Thursday, July 24, 2008

Consumer grade Flash in an SSD package - WAIF

RegHardware mentions Raidon's Compact Flash in a 2.5" SATA disk form factor which can be loaded up with cheap CF cards (32 Gig for $100 at the time of writing). The Raidon package holds two CF cards which can be mirrored for safety, or striped/concatenated (its not clear which) using "NRAID" which doesn't require both CF cards to be the same size.

I'd like to see a similar concept go even further using microSDHC, it should be possible to get a Wide Array of Inexpensive Flash (WAIF) based drive with consumer based pricing and very high storage capacity and bandwidth. Its going to be appropriate for read-mostly workloads such as personal use in laptops, static content web serving and archival storage.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Next-Generation Mobile Broadband - The 4G Summit at PARC

There is a talk at Xerox PARC next week sponsored by the Wireless Communications Alliance. They don't have URL's that link to specific events so here is the full description, currently listed on their site. Unfortunately I have a work commitment so I can't attend, they do mention many of the very advanced ideas that I have been talking about in my Millicomputing talks, such as video conferencing over high bandwidth mobile networks.

Tuesday, July 15th 2008, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
WCA CenterStage presents: Next-Generation Mobile Broadband - The 4G Summit
Venue: Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto CA

-- Moderator: Iain Gillott, Founder & President, iGR Inc.

-- Jake MacLeod, Principal Vice President & CTO, Bechtel
-- Barry Davis, Exec Director of Products & Services, Clearwire
-- Jim Orr, Principal Network Architect, Fujitsu Network Communications
-- Jon Hambidge, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, NextWave Wireless
-- Samir Khazaka, Sr Director Technical Marketing, QUALCOMM
-- Gennady Sirota, VP Product Management, Starent
-- Lee Tjio, Director of Advanced Technology & Strategy, Verizon Wireless

Visionaries who speak about fourth-generation mobile technology (aka 4G) often allude to the tantalizing promise of services and features previously found only in science fiction; interactive holographic video, handheld devices with high-resolution (better than HDTV) images, streaming HD video conferencing and real-time interaction while mobile. 4G also promises a convergence between technologies, for example; mobile payments using near-field communications and handset-based smart cards, personal assistant technologies in which your mobile device will interact with networked devices and services based on your location/schedule/current actions/etc. Implementing the 4G vision of the future will require a bandwidth of at least 100Mbps, which has implications for spectrum policy not supported by current licensing and bandplans.

It's generally accepted that 4G will run over an IP infrastructure, will interoperate with 802.xx technologies (Wi-Fi, WiMAX, Bluetooth, ZigBee, etc), and will need to support data-rates from 100Mbps to as high as 1Gbps. It's also expected that 4G will be a collection of technologies and protocols; versus one single standard. There are at last three major camps (and a few upstarts) that aspire to be the major 4G mobile data service provider and have a dominant influence at defining the mobile broadband market for decades to come. Will it be one of the major camps, or will there be a dark horse that emerges?

On July 15th 2008 the Wireless Communication Alliance CenterStage will proudly present "Next-Generation Mobile Broadband : The 4G Summit". Stakeholders from various camps around the 4G battleground will come together under a flag of truce to debate the strengths and weaknesses of the approach on which they're betting. What's real, and what's simply hype? Who will be the first to achieve 4G ratification, and when is a realistic date when this will happen? What are the implications for technology vendors, service providers, and content developers? Are there any non-Western standards also likely to be contenders? How will the industry address spectrum licensing challenges and bandplans which today would seem to favor FDD versus TDD technologies? How will spectral refarming, cognitive radio, and spectrum-sharing technologies affect the market? Given that the evolution of technology demands that existing 3G systems will have to co-exist with future 4G systems; how will that transition take place and are there business opportunities in helping to facilitate that transition?

Insights, information, and understanding will be the take-aways from this exciting WCA event. How can you afford to not be there? Mark your calendar for July 15th 2008 and plan to attend! We expect this event to sell out, so to ensure your seat we recommend that you register now for this event.

Cost: $20 at the door, $15 in advance via PayPal/Credit Card

Wonderland - Immersive Virtual World

Interesting discussion of Sun's Wonderland project. Of particular interest is that they are using attenuation and stereo audio to place voices in space, so as you move around people come into earshot. Its also an open source project, and this is the kind of audio interface I've been discussing for a while.

LED Displays in Contact Lenses

There is some research going on to develop LED Contact Lenses, reported in the Guardian, and mentioned in Guy Kawaski's blog.

This looks like a neat alternative to video eyeglasses, however the image will move with your eye, so you will see it superimposed over everything else. With eyeglasses the image moves relative to your head, so you can focus attention on a specific part of the image as you move your eyes. However, this is probably the least of their problems as they try to develop the idea...