Sunday, January 31, 2010

'Light from Silicon Valley' finds its way to football fields in Africa

SAN JOSE, USA: LUXEON Rebel LEDs made by Philips Lumileds in Silicon Valley are the light source in a solar-powered LED floodlight system designed by Philips that was unveiled late last year much to the joy of local children and adults with a passion for play.

For the first time, they can participate in sports even after the sun has gone down. The new lighting presents a fantastic opportunity to enrich their lives, their health and their well-being.

Philips new, fully portable solution enables people with little or no access to electricity to enjoy playing or watching a sport long into the night. Today, some 1.6 billion people in the world are unable to connect to a regular electricity supply.

The new Philips system with LUXEON LEDs enables communities in developing and developed markets alike to participate in social, educational, cultural and commercial activities after sunset - including the world’s most popular sport, football (soccer).

Using the very latest energy-efficient LUXEON Rebel LEDs, the system can illuminate areas up to 40x20m with bright white light. Advanced battery cells provide up to eight hours of floodlighting on a single solar charge – the equivalent of two or three full evening football matches or training sessions. The system is also highly sustainable, with a rugged design able to withstand the extreme rigors of life in some of the more challenging and remote terrains in the world.

The union of LED and solar technology has been long awaited. Both technologies are DC based systems and the high efficacy and minimal power requirements of the LUXEON LEDs are perfectly matched to solar powered solutions.

The LED chips used in all LUXEON LEDs are manufactured at the company’s San Jose California facility in the heart of Silicon Valley. The LUXEON Rebel LEDs used in the new solar LED floodlighting system can also be found in street lights, recessed downlights, retrofit bulbs, and many other illumination applications installed around the world.

The new solar LED floodlighting system is available now from Philips Lighting on a project basis. Philips provides a complete solution including the LED floodlights, portable poles, solar panels and batteries, or just a set of floodlights.

The system can also be used for non-sporting applications in locations without access to an electricity grid, such as evening classes in remote villages, safety and security, shops or outdoor markets, or emergency lighting for disaster situations.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

LED to surpass CCFL in large-area TFT LCD backlights in 2011

AUSTIN, USA: The LED backlight unit market has rapidly emerged in the TFT LCD industry, and momentum for this segment is expected to continue over the next five years.

In the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly LED Backlight Report, the company reports that LED backlight units will surpass CCFL/EEFL backlights in large-area TFT LCD panels in 2011, and achieve 74percent penetration in 2013. Large-area LED backlight demand for all applications will grow from 114 million units in 2009 to 770 million units in 2015.

“Without a doubt, LED backlights will be the dominant light source in all applications in 2011—representing a significant business and technology evolution for the entire backlight and panel supply chain,” noted Kevin Kwak, DisplaySearch Director of LED Backlight Unit Research.

Fig. 1 shows the LED backlight unit penetration including notebook PCs, LCD monitors and LCD TV applications.

Fig. 1: LED Backlight Unit Penetration Rate in 10”+ TFT LCDsSource: Quarterly LED Backlight Report

DisplaySearch forecasts the shipment of LED backlight units for LCD TVs to grow from 36.5 million units (a 20 percent penetration rate) in 2010 to 184.9 million units (a 72 percent penetration rate) in 2015.

“In order for LCD TVs with LED backlight units to gain market share, they must provide attractive performance and cost competitiveness simultaneously,” Kwak added. “Three main components will play a role in reducing costs: LED chips, light guide plates and dual brightness enhancement films.”

Cost and performance remain bottlenecks for panel manufacturers for LED backlight units for monitor panels. Despite this, the Energy Star 5.0 specification will drive growth for this segment. In particular, LCD manufacturers are mass-producing 18.5”W-24”W LCD monitor panels with LED backlight units. DisplaySearch predicts that <26” LCD TVs with LED backlights, mainly using monitor panels, will grow rapidly also, as the cost premium is acceptable.

The notebook PC segment has the highest LED backlight unit penetration rate, as the power-saving benefit justifies the cost premium compared to CCFL BLU. Meanwhile, the prices for side-view, high-intensity (1,900-2,200 mcd) white LEDs continues to fall. As a result, LED backlights will have an 84 percent share of notebook PC shipments in 2010 and will be close to 95 percent in 2011.

Global e-waste recovery/reclamation revenues to reach $14.7 billion by 2015

NEW YORK, USA: Depending on how they are handled, discarded electronic products and components – or e-waste, as they are collectively known – can represent either a major environmental dilemma or a massive potential economic windfall.

If treated properly, much e-waste may be reclaimed or recycled for future use and converted into a significant new revenue stream. Improperly treated e-waste, on the other hand, poses a massive threat to the world's ecosystem and can result in contamination to the soil, air, and water, while also exposing workers, nearby residents, and wildlife to a multitude of health hazards.

A new market study by ABI Research, “e-Waste Recovery and Recycling,” forecasts that the worldwide market for e-waste recovery will grow from $5.7 billion in 2009 to nearly $14.7 billion by the end of 2014, representing a CAGR of 20.8 percent over the forecast period. This figure represents money generated through reclamation of valuable materials from e-scrap.

Spurs to growth include rising e-waste collection and recycling rates; the increasingly greater availability of innovative and cost-effective recycling technologies; the strengthening recycling infrastructure and legal framework worldwide; global electronics markets and their significant growth in developing economies, and the integration of formal and informal recycling markets in key Asia-Pacific locations.

Practice director Larry Fisher says: “The economic downturn of recent years shook the global waste management industry to its core. Plummeting commodity prices shriveled demand for recycled materials and transformed recycling from an honorable, profitable venture to a cash-hemorrhaging dilemma for a multitude of municipalities and companies.”

However, he believes that, “The combined impact of the ongoing global economic recovery and strengthening e-waste recycling legislation worldwide will drive improved recycling/recovery rates in each of the next five years.”

Although the legal framework for e-waste recycling remains strongest in Europe under the region's stringent WEEE directive, efforts made on behalf of non-profit groups such as the Basel Action Network (BAN) and e-Stewards Initiative are driving improvements in many other regions of the world, especially the US.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tektronix intros fully automated test support for SAS conformance

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Inc. has announced an automated compliance and test automation solution that now spans both SATA and SAS (Serial Attached SCSI).

It encompasses the breadth of SAS conformance tests defined by UNH-IOL and the SCSI Trade Association (STA). Using the latest TekExpress software, storage system designers can complete these tests by simply pressing a single button which ensures accurate and consistent results — saving set-up time and eliminating time-consuming and repetitive manual testing.

SAS has emerged as the dominant storage interface for enterprise server environments offering scalability, improved speed and higher reliability compared to SATA or previous generation parallel interfaces. Transmitter validation and debug for 6Gb/s SAS designs requires accurate jitter and eye analysis and differential S-Parameter characterization. With the addition of 6Gb/s SAS support, the TekExpress automated test software meets the varied test demands facing everyone from silicon providers to drive manufacturers to OEM systems houses.

“High-speed serial tests have become very complex and require the use of multiple instruments that have to be properly set up and coordinated. This complexity, together with the need for speed and efficiency, is driving a strong demand for test automation software,” said Dave Slack, Marketing Manager, Technology Solutions Group, Tektronix. “In 2008, we delivered the industry’s first fully automated compliance test suite for SATA Gen-2, and now we are following that up with the industry’s first solution that automates the greatest combined breadth of SAS and SATA characterization tests.”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nichia dominates $5.2 billion HB LED market

USA: In a groundbreaking effort, IMS Research has released the first market research report characterizing the supply side of white and RGB LED production used for high brightness (HB) LEDs.

HB LEDs, including GaN and InGaN, have been experiencing record breaking growth from early 2009 as a result of the rapid shift to LEDs in notebook displays. While this growth continues to accelerate, other markets are also increasingly migrating to LEDs such as signaling, very large outdoor displays, digital billboards, personal lighting, automotive and industrial.

Table 1 – 2009 Top 5 LED Manufacturers by In-Spec Die Revenue and ShareSource: IMS Research

In addition, LEDs are enabling the solid state lighting to penetrate the general lighting market. Furthermore, the LCD TV market is now rapidly shifting to LEDs due to their improved performance, superior form factor and lower power. As a result, TVs should become the #1 market for HB LEDs in 2010 creating a supply shortage.

Table 2 - 2009 Top 5 LED Manufacturers by In-Spec Die and ShareSource: IMS Research

The report forecasts the extraordinary growth in large area display backlights by application and shows the capacity, yielded production and in-spec (binned) LED dies on a quarterly basis by LED supplier. By the end of 2009, there were 1,413 reactors at 75 manufacturers with a capacity of 188 billion die/year.

Barry Young, IMS Research Senior Consultant and Managing Director of OLED Association, the author of this report, said: “Demand for HB LEDs is forecast to grow by 61% in 2010 and supply is unlikely to keep up, creating an opportunity for new manufacturers and new tool makers.”

Additional findings of the report include:
* A projected 2010 shortage of 12-14 billion in-spec (binned) die, with the shortage projected to continue well into 2013.

* 2010 MOCVD reactor forecast of 348 units with an additional 195 to 240 reactors necessary to meet demand, resulting in a total potential market of 588 reactors.

* This potential shortfall in supply is putting pressure on both the tool suppliers and the LED manufacturers to improve yields (or reduce the binning specs), increase capacity and speed up tool production.

* Nichia has a dominant position with a 42 percent share and over $2 billion in in-spec (binned) die revenues as shown in Table 1 due to their technical and IP leadership in the white LED market. Cree’s share has surged to 11 percent due to its strong focus on the rapidly growing solid state lighting market.

* 34 billion in-spec (binned) die were produced with Nichia again in a leadership position as shown in Table 2. Epistar was #2 followed by Samsung LED Company, which vaulted to #3 as a result of strong demand from Samsung’s TV business, Cree and Show Denko.

* By region, as shown in Table 3, Taiwan leads in HB LED production with a 37 percent share followed by Japan and Korea.

Table 3 – 2009 Regional LED Production (In-Spec Die) and ShareSource: IMS Research

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Consumer acceptance determines supply and demand of LEDs in 2H10

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: TV brand vendors are highly optimistic about the shipments of LED TVs in 2010, indicated research institute LEDinside. The optimism boosts demand for LEDs and rapidly increases LED supply.

Therefore, under the substantial expansion of LED manufacturing capacity, end-market sales of LED TV will be the determining factor in whether the LED industry will be able to sustain its growth momentum in the second half of the year.

Since the fourth quarter of 2009, individual TV brand vendors have been aggressively promoting ultra-slim and energy-saving LED TVs. An optimistic forecast shows that LED TV shipments will reach over 30 million sets in 2010, a tenfold increase compared to that of 2009.

According to LEDinside’s statistics, each LED TV requires an average of 300 ~ 400 LEDs, and each MOCVD system can supply approximately 200,000 LED TVs per year. Therefore, it takes the capacity of around 150 MOCVDs to supply LEDs required for 30 million LED TVs.

The global MOCVD shipments in 2009 were about 260 sets; and in 2010, it could increase to 500 sets or more, especially from the strong expansion in China. Even though not all expansion of the production capacity is allocated for LED TVs, the significant expansion of the production capacity is a major variable for the supply and demand of LED industry in second half of the year.

Based on surveys from Witsview, a TFT-LCD industry research institute, retail prices of LED TVs declined in January 2010. The average retail price of LED TV fell by 5.7 percent, which is more substantial compared to the 1.6 percent drop in that of LCD TV. Despite the price decline in LED TVs, they still cost 1.5 times that of the traditional LCD TV.

As a result, the retail price of LED TV is the key influencing factor in the overall penetration rate of LED TV, noted LEDinside. TV brand venders need to reduce the retail price substantially in order to reach the target of 30 million sets.

Sony Australia selects high-performance Tektronix waveform monitors for superior picture quality

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Inc. announced that Sony Australia Ltd has adopted Tektronix WFM8300 advanced waveform monitors, the latest addition to the popular Tektronix waveform monitor lineup, to support after-sales service for Sony’s professional and broadcast video equipment.

The Tektronix waveform monitors will also be used in the installation, diagnostic and acceptance testing of Sony equipment at customers’ premises.

Sony has been the world leader in the broadcast industry for decades offering a complete range of professional equipment for broadcast and content creation. With the advent of 3Gb/s digital video, Sony Australia is facing increasing demand from customers to provide technical support for 3G-capable Sony equipment.

The new Tektronix WFM8300 waveform monitors provide industry leading real-time, automated SD/HD/3Gb/s SDI eye pattern display and jitter measurements to effectively diagnose signal problems and ensure the proper operation of analog and digital video devices. The WFM8300 models selected by Sony Australia have been configured to support analog video, SD, HD, 3G-SDI formats, analog and Dolby audio capabilities, physical layer measurement and advanced Gamut monitoring.

“Sony Australia has been a long-time user of Tektronix equipment,” said Stuart Clark, National Technical Services Manager, Sony Australia Limited. “The WFM8300 provides flexible options and field-installable upgrade kits for us to monitor diverse video and audio types including 3Gb/s SDI and Dolby audio. These capabilities combine with Tektronix’s proven track record for reliability and accuracy makes us confident of providing better service to our customers.”

“We are very pleased that the first adoption of the new Tektronix WFM8300 waveform monitors in the Asia Pacific region is by Sony Australia,” said James Alderton, Marketing Director, Tektronix Asia Pacific Region. “The WFM8300 is an advanced, high-performance tool that will allow Sony to meet the ever-increasing picture quality demands of their customers, while also breaking new ground with automated 3Gb/s SDI testing.”

Avnet to distribute LEMO’s line of precision modular connectors

ROHNERT PARK, USA: LEMO, a leader in the design and manufacture of precision custom connection solutions, has signed a distribution agreement with the Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas business region of Avnet Inc. Under the terms of the new agreement, Avnet will distribute LEMO’s line of medical and military circular connectors in North America.

Timothy J. Hassett, Managing Director, LEMO USA, Inc. commented: “By partnering with Avnet we will have a unique position in the marketplace to gain the attention of the design engineers due to Avnet’s dedicated design engineering sales personnel and expertise in the applications to take LEMO product to areas that we have not played before.”

Hassett continued: “The LEMO Group vision is to anticipate and innovate. Avnet’s vertical marketing focus teams in Medical, Industrial, Military and Energy open up a link to the design centers and super cluster geographies that LEMO feels is a must for long term growth and design-in-wins.”

“With applications in the medical, industrial control, test and measurement, audio/video, telecommunications and military/aerospace areas, LEMO’s connectors offer additional diversity to our customers,” said Alex Iuorio, senior vice president of supplier business management for Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas.

“It’s a great fit for our line card -- these markets are our ‘sweet spot’ for Avnet in the Americas, and as we continue to look for new ways to satisfy our customers’ interconnect requirements, we believe this is a win for Avnet, LEMO and the markets we both serve.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

StockerYale intros new laser modules at Photonics West

SALEM, USA: StockerYale Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of diode-based laser modules and LED systems for industrial OEMs, medical and defense markets, will unveil a new laser product line, InViso, at the Photonics West 2010 trade show in San Francisco, California, Jan. 25 -28, 2010, at Booth # 1923.

InViso is an innovative range of diode-based laser modules designed to meet the demanding requirements of high performance machine vision applications and compliment the Company's range of proprietary chip-on-board LED systems. The lasers will be available at wavelengths ranging from the UV to the infrared and power levels up to 100mW.

The innovative product design is focused on meeting specific customer requirements rather than adhering to conventional design approaches which are frequently constrained by certain manufacturing processes. The result is a novel design with many features that can aid in system integration and better performance for the end-user.

InViso is ideal for a wide range of machine vision and alignment applications, particularly where system integration needs to be performed quickly and with a high degree of repeatability. Applications include high-speed sorting and classification systems in the semiconductor field, food & beverage inspection and solar panel inspection, one of the Company's fastest growing markets.

Designed at the Company's new R&D center in Ireland and manufactured at its UK laser production facility, the InViso range of laser modules provides specific advantages over the conventional lasers currently used in many machine vision applications.

The InViso has a unique mechanical design which provides superior mounting flexibility and incorporates a reference mounting surface to the optical axis of the module. In addition, the new laser system has a unique external focus mechanism which preserves factory set alignment & bore sight settings when adjusting the focus without the use of any complex tools.

InViso has an innovative design which offers high thermal performance as well as an optional thermo-electric cooler and microcontroller. Various optical configurations allow for a wide range of focus and beam shaping options. InViso lasers will be available in both standard and custom configurations.

Mark W. Blodgett, Chairman & CEO of StockerYale, Inc., stated: "This new product line will allow the Company to significantly expand our product offering to the automated inspection market, particularly in areas such as solar panel, semiconductor & food inspection markets. InViso™, which means to inspect or see in Latin, is an appropriate name for this ground-breaking line of diode-based laser modules."

"StockerYale's engineers started with a clean sheet of paper to pioneer a new laser platform for the machine vision industry, which we expect will offer end users greater flexibility, higher performance, and ease of integration," added Blodgett.

Monday, January 25, 2010

BetaLED intros 100+ lumen per watt LED luminaires

WISCONSIN, USA: BetaLED, a division of Ruud Lighting, Inc., introduces the 304 Series luminaires, BetaLED’s first luminaire to achieve landmark performance of over 100 lumens per watt (LPW). The 304 Series luminaires with 100+ LPW have the potential to make a significant impact on our environment by saving as much as 70 percent in energy use.

“We are continuously improving our BetaLED luminaire systems,” said Christopher Ruud, president of Ruud Lighting. “By optimizing all the components in the system we’re able to provide a breakthrough that reaches new heights in energy-savings and light levels while demonstrating measurable proven performance.”

BetaLED 304 Series luminaires are scalable up to 12,000 lumens of delivered light output. The new luminaire series achieves superior efficiency, longevity, lumen maintenance and light control while reducing energy use – benefits that are especially welcomed in applications where lights are on 24/7. By utilizing a two-level dimming option, the luminaires will save even more energy, providing end users with further reductions in operating costs while also helping the environment.

304 Series luminaires are available with 100+ LPW for recessed canopy and soffit applications with petroleum symmetric optics. The luminaires can be installed in single- or double-skin open-air petroleum station canopies and building soffits such as banks and quick serve restaurants. Other optics with the new technology upgrade will be available soon for additional applications such as parking structures.

Performance of 100+ LPW is achieved using the standard product drive current of 350mA. BetaLED 100+ LPW product performance has been tested and approved by an independent accredited third-party laboratory and meets industry performance and reliability standards. Product specification sheets, LM79 photometric tests, and IES photometric files are available at www.betaled.com. Consult factory for pricing and availability.

Simena announces industry's lowest latency monitoring switch

STERLING, USA: Simena, a leader in network monitoring and testing solutions, announced a new version of Packet Flow Switch, PFS1524, a highly sophisticated network monitoring and aggregation switch.

PFS1524 has the industry's lowest fixed latency due to its cut-thru switching fabric and wire speed performance among all 24 10GE ports. PFS1524 can be used to aggregate 10GE monitoring traffic with innovative features such as clustering, packet slicing, and port tagging.

With its compact 1U chassis, PFS1524 provides 24 SFP/SFP+ cages that supports all standard types of Ethernet SFP+ and SFP modules. All 24 ports can be used for any function or connectivity in any combination.

Through its web based GUI, multiple PFS1524 units can be stacked or clustered together to virtually create a 500+ port monitoring switch. The GUI can also provide the centralized management of all PFS1524s deployed in the production network.

PFS1524's packet slicing feature allows users to forward only the configurable portion of packets, which eliminates the overloading of monitoring systems with unnecessary data. Another valuable feature called port tagging marks the packets with the physical port IDs where they are received. This allows performance measurement systems to identify and determine the origin of packets.

With PFS1524, a user can also create network taps internally. Production systems can be directly connected to PFS1524, providing connectivity as well as the ability to duplicate and aggregate packets from these systems. This capability eliminates the use of external taps or valuable SPAN ports. Redundant power supplies in PFS1524 ensure production traffic always runs.

“Network monitoring is becoming more challenging with high bandwidth and low latency requirements. Today's real time systems such as algorithmic trading applications widely used by financial institutions require 10GE Ethernet bandwidth and guaranteed execution at microsecond levels,” said Sezen Uysal, President of Simena.

“With our new PFS1524, we are providing a monitoring network switch that can aggregate, duplicate, distribute and filter packets at 10GE wire speed at fixed latency which is fractions of a microsecond. We want to ensure our customers can monitor their network and applications with complete confidence by examining every single packet from their production networks and measuring performance with the ultimate accuracy.”

The PFS1524 Packet Flow Switch is immediately available for evaluation and ordering.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Alphion announces 1060nm amplifier

PRINCETON JUNCTION, USA: Alphion Corp., a privately held company that develops, manufactures and markets communication systems, sub-systems, and integrated photonic components based on its proprietary QLight technology, announced the introduction of the 1060nm SAX20r Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (SOA).

The QLight SAX20r is suitable for use as a gain element in swept source and as an ASE source. It is used in a broad spectrum of applications including fiber optic sensing, medical imaging and test & measurement. The SAX20r is available with HI 1060 fiber and FC/APC connectors. Other fiber (PM980) and connector options are available on request.

Alphion offers a broad range of SOAs supporting wavelengths from 1000 nm to 1600 nm, with gain options from 5 to 30 dB. Other parameters can be optimized to meet your specific application needs.

Alphion will be displaying its full line of SOAs at the 2010 Photonics West (booth 4541) and BiOS (booth 8810) exhibitions, January 23rd to 28th, in San Francisco.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Embedded instrumentation: Importance and adoption in T&M marketplace

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Solutions for validating and testing current and future generations of chips, PCBs and systems are evolving in reaction to a host of challenges arising from increasing complexities, greater densities and higher speeds. As a result, an approach known as "embedded instrumentation" is projected to be the future of chip, board and system testing.

Frost & Sullivan recently published a white paper, Embedded Instrumentation: Its Importance and Adoption in the Test & Measurement Marketplace, that explores this topic by analyzing the concept of embedded instrumentation and its importance, describing the market trends driving its adoption, and considering the new market entrants in this emerging field.

"The need for test and measurement (T&M) equipment is pervasive for any type of electronic system in virtually all end-user applications," said Frost & Sullivan Measurement & Instrumentation Industry Manager Sujan Sami.

"With board and chip complexity increasing rapidly, it is extremely critical to test for the proper functionality of both the chips themselves and the PCBs where they have been installed. For decades now, traditional external instruments have been used to collect and analyze test data. However, it is presently becoming more difficult to use these older types of instruments. The future is about software-based T&M systems and, more generally, embedded instrumentation."

Embedded instrumentation is a concept of entrenching and enhancing the capabilities of traditional external test equipment onto chips as an additional resource. Software validation and test tools then access the embedded instrumentation to test chips, circuit boards and systems.

For example, most high-speed serial I/O devices today have built-in test intellectual property (IP) which is used during the chip validation stage. With the proper software tools, this IP can be used throughout the product life cycle. It might, for instance, test PCB signal integrity during prototype board test and volume manufacturing.

According to Sami: "Since the invention of the integrated circuit, the electronics hardware industry has evolved according to Moore's law, which asserts that the number of transistors on chips will double every two years. In such a scenario, it is necessary to keep pace with this trend and develop instruments for debugging and testing chips and circuit boards that are faster, denser and more complex every year. Embedded instrumentation offers an effective solution."

Veeco awarded $4 million in R&D matching funds from DOE solid state lighting manufacturing grant

PLAINVIEW, USA: Veeco Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: VECO) announced today that it has been awarded $4 million in R&D matching funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by the US Department of Energy to support high-efficiency solid state lighting projects.

Solid state lighting, which uses light emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs) has the potential to be ten times more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Veeco’s proposal was focused on driving down the cost of high brightness LEDs through the advancement of its metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) technology. MOCVD is the critical enabling technology for the production of LEDs.

The overall objective of this two year program is to develop high-volume MOCVD systems that provide a 4X reduction in the cost of epitaxial growth for LED devices, with the ultimate goal of a 10X reduction in LED costs. Veeco will partner with Sandia National Laboratories on this project.

According to John Peeler, Veeco’s CEO: "Veeco is very excited to have been granted this important DOE funding, which will enable us to speed-up development of our next generation MOCVD systems. The funding will support the retention and creation of jobs in Veeco’s Plainview, N.Y. and Somerset, N.J. facilities. We would like to thank the DOE for this grant, and to acknowledge the support of Congressman Steve Israel, who represents New York’s 2nd Congressional District and Congressman Rush Holt, who represents New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District.

"Both Congressmen are strong proponents of the advancement of “green energy” technologies, and understand the importance of solid state lighting to significantly cut energy use, reduce our carbon footprint, and save money, as well as to create high-tech, value-added US jobs.” Veeco currently employs over 350 people in its Plainview and Somerset locations.

Rep. Israel commented: "This Recovery Act funding for Veeco will create new jobs in our growing clean technology industry while helping develop new technologies that will save American consumers money. Boosting efficiency is all about giving consumers a strong return on investment. Veeco is working to do just that by reducing the cost of efficient lighting while building the industry on Long Island."

"This is good news, and I congratulate Veeco for receiving this funding. In a few years, LED lighting will be everywhere, and New Jersey should be in the forefront of creating the jobs that will make it happen," added Rep. Holt.

In total the Department of Energy awarded more than $37 million in funding for solid state lighting programs. Veeco’s proposal was one of eight selected as part of US Manufacturing FOA DE-FOA-0000057, projects focused on achieving significant cost reductions and enhancing quality through improvements in SSL manufacturing equipment, processes or monitoring techniques.

Projects address the technical challenges that must be overcome before prices fall to a level where solid state lighting will be competitive with existing lighting on a first-cost basis. The total value of manufacturing selections is $23.5 million; the performers will provide an average of 51 percent as cost-share.

IR’s automotive DirectFET®2 power MOSFETs deliver exceptional power density and performance

EL SEGUNDO, USA: International Rectifier, IR has introduced the AUIRF7739L2 and AUIRF7665S2 automotive DirectFET®2 power MOSFETs that deliver exceptional power density, dual-sided cooling and low parasitic inductance and resistance in a robust, reliable and AEC-Q101 qualified package for automotive applications.

These first automotive DirectFET2 devices from IR are entirely lead-free and offer overall system level size and cost reductions along with superior performance and efficiency when compared to traditional standard plastic packaged components.

Benjamin Jackson, product manager, Automotive Products Business Unit, said: “The AUIRF7739L2 and the AUIRF7665S2 combine the outstanding reliability and performance of the proven DirectFET packaging technology with IR’s latest trench silicon process. The new DirectFET2 devices may be optimized by application for next-generation vehicle platforms for ultra-low on-state resistance (RDS(on)), gate charge (Qg) or logic level operation to deliver dramatically improved performance and efficiency, and reduced system size and part count.”

The AUIRF7739L2 in the new large can package delivers the industry’s lowest RDS(on) of 0.7mOhm (typical) at 40V in a given PCB area. Moreover, the large can features a 60 percent smaller footprint and 85 percent lower profile than a D2PAK.

The device offers exceptional power density and efficiency making it well suited to heavy load motor control applications including Electric Power Steering (EPS), battery switches and Integrated Starter Alternators (ISA) in Micro Hybrid Vehicles, and chassis, drive train and power train systems.

The AUIRF7665S2 small can device is optimized for very low gate charge and exhibits extremely low parasitics for fast and efficient switching performance. The DirectFET2 MOSFET is ideal for automotive switching applications including the output stage of Class D Audio amplifiers as well as DC-DC converters and fuel injection systems.

Both devices are qualified according to AEC-Q101 standards, feature an environmentally friendly, lead-free and RoHS compliant bill of materials, and are part of IR’s automotive quality initiative targeting zero defects.

Cree, Arrow sign distribution agreement for SiC power electronics

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc., a leader in LED lighting and silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor components, announced a distribution agreement with Arrow Electronics, Inc. for Cree SiC power products.

The agreement gives Arrow’s customers ready access to Cree’s latest commercially-available SiC Junction Barrier Schottky (JBS) products. Among the Cree products available through Arrow will be the recently released Z-REC Series of 600-V Schottky diodes and the groundbreaking 1200-V Schottky diode line.

“Our customers are at the leading edge of green power designs,” said Robert Behn, vice president of supplier marketing for Arrow Electronics. “Expanding our Cree product offerings from high-brightness and high-power LEDs to now include power products provides our customers even broader access to the products and support they need.”

“Together, Cree and Arrow intend to accelerate the adoption of silicon carbide power semiconductors to create more efficient switching power supplies, alternative energy converters and motor drives,” said Bob Pollock, Cree senior vice president, sales.

FDK intros new series of high performance voltage regulator modules

SAN JOSE, USA & TOKYO, JAPAN: FDK Corp., a global electronic component and battery manufacturer, introduces the VR Series of voltage regulator modules (VRM) with the announcement of the FPVR12CR50130PA dc-dc converter.

Designed to meet the power needs of high end microprocessors and related devices in servers, workstations, supercomputers and storage, the VR Series converters are compatible with the Intel VRM 11.1 specification. The FPVR12CR50130PA is the first product in this series and delivers up to 130 Amperes (A) of continuous output current with minimal derating and high efficiency.

The FPVR12CR50130PA converter operates from an 11.04Vdc to 12.60Vdc input, and provides an 8-bit VID programmable output voltage in the range of 0.50Vdc to 1.60Vdc. Benchmarked at an output voltage of 1.35Vdc, it delivers the full rated continuous output current of 130A with no derating up to 40 degrees Celsius with 400LFM (2m/s) airflow, at an efficiency of 87%. To minimize capacitance needs, it has a power train comprising six interleaved phases, with an effective switching frequency of 2.4MHz.

The FPVR12CR50130PA is offered in a 3.780 x 0.728 in (96.0 x 18.5mm) card edge package, with a height of 1.177 in (29.9mm). The low profile makes it suitable for applications with rack heights down to 1U, while occupying a footprint of only 2.8 in2 (18cm2). Standard features include remote ON/OFF, over-current and over-temperature protection, and a light load mode to improve efficiency at low output current.

“This converter of the new VR Series is a timely addition to FDK’s growing portfolio of leading-edge power conversion solutions,” said Dr. Apurba Roy, executive advisor, FDK Corporation. “The VR Series brings FDK’s advanced electrical and thermal design techniques and manufacturing expertise to the heart of the microprocessor power arena.”

All VR Series products are RoHS compliant. They are manufactured using FDK’s state of the art in-house manufacturing processes and systems in Japan. In quantities of 1,000 pieces, the FPVR12CR50130PA converter is priced at $45. Lead time is eight weeks. Samples are available now.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cree brings LED lighting revolution home

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. recently demonstrated a new 6-inch LED downlight designed for the residential market. The Cree CR6 LED downlight is being shown this week at the 2010 International Builder’s Show in Las Vegas.

“By delivering the beautiful warm light created by Cree TrueWhite™ technology in an affordable, energy-efficient LED residential fixture, we’re providing consumers with an alternative to energy wasting incandescents and the poor color-rendering of compact fluorescent bulbs,” said Neal Hunter, President of Cree LED Lighting.

“There is no residential LED downlight on the market today that can come close to matching the value and performance of the CR6. This product builds on the success of the award-winning LR6, which has shipped more than 350,000 units to date.”

The Cree CR6 LED takes the technology at the heart of the LR6 family and redesigns it to deliver maximum value for residential lighting. The CR6 downlight, planned for availability in mid-2010, is being designed to meet ENERGY STAR® criteria and for an end user price of approximately $60.

As demonstrated in residential applications at the Builder’s Show, Cree TrueWhite technology can deliver the warm light and beautiful color rendering that consumers should expect from energy-efficient lighting.

GigOptix announces mass production of 45G differential limiting amplifier

PALO ALTO, USA: GigOptix Inc. announced that its GX3440, a 45G differential limiting amplifier, is now shipping in full production.

The GX3440 was designed to be used in 40G DPSK and 40G DQPSK telecom receivers and can also be used in numerous instrumentation applications. It is the first of GigOptix’s family of differential and transimpedance amplifiers to be released to production this year that comprehensively addresses customers’ requirements for telecom and datacom receiver amplifier solutions.

Key features of the GX3440 include:
* Low power dissipation
* High input sensitivity
* Broad bandwidth to accommodate up to 44.6Gb/s
* Large differential output voltage

“The design and development for this high performance 40G DPSK balanced receiver was driven by a leading Japanese 40G ROSA manufacturer based on our proven history of producing high speed designs,” stated Andrea Betti-Berutto, Chief Technology Officer of GigOptix. “The GX3440’s high performance design enables our customer to meet the exacting requirements of 40G telecom receivers.”

In its latest Transceiver and Optical Interconnects Market Forecast, Lightcounting predicts strong market growth of 70 percent CAGR in the 40G market segment through 2013.

Production samples are available immediately.

Anritsu intros AM/FM/PM spectrum analysis capability for Spectrum Master and Site Master analyzers

MORGAN HILL, USA: Anritsu Co. has introduced AM/FM/PM analysis capabilities in its MS2712E/MS2713E Spectrum Master and S332E/S362E Site Master analyzers.

Specifically meeting the needs of professional broadcast and land mobile radio (LMR) field technicians and engineers, the new option brings the inherent advantages of the industry leading handheld analyzers to professional broadcast and LMR applications.

Among the new features in the AM/FM/PM capability is an RF Spectrum View, which displays a measured signal’s carrier power, frequency, and occupied bandwidth. Simultaneously, the Audio Spectrum view details the demodulated audio spectrum, as well as the Rate, RMS deviation, Pk-Pk/2 deviation, SINAD, Total Harmonic Distortion (THD), and Distortion/Total.

Each demodulation also includes an Audio Waveform display that illustrates the time-domain demodulated waveform. Users can access a familiar, easy-to-read summary table that includes a synopsis of all RF and demodulation parameters.

The Spectrum Master MS2712E and MS2713E are integrated multi-functional handheld test instruments that eliminate the need to carry and learn multiple test sets. They can be configured to include 2-port transmission measurements, spectrum analysis, an interference analyzer, channel scanner, gated sweep, CW signal generator, and power meter. A GPS receiver can be added to both the MS2712E and MS2713E Spectrum Master models.

The Site Master S332E and S362E handheld cable and antenna analyzers allow users to easily and accurately conduct Return Loss, VSWR, Cable Loss, and Distance-To-Fault (DTF) measurements in the field. The cable and antenna analyzers include 1-port phase and smith chart measurements. A 2-port transmission measurement option includes two power levels and access to a built-in 32V bias tee (Option 10). Site Master integrates the cable and antenna analyzer and spectrum analysis in one easy to use instrument.

The AM/FM/PM Spectrum Analysis option is $650.

Veeco launches lowest cost of ownership GaN MOCVD system

PLAINVIEW, USA: Veeco Instruments Inc. has introduced the TurboDisc K465i gallium nitride (GaN) Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) System for the production of high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HB LEDs).

Veeco's industry-leading beta site customers rapidly qualified the K465i for volume production, and the Company has received orders for the system from multiple LED customers throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Based on Veeco's production-proven K-Series platform, the new TurboDisc K465i combines the industry's highest productivity with the capability to drive best-in-class LED yields approaching 90 percent in a 5nm bin.

Fully automated with only a short recovery period required after maintenance, the TurboDisc K465i enables higher productivity and reduced cost of ownership compared to competitive tools.

According to Bill Miller, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, General Manager of Veeco's MOCVD business: "With superior wavelength uniformity and excellent run-to-run repeatability, the K465i extends Veeco's lead in capital efficiency - the number of good wafers per day for each capital dollar - for high volume LED manufacturers. We are extremely pleased that our beta site customers achieved world-class results in a very short period of time. Industry interest in the K465i is strong."

John R. Peeler, Veeco's Chief Executive Officer, added: "The K-Series is a robust, reliable, multi-generational MOCVD platform that is in production at more than 80 percent of the world's key LED manufacturers. Veeco is committed to advancing its leadership position by increasing R&D investment, introducing innovative new technologies, ramping MOCVD production capacity, and partnering with customers to maximize their LED manufacturing. The K465i MOCVD System is the latest example of Veeco driving down the cost of LEDs to enable applications such as display backlighting and general illumination."

Demand for HB LEDs is high and expected to increase in the coming years. In an August 2009 report, "High-Brightness LED Market Review and Forecast 2009," research firm Strategies Unlimited forecast the HB LED market to grow from $5.1 billion in 2008 to $14.9 billion in 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent.

"Our research indicates the fundamental drivers for the HB LED market have become even stronger in recent years as new applications for LEDs in lighting and backlights continue to emerge," said Robert V. Steele, Director, LED practice at Strategies Unlimited. "To meet the overwhelming demand that we expect this will create over the next few years, LED makers will need to quickly ramp up their manufacturing capabilities, including the addition of substantial MOCVD capacity."

TurboDisc K465i: Uniformity and repeatability by design
At the heart of the TurboDisc K465i GaN MOCVD System is Veeco's patent pending Uniform FlowFlange(R) technology. Designed to create a uniform alkyl and hydride flow pattern across all wafers, the K465i delivers superior uniformity and repeatability with the industry's lowest particle generation.

The FlowFlange's simplified design provides ease-of-tuning for fast process optimization on wafer sizes up to 8 inches and fast tool recovery time after maintenance for the LED industry's highest productivity.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Renaissance Lighting, University of Illinois announce massive solid-state LED lighting project

HERNDON, USA: Renaissance Lighting, a leading innovator in the development and manufacture of energy-efficient, solid-state LED luminaires, is proud to support the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, birthplace of the Light Emitting Diode (LED) in completing its largest sustainable energy/energy-saving lighting project to date at the University’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

The centerpiece of the almost 600 fixture solid-state lighting initiative is Krannert Center’s lobby, a mammoth 25,000 square foot space shared by four separate theater and concert venues. For 40 years this lobby has been illuminated by 625 energy-gulping incandescent light fixtures, consuming nearly 573.8 million watts annually.

“The university is a huge proponent of the green movement and we view Krannert Center as the crown jewel in that effort,” said Michael Williams, Krannert Center’s lighting director. “We’re focused on saving energy and sustainable energy initiatives, and if you look at how this project is being funded, all of the dots are green and they connect perfectly. The Renaissance Lighting luminaires provide us with energy efficiency and great cost savings in many areas and contain capabilities providing us incredible creativity and flexibility.” he said.

Half of the project funding is grant money from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, according to Williams. The balance of the funding is a seven-year, zero-interest loan from the university’s Student Sustainability Committee whose income stems from a $2 clean energy fee that students pay every semester. Williams noted that the Krannert Center lighting project is the first major green effort to be backed financially by the student group.

By retrofitting the Krannert Center lobby ceiling with Renaissance Lighting luminaires, energy consumption will decrease dramatically – by about 460 million watts annually,” said Renaissance Lighting CEO, Barry Weinbaum.

“By spending less on electricity and along with the impressive longevity of our luminaires, we expect Krannert Center will realize annual savings greater than $70,000 annually. The quality of the light produced by our fixtures surpasses any incandescent or fluorescent fixture on the market as each luminaire provides a glare-free, superior light throw and eliminates “hot spots”. Also, our color changing products provide for both efficiency and creativity unique to the lighting industry,” Weinbaum said.

Krannert Center can anticipate additional savings due to the fact that solid-state LED luminaires produce virtually no heat below the suspended ceiling where they are installed. By contrast, 90 percent of the energy consumed by incandescent bulbs is in the form of heat rather than light, which in turn increases air conditioning load and related costs. LED Luminaires far outlast their incandescent counterparts; 50,000-70,000 hours versus 2,000 hours for incandescent bulbs, thereby eliminating frequent and costly light replacement.

A key feature of the Renaissance Lighting color changing luminaires is the ability to produce more than 16.5 million different colors including white. Each fixture incorporates a circular array of RGB (red, green and blue) LEDs that illuminate in a color mixing dome before the blended light exits the fixture – a patented design called Constructive Occlusion.

Each fixture can be individually addressed with the entire illuminated space optionally controlled by Renaissance Lighting’s Rhapsody Color Management System, which consists of controller hardware and proprietary software for creating dynamic effects such as color intensity, cross-fading and rainbow washes.

The simplicity of Renaissance Lighting’s Rhapsody Color Management technology relieves Krannert Center personnel from countless hours of tediously inserting multi-colored theatrical gels into and out of individual light fixtures in preparation for many of the 350 performing arts functions and the 100-plus special lobby functions held each year, which include weddings, corporate gatherings, receptions and private parties.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Silego intros GreenFET N-channel MOSFET drivers for ultra-low cost power supply sequencing

SANTA CLARA, USA: Silego Technology Inc. announced a family of GreenFET N-Channel MOSFET drivers. N-Channel MOSFETs are difficult to use, but are more efficient for an equivalent cost as compared to P-Channel MOSFETs.

GreenFET drivers allow the easy use of N-Channel MOSFETs instead of P-Channel MOSFETs in load switch applications saving money and reducing power consumption by up to 2 W.

The GreenFET drivers are targeted at sequencing multiple power rails in computer servers, Communication equipment, Industrial equipment and anywhere high current, low Rds(on) P-Channel MOSFETs are used to switch loads.

GreenFETs drivers, when used in combination for all system power rails result in the lowest cost, robust, high efficiency power supply sequencing system. Most GreenFET drivers come with a power good (PG) signal that indicates when the power rail is within specification. Complicated power supply sequencing systems may be easily designed by utilizing the PG feature and selectable delay and ramp rates.

Further, less costly and fewer components are required because no charge pumps, no discrete RC delays, and no associated signal transistors are needed, less power rail routing is required, and no expensive power controlling CPLDs, FPGAs, and power sequencing ASICs.

“Silego’s GreenFET drivers enable the greater efficiency of N-Channel MOSFETs to be enjoyed without the associated technical difficulty and cost,” said John McDonald, vice president of marketing and sales at Silego. “The success of the GreenFET family builds on Silego’s corporate goal of providing ICs that reduce component count, simplify design, while saving power and board space.”

GreenFET drivers consume <1 µA when not actively switching. Most N-channel MOSFET discrete load switching circuits leak current when OFF and do not pump the gate voltage high enough to achieve the best efficiency.

GreenFET drivers solve both issues by limiting current leakage while driving main power FET with a higher Vgs(ON) for lower Rds(ON). These energy saving features allow Energy Star requirements to be more easily met. GreenFET drivers are not used for driving DC/DC converter FETs.

All GreenFET drivers turn on N-Channel MOSFETs in a nearly perfect linear ramp after a user defined delay period. All GreenFET drivers have a supply discharge feature to ensure that the power rail turns off as nicely as it was turned on. N-Channel MOSFETs controlled by GreenFET drivers have little turn-on and turn-off variation as a function of temperature or voltage ensuring higher production yields and less concern with testing power sequencing corner conditions.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More price volatility in LEDs in 2Q 2010

TAIWAN: According to LEDinside’s latest price trend report, the growing shipment in LED backlight and lighting application led to a shortage in the chip supply. As a result, the white LED prices remained flat in 4Q09: Prices for backlighting dropped slightly by 1-3 percent, while prices of high power LEDs remained stable.

However, LEDinside expect more price volatility in LEDs used in LCD TV backlighting, as this field is drawing more attention, hence its market potential and packaging supply will likely expand.

For the mature LED-backlit Netbook market in 4Q09, mainstream package types are 3020 and 3014, priced between $0.04 to $0.07, down by 2 percent. On an annual basis, prices declined by around 20 percent in 2009.

LED backlight modules have gradually replaced CCFL to become the mainstream backlight for notebooks. The LED price for NB application in 4Q slightly fell 1 percent to $0.07~0.11, and the mainstream package types are 0.8t and 3014.

On the other hand, 90-100 lm/w gradually became the mainstream in high power LED for lighting applications. The growing demand in large-sized LED backlit products and lighting applications has led to the tight supply of high power LEDs. Hence, prices in 4Q09 remained flat at $0.6~2.

However, the price of high power LEDs declined more significantly in the first half of 2009; and on an annual basis, prices declined by 40 percent in 2009.

With robust demand for backlighting and lighting applications, chip supply should still be tight in the short term, given the long lead time for capacity expansion. Therefore, in the coming quarter, there should be no pressure to lower prices, noted LEDinside.

FCI features TwinMezz high-density, high-speed mezzanine connector system at DesignCon 2010

USA: FCI announced the successful demonstration of a 20+ Gb/s data stream over its new ultra-high density TwinMezz mezzanine connector system, which has also been named a finalist in the 2010 DesignVision Awards program in the Interconnect Technologies and Components category by the International Engineering Consortium (IEC).

The TwinMezz connector system provides superior electrical performance at the highest data rates, the highest signal density, and the lowest insertion force when compared to other available mezzanine connectors. The TwinMezz connectors exhibit very well-matched impedance, low insertion loss, and low crosstalk, which make them well-suited for applications in very high-speed environments.

Configurations with six differential signal pairs per column provide maximum signal density, delivering 25 high-speed signal pairs in a square centimeter, or 161 signal pairs in a square inch. The innovative hermaphroditic design mates to itself and supports stack heights ranging from 12mm to 40mm with 200 to 800 total contacts.

The TwinMezz connector system provides exceptional flexibility with options for integrated molded or optional metal guides and the capability to mix signal and power wafers in a single connector. The versatile open pin field design offers additional flexibility by allowing for mixed differential, single-ended or power pin assignments in a single connector. TwinMezz connectors also feature FCI''s patented BGA connector termination for easy surface-mount attachment and efficient trace routing.

China RoHS – first catalog progress

This is a contribution by Gary Nevison, Premier Farnell.

UK: On 9 October 2009, the Chinese Government published the first draft catalog of Electronic Information Products that will be subject to China RoHS substance restrictions.

The draft was published for consultation which ended a month later with the restriction coming into force ten months after the adoption of the legislation, unless changes were made.

Since then it has gone quiet!

Recently, a lawyer suggested that it was not unusual for Chinese legislation to be published and come into force with no announcements, and it can take several months to hear about it.

So, what progress has been made on the first draft which generally covers telephones and printers?

It transpires that it is going through the World Trade Organisation / Technical Barriers to Trade process. This will eventually provide a period where stakeholders will have the opportunity to comment.

So, it appears that the 10 months is not ticking for those manufacturers who will require products to be analysed locally prior to accreditation.

Progress remains slow and it could well be that when we eventually see the second catalogue published, maybe in 2011, that the consumer products theme could continue.

LED light source reaches 32 percent CAGR

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: Energy-saving is one of the key focuses of current social concerns. There are significant differences between various energy-saving technologies – while any technology that reduces power consumption saves electricity fees, and reduces environmental pollution by lowering carbon dioxide emission levels, some technologies consume so much energy to an extent that it offsets the amount of energy saved. Nonetheless, these technologies help lower pollution levels, says LEDinside.

The solar panel system and its high-efficiency power conversion equipment are extremely expensive, and the building materials with heat insulation or a heat exchange system are not common. The more easily accessible products related to green buildings are LED lighting and CFL lighting. Regulations to phase out incandescent bulbs and preferential taxes polices for companies that encourage the use of these energy-saving lights stimulate demand for energy-saving lighting, according to LEDinside.

Energy-saving technology in CFL lighting is quite mature, and its price is at an affordable level to the public. Apart from the implementation of regulations to phase out incandescent bulbs by governments around the world, electric power companies in the US market also provide users with CFL bulbs, either free of charge or at an extremely low price. These moves significantly boost the shipment of CFL lamps.

China produced a total of 62 million CFLs in 2008, and 120 million in 2009 (including bulbs and tubes), which accounts for about 80 percent of CFLs used worldwide.

As for LED lighting, it was only emerging before 2008. In 2009, the number of LED lighting related products rose significantly. In addition to public area lighting and commercial space lighting, general lighting for household use are also introduced in the market.

The lifetime of CFLs is long, but LED lighting products claim to offer longer lifetime, but their costs are higher, too. Major LED lighting products on the market include MR16 series lights, freezer lights, strip lights, track lights, cabinet lights, landscape lamps and arc lamps (can be used for direct and indirect lighting), and nightlights. On the other hand, CFLs are mostly seen in residential buildings, such as replaceable bulbs (eg. E27), ceiling luminaire, downlights, and surface mounted lights. The T5 tubes are also widely used for the direct lighting of convenient stores, offices and other indoor spaces.

Although CFL offers high luminous efficacy at a low cost, its mercury content is problematic - if the bulb is broken, the mercury vapor leak is harmful to both the health and the environment; furthermore, it cannot simply be thrown into the trash bin as the groundwater will be contaminated even after waste processing. In this case, LED lighting is more suitable as the light source for general lighting in the future. Developed countries such as EU members are conducting researches on the development of regulations of phasing out CFLs, which will also help boost LED market.

Based on our observation of the market, demand for LED lighting will continue to grow, especially after a wide variety of product technologies have been developed, the overall product cost has been lowered and the luminous efficacy enhanced, which gradually empowers LED lighting to step onto the general lighting stage. LEDs are becoming more widely used as the main light source.

In 2010, a phenomenal growth will be seen in the high lumen LED lighting system for commercial-use, this is because the LED lighting for household-use is still too expensive for most consumers. Backed by its long-term benefits, energy-saving and environment-friendly attributes, and its relevant tax reductions, there will be a substantial increase in the use of LED lighting in commercial spaces such as the parking lot, office space, factory facility, and warehouse. LED lights can replace not only high pressure sodium lamps, halogen lights, incandescent bulbs but also CFL and fluorescent lights in some areas.

LEDinside estimates that rapid growth and widespread adoption of LED commercial lighting will take place in 2010 and 2011, while LEDs used for household lighting will not take off until 2011 or 2012, the key year being 2012.

The market penetration rate of LED light source is expected to reach 3.7 percent in 2010 and a CAGR of 32 percent is estimated between 2009 and 2013.

Challenges faced by lighting include factors such as technology, specification, thermal dissipation, price, as well as competition from CFLs and fluorescent lights. In particular, the T5 light tube for office lighting offers luminous efficacy of 100 lm/W and its price is much lower than that of the LED.

Considering issues with glare and luminous uniformity, LEDinside believes it may take some time before popularization of LED lighting in office spaces takes place.

Furthermore, there are also the ultra-compact CFL products that offer good luminous efficacy at only 3W. These compact CFL bulbs pose a potential threat to comparably-sized LED bulbs as they are well-suited for applications in smaller areas.

With continued implementation of government policies, the penetration rate of LEDs in architectural lighting and commercial space lighting will increase significantly. In the future, development in the LED will create a win-win situation for both the consumers and industry players.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Delay on RoHS exemptions

This article has been contributed by Gary Nevison, Premier Farnell.

UK: Several people have asked me recently about the status on RoHS exemptions.

You may remember that on 23 March 2009 the Okö Institute and Fraunhofer IZM, private consultants hired by the European Commission (EC), released a report on their evaluation and assessment of existing and new requests for exemptions under the RoHS Directive.

They reviewed 29 exemptions and recommended that seven should not be continued.

They also evaluated five requests for new exemptions and they proposed the addition of one, declined one and were unable to make recommendations on the other three.

The consultants were also tasked with providing clearer and unambiguous wording on existing exemptions.

So, almost a year on, where are we now?

I understand that the TAC (Technical Adaptation Committee) is still waiting for the EC to circulate their “Commission Decision” which, if approved, would amend the exemption list that the TAC would then vote on.

While several drafts have been circulating the final version that will be voted on has not been sent to TAC members as yet.

So we remain in limbo on this important development!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tektronix intros new platform for more efficient core network testing

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tektronix Communications, a leading worldwide provider of Network Intelligence and Communications Test Solutions, unveiled the Spectra2u Core Network test platform for the Spectra2 protocol test product line.

Built on an Intel Dual Quad Core processing architecture, Spectra2u allows network equipment manufacturers and telecom operators to test NGN, VoIP and converged networks for functionality, conformance, performance and media quality – all from a single, high capacity, multi-user test platform. The Spectra2u offers a low-cost footprint supporting IP and TDM interfaces for signaling and media.

“The Spectra2u provides the industry’s best ease-of-use and automation, with increases of up to 500 percent in call control capacity and over 200 percent SIP endpoint capacity increase,” said Richard Kenedi, VP and General Manager of Test and Optimization, Tektronix Communications. “When it comes to testing the Core Network, Spectra2u is completely field upgradeable for capacity and port expansion and has the capability to share interface boards across users.”

Some of the benefits of the Spectra2u platform include:
* High signaling and media load testing.
* Hundreds of thousands of endpoint emulations.
* Faster user response and heightened user experience.
* User-shared interface boards.
* PSTN and NGN protocol testing from a single interface board.
* Field upgradeable capacity adds without additional hardware.
* Complete portability of software from legacy platforms.
* Portable and rack mount configurations.

Legislation – All change in 2009

This article has been contributed by Gary Nevison, Premier Farnell

UK: Looking back on 2009 it was, without doubt, the biggest year of change since RoHS in 2006 with real momentum building and industry struggling to keep pace with the numerous environmental proposals.

While the year may have ended with concerns around the potential levels of antimony on the Christmas toy Mr Squiggle Go Go Hamster’s nose and hair there had been more debate around toxic substances throughout the year.

The Design Engineer has had a lot to consider with proposals that would lead to many more products falling within scope, potentially more substance restrictions, a change in testing methodology and even a new geography with the first draft, some two years late, of the China RoHS - restriction of hazardous substances - “Catalogue”.

If ever there was any doubt then 2009 was the year when industry realised that legislation would have a significant impact for many years to come. Some would say, it would engulf the electronics industry and the days of simply buying and selling products were gone forever, with safety and compliance information becoming a significant obligation.

The year started with proposals to amend the scope of the RoHS Directive. Further recommendations from the European Commission (EC) in September were quickly followed by the first draft of a recast in November.

The political process will move forward and there will probably be a further recast during 2010, and a vote in 2011 according to UK government sources, providing the European Commission / Council of Ministers / European Parliament can agree on several key issues. The final draft will then be passed to governments for transposition.

Among the possible changes to impact the Design Engineer would be a new category 11 where the scope would simply be “other electrical and electronic equipment not covered in any of the categories 1 to 10”.

In addition, the current exclusion of large-scale stationary industrial tools would be deleted under the proposals so all electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) including manufacturing production line equipment would fall within scope.

The controversial “equipment that is part of another type of equipment that does not fall in scope and can only fulfil its function if it is part of that equipment” is proposed to change to “part of stationary installations or transport equipment that is not electrical or electronic equipment”. This would bring into scope all electrical products used in buildings and transport, all “fixed installations” and electrical parts in aircraft, trains, ships and commercial vehicles.

Equipment covered by the new category 11 would enter into force in 2014 in line with category 8 (medical devices) and category 9 (monitoring and control instruments).

The list of restricted substances could well increase considerably under the proposals and include PVC, chlorinated plasticisers, organohalogens, flame retardants and three phthalates.

A move towards a REACH (Registration Evaluation Authorisation –and restriction- of Chemicals) methodology for substance restrictions would be welcomed by industry based on a thorough risk assessment rather than simply a potential hazard as with RoHS.

The second batch of 15 REACH substances of very high concern (SVHC) was announced in December by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). This takes the total to 30 with a further batch expected later in 2010. ECHA sources think that, over time, as many as 600 to 700 SVHCs could be added to the Candidate List.

REACH, unlike RoHS, is not simply a case of providing a certificate of compliance but drives the flow of safety information down through the entire supply chain.

This includes automatically providing a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) both at the point of first order as well as when the SDS is revised.

Gathering the SVHC data has proved a challenge to the electronics industry with a shortage of information, and a very slow response from many manufacturers at the top of the supply chain.

We witnessed this with the RoHS Directive during 2005 and 2006 but the response to requests for REACH data has been far worse.

It is likely that the electronics industry will not have collected the obligatory data on the first batch before the second and maybe even third batch of SVHCs is published.

Seven substances have been approved for authorisation of use and this costly exercise must be completed within a limited period of time and before its “Sunset Date” once they are added to Annex XIV. Failing this the substance cannot be used. Any downstream user can thereafter only procure the product from the source of the authorisation request, assuming it has been granted.

In October 2009 the Chinese Government published the first draft catalogue of Electronic Information Products that will be subject to China RoHS restrictions.

While the catalogue will be updated periodically the initial scope is limited to telephones and all types of printers that attach to a computer. All types of phones are covered including mobiles, landline telephones and networked handsets.

Substance restrictions and maximum concentration limits are generally the same as with RoHS in the European Union (EU).

10 of the EU exemptions are used for telephones and 12 for printers.

Companies exporting products into China for sale in China will require their products to be tested, and certified compliant by an approved Chinese test house. In future this may create a bottleneck as the obligations will enter into force just ten months after the legislation is adopted by the Chinese Government.

Finally, manufacturers or importers of batteries into the EU must be aware of specific labelling requirements.

Many, especially from the Far East, are failing compliance due to the size of the wheelie bin and / or the hazardous substance symbols.

Cadmium and mercury are now restricted and while lead is permitted it must have a symbol on the battery if above a specified concentration.

Batteries supplied in equipment have the same restrictions and must be marked in the same way as batteries supplied separately.

There are specific requirements for equipment which must be designed to enable users to “readily” replace batteries other than where there is a safety, performance, medical or data integrity exemption.

So, what will 2010 bring?

Definitely more substance restrictions, more products falling within scope of the regulations, more revised exemptions, more data requests up and down the supply chain and probably more frustration.

Mitsubishi Electric’s new red laser diode for pico projectors

TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced the launch of a 638-nanometer (nm) wavelength red laser diode (LD), ML520G72, which offers the world’s highest output power in 638 nm band LDs, making it ideal for pico projectors and other portable display systems that require a red light source with high brightness. Sample shipments will begin on February 1.

Pico projectors have recently come to increasingly garner attention, being embedded in or connected to mobile systems such as cellular phones and laptop computers. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) and LDs are mainly used as the light source in these projectors because they can project a wider range of colors compared to lamp-based projectors.

Compared with LEDs, however, LDs deliver higher output power with less power consumption, enabling batteries to last longer. They also enable focus-free operation because optical systems with great depth of field can be used with laser beams.

In July 2009, Mitsubishi Electric launched a 638nm LD that offers 300 milliwatts (mW) output power, high brightness and pure red tone. The new LD offers an even higher output power of 500 mW, currently the world’s highest in 638 nm band, which helps achieve high-luminous projectors of up to 60 lumens (lm).

By comparison, LED-based projectors typically offer only about 10 lm. In addition, the new LD has an industry-leading electrical conversion ratio of 32 percent at 500 mW, and at a case temperature of 25 degrees C, which help to reduce power consumption in pico projectors.

The ML520G72 can also be operated at a temperature range of -5 to 40 degrees C when emitting 500 mW continuous waves (CW), and up to 50 degrees C under pulse operation at a duty ratio of 25% or less and frequency of 50Hz or higher.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Microsemi local dimming technology for LED backlights gets market confirmation at CES 2010

IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp., a leading manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal ICs and high reliability semiconductors, witnessed industry confirmation for its local dimming technology designed for LED backlights in LCD TVs, many of which were introduced at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"Microsemi has seen substantial market acceptance and continues to pioneer local dimming LED display backlighting," stated Paul Pickle, Executive Vice President and General Manager with Microsemi's Analog Mixed Signal Group.

Tom Kapucija, Director of Marketing, observed: "As anticipated, tremendous industry effort geared towards LED TV backlighting resulted in many new TV product introductions. The market is now realizing the energy efficiency and image performance benefits possible with local dimming backlight technology."

"3D TVs with LED backlighting were the favorites of the show with many attendees spending considerable time viewing comparison video demonstrations," Kapucija added. "The industry is gearing up to provide 3D content as well as delivery methods such as 3D Blu-Ray players, disks, and off-air receivers."

A leader in large-screen LCD TV innovations for more than a decade, Microsemi has worked with leading LCD TV manufacturers to achieve significant display-quality breakthroughs including LED local dimming solutions.

In addition to the LED-based TV introductions at CES, Microsemi continues to innovate drivers for CCFL backlit TVs with unique developments such as the JIN Balancer and the recently announced PureBLACK(TM) CCFL mega contrast digital burst dimming technology.

"In addition to the new LED programs, it is significant that we have also seen continued CCFL TV development as evidenced by over 25 new CCFL IC program engagements last quarter between Microsemi and key TV manufacturers," Pickle said. "In particular, we see continued strength in the Chinese market with substantial new program success from the top five leading companies such as Changhong, Skyworth and TCL."

Diodes Inc. announces space-saving smart motor controller

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete and analog semiconductor markets, announced an all-in-one motor controller IC for single-coil low-power brushless DC fans and motors.

Providing all necessary drive, protection and interface functionality, the SOT89-5L packaged AH5798 will substantially reduce component counts and PCB area in small fan and motor applications, including cooling fans for netbooks and notebooks.

Integrating a full-bridge driver featuring soft switching, the controller requires no external driver components and yet supports average source and sink currents up to 300mA. The device’s soft switching operation makes it particularly suitable for low noise applications. Further space saving comes from the AH5798’s built-in Hall sensor and amplifier.

The controller’s locked rotor detection and self restart functions help protect the coil from overheating or burning out and initiate automatic restart once the locked rotor is released. The AH5798 also includes a tachometer open-drain output to make the device easier to interface for external status and speed monitoring. The chip’s operating voltage is low from just 1.8V to 5.5V, and ambient operating temperature rating is high from –40ºC to +105ºC.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CHAD intros new feature: Inline electrical testing of axial components

ANAHEIM, USA: CHAD Industries, a leading provider of Odd Form Insertion equipment, has added to its line of circuit board assembly equipment the capability for inline electrical testing of axial components. This is a new optional feature for the CHAD AF Axial Tape Feeder.

The CHAD AF Axial Tape Feeder provides the capability of feeding, cutting and forming axial parts from Class I, II or III tape. The new inline test feature adds the capability to perform continuity and resistance testing on each component as it feeds through the feeder. This feature protects against polarized parts being loaded incorrectly and inserted into the board in the wrong orientation.

This new feature is now being used in production for the inspection of diodes and resistors which are being inserted into automotive control systems. The automobile manufacturer requires a zero-defect capable process. By testing the components in this way, the system insures that the correct parts are being loaded by the operator, and that they are loaded in the correct orientation.

The CHAD AF Axial Tape Feeder is just one of the line of parts feeders available for the CHAD IQ line of Odd Form Insertion systems. Chad also offers radial taped component feeders, tubed component feeders, continuous header component feeders as well as feeders for bulk components. This allows the CHAD IQ systems to handle just about any odd form thru-hole part in an application.

The CHAD IQ line of workcells includes the CHAD IQs, which provides the versatility to accept a broad mix of feeders, grippers and special tooling. It also features CHAD’s programmable single pin clinch system. The CHAD IQp offers a smaller, lower cost system for more focused and lower throughput applications.

CHAD applications engineers will look at each application and evaluate the specific equipment configuration that is best for the situation.

Clare intros first high current, 60V Dual 1-Form-A solid state relay in narrow 8-pin SOIC package

BEVERLY, USA: Clare Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of IXYS Corp., announced the availability of the miniature 60V, 8-pin narrow SOIC, Dual 1-Form-A (2 Single-Pole, Normally Open switches in a single package) Solid State Relay (SSR).

The CPC2014 is 40 percent smaller compared to the popular standard 8-lead SOIC, thus enabling significant board space savings. The CPC2014 employs optically coupled MOSFET technology to provide 1500Vrms of input-to-output isolation and is Clare’s first dual SSR in an 8-pin narrow SOIC as additional devices in this package are planned for future release.

The CPC2014 features 400mA of current handling, in combination with only 2 Ohms of maximum on-resistance, making it an excellent design choice for applications demanding low impedance switching.

Specifically designed for use in security systems complying with EN50130-4, the CPC2014 offers substantial board space savings over the competition’s larger 8-Pin SOIC. This semiconductor-based relay can be driven directly from low voltage logic ICs, and is ideal for automated power control.

The small size of this SSR and its high efficiency make it ideal for portable instruments, remote control applications, controlling valves and actuators in automation and industrial systems; as well as low voltage lighting applications, especially LED based lighting.

Furthermore, it can be used to reduce the power drain in systems that are on standby mode by cutting off the DC power, thereby reducing the power consumption of systems in standby or 'off' mode.

Cree announces sample availability of two new GaN HEMT transistors

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. announced the sample release of two new GaN HEMT transistors, expanding the power range and addressable applications of the Cree product family.

The CGH40006P is a 6-Watt GaN HEMT transistor covering a frequency range of DC through 6 GHz. This transistor is ideal for driver and medium power stages within broadband amplifier topologies. In addition, it can be used in low-noise amplifier applications where the superior ruggedness of GaN HEMTs can lessen the need for protection components, typically required in GaAs MESFET low-noise amplifiers.

A demonstration amplifier using the new transistor, at 28 volts operating voltage, provided a 2 to 6 GHz instantaneous bandwidth achieving 12 dB average small signal gain and 8 Watts typical saturated output power at greater than 50 percent drain efficiency over the entire band.

Cree has also introduced the CGH31240F, which is a high-power, class A/B S-Band GaN HEMT transistor. It is an internally-matched 240W packaged device for the 2.7 to 3.1 GHz band. It is designed for civil radar applications such as weather and air traffic control, as well as for marine radar. The CGH31240F, operating at 28V, offers over 10dB power gain while providing over 240 Watts saturated power with greater than 50 percent power added efficiency using a 300 microsecond, 10 percent duty cycle pulsed signal.

“The CGH40006P and CGH31240F are important new products which reflect our road map of GaN HEMT transistors and MMICs that offer higher power, bandwidth and ruggedness than conventional technologies such as GaAs and Si,” said Tom Dekker, Cree director of sales and marketing for RF Products.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cree announces new GaN HEMT MMIC power amplifier

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. announced the release of a new GaN HEMT MMIC power amplifier, the CMPA0060025F, which offers 25 Watts output power over an instantaneous bandwidth of 20 MHz to 6 GHz.

This product is ideal for military and ISM (industrial, scientific and medical) applications that require high power and broadband amplification up to 6GHz. The CMPA0060025F is packaged within a 0.25 square inch footprint, making it one of the smallest high-power amplifiers covering this bandwidth available in the marketplace. The MMIC can operate with supply voltages up to 50 volts and typically has 12 dB of power gain.

“The CMPA0060025F is a direct result of customer requests for a small, high-power, high-efficiency amplifier with performance through 6 GHz. It is designed to satisfy these requirements using Cree’s proven GaN MMIC foundry process and the convenient package format found in our other GaN MMIC products,” said Tom Dekker, Cree director of sales and marketing for RF Products.

“We have received excellent customer feedback for our existing GaN MMIC products and are excited to be expanding this product line while continuing to offer custom MMIC foundry services.”

Fluke Networks acquires Clearsight Networks

BANGALORE, INDIA: Fluke Networks has acquired ClearSight Networks, a leading provider of network analysis tools for real-time application monitoring, protocol analysis and troubleshooting. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

ClearSight’s industry-leading products provide network engineers deep visibility into their network traffic. Insights into performance, security and anomalies are delivered through the ClearSight Analyzer (CSA) and Network Time Machine (NTM) product lines. ClearSight’s leading protocol analysis, deep packet inspection and forensic stream-to-disk technologies further strengthen Fluke Networks’ leadership position in network analysis, monitoring and testing.

Enterprise IT managers, network engineers and data center managers are challenged with ensuring that networks maintain high service quality and 24/7 reliability in order to support business critical applications and services. Engineers must monitor, analyze and troubleshoot networks to assure this performance and quickly isolate problems when they do arise.

Whether 1G, 10G or Wi-Fi, local networks pervade all aspects of business operations and Fluke Networks delivers a full line of systems, analyzers and tools that enable engineers to deal with the proliferation of IP-based applications and services, including IP voice and video.

“ClearSight’s network analysis solutions maximize network engineers’ ability to actively monitor critical links carrying high volumes of network traffic for performance bottlenecks, security anomalies and intermittent disruptions,” said Arif Kareem, President, Fluke Networks. “ClearSight’s powerful historical analysis, when coupled with deep packet inspection and monitoring, provide the comprehensive visibility needed to isolate, diagnose and resolve problems before they impact network performance.”

ClearSight offers CSA, a premium software protocol analyzer, and NTM, a real-time network traffic monitoring solution that employs deep packet inspection and stream-to-disk storage capacity for historical analysis. NTM supports both 1G and 10G Ethernet connectivity in portable and distributed versions. CSA software is a feature-rich and easy-to-use protocol analysis solution for laptops.

ClearSight’s NTM monitors and captures every packet in a two-way traffic flow for up to one month of data from a single GbE link. The company’s products combine a simple user interface with the ability to capture, index and classify complex network data, providing an extremely intuitive method for managing a network to support business critical applications and high-performance services.

“Fluke Networks’ philosophy of providing Network SuperVision, giving users superior visibility and insight into networking infrastructures they can’t get anywhere else, is a natural fit with ClearSight,” said Sam Li, technology founder of ClearSight.

“Our products have defined ease-of-use in protocol analysis and application analysis visualization. We provide tools that are easy enough for less experienced technicians yet deep enough for complex root cause analysis by senior engineers. FNET delivers similar breakthroughs in ease of use across their entire line –our combination is powerful.”

Monday, January 11, 2010

Global market review of automotive lighting

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Market Review of Automotive Lighting - Forecasts to 2015" report to its offering.

Automotive lighting technology is evolving at an unprecedented and accelerating pace. As the techniques by which light is produced, displayed and distributed grow more sophisticated, so must the store of knowledge and the specificity of regulations.

All OE suppliers are rapidly advancing the market presence of LED headlamps and variable-beam adaptive headlighting systems. Valeo is just as proud of its BeaMatic and MicroOptics as Hella is of its VarioX and Light Curtain, for example; both techniques are used to create variable headlight beam distributions and radically designed, high-performance LED tail lamps, respectively, though the two makers' techniques and their visual results are quite different.

Each year, the world's motor vehicle lighting industry produces and distributes billions of dollars' worth of lighting equipment, light sources, subassemblies and components to the world's vehicle makers and a diverse aftermarket. By 2011, the market scale for vehicular lighting is expected to reach $10.6bn.

Similar trends, of course, can be seen in the industry supplying any other category of automotive components. However, the lighting sector stands apart in its high level of cooperation among major and minor participants and its advanced degree of global integration.

This latest edition of just-auto's popular global market review of lighting incorporates the author's latest reports from the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting (ISAL) 2009 and V.I.S.I.O.N. 2008, with interview material from the world's top experts in automotive lighting.

CHAPTER 1 INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: This chapter outlines recent technology advances by major OE supplier and how each advanced lighting segment may develop in the short term.

Hella's Michael Kleinkes explains: "Automotive innovations find their way into the market via the premium segment, which is where we see today's LED headlamps. In this premium segment the performance and functionality of an LED headlamp has to be better or at least comparable to Xenon headlamps.

"Bend lighting, adaptive beam formation, and an adaptive cut-off line to adapt the range of the low beam according to oncoming and proceeding traffic should all be possible. On the other hand, political and social requirements such as the current CO2 discussion and increasing oil price demand energy-efficient headlight systems in the volume segments."

CHAPTER 2 REGULATION: POLICY AND PHILOSOPHY: In the past, each one of the world's countries enforced its own unique technical standards and installation requirements for automotive lighting devices and systems. As cars grew more dependable and infrastructure improved sufficiently to support international travel, and as the world's vehicle makers sought to sell vehicles outside their domestic markets, it became generally desirable to reduce the proliferation of different requirements and technical standards.

This chapter makes sense of the latest industry regulation and its effects on the auto lighting industry.

CHAPTER 3 MARKET REVIEW OF LIGHTING TECHNOLOGIES: By 2018, it is expected that Xenon headlamps will no longer be designed into new high-end car models; LED will have come to dominate the premium lighting sector. Additional LED headlamp population will come in the eco-car segment, particularly in electric and hybrid vehicles. The two vehicle classes will have very different types of LED headlamps, though. Premium cars will have high-end, multiple-emitter headlamps with performance meeting or exceeding that of today's premium Xenons, while eco-cars will have a minimal LED emitter count for low headlight power consumption with performance comparable to today's halogens.

Molex intros industry’s smallest SMT board-to-board connector

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. has introduced its new SlimStack Board-to-Board series of connectors which have a 0.40mm pitch, 0.70mm mated height and 2.60mm width. The new connectors offer a better combination of overall space savings and reliable electrical contact than any similar versions in the marketplace today.

“Molex designed and developed the new SlimStack series to meet surging market demand for downsizing of mobile devices. The new miniature connectors offer about 25 percent space savings compared to many competitive 0.40mm pitch types,” notes Joseph Falcone, Group Product Manager, Molex.

A unique set of features make the Molex SlimStack SMT board-to-board connectors ideal for use in mobile phones, PDAs, digital cameras, camcorders and other compact mobile devices. In addition to their ultra-low profile and narrow width, features and benefits of the new connectors include:

* Two-point contact design and 0.18mm wipe length for secure contact and reliable electrical performance.
* Nickel-barrier plating to prevent solder flux intrusion.
* Tactile click sound and feel to confirm secure mating.
* Gold-plated terminals for durability over repeated cycling.

The new SlimStack connector versions are available in 20-50 circuits and have four solder tabs on each mating side for secure PCB retention. The system is rated at 50 volts and 0.3 amps. In addition, the housing mold designs include a wide area to accommodate vacuum pick-and-place nozzles, which avoids the extra material and assembly costs of using vacuum tape.

Molex’s SlimStack line of micro board-to-board connectors offers product designers a broad selection of choices and proven quality.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hitachi Cable develops high-power 55-lumen red LED chips

TOKYO, JAPAN: Hitachi Cable Ltd has announced the development of a high-power red LED chip offering a maximum luminous flux of 55 lumens. This luminous flux was enabled by increasing the size of the LED chip and use of a fine line electrode structure.

LEDs are semiconductor solid-state components that convert electricity directly into light. With their capacity to emit light of a specific color without color filters and at low operating voltages, LEDs are used as indicator lights in a wide range of equipment, appliances, and devices.

Recent progress in luminous efficiency and the widespread commercial manufacture of blue and green LEDs has rapidly expanded the use of LEDs in full color display and illumination applications, including traffic lights, automobile rear signal lamps, and large outdoor display panels.

Hitachi Cable manufactures supplies aluminum gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) epitaxial wafers and aluminum gallium indium phosphorus (AlGaInP) epitaxial wafers, both of which are compound semiconductor wafers for red LEDs.

In response to demand for LEDs of higher luminous efficiency, the company has also developed a high-brightness red LED chips (hereafter referred to as an “MR-LED chips”) that form a metal reflector (MR) under the light emitting layer. This product is currently being supplied to LED package manufacturers and other customers.

Through its LED business, Hitachi Cable has recognized the growing demand for higher output LED chips. The company has incorporated fine electrode structures and enlarged chip dimensions to develop high-power red LED chips offering outputs as high as 55 lumens.

One of the methods of improving per-chip light output is to increase the chip dimensions. However, larger chips increase the difficulty in distributing a uniform current across the entire light emitting layer. On the other hand, if large electrodes are positioned in the upper layer of the chip for a more uniform current dispersion, light from the light emitting layer will be blocked, reducing the light extraction efficiency.

To resolve these problems in developing a new LED chip, instead of using larger electrodes, Hitachi Cable has utilized two pad electrodes for receiving power, a backbone electrode connecting the two electrodes, and multiple fine line electrodes that extend from the backbone electrode on the upper chip layer.

By employing fine line electrodes, Hitachi Cable has succeeded in achieving uniform dispersion of current across the entire chip surface without blocking light from the light emitting layer, thus attaining a maximum luminous flux of 55 lumens in a large LED chip measuring 1 mm by 1 mm—equivalent to the combined output of 21 MR-LED chips (0.33 mm x 0.33 mm). With its higher output, the new LED chip is expected to find applications not only in display applications, but also as a light source for devices such as projectors.

Hitachi Cable will continue to pursue active development of higher-power LED chips while expanding its lineup of high-power LED chips, including yellow and infrared LED chips.