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Archive for the ‘Internet of Things’ Category

July 31st, 2015

Social-Local-Mobile Wi-Fi is Here New Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Aware Adds Proximity-Based, Peer-to-Peer Services

By Jawad Haider, Senior Product Marketing Manager of Wireless Connectivity Business Unit

Have you ever been in a situation where you went out with your family or group of friends/colleagues to a crowded venue (think picnic, movies, trade show, shopping mall) and you ended up getting separated? You tried calling and texting each other, but the network was congested. You even thought of sharing your location via WhatsApp, but there wasn’t an Internet connection for that to happen!  You couldn’t help feeling, “If only wireless connectivity could be easier!”

The new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Aware™, announced July 14 by the Wi-Fi Alliance, has a solution for that problem. Mobile devices are about to become truly “local” and “social.” What that means is that all mobile devices which are Wi-Fi Aware-capable will be able to discover each other and initiate “interactions” with each other in a pure peer-to-peer fashion. By interactions, I mean services and applications that we already use today on our phones like social networking, gaming, maps, VOIP chat, targeted ads and coupons. All these applications today need some form of Internet connectivity in order to run. Wi-Fi Aware provides for a mechanism for users to initiate interactions with people and services in their “proximity” without the need to be connected to a Wireless Access Point. Common examples might include friend-finder, social gaming, walkie-talkie or a product locater inside a marketplace.

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Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WI-FI Aware is a new certification program for a new capability of Wi-Fi previously known as “Neighbor Awareness Networking” (NAN). Wi-Fi Aware enables a unique peer-to-peer technology that does not require real-time connection to a Wi-Fi infrastructure, server, GPS or other geo-location, but instead uses direct device-to-device Wi-Fi to discover and exchange information. It enables devices to discover nearby information and services before even making a connection. Wi-Fi Aware makes social/local/mobile applications more useful and personalized, and works well in crowded environments. It is designed for power efficiency.

Marvell demonstrated sample NAN capabilities earlier this year at Mobile World Congress. The demo was used in the context of a navigation application, which traditionally has huge challenges operating indoors. Using two Marvell-powered smartphones, one user could discover his nearby colleague and use the mapping application via a Wi-Fi Direct connection to navigate right to him.

Wi-Fi™ Aware extends Wi-Fi’s capabilities with a real-time, energy-efficient discovery mechanism that will allow a multitude of proximity-based applications.  The Marvell Avastar family of wireless connectivity chipsets supports the Wi-Fi Alliance NAN Specification and we hope to be Wi-Fi Aware-certified soon.  In fact, Marvell’s recently announced Avastar Marvell 88W8997 chipset already supports the industry’s most advanced connectivity feature sets including 802.11mc, an IEEE standard for precise indoor location; BLE Angle of Arrival/Angle of Departure based on Bluetooth SIG standards and Multi-User MIMO for robust wireless connectivity. These advanced features, combined with Wi-Fi Aware, will allow our customers to build exciting new products and enable application developers to add a whole new dimension to how mobile devices interact with each other. This will open the door to truly Social & Local mobile applications. So with the new Wi-Fi Aware, if you aren’t sure where you want to go next, I’m sure there will be an app right around the corner that will help you.

July 21st, 2015

Glimpses of the Connected Car of the Future

By Alex Tan, Director, Automotive Solutions Group

We’ve already seen integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in cars and applications integrated into the user console. We’ve also seen Google’s fleet of prototype autonomous or “self-driving” cars. But a car that can fix itself? That’s just one of the many new transformations on the horizon when the Internet of Things meets the Connected Car. We will explore how connectivity will drive transformation in automotive infotainment technology, much like smartphones transformed telecommunications.

The idea of a connected car is all about making data available, both within the car and with the external world. For example, car manufacturers will be able to improve automobile quality by getting real-time data from individual vehicles and providing corrective updates when problems are identified. In addition, auto manufacturers are looking at completely new ways to use connectivity to make vehicles safer or improve the functionality of the car after it leaves the dealership. Tesla is a good example of this having recently introduced a firmware update that actually added new features, such as adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection. Imagine having the latest automotive features available to you AFTER you purchase the car. Consumers will no longer experience automotive obsolescence the second they leave the lot. It also allows auto manufacturers to strengthen ties with their customers.

auto-diagram

There are also substantial changes in store for the internal vehicle data networks. Current systems use a combination of proprietary low-speed or single-purpose communication busses. Next-generation architectures are converting to an IP-based network using Ethernet hardware. This allows massive amounts of data to be easily sent between the various domains inside the vehicle and with external devices. Examples of this type of data include information from the body electronics components, commands on the control systems, multimedia information from the infotainment system and camera/sensor data for the Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS). For instance, video and application data from smart phones and the Internet can be distributed within the car and car information and video data can be sent outside of the vehicle and used in a variety of ways.  Examples might include combining an IP-based vehicle’s camera data, alarm system and LTE to get uploads of pictures surrounding the car when the alarm is triggered. Or, with self-driving cars, who needs the valet? Vehicles can unload passengers and then head to a designated parking area awaiting summons from a smartphone for pick up. (Question: Do I tip my car?)

In Europe, an initial set of technical specifications for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications, based on IEEE802.11P Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE), has already been created. The primary goal of this technology is to reduce traffic accidents and improve traffic throughput by allowing cars to communicate with each other in the case of accidents and congestion. V2V could also be used to improve traffic control, collect tolls or aid in police enforcement. Widespread adoption is needed for this to work, as well as addressing privacy concerns.

These are just some of the ways car connectivity will change the driving experience. Marvell is leveraging its strength in wireless and Ethernet technology to develop the latest high-quality AECQ100-qualified automotive products and solutions. To see what’s coming in automotive infotainment, wired/wireless connectivity and next-generation architecture platforms, join us at the 2015 IEEE-SA Ethernet & IP @ Automotive Technology Day that will be held in Yokohama, Japan October 27-28 — because when you see the latest in automotive connectivity semiconductor technology, you will get a glimpse of the Connected Cars of the future.

May 8th, 2015

Marvell Takes Home a Win from TV Connect Industry Awards for Best Component or Enabler

By Edward Silva, Senior Product Manager, Multimedia Solutions and IoT business units

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Marvell’s ARMADA 1500 PRO 4K (88DE3214) was recently honored with the Best Component or Enabler Award by TV Connect during a memorable night at the iconic Gherkin in Central London on April 29, 2015. The prestigious award ceremony, now in its 11th year, celebrates excellence, innovation and achievements in the global IP, TV and connected entertainment markets. TV Connect judges representing leading telco, satellite, cable service providers, content owners and industry research firms independently selected Marvell for excellence from amongst a highly competitive field of technology providers from around the world.

The Pay TV is undergoing significant transformation as service providers upgrade their set-top boxes (STBs) to meet consumer demand for Ultra HD content and seamless entertainment experience across all their screens. Marvell’s innovative, powerful ARMADA 1500 PRO 4K system-on-chip (SoC) platform including Android TV SDK enables service providers to cost effectively deploy small, elegant STBs and add the Android ecosystem with the broadest support for third party games and apps made for TV. This opens up the TV operator ecosystem to new revenue streams, built in stores, and intuitive operator branded UI across its mobile and TV screens with a seamless multi-screen experience. This award underscores Marvell’s continued leadership in providing the best-in-class multi-media solution available today.

Winners at this year’s TV Connect Awards also included Marvell’s partners and customers – iFeelSmart and Swisscom’s AG with TV 2.0 who were awarded “Best TV Experience Enhancement” and “Best Multi-screen TV Service,” respectively. It has certainly been a thrilling experience to work closely with our partners to stay ahead of market demands and put together a consumer product that offers a truly entertaining TV service.

The ARMADA 1500 Pro 4K family is powering two very successful operator set-top box deployments. LG Uplus with 2.3M IPTV subscribers in Korea launched their Ultra HD service in October 2014 and recently announced they had 125,000 UHD subscribers as of end of March 2015 leading tBboxhe Korea market.  Bouygues Telecom’s Bbox Miami is another shining example of a transformative TV experience possible when built upon the Marvell ARMADA 1500 Pro family and relies heavily on its 14K DMIPs quad core ARM CPU, Vivante GC3000 GPU, robust security processor to offer all-in-one STB with intuitive iFeelSmart UI, premium live TV, FTA terrestrial, OTT, and TV applications/games through Google Play.

Winning TV Connect’s Award validates the ARMADA 1500 Pro 4K value proposition that operators are looking for: an immersive multi-screen entertainment experience for consumers that is both cost effective and built with highest levels of security.  We look forward to our continued collaboration with Pay TV industry leaders in extending the smart, connected lifestyle to the TV.

March 2nd, 2015

Marvell enables Prinics to deliver PicKit M1, a class leading low power compact hand-held Mobile Photo Printer

By Justin Sykes, Marketing Manager

Highest performance, lowest power, smallest footprint, most efficient solutions…

This is the constant mantra at Marvell when designing our state-of-the-art system-on-chips (SOCs), regardless of the product category. In this case, highest performance, low power, small footprint and most efficient solutions have resulted in the Marvell 88PA6120 – an ink, thermal and color laser multifunction printer SoC that Prinics has selected for its newest mobile thermal photo printer dubbed the “best picture kit in my hand.”

Prinics PrintKit M1The new Prinics PicKit M1, a handheld battery powered photo printer, is an example of a brand new fun device. The PicKit M1 is extremely easy to use thanks to the integration of NFC and WiFi direct. Touch any NFC enabled phone to the printer and it will launch the intuitive PicKit app and establish a WiFi direct connection. No NFC? No problem! Simply launch the app manually. From the app you can select from any of the pictures on the phone and print. A minute later you have a high quality 2.1”x 3.4” photo the share with friends. There is nothing like the joy of holding a real photo in your hand!

Whether at the highest end of performance, middle- or low-end of a product class, Marvell’s family of printing SoCs seek to drive down cost and improve performance of existing or new product categories. And not just at the SoC level. We don’t stop at a diverse product line and broad range of print solutions; we offer the most complete software-development kit (SDK) and solutions for traditional ink/laser/thermal and dye-sub printers, as well as for mobile and 3D printing. For example, the Marvell SDK allows OEMs faster time-to-market. Reference designs allow OEMs to capitalize on other Marvell high-performance, low-power product lines such as the Marvell Avastar™ 88W8782, a highly integrated wireless local area network (WLAN) SoC, that gives consumers highly convenient wireless print options using Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Mopria™ Print Service for Android devices or Wi-Fi local printing. Plus, Marvell’s strong cryptography and tamper protection schemes offer security and protect consumables from counterfeiting.

Here’s how Marvell’s latest high-end printing SoC delivers on best-in-class performance, footprint and cost. The Marvell 88PA6120 system-on-a-chip (SoC), offers unmatched integration, I/O connectivity and performance for traditional printing and 3D printing solutions. It combines powerful processing with a host of I/O capability and dedicated imaging hardware acceleration to deliver high performance and excellent image quality. It integrates a powerful 533MHz ARM v7-compatible processor to handle all the application processing requirements. Its super-integrated design lowers the solution part count to achieve lower cost. Marvell solutions are also highly configurable enabling a single SOC to support a wide range of ink and laser printers, MFP’s, and 3D printers.

It’s no wonder Marvell is the world’s number one supplier of printer SoCs, and the Prinics PicKit shows that there is still more innovation and growth to come in the printer market. And at Marvell, we will continue our mantra to keep at developing higher-performance, lower power, smaller footprint, lower cost SoCs.

January 16th, 2015

Search No More — Marvell Breakthrough Questflo Network Search Engine Scales Up to 8 Million Flows

By John Chiang, Director of Product Marketing

According to Cisco Forecasts¹, in three years mobile data traffic is projected to hit 11.2 exabytes per month (1 exabyte = 1 billion gigabytes) and will experience a 66 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2017.

cisco-forecast

The demand for mobile Internet and Internet of Things (IoT) are amongst the drivers of this growth, as well as wearables and automotive connectivity. Not only is there an increase in the number of services and apps being used on mobile devices, but the number of devices per person has increased as well. For example, a user may stream video, access social networking or enterprise work applications, or run any number of apps from a single mobile phone, as well as own a tablet and wearable, like an iwatch, creating even more traffic. And all of this activity must be backhauled or aggregated to the Cloud at some point, leaving network providers and carriers in a constant quest to keep up with this explosive growth while providing high Quality of Service levels and enhanced security.

Today’s Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM)-based solutions are unable to address the future scaling requirements of bandwidth and service to keep up with the explosive growth. The industry has been tinkering around with other network search engine solutions, yet none have been able to satisfy on all fronts: performance, density, power, cost, form factor and reliability. SRAM-based solutions to date have not offered the performance needed for such applications, and TCAMs that are added to gain more density become costly and run hot, exceeding the expected power and thermal and requirements of these networking systems.

Another driver is the shift from a forwarding paradigm to a flow-based management paradigm, where new services may not be IPv4- or IPv6 protocol-driven but protocol independent. New classes of Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platforms will require such flexibilities at high capacity with deterministic latency and throughput to support these networks of the future.

Marvell recently announced, a major technology breakthrough with its Oct. 20 introduction of the Marvell Questflo™ 98TX1100, a groundbreaking Static Random Access Memory (SRAM)-based network search engine that delivers 4X capacity at 1/3 the power consumption to address the needs of next generation networking equipment. Targeted for the design of carrier and enterprise service/edge routers, security appliances, network probes, data center switches, servers, load balancers and the new classes of SDN and NFV platforms, the Questflo 98TX1100 is scalable to 8 million flow entries and can make 2.4 billion decisions per second. In addition to offering the performance and density needed, the Marvell solution operates at only 25W. When combined with a Marvell Xelerated 400 Gbps wire-speed network processor produces and ARMADA XP ARM-based embedded control processor, the new network search engine from Marvell provides a complete solution architecture to help next-generation equipment providers collectively support the exponential growth of mobile and IoT devices.

questflo-diagram

This Marvell breakthrough was summed up well by Bob Wheeler, Principal Analyst for Networking at The Linley Group: “As next-generation networking equipment adopts new paradigms based on highly flexible and highly scalable flow-based services, Marvell is entering the market as a credible supplier of network search technology. The magnitude of scaling required by these new equipment designs can only be realized using innovative new approaches like that represented by Questflo.”

By addressing the needs of next-generation networking equipment on all fronts – performance, density, power, cost, form factor and reliability – we believe the search for the next-generation search engine is over, the answer is Questflo.

¹Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012–2017, © 2013 Cisco

November 17th, 2014

Kinoma Create Officially Launched!

By Rachel Bennett, Kinoma Marketing Communications Director

Kinoma Create officially launched on October 21st with a week of activities: conferences, public speaking, exhibiting, and celebrating. It was the culmination of months of listening to early adopters, iterating the product, priming the pump with industry event participation, refining the development tools, and building out the developer support system.

When you have the backing of enthusiastic crowdfunders, and you’re as committed to completely rethinking product prototyping as we are, it’s a labor of love.

IOTAconf

We kicked off launch week with participation in IOTAconf at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Our booth was popular with attendees excited to apply their JavaScript skills for a better way to experiment in hardware.

Andy Carle, Kinoma Create product lead, delivered a talk titled, “Mind the Gap: JavaScript for IoT, from Concept to Production.” IOTAconf attendees joined this session to get inspired by prototyping and design iteration, and to learn how JavaScript is taking its rightful place as a programming language for IoT product development.

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Gigaom Structure Connect

Over at the Mission Bay Conference Center, the team launched Kinoma Create as part of Gigaom Structure Connect. Peter Hoddie took to the main stage to share our firsthand “How We Built It” experience, focusing on the critical prototyping phase of creating a product. Our talk was foreshadowed in a by-lined article penned for Gigaom’s editorial site.

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Marvell was a proud sponsor of Garage@Connect, a program within the event that showcased startup companies and their very new product concepts. As part of this, Peter introduced Garage@Connect to attendees, encouraging them to consider the garage–a storied place of tech innovation–as a state of mind rather than a physical location.

Throughout the event, we were able to talk one-on-one with attendees who visited our table. Many were interested in Kinoma Create as a product from Marvell, offering them a path from prototype to mass production.

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The launch of Kinoma Create also got the attention of the media, and we were able to conduct several press interviews while at the event.

Gigaom Structure Connect was a valued opportunity to connect directly with those interested in a complete re-think of IoT product prototyping.

We closed out the event by participating on a panel with other speakers.

Kinoma Create Cake

Topping off a very active launch week, we held a little celebration with the wider Marvell team that in various ways contributed to the making of Kinoma Create.

And what better way to celebrate than with a cake that looked exactly like the device?

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November 10th, 2014

Enjoying the New Fall TV Season?—Just Wait Until You See What’s in Store for Next Year

By Gaurav Shah, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, MultiMedia Solutions & IoT BU

1500-Pro-Ultra-4kWith football and the fall TV season upon us, TV is on a lot of people’s minds right now as they wait for their favorite shows to start again. But what do service providers and multiple system operators (MSOs) have in store for users, and what technology will be driving the newest TV trends next fall, or the fall season after that?

One of the big trends is Ultra HD or 4K TV platforms. According to CNET’s definition, Ultra HD is resolution greater than HD, which today most commonly means a horizontal resolution of 3,840 and a vertical resolution of 2,160. This is four times the resolution of 1080p, which is 1,920×1,080. Officially, Ultra HD is a minimum of 3,820×2,160, also known as Quad HD. It also includes cinema 4K (4,096×2,160) and future resolutions like “8K,” or 7,680x 4,320.

The value and the quality of Ultra HD will be most noticeable on TVs with screen sizes larger than 50 inches. According to Business Insider (Sept. 2, 2014), it is predicted that 4K-capable TVs will be in 10 percent of all North American households by year-end 2018. In Fact, there are some companies, especially TV OEMs, who feel that their mix of UHD vs FHD, will be tilted in favor of UHD, as early as 2018.

In addition to the bigger screens and higher 4K Ultra-HD resolution, the push for content over open platforms is expected to continue to gain momentum, much like what was seen in the smart phone market. Just like Android has tilted the percentages to twice that of the proprietary smart phones, Android TV could also see the same growth, or even dominance, as users move to more Over the Top (OTT) programming, such as from Netflix or Hulu, instead of or in addition to, their traditional and paid TV viewing. Business Insider, in the same Sept. 2 report, indeed predicts that the first wave of 4K content will become available on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Instant and YouTube, but also looks at how cable and traditional TV broadcasters will adopt the new format, as well as the obstacles they face as broadcasters. Starting Oct 12, 2014, Netflix member’s access to Ultra HD now requires a “platinum” plan, which costs $11.99 per month. This 4K service only functions with TVs that support the UHD HEVC format. Android TV will also bring in the capability of allowing the content they desire on their phones or in their homes.

This is where platform companies, like Marvell, push the technology limits, so service providers and MSOs can offer innovative and compelling viewing offerings. Marvell was an early proponent in the development and evangelization of the Android TV platform, and recently introduced at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam its innovative new ARMADA™ 1500 PRO quad-core 4 Ultra HD SoC (88DE3214.) This sophisticated Ultra HD SoC delivers demand-based performance and leverages know-how from Marvell’s expertise in mobile platforms to enable Service Operators to offer cost-effective and elegant form factor devices to the consumer.

Marvell not only addresses the higher resolution with 60 frame-per-second 10-bit HEVC video decode, but has up to 12K DMIPs Quad Core ARM CPUs, so operators can deploy rich media/web-based TV applications. There’s also a multi-core GPU with 8 shader Vivante GC3000 to enable a compelling UI and provide the requisite horsepower for console-class gaming apps. The robust features of the ARMADA 1500 PRO platform truly provide an immersive gaming and digital content experience and enable converged LiveTV, OTT and gaming.

In addition, Marvell has also addressed another key element: Security. Marvell’s SoCs for consumer platforms, such as Set-top boxes, Digital TVs, Dongles, etc., have always placed a huge emphasis on security. Content is and always will be king, and the protection of that content is of paramount importance. With the imminent deployment, and eventual proliferation, of Ultra HD content, Marvell teamed with Verimatrix to bring premium content security with support for video watermarking (VCAS) to a new breed of STB platforms that mix OTT, IP and broadcast services alongside entertainment-centric TV applications. With Marvell’s ARMADA 1500 PRO 4K enhanced security engine with TrustZone® support, Marvell offers a robust secure processor with Trusted Rendering Path to meet the strict and evolving guidelines for premium content.

It is no wonder that Bouygues Telecom, a full-service electronic communications operators, in partnership with Marvell, announced a 4K version of their Android “Miami” TV box. As a result, Bouygues Telecom customers will get to enjoy unequalled image quality in 4K, as soon as compatible content is released in French offers.

While this season’s Fall TV schedule is upon us, you can see the landscape for even more exciting things to come are already on the horizon. Marvell is excited to be at the technology forefront of “must-see” TV.