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News and thoughts

Intel agreed to buy Altera Corp. for $16.7B to defend its presence in data centers, following Avago Technologies Ltd. agreeing to buy Broadcom Corp. for $37B. Definitely a record year for semiconductor industry consolidation.

Flat revenue projections is forcing companies slow to respond to market changes to look to acquisitions for continued growth. Hopefully all the consolidation will once again open the door for numerous innovative startups.

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Simple overview of why only multiple Unicorns make the VC business model work. In this example, a $200M VC fund needs to make $5B in exits to achieve its own investors’ expectations. Times have changed!

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VeriSilicon announced the availability of Hantro G2v2 Multi-format Decoder IP to support Google’s VP9 Profile 2. This profile was introduced by the WebM project in 2014 to meet the industry’s requirement for higher precision content. VP9 Profile 2 uses 10/12-bit 4:2:0 sampling format. Additionally, Hantro G2v2 supports HEVC Main and Main 10 Profiles and VP9 Profile 0.

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MediaTek’s new CrossMount standard lets devices share their hardware and software when they’re on the same WiFi network, letting you use whichever components make sense in a given situation. You can use your phone’s mic to dictate voice commands to your TV, for example, or use your phone’s webcam for a video chat on your tablet. CrossMount is an open standard based on the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) standard you probably have in some of your existing gear, so it might be easy to implement when it’s available in the third quarter of the year.

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In a world where applications are delivered via cloud and distributed across billions of Internet-connected end-points, we’ve seen barriers to entry, adoption and innovation compress by an order of magnitude or two, if not crushed altogether. Compound this by advances in application and data portability and the implication for technology vendors competing in this global, all-you-can-eat software buffet is that customers’ switching costs are rapidly approaching zero. In this environment it’s all about the best product, with the fastest time-to-value and near zero TCO. And it’s this second point – time-to-value (TtV) – that Lenny Pruss wants to dig in on a bit because it tends to be the one glossed over most often. And, of course, Time-to-Value is applicable to any product and market, not just SaaS.

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The Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled the second version of its single-board computer for hardware hobbyists. The Raspberry Pi 2 will have six times the processing power of the original and twice the amount of main memory, but it will still cost just $35 and come in the same credit-card size electronic board. At the heart of the device is a new system-on-a-chip, the BCM2836 from Broadcom.

Microsoft has also announced that a free version of Windows 10 will be available for Raspberry Pi devices.

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The MHL Consortium announced the superMHL specification, the next-generation of MHL technology for CE and mobile devices. Features include:

  • Delivery of up to 8K 120fps video
  • Deep Color support up to 48-bit color depths
  • Wider color gamut to view content the way filmmakers intended
  • High-Dynamic Range (HDR) support to strike the perfect balance of bright spectral highlights along with shadow details
  • Immersive surround sound with support for object audio such as Dolby Atmos®, DTS-UHD™, and 3D audio
  • Advanced connectivity configurations to link multiple MHL devices together and control them via one remote
  • Power charging up to 40W
  • Content on multiple displays when connecting a single device
  • New reversible superMHL connector
  • New support for the MHL Alt Mode for the USB Type-C specification
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