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Capacitor Products – Audio Quality Analysis (I) – Standard Testing
Audio Test Smart phone

The PC industry is becoming saturated, so many motherboard companies are looking for new markets and the high-quality audio market has become their new target. In the high-quality audio market, new products gradually spread to consumers and related components and accessories appear. According to experts, a good audio device deliver a “beautiful”, “clean” and “deep” sound. Audiophiles often associate this sound with the use of electrolytic capacitors. For this series of technical articles, Allion explores the subject in greater depth. We ask the question – Is it possible to define high-quality audio using objective (rather than subjective) tests? For this testing, Allion collected audio measurements, compared capacitor products, and evaluated our findings.

Capacitor Products – Audio Quality Analysis (II) – Advanced Testing
Audio Test Smart phone

In the first round of audio quality testing (see previous article), Allion used precision test instruments to measure the sound quality of a high-quality PC motherboard. The primary goal was to compare the audio performance with different capacitor types. We used standard audio test criteria commonly applied to laptops, limited testing to the audible frequency range (20 Hz-20 KHz), and only tested the most common audio sampling rates (44K and 48k). However, the test results for the first round of testing were uninformative, since the audio quality measurements were nearly identical for both types of capacitors (solid and electrolytic). For our second round of audio quality testing, Allion used a digital audio source file with a sampling rate of 192 KHz and we also focused on audio distortion and frequency response.

Capacitor Products- Audio Quality Analysis (III) – Product Differentiation Testing
Audio Test Smart phone

Seeing that the previous two rounds of audio quality testing failed to find any significant differences in performance based on capacitor type, Allion decided to investigate additional testing strategies. After some research, we found that some audio magazines mention a ‘whisper’ or ‘breathing’ sound, which inspired this third round of testing. In audio quality testing, most researchers use a maximum signal volume of -20 dBFS or -60 dBFS, and a sampling frequency of 1 KHz. However, for this third round of testing, we used test instrument Audio Precision APx585 and signal generator SYS-2722 to generate the signal source directly.

Smartphone User Experience Analysis – Display
Display UX

Thanks to the rapid adoption of mobile communication technology, smartphones are now central to our daily lives. At the same time, smartphone manufacturers are constantly seeking innovative ways to differentiate their products in a crowded global marketplace. As a result of this consumer demand and industry innovation, smartphone technology is constantly evolving with new and improved features, such as high-resolution cameras, enhanced touchscreens, and optimized audio. Since consumers are so much more discerning, smartphone vendors must not only upgrade hardware specifications; they must also focus on the user experience. In this report, Allion applied two test methodologies: Competitive Analysis (CA) and User Experience (UX) to review and compare the performance of three smartphones.

An In-Depth Interoperability Analysis of SD Products

SD memory cards are a compact storage medium for personal data and multimedia files (audio, images, and video). SD cards feature large storage capacity and fast data transmission speeds in a small form factor for use in a wide range of products. Driven by the trend for slimmer and lighter consumer electronics, the market for SD cards is growing fast. Typical applications include digital cameras, mobile phones, multimedia players, printers, computer systems, card readers, home entertainment equipment, and in-vehicle infotainment systems.

Smartphone User Experience Analysis – Camera
Display UX

Photo taking is a popular smartphone activity, as reflected in the rise of the selfie and apps like Instagram, and as a result, camera performance is important to users. As technology advances, camera module specifications steadily improve. At this point, image resolution and feature sets are comparable to those found in consumer-grade digital cameras. This article is the second in a series focused on smartphone user experience testing. The first article in the series focused on display testing, whereas this one is focused on camera testing. For this testing, we applied two test methodologies: Competitive Analysis (CA) and User Experience (UX).

Premium HDMI Cable Certification Now Available

HDMI Licensing, LLC has launched a Premium HDMI Cable Certification Program to ensure that consumers can enjoy the full 4K/UHD experience, with the latest feature-rich content that the HDMI specification enables. This program includes enhanced HDMI cable testing, as well as a sophisticated anti-counterfeiting label to differentiate these high-speed cables from standard HDMI cables. The new tamper-proof label will allow consumers to confirm the authenticity of these cables. Allion can help cable vendors test Premium HDMI Cables for the highest levels of reliability and performance typically required for 4K/UHD content. Once cables have passed testing at Allion and are registered with HDMI Licensing, LLC, vendors can then promote their branded cables as Premium High Speed HDMI Cables or Premium High Speed HDMI Cables with Ethernet. Consumers can easily identify these HDMI Cables and be confident that the cables will reliably support the full 18 Gbps bandwidth specified by the HDMI 2.0 standard, which will grant them access to high-resolution 4K/UHD content.

Allion Shenzhen Becomes G.hn Accredited Test House
HomeGrid G.hn產品

HomeGrid Forum (HGF) has announced that Allion Shenzhen has been selected as an Accredited Test House (ATH). Since the smart home market is quickly maturing, the demand for associated product testing is increasing. As a result, HGF is increasing the number of ATHs that can certify G.hn products. Allion has a long-standing commitment to the G.hn industry, assisting in the certification of more than ten (>10) G.hn products. By the end of 2015, Allion Shenzhen is expected to provide G.hn certification solutions, which should accelerate the adoption of this international networking standard by Chinese manufacturers.

Allion VP Receives 2015 Award of Excellence for Service to SDA

SD Association (SDA) has just announced the list of 2015 Awards of Excellence Winners. There are four award categories: leadership, technology and innovation, service, and lifetime achievement. These awards recognize the contributions and achievements made by SDA members to further SD technology for the benefit of the industry. We are proud to announce that Allion Vice President, Anne Tsou, received a 2015 Award of Excellence in the service category.

Allion to Launch New USB Type-C Dongle Testing Program!
USB Type-C

USB Type-C related products continue to increase in popularity as big-name brands (such as Apple and Google) drive the technology forward. This trend is increasingly reflected in actual sales figures, so that income opportunities are increasing exponentially. No doubt, the USB Type-C market is a hot sales prospect for cable & connector vendors, since many consumers will need to buy dongles to connect their peripherals to USB Type-C hosts. Since these older USB devices cannot be plugged directly into USB Type-C ports, nor USB Type-C connectors connected to legacy USB ports, USB Type-C dongles are required to enable both connection types. Taking into account the increasing demand for USB Type-C dongle testing, Allion Labs, Inc. (Allion) is pleased to introduce its new USB Type-C Dongle Testing Program. Allion’s new test program is now available for USB dongle vendors who are releasing (or plan to release) new dongle products to the global market.

Allion at 66th International Motor Show - Connected Cars Take Center Stage

The future of automotive technology was on display at the 66th IAA Frankfurt Motor Show from September 17-27, 2015. Allion Labs, Inc. (Allion) participated in the 66th IAA by demonstrating its exceptional test services and consulting engineering solutions applied to connected car technology. As a leading global test lab, Allion provides excellent customer service with professional product validation test teams and thousands of devices on-hand for interoperability testing.

Allion Collaborates with Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry at 41st Taipei International Electronics Show (TAITRONICS)

The 41st Taipei International Electronics Shows (TAITRONICS) was held from October 6-9 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan. The main theme of TAITRONICS this year was “Green Electronics, Smart Living“, which reflected the dual focus on sustainability and technology assisted lifestyles. In step with these trends, Allion collaborated with Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry (III) at its Smart Home IOT Pavilion, which showcased various smart-home user scenarios, international achievements, and ICT developments. At this event, Allion promoted its smart-home related testing and consulting services. such as G.hn home networking testing. Allion also promoted related validation testing and certification services for other popular industry standards, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, MHL, HDMI, and DLNA. The show featured 450 exhibitors spread out over 1,000 booths, and 40,000 professional buyers and members of the electronics and electrical industry attended the show.

2015 SD Association Global Workshop、Compliance Workshop & IOP @ Taipei

Allion started working with SDA in 2012. Since then the company has become the Designated Test Laboratory and a Compliance Committee Chair. Upon special request, Allion investigates product compliance issues for the SDA Compliance Committee. Allion has even hosted Interoperability Events in the past on behalf of SDA. Following SDA’s successful exhibition at Computex Taipei 2015 in June, Allion held three sessions of SDA events including 2015 SD Association Global Workshop, Compliance Workshop and PlugTest Event on October 27-28, 2015. Allion Vice President and SDA Marketing Committee Taiwan/China Chair, Anne Tsou gave a speech on SDA Logo & Compliance Guidelines.

2015 USB Developer Days in San Diego and Taipei

USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) hosted two USB Developer Days this year, the first in San Diego, California, USA from October 20-21 and the second in Taipei, Taiwan, November 17-18. The Developer Days technical tracks included detailed information about USB Type-C™, SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps, USB Power Delivery, and USB Type-C™ Alternate Modes, among other topics. As a Gold Sponsor for both events, Allion presented its USB Type-C services and established new business relationships. These two events were an invaluable opportunity for Allion to support USB-IF in its mission to promote USB technology.

Bluetooth Policy/Requirement/News
- PTS 6.4.0 was released on December 15, 2015.
- MT8852B: ABRTS updated to version to meet TCRL-2015-2 requirements.

VESA Policy/Requirement/News
- Early DisplayPort Logo Certification for USB Type-C Devices: Using DisplayPort Alt Mode

DLNA Policy/Requirement/News
- The new CTP for Certification 3.0 and VidiPath v1.1 and Certification 2.0 v1.1 were approved by the Compliance and Test Committee (CTC).
- DLNA Certified 4.0 will be available in 2016, mandatory features include:
    ● Significant changes to improve interoperability and guarantee playback
    ● Mandatory DMR support for DMP
    ● MPEG-2 & AVC (extend formats to HD)
    ● AVC in MP4 containers
    ● Networked Devices Power Save
    ● Diagnostics for both layer 2 and layer 3
    ● IPv6 support

G.hn Policy/Requirement/News
- Version 1.4: Jan. /Feb. 2016. [Editorial release only]
- Version 1.5 must be released around Feb. 2016, Pre-ITU approval.
- Version 2.0 will be released around Q1-2016.

HDMI Policy/Requirement/News
- Specification updates to support HDR Static Metadata.
- HDMI Forum Updates Compliance Test Specification to Version 2.0m on November, 2015.

MHL Policy/Requirement/News
- Super MHL CTS version 1.1 was released on November 10, 2015.
- USB Type-C and MHL Link Spec version 2.1 was released on November 19, 2015.

SATA Policy/Requirement/News
- MOIs for UTD 1.5 were updated.
- SATA Specification Revision 3.3 Draft was released for SATA member.

USB-IF Policy/Requirement/News
- Compliance tool was updated, as shown in the table below:
 Tool Name
XHSETT (unchanged)
Interoperability Rev 1.60 (unchanged)
Backwards Compatibility Rev 1.60 (unchanged)
Interop tools 10/13/15 (Win 8.1)
12/18/15 (Win 10)
SigTest 3.2.11 (gen1) (gen2)
USB PD Vendor Info File Generator
KGH hub firmware 0982 (unchanged)
DELL XPS8700 BIOS A08 (unchanged)

UPnP Policy/Requirement/News
- The UPnP Certification Test Tool, UCTT v2.0.67 was released December 9, 2015.
- Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC) acquired the assets of the UPnP Forum, effective January 1, 2016.

Wi-Fi Policy/Requirement/News
- Wi-Fi Certification fee structure changed on January 1, 2016.
- Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint Release 2 Test Plan version 1.2
- Wi-Fi Direct System Interoperability Test Plan version 1.3 was updated
- Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n System Interoperability Test Plan version 2.8
- Wi-Fi Test Suite v9.0.0 will be implemented by January 21, 2016.


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