Bloomberg yesterday published a slideshow featuring “Tech’s Top Turnaround Artists,” and InterDigital CEO Bill Merritt was featured at #17. His legacy so far? According to numbers compiled by Bloomberg Rankings, Bill took over leadership of a company in 2005 whose stock performance had sagged 22.1% over the past two years (during which the S&P 500’s return totaled 32.7%), and since then delivering 139.2% total return (through October 11) compared to the S&P’s total return of 77%.
Bill’s (and InterDigital’s) performance is even more telling when you look at the fate of some of the major players in the handset business over those same 8 years. Only two of the top six handset vendors in 2005 remain in the handset business in the same form. Apple and Google had yet to emerge as mobile players at all, and Blackberry had yet to begin its meteoric rise.
In a piece posted on Forbes.com, Eric Jackson and Rod Martin – both senior technology executives and members of the startup team at PayPal – recognized the pivotal role played by Gil Amelio, a member of InterDigital’s board of directors, in the renaissance of Apple. Gil became CEO of Apple in February 1996, after a 5-year stint as President and CEO of National Semiconductor, and put in place some of the key elements that resulted in the resurgence of the company.
Gil Amelio is a great fit for InterDigital, combining business experience with a very serious background in technology. With a PhD in Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology, he began his career at technology pioneers Bell Labs and Fairchild Semiconductor, is an IEEE Fellow and holds a number of patents for his important research.
Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) is a non-profit research and development consortium for cable/telecom companies. Twice a year, CableLabs hosts members-only conferences which provide attendees with current information about changing technology and supporting business and strategy objectives, as well as providing a forum for them to interact with each other. Attendees receive information from cable experts, including the CTOs and CEOs of the industry's leading operators.
This year, during the summer conference being held in Keystone, CO, InterDigital was invited to show off our User-Aware Video technology, which combines viewer sensing with adaptive video streaming, utilizing the limits of a viewer's visual acuity as well as environmental and other viewing conditions to deliver significant bandwidth savings and to optimize user experience. Simply put, the technology senses the viewer's proximity as well as other viewing conditions (light, movement, etc.) to deliver the highest quality stream that's humanly perceptible... but no more than that. In its launch demo at Mobile World Congress this year, the technology delivered up to 75% bandwidth savings in a standard viewing environment.
More information on the technology and other video-related research can be found by going to the InterDigital Vault at http://vault.interdigital.com and searching for "video streaming" or "user-aware video".
Michael Grotticelli recently featured InterDigital’s TV White Space research in the latest issue of Broadcast Engineering. In a comprehensive piece, Grotticelli speaks with our Vice President of InterDigital Labs, Narayan Menon, who is helping to lead the research efforts in the area. The piece is available here.
Successfully designing wireless modem technology is not a simple process, and many companies have failed in their efforts to develop a strong performing cellular wireless modem. InterDigital’s strength in the field is unquestioned: our SlimChip wireless IP was hailed by independent analysis firm Signals Ahead as a technological success.
On Wednesday, May 15 at 11AM Eastern, InterDigital and Synopsys will be co-hosting a free IEEE Communications webinar on HSPA+ modem design, highlighting a design flow that enables quick validation of prototype algorithms that can be readily measured against 3GPP requirements. To register for the webinar, please visit this link.
Yesterday morning, Allen Proithis, Executive Vice President of InterDigital Solutions, provided the keynote address at the Telecom Council Mobile Forum’s M2M Workshop in Santa Clara, CA. Allen’s message: proprietary, non-standard Machine-to-Machine solutions won’t be able to survive market forces and the transition to a standards-based world. You can read Allen’s keynote, republished by EETimes, here.
The Telecom Council event, co-sponsored by InterDigital and Qualcomm, was an opportunity for technologists, investors and other members of the Silicon Valley technology landscape to come together, share ideas, and engage in a lively discussion and debate over the future of M2M. According to a survey by market research firm IHS, however, it seems that many people are thinking the same thing: when a panel of wireless industry executives was asked what they see as the biggest challenges in reaching mass adoption for M2M and the Internet of the Things, 86 percent of respondents saw standards, architecture and interoperability as the number one challenge. The survey is ongoing – feel free to participate here.
Nicolas Weil, digital media architect and influential blogger, recently took note of InterDigital’s demonstration of User-Adaptive Video at the European Broadcasting Union BroadThinking 2013 event in Geneva in early April. Leading off his review of the various demos of note at the show, he characterized InterDigital’s demo as the “most-jaw-dropping” demo of the show. “A very impressive demo now needing commercial outputs,” he concludes in his entry, which can be read here.
User-Adaptive Video is InterDigital’s technology that uses the frontal camera of a device to establish user distance, number of viewers, and other conditions like ambient light to modulate a video stream’s quality based on the limits of human perception. Using UAV technology, reductions of bandwidth of up to 70-80% can be achieved with no perceived loss of quality of the part of the user. The technology is part of our overall effort to develop new technologies that adapt video streaming – a huge proportion of future network traffic – to the particularities of wireless connectivity. Successfully demonstrated at Mobile World Congress, you can read more about the technology here.
Our own Jim Nolan, Executive Vice President of Research and Development and the head of InterDigital Labs, shared his thoughts yesterday on the emerging area of unlicensed spectrum. Jim’s blog on the prestigious technology website EDN is called Waveforms, and you can read his latest post here.
This is an important area: it’s no secret that many predictions see existing wireless spectrum as insufficient for future needs. In addition, many people are looking to unlicensed spectrum or TV White Space as a possible connectivity area for machine-to-machine communications – essentially, as a means for connecting the billions of devices that could come onto the network in the next few years without having a serious impact on current wireless communications.
Chris Versace, a high-profile technology columnist and financial analyst, today mentioned InterDigital’s relationship with biometric security company BIO-Key in his piece in Forbes. Versace’s piece discusses Apple’s possible fingerprint-recognition security measures in the rumored iPhone 5S.
There’s no doubt that biometric security is a huge growth area in mobile, and in technology generally. The BIO-Key deal is also noteworthy from another respect: it’s an agreement struck by InterDigital’s recently-launched Innovation Partners unit, which is tasked with sourcing new technologies that are being developed outside of InterDigital’s core technology research areas, through partnerships with companies, research entities and even individuals.
One of the announcements we made at Mobile World Congress this year was our collaboration with MindSpeed and Radisys on Wi-Fi/LTE solutions for small cells. These technologies are crucial for future networks: small cells are widely seen as part of a cure for spectrum requirements, and Wi-Fi is emerging as the key component to an overall solution that can reduce data traffic on already overtaxed networks.
Our colleagues at Mindspeed put together this video, where our own Senior Staff Engineer Bartosz Balazinski discusses InterDigital’s Bandwidth Management solution and its integration with Mindspeed’s technology to provide seamless Wi-Fi access within the context of an overall network management. The result: increased bandwidth availability when required, and reduce data traffic on the core network.
Machine-to-machine communications is a key focus of research at InterDigital, both through our own research – we’ve been driving standards-based solutions for years with major standards bodies – and through the efforts of Convida Wireless, our joint venture with Sony. This year, TIA NOW, the news arm of the Telecom Industry Association, featured our Narayan Menon, Vice President at InterDigital Labs, talking about standards-based machine-to-machine and what we think will be the key to a tipping point in M2M – a transition from expensive, proprietary, vertical-specific applications to broad, standards-based solutions that will be cost-effective and bring in the true Internet of Things.
You can see the video here, or at http://www.tianow.org/videos/mwc-2013-m2ms-tipping-point/11152
The BBC’s Roland Pease, a science and technology writer, has taken a look at some of the fundamental communications research that will underpin future networks in this article, published today. It’s a tremendous look at some of the latest infrastructure and basic communications technologies – something that, as he notes, is often lost in a world focused on apps, shiny brushed metal casings, and other elements that the general public associates with “cellular technology.”
The piece highlights our own research into various areas, but most especially what we call “Fuzzy Cells”. The principle is simple: by blurring the distinction between cell edges – where the worst reception occurs, and data speeds for the most disadvantaged users plummet – through better handover, you can improve cell edge performance with no significant infrastructure change. InterDigital’s Fuzzy Cell technology shows gains of ~2X over fractional frequency reuse (FFR), a technique often considered for LTE.
The technique was also featured in a Connected Planet article, here.
InterDigital was part of an important announcement today by our industry collaborators, Mindspeed Technologies and Radisys, regarding integration of Wi-Fi and LTE within a small cell solution. The announcement discusses the combination of InterDigital's Converged Gateway, a licensed and unlicensed bandwidth management software, with Radisys TOTALeNodeB small cell software, all running on Mindspeed's Transcede dual-mode processor. This enables OEMs to efficiently develop small cell solutions that combine HSPA, LTE and Wi-Fi in one access point.
As the release notes:
“Network operators are increasingly embracing cellular and Wi-Fi as complementary technologies in delivering the ever-growing volume of data through offloading cellular users onto Wi-Fi. As such, many operators are deploying carrier Wi-Fi in significant volume today. But critically, for urban deployments with metrocells, the total cost of ownership (TCO) is driven by the number of nodes, as each requires power, backhaul, installation and site acquisition. Having separate carrier Wi-Fi installations and small cell installations to serve the same area doubles TCO compared to an integrated unit that shares power, backhaul and installation.”
InterDigital will be hosting the InterDigital APPeritivo – a cocktail bar powered by our Smart Connectivity and Mobility Service, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. SCMS is InterDigital’s offering of hosted bandwidth management libraries, which enables application developers to integrate mobile bandwidth management (such as application-based connectivity) into their applications with a few simple API calls. More info here.
To join us for free martinis on Tuesday, February 25th and Wednesday, February 26th from 5pm to 7pm, simply download the app on-site or search for APPeritivo at either Google Play or the Apple Store. The app will use SCMS to connect to our stand, and enable you to register your choice.
InterDigital’s demos and booth are located in Hall 7, Stand 7G111. Gràcies, i esperem a veure a Barcelona! (Thanks, and looking forward to seeing you in Barcelona!)
InterDigital was mentioned in a wonderful article today by Caroline Gabriel of Rethink Wireless, who wrote this piece regarding our joint announcement of Wi-Fi/LTE integration in small cells. You can read the press release at ip.access’ website, here.
Small cells are an important operator-focused solution, and much of the talk in the mobile space over the past year has been on Wi-Fi/cellular integration – including a white paper that we wrote outlining various technology approaches to the issue. The technology with ip.access gives operators the capability to integrate LTE and Wi-Fi within small cells, and what that allows operators to do is maintain Quality of Service (QoS), regardless of network, while intelligently managing network resources.
The demonstration will be part of ip.access’ booth in Hall 7 Stand E105 at Mobile World Congress, and stay tuned for a breakdown of the various technologies we’ll be showcasing in Barcelona.
Brian Kiernan, a longtime senior engineer of InterDigital – dating back to our International Mobile Machines days! – who recently stepped down as Chief Scientist of the company has been recognized by the IEEE with one of its top awards. Brian has been awarded the IEEE Computer Society Hans Karlsson Award, which recognizes outstanding skills and diplomacy, team facilitation and joint achievement, in the promotion of computer standards where individual aspirations, corporate competition, and organizational rivalry could otherwise be counter to society's benefit. The award was established by the Computer Society in 1992 in memory of Hans Karlsson, father of the IEEE 1301 family of standards.
Brian’s career of contribution to standards organizations is tremendous. With regard to the IEEE alone, he was vice chair of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access, past chair of the IEEE 802.16a Task Group on Broadband Wireless Access for Bands from 2-11 GHz, past chair of the IEEE 802.16e Task Group on Mobile Broadband Wireless Access and chair of the IEEE 802.16m Task Group on Mobile Broadband Wireless Access-Advanced Air Interface. Kiernan also served as vice chair of the ATIS Wireless Technologies and Systems Committee Radio Access Networks (WTSC-RAN) subcommittee.
The announcement by the IEEE is here – congratulations Brian!
InterDigital presented a range of technologies in closed-door sessions with a range of industry players, analysts and other stakeholders at the Consumer Electronics Show this year in Las Vegas. Commnexus, San Diego’s wireless industry association, took videos of some of our demos, including machine-to-machine communications, adaptive video streaming, and smart Wi-Fi management. Many thanks to our friends at Commnexus!
Earlier last year, some of InterDigital’s research team were asked to contribute articles for a special issue of ZTE Journal, the peer-reviewed journal published by electronics giant ZTE, for special issue on millimeter wave communications (mmW) – an area that InterDigital is helping lead research in. The special issue, “Millimeter Wave Communications for Cellular and Cellular-802.11 Hybrid Networks,” has been published, with our own Phil Pietraski penning the guest editorial and our engineers contributing the following articles.
“Millimeter Wave and Terahertz Communications: Feasibility and Challenges” (Phil Pietraski, David Britz, Arnab Roy, Ravi Pragada, and Gregg Charlton)
“Modeling Human Blockers in Millimeter Wave Radio Links” (Jonathan S. Lu, Daniel Steinbach, Patrick Cabrol)
The issue is available for download at ZTE’s website, here.
There are not many things that remain currently relevant in communications technology that predate the founding of InterDigital, in 1972. One is ARPANET, the first computer-to-computer data transmission network, which first transmitted near this date in 1969 and which recently celebrated the 40th anniversay of its grand coming-out party at the Washington Hilton Hotel.
The idea that sharing data among devices might be valuable leads in a straight road to where the world - and InterDigital - is today. EDN's Suzanne Deffree has a great piece on the first ever computer to computer link: the scientists managed to transmit "LO" - the first two letters of the intended message, "login" - before the system crashed. Anyone who has had an important wireless call die in mid-conversation will sympathize...
Ars Technica had a tremendous piece last year on the technology's grand coming-out party in Washington in October of 1972, the same year InterDigital was founded. The first point on the conference agenda remains, today, what drives most technology, including us here at InterDigital: "This conference is not just another rehash of the technology of bits and bandwidths. It will deal with what all this is good for -- what the user problems and results are."
Better late than never! GigaOM Mobilize 2012 was a tremendous occasion to examine the future of wireless in a world dominated by applications... and InterDigital helped lead the discussion. Finally, full video has been posted of the panel moderated by Allen Proithis, VP of Strategic Solutions, and featuring Senior Director of Technology Planning Alan Carlton, as well as a blue-chip panel:
Assaf Benjamin, VP, Business Development of mobile app monetization exchange inneractive
John Fallows, CTO of mobile web application services company Kaazing
John Badillo, VP Sales of global VOIP and roaming provider Truphone
Nick Pike, VP Partnerships at Vox Mobile, a provider of enterprise managed mobility services
Sanjiv Parikh, recently VP of Investments and Corporate Development for HTC
The video is lengthy, but the discussion addresses one of the most important topics in mobile.
MPEG-DASH is an important development in the field of video streaming, as devices and service providers work towards a common standard that can unify video delivery in the any-device world. MPEG-DASH is also an important development effort at InterDigital. On Nov. 1, InterDigital's Yuriy Reznik - who is co-editor of Part 3 of the MPEG-DASH standard - will join a panel of distinguished industry leads to discuss MPEG-DASH and the future of unified video streaming. The panel is hosted by CommNexus, San Diego's wireless industry association, and will include:
lraj Sodagar - Principal System Architect, Microsoft
Will Law - Principal Architect, Akamai
Sital Amin - Product Manager, Web Technologies Group, Qualcomm
Niels Thorwirth - Executive Director Advanced Technology, Verimatrix, Inc.
InterDigital has been pioneering research into integration of TV White Space into an overall network connectivity solution for years. That leadership was highlighted today when tech research provider Heavy Reading featured InterDigital's Dynamic Spectrum Management solution in its latest research report on the topic. For a closer look at InterDigital's Dynamic Spectrum Management you can visit our page on spectrum harvesting
InterDigital just posted a video offering a first look at User-Adaptive Mobile Video Streaming, a technology led by our CTO Office in San Diego. User Adaptive Mobile Video Streaming is a research effort that seeks to reduce bandwidth needs related to video streaming by optimizing the stream for viewing conditions. The technology is based on the physical limits of human viewers - in other words, by eliminating the bandwidth and processing that is consumed to deliver video that exceeds human viewing capability. The client uses a combination of facial recognition as well as other factors, such as ambient light, to calculate the optimal video quality at the lowest required data rates. The result is a stream that conserves bandwidth at the network and device end, maximizing the possibility of a quality, error-free video stream to a mobile device.
EDN, one of the leading websites and news resources for electronics engineers worldwide, is featuring InterDigital's white paper on Cellular Wi-Fi integration - one of the hottest topics in wireless development. All sections of the three-part feature - authored by InterDigital's team of Prabakhar Chitrapu, Alex Reznik and Juan Carlos Zuniga - can be accessed below: