Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Verizon Business Launches Risk-Correlation Service

Verizon Business expanded its Managed Security Services suite with the launch of a fully automated, managed-security solution that automatically calculates risk and displays the results via an online scorecard. The service prioritizes current and emerging threats -- allowing enterprises to more effectively and efficiently remediate high-risk vulnerabilities, better plan security strategy and allot security-related spending.

The global service is immediately available to managed security services customers throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The Verizon Risk-Correlation Service uses the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS), the industry standard that enables enterprises to rate IT vulnerabilities including whether an attack is aiming to compromise a device's confidentiality, integrity or availability. Determining whether the intent of an attack is to cause a system-wide outage or steal confidential customer information provides valuable insight that helps identify the best remediation approach.

Verizon Business said its scorecard provides "likelihood" and "impact" scores, so customers can see the likelihood of a threat occurring and the risk to their business if the attack is successful. Additionally, the scorecard includes a confidence score. The higher the confidence score, the more information Verizon Business has obtained about the asset and threat, allowing it to make intuitive threat forecasts for customers.

RMI and SPIRIT Form Strategic Partnership

SPIRIT DSP and RMI Corporation have signed partnership and platform license agreement to deliver high quality voice and video over IP for RMI's Alchemy Processor family, an advanced MIPS-compatible processor solution.

Under the deal, SPIRIT licensed to RMI its TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine bringing high quality wideband real-time voice and video to the next generation electronics based on RMI's highly integrated SoC, starting with the Alchemy Au1250, a power-optimized single-chip media processor.

TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine is a pre-integrated solution that includes a library of highly optimized speech and video codecs, voice and video synchronization tools, speech enhancement algorithms for superior voice quality and network optimizing functionality to handle varying delay (jitter) and packet loss. TeamSpirit is optimized to minimize CPU load and memory consumption, allowing OEMs to lower BOM-costs and to deliver video-enabled products at mass-market price.

RMI and SPIRIT Form Strategic Partnership

SPIRIT DSP and RMI Corporation have signed partnership and platform license agreement to deliver high quality voice and video over IP for RMI's Alchemy Processor family, an advanced MIPS-compatible processor solution.

Under the deal, SPIRIT licensed to RMI its TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine bringing high quality wideband real-time voice and video to the next generation electronics based on RMI's highly integrated SoC, starting with the Alchemy Au1250, a power-optimized single-chip media processor.

TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine is a pre-integrated solution that includes a library of highly optimized speech and video codecs, voice and video synchronization tools, speech enhancement algorithms for superior voice quality and network optimizing functionality to handle varying delay (jitter) and packet loss. TeamSpirit is optimized to minimize CPU load and memory consumption, allowing OEMs to lower BOM-costs and to deliver video-enabled products at mass-market price.

Microsoft Enhances its Mediaroom IPTV with "Anytime" Features

Microsoft has enhanced its Mediaroom IPTV platform with "Anytime" features that allow viewers to watch TV on their own time. In addition to existing Mediaroom features, such as video on demand, DVR Anywhere and Remote Digital Video Recording, the new Mediaroom Anytime features enable viewers to access previously aired shows directly from the Interactive Program Guide or immediately restart currently airing shows without any preplanning or prior DVR recording.

In addition, Microsoft announced that the Mediaroom platform has reached nearly 2.5 million subscriber homes worldwide, an increase of more than 1.5 million new connections in the past year.

New Mediaroom Anytime feature set, service providers now have the ability to offer their customers the following benefits:

  • Restart Anytime -- the ability to rewind or restart the currently airing program from any point, regardless of whether the show is being recorded or the TV was switched off or tuned to another channel.

  • Live Anytime -- the ability to scroll backward in the Interactive Program Guide to watch previously aired programs. These previously aired programs also can be made accessible through the service provider's video on demand library.

  • Download Anytime -- enables viewers to download on-demand movies and programs to their set-top boxes so they can watch them anytime regardless of bandwidth constraints. For example, viewers could watch high-definition programs on low-bandwidth networks.

SingTel plans to trial Mediaroom Anytime features -- Restart Anytime and Live Anytime -- and aims to offer the service to its mio TV subscribers in 2009.

"Television is no longer a one-way broadcast experience. With powerful software and network connectivity TV is evolving to deliver richer, more immersive ways for consumers to watch anything, anytime and anywhere," said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Connected TV Business Group at Microsoft. "These latest developments of the Mediaroom platform demonstrate how Microsoft is leading this transformation from broadcast to connected TV and shaping the consumer experience and expectation of TV."

MediaFLO Plans to Expand its FLO TV in More Than 100 Markets in 2009

Qualcomm's MediaFLO USA division announced plans to expand its FLO TV service across more than 100 markets in 2009. The market launch schedule will commence within weeks of the February 17, 2009 digital television (DTV) transition date and continue throughout the year.

MediaFLO USA also noted some interesting mobile TV user trends. Metrics show that FLO TV viewers are spending an average of more than 20 minutes per day watching television on their phones. This is comparable to the average time U.S. cell phone users spend per day talking on their cell phones, according to CTIA's Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey.

FLO TV's most dramatic viewership increases in 2008 occurred during live events, illustrating the service's immediacy and its resonance with today's mobile consumers:

  • Viewership increased 103 percent over the daily average during this year's epic U.S. Open golf championship playoff featuring Tiger Woods
    and Rocco Mediate.

  • FLO TV's dedicated Olympics channel, available exclusively on AT&T Mobile TV, was the most-watched channel on the AT&T Mobile TV service during the live Olympics coverage.

  • Live coverage of Hurricane Ike helped spike viewership by 31 percent during the storm.

  • On Election Day, FLO TV subscribers spent an average of 22 percent more time watching TV on their phones.

Verizon FiOS TV Now Offers 100 or More HD Channels

Verizon FiOS TV is now providing 100 or more channels of high-definition (HD) television in every market where the TV service is offered.

Verizon noted that more than 1.6 million customers currently subscribe to the all-digital service, which is available for sale to more than 8.2 million homes and small businesses in 14 states.

Wi-Fi Chipset Sales Grew 26% to 387 Million in 2008

Wi-Fi chipset sales jumped 26 percent in 2008 to 387 million, according to new statistics released today by the Wi-Fi Alliance and In-Stat. Highlights from the In-Stat findings examining Wi-Fi chipset sales by category:

  • Cellular-Wi-Fi Phones: 56 million units shipped (up 52 percent)

  • Stationary Consumer Electronic Devices (gaming consoles, digital televisions, set-top boxes, printers): 48 million units shipped (up 51 percent)

  • Portable Consumer Electronic Devices (handheld games, cameras, portable music players): 71 million units shipped (up 33 percent)

  • Notebook PCs, Mini Notebooks, Ultra Mobile Devices, Mobile Internet Devices: 144 million units shipped (up 23 percent)

For 2009, the Wi-Fi Alliance and In-Stat expect Wi-Fi sales momentum to come from cellular Wi-Fi handsets, portable consumer electronics, home networking, and mobile PCs. All handheld gaming devices shipped in 2009 will have Wi-Fi. Moreover, the 12 percent growth rate predicted in the mobile PC market will be driven by uptake of new alternatives to notebooks known as mobile internet devices or netbooks. These increasingly-popular devices, which all include Wi-Fi, bring internet connectivity and basic computing functions in a smaller, more affordable form factor.

"Wi-Fi has solidified its position as an essential technology for the home and the enterprise in 2008, and we expect our strong growth trajectory to continue," said Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "Wi- Fi is a feature that users have come to expect in a wide array of products, and device makers are including Wi-Fi in everything from handsets to mini- notebooks to media players."

Broadcom Introduces MoCA-Integrated Set-Top Box Chip

Broadcom introduced its first high definition (HD) set-top box (STB) system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions with Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) integration. MoCA uses a subscriber's existing in-home coax cable to create a home media distribution network.

"Because coax is already in the bulk of U.S. homes, Broadcom's MoCA-integrated solutions are a low cost and efficient way to network the next generation digital home to enable whole-home media distribution," said Dan Marotta, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Broadcom's Broadband Communications Group. "These solutions satisfy the growing demand for whole-home DVR services, including the ability to record and watch digital content anywhere in the home, while also reducing the cost and complexity of deployment."

The new products include the Broadcom BCM7420 and BCM7410 video decoder SoCs with integrated MoCA technology. The BCM7420 features a dual high definition 1.0/1.1+ MoCA modem, a physical layer (PHY) device and an on-chip radio frequency (RF) transceiver to securely access, store and share multiple types of digital media content. The BCM7410 provides the same capabilities as the BCM7420, but provides single HD media center system integration and/or client STB services (also with an integrated MoCA modem) for a cost effective gateway or client system. Both video decoder SoCs combine 1080p/60 video quality, an integrated 1394a media access controller (MAC) and PHY interface, Tru2way-ready with on-chip MCARD support, and a 3D graphics engine for an advanced user interface.

Broadcom Announces Integrated Wi-Fi Router Chip

Broadcom introduced a new single-chip Wi-Fi router solution for small, entry-level models. The Broadcom BCM5356 chip integrates everything needed to build a router onto a single chip, including an 802.11 media access controller (MAC) and baseband, a 2.4 GHz radio, a 333 MHz MIPS 74K CPU core, a 5-port Fast Ethernet switch and physical layer (PHY) device, and several options for system memory interfaces. The new Wi-Fi chip also integrates the highly efficient CMOS power amplifier that has shipped in millions of devices and provides the same level of output power as solutions with external power amplifiers.

Broadcom said that due to its extreme integration and 65 nanometer (nm) CMOS process technology, the BCM5356 consumes 25 percent less power of previous 802.11g solutions. It also features a unique "Green Wi-Fi Mode" that reduces a router's overall power consumption by dynamically adjusting system parameters, based on the router's typical usage patterns. In addition to saving power, the BCM5356 decreases the amount of metal and ceramic material that is used to build a Wi-Fi router. It not only requires fewer components and interconnects, but also enables the use of 2-layer printed circuit board (PCB), rather than the typical 4-layer PCBs.

Marvell Adds Single Stream 802.11n Device

Marvell introduced a low-cost 802.11n single stream Wi-Fi solution designed for a broad range of mainstream consumer devices, such as digital cameras, printers, gaming platforms, etc. The Marvell 88W8786 is designed to support bit rates up to 150Mbps and to support STBC and various aggregation schemes for increased range and robustness, providing high throughput.

Marvell Introduces New Applications Processor for Consumer Devices

Marvell introduced the first device in a family of new application processors targeted at mass market digital consumer devices.

The Marvell PXA168 is based on a new architecture that delivers the processing capabilities of an entry-level laptop.

This new class of applications processor is scalable beyond 1GHz to enable converged consumer devices. Target applications include connected digital photo frames, portable navigation devices, portable media players, automotive dashboard displays and infotainment systems, home automation, portable TVs, digital signage and other devices that utilize Internet connectivity, media processing and touch screen interfaces.

The processor supports high-definition video with hardware graphics acceleration on screens up to widescreen ultra extended graphics array resolution. The PXA168 also includes Marvell's Qdeo Color Intelligent Color Remapping technology to bring vivid color to displays without hue shifts or clipping while preserving skin tones.

The Marvell PXA168 reference platform supports Linux and Microsoft Windows CE operating systems and a media framework for connected consumer devices including all standard video and audio codecs, Adobe Flash and Flash Lite players, advanced GUIs and many third-party applications.

Broadcom Shows Bluetooth Running at 24 Mbps using Alternative MAC/PHY

Broadcom demonstrated a working implementation of next generation Bluetooth supporting data rates of up to 24 Mbps. The implementation leverages an alternative MAC and PHY (AMP) technology to achieve the increased data rates along with a significant increase in range.

Broadcom's Bluetooth AMP technology is being demonstrated at CES on its wireless solutions including the Broadcom BCM4325 single-chip Bluetooth + Wi-Fi combo device, as well as modules that integrate the BCM2046 single-chip Bluetooth solution and BCM4312 single-chip Wi-Fi device. The demonstration shows fast file transfers between two Broadcom AMP-enabled devices (i.e. PC to PC, PC to mobile phone, mobile phone to mobile phone), which in turn, highlights extended versatility for Bluetooth. Since Broadcom is the market and technology leader in both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the company is well positioned to help drive Bluetooth AMP forward into the market.

The first AMP technology target for Bluetooth is 802.11g wireless LAN - a radio technology that could increase Bluetooth transfer rates by up to 10x when compared to standard or enhanced data rate (EDR) Bluetooth.

Broadcom said its AMP implementation is based on the current draft of the next Bluetooth specification (code named "Seattle") and the company expects its implementation will be compliant with the final specification when it achieves ratification - which is expected to occur in mid-2009.
"Our unique position as a leader in both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth has enabled us to take leadership in applications that require multiple technologies to work well together in the same device, such as Bluetooth AMP," said Robert Rango, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Broadcom's Wireless Connectivity Group. "We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Bluetooth SIG in moving Bluetooth forward."

Hughes Develops Satellite-based Government Crisis Network

Hughes Network Systems has leveraged its SPACEWAY 3 satellite to launch a new Inter-Government Crisis Network (IGCN) service that enables government agencies to communicate securely and reliably in preparing for and responding to an emergency --- when terrestrial networks are most vulnerable to failure.

IGCN provides broadband connectivity throughout North America for federal, state, and local government agencies. The service offers the capability to instantly create any number of user groups on demand when a crisis hits. It also supports multiple classes of service, including Constant Bit Rate (CBR) applications such as voice, video-conferencing, and new high-definition telepresence application. The satellite ensures true alternate path, redundant networking.

IGCN is available from Hughes via the U.S. General Services Administration's (GSA) SATCOM-II and Networx contract vehicles, GSA Schedule 70, and trusted partners.

SanDisk and Sony Envision 2TB Memory Sticks

SanDisk and Sony announced the joint development of a extended high-capacity Memory Stick format with a maximum storage capacity of 2-terabytes (TB). The companies have also set their sights on a "Memory Stick HG Micro" format enables a maximum data-transfer speed of 60 megabytes per second (MB/s), making it one of the fastest-smallest memory card formats to date. Format licensing corresponding to the "Memory Stick format for Extended High Capacity" and the "Memory Stick HG Micro" is scheduled to start in 2009.

The new "Memory Stick Format for Extended High Capacity" format with up to 2TB of capacity represents 60 times more storage capacity than the current "Memory Stick PRO" format's 32-gigabyte (GB)3 capacity limit. This new format is scheduled to continue to support the "MagicGate" copyright protection technology as well as the "Access Control Function".

AMD Plans Peta-Flop Capacity "Render Cloud" to Drive Online HD Video

AMD unveiled plan for the "AMD Fusion Render Cloud," a massively-parallel supercomputer with petaFLOP capacity and designed for HD video rendering. The supercomputer, which is planned for the second half of the year, is being engineered to process up to a million compute threads across more than 1,000 graphics processors. The system is being designed to enable content providers to deliver video games, PC applications and other graphically-intensive applications through the Internet cloud to virtually any type of mobile device with a web browser without making the device rapidly deplete battery life or struggle to process the content.

AMD said its Fusion Render Cloud will transform movie and gaming experiences through server-side rendering -- which stores visually rich content in a compute cloud, compresses it, and streams it in real-time over a wireless or broadband connection to a variety of devices such as smart phones, set-top boxes and ultra-thin notebooks. By delivering remotely rendered content to devices that are unable to store and process HD content due to such constraints as device size, battery capacity, and processing power, HD cloud computing represents the capability to bring HD entertainment to mobile users virtually anywhere.

The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will be powered by AMD-optimized hardware including the AMD Phenom II processors, AMD 790 chipsets and ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics processors. AMD plans to provide the hardware and engineering resources for the AMD Fusion Render Cloud, with OTOY providing technical software development and a middleware layer.

"AMD has a long track record in the supercomputing world. Seven out of 10 of the world's fastest machines, including the fastest two computers on the planet, are powered by AMD hardware," said Dirk Meyer, AMD's President and Chief Executive Officer.

A recorded webcast of Meyer's keynote address is available online.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

MLB Network Launch Powered by Motorola Encoders

MLB Network, which is the new 24-hour cable network devoted to Major League Baseball and other baseball programming , has selected the Motorola modular uplink system and Motorola integrated receiver/decoders (IRDs) to distribute its lineup of new sports programming. MLB launched in approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes on January 1, 2009.

Motorola is supplying its top of line HD and SD MPEG-2 encoders as part of a complete end-end system for MLB Network which will compress, multiplex, encrypt, modulate and receive satellite-delivered programming. Specifically, MLB Network will deploy a modular uplink system including SE-3000HD encoders and SE-2000 SD encoders to distribute its programming via satellite.

XO Communications Launches Carrier-Grade MPLS IP-VPN

XO Communications officially launched its XO Carrier MPLS IP-VPN, a wide area networking service engineered to deliver secure, multi-point IP transport of VoIP, video, data applications and "in the cloud" computing services over one network, In addition to offering the standard IP-VPN services such as Class of Service (CoS) traffic routing, the carrier-specific product provides customers with:

  • Multiple VPN support across the same interface (up to 10Gbps);

  • The ability to create global private networks through an inbound Network-to-Network Interface (NNI) with U.S. termination

  • Access to XO's Web Portal for service level monitoring and review of usage reports 24/7, and

  • A management VPN feature that enables Carrier customers to provide their end-users with value-added services.

XO said its Carrier MPLS IP-VPN can help international service providers expand their footprint; systems integrators better manage networks for end-users; and content providers securely route content between multiple locations. Moreover, the product offers carriers multiple access options, including Ethernet over copper, and is supported by dedicated carrier provisioning and care groups.

ICO Global Communications Completes Satellite Space Testing

ICO Global Communication's ICO G1 satellite has completed In Orbit Testing (IOT) and testing of its Ground Based Beam Forming (GBBF) system. ICO Satellite Services has accepted the Space Segment from Space Systems/Loral.

Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on April 14, 2008, ICO G1 is the world's first satellite to utilize a two-way GBBF system. The satellite has 250 fully configurable transmit and receive beams. With GBBF, spot beams can be added, removed or reconfigured to enable a satellite to operate from different orbital locations and to adapt to changes in traffic patterns or to provide new applications. With beam forming performed on the ground, the cost and time to deliver a highly flexible satellite are significantly reduced. The satellite employs a large 12 meter mesh antenna reflector, which is essential for delivering services to small mobile and portable devices.

"We have begun using ICO G1 in conjunction with our terrestrial network and mobile devices in Las Vegas and Raleigh-Durham to test and refine our innovative MSS/ATC services, including ICO mim," said David Zufall, senior vice president of network systems for ICO.

TerreStar Demonstrates First Satellite IMS VoIP Call

TerreStar Networks and Comneon, which develops protocol stack software for mobile communications, announced that the integrated satellite-terrestrial multi-mode handset designed by EB (Elektrobit Corporation) for TerreStar has successfully demonstrated VOIP connectivity using satellite simulation in a Comneon test lab.

TerreStar expects to be North America's first integrated satellite-terrestrial communications network to utilize an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) to deliver ubiquitous access and personalized applications and services over wireless devices, such as mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). The TerreStar handset uses the Comneon IMS Device Framework as a client solution for its next generation integrated mobile satellite and terrestrial communications network.

TerreStar is planning to launch its communications satellite in June 2009.

Comneon's portable IMS terminal framework, executable across a wide variety of operating systems and processor architectures, will allow TerreStar to provide users increased flexibility and ease of access to mobile applications -- across a large number of terminal types and diverse customer segments. Comneon is a subsidiary of Infineon.

Yahoo! Advances its Widget Engine for Broadband-enabled TVs

Yahoo! unveiled its vision for Internet-connected televisions and announced related technology distribution partnerships with Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics and VIZIO. Specifically, Yahoo! is aiming for wide distribution of its Widget Engine in next gen televisions. TV Widgets enable popular Internet services and online media to reach viewers with applications specifically tailored to the needs of the television watcher.

In August, Yahoo! and Intel announced the Widget Channel, their joint initiative to foster innovation in the connected TV space. Reinforcing Yahoo!'s open strategy, the company in partnership with Intel, released the Widget Development Kit (WDK). This will enable developers to create TV Widgets and effectively reach millions of consumers and help foster the creation of a connected TV ecosystem.

The Yahoo! Widget Engine is based on the "Konfabulator" widget platform for PC, which has been re-engineered specifically for consumer electronics devices. In August 2008, Yahoo! and Intel announced a partnership providing the Internet's developers and publishers with the tools needed to create exciting and engaging interactive TV Widgets.