semiconductor and home-appliance markets.
So far, though, its attempts at developing a proprietary-software hit for its mobile phones—which account for two-thirds of Samsung’s operating profits—have fallen flat.
Among Samsung’s recent efforts are an abandoned mobile operating system, a mobile chat service that has struggled to gain traction and coolly received technologies that anticipate hand gestures and eye movements.
In November 2009, Samsung launched Bada, an open-source mobile operating system that it hoped could challenge Google’s Android platform. But Bada’s unfriendly user interface and poor syncing with other devices proved unpopular with consumers.
Earlier this year, Samsung pulled the plug on Bada, rolling those efforts into a new operating system known as Tizen. There too, Silicon Valley plays a key role: Samsung is codeveloping Tizen with Intel Corp. The company has yet to release a Tizen-powered smartphone.
If Samsung’s new operating system catches on, it could relieve the company’s reliance on Android, which powers the vast majority of Samsung’s mobile devices, including its new smartwatch.
Breaking through with a proprietary “must-have” software application could also bolster Samsung’s position at a time when the company is vulnerable to competition from Chinese hardware makers, including Lenovo Group Ltd., Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Inc. In the most recent quarter, Samsung’s mobile business saw its operating profit margin fall to 17.7%, from 19.8% in the previous quarter amid pricing pressure from rivals and increased spending on advertising.
Meanwhile, Google’s tie-up with Motorola Mobility in 2011, and Microsoft’s move to acquire Nokia’s mobile-phone business last month, mean that Samsung will face heightened competition from companies that, like Apple, can compete in both hardware and software.
Samsung’s software success is far from assured. Unlike Apple, Google and Microsoft, the Korean electronics giant doesn’t have a history of software achievements. Instead, Samsung cut its teeth in the world of hardware, where efficiency, flexibility and supply-chain management are paramount.
Acquiring its way to software dominance is no easier than building up its software capabilities organically. While Samsung has about $50 billion in cash on hand, the company has struggled in the past with deal-making. Even today, some in Silicon Valley say, Samsung has developed a reputation for kicking the tires on a range of potential deals, only rarely pulling the trigger.
One reason for such caution is Samsung’s purchase of AST Research Inc. in the mid-1990s, an experience that still weighs heavily on company executives.
The two-part, $840 million acquisition of Irvine, Calif.-based AST, once the world’s fifth-largest computer maker, was conceived as an attempt to break into the U.S. personal-computer market.
Samsung sustained heavy losses in AST before ultimately giving up on the deal, which remains Samsung’s largest overseas acquisition to date. Even now, upper management remains wary of big acquisitions, in large part because of AST, employees say.
Samsung’s recent acquisitions have been small, and focused on software developers that can help distinguish Samsung’s phones from others built on the Android platform.
Last May, Samsung—seeking to create a credible rival to Apple’s iTunes platform—snapped up mSpot Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based mobile-software developer with hopes of creating a one-stop media platform that would allow users to stream and download music on their Samsung devices.
In the process, Samsung hoped to rival not only iTunes, but also online music-streaming services such as those offered by Sweden’s Spotify AB and Oakland, Calif.-based Pandora Media Inc.
Earlier this year, Samsung moved mSpot into a new office with plans to double its staff by the end of 2013. Since then, however, the company’s attempts to develop the product, initially called Samsung Music Hub, have foundered.

2/J Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As):

Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun admitted that it needs to work on software, where it is currently heavily investing to transform itself into a solutions provider from a manufacturing firm.
Sources say Samsung prefers “Google style” expansion centered on small-sized mergers and acquisitions (M&As). It is interested in buying patents, marketing and human resources in target companies. “Samsung was passive in pursuing M&A deals. But we will become aggressive. Therefore, I don’t think our current cash-holdings are too high,” said the CFO Lee.
Vice Chairman Kwon insisted that its edge in “vertical alignment” between components and parts will enable it create over $400 billion in annual sales in 2020. … But what’s equally interesting is that Samsung is also eager to develop components. Sharpening components-related technologies is something that really matters to it because of its plan to share confidential data with software giants such as Google and others to develop innovative products and secure advanced chips and flat-screens.

Samsung Electronics will push for more mergers and acquisitions and increase its presence in health care and smart car industries for future growth, top executives said on Wednesday. … “Convergence (among technologies in different industries) is occurring right now, but not enough. We can create new industries, for example, health care and smart cars,” said Kwon Oh-hyun, vice chairman and CEO of the electronics firm.
“(By converging Samsung’s information technology with cars) there are a lot (of opportunities) for us to supply to our customers.” Samsung SDI, a battery maker and an affiliate of Samsung Group, has invested in electric car batteries since 2008. It has successfully developed the products and is supplying them to BMW and Chrysler’s Fiat.
… The vice chairman noted, “Even though our health care business is small, within the coming decade we want to be a strong player in the area,” hinting that the electronics firm will roll out more advanced, small and easy-to-handle equipment such as high-resolution CT and MRI scanners.
Samsung Electronics wants to invest more money for new growth technologies, and part of that will come from being more aggressive in mergers and acquisitions as well as R&D.
M&A will aim to reinforce current businesses, secure talent and find new opportunities, said Lee Sang-hoon, president and CFO of Samsung Electronics. The company has already spent about US$1 billion investing in 14 companies since 2010, which has been “somewhat conservative”.

Samsung currently has a cash pile of around US$50 billion, which is about 20 percent of its market capitalization and has attracted complaints from investors of being at a level too high at their expense. According to Lee, the war chest will now being prepared for “significant investment” in strategic technologies, mergers or acquisitions.
“We plan to allocate a significant portion of our annual cash flow into capex and R&D to secure future growth and shareholder return,” Lee said.
Lee said the $50 billion war chest was being prepared for “significant investment” in strategic technologies, mergers or acquisitions, suggesting the company could loosen its purse strings as it chases the next big thing in mobile technology.
The change of tack is aimed at responding to an innovation shift in the information technology business to software from hardware, Samsung’s traditional speciality. “I know we have been somewhat conservative in M&A but it may be different in the future. Based on this, I don’t believe the current level of net cash balance is excessive,” he said. We plan to allocate a significant portion of our annual cash flow into capex and R&D to secure future growth and shareholder return.”