For the week ending December 23, 2016
Here’s a recap of industry news that I noted last week:
Companies and Products
Infineon responded publicly, telling its side of the story in the GaN on Si lawsuit filed by MACOM. Read the full statement and background.
And there’s more to keep the lawyers busy: Nokia is suing Apple for violating 32 smartphone patents. Apple is also suing Nokia and two IP licensing firms, Acacia Research Corp. and Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc., claiming their proposed licensing terms are akin to extortion.
OneWeb secured investments of $1.2 billion to build a “high volume” satellite factory in Florida, with $1 billion coming from SoftBank Group. The facility will build the microsatellites for OneWeb’s proposed 720 satellite LEO constellation.
Skyworks released a CMOS SOI SPDT switch for automotive cellular applications. The SKYA21003 is AEC-Q100 Grade 2 qualified and covers 100 MHz to 6 GHz. Insertion loss is typically 0.3–0.35 dB, isoloation 40–42 dB and input third-order intercept 70 dBm.
ViaSat and Boeing completed the preliminary design review (PDR) on the first two of three ViaSat-3 GEO satellites. The two satellites, each with 1 Tbps capacity, will cover the Americas and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), respectively.
Markets and Technology
Cellular — As 2016 draws to a close, Mobile World Live compiled this view of the top wireless stories of the year, and the questions they pose for 2017.
Broadband — Mediacom, the fifth largest cable operator in the U.S., announced plans to upgrade their network to DOCSIS 3.1 “Gigasphere” by year end. Residential users will have a minimum speed of 60 Mbps.
The latest global ranking of internet speeds, for Q3 of 2016, puts the U.S. at #12, with average data rates of 16.3 Mbps, growing 7 percent from the prior quarter. The top five regions were South Korea, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
The “Ericsson Technology Review” published an analysis of using 5G for fixed wireless access. Verizon is planning fixed wireless trials at 28 GHz during 2017.
Read this tutorial on why your Wi-Fi may be slow. This discussion didn’t strengthen my confidence in the robustness of the system. Hopefully, 802.11ax will be much better.
IoT — Responding to the accelerating rollout of NB-IoT networks, ABI Research raised their forecast of M2M module shipments in 2021 to greater than 400 million.
In a recent blog post, Eran Eshed of Altair says, “New devices need to be designed with security as the foundation, not merely an afterthought.”
Autonomous Vehicles — Shortly after Michigan issued comprehensive regulations for self-driving cars — the first state to do so — GM announced that the state’s roads would be the company’s testbed for cold weather and winter driving.
Honda and Waymo are discussing a self-driving collaboration. Honda plans to commercialize some automated driving capabilities by around 2020 and has an independent self-driving project underway.
Amazon made their first “real” customer delivery via drone in the U.K., while 7-Eleven and Flirtey racked up 77 line-of-sight deliveries in the U.S. Order to delivery was under 10 minutes, as all customers were within a mile of a 7-Eleven.
Defense — Two Raytheon SM-6 missiles intercepted a ballistic missile in the terminal phase of its flight, in a test conducted by the Navy and Missile Defense Agency (MDA).
The Air Force officer responsible for the F-35, Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, says the program is now under control after years of delays. His comments seemed to be prompted by President-elect Donald Trump’s tweet, “The F-35 program and cost is out of control.”
Odds and Ends — President-elect Trump met with the titans of America’s technology industry. Kara Swisher, executive editor of Recode, summarized the meeting as though she were there.
WPI professor Alex Wyglinski received an ORB Analytics award for developing a high speed, variable rate, PSK satellite modem. Microwave Journal reported on Wyglinski and WPI’s Wireless Innovation Lab in our Novemember Fabs and Labs.
In case you missed it, the winter solstice and the beginning of astronomical winter occurred last Wednesday, December 21, at 5:44 a.m. EST. The Telegraph published an interesting article on the phyical and cultural significance of the event.
This last week of 2016 should be a slow week for news, as many — including me — will be taking vacation. If that includes you, enjoy your time with family and friends. If you are working, try to take advantage of the quiet around the lab and office, spending some time reviewing your priorities and organizing for 2017.