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.
ATLANTAUP Media Group announced the launch of Virtual PCB, the industry's first virtual trade show and conference for the PCB design, fabrication and assembly markets. The premiere event takes place Feb. 12-13, 2008.
A fully interactive, Web-based event, Virtual PCB (www.virtual-pcb.com) incorporates all the critical features of a live event while allowing PCB design, fabrication and assembly equipment and materials buyers and sellers to interact online. Virtual PCB is supported by a proven software platform and will be accessible on-demand for three months following the two-day live event.
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SAN JOSE – Global microchip sales in September were $22.6 billion, an increase of 5.9% year-over-year, the Semiconductor Industry Association reports. Sales were up 5% sequentially.

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LOS ALTOS, CA – Driven by strong economic conditions and a continuing wireless boom, world communication equipment production bounded ahead by 12.6% during 2006, according to the latest Henderson Ventures forecast.
However, slower economic growth and a tail off in the mobile communication sector will create a sharp deceleration in equipment growth this year, the firm says.
Global output is expected to increase by only 6%. However, this year’s loss of momentum represents something of a timeout rather than a fundamental change in the fortunes of the communication sector, Henderson reports. In fact, growth rates will accelerate once again, reaching a 10.1% pace in 2009.
Handset growth to ease the mobile telephone industry, including handsets and infrastructure, will be hitting a fundamental roadblock within the next few years, as the number of new subscribers dwindles because of market saturation among global consumers who can afford a subscription, the company says.
And given the forecast for a gradual leveling of the subscriber base, the handset forecast also calls for a slowdown. It is believed that the age of 20+% growth rates are behind us. However, growth rates in the vicinity of 10% through 2009 can be expected.
LONDON – A 45-minute Webinar launched today describes forthcoming EcoDesign requirements that electronics manufacturers will need to meet to maintain CE marking. 

Presented by the European Commission, the Centre for Sustainable Design and Environ, the presentation covers the latest developments in implementing the EuP Directive: the status of implementing measures for first 20 product groups; a working plan to identify product groups; role of industry voluntary agreements; tracking EuP EcoDesign requirements and Wb-based approach to managing EcoDesign; practical measures companies should take to track development of EcoDesign requirements; managing EcoDesign data across multiple locations and global supply chains; benefits of Web-based systems, and EcoDesign trends in Asia.  
The CE marking is a requirement for electrical and electronics products sold in the EU.
View the Webinar at www.electronics-ktn.com or www.eup-ecodesign.com.

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