Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Digital power market gets charged up!

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Having overcome some fundamental hurdles, suppliers of digital power semiconductors have aligned behind Digital Controllers of Power (DCPs), setting the stage for a nearly seven-fold rise in revenue by 2013, according to iSuppli Corp.

Global sales of digital power semiconductors are set to increase to $821 million in 2013, up from $127 million in 2008.

The digital power semiconductor market consists of two types of products: Digital Power Managers (DPMs) and DCPs. While DPMs currently dominate the market, DCPs will experience more rapid growth in the coming years. Global revenue from shipments of DCPs are set to rise to $236 million in 2013, up from just $16 million in 2008.

The biggest growth in demand for digital power semiconductors will be driven by high-end servers as well as datacom and telecom equipment. By the year 2011, growth is expected to pick up in the lower-end compute markets such as notebook PCs and graphic cards.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of global power-management revenue for DCPs and DPMs.Source: iSuppli, USA

“Over the past five years, the digital power chip market has made extraordinary advances,” said Marijana Vukicevic, senior analyst for power management at iSuppli. “These include power-stage integration, the mixing of digital circuitry with analog and the arrival of bus communication capabilities in the form of PMBus and I2C. All these developments have established the path for a dominant technology: DCP.”

DPMs are devices that use digital information to manage the overall functioning of the power system and the power supplies within it. With DPMs, digital signals are used for communication to, and from, the power supplies in order to monitor and manage a number of tasks, including power-up, sequencing, load sharing and balancing, fault conditions, hot swapping and maintenance issues.

DCPs are controllers that use digital techniques to control the power-switching functions within a power supply unit. In its most theoretical form, this means performing the analog-to-digital conversion as early as possible, so that all feedback and control functions in the supply are processed in the digital domain.

Some major players in the semiconductor industry are jockeying for position in the DCP market via the acquisition and purchase of assets.

For one, Infineon Technologies AG in 2008 purchased Primarion Inc., which offers DCP products. Also in 2008, Exar purchased Fyrestorm Inc.’s Intellectual Property (IP) related to DCP. In the same year, Intersil Corp. acquired Zilker Labs, which offers DCP products as well.

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) in early 2009 acquired CICLON Semiconductor Device Corp., which offers a fast and efficient power MOSFET product line that could be integrated with TI’s DCP products and improve system efficiency tremendously.

In other developments, Linear Technology, Infineon, Texas Instruments and Powervation licensed Power-One Inc.’s digital power patents, which relate to digital power technology for use in DCP products. Power-One’s position in DCP was solidified by its patent litigation victory over Emerson Network Power in the area of systems-level communication in point-of-load applications.

Power amp market to double with multi-stream MIMO 802.11n

BOSTON, USA: Adoption of 802.11n MIMO with multiple transmit streams will help boost the market for Wi-Fi power amplifier modules to twice its 2008 size despite continued pricing pressure.

“As prices for single-stream 802.11n (1 x 1) chips dropped to match 802.11g, OEMs have quickly begun to switch from 802.11g to 802.11n in new products. Consequently, 802.11n will ship in more than half of all Wi-Fi systems by the end of 2010,” says Christopher Taylor, Director of the RF and Wireless Components service.

Not only will 802.11n quickly replace 802.11g, but as Wi-Fi continues to proliferate in new devices and applications, multi-stream MIMO configurations of 802.11n (i.e. 2 x 2, 3 x 3 and 4 x 4, transmit x receive) will rapidly grow in support of demand for greater range, faster file transfers and streaming multimedia in many of these applications.

Taylor notes, “According to the Strategy Analytics forecast model, which considers MIMO stream adoption rates by application, 802.11n will push the Wi-Fi power amp market to almost $1 billion over the next five years.”

SiGe Semiconductor has established a firm lead in power amplifiers despite increasing competition from GaAs PA module specialists such as Skyworks, RFMD, TriQuint and Anadigics.

“A relatively small and nimble company, SiGe Semiconductor owes much of its success to concentrating its resources almost exclusively on Wi-Fi PA modules,” notes Asif Anwar, Director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor market research service.

US DOE publishes solid state lighting manufacturing roadmap

USA: Last week, the US Department of Energy (DOE) published the Solid-State Lighting Manufacturing R&D Roadmap, the outcome of two workshops and considerable dialog between manufacturers, suppliers, researchers and other organizations involved in expanding solid state lighting (SSL). The purpose of the roadmap was to guide the US DOE R&D program, help act as a guide for equipment and material suppliers, and reduce risk and manufacturing cost.

The document can be downloaded from the DOE.

SSL manufacturing roadmap priorities
The manufacturing roadmap focuses on identifying priority needs for achieving cost-effective, high quality manufacturing capabilities for SSL components ranging packaged devices, replacement lamps, and complete luminaires, in both OLED and LED technologies. In high-brightness LED packages, the report focuses on four key manufacturing needs:

* The need to advance the epitaxy process and equipment to improve wavelength uniformity and reproducibility, reduce variations in chip output power, increase throughput, and improve yields.

* The need to address substrate-related issues, ranging from warping and defects in present materials to cost and availability of potentially better approaches such as native substrates.

* The lack of suitable manufacturing equipment. Increased automation should be introduced into the wafer processing, die packaging and testing activities. A lower cost-of-ownership for all equipment is required.

* The inadequacy of process controls. There is a need for improved inspection and testing equipment in a number of areas including epitaxial growth, wafer processing and die packaging throughout the process. Active feedback control for critical process steps such as epitaxial growth is also required.

Epitaxial growth is the key enabling technology for HB-LEDs. Several critical issues regarding epitaxial growth equipment and processes were identified, including wavelength uniformity, low throughout, lack of in-situ monitoring, and managing wafer bow.

All GaN-based HB-LED epiwafers are currently manufactured using MOCVD, the only technology currently capable of growing all layers of the device structure. The primary drawback of MOCVD is the relatively slow growth rate, resulting in long cycle times (typically 5-10 hours). Actions to increase the growth rate, reduce the overall cycle time, or expand the reactor capacity are required to raise throughput.

Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy (HVPE) is a potential alternative growth method which has the advantage of significantly higher growth rates and offers the prospect of much higher throughputs.

The substrate roadmap supports two paths: improved substrates for heteroepitaxial growth (sapphire and SiC), and improved substrates for homoepitaxial growth (GaN). In both cases, the report concludes that “improvements in substrate quality (surface finish, defect density, flatness, etc.) and product consistency are required in order to meet the demands of high volume manufacturing. For GaN substrates cost must also be dramatically reduced in order to become a viable option for LED manufacturing.”

Better cost of ownership model
During the DOE workshops, there was a general agreement that equipment improvement was required to advance process control, manufacturing throughput and yield. The need for an accurate cost model was the main take-away from these discussions with many participants saying that such a model would have much wider application in identifying areas in the packaged LED process which had the largest impact on ultimate device costs.

Such a model would allow the community to identify equipment and processes lying on the critical path and offer a more quantitative assessment of the beneficial cost impact of addressing each issue.

The total cost of ownership (COO) is the widely used in the semiconductor industry (see SEMI standard E35 ‘Cost of Ownership for Semiconductor Manufacturing Metrics’) and its applicability to LEDs may merit further discussions between manufacturers and suppliers. COO can be defined as the full cost of embedding, operating and decommissioning a system needed to accommodate a required volume.

It is the total cost of producing a good part from a piece of equipment, which is obtained by dividing the full cost of the equipment and its operation by the total number of good parts produced over the commissioned lifetime of the equipment. In addition to new equipment purchases and manufacturing process changes, COO can help with decisions about materials use, equipment operations and process improvements. It can help identify any bottlenecks in the process, and it can foster communication and understanding throughout the supply chain.

The DOE has announced intentions to continue the manufacturing workshops in 2010. It is expected that many of these issues, including the development of a better cost model, will be discussed in greater detail.

Source: SEMI, USA

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

OLED displays find success in mobile phones with Q2’09 revenue at $192mn

AUSTIN, USA: In its latest Quarterly OLED Shipment and Forecast Report, DisplaySearch reported that worldwide OLED revenue has set a new record, with $192 million in revenue for Q2’09, up 32 percent Q/Q and 22 percent Y/Y.

DisplaySearch forecasts the total OLED display market will grow to $6.2 billion by 2016 from $0.6 billion in 2008, with a CAGR of 33 percent. Mobile phone main displays will be the leading application with revenues of about $3 billion in 2016; OLED TV will be the second largest application, with revenues of about $2 billion in 2016.

Fig. 1: OLED Display Revenue ForecastSource:DisplaySearch Q3’09 Quarterly OLED Shipment and Forecast Report.

AMOLED shipments grew due to strong mobile phone main display shipments. This is due to promotion of AMOLED mobile phones by Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Sony Ericsson in the first half of 2009. More than 15 mobile phone models with AMOLED main displays were released in 2009.

PMOLED maintained its unit shipment leadership in the OLED display market. After a weak Q1’09, PMOLED shipments stabilized in Q2’09 due to growth in mobile phone sub-display applications.

Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) had a strong Q2’09, and as a result, it maintained the #1 position in shipment with 38 percent market share, followed by RiTdisplay at #2.

“AMOLED displays have become an important differentiating feature for high end electronic products,” noted Jennifer Colegrove, PhD, Director of Display Technologies at DisplaySearch.

“This technology is not only used for mobile phone main displays, but has also penetrated the market for portable media players, digital still cameras and other applications. There will be about 20 new or upgraded AMOLED production lines installed or upgraded worldwide in the next three years,” Colegrove added.

OLED manufacturers are planning to make TV panels larger than 11” in 2009. LG Display is mass-producing small-size AMOLED, and has announced that it will mass-produce 15” AMOLED panels for TV application at the end of 2009. LG Electronics will commercialize 15” OLED TV sets for the holiday season, while Sony’s 20”+ OLED TV announced in 2008 will not reach the market in 2009.

With technology improvements, DisplaySearch forecasts AMOLED will enter more medium- and large-size applications (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: AMOLED Display RoadmapSource:DisplaySearch Q3’09 Quarterly OLED Shipment and Forecast Report.

Notebooks are an attractive area starting in mid 2010, with mini-notes (netbooks) expected to be in production by end of 2010. 20-29” OLED TVs will enter market by the end of 2010, with 30” and larger TVs forecast to enter the market in late 2011.

Cree boasts most lighting-class LEDs for designing ENERGY STAR-compliant LED fixtures

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. has the most lighting-class LEDs meeting the stringent US Department of Energy (DOE) ENERGY STAR performance criteria, offering fixture manufacturers a significant benefit when designing with XLamp XR-E, XP-E or MC-E white LEDs.

The DOE's "ENERGY STAR Manufacturer's Guide for Qualifying Solid-State Lighting Luminaires" requires that LED fixture manufacturers seeking ENERGY STAR Category A approval test their luminaires for a minimum of 6,000 hours (approximately nine months) to demonstrate the product's long-term lumen maintenance.

In lieu of performing this lengthy and costly testing, the DOE will accept an LED manufacturer's lumen maintenance data if the LEDs are tested to the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) approved method for "Measuring Lumen Maintenance of LED Light Sources," LM-80-08.

The DOE accepts Cree's IES LM-80 test data for the Cree XLamp XR-E, XP-E and MC-E LEDs. This LM-80 test data can be submitted by luminaire manufacturers (along with the appropriate LM-79 optical and electrical data) to the DOE for ENERGY STAR approval of both 25,000-hour residential and 35,000-hour commercial lighting products.

"Cree has the broadest family of lighting-class LEDs accepted by the DOE for use in ENERGY STAR products," said Paul Thieken, Cree director of marketing, LED components.

"Our customers can avoid expensive and prolonged fixture testing by designing-in XLamp XR-E, XP-E or MC-E LEDs. Cree XLamp LEDs were also the first to be binned to ANSI C78.377A chromaticity back in 2007 and feature excellent white-point stability-further simplifying the design of LED fixtures to meet ENERGY STAR requirements."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How big is the battery market for electric vehicles?

NEW TRIPOLI, USA: Thursday, A123 Systems (AONE) had an extremely successful IPO for its lithium-ion based battery for electric vehicles, which begs the question How Big is the Battery Market for Electric Vehicles, according to a report Semiconductors for Alternative Energy Technologies: Opportunities and Markets, recently published by The Information Network.

On Thursday, A123 Systems (AONE) had an extremely successful IPO. The company uses proprietary nanoscale material technology developed at and licensed from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A123 Systems is also utilizing its 215 employees for R&D on new generations of this core nanophosphate technology. It recently developed an ultra high power battery for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team that provides more than ten times the W/kg as compared to a standard Prius battery.

How big the market for batteries for electric cars and the competition A123 Systems faces are key issues facing investors. On the end-user side, data show that the number of EV (electric vehicle), HEV (hybrid electric vehicle), PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) models with an annual production run of at least 20,000 vehicles will grow from 19 models in 2009 to over 150 models in 2014 and over 200 models in 2019.

In addition, estimates for the global lithium-ion battery market for automotive application in EVs, PHEVs, and HEVs are $31.9 million in 2009 growing to $21.8 billion by 2015 and $74.1 billion by 2020.

According to Dr. Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network, “Light-weight, high-energy-density lithium ion batteries, which can enable a car to go up to 300 miles on a charge, can cost as much as $35,000, which coincidentally is the replacement cost for the new Tesla Motors Roadster.”

Clearly, the market potential for lithium-ion batteries for automobiles is huge. But cost is a critical factor, and as they are new, so is durability. In a report released in January 2009, the DOE pointed out that the current cost of Li-based batteries is approximately a factor of three-five too high on a kWh basis for HEVs, and two times too high for HEVs. Also, the ability to attain a 15-year life, or 300,000 HEV cycles, or 5,000 EV cycles are unproven and are anticipated to be difficult.

A123 Systems competes in the Li-ion battery space with companies including Advanced Battery Technologies(ABAT),Altair Nanotechnologies (ALTI), China Sun Group (CSGH), Ener1 (HEV), Hong Kong Highpower Technology (HPJ), and Valence Technologies (VLNC).

A123 Systems with its Lithium-ion technology also competes with advanced lead-acid battery (lead carbon) producers like Axion Power International (AXPW.OB), C&D Technologies (CHP), Enersys (ENS), and Exide Technologies (XIDE).

Let’s not forget the NiMH battery. ECD Ovonics (ENER) has licensed its battery technology to every major manufacturer of NiMH batteries, all 35 of them. It’s a market prohected to be $1,230 million market for HEVs in 2011 compared to a $320 million market for automotive Li-ion batteries.

Friday, September 25, 2009

PCTEL unveils multi-band mobile antennae with integrated GPS receiver

CHICAGO, USA: PCTEL Inc., a leader in propagation and wireless network optimization solutions, today unveiled two new multi-band mobile antennas with integrated GPS receiver technology.

The new models, based on PCTEL’s Medallion™ and Sharkfin™ multi-band antenna platforms, have been enhanced with a high sensitivity 16-channel receiver that provides immediate and accurate GPS position reporting in a single low profile housing and without the need for additional equipment.

Featuring PCTEL’s successful wideband technology, these two models eliminate the need to install separate antennas in a single vehicle in order to achieve seamless wireless data communications and GPS location capability.

Both models provide instant “plug and play” GPS tracking with a digital interface, eliminating the need for GPS receiver integration in voice and data radios. Police departments nationwide could save millions of dollars by implementing GPS tracking of their vehicles and voice and data communications with a single antenna rather than two antennas and a separate GPS receiver.

“The addition of these two antenna solutions to our mobile GPS antenna platform support PCTEL’s continued goal to become the premier high-value GPS antenna supplier for commercial and defense applications,” said Jeff Miller, Vice President and General Manager of PCTEL’s Antenna Products Group. “By adding GPS capability with an integrated receiver to our multi-band antenna designs, PCTEL is able to provide customers a one stop vendor solution for their asset tracking requirements,” added Miller.

Both the Medallion™ PCTMDL-RCVR and the Sharkfin™ GPSQB-RCVR models utilize attractive, low profile radomes designed to withstand severe environmental conditions for trouble-free operation in mass transit, asset tracking, military and defense, public safety, field measurement and wireless network optimization applications. Both models will be available for worldwide distribution in November, 2009.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HB LED market poised for rapid growth in 2010 and beyond

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Continuing the trend of recent years, high-brightness LED market growth for 2008 was 11 percent, reaching $5.1 billion, in spite of a shaky fourth quarter.

However, a decline of 3.7 percent is expected for 2009, resulting in a market size of $4.9 billion. This decline will not affect all HB LED market segments equally. For example, although some of the more mature markets such as automotive lighting, mobile phones, and outdoor video screens are experiencing substan tial downturns, other emerging segments such as backlights for LCD displays in notebook computers and TVs are showing strong growth.

Moreover, the LED lighting market is also continuing to grow, although at a somewhat slower pace than in recent years. According to market research firm Strategies Unlimited in its recently released report: High-Brightness LED Market Review and Forecast – 2009, lighting and LCD backlighting are the applications that will drive market reco very in 2010 and over the next five years, with market growth forecast at a CAGR of 24 percent, reaching $14.9 billion in 2013.

In all market segments, the penetration rates for the use of HB LEDs continue to grow. The fundamental drivers for HB LED adoption have not changed. It is the impact of the worldwide economic recession on end product demand, rather than any slowdown in the rate of HB LED adoption, that is causing the HB LED market to dip in 2009.

As noted above, lighting and LCD backlighting are providing strong counterweights to the decline in other segments, and they have moderated the rate of overall HB LED market contraction.

The new Strategies Unlimited report is the tenth from the company on LED applications and markets. It analyzes the HB LED market in depth, from both the demand side and the supply side, including supplier market shares. Detailed quantitative market analysis is provided, including breakouts by application and product type, in terms of units, ASPs and revenue. Five-year market forecasts are provided for each application and HB LED product type.

Tektronix spectrum analyzers extend analysis up to 20GHz

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Inc. has expanded the RSA6000 series to include the RSA6120A spectrum analyzer, which extends all of the industry-leading capabilities of the RSA6000 Series out to 20GHz, allowing designers to apply the spectrum analyzer's market-leading capabilities throughout the entire Ku band.

As designers work with digital RF technology, they require spectrum analyzers like those in the RSA6000 series—an industry-leading combination of dynamic range and image rejection at very wide bandwidths.

With the RSA6000 series of spectrum analyzers, Tektronix also introduced swept DPX which is proving indispensable to designers in their discovery of previously unseen signal anomalies. Now designers can take advantage of the advanced capabilities of the RSA6000 series when developing and characterizing radar and electronic warfare systems and components that operate in the X (8-12GHz) and Ku (12-18GHz) bands.

In these applications, designers can use the RSA6120A spectrum analyzer to set up automated measurements that allow them to understand the behavior of transmit waveforms, validate a transmitter's design, and debug problems in a radar receiver.

The new RSA6120A spectrum analyzer also supports applications in spectrum management, particularly in intelligence, regulatory monitoring, and defense applications. The new spectrum analyzer extends the series' signal discovery and triggering advantages up to 20GHz, allowing a clearer understanding of how digital signal processing (DSP) interacts with RF signals of interest.

This feature can be used to understand the level of interoperability between radio systems used by different divisions or agencies, for example.

“The RSA6120A provides our customers with an industry-leading combination of bandwidth and dynamic range up to 20GHz, allowing them to fully view RF signals in real time,” said Bob Hiebert, director of Marketing, RF Product Line, Tektronix.

“With this new spectrum analyzer, it is possible to dramatically reduce time-to-insight for high-frequency applications because users can trigger on low-level signals that are obscured or completely missed using traditional analyzers.”

RELM intros high-power rapid deployment portable repeater

WEST MELBOURNE, USA: RELM Wireless Corp. introduced high-power models of its popular Rapid Deployment Portable Repeater (RDPR) for the VHF (136-174 MHz), UHF (400-515 MHz) and 800MHz frequency bands.

Like the original RDPR, the new high-power models are compact, light-weight and housed in a waterproof carrying case. Deployment of the RDPR enables emergency responders to establish a communications network "on the move" in only minutes. Now, with up to 50 watts of power output, the RDPR's signal strength and communications range can cover a more expansive area.

RELM President and CEO, David Storey, commented: "The RDPR is designed for emergency applications based upon practical field experiences, and the original model has proven to be quite popular with customers.

"Using the RDPR one can quickly build-out an on-site interoperable network capable P25 digital, analog or mixed-mode communication system. The RDPR is extraordinarily flexible and easy to deploy, and the higher power enables it to be effective for greater distances."

The RDPR includes a compact 40 Amp/hr. external lithium-ion power source that can be charged with an optional fold-out solar panel. The power source can also be charged through the use of adaptors for AC wall outlets or vehicle cigarette lighters. In addition, the case provides room for an internal duplexer.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Legislative update – Sept. 2009 -- REACH, RoHS2

Guest post by Gary Nevison, Farnell

Summary
The legal obligations within the REACH Regulations and the potential impact of the so called “RoHS2” proposals dominate the legislative scene at present. Also, obligations are starting to filter through as part of the eco design/energy using Products Directive that monitors energy efficiency throughout a products life cycle. Going-forward, the scope of this directive will become more diverse to encompass energy related products.

Industry, and the design engineer, needs to be aware of developments and the potential impact on their companies.

REACH
Regulation 1907/2006, the Regulation, Evaluation, Authorisation -and restriction-of Chemicals (REACH) entered into force on 1 June 2007 after almost 8 years of debate and covering some 849 pages of regulation.

The only census on chemicals, taken in 1981, highlighted that 100,106 substances were placed on the market. Of those used, manufactured or imported at levels of 1000 tonnes or more, 21 percent had no safety data at all while a further 65 percent provided insufficient safe use data. Only 3 percent had been fully tested.

At the same time, instances of allergies, asthma, certain types of cancer and reproductive disorders were on the increase in Europe. Skin diseases alone resulted in the loss of 3 million working days per year.

Driven by the obligatory flow of safety data throughout the supply chain, REACH seeks to provide protection to health and the environment.

The biggest challenge to industry to date has been around the collection of data advising where a so called Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) is present in a product, known as an article in the regulations, at a level of 0.1% by weight of the total article.

As a minimum obligation the name of the substance along with supporting safe use data must flow downstream through the supply chain.

Substances that are categorised as SVHC include those that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction. Also, substances that are persistent, liable to bio-accumulate and toxic, and finally “others” such as endocrine disrupters that can have a particular impact on aquatic life.

Back in October 2008, the first batch of 15 substances of very high concern was published by the European Chemicals Agency and, the following January, seven of these were earmarked for a consultation on whether or not they should be subject to a very costly “authorisation of use” requirement. These seven were approved and the European Commission will determine the date when these will be added to Annex XIV.

These obligations will then enter into force some 42-48 months later on what is known as the sunset date. Where such an authorisation is approved, downstream users can only use these substances for the use that they have been authorised for and they can only be purchased from the company granted the authorisation.

The REACH data collection has resulted in the circulation of hundreds of “standard letters” in a multitude of formats. Many manufacturers have refused to reply to the ad-hoc requests they receive preferring to promote websites or central databases (these have been slow to develop).

Guidance on the regulation encourages a more pro-active approach rather than simply providing a link to a website. Likewise, there have been many random requests for information that is not obligatory such as pre-registration details and RoHS style certificates of compliance.

Future batches of SVHCs will be published on an on-going basis, with the next expected early 2010, so REACH will not be a box that can be ticked as complete for several years to come.

“RoHS2”
Looking back the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive 2002/95 entered into force on 1 July 2006. It featured six restricted substances across eight broad categories of product pulled from the 10 categories in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. There were 29 exemptions to assist manufacturers and design engineers where no viable alternative was available and a whole raft of “grey” definitions that required clarity.

“RoHS2” proposals look to move the directive forward and provide greater clarity. However, some of its provisions will potentially have cost and resource issues for industry.

The proposals recommend that the two remaining categories from the original WEEE categories, namely medical devices and monitoring and control instruments be added to the scope from 2014 (in-vitro diagnostics from 2016 and industrial “test” equipment in 2017). These were originally omitted from the directive due to reliability concerns over the use of lead-free solder.

While there are no substances actually restricted under the proposals, four are recommended for priority assessment. Three plasticisers used in a variety of applications and a flame retardant may well be restricted. Ironically, the substances, BBP, DBP, DEHP and HBCDD are four of the seven subject to authorisation of use under the REACH Regulations.

The fate of these substances under RoHS will be open to consultation after the revised directive comes into scope sometime in 2011-2012. Either way, any restriction under RoHS will probably be sooner than under the REACH process and the analysis is unlikely to be done twice.

Under a separate review by European Commission consultants, 29 exemptions will continue under the proposals, many with amended wording for clarity, 6 will be withdrawn and one new one will be granted. These could come into force next year and that will be followed by a transposition period of, on average, 18 months allowing manufacturers the time to comply.

In addition, a further six exemptions were added in June 2009 that had been proposed a year earlier.

RoHS2 also clarifies definitions such as equipment within out of scope equipment, spare parts and military where the latter clearly does not include dual use equipment.

A standard, and rigid declaration of conformity appears in annex 7 and will replace the multitude of different certificates, statements and compliance documents under the original legislation.

There now appears to be no scope for qualifying statements such as “so far as we are aware” and “to the best of our knowledge”.

It is proposed that RoHS will become a CE mark directive placing responsibilities on manufacturers, importers and distributors. There are many requirements including building technical files and keeping for 10 years, ensuring products comply, that they are supplied with the CE mark and the manufacturer or importer is identified on the product. Sample testing should also be carried out where appropriate, and corrective action is undertaken where product is found to be non compliant.

Finally under the proposals, the broad product categories and list of indicative products move from the WEEE Directive and sit in annex 1 and 2 of the RoHS Directive.

The terminology “RoHS2” is unofficial and is used simply to highlight the proposed changes to the original directive.

Energy using Products
Directive 2005/32/EC, Energy using Products, entered into force on 11 August 2007.

The main aim is to monitor energy efficiency throughout the life cycle of a product from the mining of raw material right through to recycling at end-of-life.

The focus is clearly on the design phase of the product since it is considered that this is the determining stage affecting the resources used in a product.

The directive does not apply to means of transport (planes, cars etc) but, apart from this, the scope is deliberately broad covering, in principle, any product which when in use depends on, generates, transfers or measures energy (electricity, fossil fuel or renewable).

Obligations on manufacturers will result from a series of specific “implementing measures” the first of which was adopted in January 2009.

The criteria required before a product can be considered for assessment is that is that it must sell more than 200,000 units per year in the European Union, have a significant environmental impact and present considerable potential for improvement. The latter is important as the target is for a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020.

During phase one, studies were commission on 20 broad product categories ranging from water heaters, televisions and lighting, through to imaging equipment and personal computers.

Beyond that, a further 17 categories have been highlighted from ovens and hobs, machine tools and air-conditioning equipment through to transformers and networking equipment.

Among the first obligations to come in to force were energy efficiency improvements covering standby and off-mode losses, simple converter boxes for digital television, external power supplies and office, street and domestic lighting.

However, the European Parliament has now adopted the European Commission’s (EC) proposal to widen the scope of the directive to include energy related products. Until now the Energy using Products Directive was limited to products that consume energy during use such as boilers, computers, televisions, industrial fans and light bulbs.

However, many products have an indirect impact on the energy in use such as water using devices, taps and showerheads for example, and double glazing windows or insulating material.

Improvement in design could clearly result in the significant saving of energy.

For example, water saving taps and shower heads reduce water consumption and therefore the amount of energy used for hot water.

Under the EuP Directive studies had to set requirements for individual products where, in fact, it is the performance of the whole system that often needs to be optimised not just a single component or products.

The new directive will repeal the existing 2005/32/EC.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

element14 invites engineers to 'RoadTest' new technologies

UK: element14 has launched a RoadTest Group on its site, providing users the opportunity to trial and review the newest technologies from a variety of industryleading manufacturers. The initial offer is for 50 Freescale RD3803MMA7660FC evaluation kits and 5 Altera Niois II embedded evaluation kits.

element14 will continually update the RoadTest Group, in line with its continued commitment providing electronic design engineers with the latest innovations and new technologies.

Engineers interested in this complimentary offer can sign up to test the product of their choice at http://www.element-14.com/community/groups/roadtest through December 31, 2009. Importantly the group will also offer members a platform to discuss their own experiences with the products on test.

Freescales’ RD3803MMA7660FC is designed to provide the user with a complete out of the box experience to evaluate the MMA7660FC, a low power, 3-axis linear accelerometer with 12C digital output. The kit contains the evaluation board, plus the daughter board, PC application and corresponding device collateral.

Altera’s Cyclone III Edition Nios II kit is a feature-rich, low cost platform that provides a fast and simple hands-on way for embedded designers to assess the Nios II processor, SOPC Builder system design software and custom applications. The kit includes the Nios II Embedded Design Suite, a complete design suite for embedded software development, several tutorials and 10 design examples with full source code.

element14 will be leveraging the power of its Community to highlight the kits from Freescale and Altera, both of whom have their own interactive groups within the web 2.0 site.

element14 is a natural platform for this offering as the website creates a unique online environment, providing the global electronic design engineering community with a vast array of product data, design tools, technology information and the capabilities for public or private collaboration with peers and experts.

"Freescale is excited that the MMA7660 will be promoted in element14’s RoadTest Group, because it's a great way to let design engineers test drive our new products,” said Michelle Kelsey, Marketing Manager, Inertial Sensors, Freescale.

“Freescale’s cost-effective, low-power MMA7660 accelerometer integrates a number of smart motion features such as orientation, shake and tap detection with auto wake-up/sleep detection, in a compact 3x3x0.9mm package.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Avago intros pair of miniature 0.25W analog variable gain amplifiers for cellular infrastructure apps

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, announced the addition of two miniature 0.25-Watt analog variable gain amplifiers to its broad portfolio of amplifier products for use in cellular infrastructure applications.

Housed in a compact 5 mm by 5 mm by 1.1 mm, 10-lead module package, Avago’s ALM-80110/80210 variable gain amplifiers feature a common footprint for easy integration into most base station designs. Additionally, these amplifiers offer high linearity and dynamic range performance and support all major cellular bands in North America, Europe and Asia.

The ALM-80110 operates from 0.4 to 1.6 GHz, while the ALM-80210 operates from 1.6 to 2.7 GHz and are ideal for use in WLL, WLAN, transmitter receiver gain control, and temperature compensation circuitry applications. Both amplifiers provide an exceptionally high Output 3rd Order Intercept Point (OIP3) level of 40 dBm, which is maintained over a wide attenuation range. Additionally, these devices feature a wide gain control range, low power consumption, as well as excellent input and output return loss.

Avago’s ALM-80110/80210 variable gain amplifiers incorporate a unique solution which integrates Avago’s high linearity 0.25W amplifiers and silicon PIN diode-based pie attenuator into a miniature multiple-chips-on-board (MCOB) module package.

Both of these amplifiers feature broadband fully-matched input and pre-matched output for ease of use and require a minimum amount of external RF matching components. Moreover, the high linearity and dynamic range performance of these amplifiers is achieved through the use of Avago’s proprietary 0.25 um GaAs enhancement-mode pHEMPT process and low distortion silicon pin diode technologies.

Plextronics, Novaled to develop organic lighting technology

PITTSBURGH, USA & DRESDEN, GERMANY: Novaled AG, a leader in energy saving and long living OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes), and Plextronics, Inc., an international company that specializes in conductive organic inks for printed lighting, solar and other electronics, announced that they have agreed to jointly develop doped and solution processed organic materials for OLED applications.

OLED technology is expected to become a major ingredient of flat displays and drive a new era lighting innovation with its flexible design and energy efficiency advantages.

The collaboration agreement specifies that the companies will combine their respective technologies to develop an advanced solution processible Hole Injection Layer (HIL) technology for OLEDs.

By leveraging Plextronics’ organic conductive ink technology and Novaled’s organic dopant technology, the companies will target these advanced HIL materials for use with solution processed polymer and small molecule emitters, as well as with vacuum deposited small molecule emitters.

Novaled and Plextronics aim to offer a solution processed HIL with the same performance as a Novaled doped small molecule HIL deposited in a vacuum process. The Novaled doped HIL is part of the Novaled PIN OLED technology, which has demonstrated some of the highest power efficiency together with a long lifetime.

Plextronics and Novaled will co-market Plexcore OC inks that incorporate Novaled dopant materials.

“Novaled is well-known for its power efficient OLED technology and is considered to be a world leading supplier of doping material,” says Andrew Hannah, President and CEO of Plextronics. “We expect that the combination of Plextronics’ conductive ink for OLED -- Plexcore OC -- and Novaled’s doping technologies will enable the high performance printing of OLED devices.”

“Plextronics is an international leader in organic ink”, adds Gildas Sorin, CEO of Novaled. “It is Novaled’s strategy to partner with key industry players, like Plextronics, in order to enlarge our business offering for customers. Together with Plextronics, we are able to introduce the Novaled PIN OLED technology to the world of printed electronics.”

Cree sponsors inaugural LED design contest for students in China

BEIJING, CHINA: Cree Inc., a market leader in LED lighting, and the China Associate of Lighting Industry (CALI) announced that the first Cree Cup -- Creative LED Lighting Design Contest -- has officially launched in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

The contest, the first of its kind among university students in these regions, seeks to cultivate innovation and support promising talent in the field of LED lighting design.

"LED lighting is an important element of China's energy-efficient future," said Greg Merritt, Cree vice president of corporate marketing. "This is part of our strategy to accelerate the adoption of LED lighting."

Jointly sponsored by CALI and Cree, the contest brings together executives from CALI, Cree and Shanghai Optoelectronics Trade Association (SOTA), as well as senior professors from various universities, including Tsinghua University, Tongji University and Tianjin Polytechnic University to serve as the official organizing committee.

The committee anticipates that the contest will draw responses from approximately 1,000 students in more than 30 universities. Entry registrations are now being accepted for the contest, and the registration deadline is September 30.

Microsemi extends new radiation hardened transistor product line

IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp., a leading manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal ICs and high reliability semiconductors, announced that DSCC qualification has been granted on their JANSR2N3439 and JANSR2N3440 radiation hardened medium power transistors.

With these latest approvals Microsemi has now qualified an additional 54 radiation hardened transistor products over the last year. This includes 44 new packaged device types and 10 newly-qualified radiation hardened die types for hybrid packaging applications.

These general purpose, small signal and medium power bipolar transistors are primarily used in aerospace, defense and satellite communication applications. They are specifically designed to perform in the severe environmental and radiation conditions that exist in space where component selection is essential to mission success.

Microsemi has worked closely with the Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC) to define the test specifications within standard military drawings (MIL-PRF-19500 slashsheets) so that customers can be assured of the radiation performance capabilities of these products.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Analysis of world AC-DC switching power supplies market

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of Frost & Sullivan's new report "Analysis on World AC-DC Switching Power Supplies Market" to its offering.

This research covers the world AC-DC SPS market segmented based on the power ranges that include low, medium, high, very high and extremely high ranges. Each segment is further analyzed based on the geographic regions and end-user application markets. Every segment discusses revenue forecasts, market trends, and competitive analysis. The applications covered include communications, industrial, aerospace and defense, medical and others.

This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Analysis on World AC-DC Switching Power Supplies Market provides market trends, revenue analysis, industry structure, and competitive environment. In this research, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors: low power (1 to 300 watts), medium power (301 to 750 watts), high power (751 to 1,500 watts), very high power (1,501 to 2,000 watts), and extremely high power (2,001 watts and above).

Increased healthcare and military spending sustains demand in world AC-DC switching power supplies market
The consumption of AC-DC switching power supplies is driven by the demand for electrical and electronic equipment used in various applications such as IT, telecom, industrial and consumer electronics. The market for AC-DC switching power supplies is mature and hence influenced by economic trends.

The economic slowdown has reined the progress in the IT/telecom, consumer electronics and industrial segments, which account for a sizeable portion of the switching power supplies market revenues. However, prospects are likely to improve once the economy recovers.

"Though some end-user segments such as light emitting diode (LED) lighting and set-top boxes have displayed positive demand, revenues from other applications including industrial process control, automated test equipment, telecom and networking equipment, and television were weak during the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009," notes the analyst of this research.

However, continuing demand from medical applications and the military is likely to sustain the AC-DC switching power supplies market through the prolonged economic downturn. Ageing population and the continuous need for quality healthcare drives steady uptake of power supplies used in diagnostic, imaging and other critical medical equipment.

These products are more quality-centered rather than price focused due to the critical nature of the applications. Further, governments across the world have increased military spending to counter terrorist activities, and hence demand from the military segment for sophisticated equipment with complex instrumentation is expected to increase.. This bodes well for the AC-DC switching power supplies market.

Slow adoption of digital power techniques and increased outsourcing to Asia Pacific region impacts market dynamics
Power supplies that incorporate digital control offer improved efficiency, reduced parts count, and reduced size. Hence, expectations were high for digital power management and digital control to boost market potential for AC-DC power supplies market a few years ago.

However, original equipment manufacturers are hesitant to pay for the extra costs incurred for these additional benefits, restraining the uptake of digital power management and digital control in various applications. Moreover, the digital power supplies are not price competitive when compared to their analog counterparts.

Market participants have to intensify efforts to make these products more cost effective to improve the overall market opportunity in digitally controlled switching power supplies.

IHSE unveils world-first KVM extender for lossless DVI and USB 2.0 over CATx

OBERTEURINGEN, GERMANY: IHSE GmbH, a leading provider of DVI and KVM solutions, unveiled at IBC the world-first CATx Extenders supporting lossless Single-Head/Dual-Head DVI and USB 2.0.

Integrated into a high density chassis, the IHSE DSXI Extender series now offers lossless DVI and high-speed USB 2.0 transmission in a single device.

“Your choice for short distances,” says Dr. Enno Littmann, COO of IHSE GmbH. “The DSXi Digital KVM extenders offer perfect signal quality and media support at low cost without sacrificing image quality or transmission rate.”

The DSXi extenders support lossless DVI-D and USB-HID up to 50m+ for resolutions up to 1920x1200 or 1080p using only one CATx cable. The USB-HID devices support not only keyboard and mouse but also touch screen displays and interactive gaming keyboards or space mice.

With the addition of an extra CATx cable, full USB 2.0 can be supported with complete bi-directional high-speed communications for USB2.0 devices.

The high density design allows up to five devices to be installed in a 1RU frame. Dual-Head models are also available offering either four USB-HID ports or four USB2.0 ports for high-end KVM applications.

With the transmission of DDC information pulled directly from the attached monitor, you just plug in the selected display and the DSXi records the necessary information for video mode identification.

The DSXi Extender series supports a wide range of applications for digital signage, broadcasting, call centers, command and control, information terminals, airport traffic control, and high-end KVM extensions where exceptional image quality is required.

Monday, September 7, 2009

OLED shipments for primary cell-phone displays to rise eightfold by 2015

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Triggered by the introduction this year of a wave of cell phones equipped with main displays using Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode (AM-OLED) technology, the global market for such screens is set to explode in the coming years, according to iSuppli Corp.

Shipments of OLED displays for the main screens of cell phones are expected to rise by a factor of eight from 2009 to 2015. Global shipments of OLED main cell phone displays will rise to 178 million units in 2015, up from 22.2 million in 2009.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of global shipments of OLED displays for cell-phone main displays.

iSuppli: Global Shipment Forecast of OLED Displays for Use as Main Displays in Mobile Handsets (Thousands of Units)Source: iSuppli, Sept. 2009

“AM-OLEDs deliver superior-quality images compared to conventional LCDs, especially in terms of contrast and response times,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst, small/medium displays, for iSuppli.

“They also consume less power, extending battery life. With smart phones increasingly being used by consumers as their primary Internet-access devices, the ubiquity and extended operation times yielded by AM-OLEDs make them an attractive choice for such cell phones.”

Despite this growth, OLEDs will still only account for a small percentage of total main mobile-handset displays in the coming years, rising to 6 percent of total unit shipments in 2013, up from 2 percent in 2009. The only factors limiting greater penetration is the fact that the AM- OLED market has only a couple of suppliers and a limited number of factories.

Nokia’s new N85 represents the new breed of handsets with relatively large OLED primary displays arriving in the market. The N85 sports a 2.6-inch diagonal AM-OLED with a pixel format of 240 by 320. An iSuppli teardown of the N85 estimates the cost of the AM-OLED at $7.05, compared to $6.50 for an LCD of equivalent size and resolution.

Other new phones equipped with AM-OLED main displays include Samsung’s Impression and i8000 Omnia II.

While some cell phones with OLEDs have been introduced in the past, Jakhanwal said these mainly have taken the form of displays employing Passive-Matrix (PM-OLED) technology and working as secondary screens, due to the inherent size and resolution limitations of PM-OLED displays.

Pixel formats of QVGA, wQVGA and higher can be achieved in AM-OLEDs, making them suitable for larger main displays in mobile phones, Jakhanwal added, and recent price reductions as well as yield improvements have made AM-OLEDs economical in this application.

Because of this, main cell phone displays will surpass secondary screens as the highest-volume application for OLEDs starting in 2010, and will maintain their lead through 2015.

Compared to the overall market dominated by LCD technology, OLEDs for main cell-phone displays represent an attractive growth opportunity. Global unit shipments of OLEDs for the main displays of cell phones will rise at a 41.4 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2009 to 2015, compared to 8 percent for 2009 to 2013 for all types of displays for handsets.

In addition to their use in smartphones, AM-OLEDs can find strong acceptance as 2.2-inch to 2.6-inch QVGA main displays for conventional cell phones, especially if volumes and prices comparable to LCDs can be obtained.

And beyond the other allures offered by OLED, the technology is more environmentally sustainable compared to that of conventional LCDs.

“OLEDs offer a low-power-consumption solution to flat-panel displays, especially when compared to LCDs, without compromising picture quality,” Jakhanwal noted. “OLEDs also have fewer sub-components and contain no mercury or other heavy metals that require special handling, making them easier to recycle.”

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Marvell debuts family of single chip hybrid demodulators for integrated DTVs

BERLIN, GERMANY: Marvell, an industry leader in storage, communications and consumer silicon solutions, announced the Marvell 88DE80xx family of hybrid demodulators.

The Marvell 88DE8020 and 88DE8025 are the first in a family of solutions that Marvell is developing for worldwide TV Radio Frequency (RF) sub-systems. The 88DE8020 and 88DE8025 are single chip hybrid demodulators for Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) and analog video broadcasting worldwide.

The 88DE8020/88DE8025 demodulates Intermediate Frequency (IF) signals from the hybrid tuner and generates Digital Transport Stream and Analog Composite Video with Sound Intermediate Frequency (SIF). The Marvell-designed integrated RF sub-system is designed to enable TV makers to develop a single TV controller chassis for worldwide needs and localize it with region specific tuners and demodulators.

Measuring 7x7mm in a 48-pin QFN package, the Marvell 88DE8020 features very high level integration for the demodulation of Digital Video Broadcasting -- Cable (DVB-C), Digital Video Broadcasting -- Terrestrial (DVB-T) (Annex A and C) and NTSC/PAL/SECAM.

The 88DE8025 is a pin-compatible subset of the 88DE8020 supporting analog and DVB-T demodulation for applications that do not require DVB-C. Typically, TV makers need to provide multiple SAW filters, and separate analog and digital demodulators for integrated digital televisions (iDTVs) that support hybrid terrestrial and cable networks in DVB countries.

The high level of integration in the Marvell 88DE8020 is designed to enable TV manufacturers to develop RF sub-systems that have lower cost, lower power and a slimmer profile.

"Demodulator performance is one of the critical blocks for an immersive viewing experience for digital television sets," said Dr. Nikhil Balram, Vice President and General Manager of the Digital Entertainment Business Unit, Communications and Consumer Business Group at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc.

"We believe the Marvell 88DE80xx solutions for worldwide RF sub-system market to enable our customers to achieve robust reception under varying signal conditions like multi-path, adjacent and co-channel interference and impulse channel noise with Marvell's proprietary ClearRF technology, while also achieving lower cost and lower power through our high integration."

At the IFA 2009 tradeshow in Berlin, Marvell will demonstrate a cost-effective RF sub-system for DVB iDTVs. The demonstration will be at Marvell's Crowne Plaza Suite. Please contact a Marvell representative for more information. A complete evaluation kit with documentation, firmware and Nordig, D-Book and E-Book test results is available upon request.

The Marvell 88DE802x parts are sampling now and will be shipping in the first calendar quarter. Budgetary pricing for 88DE8020 and 88DE8025 are respectively $3.25 and $2.75 for quantities of 500K units or more.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What's the impact of legislation on LEDs?

There is a lot of interest in Europe around the impact of legislation on LEDs. Here's a guest post by Gary Nevison, Head of Legislation, Farnell, A trading division of Premier Farnell UK Ltd.

LEDs background
Light emitting diodes or LEDs are increasingly used for lighting applications and in displays. This trend is due to research into brighter and more energy efficient devices that are able to compete with fluorescent lamps that contain small amounts of mercury.

LED lighting is often used in homes, offices and also in vehicles. Several computer manufacturers now offer laptops with LED displays instead of the standard liquid crystal displays (LCDs). A few LED televisions have also been launched recently.

LED displays are more energy efficient than LCDs in laptop PCs because they do not require the conversion of the standard laptop battery voltages to the high voltages required by LCD backlights. LED lighting is still not as energy efficient as fluorescent lighting but researchers expect to be able to attain higher efficiency in the near future.

The development of LED lighting will affect EU legislation in the future in a variety of ways:

RoHS directive
The RoHS directive has three exemptions for mercury in fluorescent lighting: One for compact fluorescent lamps, one for linear lamps and one for special lamps that are used as LCD backlights.

These exemptions are justified because LED lighting is not yet as energy efficient as fluorescent lighting and the availability of LED displays is very limited at present.

RoHS bans mercury because it is very toxic but infrared and red LEDs contain very small amounts of arsenic which is also very toxic and is a carcinogen. Green and yellow LEDs contain phosphides which are also hazardous substances.

The quantities of arsenic or phosphide used are however very much smaller than the amount of mercury in equivalent light output fluorescent lighting. Another issue is that LED lamp production is an energy intensive process that uses very toxic chemicals and so, ideally, a full life cycle assessment of LED lighting compared with fluorescent lighting should be carried out before changes are made to legislation.

It is clear however that in the future, all three of these RoHS exemptions could be repealed when viable mercury-free alternatives are available.

Energy using Products (EuP) directive
The EuP Directive aims to reduce the amount of energy used by electrical equipment and two EU regulations have been adopted that will restrict the supply of less energy efficient lamps.

Tighter restrictions will be imposed at specific dates in the future (1, 3 and 8 years after entry into force) and LEDs will inevitably be one of the alternative options available, especially when their energy efficiency improves.

REACH regulations
REACH imposes a variety of obligations on manufacturers of electrical equipment, particularly on the use of hazardous substances. Some LEDs contain arsenic and this is likely to be classified as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) and included in the Candidate List. Authorisation may also be a requirement for use of arsenic chemicals in the EU and restrictions are also possible, but unlikely.

Kulicke & Soffa launches ConnX-LED

FORT WASHINGTON, USA: Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. announced the formal launch of ConnX-LEDPSTM automatic ball bonder -— an extension of the company’'s leading ConnXPSTM bonding platform.

With new features and enhancements specifically designed for LED applications, ConnX-LED will help K&S customers increase their efficiency and productivity, and meet the challenges of the fast-paced, high growth LED market.

ConnX-LED offers all of the features required for bonding LED packages, including accuracy to +/- 3.5 m, automatic recovery paths for common production stoppages, programmable back-up power and many others—providing customers with reduced cost of ownership in a highly competitive market space.

ConnX-LED joins iStackPSTM, ICONNPSTM ConnX, and ConnX-VLEDPSTM in Kulicke & Soffa’s Power Series platform, the next generation of semiconductor assembly equipment for today’s most challenging applications. Driven by the most powerful X-Y-Z motion control system available on the market, Power Series products deliver the highest levels of speed, accuracy and throughput for reduced cost of ownership for the segment that the respective model serves.

Scott Kulicke, Chairman and CEO of Kulicke & Soffa: said, “Recent industry research projects a 20 percent annual growth rate in total LED demand through 2012, as LED backlight displays and energy-saving lighting solutions continue to penetrate their market niches. The launch of ConnX-LED is just one of the steps we’ve taken recently to optimize our product portfolio and distribution approach to address this market, one we have not traditionally served. We believe that we are now well positioned with the right products and sales infrastructure to gain meaningful share in this important and growing segment.”

ConnX-LED will debut at the 11th China International Optoelectronics Expo, held at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center in Shenzhen, PRC September 6-9, 2009.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fairchild's 30V MOSFET in power 56 package breaks 1mOhm MAX RDS(ON) barrier

SAN JOSE, USA: Fairchild Semiconductor brings designers of servers, blade servers and routers the industry’s first sub-one mOhm 30V MOSFET in a Power 56 package.

This 30V MOSFET, the FDMS7650, functions as a load switch or an ORing FET. In server farms, these ORing FETs are used when many power supplies are arranged in parallel to share the load. Dissipating less power and delivering higher efficiency is critical for the overall efficiency of these server farms because the FETs are continually on.

The FDMS7650 is the first in Power56 packaging to break the 1mOhm barrier with a MAX RDS(ON) of only 0.99mOhm, reducing conduction losses and improving the overall efficiency of the application. This 30V MOSFET can deliver the same total RDS(ON) with half the number of FETs. As an example, in a typical application using 2.0mOhm MOSFETs, the solution would require twice the number of FETs.

The FDMS7650 is able to achieve this groundbreaking RDS(ON) through Fairchild's advanced-performance PowerTrench® MOSFET technology. This technology yields an exceptionally low RDS(ON), total gate charge (QG) and Miller Charge (QGD) – enhancements that result in high efficiency by minimizing conduction and switching losses.

This power MOSFET is one of Fairchild’s many MOSFETs that offer compelling advantages in power designs. Good examples are Fairchild’s 30V Dual N-Channel MOSFETs, the FDMC8200 and FDMS9600. The FDMC8200 typically features an RDS(ON) of 24mOhm on the high side and 9.5mOhm on the low side, enhancing efficiency in DC-DC applications.

The FDMS9600 offers synchronous Buck applications, an optimal power stage through low switching losses on the high side MOSFET and low conduction losses on the low side SyncFET MOSFET.

Avnet Electronics and NMB ink distribution agreement

PHOENIX & CHATSWORTH, USA: NMB Technologies Corp., a Minebea Group company, and the Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas business region of Avnet Inc. have signed a distribution agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Avnet in the Americas will market NMB’s comprehensive line of more than 100 AC and DC axial fans and blowers, ranging in size from 25mm to 173mm.

NMB has over 50 years of experience in the development of AC/DC axial fans and blowers for use in personal computing, networking, telecommunications, home entertainment and electronics, automotive, medical and industrial market applications. Together with Avnet’s technical expertise and supply chain service solutions, the two companies can provide tailored services and cooling products to meet customers’ exact needs.

“Avnet has a reputation as a leader across all the cooling markets we want to explore. This represents a great opportunity for NMB, as our focus is on total thermal management solutions,” said Ed Gomez, distribution manager for NMB Technologies Corporation.

“NMB’s portfolio of AC and DC solutions is uniquely positioned to meet the thermal management needs and challenges of today’s complex designs,” said Alex Iuorio, senior vice president of supplier management for Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas. “NMB and Avnet offer customers the quality and reliability they come to expect in products and the design expertise and services that will help them complete those designs faster and speed their time to market.”

Thursday, September 3, 2009

APC intros MGE Galaxy 7000 offering compact and high efficiency UPS

BANGALORE, INDIA: The introduction of MGE Galaxy 7000 offers new levels of high efficiency power protection for IT and other mission critical equipment. Its digital design coupled with a comprehensive range of options enables the new UPS to be fully adapted for use in a range of applications from large data centres to industrial and manufacturing operations.

In data centre applications, the MGE Galaxy 7000 meets the combined need for high levels of power availability and runtime in a small footprint. In standard form, the new UPS as unitary can support a load from 250 kVA to 500kVA and provide up to two hours autonomy in the event of a mains power failure.

Its compact size, back to back or back to wall installation enables more room to be utilised for other equipments in the technical room than traditional UPS systems. What’s more, the UPS can be upgraded to ensure available and secure power infrastructure for current as well as future demands.

At the same time, MGE Galaxy 7000 boasts a 94.5 percent efficiency rating in double conversion mode (up to 97 percent in optional economy mode) and therefore enables customers to reduce energy wastage as well as operating expenses. The MGE Galaxy 7000 will therefore be of equal interest to organisations with an interest in “greening” their power infrastructure as well as those that are simply cost conscious.

“While energy efficiency is the need of the hour, our customers also want cost effective, adaptable solutions to address their critical power needs for assured business continuity.

APC by Schneider Electric is committed to making energy safe, reliable and efficient. The new Galaxy 7000 offers an energy efficient IGBT rectifier and a rating as high as 500kVA. This will help meet high standards of efficiency required by most mission critical equipments,” said Shrinivas Chebbi, CGM & President - India, APC by Schneider Electric.

"The new MGE Galaxy 7000 also offers redundancy options to assure our customers of highest level of power protection," he added.

Standard features include a new and unique transformer less UPS topology, built in static switch and maintenance by-pass, plus an IGBT rectifier with power factor correction for low input current total harmonic distortion.

MGE Galaxy 7000 also features cold start, soft start, walk-in charger and inrush current limit for compatibility with generator sets. The full redundancy of its cooling system provides a high level of reliability. The new UPS also supports modular paralleling for power upgrades or additional redundancy, and can be incorporated into a wide variety of high availability architectures.

Its 0,9 output power factor provides more available kW to be fully compliant with the latest power factor corrected IT loads.

The MGE Galaxy 7000 has been designed for ease of installation as well as maintenance. All connectors and switches are either incorporated or accessible from the front of the new system and therefore no access is required via side or rear panels either during installation or operation. The MGE Galaxy 7000 is also supplied ready for connection to all standard earthing arrangements.

To ensure available runtime and maximise battery life, MGE Galaxy 7000 Lifecycle Monitoring incorporates Digibat programmable battery monitoring to automatically test battery levels at specified intervals, without the need to discharge the batteries. This feature provides a realistic assessment of available power back-up and battery life expectancy whilst reducing ongoing maintenance costs.

As a further option, the system may be specified with Cellwatch or B2000, utilities which provide continuous check for each of the battery block. Using trend curves, these systems provide an early warning system against the emergence of battery failures and promote proactive maintenance for enhanced system uptime.

For the highest levels of manageability, the MGE Galaxy 7000 is fully compatible with APC remote management tools and can be easily monitored and controlled from anywhere on the network.

In addition to the Ethernet, it is also compatible with other communications protocols including J-Bus/Mod-Bus and relay contacts. A high definition front panel display, with intuitive man-machine graphical interface, ensures that the UPS can be managed locally, safely and effectively.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pickering Interfaces launches 60-511 low thermal EMF 56x33 EMR matrix

CLACTON-ON-SEA, UK: Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of customer focused LXI switch matrices with the introduction of the 60-511 Low Thermal EMF 56x33 EMR (Electromechanical Relay) Matrix.

The 60-511 provides a compact solution for applications requiring low thermal EMF errors for data acquisition and low voltage measurements. Careful attention to the design of the 60-511 has led to a thermal EMF of typically less than 1.5┬ÁV. The 60-511 is implemented in a compact 2U rack mountable enclosure.

The 60-511 user connections are provided by commercially available 25 way and 37 way D Type connectors which are fully supported by the range of Pickering Interfaces cable and connector accessories, further simplifying customer integration requirements. The 60-511 is pin compatible with the Pickering Interfaces 60-510 low thermal EMF reed relay matrix.

The 60-511 has several advantages over the established 60-510, offering improved low thermal EMF performance & higher switching capacity at a significantly lower price.