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Taiwan postcards: A reporter's photojournal

Posted: 25 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ODM? OEM?

The group aims to make Taiwan a center for cloud computer manufacturing and research at both system and component levels. It also aims to help Taiwan companies design a defensive intellectual property stance in the area where others hold many key patents. In addition, the group will be a clearinghouse for Taiwan on legal and technical standards and issues in the field.



ITRI cloud center

ITRI's cloud center.

Touring ITRI
For every interesting emerging technology out there, there's usually a prototype of it somewhere in the labs at ITRI.

Flex speaker

ITR's flex speaker

Up-close image of the flex speaker

Up-close image of the flex speaker

The group started in 1973 and now has more than 5,000 employees and 10,000 patents. Its big win came early on with development fabs that helped spawn UMC and TSMC, the island's biggest successes in semiconductors.

Since then the organization has expanded into chip and system design issues all across electronics. It helped Taiwan get an early leg up in the notebook business it now owns, and it is expanding into emerging medical and biotech fields.

ITRI has won a few awards along the way for its lab work, including one from Dow Jones for this ultra thin audio speaker embedded into flexible woven fabrics.

WiMax caught on in Taiwan early on. Blame Intel, the processor giant who holds a lot of sway on this PC-centric island. Or blame Taiwan's neighbor to the north, South Korea, who was early to deploy the technology.

For whatever reason, the country has done a fair amount of work on the technology though most global carriers�including Taiwan's top carrier Chung Hwa�now say they have no plans to deploy it. Be that as it may, ITRI has developed a portable WiMax base station first responders can carry in a backpack to create a broadband mobile network at the site of an emergency.

Portable WiMax base station

Portable WiMax base station

Other ITRI researchers created a technique for extending antennas beyond the reach of a typical WiMax base station using high speed fibre optics links to a secondary terminal. It remains to be seen whether the technology can be adapted for tomorrow's LTE network.

Wimax fiber antenna extender

Wimax fiber antenna extender


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