Transcend Information

<p>A prescription for correcting the IoT’s trajectory, at least for industrial and other critical systems, is coming out of the Object Management Group (OMG). The OMG is a technology standards consortium that has been helping bring together disparate networked systems for more than 25 years, starting with creation of the CORBA (common object request broker) standard making networked software objects interoperable. It has since created such standards as the data distribution service (DDS) and the unified modeling language (UML). The OMG turned its attention to the Industrial IoT (IIoT), taking on management of the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) to help define a common IoT architecture and interoperability standards for industry. </p>

I remember about 25 years ago (a quarter of a century — eeek!) when everyone was saying Analog is dead” and Digital is the way of the future.” I daren’t even begin to think how this influenced young engineers who were originally thinking of analog as a career, but who then swapped over to focus on digital. This may explain the negative bubble” in the availability analog engineers, which is sadly ironic since analog describes the real world and — in the real world — digital is really just an approximation of analog.

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TAIPEI—MediaTek, Qualcomm’s largest competitor in the smartphone silicon business, said it expects to increase shipments during the second quarter this year from the first quarter even as global growth in the segment has stalled for the first time.

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MediaTek forecast that its second-quarter shipments of smartphone and tablet chips will fall in a range of 135 million to 145 million units compared with 110 million units during the first quarter, the company said during an April 29 conference call to announce its first-quarter results. Qualcomm on April 20 said it expects its chip shipments in the current quarter to be within in a range of 175–195 million units, about the same as in the previous quarter.

MediaTek will need to counter slowing demand after global smartphone shipments fell 3% to 335 million units in the first three months of this year from the same period a year ago, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics. MediaTek is counting on demand in China, which has been buoyed by handset subsidies from telecom operators.

We see strong demand coming back from China,” MediaTek Chief Financial Officer David Ku said on the conference call.

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Chinese smartphone makers have gained market share at the expense of the world’s largest brands, Apple and Samsung.  China’s Huawei strengthened its number-three position during the first quarter this year, garnering an 8% market share, up from 5% a year ago. The company saw smartphone shipments march ahead 64% annually to 28.3 million units worldwide.

While MediaTek is upbeat on the second quarter, all bets may be off during the second half of this year as normal seasonal patterns are cast to the wind. MediaTek’s sales during the second half may be less than 50% of the full year total, Ku said. Ordinarily, the ratio of first half to second half revenue is 45:55, he said.

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MediaTek also said that its profit margins may fall during the second quarter and later this year as company products are squeezed by more intense competition. In addition to Qualcomm, MediaTek faces growing rivals in China such as Hisilicon, Spreadtrum and ZTE chip-design unit ZXIC, which have Cat 6 or Cat 7 LTE modems. Hisilicon has started, and Spreadtrum will begin to use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s 16nm process just behind Apple and ahead of MediaTek.

The competition this year is what Ku calls a wild card.” It’s something that still worries us,” he said.

Next Krishnaswamy’s group is going optimize their performance to ready their inventions for commercialization, with funding from the three of the biggest wireless communications leaders (who asked not to be identified).

We are thinking about commercialization. We are also interested in further improving the performance of the circulator, specifically to handle even higher power levels, so that it can be applied to a broader set of applications, such as cellular base stations,” Krishnaswamy concluded.

Seed funding was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). Get all the details in Magnetic-free non-reciprocity based on staggered commutation.

— R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times

The Apple Watch met expectations” and unit sales exceeded the iPhone in its first year, it has an exciting future ahead,” he said.

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