Monday, January 4, 2010

NETGEAR Implements Quantenna's Full-11n Chipset for 4x4 MIMO Wi-Fi

NETGEAR has implemented Quantenna Communications' Full-11n Chipset for use in wireless high-definition (HD) audio/video products. NETGEAR and Quantenna are collaborating on consumer wireless home-entertainment networking products that incorporate all industry-standard 802.11n features that are necessary for delivering ultra-reliable Wi-Fi bandwidth. Full-11n technology for wireless full HD networking includes 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), dynamic digital beamforming and wireless channel monitoring and optimizing, all of which are integral features of Quantenna technology. The technology will be on display at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Lantiq to Acquire Metalink's WLAN Business

Newly-formed Lantiq has agreed to acquire Metalink's wireless local area network (WLAN) business up to $16.9 million in cash. Financial terms include earn-out payments of up to an aggregate $8.0 million, contingent upon the acquired business's achievement of specified performance targets through March 2012.

Metalink's WLANPLUS is a high-throughput, 802.11n-draft-compliant wireless LAN technology optimized for the networked home entertainment environment. Featuring advanced MIMO technology and full support of QoS, and operating in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, WLANPLUS enables multi-room networking of multiple high-definition video streams.

"We are pleased that the strategic process we initiated last year has, despite our difficult financial situation and during an extremely challenging general market conditions, produced a transaction that is in the best interests of Metalink and its shareholders, as well as its employees and customers," commented Tzvika Shukhman, Metalink's Chief Executive Officer.
  • In November 2009, Lantiq began operations as independent company. The new entity was created through the sale of Infineon Technologies Wireline business unit to US-based investor Golden Gate Capital.

Google Prices Nexus One at $529 or $179 with T-Mobile Contract

Google introduced its Nexus One mobile phone using hardware from HTC Corporation along with Android software.

The device will be sold over the web in the U.S. without service for $529 or starting at $179 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile USA. In the near future, Verizon Wireless in the US and Vodafone in Europe plan to offer services to customers in their respective geographies.

Some of the featured capabilities include:

  • Thinness: 11.5mm; Weight: 130g

  • Processor/Speed: Qualcomm Snapdragon 3G QSD8250 chipset, delivering speeds up to 1GHz

  • Camera: 5 megapixel auto focus with flash and geo tagging

  • Noise Suppression: Dynamic noise suppression from Audience, Inc.

  • Battery: Removable 1400 mAh

  • Trackball: Tri-color notification LED, alerts when new emails, chats, text messages arrive

  • Google Maps Navigation: offering turn-by-turn driving directions with voice output.

  • Email: multiple Gmail accounts; universal inbox and Exchange support.

  • Phone book: aggregate contacts from multiple sources, including Facebook

  • Android Market: access to more than 18,000 applications
  • Enter text without typing.

  • Use a voice-enabled keyboard for all text fields: speak a text message, instant message, tweet, Facebook
  • update, or complete an email.
  • Record Hi-Res MPEG4 video, and then upload to YouTube with one click.

  • Get transcribed voicemail with Google Voice integration, without changing your number.

AT&T Completes Expedited 7.2Mbps HSPA Upgrade Nationwide

AT&T completed an expedited software upgrade of its 3G cell sites nationwide to support High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology. AT&T is upgrading these cell sites with enhanced backhaul connections over the course of 2010 and 2011, primarily with fiber connections. The combination of HSPA 7.2 technology and enhanced backhaul will support theoretical peak maximum speeds of 7.2 Mbps, though as with any mobile broadband network, actual speeds will be lower than the theoretical maximum and will vary due to a number of factors.

In addition to the HSPA 7.2 software, initial deployment of backhaul is already underway in the six U.S. cities announced in 2009 as initial HSPA 7.2 markets -- Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami, with capabilities being turned up on a site-by-site basis beginning last month. Further backhaul deployment will continue in these markets and begin in additional markets across the nation.

AT&T anticipates that the majority of its mobile data traffic will be carried over the expanded fiber-based, HSPA 7.2-capable backhaul by the end of this year, with deployment continuing to expand in 2011. AT&T currently offers a total of 10 HSPA 7.2-compatible devices today, including the iPhone 3G S. Additional HSPA 7.2-compatible devices will be introduced in 2010. The backhaul upgrades are also a key step in the evolution to LTE. AT&T plans to launch an LTE trial this year, with first commercial deployments in 2011.

"As we light up new backhaul connections across the country, we're able to deliver a meaningful 3G speed boost for millions of customers who are already using HSPA 7.2-compatible devices. At the same time, we're also looking to the future with these backhaul enhancements, which will support our move to next-generation LTE technology starting in 2011," said John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations, who announced the network updates at the Citigroup 20th Annual Global Entertainment, Media & Telecommunications Conference.

Stankey noted that these wireless initiatives have already yielded a number gains. With the 7.2 release, the peak data throughputs improve by 50%. Metrics for dropped calls and blocked calls have also improved significantly.

Stankey also cited progress with Uverse, including a number of upcoming software enhancements that will enable multi-camera viewing in sporting events, local ad-insertion and on-screen caller ID.

AT&T also plans to expand its efforts in open application development. This includes a new collaboration with Microsoft to develop the APIs needed to enable applications across wireless/wireline networks, devices and operating systems.

Apple Acquire Quattro Wireless for Mobile Advertising

Apple has acquired Quattro Wireless, a start-up offering mobile advertising solutions, for an undisclosed sum.
Quattro's Q Elevation dynamic targeting platform helps advertisers to reach a desired audience. The technology encompasses ad serving, tracking and analytics for a global network of sites and applications. The company is based in Waltham, MA.
  • Quattro Wireless was founded by Andy Miller (current CEO) and Eswar Priyadarshan (CTO), both of whom previously were at m-Qube, a mobile content aggregator that was acquired by VeriSign for $250 million in April of 2006.

Skype Moves to 720p Video Calling and Skype-Enabled HDTVs

Skype released a new version for Windows that can deliver up to 720p HD-quality video calling at 1280 x 720 resolution, at up to 30 frames per second. To make an HD video call, users will need a high-speed broadband connection, a new HD webcam, a PC with a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor and Skype 4.2 Beta for Windows. HD webcams are just starting to arrive on the market. New "Skype Certified" HD webcams from faceVsion and In Store Solutions will handle the video encoding and processing onboard, removing the need for a high-performance computer to encode the HD video.

In addition, Skype announced plans to integrate its service into Internet-enabled HDTVs. This support will enabled HDTVs to deliver free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls, calls to landline or mobile phones at Skype's off-net rates, the option to receive inbound calls via a user's online Skype number, Skype voicemail, if it is set up, voice conference calls with up to 24 other parties, and support for up to 720p HD video calls, depending on the availability of high-speed broadband and a HD webcam.

Skype confirmed partnerships with LG and Panasonic to offer Skype--enabled HDTVs. Skype software will be embedded into Panasonic's line of 2010 VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVs and LG's 26 new LCD and plasma HDTVs with NetCast Entertainment Access. Both lines are expected to be available in mid-2010. Both LG and Panasonic will offer specially-designed HD webcams that are optimized for Skype video calls as separate accessories that can be plugged into the televisions. These webcams support 720p HD and include special microphones and optics that can pick up sound and video from a couch-distance.

Go Daddy Reports Rapid Growth in SSL Certificate Business

Go Daddy, the world's largest domain registrar, reports that its SSL business is booming. The company said it is now issuing nearly half of all net new SSL certificates.

Citing survey figures from Netcraft, Go Daddy said that during the past month it added twice as many SSL certificates than any other company -- and nearly three times the amount of current market share leader VeriSign. As a result, VeriSign's market share dropped, paving the way for Go Daddy's share to increase to more than two-thirds of VeriSign's for the first time.

The growth is coming from small businesses as well as consumers. Microsoft selected Go Daddy to provide Secure Certificates for their Windows Home Server, which helps people protect, organize and share digital content.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates provide Web site security through server-to-browser encryption and keep company information, customer data, communications and financial transactions secure.

Samsung Mobile Phone Integrates ATSC Mobile Digital TV chip

At this week's CES, Samsung is demonstrating a mobile phone featuring a single ATSC Mobile Digital TV chip that allows the phone to receive live TV programming from local broadcast stations, including prime-time network programs, local news and sports and emergency alerts.

Samsung Moment, exclusively from Sprint, will receive live digital TV using Samsung's Mobile DTV chip. The phone uses the Android OS and features a 3.2-inch AMOLED display screen, which delivers crisp colors, bright pictures outdoors, and wide viewing angles.

Hibernia Atlantic Lands $13 Million Investment

Constellation Growth Capital has invested $13.4 million in Hibernia Atlantic, which operates a trans-Atlantic undersea cable network. The investment provides Hibernia with additional capital for growth opportunities, including allowing the company to increase its network Points of Presence (POPs) in North America and Europe. This investment follows Hibernia’s recent acquisition of MediaXstream, a leading provider of high quality transport and managed network services for the media production and broadcast industries. Columbia Ventures Corporation (CVC) owns the remaining shares of the company.

Verizon Offers SMB Internet Customers a 3G EV-DO Back-up

Verizon Business has begun offering a 3G EV-DO Back-up to small- and medium-sized business (SMB) customers using its dedicated Internet access service. The new solution -- Verizon Internet Dedicated Access with Mobile Broadband -- automatically routes business traffic to the Verizon Wireless 3G EV-DO broadband wireless network in the event of a service disruption.

The combined solution features two linked ADTRAN NetVanta 3200 routers -- one connected to the primary T1 access source and the other featuring a 3G wireless Network Interface Module designed for use with the Verizon Wireless network. This dual-unit approach provides the flexibility to place the 3G NIM-equipped router wherever cellular coverage is strongest. The IDA circuit and Internet traffic are actively monitored so that the wireless link is activated only as needed.

Ciena's CN 4200 Deployed by Georgia's ETC

TC, a communications company serving residential and business customers in north Georgia, has deployed Ciena's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform to upgrade its backbone network with additional capacity, optical protection switching for resiliency against accidental fiber cuts and the ability to offer SONET, Ethernet, storage and digital video services via programmable ports. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Broadcom Debuts its Latest IP Set-Top Box Chips

Broadcom introduced its latest set-top box (STB) family of system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions supporting expanded IPTV services, such as networked DVR and IP video services, for both client-server and low cost standalone deployment models. The latest generation of IP STB SoC solutions includes the Broadcom BCM7208 (for HD applications) and the Broadcom BCM7468 (for SD applications).

Apple's App Store Downloads Top Three Billion

More than three billion apps have been downloaded from the Apple App Store by iPhone and iPod touch users worldwide.

STMicroelectronics Unveils MEMS Digital Compass Module

STMicroelectronics introduced a MEMS digital compass module for consumer and portable applications that integrates a 3-axis digital accelerometer with a 3-axis digital magnetic sensor.

The digital compass uses magneto-resistive technology from Honeywell and aims to accelerate the adoption of enhanced electronic compassing in portable consumer applications, including direction finding, map/display orientation, location-based services and pedestrian dead reckoning.

ST said its new module adds forward direction orientation that enables application developers to improve the use of limited phone/PDA display size for maps by putting the current user position at the bottom of the map with the rest of the display in the forward ('up ahead') direction. The device provides accurate heading information, to indicate the direction in which a person or vehicle is moving, when GPS is not available. It also supports dead-reckoning applications, including pedestrian navigation in places with no or low GPS signal, such as inside buildings and structures or in mountainous and forested terrain.

The magnetic sensing element that measures the strength and direction of the Earth's magnetic field and determines the heading relative to magnetic north is based on Honeywell's Anisotropic Magneto-Resistive (AMR) technology, which provides the same sensitivity on the z axis as it does on the x and y axes.