Thursday, June 30, 2011

MagnaChip to begin wafer production for ELMOS' 0.35um automotive semiconductor products

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA & DORTMUND, GERMANY: MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp., a Korea-based foundry, designer and manufacturer of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products, and ELMOS Semiconductor AG, a Germany-based designer and manufacturer of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors primarily for the automotive industry, announced that MagnaChip Semiconductor ramped production and started delivery of 0.35um automotive qualified processed wafers to ELMOS.

MagnaChip and ELMOS entered into a cooperative agreement to jointly develop automotive semiconductor process technologies in 2008. As a result of this partnership, both companies successfully developed and qualified 0.35um process technologies targeted at products for the automotive semiconductor market.

These jointly developed process technologies are fully qualified for the demanding conditions and certification requirements of automotive semiconductors. This now provides MagnaChip with a significant process technology advantage and allows ELMOS to procure processed wafers manufactured according to automotive standards from another source apart from its own manufacturing facilities in Germany.

TJ Lee, senior VP and GM, Corporate Engineering and SMS Engineering of MagnaChip Semiconductor, commented: "This is a key step in expanding our specialty technology portfolio into the automotive market segment. Our goal is to continue to manufacture highly differentiated and cost-effective products for our customers. We aim to build strategic relationships with world-class partners through outstanding customer service and delivery of quality products. We are very proud to be associated with an automotive industry leader like ELMOS, a partnership which has allowed MagnaChip's foundry services to enter and serve the fast-growing automotive semiconductor market."

Reinhard Senf, CEO of ELMOS, said: "We are pleased to announce that the successful transfer of our automotive process technology now results in a fruitful supply relationship from MagnaChip Semiconductor to ELMOS. The diligent process transfer and true dedication of MagnaChip Semiconductor to the automotive market are warrantors for excellent quality. ELMOS and our customers will benefit from the enhanced flexibility that ELMOS gains through this additional manufacturing source. We look forward to continue and broaden our cooperation with MagnaChip Semiconductor."

Avantor completes acquisition of POCH S.A.

PHILLIPSBURG, USA: Avantor Performance Materials has completed its acquisition of POCH S.A. from Kulczyk Holding S.A. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The POCH acquisition complements Avantor’s strategy of growing into new markets and geographies, both organically and through acquisition. Avantor announced its intent to acquire POCH S.A. in April, 2011.

Avantor, formerly Mallinckrodt Baker, manufactures and markets high-performance chemistries and materials around the world under several well-respected brand names, including the J.T.Baker, Macron, Rankem and Diagnova brands. Avantor products are used in a wide range of industries including biotechnology and pharmaceutical production; electronics and photovoltaic manufacturing; and in research, academic and quality control laboratories. The company is owned by an affiliate of private equity firm New Mountain Capital.

Based in Poland, POCH S.A. manufactures products designed for use in classic and instrumental analysis, filtration and microbiology. POCH S.A. also sells laboratory equipment and laboratory glass. In addition, the company manufactures solvents for liquid and gas chromatography and spectroscopy as well as anhydrous solvents. Its markets include pharmaceuticals; food and feed; chemical and petrochemical; environmental protection and research and analytical chemistry.

“POCH is a perfect fit for Avantor because it strengthens our capabilities in Eastern Europe with its expansive manufacturing presence and distribution facility already in place,” said Avantor president and CEO, Jean-Marc Gilson. “As we formally integrate POCH into our organization, we plan to build upon that strong foundation by enhancing our products, support and services to customers in the region.”

“Working closely with Avantor presents us with a unique opportunity to collaborate on an enriched product portfolio while also leveraging our proven manufacturing and distribution capabilities,” said Jaroslaw Bieszczad, POCH S.A. CEO. “Becoming part of an established global leader also benefits our customers, who will now have access to Avantor’s high-quality product line and global support system.”

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Wardynski & Partners acted as legal advisors to Avantor and New Mountain Capital.

DC Advisory Partners acted as the sole financial advisor and Clifford Chance as legal advisor to Kulczyk Holding.

Broadcom premier custom IC program helps Alcatel-Lucent develop industry's first 400Gbps network processor

IRVINE, USA: Broadcom Corp., a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, announced that Alcatel-Lucent utilized the Broadcom Premier Custom IC Program to develop and deploy the industry's first 400 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) FP3 Network Processor. By supporting 400Gbps transmission speeds, the new FP3 processor opens new possibilities for bandwidth-intensive services, applications and content, while cutting power consumption by up to 50 percent.

With more than 12 million custom networking ICs shipped, the Broadcom Premier Custom IC program offers a higher level of service and performance than traditional custom ASICs, providing superior execution and faster time-to-market. By leveraging the combination of Broadcom's proven design methodology, vast IP library and more than 100 customized libraries, Alcatel-Lucent achieved its aggressive performance and development schedule requirements.

The exponential increase in design complexity in today's system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions combined with product differentiation and time-to-market pressures has led OEM manufacturers to rely on Broadcom's Premier Custom IC Program rather than choose a custom ASIC supplier.

Broadcom's Premier Custom IC Program offers one of the most extensive networking, mixed signal, and high speed interface IP portfolios available in the industry, a proven time-tested design methodology, and the ability to create custom libraries. By combining these key elements, Broadcom provides a more reliable path to production, thus avoiding costly multiple chip spins and/or schedule delays.

Instrumentation amplifier combines precision, power efficiency and value for battery-powered medical, instrumentation and consumer devices

NORWOOD, USA: Providing a unique combination of precision, low power and value, Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) introduced the AD8420 micropower, wide-supply-range instrumentation amplifier -- the newest addition to its award-winning instrumentation amplifier product line.

The AD8420 features a high CMRR (common-mode rejection ratio) of 100 dB while consuming 75 uA of power, which provides designers with improved signal quality and longer battery life compared to competitive offerings. The amplifier’s high CMRR makes it well suited for bridge amplifiers, pressure sensing and similar uses, allowing designers to greatly improve signal quality and overall system performance in portable and battery-powered precision signal healthcare and instrumentation applications such as infusion pumps, remote and handheld metering equipment and smart phones.

The AD8420 has excellent dc performance with 200 uV of input offset and 1 uV/°C of offset drift, with improved performance available in the advanced grade AD8420B model. The AD8420 supports rail-to-rail operation on the output with a wide input-voltage range that allows it to amplify signals below supply ground. The gain (1 to 1000) is set by the ratio of two external resistors, providing better gain accuracy over temperature.

The AD8420 features a wide 2.7 V to 36 V single and +/-18 V dual-power supply range and ships in a compact MSOP-8 package. This blend of performance, power, and small size is available for 89 cents in 1,000-unit volumes.

Temporary bonding equipment market will see 5x growth in value 2011-2016

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Thin Wafer Manufacturing Equipment & Materials Markets" report to its offering.

Why thin wafers will require special handling processes and technologies
Many consumer applications will require the need for ultra-thin semiconductor wafers (down to 50m). But as wafer thickness decreases from the traditional 500m to 100m and below, manufacturing challenges arise. Indeed, ultra-thin wafers are less stable and more vulnerable to stresses, and die can be prone to breaking and warping not only during grinding but also at subsequent processing steps.

To address these challenges, as chip thickness is reduced, new processes including temporary bonding technologies will be required for handling such fragile wafers, specifically to support the wafer during backgrinding and subsequent post-thinning processes.

As tapes can no longer be used for ultra-thin wafers (main reasons are the non-uniformity of the tapes, adhesion and extreme flexibility), new wafer handling technologies have to be developed. We are at the very start of an impressive market growth for temporary bonding technology.

The Thin Wafer Manufacturing Equipment & Materials Market report is the first Yole report to describe the markets, applications and technologies for thin wafer manufacturing: our scope covers temporary bonding markets, applications, descriptions and trends for wafer thinning and dicing. This report also includes a market analysis on temporary bonding materials (wax, glue, tapes, carrier wafers) associated with the temporary bonding technology.

Temporary bonding market will undergo 5X market growth over 2011-16
Temporary bonding is definitively a multiple-applications market. This is why the market is expected to boom. We estimate the total number of wafers requiring temporary wafer bonding will be more than 35M by 2016 (all wafer sizes).

Main applications driving temporary bonding are Advanced Packaging applications (TSV, interposers and Fan Out WLP), Power Devices (IGBTs), RF Devices and LEDs.

By 2016, we evaluate the wafer temporary bonding (WTB) market equipment value for wafer and panels to be $300 million by 2016.

Praxair China supplies gases to Hua Li Microelectronics

SHANGHAI, CHINA: Praxair China has begun supplying compressed dry air, ultra-high-purity oxygen, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen and helium to Shanghai Hua Li Microelectronics Corp.'s 12-inch integrated-circuit chips production line.

Hua Li is a state-owned company engaged in the production of advanced integrated circuits. Zhangjiang High-Tech Park of Shanghai is one of the top high-tech parks in China and Praxair is the leading gas supplier in the park.

The semiconductor integrated circuit industry has been defined as a national strategic and fundamental industry in China since the 1990s. The Chinese government planned a number of national priority projects in order to catch up with world-class integrated circuit technology.

“Praxair has been participating actively in the dramatic growth of China’s integrated circuit industry, bringing value-added and energy-efficient solutions to our customers,” said Minda Ho, president of Praxair China.

Zarlink first to deliver IEEE 1588 enabled synchronous Ethernet timing devices

OTTAWA, CANADA: Zarlink Semiconductor has introduced new single-chip timing products capable of delivering the complete synchronization solution required by new wireless technologies, such as Long Term Evolution (LTE).

"Our new timing products are the industry's first single-chip IEEE 1588 enabled SyncE PLL devices," said Louise Gaulin, vice president of Zarlink's Timing and Synchronization product group.

"Our complete approach provides carriers with well established synchronization from SyncE, together with time alignment provided by IEEE 1588. This approach is critically important for wireless operators as they plan a cost-effective migration to packet-based backhaul to support the huge increase in multimedia traffic generated by smartphones and tablets. These new solutions are a key addition to our product portfolio, and are winning designs with customers that will help drive continuing revenue growth for our timing business."

According to Cisco System's recently issued Visual Networking Index forecast, there will be more than 15 billion network connected devices by 2015. Carriers are now strategically investing in packet networks to connect cell sites and the network backbone to help lower operating expenses and meet bandwidth demands of new multimedia traffic created by mobile Internet devices.

Zarlink's packet timing products are designed into wireless base stations, radio network controllers, DSLAM, PON, aggregation and transmission equipment, and routers to ensure network synchronization for multimedia applications now being delivered over packet networks.

Wireless network operators can use both SyncE and IEEE 1588 technologies simultaneously to meet strict performance requirements in 3G and 4G networks. In these applications, SyncE delivers highly accurate and stable frequency references using the physical Ethernet connections. In combination with this, IEEE 1588 distributes time of day and time alignment functionality.

Zarlink's new ZL30342, ZL30343 and ZL30347 IEEE 1588 enabled SyncE devices deliver the required synchronization in a small form factor package. In comparison, competing approaches require external components to generate a reliable frequency reference or rely on expensive GPS systems to provide time of day information.

Key performance features for this new family of products include:

* Single-chip low bandwidth PLLs with very low jitter synthesizers.
* Enables seamless migration path from SyncE to 1588 enabled SyncE.
* Scalable solutions that support external time stamping functionality.

Zarink's IEEE 1588 enabled SyncE devices are now in full production.

Fujitsu intros new 32-bit MCUs with optimal features for highly efficient electric and hybrid vehicle motor control

SUNNYVALE, USA: Fujitsu Semiconductor America (FSA) introduced a series of new 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) that combine excellent performance with a wide range of peripheral functions to enable optimal, high-speed and highly efficient 3-phase inverter motor control in electric (EV) and hybrid vehicles (HV).

The new MB91580 series is part of the FR family of 32-bit RISC architecture microcontrollers, which incorporate embedded Flash memory and feature optimized, high-performance peripherals for EV and HV 3-phase inverter motor control. Applications include EV/HV motor and electric generator control, as well as generic, high-performance, electric motor control.

Highly efficient loopback control is achieved by using a high-speed, dedicated 12-bit A/D converter and Resolver-to-Digital Converter (RDC). Dedicated hardware generates the required motor control parameters (such as the electrical angle's sine and cosine values) to accurately detect motor current and position at high speeds, enabling precise motor control waveform generation.

The FR81S CPU uses the latest and most advanced FR core to deliver 160DMIPS high-performance calculating power. An IEEE-754-compliant Floating Point Unit enables the MCU to process vector conversion and PID control calculations rapidly, using data from the 12-bit A/D converter and RDC.

The resulting solution delivers highly optimized, real-time controllability for EV and HV motors with fast and efficient loopback operation, and the best torque control possible. This level of integration and performance enables system designers to reduce overall motor and motor-control unit costs significantly.

The three members in the series are the MB91F585 (with 576 KB Flash and 48 KB RAM); the MB91F586 (with 832 KB Flash and 64 KB RAM); and the MB91F587 (with 1088 KB Flash and 96 KB RAM).

"The MB91580 series is an ideal design choice for electric and hybrid vehicles because it is designed specifically to support motor control requirements," said Akio Nezu, senior manager for marketing, Fujitsu Semiconductor America. "These microcontrollers use a dedicated embedded resolver sensor interface to control the three-phase inverter, resulting in optimal motor controllability. This enables the system designer to achieve higher performance while lowering the system cost."

The new MCUs, which are available now, come in 144-pin quad flat packages. Sample pricing starts at $25 each.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

OmniVision to acquire wafer-level lens manufacturing operation

SANTA CLARA, USA: OmniVision Technologies Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, has entered into an agreement with VisEra Technologies Co. Ltd, or VisEra, OmniVision's joint venture with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd, or TSMC, to acquire from VisEra its wafer-level lens production operations. OmniVision currently outsources the wafer-level lens production and assembly processes associated with its CameraCube technology to VisEra.

The cash consideration for the operations is $45 million. OmniVision anticipates that the parties will close the transaction in the second quarter of its fiscal year 2012.

"We believe that our CameraCube technology represents one area where we can extend our market leadership while increasing the content that we sell into each consumer device," said Shaw Hong, CEO of OmniVision Technologies.

"Historically, sensor and lens manufacturing have been separate endeavors in which the components come together at the modular assembly stage. Our CameraCube technology enables us to design our sensors and accompanying lens elements as an integrated unit that creates a reflowable, monolithic image sensor device. This transaction will enable us to further streamline the production process, consolidate the supply chain, expand production capacity, and reduce the cost to meet customers' growing demand for our CameraCube products."

Intel navigates Sandy Bridge recall without a scratch, expands MPU share in Q1

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Despite a design problem that forced a large-scale chipset recall, Intel Corp. in the first quarter managed to pad its dominant position in the global microprocessor business, according to new IHS iSuppli research.

Intel during the first three months of 2011 accounted for 82.6 percent of global microprocessor revenue, up 1.6 points of share from the 81 percent it held in the fourth quarter of 2010. On a year-over-year basis, Intel gained 2.0 percentage points.

The figure presents the IHS ranking of leading microprocessor suppliers in the first quarter of 2011. The market share numbers presented in the tables and this release include revenue for the entire global microprocessor market, including X86, RISC, and other types of general-purpose microprocessors; the data is not limited to the X86 type chips used in the PC market.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Intel in the first quarter discovered an error in the serial ATA controller in its core-logic chipset that supports the company’s Core Sandy Bridge microprocessors. The company said it would recall and replace about 8 million chipsets.

While such a major recall would represent a major setback for most companies, for giant Intel, it didn’t even cause a scratch.

“Intel moved quickly to identify and correct the Sandy Bridge chipset issue during the first quarter,” said Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst, compute platforms, for IHS. “The fact that the company achieved a 25 percent increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 shows that its chipset concern did not really affect the company to a significant degree. This serves as a testament to Intel’s capability to react to a potential crisis with speed and agility. Intel’s handling of the issue on both the public relations and business fronts stands in stark contrast to other recent examples of big companies facing major product quality challenges.”

While Intel continued to gain, chief Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) saw its share dwindle further. AMD accounted for 10.1 percent of global microprocessor revenue in the first quarter of 2011, down from 10.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, and down from 11.8 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

Despite its decline, both AMD and Intel continued to increase their collective domination of the microprocessor market, with the two companies holding a combined 92.7 percent share of revenue in the first quarter of 2011, up from 92.4 percent in the first quarter of 2010. This represents good news for the two dominant players, given that the worldwide microprocessor market expanded by about 20 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period a year earlier.

While Intel continued to ride high in the first quarter, the company this year will face a challenge from the continued market advances of the media tablet.

Although Intel’s sales of its Atom microprocessor for netbook PCs rose in the first quarter, tablets will cut down shipments of netbook PCs this year. Media tablets, most notably Apple Inc.’s iPad, don’t employ dedicated microprocessors like Atom, instead using integrated chips that include processor cores.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Syntricity delivers dataConductor 7.0

SAN DIEGO, USA: Syntricity Inc. announced the release of dataConductor 7.0, the latest version of its enterprise yield management software. dataConductor 7.0 enables customers to manage large datasets, quickly identify and address unusual results, and share their results as well as methods. Available immediately, dataConductor 7.0 is available through, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, or as an enterprise installation.

“In dataConductor 7.0, our new user interface helps beginners and experts alike get more out of their analysis sessions. And now, customers can easily take best practices that they’ve implemented and turn them into standardized templates for their engineers, providing a solid foundation for various types of analysis,” said Steven Griffith, CEO and co-founder of Syntricity. “With dataConductor 7.0, we continue to deliver solutions that help our customers develop the next generation of semiconductor products.”

Highlights of dataConductor 7.0 include:
* knowledge sharing through user-configured/shareable templates,
* multi-threaded data loading and statistical analysis,
* new analysis capabilities in RaCR, the rapid characterization and root cause analysis application for dataConductor,
* operation-based selective data sampling, designed with cross-operation analysis in mind,
* interactive outlier removal, at the measurement or part level, and a
* streamlined user interface, including single-click access to common tools and features.

“Selective data sampling and enhanced, multi-threaded data loading and manipulation provide customers with fast, efficient forms of single- and multiple-operation analysis,” continued Griffith. “Slicing and dicing large datasets has never been easier, because dataConductor 7.0 simplifies access to commonly used features such as editing limits and grouping data, helping reduce the time to make decisions.”

The dataConductor platform integrates a high-performance data warehouse with flexible analytics and reporting. Drag-and-drop, template-based analysis lets customers implement best practices, while Syntricity’s consulting services help companies recognize further yield improvements. Semiconductor companies of all sizes use dataConductor to analyze engineering data, ramp products to production, and manage and improve wafer and final test manufacturing yields.

Electronics supply chain to fully recover from Japan disaster in Q3

EL SEGUNDO, USA: With some companies having already recovered from the Japanese earthquake, the entire electronics industry is expected to complete its rebound from the disaster by the end of the third quarter, according to new IHS iSuppli research.

Electronics companies with operations near the epicenter of the quake that had suffered building and equipment damage are expected to restore full shipments by early September, six months after the quake, which occurred on March 11, 2011. The restoration will coincide with the peak season for electronics and semiconductor sales in the third quarter.

“In the history of the electronics supply chain, nothing has had such a broad impact as the Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster,” said Dale Ford, senior vice president for semiconductor market intelligence at IHS, speaking at the IHS Design & Supply Chain Global Summit last week in San Jose, Calif.

“The worldwide repercussions of the catastrophe illustrated the global and interconnected nature of the electronics industry, with the impact of the disaster reverberating through the materials, components and equipment segments of the supply chain. However, even the semiconductor companies suffering the most direct damage from the quake, full production will resume near the end of the third quarter.”

The duration of production disruptions varied depending on distance from the earthquake epicenter. Affected companies that were farthest from the epicenter took only one to two weeks to restore production, while companies closest to the disaster could take as long as four to six months to return to normal—depending on their response to the disaster.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

IHS has identified 14 semiconductor suppliers and four silicon wafer makers in Japan that were impacted by the quake.

The timing of the recovery will be fortuitous. Following normal seasonal patterns, global semiconductor revenue growth will hit an annual crescendo in the third quarter, with a sequential rise of 7.4 percent. This compares to a 1.4 percent decline in the first quarter, a 2.9 percent increase in the second quarter and a 3.1 percent rise in the fourth quarter.

The disaster also had varying impacts on assorted segments of the semiconductor market. The impact was most severe on automotive equipment, given that Japan accounts for 31.5 percent of global semiconductor production for automotive electronics. Consumer electronics bore the next greatest impact, with a moderate effect on production. Here, Japan is responsible for 45.1 percent of global consumer electronics semiconductor production.

In comparison, the impact on the wireless and data processing semiconductor markets was mild, while the wired communications segment wasn’t affected at all.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Post-disaster recovery for Fujitsu
The impact on specific companies also varied according to their level of exposure to the catastrophe and the effectiveness of their disaster-response efforts.

Fujitsu has distinguished itself with the most rapid and efficient recovery effort among all Japanese semiconductor suppliers, Ford said. Despite facilities close to the epicenter of the earthquake, the company said it had attained full recovery to pre-disaster production levels at five chip plants on June 9.

The main factor propelling Fujitsu’s fast recovery was the company’s disaster-response strategy implemented three years ago following an earthquake in Japan’s Iwate prefecture. The company operates semiconductor manufacturing facilities in various parts of the world, allowing it to pick up the slack if one region is hit by a disaster. Fujitsu also has an effective plan that can restore electricity, water and other utilities at disaster-stricken plants.

Furthermore, the company in the past had installed equipment that could seismically isolate damage to semiconductor wafers, which succeeded this time in mitigating the impact of the earthquake.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

ScaleMP ranks among fastest worldwide on SPEC benchmarks

CUPERTINO, USA: ScaleMP, a leading provider of virtualization solutions for high-end computing, has announced record-breaking benchmark results for x86 systems using the company’s vSMP Foundation software. vSMP Foundation claimed top three results for two Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) benchmarks, representing the highest performance in cloud-enabled x86 shared memory systems.

vSMP Foundation enables customers to create shared-memory systems from their cloud-enabled datacenters, providing applications with large memory and shared memory for the lowest TCO. This solution provides the most power-efficient SMP system, leveraging commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. The on-demand nature of vSMP Foundation improves system utilization and reduces management complexity.

ScaleMP benchmarking experts used 64 dual-socket nodes, aggregated into a single virtual shared-memory system to gain the record-breaking results for SPECint_rate_base2006, which achieved 13,600, receiving top three status for this benchmark and solidifying ScaleMP’s leadership in powering high-end x86 systems.

"vSMP Foundation’s outstanding results from its single, virtual solution aggregating multiple, industry-standard x86 machines proves once again its superior performance and cost savings for customers seeking a powerful and affordable shared-memory system," said Shai Fultheim, founder and CEO of ScaleMP.

Rite Track partners with Aviza to liquidate parts inventory in Europe and Asia

WEST CHESTER, USA: Rite Track Inc., a leading semiconductor equipment supplier announced a partnership with ATI Liquidating Inc. (ATI), formerly Aviza Technology Inc. to assist in the liquidation of ATI’s remaining inventory in Europe and Asia. The deal leverages Rite Track’s strong global logistics network to provide ATI Thermal, Etch and PVD customers in Europe and Asia quick access to available ATI parts currently under liquidation.

ATI CRO, Pat O’Connor stated: “Rite Track’s strong logistics network and commitment to quality parts support was a key driver in the decision to move forward with this arrangement. Rite Track is well positioned globally and their existing customer base aligns well with our install base to strengthen our parts liquidation program.”

As a part of the agreement, inventory will be moved from current locations in Europe and Asia to regional Rite Track distribution centers in Asia, Japan, and Europe. Once the inventory is relocated, customers can order available parts directly from Rite Track’s regional offices.

Analog Devices’ MEMS iSensor digital inclinometer system delivers 0.1-degree roll/pitch accuracy with simple set up

NORWOOD, USA: Analog Devices Inc. (ADI), released for general availability today the ADIS16210 MEMS iSensor digital inclinometer system, which provides precise measurements for both pitch and roll angles over a full orientation range of ±180 degrees.

The ADIS16210 integrates ADI’s iMEMS multi-axis accelerometer technology and signal processing expertise, adding addressable user registers for application tuning and programming, available over an SPI-compatible serial interface. The precision core sensors are tuned to allow accurate roll/pitch outputs independent of the orientation of the mounted sensor.

The ADIS16210 eliminates complex and time consuming user calibration with unit-specific factory calibration, delivering extraordinary 0.1-degree tilt accuracy out of the box. Designed for the most demanding applications, the ADIS16210 is optimized for instruments such as medical scanners that require highly accurate platform stabilization, security and safety monitors, and high-precision platform positioning/steering.

For applications where motion is experienced on every axis and in extreme environments, multi-axis sensing and precision sensor processing is critical. Each ADIS16210 receives extensive calibration and testing to insure a high degree of alignment across each of the three axes and unprecedented tilt measurement accuracy over the full motion range, independent of mounting orientation.

This new digital inclinometer system also offers digital accelerometer and temperature sensor measurements together with configuration controls for in-system calibration, sample rate, filtering, alarms, I/O configuration, and power management. The ADIS16210 is available in a 15×2×15mm module that provides mounting tabs with M2-sized mounting holes and a flexible, edge-terminated connector interface. It has an extended operating temperature range of −40 °C to +125 °C.

SMSC licenses Cosmic Circuits IP

BANGALORE, INDIA & CAMPBELL, USA: Cosmic Circuits, a leading provider of Analog and Mixed-Signal Silicon IP Cores announced that SMSC, a leading semiconductor company enabling content rich connectivity systems, has licensed Cosmic Circuits IP for use in its product development.

Cosmic Circuits offers a broad portfolio of differentiated Analog IP cores in nanometer technology nodes covering Data-Converters, Analog-Front-End platforms for Wireless and Audio, Power-Management, Clocking and MIPI Interfaces.

Cosmic Circuits has a portfolio of more than 300+ cores covering process technologies from 0.18u to 28nm. Cosmic Circuits power management portfolio consists of DC/DC Buck, DC/DC Boost, DC/DC Buck Boost, Low Drop out regulators, Power–On-Reset, Capacitive charge pumps, USB battery chargers and High precision band-gap references.

Ganapathy Subramaniam, CEO of Cosmic Circuits, commented: “We are very happy to enable SMSC with our solutions to meet their aggressive design requirements. SMSC’s specification called for stringent requirements on leakage current as well as high-voltage tolerance. Using design techniques that we have perfected at Cosmic over several successful implementations, we were able to meet the system requirements on the first-pass silicon in a standard CMOS process.”

Hemi Bhatnagar, VP of Engineering at SMSC added: “We needed a partner who had a proven track record in providing Analog/Mixed Signal solutions with a wide-portfolio and a willingness to customize to our needs. Cosmic Circuits along with strong technical expertise provided strong support and excellent project execution resulting in first pass working silicon.”

Applied Materials reveals breakthrough RTP technology for 20nm era

SANTA CLARA, USA: Applied Materials Inc. advanced the state of the art in nanoscale transistor fabrication with the launch of its Applied Vantage Vulcan rapid thermal processing (RTP) system. The system leapfrogs current RTP technology to bring a new level of precision and control to the anneal process, enabling chipmakers to reduce variability and boost production yields of their most highly-valued, highest-performing devices.

For manufacturers to achieve the highest chip yields, transistors with the same design should perform identically in all areas of the wafer. This is becoming a major challenge at the 20nm era (28nm and below) since transistors are smaller and more sensitive to temperature variations while many logic chips are also larger in size, making uniformity across the die increasingly difficult. Direct radiant heating can cause variations in temperature, or "hot spots," on a patterned wafer - leading to significant variations in the electrical performance of the transistors - and resulting in many low-end chips on the wafer.

Applied's Vantage Vulcan system overcomes these yield-limiting temperature variations by applying heat to the unpatterned backside of the wafer to deliver an unprecedented level of temperature uniformity. Using the company's proven honeycomb lamp array, the system can control within-die temperature to less than 3°C - even while the wafer temperature is aggressively ramping at more than 200°C per second.

"The Vantage Vulcan system represents a significant technology extension for the industry's roadmap and sets a new benchmark in eliminating sources of temperature variability," said Sundar Ramamurthy, VP and GM of Applied Materials' Front End Products business unit. "We've listened to the needs of our customers and developed a solution that addresses one of their most daunting challenges. Leading chip manufacturers are already recognizing the device benefits of our new Vantage Vulcan system."

In addition to being the first RTP system to heat the wafer entirely from the backside, the Vantage Vulcan system's unique closed-loop control can dynamically control wafer temperature as it ramps from almost room temperature to 1,300°C. This breakthrough capability enables any device wafer, including wafers with challenging reflective surfaces, to be processed without recipe modification - a critical benefit for the high-mix, fast-changing environment of foundries - while also simplifying the integration of new materials and new transistor architectures.

Applied's expertise in temperature control has made the company both a pioneer and market leader in RTP technology. Applied has more than 1,000 RTP systems installed at customers worldwide, making Applied's RTP technology the industry's choice for manufacturing nearly every advanced microchip in the last decade.

IDT intros industry’s widest-range, small-footprint spread spectrum clock generators

SAN JOSE, USA: Integrated Device Technology Inc. (IDT) announced that it has released a new family of low-power spread spectrum clock generators that support the industry’s widest frequency range in a tiny 2x2mm package. The wide frequency range and compact package make the device highly versatile and unobtrusive, allowing users to address EMI challenges in a variety of applications including digital TVs, set-top boxes, printers, industrial control, battery powered electronics, and computer or embedded computing systems.

The IDT 5P5090x family of devices support spread spectrum clocking frequencies from 10MHz to 170MHz with seven selectable modulation amplitudes and operate with a supply voltage down to 1.8V for reduced power consumption. The device is available in a low-cost, minuscule 2x2mm 8-pin DFN or MSOP package, minimizing the board area required for placement, a critical requirement for today’s compact consumer products.

The wide frequency range and small package make it a smart choice for new designs as a preventative measure against excessive EMI output and also convenient for existing designs as an indispensable solution when EMI tests have failed to meet stringent requirements – all without sacrificing valuable board space.

“Our latest spread spectrum clock generators reinforce IDT’s #1 leadership position in clocks and timing solutions,” said Ram Iyer, vice president and general manager of the Computing and Multimedia Division at IDT. “The wide frequency range, selectable modulation amplitudes, and small package are exactly what our customers have been asking for. In addition, we’ve lowered the power consumption to offer one of the industry’s most efficient products. EMI can be a simple problem to solve with the right products, and IDT’s rich portfolio contains devices aimed at addressing EMI challenges.”

The IDT 5P5090x family is the next generation of IDT’s leading MK17xx family devices. The lower power consumption (1.8V supply) and smaller package (2x2mm) make this an obvious upgrade path for new designs. These products are one of thousands of IDT world-class timing products, and complement IDT’s broad portfolio of products for consumer and computing applications where EMI compliance is critical.

The IDT 5P5090x family of products is currently sampling to qualified customers and the devices are available in a 2x2mm DFN or MSOP package. The IDT 5P5090x is priced at $0.87 each for volumes of 10,000 units.

NI intros industry’s highest throughput PXI frame grabber

USA: National Instruments announced the NI PXIe-1435 high-performance Camera Link frame grabber. Engineers can use the new module to integrate high-speed and high-resolution imaging into their PXI systems, the industry standard for automated test with more than 1,500 measurement modules available from more than 70 vendors.

By combining high-throughput imaging with the benefits of off-the-shelf PXI measurement hardware, NI now offers full software-defined solutions for demanding automated test applications in industries such as consumer electronics, automotive and semiconductor.

The NI PXIe-1435 is the industry’s highest throughput PXI frame grabber and acquires from all Camera Link camera configurations, including 10-tap extended-full, with up to 850 MB/s of throughput. Engineers can power cameras through Power over Camera Link (PoCL)-enabled cables, eliminating the need for additional wires in deployment environments.

The frame grabber also offers 512 MB of DDR2 onboard acquisition memory for added reliability in transferring large images without fear of data overflow. Onboard digital I/O includes four bidirectional transistor-transistor logic (TTL), two opto-isolated inputs and one quadrature encoder for triggering and communicating inspection results with automation devices.

The frame grabber incorporates the synchronization, timing, data streaming and processing capabilities of the PXI Express specification, and supports image processing on complementary field-programmable gate array (FPGA) boards to further boost system performance.

“The NI PXIe-1435 frame grabber further complements our capabilities in the PXI platform,” said Matt Friedman, National Instruments senior product manager for the PXI platform and PXISA board member. “The addition of high-performance imaging to our PXI offerings enhances our mixed-signal capabilities for high-end test systems.”

The high throughput and low latency of the Camera Link standard make the frame grabber ideal for line-scan image sensors, which engineers can use for surface inspection of large areas, including finding esthetic and functional defects in solar panels and dead pixels in flat panel displays.

The NI PXIe-1435 frame grabber also works well in many industrial applications, such as fault analysis using a stop trigger to record images before and after an event on the factory floor, and medical device applications such as analyzing intricacies in movement and recording stimulus response in objects from heart valves to eye corneas.

Engineers can program the new module using NI LabVIEW graphical development software and the NI Vision Development Module, a comprehensive library of imaging functions. They also can configure it using NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection software, an easy-to-use, stand-alone package for fast development and simple maintenance.

NI vision software helps engineers take advantage of hundreds of imaging processing algorithms, make decisions based on multiple inspection results, customize user interfaces and communicate results using I/O and industrial communication protocols.

Emerson Network Power showcases industry’s latest COM Express

SAN ANTONIO, USA: Attendees of the Freescale Technology Forum Americas 2011 this week can see the latest COM Express embedded computing modules powered by Freescale Semiconductor QorIQ processors. Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity, is announcing the COMX-P3041, COMX-P4040 and COMX-P5020 modules at this renowned industry event.

These new products can speed deployment for users of QorIQ processors with diverse I/O requirements by reducing design complexity while providing customizable modular options. Design engineers are isolated from the complexities of high speed processor and memory system design, allowing them to focus on a carrier board tailored to the I/O needs of their application and improving their product to gain market share.

Applications for Emerson's QorIQ COM Express modules include enterprise and service provider routers, switches, base station controllers (BSCs), radio network controllers (RNCs), long-term evolution (LTE) infrastructure and general-purpose embedded computing systems in the networking, telecom/datacom, wireless infrastructure, industrial, military and aerospace markets.

Glenn Beck, marketing manager with Freescale’s Networking Processor Division, said: “The COMX-Pxxx modules from Emerson Network Power provide the performance and features of the Freescale QorIQ processors on a ready-to-go pluggable mezzanine
module. These modules are designed to accelerate time-to-market by reducing design and development complexities, while simultaneously maximizing product performance, which continues to be a critical operational theme for OEMs and systems integrators. The long standing relationship between Emerson Network Power and Freescale has created a comprehensive breadth of price, power and performance for the QorIQ family on the COM Express form factor, providing OEMs outstanding embedded solutions based on Power Architecture technology.”

“COM Express has emerged as an attractive form factor for a wide variety of OEMs with space and thermal constraints in their products,” said Paul Virgo, marketing director of Emerson Network Power’s Embedded Computing business. “Emerson now has the industry’s widest range of QorIQ based COM Express form factor modules to enable scalable product strategies with multiple performance levels.”

The COMX-P3041module features the Freescale QorIQ P3041 quad-core communications processor operating at 1.5 GHz, for a more power- and cost-efficient solution to modules built on the P4 platform while retaining many of the features and architectural compatibility.

The COMX-P4040 module features the Freescale QorIQ P4040 quad-core communications processor operating at 1.5 GHz, making it ideal for communications applications requiring combined control, data and application layer processing.

The COMX-P5020 module features Freescale’s first offerings with the 64-bit e500mc core, the Freescale QorIQ P5020 dual-core processor operating at 2.0 GHz to target control plane and compute applications that require high single threaded performance.

All modules support one or two channels of 2GB DDR-1333 ECC SO-UDIMM and have 12 configurable SERDES lanes available for maximum flexibility. The highly flexible I/O includes 10G-XAUI, SRIO, GPIO, USB 2.0, PCI Express, Gigabit Ethernet, and real-time debug.

Wafer demand outpaces semiconductor unit growth in 2011

PHOENIX, USA: Semiconductor unit sales remain strong and are expected to reach 718 billion in 2011, an 8.6 percent growth over 2010. Unit sales are driving wafer demand at both advanced and mature fabs. Total silicon demand is expected to grow by 10 percent in 2011.

In the first quarter of 2011, semiconductor unit sales increased 1.3 percent over Q4 2010, reflecting an unusually healthy growth compared to the traditionally slow or negative seasonal pattern for the first quarter of the year. When compared to the same quarter a year ago, unit sales grew 6 percent. The second quarter is expected to register a 6 percent growth, quarter over quarter, with a corresponding growth in wafer demand.

Semiconductor devices that are leading the growth trend in both units and wafers include DRAM, NAND and MCU. Smartphone and tablet sales continue to drive NAND flash demand. The main driver for DRAM demand is still the computing market including notebooks and servers.

Semico is cautious about the second half of 2011 due to the decline in the Semico IPI which started last year; however, the index has already logged in two months of increase, providing some indication that the slowdown will be brief.Source: Semico Research, USA.

Cadence donates UVM World website to Accellera

SAN JOSE, USA: Cadence Design Systems Inc., a leader in global electronic design innovation, has donated the UVM World website ( to the Accellera standards organization.

Accellera, which released the Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) as a standard in February, will operate and fund the site, which Cadence established in May 2010 to serve as an open, definitive location for all UVM-related information.

The UVM was built upon the Open Verification Methodology (OVM) that Cadence was instrumental in developing.

“We have funded and operated UVM World as a vendor-agnostic site to serve the industry as it ramps up its use of this verification methodology,” said Thomas L. Anderson, group director, verification product marketing, Silicon Realization Group at Cadence. “With Accellera’s release of the UVM standard, it makes sense now to hand the site over to the standards group for the next stage of its evolution.”

“Cadence has done a great job building this website, and we appreciate all of the company’s work to support the UVM,” said Shishpal Rawat, chair of Accellera. “Our organization will ensure that UVM World continues to serve as the robust, one-stop shop for the UVM that it is today.”

AnalogicTech intros ultra-high precision current limit ICs

SANTA CLARA, USA: Advanced Analogic Technologies Inc. (AnalogicTech), an analog semiconductor company focused on powering innovative solutions in consumer, industrial, and communications markets, introduced the AAT4616 SmartSwitch family of fully adjustable, low RDS(ON), ultra-high precision current limited P-channel MOSFET power switches designed for high side load switching applications.

Offering precision-current-limit capability as tight as +/- five percent, the AAT4616 family allows system designers to reduce the margin they would otherwise typically have to implement in their systems. This allows products such as HDTVs, set top boxes and tablet computers to maximize the power usage from their USB or other supply rails and buses.

"In previous generations of our Load Switch Family, we integrated many discrete functions into space saving, single-chip solutions," said Roger Smullen, director of Strategic Marketing for AnalogicTech. "With the introduction of the AAT4616 family, we deliver the same high performance, fully integrated solution with the added benefit of ultra-high precision current limiting. Whether our customers are producing HDTVs, tablets, set top boxes or 3G/4G USB datacards, they must constantly improve the performance, cost, size and efficiency of their products, and the AAT4616 products help them achieve those goals."

The AAT4616 family broadens the AnalogicTech Integrated Load Switch family by adding the ultra-high precision (+/- five percent) AAT4616 and the high precision (+/-10 percent) AAT4616A to the existing family of current limit devices. System designers can also pick from a broad set of options to select the best device for their end product, including: active hi/lo enable, fault flag/no fault flag, resistor settable current limit, precision, and multiple package choices, among others. The comprehensive options and benefits available from the AAT4616 family deliver maximum flexibility to meet a full range of product design requirements.

Further, the AAT4616 family incorporates a host of protection features including reverse blocking, over temperature shutdown, short circuit protection and fast transient response to ensure safe system operation. Finally, the SOT23-5 versions of the AAT4616 family are pin compatible with the previous generation AAT4610 and AAT4614 parts, which facilitates upgrading an existing end product to a higher performance current limit IC with a drop-in replacement.

The AAT4616 family is priced from $0.54 to $0.61 @10K units, depending on part and features. For other quantities, contact AnalogicTech or its distributors. The AAT4616 and AAT4616A are currently shipping.

Micron to Help Alcatel-Lucent accelerate information sharing across global broadband networks

BOISE, USA: To meet the rising global demand for information from across the Internet, Micron Technology Inc. announced that Alcatel-Lucent has chosen Micron's third-generation reduced latency DRAM (RLDRAM 3 memory) to drive Alcatel-Lucent's next generation of network offerings. A leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking solutions, Alcatel-Lucent plans to rely on Micron's RLDRAM 3 memory to support the industry's first 400-gigabit (Gb) capable chipset.

Micron's third generation of RLDRAM memory was developed to enable a faster, more efficient transfer of data over the network by doubling performance to 76.8 Gb/s and cutting latency to below 10 nanoseconds. Both improvements help networking segment customers meet the broadband infrastructure's rapidly evolving demands.

"Service providers are starting to combine residential, business and mobile services onto a single IP network," said Ken Kutzler, VP of Hardware Development for Alcatel-Lucent's IP Division. "Micron's state-of-the-art memory enables leading IP equipment suppliers like Alcatel-Lucent to help service providers meet the planet's voracious appetite for data."

Micron and Alcatel-Lucent have collaborated on many fronts for more than a decade. The integration of RLDRAM memory—from Micron's definition phase to early production—into these latest Alcatel-Lucent products has been a three year journey. Micron is expected to begin production of RLDRAM 3 memory during the second half of 2011.

National Semiconductor intros industry's first high-voltage PMBus system power management and protection ICs

SANTA CLARA, USA: National Semiconductor Corp. introduced two new high-voltage system power management and protection integrated circuits (ICs) with on-chip power management bus (PMBus) support.

The 48V input voltage LM5066 and -48V input voltage LM5064 integrate high-performance system protection and management blocks that precisely measure, control and manage the electrical operating conditions in systems such as routers, switches and base stations. The LM5066 and LM5064 enable comprehensive system power management for improving system reliability and reducing power consumption in wired and wireless telecom infrastructure systems that operate from high-voltage system backplanes.

National's LM5066 and LM5064 complement National's family of intelligent system protection and power management products that include the LM25066, which provides accurate power measurement, protection and control of blade servers in data centers.

The LM5066 and LM5064 extend these benefits into high-voltage systems that face stringent power management challenges associated with maintaining continuous uptime in the presence of extreme voltage and power conditions.

Ethernet routers and switches are often used alongside computing servers within data centers, driving the need for the same accurate measurement and control of power flow into each card. Additionally, new wireless base stations must control and measure the power to the remote radio heads located at the top of a tower. The LM5066 and LM5064 are highly integrated ICs that meet these demands using a industry-standard PMBus interface that is software-compatible with National's entire family of system protection and management products.

The LM5066 and LM5064 provide complete subsystem power management for high-voltage systems by precisely measuring the power to each card or block while continuously protecting against damaging inrush current surges due to hot swap or transient events that damage downstream components. The new ICs leverage National's unique hot swap architecture that continuously monitors and limits both system current and power while accurately measuring power consumption and fault conditions.

The ICs continuously supply the system management host with real-time power, voltage, current, temperature and fault data for each node in the system. The system management bus (SMBus) communications interface delivers this data via the PMBus protocol. The host's system diagnostic and optimization routines use the data to increase system reliability and minimize overall power consumption.

The LM5066 features a voltage input range of 10V to 80V and the LM5064 operates over a range of -9V to -80V. Both ICs have selectable 25 mV/50 mV current limit thresholds for addressing a wide range of intermediate bus voltages and load currents. A measurement block measures both current and voltage at 1,000 times per second with 4.5 percent accuracy over the full temperature range.

Additionally, simultaneous sampling of current and voltage provides true power measurement of the system's power consumption. The measurement block also captures the peak current and peak power and computes the average of subsystem operating parameters (Vin, Iin, Pin and Vout) over a user-programmable time frame, offloading the processing burden from an external microcontroller.

A temperature monitoring block interfaces with a low-cost external diode to measure temperature of the external MOSFET or other critical temperature source. The LM5066 and LM5064 report the status of all system parameters and fault conditions through the SMBus interface and offer individually programmable warning thresholds for all faults. This feature provides design flexibility and dynamic system protection.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alcatel-Lucent selects NetLogic's advanced IPv6 knowledge-based processors for multi-terabit IP service routers

SANTA CLARA, USA: NetLogic Microsystems Inc. announced that Alcatel-Lucent has selected its best-in-class NL10k knowledge-based processor optimized for IPv6 processing for Alcatel-Lucent’s multi-terabit IP Service Router portfolio.

The Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router and 7450 Ethernet Service Switch deliver the industry-leading performance, quality of service (QoS) and scale required to enable advanced fixed and mobile broadband services.

NetLogic Microsystems’ NL10k IPv6 knowledge-based processor has been developed in close collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent’s distinguished R&D team, and has been optimized for Alcatel-Lucent’s ground-breaking FP3 network processor and traffic manager. The FP3 state-of-the-art silicon was internally developed by Alcatel-Lucent and provides sophisticated traffic management and network processing at speeds up to 400 Gigabits per second (Gbps) with significantly improved power efficiency.

The industry migration from 3G WCDMA and HSPA+ mobile wireless technologies to 4G LTE and LTE-Advanced protocols requires leading service providers worldwide to upgrade their networks to manage the growing demand for higher bandwidth, increased availability and expanded service mix.

Alcatel-Lucent’s multi-terabit Service Router portfolio incorporates Alcatel-Lucent’s new FP3 network processor and NetLogic Microsystems’ NL10k device to deliver more speed, more services and more availability while reducing CAPEX and OPEX. Alcatel-Lucent’s Service Router portfolio currently has an installed base of over 400+ service provider customers in more than 100 countries.

“Our new FP3 network processor technology puts us a generation ahead of today’s fastest IP routers, and we are pleased to collaborate with innovators such as NetLogic Microsystems to build products that drive faster, smarter and more environmentally sustainable networks,” said Ken Kutzler, Vice President of Hardware Development for Alcatel-Lucent's IP Division.

“We selected NetLogic Microsystems’ NL10k knowledge-based processor due to its superior wire-speed performance even when supporting complex classification and forwarding operations on IPv6 packets. Because our service routers require the absolute highest performance knowledge-based processors to address the demands of fixed and mobile broadband services, NetLogic Microsystems’ technical leadership makes them a logical silicon partner for us.”

To complement the superior performance of the FP3 network processor and traffic manager, Alcatel-Lucent has selected NetLogic Microsystems’ industry-leading NL10k knowledge-based processor that delivers 1.6 billion decisions per second (BDPS) of IPv6 processing, quality-of-service (QoS), ACL security, video/voice forwarding, high-speed packet inspection, billing and VPN at line rates while maximizing energy efficiency of the overall system.

“We are excited to strengthen our relationship with Alcatel-Lucent, and to have once again been selected for its multi-terabit Service Router portfolio,” said Chris O’Reilly, vice president of marketing at NetLogic Microsystems. “Alcatel-Lucent’s revolutionary FP3 silicon is driving IP routing performance and scalable services to new levels, and the selection of our advanced, high-value NL10k device for this leading-edge portfolio is a testament of our market and technology leadership in high-speed, low-power knowledge-based processing.”

The NL10k knowledge-based processor, which is manufactured in the advanced 40nm process node, integrates 128 high-performance knowledge-based processing engines, and includes an enhanced Intelligent Load Balancing Engine (ILBE) to efficiently allocate multiple tasks and communicate among all the 128 knowledge-based processing engines.

The knowledge-based processing engines and ILBE are tightly coupled with integrated advanced Sahasra Algorithmic Engines (SAEs) to dramatically lower the power consumption of search processing. The NL10k processor also integrates an innovative Range Encoding Engine (REE), which employs advanced one-hot and fence encoding algorithms to implement range encoding that allows customers to effectively double the efficiency of performing port range inspection, an integral part of packet classification.

GSI Technology's networking memories raise bar again

SUNNYVALE, USA: GSI Technology Inc. announced successful qualification of the 3rd generation SigmaQuad and SigmaDDR SRAM families. The GS8673E devices feature clock speeds up to 675 MHz and up to 1.35 billion transactions per second, on-chip Error Correction Control for virtually zero Soft Error Rate performance and IEEE 1149.1 JTAG-compliant Boundary Scan. The GS8673E family is qualified and in volume production.

“When we saw our Fast SRAM competitors head down the wrong path, emphasizing data bandwidth over transaction rate, it became clear that we had to go a different direction if the networking market was going to get real performance improvements in a timely manner,” said David Chapman, VP of Marketing and Applications Engineering for GSI Technology. “Because we were willing to drive forward early, the Burst of 2 SigmaQuad-IIIe was there when 400G network processor designers needed it.”

“GSI made an early commitment to advancing High Transaction Rate memory technology because we saw it was going to play a critical role in high speed networking systems,” said Lee-Lean Shu, chairman of the Board, president and CEO of GSI.

"Today we have the first and only SRAM operating in the 400G world. The SigmaQuad-IIIe SRAMs are delivering better than 1.35 billion transactions per second today and that is just the beginning. The first of the next two generations of this technology are already in design and the architecture for the next one is already set. Doubling performance at every step is the name of the game and we are in this to make sure our customers win.”

GSI Technology's SigmaQuad-IIIe and SigmaDDR-IIIe products are ready for customer orders now.

CEVA and CellGuide to offer software GPS solution on CEVA-XC

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: CEVA Inc., the leading licensor of silicon intellectual property (SIP) platform solutions and DSP cores, and CellGuide, a leading GNSS solution provider, today announced a partnership to offer a software-based GPS solution for the CEVA-XC communications processor. Leveraging CellGuide's GPS/GLONASS software IP, CEVA-XC licensees can add GPS capability to their processor designs without any hardware modifications or increase in die size.

CEVA-XC is a high-performance, scalable, low-power communication DSP designed specifically to overcome the stringent power consumption, time-to-market and cost constraints associated with developing high-performance Software Defined Radio multimode solutions. It supports multiple air interfaces for various applications such as multimode cellular baseband, connectivity, digital broadcast and smart grid.

The software-defined nature of the processor enables it to easily perform the intensive GPS computations, completely in software, eliminating the need for dedicated GPS baseband hardware within any CEVA-XC based SoC design. CellGuide's GPS/GLONASS software is specifically architected for integration into mobile processors and can run concurrently with other air interfaces allowing true SDR modem design.

"We are delighted to partner with CEVA to offer our best-in-class GPS/GLONASS software to the broad range of industry-leading customers adopting the CEVA-XC for their cellular baseband processor designs," said Boaz EfroniRotman, vice president of sales& marketing at CellGuide. "Enabling a software GPS approach will allow ultra-low cost integration of high-performance GPS functionality into their baseband processor design, without compromising on performance, power or accuracy."

"We are pleased to announce CellGuide as the latest company to join our CEVA-XCnet partner program," said Eran Briman, vice president, marketing at CEVA. "GPS is a de-facto technology requirement for mobile handset design today. In collaboration with CellGuide, our customers have the ability to add high-performance GPS functionality to CEVA-XC baseband designs without the added expense of hardware modifications."

ST unveils fast-write memory for low-cost black-box recorders

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: STMicroelectronics has introduced a new memory with a unique ultra-fast recording feature for storing important data during unexpected events. Its uses will include recovering system data when a sudden power failure occurs, and 'black-box' recorders that help identify the causes of equipment failures or accidents.

A system using the M35B32 EEPROM is able to store a significant amount of vital information (2 Kbits) in less than one millisecond, and hence can react when the onset of a system failure or an accident is detected. In cases such as a power failure, this super-fast data storage can save the information needed to recover the system before the power supply voltage falls to an unusable level.

Major applications for this high-speed memory include games, battery powered gadgets, utility meters, smart-grid equipment, industrial systems and medical devices. Compared to alternative non-volatile memories, the M35B32 is about forty-times faster than a standard 32-Kbit EEPROM and matches the write speed of Flash.
Consuming approximately one-tenth the energy of Flash, ST's new memory allows designers to specify a voltage supply backup capacitor of one-tenth the size needed to operate the memory long enough to finish writing if system power is lost unexpectedly. This translates into significant savings both in cost and printed-circuit-board area. The M35B32's EEPROM technology also has cost and quality advantages compared to high-speed FRAM technology.

The M35B32 has a 32-Kbit capacity, which is divided into two sectors for event recording and regular system EEPROM. The sector sizes are user adjustable to suit various application requirements. The large page size of 256 bytes allows a large amount of data to be written in a single page-write cycle and, when addressing the event recording sector, this information can be programmed in less than 1ms. This enhances system performance and saves software overhead. The M35B32 is accessed via a standard SPI serial connection, and so can be used as a direct replacement for standard SPI serial memories.

The M35B32 is in production now, in SO8N, TSSOP8 and FPN 2 x 3mm compact surface-mount packages, priced at $0.65 for 1000 pieces. Alternative pricing options are available for larger quantities. Automotive-qualified devices will be released at the beginning of 2012, and will simplify the design of equipment such as vehicle ABS.

Silicon Labs ships 1 billion broadcast radio ICs based on pioneering digital architecture

AUSTIN, USA: Reaching a major milestone in the broadcast audio market, Silicon Laboratories Inc., a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, has shipped its one billionth broadcast radio IC. Silicon Labs’ digital CMOS broadcast radios are widely used in handsets, portable media players (PMPs), personal navigation devices (PNDs), automotive infotainment systems, tabletop and bedside radios, portable radios, boom boxes and numerous other consumer electronics products.

Silicon Labs introduced the industry’s first single-chip FM receiver in 2005. As the industry’s smallest, highest performance and most integrated FM broadcast radio IC, the Si4700 IC redefined how FM tuners were designed into consumer electronics products. At that time, traditional broadcast audio solutions were based on complex, costly analog architectures that required more than 30 discrete components. The highly integrated Si4700 revolutionized broadcast radio designs by offering exceptional, highly flexible performance, while simultaneously reducing component count by more than 90 percent and board space by more than 60 percent.

Over the past six years, Silicon Labs has rapidly expanded its broadcast audio portfolio to more than 40 distinct products including FM radio receivers, FM radio transmitters/transceivers, AM/FM receivers, shortwave and weather band receivers, RDS data receivers and automotive radio receivers. These products are now the broadcast radio ICs of choice for many leading consumer electronics brands.

“Silicon Labs delivered the industry’s first monolithic all-CMOS FM receiver, providing breakthrough cost, size, integration and performance for broadcast receiver applications in handsets, navigation devices, media players and consumer electronics,” said Jag Bolaria, a senior analyst at The Linley Group. “The company has continued to drive market innovation in CMOS FM transmitters and multi-band AM/FM/SW and weather-band receivers, all widely adopted in the consumer electronics, portable and automotive markets.”

Silicon Labs’ broadcast radio ICs leverage the company’s patented low-IF digital architecture, which enables the highest level of selectivity and sensitivity performance for radios, resulting in reduced interference and superior reception. In addition, Silicon Labs broadcast receivers incorporate advanced audio processing technology that delivers sound quality that is unmatched by other competing radio receiver ICs.

“Silicon Labs thrives on pioneering new ways to solve difficult system design challenges with mixed-signal technology,” said Diwakar Vishakhadatta, general manager of Silicon Labs’ broadcast audio products. “Our single-chip FM, AM/FM receiver and transceiver families are a case in point. These products have helped our customers reduce the cost and complexity of their designs while enabling more features and functionality to help them differentiate their products in the marketplace. We continue to invest and innovate around our low-IF digital architecture to remain a strategic supplier of broadcast radio technology to the industry.”

Silicon Labs has approximately 100 issued and pending worldwide patent applications in audio technologies for its AM and FM related products.

INSIDE Secure and ZTE to bring NFC phones to GSM and 3G networks

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE: INSIDE Secure, a leader in semiconductor solutions for secure transactions, has expanded its partnership with ZTE Corp. to integrate INSIDE’s near field communication (NFC) technology into ZTE’s GSM and next-generation TD-SCDMA smartphone platform, which is based on the Android OS.

The NFC solution INSIDE and ZTE are creating is based on the INSIDE MicroRead® NFC controller and the companion Open NFC protocol stack. It will enable consumers in China and elsewhere to use ZTE 3G smartphones for a broad range of secure NFC applications, including payments, transportation, loyalty, ticketing and access control.

”We are very pleased to cooperate with a well-known brand handset maker such as ZTE for NFC deployment worldwide,” said Remy de Tonnac CEO of Inside Secure. “Based on our advanced NFC technology, we believe that we can provide an excellent NFC solution to ZTE in China and globally.”

“Today’s announcement is the latest result of our long-term relationship with ZTE in developing NFC solutions for their handset offerings, which now cover GSM 2G and TD-SCDMA 3G networks,” said Simon Hu, chief representative and general manager, Greater China for INSIDE Secure. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with ZTE to provide best-of-breed NFC solutions as they develop more high-value handsets and continue to expand their operations throughout China and other regions.”

Now one of the top five handset vendors globally, ZTE recently indicated that it had sold 90 million handsets in 2010. ZTE has recently started making inroads in Western Europe, where ZTE reported its fastest growth, as well as in Japan and the US.

“Both smartphones and feature phones are essential to our long-term success in the global handset market, and NFC is quickly becoming an important component of these platforms,” said Wang Yongzhong, GM of GSM and UMTS handset products at ZTE. “Our ongoing partnership with INSIDE Secure gives us access to mature, proven NFC technologies and superior support that enables us to bring our handsets to market quickly and cost effectively.”

A third-generation product that sets a new standard for ease of integration, the MicroRead NFC controller offers a broad range of NFC options and provides the capacity to implement any secure element, including SIM, SE or SD card, to support any business model.

Winner of the prestigious SESAMES Innovation Award, Open NFC has received significant industry support from a broad array of participants in the NFC ecosystem.

NEXX Systems’ Stratus electrochemical deposition systems selected by leading Korean IDM for high volume manufacturing

SEMICON West 2011, BILLERICA, USA: NEXX Systems, a Boston area provider of advanced packaging equipment– announced successful completion of its Joint Evaluation Program with a principal Korean integrated device manufacturer (IDM). The two 300mm Stratus electrochemical deposition (ECD) systems ordered are production tools of record. These systems are used in wafer-level packaging metallization processes required for production of cutting-edge mobile products, such as smart phones and tablets.

Rezwan Lateef, VP of Business Development and Customer Operations, commented, “Our success at this leading Korean IDM is another testament to the value of our technical solutions in fulfilling high volume production demands for the production of mobile devices.”

Bioh Kim, NEXX Systems’ Korea director and GM, noted: “NEXX Systems is committed to local, time-sensitive customer support. Our recent success in this region has validated our decision to open a direct subsidiary in Korea to better serve our customers. This new subsidiary, based in Seoul, will collaborate closely with Global Zeus, a Korean sales and service agency, to manage key sales and service activities. As the adoption of our products gains momentum in the Korean market, we affirm our commitment to provide 24x7 support by directly managing the day-to-day sales and service effort.”

The NEXX product family consists of two advanced packaging systems, Stratus and Apollo. The Stratus was the first production plating tool with twenty wafer plating positions. Its vertical processing technology in conjunction with its single, linear cell configuration makes the Stratus the only tool in the market with dual-sided production plating capabilities, as well as one of the easiest to maintain tools that can handle wafers from 50µm to 200µm in thickness. Most of the 136 Stratus systems delivered to date process 300mm wafers at top-tier foundry and IDM customers in Taiwan, Korea and the US.

Namsong designs Spartan-6 into newest line of multi-format portable field monitors for professional broadcast apps

SAN JOSE, USA: Xilinx Inc. announced that longtime customer, Namsong Industrial Co. Ltd, has designed Xilinx's Spartan-6 field programmable gate array (FPGA) into its newest line of professional, multi-format portable field monitors recently introduced at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) 2011 conference.

Namsong's new high-performance multi-format XMD-9900 9" portable field monitor can be used on a rack or desktop, mounted to a camera or deployed in the field for a variety of applications (e.g., studio monitor wall, remote/outside broadcast van, electronic news-gathering/electronic field-production, mobile 'fly pack' production studio, video tape recorder/double data rate memory replay).

Namsong credits the performance and flexibility of Spartan-6 with enabling high-reliability, high-precision image processing features in the XMD-9900, including built-in vectorscope, standard auto-sensing HD-SDI (high-definition, serial digital interface) input, analog-to-digital conversion, and re-clocked output. Namsong selected Spartan-6 over competing FPGA and application-specific alternatives due to superior video image processing performance enabled by its built-in HD-SDI receiver/transceivers and memory bandwidth controller.

"For more than a decade, Namsong Industrial has counted on Xilinx as a valued supplier and key contributor to our success in delivering more than 20 professional broadcast display systems to our customers over many generations," said Namsong Industrial Director of R&D Chang Joon Lee. "Our new XMD-9900 system is the latest example of Namsong engineering innovation with Xilinx FPGAs. In the future, we expect to further integrate system functionality onto Xilinx 28nm Zynq and 7 series FPGAs."

With Spartan-6, Namsong was able to significantly increase architectural efficiency for tri-speed video by taking advantage of consolidated clock management tiles (CMT), including phase-locked loops (PLLs) with various digital clock managers (DCMs). In addition, the design team was able to build in more features into the system using extra memory space enabled by Spartan-6's multi-boot memory configuration.

Since its founding in 1978 as a provider of development and production services to leading closed circuit television (CCTV) original equipment manufacturing (OEM) factories, Namsong Industrial has evolved into a high-end, full-featured broadcast monitor company.

Today, Namsong is a leading manufacturer of high-reliability, high-precision professional display systems for broadcast, medical, security and industrial applications under popular brands in Korea, Japan and the US, among them Supertron and Protech. Its broad portfolio of products ranges from high resolution mono/color CRT (cathode ray tube) systems to state-of-the-art HD flat panel display systems.

2H’ Jun average contract price dropped another 5.5 percent, and DDR3 2Gb eTT price in spot market plummeted 20 percent

TAIWAN: According to DRAMeXchange, a research department of Trendforce Corp., PC-OEM’s high DRAM inventory (usually lasts about 4~5 weeks) has caused more conservative attitudes toward purchasing DRAM component, and 2H’June contract prices indicated a continuous downward trend from 1H’June.

DDR3 2GB’s average contract price is $17.25 (1Gb $0.92) and 4GB is $33.5 (2Gb $1.94), down by 5.48 percent and 5.63 percent, respectively, which resulted in a 8 percent drop of 2GB contract prices in June.

For the spot market, previously impacted by the dumping of downgraded parts has also caused the weakening spot price even on the chips without quality concern. DDR3 2Gb eTT’s spot price in June has plummeted over 20 percent to $1.35 from 1H’s $1.66.

According to DRAMeXchange, due to PC OEMs' more conservative attitudes toward DRAM component purchasing and their anticipations of continuous price downward trend, the DRAM contract price is more likely to maintain a decline tendency in July.

Micron stock price plummeted over 14 percent in a single day, potential off-balance situation on 2H’11 DRAM market emerging
Micron published its fiscal 3Q earnings on last Thursday (6/16) and its stock price plummeted 14.6 percent during after-hour trading section due to its disappointing performance on both revenue and earnings. That is, undoubtedly, a warming to the upcoming DRAM market situation.

According to DRAMeXchange, the year-over-year (YoY) bit growth of DRAM supply in 2011 is only 50 percent which is lower than 2010’s 58 percent. However, 2011 PC shipment growth is merely 3.9 percent YoY comparing to 2010’s 15.1 percent. DRAM’s demand and supply situation in 2H’11 is even gloomier from the negative impacts of the weak PC demand and the disappointing growth of DRAM content per unit in 2H’11.

Originally, the anticipation of 2011’s tablet PC’s popularity and PC shipment performance has been quite optimistic in 1H11. Nonetheless, impacted from the 311 Japanese earthquake, global supply chain of IT industry was damaged. Although the majority of the component production has resumed gradually since May, worldwide PC demand is weak. The PC inventory among channels in Europe remains at the peak level; combining with US’ urrent unemployment rate and China’s economic inflation, the concerns of the PC sales in 2H11 emerge; which resulted in a weaker demand when comparing with previous years.

The YoY PC shipment growth has downward-adjusted to 3.9 percent from originally 5.1 percent in the beginning of 2011. Meanwhile, in order to stimulate the purchase rate, PC OEMs are offering more competitive pricing which in term has slowed DRAM content per box growth for cost down purpose. The level of contain per unit is estimated to be merely 3.6GB to 3.7GB by the end of 2011; representing a negative influence on the DRAM market.

As to the outlook of 2H11, with the assumption that DRAM average selling price (ASP) keeps decreasing, only Korean makers will be remained with competitive advantages. For example, Samsung has commenced its mass production of 35nm; Hynix, on the other hand, is reportedly delivering 38nm customer samples to PC OEMs for qualification; the mass production of 38nm is anticipated to happen in later this year.

Regarding Japanese maker Elpida, with the assistance from its subsidiary company Rexchip, aggressively ramps up the portion of advanced node to the total output; producing entirely in 30nm by the end of this year. In the mean time, Powerchip is striving to cultivate non-DRAM foundry business; intending to minimize the impact from unceasing drop of DRAM ASP.

As for other DRAM companies, Nanya and Inotera are striving to increase the portion of 42nm migration, and ProMOS is seeking for any possibility to survive through the up-coming DRAM downturn which is considered the most since 2008’s economic recession.

Renesas Electronics to close Renesas Eastern Japan Semiconductor’s Tokyo device division

TOKYO, JAPAN: Renesas Electronics Corp. has announced its plan to close the Tokyo Device Division (Ome, Tokyo) of Renesas Eastern Japan Semiconductor Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Renesas Electronics, near the end of March 2012.

Renesas plans to proceed with the necessary measures while consulting closely with customers, including transferring production volume at the Tokyo Device Division to other Renesas manufacturing sites and discontinuing part of the products. The company also plans to accumulate excess production by front-loading the production schedule for those products that require time to shift production to alternate sites.

Since its establishment in 1963 as Ome Electronics Kogyosho Ltd., the Tokyo Device Division of Renesas Eastern Japan Semiconductor has specialized in the assembly and test of devices such as transistors, analog ICs, LCD drivers, and memory devices. Its semiconductor assembly operations focus on large-capacity memory products employing multilayer chip-stacking technology and single-wafer testing technology.

In addition to back-end production for Renesas Electronics, the Tokyo Device Division of Renesas Eastern Japan Semiconductor has taken steps to expand its contract production business by leveraging the exclusive technologies mentioned above. However, the rise of overseas competitors, particularly in Asia, has led to fierce competition and an extremely unfavorable business climate.

The 100-Day Project, announced by Renesas Electronics in July 2010, calls for “improving manufacturing efficiency through expansion of overseas business and production concentration” in its policy for back-end facilities, and accordingly the company is oriented toward strengthening its overseas production capacity and increasing outsourcing of production.

In line with this policy, Renesas Electronics has examined the trajectory of the Tokyo Device Division of Renesas Eastern Japan Semiconductor within the overall back-end production policy of the company and today come to a decision to close down its operations.

Talks are planned between labor and management regarding the treatment of the employees of the Tokyo Device Division following its closure.

CMP slurry set to grow 15 percent in 2011 as IC demand continues

NEW TRIPOLI, USA: With a slowdown in IC sales not expected until Q3 2012, demand for slurries to planarize IC surfaces will grow 15 percent in 2011 on top of a 36 percent growth in 2010, according to the report CMP Technology: Competition, Products, Markets, published by The Information Network.

The long awaited transition to copper interconnects for memory devices skyrocketed in 2009 and 2010, and will continue to be a driver for slurry sales. Equipment for manufacturing ICs with copper circuitry grew 152 percent in 2010 compared to 105 percent for the rest of the semiconductor equipment space.

In 2010, growth in logic was more pronounced than memory. The key here is that in a logic device there are 10-12 layers of copper interconnects versus only 1 layer for memory. So, 2010 was an exceptional year for copper because it combined the robust growth of logic as well as the continued transition to copper for memory.

While the overall chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) slurry market grew 36 percent in 2010 to $1.2 billion, the copper slurry market grew 43 percent. Cabot Microelectronics led the overall slurry market in 2010 although its market share dropped 2.2 percent from 2009. DA Nano led the copper slurry market in 2010 as its market share grew 0.7 percent.Source: The Information Network, USA.

ON Semiconductor and Stegia to bring ultra small smart motor solutions to market

Automotive Forum Suppliers’ Day, PHOENIX, USA & SHANGHAI, CHINA: ON Semiconductor, a premier supplier of high performance silicon solutions for energy efficient electronics, and leading Nordic motor supplier Stegia have announced that ON Semiconductor’s AMIS-30624 2-phase stepper motor driver, with built-in position controller and I2C serial interfacing, has been incorporated into Stegia’s stepper motor product line. This enables the creation of highly compact motor systems with next generation functionality.

The AMIS-30624’s on-chip position controller is fully configurable, offering a high degree of flexibility. The device is able to accommodate different motor types, positioning ranges, and speed/acceleration parameters. Its sensor-less stall detection feature can be used to identify blocked rotor and end of run conditions, preventing the motor from going into stall. Its tiny dimensions and high power density mean that it can be used with even the smallest models in the Stegia stepper motor portfolio, which go down to diameters of 6 millimeters (mm).

Commands for controlling the acceleration, deceleration, position and speed of the motor are carried out through the AMIS-30624’s I2C interface in microsteps. This results in silent motor operation, as well as enhancing positioning resolution. A stream of valuable diagnostic data can also be sent back to the motor system’s host controller via the I2C interface.

Utilization of an I2C interface limits the amount of cabling to the motor, thereby reducing bill of materials costs and lowering the system’s overall electromagnetic radiation level. It is possible to connect up to 32 drivers to one I2C master, so that system complexity can be kept to a minimum.

The AMIS-30624 has a peak current of 800 milliamperes (mA) and is fully compatible with automotive voltage requirements, with supply voltages of 8 volts (V) to 29 V being supported. Its operational temperature range of -40 °C to 125 °C allows it to be employed in automotive and industrial environments.

This highly integrated device is optimized for use in any electromechanical system that requires precise, high reliability positional control, such as damper control systems for building automation, remote access control for hotel rooms, remote tuning of cellular base stations, vehicle headlamp positioning systems, and surveillance systems (pan-tilt-zoom cameras), as well as automotive, residential, and commercial comfort systems.

“The embedded control and diagnostic feedback capabilities of the AMIS-30624, plus the ease with which it can be integrated into small form factor motor systems, such as those from Stegia, means it can help OEMs to realize mechatronic designs which meet the highest performance benchmarks even under space constrained conditions,” said Ryan Cameron, ON Semiconductor’s VP for Custom Industrial and Timing Products. “Furthermore, the process technology on which this device is based ensures cost competitiveness is maintained.”

“We are extremely pleased to be working co-operatively with ON Semiconductor to effectively implement their smart motor technologies – and specifically their integrated stepper motor driver/controller solution – to bring our innovative, highly compact, next generation motor systems to market,” said Johan Stjernberg, CEO of Stegia. “The collaborative working strategy between Stegia and ON Semiconductor has been extremely valuable and notably successful.”

Nordson to acquire flexible packaging equipment maker Verbruggen

WESTLAKE, USA: Nordson Corp. has entered an agreement to acquire Temse, Belgium-based Constructiewerkhuizen G. Verbruggen NV, a leading manufacturer of flat dies and coextrusion equipment for the multi-layer flexible packaging industry. The deal is expected to close within the next several days. Terms were not disclosed.

Verbruggen has current fiscal year estimated sales of €8 million, employs approximately 40 people, and will operate as part of Nordson’s Adhesive Dispensing Systems segment. Nordson expects the acquisition to be neutral to the company's earnings in the first full year of operation.

“Verbruggen provides Nordson an excellent entry into the flexible packaging market, and it is a natural complement to our existing leadership position in rigid packaging applications,” said Nordson president and CEO Michael F. Hilton. “Like Nordson, Verbruggen occupies a strategic place in the packaging supply chain, providing key value-added equipment to OEMs. The combination of Nordson’s global footprint and Verbruggen’s differentiated technology will enable us to capture multiple new opportunities as flexible packaging continues to grow worldwide.”

Flexible packaging includes bags, wraps and pouches and other containers made of single or multi-layered, easily yielding materials such as film, plastic, foil, or paper sheeting which are pliable when filled and sealed. Flexible packing is used in a wide variety of industries including food and beverage, health and beauty, pharmaceuticals and many others.

THine releases industry-fastest LVDS transmitter for tablet PCs with lowest power consumption

TOKYO, JAPAN: THine Electronics Inc., the global leader in high-speed serial interface and provider of mixed-signal LSI for flat panel displays and mobile phones, announced that THine has developed the industry-fastest LVDS transmitter for tablet PC and mobile appliances with the lowest power consumption and has started distributing the engineering samples in June.

The newly developed product, THC63LVDM83E, is suitable for mobile applications such as tablet PCs, notebook PCs, and digital still cameras, including single-lens reflex cameras, with the important features of the lowest-level energy consumption, the highest-speed, and the smallest-level fingerprint. Especially, THC63LVDM83E reduces the energy consumption by one third of existing similar products for mobile applications and can contribute to make the batteries long lasting.

Application markets of tablet PCs are expanding widely not only to notebook PCs and media players but also to game devices, medical electronics, and factory automation area, expected to bring sophisticated user experience. The new LVDS transmitter responds to such needs by achieving the speed of operating frequency by 20 percent faster than existing similar products.

Users of THC63LVDM83E can achieve excellent user experiences with the high resolution LCD panels of WUXGA (1920 x 1200) as well as those of XGA (1024 x 768) and WXGA (1280 x 800) more easily. In addition, the new LVDS can ease the complex cable wiring and reduce the EMI noise in small-sized LCD panels, including digital reflex cameras with vari-angle LCD monitors by its small package and the lowest-level energy consumption.

THine is developing additional strategic LVDS products for tablet PC markets and mobile markets with drastic energy-saving features and other differentiated advantages for customers by its original technologies.

Features of THC63LVDM83E
* Suitable data inputs tolerant to connect directly to low power, low voltage application and graphic processor.
* Wide dot clock range: 8-160MHz suited for QVGA (320 x 249) ~ WUXGA (1920 x 1200).
* On chip jitter filtering.
* Clock edge selectable.
* Supports reduced swing LVDS for low EMI.
* Power down mode.
* PLL requires no external components.
* Low power single 3.3V CMOS design.
* Small package of 5mm x 5mm.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Atmel launches power-efficient multi-string LED drivers

SAN JOSE, USA: Atmel Corp., a leader in microcontroller and touch solutions, announced a new family of intelligent multi-string LED drivers for the backlighting and solid state lighting markets.

The comprehensive portfolio of Atmel LED drivers offer design engineers industry-proven efficiency optimizer (EO) technology, flexible dimming options, scalability across wide range of power levels, user programmability and lower bill of material (BOM). These features are ideal for rapidly growing LED applications in direct and edge-lit LCD TVs, PC monitors, industrial, military and avionics displays, as well as general illumination in the commercial, residential, industrial and infrastructure market segments.

The LED drivers incorporate Atmel's patent-pending efficiency optimizer technology that minimizes power consumption to the lowest practical level. This technology allows designers to use any DC-to-DC or AC-to-DC converter topology with isolated or non-isolated implementation, while dynamically maintaining the highest system power efficiency by minimizing excess voltage across LED strings.

The Atmel drivers enable LCD TVs to achieve an ultra-high 10M:1 dynamic contrast and the lowest motion-blur. The new drivers also provide over 10000:1 pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming range for PC monitors and industrial displays. In solid state lighting applications, the new LED driver ICs and Atmel microcontrollers allow dynamic white-point setting, color-mixing and networked lighting with Zigbee, DALI and other standards. Other features include comprehensive fault management, LED aging and thermal control, and programmability with the on-chip EEPROM and scalability to any number of LED strings with minimal DC-to-DC converters.

"LED lighting applications are the future of the LED driver ICs market, forecast to grow above 35 percent per annum until at least 2016," said Mitess Nandha, analyst, IMS Research. "We are expecting the residential and outdoor markets to have the most significant gains, while office and commercial indoor are also growing strongly. In these emerging markets, barriers to entry are still low and suppliers who offer drivers with increased efficiency, higher intelligence and more functionality have the chance to grow swiftly. Atmel has the opportunity to become a key player with their latest offering of flexible LED drivers for both lighting and backlighting."

"Atmel is excited to enter some of the fastest growing segments in the semiconductor industry," said Tushar Dhayagude, marketing director of smart power products at Atmel. "Increasing LED adoption in LCD panels and lighting creates a tremendous opportunity for Atmel to leverage its industry-leading microcontroller architectures to push the envelope on efficiency, programmability, simplicity and solution cost."

The multi-string Atmel LED driver ICs are available in three categories including external MOSFET current sinks for high-power LED lighting and edge backlighting applications; internal MOSFET current sinks for direct backlighting and low-power LED lighting; and with integrated power controller for PC monitors and industrial, medical, military displays.

Europe doubles investments in semiconductor research within ENIAC joint undertaking

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: The ENIAC Joint Undertaking launched its new Call for proposals, boosted by the strong participation of the funding authorities who committed in 2011 grants up to 175 M€, an increase of 100 percent over the previous year.

The grants translate in R&D projects with total eligible costs of about 400 M€. The ENIAC Joint Undertaking confirms herewith its role as the leading European public-private partnership in nanoelectronics chartered to increase and leverage the public and private investments by bringing together the ENIAC member States, the European Union and the R&D actors associated in AENEAS.

The ENIAC Joint Undertaking generated R&D activities in value of more than 1 B€ since its inception in 2008, taking now a big step towards fulfilling its objective to approach 3 B€ by 2013.

Andreas Wild, executive director of the ENIAC Joint Undertaking, said: “After a relatively slow start due to the inherent complexity and novelty of the setup, the ENIAC Joint Undertaking made lately considerable progress in achieving synergies among the national objectives, the European priorities and the R&D initiatives of the private sector. Consequently, we experience now a significant increase in commitments: this trend shall be continued and strengthened in order to secure the future growth, competitiveness and sustainability of the European nanoelectronics industry.”

The ENIAC Joint Undertaking receives each year funding commitments from the ENIAC member States, adds its own grants based on funding from the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union, and executes open and competitive calls to select the most impactful project proposals for funding.

The proposals submitted must be within the scope of the strategic agenda, as expressed in the Annual Work Programme proposed by the ENIAC Industry and Research Committee and approved by the ENIAC Public Authorities Board. The members of the ENIAC Industry and Research Committee are nominated by AENEAS. The ENIAC Public Authorities Board is composed of the European Commission and the ENIAC member States.