Saturday, July 30, 2011

IPC releases PCB industry results for June 2011

BANNOCKBURN, USA: Association Connecting Electronics Industries announced the June 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 up 5.4 percent and bookings down 7.3 percent in June 2011 from June 2010. Year to date, rigid PCB shipments increased 4.4 percent and bookings declined 8.9 percent. Compared to the previous month, rigid PCB shipments increased 15.3 percent and rigid bookings increased 10.4 percent. The book-to-bill ratio for the North American rigid PCB industry in June 2011 was slightly below parity at 0.98.

Flexible circuit shipments in June 2011 were down 5.9 percent and bookings grew 30.8 percent compared to June 2010. Year to date, flexible circuit shipments increased 10.1 percent and bookings also increased 10.1 percent. Compared to the previous month, flexible circuit shipments increased 4.7 percent and flex bookings climbed by 21.9 percent. The North American flexible circuit book-to-bill ratio in June 2011 jumped to 1.13.

For rigid PCBs and flexible circuits combined, industry shipments in June 2011 increased 4.4 percent from June 2010, as orders booked decreased 4.2 percent from June 2010. Year to date, combined industry shipments were up 4.8 percent and bookings were down 7.3 percent. Compared to the previous month, combined industry shipments for June 2011 increased 14.4 percent and bookings increased 11.5 percent. The combined (rigid and flex) industry book-to-bill ratio in June 2011 reached parity at 1.00.

“The industry’s book-to-bill ratio has returned to parity due to unusually high growth in flexible circuit orders in June,” said IPC President & CEO Denny McGuirk. “This indicates strong sales in the flex segment over the next several months. Rigid PCB sales growth is still positive but trending downward due to weaker orders.”

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 June 2011, 78 percent of total PCB shipments reported were domestically produced. Domestic production accounted for 78 percent of rigid PCB and 79 percent of flexible circuit shipments in June 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 June, the flexible circuit manufacturers in IPC’s survey sample indicated that bare circuits accounted for about 48 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 and short-term volatility. 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.

The information in IPC’s monthly PCB industry statistics is based on data provided by a representative sample of both rigid and flexible PCB manufacturers in the USA and Canada. IPC publishes the PCB Book-to-Bill Ratio and the PCB Statistical Program Report each month. Statistics for the previous month are not available until the last week of the following month.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Diodes Inc.'s new low-dropout voltage regulator reduces component count and saves space

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, has announced a single-channel low-dropout fast-transient linear regulator with fixed output voltage of 5V and ±1 percent accuracy.

The new low-dropout regulator integrates the voltage divider to reduce board space and external component count, thus simplifying layout and reducing opportunity for premature board failure.

The AP7335A is primarily targeted at a wide array of home consumer and computing applications including TVs, set-top boxes and multifunction monitors, but is also suitable for battery-powered devices such as mobile media players, smart phones, portable gaming devices and tablets.

The device’s low-dropout voltage of 150mV at 300mA maximum output enables the use of a 5.5V supply for a fixed 5V output with a good safety margin, thereby reducing power loss under full load. A key feature of the AP7335A is its typical quiescent current consumption of only 35µA across the entire input range, which reduces power consumption and improves efficiency and battery life for portable applications.

In addition, the device’s enable function permits the use of a 300mA low-dropout regulator that can be turned off for further power savings.

Leading optical chip and module manufacturers announce new pluggable transceiver module multi-source

FREMONT, USA: Mitsubishi Electric Corp., OKI Semiconductor Co. Ltd, Opnext Inc., Renesas Electronics Corp. and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd, announced a transmitter optical sub-assembly (TOSA) and receiver optical sub-assembly (ROSA) Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) for 40 Gbps pluggable transceiver modules. This initiative was established to meet increased demand for pluggable 40 Gbps serial modules, similar to the CFP MSA.

In an upcoming MSA meeting, the member companies will specify the common mechanical dimensions, footprint, pin functions and performance of the optical transmitter and receiver devices. The TOSA/ROSA MSA specifies key features including a low-profile and compact fit for pluggable modules and simple electrical interfaces that provide cost effective solutions.

The transmission speed of 40 Gbps is the highest modulation speed, commercially-available, that uses the simple light on/off keying or serial transmission scheme. 300-pin MSA transceivers using 1550 nm light source devices are widely available for the 2 km application. Recently, 40 Gbps serial transmission over 10 km was demonstrated using 1310 nm light source devices.

In addition to ITU-T 40Gbps serial transmission standards: VSR2000-3R2 for 2 km and P1I1-3D1 for 10 km, the IEEE has recently defined a 40 Gbps serial interface for 2 km (40GBASE-FR). The demand for 40Gbps serial transmissions is growing in telecom, data and IP communication applications.

In today’s 300-pin MSA transceiver module market, XLMD MSA TOSAs and ROSAs are widely adopted. Following the release of the CFP MSA, 40 Gbps pluggable transceiver modules are now required to offer easy handling and maintenance. New low profile, compact TOSAs and ROSAs are essential components for future downsized pluggable transceiver modules.

“The TOSA/ROSA agreement will leverage the 40 Gbps market to achieve compact, low-power-consumption pluggable modules, which will provide advanced 40 Gbps serial solutions to high capacity network and storage systems,” said an MSA Committee spokesperson. In the future, the MSA will continue to define specifications that consider future advanced technologies, such as 1310 nm light source devices and direct modulation lasers.

The new TOSA/ROSA MSA defines both the laser transmitter devices and the PIN Photodiode - Trans-impedance amplifier (PIN-TIA) receiver devices that comply with 40 Gbps interface standards. The MSA targets transmission modules for more than 10 km applications.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Redpark ships serial cable and library for use with iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

EMERYVILLE, USA: Redpark Product Development has announced the Redpark Serial Cable that allows hobbyists and higher education customers to connect iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to serial devices. The Redpark Serial Cable is a one meter long RS-232 serial cable with male DB-9 connector. The Serial Cable is used in conjunction with a Redpark Serial Communications (RSC) library. Together these tools enable developers to write iOS apps that communicate with serial devices.

“We’ve been receiving strong interest in serial connectivity from the hobbyist and education communities," explained Redpark president Mike Ridenhour. “We’re pleased to be able to provide tools that will enable these developers to apply the iOS platform in valuable new ways.”

The Redpark Serial Cable - part number C2-DB9 - is compatible with iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (4th generation).

The Redpark Serial Cable has an MSRP of $59 and is available today.

Mouser secures Honeywell Sensing and Control’s global distribution agreement

DALLAS & FORT WORTH, USA: Mouser Electronics Inc., regarded as a top design engineering resource and global distributor for semiconductors and electronic components, has signed a new global contract with Honeywell Sensing and Control. Honeywell Sensing and Control is an industry leader in electronic sensing and electromechanical switching products.

The new global agreement builds upon the two companies’ current distribution partnership, which has been in place since 2007. Across the globe, design engineers and buyers will continue to have a trusted source for the latest electronic sensing and control solutions. From airflow to torque, snap action to toggle, Honeywell stands steadfast in producing quality products engineered to tackle the toughest design challenges.

“Honeywell has brought numerous, innovative product lines to the electromechanical sector of the engineering design marketplace,” explains Keith Privett, Mouser Vice President of Electromechanical, Power & Test. “The company is very forward-thinking when it comes to innovation. We are pleased to further seal our distribution agreement well into the future, delivering Honeywell’s high quality products to today’s engineers worldwide.”

“Mouser is an important partner for us as they have years of experience in the distribution of electronic components in support of new design,” says Sean Conley, Honeywell Sensing and Control Director of Global Distribution Sales.

“They actively increased Honeywell’s presence throughout the Americas in their catalog and on their website. That, in conjunction with their marketing programs, has led to a significant sales increase in Honeywell’s catalog channel. Through its market presence and focus on supplying a vast line card of design solutions, Mouser is a proven partner for us in our global target markets. We look forward to continued success with the design-fulfillment distributor.”

With its broad product line and unsurpassed customer service, Mouser caters to design engineers and buyers by delivering What’s Next in advanced technologies. Mouser offers customers 17 global support locations and the latest, most technologically advanced components for their newest design projects.

Mouser Electronics’ website is updated daily and searches more than 8 million products to locate over 2 million orderable part numbers available for easy online purchase. also houses an industry-first interactive catalog, data sheets, supplier-specific reference designs, application notes, technical design information, and engineering tools.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mouser reports record global sales in Q2

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc., regarded as a top design engineering resource and global distributor for semiconductors and electronic components, announces a 24 percent increase in global Q2 sales. The design-fulfillment distributor, known for its broad inventory of the newest components, is continuing to expand worldwide to provide design engineers with the highest level of personalized service and technical support.

“Sales continue to be exceptionally strong globally in 2011,” explains Glenn Smith, Mouser Electronics’ president and CEO. “After growing 70 percent last year, we were prepared for a slower 2011. But, the Q2 global sales growth of 24 percent made it another record quarter. This puts Mouser at a 27 percent sales increase in the first half of 2011. We’re excited about what we’re seeing again this year. With the continuing advancement of technology, the demand for semiconductors and electronic components remains very high. Our strategic plans and our commitment to customer service excellence continue to pay off with increased sales.”

In Asia, China and the Americas, Mouser continues to grow at nearly 20 percent, with the strongest growth in Europe where Mouser’s 2011 sales are up 71 percent. Mouser posted gains of well over that 71 percent in Germany, France, Sweden, and Spain; followed by gains of over 65 percent in the UK, Italy and the Netherlands.

Mouser is continuing its expansion in Europe with the addition of customer service / technical support branches. In Q3 Mouser will open new branches in Stockholm and Eindhoven. This follows the Q1 and Q2 openings of Mouser branches in France, Spain and the Czech Republic.

Besides expanding its 17 global customer support branches, Mouser has also put considerable efforts into expanding the availability of the newest and most advanced products for design engineers, easily available via multiple on-line channels:, MouserMobile, Advanced Digital Catalog, Mobile-Compatible Catalog, PDF Catalog, or print catalog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

element14 first to stock FCI terminal blocks in Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell), the industry’s first fusion of commerce and community supporting engineers and purchasing professionals worldwide, today announced the expansion of its 130,000 strong inventory to include terminal blocks from FCI, one of the world’s largest connector manufacturers.

element14 is the first in Asia Pacific to stock the new range of FCI high performance signal and power terminal blocks, as both companies continue to strengthen their relationship and commitment to provide the most relevant and effective connector solutions to the engineering community in Asia Pacific.

As consumer and industrial requirements drive the demand for more intuitive and compact end products even further, engineers must adapt to increasingly complex designs as well as multiple integrated subsystems. Innovative connector solutions provide crucial links between the diverse subsystems and allow engineers to create an integrated and logical structure within the equipment or device.

Terminal blocks are staple components in every circuit as they provide convenient and effective solutions to link the multitude of wiring enclosed within. FCI connector solutions utilise cutting edge rising-cage clamp technology allowing engineers to establish perfect connection which are long-life and reliable even after repeated usage.

The FCI terminal block series are available in various configurations and sizes. The modular system of these components include from 2 to 24 positions in various pitch-sizes ranging from 3.50mm to 7.62mm and wire sizes, for signal and power solutions. The robust designs of these terminal blocks ensure durability of up to 200 cycles, which significantly improve the lifespan of end products and minimise the need for repair and replacement.

The versatile nature of these components also allows for greater flexibility to operate optimally even in a wide spectrum of demanding applications in industrial, instrumentation, and communication environments.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Luminous flux key to LED light bulbs' replacement of 40W incandescent light bulbs

TAIWAN: Currently descriptions of many LED light bulbs on the market indicate that they are able to replace the 40W incandescent light bulbs, but are they really able to replace incandescent light bulbs in terms of luminous flux? Based on the comparative survey of LEDinside, luminous flux is a key factor.

The luminous efficacy of traditional light sources like incandescent bulbs is approximately 11-12 l/W. In other words, to truly replace a 40W incandescent light bulb, the luminous flux ought to reach at least 450lm.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

According to the comparative survey conducted by LEDinside, some vendors’ LED light bulbs indeed reach 450lm, but some vendors’ regrettably do not. For European and American lighting manufacturers like Philips and GE, Philips’ 8W Master LEDbulb and GE’s 8W Model No. 62180 LED bulb met this requirement with luminous flux of 470 lm and 450 lm, respectively.

For Japanese manufacturers, known for their diligence and meticulous work, both Toshiba’s 7.2W LDA7L and Sharp’s 7.8W DL-LA42L met the 485 lm standard, complying with Japan Electric Lamp Manufacturers Association’s guideline specifications.

For LG, its 7.5W LED bulb (model no. LB08D830L0A) also met this lm standard. However, the shocker was Samsung. Its 4.4W product only had a luminosity of 270 lm and 320 lm for warm white and cool white, respectively. Such discrepancy was unexpected.

Furthermore, other manufacturers like EcoSmart, LEDON, and Feit Electric have also introduced LED bulbs to replace 40W incandescent bulbs, including EcoSmart’s 8.6W LED bulb (model: ECS 19 WW 120), LEDON’s 6W products, and Feit Electric’s 6.5W LED bulb (A19/HP/LED). However, the survey showed that the luminous flux of these products did not hit the 450 lm mark, either.

Finally, Osram is in an interesting position, as its cold white LED light bulb reached 450lm while its warm white only had 345lm.

In light of the vast standard deviation among different manufacturer’s products, LEDinside points out that the choice of LED light bulbs for the sake of energy saving should base on not only whether it is an adequate replacement for 40W incandescent light bulb but also its luminous flux.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Novaled AG opens its second Asian office in Korea

DRESDEN, GERMANY: Effective from July, 2011, Novaled sets up a Representative Office in Seoul, Korea. With this opening, the company confirms its commitment to the OLED industry in Asia. Novaled’s new Korean office will reinforce the service and support in the center of AMOLED display industry.

The Novaled Korea Branch office is accommodating a technology support service, aimed at providing in-depth and fast technical assistance, specializing in OLED stack optimization. Dr. Andreas Haldi, Novaled Korea Customer Support Manager, will carry out this service and will be the onsite link between Korean customers and the Novaled headquarters. The Korean Novaled office is the second office the company is opening in Asia after the Japan office was created in 2008.

“Korea is very important for the OLED display industry and plays the leading role in these fast emerging markets”, says Gerd Guenther, CMO of Novaled AG. ”We are proud to participate in this growth by providing our technology, know-how and materials. A local office is the best way for us to be at our customer’s disposal when they ramp up production.”

After a continuous increase of its revenues during the last years the company is expecting a further strong revenue growth in 2011.

Power modules for fast switching motor drive applications

UK: Most of the current high power semiconductors are optimized for switching frequencies between 4 and 8 kHz. Today, however, more and more applications require frequencies of 10 kHz and higher. New power modules can now fill that gap.

According to current surveys, about 40 percent of the power consumption of motor driven systems in the European Union comes from fans and pumps. Most of these systems are outdated and not electronically controlled. A state-of-the-art system with a high frequency inverter can be up to 30 percent more efficient. While most of these systems are running day and night, the energy and cost saving potential is enormous. In times of increasing energy costs and the growing importance of environmentally conscious behaviour, energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important.

Reasons for higher switching frequencies
Fans and pumps are often seen in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration applications, which are usually, installed in audible noise sensitive environments. Electromechanical effects from switching high power can cause audible noise. For that reason, a common feature in all these application areas is a switching frequency of >16 kHz, above the audible range.

Further application areas include motor drives with highly accurate torque control, e.g. when used for surface processing, or drives for ultra high dynamic operations. Other reasons for higher switching frequencies are the possibility to use smaller passive components, such as capacitors and coils. This leads to smaller packaging sizes and lower system costs.

Power semiconductors for higher switching frequencies
For a powerful, reliable and cost effective motor drive, the right choice of power semiconductors is very important. Most of the current high power motor inverters use IGBTs (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) for the power switching.

IGBTs currently available in the market are optimized for different application areas. In most cases the optimization is a trade-off between static and dynamic losses, two very important parameters of an IGBT. The static losses are the losses while the IGBT is switched on, given by the Collector-Emitter-Voltage VCEsat. The dynamic losses are the losses during the switch-on and switch-off of the IGBT.

A special disadvantage of the IGBT is their current tail during switch-off. The reason for this is that during turn-off, the electron flow can be stopped rather abruptly by reducing the gate-emitter voltage below the threshold voltage. However, holes are left in the drift region, and there is no way to remove them except via a voltage gradient and recombination. The IGBT exhibits a tail current during turn-off until all the holes are swept out or recombined. A short current tail is therefore a very important feature of an IGBT with low dynamic losses.

Compared with 600V, there are only a few 1200V-rated IGBTs available for higher power applications, running with switching frequencies of more than 10 kHz. The most common components are built in Trench Field Stop technology and are optimized for switching frequencies below 8 kHz. The reason is that the main application field for IGBTs are industrial drives. And most of these applications currently work at switching frequencies between 4 and 8 kHz.

The standard Trench Field Stop IGBTs is optimized for VCEsat and therefore lower switching frequencies and exhibits due to the Trench technology a rather high gate capacity. The gate capacity is up to three times higher compared with devices using planar structures.

Another technology group, optimized for fast switching applications, are the Fast Non Punched (Fast-NPT) Trough IGBTs. They are typically used in applications with switching frequencies from 30 up to a few hundred kHz, e.g. in power supplies or welding equipment. The disadvantages of Fast-NPT are the very high static losses and missing of short circuit capabilities. This makes this technology unusable for motor drive applications.

A real alternative might be the Planar Field Stop technology. It promises low static losses, with much lower gate capacity and faster switching capabilities.

New Emerson Network Power DCH5 series external wall mount adapters feature USB outputs

CARLSBAD, USA: A new range of 5 watt USB wall mount ac-dc adapters, the DCH5 series, is being launched today by Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity.

The adapters are based on an elegant all-in-one design, which eliminates the need for dedicated power cable attachments and connectors. Instead, one side of the adapter plugs into the ac supply socket, and the dc output is made available via a standard USB Type A receptacle on the opposite side.

All Emerson Network Power DCH5 series adapters have a universal 100 to 240 Vac input, enabling them to be used worldwide, and generate a regulated 5 Vdc output capable of delivering up to 1 A continuously. The adapters operate in constant voltage/constant current mode, and are intended for powering any USB peripheral device rated at 5 W or less requiring an external power source.

Typical applications include small networking equipment, and powering or charging devices such as smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, portable gaming devices and e-book readers.

Emerson Network Power offers a choice of four DCH5 models, featuring different ac input plugs for use in the United States, Europe, United Kingdom and Australia. Each model is extremely compact and weighs just 2.3 oz (66 g), making it suitable for inclusion in users’ overseas travel bags. Its slim form factor also means that multiple DCH5 adapters can be plugged into dual wall outlets.

All four models employ the latest switch-mode power conversion technology and meet Level V of the Energy Star international efficiency standard for consumer devices.

The Emerson Network Power DCH5 series also complies with the Tier 2 Energy-related Products (ErP) requirements of Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC, which sets stringent standards for efficiency and standby energy consumption. The adapters have no minimum load requirement and a very low no-load power consumption of less than Emerson Network Power DCH5 series power adapters have an extremely low safety ground leakage current of 20 microamps maximum.

Comprehensive protection against fault conditions includes latching overvoltage, output short-circuit with auto recover, and overload protection to less than 1.5 A. DCH5 series adapters accommodate an ambient operating temperature range of zero to 40 degrees Celsius.

The DCH5 series adapters feature a built-in CISPR 22 Class B EMI filter and meet the EN55022 Class B and FCC Part 15 Level B EMC standards for conducted noise, as well as the EN55082-1 standard for electromagnetic susceptibility. They carry a comprehensive set of international safety approvals, including cUL/UL//TUV/NEMKO/NSW 60950-1 and CE Mark (LVD, EMC & ErP 2011).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Renesas Electronics announces LED driver IC design support tool to simplify design of LED lamp control circuits

TOKYO, JAPAN: Renesas Electronics Corp., a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced the availability of the R2A20134EVB design support tool for the R2A20134.

It comes mounted with the R2A20134, a high-efficiency LED driver IC for applications such as LED lamps, and is intended to simplify the design of complex LED control circuits. Six product versions are available to match a variety of circuit configurations used by customers.

Renesas Electronics plans to increase production of the R2A20134 LED driver IC to 10 million units per month in 2014, backed by the system design support provided by the new R2A20134EVB design support tool.

The use of LED lighting is becoming more widespread due to increasing awareness of the need to conserve electricity and preserve the environment by, for example, improving power efficiency and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide.

The market for LED lighting is expected to grow substantially moving forward, with the replacement of incandescent light bulbs playing a central role. With this market in mind Renesas Electronics launched development work on LED driver IC devices that are designed to be incorporated into LED lamps and perform functions such as on-off switching and dimming of the LEDs.

The R2A20134, which was announced in December 2010 and entered mass production in March 2011, achieves improved conversion efficiency when commercial AC power is converted to DC and used to drive the LEDs while also helping reduce the overall system cost.

The new R2A20134EVB design support tool for the R2A20134 simplifies the design of complex LED drive IC control circuits, enabling customers to realize highly efficient control circuits that extract the full potential of the R2A20134.

Energy and cost savings from LED-backlit LCD TVs not communicated to consumers

SANTA CLARA, USA: According to an analysis in the DisplaySearch Q2’11 Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, brands are missing an opportunity to market LED-backlit LCD TVs based on cost savings. Analysis of electricity and TV prices together with power consumption data reveals modest payback times for low-energy TVs. There is a strong case for consumers to choose LED-backlit sets when replacing their TV, given the energy savings advantages.

DisplaySearch investigated whether the cost savings from lower energy consumption outweigh the increased purchase price of LED-backlit LCD TVs. In comparing CCFL and LED-backlit 40” LCD TVs, basic configurations and Energy Star certified, LED-backlit sets were found to have lower life-cycle costs, under reasonable lifetime assumptions, even in the US. The payback time for an entry-level LED-backlit TV is under four years in California, and under two years in Europe.

Paul Gray, DisplaySearch Director of TV Electronics Research, noted: “The benefits are clear, and it is surprising that TV set makers do not market this advantage. Consumers are attuned to fuel consumption in cars, and our Global TV Replacement Study showed they are equally mindful of electricity usage when choosing a TV. When compared to 3D, the survey revealed far heavier consideration for energy consumption than 3D.”

In the DisplaySearch Global TV Replacement Study, research was carried out on over 1,000 people per country. In most countries, lower power emerged as a stronger purchase motivator than LED backlights, but the connection between the two is not being made. Set makers seem to be failing to establish the connection or make the case for power, and thus cost savings, in their LED-backlit products.

Diodes Inc. hosts ground breaking ceremony for new manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China

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 that it hosted a ground breaking ceremony for Diodes Technology (Chengdu) Co. Ltd at the company’s new production site at Chengdu Hi–Tech Industrial Development Zone (CDHT) on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.

Established in December 2010, as a joint venture between Diodes Incorporated and Chengdu Ya Guang Electronic Co. Ltd (5 percent ownership), Diodes Technology (Chengdu) Co. Ltd was formed to perform semiconductor manufacturing assembly and test functions and is an expansion of the Company’s manufacturing presence in China.

Dr. Keh-Shew Lu, president and CEO of Diodes Inc. led the ceremony. Also attending the ground breaking ceremony were local, city and CDHT officials, media guests, the company’s business partners and members of the senior management.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New dual Pch MOSFETs from Toshiba combine two transistors in one package

IRVINE, USA: Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC) has announced the addition of the SSM6P47NU and SSM6P49NU to its lineup of small signal MOSFETs. Ideal for charging circuits for mobile devices, these dual Pch MOSFETs feature the lowest on-resistance in the industry when compared to equivalent packages.

From mobile phones and game consoles to digital cameras, power consumption and physical size are key considerations in the design of mobile devices. Toshiba's SSM6P47NU and SSM6P49NU address these issues by combining two independent transistors into one package.

A 1.8V drive, combined with a 4A drain current and extremely low on-resistance allow the SSM6P47NU and SSM6P49NU to run at a high rate of efficiency, which enables batteries to be fully charged in less time. Available in a UDFN6 package (2.0 x 2.0mm), these dual MOSFETs are a suitable size for charging circuits and are capable of acting as a switch to control which loads are connected or disconnected from the circuit.

Digi-Key adds PUI Audio’s programmable indicator to line card

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Digi-Key Corp. announced the addition of PUI Audio’s Programmable Indicator to its expansive product line.

The Programmable Indicator allows users to program up to 30 seconds of any WAV or MP3 file via USB from a computer. With a wide frequency range of 100 Hz to 6,000 Hz, the device can play a variety of tones, alarm signals, or voice and music messages. Once programmed, the indicator will play the file repetitively until power is turned off. The file is stored on internal flash memory that can be reprogrammed as often as desired and will not erase until another file is programmed over it. With an operating voltage range of 7 to 24 VDC, there is no need for complex circuitry to produce the exact tone users need.

PUI Audio’s Programmable Indicator, and more of the company’s audio innovations are available for purchase now on Digi-Key’s global websites.

As the leading integrated Internet-based distributor, information about and inventory of millions of products is accessible to customers around the globe, with all products shipped from Digi-Key’s single, North American location. The company’s integrated business model provides product and support information online to help put engineers and procurement professionals in control as they solve tough product development challenges.

Luminus CBM-380 big chip LED powered fixtures deliver performance, reliability and reduced maintenance

BILLERICA, USA: Luminus Devices Inc. announced that the Philips Vari-Lite VLX Wash luminaires, powered by Luminus’ CBM-380 color mix Big Chip LEDTM, are at the heart of the replacement lighting rig recently installed at the iconic Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

Not only did the new rig need to replace the flood damaged rig, it also had to be flexible enough to light a wide variety of stage performances and TV broadcasts yet mobile enough to make the Opry’s seasonal move for their Winter Series performances.

“When we started conceptualizing what fixtures would be in the rig, I remembered a demo done by Thommy Hall with the VLX Wash at Bandit Lites, and how I was instantly impressed with its color and color-mixing,” said Tyler Bryan, lighting director, at the Opry. “Chris Barbee suggested that we use the VLX as our primary wash and with the reduced maintenance issues of using a solid-state LED light source, they were a no-brainer. I love their ability to have color with punch from an LED source that also has a fantastic white for TV. Maintenance needs are minimal, which is a huge selling point for us.”

Lighting designers prefer the VLX Wash for a variety of reasons: the deep and rich colors that come from the LED source which are unmatched by any other LED wash available today, the fact they are more powerful, the special effects that can now be achieved, the drastically reduced maintenance, the increased efficiency and the reliability. The artistic freedom a VLX Wash enables, earned Kevin Adams a Tony Award in Lighting Design for the Broadway production American Idiot.

He credits the VLX fixtures for being “bright,” and for reacting quickly and making “saturated light look great.” The most exciting aspect of the VLX, besides the true LED white, is that it can strobe between multiple colors faster than the eye can perceive. I literally structured the opening of American Idiot around them and I can't imagine this design without them.”

The VLX Wash’s minimal maintenance needs continue to surprise rig maintenance personnel. “Our lighting rig is working roughly 40 hours per week, 160 hours per month, or 1920 hours per year. With a normal wash fixture in a typical Broadway rig, you have to swap out a fixture once or twice a month for various issues, but it took us nine months to touch our first VLX Wash, because there is no bulb in it and the amount of heat generated is significantly less than other moving lights,” said Eric Abbott, head electrician of American Idiot.

“Since the vital parts of the VLX are protected inside as a self-contained unit, and with minimal fans that may bring in dust or debris, we spend significantly less time per light than with any other fixture in the rig. I would estimate that by using the VLX Wash as our primary wash fixture we are saving at least 5-6 hours per week in crew time which brings down our overall production costs. From a production costs standpoint it would seem that the more VLX Wash you have in your rig, the larger the savings due to the elimination of bulb costs and the reduction in crew work costs. Plus you can definitely count on the VLX Wash to look the same on the very last performance as they did on the day you opened.”

Luminus’ CBM-380 chip that is the solid-state light engine of the VARI*LITE VLX Wash luminaire is also used in several other Philips fixtures: the VARI*LITE VLX3 Wash, as well as the Selecon PL1 and PL3. The benefit of all these fixtures is their color quality that can do the aesthetic work of traditional fixtures efficiently enough to require less maintenance while continually delivering more reliability and brightness.

“When we began this program with Vari-Lite, our goal was to deliver a new kind of LED stage light, one that not only offered the obvious advantages of LED: efficiency, reliability, intense saturated color and blindingly fast color changes; but a fixture that also produced intense high quality white light, freedom from color shadows and a traditional moving head form factor previously available only from lamp based fixtures,” says Don McDaniel, director of Global Entertainment for Luminus.

“It's gratifying to see the VLX receive the awards and accolades specifically validating our success in every one of these objectives. We're very proud of this fixture and our role in making it a reality and we're looking forward to seeing Philips Vari-Lite take these unique attributes to new users with products like the Selecon PL3 and the new VLX3 Wash.”

Avago intros industry’s highest-resolution Hall-effect magnetic encoder for industrial apps

MotorTech Japan 2011, SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, announced the market’s highest-resolution Hall-effect magnetic encoder. The new AEAT-6600-T16 encoder provides advanced positioning information with the robust performance required for the harsh operational environment of industrial applications such as contactless rotary position sensing, robotics, motor feedback and valve control, as well as for medical applications.

The Avago AEAT-6600-T16 magnetic encoder offers up to 16-bit resolution for precise angle measurement over a full rotation of 360 degrees. The use of magnetic technology for motion control and sensing activities enables non-contact operation free from mechanical wear and tear. The encoder is a system-on-chip combining integrated Hall elements, analog front end and digital signal processing in a single device.

Along with this high level of integration, the encoder features built-in programmability to allow customized encoder settings, providing significant savings for customers’ encoder inventory. Avago is exhibiting the AEAT-6600-T16 encoder, along with its portfolio of isolation and motion control solutions for motor applications, at the MotorTech Japan 2011 trade show in East Hall 1 booth number 1D-103 from July 20-22.

“The Avago AEAT-6600-T16 encoder delivers leading precision for motion control systems with highly durable magnetic technology in a small form factor, building on our industry leadership in high-resolution magnetic reflective encoders,” said Hassan Hussain, general manager of the Motion Control Products Division at Avago. “The device expands the reach of our complete optical and magnetic encoder portfolio, addressing applications operating in severe industrial conditions.”

The AEAT-6600-T16 device offers simple one-step alignment with no calibration required, avoiding handling-related issues during setup and reducing assembly time and costs. The encoder delivers accurate performance over a large axial gap and radial displacement, reducing concerns related to assembly tolerance errors during the manufacturing process. The device offers serial output, reducing the number of wires required. The encoder is available in a small 16-pin TSSOP package and features low supply voltage, making it ideal for portable, battery-operated applications.

Molex integrated interconnect solutions deliver innovation, quality and reliability for defense contractors

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. serves defense contractors and military suppliers with a broad portfolio of proven high performance interconnect technologies including custom fiber optics, flex circuit assemblies, RF/antennas, high-speed cable assemblies and connector solutions for aerospace, defense and marine applications.

“Molex directs tremendous resources to the global support of our military customers and armed forces,” states Benjamin Jeffrey, Group Manager Industry Marketing, Defense and Aerospace Systems, Molex. “Migrating proven commercial technologies into military applications helps defense contractors strategically control costs, while ensuring superior performance and reliability on the frontline in mission computers, flight control systems, electronic warfare and other critical deployments.”

Military applications require components that can withstand harsh conditions; components may be subject to water, extreme temperatures, wind, sand, and vibration or impact. From avionics to marine applications and radar systems, Molex offers a full range of advanced copper and fiber optic solutions that are rugged and reliable in the most demanding environments. Solution highlights include:

Ultra-reliable Copper Flex Assemblies feature a flexible printed circuit system and high-speed flex assemblies supporting signal speeds over 10 Gbps. These temperature-resistant assemblies offer tight electrical properties to mitigate impedance, loss and cross talk. Copper Flex can be bent to fit a much smaller device enclosure. Copper Flex military applications include night vision goggles, wireless antennas, missile detonators, ordinance and tactical systems, cockpit video recorders, infrared sighting systems, ruggedized computers, radar systems, and GPS-guided missiles.

Molex fiber optic connectors and adapters, assemblies, backplanes, and optical circuitry include the industry’s only metal-housing LC2+ Optical Connector to support enhanced performance aerospace-grade optical cabling. The next-generation solution to the highly popular LC connector interface, LC2+ Optical Connectors meet all FOCIS 10 (Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standard) specifications. LC2+ military applications include avionics, satellites, remote antennas, signal processors, sensors, and space systems.

Cost-effective Optical Connector Cable Assemblies provide short lead-time solutions. Rugged and flexible circuitry, backplane systems and standard connectors (FC, LC, MT, MTP, SC and ST) feature customized terminations for discrete fiber and ribbon cable. Military applications for Optical Cable Assemblies include avionics, flight-control equipment, mobile tactical field command platforms, EMI sensitive equipment, security, and battlefield networking.

The high-speed HBMT MT High Density Backplane Interconnect System provides signal integrity, with reduced impedance and cross-talk for military data-communication and telecom. Leading-edge fiber optic assemblies offer security, bandwidth, and weight savings for lighter and faster aircraft, ground and water-based vehicles. Fiber optic interconnects and cable assemblies resist RF and EMI, making them ideal for sensitive applications such as radar, video surveillance, target identification and night vision.

“Military electronics no longer focus exclusively on ruggedized construction—to the exclusion of performance and cost considerations. Molex advanced electronic solutions deliver the total package,” adds Jeffrey. “For specialized military applications, our engineering teams build prototype solutions from the ground-up. Designing integrated assemblies, rather than single components, shortens the design cycle and substantially lowers overall cost.”

TV backlight suffered over 10 percent drop in 2Q11; downturn expected to continue in 3Q11

TAIWAN: According to the latest price survey by LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce, due to weak LED demand in 2Q11, the prices of TV backlight (5630) and high-power LED continue to drop. As for the outlook in 3Q11, the downturn of TV backlight (5630) will most likely continue. In addition, because of the drastic plummet in 1H11, the prices of high-power LED see a mild drop in the near term.

Review of LED price in 2Q11
The LED price drops of different large-size panels have varied: the LED price of TV backlight applications (5630) plunged 10-15 percent, while the LED price of NB/MNT applications merely dropped 3-5 percent due to its mature technology and the fact that the price has hit the bottom over the past two years.

On the other hand, the weak demand has damped the overall mobile phone sales, which in turn result in a considerable setback in LED demand and an 8-10 percent price decline. As for the high-power LED of lighting applications, affected by the inventory adjustment, the price suffered a 10-15 percent decrease.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Increasing players in TV backlight sector intensify price competition
On account of the horrid sales of LCD TV in 2Q11, the price cutting strategy and no signs of demand rebound, the price of 5630 dropped by 10-15 percent in 2Q11.

As for 3Q11, because of low demand for TV backlight demand and industry-wide the price cutting strategy, the price of 5630 is expected to plummet over 10 percent.

LED price of NB and tablet apps relatively stable
Because the specifications of LED backlight products have become more and more mature in the NB, monitor, mobile device applications. However, since 3014 LED could be adopted in the lighting applications, the price drop in 2Q11 was limited despite the weak demand in NB market.

As for tablet backlight applications, the mainstream specification is low-voltage LED (0.8t LV). Because of the limited players in the sector, the price remained relatively stable.

Due to brightness enhancement and inventory adjustment, lighting app price continued downtrend in 2Q11
In addition, LED lighting market demand is mainly underpinned by a few orders from commercial lighting and interior lighting sector, lack of subsidy policy causes a considerable decline in high-power LED price. Moreover, due to factors such as the increasing LED brightness by American and European major makers and the high inventory level, most of the manufacturers are forced to adopt the low-price strategy to propel sales.

According LEDinside, the price of high-power LED in 2Q11 continued the downtrend and dropped by 15%~20%; LED makers offered their major clients with even lower prices. As for the outlook in 3Q11, the pressure of lowering the price remains unchanged. Due to the steep price drop in 1H11, the high-power LED price is expected to see a mild drop in 2H11.

Perspectives from LEDinside
In light of that the LED backlight shipment in 1H11 fell short of expectation, products such as 5630 and 3014, which were originally adopted in backlight applications, are now adopted in lighting applications. In addition, many light product makers have replaced high-power LED with mid and low-power LED in order to reduce cost. With the weak demand in the backlight market, LED makers are expected to shift their focus to LED lighting application sector.

Based on LEDinside’s observation, currently the demands are mainly from Chinese and Japanese lighting markets. The LED demand in Japan has grown considerably due to the energy-saving policy after the earthquake: the penetration rate of LED light bulb has exceeded 30 percent in 2Q11. Besides, it is needed to observe the market demand in 3Q11 after the end of energy-saving policy.

With 2012 Olympics in the UK and the ban of incandescent light bulbs, it is estimated that the demand of LED module and LED lighting fixture might increase in the European market.

CUI intros first product based on patented Solus power topology

TUALATIN, USA: CUI Inc, a subsidiary of CUI Global Inc., has introduced the CUI NQB Series intermediate bus converter, the first product based on its patented Solus Power Topology.

Compared to other products currently on the market, CUI’s Solus Power Topology provides numerous advantages across a range of ac-dc and dc-dc power conversion platforms, including:
* Greater efficiency
* Higher power density
* Reduced cost per unit current
* Reduced EMI (electro-magnetic interference)
* Reduced output capacitor requirements
* Reduced switching loss
* Faster transient response (4X as fast)
* Fast turn-on (1 ms to fully turn-on full load).

“There is an increasing global demand for green energy solutions that are both power efficient and cost effective,” said William Clough, CUI Global’s president and CEO. “Moving forward, Solus Power Topology will set us apart in both efficiency and power density across a wide range of products. This new technology is opening doors for us across new markets worldwide.”

Select customers have already begun sampling CUI’s 720W NQB Series DC-DC converter. “Given the many advantages this new technology brings to our customer’s end product, we’re receiving increasingly strong demand for engineering samples,” noted Clough. “We will continue to provide samples until full production commences as planned in the first quarter of 2012.”

RS Components adds Harwin 2.54mm pitch sockets and headers for general-purpose board-to-board

SINGAPORE: RS Components (RS) the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products and the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), has added a comprehensive range of 2.54mm pitch sockets and headers in the Harwin M20 series to its interconnect offering.

The connectors, which have 0.64mm square pins and are designed for industrial, test and measurement and consumer electronics applications, can carry up to 3A per contact and use twin leaf, phosphor-bronze contacts to maintain a positive contact force throughout their service life. This ensures reliability and durability in both fit-and-forget applications and those where there is more frequent insertion and extraction of the connectors.

The M20 product family includes vertical and horizontal types in through-hole or surface mount styles. There are options for crimp contacts, gold plated contacts, and single or double-row pin configurations. The rated voltage is 250V AC/DC and insulation resistance is 1,000 MΩ.

Valerie Ramon, electro-mechanical and connectors category business manager at RS, commented, “The breadth of the Harwin range, coupled with the ease with which the most suitable option can be identified via the RS website, means that it has never been easier for engineers to find, design-in and buy proven, industry standard board and cable connectors.”

Wendy Bourne, technical support engineer at Harwin, added: “RS has a long established reputation for reliability and outstanding customer support, and their ongoing commitment to provide advanced online technical resources places them in a strong competitive position. The addition of Harwin’s M20 connectors to the RS portfolio is a significant step forward in bringing these products to market.”

austriamicrosystems announces 3rd generation of LED drivers for use in LCD edge- and direct-lit TVs

UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, AUSTRIA: austriamicrosystems announced two new LED driver ICs with optimized performance and features to perfectly meet the needs of the latest LCD TVs.

The new AS382x LED controller ICs are available as the 16-channel AS3820 and the 12-channel AS3821 to meet the needs of the most common architectures of both direct and edge-lit LED TVs. Both ICs feature ±0.2% channel-to-channel accuracy -- the highest accuracy available -- to guarantee the best possible light uniformity and picture quality. The ICs can be used for driving external power MOSFETs or, due to their unique base current error compensation, even drive less expensive low beta bipolar transistors.

Since low power consumption has increasingly become a key requirement in TVs, austriamicrosystems has designed the LED driver ICs using a unique power supply control technique that enables the best system efficiency. This technique has been further improved and requires fewer external components, provides very fast response time, and direct control of the output voltage of any standard DC-DC converter. This direct control feature is especially useful for designing the latest 3D TVs.

Markus Luidolt, senior marketing manager for TV Backlighting at austriamicrosystems, stated: “Our deep knowledge in systems support is one of the key advantages that enable very fast design-in cycles. This product has already been designed in by one of the largest suppliers of LCD TVs and is already ramping in high volumes today.”

The devices are programmable via an SPI port and provide built-in safety features, including thermal shutdown and open and short LED detection.

The AS3820 and AS3821 LED driver ICs are available now in 0.5 mm pitch QFN and 0.8 mm pitch LQFP packages, with pricing starting at $1.80 in 1000s.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fairchild's class-G headphone and class-D speaker amplifiers help audio designers balance audio power vs. battery life

SAN JOSE, USA: Designers of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets/multimedia internet devices (MID), and portable media players, are faced with the challenge of making the small speakers in their devices sound louder and better, while minimizing impact on battery life.

To meet this challenge, Fairchild Semiconductor, a leading global supplier of high performance power and mobile products, developed the FAB1200 stereo Class-G ground-referenced headphone amplifier with integrated buck converter, as well as the FAB2200 audio subsystem with stereo Class-G headphone amplifier and 1.2W Class-D mono speaker amplifier.

The FAB1200 features a charge pump which generates a negative supply voltage that allows the headphone output to be ground-centered and capacitor-free, eliminating up to two external capacitors. An integrated inductive buck regulator provides direct battery connection and adjusts the supply voltage between two different levels based on the output signal level resulting in reduced power consumption. The result of these features is reduced systems cost and extended battery runtime, while maintaining a high level of audio quality.

The device, available in a 16-bump, 0.4mm pitch, 1.56mm x 1.56mm WLCSP package, offers excellent audio performance for better sounding audio headsets and is ideal for mobile handsets, tablets/MIDs, MP3 and portable media players.

The FAB2200 is an audio subsystem that combines a capacitor-free stereo Class-G headphone amplifier with a Class-D speaker amplifier. A proprietary integrated charge pump generates multiple supply rails for a ground-centered Class-G headphone output significantly reducing power dissipation when compared to Class-AB design implementations, while offering high power supply rejection ratio.

The filterless Class-D amplifier can be connected directly to a speaker without the need for two external filter networks, reducing the overall solution systems cost. The device also features Automatic Gain Control which limits the maximum speaker output levels to protect speakers without introducing distortion. It can also dynamically limit clipping as the battery voltage falls.

The FAB1200 and FAB2200 mobile audio ICs make handsets, tablets/MIDs, and other portable audio applications sound louder and better while reducing overall systems cost and minimizing the impact on battery runtime.

The FAB2200, available in a 25-bump, 0.4mm pitch, WLCSP package, is ideal for cellular handsets, notebook computers and tablets.

Fairchild is a mobile technology leader, offering a substantial portfolio of analog and power IP that can be customized to meet specific design requirements. By integrating leading circuit technologies into tiny, advanced packages, Fairchild provides mobile users significant advantages while reducing the size, cost and power of designs. Fairchild’s mobile IP can be found in a majority of handsets in use today.

Avnet Electronics Marketing brings Bluetooth connectivity to customers with addition of Bluegiga

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Memec, a division of Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, a business region of Avnet Inc., has inked a distribution agreement with Bluegiga Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of Bluetooth-based wireless module and access device products, including new Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy offerings.

Bluegiga’s Bluetooth modules provide the highest levels of integration, enabling device manufacturers and OEMS to easily add secure Bluetooth connectivity into applications ranging from healthcare/medical devices, sports and fitness, automotive, audio, point-of-sale and other telemetry applications.

Customers looking to create efficient, scalable Bluetooth networks can rely on Bluegiga’s cutting-edge access points and servers to bridge Bluetooth enabled devices onto wired or wireless networks. Bluegiga’s newest Bluetooth 4.0 low energy products address the needs of today’s ultra-low power consumption wireless applications in a small, highly sophisticated package. All Bluegiga products are certified by the FCC, CE and Industry Canada, as well as Bluetooth qualified, and come with Avnet’s long-standing design and supply-chain support.

Tom Nordman, VP of sales and marketing for Bluegiga, added: “Avnet is a leading provider of embedded technology to the engineering community, and we are pleased to expand our relationship with Avnet to include the Americas market. Avnet offers Bluegiga's customers ready access to our products and other Avnet offerings that will help our customers complete their wireless designs quickly and cost effectively. Our relationship with Avnet will help us continue our global growth initiatives and we look forward to our mutual success.”

“The addition of Bluegiga gives Avnet Memec customers unparalleled access to well-supported and competitive Bluetooth modules in both low and high power,” said Phil Sansone, senior VP of Avnet Memec Americas. “These pre-certified integrated modules give our customers a competitive advantage by alleviating the costs of in-house RF design and providing a much faster time-to-market.”

Friday, July 15, 2011

element14 and Micriµm sign global distribution agreement

SINGAPORE: In line with the Group’s focus on providing engineering design solutions, driving business to the web and growth in emerging markets, element14, part of the Premier Farnell group, today announced a global distribution agreement with Micriµm, a leading supplier of embedded RTOS solutions for the global engineering community.

Micriµm is a global RTOS leader and a top choice for embedded design engineers building microprocessor, microcontroller, and DSP-based solutions. Micriµm’s commercial RTOS components are increasingly the preferred solution when compared with both open source and competing alternatives. Applications include medical, military and aerospace, industrial, consumer and telecom.

In this agreement, Micriµm will extend their product and marketing support to element14, and collaborate on new product information via the element14 knode, the revolutionary online design platform that is exclusively focused on the needs of electronic design engineers. The element14 knode provides one interface to a world of engineering design solutions. It supports the complete design flow from concept to final production and is unique in enabling engineers to research, design, develop and prototype manufacture in a single, intelligent environment.

The element14 knode is unique in providing a single on-line platform for performing all of these activities. Based on an engineer’s initial specification it automates the creation of explicit dependencies and inter-relationships with other system level components to quickly build a custom design flow - whether it be development kits, design tools, operating systems and stacks, Intellectual Property or services such as PCB design and manufacture. These have all been integrated into one convenient place: the element14 knode - KNOwledge for Design Engineers.

“This global distribution agreement with Micriµm is an integral part of our business strategy to enhance the element14 value proposition by continually developing and growing our already extensive line card of leading technology suppliers to satisfy the evolving requirements of our customers worldwide,” said David Shen, Group senior VP and global gead of EDE and technical marketing of Premier Farnell. “We are excited by this new distribution agreement with Micriµm which will undoubtedly give us further opportunities to attract new design engineering customers worldwide.”

“We are delighted to be able to partner with Premier Farnell at such a significant stage and are proud to become a part of the world’s first revolutionary design automation platform - the element14 knode, “said Jean Labrosse, founder, CEO and president of Micriµm. “We are impressed with what the new functionality has to offer and would like to see our collaboration assist with its further development.”

Global market for thin-film batteries to reach $600 million by 2015

NEW YORK, USA: The thin-film battery (TFB) market is an attractive and still-growing multimillion-dollar market characterized by very high production volumes of thin-film batteries that must be extremely reliable and low in cost. Thin-film lithium and lithium-ion batteries are ideally suited for a variety of applications where small power sources are needed. By using the available space within a device, the battery can provide the required power while occupying otherwise wasted space and adding negligible mass.

According to a recently published report from iRAP, Inc. (, EN106: Rechargeable and Non-Rechargeable, Flexible, Thin-Film Batteries: A Global Industry and Market Analysis, the global market for thin-film batteries is expected to reach $90 million in 2010. This market will increase to $600 million by 2015.Source: iRAP, USA.

The range for the average annual growth rate (AAGR) is expected to be 37.9 percent to 67.8 percent for the six major regions surveyed for the period 2010 to 2015. Regionally, North America is expected to capture about 40 percent of the market in 2010, followed by Europe at 36 percent and the rest of the world (ROW) at 24 percent, dominated by Japan, Korea and China.

Three very distinct types of flexible TFB technologies exist – lower performance printed TFBs, single-use higher performance lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries, and solid-state rechargeable lithium phosphorous oxynitride (LiPON) batteries (which are the most expensive). Currently, non-rechargeable zinc batteries can be fully printed and used in roll-to-roll manufacturing processes.

Major findings of this report include:
* The market for thin-film batteries used in one-time password (OTP), display-type smart cards for banking will be highest in 2010.
* Disposable medical cosmetic patches, electronic games and entertainment devices, music greeting cards using non-rechargeable thin printed battery (zinc-manganese chemistry), low power semi-active tags used with sensors, and battery-assisted passive (BAP) radio frequency identification (RFID) devices will have a combined market share of over one-third of the total market in 2010.
* Ultra-low power energy harvesting devices (solar, thermal, vibration) using rechargeable lithium-ion or similar type batteries will be a distant third in 2010.
* The main factor slowing growth of the market for thin-film/printed batteries at present is high cost. Thin-film/printable batteries are currently unable to compete with conventional battery technology on price. This will change as volumes for thin-film/printed batteries ramp up and technology improves. By far the largest application for these batteries is likely to be found in OTP display smart cards and battery-assisted, semi-passive RFID. There is much talk in the RFID industry about battery-assisted technology as a solution to the cost issue surrounding active RFID tags. By 2015, forecasts indicate that OTP display smart cards and battery-assisted passive RFID devices will take off.
* Among the three technologies covered in this report, in 2010 the market share for non-rechargeable thin zinc-manganese printed batteries is the highest followed by the lithium polymer thin-film non-rechargeable batteries and rechargeable thin-film lithium-ion batteries as a distant third.

Global market for piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors to reach $12.3 billion by 2014

NEW YORK, USA: A confluence of new piezo-based technology has breathed new capability into the nano- and micro-positioning world. Piezo actuation is increasingly suitable for applications formerly addressable only by magnetic motors, and the technology offers significant benefits in terms of size, speed, fieldlessness, reliability, vacuum compatibility, resolution and dynamics.

These benefits, in turn, enable significant advances in existing and new applications. Piezomotors and actuators typically eliminate any need for gear reduction because they drive loads directly. Piezoelectric actuators have been commercialized in various areas such as information technology, robotics, biomedical engineering, automotive, ecological and energy engineering.

According to a recently published report from iRAP, Inc., ET112: Piezoelectric Actuators and Motors – Types, Applications, New Developments, Industry Structure and Global Markets, the global market for piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors was estimated to be $6.6 billion in 2009 and is estimated to reach $12.3 billion by 2014, showing an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 13.2 percent per year.Source: iRAP, USA.

The market for piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors in ultra-small scale precision motion related applications will be the largest segment, estimated to have reached $3,200 million (48.6 percent share) in 2009 and projected to reach $6,000 million in 2014, for an AAGR of 13.4 percent. The other major segment includes phone cameras, digital cameras, microscope lenses, mirrors and optics, estimated at $2,800 million (42.5 percent share) in 2009 and $5,200 million in 2014, for an AAGR of 13.1 percent.

The remaining 8.9 percent ($587 million) is a third market segment consisting of auto fuel injectors, micro-pumps, micro-blowers, printer cartridges, surgical instruments, mini-robots, etc.). In 2014, this market segment will have a share of 8.7 percent ($1,090 million).

The manufacturers of optics, photonics and nanometrology equipment have been the major consumers of piezoelectric-operated motors and actuators.

Life sciences and medical technology also constitute a high-growth segment of the piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors market. This area is expected to grow at 18.7 percent annually and could record an even higher growth rate if there is wider acceptance by end users. It is still going through a gestation period.
Over the projected period of five years, market share of piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors will increase, taking share from electromagnetic motors.

In terms of types, bulk PZT material-based piezo actuators and motors have the highest market share at 98 percent, with a market of $6.455 billion in 2009; this segment will grow at an AAGR 12.4 percent to reach $11.6 billion in 2014. Thick-film PZT used in piezo actuators and motors reached a market of $65.83 million in 2009, approximately 1 percent of the total, and will show an AAGR of 30.1 percent to reach $245.8 billion in 2014.

Fiber composites used in actuators and motors had a market of $39.52 million in 2009, and by 2014, with an AAGR of 50.7 percent, the segment will reach $307.2 million in sales. Lead-free ceramics used in actuators and motors had a market of $26.345 million in 2009 and is expected to reach $123 million by 2014, for an AAGR of 36 percent.

In terms of regional market share, North America leads, with 40.5 percent in 2009, followed by Europe with 34 percent, Japan with 20 percent, and the balance 5.5 percent for China and the rest of the world.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Interest in energy efficient technology driving demand for power management ICs

LONDON, UK: Power management ICs (PMICs) accounted for 3.5 percent of the global semiconductor market in 2010, according to a new report available on PMIC market growth is driven by consumer interest in portable devices such as smartphones, and their need for energy efficient technologies.

PMICs have applications in the communication, IT, industrial, automotive, medical, defence and electronics sectors. A factor encouraging growth in the PMIC market is the interest in energy efficient technologies, to combat rising energy prices and consumer adoption of portable electronic devices. Alternative energy technologies used to harness solar and wind power are driving demand, as power semiconductors use power management integrated circuits to minimise energy wastage and ensure efficient power distribution. The PMIC research report indicates that energy efficient technologies could reduce global electricity use by up to 30 percent, by 2025.

Manufacturing companies are seeking improvement opportunities for their power devices, and substrate technology is of interest. The power management integrated circuit research report highlights a trend for the use of gallium nitride (GaN) instead of as silicon carbide (SiC) in power semiconductors (which use PMICs), as it enhances power density, breakdown voltage, switching frequency, resistance and system efficiency.

Thermal management is another opportunity to minimise cost and improve efficiencies of power management semiconductor PMICs. Improvements to packaging systems will equip PMICs to cope with fluctuations in current, and subsequently enhance energy management.

Key companies profiled within the PMIC research report include: Infineon Technologies AG, Linear Technology Corporation, National Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics NV and Texas Instruments.

Chinese LED chip makers drastically modify expansion plan due to weak end-market demand, fund shortage and lapse of subsidy

TAIWAN: According to a survey conducted by LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce, because of the subsidy policies enacted by local governments in 2010, Chinese LED chip makers planned to expand their capacity and increase the amount of MOCVD equipment to target at the prospects of the LED lighting market in 2011.

However, affected by the uncertain end-market demand of the LED industry in 2011, the inventory levels of LED products continue to rise. Therefore, LED manufacturers have put their purchases of MOCVD equipment on hold.

In addition, in response to inflation, the Chinese government continues to raise the required bank reserve ratio and tighten the monetary policy, which make it difficult for local governments to carry out the subsidy policies. On account of several factors, Chinese chip makers remain conservative about their expansion plan. LEDinside predicts that the new installment of MOCVD equipment in 2011 will total 711 units with 380 units of them in the Chinese market.

Inflation pressure forces China to tighten currency supply
Since the beginning of 2011, the consumer price index in China has been continue to set record highs: the inflation rate in May reached 5.5 percent. As of June 20th, The People’s Bank of China has raised its required reserve ratio for six times. Starting from July 7th, the base rate has been raised to 6.56 percent, which is the third time raise in 2011.

The loan increment in May plummeted from RMB$ 740 billion to RMB$ 552 billion with a 25 percent drop compared to that in April (with a 13.7 percent drop compared to the same time last year.) Such a setback indicates not only the severe finance circumstances of local business firms and the continuously increasing labor cost, but also the challenges facing the LED industry in terms of managing operating cost.

Tightening monetary policy puts expansion plans of LED manufacturers on hold
Moreover, Yangzhou government’s announcement of ending the subsidy policy for MOCVD purchases in 2H11 has created market fear that other local governments would also terminate their subsidy policies. As a result, Chinese and Taiwanese LED chip makers have been purchasing MOCVD equipment since 1H11 in hope of taking advantage of the subsidies before the deadline.

However, the tightening monetary policy makes it difficult for Chinese LED manufacturers to benefit from the subsidy policy, which in turn impedes their expansion plans. In addition, the weak end-market demand and the drastic drop of chip price have lowered the capacity utilizations of several LED chip makers to 50 percent. Due to the market downturn, manufacturing equipment is being used for conducting researches, and LED chip makers have decided to delay their expansion plans.

Perspectives from LEDinside
According to the research by LEDinside, first tier Chinese LED chip makers have begun the construction of their new sales centers on sites that were originally designated for production expansions. In addition, they have asked the MOCVD equipment makers to delay the delivery of their orders, which adds uncertainty to the chip supply in China in 2H11.

On the other hand, as for the second tier Chinese LED chip makers, they may have to terminate their expansion plans and even face the possibility of going out of business due to the lack of professional experts and MOCVD equipment. LEDinside believes that with the end-market demand remaining weak, only manufacturers which possess advanced technology and cost competitiveness can manage through the turbulent times in 2H11.

Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Mitsubishi Electric develops 19-inch super-XGA TFT-LCD module

TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has developed a 19-inch super-XGA color TFT-LCD module built for rugged performance in a wide range of outdoor-signage applications.

The module boasts 1,500cd/m2 super-high brightness, 100,000-hour service life durability at an environment temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and a market-leading operating-temperature range of between -20 degrees and 70 degrees Celsius. In addition, high-voltage inverters are not required for operation.

The module is also fully compliant with the European Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS) directive, and is completely mercury-free.

The display, which Mitsubishi Electric believes is the world's first Super-XGA TFT-LCD measuring 19 inches, will begin selling on October 1 through Mitsubishi Electric offices. Initial production has been set at 1,000 units per month. Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric plans to further expand its lineup of industrial TFT-LCD modules, which now come in 14 screen sizes.

TFT-LCDs increasingly are being used for digital signage in a variety of environments and applications, raising the demand for models offering extra brightness, durability and heat/cold resistance for outdoor uses. At the same time, end-users are demanding ever larger screens and higher resolutions to display as much information as possible on one screen.

ESI revolutionizes LED manufacturing process with new LED tester

SEMICON West 2011, PORTLAND, USA: ESI Inc., a leading supplier of innovative laser-based manufacturing solutions for the microtechnology industry, introduced the high-speed Model 3800 LED Tester.

ESI’s Model 3800 enables production-scale testing of packaged LEDs with the lowest cost of ownership in the industry. The 3800 features an innovative architecture that utilizes a patented, dual-track, bulk-to-bin handler that has demonstrated in excess of 100 percent throughput improvement and yields in excess of 99.9 percent, resulting in the lowest overall cost of ownership. The company is featuring the Model 3800 this week at the SEMICON West exhibition in San Francisco.

“Consumer adoption of high brightness LED technology depends largely on our customers’ ability to drive down their production costs and improve LED light efficiency through advances in manufacturing technology,” said Vernon Cooke, product manager in ESI’s Components Group. The Model 3800 is the most advanced LED tester on the market and is specifically designed to help our customers achieve the highest yields at the lowest cost of ownership.

ESI has a long, proven history as the market leader in the delivery of automated systems designed for mass-production testing and inspection of small, electronic components, such as multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs). The company has applied its core technologies of component handling, testing and binning to significantly reduce the cost of ownership for LED manufacturing.

Optimized for superior yield, the Model 3800 offers the following features and benefits:

Yield improvement
* Rotary loader is gentle on LED packages to dramatically reduce chip damage.
* Indexed carriers maintain LEDs in a “nest” to eliminate dropped and scrapped devices.

Throughput improvement
* Patented, dual-track, bulk-to-bin handler processes two LEDs simultaneously, while achieving productivity rates up to 48,000 LEDs/hr (800/min).
* Multiple test stations to maintain highest possible throughput.

Binning accuracy
* Simple, parallel binning process that does not require actuated gates/switches, virtually eliminates mis-binning, and does not limit throughput.

Configurable platform such that each system can be configured to test multiple LED types and testing requirements.

ESI expects to ship its first system to a leading LED manufacturer this quarter.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Growth markets for conductive polymers in electronics and optoelectronics

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Growth Markets for Conductive Polymers in Electronics and Optoelectronics" report to its offering.

Often branded as a class of miracle advanced materials that will transform electronics and photovoltaics, the actual record of conductive polymers has been decidedly mixed. The early expectations for the role of polymer-based PV, or conductive polymers as a transparent conductive coating, have never been met. And in other areas of organic electronics, polymer materials - areas such as OLEDs and OTFTs - polymers have played second fiddle to small molecule materials.

Does this mean that the conductive polymer story is so much hype? Will these interesting materials be condemned forever to low-value markets such as anti-statics? In answering such questions, NanoMarkets believes that it is high time to launch a serious investigation of where the genuine opportunities for conductive polymers will be found over the next decade. The goal of this report is to seek out such opportunities, quantify them and show how they are best capitalized on.

In this report we examine the main conductive polymers that have been proposed for use in electronics and PV and take a look at how they are evolving technically to provide better performance. Based on this analysis we then examine the main applications for which conductive polymers have been proposed, showing where they have a competitive edge and how materials firms can monetize that advantage. For each of the main applications studied, we provide an eight-year market forecast, with indications of which particular conductive polymers are likely to do well in that market environment.

The results of this investigation, we believe will be of importance not just to manufacturers of conductive polymers but throughout the electronics materials industry and indeed to the broader electronics and investor communities. This report is based on NanoMarkets' extensive and ongoing coverage of not just the conductive space, but also most of the applications in which conductive polymers will be used.

ESI unveils LED wafer scribing system for high volume, ultra high brightness LED manufacturing

SEMICON West 2011, PORTLAND, USA: ESI Inc., a leading supplier of innovative laser-based manufacturing solutions for the microtechnology industry, unveiled its most advanced LED wafer scribing system, the AccuScribe 2600.

ESI’s AccuScribe 2600 is built on patented, industry-leading technology enabling customers to extract the maximum light output from LED’s. ESI developed the AccuScribe 2600 based on customer requirements for high brightness LED (HB-LED) manufacturing, including Patterned Sapphire Substrate (PSS), Distributed Bragg Reflector (DBR), Metal Mirror (MM) and other advanced light extraction technologies. The company is showcasing the AccuScribe 2600 this week at the SEMICON® West exhibition in San Francisco.

“ESI pioneered the laser scribing of LED wafers with our patented technology for LED sapphire substrates,” said Jonathan Sabol, general manager of ESI’s LED µEngineering Division. “Industry wide expansion of high brightness LEDs is driving rapid changes in LED architecture and manufacturing processes to continuously increase lumens/watt. The AccuScribe 2600 is specifically designed to match our customers’ most demanding technology roadmaps while achieving industry best yield, performance and cost.”

Multiple customers have recently confirmed that the AccuScribe 2600 delivers the industry’s highest brightness scribing for a wide range of HB-LED technologies including PSS and DBR metal mirror. Increased light output results in increased revenue and profitability for LED Manufacturers.

This, coupled with achieving the highest yield, lowest cost, least environmental impact, and complete elimination of the employee work hazards related to chemical etching, will allow ESI Accuscribe 2600 customers to lead in the most profitable segment of the high brightness LED market.

ESI revolutionizes via drilling for advanced LED packaging

SEMICON West 2011, PORTLAND, USA: ESI Inc., a leading supplier of innovative laser-based manufacturing solutions for the microtechnology industry, announced the availability of the Model 5390 micromachining system for advanced LED packaging. The Model 5390 laser-based micromachining system is uniquely designed for creation of electrical interconnections on LED packages and is optimized for industry-leading via placement accuracy and high yields.

“Our customers are demanding new, innovative manufacturing processes that enable them to enhance light output and product reliability on smaller and smaller LED packages,” said Martin Orrick, senior director in ESI’s Interconnect and Micromachining Group. “Our Model 5390 enables the industry’s fastest and highest via placement accuracy.”

Featuring ESI’s production-proven, high-speed compound beam positioner coupled with a high-power CO2 laser, the Model 5390 provides user-definable variable pulse width and pulse repetition frequencies of up to 300 kHz for wide range of applications. The system can produce more than 100 vias per second in typical single layer dielectric materials. The company shipped the first unit to a leading LED manufacturer in the last quarter.

Weak demand on TV backlight affected Taiwanese LED manufacturers’ peak season performance

TAIWAN: According to LEDinside, the LED research division of TrendFroce, the total monthly revenue of Taiwanese LED companies listed on TWSE reached NTD 9.23 billion in June 2011 (MoM-6.17 percent, YoY-10.9 percent).

The LED chip manufacturers’ monthly revenue has decreased by 6.1 percent to NTD 4.34 billion, compared with that of last year (MoM-6.2 percent; YoY-6.1 percent). Further, the LED package manufacturers’ monthly revenue has sharply dropped by 14.8 percent to NTD 4.89 billion, compared with that of last year (MoM-6.1 percent, YoY-14.8 percent).

Taiwanese chip manufacturers’ performance of June 2011
LED chip manufacturers’ performance of June 2011 indicated that, due to weak backlight demand, LED manufacturers’ production capacity has decreased to 50 percent, and shifted MOCVD equipment from production development to R&D development. Although backlight market performance is less than expected, LED backlight market is still the main development area for LED manufacturers before the popularization of LED lighting products.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

The LED chip manufacturers’ monthly revenue has decreased by 6.2 percent to NTD 4.34 billion. Notably, Lextar benefited from ODM/OEM orders from international lighting companies with 30 percent of the revenue from LED lighting products. Additionally, its parent company, AUQ group, continues to contribute to the stable orders from within. Currently, more than half of its lighting products are shipped to Japan, and order backlogs are queuing up until end of August. Hence, the company’s sales performance of third quarter is noteworthy.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Taiwanese Package Manufacturers’ Performance of June 2011
Moreover, Lite-On Technology benefited from increasing orders of invisible light products and backlight products in addition to commenced development of lighting business. The sales figure of Lite-On Technology set a record high and reached NTD 1.32 billion (MoM+3.1, YoY+23.5 percent).Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Due to the weak demand in the backlight market, most Taiwanese package manufacturers’ performance extensively dropped, and their business strategy commonly shifted to focus on increasing lighting products in 2H11. Further, Unity Opto’s Beijing plant is estimated to be come on line in early 2012, and is projected to conveniently offer LED backlight products to BOE and LED lighting products to the Northern Chinese market.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

In addition, Korean LED manufacturers postponed their expansion plans due to weak TV sales. However, rising inventory level led to severe price cuts. Manufacturers even sold their LED inventories at low price to the lighting market, which in turn raised competitive pressure of the lighting market.

LED market trend of 2Q11
In addition, due to slow economic recovery, the worldwide LED backlit TV shipment is obviously less than expected. It is estimated that TV shipment in 2011 is adjusted down to 203 million units from 220 million. Moreover, the price gap between LED backlight and CCFL backlight still exist, so most TV vendors have downgraded their target LED penetration rate for TV to 50 percent.

LEDinside predicts that LED usage volume for the TV application is only 17.5 billion units, which translates to $167 million, a decrease of 26 percent, compared to TV brand vendors’ expectation. Currently, many LED makers indicate that TV demand remains unclear until July. However, as demand from early inventory fulfillment for Christmas holiday season is going to end, many manufacturers take a pessimistic attitude toward the market condition of 2H11.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

On the other hand, affected by Japanese earthquake, demand for LED lighting rose earlier than expected. Starting from July 1 to September 30, energy-saving policy is conducted in service areas of Tokyo Electric Power Company and Tohoku Electric Power Company. LED light bulb discount coupon and free LED light bulbs are used to encourage participating households and enterprises. It is estimated that LED lighting replacement can bring business opportunities.

Korean government announced “Green LED lighting popularity development program” on June 8, and expects penetration rate of LED lighting to rise to 60 percent. A series of subsidies and LED installation plans are introduced as well. In addition to LED carbon trading system, it is estimated that there is a 26 percent increase in demand from LED lighting replacement.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Lighting manufacturers of various types such as LED manufacturers, traditional lighting vendors and penal makers are eager to enter the lighting market in 2011. LEDinside estimates that the market heat will extend till 2012, and the LED lighting penetration rate is expected to increase to over 7 percent. At early stage of the lighting market development, if severe price competition occurs, it will lead to Gresham's Law and accelerates the industry reformation. Therefore, only companies that attain superior product quality, cost management, and have a stable customer base and channel management can stand out in the market.

element14 intros Johanson Technology and Johanson Dielectrics ceramic and capacitor solutions to meet demands in Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell), the industry’s first fusion of commerce and community supporting engineers and purchasing professionals worldwide, announced the addition of the Johanson Technology and Johanson Dielectrics high frequency ceramic solutions to its 130,000-strong inventory as part of its global franchise distribution agreement.

element14 will offer a broad range of multi and single layer capacitors, RF inductors, LTCC based chip antennas, baluns, balanced filters, band pass filters, low pass filters, couplers, and diplexers, as well as other products from Johanson Technology and Johanson Dielectrics, a leading specialist in the design and supply of ceramic solutions and a comprehensive range of RF specific applications.

element14 now offers the X2Y Filter and Decoupling Capacitors series that is specifically designed to prevent energy inference among the multitude of subsystems within electronics. The compact capacitors allow engineers to maximise their broad space and reduce assembly costs with superior EMI suppression or decoupling function without the need for multiple components.

These capacitors employ a unique, patented low inductance design featuring two balanced capacitors that are immune to temperature, voltage and aging performance differences. These features provide unprecedented durability and performance for the components, leading to improved end-products’ lifespan. The X2Y capacitors are versatile and have a broad variety of applications including, amplifier filter and decoupling, high speed data filtering, EMC I/O Filtering as well as DDR memory decoupling, offering engineers across different sectors unparalleled flexibility.

Technology today is continuously evolving; innovation in this regard is being driven by consumers’ demand for intuitive devices and industries’ need for productive and more efficient equipment. As capacitors are an essential part of almost all electronic designs, engineers are constantly challenged to source for versatile energy management solutions which allow them to implement effective electrical regulation in increasingly sophisticated designs.

“Capacitors are fundamental components for almost all the electronics that we use today in developing technologies in the Asia Pacific,” says Ian Johnson, European Sales Manager, Johanson Technology. “element14’s unique service propositions closely align with our business objectives in the region. We believe their multi-channel distribution network will allow engineers to easily access our high performance capacitor solutions and provide timely and relevant tools to satisfy their evolving requirements.”

“Engineers across different industries require versatile solutions to address their increasingly sophisticated high speed data applications,” says David Lok, Product Manager, element14, Asia Pacific. “Our global partnership with Johanson Technology and Johanson Dielectrics will equip engineers in the region with the most advanced and high quality capacitors solutions, enabling for faster time to market cycles.”

element14 offers no minimum order quantity and next day delivery to most cities in Asia Pacific as well as 24 hour customer and technical support. In addition, the element14 knode provides an online design platform with solutions such as development kits, design tools, operating system and stacks, and services such as PCB design and manufacture, which significantly improve engineers’ time to market and optimize the capacitors’ functions in their designs.

Test Advantage names Kenneth Ng sales manager of board repair business unit

TEMPE, USA: Test Advantage, a Boston Semi Equipment Group (BSE Group) company, has appointed Kenneth Ng to the position of Sales Manager for the company’s board repair business. Ng will focus on selling the company’s hardware repair and warranty services to the automated test equipment (ATE) back end semiconductor market. He will be based in Singapore and report to Richard Huang, VP of Asia for Test Advantage.

“The board repair business is a key component of Test Advantage’s overall plan to provide a comprehensive, value added offering to our customers in the back end secondary market,” said Colin Scholefield, executive VP, BSE Group, holding company of Test Advantage. “Adding Kenneth’s experience and background in both sales and the back end semiconductor industry demonstrates our commitment to growing Test Advantage in Asia. His appointment follows our recent acquisition of Microstats Inc. and represents another enhancement of our overall ATE offering.”

Ng joins Test Advantage with a strong background in engineering, test and sales and marketing. His extensive semiconductor-related experience includes positions of increasing responsibility with Systemation Pte Ltd, Advantest Singapore Pte Ltd, Siemens Components Singapore Pte Ltd and National Semiconductor Singapore.