Monday, May 31, 2010

Panasonic Electric Works releases new 3D image sensor

OSAKA, JAPAN: Panasonic Electric Works, a global leader in sensor technology, has released its new time-of-flight 3D Image Sensor, the "D-IMager".

Years of internal research lead to the development of a unique range imaging technology aimed at various gesture control applications. It is ideally suited for markets like out-of-home entertainment, immersive multi-media, interactive digital signage and video arcade games. It also has potential for movement based industrial machines and security markets using shape or anti-tailgating detection.

"We strongly believe that 3D sensing is the key to develop a new way of daily life interaction in the future," says Ken Omori, General Manager at Panasonic Electric Works. "Our technology has the highest performance commercially available for volume production and we are confident in our capacity to help create new gesture controlled systems on a large scale starting now."

Panasonic's D-IMager enables precise motion capture of spatial objects with wide field-of-view by processing high precision (pixel by pixel) data.

The D-IMager has a robust and attractive design to blend nicely with TV displays and is capable of resolving 160x120 pixels (20 or 30 frames per second). It possesses state-of-the-art features and one of the best range imaging devices in the market. It is available with a USB2.0 interface with future models already in development.

Panasonic D-IMager is available for purchase globally.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Microsemi demos LED backlighting technology for Edge-Lit LCD TV displays

IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp. is demonstrating a family of LED backlight controllers for ultra-thin edge-lit LCD TV displays at the SID International Symposium, today through May 28 in Booth #317 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Microsemi's K2 family includes the LX23204 backlight controller, which supports long, high-voltage LED string configurations (up to 300V) for edge-lit backlighting configurations.

The device integrates two DC-DC pulse width modulation (PWM) controllers to support an industry-leading four LED strings with a single device. It uses external MOSFETs with PWM duty-cycle control to turn the LED strings on and off for brightness adjustment. The K2 controller family provides options to support both analog and digital PWM dimming frequencies to 2kHz.

"Microsemi is excited to demonstrate our third-generation DAZL (Digital Advanced Zone Lighting) device family for LED LCD display applications," said Tom Kapucija, director of marketing with the Analog Mixed Signal Group.

"Our expanding LED backlighting product portfolio continues to address the system-level cost and performance issues facing the industry. Migrating our PureBLACK(TM) technology to LED applications enables edge-lit LED displays with the industry's best PWM-dimming duty-cycle performance for improved image quality and dynamic contrast performance."

Active-Semi intros two new energy efficient green power products

SAN JOSE, USA: Active-Semi International has released two new green power devices, the ACT361/330 and the ACT4515.

The ACT361 and ACT330 are energy efficient charger and adapter solutions, with the 361 implementing 150mW standby power and the 330 30mW standby power. Both devices provide Energy Star 2.0 and CEC Level 5 efficiency with a Universal AC Input Range of 85-264VAC. Both provide a programmable constant output current of 7W maximum, and proprietary fast turn-on (< 0.3S at 90Vac input) technology (US patent pending).

Each requires very few external components and comes in small SOT23-6 packages. The ACT361 and ACT330 use primary side regulator (PSR) CV/CC control technique, which reduces component count by 20 percent compared to the traditional secondary side CV/CC control scheme.

“This year we anticipate a 35 percent increase in sales, capturing 10 percent of the total mobile phone charger market. With total shipment of over 250 million chips in 2010, Active-Semi is very pleased to continue to take a leadership position in green technology.”

The ACT4515 is an energy efficient compact car charger/adapter solution. It utilizes 24mW standby power and achieves 90 percent efficiency. It provides a programmable 5 percent constant output current of 1.5A max, with output DC cord compensation, 10-4V wide input range and very few external components required. The ACT4515 integrates CV/CC control circuit and power MOSFET. These integrations reduce external components by 15 percent and make the ACT4515 the best solution for small size car charger/adapter applications.

Manager of Development Procurement at LGE, Jee said: “By designing in ACT361 from Active, LGE is able to lower total system cost. The devices are AC/DC energy efficient and cost effective.”

Sourcing director at ZTE, Chang added: “The ACT361 advantages of lower component count and faster test times have clearly improved the charger production throughput of our charger ODM’s. This has aided ZTE in growing our mobile phone shipments.”

“The release of these two products from Dr. Ming Chen's Green Power group is an excellent addition to the growing Active-Semi product line,” said Larry Blackledge, CEO of Active-Semi. “This year we anticipate a 35 percent increase in sales, capturing 10 percent of the total mobile phone charger market. With total shipment of over 250 million chips in 2010, Active-Semi is very pleased to continue to take a leadership position in green technology.”

Active-Semi's ActivePMU is a patented, revolutionary technology that leverages Active-Semi's large and growing IP portfolio to produce targeted, high-performance solutions for the industry's most challenging portable power and system management problems.

ActivePMU's are being deployed throughout an increasingly wide range of portable applications, from complete system management solutions for next-generation mobile communications to dedicated CPU power solutions in today's most advanced portable equipment, such as smart books, mobile devices, tablets, and portable media players.

Additionally, Active-Semi's ActivePSR family of digital Primary-Side Regulation (PSR) controllers simplify today's AC/DC designs for charger, adapter and LED lighting with low component-count, and exceed all green power efficiency or standby power standards.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Diodes Inc. versatile LED driver increases reliability of HB lamp systems

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc. has announced a multi-topology LED driver IC designed to increase the reliability of high brightness lamps in automotive, industrial, and commercial lighting systems.

The ZXLD1370 LED driver controller operates in buck, boost, and buck-boost modes. It combines patent pending control loops and high-side current sensing to ensure accurate current control of LED strings.

With an extended 6V to 60V operating input voltage range and a typical 1 percent output current tolerance in all topologies, the driver is capable of delivering the high current levels and tight inter-lamp luminance-matching required by high brightness LED systems.

LED reliability and longevity is improved by active LED thermal management achieved via a dedicated external thermistor input, and by fault diagnosis outputs that report the status of LED driver and load.

The ZXLD1370 LED driver controller, used with an external MOSFET, provides a single driver solution capable of supporting a very wide range of LED configurations and current requirements. It supports high accuracy dimming through DC dimming and PWM dimming options.

With a dedicated PWM input, the driver offers a 1000:1 dynamic dimming range at 1 kHz. This allows for high accuracy control of color mixing and excellent resolution at low brightness levels.

The device’s 1 MHz switching frequency capability with 100 kHz low frequency clamp also means a reduction in the size of the external inductor and simpler design of input EMI filters should they be required.

18W and 30W GaAs FETs extend Toshiba Ku-band power amplifier lineup for microwave radios

ANAHEIM, USA: Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC) and its parent company, Toshiba Corp., announced the expansion of their Ku-Band gallium arsenide field effect transistor (GaAs FETs) lineup with two higher output power devices rated for 18 and 30 watts (W).

The new power amplifier GaAs FETs will be shown in TAEC's booth, #813, at the 2010 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium, which will be held May 25 through May 27 in Anaheim, California.

The new GaAs FETs, TIM1213-18L and TIM1213-30L, operate in the 12.7 to 13.2 GHz(1) range, and are targeted for use in microwave radios for microwave links and satellite communications. Other current Toshiba GaAs FETs in this frequency range feature 2W, 4W, 8W, 10W and 15W power output ratings.

The TIM1213-18L has output power at 1dB gain compression point (P1dB) of 42.5dBm (typ.), power gain at 1dB gain compression point (G1dB) of 6.0dB (typ.) and power efficiency of 28 percent. The TIM1213-30L features P1dB of 45.0dBm (typ.), G1dB of 5.5dB (typ.) and power added efficiency of 23 percent.

Homayoun Ghani, business development manager, Microwave, Logic, and Small Signal Devices, in TAEC's Discrete Business Unit, said, "Continuing our long tradition of developing higher power amplifiers as technology advances, Toshiba is expanding our Ku-Band product family with these new devices to enable our customers to design more powerful and linear microwave radios with fewer components."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

University of Central Florida joins Cree LED University program

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. announced that the University of Central Florida (UCF) has joined the Cree LED University program with the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting in the student union.

Cree’s LED University Program is an international community of universities working to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient LEDs across their campuses.

UCF estimates it can save at least $10,000 a year in energy and maintenance costs in the Key West Ballroom simply by replacing recessed downlights and troffers with energy-efficient Cree LR6 LED downlights and LR24 LED troffers.

The new LED fixtures in the ballroom consume approximately 85 percent less energy than the old fixtures, reducing energy consumption from more than 10,000 watts to less than 1,500 watts. Additionally, the traditional T8 fluorescent light fixtures in the student government offices were replaced with 17 energy-saving LED fixtures.

“When you consider the Key West ballroom lights are on for 16 to 18 hours each day, the payback is less than two years,” said Rick Falco, Associate Director Student Union, UCF. “The LED lighting also has better light quality—it’s easier on the eyes and it’s dimmable, which gives us greater flexibility for the wide range of events held in the ballroom.”

“I commend the UCF Student Government Association for taking the lead in bringing LED lighting to the student union, showing the impact students can have in driving green initiatives on their campuses,” said Deb Loving, Cree, LED programs manager. “In addition to becoming a greener campus, UCF can reap the benefits of energy and maintenance savings for years to come.”

Luminus Devices, Avnet Electronics Marketing Asia announce LED distribution agreement for Asia

BEIJING, CHINA & BILLERICA, USA: Luminus Devices, developer and manufacturer of PhlatLight LEDs, and Avnet Electronics Marketing Asia, part of the global technology distributor Avnet Inc., announced a partnership through which Avnet Electronics Marketing will distribute Luminus PhlatLight LEDs to customers in Asia.

EBV Elektronik, an Avnet company, distributes Luminus’ products throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Avnet also represents Luminus in the Americas.

Avnet Electronics Marketing Asia will provide comprehensive distribution services, design-chain services and supply-chain optimization solutions to help Luminus’ customers accelerate product development for a variety of general illumination and specialty lighting applications.

“The demand for our PhlatLight LEDs in Asia is growing exponentially,” said Keith T.S. Ward, CEO, Luminus Devices. “Avnet Electronics Marketing Asia’s reach and reputation in that part of the world as a specialist in distributing electronic components are exceptional and we’re excited to be aligned with them in serving our customers.”

Andy Wong, senior director, Avnet Design Service/Segment Marketing, Avnet Electronics Marketing Asia, said: “LED lighting is totally different from traditional electronic industry products. LED lighting products – especially high brightness LEDs – cover electronics, thermal and optical technologies. This broad expertise requirement can be a barrier to entry. That’s where our design unit, Avnet Design Services comes in, offering manufacturers technical support and solutions that lower the barrier and speed time-to-market.”

“I am confident that our in-depth engineering expertise and broad customer footprint will prove an ideal match with Luminus Devices and promote a successful partnership,” Wong added.

LCDs face LED backlight supply shortage as shipments more than double in 2010

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Amid soaring demand from televisions, mobile computers and desktop monitors, LEDs used for backlights in large-sized LCDs are suffering a tight supply situation that will last until the near the end of 2010, according to iSuppli Corp.

Shipments of large-sized LCD panels with LED backlights are forecasted to reach 276.7 million units in 2010, up a dramatic 134.9 percent from 117.8 million in 2009. In 2010, LED backlights will be used in 43.1 percent of all large-sized LCD panels, which mainly are used in LCD-TVs, mobile computers and desktop monitors. LED backlights are also starting to see increasing use in electronic signage, industrial and medical applications.

LED backlight shipments will rise to 477.6 million units in 2011 and continue to expand to 817.9 million units in 2014. By then, LED backlights will have penetrated 87.7 percent of the total large-sized LCD market.

Usage of LED backlighting is soaring due to its substantial advantages compared to the older Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (CCFL) technology, including slimmer design, reduced weight lower power consumption and mercury-free attributes for a greener, more environmentally friendly solution.

The figure presents iSuppli’s worldwide forecast of unit shipments of large-sized LCD panels with LED backlighting systems. iSuppli defines large-sized LCD panels as those having a diagonal dimension of 10 inches or more.Source: iSuppli, USA.

This rapid rise in shipments has spurred supply constraints for LED backlights.

“There have been mounting concerns in the industry about supply constraints for LEDs and light guide plates, two of the major components for LED backlights,” said Sweta Dash, senior director for LCD research at iSuppli. “Changes in light guide design, constraints in raw materials and high expansion costs are limiting capacity.”

The other major constraint, Dash said, revolves around the challenges faced by Metal Oxide Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) reactors—the key equipment for making LED chips—to keep up with demand. As a result, tight supply of LED chips is expected until the end of the year.

LED supply inequality
The LED shortage is not expected to affect all panel makers equally.

“By the second half of this year, a clear distinction will emerge between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, among the panel suppliers” Dash predicted. “Those panel makers that have their own internal manufacturing of LEDs will have sufficient supply in 2010, while those that don’t will encounter constraints.”

For example, South Korean LCD panel manufacturer Samsung has established Samsung LED, which provides an internal source for LEDs for the company’s manufacturing of LCD panels.

Pump full of LED
To address the availability constraints, LED suppliers are shifting production to 4-inch and 6-inch wafers and away from older 2-inch wafers. This will cause production capacity of LEDs to rise. However, LED makers will need as long as one year to adjust to the change in production technology.

Meanwhile, panel suppliers are expected to offer newer backlight designs that require fewer LEDs per panel. Most panel suppliers expect the number of LED chips per television panel to decline by 30 percent or more at the end of 2010 compared to one year earlier.

LCD panel suppliers also are set to become more vertically integrated in order to better control the LED backlight supply chain. Furthermore, branded TV manufacturers will be partnering with module manufacturers to gain their own backlight solutions and to achieve product differentiation.

“By the end of 2010, the supply situation will improve as capacity rises and new backlight designs require fewer LEDs per panel,” Dash said.

LED rises
The adoption of LED backlights in LCD-TVs will rise to 18.4 percent in 2010, up from 3 percent in 2009, spurred by the push among various TV brands to introduce LED-based TVs. Adoption rates also will climb for notebook panels, rising to 88 percent this year, up from 62.6 percent in 2009. By 2012, LED backlights will be used by 100 percent of notebook panels.

The adoption rate for LED backlights for desktop PC monitors in 2010 will rise to 20.8 percent, up from 1.7 percent in 2009.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

AuthenTec’s TruePrint smart sensor with lighted LEDs included in Fujitsu entertainment notebook

MELBOURNE, USA: AuthenTec, a leading provider of security, identity management and touch control solutions, announced that Fujitsu has incorporated its TruePrint smart sensor with lighted LEDs into its new FMV-BIBLO NW/G90T high-definition entertainment notebook.

The NW/G90T, which uses Intel’s sixth generation mobile processing platform (Calpella), is the world’s first PC to use AuthenTec’s new AES2660 TruePrint smart sensor with lighted LEDs for convenient security and scroll wheel-like navigation. The lighted LEDs surrounding AuthenTec’s smart sensor help provide users visual feedback for sensor functions such as fingerprint authentication and navigation.

“AuthenTec’s smart sensor with lighted LEDs adds a new level of security, personalization and user feedback to our NW/G90T notebook, further enhancing its vast array of colorful features,” said Paul Moore, Fujitsu America Inc.'s Senior Director. “We are pleased to be the first to include AuthenTec’s lighted smart sensor offering, and believe that it adds to the rich entertainment experience consumers will enjoy on this innovative new all-in-one notebook.”

“Fujitsu is rolling out several Calpella-equipped PCs that integrate AuthenTec’s newest smart sensor technology during 2010, but none is more striking and feature-packed as their new NW/G90T,” said AuthenTec’s Vice President of PC Products, Tom Aebli.

“The lighted LED next to the sensor makes a bright idea of using a smart sensor even brighter by providing the user visual feedback of sensor functions via color illumination, and we are pleased that longtime customer Fujitsu is the first to bring the smart sensor/lighted LED combination to market.”

The NW/G90T is offered in Japan as a full HD resolution entertainment notebook with a 18.4-inch screen and 4.0-inch 2nd screen, integrated digital TV tuner, Blu-ray player, multimedia speakers and a wireless remote control. It is equipped with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, an Intel Core i5 430M 2.26 GHz processor, NVIDIA GeForce GT335M graphics card, HDMI output, a 500GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM.

AuthenTec’s AES2660 TruePrint smart sensor, mounted beneath the trackpad on the NW/G90T, offers the expanded functionality, biometric performance, low-power consumption, multiple packaging and form factor options, and low bill of materials cost needed for easy integration into consumer notebooks and PC peripherals. This new 192-pixel wide sensor incorporates LED drivers for enhanced PC user feedback including programmable alerts and notifications.

AuthenTec is an ISO9001-certified provider of fingerprint sensors and solutions with the broadest product and IP portfolio in the silicon fingerprint sensor industry. AuthenTec recently expanded its offering to include complete solutions for security, identity management and touch control via its new smart sensor hardware, software, and client applications as well as new products and IP from the Company’s recent acquisition of SafeNet’s Embedded Security Solutions Division.

RFMD expands product portfolio with family of high linearity, low insertion loss switches

ANAHEIM, USA: RF Micro Devices Inc. has announced a new family of high-performance GaAs pHEMT switches covering multiple bands in the DC to 25 GHz range.

Each switch in the RFSW204x family of switches delivers high isolation and low insertion loss, making them ideal for broadband communications, fiber optics, test and measurement, and military applications.

RFMD's RFSW204x switches deliver broadband performance and are easily adaptable to multiple frequencies, giving customers maximum inventory flexibility across multiple applications. Additionally, the switches provide P1dB output powers ranging from 19dBm to 27dBm and high IIP3 up to 47dBm, providing for excellent system-level performance.

The RFSW204x family consists of three switch configurations: single pole double throw (SPDT), single pole triple throw (SP3T) and single pole four throw (SP4T). Each one of these configurations is available in absorptive or reflective versions.

The products are designed using RFMD's high performance 0.5-micron GaAs pHEMT process, offering insertion loss as low as 1dB, high isolation up to 45dB at 20GHz and fast switching speeds of 20nS. RFMD's RFSW204x switches are available in two packaging options: die-level and RoHS-compliant 3x3 mm QFN surface mount packages. The die-level switches are available today, and the first packaged switches will be available in June 2010.

Samples of the RFSW204x family are immediately available. Pricing starts at $17.02 in volumes of 1,000 units.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RFMD unveils portfolio of I/Q converters for wireless backhaul apps

ANAHEIM, USA: RF Micro Devices Inc. has announced a new portfolio of 10.0 GHz - 16.0 GHz GaAs pHEMT I/Q converters. The innovative I/Q converters are the first in a series of new microwave radio front ends to be launched by RFMD for wireless backhaul applications.

RFMD's growing portfolio of microwave radio front ends helps network operators to quickly and cost-effectively upgrade their backhaul networks to satisfy the increasing requirements of global mobile data uptake.

The broadband frequency performance of RFMD's newest I/Q converters enables a single product to support multiple radio bands. This allows customers to use one part across multiple radio systems, greatly simplifying inventory management. Additionally, each new I/Q converter features I/Q mixer topologies to reduce unwanted sideband filtering and support IF frequencies from DC to 4GHz, helping to simplify the radio design process.

RFMD's newest available microwave radio front ends are the RFUV5945A, the RFRX5933A and the RFMX5986A. The RFUV5945A and RFRX5933A are available in a compact 5mm x 5mm QFN package, and the RFMX5986A is offered in a fully-molded 4mm x 4mm QFN package.

The RFRX5933A targets receive applications and is an integrated 10.0 GHz - 16.0 GHz downconverter comprising a low noise amplifier (LNA), I/Q image rejection mixer and LO buffer amplifier.

The broadband RFRX5933A exhibits an impressive noise figure of 2dB while maintaining 13dB conversion gain, 25dBc of image rejection and IIP3 performance of 3dBm. With an input power of -20dBm, the RFRX5933A offers radio designers a minimum IMD3 performance of -50dBc.

The RFMX5986A 10.0 GHz - 16.0 GHz I/Q image rejection mixer integrates an LO buffer amplifier. Offering a conversion loss of 8dB, 25dBc of image rejection and IIP3 performance of 25dBm, it is an ideal partner for designers wishing to deploy a standalone MMIC or discrete LNA.

The RFUV5945A targets transmit applications and is an integrated 10.0 GHz – 16.0 GHz upconverter comprising an I/Q image rejection mixer, LPA and LO buffer amplifier. The RFUV5945A delivers OIP3 of up to 24dBm and a conversion gain of 13dB.

RFMD's 10.0 GHz - 16.0 GHz I/Q converters deliver superior levels of integration to enable smaller radio board footprints, decreased design time and automated board assembly. The I/Q converters are ideally suited for current- and next-generation microwave radio applications.

Samples and pre-production quantities are available now through RFMD's online store or through local RFMD sales channels. The RFUV5945A is priced at $19.97 in volumes of 10,000; the RFRX5933A is priced at $18.75 in volumes of 10,000; and the RFMX5986A is priced at $11.35 in volumes of 10,000.

Microsemi unveils solid state driver module for LED light fixtures

IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp., leading manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors, announced the first product in a planned family of solutions designed to provide optimized power conversion and light management for solid state lighting fixtures, enabling the energy and lifetime cost savings promise of LED-based illumination.

Designated the LXMG221W-0700034-D0, the new Microsemi power supply module supports 5 to 16 LEDs and will be joined by a comprehensive portfolio of solid state lighting products in the coming months. Its universal input voltage range of 90 to 305V(AC) enables operation in 100V(AC), 120V(AC), 220-240V(AC) and 277V(AC), 50Hz and 60Hz systems. The new Microsemi module provides 90% power conversion peak efficiency while delivering non-flickering dimming down to 10%.

Key features
* Universal input voltage (90-305V(AC)) and frequency (50 or 60 Hz).
* High Active Power Factor (PF > 0.9) and low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD < 20 percent).
* Constant current single string output of 700mA.
* Wide 14-48V(DC) output for LED loads of up to 34watts.
* Peak efficiency at 90 percent.
* Dimmable to 10 percent via 0-10V dimming controls and potentiometers.
* Class 2 isolated power supply.
* FCC Title 47, part 15 Class B compliant at all input voltages.

The LXMG221W-0700034-D0 module can be easily integrated into dimming and non-dimming fixtures and meets requirements for both commercial and residential applications, including its pending CE and UL1310 certification. Its compact, IP66-rated plastic package protects the power supply from dust and temporary water exposure and offers a thru-hole for more secure mounting.

"The SSL market is a key new market for Microsemi, and we are well positioned to leverage our leadership in power conversion and light management as well as our analog mixed signal design capabilities to develop optimized products for the next-generation of smart lighting fixtures," said Irene Signorino, director of marketing, Lighting and Automotive Products with Microsemi.

"Thanks to our unique and robust supply chain, we can offer our first product family of complete AC/DC modules, the LXMG221W, directly to LED lighting manufacturers. This will help shorten the customers' time to market and simplify the communication of their new LED-driven design challenges through a still CFL-centered supply chain."

"LEDs hold the key promise of a much longer expected usable lifetime and higher efficiency compared to other available light sources," Signorino added. "This translates into lower cost of ownership for the user through both energy savings and lower maintenance and replacement costs. The energy savings are even higher if the fixture can be dimmed."

The AC/DC power supply and driver is a key component of the LED fixture. LEDs have unique electrical, photometric and thermal behavior that the driver has to take into consideration to achieve the promised long life and high energy efficiency. Moreover, end users will soon discover how much more they can expect from a lighting fixture.

Novel features that can be optimally offered by LED lighting include perfectly tuned and personalized light via light intensity and light color controls, as well as reliable integration into smart power and lighting networks starting to appear in the residential, office and commercial space. All of these will only be possible with smart and optimized LED drivers.

The new power module is being demonstrated May 25-27 at the 2010 International Symposium of the Society for Information Display in Seattle, which is adding a focus for the first time on LED applications in general illumination. Microsemi is located in Booth 317.

The LXMG221W-0700034-D0 is in pre-production. Samples are available with pricing for individual samples at $60.

Microchip's synchronous boost regulators enable less than 0.7V operation with any PIC MCU

CHANDLER, USA: Microchip Technology Inc. has announced the MCP1623 and MCP1624 (MCP1623/4) Synchronous Boost Regulators, which bring low-voltage support to any PIC® microcontroller, providing a customizable solution for single-cell battery applications.

Featuring a start-up voltage of 0.65V and an operating voltage down to 0.35V, the MCP1623/4 regulators reduce the number of batteries needed in a typical design─even enabling designs to be powered from a single Alkaline, NiMh, NiCd, or disposable Lithium battery cell.

The MCP1623/4 Synchronous Boost Regulators extend battery life with up to 96% typical efficiency, shutdown current of less than one micro Ampere in all states and a true load-disconnect shutdown. The devices have an operating input voltage of 0.35 to 5.5V and an adjustable output voltage range of 2.0 to 5.5V.

In reducing the number of batteries required, the MCP1623/4 regulators enable more environmentally friendly designs, with lower shipping and operating costs. The devices include over-temperature protection and provide 500 kHz PWM operation, enabling the use of smaller coils, with the MCP1624 providing automatic PWM/PFM switching.

“As customers continue to strive to create smaller, lighter, more compact designs, the ability to operate from a single battery is increasingly valuable,” said Steve Drehobl, vice president of Microchip’s Security, Microcontroller and Technology Development Division. “The MCP1623/4 regulators enable designers to reduce the size and number of batteries without increasing costs. These regulators can be utilized with any PIC microcontroller for < 0.7V VDD operation, which dramatically increases system flexibility.”

The MCP1623/4 Synchronous Boost Regulators are available in a 6-pin, SOT-23 package, for less than $0.20 each, in volume. Samples are available today. Volume-production-quantity orders can be placed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Applied Materials' new turnkey MES solution intros advanced automation for solar, LED and chip packaging factories

SANTA CLARA, USA: Applied Materials Inc. has launched its Applied SmartFactory MES software – an affordable, out-of-the-box, factory automation solution to track and streamline the flow of materials throughout a manufacturing facility.

Designed to help accelerate the production ramp of emerging technologies in the solar, LED and chip packaging industries, SmartFactory can be deployed in less than 60 days to improve product quality, boost productivity and cut operational costs. SmartFactory is also the first MES available with integrated advanced process control (APC) capability, enabling customers to achieve higher and more consistent factory output.

“With the SmartFactory system, customers can realize the benefits of Applied’s proven manufacturing automation technology with a ready-to-use solution that can be expanded as their businesses and industries grow without disrupting ongoing production.”

“The SmartFactory system is designed to help factory operations in rapidly-growing industries achieve the high yields and economies of scale that can lower manufacturing cost – key to the widespread adoption of these important new technologies,” said Charlie Pappis, vice president and general manager of Applied Global Services.

“With the SmartFactory system, customers can realize the benefits of Applied’s proven manufacturing automation technology with a ready-to-use solution that can be expanded as their businesses and industries grow without disrupting ongoing production.”

Based on Applied’s leading FAB300® MES technology, the SmartFactory system features pre-built, technology-specific scenarios to monitor every machine and all work-in-progress material movements, manage production sequencing, create an audit trail, and deliver instructions to shop floor workers via a consistent, task-focused graphical user interface.

The SmartFactory system’s optional APC module uses Applied E3 technology to interface directly with production equipment, enabling real-time, run-to-run (R2R) process tuning and fault detection and classification (FDC) to increase process capability and reduce unplanned down time.

Applied’s common framework approach allows the SmartFactory system to be expanded with plug-in components from Applied’s leading portfolio of factory automation software, proven in over 500 manufacturing facilities worldwide. Statistical process control, equipment performance tracking, advanced dispatching and RFID wireless management capabilities can be rapidly added to further raise manufacturing efficiency.

AEG Power Solutions Thyrobox M sets new industry benchmark for polysilicon power supplies

UK: AEG Power Solutions has launched the Thyrobox M, its newest generation of products, at the Photon Photovoltaic Technology Show in Stuttgart, Germany in April 2010.

With advanced process monitoring capabilities, a 0.95 power factor and more than 99 percent energy efficiency, the Thyrobox M delivers unprecedented performance, reliability and stability to polysilicon manufacturers worldwide.

“Our customers have told us that they want to increase production and enhance purity while reducing their operating costs, especially for energy consumption per kilogram of polysilicon,” said Gladwyn De Vidts, AEG Power Solutions’ Vice President Power Control Solutions Division. “Our Thyrobox M solution improves process stability, reduces down time and provides exceptional energy efficiency. It responds to customer needs and reinforces AEG Power Solutions’ position as the technology leader in
polysilicon power.”

AEG Power Solutions commissioned the first Thyrobox, the power supply family specially developed for the polycrystalline silicon deposition process, over 25 years ago.

Engineered with a modular design, the Thyrobox M is the world’s most compact polysilicon power supply. Depending on the type of reactor, its footprint is about 25 percent smaller than older Thyrobox solutions and up to 70 percent smaller than competing products. The compact design reduces installation, commissioning and maintenance costs for the entire energy supply as well as building costs.

Additional Thyrobox M features include, warning system and troubleshooting minimize the risk of process interruptions in case of silicon rod cracks or melts, integrated medium-voltage ignition enhances process stability, ongoing data collection and analysis through monitoring of energy consumption and silicon rods weight increase energy efficiency.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cree’s GaN HEMT MMIC power amplifiers expand frequency range through X-Band

DURHAM, USA: Providing RF design engineers with the largest commercially available family of wide bandgap MMIC products, Cree Inc. has developed five new GaN HEMT MMIC amplifiers that increase the range of frequencies available through X-Band.

As part of a sample release, the MMICs are currently available as bare die and are targeted to be available in packaged formats later this year.

“We are pleased to expand our existing GaN power amplifier MMIC line and introduce our first GaN LNA MMIC product. The introduction of these MMICs expands our leadership position in providing GaN solutions that improve system performance beyond what can be realized using traditional GaAs MMIC technology for applications such as communication systems, homeland defense, electronic warfare and radar from S-band through X-band,” said Jim Milligan, Cree director of RF & Microwave Products.

“By using our proven GaN MMIC process, the performance of these products can provide an attractive combination of power, efficiency and linearity for the system designer.”

Diodes Inc. announces high-side current monitors that simplify measurement at high voltage

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc. has announced a family of 6 high reliability current monitors for 40V and 60V operation. The ZXCT108X devices detect current in a high-side sense resistor and reference it to ground, thereby reducing system circuit complexity and cost.

Their wide supply and common-mode voltage range suits a broad range of uses. For industrial and computer power supply applications, the ZXCT1083, ZXCT1085, and ZXCT1087 support a voltage range of 2.7V to 40V. The ZXCT1082, ZXCT1084, and ZXCT1086, rated for 2.7V to 60V operation, handles automotive load dump and SELV circuits.

With independent supply and common-mode voltage inputs, the current monitors permit currents to be measured beyond the limits of normal power supply rails. Their low quiescent current of 0.6µA means associated measurement errors are significantly reduced.

The product line offers users the option of both fixed and programmable gain. Providing a fixed voltage gain of 25 are the ZXCT1084 and ZXCT1085, while for the ZXCT1086 and ZXCT1087 the gain is 50. The ZXCT1082 and ZXCT1083 use three external gain setting resistors, which increase versatility by enabling wide gain ranges and optimization of bandwidths.

The current monitors are provided in the small footprint SOT25 package and use green mold compound. An extended industrial temperature range of –40ºC to 125ºC supports use in automotive and higher temperature scenarios.

Cree to demo new GaN HEMT power amplifier and switch products

DURHAM, USA: Providing RF and microwave design engineers with the opportunity to see firsthand the latest developments in GaN MMIC technology, Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) today announced plans to demonstrate a variety of new GaN HEMT RF packaged amplifier and switch products at the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (Booth #836) to be held in the Anaheim Convention Center May 25 through May 27, 2010.

The products to be demonstrated include a SPDT MMIC switch (300 MHz to 3 GHz); a 25 W MMIC power amplifier (10 MHz to 6 GHz); a 75 W MMIC power amplifier (2.7 to 3.5 GHz); and a 240 W transistor (2.9 to 3.5 GHz).

“We are pleased to preview our new packaged products, targeted for release later this year. We have been actively expanding our GaN MMIC and high power discrete product lines over the last twelve months to include higher power, higher efficiency amplifiers, as well as the recent introduction of high dynamic range GaN switch and our low noise amplifier (LNA) MMIC products, which we believe can further extend the advantages of GaN for commercial and military systems,” explained Jim Milligan, Cree, director of RF & Microwave Products.

“These product demonstrations are designed to show the benefits of Cree GaN to hardware design engineers seeking ways to improve system level output power, bandwidth and dynamic range beyond what can be achieved with traditional GaAs or silicon LDMOS solutions. They will also have access to our product development engineers to answer questions regarding specific implementation and advantages of these next generation products,” Milligan added.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LED market explosion hampered by materials shortage

MILTON KEYNES, UK: The fast-growing market for high-brightness LEDs in LCD TVs will be restricted by a shortage of key semiconductor materials in the second half of 2010, as predicted by Strategy Analytics, in its report, “Materials Shortage to Restrict Rampant LED Market.”

Demand for TMG already exceeds the available supply; thus manufacturers need to absorb a 20 percent price increase in the near term. A shortage of sapphire wafers upon which most blue and white LEDs are produced is also likely in the second half of 2010.

This report outlines the challenges facing LED manufacturers in 2010, as the supply constraints and increasing material prices serve to restrict the rapid market expansion.

“Concerns have previously been raised over the ability of MOCVD equipment vendors to meet rapidly increasing demand,” noted Asif Anwar, director of the GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Service at Strategy Analytics. “The concern for short supply of materials will create a bottleneck for LED market growth over the short term.”

Taiwanese LED manufacturers in particular need to adjust to the new reality of the supply chain. Historically, they have bargained for the price of these key materials. But the balance of power in the LED industry has changed, with competitors backed by huge corporations, such as Samsung and LG, much better positioned to absorb higher material costs and to guarantee their supply in a constrained market.

Steven Entwistle, VP of the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice, added: “Capacity expansions already in progress should relieve these constraints by mid-2011. Until then, the average selling price of high-brightness LEDs based on gallium nitride should hold up well.”

Diodes Inc. announces high-voltage dual-input charger for more reliable battery charging

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc. has released its API9221 lithium ion/polymer battery charger IC for a variety of handheld equipment requiring both USB and AC/DC power adapter charging inputs. This dual-input IC enables USB host and DC adaptor connections, delivering charge currents in accordance with the USB standard or up to 1.2A, respectively.

To ensure equipment can support a wide range of OEM and aftermarket chargers, the API9221 inputs can withstand a maximum voltage of 28V, which reduces external protection component requirements. To protect the IC, battery, and system, the charger will suspend charging when the input voltage exceeds 5.4V on the USB input or 6.9V on the DC adaptor input. The IC outputs also feature reverse current protection.

The API9221 features a bypass LDO regulator, enabling a host controller to detect the connection of an out-of-specification supply voltage and safely keep the charger in its off-state condition until a valid supply is connected. The device offers excellent thermal regulation and protection, with the ability to reduce charge current to keep the die temperature within safe operating conditions.

The API9221 follows the industry-standard CC/CV charging algorithm, and enables USB and adaptor charge currents and end-of-charge currents to be user-configured via external resistor settings. With only a 1% error across the device’s operating temperature range, the IC ensures battery charging up to 4.2V.

AEG Power Solutions MPi range of DC rectifier power systems optimizes energy savings

UK: Harmer & Simmons, the telecom power division of AEG Power Solutions, has introduced of the first two models in a new generation of DC power systems that enables telecom network operators to reduce energy consumption.

Engineered and built with Harmer & Simmons unique ecopx architecture, the MPi80HD (8kW) and MPi160HD (16 kW) models are designed to reduce electricity consumption, the highest single contributor to mobile telecom operating costs.

The new MPi models increase power supply efficiency to an impressive 93 percent,
thanks to advanced energy-saving and power management features. “It’s certainly one of the most reliable and cost effective solutions available in terms of both capital and operating costs,” said Harmer & Simmons Technical Marketing Director Leonard Walker.

“With world-class power density, excellent reliability, near-flat efficiency curve and a sleep mode for power management during periods of low traffic, our new range
demonstrates that a green purchase can in fact lead to a significant reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO).”

Specifically designed to help reduce electricity consumption and the resulting carbon emissions, Harmer & Simmons’ ecopx solutions approach helps communications service providers and OEMs address sustainability issues. Engineered to minimize heat generation while operating in high temperature environments, the MPi range requires minimal cooling for each base station, further reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

LED lighting penetration to reach 46 percent of commercial building lamp market by 2020

USA: Lighting accounts for about 17.5 percent of global electricity use and, within the United States, the majority of lighting energy is consumed in commercial buildings.

Recent innovations in lighting technologies, particularly the development of solid state lighting using light emitting diodes (LEDs), hold significant long-term potential for energy savings in the commercial building sector.

According to a new report from Pike Research, LED lighting will become an increasingly important segment of the market, and by 2020 it will achieve a 46 percent penetration of the $4.4 billion US market for lamps in the commercial, industrial, and outdoor stationary sectors.

“LED lighting will reach an inflection point in the next five years,” says managing director Clint Wheelock. “As solid state lighting costs come down and performance increases, LEDs will become a practical option for an increasing number of commercial applications.”

Wheelock adds that LEDs are already widely used in traffic signals and exit sign lighting, and Pike Research anticipates that those markets will become saturated within the next few years. The outdoor stationary sector will be the next growth area for LED lighting, followed by retail and office/professional and institutional buildings.

However, despite the strong long-term prospects for LED lighting, Pike Research’s analysis indicates that the category still faces a number of technological and economic hurdles. As a result, while the cost and efficacy of solid state lighting are rapidly improving, it will be a number of years before LEDs lead the commercial lighting market.

During this period of transition, fluorescent T8 and T5 lamps, which offer good efficacy and life at very reasonable prices, will overtake incandescent lamps as the leading technology prior to the coming of age for LED lighting products.

LED market explosion hampered by materials shortage

BOSTON, USA: The fast-growing market for high-brightness LEDs in LCD TVs will be restricted by a shortage of key semiconductor materials in the second half of 2010, as predicted by Strategy Analytics, in its report, “Materials Shortage to Restrict Rampant LED Market.”

The rapid penetration of LED backlighting modules in LCD TVs has already seen demand soar, for capital equipment, particularly for the metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactors used to make gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs. A similar trend is now evident in the supply of consumables, specifically the metal-organic material trimethylgallium (TMG) and sapphire wafers.

Demand for TMG already exceeds the available supply; thus manufacturers need to absorb a 20 percent price increase in the near term. A shortage of sapphire wafers - upon which most blue and white LEDs are produced - is also likely in the second half of 2010.

This report outlines the challenges facing LED manufacturers in 2010, as supply constraints and increasing material prices serve to restrict the rapid market expansion.

“Concerns have previously been raised over the ability of MOCVD equipment vendors to meet rapidly increasing demand,” noted Asif Anwar, director of the GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Service at Strategy Analytics. “The concern for short supply of materials will create a bottleneck for LED market growth over the short term.”

Taiwanese LED manufacturers in particular need to adjust to the new reality of the supply chain. Historically, they have bargained for the price of these key materials. But the balance of power in the LED industry has changed, with competitors backed by huge corporations, such as Samsung and LG, much better positioned to absorb higher material costs and to guarantee their supply in a constrained market.

Steven Entwistle, VP of the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice, added, “Capacity expansions already in progress should relieve these constraints by mid-2011. Until then, the average selling price of high-brightness LEDs based on gallium nitride should hold up well.”

Semtech expands LED driver platform

CAMARILLO, USA: Semtech Corp., a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors today announced the SC446, a 3-channel high brightness LED (HB LED) driver with an integrated 2.5A boost power switch.

The device is capable of driving up to 36 HB LEDs at up to 100mA per channel. The SC446 operates across a wide input voltage range of 4.5V to 27V, making it ideal for use with automotive batteries or regulated 5V, 12V or 24V power supplies.

The SC446 expands Semtech’s popular HB LED driver platform for mid-size LCD panels in indoor/outdoor displays for automotive, industrial, white goods, avionics, medical and gaming equipment – applications where the high reliability, shock resistance and mercury-free benefits of LEDs are displacing traditional fluorescent (CCFL) bulbs.

These types of rugged LCD panels require an ultra-bright light source for viewing in direct sunlight. The extra design tolerance of the SC446 meets the demands of time and temperature.

The SC446 provides exceptional LCD illumination with up to 100mA per-channel. It also features a rugged, 16-pin thermally enhanced TSSOP package for low operating temperature and long life at high ambient conditions. Additionally, 1mm pin spacing minimizes the risk of pin-to-pin faults arising from PCB contamination in harsh environments.

“The transition from CCFL to LED backlights gives LCD panel manufacturers and systems integrators a simple, cost-effective option for improving the temperature profile and shock ruggedness of their designs,” said Steve Hawley, Semtech Product Marketing Manager for LED Lighting and Displays. “The SC446 offers a driver solution that matches the reliability of the high brightness LEDs themselves.”

The SC446 has a low–loss internal boost switch to provide efficiency of greater than 92 percent. Up to 50kHz PWM dimming eliminates audio noise problems. The optimum LED output voltage is maintained dynamically by the internal DC-DC current mode controller.

Channels can be paralleled for applications requiring low component stress and minimum temperature rise. Channels can also be independently disabled to fit smaller panel designs. The controller switching frequency is optimized at 700kHz for minimum external L/C filter size and highest operating efficiency.

Additionally, the SC446 provides a smooth transition from boost to bypass operating mode, when the input voltage is greater than the output voltage. Current sinks are rated up to 40V. The controller is compatible with the SEPIC converter topology, where the input voltage is greater than, or less than, the output voltage.

The SC446 LED driver has an exposed thermal paddle for optimum heat sinking. The SC446 is Pb-free, halogen-free and fully RoHS compliant.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lithium battery industry has huge potential for future growth

BEIJING, CHINA: Frbiz.com, one of China's leading B2B search platforms, predicts the lithium battery industry has huge potential for growth in the future.

Frbiz's industry analyst said that the lithium battery industry, which has the largest market share in the small rechargeable batteries market, has developed rapidly in recent years; it has become the most widespread form of chemical batteries.

Relative to lead-acid batteries, nickel cadmium batteries, nickel metal hydride batteries and other secondary batteries, lithium batteries have a higher energy density and a longer cycle life, their self-discharge rate is smaller, and they are more environmentally friendly. Lithium batteries have become more widely used as technology advances have lead to more portable electronic products, new energy transport and storage, among other innovations.

Lithium batteries are widely used in portable electronic products such as laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras and digital video cameras. Among them, laptops and cell phones use them the most often. Since 2008, the financial crisis has had an impact on the global consumer electronics market. But with the national policy of graduated economic stimulus, laptops, mobile phones and other portable electronic products' sales have maintained a good momentum.

Meanwhile, with 3G next generation Internet and other new information technology trends, the portable electronic products market will maintain long-term prosperity. For example, in the Chinese market, 3G mobile phone production and sales growth is fast, with total annual sales of 6,637 million sets, up 90% year-on-year.

Recently, Apple introduced the iPad, which immediately set off a new boom in the global information and electronics industry. Products such as these create a demand for lithium batteries, to improve security, performance and cycle performance. This will also lead to an increase in demand for cathode material for high-capacity lithium batteries. Lithium batteries can also be used in electric vehicles.

With the global oil shortage and the deterioration of climate and the environment, as well as other challenges facing the world regarding energy conservation and developing new energy-saving measures and reducing waste emissions, batteries will become more and more important.

Lithium batteries field have important applications in the field of energy conservation; first, they can solve network electricity problems. Second, wind energy, solar energy, and tidal energy are intermittent energy sources, while a lithium energy storage device uses clean energy and can release it steadily, which can effectively alleviate shortages of energy.

OCZ Technology intros Fatal1ty 750W modular power supply

SAN JOSE, USA: OCZ Technology Group Inc., a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs), memory modules, and power supplies for computing devices and systems, unveiled the Fatal1ty 750 Watt power supply, a new high-performance PSU targeted at gamers and enthusiasts that prefer modular cabling.

OCZ is dedicated to delivering premium power solutions, and the new 750W was co-developed with Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, twelve-time World champion, to meet the specific needs of fellow gamers. "I worked with OCZ on this new modular 750 Watt Fatal1ty power supply to give the strength and power to my PC; I need to win!!," stated Johnathan "Fatal1ty'" Wendel.

Featuring new "low-profile" flat modular cabling with efficiencies in airflow and control, the Fatal1ty 750W PSU not only provides stable, efficient power, but also unique, user-friendly connectors that promote greater flexibility and organization inside the PC case.

Featuring glowing red LED lights to add style, Fatal1ty power supplies are an ideal upgrade for users who need a computer setup able to take on hours of non-stop gaming. Additionally, Fatal1ty 750W power supplies are designed to perform even at elevated temperatures of up to 45 degrees C, nearly twice that of the industry standard.

"Working with Fatal1ty to build the ultimate PSU for a high-performance gaming environment was a great experience," commented Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management at OCZ Technology.

"Jonathan and OCZ share a common commitment to performance and reliability aimed at supporting the user in even the most intense competitive gaming and enthusiast environments. With the new Fatal1ty 750, gamers and power users alike can be confident their system is fueled by a top-notch PSU with the latest in technology and design."

The Fatal1ty 750W features a single +12V rail for maximum and efficient power distribution, a thermally controlled 135mm double-ball bearing fan for airflow at near-silent audible noise levels, and an array of connectors for multiple power-hungry drives and video cards. Offering excellent energy and cost-savings, the Fatal1ty 750W has an 80-Plus Bronze certification, converting up to a full 85% of AC to DC power at typical loads.

Fully compliant with the latest ATX12V and EPS12V specifications, the Fatal1ty 750W Series accommodates a wide range of cases, and comes backed by a five-year warranty and tech support for additional peace of mind.

Microsemi announces high efficiency high power MOS 8 IGBT

IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp. has announced a new high efficiency, high power IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) based on its latest MOS 8 TM technology platform.

The new IGBT has been optimized for lower frequency operation (10KHz – 30KHz) where conduction loss dominates overall system losses. Target end applications include solar inverters, high performance SMPS, and industrial equipment such as welders, battery chargers, and induction heating equipment.

The APT44GA60BD30C also incorporates Microsemi's ultra fast reverse recovery DQ diode as an anti-parallel free wheeling diode.

Key features:
Punch Through Technology
Fast switching
High efficiency – low saturation voltage for low conduction losses
Short tail – minimizing switching losses
Low 1.5V saturation voltage.

"Optimization of individual device parameters -- such as the lower saturation voltage of our new IGBT -- can be leveraged by designers to make dramatic improvements to overall system performance and efficiency," said Philip Zuk, Product Marketing Manager for Microsemi's Power Products Group. "In this way, power semiconductors play a key, and often under-rated, role in perfecting electrical system designs."

Microsemi's Power MOS8 PT IGBT portfolio already provides low conduction loss options at 2.0 volts and 2.5 volts. The new APT44GA60BD30C reduces this to 1.5volts, enabling further increases in overall system efficiency for 600V designs. Input is rated at 44amps, with 38A maximums recommended at 10KHz and 27A at 30KHz.

The new IGBT is available in a choice of standard TO-247 and TO-268 packages, priced at $4.53 in 1,000-piece quantities.

Monday, May 17, 2010

PowerSecure unveils new LED area light for utilities and receives first order

WAKE FOREST, USA: PowerSecure International Inc. announced that it has unveiled a new LED based area light for utilities, and has already received its first order. The new light is used to illuminate streets, sidewalks, and other infrastructure served and owned by utilities and municipalities.

The new light includes a breakthrough design that reduces energy consumption by two-thirds, reduces maintenance expense due to a five-fold improvement in light life, and improves the quality of light compared to traditional area lighting. Additionally, the light is designed to provide maximum “dark sky” benefits to the community and to enable the lighting retrofit process to be highly efficient. The company’s new area light is manufactured in the Raleigh, NC area.

The company’s first order is from a large electric cooperative who will install 200 lights in an initial phase of a program to upgrade and improve the efficiency of its area light infrastructure. In total, this utility has over 400,000 area lights in operation.

Sidney Hinton, CEO of PowerSecure, said: "We are very excited about the potential for the new area light. Just one week after unveiling it to the market, we received our first order. This is a testament to the strength and ingenuity of the light’s innovative design, which delivers a fantastic quality of light and minimizes on-going maintenance cost – providing utilities with a strong return on their investment. We are very encouraged by the initial feedback we are receiving from customers on this new product and its potential in the marketplace."

Ametherm announces dual agency certifications for power thermistors

CARSON CITY, USA: Engineers needing CSA and UL approved power thermistors that allow between 800 and 1500 watts in the 2 to 20 amp range can find them at Ametherm, a US based manufacturer of inrush current limiters. The dual agency approval makes Ametherm one of few manufacturers of these types of products.

“Globally, regulators look for Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification to ensure product safety,” said Mehdi Samii, Ametherm’s vice president of engineering and sales.

“To sell an electrical device or component in Canada, it must be certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or a recognized equivalent. Having both agency approvals gives engineers and manufacturers greater confidence in a product’s ability to quickly and consistently meet their design and development standards.”

Samii says Ametherm has seen a significant increase in demand for its SL22s in both national and international markets. Since agency approvals involve extensive testing and processing, there are only a few inrush current limiting manufacturers that offer them.

At the same time, safety standards are becoming more universal, making agency recognition more important when manufacturing electronic components and devices.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Keithley's reed relay matrix card combines ultra-high density and superior configuration flexibility

CLEVELAND, USA: Keithley Instruments Inc. has introduced the model 3732 Quad 4x28 Ultra-High Density Reed Relay Matrix Card.

The card, which offers 448 single-pole matrix crosspoints, was designed for automated switch and measure applications that require multiple instrument connections as well as high crosspoint density and high speed.

It is an ideal solution for use in a wide range of high pin count research and development and production tests applications, such as low-level contact resistance testing of high-speed memory interface boards or next generation IC sockets.

Flexible, highly configurable matrix
Matrix switching configurations offer system designers wide testing flexibility by allowing them to connect multiple inputs to multiple outputs; matrices are particularly useful for applications in which the system must make connections between several instruments and a multipin device.

The model 3732 has four banks of high-speed reed relays; each bank has four rows and 28 columns (4x28), providing a total of 448 single-pole crosspoints. These relays can be configured in a number of different ways, enabling the matrix size to be easily adapted to existing or future applications.

For example, bank-configuration relays included on the card allow configuring the matrix banks automatically as a single 4x112 matrix or as two isolated 4x56 matrices, with no need for external wiring. The card also has analog backplane relays that allow expanding columns across cards automatically, up to a maximum of 4 rows by 672 columns in a single mainframe using six Model 3732 matrix cards.

The model 3732 also supports two-pole switching by automatically pairing relays to create either a dual 4x28 or a single 4x56 configuration.

The card uses dry reed relays that offer both low contact potential and low current offset to minimize the switching errors that often accompany this relay technology. Additionally, these relays will switch up to 200V at carry currents up to 1.2A, specifications not available in other high-density, card-based matrix solutions.

The fast-switching, long-life reed relays have a switching speed of 0.6 milliseconds and are rated for more than 109 no-load operations, both necessary specifications for switching systems used in automated testing applications.

The model 3732 uses two 78-pin male D-sub connectors for signal and configuration connections. Accessories available include matching D-sub cables and screw terminal blocks. Three- and five-year extended warranties are also available.

The model 3732 Quad 4x28 Ultra-High Density Reed Relay Matrix Card, which is priced at $5,395, will be available two to four weeks after receipt of order.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Luminus Devices, Almeco Group demo world’s first single-source LED street light

LAS VEGAS, USA: Luminus Devices, Inc., designer, developer and manufacturer of high light output PhlatLight LEDs, announced a partnership with Almeco Group to demonstrate the world’s first, single-source LED street light.

The new street light is powered by a single CSM-360 PhlatLight LED in combination with Almeco’s novel reflector optic. The result is an aesthetically appealing single-source LED fixture that looks more like an HID-based street light than the typical pixelated LED fixtures that dominate the current landscape.

With an emitting area 36 times greater than a 1-watt LED, a single PhlatLight CSM-360 LED can reduce design complexity, reduce cost and increase fixture reliability. Instead of using arrays of LEDs and optics, the single-source street fixture requires only a single optic. Additional cost savings can be realized from the fact that the CSM-360 is a chip-on-board LED, which doesn’t require an expensive metal core PCB typically used with LED arrays.

Almeco’s breakthrough low glare Vega LED98 reflector design incorporating material with the highest values of reflectivity across the visible wavelength spectrum can take the light from the CSM-360 and distribute it onto the street in accordance with industry standards. With a reflectivity of greater than 98 percent, the LED98 reflector optimizes the overall fixture efficiency.

Seoul Semiconductor launches new LED products at Lightfair

LAS VEGAS, USA: Seoul Semiconductor, a leading global LED manufacturer that recently achieved a noteworthy industry milestone with the development of a new lamp capable of 150 lm/w, is launching several innovative products at Lightfair International, the largest lighting fair in North America, taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week.

Company representatives will be at Booth 1539 in the Las Vegas Convention Center May 12-15 to launch Acriche A6 (1 W) and A7 (4 W) series products, LEDs that are much smaller than existing Acriche lamps and can be used in a variety of general lighting fixtures, including streetlights. For example, the A7, at 8x8 mm, offers space-saving versatility over current 18x12 mm Acriche products.

Acriche is the first mass production AC-driven LED and because it does not require a converter it is less expensive to manufacture end-products and lasts longer than other LED light sources whose lifetime may be limited by a power converter.

Also launching at Lightfair are three next-generation products in Acriche’s Z-Power LED series:
* Z5, which offers a high color rending index (CRI 90) and compact ceramic design;
* Z6, which delivers full color options for general lighting applications as well as decorative and architectural lighting uses;
* Z7, a high-efficiency LED product containing four individually addressable high power die.

“The global market for LEDs now exceeds $5 billion annually, and continues to increase at a rapid pace,” said Doug Hardman, North American Marketing Director for Seoul Semiconductor. “Acriche products have widespread appeal, especially as eco-friendly practices dominate customer thinking. We’re excited to share news about our products with visitors to Lightfair.”

Lightfair International, one of the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show, alternates each year between New York and Las Vegas. This year’s event, featuring more than 475 exhibitors, is expected to attract 19,000 attendees. At last year’s show in New York, Seoul Semiconductor rolled out new ultra-small LED products and received high praise.

Seoul Semiconductor has pioneered the development and manufacturing of next-generation LED light sources since 1992. Lighting products made from Acriche LEDS are more efficient than halogen lamps, incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent lamps and most DC LED products, and are the world’s first light source that can be driven by a common alternating current power source without the need of an AC-DC converter. Mass production of a 100 lm/w Acriche lamp began during the first quarter of this year.

“Lightfair is a good opportunity for Seoul Semiconductor to actively demonstrate its new technologies to the major lighting companies and the media of the world, following ‘Light + Building’ held in Frankfurt am Main in April 2010,” said S.M. Lee, Senior Vice President of Seoul Semiconductor.

Diodes Inc. announces power switches that provide complete USB port protection

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, has released a family of six high-side power switches offering complete port protection for a wide range of self-powered and bus-powered USB and other hot swap applications.

Designed to tolerate heavy capacitive loads and short circuits, the AP21x2A dual channel devices are available with maximum load current ratings of 0.5A, 1.0A and 1.5A, and both polarities of enable input.

To improve system robustness, the power switches deliver a fast transient response of 2µs to prevent spurious shutdown or restart. They provide tight tolerance current limiting at ratings of 0.8A, 1.4A or 2.0A, over-temperature and short-circuit protection as well as controlled rise-time and under-voltage lockout functionality.

The AP21x2A products integrate an automatic output discharge function to provide controlled discharge of disabled output capacitor voltage, and offer improvement in on-resistance over existing dual channel devices.

A 7ms deglitch time on the power switch’s fault report flag prevents any false over-current reporting and does not require the addition of any external components. The package options with industry standard pin-outs are: SO8, MSOP-8, MSOP-8-EP and DFN3030E-8.

The devices are UL Recognized and IEC 60950-1 CB Scheme Certified to ensure public safety and product quality. Their ambient operating temperature range is -40 to 85oC.

RFMD unveils complete front end module for handheld WiFi and Bluetooth systems

GREENSBORO, USA: RF Micro Devices Inc. has unveiled a highly integrated new front end module (FEM) that delivers a complete integrated solution for handset/handheld WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth systems.

RFMD's RF5755 FEM integrates a 2.5GHz Power Amplifier (PA), multi-throw switch (SP3T), Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) and power detector coupler. The RF5755 also features integrated matching circuitry with output harmonic attenuation, reducing the bill of materials (BOM) and manufacturing costs. The RF5755 is packaged in a small 16-pin QFN package (3mm x 3mm x 0.5mm), minimizing layout area in customer applications.

The highly integrated RF5755 delivers many features and customer benefits: high linear output power (20dBm) allowing higher efficiency and lower EVM for 11n applications; the ability to switch between WiFi transmit, WiFi receive, or Bluetooth (transmit or receive); reduced need for a high loss/attenuation filter at the FEM output; high IIP3 and gain; simultaneous receive of WiFi and Bluetooth with positive gain in both paths (utilizing the SPST switch after the LNA); and a direct-to-battery connection eliminating the need for additional DC circuitry.

Additionally, the integrated power detector coupler decreases sensitivity to voltage supply, temperature, and VSWR and improves the accuracy of the closed loop power control.

The RF5755 FEM is fully tested, including EVM and all DC parameters, providing a reduced size, single-placement solution that minimizes system footprint, reduces costs, and accelerates time-to-market for high linear output power applications.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

AEG Power Solutions customizes LED power supplies

DALLAS, USA: Green Machine Light Engine, a LED solutions provider based in Santa Clara, Calif., specializes in outfitting outdoor areas, such as commercial parks, municipalities, universities and hotels, with new and retrofitted LED light fixtures.

With customers relying on Green Machine fixtures to illuminate darkened areas, AEG Power Solutions used its world-class AC/DC power supply experience to provide Green Machine with a tailored solution that fits into all of the company’s new and retrofitted LED fixtures.

With an AEG PS power supply inside each fixture, Green Machine has a reliable, high-performance LED offering that provides customers with a power efficiency greater than 90 percent, Energy Star compliance, increased life expectancy and an average direct energy savings of more than 70 percent over traditional fluorescent lighting.

Customization and reliability are just a few of the many attributes AEG PS customers find in the end-to-end power supply solutions leader’s LED portfolio.

“Green Machine engineers innovative LED light fixtures that comply with local and federal energy standards and are built to last. Customers rely on Green Machine fixtures to deliver reliable illumination for years, and our power supply will be there to help light the way.”

When it comes to LED power supplies, AEG Power Solutions stands out by offering life expectancy equal to that of the LEDs themselves. AEG PS power supplies are manufactured with premium, industrial-grade components built to withstand extreme weather conditions and high-temperature environments.

Engineers at AEG PS designed Green Machine’s power supply to meet its unique technical requirements and form factor. With confidence in engineering and design, AEG PS was able to provide Green Machine with an outstanding five-year warranty, whereas other power supply providers typically offer three years or less.

“Understanding where the future of lighting and efficiencies are heading, we developed our LED products to exceed existing efficiency levels to ensure compliance today and through the foreseeable future. AEG PS has one of the only power supplies on the market that lived up to our high standards,” said John Byers, CEO, Green Machine Light Engine.

“Most power supply providers offer off-the-shelf units manufactured to meet a certain standard, but we needed something customized for our LED solutions. AEG PS leveraged seasoned engineers along with our input to customize a power supply that exceeds every other off-the-shelf power supply, and AEG PS provided a five-year warranty to prove it. Thanks to AEG PS, our customers are experiencing tremendous energy savings and are confidently recommending us for future projects.”

Green Machine also chose AEG PS for its innovation in power efficiency. When Green Machine started looking at different power supplies, no power supply provider could deliver power efficiencies greater than 85 percent.

AEG PS represents the culmination of more than 150 years of power engineering expertise developed under the name of AEG Power Solutions, Harmer & Simmons and Saft Power Systems. Its rich heritage enabled AEG PS to engineer Green Machine’s LED power supply to provide greater than 90 percent.

With such high efficiency, Green Machine’s LED fixtures easily achieve Energy Star compliance and exceed standards set forth by the California Energy Commission (CEC) as well as the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) – a competitive advantage only few share in the LED solutions market.

“With Green Machine, our heritage enabled us to better understand the company’s power needs and design a custom power supply in line with the expected life of its LED light source,” said Robert Vosburgh, North America Sales Director, AEG Power Solutions.

“Green Machine engineers innovative LED light fixtures that comply with local and federal energy standards and are built to last. Customers rely on Green Machine fixtures to deliver reliable illumination for years, and our power supply will be there to help light the way.”

Luminus intros HB SBT-90 LED for entertainment, display, medical and automotive apps

LAS VEGAS, USA: Luminus Devices Inc., developer and manufacturer of high light output PhlatLight® LEDs, has introduced the SBT-90 PhlatLight LED, the industry’s brightest, high power, surface-mount (SMT) package.

This breakthrough product is ideally suited for entertainment, display, medical and automotive applications that require an LED package that emits directly into air instead of having an integrated dome lens.

“With the introduction of the SBT-90, Luminus strengthens its leadership position in high brightness LEDs,” said Chuck DeMilo, director of global product marketing for lighting, Luminus Devices.

“The SBT-90 contains a single 9mm2 chip, so the optical brightness can’t be matched by tiled arrays of traditional 1-Watt LEDs. The ability to deliver more lumens through their optical architectures in a compact and highly integrated form factor becomes a game changer for our customers as new opportunities emerge to apply LEDs to demanding applications.”

The SBT-90 generates more than 1,800 lumens (6500K, 70+CRI) from a small 10mm x 11mm package footprint. Utilizing high thermal conductivity ceramic packaging, the SBT-90 features an extremely low thermal resistance of 0.64°C/W. The device has a nominal input power of 10W, but can be operated continuously at drive conditions up to 35W.

Due to its low profile window and direct chip-to-air emission, the SBT-90 is optimized for coupling to proximity optics and optical light engines, thereby maximizing optical throughput while maintaining long life and high reliability. Typical applications for the SBT-90 include entertainment wash lighting, edge-lit displays, projection systems, fiber coupled medical lighting and automotive forward lighting.

Available in an SMT package, the SBT-90 integrates seamlessly with standard SMT manufacturing processes and equipment. PhlatLight LEDs are mercury-free, highly reliable and provide a lifetime of 60,000 hours with lumen maintenance of greater than 70 percent. The SBT-90 is available for sampling now with volume shipments beginning in the third quarter.

Cree brings LED lighting revolution to Lightfair 2010

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. will be showcasing its lighting fixtures, lamps and components in Booth 149 during the Lightfair 2010 show held May 12 to 14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

In addition to exhibiting its industry-leading Cree TrueWhite Technology-based LED downlights, including the new high-output, deeply recessed LR6-DR1000, Cree is also debuting its newest LED lamp, the LBR30.

Cree will be demonstrating its new LRP-38-1000L which delivers 1000 lumens of directional light, and its newest high-efficiency troffer replacement, the LR24HE, which delivers more than 100 lumens per Watt fixture efficacy. More efficient than fluorescent troffers, the LR24HE has a CRI of 90 and is designed to last 50,000 hours.

Cree will also be demonstrating its line of lighting-class LED components, including the newest XLamp XM LED platform. Cree’s first LED module, the LMR4, will be shown in the Cree booth. Luminaires incorporating the LMR4 will also be on display in the following booths: Con-Tech, booth 348; dmf LIGHTING, booth 277; Intense Lighting, booth 727; and LITON Lighting, booth 1321.

Leading LED lighting pros gather at LEDforum China 2010

TAIWAN: LEDInside is organizing the LEDforum China 2010, along with co-orrganizers, ITRI Electronic & Optoelectronics Research Laboraties and Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition 2010, on July 11, 2010.

It will be held in Room #8 (Area B), at the Import and Export Fair, Pazhou Complex, Guangzhou, China.

The LEDforum China 2010 will focus on lighting topics, such as LED lighting market strategies under new US energy policies, Market strategies for LED outdoor lighting, LED indoor and outdoor lighting trends and much more.

This must-attend industry event features Mark McClear, Applications Engineering and New Business Development Director of Cree LED Components, Bernd Kammerer, General Manager, Sales and Marketing Business Group of Everlight Electronics, Co., Ltd., Sean Zhou, Regional Marketing Director, Asia of Philips Lumileds, and many other industry heavyweights.

Molex intros LED printed circuit assemblies

LIGHTFAIR International 2010, LISLE, FRANCE: Molex Inc. announced the availability of its LED Printed Circuit Assemblies.

Combining Molex’s LED and Printed Circuit Assembly design and manufacturing expertise, these dependable and efficient custom-lighting solutions work seamlessly for LED subassemblies across several industries.

The LED Printed Circuit Assemblies, which will be displayed at LIGHTFAIR International, booth 1741, May 12-14 in Las Vegas, support rigid and flexible circuits used in packaging LED products.

Molex’s custom LED assemblies support backlighting applications with polyester circuits that support lower power consumption applications and heat sinked polyimide and rigid boards to support high power consumption applications such as surgical and automotive lighting.

Molex design and manufacturing teams utilize in-house design, test and manufacturing capabilities to provide an LED assembly solution. Molex also provides expertise in BIN control, which is key to ensuring the consistent lot-by-lot LED luminosity output ranges, critical in a quality LED lighting product.

Molex’s LED design, assembly and manufacturing expertise continues to directly address customer requirements for energy efficiency, productivity and ease of use. “Molex has specialized in designing and manufacturing complex LED and printed circuit assemblies for over 20 years,” said Julian Ladron de Guevara, associate product manager at Molex.

“The new LED Printed Circuit Assemblies are the next step in Molex’s continued pursuit to provide high-quality, efficient LED solutions to a rapidly expanding market. Our experience and manufacturing expertise will help us be a key player in an exciting time in the lighting industry.”

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Toshiba launches North American LED lighting product line

LIGHTFAIR International 2010, LAS VEGAS, USA: Toshiba Corp. and Toshiba International Corp. (TIC), an emerging leader in solid-state lighting, announced its official entrance into the North American lighting market with the launch of the innovative E-Core LED product line.

The E-Core line along with E-Core prototype technologies for the global market, which include the lighting industry’s brightest LED products, are being unveiled at LIGHTFAIR International, May 12-14 in Las Vegas at booth number 1075.

Toshiba’s exhibit demonstrates its commitment to promoting advances in next-generation lighting, and to leading the way in establishing LEDs as energy-efficient, cost-saving lighting that address the needs of energy management solutions.

The E-Core product line for North America will feature an extensive lamp line and a high-efficiency LED downlight fixture line. The lamp line, which includes six reflector lamps in three colors and two A19 bulbs in two colors, features high brightness and energy efficiency in compact designs. The downlight line includes six models available in four colors, in which the brightest model reaches a luminous flux of 1250 lumens.

Alongside these ready-to-market products, Toshiba will demonstrate unsurpassed LED performance achieved by its wide ranging capabilities.

Technology prototypes to be exhibited include:
* LED bulbs with an industry leading 1690 lumens performance and a 260° lighting angle.
* GX53 Self Contained Round Units with a total luminous flux of 2000 lumens, which have the flexibility to easily switch LED units and achieve superior brightness levels from high ceilings.
* Surface-mount ceiling lights that integrate a high-efficiency LED and a power circuit that produces 120 lm/W, surpassing the efficiency of fluorescent lights.
* LED flood lights that can light up tall buildings and bridges with the same central luminosity as metal halide lamps.

austriamicrosystems announces contactless magnetic angle sensor with SAE SENT J2716 interface

Sensors Expo & Conference 2010, UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, AUSTRIA: austriamicrosystems (SIX:AMS), a leading global designer and manufacturer of high performance analog ICs, has announced the AS5165, a contactless magnetic angle position sensor for accurate angular measurement over a full 360°.

The new high-resolution magnetic rotary sensor offers best-in-class protection features for reliable operation in harsh automotive environments and includes a SENT J2716* interface for simple transmission of high-resolution sensor information.

The AS5165 magnetic encoder is a system-on-chip and combines integrated Hall elements, an analog front-end, digital signal processing, and best in class automotive protection features -- all in a single device. Offering the most reliable performance available, the AS5165 provides protection for the power supply and output pins against overvoltage up to 27 V; power supply pins are also protected against reverse polarity to -18 V.

In addition, continuous short circuit detection and broken wire detection are provided, and a unique patented fully differential architecture makes the sensor insensitive to stray magnetic fields. Automotive applications for the AS5165 include throttle and valve position sensing and several power train sensing applications.

To measure an angle, only a simple two-pole magnet rotating over the center of the chip is required. The magnet may be placed above or below the IC. The AS5165 is tolerant of magnet misalignment, air gap variations, and temperature variations. No calibration is required because of the device’s inherent accuracy. The absolute angle measurement provides instant indication of the magnet’s angular position with a programmable resolution of 0.022° = 16384 positions per revolution.

The AS5165 is AEC-Q100 grade 0 qualified, comes in a TSSOP14 package, and operates from a +5 V supply over a -40 to +150°C temperature range.

The AS5165 high-resolution, contactless magnetic angle sensor will be showcased at the Sensor Expo, June 7-9, 2010, Rosemont, IL.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fairchild Semiconductor’s MicroFET MOSFET shrinks its footprint for portable designs

SAN JOSE, USA: Portable designers continue to look for solutions that offer higher efficiency in smaller and thinner form factors. To meet this need, Fairchild Semiconductor (NYSE: FCS) offers a portfolio of high performance MicroFET MOSFETs packaged in an ultra-compact and thin footprint (1.6mm x 1.6mm x 0.55mm).

With an industry-leading product portfolio, designers can select the MicroFET MOSFET that optimally suites their application and design needs. This new portfolio contains a number of commonly used topology choices, including, single P-Channel and Schottky diode combo, single N-Channel and Schottky diode combo, dual P-Channel, dual N-Channel, complementary pair, single N-Channel and single P-Channel.

These MicroFET MOSFETs are designed with Fairchild's advanced-performance PowerTrench MOSFET process technology. This process technology yields exceptionally low values for RDS (ON), total gate charge (QG) and Miller Charge (QGD) – enhancements that result in superior conduction and switching performance and excellent thermal efficiencies. Their advanced MicroFET packaging delivers excellent power dissipation and conduction loss characteristics compared to conventional MOSFET packaging.

Fairchild Semiconductor offers the industry’s broadest portfolio of 1.6mm x 1.6mm and 2mm x 2mm thermally enhanced ultra-compact, low-profile MicroFET devices. These easy-to-implement, high-performance and space-saving MOSFETs are ideal for portable applications.

GigOptix announces low risk component obsolescence replacement program

PALO ALTO, USA: GigOptix Inc. has announced its Sunset Rescue Program, a service that provides replacements for obsolete ASICs and FPGAs utilizing a proven methodology owned by GigOptix through its acquisition of ChipX in November 2009.

The “Sunset Rescue” Program’s proven low risk methodology insures that the replacement ASIC is a drop-in-replacement and will meet the original component specifications and operate reliably in the customer’s system regardless of the original component’s process and geometry.

GigOptix uses an industry standard ASIC flow to port ASICs in the “Sunset Rescue” Program. Whether the original component’s design libraries are available or simply a library data book, GigOptix can convert the design to GigOptix Structured ASIC or standard cell and port the original test vectors to work on a GigOptix tester. ASIC timings are accurately mimicked on the new ASIC.

Component obsolescence costs the industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually, especially in markets with long product lifecycles such as optical communication, military, avionics and industrial equipment.

“The experienced ASIC team at GigOptix has a rigorous methodology within the Sunset Rescue Program to insure the functional equivalency, footprint compatibility and timing adherence required for the ASIC to work seamlessly in the customer’s system,” said Anil Chaudhry, director of ASIC marketing.

He added that GigOptix had successfully converted 8 ASICs to date from 0.8 micron to 0.18 micron saving customers $100K to $500K per year. One of the ASICs was originally designed with 3.3V Core, 0.35 micron Embedded Array technology in a 352BGA package and it was successfully converted into GigOptix 3.3V Core, 0.25 micron Standard technology with the same package and footprint.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Solar Lighting Systems from Sol Inc. 'take off' with ARC Aviation Renewables

PALM CITY, USA: Sol Inc. announced that ARC Aviation Renewables Corp. and Sol Inc. have reached a global agreement to bring solar lighting to the aviation marketplace.

Aviation Renewables is a leading consultative and design organization that assists airport authorities, engineers, manufacturers and aviation facility operators for both civilian and military aviation in improving their operations through more environmentally responsible solutions. From flight line to passenger support equipment and facilities, Aviation Renewables provides renewable energy solutions to the aviation marketplace.

Adding Sol Inc.'s solar LED lighting systems to their renewable energy solutions, Aviation Renewables expands its ability to support the aviation market's need for better airfield illumination, parking lot lighting and security lighting.

Allister Wilmott, Founder & Director of Aviation Renewables, added: "We are excited to be partnering with the industry's most proven, technological leader of solar-powered LED area and roadway lighting. Sol, Inc. is a natural fit for Aviation Renewables. With the greatest number of solar-powered area lighting units installed and operating worldwide, Sol Inc. brings exceptional capability to our customers across the globe."

Sol Inc. president and CEO Rick Schuett is pleased that Aviation Renewables engaged with Sol, Inc., saying: "It is encouraging that a leader like ARC sought out Sol Inc. to satisfy and expand the global demand for solar lighting products and services. Sol Inc.'s history of successes with over 40,000 installations worldwide will only be further enhanced in this exciting and growing aviation market."

Aviation Renewables exhaustively searched the marketplace for leading solar light solution manufacturers and selected Sol Inc. due to the company's unique blend of experience and technology.

"Aviation Renewables required an industry leader with a proven installation base, leading technology, superior customer service and competitive pricing. Sol Inc. brings all of this and more, including the largest defense and civil-based market share for solar area and roadway lighting in the world," said Aviation Renewables Director Christopher Zegger-Murphy.

Under the agreement, ARC Aviation Renewables Corporation will offer an exclusive line of solar LED light systems from Sol Inc. specifically configured for aviation facility illumination. With a wide selection of solar parking lot lights, pathway lights, solar security lights, and flood lighting, Aviation Renewables is now able to globally offer complete lighting solutions. Powered by the sun and built for long life, Sol Inc.'s high flux LED lighting systems offer unmatched performance.

Teridian, Synapse Wireless and California Eastern Labs showcase energy measurement design solution

IRVINE, USA: Next week at LIGHTFAIR International 2010, Teridian Semiconductor, Synapse Wireless and California Eastern Laboratories (CEL) will demonstrate a new design solution for the intelligent wireless control and energy monitoring of LED light fixtures and advanced solid state lighting products in Booth #2428 in the Building Integration Pavilion.

The comprehensive solution includes Teridian's 78M661x system-on-chip (SoC), CEL's MeshConnect 802.15.4 product line and Synapse's SNAP network operating system.

According to Bob Steele, director of Optoelectronics at Strategies Unlimited, an industry analyst firm, the global market for LEDs in lighting is predicted to grow at an astonishing 44 percent CAGR over the next five years.

Likewise, the demand for energy measurement capabilities in a broad range of devices and applications is also on the rise. In response, Teridian, Synapse and CEL are introducing a comprehensive, plug-and-play solution targeted to manufacturers of LED and advanced solid state lighting products. This solution will measure the use of energy and provide intelligent control for lighting applications in an 802.15.4-based wireless network.

Teridian's 78M661x chip family enables power measurement in a range of applications that include home and building automation networks, appliances, power supplies, HVAC, and communication equipment.

Synapse's SNAP is a mesh network operating system that provides embedded intelligence and wireless communication for engineers to design products that require remote monitoring and control, such as LED lighting and energy systems, building automation, asset management and more.

CEL's MeshConnect product line, which includes ICs, modules and development kits, provides a fully integrated transceiver solution for IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee networks that are ideal for voice, LED lighting control, solar/wind power, HVAC control, security systems, simple cable replacement, low-resolution video, asset location and AMR/AMI.

"CEL is excited about expanding its existing partnership with Synapse to now include a collaborative effort with Teridian. Each of the three partners provides an important component for intelligent wireless control and energy management for LED lighting and other solid state lighting applications," said Rich Howell, director of Business Development for CEL.

Last month, Teridian launched the 78M6618, the second in the family of energy measurement solutions for the home and enterprise. Teridian's energy measurement SoCs offer unprecedented accuracy of better than +/-0.5 percent over a 2000:1 dynamic range with self calibration. The end result is the ability to measure even the smallest amounts of energy.

"We designed the 78M661x family to be a complete, ready-to-use embedded measurement solution," said Jay Cormier, Teridian vice president and general manager, Energy Measurement & Communications. "The outcome of the collaboration between Teridian, Synapse and CEL is the complete integration of electronic components and software into a reliable, cost-effective solution that enables products to come to market faster."

"Teridian is a natural extension to our partnership with CEL," said Wade Patterson, Synapse CEO. "Now the SNAP network operating system and CEL's MeshConnect modules can combine with the outstanding performance of the Teridian embedded energy monitoring solution to provide exceptional value and accelerated time to revenue for our solid state lighting customers."

The new design solution will be showcased next week at LIGHTFAIR International 2010 in Las Vegas from May 12-14. The companies will demonstrate the integration of the three technologies into one powerful and flexible solution for solid state lighting systems. Teridian, Synapse and CEL will be located at booth #2428 in the Building Integration Pavilion on the show floor.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

RFMD expands broadband transmission product portfolio

KOLN, GERMANY: RF Micro Devices Inc., a leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance RF components and compound semiconductor technologies, has announced the industry's first 1.2 GHz broadband transmission products, enabling enhanced, bandwidth-driven services for CATV operators and their subscribers.

The new products provide options for cable operators to upgrade their network infrastructure to 1.2GHz, enhancing their network performance and providing bandwidth for growing broadcast and narrowcast services such as HDTV and emerging 3D HDTV.

The new products include the RFPD2580, the RFPP2590, and the RFOS601x. The RFPD2580 is a power doubler amplifier that uses RFMD's GaN technology to achieve 22.5dB gain at 1.2GHz and best-in-class signal output capability.

The RFPP2590 is a hybrid push-pull amplifier module that delivers extremely low distortion and consumes just 240mA from a 24V supply. The RFPP2590 is a companion part to the RFPD2580, and the two products combine to optimize performance in CATV line extender amplifiers deployed in CATV distribution networks.

The RFOS601x is an optical receiver module designed for use in hybrid fiber coax (HFC) optical nodes. Optical nodes reside at the edge of the fiber network, converting light into electrical signals for transmission to CATV set-top boxes and home routers.

The low distortion of the RFOS601x enables "fiber-deep" networks, in which the optical network is extended closer to the CATV subscriber, supporting higher data rates and addressing the increasing demand for high bandwidth video and broadband services.

Avago launches 10 MBd digital optocoupler for high insulation voltage apps

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, has released a 10 MBd Digital Optocoupler with high Insulation Voltage ratings for power supply and high-power motor control application.

The ACNV2601 single channel, 10 MBd digital optocoupler addresses growing market segments that need high data communication rates along with high insulation voltage performance. Avago’s ACNV2601 is the industry-first optocoupler that combines 10 MBd data rates while maintaining or increasing insulating voltage ratings.

ACNV2601 is designed to provide 7,500 Vrms/1 minute isolation voltage, 1,768 Vpeak continuous working insulation voltage and 12,000 Vpeak transient over voltage. The ACNV2601 is pending IEC/UL/CSA regulatory certification for Reinforced Insulation against electric shock applications.

Avago’s proprietary internal shield between the AlGaAs LED and photo-detector helps guarantee 20,000 V/µs common-mode transient immunity performance with a common-mode voltage of 1,500 V.

Avago’s ACVN2601 are priced at $2.17 each in 10,000 piece quantities. Samples and production quantities are available now through Avago’s direct sales channel and worldwide distribution partners.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Avago launches three precision isolation amplifiers for industrial motor control and renewable energy markets

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies has announced three Miniature Precision Isolation Amplifiers with increased accuracy, bandwidth and high insulation made possible by proprietary optical isolation technology.

Based on sigma-delta analog-to-digital converters and chopper stabilized amplifiers, the new isolation amplifiers feature high gain accuracy, low temperature drift, 3.3 V/5 V output supply operation and a wide -40 to +105°C operating temperature range.

These features are delivered in a stretched SO-8 package that has a footprint 30 percent smaller than the standard DIP-8 package. When mounted on a PCB, it occupies a space that is a fraction of that for a traditional Hall Effect or transformer based isolation amplifier.

The series is implemented with a fully differential circuit topology with a gain accuracy of ±0.5 percent (ACPL-C79B), ±1 percent (ACPL-C79A), and ±3 percent (ACPL-C790). Normalized gain drift is -50 ppm/°C.

With a 200 kHz bandwidth and 1.6 µs response time, the ACPL-C79x captures transients during short circuit and overload conditions. Operating from a single 5 V supply, the isolation amplifier series features an excellent nonlinearity of 0.05 percent and a SNR of 60 dB.

The ACPL-C79x high common-mode transient immunity of 15 kV/µs provides the precision and stability needed to accurately monitor current in high noise motor control environments. This ensures smoother control with less “torque ripple” in many motor control applications.