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Multiple Companies Showcase Interoperability of Wireless Home Area Network for Energy Management

A diverse ZigBee-powered home area network (HAN) is now on display at CenterPoint Energy’s Houston Electric Technology Center. The display features ZigBee-enabled electric and gas meters from Itron; ZigBee-enabled programmable controllable thermostats (PCT) from Computime, Control4, Hunter Fan Company, Golden Power Manufacturing/Radio Thermostat Company of America; and Trane, along with an energy management Web portal from Tendril Networks. The hands-on ZigBee-powered HAN at CenterPoint Energy’s Technology Center offers a view into the utility’s innovative use of technology, which is designed to improve energy efficiency and electric service.

CenterPoint Energy, which began a limited deployment of 10,000 electric and 100 gas advanced meters earlier this year, is one of several utilities that are members of the ZigBee Alliance. It is joined by other utilities helping to ensure that ZigBee HANs support future energy management solutions. That group includes: DTE Energy, Oncor Electric Delivery, Sempra Utilities, Southern California Edison and TXU Energy.

“The ZigBee home area network is installed in our Technology Center to demonstrate that products from multiple vendors can work in unison. Our Technology Center allows us a chance to see how an open standards home area network can be combined with our innovative Intelligent Grid technology,” said Tom Standish, CenterPoint Energy Group President, Regulated Operations. “This combination of new technologies is designed to benefit utilities and consumers alike. In the future, utilities should be able to improve service and reliability, while the ZigBee HAN has the potential to help residential and business customers take control of their energy use.”

CenterPoint Energy is working with the ZigBee Alliance and other stakeholders to create the standard for wireless communication between utility companies and common household devices. This communication protocol is expected to play an important role in delivering on the promise of energy efficiency programs. ZigBee continues to draw support from energy regulators, the utility industry and leading product OEMs who care about the amount of energy efficiency they can result from their devices. Dozens of Alliance members collaborate each day to address this critical need. 

Certicom Opens Design Center for Next-Generation Crypto Technology

Certicom has announced the opening of its Scotts Valley Design Center, a new facility dedicated to the secure development of hardware-based cryptographic technologies.  Located in Silicon Valley among leading chip manufacturers, this design center serves as the focal point in Certicom’s strategy to deliver the highest level of hardware cryptographic security for communications conducted by corporations, government organizations and individuals worldwide.

Certicom is known for its innovation in the field of Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) and the company’s Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio, which includes more than 400 patents and patents pending worldwide, covers many key aspects of ECC, including software optimizations, efficient hardware implementations, methods to enhance the security and various cryptographic protocols. 

At the new design center, Certicom engineers will address the emerging security needs for a variety of traditional markets including government, military, enterprise, networking and mobility.  It will also address new markets including secure RFID technologies (contactless smart cards, wireless utility networks), industrial/sensor networks (automated factory networks, chemical plant process controls, SCADA systems), PIV (FIPS-201 and ePassport) and contactless payment and public transportation (electronic fare cards).

The new Certicom Scotts Valley Design Center is located at 3600 Glen Canyon Road, Scotts Valley, CA, roughly 30 miles south of San Jose.  Pictures of the center are available upon request.

Collaboration to Enhance Biomedical and Bioengineering Design, Modeling and Simulation

Simpleware has announced a partnership agreement to provide an export interface from Simpleware’s 3D image-based meshing software +ScanFE to Comsol Multiphysics 3.4, a multiphysics simulation environment. The interface enables biomedical and bioengineering users to directly export high-quality meshes of 3D MRI, CT and MicroCT scan data created with +ScanFE to Comsol Multiphysics 3.4 for modeling and simulation without requiring re-meshing or pre-processing.

A key component of Simpleware’s ScanIP suite of image-processing solutions, +ScanFE provides a powerful suite of algorithms and a robust toolset for converting segmented 3D image data into multi-part volumetric models. +ScanFE generates high-quality volume and surface meshes, contact surfaces and material properties from the segmented data, all of which can now be directly exported to Comsol Multiphysics.

Simpleware’s new Export to Comsol Multiphysics functionality is a simple two-step operation. First, ScanIP segments the regions of interest from the scan data, and then +ScanFE generates an input file for Comsol Multiphysics. Once you import the file, you can leverage Comsol to model, simulate and design biomedical applications such as hip joint replacements, vascular therapy and drug delivery.

Key benefits of the +ScanFE and Comsol Multiphysics partnership include:

• The ability to create meshes from 3D scan data, such as MRI, CT and MicroCT, and directly make them available for true multiphysics simulations without intermediate steps such as re-meshing and pre-processing.

• The possibility to integrate CAD and image data interactively, and then automatically mesh the resulting combined model. Users can insert implants and blood stents into the original scan data and then run simulations involving complex interactions between implant, tissue and blood.

• The capability to reconstruct and mesh separate parts yielding perfectly conforming interfaces (no gaps or overlaps). The properties and physics of the different parts and the interactions across the interfaces can be fully manipulated in the model set-up.

• The capacity for users to access application examples and exercises that lead them through the entire process from acquiring and exporting 3D scan data to full multiphysics modeling of complex geometries with multiple parts.

Drives Market Booming Due to Record High Energy Costs

According to statistics from IMS Research, the worldwide low voltage AC & DC motor drives market experienced unprecedented growth in 2006. Record high energy prices combined with improved awareness of the energy saving benefits of motor drives have contributed to increasing the market by nearly 15% over 2005 levels, to more than $7.6 billion. It is expected to continue growing by an average of 9% per year in terms of revenues to surpass $11.2 billion by 2011.

The Asia Pacific motor drives market, lead by explosive economic growth in China and India, continued to be the fastest growing segment. It is expected to surpass the size of the Americas market in 2007, and continue growing by more than 10% per year over the next five years. The EMEA market also experienced robust growth in 2006 due to high demand for motor drives by the booming heavy industry of the region. The Americas and Japanese markets for motor drives also performed well, but grew at a slower pace than Asia Pacific and EMEA.

Industry sectors such as commercial HVAC, food & beverage, metal processing, textiles and utilities continued to lead the market in motor drive utilization, together representing more than one third of the total low voltage drives market. In addition, new segments such as the renewable energy sector provide opportunity for further growth. According to IMS Research analyst Alex Chausovsky, “The renewable energy sector is a great prospect for motor drive manufacturers. Electricity generation from wind power is growing by 25% per year, requiring some $23 billion of new generating equipment, most of which is currently using motor drives. Furthermore, there are new technologies on the horizon that attempt to harness the energy in ocean waves and sub-glacial ice flows, which present tremendous opportunities for motor drives manufacturers.”

Express Logic with GlobalEdge Partner to Provide Apps and Middleware

Express Logic has teamed up with GlobalEdge Software to provide ThreadX customers with embedded software solutions and IP-based services. GlobalEdge services combine ready solutions and engineering services to offer complete product realization. ThreadX customers in the communication, wireless, industrial automation, automotive and consumer appliances industries will be served by GES to assist them in creating their next-generation products. This alliance will provide Express Logic’s customers with a wide range of software solutions in the areas of wireless, VoIP, DSP, USB and networking technologies. Leveraging on GlobalEdge’s extensive ThreadX experience in device drivers and BSP development and strong IP portfolio, customers will be able to build feature-rich, cost-effective and quick-to-market solutions.

“GlobalEdge foresees a growing RTOS market across businesses,” commented Sarbpreet Singh, president & COO at GlobalEdge. “Express Logic’s leadership in small-footprint, royalty-free real-time operating systems makes them an ideal partner for many semiconductor and product companies. Partnering with Express Logic enables GlobalEdge to expand its penetration in the market further and to help in delivering high-quality customer solutions.”

“More and more developers are asking for highly integrated solutions specifically tailored for the specifications of their customers,” noted William E. Lamie, president of Express Logic. “Partnering with GlobalEdge enables us to provide a plethora of integrated communications protocols and IP peripherals quickly and cost-efficiently. I look forward to being better able to meet our customers’ needs in these areas.”

Eclipse Hibachi Project Brings Ada Suppliers into Common Environment

The Eclipse Foundation has announced the creation of a new open-source project called Hibachi. The Hibachi project provides an industrial-strength, vendor-neutral Ada integrated development environment (IDE), which also serves as a platform for other contributors to provide value-added functionality for Ada developers. Hibachi is a sub-project of the Eclipse Tools Project, and it parallels and complements CDT, the C/C++ Development Tooling project, providing a multi-language native embedded software development environment. The name Hibachi is an anagram honoring the late Jean Ichbiah, lead designer of the Ada language.

To initiate the project, Aonix has contributed the source code of AonixADT, an existing commercial Eclipse plug-in technology that supports Aonix ObjectAda as well as GNAT tool chains on a variety of host and target platforms, as the initial code for the project. AonixADT is based on JDT and CDT, the Java and C Eclipse development toolkits. Additional contributions to Hibachi are being actively solicited by the project team.

Major Hibachi functionality includes:

• Ada editor with semantic navigation, code assist, structural representations and formatting

• Build configurations

• Debugging support

• Refactoring

• Support for multiple tool chains

• Native or embedded launch capability

• Wizards and templates

In addition, Hibachi will provide an open framework for the integration and use of other tools used during the lifecycle of large-scale Ada application development. These tools include but are not limited to analysis, modeling, testing, verification, documentation, refactoring and configuration management.

SiliconSystems Supports SanDisk Legal Action

SiliconSystems has affirmed its support for SanDisk Corporation’s announcement on October 25, 2007, to file patent infringement actions against certain companies that manufacture, sell and import USB flash drives, CompactFlash cards, multimedia cards, MP3/media players and other removable flash storage products.

SiliconSystems’ technology ownership and its SanDisk technology cross-license are intended to provide significant protection for its customers against the risk associated with third-party claims of infringement. Safeguarding customers from product infringement concerns also minimizes the risk of interruption in supply.

SiliconSystems points out that it has developed a substantial patent-protected technology portfolio addressing the burgeoning solid-state storage system and solid-state drive markets. SiliconSystems is among a select group of SanDisk licensees and the only licensee focused exclusively on the Enterprise System OEM market. SanDisk was an early-stage investor in SiliconSystems and remains a shareholder.