Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AVX's miniature ultra-broadband capacitors deliver low insertion and return losses

FOUNTAIN INN, USA: AVX Corp., a leading manufacturer of advanced passive components and interconnect solutions, has expanded on its miniature ultra-broadband capacitors, GX Series, to include the GX01 ultra-broadband capacitor that addresses DC blocking issues from 160kHz (-3dB roll-off) to 40GHz.

The GX01 capacitor provides a low insertion loss value of <0.5dB through at least 40GHz. Designed utilizing AVX’s patented precision termination process, the GX01 ultra-broadband capacitor features a standard EIA 0201 footprint to minimize board space requirements, and is available with X5R or X7S dielectric characteristics.

The GX01 ultra-broadband capacitor is ideal for applications such as semiconductor data communications, optical receiver subassemblies, trans-impedance amplifiers and test equipment.

“AVX’s patented termination process allows the GX01 ultra-broadband capacitor to provide customers with ultra-low insertion and return loss values,” said Larry Eisenberger, senior marketing applications engineer at AVX. “We are working to further expand the GX Series product offering to include additional case sizes.”

The GX Series is available in 100% tin terminations. All GX01 parts are RoHS compliant.

Lead time for the GX01 ultra-broadband capacitor is stock to six weeks.

Cree LMH2 LED modules bring unrivaled efficacy and light quality to lighting manufacturers

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. announced the commercial availability of the new LMH2 LED module family, designed to speed time-to-market for high-quality LED luminaires. The barrier-breaking LMH2 is the only LED module delivering 80-lumens-per-watt system efficacy combined with CRI greater than 90.

The modules feature Cree TrueWhite technology, a revolutionary way to generate white light with LEDs. The modules deliver high efficiency with beautiful light characteristics and color accuracy while maintaining color consistency over the life of the product.

The compact, two-piece module allows maximum design flexibility—uniquely enabling manufacturers to incorporate their luminaire design into the thermal management system and potentially eliminating the need, and cost, of secondary thermal management.

By separating the light source and power supply, Cree gives luminaire designers a broad range of options for mounting, wiring and reflector design. Optimized for more than downlights and spots, the LMH2 makes Cree TrueWhite Technology easily available in many lighting applications, including wall sconces, pendant lights, ceiling fans and many other common fixtures in residential, retail, museums, hospitality and restaurant environments.

“At Cree we uniquely understand what lighting OEMs need to bring LED fixtures to market. The new Cree LMH2 modules make the benefits of Cree TrueWhite Technology affordable and widely available,” said Mike Watson, senior director of marketing, Cree LED components. “Only Cree enables our customers with the latest LED modules that combine 80 LPW efficacy with 90+ CRI.”

The LMH2 is available at 850 and 1250 lumens and in color temperatures of 2700 K, 3000 K, 3500 K and 4000 K with more than 90 CRI. Designed for 50,000 hours of operation and dimmable to five percent, the LMH2 comes with Cree’s new industry-leading five-and-a-half year warranty. The LMH2 is also UL-recognized and complies with multiple international regulatory and safety standards. Fixture makers seeking ENERGY STAR qualification will have access to specification and performance data, including LM-80 reports, which can speed regulatory approvals.

Sample and production quantities are available with standard lead times from both Cree and Cree module distributors.

OMRON releases dramatically enhanced versions of temperature controller

KYOTO, JAPAN: OMRON Corp. announced the release on December 1 of the following digital temperature controllers: the E5CC (48×48mm) and the E5EC (48×96mm).

These two new temperature controllers are based on our best-selling temperature controller, of which over 3 million units have been sold worldwide. They feature the same high level of usability and the same wiring and basic operation methods of the popular previous model, yet are more compact lengthwise, have greatly enhanced capabilities, and feature extra-high-visibility white LCD displays with larger characters.

Though PLCs and touch panels are commonly used nowadays to manage temperature control, since temperature control settings need to be adjusted often, there is a strong and growing demand for stand-alone temperature controllers to facilitate easy, frequent adjustments. Such demand is also becoming increasingly apparent in China and other emerging markets. There is also significant demand for high-visibility displays to more easily confirm displayed values and settings in a variety of viewing conditions.

Renesas Electronics intros compact lithium-ion battery charging control IC supporting USB charging

TOKYO, JAPAN: Renesas Electronics Corp. has announced a charging control
integrated circuit (IC), the R2A20055NS, that achieves further miniaturization and safe charging control for single-cell lithium-ion batteries used in portable devices.

Lithium-ion batteries are used in a wide range of portable equipment, from cell phones to digital still cameras, media players, personal navigation devices and tablet PCs. Lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density and can contribute to equipment miniaturization.

At the same time, however, they can generate excessive heat and catch fire if they are overcharged. For this reason, JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association) has formulated guidelines that stipulate that charging rates be reduced when the battery temperature is in specific low-temperatures or high-temperature ranges.

In addition, there are increasing needs in this equipment for charging using USB bus power when connected to a personal computer by a USB cable, and for charging within the range of power that can be supplied by a USB bus.

While Renesas has mainly focused on IC products for battery chargers and digital still cameras, the company is now releasing the R2A20055NS device, which targets the full range of portable equipment in response to these market needs.

Mouser expands LED lighting product line with LedLink global distribution pact

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. has focused the spotlight on its new global distribution agreement with LedLink Optics Inc. The Taiwan company specializes in the manufacturing of high-quality secondary optics for high-power LEDs and is an official optical solution partner for Cree, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, Seoul Semiconductor, and other leading LED manufacturers.

Mouser will provide global access to LedLink’s large portfolio of high-quality, secondary optics and lenses. LedLink brings a wide and diverse product offering of off-the-shelf optics that deliver high optical efficiency, numerous beam-pattern options (ranging from 8˚ up to 140˚) and sizes for a wide array of applications, including commercial, residential, architectural, stage, high/low bay, railway and street lighting.

Design engineers and buyers in need of lighting solutions from single optics to 60-in-1 multi-cluster, available with different beam patterns based on different LED manufacturers’ specifications, now have a proven, international source for the most advanced LED technology from LedLink. The company’s chief focus is to develop high-quality, secondary optics for high-power LEDs that deliver high value with quick availability and low cost.

“Adding LedLink to our LED line card gives design engineers and buyers a comprehensive range of secondary optics for engineering new design solutions,” states Russell Rasor, Mouser VP of Advanced Technology. “We look forward to a very bright future together as business partners.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with Mouser as we look to expand our global reach,” expresses Tang, GM of LedLink. “With their concentration on meeting the challenges of new design, we believe that Mouser will be an invaluable partner in helping LedLink increase our market presence among an ever-growing list of new customers and drive international sales. Plus, our shared relationships with other key LED manufacturers provide a natural fit for us.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

IXYS intros new generation of overvoltage protection devices that increase high power system reliability

BIEL, SWITZERLAND: IXYS Corp. has launched its latest generation of overvoltage protection devices for greater power electronic system safety and reliability.

IXYS’ Break-Over Diodes (BOD) are traditionally embedded in the control/gate drive units in order to detect high voltage transients that can destroy a vast range of high cost, power semiconductor switches. BODs are designed to self trigger when a preset voltage level is reached thus allowing protection against voltage spikes or line faults which can destroy many different system components. These devices are also self resetting unlike a fuse or mechanical isolators which must be reset or manually replaced prior to system restart.

It is the most efficient and lowest cost solution for protecting high power systems that can be up to megawatts in power rating. The applications include Smart Grid Systems, High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power transmission systems, windmill generators, UPS’s, Motor Drives and power generators in hydroelectric dams.

“It is not often in high power applications that such a low cost component can be utilised to protect semiconductors with a value of thousands of dollars and a system of over hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Bradley Green, VP of International Sales for IXYS.

“But the IXYS’ solid state semiconductor BOD range with its improved reaction speeds and higher voltage capability give our customers a self resetting, overvoltage protection system which reduces down time and improves system ruggedness at low comparative cost which in today’s environment are pre-requisites in any design.”

With this new development, IXYS has improved two important characteristics of the BOD. The temperature coefficient has been reduced by a factor of 3 improving the tolerance of the break-over voltage limit over the complete temperature range. This gives designers the benefit for a more precise and controllable design due to smaller tolerances.

Additionally, the latest generation dramatically reduces switch-on-time of the BOD in reaction to an overvoltage event down to a few nanoseconds. This not only improves the safety of the system but also increases the relevant application space for this technology and gives designers a solid state alternative to older, more complicated and expensive protection solutions.

The extremely high rate of change of the voltage (dv/dt) makes the new generation attractive for ignition applications of high voltage impulse technology such as High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting.

The latest generation is called the IXBOD2TM range and features extended voltage operating range over previous solutions thereby giving the designer options in single element ratings from 100V to 1400V. Series connection of the IXBOD2TM is also possible to extend the system voltage protected to over 10kV.

Molex ruggedized SC/APC connector and cable assemblies optimize signal transmission in harsh environments

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. SC/APC indoor- and outdoor- rated cable assemblies and SC/APC 4.80mm connectors help customers and system integrators meet datacom and telecom design challenges, including adherence to industry standards and compatibility with standard cable sizes and fiber types. Designed for “Fiber to the x” (FTTx) and industrial applications, Molex SC/APC connector assemblies offer up to a 5.00mm bend radius and deliver a high-performance optical return loss of -60 dB, ideal for transmitting large quantities of data and video signals.

“A logical alternative to standard SC/APC connector and cable assemblies, the ultra-bend insensitive fiber SC/APC cable assemblies seek to optimize signal transmission in applications where cable routing space is restrictive,” explains Eve Leal, program manager, Molex. “Much more flexible than conventional optical cable, our SC/APC connector assemblies come standard in a 4.80mm outer-diameter cable suitable for use in harsh indoor and outdoor environments.”

All Molex SC/APC versions utilize pre-radius precision ceramic ferrules and a one-piece body design that provide quick and economical terminations both in the factory and in the field. The pre-polished ceramic ferrules minimize polishing time and maintain end-face geometry. The SC connectors provide a push-pull coupling mechanism tested to the most rigorous industry standards.

A variety of simplex and duplex mating SC adapters are available. These include snap- or screw- mount installation, as well as optional adapter shutters. The adapters are equipped with a spring-loaded shutter which automatically closes when a connector is removed from the adapter to shield against exposure to laser radiation and dust contamination. EMI Shielded SC adapters are also available for applications where EMI or RFI emissions are a concern.

“Equipped with a robust PVC jacket, Molex SC/APC indoor- and outdoor- rated connector solutions are ideal in any FTTx installation, including harsh industrial settings such as mining, oil refineries, heavy-duty equipment and automation environments,” adds Leal.

PowerSecure intros energy efficient SuperTube LED light replacement

WAKE FOREST, USA: PowerSecure International Inc. has introduced its new SuperTube, an energy efficient LED-based light, designed to replace and upgrade commercial overhead T8 and T12 fluorescent lighting.

The new technology is market ready, and the first installation of SuperTubes and power drivers was completed at a customer facility right after receiving UL certification. This first SuperTube installation instantly and significantly improved the energy efficiency and quality of light in the facility.

Sidney Hinton, CEO of PowerSecure, said: "We are very excited to introduce our new SuperTube light to the marketplace. We invested the last twelve months developing this technology to deliver a product that maximizes lighting quality at the lowest possible cost. The market for energy efficient overhead LED lights to replace fluorescent T8 and T12’s is simply enormous, and we believe we have a great product designed to address key needs in the marketplace.

"The most important of these attributes is that the SuperTube improves the quality of light in the workplace significantly, and delivers a strong energy efficient return on investment for our customers. I am pleased to report that our first installation was a terrific success, as I was blessed to witness the installation and hear our customer’s praise for the SuperTube first hand – which was reinforced by the fact that they have already ordered a second shipment."

The SuperTube is specifically designed for indoor T8 and T12 retrofit applications, and to deliver strong returns on investment for customers installing the lights. They are engineered to deliver up to 75 percent energy savings compared to traditional fluorescent lighting, and improve the quality of light in the workplace.

They are also designed to significantly reduce maintenance cost, due to their long light life of approximately 10 years, which would require the utilization of four fluorescents over the same period. Importantly, the lights are easy to retrofit, which keeps the cost of installation low, and enables customers to complete energy efficiency projects expeditiously.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tablet and notebook battery market outlooks differ vastly; lithium battery makers cut production due to slow market

TAIWAN: According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, the ASP of 2.2Ah lithium cylindrical battery cell dropped to $0.65 in November, representing a 7 percent decrease, while the ASP of 2.8Ah plunged to $0.75. In addition, the ASPs of 2.3Ah and 3.2Ah lithium polymer battery cells dipped to $1.48 and $1.75, respectively, showing a less drastic drop. The lithium polymer battery, one of the more popular batteries in the market, is mainly adopted in tablet PCs.Source: EnergyTrend, Taiwan.

Weak demand caused inventory level to surge
As a result of Europe’s chaotic financial order, the consumers’ purchasing intention has been low. Moreover, the exclusivity of the tablet and notebook markets and the consumers’ preference for low-price products has become more and more prominent. For this reason, the manufacturers have even revised the 4Q11 sales target for their high-price mainstream products and remain conservative about the outlook in 2012.

The industry’s overly optimistic forecast on the market prospects in 3Q11 resulted in the high inventory level of batteries in 4Q11, and the sales of end-market products have been receiving increasing interest. Due to tablets’ higher popularity in the market, notebook batteries’ inventory level is higher than that of tablet batteries.

Battery makers cut production due to slow market
The low-price products’ high popularity compromises the shipment of high-end battery products, including the high-capacity battery, not to mention that the low-price products’ sales also fall short of expectations. The weak demand has caused the battery price in November to drop to the same level of 1Q11; the standard 2.2Ah battery price dipped to $1.41, a relatively low price.

According to EnergyTrend, major battery makers, such as Japanese company Sanyo and South Korean companies SDI and LGC, are planning to downsize their production in order to stabilize the battery prices, and the total reduction is expected to reach 10 percent. EnergyTrend expects the production cut to stabilize the lithium battery prices in 1Q12. However, the capacity of the lithium polymer battery is on an uptrend, which will become a noteworthy issue in 2012.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Addtech acquires Rollco

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: Addtech Components, a business area in the Addtech Group, has signed an agreement to acquire all outstanding shares in Rollco Holding AB.

Rollco is a leading supplier of components and solutions for linear motion and automation solutions to the manufacturing industry in the Swedish and Danish markets. The Rollco group also has operations in the other Nordic countries and in Taiwan.

Rollco will become a part of the business area Addtech Components where the company’s products will complement the existing sales of mechanical components in the Nordic markets. The Rollco group has 38 employees and a revenue of approximately 100 MSEK.

The closing is estimated to take place in the beginning of January 2012. The acquisition is estimated to have a marginally positive effect on Addtech’s earnings per share during the current financial year.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Zebronics intros six new cabinets with stylish 3D front panels and glossy designer graphics

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Top Notch Infotronix has launched a new range of desktop PC cabinets. The six new models, with features like classy 3D front panel and glossy finish, add to Zebronics’ extensive lineup of cabinets, one of the widest ranges in the industry.

The cabinets are beautifully designed with high end features to fully utilize and satisfy the needs of lifestyle consumers. The new range comprises of three models – Turbo, Lotus and Lake – incorporating 3D front panels that impart a continuously varying, elegant look. Another three models – named Pace, Wood and Speedster – are embellished with attractive theme graphics on a glossy front panel. The Pace model carries the image of a race car, while the Wood and Speedster models carry images of a forest view and sports bike respectively.

The new stylish-design and feature-rich cabinets are engineered for optimum cooling of all critical components and have the capacity to hold five 3.5’’ HDDs. Features include jet black interiors (on 3D models), 80mm side panel fans etc that gives the user an innovative experience, ample space (with 5x3.5-inch and 2x5.25-inch drive bays) allowing users to manage their drives on their own.

The cabinets are aesthetically designed in heavy duty steel material with USB and audio ports in front for ease of use. Featuring excellent looks as well as cooling performance, the models feature illuminated power switches with a chrome grill covering the fan.

Micropelt's surface-mount micro thermogenerators challenge batteries

FREIBURG, GERMANY: Micropelt announced its new Thermogenerator Package (TGP), which makes thermal energy harvesting ready for mass production. The new device allows for automatic assembly of autonomous DC power supplies for ultra low power wireless sensors and actuators.

Battery maintenance, so far preventing wireless monitoring sensor networks from really taking off, can be eliminated by TGP-enabled autonomous DC power modules whenever a temperature difference of 5 °C or more is available. Output power ranges from 100 Microwatts to over 10 Milliwatts, sufficient to offset most batteries.

Micropelt’s standardized TGP package comes in two flavors, TGP-651 and TGP-751, both types being fully interchangeable. Output power and cost can thus be matched to target applications and markets without any changes to the PCB design. “At lower gradients, between 10 and 40 °C, both devices produce very similar power levels, so the TGP-651 with a 6 sqmm TEG is preferable for cost reasons”, explains Dr. Joachim Nurnus, Micropelt’s CTO. “However, for very low gradient operation or high power demand a TGP-751 with its 12 sqmm TEG is the best choice.”

The TGP’s circular Aluminum heat source interface feeds through a 10 mm hole of the hosting PCB. The rectangular cold face carries the electrical contacts for reflow soldering and connects to the heat sink on its outer side. The device’s vertical dimensions ensure sufficient clearance for electronic components mounted next to it, underneath the heat sink.

“Low cost energy harvesting opens many attractive growth markets for autonomous micro systems” said Fritz Volkert, Micropelt’s CEO. “The TGP takes cost out of the bill of materials, and automatic SMT assembly reduces production cost. Batteryless applications in building automation, process and condition monitoring, and many other areas will benefit from faster time-to-market and greatly reduced development risk,” Volkert added.

The products are available at Micropelt distributors for sampling and evaluation. The TGP-751 is available for 60 EUR/81 USD sample price, while TGP-651 sells for 40 EUR/54 USD. Volume prices, according to Micropelt, can go below 5 EUR, depending on committed volumes. System integration and series products are supported by the company’s application and engineering teams.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Li-ion battery market shares, strategies, and forecasts 2011-2017

ALBANY, USA: WinterGreen Research announced that it has a new study on Lithium-Ion Battery, Lithium Polymer Battery, Thin Film Battery And Zinc Air Battery Market Shares and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2011-2017. These products power cell phones, portable electronics, and laptops. They promise to power electric vehicles. They are the base for smarter computing.

The 2011 study has 716 pages, 254 tables and figures. Lithium-Ion batteries are evolving. Lithium thin film solid state technology provides vast improvements in energy density and creates units that can be recharged 40,000 times, up from 200 times for traditional batteries.

Li-ion (Lithium-Ion) batteries are a type of rechargeable battery. Lithium ion batteries are one of the most common rechargeable batteries in portable electronics. Lithium ion batteries have one of the best energy densities, no memory effect, and a slow loss of charge when not in use, in comparison with other chemistries of rechargeable batteries.

Lithium ion batteries are environmentally safe because there is no free lithium metal. They come in a variety of sizes such as AA, AAA, RCR123A, 18650, 9V, 2032 button cells, and more.

Fabrication methods have not yet scaled to large format batteries. This is because the cost of vacuum deposition has been prohibitive. Researchers are working to develop an alternative deposition process. It has the ability to make nanostructured electrolyte and electrode materials with chemistries that work at scale that is the challenge.

Every big automaker, battery maker, national lab and university materials-science department in the world has a team of PhDs whose lives consist of testing countless combinations of elements in an effort to build a thin film battery. There is a fundamental challenge in front of every battery organization to evolve efficient solid state batteries.

In considering the possible application of different batteries, it is important to know how much energy can be delivered at a specified discharge rate or discharge power. Graphs of the energy/cm2 can be delivered at a given power density for the lithium and lithium-ion batteries.

A low temperature deposition process for thin film batteries enables use of flexible, polymer foil as the substrate. This technology largely reduces the production cost of the thin film batteries. Successful development of a low temperature manufacturing process (<350ºC) opened up the possibility of using a polymer substrate such as Kapton, thereby significantly reducing manufacturing cost, while gaining flexibility and significantly reducing the overall thickness of the cells.

Lithium ion battery market driving forces include business inflection that is achieved by delivering electric vehicle and smart computing technology that supports entirely new capabilities. Sensor networks are creating demand for thin film solid state devices. Vendors doubled revenue and almost tripled production volume from first quarter. Multiple customers are moving into production with innovative products after successful trials.

A strong business pipeline has emerged with customer activity in all target markets. Vendors expect full-year revenue to more than double in 2011. The market focus is shifting from ramping capacity to driving manufacturing efficiencies and achieving margin improvement, indicating increasing market maturity.

The worldwide demand for energy is steadily increasing, doubling every 15 years. The major effort is to sustain growth in the electricity supply without causing irreversible harm to the environment. Solar energy has rapidly grown as a clean, renewable alternative to limited fossil fuels. Recognition of the need to reduce reliance on coal and fossil fuels is driving interest in solar energy.

The need to reduce reliance on coal and fossil fuels is intuitive. The science agrees -- climate change is a reality. Citizens want to do something about climate change. Countries wish to not have dependence on foreign suppliers.

Improved energy density is a significant factor to be considered in development of thin film battery materials. Thin film lithium batteries have the potential to reach an energy density as high as 1000 Wh/l. Cell phones and laptops using these thin film batteries will be capable of running up to four times longer than on other lithium
ion batteries having the same physical size.

Lithium-ion categories: are cobalt, manganese, iron-phosphate, polymer and nickel manganese-cobalt. These are the main types of commercialized battery in China. It remains to be seen how thin film batteries utilize these or other materials.

PhotoMedex announces effectiveness of form S-4

MONTGOMERYVILLE, USA: PhotoMedex Inc., a leader in the development of proprietary excimer laser, LED light systems and skin care products for dermatological applications, announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declared PhotoMedex’ Registration Statement on Form S-4 relating to the previously announced proposed merger between PhotoMedex Inc. and Radiancy Inc., a privately held dermatology device company effective as of 10:00 a.m. on November 22, 2011.

The Registration Statement contains a proxy statement/prospectus, which will be mailed to the stockholders of PhotoMedex as well as Radiancy commencing on or about November 22, 2011, seeking their approval of, among other things, the merger.

In addition to registering the shares of PhotoMedex common stock to be issued to the stockholders of Radiancy in the merger, the Registration Statement includes proxy materials for the annual meeting of the PhotoMedex shareholders, which will be held at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, on Monday, December 12, 2011, at the offices of Kaye Scholer LLP, located at 425 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022 and the special meeting of the Radiancy stockholders, which will be held at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, on Monday, December 12, 2011, at the offices of Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, located at 150 East 42nd Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10017.

The consummation of the merger is subject to the approval of the merger by Radiancy’s stockholders and PhotoMedex’s stockholders as well as other customary closing conditions. The boards of directors of PhotoMedex and Radiancy have approved the transaction. The majority of Radiancy stockholders and stockholders representing approximately 46 percent of the common stock of PhotoMedex have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger.
NEW YORK, USA: announced that a new market research report is available in its catalog: Markets for Transparent Conductors in Touch Screen Sensors 2012.

Lithium ion batteries have increasingly become the workhorse power source for the consumer electronics and power tool market and they are finding new applications all the time. For example, some firms are developing lithium ion batteries for the electric vehicle (EV) market, while others seem them as a better bet than the more traditional chemical storage batteries currently used in smart electricity grids.

Within the consumer electronics and power tool sector, the market is looking for longer times between charges and quicker charging from lithium ion batteries and these performance measures will be key competitive factors going forward among the various kinds of lithium ion batteries being deployed. Elsewhere, other measures – such as the cost of energy storage – will determine how well lithium ion batteries will do in sectors such as EV and smart grids.

Most of these critical factors will ultimately be determined by the materials that are chose for lithium ion batteries; especially the electrode materials used. This report examines the commercial implications of the newer materials that are being put forward for electrode materials. As the table of contents indicates, the materials that we have covered in this report include nanostructured carbon and silicon, titanates, vanadium oxides, mixed metal oxides and a variety of lithium compounds.

This report explains the emerging requirements for battery performance in each of the main application sectors for lithium ion batteries and then shows how these translate into demand for novel electrode materials. It also analyzes the market strategies of major materials and battery firms active in this space. The report also provides the eight-year forecasts by application and material type.

O2Micro issued patent for battery cell monitor/balance

GEORGE TOWN, GRAND CAYMAN: O2Micro International Ltd was issued 13 claims under United States patent number 8,004,246 for its Battery Cell Monitor and Balance invention; a continuation of the invention issued April 2010 under United States patent number 7,696,725.

This patented IC accurately monitors cells and balances voltage levels of cells in battery packs for notebook computers, cell phones, PDAs, and other devices with multi-cell rechargeable batteries.

Bill Densham, strategic marketing director at O2Micro, remarked, "This patented circuit provides reliable voltage measurements and flexible cell balancing methodology, using O2Micro's Bleeding-on-demand technology."

Patent granted for O2Micro's flexible bus architecture

GEORGE TOWN, GRAND CAYMAN: O2Micro International Ltd was issued 19 claims under United States patent number 8,015,452 for its Flexible Bus architecture.

O2Micro's flexible, multi-bus architecture is used to monitor and control high voltage battery packs in Electric Vehicles and Utility Grid systems. This invention allows the bus to reconfigure, as needed, to route around fault conditions while maintaining communications.

"This architecture enables identification and mitigation of fault conditions in a battery pack with many stacked cells, maximizing safety and reliability," said Bill Densham, strategic marketing director, O2Micro.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hella continues rapid growth in Mexico

SAN JOSE, USA & ITURBIDE, MEXICO: Hella has increased the production capacity of its San Jose Iturbide electronics plant this year with a 50,000-square-foot facility expansion.

The expansion will enable Hella to increase production of transmission range sensors and surface-mount technology products. Since opening in 2008, the plant's workforce has grown to over 350 employees. Sales levels for the plant have more than doubled in the past two years. The facility currently operates in a three shift pattern.

Located 155 miles north of Mexico City, the San Jose Iturbide plant produces electronics components for US, Mexican, Brazilian and Argentinean customers as well as for export to Europe.

"Our San Jose Iturbide plant plays an important part in our strategy to meet customers' needs by manufacturing our products close to their facilities," said Samir Gandhi, managing director, Hella Electronics Mexico. "Mexico has become an important automotive manufacturing center not only to supply North America but also Central and South America."

The free trade agreement between NAFTA and Mercosur also contributes to Hella Electronics Mexico's strategic position to support growth in Brazil, he added. Products manufactured at the facility emphasize Hella's commitment to fuel efficiency, including accelerator pedal sensors, vacuum pumps, washer pumps, transmission range sensors, body controllers and surface mount technology subassemblies.

Future products may include actuators for turbo applications, grille shutter actuators, steering angle sensors and lighting electronics products.

The plant currently supplies American, Japanese and German original equipment manufacturers as well as a number of Tier 1 suppliers. It is poised for even greater growth in the next several years based on the production of high-quality, high-technology products for a growing international customer base.

Hella also produces lighting components at two plants in Guadalajara and another one in Mexico City, supplying products to BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes, Nissan, Volkswagen and others.

LED lighting to capture 52 percent of commercial building market by 2021

BOULDER, USA: Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are gaining significant momentum as an alternative to incandescent and fluorescent lighting in commercial buildings, particularly as the cost of LED lighting technology continues its rapid decline.

While the market share of LED solid-state lighting (SSL) is currently quite low, a new report from Pike Research forecasts that LED share will reach 52 percent of the commercial lighting market by 2021. The cleantech market intelligence firm anticipates that LED lighting costs for various SSL products will be reduced by 80 percent to 90 percent in many cases during the next decade.

“LEDs represent perhaps the most significant breakthrough of the last 130 years in lighting technology,” says research analyst Eric Bloom. “The production of white LEDs, which began in the late 1990s, is starting to transform the lighting industry, and the transition to this new technology is likely to occur very quickly. Rapidly-evolving technologies, such as semiconductors and software, are finding their way into the lighting market, catapulting this traditional, historically slow-moving industry into a new era of high technology.”

Bloom adds that incandescent and less efficient T12 and T8 fluorescent lamps will be almost completely eliminated over the next 10 years. To take more than 50 percent of the market, LEDs will take share from compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting, and general linear fluorescents.

Pike Research forecasts that the global market for commercial lighting will reach $42 billion in 2011 and see a peak of nearly $54 billion in 2012 before gradually declining to about $30 billion by 2021. The decline will be due to the extended lamp life of both fluorescents and LEDs as they become the primary lamp types, increasingly displacing demand for replacements for less efficient and shorter-lived incandescent lamps.

element14 addresses design and performance challenges with Amphenol's latest RF connectors for Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell) has announced the expansion of its solutions distribution agreement with Amphenol, the world's leading interconnect solutions manufacturer.

element14 now offers Amphenol’s newest series of RF connectors and HD-BNC among its most comprehensive stock of about 110,000 connectors, providing engineers with the widest selection of advanced and high performance connectivity solutions.

Connectors are the indispensable linkages that create a functional ecosystem of complex electronic subsystems. As demands in the broadcast and telecommunications sector shift towards miniaturization, engineers seek high density connectivity solutions that address the technological complexity of end products.

The HD-BNC series delivers what the broadcast industry is demanding for in next-generation systems: a superior high density interconnect solution that builds upon the robustness and familiar user experience that BNC has provided for so many years. With element14's unique service propositions, such as their integrated platform for information and transactions, and same day despatch, engineers will be able to access element14’s solutions easily, improving time to market.

“This new technology from Amphenol RF allows broadcast, telecommunications and other industries to have some of the highest quality designs for their applications, said Marc Grange, head of Product Management, element14, Asia Pacific. “This is a great addition to our connector ranges, which is the most comprehensive in the industry. To complement our wide selection of connector solutions, our element14 platform also offers an extensive range of design resources, including technical datasheet, design toolkits and application notes."

LEDnovation expands EnhanceLite PAR offerings with addition of PAR38 SPOT

TAMPA, USA: LEDnovation, a leading innovator in LED lighting and replacement lamp technology, announced the availability of the EnhanceLite PAR38 Spot. With a 3000K color temperature and tight, 14° beam angle, the PAR38 Spot boasts center beam candle power (CBCP) of 10,280 candelas, making it the ideal choice for highlighting objects from afar in commercial and retail applications.

This new option adds to the 27°, 35° and 55° beam angle choices already available on the EnhanceLite PAR38 lamps.

Israel J. Morejon, CEO of LEDnovation, commented: “From the outset, LEDnovation has been very deliberate in its process of bringing to market LED replacement lamps that deliver change without compromise. Critical to this was offering a full-line of high quality products with multiple choices of beam angle, lumen output and color temperature. Our EnhanceLite® PAR38 Spot adds to our full-line of quality offerings, making LEDnovation the supplier of choice for many customers.”

LEDnovation's newest PAR offering features the latest technological advances in LED efficiency and optic design. Coupled with a strong thermal design, it out-delivers the competition and is significantly more efficient than the halogen and incandescent lamps it replaces.

RS Components launches global DesignSpark chipKIT challenge

OXFORD, ENGLAND: RS Components (RS), the trading brand of electrocomponents plc, the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, announced full details of its DesignSpark chipKIT Challenge, a global competition launching on 28 November 2011.

Run in partnership with Elektor and Circuit Cellar magazines across Europe, Asia Pacific and the US, the chipKIT Challenge is an online competition that challenges electronics design engineers, students and hobbyists to produce an energy efficient, eco-friendly design. Entrants will use the award-winning, free-of-charge DesignSpark PCB software tool from RS and the Digilent chipKIT Max32 development platform featuring the 32-bit PIC32 microcontroller from Microchip Technology, a leading provider of microcontroller, analogue and Flash-IP solutions, to realise their designs.

Registration for the chipKIT Challenge will open at, with participants invited to submit design projects showcasing the functionality of the chipKIT Max32 development kit and DesignSpark PCB in an environmentally friendly application. The first 1,000 qualified entrants to register will be eligible to receive a complimentary chipKIT Max32 development board.

A panel of judges, comprising design engineers and experts, has been established to evaluate the projects based on a range of criteria including energy efficiency, originality, usefulness, and design optimisation. The competition winners will share a total cash prize of $10,000. During the competition entrants will also be encouraged to share ideas and post updates to the RS online DesignSpark community and automatically qualify for a bonus Community Choice Award as well as entry into prize draws.

“Today’s embedded applications are demanding ever-decreasing energy consumption to mitigate the environmental impact of the global electronics market,” said Mark Cundle, technical marketing manager, Electrocomponents. “In conjunction with Microchip, RS has launched this competition through Elektor and Circuit Cellar to highlight its commitment to eco-friendly electronics design and to offer engineers at all levels the opportunity to gain recognition for developing unique, innovative energy efficient products.”

Mike McGlade, sales channel manager - Catalogue & Retail, Microchip, commented: “Microchip is delighted to be a partner in the DesignSpark chipKIT Challenge. The PIC32 based chipKIT board provides a great platform for entrants of all abilities to develop application solutions in a familiar engineering environment. Microchip wishes all entrants the best of luck.”

The closing date for entries to the competition is 27 March 2012. Winners will be announced in April 2012.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Transparent electronics apps and opportunities in 2012

GLEN ALLEN, USA: NanoMarkets announced the upcoming release of its latest market report titled "Transparent Electronics Markets – 2012."

In the past few years there has been much talk about "transparent electronics," but few, if any, attempts to assess the potential size of this market or whether there are genuine opportunities to be found in it. This new report fills this gap and provides the first assessment of transparent electronics from a commercial – rather than technological – perspective. The report covers opportunities at the applications and at the materials levels.

The report begins with an examination of the applications that have been proposed to date for transparent electronics. Most of these have yet to be commercialized and in this survey we analyze each of the applications with a view to determining whether they have a real chance of generating new business revenues in the near-to-medium term future. Our assessment in this regard is based on how the sectors to which transparent electronics is being addressed have developed in the past and on NanoMarkets' many years of experience assessing new technologies in the display, solar panel, TFT, and other related technologies.

This report also provides an in-depth assessment of the devices and materials that are likely to be used in transparent electronics. Here again, NanoMarkets is able to bring to the table its long experience of analyzing the market for transparent conductive oxides, a class on which transparent electronics will be highly reliant. The report also includes a revenue forecast and roadmap for transparent electronics for the period: 2012 to 2019.

TiaLinx releases Phoenix50-A

NEWPORT BEACH, USA: TiaLinx Inc., a developer of remotely controlled small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) integrated with mm-wave miniaturized radars, has released its software-defined multi-function radar sensor implemented in its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) platform, the Phoenix50-A VTOL sUAS system.

The Phoenix50-A VTOL sUAS system is capable of performing various functions such as motion detection within a compound, scanning the ground for unexploded ordnance (UXO), and non-line of site (NLOS) landing using fine beam ultra-wideband (UWB), multi-Gigahertz radio frequency (RF) sensor array. The sUAS can be remotely controlled at long standoff distances from the ground or an airborne asset. TiaLinx's real-time UWB RF Imaging development was sponsored by a SBIR Phase II from the
Department of Army.

Through a software-controlled interface that is integrated into a laptop or joystick, Phoenix50-A can be remotely guided to perform mission critical tasks. In addition to the GPS based guidance system, the low acoustic signature sUAS can land on a desired premise using an undetectable radar. Upon landing, the RF sensor monitors the premise under surveillance for enhanced situational awareness.

The RF sensor transmits very low power UWB signal that is a fraction of a cellular phone's transmitter and is highly directional and can penetrate roofs at an extended range. At the receiver, a signal detector circuit is employed to capture the reflections from targets. Amplitude and delay information are then processed in an integrated signal processor. Capability to probe a compound at standoff keeps the operator and the Phoenix50-A out of harm's way.

"Phoenix50-A's introduction is intended to provide another breakthrough in the miniaturization of advanced life detection sensors that provide the capability to sense-through-the-roof (STTR) remotely. Like its sister product Cougar10-B that was launched on February 2011, Phoenix50-A can also be remotely programmed to survey ground for UXOs. The additional feature of landing in NLOS has paved the road for delivery of autonomous platforms to be announced in the near future," commented Dr. Fred Mohamadi, founder and CEO of TiaLinx.

"TiaLinx is constantly miniaturizing and upscaling its UWB RF imaging core competence to enable standoff sensing of a premise to enhance situational awareness, assist rescue operations in hard-to-reach terrains (such as collapsed buildings after an earthquake), and eradicate land mines to save lives."

Global energy-efficient lighting technology market by correlated color temperature (CCT), app and geography (2011-2016)

NEW YORK, USA: According to a new report published by Transparency Market Research "Global Energy-Efficient Lighting Technology Market by Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), Application and Geography (2011-2016)", the global LED lighting market is estimated to reach $18.2 billion in 2016 at a CAGR of 14.9 percent from 2011 to 2016, while the global CFL Market is expected to grow from $44.3 billion in 2010 to $69.4 billion in 2016, at an estimated CAGR of 8.2 percent from 2011 to 2016.

In the overall LED market by color temperature, the 5000K-6500K segment accounted for the largest market share followed by 2700K-3000K segment in 2010. In general lighting market, residential lighting has the highest share, accounting for more than 40 percent of the overall general lighting market.

The field of lighting has witnessed remarkable technology improvements in the past few years, especially in the area of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and solid state lighting. Conventional incandescent bulbs are expected to reach obsolescence with the onset of CFL and LEDs (light emitting diodes). Lighting accounts for about 18-20 percent of total energy consumption globally; and about 27-30 percent of total energy consumed for domestic purposes.

Currently, lighting accounts for approximately $39-$41 billion of the electricity bill in the US, which makes it full of potential for electricity and cost savings. LED lighting is enjoying robust growth because of its exceptional features that include high energy-efficiency, long operational life and robust weather resistant design. LED lighting applications are likely to see double-digit growth for the next few years with the highest market share in overall lighting market post 2020.

On the contrary, growth of office and industrial applications of LED lighting will be slower due to the existing high penetration of cost-competitive CFLs and fluorescent lamps.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) are about 70 percent more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs. The advantages of CFL include improved light quality and longer operational life in comparison to incandescent lamps. Additionally, CFLs give healthier concentrated light than linear fluorescent and their sizes are just about one-fourth of the size of conventional fluorescent lamps.

CFLs help fight global warming as their electricity consumption is appreciably lower than that of incandescent bulbs. Each CFL is expected to slash carbon dioxide emissions by about 1,300 lbs. over its lifetime. CFLs cost a little more up front, but still offer more savings than incandescent bulbs by using less electricity. Full spectrum fluorescent lighting may also benefit the immune system, and thus improve general health and well-being.

In overall lighting technology market, LED is the fastest growing market at a CAGR of 14.9 percent from 2011 to 2016, because of the increasing applications of LED lighting that includes residential lighting, decoration, signal indicators and display backlighting. The US is expected to be the biggest market of LED in 2016; however Asian region will witness the highest growth rate at a CAGR of 16.6 percent from 2011 to 2016.

In the overall LED market by Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), the 5000K - 6500K segment accounted for the largest market share at over 40 percent revenue share followed by 2700K-3000K segment at around half of the revenue share as compared to the 5000K-6000K segment in 2010. The 5000K-6500Kis also expected to be the fastest growing segment at a CAGR of 15.8 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Avnet announces new five-year $1 billion senior unsecured credit facility

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Inc. has entered into a five-year $1 billion senior unsecured revolving credit facility. The facility includes a $250 million accordion feature allowing Avnet to increase its borrowing capacity to up to $1.25 billion, subject to certain conditions. The facility is scheduled to mature on November 18, 2016 and replaces Avnet’s existing credit facility dated as of September 27, 2007.

Bank of America, N.A. will act as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer and the Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, BNP Paribas, the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, LTD. will act as Syndication Agents.

“With the significant growth in Avnet’s business since we signed our previous credit facility, we determined this was an excellent time to expand our credit availability. This five year facility significantly increases our liquidity at attractive terms and conditions and, together with our strong balance sheet, provides the financial flexibility to pursue our strategic growth objectives,” stated Raymond Sadowski, Avnet’s CFO. “There was significant demand for participation in the facility and this strong sponsorship demonstrates confidence by the financial community in Avnet’s future and its solid financial condition.”

LED light bulb price dipped 10 percent in October; market reception expects to increase

TAIWAN: According to the price survey conducted by LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce, the LED light bulb prices for 60W incandescent light bulb replacement underwent a drastic drop of 9 percent in October; the price dropped by 10 percent in America and hit a low of $24.97, with the average selling price (ASP) declining to $38.6. The LED light bulb prices for 40W incandescent light bulb replacement were relatively stable.

LED light bulb for 60W replacement saw considerable price drop
LEDinside indicates that in October, LED light bulb prices the United States took the most drastic dip: the prices of LED light bulbs for 40W and 60W replacements dropped 3 percent and 10 percent, respectively. At present, the ASP of 60W replacement products dropped to $31.3 with the lowest price hitting $24.97, a much more consumer-friendly price compared to those of other regions. The prominent price downtrend attributed to the price cutting strategy of Philips, which triggered other brand vendors to lower their prices and in turn caused the prices to drop vastly.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Prices of brand-name LED light bulbs for 40W replacement plunged to $11.6
As for 40W incandescent replacement products, the ASP in October remained stable compared with September. Even though the prices in most areas experienced a drop of roughly 3 percent, the ASP rise in Europe canceled out the overall decline, resulting in the October ASP remained the same as September.

Interestingly, the prices of 40W incandescent replacement products in South Korea remained relatively low. Due to the continuous price cutting of brand vendors, the lowest price hit $11.6, approaching the sweet spot of $10, which LEDinside previously predicted.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Perspectives from LEDinside
According to LEDinside, due to the persisting price downturn, the ASP of LED light bulbs fell below US$ 48 /Klm, getting closer to the expectations of the consumers. As for the market trend, the market acceptance of LED lights has been increasing.

Therefore, several countries are planning to enact subsidy policies to increase the penetration rate of LED light bulbs. Chinese government has imposed the ban against incandescent lights, and is expected to announce the subsidy policies for LED light bulbs at the end of 2011. As for Taiwan, the subsidy policy is still in discussion, which should be finalized as soon as possible in order to catch up with the global trend.

Guzik releases ADC 6000 series AXIe-based digitizer module

USA: Guzik has released the ADC 6000 series AXIe-based digitizer module. The ADC 6000 series AXIe-based digital acquisition and processing module combines high-speed waveform digitizer with built-in digital signal processing hardware, which enables mixed-domain signal capture and analysis with high-speed data transfer link to a computer.

The ADC 6000 module comes in a space-saving display-less 1U 19” AXIe module form factor. The product addresses demanding ATE and OEM systems applications in semiconductors, military electronics, physics, astronomy, avionics, and a variety of other disciplines, as well as the disk drive head and media testing applications.

The waveform digitizer ADC 6000 series module features Agilent A/D converters with sampling rates up to 40 GSPS and analog bandwidth up to 13 GHz. ADC 6000 comes with up to 64 GBytes of acquisition memory that delivers the longest waveform capture time window available in a high bandwidth instrument.

ADC 6000 features an FPGA-based reconfigurable digital signal processor with up to 7 GSPS combined processing speed to convey massive time-critical computations directly inside the instrument.

The PCI Express Gen. 2 link provides fast transfer of the acquired data to the host computer’s GPU and CPU-based processing back-end. The x4 link delivers 1.6 GByte/s sustained data transfer rate.

A software development kit is supplied to control the instrument and to integrate ADC into existing AXIe measurement systems. Guzik also supplies Signal Display application for signal capturing and visualization.

Mitsubishi Electric launches color TFT-LCD modules

TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has launched 7-inch WVGA and 10.6-inch WXGA color TFT-LCD modules featuring white light-emitting diodes (LED) and extended backlighting.

These industrial-use modules, suitable for outdoor applications such as digital signage and marine electronics, offer super-high brightness and high contrast ratios, super-wide viewing angles and wide-ranging operational temperatures. Sales will begin on December 12 through Mitsubishi Electric offices globally.

These industrial-use modules will be presented during the SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2011 in Nuremberg, Germany on November 22-24. Initial production has been set at 2,000 units per month for each model.

Both models are expected to help meet the increasing demand for TFT-LCD modules offering high brightness, wide-ranging operational temperatures and wide-angle viewing for varied outdoor applications.

Friday, November 18, 2011

New 100W power supplies for LED lighting from Emerson Network Power

HONG KONG: A new series of high efficiency power supplies for LED lighting, the LDS100 series, is being announced by Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity.

The company’s LED lighting products now cover three distinct power output bands – 25, 70 and 100 W – making it easy for original equipment manufacturers and system installers to obtain the optimum high quality power supply for their application.

The Emerson Network Power LDS100 series 100 watt LED power supplies offer a choice of models –featuring an input range of 120 to 277 Vac (H models), and an input range of 100 to 240 Vac (U model). The first models in the series feature Class 2 outputs capable of delivering up to 4.1 A at 24 Vdc, and offer both constant current and constant voltage output modes, enabling customers to meet the demands of different LED lighting systems with a single model, thereby minimizing inventory. Constant voltage mode operates from no load to full load.

The LDS100-24-H03 model features programmable current limit levels, controlled via an IEC 60929 compliant interface using a standard 0 to 10 V signal, to support dimming. The current limit level is also resistor programmable and can be preset by the system designer.

All of Emerson Network Power LDS100 power supply models feature an active power factor correction rated at 0.9 minimum to support Energy Star requirements and meet the class C harmonic requirements of IEC 61000-3-2. The supplies also have a very high conversion efficiency – typically 90 percent when operating from a nominal 230 Vac input – which further helps minimize users’ running costs. They are rated for operation over a wide case temperature range of minus 40 to 90 degrees Celsius, without forced air cooling.

Available with ingress protection ratings as high as IP67, which provides protection against shallow water immersion, LDS100 power supplies are intended for outdoor and ruggedized indoor applications. Housed in a slimline package measuring just 8.5 x 1.65 inches (215 x 42 mm), with a height of only 1.2 inches (30 mm), the power supplies are easy to accommodate in modern LED lighting fixtures with limited space.

Emerson Network Power LDS100 series power supplies comply with CISPR 15 requirement for EMI and meet FCC part 15 conducted noise standards. They are protected against short-circuit, overvoltage and overtemperature conditions. The surge immunity performance of the LDS100 series has been evaluated to installation class 3 (U models) and class 4 (H models) test levels set out in IEC 61000-4-5.

Critical safety specifications include EN 61347-2-13 and UL 8750, which are specific to LED related applications, and the LDS100 series also complies with CSA C22.2 No. 107.1 and CE LVD directives. The flexible nature of the LDS100 design platform also facilitates rapid modification for customer-specific applications.

element14 optimises energy efficiency with RECOM’s latest power management solutions for Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell), the first electronic component distributor that fuses commerce and community, announced the launch of a new range of power management solutions from RECOM, including AC/DC LED power supplies, micro-size DC/DC converters, switching regulators and AC/DC converters.

At the core of power management is an understanding of how to effectively optimize energy consumption of each system component. By efficiently directing power to different components of a system, power management solutions are indispensable in every electronic product, and can increase the lifetime of the battery that is used to power portable devices.

“We’ve always been very attentive to our customers’ needs and have launched a large selection of converters on the market,” said Cai Yahui, Marketing Manager of RECOM, Asia Pacific. "We are pleased to offer our products through element14 which is a user friendly and integrated resource hub that offers a wide variety of products along with comprehensive information in the form of expert and community discussions, and design resources which help engineers optimise the functionality of our solutions and reduce time-to-market."

“Engineers are constantly seeking innovative solutions for power management and as their partner in innovation, we are delivering the solutions they need with a new range of products from RECOM," said Marc Grange, Head of Product Management, element14, Asia Pacific. "element14 offers a world of solutions in one single interface and consolidates all design resources including experts, design tools, services, hardware, software and up-to-date technical information, into a single dynamic reference point, which helps to generate new design ideas and drive productivity for design processes.”

Managing power conversions
As electronic engineers manage power conversions over a wide power range for applications in the field industrial of controls, lighting, medical, military and telecommunications, the wide selection of power management devices and components offered on element14 are best positioned to address their needs.

RECOM’s new power conversion product, the RACD30, is a reliable and compact AC/DC LED driver module with a design lifetime of 70,000 hours. This makes it ideal for use in many commercial indoor applications.

The cost efficient and micro-size DC/DC converter R0.25 series, is designed with improved efficiency of up to 70% and guarantees an extended ambient temperature range of -40°C to +100°C without derating. It can be used in many industrial low power applications and is also approved for medical applications.

As the inventor of the R-78 switching regulator, a replacement for linear regulators, RECOM has just released the next generation, the R-78C series on element14, which delivers high efficiency over the entire input voltage range, and can be utilised in every branch of electronics including industrial controls, battery-powered devices, hand-held equipment, avionics, fan controllers and embedded designs.

RECOM has also released a new range of isolated 1Watt to 6Watt AC/DC converter with low standby input currents. The cost effective and fully regulated RAC series is ideal for standby power supplies or low power applications such as instrument amplifiers, test and measure instruments and micro controller.

GigOptix expands wideband microwave portfolio with DC to 30 GHz GaAs MMIC distributed power amplifier

SAN JOSE, USA: GigOptix Inc. has expanded its Monolithic-Microwave-Integrated-Circuit (MMIC) power amplifier line with the addition of a 0.25W wideband distributed power amplifier for military Electronic Warfare (EW), radar, test & measurement equipment and broadband telecom equipment applications. This amplifier augments GigOptix’s broad line of power amplifiers with frequency coverage extending up to 90 GHz.

Key features of the iT2012 include:
* Wide bandwidth performance from DC to 30 GHz.
* Internally matched RF input and outputs to 50 Ohms.
* Delivering up to +26 dBm typical saturated output power up to 15GHz and higher than 22dBm up to 30GHz.
* 35dBm typical output IP3 while operating with typical drain voltages of +8 VDC.
* Supply current of 220 mA from a +8V supply.
* Small signal gain of 16dB typical with a gain flatness of ±0.5 dB across band.

“We are excited to release the first new microwave product since our acquisition of Endwave,” stated Andrea Betti-Berruto, CTO of GigOptix. “We have blended the skill sets of both design groups to create a superior performing product. This product release further demonstrates our successful and synergistic integration under the GigOptix umbrella.”

The iT2012 wideband distributed amplifier is available as bare die form and is designed to enable straightforward integration into subsystems and Multi-Chip-Modules (MCMs) by requiring few extra components for bias decoupling. Engineering samples are available now.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

IXYS Colorado intros IXZ421DF18N50 RF power module

FORT COLLINS, USA: IXYS Corp. has introduced the IXZ421DF18N50 RF power module by its IXYS Colorado division.

The IXZ421DF18N50 combines the popular DEIC421 gate driver IC with the ZMOS low capacitance 500V, 19A MOSFET to provide users with an RF switching module that enhances performance and simplifies design through reduced parasitic, smaller footprint and lower part count when compared with traditional discrete devices. The IXZ421DF18N50 can be operated at switching frequencies up to 30MHz and utilized in class D and E applications.

IXZ421DF18N50 features:
* MOSFET/Driver RF Power Module – the IXZ421DF18N50 contains a 500V, 19A MOSFET coupled with the DEIC421 driver IC.
* DC to 30MHz operation – the IXZ421DF18N50 is designed for use from DC to 30MHz for a wide variety of both switch mode and RF applications.
* Ideal for Class D and E RF applications – incorporating both the driver and MOSFET into the module reduces stray inductance and results in greater overall efficiency.
* Fast rise and fall times – the combination of high speed driver & MOSFET along with the DE475 high performance package makes the IXZ421DF18N50 an excellent choice for high power, short pulse and switching applications.
* Hybrid RF MOSFET/driver module – the RF power module reduces part count; provides for easier layout of RF power circuitry and minimizes parasitic circuit elements.
* Kelvin ground connections – aids in eliminating false triggering.
* Robust high power package – the IXZ421DF18N50 utilizes the low thermal impedance and isolated substrate of the DE475 package for improved power density.
* RoHS compliant – All IXYSRF devices are compliant with the RoHS standard and BeO free.

RS Components launches first industry standard packaging facility in China and Asia Pacific

SHANGHAI, CHINA: RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the world's leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, has announced the opening of its first production packaging facility for electronic components in Shanghai, China. The facility will provide greater convenience, flexibility and cost effective solutions to customers who require small batch purchases and industry production packaging.

The industry standard packaging facility is the first in Asia Pacific for RS Components and its third in the world, designed to tap into the expanding market for small batch production customers in China and the rest of Asia Pacific. The facility is able to support up to 600 order a day and offers industry standard packaging for over 30,000 products from the semiconductor, passive, connector and electromechanical lines. Available in tape and reel, tube, tray and other industry standard packaging, this offering will be an added benefit for customers who are engaged in small volume production in China.

Clement Zheng, country manager, RS Components China said: "The new facility helps to encourage innovation and meet the needs of customers engaged in small volume production and R&D across a diverse range of industries, such as electronics, renewable energy and transportation. This new facility is part of our continued investments in China and our commitment to enhance the buying experience for China customers, and at the same time ensures more choices and cost-effective solutions, as well as shorter time-to-market."

The investment in a local industry standard packaging facility is a key initiative in RS Components' overall China and Asia Pacific strategy. The company's business in China has posted a robust growth of 26 percent, contributing to a healthy 12 percent revenue growth for Asia Pacific for the six months ended 30 September 2011. China holds immense opportunities for RS Components with approximately RMB$5.28 trillion (Note 1) spent in the manufacturing sector. China also accounts for 12 percent of global R&D spending (Note 2)。

Sun Jun, Electrical Engineers, Shanghai Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd, said: "As the world's leading high service distributor, RS' increased investment of electronics products with the China warehouse has greatly benefitted local customers. With the newly launched industry standard packaging facility for electronic products, the value added service solves the challenges faced by small batch production customers, and at the same time provide more product lead time assurance. (I) believe that this will provide an additional boost for RS Components' business growth in China."

RS Components has continuously introduced new customer initiatives to provide improved product offerings and service levels for China customers. These include an intuitive website with access to 550,000 products available globally and most recently the introduction of PayEase, a new payment gateway for a seamless online customer experience.

These initiatives have reaped positive customer feedback, with the company winning "China Best Customer Contact Centre Industry Promising Star of the Year" at the 2011 China Best Customer Contact Centre and CRM Awards, a prestigious annual awards event that recognises China's best call centre and customer relationship management.

Federal Circuit affirms International Trade Commission ruling in favor of Avago in parallel fiber optics case

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, announced its successful assertion of patents related to its high-bandwidth parallel fiber optic technology used in datacenter equipment and high-performance computing applications.

On November 14, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an Order affirming the Final Determination, Cease and Desist Order, and Exclusion Order issued by the International Trade Commission in favor of Avago Technologies upon finding a violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337.

The ITC upheld the validity of Avago's patents US Patent Numbers 5,359,447 and 5,761,229, finding that Emcore Corp. infringed US Patent 5,359,447, by importing and selling certain optoelectronics products used in optical communication systems, including parallel fiber optics products and components made and sold by Emcore and used for data communications for core routing and enterprise networking.

Emcore appealed the validity and enforceability of Avago's intellectual property, and the issuance of the Exclusion Order, which appeal was rejected on November 14, 2011, by the Federal Circuit after oral argument on November 10, 2011.

“Avago is pleased the Federal Circuit has upheld the ITC’s decision, and we remain committed to protecting and enforcing our patent and intellectual property rights,” said Patricia H. McCall, general counsel of Avago. “The decision validates the strength of our intellectual property in parallel fiber optics.”

Avago has developed parallel optics technology that enables industry-leading density and bandwidth for high-performance network and datacenter switches, routers, supercomputers, telecom switching and servers. High-density bandwidth is made possible via high performance VCSEL array and laser driver technology that transmits data through multi-lane ribbon fibers in parallel.

As the need for increased datarates and bandwidth grows to support cloud computing, video on demand, server virtualization, storage demand and higher-speed internet traffic, applications are transitioning from copper-based interconnects to parallel optic solutions. Avago provides embedded parallel optic technology in packages that are assembled inside network systems such as POP4, SNAP12 modules, PPOD modules and the small-footprint MicroPOD and MiniPOD modules. In addition, parallel optics technology is used in industry-standard, field-pluggable form factors such as QSFP transceivers, QSFP active optical cables (AOCs), CXP transceivers, CXP AOCs, and multimode CFP transceivers.

The case is Emcore Corp. v. International Trade Commission and Avago Technologies Fiber IP (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Avago Technologies General IP (Singapore) Pte Ltd, and Avago Technologies Ltd, No. 2011-1069. The case below is In the Matter of Certain Optoelectronic Devices, Components Thereof and Products Containing the Same, case number 337-TA-669, in the US International Trade Commission.

Diodes Inc. wins double at UK Industry Awards

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc. has picked up two awards from the United Kingdom’s National Microelectronics Institute (NMI) at its prestigious Industry Summit & Gala Dinner and Awards 2011 held at the Wyndham Grand Chelsea Harbour, London, on November 3, 2011.

Diodes won the award categories for Skills, Training and Development and for Manufacturing Site of the Year. Now in its 9th year, the NMI’s Industry Summit & Gala Dinner and Awards attracts more than 300 guests from the United Kingdom and around the world.

On presenting the two awards, the NMI’s CEO, Derek Boyd, said: “In the category of skills, training and development, Diodes Inc.'s Oldham manufacturing operation showed clear leadership in the training of its workforce and in its engagement in problem solving, which has led to a fantastic improvement in business metrics.

“As the manufacturing site of the year, Diodes Inc.'s wafer fab in Oldham impressed the judging panel the most, by clearly demonstrating a wide range of successes in a variety of different areas. These included: significant increases in productivity, capacity and toolset usage; significant reductions in costs; and workforce engagement, resulting in many very tangible improvements in the manufacturing process.”

Tim Monaghan, Head of Diodes’ UK Operations, said: “We are very proud to have won these two awards, which are both, in no small way, a result of the hard work and commitment of individual employees working closely together in dedicated teams to achieve some very far-reaching and demanding manufacturing goals.”

Dr Keh-Shew Lu, president and CEO of Diodes Inc., said, “Excellence in manufacturing is one of the real cornerstones of Diodes’ success, and I am particularly proud of our Oldham team for its tremendous effort over the years, which will strongly contribute to Diodes’ growth in the future.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TAOS debuts industry’s first digital color sensors with on-chip IR filtering and proximity sensing

PLANO, USA: TAOS – the pioneer in optosensor technology and leading global supplier of integrated light sensors – has extended its leadership product portfolio with the industry’s first color sensors with an on-chip infrared (IR) blocking filter and proximity sensor.

TAOS is announcing the TCS3x71 and TCS3x72 Series of Digital Color RGB and Proximity Sensors which provide color measurement, and when coupled with IR LED, proximity detection within a wide range of lighting conditions and through a variety of attenuating materials. The TCS3x72 Series is the industry’s first color sensor with an IR blocking filter integrated directly on-chip and localized only to the color sensor photodiodes.

High accuracy color sensing requires eliminating errors due to the IR spectral component in light sources. As a result of advanced semiconductor process techniques and TAOS’ optoelectronics innovation, the on-chip IR blocking filter minimizes these effects and eliminates requirements for external IR filtering. In addition, the on-chip IR blocking filter enables the devices to perform ambient light sensing (ALS). ALS devices are commonly used in display-based devices such as smartphones, tablets, HDTVs, notebooks/desktop PCs and monitors to enable automatic backlight brightness control based on lighting conditions for optimum viewing and energy conservation.

The ability to sense color precisely and reliably is crucial in many applications across a variety of industries. The TCS3x71 and TCS3x72 Series provides cost-effective and low-power solutions for color measurement, discrimination and determination in a wide variety of applications such as color adjustment in printers, industrial process quality controls, portable medical diagnostic systems, paper and product handling, toys and games. For color sensing in closed environments with no IR light sources, the TCS3x71 Series applications include closed-loop color temperature feedback control in solid-state lighting (SSL) and LED RGB backlit displays.

TCS3771 and TCS3772 family of devices are the industry’s first color sensors with an integrated proximity sensor. Proximity detection is ideally suited for touchscreen smartphones to automatically turn off the touchscreen when the phone senses it is close to the user’s head during a call.

Proximity detection has a wide variety of applications for user or object presence detect in display-based products (notebook and desktop computers, tablets, TVs, monitors, etc.), industrial process controls, consumer electronics and home appliances. An emerging application for proximity detection is sensing a finger to create a “virtual button” as a replacement for a mechanical or capacitive touch switch, with improved reliability, industrial design and space requirements.

Arrow Electronics joins with SiTime to accelerate transition to MEMS-based timing solutions

HONG KONG: Arrow Electronics Inc. has expanded its line card with SiTime’s revolutionary new SiT530x family of Stratum 3 compliant oscillators that are designed to replace OCXOs and TCXOs.

Since entering into a global distribution agreement in February 2011, Arrow and SiTime have been actively promoting MEMS oscillators and clock generators in the Asian market to drive the replacement of quartz crystal products with silicon MEMS. Today’s announcement could dramatically accelerate the electronics industry’s adoption of MEMS-based silicon timing solutions.

“Arrow joined with SiTime to accelerate the transition from quartz to more efficient, cost-effective MEMS-based solutions for our customers in Asia. SiTime is a leader in timing solutions and continues to set new benchmarks in performance and cost,” said Esmond Wong, VP of business development for Arrow Asia Pac Ltd. “With SiTime’s unique technology and Arrow’s large footprint in Asia, we are well positioned to provide our customers with industry-leading MEMS-based silicon timing solutions that offer enhanced performance, features and reliability, with shorter lead times and a lower cost of ownership.”

“Arrow Electronics, with its global reach and exceptional value-added services, is a key partner to drive the electronics industry transition from quartz to MEMS-based timing solutions,” said Piyush Sevalia, VP of marketing at SiTime. “The new SiT530x family will help Arrow provide customers with solutions that boost the performance and reliability of their timing requirements for a wide range of applications, including telecom, networking, communication and storage computing.”

Arrow Asia Pac Ltd, a business unit of Arrow Electronics, is one of Asia-Pacific’s leading electronic component distributors. In addition to its regional headquarters in Hong Kong, Arrow Asia Pac operates 54 sales offices, four primary distribution centers and 14 local warehousing facilities in 13 countries across Asia.

Mouser partners with Nextreme to deliver micro-scale thermal management and energy harvesting solutions

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. has partnered with Nextreme Thermal Solutions to bring customers the future of thermal management and energy harvesting for power generation.

Nextreme designs and manufactures micro-scale thermal management and energy harvesting solutions for applications in the optoelectronic, telecom, test and measurement, industrial, and government/aerospace markets. Using patented thin-film thermoelectric technology, Nextreme is building a robust portfolio of thermoelectric cooling modules which operate from standard voltages and currents, as well as power generation modules and evaluation kits that can convert waste heat into useable electricity.

“Energy harvesting technology is advancing rapidly and Nextreme is at the forefront of innovation,” says Russell Rasor, Mouser VP of Advanced Technology. “We are excited to be able to offer Nextreme’s innovative products to design engineers throughout the Americas and Asia.”

“Nextreme is continuously developing new solutions for thermal management and power generation,” states Bob Collins, VP of Business Development at Nextreme. “Partnering with Mouser helps us give design engineers fast and easy access to these new solutions by offering customers fast shipping, no minimum orders and best-in-class customer service.”

Power Integrations’ LinkSwitch-PH LED driver ICs available in low-profile package for fluorescent tube replacements

SAN JOSE, USA: Power Integrations announced the availability of LinkSwitch-PH LED driver ICs in a low-profile eSIP-7F (L package) that measures just 2 mm high. The new package targets LED-based replacements for fluorescent tubes, where very low-profile packages are required to fit into the small space available behind the LED circuit board, as well as other applications where board height is constrained.

LinkSwitch-PH devices in the 2-mm L package have the same thermal and electrical performance as previously released ICs in the 10 mm high eSIP-7C (E package). The new L package features a heat transfer tab on top of the device which is electrically quiet (source potential) so any additional heatsink does not contribute to electrical noise propagation.

Power Integrations’ LinkSwitch-PH single-stage, primary-side controlled, LED driver ICs feature >90 percent efficiency and >0.9 power factor. The innovative topology eliminates the need for unreliable electrolytic bulk capacitors and opto-isolators, making the devices ideal for high-reliability industrial, commercial, and exterior solid-state lighting (SSL) applications. Suitable for designs from 4 W to 55 W, SSL driver ballasts based on LinkSwitch-PH ICs easily satisfy ENERGY STAR and EN61000-3-2 class C and D requirements.

Andrew Smith, product marketing manager at Power Integrations, said: “Competing T8 tube replacement power supplies occupy the full diameter of the tube and several inches of tube length leaving a dark patch on one or sometimes both ends of the tube. PI’s new low-profile L package enables the power supply to be positioned on the underside of the LED PCB, with space on the front of the panel for LEDs. This facilitates even, consistent lighting across the whole length of the tube, resulting in better aesthetics and a discernibly better light distribution.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cree’s Ruud Lighting subsidiary announces 208,000-square-foot facility expansion

STURTEVANT, USA: Cree Inc.’s Ruud Lighting subsidiary, based in Racine, Wisc., will hold a groundbreaking ceremony today to highlight a 208,000-square-foot expansion to its manufacturing facility. The company’s $24.5 million investment will focus on manufacturing and assembly of LED lighting and is expected to create 469 new full-time jobs over the next four years.

“Cree’s recent acquisition of Ruud Lighting and its BetaLED products brought together two leading LED lighting companies under one roof,” said Chuck Swoboda, chairman and CEO of Cree. “Last month this facility shipped its 500,000th LED luminaire—further evidence of the market demand for the latest LED technology and a need to expand our facilities to maintain our leadership of the LED lighting revolution.”

The expansion will extend component and product storage capacity and house several new manufacturing lines for new and existing Cree LED lighting products. In addition to the 208,000-square-foot facility, the investment will include equipment needed to expand manufacturing operations. Most of the full-time jobs will be assembly positions, with other opportunities to follow growing demand for LED lighting products.

“This is exciting news for the lighting industry and Racine County,” said Christopher Ruud, president of Cree’s Ruud Lighting subsidiary. “Beyond Cree’s dedication to advancing LED lighting technology, it’s a long-term investment in the people of Racine County and the community’s manufacturing base.”

To help offset the company’s $24.5 million investment, Ruud Lighting will receive funding and incentives related to local job creation from sources, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC); Racine County; Racine County Economic Development Corp. (RCEDC); and the Village of Sturtevant, totaling more than $8 million.

Microsemi intros family of DC-DC regulators for enterprise apps

ALISO VIEJO, USA: Microsemi Corp., a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, introduced a family of DC-DC regulators for powering disk drives used in enterprise applications.

The new LX7167 2A, LX7169 3A and LX7165 5A DC-DC regulators are based on a flexible architecture that is unique to Microsemi and includes patent-pending control technology. The cost-effective implementation enables ultra-fast transient response times, while minimizing power dissipation.

"The performance and technical advantages of our new regulators have already been validated by design wins from one of the industry's leading disk drive manufacturers," said Mark Smith, product line manager, DC-DC products for Microsemi.

"As we execute on our product roadmap we plan to leverage the unique flexibility, control technology and ultra-fast response times of this product suite in targeting a number of applications within the growing DC-DC converter market."

According to Darnell Group in its 2011 Worldwide DC-DC Converter IC Forecast, the worldwide DC-DC converter IC market will grow from nearly 20 billion units in 2011 to just under 32 billion units in 2016.

Microsemi's new DC-DC regulators are targeted at 3.3V and 5V applications and are offered in multiple output current ratings. Customers can choose from a variety of space-saving package technologies including dual flat no-lead (DFN) and wafer-level chip-scale packaging (WL-CSP).

Microsemi's patent-pending control technology eliminates the need for a traditional control loop error amplifier and allows immediate response to load and line disturbances. In addition, delays associated with the control network are eliminated, enabling increased speed and lower device bias currents. The resulting speed improvement also facilitates the removal of output capacitors, which lowers component counts and bill-of-material costs.

Microsemi's new regulators provide the speed needed to deliver the transient power larger capacitors would have provided in the past. The increased speed reduces output voltage excursions during transient loads as much as three times compared to competitive solutions. In addition, the lower bias currents ensure the regulators maximize efficiencies at the lowest load currents.

Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas in deal with energy harvester, Midé

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, a business region of Avnet Inc. announced the addition of vibration energy harvesting manufacturer, Midé to its line card. Avnet will offer customers a broad array of Midé energy harvesting products including its integrated Volture Vibration Harvester power supplies, and raw piezoelectric energy harvesters.

Midé’s proprietary materials exploit the piezoelectric effect to scavenge otherwise wasted energy from mechanical vibration to use as an electrical power source. Vibration energy harvesters can supplant traditional batteries, creating permanently powered and maintenance-free devices for use in wireless sensors, process controls, transportation and aerospace applications. Also available to Avnet customers is the Midé Slam Stick Vibration Recorder, an ultra-portable vibration data logger for characterizing vibration sources.

“We are excited to work with Avnet to bring our full line of energy harvesting solutions to market,” said Chris Ludlow, director of engineering at Midé. “Choosing Avnet as a distribution partner was based as much on Avnet’s ability to support our products through their technical, design-chain specialists, as it was the ability to introduce our products to its more than 100,000 customers. We look forward to working together to help bring more products to market.”

“Energy harvesting is a hot topic in the design community,” said Joe Tillison, technology director for Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas. “The addition of Midé to Avnet’s line card rounds out our portfolio of energy harvesting transducers and enabling technologies for energy harvesting applications. Together, with the expertise of suppliers like Midé and reference designs from best-in-class IC suppliers, Avnet offers our mutual customers an advantage that helps get products to market faster.”

Avago joins United Nations Global Compact

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, has become a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact. As a participating company, Avago agrees to uphold the Compact’s ten principles in the four areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

Since its founding in 2000, the UN Global Compact has grown to have more than 8,000 participants, including over 6,000 businesses in 135 countries around the world. In addition to following the ten principles, the Compact calls for participants to promote corporate social responsibilities to foster a sustainable and inclusive global economy, starting with the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

“By committing to the UN Global Compact's ten principles, Avago is reaffirming our corporate citizenship and contributing to the building of a sustainable society,” said Hock Tan, president and CEO of Avago. “We are proud to serve as an example to other high-tech companies in joining and will encourage our existing supply-chain to participate as well.”

Molex Impact 100-ohm orthogonal direct connector architecture delivers up to 25 Gbps data rates

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. recently launched the Impact 100-Ohm orthogonal direct connector system designed for a direct connection of printed circuit boards using the same daughtercard. Featuring options of 3-through 6-pair, the Impact orthogonal direct technology supports high-speed 25 Gbps data rates and substantially eliminates airflow, cross-talk, and capacitance constraints in high-speed channels which are introduced through current backplane/midplane laminates.

“The direct connector solution leverages the density, signal integrity and high-speed advantages of Impact technology, without added cost and press-fit assembly,” explains Pete Soupir, new product development manager, Molex. “The space saving combination of the direct right-angle male connector and daughtercard simplifies component management for our manufacturing customers and enhances performance in data, telecommunications, medical, networking and other high-speed devices.”

Molex Impact orthogonal direct connectors feature two compliant-pin attach options and 18 to 72 differential pairs per orthogonal node. The 3-through 6-pair configurations include a complete range of options for the PCB and mating interface. The system leverages the field-proven Impact mating interface, which offers the lowest mating force in the backplane industry, and patented compliant-pin technology to provide design flexibility and balance for superior mechanical and electrical performance.

Designed to meet IEEE 10GBASE-KR and Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) Stat Eye Compliant channel performance requirements, the Molex Impact orthogonal direct connector system ensures end-to-end compliance. Featuring shorter line cards and switch-module signal paths, the simple 2.15 by 1.35mm grid on both the Impact backplane and daughtercard reduces PCB routing complexity and costs.

Enpirion’s DC-DC converter for power management in SSDs

HAMPTON, USA: Enpirion, the leading innovator of the industry’s smallest point-of-load DC-DC converters, announced a new member of its power IC portfolio targeted at solid-state drives (SSDs) as well as industrial embedded applications.

The Enpirion EN5339 3 Amp power system-on-a-chip (PowerSoC) integrates the controller, power MOSFETs, compensation network and inductor into one highly compact solution that significantly reduces the traditional engineering analysis and design effort associated with discrete DC-DC converter designs. Its slim profile offers Enpirion’s wide base of customers – who offer diverse form factors including SATA, PCIe, mSATA and others – an important new alternative. The EN5339 has already landed more than 20 design wins ahead of its official market release.

“Enpirion’s portfolio of PowerSoCs supports our hardware designers in easing the process of bringing to market numerous platforms, form factors and capacities,” said Jonathan Hinkle, memory system architect, Viking Technology, a leader in SSD, DRAM and hybrid technologies for the enterprise storage market. “The EN5339 is a nice addition to Enpirion’s lineup and helps streamline our power design efforts by eliminating cumbersome steps and needless iterations.”

The EN5339 fits into a 55 mm2 solution area with a 1.1 mm profile – setting the bar for the smallest 3 Amp solution available. Small form-factor SSDs, in particular, require this small area and height. Keeping up with the demands of storage, embedded and industrial applications, the EN5339 enables a 20 percent solution footprint reduction and 40 percent lower profile compared to previous Enpirion 3 Amp products.

FCI Microconnections becomes Linxens

SINGAPORE: FCI Microconnections, a division of the FCI group and a global leader in the design and manufacture of flexible etched circuits (FECs), has become a standalone company operating under the name Linxens.

The creation of Linxens, which employs 770 people and has the capacity to produce over 10 billion FECs – or smart card tapes – for smart cards per annum, follows the acquisition of FCI Microconnections by Astorg Partners, a leading private equity group.

Announcing the launch of the new company at the CARTES & IDentification trade show in Paris, Christophe Duverne, CEO of Linxens, said: “The creation of Linxens represents the start of an exciting new era in our 30-year history. Our roots as a company go back to the early 1980s, when the FEC for smart card was created to meet the challenge of inter-connecting the first commercial IC cards with electronic readers. Since then, we have become a leader in the FEC market around the world, producing over 37 billion FECs for smart cards and introducing a host of innovative products for applications such as SIMs, dual-interface banking cards, electronic ID. By becoming a standalone company, we will further strengthen our focus on customers’ needs, while maintaining our R&D efforts in developing new products.”

Duverne added: “The name Linxens highlights the key role we play in linking smartcards with readers, users with applications, and our customers with their markets. Along with our new tagline, ‘access to excellence’, it also highlights our unique know-how and passion for quality and innovation that we put at the service of our customers to deliver reliable and robust flexible circuits.”

The new company will benefit from the extensive manufacturing and R&D facilities established by FCI Microconnections. These include fully integrated, automated reel to reel production plants in France and Singapore, and a newly opened inspection unit in China. With a truly global operation, the company has achieved a turnover of €200 million in 2010, with 61 percent of sales generated in Asia.

Under the terms of a sales agreement signed on October 30 2011, 70 percent of shares in Linxens will be held by Astorg Partners and 30 percent by Bain Capital. Welcoming the new ownership structure, Duverne said: “The choice of Astorg Partners was made after a very thorough and careful selection process. They are one of the most active private equity fund management groups in France and have an excellent track record in helping technology companies develop into new markets. Responsible for assets worth more than €2 billion, they also offer a very supportive and entrepreneurial management culture.”

Christian Couturier, partner at Astorg, said: “Linxens represents a very attractive investment. It is already a global leader in its market, thanks to outstanding innovation capabilities and industrial know-how. We are looking forward to working with Christophe Duverne and his management team. We are determined to turn Linxens, as a standalone company, into an even greater success story for its customers and staff.”

Linxens’ key strengths include the ability to produce very high volumes of competitively priced FECs that demonstrate exceptional standards of reliability. Crucially, Linxens produces FECs in a reel to reel format that supports automated manufacturing processes and achieves unrivalled quality levels. The company has been manufacturing FECs at its plant in Mantes la Jolie, France, since 1989 and opened a second manufacturing site in Singapore in 2004. In October 2011, a final inspection unit began operations in Suzhou, China.

Linxens’ product portfolio covers a comprehensive range of FECs, including double-sided circuits that are used in the fast-growing dual-interface payment cards. In 2007 the company introduced the ground-breaking NXT plating technology which has since become the de-facto standard for the smart card industry, as it reduced the reliance on gold while improving resistance to corrosion. The company has also been actively involved in the creation of new SIM form factors, including for the fast growing M2M (Machine to Machine) market, and has recently designed new modules for e-Passport applications.

With a clear strategy to opening new markets, Duverne explained: “Thanks to our R&D efforts, we will strive to maintain our leadership in the smart card market by bringing constant innovation to our customers. In parallel, Linxens has developed beyond the smart card market as it has already started to do several years ago by developing FEC solutions for new markets.”