SATA-IO µSSD Standard for Embedded Solid State Drives

The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) recently announced a new standard for embedded solid state drives (SSDs) called “SATA µSSD”. This standard offers high-performance, low-cost, embedded storage solution for mobile computing platforms like ultra-thin laptops. The µSSD specification eliminates the module connector from the traditional SATA Interface, allowing drives to be manufactured in single ball grid array (BGA) packages that sit directly on a motherboard. The new µSSD standard should be part of the SATA Specification. However, it does not seem to be in the latest SATA Specification (Revision 3.1) released in July 2011. This specification is available free of charge to members. For non-member, it can be purchased here for 25 USD. Sandisk is currently the only company providing products that follows the µSSD  standard with its iSSD™ integrated storage device offering capacities of 8, 16,32, 64 & 128 GB and transfer throughput of up to 450MB/s via a SATA III 6Gbit/s interface. Please note that the Sandisk iSSD …

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HbbTV: Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV

HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) is a new European standard for web-based smart TV applications for TVs and set-top boxes.  Services and applications delivered via HbbTV include traditional broadcast TV channels, catch-up services, video-on-demand, EPG, interactive advertising, personalisation, voting, games, social networking and other multimedia applications. The latest version of the HbbTV specification is 1.1.1 and can normally be downloaded after registering on ETSI website. The official nomenclature of the specification is ETSI TS 102 796. It is also directly available at the following link – http://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_ts/102700_102799/102796/01.01.01_60/ts_102796v010101p.pdf The HbbTV specification is based on existing standards and web technologies including OIPF (Open IPTV Forum), CEA, DVB and W3C. HbbTV Specifications specifically makes use of the following standards: CEA-2014 – Web-based Protocol and Framework for Remote User Interface on UPnP Networks and the Internet (Web4CE), also known as CE-HTML. Open IPTV Forum Release 1 Volume 5 – Declarative Application Environment of the Open IPTV Forum. TS 102 809 (aka DVB Blue Book …

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Freescale Wireless Charging Systems

Freescale showcased two wireless charging systems at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelena. The first product – Energizer’ InductiveCharger – is  based on Freescale MC56F8006VLC and follows the Qi 1.0 Wireless Charging Standard. You simply need to use a specific casing (with a wireless power receiver) for your mobile device that integrates the necessary hardware to “communicate” with the power pad. The second product – PowerMat – is based on Freescale MC9S08Q2 andMC9S08K4 to provide intelligent control in the charging mat and phone receiver. It does not follow the Qi standard but works basically the same way. Both systems are available on the market and can be purchased on Amazon and other retailers. You’ll normally need to buy two pieces, the mat and the casing for your phone (for around 75 to 100 USD). Powermat also have one position mat together with the receiver for 37 USD. Watch the video below for a demo of those two wireless charging systems. …

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MHL: Mobile High Definition Link

Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) is a new standard that allows to connect your MHL-enabled phone to an MHL-enabled device (e.g. a TV) to output video, connect power and allows communication between both device with only one cable (micro-usb to HDMI cable with MHL signalling). The MHL Consortium has just been setup last year by Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, Silicon Image and Nokia. The MHL™ Consortium is committed to enhancing the multimedia capabilities of mobile and portable devices. MHL specification version 1.0 is an HD video and digital audio interface for connecting mobile phones and portable devices to HDTVs and other home entertainment products. It utilizes established connectors and features a single cable with a 5-pin interface, supports 1080p HD video and digital audio, and simultaneously provides power to the mobile device. It also enables the TV remote to control the mobile phone and access its contents. They have a few devices that will be MHL compatible soon, but the only …

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Near Field Communication (NFC) in Public Transport

The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, has recently published a White Paper entitled “NFC in Public Transport” and show how you can leverage NFC technology in such environment. The whitepaper mainly focuses on mobile phones, readers and smart posters. If you need an introduction about NFC, including starting points for developing hardware and software, please read our previous blog entry first. What can NFC do in public transport ? After a short NFC introduction, the whitepaper deals with the possible applications related to public transport including: Transport timetables Link to an up-to-date weather report website Special discounted travel offers Location relevant maps Next bus arrival time Taxi services Emergency calls Phone-to-phone transfer of destination addresses and maps to taxi driver and how NFC can be used before the journey (e.g. paying for parking, using smart poster for products/services promotions and discounts…), during the journey (e.g. paying for tickets,  exchange …

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SATA-IO Universal Storage Module (USM) Standard

The Serial ATA International Organization (Sata-IO) announced the Universal Storage Module (USM) standard at CES 2011. This standard mainly defines mechanical characteristics and some electrical specs for hard drives so that they can be connected to devices (PC, laptops, tablets, televisions, media players, set-top boxes…) via a slot without the need to have an extra cable. This also allows a SATA harddisk to be used as a USB harddrive via a standard adapter. Later on this will also support other connection standards such as Firewire. The specifications will only support 2.5″ HDD, not the larger 3.5″.  Those specifications are not publicly available yet (Target: 1H 2011) since they are still developing them. In the mean time you can check the FAQ (below) and have a look a the USM presentation slides. Seagate showcased their GoFlex design based on the USM specs where you can see the forum factor of the SATA drive (that will be inserted in a slot) and a …

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Digital Signage Standard: Open Pluggable Specification (OPS)

A while ago, we discussed about Popai Digital Signage Standards, mainly focused on software and client/server interoperability. Intel has just released a new standard for Digital Signage: Open Pluggable Specification (OPS). Here’s the description of the specification on Intel website. The Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) helps standardize the design and development of digital signage devices and pluggable media players. Intel created the OPS to address digital signage market fragmentation and simplify device installation, usage, maintenance and upgrades. The OPS enables digital signage manufacturers to deploy interchangeable systems faster and in higher volumes, while lowering costs for development and implementation. Installing digital signage equipment based on Intel® architecture helps you implement scalable digital signage applications that can network easily with other equipment. This simplifies interoperability and application upgrades designed to meet the digital signage requirements of individual customers, while helping to future-proof technology investments. You’ll need to fill a form to apply to have the “privilege” to access the specification. You’ll …

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Digital Signage Standard by POPAI

Currently digital signage implementations are mainly proprietary, and that means once you choose a vendor you are stuck with it, unless you completely change your network and the way you manage your content or handles separate systems. If the digital signage industry really wants to take off some standards are needed. One of the first standard for digital signage has been released by POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising International). This first standard is to promote interoperability between different providers by defining Screen Media Formats (Click to open the standard) basically telling which video and audio codecs and containers (“Wrappers”)  and which and picture formats  should/could be supported by digital signage players and providing different levels of standard profiles and extended profiles a bit like it is done in MPEG-4 specifications. POPAI also used to provide some media samples to test your system previously available at www.popai.com/DS/ContentSamples but the link is now dead. You may have to contact them to get …

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