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Posts From February, 2014

Intel unveils advances in IoT shaping next era of computing at Mobile World Congress 2014 

24 February 2014 04:45:00

Intel Corporation President Renee James has unveiled the company's latest developments in computing and communications technologies at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain, 2014. The company advises its latest product portfolio is designed to compete in today's mobile ecosystem and shape the next era of computing, the Internet of Things (IoT).

At an Intel news conference, James introduced two Intel Atom processors, an LTE-Advanced communications platform, and announced multiyear agreements with Lenovo, ASUS and Foxconn to expand the availability of Intel-based mobile devices. With the explosion of mobile and connected devices in the IoT, she also highlighted how Intel is re-architecting the network infrastructure to reduce costs and make it easier for service providers to deliver improved customer experiences and new services by extracting business value from the vast amounts of data.

The continued growth of the mobile ecosystem depends on solving tough computing challenges -- unlocking data's potential while securely and reliably connecting billions of devices with leading edge computing and communications technologies," said James.

New Intel Atom Processors and LTE-Advanced Communications Platform
Intel launched its 2.13GHz Intel Atom processor Z3480 ("Merrifield") that offers a combination of fast, smart performance and long battery life for Android smartphones and tablets. The 64-bit ready SoC delivers compute performance for the mainstream and performance segments, and offers high performance in compute-intensive applications, web applications and light media editing performance.

The company advises, based on its 22nm Silvermont microarchitecture, the new processor also features a PowerVR Series 6 Graphics IP core from Imagination Technologies and is designed for simple pairing with the Intel XMM 7160 LTE platform. Merrifield is the first Intel Atom SoC to feature the new Intel Integrated Sensor Solution, which efficiently manages sensor data to keep applications smart and contextually aware even when the device is in a low-power state. Intel expects Merrifield-based devices from multiple OEMs to launch beginning in the second quarter.

James noted that all Intel Atom processors today support a 64-bit computing experience. "Sixty-four bit computing is moving from the desktop to the mobile device," James said. "Intel knows 64-bit computing, and we're the only company currently shipping 64-bit processors supporting multiple operating systems today, and capable of supporting 64-bit Android when it is available."

Intel has also delivered 64-bit kernels across operating systems, so customers who choose Intel Atom have a ready foundation for a 64-bit experience as the operating system and applications evolve.

The company also disclosed new details on its next-generation 64-bit Intel Atom processor, called "Moorefield" for devices expected to be available in the second half of the year. Building on the Merrifield feature set, Moorefield is claimed to add two additional Intel architecture (IA) cores for up to 2.3GHz of compute performance, an enhanced GPU and support for faster memory. This device is claimed to be optimised for the company’s 2014 LTE platform, the Intel XMM 7260, which the company also recently introduced.

The company points out that its XMM 7260 delivers good LTE-Advanced capabilities including carrier aggregation (supporting 23 CA combinations in a single chip), category six speeds and support for TDD LTE and TD-SCDMA, which expands the addressable market.

The company adds that as this product ranfe is now certified to run on 70 percent of LTE networks worldwide, the 7160 is expanding to connect a range of products spanning smartphones, tablets, 2 in 1s, Ultrabook systems and more.

"We are entering 2014 with a very competitive mobile portfolio spanning application processors and communications platforms that will only get stronger," said Hermann Eul, Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group. "Our new Atom processors for Android smartphones and tablets offer leading 64-bit performance and battery life, and the new 7260 platform gives the ecosystem a compelling LTE-Advanced experience."

Securing the Mobile Experience and Expanding Availability of Android Apps on IA
James said Intel is leading the effort to guard today's mobile devices with unique data and device protection solutions from Intel Security and McAfee. Notably, Intel Device Protection Technology (Intel DPT) proactively protects consumers against malware and allows enterprise customers to separate personal and corporate data on Intel-based Android devices. Leading mobile device management providers including AirWatch, Citrix and McAfee will provide manageability extensions for devices with Intel DPT later this year. Intel expects tablets featuring Intel DPT will begin shipping later this year from leading OEMs including Dell.

James also revealed the features of the free, full-featured McAfee Mobile Security offering for Android devices now available. It includes enhanced protection features and, for the first time, unlocks security extensions for Intel-based mobile devices, making it the most comprehensive, free mobile solution for consumers on the market. Specifically, the free McAfee Mobile Security includes anti-virus, app protection, web protection, and call/SMS filter, in addition to anti-theft and contact back-up.

In an effort to accelerate development and availability of applications for Intel-based devices, James announced the Intel Integrated Native Developer Experience (Intel INDE), a beta productivity suite for devices running on both Android and Microsoft Windows. Intel also introduced the Intel System Studio 2014 for embedded and systems development and the Intel XDK developer tool for HTML5-based apps to enable developers to simplify and accelerate time-to-market development of innovative web and hybrid content mobile apps that run faster and better.

Expanded Customer Engagements to Accelerate Availability of Intel-Based Mobile Devices
Signaling the expanding availability of tablets and smartphones powered by Intel Atom processors and connected by Intel communications, James announced three new multiyear agreements with leading device manufacturers for Intel-based mobile devices.

Intel and Lenovo announced plans to introduce new Intel-based mobile devices this year. Both companies will dedicate engineering resources to deliver unique experiences across a variety of smartphone and tablet form factors spanning value to performance market segments. Lenovo also said it plans to incorporate Intel LTE connectivity into some Ultrabook and multimode designs.

"We have a strong history of working with Intel to bring compelling, computing experiences to market with products like our K900 smartphone, Yoga line of multimode laptops, MIIX 2 and ThinkPad 8 tablets," said Peter Hortensius, chief technology officer, Lenovo. "We look forward to an even stronger future together – delivering exciting mobile experiences from stylish smartphones to high-performance tablets with Intel inside."

Additionally, ASUS announced it will bring a full portfolio of Intel-based smartphones and tablets to market this year. The company recently introduced its ZenFone line of smartphones and the unique PadFone mini, both of which feature Intel processors and communications platforms. At Mobile World Congress, ASUS unveiled the ASUS Fonepad 7 LTE (ME3762CL) featuring an Intel Atom processor and Intel LTE connectivity.

Dell and Intel are expanding the long-standing collaboration between the two companies to include a range of innovative tablets that started with the introduction of the Dell Venue line in fall of last year. Intel-based products from Dell will span Android and Windows solutions.

Finally, Foxconn and Intel are teaming up to drive the broader, global availability of high-quality, affordable Intel-based Android tablets. Intel will provide Intel Atom processors and communications platforms for a range of Foxconn products, beginning with tablets, this year.

Transforming Wireless Networks, Fuelling Internet of Things
The explosion of mobile devices and rapid growth in the Internet of Things is driving transformation of the network infrastructure to meet increasing demand for more connectivity and real-time data. Intel is enabling this transformation by delivering standardized hardware and software that apply open standards and high-volume economics to help reduce costs, while accelerating the delivery of new services, capabilities and revenue models for service providers.

In an effort to bring the benefits of a standards-based approach to communications networks consistent with Intel's work in data centres and the cloud, James announced expanded relationships with Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco to accelerate network function virtualisation (NFV) and software defined network (SDN) technologies. By working to optimise these technologies on IA, service providers will be offered a faster and more flexible network that enables them to quickly scale new services.

James also highlighted numerous Intel-based trials with global operators including China Mobile, SK Telecom and Telefonica that are demonstrating the benefits of NFV and SDN for enabling personalised and contextually aware services, improving asset utilization, and simplifying installations and upgrades.

Intel

www.intel.com

Raising the bar with the two A’s – Auditing and Accreditation 

14 February 2014 04:02:00 Categories: Comment displays & UIs news

As membrane keypad manufacturer, Fascia Graphics turns 20, Paul Bennett, MD of the company explains the importance of ISO and UL accreditation for manufacturers and their customers

This April we celebrate our 20th anniversary, and this milestone has been a time to reflect on what has been really important to our business and our customers – in a period where we have gone from the ‘new kids on the block’ with 40 customers to the market leader with over 800.

For us and many manufacturers, quality is paramount and this is why ISO and UL accreditation has been so important. For over a decade we have carried ‘ISO 9001’ status for our Quality Management Systems (“QMS”). These standards provide customers with the confidence that your manufacturer consistently provides goods and services that:

-           Meet customer needs and expectations

-           Comply with applicable regulations

As an ISO 9001:2008 approved manufacturer, monthly audits of the systems are carried out by fully trained auditors to ensure that the systems and personnel are working to the QA procedures set out in the ISO manual. ISO requirements include top management commitment to quality, customer focus, adequacy of resources, employee competence, process management (for production, service delivery and relevant administrative and support processes).

Going global?
For international manufacturers, or those businesses that are considering going global, it is vitally important that the Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) mark is achieved. This is because the UL mark is the most widely recognised safety certification mark in the world, and it has been a product safety leader for over 100 years - widely acknowledged for its safety standards, integrity and independence.

The UL mark is also particularly recognised in the US by consumers, regulatory authorities and the insurance industry. So, carrying the most accepted safety certification mark in the US can open up a vast US market for UK exporters and their customers.

In conclusion, for those manufacturers serious about developing their export markets, the UL mark is essential. Furthermore, it is our view that as ISO accreditation encompasses almost every business activity, it should form part of a continuous improvement culture, as it identifies both areas for improvement, and recognises good practice such as an investment in state of the art equipment, and the development of comprehensive training systems such as Q Pulse and NVQ.

Case Study 

Quality standards – the green light to award winning pedestrian signals…

Achieving quality standards can not only help manufacturers win new business, it can also support customers in producing an award winning products.

In 2011, Fascia assisted AGD Systems Limited win a second Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2011, by supplying screens for its flagship AGD946 combined puffin nearside pedestrian signal.

The company had supplied AGD with labels for a number of years, but following a detailed market Request for Quotation (RFQ) in 2010, it was selected to provide the optical screens for the AGD94x series of pedestrian signals.

The signal, which is widely installed in city and local authorities throughout the UK, was recognised for the Queen’s Award for its innovative styling and features. In order to meet the product requirements, Fascia took the following approach:

-           The materials used for the front panel and the gasket assemblies were reviewed. As a result, the production samples utilised more cost effective raw materials.

-           Solutions were also found to minimise the number of prints required and reduce the assembly time of the rear gaskets. The product improvements allowed Fascia Graphics to continue producing product of the highest quality in the most economical manner.

Dafydd Hughes, Supply Assurance Manager, AGD Systems Limited identified the importance of quality by saying: “In an increasingly competitive environment, we recognised that we wanted to work with a screen supplier that was willing to continuously improve its products and not stand still. Fascia fitted this mould by constantly challenging itself to improve its quality, cost and delivery.”

Fascia Graphics 

www.fasciagraphics.co.uk

For further information on ISO 9001:2008, visit www.iso.org, and the UL mark, go to www.ul.com

 

 

 

 

2014 starts with same momentum that saw 2013 out 

05 February 2014 10:03:00 Categories: Comment

Erhard Hofmann, MD AdoptSMT Group Europe AdoptSMT gives an outlook for the year 2014

I started this outlook for 2014 before Christmas. Trying to finish it after the holidays I can confirm one thing: The New Year is starting as busy as the old one ended.

Productronica 2013 held in Munich last November was for us by far the best show ever (we have had our own booth at every productronica show since 1995), kept us busy into the start of 2014 and raises our confidence that 2014 will bring another nice increase of business (even though no-one will bet on future business growth any more like than they did before 2008).

We at AdoptSMT expect little changes to the trend we saw during 2013. There is no uniform market. Even comparable companies in the same geographic area and in the same industry segment can show different levels of success, one can expand, the other one be forced to reduce head count and machines in use.

While these differences between our customers help our business in our pre-owned equipment market (we need both demand and supply) we expect to gain market share in the overall stable market of consumables, spares and tools. Our additional customers in 2014 will be in the situation as the ones were we could win during 2013: They have enough business so they needed parts and supplies but are not too busy to look for alternative suppliers who save them money without compromising on quality. During 2013 we managed to enter many additional accounts, also multinationals, with our range of AdoptSMT Premium Parts and also with many parts and supplies distributed under the suppliers’ brand names including Hover-Davis, Count On Tools, Nortec, Thermaltronics, JBC, Techspray and Indium Corporation. The basis for our growth of business was of course to keep our existing customers, which was the case with the exception of some customers in areas which still suffered from the banking crises (in the South East and South West of Europe).

We do expect higher investments being done by our customers in 2014 compared to 2013. But what we see even more is the focus of them on optimising the utilisation of their existing equipment. This is where we see ourselves as their prime partner – we help them to keep their SMT lines running. This will have us continue the growth we already experienced in 2013.

AdoptSMT Group Europe

www.AdoptSMT.com

 

Michelle WinnyMichelle Winny

With a combination of news, products and feature articles, Michelle provides up-to-wire commentary on new technology and legislation. Coupled with in depth coverage for specifiers and purchasers of electronic components and equipment, Michelle brings everything within the electronics market directly to her readers.