Friday, April 30, 2010

FIST SA publishes new report on lithium metal phosphate batteries patent landscape

PARIS, FRANCE: In the current roadmap on emerging battery technologies, LiMPO4 cathodes raises high hope concerning the possibility of efficient energy storage at high charge and discharge rate, thus raising the technical potential of hybrid and plug‐in hybrid electric vehicles as well as wind and solar energy storage. The patent war has already started in this sector: more than 1100 patents have been filed and a growth rate of 50% of new published patent in 2009!

This report identifies all protected solutions and provides a comprehensive panorama of the intellectual property landscape in LiMPO4 batteries sector.

Report highlights
* Strong attractiveness of the sector - Very high research and patenting activity in the last years with a strong rise of new entrants as of 2005 (new applicants represent half the number of total applicants in 2008).
* Strategic protection of battery manufacturers but also of institutional laboratories and of end-users companies on their specific applications.
* Map of patent protection and dependency – While a “patent war” has been engaged for a long time concerning the Dr. Goodenough key patent, other actors are building up their portfolio notably in China where this key patent is not extended.
* Segmentation by type of material – Strategic positioning of the actors on LiFePO4 cathodes (60%) but also other metal or combinations of metals (Mn, Co, V, Ni, etc...) (20 percent).
* Applicant’s strategy - Analysis of the patent strategy of current major players which are not necessarily the major patent holders (Sony, Toyota, A123 SYSTEMS, Valence…). The question can be raised for a few of them of their possibility to evolve rapidly enough to maintain their market position towards better protected competitors.

Pulse's high efficiency stubby antennae enable global cellular network access

SAN DIEGO, USA: Pulse, a Technitrol Company (NYSE:TNL), a worldwide leader in electronic component and subassembly design and manufacturing, has introduced its new family of stubby external antennae.

With an efficiency of more than 55 percent in all bands and a height of less than 50mm, Pulse's antennae enable wireless devices to access the major cellular networks worldwide. They provide a reliable wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) connection in applications such as smart metering, monitoring, industrial controls, and data-logging.

The stubby antennae cover frequency bands 824-960 and 1710-1990 MHz for all widely used cellular bands for 2G, 2.5G and 3G applications. They have a peak gain of 1 dBi in the 824–960 MHz range, 2 dBi in the 1710–1990 MHz range, and 2.5 dBi in the 1920–2170 MHz range, with an impedance of 50 Ohms. Operating temperatures range from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius.

Pulse's stubby cellular antennae come in two configurations. The W1900 and W1902 are straight antennas for connection to the top of a device or modem while the W1910 and W1911 have a right angle for a side connection. The W1910/11 is 49mm high and the W1900/02 is 49.5mm.

The peak radiated efficiency for Pulse's stubby antennae ranges from 50 percent to 65 percent, which is the percentage of the original radio signal which is actually radiated from the antenna. The higher the efficiency, the less power is needed from the radio and the more economical the design. A lower efficiency antenna requires amplification which draws more current, thereby increasing energy consumption. Greater signal strength provides higher efficiency resulting in higher system integrity.

“This new family of stubby antennas is a great addition to the expanding Pulse M2M antenna range,” explained Elaine Baxter, marketing manager, Pulse Wireless Devices Antenna Division. “These cellular antennas are reliable and come in small form factors that enable companies to quickly bring their wireless M2M modems to market.”

Pulse's stubby cellular antennas are packaged in quantities of 20 each. Antennas come standard with SMA male connectors and are available with SMA RP-male versions with additional connector options to follow. Pricing and lead times are available upon request.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

On RoHS development boards!

This is a contribution by Farnell's Gary Nevison

UK: The status of development kits and evaluation boards under the RoHS Directive has always been unclear and hotly debated within the electronics industry with, as yet, no legally binding decisions being made.

The German government decided many years ago that printed circuit boards sold separately to users to, for example, increase computer memory or add new functions to PCs would be regarded as separate products within the scope of the RoHS and WEEE directives even though these do not have their own enclosures or an individual power supply.

All other States in the European Union (EU) are now of the same opinion. The RoHS directive’s scope is electrical and electronic equipment that is in categories 1-7 and 10 of the WEEE directive. There is no requirement for products to have their own enclosures and they can use any power source including batteries, USB cables etc.

The RoHS directive does not limit its scope except that the product should depend on electricity to function and so clearly single PCBs sold, loaned or given separately to users will be in scope if their main functions are one of the eight RoHS categories.

The only published guidance on development kits and evaluation boards is available from the UK RoHS enforcement body NMO. This states:

Semiconductor evaluation boards
The term Evaluation boards covers a broad range of products from some fairly simple products to fully integrated complex systems. In most cases an evaluation board is effectively a single board computer allowing connection of peripherals and/or input devices to facilitate the programming and testing of chips.

Therefore, most evaluation boards are included under Category 3 IT Equipment of the WEEE directive and must therefore comply with RoHS. On rare occasions these boards may be considered consumables and fall outside the scope of RoHS as described in the commission FAQ

This implies that most types of evaluation board are effectively single board computers and so are in category 3 of the WEEE directive. This is correct for any product whose main function is IT and these will be in scope of the RoHS directive.

It is therefore clear that any development boards that are intended to be used to program ICs will be in scope. NMO admit that some evaluation boards will not be in category 3 although they only mention consumables as examples of those that will be outside scope.

Although most evaluation boards provide information as their main function and so are in scope of RoHS, there will be some exceptions. Category 3 is specifically “information technology and telecommunications equipment” and so not simply the provision of “information” such as the time that would be obtained by an electrically powered clock (regarded as category 4) or a measurement instrument (that might provide information on temperature etc.), which would be in category 9 and so currently excluded from RoHS.

Evaluation boards are available for example for designing lithium battery charger circuits. These have no IT function (so not category 3) and are not intended to charge lithium batteries (so not category 6 – tools). In fact there does not appear to be any WEEE categories that are appropriate for this type of evaluation board.

In conclusion therefore, most single PCBs supplied as evaluation boards will be in scope of RoHS, especially if they have an IT function as most types do. There will be some exceptions however and so it is necessary to review the main functions of each type of board on a case by case basis to determine whether they need to comply with RoHS.

Where there is any doubt, only the courts can give a legally binding opinion and so in most cases it will be better to comply. It is illegal to place non-compliant in-scope evaluation boards and development kits on the EU market. If the producer does not know whether the product is in–scope but knows that it does not comply and the authorities investigate, they would take action if they believe that they are in-scope.

With thanks to Dr. Paul Goodman of ERA Technology, trading as Cobham Technical Services

Major Taiwanese LED maker places an order for new QC3 diffractometer from Jordan Valley for LED process control

MIGDAL HA'EMEK, ISRAEL: Jordan Valley Semiconductors Ltd. (JVS), a leading provider of advanced metrology solutions for the semiconductor industries, has received multiple orders for its new QC3(tm) diffractometer system from leading LED manufacturers, including Jiangsu Canyang Optroelectronics Ltd (CanYang), a major LED chip manufacturer in Asia.

QC3 is designed and optimized to provide best cost/performance quality control systems for high-brightness LED (HB-LED) manufacturing.

Overall, the HB-LED market is forecast to grow from $5.3 billion in 2009 to $20.2 billion in 2014, which represents a CAGR of 30.6 percent, as cited by Robert V. Steele PhD, Director, Optoelectronics at Strategies Unlimited, at the Strategies in Light Conference in February 2010.

"The purchase of the QC3 system by a market leader such as Can Yang is a testament to Jordan Valley's successful acquisition of Bede in 2008 and leveraging of its technology," said Isaac Mazor, CEO of JVS. "We vastly improved the speed and effectiveness of this metrology tool, while reducing its price, in order to offer an unparalleled cost /performance solution to the rapidly-expanding HB-LED manufacturing market."

Embodying the advantages of the company's other solutions in the semiconductor quality control niche, the QC3 has been configured to provide symmetric and asymmetric measurements for all common semiconductor wafers, such as GaAs, InP, Si, GaN (thick buffers). QC3 is designed for ease of use, reliability, and high performance at unmatched low cost-of-ownership.

CanYang's selection of the JVS's QC3 tool is based on CanYang policy of employing only the most advanced quality control systems in their LED production process. Jordan Valley's solution provides the fastest throughput and highest level of precision and automation, in the most cost-efficient system offered today.

The QC3 tool includes fast reciprocal space mapping in less than 1 minute and 300mm wafer stage with custom wafer-size settings for multiple wafers, as well as full robot automation systems offered for comprehensive factory automation. QC3 hardware is based on JVS's 300mm fully-automated tool range, which provides the ultimate tool stability, throughput and handling.

Recently introduced, the QC3 tool is now available in volume orders, with a delivery schedule of 90 days ARO. QC3 is manufactured by Jordan Valley Semiconductors UK.

Cree revolutionizes high-efficiency switching with Z-Rec 1700-V junction barrier Schottky diode series

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. has announced the industry’s first commercially available Z-Rec 1700-V Junction Barrier Schottky (JBS) diode products. Leveraging silicon carbide’s unique advantages over silicon to virtually eliminate diode switching losses, these diodes are targeted at high-voltage power-conversion applications in motor-drive, wind-energy and traction systems.

Initial products in the 1700-V series include 10-A and 25-A JBS diodes in die form, ready for integration into 1700-V power modules ranging from 50 to 600-A. The new 1700-V JBS series can increase the efficiency, reliability and longevity of power systems while also reducing the overall system size, weight and cost.

“The 1700-V diodes extend our leadership in energy-efficient power systems for data-center and solar-power markets to new markets such as wind-energy, train, tram and electric-vehicle power converters,” said Cengiz Balkas, Cree, vice president and general manager, Power and RF.

“Cree has the diodes of choice when high-efficiency power systems are a must. The advantages of silicon carbide are clear, and for high-voltage, high-frequency systems, you can’t afford not to use SiC.”

“ABB has been closely involved with the development of SiC technology for many years,” said Francisco Canales, senior principal scientist, ABB Corporate Research.

“SiC diodes and switches provide an important step forward in technology that allows the increase of operation frequency, reduced size and weight while providing state-of-the-art efficiency in applications such as motor drives and solar inverters. The 1700-V devices now being launched by Cree are an important step in the development of this technology.”

Cree XLamp LEDs now available mounted on PCBs at Newark

CHICAGO, USA: Newark a leading multi-channel, high-service electronics distributor in the Americas and part of the global Premier Farnell Group, announced that it is the one of the first distributors to offer Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) with Cree XLamp LEDs already mounted on them. The PCBs are sold under the SPC Technology label, one of Newark’s exclusive brands.

Cree’s lighting class XLamp MC-E, XR-E, XP-C and XP-E LEDs are available on star boards or on round boards, with as many as 11 LEDs per board, for same-day shipping.

“Lighting engineers no longer have to use their valuable time mounting multiple LEDs to a board or lining up a board house to do it for them,” comments Jeff Uden, VP, Product Management, Newark. “We worked with Cree to develop a simple and affordable turnkey solution.”

“By offering board-mounted Cree XLamp LEDs, Newark is helping drive the LED lighting revolution,” said Mark Despotes, VP Channel Sales, Cree. “This simplifies the design-in process which can shorten the time-to-market for new LED lighting products.”

Newark offers a broad portfolio of Cree products from high-brightness LEDs and high-power XLamp LEDs to silicon carbide Schottky diodes to gallium nitride HEMTs for wireless applications.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

MAIT welcomes draft e-waste (Management and Handling Rules), 2010; compliance to ROHS stressed

BANGALORE, INDIA: MAIT, the apex body representing the interest of IT hardware industry in India congratulated the Union Minister of State for Environment & Forests, Shri Jairam Ramesh on making the draft ‘e-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2010’ public.

Putting the draft rules in the public domain is a part of the Government process of rule making. These shall remain in the pubic domain ( for receiving comments from the public and stakeholders for a period of two months.

Welcoming the rules, MAIT Executive Director, Vinnie Mehta said: “The recently announced new set of rules for environmentally sound management of e-waste is the need of the hour. E-waste is one of the world’s fastest growing waste streams and with increased consumption of IT and electronics products, India will soon be faced with the challenges of managing the same. Currently, an estimated three lakh eighty thousand metric tonnes of e-waste is generated annually in India. To address the issue of e-waste in India, MAIT along with GTZ, Greenpeace and Toxicslink had recommended to the Government a set of draft rules in August 2009.”

“Detailed liabilities and obligations of all stakeholders have been clearly spelt out in the proposed rules. The draft rules lay emphasis on responsibility of the producers – manufacturers and vendors, including financial responsibility, extending beyond the sales of equipment and setting up of take-back systems for effective management and handling of e-waste.

“Further, all stakeholders including the dealers, refurbishers, dismantlers, collectors, recyclers and the government agencies for implementation and monitoring have to execute their responsibilities in tandem. The draft rules also advocate RoHS – the need to Restrict Hazardous Substances in the electronics equipment. An attempt has been made to simplify the various procedures for better compliance.” added Mehta.

Reassuring the IT hardware industry’s commitment towards managing and minimising e-waste, Mehta said: “Most IT brands have already taken proactive measures for controlling and managing e-waste resulting from their products. Most IT products being offered in the market today are RoHS (Restrictions on Hazardous Substances) compliant. Further, leading brands today have set up their own take-back and collections systems. With the rules now being formally announced, we expect greater compliance from all stakeholders.”

Antenova announces DATANOVA 4G nine-band global LTE mobile broadband antenna

CAMBRIDGE, UK: Antenova Ltd, the integrated antenna and RF solutions company, announced its new DATANOVA 4G high performance nine-band antenna with LTE and GPS for the new generation of lightweight notebooks and netbooks.

Antenova’s full diversity DATANOVA 4G nine-band antenna covers LTE bands 4, 7, 13 and 17, and provides 3G cellular and WWAN, convenient next-generation WiMAX and Wi-Fi connectivity plus embedded GPS for location aware applications.

“With 64 operators already committed to LTE network deployments in 31 countries, many of our Tier 1 notebook vendors are gearing up for LTE rollouts,” stated Greg McCray, CEO of Antenova.

“DATANOVA 4G is the latest addition to our successful range of multi-band mobile broadband antennas and part of Antenova’s expanding range of LTE and WiMAX antenna solutions for 4G mobile devices. DATANOVA 4G is the ideal solution for notebook and netbook vendors wanting to offer the widest range of cellular, mobile broadband and wireless connectivity features in small, lightweight portable devices. With the inclusion of GPS in a single antenna structure, users can experience and enjoy the growing range of location based services and applications.”

DATANOVA 4G is a custom mobile broadband antenna which covers LTE, 3G, CDMA/GSM, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, UWB and GPS. Like the other DATANOVA mobile broadband antennae, it can cover all or as many of the bands and provides the widest choice of wireless broadband connectivity options while providing superior performance.

DATANOVA antennae provide manufacturers the ultimate in embedded wireless connectivity by eliminating the need for exposed or unsightly external antennae and come in small volume, low profile form factors - down to 0.8mm in width (width of a pcb) for ultra thin and lightweight notebooks and netbooks.

DATANOVA antennae can be found in mobile broadband enabled notebook computers and netbooks from leading vendors worldwide, including the Dell Adamo XPS – the world’s thinnest notebook at only 9.99mm in height/thickness.

Boston-Power brings innovative Li-ion battery technology to medical device and equipment market

WESTBOROUGH, USA: Boston-Power Inc., the rapidly growing provider of next-generation lithium-ion batteries, is responding to strong customer and partner demand by bringing its industry-leading lithium-ion battery technology to the multi-billion dollar global medical device and equipment market.

Boston-Power’s lithium-ion battery cells deliver unmatched levels of long life, fast charge and safety to a market that demands the most stringent standards of battery reliability to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care.

With an aging population requiring access to medical diagnosis and treatment in homes and remote locations, and U.S. healthcare spending at an estimated $2.5 trillion in 2009 (according to a report issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), medical device and equipment makers today must rely on innovative technology to deliver the most effective solutions.

Whether in fixed-base facilities or in the field, healthcare organizations and care-givers require ever-increasing levels of mobility. As these providers continue to adopt portable technology, a chief concern for the device and equipment manufacturers that serve them is delivering the increased battery performance necessary to enable safe, reliable portability.

Boston-Power’s lithium-ion cells are an ideal solution for these demands, providing predictable performance with an extended cycle life, long runtime, new levels of safety and a commitment to environmental sustainability.

“There is growing demand within the medical device and equipment market for safe, reliable and long lasting battery technology to support the many portable devices now being used to provide healthcare services and those that will be available in the future,” said Sally Bament, Boston-Power Vice President of Marketing.

“Boston-Power’s lithium-ion battery technology was designed for the demands of this market, delivering long life, fast charge, safety and environmental sustainability. We designed our cells to be applicable to a wide range of portable power applications. The medical device and equipment market is a great example of how our award-winning batteries meet the key requirements in a demanding, rapidly expanding industry sector.”

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Global OLED market worth $2.2 billion by 2014

DALLAS, USA: According to a new market research report, 'Opportunities in the Global OLED Display Market', published by MarketsandMarkets, the global OLED product market is expected to be worth $2.2 billion by 2014, growing at a CAGR of 24.7 percent from 2009 to 2014.

The Asia-Pacific market is expected to account for nearly 90 percent of the total market revenues by production and 65 percent by consumption.

This research report presents an in-depth analysis of the markets for the two major types of OLEDs, namely passive matrix OLEDs (PMOLEDs) and active matrix OLEDs (AMOLEDs).

The report tracks the major OLED application markets - i.e. display panels and sub-displays - as well as the end-application markets, which cover the use of OLEDs in products such mobile phones, mp3 players, television, and electronic displays. Each market has been analyzed for the four main geographies of North America, Europe, Asia, and ROW.

The global OLED market is expected grow from 102.3 million units in 2007 to 349.73 million units in 2014 at a CAGR of 24.46 percent from 2009 to 2014. In 2007, PMOLEDs constituted 86.8 percent of the total OLED market, while the AMOLED market is likely to have the highest CAGR of 56.48 percent.

The PMOLED market dominates due to the early commercialization of products, and the widespread applications in mp3 players and sub displays. But over the forecast period AMOLEDs generate higher market penetration in terms of unit shipment as well as revenues.

Microsemi one-port PoE manager delivers 51W with full IEEE802.3at-2009 compliance

IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp., a leading manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors, has announced a one-port Power-over-Ethernet manager capable of delivering 51 watts to powered devices while still complying with stringent IEEE802.3at-2009 requirements.

System designers also can go well beyond the IEEE standard to safely deliver up to 75W of power by using two of the new Microsemi PoE chipset devices over four pairs of Ethernet cable.

The IEEE802.3at-2009 standard defines sourcing of 30W over two pairs of Ethernet cable, guaranteeing delivery of 25.5W to powered devices across distances of up to 100m.The standard does not preclude delivering power over all 4-pairs in a CAT5 cable. Thus, the PD69101 enables customers to build four-pair PSEs that can deliver 51W of fully standards-compliant power to a PD.

Microsemi's new PD69101 PoE manager can be used to develop a wide variety of power sourcing equipment including switches, routers and specialized platforms including PoE-enabled TVs and set-top boxes. These platforms can be used to cost-effectively provide higher levels of managed power to a broader range of Ethernet devices in small-office, home-office and residential applications including WiMAX transmitters, pan-tilt-zoom cameras, fiber-to-the-home optical network terminators and outdoor xDSL/cable modems.

The PD69101 requires only 10 external components to create a complete PoE solution. Its synchronous four-pair implementation cuts the component count of front-end PoE PD designs in half, compared to alternative asynchronous four-pair solutions.

The PD69101 includes the advanced features of Microsemi's IEEE802.3at-compliant single-port PD64001 and other multi-port PSE PoE manager solutions, including detection of pre-standard devices, direct LED-driving capabilities, and two-event classification, which removes the need for LLDP software. Microsemi's PD69101-based solutions dissipate half the power of alternative solutions -- 0.58W in standard-power mode and 0.79W in high-power 2-pairsIEEE802.3at operating mode.

"The PD69101 allows manufacturers to build IEEE802.3at-compliant Ethernet switches without the need for any special software configuration," said Daniel Feldman, Director of Marketing, Power over Ethernet, at Microsemi. "With its extremely small footprint and streamlined system component requirements, the PD69101 is a breakthrough in simplicity, affordability and power efficiency."

Supporting a guaranteed maximum current of 1000mA, more than the 600mA defined in IEEE802.3at-2009, the PD69101 manager enables manufacturers to build switches that can drive devices consuming up to 37.5W with 2-pairs or 75W with 4-pairs over CAT5e cables.

"Early adopters of the PD9501G and PD-AS-951 have validated market need for PoE solutions that can drive more than 25.5W," said Feldman. "Now switch manufacturers can address the market desire for higher power with the PD69101. In addition to the new PD69101 programs, it is significant that we have also seen continued success in our traditional multi-port market on new IEEE802.3at-2009-compliant switches, many of them ramping up into production."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Arrow Electronics signs global distribution pact with ST-Ericsson

MELVILLE, USA: Arrow Electronics Inc. has signed a global distribution agreement with ST-Ericsson.

Arrow customers can now take advantage of ST-Ericsson’s complete line of products, platforms and connectivity solutions, while ST-Ericsson will benefit from Arrow’s global distribution network serving 125,000 customers through more than 310 locations worldwide.

Launched last year, ST-Ericsson is a world leader in wireless platforms and semiconductors. The company offers a broad range of connectivity solutions, including cutting-edge mobile technologies, USB solutions and power management, from components through complete integrated solutions.

“This is an exciting time to partner with ST-Ericsson at this early stage in their company’s development,” said Jeff Eastman, senior vice president of marketing and asset management for Arrow Electronics.

“ST-Ericsson is well-poised for success and we look forward to working together to expand their network and maximize the strength of their product line and connectivity solutions.”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ACL Semiconductors sales up 45 percent in 2009 to $304.7 million

HONG KONG: ACL Semiconductors Inc., one of Asia's largest distributors of memory chip products, announced that net sales for fiscal year 2009 increased 45 percent to $304.7 million compared to net sales of $209.6 million (restated) in fiscal year 2008.

Sales in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009 increased 57 percent to $90 million. Net income in fiscal year 2009 totaled $2.9 million compared to a loss of $(172,872) in fiscal year 2008. Income before income taxes totaled $3.6 million in 2009 compared to a loss the previous year. Gross profit increased to $8.5 million in 2009, a 104 percent improvement compared to $4.2 million in 2008.

The Company, which is one of the largest distributors of Samsung memory products for Hong Kong and Southern China, said increased sales was due to increasing demand, limited supplies, and higher selling prices. ACL said that its improved financial performance also occurred because of a decrease in bank interest expense due to a reduction in external financing.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sales of Carmanah 650 solar LED signaling lights reach 7,000 units

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA: With a recent order from Dubai-based PTL Solar for 1,000 units, sales of Carmanah Technology Corp.'s 650 series solar LED aviation and marine signaling lights have now exceeded 7,000 units since the line’s launch in mid-2009.

The recent order from PTL Solar is destined for airfields in the Middle East and will be deployed to improve airfield safety and enhance operational efficiency. The A650 has been installed in locations worldwide, including defense bases throughout the Middle East and Europe, and commercial airport installations in the Americas and Africa.

Self-contained and self-powered, the A650 provides quick and easy deployment, making it ideal for expedited airfields and temporary marking of airfield obstructions. Designed to meet applicable ICAO and FAA Taxiway specifications, the versatile A650 solar LED light is in use as permanent primary lighting, temporary marking lighting, emergency backup lighting, and expedited portable lighting.

Carmanah distributor Prabissh Thomas of PTL Solar said: “In the Middle East/Africa region, airfield lights must perform reliably under incredibly harsh desert environments. With an operating temperature range of -45º to 190 ºF, the A650 is a failsafe choice for PTL’s commercial and defense airfield customers.”

The A650’s counterpart, the M650 has also seen uptake in the marine market as a highly reliable short-range visual aids-to-navigation light.

“The 650 signalling product line has had an impressive uptake since last year’s launch,” says Ted Lattimore, Carmanah CEO. “We believe a large part of the interest our customers are showing in the 650 revolves around the product’s rugged design, portability and ease of programming. A replaceable battery pack also extends the product’s life expectancy well beyond a decade, delivering an extremely low total cost of ownership.”

In addition to the success and continued growth of 650 sales through Carmanah’s own global distributor network, the marine and aviation product lines are expected to achieve overall growth in 2010 thanks, in part, to new strategic partnerships. “Together with our partners ADB Airfield Solutions and Sabik Oy, we are expanding our channels to market and maximizing the potential for the growth of our entire aviation and marine signaling product lines around the world,” Lattimore added.

Carmanah and PTL solar will be demonstrating Carmanah’s complete line of solar LED airfield lights at the Airport Show in Dubai, April 25-27.

iWatt announces world’s first 64 channel LED backlight driver chip for LCD-TVs

LOS GATOS, USA: iWatt Inc., a leader in digital power IC products and technology, has announced its iW7040, the world’s first 64 channel LED backlight IC.

The iW7040 reduces direct backlit LCD-TV costs by $10-$15 per TV and makes it easier for TV manufacturers to achieve Energy Star 5.0 requirements by reducing power consumption 5-10 watts per TV. The cost and power consumption improvements are based on comparing to products that were previously the best in class.

The new iW7040 provides similarly compelling advantages when used in segmented edge backlight solutions. This is a key milestone as iWatt focuses its strategic direction on power ICs for AC-DC and DC-DC applications.

In order to fund its IC businesses for the foreseeable future, iWatt today announced the IKOR power module division has been sold to Integrated Device Technology Inc.

“The sale of IKOR will allow iWatt to fund the rapid development of new products in 3 major growth markets, LED Lighting, LCD-TV Backlighting and AC-DC ICs for cell phone chargers and network adapters,” said Ron Edgerton, President and CEO of iWatt.

“March was a record month for revenue and units shipped. Q1’10 revenue increased over 70 percent as compared to Q1’09 and the remainder of 2010 is projected to continue rapid growth. We are expanding our Asia Design Support Center which will be moving into a new building to accommodate our growth in 2010 and beyond,” Edgerton added.

iWatt is a leader in the emerging Solid State LED lighting market. The company’s iW36XX series AC/DC PWM controller ICs are the first LED driver ICs for 5W-40W luminaires with primary side regulation that eliminates the need for an opto-coupler and related components thereby reducing BOM cost, enabling the smallest form factor and significantly improving MTBF. iWatt’s dimmable LED driver ICs automatically detect dimmer type and operate seamlessly with existing wall dimmers available worldwide.

iWatt’s AC/DC ICs for handset wall chargers and network adapters are leaders in delivering efficient power solutions. iWatt’s suite of AC/DC ICs offer the lowest BOM cost, the highest performance and the smallest form factor while exceeding all industry standards for energy rating and efficiency.

The iW1696C is the only IC that can meet the upcoming USB3.0 specs for Universal Chargers and is available today. An iWatt IC is used in the world’s first zero stand-by power cell phone charger that is slated for shipment by a major telecom operator in North America.

As part of its entry into the LCD-TV Power Management marketplace, iWatt plans to release several platform products for LED backlight and power supply over the next 12 months. The initial platform product, iW7040 is the world’s first 64 channel LED backlight IC for LCD-TVs.

Customers can significantly reduce BOM cost while minimizing wasted power by up to 60 percent. Superior TV image quality is achieved due to efficient LCD display system power management. The iW7040 helps the LCD-TV achieve the lowest wattage possible today thereby exceeding all worldwide TV energy standards and enables TV manufacturers to achieve the forthcoming Energy Star v5.0 compliant power efficiency today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

OKI expands scale of reed switch production

TOKYO, JAPAN: OKI Electric Industry announced that OKI Sensor Device, a wholly-owned subsidiary that designs, manufactures, and sells reed switches plans to expand its production space by 50 percent. Furthermore, the expansion will make it possible to increase annual production also by 50 percent. The new facility will come online in October 2010.

Production processes has been handled at two different manufacturing facilities. By integrating them into a single facility in Kofu City, the company is seeking to enhance productivity and expand market share in response to demand from various sectors experiencing significant current growth, including the automotive industry.

OKI Sensor Device currently holds the world's leading share in the reed switch market, manufacturing 300 million reed switches annually. Reed switches are turned on/off by electromagnetic induction, which brings contact points together.

These devices are currently used for various applications, including IC testers, home security equipment, and home appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, and rice cookers. Their scope of application continues to expand.

Recognizing the need to enhance production efficiency and increase capacity to meet the growing demand, OKI Sensor Device has decided to consolidate its two production facilities located in Yamanashi Prefecture. The company will transfer and integrate sealing process procedures to the Kofu City facility, expanding the total floor space of the facility by around 1,300m2 (by 50 percent) and achieving an integrated production line.

"The upgraded facility will manufacture reed switches through an integrated process which shortens lead time," comments Tetsuya Takayashiki, President and CEO of OKI Sensor Device, "allowing us to boost production capacity from 300 million to 400 million units annually by the end of fiscal 2012. The integrated manufacturing process will also dramatically reduce environmental impact."

Moving forward, OKI Sensor Device plans to meet a diverse range of customer needs by enhancing production systems, reliability, and functionality, in addition to reducing device costs and dimensions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Clare intros new high-voltage LED driver

BEVERLY, USA: Clare Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of IXYS Corp., announced the immediate availability of the CPC9909 High-Voltage HB LED driver.

The CPC9909 can drive from a few to hundreds of HB LEDs in-series and/or parallel combinations in a constant peak-current control topology. Manufactured using Clare’s 550V BCDMOS Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) process, the CPC9909 operates directly off a rectified AC voltage supply, and does not require any additional low voltage supplies. LED brightness can be controlled via the pulse frequency modulation (PWM) or linear dimming inputs.

CPC9909’s PWM with a constant peak-current control scheme is inherently stable, thereby allowing the driver to be operated above 50% duty cycle without loop instability or sub-harmonic oscillations. LED dimming can be implemented by applying a small DC voltage to the LD pin, or by applying a low frequency PWM signal to the PWMD pin.

Dr. Nathan Zommer, CEO of IXYS Corp., said: “The CPC9909 joins the expanding family of HVICs that our technologists have developed in our own proprietary high voltage SOI process for power management applications. By enabling direct off AC line LED control, we bring cost effective solutions for the expanding LED general lighting applications and especially for backlighting of large area LCD displays and TVs. The ease of dimming control with DC or PWM inputs allows for digital control using our specialized line of Zilog MCUs with on board PWM outputs.”

The CPC9909 is well suited for a variety of solid state HB LED lighting applications such as flat-panel display RGB backlighting, signage, decorative, LED lighting, and DC/DC or AC/DC LED driver applications. The CPC9909N is fully RoHS compliant and available in a standard 8-lead SOIC package, and the CPC9909NE is available in a thermally-enhanced (50 degrees C/W thermal resistance, junction-to-ambient) 8-lead SOIC package for higher ambient or power applications.

DOE selects Planar Energy for Oak Ridge National Lab collaborative R&D program

ORLANDO, USA: Planar Energy, the developer of large-format, solid-state, ceramic-like batteries at half the cost and triple the performance of lithium-ion batteries, is one of four companies selected through a competitive-solicitation process to collaborate in a U.S. Department of Energy research-and-development initiative at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to address energy-storage challenges presented by lithium-based batteries.

“This program allocates $400,000 to help advance the commercialization of our breakthrough solid-state battery technology,” said Scott Faris, Planar Energy’s president and CEO, who said the company’s energy cells and batteries “are substantially smaller, cheaper and safer, and can deliver more power than any existing rechargeable chemical battery technology.”

Faris noted that last month University of Central Florida researchers independently confirmed that the company’s new generation of solid-state electrolytes have ionic conductivity metrics comparable to liquid electrolytes used in traditional chemical batteries, and that novel cathode and anode materials have been developed that work in conjunction with Planar Energy’s electrolyte, further improving overall energy density.

“That fundamental materials breakthrough coupled with Planar Energy’s proprietary low-cost manufacturing process will allow solid-state battery fabrication that will enable manufacturers to increase their capacity by 200-to-300 percent, while reducing costs more than 50 percent,” he said.

“Access to the tremendous talent and capabilities at ORNL will allow us to accelerate our technology- and product-development roadmap, spurring the transition from chemical batteries to all solid-state batteries that exceed the performance and cost requirements required to make electric vehicles a practical option for consumers and a profitable product for the automotive industry,” Faris continued.

Funding for the program comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Industrial Technologies Program and EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Program, along with in-kind matching contributions from the four participating companies. The companies responded to an industry proposal and were chosen by an independent council comprising ORNL and DOE representatives. Accordingly, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is also providing funding to ORNL’s overall battery research effort to help ensure success of the industry.

The collaborative research activities at ORNL, which is managed by UT-Battelle for the DOE, began in February and will continue for an 18-month period.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Impact of RoHS CE mark on opto manufacturing

This is a contribution by Farnell's Gary Nevison

UK: It is looking likely that RoHS will become a “CE Mark Directive” over the next couple of years. This could have a massive, resource sapping, impact on manufacturers, importers and distributors, regardless of size.

Here we look at, in particular, how it will impact the manufacturer.

As a caveat to the following where optoelectronic and display modules are used as types of components and are sold to be used as components in other products, it is not yet clear what action will be needed as this is not yet defined. As they are not finished products it is possible that the may not need to be CE marked.

The European Commission’s (EC) proposals will make RoHS a CE mark Directive and so any products in scope of RoHS must be CE marked to demonstrate that they comply. Most displays such as TV’s and monitors are already CE marked to show that they comply with both the EMC and Low Voltage Directives (LVD).

Going-forward, CE marking will indicate compliance with EMC, LVD and RoHS.

Manufacturers already compile technical files for EMC and LVD and will need to include RoHS compliance information as well. Also, the DoC or declaration of conformity will include RoHS in the list of applicable directives. There will be only one DoC and one technical file per product as at present but in future these will also include RoHS.

Currently, manufacturers have to compile documentation to show RoHS compliance and may need to show this to State enforcement authorities. However, at present there is no standard format or procedure for this.

When RoHS becomes a CE mark directive, the EC will ask CENELEC (the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation) to produce harmonised standards so that in order for manufacturers to demonstrate compliance they simply need to, in theory, follow the standard. However, it is likely that the CE requirement will come into force before these standards are published.

The CE mark directive will not enter into force until the RoHS recast is complete and transposed into national legislation which could well be 2013/2014.

Article 7 of the proposals, published in December 2009, state that manufacturers must:

* Ensure Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) has been designed and manufactured in line with the requirements of the RoHS Directive.
* Draw up the technical documents and carry out the internal production controls as required. Draw up the DoC and affix the CE mark.
* Retain technical documents and the DoC for 10 years after the EEE has been placed on the market.
* Ensure procedures are in place for series production to remain in conformity.
* Carry out sample testing where there is deemed to be a risk and keep a register of complaints, non-conforming EEE and product recalls.
* Ensure that EEE, or its packaging if the size or nature of the EEE does not allow it, has identifying marking including manufacturer name and a single point contact address.
* If a manufacturer places non-conforming EEE on the market they must take immediate corrective measures and either withdraw it or recall it. Where EEE presents a risk the manufacturer must inform the national enforcement authority and take corrective action.
* When requested by the enforcement authority the manufacturer must provide it with all the necessary information to demonstrate the conformity of the EEE.

Manufacturers will need to re-visit their own production processes and those of any sub-contractors so they can confidently provide the confirmatory declarations and apply the CE mark to their products and importers and distributors will have to check what manufacturers have done.

Yes, this will have a huge impact on industry!

Isolated gate drive optocouplers feature high current and fast switching times

SANTA CLARA, USA: California Eastern Laboratories (CEL) is now shipping its new PS9505 and PS9305 series isolated gate drive optocouplers. The new family of optocouplers provides high common mode transient immunity (CMR), high output current, and fast switching times.

The PS9505, PS9505L1, PS9505L2, PS9505L3 and PS9305L are optically coupled isolators. On the input side, they contain a GaAlAs LED. On the output side, they contain an integrated receiver containing a photo diode, a signal processing circuit, and a power transistor.

"Our new line of isolated gate drivers offers advantages in designs that use switching power transistors such as motor control, inverters for solar cells, and induction heating. These devices offer the high output current and noise immunity of our previous generation while providing improved response time and reduced power consumption," said Jeremy Dietz, Director of CEL's Opto SBU.

"The dual offering of standard DIP packaging and the new SDIP package allows designers maximum flexibility in meeting the robust creepage distances required in today's industrial designs," continued Dietz.

* Large peak output current (2.5 A max, 2.0 A min).
* High speed switching (tPLH, tPHL = 0.25 us max).
* UVLO (Under Voltage Lock Out) protection with hysteresis.
* High common mode transient immunity (CMH, CML = +/-25 kV/us min).

The PS9305 and PS9505 family of optocouplers are in volume production with samples available now.

Luminus Devices LEDs power Philips’ Selecon’s FOCUS LED

BILLERICA, USA: Luminus Devices Inc., designer, developer and manufacturer of high light output PhlatLight LEDs, announced that Philips’ Selecon FOCUS LED display light is powered with a single CBM-380 color mixing chip-on-board PhlatLight LED, a practical and cost-effective alternative to LED arrays.

The FOCUS LED is ideally suited for applications such as display lighting for museums and art galleries because it doesn’t generate UV or IR and will protect priceless pieces of artwork.

“Phillips’ Selecon’s use of the Luminus CBM-380 demonstrates that PhlatLight LED technology brings unique advantages for color quality, tuning and uniformity to demanding entertainment and architectural lighting applications,” said Keith T.S. Ward, president and CEO, Luminus Devices.

“We’re excited to be working with the world’s largest lighting companies, including Philips, on next-generation applications that are reshaping the lighting footprint and the way fine art is displayed in museums.”

“Luminus’ big chip LEDs are ideal for entertainment and architectural lighting applications used inside fixtures in museum lighting and other environments,” said Steve Carson, CEO, Philips Entertainment. “Our design teams utilize PhlatLight LEDs because costly lamp replacement isn’t needed and the color rendering is superior in both daylight and conventional lighting environments.”

The FOCUS LED light comes equipped with one CBM-380 color mixing PhlatLight LED, capable of reliably delivering 3,500 lumens, without costly lamp changes or high energy consumption. It is designed for entertainment and architectural lighting applications. The new light meets key needs for designers with highly accurate color rendering in both daylight and conventional lighting applications.

Designed to provide an ultra-bright, reliable light source, PhlatLight LEDs are currently used by some of the world’s largest companies, including Acer, LG, Philips Vari*Lite, Sony, Samsung and Toshiba.

Belden intros high reliability, substation hardened data networking solutions

ST. LOUIS, USA: Belden, a leader in signal transmission solutions, has launched new ruggedized networking solutions for the smart grid communications infrastructure.

Belden officially introduces its Ethernet switch and cabling solutions for substations at the IEEE/PES (Power Transmission & Distribution) Conference and Expo in New Orleans on April 20-22, 2010.

Belden is uniquely positioned to leverage its technology, know-how and market leadership in data communications, industrial Ethernet and industrial automation to the power transmission and distribution industry, specifically by offering high reliability, end-to-end industrial Ethernet solutions that optimize system performance.

Brian Lieser, director of global vertical marketing, says: “With our line-up of field-proven, substation hardened products for industrial Ethernet and other networking protocols, Belden is well-positioned to deliver data networking solutions that address the evolving needs of global substation designers and operators. From Belden cabling and connectivity to Hirschmann branded switches, hardware, and advanced wireless technology, we offer a range of solutions that are fully compliant with all industry standards while providing maximum security and uptime.”

Belden range of substation-Grade Ethernet components

At the IEEE/PES Conference, Belden will showcase its substation-ready signal transmission products and solutions for industrial Ethernet. These include:

- Hirschmann switches, security/firewall devices and networking software.
- Hirschmann BAT WAN/LAN wireless systems.
- Hirschmann terminated fiber optic and UTP media.
- Belden TrayOptic and FiberExpress fiber optic cables and connectivity.
- Belden DataTuff Category 6 and 5e cables.

Belden’s substation-grade Ethernet infrastructure components are ruggedly constructed to withstand the severe environmental hazards under which they must operate. The products are designed to deliver high performance and 99.999 percent reliability over the long term, as well as the high bandwidth and high level of network security so critical in today’s complex world.

Installed and integrated across the entire ‘smart grid’ communications infrastructure, Belden’s standards-based, field-proven solutions can help power companies and their partners achieve seamless real-time information flow across power generation, transmission, distribution and management functions.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bruker intros new Ascend high performance high-field NMR magnet series

DAYTONA BEACH, USA: At the 51st ENC, Bruker launches its new Ascend™ series of compact, high field NMR magnets to make high-field NMR even more powerful, and at the same time more convenient and accessible for numerous NMR laboratories. This new magnet line combines the key advantages of Bruker’s well-established UltraShield Plus magnets, with further innovations for superior performance and greater convenience.

The Ascend magnet design features advanced superconductor technology, enabling the design of smaller magnet coils, thus resulting in a significant reduction in the size of the cryostat. The new Ascend magnets are therefore easier to site, even safer to run and they offer reduced operating costs.

Ascend magnets are compatible with newly developed and most recent Bruker NMR probes, spectrometers, automation technology and software, for integrated high performance NMR systems used in structural biology and materials research applications.

“As the recipient of the first 850 MHz Ascend magnet installed outside of Bruker, we are extremely happy with the quality of the magnet and the ease of installation. This new high field core capability will greatly enhance our research opportunities in structural biology and biomedical sciences.”

The availability of cutting-edge superconducting wire technology plus proprietary magnet design capabilities enable Bruker to deliver robust, stable and very compact high-field NMR magnets for proton frequencies up to 850 MHz, while matching or exceeding the performance of traditional magnets.

Bruker’s unique and further improved External Disturbance Suppression (EDS) technology provides outstanding suppression of external magnetic field disturbances, making Ascend magnets ideal for challenging urban environments and space-restricted laboratories. Bruker’s proprietary superconducting joint technology for high fields guarantees the lowest drift rates.

Ascend magnets, available as standard bore (54mm) magnets for 700, 800 and 850 MHz , are extremely convenient and easy to site, even in single story labs, due to their compact size and minimal stray field. Access for changing liquids NMR samples is now much easier using the optional new and unique NMR SampleMail™ . Moreover, initial magnet rigging costs at installation are reduced. The small Ascend cryostat size also reduces cryogen consumption, making the new magnets even more economical to maintain.

Prof. Tai-Huang Huang at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the Academica Sinica in Taipei, TW stated: “As the recipient of the first 850 MHz Ascend magnet installed outside of Bruker, we are extremely happy with the quality of the magnet and the ease of installation. This new high field core capability will greatly enhance our research opportunities in structural biology and biomedical sciences. ”

Dr. Rene Jeker, Managing Director of Bruker BioSpin AG in Faellanden, Switzerland, added: “Built on the proven reliability, performance and wealth of experience gained from thousands of UltraShield magnet installations worldwide, the Ascend magnet series is designed with unique additional protective features for both magnet and user safety. We are excited that all the latest Bruker NMR magnet technologies have now been incorporated into one magnet series, resulting in unsurpassed performance, convenience and maximum reliability.”

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Doubts over RoHS restrictions

This is a contribution by Farnell's Gary Nevison.

UK: The benefits of restricting further hazardous chemicals under the RoHS Directive has been questioned in an impact assessment published by the European Parliament.

For example the report suggests that the costs of banning PVC in electronic equipment “far outweigh the benefits” to human health and also adds that the environmental benefits are also unlikely to justify the costs.

The report goes on to say that restricting all halogenated flame retardants under RoHS would lead to “potentially large” health benefits but the environmental impact is hard to quantify.

There had been a call for all halogenated flame retardants and PVC to be banned as part of the RoHS recast but the report calls for a more detailed study stating that quantifying the health, economic and environmental impacts of such bans is difficult.

The report seems to reaffirm the European Commissions position that there is insufficient information to justify new restrictions. However, the International Chemicals Secretariat believes that greater emphasis should be placed on the environmental benefits also stating that brominated flame retardants and PVC transform into dioxins and furans at end of life.

The parliament’s environment committee will vote on proposals to revise RoHS on 3 June.

Avago announces $40 million optical finger navigation component customer order

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for wired and wireless communications, industrial and consumer applications, has received a further order for Optical Finger Navigation (OFN) active components from a significant OFN module manufacturer.

Avago is supplying the optical sensing engines for OFN modules to this manufacturer. The order addresses demand from multiple mobile handset OEMs and is expected to generate sales to Avago in excess of $40 million. This new order relates to anticipated product shipments over the 12 months commencing July 2010.

Avago Technologies is a pioneer in the field of navigation sensors and has made substantial investments over many years developing the fundamental enabling technology behind optical mouse sensors, as well as a number of novel innovations like OFN. In collaboration with this module manufacturer, Avago has been engaged in developing OFN solutions for multiple mobile handset OEMs over the past eighteen months.

“This order confirms Avago as the leading developer and manufacturer of optical navigation sensors for a host of applications, including mobile platforms,” stated Khin-Mien Chong, Avago’s VP and General Manger for Navigation Interface Devices. “We are pleased that our development efforts with this customer have resulted in this important order.”

Friday, April 16, 2010

Industry uncertain over RoHS proposals

This is a contribution by Farnell's Gary Nevison

UK: There are concerns within industry over a European Parliament proposal to increase the scope of the RoHS Directive to capture all electrical and electronic equipment rather than just the current eight (plus two more in 2014) product categories.

Orgalime, the European Engineering Industries Association representing the interests of, among others, the Electrical and Electronic industries feels that the proposal has not been properly thought through and has called for a thorough impact assessment.

The substantial changes proposed would bring nearly all equipment including trains, planes, power plants and elevators within the scope of RoHS even though they have specific safety requirements and are treated differently at the end of their life.
Denmark and the European Parliament are carrying out studies on a separate proposal for restrictions on additional hazardous substances.

While many back the proposal to ban further substances, especially brominated flame retardants and PVCs, some feel that setting criteria for future bans would only delay the introduction of greener electronic products onto the market.

Both industry groups and some politicians suggest that any revised law should contain a science based methodology for future substance evaluation, to be carried out by the European Commission, based on the REACH Regulations. Going-forward restrictions would be added to an annex within the RoHS Directive.

Concerns were raised again expressing the view that insufficient impact assessments have been conducted on the effects of further restrictions and possible substitutes.

The original RoHS Directive has been under review for some considerable time including various stakeholder consultations. The recast has been through three versions with proposals in December 2008, September 2009 and November 2009. These are aimed a greater harmonisation with other directives, clearer definitions and scope for better enforcement.

The European Commission, European Parliament and Council of Ministers have to agree on a final draft. There are currently differing views on such subjects as scope, LSIT, fixed installations, substance restrictions, exemptions and CE compliance, although there is agreement in general on the latter.

Expect a decision late 2010/early 2011.

Premier Farnell Americas joins Green Certified Electronics Recycling Initiative

CHICAGO, USA: Premier Farnell plc, the leading multi-channel, high service electronics distributor supporting millions of engineers and purchasing professionals globally, announced that its businesses in the Americas (Newark, element14, MCM, TPC Wire & Cable & Akron Brass), have joined a select group of companies and institutions known as e-Stewards Enterprises, who have committed to use electronics recyclers that meet the world’s highest standards for responsible recycling.

Premier Farnell has earned a number of accolades for its environmental program aimed at reducing energy consumption and decreasing the overall environmental impacts of its own operations. Recently, it was awarded the Carbon Trust Standard (CTS) for measuring, managing and reducing its carbon footprint for its UK-based operations and committing to further reductions year on year.

The company has already reduced its global carbon footprint by 20 percent within a period of three years. Premier Farnell is also recognized by the Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index and has already achieved Platinum status in the environment category, and Gold status for its overall commitment to Corporate Responsibility.

“We have pledged to use e-Stewards recyclers to assure that our computer-related electronic waste will be responsibly recycled, and will not be exported to developing countries,” comments Ken Manchen, Corporate Director, Safety, Health & Environment Affairs, Premier Farnell, Americas. “E-steward recyclers submit to third party verification audits, and e-steward standards are the best in the business.

The e-Stewards Recycler Certification standard ensures that recyclers will never export hazardous e-wastes to developing countries, dump them in municipal landfills or incinerators, or use prison populations as labor.

Pericom expands partnership with Nu Horizons Electronics into Asia

MELVILLE, USA: Nu Horizons Electronics Corp., a leading global distributor of advanced technology semiconductor, display, illumination, power, system and telecommunication solutions, and Pericom announced an expansion of their partnership agreement to include franchised rights for their high-speed integrated circuits and frequency control products across all of Asia.

Nu Horizons already represents Pericom in North America, Central and Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom and Nordic markets. The new agreement includes worldwide franchised rights for Pericom’s full line of high-frequency Signal Switches, Packet Switches, Bridges, ReDriver, Clock Generators/Buffers, Crystals and Oscillators.

“This expansion highlights the success that Nu Horizons and Pericom have shared working together over the past twelve years,” said Alex Hui, CEO of Pericom. “Nu Horizons brings superior demand creation plus comprehensive field resource expertise and precision world-class logistics, so it easy for us to expect the same unparalleled service, from design to production, in the Asian markets.”

“Pericom is a market-leader in high-speed analog switching technology with a focus on high-growth segments such as notebook/PC, digital video and TV, servers, enterprise networks, and mobile hand-helds,” adds Kent Smith, president of Nu Horizons global distribution division. “Pericom has supported our expansion around the world, and we are excited to represent them and create new opportunities in the Asia Pacific Region.”

Thursday, April 15, 2010

RoHS: Sting in the tail!

This is a contribution by Farnell's Gary Nevison

UK: It is looking likely that RoHS will become a “CE Mark Directive” over the next couple of years. This could have a massive, resource sapping, impact on manufacturers, importers and distributors, regardless of size.

While the proposed introduction of new product categories or open scope, further restricted substances and clarity around several definitions will no doubt grab the headlines, the requirements of the RoHS CE Mark will have a massive impact on industry and could prove a real sting in the tail.

For example: Manufacturers (and this includes anyone who sells RoHS products under their own brand, even if they did not actually manufacture them) will be obliged to draw up technical documents and carry out internal production controls to ensure that what they place on the market does not contain any of the hazardous substances

Manufacturers will have to provide a declaration of conformity using the wording set out in the directive – this is an absolute statement of compliance, with no “so far as we are aware” or similar caveats allowed!

The technical documents and declarations of conformity will have to be kept for 10 years after a product has been placed on the market

Manufacturers will have to apply the CE mark to their products and ensure that the products are clearly marked to identify them as the manufacturer, giving a “single point” at which they can be contacted

Importers of products into the EU will have to ensure that the conformity assessment process has been carried out by the manufacturer, including checking that the required technical documents have been prepared and the product is appropriately marked

Importers will also have to include their details on the products and provide a contact address

In some circumstances, importers may also be required to carry out sample testing and keep a register of complaints and product recalls

Importers also have to keep copies of declarations of conformity for 10 years.

Distributors (even of products where the manufacturer is in the EU) are also obliged to verify that the CE marking has been applied; that the required documents accompanying the product are in local languages and that the manufacturer and/or importer of the products have complied with their RoHS obligations (including collecting and keeping the declarations of conformity for 10 years).

It is clear that if, or when, these proposals are adopted RoHS compliance is potentially going to become a much more detailed and resource-intensive activity for everyone in the supply chain.

While many manufacturers and distributors have put in place processes to achieve RoHS compliance under the current legislation, the way in which they have done this has largely been a matter of individual choice, with each company only needing to satisfy itself that its processes are sufficiently robust. In the future, the way compliance is achieved will be more closely prescribed and uniform as manufacturers, importers and distributors follow the rules set out in the new RoHS directive.

A significant feature of this new regime will be the need to provide declarations of conformity in a single, standard format – a huge shift from the myriad of different certificates, statements and compliance documents that abound under the existing legislation.

While this will make life much more straightforward in one way, the required format imposes a higher standard than many of the documents that are provided today. The core statement of the declaration of conformity is that “the object of the declaration described above is in conformity with Directive…on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment” with no scope for qualifying statements such as “so far as we are aware”, “to the best of our knowledge”, “to the extent manufactured by us and not sub-contracted” and the like.

Manufacturers will need to re-visit their own production processes and those of any sub-contractors so that they can confidently provide the confirmatory declarations and apply the CE mark to their products and importers and distributors will have to check what manufacturers have done.

Yes, this will have a huge impact on industry!

Luminus Devices announces rapid growth of SST-50 and SST-90 LEDs

FRANKFURT, GERMANY: Luminus Devices, Inc., developer and manufacturer of high light output PhlatLight LEDs, announced that its flagship lighting class LED products, the SST-50 and SST-90, are the centerpieces of several new indoor and outdoor lighting applications.

“Guth Lighting is leveraging the SST-90 across several fixtures in our product portfolio,” said Bob Catone, general manager, Guth Ligthing, a Philips Brand Company. “Clearly, LEDs represent the future of lighting and we believe Luminus LEDs will play an important part in defining that future.”

SST-50 and SST-90 LEDs were introduced less than a year ago and have experienced rapid adoption by the lighting user community. Luminus’ LEDs have been designed into volume lighting applications including retail and residential track lighting, PAR / MR replacement lamps, high bay / low bay commercial and industrial lighting and outdoor area lighting including roadway and acorn fixtures.

“The emergence of many first-class, world-wide lighting installations using our LED technology provides validation of our basic value proposition,” said Chuck DeMilo, director of global product marketing for Lighting, Luminus Devices.

“Our customers recognize that Luminus’ big chip technology allows them to move away from the ubiquitous pixelated look and differentiate their fixture designs with a classical single-source aesthetic. And by using fewer sources they can reduce fixture cost and complexity, while enabling a solution with fewer points of failure.”

The SST-50 and SST-90 are high lumen output single-source LEDs, with input power of 5 watts and 10 watts respectively. Both are available in surface mount packages, have energy efficiencies in excess of 100 lumens/watt, color temperatures ranging from 3,000K-6,500K and L70 lumen maintenance of 60,000 hours.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Avago expands series of compact, energy efficient 3W high power LEDs

FRANKFURT, GERMANY: Avago Technologies has announced the expansion of its series of compact, energy efficient 3-Watt (3W) high power LEDs for solid-state lighting (SSL) applications. Avago’s ASMT-Ax3x Power LED emitter has a footprint that is one of the most commonly used throughout the SSL industry. Typical applications include architectural lighting, retail display lighting and decorative lighting.

Avago’s ASMT-Ax3x provides superior light output uniformity with a wide viewing angle of 140 degrees which is suitable for backlighting of advertising displays, channel letters and contour lighting. The ASMT-Ax3x delivers high flux output up to 113 lumens (lm) at 350 mA driving current and features a maximum allowable junction temperature of 135 degrees-C to provide lighting designers with more design flexibility.

Moreover, this LED has a high Electrostatic Discharge (ESD resistance of 16kV which makes this LED insensitive to ESD. As a result, special ESD protection equipment is not required to handle the part during installation. Additionally, this part is compatible to IR reflow soldering process.

The ASMT-Ax3x is encapsulated in a heat and UV resistant silicone compound and also features a low thermal resistance of 10 degree-C per Watt due to its superior heat dissipation capability. In addition, the electrically neutral heat pad allows arrays to be connected on a common heat sink – thus simplifying thermal design.

Tektronix intros logic protocol analyzer test solution for PCI Express 3.0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Inc. has announced a comprehensive test solution for PCI Express 3.0, the next generation PCIe specification, spanning protocol to physical analysis in a single tool.

The new Tektronix TLA7SA16 and TLA7SA08 Logic Protocol Analyzer modules, bus support software, and probes combine to give PCIe 3.0 developers an exclusive time-correlated view of system behavior, starting with protocol analysis and working down to the physical layer to debug the root cause of elusive problems.

The Tektronix PCIe 3.0 test solution builds on Tektronix’ previous generation PCIe protocol and logic analysis offerings broadly adopted across the industry by silicon vendors, system designers and high-performance embedded engineers. It also expands on previously announced offerings for PCIe 3.0 electrical test and validation including Serial Data Link Analysis (SDLA) Software for the DPO/DSA/MSO70000 Series oscilloscopes.

The Tektronix Logic Protocol Analyzer delivers the best of both a protocol analyzer and a logic analyzer for PCIe design, test and debug. Protocol analyzer capabilities include flexible, integrated data views for analyzing and displaying protocol traffic flow correlated with physical layer events.

Logic analyzer capabilities include a wide range of probing options, sophisticated triggering and time-correlated waveform and disassembled listing data displays of raw symbols and lane data. The new PCIe solution expands the TLA7000 Series high-performance logic analyzer family and works with TLA7000 mainframes including TLA7012 portable and TLA7016 benchtop models.

“As PCI Express bus speeds and complexity increase, it’s important that the protocol and physical layer testing tools keep pace,” said Jim Pappas, director of initiative marketing for Intel. “With its Logic Protocol Analyzer, Tektronix is among those companies expanding the approach to protocol analysis with a logic analyzer that can help continue timely delivery of PCIe 3.0 silicon and systems to consumers.”

OKI starts operation of new LED production facility

TOKYO, JAPAN: OKI Data Corp. an OKI Group company specializing in printer business, announced that its LED development subsidiary, OKI Digital Imaging has started operations at a newly-acquired production facility in Takasaki City in Japan’s Gumma Prefecture region.

This acquisition will enable OKI Data to achieve a fourfold increase in production capability. The company aims to further enhance its non-impact printer business in addition to developing new businesses utilizing LED technology.

At present, OKI Data deploys businesses across 120 countries worldwide, focusing on non-impact printers by leveraging advantages brought by LED print heads, such as compact size, high-speed and high-precision printing. OKI Digital Imaging develops LED print heads which use “Epi Film Bonding (EFB) technology, which enables thin film material to be bonded without the need for adhesive by utilizing intermolecular bonding force.

OKI Digital Imaging was the first company in the world to successfully manufacture this technology for commercial use, and expects to deploy it not only for LED print heads but also for a range of other applications.

“The new production facility incorporates a clean room with a high-level degree of cleanliness. This room covers approximately twice the area of the clean room presently in use and, as such, allows us to achieve a fourfold boost in our LED print head production capability. In turn, this will help us double our non-impact printer sales by the fiscal year ending March 2012,” said Harushige Sugimoto, president of OKI Data.

“Going forward, the new facility will enable us to continue to invest in EFB technology. As a result, we intend to proactively develop broader businesses in this area. We are planning to accelerate development of high-brightness and high-resolution LED displays where growth is expected.”

Fairchild Semiconductor to highlight energy-efficient lighting solutions

PCIM Europe, SAN JOSE, USA: Fairchild Semiconductor will highlight its LED lighting solutions at PCIM Europe. Fairchild will also feature its leading power technologies and application demos that highlight Fairchild’s innovative AC-DC, DC-DC and automotive designs.

High brightness LEDs use a fraction of the wattage that average incandescent bulbs use, last longer than fluorescent's and eliminate hazardous materials such as mercury and lead. Fairchild’s broad portfolio of power solutions enable higher efficiency in these applications, reduce component count and contribute to ecodesign.

For example, Fairchild’s PSR controllers, the FSEZ1307 and FAN102, eliminate power losses caused by the secondary side current sensing and achieve the most accurate constant current, allowing devices to accommodate different numbers of LED in series.

These devices eliminate the secondary-side circuitry, and reduce the number of components, resulting in a lower Bill of Material (BOM) costs and less waste, contributing to ecodesign. Fairchild’s boundary mode PFC control IC, the FAN6961 or FAN7930, provides active power factor correction and component count for the power supplies that drive these LEDs.

Fairchild will also highlight its broad portfolio of AC-DC solutions that offer up to 96 percent efficiency, low standby power and system reliability. Demos will feature the award-winning interleaved boundary-mode PFC controller, the FAN9612, as well as the FSFA2100, a 450W half-bridge asymmetric power switch.

In DC-DC designs, Fairchild’s solutions achieve over 50 percent space savings; optimizing power and ease-of-design. Demos will feature the TinyBuck family that offers high efficiency for point of load (POL), set-top boxes, servers and smart meter applications and Dual Cool™ MOSFETs that improve power density, power dissipation and system reliability in applications such as telecom, datacom and workstations.

For automotive, Fairchild will showcase its gate drivers, which enable increased fuel efficiency. Demos will include the FAN708x series of HVICs that allow engineers to develop more accurate and precise fuel injection control systems under all operating conditions.

Avago's 3-watt high power LED emitters in ultra-small package for solid-state lighting

FRANKFURT, GERMANY: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, announced one of the industry’s most compact and energy efficient 3-Watt (3W) miniature high power LEDs for use in a wide range of solid-state lighting applications.

With dimensions of 5x4x1.85 mm thick, Avago’s compact 3W ASMT-Jx32 is packaged in a 6-leaded small outline package (SOP) and capable of being driven to up to 700 mA to provide high flux output performance. Additionally, this competitively priced compact LED emitter features a wide viewing angle and long life reliability.

By delivering a high flux output of a minimum of 100 lumens (lm) at 350mA driving current, this new 3W LED emitter is ideal for safety exit and emergency lighting, portable lighting applications, street lighting, residential lighting, task lighting, and other solid-state lighting applications requiring high flux output performance.

The ASMT-Jx32 provides a wide viewing angle of 140-degrees to meet the needs of designers who require good color uniformity. Avago’s 3W emitter is a high performance LED designed to handle high thermal and high drive currents.

The ASMT-Jx32 features a maximum allowable junction temperature of 135 degrees-C to provide greater design flexibility to the lighting designers. This LED has high Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) resistance of 16 kV which makes this LED insensitive to ESD. As a result, special ESD protection equipment is not required to handle the part during installation. Moreover, this 3W LED is compatible with standard SMT reflow soldering process.

This LED is encapsulated in a heat and UV resistant silicone material and also features a low thermal resistance of 9 degree-C per Watt due to its superior heat dissipation capability. In addition, the electrically neutral heat pad allows arrays to be connected on a common heat sink – thus simplifying thermal design.

Acriche LED achieves luminous efficacy of 150 lm/w, plans Q4 introduction

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Seoul Semiconductor, a leading LED manufacturer, announced that it would begin production in late 2010 on a new lamp capable of 150 lm/w. This astounding efficacy will surpass available DC LEDs.

The company also announced that Acriche has begun mass-production of its patented technology AC-powered lamp, which recently achieved a luminous efficacy of 100 lm/w.
Production of the Acriche LED has become more important since the European Union began enforcing a ban on the sale of incandescent light bulbs of more than 100 watts last September and legislated against the use of existing inefficient electric light bulbs in all countries in the future.

Acriche LEDs are more efficient than halogen lamps, incandescent light bulbs and fluorescent lamps and they are the only light source that can be driven by a common alternating current power source without the need of an AC-DC converter.

Two of the world’s three largest lighting companies have already chosen the Acriche 100 lm/w for use in lighting applications. In addition, more than 100 companies are beginning to expand the applications.

S.M. Lee, senior VP of Seoul Semiconductor, said: “With the results of these developments, Seoul Semiconductor enhances its reputation as an environmentally friendly LED company by speeding up the development of Acriche products with high efficiency and high reliability required in the LED lighting market.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cermetek releases autonomous AC power monitor

MILPITAS, USA: Cermetek Microelectronics has released a new generation of iPower monitor, the CH6650. The CH6650 operates without system host or user intervention.

The CH6650 monitors 110 Volt or 220 Volt AC power and sends a stored Email message to all pre-programmed email addresses any time power is interrupted or re-established. The CH6650 is an ideal solution for Facilities Chiefs, Property Managers and IT Administrators who face serious consequences when power is lost.

Messages and Email addresses can be easily programmed into the CH6650 using the Cermetek iNetWizard software. iNetWizard runs on XP, XP Pro, Vista and Windows 7 MS Windows PCs and provides a simple, intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI) for communicating with the CH6650. The CH6650 connects to the PC through a standard USB 2.0 interface. The CH6650 also provides dial-up access to permit remote programming.

"Extended power outages can cause substantial damages: refrigerated foods can spoil, pipes can freeze, sensitive processes can be interrupted. The CH6650 immediately notifies the Facilities Manager of any power outages, so efforts can be made to avert any damages," said Cermetek President Henry Roskos. "With a simple notification the problem can be fixed or safeguards can be taken."

The CH6650 is now available for Beta distribution. Full production will begin in May. The single-piece price of the CH6650 is $495.

Delta Electronics to exhibit LED lighting at Light+Building 2010

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: Delta Electronics is getting ready for the upcoming biennial Light+Building 2010 trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

Delta will present its new series of elegant, energy-saving, reliable, and easy-to-use LED lighting products at Hall 10.1 Booth D60a, which will feature outdoor streetlights, lamps and luminaires for architectural applications.

Roland Chiang, director of the Solid-state Lighting Business Unit, Delta Electronics, said: “It is an honor to present our LED lighting collection to the world and demonstrate how energy-saving products can help bring a better tomorrow. LEDs are energy-saving, reliable and safe and users are discovering this new light source provides a pleasant visual experience. Traditional lighting is often regarded as an unimportant commodity but we are presenting it with aesthetic value that inspires comfort, appreciation, and desire to those who encounter it.”

The featured ecolba (GLDY Series) LED bulb is a direct replacement for compact florescent light bulbs (CFL) and accepts universal input voltage. The series was designed by the renowned Taku Yahara, who has won multiple Good Design awards.

The ecolba is unlike most products on the market, offering a sleek pearl white surface and smooth curves without extruding thermal dissipating fins. In addition to its striking exterior, the performance of this bulb delivers efficiency 30 percent higher than CLF bulbs and provides a lifetime exceeding 40,000 hours under normal operating conditions.

Many on-road demonstrations and installations feature Delta’s LED streetlights glowing with a highly power factor correction (PFC> 0.97) and power efficiency (Eff > 92 percent). The unique open-structure light engine concept optimizes the system in both performance and maintenance. The LED streetlights are easy to transport, assemble, exchange, and are environmentally-friendly with more than 90 percent recyclable components.

They have passed CNS 15233 standards, and were qualified by the China National Lighting Fitting Quality Supervision Testing Center (CLTC), as well as the UL approvals process. The advanced SLDA series offers additional smart functions such as photo sensor and control capability. The PVST series are standalone solar lighting systems that are dimmable, PWM charge control capability, and multi-functional.

Some of the functions PVST offers include safety alerts, status indication, as well as computer interface and control.

In addition to the ecolba, Delta is presenting many lamps and luminaire products at the exhibition. The MR16-compatible LED lamps feature unique designs with carefully calculated heat dissipation mechanisms, with both light source and fixtures combined.

With a single chip-on-board (COB) LED and optimized secondary optical lens, the Delta’s M6D Series eliminates multi-shadow effects. The TBDH Series tube lights require no external adapter since an efficient AC/DC LED driver is built-in and it fits easily with existing T8 terminal connectors with a simple twist by the user.

Other product series to be shown in the exhibition include CADA for canopy lighting, FLU for OA lighting, PJDA for projector lighting, FDDA for flood lighting, and CVDA for cove lighting. All lamps, luminaires, and architectural lighting products are designed with precision performance, user-friendly interface, and stylish appearance.

Since Delta is the world’s No. 1 in power supply solutions, it is also featuring the Powerstream Series for LED streetlight applications with ultra high efficiency up to 91%, wide AC input of 100VAC to 277VAC, full protection against lightning strikes and AC line transients, and meeting UL60950, EN61347 and China regulations.

The Light+Building exhibition is the world’s leading trade fair for architecture and advanced lighting technology. Over 2,000 exhibitors from lighting, electrical engineering and building automation participate in this biennial event demonstrating their products, innovations, and trends.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cree's revolutionary new LED platform delivers 160 lumens per watt

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. has announced a breakthrough new lighting-class LED platform, the XLamp XM LED.

This new single chip LED delivers record-breaking efficacy of 160 lumens per watt at 350 mA. The LED also delivers 750 lumens at 2 A, which is equivalent to the light output of a 60 W incandescent light bulb at less than 7 watts.

“This new platform continues Cree’s well-established record of turning R&D innovations into products,” said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO. “We continue to set the pace for LED performance, establishing new benchmarks that make you wonder why anyone would consider last-century’s energy-wasting technology.”

A cool white XM LED driven at 350 mA can produce 160 lumens at 160 lumens per watt. The new platform has a larger footprint than Cree’s XP family and also offers the unique combination of very high efficacy at very high drive currents.

At 2 A, an XM LED produces 750 lumens at 110 lumens per watt. The thermal resistance of the XM platform is 2 degrees C per watt— an industry-leading technology breakthrough and a 350 percent improvement over Cree’s flagship XLamp XP-E LED.

Samples of the XLamp XM LEDs are available for order with standard lead times and commercial availability is targeted for Fall 2010.

Cermetek releases autonomous AC power monitor

MILPITAS, USA: Cermetek Microelectronics recently released a new generation of iPower Monitor, the CH6650.

The CH6650 operates without system host or user intervention. The CH6650 monitors 110 Volt or 220 Volt AC power and sends a stored Email message to all pre-programmed Email addresses any time power is interrupted or re-established. The CH6650 is an ideal solution for Facilities Chiefs, Property Managers and IT Administrators who face serious consequences when power is lost.

Messages and Email addresses can be easily programmed into the CH6650 using the Cermetek iNetWizard software. iNetWizard runs on XP, XP Pro, Vista and Windows 7 MS Windows PCs and provides a simple, intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI) for communicating with the CH6650. The CH6650 connects to the PC through a standard USB 2.0 interface. The CH6650 also provides dial-up access to permit remote programming.

"Extended power outages can cause substantial damages: refrigerated foods can spoil, pipes can freeze, sensitive processes can be interrupted. The CH6650 immediately notifies the Facilities Manager of any power outages, so efforts can be made to avert any damages," said Cermetek President Henry Roskos. "With a simple notification the problem can be fixed or safeguards can be taken."

The CH6650 is now available for Beta distribution. Full production will begin in May. The single-piece price of the CH6650 is $495.00.

LedEngin intros 230V option for LuxPAR family of LED PAR lamps

Light+Building 2010, SANTA CLARA, USA: LedEngin Inc. has introduced the LuxPAR 230V option for its LED PAR lamp family that includes PAR38, PAR20 and soon to be released PAR30.

With the addition of the 230V option for Europe and Asia, LuxPAR is now a truly global replacement for halogen and metal halide PAR lamps. The new 230V lamps will be on display next week in Frankfurt at Light + Building, April 11-16.

LedEngin PAR lamps feature LedEngin proprietary LEDs and optical designs that deliver highest lux, superior light quality, color stability and longevity for measurable energy reduction and cost savings as compared with halogen lamps. LuxPAR products are available in multiple colour temperatures and spot, narrow flood and flood beam distributions and now in both 120V and 230V versions.

The LuxPAR 230V lamps are available for immediate sampling and will be available for volume shipments in June 2010.

WI Harper funds worldwide LED technology ecosystem

BEIJING, CHINA: WI Harper Group, a leading Chinese early and expansion stage venture capital firm, today announced major progress in a strategic, multi-year, investment program in the highest growth sectors of the dynamic LED market.

Further, in recognition of its leadership role in China’s clean technology industry, WI Harper has won the prestigious Environmental Investment Award from the Department of Environmental Science & Engineering at Tsinghua University.

“WI Harper believes wholeheartedly in the market potential for LED-based lighting and we are pleased to be recognized as a leader in China’s clean technology sector,” said WI Harper Chairman, Peter Liu. “The market forces behind the LED industry are undeniable – lower cost, longer life, brighter lights, higher efficiency and avoidance of environmental toxins. The time has come for LEDs in general illumination and we are delighted to take part in this exciting market.”

Leading LED ecosystem investor
WI Harper’s investments in the multi-billion dollar LED ecosystem touch most every segment of the market—from “upstream” semiconductor manufacturers to “downstream” distributors.

SemiLEDs Corp., a global leader in manufacturing ultra-high bright LED chips. With the support of WI Harper as the sole outside venture capital investor, SemiLEDs broke ground in Feb. 2010 on a new production facility in Foshan, China, valued at nearly $100 million for its first phase.

Testar, a key player in the emerging market for LED test services. In Feb 2010, WI Harper delivered the spin-out equity financing for Testar Electronics Corp. to stand on its own from Choma ATE Inc. (TSE: 2360). Testar is on the verge of landing its second major customer.

MaxIC Technology Corp., a fabless LED driver IC manufacturer. MaxIC, which now has five products in the market, is using WI Harper’s investment to ramp up its production to fulfill customer orders and to expand its R&D program. In Mar. 2010 WI Harper became the lead investor in the firm’s first institutional round.

Neopac Lighting Group, a leading provider of LED emitters, engines and fixtures. WI Harper led the company’s first institutional round three years ago, enabling Neopac’s rapid expansion and record revenues in 2009. Neopac won the Lighting Elite Award at the Taiwan International Lighting Show, held in March 2010.

“The tightening energy efficiency standards in China and the US are laying the foundation for LEDs to rapidly enter the mainstream lighting industry in two of the world’s largest economies,” added David Lam, Managing Director and head of US operations at WI Harper Group.

“WI Harper’s 15-year presence in China, Taiwan and the US uniquely positions us to help emerging LED leaders commercialize and globalize their products with the proper combination of industry partners, government relations and on-the-ground investment experience.”

Cree launches Screen Master 4mm LEDs with industry’s widest viewing angle

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. has announced the commercial availability of the new C4SMK family of red, green and blue 4mm oval LEDs.

These additions to the Screen Master Cree LED series deliver the widest viewing angles available in the market today along with tightly-matched radiation patterns for video screen applications.

“Just as in lighting, Cree is once again setting the standard of performance for the industry with the new C4SMK Screen Master LED series,” said Paul Thieken, Cree, director of marketing, LED Components. “These new high brightness LEDs can enable video screen manufacturers to deliver an even better viewing experience for their customers.”

The blue and green C4SMK 4mm LEDs offer a viewing angle of 115° in the horizontal axis and 65° in the vertical axis, while the red C4SMK 4mm LED has a viewing angle of 110° in the horizontal axis and 60° in the vertical axis, as is customary in the industry.

NB component matters in 2010, integration will be accelerated

TAIWAN: According to DRAMeXchange, given the new products launch by OEMs, demand for components has been elaborated and we believe supply chain issue will impact on the shipment schedule.

With the emerging competition from EMS, ODMs will face more price challenge. That is, DRAMeXchange think component control and supply chain management will be determined in 2010 and more integration or strategic alliance will show up latter this year.

According to DRAMeXchange, given the rising component cost and EMS competition, ODMs will speed up the supply chain integration at the purpose of profit maintaining. Also, capacity of component vendors has been stunk from 2H07 to 2009, which result in the tight supply facing the recovering demand.Meanwhile, both ODMs and component vendors face the labor shortage issue in costal area of China. The mix of labor and component shortage has impact on the shipment schedule.

As per DRAMeXchange, ODMs has aggressively approach component integration from last year and try to enhance total supply chain management. With the M&A or equity investment in small component vendors and JV (joint venture) with large scale component vendors, ODMs try to secure the component supply, increase the self-sufficiency and raise bargain power.

Current integration case are most lied in mechanical parts ( such as casing, connectors and passive components). Since key parts procurement is still controlled by OEMs, we believe ODMS will try to provide competitive price in leverage with the synergy of component integration. Small scale component vendors will receive the stable orders from ODMs while large independent vendors will face the risk of order re-allocation or lower margin.

EMS vendors also initiate the NB production penetration at the leverage of their component cost competitiveness. However, since EMS vendors still lack of new case development and product design capability, OEMs only release netbook and other “ticket” regular notebook orders to EMS.

DRAMeXchange expects EMS will eventually turn to the potential threat to ODMs once product design capacity is fully equipped. Meanwhile, ODMs will also accelerate the speed on component integration to enhance the cost control.

Influence by the declining NB ASP, OEMs face the great challenge in margin maintain. OEMs tend to transit price pressure to ODMs. Key component (i.e. CPU, memory, HDD, panel, etc) procurement power still lies in the OEMs while “Consign-In” and “Buy&Sell” will be used on key part procurement negotiation.

Key components account above 70 percent of total cost while OEM also be fully aware of non key component price structure. That is, ODM margin is strictly limited to certain level. ODM’s average GP margin is 5-6 percent and only can be raised by economic sales enhancement and expand product lines to other products such as LCD-TV.

According to DRAMeXchange, 5-15 percent shipment impact is determined by the supply shortage issue. Since NB shipment is expected to be near 30 percent in 2010, currently we see the double-booking volume from ODM are around 20-25 percent.

Given the long lead time that component vendors have and less movement in aggressive capacity expansion, any extra urgent demand will deepen the challenge of supply management. That is, we think the supply tight circumstance will become more challenging if component vendors can not fulfill the demands from the end demand. However, it worth the concern on end market sales. The inventory adjustment pressure will likely turn to the serious issue if there’s any accidents in macro economy.

Besides the component shortage, labor shortage also impact on the industry. Most of ODM manufacturing facilities are located at the costal area of China such as Shanghai, Kunshan, Suzhou, and Taizhou. However, given the minimum wage enhancement law enforced by China government in 2010, the rising labor cost will impact on the cost control.

DRAMeXchange see more damage on component vendors due to:

1) Comparably higher labor cost portion for component vendors rather than ODM vendors;
2) Component vendors are unlikely match to the welfare and salary provided from ODMs due to comparably small company scales;
3) Component vendors will be likely forced to move as ODMs move to the area with lower labor cost. Meanwhile, surging metal cost will also increase the possibility for cost increase.

At the end market, DRAMeXchange thinks that many OEMs will likely adopt aggressive pricing strategy due to the less product differentiation. Besides HP and Acer, other OEMS will also launch better cost/performance NB to grab more market share. That is, the used communication on component price and assembling fees will be way different from the past. 2010 will be determined to be the very challenging years for NB industry.