SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Intel, Nan Ya, Foxconn and a host of other companies are scheduled to speak at a January symposium on halogen-free technology.
Mostafa Aghazadeh, Intel vice president and director of Chandler assembly technology development, and F.Y. Lee, vice president of Nan Ya materials, will keynote the conference.

Topics covered at the symposium will include OEM’s environmental positions and roadmaps, supply chain readiness, and challenges including material availability, cost and reliability.
Intel will host the symposium, which takes place Jan. 15–16, in Scottsdale. IPC is a co-producer.

Among the companies that plan to participate are Dell, HP, Apple, Lenovo, and the U.S. EPA.

To register:
ATLANTAUP Media Group, parent company of Printed Circuit Design & Fab, announced today that several leading industry suppliers have signed on to exhibit at Virtual PCB, the industry’s first virtual trade show and conference for the PCB design, fabrication and assembly markets, Feb. 12-13.
Exhibiting companies to date include Agilent Technologies, BTU International, Dage Precision Industries Inc., DEK, and EFD.
  Read more: Leading Industry Suppliers to Exhibit at Virtual PCB in February
BOSTON Sales of backhaul transport equipment will grow 43% annually over the next five years, reaching $7.3 billion by 2012, says Ovum RHK.
Component demand related to backhaul transport equipment will exceed $1 billion by 2012, the company adds, citing a five-year forecast of wireless backhaul traffic, services, equipment and components.
Traffic on mobile backhaul networks will grow by 32% per year, driven by the adoption of mobile broadband services around the globe, and mobile operators will spend $37 billion globally on wireless backhaul in 2012, nearly 12% of total operating expense, Ovum says. 
“Mobile operators today are challenged to grow backhaul capacity quickly, flexibly, and economically, to support rapid growth in bandwidth-intensive mobile data services,” said Ovum VP John Lively. “Fortunately, many new architectures and equipment innovations will allow them to meet this challenge."
TEMPE, AZ – The slowdown in housing and other markets is starting to back up on manufacturing, according to a report released today by the Institute for Supply Management.

Manufacturing grew in October but at a slower rate as the PMI registered 50.9%, down 110 basis points from September. A reading above 50% indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding. It was the ninth consecutive month manufacturing sector economic activity expanded, the trade group said.  Read more: Housing Woes Starting to Impact Manufacturing
WELLESLY, MA – The global market for biometrics was worth nearly $2 billion in 2006 and is expected to increase to $2.7 billion in 2007 and $7.1 billion by 2012, a CAGR of 21.3% over the next five years, according to a report from BCC Research.
Fingerprint biometrics will continue to be the main revenue contributor, worth $1.3 billion in 2007. This market is forecast to grow to $2.7 billion by 2012, a CAGR of 16.3% during the period.
The main reason for this growth is the decrease in price of fingerprint sensors, and government initiatives that rely heavily on fingerprint biometrics, BCC said.
The second largest segment is face recognition. This market will grow to $1.3 billion by 2012, from $459 million in 2007, a CAGR of 23.8%. Hand biometry will be the next largest segment in 2007 with market revenue of $243 million. By 2012, the market value for this segment will be $752.6 million, the firm reported.
The remaining biometric segments of iris scan, middleware, multimodality, voice recognition, signature verification and other emerging segments constituted $729 million in 2007. These segments are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 26% to $2.3 billion by 2012.
In terms of region, Europe currently leads the biometrics market because of higher user acceptance and the introduction of biometric passports in the majority of European countries. However, the highest potential lies in the Asian region where technologically developed countries such as South Korea and Japan, and growing countries such as China and India, will drive growth, BCC concludes.
EL SEGUNDO, CA – Global shipments of mobile handsets equipped with GPS capability are expected to more than quadruple from 2006 to 2011 because of the U.S. government’s mandate for Emergency 911 capability, as well as wireless operators’ initiatives to offer location-based services, according to iSuppli Corp.
GPS-equipped mobile handset shipments will increase to 444 million units by 2011, rising from 109.6 million units in 2006. By 2011, 29.6% of all mobile phones shipped will have GPS capability, up from 11.1% in 2006, said the firm.
“Besides cameras, multimedia capabilities and connectivity solutions, mobile-handset OEMs increasingly are investigating the integration of GPS functionality in mobile devices as a value-added product differentiator,” said Tina Teng, analyst, wireless communications at iSuppli. “Wireless carriers are looking at introducing various new GPS-based, revenue-generating services to increase average revenue per user.”

Qualcomm Inc., supplier of code division multiple access solutions, began to integrate GPS processors into its digital baseband semiconductors in 2000.
The CDMA-dominated nations of the U.S. and South Korea are expected to be the leading regions for GPS-enabled mobile handsets. Europe will be the next largest GPS-enabled handset market, as GPS functionality penetrates into smart phones. In September, a Nokia smart phone with GPS capability was the top model purchased on the Web site of European carrier O2, according to iSuppli.
Semiconductor suppliers, wireless network operators and device manufacturers are already in the GPS game. LBS will encourage more suppliers to provide the most efficient solutions in terms of power consumption, time to first fix and affordable pricing for A-GPS adoption.

Semiconductor suppliers include baseband providers that offer complete solutions from cellular products to various connectivity options; companies that specialize in GPS and that provide GPS chipsets and software packages not only to handset manufacturers but also to automotive and personal navigation system manufacturers, and companies that specialize in Radio Frequency and that integrate GPS receivers into their current cellular RF receiver offerings, said iSuppli.

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