Monday, January 31, 2011

Avnet Express launches EMEA-wide e-commerce site

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Express, part of the Avnet Electronics Marketing operating group of Avnet Inc., is once again extending its online reach with the launch of a comprehensive e-Commerce website that now also encompasses Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The site,, offers design engineers and purchasing executives at OEM and EMS firms access to inventory held in Europe. What’s more, they can also enjoy online access to Avnet Electronics Marketing’s entire global component menu, which now includes more than 4.5 million different parts.

“Expanding our web offerings to EMEA considerably reduces logistics costs and accelerates cycle times for our customers,” said Beth Ely, senior vice president of Avnet Express. “Avnet Express Europe broadens the scope of our web offerings, giving our customers the flexibility to view and order products from the location closest to them, while also giving them visibility and purchasing capability of our North America and Asian inventory as well.”

Patrick Zammit, president of Avnet Electronics Marketing EMEA, comments: “We are making our entire product portfolio now available for online purchasing and giving customers the opportunity to buy all products through one channel. Avnet Express Europe complements our strategy of technology and design focus that we execute through our speedboat model, by offering a channel for small volume transactions.”

Avnet Electronics Marketing EMEA goes to market with the following speedboats: EBV Elektronik, Silica, Avnet Memec and Avnet Abacus. These combined speedboats carry nearly 300 different franchised lines – each one available for purchase on Avnet Express Europe.

Available in nine languages and offering the flexibility of purchasing with both the Euro and the British Pound, Avnet Express Europe makes purchasing online simple and fast. Combining the scale and scope of one of the largest global distributors, the site has been designed with a host of powerful functions such as parametric part search, Bill of Material (BOM) optimization and parts cross-referencing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Diodes Inc.'s HB LED driver supports off-line illumination

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, announced the release of the AL9910.

Provided in standard SO-8 and high power dissipation exposed pad SO-8 packages, the AL9910 high brightness LED driver will support universal AC input voltages from 85V to as high as 265V. For interior and exterior off-line lighting products, the exposed pad SO-8 variant in particular helps significantly increase device reliability by minimizing temperature rise.

The AL9910 utilizes a rugged high voltage process technology allowing it to withstand input voltage surges of up to 500V. System reliability is further improved by the device’s built-in over-temperature protection.

Driving LED arrays with a constant current to better control LED brightness, lighting spectrum and lifetime expectancy, the AL9910 delivers an output of between a few milliamps and 1A via an external MOSFET operating at a resistor programmable switching frequency up to 300kHz. Removing the need for a start-up resistor, a built-in voltage regulator delivers a gate drive to match and protect the switching MOSFET: 7.5V for the AL9910 and 10V for the companion AL9910A.

To extend device flexibility, the high efficiency AL9910 offers two separate dimming inputs for LED brightness control: a linear dimming input controlled by the application of a dc control voltage, and a low frequency PWM dimming input that accepts an external TTL compatible control signal with a duty ratio of 0-100 percent and at a frequency of up to a few kHz.

Cree releases revolutionary LED light bulb

DURHAM, USA: About 131 years ago, Thomas Alva Edison was granted US patent 223,898 for “Improvement in Electric Lamps and in the method of manufacturing.” Today’s LED lighting revolution heralds the demise of Edison’s 1880, horse-and-buggy era invention.

In an industry first, Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) has demonstrated the brightest, most efficient, LED-based A-lamp that can meet ENERGY STAR performance requirements for a 60 watt standard LED replacement bulb. This unprecedented level of performance is the result of Cree innovation, Cree barrier-breaking LED performance, Cree TrueWhite Technology and patented Cree remote phosphor technology.

“This is a significant milestone for the industry,” said Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO. “In the race to commercialize low-cost, energy-efficient LED bulbs, the industry has forgotten that LED lighting is supposed to look as good as the technology it is replacing. This is the first no compromise replacement for a 60 watt incandescent bulb.”

The prototype bulb is dimmable and emits a beautiful, warm incandescent-like color of 2700 K, with a CRI of at least 90. It delivers more than 800 lumens and consumes fewer than 10 watts and has been submitted for third party testing to validate the light distribution, lumen maintenance and performance.

“We are committed to leading the market and showing the industry what’s possible with recent innovations in our LED products and technology,” said Swoboda. “We are excited to show the world what it should expect in an LED light bulb and enable our customers’ products with these innovations.”

No commercially available LED A-lamps meet the ENERGY STAR® performance requirements for 60 watt standard replacement bulbs at this level of efficiency and light quality.

“This is the first standard LED A-lamp that combines high output with very high efficiency, in a small form factor, without the additional cost and complexity of active cooling or other design compromises,” said Rob Glass, Cree, vice president of technology. “We continue to advance our LED technologies to enable our customers’ success and to help accelerate the LED revolution.”

Thursday, January 27, 2011

ROHM high-performance infrared LEDs ideal for proximity sensing

SAN DIEGO, USA: A new series of high-performance infrared LEDs ideally suited for proximity sensor applications is now available from ROHM Semiconductor. The SIM-030/031ST and SIM-040/041ST surface-mount IR LEDs feature breakthrough IR wavelength technology providing peak output of 850/870 nm, compared to 950 nm for comparable devices.

The 850/870 nm level is much closer to the peak wave sensitivity of phototransistors (sensors), thus achieving higher efficiency proximity sensing and energy savings of up to 66%. In addition, the small package footprint and low-profile further enhance their application in cell phones and other portable devices.

The SIM-030/031ST, the smaller of the two devices, has a 2.3x1.95mm footprint and a height of just 0.9mm. With a forward current (If) of 100 mA, the device delivers typical emission strength of 30 mW/sr (milliwatts per steradian). The slightly larger SIM-040/041ST (3.1x2.25x1.6mm) provides 40 mW/sr, typical emission strength.

Field Application Engineer for ROHM Semiconductor, AviElmaleh, said: "The combination of ROHM's advanced process technology and packaging has resulted in a superior product for space-constrained proximity sensing. The SIM-030/031ST is the perfect choice for power saving in cell phones, turning off the display when the device is closer to the ear."

The ROHM SIM-030/031ST and SIM-040/041ST are the latest additions to the ROHM Optical Sensors Series of emitters, receivers, photointerrupters, tilt sensors, IrDA modules and remote control modules.

Avnet releases Nano-ITX/Spartan-6 FPGA development kit based on Intel Atom processor E640

PHOENIX, USA: Global electronic components and embedded solutions distributor Avnet Electronics Marketing, an operating group of Avnet Inc., announced the availability of the Nano-ITX/Spartan-6 FPGA Development Kit, based on the Intel Atom E640 Processor and Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA. The new development kit is priced at $1,695.

Avnet has combined an Emerson Network Power Nano-ITX motherboard that provides a complete Intel Atom processor E640-based embedded system with a Spartan-6 FPGA PCI Express (PCIe) daughter card for easy peripheral expansion. A reference design, based on an included version of the Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 7 operating system, shows developers how to easily add custom FPGA-based peripherals to user applications.

Key features of the development kit include:
* Emerson Nano-ITX-315 motherboard base on Intel Atom processor E640;
* Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA PCIe card, with PCIe interface directly to the Intel Atom processor using the low-cost Xilinx Spartan-6 LX75T FPGA with its eight 3.125 Gbps GTP on-chip transceivers;
* Low pin count (LPC) FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC) connector for expansion modules;
* General purpose input/output (GPIO) connector providing single-ended or differential pairs for custom peripheral or LCD panel interfaces;
* Two independent memory banks of DDR3 SDRAM, each with 128MB of storage, used for data-intensive applications such as video analytics or image manipulation; and,
Maxim SHA-1 EEPROM for FPGA design security.

Designers working in markets such as industrial, scientific, medical and others can utilize the Nano-ITX/Spartan-6 FPGA Development Kit to develop applications such as image processing, human machine interface (HMI), machine control, and medical applications such as patient monitoring.

“Avnet has created a small form factor, flexible, and expandable platform with the Nano-ITX/Spartan-6 FPGA Development Kit,” stated Jim Beneke, vice president of global technical marketing at Avnet Electronics Marketing. “We’ve simplified the development process for designers interested in the newest Intel Atom processor E6xx series of processors enabling our customers to shorten their design cycle and move to production faster.”

“This reference design provides designers with a comprehensive way to rapidly develop their application utilize the benefits of the Intel Atom processor E640 when paired with an FPGA,” said Jonathan Luse, director of marketing for the Intel Low Power Embedded Products Division. “We appreciate the value and flexibility Avnet has delivered to the embedded community with this kit.”

“The new Nano-ITX/Spartan-6 FPGA Development Kit provides developers an easy way to evaluate, design and debug Intel Atom based designs that require the flexibility of a high-performance, low-cost FPGA,” said Tim Erjavec, senior director of Platform Marketing at Xilinx.“The powerful combination of the Spartan-6 FPGA and industry-standard FMC in this comprehensive kit enables a straight-forward interface approach to custom peripherals and co-processing.”

“Emerson Network Power is committed to providing innovative platforms that enable our customers to develop their solutions more easily and get to market faster,” said Paul Virgo, director of marketing, Embedded Computing, Emerson Network Power.

“This passion is behind our consistent drive to be one of the first companies to make the latest Intel silicon available on an embedded motherboard. Our ecosystem of great value-added partners such as Avnet is exceptional in its ability to create enabling solutions like this development kit that can accelerate and simplify customers’ solutions based on the latest Intel Atom E640 processor and custom FPGA-based peripherals. This kind of innovation is second-to-none.”

“Microsoft continues to deliver the power of Windows Embedded Standard 7 and provide a high performance, highly reliable platform for our developer partners such as Avnet Electronics Marketing,” said Valerie Olague, group regional marketing manager at Microsoft. “Our collaboration with Avnet showcases our commitment in the evolving embedded marketplace.”

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rubicon transcends LED industry with innovative 12-inch sapphire wafers

FRANKLIN PARK, USA: Rubicon Technology Inc., a leading provider of sapphire substrates and products to the LED, RFIC, Semiconductor, and Optical industries, announced the production of 12-inch polished wafers, the largest high-quality, sapphire wafer ready for production of LEDs (light emitting diodes).

Rubicon now offers a complete range of high quality sapphire substrates including two-, three- and four-inch core, and six-, eight- and 12-inch wafers.

Rubicon is uniquely positioned to deliver the sapphire capacity necessary to support the growing demand for LEDs in the consumer electronics and general lighting industries in products such as light bulbs, large displays, traffic lights, HDTVs, tablets, netbooks, and mobile phones leverage LEDs. As the only vertically integrated manufacturer of high quality, large diameter sapphire wafers in large volumes, Rubicon is provider of choice for manufacturers of LEDs worldwide.

“Rubicon has built a world renowned R&D and engineering team that is making great strides in the development of high quality large diameter sapphire including the first 12-inch wafer,” said Raja Parvez, Rubicon president and CEO.

“It takes unique technology with advanced processes to make high quality, large diameter sapphire at scale. Rubicon’s ability to affordably produce larger wafers, free of defects is key to helping industries that make and use LEDs scale to the volumes necessary to support the growth needed in the general lighting and consumer electronics.“

Founded in 2000, Rubicon sought after experts in sapphire crystal formation and processing, and the optoelectronics and semiconductor industries from around the world to redefine the end-to-end process for the manufacture of sapphire wafers.

“The Rubicon team has built a highly specialized end-to-end process to ensure the high quality of our full range of wafer products,” commented Parvez. “It is very important to ensure that our customers can depend on us for uniform, particulate-free sapphire wafers as well as flat, stress-free wafers. High quality sapphire wafers help our customers produce high quality LED wafers at volumes supporting the LED supply chain.”

Rubicon’s recent build-out of infrastructure optimizes the company’s ability to make affordable, high quality, large diameter sapphire wafers in large volumes for customers worldwide. While the Batavia facility leverages the stability and lower cost of valuable resources such as power, the new facility in Malaysia leverages the location to further lower costs and bring extensive experience in polishing large diameter wafers closer to the LED, consumer electronics and general lighting manufacturers in Asia.

The transition to larger diameter wafers in LED production has started. Earlier in 2010, Rubicon announced that the company entered into a $71 million agreement with a major LED chip manufacturer for which Rubicon will provide six-inch polished substrates. Companies such as Philips Lumiled and Lextar Electronics have announced six-inch production of LED wafers built on sapphire.

New wafer shipper enhances LED manufacturing

BILLERICA, USA: Entegris Inc. introduced a wafer shipper that specifically meets the critical handling needs of thin silicon (Si) and compound semiconductor wafers.

The new Ultrapak 100 mm Thin Wafer Shipper is designed to reduce damage and contamination in order to better protect thin substrates used in LED manufacturing and other applications. The new product is being featured with other LED solutions at the company's booth at the SEMICON Korea 2011 tradeshow being held in Seoul, Korea on January 26, 2011.

Currently, the LED industry predominantly uses shippers designed for semiconductor applications. These silicon wafer shippers are not designed for thin Si and compound semiconductor applications and can cause wafer damage or breakage, cross-slotting and particle generation via rotation if used in these sensitive applications.

The new Ultrapak 100 mm Thin Wafer Shipper, which leverages the proven technology and design of Entegris' Ultrapak family of wafer shipping products, offers several design features that help thin Si and compound semiconductor manufacturers reduce these risks, including:

* Cradle strap support (upper and lower cushions) of the wafer that limits wafer rotation, thereby reducing particle contamination, and secures the wafers in the cassette to safeguard against breakage.
* Enhanced perimeter support of the substrate via extended upper cushion and lower cushion to reduce stress levels during impact events during transport.
* Ultrapure polypropylene materials that provide a clean shipping environment and assure low levels of outgassing to prevent haze or changes to the wafer surface.
* Robotic pickup flanges on the cassette to allow for convenient handling.
* Center notch track alignment and an "H" bar to help assure accurate equipment interoperability for both vertical and horizontal wafer transfers.
* Secondary packaging design that holds eight shippers at a time, helping protect up to 200 wafers.

The Ultrapak 100 mm shipper successfully passes ISTA-2A procedure for free-fall drop with 150um thick Ge wafers using Entegris' designed secondary packaging. It also passed a battery of other functional tests using 300um, 200um, and 150um thin wafers.

Opnext intros high power 404nm, 500mW violet laser diode for medical illumination systems

SPIE Photonics West 2011, Booth # 1837, SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Opnext Inc., a global leader offering one of the most comprehensive families of high power, low operating current red and infrared laser diodes, announced the introduction of the HL40023MG, a high power 404nm, 500mW violet laser diode for biomedical illumination applications, as well as direct imaging on PCB manufacturing surfaces.

A demonstration of the violet laser diode is taking place during the Photonics West conference, January 25-27, 2011, at the San Francisco - Moscone Center, Opnext Booth # 1837.

Current biomedical and direct imaging system manufacturers are using solid state laser diodes that are large and consume tremendous amounts of power. The HL40023MG violet laser diode offers manufacturers the option to use a high power diode in a small 5.6mm package. With a typical operating current of 390mA, the HL40023MG provides 400mW of optical output power.

"We believe cost competitive, high intensity sources like Opnext's 404nm lasers are critical to improving the capabilities of state-of-the-art instruments like high performance illuminators," said Claudia Jaffe, VP of Business Development at Lumencor. "Lumencor is proud to be working with Opnext on this important class of powerful semiconductor sources."

"We are excited to bring another quality laser diode to market that helps companies like Lumencor develop a medical illumination system that uses a light source to perform medical imaging tests and research," said Tadayuki Kanno, president of Opnext's devices business unit. "As the industry trend moves toward using higher power laser diodes, we will continue to develop innovative diodes with a low operating current."

Opnext offers a broad spectrum of laser diode products that span 404nm to 850nm, driven by more than 30 years of innovative laser heritage. Opnext high-quality, reliable laser diodes are proven to consume a low operating current, which extends battery life, while still maintaining the integrity of the laser diode power in a variety of applications.

The HL40023MG is scheduled for mass production in February 2011.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Avago intros isolation amplifiers with increased accuracy for motor drivers and renewable energy power converters

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, announced new precision optical isolation amplifiers for motor control and current sensing applications.

The ACPL-790B, ACPL-790A and ACPL-7900 devices improve the accuracy and response times of the Avago isolation amplifier portfolio, while addressing compact applications with a smaller footprint package design. The high-precision isolation amplifiers are ideal for current and voltage sensing in AC and brushless DC motor drives, industrial inverters, servo motor drives, wind power generation, solar panel power systems and general analog isolation.

As current flows through the external resistor in a motor drive implementation, the resulting analog voltage drop is sensed by an ACPL-790B/790A/7900 isolation amplifier, and it allows a proportional output voltage to safely be created on the other side of the optical isolation barrier.

Competing solutions based on Hall Effect technology and current transformer technology suffer electrical parameter variation over temperature fluctuations and require a larger footprint in a design. The ACPL-790B precise isolation amplifier provides up to 0.5% high gain accuracy, and offer 200 kHz bandwidth and 1.6 μs fast response time to enable capture of transient signals in short circuit and overload conditions.

The devices operate from a single 5V supply that is compatible with 3.3V outputs. This performance is delivered in a compact DIP-8 package that is suitable for automated assembly and meets worldwide regulatory safety standards.

Opnext intros high power, 60mW in 445nm blue laser diode for embedded device mini projector apps

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Opnext Inc., a global leader offering one of the most comprehensive families of high power, low operating current red and infrared laser diodes, announced the introduction of its high power, 60mW, 445nm blue laser diode.

The first in a family of blue laser diodes being planned for development, Opnext’s HL45023TG blue laser diode is designed for accessory or mobile pico projector applications as well as embedded device applications where a pico projector image capability is envisioned to be integrated into a mobile phone. Opnext's blue laser diode will be on display in the company's booth during Photonics West, January 25-27 at the Moscone Center.

Using a unique and proprietary design, the HL45023TG provides 60mW of optical output power at a 445nm wavelength and consumes 30 percent less power than existing, commercially available blue lasers. The blue laser is built in a tiny 3.8mm package size, making it ideal for the growing market demand in embedded and mobile device applications.

In addition, the laser diode performs with a small aspect ratio of 2.1, which is close to being the same aspect ratio as the red, high power laser diode Opnext currently provides for pico projector applications. With the introduction of this blue laser, pico projector module manufacturers can improve their RGB module by using the red and blue laser diodes from Opnext.

"Our red laser diode offering for pico projector manufacturers has already been well received. Now, with the addition of a blue laser diode to our product portfolio, we anticipate manufacturers will be pleased with the power and image quality results they can deliver from their system," said Tadayuki Kanno, president of Opnext's devices business unit. "Opnext's focus continues to be on the development of diodes that are high power, high quality and high performance while consuming less energy."

The market projection for pico projectors is cited by In-Stat, a research and analytics firm, to reach 20 million units in 2014, primarily driven by tiny projectors embedded in mobile handsets, personal media players, cameras and camcorders. (Pico Projectors: One Reason Bigger Isn't Better, In-Stat, May 2010).

"Opnext is one of the key red laser diode suppliers for our Light Touch product and they have consistently delivered on the quality we need," stated Light Blue Optics CEO, Chris Harris. "The introduction of Opnext's high power blue laser is an important step in our roadmap toward embedded projection systems that deliver improved image quality and three times the brightness of a typical tablet screen using only half the power."

Opnext offers a broad spectrum of laser diode products that span 404nm to 850nm, driven by more than 30 years of innovative laser heritage. Opnext high-quality, reliable laser diodes are proven to consume a low operating current, which extends battery life, while still maintaining the integrity of the laser diode power in a variety of applications.

The HL45023TG will be shipping in sample quantities in February and is scheduled to be in mass production in April.

Maxim’s LED solution enables drop-in replacements for halogen MR16 lamps

SUNNYVALE, USA: Maxim Integrated Products has introduced the MAX16840, an LED driver that employs a proprietary architecture to ensure flicker-free, dimmable operation with electronic transformers and cut-angle dimmers.

Maxim’s patent-pending approach enables the design of retrofit LED lamps that can replace halogen MR16s without any changes to the existing electrical infrastructure. This removes an important obstacle to commercial viability, allowing end users to enjoy all the benefits of LED lighting with substantially lower deployment costs.

Designing LED retrofit lamps
To facilitate adoption, LED retrofit lamps must be compatible with electronic transformers and cut-angle dimmers. These transformers and dimmers are designed for the perfectly resistive loads of traditional halogen lamps. LED drivers, however, are very nonlinear and not purely resistive loads. As a consequence, LED lamps flicker, do not dim, and in some cases do not turn on at all when used with the existing electrical infrastructure.

The MAX16840 solves this problem by using a unique, patent-pending approach to control the input current of the lamp. By actively shaping the input current it ensures flicker-free operation with most electronic transformers and dimmers. This enables LED lamp designers to create drop-in replacements for halogen MR16s, thus eliminating the costly infrastructural upgrades required by competitive solutions.

Extending lamp lifetime and fitting the MR16 form factor
In addition, the MAX16840 can be designed in without electrolytic capacitors. This extends the lifetime of the LED lamp, since electrolytic capacitors are usually the first component that fails in the driver circuit.

Operation without electrolytic capacitors reduces the cost and size of the driver, allowing it to fit in the small MR16 form factor. An integrated switching MOSFET further extends these space savings while reducing component count and cost.

Cree broadens LED module family to accelerate adoption of LED lighting

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. is extending its LED module family with the Cree LMR2 LED Module, a compact, high-efficiency module that provides a simple solution for lighting designers and manufacturers looking to offer best-in-class LED lighting.

The previously-released Cree LMR4 LED Module is also now available in four color points, 2700 K, 3000 K, 3500 K and 4000 K, each based on Cree TrueWhite Technology.

The versatile LMR2 module uses Cree TrueWhite Technology to provide efficient, high-quality light for a variety of applications such as restaurants, retail and hospitality lighting where high CRI and efficacy are required. Its 2.25-inch aperture allows increased design flexibility for applications including pendant lighting, sconces, wall washers, as well as small aperture downlights.

Designed to last at least 35,000 hours and dimmable to 5 percent, the LMR2 module delivers 650 lumens at color temperatures of 2700 K, 3000 K, 3500 K and 4000 K with a 90 CRI. It is drop-in ready and provides a comprehensive solution with integrated driver electronics, optics and primary thermal management. Fixture manufacturers also have the option to include a specially designed heat sink to accommodate high-heat applications, such as downlights

“The LMR series of LED modules continues Cree’s long history of innovation in LEDs for lighting applications,” said Scott Schwab, Cree LED Module product line manager. “We are extending our portfolio of application-optimized LED Modules, which are designed to help OEM customers quickly and simply design, and bring to market, fixtures based on our lighting-class LEDs.”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Digi-Key, ITT Cannon sign global distribution agreement

THIEF RIVER FALLS & SANTA ANA, USA: Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp. and ITT Cannon, a leading global manufacturer of reliable, innovative connectors, announced the two companies have entered into an agreement in which Digi-Key will distribute ITT Cannon products to customers worldwide.

Products from ITT Cannon are now available for purchase on Digi-Key’s global websites and will be featured in future print and online catalogs. ITT Cannon connectors are defined by a legacy of nearly a century of interconnect science.

"Digi-Key is very pleased to announce this new partnership with ITT Cannon," said Jeff Shafer, Digi-Key vice president of interconnect, passive, and electromechanical products. "We support ITT Cannon’s ability to add new product innovations and appreciate their commitment to quality. They are a good match for Digi-Key's goal of providing our customers with superior service, which includes product selection and availability, on-time delivery, and responsiveness."

“Digi-Key is a valuable addition to ITT Cannon’s sales channel, as we continue our strategy of providing innovative interconnect solutions into new and exciting applications. We look forward to supporting our customers through the comprehensive Digi-Key sales and marketing infrastructure,” said James Herman, VP of Global Sales at ITT Interconnect Solutions.

Friday, January 21, 2011

IDEX acquires Advanced Thin Films

LAKE FOREST, USA: IDEX Corp. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Advanced Thin Films, LLC (ATFilms).

ATFilms, with approximately $9 million in revenue, specializes in optical components and coatings for applications in the fields of scientific research, defense, aerospace, telecommunications and electronics manufacturing. ATFilms’ core competence is in the design and manufacture of filters, splitters, reflectors and mirrors with the precise physical properties required to support their customers’ most challenging and cutting-edge optical applications.

Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, ATFilms will operate within IDEX’s Health and Science Technologies segment as a part of the IDEX optical products platform. AT Films will be acquired for cash consideration of $32 million and is expected, inclusive of all potential earn-out, to be accretive to earnings in 2011. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the month pending the discharge of indebtedness of the company.

IDEX chairman and CEO, Larry Kingsley stated: "We are delighted with the opportunity to continue the expansion of our optical platform with the acquisition of ATFilms. ATFilms is a recognized leader in the design and manufacture of optical componentry. By producing custom products, which have both excellent spectral performance and environmental stability and durability, ATFilms has built a reputation as a critical supplier to a significant number of leading edge customers.

"ATFilms will now join Semrock, acquired in 2008, as a part of our optical products platform within our Health and Science segment, and we look forward to significant collaboration on key areas of product development and optics design."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Diodes Inc. logic family saves space with 1mm square package

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, announced its release of 8 single gate logic functions in the miniature 6-pin DFN1010 package.

Measuring just 1.0mm by 1.0mm and with a maximum off-board height of 0.4mm, the latest additions to the 74LVC1Gxx logic family provide space-saving opportunities for the smallest handheld devices, including advanced cell phones, satellite navigation systems and tablet computers.

The product introduction includes 3-input NAND and 3-input AND gates and four configurable multifunction gates providing a choice of up to 7 different logic functions each. A Schmitt trigger inverter and Schmitt trigger buffer complete the new offerings, all of which are all also being made available in industry standard SOT packaging.

The logic devices’ wide operating voltage range of 1.65V to 5.5V means the parts will be equally well suited to traditional 5V as well as ultra-portable battery applications with its 1µA typical current draw helping to reduce energy consumption. Powered down, the devices’ output circuitry is automatically disabled to prevent damaging backflow current and to ensure signal isolation. With 5.5V tolerant inputs, the logic products can also serve as voltage translation devices.

Two out of three large-sized LCDs to use LED backlights in 2011

EL SEGUNDO, USA: More than two-thirds of large-sized liquid crystal display (LCD) panels shipped worldwide in 2011 will incorporate light-emitting diode (LED) backlights, up from less than one half in 2010, according to new IHS iSuppli research.

An estimated 67 percent of large-sized LCD panels will use LEDs in 2011, compared to 44 percent in 2010. Shipments of large-sized LCD panels with LED backlighting will reach 495.6 million units in 2011, up 74.9 percent from 283.3 million units in 2010, as presented in the figure.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

For notebook and netbook panels, LED backlight adoption will rise to 100 percent in 2011, up from 91 percent in 2010. LED penetration in television and monitor panels will rise to slightly less than 50 percent in 2011, up from about 20 percent in 2010.
By 2014, shipments of large-sized LCD panels with LED backlights will reach 834.6 million units, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47.9 percent from 117.8 million in 2009.

IHS defines large-sized LCDs as panels with a diagonal dimension of 10 inches or larger.

“LED-backlit panels have emerged as the main driver of large-sized LCD panel shipment growth in 2010, representing the fastest-expanding—and soon to be the largest—portion of the LCD market,” said Sweta Dash, senior director of LCD research at IHS.

“Consumers increasingly are demanding LED-backlit televisions as the costs of such sets decline, allowing more users to take advantage of their superior image quality, lower power consumption and thinner form factors.”

Panel oversupply looms
Despite the strong growth in shipments of LED-backlight products, the large-sized panel market in 2011 faces the specter of oversupply, which could result in falling prices.

Based on an analysis of the current production plans of panel suppliers, manufacturing capacity may significantly exceed market demand in the first half of 2011. However, capacity expansion in the second half of 2011 may decrease to a lower level than demand.

“If panel suppliers can control production skillfully and rationally, 2011 can be very positive year for the LCD industry,” Dash said. “On the other hand, excessive production in the first half may lead to an inventory buildup and oversupply in 2011.”

3-D panel market transforms in 2011
Outside of LED backlights, another major trend for the large-sized LCD market in 2011 will be the transformation of the 3-D television panel market. The acceptance of 3-D televisions in 2010 fell short of industry expectations, partly because of the high cost of the panels and the sets.

Many panel suppliers in 2011 are planning to introduce television panels using film-based pattern retarder technology, rather than the current shutter glass technology. Patterned retarder technology works with 3-D eyeglasses composed of polarizer films that are lighter in weight and lower in cost. This technology yields an eyewear cost of about $10, making it easier for consumers to own multiple glasses, compared to the $100 cost for shutter glasses.

Besides low cost, patterned retarder technology claims to have less crosstalk and may be brighter than panels using shutter glass technology. It can also be used with lower frame rates (60Hz) and even with cold cathode fluorescent lamp backlights to offer lower-end, lower-priced products.

However, the shutter glass method has the advantage of higher resolution, along with other benefits such as wider vertical viewing angles. Panel suppliers and some brands, especially Chinese firms, are hoping to offer lower-cost patterned retarder technology with polarizer glass to increase 3-D adoption rates in 2011.

element14 intros Helieon sustainable light modules

BANGALORE, INDIA: element14, formerly known as Farnell Electronics (I) Pvt Ltd, has announced the latest additions of the highly efficient and simple-to-use Helieon Sustainable Light Module to its expansive inventory of over 120,000 unique components.

Combining unmatched solid state lighting technology from Bridgelux and interconnect technology from Molex, the Helieon lighting system simplifies the process of designing, building, replacing and upgrading luminaires.

Helieon modules enable flexibility in changing the look and feel of the lighting installation with the simplicity of changing a light bulb. By emulating a traditional lighting socket, the Helieon system delivers an easy and familiar installation experience. Beam angle, colour temperature and light output can all be easily changed with the simple twist of a wrist.

Innovative sustainable lighting solutions
The innovative new lighting solutions deliver an unrivalled standard in the market with integrated solid state lighting solutions for OEM fixture manufacturers, lighting designers and architects. The design of the modules simplifies the design integration effort and accelerates time to market.

Multiple product options compatible with a single thermal and electronic driver system design enables flexibility to change the lighting experience post installation. Separable socketed plug and play solutions (socket and module) incorporating engage and turn technology enable separation of source and fixture, emulating traditional lighting with a familiar turn and click installation process.

The cutting-edge design of the Helieon Sustainable Light Module ensures uniform high quality illumination with beam control optics which delivers clean white light without pixilation for precision lighting effects.

High system efficacy enables luminaires with operating efficiencies of >50 Im/W Meets or exceeds global regulatory requirements such as Energy Star, Title 24, Part L and others.

The applications for this purposeful solution range from down lights, task and accent lighting, spot and track lights, troffers and interior-area lighting, to retail and display lighting, hospitality lighting, architectural lighting, decorative lighting and even museum lighting.

The simple to use nature of the module enables luminaire manufacturers to design with confidence. All the modules are also manufactured from recyclable components, lead-and mercury-free, that are RoHS compliant which reduces environmental and disposal issues, delivering a state-of-the-art sustainable solution.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pulse Electronics intros first surface mount central office splitter module

SAN DIEGO, USA: Pulse Electronics Corp., a leading provider of electronic components, has introduced the first surface mount (SMT) central office (CO) splitter module.

The B89S59NL is used on a rack card in a digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM) or within roadside cabinets to combine or split separate plain old telephone service (POTS) and DSL data signals.

Pulse Electronics’ module is the first CO splitter module in a surface mount, rather than through-hole, configuration, which offers many advantages. SMT technology provides improved shock and vibration resistance as a result of the shorter lead lengths. Manufacturing benefits include reduced board and material handling costs.

The SMT soldering process can be automated for high volume manufacturing to expedite and increase production and reduce labor and handling. Placement of SMT modules is more reliable than placing through-hole modules or hand soldering because when the heated soldering sheet becomes molten, the natural surface tension it creates pulls the components into their exact proper positions.

“This product is the only surface mount central office splitter module on the market today,” said Ronan Kelly, product marketing engineer for Pulse Electronics.

“SMT PCBs are much stronger and resistant to external stress than their through-hole counterparts. When an electronic device is dropped or shaken, if the components have been surface-mounted, the electrical connection is much more likely to remain intact. The higher quality product accompanied by the manufacturing advantages will definitely improve the options for companies that design and manufacture central office equipment.”

The B89S59NL has the same footprint as Pulse Electronics’ SmartER range of central office splitter modules. The SmartER splitters have a unique footprint that allows modules that comply with the numerous different global standards to be interchanged without having to redesign the splitter board at the customer. This enables the customer to address different markets using the same footprint, but populating it with different modules to suit a particular standard.

As with other Pulse Electronics products, the B89S59NL uses Pulse Electronics’ patented technology that allows for better performance, increased compactness, and high quality construction. The product is TR-127 compliant for VDSL2 applications and meets the ETSI Complex Impedance and Option A relative to metering pulse at 12 kilohertz.

TR-127 is a technical report developed by the Broadband Forum to ensure the highest quality delivery of voice, data, and video services (triple play) by maximizing the interoperability of splitters and in-line filters with DSLAMs and modems.

All SmartER modules can be manufactured in surface mount configuration if requested by the customer. The modules come in trays, but other packaging options are available. Price and availability depend on volume.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Intematix unveils ChromaLit

FREMONT, USA: Intematix, a leading innovator of patented phosphors for high-quality LEDs, has introduced ChromaLit, the groundbreaking family of remote phosphor light source solutions.

ChromaLit is now generally available to LED luminaire and lighting module manufacturers, providing unparalleled design freedom, more efficient manufacturing processes, exceptional light quality and up to 30 percent higher system efficacy.

The ChromaLit collection implements precision optics manufacturing and Intematix’s cutting-edge phosphor technology to provide lighting manufacturers with the capability to create previously unimaginable lighting systems in any shape and any color.

ChromaLit products are customizable in geometry, color temperature, CRI and substrate material, offering flexibility and creative opportunities never before seen in luminaires. Uniform, curvilinear and three-dimensional lighting designs are now made possible where challenges existed with conventional LED approaches.

“By separating the phosphor from the chip, Intematix has created a customizable lighting solution of the highest quality, an innovation destined to disrupt the lighting industry,” said Mark Swoboda, CEO of Intematix. “ChromaLit is the natural culmination of Intematix’s dedication to materials discovery and phosphor expertise, designating the phosphor as the arbiter of light quality.”

Compared to conventional LED designs, where blue chips are coated with a phosphor compound, ChromaLit leverages a phosphor composite precisely layered onto a substrate, separated from the blue LED energy source. This new technique allows lighting system manufacturers to keep the phosphor performance stable over the module’s lifetime and design color-consistent, uniform luminaires.

In applications such as retail and hospitality lighting where color consistency is as challenging as it is critical, ChromaLit creates uniform, high-quality, diffuse light throughout the space.

“Our ChromaLit light sources add great momentum to the conversion of general lighting to solid state,” said Julian Carey, director of product marketing at Intematix. “We offer the critical link that enables our customers to achieve the efficacy and reliability benefits of LED lighting while overcoming the challenges historically posed by LED architectures. Now, solid-state luminaires can have phenomenal design freedom, streamlined production and glare-free, consistent light.”

Additionally, luminaire manufacturers now have the option of interchangeable ChromaLit light sources. This enables manufacturers to simplify LED binning management and reduce inventory. A blue LED energy supply unit can be stocked, along with compact and easily swappable ChromaLit light sources instead of many individual completed luminaires.

Since it operates at a lower temperature and maximizes photon extraction, the ChromaLit architecture produces significantly more light per input power. In addition, ChromaLit eliminates the necessity of a diffuser and provides up to 30 percent higher system efficacy than conventional LED lighting systems, both in white illumination and in colored specialty lighting applications like signs and signals.

Intematix has launched ChromaLit product options targeted at general lighting applications and has additional products in development.

Demand recovery not in sight; pressure of 2010 Q4 LED price decline expected to extend till 2011 Q1

TAIWAN: According to the latest price survey by LEDinside, an LED research division of TrendForce, in 2010 Q4, demand from LED applications still has not recovered, including continued inventory adjustment of large-size panels and lower-than-expected demand from general lighting.

As a result, pressure of LED price decline extends from 2010 Q3. Among them, price of LED for large-size panel applications fell by 5-9 percent, with most substantial decline in TV backlight applications; high power LED lighting applications declined by more than 12 percent. Due to relatively stable demand from mobile phone applications, LED prices in this segment are fairly stable with a mere 3 percent seasonally adjusted decrease.

As for prices of LEDs in large-size backlight applications in 2010 Q4, due to slower-than-expected panel shipment recovery, vendors have adjusted shipments, while LED demand recovery is not yet in sight. Hence, in TV backlight applications, LED prices of mainstream specification 5630 decreased by 9 percent, to $0.11~$0.15, while LED prices of LCD notebook backlight dropped by 5-6 percent.
LEDinside noted that at this stage, LED prices for mobile backlighting applications, including specifications 0.4t and 0.6, are relatively stable due to stable shipment; price decline for this segment is estimated at 3 percent in 2010 Q4.

In high power LED lighting applications, LED prices declined substantially, affected by weak demand coupled with inventory pressure; prices of mainstream specification 100-120lm plummeted by 12 percent in 2010 Q4.

2011 Q1 LED market price outlook
Due to greater inventory pressure from large-size backlight applications, LEDinside expects demand in this segment to recover gradually at the end of 2011 Q1; therefore, price pressure is expected to ease thereafter.

As for the price of LED in LCD TV applications, LEDinside estimates a 9 percent decline in 2011 Q1. High power LED may face pressure from inventory clearing, therefore, its prices are expected to post a double-digit decline.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cree launches industry’s first commercial silicon carbide power MOSFET

DURHAM, USA: In a move that heralds a performance revolution in energy efficient power electronics, Cree Inc. has introduced the industry’s first fully-qualified commercial silicon carbide power MOSFET.

This establishes a new benchmark for energy efficient power switches and can enable design engineers to develop high voltage circuits with extremely fast switching speeds and ultralow switching losses.

The SiC MOSFET can be used today for solar inverters, high-voltage power supplies and power conditioning in many industrial power applications. Over the next several years, SiC power switches and diodes could also expand into motor drive control, electric vehicles and wind energy applications. The market for power semiconductors in these applications is estimated at approximately $4 billion today, reaching nearly $6 billion by 2015.

The addition of the SiC power MOSFET to Cree’s world-class silicon carbide Schottky diode family enables power electronics design engineers to develop “all-SiC” implementations of critical high power switching circuits and systems with levels of energy efficiency, size and weight reduction that are not achievable with any commercially available silicon power devices of comparable ratings.

“This introduction of our SiC power MOSFET represents many years of materials research, process development and device design,” said John Palmour, Cree co-founder and chief technology officer, Power and RF. “But the end result is that the industry’s first ‘ideal’ high voltage switching device is no longer a future technology – it is commercially available and ready for design-in today. Together with our 600V, 650V, 1200V and 1700V SiC Schottky diodes, Cree Power has established a new class of SiC power components that are destined to lead the power semiconductor industry in the years to come, and eventually replace silicon devices in the majority of critical power electronics applications with breakdown voltage requirements of 1200V or higher.”

“Cree’s release of the SiC MOSFET represents a major step forward in power technology and enables a new standard in performance and reliability to be reached,” said Per Ranstad, Product Manager at Alstom Power - Thermal Services in Sweden. “At Alstom, we have been working with Cree to demonstrate the capabilities of this new device, in particular seeing its impact on energy efficiency in power systems, and we are definitely excited by the results we have achieved to date.”

Cree’s SiC MOSFET, the CMF20120D , provides blocking voltages up to 1200V with an on-state resistance (RDSon) of just 80mΩ at 25°C. Setting Cree’s SiC MOSFET apart from comparable silicon devices, the RDSon remains below 100mΩ across its entire operating temperature range.

This consistency of performance characteristics across operating conditions, along with a true MOSFET device architecture (normally-off), makes it ideal for power electronics switching circuits. Compared to commercially available silicon MOSFET or IGBT devices of similar ratings, in tests conducted by Cree the CMF20120D had the lowest gate drive energy (QG <100nC) across the recommended input voltage range. Conduction losses were minimized with forward drop (VF) of <2V at a current of 20A.

The CMF20120D SiC MOSFET provides significant advantages over silicon devices, enabling unprecedented system efficiency and/or reduced system size, weight and cost through its higher frequency operation. It can meet or beat silicon MOSFET switching speeds and reduce switching losses in many applications by up to 50 percent.

Compared to the best silicon IGBTs, the Cree device improves system efficiency up to 2 percent and operates at 2-3 times the switching frequencies. Higher component efficiency also results in lower operating temperatures. Combining these lower operating temperatures with the CMF20120D’s ultra-low leakage current (<1μA) adds significantly to system reliability.

SiC MOSFET apps in power electronics
Cree’s CMF20120D is ideal for high voltage applications where energy efficiency is critical. Solar inverters are an example where SiC MOSFETs can be used in both the boost and inverter sections of the DC-to-AC converters. Switching losses are decreased by more than 30 percent using SiC MOSFETs; and when combined with Cree’s SiC Junction Barrier Schottky diodes, overall system efficiency has been demonstrated at >99 percent.

Similar efficiency benefits can be achieved in other applications that require high blocking voltages in combination with fast, efficient switching, such as industrial motor drives, high power DC data center power architectures, PFC (power factor correction), boost and high frequency DC/DC conversion circuits in industrial, and computing and communications power systems.

In addition to potential efficiency gains, the low switching losses of Cree’s SiC MOSFETs and diodes can enable design optimization at switching frequencies up to three times those built with commercially available silicon devices.

Cree’s leadership in SiC technology
“Silicon carbide technology is critical to developing the next generation of advanced, energy-efficient power electronic system designs,” explained Cengiz Balkas, Cree vice-president and general manager, Power and RF.

“We believe that the addition of the industry’s first commercial SiC MOSFET will speed the development of smaller, faster, lighter and more efficient power devices in certain critical power device applications, with the potential to reduce global electric power consumption. This MOSFET is the first SiC MOSFET product that Cree plans to release, drawing on our technology and patent base.”

Cree has been a recognized leader in SiC MOSFET process and design development for more than 20 years, demonstrating the first vertical SiC MOSFET devices; the first SiC MOSFETs at >600V; the highest voltage MOSFETs ever fabricated (10kV); and numerous processing developments to enhance SiC MOS interface quality and reliability. Cree has been awarded more than 50 patents on SiC MOSFET technologies, with numerous patents pending.

The CMF20120D power devices are fully qualified and released for production. Samples are available now from Digi-Key.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Arrow signs distribution agreement with Janus

MELVILLE, USA: Arrow Electronics Inc. has signed a distribution agreement with Janus Remote Communications, a leader in Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. Janus provides cellular-enabled devices for data acquisition and telemetry, asset tracking, facility and equipment monitoring, smart utilities and security applications.

Under the new agreement, Arrow will distribute Janus Terminus platform devices in the Americas regions. The Terminus platform encompasses cellular communication terminals from simple telemetry devices through intelligent control terminals, in a wide array of package options. Incorporating a variety of different communications modems from their partner company, Telit Wireless Solutions, Janus offers their customers a variety of paths to integrate wireless technology into both new and existing applications.

“The Janus Terminus platform provides a quick-and-easy solution to cellular enablement, with little to no hardware design effort,” said David West, vice president of supplier marketing and asset for Arrow Electronics. “Our customers now have access to a simplified transition to an embedded cellular module design using Telit, with minimal software changes to the embedded firmware or the end application.”

“Combining our products with Arrow’s demand-creation activities in the M2M space will give our customers the competitive edge in their respective market segments,” said Dave Jahr, general manager of Janus Remote Communications.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2010 LED and optical markets continue growth

BOSTON, USA: Strategy Analytics found that the optoelectronics segment of the compound semiconductor industry continued to grow into the close of 2010, driven by trends like broader adoption of LEDs for general and automotive lighting applications, as well as increased performance demand by the optical transport market.

The recently published Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs) viewpoint, “Compound Semiconductor Industry Review September-November 2010: Optoelectronics, Materials & Equipment” captures significant product, financial, contract and technology announcements for optoelectronic companies during the September to November 2010 time-period.

“A good sign for this industry segment is the strength of new orders and revenue growth reported by makers of long-lead fabrication, manufacturing and test equipment, like Aixtron and Veeco,” noted Eric Higham, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service. “Adoption of LEDs and higher performance for optical transport networks is fueling investment to meet demand and product development to meet new requirements.”

IXYS intros high efficiency 6-channel LED driver LDS8763

MILPITAS, USA & BIEL, SWITZERLAND: IXYS Corp. has announced the availability of samples and evaluation boards of the LDS8763, an innovative inductor-based, high efficiency, 6-channel White LED (WLED) driver.

The LDS8763 is able to drive up to 72 WLEDs in six strings with up to 12 LEDs per string. The LDS8763 is delivered with factory programmed LED current at 20, 25, or 30 mA per string and 1.5% channel-to-channel current matching. LED brightness is adjustable by internal PWM pulse generator with duty cycle regulated by external DC voltage applied to the PWM pin. Duty cycle changes linearly from 1% at 0.25 V to 100% at 1.135 V and remains at 100% at higher voltages.

The LDS8763 is an integrated DC/DC boost converter with an internal MOSFET switch as a synchronous rectifier for highest efficiency. The MOSFET operates at 0.7 MHz switching frequency and wide input voltage range of 4.5 to 28 V for power conversion circuitry. It requires a small external inductor of 10 – 33 microhenry, and features under-voltage, over-voltage, over-current, and over-temperature protections.

The LDS8763 is available in a 4 x 4 x 0.8 mm 28-pin thermally enhanced TQFN package.

The LDS8763 is intended for backlight LED lighting of medium size LCD displays like notebooks, netbooks, E-books, tablet computers, navigation displays, small LCD TVs and displays. It can also be used in large area LED lighting panels for indoors and outdoors LED lighting fixtures.

This product complements the expanded line of IXYS and Clare LED drivers that feature products for battery operated LED drivers to off AC line LED drivers.

element14 drives open-source design, innovation and collaboration with Arduino products and community resources

CHICAGO, USA: element14, a collaborative social community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, announced its online US store is now offering Arduino boards and components, giving design engineers and electronic enthusiasts access to an expanded range of open-source prototyping platforms.

Based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software, the Arduino platform was designed to make the process of using electronics more accessible to hobbyists, DIY-ers and design engineers.

"Open-source design is having a dramatic impact on technology innovation and the working culture of software and hardware engineers," said Jeff Hamilton, director of marketing, element14. "The addition of Arduino products at element14's store coupled with the unique collaborative resources of our online community directly supports the exchange of technology, insight and knowledge that helps open-source solutions flourish."

The element14 store now stocks a range of Arduino boards, shields and components, from the Arduino Uno to the Arduino MEGA2560 Board, as well as two reference books, "Getting Started with Arduino," and "Arduino Making Things Talk." The element14 community also offers a collaborative global network of peers and experts where engineers and enthusiasts can share information, testing and feedback in dedicated open-source and Arduino discussion groups.

A new Arduino tutorial series also began this month. The weekly videos, hosted by community member Jeremy Blum, a Cornell University engineering student and avid open-source supporter, are geared towards beginners without prior electronics experience, as well as veteran engineers looking at using the Arduino platform for the first time. They cover how it works, tips for getting started, and more complicated programming and circuits design.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

China’s power MOSFET grows in 2010, but will slow down next year

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Amid a more than 50 percent boom in sales and constrained production in 2010, China is facing allocation and lead time extensions for certain power metal–oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) from major suppliers such as Infineon Technologies, STMicroelectronics and Fairchild Semiconductor, according to IHS iSuppli.

The power MOSFET market in China will expand to $2.4 billion in 2010, up 53 percent from $1.6 billion in 2009.

The figure presents the IHS forecast for power MOSFET revenue in China for2009 through 2014.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

“IHS iSuppli research indicates shortages and long lead times will continue throughout the remainder of 2010 as suppliers work to bring newly installed capacity online,” said Alex Liu, analyst for China research at IHS. “Furthermore, the tight supply situation for certain MOSFET types and packages now is expected to last until well into 2011.”

Revenue sources for power MOSFETs
The main sources of revenue for the power MOSFET market in 2009 come from three segments: data processing, which accounts for 41 percent of revenue; consumer electronics, with 25 percent; and communications, with 23 percent.

The communications industry, consisting of both the wired and wireless segments, will generate $617 million in power MOSFET revenue in 2010, up from $365 million in 2009, as the government continues to lend support and operators maintain investments in new communication networks. In comparison, consumer electronics will account for $570 million in power MOSFET revenue in 2010.

For its part, the automotive market is expected to generate $101 million in power MOSFET revenue in 2010, up 64 percent from 2009.

The majority of power MOSFET revenue comes from low-voltage MOSFETs, as the number of low-voltage applications usually rises with the number of processors or others loads used in data processing and communication equipment. Accounting for 51 percent of the market in 2009, low-voltage MOSFETs will continue to hold the leading share position in 2011, IHS iSuppli research shows.

Given the strong power MOSFET demand for most of 2010, sales growth will have slowed in the fourth quarter and then will hit bottom in the first quarter of 2011; moderate sales growth will return during the remainder of 2011. IHS iSuppli forecasts the entire MOSFET market will experience 20 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2009 to 2014.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Diodes Inc.'s high current gate driver minimizes switching losses

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc. has announced the ZXGD3005E6 10 Amp gate driver. The device has been designed to ensure ultra fast switching of power MOSFET and IGBT loads in power supply, solar inverter and motor drive circuits.

With its emitter follower configuration delivering propagation delay times of less than 10ns and rise and fall times of less than 20ns, this non inverting gate driver will reduce switching losses, simplify circuit design and improve overall system reliability.

Having separate source and sink outputs, the ZXGD3005E6 enables independent control of the rise and fall times, allowing designers to achieve their preferred switching characteristics. The device’s wide supply voltage range of 25V allows full enhancement of target MOSFET or IGBT to minimize on-state losses and permits +15V to -5V gate drive voltage to be applied to prevent false triggering of IGBTs.

Able to provide typically 4A output current from only 1mA input current, this high-gain, high-speed gate driver acts as a perfect interface between a controller IC and the load switch that does not require additional buffering stages. The need for added circuitry is further reduced by the ZXGD3005E6’s rugged design, which makes it inherently resistant to issues of latch-up and shoot-through.

The gate driver is provided in a space-saving low profile SOT26 package with an optimized pin-out that simplifies PCB layout and helps reduce the parasitic inductance of traces.

Avnet teams with H&D Wireless to provide comprehensive Wi-Fi solutions

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, a business region of Avnet Inc., has inked a distribution agreement with H&D Wireless AB, a supplier of Wi-Fi solutions that enable wireless sensor and multimedia data access to the Internet.

H&D Wireless’ comprehensive product catalog includes cost effective and environmentally friendly Wi-Fi solutions for the energy control, digital media, health care, automotive and location and tracking markets. Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas will distribute H&D Wireless’ entire product line throughout the Americas and on

Leveraging its strengths in embedded system architecture, low-power analog, and RF design, H&D Wireless’ suite of Wi-Fi products is supported by leading microcontroller platforms and provides design engineers with fast integration and accelerated time to market. H&D Wireless’ Wi-Fi enabled CPU/MCU enables rapid access to the Internet and can be designed in applications that require wireless sensors and energy saving requirements.

“The excellent logistics, global presence and support sales capabilities offered by Avnet give potential customers around the world immediate access to H&D Wireless technology,” added Pär Bergsten, CEO and founder of H&D Wireless AB. “Our Wi-Fi solutions (hardware and software) are deemed best-in-class, and we also offer our customers reference design support for multimedia, clean technology and smart home applications.”

“Our customers are looking to bolster the capabilities of their 32-bit microcontroller based products by adding Wi-Fi,” said Alex Iuorio, senior vice president of supplier management for Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas. “Adding H&D Wireless to Avnet’s line card will enable our customers to create more comprehensive Wi-Fi solutions to meet the market’s need.”

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

iWatt’s digital LED driver ICs deliver flicker-free dimming and hot-plug support in space-constrained LED lighting apps

LOS GATOS, USA: iWatt, Inc., a developer of energy-efficient digital power supply control integrated circuits (ICs) used in leading-edge power supplies, announced two primary-side-regulated, leading- and trailing-edge-dimmable, AC/DC Digital PWM Controllers targeting 100V/230VAC offline LED lighting applications.

Designed for isolated or non-isolated LED drivers used in incandescent replacement lamps including both space-constrained (GU10, MR16) and larger (A, PAR) types, the iW3612 (3W to 25W) and low-power iW3602 (3W to 10W) incorporate features to ensure long life, power efficiency, reduced size and component costs, and flicker-free compatibility with existing wall dimmers worldwide.

Both LED driver ICs are pin compatible with the previous-generation iW3610, but offer wider dimmer compatibility and introduce new hot-plug support, where the user can swap the LED engine without recycling the input power for the LED driver.

Worldwide conservation initiatives to replace existing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs force those LEDs to address the installed base of dimmable-lighting switches.

In iWatt’s LED driver ICs, intelligent digital algorithms automatically detect all types of dimmers or a lack thereof for seamless operation, including both leading-edge (TRIAC style) and trailing-edge dimmers. In the rare case of an unsupported dimmer, safe mode shuts it down. The devices allow smooth, flicker-free dimming from 1 percent to 100 percent with tight ±5 percent LED current regulation which prevents flicker from noisy line voltage.

iWatt’s AC/DC power conversion ICs are unique in that they feature a digital feedback and control loop versus analog. This adaptive digital control technology – which is transparent to designers and requires no programming or GUI development – optimizes efficiency, simplifies printed circuit board (PCB) design, and eliminates components to reduce driver size and bill of materials (BOM).

Precision primary-side-control technology eliminates the opto-coupler and secondary-side control circuit used in traditional isolated flyback designs. Built-in frequency jitter and quasi-resonant (or valley-mode) switching reduces EMI with over 6dB margin and over 85% efficiency, improving thermal management and reducing the EMI filter components necessary.

Proprietary digital spread spectrum technology also makes for easy EMI design by automatically adjusting the device’s switching frequency in real-time response to varying line voltage.

The high switching frequency up to 200kHz enables designers to use smaller capacitors and transformers to optimize space. Additionally, designers may use a smaller heat sink because the high efficiency (85% or better) reduces thermal loss.

LEDs can operate for more than 50,000 hours, and some manufacturers even say 100,000. However, over time and at elevated operating temperatures, the opto-couplers and low-cost electrolytic capacitors in the driver circuitry become weak links in achieving long life. iWatt’s primary-side-control technology eliminates the opto-coupler, and coupled with low inrush current and low ripple current by design, lengthens the life of the LED driver assembly.

Comprehensive safety features include: LED open/short circuit protection, input over-voltage protection, and over-temperature thermal shutdown. An LED current de-rating at high temperatures also protects LEDs. The ICs enable system designers to exceed all safety, EMI, and regulatory standards, including the EN55015B, IEC61000-3-2, and Energy Star.

The chips come in a low-cost, thermally-enhanced SO-8 package with an exposed pad which allows lower die junction-to-PCB thermal resistance for increased reliability. Samples are available, with the iW3602 priced at $0.84 and the iW3612 at $0.98 in 1,000-piece quantities.

element14 adds new series of versatile clamp meters from Fluke

BANGALORE, INDIA: element14, formerly known as Farnell Electronics (I) Pvt Ltd, the industry’s first fusion of commerce and community supporting millions of engineers and purchasing professionals worldwide, has introduced the industry’s most advanced, capable and reliable series of clamp meters from Fluke, the global leader in portable electronic test and measurement technology into its Asia Pacific inventory.

This new family of clamp meters from Fluke provides a range of state-of-the-art capabilities to meet users’ most demanding requirements for flexibility, safety and performance. These are the most rugged clamp meters on the market that are designed to meet the unique requirements of users testing and maintaining electrical systems, industrial equipment and controls and commercial and industrial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment

Fluke has improved on the traditional designs to create a revolutionary series of Fluke clamp meters, which are hassle free, versatile and reliable. Every clamp meter in the family is improved: featuring thinner, smaller jaws for easier use in crowded equipment cabinets, large backlit displays true-rms standard, increased resistance range and overmolding for easier handling and improved survival if dropped.

The new family of Fluke clamp meters includes:
* Fluke 381 Remote Display True-rms AC/DC Clamp Meter with iFlex™—The Fluke 381 is a full-featured clamp meter with an important extra: users can remove the detachable wireless display for even more flexibility, convenience and safety. It includes the new iFlex flexible current probe.

* Fluke 376 True-rms AC/DC Clamp Meter with iFlex—With the new Fluke 376 Clamp Meter, users will be ready for any measurement challenge. Designed for the toughest industrial environments, it measures current up to 2500 A ac and 1000 A dc. The Fluke 376 includes the new iFlex flexible current probe and is the direct replacement for the Fluke 337.

* Fluke 374 and 375 True-rms AC/DC Clamp Meters—The new Fluke 374 and 375 clamp meters offer improved performance perfect for many current measurement situations. With true-rms ac voltage and current measurements, the Fluke 374 and 375 can read up to 600 V and 600 A in both ac and dc modes. Ideal in an industrial environment, the Fluke 375 has an integrated low pass noise filter and measures frequency to 500Hz and mVDC for use with a wide range of accessories.

* Fluke 373 True-rms AC Clamp Meter—The new Fluke 373 clamp meter offers improved performance and maximum value for users requiring AC only current measurement. With true-rms ac voltage and current measurements, the Fluke 373 reads up to 600 A ac and 600 V ac or dc.

* iFlex i2500-18 and i2500-10 Flexible Current Probes—The new Fluke iFlex flexible current probes expand the measurement range of the select Fluke meters to 2500 A ac while providing the ultimate measurement flexibility. The iFlex probes connect directly to the meter, displaying current measurements without error prone scaling factors. The large coil allows users to reach around large or awkward-shaped conductors, while the small 0.3-inch profile allows the coil to reach between tightly-packed cables and improves access in crowded places.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Soraa demos green laser diodes for >20 lumen pico projectors with minimal speckle

2011 International CES, FREMONT, USA: Soraa Inc., (formerly Kaai Inc.,) a rapidly expanding clean-tech semiconductor company and world leader in commercialization of green and blue laser diodes, announced the demonstration of green laser diodes (LDs) which are ideally suited for >20 lumen pico projectors.

These direct emitting green lasers have produced images which exhibit substantially reduced speckle compared to conventional green lasers based on second harmonic generation. The company will display green and blue LDs at its private suite at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6-9, 2011.

Soraa’s green LDs output more than 75 milliwatt of continuous wave power in the 520-525nm range, are single spatial mode and multi spectral mode. The devices can be directly modulated at high speeds required for high-resolution displays with minimal speckle. Soraa’s LDs are well suited for all pico projector display generating technologies including LCOS, scanning MEMS mirrors DLP, and other diffractive approaches. Soraa’s green LD devices complement Soraa’s previously announced blue 450nm LDs which already exhibit industry best efficiency and power.

Soraa’s LDs are based on InGaN semiconductor technology and are fabricated on innovative non-polar and semi-polar GaN substrates. Soraa’s direct diode green and blue lasers offer improvements in performance, size, weight, and cost over conventional gas or solid-state lasers for consumer projection displays, defense pointers and illuminators, biomedical instrumentation and therapeutics, and industrial imaging applications.

GigOptix provides broadest solution portfolio for 100G DWDM

PALO ALTO, USA: GigOptix Inc., a leading supplier of high performance electronic and electro-optic components that enable next generation 40G and 100G optical networks, announced that it provides the broadest product portfolio of driver and Transimpedance Amplifier (TIA) solutions shipping into 100G systems based on the Optical Interconnect Forum’s (OIF) recommended Dual Polarity Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DP-QPSK) modulation scheme.

The 100G DP-QPSK optical communication systems are increasingly being used in metro and long haul Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) optical communication networks to address the increasing bandwidth demanded by such applications as On-Demand Video and Smartphones.

Unlike previous optical modulation schemes that require four transmitter and receiver amplifier pairs, one for each data channel, 100G DP-QPSK uses four streams of up to 32Gb/s of data to form a single 100Gb/s optical data stream.

“GigOptix is very proud to offer the broadest portfolio of industry proven 100G solutions,” commented Padraig O’Mathuna, GigOptix’s VP of Marketing.

“Our customers appreciate being able to utilize a single supplier to meet all of their 100G system requirements. GigOptix provides TIAs as well as single and quad channel drivers that are deployed in volume in 100G DP-QPSK systems in the field and also has an extensive roadmap for more cost competitive second generation 100G solutions. Moreover, in addition to providing a full portfolio of transmitter and receiver amplifiers, we also plan to sample a 100G DP-QPSK MZM in the second half of 2011 using our proprietary Thin Film Polymer on Silicon (TFPS) technology. This technology will offer customers a smaller and lower power solution to currently available 100G DP-QPSK devices. It also enables GigOptix to provide a complete bundled solution that includes a driver, MZM and TIA to our 100G customers.”

GigOptix’s 100G DP-QPSK solution portfolio provides customers with a complete array of solutions to implement in their 100G communication system. GigOptix provides customers with single and dual channel bandwidth-tunable receiver TIAs that offer industry leading low power performance with excellent low noise operation to ensure excellent receiver sensitivity.

GigOptix also provides single and quad channel 32Gb/s transmit amplifiers that have proven interoperability with leading 100G Mach-Zehnder Modulators (MZM) in field deployed 100G systems. GigOptix’s driver portfolio offers excellent performance and signal integrity coupled with low power consumption in a small form factor. The quad channel driver is contained within a high performance GPPO connectorized module that enables optimum performance in an extremely compact form factor, while the single and dual channel devices enable more cost competitive second generation solutions.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

US government mandate spurs sales boom for cars with rear-view cameras

EL SEGUNDO, USA: A proposed mandate from the US Department of Transportation will cause sales of new cars with rear-view park assist cameras in the country to quadruple compared to previous expectations during the next seven years, according to the market research firm iSuppli, now part of IHS Inc.

The mandate calls for all new motor vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds sold in the United States to incorporate backup cameras by Sept. 1, 2014. The cameras are designed to eliminate blind spots behind cars that contribute to backover collisions.
Because of this, all new cars sold in model year 2015 are expected to include rear-view park assist cameras, up from iSuppli’s previous forecast of only 20 percent.

iSuppli now projects that from 2011 through 2017, 71.2 million new cars in the United States will be sold with rear-view cameras for park assistance. The pre-mandate forecast predicted only 19.1 million for the same period.

With the US market beginning to accelerate dramatically in 2012, sales will rise 119.9 percent to 2.8 million units, up from 1.3 million units in 2011. Sales then will increase by 117.4 percent in 2013 to reach 5.98 million, and will climb another 91.1 percent in 2014 to hit 11.4 million. By 2017, a total of 17.1 million cars, representing the entire estimated new-vehicle fleet, will be sold with rear-view cameras in the United States.

iSuppli has pre-mandated and post-mandated forecasts for annual sales of new cars with rear-view park assist cameras in the United States. The proposed mandate is not finalized and still could undergo changes by the time it’s completed on Feb. 28, 2011. As a result, any changes will impact iSuppli’s forecast.

“Crashes that occur when cars are backing up represent a relatively small but avoidable cause of death, injury and trauma in the United States every year,” said Jeremy Carlson, analyst for automotive research at iSuppli. “While the adoption of ubiquitous rear-view cameras is expected to be very costly for automakers, the technology promises to dramatically reduce such backover accidents, which disproportionately impact the very young and the very old. The mandate also will benefit suppliers of advanced driver assist systems electronics, particularly those that make small displays, camera sensors and related equipment.”

Backup statistics
On average, 292 fatalities and 18,000 injuries result from backover crashes annually in the United States, according to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Of those, 228 fatalities and 17,000 injuries involved light vehicles such as passenger cars, light trucks, sports utility vehicles (SUV) and vans that are included in the less than 10,000 pound weight category.

Children younger than five years of age account for 44 percent of these backover fatalities each year. Elderly persons more than 70 years old represent about 33 percent of backover deaths.

Costly cameras
The rollout of rear-view camera technology on the massive U.S. automotive fleet will be costly. NHTSA estimates that a rear-view camera system will cost from $159 to $203 when installed on a vehicle without an existing display.

For vehicles with adequate displays available—such as in 88 percent of 2010 models, according to iSuppli—the price per vehicle drops to $58. NHTSA estimates the total incremental cost to equip the U.S. vehicle fleet of 16.6 million will range from $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion.

Supplier benefits
Among automotive electronics suppliers, several are expected to benefit from the camera mandate, with Gentex Corp. leading the way.

Gentex offers small 2.4- or 3.5-inch displays integrated into interior rear-view mirrors. These are likely to be attractive options for carmakers that need to install rear-view cameras on low-end models that don’t already have an in-vehicle infotainment or navigation display available.

Low-cost navigation system suppliers such as Bosch Group, Denso Corp. and others likely will compete among themselves as well as with Gentex to bring inexpensive solutions to this same entry-level segment.

Further, camera sensor and related suppliers are well-positioned. Companies like Panasonic Corp., Alpine Electronics, Sony Corp., Valeo, Hella Inc. and others will benefit from a sizable increase in total available market, since every new vehicle will require a camera sensor.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Avnet announces sale of New ProSys Corp.

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Inc. announced that it has sold New ProSys Corp., a value-added reseller and a leading provider of IT infrastructure solutions to abroad range of markets, to ACS Acquisition Corp., an affiliate of Applied Computer Solutions.

Avnet acquired ProSys as part of the Bell Microproducts acquisition on July 6, 2010, and announced its intention to sell this VAR business at that time. Total consideration for the sale includes both a cash payment at closing and a three-year earn-out based upon ProSys’ anticipated results.

“This transaction divests a non-core asset and will allow ProSys to join one of the largest and fastest growing resellers in North America focused exclusively on end-user customers where they can leverage their capabilities to address an expanded set of opportunities,” stated Rick Hamada, Avnet president and COO.

“Avnet Technology Solutions has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with Applied Computer Solutions and we look forward to expanding that relationship with the addition of ProSys to their business.”

ProSys, which employs 360 people and had revenues of $417.9 million in the twelve months ended June 30, 2010, deploys customized, leading-edge solutions from premier technology vendors that help enterprise, public sector and educational customers address their most complex IT infrastructure needs.

Needham & Company, LLC acted as a financial advisor and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP acted as legal counsel to Avnet in connection with this transaction.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Arrow Electronics announces completion of acquisition of Nu Horizons

MELVILLE, USA: Arrow Electronics Inc. announced the successful completion of the acquisition of Nu Horizons Electronics in an all cash transaction for $7.00 per share.

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

“We are excited to welcome the Nu Horizons team to the Arrow family. This strategic transaction will enhance our design capabilities in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, as well as complement our leading technology portfolio in the Americas and Europe,” said Michael J. Long, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Arrow Electronics, Inc.

Nu Horizons is headquartered in Melville, N.Y., and has approximately 650 employees. Total sales were $671 million for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2010. The transaction is expected to be $.05-$.10 per share accretive to earnings in the first full year of operations.

Arrow Electronics ( is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions.

Headquartered in Melville, N.Y., Arrow serves as a supply channel partner for over 900 suppliers and 125,000 original equipment manufacturers, contract manufacturers and commercial customers through a global network of more than 310 locations in 51 countries and territories.

Nu Horizons announces closing of merger deal with Arrow

MELVILLE, USA: Nu Horizons Electronics Corp., a leading distributor of active and passive electronic components, announced that Arrow Electronics Inc., a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions, has completed its acquisition of Nu Horizons.

Pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, Nu Horizons’ stockholders are entitled to receive $7.00 in cash, without interest, less any applicable withholding taxes, for each share of Nu Horizons common stock owned by them. As a result of the merger, Nu Horizons common stock will no longer be listed for trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Stockholders of record will receive a letter of transmittal and instructions on how to surrender their shares of Nu Horizons common stock in exchange for the merger consideration from American Stock Transfer & Trust Co. LLC. Stockholders of record should wait to receive the letter of transmittal from AST before surrendering their shares.