Category: Favorite companies

Neonode to turn OLPC Pixel Qi Laptops into Tablets

Posted by – July 27, 2012

Neonode announced today a licencing agreement with the One Laptop Per Child project, turning a new version of the OLPC XO 1.75 Marvell Armada 600 ARM Powered Laptop into a tablet. Keeping the exact same form factor, keeping the exact same readability, keeping the same screen bezel form factor but adding in there the cheap Neonode IR based touch-screen technology. One Laptop Per Child thus far have shipped over 2.5 million Pixel Qi Laptops to Children in about 50 mostly developing countries worldwide. OLPC is still the biggest deployment of Pixel Qi screens worldwide, until someone as Google, Amazon or Apple comes in and gets it mass manufactured for commercial Tablet use. To keep the best possible readability, the least possible reflections in sunlight, using Neonode's IR touch screen technology may be the best idea for the future of Tablets and Smartphones instead of capacitive.

Here's the press release:

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – July 26, 2012 – Neonode Inc., (NASDAQ:NEON), the MultiSensing touch technology company, announced today a licensing agreement with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), a non-profit organization that designs, manufactures, and distributes laptops to children worldwide, to embed Neonode’s MultiSensing™ touch technology into the next generation of OLPC’s XO-1.75 laptop, called the XO Touch. The innovative OLPC XO Touch 1.75 is a 7.5” combined laptop and tablet that has a Dual-Mode (sunlight-readable) TFT LCD display which rotates 180 degrees and folds flat over the keyboard for tablet/e-book or game mode.

Embedding the Neonode MultiSensing touch solution will allow OLPC to build a completely new type of rugged laptop-tablet that is extremely fast, cost efficient and energy saving, offering 100% visibility in bright sunlight. This is done without compromising the quality of the first-rate user experience, in full color, and with the highest resolution possible, i.e., 300 dpi. The Neonode MultiSensing technology consists of a state-of-the-art interactive touch user interface that includes gestures, multi-touch, and sweeps at an extraordinary scanning speed of 1000 Hz. Thanks to the energy efficient engineering, consuming just 2W, the XO Touch can be powered through alternative power generators like solar cells or even hand cranks. In addition, Neonode’s green engineering feature AlwaysON™, enables full gesture activated wake-up of the XO Touch when it is in sleep or off mode.

OLPC, created by faculty members from the MIT Media Lab, sells the laptops in large quantities to governments and private institutions around the world, that in turn issue them to children or schools on a basis of one laptop per child.

“We are honored to be collaborating with OLPC to produce the XO Touch, a truly pioneering and sustainable device that shows the broad versatility of our technology. This market entry confirms that our MultiSensing technology makes it possible to create a top class product that is both affordable and extremely energy saving and still has a user interface that is radical enough to satisfy the uncompromising demands of knowledge and entertainment thirsty children” says Thomas Eriksson, CEO Neonode. “Our company philosophy is to contribute to a better and happier world, and we have the opportunity to do so by supporting OLPC’s mission”

“OLPC is proud to partner with an organization that shares its appreciation for innovative and transformative technology. Neonode’s expertise in engineering and design will turn the XO Touch, which combines the best features of laptop and tablet, into a next-level innovative machine.” said Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at OLPC

See how awesome Neonode's touch-screen technology looks outdoors in sunlight on a Pixel Qi tablet in this video I filmed in May 2011:

Here's my video filmed with Neonode last February:

E Ink/Hydis and Sharp announce cross-licensing agreement for LCD manufacturing

Posted by – July 14, 2012

My guess is maybe they plan to combine Sharp's Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) with Hydis's Advanced Fringe Field Switching (AFFS) for LCD screen manufacturing. The cross-licensing agreement lasts 10 years from now.

Here's the press release:

July 12, 2012, Hsinchu, Taiwan – E Ink® Holdings (8069.TW), the leading developer
and  marketer  of  electronic  paper  display  technologies and  FFS  LCD  technologies,
today  announced  that  the  company and  its South  Korean  subsidiary  Hydis
Technologies,  have  each signed  a  patent  cross‐licensing  agreement  for  TFT  LCD
products with Sharp Corporation of Japan.

Under the  terms of each Agreement, which will be in effect  for  ten  (10)  years,  the
two parties will be able  to use certain proprietary  technologies of  the other in the
manufacturing of LCDs.   The agreements make provision for the payment of patent
licensing royalty.  In addition, during the effective period of the Agreements, the two
sides  will  maintain  patent  peace  to  exempt  each  Company and  their customers'
operations  from patent  interference  and  allow each  of  the  parties  to  focus  on
business development.

Hydis’ Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology is currently used in LCD‐based tablet
PCs, smart  phones,  and  other  high‐end  handheld  devices.    LCDs  using  FFS
technology provide users with a wide viewing angle, high contrast, high‐resolution
display with  the  benefit  of  lower  power  consumption and  is  superior  to  other
similar wide  viewing  angle  technologies in  the market.   Hydis FFS  technology has
been  licensed  to  other prominent LCD  manufacturers  in  the  past,  and  these new
agreements will continue to broaden the use of the technology.  Future applications
of the FFS technology include notebook computers and television, markets in which
the potential growth for utilizing Hydis’ FFS technology remain huge.

“We  are  very  excited  about  these agreements with  Sharp,”  stated  Scott  Liu,
Chairman  of  E  Ink  Holdings.    “FFS  technology  can  greatly  enhance  a  user’s  LCD
experience,  and licensing  to  other leading  LCD makers will  allow  us  to  reach  new
markets and customers.”

E Ink Booth Tour at SID 2012

Posted by – July 12, 2012

E Ink CMO Sri Peruvemba shows new products and concepts from E Ink and their partners, including traffic lights, crosswalks, kayak and bike computers, and various signage.

Source: E Ink's YouTube Channel

My Google I/O (June 27-29th) predictions

Posted by – June 26, 2012

1. Nexus Tablet, 7" preferably with Pixel Qi LCD to merge Tablets with E-readers. Keyboard dock for Chrome productivity.

2. Android Jelly Bean launched, feature major new features and integrates Linaro code talked about in my video Linaro improvements to Android 4.0.4 performance on the Pandaboard TI OMAP4430 platform for speed optimizations. Most important feature I think is the merger of Smartphone, Tablet, Google TV Set-top-box, E-reader, Chromebook with final fully optimized Chrome on Android on ARM, full Desktop/Laptop level Chrome on ARM Android browsing.

3. Google upgrades Cloud Computing platform to support and host php/mysql web apps such as wordpress, phpbb, mediawiki, Google hosts it for free with unlimited bandwidth when AdSense is used on every page.

4. Google Entertainment System (GES) is launched. It's a layer to turn all Android HDMI/MHL devices and Set-top-boxes into full home console gaming machines that can rival Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft as home consoles. Consider Google to launch the Google Entertainment System for $49 with HDMI out only and up to $99 with a full Google TV HDMI input/output and IR blaster functionality. It's ARM Powered, it's powerful enough to replace your Desktop computer outputting a full Chrome browser on your HDTV/Monitor and using Bluetooth or RF keyboard/mice. It includes the new RF signal to manage Android@Home, thus turning your home into an intelligent connected platform. Consider it a sort of Nexus device to show how Google TV should be done, to show home Android@Home should be done, to show how Android can be used to challenge home consoles, to show how ARM Powered Chromeboxes should be done and to show how the Google Android Hub system for WiFi, White Spaces should be done.

5. Google+ launches major Recommendation/Personalization functionality. Consider the web will no longer be the same. You'll have a totally new experience of web content through a new version of Google+ that is able to provide automatic streams for you based on the items you +1. Finally, the + in Google+ is going to be making full sense. Finally the +1 button is going to be used and everyone will instantly understand the meaning of using the +1 button, it is to teach Google what you like and have Google show you better content automatically. It'll be absolutely revolutionary. A totally new way to surface quality on the web. You don't need a lot of followers, you don't need to be famous, you don't need to be viral, soon after you post quality/original content on the web it can automatically reach the deserved audience. Who circles who will make less and less sense. HD Google+ Hangouts (up to 1080p high bitrates) are added as an enterprise on-demand perhaps paid feature.

6. Google may open up Android development process after Jelly Bean. Consider it Google opening up nightly Android advancements to the rest of the world and taking in more upstream suggestions for Android improvements from the open source community in General. As part of Google's anti-fragmentation effort, Google can announce real-time collaboration in the development of future versions of Android, so new versions of Android reach more devices sooner using over-the-air upgrade systems worldwide. Expect Google to announce Android's total daily activations number to be well above 1.5 million if all Android devices are included in the count, meaning not limiting the count to Google Certified devices, but also include all Chinese devices sold not only in China, also sold in India, Brazil and worldwide. Google can announce that Android tablets daily activations also have overtaken the iPad since December 2011, again if all Android tablets are included in the count, also including the millions of non-certified Chinese Android tablets such as the $55 Android ICS tablets featured in my video: $55 AllWinner Boxchip A13 Tablet Factory Tour

7. Google Project Glass to be released before the end of the year. It's not just the Google reference hardware, it's more importantly about a software layer on top of Android optimized for Augmented Reality usages to be used hands-free using any heads-up microdisplay including the Kopin Golden-i that I filmed and that I have been using since October last year: Motorola Kopin Golden-i at CES 2012 I think it's just a layer of new APIs for Android apps to function well in a hands-free headmounted mode, using Google Voice Actions for voice-commands, using the accelerometer, compass, and all other usual sensors and thus simply providing an optimized Android Home Replacement and APIs for that. The first Google Glass compatible devices can be released from $199 to $499 before the end of this year.

8. Google's Self-driving car system should be targeted as sub-$2000 add-on that can be added to any car. Just add some sensors and cameras to the roof of your car, and insert some electronics to the driving system of your car, and it should be turned into a Google Self-driving car. Google can announce partnerships with several major car makers to include the self-driving car functionality as a sub-$2000 option to several car models, to be shipping before the end of the year.

9. $199 ARM Powered Chromebooks launched. imagine it as nice as an Ultrabook, but for $199, running a full speed Chrome OS on one of the latest ARM processors, for example TI OMAP4470, Tegra3, Exynos4412, HiSilicon K3V2, Qualcomm S4, and more. 20-hour battery life. 100% security using ARM TrustZone. Speed is way faster than Intel Atom Chromebooks, browsing speed is comparable to any $1000 Ultrabook.

What else are you expecting from Google at I/O this year?

You can discuss this thread on Google+: https://plus.google.com/106075758531242552855/posts/Sx8ttoic3NJ

Geniatech Headquarters in Shenzhen

Posted by – June 18, 2012

Geniatech is the leader in AmLogic based Android set-top-boxes, take a look inside their Shenzhen headquarters. I previously filmed the latest products from Geniatech at Computex 2012, CES 2012, China Sourcing Fair 2011 and CES 2011.

ARM and AMD partner for TrustZone security and for the future of Heterogeneous Computing

Posted by – June 17, 2012

This is not yet AMD announcing the licencing of ARM Cortex-A15, Cortex-A7, big.LITTLE, Mali-T658 and ARMv8, but it's a big deal for ARM and AMD to jointly announce two new major partnerships in one week.

Read the news about AMD using ARM TrustZone ARM Cortex-A5 for security on future AMD Powered Laptops/Desktops

Read the news about ARM, AMD, TI, MediaTek, Imagination forming the new Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation

Basically, ARM TrustZone (2) nears becoming the world standard to 100% safely replace online passwords and to securely authenticate everyone online. And ARM and AMD really want to make it easier for developers to use all chips on an SoC for attaining a maximum performance, thus enabling broad GPGPU compute etc.

Geniatech HDMI stick and AmLogic AML8726-MX Dual-core Set-top-box

Posted by – June 11, 2012

Geniatech probably is one of the lead partners of AmLogic in the Set-top-box space, here also presenting the first AmLogic based HDMI stick.

Pixel Qi at Computex 2012

Posted by – June 5, 2012

Pixel Qi has a bunch of customers doing tablets and laptops for Military and Industrial use such as the Orchard Inc Toughblet and the InHand Hydra T3 but they are not yet able to announce big orders from some of the major consumer oriented tablet makers. I'm hoping for the Google Nexus Tablet or the next Kindle to use Pixel Qi, but for any eventual announcements on that we'll have to wait further.

ARM Press Conference at Computex 2012

Posted by – June 5, 2012

Graham Budd, Chief Operating Officer and Simon Segars, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Processor and Physical IP Division talk about the status of the ARM ecosystem and industry.

Hydis launches new touchscreen technology: On-Cell Touch for LCD

Posted by – May 31, 2012

Here is the press release:

-South Korea-based TFT-LCD panel maker Hydis Technologies, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based E Ink Holdings Inc., today announced that they will add on-cell touch screen panel (TSP) technology to their LCD portfolio of offerings.

“With on-cell touch, we are able to combine the best LCD in the world with a touch technology that offers better performance at lower cost.”

Hydis is able to offer the TSP technology with on-cell touch, which provides the customer a slim and lightweight form factor, with the added benefit of lower cost versus traditional touch technologies. The touch functionality is embedded within the display itself rather than as a separate component atop the display. This results in more precise touch with better optics due to reduction in parallax errors. In addition, LCDs with this touch technology consumes less power and can take advantage of cost reductions in manufacturing due to the reduction of a glass layer and the alleviation of the need for a separate touch panel supplier.

Hydis will begin offering the on-cell technology to the smartphone and tablet markets beginning this month. Hydis is perhaps best known as the inventors and providers of Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology, which is featured in many smartphones and most tablets currently in the market. FFS LCD provides a wider viewing angle and color gamut, consumes less power and offers better high ambient readability than traditional LCDs. Hydis’ publicly announced customers include Dell, HP, Lenovo, Kobo & Siemens, among others.

“Hydis’ FFS technology is preferred by Tablet and Smart phone makers worldwide,” said Johnson Lee, Chairman of Hydis Technologies. “With on-cell touch, we are able to combine the best LCD in the world with a touch technology that offers better performance at lower cost.”

Is this new touch screen technology really better and cheaper than capacitive? Hydis's Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology is already in use by for example the iPad and other popular LCD tablets. Does it support multi-touch? Does it support pen input? Is it really more precise than capacitive? I look forward to try it out. Perhaps Hydis will show it off at Computex next week? I'll be video-blogging 50 or more videos from Computex next week so check back for those.