Thursday, March 31, 2011

Digi-Key announces addition of reference design library beta to online resources

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp. announced the addition of Reference Design Library Beta to its expansive online resources.

Reference Design Library beta is an interactive resource for design engineers looking for a proven circuit for their project. This library is unique as it allows filtering based on the designs’ measured performance. Engineers can find a growing variety of AC/DC and DC/DC conversion, audio amplifiers, and lighting driver designs along with motion and power management resources.

“There is a tremendous amount of IP in the form of app notes and reference designs that are being offered in the public domain to accelerate engineers’ time to market,” said Dave Doherty, vice president of global supplier and product operations. “Aggregating existing proven designs with measurable performance specifications from our suppliers into more searchable, user friendly formats is just one of many new tools we are introducing for engineers in need of assistance.”

Diodes Inc. intros LED driver that delivers higher current for low voltage LED lamps

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc. announced the release of the AL8806 buck LED driver, capable of producing a constant current of up to 1.5A from voltage sources of between 6V and 30V. Suiting MR16, 12V and 24V LED lamp design, the driver ensures a 5 percent average LED current accuracy for up to 9 high power LEDs over the wide operating voltage range, helping to significantly improve inter-lamp luminance matching.

The high current handling of the AL8806 means it will also meet the needs of the latest multi-die package LEDs, where current levels above 1A are required. This simple, cost-effective driver is packaged in the small footprint low thermal impedance MSOP-8EP, supporting higher LED current drive at higher ambient operating temperatures. Device efficiency is high at up to 98 percent.

With its maximum output current simply set via a resistor and switching at a frequency of up to 1MHz, the driver helps reduce the size of supporting external components, enabling PCB size to be minimized. Lamp dimming is achieved by applying either a DC voltage or PWM signal that provides a wide range of brightness control that does not overdrive the LED current.

ROHM silicon carbide schottky diodes push performance envelope

SAN DIEGO, USA: ROHM Semiconductor announced the availability of the SCS1xxAGC series of high-performance silicon carbide (SiC) Schottky barrier diodes (SBD).

This new class of SiC diodes offers industry-leading low forward voltage and fast recovery time, leading to improved power conversion efficiency in applications such as PFC/power supplies, solar panel inverters, uninterruptible power supplies, air conditioners and others.

The SCS1xxAGC series maintains low forward voltage over a wide operating temperature range which results in lower power dissipation under actual operating conditions. For example, the 10 A rated part has a VF of 1.5 V at 25 degrees C and 1.6 V at 150 degrees C. Low VF reduces conduction loss while the ultra-short reverse recovery time (15 ns, typical) enables high-speed switching and minimizes switching loss.

With the acquisition of SiCrystal AG, ROHM Semiconductor possesses total manufacturing capability for SiC semiconductors from ingot formation to power device fabrication. This allows the rapid development of advanced products and complete control of raw materials for industry leading reliability and quality.

David Doan, senior Technical Product Marketing Manager, ROHM Semiconductor, said: "SiC is the ideal material for power electronics with its high breakdown voltage, low power loss, high operating temperature and superior thermal conductivity. ROHM is not the first vendor to offer SiC SBDs, but we're introducing devices with some differentiating features such as low VF and the highest current rating at 600 V (a true 600 V/20 A SBD, not dual 2x10 A). These diodes are but the first in ROHM's SiC product lineup. We also have 1200 V SBDs and MOSFETs, currently in sampling at strategic partners, to address higher power applications such as UPS and to enable all-SiC power devices."

Diodes Inc.'s protection interface safeguards power management ICs

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc. announced the release of the AP9050, a dedicated protection interface designed to protect the latest generation of power management ICs (PMIC) against overvoltages.

Comprising an LDO regulator and an N-channel power FET, the device controls supply current delivery to the PMIC, switching it on in the presence of a valid wall adapter or USB supply voltage and immediately off in the event of any overvoltage detection.

With an input supply range of 3V to 30V, the AP9050 will safeguard a variety of portable products including smart phones, cell phones and netbooks. Employing multi-die technology and a dual exposed pad DFN2020-6 package, the device offers lower power dissipation and higher efficiency than alternative Zener shunt regulator solutions, resulting in less heating and improvements in overall system reliability.

Offering high stability, the AP9050 does not require a bypass capacitor on the output and operates consistently across the temperature range of −40ºC to +85ºC. With a maximum footprint of 2.1mm x 2.1mm and a typical off-board height of 0.575mm, the AP9050 will support even the most densely populated PCB designs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Diodes Inc.'s DFN3020 packaged MOSFETs take 70 percent less space

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, has introduced the first MOSFETs in a new range of space-saving DFN3020 packaged discrete products.

Three dual MOSFET combinations have been released, comprising 20V and 30V N-channel and 30V complementary devices. These include the ZXMN2AMC (dual 20V N-channel), ZXMN3AMC (dual 30V N-channel), and ZXMC3AMC (complementary 30V) DFN3020 packaged MOSFETs. While offering a comparable electrical performance as much larger SOT23 packaged parts, these dual DFN3020 MOSFETs will replace two separate SOT23 packaged MOSFETs, resulting in a board space saving of 70 percent.

With a footprint of just 6mm2 and an off-board height of 0.8mm, some 40 percent less than SOT23 or TSOP-6 packaged parts, the DFN3020 MOSFET portfolio will suit load switch or boost conversion circuits in space-constrained low profile portable consumer electronics including tablets and netbooks. The complementary DFN3020 MOSFETs will also function well as a half bridge for driving motor loads in industrial applications.

The MOSFETs’ junction to ambient thermal resistance of 83ºC/W also means that power dissipation is high, at up to 2.4W continuous and operating temperatures are cooler than achievable with SOT23 packaged MOSFETs leading to increased reliability.

Akustica’s AKU230 digital microphone is Bosch-built

PITTSBURGH, USA: Akustica Inc., inventors of the first single-chip digital micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) microphone, announced a new single-chip digital MEMS microphone for high-quality voice applications in laptops, tablets and netbook PCs.

The new AKU230—which represents Akustica’s 4th-generation MEMS microphone—is the company’s first product that leverages the extensive MEMS fabrication capabilities and global supply chain of Bosch, which acquired Akustica in 2009. Akustica chose to move production of their newest complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) MEMS microphone to the Bosch foundry in Reutlingen, Germany because of Bosch’s unparalleled MEMS manufacturing experience and the rigorous standards of quality that have allowed Bosch to ship more than 1.6 billion MEMS sensors worldwide.

“Bosch ships more than 200 million MEMS sensors annually,” said Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO and general manager of Akustica. “With access to Bosch resources, Akustica is further able to deliver on-time and to-specification the tens of millions of MEMS microphones that our customers are demanding now and in the future.”

Mouser Electronics joins Ioxus distributor network

ONEONTA, USA: Ioxus Inc., a manufacturer of premium performance ultracapacitor technology for transportation, alternative energy, medical, industrial and consumer product markets, announced that Mouser Electronics, a global engineering design resource for semiconductors and electronic components, has joined the Ioxus Distributor Network.

Through this global agreement, Mouser will carry inventory from Ioxus’ entire product portfolio to be available in all geographies. Ioxus will provide Mouser with marketing and technical support to help meet the growing demand for ultracapacitors and hybrid capacitors in wind turbine, hybrid bus and other applications in markets globally.

“The demand for optimized, cost-effective, green energy storage solutions is growing particularly fast in markets outside the US, such as China and the Asia Pacific region,” said Brendan Andrews, vice president of sales and marketing at Ioxus. “Forty percent of our new accounts come from abroad, making it essential to partner with established, respected design fulfillment distributors such as Mouser. We look forward to working with Mouser to meet the design and implementation needs of its global customer base.”

The goal of the Ioxus Distributor Network is to partner with local and regional distributors to provide rapid inventory fulfillment, as well as value-added features and custom-designed systems. The company will provide Mouser with sales support for its complete product catalog, facilitating long-term relationships with Mouser customers. Additionally, Ioxus’ ultracapacitor advancements in the renewable energy industries will enhance Mouser’s current product offering and allow for increased market penetration.

“Members of the engineering community visit our website every day, trusting us to not only stock the best components and solutions, but also to provide technical support in countries such as Germany, China, India, Singapore, Thailand and 10 other regions,” said Andy Kerr, Mouser vice president of passives. “We look forward to working with Ioxus to offer smaller, higher capacity and greater power density ultracapacitors to our customers worldwide.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Diodes Inc.'s high speed logic family provides performance upgrade

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, has introduced a complete family of advanced high speed CMOS logic devices offering power dissipation and switching speed improvements over existing high speed CMOS logic alternatives.

Operating at 2.0V to 5.5V, the 74AHC1Gxx logic family is a drop-in replacement for industry standard logic parts used in broad array of consumer electronic products, including control systems for appliances, computing, and networking applications.

The product family includes AND, NAND, OR, NOR, XOR, inversion and buffering functions, as well as Diodes first unbuffered single inverter device. All ten logic functions are offered in SOT25 and SOT353 package options. As single gate solutions, the devices provide the logic function at point-of-application, helping to simplify routing and optimizing use of board space.

Diodes’ advanced high speed CMOS logic family is a low power alternative for system designs operating at between 3.3V to 5.5V. The devices’ dynamic switching power has been reduced by optimizing the output drive capability at +/-8mA, while still ensuring typical propagation delays of 6ns. The low power 74AHC1Gxx logic family complements Diodes’ existing faster switching 74LVC1Gxx logic family.

Agilent untros industry’s fastest logic analyzer

SANTA CLARA, USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced the industry’s fastest logic analyzer. The new instrument combines an industry-leading state capture speed of 4 Gb/s on 68 channels and 2.5 Gb/s on 136 channels with the ability to reliably capture data on the industry’s smallest eye openings, as small as 100 ps by 100 mV. These capabilities allow engineers to measure the increasingly fast digital signals used in emerging technologies and validate and troubleshoot their designs with confidence.

The Agilent U4154A AXIe-based logic analyzer module and associated probes and powerful analysis software provide essential capabilities for engineers working with DDR (double data rate) memory systems, high-speed application-specific integrated chips, analog-to-digital converters and field-programmable gate arrays operating at speeds up to 4 Gb/s.

Timing zoom provides simultaneous state and timing measurements with 80 ps timing resolution and 256 K-sample memory depth, which gives designers more insight into problems by allowing simultaneous state and high-resolution timing measurements over a 20-us time span. The industry’s highest trigger sequencer speed (2.5 Gb/s) gives engineers the ability to trigger reliably on sequential events on DDR memory and other high-speed signals without having to give up triggering flexibility.

“The need for reliable measurements and deep analysis has reached a critical juncture as engineers who focus on high-performance servers and embedded systems begin work on DDR3 2133 systems,” said Perry Keller, Agilent’s representative on the JEDEC DDR committee. “These capabilities will become more critical in the near future as DDR memory speeds continue to increase. The U4154A logic analyzer is the ideal tool for DDR memory measurement and debug work.”

At high speeds, signal integrity validation becomes critical for reliable performance. Validating signal integrity on all channels of a DDR system with an oscilloscope can be very time consuming. The exclusive eye-scan capability of the U4154A allows a quick overview of signal integrity on all signals of a DDR system in a fraction of the time it takes using alternative methods.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dramatic growth in optical components market in 2010

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The global optical components (OC) market grew by 35 per cent in 2010 to hit revenues of $5.6 billion, the highest in a decade, according to new research from Ovum.

In a new report, the independent analyst states that the OC market led the telecom market recovery from the global recession of 2009 with its dramatic gain in 2010. However, Ovum believes the market will experience slower growth this year.

Darryl Inniss, Ovum analyst and author of the report, commented: “The 35 per cent year-on-year growth experienced by the OC market in 2010 was the highest since the telecom bubble years, when the market more than doubled in one year. However, we do not believe the market is experiencing another bubble.

“We predict that growth in the OC market is the best indicator for the next wave of telecom infrastructure expansion, as the 2010 increase follows the industry-wide contraction of 2009. What we expect is that the OC market will continue to expand in 2011, but at a slower rate."

The OC market grew by 5 per cent sequentially in the last quarter of 2010, for the seventh consecutive quarterly gain. By segment, this growth was led by ROADMs and filters, long-distance transmission devices, and transmission discretes. ROADMs and filters was the fastest-growing OC segment: it grew 46 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009 and posted annual revenues of $0.9 billion, and its fourth quarter 2010 revenues of $260 million represented a 10 per cent sequential increase, way above the industry average of 5 per cent. Ovum believes the future outlook for this segment is good, as ROADMs are at the heart of all transport networks.

Inniss added: “There were many strong vendor performances in the fourth quarter of 2010. JDSU led the pack in terms of growth and increased its revenues by almost 80 per cent compared to the previous year and 17 per cent sequentially. The company also grew its market share by 0.6 per cent on the previous quarter.”

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Digi-Key leads industry in dropping printed catalog

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Digi-Key Corp. has ceased production of its print catalog and will offer its products exclusively online beginning immediately. By eliminating its printed catalogs, Digi-Key’s goal is to help preserve the environment while continuing its shift to a totally integrated, global electronic-components distributor.

Additionally, Digi-Key will produce online-only versions of TechZone™ Magazine beginning with the June 2011 Lighting Solutions issue. Customers will be able to access both the product catalog and TechZone Magazines as downloadable PDFs and interactively online. TechZone Magazine is mobile-enabled for users with an iPhone, iPod, iPad or Android-compatible mobile device. Both the Digi-Key interactive and PDF catalogs will be mobile-enabled in the future.

“By producing interactive and PDF catalogs and magazines, Digi-Key will significantly reduce its impact on the environment while providing customers with efficient, virtual access to Digi-Key’s expansive product offerings,” said Mark Larson, president and COO, Digi-Key.

“Our portfolio of websites and online resources will give our customers greater access to Digi-Key’s in-stock products, while providing unparalleled information about real-time pricing, lead-times and product specifications, as well as videos, reference designs, custom editorial content and more.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

Keithley publishes free tutorial poster on nanotech measurement techniques

CLEVELAND, USA: Keithley Instruments Inc. has published an informative poster on nanotechnology measurement tips and techniques. A free copy of the poster, titled “Measurement Techniques for Characterizing Graphene, Carbon Nanotubes, and Nano-materials and Devices: Low Power, Low Voltage, Low Resistance” is available upon request from Keithley.

The poster is divided into several topic areas:
* Measurement Technique for Hall Voltage and Resistivity Measurements
* Technique for Measuring Resistance as a Function of Gate Voltage
* Circuit to Measure Drain Family of Curves on a Carbon Nanotube
* Avoiding Sources of Error When Measuring Low Power Materials and Devices

Keithley instrumentation is helping advance the state of the art in a growing list of nanotechnology applications. Six decades of experience in designing ultra-sensitive measurement tools allow Keithley to provide university, corporate, and government labs around the world with solutions for investigating new material and device properties.

Keithley partners with organizations like the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), leading Nanotechnology Centers of Excellence, customers, and other leading nanotechnology measurement tool vendors to create more complete nano test solutions. The insight into emerging needs these working partnerships provide helps Keithley deliver new capabilities faster.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Molex QMD LC optical connector delivers ideal solution for most challenging environments

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. has introduced its Quick Mate Duplex (QMD) LC Optical Connector, a ruggedized connector solution that includes an innovative one-step, push-pull configuration that can be mated directly to Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) transceivers.

Featuring a durable latching system, the QMD provides an automated solution for ensuring positive mating of the LC connector to the SFP transceiver in the most challenging applications, including Remote Radio Heads or Closed Circuit TV. The solution is IP67 environmentally sealed, ensuring moisture and dust protection in the harshest environments.

Molex brings the QMD solution to its customers through a licensing agreement with Radiall SA for its next generation One Step Interconnect Solution (OSIS) fiber to the antenna interconnect technology, insuring full interoperability of both manufacturers’ product offerings. “We are happy to share our OSIS connector technology with Molex to offer customers dual source solutions that are fully interchangeable with both OSIS and QMD solutions,” said Marnix van der Mee, business development unit director, Radiall.

The agreement expands the ruggedized connector offering by Molex with a product that provides performance advantages over those previously deployed. The Molex QMD solution will be supplied as part of a factory assembled and tested cable assembly or as a connector kit that can be applied to a customer built cable assembly or an existing on-site assembly.

SemiLEDs intros new I-Do LED chip

CHUNAN SCIENCE PARK, TAIWAN: SemiLEDs Corp., a developer and manufacturer of LED chips and LED components, announced the introduction of the new I-Do LED, an innovative new chip that will be featured in SemiLEDs’ ultra high brightness LED product portfolio. I-Do is the second generation of the I-Core AK series of LEDs from SemiLEDs, which are designed to provide further improvements in brightness, reliability and overall efficiency.

The I-Do LED features a new design with advantages in improved reliability, optimization of current distribution and lower forward voltages at high current operations of 700mA and 1A. The I-Do LED is not only more reliable, but significantly brighter as the creative design produces improved internal quantum efficiency.

In a white light package, a 45 mil I-Do chip can deliver up to 135 lm at 350mA with CCT of 5000-7000K, more than a 10% improvement over the previous generation. With increased efficiency, reliability and the lowest thermal resistance in the market, the I-Do chip is ideal for small footprint, high performance applications.

I-Do is available for sampling, with high volume production in April.

HDD components grew 25 percent in 2010

NEW TRIPOLI, USA: While the hard disk drive (HDD) market recorded disk drive unit shipment growth of 17.1 percent in 2010, component manufacturers such as heads and suspensions grew 24.7 percent, according to according to a report, The Hard Disk Drive Industry: Market Analysis and Processing Trends, from The Information Network.

For example, shipments of recording heads used in HDD assembly production grew from 1,625 million units in 2009 to 2,026 million units in 2010. The report forecasts that 2,371 million thin film heads will ship in 2011.

Recording head shipments are based on the number of hard disk drives shipped and the number of heads per drive. The number of heads per drive will increase from 2.35 in 2003 to 3.25 in 2014.

Market shares for 2010 for thin film head suppliers are shown in the figure. TDK, a merchant supplier of heads, led the market with a 31.5 percent share. In 2010, Seagate manufactured 88 percent of its 605 million heads sold with its HDDs. WD manufactured 97 percent of its 631 million heads sold, and HGST manufactured 82 percent of its 338 million heads sold with its HDDs.Source: The Information Network, USA.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Molex augments Brad mPm DIN valve connectors with Form C and Form micro housings

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc., a leading global supplier of interconnect solutions, has released the next generation of Brad mPm DIN Valve Connectors featuring the addition of Form C and Form Micro housings.

Combining IP67 sealing properties with an external-thread design, the mPm DIN valve connector range provides superior cable retention for increased performance and reliability. mPm DIN valve connectors simplify the manufacturing process and reduce overall applied costs for hydraulic, pneumatic and electromagnetic drive systems.

The external nut on the Molex mPm DIN valve connector provides greater and consistent torque, which ensures cable retention and high reliability. The mPm DIN connectors achieve a sealing performance from dust and water to IP67. Cable retention force is increased by up to 115 percent compared to traditional internal nut designs. The innovative new design reduces the number of components in the connector, making customer assembly and secure mounting easier and quicker.

“The Brad mPm DIN valve connector range is recognized throughout the industry globally and the name has become synonymous with high performance and reliability,” says Gilberto Rizzo, global product manager, fluid power, Molex. “In comparison to similar products on the market, the internal volume of the DIN Form C housing is increased by 30 percent with no change to the external dimensions of the connector.”

The mPm external-nut design reduces the number of individual components within the DIN valve connector to simplify assembly and mounting. Since the housing of the new design does not protrude past the toe of the nut, the external width of the connector has not increased and thus has no impact on the customer’s application.

Cree updates financial targets for Q3 of fiscal 2011

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. has announced revised financial targets for its fiscal third quarter ending March 27, 2011. Revenue targets have been reduced to a range of $215 million to $220 million primarily due to lower sales of LED chips and LED components.

* LED component demand is improving post-Chinese New Year, yet revenue is lower than originally targeted. It has taken longer to work through customer inventories than previously anticipated and pricing was lower than the company had previously forecast.
* The LED chip business is also weaker than targeted due to more aggressive pricing and weaker demand.
* Gross margin for the quarter is expected to be approximately 43%. The decline in gross margin targets is attributable primarily to increased pricing pressure in the LED chip product line.
* Operating expenses are expected to be slightly lower than previously targeted.

“The LED components business appears to be turning the corner,” stated Chuck Swoboda, Cree’s CEO and chairman. “Despite the challenges we faced in Q3, distributor sell-through has improved and we target solid growth next quarter. Based on our preliminary outlook for Q4, we are currently targeting revenue to increase 10 to 12% in fiscal Q4 led by growth in LED components.”

LUXEON H LED simplifies design of space constrained lighting solutions

SAN JOSE, USA: Philips Lumileds, a LED technology and market leader, continues to expand its LUXEON LED portfolio with its first high voltage emitter, LUXEON H. The new emitters are driven directly with rectified AC voltage rather than constant DC current.

This high voltage architecture maximizes space for additional thermal management, permitting an increase in the thermal limit for even the smallest bulbs. The 50 Volt LUXEON H flexibly supports both 110V and 240V solutions.

Designed to meet the demands of space constrained retrofit bulbs, LUXEON H emitters deliver industry leading thermal performance and reliability as well as high quality, warm white light. Two color temperatures are available, 2700K and 3000K, with typical CRIs of 83. Typical flux is 84 lumens and 90 lumens respectively for the two correlated color temperatures. The new LUXEON H emitters are identical in footprint to the compact LUXEON Rebel and LUXEON Rebel ES LEDs further simplifying implementation.

“Our thin film flip chip technology allows us to continue to develop innovative solutions, like the multijunction die in LUXEON H, for the illumination market,” said Frank Harder, VP of Product Marketing for LUXEON. “The base of some bulbs is so small that it’s impossible to fit both an electronic driver and a heatsink in the space.

LUXEON H only requires a bridge rectifier and a resistor, both of which are very small, and the remaining space can be used for thermal management. And, because we don’t use direct red die like most other HV solutions, LUXEON H offers consistent, stable color from the instant the LED is powered and maintains its color through its lifetime.”

Initial uses of LUXEON H are expected in the retrofit bulb market where form factors for the bulbs are already defined and space is at a premium—especially so for the smallest bulb types ranging from the candelabra to the intermediate Edison, E10-E17 types. Philips Lumileds expects new solutions using LUXEON H to come to market during the second quarter of the year.

LUXEON H is in volume production and is available with standard lead times from Future Lighting Solutions. More information can be found at both Philips Lumileds’ website from Future Lighting Solutions or by contacting a local account manager.

Philips Lumileds continues to expand its LUXEON portfolio for the illumination market. LUXEON H joins the recently released LUXEON S, the first product with Freedom From Binning, and LUXEON Rebel and LUXEON Rebel ES, the most widely used power LEDs, to form a complete offering to the lighting community.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Arrow Electronics aids relief efforts in Japan

MELVILLE, USA: Responding to the devastation caused by the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan, Arrow Electronics Inc. has joined with its employees to support disaster recovery and relief operations in that region. The company pledged to match the first $100,000 in employee donations to designated crisis-recovery charities.

“We are grateful that our employees in Japan have been confirmed safe, and we are committed to doing what we can to help others affected by the catastrophic events in that area,” said Michael J. Long, chairman, president and CEO of Arrow Electronics. “Arrow and our employees have been long-time contributors to relief efforts, and we believe it is important to alleviate the suffering caused by this disaster.”

The designated agencies for which Arrow will match employee donations, dollar-for-dollar, include the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Mercy Corps and Doctors Without Borders.

element14 electronics community kicks off “the great global hackerspace challenge” to advance technology in education

LONDON, UK: Dedicated to supporting the ongoing collaboration and exchange of knowledge driving today’s design innovation, element14, the community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, announced “The Great Hackerspace Challenge,” a competition inviting 30 hackerspace teams to conceptualize and build a project to help advance technology in education.

Hackerspaces, community-operated physical locations where people with common technology-related interests meet to share resources and knowledge, number more than 500 across the globe and are oftentimes the origin for technology breakthroughs that have had a profound impact on today’s society.

“Individuals who comprise hackerspaces are some of the most creative and influential members of the engineering community,” said Alisha Mowbray, senior vice president of marketing, element14. “element14’s sponsorship and organization of this competition provides a platform for these like-minded individuals to inspire one another and achieve even greater, awe-inspiring technological breakthroughs, which hopefully will encourage more people to get involved in similar projects.”

The hackerspaces participating in element14’s challenge were selected through an open, global invitation by Mitch Altman, one of the key driving forces behind the hackerspace movement and host of the event. Invitations were sent to the Americas, Europe and Asia and the 30 selected teams earned their spot in the challenge by demonstrating passion, skill and an engagement with the cause through their conceptual submissions.

Each team has $900 and two months to design, prototype and build a project that serves as a useful tool in a classroom setting. The only requirement in the build is that each team must utilize two special components – a microcontroller and a portable power source.

In an effort to support collaboration throughout the competition, each hackerspace team will have a dedicated element14 community profile at, providing team background information, its philosophy, and ongoing updates on the status of the project relating to the competition. Fellow peers and electronics enthusiasts are encouraged to follow the progress of each team and discuss the projects on the community.

Three semi-finalists will be chosen to advance to the final stage of the competition culminating at Maker Faire Bay Area in May by a team of electronics industry heavyweights, including industry expert Altman, modder extraordinaire Ben Heck, and other authorities.

In the “everyone wins” spirit of the competition, all 30 participating teams will walk away with prizes aimed at helping each hackerspace continue educating and inspiring people in their communities to get involved in electronics, including a collection of soldering station kits and products, courtesy of Agilent, ATG, Fluke, OKI, Techspray, and Tektronix. The winning team will receive an oscilloscope from Tektronix worth $5,600 for their hackerspace.

“The world sorely needs us to help with teaching and sharing and learning so everyone has the opportunity to learn what they want to learn and live the life they want to live,” said Altman, famed hacker and inventor. “And that's what we're doing here, in creating this friendly competition, so we can all support each other in creating something cool to help with education.”

F100 family of Fox oscillators provides low current consumption in small footprint

FORT MYERS, USA: Fox Electronics, a leading global supplier of frequency control solutions, now offers a new series of small footprint, low current consumption oscillators for small and portable devices.

The F100 HCMOS oscillator family is available in 1.8V (F110 series), 2.5V (F140 series) and 3.3V (F130 series) options and a frequency range of 1.0 MHz to 80.0 MHz, all in a compact 2.0 mm x 1.6 mm footprint with a low 0.8 mm profile.

The compact size of the new F100 oscillators makes them ideal for use in portable and space-constrained devices, including laptop computers, PDAs, cell phones, DVD players, MP3 players, video and digital cameras, as well as MCMCIA cards, Bluetooth, and small rack-mount and portable test equipment.

Featuring a standby function that reduces current consumption to 10 micro amps, the new Fox oscillators utilize power more efficiently. The F100 oscillators offer stabilities from +/-50 ppm and +/-100 ppm across an operating temperature range of -20 degrees C to +70 degrees C and an extended range of -40 degrees C to +85 degrees C. Stability of +/-25 ppm is available over an operating temperature range of -10 degrees C to +60 degrees C.

Pricing for an F130 series HCMOS oscillator (25 MHz, +/-50 ppm F135 model) starts at $0.99 in quantities of 10,000 on a standard tape and reel assembly. Delivery is eight weeks ARO.

New engineering resource from AVX details complete range of tantalum and niobium oxide capacitors

GREENVILLE, USA: AVX Corp., a leading manufacturer of advanced passive components and interconnect solutions, has created a new CD detailing its tantalum and niobium oxide capacitor product offering.

Designated the AVX Tantalum Office, the interactive and user friendly CD was developed to help designers easily access information and select the correct capacitor for their applications. The AVX Tantalum Office not only provides a wide range of information to industry professionals, but it can also be used as an educational tool for students and the general public.

Featuring a 3D animated character called Mr. OxiCap, users can quickly and easily access product offerings, technical papers and market specifications or requirements, as well as presentations, teardown reports and information on the latest software tools.

“Our goal is to provide supportive, educational and useful information while offering an engaging and enjoyable user experience. I am pleased with the creative approach that we took; offering engineering knowledge in a 'play & explore' format, combined with a practical approach that provides key information in minimum clicks. I hope users of the Tantalum Office CD benefit from this unique type of electronic product catalogue,” said Tomas Zednicek, AVX's Tantalum technical marketing manager.

Monday, March 21, 2011

United LED selects Veeco’s MOCVD tools to ramp LED manufacturing

PLAINVIEW, USA: Veeco Instruments Inc. announced that United LED Shan Dong Corp., (ULED) a China-based joint venture between United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) and Epistar, has placed a multi-tool order for Veeco’s TurboDisc K465i Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) Systems. The systems will be installed at ULED’s facility in Jining City, China for its high brightness light emitting diode (HB LED) manufacturing ramp.

Dr. Tzu-Chi Wen, VP, Epi factory of United LED, commented: “We are pleased to add Veeco systems to our production facility because of their demonstrated leadership in MOCVD technology. The K465i provides the process performance and lowest cost of ownership needed to advance ULED’s position as a provider of LED devices for various lighting applications.”

Bill Miller, Ph.D., executive VP, Compound Semiconductor and head of Veeco's MOCVD Operations commented: “We are delighted that United LED has chosen Veeco’s K465i systems for their manufacturing ramp. Our systems offer key advantages, including highest capital efficiency and excellent yields, which will help establish ULED as a leader in the growing China market.”

With superior uniformity and excellent run-to-run repeatability, the production-proven K465i extends Veeco's lead in capital efficiency - the number of good wafers per day for each capital dollar - for high volume LED manufacturers. The K465i provides ease-of-tuning for fast process optimization on wafer sizes up to 8 inches and fast tool recovery time after maintenance.

element14 sponsors EmTech India 2011

BANGALORE, INDIA: element14 (formerly Farnell), the industry’s first fusion of commerce and community supporting millions of engineers and purchasing professionals worldwide, announced that it will be the exclusive video partner of Technology Review’s EmTech 2011 and its lunch sponsor. This partnership provides element14 two-week exclusive rights to screen all the conferences at the two-day summit being held in Bangalore, India.

The annual conference provides a unique platform for the exchange of ideas on emerging technologies and future developments. element14 will allow its members to attend the event virtually from the comfort of their own computers via on ground blogging and exclusive live video streaming of the entire EmTech 2011 conference.

element14 members will have access to the latest discussions and news unfolding at the event that is attended by top decision makers from the technology, engineering, investment and management communities around the world, via element14’s online community group at

The sponsorship provides exclusive access to the entire video screening of the summit and will include all the informative speeches, interactive breakout sessions and live demonstrations pertaining to energy, manufacturing, investment, management and many other topics that are addressed by technological leaders and innovators.

Nader Tadros, Marketing & eCommerce Director, element14, Asia Pacific said: “The element14 community is a platform that supports innovation, allowing users around the world to discuss, interact and collaborate. It is important that we continue to explore new ideas and present the latest content to our community members. The EmTech Conference highlights the technological innovations that change the face of business and drive the global economy, and element14 is pleased to bring these valuable developments to our community members.”

“Our partnership with EmTech provides us with a tremendous opportunity to showcase the innovative presentations on emerging technologies by business leaders, technologists and innovators," said Kevin Yapp, chief marketing officer, Premier Farnell. "These topics are important and relevant to engineers and electronics professionals around the world. By exclusively bringing the latest news and developments from EmTech to members of the community, we continue to lead in the web 2.0 space and deliver more valuable content to inspire and drive the ongoing exchange of ideas in our collaborative eCommunity."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Teledyne acquires majority interest in Nova Sensors

THOUSAND OAKS, USA: Teledyne Technologies Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Teledyne Scientific & Imaging LLC, has acquired a majority interest in Nova Research Inc. Nova Sensors, located in Solvang, Calif., designs integrated circuits, highly-integrated camera electronics, and manufactures compact mid-wave and short-wave infrared camera systems. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Our investment in Nova Sensors further increases Teledyne’s involvement in infrared imaging systems for both commercial and tactical military operations,” said Robert Mehrabian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Teledyne. “Along with the recent acquisition of DALSA Corporation, Teledyne can now offer a significantly expanded range of digital imaging components and complete camera systems spanning the X-ray, UV, visible and infrared spectra.”

“We are pleased to have Teledyne as a strategic investor in the company,” said Mark Massie, president and a co-founder of Nova Sensors. “In addition, we see Teledyne enhancing the capabilities of Nova Sensors by providing proprietary focal plane arrays and resources employed in developing high-end infrared sub-systems.”

As part of its investment in Nova Sensors, Teledyne received an option to purchase 100% of the shares of the company after three years at a formula-determined price per share that is based on Nova Sensors’ earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the prior twelve month period.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Avnet Express' online electronic component catalog tops 5 million parts

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Express, part of the Avnet Electronics Marketing operating group of Avnet Inc., marked another milestone as it announced that its online catalog offering now exceeds five million parts.

This milestone comes on the heels of two successful regional launches in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia. As the largest e-Commerce catalog of electronic component products, Avnet Express offers customers a consistent global platform of localized content, functionality, payment options, service and support. Avnet Express can be accessed in nine languages and 13 currencies.

“While having the ability to offer our customers more than five million parts from Avnet Express is a tremendous milestone, we’re not done yet,” said Beth Ely, senior vice president of Avnet Express. “Avnet continually looks for ways to meet the growing demands of our customers. We’re committed to leveraging our scale and scope to benefit our customers and accelerate their success.”

Avnet Express’ online offering is not only the largest, but also offers customers the opportunity to receive same day shipping on orders placed by 8 p.m. CST, utilize parametric searching capabilities and upload a bill of materials (BOM) for easier sourcing of products. Avnet Express offers more than 1.5 million parts in quantities of one and has a large offering of broken reel options for design engineers and hobbyists alike.

element14 provides real-time updates and information resource on supply chain impact of Japanese emergency

INDIA: Following the recent terrible events in Japan, and the uncertain impact on the electronics supply chain element14 has created a dedicated online space at

By creating this area of the community, element14 hopes that it will fulfil a clear need by acting as a central repository for the whole electronics industry on the Japanese situation, while additionally being a conduit for information flow at this difficult time.

Suppliers are posting the latest updates on the anticipated impact of the disaster by product family and device type, including likely changes to lead-times. There are also discussion threads building on the community’s many forums as customers ask questions, and seek answers from suppliers and other industry representatives, in this dynamic and rapidly changing situation.

“Naturally, our suppliers’ immediate concerns are for their people and families while they assess damage to their facilities. Power outages, disruption to road, sea and air transportation and communications are all adding to the confusion and our thoughts and support are very much with those affected at this time,” commented Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell, the organisation which provides the element14 community. “We have had many requests from customers already for information and online, interactive forums such as ours really come into their own at a time like this to provide relevant, timely updates, easily accessible from anywhere.”

element14 will work with suppliers to help spread the reach of their updates as widely as possible in this constantly changing situation.

In response to requests from community members, element14 will also be posting links to some of the organisations leading the relief effort in order to help expedite support to where it is needed as quickly as possible. Employees across the Group are also actively fund-raising to support the humanitarian work and Premier Farnell has agreed to match employee donations.

element14 also wishes to send its thoughts and condolences to the people of Japan.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Diodes Inc.'s low power current monitors provide accurate current measurement

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc. announced the release of the ZXCT11xx series of low power high-side current monitors. With an operating current of only 3µA, the ZXCT11xx series of monitors provides accurate, high efficiency measurement of load current in motor drive, overload protection and safety applications such as computer power adapters, appliance motor controls, and power automotive safety and convenience features.

Coupled with their low operating current performance, the devices’ wide common-mode voltage range, of 2.5V to 36V, and their extended -40ºC to 125ºC temperature range are well suited to higher supply voltage automotive, industrial and white goods circuit design.

Requiring just a single external gain-setting resistor in addition to a low value sense resistor, the ZXCT11xx monitors are simple to use, keep component count to a minimum and save space with their SOT23 packaging. Sensing current on the high-side also avoids any ground plane disruption.

Offering a range of pin-outs to help optimize board layouts, the ZXCT1107 and ZXCT1109 are 3-pin SOT23 package variants. The ZXCT1110 is a 5-pin device with a separate ground pin facilitating improved performance.

Latest development of effects on global supply chain caused by Japan earthquake

TAIWAN: Given below are the latest developments in Japan, following last week's earthquake and tsunami.

DRAMeXchange: Japan earthquake and electrical brownouts to affect silicon wafer supply and global DRAM capacity

Based on the survey conducted by DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, due to Japan earthquake, Fukushima No. 1 power generator was shut down and caused a radiation leak, which led to an electric power cut in northeast Japan.

Source: DRAMeXchange.Since March 14th, Japan started to enforce electrical brownouts among areas with less damage, and made electrical usage concerning transportation and daily life the first priority. There is still no definite time on when electricity will be restored in Miyagi and Fukushima, where the earthquake caused serious damage.

As for the DRAM supply chain, Shin-Etsu Handotai's Shirakawa plant in Fukushima and SUMCO’s Yonezawa plant in Yamagata, which are both located in northeast Japan, mainly manufacture silicon wafer. The earthquake caused serious damage to the Shirakawa plant, the core of Shin-Etsu’s silicon wafer capacity, depends on Fukushima nuclear power plant for its major electricity usage.

However, the earthquake did not cause as much damage to SUMCO, since SUMCO’s core of silicon wafer capacity is in Kyushu. Silicon wafer’s manufacturing process requires long and stable electricity supply; no amount of power cut is allowed. Furthermore, electrical brownouts in northeast Japan could last for several months. Considering the fact that transportation facilities are damaged and Shin-Etsu Handotai and SUMCO own over 50 percent market share, it is believed that the DRAM material supply chain will be impacted.

As for Japanese manufacturer Elpida, the earthquake was merely magnitude 2 at its location. Except for its need to relocate immersion scanners, which Elpida still had in stock, the earthquake’s effects on Elpida was limited. The major supply of Samsung’s silicon wafer demand are from SUMCO’s Kyushu plant and Samsung itself, so Samsung was not affected much by the earthquake, either.

Hynix’s main supply of silicon wafer is from Shin-Etsu, so it is currently looking for other suppliers. As for Taiwanese manufacturers, Powerchip and Rexchip still have some stocks left, and will keep track of the supply chain of Shin-Etsu. Nanya Technology and Inotera Memories’s main silicon wafer supply is from Formosa Sumco Technology, so there is no effect on its production. Winbond has many different suppliers, so no supply shortage is expected.

Toshiba states that besides Shin-Etsu, they still have other suppliers, and the wafer usage for NANA Flash plants will be made the first priority. Hence, temporarily, no effect on production is expected. Hynix’s main supply of silicon wafer is from Shin-Etsu and SUMCO, so the production will not be affected. Samsung states Shin-Etsu is not their major supplier, so they will not be affected, either.

element14 intros versatile Bourns power resistors series across Asia Pacific

BANGALORE, INDIA: element14 (formerly Farnell), the industry’s first fusion of commerce and community supporting millions of engineers and purchasing professionals worldwide, today announced the addition of Bourns Power Resistor PWR221T-30 series to its inventory portfolio – the broadest range of electronic design centric products stocked in Asia Pacific.

Power resistors are staple components for all electrical design engineers as they prevent overheating and damage by controlling the voltage and current in an electrical circuit for all electronics from LEDs to industrial equipment. The Bourns Power Resistor PWR221T-30 series’ high power rating, low inductance and ability to handle large amounts of power make it an encompassing solution for tasks such as current limiting, capacitor discharge or current measurement circuits in power supplies for telecom and industrial applications. The power resistors are also ideal components in electronics such as air conditioning equipment, medical equipment, wind power generation machines and high power microscopes.

Marc Grange, Head of Product Management, element14, Asia Pacific said: “There is an increased demand for power resistors in Asia as applications with improved reliability are much sought after. As the Asia market moves towards applications that relate to infrastructure with improved circuit protection needs, engineers need to develop sustainable designs to cater to these changes. element14 is committed to offer the latest power resistors such as the Bourns Power Resistor PWR221T-30 series, as Bourns is one of the leading manufacturers and innovators in circuit protection that drives solutions to help electronic design engineers today.”

Professionals in the electronic design and manufacturing industries will be able to enjoy an unrivalled purchase and support experience through element14’s unique offering. Customers can purchase over 130,000 products with ease and flexibility via multiple channels with no minimum quantity or value, and next day delivery in most cities in Asia Pacific. 24/7 customer service telephone support and 24/5 online technical support are also available at

In addition, customers can also visit and engage with the element14 online community to research, consult industry experts, and collaborate with design engineers and electronics enthusiasts around the globe.

Sunstone Circuits adds new and improved schematic editor for CAD tool PCB123

MULINO, USA: Sunstone Circuits, the printed circuit board (PCB) prototype solutions provider, has enhanced its circuit board design software, PCB123.

Sunstone’s newest version of their advanced CAD tool now makes the prototyping process faster, easier and more accurate, from project concept to PCB delivery. Continuing down the road that PCB123 version 4.0 paved in September 2010, Sunstone Circuits keeps enhancing the feature set of their PCB design tool, configuring the software into an even more user-friendly and intuitive resource for design engineers.

Version 4.0 introduced data sheet availability, automated Bill of Materials (BOM), and expanded parts libraries, which included 500,000 current parts definitions, 2 to 10 times more than what any other PCB tool provides. With version 4.1, the new seamless synchronization of layout and schematic views allows the engineer even more flexibility and reliability during the PCB design process.

The enhanced integration between design and layout views has resulted in a fully industrial-grade tool in features, performance and mean time between failures (MTBF). Also new to the CAD software are optimized graphics, which allow the engineer to create faster and cleaner drawings.

Jeff Blauser, Director, Field Applications Engineering, Computing, NXP, said: “The combined schematic and layout function in Sunstone’s PCB design tool is just one of its many productivity benefits. Because my team works constantly with outside customers, our ability to keep the layout and schematic synchronized with each other during design mods means that we spend a lot less time shaking out errors caused by revision mistakes.

"The process of picking out an existing design that is similar in function, then modifying it for a new purpose is also greatly enhanced by this new version. We save a lot of engineer time with PCB123 version 4.1. Also, in projects past, we spent a lot of engineering hours to design in certain parts only to find they weren't available at proto time. Being able to check stock in real-time with the BOM tool really helps to maintain the project schedule by stressing assurance of supply."

Sunstone Circuits remains committed to providing the best technical support in the printed circuit board industry. As is true with all Sunstone products, anyone seeking answers or assistance with PCB123 version 4.1, can reach live technical support representatives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.

Entegris displays LED shipper and purification solutions

2011 SEMICON China, BILLERICA, USA: Entegris Inc. announced that it will showcase its latest solutions for semiconductor and LED manufacturers at the 2011 SEMICON China event this week at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

To meet LED manufacturers' increasing need for more improved production, Entegris will demonstrate how its new Ultrapak 150 mm Thick Wafer Shipper and Aeronex® gas purification systems can help manufacturers improve yields by enhancing and preserving wafer integrity.

The Ultrapak 150 mm Thick Wafer Shipper is designed for shipping the 1.3 mm thick wafers commonly used in LED chip manufacturing. This polypropylene shipper secures wafers to limit rotation, reduce particle contamination and prevent damage or breakage.

"Through collaboration with leading LED manufacturers, Entegris identified key modifications for its widely-used semiconductor shipper that ideally suit the unique needs of the LED industry," said William Shaner, vice president and general manager for Entegris' Microenvironments Division. "We combined their input with more than 30 years of Entegris' wafer shipping experience to design the most protective shipper for these critical substrates."

Specific modifications include improving wafer spacing and pitch to fit wafers that are thicker than standard silicon wafers. The design also features a new secondary packaging system to support and protect the heavier load. The new shipper expands Entegris' current line of LED wafer handling products which includes a multiple wafer shipper for thin wafers, single wafer shippers and multiple wafer carriers used for in-fab processing.

In addition to the Ultrapak shipper, Entegris will be showing its Aeronex line of gas purification solutions for High Brightness LED (HBLED) manufacturing applications. These systems provide reliable gas purification for maximum uptime, enabling manufacturers to produce HBLEDs with the highest photoluminescence peaks and luminous efficiencies. The multi-bed design allows continuous supply of purified gas and is available in several flow ranges for nitrogen, hydrogen and ammonia.

Avnet Electronics offers integrated CPU modules from Device Solutions

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, a business region of Avnet Inc., announced the addition of Device Solutions, a leading CPU module manufacturer, to its Americas offering. Device Solutions’ CPU modules successfully solve time-to-market challenges for design engineers by offering surface mount, integrated modules like the newly released Topaz i.MX25 CPU.

Device Solutions’ Topaz i.MX25 CPU features a Freescale Semiconductor i.MX25 ARM 926EJ-S core and 64 megabytes of mobile double data rate (DDR) and 128 megabytes of low-power NAND flash memory. Topaz runs Windows CE, Linux and the .NET Micro Framework out-of-the-box. In addition to carrying the Topaz i.MX25 CPU, Avnet Electronics Marketing carries the corresponding Topaz development kit, providing engineers with a simple, easy-to-use platform for evaluating and prototyping new designs.

“Choosing Avnet Electronics Marketing to distribute our products was a no-brainer,” said Martin Welford, chief executive officer and founder, Device Solutions. “We are looking forward to utilizing Avnet’s team of sales professionals and field application engineers to help us serve our mutual customers throughout the Americas.”

“The addition of Device Solutions to Avnet’s line card offers our customers a low-cost i.MX25 module solution that reduces design complexity and accelerates time to market,” said Alex Iuorio, senior vice president of supplier marketing for Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas.

Avago enables unprecedented miniaturization of motor encoding systems with industry’s smallest three-channel reflective encoders

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies has announced the market’s smallest three-channel reflective encoder.

The new AEDR-850x encoders feature built-in interpolation for high-resolution measurement that is ideal for a wide range of applications, including closed-loop stepper motors, miniature motors, printers, copiers, card readers, insulin pumps and other types of industrial, consumer and medical equipment.

A standard reflective encoder module contains two digital output channels for direction sensing, with another module required for indexing purposes. For motion feedback applications requiring high-resolution measurement, an external interpolation device had previously been necessary.

The Avago AEDR-850x reflective encoders integrate an LED light source, photodetecting and interpolator circuitry, and the three channels in a single package with a 3.95-mm-by-3.40-mm footprint. With high resolution encoding of 304 lines per inch (12 lines per mm), the compact, highly-integrated modules enable a new level of miniaturization for applications where size and space are primary concerns.

“The integrated third-channel, compact size and high-resolution encoding performance of the Avago AEDR-850x modules is truly revolutionary, enabling smaller motor encoding systems than ever before possible,” said Hassan Hussain, general manager of the Motion Control Products Division at Avago. “These innovative modules cut design costs and save PCB board space for our customers, and expand the reach of our reflective encoder offerings into the industrial automation and medical segments.”

The AEDR-850x encoders offer interpolation of up to 4X and enable various resolution designs by changing the codewheel size. The optical-based modules are significantly less susceptible to EMI compared with Hall Effect devices. With an absolute operating temperature range of -20° C to 85° C, the rugged encoders are suitable for commercial and industrial operation environments.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Park Electrochemical reports potential significant supply chain issues in Japan

MELVILLE, USA: Park Electrochemical Corp. reported that a significant amount of the raw materials used to produce its products are sourced from suppliers and manufacturers based in Japan.

Due to the difficulty in obtaining meaningful information regarding the conditions in Japan, the Company can not at this time provide more information about the impact of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on its suppliers in Japan. The Company continues to investigate and evaluate the status and condition of its suppliers in Japan and to assess the potential impact to Park of the earthquake and tsunami.

Brian Shore, Park’s president and CEO, said: “Park has many dear friends in Japan and is very connected emotionally and psychologically to Japan and its people. We send our condolences, good wishes and prayers to the people of Japan.”

The company also reported that it is donating $250,000 to The Japanese Red Cross Society.

Park Electrochemical Corp. is a global advanced materials company which develops and manufactures high-technology digital and RF/microwave printed circuit materials principally for the telecommunications and internet infrastructure and high-end computing markets and advanced composite materials, parts and assemblies for the aerospace markets. Park’s core capabilities are in the areas of polymer chemistry formulation and coating technology. The Company’s manufacturing facilities are located in Singapore, China, France, Connecticut, Kansas, Arizona, California and Washington.

Diodes Inc.'s charge pump simplifies LED driving in portable products

DALLAS, USA: Diodes Inc. announced the release of the AL3157, a dual function charge pump capable of handling the competing requirements of LED driving in LCD backlighting and flashlight or camera flash circuits. Provided in the compact 12-pin 3mm x 3mm DFN package and needing the support of only three external capacitors, the device is well suited to portable, battery powered products such as ruggedized mobile phones.

Operating from a regular 2.7V to 5.5V supply, this high efficiency charge pump drives 3 channels at up to 30mA for small LCD screen backlighting and a separate channel at up to 210mA for LED flashlight or LED camera flash. Its 93% power efficiency increases battery life and therefore mobile phone talk time, while its 1% current matching accuracy between channels ensures consistency in backlighting resulting in a higher quality screen image.

Simple to control, the AL3157 uses only two enable pins to enable and disable the associated LCD backlighting and camera flash output channels and to dim the LED current delivered using pulse width modulation. To maximize reliability, all output channels incorporate short-circuit, thermal and under-voltage lockout protection.

Logitech makes laptop experience 'cooler' with energy efficient cooling pad N120

BANGALORE, INDIA: Logitech announced the launch of Logitech Cooling Pad N120 - a sleek and stylish accessory with a virtually silent, USB-powered fan that cools off your laptop computer. Designed for efficiency, this cooling pad with low power consumption has a minimal impact on your laptop’s battery.

Logitech Cooling Pad N120 has a very sleek look with an ergonomically designed slotted surface, which helps ward off heat and distribute air quietly and evenly. To maintain a steady and unobstructed airflow, the Logitech Cooling Pad N120 uses rear air intake, unlike other cooling pads which generate airflow from angles that are easily blocked by the laptop itself or loose clothing. Moreover, its enclosed, durable construction protects the internal fan from dust and damage. The device is compatible with PC and Mac laptops and can support up to 39 cm display laptops.

Logitech’s country manager for India and South West Asia, Subrotah Biswas, said: “Laptop and netbook adoption is growing exponentially in India. Added to this, with increased Wi-Fi penetration, more consumers are using these computing devices in unstructured spaces such as couches and beds for a better and comfortable experience. An energy-efficient cooling pad becomes very critical in such scenario to avoid overheating, slow device performance and even furniture damage. Logitech Cooling Pad N120 has been designed based on this deep understanding of how people want to use their laptops without sacrificing comfort.”

Logitech Cooling Pad N120 will be available for a suggested retail price of Rs. 1,195. Logitech Cooling Pad N120 is distributed by Ingram Micro India Ltd and Rashi Peripherals Pvt Ltd.

Japanese earthquake to impact component supply and pricing

EL SEGUNDO, JAPAN: The Japan earthquake and tsunami could result in significant shortages of certain electronic components, potentially causing pricing for these devices to increase dramatically.

While there are few reports of actual damage at electronic production facilities, impacts on the transportation and power infrastructure will result in disruptions of supply, resulting in the short supply and rising prices. Components impacted will include NAND flash memory, dynamic random access memory (DRAM), microcontrollers, standard logic, liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels, and LCD parts and materials.

Japan also is the world’s largest supplier of silicon used to make semiconductor chips—at about 60 percent of the global total. If this supply is disrupted due to the logistical and infrastructure challenges Japan is facing this will have an impact not only on NAND flash memory, DRAM, microcontrollers, standard logic, LCD panels and LCD parts, it will also affect other families of products such as discretes, i.e. MOSFETs, bipolar transistors and small signal transistors.

Infrastructure challenges will slow or suspend shipments from Japan during the next two weeks. However, the global supply chain has about two weeks of excess component inventory in the pipeline for semiconductor parts affected by the quake. Because of this, the shortages are not likely to appear until the end of March or the start of April. Just the same, these shortages and their price impact are likely to linger until the third quarter.

Before the disaster, semiconductor inventories in the global semiconductor supply chain were at high levels. The Japanese earthquake will cause the appearance of shortages to be delayed by a matter of weeks.

While actual shortages haven’t occurred yet, the disaster is already affecting component pricing, due to the psychological impact of the disaster. Pricing for higher-density NAND flash already has climbed by as much as 10 percent on the spot market, which buyers use to procure relatively small quantities of parts. However, IHS does not expect price volatility for OEM DRAM customers and it is likely that the average selling price for major OEM customers on the contract market will hold steady for sustained periods of time until the supply chain moves past the infrastructure challenges.

Spot-market DRAM pricing also is surging, rising by as much as 7 percent since Friday. Contract pricing is holding steady for the time being, but modest increases are likely as contracts are renegotiated.

Most of country’s largest electronic component producers operate their manufacturing facilities far to the south of the epicenter of the quake and the areas most impacted by the tsunami. Consequently, damage was negligible. However, companies are facing problems shipping components, receiving raw materials and getting workers to their facilities. Power interruptions also are slowing production—and can be a major impact on the operations of manufacturing facilities—depending on the type of product being manufactured.

For example, Toshiba Corp., the world’s second-largest producer of NAND flash, said shipments of NAND from its central Japan plant could drop by up to 20 percent in January and February. However, leading NAND supplier Samsung Electronics of South Korea should be able to partially compensate for the shortfall.

Further, Hitachi’s fab is closest among the small/medium display facilities to the earthquake site. Production at this Hitachi fab was halted on Monday to gauge the impact on the quake. Even if no structural damages are found, production is likely to be impacted by the ensuing interruptions in the power supply. Hitachi supplies displays for the Nintendo DS handheld video game system and for LG cell phones. If the display production is shut down for a month or more, it could impact delivery of these panels.

Production from Panasonic’s 6th generation LCD fab in Japan that produces LCD TV panels for use in Panasonic televisions and in Chinese brands may have been impacted temporarily because the facility is near the earthquake’s peripheral zone. Preliminary information shows that most production of components in Japan for use in large LCD such as glass, color filters and polarizers were not impacted. However, power supply issues may impact future production and supply of the these LCD components. If production continues to be interrupted, it may impact availability and result in price increases.

There are indications of interruptions of supplies of components used to make LCD panels. Production of color polarizers at Fuji Film has been impacted, which may impact pricing of this key component.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Reportlinker adds LCD and OLED manufacturing equipment market

NEW YORK, USA: announces that a new market research report is available in its catalog: LCD and OLED Manufacturing Equipment Market.

The study provides an in-depth analysis on LCD and OLED manufacturing equipment markets. Analysis includes market dynamics such as: drivers and restraints, trends in the overall LCD and OLED markets. Key metrics include: revenue forecasts and unit shipment forecasts, demand analysis, geographic breakdown of revenues, distribution analysis and pricing trends.

Competitive analysis includes market share analysis, competitive structure and growth excellence matrix. The study also includes a detailed analysis of megatrends that have the potential to impact growth rates of LCD and OLED equipment. It also includes and analysis of emerging manufacturing geographies.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Molex people safe and operations undamaged by Japanese earthquake

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc., a global electronic components company, reported that its employees in Japan were safe and that none of its three facilities were damaged in the massive earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

Molex has major operations in Shizouka, Kagoshima and Yamato City, none of which are in the northeastern part of the country that was hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

“Our first priority has been to make certain that our people were safe,” said Martin P. Slark, vice chairman and CEO, Molex. “None of our manufacturing operations were damaged and are operating normally today. However, we know that some of our customers and suppliers were not as fortunate and our thoughts are with them and all of the people of Japan as they deal with one of the worst disasters in Japan’s history.

With the situation also evolving rapidly in regard to transportation and infrastructure issues, we do not yet know what the effect will be on Molex’s business. As we work to assess how this will affect Molex, our business continuity teams are working to ensure we continue to supply customers.”

Avantest reports minimal impact from Northeast Japan earthquake

TOKYO, JAPAN: Advantest Corp. announced that it incurred minimal damage from the Northeast Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. The company’s major domestic facilities resumed operation on Monday, March 14.

Advantest Laboratories, an R&D facility located in Sendai, sustained no serious damage, based on currently available information. The company is presently seeking to confirm the safety of employees and their families in the area. No injuries or deaths were reported among employees elsewhere in the country as of today.

The following facilities resumed operation on Monday: the Gunma Factory Gunma Factory 2, and Gunma R&D Center, in Gunma Prefecture; and the Saitama R&D Center, in Saitama Prefecture. Advantest will make every effort to minimize the impact on operations and production schedules of the rolling blackouts the country is currently experiencing.

“Friday’s earthquake was the most powerful quake to hit our nation in recorded history. Advantest extends heartfelt condolences to the families of those who perished in the earthquake and the tsunami, and to those who have lost their homes and livelihoods,” said Haruo Matsuno, president and CEO of Advantest, in a statement.

The company has set up an emergency response headquarters and task team that is continuing to investigate the situation. All steps are being taken to ensure a swift and full recovery.

Plasma-Therm acquires majority share of advanced vacuum to expand product lines and markets

ST. PETERSBURG, USA: Plasma-Therm LLC, a leading supplier of plasma etch and deposition equipment, has secured majority shareholder status of Advanced Vacuum, a leading vacuum and thin film equipment provider headquartered in Sweden. Both operations have partnered to create a strategic alliance with complementary etch and deposition systems that support the needs of R&D through production environments.

This mutually beneficial partnership will strengthen their respective product offerings and expand an established sales and service network. With additional support and funding through Plasma-Therm, Advanced Vacuum will be able to dedicate additional resources to product development.

Thomas Engstedt, CEO of Advanced Vacuum, expressed: “We are very pleased to establish this relationship with Plasma-Therm. Having a world class partner who can provide financial support, technology and a solid service infrastructure will allow us to increase our product portfolio and grow our market share.”

“The two companies, each a leading supplier for etch and deposition systems, will extend their market reach in the areas of dedicated R&D systems, failure analysis and non-clustered platforms. Advanced Vacuum brings an outstanding reputation for providing high performance at low cost and will complement Plasma-Therm’s value driven product portfolio of systems intended for production,” said Abdul Lateef, CEO at Plasma-Therm.

“With this transaction we anticipate expansion into applications that will leverage Advanced Vacuum’s capabilities for custom vacuum equipment design and fabrication. The large combined installed system base will benefit from their expertise in control system upgrades.”

Friday, March 11, 2011

Carl Zeiss System PROVE passed final acceptance at NuFlare Technology

JENA, GERMANY & YOKOHAMA, JAPAN: PROVE has enabled NuFlare to calibrate and qualify their e-beam mask writers at a technologically advanced level. The calibration via a registration system is a critical step in the manufacturing of e-beam writers and essential for their performance.

“The Carl Zeiss system is state-of-the-art and has the resolution capabilities we require. The high accuracy and unprecedented measurement possibilities of PROVE are crucial for development and optimization of our latest generation e-beam mask writers. Having this new system in operation we will be able to extend our lead towards the competitors” stated Fumiaki Shigemitsu, director of NuFlare Technology.

The Final Acceptance attests Carl Zeiss that PROVE is suitable for production and confirms the technology and market success of this newly developed product line. “This initial Final Acceptance at a customer site is an important milestone and further demonstrates the maturity of PROVE.

Its leading edge pattern placement metrology capabilities will enable our customers to realize their current and future metrology needs. A further series of PROVE installations and deliveries is currently proceeding.” explains Dr. Oliver Kienzle, Managing Director of Carl Zeiss Semiconductor Metrology Systems Division.

PROVE is designed to measure image placement and critical dimension on photomasks with sub-nanometer repeatability and accuracy. Through its superior 193nm optics the system offers higher resolution that will enable the EUV mask roadmap. It was collaboratively developed within three years by the Semiconductor Metrology Systems Division in Jena/Germany, and the Lithography Optics Division in Oberkochen/Germany, it gets manufactured in Jena.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Digi-Key welcomes new series from CONEC

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp. announced it has stock of CONEC’s robust, solid-body D-sub connecters.

The IP67-rated solid-body D-sub connector has a silicone O-ring panel seal for a watertight connection. CONEC ensures high performance with gold-plated machined contacts. The connector is available in standard, high-density, and combination D-sub configurations, and with solder-cup, right-angle, and straight terminations.

The solid-body, nickel-plated, zinc die cast housing conforms to current solder requirements for RoHS-compliant solder temperatures. The entire product range is UL Listed, rated to IP67 and can be mated to standard shell sizes one through five in D-sub standard, D-sub high density, and mixed-layout configurations.

CONEC’s robust design performs better against mechanical impacts during installation and operation and has less possible leak paths, making it ideal for applications such as industrial machinery, medical equipment, test and measurement equipment, and communications.

The new line of advanced, water-resistant D-sub connectors are now available for purchase on Digi-Key’s global websites and will be featured in future print and online catalogs. Digi-Key’s websites also feature a product training module in which customers can receive more information about this series and learn how to best utilize the CONEC connectors.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Avnet adds Aras Power Technologies to Americas offering

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, a business region of Avnet Inc. announced that it now carries the complete line of off-the-shelf AC/DC and DC/DC power solutions, as well as custom power supply solutions from Aras Power Technologies.

Aras Power Technologies’ line of power supply solutions includes:
* High-efficiency, high-density sub-1U 3” x 5” AC/DC and DC/DC switching power supplies;
* DC/DC power supplies capable of producing up to 150 watts of power in package sizes as small as a motherboard connector;
* Single and multi-output medical and industrial power supplies that produce more than 13 watts per cubic inch, offering lower power dissipation and reducing system energy demands by up to 90 percent.

“Our company’s philosophy is to provide unparalleled, cutting-edge solutions for customers needing custom or semi-custom power products,” said Fariborz Rad, president of Aras Power Technologies. “Avnet’s depth and breadth allows us to bring our products to a broader marketplace and service our mutual customers, who are underserved by other major suppliers or are required to make high volume purchases.”

“With the growing number of requests we receive for custom power supply design, Aras’ technically advanced line of off-the-shelf, custom and semi-custom power supplies is the ideal addition to augment our power offering,” said Alex Iuorio, senior vice president of supplier management, Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas.

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave launches industry’s first MPO fusion splice-on connector

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, USA: Sumitomo Electric Lightwave announced the expansion of its Lynx2 CustomFit Splice-On Connector product line to include the industry’s first MPO fusion splice connector for customized, on-site, round cord loose tube cable and patch cord terminations.

The Lynx2-MPO addresses the connectivity demands for faster and easier terminations, upgrades, repairs and restorations, and cost savings required for data center, enterprise network, outside plant, OEM, central office, FTTx, and other fiber optic network applications. The Lynx2-MPO meets the connectivity needs of the network for greater optical fiber density and the scalability required for 40G and 100G transmission rates.

Sumitomo’s new Lynx2-MPO, MTP compatible, loose tube fusion splice-on connector is also the industry’s first non-mechanical MPO field installable connector. The Lynx2-MPO is compliant with EIA/TIA-604-5, also known as FOCIS 5 and IEC-61754-7. This 12-fiber connector completes full terminations in less than 5 minutes, including a streamlined ribbonizing process. The connector is offered in both genders and includes the outer housing, MT ferrule sub-assembly, rear housing with boot, and spring mechanism. Combining the reliability of the fusion splice with the factory tested MPO connector, the Lynx2-MPO for loose tube exceeds industry average performance.

Like Sumitomo’s industry-first Lynx2-MPO for optical ribbon fiber, the Lynx2-MPO for round cord loose tube applications allows the technician to make permanent terminations with the exact cable length for fast and easy installations and upgrades at the work site. The on-site customization facilitated by the Lynx2 connectivity method eliminates the risk of shorts and slack, and the logistic delays associated with preterminated cables and pigtails.

Unlike preterminated cable that requires factory return for repair, the Lynx2-MPO splice-on process also expedites repairs and restorations on-site with quick connector replacement. From an environmentally green perspective, the Lynx2-MPO eliminates waste and the excess slack of preterminated cable that may restrict air flow in data center and central office racks and panels, while preserving valuable space in other network applications.

Arrow Electronics signs global distribution agreement with Samsung Electro-Mechanics

MELVILLE, USA: Arrow Electronics Inc. announced a global distribution agreement with Samsung Electro-Mechanics, a leading manufacturer of electronic components and technologies.

Arrow will provide distribution and design-in services for Samsung Electro-Mechanics worldwide, excluding Korea, for Samsung's broad product offering in the passives area of capacitors, resistors, inductors and crystals.

“Samsung is an innovator and a globally recognized leader in technology and electronics,” said Peter Kong, president of global components for Arrow Electronics. “Together with Arrow's strength in supply chain services, value-added capabilities, and global reach, this relationship will help expand our ability to serve our customers’ diverse needs around the world.”

“Samsung is engaging with Arrow Electronics in a global franchise agreement because of their market position with global customers, excellent sales and technical support and logistics expertise,” said Dr. CJ Choi, executive vice president/chief of business unit for Samsung Electro-Mechanics. “We are looking forward to reaching new markets with our technology into Arrow’s global customer base.”

RFMD expands portfolio of 5GHz WiFi FEMs for handsets, smartphones and tablets

GREENSBORO, USA: RF Micro Devices Inc. has announced the expansion of its industry-leading 5GHz WiFi product portfolio to include three new 5GHz high-band WiFi front end modules (FEMs) with integrated power amplifiers (PAs). The three new 5GHz FEMs – the RF5686, the RF5506, and the RF5516 -- deliver industry-leading high power and high linearity and are optimized for the rapidly growing smartphone and tablet markets.

The global WiFi market is growing rapidly and is forecast to represent a greater than $1 billion total addressable market (TAM) by 2014. Adoption of dual-band WiFi (2.4GHz/5GHz) in handsets is estimated to increase from approximately 25 percent of all handsets in 2011 to approximately 50 percent of all handsets in 2012, with increasing emphasis on the 5GHz band for use in 3G/4G smartphones.

The anticipated growth in tablet devices is also forecast to support 5GHz FEM adoption, as mobile WiFi chipsets for tablets increasingly adopt dual-band functionality.

To satisfy the growing market demand, RFMD has developed industry-leading FEMs with high levels of integration, small package sizes, and best-in-class linearity performance. RFMD offers a broad portfolio of highly integrated FEMs that include the PA, the switch, filtering, baluns and an optional low noise amplifier (LNA) for both single-band (2.4GHz or 5GHz) and dual- band (2.4GHz/5GHz) operation. RFMD's WiFi product portfolio also includes discrete PAs, switches and switch/LNA products that support integrated chipset solutions.

Bob Van Buskirk, president of RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group (MPG), said: "RFMD forecasts the WiFi market will expand significantly as dual-band adoption increases and as volume expands across a variety of end markets, including smartphones, tablets, home automation, WiFi TV, automotive and personal computing. Because carrier requirements continue to demand higher power levels, this is placing an even greater focus on product performance and increasing the reliance on RFMD's core technology and product development capabilities."

Samples and production quantities of the RF5686, RF5506, and RF5516 are available now through RFMD sales representatives and through the RFMD online store.

LED advertising light-boxes with 90 percent maintenance cost reduction

HONG KONG: OSRAM Opto Semiconductors’ LEDs are in the spotlight again. When the advertising light-boxes in Singapore’s Changi Airport were to switch away from fluorescent T8 tubes under REVOLITE’s energy saving program, OSRAM’s Golden DRAGON Plus LEDs were chosen to be the light source by REVOLITE, the renowned LED back-light application expertise. It was found that over the last five years, after replacing the old tubes and installing REVOLITE’s Dio back-lit lightbox system with these LEDs, maintenance costs were reduced by as much as 90%. These environment-friendly light-boxes also brought about 73% energy savings.

The Changi Airport is a busy hub, with over 98 airlines flying to 205 cities around the world. It is currently handling 5,000 arrivals and departures every week and servicing over 37 million passengers a year. The low maintenance requirement of the LED light-boxes is a must for Changi in order to minimize disruption caused to the Airport’s operations.

“REVOLITE has installed and maintained over 200 LED advertising light-boxes in the Airport for over 5 years to date. With OSRAM’s LED technology and our experiences in LED back-light applications, we are able to provide back-light LED modules which can fit into any size configuration, allowing customization of the lighting requirement in a variety of light-box sizes. Furthermore, the thickness of the light-box can be reduced from 30cm to 12cm, which is a lot more aesthetic. We are extremely excited as the great leaps in LED technology in recent years has allowed us to provide an ROI as quick as one to two years for our clients today,” said Calvin Lim, director of REVOLITE.

“These advertising light-boxes in Changi Airport, equipped with OSRAM’s Golden DRAGON Plus LEDs, prove that the LEDs have exceptionally good quality, high reliability and superior lighting performance. In addition, the LED’s uniform brightness and colour meet the requirements of the demanding advertising industry,” said Kai-Chong Cheng, marketing director of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors Asia Ltd.

The retail digital signage market is growing rapidly as public spaces are dotted with advertising and communication billboards. According to iSuppli, this market will grow at a CAGR of 26.8% by 2013. With low energy consumption and low maintenance, the trend is for LEDs to replace traditional light sources. As such, a much higher growth rate for LED retail signage market is expected.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Digi-Key joins China Electronics Distributor Alliance (CEDA) as founding member

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp. announced its role as a founding member of the China Electronics Distributor Alliance (CEDA).

CEDA was established in order to promote franchised distributors’ value-added services, to strengthen cooperation between suppliers and distributors of electronic components, and to encourage technological innovations with the support of government incentive policies. CEDA is supported by the Chinese government and related industry associations, as well as corporate distributors of electronics that conduct business with Chinese companies.

“China has played a major role in the electronic component industry and Digi-Key is experiencing exponential sales growth in China,” said Mark Larson, president and COO of Digi-Key. “It is appropriate that we join this alliance which facilitates the relationships between American companies and Chinese companies to develop a clear-cut understanding of distribution guidelines and to develop the marketing research that will benefit companies throughout the entire global industry.”

The establishment of CEDA was recently celebrated at a luncheon in Shenzhen, China. There the founding companies were thanked for their contributions to CEDA. Digi-Key Corporation, along with Arrow, Avnet, WPG, Future Electronics, Mouser, element 14, RS Components, Richardson Electronics, Comtech, SZCEAC, Techtronics, Asiacom, Honestar, Shanghai Linpo, Morusun, Letdo Electronics, Jiangsu Sunlord, CE-Power, Zetron, Alignment, and Interine were recognized as founding members.

Monday, March 7, 2011

PLX announces world’s first SuperSpeed USB general-purpose peripheral controllers

SUNNYVALE, USA: PLX Technology Inc. announced the industry’s first SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) general-purpose peripheral controllers that bridge USB 3.0 to PCI Express (PCIe) 2.0, thus matching the high-performance 5Gbps bus speeds experts predict will be required by most consumer-electronics and industrial designs for the next five to 10 years.

With samples available in Q2’11, the new PLX USB338x family targets a broad array of applications that include tablets, mobile PCs, printers, projectors, embedded systems, multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) WiFi adapters, graphics/video adapters and TV tuners.

PLX’s complementary USB software suite simplifies adding a USB 3.0 peripheral port to PCIe-based systems, as well as converting PCIe endpoints to a USB 3.0 product. Existing designs with the gold-standard PLX NET2282x Hi-Speed USB 2.0 controller can easily upgrade to the new USB338x product family with minimal or no software changes. Driver stacks are already available for operating system-independent applications, as well as for common operating systems such as Windows (7, XP, Vista, and CE), Linux and VxWorks.

The new PLX USB3382 features two PCIe Gen2 x1 ports with flexible port configurations for different needs of PCIe buses, while the USB3380 is designed with one PCIe Gen2 x1 port, and both feature high-efficiency power management. The USB338x family is designed meet the difficult power constraints for battery-powered and bus-powered applications. Both solutions support PLX USB Duet® technology, which focuses on the tablet and mobile-PC market and provides the fastest PC-to-PC interconnect for data synchronization and sharing.

“SuperSpeed USB adoption has accelerated across the industry at an incredible pace, and the introduction of PLX’s general-purpose USB 3.0 peripheral controllers are a welcome addition to this rapidly expanding specification,” said Jeff Ravencraft, president, USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). “PLX has been a long-standing USB-IF member and advocate, with a wide range of USB 1.0-, 2.0-, and 3.0-compliant devices published on the forum’s exclusive Integrators List, and we look forward to future interoperability testing of new products from this market innovator.”

“USB and Conventional PCI have already proven to be a successful interconnect pairing, with USB-to-PCI controllers having penetrated several enterprise and consumer-electronics market segments,” said Brian O’Rourke, principal analyst at In-Stat and author of the report Wired USB: High-Speed Rules, SuperSpeed on the Way. “Now, with the combination of two highly versatile, multi-gigabit-per-second standards such as USB 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0, those enterprise and consumer market possibilities expand dramatically.”

“With global designers rapidly adopting the new USB 3.0 standard, along with the deep development of PCI Express Gen2 already in the market, this mix inherently creates broad opportunities for PLX solutions,” said David Raun, PLX vice president of marketing and business development. “PLX is a market leader with products supporting both these heavily used standards, so based on customer requests it made sense to create a bridge to support their coexistence.”

Pricing for the new USB338x devices ranges from $7.00 to $8.00 in volume. The products will sample globally in Q2’11 and will be in full production in Q3’11.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cree and Zumtobel extend strategic agreement for LED downlights to accelerate LED lighting revolution

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. announced a two-year extension of the strategic agreement signed with Zumtobel Lighting GmbH in 2008. The companies continue to work together to bring industry-leading LED lighting to Europe.

“Cree and Zumtobel see the LED lighting revolution taking hold in Europe and we are excited to sign this agreement and to continue to work together,” said Ty Mitchell, vice president and general manager, Cree LED Lighting. “Zumtobel is a market-leading lighting company and is providing their customers with high-quality LED lighting based on Cree TrueWhite technology.”

“In the past years, Cree has become one of our preferred suppliers in the LED lighting business. As we combine the best available technology with our outstanding lighting expertise and our strong IP position, we enhance our leading position to bring LED lighting innovation into our markets,” said Harald Sommerer, CEO of the Zumtobel Group. “We look forward to extending our successful cooperation with Cree in the coming years.”

ISSI and Micross Components announce agreement to supply MIL temp memory

SAN JOSE & AUSTIN, USA: Integrated Silicon Solution Inc., a leader in advanced memory solutions, and Micross Components, a global provider of distributed and specialty electronic components, announced an agreement to supply MIL Temp memory to benefit military and other harsh environment applications.

Under the agreement, Micross will offer selected ISSI SDRAM, asynchronous SRAM and synchronous SRAM parts under the Micross brand as Mil Temp memory, after certifying their operation to the extended military temperature range (i.e., -55ºC to +125ºC). While this agreement will certainly increase the availability of MIL Temp commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) product in the marketplace, the most promising aspect of this venture is the decision to focus the offerings on ISSI's copper lead frame plastic packages. Micross will be ISSI's exclusive provider for Mil Temp memory.

Copper lead frames offer significant benefits for high-temp, harsh environment applications. As component engineers and system designers know, copper enhances the long-term reliability of both parts and systems because of its superior thermal conductivity and its greater compatibility with the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of most printed circuit boards (PCB's).

"More simply," says Sean Long, director of marketing, industrial/medical/military for ISSI, "copper dissipates heat faster, allowing systems to run cooler, and results in more reliable solder joints because the leads and the PCB's expand and contract at the same rate. Since both of these factors play a significant role in making these parts viable options for high-temp, harsh-environment applications, we're excited that Micross will be able to expand availability of these products to military and other specialty customers."

The first offerings, which can be previewed at, will be released in early April, with both companies committed to providing long-term product support to the line. "That's one of the shared values that made this business opportunity so attractive to us," says Jeff Kendziorski, Micross' director of marketing & new product development. "ISSI's product life cycles are driven more by customer need, than market forces, so engineers and designers who incorporate these parts into their systems can do so with confidence, knowing that ISSI and Micross will support their programs from start to finish."

Cree launches highest performance warm and neutral white lighting-class LEDs

DURHAM, USA: Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a market leader in LED lighting, announced the commercial availability of XLamp® XM-L LEDs in neutral and warm white color temperatures (2600K – 5000K CCT). Cree once again leads the industry by extending the XM-L LED family’s unprecedented light output and efficacy to a wide range of mainstream indoor and outdoor lighting applications.

The XM-L LEDs deliver unmatched performance across a wide range of drive currents. Warm white (3000 K) XLamp XM-L LEDs provide up to 113 lumens and 117 lumens per watt and neutral white (4000K) XM-L LEDs provide up to 134 lumens and 138 lumens per watt, both at 350 mA. At 700 mA, warm white (3000 K) XLamp XM-L LEDs provide up to 220 lumens and 108 lumens per watt and neutral white (4000K) XM-L LEDs provide up to 260 lumens and 128 lumens per watt. Driven at 3.0 A, XM-L neutral white LEDs produce 850 lumens at 84 lumens per watt.

Unlike competing LED solutions that use large footprint packages and diffuse optical sources to deliver hundreds of lumens, XM-L LEDs provide breakthrough performance in a compact footprint and small optical source size. This high lumen-density can simplify designs and reduce costs for lighting manufacturers building products for directional lighting applications, such as high bay, parking, roadway, track, spot and LED replacement lamps. XLamp XM-L LEDs enable manufacturers to easily control the light output and place light exactly where it is required, minimizing wasted light and light trespass.

“Cree is the only LED manufacturer currently delivering production volumes of warm and neutral white LEDs at these performance levels,” said Paul Thieken, Cree, director of marketing, LED Components. “Cree innovation translates into ready-to-ship components that can enable our customers to develop highly-efficient LED fixtures from streetlights to downlights and from desk lamps to A-lamps.”

XLamp XM-L neutral and warm white LEDs are available now in sample and production quantities.

GigOptix announces successful Telcordia high temperature operating lifetime testing results for its 40G DPSK optical modulator

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 as part of the ongoing productization of its Thin Film Polymer on Silicon (TFPS) line of Mach-Zehnder Modulators (MZM), that its LX8401 40G DPSK MZMs has successfully passed prequalification assessment with over 1000hrs of Telcordia’s GR-468 demanding High Temperature Operating Lifetime (HTOL) testing without degradation in operating performance.

The HTOL test is a key milestone in the required suite of Telcordia GR-468 reliability assessments. The HTOL test assesses the reliability of the TFPS MZM by stressing the device at a temperature of 85C while the device is modulating a 1550nm laser and is driven by a high speed electrical RF signal. This test simulates an accelerated 25 year lifetime of the product.

After 1000 hours, the pre-qualification modulators showed no degradation in performance. The performance parameters measured included insertion loss, drive voltage, extinction ratio, and bandwidth. This successful result builds on previously announced reliability assessments by GigOptix of its TFPS optical chips, which have been measured successfully for over 7000hrs at 85C to date.

Dr. Raluca Dinu, GigOptix’s VP and GM of GigOptix Bothell, states: “The LX8401 prequalification parts passed HTOL testing without any degradation in performance which is an important milestone in our commercialization of our TFPS technology. Following this successful prequalification test, we are now in the process of running full GR-468 qualification on these devices, including damp heat, mechanical shock and temperature cycling testing to be completed in the third quarter of 2011. We expect the LX8401 and subsequent modulators addressing both the 40G and 100G markets to be a major vehicle for future revenue growth as we capitalize on the rapid growth of these optical networking markets.”

The LX8401 is designed using GigOptix's proprietary TFPS technology that enables industry leading low drive voltage in the smallest form factor available. The low drive voltage reduces power consumption by more than 20% compared to competing modulator technologies, while the small form factor enables smaller 300pin optical transponders. The product is being industrialized by Sanmina-SCI, a leading designer and manufacturer of complex, technologically advanced optical products. Sanmina-SCI has provided process development, manufacturing and supply chain services for the LX8401.