0142.1 Hot Topics
SPEC Releases SFS 3.0 Software
MPLS Interoperability Put to the Test
Announces Availability of All-CMOS Bluetooth
Device for CDMA and 3G Wireless Phones
0142.2 Story of the Issue
Technology Helps Rebuild New York
Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary
Logic to Deliver Embedded Memory on TSMC 0.10-
Electronic Components AG to License Shellcase’s
Wafer Level Chip Size Packaging Solution
0142.5 Audio and Video
Unveils Palm-Sized Camcorder
Music Entertainment Platform Debuts From
Launches Ex-Tend-It DVImate
0142.1 Hot Topics
Releases SFS 3.0 Software
The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp.'s Open
Systems Group (SPEC/OSG) has released System File Server 3.0 (SFS 3.0),
an update to its software for evaluating the speed and request-handling
capabilities of NFS (network file server) computers. SPEC SFS 3.0 measures
the throughput and response time of NFS fileservers. The benchmark's
metric is SPECsfs97_R1. SPEC SFS 3.0 uses the same operation mix as
SFS 2.0, but includes changes to rate-regulation and file-selection
algorithms to fix problems SPEC discovered in the previous version.
SFS 2.0 was withdrawn by SPEC in June because many of its results could
not be compared accurately. In particular, the set of distinct data
files called the “working set” accessed by the SFS 2.0 benchmark was
often smaller than its designers intended. Also, the distribution of
accesses among files was sensitive to the number of load-generating
processes specified by the tester.
In addition to correcting problems, SPEC SFS 3.0 includes better validation
of servers and clients, reduced client memory requirements, portability
to Linux and FreeBSD clients, new submission tools, and revised documentation.
Further details about these changes can be found in the SPEC SFS 3.0
User's Guide included with the software.
SPEC SFS 3.0 is available on CD for $900, with a discount price of $450
for universities and other non-profit organizations. Current SPEC SFS
2.0 licensees will receive a free upgrade to SFS 3.0.
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. SPEC's membership includes
computer hardware and software vendors, universities, and research facilities
***Alcatel's MPLS Interoperability
Put to the Test
Alcatel has announced the completion of third-party
testing of its Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) edge and core routing
platforms. Conducted at George Mason University's Advanced Internet
Lab, the tests verified multi-vendor interoperability of the Alcatel
7404 Broadband Access Server (BAS) and the Alcatel 7670 Routing Switch
The evaluation focused on the provisioning of
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), a key factor to carriers' delivery
of next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) services. MPLS label distribution
protocol for exchange of label switched path and RFC 2547-based VPNs
and Internet Engineering Task Force standards - were also tested.
The Alcatel 7404 BAS, running on software supported
by Alcatel's entire BAS portfolio, demonstrated its multi-vendor MPLS
functionality as a label edge router. Situating the 7404 BAS at the
edge of an MPLS network provides increased quality of service and traffic
engineering for IP VPNs.
The MPLS-enabled Alcatel 7670 RSP is a multi-protocol
platform designed for the core and edge of next generation multiservice
networks. As part of the George Mason University evaluation, the Alcatel
7670 RSP demonstrated its multi-vendor MPLS functionality as a core
label switch router in the MPLS based VPN network scenario where it participated in VPN data routing and
switching across the MPLS network.
Announces Availability of All-CMOS Bluetooth Radio Device for CDMA and
3G Wireless Phones
Broadcom Corporation, a provider of integrated
circuits enabling broadband communications, has announced availability
of the Broadcom BCM2002 radio chip qualified to provide high performance
Bluetooth radio capabilities for Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
and third generation (3G) wireless phones featuring the QUALCOMM CDMA
Technologies (QCT) Mobile Station Modem (MSM) series of chipsets.
The Broadcom BCM2002 all-CMOS radio transceiver
is a member of Broadcom's Blutonium family of Bluetooth Qualification
Board (BQB) version 1.1-qualified system solutions for Bluetooth applications.
The BCM2002 is the latest in a product family offering performance in
high-interference environments, such as inside cell phones and laptop
Broadcom's BCM2002 radio chip works in conjunction
with the Bluetooth baseband and protocol stack to provide Bluetooth
functionality for wireless devices. By offering a Bluetooth radio solution
that works in coordination with an embedded Bluetooth baseband, Broadcom
is enabling a low added bill of materials (BOM) cost for a Bluetooth
emissions performance - the BCM2002 minimizes interference with transmissions
taking place in the bands used by mobile phones.
performance - a linear design eliminates radio frequency (RF) filtering
to receive reliable signals from other Bluetooth devices.
phone integration - the radio design eases integration into the harsh
environment within cell phones while maintaining performance and optimizing
overall phone performance.
frequency generation technology - this enables the BCM2002 to base its
operation on a number of different reference frequencies.
The BCM2002 is offered in multiple packaging options,
including an ultra-small chip scale package. The Bluetooth version 1.1-qualified
radio is available in production quantities.
It is also available as a module through selected module companies.
0142.2 Story of the Issue
***Wireless Technology Helps
Rebuild New York
By James Sneeringer
On September 11, during the attack on the World
Trade Center, it is estimated that over 6,000 people lost their lives--this
can never be forgotten. Beyond the human tragedy, though, lies more:
the stories of destruction and cooperation, the loss of equipment, records,
and resources, and the spirit of unity that responded. While we mourn
the lives lost, the story of rebuilding has already begun, and will
go on for some time.
One such story the WAVE investigated was that
of the Microwave Communications Division of Harris Corporation, an international
communications equipment manufacturer based in Melbourne, Florida. The
New York Port Authority, owner and one of the main tenants of the World
Trade Center, has been a customer of Harris for many years. The prominent
broadcast mast atop Tower 1, in fact, was a product of Harris's Broadcast
Division. Most notable among the relationships with the Microwave Division
is the wireless private networks Harris supplies for communications
between the Port Authority and Newark, La Guardia, and Kennedy International
September 11, 2001
With the collapse of both towers of the World
Trade Center on September 11, many companies, including the Port Authority,
lost their offices and communications. We spoke with Carleton Smith,
Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Harris's Microwave Division,
for the story of how Harris responded.
Smith stated that following the collapse, the
Microwave Division immediately put together a team to find out what
equipment they had in inventory. This information was passed on to reps
in Washington, DC and New York, who started receiving calls almost immediately
from companies affected by the attacks. In many cases Harris contacted
other customers awaiting shipments, and requested permission to delay
delivery so that the equipment in inventory could remain available for
disaster relief. Smith emphasized that in all cases, customers were
very cooperative, and that to him this was the most interesting and
positive aspect of the situation, given the extremely competitive nature
of the telecommunications industry. He also stated that in the interest
of time, the Microwave Division had taken extra steps such as shipping
to established customers without purchase orders, or recalling trucks
to adjust orders as needed.
One of the first companies to contact Harris was
the Port Authority, which had set up a temporary office in New Jersey.
Harris was able to set up temporary wireless communications within a
few days, to preserve the private networks with the airports. As the
Port Authority plans its move to a more permanent site in New Jersey,
Smith stated that Harris is working closely with them as they go through
the site identification process. A major factor in the planning is the
longer hop (distance the wireless signal must travel) from the two New
York airports to New Jersey, a factor aggravated by a lack of elevation.
New antennas will be much closer to the ground than the ones lost from
the top of the 1300-foot Towers, increasing the number of obstacles
in the path of the signals. As a result, Harris has had to switch from
the original 11 GHz radios to 6 GHz radios, which have longer range
but less bandwidth per channel.
The second company to contact Harris was cellular
service provider Nextel. The World Trade Center Towers had housed two
major Verizon switches, with a third in a nearby building. When the
towers were destroyed, Nextel lost a major connection between its network
and the Verizon network. Smith estimated that almost every Nextel customer
in lower Manhattan was affected; we were unable to confirm a number
with Nextel. The Microwave Division worked with Nextel to restore communications
as quickly as possible by connecting Nextel to Verizon wirelessly, using
Harris 18 GHz Microstar radios. Harris also helped Nextel work with
an emergency Federal Communications Commission (FCC) group formed to
fast track new wireless spectrum licenses.
Other companies Smith mentioned Harris was working
with are construction supplier Bechtel and AT&T Wireless, who also
lost connection to the Verizon network with the destruction of the switches.
We also asked Smith for his insights into the
future of the telecommunications industry. He stated that it was his
opinion that over time, the incidents of September 11th would spur growth
in the telecom sector, not limit it. Two aspects of the tragedy stood
out in his mind: the emphasis on cellular communications during and
after the attacks, and a desire for heightened security and durability
in communication networks.
Worldwide, he reminded us, the United States does
not rank highly in population cell phone use. The emphasis on the use
of cell phones on September 11th, he believed, would result in increased
demand nationwide for cellular communications. The resulting growth
in service providers would spur demand for equipment and engineering.
Smith told us that he expects that demand for
wireless private networks will grow as a result of the desire for increased
security and durability. He also believes alternate paths (which relate
to network durability) will take on new importance to customers. This
would be especially true in large, prominent buildings such as the World
Trade Center or the Sears Tower - buildings where the network investments
are huge due to the number of people inside; buildings that are now
also perceived by many as potential targets.
He also stated that in Harris Corporation's work
in foreign countries, the increased security of a wireless network was
attractive to suppliers. In some cases copper cable would be stolen
just a few days after being strung, whereas a wireless tower could be
guarded with only one or two people. While most US companies do have
fixed wireless components to their networks, Smith believes that component
will grow in the future, to create enhanced back-up to wired networks.
As we discussed the effects of the destruction
of the Trade Center on wireless communications in New York, Smith pointed
out that since the tops of the Towers were so large and flat, they were
ideally suited for locating large amounts of telecom equipment. According
to Smith, almost every other tall building in New York is pointed at
the top. As result, the scarce amount of physical real estate available
for locating equipment high over New York will be a limiting factor
on the rebuilding process, especially as the prices for available real
estate multiply in response to demand. We asked Smith if he thought
the Trade Center Towers would be rebuilt. "I don't know,"
he responded, "but knowing New York, I'd expect
to see some tall buildings up there."
***CN8 Celebrates Five-Year
CN8, The Comcast Network, has celebrated its five-year
anniversary. The Network was launched on September 3, 1996 to serve
the local programming needs of Comcast Cable customers in the tri-state
area. Five years and 4 million homes later, CN8 has evolved in a regional
cable network offering 11 hours of live news, sports,
talk and entertainment programming across Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Delaware and Maryland. This year, the network’s reach grew by more than
Logic to Deliver Embedded Memory on TSMC 0.10-Micron Process
Virage Logic, a provider of embedded memory, has
announced the availability of early versions of its Custom-Touch Area,
Speed and Power (ASAP) embedded SRAMs in TSMC's 0.10-micron logic process
by November 2001. With this release, Virage Logic joins TSMC in calling
upon the semiconductor industry to standardize on a single technology
platform for system-on-a-chip (SoC) semiconductor manufacturing.
Virage Logic, a TSMC early development partner,
receives advance information on TSMC's technology direction, allowing
it to deliver early front-end versions of its ASAP SRAM line of compilers.
This enables designers to conduct comparisons of area, speed and power
between 0.13-micron and 0.10-micron. As a result, designers can simulate
and floor plan their 0.10-micron designs with the confidence that Virage
Logic will modify the compilers as the design rules mature.
Networking and communication applications are
intense embedded memory users. Smaller process geometries make available
more silicon for on-chip memory integration. Although Virage Logic is
initially making its ASAP SRAMs available on the TSMC 0.10-process,
the company will follow with its SRAM-based Self-Test and Repair (STAR)
Memory System, as well as its content addressable memories (CAMs). The
STAR Memory System and NetCAM compilers are expected to be available
in the first and second quarter of 2002, respectively.
What is SRAM? Find additional information at:
***DELSY Electronic Components
AG to License Shellcase’s ShellOP Wafer Level Chip Size Packaging Solution
Shellcase, a developer and provider of Wafer Level Chip Size Packaging
(WLCSP), has announced that DELSY Electronic Components AG, a developer
of integrated fingerprint sensors, has licensed its ShellOP WLCSP technology.
DELSY will outsource its packaging activity to Shellcase until a manufacturing
facility is constructed in Germany. Shellcase will continue to serve
as second production source for DELSY following the initiation of captive
DELSY and Shellcase partnered in early 2000 to design a CMOS sensor
packaged in Shellcase’s ShellOP Wafer Level Packaging process, utilizing
a fiber optic faceplate. The combination of DELSY’s technology and Shellcase’s
packaging creates a cost-effective fingerprint sensor module with added
durability, sensitivity and compact sizing. Pre-production of the DELSY
sensor has begun and it is anticipated to reach full production by Q4
DELSY plans to introduce the fiber optic CMOS sensor in IT security,
M-commerce, E-commerce, automotive, firearm and access control settings.
The CMOS sensor includes functions to determine human body capacitance
and blood oxygen level, to provide fraud protection and security. The
fiber optic faceplate makes the sensor resistant to weather, electrostatic
discharge and mechanical stress making it possible to introduce fingerprint
sensors to applications where other technologies failed so far. The
sensor has a resolution of 508 dpi or more.
0142.5 Audio and Video
***Sony Unveils Palm-Sized
According to CNet News.com, Sony has unveiled
a small network digital camcorder, measuring the length of a handheld
computer and weighing less than 11 ounces. Called the DCR-IP7E Network
Handycam IP (Image Portal), the camcorder will be available in stores
across Asia by November for $1,720 (2,999 Singapore dollars).
The unit allows users to surf the Web and send
e-mails with video attachments when used with a compatible Bluetooth-enabled
cell phone or Sony's Bluetooth 56kbsp modem adapter. The camcorder can
hold up to 50 e-mail messages and addresses. The device accepts JPEG,
TIFF and MPEG attachments, which are stored on the Sony Memory Stick
when received as e-mail. The camcorder also doubles as a camera to record
The Handycam comes with a 2.5-inch liquid-crystal
display viewfinder. It has a USB connection
for video downloads to PCs, as well as FireWire cables for two-way communications
between the camcorder and a TV or PC.
There is no information about the DCR-IP7E on
Sony’s site at this point.
Music Entertainment Platform Debuts From MusicPlayground
An Internet/Windows PC-based interactive music
entertainment system has been introduced by MusicPlayground, a wholly
owned subsidiary of Namco Limited of Japan. MusicPlayground offers an
interactive music experience for users that have Internet access and
a Windows98/Me PC. MusicPlayground makes use of virtual instruments
(USB peripherals) that simulate their real world counterparts.
The experience is available in two membership
kits that include a V-Pick virtual guitar (or bass) pick, a CD with
MusicPlayground Player software, and direct access to the company's
online music jukebox of licensed songs. A $59.95 prepaid membership
kit allows members to download up to 40 songs for unlimited play over
a consecutive 12-month period. A second $19.95 membership kit allows
members to download up to 8 songs over a one-month period. Monthly members
can renew at will in 30-day increments. In addition, a V-Stix Virtual
Drum Kit is available for an additional $19.95.
To begin, members install MusicPlayground's Player
software onto their hard drive and plug in their virtual instruments.
The MusicPlaygrounds Player software installation will allow the user
to select a song to download and play. The song is played by striking
the virtual instrument in time with the Rhythm EKG rhythm guide displayed
within the MusicPlayground Player. Song lyrics are superimposed on top
of visual content. Members can compete with each other by uploading
their playing scores.
MusicPlayground has license agreements from BMG
Music Publishing, Bug Music, Chrysalis Music Group, Del Sound Music,
Ice Nine Music Publishing, Music & Media International, Peer Music,
Sony/ATV Music Publishing, The Famous Music Publishing Companies, The
Richmond Organization, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappel
Music, and Windswept Pacific. In addition, MusicPlayground has entered into
artist partnership agreements with Roger Daltrey (of The Who) and Nikki
Sixx (of Motley Crue). Other artist and publisher agreements are pending.
Screenblast, a broadband creativity platform developed
by Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment (SPDE), has been released to
offer a digital sandbox for an online community to experience, create
and connect. Screenblast unleashes a user's artistic ability with publishing
software ranging from browser-based tools to professional grade software
to produce their own music, video and animation. Users can pull from
Screenblast's studio-quality audio and video asset packs to incorporate
drum loops, guitar licks, vocals, or aerial shots into their own projects.
Screenblast's broadband-based service gives users
the opportunity to experience branded digital entertainment, produce
their own audio, video and animation and connect with others in the
online community where they can artistically collaborate and showcase
their work to the world. The audience can immerse themselves in five
genre-specific channels (action, comedy, drama, sci-fi/horror and music).
The original programming serves as the starting point for users to interact,
allowing them to not only check out broadband entertainment but also
to manipulate the selected content, influence story lines or use the
Screenblast tools to add their own elements.
Screenblast's Create Channel moves the audience
into the director's chair. Users access end-to-end publishing tools
at the service ranging from browser-based MovieCreators and MusicCreators
to the Screenblast Creation Suite of multimedia authoring and editing
software. Screenblast adds studio-quality audio and video asset packs
for users to download and edit into their original creations. Asset
packs include elements ranging from aerial views to hip-hop and electronica
beats and more.
Users can store their audio, video or animated
creations in the 50 Mb of free, private online storage; use the one-click
publishing to showcase their work to the world; select multiple template
designs and color palettes; or engage in the traditional community features
such as chat and bulletin boards.
To access Screenblast, users must have a high-speed
connection of 128KB/second or better. Screenblast is both Windows and
MAC compatible. Users can upgrade to the complete Screenblast Creation
Suite Deluxe for $149 or choose individually from Screenblast ACID,
Screenblast Sound Forge, Screenblast Image Editor
or Screenblast VideoFactory for $59 or Screenblast SIREN Jukebox for
***Gefen Launches Ex-Tend-It
Gefen has launched its ex-tend-it DVImate adapter,
which comes equipped with two DVI female connectors. The adapter is
marketed as a solution for those seeking to convert a DVI cable's male-to-male
connector to a male-to-female connector. By changing the orientation
to male-to-female, the DVI cable becomes a DVI extension cable, capable
of extending digital monitors and projectors short distances without
a sizable investment.
According to Gefen, this is significant because
changing the orientation of DVI cables is difficult without losing image
quality. Plus, creating a male-to-female DVI cable currently requires
an expensive custom-made jig. But with the ex-tend-it DVImate, any DVI
cable can function as an extension cable while still transmitting pristine
The DVImate is $39.00 US.