As the trend of economic globalization and IT-based society has obviously become mainstream, the development of information technology has experienced the great changes. All of these have undoubtedly influenced and changed the production and people's way of living, and they have already become the impetus of the modern economic growth and the key to improve the comprehensive national strength and to sharpen the competitive edge of enterprises. Today, information technology is advancing towards the network-enabled, digital and intelligent development. The Internet, microelectronics, software, mobile communications, digital video technology and the related industry will become the fields with the most growth potential in the new century. As information devices become more powerful and the network technology continues to boom, especially in the rapid development of wireless network, the spotlight has gradually shifted to finding ways to acquire more convenient, intelligent interconnection and better interoperability among devices. At the same time, the development of knowledge economy and information network becomes today’s theme. That is, one who makes the standards and whose technology becomes the dominant standard shall control the market. In other words, technical standards have already become important means in the competition of economic globalization. It is impossible to establish IGRS (Intelligent Grouping and Resource Sharing) standard with only one company. It requires an alliance of many enterprises across multiple industries working towards a single purpose. Only by doing so, a unified standard could be established and the resource barrier could be broken. By combining the strength of many enterprises, it will ultimately open up more opportunities in the application development and in the market place.
Therefore, Lenovo and other companies including TCL, Konka, Hisense and GreatWall, who had invested much on IGRS technology, wanted to unite more enterprises and research institutions to help the government realize the intelligent interconnection among information devices, consumer electronics and communications devices, and to sharpen the industry competitive edge and further drive the healthy development of the industry.
Establishment of IGRS Working Group
IGRS stands for Intelligent Grouping and Resource Sharing working group. It was formally established on July 17, 2003 by five of the biggest computer and CE companies in China, Lenovo, TCL, Konka, Hisense and Great Wall. Lenovo acts as the chair company of the working group. A unique characteristic to note is that unlike other international standardization groups, only government authorized standard organization is allowed to define standard specification in China. In this case, Ministry of Information Industry of China is the governing body of IGRS working group.
IGRS aims at delivering the IGRS Standard (Intelligent Grouping and Resource Sharing Standard) to enable intelligent grouping, resource sharing and service collaboration among information devices, consumer electronics and communication devices in a limited network domain (wired or wireless), to improve the interoperability and usability among these digital devices, and to create new collaborative application models for digital devices and maximize the resource usage of each device.
The original intent of IGRS is not just simply a plug and play concept, but rather is a way for digital devices to interoperate and to create new application models for our users through the notion of collaboration.
Its three key technical design goals are the following:
-Intelligent grouping: which means each IGRS device will automatically discover each other upon entering a network and will form either a peer-to-peer or master/slave device group depending on the devices’ capabilities (no manual configuration is needed)
-Resource sharing: upon making automatic interconnection, each device will open its resources to be shared and used by other devices, varying by device types; for instance, an IGRS PC will share its media contents such as AV, images to a digital media player such as TV or STB, or share phone books or Multimedia Service (MMS) messages to an IGRS mobile phone
-Service collaboration: after sharing all available contents on the network, multiple digital devices can automatically collaborate together to perform brand new applications whereas a standalone device cannot.
Approval of IGRS Standard
On June 29 2005, the Intelligent Grouping and Resource Sharing (IGRS) Standard was formally approved, by Ministry of Information Industry of China, as China National 3C – Convergence Industry Standard. IGRS Standard is mainly developed by Chinese enterprises and focuses itself on industry development. With self-developed & owned IP technology system, IGRS holds the leading position in the 3C convergence era and becomes a flagship of “Chinese Standard”.
IGRS adopts in its operations a fair, open and interoperable policy that any companies, foreign or domestic, are welcomed to join, participate and contribute to the standards work. Its processes are transparent and fair to all.
IGRS Working Group (IGRS Alliance) formed a strong alliance by bringing together many major Chinese and International enterprises and research institutes, to successfully build a complete IGRS industry chain with enterprises in IT, computer and CE industries and to unify the industry and research forces to form strong alliance. IGRS has 59 members today (April 2006). These members include TV, PC, ISP, ICP, hardware/IC, software, middleware, research institutions, communication equipment manufacturers etc. Members include some of the largest companies in China, such as China Telecom (internet service and content provider), Huawei (telecom equipment maker), Changhong (TV manufacturer), Hisense (digital device manufacturer), TCL, ZTE etc.
“Fair, Open and Interoperable” principle to cooperate with other standard organizations
• Cooperating with Home Network Forum of Korea, ECHONET Consortium of Japan, founded the 1st Asia Home Network Council
• Signed MOU to cooperate with the IPv6 Forum
• Cooperating with DLNA, UPnP Forum, CEPCA and many other major international companies
• Cooperating with AVS, TD-SCDMA and Digital Technique Application of Building and Residence Community National Standard of China
• Cooperating with Net－atHome and delivered keynote address
• Participated and presented IGRS concepts in ISO/JTC1/WC25/WG1 meeting
IGRS Industrialization Progress
Driven by innovation and the increase in R&D investment, IGRS alliance enterprises concentrate on the advanced development edge of 3C-convergence technology to continuously launch new IGRS-compliant products.
Members designated over 300 engineers working on IGRS technology & product development
Total investment over 80Million RMB
IGRS-related IP over 179 patents
Along with the approval of IGRS standard, multi-brand and full-series of IGRS-based products have been launched to market, including television, laptop, mobile phone, projector, DMA and so on. Sales in 2005 are expected to be over 1million units and turnovers are expected to be several billion RMB.
IGRS certification tools and development platform are available and approved by the government.
“IGRS Experience Store”: There have been more than twenty “IGRS Experience Store” in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenyang and the number will increase to 100 covering more large and medium-size cities.
Enormous value of joining IGRS
--3C convergence is the industry trend and all 3C products are expected to be interoperable, which creates huge market potential.
--China is the No.1 manufacturing base and also No. 1 consumption market for 3C devices in the world.
--IGRS Standard—Chinese 3C Convergence National Standard, possesses strong government support, rapid industrialization, core technology (179 patents), IGRS logo and powerful IGRS alliance.
--Investment opportunities: 3C-convergence industry, IGRS technical development platform, chip, module, terminal, software, operation…
--Join IGRS to work together with industry giants