Smart IOPS Utilizes Xilinx FPGAs to Introduce the Highest Sustained NVMe SSD Performance for the Enterprise Data Center

Smart IOPS, Inc., an innovative flash storage leader today announced that it is utilizing Xilinx® FPGAs to accelerate mixed use application workloads for the enterprise and hyperscale data centers.

The two companies are collaborating to further optimize FPGA-based solid-state storage device controllers.

In recent years, a massive amount of the compute and storage has been pushed back to data center, on premise or in the cloud. Enterprise and hyperscale data centers host applications that must run with a great degree of reliability, catering to millions of active users, and servicing billions of transactions daily. Smart IOPS is unlocking the potential of flash storage to keep up with their rapidly changing workload needs and growth.

"We chose to implement our TruRandom technology in Xilinx FPGAs in order to cut time-to-market and offer unprecedented NVMe SSD performance to our customers today, rather than a year from now. Moreover, millions of dollars saved in development costs are applied to continue to build on our advanced platform that allows us to offer our customers differentiated flash storage solutions while staying far ahead of the competition in the coming years," said RK Nair, Chief Operating Officer at Smart IOPS.

"Smart IOPS' innovative TruRandom technology has not only changed the paradigm in flash storage, it speaks to the strength and advanced programming capabilities of the Xilinx FPGA platform," said Manoj Roge, Director, Data Center Strategy and Marketing at Xilinx. "It is another example of how Xilinx FPGAs are accelerating time to market and lower TCO for storage, and compute in the Data Center."

Smart IOPS is an innovative leader in storage solutions whose TruRandom™ technology creates new possibilities for flash technology to have a profound impact on current and next generation data center applications. Powered by TruRandom, Smart IOPS SSDs substantially increase IOPS and bandwidth to remove the I/O storage bottleneck that plagues the modern data center. Smart IOPS' flash storage solutions enable Cloud Service Providers (CSP), High Performance Computing (HPC) and enterprise data centers to confidently deploy I/O-intensive applications with greater reliability and SLA, at a fraction of the cost of other flash-based storage products.


ON Semiconductor Introduces Smallest 650 V Auto Power Module at electronica

ON Semiconductor unveiled its most compact 650 V, 50 A automotive qualified intelligent power module at electronica in Munich this week.

The power module is used for controlling vehicle air conditioning compressors.

The semiconductor giant’s FAM65V05DF1 integrates insulated-gate bipolar transistors, freewheeling diodes, and gate drivers in an automotive-qualified 12cm2 package – about 40 percent smaller than similar modules comprised of multiple discrete components, ON said in a statement.

The 27-pin auto smart power module is optimized for auxiliary inverter in hybrid and electric vehicle applications. It has a transfer molded double dual inline package outline.

“The device greatly simplifies and shortens the process of designing the power stages of high-voltage automotive auxiliary inverters for A/C compressors and oil pumps – applications that must comply with tight space constraints,” said an ON statement.

The company has a booth at electronica to display its automotive, Internet of Things, power-management, and motor control products.

ON recently acquire Fairchild Semiconductor to expand its high- and medium-voltage devices.


Versatile Wearables Development Platform Integrates Diverse Sensors, Application Firmware, ARM Embed Hardware and Tools

Designing health/wellness and personal fitness devices, especially "wearables," presents a unique set of challenges: not only must they be very compact and extremely low power, but they must also interface with a set of diverse sensors, such as LEDs/photo-sensors (for blood-oxygen SpO2 readings), chest straps and patches for low-level cardiac signals (for EKGs), thermometers/temperature sensors, moisture sensors, and pressure transducers (for weight), to cite a few possibilities. Engineers striving to devise a viable approach and packaging for a product in this area often must resort to "cobbling together" a prototype and evaluation setup, which is a time-consuming, frustrating, fault-prone task—one which often has hardware and software incompatibilities that impede progress.

Analog/mixed-signal IC vendors are responding to the problem, as an integrated yet flexible and versatile development platform can ease the task, while also highlighting an array of their high-performance ICs at the same time. The hSensor Platform Maxim Integrated (formally called the MAXREFDES100# reference design) is a recent and powerful example: it includes its hSensor board, complete firmware with drivers, a debugger board and a graphical user interface (GUI). The hardware includes a broad range of sensors and interfaces:

MAX30003: Ultra-low power, single-channel integrated biopotential AFE
MAX30101: High-sensitivity pulse oximeter (SpO2) and heart-rate sensor
MAX30205: Industry’s only clinical-grade temperature sensor
MAX32620: Ultra-low power ARM® Cortex®-M4F microcontroller optimized for wearables
MAX14720: Industry’s lowest quiescent-current power-management integrated circuit (PMIC)

Additional components: Inertial sensors (three-axis accelerometer, six-axis accelerometer/gyroscope), barometric pressure sensor, flash memory and BLE radio.

However a set of just the sensors and their signal conditioning is necessary but not sufficient to fully relieve the designer's product-development pressures. Recognizing this, users of the Maxim hSensor platform have access to firmware source codes on Maxim’s website which, when combined with the platform, allows designers to load algorithms for different scenarios and adapt them to their specific applications. The firmware helps quickly test, validate and optimize designs, enabling faster evaluations and thus significantly reducing time to market.

The platform also includes support for the widely used ARM® mbed™ Internet of Things (IoT) Device Platform for writing software that controls hardware which can then connect to the cloud, simplifying creation of embedded, connected products. The mbed environment offers a high level of abstraction to eliminate maintenance of software tools and provide an extensive library of open-source software, supporting efficient evaluation and rapid prototyping of the application.


Will ADI Maintain a Strong Profit Margin in Fiscal 4Q16?

Analog Devices (ADI) is likely to report strong revenue growth in fiscal 4Q16 driven by seasonal demand from its key customer Apple (AAPL). High demand from Apple was the same reason why ADI’s fiscal 3Q16 earnings rose.

ADI supplies analog chips that are manufactured in old fabrication facilities that have already been paid off. Thus, the company enjoys a high gross margin of above 60%. The margin isn’t very volatile and moves in the range of 62% to 66%. However, there’s major variation in its operating margin, which hovers between 27% and 36%. Let’s look at the margins ADI could report in its fiscal 4Q16 earnings.

ADI expects its gross margin to fall from 66% in fiscal 3Q16 to 65.5% in fiscal 4Q16. The company’s gross margin is higher than Maxim Integrated’s (MXIM) and Texas Instruments’ (TXN) gross margins of 64% and 62%, respectively.

After the acquisition of Linear Technology (LLTC), which has a gross margin of above 75%, ADI’s gross margin could rise to 69%.

While the gross margin may contract, ADI’s operating margin may expand or remain flat at 34% in fiscal 4Q16 as the company increases its operating expense from the fiscal 3Q16 level of $277.8 million. The company launched new products in the industrial and IoT (Internet of Things) space. This could probably increase its development and marketing expenses, thereby increasing its operating expense.

ADI’s operating margin of 34% is less than Texas Instruments’ operating margin of 37.9%. After the acquisition of Linear Technology, ADI’s operating margin could expand to 38%.

Next, we’ll look at ADI’s four business segments and the factors that could drive growth in each of these segments.


Analog Devices Acquires Innovasic

Analog Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI) today announced the acquisition of Innovasic Inc., a leading provider of Deterministic Ethernet semiconductor and software solutions. The acquisition adds a suite of multiprotocol Industrial Ethernet solutions and key enabling technologies to ADI’s Smart Automation Solutions portfolio for industrial automation and Industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

With the industrial automation market already transitioning from serial fieldbus to Ethernet connectivity, and with the simultaneous push toward a ubiquitous Industrial IoT, there is a clear need for highly reliable, real-time Ethernet connectivity for sensitive industrial automation applications.

The acquisition of Innovasic will give ADI customers immediate access to a set of innovative solutions for today’s Industrial Ethernet applications while also creating a best-in-class roadmap for future connectivity needs like Industrial IoT. These solutions will complement ADI’s existing high-performance Industrial Automation solutions, including Software Configurable IO, Field Instruments, and efficient servo drives.

“In environments such as automotive manufacturing, where teams of robots are working in tandem in harsh and noisy conditions, our automation customers demand robust, synchronized, network technology,” said Kevin Carlin, General Manager of ADI’s Automation Business Unit. “These customers also strive to achieve the efficiency and cost improvements promised by wider deployment of Ethernet with the upcoming Industrial IoT. The IEEE has recognized that new standards will be required to enable Ethernet to meet the determinism demands for these emerging applications and is developing the new Time Sensitive Networks (TSN) standards. Innovasic technology not only addresses today’s Industrial Ethernet, but has also been demonstrated to address some of the early requirements of these new IEEE TSN standards. With this acquisition, ADI is now able to offer its customers a path forward from the sensor to the connected future of Industrial IoT.”

The Innovasic team will join ADI’s Industrial Automation Business Unit and operate as a key technology group, developing the company’s Deterministic Ethernet technology solutions and continuing to supply industrial customers with its portfolio of long life-cycle semiconductors. The team will be led by Jordon Woods, Innovasic’s co-founder and COO, and continue to be based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“We are excited to become part of Analog Devices and its ‘Smart Automation’ solution set,” said Woods. “Innovasic and ADI have both pursued solutions to customers’ most challenging technical problems while committing to maintain long product life cycles to meet the unique requirements of the industrial market. Together, we will be able to effectively and efficiently solve the communications needs of customers serving the most demanding industrial automation environments on the planet.”


Microchip Launches Its First Sigfox FCC-certified Long-Range RF Transceiver and Connectivity Development Kits for IoT Applications

Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP), a leading provider of microcontroller (MCU), mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, and Sigfox, the world's leading provider of global solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), today launched the industry's first FCC-certified, fully integrated RF transceiver and kits for developing IoT solutions for use on the Sigfox network.

Microchip Technology Inc. is a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.

Powered by Microchip's highly integrated ATA8520E, a low-power RF transceiver with an integrated AVR® microcontroller, the new kits contain the first FCC-certified board that allows developers to easily connect to Sigfox's long-range, two-way global IoT network – resulting in a low-cost, low-power device-to-cloud connectivity solution.

This is ideal for IoT applications in the US, ranging from logistics, to agriculture, smart cities and other Machine-to-Machine (M2M) sectors. The ATA8520E is also the first fully Sigfox-certified chip suitable for both North America and Europe.

The solution is available in two versions. Customers can either purchase Microchip's Sigfox-certified ATA8520E as a standalone kit, designed primarily to test the technology, or as a kit combined with an Xplained Pro board, a solution for system-design purposes. Both are dedicated for Sigfox's IoT network in the license-free ISM bands. The solutions come complete with the Sigfox library, modulation, ID and PAC code, and a security key enabling IoT developers to quickly get their designs to market.

Currently operating in 24 countries, Sigfox is on its way to establishing one global, seamless network that provides simple, ubiquitous, energy-efficient connectivity for billions of devices that periodically will send small quantities of data over long distances. Sigfox and Microchip are teaming together to drive down IoT device costs, operational costs and power consumption, ultimately resulting in substantially longer battery life compared to traditional cellular, Bluetooth® or Wi-Fi® connectivity.

"The applications for the rapidly growing IoT market are endless," said Matthias Kaestner, vice president of Microchip's Radio Frequency and Automotive business unit. "With this new FCC-certified solution combining the best of Microchip and Sigfox offerings, the possibilities are unlimited for the billions of IoT connections. Our Sigfox solution gives any IoT application the secure, long-range wireless connectivity required to get these 'smart' things 'connected' – at a fraction of the cost and power consumption of a cellular connection."

"We are excited with Microchip's long-range wireless solution as it is compelling, reliable and out-of-the-box ready," said Tony Francesca, Sigfox vice president of Global Ecosystem Partners. "With its FCC certification, we look forward in partnering with Microchip to enable many IoT use cases and billions of devices to be connected to Sigfox's network in the US and other countries that are based on FCC type approvals."


Analog Devices Makes MEMS Switch Technology a Commercial Reality

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) today introduced a breakthrough in switch technology that provides a long-sought replacement for electromechanical relay designs first adopted by the electronics industry more than 100 years ago. ADI’s new RF-MEMS switch technology is enabling faster, smaller, lower power, more reliable instrumentation equipment by resolving multiple performance limitations commonly attributed to relays, whose origins date to the earliest days of the electric telegraph. With the commercial release of products enabled by this technology, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can significantly improve the accuracy and versatility of automatic test equipment (ATE) and other instrumentation tools to help their customers reduce testing costs, power and time to market. Future products within the MEMS switch series will replace relays in aerospace and defense, healthcare, and communications infrastructure equipment, allowing OEMs in those markets to pass similar size, power and cost savings along to their customers.

The first in a new product series, ADI’s ADGM1304 and ADGM1004 RF MEMS switches are 95 percent smaller, 30 times faster, 10 times more reliable, and use 10 times less power than conventional electromechanical relays.



Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT), with -1.54% losses in previous 5 sessions, is under coverage of 23 analysts who collectively assign a buy rating on stock. 21 of the brokerages firms have a buy or better rating; the 0 sells versus 0 underperforms. The 21 stock analysts who cover the stock have an average PT at $33.5, with individual targets in the range of $25 to $39. The shares ended last trade at $28.22, implying that Wall Street analysts see shares climbing about 18.71 per cent in 12 months’ time.

Insiders at the company look pessimistic about the outlook as they seem to offload shares while they have 53.16 jumped so far this year. A President and CEO at Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) sold shares in a trading activity completed on Friday October 07, 2016. Dickerson Gary E offloaded 229,935 shares in the company at a per-share price of $29.71 and ended up generating $6,831,370 in proceeds. Dickerson Gary E retains 1,563,777 shares in the stock after this transaction. A Senior VP, CTO in the company, Nalamasu Omkaram, on Thursday September 01, 2016 collected $2,999,650 from the sale of 99,491 shares at a per-share price of $29.71. Insiders are expected to have better knowledge about the health and prospects of their company, which is why insiders’ move deserves attention.

Investors interested in trading AMAT stock at the current market price of $28.22/share should know the company will next release quarterly results for the October 2016 quarter. For the reporting quarter, equity analysts expect the stock to deliver $0.65 in earnings per share (EPS). That would represent a 124.14 per cent year-over-year increase. Revenue for the same quarter is predicted to arrive at $3.31B.

Historical Quarterly Earnings: Last quarter, Applied Materials, Inc. generated nearly $2.82B in sales and net income of $0.5/share. That compares with the mean forecast $2.84B and $0.48/share, respectively. For the prior quarter revenue for the stock hit $2.45B, with EPS at $0.34.

Susquehanna is following shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT), so its rating change is noteworthy. The company stock was upgraded to Neutral from Negative, wrote analysts at Susquehanna, in a research note issued to clients on Tuesday June 28, 2016. There was another key research note provided by DA Davidson on Monday June 27, 2016. The firm lifted its rating on AMAT from Neutral to Buy.

Price Potential: Even though the stock has posted -0.18% fall in value, its new closing price reflects a -9.17% fall in value from company’s one year high of $31.07. The stock is currently holding below its 50-day SMA of $29.16 and above its 200-day SMA of $25.98. Over the last 3 months and over the last 6 months, the shares of Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT), have changed 5.54% and 42.99%, respectively.


Verisign files patent apps for using DNS for Internet of Things (IoT) devices

Verisign wants to patent a couple ways to use the DNS for the internet of things.

Verisign, the domain name registry that operates the .com top level domain name, has filed two patent applications for applying DNS to internet-connected devices, i.e. internet of things (IoT).

The two applications were filed in January 2015.

Before discussing the patents, a little background is worthwhile.

We have about 40 connected devices in our house, including connected lightbulbs, thermostats, speakers, security cameras, electrical outlets, window shades and the Amazon Echo.

Right now these are all connected via various wireless protocols and I control them with apps on my iPhone. Some also communicate with each other.

A number of domain name companies have tried to figure out how to bring DNS and domain names into the mix, as this would obviously be a huge growth opportunity. I haven’t been able to lay a finger on exactly how DNS will play a role, and I certainly don’t think each of these devices needs its own second level domain name.

(If you are interested in the internet of things, subscribe to the Stacey Knows Things newsletter or listen to the IoT podcast.)

OK, on to the patent applications.

Application 14/595178 is for Systems and methods for establishing ownership and delegation of IoT devices using domain name system services and 14/593919 is for systems and Methods for registering, managing, and communicating with IoT devices using domain name system processes.

Both describe using various components of DNS to manage IoT devices. This can include registering and assigning a domain name to them, to connecting a number of IoT devices under a second level domain and then applying various records, such as TLSA, to them.


This Small-Cap Could Be The Next Apple of the Internet of Things

The personal computer, the smartphone and the Internet revolutionized society.

We are now on the threshold of another epochal transformation: the Internet of Things, by which everyday objects are integrated into a data-sharing network. IoT is one of the hottest investment opportunities.

Cisco Systems, IBM, Oracle, Texas Instruments and other darlings of the financial press are moving into the booming IoT sector. The problem is, the investment crowd has already piled into these well-known large-capitalization stocks and bid up their shares.

But Digi International (DGII)  is a small-cap rocket that produces crucial proprietary technology for almost any entity involved in IoT. Digi International enjoys an advantageous position as an early adopter that could make it the next Apple of IoT.

It is much easier to generate market-thumping gains from the thousands of investments outside the S&P 500 than by attempting to eke out a few modest gains from the overvalued big boys.That is where Digi International comes in. With a market cap of just $281.17 million but a dominant position in IoT, the company is poised to outperform.

IoT devices exchange information with each other via a central server, without a human being as intermediary. They use sensors to communicate actionable data, such as fuel levels, inventory capacities or room temperatures, through a wired or wireless network to a software application.

IoT is giving birth to driver-less cars, self-calibrating medical devices and smart homes, among other things. IoT also automates the delivery of services and billing, supply chains, and warehouses.

Smart utility meters are an especially promising application.

A pure, small-cap play on this trend is Digi International.

Buy the stock now, while it is still a good value.