Sunday, January 6, 2019

CTA: US tech revenue to hit $398 billion in 2019, up 3.9%

U.S. consumer retail spending on tech products is expected to hit $398 billion in 2019, up 3.9%, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

"The consumer tech sector is fast approaching another milestone – almost $400 billion in annual revenues – as more consumers embrace the efficiency, safety, entertainment and anytime/anywhere communication that technology brings to our everyday lives," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA.

Some highlights from CTA's newly released, flagship, semi-annual U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report:

  • Smartphones: revenue is expected to reach $80 billion, a two percent increase in 2019. Unit shipments are expected to grow one percent to 170.7 million. This year marks the launch of the first 5G smartphones on the market. CTA expects 2019 U.S. sales will reach 2.1 million units and cross $1 billion in revenue. By 2022, 76 percent of all smartphones sold will be 5G-enabled.
  • Laptops: In 2019, the U.S. laptop market will sell 51 million units, up three percent over last year, and earn $28.4 billion in revenue (unchanged from 2018). Convertible models and cloud-based laptops remain high-growth areas within computing, as consumers continue to upgrade to the latest operating systems.
  • Televisions: Overall, unit sales of total digital displays in 2019 will remain above 42 million units (one percent decrease) and register $22.6 billion in revenue (two percent increase). More than three-quarters of TV shipments will be sets with 40-inch screens or larger. Future upgrades will be driven by 4K Ultra High-Definition (4K UHD) sets, which now make up more than half of all TV unit sales. 4K UHD will sell 22 million units (14 percent increase) and $16.4 billion in revenue (eight percent increase). Raising the bar on resolution, inaugural shipments of 8K UHD TVs will reach $545 million in revenue. And budding OLED shipments will reach 1.4 million sets with double-digit growth through 2022.
  • In-Vehicle Tech: With more technology built into new cars than ever before, factory-installed automotive technology is projected to contribute $17 billion in revenue (nine percent increase) in 2019. Led by in-vehicle entertainment and driver-assist features such as active collision avoidance, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, consumer demand for advanced safety features pave the road for the self-driving car of the future.

Huawei unveils 7nm, 64-core ARM-based CPU

Huawei introduced Kunpeng 920, a 7nm ARM-based server CPU independently designed by Huawei based on ARMv8 architecture license.

The Kunpeng 920 integrates 64 cores at a frequency of 2.6 GHz. This chipset integrates 8-channel DDR4, and memory bandwidth exceeds incumbent offerings by 46%. System integration is also increased significantly through the two 100G RoCE ports. Kunpeng 920 supports PCIe 4.0 and CCIX interfaces, and provides 640 Gbps total bandwidth. In addition, the single-slot speed is twice that of the incumbent offering, effectively improving the performance of storage and various accelerators.

Huawei says its design significantly improves processor performance by optimizing branch prediction algorithms, increasing the number of OP units, and improving the memory subsystem architecture.

Huawei also introduced its TaiShan series servers powered by Kunpeng 920, including three models: one with a focus on storage, another on high density, and a third focused on balancing both requirements. The TaiShan servers are built for big data, distributed storage, and ARM-native application scenarios. The ARM architecture is best suited for these scenarios with advantages in many-core and performance per watt.

"With Kirin 980, Huawei has taken smartphones to a new level of intelligence. With products and services (e.g., Huawei Cloud) designed based on Ascend 310, Huawei enables inclusive AI for industries," William Xu noted. "Today, with Kunpeng 920, we are entering an era of diversified computing embodied by multiple cores and heterogeneity. Huawei has invested patiently and intensively in computing innovation to continuously make breakthroughs. We will work with our customers and partners to build a fully connected, intelligent world."

Huawei said it will continue to work with Intel to develop servers.

Continental develops 5G-Hybrid Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X)

Continental unveiled a 5G hybrid Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) platform that integrates technologies not only for 4G and 5G network access, but also Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) and Cellular-V2X for direct V2X communication.

The company said its V2X, which is being demonstrated at this week's CES 2019 in Las Vegas, provides a global solution for auto manufacturers as the technical path to establish direct V2X communication varies regionally. Some regions prefer the established DSRC and others lean toward the upcoming Cellular-V2X standard.

A practical example: if vehicles approach a construction site, short-range V2X communication begins to communicate this situation within a half mile range. As a result, the driver is prepared for the situation when the car reaches the actual construction site or the end of a forming line of traffic. If seamless long-range communication also transmitted this warning with a longer lead time, the driver would be offered more options, having more time to prepare for a forming traffic jam or to get into the recommended lane, as an example. The construction workers also benefit from the advanced information as it reduces the risk of a car running into them. Based on Continental’s platform, such use cases could soon become reality on roads throughout the world. For China, this global project even marks the first series development of a V2X product.

“Winning a first project based on our 5G-Hybrid-V2X platform is not only great news for us but for the entire industry. Bringing 5G on the development roadmap so early demonstrates that the automotive industry has its finger on the pulse of digitalization,” said Johann Hiebl, head of the business units Body & Security and Infotainment & Connectivity at Continental. “Additionally, deploying V2X on such a large, global scale marks an important stepping stone for safer and more intelligent mobility.”

“Ad-hoc networking through V2X has the potential to drastically increase driving safety. Direct information from other vehicles can improve the decision-making of drivers and automated driving functions,” said Murali Srinivasan, head of Passive Safety and Sensorics for Continental North America. “To fulfill this task, V2X technology must be as fast and reliable as possible – and it must be available globally. To date, short-range communication and long-range communication are two different systems with dedicated Electronic Control Units (ECUs). Networking both types of communication more closely will bring safety benefits.”

MaxLinear and jjPlus offer building penetration for 5G fixed wireless

Zinwell, a manufacturer of wired and wireless broadcast and broadband communication equipment, has integrated MaxLinear’s AirPHY multi-gigabit modem technology with jjPlus’s latest 65W magnetic resonant wireless power module into its 3rd generation ZRA-003 device, which can transfer power and gigabit data through glass windows or structural walls up to 20cm thick. jjPlus is a supplier of wireless power transfer products.

The companies said the solution enables wireless internet service providers (WISPs) to offer a 4G/LTE or 5G millimeter wave wireless broadband service with gigabit speeds and deliver it without any wires to an indoor Wi-Fi router, eliminating the need for drilling holes and costly professional installations. Consumers are able to connect an outdoor unit (ODU) with an indoor unit (IDU). Resonant coupling occurs when specially designed magnetic "resonators", consisting of a transmitter module and a receiver module, share the same resonant frequency.

“Until now, consumer wireless power solutions were limited to about 15 Watts and could only transfer power up to 5 centimeters,” said Will Torgerson, Vice President & General Manager of MaxLinear’s Broadband Group. “With MaxLinear’s AirPHY solution and the latest high power AirFuel Resonant solutions from jjPlus, Zinwell was able to meet the demanding cost, size and power requirements of service providers aiming to deploy gigabit wireless CPEs that can be self-installed on walls or windows.”

"jjPlus develops magnetic resonant wireless power transfer solutions to enable various applications which require wireless power at a distance," said Gary Chi, Chief Marketing Officer of jjPlus Corporation. “Powering a gigabit wireless CPE through a concrete wall up to 20cm thick is a perfect example of our technology put to good use. We are excited to be part of the MaxLinear and Zinwell team to demonstrate how wireless power can expedite the deployment of 5G Fixed Wireless to indoor environments cost-effectively.”

“In partnership with MaxLinear and jjPlus, Zinwell has successfully integrated the most innovative state-of-the-art technologies into the ZRA-003 to save wall drilling costs and time required to deploy 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) internet services. With this powerful device, mobile network operators (MNOs) can enhance user experience of millimeter wave technology in residential and office environments,” said Paul Wu, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of Zinwell.

The solution is being demonstrated at CES 2019.

Verizon to offer McAfee-based Home Network Security

Verizon is introducing a Home Network Protection (HNP) service powered by McAfee to provide protection throughout a home network.The servuce protects against malicious websites, provides parental controls and helps keep devices connected to the home network, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices, protected.

“Our homes are more connected than ever before. It’s imperative that consumers look beyond their PCs to keep their devices and information safe,” said Shailaja Shankar, general manager, mobile and ISP business units, McAfee. “We are delighted that Verizon shares our vision of making the home a secure space and chose us to help ensure its customers are protected from online threats.”

“We are committed to providing the security solutions that help our customers enjoy their digital lives to the fullest,” said Darren Kaufmann, executive director, Verizon. “Together with McAfee, we can help ensure the home network is secure, and that parents have the peace of mind knowing they have the simple tools they need to provide a safe online environment for their children.”

D-Link shows 5G home gateway - coming 2H19

At this week's CES 2019 in Las Vegas, D-Link is showcasing its new high-speed 5G NR Enhanced Gateway (DWR-2010) for fixed services, promising download speeds more than 40x faster than current average fixed broadband download speed in the U.S. of 70 Mbps.

As 5G adoption accelerates within the coming year, more people may be turning to wireless carriers as their home internet provider. D-Link's 5G gateway will help them take full advantage of the new wireless capability.

The DWR-2010 will offer customization options for service providers including remote management (TR-069) and FOTA. The gateway features an embedded 5G NR (New Radio) NSA module and can operate on the sub-6 GHz or mmWave frequencies in 200 MHz (2 x 100 MHz) or 800 MHz (8 x 100 MHz) configurations.

The 5G NR Enhanced Gateway will be available in the second half of 2019. Pricing will vary depending on preferred service providers.

Sequans and GeoTraq partner on LTE IoT module w 10 year life

GeoTraq has adopted Sequans’ Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT Platform for a new series of GeoTraq modules targeting LTE for IoT markets.

The new GeoTraq NB-400 series of IoT modules use non-IP data delivery (NIDD), which GeoTraq believes offers the fastest, most secure, and efficient LTE connectivity.

The module measures 12 by 16 mm and includes connectors for sensor, battery, and antenna.

GeoTraq cites a price affordable enough to be disposable, battery optimization for 10+ years of battery life, and tier 1 global cellular coverage in 193+ countries. GeoTraq’s patent-pending technology allows for global non-IP data delivery over the control channel, providing the most efficient design, extremely secure data delivery, and speeds 7x faster than SMS.

For the first NB-400 module, GeoTraq is using Sequans Monarch SiP LTE-M/NB-IoT chip combined with the universal radio front end of Skyworks. Monarch provides full support for power saving mode (PSM) and extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) to enable the long battery life needed by many IoT use cases, and it provides the enhanced coverage modes that extend coverage for deep-indoor and remote deployments. For LTE positioning, Monarch incorporates the positioning technology of Polte for accurate, low power indoor and outdoor positioning capability using only the LTE radio. Monarch delivers programmable RF filtering for global band support in a Single-SKU™, and proprietary dynamic power management technology enabling rock bottom low power consumption of 1 micro amp. Monarch is certified by operators worldwide.

GeoTraq expects the modules will be available for testing in Q2 and samples of the first GeoTraq NB-400 module will be on display at CES 2019.


Sequans to embed Polte's Cloud Location over Cellular (C-LoC)

Sequans Communications plans to embed  Polte’s C-LoC software on on its Monarch LTE platform, thereby creating a low-cost, low-power LTE for IoT location solution that does not require GPS/ GNSS or other radios for accurate indoor and outdoor positioning. Polte says its C-LoC solution provides excellent indoor location capability where GPS/ GNSS cannot.

“Polte’s cloud-based positioning technology on Monarch provides great value to our IoT customers, especially asset tracker device makers who need low-cost, low-power solutions for outdoor and indoor locations, such as inside warehouses,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “Polte’s technology allows a significant cost-per-device savings, a power consumption savings of 70 percent — up to 90 percent for indoor locations — along with indoor accuracy superior to GNSS devices. With Polte technology integrated, we add real and measurable value to our Monarch platform.”

“We are excited to work with Sequans to bring Polte’s location technology to market on Monarch,” said Ed Chao, Polte CEO. “The small form factor of Monarch is well-suited for IoT use cases in which space is constrained, and   C-LoC positioning allows Sequans to maintain their advantage.”  Chao continued, “The launch of Polte’s positioning solution on Monarch will enable an entirely new category of use cases, which will help drive adoption of IoT across every vertical from asset tracking to manufacturing.”

See also