New on EDA Blog – 2007.02.09

Femtocells Cellphones
Low-cost femtocells could emerge as an attractive alternative to voice over Wi-Fi (VoFi) in future homes, according to Strategy Analytics, a global research and consulting firm. PicoChip has developed inexpensive baseband processors for very low-cost femtocell base stations that can be installed in the home. These femtocells have the potential to reduce the demand for cellphones that include Wi-Fi, which many in the cellphone industry believe will emerge in high volumes over the next several years to support the convergence of fixed and mobile communications.

Stand Alone Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Test Kit
Over on Mike Halls’ Embedded blog is an announcement on the availability of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Test Kit as a stand alone download. Testers can now test devices and device images in development without the full Windows Embedded CE 6.0 product.

Black Widow Design Challenge
Freescale is sponsoring a contest for embedded engineers and engineering students in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The grand prize is $10,000 and the winning entry will be featured in the Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando. The contest is called the Black Widow $10,000 Design Challenge.

ZigBee Commercial Building Automation
By 2008, ZigBee sensor networking technology should start finding significant adoption in commercial building applications, according ABI Research. There are three major markets for sensor networking: the home, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities. ZigBee targets all three of them. In the home, there are alternatives to ZigBee, and in industry there are some questions about its suitability. However, according to an ABI Research, commercial building automation is a market where ZigBee is competitively positioned against other wireless sensor technologies.