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Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Semiconductor, Smart Devices, Wireless |

More Apps for the Wearable Ecosystem

More Apps for the Wearable Ecosystem

Most of us have gone through a phase of aggressively chasing the insect with a snake. Left, right, up, and down keys pushed animatedly to beat scores amongst our small circle of friends. With every new phone release, we have all waited in anticipation of a new, more updated version of the games with ‘edgier’ graphics. This was the era of Nokia and the game ‘snake’ that consumed everyone’s attention. Our expectations and imaginations were contained in the few apps that were preloaded on the phone. The world of phones has seen a rapid evolution in the last couple of years. Big players like Apple and Samsung, have revolutionised the way we interact with our phones. They have almost become an extension of our physical selves, making it almost impossible for most of us to live without them. With advancements in technology, they have made devices such as the camera and Tomtom GPS redundant. Compressing the functionality of these devices into one unit has simplified life and made content...

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Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Enterprise Mobility, Semiconductor, Smart Devices |

Modular Smartphones in Market

Modular Smartphones in Market

Almost 18 month back, I had written a blog on Project Ara. Google (Motorola Mobility) launched Project Ara to develop modular smartphones with the announcement of Fairphone 2 (module/customizable) in December 2015. Neither Project Ara based phone nor Fairphone 2 phone are yet to hit the market, though the latter has sold 40,000 units of pre-ordered phones. LG has demonstrated its interesting modular smart phone LG G5 in MWC 2016 and launched it in February 2016. Similar to Module Developer Kit (MDK) of Google Project Ara, LG has released SDK and MDK for G5 to build its own market place for G5 modules [LG calls them LG Friends] Of course, LG G5 is not truly modular like expected Project Ara device. However, LG G5 is capable of morphing itself to another device such as digital camera and extending itself as a VR Control, Smart remote control through Accessories, “LG Friends”. Since there are details of LG G5 on Internet, I will not provide a complete review and details of...

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Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Semiconductor, Smart Devices |

Vulkan: New Phase of Graphics Interfaces?

Vulkan: New Phase of Graphics Interfaces?

The 1970’s saw the birth of the specialized graphic chips to be used as part of the early video games hardware. The technology has been evolving since then. The need to use proprietary driver and interfaces for the software attached to the hardware Software on this hardware had to use proprietary driver with proprietary interfaces which was making maintenance expensive and causing delays in deployment. Some of the graphics chips launched in the early 1990s were Fujitsu’s MB14241, TI TMS34010, IBM8514, and Sharp X68000. Each of these chips had its own software interfaces and it was a time that saw an increase in the number of graphics hardware in the market. To enable easy migration from one hardware to another and for ease of maintenance of software, IRIS GL API was defined and developed by Silicon Graphics. IRIS GL API eventually became OpenGL APIs. IRIS GL API abstracted and supported only those features that were supported by hardware. IRIS GL API evolved to become OpenGL API that supported features...

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Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Consumer Electronics, Networks, Semiconductor, Smart Devices, Telecom, Wireless |

Narrowband-IOT: Enabling ultra-low cost IoT devices over cellular wireless

Narrowband-IOT: Enabling ultra-low cost IoT devices over cellular wireless

Cellular wireless communication is on the threshold of its 5th generation of evolution. From diverse region-specific standards in its 1st generation during the late 1970’s, the industry across the world has come together under the aegis of 3GPP for LTE as a unified 4th generation standard adopted today. The focus of services offered has evolved from being voice centric to pure packet data where voice is also offered over a packet network in VoLTE. With increasing relevance of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), 3GPP has recognized the need to enable ultra-low cost wireless devices serviced by ubiquitous cellular networks. The result is Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT), a variant of LTE technology that is being specified in Release 13 of 3GPP. LTE has been optimized for high bandwidth performance, during its evolution, till Release 12 of 3GPP specifications. Devices with capability ranging from 1 Mbps up to 450 Mbps of data throughput are supported but overheads are high for devices which should handle low data rates. Notable is the need for...

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Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Networks, Semiconductor, Smart Devices, Telecom, Wireless |

M2M Devices: Cellular Modem Optimizations

M2M Devices: Cellular Modem Optimizations

M2M devices are devices which communicate with other devices or servers, without the need for human interaction. These kinds of devices are used in many application areas such as industrial automation, smart cities, health, etc. These devices are to be networked within a premise (intranet) or over the internet. Within intranet, these devices can communicate over short range connectivity technologies such as WiFi, Zigbee, and Bluetooth. These devices have to connect with the internet using WiFi or cellular. WiFi may not always be an option because of lack of access points at all places, especially outdoor premises. In cases where Wi-Fi is not suitable, cellular effectively provides the last-mile connectivity. Traditional cellular connectivity has been used in high-end devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops and netbooks. For this, cellular modems have evolved mainly to handle many scenarios such as seamless mobility and high data rates. Since M2M devices need to be low footprint and less power consumption, there is a need for customizing cellular modems. Here are a few insights to possible...

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Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Consumer Electronics, Enterprise Mobility, Semiconductor, Wireless |

Snapshot of Project Tango

Snapshot of Project Tango

Project Tango is Google’s brainchild, conceptualized and run by the advanced technology and projects (ATAP) team, which was a part of the erstwhile Motorola Mobility. The objective of the project is to equip devices with depth sensors, motion sensors and software that enable it to build an accurate 3D model of its immediate environment and surroundings in real time. It harnesses years of research in computer vision and robotics to bring the features to small form factor devices like smartphones and tablets. In Google’s parlance, “The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human scale understanding of space and motion”[1] In its characteristic style, google is creating an ecosystem of developers to utilize the varied global technology expertise across multiple areas that this project needs. In this direction, Google will promote Project Tango by providing kits for developers interested in exploration of 3D sensing applications. Although the first set of development kits were in a smartphone form factor with a 4MP camera, motion tracking camera and...

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