NVIDIA and Ubisoft team up for latest games

Splinter Cell BlacklistNVIDIA has formed an alliance with Ubisoft to offer PC gamers the best gaming experiences possible for Ubisoft’s biggest fall titles, including Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, Assassins Creed IV Black Flag and Watch Dogs.

NVIDIA’s developer technology team is working closely with Ubisoft’s development studios on incorporating graphics technology innovations to create game worlds that deliver new heights of realism and immersion. One example is NVIDIA® TXAA™ antialiasing, which provides Hollywood-levels of smooth animation, soft shadows, HBAO+ (horizon-based ambient occlusion) and advanced DX11 tessellation.

“PC gaming is stronger than ever and Ubisoft understands that PC gamers demand a truly elite experience — the best resolutions, the smoothest frame rates and the latest gaming breakthroughs,” said Tony Tamasi, Senior Vice President of Content and Technology at NVIDIA. “We’ve worked closely with Ubisoft’s incredibly talented creative team throughout the development process to incorporate our technologies and deliver the most immersive and visually spectacular game worlds imaginable.”

Tommy Bahama partners hybris to seize market opportunities

Tommy Bahama Singapore
Tommy Bahama’s outlet in Wisma Atria, Singapore.

Tommy Bahama, which has an outlet in Wisma Atria, Singapore, has selected hybris Commerce Suite to improve its omni-channel commerce capabilities and create a more agile response to expanding market opportunities.

A leading retailer of island-inspired apparel and home furnishings, the brand has achieved rapid growth in online commerce over the past few years. In addition to the web, Tommy Bahama offers in-store kiosks, a commerce channel that enables an “endless aisle” of products available through the e-commerce warehouse, allowing shoppers to access out-of-stock or online exclusive items directly in-store.

To ensure the brand’s continued global expansion and establish a foundation for market and channel growth, Tommy Bahama needed a robust commerce platform capable of integrating with its existing Adobe Experience Manager solution to deliver a world-class, end-to-end user experience across all channels. hybris not only complements the Adobe Experience Manager but enables it to further create and deliver a heavily optimised user experience.

Samsung tops ABI Research’s tablet competitive assessment

abi researchKorean giant Samsung has nudged aside all competition in ABI Research’s assessment of 19 top tablets.

The  competitive assessment ranked companies on several criteria related to both product implementation and vendor innovation.

Samsung bested all other tablet vendors in the innovation category while scoring second overall in the implementation category. Clearly king of the hill when it comes to tablet shipment volumes, Apple trailed Samsung on tablet Innovation landing in second.

WeChat soars past 100m registered users milestone

WeChat infographicWeChat has surpassed the 100 million registered user account milestone. That’s remarkable considering the strong competition it is up against.

In the last three months, it doubled its registered user account base reaching the 100 million milestone shortly after an independent survey found that the platform was the fifth most used smartphone app worldwide.  

Since its international debut, WeChat has been well received in Asia, quickly becoming the most popular mobile social app in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia across multiple smartphone OS platforms, where the user base has recently gained tremendous growth. 

Tablets fail to lift flat PC market in Q2

Tablet shipment’s growth 42.9 percent iwas not enough to lift a sluggish PC market in Q2. Desktop and notebook shipments fell 7.4 percent and 13.9 percent respectively, according to Canalys, which believes that tablets will outsell notebooks by Q4.

PC shipment in the Asia Pacific region declined 0.5 percent year-on-year to just over 40 million units. The region was badly affected by slow shipment in China, which accounted for almost 45 percent of the region’s shipment and declined by about six percent.

Demand for smartphones and tablets is increasing around the world. Faced by an industry in transition, channel partners are exercising caution when planning and placing orders.

China’s top five vendors grab 20% of the world’s smartphone market

CanalysSamsung and Apple grew smartphone shipment by 55 percent and 20 percent respectively to maintain first and second place in Q2, according to Canalys.

However, both lost market share to Chinese vendors as the top 5 China vendors (Lenovo, Yulong, Huawei, ZTE, and Xiaomi) now account for 20 percent of the  market, up from less than 15 percent a year ago.

Altogether, some 238.1 million units were shipped in Q2, an impressive 50 percent year-on-year gain.

Samsung dominates almost every device price point

abi researchSamsung has a device for every price point, giving it leadership in all, bar one category — the high end where it faces Apple.

According to ABI Research’s Device Portal sales channel analysis, the balance of power remains with Samsung/Android and Apple and looks set to remain so in the foreseeable future.

“This leaves little room for the other vendors to compete, especially the other Android vendors and those using uncompetitive operating system ecosystems. Despite some carrier’s efforts to create a more balanced smartphone device vendor industry with their use of subsidy, ultimately they are obliged to fulfill consumer demand and at the moment that means Samsung/Android and Apple,” said Nick Spencer, Senior Practice Director of ABI Research.

Samsung expands ATIV lineup

Samsung Ativ SeriesSamsung has boosted its ATIV lineup with four new Windows 8 devices — ATIV Book 9 Plus and ATIV Book 9 Lite notebooks, ATIV Tab 3 tablet and ATIV One 5 Style all-in-one desktop PC.

Also introduced is a new feature called HomeSync Lite, which transforms the PC’s hard drive into a personal cloud server. HomeSync Lite lets users to backup their personal files, photos and videos from portable devices to PCs and access them remotely via a mobile device anytime, anywhere.

The ATIV Book 9 Plus is the next generation of the ATIV Book 9, which is ultra thin and light. Its aluminium, uni-body design features several enhancements from the previous model, including a Windows 8 optimised touchscreen to give users a choice of inputs and a panel that flips 180 degrees so that users can change or share their perspective easily. The notebook will be available in mineral ash black from Q4 at major consumer electronics and IT stores and Samsung Experience Stores.

Android-based tablets outship iPads in Q2

Three in 10 PC shipped in Q2 were tablets. According to Canalys, more than 34 million tablets were shipped in Q2, a 43 percent year-on-year increase. Even more impressive is the fact that tablets now account for 31 percent of worldwide PC shipments.

The charge is led by Android-based tablets as Apple’s tablet shipments declined 14 percent in Q2 and saw its market share shaved to 43 percent. The chasing pack of Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, and Acer each grew annually by over 200 percent, driven by increasing demand for small-screen tablets.

Canalys estimates that 68 percent of tablets shipped in Q2 had a screen size smaller than nine inches. “Consumers have been evaluating tablets and the results are now in,” said Tim Coulling, Senior Analyst at Canalys . “With touchscreens contributing to a high proportion of the build cost of a tablet, small-screen products can be priced very aggressively.”

SAP completes hybris acquisition

SAPSAP is investing in the future of commerce and customer engagement with its acquisition of hybris. The two companies plan to combine the agile omni-channel commerce solutions of hybris with robust enterprise technology and industry leading in-memory, cloud and mobile innovations from SAP to help facilitate new levels of customer insight and engagement.

“SAP and hybris will deliver the next-generation customer experience for businesses and consumers in a world where digital and physical converge seamlessly,” said Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEOs, SAP AG. “With the addition of the hybris commerce platform, we intend to help enterprises achieve unprecedented intimacy with customers in real time and across all devices, delivery channels and touchpoints.”

The rules of engagement have changed and customers are in control. Modern businesses need systems that can predict and adapt in real time to customers wherever and however they engage. hybris expands SAP solutions that address customer engagement comprehensively across marketing, sales, service and commerce. As part of SAP, hybris is expected to take advantage of mobile, cloud and big data innovations from the company while continuing to drive forward the most modern, agile commerce platform in the market today.

Rhythm & Hues Studios creates award-winning visual effects with NVIDIA GPUs

Rhythmn and HuesBy Edward Lim, Managing Consultant, CIZA Concept

Founded in 1987, Rhythm & Hues Studios is a visual effects company with corporate headquarters in El Segundo, California and production facilities in India, Malaysia, Canada, and Taiwan.

The studio has won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for Babe (1995), The Golden Compass (2008) and Life of Pi (2013), on top of four Scientific and Technical Academy Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

Computing power and unified platform needed
Lots of computing power are needed to create computer graphics imagery (CGI) in films. Besides this requirement, Rhythm & Hues also needed to standardize on a platform that can be used in its studios around the world. This unified platform is critical as work is shared and done concurrently in different parts of the world.

Global printing dips but APeJ bucks trend

IDCWorldwide page volume from digital hardcopy devices has dipped to 2.98 trillion in 2012 from 3.03 trillion in 2011, a decline of 1.5 percent year over year, according to IDC.

However, in spite of the decline, the world continues to print at a good clip. Developed countries continued their negative page growth trend, driven by digital workflows, adoption of managed print services (MPS) and anemic economies. The silver lining for print volume in developed economies appears to be net new incremental pages from mobile devices.

While it may seem counter intuitive, smartphone and tablet users are generating more print volume compared to non-tablet/smartphone users.

ZTE introduces MF253 LTE wireless router with customised versions for different markets

ZTE MF253ZTE has launched the MF253 LTE wireless router that enables 4G mobile data access for homes, retail stores and offices.

With a sleek upright design, the MF253 supports data downlink speeds of 100Mbps, and 50Mbps for uplink, delivering high-speed mobile Internet access for up to 32 users simultaneously. It comes with a streamlined white chassis and blue indicator lights.

Customised versions for markets in the Americas, Europe and China ensure comprehensive support for a broad range of LTE spectrum used in different markets globally. Support for an external antenna will allow the MF253 to be deployed in areas of poor mobile signals.

Global mobile phone market up 6% in Q2

IDCDemand for mobile phones continue to grow. In Q2, the worldwide mobile phone market grew six percent year over year, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Vendors shipped a total of 432.1 million mobile phones in Q2 compared to 407.7 million units in the corresponding quarter of 2012. The Q2 total was also slightly higher than the 428.8 million units shipped in Q1.

The growth in the mobile phone market was partly driven by vendors from outside the Top 5 who experienced torrid shipment growth that outpaced the overall market. Several vendors, including Alcatel and Huawei, had high double- and triple-digit growth rates in Q2 for their Android-based offerings shipped to high-growth countries such as China and India. These vendors from outside the Top 5 accounted for 44.8 percent of the overall shipment volume, up from 42.2 percent in the same quarter one year ago.

Sensors and gesture recognition are major smartphone differentiators

abi researchAccelerometers, vision-based gesture recognition, gyroscopes, and NFC are predicted to be the feature set big winners in smartphones in 2013, according to ABI Research.

“Gesture recognition is soon going to become a key differentiator in high-end flagship smartphones. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S4 has already incorporated the technology within its handset and has received significant plaudits for its new innovative user experience. Today’s consumers are becoming much savvier with their smartphones and they’re looking for new interesting ways to communicate with each other and their devices,” said Joshua Flood, Senior Analyst of ABI Research.

In 2013, almost 12 percent of smartphones shipped will have vision-based gesture recognition capabilities. It is unsure if Apple will include the technology in its next generation iPhone but the company is expected to include a full array of MEMS sensors and NFC.

Twistcode leverages GPU power for big data

By Edward Lim, Managing Consultant, CIZA Concept

FTwistcodeounded in 2006, Twistcode does research and development in high performance computing technology, especially massive-parallel computing and applications using central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs). It thrives in accelerating any repetitive algorithm and/or process in most environments.

With its focus on high performance computing, the young and dynamic company hopes to let its clients – enterprises and government organisations – concentrate on what’s important to them. It provides services such as rendering and modelling, and tweaks technologies and twist codes to adapt to customers’ needs.

Frustration over cell architecture
It was frustration over Sony’s cell architecture that prompted Twistcode to consider other options for its work.

NVIDIA unveils Quadro K6000 GPU

Monsters University is the first Pixar film to implement Global Illumination, a new lighting technology that allows for ultra-complex lighting set-ups where light bounces in a physically realistic way.
Monsters University is the first Pixar film to implement Global Illumination, a new lighting technology that allows for ultra-complex lighting set-ups where light bounces in a physically realistic way.

NVIDIA has unveiled the NVIDIA Quadro K6000 GPU and a new line of professional graphics GPUs for mobile workstations.

The Quadro K6000 GPU delivers five times higher compute performance and nearly double the graphics capability of its predecessor, the NVIDIA Quadro 6000 GPU, and features the world’s largest and fastest graphics memory.

Combining breakthrough performance and advanced capabilities in a power-efficient design, it enables leading organisations such as Pixar, Nissan, Apache Corporation, and the Weather Channel’s WSI division to tackle visualisation and analysis workloads of unprecedented size and scope.

China pulls down APAC PC market in Q2

IDCThe PC market slowdown continued in Q2 with Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) dropping one percent last quarter and 11 percent year-on-year in Q2 to reach 26.7 million units, according to IDC’s preliminary results.

Weak sell-in amid ongoing consumer distractions, such as phones and tablets, as well as a slowing economy affected the PC market performance in China, which pulled the entire region down. While consumer sentiment in the rest of region was also tepid, a higher-than-expected shipment for a large education notebook project in India helped to offset some of this decline.

“The second half of this year still faces a number of challenges such as economic and channel conditions in China as well as uncertainty around an education project in India,” said Handoko Andi, Research Manager at IDC Asia/Pacific. “It’s possible for the market to bottom out and recover by 2014 as technology evolves, but IDC confidence is low at the moment given all of the forces tugging at each other right now.”

Allen Ma is new CEO of HKSTPC

Allen MaHong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) has appointed Allen Ma as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding E Anthony Tan, who has held the position since April 2008.

Joining as CEO-designate on July 22 and taking office on August 1 , Ma believes technology plays a key role in fuelling Hong Kong’s economic transformation and will draw on his 30 years of industrial and business experience to increase the competitiveness of the city as a regional hub for science and technology innovation while building ever stronger collaboration with the Mainland.  

His key focus will be to advance HKSTPC’s mission to provide world-class infrastructure and services and promote Hong Kong as a regional hub of innovation and technology.

Cellebrite introduces PC-based wireless retail solution

Cellebrite DeskTopCellebrite has introduced Cellebrite DeskTop, a PC-based version of its suite of applications that increase revenue, boost margins and improve customer satisfaction in the store and beyond.

Cellebrite DeskTop includes fast phone-to-phone content transfer, back-up, and restore, a fully automated phone trade-in programme, application content and delivery, and robust diagnostics to “detect and correct” phone problems, in an integrated solution running in a Microsoft Windows environment.

It reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) by offering retailers the flexibility of running on a general-purpose PC, eliminating the added cost associated with dedicated hardware. Users will also benefit from unprecedented system performance, including fast content transfer.

Worldwide IT outsourcing market to grow to US$288b in 2013

GartnerThe worldwide IT outsourcing (ITO) market is predicted to reach US$288 billion in 2013, a 2.8 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner. Compared with Gartner’s previous forecast, nearly all ITO segments are now forecasted to grow more slowly this year.

Gartner’s forecast includes slight upward revisions for both custom application outsourcing and infrastructure utility services (IUS) for 2014 through 2017. Although software as a service (SaaS) impacts the ITO market, it is forecasted as part of the software market, rather than as part of the ITO market.

“We continue to see overall market growth being constrained by near-term market factors, such as evolving ITO delivery models, economic, political and labor conditions, and service provider financial performance,” said Bryan Britz, Research Vice President at Gartner. “Mature Asia/Pacific and Western Europe are the regions where the outlook is most tempered, partly due to currency but also reflective of our view that 2013 is likely to be similar to 2012 in these regions.”

NVIDIA launches world’s first GPU-accelerated platform for geospatial intelligence analysts

NVIDIANVIDIA has launched the NVIDIA GeoInt  Accelerator, the world’s first GPU-accelerated geospatial intelligence platform to enable security analysts to find actionable insights quicker and more accurately than ever before from vast quantities of raw data, images and video.

The platform provides defence and homeland security analysts with tools that enable faster processing of high-resolution satellite imagery, facial recognition in surveillance video, combat mission planning using geographic information system (GIS) data, and object recognition in video collected by drones.

It offers a complete solution consisting of an NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerated system, software applications for geospatial intelligence analysis, and advanced application development libraries