VNX Marketing Alliance Announces Formation

The VMEbus International Trade Association (VITA) has announced the formation of the VNX Marketing Alliance. The purpose of the VNX Marketing Alliance is to establish an ecosystem of interested parties to promote and create name recognition, as well as grow adoption of the VITA 74 NanoX Small Form Factor specification and technology.

VITA 74 defines both mechanical and electrical specifications to implement a small form factor system. The specification addresses a need for a standardized approach to small-scale systems to be used in rugged environment applications. The specification encourages multiple vendors to supply components to be used in small systems at various levels, including modules, backplanes, enclosures and integrated systems. The goal is to allow vendor implementation flexibility at the same time as ensuring component interoperability.

The VITA 74 NanoX Small Form Factor specification was released as a VITA Draft Standard for Trial Use at the end of 2013. The next step is for full ANSI/VITA ratification which the working group is undertaking at this time.

The VNX Marketing Alliance has launched a website. Here you will find the latest information on VNX technology. The alliance is made up of technology suppliers developing products based on the VITA 74 NanoX Small Form Factor specification. Companies that develop VNX products are encouraged to contact VITA to join the VNX Marketing Alliance.

The inaugural members of the VNX Marketing Alliance are:

    • Alligator Designs Pvt Ltd Alphi Technology Corporation
    • Alta Data Technologies LLC CES-Creative Electronic Systems
    • DDC-Data Device Corporation IOXOS Technologies SA
    • Red Rapids, Inc. Samtec
    • Themis Computer VectorNav Technologies, LLC

Digital Signage Expo 2015 Announces All New Fundamentals Track

The Digital Signage Expo (DSE) Tradeshow and Educational Conference dedicated to digital displays, interactive technology and digital communications networks, announced today that it will present an all new four-part Digital Signage Fundamentals Seminar Program at DSE 2015 designed specifically to prepare those investing in digital signage and related screen technologies for the first-time to deal with initial planning, investment substantiation, and execution challenges.

,P>The program, to be presented at the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 11th and 12th, 2015, is part of DSE’s eight-track Educational Conference and is designed specifically for DOOH network operators, digital signage (DS) end-users, and systems integrators and installers who are relatively new to the industry. This educational track is intended to provide an introduction to the digital signage industry.

Topics to be covered include:

• Doing Digital Signage Right…The First Time

• Fundamentals of Digital Signage Business ROI/ROO

• Fundamentals of Digital Signage Content

• Creating a Digital Signage Network: Design Management & Operations

Instruction will consist of “how to” and “need to know” presentations and interactive discussions that are easy to understand and immediately applicable. Each session will be led by professionals who will be sharing hard-earned experience and come from a variety of disciplines within DOOH Networks, as well as end-users from the retail and advertising agency fields, along with knowledgeable industry consultants.

Light-Enabled Internet Technology Could Tackle Global Data Crunch

High-speed bi-directional wireless technology uses light to send information securely – and in the future at far greater speeds than conventional Wi-Fi. Light-enabled Wi-Fi, or Li-Fi – first developed by Professor Harald Haas, Chair of Mobile Communication with the University of Edinburgh – offers faster, safer transfer of data than conventional wi-fi. In addition, because it does not rely on the radio spectrum, it provides 10,000 times more, and free, bandwidth – the fundamental resource of all communication systems.

As increasing amounts of internet data are transmitted through mobile networks, the current radio spectrum could run out of capacity in the next five years. This looming spectrum crunch could severely limit people’s ability to access information, potentially costing the world’s economy billions of dollars.

The UK industry regulator for communications, Ofcom, has warned that the available radio spectrum will run out by 2020. By that time, it is forecast that there will be a staggering 7 trillion wireless devices in use. This means for every person on the planet there will 1000 wireless devices, so a solution is needed.

Li-Fi creates the possibility of everyday objects housing LED lights to also transmit data. In many cases, vehicles, household appliances, even jewellery already have LEDs within them. Li-Fi offers opportunities across sectors including mobile communications, energy, healthcare, transport, manufacturing, lighting, security and advertising. The industry is estimated to be worth at least $6 billion in the next five years.

Li-Fi offers greater security compared with Wi-Fi because light waves do not pass through walls, so secure wireless communication is possible in cyber-secure spaces. Moreover, there are areas where radio simply does not work, or is not permitted such as underwater and in aircraft cabins. The possibilities are nearly unlimited.”

Li-Fi technology also gives much higher transmission speeds and capacity. By utilising a LED light bulb, data can travel at over 10 gigabits per second, and with tens of light bulbs in an office or factory space, there would be hundreds of gigabits per second available.

With conventional wi-fi, the same room can only have a single wi-fi access point, as the radio signals from additional access points interfere with each other, compromising transmission capacity. The latest wi-fi technology, WiGig, can transmit up to 7 gigabits per second, but in a Li-Fi enabled room, the total capacity could be increased significantly.

The development of white LED bulbs – essential for Li-Fi – followed the invention of blue LEDs, the importance of which was recognised earlier this month by the award of the Nobel Prize for Physics 2014 to three Japanese researchers for their work in this field.

The University of Edinburgh has set up the Li-Fi Research & Development Centre to lead the technology’s global development. Partners already include Texas-based National Instruments.

SiTime to be Acquired by MegaChips for $200M

SiTime Corporation, a MEMS and analog semiconductor company, has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement under which MegaChips Corporation a fabless semiconductor company based in Japan, will acquire SiTime for $200 million in cash. This transaction combines two complementary fabless semiconductor leaders that provide solutions for the growing Wearables, Mobile and Internet of Things markets.

While the world of electronics has delivered many innovations, the clock function, which is the heartbeat in all electronics, still uses 75-year-old quartz technology. SiTime’s MEMS timing solutions replace dated quartz products in the telecom, networking, computing, storage and consumer markets, with the benefits of higher performance, smaller size, and lower power and cost.

“MegaChips has an aggressive growth strategy with a vision to become one of the top ten fabless semiconductor companies through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions,” said Akira Takata, President and CEO of MegaChips Corporation. “MEMS components are fuelling the growth of the semiconductor industry. Through the acquisition of SiTime, MegaChips becomes a leader in MEMS. SiTime will help us expand our portfolio and diversify our customer base. SiTime technology is the perfect match for MegaChips’ solutions that target Wearables, Mobile and IoT markets such as “frizz”, our ultra-low-power smart phone Sensor Hub LSI and BlueChip Wireless, a sub-GHz RF LSI.”

NWave Joins Weightless SIG to Drive New Specification

The Weightless SIG has announced that NWave Technologies, an IoT over ISM spectrum vendor, has joined the group to contribute to the rapid evolution of the recently announced Weightless-N specification. Weightless-N is the new and unique open connectivity standard for IoT/M2M over ISM bands.

NWave is a provider of connectivity technology for the Internet of Things in unlicensed spectrum – specifically the Industrial, Scientific and Medical bands below 1GHz. NWave’s technology is designed to operate in 868MHz in Europe and 900MHz band in the USA.
Weightless-N will utilize Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) technology to deliver best in class connectivity solutions that retain all of the core competitive advantages of Weightless technology that have already been established: Minimal power consumption will enable terminal devices to operate in the field for up to ten years on a single AA form factor battery. Simple terminal hardware utilizing low cost components will enable modules to be deployed for around USD$2. Network costs will be minimized through excellent signal propagation characteristics – an urban range of 5km to a low cost internally located antenna and between 20 – 30km rural range to an external antenna.

Cypress and Icron Technologies: Joint Interoperability for USB 3.0 Controllers and Active Cable Extension

Cypress Semiconductor and Icron Technologies have announced the completion of successful interoperability testing between both Cypress’s EZ-USB FX3 USB 3.0 peripheral controller and EZ-USB CX3 camera controller and Icron’s USB 3.0 Spectra 3001-15 active copper extension cable.
USB 3.0 is gaining popularity in machine vision and industrial cameras thanks to its 5-Gbit/s bandwidth that enables high-resolution, high-frame-rate imaging in real time without the need for compression, which degrades image quality. However, USB 3.0 currently has a maximum cable length of approximately 3 meters, and many vision applications require longer distances between the host computer and the camera. Icron’s Spectra 3001-15 bus-powered copper cable extends USB 3.0 performance to 15 meters, allowing Cypress USB 3.0 solutions to be easily and cost effectively deployed across a wider range of machine vision and industrial applications. The active cable provides a full 5V, 900mA of current and includes Icron’s ExtremeUSB suite of features such as transparent USB extension, true plug-and-play (no software drivers) and compatibility with all major operating systems including Windows 8.

EZ-USB FX3 and CX3 are popular USB 3.0 solutions for HD video. The FX3 is equipped with a highly configurable General Programmable Interface (GPIF™ II) which can be programmed in 8-, 16- and 32-bit configurations. GPIF II allows FX3 to communicate directly with application processors, FPGAs, and image sensors and provides a data transfer rate at up to 400 Megabytes per second. CX3 is capable of steaming 1080p video at 30 frames a second or 720p 60 fps without the need for compression. Both FX3 and CX3 come with an ARM9 CPU and 512KB SRAM, providing 200 MIPS of computational power for image processing and buffering.

Superyacht Industry Sees a Rise in iPad Control Systems

Recent software advancements have resulted in a sudden rise in the use of iPad control on board superyachts. Since the launch of M/Y Adastra in 2012, the demand for similar systems has increased according to Daragh O’Higgins, managing director at TechWorX.

O’Higgins commented, “These systems consist of a central processor that connects to all the equipment you want to control. It then for example, switches the TV to the right channel, turns on the Blu-ray player and dims the lights to watch a movie by just pressing one button on the iPad. It then switches to a page where you have all the controls you need for the Blu-ray player. This is just one of many different scenarios you can set.”

Currently, the majority of larger superyachts will have a form of tablet-control system on board, but how much they control is increasing. Daragh continued, “It has been standard practice for many years to have automation systems on yachts, but this has typically meant expensive touch panels that sometimes cost over $10,000. The rise of the iPad has made automation more common and affordable. As the tablets become faster and automation controllers drop in price and become easier to install, it will be common place in all areas of a yacht.” With smart technology on the incline, it is likely all newly built superyachts will have similar systems installed on board in the future.