Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Microsemi expands SmartFusion cSoC offering for industrial and military apps

ALISO VIEJO, USA: Microsemi Corp., a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, announced its award-winning SmartFusion customizable system-on-chip (cSoC) family is now available in a leaded 208-PQFP package.

The new leaded package reduces overall printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing and debugging costs, as it requires fewer PCB layers compared to ball grid array and chip scale packages. The PQ208 is designed for a variety of industrial and military applications, including motor and motion control, gaming machines, solar inverters, military avionics, missiles and weapons.

"Launching the SmartFusion cSoC in 2010 has expanded our customer base, and a percentage of our new customers expressed the need for the PQ208 package," said Rich Kapusta, VP terrestrial products, SoC Products Group at Microsemi. "We will continue to listen to our customers and provide a robust range of solutions to suit their exact needs—from leading edge, chip scale packaging to traditional leaded packages."

As the newest option in Microsemi's cSoC portfolio, the PQ208 features an ARM Cortex-M3 based 32-bit microcontroller with up to 512KB of flash memory, up to 500K gates of field programmable gate array (FPGA) and programmable analog. It also boasts 10/100 Ethernet; external memory controller with I2C, SPI and UART interfaces; up to 113 user input/outputs (I/Os) including FPGA; microcontroller GPIO and analog I/O.

Microsemi's SmartFusion cSoCs are the only devices that integrate an FPGA, a complete microcontroller built around a hard ARM Cortex-M3 processor and programmable analog, enabling full customization, IP protection and ease-of-use. Based on Microsemi's proprietary flash process, SmartFusion devices are ideal for hardware and embedded designers who need a highly integrated SoC that provides more flexibility than traditional fixed-function microcontrollers, and significantly reduces the cost of soft processor cores on traditional FPGAs.

Infinera expands with Russian headquarters in Moscow to support new and existing customers

SUNNYVALE, USA: Infinera, a US-based leading provider of digital optical communications systems, has established its Russian headquarters in Moscow. Infinera Russia will focus on marketing, sales operations and work closely with local partners to expand the company's manufacturing presence and capabilities in the region. The new entity has been created to support telecom carriers and service providers in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as Infinera increases its activities globally.

Recently, RETN, a leading Russian wholesale telecom carrier and Infinera customer since 2008, upgraded its pan-European optical network with the latest generation of the Infinera Line System (ILS). RETN specializes in connectivity within Russia and between major international traffic exchange points.

Since 2002, RETN has dynamically expanded, upgrading capacity and increasing the number of Points of Presence (POPs). Today, RETN's network is one of the largest in Russia, with a network, extending from Moscow to London, north and south, and directly connected to more than 800 international and domestic carriers.

"Russian carriers see the value of Infinera's unique technology based on photonic integration," said Alexey Popov, General Director for Infinera Russia. "Launching this new entity in Moscow reaffirms our commitment to the region and to customers like RETN. We also believe that it will better enable carriers in this country to benefit from an Infinera Digital Optical Network."

In 2008, RETN deployed Infinera's DTN for its ease of use and ability to turn up services quickly. This enabled RETN to increase total network capacity and provide its customers with a broad range of services including IP, MPLS, SDH and managed wavelength services. Today, RETN's network has been upgraded with Infinera's next generation line system, which supports ultra-long-haul reach, optical express, and future multi-Terabit scalability.

Along with Infinera's PIC-based line modules, the expanded capabilities of the ILS offers a highly efficient hybrid EDFA/Raman amplification capability that will allow RETN in the future to scale to 8.0Tb/s per fiber, and to deploy 40G and 100G wavelength -- all without the need for additional upgrade of optical fibers and amplifiers. Infinera's ILS upgrade to RETN's network covers a route of more than 17,000 kilometers.

"We are proud of our network and pleased with our upgrade with Infinera's ILS," said Dmitry Samarin, RETN's CEO. "The ILS has allowed us to double the wavelength density of our competitors with greater simplicity and ease of use. The convenience of having local sales and support teams in Moscow is an added bonus."

Infinera's ILS packs up to 160 Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) channels into the C-band, increases optical reach beyond 2,500 km and enables future capacity upgrades up to 8 Tb/s of fiber capacity, supporting capacity growth and flexible deployment of services from 1GbE to 100GbE.

Tablets and smartphones spur record MEMS revenue growth in 2011

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Benefitting from its exposure to the hot tablet and smartphone and businesses, the market for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) in consumer electronics and mobile communications devices is set to generate record growth in 2011, according to the latest IHS iSuppli Consumer & Mobile MEMS Market Tracker report.

Revenue for consumer and mobile MEMS—the largest and most dynamic sector of the MEMS market—will hit $2.25 billion in 2011, up by a best-ever annual expansion rate of 37 percent. This compares to the previous high-water mark of 27 percent in 2010 when revenue reached $1.64 billion.

Overall, the five-year revenue forecast starting from 2010 calls for growth by a factor of nearly three to $4.54 billion in 2015, equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of 22.5 percent, as shown in the figure below.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

“From the accelerometers and gyroscopes that provide intuitive motion-based displays, to the microphones that allow people to talk on the phone, to the bulk acoustic wave filters that facilitate wireless Internet access, MEMS devices provide many of the basic functions that make tablets and smartphones such compelling products.” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst for MEMS and sensors at IHS. “Because of this, MEMS content in these devices is increasing, driving the expansion of the entire consumer and mobile MEMS market.”

Beyond the 3-axis gyroscopes, accelerometers, microphones and bulk acoustic wave filters already found in tablets and smartphones, a new class of emerging MEMS sensors is stimulating growth. In this category are devices such as thermopiles, varactors, timing devices, pressure sensors for indoor navigation, radio frequency MEMS switches and actuators used for autofocus functions in high-megapixel cameras and pico projectors.

The real blockbuster this year, however, is the 3-axis gyroscope, a standard MEMS device that when used in conjunction with an accelerometer and a digital compass allows for more accurate, smoother and faster motion sensing for applications such as gaming and augmented reality. Revenue in 2011 for 3-axis gyroscopes will soar to $420 million, up from $127 million last year. The 3-axis gyroscope can be found in smartphones such as the iPhone 4 from Apple Inc. and the Galaxy SII from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.; in virtually all tablet devices, including the Apple iPad 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab; as well as in gaming devices like the PlayStation Move motion controller from Sony Corp.

Overall, gyroscopes this year will generate the second-highest revenue among consumer and mobile MEMS, second only to accelerometers, the device that allows smartphones to rotate from a portrait to landscape orientation and vice versa.

Not surprisingly, mobile handsets—including smartphones—will be the largest application for MEMS this year. MEMS revenue for handsets will reach $1.21 billion, approximately 50 percent of the total consumer and mobile MEMS space.

In second place will be gaming with $221.49 million in revenue, followed by media tablets with $158.64 million. MEMS revenue from tablets, in particular, will show the fastest growth, up an astounding 331 percent from $36.83 million in 2010, and is set to overtake gaming next year to clinch second place.

For its part, gaming will decline this year and the next because of the saturation of the casual gaming market, before it expands again in the 2013-2015 time period as new platforms arrive that use motion sensors.

Unlike gaming, however, nearly all other segments in the space will boast continued growth, including laptops, standalone projectors, cameras, white goods, MP3 players, remote controllers, battery chargers for PCs, toy helicopters, personal navigation devices and ebook readers.

Two new MEMS devices were introduced earlier this year. One was a new type of joystick launched in April by Knowles Electronics, the leading manufacturer of MEMS microphones. The MEMS joystick forgoes optical or magnetic sensors, is slimmer and less power-hungry. The device soon should start finding its way into gaming accessories for handsets and tablets, IHS believes.

The second new MEMS device for the year is a thermopile, introduced in May by Texas Instruments Inc., the top MEMS manufacturer overall. The thermopile, a contactless temperature sensor, can be placed into a phone or tablet next to the processor to monitor the temperature of the phone or tablet case. By controlling the dissipated heat, the thermopile helps to better tune the operations of the processor as well as push its limits to extract optimal performance.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

HANMI Semiconductor intensifies sales

LONDON, UK: Hanmi Semiconductor has diversified its customer base in global semiconductor back-end processing companies. Its major customers, such as Taiwan’s ASE, Spill and Power Tech, are predicted to record remarkable revenues growth in 2011, entailing large increases in orders for Hanmi Semiconductor. Considering that the company’s order backlog remains at more than KRW 30 B, Hanmi Semiconductor is to continue its robust growth further in 2011 and 2012.

In FY2010, the company’s order backlog closed at KRW 92 B, where solar cell equipment accounted KRW 13 B, showing a successful market start. In addition, the order backlog of new semiconductor equipment Flip-chip Bonder and Laser Ablation came in at KRW 17 B, which reflects the company diversifying product portfolio.

FY 2010 results show a strong recovery from financial crisis and state Hanmi’s confident intention to expand in Asia. Revenues grew by 127 percent, reaching KRW 170.9 B. Net income increased by 395%, exceeding KRW 30 B point. Year 2010 was a great success for the enterprise, giving confidence in further prosperity.

Last quarters sales break are discrepant. Both revenues and net income fell to KRW 25.2 B and KRW 5.2 B in June 30 2011 respectively (a 54 percent and 78.5 percent drop comparing to the same period in 2010). But the order backlog is still big, and most incomes are expected to be generated in the second half of FY 2011.

Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Seo-gu, South Korea, HANMI Semiconductor operates in 6 segments: Vision (patented technologies), Laser, Semiconductor equipment, PCB equipment, LED equipment, and Photovoltaic applications. Hanmi sets its global footprint in many Asian countries, withal entering European market through representatives in United Kingdom, Germany and Russia.

Immersion and TI collaborate on Haptics reference design

SAN JOSE, USA: Immersion Corp., a leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, announced that it collaborated with Texas Instruments in the development of a new high fidelity haptic reference design that combines Texas Instruments driver devices and Immersion TouchSense 5000 software.

The TouchSense 5000 reference design provides device designers with the technical implementation details necessary to build a world-class high definition haptic device. In addition to outlining the fundamental haptic concepts, the TouchSense 5000 reference design includes explicit schematics for the electronics necessary to drive currently available actuators from each of several vendors.

It includes detailed descriptions of the mechanical, software and APIs needed to create a compelling user experience with a production-ready high definition haptic device. This solution greatly benefits designers creating mobile devices, including handsets, tablets and consumer electronics and delivers key advantages, including high fidelity, small size and low solution cost.

“As an industry leader in haptics, we’re pleased to work with a leading semiconductor supplier like TI,” explains Immersion’s Dennis Sheehan, vice president of marketing. “Not only is it creating critical momentum in enabling the ecosystem, but it will also drive faster adoption of touch-enabled products that greatly benefit users; piezo-based haptics will power next-generation user interface devices.”

In its TouchSense 5000 reference designs for high-fidelity haptics, Immersion has included TI’s recently-announced DRV8662, the industry’s most highly integrated piezo haptic driver. The solution offers OEMs and designers easily-integrated, powerful and crisp effects delivered through a wide haptic bandwidth (50-Volts to 200-Volts peak-to-peak), improved effects isolation, fast start-up time (less than 1.5 milliseconds) and below-audible noise.

"As touchscreens become the standard interface for a growing range of electronic devices, there is an increasing demand for haptics to enhance the user experience," said ShreHarsha Rao, manager for TI’s haptics sector. "TI’s broad portfolio of low-power, highly-integrated haptics solutions, coupled with Immersion’s powerful touch feedback technology will easily allow OEMs and designers to design innovative products with realistic tactile feedback effects, and we look forward to working with industry-leading companies like Immersion to drive progress in haptic technology.”

The TouchSense 5000 reference design is the latest in the collaboration between the two companies. Previously Immersion included TI’s DRV8601 to drive eccentric rotating mass actuators (ERMs) and linear resonant actuators (LRAs) in its TouchSense 3000 reference designs for more standard haptics.

Synopsys and Achronix announce multi-year renewal of synthesis partnership

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Synopsys Inc. and Achronix Semiconductor, builder of high density and ultra-fast field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), have announced a multi-year extension of their OEM agreement for Synopsys FPGA synthesis tools.

The agreement continues to make Synopsys' FPGA logic synthesis technology available to Achronix customers by expanding support of Synopsys' Synplify Pro software to Achronix's latest generation of FPGAs, the 22 nanometer Speedster22i FPGA platform. Achronix intends to deliver a Speedster22i FPGA-optimized version of Synplify Pro FPGA synthesis software to its customers as part of its Achronix CAD Environment (ACE) software package, to provide designers of these devices with high performance synthesis technology.

"Our ability to deliver the world's most advanced FPGAs built on Intel's 22 nanometer process technology depends on having best-in-class development tools," said Yousef Khalilollahi, VP of marketing at Achronix. "With Synopsys' Synplify Pro synthesis tool as part of our ACE software development platform, we provide designers an optimized solution for taking maximum advantage of our FPGAs."

The version of Synplify Pro software optimized for Achronix FPGAs contains all the features of the standard version and continues to support the original Speedster family of FPGAs. It is customized to support the innovative technologies of the Speedster22i Platform. Synplify Pro software allows FPGA designers to achieve aggressive timing goals more quickly than alternative tools due to its unique timing-driven approach to FPGA synthesis.

In addition to new optimizations that take advantage of the advanced memory architecture in Speedster22i FPGAs, Synplify Pro software has also been customized with multi-processing for faster turnaround time for these higher capacity devices.

"Achronix provides FPGA solutions targeting high-density and high-performance applications, so it's a natural choice to match their silicon with synthesis tools designed to reach maximum clock speeds," said John Koeter, VP of marketing for Solutions Group at Synopsys. "We have been working closely with Achronix to customize our Synplify Pro synthesis software to capitalize on the features of their new Speedster22i FPGAs. We believe that through this close collaboration, we offer our mutual customers the best environment for producing highly optimized, cost-effective FPGAs."

The beta version of the Achronix CAD Environment (ACE) with Synplify Pro software supporting Speedster22i is available now, with general availability anticipated in December 2011. Synplify Pro software support for Achronix Speedster devices is available now. All Synplify Pro software optimized for Achronix FPGAs is available directly from Achronix Semiconductor as part of the Achronix CAD Environment (ACE) software package.

Gennum features new 3Gb/s cable drivers and high-density, long-reach equalizers

IBC 2011, BURLINGTON, USA: Showcasing the most comprehensive, end-to-end portfolio of SDI broadcast video solutions available from a single source, Gennum Corp. will host a series of video transport demonstrations in its booth (#9.A45) at the upcoming IBC 2011 tradeshow held in Amsterdam September 9-13th.

The company's demonstrations will feature the new GS3480 cable driver, the GS3440 long-reach adaptive equalizer (EQ) and GS3442 high-density equalizer, new CWDM Video Optical SFP solutions, its industry-leading video crosspoint family and a new reference design for bi-directional signal applications.

"As the only semiconductor provider with broadcast video at the core of its business, Gennum has a long history of providing the most innovative real-world solutions to the broadcast industry," said Bharat Tailor, director of Video Marketing for Gennum. "We are looking forward to showcasing the latest additions to our SDI solution portfolio—the industry's most comprehensive—at IBC."

Regarded as a pioneer in video technology and a market leader in broadcast semiconductor solutions, Gennum will be demonstrating the GS3480, a next generation 3Gb/s cable driver with an advanced feature set for today's most demanding real-world applications.

The GS3480 is the industry's only 3Gb/s cable driver featuring integrated output pre-emphasis, which can be used to compensate for losses associated with long cable runs common in OB-truck and large studio applications. In addition, the GS3480 and its 4 output variant, the GS3481, feature non inverted outputs which are ideal for polarity sensitive signal formats such as DVB-ASI, commonly found in the broadcast environment.

With its non-inverted outputs, the GS3480 minimizes the need for additional down stream hardware, reducing development time and hardware costs. The GS3480 cable driver also features the industry's largest output swing at 2400mV. This high output swing supports larger system architectures that require external passive muxing, external cable and connector losses associated with patch panels, and other system architectures that cause DC loss.

Further demonstrating the breadth of its video solutions portfolio, Gennum will be showcasing the GS3440, a next-generation adaptive cable EQ that provides cable reach beyond 200 meters for the most demanding real-world applications. Leveraging Gennum's leadership in adaptive cable EQ technology, the new GS3440 combines long reach with unprecedented jitter performance, helping to simplify the design and installation of broadcast systems. In addition, as part of its comprehensive range of adaptive cable equalizers, Gennum will demonstrate the GS3442 3Gb/s cable equalizer, targeted for high density PCB layouts.

Leveraging its extensive broadcast video expertise, Gennum has developed the industry's first family of crosspoint switches to combine video-specific features with unmatched signal integrity and power management capabilities. Developed from the 'ground up' for HD, 3Gb/s, 3D and Ultra HD, Gennum's new crosspoint switches are the most feature-rich available, in sizes from 2 x 2 up to 290 x 290. The multi-format broadcast crosspoint family enables equipment manufacturers and broadcasters to more effectively handle next-generation video formats and increasing data rate requirements in the studio.

Building on the performance, robustness and reliability of its third generation optical modules, Gennum is pleased to offer a new family of CWDM products. The CWDM family of products enables the transmission of up to 18 individual signals on a single optical fiber. All 18 wavelengths will be available from 1271nm to 1611nm, offered as dual channel transmitters, single channel transmitters and transceivers featuring robust error free transmission of up to 50 km in a 3Gb/s CWDM installation. The new CWDM family provides the performance expected from Gennum, including support for video pathological patterns for SD-SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI.

NSA approved defense-grade Spartan-6Q FPGA in production for highest level cryptographic capabilities strengthens Xilinx secure leadership

SAN JOSE, USA: Xilinx Inc. announced that the low-cost, low-power defense-grade programmable solution for high assurance applications is in production and has been approved for use in Type 1 Cryptographic Systems by the National Security Agency (NSA). The approval of the Spartan-6Q device in conjunction with Xilinx's Isolation Design Flow and Security Monitor IP, forms the basis for the FPGA leader's platform for secure communications designs and extends the on-going relationship between the NSA and Xilinx.

The successful results of the NSA's extensive testing of this third-generation secure communications offering allows Xilinx to provide the lowest cost, lowest power and most flexible solution to developers who need to meet the demanding requirements of high-grade cryptographic processing applications, including the requirements set forth by the Department of Defense's (DoD) Cryptographic Modernization initiatives.

The approval covers critical elements of the Spartan-6Q device secure communications solution that provides Single-chip cryptography (SCC) capability and Security Monitor 2.0 IP core for physical design security. SCC combines the functionality of multiple FPGAs into a single device, enabling Aerospace and Defense product developers to reduce the size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) of systems through higher levels of integration.

Key to the NSA's approval is the ability of the Spartan-6Q device to isolate user functionality within a single device while maintaining tamper proofing. The NSA completed a fail-safe analysis effort on the Spartan-6Q family to confirm that the individual regions of the FPGA are isolated from each other in the event of failure.

The proven Isolation Design Flow and verification process, first pioneered and developed by Xilinx in cooperation with the NSA, provides higher levels of integration and increased system reliability. Although designed to meet NSA requirements, the Isolation Design Flow solution provides techniques useful in other high- reliability applications such as commercial avionics governed by FAA DO-254 and commercial cryptographic systems governed by NIST FIPS-140.

"The production availability of the Spartan-6Q family marks another major milestone in Xilinx's 20-year track record of meeting the rigorous demands of the A&D industry," said Xilinx VP, Segment Marketing and Business Operations, Harvey Steele Jr. "Our close collaboration with customers and government agencies ensures Xilinx's delivery of FPGA technology with unique, industry-leading capabilities that stands apart from the competition for meeting today's defense-related, high-level security requirements."

In addition to its secure capabilities, the defense-grade Spartan-6Q device offers mask set control, ruggedized environmental operation and longer product life when compared to its pin-compatible commercial equivalent. Xilinx is the only major FPGA vendor to offer a distinct defense-grade product line with dedicated support with government approval on secure features.

TI intros breakthrough $1.95 DSP and $55 development kit

BANGALORE, INDIA: Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) opened order entry for the TMS320C553x ultra-low-power DSPs on Friday, Aug. 26, enabling developers to add sophisticated signal processing to consumer audio and voice applications, portable medical equipment, biometric security, voice-activated home automation and flow meters — at an unprecedented price.

The C553x DSPs offer the lowest price DSP in the industry starting at $1.95 and are supported by the $55 C5535 eZdsp development kit. The DSPs also offer up to two times lower active power consumption and up to six times lower standby power consumption than the nearest DSP competitor.

“It won’t be long before cost-sensitive audio applications offer same-room voice clarity and surround-sound functionality, your fingerprint will give you access to your home and workplace, and your voice will activate your garage door,” said Matt Muse, general manager, C5000 ultra-low-power DSP business unit, TI.

“These incredible advancements can only be achieved with real-time signal processing. With TI’s new C553x ultra-low-power DSPs, developers can add sophisticated digital signal processing to devices at the price point of a microcontroller and at the lowest active and standby power consumption rate in the industry. This enables superior consumer audio solutions with low BOM cost and long battery life.”

TI software and tools: Enabling easy development and product differentiation, TI offers a free software framework for USB audio class and human interface device (HID) applications, enabling quick and easy implementation of real-time, reliable audio systems such as headsets, speakers and voice recorders. With this extensive software, developers can build solutions that will plug into a USB port, generate full duplex audio and allow control of audio volume via a USB HID interface.

Developers can begin working today with the C5535 eZdsp development kit for a one-time C55x promotional price of $55 for the next 55 days (normally priced at $99). The kit includes a credit-card-sized development board by Spectrum Digital, a free, full-featured version of Code Composer Studio (CCStudio) integrated development environment (IDE) ($495 value), headphones with microphone, a micro-SD card and an on-board emulator (up to $500 value). It also comes preloaded with the USB audio class and HID demo for an easy and comprehensive out-of-the-box experience.

Customers can easily migrate between the C553x DSPs and also to the software-compatible C5515, C5514, C5505 and C5504 ultra-low-power DSPs to rapidly create multiple unique end products that maximize R&D investment and existing software base. In addition, devices within the C553x DSP generation are also pin-to-pin compatible, enabling easy scalability to add varying functionality to a customer’s product portfolio.

Veeco opens new technology center in Taiwan

PLAINVIEW, USA & HSINCHU, TAIWAN: Veeco Instruments Inc., a leading supplier of metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) equipment used to make light emitting diodes (LEDs), celebrated the opening of its new Taiwan Technology Center (TTC) in Hsinchu, Taiwan to provide process support for the rapidly growing LED industry. Several of Veeco’s key customers in Greater China and important local government officials were among Veeco’s honored guests.

At the opening ceremony, John R. Peeler, Veeco’s CEO, commented: “Our goal is to ensure customer collaboration and enhanced responsiveness to build a long-term strategic partnership with our key Greater China customers. We selected Hsinchu as the location for our new Taiwan Technology Center because of its strong history of LED industry leadership and the large number of local LED manufacturers. This center provides excellent access to some of the world’s best technology and engineering talent, and is strategically located for convenient access by other Asian customers.”

Peter Collingwood, Veeco’s senior VP, Sales & Service, added: “By opening the TTC, we are bringing Veeco’s leading technology closer to our customers. While we have always supported this region around the clock, this new site takes our commitment to the next level. We are able to easily demonstrate our latest technology and newest MOCVD systems to help our customers to ramp their production of high efficiency, low cost LEDs.”

The TTC site, which has approximately 40 Veeco employees, is equipped to conduct process demonstrations, arrange rapid start programs to transfer best known methods (BKM), provide early access to evaluate system upgrades, and support joint technology development programs. The TTC is equipped with Veeco’s marketing-leading MOCVD systems, including a multi-chamber TurboDisc MaxBright MOCVD System.

Justin K. Wang, GM, Veeco Greater China region, added: “We are committed to satisfying our customers and helping them to accelerate their production. Our goal is to be the preferred supplier with the best products on the market, as well as having a local presence to expedite our customers’ time-to-market.”

According to Peeler: “The TTC is the newest part of our significant expansion in Asia that we announced last fall. Veeco will invest over $30 million to dramatically expand our Asia footprint to help customers continue to accelerate the pace of adoption of LEDs for consumer electronics and solid-state lighting, including additional new R&D/demo and process support sites in Shanghai, China (opened May 2011) and Seoul, Korea (opening in 2012).”

Epistar qualifies Veeco’s MaxBright MOCVD system for high volume production

PLAINVIEW, USA: Veeco Instruments Inc. announced that Epistar Corp., headquartered in Taiwan, has recently qualified the TurboDisc MaxBright gallium nitride (GaN) Multi-Reactor Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) System for high-volume production of high brightness light emitting diodes (HB LEDs).

Ming Jiunn Jou, president of Epistar, commented: “Veeco’s MaxBright Multi-Chamber System enables us to ramp production quickly on the industry’s most productive platform. We will continue to rely on Veeco for technological innovation and process expertise as a strong strategic partner. Veeco’s commitment to providing best-in-class MOCVD equipment, as well as enhanced local support with their new technology center in Hsinchu, will help Epistar to achieve our future expansion goals and success.”

William J. Miller, Veeco’s executive VP, LED & Solar, commented: “The MaxBright system is the ideal solution for the lowest cost of ownership LED production, and we are pleased that Epistar, a clear leader in high quality LED manufacturing, has adopted the MaxBright for their production ramp. Our long-standing partnership is a key factor in the mass adoption of LEDs for general lighting.”

Renesas Electronics intros world’s first USB 3.0-SATA3 bridge SoC supporting high-speed UASP protocol

SANTA CLARA, USA: Renesas Electronics Corp. announced the availability of its new SuperSpeed Universal Serial Bus (USB 3.0) SATA3 bridge system-on-chip ([SoC], part number µPD720230) that enables data transfer between a USB 3.0 host system and a Serial ATA (SATA) device in external USB storage equipment.

The new SoC is the world's first USB 3.0 bridge SoC that supports the UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol), significantly speeding up data throughput for large volumes of data.

USB 3.0 achieves data transfer speeds more than 10 times faster than the previous version of the standard, USB 2.0—currently the mainstream data transfer technology, and therefore easily supports the growing need for increased data-recording media capacities. Renesas has led the industry by releasing the µPD720200 USB 3.0 host controller in May 2009 and began mass production in June that same year. Since then, the company’s lineup of USB 3.0 host controllers has been adopted by customers worldwide.

Total shipments of these products already have exceeded 40 million units since May 2010, and Renesas has ramped up production of its USB 3.0 host controllers to 6 million units per month. During this period, the company also released in December 2009 a UASP driver that achieves high-speed data transfers for storage devices by improving the performance limit of the BOT (Bulk-Only Transfer) standard used by USB 2.0, making it possible for external storage devices to take advantage of the increased speed offered by the new USB 3.0 standard.

To respond to the need for even faster data transfer performance necessary with the increased scale of the data handled in the storage device market, Renesas has released the µPD720230 bridge SoC. This device, combined with Renesas’ advanced host-controller technology and UASP driver software, achieves industry-leading data transfer performance.

In addition to Renesas’ USB 3.0 host controllers, the UASP driver operates with AMD’s A70M and A75 chipsets, made possible through close cooperation with AMD. Renesas also plans on achieving compatibility with AMD’s future USB3-supporting chipsets.

UMC delivers high endurance, variable voltage range embedded EEPROM solution

HSINCHU, TAIWAN: United Microelectronics Corp. announced that the company has achieved breakthroughs in its development of embedded electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (eEEPROM) solutions, delivering an I/O voltage range of 1.8V-5V and endurance at 1 million program erase cycles. The milestones follow several years of successful eEEPROM development at the foundry. Embedded EEPROM applications include banking cards, smart cards, ID cards, and microcontrollers.

UMC's eEEPROM I/O voltage range of 1.8V-5V achieves a breakthrough in battery life extension for mobile systems. Standard 2.5V/3.3V or 1.8V/3.3V inputs require dual devices and a regulator to reach beyond these fixed voltages. UMC's best-in-class eEEPROM solution offers a 1.8V-5V variable voltage range via a single device without the need for additional circuitry, which in conventional designs consumes extra chip real estate. This flexible and efficient SoC process facilitates longer battery life while occupying less space on the platform.

For endurance, UMC now offers 1 million program erase cycles compared to the standard 100K program erase cycles for alternative eEEPROM solutions. This high-performance technology enables UMC's customers to deliver devices with high reliability embedded memory that enable a much longer product life.

"Our success with eEEPROM, a challenging technology, underscores UMC's commitment to specialty technologies that offer customers a full range of innovative, high-performance, and compact solutions," said Anchor Chen, senior director of Special Technology Development at UMC. "UMC is delighted to make major strides in battery life extension and program erase cycles that enable customers to meet the diversified and demanding requirements of today's cutting-edge applications."

UMC's eEEPROM technologies are currently in mass production at 0.35um and 0.25um nodes and in pilot production at the 0.18um node. The 0.11um node is in development and is expected to be available early next year. Fundamental IPs, such as eEEPROM macros, standard cell library, and SRAM, are included in the offerings to enable customers to optimize their microsystem designs and accelerate design-in.

ST intros world's smallest 3-axis gyroscope

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: STMicroelectronics has expanded its motion-sensor portfolio with the addition of the world's smallest high performance 3-axis analog gyroscope.

The L3G3250A combines the same robust and field-proven micromachining technology that ST has already used to produce nearly 1.54 billion motion sensors with the Company's aggressive package-shrinking roadmap, making it the first 3-axis gyroscope to meet the demand for smaller footprints in next-generation applications such as gaming and virtual reality input devices, motion control for MMI (man-machine interfaces), GPS navigation systems, and appliances and robotics.

The sensor is a high-performance three-axis analog-output gyroscope housed in a package measuring just 3.5x3x1 mm, reducing the footprint from 17.6 mm3 - the current generation in production today - to just 10.5 mm3, a reduction of nearly 40 percent.

With a resonant frequency beyond the audio bandwidth, the L3G3250A is completely immune to audio noise, such as from speakers mounted close to the sensor, and mechanical vibrations coupled through the printed circuit board, therefore operating with greater accuracy and reliability.

In addition, its advanced design, with a single sensing structure for motion measurement along all three orthogonal axes, further increases sensing accuracy and reliability and delivers the industry's highest level of output stability over time and temperature. The combination of high sensing resolution with outstanding immunity to audio noise and vibrations makes motion-sensing user interfaces more realistic in mobile phones, tablets, game consoles, and other smart consumer devices.

The L3G3250A offers two user-selectable full scales – 625 or 2500 dps (degrees per second) – with sensitivities of 2mV/dps and 0.5mV/dps, respectively. The high range allows the device to detect and measure very fast gestures and movements. Other features include an embedded self-test function, a wide supply voltage range (2.4 V to 3.6 V), embedded power-down and sleep modes to optimize power management in battery-operated devices, an embedded low pass filter and a high pass filter reset function, and high shock survivability.

The device operates over an extended temperature range (-40 degrees C to 85 degrees C) and is available in a 3.5x3x1 mm3 LGA-16 ECOPACK® RoHS and "Green" compliant package. Engineering samples are available now and volume production is scheduled for Q4 2011, with unit pricing at $3.95 for volumes in the range of 1,000 pieces.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Berkeley Design Automation launches nanometer circuit verification forum

SANTA CLARA, USA: Berkeley Design Automation Inc., provider of the world’s fastest nanometer circuit verification, announced the 2011 Nanometer Circuit Verification Forum, to be held September 22, 2011 at the Santa Clara Network Meeting Center in Silicon Valley’s TechMart.

This day-long event will feature leading-edge designers, university programs, and emerging EDA companies sharing successful approaches to verifying analog, mixed-signal, and RF circuits employed in 90nm to 28nm silicon. Free event registration is available at

Analog, mixed-signal, RF, and custom digital circuitry is the biggest differentiator and the most difficult design and verification challenge for nanometer ICs. Implemented in GHz nanometer CMOS, these circuits introduce a new class of verification challenges that traditional methodologies cannot adequately address. The Nanometer Circuit Verification Forum is a technical event that will highlight and address these challenges in detail.

The event will feature technical presentations from analog and RF circuit designers from the semiconductor industry, silicon IP companies, and leading international universities. Application areas will span state-of-the-art data converters, PLLs and timing circuits, high-speed I/O, wireless transceivers, and image sensors. Emerging verification technologies will include: nanometer device modeling, high-performance circuit simulation, full-spectrum device noise analysis, rapid prototyping with parasitic effects, variation-aware circuit design, circuit optimization, intensive circuit characterization, and thermal-aware circuit verification.

Hosted by Berkeley Design Automation the Nanometer Circuit Verification Forum is supported by EDA companies including Accelicon Technologies, Ciranova Inc., Invarian, Inc., MunEDA, and Solido Design Automation. The event will also feature a keynote by Jim Hogan, renowned veteran of the semiconductor and EDA industries.

"As we move to deeper nanometer technologies the need for combining best-in-class circuit verification solutions is greater than ever before," said Ravi Subramanian, president and CEO of Berkeley Design Automation. "The first annual Nanometer Circuit Verification Forum provides a venue for semiconductor and EDA companies to showcase innovative collaborative efforts and share the latest technology and research available to address the toughest design and verification challenges facing the semiconductor industry."

Intel forms new subsidiary -- Intel Federal LLC

SANTA CLARA, USA: Intel Corp. announced the formation of a wholly owned subsidiary, Intel Federal LLC, to provide strategic focus in order to better address new opportunities in working with the US government. Initially, Intel Federal will focus on the High Performance Computing segment, including work on exascale computing with the US Department of Energy and other agencies. In time, the subsidiary will be open to working with all branches of the government.

“Reaching supercomputer performance levels of a hundred times more powerful than today by 2018 will require the combined efforts of both industry and government. An ExaFlop supercomputer’s performance is the equivalent of every person on Earth making about 150 million calculations per second. We look forward to collaborating more closely with the US government on future supercomputing challenges,” said Kirk Skaugen VP and GM of Intel’s Datacenter and Connected Systems Group. “The creation of Intel Federal demonstrates the strategic importance of these programs and will give us the ability to establish and maintain the unique processes, procedures and controls needed to develop and manage programs with the government.”

Intel also announced that Dave Patterson has been appointed as president of Intel Federal LLC. Patterson brings an extensive array of experience to this role, most recently as president and CEO of Optelecom-NKF Inc., and prior to that as president and CEO of Siemens Government Services Inc. (SGS). Patterson will report directly to Skaugen.

Initially Intel Federal will have offices in Oregon, California and the Washington, D.C. area. Over time Intel Federal will expand its focus to a wide variety of other programs within the government.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung extend fab sync to 28nm for mobile apps

MILPITAS, USA & SEOUL, KOREA: GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd broadened their collaboration, announcing plans to synchronize global semiconductor fabrication facilities to produce chips based on a new high-performance and low-leakage 28nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) technology.

The technology has been specifically developed for mobile device applications, offering 60 percent of active power reduction at the same frequency or 55 percent of performance boost at the same leakage over 45nm low power (LP) SoC designs.

In 2010, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung announced a fab synchronization on low-power 28nm HKMG technology in collaboration with IBM and STMicroelectronics. This low-power technology is qualified and fully design enabled with standard cell libraries, memory compilers, and additional complex IP blocks. The high-performance offering announced today complements the low-power technology, extending the frequency of operation for high-performance smartphones, tablets, and notebook computers, while retaining ultra-low leakage transistors and memories to enable the long battery life needed for mobile environments.

The companies are proving the collaborative value of a synchronized platform by working with several customers to optimize processes and tooling for both the low-power and high-performance 28nm HKMG technologies. The synchronization process helps ensure consistent production worldwide, enabling customer chip designs to be produced at multiple sources with no redesign required, leveraging the customers’ design investments.

By virtue of the synchronization, the collaboration presents a “virtual fab” that derives manufacturing capacity from four geographically diverse fabs. Each company has two 300mm fabs that will qualify the technology: GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany and Fab 8 in Saratoga County, New York; and Samsung S1 in Giheung, Korea and the company’s recently expanded fab, S2 in Austin, Texas. The four fabs represent a global footprint estimated to be the largest in the foundry industry for leading-edge capacity, offering customer choice enabled by close collaboration and an unparalleled de-risking of supply chain uncertainties.

“We are pleased to offer smart, innovative foundry solutions to our customers through this unique collaboration. This 28nm process will be the first semiconductor technology to truly eliminate the border between desktop computers and mobile devices, said Jay Min, VP of System LSI foundry marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics.

“With this new collaboration, we are making one of the industry’s strongest manufacturing partnerships even stronger, while giving customers another platform to drive innovation in mobile technology,” said Jim Kupec, senior VP of worldwide sales and marketing at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “Customers using this new offering will gain accelerated time to volume production and assurance of supply, and they will be able to leverage significant learning from the foundry industry’s first high-volume ramp of HKMG technology at 32nm in 1H2011”

The new high performance process is based on the 28nm “Gate First” HKMG technology utilized for the low power process announced in 2010. As with the low power 28nm technology that is fully design-enabled today, a comprehensive System-on-a-Chip (SoC) design platform will be implemented for the high performance offering to enable seamless customer design-in to the multiple global manufacturing sites.

Automotive analog semiconductors to get market boost from HEV/EV growth

BOSTON, USA: The latest Strategy Analytics analysis of the growing Hybrid Electric and pure Electric Vehicle market reveals that 92 percent of the semiconductors required for HEV/EV powertrain control are analog integrated circuits (ICs). The report, “Analog Semiconductor to Get Market Boost from HEV/EV Growth,” also predicts that by 2018 the HEV/EV analog semiconductor demand will quadruple from 2011, to be worth $2 billion in 2018.

HEV and EV powertrain control will provide a significant boost to automotive analog semiconductor demand. Over this period the projected HEV/EV analog market value CAAGR projected is 23 percent, significantly above the 7.2 percent anticipated CAAGR growth for standard automotive analog/linear products.

Strategy Analytics estimates that power and non-power analog circuits make up 78 percent and 14 percent, respectively, of the combined semiconductor market value from HEV and EV powertrain control produced today. High power IGBT used in AC traction motor inverters will continue to account for the majority of the power analog demand.

According to Chris Webber, Strategy Analytics Global Automotive Practice VP: “Digital logic will provide the brains for Hybrid Electric and pure Electric Vehicles drive, but analog semiconductor chips will provide the bulk of the interface, measurement, protection and muscle-power for control of these alternative powertrains, creating significant new business opportunities for analog IC vendors.”

Microchip intros 150 mA, 16V voltage regulators with short-circuit current foldback and high PSRR of 70 dB

CHANDLER, USA: Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions, announced the MCP1754/MCP1754S low dropout regulators (LDOs). The devices feature a high PSRR of 70 dB at 1 kHz (typical), and a maximum output current of 150 mA at +125 degrees Celsius junction temperature.

Both LDOs offer a high input voltage of 16V and an output voltage range of 1.8V to 5.5V, with standard output voltages of 2V, 2.5V, 2.8V, 3V, 3.3V, 4V and 5V, and output voltage tolerances of +/-2.0 percent over the entire temperature range. The MCP1754 provides enhanced features, such as a shutdown input signal and a power-good output signal, while the MCP1754S is the baseline version of the device. These LDOs are ideal for electronic circuits, such as in GFCI and AFCI circuit-breaker designs, and in the automotive, medical and consumer electronics markets, such as in automotive power adapters, cell phones and medical devices.

Designers need a high-PSRR LDO to reject power-supply noise in sensitive electronic circuits, and the MCP1754/MCP1754S LDOs meet that need. The devices’ wide range of output-voltage options gives design engineers added flexibility, and their small package size takes up less space on the board, while reducing cost. Additionally, the LDOs can be used to power Microchip’s portfolio of PIC microcontrollers, as well as other MCUs.

“The MCP1754/MCP1754S voltage regulators typically deliver 70 dB of ripple rejection at 1 kHz, making the devices ideal for AC-sensitive applications, such as GFCI and AFCI circuit-breaker designs,” said Bryan J. Liddiard, VP of marketing with Microchip’s Analog and Interface Products Division. “With the addition of these new devices to Microchip’s broad line of LDOs, our customers now have even more options to meet their needs.”

Magma’s Quartz DRC physical verification solution qualified to support GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ DRC+ flow for technologies at 28 nm and below

BANGALORE, INDIA: Magma Design Automation announced that the new pattern matching capability in the Quartz DRC physical verification product has been qualified to support DRC+, GLOBALFOUNDRIES' silicon-validated, yield-critical pattern-based design for manufacturing (DFM) verification flow for all advanced process technologies, including 40 nanometer (nm), 28 nm and below.

The new capability will allow Magma’s and GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ mutual customers to significantly accelerate – up to 3 to 4 orders of magnitude – the identification of 2-dimensional (2D) yield detractors and complex manufacturing issues with comparable accuracy to full-chip lithography process simulations. Tight integration of Quartz DRC with Magma’s Talus RTL-to-GDSII platform fully automates fixing and enables fast and easy deployment of an efficient and convergent analyze-and-repair methodology.

At 28 nm and below, certain patterns that reduce semiconductor yield are difficult to describe in process rules and are typically addressed using time-consuming and costly lithography process simulations. The pattern matching approach offers a faster, cheaper and comparably accurate alternative. Magma’s pattern matching solution leverages the tight integration of the Talus RTL-to-GDSII platform and the superfast Quartz DRC physical verification products to accelerate and automate the process.

Using GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ DRC+ pattern database, Quartz DRC’s pattern matching engine locates the yield-critical patterns and then Talus automatically fixes the problematic patterns using its efficient routing engine. The Quartz DRC pattern-matching capability features a flexible user interface based on Tcl 8.5, making it easy to add new problematic patterns to the library. The pattern-matching engine is fully integrated within Magma’s existing Quartz DRC and Talus qDRC flow making it is very easy for existing users to adopt.

“Because Magma is one of our closest EDA partners, we were able to engage early on with their development team on this important technology,” said Luigi Capodieci, director of DFM/CAD and R&D Fellow at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “This tight collaboration has resulted in a fast, efficient DRC+ search-and-repair capability that Quartz DRC and Talus users will be able to use to optimize yields on ICs manufactured in our 28-nm, low-power process technology and beyond.”

“Linearly scalable across multiple CPUs, Quartz DRC provides an order-of-magnitude improvement in runtime,” said Jacob Avidan, general manager of Magma’s Digital Sign-Off Business Unit. “With the addition of this GLOBALFOUNDRIES-qualified DRC+ pattern-matching capability, Quartz DRC users can further accelerate the flow without investing in new tools.”

Silicon Image’s dual-mode MHL and HDMI port processor designed into industry’s first MHL-enabled TVs from Toshiba

SUNNYVALE, USA: Silicon Image Inc. announced that its SiI9381A dual-mode MHL and HDMI port processor has been designed into Toshiba’s new MHL-enabled DTVs, which will be initially rolled out in Australia. MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) technology enables consumers to view and share HD content from mobile devices to DTVs via a direct cable connection.

Toshiba’s new Regza WL800A DTV model is available in 46” and 55” full HD screen sizes, and supports 1080p resolution and two channels of digital audio through MHL technology. The introduction of the latest Regza WL800A DTVs complements the growing MHL product ecosystem of smartphones, tablets and adapters.

MHL technology is a new HD audio/video connectivity standard that enables a mobile device to transmit 1080p uncompressed video with up to eight channels of digital audio, while also supporting HDCP content protection, over five pins. In addition, MHL-enabled DTVs and displays provide power to the mobile device when connected, ensuring that the phone battery is charged and ready to use even after viewing a full-length feature movie. Consumers are also able to control MHL-enabled mobile devices using the existing DTV remote.

“We have seen significant momentum for MHL-enabled products and the launch of Toshiba’s MHL DTVs marks an important milestone for the broad market adoption of this advanced mobile connectivity solution,” said Alex Chervet, senior director of marketing at Silicon Image. “Toshiba is known for pioneering new technology and we are thrilled that they have selected our SiI9381A port processor to enable MHL connectivity in their new line of DTVs.”

Cosmic Circuits tapes out MIPI MPHY in 85nm

BANGALORE, INDIA & CAMPBELL, USA: Cosmic Circuits announced the tape out of its MIPI MPHY solution in 85nm for use in eMMC devices.

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.

The MPHY solution is developed in 85LP and is mainly targeted for UFS applications that will find use in eMMC devices. The MPHY supports both the HS-G1 (1.5Gbps) and HS-G2 (3Gbps) modes and can be used in other MPHY-based applications such as DigRFv4, LLI and CSI-3. Given its anticipated wide-spread usage and the need for multiple configurations, the implementation of the IP has been kept modular enabling rapid customization for any configuration.

Sundararajan Krishnan, director of IP, commented: “We are contributor members with the MIPI alliance group and are committed to providing MIPI solutions in various technology nodes. We also work closely with our controller partners to provide our customers with a complete (PHY + controller) solution. Our MIPI solutions are getting integrated into the SoC’s of leading fabless companies around the world and we expect to see increased adoption of our solutions as we continue to expand our portfolio. We also have the MPHY silicon proven in 40nm and application boards with the Cosmic Circuits MPHY test-chip and the controller on FPGA are available upon request to select customers.”

Freescale and Tongji University intro reference design for anti-pinch window lift system

SHENZHEN, CHINA: Freescale Semiconductor and Tongji University announced a jointly developed reference design for automotive window lift systems. The reference design, based on the award-winning S12 MagniV S12VR64 mixed-signal microcontroller (MCU), provides a ready-to-use, rugged anti-pinch window lift control system that can help OEMs reduce development time and accelerate their time-to-market.

The single-chip S12VR64 is built on Freescale's innovative LL18UHV technology, which enables extensive analog integration on the MCU so developers can connect high-voltage signals and power supplies directly to the MCU in their automotive designs. This "direct-connect" capability helps save board space, increase system quality and reduce complexity and cost. Using the S12VR64 MCU as the basis for the new window lift reference design helps lower the system bill of materials, reduce the printed circuit board size and improve system performance.

Traditionally, automotive electronic designs have required multiple devices, including some created with a high-voltage process to connect to the battery and power actuator outputs, as well as MCUs created with a low-voltage digital logic process. This poses a challenge when the end application has space limitations.

"The S12 MagniV mixed-signal MCU optimizes integration of high-precision analog components with the proven S12 16-bit MCU," said Sun Zechang, associate president of Tongji Auto Institute. "When we were developing the anti-pinch window design, we selected the S12VR64 as the solution that can help customers meet their goals for cost savings, reduced board size and faster time-to-market. In those regards, the S12VR64 is much better than a traditional multi-component solution."

Tongji University's academic achievement in automotive technology is recognized within China and internationally. The Tongji Auto Institute is located in Shanghai's Auto City and has a close connection to automotive OEMs and parts manufacturers. Built in 2003, the Tongji-Freescale Automotive Electronics Joint Lab provides research and development in battery management, power systems, chassis and safety, body and car infotainment systems, and development of hybrid/electric vehicles. The joint lab has achieved remarkable results, such as the launch of fuel-cell vehicles based on Freescale Qorivva MPC55xx MCUs that were used in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

"The window lift reference design based on Freescale's S12VR64 MCU leverages our automotive semiconductor leadership and process techniques," said Ray Cornyn, director of Freescale's Automotive Microcontroller Products. "Tongji University is one of the leading universities involved in automotive electronics research in China, and we are excited to continue our work together to introduce solutions for the automotive market."

S12 MagniV mixed-signal MCUs are based on the industry-leading S12 16-bit architecture and are software- and tool-compatible with other S12 devices, allowing developers to leverage their existing investments when using this reference design. The S12VR64 was recently awarded the 2011 Best MCU Award in the Automotive category by China Electronics News.

The S12VR64 MCU is included in the Freescale Product Longevity program, with assured supply for a minimum of 15 years.

Freescale intros next-generation 8-bit MCUs with outstanding durability and reliability

SHENZHEN, CHINA: Freescale Semiconductor announced two new families of five-volt (5V) 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) with excellent durability and reliability for industrial and automotive applications. Scalable and compatible with existing devices, these easy-to-use, entry-level MCUs are designed to help OEMs get to market quicker with a lower bill of materials.

The S08P MCU family contains three classes of devices (PT, PA and PL) and is compliant with the IEC-60730 safety standard for household appliances. It delivers exceptional electrical fast transient/electrostatic discharge (EFT/ESD) performance to withstand the harsh and noisy environments of appliances, uninterruptable power supplies, HVAC systems, smart lighting and building controls, smart meters and general industrial control applications.

The S08RN MCU family is AEC-Q100-compliant and qualified up to 125°C ambient temperatures. With advanced mixed-signal features tailored for automotive applications, the S08RN family is ideally suited for touch control, lighting, power conversion/motor control, LIN nodes, sensor or actuator nodes and other electronics applications within the vehicle.

Freescale's newest entry-level MCU families are built using the efficient S08 core, as well as IP and tools common to previous generations. A consistent pinout across a 2K to 60 KB portfolio and a large selection of package options contribute to an easy migration path and reduced R&D expenses. An open source background debug module supplies cost-effective programming and debugging, while an improved, smart pinout with adjacent power and ground enables inexpensive and simplified single-side printed circuit board design.

"Our cost-effective new S08 families provide the improved EMC performance and safety compliance critical for today's harsh industrial and automotive environments," said Jeff Bock, director of marketing for Freescale's Industrial and Multi-Market Microcontroller business. "We're providing durable and reliable performance for our customers, while helping simplify and shorten their design cycles."

The S08P and S08RN families allow system designers to choose from a number of options to balance features and cost. Filtering on I/O pins helps withstand noisy environments, and internal clock generators keep clock noise inside. Electromagnetic compatibility/electromagnetic interference (EMI/EMC) compliance is addressed with slew-rate and drive strength control. A built-in 16-bit CRC engine validates data, and an independent hardware watchdog monitors the system.

The S08P family includes the PT class of touch-sensing-interface-enabled controllers, full-featured PA controllers and entry-level PL devices. The three classes are 100 percent core-, peripheral-, pin- and software-compatible, which helps enable an easy transition between high-performance and cost-sensitive product designs using the same hardware platform.

The S08RN family for automotive applications also features the touch-sensing interface down to 8 kB and will be extended with full-featured S08RNA controllers.

Latest additions to Freescale tower system accelerate development of automotive electronic systems

SHENZHEN, CHINA: Freescale Semiconductor announced new automotive sensor modules for its popular Tower System development platform. The new modules are designed to help engineers rapidly design and build innovative automotive applications, such as airbags, electronic stability control, electric parking brakes, tilt angle measurement and engine control systems.

The Tower System automotive sensor development kit combines 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based sensors and analog products into a single stand-alone development board. The kit supports the full range of Freescale Xtrinsic automotive sensors.

Automotive sensors are employed in vehicles to improve performance and comfort as well as to enhance safety. According to research firm IHS iSuppli, the global demand for automotive MEMS-based sensors will rise significantly in 2012 as vehicle production increases and safety system mandates go into effect for regions including North America, Australia, Europe, Japan and China.

"The new automotive sensor modules for Freescale's Tower System provide engineers with ready-to-use tools and software that help reduce development time for automotive systems," said Seyed Paransun, VP and GM of Freescale's Sensor & Actuator Solutions Division. "We're extending our automotive MEMS leadership by delivering easy-to-use, affordable development tools that encourage innovative design."

The Tower System is a trusted development platform for sensor programming that goes beyond simple device evaluation. It features a comprehensive and highly customizable embedded design environment that allows developers to mix and match MCU and peripheral boards to create reconfigurable development platforms that suit their design needs. Interchangeable modules promote reuse of hardware across multiple architectures, and the modular design scales down overall tool costs, while providing an inexpensive entry point.

Freescale rolls out first products in QorIQ Qonverge wireless base station processor portfolio

SHENZEN, CHINA: Freescale Semiconductor is now sampling the first “base station-on-chip” products built on its innovative QorIQ Qonverge multimode platform.

The new QorIQ Qonverge PSC9132 system-on-chip (SoC) for picocell and PSC9130/31 SoCs for femtocell base stations share a single, scalable architecture that simultaneously supports multiple air interfaces, providing operators and OEMs highly integrated heterogeneous solutions that help minimize power consumption, cost and design time.

The QorIQ Qonverge portfolio offers a scalable line of processors built on the same architecture that spans from small- to large-cell base stations. The platform allows OEMs to reuse software regardless of cell size. Customers can leverage common hardware, software architecture and tools to minimize capital expenditure and benefit from a comprehensive solution that helps speed time to market.

Freescale’s first available QorIQ Qonverge processors are the PSC9130/31 femtocell SoCs (for eight to 16 simultaneous users) and PSC9132 picocell/enterprise SoC devices (for up to 64 simultaneous users). The processors support a range of air interfaces, including LTE (FDD/TDD), WCDMA (HSPA+) WiMAX UMTS and CDMA.

The devices also incorporate glueless RFIC communication and antennae interfaces, eliminating the need for additional chips (such as FPGAs) and ultimately reducing board space and cost. The ultra-integrated PSC913x family also provides support for GPS synchronization and 2G/3G sniffing in a single device.

“Availability of the first QorIQ Qonverge products is a milestone for the wireless industry, which is in dire need of innovative new solutions to address challenging power requirements and exploding demand for additional bandwidth,” said Scott Aylor, director and general manager of Freescale’s Wireless Access Division.

“Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge portfolio offers unprecedented scalability and software compatibility, giving customers flexibility, reduced cost and design-time savings as they move up to larger capacity systems.”

Freescale leveraged its tremendous R&D scale, deep knowledge of the wireless market and extensive IP portfolio to develop the new SoCs. Built on market-tested Power Architecture cores, programmable StarCore digital signal processor (DSP) technology and powerful baseband hardware acceleration engines already deployed in multiple LTE macrocell base stations around the world, the QorIQ Qonverge processors exemplify Freescale’s signature intelligent integration capabilities.

Leveraging world-class StarCore SC3850 DSP and Power Architecture e500 MPU cores, the new QorIQ Qonverge SoCs are distinguished by offloading Layer 2 processing and above to MPU cores instead of DSP cores, delivering significant efficiency advantages.

PSC9130/31 femto SoC specifications
• Eight to 16 users (WCDMA, LTE, CDMA2K) and simultaneous multimode.
• 2x2 MiMO.
• 1x e500 core and 1x SC3850 core.
• MAPLE-B2F acceleration.

PSC9132 pico/enterprise femto SoC specifications
• 32-64 users (WCDMA, LTE) and simultaneous multimode.
• 2x4 MiMO.
• 2x e500 cores and 2x SC3850 cores.
• MAPLE-B2P acceleration.

Complementary RF power femto solutions
Freescale offers comprehensive multimode RF solutions to complement its QorIQ Qonverge PSC9130/PSC9131 products for femtocell applications. Designed to operate in all UMTS frequency bands (I – XIV), the highly efficient MMZ09312B, MMA20312B and MMA25312B power amplifiers are based on InGaP heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) technology and are configured in 3x3 mm MicroLeadFrame (MLF) surface mount plastic packages.

In addition, Freescale’s MML09211H and MML20211H low-noise amplifiers provide extremely low noise figure and high linearity for femtocell receiver applications.

Enablement tools and software
A rich ecosystem of products and services from Freescale and its partners is planned to support the PSC913x family. The PSC9131 reference design board, planned for availability in Q4 2011, incorporates the processors, memory interfaces and most peripheral functions.

The PSC9132 QorIQ Qonverge development system, planned for availability in Q4 2011, offers a high-performance computing evaluation, development and test platform. To help customers reach optimized performance, software migration tools and CodeWarrior software development tools, including a new Eclipse IDE, trace and profile, SmartDSP OS, debugger and C/C++ compiler are also available.

Freescale is currently sampling QorIQ Qonverge products to select customers.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES announces design enablement support for 20nm design flows from leading EDA vendors

MILPITAS, USA: GLOBALFOUNDRIES announced a significant milestone on the path to market readiness of its leading-edge 20 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process. By successfully taping out a test chip using flows from leading EDA vendors Cadence Design Systems, Magma Design Automation, Mentor Graphics Corp., and Synopsys Inc., GLOBALFOUNDRIES has demonstrated that it is ready for customers to begin evaluating their 20nm designs.

“We are committed to providing customers as much of a time-to-market advantage as possible with each new technology we introduce,” said Mojy Chian, senior VP of design enablement at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “Our model of early collaboration with EDA partners accelerates the overall development cycle, and gives customers accessibility to the inner workings of the process so they can begin targeting their designs to the most advanced manufacturing capabilities with confidence. This success is a major achievement toward market readiness of our newest process, and we will continue to enhance the design enablement support available for it.”

All four EDA companies have demonstrated that their place-and-route (P&R) tools and tech files are capable of supporting the advanced rules associated with the 20nm process. The flows include library preparation steps for double patterning technology, a complex lithography approach that raises new challenges for designers at 20nm and beyond. The 20nm test chip requires double patterning and was implemented with each EDA partner contributing a large placed and routed design. Prior to tape out, each design was thoroughly validated by GLOBALFOUNDRIES and checked against 20nm sign-off verification decks. Early and extensive 20nm collaboration with each EDA partner resulted in all designs being closed rapidly for a successful tapeout.

In addition to demonstrating full support for all of the key steps in a 20nm P&R flow—including double patterning library preparation, placement, clock tree synthesis, hold fixing, routing and post route optimization—GLOBALFOUNDRIES worked with each of the EDA suppliers to include the necessary setup and support for technology and mapping files. The flow will also demonstrate foundry support for extraction, static timing analysis and physical verification. GLOBALFOUNDRIES will make the design, libraries, and complete vendor flow scripts available to customers who wish to evaluate 20nm technology.

“The EDA360 vision calls for collaboration amongst ecosystem players to solve growing design complexity challenges. The 20 nanometer process adds several advanced manufacturing rules and requires us to collaborate with foundry partners even earlier in the development cycle,” said Chi-Ping Hsu, senior VP, Research and Development, Silicon Realization Group at Cadence Design Systems. “We will continue to work closely with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to enable our customers to predictably develop leading-edge products at advanced nodes.”

“Having achieved silicon success at the 28-nm node, several of Magma’s and GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ mutual customers are now moving to the 20-nm node,” said Premal Buch, GM of Magma's Design Implementation Business Unit. “The integrated double-pattern-compliant routing technology of Talus and mask decomposition technology of Quartz DRC combined with advanced process technology, provide Magma’s and GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ leading-edge customers with a silicon-proven design and manufacturing solution for the 20-nm node and beyond.”

“Mentor is putting in place a complete design and test flow that leverages 20nm processes, opening a wealth of options and capabilities to designers,” said Joseph Sawicki, VP, Design to Silicon Division, Mentor Graphics. “By partnering closely with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and integrating the GLOBALFOUNDRIES signoff Mentor Calibre platform with the Olympus-SoC Place and Route offering, we can provide designers with the necessary design and layout options and implementation trade-offs they require to best optimize their 20nm design requirements. Moreover, once the designs move into production, GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ use of Mentor Tessent test capabilities, interfaced with the Calibre DFM offering, enables them to accelerate the reduction in systematic yield loss.”

“GLOBALFOUNDRIES is collaborating with Synopsys to develop a comprehensive IC design flow for the 20nm process, based on the Synopsys Galaxy Implementation Platform,” said Bijan Kiani, VP of product marketing at Synopsys. “This flow makes use of some of Synopsys' most advanced tools and technologies, including the recently announced IC Compiler-Advanced Geometry place-and-route solution with full support for double patterning, In-Design physical verification with IC Validator, and StarRC parasitic extraction. The Synopsys Galaxy design flow was used successfully by GLOBALFOUNDRIES to tape out their 20nm test chip.”

Silicon Labs’ broadcast audio ICs streamline design of wheel-Tuned, digital-display radios

AUSTIN, USA: Silicon Laboratories Inc., a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, introduced a multi-band radio receiver IC solution that will modernize wheel-tuned radio products with digital displays.

Based on a patented low-IF digital architecture, the Si484x receivers offer unmatched integration in CMOS, reducing radio component count by more than 70 percent. The new receivers dramatically shrink bill-of-materials (BOM) and PCB area requirements in applications such as tabletop and portable radios, stereos, mini/micro systems, boom boxes, clock radios, docking stations, radio toys or any consumer electronics product containing a digital-display radio tuned by a mechanical wheel.

Silicon Labs’ Si484x receivers solve a critical design challenge for the 40-million-unit-per-year wheel-tuned, digital-display radio market. Competitive solutions use frequency counter ICs to approximate the tuned frequency of traditional analog ICs. With this approach, the actual tuned frequency could be significantly different from the displayed frequency, leading to a frustrating tuning experience for radio users. The Si484x family addresses these challenges by providing precise mechanical tuning that enables radio users to hear the exact channel that is being displayed.

The Si484x receivers deliver unsurpassed RF performance in the worldwide AM/FM/SW bands, as well as audio features that are unmatched by competing radio ICs. The Si484x receivers’ automatically tuned RF front-end circuitry adjusts to reject noise and amplify the target signal for exceptional sensitivity in weak signal conditions.

In crowded broadcast environments, the RF front-end automatically attenuates undesired blockers and receives the audio signals on the desired channel with exceptional signal quality. The receivers provide advanced audio conditioning for all signal environments, removing pops, clicks and loud static in variable signal conditions. The Si484x ICs also enable display indicators for valid stations, mono/stereo signals and tuned frequency. Additional unique audio features include digital volume control, soft mute and bass/treble audio control.

“Radio designs based on the new Si484x receivers require no manually tuned components, enabling radio makers to eliminate costly manual placement, testing and tuning in their manufacturing lines, thereby reducing labor cost while improving capacity, yield and time to market,” said Diwakar Vishakhadatta, general manager of Silicon Labs’ broadcast audio products. “Silicon Labs’ Si484x receivers provide radio makers with a highly integrated multi-band receiver solution with unprecedented flexibility, simplifying design and manufacturing for a broad range of wheel-tuned, digital-display radio products.”

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Amkor to collaborate on advanced assembly and test solutions

MILPITAS & CHANDLER, USA: GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Amkor Technology Inc. announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to develop integrated assembly and test solutions for advanced silicon nodes. The companies plan to collaborate to co-develop and commercialize integrated fab-bump-probe-assembly-test solutions aimed at multiple customers and end-market applications and expand their lead-free bump licensing relationship.

Through the partnership, Amkor would become a founding member of GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ new Global Alliance for Advanced Assembly Solutions, which is designed to accelerate innovation in semiconductor interconnect, assembly and packaging technologies. By joining forces, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Amkor plan to extend the ecosystem to address growing market needs, while bolstering their ability to deliver end-to-end solutions for customers at advanced technology nodes.

Amkor and GLOBALFOUNDRIES have also recently expanded their prior lead-free wafer bump licensing relationship by amending their existing lead-free bumping technology license agreement.

“We are excited to launch our new global alliance by partnering with Amkor to jointly develop advanced packaging solutions,” said Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president of technology and research and development at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “Our broad and collaborative approach will give customers maximum choice and flexibility, while delivering cost savings, faster time-to-volume, and a reduction in the technical risk associated with developing new technologies.”

“We are pleased to be working on these new initiatives with an important semiconductor foundry partner like GLOBALFOUNDRIES,” said Dr. Robert Darveaux, Amkor’s corporate vice president, technology and platform development. “The combination of GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ world-class foundry services and technology with Amkor’s advanced bump, probe, assembly and test solutions will drive significant value for our common customers.”

As the industry moves aggressively to more advanced technology nodes, innovation in interconnect, assembly and packaging solutions is becoming increasingly important. Supply chain management has become a critical topic, as the ability to enable innovative packaging techniques can lead to improvements in performance and power-efficiency as well as reduced costs for chip designers. At leading-edge nodes, the adoption of three-dimensional (3D) stacking of integrated circuits is increasingly being viewed as an alternative to traditional technology node scaling at the transistor level.

As new technologies such as this are introduced, the complexity of chip-package interaction is going up significantly and it is increasingly difficult for foundries and OSATs to be able to deliver end-to-end solutions that meet the requirements of the broad range of leading-edge designs. The partnership between GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Amkor will enable the supply chain to better meet these diverse requirements and deliver robust and reliable solutions to mutual customers.

Integrand enables RF IC design solution for GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 55nm-LPe technology

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, USA: Integrand Software announced the availability of a comprehensive solution for RF IC design on GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 55nm-LPe technology.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES' RF solutions flow enables a designer to optimize inductors using Integrand's inductor synthesis tool, the Optimum Inductor Finder (OIF). The flow works within the Cadence Virtuoso environment.

The OIF technology deployed by GLOBALFOUNDRIES was developed using Integrand's flagship EM simulator, EMX, and model generation tool, Continuum. GLOBALFOUNDRIES has done extensive verification of the models and confirmed that they show very close correspondence to Silicon measurements.

"We have been very happy to partner with and license our technology to GLOBALFOUNDRIES to provide greater capabilities to RF IC designers," said Dr. Sharad Kapur, president of Integrand Software Inc. "Integrand's EMX and Continuum software creates true scalable models for passive components like inductors. The associated OIF enables a designer to find optimal components in a matter of seconds without resorting to third-party synthesis tools or from a list-based search approach."

Integrand's OIF, a GUI-based analog synthesis tool, is now deployed within the PDK to allow GLOBALFOUNDRIES customers to enter their desired inductance and make trade-off decisions between maximum Q, minimum area. Furthermore, the Spice model parameters are geometric so as to allow EDA Layout Parasitic Extraction (LPE) tools to extract model parameters to do post-layout simulation.

Michael Cheng, senior director at GLOBALFOUNDRIES, said: "GLOBALFOUNDRIES uses Integrand's EMX and Continuum to characterize and simulate passive devices. The tools facilitate virtual fabrication and automatic construction of accurate scalable inductor models with good model-to-hardware correlation. These inductor models are then integrated into an Optimum Inductor Finder (OIF), which is released through GLOBALFOUNDRIES' RF Design Kit. The OIF is well received by our customers as it offers circuit designers the flexibility to synthesize inductor design specific to their needs and we are delighted to have OIF as part of our comprehensive Design Kit offering for the 55nm-LPe RFCMOS technology node."

Vimicro to benefit from government alliance to drive adoption of SVAC digital-surveillance standard

BEIJING, CHINA: Vimicro International Corp., a leading multimedia semiconductor and IP-based surveillance solution provider, announced that on August 25, 2011, five key government agencies formed an alliance to promote the adoption of the Surveillance Video and Audio Coding (SVAC) digital-surveillance standard on a national level.

The alliance is a non-profit organization devoted to accelerating the application and implementation of SVAC, as well as to popularize the standard and assist its industrialization process. Participating government agencies included: the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC).

During the alliance's inaugural conference, Jian Li, Director of the First Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security, was elected chairman, and Vimicro's chairman and CEO, Dr. John Deng, was elected honorary Chairman and Chief Scientist by the government and industry leaders assembled to promote the SVAC standard. The representatives of the five agencies also delivered speeches at the gathering. One common theme was the continued commitment of the Chinese government to promote the standard nationwide to expand the application of SVAC to other areas such as the Internet of Things and to promote SVAC to become an international standard, among other topics discussed.

"The SVAC national standard was developed to solve the interoperability issues of current video-surveillance systems due to inconsistent source-coding standards. The SVAC national standard will play an important role in national security, the digital intelligent city, intelligent transportation, energy development, business, finance, healthcare and many other areas. The SVAC alliance will improve China's audio and video technology for the benefit of national security as well as our general industrial competitiveness, which in turn will encourage more users to purchase our members' SVAC products," commented Wei Sun, head of the Technology, Information and Automation Department of the SAC.

Yiping Xie, head of the Technology and Information Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, added, "From a national innovation and independent intellectual-property perspective, the SVAC alliance creates a platform to develop the entire security and surveillance industry chain in China."

As previously disclosed, the SVAC standard was co-developed by Vimicro and the first Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security and it also benefited from the contributions of more than 40 scientific research institutes, universities and security-industry companies.

The standard was officially released by the SAC on December 31, 2010. SVAC is the first technology standard designed to solve the unique needs of the surveillance industry. It has special significance for the establishment of China's public security and crime-prevention system. The implementation of the SVAC standard commenced on May 1, 2011, and it is the preferred protocol for government contracts and is available to all suppliers participating in the surveillance industry.

"This alliance creates the foundation for an exciting new era for the security video and audio-monitoring industry," commented Dr. Deng. "As the co-initiator and co-developer of the SVAC standard, we believe Vimicro is well-situated to establish a leadership position in this growing field, and being elected as the Alliance's honorary chairman and chief scientist is a tremendous personal honor. I will devote my efforts to promote and develop the technology necessary for supporting the standard."

Monday, August 29, 2011

TI launches 10 new Bluetooth low energy profiles

DALLAS, USA: Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has launched 10 Bluetooth low energy technology (Bluetooth v4.0) profiles with associated sample applications to boost market development of Bluetooth low energy-compliant sensor devices.

The Bluetooth low energy application software is a part of TI's BLE-Stack, and is available royalty-free to all using TI's CC2540 Bluetooth low energy system-on-chip (SoC). TI's BLE-Stack is available today at, and a corresponding CC2540DK-MINI development kit is available on TI's e-store. An enhanced, new CC2540DK development kit will also be available in mid September, providing a flexible platform for software development, extensive RF performance assessment and packet-sniffing testing.

TI has achieved Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) certification for find-me, health thermometer, heart rate, and proximity profiles. The updated BLE-Stack also includes support for to-be-adopted profiles such as blood pressure sensor, remote control (soft command), watch (time/network availability), emulated keyboard/dongle (HID), and time and alert notification profiles.

TI's updated BLE-Stack also adds support for Bluetooth low energy central and peripheral configurations. When set to the central configuration, the CC2540 SoC can support up to three simultaneous connections. For example, an end user can run a heart rate monitor, blood pressure sensor and health thermometer – all connected to one central health device.

"We are proud to be the only company to offer this range of profiles to date, allowing our customers to realize their product ideas more quickly and participate in early interoperability testing with their devices against dual-mode devices," said Sid Shaw, product marketing manager, Low-Power RF, TI. "Our BLE-Stack adds support for adopted profiles as well as profiles expected to be adopted in the near future. With additional tools updates and our new extensive development kit, designers will now have access to the latest and greatest tools to develop single-mode Bluetooth low energy applications."

"Bluetooth v4.0 technology is experiencing incredible traction, and the market is hungry for new devices and use cases," said Michael Foley, ED, Bluetooth SIG. "As shown with its certifications, new profile offerings and updated Bluetooth low energy stack, we are pleased to see TI playing a critical role in delivering Bluetooth v4.0 with low energy capabilities to new places – from health monitoring to fitness equipment, alert notifications and more."

In addition to attaining Bluetooth SIG Certification and interoperability testing, TI's BLE-Stack has undergone comprehensive testing against TI's dual-mode Bluetooth solutions. TI provides single-mode Bluetooth low energy solutions for sensor applications and dual-mode solutions for mobile handheld devices, including the BlueLink 7.0 (BL6450), WiLink 6.0 (WL127x) and WiLink 7.0 (WL128x) offerings. With both sides of the link, TI delivers a fully tested, robust Bluetooth low energy ecosystem.

Industry-leading Blackfin embedded processor available for under $2

NORWOOD, USA: Continuing to offer designers low-cost and high-performance digital signal processing options, Analog Devices Inc. introduced a 200-MHz version of its ADSP-BF592 Blackfin embedded processor that delivers 400-MMAC performance for just $1.99 each (in 1,000-unit quantities).

The lower-cost 200 MHz version achieves a BDTImark2000 performance score of 1120 and a BDTImark2000/$ performance/cost score of 562 compared with the 400 MHz version’s BDTImark2000 score of 2240 and BDTImark2000/$ score of 747—which was the highest performance/cost score ever recorded by DSP benchmarking firm BDTI (Berkeley Design Technology Inc.).

This new price point for the BF592 makes ADI’s industry-leading DSP price/performance accessible to a broad range of cost-sensitive applications. Featuring active power draw as low as 51 mW and a tiny 9 mm x 9 mm 64-lead LFCSP package, the new 200-MHz Blackfin BF592 model makes integrating high-performance DSP (digital signal processing) even more practical for many power and cost-constrained applications in the industrial, medical, video, audio and general-purpose markets.

Target applications for the BF592 include portable healthcare products, audio devices and imaging products, such as CMOS-sensor-based 2-D barcode scanners.

“The ADSP-BF592 allows designers to cost effectively pack a tremendous amount of advanced performance into designs with very limited space and very small power budgets,” said Rich Murphy, business development manager, Processors-DSP Group, Analog Devices.

Blackfin ADSP-BF592 features
* Highest DSP performance for its price lets developers run more sophisticated algorithms with more system-level advantages.
* Low active power draw of just 51 mW at 200 MHz and low standby power of less than 1 mW consumes 80 percent less power than comparable solutions to extend battery life.
* The industry’s smallest 400-MMAC/200-MHz device with a 9 mm x 9 mm footprint allows designers to pack tremendous performance into space-constrained designs.
* Optimized for multiple applications with no external memory or executable flash: peripheral set includes two SPORT’s, a PPI, two SPI’s, four general-purpose counters and a factory-programmed instruction ROM block containing the VDK RTOS and C-runtime libraries.
* Offered in commercial and industrial temperature grades; automotive qualified.

Dongbu HiTek launches specialized high-performance analog CMOS and mixed-signal BCDMOS process technologies

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Dongbu HiTek announced the immediate availability of two new specialized process technologies at the 180nm node for implementing advanced analog, power, and mixed-signal chips destined for use in numerous applications. While the high-performance HP180 Analog CMOS process deploys precision-tuned active and passive components to implement data converters for medical and metrology applications, the BD180X BCDMOS process supports operating voltages over the 40V-to-60V range for industrial and automotive uses.

According to Lou Hutter, senior VP and GM of Dongbu HiTek’s Analog Foundry Business Unit: “Our new Analog CMOS HP180 process establishes a milestone achievement for the foundry industry as it gives today’s electronic designers a best-in-class option to achieve differentiation in their products without depending exclusively on traditional analog IDMs.”

Hutter noted that the HP180 process supports operating voltages up to 24V as it combines unmatched NMOS and PMOS noise performance with voltage-stable PIP capacitors and thin-film resistor matching that meet the most demanding design requirements. He expects the HP180 process to be enthusiastically received by fabless chip designers looking to develop standalone precision data converters or integrated high-performance analog system-on-chip designs.

Hutter has led the Dongbu HiTek analog foundry team to become a top developer and provider of specialized process technologies since joining the company in 2008.

Commenting on the new mixed-signal processes launched, he stated: “Our new BD180X process underscores Dongbu HiTek’s global leadership in expanding upon the capabilities of our BCDMOS process at the 180nm node to serve a broader range of consumer and automotive applications. Supporting 40V-to-60V operating voltages, this latest process complements our companion BD180LV process that supports 7V-to-30V operating voltages in mobile applications.”

He confirmed that Dongbu HiTek is currently sampling BCDMOS chips for ultra high-voltage automotive and industrial applications that are implemented with its proprietary UHV 700V process.

Microchip launches utility-band power-line soft-modem development kit

CHANDLER, USA: Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions, announced a Power-Line Modem (PLM) PICtail Plus Daughter Board Development Kit (part # AC164145) that is compliant with the utility frequency band and enables products to communicate using the same wiring that provides power, creating an instant network at a low system and deployment cost.

The kit provides communication over power lines using a Binary Phase Shift Keying modulation scheme, with the onboard modem using the CELENEC A utility frequency baseband of 72 kHz, for communication at a rate of 6 kilobits per second (kbps). Additionally, the modem hardware is universal power-line compatible, and can operate on 110V or 220V electrical systems.

The soft modem is based upon the scalable dsPIC33F Digital Signal Controller (DSC) architecture and interfaces with Microchip’s Explorer 16 Development Board. It is supported with royalty-free schematics, demo code and software in source-code format.

The trend toward power-line communication is growing in response to increasing market demands for connected products. Applications for power-line communication include utility power meters, in-home energy monitoring and control, and smart-grid applications. Following the launch of its consumer-band PLM PICtail Plus Daughter Board Development Kit earlier this year, the utility-band PLM PICtail Plus Daughter Board Development Kit comes with two nodes, providing point-to-point communication out of the box, meaning customers can have the daughter board running a selection of demos in a matter of minutes.

The BPSK scheme provides a robust modulation method that performs well in noisy environments, and the data rate can be selected in software. Additionally, having a large portfolio of dsPIC33F DSCs to choose from allows the customer to select a device that matches the requirements of their application, and that optimizes performance and cost.

“Microchip is expanding its presence in communications and connectivity by offering its second low-cost power-line carrier solution,” said Sumit Mitra, VP of Microchip’s High-Performance Microcontroller Division. “As demand for new utility meters and infrastructure continue to grow, we will support our customers’ needs by offering this Utility A-band design based upon our popular PICtail Plus and Explorer 16 development systems.”

Mentor Graphics and GLOBALFOUNDRIES improve yield analysis with combination of Tessent and Calibre capabilities

WILSONVILLE, USA: Mentor Graphics Corp. announced an innovative approach to IC yield analysis that combines the layout-aware production test failure diagnosis capabilities of the Tessent Diagnosis and Tessent YieldInsight products with the design for manufacturing (DFM) analysis facilities of the Calibre YieldAnalyzer tool. The new methodology enables customers to identify and understand systematic yield loss, and to determine if the systematic yield loss is correlated to DFM violations.

“Diagnosis-driven yield analysis is an established yield-learning methodology at GLOBALFOUNDRIES for internal technology development, as well as for accelerating the yield ramp for our customer products,” said Thomas Herrmann, MTS product engineer, GLOBALFOUNDRIES.

“The addition of DFM-aware yield analysis helps us and our customers to separate design- and process-related yield limiters, and reduces the time to find the root causes of yield loss. We can also use the technology to optimize DFM rules to address specific customer needs and priorities, which leads to reduced manufacturing variability for re-spins and future designs.”

In the DFM-aware yield analysis flow, test data from digital semiconductor devices that have failed manufacturing test is used to perform layout-aware failure diagnosis with the Tessent Diagnosis product, which provides information such as defect classifications and suspected defect locations.

The Calibre YieldAnalyzer product leverages GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Manufacturing Analysis and Scoring (MAS) deck to identify features of the layout that have higher sensitivities to manufacturing variability. The Tessent YieldInsight product analyzes this information to identify and understand systematic yield loss, and determine if this yield loss is associated with known DFM-sensitive layout structures.

“Mentor continues to drive towards meaningful interactions between the design and manufacturing test flows,” said Greg Aldrich, marketing director for the Silicon Test Solutions group at Mentor Graphics. “This is much more than allowing tools to exchange data—it’s incorporating powerful data mining and statistical analysis capabilities that leverage the knowledge and experience of experts from both the design and manufacturing areas.”

Idea! Electronic Systems selects mixed-signal IP from S3 Group for digital TV ASIC

SAN JOSE, USA: S3 Group announced that Idea! Electronic Systems has licensed its mixed-signal IP for their digital TV ASIC. S3 Group delivered a high performance ADC from its extensive mixed-signal IP portfolio. Idea! Electronic Systems, is an engineering design-house specialized in advanced electronic design for the telecommunication industry.

Valdiney Pimenta, CEO, said: "S3 Group achieved first-time-right silicon and helped us to satisfy our customer’s demanding schedule and specifications relating to the digital TV ASIC. The high performance of the ADC means that the customer can offer a superior product that will help drive the successful development of digital TV products throughout South America. The key advantages of working with S3 Group are first-time-right silicon, best-in-class performance, on-time delivery and excellent integration support. Our partnership with S3 Group has enabled us to develop the most optimum ASIC solution for digital TV."

Dermot Barry, VP of Silicon BU at S3 Group, said: "Idea! Electronic Systems is developing innovative solutions on advanced process nodes and we are very pleased to have enabled them to get to market quickly with the Digital TV ASIC, through the rapid and successful deployment of our leading edge mixed-signal IP. We look forward to extending our working relationship further for their next ASIC developments. This is also our first IP license deal in Brazil and we believe that this will be a growth market for us in the future."