Archive for September, 2007

2008 - Year of WiMAX ??

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Mobile connectivity was the main thrust in the recent Intel Developer Forum. The company said its 45-nm Penryn-based Montevina processor technology due out in 2008 will be the company’s first Centrino processor for notebooks to offer the option of integrated Wi-Fi and WiMAX wireless technologies in an adapter code-named Echo Peak. This option would ensure customers do not necessarily need to make a choice between 3G and WiMAX.  Montevina also boasts the capability to run both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray for media applications. The new PCs and motherboards will be rolled out by Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Toshiba and Panasonic. Intel is investing with KDDI in a trial in Japan in addition to the well publicized trials by Sprint & Clearwire in the US.
In the old times, system providers used to put their bets on any 1 standard (amongst the few major competing ones) and come out with a product based on that standard and see how the market reacts. Now, they roll out products supporting all the standards (or at least the major ones) lest they lose out on the market share. So it is 3G and WiMAX, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray…….

I read this interesting article by Cliff Edwards in the recent edition of Business Week.

It talks about how Intel’s “Broadband Man” (EVP, Sean Maloney) garnered support from Samsung, Motorola, Nokia and Sprint to get this technology to its present state.


The key technology was obtained by Intel when it purchased a company called Iospan Wireless from a Stanford university professor Arogyaswami Paulraj. Maloney then went on to woo the industry heavyweights for this standard (AT&T had earlier, in 2000, tried a precursor to WiMAX in Project Angel. The project however was a non-starter because of lack of industry standard and support)


While Intel has declared 2008 to be the year of WiMAX, the technology and businesses built upon it still have a lot to prove and better & cheaper devices are needed to get to mass market adoption. However, several big companies have a lot at stake here and it does look poised to alter the communications landscape; or as Ottelini said: we are on the cusp of a new global network.


NTU –Rice University initiative on probabilistic CMOS

Friday, September 7th, 2007

ISNE (Institute for Sustainable Nanoelectronics) is a new initiative established by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and aims at developing next-generation embedded IC chips that consume over 100 times less energy, as well as cut design and production costs.

ISNE aims to evolve a platform independent design methodology that can exploit the exponential rate at which the size of electronic component has been shrinking, while tying the costs for design, energy consumption and production. ISNE will receive a seed funding of $2.618 million from NTU over two years and the institute will collaborate closely with Rice University’s Value of Information-based Sustainable Embedded Nanocomputing Center (VISEN), which was founded and directed by Krishna Palem, an NTU visiting professor from Rice university and who has invented probabilistic CMOS (PCMOS). The PCMOS approach is claimed to allow chips to use less energy and attain nano-dimensions, enabling longer battery life and faster turn-around in new designs. The research team is currently designing and building the first production prototype of these new ICs.

What brings this news closer is that a key member of this initiative is Prof. Yeo Kiat Seng, an EE professor at NTU and also a member of MIDAS’ executive committee.

MIDAS Semicon Summit 2007

Friday, September 7th, 2007

MIDAS, the Singapore Semiconductor Association is organizing a high profile industry event on 13th September in Raffles Town Club, Singapore – this is mainly why off late I haven’t been able to blog as frequently as I would have wanted to (I’m helping organize the same along with my other colleagues)!


The summit, “Enabling Singapore’s Semiconductor Excellence” is a full day inaugural event. Singapore’s leading semiconductor companies, start-ups, investors, industry analysts and industry leaders will meet and discuss Singapore’s semiconductor industry and how its semiconductor community continues to address the challenges and accelerating growth. There will be a couple of panel discussions – “Singapore: Gateway to Asia-Pacific’s Semiconductor Market” (moderated by me) and “Living the Silicon Valley Dream” (moderated by Mike Holt, CEO Get2Volume).

Speakers include quite a few industry stalwarts like

  • Mr. Chan Yong Choong, VP Corporate Development & Business Management STATSChipPAC
  • Mr. Damian Chan, Head Semiconductors Electronics Cluster, EDB
  • Mr. Thomas Fu, VP & Managing Director Qimonda Manufacturing
  • Dr. Markus Wachter, Managing Director German Institute of Science & Technology
  • Mr. Rohit Girdhar, Head of Corporate Strategy Asia-Pacific, Infineon
  • Ulf Schneider, VP Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific
  • Prof. Yeo Kiat Seng, Head of Division for Circuits & Systems, NTU
  • Mr. BC Khou, CEO Trilobyte Tech
  • Mr. Edwin Chow, Director Technology Innovation Division SPRING
  • Mr. Anthony Ng, CEO D’Crypt
  • Mr. John Tan, Lead Venture Partner Jafco Singapore

The summit sponsors include Cadence, Infineon, Qimonda, Silicon Labs, Marvell, GIST, Get2Volume and Arfic.


For details, click here.