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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
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.
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)
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 .
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.
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 Timothy Prickett Morgan 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 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.”
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.
… 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]
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
- Development 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.
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.
Ineda Systems’ WPUs will address the wearable platforms from a ground-up manner
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
- The 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 an 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).
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
The list of official Android Wear partners
For more info about Android Wear and what was announced, visit:
- Google and Android Developers blog posts on the Android Wear Announcement http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/
- New Google Developers website: http://developer.android.com/wear
- Android Wear on the commercial website: www.android.com/wear
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)
… (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])
… (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])
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:
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]
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.
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
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.
View a brief presentation: http://www.microchip.com/get/1WEC
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
RSS Feed for Microchip Product News: http://www.microchip.com/get/E09A
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
Microchip 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.
Smart Move [Business Today [India], May 11, 2014]
Why venture funds are rushing to back Ineda, maker of chips for wearable devices.
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.
The 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.
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.
The 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:
although was met when looking back to Nadella’s March 27 Office for iPad announcement:
Microsoft showcases latest updates to Windows, opportunities for developers April 02, 2014
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]
The Full Day 1 Keynote record on Channel 9: 2 hours, 59 minutes, 13 seconds or a YouTube copy of that from MicrosoftEurope:
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
- 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
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
- Consumers can choose for their device:
– 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
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.
Universal Windows apps:
==> Windows Runtime comes to phones
- Update for Visual Studio 2013 for universal Windows apps: demo
==> Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC: Windows Phone 8.1 Tools, Shared Projects and Universal Windows Apps
- Streamline the Windows Store experience across …
- Modern (touch-first) version of Office: demo … also showing the same binary working on the phone
- hundreds of new features added for Windows Phone 8.1 based on developers’ and customers’ requests
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.
- DEMO of the above
Windows enabling cross-platform apps:
– announcing: making WinJS cross-platform
– open-source via GitHub
==> MS Open Tech Open Sources WinJS, Part of the Windows App Platform
- DEMO My
- Now about the TV … no better television than Xbox
- going to enable Universal Windows apps running on Xbox
|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
- Kinect: this is the future
==> Windows Store app development is coming to Kinect for Windows
- Graphics: on Xbox One phenomenal ==> Xbox graphics platform to make available for everyone ==> bringing into DirectX 12
Internet of Things (IoT):
- Windows ported to ARM
- Now Intel Quark (i.e. x86 for IoT)
- Windows for IoT will be available for $0
- 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)
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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).
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:
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
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.
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.
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’:
- 20 years of Samsung “New Management” as manifested by the latest, June 20th GALAXY & ATIV innovations [July 2-26, 2013]
- Samsung Exynos 5 Octa with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing and GPU Compute is the hidden gem in the Galaxy Note 3 and GALAXY Note 10.1, 2014 Edition, launched at ‘Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2’ event [Sept 12, 2013]
- The new Air Command S Pen User Experience making the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet, and Galaxy Note 10.1, 2014 Edition tablet next-generation devices [Sept 12, 2013]
- Companion Device Computing as envisaged and implemented by Pranav Mistry and his TTT team from Samsung: the case of Galaxy Gear + Galaxy Note 3 [Sept 12, 2013]
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:
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].
- Samsung Supply Chain Management (SCM) information
- Historic Samsung SCM information
- Market/Business-specific current and strategic information
- Phablets (‘Fonblets’ per Samsung)
- Wearable devices
- New [mobile/device] Market: The Next Big Thing
- Samsung System LSI
- Samsung Display
- Samsung Memory Business
- Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As)
1. Samsung Supply Chain Management (SCM) information
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 Logistics – SCL] solution.
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
From Samsung SDS leads in ‘shared growth’ [The Korea Times, Oct 30, 2013]
In July this year, it realigned structures into the following six ㅡ 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.
1/A Historic Samsung SCM information:
- Supply chain management six sigma at Samsung: a management innovation methodology at the Samsung Group [July 24, 2007, a shortened PDF version of the article which originally appeared in Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Volume 12, Number 2, 2007]
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: …
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.
- Business Management Quality Innovation with Market-Based Global SCM System Implementation [Microsoft Case Study, March 17, 2009]
Samsung 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
- Samsung’s Investment Plan Falls Short for Some [The New York Times, Nov 6, 2013]
Samsung 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.
- Samsung sells over 100 million Galaxy and Note devices in 2013, lines up ultra-premium devices for 2014 [BGR India, Nov 6, 2013]
At 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.
- In a rarity, Samsung hosts analysts [Korea Joongang Daily, Nov 7, 2013]
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.
… “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.]
- Samsung’s 2014 phones will feature 560 PPI displays – 880 PPI in 2015, foldable in 2016 [ExtremeTech, Nov 6, 2013]
The 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?
- Samsung tempers expectations for a 64-bit Android answer to Apple’s A7 [Apple Insider, Nov 7, 2013]
JK 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.
- Samsung says 100 million Galaxy S and Note phones will ship this year, coins terrible word “fonblet” [Tech in Asia, Nov 6, 2013]
2/B Phablets (‘Fonblets’ per Samsung):
- SAMSUNG ANALYST DAY 2013 [Strategy Analytics blog, Nov 7, 2013]
By 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.
- Samsung aims to topple Apple as No. 1 in tablets [Associated Press, Nov 6, 2013]
A 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 2012, 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.
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:
- Look out, Google Glass: Samsung eyeing wearable technology [CNET News, Nov 6, 2013]
Speaking 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 Teases a Wearable Tech Game Changer [The Motley Fool, Nov 6, 2013]
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 tech—Apple 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 spending 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
- As It Happened: Samsung’s Analyst Day [live blog on The Wall Street Journal Asia, Nov 6, 2013]
Interesting 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:
- Making its own 64-bit core for ARM as a follow up to the widely available 64-bit core from ARM made available ASAP
- Samsung tempers expectations for a 64-bit Android answer to Apple’s A7 [Apple Insider, Nov 7, 2013]
Alluding 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:
- AMOLED panels having a pixel per inch rating of 560 in 2014
- 4K displays for smartphones in 2015
- Samsung to Roll Out AMOLED Display Tablets in 2014 [Softpedia, Nov 6, 2013]
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.
- Samsung Shows Investors Foldable Mobile Prototypes [The Wall Street Journal, Nov 7, 2013]
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 displays” would be presented in 2015.
2/H Samsung Memory Business:
- Samsung vows to widen gap with chipmaking rivals [The Korea Herald, Mov 7, 2013]
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.
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.
- Samsung admits its software needs improving, commits half of R&D workforce [The Verge, Nov 6, 2013]
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.
Company 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 admits its software needs work [The Guardian, Nov 7, 2013]
… 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.
- Samsung Plays Catch-Up on Software [The Wall Street Journal, Oct 7, 2013]
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.
Samsung 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):
- Analyst Day good start for Samsung [The Korea Times, Nov 8, 2013]
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 to push for more M&As for growth–Tech giant sets sights on health care, smart cars [The Korea Herald, Nov 7, 2013]
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.
- With regards to M&A, Samsung stated that it has been acquiring several healthcare companies for the past three years, hinting that it would be willing to acquire the promising companies in mobile area.
- Samsung ‘hungry’ for acquisitions, R&D for new growth [ZDNet, Nov 6, 2013]
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.
- Samsung to invest in new technology, M&As, marketing to topple Apple [The Economic Times [of India], Nov 7, 2013]
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.”