IEEE Gives a Look Behind Today’s Tech

IEEE, the commonly used abbreviation for the Institute for Electronics and Electrical Engineers, dropped by the TPN booth last month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to chat a bit about what is going on with the organization right now.

IEEE.org looks at all aspects of today’s technology, but also helps to set standards for some of it.  You may have seen their logo on some products, but they have their hands on a lot more than you may realize, like 3D for instance.  They also offer a lot of conferences on a broad range of topics and a large digital library that is open to the public.  In addition, they also work with people to ensure the technical accuracy of papers and documentation before publication.

The video below  is a fascinating, but technical, look behind the scenes.  If you are interested by how this industry works, though, it’s worth checking out.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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VESA and DisplayPort

VESA LogoVESA, the Video Electronics Standards Association has been responsible for defining many video-related standards, starting with SVGA in the late 80s. More recently VESA has been defining and promoting DisplayPort, the latest video interconnect. Andy and Dave chat to Craig Wiley, VESA Chairman, to understand the technology.

Display Port LogoIn developing DisplayPort, VESA has worked to ensure that the standard meets the needs of the modern user. The standard allows for multiple screens at high resolutions and the aim is to replace VGA, DVI and HDMI with a single connector. Cleverly, DisplayPort has backwards compatibility with the legacy devices as the DisplayPort itself is powered, so cable adaptors can be used to convert the signals to an older connection types.

Moving forwards, the basic DisplayPort can drive a 4096 x 2048 display with 30 bit colour depth at 60 Hz. Other resolutions and bit depths are possible but there’s a trade off between resolution and bit depth as it’s the overall bandwidth that’s the constraining factor. DisplayPort v1.2 also supports the daisy chaining of video displays, which is pretty cool.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net, and Dave Lee from Waves of Tech.

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UPnP Forum and How Your Gadgets Stream Music

UPnP Forum LogoIf you’ve ever wondered how your gadgets talk amongst themselves to successfully play music from your PC through a media streamer, you’ll be interested in this interview with Dr Alan Messer, President of the UPnP Forum.

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is the standard by which IP networked gadgets advertise their services and intercommunicate. Formed in 1999, nearly all the big vendors are signed up with over 1000 members, the notable exception being Apple who tend to do their own thing. Think Intel, Samsung, Nokia, Philips.

The most common example of UPnP (AV spec) is DLNA-certification which governs media management, discovery and control and this effectively determines how music is streamed from one device to another. Set-top boxes know how to use different router ports based on UPnP techniques. Almost any consumer device attached to the network in the home will have some element of UPnP built-in.

(No, Andy, it’s not the ISA PnP but thanks for the trip down memory lane.)

Interview by Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

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SD Card Association

SD cardAndy McCasky and Esbjorn Larsen spoke to Alisa Hicks from the SD Card Association, a standards body for SD cards. They make sure that SD cards work in all devices. SD stands for secure-digital. The cards are created with copyrights protection (CPRM) installed. So that content providers are willing to allow their creations on the cards. Right now the cards works with standard definition videos only, but they are working on a high-def version.  The association represent over 1100 members, including camera makers, card makers, card readers and others. Two years ago they increased the storage capacity of the cards up to 32 GB. At that time they said they were working on increasing the speed of transfer.

At CES 2011 the association announced the second speed increase (since increasing the capacity) up to 312 mb per sec. The speed classes guarantee a minimum write speed, not the maximum speed. If you have a class 10 card, then the minimum write speed is 10 mb per second for that card, but it could be higher. The best way to find what card is best for a device is to look at the manual.  The SD Association doesn’t issue the license for the cards that is done by a different group. The association is currently working on an SD format for digital books.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News. and Esbjorn Larsen of MrNetCast.com.

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Linux Standards Set

The Free Standards Group announced this morning the availability of the Linux Standard Base (LSB) 2.0, an essential component for the long-term market success of Linux. By ensuring a common, agreed-upon standard from which Linux applications may be developed, the LSB supports Linux developer’s competition with Microsoft and its Windows operating system.

The Free Standards Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and promoting open source software standards. The Linux Standard Base, one of the organization’s projects, helps to prevent divergence in Linux development and the potential for conflicting Linux distributions: applications written for one Linux distribution should, if the LSB is followed, work on all distributions.

Dave’s Opinion
The Linux Standard Base specification contains a base set of APIs, libraries and interoperability standards. These are the fundamental tools necessary to create an industry-wide Linux standard. This is the right way to develop an operating system.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

References
Free Standards Group