Saturday, December 24, 2011

France Telecom sells Orange Switzerland

France Telecom SA agreed to sell its Orange Switzerland mobile-phone unit to buyout firm Apax Partners LLP for 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion), the first major step in Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard’s plan to unload slow-growing European operations.

France Telecom is shedding assets in Europe, where phone companies are vying for a shrinking pool of new customers amid tightening regulation, to embrace faster-growing markets in Africa and the Middle East.

France’s largest mobile operator is also in talks to sell its Orange Austria unit to Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., people familiar with the situation said in October, and is planning to exit Portugal.

Source: Businessweek.

Friday, December 23, 2011

27% of photos and videos now captured on smartphones

More than a quarter of photos and videos shot by individuals in the U.S. are now being captured by smartphones, according to an online survey of 3,300 Internet users ages 13 and up. Sales data suggest smartphones are replacing consumers’ need for low-end point-and-shoot cameras and camcorders.

The percentage of photos taken with a smartphone went from 17% to 27%, a 44% increase from the year previous, according to a survey conducted by NPD Group. Meanwhile, sales of point-and-shoot cameras dropped 17% in volume and 18% in revenue in the first 11 months of 2011. Individual sales of pocket camcorders dropped 13%, with a 10% decrease in revenue.

Source: Mashable Tech.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Microsoft acquires VideoSurf

“VideoSurf’s content analytics technology will enhance the search and discovery of entertainment content across our platform,” said Alex Garden, director of Xbox LIVE for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This holiday we will launch voice search across our entertainment partners on Xbox LIVE. Over time, as we integrate VideoSurf’s technology into our system, we are excited about the potential to have content tagged in real time to increase the speed and relevance of the search results.”

Source: Microsoft.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Online video revenues to triple

Consumption of legitimate free and paid for online video is on track to exceed 770 billion views across the USA, UK, France and Germany this year, according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting. Improvements in accessibility and ease of use are among the growth triggers that have seen the rise from around 640 billion views last year, with the USA dominating the market.

Total online video views are on track to grow by 20 per cent and paid-for online video revenues will reach in excess of $3 billion this year,” advised Mai Hoang, Senior Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “Online purchase and rental transactions are playing a part, but the majority of this revenue is coming out of the USA, predominantly through streaming subscription service Netflix. By 2015, paid-for online video spend is forecast to hit close to $7 billion across the four countries.”

Source: Advanced Television.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Video conferencing will hit $1bn in 2016

Businesses are increasingly adopting enterprise-grade telepresence. The market will boom, with spending hitting $1.1bn in 2016, growing with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.5% from 2011 to 2016, finds Ovum.

The explosive growth of the telepresence market means many companies new to the technology will soon be making large purchasing decisions. In a new report, the independent telecoms analysis firm explores the competitive dynamics within that telepresence market.

Source: Ovum.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Video Codecs 101

The guys at WebM Open Media Project have realized a very nice video that explains the basic concepts of video compression to non-expert people: very worth watching!

Read the original post on the WebM blog.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

ITU-T spots trends in gaming

The latest report from the ITU-T Technology Watch series surveys some of the hottest developments in the world of video games, describes the most common gaming platforms and terminals, highlights new technologies enabling a better gaming experience, and identifies future standardization activities.

Consumers are beginning to struggle with the ever-increasing number of set top-boxes, satellite receivers and gaming consoles. It is a logical and certainly desirable goal to integrate these closely related technologies on to a multipurpose, standards-based multimedia platform. Incorporating a variety of audiovisual technologies into a single 3D TV device is understandably a task demanding a great degree of standardization work. ITU will bring together service and content providers, including games developers, to attempt to standardize communication protocols, toolboxes, middleware and security frameworks.

Source: ITU-T newslog.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kodak sells image sensor business

Eastman Kodak Company announced that it has completed the sale of its Image Sensor Solutions (ISS) business to Platinum Equity, a global firm specializing in the merger, acquisition and operation of companies that provide services and solutions to customers in a broad range of business markets.

While the financial details were not disclosed, Kodak will have continuing access to the image sensor technology involved in this transaction for use in its own products. Included in the sale is a 263,000 square foot facility in Eastman Business Park in Rochester, N.Y., that houses manufacturing and research facilities.

Source: Kodak.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adobe to refocus on HTML5

Official declarations released by Adobe in a blog post:
  • HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.
  • We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A fifth of TV sets will be internet-connected by 2016

The number of TV sets connected to the Internet will reach 551 million by 2016 for the 40 countries covered in a new report from Digital TV Research.

The Connected TV Forecasts report states that this translates to 20% of global TV sets by 2016, up from 6% at end-2010. South Korea leads take up with a forecasted 15.0% penetration in 2016.

Source: Digital TV Group.

Disney and YouTube make a video deal

Disney Interactive Media and YouTube, a division of Google, will spend a combined $10 million to $15 million on original video series; those shorts will be produced by Disney and distributed on a co-branded channel on and YouTube. The channel will also include amateur video culled from the torrent uploaded to YouTube daily.

The Disney-YouTube partnership follows YouTube’s announcement late last month that it planned to create dozens of channels featuring comedians, sports stars, musicians and other entertainers. It is also offering cash advances to prospective producers that totaled more than $100 million, according to people with knowledge of the plan but who were not authorized to speak publicly. The investments in the channels reflect Google’s belief that the Internet is the third phase of the television business, after network TV (with a few channels) and cable TV (with hundreds).

Source: The New York Times.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rapid 3D mapping

9to5Mac reports that Apple is now the owner of C3 Technologies, a company that creates incredibly high-quality and detailed 3D maps with virtually no input from humans. The 3D mapping is camera based and the technology picks up buildings, homes, and even smaller objects like trees. C3′s solution comes from declassified missile targeting methods. SAAB, partially a former owner of C3 Technologies has a video that explains how the technology actually works.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flash Player 11

The new release of the popular Adobe Flash Player added quite some interesting features.

Stage 3D Accelerated Graphics Rendering (Player & AIR desktop + AIR for TV) — Stage 3D is a new architecture for hardware accelerated graphics rendering developed that provides a set of low-level APIs that enable advanced 2D and 3D rendering capabilities across screens and devices (desktop, mobile, and TV). Using Stage 3D, app and framework developers can now access high performance GPU hardware acceleration, enabling the creation of new classes of rich, interactive experiences. Note: Stage 3D for mobile versions of Flash Player & AIR will be enabled in a future release.

Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) — Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) provides protection for streaming video across screens while eliminating the deployment complexity of a license server.

H.264/AVC Software Encoding for Cameras (desktop) — Stream high-quality video from your computer's camera with higher compression efficiency and industry stanard support, enabling both immersive real-time communications such as video chat/conferencing and live video broadcasts.

JPEG-XR support — Flash Player and AIR now include support for the JPEG-XR advanced image compression standard (International Standard ISO/IEC 29199-2). The computationally lightweight JPEG-XR format provides more efficient compression than JPEG, enables both lossy and lossless compression support, and adds support for alpha channel transparency.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dennis Ritchie passes away

After a long illness, Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, father of Unix and an esteemed computer scientist, died last weekend at the age of 70.

Ritchie, also known as “dmr”, is best know for creating the C programming language as well as being instrumental in the development of UNIX along with Ken Thompson.

Today, C remains the second most popular programming language in the world (or at least the language in which the second most lines of code have been written), and ushered in C++ and Java; while the pair’s work on Unix led to, among other things, Linus Torvalds’ Linux. The work has without a doubt made Ritchie one of the most important, if not under-recognized, engineers of the modern era.

His work, specifically in relation to UNIX, led to him becoming a joint recipient of the Turing Award with Ken Thompson in 1983, as well as a recipient of the National Medal of Technology in 1998 from then-president Bill Clinton.

Source: techcrunch.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thank you, Steve

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Smart TV standard

LG, Philips and Sharp have agreed to work together to define common technical requirements for their Smart TVs, based upon open standards such as HTML5, CE-HTML and HbbTV. The group's first step will be to introduce the first beta version of a common Software Development Kit (SDK), which highlights the need to define the technical requirements that would allow content developers to create a single application that can run on Smart TVs from LG, Philips and Sharp Aquos Net+.

The beta version of the common SDK will be released in early October.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Home Video Business in H1 2011

Some facts according to a report compiled by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.
  • For the six months that ended June 30, total consumer spending on home entertainment fell 5% from spending in the first half of 2010, to $8.34 billion from $8.78 billion.
  • Disc sales were off 16.3% in the second quarter of 2011, to $1.8 billion from $2.15 billion, while electronic sellthrough was down 2.17%, to $129.75 million from $132.63 million in the second quarter of 2010.
  • For the first half, consumers spent $4.2 billion on transactional video — disc rental, streaming and VOD — which is nearly 11% more than they spent in the first six months of 2010.
  • Rental revenue fell 29% in the second quarter after dropping 26.9% in the first quarter, leaving total year-to-date spending as of June 30 at $896.5 million, down from $1.24 billion in the first six months of 2010.
  • Subcription rental, chiefly from Netflix, rose 45.7% in the first six months of this year, to $1.56 billion from $1.07 billion in the first six months of 2010, although year-to-year numbers are somewhat skewed by the fact that for much of the period Netflix offered a combination disc-and-streaming package to its subscribers.
Source: Home Media Magazine.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Layar Vision

Layar Vision is an extension of the Layar platform, taking augmented reality to the next level by allowing the creation of layers and applications that recognize real world objects and display digital experiences on top of them.

Layar Vision uses computer vision techniques to augment objects in the physical world. It can tell which objects in the real world are augmented because the visual fingerprints of the objects are preloaded into the application based on the user’s layer selection.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

MPEG LA found essential WebM patents

MPEG LA says 12 parties hold patents that its evaluators consider essential to the VP8 video codec by Google's WebM project. The disclosure came in a recent interview with MPEG LA says that, in response to their call for essential patents in February, a number of parties submitted patents for evaluation and twelve of those parties' patents have been examined and found to be essential to VP8.

Quoting MPEG LA from

Thus far, 12 parties have been found to have patents essential to the VP8 standard. Generally, parties may submit patents for evaluation of essentiality to VP8 at any time during the process of facilitating a patent pool, and may continue to do so after the pool launches, assuming one is formed.
Once a pool license is created, it typically remains open for the inclusion of additional essential patents, and patent holders with essential patents are welcome to join the license as Licensors. MPEG LA met with VP8 essential patent holders in late June to facilitate a discussion among them whether and on what terms they may want to create a VP8 patent pool license and is continuing to facilitate that discussion.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mozilla against WebP

In a bugzilla entry asking for the incorporation of WebP, Mozilla developer Joe Drew said in a comment "As the WebP image format exists currently, I won't accept a patch for it". Readers were directed to a blog posting by Jeff Muizelaar for the rationale for the rejection. He explained that Mozilla is unhappy with the quality versus size claims made by Google for WebP and questioned the methodology used to test: this converted existing JPEG images into WebP images and then compared quality using PSNR (Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio) and file size.

A month after Muizelaar made these comments, Google released a new study which used PNG images as source and compared quality using SSIM (Structural Similarity). This new study showed WebP images to be on average 25%-34% smaller than similar quality JPEGs, but the quality value is calculated and there is some discussion over whether WebP imagery is perceived by the untrained eye to be of the same quality.

Source: H online.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Real-time entertainment traffic

The last report by Sandvine says that -in North America- Netflix accounts for 30% of traffic during prime time, and 22.2% of daily internet traffic. Sandvine gets the data from ISPs using its broadband technology and now foresees "Real-Time Entertainment" (which includes Netflix) shooting up over 55% of peak internet traffic by the end of this year.

Sandive also reported that in Europe, Real-Time Entertainment continues a steady climb, rising to 33.2% of peak aggregate traffic, up from 31.9% last fall. BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol, is the largest single component of both upstream (59.7%) and downstream (21.6%) Internet traffic during peak periods. In the UK, BBC's iPlayer is 6.6% of peak downstream traffic, reflecting the demand for localized content in many markets. Overall, individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans. 

Source: Engadget.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Microsoft to acquire Skype

Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy Internet phone company Skype Technologies SA for $8.5 billion in cash — the most aggressive move yet by Microsoft to play in the increasingly converged worlds of communication, information and entertainment. The deal will let Microsoft "be more ambitious, do more things," Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said in an interview.

Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype Chief Executive Mr. Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Mr. Ballmer.

The Skype deal ranks as the biggest acquisition in the 36-year history of Microsoft, a company that traditionally has shied away from large deals. In 2007, Microsoft paid approximately $6 billion to acquire online advertising firm aQuantive Inc. Many current and former Microsoft executives believe Microsoft significantly overpaid for that deal. But they are also relieved that Microsoft gave up on an unsolicited $48 billion offer for Yahoo Inc. nearly three years ago. Yahoo is valued at half that sum today. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Texas Instruments to acquire National Semiconductor

Texas Instruments Inc. signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire National Semiconductor Corp. for $6.5 billion in cash, the company said Monday April 4. 

The deal, which remains subject to regulatory review and the approval of National's shareholders, would bring together two of the longest-running semiconductor companies and two of the largest vendors of analog chips. 

TI ranked No. 4 in the world in overall semiconductor sales in 2010 with revenue of $11.9 billion. The addition of National's revenue would have made TI the No. 3 chip vendor in 2010, ahead of Toshiba and trailing only Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., according to Gartner. National had revenue of $1.42 billion in its fiscal 2010.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Multimedia Grand Challenge 2011

What problems do Yahoo, HP, Nokia, Technicolor, 3DLife and other companies see in the future of multimedia? The Multimedia Grand Challenge is a set of problems from industry leaders, geared to engage the Multimedia research community in solving relevant, interesting and challenging questions about the industry’s 2-5 year horizon for multimedia.

2011 Challenges are the following:

Winners of the competition will be announced at the ACM Multimedia Conference 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Friday, April 1, 2011

DVB-3DTV Specification Published

On February 17 the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) Steering Board approved the DVB-3DTV specification, which has been published as BlueBook A154 "Frame Compatible Plano-Stereoscopic 3DTV".

Plano-stereoscopic imaging systems deliver two images (left and right) that are arranged to be seen simultaneously, or near simultaneously, by the left and right eyes. Viewers perceive increased depth in the picture, which becomes more like the natural binocular viewing experience.

The DVB-3DTV specification also provides a mechanism that allows subtitles and other onscreen graphics to be best positioned so that they can be viewed correctly in the stereoscopic picture.

Following the recent approval and publication of the DVB-3DTV specification, a free EBU Technical Webinar will be held on April 14th with David Wood, live from the NAB Convention in Las Vegas, and Yvonne Thomas, live from the EBU Headquarters in Geneva. You can register and join the 3DTV Webinar from the website of EBU Technical.

Source: DVB press release and DVB news.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

H.264/AVC vs. VP8: another view

The EBU BroadThinking event has been held in Geneva (CH), between 29 and 30 March. This year we have contributed to the session "What are tomorrow's web tools?" with a presentation entitled "H.264/AVC and VP8 performance analysis for consumer videoconference applications", as you can find here. The slides are available for download from here in pdf format, but only for the people registered on the EBU website.

Update (Apr.13th): the presentation is now available through Slideshare.

Let me copy&paste the abstract here for your convenience:

In this contribution we compare the performance of H.264/AVC and VP8 video coding formats for consumer videoconference applications for mobile or consumer terminals. For the H.264/AVC format we chose the popular x264 open source implementation of the standard, whereas for VP8 we used the libvpx software model that Google open sourced to the web community in May 2010. Since videoconference is strictly a low-delay application, both encoders were similarly configured avoiding backward temporal prediction that would introduce a structural delay in the encoding-decoding chain, and they were also set in constant bit-rate mode, using single-pass bit-rate control with target bit-rates between 512 kb/s and 8 Mb/s, constraining the allowed delay between 125 ms and 500 ms by properly limiting the maximum output buffer capacity.

Our test bed was not limited to evaluating video compression only, as in fact we considered the full video processing chain, including image acquisition. For this purpose we used a proprietary analytical model of a typical CMOS sensor, introducing the corresponding distortion and noise to 7 standard test sequences at 1280x720 spatial resolution. The sequences were then fed as input to the two software encoders, and then the decoded pictures were compared to the noisy source signals considering both PSNR (Peak Signal to Noise Ratio) and SSIM (Structural Similarity) measured on the luminance component. The simulation results demonstrated that the H.264/AVC and VP8 encoders have very similar performance: libvpx resulted somewhat better than x264 in term of PSNR (+0.16 dB on average) and very slightly worse in terms of SSIM (-0.005 on average). 

We would also like to compare the commercial implications of the two codecs, (royalties vs. Open source), and public visibility on reciprocal road mapping.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

VP8 hardware encoder

Last week the WebM Finland team finalized the first VP8 encoder hardware RTL design. The initial release, which they're calling "Anthill," is now available through the WebM Project hardware page.

Google does not require payment of any license fee or royalty in connection with use of the encoder RTL.

See the WebM blog for details about performance.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Warner to offer movies via Facebook

Warner Bros. Entertainment said it will start renting movies via Facebook, the latest effort by movie studios to find new revenue sources as consumers buy fewer DVDs and spend more time online. The first movie on offer is "The Dark Knight" the 2008 hit Batman movie. Warner's president of digital distribution, Thomas Gewecke, said the studio chose "The Dark Knight" as its launch title largely because it has already been "liked" by 3.9 million Facebook users.

The Wall Street Journal tells that studios can no longer count on DVD sales and are experimenting with new ways of earning revenue online. Last year, U.S. sales of DVDs totaled $7.8 billion, down 43% from their 2006 peak of $13.7 billion, according to media-tracking firm IHS Screen Digest. From 2009 to 2010 alone sales of the discs plunged roughly 20%.

See "The Dark Kinght" on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Microsoft to release Kinect SDK

Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, and Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, announced that the company plans to release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research this spring.

While Microsoft plans to release a commercial version at a later date, this SDK will be a starter kit to make it simpler for the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich natural user interfaces using Kinect technology. The SDK will give users access to deep Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces, and direct control of the Kinect sensor.

Source: Microsoft Research.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Antitrust probe to MPEG LA

The Justice Department is investigating whether a group representing some top technology firms is unfairly trying to smother a free rival technology for delivering online video that is backed by Google Inc.

According to The Wall Street Journal's sources, the problems stems from the MPEG-LA creating legal uncertainty over the status of Google's VP8. "Antitrust enforcers are investigating whether MPEG LA, or its members, are trying to cripple an alternative format called VP8 that Google released last year - by creating legal uncertainty over whether users might violate patents by employing that technology," the sources told the WSJ.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Skype to embrace H.264/AVC

Skype is taking a big step toward its goal of making its video chat service ubiquitous across multiple platforms and devices, with the adoption of the H.264/AVC video format on iOS devices. In a blog post Wednesday, Skype Blogger-in-Chief Peter Parkes wrote that the change will allow Skype’s iPhone users to chat with friends on TVs and other connected devices.

Source: The New York Times.

Friday, February 11, 2011

MPEG LA calls for VP8 patents

MPEG LA, LLC, world leader in alternative one-stop patent licenses, announces a call for patents essential to the VP8 video codec specification used to deliver video images. The VP8 video codec is defined by the WebM Project.

In order to participate in the creation of, and determine licensing terms for, a joint VP8 patent license, any party that believes it has patents that are essential to the VP8 video codec specification is invited to submit them for a determination of their essentiality by MPEG LA’s patent evaluators.

At least one essential patent is necessary to participate in the process, and initial submissions should be made by March 18, 2011.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A closer look to H.264/AVC costs

« I read license agreements so that you don’t have to. In an update on its decision to remove H.264 support from its Chrome browser, Google cites “significant royalties” as a contributing factor. Just how much are those fees, and who pays? I’ve got the answers. »

Continue reading on ZDNet.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Sony PSP announced

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has announced its next-generation portable entertainment system (codenamed NGP) will be run on a four-core Cortex-A9 processor from ARM and a PowerVR SGX543MP4+ graphics core from Imagination Technologies. NGP will make its debut at the end of the year 2011, Sony said.

Source: EETimes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Korea demonstrates LTE-Advanced

Korean researchers at Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) successfully demonstrated Long Term Evolution LTE-Advanced technology, which is six times faster than the upcoming LTE network or 40 times faster than a 3G network with a maximum speed of 600 Mb/s for downloading.
ETRI expects LTE-Advanced to become available in the country by 2014, and plans to create a single-chip of the demonstration system within three years.

 Source: Telecoms Korea.

Friday, January 14, 2011

WebM Decoder in Flash

Ralph Hauwert has been posting on Twitter about work he’s doing on getting WebM decoding to work in Flash by compiling the libvpx source code using Adobe’s Alchemy technology, a research project that allows compilation of C/C++ libraries into code that runs on the ActionScript virtual machine used by Flash. 

The intial performance of a 1920x1080 VP8 video with no audio was decoding to YUV at about 1.5 frames per second.

See the Bluish Coder blog.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Google removes H.264/AVC from Chrome

In a few days, Google's Chrome browser will not support natively H.264/AVC video decoding anymore.

Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies".

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New 3D TV services

The world’s first terrestrial 3D TV broadcast service has officially gone live in following a successful trial by Italian broadcaster Mediaset. The service, known as 3VOD, runs on Motive’s Bestv set top box, offers subscribers the ability to view films from a selection of around 50 titles. It was originally offered as a limited trial to subscribers from late last year.

At the same time, Vudu announced that 3D content is now available in world's first 3D streaming service. Pricing varies by resolution, but you'll be looking at $5.99 for a 720p rental and $6.99 for a 1080p rental. That's higher by their normal $4.99 HD rental pricing, but not by much. To buy a film, you'll be paying $21.99 instead of $19.99. You can grab it in 1080p, 720p and standard definition. There are only three 3D titles available now, but more are on the way.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal and High-Def Digest.

Monday, January 10, 2011

VP8 hardware IP availability

The WebM hardware development team, formerly part of On2 Technologies, announces:

  • VP8 (the video codec used in WebM) hardware decoder IP is available from Google for semiconductor companies who want to support high-quality WebM playback in their chipsets.
  • The Oulu team will release the first VP8 video hardware encoder IP in the first quarter of 2011. The IP is running in an FPGA environment, and rigorous testing is underway. Once all features have been tested and implemented, the encoder will be launched as well. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

IBM's 5 in 5

The annual IBM's "Five in Five" forecasts five innovations likely to be developed in the next five years. This year's predictions are:
  1. "Citizen scientists" will collect real-time data about their environment using sensors in cars, phones or wallets, which can then be used by professional scientists for research.
  2. Holograms will become commonplace. People will be able to interact with far-away friends in 3D, using something as commonplace as a cellphone.
  3. Today's batteries will become obsolete. Cellphones may be powered by batteries that run on oxygen, and static or kinetic energy may eliminate batteries altogether for smaller devices.
  4. Instead of wasting the massive amounts of energy needed to cool them, computer and data centers will recycle the heat energy the machines generate, potentially helping to power cities.
  5. Adaptive traffic systems will personalize your commute, anticipating congestion and other issues to get you to work with a minimum of road rage.
Source: Los Angeles Times