Philips seeks connections with Asians
May 28, 2004
The Dutch company is hoping to capitalize on increasing interest in connecting home electronics devices by hooking up with manufacturers in Asia
Philips Semiconductors said it is teaming up with Asian manufacturers to create new consumer electronics products as connectivity among devices gains more attention from high-tech companies. "The connected-home product opportunities are now a reality and present huge opportunities," Rob Fletcher, Philips Semiconductors' vice president, said yesterday at a press conference in Taipei.
Taiwanese manufacturers, with their expertise in personal computers (PCs) and digital systems, are well positioned to lead the industry in bringing exciting new digital consumer products to the market, he said.
Philips Semiconductors, the world's 10th-largest chipmaker last year, saw 54 percent of its sales come from the Asia-Pacific region. Focusing on demand for connectivity among consumer electronics devices, the company will be showcasing a wireless information exchange technology named "Near Field Communications" (NFC) at Computex Taipei this year. Computex, the world's second largest information technology exhibition after the Hanover-based CeBit show, will run for five days next week at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall.
"NFC can help integrate credit cards and transportation cards into our mobile phones for people to travel light in the future," said Alex Huang, the company's sales engineer of identification products. NFC is an interface technology for exchanging information between consumer electronics devices, such as PCs and mobile phones, at distances of less than 10cm. The technology can help enhance the efficiency of other kinds of wireless communications, like Bluetooth, by shortening the time it takes to search for bands, Huang said. Philips and Sony Corp co-developed the technology in 2002. The two parties are now cooperating with the world's largest handset vendor, Nokia Ojy, to set up a forum to promote the technology. The technology, with chipset and antenna allowing contactless information exchange, has been applied to credit cards, Huang said. "We have cooperated with Visa International in South Korea to issue credit cards with dual interfaces, allowing consumers to use the card with or without contact," Huang said.
Taiwan's market will be ready for such multi-functioned handsets in the next two or three years, he said. Sony Ericsson Communications AB will showcase one model of mobile phone and two models of personal digital assistants that are integrated with the contactless technology at this year's Computex, Huang said.
Computex, which starts next Tuesday, will have record numbers of exhibitors and space this year, said Irena Chang, press coordinator with the show's co-organizer Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).
The show will feature 1,329 exhibitors occupying 2,813 booths over 58,730m2 this year, compared with 1,241 participants in 2,419 booths over 51,360m2 last year. The organizers hope to draw between 25,000 and 30,000 overseas buyers, up from 22,000 last year, Chang said.
Source: Taipei Times