CEATEC 2006 was held last week in Makuhari (near Tokyo) last week (Oct. 3 - Oct. 7, 2006). According to published reports, there were more than 40,000 attendees almost every day. The show covered a four-day period, and is normally a good barometer for the types of products that will appear at CES 2007, which will run from January 8th through January 11 in Last Vegas, NV. I heard that if you haven't made hotel reservations by now, you may be out-of-luck. With the demise of COMDEX, the Consumer Electronics Show has become the premiere U.S. trade show covering Consumer Electronics.
While there were certainly several 1080p plasma TVs on display from some of manufacturers, one of the highlights was Toshiba's 55-in. SED HDTV. It was indicated that there finally may have been manufacturing breakthroughs that will allow this exceptional display technology to come to market in late 2007 in both Japan and the U.S. It will be heavily promoted at the upcoming 2008 Olympics in China, according to various sources. In related news, there are rumors that Samsung and possibly others may be developing Carbon Nanotube TVs designed to compete with Toshiba and Canon in 2008. This may be just a rumor, or there may be something more to it. If any of you readers know more than just rumors, let me know.
Another rumor that I understand was spreading throughout CEATEC was that a major Japanese company (like Hitachi or Mitsubishi- maybe) could be looking into FED technology, which is a related Carbon Nanotube technology, for future high-end displays. As it stands right now, representatives for both Canon and Toshiba have indicated that they do not plan on licensing SED technology. So, if you can't license it, you'll have to find competing (and comparable) technology.
In other news coming out of CEATEC, six companies—Matsushita, Sony, Sony Communication Network, Toshiba, Sharp and Hitachi— have formed a joint venture company called TV Portal Service Corp. that will run a common TV portal for digital TVs with broadband Internet access. The joint venture will launch a portal site named acTVila on Feb. 1, 2007. It is proposing that TV makers make their sets accessible to the common portal. The portal company is also considering adoption of digital right management technology under development by Intertrust, Matsushita, Samsung and Sony.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.