tag 标签: Silicon

  • 热度 11
    2015-5-22 18:32
    1005 次阅读|
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    One gauge of whether a high technology company has the ability to survive in a fast changing market is its ability to march to a different drummer occasionally; that is, to devise strategies that run counter to the accepted wisdom.   One such company is Silicon Labs, which this week introduced the EFM32 Happy Gecko family: nine low power "energy-friendly" 32-bit MCUs based on the ARM Cortex M0+. New Cortex-M0+ -based processor from Silicon Labs has five USB-optimized energy optimizing modes.   With this new processor family, the company is marching to its own drummer in three ways: - Rather than trying to compete with the likes of TI, Atmel and ST Micro in the race for the title of lowest power general purpose M0-based MCU, Silicon Labs has instead focused on bringing to market the lowest power ARM derivative aimed at USB applications. - While other semiconductor vendors are developing small foot print architectures aimed at the emerging USB 3.0 Type C spec, Silicon Labs is going after the broader opportunities for older USB 2.0 and 3.0 connectors as well as the Type C... - While other companies are rushing to incorporate the USB Implementer Forum's USB Power Delivery 2.0 spec, it Silicon Labs is implementing its own new Low Energy Mode (LEM) methodology, based on technologies developed in house as well as those that came with its acquisition of Energy Micro and its Gecko family of low power ARM processors. This does not mean that Silicon Labs is not ignoring the potential of the USB 3.0 Type C connector, nor the USB Power Delivery 2.0 specification. When the time is right they will extend their attention to both. The company is currently supporting USB 2.0 full speed through a Type C connector, but not the associated power spec.   Where a typical USB transceiver stays in “receive” mode when idle, wasting 3–5 mA, with LEM techniques it is kept in a low current mode (green) similar to suspend.   "Right now we are focused on bringing low power M0+ based MCUs to traditional USB 2.0 in such things as smart metering, home and building automation, alarm and security systems, smart accessories and wearable devices," said Øivind Loe, Senior Product Manager for 32-bit MCUs at Silicon Labs, in an interview with EETimes. "What designers are facing right now is the problem of how to improve the power efficiency of current USB connections."   Starter kit offers access to tools to optimize power in USB-based MCU designs. (Source: Silicon Labs)   Loe said the company is taking advantage of a shift in the embedded IoT market away from traditional serial communications interfaces such as I2C to USB with its no-brainer plug-and-play functionality. But with traditional approaches USB does not come free where power is concerned, with most current implementations at least doubling application current consumption.   However, with a collection of power-savings technologies the company has built into its USB Low Energy Mode (LEM) framework, Loe claims the new family provides IoT developers lower USB power drain than competing MCU alternatives.   LEM is an advanced energy management system with five energy modes that allow designs based on the new EFM-32 based MCUS to remain in an energy-optimal state by spending as little time as possible in active mode. It does this without compromising response times.   In deep-sleep mode, the new MCUs have a stand-by current consumption of only 0.9 microamperes (with a 32.768 kHz RTC, RAM/CPU state retention, brown-out detector, and power-on-reset circuitry active). With real-world code, active-mode power consumption drops down to 130 µA/MHz at 24 MHz. The USB MCUs further reduce power consumption with a 2-microsecond wakeup time from standby mode.   One of the important elements in the LEM is incorporation of a Peripheral Reflex System (PRS). With six channels, the PRS monitors system-level events in a way that allows different peripherals to communicate with each other autonomously without CPU intervention. "It also watches for specific events to occur before waking the CPU, thereby keeping the Cortex-M0+ core in an energy-saving standby mode as long as possible," said Loe.   Complementing the LEMs are a number of low energy peripherals used in previous EFM-32 designs: an analog comparator, supply voltage comparator, on-chip temperature sensor, programmable current digital-to-analog converter (IDAC), and a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with 350 µA current consumption at a 1 MHz sample rate.   The new family also incorporates a number of improvements that allow the MCUs to be incorporated into space-saving QFN, QFP, and chip-scale package (CSP) options small enough for use in USB connectors and thin-form-factor wearable designs. These include crystal-less USB operation, integrated PHY, an on-chip regulator and resistors, integrated 5 V LDO, and dedicated RAM for endpoints. Some of these also have power-saving side effects. For example, by integrating the PHY on chip, a designer has much more control over the most power-hungry parts of the PHY, making possible a reduction in the MCU's suspend current from the typical 3 milliAmpere down to 3 microAmperes, including the draw current of the PHY.   To make it easy to implement their USB optimized MCUs into embedded IoT devices Silicon Labs is offering the SLSTK3400A starter kit. The kit provides two product development pathways. One is via the company's Simplicity Studio with its battery estimator and visual pin configurator tools as well as access to USB source code and software examples at no charge. The other is via the ARM mbed ecosystem, which incorporates new power management APIs developed by Silicon Labs and ARM.   Although it is somewhat like comparing apples and oranges, in a rough comparison of the Happy Gecko family with the general purpose ARM alternatives ranked by the EEMBC ULPBench tool, the Happy Gecko did well. Given the impressive track record the company’s engineers have racked up with previous Geckos, I will be interested to see what they do with the USB Implementer Forum's USB Power Delivery 2.0 specification.
  • 热度 16
    2014-12-16 19:42
    1204 次阅读|
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    Product design and development has come a long way from traditional product development. Earlier, development involved a semi-conductor company building a reference design around a brought out silicon/processor and promoting it in the targeted market segment.  Some examples include semiconductor companies like Texas Instruments building a reference design around the OMAP™ processor for a variety of cell phones and Analog Devices building a reference design for the automotive infotainment sector. The Traditional Method These reference designs or evaluation platforms would have certain eco-systems in place for SoC, power management, memory and other key components. The software provided by the silicon vendor would ensure basic functionality of the reference design. Based on these reference designs, OEMs would build a form factor prototype catering to their specific product vision. The OEM would then invest heavily on both Hardware and Software engineering resources to customize the hardware to fit the form factor of the product they envisioned. They would then negotiate with vendors and tweak certain components to bring out the final product to market. Current Scenario Today, we have seen a radical change in the process of designing. Most fabless semi-conductor companies and ODMs operate in the heavily commoditized consumer electronics market space. Except for some big companies like Apple and Samsung, most OEMs are involved in only defining the specifications and functionality of products. The new age fabless semiconductor companies that dominate the consumer electronics market today do not just stop at creating a reference design, but are also involved in designing products which are nearly 80-90% completed. Not only do they define the components that go into the product, they also bring together the entire eco-system of component makers required to complete the product. They negotiate and control the entire BOM of the product. Working with ODMs, they provide a product that can move into production at an accelerated time frame thereby removing the need for OEMs to have a large engineering team.  So what does the OEM do? They define the product, differentiate it based on applications, UI, UX, industrial design, software features and spruce up the look and feel of the product as the core of the system is technically taken care of by the silicon vendor/ODM.   Role of ODMs in this transformation: ·         An ODM today is not just a design house, but is a “brain house” with the ability to envisage the entire product and bridge gaps between silicon vendors and OEMs. ODMs today need to have the ability to provide a ready-to-deploy design and work with an EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) to provide a boxed product to the OEM. ·         An ODM needs to continuously innovate and come up with product designs which can be converted to an end product with minimal time and effort thereby significantly shortening the design cycle, helping the OEM to introduce products to market at an accelerated rate. ·         The base designs should have the flexibility to scale to different variants of the products while retaining the core functionality without compromising on the key features and still meet accelerated time-to-market schedules and quality.   This change in trend has brought about a revolution in the consumer electronics space where major brands especially in the emerging markets concentrate on brand building, distribution and marketing while leveraging the engineering strength of the silicon vendor and ODM. Their focus on in-house engineering is reduced drastically. This has resulted in significant cost savings which has been passed onto the customers in terms of a wide range of economical consumer electronic devices like phones,tablets and life style products which compete with brands like Apple and Samsung.     Authored by: Srinivas Panapakam Vice President – Sales Business Development (PES) Mistral Solutions      
  • 热度 6
    2014-2-6 19:02
    2073 次阅读|
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    When you talk about technology innovation, you don’t often think of India. Of course, the nation’s big IT companies have performed well on the global IT stage, but as Supriyo Chaudhuri commented in his article, ‘The End of Indian IT Industry?’, that is because it has been driven largely by a business model based on creating huge pools of qualified programmers and other IT workers at low cost, and modelled around a process-driven industrial culture.  Not necessarily technology innovation. You could also argue that there are many multinational tech companies with their design centres in India – in Bangalore, Noida, Gurgaon and other cities.  It is true that these design centres might have contributed to the latest technologies, but they haven’t necessarily been the originators of the ideas – they are often just outsourced processing centres for large scale designs, with the design ideas and requirement specifications coming from places like the USA and Europe. So when ministers and political advisors make bold visions or initiate schemes to enhance technology innovation, one always hopes that it will trigger some change in India that will create great thinkers who are capable of creating new technology innovations – and improve India’s position in global innovation rankings. This month, both the chief minister for the state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, and chairman of the National Innovation Council , Sam Pitroda, made announcements which they hope will enable this change for India. Narendra Modi outlined his ICT industry vision for the country, and Sam Pitroda announced that 100 innovation hubs would be established throughout the country by 2017, to encourage school children to explore scientific discoveries. Speaking in a recent interview, India’s Narendra Modi said, “My vision for IT sector is that it develops the capacity and capability to become the engine of innovation and the driver of growth in the years to come. I see the IT industry as an engine for making India the knowledge superpower and an agent of change that touches lives of the poorest of the poor, for their empowerment.” Like every tech aspirational nation, he talks about wanting to create an environment where India becomes the home of the next Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.  In particular he believes that India could become the next hub of cloud infrastructure, exploiting the synergistic opportunities from co-locating non-conventional energy projects and massive data centres in areas where there is little scope for agriculture or manufacturing. He talks about the internet being paramount, with e-governance and m-governance being key drivers in empowering the public. In the telecoms sector, the tele-density in rural areas is still too low he suggests, at 40 percent (compared to 145 percent in urban areas). Hence there is an urgent need to conclude the national optical fibre network (NOFN) project that would help bridge the urban-rural digital divide. He cites the example in his own state of Gujarat where he is taking broadband connectivity to all villages using satellite infrastructure in order to provide citizen-centric services and quality long distance education to rural areas. Modi also says in the interview that he wants India to be an innovation hub in ICT, creating a stronger collaboration between industry, academia and the venture capital industry. He believes that more synergies need to be created between the country’s national security needs and its technology incubation system, with greater participation of the private sector in defence manufacturing and research. Some of Modi’s words reflect what’s already happening in industry. At the recent TiE Entrepreneurial Summit in Hyderabad, there was much talk of the cloud being a big business opportunity for Indian firms large and small, especially with a government focus on the use of cloud for implementing public services.  Other areas that would drive opportunities for cloud businesses include e-commerce and healthcare.  Also, India’s HCL Technologies (India NSE: HCLTECH) has announced a strategic partnership with Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC) to address the substantial market opportunity created by the need for enterprise clients to modernize their applications and transition to the cloud.  HCL and CSC will create an application modernization delivery network to enable enterprises to shift from legacy technologies to a cloud-enabled platform. The first delivery centres will be launched in Bangalore and Chennai, and will focus on the banking and financial services verticals initially. Sam Pitroda, who is also adviser to the Prime Minister on public information infrastructure and innovations, emphasised his innovation hubs initiative is focused on schools creating their own innovation labs. He said, "The school principals and science teachers will have to take the lead.” The innovation labs would be equipped with multimedia kits, tech labs for robotics and microprocessor programming. Students are encouraged to identify real-life problems, investigate projects and work for solutions under the guidance of experts. The Indian minister’s vision points to a focus on innovation related to cloud and internet, with a key attention to cybersecurity, public services, and public citizen empowerment. These are not very different to many emerging countries’ agendas, but in India, these public statements demonstrate the higher place on the political agenda for technology and innovation. Added with the innovation hubs planned for schools, if this scales up in any way, in a few years India itself might be driving the ideas for global technology innovation. This article is based on a report first published in The Next Silicon Valley.
  • 热度 8
    2012-11-16 14:22
    1507 次阅读|
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    This valley is not that far, perhaps a 45-60-minute Cessna hop from Reid-Hillview Airport. That would be your best option if you wouldn't be risking snapping a wheel strut on landing. By car (and make it a sturdy one), the trip eats up the better part of a day with a Sierra ascent and descent and a final, hours-long drive over a lonely and pitiless gravel road near Death Valley that chews up tyres and drivers' nerves. Once you stop and kill your engine at the base of this valley and untangle your nerves, listen for a second; the expanse swallows sound. Then give your eyes a second to comprehend the ghostly white sight before you, anÿelephantine, rolling 700-foot-high mountain of smooth white sand that seems to have been plopped in the middle of nowhere, completely out of context.   Eureka SandDunes from Space   This is the Eureka Sand Dunes. They have nothing to do with the Silicon Valley, yet they have everything to do with the Silicon Valley. "Father" Fred Fred Emmons Terman was a Stanford brat. His father was a professor there off Palm Drive, down "on the Farm," who sparked gut-churning anxiety among generations of young parents after he popularized the IQ test. Young Fred had brilliance and promise and an entrepreneurial bent. (The story goes that he hiked into the Palo Alto hills to collect mistletoe and sell it during the holidays to Stanford faculty wives who were afraidÿof catching poison oak if they foraged themselves). Perhaps not surprisingly, he did well in school, landing a chemistry degree and a master's in electrical engineering from Stanford. But even a generation or two after Stanford and the University of California had thrown off their training wheels and become established as institutions of higher learning, a promising west Coast student in the 1920s still had to go east "to put spit and polish on his education," Terman would say later. So he hopped aboard a train that chugged east and deposited him in the land of dropped Rs, rocky soil and Puritan values. There, at MIT, he got his doctorate working under the brilliant engineer Vannevar Bush. Ph.D. pigskin in hand, Terman hopped the first train heading west, heading home.   Fred Emmons Terman   Terman, for whatever reason—the climate, his family, the rolling sage-scented hills around Palo Alto—essentially never left after that, and he became an evangelist for valley-grown companies. He wanted the saplings he nurtured in the Stanford engineering department to put down roots nearby like the fruit trees in the orchards that sprawled from just outside the campus down to Gilroy and points unknown. And nurture he did. Dave Packard. Bill Hewlett. The Varian Brothers. Litton Industries. Watkins-Johnson.ÿAfter the war, when everything was sunny, warm and up and to the right in the Golden State, Terman was instrumental in building his own version of a farm, a technology park for budding companies, nurturing ideas sometimes crazy (mad) but often sound. It was an idea for an area that would become the crucible of the future. Conveniently at the same time capital and government policies were evolving to create what became the venture capital business. Men like Georges Doriot, the "father of venture capitalism," Ralph Flanders and Karl Comptonÿand others helped nurtured a form of capital formation that shifted start-up investment sources from the gilded piggybanks of already wealthy families to other investors. In part, Terman got this insight during the war, when he went east again to work on a major radar project at Vannevar Bush's request. He returned to Palo Alto with keen insights to the value of networking and collaboration. He was insistent that students educated locally should have the opportunity to build businesses locally. Otherwise they would continue to migrate back east where the technical jobs were. In the 1950s, Terman convinced Stanford to lease some of its 8,000 un-sellable acres to start-up technology companies. The Stanford Industrial Park, now SRC, was born. Terman convinced Shockley to come home to Palo Alto; Shockley begat Shockley Transistors, which begat Fairchild Semiconductor, which begat 38 companies over time, the most notable being Intel. The degree of separation between your work and Fred Terman is undoubtedly very small. It is the stuff of lore and legend, and Terman stands above this sizzling swirling soup of invention, investment, destruction and resurrection and reinvention as its progenitor.   Toasting Shockley   But Terman came late to the party. Ancient history Sixty-five million years ago began the Cenozoic period, a time in which the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west of Silicon Valley and the Mount Diablo Range to the east were thrust onto the scene. As such, the valley became a "structure valley" because of that building action, as opposed to an "erosional valley." This ancient, snarling, violent birth yielded a valley sheltered and fertile, a place theÿSpanish explorers considered to have the best climate in the world. And its origin as a structure valley arguably turns out to be more than just metaphoric. **** The frontier In 1893, a Wisconsin academic, Frederick Jackson Turner, presented a paper in Chicago describing the frontier's seminal impact on the development of America and the American character. Turner feared that the closing of the frontier might hamstring or destroy American dynamism. Around the same time, San Jose's population was exploding 50 years after the discovery of gold in California. More than 18,000 people lived in the Santa Clara Valley, and the population was increasing at 30 and 40 per cent per year. But California was the end of the road for this massive, historical migration west. Just over the Santa Cruz Mountains lay the shimmering blue of the Pacific Ocean, the end of the continent. There was no more land to explore, conquer, develop and farm. The frontier was closed. Yet wagon- and train-loads full of people continued to crash into California, the end of the trail.   Old San Jose map   **** Swirling eddies Geologists describe something called the aeolian effect. Wind whisks up the top layer of earth—its finest particles—and sweeps them off somewhere to be deposited in some form. Often those depositions undergo another aeolian effect and end up somewhere else or scattered, literally, to the four winds. In Eureka Valley, the aeolian process swept up the parched, scorched cover layer of an otherwise rocky terrain and has created a natural wonderland in the Eureka Sand Dunes. When the wind picks up here, you can hear is the sound of trillions of sand pebbles whisking across the desert floor or across each other. The smooth white dunes have never dissipated because of their location: The dunes, surrounded on three sides by mountains, have nowhere to go. Over time, the wind, rather than just blowing the huge sand hills into memory or the next county, reforms them as part of this aeolian process....a sand eddy if you will. The big white elephant shifts, grows, shrinks, wiggles a little this way or that. But it's always there. **** Tale of two valleys Fred Terman is considered the father of the Silicon Valley or at least of the dynamic we associate with the Silicon Valley—that relentless drive to innovate, try, fail, try succeed, and improve, tweak, tinker, revolutionise. History is dotted with Fred Termans whose genius and influence migrated away from their place. But there's something different about this place, a valley shaped by ancient forces...aoelian and Cenozoic forces.   The forces of nature have, for generations since the 19th century, swept up a certain type of people and transported them to the western edge of the North American continent where they hit a valley bounded on three sides by mountains—a "building" valley, not an erosional valley. There, an eddy of ingenuity, of invention and innovation began and continues to swirl today, just like the Eureka Sand Dunes. The energy, the ideas and the people swirl around, reforming, rising, fall and rising again but never, ever, vanishing.   Brian Fuller EE Times
  • 热度 8
    2012-9-7 14:32
    2981 次阅读|
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    Over the last few months, The Next Silicon Valley has worked closely with various innovation and science park conferences around the world, and noticed the distinct absence of India from much of this – yet Latin America, Africa, Russia and China were well represented. This could be interpreted as meaning India is on top of innovation and doesn’t need the world to tell it how to do innovation and hence they do not need to meet their global peers. In addition, recent reports on India as a potential ‘fallen BRIC angel’ in a Standard Poor’s report, as well as its low ranking way below all the other BRIC countries in the global innovation index released by the business school INSEAD, seem to suggest India is losing its charm on the international stage. But on the other hand, we keep hearing about India’s relative success in creating ‘frugal innovation’ where innovative solutions are developed at low cost or with limited resource, or by trimming all the ‘bells and whistles’ from a product or service to address a specific need at lower cost than might have been previously possible with a more complex product or solution (an example is the Chotukool fridge, a top-loading, compact and portable cooling solution weighing only 7.8kg with no compressor, but running instead on a cooling chip along with a fan similar to those used to cool computers). And in The Next Silicon Valley ,  a paper has just been published outlining a vision of innovation in telecoms, internet, media and edutainment, with examples of how some of this is already being implemented in India (for example offering a PC in the form of software as a service and wellness apps technology – see below). In addition Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Indian Prime Minister for public information infrastructure innovations, made a rousing speech to the Indian diaspora at TiECON 2012 in Santa Clara, CA, USA back in May of this year, calling on all the Indian technology entrepreneurs in the audience to go back to India and help in whatever way possible to ‘come back to India’ and impart their knowledge to Indian entrepreneurs and creators of the innovation ecosystem back in India. His message was that India needs all the help it could get. And only in the last few weeks, India’s Prime Minister said that he is dedicating something like US$880 million a year towards making India an ‘innovation hub’. The Indian PM wants innovation to address the issues of poverty, health and environment rather than focusing on the needs of the rich. “Innovation can be a game changer to move from incremental change to radical change,” he said.  The government has set up a National Innovation Council headed by Sam Pitroda to draw up a national innovation road map. The government has also agreed to set aside fund of US$88 million for the India Inclusive Innovation Fund to help entrepreneurs start business based on their innovations. The changing landscape of technology innovation and its advance in India In a paper published in The Next Silicon Valley , Delhi-based technologist, innovator and entrepreneur Anuraj Gambhir looks at the changing global landscape of the converging world between communications, consumer and technology, and how we are going to see even more innovation in technology that will continue to change many aspects of modern life – and especially in healthcare, wellness and education. In particular he highlights some key examples of innovation in these areas taking place in his home country, India. In the cloud computing space, in terms of context and relevance to the mass consumer, he highlights one interesting example of a highly innovative IIT-Madras spinout company called Novatium Solutions, offering computing for the next billion via PCaaS (PC-as-a-service). As a dynamic thick-thin client and using a smart combination of grid/cloud and utility computing, it is a paradigm shift transforming a computer into an appliance – it switches on in a few seconds, faster than several LCD TVs. This new age cloud computing is highly scalable with flexible services that are easily consumable over the Internet through a low-touch, as-needed, pay-per-use business model. Shared and optimal use of scarce resources is fundamental to scaling the offering. As a family/shared computer, it is beginning a revolution in internet computing for a substantial number of segments and a large addressable population. A simple widget approach with one click to dedicated apps makes it highly compelling and brings the ease of use necessary for mass adaption. Broadband penetration will have a much greater impact in emerging markets with solutions deployed in the cloud space that are very simple to use.  Cloud has a multi-dimensional approach to computing that takes advantage of the scale of the Internet to connect people to each other, to information, and to do computing in new ways. Wellness is another area in which India (and other parts of the world) is seeing convergence with technology and the mobile world. With rising stress levels, the desire for harmonious living and a balanced well-being is increasingly important. Hence there is likely to be disruptive innovation in the making where mobile devices will utilize all five senses and go beyond that with the integration potential from the healthcare/fitness-sports domain and also involving subtler spiritual aspects. Gambhir says this is being led well in India – the home of Ayurveda, spirituality, yoga, meditation, Art of Living, naturopathy, aromatherapy and more. Lives could be transformed with a ‘spa’ in people’s hands that will greatly enrich their well-being. Wirelessly enabled sensors of various types will take on the form to create whole new products and experiences. In this case networked heart rate, pulse, glucometer, mind sensors will assist with measuring stress and other health variables so that we can proactively manage well-being. There is a potential to use camera phones (via optical detection) to check blood pressure and heart health (e.g. pulse, respiration, blood-oxygen levels) that has been proven by the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. A glimpse of the above is already visible via the multitude of apps available mostly for iOS and Android platforms e.g. Yogalite, Medicine Buddha, iRelax, Fitness Trainer, iZen. With the worlds of augmented reality, 3D, holography coming together along with embedded sensors, very interesting mashups of apps and content are likely to come into play. Education and healthcare are also becoming more critical as global emerging economies grow along with other industry verticals such as government and transportation playing important roles in the infrastructure development. An initiative (rather showcase) in India called Gramjyoti (meaning ‘light of the village’) put Ericsson at the forefront of demonstrating a meaningful application of 3G/HSPA mobile technology for the masses and rural (generally underserved) parts of the population. Tele-medicine (in partnership with Apollo hospital), tele-education, e-governance were exhibited with direct benefits for the rural communities in 18 towns and villages in Tamil Nadu (southern India). Gambhir also talks about the content industry undergoing major transformations, as the key players attempt to address the most compelling needs in the market. In India for example, we are evolving from the ‘astrology, Bollywood, cricket and devotional’ content genres to a much wider selection of locally and contextually relevant vernacular content. Multimedia in all its forms is having profound implications – such as video which itself is predicted to account for 66% of global mobile data traffic by 2014; some organizations such as Huawei predict much higher figures. A picture tells a thousand words, but moving images or video a million. It transcends the language barrier and a lot can be told by just body language and motion. Video conferencing is making a comeback with increased significance and value for rural folks migrating to peri-urban/metros, to keep in touch with their families. A pilot in India called ‘Aamne-Saamne’ (meaning in front of each other) with a 3G operator is already revealing promising results. Video brings a mass emotional connect for communities – to see and talk with families who feel never away from home. Video is also a universal media as it can play a vital role in education specially in reaching out to the illiterate. India’s place in global innovation So if we are seeing all this activity, why does India rank so low in the innovation index? According to Gopichand Katragadda, managing director of General Electric’s John F. Welch Technology Center in Bangalore, “The results of the study point to the fact that, in India, the innovation ecosystem (input) is poor while the knowledge/creative output under the constraints is good. One interpretation of this is that we need better government measures on regulations, education and infrastructure to tap the demonstrated potential of talented people.” According to Katragadda, if India does not get its act together on the innovation front, the country could lose the opportunity ‘to make this a century of Indian innovation, tapping into the brilliant technical minds of the region.’ In the past I have written about India being great at producing talent that can follow a process and follow instructions either in software or hardware or research and development – but not necessarily in creating totally new innovation. But we have seen glimpses of innovation in areas as highlighted above in cloud computing, communications, health and education. In the past, technology ministers in Indian government have openly declared that India has been good at ‘screwdriver technology’ – in other words assembling or disassembling technology, products or solutions from other parts of the world. The indicators today from studies like that created by INSEAD (the global innovation index) seem to suggest that India still has some way to go to really impact the global stage with its innovation.