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Confabs to eye growing markets

Posted: 02 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:conference? Sensors Expo? Society for Information Display? sensor? wireless?

Two upcoming conferences will showcase two of the fastest-growing areas of systems design.

The Sensors Expo, in Chicago, Illinois, and the Society for Information Display (SID) conference, in San Francisco, California will both convene on June 5. The former will explore the continued miniaturization and integration of sensors to advance wireless applications. The latter will highlight novel display techniques that promise alternatives to LCD and plasma technologies.

At the Sensors Expo, Coronis Systems will talk about its Wavenis Open Source Alliance, formed to facilitate cooperation among technology providers, integrators and service providers for ultralow-power wireless sensor networks. Coronis' Wavenis is a low-cost, two-way wireless technology, based on frequency-hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) techniques that operate in ISM license-free bands. It supports point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and repeater communication modes while addressing star, tree and mesh network topologies. Wavenis supports both fixed and mobile monitoring. Wavenis Open Source Alliance members are looking to expand the scope of application services by contributing to the design of new firmware layers on top of the Wavenis protocol.

Also at the expo, Dust Networks Inc. will discuss its next generation of wireless products optimized for industrial markets. Dust provides OEMs of monitoring and control systems with networking technology that enables end users to digitize information from industrial installations such as oil refineries, food-processing plants, wastewater facilities and power plants. The Dust SmartMesh platform is based on FHSS technology and uses standard 802.15.4 radio chipsets. An open XML-based API lets application developers, service providers and integrators build sensor network applications.

Fabless semiconductor vendor Jaalaa Inc. will describe its work in providing single-chip wireless sensor designs custom-made for such markets as PC peripherals, human-input devices and high-speed game/audio controls.

The company recently announced a partnership with Mitsumi Electric Co. Ltd under which Mitsumi is using the Jaalaa KillerBee XR SoC in its WML-C41 wireless networking system. Co-developed by Mitsumi and Jaalaa, with Mitsumi developing the application software, the system is optimized for wireless electronic shelf label applications.

The KillerBee XR SoC will be available in the first quarter of 2007.

Eye on displays
At SID 2006, Philips spin-off Liquavista will describe progress on a reflective electrowetting display technology that promises high brightness and high energy efficiency for mobile gear. The technology was first described at SID 2004.

Electrowetting makes use of the natural forces intrinsic to an oil-and-water interface and of methods developed for the manipulation of those forces. Liquavista claims the technology yields a sixfold color conversion factor improvement over LCDs for a three-layer display, rendering paperlike optical performance. As a result, the reflective electrowetting display can be used under a range of conditions, from dimly lit rooms to bright daylight.

Qualcomm Inc. will exhibit its iMoD MEMS-based building blocks, said to enable displays with no constraints on lighting conditions. Qualcomm CEO Paul E. Jacobs will present a keynote speech on "Enabling Next-Generation Wireless Communications." Betting on emerging markets, Qualcomm plans to build out its MediaFLO infrastructure to offer mobile TV on cellphones by the end of the year.

LG Philips LCD will showcase a 100-inch TFT LCD panel for full-HDTVs. And eMagin Corp. will demonstrate an organic LED that it says enables the highest-luminance and longest-lifetime OLED microdisplays available.

Cree Inc. will show a second-generation Colorwave LED backlighting solution that addresses the weight, heat and power consumption problems ordinarily associated with LED backlights. Corning, meanwhile, will unveil its Eagle XG LCD substrate, which is free of heavy metals.

At SID's annual Business Conference, Mike Buckley, director of strategic investments for Intel Capital, will discuss Intel's Viiv digital entertainment technology.

- Nicolas Mokhoff
EE Times

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