Saturday, June 25, 2022

FCC reviews Next Gen TV (ATSC 3.0)

The FCC is seeking public comment on Next Generation Television (“Next Gen TV” or “ATSC 3.0”)  and on the scheduled sunsets of two rules concerning broadcast TV.

Next Gen TV is the newest broadcast TV transmission standard, developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), which promises to enable broadcasters to deliver an array of new video and non-video services and enhanced content features to consumers. ATSC 3.0 merges the capabilities of over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting with the broadband viewing and information delivery methods of the Internet, using the same 6 MHz channels presently allocated for DTV service. 

The greater spectral capacity of ATSC 3.0, along with it IP delivery, will allow broadcasters to provide consumers with a higher quality television viewing experience, such as ultra-high-definition (UHD) picture resolutions and immersive audio. It also has the potential to enable broadcasters to reach viewers on both home and mobile screens. In addition, ATSC 3.0 will allow broadcasters to offer enhanced public safety capabilities, such as geo-targeting of emergency alerts to tailor information to particular communities and emergency alerting capable of waking up sleeping devices to warn consumers of imminent emergencies, as well as greater accessibility options, localized content, and interactive educational children’s content.

WSJ: AT&T, Verizon Raise Prices and Test Consumer Budgets

The Wall Street Journal comments on recent price hikes from AT&T and Verizon, mostly concerning mid-range, monthly plans.  Both carriers increased the price of certain older wireless plans by up to $6 for single lines and $12 for family plans.  Meanwhile, T-Mobile is constrained in its ability to raise prices by the regulatory agreement related to its acquisition of Sprint.

Company officials expressed confidence that consumers will accept the price increases and/or move to unlimited data plans, however they declined to comment on how much additional revenenue will be generated.

Video: Emulation fabrics for SmartNICs

Builders of advanced data center networks powered by SmartNICs will be interested in understanding traffic patterns and measuring performance of their systems. 

Rezvan Stan, Senior Engineering Manager, Keysight, talks about the emulation of complex data center topologies.

Get up to speed on SmartNICs by downloading our complimentary 2022 SmartNICs and Infrastructure Acceleration Report

ITRI cites advancements in magnetic memory technology

Taiwan's government-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), in collaboration with TSMC and academic partners, announced the development of Spin Orbit Torque Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory (SOT-MRAM) array chips.

Dr. Shih-Chieh Chang, General Director of ITRI's Electronic and Optoelectronic System Research Laboratories, pointed out that the use of lower voltage and current in the memory can lead to higher efficiency. Therefore, ITRI and TSMC developed SOT-MRAM technology that incorporates high write efficiency and low write voltage, achieving a writing speed of 0.4 nanoseconds and a high endurance of 7 trillion reads and writes. The memory also offers a data storage lifespan of over 10 years. In the future, it can potentially be integrated into the advanced processes of embedded memory, which has outstanding prospects in applications such as AI, automotive electronics, and high-performance computing chips.

ITRI has also collaborated with National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) to develop magnetic memory technology that can perform across a wide operating temperature range of nearly 400°C. Both developments are pivotal for industries to move towards next-generation memory technology.

In the ITRI-NYCU collaboration, both parties have worked to develop high-efficiency operating technology for MRAM and jointly presented the R&D results at this year's IEEE Symposium on VLSI Technology and Circuits, one of the leading events in the global semiconductor industry. The newly developed Spin-Transfer-Torque MRAM (STT-MRAM) adopts ultrathin composite films and magnesium spacers to boost writing speed, reduce latency, minimize writing current, and improve endurance. The multi-functional magnetic memory has optimal data access performance and stability across a wide operating temperature range between 127°C and -269°C. This is the first of its kind to pass verification tests and will offer enormous potential for applications such as quantum computers and aerospace.

Telefónica and NTT DATA demo private 5G for logistics management

Telefónica and NTT DATA are executing a private 5G proof of concept (PoC) with CIE Automotive, a global automotive supplier. 

At its facilities in Itziar (Guipúzcoa), a 5G intralogistics management platform has been developed and is being implemented as an integrating and enabling solution for the automation of the transport of finished products from the end of the production line to the warehouse.

The objective of the solution is to increase the flexibility, efficiency and traceability of internal logistics processes through the intelligent management of multiple sensors and mobile devices, such as AGVs (automated guided vehicles) and AMRs (autonomous mobile robots).

Jon Ezkerra, R&D project coordinator of the CIE Automotive group, highlights that “The proof of concept being developed in collaboration with Telefónica and NTT Data will be validated in one of the automated welding cells for the manufacture of fuel rails at the CIE Norma plant located in Itziar (Gipuzkoa) and will connect through the use of 5G technology with the plant’s management system to perform intra-logistics movement via AGVs, will allow connection through the use of 5G technology, with the plant’s management system to carry out intra-logistical movement by means of AGVs, establishing the continuous flow of supply and collection of finished product packaging for stacking at height in the warehouse.”

Andrés Escribano, director of New Business and Industry 4.0 at Telefónica Tech, said: “This initiative will allow us to bring logistics automation solutions to many of our customers in a simple and flexible way. The application of 5G connectivity will help to solve the challenges faced in this field of Industry 4.0.”

UScellular and Ericsson 5G performance using drones

UScellular and Ericsson have begun 5G testing using drones.

Initial visual line of sight trials were conducted in Beloit, Wis., using a drone that was flown between two of UScellular’s commercial 5G towers. The drone was outfitted with a 5G smartphone and RF measurement equipment designed to capture performance metrics such as signal strength and quality, upload and download speeds, and latency throughout the flights at various altitudes. Data was gathered using both low and high band spectrum, and the goal of the initial trial was to gather and analyze network connectivity and speed data in the air, compare it to the speeds experienced on the ground and ultimately understand what is required for the future use and success of 5G connected drones.

“Testing our wireless connections at altitude can set the stage for future connectivity of drones in the air, providing command and control capability along with enabling real-time image and data sharing to be easier, faster and safer,” said Narothum Saxena, vice president of technology strategy and architecture at UScellular. “We believe that our network can help drones fly in an optimal way if they have connectivity, and with Ericsson’s support, we will continue to drive innovation that can help enhance our customers’ wireless experience.”

“Drone technology offers a wide scope of new opportunities in today’s market. Our testing with UScellular is a huge step for advanced connected drones use cases that will benefit society and businesses,” said Jossie Prochilo, Vice President and Key Account Manager, UScellular Account for Ericsson North America. “Ericsson Connected Drone Testing and Ericsson Device Analytics enables service providers to move forward with proven solutions and provides UScellular with an industry-leading set of capabilities for connected drone testing to support the commercial operation of drones over 5G networks.”