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September 2012

Jim Feldhan to Give Keynote Address at Constellations 2012

Join us on October 4th at Constellations 2012

Phoenix, Arizona September 27, 2012 - Semico's Jim Feldhan will be giving the keynote address at Constellations 2012 on October 4th. Join us to learn about the IP market conditions and what we can expect over the next few years from this market.

Constellations 2012 will be taking place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA and is free to attend.

Conference Agenda

10:00 Welcome Remarks by Warren Savage, President and CEO, IPextreme

Future of Sensor Fusion in Computing

Intel presented new capabilities for portable computing that are enabled by sensor Fusion at IDF 2012.  Sensor fusion has been associated mostly with smartphones.  Semico wrote an article discussing sensor fusion in a recent issue of the Semico IPI Report, August 2012.

Sensor fusion is not only the integration of more than one sensor but also the fusion of the data in order to use it for applications and enhance the user experience.  Sensors are defined as having a number of axes, also known as a degree of freedom (DoF).  Accelerometers can have up to 3 axes for the XYZ coordinate space.  A gyro measures the spin or rotation on each of the XYZ axes.  A magnetometer senses the magnetic angular rate and gravity (MARG) for each of the XYZ axes.  A magnetometer and accelerometer work together to achieve an eCompass function.  These sensors provide data from which direction and speed can be determined. The key application for sensor fusion is navigation and location based services (LBS).

As noted previously, more features are coming to the ultrabook which will require sensors.  Intel had technical sessions on sensors.  Windows 8 requires a minimum of 9 DoF.  Microsoft’s development program is Windows 8 Desktop.  This enables application developers to work with touch and sensors for tablet PCs and ultrabook PCs.  Microsoft offers a Windows Sensor Framework.  The Microsoft API allows developers to uniformly access sensors across platforms.

Intel Developers Forum

Intel kicked off its annual Intel’s Developers Forum (IDF) talking about reinventing computing.  This involves collaboration to shape the future from datacenters to devices.  In prior years Intel emphasized heavily its lineup of processors, manufacturing technology and focused on consumer products.  These things were of course presented this year and ultrabooks are an important innovation that Intel is promoting.  The next generation Core CPU, Haswell, is also highly anticipated.  Nevertheless, the datacenters and cloud services played a bigger role this year.

Datacenters with servers, communications infrastructures, cloud services and security are just not sexy enough for the general public.  However, the continued growth of smartphones, tablets and personal computing is dependent on the build out and continuing innovations of datacenters to support these devices.  Security throughout this ecosystem is being addressed by Intel and was discussed in detail.

The data centers are an important business for Intel.  As noted in its most recent financial statements it is the company’s fastest growing segment and best profit margin.

Is this the Death Knell for NFC in Mobile Payments?

On September 12, 2012, Apple introduced the iPhone 5.  One of the biggest rumors surrounding the device was would it have NFC (Near Field Communications) built in.  A big reason for the rumors is that Android has supported NFC since Gingerbread was released, and the first Android NFC-enabled phone was the Samsung Nexus S which was released in December 2010.  So the iPhone is well behind Android phones in this area.

The iPhone 5 will debut with the brand-new iOS 6, which includes Passbook, Apple’s new wallet app.  This app manages information that might normally be stored in a wallet or purse, such as coupons, store loyalty cards, movie and concert tickets, airline boarding passes, and more.  It also supports payments in a limited fashion, such as Starbucks’ card that allows payment via barcode.  However, NFC was not mentioned in the product launch, so we can only assume that the iPhone 5 will not have it built in.

NFC enables mobile payments simply by touching your mobile phone to a payment terminal.  Passbook could be a sign that NFC will come to the iPhone in the future, as it gets people used to using their phone for payments and coupon management.  It is still possible that the iPhone 5 contains NFC, and we will see for sure when the teardowns roll in once the device is released.

MAP Model Says: 51 Million NAND Wafers by 2016

Phoenix, Arizona September 19, 2012 - Semico's Market Analysis and Planning (MAP) Model accounts for ~85% of the semiconductor market, and is one of our most popular services that contributes to Semico's overall forecast. Our analysts update the Model throughout the year, providing historical data from 2000 and forecasts into 2016.

MEMS Timing Market Sees Major New Player

Phoenix, Arizona September 4, 2012 - Earlier this month it was announced that Vectron International and Knowles Electronics have entered into a strategic partnership with SiTime Corporation. Vectron has been a decades-long leader in the timing market but does not have a MEMS product line. Knowles is a leader in MEMS microphones. Both Vectron and Knowles are part of Dover Corporation. SiTime is the long-time leader of the MEMS oscillator market.