SECA Powerline Alliance

Three Japanese consumer electronics giants have created a new technology to transport Internet and media signals around the home via the electricity network, Panasonic said on Thursday. Sony, Mitsubishi and Matsushita-owned Panasonic have set up the SECA powerline alliance. They have developed a system to transfer 170 Megabits per second of data through the power lines of a home, Panasonic researcher Ingo Chmielewski told journalists at the electronics trade fair CeBIT.

Matsushita Profit Rises 47%

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., the world’s largest consumer-electronics maker, said third-quarter profit rose 47 percent on lower costs and flat-screen television sales. The company will cut 7,000 to 8,000 jobs in Japan in its components and mobile phone units by March 31, it said. Matsushita Electric has 340,000 employees, more than double Sony’s, according to Bloomberg data.

Panasonic Develops Integrated Platform For Next-Gen Consumer Electronics

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., best known for its Panasonic brand of consumer electronic and digital communications products, today announced it has developed a new multimedia processor-based platform. The platform, that is to be applied to a wide range of digital appliances including mobile phones and audiovisual equipment, facilitates software development of digital consumer electronics and improves productivity and software design. The new platform can accelerate the speed products are introduced to the market by more than five times the current rate, develop higher sound and image quality, lower power consumption, fortify security, and enhance responsiveness.

New 802.11 Network Camera

Matsushita Electric has announced a September 17 market launch of the Home Network Camera BL-C30 is the latest IEEE802.11b/g-compatible wireless web camera. The product allows for built-in tilt and pan control from remote locations and can be set to automatically send e-mail alerts with attached snapshots when motions are detected by the built-in motion sensor.

MediaArtist Video SDK for 3GPP

Panasonic announced the release of it’s SDK MediaArtist, an MPEG-4 related AV software encoder for the 3GPP/3GPP2 and SD-Video standards, will go on sale Sept. 1st. Designed to operate with the SD memory card in target devices such as a cellphones, car navi systems, television, and camera models which are increasingly being adopted. Configured for the 3G phones of Japan’s wireless carriers and using the 3GPP standard, the original MPEG-4 object model has been significantly extended. Press Release in Japanese.

CEATEC JAPAN 2004: Ushering in the Ubiquitous Society

CEATEC JAPAN 2004 was officially launched at a press conference held in Tokyo, attended by some 130 members of the press. Shigeru Ikeda, president of the Communications and Information network Association of Japan (CIAJ), opened the conference with a greeting on behalf of the three sponsoring organizations. Jiro Iriye, director of the CEATEC JAPAN Management Office, then provided an overview of this year’s exhibition, which is rapidly becoming a major international event. CEATEC JAPAN 2004 will be held in the 5-day period from October 5 to October 9. The theme of this year’s event is “Ubiquitous Society–Digitally Enriched, Accelerating to the Next Stage.”

Panasonic to Consolidate 3G Mobile Phone Production in Japan

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., best known for its Panasonic brand name, today announced plans to reorganize and consolidate its mobile phone and automotive electronics production in Japan. Under the proposed plan, mobile phone manufacturing carried out at the Hanamaki plant in Iwate Prefecture will be shifted to Shizuoka Prefecture and automotive electronics manufacturing to Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. The plan is a part of Matsushita’s new 3-year business plan, the “Leap Ahead 21” Plan, aiming at further enhancing the company’s strategy to achieve an optimum system for global production.

Huawei 3G – Made in China

According to Huawei spokesman Fu Jun, Huawei has already begun producing handsets for use with mobile systems that use the CDMA-1X standard backed by US-based Qualcomm Corp. Fu said Huawei is also developing handsets for W-CDMA, which is the European standard Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd is using in its 3G service now on offer in Britain and Italy. He added new 3G handsets are being designed in various partnerships with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co’s Panasonic, NEC Corp and Infineon Technologies AG. The company made headlines in December when it signed agreements with Emirates Telecommunications Corp and Hong Kong’s Sunday on the deployment of W-CDMA networks for the two telecom operators.

Mobile TV Solution Coming?

On top of launching full-scale digital-satellite-to-mobile-terminal broadcasting services on July 1, Mobile Broadcasting Corp. (MBCO) and its main technology backer Toshiba Corp. are making a strong, and they believe attractive, push to generate digital broadcasting revenue streams for Japan’s wireless carriers in April 2006 when DoCoMo, KDDI, and perhaps Vodafone K.K. will unleash mobiles with digital TV tuners on them. Talking to Shigekazu Hori, vice president and general manger of Toshiba Corp.’s Network Services & Contents Control Center last week, the planets could finally be aligning for a tailor-made revenue model that will finally convince Japan’s carriers to equip mobile phones with television. And, of course, as mentioned by DoCoMo’s Keiji Tachikawa last week, the fact that MPEG-4 standards have been settled and H.264 is coming doesn’t hurt either.