Sunday, January 31, 2010

NEC intros twelve new 16-bit MCUs with USB 2.0

KAWASAKI, JAPAN; DUESSELDORF, GERMANY & SANTA CLARA, USA: NEC Electronics announced the availability of twelve new 16-bit all Flash microcontrollers (MCUs) with built-in USB 2.0 functionality and industry-leading low-power consumption.

The new offering includes six 48-pin MCUs (78K0R/KC3-L) and six 64-pin MCUs (78K0R/KE3-L) with flash memory options ranging from 64 kilobytes (KB) to 128 KB.

USB 2.0 is an interface standard initially used in PCs and peripherals. With its high-speed transfer mode and connectivity, USB 2.0 is now widely used in consumer electronics devices such as digital audio/video equipment and healthcare products, as well as factory automation equipment.

Many of these applications require systems that are battery-driven, such as portable audio players and blood glucose meters. System designers of these products are concerned about power consumption and battery life.

To address these concerns, NEC Electronics implemented USB functionality on its industry-leading low-power 78K0R/Kx3-L family of MCUs to maximize product and battery life and minimize power consumption.

Samples of the new MCUs are currently available with mass production scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2010. Suggested distribution resale pricing for 10,000-unit quantities ranges from $3.40 to $4.55, depending on memory size, package and peripherals.

Actions Semiconductor intros new Series 25 products

ZHUHAI, CHINA: Actions Semiconductor Co. Ltd, one of China's leading fabless semiconductor companies that provides comprehensive mixed-signal SoC and multimedia digital signal processing (DSP) solutions for portable consumer electronics, has introduced its new Series 25 product family, which has succeeded in sampling with selective customers and is currently moving into mass production.

Actions' Series 25 product family serves the D1 (720 * 576 pixels) video MP4 markets plus DV camera functions. The Series 25 features a dual core processor by integrating a 32 bit MCU for video codec and a 24 bit DSP for audio codec.

With advanced designs in Sigma-delta DAC/ADC, analog circuit, PLL and video accelerator, our Series 25 product family supports a wide breadth of formats, including VC-1, MPEG4, H.264, RMVB, MJPEG, H.263, FLV video decoder up to D1 resolution 30fps, MPEG4 video encoder up to VGA 30fps, WMA, and MP3 Audio Decoder/Encoder as well.

This product family features high-speed processing with low power- consumption, supports 24 bit ECC function, 34 nanometer NAND flash, as well as mainstream flash cards, and applies to different external power supplies and power controls. Its LCD driver can support both CPU and RGB TFT panel formats as well as WQVGA resolutions, which makes the Series 25 a highly competitive solution suitable for a variety of end products.

"We are very pleased to see continued momentum with our new product introductions," stated Niccolo Chen, CEO of Actions Semiconductor. "Our expanded product portfolio and commitment to continued innovation are integral components of our long term growth strategy."

Strasbaugh books $1.3 million semiconductor industry equipment order

SAN LUIS OBISPO, USA: Strasbaugh announced today that it received a $1.3 million equipment order last week from a manufacturer in the semiconductor industry.

"This is a repeat order from an existing customer to expand production capacity. It's very encouraging that customers are ramping up production in response to growing demands," said Mike Kirkpatrick, VP of Sales, Strasbaugh.

Strasbaugh's CMP, wafer polishing, and grinding systems offer industry leading process technologies, resulting in better process performance and higher yields for device and wafer manufacturers.

Strasbaugh has 60 years of leadership in design and manufacturing of advanced surfacing technology for the global semiconductor, silicon, data storage, MEMS, LED, telecom and optics industries.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cadence software validated on STARC QA database

SAN JOSE, USA: Cadence Design Systems Inc. and Semiconductor Technology and Academic Research Center (STARC), the Japan semiconductor industry consortium, have revealed an ongoing collaboration to leverage STARC’s regression suites to ensure the high quality of electronic design automation (EDA) software for advanced chip design.

The regression suites and validation flow were developed by STARC and its member companies to qualify EDA software for use by consortium members.

Already facing tremendous pressure to create new, extremely complex semiconductor designs under tight deadline, today’s design engineers demand the highest possible level of confidence in their design software. As part of its mission to assist member companies in evaluating and building their design flows, STARC has developed the validation methodology to test new design software before its members embark on advanced projects.

“One of our most important missions is to help our members ensure the quality and accuracy of their chip design software,” said Nobuyuki Nishiguchi, vice president and general manager, Development Department 1 at STARC. “This methodology allows us to accomplish our mission using tests developed by STARC and the members themselves, thereby ensuring the maximum fit with their requirements.”

Using common test suites developed and consolidated by STARC, the methodology includes regression tests for large designs to quickly identify differences between new versions of tools. Test results are stored in STARC’s quality assurance database (QA database) and reports are sent to STARC member companies. This process helps designers to quickly build quality flows that are appropriate to their needs.

The system currently covers Cadence Conformal Constraint Designer and Encounter Timing System, Encounter Digital Implementation System’s Statistical Static Timing Analysis (SSTA) and Encounter RTL Compiler.

“Mission critical software quality continues to be our number one priority. We're pleased to work with STARC on the software validation flow with real customer designs,” said Dr. Chi-Ping Hsu, senior vice president of research and development in the Implementation Group at Cadence. “This collaboration uniquely positions Cadence as the industry leader in quality focus, and ensures that validation and test results are meeting designers’ requirements.”

TriQuint copper flip technology powers world's most popular devices

HILLSBORO, USA: TriQuint Semiconductor Inc., a leading RF front-end product manufacturer and foundry services provider, highlighted the success of CuFlip, its patented flip chip interconnect technology, noting shipments of 100 million units.

CuFlip (pronounced Copper Flip) enables superior RF performance and design flexibility, and speeds manufacturing and assembly. TriQuint’s highest volume CuFlip product, the TQM7M5012, a HADRON II PA Module, utilizes this technology to power a variety of the world’s most popular consumer devices.

Evidence of the TQM7M5012 design flexibility can be seen in the vast array of products it supports. More than 30 customers have chosen it for everything from data cards, netbooks and e-readers, to Machine–to-Machine devices and many of the industry’s most popular 3G smartphones. Specifically, the TQM7M5012 is used by:
* Four of the top five mobile phone OEMs;
* Three of the world'’s top data card suppliers;
* Three of the top five smartphone manufacturers; and
* The world'’s most popular wireless reading device.

The TQM7M5012 is a 5x5mm HADRON II Polar EDGE PAM, which is 50 percent smaller than previous generations. This highly integrated module includes a power amplifier designed for GSM/EDGE wireless handsets and data devices in GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz bands. It supports both class 12 GPRS mode and E2 open loop polar EDGE mode, while delivering best-in-class current consumption and noise performance in the critical GMSK mode. This significantly improves handset battery life and thermal efficiencies.

The TQM7M5012 design flexibility is enabled in part by CuFlip, TriQuint’s unique interconnect technique. CuFlip employs uniform copper bumps to enhance product performance, reliability, and manufacturing scalability.

Unlike wire bonds, copper bumps enhance the thermal and electrical conductivity, allowing a more direct signal and better thermal path to the device without traveling through the epoxy and back-side gold-plated vias. Additionally, CuFlip can enable very low z height, offering a smaller overall footprint and lower height than competitive offerings to support ultra slim device designs.

CuFlip’s innate ability to mimic the streamlined assembly process of a standard surface-mount technology (SMT) component helps reduce cycle time and increase assembly line throughput. The uniformity of the copper pillars ensures precise manufacturing tolerance essential for higher parametric yields and optimal capacity utilization.

Stuart Laval, Product Marketing Manager for TriQuint Semiconductor, said: “CuFlip technology is a strategic differentiator for TriQuint. CuFlip enables superior RF performance and design flexibility. The CuFlip technique speeds manufacturing and assembly of the products, enabling cost savings we are able to pass on to our customers.”

TriQuint utilizes CuFlip in several forthcoming product lines including the QUANTUM Tx Module family for Dual-Band and Quad-Band, GSM/GPRS (2G) and GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2.5G) applications and the TRITON PA Module family for WCDMA/HSUPA applications. Both families of products are aligned with industry leading transceiver chipset vendors.

Agnisys announces support for OVM Register Package in IDesignSpec

LOWELL, USA: Agnisys Inc., the leading provider of innovative automation tools for design and verification of high-end IP and SoCs, announced the immediate availability of IDesignSpec with support for the OVM Register Package. This comes close on the heels of the news on the OVM Register Package 1.0 from Mentor Graphics.

With IDesignSpec, users can describe the entire register map right in their document. This “live” document automatically generates classes and structures compliant with OVM Register Package. Other outputs such as RTL, C/C++ headers, IP-XACT etc. are also possible. Customized outputs can be generated using either Tcl API or XSLT. Running in either interactive or batch mode, users can transform existing IP-XACT (1.4 or 1.5) files into OVM register classes.

Anupam Bakshi, CEO at Agnisys, said: “Our patent-pending approach removes the drudgery from the engineers’ life! Engineers don’t need to spend countless hours chasing register bits through the design, verification and validation process. Instead, they describe the register map once and for all, in a document, and that is considered “golden”. All files required by downstream processes are generated from that single source. This improves the engineers’ productivity and quality of results. IDesignSpec provides the most thorough and complete set of functionality in register management space.”

"We are pleased that Agnisys has made available the first automatic generation of OVM 1.0 register package validated to run on the Questa functional verification platform," said Dennis Brophy, director of strategic business development, Mentor Graphics. "As a highly active member of the Mentor Questa Vanguard Partnership program, Agnisys works with us to improve design and verification productivity."

IDesignSpec is available for Microsoft Word, Sun StarOffice, and Adobe FrameMaker*.

Unique customer engagement model
Agnisys has a unique engagement model, in that its support team helps the customer bring their existing register specs into IDesignSpec. It creates Tcl or XSLT scripts to create the exact output that works in the customer’s existing flow.

Without spending much time customers are able to evaluate the tool and the improved work flow. Customers are not locked into the Agnisys file format since the files are stored in the native document editor, under complete control of the user.

A variety of licensing models are available including node locked, floating, site and subscription.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Global DRAM revenue increases 42 percent in 4Q09

TAIWAN: According to DRAMeXchange, 4Q09 revenue has grown 42 percent due to the hiking DRAM average price and output enhancement, which has shown another progress after 40 percent revenue growth 3Q09.

With the Windows 7 launch in end of Oct. and recovering macro-economy, demand in 4Q09 has outperformed our expectation. DDR2 still remained its mainstream memory standard in 4Q09 that demand is much stronger than DDR3 since demand for middle/entry level models looks good. That is, DDR2 shortage happened in 4Q09 and resulted in the up climbing DDR2 contract price in Oct. and Nov., as well as stable pricing level in Dec. Based on DRAMeXchange check, the DDR2 average contract price has sharply rose 61 percent in 4Q09 while spot price also climbed 68 percent.

Despite less shortage impact for DDR3, the DDR3 contract price rose along with the DDR2 that the DDR3 contract price increased 40 percent and 30 percent for spot price. Regarding to output capacity, 4Q09 DRAM supply bit growth rate is up 20 percent given the continuous technology migration and pulling-up utilization rate from Taiwanese vendors.

Given the boosting DRAM price and output, DRAM vendors recorded the satisfactory revenue growth in 4Q09. PSC has largely outperformed market average by showing 111.6 percent revenue growth, followed by Elpida with 63.9 percent revenue growth.

According to DRAMeXchange, 4Q09 revenue has grown 42 percent QoQ to $8,682 million due to the hiking DRAM price and hot PC sales. Despite 8” fabs phase out, Samsung, the market leader, recorded $2,750 million quarterly revenue with 26.5 percent QoQ given the technology migration 50 nm from 40nm, 18 percent QoQ bit growth and upward DRAM pricing trend. Its leading market share has slightly declined from 3.9 percent to 31.7 percent due to the below-average revenue grwoth.

In 4Q09, Hynix's DRAM sales rose 42 percent to $ 1,871 million given the 26 percent average price growth, 12 percent quarterly bit growth. Currently Hynix ranks as 2nd place.

Elpida recorded 4Q09 revenue in $1,680 million with 63.9 percent QoQ benefited from 30 percent upward DRAM quarterly average price and 30 percent bit growth. Elpida has strengthened its 3rd market leading position. For the different accounting period (4Q for Micron is Sep., Oct. and Nov.) it applied, contract price rose 21 percent compared with last periods (Jun., Jul. and Aug.).

Benefited from the price and 25 percent QoQ shipment enhancement in this quarter, Micron recorded $1,057 million quarterly revenue with 50 percent QoQ revenue growth. Micron grabbed 4th place in the ranking.

As for Taiwanese vendors, Nanya ranks 5th post along with $496 million DRAM revenue and 48.7 percent QoQ given the upward pricing trend in average quarterly price (44 percent) and 2 percent quarterly shipment growth.

Benefited from the boosting 68 percent DDR2 spot price and 45 percent supply growth rate, PSC shows the amazing 111.6 percent revenue growth in 4Q09 and market share has increased 1.5 percent to 4.7 percent. PSC has shortened the market share gap with Nanya in 4Q09. Winbond announced its 4Q09 DRAM revenue in $166 million with 13.5 percent QoQ revenue while recording 1.9 percent market share. Benefited from the increasing utilization rate to 50 percent from 21 percent in 3Q09, ProMOS recorded 27.9 percent QoQ revenue growth.

The Korean vendor’s share has declined 4.2 percent to 53.8 percent in 4Q09 since other vendors indicate higher revenue growth. Japanese vendors’ share has increased 2.6 percent to 19.6 percent. Benefited from the sales boosting (111.6 percent) of PSC, Taiwanese vendors shares has increased 1 percent to 14.3 percent. American vendors share increased 0.6 percent to 12.3 percent.Note 1:
4Q09 Samsung revenue figure is derived from the 4Q09 consolidated financial reports.

Note 2: Fig. 1: For Samsung 4Q09 DRAM revenue, we approximately derived the resulted by deducting LSI revenue from semiconductor (8.02 trillion KRW) based on the assumption that DRAM revenue accounts for 40 percent in memory sectors and 4Q09 average exchange rate is $1 against KRW $1,166.7.

We apply this estimation to other vendors by indicating 78 percent for Hynix total revenue, 60.8 percent for Micron, 87 percent for PSC, 83 percent for ProMOS, 96 percent for Nanya and 82 percent for Winbond under the following exchange rate: US$1 against NT$32.28, US$1 against JPY$89.9.

ST demos commitment to quality; achieves ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/TS 16949:2009 certification renewals

INDIA: STMicroelectronics announced that it had received ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/TS 16949:2009 certification renewals within weeks of each other, affirming its adherence to the internationally recognized standards of quality management. The certification process for ISO 9001 and ISO/TS16949 involved 26 ST sites that were audited over a period of seven months.

ISO 9001 certification is an important measure of management and operational controls, as it evaluates organizations according to the same rigorous standards employed by the most highly respected manufacturing companies in the world. ISO/TS 16949 complements ISO 9001 with the specific technical requirements from the automotive industry.

ST employs an effective quality management system based on these standards to improve operational efficiency and productivity and to provide better quality products, in order to enhance customer satisfaction. ST earned its first company-wide ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 certifications in 2003, and has successfully renewed them on schedule every three years since.

“This is an excellent achievement that all ST employees can take pride in earning,” said Georges Auguste, Executive Vice President and Director of Quality, Education and Sustainable Development. “Certification demands commitment and hard work from ST’s people around the world and is a testimony to ST’s dedication to quality and customer satisfaction.”

Auguste continued, “At the same time, it is important to note that we are committed to constantly improving our global competitive position and this will only be possible if we are able to systematically achieve quality excellence for our customers.“

The ISO 9001 standard was revised in 2008 to incorporate improvements gained from experience, to focus on organizational compliance and to align the certification with the approach of other ISO specifications, such as ISO 14001. Similarly, the ISO/TS 16949 technical specification was revised in 2009 to mirror the changes in ISO 9001 and to emphasize conformity to product requirements. ST was audited and certified to the new requirements. Certification was granted by auditors from the CISQ/SINCERT international certification agency.

“Adopting ISO 9001 and ISO/TS demonstrates our systematic process-based approach to continuous improvement, and the immense job done to document our processes and implement them consistently and efficiently,” said Marie-Hélène Sibille, Corporate Quality Vice President. “The renewal of our ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 certifications confirms and demonstrates the commitment of ST people at all levels to improve quality and build customer satisfaction.”

TSMC maintains top spot among foundries

SCOTTSDALE, USA: IC Insights' ranking of the leading IC foundries for 2009 is presented in Fig. 1. The list includes both pure-play and IDM foundries. Among the top 17 foundry companies listed for 2009, 11 are based in the Asia-Pacific region, four are based in the US, and two are headquartered in Europe.In 2009, TSMC topped the list of foundries with $9 billion in sales. TSMC's sales were about 3X that of UMC, which in turn had more than the combined foundry sales of Chartered and SMIC in 2009.

GlobalFoundries, the new foundry formed by spinning off AMD's wafer fabs, "officially" started operations in March 2009. In 10 months of operation, it generated $1.1 billion in sales making it the fourth-largest foundry in 2009. There were only four IDM foundries on the list. IBM, the largest IDM foundry in the world, had only about 4percent of the 2009 foundry sales volume of industry leader TSMC.

Overall, the foundry business declined 10 percent in 2009, the same percentage as the overall IC industry. But IC Insights forecasts the 2010 foundry market to jump 24 percent to $26.8 billion. Between 2009 and 2014, the foundry market is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 13 percent, reaching $40.6 billion in 2014.

IC Insights believes the foundry business is still in the midst of its consolidation phase. Tower acquired Jazz in 2008 and the combined sales propelled Tower to the 12th largest foundry in the world in 2009 (and the only foundry to post an increase in sales).

In April of 2009, UMC stated that it intended to acquire Chinese foundry He Jian by purchasing the remaining 85percent of the foundry that it did not already own for approximately $285 million. However, it was reported in mid-August of 2009 that the deal was in jeopardy because of Taiwanese government restrictions on the number of fabs that Taiwanese companies could operate in China. And, AMD spin-off GlobalFoundries acquired Chartered in 4Q09.

Together, GlobalFoundries and Chartered's sales would have amounted to over $2.6 billion in 2009, enough to put the combined company's sales only 8 percent behind second-ranked UMC. Overall, IC Insights expects more mergers and acquisitions in the foundry business over the next few years with some of the Chinese foundries being some of the more likely candidates.

Among pure-play foundry players, the "Big 4" (TSMC, UMC, Chartered, and SMIC) have dominated sales over the past seven years. In 2009, GlobalFoundries was included as a major player and the "Big 4" became the "Big 5."

However, since Chartered was purchased by GlobalFoundries in 4Q09, and will be incorporated into GlobalFoundries sales in 2010 and beyond, the pure-play foundry industry will revert back to describing the major players as the "Big 4" (TSMC, UMC, SMIC, and GlobalFoundries) once again.

In 2009, the "Big 5" companies held an imposing 82 percent share of the total worldwide pure-play IC foundry market. Moreover, IC Insights believes that the top pure-play foundry companies will continue to gain marketshare over the next five years.

Source: IC Insights

What experts are really saying about semiconductor equipment market for 2010!

Contributed by The Information Network, courtesy, Dr. Robert N. Castellano.

NEW TRIPOLI, USA: The real key to understanding the equipment market came from Steve Newberry CEO and President of Lam Research recently in their Earnings Call, which I’ve quoted a bit further down this note.

As I’ve pointed out recently in other Insight Notes, within the past month many “experts” have jumped on the bandwagon announcing extraordinary gains to be made in the semiconductor equipment market in 2010.

In recent weeks, trade group SEMI (funny, I thought they did Semicons and standards) and market research firm Gartner/Dataquest have issued forecasts calling for the chip equipment market to grow in excess of 50 percent in 2010, following a decrease of nearly 50 percent in 2009. Then iSuppli Corp piped in, calling for 46 percent growth (funny, I didn’t even know they had a semiconductor equipment group).

After being in the business analyzing the semiconductor equipment market since 1983, I tend to overlook certain statements. But I value statements made by respected executives in leading equipment companies, because after all, they are supposed to eat, sleep, and drink their business while keeping their ears to the ground and their fingers to the pulse. How else would they justify their salaries and stock options?

Below are Steve Newberry quotes:
“As we look to the broader industry trends for 2010, we expect the recent strength in customer demand for new systems to continue, at least in respect to the first half of the year. We estimate that in 2009, there was wafer fabrication equipment spending of approximately $13 billion, and we expect at this moment in time that the market for equipment purchases in 2010 will be somewhere in the range of $20 billion to $22 billion, likely up 55 percent to 70 percent over 2009.”

OK, those numbers jive with the number above, so maybe that’s where he got them from. But the real guts and glory come from the statement a little further in the Call:

“Okay. Well, no disrespect intended, but what I would say, whenever I talk about what is going to happen, it's not what is going to happen, it's always predicated with based on what the customers are telling us today, based on what they are planning in terms of orders and shipments, this is what it looks like.

"And clearly, with the lead times as short as they are, I wouldn't believe anything anybody says because nobody knows. All you're really getting from me or from anybody else is what the current snapshot in time is, in terms of what the customers are saying they want to do, and what they're currently doing in this quarter.

"And so relative to what's actually going to happen in the second half of 2010, I don't know. I just know that if you take the current level of our shipment output on a systems basis, if we continue to ship at that rate, then the industry would have to spend about $28 billion in wafer fab equipment. And I think that that's less likely to be what they do. And so, therefore, when I look at what they're telling me they're planning on doing, they're telling me they're planning on taking less shipments in the second half than they are planning to take in the first half. Whether that's actually how it plays out, I don't know.”

WOW. An industry expert, CEO and President of a leading equipment company, and he doesn’t know! And his statement (I underlined [italicized here] it), I wouldn't believe anything anybody says because nobody knows is the master stroke that sums up the industry.

So, if he doesn’t know, why are you and companies like yours paying Dataquest/Gartner, iSuppli, and SEMI, big bucks for crap advice that even Newberry, an extremely respected leader in the equipment community can’t substantiate!

Are they smarter than Newberry and his co-executives at one of the best run companies in the industry? I doubt it. Did you know that Gartner had revenues of $1.3 billion in its fiscal year ending December 2008 while Lam Research had revenues of $1.1 billion in its fiscal year ending June 2009! LESS!

As I’ve said before, our leading indicators don’t support 50 percent growth. With no fabs built, $28 billion is a lot of money for 50 percent technology purchases. And with the economy still waiting for the other shoe to drop, high investments and capex is ill advised.

Take a look at Qualcomm and Motorola, with their forecasts for growth in the cell phone sector. I bet they don’t believe the forecast either.

Source: The Information Network

TriQuint dominates WiFi for smartphone market

HILLSBORO, USA: TriQuint Semiconductor Inc., a leading RF product manufacturer and foundry services provider, announced it is the market leader powering more WLAN solutions than any other company in today’s smartphones.

TriQuint’s gallium arsenide (GaAs) based WLAN solutions offer faster data exchange rates, extended battery life, and better amplification of weak signals than competitive technology.

802.11 a, b, g, n WiFi is now commonplace in feature phones and smartphones. Bluetooth® often shares a common antenna with the WiFi radio, therefore TriQuint’s 802.11 PAs and LNAs include an antenna switch with a Bluetooth pass through-path. To create its WiFi product portfolio for handsets, wireless data and personal media devices, TriQuint leverages its rich in-house technology assets: E/D pHEMT, TQBiHEMT and Copper Bump (CuFlip) interconnect technique.

Additionally, TriQuint’s industry leading foundry technology provides the RF components used in the leading WLAN semiconductor company’s reference design. Between sales of TriQuint’s standard products and foundry technology, TriQuint estimates its technology powers more WLAN solutions than any other company for today’s smartphones.

“TriQuint has gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years in the cellular handset front-end and PA space, providing its customers with leading edge solutions based on a broad portfolio of technologies,” noted Asif Anwar at Strategy Analytics.

“TriQuint has successfully brought these same attributes to the Wi-Fi space, building on the continued growing momentum in smartphones, where Wi-Fi is pretty much a standard feature now, and is well positioned to take advantage of the increasing penetration of Wi-Fi in feature phones as well.”

TriQuint’s portfolio of innovative technologies, along with its GaAs expertise, enable TriQuint and its foundry customers to create highly integrated products in the most compact designs while meeting stringent operating temperature and voltage requirements.

TriQuint will continue to grow its portfolio of wireless broadband solutions for mobile devices. Currently, it offers a range of PAs, LNAs, Switches and combination LNA/Antenna Switch products for manufacturers of mobile devices. TriQuint will soon release a Dual-Band Front-End Module, which integrates a PA, LNA and antenna switch.

Dongbu HiTek to manufacture LF receiver ICs for Micro Analog Systems

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Dongbu HiTek will manufacture a Low Frequency (LF) receiver ICs for Micro Analog Systems Oy (MAS), a fabless analog semiconductor company based in Espoo, Finland.

Serving as a core component in global radio controlled time-signal application, the LF receiver chips will be manufactured at Dongbu HiTek’s world class wafer fab using a specialized BCDMOS process at the 0.35-micron node.

According to Dongbu HiTek, the LF receiver chip destined for MAS has been designed to enable accurate real-time capture of radio transmissions from time signal stations around the world. Significantly the LF receiver chip captures time calibration data via low frequency (long wave) transmissions regardless of the location of the transmitter or receiver. As a result, LF communications overcomes limitations associated with use of high frequency (short wave) techniques.

“Our sales momentum continues to build across US, Japan, and Europe thanks to our sharpened focus on developing and manufacturing best-in-class analog and mixed-signal chips,” said Jae Song, VP of Dongbu HiTek’s Analog Foundry Business Unit.

“Adding MAS to our expanding customer roster demonstrates our strengthening competitiveness in the high-performance analog sector, fueled by our commitment to add high customer value while improving our gross margin.”

Dongbu HiTek has been distinguishing itself as a global analog and mixed-signal technology leader since June 2008 when it launched the world’s first BCDMOS process at the 0.18 micron level node.

This year, the company plans to introduce mid-voltage (less than 20V) BCDMOS chips for cell-phones as well as ultra-high voltage (more than 200V) BCDMOS for industrial applications. The company aims to further distinguish its brand of BCDMOS via the integration of high-performance analog functions.

QuickLogic CSSPs shipping in Option Wireless’ 14.4Mbps 3G USB modems with MicroSD support

SUNNYVALE, USA: QuickLogic Corp., a leader in lowest power programmable solutions, announced that its Customer Specific Standard Products (CSSPs) are being adopted by Option Wireless in a line of 3G Cat9 (10.1 Mbps) and Cat10 (14.4 Mbps) HSDPA USB modems for wireless communications over cellular networks.

Option is a global leader in wireless technology, focused on the design, development and manufacture of innovative solutions that provide businesses and consumers with high-quality wireless broadband access to the Internet, anywhere, anytime.

Option's latest iCON505M series of 3G USB modems offer the ability to add up to 32 GB of micro SD memory to the modem to facilitate the sharing of downloaded content with Smartphones, Smartbooks, Netbooks, multimedia players and other consumer electronic devices, simplify the exchange of files between different PCs, or the transfer of images between digital cameras and a PC.

Consumers are demanding these transfers be done in less time - a task that is becoming increasingly difficult with the large multimedia files being transferred or shared today. Option has adopted a QuickLogic® CSSP that addresses this unique consumer use case.

In industry standard performance benchmark tests, the Option iCON505M modem with the QuickLogic CSSP achieved 16 MB/s read performance and 7.4 MB/s write performance when transferring files between a Notebook PC and a microSD memory card in the modem. A competitor's similar product without the QuickLogic CSSP was measured at less than 1 MB/s for both read and write performance.

“We are thrilled to hear the results of the QuickLogic benchmark test,” said Martin Croome, Option’s vice president of marketing. “This confirms Option’s strategy to use quality solutions, such as QuickLogic’s CSSPs, to deliver high performance 3G USB Modems. This is particularly important in view of Option’s strong strategic orientation toward value-added services and applications, such as uCAN Move. The uCAN Move application allows professionals and consumers to access their applications, content and personal internet connection with one click from any PC.”

“The CSSP design approach allows customers, such as Option, to deliver high performance 3G USB modems with innovative applications such as uCAN Move giving customers a great user experience as they quickly access their applications and exchange files beyond what can be achieved by using only standard products,” said Andrew J. Pease, QuickLogic’s president.

“As with all of our CSSP engagements, the QuickLogic and Option engineering teams worked collaboratively during the architecture and development process to ensure best-in-class performance for their Cat9 and Cat10 USB modems.”

NEC intros super-resolution ASSP with LVDS interface for digital TVs and PC monitors

KAWASAKI, JAPAN; DUESSELDORF, GERMANY & SANTA CLARA, USA: NEC Electronics has announced its new super-resolution application-specific standard product (ASSP), the µPD9281GC.

The ASSP addresses the dramatic divergence between yesterday’s image resolution and the high resolution of today’s audio-visual (AV) display systems, and supports the low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) interface, a technology extensively adopted in broad ranges of flat panel displays, projectors for digital TVs (DTVs) and PC monitors.

For recent models of flat panel displays and projectors, higher screen resolution is essential to the specification of products with premium display quality. However, the rapid development of today's high-performance digital audio/visual (AV) devices has left consumers with the challenge of how to view low-resolution images on their new high-definition (HD) electronic products.

For example, 1920 x 1080-pixel HD TVs have six times the resolution compared to the 720 x 480-pixel standard-definition (SD) image data, which results in blurred images. Although many image-enhancement technologies have been developed to process low-resolution image data into full HD images, designers, using traditional solutions, require large-capacity external memory devices and high-performance computational engines, as well as facing other challenges, to achieve real-time processing for vivid moving images.

To solve these problems, NEC Electronics and NEC Central Research Laboratories jointly developed a new technology that enables very high-resolution processing with just one frame of image data. NEC Electronics has been releasing super-resolution ASSPs based on this new technology since November 2008.

The company has named its super-resolution ASSP lineup the “NeoClearResolution (Bikaizo)” and now offers the new µPD9281GC NeoClearResolution ASSP with LVDS interface.

Renesas to release SH74552 and SH74562 MCUs with on-chip flash memory and compact package

SAN JOSE, USA: Renesas Technology America Inc. has announced the SH74552 and SH74562 32-bit MCUs for advanced driver assistance system applications, which are needed in automobile “active safety” systems for obstacle detection, risk avoidance, etc.

The SH74552 and SH74562 MCUs feature a compact 13 mm × 13 mm package, 160 MHz high-speed operation, 1 MB of high-speed on-chip flash memory, and on-chip functions such as 4-channel CAN. Sample shipments will begin in May, 2010, in Japan.

The specifications of the SH74552 and SH74562 have been carefully selected for systems intended for popularly priced vehicles. By integrating in a compact package the capability for high-speed and fine-grained processing of large amounts of data from sensors, they make it possible to build systems that are more compact and lower in cost. In addition, the SH74552 is equipped with a 2-channel FlexRay controller.

Renesas Technology’s SH7450 Series MCUs for advanced driver assistance applications combine on-chip flash memory and high-speed operation. Sample shipments of products with a high operating frequency of 240 MHz have already begun to manufacturers of luxury cars.

In recent years, in response to rising market consciousness about safety, demand has grown for advanced driver assistance systems suitable not only for high-end vehicles, but for popularly priced vehicles such as eco-friendly cars and compact cars as well. The new SH74552 and SH74562 retain the high performance and special characteristics of the earlier products in the SH7450 Series and provide a carefully selected function set in a package with a mounting area that is 42 percent smaller.

Cypress demos tablet-sized capacitive touchscreen with true multi-touch all-point capability

SAN JOSE, USA: Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has demonstrated a tablet-sized capacitive touchscreen technology with unlimited finger tracking capability.

Cypress a video, available at, which features a demonstration of a user manipulating multiple pictures on the screen simultaneously. The technology, based on Cypress’s industry-leading TrueTouch touchscreen solution for smaller-size portable electronics, will power touchscreens between 7 and 17 inches with full multi-touch support.

The inclusion of multi-touch support in the Windows 7 operating system has opened up the large laptop, netbook and tablet PC market to touchscreen interfaces. Multi-touch capability is a key requirement for enabling designers to develop innovative applications and ways for the user to interact with his or her PC.

“With the current buzz around tablet PC products, this technology is one of the hottest new capabilities from Cypress,” said Dhwani Vyas, vice president of the User Interface Business Unit at Cypress.

“Our TrueTouch touchscreen solution was the industry’s first to offer multi-touch all-point tracking of unlimited fingers for the mobile phones and our extension of this technology into the emerging market of medium and large screen touchscreens is a natural place for Cypress to provide technology leadership again. We continue to break new ground with features and capabilities that empower designers to bring their user interface visions to fruition.”

Cypress’s TrueTouch family of devices enables designers to create new usage models for products such as tablet PCs, notebooks, netbooks, mobile handsets, portable media players (PMPs), GPS systems and other products. TrueTouch technology provides the industry’s most flexible touchscreen architecture, allowing designers to implement differentiated features with Cypress’s legendary noise immunity based on patented capacitive sensing technology for flawless operation in noisy RF and LCD environments.

Sigrity intros industry’s first and only electrical and thermal co-simulation tool

CAMPBELL, USA: Sigrity Inc., a leader in signal and power integrity solutions, today announced PowerDC Thermal – new software that works in concert with the company’s popular PowerDC Electrical simulation software to create the industry’s first and only integrated thermal/electrical analysis environment for IC packages and printed circuit boards.

Sigrity’s breakthrough PowerDC Thermal product eliminates manual iterations between simulations with separate electrical and thermal tools, reduces time, and improves results convergence. It is ideal for avoiding field failures.

“Our customers find an increasing number of IC package and printed circuit board designs must safely operate at high current levels,” said Dr. An-Yu Kuo, Director of Thermal and Mechanical Products of Sigrity. “The new Sigrity integrated thermal and electrical co-simulation environment provides unprecedented accuracy and ease of use for assessing potential field failure risks such as smoke and fire.”

PowerDC thermal simulation fully considers both die heating and copper heating on the package and the board, and also takes temperature and location dependencies into account. Such precision simulation has not been available until now. Up to this point, design teams either have relied on overly pessimistic IPC peak temperature estimates, or thermal simulations that fail to fully account for the critical impact of high current density.

The new PowerDC automated environment with co-simulation maximizes accuracy by leveraging powerful electrical current density analysis, computing accurate thermal temperature distributions, and iterating on the combined effects. Thus, it fully considers factors such as the increasing electrical resistance at higher operating temperatures. Similarly, the converged results accurately reflect the impact of the increasing component power dissipation that takes place as temperatures rise.

Design files from all popular printed circuit board and IC package layout systems can be imported seamlessly into Sigrity’s electrical/thermal co-simulation environment. In addition, the die model from popular IC design tools can be included. Analysis can proceed on designs that are partially or fully placed and routed. The comprehensive simulations account for complex plane shapes, including cut-outs, wires, solder balls, solder bumps, and via structures to maximize accuracy.

Sigrity’s unique task-based workflow and the included constraint manager simplify set-up and make results easy to interpret. A range of reporting options as well as electrical and thermal color maps enable users to see the converged results so they can rapidly pinpoint improvement options.

Sigrity’s new thermal and co-simulation capabilities are available as an add-on option to Sigrity’s PowerDC – the industry leading DC analysis tool with a reputation for ease-of-use, fast throughput, accuracy and its patent-pending technology for automatically finding best remote sense locations. An electrical and thermal combined product also is available for new customers.

SIA applauds President Obama’s focus on job creation, innovation, and exports

SAN JOSE, USA: The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has applauded President Obama’s pledge to make job creation the top priority this year.

“As America’s second largest exporter, the semiconductor industry is very pleased that President Obama has set a goal to double exports over the next five years,” said SIA President George Scalise. “Providing tax incentives for businesses to invest in new plants and equipment, raising student achievement through education reform, encouraging American innovation and investments in basic research funding, reforming export controls, opening markets through trade agreements, and fixing our broken immigration system will all help create a climate that will attract investment in job-creating enterprises.

“Congress and the President took positive and constructive actions in 2009 by providing increased funding for basic research, supporting educational reforms to ensure a world-class workforce in the future, and encouraging adoption of new technologies to promote energy efficiency,” Scalise continued.

“In the face of any spending freeze, it will be all the more important for the US government to set priorities. Keeping the commitment to fund research, education, and energy should be high on the list to create high-paying jobs in both the short and long term.

“Any major changes to the current tax structure should occur in a comprehensive fashion. The present tax rules were designed by Congress specifically to help the US companies compete in the international economy. SIA will offer constructive policy initiatives to enhance the competitiveness of US companies in the weeks ahead,” Scalise concluded.

Microsemi extends easy-to-integrate PoE DIMM family

IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp. has released the PD67100 PoE+ module family, which integrates the company's PD69012 PoE Manager device into an easy-to-integrate dual in-line memory module (DIMM).

PD67100 DIMMs enable switch designers to reduce the time and cost required to add IEEE802.3at-2009 PoE+ capability to existing switches, while retaining the flexibility to use the same switch for both low power PoE and non-PoE implementation.

Microsemi's new PD67100 family joins the company's existing PD67000 DIMM offering, one of the first to pioneer PoE deployment using the same modular, field-upgradeable packaging format that is widely used in memory DIMMs. Microsemi's latest PD67100 DIMMs extend scalability from a new entry point of 8 ports through a full 48 ports, and dissipate 50 percent less power than their PD67000™ predecessors.

"The PD67100 family offers a modular, field-upgradeable complement to Microsemi's PoE+ PSE integrated circuits, which were the industry's first to deliver up to 60 watts of power for devices ranging from video screen transmitters to pan-tilt-zoom cameras, thin clients and laptop computers," said Daniel Feldman, Director of Marketing for Telecom products at Microsemi's Analog Mixed Signal Group.

"PD67100 PoE+ DIMMs enable rapid time-to-market for multiple switch platforms, and the addition of a new, eight-port option addresses requests from customers who are integrating PoE into the small- to medium-business applications space."

Samples of the PD67124M, PD67112M and the PD67124S PoE DIMMs are available immediately. Production for volume shipment is expected to commence during the first quarter of 2010. The modules are fully IEEE 802.3af-2003 and IEEE802.3at-2009 compliant, and are also capable of powering pre-standard proprietary solutions.

Cascade, SUSS MicroTec agree to pursue technology alliance

BEAVERTON, USA & GARCHING/MUNICH, GERMANY: Cascade Microtech Inc., a leader in the precise electrical and mechanical measurement and test of ICs and other small structures, and SUSS MicroTec AG, a leading supplier of equipment and process solutions for the semiconductor industry and related markets, have agreed to pursue a strategic alliance to address the growing device complexities of the emerging semiconductor technologies such as 3D TSV manufacturing and test.

Since the 1960s, the lithographic scaling of chips, often referred to as Moore's Law, has enabled semiconductor companies to exponentially increase chip speed, functionality and complexity while reducing cost at the same time. As companies drive transistor dimensions below 32 nm, the performance and cost improvements of chip scaling become less favorable and interconnects - the tiny wires between transistors - increasingly limit any performance gains.

To address these interconnect bottlenecks, emerging 3D methodologies stack one or more chips or wafers to route between layers. Adoption of 3D TSV (Through-Silicon Via) is the ultimate in 3D integration providing higher performance, reduced noise, smaller device form factor, and modularity in construction at potentially lower cost.

By pursuing a strategic alliance, the two companies hope to bring innovative approaches to the 3D TSV manufacturing processes. Both companies expect to use their associations with leading research organizations such as IMEC, as well as industry partnerships, to gain insight into this cutting-edge methodology driving beyond Moore's Law. Further collaboration with device and reliability experts would allow the alliance to address the complexities and interactions of semiconductor bonding and test probing for next-generation semiconductor devices.

"SUSS MicroTec shares Cascade Microtech's commitment to develop the most advanced technologies for the continued improvement of semiconductor technologies," said Frank P. Averdung, President and CEO of SUSS MicroTec AG. "The comprehensive knowledge of the two companies will enable both companies to better address the issues inherent in 3D integration."

"Our proposed strategic alliance with SUSS MicroTec would reinforce Cascade Microtech's commitment to develop practical solutions for leading-edge technologies that increasingly rely on new structures for continued performance improvement," said F. Paul Carlson, Chairman and CEO of Cascade Microtech, Inc. "We look forward to collaborating with SUSS MicroTec on innovative ways to characterize and evaluate new design methodologies and manufacturing processes, which will benefit our common customers, as well as the industries we serve."

STARC adopts Atrenta SpyGlass-Power for RTL power estimation and verification

TOKYO, JAPAN: Atrenta Inc., the leading provider of Early Design Closure solutions to radically improve design efficiency throughout the IC design flow, announced the integration of the SpyGlass-Power solution into version 3.5 of the STARCAD-CEL reference flow for RTL estimation and verification.

The STARCAD-CEL reference flow is provided by the Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Center (STARC).

Atrenta’s SpyGlass-Power solution provides early information about power consumption at RTL, and provides guidance for power reduction with respect to clock gating, memory and data path designs. The solution not only detects, but can also automatically fix key power management issues. The SpyGlass-Power solution supports UPF and CPF power formats, and verifies designs with voltage and power domain management structures so that voltage level shifters and isolation logic are correct.

SpyGlass-Power RTL estimation and verification capabilities have been incorporated into the version 3.5 of the STARCAD-CEL reference flow. STARC evaluated SpyGlass-Power using both vector-based and vector-less analysis for estimation of leakage power, data path, clock and memory power. STARC engineers also conducted an exhaustive evaluation of the CPF 1.0e & UPF 1.0 power formats.

“We are very impressed with the capabilities of SpyGlass-Power for RTL power estimation and verification – both with and without simulation vectors. The RTL power estimation results with simulation vectors for clock, data-path and memory were within 20% of final silicon numbers,” said Nobuyuki Nishiguchi, vice president and general manager at STARC. “The integration of the SpyGlass-Power solution into the STARC production flow will save our customers from multiple iterations of synthesis and tens of hours of power simulations at the gate level.”

“Atrenta is the only vendor to provide RTL power estimation, reduction and verification support for both CPF and UPF power formats at both the RTL and gate level,” said Mike Gianfagna, vice president of marketing at Atrenta. “STARC’s rigorous evaluation and adoption of SpyGlass-Power into the STARCAD-CEL flow has once again validated the importance of using early analysis solutions at RTL on low power designs.”

ROHM signs major 1T-SRAM technology license agreement with MoSys

SUNNYVALE, USA: MoSys Inc., a leading provider of differentiated, high-density memory and high-speed interface (I/O) intellectual property (IP), announced that ROHM Co. Ltd has signed a major technology license agreement for MoSys’ 1T-SRAM® embedded memory technology. The technology license agreement will enable ROHM to design and manufacture ICs utilizing 1T-SRAM in ROHM's fabrication facilities.

Current and future generations of advanced SoCs (System-on-Chip) require significantly higher densities of embedded memory. MoSys’ patented 1T-SRAM IP, which has the advantage of enabling designs with 3 times the density in the same area as alternative solutions, high speed, low latency random access and superior reliability, provides a very compelling solution for advanced SoC designs.

“We see the need for significantly higher densities of memory in our next generation ICs. MoSys’ 1T-SRAM provides the unique advantages of higher density and lower power consumption when compared to other memory technologies, making it ideal for use in our ICs,” said Masaru Kubo, Deputy Director, KTC Development Systems Unit of KTC LSI Development Headquarters for ROHM. “This technology licensing agreement with MoSys will provide ROHM with a competitive advantage in our key markets.”

“We are very pleased to have an industry leader like ROHM adopt our 1T-SRAM technology,” said Dave DeMaria, Vice President, Business Operations at MoSys. “By choosing our 1T-SRAM embedded memory, ROHM will be able to provide their customers with next generation ICs that deliver the performance and cost advantage that they require.”

Mistral announces small form factor, high bandwidth card featuring QorIQ P4080 processor

BANGALORE, INDIA: Mistral Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of complete technology solutions and professional services in the embedded space, has announced the availability of Curtiss Wright’s VPX3-129, a new rugged Power Architecture-based 3U VPX (VITA 46) single board computer (SBC).

The VPX3-129 is a powerful, small form-factor SBC that enhances performance and advanced I/O capabilities of Freescale’s QorIQ P4080 eight-core communications processor with an extensive I/O complement to provide a highly capable 3U VPX SBC. This makes it ideal for a wide range of embedded harsh environment applications including tactical aircraft, armored vehicles or rugged naval systems.

The VPX3-129 has multi-gigabytes per second data flows from board-to-board via the backplane, and from the backplane to its XMC site to support the acquisition, processing, and distribution of high-bandwidth sensor input such as video, radar, and sonar data. The board has been designed to optimize functionality, reduce power dissipation and maximize system flexibility.

The board’s I/O complement includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports, four serial channels, up to 8-bits of discrete digital I/O, USB 2.0 ports, and an XMC mezzanine site with 64- bits of I/O mapped to the backplane. It accommodates either dual SRIO high speed fabric ports to the backplane or up to 3 PCIe ports to provide plenty of high speed connectivity for the most demanding applications.

The VPX3-129 comes equipped with a VxWorks 6.x BSP, a driver suite supporting Workbench 3.x IDE and Wind River Linux, plus a firmware set providing a comprehensive suite of system debug, exerciser, and update functions, built-in self test, and a nonvolatile memory sanitization function.

Both air and conduction-cooled versions of the VPX3-129 are available. An optional companion board called the VPX3-215 is also available that provides two PMC sites and an XMC/PMC site.

Arasan Chip Systems hosts panel discussion on Total IP solutions at DesignCon 2010

SAN JOSE, USA: Arasan Chip Systems Inc. is hosting a business panel titled "Total IP Solutions required to Ease SoC Integration" at DesignCon 2010, February 1-4, 2010 at Santa Clara, USA. Arasan will also present a paper on high-performance architectures for Error Correcting Codes (ECC) in NAND memory controller IP.

DesignCon is a premier event bringing together technologists and business executives in the chip design industry. This business panel will consist of semiconductor executives who will present both a provider and consumer perspective. It will be chaired by Ram Gopalan, Senior Director of Marketing at Arasan on February 3, 2010 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

He observed: "Arasan, with a track record of 15 years in the semiconductor IP business with over 250 licensees, has seen its customers transitioning to a Total IP solutions approach. Gone are the days when a RTL IP database and documentation were sufficient. Now customers demand a consultative approach in selecting and optimizing the IP and additional collateral like vIP, software, hardware tools etc that Arasan provides as part of its Total IP Solutions."

Today's SoC design teams are constrained by the opposing requirements of higher speeds, increased functionality, and reduced time-to-market, shrinking budgets. In this environment, reliance on external IP providers is only increasing. However in order to enable a smooth IP integration path, IP providers have to go beyond providing IP by also provide supporting collateral.

The panelists include IP solution providers as well as SoC Integrators/System Designers who will share their IP integration experience and key requirements from a Total Solution perspective. The panel will provide an insight into these key issues facing their design teams and explore solutions.

In response to these trends, progressive semiconductor IP companies such as Arasan are now providing a Total IP Solution that helps SoC teams succeed in their overall project objectives. This Total IP Solution starts by providing Architectural consulting, and includes Digital IP, Analog IP, Verification IP, Software Drivers/Stacks, Hardware platforms for development and validation, tools like protocol analyzers and professional services/support.

Arasan will also be presenting a technical paper on "Evolving throughput driven architecture for error correction in NAND memory", by Arul K Subbiah, Design Manager at Arasan, scheduled for February 3, 2010. The increase in memory density and interface speed of NAND memory require a higher performance error correction module in memory controllers. This paper shows how Arasan continues to provide innovative NAND memory controller IP cores that scale to meet this challenge.

Semtech intros next-gen, low voltage level shifting I/O expander platform with an advanced LED driver and keypad engine

CAMARILLO, USA: Semtech Corp., a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, announced the SX1508 and SX1509, two next-generation low voltage level shifting I/O expanders that come in eight- and 16-channels, respectively, with an advanced LED driver and keypad engine capability.

With an operating voltage range from 1.5V to 3.6V, these devices connect easily to today’s low core voltage chipsets in handheld applications and eliminate the need for extra level-translating circuits. On the output side, dual voltage I/O rails provide level shifting down to 1.2V as well as I/O interface with two different logic levels.

The SX1508/SX1509 are complete low-voltage GPIOs that enable direct I/O and feature expansion to low core voltage chipsets that are commonly found in battery-powered devices such as cell phones, MP3 players and digital still cameras (DSCs). Each true bi-directional style, 15-mA rated I/O is integrated with a high-resolution, 256-step LED driver for enhanced lighting effect such as RGB color mixing.

The intensity of each channel can be programmed independently using a linear or logarithmic function (optimized for human vision). These advanced LED drivers also feature automatic blinking and breathing (fade-in/fade-out) control thus minimizing the software loading from the host controller.

These feature-rich I/O expanders are equipped with an intelligent on-chip keypad engine that supports key matrix scanning up to 8x8 (64 keys) with auto sleep/wake up to reduce the system EMI noise and power consumption. Scan time and debounce time can also be adjusted to address the needs for different key matrix applications.

“These versatile I/O expanders were specially designed with smart features to reduce the host controller interaction in portable applications thus extending the battery life of the device,” said Sam Massih, Product Line Manager, Consumer Analog Products for Semtech.

“For instance, the unique breathing control in the LED driver enables continuous fade-in and fade-out lighting effects while the host controller is asleep. Keypad scanning can also be easily done with our on-chip keypad engine without any significant system power penalty. All these innovative features make Semtech’s SX1508 and SX1509 the ideal solution for today’s battery powered handheld devices.”

The I2C SX1508 is offered in a small 3mm x 3mm 20-QFN package while the SX1509 comes in a space-saving 4mm x4mm 28-QFN package. SPI versions are also available (SX1511 and SX1512). All these device are guaranteed to operate over the extended (-40°C to +85°C) temperature range.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

LSI reports Q4 and full-year 2009 results

BANGALORE, INDIA: LSI Corp. has reported results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2009.

Fourth quarter 2009 revenues were $638 million, a 5percent increase year-over-year compared to $610 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2008, and up 10 percent sequentially compared to $578 million reported in the third quarter of 2009.

Fourth quarter 2009 GAAP net income was $65 million or 10 cents per diluted share, compared to fourth quarter 2008 GAAP net loss of $606 million or 94 cents per share. Fourth quarter GAAP results included a $31 million tax benefit, or 5 cents per diluted share, primarily related to the settlement of a multi-year foreign tax audit.

Fourth quarter 2009 GAAP results compare to third quarter 2009 GAAP net income of $52 million or 8 cents per diluted share. Fourth quarter 2009 GAAP net income included a net charge of $59 million from special items, consisting primarily of $43 million of amortization of acquisition-related items, $14 million of stock-based compensation expense, and $2 million in net restructuring and other items.

Fourth quarter 2009 non-GAAP net income was $124 million or 18 cents per diluted share, compared to fourth quarter 2008 non-GAAP net income of $41 million or 6 cents per diluted share. Third quarter 2009 non-GAAP net income was $119 million or 18 cents per diluted share.

Cash and short-term investments totaled approximately $962 million at quarter end.

“With increasing signs in the fourth quarter that an early-stage recovery of enterprise IT spending is now underway, LSI achieved double-digit sequential revenue growth, with revenues coming in at the high end of our guidance range,“ said Abhi Talwalkar, LSI president and CEO. “With more than 80 percent of our revenues tied to enterprise technology spending, we are well positioned to benefit as this recovery gains strength going forward.”

iPad stimulates demand of NAND Flash

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: According to DRAMeXchange, regarding the impact of iPad on the NAND flash industry, Apple currently controls over 20 percent of the NAND flash demand according to our estimation. Therefore, whenever Apple launches new products, the popularity of the new device may bring forth a capacity crunch to the NAND flash market.We believe that the iPad may sell 1.5million units in the first half of 2010, a total of 9million—10 million for 2010. Consequently, the iPad will consume approximately 2 percent of the total NAND flash demand in 2010.

We also expect that the iPad demand created by Apple will exacerbate the shortage situation in 2H10, magnify NAND flash sufficiency ratio from -2.6 percent to -5.7 percent for 2010 and from -5.4 percent to -9.8 percent for 2H10.

The device is a half-inch thick and weighs about 1.5 pounds with a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen IPS LCD display. The heart of iPad is a 1GHz Apple-built A4 processor with 10 hours of battery life and 30 days of standby time.

Basically, we view the new iPad as an extension of the iPhone/iPod touch product line. iPad essentially works as the way as a iPod touch does, purchasing and listening to music on iTunes, playing games downloaded from Apps stores, surfing the web in the palm of your hand.

However, what is intriguing about the new device is the differentiation of the three product lines. If the iPhone is targeted on mobile phone users and the iPod touch is targeted on gamers and iPod users, the iPad is obviously design for e-book reading and light computing.

Apple has struck deals with five major book partners in the US to bring contents to the iBooks, Apple's new e-book reading application available on iPhone/iPod touch/iPad. Book contents are not limited to black and white text e-books like Amazon kindle; everything is displayed in sharp, rich, color.

Moreover, we speculate that in future versions of iBooks, publishers may provide dynamic and interactive e-books, author’s video interviews and even social networking applications. Apple reinvented the portable music play industry with iPod, reinvented the mobile phone industry with iPhone, and may as well reinvent the publishing industry with iPad, says DRAMeXchange.

As for the pricing of the new tablet computer, the Wi-Fi only models will come in 16GB for $499, 32GB for $599 and 64GB for $699. The 3G models runs on AT&T with new data plans – 250MB for $14.99 and an unlimited plan for $29.99 a month contract-free – and will cost an extra $130 per model. The Wi-Fi only models will be available beginning in April and the 3G model in May. Plans for international release will be announced later this summer.

Global PC MPU unit shipments rise 31.3pc YoY in Q4

SAN MATEO, USA: Worldwide PC microprocessor shipments in the fourth calendar quarter of 2009 (4Q09) rose modestly, compared to 3Q09, but still achieved all-time record levels for a single quarter, according to IDC's latest PC processor study. Notably, when compared to 4Q08, shipments in 4Q09 rose 31.3 percent. For the full year 2009, total PC processor unit shipments grew 2.5 percent, while revenue declined 7.1 percent to $28.6 billion.

"Compared to 3Q09, the modest rise in shipments in 4Q09 indicates that the market is returning to normal seasonal patterns," said Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC. "Compared to 4Q08, the huge rise in shipments indicates that the market has put the recession behind it. Both comparisons indicate that the PC industry anticipates improvement in PC end demand in 2010."

Looking at market performance by PC form factor, both mobile PC processors and PC server processors grew well. Mobile PC processors, which include Intel’s Atom processors for mininotebooks (also known as netbooks), increased 11.7 percent in 4Q09 compared to 3Q09. x86 server processors grew 14.1 percent quarter over quarter. Desktop processors grew 4.8 percent quarter over quarter.

On the client side—mobile and desktop—IDC notes that mainstream and performance processors rose modestly as a percentage of the total mix compared to value processors, which caused the overall market average selling price of processors to rise 6.7 percent quarter over quarter.

"The sequential rise in mainstream and high-end client processors points to the new products, like Core i5 and Athlon II, that Intel and AMD were shipping into the market for the holiday buying season in the fourth quarter," said Rau.

"What's interesting there is that consumers were there to buy systems based on them and that OEMs were investing in them for future builds. At the same time, the sequential rise in server processors indicates that server OEMs are starting to see corporations come off the sidelines."

4Q09 and 2009 Vendor Highlights
In 4Q09, Intel earned 80.5 percent unit market share, a loss of 0.6 percent, while AMD earned 19.4% percent, a gain of 0.7 percent, and VIA Technologies earned 0.2 percent.

In the full year 2009, Intel earned 79.7 percent unit market share, a loss of 0.7 percent, AMD earned 20.1 percent, a gain of 0.8 percent, and VIA Technologies earned 0.3 percent.

In 4Q09 by form factor, Intel earned 87.3 percent share in the mobile PC processor segment, a loss of 0.7 percent, AMD finished with 12.7 percent, a gain of 0.8 percent, and VIA earned 0.1 percent.

In the PC server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 89.8 percent market share, a loss of 0.6 percent and AMD earned 10.2 percent, a gain of 0.6 percent. In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 71.1 percent, a loss of 1.1 percent, and AMD earned 28.6 percent, a gain of 1.2 percent.

In 2009 by form factor, Intel earned 86.8 percent share in the mobile PC processor segment, a loss of 0.3 percent, AMD finished with 12.8 percent, a gain of 0.8 percent, and VIA earned 0.3 percent, a loss of -0.5 percent.

In the PC server/workstation processor segment, Intel finished with 89.9 percent market share, a gain of 3.2 percent and AMD earned 10.1 percent, a loss of 3.2 percent. In the desktop PC processor segment, Intel earned 71 percent, a loss of 2.5 percent, AMD earned 28.8 percent, a gain of 2.3 percent, and VIA earned 0.3 percent, a gain of 0.1 percent.

Market outlook
IDC has raised its forecast for growth in PC processor unit shipments to 15.1 percent compared to 2009.

"We're looking forward to the end of the second quarter and the second half of the year as corporations qualify new client and server platforms and open up their IT budgets further. Combined with healthy consumer spending, the resumption of corporation spending will lead to a healthy 2010," said Rau.

Opnext delivers world's first ultra-high speed SMT mux IC for 100G coherent transponders

FREMONT, USA: Opnext Inc., a global leader in state-of-the-art laser technology and high speed optical communications, has developed the world’s first ultra-high speed Surface Mount Technology (SMT) multiplexer Integrated Circuit (IC) for 100Gbps applications.

The SiGe (Silicon Germanium) 0.13µm process technology chip was designed in-house to be used inside Opnext’s leading edge coherent 40Gbps and 100Gbps transponder modules and subsystems.

The 128Gbps multiplexer IC transmits the data in 32Gbps lanes suitable for transmission using the DP-QPSK modulation scheme, as documented in the OIF 100G Ultra Long Haul DWDM Framework, for 100GbE and OTU4 transmission in the Wide Area Network (WAN). The multiplexer IC employs Ball Grid Array (BGA) technology to allow standard SMT manufacturing processes. This enables higher density transponder designs with ICs mounted directly onto the PCBs.

“One of the major challenges of increasing 40G production was the manufacturability, quality and performance consistency of the hardware,” said Roberto Marcoccia, vice president of R&D for Opnext’s subsystems business unit. “This SMT IC eliminates the radio frequency (RF) connectors and coaxial cabling, a major source of these volume manufacturing issues.”

Opnext continues to employ selective vertical integration on components like this new SMT IC with the goal of delivering the lowest cost and highest performance 100Gbps OIF MSA compliant solution to its OEM partners.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cypress offers TrueTouch touchscreen driver for Android phones; joins Open Handset Alliance

SAN JOSE, USA: Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has introduced a touchscreen device driver supporting the Android mobile handset platform, and announced that it has joined the Open Handset Alliance.

The I2C interface driver for Cypress’s flexible, robust TrueTouch touchscreen solution gives manufacturers of handsets based on Android or other Linux operating systems an easy and quick path to delivering high-performance touchscreen interfaces. The driver supports single-touch and multi-touch signaling and is backwards compatible for applications written in earlier versions of Android.

The Open Handset Alliance is a group of more than 60 technology and mobile companies working to offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience.

The Open Handset Alliance developed Android, the first complete, open and free mobile platform. Android features an operating system, middleware and key mobile applications. As a member of the Open Handset Alliance, Cypress will work with other members to contribute to continued development and success of the Android platform for mobile devices.

“The Android platform is rapidly gaining popularity, and our new driver has already enabled customers to rapidly integrate TrueTouch touchscreen controllers into Android-based phones coming to market,” said Dhwani Vyas, vice president of the User Interface Business Unit at Cypress. “Cypress is pleased to bring the unmatched design flexibility, accuracy and performance of the TrueTouch solution to members of the Open Handset Alliance for development of full-featured Android handsets.”

Cypress’s TrueTouch family includes single-touch, multi-touch gesture and multi-touch all-point offerings. Cypress was the first company to introduce multi-touch all-point functionality, which can track an unlimited number of touches. This capability enables designers to create new usage models for products such as mobile handsets, portable media players (PMPs), GPS systems and other products, and has been in mass production since 2008.

TrueTouch is the industry’s most flexible touchscreen architecture, which allows designers to implement differentiated features and make last-minute design iterations without board changes.

Cypress recently announced its next-generation high performance TMA300 multi-touch all-point family. This controller provides best-in-class scan times for true multi-finger touch and superior signal-to-noise ratio for the most demanding touchscreen applications. Additional information about the TrueTouch solution is available at

The flexible TrueTouch solution allows customers to rapidly develop leading-edge solutions without having to buy turnkey modules. They have a choice of using touch sensors (glass or film) and LCDs from preferred partners, and can develop innovative mechanical designs ranging from flat to curved surfaces of varying thickness. In addition, TrueTouch devices offer Cypress’s legendary noise immunity with patented capacitive sensing technology that enables flawless operation in noisy RF and LCD environments.

ST reports 2009 Q4 and full year financial results

PARIS, FRANCE: STMicroelectronics reported financial results for the 2009 fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2009.

President and CEO Carlo Bozotti commented: “ST’s fourth quarter financial results reflect a positive finish to a very difficult year for ST, the semiconductor industry and the global economy.

“Our fourth quarter net revenues increased 13.6 percent sequentially, above our outlook range and our gross margin came in at 37 percent, above the midpoint of our outlook range. Excluding restructuring charges, ST returned to an operating income of $90 million for the quarter.

“The Company’s stronger than forecasted quarterly sequential revenue performance was thanks to growth in all regions and market segments, with all segments, except telecom, posting double-digit growth.

“Despite the challenging economic environment, ST made significant progress over the course of 2009 by successfully delivering on key actions announced earlier in the year. First, we protected and then enhanced our cash position, improving our net financial position by $965 million to end the year with a net cash position of $420 million. Second, we made excellent progress in lowering our cost base with a $1 billion savings plan to be completed by about mid-2010. As a result, we improved our financial performance having generated, as anticipated, some points of operating margin and net operating cash flow equal to 8.6% of sales despite an unfavorable currency environment.

“2009 has been a year of severe losses for ST but we are encouraged by the progress we made throughout the year. 2010 will be a year of great opportunities for ST. Our efforts to strengthen our product portfolio will allow us to grow organically and to participate in new markets and the completion of our major restructuring program will continue to substantially improve our cost structure and competitiveness.”

Q1 2010 business outlook
Bozotti stated: “We started the first quarter with a solid backlog and we are working to serve our customers’ demand. In-line with historical trends, we expect to register a sequential net revenue decrease between about -7 percent and -13 percent, which equates to a positive 35 percent to 45 percent when compared to the year-over-year period. However, we expect a better than historical evolution in our gross margin to about 37.5 percent, plus or minus 1 percentage point thanks to better manufacturing loading and efficiency and an improved product mix.

“Looking forward, we believe ST is well positioned to benefit from the industry upturn because of the important work we have done in product and technology innovation. We plan to deliver the benefits of our innovation to our customers and we also expect ST-Ericsson to execute on its plan to transition to the new portfolio strategy they have devised for their next generation offering.

“ST’s recent design-wins for digital consumer platforms, ASICs, and automotive products and our many promising offerings including 32-bit microcontrollers, MEMS, with our new families of gyroscopes and active microphones, and low-power sensors for healthcare and building automation applications support our efforts to continuously improve our product portfolio.

“In summary, we are excited about the many opportunities ahead of us. While we continue to make solid progress on reducing our cost structure, our innovative product portfolio is positioning us well to achieve sustainable profitability and cash flow generation.”

TI intros industry’s first 12-V dual-channel synchronous buck converter with integrated FETs

BANGALORE, INDIA: Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has introduced its first dual-output fully synchronous SWIFT power management IC. The TPS54290 1.5-A/2.5-A converter simplifies power design in consumer electronics with a 12-V power supply, such as a set top box or digital TV.

The SWIFT device operates from a 4.5-V to 18-V input supply voltage, and supports output voltages as low as 0.8 V with a 90 percent power efficiency rating. The TPS54290 is set at a fixed frequency of 300 kHz. Two other family members, the TPS54291 and TPS54292, provide switching frequencies of 600 kHz and 1.2 MHz, further reducing the DC/DC solution size.

Key features and benefits of TPS54290:
* Dual output synchronous buck converter with four integrated MOSFETs provides fully synchronous conversion with 90 percent efficiency, while using 35 percent less board space compared to non-synchronous conversion solutions.
* Current mode control simplifies external compensation, giving the designer greater flexibility when choosing different types of output capacitors.
* 180º out-of-phase operation minimizes ripple current through the input capacitor.
Input capacitance is reduced by up to 50 percent compared to non-synchronous converters, which helps lessen electromagnetic interference.

NXP MIFARE Plus scores high in independent security reviews

SINGAPORE: NXP Semiconductors announced that its MIFARE Plus contactless smart card CPU IC (MF1PLUSx0y1) has been awarded Common Criteria EAL 4+ certification by the German Federal Office for Information Security (Ref.: BSI-DSZ-CC-0586-2009).

In addition, MIFARE Plus has proven successful in independent security reviews conducted by leading cryptography experts from the Ruhr-Universität in Germany and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, which executed a thorough security and privacy assessment of the architecture of MIFARE Plus.

“NXP is striving to ensure that our products such as the MIFARE Plus microcontroller IC provide customers with the highest possible level of trust and privacy for secure transactions in contactless smart card applications,” said Henri Ardevol, general manager, Secure Transactions, NXP Semiconductors.

“We’re very pleased that the security features of MIFARE Plus have been independently validated by three different institutions following extensive testing. Since the release in mid 2009 we have worked with over 300 partner companies worldwide to adopt MIFARE Plus while the product is already being shipped in millions.”

MIFARE Plus technology features 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and supports migration from existing MIFARE ClassicTM implementations. The contactless microcontroller IC offers an upgrade path for system integrators and operators wishing to implement additional layers of security to their automatic fare collection, access management and micro-payment installations.

The independent third-party validation of MIFARE Plus offers NXP’s customers a high degree of certainty that the technology is providing advanced security. The Common Criteria certification validates correct implementation of the promised security features, evaluates attack resistance and allows systems integrators to assess the security quality of similar products.

“For newly built contactless smart card installations we strongly recommend Common Criteria-certified products, preferably those based on AES encryption”, said Dipl.-Ing. Harald Kelter, security expert, Federal Office for Information Security in Germany.

Working with leading universities in the area of IT security and cryptography has enabled NXP to tap into the latest cryptographic research and validate the technologies’ security features.

“Despite extensive and careful analysis, we have not identified any security weakness with practical relevance,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Chris tof Paar of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. “We consider the MIFARE Plus architecture to be secure if all security mechanisms are activated as recommended in the MIFARE Plus documentation. The CC evaluation of the card further supports our belief that NXP has succeeded in designing a very secure contactless authentication and storage system.”

“Based on our study, we believe that the MIFARE Plus architecture is a solid design, which is based on a detailed analysis of the requirements including security, privacy and feasibility“, said Prof. Dr. Ir. Bart Preneel of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. “The solutions proposed take into account the severe constraints offered by the contactless environment. In spite of these constraints, the MIFARE Plus architecture allows to deploy applications in areas such as access control and transportation that offer a level of security and privacy that is state of the art.”

Security, performance, privacy and ease of use are at the heart of MIFARE Plus. It is – next to MIFARE DESFireTM EV1 – the only contactless smart card technology to offer strong AES encryption for authentication, integrity and confidentiality.

Furthermore, MIFARE Plus chips comprise a number of additional privacy features which, when used optimally in the infrastructure, provide a system that prevents individuals from being identified and tracked by others. Finally, migration planning is made easier as MIFARE Plus supports the pre-issuance of new cards; co-existence of current and new cards; and software based infrastructure upgrades.

2HJan. NAND Flash contract price roughly remains flat under market consolidation

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: 2HJan NAND Flash contract price roughly stays flat given the steady inventory replenishment demand for Chinese Lunar New Year seasons from electronics system and memory card customers, which roughly meets the expectation of NAND Flash related makers.That is, most NAND Flash suppliers did not adjust the 2HJan. contract price for most products while only few suppliers slightly adjusted the price for some products.

Besides the stable inventory replenishment for Chinese Lunar New Year holidays to help stabilize the NAND Flash price trend in slow season, NAND Flash suppliers and buyers are watching & waiting for some electronics system makers expected to launch certain new NAND Flash killer-application products in the short term, which will help rally the market sentiment as well.

However, the positive stimulus effect in NAND Flash demand side still will depend on the new killer applications specification details as well as launch timetable and operation model arrangement released in the near future.

Market believes that the additional NAND Flash demand in NAND Flash market can help cushion the slow season effect and new incremental supply from the increasing output of new 3xnm process technology and 3-bit/cell MLC products in 1Q10.Owing to the wait-and-see market sentiment, we expect NAND Flash market still to stay at consolidation in the short term. However, we expect NAND Flash price can be inspired to further boost if some electronics system customers can significantly restock for more NAND Flash chips used for some new high-capacity NAND Flash applications in 1Q10.

Cash in on technology recovery at iSuppli’s European briefing

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The great downturn of 2009 was unique in the history of the technology industry. Because of this, the great rebound of 2010 is expected to be exceptional as well, with the next 12 months bringing conditions never before seen in the electronics supply chain.

To help the industry capitalize on the expected market recovery, iSuppli Corp. in April is hosting in Berlin a special three-day briefing, entitled: What's Next in the Renewed Economy—Impacts on the Electronics Value Chain.

“The downturn has a very different dynamic than anything that the electronics industry has seen before,” said Derek Lidow, chief executive officer of iSuppli. “Previous downturns were caused by too much capacity. This one was caused by a steep and sudden drop in demand. We’ve never had a demand-less downturn in electronics.
Even as conditions improve, the market remains in uncharted territory.”

The global macroeconomic recession of 2009 will continue to have dramatic implications for the electronics value chain in 2010. With revenues falling by as much as 50 percent in some electronics sectors and with entire markets undergoing fundamental changes, the renewed economy of 2010 and beyond requires all participants in the electronics value chain to review and adjust their business strategies.

iSuppli’s European briefing
The briefing will feature presentations from top iSuppli experts, as well as invited industry speakers from STMicroelectronics, Robert Bosch, Vodafone, BMW, Google, Infineon, Nokia, Samsung and other leading technology companies.
iSuppli analysts speaking at the briefing will include:

* Dale Ford, senior vice president, market intelligence services
* Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst, communications/LEDs/India
* Richard Robinson, principal analyst, automotive electronics
* Francis Sideco, principal analyst, wireless communications
* Steve Mather, principal analyst, wireless communications
* Richard Dixon, senior analyst, microelectromechanical systems
* Phil Magney, vice president, automotive

Featured sessions include:
* Semiconductor Synergies in the Renewed Economy
* Mobile Handsets = Ubiquitous Connectivity
* Displaying Growth for the Wireless and Automotive Markets
* The Taming of the Wild Wireless Semiconductor Market
* The New Human Interfaces – Touch Screens, OLED Displays, and Haptics
* Automotive Realities in the Renewed Economy
* Connectivity and Business Models in the Renewed Economy
* Making a Connection With the Digitally Connected Home
* Will the Automotive Semiconductor Market Ever Fully Recover from the 2009 Crash?
* Digital Content and Digital Connections

Day one of the briefing will focus on the semiconductor market, specifically the winners and losers in a renewed economy, those most aptly positioned in 2010 for the wireless market, the automotive IC market, MEMS technology and much more.

Day two will cover hardware devices, content, human machine interface, and connectivity—perfect for MNOs and infrastructure companies looking to keep up to date on what will pique the interest of consumers in 2010, as well as for companies interested in how information will be displayed on and interact with the latest platforms, including the automobile.

Day three will focus on the future and at what end point information reaches consumption. Sessions for this day will examine the battle for bandwidth; how e-book, netbooks and other applications are changing the way electronics companies do business; and where growth opportunities are to be found for the Googles and Yahoos of the world and for other portals, versus those for content companies such as Sony and Disney.

Prices for the European Briefing Series are as follows: 995 euros for the whole event; or 595 euros for the first day and a half, or for the second day and a half. Also, those registering for the event before February 25 can save 100 euros off their registration. Press registration is free.

Source: iSuppli

Semico: Technology in the palm of your hand

USA: If, as is often said, information is power, then we are living in the power generation. Businesses and consumers are driven by a thirst for information in a second’s notice. The semiconductor industry is challenged to keep up with demand.

eSilicon is a company that has pioneered a new business model to help meet the needs of a complex and volatile infrastructure market. At the Semico Outlook conference on March 2, 2010, Jack Harding, President and CEO of eSilicon, will talk about what technology and business solutions will support our desire for “Technology in the Palm of Our Hand.” Infrastructure is key, but will it be an enabler or a gating factor, as consumers and businesses vie for more and more capabilities and bandwidth?

Other executives addressing this critical issue include:
* Bradley Howe, Vice President, Altera
* Young K. Sohn, President and CEO, Inphi
* Lisa Su, Senior Vice President, Freescale

The Semico Outlook Event: Technology in the Palm of Your Hand provides a unique opportunity to hear from executives from around the world, with decades of experience and knowledge, each sharing their insights and vision for continued semiconductor market growth.

Microsemi, MagnaChip to develop advanced mixed-signal process technology

IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp., a leading manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors, has partnered with specialty foundry provider MagnaChip Semiconductor LLC to develop advanced mixed-signal process technology that is optimized for products in Microsemi's key commercial growth markets.

The new process is electrically compatible with MagnaChip's own 0.35-micron baseline process that is already used by Microsemi to manufacture current products.

Microsemi and MagnaChip have completed a 24-month joint R&D project for a 0.35-micron, 72 volt (V) version of MagnaChip's proven power process technology, which combines Bipolar technology for analog control, Complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology for digital control, and Diffused MOS (DMOS) technology for handling the high currents required for managing on-chip or system power.

One of the advanced features of this Bipolar CMOS DMOS (BCD) process is its innovative deep trench isolation technique, which reduces transistor pitch and off-state leakage current while improving latch-up immunity, resulting in a higher degree of integration for complex power management ICs.

The enhanced BCD process technology includes proprietary Microsemi devices and structures that are optimized for its targeted product applications to reduce die size, improve overall analog performance, and enhance device performance in high-current situations. The two companies are also working on a second enhanced process technology for additional product applications, which will be released after designs have been validated.

"This is a first key step in expanding our technology portfolio to include a variety of custom processes for the next generation of LED and CCFL lighting products as well as many other future product areas," said James Aralis, Microsemi Vice President of R&D. "The combination of these processes and custom device technologies with our world-class system and IC design capabilities will enable our team to develop highly differentiated and cost-effective products for customers across the full range of our targeted market segments."

Dr. T.J. Lee, Senior Vice president of MagnaChip Semiconductor Manufacturing Services Engineering, commented: "Our goal is to build solid, strategic relationships with foundry customers through outstanding customer service and high quality products. Microsemi exemplifies this type of customer and we are very pleased to partner with industry leader Microsemi to develop our 0.35-micron advanced BCD process. The successful partnership between MagnaChip and Microsemi has demonstrated MagnaChip's capability of providing truly leading edge BCD processes to support our customers' growth."

The Microsemi and MagnaChip advanced BCD process will improve time-to-market for new product development, while enabling the ongoing re-use of all proven low-voltage blocks and cells that Microsemi has adopted for existing products.

Microsemi currently has five new products in the final stages of development using the new BCD process, four of which are now being tested and validated both internally and by customers. All five products have benefitted from the improved performance and cost associated with the enhanced BCD process.

ISSI announces 1 Gb high speed DDR2 SDRAM

SAN JOSE, USA: Integrated Silicon Solution Inc., a leader in advanced memory solutions, has added the 1 Gigabit density to its family of DDR2 SDRAMs.

The first device at this new density is the IS43DR16640A which is organized as 64Mx16 and packaged in an 84-ball BGA. This on-going expansion of the DDR2 SDRAM product family adds to ISSI's already extensive offering of DRAMs.

This new device is available with clock speeds up to 533MHz (DDR2-1066), providing a data transfer rate of 4 gigabytes/sec in 32 bit systems. In addition to this new 1Gb device, ISSI also offers 512Mb and 256Mb DDR2 devices, with all three densities available in commercial, industrial and automotive grades.

The 256Mb density includes 8Mx32 and 16Mx16 organizations and for the 512Mb density 32Mx16 and 64Mx8 organizations are available. In the second quarter, ISSI will add x8 versions of the 256Mb, and 1Gb devices. The DDR2 DRAM product family operates from a single supply voltage of 1.8V.

Ron Kalakuntla, ISSI Vice President of Marketing, said: "We continue to expand our DRAM product line to include a variety of interfaces, densities, organizations, and temperature ranges targeted for Automotive, Networking, Telecom, and Digital Consumer Applications. The introduction of the 1 Gigabit density to our family of DDR2 SDRAM is an example of ISSI's long-term commitment to support a complete range of high-quality DRAMs using leading-edge technology."

Key applications in networking and telecom include access nodes, aggregation nodes, VoIP, switches, routers, and packet optical transport. Automotive applications are infotainment and telematics. Other applications include network storage, set-top boxes, DVRs, and others.

In addition to SDR, mobile SDR/DDR, DDR, and DDR2 SDRAMs, ISSI also offers a complete line of both asynchronous and synchronous SRAM with densities from 64Kb to 72Mb. ISSI also has a range of Known Good Die (KGD) memories in its portfolio.

Samples of the IS43DR16640A in both commercial and industrial temperature ranges are available now with volume production shipments beginning in Q2, 2010.