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lighting & displays Global standard for outdoor lighting control By Paul Buckley The TALQ Consortium, which is aiming to develop a global standard for interfaces to manage outdoor lighting networks, has made a step towards the official rollout of the TALQ Certification Program. During the first TALQ plug fest in Valencia, Spain, the specially developed Test Tool to be used to test outdoor lighting products for TALQ-compliance, was successfully applied with various control technology implementations. Several central management and TALQ bridge systems were also tested for compatibility against each other. The results confirm that the test procedures are nearly ready for the launch of the Certification Program. One important factor for cities and communities on their way to becoming a ‘Smart City’ is street lighting. Because road lighting on one hand has a huge impact on the safety and quality of life in a city, and on the other hand requires a significant spend on energy and maintenance for a smooth operation. For all entities maintaining outdoor lighting networks there are three key factors. Firstly, they want to build up future-proof systems, because investments have to prove their suitability for decades. Secondly, they want intelligent platforms to guarantee efficiency and flexibility in operation. And, last but not least, they do not wish to be tied to a single supplier but prefer a sound competition and strive for compatibility between components of different vendors. To support all of these market needs, the TALQ Consortium, an open initiative composed of leading lighting industry players, is working on setting a global standard for the interface to control and monitor diverse outdoor lighting networks (OLNs). In 2012 the members started to develop the TALQ Specification which focuses on the so-called ‘application layer’ of the interface protocol, thereby allowing maximum freedom for manufacturers to develop optimized solutions within an interoperable framework. The TALQ Interface is built on standard internet protocols and security standards, such as XML/HTTP and Transport Layer Security, and is independent of connectivity technology. To assure the highest level of security and errorfree interoperability a rigorous test procedure and test tool were also developed. The TALQ Test Tool itself and several products of members were put to the test in Valencia, Spain, during the first week of December 2015. “We were able to test each one against all the other corresponding products. On the final day we saw one central management system successfully controlling two other TALQ bridge products concurrently, all from different manufacturers.” reported Dr Nick Hewish, Test Tool Development Supervisor of the TALQ Certification Workgroup, about the recent plug fest sessions. Apple has moved into former Qualcomm display lab By Peter Clarke Apple has started work in a small-scale production facility in Longtan near Taipei, Taiwan on display technologies, according to a Bloomberg report. Apple moved into the facility in April 2015 and has at least 50 staff employed there on developing display technology for mobile devices including iPads and iPhones, the report said. The facility had previously been occupied by Qualcomm Panel Manufacturing Ltd. and was one of the places where Qualcomm tried to develop its Mirasol, moving-MEMS display. However, the Mirasol display was not a success because, although it was nonvolatile and therefore energy efficient and Triptych 5.9-inch AMOLED display. Source: Japanese research institute Semiconductor Energy reflective and therefore daylight readable, it was less vivid than backlight LCD or OLED displays. Apple currently uses back-lit LCDs in its equipment supplied by such companies as Sharp Samsung and Japan Display but is expected to move towards OLED displays, a move already taken by Samsung in mobile devices and by TV makers. Samsung has already introduced flexible OLED screens and foldable and rollable screens are considered a next development. Apple could be using the facility at Longtan to develop its own OLED manufacturing processes for displays that it could then outsource to local Taiwanese manufacturing companies such as AU Optronics and Innolux Corp. This would reduce its dependence on companies such as Samsung who might otherwise control and limit Apple’s access to the latest technologies. Apple is increasingly pulling component and subsystem engineering in-house as evidenced by the news it has bought a smallvolume 200mm wafer fab in Silicon Valley. It is unlikely that Apple has done more than taken over a building previously occupied by Qualcomm although Qualcomm has previously said it would seek licensees for its Mirasol technology. Mirasol dates back to before 2004 when Qualcomm paid $170 million for startup company Iridigm Display Corp., which originally developed the technology. Back in 2012 the company pulled back from using its Mirasol display and said it would seek licensees for the technology. But with no further announcements it seemed that Mirasol would join a number of other display technologies as an engineering curiousity but commercial failure. A Mirasol display was used in the Toq, a proof-of-concept smartwatch that Qualcomm released in December 2013, but this smartwatch was itself not a conspicuous success. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe January 2016 21


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