Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vincotech releases new MiniSKiiP pack modules with latest IGBT4

MUNICH, GERMANY: Vincotech has extended its range of MiniSKiiP PACK modules with IGBT4 versions covering 8A to 150A for 1200V in three different housings.

Designed for solderless assembly, Vincotech MiniSKiiP PACK modules are an excellent first choice for your application or a perfect second source for Semikron’s product range.

The new MiniSKiiP PACK modules use the latest Infineon IGBT4 chip technology to improve EMC. They are available in three sizes targeting motor drive applications with up to 40 kW as well as power generation and UPS installations.

Available sizes:
MiniSKiiP 1 PACK - size 1 (42 x 40 mm²) covering 8 A 1200 V to 25 A 1200 V.
MiniSKiiP 2 PACK - size 2 (59 x 52 mm²) covering 35 A 1200 V to 70 A 1200 V.
MiniSKiiP 3 PACK - size 3 (82 x 59 mm²) covering 50 A 1200 V to 100 A 1200 V.

These MiniSKiiP PACK modules incorporate a 3-phase output inverter (SixPack topology) and an additional thermistor for temperature measurement. All Vincotech MiniSKiiP PACK products are also available on demand with pre-applied thermal grease for easy use and a perfect junction to the heat sink, as well as with lids in two different heights.

Vincotech MiniSKiiP PACK modules are pin-compatible with the previous versions of modules to enable quick upgrading. They are also fully compatible with their Semikron equivalents. Vincotech’s homepage provides cross-references, as well as data sheet and application note downloads.

Molex Japan awarded ISO 27001 certification

LISLE, FRANCE: Molex Inc., one of the world’s leading electronic connector companies, announced that Molex Japan (Yamato Technical Center, Shizuoka Plant, Kagoshima Plant, Precision Parts Plant in Kagoshima, and seven domestic sales offices) has successfully acquired the certification of ISO27001 from the Bureau Veritas, an authorized third party of ISO Certification.

The ISO 27001 standard was published in October 2005 with the objective to provide a model and independent certification for the establishment, implementation, monitoring, review, maintenance, and improvement of an organization’s formal Information Security Management System (ISMS).

“The importance of information security is ever-increasing,” according to Katsumi Hirokawa, president of Molex Japan. “Molex recognizes the importance of our customer's confidential information, as well as our own security interests, and will continue working to strengthen security standards and measures at our manufacturing locations globally.”

National Semiconductor intros LED driver with dynamic headroom control for automotive LCD backlight apps

HONG KONG: National Semiconductor Corp. has announced the LM3492 LED driver with dynamic headroom control that accurately and efficiently drives current to two independently dimmable strings of LEDs.

The LM3492, a member of National’s PowerWise energy-efficient product family, maximizes system efficiency and reduces system complexity and cost in automotive LCD backlight applications.

The LM3492’s dynamic headroom control feature dynamically adjusts the LED supply voltage through the boost converter feedback to the lowest level required to provide optimal system efficiency. Three embedded MOSFETs reduce system complexity and cost.

National's LM3492 integrates a boost converter and a two-channel current regulator to efficiently and cost-effectively drive two independently dimmable LED strings with a maximum power of 15W and an output voltage of up to 65V.

Integrated fast slew rate current regulators allow high frequency and narrow pulse width dimming signals to achieve a very high contrast ratio of 1000:1. The LED current is programmable from 50 mA to 200 mA by a single resistor.

To maximize the efficiency, dynamic headroom control (DHC) automatically adjusts the LED driving voltage to a minimum level. DHC also facilitates a single bill of materials for different number of LEDs in a string, which is required for backlight panels of different size, thereby reducing overall development time and cost.

The LM3492 includes a versatile COMM pin which serves as a bi-directional input/output pin interfacing with an external MCU for command and diagnostic functions.

Offered in a 20-pin thermally enhanced TSSOP package, the LM3492 is ready for design on National's WEBENCH LED Designer.

Cabot breaks ground on world-class fumed silica expansion in China

BOSTON, USA & JIANGXI, CHINA: Cabot Corp.and China National Bluestar (Group) Corp. broke ground on the expansion of their world-class fumed silica manufacturing facility in Jiangxi Province, China.

The $43 million investment is a project of Cabot Bluestar Chemical (Jiangxi) Co. Ltd., a joint venture between subsidiaries of Cabot Corporation and China National Bluestar (Group) Corp.

The expansion will leverage Cabot's highly advanced manufacturing technology and position the Jiangxi site with the potential to produce up to 20,000 metric tons of fumed silica annually. In the first phase of this expansion, capacity will increase from 5,000 metric tons to 15,000 metric tons with commissioning expected in the second half of calendar year 2011.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Toshiba offers bidirectional diodes for ESD protection for mobile phones, portable audio apps and LED matrices

IRVINE, USA: Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC) has added a series of bidirectional diodes in three package types for electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection in mobile phones, portable audio devices and LED matrices.

The Toshiba DF2B6.8 series helps protect digital and mobile equipment such as cell phones, smartphones and mobile audio players from electrostatic discharge energy that may be generated from positive or negative signals from displays or audio signals.

The series of three devices provides a choice of three packages, each with a high bidirectional ESD protection level with a reverse breakdown voltage of 6.8V and high ESD immunity level of +/-8kV (min.) @ IEC61000-4-2 (contact discharge).

The Toshiba DF2B6.8E is offered in an ESC package that measures 1.6mm x 0.8mm x 0.6mm, and is suitable for LED matrices and exogenous dataline noise rejection. The Toshiba DF2B6.8FS is offered in an fSC package that measures 1.0mm x 0.6mm x 0.48mm, and is targeted for use with LEDs or mobile phone audio lines.

For even more space constrained applications, such as portable audio players or audio in thin mobile devices, the Toshiba DF2B6.8CT is offered in an CST2 package that measures 1.0mm x 0.6mm x 0.38mm.

"These low-leakage bidirectional ESD protection devices support AC signals that can be positive or negative, and save space and cost compared to use of two unidirectional diodes," said Talayeh Saderi, business development engineer, RF and small signal devices, for TAEC.

AnalogicTech LED backlight drivers with CABC save power and smooth brightness transitions in handheld devices

SANTA CLARA, USA: Advanced Analogic Technologies Inc. (AnalogicTech) has introduced the AAT2868 and AAT2869 LED backlight drivers.

The AAT2868 and AAT2869 are 1x/1.5x dual-mode, high-efficiency charge pump based white LED backlight drivers that drive four constant current LED channels and now offer content adaptive brightness control (CABC) or dynamic backlight control (DBC) to further reduce power consumption by up to 50 percent. To form a complete lighting solution, both devices include two linear low drop-out (LDO) voltage regulators.

"Two of the key issues facing the use of white LEDs in handheld devices center around power consumption and smooth transitions between brightness levels," said Phil Dewsbury, product line director for display and lighting for AnalogicTech.

"With consumers demanding both long battery lifetimes and an enhanced user experience, the feature sets in these new products offer critical market advantages. The CABC feature can reduce power consumption by as much as 50 percent, while offering automated LED fading to improve user satisfaction while simplifying programming by transferring the burden of communicating and timing the fading of the LED current."

For CABC and dimming functions, the AAT2868 provides the user with a pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming input for external brightness and fading control that functions in parallel to the fully scaled 32 step LED current that is programmed though the AS2Cwire interface.

The AAT2869 replaces the manual PWM input with an AS2C based auto-dimming and fade capability that reduces requirements on system resources. The AAT2869 automated fade-in and fade-out feature makes backlight turn-on and turn-off more visually pleasing.

Both backlight drivers deliver improved power savings by allowing the system to continuously adjust the backlight current level in relation to the displayed image.
The AAT2868 and AAT2869 are high-efficiency, low-noise, constant-frequency, dual-mode (1x/1.5x) charge pump DC/DC converters capable of driving four white LEDs at a total 124mA from a 2.7V to 5.5V input.

The integrated dual linear LDO regulators are independently programmable from 1.2V to 3.0V at a total load of 150mA each. These LDO voltage regulators can be used to power an additional display controller, CMOS image sensor, vibration motor or other accessories.

"These products further move AnalogicTech towards delivering integrated, feature-rich devices for LED backlight," continued Dewsbury.

"We have rapidly grown our backlight driver family with nearly 50 now available and five using this charge pump architecture. Adding new and unique features to expand our portfolio, while at the same time replacing older products with updated and smaller designs, is key to maintaining our leadership position as the backlight supplier to the mobile phone industry and bringing in new customers in other related portable applications."

The AAT2868 and AAT2869 offer significant flexibility for implementation, with the easy-to-use single wire AS2Cwire interface to enable LED dimming options in 32 current steps, smooth fading transitions and LDO programming. Both are provided in a compact, low-profile TQFN package that has a 76 percent smaller footprint compared to discrete solutions.

These new drivers are ideal for power-sensitive battery operated handheld applications with LCD displays of up to 3.5 inches. Such devices include smart phones, personal navigation devices, portable media players, portable medical equipment and portable industrial instrumentation.

Diodes Inc.'s versatile 9-channel LED drivers improve LCD backlighting performance with 93 percent efficiency and 1 percent channel matching

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, announced two 9-channel LED drivers with internal charge-pumps for backlighting small-LCD screens, keypads and LED lights.

Working from 2.7V to 5.5V and driving 20mA, the applications include mobile phones and other portable consumer devices. Driving three groups of 3-LED channels and its three independent PWM dimmable control inputs, the AL3158 provides a simple drive for RGB LEDs. The AL3159, with its versatile 3-wire logic decoding of LED current control, simplifies the driving of 9-LEDs for illuminating LCD screens and LED indicator control.

The inductor-less solution requires only three external capacitors to complete the driver circuit. High levels of functional integration coupled with thin QFN packages mean that these devices save board space and reduce manufacturing costs. The devices offer up to 93 percent power efficiency, maximize battery life, and feature 1 percent current matching accuracy between channels to deliver an extremely even, consistent screen image.

LED open and short-circuit protection, thermal and under-voltage lockout and over voltage protection are provided on all channel outputs to maximize reliability. A soft start function reduces power supply inrush current to maximize battery-operating life. Both drivers are available in a lead-free, thermally enhanced, 20-pin 3mm x 3mm 0.6mm height QFN package.

Arrow Electronics signs global distribution agreement with Redpine Signals

MELVILLE, USA: Arrow Electronics Inc. has announced a global distribution agreement with Redpine Signals Inc., for its broad portfolio of wireless chipsets, modules and development kits.

Arrow will distribute Redpine Signals’ complete portfolio of low-power, high-performance chipsets and modules that provide seamless connectivity integration with any microcontroller platform available today. Redpine’s technologies support multiple market segments including industrial, consumer electronics, medical, mobile, PC, smart energy and others.

“Arrow’s global reach, extensive engineering and support infrastructure, coupled with the explosive market growth of Wi-Fi and a differentiated total solution from Redpine, gives Arrow a winning edge,” said Venkat Mattela, CEO for Redpine Signals. “We expect this partnership to expand to many synergistic development areas to provide cost-effective and timely solutions to our customers.”

“Wi-Fi technology is everywhere and is at the core of all embedded application designs,” said Jeff Eastman, senior vice president, global supplier marketing and asset management for Arrow Electronics. “Redpine’s portfolio of chipsets and modules can help Arrow customers design emerging wireless system products quickly by providing a mature and well-supported solution.”

Armstrong World Industries and Universal Display demo highly efficient, white OLED lighting ceiling system

LANCASTER & EWING, USA: Armstrong World Industries Inc. and Universal Display Corp., the company enabling energy-efficient displays and lighting with its UniversalPHOLED technology and materials, have demonstrated a novel white phosphorescent OLED lighting system to the US Department of Energy (DOE) in connection with the successful completion of their $1.9 million, two-year, Solid State Lighting Product Program titled “Development of High Efficacy, Low Cost Phosphorescent OLED Lighting Ceiling Luminaire System.”

This demonstration is a critical step toward the commercialization of efficient, low-cost lighting systems for commercial applications.

Universal Display’s novel luminaire system is energy-efficient, has low-cost potential and is also aesthetically pleasing. Integrated into Armstrong’s innovative TechZone ceiling system, each luminaire, consisting of four 15 cm x 15 cm PHOLED lamps, easily snaps into Armstrong’s modular structure for very pleasing and highly utilitarian functionality, as shown in the photograph below.

“Our TechZone ceiling system seemed like the ideal platform to demonstrate the potential of Universal Display’s PHOLED luminaire technology,” commented Joann Davis-Brayman, VP of Marketing for Armstrong Ceiling Systems Division.

“In addition to its promising energy savings potential, OLED technology supports the monolithic, uncluttered visual our customers are looking for. We are pleased to have been a part of Universal Display’s pioneering development effort and appreciate the support of the DOE in this innovative demonstration project.”

“We are very proud to be playing a key role in demonstrating the potential for OLED lighting for commercial applications, and we thank both the DOE and our partners at Armstrong World Industries for this opportunity,” stated Steven V. Abramson, president and CEO of Universal Display.

“Armstrong has shown tremendous vision with its drive to integrate white PHOLEDs into its innovative TechZone Ceiling System. The potential to easily snap Universal Display PHOLED luminaires into Armstrong’s system should enable energy-efficient, functional lighting precisely where it is needed.”

The PHOLED luminaire used in the Armstrong TechZone System has overall dimensions of approximately 15 cm x 60 cm. Each of the four lamps in the luminaire consists of a PHOLED lighting panel, an outcoupling enhancement lens and a mounting frame. Using Universal Display’s highly-efficient UniversalPHOLED technology and materials, each panel offers a record 58 lumens per Watt (lm/W) which translates into a luminaire efficacy calculated to be 51 lm/W.

It has been estimated that by 2016, white OLEDs could generate well over $20 billion in worldwide savings of electricity costs and could save over nine million metric tons of carbon emissions from the US alone.

Universal Display is working under several DOE-funded programs to advance energy-efficient white OLED lighting. Highly-efficient UniversalPHOLED technology and materials, pioneered by Universal Display, have been a driving force behind advances in OLED lighting performance and innovative lighting design opportunities for global manufacturers, such as the PHOLED luminaire used in the Armstrong ceiling system.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prososed list of RoHS exemptions finally added to OJ of the EU!

Gary Nevison, Premier Farnell.

UK: After a delay of several months the prososed list of RoHS exemptions was finally added to the Official Journal (OJ) of the European Union on 24 September and became effective on that date (some Member States need to amend their national legislation first).

Note bumber 10 on the covering preample states: "It is necessary to make substantial changes to the Annex of Directive 2002/95/EC. Therefore, for reasons of clarity, the whole Annex should be replaced".

Gary has sent this link for users to download

Ioxus acquires Advanced Energy Conversion (AEC) to deliver full range ultracapacitor cells and modules

ONEONTA, USA: Ioxus Inc., the only US manufacturer of innovative ultracapacitor technologies for military, transportation and alternative energy markets, has acquired Advanced Energy Conversion (AEC), which specializes in energy conversion systems using embedded controls, power electronics, and electric machines.

Ioxus will incorporate AEC products into its current offerings to deliver the most comprehensive, energy-efficient systems solutions for hybrid electric vehicles, wind pitch control and other energy storage applications.

Ioxus, which worked with AEC on several projects prior to the acquisition, plans to expand AEC’s 12-member staff and retain its New York-based property, creating local jobs and maintaining its status as the only ultracapacitor company manufacturing exclusively in the United States.

“Ioxus is focused on enabling the rapid growth of energy generation and cleantech markets around the world, and the acquisition of AEC’s capabilities in energy conversion systems helps us progress toward that goal,” said Mark McGough, CEO of Ioxus.

“The acquisition of AEC boosts our ability to quickly customize our products’ design to meet the individual needs of our clients, whether they are looking for individual large cell prismatic electrochemical double layer capacitors (EDLC) or a complete system.”

For over 10 years, AEC designed, tested and produced electronic power converters, embedded control systems, and electric machines for customers including John Deere, General Motors, American Electric Power, the Department of the Navy, and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The company earned design awards from NASA and the US Department of Defense, as well as a reputation for providing fast turnaround for customized product development. AEC’s mission to improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and add functionality to a variety of power applications mirrors Ioxus’ commitment to creating environmentally friendly devices that improve packaged energy and power density, simplify integration and enhance performance.

David Torrey, formerly of AEC and now Ioxus vice president of engineering, said: “The products we built at AEC complement Ioxus offerings and present the market with a cohesive, yet wide-reaching array of energy storage options that incorporate the highest density and performance with the lowest cost. AEC joins Ioxus at a time in which numerous industries are actively seeking alternative power options, and we look forward to working together as one company to lead the market in fulfilling that need.”

ON Semiconductor expands LED lighting solutions portfolio

Strategies in Light Europe (SIL), FRANKFURT, GERMANY: ON Semiconductor will showcase its newest Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting solutions at the Strategies in Light Europe conference Sept. 27-29 in Frankfurt, Germany.

“Energy efficiency in a cost-effective design is critical to achieving high overall luminous efficacy in solid state lighting applications,” said Laurent Jenck, director of ON Semiconductor’s LED Lighting segment.

“High Brightness LEDs (HBLED) are replacing incandescent lamps in a broad range of applications, and the overall popularity of solid state lighting is continuing to grow across many different industry sectors. ON Semiconductor has recognized the many needs and applications for efficient LED lighting and effective LED Lighting protection and is rapidly developing solutions targeted to address customers’ needs ranging from backlighting in handheld electronics and LCD panels, to general lighting, architectural lighting and automotive lighting.”

ON Semiconductor offers a broad portfolio of LED lighting solutions for automotive; cell phones; camera flash; LCD panel backlighting; and interior, exterior, portable torch, signage and architectural lighting. At the SIL conference, ON Semiconductor will demonstrate and discuss its most recently introduced lighting solutions:

Miniature buck LED driver controller for efficient, compact lighting designs
ON Semiconductor’s NCL30100 is a new step-down (buck) LED driver controller that provides an ideal solution for high-brightness LED driver applications where space is limited and high efficiency is important, such as low voltage MR-16 LED bulbs. The new controller helps designers optimize their solution for a wide range of LED drive currents and is ideal for low voltage halogen-to-LED replacement, LED track and landscape lighting, and solar LED products.

The NCL30100's ability to operate at high switching frequency and the flexibility it gives to select the most appropriate power MOSFETs, combine to support the customer in achieving an optimal solution for their design.

Based on a peak current, quasi fixed-off time control architecture optimized for continuous mode step-down operation that eliminates the need for an output filter capacitor, the NCL30100 saves both board space and cost. A switching frequency of up to 700 kHz enables designers to use smaller inductors and therefore achieve further valuable PCB real estate savings.

The NCL30100 meets the energy saving demands of the latest designs by achieving up to 95 percent efficiency. For low voltage AC applications, the NCL30100 can be dimmed via a standard wall dimmer.

Microchip announces digital LED lighting development kit

CHANDLER, USA: Microchip Technology Inc. has announced its Digital LED Lighting Development Kit. Complete documentation, including software and Gerber files, can be downloaded for free from Microchip’s Web site.

LED lighting designers are being challenged to meet the rapidly expanding demand for green, smart energy technologies while differentiating their products. Microchip’s Digital LED Lighting Development Kit enables designers to quickly leverage the capabilities and performance of the dsPIC33 ‘GS’ series of Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) to develop LED lighting products.

The dsPIC33 ‘GS’ DSC and this reference design allow developers to create a 100 percent digitally controlled ballast function, while including advanced features such as dimming and color hue control.

The dsPIC33 ‘GS’ DSCs can support an entire system implementation for LED lighting products, including power-conversion circuits, such as AC-to-DC and DC-to-DC conversion, along with functions such as Power Factor Correction (PFC), which are necessary for a complete product and lower the overall system cost.

“This reference design enables our customers to develop LED lighting products that are 100% digitally controlled and are very cost effective,” said Sumit Mitra, vice president of Microchip’s High Performance Microcontroller Division. “By using the flexible dsPIC33F ‘GS’ series of DSCs, customers can easily customize and differentiate by making simple modifications to the control software.”

Benefits offered by the digital-power techniques in this reference design and the dsPIC33 ‘GS’ series of DSCs include:
* Reduced System Cost via higher integration.
* Higher Efficiency using digital-control techniques.
* Flexible and reusable designs.
* Advanced features implemented in software.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Santek supplying high-quality products worldwide

KOBE, HYOGO PREFECTURE, JAPAN: San Technology Inc. (Santek) is an integrated manufacturer of electronic components based in San Diego, California, specializing in liquid crystal displays (LCDs), LCD modules, print circuit boards (PCBs) and PCB assembly. Products are mainly manufactured in its facilities in China. The group headquarters is in San Diego, California and the headquarters for Santek Japan Corporation is in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture.

Most monochrome LCDs used in Japan are supplied by Chinese companies. Santek is also engaged in production in China, with its plant operation undertaken by management staff well versed in the business through their experience at LCD manufacturers in Japan and Taiwan. The company is thus advantageously placed, supplying high-quality products not only to Japan but also to the rest of the world.

Customer satisfaction is Santek's top priority. A customer-oriented manufacturer, it provides quality products and services, with more than 80 percent of its products customized to meet the needs of customers. Santek also offers satisfactory after-sales services are given to every customer and every purchase.

Santek focuses on the dependable and high-quality products. Santek's expertise in manufacturing enables us to provide our products to customers with reputable services.

The workmanship meets IPC-610 Class requirements for withstanding environmental extremes such as shock, vibration and high temperature, and Santek has been certified for the ISO 9001:2000 QMS (Standard for Quality Management Systems).

Sunrise Technologies intros system for dimming LED outdoor lighting

BOSTON, USA: Sunrise Technologies has released the Dimulator (patent pending), a module and system that actuates dimming of LED Outdoor Lighting.

The Dimulator produces a 0-10 Vdc or a Pulse Width Modulation output to LED Drivers to actuate the dimming feature. For local dimming control, the Dimulator receives a signal from a Sunrise Technologies MidNight Tracker control to dim the LED light at midnight.

For remote dimming control the Dimulator receives a signal from a Sunrise Technologies Wi-OLC (Wireless Outdoor Lighting Control). The Dimulator Module can also receive a signal from a contactor to actuate dimming.

Vance Spillman, VP and GM of FP OLC / Sunrise Technologies says: “Until now there has been no practical way to dim LED Outdoor Lights through a NEMA twistlock receptacle or other three wire system. The Dimulator fills a void in LED Outdoor Lighting technology.”

VPG adds ultra-high-precision bulk metal Z-foil resistors

MALVERN, USA: Vishay Precision Group Inc. announced that its Vishay Foil Resistors division has extended the Z Series of ultra-high-precision Bulk Metal Z-Foil resistors with three new devices.

These devices provide very low TCR of 0.05 ppm/deg. C from 0 to 60 deg. C and 0.2ppm/deg. C from -55 to +125 deg. C, +25 deg. C ref., tight tolerances of 0.005 percent (50ppm), and a load life stability of 0.005 percent at 70 deg. C for 2,000 hours or to 0.015 percent at 70 deg. C for 10,000 hours. Qualified in accordance with EEE-INST002 and MIL-PRF 55182, the new Z204, Z205, and Z206 join the previously released Z201 for military/aerospace applications.

The devices are the result of a unique concept in resistor manufacturing, starting with a proprietary bulk metal foil cemented to a special ceramic substrate. A resistive pattern is then photo-etched into the foil by an ultra-fine technique developed by Vishay Foil Resistors and laser-adjusted to any desired value and tolerance.

The Z Series resistors utilize a special trimming method that increases resistance in precise steps, but at positions away from the active grid, so that the etched grid in the active area remains reliable and noise-free.

Since the metals used are not drawn, wound, or mistreated in any way during the manufacturing process, the Bulk Metal Foil resistor maintains all its design, physical, and electrical characteristics of maximum stability and near-zero TCR. These performance characteristics are built into every unit, and do not rely on screening or other artificial means for uniform performance.

The stability of a resistor depends primarily on its history of exposure to temperature. Stability is affected by: changes in the ambient temperature and heat from adjacent components (TCR); destabilizing thermal shock of suddenly-applied power (power TCR); long-term exposure to applied power (load-life stability); and repetitive stresses from being switched on and off.

The Z Series has been developed to successfully deal with these factors. Vishay Foil Resistors' Z-Foil technology provides an order of magnitude reduction in the Bulk Metal Foil element's sensitivity to temperature changes -- both external and internal. This technology provides a low absolute TCR of 0.05ppm/deg. C and a power TCR of 5ppm at rated power.

Over the past few months, there has been considerable growth in the demand for precise, stable, and reliable resistors that can operate in harsh environments, especially at high temperatures. Many analog circuits for industrial, military, aerospace, medical, down-hole, oil well, and automotive applications require passive components such as resistors to have a minimal drift from their initial values when operating above 175 deg. C and in humid environments.

In these applications the most important factor is the end-of-life tolerance and, to a lesser extent, the initial tolerance. The Z Series provides stabilities well under the maximum allowable drift required by customers' specifications through thousands of hours of operation under harsh conditions such as the extreme temperatures and radiation-rich environment of down-hole oil well logging applications; in the frigid arctic; under the sea; or in deep space.

All Z Series resistors receive stabilization processing such as repetitive short-term power overloads to assure reliable service through the unpredictable stresses of extreme operation.

The Z Series offers a resistance range from 10Ω to 600kΩ. Vishay Foil Resistors are not restricted to standard values, and specific "as required" values (e.g. 1.234 kilohms vs. 1 kilohm) can be supplied at no extra cost or delivery time. Total accumulated change in resistance over life (EOL) for the devices is less than 0.05 percent, or better with post manufacturing operations (PMO).

The resistors feature rated power to 1W at +125 deg. C, a rise time of 1ns with effectively no ringing, current noise of less than 40dB, thermal EMF of 0.05 microvolts per deg. C typical, and a voltage coefficient of less than 0.1ppm/V.

Offering the utmost in ESD immunity, the devices withstand electrostatic discharges of at least 25kV for increased reliability, and offer a non-inductive (less than 0.08 microhenries), non-capacitive design. Z Series resistors are available with lead (Pb)-free and tin/lead alloy termination plating.

Samples and production quantities of the Z Series resistors are available now, with lead times of five days for samples and three weeks for standard orders.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

RoHS-open scope 2019 proposal

Gary Nevison, Premier Farnell.

UK: Belgium, who currently holds the EU presidency and appears to want to make a difference during their term in office, has proposed that the open scope on the RoHS Directive be from 2019.

Open scope, unless specifically excluded, is the subject of behind the scenes discussions ahead of a vote on the proposed recast later this year.

The date of 2019, revised from the previous proposal of 2017, is based on the assumption that the recast would enter into law during 2011.

As a result this proposal moves even further away from the position of the European Parliament’s environment committee that was looking for an open
scope by 2014.

The new proposal also recommends that products already covered by the RoHS directive do not require to carry out an impact assessment before
deciding the need for exemptions.

Both Member States and MEPs want to exclude solar panels containing cadmium although the solar industry is split over the issue due to differences
in manufacturing processes.

Likewise, views still vary on which substances should make up a priority list for possible future restriction.

MEPs prefer a total of 37, including many REACH SVHCs, while Member States back the European Commissions original four. There is also an opposition to the proposed ban on nanosilver and carbon nanotubes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vishay's WSLP0805 0.5-W surface-mount power metal strip resistor industry's first in 0805 package size

MALVERN, USA: Vishay Intertechnology Inc. announced a new surface-mount Power Metal Strip resistor that is the industry's first 0.5-W current sensing resistor in the compact 0805 package size.

The WSLP0805 resistor features a very low 10 to 50 milliohms resistance value range and high-temperature performance up to 170 deg. C.

The small size of the WSLP0805 resistor allows it to replace larger current sensing resistors, saving space on the circuit board that in turn will enable smaller and lighter products for the consumer.

The resistor is intended for current sensing applications in DC/DC converters for computers, VRMs for laptops, and Li-Ion battery safety and management, as well as electronic automotive systems, including engine controls, multi-media electronics, climate controls, and anti-lock brakes.

Manufactured using proprietary techniques that result in extremely high power and low resistance values, the WSLP0805 features all-welded construction with a solid metal nickel-chrome or manganese-copper alloy resistive element. The resistor offers very low inductance values from 0.5 nH to 5 nH, an excellent frequency response to 50 MHz, and low thermal EMF of less than 3 microvolts per degree Celsius.

Samples and production quantities of the new resistor are available now, with a lead time of four to six weeks for larger orders.

IXYS announces high linearity power amplifiers for 4.4 to 5.1 GHz

FREMONT, USA: MicroWave Technology Inc. (MwT), a wholly owned subsidiary of IXYS Corp. has introduced a family of three GaAs and GaN based high linearity RF power amplifier products with various power levels. These new power amplifiers, targeted at the emerging applications for the 4.4 to 5.1 GHz frequency band, are WPS-445133-02, WPS-444924-02, and MGA-444940-02.

The WPS-445133-02 has 2W output power at 1dB gain compression point and 26 dBm linear output power (burst power) at 2.5 percent EVM (Error-Vector-Magnitude) under the 64 QAM 802.11 digital signal modulation scheme.

This multiple-stage power amplifier has 33 dB of gain. The WPS-444924-02 produces 4W output power at 1dB gain compression point and 29 dBm linear output power at 2 percent EVM with 10 dB gain. As a GaN based high power amplifier that requires 28 Volts on the drain bias, the MGA-444940-02 achieves 10W output power at 2dB gain compression point and 33 dBm linear power at 2.5 percent EVM with 12 dB gain. The power added efficiency at 2W linear power level for this power amplifier is as high as 20 percent.

These three power amplifiers have excellent RF performance and are ideal for the emerging applications in the 4.4 to 5.1 GHz frequency band, including telemetry, dedicated high data rate wireless network, point to point wireless communications, military wireless communications, etc.

All three power amplifiers are fully matched for both input and output terminals for easy cascade and are packaged in the low cost MwT -02 surface mount package with RoHS compliance. The MTBF (mean-Time-Before-Failure) for these microwave/RF power amplifiers is over 100 years at 85 degrees Centigrade ambient temperature. Evaluation boards for the power amplifiers in 02 packages are available now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wi-Ex launches zBoost active antenna amplifier

CEDIA EXPO 2010, ATLANTA, USA: Wi-Ex, the leading provider of consumer cell phone signal boosters for the home, office and on the go, launched its new zBoost active antenna amplifier at CEDIA. Showcased at Booth #4012, the zBoost active antenna amplifier is designed to provide maximum in-door cell phone signal performance in signal-challenged buildings and demanding applications.

The zBoost active antenna amplifier optimizes the performance of the external zBoost CI cell phone signal booster antenna reducing dropped calls and improving cell phone signal indoors, as well as maximizing signal and speed of aircards, EDGE and 3G technology, smart phones and use of data on mobile phones.

"The zBoost active antenna amplifier builds upon Wi-Ex's industry leading technology to provide custom installers with a new solution to help enrich their customers' home communication," said Lloyd R. Meese, CEO of Wi-Ex. "The new product utilizes an innovative design configuration to deliver unparalleled value: maximum performance at a lower total solution cost with greater installation flexibility and ease. No other booster manufacturer offers a similar device."

According to the annual zBoost "State of the Cell Signal" Survey, commissioned by Wi-Ex and conducted by Harris Interactive, nearly 70 percent of cell phone owners consider their cell phone their essential voice and/or data communication tool. The survey also found 67 percent of cell owners experience problems with their signal at home and 49 percent claim to have done something special to improve signal strength.

In addition and important to the many smart phone, iPhone and Blackberry users in metro areas, the survey revealed that 67 percent of cell phone owners use data functions on their cell phones and, of those, nearly 60 percent experience problems while using data.

GigOptix expands presence in Japanese market; signs new distributor agreement with Midoriya

PALO ALTO, USA: GigOptix Inc. has signed Midoriya Electric Co. Ltd, a leading distributor of electronic components and instruments, as its sole distributor for optical and RF sales in Japan.

This agreement strengthens GigOptix’ presence in the Japanese Telecom, Datacom, Consumer, PC and Semiconductor markets by enabling GigOptix to partner with this premier Japanese distributor.

Makoto Kuroha, president of Midoriya Electric, stated: “We are very happy to sign GigOptix as a key supplier. We believe that optics will replace copper interconnect technology in the future and we have been looking for a strong partner in the optical space. GigOptix has great technology and great solutions and is a good match with the Japanese optical communication customers. We look forward to utilizing our strong sales and engineering resources to further develop the customer base in the Telecom and Datacom markets and expanding their reach into higher volume consumer, PC and semiconductor markets.”

Jay de la Barre, VP of Sales at GigOptix, said: “Midoriya is an excellent ambassador for GigOptix in Japan, they have a strong presence that will enable us to expand our current optical market reach and provide the breadth of expertise that enables us to address new market segments such as consumer and computer devices. We look forward to working with Midoriya to develop these exciting new business opportunities in Japan.”

austriamicrosystems announces new high-precision LED driver ICs with lowest power consumption for next-generation TVs

UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, AUSTRIA: austriamicrosystems has announced two new LED driver ICs that ensure the brightest and most brilliant video images.

With the AS3695A -- a 16-channel white LED driver for direct lighting -- and the AS3695C -- a 16-channel white LED controller for edge lighting -- austriamicrosystems extends its portfolio of LED BLU (backlight unit) drivers and controllers for the latest generation of LCD TVs.

Both ICs feature power management and boast the best available accuracy. Outstanding driver accuracy of +/-0.5 percent guarantees exact brightness and color matching and channel-to-channel current matching is +/-0.2 percent, resulting in high lighting contrast ratios for the best possible picture quality and 3D effects.

In addition, the high precision AS3695A and AS3695C include novel power feedback regulation for controlling external power supplies for the highest system efficiency and reduced power in LED backlit LCD TVs.

“austriamicrosystems is well known for producing the best ICs for driving LED backlighting systems,” stated Markus Luidolt Marketing Manager Panel Lighting at austriamicrosystems. “Because of their outstanding performance, our drivers have been designed into many top TV brands all over the world. This early market dominance has helped us to better understand direct and edge type TVs and has resulted in this next generation of LED drivers.”

The devices are programmable via a SPI (serial peripheral interface) port and provide built-in safety features, including thermal shutdown and open and short LED detection. Other features include linear current setting using a 10-bit DAC, output slew rate programmability, H-Sync and V-Sync inputs to synchronize with a TV, direct PWM mode, undervoltage auto-turnoff, overvoltage auto-turnoff, temperature shutdown and fault interrupt output.

Samples are available now. The 1,000 piece price for the AS3695A QFN is $2.10. The AS3695C QFN and AS3695C LQFP are $2.20 and $2.70, respectively.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Seoul Semiconductor LED selected for ZEBRAlliance project backed by US DOE

OAK RIDGE, USA: With the official opening Monday of Oak Ridge National Laboratories ZEBRAlliance project, Seoul Semiconductor demonstrated how LEDs can help illuminate and define a home’s living area using a fraction of the energy consumed by traditional incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

ZEBRAlliance – the Zero Energy Building Research Alliance -- is a collaborative effort among Schaad LLC, The Tennessee Valley Authority, the Department of Energy and the Oak Ridge Labs to field-evaluate two pairs of energy-saving residences.

It will demonstrate energy conservation efforts that can reduce the load on the existing electrical grid and curb dependence on non-renewable energy sources throughout the project. Energy use, lighting quality and maintenance requirements will be monitored for two years. Data from the house outfitted with Seoul Semiconductor’s Acriche LEDs will be compared against that of a house using compact fluorescent lights.

Seoul Semiconductor’s unique Acriche LEDs are featured in solid state lighting installed throughout an energy-saving home at the ZEBRAlliance, and were chosen for the trend-setting house because they do not use electronics to convert AC line voltage into DC as do most other solid state lighting devices. The result is a more energy- and cost-efficient lighting product.

In addition, LEDs outlast conventional light bulbs – providing more than five times the light for each watt consumed when compared with a typical incandescent light for an energy savings up to 86% -- and exhibit color qualities far preferable to those of traditional bulbs. Acriche will continuously evolve its performance to double its lumen by end of this year.

Seoul Semiconductor plans to extend its LED lighting solution in the market using data culled from what the company is calling “Acriche House.” The name “Acriche” was created by combining the Greek word “Acro,” meaning top, with “rich” to coincide with the company’s ideals of enriching people’s lives with its advanced lighting technology.

Seoul Semiconductor has 5,500 patents, including Acriche product-related technologies, to operate multiple light-emitting cells with AC power, lights the patented Acriche technology of connecting multiple lights cells in a single chip allows for both AC and high voltage DC operation, simplifying operation in many applications including backlighting of LED TVs and solid state lighting.

Brian Wilcox, VP of North American sales for Seoul Semiconductor, said: “The ZEBRAlliance project marks the beginning of a new era in home lighting. The United States Congress has mandated elimination of ordinary incandescent bulbs by 2014; Europe did the same last year, banning the sale of incandescent bulbs over 100 watts. This market will grow substantially as consumers realize the benefits of brighter illumination combined with energy efficiencies.

“Seoul’s participation in this project shows our determination to continue proliferation of this technology and solidify our position as a market leader.”

Arrow Electronics announces distribution agreement with Micrium

MELVILLE, USA: Arrow Electronics Inc. has announced a distribution agreement with Micrium, a leader in high-quality embedded software components and solutions.

Arrow components customers will now have access to Micrium’s real-time operating systems, development tools for embedded systems and training materials used in a range of applications within multiple markets, including medical, military and aerospace, consumer, telecom and industrial.

"Arrow’s reach, expertise and reputation in the embedded space greatly expand Micrium's distribution efforts," said Jean Labrosse, president and chief executive officer for Micrium. "Arrow not only builds on Micrium's existing global presence, it offers immediate access to Micrium products through a highly professional and trusted sales force.”

“Micrium brings unique development tools and operating systems, enabling Arrow to provide complete solutions to customers and help get their products to market faster,” said David West, vice president supplier marketing and asset for Arrow Electronics. “Through this agreement, we can offer a greater range of support to the embedded design community, while enhancing our semiconductor partners eco-system.”

Opnext 40G DQPSK optical module moves into mass production

ECOC 2010, TURIN, ITALY: Opnext Inc. has announced its 40Gbps differential quadrature phase-shift keying (DQPSK) module has moved to full production and is now shipping in volume.

The demand for 40G interfaces continues to grow due to the continued increases in IP and video networks driving the upgrades of regional, long-haul and submarine networks.

In its most recent report regarding 40G components, Ovum forecasted that the 40G DWDM market for DQPSK modules would grow at a CAGR of 16 percent from $175 million in 2010 to more than US$360 million in 2015.

According to Ovum, 40G DQPSK is one of the fastest growing segments in optical communications. It is being deployed within metropolitan networks to economically address the bandwidth bottlenecks caused by the exponential growth in enterprise and consumer traffic generated by the increased usage of smartphones and video.

As a leading manufacturer of 40Gbps optical modules, Opnext, through its DQPSK technology, offers improved optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) characteristics and 50 GHz channel spacing which optimizes performance.

By implementing a DQPSK solution, optical signals are less affected by chromatic dispersion (CD), polarization mode dispersion (PMD), and optical bandwidth limitations after travelling through multiple ROADM nodes. A system designer using an Opnext DQPSK solution can install the module in a network path that is experiencing signal impairments/degradation.

“A large percentage of carrier fiber plants require increased dispersion tolerance that is provided by our DQPSK module in conjunction with tunable dispersion compensation (TDC),” said Tadayuki Kanno, president of Opnext’s modules business unit. “For this reason, the Opnext 40G DQPSK MSA module is being widely adopted and implemented by our system vendor customers in addition to our successful Opnext DPSK module.”

GigOptix to receive $5 million in federal funding for on-chip integrated photonic polymer transceiver

BOTHELL, USA: GigOptix Inc., a leading supplier of high performance electronic and electro-optic components that enable next generation 40G and 100G fiber-optic telecom and datacom networks, announced the continued federal support of its On-Chip Integrated Photonic Polymer Transceiver program.

US Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and a tireless advocate for Washington businesses, helped to secure $5 million as part of the fiscal year 2011 Department of Defense Appropriations bill recently passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee. This appropriation bill must still receive approval by the United States Senate and the final legislation must be passed by the Congress and signed by the President.

This federal support will allow GigOptix to qualify its Thin Film Polymer on Silicon (TFPS) modulators to the stringent temperature stability required by military standards. Additionally, GigOptix will begin designing and testing the second iteration of the integrated driver with the polymer optical modulator on a standard BiCMOS wafer and completing the integration of the receiver side on separate chips, all for the next generation 400Gbps optical communication systems.

Current technologies are physically too large and energy-intensive to sustain the anticipated levels of bandwidth growth in the coming years. This funding will accelerate important development into faster, smaller, and more energy efficient power and communications systems to provide accurate, timely information that will enable the military to maintain its edge in communications technology.

Dr. Raluca Dinu, VP and GM of GigOptix Bothell, said: "GigOptix is the industry leader of high performance electro-optic polymer solutions, both for active and passive applications as stand-alone hybrid products as well as monolithic integrated layers onto Integrated Circuits (ICs). Because of the support of Senator Murray, we are able to push forward with critical research on ultra broadband, low power communications systems that help the military maintain its superiority.

"The US Air Force and the United States Government are looking for solutions to the growing problems of speed, size, integration, weight and power of current technologies. The additional funding support demonstrates confidence in GigOptix' technology as a solution for their high speed network communication needs."

Dr. Avi Katz, CEO and chairman of the Board of GigOptix, stated: "The vision and leadership displayed by Senator Murray in her continuous securing of this funding will not only help provide the men and women in the Armed Services with the technology they require, but it will also support GigOptix’ efforts to sustain our development efforts and create new jobs.

"With this meaningful funding, GigOptix will enhance its work force in our development center in Bothell, thus enabling new job opportunities for highly educated and skillful American scientists, engineers and developers. Continuous funding support by the US government has been a key contributor to GigOptix’ efforts to build a successful high-tech endeavor over the last three years. This funding is an enabling financial engine that allows us to drive forward our strategic plans and continue to develop and establish GigOptix as a global industry leader in the high speed optical communications arena."

Sunstone Circuits launches PCB123 v4 PCB design tool

MULINO, USA: Sunstone Circuits, the printed circuit board (PCB) prototype solutions provider, is launching the newest version of their design software, PCB123 v4.

This advanced software is the most up-to-date, enhanced version of their free-to-use, no license required design-tool. It has an intuitive CAD interface that lets you create new PCB designs quickly; offering freedom and flexibility in your schematic and layout editing. Bottom line, the design process just got easier.

PCB123 v4 provides the additional design capabilities that PCB designers have been asking for. In their quest to remain the easiest PCB solutions provider to do business with, Sunstone Circuits has responded to feedback from the engineering community by not only improving the feature set of PCB123, but also configuring the software into a more user friendly and intuitive resource.

As a result, design engineers now have access to a free industrial-grade CAD tool that is setting a new standard in the industry.

Some of the key features in the release of PCB123 v4 include:
500,000 New Parts: Improved search functionality with complete access to parts libraries (Powered by Accelerated Design).
Data Sheet Availability: Research in ‘real-time,’ parts availability from Digi-Key.
Automated BOM (Bill of Materials): For ease in purchasing and assembly.
New Data Importer: Gain efficiency by importing DXF files from mechanical CAD tools, removing tedious pain-points that slow down the design process.
Buildable Designs: Sunstone’s DRC/DFM rules are integrated into the software to deliver more effective feedback and fewer design spins.

PCB CAD tools have traditionally concentrated on the hard engineering issues, like impedance calculations and trace routing tools. What PCB CAD developers have consistently overlooked is the ability to provide design engineers with information regarding the economic or supply-chain constraints that affect design times.

With PCB123 v4, Sunstone brings the first fully-realized set of tools that allow its users to design with full knowledge of the budgetary and scheduling impacts of their design decisions, as well as the hard engineering information. Sunstone realizes that their users are held accountable for financial and budgetary constraints and that the tool they use should provide them that information. This view into the supply chain has now been made possible, with PCB123 v4.

Design engineers will find improved availability and research information, as well as up-to-date pricing for each component-part registered in the Digi-Key database. Many of the parts research elements that design engineers use in the Digi-Key website are also available to them inside the PCB123 tool.

For example, while reviewing a part definition for use in their design, users can click through to the datasheets, and the Digi-Key website product page for the part that they’re researching. Plus, the LiveBOM functionality inside PCB123 v4 means that anyone can start placing an order for the exact components specified, direct from Digi-Key, with just one click of the mouse.

Nolan Johnson, CAD/EDA manager, Sunstone Circuits, said: “With PCB123 v4, and our new approach to making parts libraries available, we’re tackling one of the most overlooked aspects of PCB design; parts management. It’s estimated that PCB design teams spend at least 2 million resource hours annually just maintaining parts libraries in existing tool sets. Most of that work is duplicated in numerous other design teams. Our work with Digi-Key helps buy all that time back for PCB designers to do what they do best – design PCBs.”

In addition to the enhanced relationship with Digi-Key, Sunstone Circuits and the management team of PCB123 have developed a new partnership with parts-libraries supplier, Accelerated Designs.

With its Ultralib product, Accelerated Designs continues to emerge as the leading supplier of CAD tool-neutral parts in the industry. Naturally it makes sense to collaborate with the supplier, to make their parts-libraries available to their users, at no cost when inside the design-tool environment. This relationship now offers PCB123 v4 users complete access to over 500,000 new parts.

Frank Frank, owner, Accelerated Designs, said: "We’re delighted to have Sunstone base their new library release on our 1.5 million part CAD-neutral library. Not only will they have access to the largest CAD-neutral library in the world, but they will also have the benefit of components built consistently based on the latest industry standards and automation methods. These features will provide Sunstone customers with the easiest to use, fastest and most accurate library data for basing their PCB designs.”

IXYS Colorado releases new RF switching module

FORT COLLINS, USA: IXYS Corp. announced that its IXYSRF division has released the latest addition to their “4DF” line of integrated driver/MOSFET RF power modules.

The IXZ421DF12N100 utilizes the same IXYSRF driver IC found in the popular DEIC421 and a 1000V 12A MOSFET in combination to provide users an RF switching module with improved performance, reduced overall part counts and smaller footprint compared to traditional discrete devices.

Similar to IXYS’ other RF power modules the IXZ421DF12N100 can be operated up to switching frequencies of 30MHz in class D and E RF applications.

“By utilizing the 421 driver IC we have been able to simplify the drive requirements for the module while maintaining the excellent RF power performance achieved through the integration of the driver and MOSFET combined with the isolated DCB based, high efficiency RF Package for which IXYSRF is known,” said Stephen Krausse, GM of IXYSRF.

The IXZ421DF12N100 contains a 12A, 1000V MOSFET coupled with the DEIC421 driver IC for short propagation delays and accurate switching thresholds. By integrating both the driver and MOSFET into a single package, stray inductance is minimized between the driver and the gate of the MOSFET thereby allowing for greater efficiency.

The DEIC421 driver die has been designed with low propagation delays, fast switching and high drive current. The driver section can be operated from 10V to 18V and features Kelvin ground connections that virtually eliminate false triggering.

Rise and fall times of less than 4 ns have been observed into a 50-ohm load making the part useful for high power, short pulse and switching applications. The low capacitance of the 12N100 MOSFET die reduces required drive current and improves the module’s efficiency.

The SMD package of the IXZ421DF12N100 is a robust high power package, with excellent thermal performance, electrical isolation, and excellent thermal power cycling capability, outperforming the common ceramic and more expensive hermetic RF packages.

With the IXZ421DF12N100, customers can expect higher efficiency, lower overall cost, improved switching performance, smaller size and reduced part count for both high speed switching applications as well as class D and E RF applications.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stakeholder consultation on three exemptions

Gary Nevison, Premier Farnell.

UK: The European Commission is consulting (from 20 September until 15 November) on whether or not to extend the exemptions from a ban on hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment under the RoHS Directive. Two relate to lead and the third to cadmium:

Exemption 30: “Cadmium alloys as electrical / mechanical solder joints to electrical conductors located directly on the voice coil in transducers used in high-powered loudspeakers with sound pressure levels of 100 db (A) and more”

Exemption 31: “Lead in soldering materials in mercury in mercury free flat fluorescent lamps (which e.g. are used in liquid crystal displays, design or
industrial lighting).

Exemption 32: Lead oxide in seal frit used for making window assemblies for Argon and Krypton laser tubes.

The revised RoHS Annex agreed by the RoHS Technical Adaptation Committee (TAC) in May 2010 is not yet in force but will replace the current Annex when published in the official journal of the EU.

Luminus Devices awarded federal grant from US DOE to develop driver electronics for high power LEDs

BILLERICA, USA: Luminus Devices Inc., a developer and manufacturer of high light output LEDs, was awarded a grant from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science to develop low cost, high efficiency drive electronics to enhance its big-chip LED technology for use in next-generation, solid-state light sources and fixtures in commercial and industrial buildings as well as residential applications.

Luminus was awarded the Phase 1 grant under the DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. The primary objective of the SBIR grant is to bring big-chip solid-state lighting solutions to world markets more rapidly and at lower costs with energy efficient electronics.

“Luminus develops the world’s brightest single element, solid-state light sources. We are thrilled to be working with the DOE to expand the global reach of PhlatLight LEDs into untapped environments,” said Keith T. S. Ward, president and CEO, Luminus Devices.

“In 2012, many traditional light sources will begin to be phased out as part of the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007, and will be replaced with next-generation, long-lasting, energy-efficient solid-state light sources. The DOE award is further validation of Luminus’ LED solutions that bring value and new designs to the North American lighting market.”

Designed to provide an ultra-bright, reliable light source, Luminus LEDs are used in lighting applications by many of the world’s largest electronics and lighting companies. Luminus’ solutions are enabling new general illumination applications in lighting markets such as architectural, entertainment, retail, residential, roadways, industrial high-bay lighting, digital displays and signage and UV for industrial processing.

GigOptix intros new portfolio of ultralow power SMART OSAs

ECOC 2010, PALO ALTO, USA: GigOptix Inc., a leading supplier of high performance electronic and electro-optic components that enable next generation 40G and 100G optical networks, will demonstrate its new family of ultralow power multirate SMART Optical Sub-Assemblies (OSAs) targeting 2G-14Gb/s short reach datacom applications at the 36th European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Torino, Italy on September 20-22.

GigOptix’ SMART Receive OSA (HXR2101A) and Transmit OSA (HXT2101A) are based on a new generation of GigOptix VCSEL driver and transimpedance amplifier/limiting amplifier (TIA/LA) chips.

GigOptix has leveraged its extensive mixed signal experience in high volume parallel optics devices to combine advanced RF analog circuit techniques that reduce power consumption with integrated on-chip Analog-to-Digital Convertors (ADC) and Digital-to-Analog Convertors (DAC) to enable a fully digitally controlled TOSA and ROSA.

This architecture significantly simplifies the design of an optical transceiver such as an SFP+ by eliminating all analog and RF circuits from the PCB. The elimination of RF analog interfaces improves performance and reduces both power consumption and EMI within the transceiver. The new architecture also drives down costs while also significantly reducing the engineering effort associated with developing a solution.

The introduction of the SMART ROSA and TOSA further reinforces GigOptix’ position as the industry leader of high speed chips and multi-chip-modules (MCMs) by enabling customers a seamless and low cost deployment using the company’s “plug and play” components.

“We are excited to introduce this new product family of OSA products for short reach applications," stated Dr. Jorg Wieland, VP and GM of GigOptix-Helix, Zurich.

“The devices were designed for lead customers seeking a very energy efficient data link. Our OSA’s enable pluggable solutions running at less than 200mW, and intra-system links at less than 120mW. The SMART OSA’s were also designed to be very easy to use. The integrated digital I2C control simplifies the engineering of an optical transceiver and reduces the components needed to only a microcontroller and our SMART ROSA and TOSA.

“We anticipate that this will be a substantial cost saving for transceiver manufacturers. Also, we see the potential for SMART OSA’s to be used in consumer, industrial and avionics applications since these devices will simplify the implementation high speed links within a system and are more robust than 10G copper.”

In its most recent report on Datacom Components, Ovum forecasted that the 10G Ethernet and Fiber Channel short reach market would grow from almost 11 million units in 2010 with a CAGR of 22 percent to over 29 million units in 2015.

Arrow Electronics to acquire Nu Horizons Electronics in an all-cash transaction

MELVILLE, USA: Nu Horizons Electronics Corp. announced the signing of a definitive agreement providing for the acquisition of Nu Horizons by Arrow Electronics Inc. in an all-cash transaction in which Nu Horizons shareholders will receive $7 for each share of Nu Horizons common stock they own.

Nu Horizons is a leading global distributor of advanced technology semiconductor, display, illumination and power solutions to a wide variety of commercial original equipment manufacturers and electronic manufacturing services providers.

“This transaction represents an excellent value for Nu Horizons’ shareholders and a compelling opportunity for our employees, customers and suppliers,” stated Martin Kent, CEO and president of Nu Horizons.

“To compete successfully in today’s global marketplace, size and scale are very important. We are pleased to become part of a leading global company with enhanced resources. Arrow’s world-class operational capabilities and supply chain will enable Nu Horizons to continue to deliver industry-leading value to our customers."

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by both boards of directors, Nu Horizons shareholders will receive $7 per share in cash for Nu Horizons common stock. This represents a significant premium for Nu Horizons shareholders based on the closing stock price of Nu Horizons on September 17, 2010.

The transaction is subject to the approval of shareholders of Nu Horizons as well as customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The companies expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Houlihan Lokey acted as exclusive financial advisor and Farrell Fritz, P.C. LLP acted as legal counsel to Nu Horizons.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Opnext, Anritsu to demo 40 and 100G CFP module performance during ECOC

ECOC 2010, TURIN, ITALY: Opnext Inc. and Anritsu Corp. announced the successful public demonstration of the industry’s first 100GBASE-LR4 module at an OTU4 transmission rate of 111.8 Gbps.

The companies also demonstrated a 40GBASE-LR4 transceiver which is also capable of running OTU3 traffic. The demos are featured in the Opnext booth #213 and Anritsu booth #375 during the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) being held September 20 - 22 in Turin, Italy.

The Opnext TRC5E20FNF-SF000 is a CFP optical transceiver module that conforms to standards defined in the CFP MSA. The module is hot-swappable and supports 100GBASE LR4 and OTU4 rates using Opnext cutting edge EA-DFB lasers each running up to 28 Gbps. The module transmits and receives via four parallel wavelengths at 25 Gbps each per the IEEE 802.3ba 100GbE and at 28 Gbps each per ITU-T OTU4 projects. The TRC5E20FNF-SF000 CFP module is sampling and available to customers.

The Opnext TRC5B20MN-SW000 CFP optical transceiver can be used to transmit 40GbE as well as SONET/OTU3e traffic using 4 uncooled direct modulated DFB lasers running at up to 11.3 Gbps each. The Opnext OTU3 transceiver module conforms to applicable standards and expands Opnext’s 40 Gbps product line for use in next generation high speed switching and routing applications. It complies with the applicable standards and is available to customers now.

“System vendors can confidently design 40 and 100 Gbps system Optical Transport Networks (OTN) that support end-to-end or client-to-DWDM-to client networks,” said Tadayuki Kanno, president of Opnext’s module business unit.

“Opnext’s client-side OTU3 and OTU4 technology also comes at a time when coherent 40 and 100 Gbps WDM line-side technology is moving towards deployment phase. The Opnext OTU3 transceiver module expands our 40 Gbps product line for use in next generation high speed switching and routing applications.”

“Anritsu’s MD1260A 40GbE/100GbE Analyser has been conceived and designed to match the evolving testing needs in today’s rush towards 100Gbps,” said Alessandro Messina, Marketing Director for Anritsu’s wireline solutions in EMEA.

“System vendors are engaging in a new challenge to bring larger broadband in smarter next generation networks, and Anritsu is willing to provide intelligent solutions to support this effort. Together, Opnext and Anritsu today show state of the art combination of Test Equipment and Compact Optical Modules to achieve these goals.”

Opnext is the founding member of the CFP MSA (Multi-Source Agreement). The CFP MSA has defined a pluggable module suitable for supporting the physical interfaces for both 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Digi-Key announces stock on XpressO oscillators from Fox Electronics

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp. announced that it has stock on Fox Electronics’ line of application specific XpressO oscillators.

Pre-configured to precise application-specific requirements in an industry standard 7mm by 5mm package, these oscillators are now available for purchase on Digi-Key’s global websites and will be featured in future print and online catalogs.

Designed to meet the needs of Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 10GbE applications, the series is the first to combine Fox’s patented XpressO technology with specific characteristics to meet the demanding needs of 3.3-volt (+/-5 percent standard) Ethernet-specific applications to ensure the best performance without the wait associated with custom products.

XpressO technology offers fast delivery of low jitter, small package size, and multiple frequency and output options at a low cost. XpressO oscillators utilize a family of proprietary application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) with a key focus on noise reduction.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Diodes Inc. announces super barrier rectifier that raises efficiency of LED drivers

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, introduced the SBR1U400P1 super barrier rectifier.

With a forward voltage some 25% lower than standard p-n diode alternatives, the new SBR device has been designed to increase the efficiency of off-line LED drivers. This 1A, 400V rated part suits both bridge, with a 120VAC input, and buck stages of driver circuits. Applications include LED light bulbs, lighting ballasts, signage and street lighting.

The rectifier’s typical ultra-low forward voltage of less than 0.65V for a current of 1A at 125°C means that a significant reduction in power consumption is now possible for a wide range of off-line LED driver circuits. It is provided in Diodes’ own high performance PowerDI®123 package for best possible heat dissipation.

SBR1U400P1 also has a high-speed switching performance with a maximum reverse recovery time of just 85ns (If=0.5A, Ir=0.5A, Irr=0.25A). The rectifier exhibits a soft recovery and removes ringing, resulting in an overall reduction in electrical noise generation.

GigOptix begins sampling pre-production units of dual channel SMT 100G driver

PALO ALTO, USA: GigOptix Inc., a leading supplier of high performance electronic and electro-optic components that enable next generation 40G and 100G optical networks, announced the availability for sampling of its new dual channel Surface Mounted Technology (SMT) GX62255 8Vpp Mach-Zehnder Modulator (MZM) driver designed for use in 100G optical transponders.

GigOptix’ GX62255 is a SMT device that integrates two 32Gb/s 8Vpp driver channels into a single small form factor solution. A 100G transponder requires four drivers, while GigOptix’ highly integrated dual channel solution significantly reduces both the area needed to implement the driver section and the Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) within the system.

Each 100G transponder uses two GX62255 devices to amplify the data signals from the transmitter’s multiplexer to drive the optical MZM. The GX62255 is specifically designed to interface easily with industry standard 100G DP-QPSK MZMs, providing optimal signal coupling.

Key features of the GX62255 include:
* Dual channel drivers integrated in one package to reduce solution size and EMI.
* Less than 1.8W power dissipation per channel at 7.5Vpp.
* Optimized for bit rates up to 32Gb/s.
* Low RMS jitter degradation.
* Adjustable output amplitude.
* Adjustable eye cross point.

“The GX62255 further expands GigOptix’ growing portfolio of 40G and 100G Bundled Solutions,” stated Padraig O’Mathuna, VP of Marketing at GigOptix.

“This highly integrated solution leverages the expertise that we have gained in developing the GX62455 100G quad driver to enable an innovative surface mounted dual channel 100G driver solution. This product specifically addresses the needs of transponder manufacturers who are seeking to reduce the size, EMI, cost and power dissipation within their transponder designs, while also providing a migration path to SMT for current customers of our GPPO connectorized GX62455. We expect the GX62255 100G driver to be a significant contributor to our future growth and to position GigOptix as the sole provider of 100G TIA and driver solutions in both GPPO and SMT form factors.”

In a most recent report on 100G components, Ovum forecasted that the 100G DWDM lineside market would launch in 2010 and grow to over 16,000 units by 2015 with a CAGR of 140 percent.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Molex next generation HDMI type D (micro) connector now available

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. announced that its next generation HDMI Type D (Micro) connector is now available for purchase.

The HDMI Type D (Micro) connector is a new miniaturized connector solution designed to help deliver high definition video and images from mobile devices to flat panel screens. The connector, which meets all of the electrical and mechanical specifications of the HDMI Specification 1.4a released in March 2010, will provide significant benefits to the digital still camera and mobile device markets.

The new Type D (Micro) connector is about half the size of the Type C (Mini) HDMI connector version, but delivers equivalent mechanical strength and electrical characteristics. Mobile phone and consumer customers have expressed strong interest in this new technology that will enable users to display higher definition video, photos and other content from their mobile devices onto full-size flat panel TV screens.

“Because the Type C HDMI connectors were too large to support the newer and more compact designs of handheld devices, Molex was chosen to lead the development of the first miniaturized connector solution,” said Scott Sommers, group manager, new product development, Molex. “The Type D connector’s small footprint and low profile height offer our customers significant real estate and space savings, while providing consumers with the higher definition video and images they demand.”

As a contributing member of the HDMI consortium, Molex played a pivotal role in enabling the delivery of high-definition content using HDMI connectors and was one of 10 companies that received a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) in recognition of its pioneering connector.

The HDMI Type D Micro connector is a 19-pin connector with a 0.40mm (0.016") pitch provided in a 6.50 by 2.90mm (0.256 by 0.114") stainless steel shell. The Type D family of products includes SMT receptacles of three different mount designs, a range of Category 2 Type-D-to-Type-A HDMI cable assemblies with a variety of cable lengths and wire gauge options, and a Category 2 HDMI Type-D Plug-to Type-A Receptacle adapter cable.

Inventory preparation for Christmas hot season to help revive LED industry

TAIWAN: Based on the industry researcher LEDinside’s analysis and statistics, in August 2010, listed LED manufacturers in Taiwan reported total revenue of NTD 10.593 billion, posting a 2.4 percent decline, compared with revenue of NTD 10.853 billion in July and a rise of 64 percent YoY.

The revenue for LED chip manufacturers in August reached NTD 4.89 billion, down by 1.6 percent from July. The revenue for LED package manufacturers in August amounted to NTD 5.70 billion, down by 3 percent from July. The constant increasing momentum in revenue for nearly half a year ended in August in the LED industry.

LED backlight market analysis
The LED market in 2010 was dominated by large-sized backlight demand. Therefore, the penetration rate of LED back-lit TV and the sales volume of IT products greatly affected the LED industry.

Due to the poor sales figures of LED back-lit TV in 1H10, plus the high inventory level of LED panels in Korean panel makers, the LED industry faced the short-term inventory adjustment.

Both IT vendors and TV brand vendors constantly offered great price promotion to lower their inventory, and the result can be seen promptly. However, for the upcoming peak demand during Christmas season, TV brand vendors started to replenish their inventory.

Because LED components belong to upper stream of the LED supply chain, the orders which are placed in September and October aim at the peak demand during Christmas holidays.

From panel makers’ perspective, Taiwan’s panel makers will increase the capacity utilization rate for peak demand during Christmas season, reflecting that panel makers have great confidence to achieve the sales targets for the Christmas hot season.

At current stage, LED manufacturers still wait for the orders from panel makers. However, due to the rising capacity utilization rate among panel makers, it is expected that LED manufacturers have chances to get orders during September and October.

The traditional slow season for TV and IT products comes in the wake of the Christmas hot season. Hence, LED vendors can merely fight for the orders from new models of LED back-lit TVs next year and from the appreciation of yen, which may drive the next growth momentum.
Revenue of chip makers in August
The revenues of Taiwan’s chip manufacturers posted a sharp increase of 74 percent in August compared to the same period of last year, while it posted a slight decline of 1.6 percent MoM. The growth momentum for some LED chip manufacturers has begun to slow down, even begun to fall.

The main attribution was that large-sized backlight orders began to get impact from inventoy adjustment among panel makers. In addition, insufficient MO source also impacted on the revenues among vendors.

Nevertheless, the massive product lines and large customer base in companies such as Epistar could timly compensate the decreasing orders from Korea vendors. Thus, its sales revenue continues to reach record highs.
Revenue of package manufacturers in August
The revenue of LED package manufacturers rose by 56 percent YoY, but reduced by 3 percent MoM. Because of weak demand of LED end application, especially LED panels which were applied on NB and LED back-lit TV, the revenue in August continued to be influenced.As a result, growth momentum in revenue among package manufacturers slowed down. Hence, package manufacturers began to focus on the applications in LED lighting, and it is expected to support the LED demand.

Newark offers innovative lighting modules

CHICAGO, USA: Leading multi-channel electronics distributor Newark, part of global Premier Farnell, has announced that it has been selected as a distributor for Helieon Sustainable Light Modules from a partnership formed by Molex and Bridgelux.

The announcement strengthens Newark’s already significant solid state lighting portfolio and underlines its focus and technical expertise in what is an important and rapid growth market sector.

The Helieon lighting system is the first plug-and-play, sustainable solid state lighting module to integrate high efficiency precision lighting with an easy-to-use socketed solution.

The new, highly cost-effective products help accelerate innovation and encourage the mass adoption of solid state lighting in preference to established, poor efficiency approaches by simplifying the process of designing, building, replacing and upgrading luminaires.

Newark offers a comprehensive range of Helieon products that are carefully tailored to match the light output levels of traditional light sources. Modules are available with output specifications ranging from 500 to 1,500 lumens and with a choice of narrow, medium and wide flood beam spread options.

Designers can also quickly and easily identify and order a range of complementary products at this site, including electronic drives, heat sinks and optics to support the design of new solid state lighting systems and luminaires.

“The Premier Farnell new product introduction process is a proven vehicle to launch Molex products, including the new Helieon Light Module,” said Fred Bell, Vice President, Global Distribution, Molex. “Our long-term partnership with Premier Farnell continues to deliver outstanding service and support to Molex customers worldwide.”

“We have been proud to partner with Premier Farnell for nearly two years, since the initial launch of our LED Array product line,” said David Barnby, Bridgelux VP of Worldwide Sales. “Now with the addition of the Helieon LED module to their global distribution channel we look forward to better serving our solid state lighting customers.”

Diodes Inc. announces process platform for next gen high voltage rectifiers

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, announced the development of a proprietary process platform for the manufacture of next generation high voltage rectifiers.

Named DIODESTAR, the process has been developed at Diodes’ wafer fabrication facility in Oldham, UK and has just delivered its first device, a high efficiency 600V, 8A rectifier targeted at LCD-LED TV power supplies.

The DIODESTAR process draws on Diodes’ combined expertise in both bipolar and MOSFET semiconductor technologies and is characterized by high voltage handling, soft recovery and ultra fast switching. The process will support the production of a range of high voltage rectifier products for a variety of end applications, including LCD-LED TVs, notebook and desktop computers.

Dr. Keh-Shew Lu, president and CEO of Diodes Inc., said, “The pressure from legislative directives and green initiatives, such as Energy Star, to improve efficiency has been building rapidly, and rectifier technology has taken a significant leap forward. The DIODESTAR process enables rectifiers that switch smoothly and at high speed, meaning designers can meet these high efficiency demands.”

The first DIODESTAR product to be released is the DSR8V600, a 600V 8A rated rectifier, tailored for use as the boost diode in the power factor correction (PFC) circuits of single and dual stage switched mode power supplies (SMPS) up to 1,000W.

Optimized for PFC duties in continuous and boundary conduction mode, this family of rectifiers will offer best in class soft recovery with ultra fast switching capability (TRR<30ns), meeting the requirements of the 80 Plus Energy Star standard for SMPS.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Digi-Key announces stock on Carol Helix/Hi-Temp cat 5e cable from General Cable

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp. announced that it has stock on Carol Helix/Hi-Temp cat 5e cable from General Cable.

This cable is available for purchase on Digi-Key’s global websites and will be featured in future print and online catalogs.

Used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet and ATM, this Category 5e cable is third party verified for guaranteed performance. Additionally, each cable features a TRU-Mark print legend with footage markings from 1000 feet to 0 feet.

GigOptix to launch 40G and 100G bundled solutions

ECOC 2010, PALO ALTO, USA: GigOptix Inc., a leading supplier of high performance electronic and electro-optic components that enable next generation 40G and 100G optical networks, will showcase its 40G and 100G Bundled Solutions at the 36th European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Torino, Italy on September 20-22, 2010.

The Bundled Solutions represent what GigOptix believes is an industry first for a company providing a complete solution set comprised of a Transimpendance Amplifier (TIA), Thin Film Polymer on Silicon (TFPS) Mach-Zehnder Modulator (MZM) with a matched driver for an optical application.

The Bundled Solution reduces customer engineering expenditure, accelerates time-to-market for new products and enables customers to leverage GigOptix’ industry leading low power solutions with enhanced cost efficiencies. GigOptix Bundles will address 40G DPSK, 40G RZ-DQPSK as well as Coherent 40G and 100G DP-QPSK applications.

“As a leading supplier of the TIAs and drivers used to implement 10G, 40G and 100G optical transponders in high performance telecom communications systems, we have developed an excellent understanding of our customers’ challenges at the system level. Our Bundled Solutions, comprised of a driver, modulator and receiver amplifier, are a new approach representing a strong value proposition for customers as well as a competitive advantage for GigOptix as these products are not currently available from any other single supplier,” stated Padraig O’Mathuna, GigOptix VP of Marketing.

“Today’s supply chain requires customers to buy a modulator from one vendor, a driver from a second and a TIA potentially from a third vendor. Ensuring that all these components are correctly matched is critical for the optimal performance of the system and poses a challenge when designing, for example, a 100G transponder for manufacture. At GigOptix, the TIA, driver and modulator designs are optimized to work together to achieve the best performance and power efficiency while reducing customers’ R&D costs and development cycles.

“With our TFPS MZM moving to production at our contract manufacturing partner Sanmina-SCI (Nasdaq NM: SANM), GigOptix is meeting the design, logistical and cost issues challenging our customers by offering a fully integrated solution through a simplified supply chain.”

Arrow Electronics and Amphenol expand global distribution agreement

MELVILLE, USA: Arrow Electronics Inc. is expanding its global distribution agreement with Amphenol, a leading supplier of interconnect products and technologies, to include Amphenol Industrial Operations (AIO) in Asia.

The expanded agreement includes distribution services throughout Asia (excluding Japan). Arrow’s previous agreement with Amphenol includes North America and the EMEA regions.

Arrow customers in Asia will now have access to AIO’s products and services that specialize in the design and manufacture of cylindrical connectors to industrial market segments.

Industries served by AIO include semiconductor equipment, instrumentation and measurement equipment, factory automation, motion and process control, machine tool, heavy equipment, diesel engine, rail mass transportation, hybrid electric vehicle, power and green energy, among others.

“Amphenol is a long-standing, valued partner of Arrow,” said Jeff Eastman, senior vice president, global supplier marketing and asset management for Arrow Electronics. “We look forward to offering our customers in Asia the products and services of one of the strongest suppliers in the connector market.”

Digi-Key launches Power Solutions Technology Zone

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp. has announced its fifth Technology Zone for Power Solutions is now available online.

This new Technology Zone is dedicated to providing comprehensive power design resources for engineers. It comes on the heels of a number of other Digi-Key initiatives to provide valuable, cost-saving and timesaving resources for design engineers. The Power Solutions Technology Zone is featured on Digi-Key’s website

Additionally, the Power Solutions Technology Zone is designed to offer alternatives for the engineer to assist in fulfilling all of their power requirements.

“We are excited to announce the addition of Power Solutions to Digi-Key’s exclusive Technology Zones,” said Dave Doherty, Digi-Key’s vice president of semiconductor product. “Our goal is to provide valuable, relevant content for our customers in each of the areas represented by our Technology Zones. Power Solutions is another means for Digi-Key to reach our customers and provide them with the information and product they need, when they need it.”

This new Technology Zone includes featured products, access to Power Design Support, product training modules, application notes, a product guide, videos, and a “Buy Versus Build” feature to aid in designing power solutions.

“Not only will engineers have access to a wide range of product information and tutorials through the new Power Solutions Technology Zone, they will also be able to view real-time pricing and availability of power products distributed by Digi-Key,” said Tony Harris, Digi-Key’s chief marketing officer.

“Engineers can also access power design support directly from the Power Solutions Technology Zone on Digi-Key’s website. With these resources available at their fingertips, engineers will save time and money when completing their power designs.”

In addition to the new Power Solutions Technology Zone, Digi-Key currently offers technology zones for Lighting Solutions, Microcontroller Solutions, Sensor Solutions and Wireless Solutions.

Viasystems Guangzhou receives safety recognition

ST. LOUIS, USA: Viasystems Group Inc. announced that the company’s manufacturing operation in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, has received two safety awards.

The Guangzhou Municipal Labor & Social Security Bureau recognized the plant with its Award for Outstanding Work Injury Prevention. The government of Guangzhou Jiulong presented its 2009 Outstanding Safety Production Company Award in a ceremony on-site in recognition of the plant’s safety record and its successful work in accident prevention.

Viasystems’ Guangzhou plant manufactures complex, multi-layer printed circuit boards and backplanes and employs more than 4,000 people. The plant achieved excellence in safety through a focus on management commitment, employee awareness and training, and the professional use of safety analysis and corrective action disciplines.

“We are proud of our team in Guangzhou for their excellent safety record, and I congratulate them,” said David M. Sindelar, CEO. “A climate of safety reflects respect for the employees and is a fundamental requirement of a well-disciplined and effective plant.”

Diodes Inc.'s LED driver simplifies low-voltage low-cost lighting design

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, has announced an LED driver tailored to fit low voltage illumination products operating at between 6V and 30V.

The AL8805, a 1A rated buck mode constant current switching converter, will support up to ten 3W LEDs connected in series, suiting a range of low cost ‘safe electrical’ designs including the ubiquitous MR16 lamp.

The driver’s typical constant current output accuracy of 5 percent, irrespective of source voltage and LED chain length, is more than sufficient to meet the needs of low cost lighting products, ensuring uniform LED brightness and good inter-lamp matching without the need for ballast resistors.

With nominal output current determined by external resistor setting, LED dimming is simply achieved by either a DC voltage or PWM signal on the AL8805’s control input. A DC voltage between 0.5V and 2.5V yields an output current between 25 percent and 100 percent of nominal, while a PWM signal between normal CMOS or TTL levels offers a highly flexible 1000:1 dynamic dimming range. On/off control is provided via a <0.4V signal applied to the same control input.

The LED driver’s enhanced switching speed and low on-resistance provide 1MHz switching frequency capability which reduces the size of the external components required in thermally demanding environments. The AL8805 is provided in the SOT23-5 package.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tektronix intros timer/counter/analyzers

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Inc. has announced the FCA3000 and FCA3100 Series of timer/counter/analyzers and the MCA3000 Series of microwave counter/analyzers.

These instruments smoothly integrate with other Tektronix bench instruments, such as oscilloscopes and arbitrary/function generators, and deliver industry-leading frequency and time resolution coupled with lower cost of Instruments such as the FCA and MCA Series are used for measurement and analysis of frequency, time or phase signal parameters in design, production, calibration labs or in field applications such as radar equipment monitoring and test.

Critical factors in this segment include high-performance for better accuracy, analysis tools to quickly find answers to design problems and support for fast data transfer rates. With this introduction, Tektronix delivers more performance and features at price points comparable to less capable alternatives.

The new timer/counter/analyzers compliment the PWS4000 and PWS2000 Series power supplies also introduced by Tektronix.

“The addition of these timer/counters, as well as power supplies, to the Tektronix line of bench instruments reflects our customers’ need to make complex measurements that often require multiple test instruments – and the challenge of dealing with different front panels and interfaces,” said Mike Flaherty, general manager, bench instruments, Tektronix.

“Since eight out of 10 design engineers use our oscilloscopes, it makes sense for us to offer complementary instruments with the same ease-of-use and familiar operation, as well as performance and quality, as Tektronix oscilloscopes. And, we’ve ensured all of our bench instruments can easily connect through a common PC software for integrated test scenarios.”

With industry-leading performance, the new timer/counter/analyzers allow design engineers to make over 13 different frequency, period, time, pulse, or phase measurements with high resolution. Comprehensive analysis modes include measurement statistics, histograms, and trend plots. Dedicated buttons and on-display menus provide fast access to frequently used functions, reducing set up time. USB and GPIB device ports support remote control and fast measurement transfer speeds.

For manufacturing applications that require fast test times, the instruments provide 250,000 samples/sec data transfer rate to internal memory, up to 15,000 samples/sec data transfer rate over USB/GPIB (block mode), and up to 650 individually triggered measurements per second. And the FCA3100 Series’ counter features continuous data streaming of measurements over GPIB/USB, with zero dead-time, creating a dynamic measurement analysis system. This feature is vital for mechanical and medical measurements where every single cycle must be measured.

The FCA3000 and FCA3100 Series offer a wide frequency range up to 20 GHz. This includes two standard inputs at 300 MHz, and the option of a third channel input in either 3 or 20 GHz models. These instruments deliver 12-digit/sec frequency resolution and single-shot resolution of 50 ps (FCA3100) or 100 ps (FCA3000) for time.

The MCA3000 Series comes standard with two 300 MHz input channels, and the choice of a 27 GHz or 40 GHz high frequency input channel — two instruments in one with all the same functionality as the FCA3000 Series. The instruments provide 12-digit/sec frequency resolution and 100 ps single-shot time resolution. With an integrated power meter, the MCA Series provides measurement of frequency and power with a single connection at any supported frequency level.

To simplify complex tasks, customers can use the included Tektronix Edition of LabVIEW SignalExpress software from National Instruments to remotely control supported Tektronix instruments from a Windows-based personal computer. This offers the ability to automate measurements, analyze data across multiple instruments, capture and save results, and create reports.

The optional TimeView modulation domain analysis software for a Windows-based personal computer provides deeper analysis of signal characteristics, enabling customers to analyze frequency changes over time when used with the FCA and MCA Series.

Tektronix intros DC power supplies

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Inc. has announced two additions to its line of bench instruments: the PWS4000 Series programmable DC power supply and the PWS2000 Series DC power supply.

These power supplies smoothly integrate with other Tektronix bench instruments such as oscilloscopes and digital multimeters and deliver wide current and voltage ranges for maximum versatility across a variety of applications.

These new power supplies are ideal for design engineers who require high performance, feature-rich power supplies at competitive price points. The PWS2000 and PWS4000 Series offer performance and ease-of-use advantages compared to similar offerings currently on the market.

The new power supplies compliment the FCA3000/3100 and MCA3000 Series timer/counter/analyzers also introduced by Tektronix in a separate announcement.

“The addition of these power supplies, as well as counter/timers, to our family of bench instruments underscores our commitment to ensuring our customers are fully equipped to tackle today’s complex design problems,” said Mike Flaherty, general manager, bench instruments, Tektronix. “Our objective is to make life easier for engineers by giving them a complete set of instruments all designed with the same quality, ease-of-use and familiar operation they expect from Tektronix. And, we’ve ensured all of our bench instruments can easily connect through a common PC software for integrated test tasks.”

With wide current and voltage ranges, plus up to 0.1 mA and 1 mV resolution, engineers using the PWS2000 or PWS4000 Series can precisely generate the power needed for a variety of applications. A numeric keypad for direct key-in entry, and up to 40 user-defined setup memories, makes voltage and current selection fast and precise.

The PWS4000 Series offers up to 72V output voltage with .03 percent basic voltage accuracy and .05 percent basic current accuracy. The PWS2000 Series also provides up to 72V output voltage with .05 percent basic voltage accuracy and .2 percent basic current accuracy. Combined with a specification of less than 5 mVp-p noise and ripple on the output, these models provide accurate, clean power delivery.

To facilitate the execution of test procedures, the PWS4000 Series provides a built-in list mode that allows users to define up to seven lists with up to 80 steps per list. Lists can be configured to step through the sequence based on external triggers or front panel button presses. Alternately, users can specify the duration for each step and the instrument will automatically step through the sequence.

Unlike most competitive offerings, the PWS4000 Series provides plug and play connectivity to a personal computer with its USB device port. Since the instruments are USBTMC compliant, they can be easily controlled using any software development tool that supports this industry standard protocol.

To automate tasks requiring multiple test instruments, customers can use the included LabVIEW SignalExpress Tektronix Edition software from National Instruments to remotely control supported Tektronix instruments from a Windows-based personal computer.

This offers the ability to perform measurements, analyze data across multiple instruments, capture and save results, and create reports. A more advanced version of SignalExpress software is available at additional cost and adds additional analysis, data logging and simulation capabilities.

Available now, pricing for the PWS2000 series starts at $389 MSRP. The PWS4000 Series starts at $865 MSRP, and includes LabVIEW SignalExpress, Limited Tektronix Edition from National Instruments. All models are backed by a three-year warranty.