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Facebook's first data center outside the United States power by ABB



ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth about $11 million from Facebook Inc.'s subsidiary Pinnacle Sweden, to power its first server facility outside the United States.

ABB will build two high- and medium-voltage air- and gas-insulated switchgear substations that will supply power to a data center being built in Luleå, a coastal town in northern Sweden. The data center will be the largest of its kind in Europe.

"The substations are designed to handle the high electricity demand of such facilities" said Peter Leupp, head of ABB's Power Systems division. "They will provide reliable and quality power supply to the server buildings."

The construction of Facebook's data center will be carried out in three phases.

The facility will consist of three server buildings with a total area of 84,000 square meters, equivalent to 11 full-sized soccer fields. The first building is scheduled to become operational in December 2012, and will have a substantial need for electrical energy to power and cool its servers.

Located near the Arctic Circle, Luleå's cold climate is well suited for the natural cooling of server buildings. This, along with a stable supply of clean energy from renewable sources as well as reliable communications and electricity networks, paved the way for the choice of Luleå as a location for its new center, making it a European node for Facebook's data traffic.

ABB will also install substation automation systems compliant with the global IEC 61850 standard and equipped with the latest protection and control products. The installed capacity of the substations will exceed the city's normal consumption on cold winter days.

ABB is the world's leading supplier of turnkey air-insulated, gas-insulated and hybrid substations with voltage levels up to 1,100 kilovolts (kV). These substations facilitate the efficient and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity with minimum environmental impact, serving utility, industry and commercial customers as well as sectors like railways, urban transportation and renewables.

There is a YouTube video from ABB on data centers available here:



'World's most energy efficient' Data Center used power distribution (PDU) provides by ABB

Posted by Daniel J Su, [19, May 2014]


The data center also uses power distribution units (PDUs) from ABB. These units enable effective management of the energy consumption of the servers and improve the reliability of electrical distribution in the center.

Data centers worldwide used 80 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2010, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, equivalent to 1½ times the annual power consumption of New York City. A data center on average uses 100 times more power than an office building of the same size, making energy efficiency an important factor in data center profitability.

"ABB's PDU solutions help to more effectively manage the data center's capacity, and the energy consumption of the servers and of the cooling systems," said Academica's Vanninen.

The ABB power distribution units report when they require maintenance, which helps to reduce the number of interventions made. They can also be kept in operation while maintenance is performed, a feature that significantly reduces operational costs. Energy consumption is monitored in real time so that this can also be optimized.

"Our international experience in critical power distribution is based on decades of active development related to products, systems and services around energy efficiency," said Timo Kontturi, ABB's Sales Manager for data center industry in Finland.

ABB's offering for data centers includes motors and drives for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, which account for about half of the energy consumed in data centers. In addition, ABB has recently acquired a controlling interest in US-based Validus DC Systems, a leading provider of direct current (DC) power infrastructure equipment for energy-intensive data centers, as well as a stake in Power Assure, a developer of power management and optimization software for data centers.

Few of the tourists and faithful who gather in Uspenski Cathedral in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, are aware that banks of servers are whirring away in an underground cavern just beneath them. Academica, the information technology service company that owns the data center, is particularly proud of this facility, though not because of its unusual location.

"The data center in Katajanokka is the most energy efficient in the world," said Marko Vanninen, the company's chief executive officer.

Using sea water and heat exchangers to cool the servers, Academica's data center uses 80 percent less energy for cooling than centers that rely on traditional methods. The heat that is produced by the servers is fed into the municipal heating network


ARM & LSI form new strategic relationship to offer multicore processors for energy-efficient cloud networking applications



Posted by Daniel J Su, [12, April 2014]


LSI Corporation announced an expansion of its long-term strategic relationship with ARM, a leader in microprocessor intellectual property (IP). The agreement will lead to new product solutions designed to address critical customer needs for accelerated performance as applications such as mobile video and cloud computing dramatically increase network traffic.

LSI will gain access to:

*The broad family of ARM processors, including the ARM Cortex-A15 processor with virtualization support and future ARM processors

*ARM on-chip interconnect technology, including CoreLink cache coherent interconnect system IP, for use in multicore applications

"Customers need high-performance, power-efficient solutions to help effectively manage the unprecedented growth in network traffic being driven by smartphones, tablets and cloud-based services, without impacting user experience," said Jeff Richardson, EVP and COO, LSI.

"The integration of LSI's leadership in SoC solutions with ARM's strong ecosystem and leadership in power-efficient cores will lead to exciting new multicore-based solutions for our customers."

Power efficiency is a vital design imperative for next-generation networking product designs.

Multicore solutions based on the combination of ARM and LSI's extensive portfolio of IP will enable networking applications to satisfy the ever-increasing bandwidth demands in the most power-efficient manner.

"We are pleased to extend our long-standing relationship with LSI and help them develop next-generation, differentiated solutions based on ARM technology," said Mike Inglis, executive vice president, processor division, ARM.

"The powerful combination of ARM advanced IP and LSI's leadership in SoC design will enable networking and storage OEMs to deliver high-performance, energy-efficient products to their customers."


ABB new breakthrough order for DC technology

Posted by Daniel J Su, [24th , March 2014]  

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order from ship owner Myklebusthaug Management to supply the first ever direct current (DC) power grid on board a ship. The equipment will allow a new offshore platform support vessel, under construction in Norway, to operate at the highest energy efficiency level to minimize emissions.

In traditional electrical propulsion vessels, multiple DC connections are made to thrusters and propulsion drives from an alternating current (AC) circuit, accounting for more than 80 percent of electrical power consumption. ABB's Onboard DC Grid represents a step forward in optimized propulsion by distributing power through a single DC circuit providing significant power savings.

Launched in May 2011, ABB's Onboard DC Grid is part of a revival of power solutions using DC, and will provide highly efficient power distribution and electric propulsion for a wide range of vessels. It is designed for ships with low-voltage onboard circuits, such as offshore support vessels, tug boats, ferries and yachts, and can reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 20 percent.

"With this solution, the vessel will be ready to maximize opportunities in energy savings with supplementary DC energy sources, such as solar panels, fuel cells, or batteries connected directly to the ship's Onboard DC Grid," said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB's Process Automation division. "The Onboard DC Grid will help the vessel operate from the very first day at the highest levels of fuel efficiency with low emissions."

ABB will provide its full onboard DC system, including all power, propulsion and automation systems for the 93 meter long, 5,000 ton multi-purpose oil field supply and construction vessel, which is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2013.

A key advantage of ABB's Onboard DC Grid is that the ship's engines no longer have to run at a fixed speed, so the engine's speed can be adjusted to optimize fuel consumption. By eliminating the need for bulky transformers and switchboards, the footprint and weight of the electrical system can be reduced by up to 30 percent, leaving more space on the vessels for passengers or cargo while also providing greater flexibility in the positioning of system components in the vessel.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.


AMD FirePro V3900 for entry-level CAD graphics

Posted by Daniel J Su, [18th ,  Apr 2013]

AMD has launched the AMD FirePro V3900, which enables excellent workstation experiences at an entry-level price point. By leveraging AMD's latest graphics features, including AMD Eyefinity technology, the AMD FirePro V3900 provides up to 95% better application performance than the competition.

The AMD FirePro V3900 will be available in select workstation systems and will be sold for US$119 at select online resellers.

Engineered for professionals looking for optimized graphics performance at entry-level pricing, the AMD FirePro V3900's 1GB of DDR3 RAM drives memory bandwidth of almost 29 GB/s, maximizing GPU performance for the highest level of user experience. And through AMD's productive relationship with workstation solution providers, graphics professionals will have access to the AMD FirePro V3900 in a range of industry-leading systems from Hewlett-Packard (HP) and others.

The AMD FirePro V3900 has received certification for a variety of applications including AutoCAD, UGS NX, PTC Creo, SolidWorks and Autodesk 3Ds Max



Google Android platform partnership

Posted by Daniel J Su, [26th , March 2013]





Foxconn starts new cloud computing incubation R&D buildings in Taiwan

Posted by Daniel J Su, [18th , Feb 2013]

Foxconn planning to have two buildings will cost about (US$66.4 million) and eventually house 3,000 software engineers

Foxconn Group on December 1 started construction of a 5-story and 12-story building for cloud computing R&D and technological innovation incubation in the Kaohsiung Software Park in southern Taiwan, with group president & CEO Mr. Terry Guo moderating a groundbreaking event.


MSI's all-new X79 with Military Class III components

Posted by Daniel J Su, [18 , Jan 2013]

New Military Class III components and the next-gen DrMOS: DrMOS II

MSI X79 series mainboards maintains MSI's commitment to product stability and reliability by introducing Military Class III components. In addition to the use of Tantalum core capacitors (Hi-c CAP), Super Ferrite Chokes (SFC) and Solid Capacitors (Solid CAP), MSI now incorporates next-generation DrMOS II design. While competitors are just beginning to adopt a DrMOS solution, MSI's DrMOS II provides an integrated and fully-automated Double Thermal Protection to maximize the lifespan of components – even in warmer environments or when heavily overclocked. All Military Class III components have passed MIL-STD-810G certification, making MSI's Military Class III components synonymous with premium quality and ultimate stability.

Double the bandwidth with PCI Express Gen 3

MSI's X79 mainboards support the latest PCI Express Gen 3 standard to deliver a staggering 32GB/s of bandwidth, double that of the previous generation. PCI Express Gen 3 support can also be enabled or disabled through the BIOS interface to ensure compatibility with graphics cards regardless of whether users use a PCI Express Gen 3 graphics card.

World's 1st unified UEFI & software graphical interface – Click BIOS II

MSI's Click BIOS II is the world's 1st to provide a unified graphical user interface under both UEFI & Windows. System settings can be adjusted using the mouse or even LCD touch control under different environments. Click BIOS II can not only save overclocking settings to a USB storage device but also upload them for sharing with other overclocking enthusiasts. This convenient and intuitive design is the result of continual technological breakthrough developed by MSI for its flagship mainboard line.

Easiest one-second overclocking technology – OC Genie II

MSI's proprietary OC Genie II can achieve amazing performance increases in just one second. CPU and memory performance are optimized without compromising system stability, significantly saving the time required by overclockers for fine-tuning. Once the user enables OC Genie on MSI's X79 mainboards, the clock rate on the Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition processor pumped from a default of 3.3GHz to 4.0GHz. The 21% increase enables users to enjoy the performance boost from overclocking with ease.

Comprehensive support for multi-GPU processing technology

MSI X79 mainboards fully support 4-way AMD CrossFireX and 3-way NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU processing technologies, providing the most scalability and performance for gamers who require extreme gaming performance.

THX TruStudio PRO surround sound technology for the best audio experience

MSI X79 series mainboards are all equipped with THX TruStudio PRO audio technology for the best sound quality. Experience the most immersive surround sound effects when you are watching Blu-ray movies, other media, or playing 3D games.

Multi-BIOS II offers safe and convenient BIOS switching

MSI's X79 mainboards support the latest Multi-BIOS II technology. The integrated dual BIOS design improves safety and convenience by allowing enthusiasts to use a switch on the mainboard to manually switch between different BIOS setups when one is corrupted by overclocking or other factors.

Super charger charges your iPad / iPhone / smart phone, even when computer is powered off

MSI's X79 mainboards support Super Charger fast charging technology to deliver triple the current of standard USB 2.0 interfaces. Even if your computer is switched off, you'll still be able to quickly recharge your iPad/iPhone or smart phone to ensure you always stay connected.

Leading international mainboard and graphics card manufacturer MSI announced the official release of its X79A-GD65 (8D), X79A-GD65, X79A-GD45, and X79MA-GD45 mainboards. The new mainboards are based on Intel's latest X79 chipset and uses the LGA 2011 socket supporting the 2nd generation Core i7 processors.

The X79A-GD65 (8D) features with 8 memory DIMMs, supports 16GB DDR3 memory modules, bringing maximum capacity up to a staggering 128GB! For superior quality and stability, MSI X79 series mainboards adopts Military Class III components. With DrMOS II - the next generation of DrMOS with improved double thermal protection - the lifetime of components is maximized, even in warmer environments or when the machine is heavily overclocked. MSI X79 series mainboards also feature the latest PCI Express Gen 3 bus and MSI's proprietary Click BIOS II for maximum performance and user convenience. When taking into account all of the other advanced technologies supported such as 3-Way NVIDIA SLI and 4-way AMD CrossFireX multi-GPU processing technology, THX TruStudio PRO sound, Multi-BIOS II, Control Center II, and Super Charger, MSI X79-series mainboards are simply the best choice for enthusiasts.

Wyse acquisition of cloud computing infrastructure

management player Trellia

Posted by Daniel J Su, [28, Nov 2012]

Cloud client computing solution player Wyse Technology's recent acquisition of cloud computing infrastructure management player Trellia is expected to benefit its major ODM partner Inventec in terms of shipment volume, according to sources from the cloud computing industry.

Wyse has been expanding its operations in the cloud computing industry and has just recently signed a contract with China-based IT system retailer Digital China for cooperation in China's cloud computing market, the sources noted.

The sources pointed out that Wyse and Hewlett-Packard (HP) are the top-2 players in the cloud computing client market with their combined share accounting for 50%, and with Wyse's aggressive acts in the industry, research firm IDC has forecast that the virtual client computing market will reach a value of US$3.2 billion by 2014.

As Wyse's thin client shipment volume enjoyed a 52% on-year growth in the first quarter plus its annual shipment volume in 2011 is also expected to see a growth of more than 50%, Inventec's shipments of thin clients are also expected to grow 50% on year to two million units in 2011.

In addition to Wyse, Inventec has also been aggressively striving for thin client orders from HP.

Asus cloud solutions for private cloud computing

Posted by Daniel J Su, [24, Nov 2011]

Asustek Computer, on November 23, launched a new solution – Asus Cloud – for the private cloud computing market and will also rename its subsidiary, Asus WebStorage, that primarily handles cloud computing business to Asus Cloud.

As for the current hard drive shortages, Asustek said the issue will not seriously impact its server business and expects supply will return to normal by the first quarter of 2012


Oracle speed up Sparc system and shows new roadmap

Posted by Daniel J Su, [30 September 2011]

How long will it be until Oracle stops selling systems that are based on Intel's Xeon processors? Or servers that use Fujitsu's Sparc64 line of processors, for that matter?


The only problem is that a lot of Oracle's software – particularly the Exadata storage servers that are part of its Exadata parallel database clusters – is tuned for Linux and the relatively high clock speeds and large cache memories of the x86 architecture.


While Oracle's new Sparc T4 processors announced  this week go a long way towards closing the clock and cache gaps with both Xeon and Sparc64-VII+ processors, it is probably going to take a few more years before Oracle's systems are entirely Sparc-based.


Oracle's Sparc processor and system roadmap from late 2010


That is, unless Oracle goes and does something silly such as buying HP, in which case all many Sparc roadmap bets would be off.


And even if Oracle does eventually go all-Sparc for its homegrown iron, that will never mean that Oracle does not also sell its database, middleware, and application software on x86, Power, or mainframe processors.


Oracle has, of course, dropped an iceberg  in front of the Itanic, made by Intel almost exclusively for HP's HP-UX/Integrity systems, saying in March that it would not support its software on the future "Poulson" and "Kittson" Itaniums, due in 2012 and 2014, respectively.


HP, under former CEO Leo Apotheker, took Oracle to court, alleging that Ellison & Co. were harming its HP-UX business, and that the software giant was in breach of agreements to continue support for its software on Itanium platforms. Oracle will continue to support current generations of software on current Itaniums, but Oracle's move had a chilling effect [5] on HP-UX server deals in its third quarter of fiscal 2011 ended in July.


Sun Microsystems was for many years the undisputed leader in Unix systems, back when the Unix market was roughly twice as large as it is today (in terms of revenues), the dot-com boom was boom-boom-booming, and Linux had not yet carved out a big slice of the data center market. But Sun had many self-inflicted wounds, with buggy, delayed, or canceled processors: UltraSparc-IIIs were late and had some cache bugs, and the "Millennium" UltraSparc-V and "Rock" UltraSparc-RK processors were killed shortly before coming to market.


Sun also had pricing that didn't meet the reality of a post-boom Main Street, leaving the door open for Big Blue to come in and snap up business with its Power-AIX combo. Now working at Oracle, the Sunners in charge of processors and systems cannot repeat the mistakes that the old Sun made.


Even Larry Ellison can't afford to be that wrong.

In a commendable move last summer, Oracle's executive vice president of hardware engineering John Fowler put out a five-year Sparc processor and system roadmap , running out to 2015. It was a stake in the ground – rather than through Sun's heart as past roadmaps sometimes were – and a foundation for a new relationship with Sparc/Solaris customer, whose trust Oracle needs if it is to reap the billions in dollars in profits it hopes it can reap from its January 2010, $7.6bn acquisition of Sun.


"You cannot build a strong package out of a collection of weaker components," Fowler explained during the Sparc T4 processor and system launch earlier this week. "We understand that and here at Oracle we have been investing in Sparc and investing in Solaris to create these leadership technologies."


The big changes with the new Sparc T4 chip have to do with a new core, called S3, that features out-of-order execution, dynamic threading, fatter caches, and higher clock speeds – four things that were sorely needed to help boost the performance of the Sparc T line on single-threaded applications.



Oracle's updated Sparc processor and system roadmap from late 2011


Fowler flashed up last year's Sparc roadmap, just to refresh everyone's memory:



"This is the exact slide that I published about a year ago, and I said, 'Here's my five-year roadmap for what we're doing in Sparc'," he said. "I remember at the time getting a rather muted response to that particular pronouncement because either most people don't publish microprocessor roadmaps or they publish ones that you don't believe because they don't actually happen. I am happy to say that this is what we're doing and this is what we're invested in."

That's a long-winded way of saying: Trust me.

"The major nodes of T4 are available now," Fowler said, "and it's faster than what we said publicly. It's much faster that what we said publicly. And where we are going in the Sparc roadmap is very active."

Being someone who has garbled more than a few sentences in my life, I will cut him slack and simply point out that I know what he meant. "We are very actively in test and have systems up and running along the next line of systems," he continued. "We've made some modifications to the roadmap. We've pulled in some of the upgrades to the T Series, and added another upgrade to the T Series, which we are going to go into some detail about in a future announcement."

So here's the revised Sparc processor roadmap:



As you can see when comparing the roadmaps, the new S3 cores are delivering a 5X performance increase on single-threaded work compared to the 3X that was promised, partly because of the out-of-order execution on the new S3 core, but also because of the larger L3 caches and the 3GHz clock speed of the top-bin Sparc T4 parts.


The CoolThreads era, where 1GHz to 1.65GHz clocks were the design point, is over. We are now in the HotThreads era.

The interesting change in the revised roadmap is that the kicker to the T Series chips, the Sparc T5, which was slated for delivery in early 2013 on last year's roadmap, has now been pulled into 2012.


On the old roadmap, this Sparc T5 chip was supposed to have three times the throughput as the Sparc T5 and the same single-thread (what Oracle calls "single strand") performance; it is aimed at machines with from one to eight Sparc T processor sockets. This chip looks like the "Cascade Falls" processor that Sun had on the roadmap with 16 of the S3 cores, which were called "VT" cores back in late 2009 when this roadmap came out:


The Sun Sparc roadmap, post Rock – and hard place


On the new and improved Oracle Sparc roadmap, the Sparc T5 is now slated to deliver only 2.5X the throughput, not 3X, but it is coming to market considerably early –my guess is about six months, but it is hard to say from these roadmaps. That's not a big dip in performance and having it to market earlier on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp's 28 nanometer processes is more important than an extra 20 per cent oomph.


Time-to-market is everything for Oracle now, particularly if it wants to protect its Sparc base against the onslaught of IBM's Power Systems and the hordes of x86 vendors peddling Linux and Windows as an alternative to Sparc/Solaris.

The removal of support for future Oracle software releases on Itanium pretty much puts HP-UX in limbo, and if the situation gets bad enough and if IBM hasn't actually nailed down support contracts with Oracle, then it is reasonable to assume that Power gets unplugged next.


In any event, the Sparc T5 processors will go into testing in October. A kicker for the Fujitsu Sparc64-VII+ processors, with six times the throughput and 1.5 times the single-thread performance, is already in test. It is very likely that this is a variant of the eight-core "Venus" Sparc64-VIIIfx processor that is at the heart of the K supercomputer  built for the Japanese government by Fujitsu. Those Sparc64-VIIIfx chips run at 2GHz – not very fast.


The latest Sparc64-VII+ processors used in the Sparc Enterprise M midrange and big iron boxes, announced in December 2010, top out at 3GHz with 12MB of L2 cache, 64KB of L1 data cache, and 64KB of L1 instruction cache.

The Sparc64-VIIIfx has L1 caches that are only 32KB each and only 5MB of L2 cache, but it moves two DDR3 main memory controllers onto the chip and doubles up the core count to eight. If you pushed the clock speeds up to 3.5GHz on this eight-core chip, you'd only get about a factor of 2.3 more performance out of the Sparc64-VIIIfx compared to the current Sparc64-VII+ chips. So it looks like Fujitsu is doing something different with whatever this future Sparc Enterprise M server chip.


Perhaps Fujitsu is plunking a fat L3 cache on the chip as well as cranking the clocks and doubling the cores?

Whatever is going on, Fowler said that a follow-on Sparc64 is on track for late 2013 or early 2014, and in that same timeframe Oracle has added a new Sparc T Series chip – we'll call it the Sparc T6 just so we can keep it straight – that will have more single-threaded performance and presumably faster clocks. This Sparc T6 will work in machines with one to eight processor sockets, and that is all that Oracle has said about it so far.


Beyond that, the future Sparc processor which will have 64 sockets with a total of 16,384 threads, will support 64TB of main memory, is on track for delivery in late 2014 or early 2015. This future Sparc, which significantly is called neither an M Series or a T Series chip in the presentations, is having its feature set defined now, says Fowler.


None of this, however, may be as important as the idea of accelerating specific Oracle software operations in future Sparc T Series chips. This is where the "engineered systems" value of Oracle's acquisition of Sun will start coming into play.


This hardware-software stack approach is something that IBM has been able to do for decades with its Power and mainframe processors, and that HP has largely lost the ability to do because Intel, not HP, controls the Itanium processors that run HP's HP-UX, NonStop, and OpenVMS platforms; HP doesn’t have its own operating systems for Xeon processors and is basically a Red Hat and Microsoft reseller.


Perhaps HP should have kept the PA-RISC chips and therefore control of its destiny?

"In future silicon designs," explained Fowler, "what we are now doing is looking at acceleration in native Oracle data types that underlie the database, in dramatically improving coherency for building clusters, for protecting memory for large in-memory applications, and so on.


"We are actively working across all parts of the engineering team and instead of only doing threads and cores and clocks and I/O – which we will do – we are now starting to embed core elements for the acceleration of enterprise software directly into the processor. This will give us tremendous amounts of capability as measured by performance, scalability, memory capacity, and so on."


Ultimately, Oracle is pitting its engineered systems and its control over software against the commodity x86 architecture and the ubiquity of Windows and Linux.

Guess which is stickier: enterprise applications and databases, or servers and their processors? Given that we all know companies will change servers way before they will change database and application software, what happens when the software vendor actually delivers tuned hardware for those applications and other hardware vendors can't without the cooperation of that software vendor?

I don't know for sure, but I think we are eventually going to find out. It may even involve more lawsuits than the HP-Oracle Itanium suit.  

Oracle's SPARC T4 SuperCluster into major data centers

Posted by Daniel J Su, [28 September 2011]


Near 3 years ago, Oracle partnered with HP to create the first generation of Exadata parallel database appliance – sometimes called the HP Oracle Database Machine – 

which ran Oracle 11g. It has now put out x86-based Exadata database appliances – with columnar hybrid data compression on Exadata storage arrays – that actually pre-chew SQL queries on compressed and encrypted data on the parallel file system. 

Last September, Oracle updated the Exadata line with fatter Xeon 7500 nodes and also gave the SPARC architecture some love with the original SPARC SuperCluster T3-2, which launched in December 2010.




8 Exadata X2-2 racks VS. just 1 IBM Power 795 & 4x DS8700 arrays

Now, SPARC-based systems were invited to the parallel party. 

Sun also put out x86-based clusters, called Exalogic, for running parallelized application servers.

Which brings us to this year's SPARC SuperCluster T4, announced yesterday evening in San Francisco by Ellison and John Fowler, executive vice president of hardware engineering at Oracle.

Oracle new four new entry and midrange servers based on its new 8-core SPARC T4 processor is not sufficient to get SPARC/Solaris customers fired up about buying gear from and paying system maintenance to Oracle. 

As many CIO wants to know – in fact needs to know – that there is headroom in their systems in case their workloads grow.

After this, the appliances pass partial answers up to the database engines (in compressed form over a 20Gb/sec InfiniBand network, so it is very fast). The combination of compression and parallel processing on both the storage and database nodes made the Exadata machines pretty fast.

Oracle resells Fujitsu's SPARC64-VII+ machines, badged the SPARC Enterprise M machines, for customers who have big jobs that require a shared memory system.

But over the past two decades, Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison has made no secret of the fact that he believes that computing in future will be parallel, spreading data and database crunching across multiple compute nodes, instead of trying to create ever-larger shared memory systems to hold databases.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but Oracle Parallel Server was tuned for IBM's RS/6000 PowerParallel machines back in the late 1990s, and then Oracle was best buddies with Dell, pushing the initial Real Application Server (RAC) clusters.

Then Oracle shelled out $7.4bn to buy Sun Microsystems, and kicked HP to the curb. The Exadata V2 database appliances, announced in September 2009, were retooled with Sun Fire x86 servers and peppered with flash storage to radically improve the performance of the storage subsystems while the whole shebang was beefed up with a speedier 40Gb/sec InfiniBand network. 

Oracle CEO considerably on the benefits of parallelism and data compression for database processing, and talked quite a bit about the Exadata machines, of which Oracle has sold 1,000 machines thus far – Oracle's "most successful product ever," he claimed – and plans to sell an additional 3,000 machines before the end of the year. (It is not clear if Oracle meant calendar or fiscal year there.)

"We're a lot faster than IBM's biggest pSeries machine," Ellison proclaimed, comparing a cluster of x86 servers running the 11g database and the Exadata storage software on an InfiniBand backbone to a wonking 256-core Power 795 SMP server. Here's how he stacked the two machines up, fully loaded:


How the SPARC SuperCluster T4 stacks up

With the flash and data compression, the Exadata has a factor of 10 times the storage I/O operations per second running the Oracle 11g database than the IBM machine, according to Ellison, and that is something that Oracle absolutely controls. Do you think Oracle wants to run 11g better on IBM hardware? Do you think IBM's or HP's or Dell's flash storage will get unique tuning ahead of Oracle's own flash storage? Or even within six months?

This is the "engineered systems" game that Oracle will be playing. Ellison said that two racks of Exadata could do queries anywhere from 10 to 50 times faster than the Power 795/DS8700 combo, with 4 to 10 times the OLTP throughput and with 10 times the amount of storage (with compression turned on) 

– and do so for a cost of $3.3m, compared to $18.86m for the IBM hardware.

The comparison is rigged in a bunch of ways, but it is representative of the two different types of computing that go on inside of data centers for database processing.

"The Exadata system costs way less than a memory upgrade on the IBM pSeries, and you have to be willing to run a lot faster," Ellison quipped. "The P795 is one big, expensive single point of failure," he added, pointing out that Oracle RAC was inherently fault-tolerant.

Ellison didn't just take shots at IBM. He took one at data warehousing giant Teradata too, pointing out that Japanese telco and communications company Softbank replaced their 36 racks of Teradata machines with three racks of Exadata and ran their queries eight times faster.

"Teradata really appreciated that, so we mention this on the front page of the Wall Street Journal every week," Ellison said, getting the audience to chuckle. 

The point about the SPARC SuperCluster T4, Ellison explained when he finally got around to talking about it, is that it can process database transactions on the same scale and speed as the Exadata and can support application serving loads on the same scale as the Exalogic – and do both as a "general purpose" machine.



The SPARC SuperCluster T4

This is an artificial distinction – Oracle could put some Exadata and Exalogic nodes into a single rack with some plain-vanilla ZFS storage arrays – but it is one that Oracle is making.

The SPARC SuperCluster T4 runs database nodes on the four-socket SPARC T4-4 systems 

– announced yesterday – instead of two-socket Xeon 5600 or Xeon 7500/E7 nodes, but it includes the same exact x86-based Exadata storage arrays used in the Exadata clusters. 

The SuperCluster can run Solaris 10 or Solaris 11, which has more optimizations to speed up parallel database processing specifically for this Oracle iron; the Exadata box runs Oracle Enterprise Linux, 

the company’s clone of Red Hat's Enterprise Linux that also has tunings specific to running parallel 11g databases and RAC. Which operating system has the better tuning remains to be seen. 

Oracle recommends that customers run 11g R2 databases on Solaris 11 and lets them choose between Solaris 10 update 8/11 and Solaris 11 for application tiers.

The SuperCluster T4 has Exadata storage arrays, four SPARC T4-4 compute nodes, Sun Datacenter InfiniBand Switch 36 switches, and several ZFS Storage 7320 arrays. Depending on the options customers choose, the SuperCluster T4 has 97TB to 198TB of disk capacity; 

it has 8.66TB of flash memory and can handle 1.2 million IOPS of storage processing. Customers can use the ExaLogic middleware or the plain vanilla WebLogic application server, but the former is tuned to take advantage of flash and compression.

Pricing for the SPARC SuperCluster T4 was not announced 


PC OEMs are compete for orders from India government

Posted by Daniel J Su, [9 September 2011]


Quanta, Pegatron and Clevo are aiming to cooperate with local OEMs in India to win the orders as India's government will retain about 50% of its planned orders for domestic OEMs, the sources noted.

The government of India plans to release orders for several million PCs through international bidding, which has not only attracted first-tier branded PC vendors but also PC OEMs including Quanta Computer, Pegatron Technology and Clevo to participate in the competition, according to industry sources.

As of the end of 2010, the number of PC users in India reached 52 million, representing a 100% increase from 2006, and the market is still growing by a double-digit rate each year, pointed out the sources.

Hewlett-Packard (HP), Lenovo, Dell and Acer are currently the four major PC vendors in India, and Asustek Computer has also geared up its marketing efforts in the market recently.

Additionally, tablet PCs are gaining popularity in India, and Lenovo reportedly plans to start marketing its tablets within three months, the sources indicated.

Asus to build GPU supercomputer for Taiwan Gov

Posted by Daniel J Su, [8 September 2011] 

Asustek Computer, on September 8, announced that the company has finished establishing the largest ever GPU supercomputer in Taiwan with cooperation from the Taiwan government-backed National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC).

Asustek will also send the new supercomputer to be rated in the global Top500 and Green500 supercomputer rankings at the end of 2011 and the supercomputer has total of 88 built-in compute nodes with each node having two Intel Xeon X5670 processors and three Tesla M2070 graphics cards. 

The machine can provide 50 teraflops of double-precision floating-point calculations and fits into a 6.6 square meter room. It is capable of being used in several research industries such as earthquake analysis, weather science, bio-medical and aerial/space technology.

Asustek's server business has been seeing an annual growth rate above 20% each year, although the company had lower-than-expected performance in the first half of 2011 due to Europe's bond crisis. But as demand for cloud computing applications will rise in the second half, while enterprises will start expanding their equipment, Asustek still expects its performance in 2011 to meet its expectations.

Currently, Asustek is mainly pushing own-brand servers in Taiwan, while providing white-box servers to worldwide partners in non-Taiwan markets, according to market watchers, which added that Asustek has also been aggressively cutting into emerging markets such as China hoping to quickly boost its shipment performance.

SSD MLC drives's revenue will rise to 52% next year and hit 60% in 2013.

Posted by Daniel J Su, [5th,  September 2011]  

Datacenter managers turned off by the high price of solid-state storage might want to take another look now that manufacturers are escalating production of lower-cost multi-level cell (MLC) drives and new MLC-based PCI Express (PCIe) technology to meet the demands of their enterprise server and storage system customers.

Research from Framingham, Mass.-based IDC shows that MLC NAND flash accounted for only 27% of the enterprise solid-state drive (SSD) revenue last year. 

But the market research firm predicts MLC revenue will rise to 52% next year and hit 60% in 2013.


Walls said IBM sells mostly eMLC with its Power Systems, and the storage division favors eMLC, too. IBM’s Storwize V7000 midrange disk system, for instance, supports 300 GB 2.5-inch eMLC SSDs.

“Our customers want to use SSDs but need affordable solutions. MLC and eMLC are an important part of that affordability,” Walls said via an email interview. 

“I would expect the mix of eMLC will grow with SLC decreasing. MLC will probably stay the same.”

One of the main distinctions between SLC, eMLC and MLC is endurance. 

All the bits in a NAND flash block must be erased before any data can be written, or programmed, and the program/erase process eventually breaks down the oxide layer that traps the electrons, and NAND flash wears out.

Wear-out predictions vary widely by manufacturer, but the most commonly cited figure for SLC NAND flash is 100,000 program/erase cycles, which are also known as endurance or write/erase cycles.

For eMLC, it’s roughly 30,000; for MLC, it can be 10,000 or less.

“The drive makers have found ways to get past MLC’s limited endurance,” said Jim Handy, chief analyst at Objective Analysis in Los Gatos, Calif., pointing to mechanisms such as “a smart algorithm that figures out when a block is wearing out” and overprovisioning a system with more flash than it requires.

Jeff Janukowicz, IDC’s research manager for solid-state storage, attributed the surge in MLC interest to the more than 50% price discount vs. the single-level cell (SLC) drives that dominate enterprise solid-state shipments plus advancements in controller technology that have improved MLC performance and endurance.

“Today’s MLC drives really are enterprise-class solutions,” Janukowicz said, “and they’ll provide that 24/7 performance and reliability that many of the traditional enterprise storage vendors are looking for.”

IBM is already moving to MLC and enterprise MLC (eMLC) on its storage arrays and servers whenever possible, according to Andy Walls, a distinguished engineer in the company’s storage hardware architecture division. 

The company’s System x servers are more than half SLC, but MLC is on the rise, he noted. 

He said a 200 GB eMLC SSD for System x that has shipped since late in the second quarter is “very popular.” 

He added that most of IBM’s sales of Fusion-io Inc. 

PCIe SSDs are MLC, and the rest are SLC.

Enterprise drive makers such as 

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (GST) (whose acquisition by Western Digital Corp. has yet to finalize), 

SMART Modular Technologies Inc. and STEC Inc. 

now promise MLC/eMLC drives capable of 10 full-disk capacity writes per day for five years.

Hitachi’s new eMLC-based Ultrastar SSD400M 400 GB claims to deliver 7.3 PB of lifetime random writes, or 4 TB/day for five years vs. the 35 PB with SLC, according to Ulrich Hansen, director of market development at Hitachi GST. 

Hansen estimated that 90% of the enterprise SSD world (excluding SATA-based SSDs) is SLC today, but he expects the volume to shift to 70% MLC within two years.

XIO, formerly known as Xiotech Corp., 

went with SMART Modular’s eMLC approximately 18 months ago after its research showed the algorithms for wear leveling and the drives’ life expectancy had improved significantly, 

chief technology officer Steve Sicola said. XIO’s Hyper ISE algorithms also reduce the write cycles and, in turn, the stress on the drives, he added.

Satisfied that the technology is now reliable enough,

Texas Memory Systems Inc. joined the eMLC bandwagon with its RamSan-810. 

If users write at 600 MBps, the RamSan-810 can write 10 TB five times per day. 

The $13/GB for the eMLC-based RamSan-810 will roughly halve the $25/GB street price of the SLC-based RamSan-710, according to company officials.

Major data storage vendors that have used only SLC drives to date are also becoming receptive to MLC/eMLC SSDs. 

In May 2011, EMC Corp. announced plans to design, test and qualify MLC-based SSDs for enterprise-class applications and incorporate them into EMC systems later this year.

“SLC will continue to be required for solutions that require high write reliability such as caching technologies,” said Barry Ader, senior director of storage product management in EMC’s flash business unit, in an email interview. 

“We do see the MLC growing as well and having a place in the enterprise as the technology becomes more resilient.”

Dell Inc. added MLC drives from SanDisk (with technology acquired from Pliant Technology) in its EqualLogic PS6100 storage arrays launched this month.

The sweet spot for MLC tends to be read-intensive workloads with limited write needs, such as Web content hosting, video streaming and booting drives in servers.

eBay has deployed 100 TB of Nimbus Data Systems Inc.’s S-class solid-state storage, equipped with SSDs from Micron Technology Inc.

MLC also makes its mark on PCIe

PCIe pioneer Fusion-io claims the vast majority of its more than 22 PB of customer deployments have featured MLC products. 

The company professes to have more than 1,500 enterprise customers, including financial institutions such as 

Credit Suisse and NYSE, and social networking sites such as Facebook.

One sign that PCIe is picking up steam is the growing number of competitors that Fusion-io has acquired.

The list now includes LSI Corp., Micron, OCZ Technology Group Inc. and STEC, 

which announced a PCIe option earlier this month. 

Intel Corp. also plans to add PCIe flash “at some point,” according to Troy Winslow, director of product marketing in the company’s Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group.

“It’s an exciting time in the marketplace. 

Fusion-io has beaten a path, and now everybody else is chasing down that path trying to take away some of Fusion-io’s market,” Objective Analysis’ Handy said. 

“But that’s probably a good thing for them because it’s going to become a very large market.”

According to Handy’s market statistics, PCIe enterprise SSD unit shipments will more than triple from 74,300 this year to 227,600 next year. 

By 2014, PCIe-based SSDs will exceed SAS SSDs, 2.25 million units to 1.84 million units, according to his forecast.

IDC’s market research shows that 13% of the SSD units that shipped last year leveraged the PCIe interface rather than traditional storage interfaces such as SAS, SATA and Fibre Channel. 

By next year, IDC expects the PCIe volume to increase to 19% and then 25% by 2014.

Most often found in servers, PCIe-based solid-state options can boost performance and lower latency because the drive can be connected directly to the PCIe bus, bypassing the traditional storage protocol overhead. 

Examples of PCIe-based products include NetApp’s Flash Cache and Oracle Corp.’s Exadata.

One prominent new PCIe entrant on the horizon is EMC’s PCIe/flash-based server cache technology, code named Project Lightning,

which is due later this year. 

IBM also expects to continue to grow its use of PCIe-based storage, according to the firm’s Walls.

Prime use cases for PCIe include I/O-intensive applications such as 

social networking, Web serving, Web hosting, online transaction processing, data warehousing and busy databases.

“In social networking applications, they can’t serve up the data fast enough,” said James Bagley, a senior analyst and business development consultant at Storage Strategies Now in Austin, Texas. 

“These PCIe boards were just a godsend to them. 

They could pop them in their heavyweight virtualized servers, speed up their workloads and in many cases take the load off their shared storage.”

LG iPad 2 panel shipments return to previous levels

Posted by Daniel J Su, [1 September 2011] 

LG Display (LGD) has seen its LCD panel shipments for Apple's iPad 2 return to previous levels after solving quality issues, industry sources said. Its shipments of 9.7-inch iPad 2 panels went back up to four million units in August, and will stay at a similar level in September 2011, the sources added.

LGD's shipments of iPad 2 panels declined siginificantly to 2.5-2.6 million unuits in July from the previous monthly volume of about four million units due to problems with the backlight units (BLUs), prompting Apple to source more from Samsung Electronics and Chimei Innnolux (CMI), the source said.

Samsung shipped nearly two million units of iPad 2 panels in July while CMI's volume reached 450,000-500,000, the sources added.

Apple's iPad 2 shipments are expected to reach 12-15 million units in third-quarter 2011, which will benefit its suppliers.

Despite regaining orders from Apple, LGD has reportedly reduced its overall utilization rate due to sliding shipments of LCD TV and notebook panels.

Apple iPhone 5 supply chain gearing up production

Posted by Daniel J Su, [29 August 2011]

Suppliers in the iPhone 5 supply chain in Taiwan have geared up production recently with volume shipments of the new Apple smartphones to begin soon. Production of iPhone 5s at OEM maker Foxconn Electronics has reportedly reached 150,000 units per day, according to industry sources.

Lens maker Largan Precision, touch panel maker TPK Holding, reinforced glass supplier G-Tech Optoelectronics and battery vendors Simplo and Dynapack are all operating at full swing currently, the sources indicated.

Shipments of iPhone 5 from the supply chain are expected to reach 5-6 million in September and top over 22 million units in the fourth quarter as suppliers will ship less iPhone 4 and CDMA-version iPhones during the final quarter of the year, noted the sources.

Although Pegatron Technology has reportedly landed about 15% of iPhone 5 orders from Apple, the company may not begin shipping until 2012, the sources commented.

Ultrabook expected to be drive SSD demand in 2012

Posted by Daniel J Su, [22 August 2011]

Ultrabooks, which will hit store shelves starting September, are expected to spur a wave of demand for solid-state drives, according to industry observers.

The first available Ultrabooks will mostly use hybrid drives, a combination of low-capacity SSDs and hard disk drives, the observers indicated. The adoption of SSDs is expected to increase along with falling NAND flash prices, the observers said, adding that Ultrabooks will eventually use only SSDs to meet not only required slimness but also affordable prices.

While boosting the adoption of SSDs, Ultrabooks will simultaneously open up a new market segment for NAND flash, the observers said. NAND chips are used to store data in mobile handsets, portable music players and other consumer electronics devices such as tablet PCs.

In addition, Ultrabooks are built with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which will help accelerate the transition to 4GB as the mainstream memory density in PCs, according to the observers. And as the goal with Ultrabooks is to enable thin and light designs, more manufacturers are choosing to weld RAM directly to the system's motherboards, the observers said.



Solaris 11 Express on Oracle Exadata Database

Posted by Daniel J Su, [11 August 2011] 

The Oracle Solaris 11 Express operating system is now available on the x86-based Oracle Exadata Database Machines X2-2 and X2-8.

The combination of Oracle Solaris 11 Express running on Oracle Exadata Database Machines enables organizations running Oracle Solaris environments to take advantage of the online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing, and consolidated workload capabilities of the Oracle Exadata Database Machines.

Oracle is targeting this hardware and operating system combination at organizations running large, system-critical database applications and claims that it will enable them to operate up to 10 times faster while improving reliability, scalability, and security.

Key features of Oracle Solaris running on Oracle Exadata include:

  • Oracle Solaris Predictive Self-Healing, which diagnoses, isolates, and helps recover from hardware and application faults;
  • Oracle Solaris DTrace, which analyzes, tunes, and troubleshoots applications on production systems with minimal impact on performance;
  • Fast system updates and reboots;
  • Oracle Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression, which provides an average of ten times compression of data warehouse tables;
  • Oracle Exadata Smart Flash Cache, which caches frequently accessed data, enabling faster transaction response times and high throughput; and
  • Oracle Exadata Smart Scan, which processes queries at the storage layer to return only relevant rows and columns to the database server.

Oracle Solaris 11 Express is available now and can be downloaded from the Oracle site.

AMD expands availability of AMD Fusion APU for desktop market

Posted by Daniel J Su, [15 July 2011] 

AMD has announced availability of its new A-series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) A4-3300 and A4-3400 desktop processors, bringing the entry-level desktop APU price down to US$70.

With a suggested retail price of US$70, the AMD A4-3300 APU operates at 2.5GHz (CPU) and 444MHz (GPU) with 160 Radeon Cores, 1MB of L2 cache and a TDP of 65W, while the AMD A4-3400 APU, with a suggested retail price of US$75 operates at 2.7GHz (CPU) and 600MHz (GPU) with 160 Radeon Cores, 1MB of L2 cache and a TDP of 65W.

All AMD A-Series processors are designed for use with FM1 motherboards. AMD A4 APUs require the AMD Vision Engine Control Center 11.8 driver release or later releases

The AMD A4-3300 and A4-3400 desktop APUs each combine two x86 CPU cores with 160 Radeon cores, enabling DirectX 11-capable discrete-level graphics and dedicated HD video processing on a single chip. The dual-core APUs enable responsive and energy-efficient performance for everyday PC productivity and multitasking, as well as an amazing gaming experience, said AMD.

In addition to leading-edge graphics and competitive compute power, the AMD A4-3300 and A4-3400 APUs support: AMD Steady Video for instant removal of shakes and jitters when re-watching video, so content looks steady and smooth; AMD Dual Graphics for a visual performance boost when paired with select AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series graphics cards; Integrated USB 3.0 controller for rapid transfer and storage of digital content; and AMD Vision Engine Software to provide users with regular updates to help improve system performance and stability, and to introduce new software enhancements.

Amazon may able to launch tablet-PC in Q3-2011


Posted by Daniel J Su, [23 June 2011]


Amazon is poised to step into tablet PCs and will launch models as soon as August-September, with targeted global sales of four million units for 2011, according to Taiwan-based component makers.


The timing of launch is to meet the peak sales period prior to Thanksgiving in the US and the year-end holidays in the US and Europe, the sources pointed out.


Amazon adopts processors developed by Texas Instruments, with Taiwan-based Wintek to supply touch panels, ILI Technology to supply LCD driver ICs and Quanta Computer responsible for assembly, the sources indicated. Monthly shipments are expected to be 700k to 800k units.


Amazon will provide streaming movie services for users of its tablet PCs, the sources noted

Supply gap estimated to widen to 15-20 million units in 3Q-2011 for Hard drive


Posted by Daniel J Su, [20 June 2011]


Global hard drive demand in the third quarter is estimated to reach as high as 180 million units with the five major hard drive makers only capable of supplying 160-165 million units, increasing the supply gap from a shortage of 10 million units in the second quarter, according to sources from hard drive makers. The gap is unlikely to be filled before the end of 2011.


Currently, the top-10 notebook brand vendors have close to 80% of their models using either 320GB or 500GB hard drives, with the proportion at 5:5.


 In the third quarter, the proportion of 320GB and 500GB hard drive is expected to shift to 4:6 with 250GB models only having a very small percentage. 640GB and 750GB capacities will mainly be used in enterprise and gaming models and are unlikely to grow to become the mainstream specification in 2011.


Although the supply shortage of hard drives will help maintain prices, hard drive shipments to enterprise servers, which were originally expected to strongly benefit makers, may face a decline.


Currently, 50% of hard drive supply is used in desktops, notebooks and netbooks, with cloud computing servers only accounting for less than 10%. But since demand for Internet data storage is growing, hard drive makers are turning more aggressively toward the server hard drive market, which has higher profitability.


The strong demand in the third quarter will be mainly due to the IT product replacement trend in the enterprise market, as well as the increasing storage needs of cloud computing servers.


PC industry should be re-evaluated for the PC industry


Posted by Daniel J Su, [13 June 2011]


Wistron chairman Simon Lin, on June 22, addressed on the impact of tablet PCs, described Apple's launch of iPad as a never-seen move, and it will take some time to figure out how to counter the move.


 He also believes that Apple has subverted the PC industry's habits of depending heavily on Wintel, and 2011 is year for re-evaluation for the PC industry. Players with technologies will eventually find a way to counter and resume their performance in 2012.


Although tablet PCs have impacted sales of traditional PCs, they have also created a brand new market segment that every player has a chance to join. Although tablet PCs may bite into the entry-level notebook market, they will not replace notebooks.


PC players are all studying iPad and when a strong competitor joins the market, the players can use the chance to re-evaluate themselves and change their heavy dependency of Wintel, while understand that copying Apple will not succeed, but only cause price competition.


Integration between hardware and software will become a necessary trend in the future, and brand vendors or ODMs with strong technological bases will have the most chance of finding the correct strategy to profit, especially players with plans for cloud computing.


In the past few years, Wistron has been aggressively hiring software talent, and along with its subsidiary Wistron Information Technology & Services (Wistron ITS), the company has over 3,000 software staff within the group. In addition to hardware manufacturing, the company will also need to focus on R&D of software, chassis, components and human behavior.



VMware announced acquires SaaS provider name SlideRocket


Posted by Daniel J Su, [26 May 2011]


VMware (VMW) announced the acquisition of SlideRocket, a leading SaaS-based business presentation provider.


With this acquisition VMware dives deeper into the cloud-based services and targets everyday business users.


“The modern end-user environment is mobile, social, collaborative and delivered via the cloud – characteristics that legacy PC-era technologies could never have anticipated,” said Brian Byun, VP and general manager, VMware.


“VMware is at the forefront of building the core cloud computing infrastructure and enables users to gain ever greater value from cloud-based solutions.


SlideRocket’s cloud-based architecture, innovative design, and strong integration with other cloud applications and services have transformed a decades-old business productivity software and redefined the way we consume and communicate information.”



Dell Cloud Boomi adds capabilities


Posted by Daniel J Su, [25 May 2011]


Dell’s integration cloud Boomi introduced new capabilities to help enterprises take advantage of cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) to help achieve enterprise efficiency, while leveraging existing IT investments.


The newest version of Boomi, AtomSphere Srping 11 offers new features that simplify the move to cloud computing through easy integration with existing enterprise IT environments and new capabilities for middleware connectivity, large-scale data management and migration and anywhere integration monitoring.


“Organizations of all sizes implementing SaaS applications or cloud services require integration services to connect what’s running on-premise with what’s running in the cloud,” said Dennis Callaghan, senior enterprise software analyst at The 451 Group. Michael Dell was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal and said the company’s main focus remains on the enterprise and helping to enable the cloud



Amazon’s AWS Cloud Outage as the aftermath

Posted by Daniel J Su, [24 Apr 2011]


“EBS is now operating normally for all APIs and recovered EBS volumes,” Amazon reports on its status dashboard.


More than five days after its outage began, Amazon Web Services has finally restored virtually all of its services, with somemopping up of a small number of customer accounts with “stuck” data in its Elastic Block Storage (EBS) service.


“The vast majority of affected volumes have now been recovered. We’re in the process of contacting a limited number of customers who have EBS volumes that have not yet recovered and will continue to work hard on restoring these remaining volumes.” The company promises a detailed incident report will follow.



HTC positioned in 4GLTE smartphone development as ahead of rivals

Posted by Daniel J Su, [22 Apr 2011]


Sales of the HTC 4G ThunderBolt reached about 260k units in the first two weeks after the launch of the gadget, according to an estimate of sources at the supply chain in Taiwan.


Sales of HTC's LTE-enabled smartphone, the HTC ThunderBolt, have been strong since the device was launched by Verizon Wireless in the US in mid-March, positioning HTC ahead of its major rivals in the development of 4G LTE phones, according to industry sources.


Although Verizon has also signed cooperation agreements with Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics (4G LGE) and Motorola Mobility for the launch of other LTE phones, Samsung's model, the Droid Charge, will not be launched until the end of this month, before LGE launches its LG Revolution.

Motorola's LTE phone, the Droid Bionic, is reportedly to be available in the second quarter but could be delayed to the third, the sources indicated.


However, the sources also noted that Samsung was ahead of HTC with regards to the number of 4G LTE phones that have been launched. In addition to the forthcoming Droid Charge, Samsung have already launched two LTE phones, the Craft and Galaxy Indulge, in cooperation with US-based carrier MetroPCS


With Verizon having a total of 565k of 4G LTE subscribers at the end of the first quarter, sales of the ThunderBolt accounted for nearly 50% of all LTE-enabled devices, which also included tablet PCs, notebooks and broadband routers sold through Verizon networks in the quarter, indicated the sources.



IBM new Cloud Ecosystem


Posted by Daniel J Su, [21 Apr 2011]


IBM announced that they are making available two pricing and financing programs to help IBM Business Partners and start-up companies more easily build their own cloud applications and infrastructures with IBM technology.


“IBM’s business partner community is essential to our ability to support these demands, and we are committed to providing the industry’s best resources and opportunities to help our partners grow their business through the cloud.”


“More and more clients are asking IBM and our partners to provide them with cloud capabilities around the globe, ranging from the flexible delivery of software applications to building private and public clouds,” said Jim Corgel, general manager, Independent Software Vendor (ISV) and Developer Relations, IBM.


To complement the way that Cloud Application Providers receive payments from their own clients IBM will provide the option of acquiring IBM software for use in their SaaS offerings as a monthly rental subscription.

Additionally they will offer low-rate financing programs available from IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing arm of IBM.





Amazon announces  Live Streaming for CloudFront.


Posted by Daniel J Su, [20 Apr 2011]


Amazon (AMZN) announced the launch of live HTTP streaming for Amazon CloudFront.


Amazon also announced support in AWS Mobile SDKs for CloudWatch, Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Email Services (SES), SimpleDB, Elastic Load Balancing and Auto Scaling.


Live video running on Amazon Web Services is enabled by CloudFront with EC2 instances running Adobe’s Flash Media Server and Amazon Route 53 (AWS’s DNS service).


 An AWS CloudFormation template that handles all of the provisioning and sequencing for all the AWS resources you need for this live streaming stack.




Rackspace unveiled cloud load balancers.


Posted by Daniel J Su, [20 Apr 2011]


Rackspace Hosting announced the availability of Cloud Load Balancers.


Rackspace Cloud Load Balancers provides operational efficiency to customers, is easy to set up and provides seamless integration with Cloud Servers or dedicated servers.


The new balancers feature built-in high availability, multiple protocols and algorithms, API and control panel access, and session persistence.


“Rackspace Cloud Load Balancers provides businesses with a simple, yet feature-rich, tool to scale applications and increase overall reliability,” said Josh Odom, product line leader of platform for the Rackspace Cloud. “


We relied heavily on input from our customers in developing an offering that we believe exceeds the capabilities of other load balancing options on the market today.”




Sony launches  Android 3.0 base Tablet with 2 models 


Posted by Daniel J Su, [21 Apr 2011]


Sony has announced Sony Tablet that delivers the combination of hardware, content and network. Sony is developing two tablets, including S1, which is optimized for media entertainment, and S2, which is for mobile communication and entertainment. Sony Tablet will become available in the global market starting in fall 2011, the vendor said.

Sony Tablet is equipped with the latest Android 3.0, which is designed for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. Both tablets are Wi-Fi and WAN (3G/4G) compatible and users can not only browse the Internet or check e-mail but they can also access digital content including videos, games and books through Sony's premium network services and more, on-the-go at any time.

The S1 has a 9.4-inch display. Its off-center of gravity design realizes stability and ease of grip as well as a sense of stability and lightness, Sony said.

The S2 has two 5.5-inch displays that can be folded for easy portability. Its dual screen presentation and usability allows its displays to be combined and used as a large screen or for different functions such as playing video on one screen while showing control buttons on the other, the vendor said.

Through Qriocity music and video services, users can enjoy video and music content. Also, through PlayStation Suite, users can immerse themselves in high quality first generation PlayStation titles, according to Sony. Additionally, users can download e-book content from Reader Store and use both tablets as digital reading devices.

Through Sony Tablet, users can control home entertainment devices as well as enjoy content in new ways. The S1 uses infrared technology and works as universal remote controls for a variety of AV devices starting with its Bravia LCD TV. Users can perform functions like turning on their TVs, changing the channel and adjusting the volume. Also, through DLNA functionality on Sony Tablet, users can "throw" personal content to large screen televisions or music to wireless speakers.




DRAM contract prices will be up in 2H-2011


Posted by Daniel J Su, [18 Apr 2011]


Late April contract prices for 2GB and 4GB DDR3 modules grew about 1.4% to US$18-18.50 and US$35-36, respectively. Prices for corresponding 1Gb and 2Gb chips came above US$1 and US$2, respectively, during the period.

Speculation remains that bottlenecks in the availability of silicon wafers and other manufacturing-use raw materials could negatively impact the worldwide DRAM industry supply chain. PC OEMs have therefore prepared inventory in advance, as they anticipate supply will tighten, DRAMeXchange said.


DRAMeXchange observed however that companies which had experienced difficulties in sourcing blank wafers have sought out alternatives. Elpida Memory, for instance, now holds sufficient wafers through July.

Elpida is one of the affected chip companies, which saw major wafer producers hit by the March 11 disaster and power blackouts in Japan.


DRAM contract prices for the second half of April 2011 rose at a slower rate compared to about 6% growth in the former part of the month, according to latest data gathered by DRAMeXchange.


Lastly, several chip suppliers saw shipments interrupted by yield challenges beyond 50nm, which affected supplies and prices in April, DRAMeXchange indicated. It did not disclose any names.



Apple iPads suppliers to ship 10-12 million in 2Q11


Posted by Daniel J Su, [3 March 2011]


Apple's target to take delivery of 40 million iPads from Taiwan suppliers in 2011 remains unchanged with shipment volume expected to top 6-6.5 million units, including over three million iPad 2 models, in the first quarter and to further expand to 10-12 million units in the second.

After producing 1.7-2 million units of the first-generation iPad in January, Apple began to phase out production of the old model in February, while beginning to roll out the iPad 2, according to component suppliers in Taiwan. Shipments of iPad 2 are expected to top 2-3 million units in March, the sources added.

With a shipment ratio of 4:6 for the first and second halves, shipments of iPad 2 are likely to reach 21.5-24 million units in the second half of the year, the sources estimated.

China Mobile Chairman says 4G TD-LTE commercial use to take off in 2011

Posted by Daniel J Su, [20 Feb 2011] 

According to company chairman Wang Jianzhou at the LTE TDD/FDD International Summit held on February 14 at the 2011 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the commercial application of TD-LTE developed by China Mobile will take off in 2011,

The China-based carrier and main mobile telecoms around the world, including

India-based Bharti Airtel,

Japan-based SoftBank,

Vodafone and

US-based Clearwire

which alll of them will  jointly formed Global 4G TD-LTE Initiative, a plan intended to internationalize TD-LTE.

China Mobile has signed cooperation MOUs with nine mobile telecoms to establish 26 TD-LTE trial 4G networks around the world, Chariman Wang indicated.

Deployment of commercial 4G TD-LTE networks will begin in more than 10 countries or areas in 2011, Wang added


China-based firms showcasing new 4G mobile devices at MWC 2011 by Huawei & ZTE


Posted by Daniel J Su, [16 Feb 2011]


Huawei Device and ZTE are exhibiting new tablet PCs and smartphones at the 2011 Mobile World Congress (MWC) taking place in Barcelona, Spain, during February 14-17, according to the companies.

Huawei's new products at the exhibition include the :

Android 2.2 tablet called PC S7 Slim,

Android 2.3 smartphone called IDEOS X3

Both which will be launched in Japan through cooperation with SoftBank Mobile soon.

Both model as 4G LTE terminal devices. Huawei sold 120 million devices in 2010, including more than 30 million handsets.

ZTE is mainly showcasing the Skate, a mobile terminal model equipped with:

 a 4.3-inch screen and Android 2.3, and

 a 10-inch Android 3.0 tablet computer which featuring 3G/4GLTE/4G WiMAX functionality.

ZTE has launched Blade series:

 Android smartphones 

Light series Android tablet PCs

Both models will be introduce in the US, Europe and Japan regions the company indicated.

China based ZTE sold 63 million handsets globally in 2010, ranking fifth 5th among all vendors.

In 2011, ZTE will launch WAC (Wholesale Applications Community)-enabled handsets and its own online store for cloud computing applications, the company pointed out.


Apple upcomign iPhone-5 screen size to 4-inches


Posted by Daniel J Su, [14 Feb 2011]


Apple reportedly will change the screen size of iPhone to 4-inch for its 5th generation iPhone to compete with the Google Android platform in the 4- to 7-inch smartphone market, according to upstream component suppliers.

The component suppliers noted that:


(A)  The production lines for Apple's next generation iPhone have begun testing

(B) Apple is interesting in expanding the screen size to 4-inches to support the tablet PC market as the vendor only has a 9.7-inch iPad in the market.

In fact, smartphones that adopt the Google Android platform are mainly 4-inch and larger models.

Korea based Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S and Google's Nexus S adopt 4-inch panels.

Japan based Sharp adopts 5.5-inch for its smartphone, and

Taiwan based Acer plans to launch a 4.8-inch smartphone.

With Apple joining the 4-inch and larger market, 4- to 5.5-inch mobile phones will become the major battlefield for smartphones and further change the industry dynamics for small- to medium-size panels.

What is worth noticing is that Dell has re-defined the market position of the:

 Dell Streak 5 – which was originally focused on the tablet PC market – as a super phone.

The Dell Streak 5 uses a 5-inch panel which stands in the gray area between tablet PC and handset segments and indicates there is an overlap in the market for 4- to 7-inch panels.

Smartphone vendors' choice of using increasing screen sizes and specifications has helped to generate some change in the panel industry.

Currently, bonding TFT with touch panels has become an important factor to keep orders from clients.

For display maker name AU Optronics (AUO), part of its 4G and 5G capacity has moved to touch panel production covering touch sensors, TFT panels to modules, and the panel maker is also working with its subsidiary Cando to develop in-cell touch panel to compete in the market.

Another display maker called Chimei Innolux (CMI) is also producing touch panels at its 4.5G plant and part of its 5G plant through front to back-end method, and is also producing iPhone and iPad panels through IPS technology.

Panel makers noted that in addition to touch panels:

Samsung based AMOLED is another important development in the smartphone market.

AMOLED supply remains in shortage, and Samsung's subsidiary

Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) is the leading player in the market with the largest capacity.

While LG Display is actively following behind and AUO and CMI and actively becoming involved in the market


HTC shows Android base first tablet & 5 smarttphones at 2011 MWC.


Posted by Daniel J Su, [16 Feb 2011]


HTC indicated the six models will be launched in the second quarter of 2011.


HTC is showcasing five Android smartphones and its first tablet PC, the Android HTC Flyer, at the 2011 Mobile World Congress (MWC) taking place in Barcelona, Spain, in an attempt to reinforce its global competitiveness, according to the company.

HTC Flyer features a 7-inch touch screen, HSPA+ mobile connectivity, new HTC Scribe handwriting and drawing, HTC Watch video streaming service and OnLive gaming service based on cloud computing, the company pointed out.

The five smartphones are the

(1) 3.7-inch HTC Desire S with front and rear cameras,

(2) 3.2-inch HTC Wildfire S with a 5-megapixel rear camera,

(3) 4-inch HTC Incredible S with an 8-megapixel rear camera, and

(4) HTC Chacha and HTC Salsa, each featuring a key to directly link to Facebook.

(5) HTC sold 25 million smartphones in 2010, more than double the sales volume in 2009

The awareness of the HTC brand has hiked from 13% to 50% in 18 months, according to company CEO Peter Chou.


Atheros aVP ims at 20-30% share for EPON inChina market

Posted by Daniel J Su, [15 Feb 2011]

US-based Atheros Communications has offered the world's first complete:

 10G EPON (Ethernet passive optical network) SoC (system-on-chip) solution

Atheros  has been cooperating with China-based makers of networking/communication equipment to promote adoption of the solution by major 3G telecom carriers in China

According to the company's vice president and Access Business general manager Liu Zheng which indicated with a goal of attaining a 20-30% market share for all of its EPON solutions,

China-based makers, including Huawei Technologies, ZTE and FiberHome:

Which all 3 China-based makers will begin developing 10G EPON equipment, including OLT (optical line terminal) and ONU (optical network unit), in the first half of 2011, Liu indicated.

China Telecom and China Unicom have decided to adopt EPON for its FTTx infrastructure

China Mobile prefers GPON (gigabit PON) but will also use EPON depending on conditions, VP noted.

Thus, EPON will become the mainstream technology for FTTx deployment in the China market with an estimated market share of two-thirds, Liu said.

China has seen a lot of

1G EPON FTTB MUD (multi-dwelling unit) deployments over the past two year.

As the bandwidth provided by 1G EPON FTTB MUD appears to be increasingly insufficient to meet growing demand, the demand for 10G model will take off in 2011, VP said.

For FTTH, which is mostly used for high-end residential units, 10G EPON is preferred to 1G, Liu noted.

China Telecom and China Unicom are expected to test

10G EPON equipment in the summer of 2011 and then begin to set up such networks in the fourth 4th quarter of 2011.


HTC has unveiled its first tablet PC, the HTC Flyer.

Posted by Daniel J Su, [11 Feb 2011]

HTC also announced HTC Watch, a new connected video service that will debut on the HTC Flyer tablet, and will collaborate with OnLive to launch the first cloud-based mobile gaming service on a tablet.

Encased in a sleek aluminum unibody, the HTC Flyer tablet is ultra-light, weighing as little as a paperback book, and compact enough to fit in a jacket pocket, the vendor said.

It comes with a seven-7-inch display, 1.5Ghz processor and HSPA+ wireless capabilities.

HTC Flyer will be available to customers globally during the second quarter of 2011


HTC 4G LTE Android smartphone name ThunderBolt with Verizon Wireless.

Posted by Daniel J Su, [11 Feb 2011]

The HTC ThunderBolt is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and runs on the Android 2.2 platform. The device also features a 4.3-inch WVGA display, Dolby surround sound, 8-megapixel camera and HD video recording. 

With wireless DLNA capability, the HTC ThunderBolt can be easily stream and share content directly with compatible home theater components, including HDTV's and stereo receivers that feature built-in DLNA support, the vendor said.

The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network, launched in December 2010, provides speeds up to 10 times faster than Verizon Wireless' 3G network. Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network currently reaches one-third of all Americans, with plans to expand the network to the company's entire 3G coverage area over the next three year


Android Will Keep Motorola a Top Smartphone Player in 2011: 
Heere are 10 Reasons Why:


Posted by Daniel J Su, [30 December 2011] 

Motorola is a major player in the smartphone space. But in 2011, with the help of Android, the company could stay near the top of the mobile handset market after struggling for years as an also-ran.

Android Will Keep Motorola a Top Smartphone Player in 2011: 10 Reasons Why

Motorola isn't necessarily one of the first companies that people recall when they start thinking about prominent firms in the tech space. 

Typically, they point to Microsoft, Apple and Google as the companies as the biggest and most glamorous in the computer industry. But in 2010, Motorola has proved that it deserves more respect in the industry than it's gotten for many years. 

The main reason for that is the company's outstanding smartphones. Dating back to the original Motorola Droid and spanning the Droid 2 and Droid X, among others, 

Motorola has proved that it truly knows what consumers are looking for in mobile products. It's doing enough now to at least show the market that Apple isn't the only provider of outstanding smartphones.

Read on to find out why the Android-loving Motorola should continue its rise to prominence in 2011. 

1. It has the right carrier on its side 

Motorola has an awfully cozy relationship with Verizon. 

The company' Droid smartphones are the best devices Motorola offers, and they're all available on Verizon's network. That's important. 

Verizon is one of the top wireless carriers by subscriber base, and according to Consumer Reports, it offers one of the top experiences to consumers. With that in mind, it's not surprising that Motorola is posing a serious competitive threat to other mobile device makers. 

2. It's using the right OS 

Motorola has a strong tie to Android. The company undoubtedly sees value in the operating system and has bundled it with the popular devices it currently offers. When Motorola first announced support for Android, some wondered if it would pay off. But now that Android has become the top-selling mobile OS, it's clear that it was one of the best decisions the smartphone maker has made in years. 

3. The company understands consumers 

Just look at the Motorola Droid X for all the evidence you need to see that Motorola truly understands what consumers are looking for. It offers the operating system consumers are buying. 

The device comes with a big, beautiful 4.3-inch display that makes the iPhone's 3.5-inch display look small. 

It has the ability to share its 3G connection with up to five devices at once, thanks to its mobile hot spot functionality. 

Plus, it has several multimedia features that make it an ideal choice for enjoying video content. 

Motorola's understanding of what consumers desire makes it a credible threat in the smartphone market. 

4. Smartphone design is impeccable 

Like the Droid X, several of Motorola's smartphones feature an outstanding design. 

As mentioned, the Droid X features a large display. 

And the company's Droid 2 comes with a slide-out keyboard for those who don't like virtual keyboards. 

The Droid Pro, meanwhile, fully appeals to enterprise customers, many of whom are used to working with a physical keyboard. And let's not forget the many other Motorola products, such as the Bravo and Flipside, both of which are recognized by consumers for their solid designs. 

5. It's looking toward the enterprise 

Speaking of the Droid Pro, Motorola seems committed to serving corporate customers. 

The company's enterprise-focused Droid Pro boasts QuickOffice for mobile-productivity seekers and access to Verizon's network, which at least by Consumer Reports' estimation delivers a better experience to consumers than much of the competition. 

In addition, the device will feature data encryption technology in "early 2011" to improve upon its current security features such as remote wipe. It's a good first step. It shows that Motorola is ready and willing to take on the competition in the corporate space. 

6. It has been around for a long time 

It's tough to argue with the statement that Motorola isn't Apple when it comes to smartphones. But the company has been around the mobile market for a long time. 

As its successful RAZR devices prove, it won kudos for it mobile phone designs long before Apple broke into that space. Does that mean Motorola will eventually overtake Apple in the smartphone market? 

Probably not, but it does mean that Apple can't be complacent. 

7. It's a top Apple alternative 

Although Apple faces stalwart competition from several companies, including 

RIM and HTC, Motorola's Droid smartphones are one of the best alternatives to the iPhone. 

They run on the right network, they offer the right operating system, and they have the best hardware design. 

Granted, some HTC devices are also running 

Android, and both HTC and RIM products have Verizon options available. 

But Motorola is delivering the best experience for consumers right now with its Droid devices. That's probably why the company's handset market share during the third quarter was 18.4 percent, while RIM's market share was 9.3 percent. 

8. It has quantity on its side 

As mentioned, there is very little chance that a single Motorola smartphone will be able to top the iPhone in total sales. But what Motorola lacks in a single, unbridled champion, it makes up for in a slew of devices that solve just about every issue consumers might have. 

That's important as Motorola looks beyond just Apple to compete in the mobile market. 

After all, it's squaring off with HTC, Samsung and several other device makers. If it wasn't delivering all those smartphones, the company wouldn't be nearly as worrisome to the competition as it is now. 

9. The tablet consideration 

Motorola will be unveiling details on an 

Android 3.0-baded tablet at CES in January that it hopes will be able to compete on the same level as Apple's iPad. If Motorola can deliver tablets with similar value as that of its smartphones, the company can go a long way in extending its threat to the competition. The mobility market is more than just smartphones nowadays. 

As Apple has proved with the iPad, the more quality products that consumers can enjoy in the mobile space, the more likely they will stay loyal to that brand. 

10. It's jumping in on 4G-capable smartphones in 2011. 

Verizon Wireless COO John Stratton said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that 

"Motorola will be right there" when the carrier offers 4G-capable smartphones in 2011. 

He didn't provide any more details, but his admission is extremely important. 

Speculation abounds that Apple's rumored Verizon iPhone will also feature 4G connectivity. 

If it does, and Motorola's top smartphones offer it as well, the handset maker would achieve one very important goal: 

It wouldn't give Apple's iPhone the lead in a technology sector that is likely to be very important in 2011. 

Simply put, with 4G in tow, Motorola can future-proof its Verizon offerings. 

That is extremely important as the prospects of Verizon getting the Apple base iPhone become greater.

HTC to showcase Verizon, Sprint with two Android smartphones


Posted by Daniel J Su, [26 December 2011] 

HTC does not have exhibition space at the upcoming 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) but that will not stop the smartphone maker from debuting an 

Android LTE (Long Term Evolution) smartphone, the Droid Incredible HD, through its partner Verizon as well as an 

Android smartphone, the EVO Shift 4G, through another partner Sprint Nextel at CES, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

While HTC CEO Peter Chou declined to respond to whether 

HTC will launch tablet PCs on January 3, Taiwan-based makers of components indicated 

HTC may unveil the HTC Scribe, its initial tablet PCs equipped with a 

7-inch screen and Android 3.0, at the 2011 Mobile World Congress to take place in Barcelona, Spain, during February 14-17.

In related news, Chou on January 3 announced that HTC will cooperate with the Council for Cultural Affairs and a government-sponsored foundation to develop a 25-hectare landscape park featuring a forest surrounded by 100,000 trees and a 400m long and 5m high earth-made Dream Corridor.

Android 3.0 tablets as Notebook vendors seeing R&D delays 

Posted by Daniel J Su, [23 December 2011] 

Notebook vendors have expressed concerns about the launch schedule of their 

Android 3.0 tablet PCs as Google is currently giving priority for Android 3.0 support mainly to smartphone players such as:

Motorola, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, High Tech Computer (HTC) and Nokia, leaving notebook vendors facing delays in their R&D schedules.

Acer's Android tablet Tegra-dual core ARM SOC

Posted by Daniel J Su, [19 December 2011]


Acer's upcoming Android tablets has appeared on YouTube in a leaked video, which was briefly pulled and then reposted a short time later. 

The video appeared to show the company's 10-inch model, which is believed to be powered by NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 2 platform.

Aside from limited amount of information already known, the latest leak indicates Acer is in the process of developing a number of custom Android apps. An e-reader app, which doubles as a photo utility, seems to utilize a gyroscope sensor for page turns.

Any custom UI and apps are likely still in beta development, as Acer is said to be waiting for Android 3.0, also known as Honeycomb and optimized for tablets, before the device will arrive in the market.

The company is also working on a 

4.8-inch smartphone with a 1024x480 display, along with a 

7.0 inch model with a 1280x800 display and dual-core processor. 

All of the devices are expected to ship sometime in April. 

China 3G users will grow top 270 million by 2014

Posted by Daniel J Su, [11 November 2011]

The number of 3G users in China should reach 270.9 million in 2014 despite slower-than-expected acceptance of the new telecom service at the start of operations in 2009, according to the Digitimes Research.

Digitimes Research noted that 3G licenses were issued to China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom in 2008 after another round of major consolidation in the country's telecom market. China Mobile received a license for the homegrown standard of TD-SCDMA, while China Telecom and China Unicom were licensed for CDMA2000 and WCDMA, respectively.

The year 2009 could be described as a period of infrastructure construction. Not only were base stations being deployed as service provision was rolled out to customers, but product supply chains for the TD-SCDMA, CDMA and WCDMA standards were also all far from robust.

"The upshot of this was that even if consumers were tempted to try out 3G services, they were faced with an annoyingly restrictive choice of handset terminals," said Roger Huang, a senior analyst of Digitimes Research. "Moreover, despite the fact that 3G services in China had been in planning for many years before their eventual launch, applied services capable of actually utilizing the advantages of 3G involved a considerable trade off in other respects for all three carriers during this initial period."

Consequently, while the carriers made bold claims in 2009 about drawing in 30 million new 3G users during their first year of operation, this target was revised downward by the middle of the year, and the final number of 3G users by the end of 2009 was just 10.2 million, according to Digitimes Research.

But as network deployment nears completion, the range of terminals increases and carriers begin to offer tariff plan support, Digitimes Research predicts that the number of 3G users in China will reach 44.8 million by the end of 2010, a threefold increase on the 2009 figure, with China Mobile best placed to take the lion's share.

There are several factors that may accelerate the growth of China's 3G market, within which devices will play a pivotal role. A basic entry-level terminal now costs more than CNY3,000 (US$450) in 2010, let alone a phone with more advanced functions, with the result that 3G usage is limited to the top of the user base pyramid.

"For this reason, all three of China's major telecoms operators must play a more proactive role in the supply chain and appeal to more manufacturers to invest in development, so as to hasten the drop in terminal prices," said Huang, author of Digitimes Research's latest Special Report, "China 3G telecoms, suppliers and market."

China 3G market growing fast: Q&A 


Posted by Daniel J Su, [8 November 2011]

The China telecom market officially entered the 3G era just two years ago, much later than some of its neighbors, such as Japan and Taiwan. But its 3G market will be growing fast in the next few years, and Digitimes Research senior analyst Roger Huang thinks the price of handsets will be a key factor determining the pace of growth.

Q: What were the key moments in the restructuring of China's telecom industry?

A: China's telecom sector has seen major restructuring over the past two decades or so. China's telecom market has now evolved from the monopoly of a single state-run telecom into a three-horse race between China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom. In 2008, the China government allowed all three telecom carriers to offer full-range services, meaning they can all operate in the mobile, fixed-line and broadband sectors and offer bundled services. At the same time, all three carriers received 3G licenses.

Q: What is the current status of China's 3G market, as well as the telecom industry in general?

A: China's 3G market has seen much faster growth in 2010 than in 2009 when the carriers just started to offer 3G services. The staggering growth in 2010 is the result of a low comparison base in 2009. And improvements to infrastructure, expanded handset offerings and decreases in prices have all provided growth momentum and incentives for users to change to 3G services.

As for the overall telecom industry in the country, China Mobile has an advantage from the large base of mobile phone users it has accumulated over the past several years. China Telecom remains the biggest broadband player, but it has been much affected by the fixed-mobile substitution (FMS). Its finances are stable, but it is lagging far behind the two competitors in terms of user number. As for China Unicom, it has the worst profitability, but it has a more balanced development among its various services. Its prospects look good as it embraces the globally-accepted WCDMA 3G standard.

Q: What changes have been seen in the supply chain resulting from the development of 3G.

A: More and more international players are realizing the importance of the China market. There are now many foreign and domestic suppliers for all three 3G standards in China - TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and CDMA. Chipmakers now also see China as an important market.

Q: How fast will China's 3G market grow? Who will be the winner of the three telecom players?

A: The 3G market in China is expected to grow steadily in 2011. The key factor will be handset prices: the lower the prices, the faster the 3G market will grow. In the long run, China Unicom will have more advantages, but China Mobile may accelerate its migration to TD-LTE, leveraging on the global standard to regain ground lost while supporting the home-grown TD-SCDMA standard. 

Oracle Enhances x86 Clustered Systems for Virtualization and Private Cloud Deployments

Posted by Daniel J Su, [23 Feb 2011] 

Oracle last week introduced enhanced Sun Fire x86 clustered systems to bolster its line of enterprise-class blade and rackmount servers for highly virtualized and private cloud deployments.

Oracle's Sun x86 servers can be managed and supported as a single system using Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g, which includes integrated virtual and cloud environment management.

The systems come pre-installed with Oracle Solaris, Oracle Linux, and Oracle VM to "provide a completely tested and supported virtualized environment for Oracle Software, including Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle Applications." They are also certified to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Windows Server, and VMware.

Oracle touted the performance of the Sun x86 clustered systems, pointing out that they have set more than 30 world records to date in hardware benchmark tests, including five new world records that demonstrate "enterprise leadership and superior performance for Java applications."

Further information about Oracle's Sun x86 servers can be found here.

Posted by Daniel J Su