The Week In Review: Manufacturing & Design

Making gestures; MEMS lab; cool displays; SOI deal; Intel to sell TV biz?

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Gesture sensing is a hot topic. Apple recently confirmed the acquisition of PrimeSense for a reported $360 million. PrimeSense is an Israel-based company known for its structured light technology. “Gesture sensing of 3D depth without a controller is the standard for game consoles such as Microsoft Kinect for Xbox and new PS Camera for PlayStation 4. Clearly, a future Apple TV is the logical platform for Apple to adopt PrimeSense’s structured light technology,” said Calvin Hsieh of DisplaySearch.

A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics, GlobalFoundries and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology are collaborating on advanced MEMS technologies for automotive, aerospace, consumer, healthcare, industrial and mobility applications. The entities also have set up a MEMS R&D lab. The Abu Dhabi-Singapore Twin Lab will focus on the development of MEMS technologies, including inertial sensors, energy harvesters, nano-opto-mechanical sensors and ultrasonic transducers.

Applied Materials’ AKT Display group recently completed its participation at FPD International 2013 in Pacifico Yokohama. In a blog, Applied provided some photos from the latest and greatest displays at the show.

Soitec and SunEdison announced they have entered into a patent cross-license agreement relating to silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer products. The agreement provides each company with access to the other’s patent portfolio for SOI technologies and ends all outstanding legal disputes between the companies.

Intel hasn’t officially announced its Internet television service, but the company already is trying to sell it for $500 million, according to Bloomberg.

Qualcomm reported that China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has commenced an investigation of Qualcomm relating to the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). The NDRC has advised that the substance of the investigation is confidential.

Microchip Technology announced the acquisition of EqcoLogic, a supplier of equalizer and coaxial transceiver products. EqcoLogic is a fabless semiconductor company based in Brussels, Belgium.

IC Insights forecasts total personal computing unit shipments (desktop PCs, notebooks, tablets, and Internet/cloud portables) to grow an average of 10.6% from 2012 to 2017, reaching 770 million systems at the end of the forecast period.

Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to surpass 1 billion units in 2013, representing 39.3% growth over 2012, according to IDC.

The pipeline of solar photovoltaic projects awaiting completion within the United States has grown by 7% during the past 12 months, and now exceeds 43 gigawatts (GW), which is enough to power more than six million U.S. households, according to Solarbuzz.

The importance, role and functionality of data centers will change over the next five years, according to Gartner. In-memory computing, where the primary location for application data is the main memory of the computing environment, will become more widely used. At the same time, the use of low-energy processors in servers will increase.