Thursday, June 30, 2011

New SANYO "Double X" (XX) powered by eneloop rechargeable batteries help keep high-power gadgets running

CHATSWORTH, USA: SANYO North America Corp. (SANYO), the world's largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, introduced the AA-size battery, XX powered by eneloop technology, the highest capacity eneloop boasting Typ. 2500 mAh of power.

Utilizing proprietary eneloop technology, the XX powered by eneloop is ready to use right out of the package and retains up to 75 percent of its charge after one year of storage. The XX powered by eneloop package of four-AA batteries will be available next month at an MSRP of $24.99. Amazon will be featuring the item for pre-sale starting on June 30.

The newest Nickel-Metal Hydride XX powered by eneloop battery is especially suited for gadgets with high power consumption, such as DSLR photoflash units, radio control toys, walkie-talkies, game controllers and other demanding applications. They are factory pre-charged by solar power and are ready to use right out of the package.

"Standard eneloop batteries are perfect for powering common household devices but XX powered by eneloop provides 25% more power for extreme usage requirements. And speaking of extreme, XX powered by eneloop provides rechargeable battery power even when temperatures get down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit," said Tom Van Voy, VP and GM of the Digital Solutions Division for SANYO North America.

With Typ. 2500 mAh capacity, the XX powered by eneloop last longer so they do not need to be recharged as often. The XX powered by eneloop can be recharged up to 500 times.

UL warns of USB power adapter bearing unauthorized UL mark

NORTHBROOK, USA: UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is notifying consumers and retailers that the power adapter identified below, bears an unauthorized UL Mark for the United States and Canada.

This adapter has not been evaluated by UL to the appropriate standard for safety for the United States or Canada, and is not authorized to bear the UL Mark. It is unknown if this adapter complies with the United States or Canadian safety requirements.

Name of Product: Power Adapter, model A1265
Number of Units: Unknown quantity
Date of Manufacture: Unknown
Manufacturer: Unknown
Known to be Sold at: Deal Extreme Website (

LED expert dilitronics expands into Asia

JENA, GERMANY: dilitronics has moved into the Asian market in June. With the foundation of dilitronics Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong, the company, which specialises in LED control, is further expanding its sales activities in the rapidly expanding Asian market. The dilitronics office in Hong Kong is the first outside Europe.

Meinrad Braun, sales director at dilitronics, said: “Asian customers are extremely interested in the development of energy-saving lighting concepts. LEDs are predestined for this and are thus the light source of the future. The motivation of companies to present innovative ideas for interior and exterior lighting is correspondingly high. The expanding Chinese market therefore offers extremely good sales potentials for our innovative LED control solutions. Having an office there is thus a logical consequence.”

With its successful participation in the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition at the beginning of June, one of the largest trade fairs worldwide in the field of LED lighting, dilitronics had already taken the first step towards a nationwide market launch of its product portfolio.

The ESoLUX 2.0 Solar LED Controller is particularly interesting for the Chinese market. This product, presented in 2009 as the first of its kind worldwide, for the first time enables a completely energy self-sufficient operation of street lighting on the basis of LEDs.

Braun explains: “This solution is particularly ideal for regions with no electrical infrastructure. The driver manages all of the components – the battery, the LED and the solar panel – so no external power supply is necessary for the street lamp.”

The MCC16 is an additional product. Braun: “The MCC16 has been specially developed for interior lighting based on LEDs. Various interfaces, its compact design, and the capability of individually controlling up to 16 LED modules make it ideal for innovative lighting concepts.” All products will be made available to the Chinese customers as OEM versions and will thus help to decisively drive development of local solutions.

Since dilitronics has had its volume production in China for quite some time, the new office will in future also handle supplier management for Asia. This central task has up to now been coordinated entirely from Germany.

Stephan Schulz, MD of dilitronics GmbH adds: “dilitronics Asia Ltd in Hong Kong is for us the ideal platform for entry into the market. Business in Asia operates differently to that here in Europe, and simply demands good partners and a local presence.”

IPC releases PCB industry results for May 2011

BANNOCKBURN, USA: IPC — Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced the May findings from its monthly North American Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Statistical Program.

PCB industry growth rates and book-to-bill ratios announced
Rigid PCB shipments were flat at zero percent growth and bookings decreased 13.4 percent in May 2011 from May 2010. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments were up 4.1 percent and bookings declined 9.2 percent. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 0.3 percent and rigid bookings decreased 0.6 percent. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in May 2011 reached 0.99.

Flexible circuit shipments in May 2011 were up 14.0 percent and bookings decreased 5.1 percent compared to May 2010. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments increased 14.2 percent and bookings were up 5.5 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments decreased 6.9 percent and flex bookings jumped 22.0 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in May 2011 edged up to 0.97.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in May 2011 increased 1.1 percent and orders booked decreased 12.6 percent from May 2010. Year to date, combined industry shipments were up 4.9 percent and bookings were down 8.0 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for May 2011 decreased 0.4 percent and bookings increased 1.3 percent. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in May 2011 climbed to 0.99.

“We are starting to see some improvement in the North American PCB book-to-bill ratio,” said IPC president and CEO Denny McGuirk. “Although it is still just under parity and we are seeing flat growth in rigid PCB sales, the flexible circuit side of the business is showing strong sales growth.”

The book-to-bill ratios are calculated by dividing the value of orders booked over the past three months by the value of sales billed during the same period from companies in IPC’s survey sample. A ratio of more than 1.00 suggests that current demand is ahead of supply, which is a positive indicator for sales growth over the next two to three months.

Book-to-bill ratios and growth rates for rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined are heavily affected by the rigid PCB segment. Rigid PCBs represent an estimated 89 percent of the current PCB industry in North America, according to IPC’s World PCB Production Report.

Role of domestic production
IPC’s monthly survey of the North American PCB industry tracks bookings and shipments from US and Canadian facilities, which provide indicators of regional demand. These numbers do not measure US and Canadian PCB production. To track regional production trends, IPC asks survey participants for the percent of their reported shipments that were produced domestically (i.e., in the USA or Canada).

In May 2011, 80 percent of total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 79 percent of rigid PCB and 88 percent of flexible circuit shipments in May by IPC’s survey participants. These numbers are significantly affected by the mix of companies in IPC’s survey sample, which change slightly in January, but are kept constant through the remainder of the year.

Bare circuits vs. assembly
Flexible circuit sales typically include value-added services such as assembly, in addition to the bare flex circuits. In May, the flexible circuit manufacturers in IPC’s survey sample indicated that bare circuits accounted for about 50 percent of their shipment value reported for the month. Assembly and other services make up a large and growing segment of flexible circuit producers’ businesses. This figure is also sensitive to changes in the survey sample, which may occur at the beginning of each calendar year.

Interpreting the data
Year-on-year and year-to-date growth rates provide the most meaningful view of industry growth. Month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution as they may reflect cyclical effects. Because bookings tend to be more volatile than shipments, changes in the book-to-bill ratios from month to month may not be significant unless a trend of more than three consecutive months is apparent. It is also important to consider changes in bookings and shipments to understand what is driving changes in the book-to-bill ratio.

Intersil's integrated LED drivers deliver best-in-class channel matching, accuracy for TFT LCD backlighting apps

MILPITAS, USA: The newest LED drivers from Intersil Corp. deliver the industry's best current accuracy and channel matching for small- to medium-sized LCD backlights in smartphones, tablets and sub-notebooks.

The ISL97682, ISL97683 and ISL97684 are compact 2-, 3-, and 4-channel LED drivers that operate across an input voltage range of 4V to 26.5V and deliver outputs up to 45V. The devices can also operate from inputs as low as 3V and deliver outputs up to 26.5V in the bootstrap configuration, making them suitable for systems using single lithium-ion batteries.

The devices incorporate optional automatic switching between PWM and PFM modes, providing the best (up to 90 percent) power efficiency across the input voltage and output load range. All devices feature current accuracy of 1.5 percent and channel-to-channel current matching of 0.7 percent, providing uniform backlighting for 6-inch to 15-inch TFT LCD panels. The high performance and versatility of this product family also makes it suitable for industrial and automotive displays.

Features and specifications
* 3V minimum supply voltage (using bootstrap operation) means no 5V bias supply is required to achieve very high efficiency.
* Optional channel-to-channel phase shift control reduces video and audio noise interference.
* Channel-to-channel current matching within 0.7 percent assures uniform backlight brightness.
* Adjustable dimming frequency up to 30kHz shifts ripple above the audio range, eliminating audible noise.
* Open-string, shorted-string, over-voltage and over-temperature protection saves the device and system in case of failure.

The ISL97682/3/4 are available now in a 3mm x 3mm, 16-pin TQFN package and are priced at $1.35 each in 1,000-unit quantities.

KEMET announces first-to-market high temperature ceramic C0G dielectric capacitors in 0402 case size

GREENVILLE, USA: KEMET Corp., a leading manufacturer of tantalum, ceramic, aluminum, film, paper and electrolytic capacitors, announced the release of the industry's first Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor (MLCC) in an EIA 0402 case size capable of reliable performance in environments up to 200 degrees C.

KEMET's High Temperature 200 degrees C Series features a robust and proprietary base metal dielectric system that offers industry-leading performance relative to capacitance and case size combined with capacitance stability at extreme temperatures up to 200 degrees C. This platform promotes downsizing opportunities of existing high temperature C0G technology and offers replacement opportunities for existing X7R/BX/BR technologies.

"KEMET's industry-leading C0G technology continues to outperform X7R in the most extreme environments. With virtually no capacitance change at 200 degrees C and rated voltage, C0G actually has a higher effective capacitance than most X7R options," said Bill Sloka, KEMET Specialty Product Manager. "Our customers in the down-hole, industrial, avionics and automotive markets require the higher capacitance, temperature stability, reliability and reduced size this platform offers."

Typical applications include critical timing, tuning, circuits requiring low loss, circuits with pulse, high current, decoupling, bypass, filtering, transient voltage suppression, blocking and energy storage for use in extreme environments. High temperature environments are commonly present in down-hole exploration equipment, aerospace engine compartments and geophysical probes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Akros intros Energy$ense family of multi-rail DC/DC DPMUs

SUNNYVALE, USA: Akros Silicon Inc., a premier supplier of leading-edge intelligent energy management ICs, announced the new Energy$ense family of multi-output, digital DC/DC power management unit (DPMU) ICs.

Energy$ense technology features include real-time power measurements and power-subsystem health monitoring, high efficiency (94 percent peak) and ultra-low standby current (<10uA), digital power control (via I2C) for selectable power operating modes, fast transient-handling capability for implementing adaptive power profiles, built-in spread-spectrum clocking for EMI management, and built-in sophisticated PWM-dimming for battery-draining LED-backlight displays.

"Akros has developed the AS19xx Series of Energy$ense DC/DC DPMUs to address the growing need for a total energy management paradigm in modern platforms," said Parviz Ghaffaripour, president and CEO. "The AS19xx family of products addresses the needs of system designers by offering 10 pin-compatible products that pack a variety of features, including a wide input voltage range of 3-27V, load range of 0.5A-10A, switching frequency from 100kHz-2MHz, and internal spread-spectrum clocking with external synchronization input. These features minimize external BOM and board space, while offering great flexibility in multi-platform designs."

The AS19xx Series is available in different combinations of synchronous buck, boost and LED-drive converter configurations. With unique feature sets to facilitate simple implementation of real-time and adaptive energy management schemas, the AS19xx series is a cost-effective choice for a wide range of applications including 4G LTE residential gateways and femtocells, tablets and large display-oriented consumer devices, ultra-books, e-books, digital photo frames, NAS and media hubs, Internet-TV and IPTV set-top boxes, automotive infotainment systems, solid-state lighting, communication equipment with cluster-power or intermediate bus architectures, and many others.

The AS19xx product family is offered in 5x5mm, 32-lead RoHS-compliant QFN packages, in industrial temperature ranges from -40 degrees C to +85 degrees C. Products are in full production and priced starting at $1.46 per unit in 3K quantities.

Harris and Tektronix Component Solutions establish strategic partnership agreement

BEAVERTON, USA: Harris Corp. and Tektronix Component Solutions, a custom microelectronics services provider, announced the strengthening of their long-standing relationship via the establishment of a strategic partnership agreement. The mutually beneficial relationship is intended to enhance both organizations' ability to deliver greater value to mutual customers in the defense industry and aid in the innovation of next-generation products.

For more than 13 years, Tektronix Component Solutions and Harris have worked together to develop and deliver quality, high-performance intra-aircraft communications systems for next-generation military aircraft, including most recently the F-22A Raptor and F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter). Individual products have included multi-chip modules, fiber-optic transmitters and receivers, and electro-optic transceivers.

"We value Tektronix Component Solutions' dedication to quality and stability for long-term defense programs," said Ron Kerns, Subcontracts Manager, Harris Corporation. "The creation of this relationship reflects that value and our desire to turn a solid working relationship into a great partnership for the continued development of advanced communications systems."

The agreement, in effect now, is intended to enhance collaboration, share technology and strategy development, improve program execution and, ultimately, enable greater growth for both companies. Through the agreement, the two companies will look to translate the communications expertise of Harris and Tektronix Component Solutions' microelectronics engineering skill to better meet evolving customer needs for greater performance while reducing size, weight and power.

"Harris is one of the most respected communications companies in the industry and we look forward to continuing our work with them," said Tom Buzak, president, Tektronix Component Solutions. "By expanding our joint efforts, we expect to strengthen the combined value provided to our customers and to continue to deliver communication systems of the highest quality and performance."

Kotura opens China office as optical components market accelerates

MONTEREY PARK, USA: Kotura Inc., a leading provider of silicon photonics products, announced the opening of an office in Shenzhen, China and the appointment of Yicheng Lu as vice president.

Kotura's presence in China provides greater access and support for their installed customer base, which consists of many of the largest telecom companies in the region. China is recognized as a significant market for optical components, and Kotura's new office will provide sales and marketing, manufacturing and R&D support.

This local presence, led by Lu, enables Kotura to build strategic relationships for manufacturing, product packaging and other key resources required to support new product development. As vice president, Lu will spearhead China activities and establish a foothold for Kotura in this important region. In addition to driving Kotura's business development activities to increase long-term opportunities in China, Lu joins Kotura's executive team in setting the company's strategic direction and is chartered with the expansion of Kotura's customer relationships.

"China is the world's largest telecom market by population and is on its way to becoming the world's largest by revenue as well," explained Jean-Louis Malinge, president and CEO at Kotura. "Shenzhen in particular is home to some of the world's leading telecommunication equipment manufacturers and as such has developed a very strong optical communications infrastructure. Yicheng, with his extensive background in the optical components industry, will be invaluable as we expand our presence in the region."

Lu has more than 17 years experience in optical components and fiber optic sensors. Most recently, he was sales director and country manager of Great China at JDSU. Prior to JDSU, Lu was a sales director at Bookham, in which he achieved a compounded annual revenue growth rate of more than 45 percent. Lu holds bachelors and masters degrees in materials from NPU in China and a Ph.D. in engineering from Brunel University in the UK.

"Kotura has an excellent reputation in the field of silicon photonics and is widely considered to be one of the industry's pioneers," said Lu. "I am pleased to join the Kotura team, as the company seeks to build strategic relationships in the China market and offer continuous support to their Chinese base of installed telecommunications customers."

Diodes Inc.'s power switches enhance USB port protection

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc. has announced the AP2401 and AP2411 single-channel power switches designed to help raise USB port protection levels.

These 2A rated, high-side power switches ensure fast and accurate latching-off of output current in the event of over-current detection. They also offer a choice of active-low enable and active-high enable operation and are optimized for self-powered and bus-powered USB 2.0 and 3.0 and other 3V to 5V hot-swap consumer electronics, computing, and communication applications, such as notebook computers and set-top boxes.

To increase overall system robustness, the power switches’ fast short-circuit response time of 2µs means unnecessary system shutdown or restart can be avoided, while their integrated output discharge function provides full and controlled discharge of output capacitor voltage when disabled. To minimize voltage drop losses in higher current systems, the AP24xx devices exhibit an on-resistance of only 70mΩ under 2A continuous operation.

Providing a complete protection solution for any equipment subject to short-circuits and heavy capacitive loads, the power switches incorporate over-current, short-circuit, over-temperature under-voltage lockout and reverse current blocking protection. The power switches’ tight current limiting tolerance also reduces power rail current requirements and therefore overall system cost.

The AP2401 and AP2411 power switches are provided in space-saving DFN3030E-8 and industry-standard SO-8 and MSOP-8-EP packages.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Coin Mechanisms selects Zilog Encore Z8F64 and Z8F48 MCUs for 3D LED “Persistence of Vision Display”

MILPITAS, USA & BIEL, SWITZERLAND: Zilog, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IXYS Corp. and a trusted supplier of application-specific, embedded microcontroller (MCU) system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for industrial, power management and consumer applications, announced that its Z8 microcontrollers were selected by Coin Mechanisms Inc. for their new POV “Persistence of Vision” spinning 3D LED display, the latest offering in Virtual Signage Products.

Zilog is the “solution of choice” for Coin Mechanisms Inc. because of the Z8 Encore’s direct register to register architecture which streamlines overhead in execution of code and decreases required program memory thereby allowing the POV system to seamlessly display company logos, slogans, advertisements, special promotions and announcements. The spinning LED POV display is full color (9 bit / 512 shades/colors) comprised of two columns of 96 LEDs.

The LED columns rotate at a high speed creating a palette for graphics and text that is equivalent to a fixed array of LEDs 96 pixels high x 256 pixels wide. Zilog and Coin Mechanisms have been working closely together on this compelling new design keeping in step with Coin Mechanisms Inc.’s innovation towards new signage solutions.

“Many of Zilog products are well suited for special applications like lighting control, energy management, motion sensing, motor control, and power management. Zilog now has a wide range of MCU-based solutions that range from our tried-and-true foundational microcontroller line to new complete solution modules, and also includes full platform energy management solutions,” said Steve Darrough, Zilog’s VP of Marketing.

“LED lighting is the future lighting technology for special visual effects, in displays and multimedia. We are pleased to see the success of our Zilog MCU lines in these applications, which complements the IXYS power devices and Clare’s LED driver IC’s, to bring value added LED lighting applications to the markets,” added Dr. Nathan Zommer, CEO of IXYS.

“Coin Mechanisms Inc.’s attention to the needs of the marketplace allows our skilled engineering staff to create optimized display solutions to meet those requirements. Coin Mechanisms Inc. has a deep commitment to continuing research and development and expanding our position as a world leader offering high quality innovative solutions,” said George Hoehne, Coin Mech’s senior product manager.

LED TVs and replacement bulbs will drive LED driver IC market through 2015

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: LED driver IC sales will reach nearly $3.5 billion in 2015 from nearly $2 billion in 2010, a CAGR of 12 percent. These are among the findings in a new report, LED Driver ICs—2011, from Strategies Unlimited, the leader in market research in LEDs and LED lighting.

Sales for LCD backlights will dominate through the period, with growth from edge-lit TVs and monitors. LED lighting applications will be the “next big thing” for LED drivers and driver ICs, beginning with replacement bulbs, as a response to improvements in technology and the phasing-out of incandescent bulbs.

LED driver IC revenues are threatened, however, by continued integration into fewer ICs, and competition from OLEDs, compact fluorescent lamps, and other technologies. Severe price erosion for driver ICs will limit the revenue growth as volumes increase, but new, higher priced ICs are appearing that reduce the overall bill of materials and also help maintain the average price of the ICs.

AC-LED products minimize the driver and some eliminate the driver IC, but will not have a significant impact on overall revenues through the period, and may even help accelerate adoption of LED lighting.

The production value of drivers for lighting will see strong 40 percent CAGR through the period. The driver is the entire LED circuit, including the driver IC but excluding the LEDs. Innovations in driver design will help take LED lighting mainstream, but the market will quickly shake out those who cannot meet strict goals for dimming, efficiency, power factor, and price.

To meet these goals, large and small companies are bringing innovations to market, such as digital control and novel high-voltage designs. Industry and government are moving toward more standardized specifications that will reduce manufacturing costs and accelerate adoption.

The top 10 LED driver IC suppliers hold more than 55 percent of revenues, with about 30 IC suppliers and captive manufacturers sharing the other 44 percent. With the acquisition of National Semiconductor by Texas Instruments, TI is now the number one supplier of LED driver ICs. Winners will be those who can keep delivering innovative products at competitive prices. Fabrication with leading-edge high-voltage BCD processes and 8-inch (or larger) wafers will play a key role.

LED Driver ICs—2011 is the latest in a series of reports on LEDs and LED lighting. It takes a fresh look at the LED driver electronics market, with more than 300 pages of detail on technology and application trends. It is a revision of an earlier report, with perspectives on the LED applications, driver technology, requirements on the drivers and driver ICs, and findings on suppliers and market shares. It provides unit, price, and revenue forecasts to 2015 for all LED driver IC segments, and for the overall driver for LED lighting.

element14 intros Tektronix intuitive analysis solutions for engineers

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell), the industry’s first fusion of commerce and community supporting engineers and purchasing professionals worldwide, today announced the expansion of their 130,000 strong inventory with the addition of Tektronix precise and intuitive oscilloscopes. These high performance and easy-to-use solutions provide the maintenance and repair, and electronic design engineering sectors as well as aspiring engineers in schools with effective tools to measure and evaluate their designs.

As manufacturing industries around the globe continue to shift their operations to the Asia Pacific, this trend has created a rich ecosystem of technological sophistication that supports the production of a wide spectrum of electronics. As a result, design support and maintenance engineers are constantly challenged to find versatile analysis solutions that are capable of evaluating complex systems.

There is also an increased demand for simpler tools so that engineers are able to apply these solutions more easily and proficiently across several product categories, thus improving time to market while supporting the development process from concept to end of life.

“As the world’s leading manufacturer of oscilloscopes, Tektronix is in the business of helping design engineers solve their day-to-day challenges,” said David Carew-Jones, Vice-President of Marketing, Service Solutions Organisation, Tektronix. “We do this by designing products that are easy to use and provide the highest level of precision, and it is important that our customers have the easiest access to the tools they need to do their job. Therefore, we are delighted with this partnership we have with element14 in Asia as their extensive network and logistical expertise help to ensure that engineers throughout the region can get easy access to our latest technology.”

“As the electronics manufacturing sector continues to expand in the Asia Pacific, there is also a corresponding growth in the number of electronic engineers the region. element14 understands that evaluating the validity of designs is an essential phase of design cycles,” says Marc Grange, head of Product Management, element14, Asia Pacific.

“New engineers can learn and build up their proficiency through Tektronix analytical tools which are specifically designed for learning purposes. In addition, element14 also offers 24/5 online technical support, relevant technical information and a complete suite of design software to help professionals, hobbyists and students to overcome any challenges.”

Mitsubishi Electric adds V1 Series to lineup of high-output intelligent power modules

TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced new 600V/800A intelligent power module (IPM) V1 Series for 37kW-class servo systems and 75kW-class inverter systems. Sales will begin on June 30, 2011.

V1 Series IPMs are single packages of multiple chips, including power chips using insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) and their driving circuits, as well as a variety of protection circuits.

Product features
* Inverter power loss reduced by 15 percent.
* The two IGBT chips are carrier-stored trench gate bipolar transistors (CSTBT) developed by Mitsubishi.
* Power loss in inverters is approximately 15 percent less than that in the existing PM800HSA060 model.
* Miniaturized motor control systems and enlarged output.
* 600V/800A model newly added to the V1 Series helps enlarge output volume.
* Small package (120×90mm) is achieved with small motor control systems.
* PM800DV1B060 enhanced heat protection.
* Unlike V Series IPMs, which monitor case temperature, V1 Series IPMs monitor IGBT chips temperature.

The V1 Series IPMs are compliant with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) for electrical and electronic equipment.

Monday, June 27, 2011

RS Components announces PCB converter module for Google SketchUp, providing eCAD tools with 3D dimension

SHANGHAI, CHINA: RS Components announced the release of its new PCB Converter for SketchUp tool that allows designers to import Intermediate Data Format (IDF) files into Google SketchUp.

The new module adds a 3D CAD back-end capability to PCB design tools and takes SketchUp into the electronic product design domain, transferring files from any CAD environment providing IDF output into COLLADA format.

Google SketchUp is already known as the world's most popular free 3D design tool, and is rapidly gaining a widespread and loyal following with electronics design engineers. This is not only due to its capabilities as a CAD package, but also the fact that many of these capabilities are available in the free version. Using PCB Converter for SketchUp, users can, for the first time, import IDF files, a file specification designed specifically for the exchange of printed circuit assembly data between mechanical design and PCB layout.

Electronics engineers are able to export their PCB designs into Google SketchUp to assess their compatibility with the mechanical constraints of enclosures and mounts. This allows them to make design decisions immediately, and avoids the need for redesign requests and design reviews. Users can then incorporate 3D models of popular electromechanical components to complete their design. CAD models of products in the RS product range can be downloaded from its website in SketchUp compliant format (*.skp) and used in the tool.

Mark Cundle, technical marketing manager, RS Components, said: "We've witnessed the growing popularity of Google SketchUp with electronic designs engineers, shown in format downloads of our 3D CAD models from the RS website, as well as comments and feedback from DesignSpark members. RS is delighted to be launching PCB Converter for SketchUp, continuing the development of free, essential design resources available for engineers through DesignSpark."

For Google, Stephen Dapkus, Google SketchUp Team added: "PCB converter for SketchUp offers electronics design engineers a new pathway to move seamlessly from eCAD to 3D MCAD design. Google are excited about the vision shown by RS Components in the development of PCB converter for SketchUp and are proud to see Google SketchUp being used by RS as a key component in the delivery of free access design tools, integrating the design journey for engineers."

PCB Converter for SketchUp is available free of charge without limitation to all members of DesignSpark, the RS online electronics design community and resource centre. DesignSpark provides free access to information, resources and reviews. Users will also have access to a full suite of video tutorials and examples.

Ethertronics’ Ether 1.3.1 antenna technology significantly enhances design flexibility

SAN DIEGO, USA: Ethertronics, a leading technology company enabling innovative antenna and RF solutions to deliver the best connected experience, launched Ether 1.3.1, an Adaptive Antenna solution. Now ready for integration in smartphones or other classes of phones, Ether 1.3.1 can realize design benefits such as 50 percent reduction in antenna volume, yet maintain compliant performance.

Obtaining design flexibility is paramount in realizing a rapid Time to Market (TTM). Ether 1.3.1 can realize this flexibility by allowing more degrees of freedom in the antenna structure design through the use of active impedance matching techniques. Not only can smaller volume antennas be achieved, but Ether 1.3.1 can be used to achieve compliance as the antenna system can be dynamically tuned for known challenge areas in specification compliance.

With respect to Ether 1.3.1’s ability to obtain significantly smaller antenna volumes, work has already been done to realize the reduction in physical volume. The complementary implications to a device’s design are obvious, with smaller possible mobile devices and better performance. The extension of this solution is the ability to offset head and hand effects to a mobile device. This inherent “detuning” of the antenna system can be offset using these techniques.

Ether 1.3.1 is ready for commercial deployment. Several design references have been accomplished to date. Ether 1.3.1 can support 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile device designs. Equally important, this solution can support any number of mobile device form factors.

“Mobile operators are spending billions on network upgrades to deliver multi-megabit speeds, but devices with poorly designed antenna systems undermine those investments by delivering performance that doesn’t live up to customer expectations,” said Barry Matsumori, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Ethertronics. “Ether 1.3.1 enables device vendors to build smartphones and tablets that can work around whatever the environment throws at them, and still provides a consistently reliable, high-performance user experience.”

Ether 1.3.1 represents a new line of advanced RF and antenna system solutions from Ethertronics. More solutions will be announced in the future.

Rising demand for efficient light source will boost LED market in China

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "LED Market in China 2011" report to its offering.

Netscribes (India) Pvt Ltd, launched a report on the LED Market in China 2011 as part of Netscribes' Manufacturing Industry series.

Rising demand for environment friendly lighting source supported by economic development along with major development in technology will boost the demand for LED lighting in China.

The report begins with an overview to the LED industry in China covering the market size and growth. It then discusses the various segments in which LED is widely being used with region-wise as well as usagewise market segmentation. It includes information about the cost breakdown of the LED lights. The major characteristics, the value chain and processes have also been covered. The EXIM market has been covered including total exports and imports with segmented share by country.

An analysis of drivers and challenges explains the factors leading to the growth of the market and include localization of chip manufacturing, growing demand among consumer goods, huge foreign investments, banning of incandescent lamps, longer life span, low energy consumption, and environment friendly. The key challenges identified are overcapacity and technology issue, and high initial cost.

The government policies have been highlighted and include the 10 villages 10,000 lights program, 1000 village solar LED lighting plan, support programs of the central government and local government to promote LED lighting in China. It includes the initiatives being taken by the government of China which is looking to restructure the market, introduce various lighting programs and offer subsidies to the manufacturers and end users.

The competition section provides subscription a brief profile of the major players which includes a snapshot of their corporation and financial performance, providing an insight into the existing competitive scenario.

New portable dissolved oxygen measurement system

BEDFORD, USA: METTLER TOLEDO announced the introduction of the InTapTM 4070i portable dissolved oxygen measuring system. The InTap 4070i is a portable, battery-powered device based on their highly successful M400 series transmitter and incorporating a state of the art optical oxygen sensor with Intelligent Sensor Management (ISM).

This device allows brewers to measure dissolved oxygen concentrations accurately and easily anywhere in their process with resolution down to 0.1 parts per billion of dissolved oxygen. The same sensing technology that is used to monitor the brewing process in-line is also used in the InTap, assuring the user of accurate at-line measurements that easily can be compared to their in-line measurements.

The advanced digital sensor incorporates Intelligent Sensor Management hardware and software from METTLER TOLEDO. This feature offers several benefits to the user. When combined with PC-based iSense, it allows for simple calibration of the sensor off-line. ISM also saves important information about the sensor, such as calibration and usage so that maintenance is predictive and can be scheduled at a convenient time.

“Our brewing customers asked us to make a portable at-line dissolved oxygen sensor so they could quickly and easily monitor their process at any point in the line and compare those readings to their in-line measurements,” said Brian Vaillancourt, Brewing Industry Manager for METTLER TOLEDO. “Some of the key features of the InTap include its long battery lifetime, extremely fast response time and the fact that the optical oxygen sensor is virtually maintenance-free.”

Global market for ultracapacitors to grow at 22 percent CAGR over 2010-2014

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Market for Ultracapacitors 2010-2014" report to its offering.

Research conducted by Technavio reveals, that the global Ultracapacitors market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22 percent. The report, which focuses on Americas, EMEA and APAC indicates, that the market is currently driven by the growing demand for solar energy systems.

Solar energy is being widely accepted as an alternate source of energy. Ultracapacitors are used in solar energy systems as they can store large amounts of energy in a relatively small space. Given the increasing adoption of Ultracapacitors in solar panels, the growing demand for these panels will be a key driver for the Ultracapacitors market, reports Technavio analyst.

In spite of the need, concerns about overheating hinder the growth of this market. However, the increased demand from the electric vehicle market is expected to drive growth.

The global Ultracapacitors market is marked by steadily decreasing prices. This makes the study an important one for companies to fully understand the potential in the market and formulate its own strategy.

The report, Global Market for Ultracapacitors 2010-2014, is based on an extensive research from inputs by industry experts, vendors and end-users. It examines the factors including the key trends, drivers and challenges, impacting the evolution of this market. Further, it contains an in-depth understanding of the key vendors including their SWOT analysis.

TechNavio's analysts forecast the global market for Ultracapacitors to grow at a CAGR of 22 percent over the period of 2010-2014. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the demand for cost-effective fuel. The Ultracapacitors market has also been witnessing increasing awareness of electric vehicles. However, the lack of infrastructure could challenge the growth of this market.

Key vendors dominating this market space include Panasonic Electronic Devices, Maxwell Technologies, NIPPON CHEMI-CON, Nesscap Energy and batScap.

iWatt debuts industry’s first driver to power 32 strings of LEDs in ultra-thin LED TVs

LOS GATOS, USA: iWatt, Inc., a developer of energy-efficient digital power supply control integrated circuits (ICs) used in leading-edge power supplies, expanded its family of DC/DC LED backlight drivers with its iW7032 which can power up to 32 parallel strings of LEDs.

Like its iW7040 sibling, which powers up to 64 parallel strings of LEDs, the iW7032 is a mixed-signal IC that features iWatt’s digital adaptive switching technology with integrated MOSFETs. Adaptive switching reduces thermal overhead and power consumption, while the integrated MOSFETs reduce component count, form factors and costs for dynamic backlighting.

The 32-channel iW7032 targets mainstream direct or segment-edge-dimmed TVs, while iWatt’s existing 64-channel iW7040 is suited for high-end, direct-dimmed TVs. Both drivers are designed to enable real cost savings in dynamic backlighting, as well as easy integration into ultra-thin LED TVs.

With high voltage support (up to 56V) and adaptive switching to overcome thermal problems, the iW7032 is capable of driving more parallel strings of LEDs from a single IC than existing solutions, reducing component count for TV manufacturers.

Typical ICs can drive eight, 12 or at most 16 strings of LEDs, while the iW7032 can drive up to 32 parallel strings, numbering 15 LEDs per string, to power 480 total LEDs from one IC. iWatt’s high-voltage support also saves the cost of any additional protection MOSFETs required by ICs with lower string voltages.

iWatt’s proprietary digital adaptive switching technology solves the thermal problems of driving a large number of parallel strings of LEDs, where a significant amount of wasted power typically heats the inside of the TV and increases the chance of thermal-stress-related LED failures.

iWatt’s adaptive switching technology senses the mismatch of the varying forward voltages (Vf) of the multiple strings of LEDs and adjusts appropriately for each string. This reduces the wasted power by up to 90 percent (iWatt projects it saves 2-5W per IC), minimizes the heat generated, and enables a single iWatt IC to drive many multiples of LED strings.

The iW7032 features an integrated MOSFET for each string of LEDs to save component count and reduce form factors for easy integration into ultra-thin LED TVs. The company projects this can reduce driver printed-circuit-board (PCB) form factors by up to 50% compared to solutions relying on external MOSFETS.

With the ability to drive more LEDs with fewer ICs, and by integrating the MOSFETs, iWatt projects LED TV manufacturers can save $1 to $3 in bill-of-material (BOM) costs for each iW7032 used. A typical 46” direct-lit LED TV might use two to four iW7032 drivers, saving the manufacturer up to $12.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Diodes Inc. announces investment in Eris Technology

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc. has announced an agreement to invest in Eris Technology Corp., a publicly traded company listed as an Emerging Stock on the Taiwan OTC Exchange (TWO) that provides design, manufacturing and after-market services for diode products.

Eris has announced that it will offer to its shareholders and employees up to 10 million shares of common stock at NT$39 per share to raise NT$390 million (approximately US $14 million). Diodes has agreed to purchase any shares not purchased by Eris’ shareholders and employees and Eris’ founders have agreed to sell Diodes any shares necessary to ensure that Diodes will obtain a minimum of 8 million shares, which represents an approximately 24 percent ownership in Eris after the capital increase.

Dr. Keh-Shew Lu, president and CEO of Diodes, stated: “Eris is currently a supplier of assembly/test services to Diodes and we are pleased to be able to expand that relationship. This investment will allow Eris to expand their capacity in specific packages as a complement to Diodes’ internal capability.”

Digi-Key and Intematix sign global distribution agreement

THIEF RIVER FALLS & FREMONT, USA: Digi-Key Corp. has signed a global distribution agreement with Intematix Corp., a leading innovator of patented remote phosphor components for high-quality LED lighting.

Mark Zack, Digi-Key's vice president, semiconductors said, “Digi-Key is proud to welcome Intematix to our Solid State Lighting product base. Intematix’s unique ChromaLit remote phosphor products enhance efficacy and smooth radiation patterns required by designers.”

Intematix develops innovative LED lighting solutions that are grounded in the company’s patented phosphor technology. Compared to conventional LED designs, where blue chips are coated with a phosphor compound, the ChromaLit Collection, now available through Digi-Key, leverages a phosphor composite separated from the blue LED energy source. This architecture provides unparalleled design freedom, more efficient manufacturing processes, exceptional light quality and up to 30 percent higher system efficacy.

“Intematix’s global distribution with Digi-Key is a crucial step to better serving our customers,” said Julian Carey, Intematix’s director of marketing. “The range of the ChromaLit remote phosphor product family, coupled with the blue LEDs, drivers and other key components that Digi-Key offers, provides luminaire designers and manufacturers rapid access to innovative solutions.”

Digi-Key and Swissbit announce global distribution agreement

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA & BRONSCHHOFEN, SWITZERLAND: Digi-Key Corp. and Swissbit, the largest independent DRAM module and Flash storage manufacturer in Europe, have signed a global distribution agreement.

Swissbit is a globally renowned company due in part to their depth in product offering. Some of Swissbit’s most significant innovations include SATA SSD’s, DDR2 modules, and USB modules.

“We are pleased to announce this distribution agreement with Swissbit,” said Mark Zack, vice president of semiconductors, Digi-Key. “Offering Swissbit’s high quality memory solutions to our customer base will enhance our ability to support the industrial, embedded, military, automotive, and aerospace markets.”

“We are proud to be part of the Digi-Key product portfolio,” said Tommaso Rando, Swissbit’s chief sales officer. “Digi-Key is world renowned distributor delivering world class solutions to its customers. The addition of Swissbit products to Digi-Key will expose new customers and enhance the availability of our outstanding industrial storage solutions.”

Swissbit’s product lines are available for purchase now on Digi-Key’s global websites.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

CEA-Leti and NEOLUX to industrialize third-generation intelligent LED systems

GRENOBLE & LA CHAPELLE VENDOMOISE, FRANCE: CEA-Leti and NEOLUX announced a new partnership aimed at developing and manufacturing innovative LED modules and products for lighting.

The three-year project, known as MODULED, will industrialize smart LED systems in France by simplifying functioning and assembly, reducing the mechanics and electronics of current LED systems, and incorporating the latest LED features. The project also will include establishing processes to allow the fabrication of next-generation LED modules while reducing the costs of acquisition for OEMs.

”The next generation of LEDs will react with their environment -- the lighting of the space and the presence of a person -- and the lighting envelope will assure heat dissipation,” said Ludovic Labidurie, CEO of NEOLUX. “Together, these developments will significantly reduce the cost of these products, and our project will take advantage of these changes to develop a new generation of intelligent LED systems.”

Leti has focused on LED lighting technology since 2006 and in recent years has launched a variety of projects to deal with the key issues of thermal management, light extraction and wavelength conversion.

“LEDs offer unparalleled possibilities to integrate new features beyond their energy efficiency,” said Laurent Malier, Leti CEO. “I am convinced that we are at the dawn of a generation of ‘intelligent’ lighting objects that is similar to what we saw happening in communications products 10 years ago. Leti has been preparing for this evolution for several years and the successful integration of our new technologies will allow NEOLUX to open new markets, while reinforcing its offer against increasingly tough competition.”

The partnership will give NEOLUX, which conceives and commercializes LED lighting solutions, access to the project’s first qualified product.

NEOLUX, is based in La Chapelle Vendômoise, where it has research and engineering offices and a photometry laboratory.

Premier Farnell first to stock Microchip and Digilent’s chipKIT 32-bit MCU development platform in Arduino form-factor

LONDON, UK: Premier Farnell plc, the leading multichannel distributor, is first to stock Microchip Technology Inc and Digilent, Inc’s first chipKIT 32-bit microcontroller development platform.

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, analogue and Flash-IP solutions, and Digilent, Inc. recently launched the first 32-bit-microcontroller-based, open-source development platform that conforms to Arduino hardware and software. Designed and manufactured by Digilent, a Microchip Authorised Design Partner, the chipKIT platform is the first 32-bit solution in Arduino form-factor in the industry to enable hobbyists and academics to easily, and inexpensively, integrate electronics into their projects, even if they do not have an electronic-engineering background. The platform consists of two PIC32-based development boards – Uno32 and Max32.

The chipKIT hardware is compatible with existing 3.3V Arduino shields and applications, and can be developed using a modified version of the Arduino IDE and existing Arduino resources, such as code examples, libraries, references and tutorials. The platform provides an unprecedented level of features for the Arduino community, and four times the performance of any existing Arduino solution at a low price.

“The PIC32-based chipKIT boards are excellent tools for academics and hobbyists from many disciplines, such as mechanical engineering, computer science and even art, who want easy-to-use, low-cost solutions for creating projects,” said Richard Curtin, Global Head of Strategic Supplier Engagement, Premier Farnell. “We are delighted to be the first global distributor to take the first 32-bit platform with Arduino form-factor to market, especially by featuring it first on our dedicated chipKIT group on element14, and enabling our customers to produce world class designs.”

“Students, educators and hobbyists, with or without electronic-engineering backgrounds, are looking for inexpensive solutions that will enable them to easily integrate electronics into their projects. The chipKIT meet these needs, providing more features, performance and functionality than other Arduino solutions on the market, at a low cost,” said Mike McGlade, Sales Channel Manager, Microchip.

“The chipKIT platform is the first 32-bit solution of its kind in the industry academics and hobbyists can plug the boards into their design, download the open-source software and have their project up and running in minutes, Farnell understand the importance of having the chipKIT in stock for immediate call off for these customers.”

LeCroy intros comprehensive test suites for MIPI M-PHY and PCI Express 3.0

CHESTNUT RIDGE, USA: LeCroy Corp. has launched a MIPI M-PHY test suite tailored specifically to the verification, debug and conformance testing of MIPI Alliance M-PHY(SM) and various other signal types using the M-PHY physical layer standard.

The MIPI M-PHY test suite was introduced using the silicon-proven Mixel M-PHY at the MIPI Alliance Test Forum Days meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, June 16. In addition, LeCroy will exhibit the industry's only protocol-aware suite of test and debug solutions for the PCI Express 3.0 specification at the PCI-SIG Developers Conference in Santa Clara, CA, June 22-23. LeCroy is a platinum sponsor of the event.

"Successful development of new products with these emerging standards requires a coordinated test program," said LeCroy president and CEO, Tom Reslewic. "Our active participation in the groups chartered to develop and manage these standards, ensures that our integrated test suites cover the full range of the developer's needs."

"LeCroy has been, and continues to be, committed to providing complete, end-to-end solutions for established and emerging serial data standards," said David Graef, CTO of LeCroy. "Our latest offerings clearly establish LeCroy as the leader with the only complete end-to-end solutions for MIPI M-PHY and PCI Express 3.0. Our continued investment in this area will ensure that we provide our customers with the best-in-class tools for serial data standard debug and compliance measurements."

There were approximately 700 million MIPI powered integrated circuits in production in 2010, with projected growth to 6.2 billion units by 2015. The M-PHY standard is an important factor in driving the unit growth with improved power efficiency, low pin count, more robust symbol coding, multiple transmission speed rates, and compatibility with optical applications. As part of the Mixel MIPI Alliance Ecosystem Partnership, LeCroy was able to leverage the relationship with Mixel to develop and validate the M-PHY test suite with early IP Cores.

"We are confident that our collaboration with LeCroy will help accelerate our customers' product development supporting MIPI M-PHY specifications," said Ashraf Takla, CEO of Mixel Inc. "We are looking forward to a continued successful collaboration with LeCroy and all of our MIPI ecosystem partners."

Digi-Key stocks Ametherm’s AS series inrush current limiters

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Digi-Key Corp. announced the addition of the AS series Inrush Current Limiters from Ametherm.

Ametherm’s AS series of Inrush Current Limiters are designed to withstand from 6 to 50 A of steady state current and 300 to 900 J of input energy. This series ranges from .5 to 50 ohm, and is an extremely reliable and durable product with no derating at lower temperatures. With its new design, the AS series cools down faster, which creates a faster reset time.

Inrush current limiters are intended for a wide variety of applications including medical and security equipment (MRI and X-ray machines). The AS series inrush current limiters are available for purchase now on Digi-Key's global websites.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

AMETEK launches California Instruments CSW Series AC/DC power sources

SAN DIEGO, USA: AMETEK Programmable Power has introduced the California Instruments CSW Series, a completely new generation of AC/DC power sources that address the demands for more features without additional cost.

By combining a flexible AC/DC power source with a high performance power analyzer, the compact CSW Series is capable of handling complex applications that have traditionally required multiple systems. This high level of integration simplifies wiring, saves valuable rack space, and ultimately reduces system cost.

5,550-33,300 kVA output
A direct-coupled, transformerless design allows the CSW Series to output AC and DC on up to three separate phases or on the same phase. A single unit provides up to 5,550 kVA output, and up to six units may be connected in parallel to provide up to 33,300 kVA output.

Instead of changing configuration settings from a front panel or reconfiguring internal jumpers, as you need to do with other systems, all a user needs to do is to connect each auxiliary power source to the master power source with a system interface cable. When powered, the system recognizes that auxiliary units are connected and automatically configures itself.

LeCroy intros address translation services support for PCI Express protocol analysis and test

PCI-SIG DevCon, SANTA CLARA, USA: LeCroy Corp. announced a new feature added to its PCI Express (PCIe) protocol analyzer and exerciser line of products that will support PCI Express Address Translation Services (ATS) for testing and debugging PCI Express specification-based applications.

LeCroy had previously supported some aspects of the Address Translation Services specification from the PCI-SIG on its protocol analyzer line. The announcement now includes updates from the new specification and extends that functionality to LeCroy's Summit Z3-16 PCI Express 3.0 protocol exerciser.

"The Address Translation Services specification provides a better mechanism for controlling I/O addressing for PCI Express devices," said Al Yanes, president and chairman, PCI-SIG. "We are pleased that companies such as LeCroy are working to quickly deliver protocol analysis and test tools that will help bring ATS enabled products to the marketplace."

The Address Translation Services (ATS) specification provides a set of extensions or transactions that support the remote caching of address translations on an endpoint or add-in-card. Translating or re-mapping these addresses in a PCI Express endpoint provides a more effective memory to I/O implementation to minimize latency and increase performance in I/O operations. Devices that implement ATS can provide more functions with better response time to PCI Express-based systems.

The Summit Z3-16 protocol exerciser can emulate ATS-enabled devices. Having access to an ATS emulated endpoint or ATS add-in-card gives system developers a controlled way to test protocol operation and check out corner case failures between host and device. The Summit Z3-16 is programmable through a rich scripting language. For example, the Summit Z3-16 exerciser can be configured to emulate a device that is inserted into a system under test. An exerciser script can be written so that test software running on the system under test can execute any of the various scripted ATS procedures running on the exerciser that is emulating a device. The system under test is actually writing to the exerciser's memory and/or configuration spaces providing an emulated programmable DMA and complete inband control of the Device Emulator's behavior.

"I/O Virtualization has been an important direction to the PCI Express development community. Adding support for Address Translation Services widens the coverage the Summit analyzer and exerciser line of products addresses for high performance products," said John Wiedemeier, product marketing manager for the Interconnect Communications Group, LeCroy. "We are committed to enhancing the Summit Z3-16 and providing the emulation tool of choice for PCI Express device development and test."

LeCroy protocol analyzers and exercisers have been at the forefront of PCI Express product development. All LeCroy protocol analyzers feature a hierarchical display, real-time statistics, protocol traffic summaries, detailed error reports, powerful scripting, and the ability to create user-defined test reports which allow developers to troubleshoot intricate problems and finish their projects on time.

LeCroy intros ExpressModule interposer to support PCI Express 3.0 protocol analysis

PCI-SIG DevCon, SANTA CLARA, USA: LeCroy Corp., a leading supplier of oscilloscopes and serial data test solutions, introduced a new PCI Express (PCIe) ExpressModule interposer that supports PCI Express 3.0 specification data rates up to 8 GT/s.

The new ExpressModule interposer, designed for use with the LeCroy Summit T3-16 and T3-8 PCI Express protocol analyzers, provides the ability to easily analyze data traffic between high performance ExpressModule HBA cards and ExpressModule-based blade server systems.

"The ExpressModule specification has become an important form factor for PCI Express. Blade server systems can benefit with the easy hot swapping capability of the ExpressModule," said Al Yanes, president and chairman, PCI-SIG. "LeCroy does a great job at providing a large number of probing options for PCI Express developers."

An ExpressModule is an I/O HBA card based on the PCI Express specification that is mechanically inserted into an ExpressModule-compatible blade server backplane. The ExpressModule HBA technology enables higher reliability, performance and manageability providing high speed performance utilizing PCI Express 3.0 specification speeds of up to 8 GT/s.

Debugging the protocol traffic between the PCI Express 3.0 ExpressModule and chassis backplane can be challenging due to tight mechanical tolerances. The PCI Express 3.0 ExpressModule interposer connects between the backplane of the chassis and the ExpressModule, and enables the analyzer to capture, decode and display all traffic on the PCI Express bus for troubleshooting, debugging and monitoring system performance.

This new interposer minimizes signal interference by using LeCroy's TAP technology, allowing protocol traffic between the ExpressModule and backplane to be analyzed while inside the chassis. This insures that the equipment under test can function normally while data traffic is analyzed so that any protocol problems can be quickly identified and solved. The ExpressModule interposer is offered in x1, x4, and x8 lane widths, with data rates operating at up to 8 GT/s.

Onteco, ONTC, subsidiary, NexPhase Lighting receives contract to provide product and services to New York University (NYU)-Poly

MIAMI, USA: Onteco Corp. announced that its subsidiary, NexPhase Lighting Inc., a designer, developer and manufacturer of high efficiency, high quality LED intelligent lighting fixtures, today announced that it has received a contract to provide product and services to New York University (NYU)-Poly.

Jon Cooper, president of NexPhase, stated: “We have worked closely with Campus Green Up and NYU-Poly in the development of an array of intelligent LED lighting solutions that when deployed will provide significant energy and maintenance savings for the University. Our product was subject to a rigorous bidding and vetting process that matched our solutions to some of the biggest suppliers in the lighting industry. Ultimately our technology, service, return on investment and energy savings solutions set us apart from the other considered suppliers.

“The project will be a multi-phase deployment with the first installation occurring at the Donald F. and Mildred Top Othmer Residence Hall. This residence hall is an eighteen-floor structure originally opened in 2002 and currently houses over four hundred students. The first installation of product will occur in early September and we expect the Othmer phase of the project to be completed by the end of this year.

“This first phase will utilize over 2,500 LED lighting fixtures. The beauty of this first phase of the project is that almost all of the LED form factors that we will be installing will be deployed in other areas of the University as we advance to subsequent project stages. We are very excited to have been selected as the lighting solutions provider and are anxious to provide the University with incredible products and services that meet NYU-Poly’s i²e Campus transformation initiatives.”

NYU-Poly is the alliance of the nation’s second oldest private engineering school, Polytechnic with the largest private university in the United States, NYU. The NYU-Poly Brooklyn campus has a current student population of over 1,750 full-time students and the downtown Brooklyn Campus includes: 6 Metrotech, the Jacobs Academic Building, the Rogers Hall complex, 5 MetroTech, the Bern Dibner Library Building, the historic Wunsch Building and the previously mentioned Othmer Residence Hall.

These facilities, along with the recently announced expansion of an additional 120,000 square feet of academic facilities at 2 MetroTech and 15 Metrotech, further signal a growing and thriving world class University. NYU-Poly is already in the second year of a 10 year Thirty Eight million Capital Plan to transform, upgrade and expand its campus facilities, and NexPhase’s intelligent LED lighting solutions and efficient use of best in class sensor technology provide an excellent fit for the i²e initiatives that center around invention, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Cree 1200V Z-Rec family of silicon carbide schottky diodes offers higher performance at lower cost for power conversion apps

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. announced a new family of seven 1200V Z-Rec silicon carbide (SiC) Schottky diodes optimized for price and performance and available in a range of amperages and packages. Cree is advancing the adoption of silicon carbide power devices into mainstream power applications by introducing a comprehensive family of SiC diodes with a wide range of amperage ratings and package options.

“In order to develop the next generation of power electronics, design engineers are looking for the unique performance advantages of SiC Schottky diodes – zero reverse recovery losses, temperature-independent switching losses, higher frequency operation – all with a lower EMI signature,” said John Palmour, Cree co-founder and chief technology officer, Power and RF.

“This new family of diodes allows a higher current density and increased avalanche capability over previous generation SiC Schottky diodes with no penalty in performance. Cree’s recent innovations in device design and commitment to continuous process improvement are allowing us to offer significantly higher amperage ratings at lower cost per amp.”

Cree Z-Rec diodes feature zero reverse recovery, resulting in up to a 50 percent reduction in switching losses versus comparable silicon diodes. They also exhibit consistent switching performance across their entire temperature range, which simplifies circuit design and reduces the need for complex thermal management.

When used in conjunction with Cree’s recently-introduced 1200V SiC power MOSFETs, these SiC Schottky diodes enable the implementation of all-SiC power electronic circuits with the capability to operate at up to four times higher switching frequencies when compared to conventional silicon diodes and IGBTs.

This enables a reduction in the size, complexity and cost of inverter circuitry, while achieving extremely high system efficiency. Finally, this new family has the additional benefits of higher surge ratings and avalanche capabilities than the previous generation of SiC Schottky diodes, helping to increase overall system reliability.

These devices are ideal as boost diodes and anti-parallel diodes in solar inverters and 3-phase motor drive circuits, as well as in power factor correction (PFC) boost circuits in power supplies and UPS equipment. They can also be used in applications where engineers typically parallel many devices to address higher power requirements.

Devices now released are rated for 2A[C4D02120x], 5A[C4D05120x], 10A[C4D10120x], 20A[C4D20120x] and 40A[C4D40120x]. Dependent on amperage ratings, the parts are available in standard or fully-isolated TO-220 and standard TO-247 packages. Check with Cree for availability of devices in die form.

These new Z-Rec 1200V Schottky diodes are fully qualified and released for production use.

Diodes Inc.'s new bipolar family comes in super-small-size package to save space in smart phones

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, announced a new family of small-signal bipolar transistors that is available in the tiny DFN package, measuring only 1 x 0.6mm, yet delivering the same electrical performance as equivalent devices in much larger packages.

The new devices are specifically aimed at load- and signal-switching applications in smart phones and other portable applications that have extreme constraints for designers in terms of PCB area where space is at a premium.

As strong consumer demand drives increasing functionality in ever smaller form factors of handheld gadgets and other portable computing devices, this new family of products is ideal for a wide range of electronic applications, including cameras, portable multimedia players, Bluetooth headsets and tablet PCs, as well as smart phones.

Offering a tenfold higher power density, these new NPN and PNP bipolar transistors come in the super-tiny DFN1006 package, which has a 0.6mm2 footprint – 13 times smaller than SOT23 leaded package – and an off-board height of 0.4mm, which is even lower than the industry standard. In addition to being significantly smaller than the equivalent leaded packages, such as SOT323, SOT523 and SOT723, these new devices offer significantly superior thermal performance.

These small-signal bipolar transistors offer 15 to 50V capability and are able to operate in high-switching speed applications for frequencies up to 250MHz, and can handle up to 1A peak current, making the devices ideal for handling load-switching applications. The family also delivers typical On-resistance of less than 300mΩ at 0.5A, reducing conduction losses.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Zebronics launches premium laptop bags and sleeves

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Top Notch Infotronix, India’s leading supplier of products and accessories for Computers, Consumer Electronics and Communication under the brand ‘ZEBRONICS' has introduced its premium laptop bag ‘Zebster’. Featuring trendy black-and-white graphics on the front that make it look smart and elegant, the backpack-style Zebster is designed for carrying comfort and durability and is suitable for up to 15.4-inch widescreen laptops.

Ergonomic contoured shoulder straps, extra padded back panels and lightweight material make the Zebster backpack absolutely comfortable, while the space is divided in a way to provide users with enough compartments to keep the laptop and all accessories neatly organised. There is a small handy pouch for a cellphone or music-mp3 player on the strap itself, and front dual compartments on either side provide for the small items such as power supply, external drives or other accessories.

The two large main compartments have full zip-down flaps. The laptop compartment is provided with a retaining strap secured with velcro, to keep the laptop in place. The other main compartment can hold the power cables, books or thick folders and also has a zippered pocket for documents or files.

The Zebster backpack is not just trendy in looks and provided with well-organised space, enough attention has been paid to the safety of valuable laptop and accessories. Made of durable, water-resistant nylon material, the front hard-shell design and the reinforced bottom ensure protection against knocks. High-quality zippers have been used throughout for snag-free and safe usage.

Zebronics has also simultaneously introduced its laptop sleeves that can be used as a stand-alone case or be placed in another bag as a sleeve case. It enables the user to tote their laptop anywhere conveniently and safely, in any briefcase or backpack.

Made of durable, thick, high-quality neoprene material and finished with extra soft interiors, the sleeves give full protection against shocks and vibrations. High-quality zippers have been used for trouble-free usage. The trendy sleeves are eye-catching and attractive for their soft-black colour with distinctive red-trimming. The sleeves come in two sizes – suitable for either laptops with sizes 10-inch and 15-inch.

Known for providing products with premium features at value prices, Zebronics has priced the Zebster backpack at Rs. 1,550/- while the laptop sleeves are priced at Rs. 425 for the 10-inch one and Rs. 475 for the 15-inch one, The range is now available at all leading IT stores across the country.

element14 forges new partnership with LeCroy bringing high performance analysis solutions to the region

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell), the industry’s first fusion of commerce and community supporting engineers and purchasing professionals worldwide, announced a new partnership with LeCroy, one of the world’s leading provider of oscilloscopes, protocol analysers and related test and measurement solutions, as part of the company’s commitment to provide a full suite of solutions for customers in the Asia Pacific.

As the Asia Pacific enhances its position as a growing R&D hub and manufacturing powerhouse on the international stage, the demand for end-user electronics has soared in the region. These products are increasingly becoming more customized and sophisticated in design, making analysis and testing more complex and rigorous than before. It has become more challenging for electronic design engineers to analyse complex electronic systems and perform fast and accurate evaluation of their designs in order to reduce time to market.

element14 offers a comprehensive range of LeCroy products out of its Asia Pacific inventory portfolio of 130,000 products that apply to crucial applications in electronics design and maintenance, repair and operations support from design concept through to end of life.

Customers can purchase LeCroy solutions with no minimum order quantity and next day delivery for products that are stocked within the Asia Pacific inventory. element14 also provides 24/7 customer support and 24/5 online technical support to ensure that they have access to the necessary resources to help them overcome any challenges.

“We recognise that Asia Pacific has a huge market for high performance oscilloscopes and we are thrilled at the possibilities of how we can step up and meet these demands as well as engage new segments of this vast market through our partnership with element14,” said Conrad Fernandes, Vice President of Sales, LeCroy, Asia Pacific.

“element14’s unique platform enables us to better understand and support the needs of the community. This allows us to anticipate and exceed evolving market requirements in order to provide more relevant and effective analysis solutions to address and build a mutually beneficial relationship with the engineering community.”

“This strategic alliance with LeCroy marks another milestone in our commitment to becoming a one-stop solution for electronic design engineers in the region,” said Salman Syed, Regional Head, element14, Asia Pacific. “The analytical tools from LeCroy are staple solutions in the design and maintenance phase for engineers across different sectors, and element14 will complement these products with our extensive services ranging from information, software to technical solutions and design tools.”

Smart, simple and efficient analysis solutions for more effective electronic designs
The primary function of oscilloscopes is to help design engineers measure and analyse intricate electronic signals in order to develop high performance systems and validate designs, which makes these analytical solutions indispensable to engineers across multiple industries.

In order to address the increasing sophisticated designs of end-user products, LeCroy consolidated the functions of conventional oscilloscopes with the cutting-edge applications to create the reliable and intelligent WaveAce 101 and WaveJet 324A.

WaveAce Oscilloscopes offer bandwidths from 40MHz to 300MHz, and support 32 completely automatic measurements. This small but versatile analytical tool combines long memory, colour display and advanced triggering consisting of Edge, Pulse Width, Video and Slope, to enable engineers to customise their measurements and ensure impeccable accuracy in their results.

The WaveAce is also equipped with LAN/RS-232 and USB connections for printers, memory sticks, PCs, and remote control, providing engineers with flexibility with regard to the platforms that they can work with. These features provide excellent troubleshooting capabilities and debug time that exceeds the expectations of the engineering community.

The WaveJet 324A’s banner specifications, feature set and intuitive user interface allow engineers to easily grasp the functionality of this product, allowing them to simplify their work and shorten their debug time. Simplicity aside, the WaveJet 324A is able to capture Waveform details from the minutest to the most important with its impressive Trigger capabilities. Its visually impressive 7.5 inch display is backed up by long 500 kpts/Ch memory and 2GS/s sample rates.

In addition, engineers can also use its unique replay mode to review the history of the signals captured, then use the measurement tools to analyse the waveforms. This enables engineers to perform a more accurate and detailed evaluation of their designs in order to create more designs and optimise the debugging process.

RS Components first to implement country specific online weblinks with ROHM to accelerate "Find and Buy" experience

SINGAPORE: RS Components (RS), the world's largest high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products and the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, has partnered with ROHM Semiconductor so that visitors to the ROHM site can access "buy-it-now" links from the manufacturers' inventory page to the relevant page on their local RS web site with a single mouse click.

RS is the only distributor to which ROHM links directly in this way. Customers do not have to navigate through additional routing pages but are automatically linked to their local site. The service operates across 21 RS web sites in Asia and Europe and gives instant access to over 2,000 semiconductor products.

Fred Knowles, head of Product Management, Electronics at RS Components stated: "This initiative gives customers the fastest way to find and buy ROHM semiconductors. It's another step in the RS strategy of ensuring we are always the easiest distributor for customers for do business with."

RS stocks power management ICs, transistors and diodes, optoelectronic devices, multimedia processors, data converters, amplifiers and comparators, interface ICs, and sensors and transducers from ROHM Semiconductor.

China Mobile Research Institute and SkyCross demo tunable MIMO antenna for multimode, multiband handsets in LTE deployments

BEIJING, CHINA & VIERA, USA: China Mobile Research Institute and SkyCross announced a demonstration of a tunable, MIMO antenna design for multimode, multiband handsets in LTE deployments around the globe. The world’s first compact, tunable MIMO antenna covers 12 frequency bands ranging from 700 MHz to 2.7 GHz for TD LTE/LTE FDD/TD SCDMA/GSM EDGE/WCDMA deployments worldwide.

China Mobile believes that the convergence of TDD and FDD and the support of multiband are important for the mobile industry to realize the global scale and global roaming capabilities of the LTE standard. Cooperating with industry partners, China Mobile has made great strides in the convergence of TD-LTE and LTE FDD. The vision of "one standard, one network platform, and single-chipset solutions” has built a solid foundation for the development of a global LTE terminal.

In September 2010, China Mobile Research Institute and SkyCross signed a joint memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly pursue compact MIMO antenna design and implementation for multimode, multiband LTE handsets. China Mobile provided detailed requirements for global frequency band combinations needed including TD LTE/LTE FDD/TD SCDMA/GSM EDGE/WCDMA for potential global LTE and legacy network co-deployment, as well as target global roaming bands. China Mobile also provided detailed antenna performance requirements meeting 3GPP specifications.

SkyCross conducted all the antenna design and implementation using a software-configurable approach to tune the antenna frequency band coverage from 700 MHz to 2.7 GHz. The final tunable, multimode, multiband, MIMO antenna design was tested at the China Mobile Research Institute and TMC laboratories in Beijing and satisfies China Mobile’s performance requirements.

Compact, multiband MIMO antennas are a key element in executing multimode, multiband handset designs for global LTE deployments since LTE band definitions cover nearly all the possible unpaired TDD and paired FDD frequencies that all mobile operators use around the world. With multiband MIMO antennas now in place, the mobile handset ecosystem can now move forward in developing the remaining multiband components including power amplifiers, filters and duplexers, switches, RFICs, and front-end-modules.

“Our joint development effort with SkyCross has demonstrated that cost-effective, multimode, multiband antennas are technically achievable for global LTE handsets,” said Bill Huang, General Manager of China Mobile Research Institute. “We believe this demonstration will accelerate the development of universal handsets capable of roaming worldwide, as well as create the manufacturing volume to meet all operators’ requirements.”

“SkyCross is honored to collaborate with China Mobile on an initiative that is so important to the future of the wireless industry,” said Ben Naskar, SkyCross CEO and Chairman. “Multiband, state-tunable ST-iMAT MIMO antennas enable 4G wireless devices to support worldwide roaming without sacrificing performance or increasing antenna size.”

China Mobile is the largest mobile operator by number of subscribers in the world. SkyCross is a global developer and manufacturer of advanced antenna and RF solutions that are powering the emergence of 4G networks.

Monday, June 20, 2011

CommScope to acquire Argus Technologies

BANGALORE, INDIA: CommScope has signed an agreement to acquire Argus Technologies, a leading producer of innovative antenna solutions for wireless applications. The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2011.

Argus Technologies, headquartered in Bella Vista, New South Wales, Australia, provides a wide array of high performance, high technology antennas for base stations, stadiums and venues, and other wireless applications. The company has become a well-respected global competitor in the wireless network antenna market since its founding in 1994 by Dr. Bevan Jones, John Bonello and Danny Schwotzer.

The acquisition will enable CommScope to broaden its antenna solutions portfolio, deepen its research and development capabilities, strengthen its global market presence and accelerate its growth in the wireless market.

“We are very excited to work with the distinguished team from Argus and look forward to building upon their excellent technology, proven innovation and specialized solutions such as high capacity antennas for large venues,” said Paul Bell, senior vice president and general manager, Base Station Antennas and Microwave Products. “Argus will be a strong fit for us as we continue to support wireless operators globally in their evolution to new technologies and their drive to meet the ever-increasing bandwidth needs of consumers and businesses.”

The demand for bandwidth and growth in network traffic continues to drive wireless carriers, enterprises and broadband service providers to invest in communications infrastructure. Wireless subscriber growth in developing markets, the adoption of 3G and 4G services in more mature markets, and network coverage needs inside buildings, tunnels and other hard-to-reach locations are key growth catalysts for the wireless market. CommScope solutions span the entire radio frequency (RF) landscape, helping wireless carriers manage increasing cell site complexity and optimize network planning, capacity, coverage, and performance.

Argus’ top operating executives—John Bonello, managing director, and Bevan Jones, group technology director—are expected to continue in active roles with the business upon completion of the acquisition.

“We’re pleased to join CommScope, and look forward to pairing our antenna research and technology strengths with a company that already is a respected global leader in RF solutions for wireless network infrastructure,” said Bonello. “We believe that by combining our strong and complementary antenna technologies we can provide even better solutions as wireless customers evolve their networks around the globe.”

CommScope will fund the acquisition from cash on hand and funds available under its revolving credit facility.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

AVX expands robust, commercial-grade SMD tantalum capacitor series for long-life apps

GREENVILLE, USA: AVX Corp., a leading manufacturer of passive components and interconnect solutions, has expanded its TRM and TRJ ‘Professional’ Series of SMD tantalum capacitors.

Designed for high-end commercial applications requiring an extended product life, the TRM Series and TRJ Series provide ultra-stable parameters, resistance to harsh environments and excellent reliability.

The Professional TRM Series and TRJ Series tantalum capacitors feature low ESR values and reduce DCL (DC leakage current) by 25 percent. The robust design is capable of withstanding high thermo-mechanical stresses and operating in harsh environments. Once incorporated into devices, they boast high reliability levels, with failure rates of better than 0.5 percent/1,000 hours at 85ºC and full-rated voltage.

Tomas Zednicek, tantalum division, worldwide technical marketing manager at AVX, said: “High-end products need to be affordable, reliable and safe, whether they are destined for automotive, medical, aerospace, military or other products that are expected to be durable. Our Tantalum Division focused on extending product life, increasing reliability and providing performance enhancements in our Professional Series, while achieving the right balance between specification and cost. This extension of the TRJ Series and TRM Series high-end commercial tantalum capacitor range offers the right cost/performance proposition for this specific market sector and will be key to their success.”

Technical specifications for the TRJ Professional include: voltage range of 6.3V to 50V, with DCL leakage of 0.0075CV. TRJ Professional capacitors are twice as reliable as commercial grade tantalum capacitor products, with mean time between failures (MTBF) of 200,000 hours. They are designed and tested to withstand high current surges and are qualified to AECQ-200 automotive requirements.

The TRM Professional is a multianode type tantalum capacitor with a voltage range of 6.3V – 50V. Devices offer very low ESR and DCL leakage of 0.0075CV. Reliability is double that of the standard TPM multianode product range at 0.5 percent/1khrs and MTBF is 200,000 hours. The Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) is 0.10 percent for the TRM Professional against 0.25 percent for standard product. The TRM Professional multianode tantalum capacitors are qualified to AECQ-200.

Pricing for the TRM Series and TRJ Series is set at competitive levels with a lead time of 12 weeks.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

SEC 3000 + SEC 3100 gas-detection team has plug-in memory

MINNEAPOLIS, USA: A sophisticated new gas-detection team that couples a SEC 3000 sensor with a SEC 3100 transmitter to "see" even traces of toxic gas concentrations has been announced by Sensor Electronics of Minneapolis.

Engineered for semiconductor production areas where toxic gases like tungsten hexafluoride and dichlorosilane are an ever-present danger, this new sensor/transmitter team reacts instantly to dangerous gas levels.

The factory-tuned sensor works in tandem with its digital transmitter, which incorporates a plug-in memory stick.

Like an airliner's black box, the memory stick logs a permanent record of actual gas levels, remembering times, concentrations, trouble signals, service interruptions and the like.

The memory stick is easily pulled from the transmitter to download data to a computer for retrieval and analysis.

The SEC 3100 transmitter shows actual gas levels – in PPM or per cent LEL – on a digital screen. Brilliant color-coded LEDs – change from green to yellow to red as gas concentrations rise, reverse colors as they drop. At a setpoint, integral relays can trigger alarms, turn on supply/exhaust fans, shut down lines, or whatever. The transmitter even keeps a beady eye on itself: The LEDs turn blue to warn of troubles anywhere in the system, and then the digital display spells out what's wrong where.

To switch gas sensors the transmitter needs no setup time, no reprogramming, and no recalibration. With an optional IS barrier, sensors can be changed without cutting system power.

The sensor/transmitter pair shrug off temperature/humidity extremes (-40/160 degrees Fahrenheit, 0/99 per cent RH) and automatically compensate for wide temperature swings.

The cylindrical stainless-steel sensor measures 2 inches diameter, 3 inches deep. The explosion-proof transmitter is 5 inches high/wide/deep. Sensors can be coupled directly to transmitters, or be up to 1000 feet apart.

Friday, June 17, 2011

element14 doubles its inventory portfolio stocked in Asia Pacific to 130,000 to meet growing demand

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell), the industry’s first fusion of commerce and community supporting engineers and purchasing professionals worldwide, announced the expansion of its inventory portfolio to over 130,000 products, doubling its product range over the past year to give customers the broadest electronic and maintenance products selection stocked in the region to ensure fast delivery to destinations in Asia Pacific.

element14's regional inventory, which comprises of products from 3,500 leading suppliers, is also complemented by its global network of distribution centres, giving engineers access to a wide array of solutions to overcome any challenges they face.

Based on Gartner’s latest Semiconductor report, Asia Pacific’s semiconductor market revenue is forecasted to grow from $181 billion in 2010 to $278 billion by 2015. The rising trend in electronic equipment demand and spending in the region reveals that revenue in Asia Pacific is expected to grow from $719.4 billion in 2010 to $1139.3 billion in 2015.

These factors point towards an increased demand for a wide range of electronic production and component usage in the region. In addition, technology is constantly progressing and becoming more sophisticated as international and domestic designs converge in the Asia Pacific region to meet worldwide demands.

“As Asia Pacific emerges as the centre for electronics manufacturing, engineers face increasing challenges to create end products that are reliable, intuitive and technologically advanced,” said William Chong, regional director of Supplier, Product & Purchasing Management, element14, Asia Pacific. “At element14, we have bolstered our product selections and strengthened our partnerships with leading industry manufacturers to offer our customers unrivalled access to our extensive product range and services that support them from product conception to production.”

Stocked in its three regional distribution hubs in Singapore, Shanghai and Sydney, element14’s extensive inventory of 130,000 is positioned to support next day delivery to most cities in Asia Pacific for electronic components that range from connectors, passives, electromechanical, semiconductor to maintenance products.

Within its inventory portfolio for semiconductors, the building blocks for electronic designs, element14 offers a wide spectrum of innovative products and technologies in analog, logic and discrete solutions that are complemented with critical microcontrollers, embedded solutions and developmental kits. These components provide engineers and purchasing professionals with immediate solutions for evolving market demands.

element14 also stocks critical PCB components in connectors, passives and electromechanical, providing total solutions that support all design and production requirements. Besides offering the best in class PCB connectors from leading suppliers, element14 made new grounds by offering the most advanced lighting connectors, green and miniaturised interconnect solutions.

As the region shifts to more advanced electronic and equipment production, element14 is well-positioned to meet engineers’ dynamic requirements for passives, not just in general purpose capacitors, resistors and electro-magnetic components, but also in higher capacitance, robust high temperature and longer life capacitors, low ohmic, tight tolerance and high power resistors and inductors, all of which support the Bills of Materials for many manufacturers in the Approve Vendor List.

element14 has also expanded its electromechanical product offerings in the region, including critical components in circuit protection, thermal management, sensors and relays and switching solutions, and these components support key automation and control applications across multiple industries.

element14 constantly innovates to ensure that its products and services evolve with the growing needs of the design engineering industry in the Asia Pacific. Recent element14 initiatives include the element14 knode, acclaimed PCB Design software from Cadsoft EAGLE, and recent manufacturer partnerships with Pentalogix, Agilent Technologies and Johanson Dielectrics. These initiatives, which present their customers with a full suite of products and solutions, are proof of element14’s continuous commitment to its customers and their growing demands in the region.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Revenues from thin-film batteries to reach almost $900 million by 2016

GLEN ALLEN, USA: NanoMarkets has just issued its latest report on the thin-film battery market and in the report the firm predicts that the business will create almost $900 million in revenues in the year 2016.

The report, "Thin-Film Batteries: A New Market Opportunity Assessment - 2011," also projects that the value of products containing thin-film batteries will reach approximately $14 billion by 2016.

This report is part of NanoMarkets' ongoing coverage of novel energy storage solutions. In August, the company will publish an analysis of the printed battery market and an assessment of new materials developments for Li-ion batteries will follow in September.

Findings from the report
* The high energy densities of thin-film batteries combined with energy harvesting devices promise a power source for remote sensing devices that almost literally never needs to be recharged or replaced. As a result, NanoMarkets expect the sensor market to be the largest application for thin-film batteries, with consumption of thin-film batteries by this sector reaching around $400 million by 2016. Sensors for smart grids, military sensors and wireless sensor networks are seen as providing particular opportunity for thin-film battery manufacturers in the near future.

* Although thin-film batteries may prove too expensive for powering garden variety smartcards, NanoMarkets believes that there are significant niches in the smartcard market to support significant sales of thin-film batteries. For example, biometric ID cards are expected to have longer product lives than the average credit card and therefore need power sources that themselves are long-lived. As a result, consumption of thin-film batteries by the smartcard sector is expected to reach around $280 million by 2011.

* Thin-film battery manufacturers are looking for ways to increase their attractiveness to potential investors through expanded addressable markets or by creating value-added products. Thus, Planar Energy Devices sees itself competing against conventional lithium ion batteries in a broad range of applications while Cymbet and IPS see new opportunities from battery/energy harvesting products combos.

Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas takes thermal solutions to the Nextreme

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, a business region of Avnet Inc., has inked a distribution agreement with Nextreme Thermal Solutions, a manufacturer of micro-scale thermal and power management products. Nextreme’s energy harvesting products are available from Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas and online at

Nextreme uses breakthrough thin-film thermoelectric generators and coolers to produce both discrete and integrated, electronic cooling and power generation modules. Nextreme’s latest product, Thermobility, is a wireless power generator that uses differences in temperature to enable power anywhere there is an adequate heat source, eliminating the need to use traditional wire power sources or replaceable batteries.

When paired with wireless transmitters, the Thermobility solution can provide electric power for decades of maintenance-free operation for applications in industrial control, transportation, automotive and building management.

“Nextreme is excited to offer our thin-film thermoelectric product line through Avnet's world-class distribution network,” said Nextreme CEO John Goehrke. “We look forward to a strong partnership as we strive to offer ground-breaking thermal and power generation solutions to Avnet's extensive customer base.”

“We’ve seen a dramatic rise in demand for energy harvesting technology, both in the consumer and industrial end-markets,” said Alex Iuorio, senior vice president, supplier marketing, Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas. “With Nextreme’s technology, we see a great opportunity to address the growing thermal management and energy harvesting opportunities. In particular, Nextreme is a great fit as an alternative energy source for our wireless connectivity solutions.”

Diodes Inc.'s 40V gate driver reduces IGBT switching losses

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, announced the ZXGD3006E6 gate driver. Designed specifically for switching high power IGBTs, this gate driver helps to increase power conversion efficiency in solar inverter, motor drive and power supply applications.

The ZXGD3006E6 typically provides a drive current of 4A for an input current of 1mA, making it a perfect high-gain buffer stage between the high-output impedance of a controller and the low-input impedance of the IGBT. With an emitter-follower configuration, this gate driver is inherently resistant to latch-up and shoot-through issues and delivers propagation delay times of less than 10ns.

The ZXGD3006E6’s wide 40V operating range allows full enhancement of the switching device to minimize on-state losses and permits +20V to -18V gate driving to prevent dV/dt induced false triggering of IGBTs.

To enable circuit designers to better define switching characteristics for particular applications, the gate driver offers separate source and sink outputs, allowing independent control of rise and fall times. Combined with 10A peak current handling, this allows for controlled charge and discharge of large gate capacitive loads, which reduces the risk of EMI issues and cross conduction at higher operating frequencies.

Delivering higher pulse currents than competing devices, this rugged SOT26 packaged gate driver ensures heat dissipation is reduced, resulting in an increase in product reliability. Device pin-out has also been optimized enabling a simplification of PCB layouts and a reduction in parasitic trace inductances.