Thursday, September 30, 2010

Surging tablet in 2011 will help embedded NAND Flash demand

TAIWAN: According to DRAMeXchange, PC vendor and mobile vendors has been forced to accelerate the development and launch schedule of tablet PC given the rocking iPad sales.In order to compete with iPad, we have seen non-apple tablet PC are re-designed with more powerful processor, larger storage, and open software ecosystem(i.e. USB port and Adobe Flash support). In early September, Samsung launch new tablet PC “Galaxy Tab”, leveraging with the advantageous in hardware such as processor and memory in Samsung and Google Android 2.2 at the purpose to against iPad.

RIM(Research In Motion) officially announced a new tablet “Playbook” on 9/27. Different from other Android tablet PCs supported by other vendors, Playbook will be installed in RIM tailor-made OS “Blackberry Tablet OS.”

Playbook can also be synchronized with Blackberry smartphone via WIFI connection that seamless functionality such as push mail can be fully operated. Playbook will be primarily aimed on the commercial market at the linkage of blackberry smartphone users.

DRAMeXchange expect few vendors will launch tablet PC in 4Q10 that 1Q11-2Q11 will be the time zone for major tablet launch timeline. We also expect 2010 tablet shipment will be forecasted on 15M units while above 36M units in 2011 given the more matured Android OS and broaden popularity.

With the thinner and more dedicate outlook design that Tablet is, embedded NAND Flash become the good options for storage media with small form factors and better thermal condition.According to DRAMeXchange, embedded NAND Flash such as eMMC, on-board Flash storage and SSD alike become the major storage media in current Tablet PC designs. Mainstream NAND Flash capacity is 16GB and 32GB accordingly. We expect surging tablet PC will help to stimulate the demand for NAND Flash.

Fujitsu Semiconductor inks MOU with BPPT Indonesia

SINGAPORE: Fujitsu Semiconductor Asia Pte Ltd (FSAL) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Indonesia’s Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT), also known as the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology.

The objective of this MOU is to facilitate discussion and collaboration to utilize Fujitsu Semiconductor’s DVB Decoder and Wimax Chipsets as devices for Information and Communication Technology systems, especially in the areas of set-top box technology in Digital TV receivers and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) applications. This collaboration aims to support the local industries and encourage local manufacturers to increase local content share using Fujitsu Semiconductor devices.

The first technology transfer includes the development of Disaster Early Warning System (DEWS) enabled DVB-T Set-Top-Box receiver system that will alert the populace against earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and tsunami, giving Indonesians time to react and evacuate to a safer haven.

Dr. Ir. Marzan A. Iskandar, chairman, BPPT, has high hopes for this project, saying: “I envision this collaboration to encourage Indonesian industries and manufacturers to increase local content. This partnership will allow both parties to tap on each other’s expertise, through the exchange and sharing of information and knowledge.”

Junshi Yamashita, president, FSAL, echoed Dr Iskandar’s sentiments, adding: “We believe this alliance with the Indonesian ICT sector will aid Fujitsu Semiconductor in the development and refinement of our Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestrial technologies and Broadband Wireless Access applications.

“At the same time, we are especially excited by our involvement in the Disaster Early Warning System (DEWS), which will receive disaster warnings from different centres throughout Indonesia, and transmit these warnings in a timely manner to the population of Indonesia via DVBT transmission.”

Three key points of action in the MOU
The MOU between both parties will encompass three collaborative activities, first of which is the development of Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestrial Free-to-Air STB (DVB-T FTA STB) with Early Warning System (EWS) features for the Indonesian market, as well as conceptualising DVB-T FTA DEWS standardization.

Apart from that, two other activities covered by the MOU include the development of Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestrial with Middle-Ware application, and the development of Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) applications.

The collaboration between FSAL and BPPT will include visits and knowledge transfer through the exchange of experts and technical personnel. Both parties will also be looking at organising and participating in conferences, courses, workshops and exhibitions which will increase knowledge capital.

Exchanging technical data and information related to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as well as the development of test tools for ICT projects will also be undertaken by both parties, with the objective of implementing these tools in future ICT projects.

A pioneer in digital TV
Fujitsu Semiconductor entered the digital TV industry as early as the 1990s, and has been providing complete digital TV solutions ever since. At present, Fujitsu Semiconductor’s digital TV solutions are used widely in cable TV, terrestrial broadcasting and satellite TV, as well as network surveillance around the world.

Its products cover the areas of encoding chips, video decoding chips and codec/transcoding chips. Fujitsu Semiconductor’s digital TV solutions are ubiquitous both in standard definition and high definition set top box, PVR/DVR, Encoder/Transcoder, PND portable device and security monitoring devices.

The worldwide IC packaging market

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "The Worldwide IC Packaging Market" report to its offering.

After an unprecedented five years of continuous market growth, the semiconductor industry faltered in late 2009 as the global economic crisis struck hard. So, where is the industry headed now and what are the implications for the IC packaging industry? New Venture Research (NVR), in the 2010 Edition of The Worldwide IC Packaging Market, analyzes the semiconductor industry and uses this analysis to forecast the future of the global IC packaging market.

The report begins with NVRs views on the state of the semiconductor industry, along with a top level forecast. This discussion includes factors bearing on individual semiconductor products as well as global economic factors. The financial performance of the publicly-traded SATS companies is also addressed.

Following this high-level review, the report presents forecasts for each semiconductor product type, and segments these products by package family and I/O count range. Packaging revenue figures are displayed for each segment, based on prices charged in the contract assembly market. The package families are then rolled up by I/O count and semiconductor product. In doing so, the report generates the total value of the IC packaging industry.

Next, the report presents NVRs continuing, extensive coverage of the packaging contractor market. Packaging contractors will continue to assume a larger share of the world's IC packaging business. The report breaks the contractor market down by package families and major product categories providing units and revenue for each category.

Sigma Designs to showcase solutions for home entertainment networking, home control, and media processing

CEATEC JAPAN 2010, TOKYO, JAPAN & MILPITAS, USA: Sigma Designs, a leading provider of System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions used to deliver entertainment and control throughout the home, will demonstrate its industry-leading solutions in media processing, home entertainment networking, 3D display, and home control at CEATEC 2010.

Also at the show, Sigma will host the first ever Z-Wave Seminar, an event targeted to give Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) an overview of technology solutions for modern home control and energy management. Industry partners Sumitomo Electric, NTT Docomo, and Ingersoll-Rand will join Sigma at the seminar to present Z-Wave powered solutions as part of the home control ecosystem.

With the widest ecosystem of devices available to consumers today, Sigma’s popular Z-Wave technology helps service providers increase Average Revenue Per Unit (ARPU) and net profits by enabling new home control, security, and energy management services.

Sigma’s Z-Wave solutions put home control in the palm of consumers’ hands. Attendees will have the opportunity to test-drive real-world applications — using Z-Wave to monitor and manage energy use, home entertainment systems, lighting, and appliance control, HVAC systems, security, and access control — all from a smart phone.

Sigma will host all of its CEATEC activities in the Manhattan Hotel, booths 706, 707, and 708. Also at the CEATEC 2010, Sigma will demonstrate how to:

* Deliver the most advanced viewing experience to consumers using Sigma’s studio-grade VXP post processors – the standard for the professional market.
* Create more compelling user experiences with Sigma’s new 3D graphic capabilities.
* Double Android and Over the Top (OTT) device performance.
* Lower deployment costs via new thin-client solutions that enable service providers to install set top boxes throughout the entire home for significantly less than ever before.
* Implement new optimized solutions for Microsoft® Mediaroom based on Sigma’s second-generation SMP8652 media processor.
* Reduce power consumption by using Z-Wave enabled solutions to monitor and control energy usage.
* Leverage electrical wiring to quickly and affordably deploy connected entertainment devices inside the home with Sigma’s HomePlug AV solutions.

Cosmic Circuits launches 'Nebula 10' - analog design contest

BANGALORE, INDIA: Cosmic Circuits, one of India’s first semiconductor companies, today launched the 3rd edition of the analog design contest “Nebula”.

The contest is intended to promote interest in analog design among undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, and is open to all Indian universities.

With over 2000 registrations in the past couple of editions, Nebula is quite popular with the future stars of the semiconductor industry. Spread over three rounds and three months, Nebula provides every student with a unique opportunity to explore each of these phases while competing with fellow electronic hobbyists from all over the country.

The participant begins the journey at the fundamentals, and concludes it by designing an analog system to address a complex, real-world challenge.

Commenting on the structure of the contest, Dr. Sundararajan Krishnan, the champion behind the event, explained: “There are three stages to the contest that gets progressively tough and filters participants at each stage. “The contest kicks off with the ‘Planetary Stage’, a challenging one-hour online quiz on the fundamentals of analog design. This is followed by the ‘Emission Stage’ where the contestant’s ability to use the fundamental principles to solve real-world problems will be tested.

“The contest culminates in the ‘Stellar Nursery’, a one-day event that will be held at the Cosmic Circuits headquarters in Bangalore where the contestants will present their design ideas. We believe that the experience of designing a real-world system from scratch will stay with the finalists for a long time, and to enrich it further, we also provide the finalists with an opportunity to interact with the founding members of Cosmic.“

Contest details can be accessed at http://cosmiccircuits.com/university/nebula/

IC manufacturers facing price increases for CMP slurries

Dr. Robert Castellano, The Information Network, USA.

NEW TRIPOLI, USA: Cerium-oxide based CMP slurry suppliers for shallow trench isolation (STI) on ICs and glass disks for hard disk drives (HDDs) are under increased pressure to raise prices and change formulations because of the Chinese embargo of rare earth oxides, according to our reports CMP Technology: Competition, Products, Markets and The Hard Disk Drive Industry: Market Analysis and Processing Trends.

The market price of cerium oxide has increased to approximately $50 per kilogram in September 2010 from $15 per kg in April 2010 and $9 per kg in September 2009.

China controls more than 90 percent of the rare earths market, and in July cut export quotas for 2H 2010 by 72 percent to shore up prices and ensure domestic supplies of the minerals. The Chinese Government's strict export control policy will result in a very tight supply situation is expected to continue in and after 2011.

While some IC manufacturers extended the use of fumed silica or colloidal silica slurries for STI CMP down to the 90 nm technology node, the high oxide-to-nitride selectivity inherent in ceria-based slurries makes them a requirement for ICs below 90nm. We will see STI slurry prices in the $50 per gallon range in the short term.

Slurry suppliers need to reduce the amount of ceria solids in the slurry to keep prices stabilized, yet maintain the slurry's high performance and selectivities already standard in IC manufacturing.

According to our analysis, Hitachi Chemical was the leading supplier of STI slurry in 2009 for IC manufacturing with a 55 percent share of the $70 million market. The market for ceria-based slurry for HDDs is about a third of the IC market, with Showa Denko and Mitsui the market leaders.

Shipments of semiconductor silicon to jump 23.6 percent in 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Global silicon shipments in terms of square inches will rise to record levels in 2010, according to semiconductor manufacturing market research firm iSuppli Corp.

Shipments of silicon for semiconductor manufacturing in 2010 will grow by 23.6 percent year-over-year, reaching 8.9 billion total square inches, up from 7.2 billion square inches in 2009, iSuppli forecasts. By 2014, 12.4 billion total square inches of silicon will be shipped.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast for total silicon shipments by wafer size for the period of 2009 through 2014.Source: iSuppli, USA.

"Following the recession of late 2008 and 2009, chip manufacturers spent the first half of 2010 striving to reverse the damage they had suffered," said Len Jelinek, director and chief analyst for semiconductor manufacturing and supply at iSuppli.

"Visibility in the second half of 2010 remains limited even as the all-important holiday season inches closer. The good news is that barring any new collapse, silicon suppliers will have sufficient orders on the books to carry them through the third and fourth quarters. And while growth in 2011 won't match the high expansion rate seen in 2010, iSuppli anticipates that the semiconductor industry will require additional increases in silicon shipments of about 13 percent compared to 2010 shipment rates to meet the projected development."

Outperforming the industry
The demand for silicon in 12-inch wafers continues to rise at a rate that will outperform the industry average for silicon through 2014. In order to maintain growth, however, silicon suppliers must continue to expand 12-inch wafer manufacturing.

Beyond 2010, iSuppli expects to see a greater emphasis on shifting to even more 12-inch wafer manufacturing. Specifically, mixed signal and other technologies will be moving to 12-inch wafers as a result of older 12-inch tools no longer being cost effective for the manufacturing of leading-edge technology products.

Over the next five years, the availability of additional mature manufacturing capacity and tools will accelerate the conversion to 12-inch wafer manufacturing for products such as analog and mixed signal devices.

The 18-inch wafer in the room
While the desire and feasibility for manufacturing 18-wafers is out there, iSuppli does not anticipate the technology will commence manufacturing for at least five more years. Even then, the costs may prove to be prohibitive.

And while a few companies and consortiums are discussing the idea of manufacturing 18-inch wafers, the dilemma for equipment costs continues to loom as the final hurdle toward adoption.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

NB ODMs expand non NB product lines aggressively given fierce competition and slower growth momentum

TAIWAN: According to DRAMeXchange, the research department of Trendforce, 2Q10 gross profit margin (GPM) of NB-ODMs has been impact by the raising raw material costs and further penetration of EMS vendors.Inventec GPM has declined 18.9 percent points to 4.2 percent in 2Q10 from 5.2 percent in 1Q0, while Quanta indicated the GPM below 4 percent. Compal and Pegatron are less impact benefited by product mix and strategy. However, we see Wistron’s margin has surged to 5.8 percent in 2Q10 from 5.3 percent in 1Q10 due to diversified strategy and product mix.

Quanta exposed 22 percent revenue contribution in its non-NB product lines and expects to reach 25 percent by the year end. Compal only has NB and TV in their product mix, and 5-6 percent has been reached in 1H10 and 10 percent is aimed by the year end. This shows a good support for their margin.

Wistron’s NB exposure has been declined to 67 percent in 2Q10 from 71 percent in 1Q10 given the diversification in TV, monitor, server and Desktop. We forecast non-NB products can account for 35 percent by the year end. Inventec aggressively expand its business in server that it accounts 20 percent of revenue. Pegatron also looks into TV, game consoles, communication and other consumer electronics. Non-NB portion is 22 percent in 1Q10 and 29 percent in 2Q10.

DRAMeXchange expects NB shipment pattern will indicate 50:50=1H:2H given the revised down forecast that 2010 total NB shipment will be recorded at 190 million units. From the observation of component and channel, 4Q10 NB shipment will heavily rely on the channel inventory condition and real demand for Christmas sales. Compared with historical data, NB shipment YoY is revised down to 18.5 percent from 25-30 percent.

As for 2011, NB market will be slowed down by netbook and tablet PC. Over 20 percent growth will no longer the common picture of NB product. According to DRAMeXchange, 2011 NB shipment growth rate is expected to be 18 percent YoY given the better macro economy outlook.

However, NB ODM margin will have challenge with the competition from EMS and ASP erosion. Besides the vertical integration, non-NB product lines has become another catalyst to maintain the GP margin.

Semiconductor distributors enjoy soaring sales in China

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Matching the robust and thriving electronics industry in China, semiconductor distributors in the country are expected to enjoy nearly 30 percent growth in 2010, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp.

With sales in 2010 up 28.5 percent to $33.1 billion, distributors will account for 51 percent share of semiconductor sales in the world’s most populous country. Direct sales from semiconductor suppliers, on the other hand, will make up the remainder—at about $31.7 billion—or 49 percent.

Overall, China's semiconductor sales from both distributors and chip suppliers are projected to reach $64.8 billion in 2010, up a remarkable 30 percent from $49.5 billion in 2009.

The two channels in 2011 will be virtually tied at $35.4 billion each.

Mergers and acquisitions serve as important growth tool
"Distributors were strong in the memory, logic and analog component markets in 2009," said Horse Liu, manager for China research at iSuppli.

"Distributors also acquired more sensor components business in the industrial electronics and surveillance markets. Semiconductor suppliers, in comparison, continued to implement direct-sales strategies in core chip markets, such as Microprocessor Units (MPU) and Digital Signal Processors (DSP). Among the biggest distributors, mergers and acquisitions have become a favorite tool during the last five years as a means to grow quickly, iSuppli research has determined."

World Peace conquers the market
Following the trend, Taiwanese-based distributor World Peace Group (WPG) Holdings has vaulted to a dominant position in China as well as in the rest of Asia. WPG’s March acquisition of fellow Taiwanese firm Yosun Industrial Group added to the conglomerate’s total China revenue of approximately $3.8 billion in 2009.

WPG's continuing efforts to strengthen its role throughout Asia may yet displace New York-based Arrow Electronics from its perch as the world’s largest electronics component distributor. Arrow's worldwide electronic component sales in 2009 amounted to $9.75 billion, but WPG is closing the gap fast at $9.57 billion, iSuppli's China market figures show. In third place is Arizona-based Avnet Inc., with $9.18 billion. In China, WPG is first, followed by Avnet and Arrow.

The leading global distributors are expected to continue their M&A strategy within the electronic component space in China. The acquisition targets will be the local Chinese distributors, which so far have been exhibiting healthy growth and excellent product resources.

To develop business in new markets, the leading distributors are hoping to obtain core product resources from the locals—as exemplified by Texas Instruments tapping Beijing-based SEED Electronic Technology Ltd. to be a distributor in the DSP market.

Suppliers win in the end
Despite the rapid growth enjoyed by distributors at present, semiconductor suppliers in 2012 will begin to take increasing control of the distribution process and start accounting for a bigger portion of semiconductor sales, iSuppli China research indicates. Already, suppliers are implementing strategies intended to reduce their reliance on distributors.

For their part, distributors are thought to be coping currently with a number of challenges, including component shortages, lengthening lead times, rising product costs and complex market conditions.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Honeywell increases capacity for metals, targets for semiconductor manufacturing

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, USA: Honeywell Electronic Materials is expanding production capacity for 300mm sputtering targets and related metals as part of a long-term investment plan to support rebounding semiconductor industry growth.

Honeywell is increasing targets production capacity, as well as its internal capacity to produce the copper, cobalt, titanium, and tungsten raw materials used to make the targets. The expansion will allow Honeywell to meet growing demand for targets, which are used as the source of metal to make circuits in advanced semiconductors.

"Honeywell is committed to the semiconductor industry and is making the necessary investments to ensure we are ready to support its growth," said Mike Norton, product line director of PVD sputtering targets for Honeywell Electronic Materials. "This commitment, combined with our integration of critical raw materials, uniquely positions us to serve our customers."

The semiconductor industry has been rebounding from a significant downturn and is expected to deliver more than 25 percent growth by the end of 2010. A number of leading semiconductor fabrication facilities have already announced forecasts for continued expansion in output in 2011.

To address this accelerating demand, Honeywell's investments in process optimization, resource expansion and new equipment will, by the end of this year, increase raw material capacity for copper by 110 percent, cobalt by 100 percent and titanium by 35 percent, and increase 300mm sputtering target capacity by more than 90 percent. The company is also planning to double production of tungsten next year to meet growing application demand in advanced 300mm devices.

Honeywell is a leader in the production of sputtering targets. The metal, such as copper, cobalt, titanium or tungsten, is primarily used to form the wiring that conducts the electrical current through the circuits.

In addition to manufacturing targets, Honeywell is vertically integrated in the production of source materials and offers a supply of materials dedicated to the semiconductor industry. The resulting supply chain offers customers better quality control and delivery assurance at times of source material shortages and/or industry ramps.

The industry is increasingly moving to larger 300mm wafers for production because of manufacturing and cost benefits and Honeywell has added capacity over recent years to produce the targets that support 300mm wafer production. The company produces targets at its Spokane, Wash., and Jincheon, Korea, facilities and metals at its Spokane; Golden, Co.; and Fombell, Pa. facilities.

Honeywell Electronic Materials, part of Honeywell Specialty Materials, supplies microelectronic polymers, electronic chemicals, and other advanced materials along with an extensive set of product offerings under its metals business segment, including physical vapor deposition (PVD) targets and coil sets, precious metal thermocouples, and materials used for thermal management and electrical interconnect.

TI's Stellaris EVALBOT evaluation platform makes experimenting with MCUs fun and easy

AUSTIN, USA: Delivering a fun platform for learning and evaluating real-time software and Stellaris microcontrollers (MCUs), Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) announced the availability of its new Robotic Evaluation Board (EVALBOT) for use with Micrium's uC/OS-III.

The evaluation kit is a mini robot that allows developers to experience the Stellaris ARM Cortex-M3-based LM3S9B92 MCU in real-world applications that leverage the processor's integrated 10/100 Ethernet MAC/PHY, USB On-The-Go, CAN, and motion control capabilities.

Based on a complete analog and embedded processing signal chain from TI, the kit includes all of the hardware and software required for quick assembly so that developers can begin evaluation in 10 minutes or less.

The EVALBOT is available with a Stellaris-specific version of uC/OS-III: The Real-Time Kernel by Jean J. Labrosse, which reveals how a real-time kernel works using Micrium's uC/OS-III and the Stellaris EVALBOT as references.

"The ability to perform pre-determined implementation exercises contained in the book on the amazing EVALBOT board will go a long way to demonstrate features and ease-of-use," said Jean Labrosse, the book's author and Micrium's president and CEO. "Placing 80 MHz Stellaris LM3S9B92 microcontrollers in the hands of engineers in the form of a mini robot is sheer genius."

ON Semiconductor launches GreenPoint interactive online design simulation tool

PHOENIX & PORTLAND, USA: ON Semiconductor, a premier supplier of high performance, energy efficient silicon solutions for green electronics, together with Transim Technology, the leading provider of online design solutions for the semiconductor industry, launched its interactive GreenPoint online design simulation tool for high-efficiency LED based lighting applications.

The GreenPoint design tool is an interactive online design and verification environment that assists in accelerating the board design of solid state lighting solutions. Utilizing a user’s design requirements – such as LED configuration, voltage, current or switching frequency – the GreenPoint design tool automatically calculates optimum circuit configuration and selects appropriate values for inductors and capacitors.

The resulting design is displayed as an interactive online schematic. The GreenPoint design tool then enables testing of the suggested solution using Transim’s proprietary WebSIM technology. Essentially, it is a virtual online test bed that provides a variety of analyses, which enables engineers to effectively and efficiently test the performance of the solution.

Once the design has been verified, the GreenPoint Design Tool generates a Bill of Materials and a comprehensive design report including simulation results, schematic and design data. ON Semiconductor’s e-commerce tools are integrated with the GreenPoint Design Tool, which allows users to pick and choose vendor parts for a qualified bill of materials. Designs can be saved and shared for future reference and further modification in the user’s secure and private workspace.

“The market for solid state lighting continues to grow as new and traditional manufacturers look to capitalize on the performance, cost, reliability and efficiency benefits that LEDs offer over conventional alternatives,” said Laurent Jenck, director of ON Semiconductor’s LED Lighting segment.

“The new GreenPoint design tool enables designers of new and emerging lighting applications to dramatically reduce development times by providing an easily accessible design environment from the convenience of their desks.”

“We are very pleased to be able to partner with ON Semiconductor in developing a powerful online design tool to support high-efficiency LED-based lighting applications," said Birgit Knorr, president and CEO of Transim Technology.

Numetrics releases next gen IC design complexity calculation engine

CUPERTINO, USA: Numetrics, the leading provider of fact-based resource and schedule estimation tools for semiconductor integrated circuit (IC) development projects, today unveiled its next generation IC design complexity calculation engine, which has been significantly enhanced for analog, mixed-signal (AMS) and RF circuit designs.

The engine’s advanced AMS and RF estimation models complement its existing capabilities, which include complexity modeling of system-on-chip (SoC), microprocessor, microcontroller, ASSP and ASIC designs.

The new release enables engineering managers overseeing AMS/RF designs to create project staffing and schedule estimates that are far more accurate than projections based solely on intuition and traditional approaches – in a fraction of the time.

“We’re pleased to have implemented this critically important capability for our AMS and RF customers,” said Ronald Collett, Numetrics’ president & CEO. “This is an example of how our complexity calculation technology has continuously advanced during the past ten years. It’s now in its 9th generation and has been applied to over 2,000 production IC projects from more than 50 semiconductor and electronics companies.”

With its enhanced capabilities, including over 100 new parameters influencing AMS/RF design complexity, the solution comprises a library of nearly 60 widely used AMS/RF block functions, such as amplifiers, phase lock loops and filters. Each comprises function-dependent parameters that modulate the complexity estimate.

With the technology, users are able to rigorously quantify and compare the complexity of a new design to their prior projects and industry norms, a cornerstone of fact-based planning. It also enables engineering managers to accurately benchmark the execution assumptions in their project plans, which boosts schedule predictability and development productivity.

The new complexity calculation engine is embedded in the NMX-ERP tool suite, which includes IC Project Planner, IC Schedule Risk Analyzer, IC Metrics Tracker, IC DataMiner, Multi-project Pipeliner and the IC Industry Benchmarking Database.

OKI enhances range of thermal characteristics analysis services for semicon devices

TOKYO, JAPAN: OKI Engineering, an OKI Group company offering reliability assessments and technical solutions in the field of environmental protection, has expanded its range of thermal characteristics analysis services for semiconductor devices. A service that measures the thermal resistance and heat capacity of power devices and optical devices will be available from now on.

Recently, heat generated in electronic equipments can possibly have a big influence on the malfunction and the breakdown of electronic equipments etc. by the high integration and the density growth of semiconductor devices. Therefore, it is very important to accurately grasp the thermal characteristics of a new semiconductor device at the design stage.

Generally, TEG is used to measure its thermal resistance at the design stage, However, TEG method can only measure thermal resistance of an entire semiconductor device and thermal resistance values often deviate between the semiconductor device itself and the device that is assembled in an equipment. Additionally, preparing TEG is time-consuming.

"Based on our expertise and experience in reliability test and analysis, we have been providing services that precisely and rapidly evaluate the thermal characteristics of relatively small power semiconductor devices since December 2009," says Yutaka Asai, president of OKI Engineering.

"Now, with our expanded thermal characteristics analysis services, we have enhanced the scope and are targeting power devices and optical devices that require large amount of electric power. Deploying a unique measurement method, these services evaluate and analyze thermal characteristics per composite materials of semiconductor devices. This approach eliminates the need of a TEG and allows rapid measurements and flexible response to changes of materials."

The service presents thermal characteristics data visually as graphs, making thermal characteristics easy to understand. The company will also be able to assess the heat dissipation effects of assembly boards with composite materials, heat-radiation materials, and heat-sinks.

Bridgelux selects ESI’s AccuScribe 2150P wafer scriber

PORTLAND, USA: Electro Scientific Industries, a leading supplier of innovative laser-based manufacturing solutions for the microtechnology industry, announced that Bridgelux Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of LED lighting technologies and solutions, has selected ESI’s fully automated wafer scriber, the AccuScribe 2150P.

The AccuScribe 2150P will play an instrumental role as Bridgelux ramps manufacturing at its new advanced technology LED design and manufacturing center in Livermore.

“Bridgelux is a vertically integrated manufacturer of LED light sources for the lighting industry. Our technology development, LED design innovations and manufacturing process advancements are focused on providing our customers with high quality, high performance solid-state lighting products,” said Mike Peanasky, vice president of manufacturing at Bridgelux.

“The precision, quality and customizable features in ESI’s AccuScribe 2150P wafer scriber will play a central role in driving optimization of our manufacturing processes.”

Making LED lighting a reality
Bridgelux integrates its LED chips into LED Array light sources that provide the industry with the widest performance ranges, from 240 to 4500 operational lumens, displacing incandescent, halogen, CFL and HID light sources in a variety of applications. This broad portfolio of products provides Bridgelux customers with wide-ranging options as they develop high quality replacement lamps and luminaires for a market rapidly transitioning to energy efficient lighting.

Bridgelux is using ESI’s AccuScribe 2150P, which is optimized for the laser scribing of sapphire-based LED devices, for the successful manufacturing of its LED chips. The 2150P is a cost-effective, automated laser system that enables consistent and uniform die-scribed LEDs at a controlled depth resulting in superior die singulation yield for LED manufacturers.

“We are thrilled to be working with Bridgelux as they bring new, environmental-friendly, state-of-the-art LED lighting solutions to the market,” said Michael Stubelt, director of sales operations at ESI. “Bridgelux has built a world-class manufacturing facility in California. We’re excited to be partnering with them as they leverage the proven performance of the AccuScribe 2150P in its high volume, automated manufacturing facility.”

Vitesse simplifies low power serial connectivity in 10 GE and PCIe Gen 3 data centers

CAMARILLO, USA: Vitesse Semiconductor Corp., a leading provider of advanced IC solutions for Carrier and Enterprise networks, announced the availability of the VSC7111, an 11.5-Gbps quad-channel signal conditioner.

The device sets a benchmark power/performance level and ease-of-use for next-generation data center and network design deploying protocols such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) and PCIe Gen 3.

According to IDC, about half of a data center’s budget is used for power and cooling of its networking equipment. In addition, equipment and link aggregation in data centers is escalating power dissipation to ever higher levels. This creates a huge burden on its cost-of-ownership and reliability. The VSC7111 lowers 10G power dissipation levels by 35% over best-in-class solutions. Additional energy efficiency at 5G and lower data rates can be achieved by utilizing Vitesse’s unique Green Mode power management technology.

The VSC7111 is amongst the first solutions to support the new PCIe Gen 3 8G protocol for the server market. With an integrated PCIe receiver detect state machine the VSC7111 also maintains compatibility with earlier Gen 1 and Gen 2 protocols so that legacy systems become automatically future proof. Vitesse recently completed interoperability testing with Agilent Technologies to ensure full compatibility with all PCIe protocols.

“Agilent provides PCI Express 3.0 tools with the flexibility to test and debug all aspects of our customer’s devices,” said Ross Nelson, general manager of Digital Debug Solutions at Agilent Technologies. “In this case, our PCI Express Exerciser, with its configurable Transmitter settings, allowed us to demonstrate that the VSC7111 from Vitesse, with its FlexEQ ™ adaptive equalizer, was able to successfully maintain the PCI Express Gen 3 link even under stressful conditions simulated by Agilent’s tester.”

The VSC7111 offers adaptive signal equalization capabilities for transmitting multi-gigabit data signals across printed circuit boards, through backplane connectors, and over copper cabling used in networking and storage systems. It is the latest in Vitesse’s industry-leading portfolio of signal conditioner IC products to feature FlexEQ adaptive equalization technology, which advances high-speed, signal integrity performance.

By automatically compensating for signal loss characteristics, FlexEQ facilitates high speed interconnect design and improves system performance by making data links more stable and predictable in their behavior. The VSC7111 also offers flexible, easy-to-use operation with predefined modes for signal fanout and signal protection without the need for an external controller.

“Vitesse continues to innovate and lead the industry in addressing customer needs in signal integrity solutions,” said Juan Garza, product marketing manager at Vitesse.

“The VSC7111 is the latest example of our commitment to developing solutions that combine high performance, low power, maximum flexibility, and ease-of-use. In addition, the PCIe Gen 3 interoperability work with Agilent ensures pre-validated, backward compatible solutions to system developers to easily facilitate next-generation data center equipment development without forklift upgrades.”

The VSC7111 operates on a single 2.5V supply with a typical power dissipation of 476mW in low power Green Mode and is available in an ultra-compact 5mm x 5mm, 32-pin, QFN package. Samples are available now and volume pricing is available upon request.

RFMD expands foundry services offerings to include GaAs technologies manufactured in Europe

GREENSBORO, USA: RF Micro Devices Inc. has added its world-class Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) technology to RFMD's foundry services portfolio and will begin providing a full suite of GaAs Pseudomorphic High Electron Mobility Transistor (pHEMT) technologies to customers of its Foundry Services business unit.

Specifically, RFMD will make available three distinct GaAs pHEMT technologies optimized for high power, low noise and RF switching products. RFMD's 0.3-micron pHEMT technology delivers high power and is optimized for X-band phased array power amplifiers (PAs) and 8-16 GHz wideband military electronic warfare jammers.

RFMD's 0.25-micron pHEMT technology delivers low noise, medium power and high linearity and is targeted at applications including low noise front ends and transmitter MMICs. RFMD's 0.6-micron pHEMT technology provides low noise and high linearity switching of RF signals and is designed for applications including wireless front ends and transmit/receive modules.

All of the process technologies are manufactured in RFMD's Newton Aycliffe, United Kingdom fab, providing RFMD's Foundry Services customers access to European technology with ease of European import/export controls.

RFMD currently provides Foundry Services customers access to two of RFMD's gallium nitride (GaN) process technologies from its Greensboro, NC wafer fab : GaN1, targeted at high power applications, and GaN2, targeted at high linearity applications. RFMD also offers an Integrated Passive Component (IPC) technology optimized to complement high power applications. RFMD's advanced GaAs pHEMT technologies are complementary to the Company's GaN technologies and other power semiconductor technologies for the design of multi-chip modules (MCMs).

Bob Van Buskirk, president of RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group (MPG), said: "RFMD is the world's largest manufacturer of III-V circuits for electronics, including both GaAs and GaN. For the last 15 years RFMD has been supplying our customers world-class products manufactured in our wafer fabrication facilities.

"Now, we are presenting this same opportunity to others. With our world class GaAs technology, technology expertise, high volume manufacturing, industry-leading cycle times and unprecedented levels of support, our foundry service enables a wide range of foundry customers to utilize advanced compound semiconductor technologies in an efficient and cost effective business model."

RFMD's Foundry Services business unit was formed to deliver RFMD's high-reliability, high-performance and price-competitive process technologies to external foundry customers immediately upon process qualification and production release.

Analog Devices’ MEMS digital gyroscope offers higher rate sensing accuracy where extreme shock and vibration are present

NORWOOD, USA: Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) has introduced the ADXRS453 iMEMS gyroscope, the latest addition to ADI’s portfolio of fourth-generation high-performance, low-power gyroscopes with digital output.

Specifically designed for angular rate (rotational) sensing in harsh environments, the new gyro features an advanced, differential Quad-Sensor design that enables it to operate accurately under intense shock and vibration conditions.

The ADXRS453 is the most stable, vibration-immune MEMS gyro available, with sensitivity to linear acceleration specified at only 0.01 °/sec/g, vibration rectification of only 0.0002 °/sec/g2, a noise-rate density specification of 0.023°/sec/√Hz at +105°C, null offset stability of 16°/hr and power consumption of only 6 milliamps under typical conditions.

The new gyro is available in a cavity plastic SOIC-16 and an SMT-compatible vertical mount package and is capable of operating across a wide voltage range of 3.3 V to 5 V and an extended temperature range of -40°C to 125°C. The ADXRS453 is well suited for industrial and defense applications.

“The ADXRS453 features an innovative Quad-Sensor design that rejects the influence of linear acceleration caused by intense shock and vibration,” said Kelly Atkinson, defense electronics marketing manager, Analog Devices.

“This enables the ADXRS453 to enable complex navigation and GPS-aided dead-reckoning in exceedingly harsh environments like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), platform stabilization in land- and sea-based military vehicles, and avionics equipment where shock and vibration are present and can cause measurement errors in less capable gyros.”

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

AWR announces support for NMDG S-functions in Microwave Office software

European Microwave Week 2010, PARIS, FRANCE: AWR Corp., announced Microwave Office high-frequency design software now includes full support for S-functions, which are nonlinear behavioral models developed by NMDG NV of Belgium.

AWR will be demonstrating S-functions within the Microwave Office design environment in booth 84 at the European European Microwave Week Conference in Paris, France, from Sept. 28-30.

S-functions are an extension of S-parameters from which all microwave components, circuits, and systems are created and characterized. They extend these functions to nonlinear devices such as transistors, amplifiers, prescalers, and mixers that must be characterized under large-signal conditions to be accurately characterized under various signal and matching conditions.

S-function can be used with vector network analyzers (VNAs) and oscilloscopes, and in particular, are closely integrated with the VNAs from Rohde & Schwarz. When imported into AWR’s Microwave Office software they can be used to speed the design and increase the accuracy of larger circuits using actual measured data.

With today’s announcement of NMDG S-function support, Microwave Office software now supports multiple, emerging, nonlinear behavioral models like Agilent’s X-parameters and Mesuro's Cardiff model.

In addition to in booth demonstrations of S-functions and other nonlinear models in Microwave Office software, AWR, NMDG, Focus Microwaves and Rohde & Schwarz are hosting a free workshop Wednesday afternoon on the topic of S-functions, their role in nonlinear modeling, fast nonlinear device characterization of power amplifier designs using VNAs, device measurements in a non-50-ohm environment using multiple harmonics, as well as the use of “extended VNAs” to provide real-time access to dynamic IV at multiple harmonics.

State-of-the-art in secure MCUs on display by ST

MUMBAI, INDIA: A global top-three supplier of smartcard ICs, STMicroelectronics will demonstrate its world-class solutions at SmartCards Expo, the international exhibition and conference on smartcard technology and applications at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai, India, on September 28-30, 2010.

ST’s secure microcontroller portfolio covers all mobile and secure applications, offering compliance with the latest security standards and many interfaces for both contact and contactless communication. The optimized products are based on advanced 90nm embedded EEPROM and embedded Flash non-volatile-memory technologies and highly secure architectures.

SmartCards Expo visitors are invited to Stand C5/C6, where ST is showcasing its wide range of innovative products for various segments. These products include those targeted to e-ID/e-Government, Banking, IT Security, Brand Protection, Telecom, Transport and Pay TV applications.

e-ID/e-government
ST has developed a complete range of smartcard ICs that cover every aspect of large-scale, government-level programs, including national ID, passport, national health, driving license, and registered-traveler projects. Based on advanced 0.13┬Ám and 90nm EEPROM technologies, ST’s ID/Passport chips support specific requirements for security (EAL6+), reliability, speed and interoperability.

The devices have proven their value in deployments in a number of government projects around the world. The chips being displayed are also compliant with the Indian Smart-Card Operating System (SCOSTA).

Transport
A world leader in the development and delivery of contactless-ticket ICs, ST offers a complete product range for mass-transit applications, from simple to intelligent and flexible e-tickets to secure subscriber cards. ST’s solutions for fast contactless payment and identification support the open electronic-ticketing standard CALYPSO.

Brand protection
ST’s innovative AuKey chips employ a symmetric cryptographic architecture for secure peripheral authentication, targeting manufacturers who wish to protect their brand against counterfeit, cloning or any illegitimate use.

Secured USB
ST was the first company to release secure microcontrollers that combine ISO/IEC 7816[1] and USB interfaces. Secure USB tokens are particularly suited for PC-based applications such as secure login, secure e-mail, digital signatures, and secure remote access.

Others
ST’s industry-unique dual-interface EEPROM enables quick and easy contactless reading and writing in a wide variety of applications, including diagnostics, parameter update, remote activation and asset tracking across the consumer, industrial, medical and automotive fields.

Freescale hosts India’s first 'Smart Car Race India – 2010' for engineering students

BANGALORE, INDIA: Freescale Semiconductor India, in collaboration with the Center for Electronic Design and Technology (CEDT) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), hosted the finals of the ‘Smart Car Race India – 2010’, a first of its kind competition for engineering students in India.

The two-day event is part of a series of such competitions that have been organized by Freescale around the world and is being brought to India for the first time.

‘Smart Car Race India – 2010’ received an overwhelming response from the student fraternity from engineering colleges across India, with participation from 22 renowned colleges and more than 90 teams.

Approximately 290 engineering students, along with their faculty guides, participated in the competition. During the competition, students assembled an intelligent model racing car that automatically recognized the specially designed racing track at the final competition venue.

Freescale provided the model car kit and the required development tools to develop a model racing car based on Freescale microcontroller (MCU) technology, along with mentoring support to the teams. The event was the culmination of several months of hard work by students designing and assembling smart model cars for the racing event.

‘Freescale’s University Program’s goal is to foster creativity and cultivate embedded design expertise among engineering students,” said Ganesh Guruswamy, vice president and country manager of Freescale Semiconductor India Pvt Ltd.

“The competition created a perfect platform for students to interact, explore their creativity and get hands-on experience with the microcontrollers in the automobile domain as well as the embedded technology that plays a key role in next-generation smart cars.

“Today, with the rapid changes in the global semiconductor industry, it is essential that students are updated about the latest technologies so they can be partners in an organization’s success from the day they join. Thus, it’s important for universities and the industry to collaborate and build a strong technical foundation.”

The participating teams in the competition were judged by a panel of experts from the automobile industry, embedded systems domain and academia. The criteria included speed, design and technology. The team whose car completed the race with the best performance was declared the winner. The prize money for the six winning teams included - first prize (Rs.1,00, 000); second prize (Rs. 50,000), third prize (Rs. 25,000) and three consolation prizes (Rs. 10,000 each).

Prof. K. Gopakumar, chairman, CEDT, IISc, said: “Our endeavor has always been to maintain association with the industries so that benefits from the developmental work happening in industry and academia can be utilised. Industry and academia collaboration goes a long way in grooming and building a stronger talent base for our country.

“Initiatives such as ‘Smart Car Race India – 2010’ not only provide students a chance to work on the next-gen technologies but also widen their horizon and give them an opportunity to showcase their creative abilities. CEDT has always been a department that places a lot of importance to collaboration with industry. CEDT is happy to be part of this collaboration.”

Details of the winning teams:
* First prize-Team PARAM (Sardar Vallabhai National Institute of Technology, Surat).
* Second prize- Team THE TITANS (Delhi Technological University, Delhi).
* Third prize- Team ELECTRO RACERZ (PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore).

-- Consolation prizes:
* Team ZEALOUS (Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh).
* Team ACCEL (VIT University, Vellore).
* Team GANDIN SHRI (Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai).

Rochester Electronics joins with SIA to provide only comprehensive worldwide directory of authorized semicon distributors

NEWBURYPORT, USA: To counteract the growing problem of counterfeit and substandard semiconductors entering the global marketplace, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and Rochester Electronics have joined to develop a comprehensive, worldwide directory of companies that are authorized by original semiconductor manufacturers to distribute their products.

Only authorized distributors can guarantee traceability and authenticity of components; buying authorized eliminates the potential risk of purchasing counterfeit or substandard parts. The Authorized Directory provides two quick and easy worldwide search tool options to help buyers find authorized distributors: search by semiconductor manufacturer, or search by part number.

Access the Electronics Authorized Directory at www.authorizeddirectory.com.

“With all of the reports about counterfeit and substandard semiconductors appearing on manufacturing floors and in maintenance inventories, it is vital that OEMs know how to avoid becoming victimized,” said George Karalias, director of marketing and communications at Rochester Electronics.

“Just this month, two Florida individuals were indicted for conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit goods, and mail fraud. In two years, the accused generated over $15.8 million in gross receipts selling counterfeit components they acquired from China and Hong Kong. Some of these components, falsely marked as ‘military grade,’ went to the US Navy and defense contractors.

"This is the reason we created The Authorized Directory – so that customers can instantly know who the authorized sources are for every semiconductor brand. If you can’t purchase your semiconductors from the original manufacturer, you should be purchasing from an authorized distributor.”

Daryl Hatano, SIA VP of Public Policy, said: “The purpose of the Authorized Directory is simple. It is your handbook for finding an authorized distributor who will guarantee the traceability of the parts you need.

“The SIA Anti-Counterfeit Task Force, Rochester Electronics, and the listed semiconductor manufacturers are providing this service to ensure the reliability and safety of the products you purchase. This useful tool will be valuable to customers and will seriously reduce the problems associated with counterfeit and substandard products currently in the supply chain.”

Tetsuro (Terry) Higashi named director emeritus of SEMI

SAN JOSE, USA: Tetsuro (Terry) Higashi, chairman of Tokyo Electron Ltd, has been named a director emeritus of the SEMI International Board of Directors.

In this capacity, Higashi joins an elite group of industry veterans that have contributed to the development of the global industry association over an extended period of industry service. Higashi served as a SEMI board member for eleven years including a term as chairman of the SEMI Board in 2004-2005.

“For his extraordinary service to our industry and its global association, the International SEMI Board of Directors is proud to bestow the distinction of emeritus status upon Higashi-san,” said Stanley T. Myers, president and CEO of SEMI.

“His steadfast dedication over many years to SEMI and its worldwide membership places him among an elite group of industry visionaries in this important advisory role."

The SEMI Board of Directors is composed of executives from equipment and materials companies serving the global semiconductor, photovoltaic and related industries. The board governs the policies and activities of the association on behalf of its international membership.

Directors may serve on the SEMI Board up to eight years as voting members and an additional three years as ex-officio members in accordance with the association bylaws.

Emeritus directors are nominated by the Executive Committee of the SEMI Board in recognition of outstanding achievements on behalf of the association and the industry.

Included among the SEMI Emeritus Directors are distinguished industry luminaries Ed Braun, Joel Elftmann, Ken Levy, James Morgan, Ed Segal, Kenichi Sekiya, Shoichiro Yoshida and Arthur Zafiropoulo.

STMicroelectronics sharpens audio edge for STM32 developers

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: To help product developers exploit the full potential of its STM32 microcontrollers in portable and home-audio products, STMicroelectronics has teamed up with audio experts Spirit DSP to provide no-charge access to professionally developed audio software that delivers better features and performance than typical open-source alternatives.

The STM32 Spirit Audio Engine delivers advantages such as a high-quality codec, rich audio-system features, low memory usage, long battery life and full technical support. These advantages typically differentiate professionally developed plug-and-play solutions from open-source software. At the same time, however, no-charge access to the engine matches the key attraction of open-source software.

Moreover, the STM32 Spirit Audio Engine is optimized for ST's advanced STM32 microcontroller architecture, and therefore leaves more processing and memory resources available for higher-level functions specific to the developer's application.

The Audio Engine will be particularly powerful when used with STM32 Connectivity Line microcontrollers, which provide two audio-class I2S ports enabling synchronized data transfers, and also support USB2.0 OTG, Ethernet and CAN communications with connected equipment.

Other features common to all STM32 microcontrollers, which help boost the performance of audio devices, include up to 1Mbyte of on-chip Flash memory, up to 12 DMA channels, advanced power management enabling longer battery life, and complete compatibility between pins and software across all devices.

"Spirit DSP's audio expertise is well recognized among software specialists, system vendors and IC manufacturers," said Michel Buffa, GM of ST's Microcontroller Division.

"Our customers can now access the benefits of that expertise without charge, combined with the advanced performance, features and scalability inherent in the STM32, to deliver innovative, highly featured products to market quickly and at competitive prices."

MIPS announces PMC-Sierra licensing agreement for broad range of processor cores

SUNNYVALE, USA: MIPS Technologies Inc. announced that long-time MIPS customer PMC-Sierra is licensing a broad range of MIPS32 processor cores.

The cores offer an extensive range of options—from small-footprint to multi-threaded multicore solutions—for next generation designs. PMC-Sierra will use the cores to power chips for an array of applications.

Included in the agreement are MIPS32 cores including the 4KEm Pro, 24Kc Pro, 34Kc Pro, 74Kc and 1004Kc cores, as well as the MIPS SOC-it L2 Cache Controller. The new agreement also includes the new MIPS32 M14K and M14Kc cores that execute the microMIPS instruction set architecture (ISA) for an advanced level of code compression.

"MIPS provides the high performance, low power, and scalability needed for many storage and networking applications, together with a broad ecosystem of third party support. MIPS Technologies' multi-threading capability also enables us to develop the higher performance, lower power solutions our customers require," said Tom Snodgrass, vice president of product development, Enterprise Storage Division, PMC-Sierra.

An example of the benefits of multi-threading in PMC-Sierra products is the company's new maxRAID architecture that reportedly produces performance far beyond other current market solutions for RAID and server storage. The extendible architecture features three multi-threaded MIPS32 34K cores.

"PMC-Sierra is leveraging the strengths of MIPS' entire line of processor cores to provide optimal application-specific solutions to its customers," said Art Swift, vice president of marketing, MIPS Technologies.

"Through PMC-Sierra, the MIPS architecture is making strong inroads into the networked and server storage market and other burgeoning markets. Our long-time, close relationship with PMC-Sierra has resulted in some of the industry's most innovative solutions for these markets, and we are excited to see where the company takes MIPS in its next-generation products."

RFMD expands product portfolio targeting microwave and millimeter wave apps

PARIS, USA: RF Micro Devices has introduced the RFUV5945A during the European Microwave Week (EuMW) 2010 Conference.

The RFUV5945A I/Q up-converter is the newest addition to RFMD's rapidly growing portfolio of innovative components for microwave and millimeter wave radio applications. It is ideally suited for a variety of end markets, including point-to-point microwave radio, military radio, VSAT, and test and measurement.

Bob Van Buskirk, president of RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group (MPG), said: "MPG is leveraging RFMD's deep expertise in RF design and our industry leadership in compound semiconductor technologies to aggressively target new customers in new markets, such as the high-value military radio and microwave point-to-point radio markets.

"In fiscal 2011, MPG intends to launch more than one new product per day, expanding RFMD's product portfolio considerably and enhancing our opportunities for revenue growth, diversification and margin expansion."

The highly integrated RFUV5945A is a GaAs MMIC I/Q up-converter housed in an SMT ceramic package. The RFUV5945A accelerates radio design for engineers and reduces radio board space by integrating an I/Q mixer, an LO buffer amplifier, and an output driver amplifier, all within a compact 5x5mm outline.

Operating across a broad range of frequencies (from 10GHz to 16GHz), the RFUV5945A enables increased efficiencies in inventory management by providing a single up-converter solution for 11GHz, 13GHz, and 15GHz microwave radios. Additionally, a DC to 4GHz IF frequency range ensures multiple radio modulation schemes can be supported, with lower power consumption helping to reduce environmental impact and facilitate "greener" radios.

The RFUV5945A is priced at $21.60 each in volumes of 5,000. Samples and evaluation boards are available now through RFMD's online store or through local RFMD sales channels.

Cabot Microelectronics signs non-binding MoU to expand capabilities in South Korea

AURORA, USA: Cabot Microelectronics Corp., a leading supplier of chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) polishing slurries and growing CMP pad supplier to the semiconductor industry, has entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gyeonggi Province of South Korea to potentially establish manufacturing and research and development capabilities in the region.

The signing ceremony was held at Cabot Microelectronics Corporation's headquarters in Aurora, Illinois on September 27, 2010 and was attended by the Governor of Gyeonggi Province, Moon-Soo Kim.

The MoU reflects a potential aggregate investment by the Company of approximately $10 million in Gyeonggi Province. The potential investment would provide expanded capabilities in South Korea to serve the needs of the Company's advanced memory customers.

Ben Han, Cabot Microelectronics' Country Manager of Korea, stated, "This potential investment supports our strategic initiative to get closer to our Asian customers and our continued focus on building strong customer relationships and supply capabilities in Korea."

New DSP + ARM software tools from TI dramatically reduce DSP development starting time from hours to minutes

DALLAS, USA: Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) is launching two free software development tools to enable ARM, Linux and system developers to easily leverage the real-time, intensive signal processing power of the TMS320C6000 digital signal processor (DSP) in TI's integrated floating- and fixed-point DSP + ARM processors.

The C6EZRun and C6EZAccel software development tools allow ARM developers to quickly and easily program the DSP. This simplifies and accelerates the development process and reduces DSP development starting time, time-to-market and development costs.

Using C6EZRun, ARM and Linux developers can easily port their current ARM applications to run on the DSP without changing their ARM code or learning DSP architectures.

Partitioning code between the DSP and the ARM cores offloads the ARM and allows the DSP to efficiently process signal-intensive algorithms, improving overall performance. Efficient partitioning of code from the ARM to the DSP can increase performance of certain algorithms by as much as 10 times.

For system engineers looking to reduce development time by leveraging ready-to-use DSP software, C6EZAccel provides a framework to over 130 optimized DSP kernels, allowing them to add DSP functionality to their application and differentiate their product with TI-provided video, audio and voice codecs.

With the C6EZRun and C6EZAccel software development tools, developers can quickly and easily leverage the DSP to add intensive real-time signal analysis and algorithm processing features to their applications.

The tools are ideal for adding digital signal processing functionality such as digital room correction capabilities to an audio system, people-counting capabilities to a video system or power measurement and analysis to a power metering system.

Sunplus reduces design cycle on high-speed multi-million-gate SoC using Cadence Encounter Digital Implementation system

SAN JOSE, USA: Cadence Design Systems Inc., a leader in global electronic design innovation, announced that Sunplus Technology Co. Ltd, a leading multimedia IC design company, adopted the Cadence Encounter Digital Implementation (EDI) System for its multimedia system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

“With EDI System, we achieved greater productivity and faster time to market for our area-critical, high-performance 65-nanometer designs,” said Dr. Siuleong Yu, vice president and CTO of the Home Entertainment Business Unit at Sunplus. “EDI System enabled us to successfully tape out an advanced multimedia SoC design, involving the incredibly complex integration of multi-million gates into a single, low-power, area-efficient chip.”

Today’s consumer products are small, fast, feature-rich devices, that are driving the demand for larger-scale, higher-performance, complex low-power SoCs. To compete in this environment, Sunplus must deliver state-of-the-art differentiated designs faster than the competition. EDI System enables this by providing Sunplus with a high performance, high-capacity scalable end-to-end digital design solution to address the needs of high-density electronic design.

“Cadence EDI System, a key element of our Silicon Realization product line, delivers a significant advantage in productivity and predictability for complex advanced node semiconductor designs,” said Dr. Chi-Ping Hsu, senior vice president, Silicon Realization Group at Cadence. “It is exciting to help leading customers like Sunplus gain these advantages and to deliver new breakthrough high-definition home-entertainment products with superior quality and performance.”

Keithley releases ACS Basic Edition v1.2 for semiconductor test applications

CLEVELAND, USA: Keithley Instruments Inc., a leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems, has made a new release of ACS Basic Edition Semiconductor Parametric Test Software for semiconductor test and measurement applications.

ACS Basic Edition Version 1.2 adds new levels of usability, convenience, and productivity in the characterization of component or discrete (packaged) semiconductor devices. It features a Trace Mode that allows an instantaneous check of results and interactively controls voltage sweeps to avoid impending device breakdown.

In addition to full support for Keithley’s broad line of source-measure (SMU) instrumentation, ACS Basic Edition combines high speed hardware control, device connectivity, and data management in an easy-to-use tool optimized for part verification, debugging, and analysis.

ACS Basic Edition offers an incredibly rich set of quick and easy-to-access test libraries, so no programming is needed. An intuitive GUI further simplifies many types of I-V testing, data collection, and analysis. Even novice users can test a semiconductor component in seconds, generate a family of curves, and then compare them with reference curves immediately. While pre-configured tests minimize startup time, the user still has the flexibility to optimize a test or the entire test system.

The new Trace Mode feature of ACS Basic Edition Version 1.2 supports interactive testing of a device. It can be used to map out the operating range and characteristics of a DUT while avoiding damage to the device. This interactive mode includes a convenient method of controlling the voltage level of a sweep with either a virtual slide bar or the arrow keys on a PC keyboard.

ACS Basic Edition maximizes productivity for technicians and engineers responsible for packaged part characterization in applications ranging from early device research through development, quality verification, and failure analysis.

It will serve university researchers and developers of novel devices equally well, aiding in the transition from pure research to commercial application. It can also be used in semiconductor facilities and companies involved in pilot production for process refinement at the component level, supporting engineers involved in QA, failure analysis, and post-production testing.

ACS Basic Edition Version 1.2 is now available as an upgrade for users of earlier versions at a price of $999. It is available to first-time buyers at $4,995.

INSIDE Contactless first to be certified for STAR CertiFlash

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE: INSIDE Contactless, a leading provider of advanced, open-standard contactless chip technologies, announced that its award-winning MicroPass payment processor is the first implementation to receive type approval from the STAR Network for its STAR CertiFlash contactless PIN debit security application.

INSIDE’s MicroPass-based implementation is being used by STAR in a pilot of STAR CertiFlash that will run through the end of this year in preparation for the full commercial rollout of the technology.

STAR CertiFlash protects against fraud during contactless point-of-sale debit transactions by substituting a one-time card number for the consumer’s actual card number for each transaction. In addition to the one-time card number, STAR CertiFlash transactions are protected by additional security measures designed to greatly reduce exposure to transaction data compromise.

“Building upon our long-standing relationship with First Data, we worked very closely with the STAR Network to develop the first implementation of STAR CertiFlash, taking advantage of the flexibility of our MicroPass platform to support multiple applications,” said Charles Walton, executive VP, payments, at INSIDE Contactless.

STAR CertiFlash will be made available to all STAR member financial institutions, enabling them to offer advanced convenience and security to consumers on a variety of currently available payment devices — such as debit cards, prepaid cards, payment fobs and payment stickers — as well as in future mobile applications. STAR, a First Data company, is one of the United States’ leading EFT networks with more than two million retail and ATM locations.

“INSIDE is the first to implement the STAR CertiFlash application. They are an important technology partner for First Data, which has already worked with them on several important contactless payments projects,” said Julie Saville, vice president, product management, for the STAR Network.

“We designed our patent-pending one-time card number generation system and the other security measures to address payment card industry concerns over fraud, and it is our hope that it opens the door to more widespread use of contactless technology in the cash payment market, as well as serving as the gold standard for the evolution of debit payments.”

The MicroPass intelligent payment platform is designed to power open standard contactless and dual-interface bank card payments along with other value-added applications in all global regions. Based upon a RISC architecture and optimized to the demanding requirements of contactless transactions, each of the MicroPass family of products is designed to meet the demands of issuer organizations in the bank card and mobile payments, transit, ID and access control markets.

Skyworks unveils highly integrated switch matrix solutions for satellite and cable TV markets

WOBURN, USA: Skyworks Solutions Inc., an innovator of high reliability analog and mixed signal semiconductors enabling a broad range of end markets, has launched several new complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) switch matrix devices for the direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and cable television markets.

Skyworks’ newest solutions eliminate the need for external components by integrating critical functionality directly on the CMOS die, providing customers with significant cost savings and reduced printed circuit board (PCB) space requirements.

DBS is a service that allows households to receive television programming directly from a satellite transponder via a low noise block converter. Across the satellite receiver industry, low noise block switches are increasingly enabling a single dish to view multiple satellites and allow hundreds of channels to be viewed per household.

Skyworks’ switch matrix solutions connect four of the satellite signals to two indoor set-top boxes selectable by the viewer’s channel choice. Current Skyworks’ customers include BSkyB, DIRECTV, EchoStar and their design partners – along with a variety of emerging Chinese LNB original equipment manufacturers and original device manufacturers.

“We are delighted to be expanding our product portfolio with industry-leading solutions for today’s fast-growing satellite and cable television markets, particularly as these markets are expected to achieve double digit growth every year through 2015,” said David Stasey, vice president of analog components at Skyworks.

“These newest additions to our CMOS switch family are just several solutions within Skyworks’ broad portfolio designed to drive greater network reliability, capacity and efficiency while also reducing size and complexity.”

Cadence offers optimized implementation methodology for silicon realization of ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore processor

SAN JOSE, USA: Cadence Design Systems Inc. is providing its customers an optimized implementation methodology for the new ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore processor that enables them to start designing Cortex-A15 processor-based SoCs immediately.

As ARM developed the Cortex-A15 MPCore processor - its most advanced processor for mobile, consumer and infrastructure applications - Cadence® worked alongside the microprocessor IP leader to develop the methodology for customers seeking early access to this cutting-edge ARM processor technology for Silicon Realization.

“Our early collaboration with the Cadence team has been instrumental in ensuring the adoption of the ARM Cortex-A15 processor by providing an implementation path to a broader set of ARM Partners,” said Eric Schorn, vice president of Marketing, Processor Division, ARM.

“Combining Cadence’s expertise in deployment tools and methodology across a broad portfolio of ARM processors and physical IP enables our customers to get earlier access to a complete design flow. This collaboration resulted in a streamlined design cycle for our most advanced customers providing next-generation high-performance devices.”

“We appreciate Cadence’s early commitment to the development of ARM’s Cortex-A15 MP processor,” said Ty Garibay, director of OMAP IC Development, Wireless Business Unit at Texas Instruments. “As the first company to license ARM’s new processor, TI will rely on its EDA partners to be fully ramped as well. This ensures our implementation of the technology is as smooth as possible, which ultimately enables us to quickly deliver solid solutions to our customers.”

The Cortex-A15 MPCore implementation methodology is the latest in a series of collaborations between Cadence and ARM aimed at enhancing System, SoC, and Silicon Realization, key pillars of the EDA360 vision. In July, Cadence announced a broadening of its existing collaboration with ARM to create an ARM-optimized System Realization solution.

“The Cortex-A15 MPCore processor is the next quantum leap for high-performance embedded applications used in demanding consumer and enterprise devices,” said Dr. Chi-Ping Hsu, senior vice president, Silicon Realization Group at Cadence. “Through our early collaborations between ARM and Cadence, we are excited to offer our most sophisticated mutual customers like TI the optimized design solutions to efficiently apply ARM technologies quickly.”

AWR announces NXP’s latest-generation LDMOS power transistor model library

European Microwave Week 2010, PARIS, FRANCE: AWR Corp., the innovation leader in high-frequency electronic design automation (EDA) software, announced the availability of NXP Semiconductor's sixth- and seventh-generation laterally-diffused metal oxide semiconductor (LDMOS) power transistor library for AWR’s Microwave Office design software.

The NXP LDMOS power transistor library is ideal for use by designers of high-power power amplifiers (PAs) found within basestation, broadcast and microwave applications due to its power efficiency and linearity.

"We continue to see increasing demand for the availability of our highly accurate LDMOS power transistor models for use within AWR’s Microwave Office software," said Mark Murphy, director of marketing for the RF Power & Base Stations product line at NXP Semiconductors.

"This latest-generation release of our model library enables customers to examine the performance of packaged NXP devices as part of their Microwave Office design flow which in turn leads to better PA design topologies, more-confident component selections, and shorter design cycles."

"NXP's silicon RF LDMOS technology is world-renowned for its unprecedented performance," said Chris Paris, AWR director of European operations. "As such, we were ready to work with them in the development of the model library to better service and support our mutual customers. Simply put, the combination of the Microwave Office software with NXP models enables PA designers to realize better designs."

The NXP LDMOS power transistor model library for use within AWR’s Microwave Office software release 2010 is available now and free of charge to current customers and evaluators.

CVD Equipment receives $2.5 million of orders for First Nano products

RONKONKOMA, USA: CVD Equipment Corp. announced that its CVD/First Nano Division has received orders during the month of September, 2010, for approximately $2.5 million from a number of institutions, including the University of Illinois and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, for products sold under the First Nano EasyTube, EasyGas and EasyExhaust brand.

CVD continues to benefit from the increased acceptance of our First Nano products throughout the world.

The First Nano product line addresses the need for technologically advanced tools to perform Research and Development in the production of thin film coatings and/or nano size materials requiring precise process parameter control. The applications for the research line products include Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene, Nanowires, Semiconductor layers, and other processes used in the nanotechnology, solar, energy and semiconductor markets.

Using the Application Laboratory, CVD continue to perfect and expand the multiple areas where our research and production equipment solutions can be applied to the next generation of advanced materials. The Nanotechnology, Solar, Energy and Semiconductor markets offer our products significant growth opportunities because they deliver advanced performance at an affordable price.

It is gratifying to see the product strategy of offering a family of technologically advanced research equipment is being recognized by technology innovators throughout the world and being used to accelerate the commercialization needs of tomorrow’s technologies.

When CVD collaboratess with these technology innovators, our equipment design and manufacturing skills, along with its understanding of complex system integration and hardware/process interactions, enable a lower risk, higher value process solution, a winning situation for all parties.

Freescale RF power products reduce complexity and operating costs for multi-carrier wireless base station amplifiers

AUSTIN, USA: Freescale Semiconductor introduces three new RF LDMOS power transistors that deliver ultra high output levels required for Doherty-type, multi-carrier power amplifiers (MCPAs) used in wireless base station transceivers.

Freescale’s MRF8S18260H/S, MRF8P18265H/S, and MRF8S19260H/S products are the newest members of Freescale’s High Voltage Eighth Generation (HV8) family of RF power amplifiers. They deliver the highest output levels in Freescale’s RF LDMOS power transistor portfolio for the 1800 and 1900 MHz bands.

MCPAs allow wireless service providers to increase the coverage and capacity of their existing base stations without dedicating one amplifier per carrier, as was often required in the past. MCPA technology allows a single amplifier to handle multiple carriers, thereby decreasing the size and component count of end products.

In addition, Doherty configurations make the power amplifier more energy efficient, lowering the base station’s annual operating costs.

“We designed Freescale’s HV8 portfolio to offer designers increased operating efficiency in order to lower the total power consumption of a base station system and reduce operating costs,” said Gavin P. Woods, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s RF Division.

“The addition of these advanced MCPAs, the MRF8S18260H/S, MRF8P18265H/S, and MRF8S19260H/S, expands our LDMOS offerings to provide our customers an even wider selection to meet their design needs to specifically address the broad range of wireless service provider requirements.”

The new products satisfy the unique requirements of the Doherty amplifier architecture, in which a carrier amplifier operating in Class AB mode is combined with a peaking amplifier operating in the higher-efficiency Class C mode. Their characteristics also make them well suited for use with digital predistortion (DPD) circuits that maintain the high linearity demanded by higher-order modulation schemes.

The transistors are internally matched for simplified assembly, are extremely rugged, and can produce their rated power into a 10:1 VSWR at 32 VDC. They are housed in Freescale’s NI1230 ceramic air-cavity packages and have integrated electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection that makes them more resistant to stray voltage encountered on assembly lines, and their broad gate voltage range of -6 to +10V increases their performance when operating in Class C mode.

The MRF8P18265H/S is a dual-path device in which both carrier and peaking amplifiers required to implement a Doherty final stage amplifier are integrated within a single package.

Cadence announces CFO transition plan

SAN JOSE, USA: Cadence Design Systems Inc. announced that Geoff Ribar, chief financial officer of Telegent Systems, Inc., will be appointed senior vice president and chief financial officer of Cadence effective on or about November 1, 2010.

Kevin S. Palatnik is leaving the company to pursue other interests. Palatnik will remain with the company as an advisor to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of duties to Mr. Ribar, leaving by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

“The Cadence Board of Directors and I are pleased that Geoff Ribar has agreed to serve as the CFO of Cadence,” said Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO of Cadence.

“Geoff is an experienced executive who brings to Cadence a wealth of financial, IT and operational expertise at public and private high tech companies, including SiRF, Matrix Semiconductor, nVidia and Advanced Micro Devices. We are confident Geoff’s deep experience will serve Cadence well as we build upon the important progress we have made with our EDA360 strategy and further expand Cadence’s position with customers, increase top line growth and improve profitability. We look forward to a smooth transition as Kevin will remain with Cadence through February 2011 and share his deep knowledge of Cadence with Geoff.”

Tan continued: “On behalf of our Board of Directors and the entire Cadence team, I want to express our deep gratitude to Kevin for his significant contributions and dedication to Cadence over the last nine years, serving in many capacities, including most recently as CFO and previously as Corporate Controller. Kevin is a world class CFO who has been instrumental in navigating Cadence through tremendous change during the last two years.

“In particular, Kevin led the transition to a highly ratable revenue model and played an important role in planning and executing a company-wide restructuring plan. We are grateful to have benefitted from Kevin’s exceptional financial, operational and strategic leadership and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Third quarter and full year 2010 outlook affirmed
As disclosed in its second quarter earnings release of July 28, 2010 (as updated on our Current Report on Form 8-K, dated August 4, 2010), for the third quarter of 2010, the company expects total revenue in the range of $225 million to $235 million. Third quarter GAAP net loss per diluted share is expected to be in the range of $(0.10) to $(0.08). Net income per diluted share using the non-GAAP measure defined below is expected to be in the range of $0.01 to $0.03.

For the full year 2010, the company expects total revenue in the range of $900 million to $925 million. On a GAAP basis, net loss per diluted share for fiscal 2010 is expected to be in the range of $(0.04) to $(0.00). Using the non-GAAP measure defined below, net income per diluted share for fiscal 2010 is expected to be in the range of $0.12 to $0.16.

Renesas Electronics to release 16 new product types in R8C/Lx MCU series

SANTA CLARA, USA: Renesas Electronics has released 56 new 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) within the R8C/Lx Series.

The new R8C/LAxA product groups offer ultra-low-power consumption ranked among the best in the industry along with the company’s low-power K0 (8-bit) and K0R (16-bit) MCUs. The R8C/Lx MCUs will comprise a total of four groups ranging from 32- to 80-pins and up to 64 kilobytes (KB) of programmable flash memory.

The products are ideal for a wide variety of application areas such as battery-operated devices, healthcare devices, household appliances, industrial equipment, security equipment, imaging devices, and office automation equipment.

In addition to reduced current consumption, the four groups offer new features that contribute to reduced system power consumption overall, including on-chip flash memory with 1.8 operating voltage (V) and two power-off modes that effectively reduce current consumption while the MCU is in standby mode.

The key differences between the four groups are listed in the table below. A variety of specifications is available with different pin counts and supported LCD sizes, allowing customers to choose the version that best matches their requirements.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES joins Si2 industry standards efforts

AUSTIN, USA: The Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) announced that GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a full-service global semiconductor foundry, has joined both the OpenPDK and Design for Manufacturability Coalitions of Si2.

The goal of the OpenPDK Coalition is to define a set of open standards to define a PDK structure that will be as portable across foundries and as agnostic to EDA tools as possible.

The OpenPDK from Si2 will enable greater efficiency in PDK development, verification and delivery and will provide equivalent support to all foundries, all EDA tool vendors, all IP providers, and all end users. This is an ambitious goal, and the project will use the most inclusive approach to involve all stakeholders to create an industry-wide solution. The OpenPDK project aims to support all process nodes including high-voltage analog processes.

DFMC’s charter is to specify open standards for software interfaces between EDA software tools and manufacturing software. The specification includes standard terminology definitions, semantics and exchange formats for relevant manufacturing information. It also includes standard software application program interfaces (API) for models describing different manufacturing processes, yield mechanisms and circuit behaviors.

“The different parts of the semiconductor design chain are more interconnected than ever before. To succeed in this environment, the world is in need of new models for innovation and collaboration, particularly in industries - like semiconductors - that have such a huge impact on our daily lives,” says Mojy Chian, senior vice president of design enablement at GLOBALFOUDRIES.

“The OPDK and DFMC Coalitions are good examples of industry collaborations with the potential to change the way the semiconductor industry operates.”

“It will be extremely helpful to the OPDK and DFMC projects to have the input of GLOBALFOUNDRIES,” says Steve Schulz, president and CEO of Si2. “Both coalitions already have strong support from all leading EDA vendors, and are expanding rapidly as other semiconductor companies join. A broad range of companies ensures that adoption of the coalition efforts can be achieved throughout the industry.”

Membership in the OpenPDK and DFMC Coalitions are open to all interested parties across the semiconductor supply chain.

GEO Semiconductor closes $2 million in venture debt and equity financing

SANTA CLARA, USA: GEO Semiconductor Inc., a leader in high performance, programmable video and geometry pixel processor IC solutions that enable large new markets in LED-backlit LCD displays and smartphone cameras (optics through sensor), announced $2 million in additional funding comprised of venture debt and equity.

Montage Capital led the venture debt portion of the funding with participation from Harris & Harris Group. The equity portion of the funding was secured from existing shareholders and management.

GEO plans to utilize the proceeds from this funding to support its multiple new design wins for applications in LED backlighting for LCD flat panel displays, smartphone cameras, video conferencing, surveillance, laser 3D TV, digital cinemas and 2D/3D projection. In addition, this financing will be used for business development activities, while also providing additional working capital as IC shipments begin to ramp.

GEO Semiconductor’s chairman and CEO Paul Russo commented: "I am very pleased to have raised this expansion capital and to welcome Montage Capital and Harris & Harris Group as our newest investors in the Company. This financing will enable us to further penetrate key high volume growth opportunities that include correcting color & brightness uniformity issues in LED-backlit LCD displays as well as correcting optical anomalies and sensor pixel non-uniformity issues in smartphones.

"I also want to extend my appreciation to our existing equity investors for their continued support. I believe this additional funding will further drive our business forward, while we begin our Series B funding for development of our next-generation of eWarp geometry processing silicon in the fourth quarter of this year.”

GE Intelligent Platforms announces new family of I/O boards

CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA: GE Intelligent Platforms today announced the first in a new family of VME multifunction I/O boards designed specifically to address the problems caused by the growing constraints on size, weight and power in today’s military platforms.

It is also highly appropriate for commercial applications that are similarly challenged. The VME-6500 6U VME Multifunction I/O Board can deliver in a single chassis slot the analog and digital I/O capabilities that could previously have occupied four slots, and can therefore make a significant contribution to substantially enhanced performance and functional density.

With data acquisition becoming an increasingly common requirement in military applications such as radar, image capture and processing and video tracking, the rugged VME-6500 also responds to the requirement to place data acquisition hardware as close as possible to the sensors with its ability to operate over wide temperature ranges and to withstand shock and vibration.

Further, the VME-6500 provides a highly cost-effective, off-the-shelf alternative to a custom-built solution.

“Modern military embedded computing platforms are being deployed in an increasingly diverse and challenging range of scenarios – scenarios like unmanned vehicles - that require them to be as compact and light weight as possible,” said Rob McKeel, VP, Military & Aerospace Embedded Computing at GE Intelligent Platforms.

“Systems designers need to pack the maximum functionality and maximum computing performance into the smallest space possible – and the VME-6500 is designed to enable them to do that. Expect to see further, similar multifunction products from GE in the near future that will continue to offer our customers a sustainable competitive advantage.”

The VME-6500 features eight analog input channels, eight analog output channels, 16 digital input channels and 16 digital output channels. Each analog input channel is equipped with a 16-bit ADC (analog-to-digital converter), and each analog output channel with a 16-bit DAC (digital-to-analog converter).

Analog inputs are software-programmable to provide exceptional flexibility in sample rates, gains, filters and current ranges, while analog outputs are similarly flexible with programmable voltage and current rates, together with waveform generation.

Digital input channels are capable of multiple voltages and current ranges, and feature programmable input thresholds and de-bounce times. Digital outputs support high voltage and current drivers, and are protected for short circuit, over current and over temperature conditions.

The VME-6500 is supported by Windows, Linux and VxWorks.

Fairchild expands strategic partnership with Sichuan Changhong Electric

SAN JOSE, USA: Fairchild Semiconductor, a leading global supplier of high performance power and mobile products, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sichuan Changhong Electric Co. Ltd - one of the largest manufacturers of consumer electronics devices in China.

The strategic partnership enables the companies to collaborate further on product development. Changhong has committed to fulfilling purchasing target plans for Fairchild’s leading-edge power and mobile components through December 2015.

Fairchild’s devices are designed into a broad range of Changhong products including LED TVs, PDP TVs, LCD TVs, CRT TVs, set-top boxes, refrigerators and air conditioners.

Fairchild and Changhong maintain a close relationship, which started in 2004 with the establishment of a joint product development laboratory. This announcement is an extension of that long-standing cooperation.

Changhong is renowned for technical innovation, quality products and significant production capabilities. Fairchild’s high voltage MOSFETs, Fairchild Power Switches (Green FPS), IGBTs, interface switches, diodes, logic devices and rectifiers are some of the products designed into Changhong’s consumer devices.

“Since Changhong was established in 1958, we have grown to become a worldwide industry leader and the largest supplier of consumer electronics in Asia,” said Liu Tibin, vice president and general manager of Changhong group.

“We partnered with Fairchild in order to develop and differentiate our consumer electronic products and to solve difficult technical challenges. We look forward to building on this successful partnership in the future. The high quality and value of Fairchild’s energy-efficient semiconductor solutions and the high level of customer service they provide were key factors in our decision to select them as a strategic supplier.”

Based in Sichuan’s Mianyang City, Sichuan Changhong Electric is one of the province’s leading enterprises and has been ranked number one in China’s domestic consumer electronics market; one out of every four TVs in China is manufactured by Changhong.

“With its world-class manufacturing facilities, comprehensive product portfolio and leading-edge R&D capabilities, Changhong has deservedly built an excellent reputation, both domestically and globally, for providing high quality electronic products and services,” said Benjamin Tan, Fairchild’s regional vice president of Sales and Marketing, China and South East Asia.

“Fairchild has been a strong supporter of China’s domestic electronics industry since we entered the market in 1997,” Tan concluded. “We are delighted to be partnering with Changhong, particularly as this enables us to play a further part in boosting Sichuan’s economic and social development.”