Articles by Patrick Hindle

ADI Poised for Growth – RF and Converters Emphasized

I attended the Analog Devices (ADI) Analyst’s Day on Thurs and discovered how much they are going to focus on RF technologies and leverage their expertise in the converter market, where they are dominant (44% market share/ $1.1 B in sales), to expand their RF business in the transmit/receive chains. They currently have RF sales of about $200 M from a total available market of about $8 B if you exclude handsets. They are targeting high performance, high margin markets so they are not aiming for the handset or WLAN markets which are more commodity oriented. They have products covering...
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First Junctionless Transistor Fabricated

A team of scientists at the Tyndall National Institute have designed and fabricated the world's first junctionless transistor that could revolutionize IC chip manufacturing. Existing ICs are based on junctions which turn the current off and on to control the device but in the junctionless Tyndall device, the current flows in a very thin silicon wire and the flow of current is controlled by a ring structure that electrically squeezes the silicon wire to control the current. These devices are easier to fabricate and can be made on a smaller scale than current junction devices which seem to be...
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Potential GPS Security and Reliability Risks

Last week the International Business Times reported that critical infrastructure dependent on GPS satellites are increasingly threatened by attack from widely available equipment such as jammers and spoofing devices. Air traffic communications, the electricity grid, telecom networks and other emergency services are under threat from such devices that are widely available at low costs in underground market places. They reported that experts met in the UK at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington on Feb 23 and professor David Last, a past president of the Royal Institute of Navigation and now a GPS consultant stated, “A portable jammer in a...
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Short Range Wireless Taking Off

I have posted a couple of reports on near-field communications growing and got a lot of attention at MWC 2010 but short range wireless as a group of technologies is also taking off. ABI Research reports that global shipments of short range wireless ICs (Bluetooth, NFC, UWB, 802.15.4, WiFi) are expected to surpass two billion units this year, increasing approximately 20% compared to 2009. Shipments are forecast to total five billion in 2014. Bluetooth took more than 55%, following by WiFi at around 35%; the rest of the shipments were made up of NFC, UWB and 802.15.4 ICs. Mobile handsets...
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Mobile Commerce Gets Attention at Mobile World Congress 2010

Apps (enabled by all the new smartphones ) got most of the attention at Mobile World Congress. But Near Field Communications (NFC) also got a lot of attention with some trials going on and big projections from the market research firms for mobile commerce. At Mobile World Congress the GSM Association launched the first SIM-based NFC payment trial to drive NFC adoption. The trial included handset maker Samsung , wireless operator Telefónica and financial companies Visa, G&D, Ingenico , ITN International and La Caixa . The companies loaded 400 Samsung Star NFC mobile phones with Telefónica SIM cards from O2...
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Forecast for Smartphone Market and Chips

Forward Concepts has announced a new study of the worldwide Smartphone market and the key chips that enable them. The study, "Smartphone Device & Chip Market Opportunities '10" covers the top 24 Smartphone vendors and their 2009 market shares and change from 2008. It also provides dozens of detailed forecasts by global region and air interface technology for each through 2014 of Smartphones, key chips that enable them and operating systems. Some of the key findings are: · Smartphone shipments worldwide grew 18% in 2009 to 171 million units at a $67 billion level, providing bright market opportunities for...
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ABI Reports Handsets Shipments Up in Q4

This is a good sign for 2010 as ABI estimates 336.5 million handsets were shipped in Q4-2009, up 15.1% QoQ . “2009 may have started with a whimper but by 4Q-2009 the global mobile handset market ended with a pretty reasonable bang,” says Jake Saunders, Vice-President for Forecasting at ABI Research. But competition continued to squeeze handset ASPs as Q4-2009 shipment-based ASPs were down 2% to $117.55. The US stimulus package certainly helped save the mobile handset industry according to Saunders. “Renewed consumer confidence in the second half of 2009 meant that shipments for the whole year only shrank 4.5%...
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“Smart” Electric Meter Market to Exceed $200B by 2014

“Smart” electricity meters that enable two-way communication between the meter and the utility are being deployed at an increasing pace, especially in North America and Europe according to ABI Research. According to a new study from ABI Research, the number of smart electric meters deployed worldwide will rise from a 2009 level of 76 million to reach about 212 million in 2014. These smart meters fall into the machine to machine (M2M) market which is also growing rapidly as it includes many other applications. Practice director Sam Lucero says, “As momentum for infrastructure renewal grows, a number of factors are...
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Harris Stratex Changes Name to Aviat Networks

Harris Stratex Networks announced today that it has changed its name to Aviat Networks, Inc. (the Company’s ticker symbol will change to AVNW). The new brand represents a culmination of the Company’s transformation over the last three years from that of a specialized microwave backhaul equipment supplier into a leading provider of advanced IP wireless network solutions, with a comprehensive portfolio of migration solutions and lifecycle services. Aviat Networks states that they are positioned to help operators successfully evolve their existing networks toward an all-IP broadband future, expand into untapped rural and remote markets, and capitalize on the explosive growth...
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Shape Shifting Liquid Antennas

I am a little late in catching this story from Dec, but it is too interesting to pass up. Researchers at NC State published a potentially revolutionary technology for antenna design, liquid antennas. The antenna consists of liquid metal injected into elastomeric microchannels. The antennas can be deformed (twisted and bent) since the mechanical properties are dictated by the elastomer and not the metal. Creating shape-shifting antennas could open the door to a host of new uses in fields ranging from public safety to military applications. The new antennas are made by injecting a eutectic alloy of Ga and...
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