The WAVE Report
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0301.1 Hot Topics
0301.2 Story of the Issue
0301.1 Hot Topics
***Alias/Wavefront's Maya is Awarded Oscar for Technical
Alias/Wavefront, an SGI company, has been awarded an Oscar
its development of Maya software, the 3D animation and effects
package. Oscar recipients for scientific and technical
achievements were announced earlier last week by the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Maya is one of the leading 3D animation, modeling and rendering
tool for the film, broadcast, video, game development, 3D web and
location-based entertainment markets. Maya was employed in such
films as "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," "Spider-Man,"
Age," "Hollow Man" and "Star Wars Episode II: Attack
The Oscar is the highest award the Academy can bestow, and
same statuette that is presented during the main awards ceremony.
Since 1930, only 38 Scientific and Technical achievements have
been recognized with this level of award. The Academy's Board of
Governors voted to award the Oscar, based upon recommendations
from the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee.
***Wi-Fi Alliance Announces Wi-Fi Zone
Brand for Public Access (January 9)
The Wi-Fi Alliance today announced the first phase of its
to promote the availability of public access services around the
world. The primary goals of the program are to create a globally
recognized brand for public access services, set a minimum
quality standard, and to improve users' ability to find Wi-Fi
enabled locations. A new Web site for the Wi-Fi ZONE program has
been established to allow qualified providers who submit their
application by March 31, 2003, to sign up to the program at no
cost through March 2004. The second phase of the program will be
rolled out in the first quarter of 2003 and will be open to
users. This phase will include a Web site designed to locate Wi
Fi ZONEs around the world.
Locations that participate in the Wi-Fi ZONE program will
allowed to display the following Wi-Fi ZONE logo, be included in
Wi-Fi Alliance promotional activities, and be listed on the Wi-Fi
ZONE Web site.
The Wi-Fi Alliance is launching this program at this time
they believe 2003 is shaping up to be a year for growth of the
Wi-Fi public access market, with the entrance of several large
organizations. Adding to the growth of the market is the pace of
Wi-Fi product sales, and the increasing percentage of laptop
computers that have Wi-Fi Certified products built-in.
***A4Vision's Face Tracker Software
Launched Globally with
A4Vision, a provider of advanced identification software
facial imaging technology, announced today the launch of its face
targeting and tracking software with Logitech, a global leader in
PC Peripheral products.
A4Vision's software algorithms enable Logitech webcams to
and automatically track a person's face, keeping it centered
within the camera's field of view, by tracking a combination of
skin tones, shapes and movement to lock onto a person's face.
This enables the camera to pan, tilt and zoom-in on a person's
face -- keeping it centered during a video instant messaging
session or when recording a video email.
Logitech Face Tracking will begin shipping globally in February
as a standard feature with all mid to high-end Logitech webcams
that feature digital zoom. The product is available for download
now at the Logitech Web site.
A4Vision (Applications for Vision) develops and licenses
identification systems and solutions for tracking and targeting
camera systems, and 3D face recognition technology. The company
is backed by the international venture capital company myQube.
0301.2 Story of the Issue
***S3 Graphics Announces DeltaChromeX9m Mobile GPU
S3 Graphics Inc., a supplier to the 3D graphics accelerator
market, today announced the DeltaChromeX9m mobile graphics
processor for commercial and consumer notebook markets,
incorporating hardware for full support of Microsoft's DX9
initiative, and an 8 pixel pipeline graphics core.
DeltaChromeX9m includes an integrated Hi-Def TV encoder
definition display devices up to 1080 progressive lines of
resolution. Available with optional integrated memory, the chip
comes with low power capabilities utilizing third generation
PowerWise power management technology.
The S3 Graphics DeltaChrome V8 graphics core features an
pipeline, each 128-bit, a 3D engine with 2.4 Giga-pixels per
second fill rate, and programmable Pixel Shader 2.0+ and Vertex
Shader 2.0+ implementation in hardware--beyond Microsoft DX9
The Advanced Deferred Rendering technology increases the
efficiency of the 3D engine, and the programmable floating point
render target and blending will help accuracy and quality in 3D
effects. PicturePerfect full-screen anti-aliasing technology is
designed to realistic image for all connected displays.
A list of mobile features includes the integrated Hi-Def
encoder with support for 480I/P, 720P and 1080I/P resolutions to
match any standard and high definition mode, and 7th generation
Duo-View extended desktop feature providing up to QXGA
resolutions using an integrated LVDS transmitter and panel
scaler, plus an added display device. Hardware support for
display rotation provides support for tablet PC applications.
DeltaChromeX9m employs 0.13 micron low power fabrication
technology, and core voltage as low as 0.9V. The latest version
of the PowerWise power management utility includes dynamic
voltage and operating frequency control, as well as proprietary
techniques to reduce idle power consumption below 0.5W.
The new Chromotion programmable video engine technology
included in the DeltaChromeX9m. Chromotion enables the processing
of compressed and raw video streams, as well as post processing
to get quality from any video source such as MPEG-2/4, webcasts,
WMV8/9 and others. Chromotion also includes support for Microsoft
VMR front-end processing for pixel adaptive de-interlacing,
programmable video scaling and video compositing, as well as
traditional video overlay support. For the professional video
graphic artist, Chromotion offers real time video filter effects.
DeltaChromeM128 and DeltaChromeM64+ are integrated memory
versions of DeltaChromeX9m. DeltaChromeM128 is offered with up to
256 MB of integrated memory using flip-chip multi-package module
(FC-MPM) technology, while DeltaChromeM64+ MPM comes with
integrated memory and the capability to expand up to 256MB
***StereoGraphics Chosen to Develop 3D Displays for ViewSonic
StereoGraphics Corporation today announced they have been
selected by ViewSonic Corporation to be a technology and market
development partner, to help develop a range of 3D display
products based upon ViewSonic's LCD and plasma display
technologies. The ViewSonic 3D displays will be based on
StereoGraphics' 3D monitor, which the company states combines a
bright image with wide 3D viewing angles, without the need for
Prototypes of an 18-inch 3D LCD display and a 42-inch 3D
display showing 3D content including animation, videos and games,
were demonstrated by ViewSonic at CES 2003.
***Electric Image Ships Amorphium
Electric Image, Inc. announced today that Amorphium 3.0,
sculpting and painting tool for computers, is shipping. Amorphium
is designed to enable users to interactively "sculpt" and paint
shaded 3D objects in real-time. It is intended to let anyone
create custom 3D graphics for web sites, desktop publishing,
business graphics, art education and personal creative projects.
Amorphium 3.0 contains many new features, including Amorphium's
implementation of "Subdivision Surface" modeling tools. These
new tools, collectively called "Tin," bring a new sculpting
system to the artist. Amorphium's Tin tools can be combined with
its other modeling and paint features to create organic and hard
surface models. Other additions include an updated look with
Amorphium as a "windowed" application, use of QuickTime movies
for backgrounds, and animation preview.
Amorphium 3.0 is the successor to both the original Amorphium
from Play, and Electric Image's Amorphium Pro product. Amorphium
has won industry awards including Best of Comdex, PC World World
Class Award, and Best of Macworld awards,and has been featured in
Amorphium 3.0 is now available for Apple OS X and OS 9,
Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, through the Electric Image on
line store, and through retailers throughout the United States.
Amorphium 3.0 will sell for $149 US MSRP. An upgrade path is
available to Amorphium Pro owners for $99 US MSRP. Japanese
distribution will be handled by Studio-Pon.
***Kaydara Launches 3D Viewing Component
Kaydara Inc., a developer of 3D animation software, today
announced the immediate availability of FBX for QuickTime, a free
real-time viewing solution that supports content from major 3D
packages. Based on Kaydara's FBX format, a royalty-free 3D
authoring and interchange format, FBX for QuickTime allows
producers and artists to visualize and sign off on 3D content
using QuickTime. By adding the FBX component to QuickTime,
Kaydara intends to provide content creators with a new way to
work with high-end 3D, reducing reliance on an individual
application for 3D project review or transport.
FBX for QuickTime is cross-platform and allows both Mac
users to visualize as well as interact with 3D content. Combined
with QuickTime Pro, FBX for QuickTime provides digital artists
with a new media type for authoring, allowing them to combine and
composite 3D with video, audio, and images from all supported
Kaydara FBX is a platform-independent 3D authoring and
interchange format that provides access to 3D content from major
3D vendors and platforms. FBX is a binary file format that
supports major 3D data elements, as well as 2D, audio, and video
media elements. FBX can be used as an interchange format between
3D modeling/animation/rendering packages, 3D scanners (hardware),
3D content providers, motion capture systems, camera tracking
systems, and other applications.
The FBX for QuickTime component is available from Apple's
***SiGe Semiconductor Secures US $42.8 Million in Series
SiGe Semiconductor, a supplier of analog integrated circuits
wireless access, cable telephony and high-speed optical systems,
today announced it has raised US $42.8 million in Series B
funding. The investment is the third highest round of financing
closed by a fabless semiconductor company during the last year,
according to the Fabless Semiconductor Association.
SiGe Semiconductor's integrated circuits are designed using
silicon germanium technology. The company states that this
improves performance, battery life and size of a wide range of
wireless and broadband products, including Bluetooth-enabled
portable devices, WLAN access points, high-speed optical
interfaces, global positioning by satellite systems, cordless
telephones, and 2G, 2.5G and 3G cellular handsets.
SiGe Semiconductor believes the funding reflects thecompany's
success during the last two years, during which they increased
product revenues, extended support and distribution channels,
brought their sixteenth product to market, and established new
facilities in Hong Kong, San Diego, Boston, and London. SiGe
Semiconductor customers includes Alps, Arris, Bromax, Gemtek, LG
Innotek, Micro-Star, Microtune, Photon, Samsung Electro- Mechanics, and
The lead investor was Boston-based TD Capital Technology
Ventures, joined by new United States investors 3i US and Prism
Venture Partners, along with returning investors VenGrowth
Capital Partners Inc., CDP Capital, Business Development Bank of
Canada (BDC), Capital Alliance Ventures, and Canadian Science &
Technology Growth Fund.
***Zarlink Announces Single-Chip Radio
Transceiver for Multi-Mode
Zarlink Semiconductor today unveiled a single-chip radio
transceiver (transmitter/receiver) for cell phones used in multi
band, multi-mode, 2G and 2.5G digital cellular networks. The new
ZL20250 chip is targeted primarily at handsets for GAIT overlay
networks that add GSM capability and mobile Internet data
services to existing TDMA/AMPS wireless infrastructure. Multi
mode GAIT cellular networks are currently being deployed across
Zarlink estimates that the new transceiver eliminates about
separate components from GAIT cell phones, shrinking the size of
the radio by more than half, and reducing BOM (bill of material)
costs by up to 40%. The device supports reception of all GAIT
voice services, as well as data services based on the 2.5G GPRS
and EDGE platforms, at a two-way rate of 384 Kb/s (kilobits per
second) - the top EDGE rate - without using external circuitry.
Zarlink's ZL20250 transceiver provides two-way compatibility
8PSK (8-level phase shift keying), the digital modulation scheme
that gives EDGE its 384 Kb/s data rate. In addition, Zarlink's
transceiver supports the normal GMSK (Gaussian minimum shift
keying) modulation technique used by GSM and GPRS applications.
The ZL20250 is a commercial single-chip, 2.5G cell phone
transceiver. This is possible because of a two-stage receiver
design, that allows the chip to overcome the isolation issues
typical to cellular receiving and transmitting. Cellular receive
and transmit functions are usually implemented on two or more
chips to ensure that RF front-end receive circuits are isolated
from transmit signals.
The chip's receive circuitry has two IF (intermediate frequency)
inputs, one for GSM/GPRS/EDGE, the other for TDMA/AMPS. Incoming
signals are mixed with synthesized LO (local oscillator) signals
from an on-chip VHF VCO (very high frequency, voltage-controlled
oscillator), amplified, and downconverted to the baseband
frequency. The ZL20250 receiver also has integrated channel
filters that allow the chip to connect directly to most baseband
The transmitter on the ZL20250 is a linear circuit with
quadrature modulator, IF gain control, and a single-ended output.
The single- ended output delivers enough power to directly drive
a two-stage power amplifier, eliminating the need for an external
balun (balanced/unbalanced) transformer.
The ZL20250 uses a fractional-N synthesizer to control its
(ultra high frequency) VCO, allowing it to switch rapidly between
frequencies. The radio is designed to give designers control over
power consumption, with programmable features to adjust receive
and transmit currents to accommodate different operating
Zarlink's multi-mode ZL20250 transceiver operates in four
cellular frequency bands: 850 MHz (megahertz), 900 MHz, 1800 MHz,
and 1900 MHz. This quad-band capability allows the transceiver to
support TDMA/AMPS/GSM/GPRS/EDGE services in North America, as
well as many GSM/GPRS/EDGE operating environments in Europe and
other regions. The chip is compliant with the TIA/EIA IS (interim
standard)-136 specification, and with protocols for GSM, EDGE,
and GPRS defined by ETSI.
The ZL20250 is entering volume production, in a SiGe (silicon
germanium) BiCMOS (bipolar complementary metal oxide silicon)
process, and offered in a 56-pin MLP (micro-lead frame package)
with dimensions of 8 mm x 8 mm. An evaluation board and API
software support the chip. In high volumes, the ZL20250 is priced
at less than US$7.00.
***XFP Releases Preliminary Spec for Ultra
Small 10 Gb/s Module
The 10-Gigabit Small Form-factor Pluggable (XFP) Module
module Multi Source Agreement (MSA) association, announced today
that the XFP specification is available for final public review.
This specification is intended to help speed development of
multi-sourced, application transparent, ultra-small form factor
10 Gigabit per Second (Gb/s) modules, designed to occupy one
fifth the space and use one-half the power of current modules.
The specification is complete and available on the XFP MSA Web
site, and is scheduled for final adoption in February.
Modules built to the XFP specification feature an electrical
interface called XFI, which is designed to remove the complexity
and power associated with placing electrical transceivers inside
other available modules. The small size of XFP modules is
intended to enable the development of boards having up to sixteen
10 Gb/s ports to be deployed in a 19-inch rack space, with a cost
structure that will help accelerate the deployment of inexpensive
10 Gb/s client interfaces. The XFP group believes that additional
cost benefits can be achieved as higher levels of circuit
integration become available at the 10 Gb/s data rate. Because
the XFP specification is not protocol dependent, multiple market
segments will benefit from the aggregate volume of XFP modules.
The XFP Group is composed of networking, system, optical
semiconductor, and connector companies from the
telecommunications, data communications, and storage area network
market segments. Founded in March 2002, the Group is an industry
association dedicated to technology and standards development for
ultra-small form factor, 10 Gb/s communications modules for
telecommunications and data communications.
***TI Introduces Single-Chip Digital Downconverter
Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) today introduced a new single-chip
four-channel wideband digital downconverter and upconverter, the
GC5016. The four-channel device provides both digital
downconversion and upconversion functions in a single package,
and TI feels it is ideal for radios in 3G wireless base
transceiver systems. Targeted mainly towards CDMA2000 and W-CDMA
base station systems, the new device also offers digital radio
performance for other applications such as wireless repeaters,
cable modem radios, wireless instrumentation and defense-based
digital radio systems.
The GC5016 can provide either four channels of digital
downconversion, four channels of digital upconversion, or two
channels of downconversion and two channels of upconversion
simultaneously. Using a single device for downconversion and
upconversion for receive and transmit functions, TI stated,
manufacturers can drive costs down for base stations, macrocell,
microcell and picocell base stations as well as wireless
repeaters. However base station radio engineers will need to
become familiar with only one device for both downconverter and
Each of the GC5016's four downconverter or upconverter channels
can be independently configured. Operating mode, tuning
frequency, channel filtering, automatic gain control and input
output options can be programmed over a microprocessor bus.
Channel filtering consists of a six-stage CIC filter and a
programmable FIR filter. The FIR filter provides up to 255 taps
for UMTS and CDMA2000 modes. Spurious-free dynamic range is
better than -115 dBC. Power dissipation is about 600 milliWatts
when clocking at 100 MHz with four channels configured for UMTS
Applications requiring wider bandwidth such as cable modem
end systems, wireless instrumentation and defense/aerospace radio
systems can benefit from the GC5016's special double-rate input
and output mode enabling effective sample rates to 300 MSPS, TI
In downconversion mode, the GC5016 accepts signal data from
analog-to-digital converter such as TI's 12-bit 80 MSPS ADS5410.
The GC5016 tunes the desired signal to baseband and then isolates
the desired signal by applying pulse-shape filtering. The
isolated signal is then decimated and output for subsequent chip
rate and symbol rate processing. Further signal processing and
demodulation is handled with a programmable DSP chip such as TI's
In upconversion mode, the GC5016 accepts complex digital
data from a baseband source. This signal data is then
interpolated, pulse-shape filtered, modulated to a programmed
intermediate frequency, and then output to an external digital
to-analog converter such as TI's 14-bit 125 MSPS DAC2904. The
GC5016 also supports complex outputs for direct I/Q upconversion
and power amplifier digital pre-distortion linearization
Limited preliminary samples of the GC5016 wideband digital
downconverter and upconverter are available today from TI at a
price of $65 per 1,000 units. Production devices will be widely
available in the third quarter of 2003.
***Atheros Receives Wi-Fi Certification For Dual-Band 802.11a
Atheros Communications, a developer of wireless LAN (WLAN)
chipsets, today announced that its AR5001AP 802.11a access point
reference design (model AR5BAP-00021A) and AR5001X dual-band
(802.11a/b) CardBus reference design (model AR5BCB-00022A) have
received the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED seal of interoperability from the
The AR5001X-based design is the first dual-band 5 GHz/2.4
product to pass the Wi-Fi interoperability certification testing.
The certification of this reference design will enable products
based on this design to achieve certification more quickly.
Atheros' reference designs were among the first group of
and dual-band products to pass the Wi-Fi Alliance's
interoperability certification testing, which was conducted at
the organization's San Jose, California laboratory beginning
November 29, 2002. Only products that satisfied all prerequisites
for certification and passed the compatibility benchmark received
the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED seal of interoperability.
Wi-Fi products comprise one of the fastest growing segments
the high-technology market. Dual-band products provide the higher
available data rates of 802.11a standard, while providing
backward compatibility with the installed base of 802.11b
products. Dual-band products also provide up to five times the
speed and over 20 times the user capacity of 802.11b-only
products, according to Atheros.
Introduced in September 2000, the Atheros AR5000 chipset
early 802.11a chipset. In March 2002, Atheros introduced and
began shipping in volume a dual-band 802.11a/b WLAN chipset, the
AR5001X, and its second-generation chipset for integrated 802.11a
access point designs, the AR5001AP. Atheros has more than 50
publicly announced customers that are using the company's 802.11a
and dual-band (802.11a and 802.11b) reference designs.
***inCode Telecom: Transforming Payphones
into Wi-Fi Hot Spots (January 14)
inCode Telecom, a wireless technology consulting firm, in
partnership with Bell Canada, has launched a new pilot service
that is designed to enable North American wireline carriers to
transform payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots. inCode client Bell
Canada is the first wireline carrier to implement the new
strategy through AccessZone, a Wi-Fi hotspot pilot service that
will enable mobile users to automatically connect 802.11b-enabled
wireless devices, such as laptops and PDAs, to payphone access
points in high-traffic public locations.
inCode's methodology calls for the use of existing wireline
infrastructure to create an area of up to 300 feet around
payphone locations where business travelers can access the
Internet to download data. inCode's plan calls for payphones in
high traffic areas to be fitted with Wi-Fi technology. Typical
locations include airports, train stations, hotels, convention
centers and corporate campuses.
***Motorola, Avaya, and Proxim Collaborate
Motorola Inc., Avaya Inc., and Proxim Corporation today
they will collaborate on the creation and deployment of converged
cellular, Wireless Local Area Networking (WLAN), and Internet
Protocol (IP) Telephony solutions. These solutions will be
enabled by an array of new products including a Wi-Fi/cellular
dual-system phone from Motorola, Session Initiation Protocol
(SIP)-enabled IP Telephony software from Avaya, and voice enabled
WLAN infrastructure from Proxim.
The jointly-developed, standards-based solutions will support
contiguous voice and data service to users across enterprise
networks, public cellular networks, and public hotspot WLANs,
based on 802.11 technology (Wi-Fi). The partners believe the
convergence of these technologies will enable businesses to gain
cost savings, user efficiencies, and enhanced communications
Cost-savings can be achieved through reduced network management
expenses, lower usage charges and device consolidation. User
efficiencies can result from increased accessibility to the
business network and greater mobility, through wireless access to
business networks, applications, and information. Enhanced
communications capabilities can include on-demand conference
calling, and speech access to business applications such as
email, calendars and corporate directories.
The IP Telephony application is enabled by Avaya MultiVantage
Software. Motorola will create network Mobility Management
components that control the hand-off between local (WLAN) and
cellular networks. Proxim will provide voice-enabled Wi-Fi WLAN
infrastructure, quality of service software, and centralized
management systems to facilitate hand-offs between access points.
Voice-enabled Wi-Fi WLAN infrastructure from Proxim and
SIP- enabled communications applications from Avaya are expected to be
made available early in 2003, establishing a ready base for
converged communications. Trials of the joint solution are
expected to begin in the second half of 2003.
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