Texas Instruments introduced the single-chip HD3SS2521 DockPort Controller and Switch. The TI HD3SS2521 is an integrated DockPort switch solution. It provides independent 2:1 passive switching for the SuperSpeed USB and Display Port signals as well as for the USB 2.0 (HS/FS/LS) and I2C necessary to support DockPort applications. The HD3SS2521 is available now in a 56-pin WQFN package. The suggested retail price is $1.85 in 1,000-unit quantities.
Paragon Software Group (PSG) launched exFAT 9.0 Embedded, which enables hardware manufacturers to recompile Binary Kernel Modules in various kernel-driver integration scenarios, such as modified kernel configurations, patched kernels or migration to a different kernel version. Paragon exFAT 9.0 Embedded reduces effort required for evaluation and integration regardless of kernel configuration. It is ideal for tablets, smartphones, Smart TVs and other external memory-dependent consumer electronics.
National Instruments introduced Data Dashboard for LabVIEW mobile apps. The apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices help engineers integrate the latest mobile technology into their applications. The NI Data Dashboard for LabVIEW mobile apps help engineers access measurement data from data acquisition and embedded monitoring systems. The new apps combine the portability, ease of use, faster start-up time and longer battery longevity of mobile devices with the power of LabVIEW.
Global tablet shipments grew to 26.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. This is an all time-high and a 150% increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2010 (10.7 million units). According to Strategy Analytics, Apple iOS remains strong at 58% (15.4 million iPads). However, Android now accounts for 39% of tablets sold (29% a year earlier). Strategy Analytics expects demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users to remain strong.
According to a IHS iSuppli report, sensor fusion will eventually power the next generation of iPhone and iPad devices. A fused signal combines the outputs of three types of Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) motion sensors (gyroscopes, accelerometers and compasses) to improve the motion-based interface. Sensor fusion could enhance interfaces of any tablet or smartphone that uses a combination of a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis compass and 3-axis gyroscope to provide 9-axis sensor fusion.
NVIDIA will acquire Icera for $367 million in cash. Icera is one of the few remaining independent baseband processor providers for both 3G and 4G cellular phones, data modems, and tablets. The remaining independent suppliers are specialized in either 3G or 4G (but not both 3G and 4G). The acquisition has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to be completed, subject to customary closing conditions, in about 30 days.
Intel introduced the second generation Intel Core vPro processor family. The new microprocessors feature Intel’s new microarchitecture, enhancements to Intel vPro technology, new Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX), and new security features, including a 3G “poison pill” option to help protect a PC’s data. The new Intel Core vPro processors can offload tasks or share them to get the most from companion devices. The new Core vPro processor family are ideal for laptops, convertible-tablets, desktop and all-in-one PC’s.
HP launched their new TouchPad a couple of days ago. On the surface, the TouchPad is an iPad clone. The sleek TouchPad has a 9.7″ touch display and weighs 1.6 pounds. However, the HP tablet features a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1024×768 resolution, and webOS, which HP acquired when it purchased Palm last year. According to In-Stat, the key differentiators are not enough to compete with the Apple iPad and other tablets.
According to new IHS iSuppli research, tablets (like the Apple iPad and Android tablets) are expected to be the fastest-growing market for microelectromechanical system (MEMS) in the consumer electronics and mobile segment in 2011. Sales of MEMS for use in tablets will increased by 373% to $140.4 million in 2011 (compared to $29.7 million in 2010). By 2014, tablets will become the second-largest application for MEMS sensors with revenue of $280 million. Cell phones will still be primary driver of MEMS in the consumer and mobile segment.
The iPad promises to energize the emerging tablet PC segment and the opportunities extend well beyond just Apple. Market research firm, In-Stat, identifies the potential unit Total Available Market (TAM) for tablets could be as high as 50 million in 2014, but the success is highly dependent upon two key success factors.