Monday, November 30, 2009

austriamicrosystems' high performance single-channel 125 kHz LF wakeup receiver

UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, AUSTRIA: austriamicrosystems, a leading global designer and manufacturer of analog ICs for communications, industrial, medical and automotive applications, expanded its RF product portfolio with the AS3930, a single-channel low power, low frequency wakeup receiver which offers the highest sensitivity at lowest current consumption for the industry’s best range.

The AS3930 supports the widely used 125 kHz band and, through the optimization of power consumption, sensitivity and programmability, enables a variety of applications.

austriamicrosystems’ low frequency wakeup receiver AS3930 has a single receiving channel and an internal RC oscillator, allowing a very low external component count for maximum performance versus cost and reduced size.

The received data can be correlated with a pattern that is programmed in the register preventing false wakeups. Primary target applications are active RFID, high-value asset tracking, real-time location systems, operator identification and access control or keyless entry.

“By using the AS3930 wakeup receiver customers can achieve superior range and long battery life while minimizing size and system cost” says Mark Richey, Transceiver Senior Marketing Manager at austriamicrosystems. “The AS3930 is the latest addition to austriamicrosystems growing low frequency wakeup receiver product family, continuing the tradition of combining exceptional performance with simplicity”.

Based on its concept of flexible data stream management, the AS3930 offers an attractive easy-to-use solution for RF designers which require secure component sourcing without uncertainty about a supplier’s long term product availability.

The AS3930 single-channel low power low frequency wakeup receiver is available in a TSSOP16 or a QFN (4x4) 16LD package and is suitable for operating environments ranging from -40 to +85°C.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors presents first OLED light source

EUROPE: OSRAM Opto Semiconductors has presented the first OLED light source -- the ORBEOS. The ORBEOS panel combines energy savings, quality light and design. Light, thin, non-glare and warm white -– ORBEOS is the first OLED light source from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors for premium quality functional lighting.

The new energy-efficient surface-emitting panel is especially suited to applications in the premium segment such as architecture, hotels and catering, offices, private homes and shops.

The ORBEOS OLED panel has a round lamp surface of 80mm diameter, is only 2.1mm thick and weighs 24g. These limited dimensions ensure plenty of different usage options. With an efficiency of 25lm/W, the panel beats that of conventional halogen lamps.

Its warm white colour temperature (2,800K, CRI up to 80) matches the warm light of an incandescent lamp and is therefore suited to lighting that is atmospheric and functional at the same time. Especially in homes, museums, restaurants or hotels, OLEDs also rate highly with their pleasant, non-glare light.

New design possibilities for architects and lighting planners
OLEDs open up totally new design possibilities for architects, lighting planners and designers –- it is possible to create illuminated areas with them such as lit ceilings or partitions.

“Our ORBEOS adds to the wide range of lighting in the premium segment. Not only do its technical features have an effect here, but first and foremost its completely different appearance”, says Markus Klein, senior director SSL at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. “ORBEOS is a combination of energy savings and aesthetics.”

The ORBEOS OLED panel is the first product developed by OSRAM on the market. In 2008, the first commercially available “Early Future” table lamp by renowned lighting designer Ingo Maurer with OLED tiles from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors demonstrated how OLEDs can be used in functional lighting.

Long-lasting panel lighting
ORBEOS can be switched on and off without delay and is continuously dimmable. Unlike LEDs its heat management is simple. The panel contains no mercury and emits no UV or infrared radiation. Its brightness level is usually 1,000cd/m² with power input of less than a watt.

In ideal operating conditions it has a lifespan of around 5,000 hours. ORBEOS is available with a frosted glass surface. The panels can be easily mounted using spring contacts.

The rapid advance of OLEDs in general lighting has succeeded not least thanks to the technical principles of the ‘Organic Phosphorescent Lamps for Applications in the Lighting Market’ project (OPAL), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Infineon extends energy efficient lighting portfolio; intros low-cost driver damily for half watt LEDs

NEUBIBERG, GERMANY: Infineon Technologies AG is extending its portfolio of energy efficient lighting ICs with a new family of low cost linear LED drivers. The new BCR320 and BCR420 product families address the burgeoning market for energy-saving and environmentally friendly light-emitting diode (LED) lighting solutions.

Specifically designed for driving 0.5W LEDs with a typical current of 150mA to 200mA, these LED drivers feature a negative thermal coefficient contributing to a long lifetime of LEDs and a digital interface for a pulse width modulation (PWM) signal for dimming.

With the recent introduction of higher efficiency 0.5W LEDs this class of products is expected to be adopted in a wider range of applications. However, currently available resistor solutions for biasing LED current have significant disadvantages such as inhomogeneous light output and reduced lifetime of LEDs.

Alternatively, switch mode drivers do not meet the required price point for 0.5W LED applications, and drive up the number of parts and the complexity of driver circuit.

The new BCR320 and BCR420 LED drivers are tailored to address these deficiencies for 0.5W LED applications, providing a very low cost and simple solution with a small form factor.

With both devices, the usage of inductors, capacitors and free-wheeling diode can be avoided resulting in cost savings and a very small PCB space requirement. The elimination of electrolytic capacitors can also contribute to the extended lifetime of the LED system.

LED driver families BCR320 and BCR420: Benchmark in price-performance ratio
The BCR320 products are designed for a peak output current of up to 300mA. For continuous operation a maximum nominal current of 250mA is recommended. While this device has an internal breakdown voltage of typically 20V, it can be operated at supply voltages of 24V or higher since the driver is operated in series with the LEDs.

The BCR320 is targeted at general lighting, architectural and mood lighting applications. Another fast growing segment is shop lighting where 0.5W LEDs are preferred in order to spread the light and avoid glare.

BCR320 devices have a negative thermal coefficient, which means that in case of temperature increase the current is lowered with a slope of 0.2 percent/K. The BCR320U and BCR321U versions are available in a very small SC-74 package (2.9mm x 2.5mm x 1.1mm) with 1W power dissipation. The BCR320P and BCR321P types will be offered in a SOT-223 package (6.5mm x 7.0mm x 1.6mm) providing a higher power dissipation of 2W. The BCR321U and BCR321P versions both offer a logic level input for dimming.

The BCR420 products have a higher internal breakdown voltage and a lower output current than the BCR320 devices. The internal breakdown voltage is typically 50V and the nominal output current is 150mA. The BCR420 LED drivers are intended for use in similar applications as mentioned above for a maximum drive current of 150mA.

In addition, qualification for use in automotive applications, based on AECQ 101 certification, is ongoing. BCR420 and BCR421 products are available in SC-74 package. The BCR421 is the dimmable version with a microcontroller interface.

Volume production of the BCR320U and BCR420U LED drivers has started. Volume production for the BCR320P and BCR321P is expected in the first quarter of 2010. In quantities of a few thousand units, pricing for the BCR320 and BCR420 ranges between approximately Euro 0.18 and Euro 0.23 ($0.25 and $0.32) per unit.

Infineon offers a comprehensive range of LED driver solutions characterized by robustness and cost-effectiveness, meeting the evolving and expanding requirements of lighting applications.

Friday, November 27, 2009

OKI Group is industry’s first to develop 1.1 Inch QVGA high-brightness LED display

TOKYO, JAPAN: OKI Digital Imaging Corp., a subsidiary of OKI Data Corporation, a subsidiary that develops, manufactures, and markets LEDs, has succeeded in developing a 1.1 inch QVGA LED display while reducing power consumption to one-tenth that of conventional LCDs.

This achievement is the direct result of a new company technology that enhances luminance efficiency, based on refinements of its proprietary Epi Film Bonding technology that permit two-dimensional deployment.

This new technology applies the company’s proprietary Epi Film Bonding technology to mount thin-film LEDs onto a metal board in a manner permitting high reflection and radiation.

Featuring the world’s first 65-micrometer pitch between LED chips, this LED display also realizes high density to deliver high-definition images while maintaining diminutive dimensions. Since it is self-illuminating, the new display features faster response, more compact dimensions, and lower power consumption than LCD displays that require a separate light source. It also features high contrast (over 5000:1) for high visibility even in bright daylight.

OKI Digital Imaging will manufacture the LED display at the newly-acquired LED manufacturing facility in Gunma prefecture, Japan. Shipments of samples are expected to begin by the end of fiscal year 2010.

“The new technology has made it possible for us to develop a groundbreaking LED display that provides high definition images while maintaining compact dimensions,” said Hiroshi Kikuchi, President of OKI Digital Imaging.

“The development of the world’s first thin-film-bonding technology in 2006 marked a significant milestone for the OKI Group. As shown by today’s announcement, that technology laid the foundations for continuing developments in LEDs. The OKI Group plans to leverage the expertise and technical knowledge accumulated over 20 years of experience with LED printing to develop new technologies in other areas and to expand its LED-related businesses.”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chinese PCB and equipment market

SHANGHAI, CHINA: In 2008, the sales revenue of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) products in Chinese market has achieved RMB118.8 billion, and the single sided printed board, double sided printed board, multilayer printed board, and flexible printed board account for the 2.5 percent, 6.9 percent, 73.8 percent, and 16.8 percent of the total market, respectively.

The global financial crisis exploded in the fourth quarter of 2008 brought serious negative influences to Chinese PCB industry, but thanks to the high growth during the prior three quarters, the sales revenue of PCB products in China achieved the increase of 2.2 percent in 2008.

In order to confront the economic crisis and guarantee the industry's healthy development, Chinese government constituted the Readjustment and Development Plan of Electronic Information Industry, to prevent the industry's large-scale slide in some extent.

Frost & Sullivan forecasts that the Chinese market demands for PCB products reach RMB97.2 billion with the decrease of 18.2 percent in 2009, and the market is expected to rebound in 2010 with the gradual emergence of incentive policies' effects and the recovery of consumers' confidence.

According to Shuguang Zhang, Consultant of Automation & Electronics of Frost & Sullivan, the demands for electronic products directly decide the development of PCB industry, and there are several hot topics in current market:

Firstly, the promotion of 3G mobile communications. With the popularization of 3G technologies, the enormous market demands for the smartphone, the application terminal of 3G technologies, will be released gradually.

At the same time, the appearance of netbook, which is remarkable for its low price and compact size, makes it possible for the notebook to penetrate into the middle/low end market fast. All of the market evolution processes mentioned above closely relate to the prices adjustment of 3G communications.

On the one hand, all of the three mobile communication operators in China wish to get the first-move advantages in the new domain of 3G market; on the other hand, they are unwilling to abandon the 2G market at once with the consideration of the existing stable revenue and previous large investment in it.

It is just the ambivalence that makes the ending time of 3G introduction stage unclear. It is anticipated that it is the China Unicom that firstly triggers the large-scale price reduction among the three operators due to its least interests in 2G market.

Secondly, the spread of the digital TV related products. Under the condition that the government plays the leading role in the whole process, the technical upgrading status is the main determinant of its fast market expansion.

Thirdly, Appliances to the Countryside. Chinese government's original intention to advance this activity is to enlarge domestic demands and raise the living standards of farmers. However, as the result of stiff policies such as the troublesome subsidies procurement procedure, the lack of effective supervision system to prevent execution deviations, and the concussion from the emulational products, it is still far from the expected results.

Last but not least, the development of automotive electronics industry. During the economic crisis, while the European and US auto market suffered dismal sales records, the Chinese auto industry inversely realized continuous growth, and speeded up its oversea expansion through merger and acquisitions. At the same time, the closely correlated automotive electronics industry is driven ahead.

Despite those hot issues, Chinese PCB manufacturers still keep conservative attitudes toward the market, and most of them cut their equipment procurement budget greatly, and delayed the construction of new production lines, which lead to the sharp shrink of the Chinese PCB production equipment market.

Frost & Sullivan predicts that Chinese market demands for PCB production equipment will be RMB19.4 billion in 2009, about 17.8 percent lower than 2008. The total market is estimated to resurge from 2010, and it is expected to arrive at the same market volume in 2008 in two years.

The manufacture process of PCB products could be generally divided into six phases: board processing, assembly, drilling, cutting, printing, and inspection. Foreign manufacturers take up the largest market share in Chinese PCB equipment market, and their equipment prices are often two to ten times of local ones'.

The equipment types with high localization ratio include etching tank, cut sheet laminator, exposure systems in the board processing process, screen printing machine in the printing process, and electric tester in the inspection process.

In 2008, the factories located in China totally provided the PCB production equipment with the sales revenue of RMB 8.0 billion, and 92.5 percent of them are contributed by local manufacturers. The PCB production involves masses of equipment, and there is no single equipment manufacturer who could provide all or most of the equipment types. The top four PCB equipment manufacturers in China, Han's Laser, Kejie, Bürkle, and CSUN, only take up the market share of 8.5 percent in sum.

Nowadays, China still lags far behind Europe and US in the development of PCB industry: a) the core technologies to produce complicated multilayer PCB are held in foreign giants; b) the supply of high-end production equipment mainly relies on importation; c) it is lack of matured industry standards; d) the coordination role played by industry associations does not work effectively.

In the post-crisis times with the coexistence of challenges and opportunities, the common issue for each Chinese PCB enterprise to consider seriously is how to realize its economic growth while taking on the necessary environmental responsibilities.

TRW develops next-generation airbag control unit with integrated pre crash functions and inertial sensors

LIVONIA, USA: TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. announced its next generation Airbag Control Unit designed for maximum flexibility to allow the integration of a range of pre-crash occupant safety functions as well as inertial sensors for stability control. The Company has confirmed that the technology will start production with two major vehicle manufacturers in 2012.

Martin Thoone, vice president engineering, Electronics said: "TRW remains a global leader in airbag control units and is currently the number one supplier for North American built vehicles. We have shipped in excess of 150 million units to our global customer base.

"We are proud to announce these two significant wins with a major European and Asian vehicle manufacturer - one of which will apply the technology in more than 10 different car lines anticipated to cover a volume of approximately seven million vehicles over the full span of the agreement. These major contracts further highlight our strength and capabilities in this area."

Traditionally Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems have been introduced with stand- alone inertial sensor clusters (IMU). To enhance value, TRW's Airbag Control Unit presents a viable way to reduce the number of modules in the vehicle while retaining the performance of the ESC. In addition, the performance of the side impact and rollover sensing functions is enhanced through the use of the inertial sensor data.

Thoone added: "Sensor integration is a core part of TRW's strategy and we are continually working to develop smarter products which will help to reduce complexity, installation effort, weight, packaging, and ultimately the costs for our customers. With the broadest portfolio of active and passive safety products in the industry, TRW is well placed to maximize integration opportunities."

Integrating inertial sensors into the airbag control unit offers several advantages. Firstly, it places the sensors close to the vehicle's center of gravity -- a prime location for both vehicle impact sensors and inertial sensors.

Secondly, combining inertial sensors and crash sensors into one module allows alternate methods for diagnostics coverage; allows inertial sensors to be used to enhance both side impact and rollover detection; and allows the potential to integrate individual sensors into multiple sensor integrated circuits.

Finally, many components required for a stand alone inertial sensor module can be eliminated without affecting the design or performance of the ESC controller - offering significant savings for vehicle manufacturers.

The Airbag Control Unit can also incorporate the control functions of TRW's Active Control Retractor within the unit and thus control a number of pre-crash occupant safety functions in one modular unit - offering flexibility and integration of key safety functions. Additional features like pedestrian protection sensing and actuation, rollover detection and actuation of a suspension stabilizer bar and passenger occupation detection are supported with the Airbag Control Unit.

Thoone concluded: "With legislation to make ESC compulsory and the rapid growth of electronics in the automotive industry, there is a huge opportunity for continued electrical integration. With a respected technology portfolio, we are confident that TRW can offer customers the experience and intelligence needed to produce the electronic systems of today and tomorrow."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

LED industry creating opportunities for significant growth in cross-strait co-operation

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: The second day of LEDforum is mainly highlighted on the exhaustive analysis of LED TV, automotive LED, and the global LED market reports, and will probe into China’s market in depth.

Ruan Jun, Deputy Secretary of China Solid State Lighting Alliance, said that the Cross-Strait can develop standards mutually in the future, constructing a demonstration area of the semiconductor lighting project together.

Today, Ruan Jun will do a specific presentation on China's semiconductor lighting market and proposes the idea of cross-strait industrial cooperation, which is estimated that China's LED industry is expected to reach 200 billion RMB in 2012 and 500 billion by 2015, not to mention up to one million job opportunities.

In the global market, LEDinside Research Associate Roger Chu indicated that notebooks and LED TVs stimulate LED market growth this year. However, due to economy recression, the sales of cell phones and LED TV offset the LED sales growth.

In the future prospect, it is estimated that LED market will grow significantly from 2010 to 2013, and the upstream chip makers’ CAPEX will also increase substantially.

Tight supply of LED chips is expected to ease in the third quarter 2010. From the LED makers’ perspectives, after Korean LED makers’ in-house production capacity ramp up, market gains will continue to expand, hence, vendors without patents, cost-competitiveness or technological edge will face a considerable challenge.

Moreover, as more and more companies invest in the field, product quality is the biggest concern; therefore, the establishment of lighting standards will lead to a re-organization in the industry.

As for LED-backlit LCD TV (LED TV)'s development, Alpha Wu, Chairman of Amtran, states that after Samsung has launched its first LED TV in the first half of this year, being the forerunner, numerous companies joined the production in second half of the year, changing the high-margin situation. It is estimated next year’s shipments are expected to grow up to 344%, and a 10% drop in gross margin.

In the LED backlight area, Witsview Research Manager, Eric Chiu, said the penetration of LED backlit for NBs is estimated to reach 80 percent next year. In LED monitor area, the price is the key, because once the price has reached a standard that can be acceptable by the market, LED backlit LCD display market expects a robust growth.

In TV products, the design optimization and technology upgrading is important, since the price of an LED backlight module currently costs two to four times that of the same sized CCFL modules. In order to achieve a higher penetration rate of LED backlighting, margin erosion of LED makers and related component makers is inevitable.

Dr. JC Hsieh, VisEra Vice President of R & D and Quality Assurance Group, illustrated that the next generation of lighting will face more challenges. First of all is the ability of technical manufacturing process, including rapid production capability and reduction in costs. At the same time, the thermal management should be strengthened, while designs need to meet with different demands.

Marcus Wong, OSRAM Senior Marketing Manager of Visible LED, Asia Pacific, presented on the topic "Automotive LED Lighting Application: Opportunities & Challenges”. He noted that the field of automotive LED is affected by electric vehicles , energy-saving and low CO2 emissions, creating a newer growth momentum.

He expected that apart from interior LED light, the day-running lights and the front headlights of an automobile are the next growth wave opportunity, particularly when the European Union countries already have relevant laws and regulations in using day-running lights.

Dr. Christian Geng, Vice President Greater China General Manager AIXTRON Taiwan, discussed about "Satisfying the LED industry’s requirements on MOCVD equipment".

He anticipated in the meeting that the importance of producing the uniformity of LED chips is becoming more importance each day, due to increasing demand of LED backlight sources and LED lighting for the panel, and the use of 4-inch and 6-inch wafer MOCVD machines continued to grow.

He took the output efficiency of the four-inch and 6-inch machines as an example, which each were able to produce 2.7 times and 4.5 times the output of LED chips from a 2-inch machine. The company, together with Semileds, also has successfully created a 6-inch sapphire wafer.

The topic in which Dr. LC Yang, Chairman of Macroblock, shares is "Trend of LED Display". He thinks the LED display driver IC will be on the same PCB board in the near future and will import more power-saving technology, so that power consumption on the LED screen will become more efficient and that the color correction and gray-scale capability of a product will be sturdier.

In addition, he said that RGB clusters, architectural lighting, and LED screen rental market trends will be the market focus in the area, and LED Driver IC market will continue to grow.

James Chu, Director of ITRI Opto-Electronics and System Application Division, presents "The Creative Technologies Development of magnetic-field enhances LED", stressing that the 200ml / W LED component technologies will bring tremendous business opportunities in LED lighting.

At the same time, WB and Schottky-type AC LED design can greatly enhance the luminous efficiency of AC LED, accelerating the construction of AC LED industrial chain and the AC LED products.

Additionally, the ITRI’s M-LED increased the electric current uniformity and IQE, in order to use the change of LED magnetoresistive effect and binding energy, created by the external magnetic field. This is completely different from the current LED technologies, opening up another door for LED technology.

ON Semiconductor intros GreenPoint reference designs for high-efficiency LED lighting apps

PHOENIX, USA: ON Semiconductor, a leading global supplier of high performance, energy efficient, silicon solutions for green electronics, has launched two new GreenPoint reference designs that will speed and simplify the development of high-efficiency LED-based lighting applications.

Configured in size and features for MR16 LED replacements, the first reference design describes a built and tested 3 watt (W) to 5 W LED driver solution for driving high-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs).

The second design is targeted at designers looking to achieve compliance with the ENERGY STAR 1.1 requirements for Solid State Lighting (SSL) in residential luminaire applications and describes a built and tested off-line GreenPoint solution for an isolated 8W constant current LED driver.

Each of the new reference designs addresses all of the functional blocks needed to create a complete application and is available as a package that includes description, schematics, bill-of-materials (BoM), Gerber files and evaluation guidelines.

The MR16 reference design is based on a buck-boost topology using ON Semiconductor’s NCP3065 switching regulator operating at around 150 kilohertz (kHz) in a non-isolated constant current configuration. Suitable for 12 Vac or 12 Vdc applications such as track lighting, automotive lighting and landscape lighting, the circuit delivers flat current regulation irrespective of input line and output LED voltage variation.

It also features a unique auto-detect circuit that allows input from a 12 Vdc or 12 Vac supply while maintaining the targeted output current. A reference design evaluation board is available on the ON Semiconductor website at

ON Semiconductor’s off-line LED Driver GreenPoint reference design for ENERGY STAR residential LED luminaires has been optimized to drive between one and eight high-power LEDs in applications such as portable desk lamps, under-cabinet lighting and outdoor porch lights.

This reference design uses a novel circuit configuration to achieve a power factor of >0.85 at 115 Vac without the addition of an extra passive power factor correction network. This reduces components count and easily meets the residential power factor requirements. The design operates from a 90 Vac – 265 Vac universal input and is built around the ON Semiconductor NCP1014 switcher IC, which integrates a fixed-frequency current mode controller with a 700 V MOSFET.

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

“These new GreenPoint reference designs allow designers of new and emerging lighting applications to dramatically reduce development times by providing a proven and tested solution to driving high-brightness LEDs as efficiently as possible.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Automotive starters and alternators market in India

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of Frost & Sullivan's new report "Automotive Starters and Alternators Market in India" to its offering.

Electric start feature to spark potential of starter motors in two-wheeler apps
With two-wheelers accounting for the majority of India's rapidly expanding vehicle production, the starters and alternators market is on the fast track to exponential unit shipment growth.

The popularity of sub-125-cc motorcycles, which require starters for their electric-start feature, is all set to catapult the market into the top league. This market segment is primed for growth because kick start still dominates it, but the more convenient electric start is making quick inroads into it.

The starter and alternators market is expected to get another boost with India emerging as the manufacturing hub for small cars. The ambitious export plans of manufacturers of small cars are likely to drive the overall demand for starters and alternators.

"For starters and alternators, the OEM segment is more lucrative due to the high volume of business, while the aftermarket lacks the necessary attractiveness to focus all resources," observes the analyst.

The aftermarket offers little scope for revenue growth because vehicle owners and garages prefer repairing the faulty or worn out part to outright replacement of a component. This trend has prompted OEM suppliers to also supply a complete range of service components in the aftermarket for their products.

However, the high concentration of the OEM market has resulted in a sluggish rate of technology change. As the OEMs are established suppliers, they leverage their position and relations to acquire steady business from vehicle manufacturers.

"Meanwhile, OEMs' trend towards working with fewer and stronger suppliers in an attempt to trim costs is making the market difficult to penetrate," says the analyst of this research.

"The intense competition among the OEMs necessitates the need to focus on higher quality levels coupled with competitive pricing." OEMs typically source starters and alternators from a single supplier and in some cases, two.

In such markets, companies with strong OEM presence and joint-ventures with globally renowned manufacturers will have a competitive edge. Starters and alternators manufacturers need to increase production capacity and target export markets. India being a high-quality and low-cost manufacturing base, can exploit this strategy.

"Participants can leverage joint-venture partners' OEM tie-ups in other countries and export these products at more competitive prices," notes the analyst. "This could translate to higher efficiency through economies of scale."

DDi announces agreement to acquire Coretec

ANAHEIM, USA & TORONTO, CANADA: DDi Corp. and Coretec Inc., both leading providers of technologically advanced printed circuit board (PCB) engineering and manufacturing services, announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement, pursuant to which DDi will acquire Coretec for approximately CDN $25.2 million ($23.5 million), comprised of approximately CDN $7.4 million in cash for Coretec’s common stock and the assumption of CDN $17.8 million of Coretec debt outstanding as of September 30, 2009.

The Coretec debt assumed includes approximately CDN $12.7 million related to long term facilities secured by property and equipment, and CDN $5.1 million pursuant to the working capital revolver credit facility. The combined company will benefit from DDi’s financial strength, including DDi’s $25.6 million of cash on hand as of September 30, 2009.

The acquisition will be effected by way of a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario). Under the Arrangement, Coretec shareholders will receive CDN $0.38 per Coretec common share.

This price represents a premium of approximately 100% to the 20 day volume weighted average price of Coretec common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange through November 23, 2009, and represents a 12 percent increase in the total enterprise value of Coretec when compared to the CDN $0.20 per share proposal that DDi publicly announced on October 26, 2009.

Coretec’s revenues over the 12 months ending September 30, 2009 were approximately CDN $77.2 million. The companies will implement a restructuring plan immediately after the transaction closes that is currently estimated to generate US $8 million in annual cost savings.

Mikel H. Williams, DDi’s President and Chief Executive Officer said: "DDi and Coretec are two of the leading PCB manufacturers in the North American market and share a similar vision and strategy. We believe that a combined organization will strengthen our position in the market, extend our capability to support our collective customers and will be beneficial to our shareholders.

"Our plans include a full integration of our respective Toronto operations to create a world class facility with solid customer demand. The combined company will be well positioned to effect an orderly Toronto integration to ensure minimal, if any, customer disruption. Further, we will integrate our sales, general and administrative functions.

"The addition of Coretec’s two US facilities will extend our presence in the strategic military/aerospace marketplace and deepen our flex and rigid-flex product capabilities. As with the successful acquisition of Sovereign Circuits, we plan to leverage these facilities’ capabilities into the market with our large sales organization and customer base.

"In addition to the annual operational cost savings resulting from the combination, we see capital expenditure synergies as we drive improved utilization of the combined operating assets."

Speaking on behalf of Coretec, Paul Langston, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “The opportunity to combine Coretec with DDi, given their presence in Toronto and complementary strategy and operational focus, is compelling for our customers, employees and shareholders.

"The combination allows the company to drive significant operational and market based synergies and is a natural fit. We look forward to working to close the transaction expeditiously and will continue to support our collective customers with market leading technical, engineering and customer service capabilities.”

DDi has been advised in the transaction by Mooreland Partners LLC.

LEDforum 2009 debut: Predicting bright future of LED industry

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: The two-day LEDforum 2009 debuts today. Today’s topic is about the market trend of LED Epitaxy, packaging, and lighting. The forum focuses on the detailed analysis of LED globalization and development of lighting market.

The forum also indicates that current clients’ demands have gradually shifted from brightness and cheapness in the past to high-quality, eco- and user-friendliness. Furthermore, it is projected that LEDs will be more eco-friendly in the future and the LED prices will fall to approximately 1.3 times that of traditional lamps.

In today's agenda, Epistar Vice Chairman Chao Nien Huang points out that with LED’s high efficiency, as well as long lifetime, it plays a crucial role in the lighting industry. In the future, more LED-related applications will be developed, new chips and packaging technologies will be adopted to reduce the production costs, and enhance the luminous efficacy.

Addressing the factors that drive the LED industry, CREE Vice President of Asia-Pacific Region, Soo Ghee Lee illustrates that the future industrial development depends on the market acceptance of LED’s luminous efficacy, as well as the quality and innovation of LED.

In addition, energy-saving policies, such as international regulations on the brightness and safety standards of solid-state lighting, also spur the growth of the LED industry.

On the other hand, KG Cheng, Marketing Director, APAC, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, states that judging from the current and future dynamics in the industry, it may take some time to enhance the performance of OLED, and projects that it will evolve from a high-end market to a high-volume market.

Veeco Instrument Inc. Product Manager Michael Lamarra indicates, from the perspective of MOCVD equipment manufacturers, that an increasing number of LED backlight is replacing CCFL and LED lighting applications are growing rapidly; it is estimated that the cost of LED package will decline 85 percent in the next six years, which means that the LED manufacturers need to reduce their operating costs, while increasing their output.

As for the development of high-power UV-LED application, Dr. Chuong A.Tran, General Manager of SemiLEDs Corp., said that the future chip development will focus more on higher performance products at lower costs.

On the consumer application side, Alvin Tse, Vice President for Asia of Philips Lumileds Lighting Co., indicates that as LED has the advantage of low maintenance costs, different specifications of LED lamps will be introduced for various purposes including general household lighting, decorating lighting in hypermarkets, office lighting, industrial lighting.

Stephan Greiner, Everlight Vice President of Global Sales, who analyzes the global lighting market, said that the main lighting market concentrates in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for 33.7 percent of the global market; followed by North America with 30.1 percent, and Western Europe with 22.3 percent, Eastern Europe 5.1 percent, while Africa and the Middle East accounts for approximately 4.5 percent.

Overall, the estimated global market size is approximately $8.5 billion dollars. In the lighting market by applications, household applications account for 39 percent, followed by 18 percent in office and medical facilities, and the third largest market is outdoor lighting, which takes up 12 percent.

Stephan Greiner states that the outdoor lighting market has considerable growth potential, particularly in China’s fast-growing market, which currently accounts for 38 percent of the world's LED outdoor lighting, surpassing North America’s 33.3 percent.

LEDinside also invited guests to join Panel Discussion:(in Chinese only), they are Yi-Jen Chan Ph.D., Vice President & EOL General Director, ITRI Ruan Jun, Vice Secretary-General, China Solid State Lighting Alliance B.J.Lee Ph.D.,Chairman, Epistar Corporation Rex H.J. Wu Ph.D., General Manager, LITE-ON Technology Corp,

New Energy Systems Group to acquire Anytone International (HK)

NEW YORK, USA & SHENZHEN, CHINA: New Energy Systems Group, a manufacturer and distributor of battery components in China, has agreed to acquire Anytone International (HK) Co. Ltd and its wholly owned subsidiary, Shenzhen Anytone Technology Co. Ltd (Anytone), a rapidly growing Shenzhen-based high tech, integrated product research, manufacturing and marketing company for lithium batteries.

New Energy Systems Group will pay $33.7 million for the company consisting of $10.0 million in cash and the remaining $23.7 million by issuing approximately 3.6 million shares of common stock based on an average stock price of $6.60 per share. The company expects to complete the acquisition before the end of 2009.

Anytone generated revenue of $10.1 million in 2008, a 139.6 percent increase over the year ended December 31, 2007. For the nine months ended September 30, 2009, Anytone generated revenue of $17.4 million and net income of $3.2 million, and expects to achieve revenue of $24.2 million and net income of $4.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2009.

Anytone has maintained an annual growth rate in excess of 100 percent over the past four years. For the year of 2010, Anytone is projected to generate revenue of $36.2 million and net income of $6.7 million.

Anytone manufactures and sells mobile power resources based on lithium ion batteries for a full spectrum of products, including mobile phones, notebook computers, digital cameras, MP4s, PMPs, PDAs, solar and digital applications.

Many of Anytone's products generate four-seven times more power than the original OEM battery's capacity. The company's power sources support some of the best known products in the world, including Apple's iPod family of products. Anytone had seven practical patents and 23 appearance design patents by the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO). The company is also awaiting approval for its new innovation patent by SIPO. The company has also obtained CE, FCC, 3C, ROHS, UL and other certifications.

Fushun Li, CEO, commented: "Our planned acquisition of Anytone adds an important dimension to our business in terms of additional product offerings and an impressive new customer base. It will also make New Energy Systems Group a much larger company and enable us to benefit from economies of scale, including better terms from our customers and suppliers.

"We are pleased to welcome key executives from Anytone's talented management team to the combined organization as well as Anytone's seasoned and motivated sales force. All of Anytone's senior executives will remain with the company and we anticipate a seamless transition."

Li continued: "With a strong track record of growth and $6.7 million of projected net income for Anytone in 2010, we are quite pleased with the terms of the transaction. Moreover, the decision by Anytone's owners to receive the majority of their compensation in the form of equity, illustrates their confidence in the outlook for our combined businesses.

"As demand for mobile devices continues its favorable growth trends in China and around the world, this acquisition will strengthen our intellectual property portfolio and further enhance our reputation in the battery market."

Itron drives market collaboration, support for IEEE TG4g

LIBERTY LAKE, USA: Itron Inc. announced its support for a future smart grid standard under development from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Itron fully anticipates that its OpenWay smart grid solution, including currently delivered hardware and operational software components, can support full compliance with both the mandatory and optional specifications of IEEE’s Task Group 802.15.4g (TG4g) Smart Utility Network (SUN) proposed standard.

Once fully ratified, TG4g SUN will enable interoperable communications between smart grid devices, including smart meters, to establish common and consistent communication parameters that further define requirements for utilities which have large geographically diverse networks and mass numbers of smart endpoints to support.

Itron was pleased to participate in the growing momentum around the standard last week, including increasing collaboration within an IEEE working group in Atlanta at the 802 Plenary Meeting.

This industry initiative resulted in the development of an amendment to the existing IEEE 802.15.4 standard, including technical requirements that support interoperability and existing deployed smart utility networks.

The group of industry stakeholders made major progress in forming the standard’s physical layer specification and have agreed to its main parameters, including communication data rates and modulation to help facilitate global smart grid applications.

“Standards that encourage interoperability are a must for utilities as they embark on this energy revolution and IEEE TG4g is no exception. OpenWay was designed and architected to embrace these emerging standards and we are confident that both our currently deploying customers and new installations will be able to take advantage of these new capabilities shortly after their ratification,” said Philip Mezey, Itron North America senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Upon successful adoption of TG4g SUN, Itron will demonstrate that OpenWay and the OpenWay CENTRON® smart meter already comply in several important ways including:

* Support for optional frequency-shift keying (FSK) modulation with a communication bit rate of 150Kbps, operating within specified frequency bands and parameters.
* Support for mandatory FSK modulation with a communication bit rate of 50Kbps, operating within specified frequency bands and parameters.
* Support for mandatory physical layer packet structure.
* Support for advanced physical layer features including data whitening, forward error correction (FEC), and cyclic redundancy check (CRC) support, all of which are designed to enhance end-to-end system performance.
* Support for physical layer messages of up to 1500 bytes in length; ability to efficiently accommodate IPv6 packets.

Mezey concluded: “As a major smart grid influencer, Itron recognized early on in its research and development of OpenWay that it needed to offer utilities a system architecture that addressed communication range, robustness and coexistence characteristics truly unique to the grid’s network environment. That is why we are able to easily embrace TG4g SUN and already anticipate product compliance.”

Smart grid standards like TG4g SUN are meant to provide guidelines in understanding and defining grid interoperability of the electric power system with end-use applications, like smart meters, home area networks and advanced distribution operations.

Integration of energy and communications technology is necessary for utilities to achieve seamless operation for electric generation, delivery, consumer end-use benefits, flexible and reliable delivery, and the integration of new, renewable energy sources that are the realization of the smart grid vision.

Following the natural development process, now that the IEEE working group has prepared a draft of the proposed standard, editors for the standard have been instructed to start working on technical specifications documents which will become a baseline draft for the next meeting in January 2010.

The draft will then be submitted for balloting approval by IEEE members. The IEEE Standards Association Standards Board Review Committee will then make a recommendation on final ratification to the Standards board. This positions the working group well to publish the standard, in accordance with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scheduling, by the end of 2010.

In addition to IEEE, Itron plays a key role in developing smart grid standards by engaging with and providing thought leadership to other groups such as the UCA International Users Group, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), NIST, and the ZigBee Alliance.

As a member of the board of directors for the ZigBee Alliance, Itron played a key role in supporting the Alliance’s recently announced decision to further integrate IP standards into ZigBee specifications.

Monday, November 23, 2009

austriamicrosystems intros high efficiency 200mA DC-DC step-up converter with buck function

UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, AUSTRIA: austriamicrosystems, a leading global designer and manufacturer of high performance analog ICs for communications, industrial, medical and automotive applications, complements its DC-DC product portfolio with the introduction of a 200mA boost converter.

The topology of the AS1337 provides an innovative step down function enabling buck-boost functionality. With a continuous transition between boost and regulated buck mode the AS1337 is ideal for single for dual cell applications.

The AS1337 DC-DC buck-boost converter offers an adjustable output voltage range from 2.5 to 5.0V from an input voltage range of 0.65V to 4.5V. From a two cell battery with a voltage range between 1.8V and 3.6V the AS1337 offers 200mA of output current at 3V. From a single cell 100mA can still be generated.

Combined with two small capacitors and one chip-scale inductor the AS1337 provides a small and low profile footprint solution, typically required in battery powered applications. Furthermore this low voltage DC-DC IC offers power-ok signaling.

austriamicrosystems’ AS1337 implements innovative boost architecture with efficiencies up to 97 percent. Furthermore the converter is capable of entering into buck mode when the input voltage is higher than the output voltage and therefore adopts a buck-boost behavior at the cost of a single boost converter.

In shutdown mode the AS1337B version offers a battery disconnect function, where the input is disconnected from the output. The AS1337A connects the input to the output enabling the supply of e.g., real-time clocks or memories during shutdown for example. austriamicrosystems’ AS1337 draws only 10nA shutdown current, which further extends battery life time.

"Especially in dual cell applications the input voltage can be up to 3.6V when using fresh batteries. Even though this voltage is only available for a very short time, it can damage a 3V system. AS1337 enters a regulated buck mode in order to avoid this problem. A conventional boost converter does not regulate the output voltage in this case. The customer gets buck-boost behavior at the cost of a standard boost converter” commented Bruce Ulrich, Marketing Director Consumer and Communications at austriamicrosystems.

“Further, the optimized boost architecture of the AS1337 guarantees excellent efficiencies during step-up operation of up to 97 percent, which is significantly higher than the efficiency of a conventional buck-boost converter."

The AS1337 is available in a small TDFN (3x3)-8 package and is suitable for operating temperatures ranging from -40 to +85°C.

Alpha & Omega Semiconductor enables green power supplies with optimized medium voltage power MOSFETs

SUNNYVALE, USA: Alpha & Omega Semiconductor, Inc. (AOS) today announced extensions to their high performance SDMOS TM family with new 80V and 100V MOSFETs. The AOT410 and AOT480 are ideal choices for high current synchronous rectifiers in server, ATX, UPS and other high efficiency AC-DC power supplies.

The new devices are fabricated on AOS’ proprietary SDMOS trench technology. The low on-resistance and Soft Diode characteristics of the MOSFETs are tuned to deliver the optimal combination of high efficiency and low noise operation.

“By considering all the major power loss mechanisms we were able to balance the characteristics of the AOT410 and AOT480 to deliver exceptional performance in power conversion applications. The products offer the advantage of a low Qrr, soft recovery body diode to improve dead-time operation and reduce noise in hard switched topologies,” said David Grey, Marketing Director for AOS’ MOSFET products.

Both devices are housed in the TO220 package and are available immediately in production quantities. The unit price of 1,000 pieces is as follows: AOT480L at $1.72, and AOT410L at $1.76.

Avago announces smallest isolated voltage/current detectors with 8mm creepage and clearance

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, today announced two new miniature voltage/current threshold detection optocouplers for use in a wide range of industrial control applications.

The ACPL-K370/K376 optocouplers are designed to detect AC/DC sources and convert the voltage to a logic interface across an optical coupling barrier to provide safe isolation in electronically noisy environments found in industrial applications. These voltage/current sensing optocouplers are ideal for use in applications such as limit switch sensors, low voltage detectors, relay contact monitors, relay coil voltage monitors, and current sensors.

The new ACPL-K370/K376 series, which are an upgrade from Avago’s HCPL-0370/3700/3760 optocoupler family, utilizes threshold sensing input buffer ICs which permit control of threshold levels over a wide range of input voltages up to 1140 Vpeak, with a single external resistor.

Some of the key benefits provided by this new optocoupler series include a smaller stretched SO-8 (SSO-8) package which meets 8mm clearance and creepage requirements, and requires 30 percent less printed circuit board space compared to dual-inline packages (DIP-8).

Additionally, the input buffer of these optocouplers offer several key features to enhance threshold sensing such as hysteresis for extra noise and switching immunity, a diode bridge for easy use with AC input signals, and internal clamping diodes to protect the buffer and light emitting diode (LED) from a wide range of over-voltage and over-current transients.

With the addition of the ACPL-K370/K376 series, Avago can offer another SSO-8 package option in addition to existing DIP packages to provide customers with more optocoupler options for higher voltage industrial applications. The ACPL-K376 is a low-current version of the ACPL-K370. To obtain lower current operation, the ACPL-K376 uses a high-efficiency aluminum gallium arsenide (AIGaAs) LED which provides higher light output at lower drive currents.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wavien intros Premien LED MR-16 spot light with over 80pc increase in intensity

VALENCIA, USA: Wavien Inc.'s continuous advances in its patented Premien LED technology have resulted in the development of an ultra-narrow beam LED MR-16 spot light.

This new design produces over 80 percent increase in output intensity compared to standard technology. The spot light uses Wavien's Premien Recycling Collar, which is a very low-cost component that captures the wasted light in conventional lighting designs, recycles the light, and directs it back into the output beam.

Wavien will continue to optimize the system performance using the Recycling Collar and plans to expand the technology into other lighting systems that are compatible with standard lighting fixtures.

"The ability to brightly illuminate an object from a distance with sufficient brightness has been a goal for many lighting designers, especially for specialty light systems in museums, merchandising stores, and other targeted lighting needs, where it is very desirable to hide the light source from customers, clients, and patrons," stated Dr. Kenneth Li, President and CEO of Wavien, who is also the inventor of the technology.

"Wavien's Premien technology allows the introduction of high-performance, low-cost lighting systems to be designed for various lighting environments. Wavien's Premien LED Recycling Collar technology can be used with single or multiple white LED chip packages from Luminus, Osram and other vendors," Dr. Li added.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

ECA's revised data brings good news to electronic components marketplace

ARLINGTON, USA: Revised data from the Electronic Components Association’s (ECA) monthly order report has delivered a burst of good news to the electronics industry: What looked to be a dip in October orders is now a continued climb skyward, and the 12-month average, flat according to previous data, has also taken a turn upward.

ECA’s monthly report consolidates order information collected in confidence from leading electronic component manufacturers. Since issuing its data on Monday, November 16, ECA received new information from participants that contributed to the rosier industry picture.

“This was what we were hoping to see but it wasn’t indicated in the original October report,” says Bob Willis, ECA president. “In addition to the October data, we received information from the past several months showing that the market has been rising steadily since July, a good sign that we are in the midst of a recovery.”

Keithley Instruments announces sale of RF product line to Agilent

CLEVELAND, USA: Keithley Instruments Inc., a world leader in advanced electrical test instruments and systems, has signed a definitive agreement with Agilent Technologies Inc. to sell substantially all of its RF product line to Agilent.

“Because we have placed a high emphasis on profitability in fiscal 2010 and beyond, we concluded that we could no longer continue to support our significant investment in RF measurement products, and should instead focus on growing our core business,” stated Joseph P. Keithley, the Company’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“The impact of the economic downturn changed the expected timing of the returns we were anticipating from our RF product line, extending them beyond a time-frame that we were willing to continue to support. We are pleased that Agilent will be assuming this product line. Both Keithley and Agilent will work to provide high quality service and support through the transition for our customers using these products.”

Subject to the completion of customary closing conditions, it is anticipated that the transaction will close around November 30, 2009. Following the closing, it is anticipated that the majority of the RF team will become Agilent employees.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Company will transfer substantially all of the assets associated with the RF product line and Agilent will assume certain related liabilities. Agilent will provide global sales, service and support for the existing RF product line.

The Company expects to receive cash proceeds of approximately $9 million and to realize a pre-tax gain in the range of $2.5 to $3.5 million during its first quarter ended December 31, 2009, as a result of the sale.

The Company’s sales and earnings guidance provided on November 17, 2009 remains unchanged as a result of this transaction. Based upon current expectations, the Company is estimating sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, which will end December 31, 2009, to range between $23 and $27 million and earnings before taxes to range from a loss to a profit, excluding the impact of the gain on the sale of the RF product line.

The Company’s strategic focus is on managing the Company to ensure profitability in the short-term that will continue into the long-term. As a result of the significant cost reduction actions the Company has taken since September 2008, including the discontinuance of its S600 product line and the anticipated sale of its RF product line, the Company has lowered its annual break-even sales point to approximately $90 million, depending upon gross margins.

"Keithley remains committed to serving the challenging materials, device, and process measurement requirements that enable innovation within the electronics industry. As part of our initiative to improve our profitability in fiscal 2010, we made the decision to focus on growing our core business.

"We remain committed to supporting our customers in the semiconductor, wireless, precision electronics, and research and education industry segments, serving applications in research, development and production. The divestiture of our RF product line enables us to increase our focus on our core technologies and we intend to expand our efforts to leverage these strengths in support of new growth opportunities such as energy efficiency related devices and materials," stated Keithley.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Draft proposals for the recast of RoHS

This has been contributed by Gary Nevison, Premier Farnell

UK: A draft proposal for the recast of the RoHS Directive has been published by the European Parliament (EP).

Among the proposed changes is to include all electrical products. The approach would be to add an 11th product category to the existing 10. The scope of the new category would simply be “other electrical and electronic equipment not covered by any of the categories 1-10”.

In addition, the current exclusion of large-scale stationary industrial tools (LSIT) has been deleted and so all EEE including manufacturing production line equipment would be in scope.

Equipment covered by the new category 11 would come into scope in July 2014.

The controversial “equipment that is part of another type of equipment that does not fall in scope and can only fulfil its function if it is part of that equipment” is proposed to change to “part of stationary installations or transport equipment that is not electrical or electronic equipment”

This would bring into scope all electrical products used in building and transport (unless covered by other legislation such as the ELV Directive), all “fixed installations” and electrical parts in aircraft, trains, ships and commercial vehicles.

So, the often quoted example of the car radio would, under the proposals, now be in scope.

The list of restricted substances has been increased considerably under the proposals and includes PVC, chlorinated plasticisers, organohalogens, flame retardants and the phthalates BBP, DBP and DEHP.

These will not be imposed on products in categories 8, 9 or the new category 11 until the Commission has investigated and proposed a date.

The exemption for spare parts will be limited to 42 months after the amended directive enters into force. However, spare parts will have an exemption where the equipment benefited from an exemption that has subsequently expired.

The substances mentioned above will also be restricted in spare parts.

On exemptions themselves the EP proposes that the expiry period is “up to” four years and not the current four years.

The Commission will decide within six months of an exemption expiring whether or not it will be renewed. Grace periods will be allowed but for no more than 18 months after the exemption expires.

The Commission proposes to change the definition of homogeneous materials which would now align itself more along the lines of China RoHS.

The definition states that a homogeneous material is one that consists of only one material throughout, a combination of multiple materials that can not be mechanically disjointed into different materials or, finally, a surface coating.

These proposals will be debated well into 2010 but, once again, could have a significant impact on industry not least leading to more substance data collection on products falling within scope and several new restricted substances.

Thanks to Dr. Paul Goodman of Cobham Technical Services for his input on this article.

LED backlight shipments skyrocket as CCFLs and EEFLs lose ground

AUSTIN, USA: Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will become the dominant large-area TFT LCD backlight unit light source by 2011 with a 56 percent share, according to the most recent DisplaySearch Quarterly LED & CCFL Backlight Report.

Traditional backlights using fluorescent tubes (CCFL and EEFL) for notebook PC, monitor, and TV displays will drop to 44 percent of the market in 2011. DisplaySearch forecasts that LED penetration will skyrocket to 78 percent in 2015.

With the transition to LEDs already taking place in the notebook PC segment, DisplaySearch forecasts LED penetration in large-area TFT LCD will reach 27.8 percent in 2009 (Fig. 1).

As a result of the LCD TV supply chain’s efforts to promote LED backlit TVs, and the introduction of new LCD monitors with LED backlights, LED penetration in large-area TFT LCD is forecast to reach 44 percent in 2010. Traditional CCFL and EEFL backlights are forecast to fall from 72 percent in 2009 to 55 percent in 2011.

“LEDs have significant advantages over CCFL and EEFL backlights, such as power consumption, slim form factor, enhanced performance and market differentiation,” noted Yoshio Tamura, Senior Vice President of DisplaySearch and leader of the materials and cost research team.

“While there are still some technical and cost premium concerns about LED backlights, this is the first time the LCD TV supply chain (including backlight, display and consumer products) has joined forces to aggressively promote the benefits of LED backlight products.”

“We are seeing a tremendous LED backlight structure improvement, with cost reduction and supply chain revolution efforts, and this will only accelerate over the next five years. LED backlights will continue to drive momentum for continued growth in the TFT LCD industry. As LED backlights gain share in TFT LCD, pressure will be added on emerging display technologies such as PDP and OLED,” Tamura concluded.

Fig. 1: LED Backlight Penetration in Large-Area LCDSource: DisplaySearch Quarterly LED & CCFL Backlight Report
* Excluding Other applications and public display panels

Entegris ships gas purification systems Used in LED manufacturing

BILLERICA, USA: Entegris Inc. announced it shipped multiple Aeronex Gas Purification Systems to Lextar Electronics Corp. Entegris' Aeronex systems are used in light emitting diode (LED) manufacturing to help ensure the desired brightness of the final LED device.

Lextar, a leading Taiwan-based manufacturer of super high-brightness LED (HBLED) products, is purchasing separate Aeronex gas purification systems for purifying nitrogen, hydrogen and ammonia used in the gallium nitride-based LED manufacturing process.

The Aeronex systems remove a variety of contaminants including moisture and oxygen down to the parts-per-billion level from the process gases used during the metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) process. The removal of these contaminants enhances the photoluminescence of the LED device.

Lextar is one of the world's top three manufacturers of TFT-LCD panels.

AnalogicTech launches family of direct and edge LED backlighting drivers

SANTA CLARA, USA: As part of its market expansion and diversification strategy, Advanced Analogic Technologies Inc. (AnalogicTech), an analog semiconductor company focused on powering innovative solutions in consumer, industrial, and communications markets, made its official move into the LED backlit LCD TV market with the first chipset families in a series of innovative power management semiconductor systems designed to significantly enhance energy efficiency and user-experience for LED backlit LCD TVs.

"The launch of these new products for the LED backlit television market represents our continued drive to offer innovative solutions that conserve power and deliver a better end-user experience," stated Richard Williams, CEO of AnalogicTech.

"We have a wealth of experience seamlessly integrating our ModularBCD-based LED drivers into tier one handset manufacturers' high-end handset designs. This technology allows us to deliver the same high-performance and energy efficiency to innovative solutions in the LED backlit LCD television space."

The intelligent control of LED current sinks in direct/matrix backlight applications can provide precise brightness of individual segments based on image content and can give the consumer truer blacks and improved contrast for a significantly better, more natural viewing experience.

Dynamic LED backlighting also makes it possible to meet the increasingly stringent energy consumption specifications for large panel TVs such as the state of California is considering.

"The unique design and process advantages of our proprietary ModularBCD process allow the effective integration of low voltage digital circuitry with high-voltage analog circuitry. This combination enables the dynamic management of high current, high voltage LED current sinks and results in significant power savings," added Williams.

As its initial entry point into the LED television market, AnalogicTech announced seven new products:

* LED Driver Chipset with Integrated Boost converter for Direct/Matrix Backlighting
- AAT2400 (8ch Master) & AAT2401 Unlatched (8ch Slave) Chipset
- AAT2402M (8ch Master) & AAT2402S Latched (8ch Slave) Chipset

* Dedicated LED Driver for Direct/Matrix Backlighting
- AAT2403 (16ch) Latched LED Driver

* Dedicated LED Driver for Edge Backlighting
- AAT2405 PWM with phase shift (6ch) LED Driver
- AHK2417E Latched (8ch) LED Driver
- AHK2418E Latched (16ch) LED Driver

* DC/DC Boost Controller
- AAT2404 High Voltage Boost Controller

These devices utilize AnalogicTech's patent pending Multiple Chip Voltage Feedback technique that ensures the proper LED supply voltage is simultaneously regulated across up to 16 chipsets (or 256 channels) allowing precise control of up to 2560 LEDs for direct or dynamic backlighting solutions or up to 16 channels for Edge.

Fairchild Semiconductor’s MicroFET thin package targets battery-charging and power-multiplexing apps

SAN JOSE, USA: Fairchild Semiconductor’s MicroFET thin package helps designers avoid compromising their designs by providing them with an industry-leading low profile package.

Working with design engineers and procurement managers, Fairchild developed an integrated P-Channel PowerTrench MOSFET and Schottky diode, as a single-package solution to meet critical efficiency and thermal needs in battery-charging and power-multiplexing applications.

The FDFMA2P859T provides excellent power dissipation and conduction loss characteristics, compared to conventional MOSFETs, all while providing a 30 percent height reduction over the industry-standard 0.8mm MicroFET package. With a 0.55mm package height, this device is ideal for low profile designs, such as those common in the latest portable and wearable cell phones, media players and medical devices.

The customer’s design requirements for the FDFMA2P859T was for the device to provide exceptional thermal performance for its physical size, and to ensure a very low reverse leakage current (lr) of 1µA at Vr=10V, for the Schottky diode. These attributes are important in improving performance and efficiency in linear mode battery charging and power-multiplexing applications.

The FDFMA2P859T is part of Fairchild’s extensive MOSFET portfolio designed to meet the efficiency, space and thermal needs of today’s and future design challenges.

The price (each, 1k pcs.) is $0.39. Samples are available now. Delivery takes six to eight weeks.

Lineage Power launches CAR2024FP front end/rectifier

PLANO, USA: Lineage Power Corp., a Gores Group company and the first name in power, today announced a 2000 watt (W) CAR2024FP front end intended for 24 volt (V) and 28V applications including cellular base stations, RF power amplifiers, industrial motors and relays, automated test equipment, and more.

The latest product introduced under the Lineage Power Total Efficiency architecture, the CAR2024FP can achieve 90 percent efficiency at 100 percent of load to meet and exceed application-orientated efficiency standards such as the 80 Plus Bronze Standard, ENERGY STAR, and other energy certifications.

The Total Efficiency architecture is an end-to-end approach designed to help organizations go green to save green while achieving their sustainability objectives through cost-effective, end-to-end solutions that are safe, reliable and energy efficient.

Porting its expertise from other industries to the development of this front end, Lineage Power has made this rectifier a high-density unit supplying 25W per cubic inch in just 1 rack unit.

Purpose-built for OEM applications, the Cherokee by Lineage Power CAR2024FP includes an advanced feature set such as automatic fan speed control and full Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) communications—providing intelligent monitoring and control of critical parameters.

The CAR2048FP small form factor is ideal for space-constrained applications where system real estate is at a premium. Measuring 1.65 by 4 by 14.25 inches, the unit delivers 83 amps (A) at 24V, and has an output voltage range from 21V to 29V. Up to four units can be mounted side-by-side on a standard 19-inch rack shelf to deliver 8,000W (or 6,000W with N+1 redundancy) in 1U.

Protection features on the rectifier include input over and under voltage, output over voltage, over temperature and over current. A matching system shelf, the ACE204, will be available to fit industry standard 19-inch cabinets. The ACE204 is a 4-bay redundant, hot-swap configuration offering scalability up to 8,000W.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

TI product lead times out 20 weeks due to severe shortage

NEW YORK, USA: As the Texas Instruments (TI) product shortage deepens, electronics manufacturers are clamoring for inventory. And day by day, these companies are discovering just how drastic the shortage is.

One company claims to hold inventory on the most hard-to-find Texas Instruments electronic components. 24/7 Components Inc. representatives are receiving a constant stream of inquiries from nervous purchasing managers in search of Texas Instruments ICs,

24/7 Components is able to fill orders now, but expects their vast inventory to dwindle fast as the lead time of Texas Instruments parts lengthens.

Silicon Laboratories provides Mitsumi with highly integrated TV tuner

AUSTIN, USA: Silicon Laboratories Inc., a leader in high-performance, analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, announced that its highly integrated Si2170 TV tuner has been selected by Mitsumi for iDTV and set-top box modules.

Mitsumi chose Silicon Labs’ single-chip analog and digital TV tuner because of its leading performance, lowest system cost and strong roadmap for further integration.

Mitsumi is a leading TV module and subsystem board maker in Japan that provides high-performance, cost-competitive modules to TV and set-top box OEMs. The Si2170 device enables Mitsumi to deliver unparalleled size reduction and higher performance than using a traditional mixed oscillator phase-locked loop (MOPLL)-based solution.

Enhanced performance in key metrics such as sensitivity, selectivity and blocking directly impacts the end-user reception experience, a key criteria for Mitsumi’s OEM customers.

“This early design win validates the strong performance of our silicon tuner solution,” said Tyson Tuttle, vice president of Silicon Laboratories. “Customers globally are evaluating this solution and uniformly acknowledging that it is the highest performance silicon tuner available. We believe our patented approach will enable TV makers to finally replace expensive and complex discrete tuner technology.”

Silicon Labs’ patented and proven digital low-IF architecture enables the Si2170 TV tuner to achieve the highest level of performance and integration while addressing the challenges created by hybrid analog and digital reception and multiple regional standards.

The architecture allows many functions that typically rely on analog and discrete fixed components to be implemented with cost-effective and software-programmable digital signal processing. This breakthrough enables TV manufacturers to use a single hardware platform to optimize system parameters and comply with all worldwide cable and terrestrial broadcast standards such as ATSC/QAM, DVB-T/C, ISDB-T/C, NTSC, PAL and SECAM.

Additionally, the integrated ATV demodulator creates a universal interface to system ICs, which further simplifies the customer’s design and enables coordination of tuner and demodulator functions to optimize reception of analog TV signals, eliminating visual beats or artifacts.

Silicon Laboratories’ Si2170 TV tuner is based on a number of patented RF innovations and has more than a dozen patents pending on the architecture and design.

Molex expands RF capabilities with Zhenjiang Tean Telecom & Appliance acquisition

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc., a global electronic components company, said that it has completed the acquisition of China-based Zhenjiang Tean Telecom & Appliance Co., Ltd. (Tean), located in Jiangsu Province. Tean designs and manufactures a variety of radio frequency (RF) and microwave products for the telecom and base station/wireless markets globally.

According to Mike Dunne, General Manager, RF Products unit of Molex Incorporated’s Global Integrated Products Division, this is a strategic acquisition that will help Molex boost its share of the rapidly growing global market for RF and microwave interconnection systems.

“Tean is an excellent fit for Molex because it expands our RF and microwave product capabilities and gives us a strong presence in the rapidly growing market in China,” said Dunne. “Tean is a strong competitor because of its innovative designs and quality manufacturing processes. They are a great fit with our existing RF business in Taiwan and the US, giving us the opportunity to expand both our product offerings and geographic reach. Tean has technical expertise, a strong customer base, and an excellent group of talented and experienced people.”

Xiaoting Zhang, Chairman of Zhenjiang Tean Telecom & Appliance, said that Molex’s global resources and presence in the RF and microwave market will help both companies grow. “Molex’s global reach will help us grow our business more quickly, “he said. “Our capabilities complement each other and together we are confident we can become a major force in the rapidly expanding global market for RF and microwave products.”

Tean Telecom & Appliance Co., Ltd. was established in 1995. It will operate as a subsidiary of Molex Inc., and will be part of the company’s Global Integrated Products Division.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cellphone touchscreen keyboards appeal to buyers

BOSTON, USA: Strategy Analytics has found that respondents in both the US and Western Europe indicate a strong interest in having some form of a touchscreen keyboard for their wireless device, whether it be entirely touchscreen or as an addition to other types of keyboards.

While the majority of Apple respondents are interested in a touchscreen keyboard on their next device, more than half of them would be interested in a touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard, as shown in a survey of nearly 2500 wireless users.

The recent Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Lab report, “QWERTY/Touchscreen Phones Set to Dominate,” investigates the user interest levels in various types of mobile phone keyboards.

“Despite strong interest in a touchscreen-only device, or a touchscreen combined with a physical keyboard, the traditional 12-key keypad still appeals to the mass market segment,” commented Christopher Dodge, Analyst in the Strategy Analytics User Experience Practice.

Paul Brown, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “With interest in various keyboard combinations differing by segment, it is important for both device manufacturers and operators to offer a variety of keyboard options within their device portfolios.”

Diodes Inc. announces higher current power switches optimized for USB

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete and analog semiconductor markets, is introducing two new devices to its AP21XX power switch product line, targeted for higher current applications.

The single channel AP2101 and AP2111 provide a continuous output current capability up to 2A and have been optimized for use in self-powered and bus-powered USB and other 3-5V hot-swap applications.

Provided in both SO-8 and MSOP-8L-EP packages, the power switches are a very simple, cost effective form-fit for a wide range of consumer electronics, communications and computing products. High-side devices, the AP2101 and AP2111 offer designers the choice of active-low and active-high enable, respectively.

Characterized by a faster transient response time of just 5µs, the devices prevent unnecessary system shutdown or restart, and generally improve overall system robustness.

In addition, the power switches’ automatic output discharge function ensures completely controlled discharging of the output voltage capacitor. Like all other devices in the AP21XX range, the new devices provide a complete protection solution for any application, subject to heavy capacitive loads and the prospect of short circuit, and offer reverse current blocking, over-current, over-temperature and short-circuit protection, as well as controlled rise time and under-voltage lockout functionality.

To help reduce system rail power requirements and associated circuit costs, the AP2101 and AP2111 also have a very tight 2.45A current limiting tolerance. A 7ms deglitch capability on the open drain flag output prevents false over-current reporting and requires no additional external components.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Applied Materials, Merck and Braunschweig University awarded funding by German Government for OLED research

ALZENAU, GERMANY: Applied Materials Inc., Merck KGaA and the Braunschweig University of Technology (TU-BS) today announced that they have been awarded a grant by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to develop processes to lower the cost of manufacturing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting for general illumination applications.

Applied will spearhead the three-year project, named Light InLine (LILi), joining forces with Merck, a leading manufacturer of high performance OLED materials and TU-BS, an internationally recognized center for OLED research. Work on the LILi project will be centered at Applied Materials’ advanced development facility in Alzenau, Germany.

Fabricated on sheets of glass, OLED lighting tiles can emit white light that is brighter, more uniform and more energy efficient than fluorescent light fixtures, making them well-suited for ceiling lights in homes and offices. While a number of OLED products have been developed in recent years, key challenges such as limited lifetime and high costs must be addressed for the technology to be widely adopted.

The LILi project aims to address these challenges by developing large-area manufacturing processes using high-performance organic materials and efficient device design.

“Solid state lighting is an important component of an energy-efficient future,” said Dr. Mark Pinto, senior vice president, corporate chief technology officer and general manager of Applied’s Energy and Environmental Solutions Organization.

“OLED technology aligns well with our equipment used for manufacturing flat panel displays. We’ve already delivered a system that is now in pilot manufacturing at a leading European lighting manufacturer. Through the LILi project, we expect to further optimize this technology to increase the quality and drive down the cost for OLED lighting applications.”

“Merck has a wealth of experience in developing and scaling up the complex organic compounds that are essential for stable and cost-effective OLED manufacturing,” said Dr. Udo Heider, vice president, Liquid Crystals/OLED, Merck KGaA. “The LILi project is a great opportunity for us to test new organic materials with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment in order to validate their stability and performance on large area substrates.”

“Innovation in OLED technology is one of the primary focuses of our institute,” said Professor Wolfgang Kowalsky from TU-BS. “We’re pleased to partner with Applied Materials and Merck to evaluate how our new high-efficiency OLED lighting device structures will perform in an industrial-scale environment.”

The total cost of the OLED project will amount to approximately €7.49 million, which includes €3.26 million to be provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and €4.23 million to be contributed by the industry partners.

The grant (FKZ 13N10611) is part of the BMBF’s “OLED 2 – Organic Light Emitting Diodes - Phase 2” initiative, which seeks to support OLED collaborative research and encourage OLED manufacturing in Germany. For more information, visit the project website at

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of € 7.6 billion in 2008, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped approximately 33,000 employees in 60 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees.

Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70 percent interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30 percent. In 1917 the US subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

The Braunschweig University of Technology is the oldest technical university in Germany. It was founded in 1745 and is member of TU9, an incorporated society of the most renowned and largest German Institutes of Technology. Today, it has about 13,000 students, making it the third largest university in Lower Saxony.

Monday, November 16, 2009

austriamicrosystems' sensor interface for automotive unbiased capacitive sensors

UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, AUSTRIA: austriamicrosystems has expanded its interface product portfolio with the AS1716, a sensor designed for interfacing to piezo eElectronic capacitive sensors.

“Piezo electronic sensors have many advantages over other sensor types. They are self generating and need no external excitation and they are compact and have excellent linearity” said Bruce Ulrich, Marketing Director Consumer & Communications at austriamicrosystems.

“In automotive engine designs the knock sensor is an integral part of the engine management system helping to increase overall reliability and improve fuel efficiency. The AS1716 provides the automotive customer with a complete flexible differential to a single ended solution.”

The AS1716 operates from a single supply 4.5V to 5.5V. The device provides differential inputs, a first order low pass filter to cut off the high frequency noise components, differential to single ended conversion, programmable gain stage and a two pole low pass multiple feedback filter.

The AS1716 is an analog front end specifically designed for unbiased capacitive sensors, interfacing with sample and hold input stages and analog digital converters.

The device has been EMC characterized by IEC 61967-4 (1Ohm / 150Ohm Method) by IEC 62132-4 (Direct Power Injection), is automotive qualified to AECQ100 for IC and PPAP level 3 and comes in an 8-pin SOIC package.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nanometrics receives multiple metrology orders for high-brightness LEDs

MILPITAS, USA: Nanometrics Inc., a leading supplier of advanced process control metrology systems used primarily in the manufacturing and packaging of semiconductors, solar photovoltaics and high-brightness LEDs, announced multiple orders from new and existing HB-LED customers for RPMBlue™ and IVS185™ metrology systems, which will be used for photoluminescence (PL) mapping and critical dimension and overlay control, respectively.

These systems are scheduled to be delivered and qualified in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We have continued to extend our leadership position in HB-LED metrology and process control with our newest PL mapping system, the RPMBlue,” commented Tom Ryan, Director of the Materials Characterization Business Unit at Nanometrics.

“Our customers in Asia are adopting the high-productivity RPMBlue to support the rapidly-growing application of HB-LEDs for backlighting of notebook and LCD televisions. This latest round of RPMBlue orders comes from end-device manufacturers as well as a leading MOCVD reactor supplier.

"As the HB-LED process flow becomes increasingly complex, it drives the requirement for improved control of overlay and critical dimensions in the patterning process. Our IVS185 system, shipping for the first time to an HB-LED customer, is a cost-effective solution that incorporates both overlay and CD control in a single tool, with extendibility across multiple substrate sizes.”

Nanometrics offers a comprehensive line of products and technologies for HB-LED metrology and process control, including the RPMBlue for high-volume production of LEDs used in LCD backlighting, the Vertex™ PL mapping system to support leading-edge HB-LED process development, and the IVS185 overlay and CD system for advanced LED patterning process control. These systems are used by over 90 percent of the top-tier HB-LED manufacturers in development and production.

Friday, November 13, 2009

SkyCross iMAT antennae enable simultaneous Wi-Fi and Bluetooth operation in netbooks

VIERA, USA: SkyCross, a global antenna designer and manufacturer, that it has expanded personal connectivity and improved end-user satisfaction by enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to operate simultaneously in netbooks.

Since 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth operate at 2.4 GHz, interference between the two RF signals previously made using both functions at the same time nearly impossible, particularly when the two antennas were in close proximity inside a device.

Today’s chipsets and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo Mini-Cards are capable of supporting both operations simultaneously, so the antenna has been the industry’s roadblock. Now, iMAT® from SkyCross is the industry’s first single-antenna solution that offers greater than 35 dB of isolation between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to enable coexistence even in compact devices such as netbooks.

Netbook shipments are expected to double in 2009, going from 16.4 million to nearly 33 million units.1 Many netbooks shipping today are equipped with Bluetooth, so the coexistence challenge is particularly prominent in this growing segment.

Some designers attempt to solve the problem by separating the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas in hopes that the physical space will provide enough electrical isolation for them to both operate simultaneously.

This approach delivers poor performance, particularly in small devices such as netbooks, and customers are often disappointed as a result. Other netbook designers avoid the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth coexistence challenge altogether by disabling one operation before the other can start.

This approach doesn’t allow customers to use a wireless headset while making a Skype call, listen to wireless stereo speakers while streaming audio, or even use a wireless mouse or transfer pictures from one device to another while online.

Prior to the iMAT solution from SkyCross, these suboptimal conventional antenna approaches to an important industry-wide challenge put the end-user satisfaction in this market segment at risk, resulting in increased customer support calls, along with netbook and Bluetooth accessory product returns.

Today, SkyCross uniquely solves the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth coexistence challenge with its award-winning iMAT technology. iMAT is a design technique enabling a single antenna element with multiple feed points to behave like multiple antennas, each with very high isolation. iMAT has multiple benefits: it can consolidate the number of antennae required in a device, reduce the specific absorption rate (SAR), eliminate RF components, and more.

In this instance, iMAT enables a single antenna to have one feed dedicated to Wi-Fi and another feed shared with Bluetooth, which uses the chipset providers’ time-sharing and adaptive frequency hopping algorithms. The very high, built-in isolation between the two feeds enables both to operate at the same time in a very small space.

In addition, the iMAT single-antenna solution reduces the number of conventional antennas by a factor of three, which reduces antenna space and system cost in netbooks to facilitate supporting 3G features.

“Chip makers are very encouraged by this breakthrough, and manufacturers are already planning to use the SkyCross iMAT solution in their future products,” said Joe Gifford, Vice President of SkyCross. “Our antennae differentiate netbook brands by maximizing their connectivity range and enabling optimal simultaneous functionality at an equivalent price, which pleases consumers. Seamless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth coexistence opens the door for new applications and a user experience that will propel netbook brand loyalty.”

SkyCross successfully demonstrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth coexistence with the iMAT single-antenna 35 dB solution using 802.11n Bluetooth Mini-Card modules in several brands of netbooks in an office environment.

The iMAT single-antenna solution yielded 50 percent improvement in data throughput, further range, and nearly perfect Bluetooth audio with a MOS (mean opinion score) of five as compared to the conventional three-antenna solution in netbooks.

RFMD receives first GaN product purchase order wireless base station manufacturer

GREENSBORO, USA: RF Micro Devices Inc. announced that it has received its first purchase order from a tier-one wireless base station original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for a product featuring RFMD's state-of-the-art gallium nitride (GaN) process technology.

The purchase order is for RFMD's RFG1M09180 180-watt GaN broadband power transistor (BPT) and is in support of the global expansion of 4G wireless networks.

RFMD's RFG1M09180 BPT supports LTE at 750-800MHz, 3GPP/IS95 at 865-895MHz and multi-carrier GSM at 930-960MHz, thereby enabling cost-effective and energy-efficient support of multi-standard base stations.

The RFG1M09180 is part of the RFG1M power device family, which addresses power requirements from 30-watt to 360-watt, offers wider bandwidth than incumbent LDMOS technology and supports wireless communication bands from 0.7GHz to 3.8GHz. The RFG1M power device family also features internal matching and is optimized for high-efficiency techniques, such as Doherty and envelope tracking.

Jeff Shealy, VP and general manager of RFMD's Defense and Power business unit, said: "We are pleased to announce our first GaN purchase order from this tier-one wireless base station OEM. The superior combination of output power, bandwidth and efficiency make RFMD's GaN a compelling process technology and the RFG1M09180 a compelling product for next-generation base station applications."

Bob Van Buskirk, president of RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group (MPG), added: "RFMD is excited to support the development of next-generation base station transmit architectures. Given the superior performance characteristics of our innovative GaN technology, we are enthusiastic about our overall growth opportunities, and we are actively targeting the base station HPA market, which we expect will represent approximately half of the high-power RF market within the next three years."

RFMD's state-of-the-art GaN process technology delivers superior RF power per square millimeter and superior RF conversion efficiency, versus current semiconductor technologies, and RFMD expects its GaN technology will become a disruptive technology across a broad range of commercial and defense markets.

In wireless base station applications, RFMD's GaN HPAs deliver industry-leading power performance at significantly reduced energy requirements. This satisfies the increasing focus on "green" technologies by enabling more efficient operation of network equipment and by reducing network-related energy costs.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

RFMD announces major gallium nitride (GaN) milestones

GREENSBORO, USA: RF Micro Devices Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance semiconductor components, announced that RFMD has qualified and released the RF3931, a 48-volt, 30-watt gallium nitride (GaN) unmatched transistor optimized for high power commercial and defense applications.

The RF3931 is RFMD's first GaN product to achieve full product qualification, a process through which RF products are released by RFMD for mass production. Shipments of the RF3931 have commenced to multiple high power amplifier (HPA) manufacturers, and RFMD anticipates GaN shipments will increase significantly as new GaN products are introduced.

Bob Bruggeworth, president and CEO of RFMD, said: "We fully expect RFMD's GaN process technology will play a central role in our corporate mission to extend and leverage our leadership in RF components and compound semiconductor technologies into multiple industries. The unique physical properties of RFMD's GaN technology deliver performance that is unattainable by current competing technologies.

"Also, RFMD's GaN technology is manufactured in the same high-volume manufacturing facility as our industry-leading GaAs products, providing RFMD a measurable competitive advantage. Accordingly, we believe our GaN technology will become a disruptive technology across a broad range of commercial and defense markets."

Jeff Shealy, VP and general manager of RFMD's Defense and Power business unit, said: "We are very pleased to announce the full product qualification and shipments of RFMD's first GaN product. These achievements are major milestones for RFMD as we drive adoption of our GaN technology, increase our presence in the high-power RF market and satisfy our customers' increasing emphasis on 'green' technologies.

"RFMD's state-of-the-art GaN process technology delivers superior RF power per square millimeter and superior RF conversion efficiency, as compared to current semiconductor technologies."

The 30-watt RF3931 is part of a family of five RFMD GaN unmatched power transistors to be released for mass production over the next two quarters.

Ranging from 10 watts to 120 watts, these wide bandwidth, unmatched power transistors enable the development of high-efficiency HPAs for a broad range of applications, including cellular and WiMAX infrastructure, CATV, military communications, public mobile radio, radar and radar jammers.

In wireless and wireline applications, RFMD's unmatched power transistors enable "green" architectures that reduce energy costs and improve network efficiency for network operators.

Tektronix delivers automated test support for new HDMI 1.4 compliance test spec

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Inc. announced availability of the industry’s first Direct Synthesis based comprehensive, fully automated compliance test solution for the new High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) 1.4 CTS specification, which was recently released.

Featuring the Tektronix AWG7000B Series Arbitrary Waveform Generator with direct synthesis, the Tektronix automated solution has been ratified by the HDMI standards organization for use with HDMI Compliance Test Specification (CTS) 1.4.

Announced in June 2009, HDMI 1.4 brings enhancements including a new Ethernet and audio return channel -HEAC, Automotive HDMI-Type E, Mobile HDMI – Type D, support for 3D over HDMI, support for 4K x 2K resolution, and new colorimetry patterns – Adobe deep color, among other enhancements.

With this added capability comes more additional compliance and validation test requirements to ensure complete interoperability and all fully compliant products must pass HDMI CTS 1.4.

As the High Speed Serial Solutions leader, companies turn to Tektronix for the most reliable, accurate and wide-range of instruments and compliance test solutions available to help solve today’s tough test challenges.