Core API, CompactFlash, and wireless USB expand functionality

April 1, 2008 OpenSystems Media

The Khronos Group (www.khronos.org) is focused on creating open standards, such as OpenGL, glFX, OpenKODE, OpenGL ES, OpenMAX, OpenVG, OpenSL ES, OpenWF, OpenML, and COLLADA to enable dynamic media authoring and acceleration on a wide variety of platforms and devices.

On February 11, the Khronos Group announced the public release of the OpenKODE 1.0 specification, a royalty-free, cross-platform open standard that bundles a set of native APIs to provide increased source portability for rich media and graphics applications. Khronos also announced a collaboration with the FreeKODE Project to create an open source version of OpenKODE.

A small and light abstraction layer, the new OpenKODE Core API will be familiar to POSIX and C programmers for accessing operating system resources while minimizing source changes when porting applications between Linux, Rex/Brew, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Real-Time Operating System (RTOS)-based platforms. OpenKODE Core provides advanced functionality, such as multithreading under an event-driven architecture, while providing real-world portability to a variety of mobile platforms. An OpenKODE Core library is typically under 100 KB.

CompactFlash Association

The CompactFlash Association (CFA, www.compactflash.org) promotes CompactFlash as a worldwide, ultra-small, removable storage and I/O standard for capturing and transporting digital data, audio, and images and performing I/O functionality in modems, Ethernet, serial, Bluetooth wireless, laser scanning, and other technologies.

Last July, a working group was established to develop the CFast specification for a CompactFlash card with a Serial ATA (SATA) interface. Earlier this year, CFA revealed results of this work. Canon executive and CFA chairman of the board Shigeto Kanda remarks, "The development of a CompactFlash card with a SATA interface will maintain the dominance of CompactFlash in the nonconsumer (embedded systems, SBCs, data recorders, and so on) markets as well as promote its use in other applications, such as digital single-lens reflex cameras and professional video cameras."

The current Parallel ATA (PATA) interface provides an interface data rate up to 133 MBps. The SATA interface will provide interface data rates up to 3 Gbps as well as compatibility with SATA disk drive interfaces.

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Figure 1

USB Implementers Forum

The USB Implementers Forum, Inc. (www.usb.org) provides a support organization for advancing and adopting Universal Serial Bus technology. The forum facilitates high-quality, compatible USB peripheral development while promoting the benefits of USB and the quality of products that pass compliance testing.

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Figure 2

Among the new features for Wireless USB is a new method for first-time device association - the process to securely connect hosts and devices. Wireless USB 1.1 will support Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities, a proximity-based approach that allows users to introduce devices to their PCs through touch-and-go action. The Wireless USB 1.1 specification will include updates to enhance power efficiency and add Ultra-Wideband (UWB) upper band support for frequencies at 6 GHz and above.

Based on the WiMedia Alliance UWB Common Radio Platform, wireless USB combines the speed and security of wired Hi-Speed USB with wireless technology's ease of use. It is backward compatible with wired USB, allows users to connect up to 127 devices, and delivers a bandwidth of up to 480 Mbps at 3 meters and 110 Mbps at 10 meters.

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