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Recapping IIC-China '03

Posted: 01 Apr 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IIC-China? portable devices? mobile phones? PDAs? consumer electronics?

In this year's IIC-China, the spotlight fell not only on the majority of Taiwan-based exhibitors including well-known consumer electronics players like Winbond, Sunplus, and ALi, but also smaller Taiwan IC design houses like NeoMagic, Richtek, HiMARK, Etoms, and Hyperstone, who were seen in the same arena of semiconductor giants such as TI, ADI, and Fujitsu.

Apart from semiconductor companies, distributors have become an important driving force behind promoting application markets and building brand images in IIC. The booths of Memec, Willas-Array, Excelpoint Systems, Advanced MP, and other mainland China distributors have attracted a lot of participants and invited rich interaction.

Developing solutions for portable devices like mobile phones, PDAs, and consumer electronic products was of greatest interest at IIC. This year's meet held nearly 40 sessions which covered areas such as networking, RF and wireless communication design, power management, audio/video design, interface and data processing, and system design and programming.

For RF and wireless communication designs, the technology forums focused on the working theme of "designing tomorrow's wireless networks."

On the other hand, talks on power management leaned towards meeting the demands of the portable market. With miniaturization and multi-functionality being the trend of portable devices, power requirements have also increased accordingly. Currently, standby power has become vital for total system power in portable devices, prompting experts who attended to share their technical know-how.

Also, with Ethernet expanding to access network and metro network, system suppliers have been actively pushing convergence between Ethernet and other technologies such as SONET/SDH, PON, and access network, to create an integrated application with the lowest cost. Cypress Semiconductor discussed the trends of wireless network transportation and predicted the overwhelming ubiquity of broadband technology by 2005 or 2006.

As for audio and video system design, multimedia mobile phones embedded with multi-functions such as cameras and MP3s have been dubbed by the conference as the mainstream products of 2003. Diversity in audio compression standards has made audio receiving systems more complex. Hence the sessions on audio/video system design gave engineers a chance to air out several "design issues" in multimedia wireless terminals.

As for embedded systems, issues on IP protection were dealt with as Linux embedded systems have continuously grown in popularity and with system design becoming more complicated. Actel, for instance, discussed protection issues of IPs and of FPGA designs, and recommended non-versatile flash memory or anti-fuse FPGA solutions with high security.

- Lucy Liang

Electronic Engineering Times - Asia

With input from Jake Chen, Eric Jiao, Samuel Ni, and Evan Chi.

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