Stellar Labs

<p style=The convergence of mobility, connectivity and multimedia has created a market of enormous diversity and opportunity. From the network operators and content providers to the handset manufacturers and silicon vendors, companies strive to accommodate the subscriber’s needs and wants – more multimedia features, higher data bandwidth, better screen resolutions, ubiquitous wireless connectivity – but not at the expense of small form factor and long battery life. In today’s competitive market, this wealth of opportunities in mobile infotainment sets serious challenges for innovation and reusability.

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Rosenberg, J. and Schulzrinne, H., 2003, An Extension to the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for Symmetric Response Routing,” RFC: 3581, Network Working Group, Internet Engineering Task Force.

The S12XE family details are expected to be available coinciding with its launch in mid-year coming up.

Conclusions Standards are arising to capture the demands of increasingly complex electronics systems. The new IEC61508 standard goes a long way to providing a more rigid background to these requirements. As automotive OEMs strive for improved quality, safety, and at the same time lower costs, it is systems beyond traditional critical applications, such as braking and steering, that are coming under the increased scrutiny of these standards.

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Safety is becoming more and more of a discussion point even in the body electronics space in automobiles. Products such as the new S12XE family will clearly provide an edge in such a competitive marketplace.

Robert Kalman is field marketing engineer, MCU Go-To-Market Group, at Freescale Semiconductor.

Recent action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Congress has the television industry scrambling. At the request of the FCC, Congress established February 14, 2009 as the hard date for the shut-off of analog television broadcasts. As a result, manufacturers are busily converting their existing product lines and creating new digital television (DTV) receivers, while over-the-air broadcasters and cable operators are installing new digital equipment that is compatible with the receivers at stations throughout the country.

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But, the digital television technology being implemented is still maturing. Unlike analog-based television sets, today’s digital televisions are chock full of complex software. Like computers, digital televisions have operating systems and software applications with high-speed processors and system-level software that makes them run. While the digital and high-definition technology advancements result in ultra-crisp picture quality and blow-your-mind sound, digital televisions are a lot less stable than the old time picture tube analog TVs. Just like a computer, digital TVs will inevitably require software updates to fix bugs and support the latest changes in the still maturing DTV specifications and standards.

The Need for TV Software Update Software updates are a fact of life for complex computing devices. For more than 50 years, the television industry has been operating on analog technology. Analog televisions contain little or no computational abilities, and have been sold and marketed much the same as any other home appliance. Thanks in part to FCC mandates and low cost digital circuitry; the digital age is reaching the most powerful of all home appliances – the TV. Digital televisions will easily compete with home computers as the most complex device in the home.

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Just like computers need updating, evidence exists to verify the need to reliably and routinely deliver software updates to televisions. Currently, manufacturers deliver updates to a consumer’s TV using media devices (such as, USB drivers, compact flash cards, and/or memory sticks) or by sending technicians to a person’s home. These methods are costly; ranging from $30 for a mailing to $250 for a visit.

Beyond televisions, companies have routinely updated the software within other types of electronic devices. TiVo, for instance, downloads a new software patch to its customers DVR devices about once every three months. Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta update their set-top boxes every two months on average. PC users know that Microsoft distributes Windows XP patches weekly.

But this is a transition period,” said Michael Ep- stein, a manager of technology and standards for Philips Intellectual Property and Standards, so everything may not be neat and clean.” Epstein is finishing a content protection approach for DisplayPort that has the latest security features content owners want, but it will not work with the scheme used in today's Digital Visual Interface (DVI) and High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). It's not clear there's an immediate need for interoperability,” said Epstein, given that shipments of DVI and HDMI are still relatively low and the transition to digital still young.

The Unified Display Interface (UDI) uses the same form of content protection found in DVI and HDMI. But it lacks features, such as longer encryption keys and proximity restrictions, that content owners want to see in next-generation systems.

Everyone would agree having two [new] standards is not desirable. Before products become integrated [into chip sets in two or three years], we expect to resolve this–but I don't know how,” said Simon Ellis, UDI program manager at Intel Corp.

All sides agree on the underlying need to shave costs and broaden interoperability. Thus they want a single, royalty-free technology that could replace low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) inside notebooks, supplant VGA in computers and displays, and link to digital TVs, set-top boxes and other consumer gear. Content owners fear those older, unsecured interfaces will put their movies and TV shows at risk of illegal copying, so digital security to plug this analog hole” is a key motivation,.

Analog VGA has been the PC standard for 20 years, but now we are seeing some pressure for all content to be protected, and we can't do that on an analog interface,” said Bob Myers, who co-chairs the DisplayPort effort and manages a display technology group at Hewlett-Packard Co. At some point, we will have dates by which we need to support copy protection.”

Management challenges Today, service providers and users view a gateway as a black box. Not much has to be done in terms of configuration after it is installed. But with many potential access technologies and myriad of devices inside the home, the service provider and the customers will need far greater access to the gateway in order to configure and manage the gateway and potentially other equipment on the network.

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