6/27/2003 - This week at Programmable World 2003 Japan, more than 1,000 attendees gathered in a packed auditorium at the Westin Tokyo to hear renowned visionaries from Sony, DDI Pocket, and Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) discuss the leading technologies enabling the new era of systems design.
In a series of keynote speeches here yesterday, the technology executives concurred that programmable technology is quickly becoming a key enabler of a digital consumer revolution in the global electronics market place. Among the factors driving this trend are soaring non-recurring engineering costs for products built with advanced chip-making technology at 90nm and below, reduced time-to-market windows and shorter product lifecycles.
Dr. Tsugio Makimoto of Sony is highly regarded for what is known as "Makimoto's Wave" - a market model he established in 1991 to depict and explain the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry, which fluctuates between standardization and customization every ten years. According to this model, field programmability is "hitting its peak" from 1997 through 2007, driven by a second wave of digital consumer goods which Dr. Makimoto said will become the mainstay for future market expansion, just as personal computing products drove the first wave of the digital revolution.
"Field programmability is a must in this new era of digital consumer goods," asserted Dr. Makimoto. "These products have short time-to-market windows and product life cycles that come quickly and end dramatically. Flexible, agile solutions are critical."
DDI Pocket's Yoshiko Chika discussed the benefits and significant cost savings resulting from the use of FPGA technology in DDI Pocket's extensive public wireless network of 160,000 base stations in 1,912 cities throughout Japan. Mr. Chika credited Xilinx technology with helping the company to avoid expensive hardware upgrades, keep up with changing wireless standards and data rates, and deploy new services through multiple technology generations - by simply downloading new software.
"Thanks to FPGA technology, we have never experienced hardware or infrastructure replacement," said Mr. Chika. "Without FPGA technology it would have been difficult, almost impossible, for us to upgrade our systems while staying competitive and ultimately profitable in the wireless base station market place. Although ASICs might have been cheaper initially, FPGAs were ultimately the most cost-effective solution, allowing us to provide new services year after year. With Xilinx, we were able to protect our initial investment. Without it, PHS may have been extinct on earth."
Xilinx's Ivo Bolsens discussed the rapidly changing role of FPGA technology from fundamental glue logic to mainstream components at the heart of the electronic systems. "By taking full advantage of the benefits of Moore's Law, Xilinx is pushing the limits of manufacturing technology by leveraging leading-edge 90nm and 300mm technologies to reduce die size, enhance device functionality, and ultimately reduce costs," said Mr. Bolsens. He noted that the company's focus on delivering low cost solutions has propelled Xilinx FPGAs into new markets, expanding its consumer market revenue from 8 percent in 2002 to 24 percent in 2003.
Hosted by Xilinx Japan President Mr. Motohiro Kitajima, Programmable World 2003 Japan involved more than 30 companies presenting next-generation DSP, connectivity, processing, silicon and software solutions in live demonstrations, panels and technical sessions. The event was sponsored by Agilent, Cadence, IBM, Mentor Graphics, Wind River Systems, Xilinx and industry-leading ecosystem partners and local distributors. Programmable World 2003 first opened in 16 venues across North America and Europe this May, culminating in Asia Pacific and Japan this month. The event continues its world tour with in-depth technical workshops being held worldwide beginning this September. For complete information about Programmable World 2003 and to register for the workshops, visit www.xilinx.com/PW2003.
Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) is the worldwide leader of programmable logic solutions. Additional information about Xilinx is available at www.xilinx.com.
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