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IIC-Taiwan encompasses entire design value chain

Posted: 15 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:2008 IIC-Taiwan? World Trade Center Taipei?

International IIC Taiwan (IIC-Taiwan) show opened at Taipei World Trade Center on Sept. 9 with a new identity, extending its reach to full semiconductor design value chain.

IIC-Taiwan folded predecessor EDA & Test Taiwan (EDA & T-Taiwan) and Embedded System Conference Taiwan (ESC-Taiwan) shows as ongoing tracks within the new show.

The show was co-located with Semicon Taiwan as to link the IC design to equipment, material and manufacturing solutions. It featured new exhibitors, new technologies, a focus on green power, and the very latest in high-definition from HDMI.

DSPs alive and part of multimedia revolution
As DSP guru Will Strauss likes to say, DSPs haven't gone anywhere; they aren't just called DSP anymore. Ceva Inc., licensor of DSP cores and platforms, announced designs wins at IIC-Taiwan with Taiwan's leading multimedia chipmakers like MediaTek and Sunplus. Moshe Salama, marketing communications manager, said that Ceva cores have been in handsets for quite some time, but multimedia was taking a bit longer.

Sunplus is a supplier of ICs for digital cameras, handheld games, mobile phones and portable media players (PMPs). It will license Ceva's MM2000 solution that uses a single DSP engine to support video and audio for encode and decode processing without additional accelerator, thus lowering the power consumption.

Likewise, MediaTek is licensing CEVA-X DSP core and associated subsystem that is optimized for extended user-defined instruction sets and additional computation resources and memory bandwidth.

BMW is working with Intel and Wind River to develop an open platform for car navigation devices. (Click to view larger image.)

LabView smartens up for embedded systems
National Instruments Corp. demonstrated its recently launched LabView 8.6 software for portable signal analysis applications. The demo board built EXE file using LabView program and deployed on a PDA.

LabView allows program to be written on a PC and deploy on PDA for applications such as data acquisition. The program could also be deployed on ARM 7 and CORTEX platforms and downloaded on a device to work independently.

Display drivers get power savvy
Leadis Technology Inc. put two LCDs side by side, one with its display driver IC and the other with display driver from another supplier. And both display devices were connected to two multimeters that benchmarked power consumption.

Leadis's LCD driver IC, which uses dynamic backlight control technology, achieved around 40-50 percent power efficiency as compared to other display driver from an unknown supplier.

Korean design houses come to Taiwan
IT-SoC Association joined the IIC-Taiwan show to bring Korean chipmakers to Taiwan's design scene for the first time. A number of IC design houses showcased their IC design solutions ranging from proximity sensors to specialized memories.

Johny Cho, director, Fidelix Co. Ltd, one of the Korean exhibitors at IIC-Taiwan, said that although size of Taiwan's design community is smaller compared to mainland China, they are technological more advanced. System engineers here are more informed about the design issues.

BMW eyes open platform for car navigation
A few years ago, iPod became a disrupter for in-car electronics, but then carmakers like BMW found out that there was no connector available to bring MP3 to the car. That led to a long delay in putting MP3 in vehicles.

Now BMW is working with chipmaker Intel and embedded software solution provider Wind River to develop an open platform for car navigation devices. The solution is based on Intel's Atom chip and Wind River's embedded Linux software.

NEC showcased its automotive MCUs to tap into Taiwan's growing in-car electronics market. (Click to view larger image.)

NEC lines up auto MCUs
NEC Electronics America Inc. showcased its automotive MCUs to tap into Taiwan's growing in-car electronics market. The chipmaker had a demo CAN/LIN gateway solution that used both 8bit and 32bit MCUs to bridge auto subsystems via CAN and LIN buses.

The demo board featured mirror control and instrument panel control functions enabled by NEC's MCU. While LIN bus handles lower speed links to lights and mirrors, CAN takes care higher-speed, noisier links for engine control.

Embedded Linux hand in hand with Nokia's S60 software
Trolltech develops applications software and user interface (UI) platforms for portable devices like mobile phones, VoIP phones, Skype phones and PMPs. It showcased its Qt UI development platforms for Windows CE and embedded Linux.

Nokia acquired the Norway-based supplier of application platforms for digital gadgets earlier in June this year. While Nokia's own S60 software is optimized for Symbian operating system, Trolltech's embedded solutions are optimized for multiple platforms like Linux. So Nokia is not putting all eggs in one basket.

Atmel showcased a touch controller technology as a star product that came with its acquisition of Quantum Research Group. (Click to view larger image.)

Touch sensors making waves
Atmel Corp. also showcased touch controller technology as a star product that came with its acquisition of Quantum Research Group. Touch and slide control panel IC features adjacent key suppression that auto detects which key has the strongest signal.

Optimized for battery powered consumer devices like media players and PDAs, touch sense controller also handles different sensitivity levels in multiple environments and operates at as low as 1.8V.

Speech recognition next generation UI
Keyboard was the first-generation user interface, touchscreen is second generation, and speech recognition could well be the third-generation UI. Or say so Japan's FueTrek Co. Ltd, which demonstrated language translation system for mobile phones at the IIC-Taiwan show.

FueTrek provided NTT DoCoMo mobile phones with speech recognition and language translation features that link to back-end servers through i-mode mobile Internet service. FueTrek currently offers Japanese-to-English and Japanese-to-Mandarin services and is eyeing mobile phone makers in mainland China and Taiwan to adopt these services.

Renesas showcased a prototype in-car multimedia player powered by its SH-Mobile R2 processor. (Click to view larger image.)

Car multimedia station offers parking assistance
Renesas Technology Corp. showcased a prototype in-car multimedia player powered with its SH-Mobile R2 processor. The portable device offers navigation service when driver needs it, while enjoying TV when it's not required.

Moreover, multimedia player is linked to a camera that provides driver with car park assistance. Renesas processor also features 2D graphic accelerator to enhance navigation experience and visual effects.

Via demos new embedded processor
Via Technologies Inc. displayed its new Nano processor under the banner of 'Via Embedded.' And it displayed prototypes of thin PC and of a digital signage system (shown) powered by four Nano processors.

Nano is 64bit superscalar processor is based on 65nm process and boasts AES encryption-based security engine. The processor is designed for desktop and notebook PC markets.

Finger navigation employs 2D signals
Korean fabless company ATLab Inc. brought IC design solutions for proximity sensors specialized for optical finger navigation. ATLab showcased optical navigation module that performs by converting movement of a finger into 2D navigation signal using a combination of optical and navigation technologies.

- EE Times-Asia

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