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December 2006

The BluOnyx: Processing and Storage Freed at Last

Agere Systems introduced on Monday, December 18, 2006 a new product category, the Mobile Content Server. Agere’s BluOnyx™ server, the first product in the new category, offers processing power and storage capacity in a small package, with connectivity to cell phones, various consumer devices or PCs.

Connections can be established either wirelessly, via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi; with a USB wired connection or by inserting an SD (Secure Digital) card. The BluOnyx server is quite small, slightly larger than a credit card and from about one-quarter inch to just over one-half inch thick, depending on its memory capacity, which can be either Flash-based, 1GB to 4GB, or hard disk drive-based, up to 40GB. The contents of a BluOnyx device can be displayed on a cell phone, PDA, PMP (Portable Media Player), a PC or other devices.

The BluOnyx server is much more than a mere portable hard drive. First, it includes processing power. Second, because it can be controlled by any JavaTM enabled cell phone with a Bluetooth capability, it frees consumer electronic devices from dependence on a PC. Instead, a BluOnyx server will be able to interact with a variety of platforms without first connecting to a PC. For example, consumers can:

The March 2007 Semico Summit: Driving Innovation into the Next decade!

A ten-year anniversary and a reputation as THE Semiconductor Executive Event, the Semico Summit will take place March 11 – 13, 2007 at the incomparable Camelback Inn. CEOs, Chairmen and other ranking executives from around the world will share what it takes to be competitive today. At the Semico Summit you never hear the same old tired topics from today’s news; you get next month’s headlines. Get all sides of the issues being confronted by executives, setting the trends in the industry.

This is a forward-looking event focusing on the topic: Driving Innovation. How do designers, manufacturers, equipment suppliers and the semiconductor industry as a whole continue to turn out groundbreaking products that excel in the marketplace?

If it is truly Driving Innovation, you will hear about it from the outstanding list of executive keynote speakers at the Semico Summit.

Early Bird registration is going on NOW. But Early Bird only lasts until the end of December – register on-line and SAVE BIG at http://www.semico.com/eventsummit/summit.asp

Micro Logic October Results on Track

The SIA/WSTS October 2006 sales and shipment data for Micro Logic were released this week. The results are very much in line with Semico’s projections.

October sales were $3.84 billion. This is down 37.2% sequentially, but up 10.4% year over year. The MPU market accounts for more than half the sales of ML. This is driven by the PC market cycle. The October sales follow the PC market trends. The first month of the quarter is the lowest, with almost half the sales for the quarter occurring in the last month.

The MPU ASPs have been exceptionally volatile in 2006. The MPU ASPs did drop in October, though it was not as steep seen previously in the year. It appears that MPU pricing is starting to firm up. During 2006 Intel was ramping up its new products manufactured on 65nm faster than expected. Thus, the prices for previous generation MPUs dropped quickly to clear out this inventory. AMD followed suit. This is starting to settle out. Also, helping to decelerate the MPU ASP decline in 4Q 2006 is the product mix. Notebook PCs are selling at a higher rate than desktop PCs. The mobile MPUs carry a higher price.

Network Processors in Your Home or Office?

Network processors are coming to your home or office. That is astounding because network processors were originally developed for Internet switching, and the first words that come to mind when thinking about network processors are “expensive” and “complex.” All of that is about to change.

Multi-channel HDTV streams and other triple-play applications are creating a need for switching higher speed data streams in home and small office networks. ARM® and Parallogic Corp. have announced a collaboration that will meet this need, bringing the capabilities of easily programmed network processors into home or office networks at a reasonable price.

ARM has introduced the ARM11™ MPCore™ multicore processor, which has scalability up to four CPU cores. Parallogic supplies StriaEdge software. The combination creates an opportunity for makers of the next generation of gateways, routers, set top boxes and other network switching products in the SOHO market.

The ARM multicore processor provides the computing power needed to switch data streams in excess of 400 Mbps (megabits per second).

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