5G Americas advocates 5G & LTE at CTIA

5G Americas advocates 5G & LTE at CTIA

September, CTIA – Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, told us in 1:1 interview during the CTIA conference that the focus on 5G is good because we need to be looking at the future and the things we need to do to stay connected. This includes providing more mobile broadband, more massive LTE, less latency and finally reliable communication. For the foundation of mobile broadband, 4G and 5G will be integrated together as well the incorporation, with a big role, of LTE Advance and LTE Advanced Pro. But there is some economic reality behind the adoption of the technology in that, if you are an operator, and you want to deploy 5G, you have to have a business case to spend hundreds of millions or billions to pay it back.

5G Americas advocate for more innovations and investments from the private sector to look at the best interests of the end customers. The customer can be consumer, enterprise or verticals inside IOT.

5G Americas is the voice of 5G and LTE for all the Americas.  They work by supporting the ecosystem of mobile operators and vendors, working with government agencies, regulatory and standards bodies, as well as other global wireless organizations to promote the 5G & LTE technologies. They work in three (3) different areas:

First – Technical recommendations and facilitations. They don’t typically create standards but they are part of the process of education on the direction of the technology that they want. They also contribute their white papers with the associations around the world and governments around the world with focus on Americas region.

Second – They work on regulatory policy, that as Pearson admitted – become more and more important because of what 5G is going to be doing.  5G is getting to the other verticals and other areas such as: education, transportation and health care. He believes that 5G ecosystem should include and will include a regulatory aspect as it enters market already subject to regulatory control.

Third – Education.  They provide outreach with all wireless headquarters including industry media, industry analysts and a lot of influencers and government processes.

What Dr Bennet Omalu and Will Smith have in common?

What Dr Bennet Omalu and Will Smith have in common?

Biotechnology, September 2016 – The opening keynote for Biotechnology conference in San Francisco this past June was a brilliant pairing of two speakers – Forensic pathologist Dr Bennet Omalu and famous actor Will Smith.

What brought them together? The answer is – cinema.

Both of them are the characters of the movie “Concussion” that was released at the end of 2015 and many claimed that it deserved an Oscar nomination. It is the story of Dr Bennet Omalu (portrayed by Will Smith in the movie) who discovered and described a disease called CTE – Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy after a few dramatic accidents resulted in the early deaths of football players in Pittsburgh. For those who haven’t seen the movie I save writing a review, because it is worth going to see.

Dr Bennet Omalu talked on the stage about science for the sake of knowledge and the interrelationship of pure science and its faith. Will Smith talked about his reaction to the film. How he suddenly got concern about his son that likes to play football. Both men are very colorful characters. Omalu’s sense of humor and unstoppable laugh was dominating on the stage. Will Smith was talking about challenges in that role including Omalu’s accent and the laugh.

The film opened the public eyes at the challenges that players facing and shake the NFL world. Omalu who is dedicated to the science as investigating how the world works, and to this end, used his own money to investigate why the admired Steeler team football player Mike Webster, ended up his life alone, homeless and in unbearable pain. Omalu kept asking why that happened and why at so early an age. The road to acceptance of the discovery wasn’t easy but Omala believed and searched for truth no matter what.

As many attendees came being attracted by Will Smith presence they were taken by surprise and found  Dr Bennet Omalu very interesting and compiling person.

Consumerization of Flash Memory (2)

Consumerization of Flash Memory (2)

Flash Memory Summit, August 2016 – The process of consumerization of flash memory started around 2004. This year NAND prices drop below DRAM prices for the first time at the same density. Panasonic and Sanyo launched the first flash-based camcorders. SanDisk inaugurated Flash Sansa MP3 players. In 2005 NAND revenue exceeded $10 billion when Apple introduced its first iProducts.

Below is the timeline of consumerization of flash memory.

2005 – Apple introduced its first two flash-based iPods, the iPod shuffle and the iPod nano. Microsoft launched Hybrid Hard Disk Drive concept. MMCmicro card was introduced by MMCA. 70nm process was initiated. Micron introduced NAND product. Over 3 billion flash chips were shipped. NAND GB shipments overtook those of DRAM.

2006 – Flash revenue exceed $20 billion. Intel introduced Robson Cache Memory, now known as Turbo Memory. Microsoft launched ReadyBoost. M-Systems announced 4-bit MLC technology. That was an important year for SanDisk. The company announced 4-bit NAND technology and the microSDHC card. SanDisk acquired two enterprises: Martix Semiconductor and M-Systems. Samsung and Seagate demonstrated first Hybrid Hard Disk Drives. IMFT was formed by Intel and Micron to manufacture NAND flash. Spansion introduced ORNAND flash. 56nm process was announced. 300 mm wafers started to be produced.

2007 – Flash revenue exceeded $22 billion (NAND $14.5B) Toshiba introduced eMMC NAND and first MLC SATA-based SSD. IMFT started shipping 50nm NAND flash. Apple launched the iPhone with 4GB or 8GB of flash. Fusion-io announced 640 GB ioDrive MLC NAND-based PCIe X4 board. BitMicro launched 3.5”SSD with capacity of 1.6TB for military applications. Spansion acquired Saifun. Several laptop MLC SSDs were introduced with up to 128 GB of flash. Dell launched SSD option for laptop models. Sub-$200 netbook computers were introduced with flash memory storage. Microsoft initiated flash-based Zune Player. Seagate launched the Hybrid Storage Alliance and the first hybrid HDD, the Momentus PSD.

2008 – SanDisk introduced ABL to enable high speed MLC, TLC and X4 NAND. 34nm process announced by Intel and Micron. Toshiba initiated first 512GB MLC SATA-based SSD. Intel and STMicro spanned off Numonyx. IBM demonstrated first “Million IOPS” flash array. EMC announced use of flash-based SSDs for enterprise SAN applications. Apple introduced two generations of MacBook Air, with 64GB and 128GB SSDs and no HDD option. Micron, Samsung and Sun Microsystems announced high-endurance flash memory. Violin introduced first fully flash-based storage appliance. Samsung announced 150GB 2.5”MLC SSD with SATA II Interface. Several companies demonstrated MLC flash SSDs with up to 256GB for notebook apps. Micron introduced first serial NAND flash. Toshiba developed 3D NAND structure, BICS. Apple sold 1M iPhone 3Gs in 3 days, with 8GB or 16GB of flash.

2009 – Intel, Micron introduced 34nm TLC NAND. Samsung introduced the first full HD camcorder with a 64GB SSD. Seagate entered SSD market. SandForce introduced first compression-based SSD controller. Virident and Schooner launched first flash-based application appliances for the data center. Pillar Data converted Axiom SANs to SSD. Plaint introduced first SAS SSD. SanDisk shipped 4-bit/cell SDHC and Memory Stick Pro cards. Western Digital acquired SiliconSystems and got into SSD business. NVELO introduced first PC flash caching software “Dataplex’. SanDisk introduced 100-year flash storage vault. The revenue reached 19 billion.

2010 – Toshiba introduced 128GB SDcard based on sixteen-chip stack. Intel, Micron introduced 25nm TLC and MLC NAND. Numonyx was acquired Micron, SST by Microchip. Samsung started producing 64 Gb, 3-bit NAND and introduced high-speed 512 GB SSD utilizing toggle-mode DDR NAND memory. Seagate announced first self-managed hybrid HDD, the Momentus XT with 4GB of NAND flash and 500GB HDD storage. The revenue reached $26 billion.

2011 – Year of many acquisitions: LSI acquired SandForce; SanDisk acquired IMFT, Apple acquired Anobit, Fusion-io acquired IO Turbine. Intel announced Smart Response SSD caching for PCs. Seagate introduced II generation Momentus XT hybrid HDD with 8GB of NAND flash and 750GB HDD storage. Richard Pashley, Stefan Lai, Bruce McCormick and Niles Kynett from Intel received FMS Lifetime Achievement Award.

2012 – Ultrabooks begin to ship with Smart Response SSD cache. SanDisk and Toshiba announced 19nm flash memory enabling 128Gb chips. Macronix and Winbond entered NAND flash business. Seagate introduced SSHD combining flash memory with a HDD. Elpida introduced ReRAM. Micron and Intel launched 20nm 128Gb NAND chip using hi-k planar cell. SK Hynix formed upon SK Telecom’s acquisition of controlling interest in Hynix Semicondactor. MOSAID sampled 333GB/s HL-NAND. Adesto acquired Atmel’s Serial NOR business. Spansion introduced 8Gb NOR chip. DensBits Technologies introduced Memory Modem. Proximal Data introduced AutoCache. SanDisk acquired FlashSoft. OCZ acquired Sanrad. Samsung acquired NVELO. Intel acquired Nevex and introduced CacheWorks. LSI introduced Nytro flash with MegaRAID CacheCade caching software. Micron introduced 2.5-inch PCIe enterprise SSD. SanDisk co-founder, Eli Harari, received FMS Lifetime Achievement Award.

2013 – Samsung announced availability of 24-layer 3D V-NAND and demonstrated 1TB SSD at FMS 2013. Diablo Technologies announced Memory Channel Storage technology. SMART Storage Systems incorporated Diablo Technologies designs into ULtraDIMM. Western Digital and SanDisk introduced SSHD using iSSSD combined with an HDD. Toshiba introduced line of SSHDs. Everspin Technologies announced shipments of STT MRAM. Micron and other companies sampled 16nm flash memory. SanDisk released CFast 2.0 memory card, fastest memory card for professional video. M.2 PCIe interface formalized NVMe standard issued to accelerate communications with flash storage. Western Digital acquired sTec, Virident and Velobit. SanDisk acquired SMART Storage Systems. NVMdurance introduced software to extend flash endurance. Micron acquired Elpida. Intel introduced Intel Cache Acceleration Software. Fujio Masuoka, formerly of Toshiba, received FMS Lifetime Achievement Award. The revenue reached $30 billion.

2014 – Samsung, SanDisk and Toshiba announced 3D NAND production facilities. SanDisk introduced 4TB Enterprise SSD. SanDisk announced 128GB microSD card, a 1000x increase in capacity on device’s 10th anniversary. IBM announced eXFlash DIMMs using SanDisk ULLtraDIMM’s implementation of Diablo Memory Channel Storage technology. Samsung rolled out II generation of 3D V-NAND with 32 layers. Spansion introduced HyperFlash NOR with 333 MB/s HyperBus. Toshiba acquired OCZ. Everspin introduced and ramped production of ST-MRAM. Samsung introduced 3-bit/cell 3D NAND SSDs. Adesto shipped one-millionth CBRAM. SK Hynix acquired Violin’s PCIe SSD business. Seagate acquired LSI/Avago storage business. SanDisk acquired Fusion-io. HGST acquired Skyera. Samsung acquired Proximal Data. Simon Sze, formerly of Bell Labs, received FMS Lifetime Achievement Award.

2015 – SanDisk introduced InfinitiFlash storage system. Cypress Semiconductor acquired Spansion. Toshiba and SanDisk announced 48-layer 3D NAND. Intel and Micron announced 384Gb 3D NAND. Samsung introduced first NVMe m.2 SSDs and 4 B layer V-NAND. SanDisk introduced 200GB microSDXC UHS-I-card. Cypress introduced 4MB serial FRAM. Intel and Micron announced 3D XPoint Memory. Intel introduced XPoint-based “Optane” DIMMs and SSDs. Bob Norman, formerly of SanDisk and Micron received FMS Lifetime Achievement Award. The revenue reached $35 billion.

2016 – SK Hynix sampled 3D NAND m.2 NVMe SSD. XMC broke ground on first China-owned NAND flash fab. Micron presented 768Gb 3D NAND. Western Digital acquired SanDisk. Micron shipped 3D NAND. Everspin announced 256Mb MRAM chips and 1 Gb chips by the end of year. IBM adopted TLC to PCM. Samsung shipped 48-layer 3D NAND. Kinam Kim, President System LSI/Semiconductor Business, Samsung received FMS Lifetime Achievement Award.

The revenue for 2016 is estimated to reach $37 billion.

Information from Flash Memory Summit. Flash revenue numbers provided by Objective Analysis.


A Short History of Flash Memory (1)

A Short History of Flash Memory (1)

Flash Memory Summit, August 2016 – Flash memory is the enabling technology for most of the mobile devices today.  It allows for very high capacities of storage for things like music, voice, photos and videos to be stored for long periods of time, without needing power to store the information when it is not being used.

Eli Harari, who holds over 100 patents and has widespread recognition (including IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Data Storage device Technology Award in 2006 and IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal in 2009), described flash memory as descriptive technology in that time. This descriptive technology enabled consumer applications such as cellphones, digital cameras, music players etc. that we enjoy today and they shape our lives. Here is a timeline of history of flash memory development.

The beginning of successful story of flash memory started at Bell Laboratories. In 1967 Kahng and Sze invented the floating gate memory device which allows a transistor to remember a digital value of 0 or 1, without power, until it is ready to be checked. Few years later Eli Harari of Hughes Electronics filed for first practical floating gate EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) using thin SiO2 and using the electron characteristic of Fowler Nordheim tunneling for program and erase.

In 1978 Hughes Electronics introduced first CMOS NOVRAM 256-bit chip (non-volatile SRAM) and two years later the 1980, first CMOS EEPROM 8Kbit chip was released.  Both of these chips used Fowler Nordheim floating gate EEPROM technology. In 1980 Intel introduced the Intel2816, a 16K bit HMOS EEPROM with Fowler Nordheim tunneling and 3 years later the Intel2817A 16K bit EEPROM. While these chips were in the marketplace, the first paper describing flash EEPROM was presented by Fujio Masuoka of Toshiba at IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco in 1984, the year after Exel filed patent for the first NOR organized flash memory cell. In 1986 Intel introduced the flash card concept with ECC and on-card controller and the company formed unit focusing on solid state drives.

The flash memory industry financial success started grown rapidly at the end of the 1980s ($1.6M in 1987; $6.4M in 1988; $25M in 1989) followed by many inventions and patents.

1987 – Fujio Masuoka of Toshiba presented first NAND-type flash memory technology at IEDM. Intel invented first Flash File System concept and introduced NOR flash chips.

1988 – Early EEPROM inventor/investigator Elli Harari along with Sanjay Mehrotra and Jack Yuan founded SunDisk (later the name was changed to SanDisk) in 1988 to develop new “system Flash” architecture combining embedded controller, firmware and flash memory to emulate disk storage. The company filed the first two MLC (Multi-level-cell) flash patents. JPEG and MPEG standards allowed economical production of digital cameras and first flash-based digital camera, Fuji DS-1P was demonstrated. Intel sampled 1Mb NOR flash. Intel and Psion designed flash-based mobile PC.

1989 – SunDisk filed System Flash patent. M-Systems was founded and shorty after introduced the Flash Disk concept, that was precursor to flash SSDs. The same year Intel shipped 512K and 1Mb NOR flash. Psion introduced flash-based PC. Microsoft joined effort with Intel and introduced its Flash File System. Western Digital and SunDisk launched a NOR-based Flash SSD fully emulating a traditional rotating ATA HDD.

At Comdex (Computer Dealers’ Exhibition), the largest computer trade show in the world (precursor of today’s CES) that was held in Las Vegas, DiGiPro introduced 8Mb NOR Flashdisk. The flash industry reached 100 million parts shipped and made many introductions such as EReader by Sony, camera prototypes by Kodak, 1MB and 4MB linear flash PCMCIA card and 2Mb NOR chip by Intel, first NOR flash SSD: 20MB 2.5”, fully compatible with Conner Peripherals 2.5” ATA HDD. This year also PCMCIA set standard on ATA PC card form factor and pinout, using SunDisk “System Flash” specification for full HDD compatibility.

At the beginning of 1990 flash memory industry expanding amazingly fast like never before and the revenue grown from $170 million in 1991, $295 million in 1992, $505 million in 1993, $864 million in 1994 and reached over $1.8 billion in 1995.

1991 – Toshiba developed world’s first 4 Mb NAND flash. Kodak shipped DCS-100, its first DSC at $13,000. Zenith Poqet and HP showed palm-sized notebook computers using flash memory cards at Spring Comdex.

1992 – Information Storage Devices introduced flash based voice recorder chip. AMD and Fujitsu released its first NOR product. M-Systems demonstrated TrueFFS that was adopted later by the PCMCIA as FTL. That was a year when Intel launched few products including: second generation FFS2, 8Mb flash chip, 4MB-20MB linear flash memory cards and   1Mb “boot bloc” NOR flash with sectors for BIOS applications – first use of internal write state machine to manage flash write algorithm. SunDisk introduced first serial 9Mb NOR Flash chip for SSD applications. Starting 1992 PCs began using flash for BIOS storage.

1993 – Datalight introduced “Card Trick” flash management software. Apple initiated the use of NOR flash in their Newton PDA. Intel inaugurated 16Mb and 32Mb NOR flash. Intel and Conner jointly developed 5MB/10MB ATA flash disk drive. AMD introduced 5-volt-only NOR using negative gate erase.

1994 – SunDisk presented CompactFlash card and 18Mb serial NOR Flash chip for SSD applications. Norris Communications introduced Flashback, the first portable digital voice recorder with flash memory.

1995 – Casio launched the QV-11 digital camera with flash rather than film or floppy. Mitsubishi introduced DiNOR. M-Systems initiated flash-based Solid State Drives and NOR-based DiskOnChip. SunDisk that changed the name to SanDisk introduced 34Mb Serial NOR Flash, first MLC flash chip for SSD applications.

In 1996 flash memory revenues reached $2.6 billion and noted 163% growth in 10 years.

1996 – Toshiba introduced SmartMedia Memory Card also called Solid State Floppy Disk Card. Samsung started shipping NAND flash. Kodak DC-25 was first DSC with CompactFlash card. Datalight launched “FlashFX” flash management software supporting NOR and NAND in the single driver. SanDisk initiated first flash cards with MLC serial NOR. Palm introduced flash-memory-based PDA.

1997 – First cell phones were shipped with flash memory. SaeHan Information Systems presented flash-based MPMan MP3 player. SanDisk and Siemens introduced the MultiMedia Card (MMC and MMCplus). Sony demonstrated the Memory Stick. M-Systems launched NAND based DiskOnChip/200 mm wafers began production/500 million flash chips were shipped. Intel introduced 2-bit/cell 64 Mb MLC StrataFlash.

1998 – NOR revenue exceeded $2 billion. 250nm process was announced. SaeHan Information Systems and licensee Eiger shipped world’s first mass-produced MP3 player (MPMan) with 32MB. Diamond Rio demonstrated its PMP300 MP3 player. Panasonic, SanDisk and Toshiba launed SD card.

1999 – NOR revenue exceeded $4 billion. Toshiba and SanDisk created flash memory manufacturing joint venture. Micron announced NOR products/over 1 billion flash chips were shipped. Dov Moran of M-Systems applied for patent on a USB-based flash drive.

2000 – Flash (NOR and NAND) revenue exceeded $10 billion. M-Systems (working with IBM) and Trek Technology introduced USB flash drives. Intel shipped its one billion flash unit/160nm process was announced.

2001 – NAND revenue exceeded $1 billion. Toshiba and SanDisk announced 1Gb MLC NAND. SanDisk by itself introduced first NAND System Flash product. Hitachi launched AG-AND. Samsung began mass production of 512Mb flash memory device.

2002 – Olympus in the cooperation with FujiFilm presented xD-Picture Card. MMCmobile card was introduce by MultiMediaCard Association (MMCA). Sony and SanDisk jointly launched the Memory Stick PRO and half-size Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. AMD introduced MirrorBit charge trap flash. 130nm process was announced.

2003 – NAND revenue exceeded $5 billion. SanDisk introduced mnSD card. Sony in cooperation with SanDisk launched the Memory Stick PRO Micro. Spansion was created out of AMD and Fujitsu.

2004 – NAND prices drop below DRAM prices for the first time at the same density. SanDisk and M-Systems introduced U3 software system for USB flash drives. SanDisk and Motorola launched the TransFlash card, now known as microSD card. Datalight initiated multi-threaded “FlashFX Pro” management software to support multimedia NAND devices. Spansion introduced MirrorBit Quad 4-bit NOR. The 90nm process node was announced for flash memory production. Hynix and ST Micro formed joint venture and Hynix NAND product was introduced. Infineon NAND product based on Saifun Charge Trap Flash was announced. Panasonic and Sanyo launched the first flash-based camcorders. SanDisk inaugurated Flash Sansa MP3 players.

In 2005 Apple introduced its first two flash-based iPods, the iPod shuffle and the iPod nano. The process of consumerization of flash memory started.

Information from Flash Memory Summit. Flash revenue numbers provided by Objective Analysis.


Production details of Captain America: Civil War reveal at Siggraph

Production details of Captain America: Civil War reveal at Siggraph

Siggraph, July 2016 – Due to the complexities of scheduling a large cast of actors and crew it is difficult to move the production to locations around the world. Due to tax rebates and incentives many movies are often shot in just a few locations. What is the solution for a production that is supposed to span the world? That was the situation that was presented to the production of Captain America Civil War which was primarily shot in Atlanta Georgia.

At the Siggraph this year the lead production session was dedicated to “The Making of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War” movie. Victoria Alonso, Executive Vice President of Physical Production from Marvel Studios, Dan Delleeuw, VFX Supervisor and Swen Gillberg, Associate VFX Supervisor from Marvel Studios, Jean Lapointe, Compositing Supervisor from ILM, and Greg Steele, VFX Supervisor from Method Studios were discussing the production process of the movie.

As we already know the film was primarily shot in Atlanta Georgia and filmmakers utilize VFX to bring locations from around the world to Atlanta digitally. The presenters were detailing the stats for this film. The numbers for the 135 minutes film Captain America: Civil War were as follow: 2,782 finals were created; 2,745 finals were used in the movie, 415 shared shots between multiple VFX teams, 194,608 frames. The production team created description of total 12 characters that play in the movie including: Captain America, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Ant Man, Iron Man, Black Widow, War Machine, Vision, Black Panther and Spider Man. Every character was evaluated under the criteria such as: Fighting, Agility, Strength, Endurance, Intuition or Psyche. For example the Winter Soldier: Fighting – Incredible, Agility, Strength and Endurance – Remarkable, Intuition – Excellent, Psyche – Typical.

For those who think that the developing story of the film like Captain America is a linear process: Script > Look Development > Story Boards > Previs, they are mistaken. The panelists showed that is more like a matrix of those elements and multiple teams working and a lot of material needed to be shot. Many times short post schedules sometimes required that they started on the assets before the foreground was shot or the sequence was fully realized. They don’t always stick to what was originally planned with pre-vis or story board. As a result a lot additional material was shot to cover all options such as time of day, weather, and any camera angle.

The production of Captain America Civil War was collaborating work of 18 teams worldwide working on a single project.


SMPTE ETCA highlights creation and distribution

SMPTE ETCA highlights creation and distribution

ETCA, June 2016 – This year SMPTE had a new venue for their Entertainment Technology in the Connected Age (ETCA) conference, relocating to Campbell CA in the center of Silicon Valley from their prior location at Stanford University.  The event was opened by SMPTE President Robert Seidel, who is also the CTO of CBS.  He started by emphasizing that for the past 100 years the group has focused not only on the global standards and methods for content creation, but also on the technologies behind getting that content to the people who can enjoy it.  This includes the identification and use of new devices and methods as well as the definition to be able to share content among them.

Robert was followed by Pat Griffis who is the VP of Education for SMPTE who is from Dolby Labs.  He gave a quick overview of the SMPTE Advanced Technology Conference (ATC) that is being held in October.  The 100th anniversary event will be at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood, CA and will feature an opening night Red Carpet event.

The two day event discussed traditional broadcast over the air as well as the addition of Internet based streaming connections to mobile devices and computers.  A number of the discussions focused on the change from linear television where the programs are available on a set schedule to the on-demand capability of the viewers as well “binge” watching of shows.  It also discussed the place and method of getting user created content up to the cloud, and how to then get that content out to the global viewers.

The lunch time keynote was from AMD announcing their new consumer graphics card for VR applications.  The card that was introduced by Roy Taylor retails for $199 and is called the Radeon RX 480.  It has been qualified on all VR platforms – Occulus, Valve, and HTC.  The price point also makes the card viable for industries that are rapidly adopting AR for their workflows and IT departments.  The goal is to make the product available at a price that is not only acceptable by a large range of consumers, but also for both public and private schools.