Tuesday, August 31, 2010

MaxLinear tuners used for ATSC-M/H mobile TV field trials

CARLSBAD, USA: MaxLinear Inc., a leading provider of integrated radio frequency (RF) and mixed-signal integrated circuits for broadband communication applications, announced that its MxL111SF ICs are being used in mobile devices from Dell Inc. and Hauppauge Computer Works that were developed for the ATSC-M/H field trials now ongoing in Washington, D.C.

The MaxLinear-equipped mobile devices are being used in a nine-station mobile DTV consumer trial sponsored by the Open Mobile Video Coalition. More than 200 consumers equipped with the specially designed beta Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Netbooks, and 160 users with Sprint mobile phones are part of the trials, which started in July and run through Oct. 2010.

The MxL111SF is a single-chip digital terrestrial receiver that includes an ATSC-M/H compliant silicon tuner and USB interface. The MxL111SF has been designed into a variety of products including “USB stick” DTV receivers from Hauppauge Computer Works.

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) approved the A/153 mobile digital TV standard in Oct. 2009. ATSC-M/H, as the standard is known, was developed to enable mobile and handheld devices (e.g., smartphones, portable Netbooks and laptop computers, portable DTVs and auto entertainment systems) to receive digital TV signals from over-the-air terrestrial broadcast stations.

In the United States alone, more than 100 TV broadcast stations are broadcasting mobile DTV services in the ATSC-M/H format, including stations in 15 of the top 20 local markets.

For TV stations, the cost of broadcasting channels in both ATSC and ATSC-M/H formats is relatively minor and opens up new ways to reach consumers. While the US is the largest consumer market using the ATSC broadcast standard, it has also been adopted by Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Honduras and others.

“Consumers are expected to rapidly adjust to being able to view digital broadcast TV anywhere, any time on just about any device, an activity made possible by ATSC-M/H technology,” said Jim Clardy, mobile TV technology strategist at Dell. “Dell has been an ardent supporter of ATSC-M/H technology and considers it a key element of the Dell product strategy to merge personal technology with digital TV entertainment.”

“Hauppauge is pleased to collaborate with MaxLinear and Dell to develop new, innovative mobile TV products based on the ATSC-M/H standard,” said John Casey, vice president of technology at Hauppauge Digital.

“The widespread availability of high-quality free-to-air DTV programming combined with new mobile consumer devices based on the ATSC-M/H standard will give consumers the freedom to watch and record their favorite TV shows and news channels whether they’re on the road or on the go.”

The highly integrated MxL111SF system-on-chip device features an integrated DVB-T demodulator and USB interface. The MxL111SF also meets the exacting requirements of ATSC A/74 Receiver Performance Guidelines, making it appropriate for stationary and mobile TV applications.

Available in a 7x7mm 48QFN package, the MxL111SF is a cost effective solution for a variety of consumer electronic products and form factors.

Kionix accelerometer revs up Cypress PSoC First Touch kits

ITHACA, USA: Kionix Inc. announced that Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has selected the Kionix KXSC7 accelerometer for use in the new CY8CKIT-014 PSoC 5 FirstTouch Starter Kit for the revolutionary PSoC 5 programmable system-on-chip architecture, powered by the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor.

“Including an accelerometer in the PSoC 5 FirstTouch Kit is an important way to demonstrate the analog capabilities of the architecture,” said Gahan Richardson, vice president of Cypress’s PSoC products. “The Kionix KXSC7 offered us the best combination of low power consumption, ease-of-use and cost.”

“Our KXSC7 sensor complements the powerful combination of ARM and Cypress in the PSoC 5 architecture,” said Kenny Salky, Vice President, Sales, for Kionix. “The collaboration has resulted in a powerful development platform for engineers who design embedded systems for a wide range of applications within the consumer electronics, automotive, health care, and industrial sectors.”

In addition to its low-power feature, the KXSC7 series of high-performance accelerometers offers several preset internal low-pass filters with an option for user-definable bandwidth if required for the application.

These sensors offer a high signal-to-noise ratio with excellent performance over temperature. The sensitivity is factory programmable, allowing customization for applications requiring from ±2g to ±6g in range, and they accept supply voltages between 1.8V and 3.6V.

PSoC 5 devices offer unique programmable analog and digital peripherals, along with the high performance 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor. They include industry-leading integrated analog resources and powerful, PLD-based Universal Digital Blocks for implementing standard and custom digital peripherals.

The PSoC 5 FirstTouch Starter Kit helps designers get acquainted with the new PSoC 5 architecture. It includes software and example projects that take advantage of the kit’s onboard sensors including the Kionix accelerometer, a thermistor, proximity sensing, and CapSense. The kit enables easy development via 28 general-purpose I/O pins, a 12-pin wireless module header, and Serial Wire Debugging (SWD). It also includes the PSoC Creator IDE.

The CY8CKIT-014 PSoC 5 FirstTouch Starter Kit, priced at $49.

Renesas Electronics' adopts Dialog's power management IC and audio codec

KIRCHHEIM UNTER TECK, GERMANY: Dialog Semiconductor plc, a leading provider of highly integrated innovative power management semiconductor solutions, has announced its DA9052 system level power management (PMIC) and DA7210 Class G audio ICs have been incorporated in the Renesas Electronics’ SH7724 reference platform, which is now shipping and generally available.

Renesas Electronics’ SH7724 reference platform (part number ROP7724LC0021RL) facilitates the design of a wide range of mobile devices, such as IP security cameras, car navigation systems with terrestrial digital broadcasting reception and portable media players.

It combines Renesas Electronics’ SH7724 multimedia applications processor with Dialog’s ICs to significantly lower the power consumption and cut the build cost by reducing the number of peripheral power supply and audio system components. It also ensures these designs deliver high quality audio.

Typical products based on the Renesas Electronics’ multimedia processor and Dialog ICs include tablet PCs, ultra mobile devices, in-car navigation systems, portable TV systems and IP security cameras.

“This is another success for our Processor Partner Programme and we are proud to have been selected by Renesas Electronics for inclusion in its SH7724 reference platform. Recording and replaying high definition video is both power intensive and demanding.

“Combining Dialog’s flexible system level power management and low power audio ICs with Renesas Electronics’ exceptionally efficient applications processor minimises both peak power and dissipation and sets a new standard in HD video efficiency,” said Udo Kratz, VP and general manager of the audio and power management business unit at Dialog Semiconductor.

Battery life, and therefore power management, is essential in delivering today’s portable battery powered products. The Renesas Electronics’ SH7724 reference design combines a small footprint with powerful performance to give designers an accelerated route to market, and a significant head start in developing next generation HD connected devices.

The DA9052 system level power management IC uses a revolutionary graphical user interface to precisely and simply optimise the power sequencing requirements of a system. It gives greater flexibility in reducing power consumption, size and cost in portable multimedia devices.

The DA7210 is a high performance Class G audio codec, has an industry leading consumption level of 2.5mW and incorporates the industry’s first onboard general purpose filter to enable fine-tuning and optimisation of the audio response for small speakers and enclosures.

Nordson ASYMTEK introsSpectrum S-920N-C stainless steel cleanroom dispenser

SEMICON Taiwan 2010, CARLSBAD, USA: Nordson ASYMTEK, a leader in dispensing, coating, and jetting technologies, introduces its S-920N-C stainless steel dispensing system that is third-party certified for Class 100 cleanroom use.

It is specifically designed for applications that are extremely sensitive to contamination by submicron-sized particles, such as wafer-level packaging and disk drive assembly. Film-frame or bare-wafer handling can be added for integrated material loading and unloading.

The S-920N-C system’s stainless steel enclosure has a passivated finish for easy wipe-down. Its high-flex electrical cables are enclosed in a cleanroom-certified jacket that reduces particulation and outgassing.

The HEPA filter provides a downward particle-free air column within the dispense area, and the machine interior is positively pressurized. All pneumatic valves are exhausted to a duct for connection to a house vacuum to avoid particle emissions into the cleanroom.

The S-920N-C features technologically advanced and integrated software and hardware control that reduces process variation, increases yield, and reduces cost. Calibrated Process Jetting (CPJ) automatically maintains volumetric repeatability during long production runs, while Controlled Process Heat (CpH) adds recipe-controlled heat management for improved thermal efficiency with faster temperature ramp.

A digital vision system with dual-color, adjustable on-axis lighting offers fast and reliable image acquisition for increased throughput. Adding the Fids-on-the-Fly option accelerates fiducial capture, and laser height sensing further reduces time spent on non-dispense routines.

The scalable S-920N-C can be configured with single or dual lanes and up to six heat stations with the dual lane configuration. Its small footprint maximizes cleanroom floor space utilization and lowers cost of ownership. The platform is easily upgraded as needs change.

Arasan's IP part of App Zone in SD Association Booth

SAN JOSE, USA: Arasan Chip Systems Inc., a leading provider of Total semiconductor IP solutions, announced that it is participating in the SD Association booth in two of the world's leading consumer electronics tradeshows -- IFA, Berlin and CEATEC, Japan.

Arasan is an Executive Member of the SD Association and is committed to delivering the highest quality SD 3.0 IP cores to enable this new memory interface.

In response to the growing market for SD 3.0 (SDXC) enabled hosts and memory cards, the SD Association is showcasing its technology in two of the largest consumer electronics shows covering Europe and Japan.

To highlight the growing ecosystem for SD 3.0, an Application Zone will be featured inside its booth, showing products integrating SDXC, UHS-I host and cards. The SD 3.0 specification defines cards with a maximum memory capacity of 2TB and bandwidth that scales up to 104MBps (UHS-I).

"We are pleased to have Arasan Chip Systems join us in promoting our standards in the market," said Paul Ritchie, executive director, SD Association. "Arasan's SD IP cores are a key part of the ecosystem, enabling the rapid adoption of this memory interface."

The first show will be IFA Berlin, September 3-8, Berlin, Germany - Europe's premier expo for leading consumer electronics and home appliances. Anticipating a record turnout, this exhibition sets the tone for consumer electronics that will dominate in 2011.

Following this event, Arasan will join the SD Association at CEATEC, October 5-9, Tokyo Japan to engage with the world's leading producers of consumer electronic products and devices.

Arasan supports the SD ecosystem by offering a rich portfolio of SD/SDIO 3.0 IP cores spanning host controllers, PHY's, memory and I/O functions. Realizing the need for SoC designers to be memory card agnostic, Arasan also has a complete line of multi-format card reader IP cores.

"As a leading provider of SD/SDIO IP cores, Arasan is committed to ensuring the successful adoption of this new standard," said Somnath Viswanath, Director of Marketing at Arasan. "SoC designers for leading multi-media and mobile consumer electronics rely on our SD 3.0 IP cores to successfully introduce high-performance, compact devices that thrill their customers."

Arasan's high-quality SD 3.0 IP cores support all of the functionality and card memory security features such as password, application based security. A rigorous design and verification methodology is followed in-house, resulting in Arasan being the preferred vendor of choice for SD/SDIO IP cores.

Future challenge: Strategy and challenge for Taiwanese DRAM vendors

TAIWAN: Traced back from the history of Taiwanese DRAM vendors, Winbond is the first DRAM vendor established in 1987 and breed many talents for the industry. Taiwanese DRAM industry has rocketing in 1994 that PSC, ProMOS, Nanya are established and film the tight relationship with Japanese vendors.

Inotera and Rexchip is established in terms of JV of “Taiwanese-German” and “Taiwanese-Japanese” forms. Taiwanese monthly DRAM output had reached 530K at the end of 2008, which is 35 percent of total market. Taiwan is the most dense country for 12”inch fab. However, Taiwanese DRAM vendors has suffered the serious challenge in financial given the outrageous over-supply from 2007 to 2009.

According to DRAMeXchange, the research dept. of Trendforce, market share of Korean vendors has reached to 55.3 percent in terms of revenue in 2Q10, which is 10 percent YoY growth compared to 45.5 percent in 4Q08.

Taiwanese DRAM vendors have also enhanced the competitiveness in 2010, we have summarized as below:

Winbond is aggressively dedicating on non-commodity DRAM such as NOR Flash, Mobile DRAM, GDDR, and specialty DRAM. Given the shortage in NOR Flash, Winbond has successfully adjust product lines to secure the profitability. Scheduled to MP in 2011, Winbond will develop self-owned 46nm technology based on Qimonda’s 46nm technology.

Given the strategy to leveraging Taiwanese vendors against Korean vendors, the coloration relationship between PSC, Rexchip, ProMOS, Elpida will be tighter to speed up technology migration and ease the risk on price fluctuation. PSC plans to diversify product lines on commodity DRAM, foundry business and Flash that DRAM’s 45nm process will be adopted in year end.

We expect output and revenue will continuously grow with the 30 percent output contribution by Rexchip. 30K to 40K monthly output for foundry business will be achieved while 65nm technology will be applied in 2011. In Flash area, 50nm will be migrated in 2011 while 1Gb SLC and 16Gb MLC in 40nm is aimed at 2011 as well.

Rexchip is scheduled to turn to the commodity DRAM manufacturing facility of Elpida since Rexchip is officially the subsidiary of Elpida. Six immersion scanners is about to settle at end of 2011. 45nm technology will be fully migrated in 1Q11.

As for ProMOS, Tai-Chung Fab is back to full utilization at 60K by the year end. 30K is for 63nm outsourcing orders for Elpida. Elpida is considering to outsource low density mobile DRAM to ProMOS. Above 50 percent of ProMOS output will be scheduled for OEM orders.

With the help from capacity expansion and technology migration, Nanya/Inotera output growth will be 150 percent YoY. Nanya will rise 12” inch monthly output to 50K from 36K in 2011 while 60K is scheduled at 1H11.

Inotera will also pull up to full utilization at 13K by the year end from less than 10K status now. Nanay/Inotera will accelerating the 50nm migration and 42 nm in 2011.

We expect that the DRAM output growth rate for Nanya and Inotera will dominate all the DRAM makers in 2011. Nanya will be also the leading companies in terms of brand sales as well.

KLA-Tencor announces VisEdge CV300R-EP system

MILPITAS, USA: KLA-Tencor Corp., the leading supplier of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related industries, announced the latest addition to its industry-leading VisEdge family of products: the VisEdge CV300R-EP edge metrology and inspection tool.

The VisEdge CV300R-EP introduces two edge-metrology capabilities designed to help fabs identify potentially yield-impacting irregularities in the shape of the wafer edge profile or in the edges of films deposited on the wafer.

These new metrology capabilities add to the edge defect inspection and review capabilities of current VisEdge systems, making the VisEdge CV300R-EP a comprehensive tool for helping fabs improve yield issues associated with the wafer edge.

Semiconductor fabs print die as close to the wafer edge as possible to maximize the number of devices per wafer. However, die near the wafer edge typically show the lowest yield. To address edge-yield issues, fabs need to control where the edge of each film lands—on the planar front surface of the wafer or past the planar surface into the sloped bevel—and match the perimeter of each film to those of films deposited before and after it during device processing.

VisEdge CV300R-EP provides a calibrated measurement of the profile of the wafer edge, including the slope of the bevel on which the film edge may land. In addition, VisEdge CV300R-EP is the first system to incorporate data from patterned edge die—including partial die—to trace the film edge and its concentricity with the wafer itself or with neighboring films in the process. Other solutions omit data from patterned areas, a method that may result in less accurate tracing of the film edge.

"Monitoring film concentricity is critical because overlapping film edges may lead to film delamination, increased edge defectivity and eventual yield loss," said Remo Kirsch, manager of Contamination Free Manufacturing at GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Inc. Fab1, located in Dresden, Germany.

"KLA-Tencor's VisEdge tool has the unique ability to trace the position of the edge of the copper film through both the patterned and unpatterned areas near the wafer edge, allowing us to determine the concentricity of the copper film with respect to the center of the wafer. We have implemented a daily monitoring strategy using the VisEdge system to qualify process chambers for the copper interconnect layers."

"Edge profile monitoring is another emerging use case for the VisEdge platform," said Oreste Donzella, vice president and general manager of the SWIFT division at KLA-Tencor.

"We have found that the bevel angle and other edge-profile parametric values can vary widely among wafer suppliers. Variations in the bevel angle, for example, can affect the structure of films at the outer perimeter, with implications for film integrity and ultimately wafer yield. The VisEdge CV300R-EP is able to identify wafers whose edge profiles do not meet process requirements."

TI intros industry's first -36-V, 200-mA LDO

DALLAS, USA: Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has introduced the industry's first -36-V low dropout regulators (LDO).

The TPS7A30, paired with the positive voltage TPS7A49, provides designers with a total solution for powering precision analog applications. The devices feature ultra-high power supply rejection ratio (PSRR) performance and as low as 16uVrms of output noise. The TPS7A30 generates 200 mA, while the TPS7A49 manages 150 mA.

"Customers designing high-precision equipment need clean bipolar power rails for powering operational amplifiers, analog-to-digital converters or digital-to-analog converters," said Sami Kiriaki, senior vice president and manager over TI's Power Management business unit. "The TPS7A30 and TPS7A49 power for precision analog LDOs help meet that requirement with wide input voltages, lowest noise and maximum amount of transient headroom."

The TPS7A30/TPS7A49 linear regulator family is stable with any output capacitance greater than 2.2 uF. The LDOs come in an adjustable version with an output voltage ranging from 1.22 V to 34 V.

The LDOs are designed for noise-sensitive applications, such as test equipment; industrial, networking and telecom equipment; base stations; microwave and radio links; noise filtering for receive, transmit and power amplifiers; and medical applications.

MOCVD forecast – over 4,000 tools likely to ship from 2010 to 2013

AUSTIN, USA: IMS Research’s Quarterly GaN LED Supply Report released last week determined that over 300 MOCVD systems were installed in Q2’10 to serve the rapidly growing high brightness (HB) LED market.

This segment is benefitting from rapid gains in penetration into the notebook PC, LCD monitor, LCD TV and general lighting markets as well as a healthy subsidy in China. The report also shows that LED capacity will need to rise by 352 percent from 2009 to 2014 to keep up with demand, driving tool shipments throughout the HB LED supply chain.

According to IMS Research SVP Ross Young: “MOCVD is the single hottest category in the semiconductor manufacturing space with shipments expected to rise by nearly 500% in 2010 and to keep growing through 2013.

“With TVs, monitors and general lighting still early in the adoption cycle and the Chinese government encouraging a healthy LED infrastructure with a generous $1.5M subsidy per tool, this segment should remain hot. We now count over 80 manufacturers of epi wafers with additional companies entering soon.”

Other highlights of the report include:
* Aixtron continued to lead the multi-wafer MOCVD market with a 60 percent share. China was its fastest growing region which overtook Korea as its #2 region. Aixtron held a dominant share in Taiwan and China in Q2’10, but lost ground in Korea.

* Veeco’s multi-wafer share rose from 32 percent in Q1’10 to 37 percent in Q2’10 on the strength of rapid growth and share gains in South Korea where it held a dominant position.

* Korea’s unyielded die capacity reached a record high 36 percent followed by Taiwan at 32 percent with China also gaining ground.

* 4” wafer capacity surged in Q2’10 and is expected to account for over a third of total wafer capacity on an area basis in Q3’10.

National Semiconductor's WEBENCH LED architect simplifies and speeds lighting design

SANTA CLARA, USA: National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: NSM) today announced the addition of WEBENCH LED Architect to its award-winning portfolio of online WEBENCH Designer tools.

The first of its kind, WEBENCH LED Architect enables both novice and expert designers to perform real-time comparisons and optimize complex lighting systems for performance, size and cost in minutes.

To start a design, the designer enters desired light output (lumens) and adjusts the design with the unique WEBENCH Optimizer Dial, evaluating size, conversion efficiency and cost trade-offs.

The designer can order components for prototyping, share the complete system with others, or easily print a complete project report including schematics, bill of materials (BOM) and performance characteristics.

DLP Cinema delivers enhanced 4K chip to light up biggest screens

DALLAS, USA: Texas Instruments (TI) DLP has started shipping DLP Cinema Enhanced 4K chips to its licensees, Barco, Christie Digital and NEC.

Projectors with the DLP Cinema 4K chip are expected to be installed in Q1 2011 and several industry demos are anticipated between now and then by DLP Cinema licensees. With the availability of this chip, DLP Cinema offers exhibitors the widest variety of stable resolution options to suit their needs at any screen size.

"Regardless of resolution option or screen size, exhibitors can count on DLP Cinema's award winning technology to deliver all the light, to all the pixels, all the time," said Dave Duncan, business manager for Texas Instruments, DLP Cinema Products.

DLP Cinema's 4K chip will enable its licensees to manufacture the brightest and most energy efficient digital cinema projectors in the world. In addition, all projectors utilizing the new 4K chip will be designed to meet the Digital Cinema System Specifications developed by DCI, LLC for established image quality and security. Currently, all DLP Cinema 2K projector models with the next generation DLP Cinema electronics platform are DCI compliant.

Exhibitors will likely install the DLP Cinema 4K solution to light up theatre screens as wide as 100 feet and 3D screens as wide as 75 feet, which has been a challenge for competing technologies. All DLP Cinema projectors, regardless of the resolution, have the leading attributes for which DLP Cinema products are known, including precise DCI compliant colors, superior contrast ratios including greater than 2500:1 and light output necessary to illuminate the largest auditoriums.

"DLP Cinema remains dedicated to providing the cinema industry with diverse platforms in both 2K and 4K solutions," said Kent Novak, senior vice president and general manager for DLP Products. "Texas Instruments will continue to innovate and further the development of its DLP Cinema 2K chips which are indisputably the industry standard, including the capability of upgrading the newest 2K projectors to 4K."

Cypress CapSense Express controller is world’s easiest-to-implement capacitive touch sensing solution

SAN JOSE, USA: Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has announced a new CapSense capacitive touch-sensing controller that enables designers to achieve mechanical button replacement (MBR) without having to write firmware or learn to use new software tools.

The new CapSense Express device leverages Cypress’s revolutionary SmartSense auto-tuning algorithm, which eliminates the requirement for system tuning. Cypress’s accompanying design toolbox provides detailed resources to ensure optimal interface performance, and advanced system debug features allow customers to take designs directly to production for significantly shorter time-to-market.

The controller delivers robust touch-sensing with ultra-low power consumption to extend battery life in a wide range of handheld products, and is ideal for consumer, communication, white goods, lighting, industrial and medical applications.

The hardware-configurable CY8CMBR2044 CapSense Express Mechanical Button Replacement controller operates from 1.7 to 5.5V and offers low overall power consumption with supply current in run mode as low as 15 uA per button and industry-best deep sleep current of 100 nA.

The devices offer reliable operation in the harshest sensing conditions and Cypress’s patented CSD (CapSense Sigma Delta) sensing method ensures superior immunity to conducted and radiated noise. With SmartSense auto-tuning, the device dynamically optimizes the baseline and detection threshold and adjusts for the optimal capacitance sensing range at power up and during runtime as environmental conditions change. More information is available at www.cypress.com/go/capsense.

“Our new CapSense Express controller with SmartSense auto-tuning technology is the easiest-to-implement capacitive touch-sensing solution available,” said Dirk Franklin, business unit director for Cypress’s CapSense solutions.

“If you can lay out a PCB, then you can add a capacitive touch interface to your next product. This solution greatly reduces design risk and time to market, simplifying the design-in cycle to a layout task and eliminating the system-tuning step. This device greatly broadens the markets and customers for CapSense, as developers no longer need to be microcontroller (or firmware) experts or have vast tuning experience to easily design out their mechanical buttons.”

Eliminating the need to tune the UI subsystem is a significant advantage for large and small manufacturers alike, as it saves engineering time and yield loss that can occur with even slight variations in manufacturing tolerances. This savings is greatly multiplied for customers with a global factory footprint and supply chain.

SmartSense auto-tuning can eliminate the need for additional test steps currently required with competing solutions to address the vendor-to-vendor variations in PCBs and overlays.

The CapSense Express device accurately tracks button pushes, even with very closely-spaced sensors. The device also features a built-in failure analysis feature with serial data out for debug, speeding the design-in process. It also integrates a voltage regulator to address power supply noise as well as filters for any spurious noise. The device is available in a small form factor 3 x 3 x 0.6-mm 16-pad QFN package.

IXYS announces increase to stock repurchase program

MILPITAS, USA & BIEL, SWITZERLAND: IXYS Corp. announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase in its repurchase program, topping it up to 2,000,000 shares of its common stock, or approximately 6 percent of the Company’s approximately 31 million shares of common stock currently outstanding. Prior to the increase, the program had about 1.1 million shares that remained available for purchase.

The repurchases will be made from time to time on the open market at prevailing market prices or in negotiated transactions off the market through block trades or otherwise. The timing and amount of such repurchases will depend on market conditions.

IXYS develops and markets primarily high performance power semiconductors and control ICs that are used in controlling and converting electrical power efficiently in power systems for telecommunication infrastructure, motor drives, medical systems and transportation.

IXYS also serves emerging markets with digital and analog ICs that control flat panel displays, medical instruments and telecommunication products.

ATSC-MH demodulator core for US mobile DTV market from Iberium

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Iberium Communications Inc., a leading provider of digital TV demodulation intellectual property, announced the availability of its Santana digital demodulator core for the US mobile DTV market.

The core is fully compliant with the mobile DTV standard ATSC-MH (A/153) ratified in October of 2009. The new Santana ATSC-MH (A/153) core, along with the existing Garcia ATSC (A/53)/QAM demodulator core, completes the company's portfolio of products for the ATSC-based DTV markets, such as North America and Korea.

The Santana A/153 core targets next generation mobile devices - i.e., mobile phones, portable media players, laptop and notebook computers, etc., - and utilizes advanced algorithmic features such as time-sliced operation and an efficient ASIC microarchitecture design to provide IC vendors with a low cost, low power solution that will meet the demands of next generation consumer products.

The design of the Santana core is highly customizable in order to meet diverse customer needs and requirements. The company also announced that it is working with interested parties on customization and silicon implementation of the core.

Advantest selects Calypto’s power optimization and verification tools to reduce power in ASIC designs

SANTA CLARA, USA: Calypto Design Systems Inc., the leader in sequential analysis technology, announced that Advantest Corp., a premier supplier of semiconductor test equipment, has adopted its PowerPro CG (clock gating) and SLEC Pro products to optimize power in its ASIC designs.

Calypto offers the industry’s leading RTL power optimization and formal verification solutions, enabling significant ASIC power reduction while shortening design time and improving design quality.

“Our ASIC design teams are under extreme pressure to deliver low power solutions, and we are very impressed with the outstanding results we have seen from PowerPro CG and SLEC Pro in our design flow,” said Hiroshi Kobayashi, general manager of Design Management Division, Advantest. “They are the only tools in the industry that are based on sequential analysis and offer fully automated RTL power optimization with an integrated, comprehensive verification flow.”

Based on Calypto’s patented sequential analysis technology, PowerPro CG evaluates circuit behavior across multiple clock cycles to identify sequential clock gating opportunities and creates the required sequential clock-gating enable logic to reduce design power. PowerPro CG then generates new power-optimized RTL that is identical to the original RTL except for the surgical insertion of the sequential clock-gating enable logic.

SLEC Pro comprehensively verifies the power-optimized RTL generated by PowerPro. SLEC Pro is a formal, functional sequential logic equivalence checker that ensures functional equivalence between the original RTL design and the corresponding power-optimized RTL design for all possible input sequences.

“Advantest is committed to providing leading automatic test equipment for the semiconductor industry,” said Tom Sandoval, chief executive officer of Calypto. “PowerPro CG and SLEC Pro will enable Advantest to incorporate advanced, ultra-low power ASICs into its products in the shortest possible time.”

Broadcom to demo 'In Box' 10GbE iSCSI HBA solution for VMware vSphere 4.1

SAN FRANCISCO, USA; VMworld 2010: Broadcom Corp. has announced the industry's first and only 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) iSCSI / 1 Gigabit Ethernet (1GbE) iSCSI host bus adapter (HBA) and boot solution to be supported 'in box' in VMware's vSphere 4.1.

Broadcom's leading-edge iSCSI solution provides twice the input/output operations per second (IOPs), twice the bandwidth and twice the CPU effectiveness when compared to network interface cards (NICs) without iSCSI HBA capabilities.

Additionally, it frees resources that can be utilized to enable the creation of even more virtual machines (VM) on the vSphere 4.1 platform. This high performance iSCSI HBA solution will be demonstrated using Broadcom's NetXtreme II 10GbE converged network interface controller (C-NIC) at VMworld 2010 this week in San Francisco (Booth #1601).

Broadcom will also demonstrate its enhanced BCM57712 10GbE C-NIC that supports SR-IOV technology. SR-IOV technology accelerates networking traffic by directly connecting physical hardware to VMs, reducing CPU utilization and creating greater network and application performance.

Microchip celebrates shipment of 1 millionth development tool

CHANDLER, USA: Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions, announced that it sold its one millionth development tool during last week’s 14th annual Worldwide MASTERs Conference—the premier technical training event for embedded-control engineers held in Phoenix, Ariz.

To celebrate this milestone, Microchip honored Mike Nicholson, Engineering Manager from Price Electronics in Winnipeg, Canada, as the recipient of its one millionth tool.

“We’ve been using Microchip development tools and PIC microcontrollers since 1999,” Nicholson said. “We fell in love with Microchip’s development tools and support, and a lot of their application notes have really helped us with our designs.” Nicholson added, “We’ve learned a ton over the last three days at the MASTERs Conference. It’s great to have the 1 millionth development tool in hand, and we look forward to using it.”

Microchip development tools comprise software and hardware that is used to design applications with Microchip’s semiconductors. Today’s announcement reinforces the industry’s continued acceptance of Microchip’s tools by embedded design engineers, who increasingly seek to simplify code development while reducing their tool investments.

“Microchip has a reputation for providing the industry’s best tools and support, and the shipment of our one millionth development tool demonstrates that embedded designers have found this reputation to be well founded,” said Mitch Little, vice president of Microchip Worldwide Sales and Applications.

“Microchip’s unique in-house tools strategy is one of the main ingredients in our customers’ success, enabling us to continuously enhance tools with advanced features while retaining control of quality, delivery and costs.”

Applications for Microchip’s embedded semiconductors span all sectors around the world, including industrial, consumer, communications, automotive and office automation. Within these broad market segments, the company serves more than 63,000 customers, located in more than 65 countries.

“From evaluation kits, programmers and in-circuit debuggers to state-of-the art in-circuit emulators that run full speed with tomorrow’s highest speed technologies, our MPLAB tools offer simplicity, power and affordability,” said Derek Carlson, vice president of Microchip Development Tools.

“Microchip stands alone among semiconductor companies by offering a universal and truly integrated development environment that supports our entire line of 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers, and dsPIC digital signal controllers, ranging from 6-pin to over 100-pin devices.”

SEMATECH completes fully integrated 300mm line for Via-Mid 3D ICs at UAlbany NanoCollege

ALBANY, USA: In another step toward driving the maturity of 3D IC integration, SEMATECH’s 3D Interconnect program announced the completion of its 300mm 3D IC pilot line, operating at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s (CNSE) Albany NanoTech Complex.

Dedicated to via-mid 3D applications, SEMATECH’s development and exploratory platform includes all processes and test vehicles necessary to demonstrate the viability of the via-mid technology in conjunction with advanced CMOS.

“Our mission is to make 3D through-silicon via (TSV) both manufacturable and affordable. We will prove its very real advantages over conventional, two-dimensional designs — especially in increased functionality and performance,” said Sitaram Arkalgud, director of 3D Interconnect at SEMATECH. “The completion of our 300mm R&D line is a significant step towards demonstrating technology solutions for TSV high-volume manufacturing.”

Centered on 5um by 50 micron TSVs, the processes include TSV formation and metallization, wafer and die alignment, bonding, thinning, and the necessary metrology for these integration sequences.

Supported by the conventional CMOS processing capabilities of CNSE, SEMATECH researchers are working jointly with chipmakers, equipment and materials suppliers, and universities on device interactions for fabrication at the 65nm node for planar and future scaling to 30nm for planar and non-planar CMOS technologies.

“The integration of the 3D Interconnect pilot line by SEMATECH at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex further enhances the leading-edge research and development capabilities at the UAlbany NanoCollege,” said Richard Brilla, vice president of strategy, alliances and consortia at CNSE. “This marks another critical step forward in accelerating advanced manufacturing for innovative nanoelectronics technologies.”

Arkalgud added: “Our program provides our members with access to complete 300mm R&D capability in 3D, allowing them to evaluate tools, process modules and even integration sequences in a realistic setting. Moreover, SEMATECH is playing a strategic role in working with the industry to drive manufacturability and forge consensus on technology options, standards, and cost modeling.”

Launched in 2005, SEMATECH’s 3D program was established to deliver robust 300mm equipment and process technology solutions for high volume TSV manufacturing. The 3D program has been actively engaging with leading edge equipment and materials suppliers and leveraging their expertise to deliver manufacturable process solutions.

During 2009, the program began its considerable expansion, including developing and demonstrating 300mm tooling, materials, and process module solutions necessary for 3D TSV manufacturing for 300mm wafers in 2012 and beyond.

In addition, SEMATECH’s 3D program is developing a reference flow which contains the critical elements of interest in processing and metrology for its members. The use of a common reference flow will help drive consensus among members and the industry, and lend validity to a cost model.

3D ICs will play an important role in semiconductor manufacturing, given their potential to alleviate scaling limitations, increase performance by reducing signal delays, and reduce cost. TSVs can improve electrical performance, lower power consumption, enable the integration of heterogeneous devices, shrink device size, and reduce cost.

AWR releases Visual System Simulator 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: AWR Corp., the innovation leader in high-frequency EDA, announced the commercial release of its 2010 Visual System Simulator (VSS) software.

The release offers new capabilities that increase productivity for RF system designers, including time delay neural network (TDNN) advanced amplifier behavioral models for capturing memory effects and measurement data interchange format (MDIF) model support, as well as a new phased array element for radar design engineers.

Additionally, enhancements have been made to the VSS RFA architect tool plus new communication models and signal processing blocks have been added.

Key features in VSS 2010 include TDNN ( time delay neural network) based models, turbo decoders and third party integrations.

VSS 2010 is available immediately.

Achronix, Opticomp demo multipath 40 Gb/S optical networking solution

SAN JOSE, USA: Achronix Semiconductor, makers of the world’s fastest field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and Opticomp, the premier high-throughput optical module supplier, have announced a powerful, flexible platform for developing, characterizing, and demonstrating state-of-the-art high-speed optical data communication.

The fully programmable development system is the result of a close and productive collaboration between the two companies – each bringing its own unique expertise to the project. Achronix and Opticomp working together have set the standard for high-throughput digital transport and processing.

The 120 Gb/s multi-port system (expandable to 160 Gb/s) can be used with individual optical modules or with multiple 40Gb/s optical paths connected together into a network.

The Achronix-Opticomp solution was demonstrated at the AMAPS XI (Advanced Microelectronics and Photonics for Space) conference in Lake Tahoe, June 8-11, 2010.

In addition to providing the world’s fastest FPGAs, Achronix offers several system-level products, including the Bridge100 System – the basis of the joint program with Opticomp. The Bridge100 system has been delivered to a wide range of customers and is unique in the industry, offering:

a. 120 Gb/s bidirectional throughput (three 40 Gb/s ports and twelve 10 Gb/s ports),
b. Additional expansion ports (80 Gb/s),
c. Additional video ports (4 HDMI Tx, 4 HDMI Rx),
d. Up to 32 GB of traffic buffering (DDR3 SDRAM at 1066 Mb/s per lane),
e. Nine SPD60 FPGAs (fully reprogrammable).

The unique combination of data bandwidth, memory bandwidth, logic capacity, and full reprogrammability results in an extremely powerful platform for ultra-high-speed data-transmission.

When used as a stand-alone test system, the primary roles of the Bridge100 for this application are data generation, formatting, and checking. When used with external traffic sources and destinations (as in an operational data network) its primary roles are classification, storage, retrieval, and transmission (according to a user-specified scheduling policy),

Opticomp is a leading provider of high-end optical modules. Opticomp’s TRX-04-950-15 module transmits (and receives) 40 Gb/s traffic over a single multimode fiber -- in the form of four wavelengths of 10 Gb/s each.

The transceiver incorporates four VCSELs, four PIN photodiode detectors, a CWDM multiplexer/coupler, and a CWDM demultiplexer/coupler – all in a convenient, compact assembly. The Bridge100 System and development tools are available now.

July semiconductor sales up 37 percent YoY

SAN JOSE, USA: Global sales of semiconductors grew to $25.2 billion in July, an increase of 1.2 percent from June when sales were $24.9 billion and an increase of 37.0 percent from July 2009 when sales were $18.4 billion, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported.

Year to date sales total $169.2 billion, an increase of 46.7 percent from the $115.3 billion reported for the first seven months of 2009. All monthly sales numbers represent a three-month moving average.
“Worldwide sales of semiconductors were strong in July despite growing indications of slower growth in the overall economy,” said SIA President Brian Toohey.

“The continued proliferation of semiconductors into a broad range of products provides opportunities for industry expansion even in a period of slower overall economic growth. Although recent public statements from a number of major manufacturers have emphasized limited visibility for the near-term, we continue to expect that industry growth for 2010 will be in line with our mid-year forecast of 28.4 percent,” Toohey concluded.

MoSys expands to new corporate headquarters

SANTA CLARA, USA: MoSys Inc., a leading provider of serial chip-to-chip communications solutions that deliver unparalleled bandwidth performance for next generation networking systems and advanced system-on-chip (SoC) designs, announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley to Santa Clara, California.

The 47,000 square foot facility is home to MoSys’ executive team, product management, engineering and business operations and administrative functions, and allows the company space for future growth.

The new larger facility includes a significantly larger lab and test floor for research and development, product verification and testing to support the Company’s IP business and its Bandwidth Engine IC product family. In addition to its corporate headquarters, MoSys has design centers in Hyderabad, India and Ames, Iowa.

“Due to growth in our IP business and our transition to become a fabless IC company, we had outgrown our previous space,” said Len Perham, MoSys’ president and CEO. “The new facility will allow for future growth, and is better suited to support the engineering and future product fulfillment requirements of our Bandwidth Engine product line.”

MoSys recently announced the tape-out of its first Bandwidth Engine IC.

Discera names Terry Barrette as VP of Operations

SAN JOSE, USA: Discera Inc., the leading provider of silicon timing technology, has named Terry Barrette as Vice President of Operations.

Ms. Barrette has led the development and production of programmable, low power, small footprint semiconductors for mobile and networking markets at companies ranging from Intel and Intersil to LSI Logic and QuickLogic for over 20 years. She has been published multiple times in the IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium.

Discera builds micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS) that use standard silicon processes to provide the heartbeat necessary for nearly all electronics devices. The company’s products deliver a smaller, more reliable, and lower power alternative to traditional quartz technology for computing and consumer electronics products.

“Terry’s rigorous approach to managing all aspects of product engineering and the manufacturing supply chain has led to a consistent record of success,” said Discera CEO Bruce Diamond. “She has exceeded expectations for the advances possible in CMOS semiconductor technology, reducing product lead times by 80 percent and per unit costs by 85 percent, while increasing on-time delivery rates to 98 percent.”

Foton Motor, Freescale announce automotive joint lab

BEIJING, CHINA & AUSTIN, USA: During Foton Motor’s 14th anniversary celebration, Foton and Freescale Semiconductor announced the establishment of the Automotive Joint Lab.

The lab is Foton Motor’s first formal cooperation project in automotive electronics, providing evidence of the enhanced R&D investment and development Foton Motor is making in this area.

The Foton-Freescale Automotive Joint Lab is committed to co-developing silicon, software and system-level solutions for use in the next generation of Foton vehicles. The two companies have agreed to explore joint-development efforts in key application areas, including electric vehicle/hybrid electric vehicle (EV/HEV) technology and relevant electronic control technology.

Future collaboration will focus on powertrain, chassis and safety technologies. The planned technology collaboration is expected to involve a wide range of Freescale microcontroller (MCU) platforms, including Freescale’s 32-bit Power Architecture™ MCUs, 16-bit S12X and 8-bit S08 devices, as well as analog power management ICs and sensors.

In recent years, automotive electronics technology has greatly enhanced the safety, emissions and economic performance and comfort of vehicles while also making vehicles more intelligent. This technology will also be the main force in driving the development of ‘green’ energy-saving cars.

"Foton Motor has been committed to promoting energy and environmental technology in the automotive industry, and has proved continuous breakthroughs in new energy-driven vehicles over the past years. The opening of the joint lab will provide wings for Foton Motor products to fly into a promising future," said Wu Xuebin, Foton Motor VP and director of the Engineering Research Institute at the ceremony.

"Freescale is a global leading supplier of automotive electronics, and has been at the cutting edge of semiconductor product development in terms of technologies and standards," Wu Xuebin said.

"The cooperation with Freescale will further improve the product competitiveness of Foton Motor, and will help Foton develop sustainable competitive edge in the future. The development and application of automotive electronics will improve the product performance and quality of Foton in terms of safety, energy efficiency and environmental protection, especially the development of electronic control in the new energy automotive industry will further help Foton enlarge the market share."

"Through close collaboration and joint research and development, Freescale and Foton intend to drive breakthroughs in cost-effective body electronics, powertrain and HEV solutions into next-generation automotive system designs,” said Reza Kazerounian, senior VP and GM of Freescale’s Microcontroller Solutions Group.

"This will be a productive technology partnership with Foton, one of China’s largest independent auto manufacturers. We expect that it will not only help Foton maintain its leadership in the field of commercial vehicles but will also proactively enhance R&D in new energy vehicles."

To support the Foton-Freescale Automotive Joint Lab, Freescale will provide silicon products, development tools, reference platforms and dedicated support resources. In the future, Foton-specific designs and products will be developed.

Freescale will bring new leading technology and system-level solutions, incubating the joint lab’s own R&D capability on electric vehicle, hybrid electric vehicle, powertrain system and automobile safety.

Freescale is focused on speeding up the growth in China's automotive electronics market by leveraging its advantages in IC integration, manufacturing and quality. Meanwhile, as part of this strategic cooperation, Freescale will help Foton enhance its R&D competence in China, and potentially shorten its time to market.

Micron optimizes process control with Applied Materials' E3 equipment control system

BOISE, USA: Micron Technology Inc. has started the deployment of the Applied Materials E3 framework within its 300 millimeter (mm) fabrication facilities.

E3 is an integrated engineering system that allows sophisticated control strategies aimed at increasing product performance, raising product yield and improving quality.

Micron selected Applied Materials' E3 solution for advanced process control given its balance between cost & control flexibility. The selection followed a comprehensive evaluation of several commercial systems and took into account stakeholders preferences, functional features, cost of ownership (CoO) and return on investment (RoI) analysis.

Since the adoption of E3, Micron's engineering teams have enabled fault detection and classification (FDC) to predict and avoid unexpected equipment downtime and prevent product deviations, run-to-run control (R2R) to adjust processing parameters in real time and equipment performance tracking (EPT) to identify factory bottlenecks to quantify process variability. With the statistical process control (SPC) module, Micron's 300mm facilities will further improve efficiency and product quality while reducing the CoO.

"We're extremely pleased to be able to work with a technology leader such as Micron in deploying the E3 system to optimize the efficiency of their worldwide fab assets," said Charlie Pappis, VP and GM of Applied Global Services.

"By integrating what were previously standalone functions into a common framework, the E3 system has transformed equipment automation and control technology, which has historically been complex and expensive to implement and maintain."

Before running E3, Micron had been using a mix of in-house and third party systems running different approaches on different platforms. Quality Management Systems are a key part of Micron's strategy to provide customers with superior product quality.

With Applied Materials' assistance, Micron has been able to make a smooth transition to the E3 system, allowing it to achieve both significant process improvements and ongoing cost savings from increased operational efficiency.

Cabot Microelectronics completes second closing of acquisition of Epoch Material

AURORA, USA: Cabot Microelectronics Corp., a leading supplier of chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) polishing slurries and growing CMP pad supplier to the semiconductor industry, has completed the second closing of its two-step acquisition of Epoch Material Co. Ltd (Epoch), a copper CMP slurry provider in Taiwan, on August 27, 2010.

As previously disclosed, Cabot Microelectronics initially obtained 90 percent of Epoch's stock in February 2009, and with this second closing, the remaining 10 percent was transferred to the company from Eternal Chemical Co. Ltd (Eternal Chemical). The total acquisition price was approximately $66 million, all of which was paid or escrowed at the first closing.

"We are pleased to have successfully integrated Epoch into our company over the past 18 months, with the support of Eternal Chemical," said William Noglows, chairman and CEO of Cabot Microelectronics.

"We are delighted that this acquisition has allowed us the opportunity to expand our presence in Taiwan, enhancing our ability to better serve and collaborate with our customers. In our view, this acquisition has also strengthened our copper CMP slurry portfolio and has enabled us to leverage cost savings opportunities across our combined organization."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Intel to acquire Infineon's wireless solutions business

NEUBIBERG, GERMANY & SANTA CLARA, USA: Infineon Technologies AG and Intel Corporation have entered into a definitive agreement to transfer Infineon’s Wireless Solutions (WLS) business to Intel in a cash transaction valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

WLS, a leading provider of cellular platforms to top tier global phone makers, will operate as a standalone business serving its existing customers. WLS will also contribute to Intel’s strategy to make connected computing ubiquitous from smartphones to laptops to embedded computing.

“The global demand for wireless solutions continues to grow at an extraordinary rate,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “The acquisition of Infineon’s WLS business strengthens the second pillar of our computing strategy - Internet connectivity - and enables us to offer a portfolio of products that covers the full range of wireless options from WiFi and 3G to WiMAX and LTE. As more devices compute and connect to the Internet, we are committed to making certain that Intel is well positioned to take advantage of the growth potential in every computing segment, from laptops to handhelds.”

“The sale of WLS is a strategic decision to enhance Infineon’s value. We can now fully concentrate our resources towards strong growth in our core segments Automotive (ATV), Industrial & Multimarket (IMM) and Chip Card & Security (CCS). This creates a great perspective for all Infineon customers, employees and shareholders,” said Peter Bauer, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG.

“We all stand to benefit enormously from this deal. Thanks to the outstanding effort of the employees and the management during the last years, WLS is excellently positioned to grow further with the new owner who is ideally suited for this business.”

The WLS transaction is a strategic decision for Intel and Infineon. WLS complements Intel’s existing assets and enables growth in mobile computing, smartphones and embedded computing. Infineon will benefit from this by stronger addressing three central challenges to modern society – energy efficiency, mobility and security.

Intel’s goal is to expand its mobile and embedded product offerings to support additional customers and market segments, including smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and embedded computing devices.

Through this effort, Intel will pair WLS’ best-in-class cellular technology with its core strengths to enable the delivery of low-power, Intel-based platforms that combine its applications processor with an expanded portfolio of wireless options – bringing together Intel’s leadership in WiFi and WiMAX with WLS’ leadership in 2G and 3G, and a combined path to accelerate 4G LTE.

Intel expects WLS to continue growing, and remaining a standalone business to ensure continuity of existing customer sales, projects and support. The business will continue to support its customers with the best solutions possible, including ARM-based products as well as Intel-based application processor platforms with leading-edge 3G slim modem solutions.

WLS holds leading positions in the field of wireless mobility and cellular platforms for smart phones and ultra-low-cost, entry phones. WLS provides baseband processors, radio-frequency transceivers, power management integrated circuits (ICs), additional connectivity features, single-chip solutions as well as the corresponding system software.

This helps to enable the smooth transmission of voice and high-speed data from the backbone of the telecommunication network to the end user’s device. With annual revenue of Euro 917 million, WLS was approximately 30 percent of Infineon’s total annual revenue of Euro 3.03 billion in the past financial year.

The board of directors of Intel and the supervisory board and the management board of Infineon have approved the transaction. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011, subject to certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions specified in the definitive agreement.

Mistral announces daughter cards for TI evaluation modules (EVMs)

BANGALORE, INDIA: Furthering its initiatives on Texas Instruments’ (TI) platforms, Mistral, a leading product realization company specializing in real-time embedded solutions, has announced daughter cards for TI evaluation modules (EVMs) based on TI’s Sitara AM1x microprocessors (MPUs) and OMAP-L1x application processors for embedded industrial, medical and consumer designs.

TI’s Sitara and OMAP platforms address customer concerns of cost, connectivity, power efficiency and ease of development of applications by providing a platform with robust operating systems support, rich user interfaces and high processing performance.

These processors feature a unique rich peripheral sub-system known as the Programmable Real-time Unit (PRU). The PRU sub-system consists of dual 32-bit RISC processors, specifically designed for manipulation of packed memory mapped data structures and for implementing system features that have tight real-time constraints. It offers flexible and configurable input/output controls, enabling developers to extend peripheral capabilities and add custom interfaces to their designs.

Mistral offers two plug-in daughter cards helping developers leverage the benefits of the PRU features on the AM1x and OMAP-L1x processors:
• The UART daughter card has interfaces for soft UART, hard UART and soft DIR.
• The CAN daughter card provides soft CAN and hard CAN bus interfaces.

Mistral has worked extensively on TI’s leading technology platforms, providing professional services in the areas of custom board design, reference designs, driver development, board support packages and software integration across various technology domains.

“Mistral has been in the forefront of providing a host of well-received offerings on TI platforms,” said Samyeer Metrani, VP, Services (USA), Mistral. “Our two daughter cards for TI’s AM1x and OMAP-L1x lines of processors allow developers to leverage the PRU functionality, thereby helping customers build solutions targeted at the industrial and automotive markets. Mistral will also offer development and customization services to customers planning to build next-generation devices around the Sitara and OMAP platforms.”

“TI is committed to offering resources to help make development easier for our customers’ hardware and software engineers,” said Sean Murphy, marketing manager, Sitara, TI.

“By working with Mistral to develop the daughter cards and software, customers can enjoy benefits including low customer development costs and improved connectivity. The daughter cards enable customers to eliminate the development cycle from the design process by providing the source code for the PRU, enabling the cards to be easily snapped onto the EVMs for extra capabilities, ultimately allowing for a shortened time to market from faster prototyping.”

S2C announces Virtex-6 based 4th generation rapid SoC prototyping solution

SAN JOSE, USA: S2C Inc., a rapid SoC prototyping provider, has released its fourth-generation rapid SoC prototyping tool, V6 TAI Logic Module, based on Xilinx’s 40-nm Virtex field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA).

Each dual V6 TAI logic module comes with two Virtex-6 XC6VLX760 FPGAs, each featuring 759K logic cells. The Dual V6 TAI Logic Module supplies up to 15.2 million ASIC gates of capacity and provides 1,280 external I/O connections. Multiple TAI logic modules can be stacked or mounted on a interconnect motherboard to meet even larger gate count needs.

S2C’s 4th generation logic modules have many significant improvements over the third-generation product. In addition to more than doubling the logic and memory capacity that can fit on single board, the new TAI Logic Module facilitates much higher system prototype performance and reliability through enhanced power management, clock management, cooling mechanisms and noise shielding.

Leadcore Technology Co. Ltd has been using the Virtex 5 based TAI logic modules. Leadcore, a leading TD-SCDMA terminal solutions provider, is the core member of Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Group. Its main customers include ZTE and LG.

Wang Pei, manager of Testing and Technical Support Division at Leadcore said: "We have very successfully been using S2C’s TAI Logic Modules as an integral part of our SoC design flow. We plan on using the new Virtex 6 TAI Logic Module for our next generation products."

The V6 TAI logic modules can run both 2GB of DDR2 and 2GB of DDR3 memory at up to 667bps. S2C offers a large library Prototype Ready IP consisting of pre verified digital IP and of off-the-shelf daughter modules, including H.264, DDR2/3, PCIe, Gigabit Ethernet, SRAM, and DVI, to further accelerate user’s development of rapid FPGA prototypes.

Mon-Ren Chene, chairman and CTO of S2C, said: “Along with the V6 TAI logic module launching, our TAI Player Pro software version 3.3 has been upgraded to fully support the Virtex-6 FPGA, giving designers greater control over the prototype flow process, from multi-FPGA synthesis, partitioning and RTL-level probing to FPGA place-and-route. The latest software now supports incremental probing function utilizing FPGA editor technology, that dramatically saves FPGA re-compile time."

“Once designs are compiled, S2C’s TAI Player software allows users to rapidly download them to the FPGAs, generate programmable clocks, and self-test hardware straightforwardly via a USB2.0 connection. Our goal has always been to allow our customers to focus on designing and verifying their SoC chips rather
than on building or debugging FPGA prototypes.”

V6 TAI Logic Module is now shipping with either Virtex-6 XC6VLX760 or XC6VLX550T FPGAs. The V6 TAI Logic Module can mount either one or two FPGA devices per module. All V6 TAI logic modules adopt a similar form factor to all previous TAI Logic Module generations,, so existing customers can easily upgrade and re-use their current daughter cards or mother boards.

NI VeriStand 2010 scales from high-performance multichassis systems to low-cost, ruggedized apps

INDIA: National Instruments announced the NI VeriStand 2010, which includes enhancements that expand its capabilities for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) and real-time testing by supporting high-performance, multiple chassis PXI systems and low-cost, ruggedized options using NI CompactRIO and NI single-board RIO hardware deployments.

NI VeriStand 2010 also features enhanced connectivity with NI LabVIEW, making it easier for engineers to reuse existing software and further customize their NI VeriStand applications.

“We selected NI VeriStand for our Legacy 500 Iron Bird because of the breadth of functionality the environment provides out of the box, which significantly reduces our development efforts,” said M.A. Pires, testing device development coordinator for Embraer.

NI VeriStand 2010 adds native support for reflective memory interfaces to deterministically share data between real-time PXI systems for high-performance applications such as iron bird aircraft simulators and electronic systems integration test systems.

More specifically, it can automatically create the reflective memory routings between PXI systems, reducing the potential for development errors and helping engineers quickly get their applications up and running. NI VeriStand 2010 also provides system-level abstraction and user interface capabilities to make configuring such systems more efficient.

“While NI VeriStand provides many of the features necessary for our application, the ability to add functionality using LabVIEW and other software environments helps us customize our simulator to exactly meet our future application needs,” said Guilherme Seelander, software integration senior engineer for Embraer.

Additionally, optimizations of the real-time engine have increased execution performance, making it possible to run NI VeriStand 2010 applications on most CompactRIO or NI Single-Board RIO systems for low-cost or rugged applications such as desktop simulators and test cell applications.

The wide range of conditioned I/O interfaces for CompactRIO combined with the flexibility of the NI VeriStand development environment offers commercial off-the-shelf solutions for these applications with the ability to quickly adapt to custom interface needs.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Renesas intros three new power MOSFET products

TOKYO, JAPAN: Renesas Electronics Corp. announced the availability of its new 12th-generation power MOSFETs, the RJK0210DPA, RJK0211DPA and RJK0212DPA, as power semiconductor devices for DC/DC converters used in applications such as general point-of-load, base stations, computer servers and notebook PCs.

The new products are used to control the voltage-conversion circuits of the CPU and the memory. For example, the new power MOSFETs can be used as a step-down circuit for converting the 12-volt (V) voltage supplied by a battery to 1.05 V for use by the CPU.

Further refinements to the manufacturing process allow Renesas Electronics’ new MOSFETs to achieve approximately 40 percent lower FOM (figure of merit; on-state resistance times gate charge; see Note 1) compared to the company’s existing products, which contribute to reduction of the power loss during voltage conversion and thereby enable highly efficient DC/DC converter performance.

As the performance of applications such as servers, notebook PCs and graphics cards increases, their power consumption grows as well. At the same time, the trend toward lower operating voltages for components such as CPUs, graphics processing units (GPUs), memory devices and ASICs results in increased current flow. This creates a need for DC/DC converters capable of handling low voltages and large currents.

In addition, there is strong demand for reduced power loss during voltage conversion and higher efficiency to help conserve energy and reduce environmental impact. Renesas Electronics is addressing these demands by expanding its lineup of low-FOM power MOSFET offerings with its new products that achieve the leading level of performance in the industry today.

With a voltage tolerance (VDSS) of 25 V, the new products achieve maximum current (ID) of 40 amps (A) for the RJK0210DPA MOSFET, 30 A for the RJK0211DPA device, and 25 A for the RJK0212DPA device, and their FOM (typical values at VGS = 4.5 V) are 6.84mΩ∙nC, 7.83 mΩ∙nC and 7.2 mΩ∙nC, respectively, which is an improvement of approximately 40 percent compared to previous-generation Renesas Electronics’ MOSFETs.

In addition, the new products’ gate-drain charge capacitance (Qgd), a key characteristic of control power MOSFETs, is 1.2 nC, 0.9 nC and 0.6 nC, respectively, which also is approximately 40 percent less than Renesas Electronics’ previous-generation power MOSFETs (when measured using the same on-resistance). Lower figures indicate less switching loss, contributing significantly to more efficient DC/DC converter performance and improved energy efficiency.

A DC/DC converter operates by having two power MOSFETs, one for control and the other for synchronous rectification, switching on and off alternately to convert the voltage.

When the new RJK0210DPA MOSFET is used for control and the Renesas Electronics 11th-generation RJK0208DPA device for synchronous rectification, the maximum power conversion efficiency is 90.6 percent at an output current level of 18 A and 86.6 percent at an output current level of 40 A, when converting from 12 V to 1.05 V. (Both figures are based on a switching frequency of 300 kilohertz [kHz] and a two-phase configuration).

These new MOSFETs use the Renesas Electronics WPAK package, which measures 5.1 × 6.1 millimeters (mm) and 0.8 mm (maximum) thickness. The underside of the device has a die pad that allows heat to pass to the printed wiring board while the power MOSFET is operating and enables the power MOSFET to handle large currents.

Renesas Electronics will continue to develop semiconductor products suitable for DC/DC converters of various types, aiming for low loss and high efficiency, in order to contribute to the development of more compact systems that use less energy.

Samples of Renesas Electronics’ new RJK0210DPA, RJK0211DPA and RJK0212DPA power MOSFETs are currently available and are priced at $0.55, $0.46 and $0.38 per unit, respectively.

Mass production is scheduled to begin in December 2010 and is expected to reach approximately 2,000,000 units per month in July 2011. Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.

ST unveils high-performance digital TV SoC with integrated 3DTV and motion-compensation capabilities

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: STMicroelectronics, one of the world's largest semiconductor companies and a leader in chips for set-top boxes and digital TVs, announced a new TV System-on-Chip (SoC) IC offering 3DTV support and advanced 120Hz MEMC (motion estimation, motion compensation).

Designed for next–generation 1080p full-high-definition (FHD) integrated Digital TVs (iDTVs), ST's new FLI7525 SoC enables a new class of mid-range, 3DTV-enabled, 120Hz Internet TVs.

The FLI7525 is the flagship product in ST's new Freeman Premier series of SoCs and is the industry's first TV SoC with integrated 3DTV support and 120Hz MEMC processing. ST implements MEMC with a proprietary technology* that reduces film judder and motion blur to preserve 3D effects with fast motion The FLI7525 is compliant with HDMI v1.4a and its required 3DTV formats. The FLI7525 also includes proprietary 2D to 3D conversion with its proprietary judder reduction technology and depth control for video and on-screen displays.

In addition to offering high-performance H.264/MPEG audio/video decoding and comprehensive integrated features, the FLI7525 SoC delivers an enhanced user experience with full support for broadband-Internet iDTV functionality and expanded graphics capabilities, enabling compelling services and new premium-content business models.

The FLI7525 is pin and software compatible with the FLI7510, which was introduced at CES 2010, and is the culmination of the integration of world-class technologies from ST's industry-leading set-top-box chips and the Emmy Award winning Faroudja video processing technologies.

"The new FLI7525 integrates all of the key technologies required by TV manufacturers for next-generation iDTVs," said Luigi Mantellassi, GM of ST's TV and Monitor Division.

"As Hollywood accelerates the creation of 3D content and consumers embrace it as more enriching entertainment, it becomes vital to offer more affordable 3DTV-capable TVs to fuel the growth of this segment. Offering unprecedented 3DTV-on-a-chip capabilities, the FLI7525 delivers a smooth and seamless 3D experience, regardless of whether the content is originally 2D or 3D."

Also included in the 'Freeman Premier' family is the FLI7515, which is pin and software compatible with the FLI7510 and adds integrated 120Hz MCTi to drive the value 120Hz 2DTV market segment.

The FLI7525 and FLI7515 are now sampling to qualified customers. Pricing is available upon request. The FLI7525 will be demonstrated at ST's private suite at IFA 2010 in Berlin.

Data I/O and TMPL Electronics to demo FlashPAK III networked programming system at Productronica India 2010

REDMOND, USA: Data I/O Corp., the leading provider of manual and automated device programming solutions, announced TMPL Electronics Pvt Ltd will showcase FlashPak III in stall no: 1752, Hall 1 at the upcoming Productronica India from September 6-9, 2010 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Center (BIEC) in Bangalore, India.

The FlashPAK III Networked Programming System is the third generation programming architecture specifically designed to support the latest high-density Flash memory, NAND Flash, Managed NAND Flash, Microcontroller and EEPROM devices at maximum programming speeds and highest quality per device keeping your production processes running at maximum velocity.

Ideal for first article builds and NPI applications, FlashPAK III gives the highest production throughput possible by reading and writing to devices at speeds greater than 10 Mbytes/second.

In addition to FlashPAK III, TMPL will also display Data I/O's desktop programmer
lines including Sprint and Unifamily programmers as well as videos and materials on Data I/O's complete line of automated programming systems with FlashCORE III technology.

"TMPL Electronics has been the authorized representative for Data I/O in India for more than 25 years," said K.S. Jayaram, TMPL sales manager. "We are pleased to offer full service and support for the complete line of manual desktop engineering, gang and automated FlashCORE programmers."

Demand for electronic devices skyrockets -- can semicon manufacturers keep up?

TORONTO, CANADA: The Bedford Report is looking at the Semiconductor - Broad Line Industry, and has issued Analyst Reports on Intel, Maxim Integrated Products, Avago Technologies and NXP Semiconductors.

After a poor start to 2009 prompted companies to reduce investment and cut production capabilities, resurgence in microchip demand in 2010 has left these companies unable to meet all demand for microchips.

Although performance in this industry is expected to be strong, inability to increase production may limit the upside companies see in this market as the microchip manufacturers are already operating at 96 percent of capacity. Even with investment in the semiconductor industry expected to increase by 84 percent this year, any increases in microchip production won't be realized for many months.

In recent weeks, the semiconductor companies have seen less than stellar performance in share price. This has had the effect of raising dividend yields on these stocks up to levels not normally seen. With economic recovery on the horizon, it may be time to start looking at the microchip companies.

SiGe Semiconductor launches second-generation higher efficiency WiMAX power amplifier in small QFN package

ANDOVER, USA: SiGe Semiconductor Inc., a leading supplier of silicon-based radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers (PAs) and front end modules (FEMs), has further expanded its series of power amplifiers with the release of the SE7271T.

A single high-power PA which can cover both 2.3-2.4 GHz and 2.5-2.7 GHz WiMAX bands, the device reduces bill of materials (BoM) count and cost for USB dongles, data cards, mobile Internet devices and WiMAX-enabled handsets.

Sanjiv Shah, marketing director for WiMAX Products at SiGe, said: "Our proven system knowledge and device integration has enabled us to deliver this compact, small footprint PA with unequalled power added efficiency. WiMAX ultimately stands for freedom and mobility. With the SE7271T's low current consumption, we are delivering the battery life that consumers have come to expect in mobile devices."

The new, highly integrated single-die PA is fully matched with a step attenuator, power detector and harmonic filter all in a 3mm x 3mm x 0.6mm Quad Flat No Lead (QFN) package. The integrated impedance match combines with the product's functionality to create a "plug-and-play" solution that both simplifies the design of mobile WiMAX products and improves their manufacturability.

The lower current consumption and higher efficiency of the SE7271T reduce current draw and leads to improved battery life in WiMAX-enabled handsets, mobile Internet devices and laptops. PA current consumption is critical in USB dongles, where the limits on available power supply current typically force reductions in the RF output power of less-efficient PAs, reducing network coverage and data rate.

Shah commented: "Our competitors struggle with delivering to customers the key value points for the evolution of mobile WiMAX products. Competitive products are physically larger or are not compliant with the temperature range required for data cards and USB dongles. And some don't cover the complete 2.5 GHz WiMAX band. Full 2.3-2.7 GHz coverage, increased efficiency at high RF power levels, -40 to +85 degree Celsius operating temperature range, reduced package height -- these are critical performance areas for mobile WiMAX PAs. The SE7271T delivers on all of them."

According to Dell'OroGroup, a leading provider of market information about the networking and telecommunications industries, WiMAX subscribers are expected to rise from 7 million in 2009 to 69 million by 2013.

"Whether using wired or wireless networks, today's consumers expect broadband speed and performance. WiMAX is the next-generation standard for delivering wireless high-bandwidth connectivity in fixed and mobile environments, and our radiofrequency PAs and FEMs deliver the reliability, flexibility, and performance OEMs require and WiMAX consumers demand."

Shah concluded: "The SE7271T provides our customers with an integrated solution for their designs. The reduced design time it supports, with the smallest footprint for its functionality as well as the reduction of the number of components required and cost, all make it a device of choice for USB dongles, data cards, mobile Internet devices and WiMAX-enabled handsets."

The SE7271T comes in a small lead and halogen free, RoHS-compliant, 3mm x 3mm x 0.6mm QFN package.

The SE7271T is priced at US$2.22 in quantities of 10,000 units. It is in production now and is offered with product and evaluation board datasheets and extensive application notes surrounding the use and implementation of the device.

ServerEngines acquired by Emulex

SUNNYVALE, USA: ServerEngines Corp., a privately held, fabless semiconductor company founded in 2004 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, announced that it has completed its acquisition by Emulex Corp.

The ServerEngines acquisition adds the BladeEngine family of 10Gb/s Ethernet ASICs, which provide a best-of-breed performance, and is architected to meet the cost and footprint requirements for LOM applications, to Emulex's product portfolio.

BladeEngine is used in Emulex's award-winning OneConnect Universal Converged Network Adapters (UCNAs), which have been selected by leading server and storage Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), including Cisco, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM and NetApp.

It also adds the ServerEngines' Pilot family of Server Management Controllers, which reside on the motherboard enabling remote IP based "lights out" management capabilities, to Emulex's product portfolio.

As part of the acquisition, Raju Vegesna, CEO and president of ServerEngines, will be joining the Emulex executive team, with an annual salary of $1, as the company's new Chief Strategist, reporting directly to Jim McCluney, president and CEO of Emulex.

"I am very proud of what my ServerEngines' founders and team have accomplished over the last six years. We believe that the addition of ServerEngines' Ethernet technology and Pilot Server Management Controllers to the Emulex family of products will broaden our strategic position as a key infrastructure provider to server and storage OEMs," said Vegesna.

"I look forward to working with Jim and the rest of the team to combine our two companies, which, we believe, will provide significant value for all Emulex stakeholders."

Intel's third-quarter below expectations

SANTA CLARA, USA: Intel Corp. announced that third-quarter revenue will be below the company’s previous outlook. The company now expects third-quarter revenue to be $11.0 billion, plus or minus $200 million, compared to the previous expectation of between $11.2 and $12 billion.

Revenue is being affected by weaker than expected demand for consumer PCs in mature markets. Inventories across the supply chain appear to be in-line with the company’s revised expectations.

The company’s expectation for third-quarter gross margin is now 66 percent, plus or minus a point, lower than the previous expectation of 67 percent, plus or minus a couple of points. The impact of lower volume is being partially offset by slightly higher average selling prices stemming from solid enterprise demand.

Equity Investments, Interest and Other is expected to be $175 million, consistent with the company’s revised expectation reported on Form 8-K filed July 16.

All other expectations for the third quarter remain unchanged. The outlook for the third quarter does not include the effect of any acquisitions, divestitures or similar transactions that may be completed after Aug. 26.

The company will update fourth-quarter and full-year expectations with its third-quarter earnings report on Oct. 12.

Status of business outlook
During the quarter, Intel’s corporate representatives may reiterate the Business Outlook during private meetings with investors, investment analysts, the media and others.

From the close of business on Sep. 3 until publication of the company’s third-quarter earnings release, Intel will observe a “Quiet Period” during which the Business Outlook disclosed in the company’s news releases and filings with the SEC should be considered as historical, speaking as of prior to the Quiet Period only and not subject to an update by the company.

Friday, August 27, 2010

SoCIP road shows to stop at Shenzhen, Chengdu and Xi’an

SHANGHAI, CHINA: SoCIP 2010 Road Show seminars will be making stops at Shenzhen on Sep. 7th, Chengdu on Sep. 8th, and Xi’an on Sep 10th, showcasing the latest SoC design technologies from 2010 SoCIP sponsors: S2C, CAST, Innopower, Chips&Media, Cosmic Circuits, SpingSoft, Tensilica, Innosilicon, IP Goal, IPextreme, Northwest Logic, Renasas and Transwitch.

The Road Show seminars will recap, in shorter time-frame, the SoC design technologies presented at the all-day SoCIP 2010 Symposium held in Shanghai and Beijing in June this year. The SoCIP 2010 Road Show seminars will be hosted at the local National Integrated Circuit Design Industrialization Center (ICC) in each city.

The SoCIP 2010 Road Show seminars are cut down versions of the 3rd annual SoC IP Symposium held in Beijing and Shanghai which attracted over 300 qualified attendees and 14 exhibitors. The Road Show seminars will last about three hours and split into two sessions. The first session focused on the latest IP technologies and the second session focused on SoC Prototyping and Prototype Ready IP technologies.

In the IP technology session, S2C will first introduce all IP technologies of the SoCIP 2010 sponsors, followed by speech given by Justin Yang, China General Manager of Innopower Technology, presenting how Innopower’s proven IP cores can overcome your SoC bottleneck. Innopower Technology is wholly-owned subsidiary of Faraday Technology.

In the SoC Prototyping and Prototype Ready IP technology session, S2C will introduce its 4th generation TAI Logic Modules based on multiple Altera Stratix-4 FPGA devices or Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA devices.

These new TAI Logic Modules enable designers to prototype up to 16.4M ASIC gates on one board. Besides FPGA prototyping hardware, S2C will also demonstrate TAI Player Pro version 3.3 that enables partitioning of a SoC design to multiple FPGAs and debug concurrently.

Finally, S2C will showcase a number of Prototype Ready IP running on S2C TAI Logic Module as reference designs including DDR2 at 667MHz, PCIe, H.264 Encoder and Gigabit Ethernet. Prototype Ready IP can be used by SoC designers to quickly determine which IP to use and dramatically shorten IP integration time into the system.

SoCIP events are organized by S2C Inc., a leading rapid SoC prototyping company, headquartered in San Jose, CA with development and support centers in Shanghai and Beijing. SoCIP mission is to serve the SoC design community by providing technologies and product information that enable precise SoC-first pass success.

Pocket-sized CPR rescue device enabled by Analog Devices' MEMS motion sensing technology

NORWOOD, USA: Analog Devices Inc. announced that ZOLL Medical Corp. has selected ADI’s high performance iMEMS technology to enable its palm-sized CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) device that measures the rate and depth of chest compressions administered by rescuers.

The PocketCPR device uses an ADI digital iMEMS accelerometer to convert the motion of PocketCPR into real-time measurement data to accurately read the rate and depth of CPR chest compressions. This helps rescuers achieve the right amount of force and frequency of chest compressions recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).

PocketCPR coaches a rescuer with audio and visual instructions to initiate the critical rescue steps needed for reviving someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. These steps include checking responsiveness, calling for help, and performing CPR. All steps follow the AHA Chain of Survival.

“By working with engineers at Analog Devices, we were able to turn our vision of developing a small, affordable CPR rescue device into reality,” says Mark Totman, president of Bio-Detek, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ZOLL that developed and manufactures the PocketCPR.

“Many people are reluctant to perform CPR because they are not trained to do so or lack the confidence to perform this life-saving rescue procedure. PocketCPR gives them the assurance they need to perform CPR in an emergency,” continued Totman.

Approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) as an over-the-counter rescue device and affordably priced at $149.00, PocketCPR provides the user with prompts to encourage a compression depth of 1.5 to 2 inches as recommended by the AHA and International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR).

The device instructs the rescuer to “push harder” if the compressions are less than 1.5 inches. If good compressions are delivered, PocketCPR will respond with “good compressions.” A metronome helps the user achieve the proper rate of compression.

“According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, more than 300,000 people in the United States suffer from sudden cardiac arrest each year,” said Patrick O’Doherty, vice president, Healthcare Group, Analog Devices.

“The American Heart Association estimates that for each minute that goes by without the heart being restored to a normal rhythm, the survival rate of an individual experiencing sudden cardiac arrest drops by up to 10 percent. PocketCPR helps save lives by ensuring rescuers administer CPR of how ADI’s products and technologies are enabling revolutionary healthcare designs and shaping future advances in medical equipment.”

ZOLL Medical develops and markets medical devices and software solutions that help advance emergency care and save lives, while increasing clinical and operational efficiencies.

With products for defibrillation and monitoring, circulation and CPR feedback, data management, fluid resuscitation, and therapeutic temperature management, ZOLL provides a comprehensive set of technologies which help clinicians, EMS and fire professionals, and lay rescuers treat victims needing resuscitation and critical care.

Prediction of intrinsic magnetism at silicon surfaces could lead to single-spin magnetoelectronics

WASHINGTON, USA: The integration of single-spin magnetoelectronics into standard silicon technology may soon be possible, if experiments confirm a new theoretical prediction by physicists at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The researchers predict that a family of well-known silicon surfaces, stabilized by small amounts of gold atoms, is intrinsically magnetic despite having no magnetic elements. None of these surfaces has yet been investigated experimentally for magnetism, but the new predictions are already supported indirectly by existing data. The complete findings of the study are published in the August 24, 2010, issue of the journal Nature Communications.

Silicon provides a unique entry point for combining magnetoelectronics based on single spins with standard electronics technology. If a single-spin device can be built on a silicon wafer, input and output electronics can be directly integrated with the magnetic part of the device. This has been an obstacle for current spintronics approaches. For example, spin injection from a metal into silicon is very inefficient unless the metal/semiconductor interface is carefully optimized.

These latest results have the advantage that nature itself guides, by a self-assembly process, the formation of long chains of polarized electron spins with atomically precise structural order. Dr. Steven Erwin, a physicist at NRL and lead theorist on the project, said, “This integration of structural and magnetic order is crucial for future technologies based on single spins at the atomic level.”

The magnetic silicon surfaces naturally form steps which are stabilized by chains of gold atoms. According to the team’s calculations, some of the silicon atoms at the step edges have unpaired electrons that are fully spin polarized and probably magnetically ordered at sufficiently low temperatures.

The atom chains on the Si(553)-Au surface were discovered in the group of co-author Dr. Franz Himpsel at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Several other groups worldwide have been investigating such “one-dimensional” silicon surfaces in recent years. As Himpsel noted: “The idea of creating magnetism in a nonmagnetic material by manipulating its structure has long intrigued scientists. The hope of realizing this idea in silicon has been widely discussed for decades, but so far none of these speculations has held up under scrutiny.”

The work of Erwin and Himpsel suggests several experiments, such as spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy, to test their predictions directly. But there is already indirect experimental evidence to support the possibility of magnetism at silicon surfaces.

Two research groups, at Yonsei University in Korea and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US, have found that Si(553)-Au develops periodic “ripples” with two different periodicities at low temperatures. One ripple occurs along the silicon step edges with three times the normal periodicity, and the other along the gold chains with two times the normal periodicity.

The prediction of Erwin and Himpsel reproduces this pattern perfectly. Moreover, this pattern only emerges when magnetism is allowed in the calculation. When magnetism is “turned off” in the theory, the ripples completely vanish. Thus the observation of threefold and twofold ripples offers indirect – if preliminary – confirmation of magnetism.

Linear chains of spin-polarized atoms provide atomically perfect templates for the ultimate memory and logic, in which a single spin represents a bit. One potential application is a “spin shift register” recently proposed theoretically by Gerald D. Mahan, a theoretical physicist at Pennsylvania State University.

Another application is the storage of information in single magnetic atoms. Erwin and Himpsel’s work also predicts that the magnitude, and even the sign, of the spin coupling can be changed by doping electrons or holes into surface states. The closely related Si(111)-Au surface can be electron-doped by adsorbates (for example, silicon adatoms) on the surface. By varying this adsorbate population one can perform band-structure engineering with extraordinary precision.

The possibility of tuning surface magnetism on Si(553)-Au and its relatives using surface chemistry suggests a fascinating new research direction. This work was supported by the Office of Naval Research and by National Science Foundation awards.

Mentor Graphics collaborates with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to provide easier debugging capability to IC designers

WILSONVILLE, USA: Mentor Graphics Corp. has collaborated with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to create a facility called Graphical Design Rule Manual (GDRM) that helps IC designers rapidly debug layout design rule violations by integrating the Calibre RVE results viewing environment with GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ electronic design rule manuals.

With GDRM, designers using the Calibre RVE tool to correct DRC hotspots can automatically access detailed GLOBALFOUNDRIES textual and graphical reference information about the specific rules generating the violations. By providing instant access to relevant information, the solution allows designers to fix errors more quickly and reduce time to signoff.

“The manufacturing variability issues of advanced process nodes has led to an exponential explosion in the complexity of design rules, resulting in longer physical verification debugging cycles,” said Andy Brotman, vice president of design infrastructure at GLOBALFOUNDRIES.

“To counteract this trend, GLOBALFOUNDRIES is investing in unique capabilities aimed at helping GLOBALFOUNDRIES customers get to market more quickly. Our GDRM effort with Mentor is a good example of how our collaboration with ecosystem partners addresses specific bottlenecks and improves the overall design-to-silicon flow.”

“To make it easier for the industry to take advantage of advanced processes such as those being offered by GLOBALFOUNDRIES, we’re striving to make all facets of design enablement more seamless and productive,” said Michael Buehler-Garcia, director of marketing for Calibre design-side products at Mentor Graphics. “Cooperation to make DRC debug a faster and simpler process for custom designers is just one example of Mentor’s and GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ commitment to providing real-world solutions to the foundry ecosystem.”

The Calibre RVE integration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ GDRM is being shown in the Mentor booth at the Global Technology Conference on September 1 in Santa Clara, California.

MathWorks announces xPC Target Turnkey

BANGALORE, INDIA: MathWorks has announced the availability of xPC Target Turnkey, a fully assembled, real-time testing solution for rapid control prototyping and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation using Simulink. xPC Target Turnkey combines xPC Target from MathWorks with real-time target machines and I/O modules provided by Speedgoat GmbH to form a complete real-time testing solution.

Configuring a real-time test system involves the time-consuming and resource-intensive process of evaluating software platforms, hardware technologies and options, and project requirements.

xPC Target Turnkey is optimized for Simulink and xPC Target, enabling engineers to use a customized Speedgoat target machine to interactively design, prototype, and test Simulink models in real time with hardware. Each real-time target machine is assembled based on the project specific performance, I/O connectivity, and environmental requirements.

“In our experience, this combination of Simulink tools and a Speedgoat real-time target machine promotes rapid design iteration and significantly reduced the time we spent on controls concept development, machine testing, and data analysis,” said Corey Quinnell, systems engineer at INCOVA Technologies, a manufacturer of hydraulic controls and subsidiary of HUSCO International.

“Our task was to design and implement an intelligent valve control system for large hydraulic machinery and, with the xPC Target Turnkey solution, we were able to drop our development time by 50 percent and complete design modifications in an hour.”

“Engineers need the capability to test their designs with hardware,” said Michael Vetsch, CEO at Speedgoat GmbH. “A high-performance real-time testing environment that connects Simulink and Stateflow models to physical systems is a powerful technique to execute those tests, and verify that the design works as intended. We are excited to partner with MathWorks, offering our fully assembled, real-time target machines to meet varying levels of performance and environmental requirements.”

“Engineers today must anticipate real-world scenarios, test against a growing list of requirements, and quickly incorporate changes to reduce overall development time and costs. Key to this is the ability to work with an integrated real-time testing environment,” said Brett Murphy, technical marketing manager for verification, validation, and test, MathWorks. “xPC Target Turnkey allows engineers to focus on their design goals instead of hardware specifications and offers wide-ranging connectivity and performance in a turnkey solution that spans both hardware and software.”