Friday, December 30, 2011

Foley Group celebrates golden anniversary

KANSAS CITY, USA: Foley Group Inc., a leader in the commercial and industrial lighting industry, is celebrating its 50th year in business.

"This is a major milestone for Foley Group. Our company began as a representative for Lithonia Lighting in 1961, and Foley Group still represents Lithonia and the Acuity line today," said president and co-owner, Scott J. Denney. "We're pleased about celebrating 50 years in business. Foley Group is delighted to offer the most cutting-edge products and industry expertise for our customers, enabling them to provide the most innovative lighting and lighting control solutions to their clients," Denney continued.

"This is an exciting time to be in the lighting industry. The technological advancements in LED lighting and digital controls are revolutionary and enable end users to maximize energy savings and reduce maintenance costs. At the same time the controllability of LED fixtures is easier than ever before for the installer and the end user. In addition to using less energy which saves money and helps the environment, these innovations literally increase the quality of light in the space," said Denney.

Digital LED lighting is the way of the 21st century, as it is emerging as the viable alternative to fluorescent fixtures.

The team at Foley Group has over 253 years of combined experience in the lighting industry which has resulted in the company's position as the most respected firm in the field.

"We rely on Foley Group because of their people's expertise in lighting and lighting control solutions of every type," said David W. Rezac, principal at the multiple award-winning architectural firm, 360 Architecture Inc.

Quantum and SB Electronics to launch next gen hybrid electric drive systems

IRVINE, USA: Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. and SBE Inc. announced a technology partnership between the two companies. As part of this partnership, SBE, Inc. is providing a novel integrated capacitor/bus structure design solution for Quantum power electronics for automotive applications. The SBE integrated module is an innovative approach which offers many benefits such as higher performance, weight reduction, smaller packaging and total system cost savings.

"Quantum continues to optimize and improve the efficiencies of our advanced electric drive-train products. We expect the SBE integrated capacitor/bus structure to enable substantial packaging and performance advantages in our next generation electric and hybrid-electric drive systems," said Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO Quantum Technologies.

"SBE is pleased that Quantum Technologies is one of the first implementers of our advanced integrated capacitor/bus designs. We are proud to be partnering with a leading technology drivetrain provider like Quantum," said Ed Sawyer, president and CEO for SBE Inc.

Jon Bereisa, senior technical advisor for SBE, added: "The electrification of the automobile has successfully reached the technical feasibility stage today. Cost improvements are needed to reach the commercial viability stage for mass market acceptance. Cost must be attacked everywhere. The SBE power ring capacitor technology is a major enabler for power electronics design simplification, up-integration, and higher temperature operation to significantly drive down the cost while improving performance."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Opnext updates status following flooding in Thailand

FREMONT, USA: Opnext Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacturing of optical modules and components, issued the following update regarding the status of its operations following the severe flooding in Thailand which halted operations at the Chokchai campus of Fabrinet, Opnext’s primary contract manufacturer, on October 22, 2011:

Production at Fabrinet’s Chokchai factory remains suspended and Fabrinet has stated that it is unlikely that production at Chokchai will resume. As a result, Opnext has relocated limited production capacity to its manufacturing facilities in Totsuka, Japan and Fremont, California.

In addition, the company is diverting a portion of the 10Gbps module production capacity previously at Fabrinet’s Chokchai facility to Fabrinet’s Pinehurst facility, located approximately seven miles north of Chokchai. Fabrinet has allocated surface mount technology (SMT) lines at Pinehurst to Opnext and new test systems are being constructed to replace systems lost in the flooding.

The company anticipates that Fabrinet will start production in February 2012 and ramp production as new test systems come online. Opnext is also in the process of engaging an additional contract manufacturer with the goal of dual sourcing the manufacturing of certain high volume products. Opnext expects to have restored approximately 20 percent of the lost 10Gbps module production capacity by the end of December, and anticipates continuing to increase production capacity during the quarter ending March 31, 2012, with a return to full production capacity expected sometime early in the quarter ending June 30, 2012.

Opnext expects that the loss of production capacity at Fabrinet will have significant impact on the Company’s operations and its ability to meet customer demand for its products for the remainder of its fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. The company expects that the loss of revenue in each of the third fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2011 and the fourth fiscal quarter ending March 31, 2012 will be material.

Multiple factors will affect the extent of revenue loss, including, but not limited to, Opnext's ability to move production to other locations, existing inventory from which to meet customers’ needs, the Company’s ability to source parts from suppliers that have been impacted by the flooding or from alternative suppliers in instances where the Company has had to locate alternatives, the level of demand from customers, and Opnext’s ability to incrementally increase production at its other facilities.

In addition to the loss of revenue, Opnext has experienced some loss of equipment and inventory in connection with the flooding at Fabrinet’s facility, the full extent of which is still not known. At the time of the flooding, the company had production equipment at the Chokchai facility, primarily consisting of 10Gbps module test sets, with an original cost of approximately $31.3 million.

While it has been determined that some of the more sophisticated measurement equipment escaped damage from the flood waters, the company is still in the process of determining the extent of equipment lost as a result of the flooding. The Company also had approximately $15.7 million of inventory with Fabrinet in Thailand, consisting of approximately $7.6 million of raw materials and $8.1 million of finished goods. Although approximately one half of the finished goods have already been determined to be in good condition, Opnext is still in the process of determining the status of the remainder of the finished goods as well as the status of the company’s raw materials.

While Fabrinet maintains insurance for the equipment and inventory located at the facility (and Opnext maintains independent insurance for a portion of the inventory) and there are additional contractual protections in favor of Opnext that Fabrinet has stated it will honor, it is not clear that the insurance will be adequate to fully cover Opnext’s losses or that Opnext will otherwise be made whole.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Global magnetic field sensors market worth $2 billion by 2016

DALLAS, USA: According to a new market research report "Global Magnetic Field Sensors Market (2011-2016)" published by MarketsandMarkets, the demand for magnetic field sensors in the year 2010 was 3.67 billion units; which are expected to reach 7.14 billion units in 2016 at a CAGR of 10.3 percent.

In value terms, the market for magnetic field sensors stood at $1.1 billion in year 2010 and is expected to reach $2 billion by year 2016 at a CAGR of 8.7 percent during the projected period.

The need for magnetic field sensors is evolving and is continuously growing. Today's magnetic field sensors mainly utilize digital technology, which means better in efficiency and sensing performance. Magnetic field sensors have a special place in different industry verticals.

The major applications of magnetic field sensors are in automotive industry, consumer electronics industry, homeland security, healthcare, and defense industry. The consumer segment, together with computing applications, is the largest user; followed by the automotive segment. In automotive industry, the magnetic field sensors are improving driver's safety and comfort and engine's efficiency and performance.

Magnetic field sensors offer several key advantages: they allow contactless and consequently wear-free measurement of mechanical and electrical quantities such as angle of rotation, angular speed, linear position, linear speed, and current. With advantages both on cost and performance front over the other technologies, magnetic field sensors have a bright future and will continue to grow in the coming years.

The revenue for the magnetic field sensors market is expected to grow from $1.1 billion in 2010 to $2 billion in 2016 at a CAGR of 8.7 percent from 2011 to 2016. The volume of magnetic field sensors is currently estimated to be 3.67 billion units and expected to reach 7.14 billion units at a CAGR of 10.3 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Many smartphones contain magnetic field sensors. There are compass applications which show direction.

Researchers at Deutsche Telekom have used magnetometers embedded in mobile devices to permit touchless 3-D interaction. Their interaction framework, called Magi Tact, tracks changes to the magnetic field around a cell phone to identify different gestures made by a hand holding or wearing a magnet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Analysis of global TVS diodes markets

LONDON, UK: Transient voltage surges comprise the most severe, common and immediate danger to sensitive electrical and electronic equipment. The cumulative effect of transients causes semiconductor degradation, equipment destruction, control process disruption and circuit board damage. Transients frequently cause premature equipment failure, resulting in costly downtime and lost productivity.

New research study “TVS Diodes: World Markets, Technologies & Opportunities: 2011-2016” prepared by Paumanok Publications provides true and unbiased insights into the global markets for transient voltage suppressor (TVS) diodes.

The study provides a technology overview describing each component type; coverage of international standards and regulations governing TVS diodes as well as granular market analysis of TVS diodes by type, including value, volume and average pricing; historical rates of demand; pricing comparison; consumption by type, end use market segment as well as world region. Vendor market shares and competitive analysis for each component type, forecasts through 2016 and profiles of 42 vendors are also included.

A123 Systems to supply 11MW grid battery system to Sempra for Auwahi wind project in Hawaii

WALTHAM, USA: A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems, will supply an 11MW Grid Battery System (GBS) to Sempra Generation for the Auwahi Wind project in Maui, Hawaii. The advanced energy storage solution is designed to smooth variable wind power generation, which is expected to help maintain the stability to Maui's electric grid.

"We believe that wind-rich locations like Hawaii represent a significant opportunity for energy storage, especially as project developers and utilities continue to understand that storage has the capability to help maximize production and reduce the challenges associated with the variability of wind power generation," said Robert Johnson, VP of the Energy Solutions Group at A123.

"We consider Sempra Generation's selection of our GBS energy storage solution for the Auwahi Wind project to be strong validation of our technology, and we look forward to showcasing the benefits of our energy storage systems for wind power integration when the Auwahi project is operational."

When fully operational, the 21MW Auwahi Wind project is expected to be capable of generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 10,000 homes, and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved a 20-year contract for Maui Electric Company to purchase the electricity produced at Auwahi. A123's GBS storage system is designed to facilitate the smooth and efficient operation of the wind farm, helping Sempra Generation maintain the consistent delivery of clean, emission-free energy to Maui Electric.

In addition, A123's Smart Grid Domain Controller will manage voltage regulation requirements for the project, leveraging the battery system and other assets including substation capacitor banks. When called upon, the storage solution will use A123's proprietary Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and built-in power electronics to deliver up to 11MW of power in milliseconds, providing Sempra Generation with a robust, turnkey solution for meeting energy requirements while helping to maintain grid stability.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Eltek to supply on-board chargers for Volvo's new electric vehicle project

DRAMMEN, NORWAY: Eltek has signed an agreement with Volvo Car Corp. regarding deliveries of on-board chargers for a hybrid electrical vehicle program. Under the agreement, Eltek will supply complete water-cooled on-board chargers with volume production starting in 2012.

“We are very pleased to have signed this agreement with Volvo Car as it demonstrates further acknowledgment of our high efficiency technology and its benefits,” said Michel Fraisse, VP of E-Mobility at Eltek. “With its hybrid vehicles, Volvo Car brings together the best of the latest electric vehicle technology with its top combustion engines, enabling drivers to have all of the benefits of an electric vehicle, without sacrificing performance or range. We are proud to be a part of this project and look forward to working closely with Volvo Car to ensure the optimal utilization of our leading technology.”

The Eltek EV Powercharger 3000 features an industry-leading 96 percent power conversion efficiency, which minimizes heat generation and battery charge time, and thereby lowers consumer charging costs.

Eltek is a 40-year global leader in high efficiency power electronics, with experience supplying DC power systems and battery charging to demanding applications in telecom, railways and power utilities.

“Energy efficiency, limited heat generation, light weight and compact size are some of the key advantages of our technology,” Fraisse said. “All serious automotive manufacturers are working with E-mobility one way or the other, and we are seeing great interest in our technology from many of them. This contract with Volvo Car is an important step.”

Friday, December 23, 2011

AMERLUX unveils SmartSite LED street lighting and network control system

FAIRFIELD, USA: Amerlux unveiled SmartSite, powered by Intellistreets and the world’s most technically advanced street lighting system which integrates energy efficient LED lighting technology with a robust, bi-directional mesh network control system. This innovative system manages lighting, audio, video and energy usage throughout urban, suburban and college environments.

Operating effectively without cable installation, underground trenching or wire maintenance to set-up the control of the outdoor lighting, sound and video, SmartSite is a 24/7 area-wide system that offers architectural luminaire styles, a robust platform, digital wireless solutions, Wi-Fi capabilities, and a myriad of homeland security features.

Smartsite also offers multimedia solutions that can upgrade an existing infrastructure to provide information, advertising, security and entertainment for public spaces with streetlights that automatically adjust the lighting to illuminate the area with the specific amount of light needed. The digital display banners, and synchronized sound from integrated speakers on each “Smart” light pole, will provide a seamless audience experience as well as generate a measurable revenue stream.

“The SmartSite outdoor lighting management system is revolutionizing how we illuminate and communicate within our communities,” explained Frank P. Diassi, chairman and founder of Amerlux. “We are proud to unveil a wireless network and multimedia platform that fully integrates performance based lighting designed to yield significant energy savings, as well as enhance public safety, security and communications.”

SmartSite utilizes the area’s existing power supply and can simply replace the existing streetlights with a fully featured system with energy efficient LEDs that save money and maintenance. Existing metal halide or high pressure sodium fixtures can be replaced in just minutes, with LED luminaires that can for years, with options on the pole to make it “Smart.”

“SmartSite helps extend luminaire life by 50 percent more than industry standards and saves an additional 25 percent in energy costs.” says Chuck Campagna, CEO and president of Amerlux. “Longlasting LED luminaires can be flexibly programmed to solve the changing nightly needs of an outdoor lighting system. Robust lighting is delivered during peak usage while lighting usage and costs are reduced when vehicular and pedestrian traffic subsides.”

Designed with an LED module and a patented built-in speaker, each streetlight features a unique duo-band radio system and miniature computer with data storage capacity. Streetlight processors communicate with each other through a wireless mesh network and monitor individual luminaire usage, energy costs, grid power and system integrity. If a fixture is experiencing a problem, the other streetlights will continue to operate according to programming.

Utilizing breakthrough technology in urban media design, streetlight processors can store and analyze data including soundtracks, announcements, commercials, and video files, as well as offering a patented full range speaker system. With built-in brains, the streetlight retains playlists similar to an IPOD; it receives and sends commands, downloads and stores information. For example, music is synchronized pole-to-pole, street-to-street, using an anatomical clock without echo or interference, to engage captive audiences.

To generate a significant revenue stream while building business for community shopkeepers and national brands, including the prevention of “night flight” by retaining commuters in cities, SmartSite offers two-sided digital LED street banners that offer an extremely economical means for achieving timely advertising messages for downtown fairs, festivals, and events at theaters and stadiums.

The digital LED banner and media system assists consumers with parking directions, and is a key component to maximizing civic awareness of re-routing for parades, and road maintenance and construction. An optional seamlessly integrated media system offers a wide range of public communications for bus stops, rail stations, people-movers, airports, etc.

SmartSite luminaires can be equipped with a variety of cameras and sensors to ensure real-time 24/7-security coverage. The sensors detect a variety of threats that enable rapid response from emergency personnel or help prevent crime and gain control of the streets. Using LED technology, the luminaires provide consistent light dispersal, backed by a centralized remote control of lighting, signage and audio messaging that allow pedestrians to be ushered quickly and safety to the nearest route during storm warnings, events or emergencies.

The system also links into the Amber Alert Center, the emergency response system that disseminates information about missing persons, usually children, and enlists the public’s help to find them and catch their abductors.

Campagna added: “SmartSite breathes life back into downtown cities and main street villages with an intelligent and comprehensive lighting and media based wireless network. A multitude of opportunities are available to generate business while reducing energy costs for your organization and community.”

Active electronic components: Technologies and global markets

NEW YORK, USA: announced that a new market research report is available in its catalog titled Active Electronic Components: Technologies and Global Markets -- Focus on Asia-Pacific.

Electronic components are essential to industries such as computers, telecom, consumer electronics, and many others. Electronic components form electronic circuitry, and are used or manufactured in the electronics field, which is the study of electrical devices used for controlling electrically charged particles or the flow of electrons to execute any electrical operation.

Electronic components are also increasingly used in industries such as automotive, medical electronics, aerospace, and defense. Growth in electronic components is tied to the development of technologies and innovations in the electronics industry. Each sector is driven by a key trend that stimulates the growth of the industry.

Demand in the telecommunications industry is tied to the expansion of the communications network across the world. The increasing adoption and transition toward 3G/4G technologies and increasing bandwidth in Internet communication have increased the need for electronic devices, thereby leading to the growth of electronic components.

In the consumer electronics sector, growing acceptance and increasing usage of digital entertainment are widespread across the globe. In addition, consumer products such as digital cameras, portable music players, gaming consoles, and so on have contributed to the growth of the electronic products industry.

Development in the area of personal computers, such as desktop PCs and laptops, has contributed a major share of growth in the electronics industry. With new software continually being introduced, compatible systems to run the software are required which leads to innovation in new processors and other system components.

In the automotive industry, greater adoption of electronic components such as global positioning systems (GPS), enhanced sound systems, car entertainment, and parking and driver assistant systems have led to the increased growth of the electronics industry.

Miniaturization and increased functionality with greater performance are the key factors that drive the electronic components market in the aerospace and defense industry. In the medical electronics field, there is a significant increase of electronic equipment in clinics and hospitals used for the early detection of health-related issues and for effective treatments and cure.

The introduction of sophisticated electronic components has rapidly increased the range of end-user markets. Additionally, the use of passive components by integrated circuits is also increasing. Each integrated circuit has an average of 20 passive components and increased usage of passives in integrated circuits is expected to continue.

Global and China circuit protection component industry report, 2011-2012

NEW YORK, USA: announced that a new market research report is available in its catalog titled Global and China Circuit Protection Component Industry Report, 2011-2012.

The application of circuit protection components in electronic products such as mobile phone and notebook has been very mature. Benefitting from the burgeoning of application fields such as high power LED lighting, lithium battery and automotive electronics, the application of circuit protection components is increasing and expanding.

During 2007-2010, the CAGR of circuit protection component market registered 9.5 percent, while that of passive component market merely achieved 1.1 percent.

Circuit protection components include electromagnetic interference (EMI), overvoltage protection (OVP) and overcurrent protection (OCP) components. OVP has the most application in mobile phone and the highest gross margin, while OCP sees the smallest application and relatively lower gross margin.

Polymeric positive temperature coefficient (PPTC) device, a thin and light intelligent material, has become the main development trend of OCP. Main PPTC manufacturers are European and American companies, including Raychem, Bourns and Littelfuse, among which, Raychem holds approximately 70% of the global market. PPTC manufacturers in Taiwan include Polytronics, INPAQ, FUZETEC and Protectronics, among which, Polytronics is the largest SMD PPTC manufacturer in the world, with about 40 percent market share.

Varistor is the main OVP product, and major varistor manufacturers are concentrated in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Japanese TDK acquired German EPCOS in 2008. Varistor manufacturers in Taiwan include Thinking Electronics and INPAQ.
Mainland Chinese manufacturers of circuit protection component are mainly low-end manufacturers with low profitability due to fierce price competition. High-end customers prefer products and solutions provided by overseas enterprises.

In the field of circuit protection components for communication, overseas manufacturers have pulled out from the market basically. Dongguang Micro-Electronics, Changzhou Guangda Electron Co., Ltd., and Hubei Hanguang Technology Co., Ltd are among the key players in the industry. In China, Dongguang Micro-Electronics has taken the lion's share in the market of protection power component for communication use for years.

Aitech RIU subsystem adapts 'on-the-fly' to fit different system profiles

CHATSWORTH, USA: Aitech Defense Systems Inc., a pioneer in true military embedded and mission critical computing technologies for environmentally-demanding military, defense and aerospace applications, has released the A175, a rugged, self-contained, EMC/EMI-protected Remote Interface Unit (RIU) I/O expansion subsystem that provides dynamic mission profile reprogramming.

The subsystem uses platform location monitoring built into the on-board FPGA to recognize its physical location within the platform and communicate with the main mission computer, allowing the unit to alter its functionality 'on-the-fly' or at power up.

Doug Patterson, VP, Military and Aerospace Business Sector for Aitech, said: "This remote interface functionality is typical of port and starboard avionics platforms, where it's most desirable to utilize the exact RIU hardware in multiple areas of the platform to minimize platform logistics and R&O (repair and overhaul) costs."

"The RIU's monitoring of key engine parameters, wing root loading, fuel levels, transmission and drive train vibration loading, APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) loads, weapons pods and other critical functions are generally repeated on the aircraft sides. The unique platform location monitor in the A175 enables only one hardware unit to be used for both port and starboard, lowering overall development and long-term logistics and maintenance costs."

Also classified as a data concentrator unit (DCU), the A175 optimizes SWaP (size, weight and power) with dimensions of only 7" x 7" x 1.3" and a weight of less than 2.5 lbs (the approximate weight of one 6U conduction-cooled VMEbus board), while drawing only 10 W, or about the same as a standard household incandescent nightlight.

Applications that benefit from the A175's durable, compact construction and highly flexible functions include manned and unmanned vehicles such as wheeled, tracked ground units as well as tactical fixed and rotary wing aircraft. In addition, subsurface naval ships as well as above and below deck implementations on naval surface ships benefit from this reliable MIL-STD subsystem.

A large variety of I/O interfaces and large user-programmable FPGA for the application OFP (Operational Flight Program) makes the A175 useful in highly data centric environments such as a remote interface data concentrator or engine and power train data monitor as well as in vehicle prognostics data collection and condition based maintenance (CBM).

The A175's expansive I/O includes dual platform data channels for connection to the aircraft main bus with either dual GbE channels or one dual redundant MIL-STD-1553B channel. In addition, there are two asynchronous RS232/485 serial ports, eight single ended 12-bit A/D input channels, up to eight ARINC-429 drivers/receivers, two differential 16-bit D/A output channels and four differential channels with an external or internal reference voltage.

The A175 also features a multitude of discrete input and output channels including 24 GND/OPEN input channels and five GND/OPEN output channels.

Other functions include an internal elapsed time data recorder and internal temperature sensor for high integrity, mission critical subsystems. Units have been qualified for manned aircraft use with added gunfire vibration and high shock.

The A175 operates from -40 degrees C to +71 degrees C with natural convection cooling and is powered from a standard 28 VDC input per MIL-STD-740D. In addition to EMI protection, endurance against shock, vibration and acceleration per MIL-STD 810F as well as extreme resistance to altitude, humidity and temperature are ensured by the subsystem's rugged Faraday cage design.

Pricing starts at $7,500 in OEM quantities with immediate delivery from stock to eight weeks ARO.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Molex expands high performance cable assembly capabilities with acquisition of Temp-Flex Cable

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. has completed the acquisition of South Grafton, Mass.-based Temp-Flex Cable, Inc. Temp-Flex designs and manufactures specialty wire and cable products that provide technological solutions for the medical, aerospace, military, computer, electronics, test and measurement and industrial markets.

According to Mike Miskin, VP and GM, Cable Products Business Unit of Molex Global Integrated Products Division, this strategic acquisition will give Molex access to development and manufacturing expertise for specialty wire and cable products that will expand its high performance cable assembly business.

“Temp-Flex is an excellent fit for Molex because it expands our design and manufacturing capabilities in the specialty wire and cable products that are such an important part of our high performance cable assemblies,” said Miskin. “Temp-Flex is a respected industry leader with innovative designs and quality manufacturing processes. They will help us quickly deliver the innovative solutions and specialty cable our global customers demand. Temp-Flex has an excellent group of talented, experienced people in addition to its technical expertise in design and manufacturing.”

Ray Baril, Temp-Flex founder and president, agrees that Molex’s global resources and presence in the high performance cable assembly market will give both companies the opportunity for faster growth. “Our capabilities complement each other,” he added. “Together, we are confident we can become a major force in the rapidly expanding global market for high performance cable assemblies.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

LED light bulb price in Japan underwent steep drop in November

TAIWAN: According to the price survey of LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce, the ASP of LED light bulbs for 40W incandescent light bulb replacement slightly decreased 2 percent in November, while the ASP in Japan plunged by nearly 10 percent. As for the LED light bulbs for 60W incandescent light bulb replacement, the ASP slightly increased, but the lowest price fell below $24.

40W Equivalent LED Light Bulb Prices Underwent Steep DropSource: LEDinside, Taiwan.

LEDinside’s survey indicates that, even though the ASP of LED light bulbs for 40W incandescent light bulb replacement dipped merely 2 percent, it dropped by 10 percent in Japan due to the global and Japanese brand names’ increasingly aggressive price strategies. At present, the ASP of 40W replacement is at about $22.6 worldwide and below $20 in Japan. LEDinside indicates that the South Korean market still has the most competitive price (approximately $11.4) for LED light bulbs for 40W replacement.

60W Equivalent LED Light Bulb Prices Plummeted Below $24Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

As for the prices of LED light bulbs for 60W incandescent light bulb replacement, the ASP slightly increased 2 percent in November due to exchange rate fluctuations and the adjustment of product strategies. The ASPs in Japan and the United States surged due to major makers launching new types of LED light bulbs.

However, LEDinside finds that despite the high prices of certain new LED light bulbs resulting in higher ASP, the old light bulbs’ prices are still facing a downtrend. As a result, the light bulb prices in markets are still falling. For example, the price of Philips’ 800lm warm white LED light bulb in the United States dropped from $24.97 in October to $24 in November, representing a 4 percent decrease.

Perspectives from LEDinside
In addition to the prominent downtrends in Europe, the United States and Japan, prices of the top LED light bulb brands in China begin to drop as well. LEDinside states that in terms of the high-end products (with luminous efficacy higher than 80lm/W or 800lm), manufacturers’ strength in product development will primarily determine their products’ prices.

However, with the improved market acceptance, technological advancement and decreasing costs, the price downtrend is expected to persist. After all, when consumers choose among products with similar specifications and qualities, price will come into play, in particular for 400lm light bulbs.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Avnet Electronics and Toshiba celebrate milestone year

PHOENIX, USA: In 1986, the distribution partnership inked between Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. and Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas, a business region of Avnet Inc., coincided with Toshiba’s launch of the first 4-megabit dynamic RAM. Twenty-five years later, the two companies have not only broadened their respective product and service offerings, but have strengthened their partnership as well.

In the decades that Avnet and Toshiba have worked together, Toshiba has made giant strides in technology innovation. These range from the launch of the first mass market laptop, to the recent launches of the Toshiba MKx001GRZB enterprise-class solid state drive and the long life LED LCD displays. Along the way, Toshiba and Avnet have never lost sight of their commitment to quality and design expertise.

Today, Avnet carries a full offering of Toshiba’s products, including memory and flash memory-based storage solutions, discrete devices, displays, microprocessors, microcontrollers and wireless components for the computing, wireless, networking, automotive and digital consumer markets.

“As one of the top semiconductor companies in the world, Toshiba delivers a vast selection of electronic components, and our distribution partners play a key role in maintaining our unswerving commitment to advanced and innovative technology,” noted Hitoshi Otsuka, president and CEO for Toshiba. “Over the last quarter of a century, Avnet has built a reputation as a global leader in distribution. This, coupled with their passion for customer service and technological expertise, makes them a partner that we are proud to align ourselves with.”

“For the past 25 years, Toshiba’s passion for innovation and Avnet’s commitment to meeting the needs of design engineers have gone hand-in-hand,” said Ed Smith, president, Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas. “As we look toward the future of technology, the relationship that Avnet and Toshiba have built will serve to fuel the innovation of the future, and I look forward to the next 25 years.”

GigOptix intros surface mountable microwave filters

SAN JOSE, USA: GigOptix Inc. has introduced a new line of microwave filters for use in Point-to-Point wireless backhaul, electronic warfare (EW), radar, test and measurement equipment applications. GigOptix’s microwave filters are now in production and shipping to Tier-1 telecom suppliers. The filters are available in a number of frequency ranges including 26GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz.

Key features of the GigOptix microwave filters include:
* Small factor Surface Mounted Technology (SMT) solution providing superior and consistent performance over traditional larger PCB print implementations.
* Lower insertion loss solution, typically better than 3dB.
* Excellent rejection, typically better than 20dB.
* Operate in 26GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz frequency ranges, frequency customization is available.
* Ability to support either band pass and band stop implementations.

“GigOptix is proud to release this new suite of innovative surface mountable microwave filters,” stated Padraig O’Mathuna, GM and VP of RF Microwave Product Line at GigOptix. “With the increasing pressures on our customers to accelerate time to market and reduce system size, our microwave filters enable customers to not only simplify their microwave system implementations but also reduce size using our small factor SMT device that provides superior performance at a competitive price. Moreover, our filters can be customized to enable customers to further optimize their system performance if required.”

The GigOptix microwave filters are available in a 7x7mm QFN package and are designed to fully compatible with industry standard SMT processes. Production samples are available now.

element14 rounds up a year of successful supplier partnerships with 14 of its bestsellers in Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell), the first electronic component distributor that fuses commerce and community, is celebrating its success in 2011 after establishing partnerships and distribution agreements with leading brands, and expanding its unique product portfolio in 2011. element14 is also taking this opportunity to renew its commitment to bring the best-in-class components solutions to Asia Pacific in 2012.

"element14 has invested significantly in developing our community engagement programs so that we can keep pace with the market's evolving requirements," say Marc Grange, Head of Product Management, element14, Asia Pacific. "We leverage on our position as a distributor to act as a bridge between our suppliers, and their products, and customers in order to bring effective solutions to engineers. We help to facilitate innovation in our customer's designs, and at the same time, strengthening our partners' presence in the market."

14 bestsellers in 2011
Over the past year, element14 has offered the latest high performance solutions from globally trusted manufacturers such as TE Connectivity, Texas Instrument, Microchip, Molex, CK Tools, Honeywell, Freescale Semiconductor, Littelfuse, Multicomp, Murata Power Solution, and Vishay. element14's broad selection of electronic components and products provides engineers in the emerging technology sectors with pertinent solutions to address the challenges they face.

The 14 of element14’s best-selling components in 2011 are:

* Molex's Crimp Socket, PK100,18AWG is a single and dual-row connector that is ideal for wire-to-wire and wire-to-board application requiring design flexibility and higher density.

* Honeywell's Hall Effect Gear Tooth Sensor electronically self adjusts to slight variations in run-out and temperature, simplifying installation and maintenance,

* Freescale Semiconductor's Pressure Sensor IC, Gauge Press 7.25 PSI is a monolithic silicon pressure sensor designed for a wide range of applications, providing engineers with an accurate, high level analog output signal that is proportional to the applied pressure.

* AVX's family of Tantalum SMD Capacitor, Case B, 10UF, 16V encompasses the five key sizes recognized by major OEMs throughout the world. The V case size has been added to the TAJ range to allow high CVs to be offered.

* Multicomp's D-Sub Plug, Solder, 9Way is a connector with a wide selection of position from 9 ways to 50 ways. This solution is used in a broad spectrum of signal and data transfer applications, including computer applications and gaming application such as console games controllers.

* CK Tool's Hexagon Key Set, Metric, 10PC is made from Chrome Vanadium steel, hardened and tempered for strength and durability, and is ideal for restricted access.

* Vishay's Variable Capacitor, 5 to 57PF has plated rotor contact surfaces to ensure a long life and a stable contact even under severe climatic conditions.

* TE Connectivity's Cable Clamp provides strain relief and can be used on all series receptacles and plugs, providing versatile application options.

* Microchip's QVGA Pictail Daughter Board is a demonstration board for evaluating Microchip Technology's graphic LCD display solution and Graphics Library for 16-bit microcontrollers.

* Murata Power Solution's NKA Series DC/DC Converter, SIL, 1W, 15V series of converters are the standard building blocks for on-board distributed power systems, offering smaller package size, improved efficiency, lower output ripple and 3kVDC isolation capability.

* Molex's MicroClasp Rectangular Receptacle, Dual Row 20Way connectors provide space savings and easy mating/unmating. These components include unique inner positive lock that provides latch protection and secure retention.

* Texas Instrument's Step Down Voltage Regulator, 1A, 6SON is optimized for battery powered portable applications like mobile phones and other portable equipment.

* Littelfuse's SPF Series Solar Power Fuse features photovoltaic (PV) systems protection and is designed with the capacity to safely manage demanding voltage levels.

* TE Connectivity's Panel Plug-in Relay is a general purpose relay product suitable for typical industrial applications; tool/die equipment, robotics, HVAC, medical and power generators.

Vishay releases six new low-input current optocouplers

MALVERN, USA: Vishay Intertechnology Inc. is broadening its optoelectronics portfolio with the release of six low-input current optocouplers with phototransistor output in the DIP-4, SSOP-4 half-pitch miniflat, and SOP-4L long miniflat packages. The new optocouplers provide exceptional isolation for human and equipment safety.

The VO617A and VO618A devices, available in the DIP-4 package, offer excellent high-temperature performance and an isolation voltage of 5000 VRMS for switch mode power supply applications. A current transfer ratio (CTR) of 40 percent to 320 percent is achieved for the VO617A at input drive current of 5 mA and at 1 mA for the VO618A. Option 6 offers a creepage distance of 8 mm.

The VOL617A and VOL618A optocouplers are offered in a low-profile (2 mm) SOP-4L package with an 8 mm creepage distance and an isolation voltage of 5000 VRMS. Optimized for AC adapter applications, the VOL617A and VOL618A have a CTR range of 40 percent to 320 percent at an input drive current of 5 mA and 1 mA respectively.

The VOS618A and VOS628A, in the small SSOP-4 package with an isolation voltage of 3750 V RMS, are suited for programmable logic controller and industrial automation applications. These devices have a CTR range of 63 percent to 320 percent at a low input drive current of 1 mA. The lower input currents reduce the amount of heat generated and complement the industry's move to lower-power products.

The V0617A, VO618A, VOL617A, and VOL618A optocouplers are manufactured using an eco-friendly "green" molding compound. Samples and production quantities of the new optocouplers are available now, with lead times of six to eight weeks for large orders.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Digi-Key and Design News launch Digi-Key Continuing Education Center

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Digi-Key Corp. UBM Electronics’ Design News, the premier technical resource for design engineers throughout the manufacturing sector, launched the Digi-Key Continuing Education Center.

The Digi-Key Continuing Education Center is a free virtual training service created exclusively for electronic, design and test engineers. The program, designed by Design News, provides courses that allow engineers to increase their knowledge and network with peers and thought leaders.

“Digi-Key has actively sought business partnerships that allow us to provide product and complementary educational information to our customers,” said Tony Harris, Digi-Key’s CMO. “The Digi-Key Continuing Education Center is a great asset to engineers who desire to increase their knowledge base. With increasing demands on engineers to create and produce quality technology, it is even more important for them to be able to access continuing education resources. We take pride in offering the most in-stock product available for immediate shipment as well as the resources and information necessary to make the engineer’s job easier.”

The first course series – Microcontrollers, Basics – begins January 16, 2012 and will be presented by lecturer, Jon Titus, contributing technical editor for Design News, and Alexander Wolfe, Content Director for Design News.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Digi-Key to bring this education to design engineers,” said Alexander Wolfe. “I am overseeing the development and the courses to ensure that we are providing our audience with top-notch content. This education allows engineers to increase their engineering knowledge and stay current with key trends.”

Larson Electronics' releases 30 Amp rated explosion proof extension cord

KEMP, USA: Magnalight by Larson Electronics announced the release of a 50 foot long explosion proof extension cord designed to handle 30 amps of continuous service. Designed to provide a safe and regulation compliant option for extending cord lengths and connecting electrical equipment within hazardous locations, the EPEXC-50-30A-P 30 amp explosion proof cord is approved and certified for Class 1 Div 1 & 2 environments.

The Magnalight EPEXC-50-30A-P explosion proof 50' extension cord with 30 Amp continuous service rating provides operators in hazardous locations with a safe and effective method for extending the range of equipment and cords within the hazardous workspace. Designed with durability and safety in mind, this 50 foot long explosion proof extension cord is constructed with 12/3 SOOW explosion proof cord rated at 30 amps of continuous service. Connection is provided with the inclusion of a 30 amp rated pin and sleeve style plug and matching receptacle to allow the most secure and effective connection possible.

The explosion proof plug and receptacle on this cord are of a 4 pole 3 wire configuration and designed to slide and lock into place. The operator inserts the plug to the first stop, turns the locking mechanism to the right, and then finishes inserting the plug until it locks into place. This design provides a secure and positive connection and protects against pull-outs. The receptacle is constructed of non-sparking aluminum and malleable iron for durability while the plug is constructed of heavy non-sparking aluminum.

The receptacle features deep recessed contacts which prevents accidental contacts and contains constant pressure brass contacts to ensure a secure connection. Magnalight also includes an additional plug with this cord to allow operators to avoid any issues with matching their equipment plug to this cord's receptacle. If the cords do not match, the operator can simply install the included extra plug on their equipment.

This heavy duty 30 amp extension cord is approved for Class 1 Division 1 & 2 and Class 2 Division 1 environments where flammable gases and vapors are present.

"We offer a wide range of explosion proof extension cords with different lengths and connectors in stock; we also build custom configurations for customers on demand," said Rob Bresnahan with Larson Electronics' "We commonly build these cords for our customers to accompany our explosion proof lights and/or our power distribution systems."

Cree licenses pioneering remote phosphor patents

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. has granted five LED lighting manufacturers licenses to select Cree patents through its recently launched remote phosphor licensing program. By making fundamental remote phosphor patents available through license, Cree is further enabling LED lighting adoption, as Cree innovations facilitate the development of LED lights combining remote phosphor optical elements with blue LEDs.

“Cree is committed to the development of innovative, energy-efficient LED lighting technology and this program provides access to important technology developed by Cree,” said George Brandes, Cree director of intellectual property licensing. “The remote phosphor licensing program is designed to provide rights under the relevant Cree patents that our LED customers need to develop and commercialize leading-edge LED luminaires and bulbs, accelerating the LED lighting revolution.”

Initial licensees to Cree’s remote phosphor patents include lighting innovators Aurora Energie Corp., Horner APG, Ledzworld Technology, Vexica Technology, and Wyndsor Lighting LLC. Cree is currently in discussions with other companies to license the remote phosphor patents and aims to sign additional licensing agreements in the coming months. Details of the royalty-bearing licenses were not disclosed.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Avnet announces agreement to acquire ROUND2 Technologies

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ROUND2 Inc. and its parent Round2 Technologies Inc.. The acquisition has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies and is subject to the approval of ROUND2’s shareholders as well as customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close on January 3, 2012.

ROUND2 is a national provider of integrated and customizable recycling services, offering vertically integrated solutions through electronics testing and repair, product disassembly and commodity recycling.

From its facilities in Texas, Ohio and Georgia, ROUND2 delivers 100 percent green compliant, comprehensive and transparent solutions for handling large volumes of electronic disposal for its Fortune 1000 clients. For the calendar year 2010, ROUND2 generated revenue of approximately $40 million. ROUND2 will become part of Avnet Integrated Resources, which provides reverse logistics and after-market services to the global technology industry.

Steve Church, president, Avnet Integrated Resources, said: “The acquisition of Round2 Technologies is important to Avnet, as it complements our strategy to offer a total solution to the after-market services industry. With ROUND2’s strong presence and capabilities in e-waste disposal, coupled with our other announced acquisitions, we can now offer call center services, repair and refurbishment, including complex repairs, and environmentally responsible disposal of those assets that no longer have usability.”

The investment is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings and supports Avnet’s return on capital goal of 12.5 percent.

element14 partners with Screaming Circuits to provide PCB assembly and turnkey prototyping services

CHICAGO, USA: Newark's element14, the first online community for design engineers, today announced a partnership with Screaming Circuits, a high-quality PCB prototype manufacturer, to provide its assembly and turnkey prototyping services to North American customers.

The services will be provided through the Knode on element14, an intelligent online search and knowledge tool that helps engineers research, select and buy the right solutions for their designs. Through this partnership, design engineers using the Knode on element14 can access Screaming Circuits' services, including instant quotes and efficiently produced high-quality prototypes that adhere to shorter design cycles, saving engineers countless resources and helping shave weeks off the design process.

"Screaming Circuits' customers operate in a rapidly changing environment, said Rick McClain, GM, Screaming Circuits. "By partnering with the Knode on element14, parts, services and information are available to our customers all in one place. This fits right in with our mission to make the engineer's job easier."

Once design engineers have a short list of potential PCB prototype manufacturers, there is still the hurdle of receiving multiple quotes, often a time consuming task requiring design data to be translated into multiple formats, or requiring negotiation of complex business or legal arrangements.

Through this partnership, engineers can receive instant quotes directly from the Knode on element14 and simultaneously access Screaming Circuits' electronic assembly technical capabilities including, machine-placed SMT down to 0201 components, fine-pitch parts, BGA and leadless parts; OSP and ENIG board finishes; rigid, flex, rigid-flex, ceramic and metal core board types; and virtually any layer count or board size.

"The integration of Screaming Circuits' PCB services further enhances the design resources we've created and consolidated for engineers on the Knode and our e-commerce platforms," said David Shen, group senior VP and global head of Technical Marketing, Premier Farnell. "As the only distributor site to offer Screaming Circuits' services through a consolidated online design platform, element14 is committed to supporting engineers throughout the design process, increasing productivity and minimizing project risks by using reputable and trusted service providers, technologies and services."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Diodes Inc.'s MOSFET controller increases PSU efficiency for Energy Star rating

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc. announced a 25V rated synchronous MOSFET controller for notebook and laptop power supply designs of 90W and above. By enabling the replacement of inefficient Schottky diodes in flyback converters, the ZXGD3104N8 increases power supply efficiency by up to 3.5 percent through a reduction in rectifier losses of up to 70 percent. As a result, the device helps power supplies more easily attain the 87 percent Energy Star V2.0 rating.

With its wide operating voltage range of 5V to 25V, this SO8 packaged MOSFET controller is able to be directly powered from the adaptor’s 19V supply rail, while ensuring sufficient headroom in the event of transient over-voltage conditions. Combined with the device’s direct 180V MOSFET drain-sense capability which eliminates the need for an external clamp circuit, designers can significantly reduce component count and save space.

The ZXGD3104N8’s proportional gate-drive operation guards against premature MOSFET turn-off as the drain current decays, thereby maximizing circuit efficiency and ensuring body diode conduction losses are minimized. This, combined with the short turn-off propagation delay of typically 15ns, helps to maximize power supply circuit efficiency.

LED makers strived to digest inventories and make way into lighting market

TAIWAN: According to LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce, the revenues of Taiwanese listed LED manufacturers totaled NT$ 7.434 billion (MoM-3.41 percent, YoY-11.3 percent). Most companies have made lowering their inventory levels the first priority. LEDinside’s survey finds that a lot of manufacturers’ days sales of inventory (DSI) are over three months.

In light of the stagnant outlook, Taiwanese makers have been conservative about their expansion plans, and in the meantime aggressively increase their capacities of lighting product application. Aside from Taiwanese makers, global big names also put more accent on the lighting market.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Eying the great potential of Japanese and Chinese markets, Nichia expanded its capacity with its capital expenditures in 2011 reaching $900 million. Moreover, Panasonic plans to merge Panasonic Electric Works with Panasonic Lighting into a new lighting business unit in January, 2012 and launch 70 types of LED light bulbs and 3,300 types of LED lighting fixture products in 2012. It is evident that gaining market share in the lighting market will give manufacturers edges over other competitors.

Revenues of LED chip makers
Propelled by the upswing in end-market demand, revenues of Taiwanese listed LED wafer foundries reached NT$ 3.16 billion in November (-3.8 percent MoM,-22.2 percent YoY). The LED TV sales and orders from Chinese and South Korean TV brand vendors stimulated by Chinese New Year holiday are expected to relieve the inventory pressure for LED chip manufacturers. Epistar’s revenue slightly increased (+2.7 percent MoM, -22.2 percent YoY), while FOREPI’s decreased slightly.

Compared to chips produced by Chinese LED chip manufacturers, Taiwanese makers’ products are superior in terms of yield rate, cost management, luminous efficacy and color rendering index. Hence, Chinese companies begin to seek joint efforts with Taiwanese makers. In addition, due to the weak demand for AlGalnP LED, the revenues remained the same.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Revenues of package makers
The revenues of Taiwanese LED package makers in November hit NT$ 4.27 billion, with numbers on par with the same period in 2010 (MoM-3.11 percent, YoY-1 percent). Benefiting from the year-end construction tenders and the increased orders for IR LED products, Bright LED Electronics’s November revenue slightly rose (+7.8 percent MoM, -27.7 percentYoY).Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

4Q is the traditional slow season in European lighting market but a peak season for traditional household lighting in Asia, where LED tubes are in high demand and demands for industrial and commercial lighting are primarily concentrated in the white light product. Edison saw 2011 as the first year of LDMS era; the LM-80 certification will help the company make its way into the European and American markets.

As for Japanese government’s budget plan 2012, it is based on not only post-disaster reconstruction but also the goal to build a smart city which incorporated electric vehicles, BIPV / BAPV and energy-saving facilities. LEDinside believes that with the plan being carried out, Japanese economy may experience a revival.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

In addition, Japanese lighting companies are also aggressively taking advantage of their group resources as large conglomerates to launch LED lighting solutions, in the hope of acquiring more construction projects.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cree expands design and evaluation services to accelerate LED product development

DURHAM, USA: Extending the support services offered to LED lighting manufacturers that were launched this fall, Cree Inc. announced the addition of two new Cree TEMPO offerings to its revolutionary design and evaluation services. The new TEMPO (Thermal Electrical Mechanical Photometric Optical) Thermal Simulation and photometric testing options are designed to remove barriers for LED lighting manufacturers and accelerate broader market adoption of LED lighting.

“No other LED manufacturer has the same level of end-to-end development support for lighting OEMs,” said Mark McClear, Cree, director of global applications engineering. “This is further evidence of Cree’s commitment to the success of our customers and the solid state lighting industry. Cree Services can remove design, engineering and manufacturing barriers for manufacturers—extending Cree’s expertise and equipment to the developers of LED luminaires and lamps.”

Cree’s TEMPO Thermal Simulation is a cost-effective solution to model the thermal performance of prototype LED fixtures. Effective LED luminaire thermal design is essential to ensure reliability and optimum performance. TEMPO Thermal Simulation predicts the thermal behavior of LED-based fixtures, including junction temperature, heat sink temperature, temperature profile and airflow profile.

“Ready access to the TEMPO Thermal Simulation service has saved our team weeks in the product engineering process,” said Jim Shapiro, FEIT ELECTRIC, director of product development. “And speed and quality are the name of the game in the LED marketplace.”

Cree has also added an additional, quick turn-around photometric evaluation option to its TEMPO SPOT service to help prevent costly design mistakes at any step of the development process. TEMPO SPOT services are designed to give a rapid photometric view on a prototype’s performance.

This new service gives customers access to complex, costly equipment to measure the photometric performance of luminaires and replacement lamps. Customers can choose integrated measurements from a 2-meter sphere or 3-D measurements from a Type C Goniophotometer to visualize and predict the photometric performance of an installed luminaire.

“With the fast turnaround of Cree’s new TEMPO SPOT service we were able to quickly validate our design assumptions,” said Colin Piepgras, Digital Lumens, VP of engineering. “Cree clearly understands the challenges of the LED fixture design cycle and its new service offerings hit the nail on the head, giving us precisely what we needed, in the time we needed it in.”

Cree currently provides TEMPO Services out of its Cree Technology Centers, located in Research Triangle Park, N.C. and Santa Barbara, Calif. Future TEMPO Service locations in Shenzhen, Munich, Shanghai and Taiwan are targeted to open in 2012.

Brad HarshIO Ethernet I/O modules from Molex integrate QuickConnect and fast start-up

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. has introduced new Brad HarshIO Ethernet I/O Modules with QuickConnect (QC) and Fast Start-Up (FSU) technologies to provide a reliable solution for connecting industrial controllers to I/O devices in harsh environments where liquids or vibrations may be present.

Delivering significant operational advantages over conventional I/O modules, the Brad HarshIO Ethernet I/O Modules have been successfully tested with Rockwell controllers conforming to EtherNet/IP Quick Connect Class A and Siemens controllers conforming to PROFINET Fast Start-Up, requirements to start and operate in less than 500ms.

“As Ethernet flows from the office management level down to the factory floor, automation device manufacturers need to adapt products to the constraints of industrial applications,” says Eric Gory, global product manager, Molex. “When Ethernet is used to control sensors or actuators on robot tooling – such as on a welding robot – it is sometimes necessary to perform a quick change of tools. In the automotive industry, for example, manufacturers have defined that the swapped Ethernet field devices must be able to start and operate in less than 500ms.”

QC and FSU technologies enable the module to start and operate in less than 500ms to meet the requirements for industrial applications in factory automation and complex machines such as in the printing, packaging or textile industries. With the introduction of the QC for EtherNet/IP and FSU for PROFINET, the Brad HarshIO Ethernet I/O Modules from Molex bring exceptional speed to the market and versatility to all industries using robots for repetitive tasks with precision.

Additionally, Brad HarshIO Modules support safety automation architectures using separate power supplies to power the inputs (sensors) and the outputs (actuators). The HarshIO Ethernet power connector includes separate grounding isolation between the input/logic ground and the output ground. This feature allows powering the module with two distinct power supplies, a scenario commonly used in safety applications.

“System designers often use safety relays that regularly perform pulse tests to be able to detect short-circuit, ground fault or an earth fault,” explains Gory. “If an error is detected, the safety function is triggered, so unwanted and dangerous plant conditions can therefore be avoided. However, if the separate grounding for safety is not required by the system designer, the HarshIO Modules can operate using a single power supply where the ground of both logic/input and output is identical.”

Brad HarshIO Modules are complemented by a wide range of Molex products, including cordsets, receptacles, field-attachable connectors, Ethernet switches, PC interfaces, gateways, diagnostic tools and simulation software.

Market softness dictates global optical components market in Q3 2011

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The global optical components (OC) market contracted 0.2 per cent sequentially in the third quarter of 2011, due to market softness owing mainly to macroeconomic uncertainty, according to Ovum.

In a new market share alert, the independent telecoms analyst firm finds a drop in revenues to $1.57 billion, marking contraction for the second sequential quarter. The outlook is for a double-digit revenue decline in the fourth quarter due to the production shutdown from flooding in Thailand and continued market-wide softness.

Daryl Inniss, Ovum analyst and author of the market alert, said the contraction had been caused by the uncertain macroeconomy he commented: “Although there has been a slight decline in the sector, market leader Finisar grew by three per cent sequentially but lost market share on a rolling 4Q basis.”

Inniss expects a weak first half of 2012 as the impact of floods and macroeconomic uncertainty persists and strong price pressures result in steep 2012 price declines.

He commented: “We are hearing about strong price pressures in the current negotiations among the key players, and this will take effect in 2012. Most of the negotiations are at the lower end of the traditional price decline scale. This aggressive pricing is a signature of the competitive environment, exasperated by supply constraints due to the Thai floods. These lower prices will affect both revenues and the bottom line."

Meanwhile, according to the report findings, among the top 10 OC suppliers, Fujitsu Optical Components posted the strongest quarter with growth of 28 per cent sequentially and a gain of 50 per cent versus the same quarter last year. Oclaro meanwhile posted the weakest performance, with revenues six per cent less than in the previous quarter.

Inniss added: “All is not lost though; we believe there will be strong growth between the second and third quarter of 2012. The pent-up demand will drive the market to a strong second half of 2012, even as macroeconomic uncertainty persists.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Avnet Electronics Marketing intros Spartan-6 FPGA motor control development kit

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Electronics Marketing, an operating group of Avnet Inc., launched its latest development platform for designers implementing motor control systems, the Spartan-6 FPGA Motor Control Development Kit.

Designed in collaboration with Xilinx, Inc., the Spartan-6 FPGA Motor Control Development Kit enables engineers to prototype motor control designs for applications in industrial automation, consumer electronics, medical diagnostics and robotics.

The Spartan-6 FPGA Motor Control Development Kit is an ideal platform for designers seeking to experiment with proven reference designs and develop custom control, integrating flexible peripheral functions like Ethernet, PowerLink and PCI Express (PCIe). Other features of the kit include:

* Avnet’s Xilinx Spartan-6 LX75T FPGA base board with PCIe edge connector, 10/100 Ethernet PHY, and dual 128MB DDR3 SDRAM banks;
* Avnet Motor Control FPGA Mezzanine Adapter (FMC) module;
* One Portescap Brushless DC (BLDC) motor with Hall Effect sensor;
* One Portescap stepper can stack motor; and
* One 12 V power supply and adapter cable.

Heilind offering TE Connectivity's USB 3.0 connector

WILMINGTON, USA: Heilind Electronics, the largest interconnect distributor in North America, now has a reserve inventory on TE Connectivity's just released USB 3.0 connector.

TE's USB 3.0 connector meets all standards of USB-IF and supports 5 Gbps data rate for fast sync-n-go, a 10X performance increase over USB 2.0. This USB connector minimizes user wait-time and connector form factor variations and is backward compatible with USB 2.0 connectors.

In addition, this USB 3.0 connector offers optimized power efficiency by eliminating device polling and reducing active and idle power requirements. It allows a unit load of 150mA (a 50 percent increase over the minimum unit load of USB 2.0) up to six unit loads (900 mA, an 80 percent increase over USB 2.0 connectors at a registered maximum of 500 mA). TE's USB 3.0 connector has up to 80 percent more power based on the configuration of the device.

Applications for TE's USB 3.0 connector includes desktop and laptop computers, cameras, digital audio, scanners, game ports, high-volume storage devices, MP3 players, GPS devices, high definition A/V equipment, keyboards, mice and joysticks.

Increased adoption of cost-effective direct-type backlights will drive up LED penetration rate in 2012

TAIWAN: According to WitsView, a research division of TrendForce, LED backlight design focus in early 2011 centered on reducing the number of LED lightbars required in order to close the price gap with their CCFL counterparts. Thus, brand vendors initially held high hopes on the LED backlight market growth in 2011, estimating that the LED penetration rate could reach 50~60 percent.

Unfortunately, in light of the subsequent global economic downturn, the end market demand weakened substantially. Budget-priced products instead became the prime choice among consumers. The persisting price gap between LED and CCFL displays continued to discouraged potential buyers from choosing LED displays. Moreover, brand vendors also needed to clear some of their CCFL displays inventory, resulting in the overall LED TV and LED Monitor penetration rates to merely reach 41.6 percent and 39.7 percent in 2011, respectively.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

Boyce Fan, WitsView research manager, indicated that to effectively stimulate LED display sales in 2012, the market focus in the backlight design will migrate toward lowering the material costs and the brightness level. In 2011, the current mainstream 380 nits edge-type LED backlight in 2011 will be replaced by the 330 nits direct-type design in 2012.

By taking the 32” display as an example, through the new approach, the LED package usage can be reduced from 80 to 35 pieces. Another inherent advantage is that, for light distribution, only the diffuser plate is needed while the expensive light guide plate is no longer required. This material cost advantage closes the cost difference between 32” LED and CCFL models to a mere $7. Undoubtedly, the direct-type design will significantly help boost the sales of LED displays.

As LED displays gradually become more prevalent, it is starting to constrain the supply of CCFL models. Coupled by the price increase in relevant fluorescent materials used in the CCFL, it has forced some CCFL suppliers to decide to exit the market. Beginning from 2012, WitsView believes that with the decrease in the CCFL supply, it will further spur brand vendors in promoting relevant LED products.

The more cost-effective LED models should see a growing opportunity in replacing their CCFL counterparts in becoming the new mainstream choice among consumers. In general, WitsView projects that in 2012, the LED TV market penetration rate will grow to 68.4 percent, while LED monitors will exceed the 70 percent mark, reaching 71.9 percent.Source: WitsView, Taiwan.

Avnet to acquire assets of Nexicore Services

PHOENIX, USA: Avnet Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all of the operating assets of Hartford Computer Group Inc. and its subsidiary Nexicore Services LLC. Nexicore voluntarily initiated Chapter 11 proceedings in the US Bankruptcy Court in Chicago today and will seek Bankruptcy Court approval of the asset sale to Avnet. The sale will be conducted under Section 363 of the US Bankruptcy Code and is expected to be completed in 120 days or less.

Nexicore is one of the leading providers of repair and installation services in North America for consumer electronics and computers, operating in three complementary business lines, including depot repair, onsite repair and installation, and parts distribution. Nexicore operates across the US and Canada, providing these services for manufacturers, retailers, business, government, and consumer clients.

The Nexicore acquisition will be deployed in Avnet Integrated Resources, which provides reverse logistics and after-market services to the global technology industry. Nexicore’s approximately 500 employees will be offered positions within Avnet Integrated Resources.

“With this acquisition, we will continue to build our capabilities in the after-market services business as we deliver on our strategy to expand into adjacent businesses. Nexicore’s breadth of services and experienced employees complement our existing lifecycle management operations. We will be able to provide services that benefit industrial customers as well as consumers, while having a positive impact on the environment,” said Steve Church, president, Avnet Integrated Resources.

“Becoming part of a global enterprise like Avnet is the next step in our company’s evolution,” said Brian Mittman, CEO of Nexicore. “While Nexicore has experienced strong, profitable growth over the last several years, our management team believes that being part of Avnet will bring even greater capabilities and resources to our customers and employees.”

Ethertronics wins 2011 CONNECT most innovative new product 'MIP' award

SAN DIEGO, USA: Ethertronics, a leading technology company enabling innovative antenna and RF solutions to deliver the best connected experience, announced that its Ether1.2.1 product line for LTE Notebooks has been awarded the 2011 CONNECT 24th annual Most Innovative New Product “MIP” Award in the Communications and IT category.

As part of its active antenna systems portfolio, Ether 1.2.1 was recognized for its ability to meet global wireless carrier and OEM specifications for the challenging industrial designs that exist for modern LTE notebooks. More than 140 products were nominated for the awards.

“We are honored that our Ether 1.2.1 product line was recognized by CONNECT as the winner of the Communications and IT category,” said Laurent Desclos, president and CEO of Ethertronics. “This award underscores the impact that our active antenna systems will have on the wireless market, especially as LTE 4G networks continue to be rolled out across the globe. Our global team remains committed to developing cutting-edge antenna system solutions for next-generation networks and beyond.”

Designed to enable notebook computers to support the frequencies required for global LTE operation and specification compliance, the Ether 1.2.1 product line combines years of experience with Ethertronics’ patented IMD antenna design and several advanced antenna system techniques, including active band switching capabilities. Ether 1.2.1 is the only LTE antenna system that can be integrated inside of a notebook by the device manufacturer.

The awards ceremony was held on December 9, 2011 at Hilton Torrey Pines, and attracted more than 850 of San Diego's business leaders, researchers and capital providers. CONNECT is regarded as the world’s most successful regional program linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success.

Indian LED lighting market expected to grow at CAGR of 45.53 percent till 2015

MUMBAI, INDIA: Energy-efficient lighting technologies and the need to develop alternate technologies is gaining importance in India due to issues of energy deficiency, electrification of remote rural regions, and energy sustainability. Light Emitting Diode (LED) Lighting is considered the key emerging segment in the Indian lighting market, driven by the move towards energy-efficient lighting solutions.

According to Frost & Sullivan Research, the LED lighting market in India was $73.3 million in 2010 and will continue growing at a CAGR 45.53 percent till 2015. This market is expected to grow considerably in the future and the growth is attributed to short-term drivers namely, street light applications and the railway sector. Over 60 percent of the total demand in 2012 will be attributed to these two applications.

Frost & Sullivan is confident that LED lighting is expected to grow significantly in the future, replacing traditional lighting technologies, but its penetration largely depends on standardization, Government support, awareness, and affordability.

Keeping in perspective the challenges faced by the LED lighting suppliers and end users, Frost & Sullivan’s Automation & Electronics Practice recently hosted its 2nd Annual Executive Congress on LED Lighting in association with Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI).

According to Niju V, Deputy Director, Automation & Electronics Practice, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia & Middle East: “The excitement around LED Lighting applications is helping it to move towards newer user segments, thus expanding this market considerably. The major challenges of absence of standards and lack of awareness are being mitigated by the efforts of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and the LED industry, thereby facilitating its usage in hitherto low-usage application areas. Phenomenal growth of the market is expected to make viable commercial volumes of local manufacturing that shall aid in driving down the prices of the products significantly. As energy conservation initiatives gain more prominence, this industry is all set to acquire a star status in the next couple of years.”

The LED lighting market also has its share of challenges. LED lighting installations require more complicated designs, spanning optical, thermal, and electronics domains. LED lamps continue to be quite expensive compared to conventional lamps; they rely on imports, as current economies of scale prevent indigenous manufacturing. Absence of uniform standards for different applications is also restraining LED adoption and is paving the way for sub-standard cheaper imports to flood the market.

The highly competitive factors affecting the Indian Lighting Market are price advantage and brand image. LEDs are garnering significant interest and playing a vital role in LEED certified buildings in India. The BEE is working with lighting associations to define standards, testing protocols, and certifying parameters for different lighting applications. Star rating labels are being made mandatory for luminaires/lamps for indoor commercial and outdoor lighting applications.

Government backing for green technologies and thereby, its adoption in high-value applications like street lighting is helping LED Lighting make inroads in the Indian lighting industry. The increasing awareness of LED lighting benefits is also influencing its slow and steady penetration.

Monday, December 12, 2011

RS Components extends market-leading 3D CAD library with more models from Molex and Omron

SINGAPORE: RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the world's leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, has expanded its comprehensive online library of free 3D CAD product models.

The latest update includes more than 2,000 new models from Molex, one of the world's largest manufacturers of interconnect products, and Omron, a global leader in the production of electronic components. The 3D CAD models from both suppliers are now available for download free-of-charge from the RS website at , offering electronics design engineers a simpler, faster route to complete their designs on time.

With the release of an additional 1000 3D models of Molex connectors, encompassing the latest technologies, the range of Molex 3D models available from RS now covers more than 7000 products. Over 1000 3D models of Omron parts have also been added to the RS library, including tactile, pushbutton and DIP switches, as well as flow sensors, micro switches and relays.

The extensive scope of product models available today from the RS library is unrivalled in the industry, with users now having access to over 30,000 certified 3D CAD models of electronic and mechanical components.

Registered users can download a model from the RS website in up to 23 neutral and native CAD file formats, enabling engineers to select the model in their preferred CAD package for mechanical design. Each model has part number and ordering information attached, aiding the purchasing process and allowing for quick completion of new designs.

Mark Cundle, technical marketing manager for RS Components said: "Producing 3D CAD models can be a time-consuming effort for engineers involved in electronics design. Extending our 3D CAD model range provides our customers with access to the most comprehensive library of online downloadable models in all major CAD file formats, in one place and at no extra cost. This is an essential part of our support for engineers with reliable technical information and online resources that enable them to find, design-in and buy from one source."

Cree licenses key Doherty amplifier patents to RFHIC

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. announced a nonexclusive worldwide license agreement with RFHIC Corp., a global leader in cutting-edge RF power amplifiers, that provides access to Cree’s pioneering Doherty amplifier-related patents.

Cree’s RF innovation and novel Doherty architecture can serve as the foundation for advanced 4G base stations that are substantially more efficient than conventional designs. 4G mobile data networks are being deployed around the world to address the burgeoning demand for mobile broadband services.

“Cree is a leader in the development of GaN HEMT technology for RF and microwave applications,” said Jim Milligan, Cree, director of RF. “From our early work in maximizing the efficiency of silicon LDMOS amplifiers to our current initiatives using GaN-based devices, Cree has successfully developed innovative circuits that enhance the performance of the classic Doherty architecture.”

With Cree’s advanced circuits, amplifier efficiency can be increased by as much as five percentage points when conventional silicon LDMOS or GaAs transistors are used. This improved performance can help meet the stringent efficiency and linearity requirements of upcoming 4G LTE base stations, and related wireless systems, that use high peak-to-average ratio signal modulation.

When these circuit innovations are implemented using Cree’s high-frequency, high-power GaN HEMTs and the latest generation digital pre-distortion systems, the resulting efficiency improvements can be up to a staggering 15 percentage points greater than that achieved by a conventional Doherty amplifier implemented with silicon LDMOS.

The Doherty amplifier is a fundamental RF amplifier architecture invented by William Doherty in 1936 using vacuum tubes. Modern implementations of the Doherty amplifier use power transistors. The fundamental Doherty architecture uses two parallel, equal power split transistors, a carrier amplifier transistor for low level signals and a peaking amplifier transistor for high level signals. The fundamental, equal power split Doherty architecture offers up to a 40 percent improvement in efficiency over traditional non-Doherty Class A/B approaches.

Interest in Doherty amplifiers has grown with increased demand for higher-efficiency systems employing digital modulation formats, such as those used for 3G W-CDMA networks. Online applications including video chat and streaming video are driving a need for still higher-efficiency amplifiers to support 4G LTE systems.

“Cree innovations in Doherty amplifier technology can set the standard for the newest generation of 4G network deployments requiring high-efficiency macro and pico cell base stations. Cree’s advancements on the fundamental two-transistor, parallel Doherty architecture can yield significant efficiency improvements,” Milligan added.

The nonexclusive license agreement between RFHIC, headquartered in Suwon, South Korea, and Cree underscores each company’s commitment to developing products that enhance the telecommunications infrastructure, while respecting the value and importance of intellectual property.

Seiko Instruments launches high-performance SPI serial EEPROM for automotives

TOKYO, JAPAN: Seiko Instruments (SII) announced on December 12 the availability of the S-25AxxxB series of SPI Serial EEPROMs, specifically designed for use in the highly demanding automotive market.

The S-25AxxxB EEPROMs achieve both 300,000 data-writes and 50-year data retention at 125 C. Memory capacity is from 8k to 256k bits.

Today's automobile designs increasingly require higher-performance EEPROMs in the on-board systems that control the car's operation and fuel consumption, while ensuring the passenger's comfort and safety. Along with the requirement for increased EEPROM capacity, automotive applications also require extremely high reliability and security. The SII S-25AxxxB series was developed to specifically answer the demanding needs of the automotive market.

While conventional EEPROMs typically have significantly degraded write performance at high temperatures, the S-25AxxxB series assures performance of up to 300,000 writes at 125 C, along with retention of the EEPROM data for as long as 50 years.

Using SII's proprietary know-how, the new EEPROMs are screened to eliminate electronic leakage bit-errors; feature a wide range of memory capacities from 8k to 256k bits; and utilize special low power and voltage fluctuation detection circuits to prevent errors caused by electrical noise or power variations. The S-25AxxxB series is available in SOP-8, TSSOP-8, and TMSOP-8 packages.

Typical automotive applications include engine, transmission, and EPS control systems; ABS, ESC (Electronic Stability Control), and airbags; key-less entry, air-conditioning, dashboard displays, and BCM (Body Control Module). SII forecasts sales of 5 million pieces annually.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mouser continues global expansion with new flagship European customer support center

MUNICH, GERMANY: Mouser Electronics Inc. has announced the grand opening of its new flagship Customer Support Center and European Marketing Headquarters in Munich, Germany.

This new office, along with the eight other locations strategically placed throughout Europe, underscores Mouser’s steadfast commitment to serving the world’s top design engineers with the highest degree of customer service and technical support, as well as offering local marketing support to its suppliers and media partners in the region.

With the largest professional network of engineers in Europe, Munich is the ideal location for Mouser’s new European flagship office. It’s in the center of Germany’s high tech electronics marketplace, allowing Mouser to focus support on local engineers and buyers searching for the latest electronic components. Backed by an experienced Management Team, Mouser’s European offices meet these demands with the newest products from more than 450 manufacturers.

“By adding more resources and staff members in Europe, we have helped drive further growth over an amazing 2010,” says Mark Burr-Lonnon, Mouser VP of EMEA Business. “We’ve seen around 42 percent further growth in 2011 with no slowing of this success, making us now a true player in the European market. No question about it, 2011 is proving to be another blockbuster year for Mouser, especially bearing in mind the slowing of the market after a bumper first half.” Burr-Lonnon says the new Munich office is essential to Mouser’s European growth.

“With technological advancements happening at a staggering rate, this flagship office and Mouser’s eight other European centers will assist customers throughout each step of the design process in local languages, time zones and currencies,” Burr-Lonnon adds. “On top of that, it is crucial that we engage deeply with our supplier partners and media locally in Europe. We are very excited to be expanding in Munich.”

Mouser continually provides the most advanced technologies from the world’s leading suppliers along with best in class localized technical support. The flagship office in Munich is the newest in Mouser’s growing network of European offices, located in the UK, Czech Republic, France, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

In 2011, to date, Mouser has posted European sales gains of over 42 percent, with France up 75 percent, Spain up 57 percent, Sweden up 54 percent, the Benelux up 54 percent, UK up 48 percent, Italy up 41 percent and Germany up 40 percent. These 2011 figures compound last year’s growth, which saw sales soar nearly 200 percent in Europe. The ongoing development of these local Customer Service Centers has been instrumental to Mouser’s success.

XRF analysis for RoHS evaluation, counterfeit detection and plating thickness

ST. PETERSBURG, USA: Nasco offers RoHS testing services for restricted substances on all electronic components and aerospace hardware. Frank Bagnasco, president of Nasco added the Oxford Instruments X-Strata 980 to its list of equipment used to not only verify the authenticity of the parts it sells but also offer affordable testing services to companies needing RoHS compliance verification.

Originally used to verify RoHS compliance, XRF analysis is now a useful tool in determining the authenticity of electronic components.

Did you know that with the implementation of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive electronic component manufacturers maintain data that list the elemental composition of their products? Using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) equipment to compare the elemental breakdown of the part being analyzed to the manufacturer’s specifications or a known good device is another vital tool in the combat against counterfeit components!

The X-Strata 980 is unique in that not only does it perform elemental composition analysis; it is capable of measuring the plating thickness of components. This is useful in a number of applications:

Military and Aerospace hardware: Analyzes the plating material and thickness and compare these results to the specification.

RoHS to Sn/Pb (tin/lead) conversion: Tests the plating thickness of parts that have been converted using hot solder dip to replace the finish on electronic components per the GEIA-STD-0006 standard.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cree releases SiC power devices in chip form to enable more efficient power electronic modules

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. has released the industry’s first fully qualified SiC MOSFET power devices in “bare die” or chip form for use in power electronics modules. Cree’s SiC Z-FET MOSFETs and diodes are used in advanced power electronics circuits to achieve significantly higher levels of energy efficiency than is possible with conventional silicon devices.

Power modules typically combine a number of discrete power switching devices – MOSFETs and diodes – in a single integrated package for high-voltage power electronics applications such as three-phase industrial power supplies, telecom power systems and power inverters for solar and wind energy systems.

In traditional MOSFET packaging technologies, the parasitic inductance of the long leads can limit the switching capability of SiC MOSFETs. By offering Cree customers bare die alternatives, circuit designers can now take full advantage of the switching performance of SiC technology by reducing the effects of the package-parasitic inductance.

“With the availability of fully qualified SiC MOSFETs as unpackaged chips, manufacturers of power modules can realize the performance advantages of SiC devices—better high temperature operation, higher switching frequencies and lower switching losses – without the limitations imposed by conventional plastic packaging of discrete devices,” explained Cengiz Balkas, Cree VP and GM, power and RF.

“The design advantages of implementing SiC power devices in power electronic modules include the ability to achieve higher current and voltage ratings with fewer components, which in turn can enable maximum power density and increased reliability.”

“Power module manufacturers can new combine Cree’s 1200V SiC power MOSFET and Schottky diodes in chip form to create an ‘all-silicon carbide’ module design for ultra-high-efficiency power electronics systems,” continued Balkas.

“These new modules provide the proven benefits of silicon carbide—zero reverse recovery losses, temperature-independent switching, higher frequency operation with low electromagnetic interference (EMI), and significantly higher avalanche capability – and deliver switching frequencies that are five to eight times higher compared to conventional silicon solutions. The higher switching frequencies enable smaller magnetic and capacitive elements, thereby shrinking overall system size, weight and cost.”

The new Cree power MOSFET devices are initially available in two versions: the CPMF-1200-S080B measures 4.08mm x 4.08mm and is rated at 1200V/20A with a nominal on-resistance (RDS(on)) of 80mΩ; and the CPMF-1200-S160B measures 3.1mm x 3.1mm and is rated at 1200V/10A with a nominal on-resistance (RDS(on)) of 160mΩ. Operating junction temperature for both devices is rated at -55°C to +135°C.

GT ASF pink sapphire produces highest transmission colorless Epi-wafers

MERRIMACK, USA: GT Advanced Technologies Inc. announced the release of a case study that details the findings of a series of blind material studies conducted to evaluate the impact of sapphire color on the LED manufacturing process.

The studies demonstrated that all sapphire, regardless of source, exhibits color at the core level, that the pink hue of GT Advanced Sapphire Furnace (ASF) material is not indicative of impurities, and that pink ASF sapphire does not have an adverse affect on the LED manufacturing process nor does it require extra steps or incremental costs to remove the pink hue. In addition, it was demonstrated that GT ASF pink sapphire material makes the lowest absorption, highest transmission epi-wafers of the samples examined.

All studies were conducted using blind samples of GT ASF sapphire material as well as LED grade sapphire from other sources. The case study results were obtained from an independently conducted Glow Discharge Mass Spectroscopy (GDMS) analysis as well as a High Brightness (HB) LED device fabrication study performed using Photo-thermal Common-path Interferometry (PCI) analysis.

“GT has been supplying sapphire to the LED industry for over 12 years. These studies further validate the positive observations that we have long heard from our materials customers on the superior quality and performance of ASF-grown sapphire material, despite its pink hue,” said Cheryl Diuguid, VP and GM Sapphire Material and Equipment.

“The findings of the recent case study confirm what we have known for a long time; namely, that GT’s ASF tool produces sapphire material that is of the highest quality and that exhibits the metrics that matter most to LED manufacturers. These include low to no levels of critical defects such as bubbles, good performance on key LED wafering parameters such as surface roughness (Ra), total thickness variation (TTV), warp and bow and ultimately high wafer yields.”

The new study is part of a larger comprehensive material characterization project initiated by GT to examine the effects of sapphire material properties on the entire manufacturing processes in the HB LED value chain. The company will present the findings of the color case study at the GG LED Conference, December 9-10, in Shenzhen, China.

Employment concerns among 471 respondents of electronics supply chain

SAN JOSE, USA: Venture Outsource LLC recently published findings from its 2011 fall survey of electronics supply chain decision makers. The survey, Electronics Supply Chain Business Outlook Survey, sourced respondents from different levels within electronics industry organizations to achieve a balanced view of the supply chain. Leading electronics components distributor, Digi-Key Corp., sponsored the survey.

The fall survey gathered opinions from 471 executives from different market segments of the supply chain, including 229 key decision makers and a further 179 participants involved in the decision-making process of their organizations. Key decision makers accounted for over 49 percent of respondents in the fall 2011 survey, up from previous surveys.

The survey drilled deep into the organizations where opinions are formed and decisions are made.

* 64 percent of survey respondents indicated they were answering for their entire company.
* More than half of the respondents worked for OEMs (52 percent) and 8 percent for EMS/ODM companies.
* Nearly half of respondents identified as being part of the industrial electronics (15 percent), military electronics/aeronautics/avionics (13 percent), medical electronics (11 percent) or automotive electronics sectors (9 percent).
* Semiconductor firms made up the second largest group of respondents with 17 percent of the sample.
* 10 percent of respondents identified themselves as working for components manufacturers.
* Electronics equipment manufacturers generated 8 percent of responses.
* Nearly one in five survey respondents said they worked in the computer PC industry. (PC manufacturing is dominated by outsourced manufacturing and PCs make up the largest single revenue opportunity for EMS/ODMs).
* The consumer electronics sector accounted for 10 percent of respondents, and the networking (3 percent), telecommunications (6 percent), server (6 percent), and the other segments (7 percent) round out the list.

With 87 percent of respondents responsible for (or participating in) purchasing, sales, and operational decision making, believes the survey results presented in this most recent supply chain analysis report accurately represent attitudes and could help to predict, in the short-term, activity in the electronics market place.

EMS/ODM companies had a much higher percentage of respondents answering for the whole company, 82 percent. Based on details outlined in the report, believes EMS/ODM respondents are likely worried of the order volatility they have seen and this likely concerns most EMS/ODM executives. EMS firms are also seeing greater competition from ODMs in market segments where they have traditionally enjoyed success. This perspective is especially worrisome, given the profile of EMS/ODM survey respondents – key decision makers with a view of their whole company.

The report reveals the outlook for the electronics supply chain has become pessimistic and it does not see much improvement over the next two quarters. Responses on all three indexes came in approximately 10 percent below the average responses from the previous survey.