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0123.1 Hot Topics
0123.2 Story of the Issue
0123.3 3D and CAD
0123.1 Hot Topics
***Flight Explorer, David R. Bornemann Associates and WSI Join Technologies to Enable Airlines to Improve Customer Travel Experience
Three aviation-related companies have announced that they are linking their technologies to help make it possible for the nation's airlines to smooth out air traffic problems during peak periods by giving airline dispatchers greater ability to anticipate and react to weather delays, peak traffic congestion and system uncertainties. The companies hope the result will be a better travel experience for airline customers.
The companies are: Flight Explorer, a provider of Internet-based real-time flight tracking and information systems; David R. Bornemann Associates (dRb), a provider of PC-based flight planning, aircraft tracking and flight crew scheduling software; and WSI, a provider of aviation weather. They will integrate their systems to automate the exchange of real-time data and display information among the varied systems that airline dispatchers use to monitor and manage flights.
Currently, dispatchers at local and regional airports must manually input critical flight information, updating it throughout the day, to keep track of thousands of aircraft across the county. Linking the Flight Explorer system - which receives and processes flight information directly from the Federal Aviation Administration - with the dRb software and WSI weather data, will automate the process, providing dispatchers with real-time information and alerts concerning:
Estimated time of arrival
Route flown to route planned
Flights ahead of and behind flight plan
Downstream scheduling delays
The requirements for the linked systems were developed in partnership with Midwest Express, Atlantic Coast Airlines, Atlantic Southeast Airlines and others. Integration testing was performed with WestJet Airlines.
***Network Elements Announces Multi-Protocol Processor for 10 Gigabit Optical Networking Applications
Network Elements, a provider of high-speed Optical Networking Modules (ONMTM), announced a multi-protocol processor for 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN and WAN (10GbE), 10Gb/s Packet-over-SONET (POS) and 10Gb/s SONET/SDH optical networking. The chip is also media access control (MAC) processor for 10 Gigabit (Gb/s) optical networking and a flexible SONET overhead processor.
The 10Gb/s multi-protocol processor will be incorporated in the company's Multi-protocol Module for 10GbE, POS and SONET applications, sampling in Q3, 2001. This module will also include optical PHY support to provide a complete protocol termination and monitoring solution for Layers 1 and 2 of 10Gb/s network interfaces. It will provide network equipment providers with a scalable solution for meeting the requirements of 10Gb/s optical networking.
The multi-protocol capability allows a single line card design to be provisioned by the equipment manufacturer as required to meet the target system requirements. Products based on this 2 million-gate chip will provide increased functionality and product customization via its 200 configurable features spanning 10 protocols and interfaces.
Network Elements' 10Gb/s multi-protocol technology includes the following multi-protocol processing units: 10GbE processor; POS processor; SONET processor; and a statistics monitoring processor.
The 10GbE processor provides 802.3 flow control, MAC encapsulation, and PCS coding capabilities. The POS processor provides HDLC/PPP encapsulation, HDLC transparency processing, and POS coding functions. The SONET processor provides programmable section, line, and path termination for OC-192c. The monitoring processor accumulates Ethernet packet statistics per IETF RFC 1757, with enhancements for POS compatibility.
The 10Gb/s multi-protocol technology is configurable, allowing software to enable the protocol processing features appropriate for a given application. Industry-standard interfaces are also included.
***Vantum Debuts With Active Video Appliances
Vantum has introduced a line of active video appliances that use programmable image rules to integrate analysis and control into the capture, streaming and digital recording of video and audio. The result is full-motion video accessible over IP networks.
By making it possible for the video capture device to intelligently respond to its environment, Vantum extends the value of video inside the corporation. The end effect is improved communication, a more productive workforce, increased loss prevention and increased earnings for the corporation.
Vantum Active Video Appliances:
· Vantum C1: A video appliance with an integrated camera module. The Vantum C1 is exactly the same as the Vantum C1d, but without the integrated disk, for applications requiring storage and retrieval at a central video server.
· Vantum M1d: The Vantum M1d enables the migration of existing devices that output analog video, like ultrasound machines and legacy video cameras, to the enterprise network. Additionally, the Vantum M1d has an integrated hard disk that supports the same storage and retrieval functions of the Vantum C1d.
· Vantum M1: Like the Vantum M1d, the Vantum M1 accepts analog video input, but deletes the integrated disk for applications requiring storage and retrieval at a central video server.
Prices range from $1,295-$1,995.
0123.2 Story of the Issue
***Home Networking European Congress – Part I
by John Latta
IRR Telecoms and Technology and Davide Bonomi, who produced this conference was the same organization that was responsible for the Residential Gateway conference in Nice, France. This conference was covered in WAVE Report #0113. Given the continuing interest in the home networking market we decided to attend the Home Networking European Congress in London. We were not disappointed.
Home Networking - Overview
With the digitization of communications, media, content and storage, each of which reside on networks, it is logical that the next frontier for networks would be the home. Yet, the home is a very tough market for several reasons:
Consumers do not pay for infrastructure;
The home is the place for individuals to live and to be a part of relationships - not the housing of digital items;
Consumers are frugal in spending and have unpredictable spending patterns, compared to businesses which are motivated by business purpose, profits and ROI; and
A pervasive network infrastructure, which extends into the home, is ultimately about impacting human behavior, and this does not change quickly.
Coming to Europe to learn about Home Networking is like coming to Mars, or is it? There are such significant disparities between the US view and what we have found over the three days of this conference, one would wonder, is this the same home networking market? Before drawing such a radical conclusion we had better turn the mirror on the US perspective.
US Perspective on Home Networking
Let's then begin by summarizing this view:
Home networking is an extension of work networking. That is, linking multiple PCs in the home on a network which is a LAN. The baseline application is file and print sharing.
Broadband is essential for home networking. Again the reason being that the value of the network rises significantly when it is connected to the Internet, which is very similar to the condition at work. There may be slightly different use patterns but this has little impact on the Internet value proposition.
The consumer is expected to buy much of the infrastructure to enable the network. A pure network play does not have sufficient subsidies to underwrite the costs of the network implementation in the home. By infrastructure we mean: PC(s), the LAN network implementation, the residential gateway (if used) and the broadband modem.
Home networking, in existing homes, is collapsing on one standard, 802.11b. This is in large part due to the success of this standard at work and that it continues the ubiquitous presence of Ethernet as the LAN networking standard. It also recognizes that implementing any form of a wired infrastructure in existing homes will happen in only a very small part of the market. The mass market will happen using wireless technology because, in large part, it is easy to do.
The phone is independent of the home network. Again this is largely a reflection of the view at work. A converged, voice and data network, in spite of considerable work on standards, has yet to happen. Although the phone is seen as a potential source of income to support the home network, it has not happened, due in large part to phone services collapsing to commodity status, especially long distance. There is virtually no money in telephony to extract as a subsidy stream.
The means to implement an effective network platform is the API. Define the API and others will come and build on it. This developer centric view is based on the experience from the PC as a platform.
The home network outside the home will be built by others and the home will benefit. Thus, there are largely two separate businesses. The home with its data centric network will develop and evolve due to its connection to the Internet and broadband. The outside 3rd party services network is an independent proposition and will rise and fall based on the quality and utility of the services it provides.
The home networking market is technology centric not home user centric.
European View of Home Networking
Let's summarize what makes Europe distinct.
Home networking is about bringing value to the home and consumers in it. Technology is not the issue.
There is a strong coupling between consumer value proposition, the services, the network and business model. The Internet may or may not play a major role based on the implementation.
Much of the value of home networks can be found by experimenting with actual systems in homes - real life trials are very important to learn about consumer use and preference patterns.
Such trials are much more evident in Europe because they are run by the PTTs or the power companies. Many still have strong monopolies and they can speak openly of the results with little impact on their market. Further, significant sums can be spent on such trials. Also getting it right is important, in that, if a trial is successful, the rollout can be very large and, as a result, must scale.
Social applications of home networking, especially the care for the elderly, are important considerations in the application of home networking including how it will be paid for. The social agenda in Europe is much stronger than in the US.
There are very few multiple PC homes and thus little need to implement in-home PC to PC networking.
Narrowband home networking, by LAN standards, is much more acceptable in that many of the network applications do not require such levels of bandwidth.
Given that Bluetooth will be prevalent in phones and its bandwidth closely matches that of DSL, Bluetooth as an in-home network transport is seen as quite acceptable. Further, the Bluetooth enabled phone already is the basis for another network, the PAN, and it is only logical to make this a part of the home network.
DSL is only beginning to emerge in Europe. This market is at least 12 - 36 months behind the US and varies widely by country.
Powerline is a major factor in enabling home networks. Home control, power management and security are the central applications of such a powerline-based network.
As a result:
The external network interfaces are by priority:
The internal networking includes by priority:
Largely ignored are the following:
Standards, and an industry consensus behind them, are critical to the market. Europe views standards from a different perspective than the US. There is a level of cooperation in standards creation, which does not exist in the US. GSM and DECT are two examples where a standard, crafted in Europe, has become a worldwide standard, except in the US. Standards bring a homogenous market to Europe where it might be hard to otherwise establish. There is also a level of distain for the US view of standards and pride for the European approach. Thus, because a US standard is emerging does not imply that the same will apply in Europe. The competition between 801.11a and Hiper/LAN2 is an excellent example.
Standards backed by large companies were presented that we have never heard of before.
Networking for entertainment distribution has potential high value but the copy protection disputes have put this in the background.
Reviewing the Latest Developments in Home Networks Worldwide and Evaluating Prospects for Future Growth - Echelon
Echelon is implementing a home network which:
Will go to 27m homes in Italy;
The cost per home is $75;
The technology is Lon, the primary support is energy management in the home;
The system is designed to support more than power functions and 3rd parties can participate;
The ROI for power companies that use this technology is 48 months;
When services are added to the network the ROI improves.
What was described was the Enel network, being done in conjunction with Cisco, which has a box outside the home (C-band side), with an interface to all the power devices in the home (A Band) side. Any power device can be a part of the network. The network is managed by LNS servers, which keep track of each of the 27m homes and all the devices in them. The goal is a cost of $100/home and they claimed that the actual amount is $75/home. When completed in 3 years this will be the largest control network in the world. It will take 5,000 installers installing at the rate of 10,000 homes a day to complete the task in 36 months. In a telling observation someone stated, when that is done "forget that anyone will do that again."
Enel has two objectives:
(1) Optimize the supply of power to the customer;
(2) Provide a platform for 3rd parties to supply services.
It was claimed that energy bound only services showed an ROI in only 48 months and that 3rd party services only shortened that time. The power side service categories include:
Automatic meter reading - quickly dismissed as important to the power company but not to the consumer;
Demand side management;
Outage detection and isolation;
Remote customer connect and disconnect; and
Theft and tamper detection.
The valued services include:
Medical emergency signaling;
Vending machines and
It has been their experience that the 3rd parties have been very creative in coming up with value added services.
The box at the home is not a gateway, where a typical gateway would have a router. Why? In this network concept the processing is not in the home but in the network. One finds that gateways are required when there are either one or more of the following: multi-networks in the home or multi-networks outside of the home. The result is that there is too much complexity in the gateway and the cost becomes prohibitive.
This approach has the advantage that the network makes a connection to the home and the only response required from the consumer is to pay the bills. The consumer does not even need to know there is a network present. In many respects this is similar to Minitel in France, in its heyday. That is, the consumer did not care what the underlying structure was but what it could do.
When asked how does this network fit into broadband delivery the answer was interesting - "Broadband is just another network. Enel can work on top of it or beside it. The real value we have with Enel is the database of the consumer and their use of our services."
The network is based on the LonWorks standard and there are 4,000 companies with products that comply.
A 7-story warehouse is in Milan, full of appliances and all forms of LonWorks compatible devices.
The Lon World trade show will be held in Frankfurt from 10/23-24/2001.
Understanding and Meeting Consumer Demands for Kitchen Centric Applications - Learning form the Screenfridge Trial Results - Tele Danmark and E2Home
Their first statements got my attention:
"We are seeking what is required to make everyday life easier. We want to save time and money for the consumer. Three words mark our efforts: simplicity (always on and easy to use), relevance and consumer protection."
You just do not hear such comments connected to home networking or the PC.
E2Home is a joint venture between Electrolux and Ericsson. The Screenfridge is the device we saw at CeBIT. The web pad used was the unit we also saw at CeBIT.
The presenters claimed that 40% of the waking time in the home is in the kitchen and 70% of the financial decisions are made in the kitchen. (Now that is good market data.)
All of this is centered on a home trial of 50 homes, outside of Copenhagen, which use the following:
ADSL - 2Mb/s
The trial ran from September 2000 to April 2001. It should be noted that there were apparently many technical problems during the trial and this included unreliable 2Mb/s delivery.
A video was shown of the trial concept and future concepts.
The screenfridge interface was very easy to use and was focused on home needs including recipes, food ordering, family calendar, delivered services, train schedules and more. Along the sides of the display were icons that emulated kitchen magnets. A point made several times is that the content of the screen had to reflect well integrated service supply and coming to that point was not easy. For example, one of the cute elements was a personality that delivered recipes on the screenfridge. A food delivery service could supply the food required for these recipes. This would only happen well when the services were coupled.
The trial had a good cross section of the population demographics. It was well researched.
Targeting Home Networking Products and Services – Datamonitor
This is the leading market research company in Europe. It did not take long to get ones attention:
Current market demand for home networking is limited to tech-enthusiasts;
There is a low general awareness of networking or its benefits;
A home network has initial high expenses and technical difficulty;
There is an extremely low inherent demand for the technology; and
The market will be driven by services and applications
There are three home networking market components:
Data centric and
The number of broadband multi-PC homes in Europe is less than 1%. A single person household is 2X more likely to have broadband than a household with a partner. Further, Internet households without children are 40% more likely to have broadband. Broadband use is entertainment centric.
The following was stated as requirements for home networking:
Reasonable cost of technology relative to resulting benefits;
Simple and expensive installation, even for the non-technical;
Easy network management and use allowing a true increase in convenience;
Sufficient data transfer rates and QoS for chose applications; and
Minimal maintenance requirement and full network upgradablity.
Datamonitor then summarized the critical issues:
Provision of network-centric content and services;
Cost of Technology and subsidization issues;
Technical challenges in installing and managing home networks; and
Technology supply channels and consumer choice.
To be continued…
0123.3 3D and CAD
***SPECapc Releases Solid Edge V9 Benchmark
SPEC/GPC’s Application Performance Characterization (SPECapc) project group has released a benchmark for UGS’ Solid Edge, a CAD/CAM/CAE application for Windows platforms. Initial performance results and free downloads of the benchmark are available at the spec Web site.
SPECapc for Solid Edge V9 was developed by UGS in cooperation with the SPECapc group. It represents typical user operations that are valuable in evaluating the performance of systems running Solid Edge.
The benchmark runs on Microsoft Windows NT/2000. Two Solid Edge models are used for the benchmark: a well-head assembly with 1,320 parts and 1.3-million polygons, and a 64-part hydraulic jack assembly with 66,000 polygons. Four basic areas of performance are measured:
· Graphics measures commonly used commands in three modes: smooth shading, wireframe, and smooth shading with textures and reflections.
· File I/O measures opening and saving the well-head assembly model using three different display configurations: all inactive, all active, and a combination of active, inactive and hidden parts.
· CPU exercises real-time VHL representation and re-computing an assembly.
· Workflow represents a typical set of operations users will execute during the course of creating a project, such as real-time drawing view placement, in-place assembly activation, in-place part activation, modifying a model, and updating all the files due to the model change.
UGS considers all four portions of the benchmark to be equally important in evaluating performance using Solid Edge, so they have been given equal weightings when calculating the geometric mean.
SPECapc is a project group of the Graphics Performance Characterization (GPC) Group, which in turn is part of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC). SPEC is a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers.
***Arius3D Launches Photo-realistic 3D Capture System
Arius3D announced the deployment of a color scanning system in their Utah and Toronto Service Bureau locations. This system is based on Arius3D's core scanning technology (called Foundation); a technology that simultaneously captures the true color and geometry of an object, with registration, independent of ambient light. The result is photo-realistic, 3D, digital copies of real world objects, which can be used for applications including: the wired and wireless Web, video games, multi-media, film, advertising, product design, education, heritage, and manufacturing. Arius3D will continue deploying these systems to the company's Service Bureaus worldwide.
Traditional 3D scanning and modeling techniques involve the capture of color and geometry separately, followed by a texture-mapping phase to merge them together. These methods are time consuming and expensive, which has contributed to 3D remaining limited to a few select industries and applications.
Based on technology developed by Canada's National Research Council (NRC), the Arius3D Solution provides photo-realistic, 3D digital copies of real-world objects using a laser scanning system. The results are unaffected by ambient light, giving end users color data, without light artifacts, at microscopic resolution. Data captured from 3D color point-clouds contains detailed color information, which can be used for grouping, animation and part separation, all of which are valuable when creating workflows for building large quantities of digital content.
***Primal Technologies Adds Wireless IP Capabilities to its Intelligent Network Voice Applications
Primal Technologies, a provider of specialized intelligent network applications for the telecommunications carrier industry, has added three wireless IP (CDMA2000/GPRS) data capabilities to its existing IN voice applications on the PSN450 (Primal Service Node).
Primal’s wireless IP-enabled applications include:
Text-to-Phone - Using a wireless PDA-IP-enabled device or the Internet, users type a message that is to be sent to multiple parties on and off a service provider’s network. The Text-to-Phone application connects to the PSN450 and sends a voice message to the selected contacts - synchronized from the users’ desktop address book.
Conferencing - On a wireless PDA-IP-enabled device, users highlight 1-32 people requesting a multi-party conference from their contact list. Once the names are submitted, the PSN450 places outgoing calls to these individuals. Connection status and the ability to modify the conference are forwarded in real time to the PDA device through the PSN450.
411 Directory Service - From a wireless PDA-IP-enabled device, users are able to search the directory assistance database. Once the required information and number has been located, the PSN450 connects the subscriber to the selected contact.
Using Sun and ADC-SS7 technology as primary hardware suppliers, the PSN450 supports 16 ISUP T1 or E1s and has an open interface tool kit to allow service providers to create next generation voice mail services and expand its offerings with One Number, 800 Access, Text-to-Speech and POP3 E-mail integration. A single node supports 200,000 customers and can process 150,000 calls per day with a TDM or a VoIP SIP interface.
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