Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Diodes Inc. intros enhanced USB protection for PCs, peripherals and consumer equipment

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc. has announced a new device that delivers enhanced robustness and advanced protection for the Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface in a variety of applications, where heavy capacitive loads and short-circuits could occur when connecting devices via the USB port.

The increasing presence of USB ports in all computing products, and fast growing in use in consumer peripherals and communications equipment, has led to increased demands for effective electrical protection. The AP2337 from Diodes Inc. is well-suited for use in not only traditional computing devices such as desktops, servers, laptops, monitors and network routers, but also in home entertainment equipment such as high-definition set-top boxes and flat-screen HDTVs.

Fully compliant with USB 2.0 and 3.0 standards, the new AP2337 1A single-channel, integrated, high-side power switch is optimized for both self-powered and bus-powered applications, and other 3V to 5V hot-swapping applications. Such applications include where peripherals or portable electronics are connected to, and disconnected from, a desktop or laptop computer or another consumer device without requiring a system reboot.

Protection capabilities of the AP2337 include: fast short-circuit response time of 5µs, preventing system shutdown and restart, built-in output-discharge functionality, low on-resistance of 110mΩ over 1A continuous load, reverse-current blocking and output over-voltage protection. The AP2337 is offered in the space-saving SOT23 package. The AP2337, which has UL approval pending and is IEC 60950-1 (CB scheme) certified, offers 3kV human body model and 300V machine model electro-static discharge protection.

Avago absolute encoder delivers industry-leading accuracy with modular package for easy installment and alignment

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies, a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications, has announced a high-resolution absolute optical encoder for high-performance servo and motor feedback applications.

The new AEAT-9000 ultra-precision absolute encoder provides best-in-class accuracy for smooth motor drive performance. The device is available in a modular package that enables it to be mounted in space-constrained locations with various mounting requirements, simplifying design and shortening assembly time.

The Avago AEAT-9000 single-turn encoder offers up to 17-bit resolution for precise angle measurement over a full rotation of 360 degrees. The device’s modular design consists of a read head module and a high-precision code disc. Unlike conventional encoders, the modular package of the AEAT-9000 encoder enables it to be directly integrated on the motor, providing system cost savings and better overall performance.

Leveraging differential internal and external signal paths, the absolute encoder delivers superior noise cancellation for robust system noise-immunity in industrial environments, making it ideal for servo motors, industrial and maritime valve control applications, high-precision test and measurement equipment, factory automation equipment and more.

The AEAT-9000 encoder delivers high-accuracy positioning with 2-channel true differential Sine/Cosine outputs and A/B incremental analog outputs all with 2048 counts per rotation. The multiple output formats offer flexibility to support both absolute and incremental position information. In addition, the encoder incorporates photo detectors for electrical alignment on the radial and tilt.

Larson Electronics' Magnalight releases powerful and durable LED blasting light

KEMP, USA: The Magnalight BL70-LED Magnetic Mount Blasting Light from Larson Electronics uses LED technology and heavy duty materials and design to provide operators with an LED blasting light that can provide excellent illumination while resisting the damaging effects of operation in media blasting applications.

This LED blasting light produces 6,020 lumens and comes with an inline transformer that allows operation with standard 120V-277V AC current. These units can also run on 9 to 46 Volts DC without the transformer, allowing operators to connect the unit to vehicles and equipment for added versatility. A magnetic mounting base provides easy placement of the light on any metallic surface that will accept a magnet.

The BL70-LED Blasting Light produces an intense light beam that provides effective illumination during blasting operations involving sand, water, and other media where the ambient atmosphere is often contaminated with dust and debris. This IP68 rated LED blasting light is waterproof to three meters and produces 6,020 lumens using seven 10 watt Cree LEDs.

Designed with an extruded aluminum housing that resists damage from exposure to sand, water, dust and high vibratory conditions, this unit is ideal for use in abusive environments. Available peel off Mylar lens protectors add further durability and provide the impact resistant polycarbonate lens with additional protection against scratching and damage.

A single 200 pound grip magnetic mount base provides versatile mounting options and will hold the light firmly in place, even under high vibratory conditions. An adjustable trunnion bracket allows the light to be repositioned vertically for optimal light beam placement. This units' construction consists of extruded aluminum housing, polycarbonate lens, stainless steel hardware, and a durable black finish that provides protection against corrosion.

This portable blasting light operates natively on 9 to 42 volt DC current for easy connection to vehicles and equipment, and includes an inline transformer that allows operation on any standard 120 to 277 Volt AC current. Optional light beam types include a 20 degree spot beam configuration for precise light control, and 40 degree flood configuration for illuminating larger areas.

Included with this blasting light is 50 feet of SOOW cord to give users ample length for connecting to power sources outside of the work area. The 10 watt Cree LEDs in this unit are rated at 50,000 hours of use, providing years of reliable operation, and the IP68 rating allows users to simply hose the unit down after use, even with high pressure spray, without worrying about internal water contamination.

"A lot of operators are looking for a UL listed, LED magnetic back lights for low voltage applications," said Rob Bresnahan with Larson Electronics' Magnalight.com. "The BL70-LED light outperforms standard 500 watt quartz in light output, creates minimal heat and lasts 20-40 times longer than standard incandescent back lights."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Avnet Electronics Marketing and Xilinx celebrate silver anniversary

PHOENIX, USA: In 1986, Avnet Electronics Marketing, an operating group of Avnet Inc., and Xilinx Inc. forged a distribution agreement that has spanned the last quarter-century. This month, Avnet and Xilinx celebrate their silver anniversary, and reflect on a successful distribution relationship that has spanned 25 years.

Just two years after Xilinx co-founder and inventor Ross Freeman introduced the world to a completely new type of semiconductor device – the field programmable gate array (FPGA) – Avnet and Xilinx joined forces. Avnet was instrumental in bringing Xilinx’s first product, the XC2064 FPGA, to market.

In the years that followed, Avnet had a hand in the successful launches of the Virtex FPGA families in 1998 and the Spartan-3 FPGA families in 2003. These successful launches set in motion an Avnet/Xilinx tradition of delivering breakthrough programmable platforms to customers around the globe for the design and production of tens of thousands of end products that improve the quality of our everyday lives.

As Xilinx has continued to lead the industry in FPGA innovation, Avnet has consistently played an integral part in introducing these new technologies to a growing customer base. Currently, Avnet is focused on Xilinx Spartan-6 and Virtex-6 FPGAs, boards and kits, including the low-cost Spartan-6 FPGA LX9 MicroBoard, developed by Avnet.

In addition to distributing Xilinx’s products, Avnet has also worked with the company to bring marquee training events to their worldwide customers, including the successful X-fest seminar series. Since the first X-fest seminar launched in 1997, Avnet and Xilinx have trained more than 40,000 design engineers the world over. The 2012 X-fest seminar series is tentatively planned to begin in May 2012 in 45 locations worldwide.

In 2010, Xilinx announced its decision to align with Avnet as its exclusive global distributor – a tribute to Avnet’s unsurpassed supply and design chain offerings.

“Xilinx values its longtime relationship with Avnet,” said Chris Henry, VP of sales operations for Xilinx. “Together, we’ve paved the way for broad adoption of programmable platforms, fueling thousands of inventive end products designed by our customers. Our decision in 2010 to align with Avnet as Xilinx’ sole global channel distributor is a testament to our proven track record of success and our commitment to taking that success to the next level.”

“The Avnet/Xilinx relationship was founded on the idea that technology should be both flexible and accessible,” added Harley Feldberg, president worldwide, Avnet Electronics Marketing. “These past 25 years alongside Xilinx has led us on an incredible technological journey – giving Avnet the opportunity to provide our customers a consistent stream of innovative technology, training and services. I’m looking forward to the next 25 years.”

Today, Xilinx is the world’s leading provider of programmable platforms, with nearly 50 percent market segment share and $2.4 billion in revenues in fiscal year 2011 ended March 31, 2011. Due to their inherent flexibility, Xilinx’s award-winning products are used by more than 20,000 customers in a broad range of end markets, including: aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer, industrial, medical, scientific, and wired and wireless communications.

Diodes Inc.'s single-chip solution for smart fan motor drivers is industry’s smallest

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc., a leading global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality application specific standard products within the broad discrete, logic and analog semiconductor markets, announced the industry’s smallest, full-featured, single-chip fan driver with high-output drive capability to provide a cost-effective solution for fan and motor drive applications.

Designed for driving low-power single-phase brushless DC (BLDC) fans and motors, the highly integrated AH5795 can provide an average motor current up to 500mA. Utilizing Diodes’ low-profile DFN packaging technology, the AH5795 integrates a high-sensitivity Hall effect sensor, amplifier and an internal H-bridge driver output stage, suitable for single-coil fan motor applications. A PWM speed control pin provides enhanced motor speed control by varying the duty ratio of the PWM signal, in addition to the supply voltage.

The device’s operating voltage range is 1.8V to 6V, making it well-suited for low operating voltage BLDC fans that require low-voltage start-up in both VDD and PWM speed control modes. Additionally, the AH5795’s bi-directional full-bridge driver uses soft switching to minimize audible switching noise and electromagnetic interference (EMI).

To protect the coil from overheating, the new motor controller includes integrated locked rotor detection and automatic self-restart functions, which serve to shutdown the output driver in the event of a locked rotor and then restart the motor when the rotor is freed. In addition, a tachometer output is provided by an open-drain frequency generator, which allows external speed monitoring. The all-in-one smart motor controller eliminates the need for most external components, including a timing capacitor.

The AH5795 has an extended ambient operating temperature range of –40°C to +105°C, suitable for thermally demanding applications such as enclosed space fan motors.

The AH5795 is fully RoHs complaint with Green molding compound and is available in space-saving low-profile DFN2020-6 and TSOT23-6 packages.

Mitsubishi Electric to sell 1.3-micrometer band 40Gbps EML module

TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has announced the coming launch of a compact 1.3-micrometer band 40Gbps Electro-Absorption Modulator Laser (EML) module for optical signal transmission of up to 10 kilometers by devices used for sending large-volume data.

The FU-497SEA, which will launch commercially on November 1, will be presented during the 13th China International Optoelectronic Exposition (CIOE) at Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center in Shenzhen, China on September 6-9.

As online traffic continues to increase at rapid pace, 10Gbps optical interfaces for networks are giving way to faster 40Gbps interfaces. Mitsubishi Electric’s existing 40Gbps EML module, the FU-697SEA, uses the 1.55-micrometer band for transmissions that are limited to about two kilometers due to wavelength dispersion.

As chromatic dispersion at 1.3 micrometers is almost negligible, Mitsubishi Electric’s new 1.3-micrometer band EML chip delivers high signal quality for 40Gbps optical transmissions over distances of up to 10 kilometers.

Keithley names Newark/element14 as first North American high service distributor

CHICAGO, USA: Newark/element14, a leading multi-channel, high-service electronics distributor in the Americas and a business of Premier Farnell, has inked a franchise agreement with Keithley Instruments to market its highly accurate instruments, data acquisition products and complete system solutions for high-volume production and assembly testing.

"We look forward to a variety of advantages from our distribution agreement with Newark/element14, particularly the fast, efficient service they can provide for customers of our sensitive products, SourceMeter instruments, digital multimeters and switching hardware," said Ray Kramer, MD Sales-Americas, Keithley Instruments. "We're very excited to be a part of their line card."

"Our partnership with Keithley Instruments shows our commitment to offering the latest innovations in the high performance test and measurement space," commented Jim Seifert, Vice President, Supplier Management, Newark/element14. "This is another example of how we support our customers by creating market first, powerful and strategic relationships."

Keithley Instruments will be available for same-day shipping at Newark/element14, and will include integrated systems solutions and instruments and PC plug-in boards that can be used as system components or stand-along solutions by engineers, technicians and scientists in manufacturing, product development and research functions.

Monday, August 29, 2011

EPC intros development board for systems using enhancement mode eGaN FETs

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Efficient Power Conversion Corp. (EPC) introduced the EPC9005 development board to make it easier for users to start designing with a 40 V enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN) field effect transistor (FET) in applications such as high-speed DC-DC power supplies, point-of-load converters, class D audio amplifiers, hard-switched and high frequency circuits.

The EPC9005 development board is a 40 V maximum device voltage, 7 A maximum output current, half bridge with on board gate drives, featuring the EPC2014 40 V eGaN FET. The purpose of this development board is to simplify the evaluation process of the EPC2014 eGaN FET by including all the critical components on a single board that can be easily connected into an existing converter.

The EPC9005 development board is 2” x 1.5” and contains not only two EPC2014 GaN FETs in a half bridge configuration with gate drivers, but also an on board gate drive supply and bypass capacitors. The board contains all critical components and layout for optimal switching performance. There are also various probe points to facilitate simple waveform measurement and efficiency calculation.

Amphenol's rugged connector features high amperage; low mating force

SIDNEY, USA: Amphenol Industrial, a global leader in interconnect systems, has introduced a new high amperage, single pole, plastic circular power connector for benign environment power applications. The Amphe-PPC is ideal for outdoor power supply, control systems and communications environments in various industrial markets including hybrid and electric vehicle, heavy equipment, outer door LED and factory automation.

The compact, lightweight and cost-effective Amphe-PPC uses silver-plated 5.7mm RADSOK crimp-termination contacts, with gold-plated available, and can carry a current up to 120A. It features a lower insertion force and temperature rise than traditional contacts, providing longer life and the ability to be used in higher current applications at a given temperature.

The Amphe-PPC comes with integrated, waterproof cable glands, so additional adaptors are not required, allowing it to fit into smaller spaces.

This IP67-rated connector also features rubber seals as well as a molded thermoplastic housing and insert. Each connector is designed with 90- and 120-color and keyway positions of different polarity to prevent mating mistakes and to ensure safety during operation. The connector is finger-proof in unmated applications to minimize contact with live contacts and prevent risk of shock.

The rugged connector can withstand up to 500 mating cycles at extended temperatures from -40 degrees C to +125 degrees C, salt fog spray to NACI 5 percent for 1,000 hours as well as shock and vibration of 980 m/s. Maximum operating voltage is 600V AC and contact resistance is 5 million-ohms. Minimum insulation resistance is 5,000 mega-ohms at 25 degrees C.

Amphenol's patented RADSOK technology used in the new Amphe-PPC utilizes the tensile strength properties of flat, high conductivity alloy grid for the high normal forces required for conductivity, while providing a large conductive surface area. This results in a correspondingly low voltage drop and low temperature rise while maintaining low insertion forces. With millions of parts in the field, the RADSOK electrical connection has proven to be extremely reliable, with almost no reported connection failures in Amphenol RADSOK-designed applications.

Pricing for the Amphe-PPC starts at $11.19 a mated pair. Delivery is five to six weeks ARO.

Friday, August 26, 2011

RFHA1023 225W GaN wideband pulsed power amplifier

USA: RFMD’s new RFHA1023 is a 36V 225W high power discrete amplifier designed for L-Band pulsed radar, air traffic control and surveillance, and general purpose broadband amplifier applications.

The RFHA1023 is a high terminal impedance matched power transistor providing 225W with 55 percent drain efficiency, packaged in a hermetic, flanged ceramic package that provides excellent thermal stability with advanced heat sink and power dissipation technologies. Ease of integration is accomplished through the incorporation of single, optimized matching networks that provide wideband gain and power performance in a single amplifier covering the 1.2GHz to 1.4GHz frequency band.

Features
Wideband Operation: 1.2GHz to 1.4GHz
Optimized Evaluation Board Layout for 50Ω Operation
Integrated Matching Components for High Terminal Impedances
Output Pulsed Power: 225W
Pulse Width: 1ms, Duty Cycle 10 percent
Small Signal Gain: 15dB
High Efficiency: 55 percent.

Luminous Power launches a new innovative range of traction batteries

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Luminous Power Technologies, a leader in Power Backup solutions for home, commercial, telecom towers and renewable energy systems, has introduced its new innovative range of traction batteries.

Committed to introducing better and innovative products in the Indian market through continuous R&D, the new innovative range of Luminous Traction batteries are keeping in line with the companies unwavering R&D focus and multiple successful test runs. Traction batteries are specially custom made to be used in forklifts, electric golf carts, riding floor scrubbers and other electric vehicles and are specially designed to be routinely used all day and fast charged all night.

Luminous Traction Batteries come with High performance, High reliability and High energy density and 100% Tank formation for uniform plate quality. The robust structure and positive plates specially designed for long cycle life and negative plates containing highly durable long life expander make it a better choice for heavy duty application. Battery characteristics comply with IEC-60254 – 1 and 2.

Additional options that enhance operative life:
* Automatic aqua filling system.
* Electrolyte circulation system.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Power Integrations releases compact 25W LED lighting ballast reference design sized for T8 tubes

SAN JOSE, USA: Power Integrations has published a new reference design for a 25-watt LED T8 tube ballast power supply. Notable for industry-leading efficiency of greater than 91 percent, the design (DER-287) also meets commercial requirements for power factor (PF greater than 0.9) and harmonic distortion (EN61000-3-2 Class C).

DER-287 is a single-stage converter built around LNK409EG, a member of the LinkSwitch-PH family of LED driver ICs. Single-stage technology greatly increases product lifetime by eliminating the opto-isolators and large aluminum electrolytic input bulk capacitors required by conventional two-stage solutions.

Explains Andrew Smith, product marketing manager at Power Integrations: “Achieving very high power-conversion efficiency is as critical as LED choice in maximizing overall luminous efficacy of a lighting fixture. Efficiencies above 88 percent are extremely difficult to achieve cost-effectively in a T8 tube form factor unless a single-stage topology is used; this design easily exceeds 91 percent. Most regions require either low THD or high PF in commercial and industrial lighting installations – specifications that the LinkSwitch-PH LED driver IC easily meets, enabling designs that can be used worldwide. Details are available in this new report.”

In addition to the highly integrated monolithic design that combines controller, driver, and switching MOSFETs into a single package, Power Integrations’ LinkSwitch-PH family features a number of protection features, including over-temperature and over-current protection. This means that very few external components are required to implement the solution – a very important consideration in compact T8 tube enclosures.

IPC conference on reliability highlights new findings in all areas of electronics assembly

BANNOCKBURN, USA: The IPC Conference on Reliability: Assembly Process for a Reliable Product will be held November 1–2, 2011, in Irvine, Calif. The conference will address reliability issues that arise at the assembly level, dedicating half-day programs on new developments in each of three key areas: materials, processes, and test and inspection. In addition, the conference will be preceded by a full-day workshop on design for reliability in a lead-free environment.

The morning of November 1 will focus on reliability considerations with materials. Topics include: component characterization and reliability assessment of lead-free solder joints for space electronics hardware; underfill selection; an assessment of low-silver, lead-free solder alloys for general lead-free assembly; and the effect of coating and potting on the reliability of QFN devices.

The afternoon program will take a look at process issues to mitigate defects and risk. Representatives from DEK will discuss new printing techniques for miniaturization and high yield processing. Industry experts will also guide participants through the latest findings in thermal management, ESD risks and BGA processing, specifically relating to dissimilar solder alloys and avoiding head-on-pillow. In addition, Michael Osterman, Ph.D., senior research scientist, CALCE, University of Maryland, will share details of a simulated assisted reliability assessment.

Test and inspection issues dominate day two of the conference with revealing presentations from some of the industry’s foremost experts on reliability. Hongtao Ma, Ph.D., electronic packaging reliability engineer, Cisco Systems Inc., will provide insight into the effects of multiple rework on ATC and shock performance of lead-free BGA assemblies.

In addition, Vijay Prasad, program manager, OPS A La Carte LLC, will discuss accelerated life test planning for lead-free circuit card assemblies; Dignata Das, Ph.D, faculty research associate, CALCE, University of Maryland, will explain physics-based test methods for reliability assessment; and his colleague from CALCE, Osterman, will assess electrical failure risk induced by tin whiskers. Participants will also learn about testing the long-term reliability of an environmentally friendly PCB final finish and maximizing the value of automatic inspection systems in PCB assembly.

In a full-day, pre-conference workshop on October 31, Cheryl Tulkoff, technical staff senior member, DfR, will provide an in-depth examination of design for reliability considerations in a lead-free environment. Participants will discover the best ways to minimize risk based on a product’s design, materials, complexity, volumes and customer expectations of reliability.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

High-brightness LED market value in 2011 estimated at $9 billion; LED TV backlight market value dropped by 18 percent from 2010

TAIWAN: According to LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce, the global market value of high-brightness LED in 2011 is estimated to total $9 billion instead of $10.6 billion as previously expected, with a mere annual increase of 8 percent. Contributing factors include: backlight market’s weak demand, drastic plummeting LED’s average selling price, which resulted in over supply in the LED market.

TrendForcee indicates that the excess supply situation is likely to remain unchanged in the short-term. In fact, if the inventory level continues to rise and the price declines more than expected, High-Brightness LED Backlight market value might go a further decline.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

2011 LED backlight annual output value exhibits decline compared to 2010
According to TrendForce, despite the fact that the High-Brightness LED Backlight market has increased slightly in 2011, the LED market value for the TV backlight application merely reached $1.4 billion, with an 18 percent YoY decrease. The trend can be attributed to the enhanced light guide technology, resulting in a considerable reduction in the LED usage volume for the TV backlight requires.

As for the 42- inch TV specification, when Samsung launched its LED TVs in 2009, 360 LEDs were needed, but in 2011, the number averages about 130 for standard LED TVs and 100 for the entry level LED TV model. The technology advancement has largely compromised LED usage for the TV backlight application.

Moreover, the unfavorable end-market sales contribute to the speedy downturn in LED price. As a result, despite the surging LED penetration rate for the TV application, market value still suffers setback.

In 2012, South Korean panel manufacturers plan to launch entry-leveled LED panels, in the hope of reducing cost and propelling sales. Such a move will further increase the LED penetration rate, but it will also cause the LED usage volume to drop another 20-30%.

Few Taiwanese manufacturers benefit from tablet PCs fever
Brand vendors are increasingly requiring higher panel resolution for tablet PCs; in 2011 the amount of LED usage volume per tablet PC averages 36-42, but the LED usage volume may double in 2012. Although the tablet PC shipment will likely exceed 500 million units in 2011, but Apple iPad and iPad 2 account for most of them. Currently, since Apple’s LED backlight demand is mainly supplied by Japanese manufacturers, few Taiwanese makers benefit from the tablet PC fever.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Incandescent light bulb ban from 2012 may trigger potential business opportunity for LED lighting market
In light of the weak backlight demand, the lighting market becomes the new source of revenue that underpins LED makers. For example, the electricity rationing in Japan has increased energy-saving awareness and demand for LED, and LED makers that manage to break into the supply chain of the Japanese lighting market are able to deliver impressive revenues.

For instance, Roadmap for China Abolishing Incandescent Lamps (draft), recently published by The National Development and Reform Commission, proposes that the sales and imports of regular incandescent light bulbs will be prohibited from October 1st, 2012. Moreover, the Chinese government is about to announce the policy for the solid-state lighting industry as a part of the 12th five-year plan.

The Chinese government will strive to increase the popularity of LED light products by enacting incentive and subsidy policies regarding criteria, purchase and energy-saving efficiency of LED. On the other hand, the bans against incandescent light bulbs will be enforced in areas such as Europe, North America, South Korea and Australia in 2012, which are expected to greatly benefit the global LED lighting market.

Market downturn: Test for LED makers’ cost competitiveness
TrendForce believes that the delayed demand for end-market applications will likely pick up in 2012 and 2013. In addition, the rising popularity of LED lighting products will drive the High-Brightness LED market value for continous growth. However, the oversupply caused by manufacturers’ significant MOCVD expansions since 2010 will most likely persist. The ASP of LED is expected to undergo a decline of 20 percent in 2012, which will pose a challenge for LED makers in terms of technology advancement speed and cost competitiveness.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sunstone Circuits offering stencils for quickturn and full feature PCB prototypes

MULINO, USA: Sunstone Circuits, the leading printed circuit board (PCB) prototype solutions provider, has enhanced services by offering SMT stencils when placing an order within their Quickturn, Full Feature, and CAD Tool, PCB123 product lines.

Stencils join a growing suite of PCB solutions that includes Bundled Assembly, PCB Design Software and Free DFM. With the new stencils addition, Sunstone Circuits is continuing to differentiate themselves as a comprehensive PCB solutions provider within the marketplace.

Stencils are used for even deposition of solder paste onto a bare circuit board. The use of stencils replaces hand soldering of surface mount devices, and eliminates the inconsistencies created by hand soldering. By adding stencils to a new or previous PCB order, a design engineer can eliminate this tedious error-prone process of hand soldering their printed circuit board, increase the quality of their product, and save valuable time.

With the new availability of stencils, Sunstone customers will experience numerous benefits. All stencils feature the following:

* Permanent, non-removable, and non-fading fiducials.
* Exclusive performance enhancing stencil design modifications, tailored specifically for each customer.
* 100 percent laser cut, ensuring the finest quality finish.
* All fixed frame stencils are double bonded to withstand extreme wear.
* Plates available with safety features to protect against sharp plate edges.

With the new addition of the stencils product line, Sunstone customers now will have even greater confidence in the quality and consistency between their printed circuit board order and their stencil order.

EPC expands eGaN FET family with second generation 40V, 16 milliohm power transistor

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Efficient Power Conversion Corp. has introduced the EPC2014 as the newest member of EPC’s second-generation enhanced performance eGaN FET family. The EPC2014 is environmentally friendly; being lead free, RoHS-compliant (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), and halogen free.

The EPC2014 FET is a 1.87 mm2, 40 VDS, 10 A device with a maximum RDS(ON) of 16 milliohms with 5 V applied to the gate. This eGaN FET provides significant performance advantages over the first-generation EPC1014 eGaN device. The EPC2014 has an increase in maximum junction temperature rating to 150 degrees C and is fully enhanced at a lower gate voltage than the predecessor EPC1014.

Compared to a state-of-the-art silicon power MOSFET with similar on-resistance, the EPC2014 is much smaller and has many times superior switching performance. Applications that benefit from eGaN FET performance include high-speed DC-DC power supplies, point-of-load converters, class D audio amplifiers, hard-switched and high frequency circuits.

“In addition to increases in performance, this new generation enhancement mode gallium nitride FET is offered as lead-free, halogen-free and RoHS-compliant,” noted Alex Lidow, co-founder and CEO.

In 1k piece quantities, the EPC2014 is priced at $1.12 and is immediately available through Digi-Key.

RS Components and Accelerated Designs intro new series of free schematic symbols and PCB footprints

SINGAPORE: RS Components (RS) the world's leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products and the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), and Accelerated Designs announced the introduction of a new series of component libraries to provide customers with schematic symbols and Printed Circuit Board (PCB) footprints for an extensive range of products from STMicroelectronics and Microchip Technology.

Thousands of PCB footprints and schematic symbols are available for free download in a vendor-neutral format from the RS online DesignSpark electronics design community and resource centre, and can be exported to virtually any EDA and CAD/CAE system using Accelerated Designs' Ultra Librarian (UL) translator software, thus saving the design engineer valuable time and effort in the CAD design process. The UL Reader also supports the free DesignSpark PCB design tool from RS that offers powerful schematic capture and PCB layout software.

Martin Keenan, Programme Manager for DesignSpark PCB at RS Components, said: "RS is committed to supporting the needs of electronics design engineers and to removing barriers to innovation. Engineers today spend a considerable amount of time creating symbols and footprints for their particular CAD suite. Accelerated Designs' free UL Reader simplifies this process and helps speed up the 'Find, Design and Buy' activities of our Electronics customers."

"Making our free Ultra Librarian software available through the RS online DesignSpark resource centre means that our customers can easily access all of the critical data they need to begin the CAD design process. This collaboration will help accelerate time to market for their products," commented Frank Frank, president of Accelerated Designs.

Annual global nanotechnology research funding running at $10 billion per year

USA: ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS, the electronics industry market research and knowledge network, announced the availability of a new report entitled "Global Funding of Nanotechnologies 2011".

Every year, analysts undertake one of the world’s most exhaustive searches into the global funding of nanotechnologies in order to identify not only where the dollars, euros and yen are being spent, but also to gain an unique insight into the trends shaping tomorrow’s applications.

According to the report, annual global nanotechnology research funding is running at $10 billion per year. Since the US National Nanotechnology Initiative was announced in 2000, almost every developed and developing economy has initiated national nanotechnology programs. The world’s governments currently spend $10 billion per year on nanotechnology research and development, with that figure set to grow by 20% over the next three years.

By the end of 2011, the total government funding for nanotechnology research worldwide will be $65 billion, rising to $100 billion by 2014. When figures for corporate research and various other forms of private funding are taken into account, which were thought to have surpassed government funding figures as far back as 2004, it is estimated that nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars will have been invested into nanotechnology by 2015.

In 2011, China's nanotech funding will have surpassed the US. With US government funding of nanotechnology receding slightly in 2011, this marks the first time in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) estimates that China will spend more than the US in funding of nanotechnology.

This year, according to estimates, in PPP terms China will spend $2.25 billion in nanotechnology research while the US will spend US$2.18 billion. However, in real dollar terms, adjusted for currency exchange rates, China is only spending about $1.3 billion to the US’s $2.18 billion. But China is not the first country to outspend the United States. Japan and Russia have also managed to snatch a temporary lead before falling back. In absolute terms the United States still comprehensively outspends everyone else.

A clear trend is emerging: while nanotechnology research spending in Europe and North America is still rising, the fast growth rates are seen in Asia. Asian investment in nanotechnologies was poised to be largest in the world until RusNano was formed with its huge budget.

Simply looking at the amount of funding, whether in raw dollars or PPP corrected, fails to tell the whole story. Just because a country throws huge amounts of money at research it does not necessarily follow that the research conducted will have an impact on the economy.

Some countries have excellent research institutions, but little in the way of industry-academic cooperation, while others may have large companies who spend little on R&D. In order to obtain a more accurate picture of which economies are best placed to translate research funding into an economic benefit, data from the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report was used.

KEMET announces additions to high voltage polymer tantalum capacitor series

GREENVILLE, USA: KEMET Corp., a leading manufacturer of tantalum, ceramic, aluminum, film, paper and electrolytic capacitors, announced the expansion of its Polymer Tantalum portfolio with new product additions to the KEMET T521 High Voltage Series.

"The KEMET development team has been working to expand our leading-edge product offerings for the T521 High Voltage Series," said Jayson Young, KEMET Product Manager for Tantalum and Aluminum Products. "These new introductions offer the benefit of greater capacitance in smaller form factors as well as enhanced electrical performance. Compared to current industry-leading capacitor values, these new releases allow designers to replace up to three of the highest rated component values previously available with a single component."

New industry leading additions to the T521 High Voltage Polymer Tantalum Series include 16V offerings with capacitance values of 220uF and 330uF, as well as a 25V offering with a capacitance value of 100uF. The T521 Series is a popular solution for circuits that require higher voltages than are typically available in standard polymer tantalum devices and higher performance over traditional tantalum capacitors. With its superior voltage derating and low ESR values, the T521 Series delivers increased performance and reliability within a smaller package size compared to currently available capacitor options.

T521 series technical information
* Operating temperature range of -55 degrees C to 105 degrees C/125 degrees C (refer to part number for maximum temperature rating).
* Rated capacitance range of 15uF-330uF @ 120 Hz/25 degrees C.
* Capacitance tolerance: M tolerance (20 percent).
* Rated voltage range of 16V-35V.
* RoHS compliant and halogen free.
* Lead free when ordered with 100 percent tin termination.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Alberi EcoTech and PTC lead IPC Committee responsible for supplier declaration standards

BANNOCKBURN, USA: In an era of intense scrutiny over “what” materials are used in electronic products and “from where” those materials originate, Krista Crotty, founder of Alberi EcoTech, and Jørgen Vos, product management director at PTC, have accepted the co-leadership roles of IPC’s 2-18 Supplier Declaration Subcommittee.

Charged with the development and oversight of the 175x family of data exchange standards, such as IPC-1752A, Materials Declaration Management, the subcommittee helps the global electronics industry better manage the growing reporting requirements of the world’s evolving environmental regulations as well as new corporate social responsibility requirements, such as conflict minerals reporting.

“The IPC data exchange standards and specifically the XML schema, which is the building block of all IPC’s data exchange standards, provide a tremendous benefit to the industry … and I am excited to work with others from the industry on these projects,” says Crotty. The IPC-175x family of IPC standards incorporates a sophisticated XML schema that facilitates and eases material declaration data exchange between companies in the multifarious global electronic interconnect supply chain.

Crotty and Vos’ combined expertise will be a tremendous asset to the subcommittee as it embarks on a full plate of activities scheduled for the group’s upcoming meetings on Monday, September 19 and Thursday, September 22, 2011, in conjunction with IPC Midwest Conference & Exhibition. One of their first orders of business: tackling the addition of a conflict minerals query to the IPC-175x family of standards.

“Tracking regulations from RoHS to REACH to WEEE etc., and now as part of the conflict minerals regulations stemming from Dodd-Frank, the tasks of material declaration have become extremely complex, but the beauty of the XML schema ensures we are all talking the same language, and that we have clear expectations,” explains Vos.

“I’m excited to be able to share my XML knowledge with the group,” he says, adding that he hopes others in the software industry and electronics supply chain will join the group’s efforts. As an ANSI-accredited standards development organization, IPC committees continually seek input from all stakeholder groups to ensure broad and fair representation of all perspectives in the development of IPC standards.

NI modules expand PXI platform capability, reduce cost for semiconductor characterization and test

AUSTIN, USA: National Instruments has expanded the capabilities of its PXI platform for semiconductor characterization and production test with new per-pin parametric measurement unit (PPMU) modules and source measure unit (SMU) modules.

The NI PXIe-6556 200 MHz high-speed digital I/O with PPMU, the NI PXIe-4140 and NI PXIe-4141 four-channel SMUs reduce the cost of capital equipment, decrease test times and increase mixed-signal flexibility for a variety of devices under test.

With the NI PXIe-6556 high-speed digital I/O module, engineers can generate and acquire a digital waveform at up to 200 MHz or perform DC parametric measurements with one percent accuracy on the same pin, simplifying cabling, decreasing test times and increasing the density of the tester. In addition, engineers can nearly eliminate timing skew due to different cable and trace lengths to the device under test with the built-in timing calibration feature that automatically adjusts timing for these differences.

The NI PXIe-6556 comes with an option to switch in another NI SMU for higher precision, and engineers can trigger parametric measurements based on hardware or software triggers.

The NI PXIe-4140/41 SMU modules provide four SMU channels per PXI Express slot and up to 68 SMU channels per PXI chassis in 4U of rack height to simplify testing of high-pin-count devices. With sampling rates of up to 600,000 samples per second, engineers can drastically reduce measurement times or capture important transient characteristics of the device.

Additionally, the NI PXIe-4141 features next-generation SourceAdapt technology that engineers can use to custom tune the SMU output response to any given load to achieve maximum stability and minimum transient times. This capability is not possible with traditional SMU technologies.

Combined with NI LabVIEW system design software, these new PPMU and SMU modules add to the modular software-defined approach to semiconductor test by increasing quality, reducing cost and decreasing the time of test across validation, characterization and production. LabVIEW combines the flexibility of a programming language with the power of an advanced engineering tool so engineers can meet unique, custom requirements.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Other electronic component manufacturing industry in US and international trade updated [2011 Q3 edition]

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of Supplier Relations US, LLC's new report "Other Electronic Component Manufacturing Industry in the US and its International Trade [2011 Q3 Edition]" to its offering.

This latest Other Electronic Component Manufacturing Industry report provides the most updated market research on the industry. Its scope contains analysis on the industry's key financial data, competitive landscape, shipment and inventory data, upstream and downstream industries, and trade data.

This 2011 report's 185 pages and over 150 charts and tables cover the domestic market, global market and overseas growth opportunities. Find the latest data on shipments, inventory, international trade, and essential industry price indices available through July 2011. Relying on over a decade of historic data and sophisticated forecasting, the report projects industry trends through 2015.

The report's broad scope includes topics from foreign trade to industry structure, while also diving into the details such as market sizes of products and players. Industry experts consistently subscribe to this quarterly-updated market research report.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

World Micro enhances counterfeit detection with XRF and high-volume x-ray

ATLANTA, USA: In a move to provide its customers with more protection from the growing threat of counterfeit and substandard electronic parts, World Micro, a global distributor of electronic components serving the medical electronics, commercial, military, and aerospace markets, has recently added XRF and high-volume X-ray to its in-house quality assurance capabilities.

Its new technology investment takes World Micro's quality assurance to an impressively higher standard, making it possible to perform a deeper and more comprehensive analysis of components and conduct X-ray inspection of 100 percent of components on large reels.

The new Oxford Instruments XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) tabletop analyzer, which has been installed in World Micro's Atlanta, as well at its Penang facility, enables detailed chemical analysis of components to spot deviations from specifications. This high precision equipment provides rapid analysis and can detect even low levels of suspect materials.

The XRF capability is particularly important in light of the more stringent RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) standards now enforced by the European Union. Under the RoHS directive, manufacturers are required to produce documentation, including conformity risk assessment and test reports, for a wide range of parts and components. If the technical documentation for a product does not include test reports for certain parts, the manufacturer will have to explain why test reports are not applicable.

Many industries in the United States also now adhere to RoHS standards, making it even more critical that all components meet those standards. Aside from making it possible for World Micro to ensure that components comply with the RoHS directive, XRF provides critical information to aid in the identification of possible counterfeits.

The high-speed X-ray inspection equipment addresses the particular issue of potential counterfeit parts peppered into large reels of components. While traditional inspection procedures only validate a portion of the parts on a reel, high-speed X-ray inspection enables World Micro to perform 100 percent X-ray inspection, ensuring that the internal die in each individual part on a reel is identical and any deviations are flagged.

"We believe that it is imperative that we take the lead in ensuring that the components we provide to our customers are genuine and comply with the most stringent standards," said Gary Beckstedt, World Micro director of quality.

"Our focus has always been on quality and we are dedicated to staying on the front edge of counterfeit detection. The new XRF and high-speed X-ray equipment lets us do more complete testing and validation of components. Despite the growing concerns about counterfeit and substandard parts in the supply chain, with these new inspection capabilities we can continue to provide our customers with the assurance that the components we provide are authentic and will perform as expected in their products."

China’s LED industry lights up to nearly $6 billion in 2011

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Buoyed by government support and increased penetration into new applications, China’s light-emitting diode (LED) market will jump to $5.8 billion in 2011, up a robust 23 percent from $4.7 billion last year, according to the IHS iSuppli China Electronics Supply Chain Service.

The LED market in the world’s most populous country is forecast to reach $6.9 billion next year on its way to $11.1 billion by 2015, equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate of 17.7 percent, as shown in the figure.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

“Driven by markets including backlights for liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs and street lighting, LEDs have become a hot item for manufacturing in China and also an attractive investment segment in the country,” said Vincent Gu, senior analyst for China electronics research at IHS. “Moreover, official government commitments to the industry appear to be paying off dividends.”

Exceedingly broad, the Chinese LED market covers a range of applications including LED displays, traffic signals, automotive use, LCD backlighting, handset key pads, digital still camera flashlights, decorative lighting, street lighting and general illumination.

Street lighting will be the biggest segment, reaching $1.5 billion this year and anticipated to hit $1.8 billion in 2012. The LCD backlighting market is also headed for strong growth on the strength of the rapid adoption of LEDs for large-sized LCD TVs and laptops, generating $1.8 billion in 2015, up from $713 million this year.

A new demand driver for LEDs in the medium to the long term will be the general lighting market.

Given the global trend to reduce carbon emissions, China demand in the general lighting segment will be strong for LEDs, which offer low-power consumption and are environmentally safe. LED shipments for general lighting will make up 15.5 percent of the total LED market this year, IHS data shows.

Despite the current popularity of LEDs in China, the domestic LED industry is still in its infancy compared to its counterpart in thriving LED-focused countries such as the United States and Taiwan.

Some reasons why China trails in the field include lagging technological capabilities currently available in the country as well as a paucity of adequately experienced management teams and R&D engineers to lead the way. Furthermore, the lack of Chinese intellectual property in core and upriver segments—such as in LED wafers—is a serious concern.

Still, China’s LED players enjoy ample funding from local and government sources, which should help domestic entities capture the large Chinese end demand for LEDs in the future. To date, local governments in China subsidize at least 70 percent of the purchase price for metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) equipment employed in LED manufacturing—a percentage translating into some $1.5 million for each machine. Furthermore, tax and utility payment benefits are offered to encourage investments in the domestic LED industry, proving to be an additional boon for local players.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Cree acquires Ruud Lighting to accelerate LED lighting revolution

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. announced the acquisition of Ruud Lighting Inc., a leader in LED outdoor lighting, at an estimated net cost of approximately $525 million. Combining two highly complementary LED innovators, the acquisition allows Cree to extend its leadership position and increase the adoption of energy-efficient LED lighting. The companies’ shared focus on best-in-class LED-based systems has led to thousands of LED lighting installations over the past several years.

This acquisition creates a market leader for indoor and outdoor LED lighting, accelerating adoption and expanding the market for both Cree’s LED systems and components. Other synergies include increased access to the lighting market through expanded sales channels and operating leverage from increased economies of scale. Through a broader presence in the lighting systems market, Cree gains additional knowledge and expertise to develop the next generation of industry-leading, lighting-class LED components.

“Cree is taking another bold step in leading the LED lighting revolution, creating a company that has an unrivaled focus and commitment to driving LED lighting adoption,” said Chuck Swoboda, chairman and CEO of Cree.

“Joining Cree was the right thing to do so Ruud Lighting can build on our leadership position; as leaders we create opportunities for everyone,” said Alan Ruud, chairman and CEO of Ruud Lighting.

Ruud Lighting will continue to be based in Racine, Wis., and will operate as a subsidiary as part of Cree’s lighting business. Additionally, Alan Ruud has joined the Cree board. Ruud Lighting, through its BetaLED product line, was one of the first traditional lighting companies to transform the majority of its business to LED-based systems.

Cree acquired all of the outstanding stock of Ruud Lighting for an estimated net cost of approximately $525 million, comprised of $372 million in cash, $211 million in stock (valued at today’s market closing price of $34.74/share), $85 million paid concurrently with the acquisition to retire outstanding debt, offset by tax benefits noted below. The stock portion is comprised of 6,074,833 Cree shares. The acquisition was structured for tax purposes as a deemed asset purchase, which means the cost to Cree will be offset by approximately $143 million of expected future tax benefits related to the acquisition.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Digi-Key stocks Altera’s Stratix IV FPGA family

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Digi-Key Corp. announced the addition of Altera’s Stratix IV FPGA family to its vast programmable logic portfolio.

The Altera Stratix IV FPGA family delivers high density, high performance, and low power. Leveraging 40 nm benefits as well as proven transceiver and memory interface technology, the Stratix IV FPGA family provides an unprecedented level of system bandwidth with superior signal integrity. This family is ideal for high-end digital applications in wireless, wireline, military, broadcast, and many other end markets.

Digi-Key is the sole provider of the most diverse FPGA and CPLD products in the electronic component industry. The engineering community and procurement professionals all over the world are now able to access the Programmable Logic Product Center, which is solely dedicated to CPLD and FPGA solutions including Altera’s Stratix IV FPGA family.

Rubicon completes upgrade to next generation large diameter sapphire furnaces

BENSENVILLE, USA: Rubicon Technology Inc., a leading provider of sapphire substrates and products to the LED, RFIC, Semiconductor, and Optical industries, announced that the company has completed a company-wide installation of enhancements to its proprietary crystal growth furnaces bringing all furnaces up to Rubicon Furnace Version ES2-XLG3.0. This is the latest version of the company’s proprietary furnace design for the production of high quality, large diameter sapphire material and provides even greater automation and yield consistency.

Over time, the company’s Design for High Volume Manufacturing (DHVM) approach has led to numerous furnace design improvements that have created an industry-leading equipment platform for high volume sapphire crystal growth. Rubicon Furnace Version ES2-XLG3.0 provides even greater automation resulting in additional yield improvements. The ES2-XLG3.0 encompasses numerous innovations and now operates in Rubicon’s United States high-efficiency crystal growth facilities in Batavia and Bensenville, Illinois.

“Compared to the production of other substrate materials, sapphire crystal growth is extremely complex,” explains Raja Parvez, Rubicon president and CEO. “Variables such as stable power, growth profiles, cooling profiles and feedback control mechanisms must be optimally managed to maximize the yield of quality sapphire crystal. This is even more vital when producing sapphire for the expanding large diameter wafer market. With hundreds of years of combined experience and innovations such as those embedded in the Rubicon Furnace Version ES2-XLG3.0, Rubicon’s design and equipment engineers and material scientists have achieved industry leading yields and performance.”

The Rubicon furnace design is just one component of the company’s efficient equipment platform that has differentiated the company in the large diameter sapphire wafer market. This effort, combined with Rubicon’s robust process platforms and the company’s ability to scale to high volume, creates superior performance factors for the LED industry. With the Batavia crystal growth facility qualified with more than a dozen customers and the Malaysia polishing facility now also qualified, Rubicon has successfully shipped more than 100,000 six inch sapphire wafers.

Market research firm iSuppli expects the global LED market to double to nearly $14.3bn by 2013, driven by the penetration of LEDs into the general illumination market including light bulbs. LEDs are a popular option for backlighting screens from HDTVs, traffic lights and large displays as well as in a broad range of popular consumer devices including tablets, notebooks, laptops, mobile phones, navigation devices, digital music players, digital photo frames, digital cameras and keypads. LED use in general lighting applications is also increasing significantly, particularly in applications like street lighting, industrial lighting and architectural lighting.

The transition to larger diameter wafers in LED production has started. Several key LED chip manufacturers have announced plans to migrate to and/or test large diameter wafers in 2011/2012.

Molex interconnects power UMsolar car on 1,800 mile outback journey

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. enthusiastically endorses the University of Michigan Solar Car team (UMsolar) in its bid to win the 2011 World Solar Challenge. Hosted in Australia, the biannual competition takes place October 16-23, 2011. The University of Michigan team’s entry car “Quantum” and rival teams will depart from Darwin, all aiming to be the first to race across the finish line in Adelaide, approximately 1,800 miles (3000km) to the south.

Quantum features several advanced electronic components from Molex, as well as a variety of solderless terminals. The Molex interconnect products deployed include:

* MX150 Sealed Connector System, a high-performance, submersible interconnect solution for automotive, off-road and other harsh duty applications. The compact, pre-assembled MX150 connector system supports low-level signal and power applications.

* MX150L Connector System, ideal for low-level signal applications as well as power applications. The environmentally sealed MX150L connector system supports high-power applications and long-voltage runs to eliminate voltage drops. Suitable for rugged, non-automotive applications, MX150L Connectors can be modified to meet UV and water resistance requirements for solar and other outdoor applications.

* Mini MI II System, a space saving solution designed for use in high density wire harness applications. Available in wire-to-board and wire-to-wire options with different custom lengths and wire configurations, Mini Mi II system provides the same 1.5 amperes of current as similar 2mm (.079") pitch systems, but in a more compact design.

“The interconnect solutions selected by the UMsolar team directly address their challenging engineering and performance requirements, with design space at a premium and reliability a must,” states Mark Rettig, director of Global Marketing, Molex. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to empower and support the next generation of innovative design engineers.”

LED makers’ revenues dropped 20 percent due to weak demand for large-size backlight; sales product focus shifting to lighting apps in 2H11

TAIWAN: According to LEDinside, the LED research division of TrendForce, the total monthly revenue of Taiwanese LED companies listed on TWSE reached NTD 8.648 billion in July, 2011 (MoM-6.35 percent, YoY-18.8 percent). The LED chip manufacturers’ monthly revenue has decreased by 20.5 percent to NTD 3.95 billion, compared to that of last year (MoM-8.9 percent; YoY-20.5 percent).Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Furthermore, the LED package manufacturers’ monthly revenue has dropped sharply by 17.4 percent to NTD 4.695 billion, compared to that of last year (MoM-4.1 percent,YoY-17.4 percent). The weak demand for end-market applications has compromised the revenues of LED package and chip manufacturers. In addition, affected by the decreases of subsidies from local governments in China, LED chip makers have delayed their equipment installment plans, whose fulfillment will be the key to equipment makers’ revenues in 2H11.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Taiwanese chip manufacturers’ performance
The Japan earthquake, Greek debt crisis, oil price surges and global inflation haveplaced a dent in the worldwide demand for LCD TV and greatly damaged consumer confidence. In addition, the rising popularity of tablets has resulted in declines in other products’ market shares.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

WitsView, another research division of TrendForce, estimates that the annual demand for LCD TV will drop to 201 to 203 million units. Due to the weakening demand for end-market applications, the average utilization rates of both Taiwanese and South Korean panel makers in 3Q11 are expected to reach 70~75 percent and 80~85 percent, respectively.

Currently, LED manufacturers are mainly underpinned by the demand for large backlights. Influenced by inventory digestions of TV brand vendors, weak demand in slow season and the underperformance in peak season, the revenues and utilization rates of LED chip makers have suffered major setbacks. Moreover, no rebound is in sight for the gross profit rates in3Q11. Taking into account that the first and fourth quarter are the conventional slow seasons for the electronics industry, the downturn is expected to continue until the end of 1Q12.

With respect to LED manufacturers that have made their ways into the supply chains of the tablet PCs and Japanese LED lighting supply chains, they are expected to see less decline in their revenues in 3Q11 due to steady overseas shipments. The July revenue of Genesis Photonics remained stable compared to June, whose joint efforts with JFE Engineering Corporation is expected to pay off in 2H11.

Moreover, even though the Japanese government has ceased imposing electricity rationing, the LED price trend, the consumer acceptance, and the possibility of re-imposing electricity rationing should still be considered.

Taiwanese package manufacturers’ performance
In regard to July revenues of Taiwanese package manufacturers, despite the weak demand for backlight applications and chip price drop, manufacturers that have already invested in the lighting market, such as Lextar and Edison Opt, suffer less severe downturns compared to other manufacturers that solely focus on backlight applications.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Benefited from the orders for invisible light and backlight applications, Liteon’s revenue hit NTD 1.254 billion. On the other hand, the purchase orders from Excellence Opto. Inc. for vehicle lighting and street lighting have boosted HIGH POWER OPTO.INC’s revenue by 65 percent in July. According to current LED market conditions, the weak backlight demand has caused the product focus to shift to the lighting applications. Taiwanese and South Korean LED makers stated that LED products for lighting applications are expected to account for 25~35 percent of the total product line in 2H11.

LED manufacturers integrate functions in new products

BOSTON, USA: To increase ease of use and functionality for consumers, LED manufacturers are developing products that integrate functions like multiple diodes for higher output, ballasts, drivers, voltage converters and interfaces for dimmers.

The recently published Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs) viewpoint, “Compound Semiconductor Industry Review May 2011: Optoelectronics, Materials and Equipment,” captures the product, technology, contract and financial announcements for companies such as AIXTRON, RIBER, Cree, Philips Lumileds, GigOptix, EMCORE, Opnext, JDSU, Oclaro and GT Solar for May 2011.

“LEDs are proving to be a more energy efficient alternative for a growing number of lighting applications,” noted Eric Higham, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service. “LED manufacturers are improving market penetration by increasing the functionality of their products and making them easier for consumers to use.”

Asif Anwar, director in the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice added, “There is strong activity at all levels of the optoelectronics supply chain, from the companies that make processing equipment, to manufacturers of LEDs, laser diodes and optoelectronic devices to photovoltaic component and equipment manufacturers.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FLEXcon announces new THERMLfilm product line

SPENCER, USA: FLEXcon, an innovator in adhesive coating and laminating, announced the launch of THERMLfilm HT, a new advanced line of high-temperature polyimide films able to withstand the fluctuating temperatures, abrasion and chemicals inherent in the printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing process.

The new product line will be available worldwide to manufacturers that need high-density barcode and alphanumeric PCB labels, including military contractors and manufacturers of electronics, aerospace and automotive goods. The PCB manufacturing process is one of the harshest environments to which pressure-sensitive films can be subjected. FLEXcon has put extensive development effort into the THERMLfilm HT line. The result is products that meet industry standards and pass all requirements for this challenging environment.

All THERMLfilm HT products are tested to ensure PCB labels will remain adhered and legible throughout the manufacturing process. FLEXcon’s specially formulated topcoat provides a super smooth printing surface. The product is an ideal substrate for high density information such as data matrix codes, and provides consistent ANSI scannability. In addition, the static dissipating qualities of the topcoat minimize the risk of print voids to ensure optimum print quality and consistency.

“As a FLEXcon partner that tests the quality and durability of PCB labels, we must assure our customers that they can meet and surpass the most stringent cleaning requirements,” said Sal Sparacino, Technical Marketing Manager, ZESTRON Corp. “The THERMLfilm HT line creates a new industry standard in performance and can withstand the harshest elements, that can ultimately impact produce performance.”

“Printability and heat resistance are the most critical factors in choosing materials for PCB labeling,” said John Bennett, FLEXcon Vice President, Product Identification Business Team. “These labels contain crucial information for the production process which, if lost, result in disruptions that impact profitability, so finding film products you can count on makes all the difference. FLEXcon prides itself on developing reliable solutions that withstand all elements.”

THERMLfilm HT line can endure the standard PCB process as measured by MIL-STD-202G, Notice 12 and MIL-STD-883E, Notice 4. L.a.b barcode scannability testing reveals consistent ANSI scannability after exposure to high heat. Heat resistance testing has revealed endurance at 500°F/260°C continuously for 5 minutes and intermittently at up to 750°F/398°C. In addition, in-line durability testing is performed using VIGON A 201 chemical cleaner. This testing combination ensures THERMLfilm HT products will withstand the harsh environment of the in-line reflow and cleaning processes, yielding consistent and maximum performance.

Avago debuts first 16 Gigabit fibre channel transceiver for storage networking

SAN JOSE, USA & SINGAPORE: Avago Technologies announced production availability of a 16 Gigabit Fibre Channel transceiver with industry-standard signaling rates up to 14.025 GBd.

The new AFBR-57F5PZ SFP+ transceivers support high-speed serial links over multimode optical fiber with double the data throughput of existing 8 Gigabit Fibre Channel modules. The modules address 16 Gigabit Fibre Channel switches, routers, host bus adapters, RAID controllers, tape drives and video switching, as well as inter-switch and inter-chassis aggregated links.

The Avago AFBR-57F5PZ SFP+ transceiver reduces the number of ports required for inter-switch connectivity by a factor of two compared to existing 8 Gigabit Fibre Channel solutions and operates at essentially the same power level. The SFP+ module’s transmitter and receiver can operate at different data rates, as is often required during Fibre Channel speed negotiation. The module maintains compatibility with legacy 8 Gigabit and 4 Gigabit Fibre Channel devices, simplifying design migration.

“Our new 16 Gigabit Fibre Channel SFP+ module continues the Avago tradition of setting new performance standards and bringing innovative form-factors to market first,” said Victor Krutul, director of marketing for the Fiber Optics Products Division at Avago. “Avago has worked closely with our top customers to develop solutions with the bandwidth and port-density they require, which has helped us to establish a position as the market’s leading Fibre Channel optical supplier in the storage networking segment.”

The AFBR-57F5PZ transceiver incorporates the unparalleled reliability of Avago 850-nm Vertical-Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) technology and PIN detector technology. This combination ensures that the multi-rate SFP+ module is compliant with FC-PI-5 and 16G/8G/4G Fibre Channel specifications. The module will respond to both rate select pin and control bit inputs, which simplifies Fibre Channel host auto-negotiation algorithms, layout and software.

GigOptix joins OTCQX

NEW YORK, USA: OTC Markets Group Inc. announced that GigOptix Inc., a leading supplier of semiconductor and optical components, is now trading on the OTC market's highest tier, OTCQX.

"The superior information and visibility of the OTCQX marketplace allows companies to efficiently build investor confidence and expand their shareholder base," said R. Cromwell Coulson, president and CEO of OTC Markets Group. "We are pleased to welcome GigOptix to OTCQX."

Merriman Capital Inc. will serve as GigOptix' Designated Advisor for Disclosure on OTCQX, responsible for providing guidance on OTCQX requirements.

Digi-Key now offers Stackpole Electronics' RNV high voltage resistors

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Digi-Key Corp. announced the addition of Stackpole Electronics’ RNV high voltage, anti-moisture, thru-hole resistors.

Stackpole’s RNV series of thru-hole resistors offers outstanding high voltage surge handling; up to 7 KV for 50 surges per IEC 60065.14.1. In addition, the RNV can withstand harsh environments with high humidity without significant resistance shift.

This robust, metal film resistor can also endure prolonged exposure to high temperatures, such as during a high temperature potting process, with no adverse effects on the stability or long-term reliability of the device. The RNV is currently available in a ¼-watt size with maximum working voltage of 1600 VDC and maximum overload voltage of 3200 VDC.

The RNV is a popular choice for video monitors, TVs, and displays. This component is also the ideal choice for medical equipment, electronic ballasts for commercial and industrial lighting, and a wide range of power supply and control applications, power inverters, and AC adaptors.

Stackpole’s RNV series resistors are available for purchase now on Digi-Key’s global websites.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lithium-ion battery market set for boom courtesy of hybrid and electric vehicles

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Driven by plunging prices and accelerating demand from the electric and hybrid automobile market, lithium-ion will emerge as the world’s leading rechargeable battery technology and achieve 350 percent revenue growth from 2010 to 2020, according to a new IHS iSuppli Rechargeable Batteries Special Report.

Global lithium-ion battery revenue is expected to expand to $53.7 billion in 2020, up from $11.8 billion in 2010. Revenue will rise to $31.4 billion in 2015, allowing lithium-ion to surpass the current dominant rechargeable battery technology, lead acid.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

While lithium-ion will find wide usage in mobile electronics products such as cellphones and notebook PCs, usage in cars will fuel the bulk of sales growth.

“Lithium-ion at present is much more expensive than alternative technologies, costing two to three times as much as sodium-sulfur, lead-acid and nickel-metal-hydride rechargeable batteries,” said Satoru Oyama, principal analyst of Japan electronics research for IHS.

“However, lithium-ion pricing will decline much more rapidly than the other technologies, coming close to cost parity in 2015, and then becoming the least expensive type of rechargeable battery in 2020. Combined with the inherent advantages of the technology, the increasingly competitive cost of lithium-ion will cause car makers to employ it as their battery technology of choice in future electric and hybrid vehicles.”

Lithium: Just what the doctor ordered for automotive
Lithium-ion delivers several enhancements compared to other rechargeable battery technologies. These advantages include more flexible form factors and lighter weight. Furthermore, lithium-ion devices have no memory effect, meaning they maintain their full capacity even after a partial recharge. Finally, lithium-ion batteries are considered to be more environmentally safe than other technologies.

These features make lithium-ion particularly attractive for electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Because of this, the automotive segment will be the leading market for lithium-ion batteries by 2015, surpassing the current top application, notebook PCs.

Lithium’s elements of success in electric and hybrid cars
The dominant battery technology used in hybrid cars now is nickel-metal-hydride. More than 1 million hybrids with nickel-metal-hydride batteries were shipped in 2010, led by the Toyota Prius.

However, shipments of nickel-metal-hydride batteries to the hybrid market will not grow in the future as the use of lithium-ion begins to take off.

One concern regarding the use of first-generation lithium-ion batteries in cars is safety. There can be a risk of fire using existing lithium-ion battery materials due to the high temperatures involved. There have been documented incidents of lithium-ion battery fires in smaller devices, such as PCs and mobile phones.

To achieve acceptable safety levels for hybrid and electric vehicle batteries, lithium-ion battery makers must take steps to prevent internal short circuits which can cause external damage. These steps include improving control of power generation during discharges and enhancing the management of rapid charging.

While automotive will be the dominant market for lithium-ion batteries, notebook PCs and cellphones will remain major markets for the technology, accounting for $12.3 billion in revenue in 2010, up from $7.8 billion in 2010.

Other major uses for lithium-ion batteries include use in solar power systems, smart electricity grids and electric tools.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

KEMET announces non-magnetic capability for tantalum surface mount capacitors

GREENVILLE, USA: KEMET Corp., a leading manufacturer of tantalum, ceramic, aluminum, film, paper and electrolytic capacitors, released a non-magnetic capability for tantalum surface mount capacitors. This option is ideal for applications with known sensitivity to the effects of magnetism in the industrial, medical, military and aerospace markets.

“KEMET’s non-magnetic capability was developed in response to a growing demand for products that exhibit extremely low magnetic permeability,” said Stanley Garrett, KEMET Technical Product Manager. “With this option, KEMET is able to achieve mu values, a measure of permeability, as low as 1.00001 mu on many MnO2 or Polymer tantalum surface mount capacitor series.”

Applications such as sonobuoys, digital compasses, gyroscopes and medical imaging equipment can all benefit from the new non-magnetic option. The non-magnetic capability can be specified by adding the appropriate lead material code to existing KEMET part numbers. Please refer to the ordering information for this code in the desired tantalum surface mount series.

This solution will be complemented by a new ceramic series of surface mount non-magnetic products to be released later this year.

LUXEON LEDs take retrofit bulbs to next level

SAN JOSE, USA: LUXEON Rebel LEDs, the world’s most widely used illumination grade LEDs, are at the heart of the winning L Prize bulb from Philips as well as dozens of different retrofit bulbs being sold around the world today.

“Our success with the L Prize is tangible proof of superior performance under real-world operating conditions,” said Steve Barlow, senior VP Sales and Marketing at Philips Lumileds. “LUXEON has quickly become the LED of choice when quality, efficiency, reliability, and performance, are essential to our customers’ retrofit bulb requirements.”

The company’s Illumination Grade LEDs offer a wide range of options that address quality of light, efficiency, light output specifications, and cost concerns. Each bulb format, from the small candelabra bulbs to larger PAR lamps, can be easily and directly addressed with the portfolio.

SEMI releases China LED fab industry report

SHANGHAI, CHINA & SAN JOSE, USA: SEMI has announced the release of a new report, The China LED Fab Industry Report, which provides a comprehensive summary on the rapidly-growing China LED industry, including the latest data on capital and equipment spending, fab capacity, sales rankings of Chinese LED manufacturers, and other valuable information.

The report also includes an update on the subsidy incentives for China fab projects, an update on new LED fab projects, an overview of Chinese sapphire wafer suppliers, and company profiles of the leading Chinese manufacturers.

Recognizing the long-term potential of solid state lighting and high-brightness LEDs, the Chinese government has supported both demand and supply sectors of the industry, estimated by some analysts to grow from approximately $10 billion in 2010 to over $100 billion worldwide by 2020.

In recent years, China and various local governments have adopted a series of industrial planning policies and incentives to promote the development of solid state lighting. China has become the world’s leading consumer of solid state lighting and the leading producer of LCD TVs, today’s leading demand driver of high-brightness LEDs.

In response to these market developments, LED production investments have rapidly escalated. From 2010 to 2012, the report forecasts GaN epitaxial wafer production capacity will grow over 300 percent to 1,282,000 wafers per month (2-inch equivalents) with MOCVD tool installations growing from a cumulative total 323 tools in 2010 to over 1000 tools by the end 2012. Capitalizing on this growth, 10 new sapphire substrate projects (a market currently dominated by non-Chinese suppliers) have been announced.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New study on printed batteries sees viable niche market for select companies

GLEN ALLEN, USA: NanoMarkets has released a new report on the opportunities available to companies that plan to sell printed batteries into a number of evolving end user markets. The report continues the firm's coverage of the thin battery market dating back to 2006 and is a companion to a May 2011 release on thin-film batteries.

Overall NanoMarkets considers the printed batteries business as a niche market that will create reasonable revenues in the coming years but fraught with risk and a business unlikely to support more than a few companies. The firm sees the market for printed batteries to be worth approximately $370 million in revenues in 2016 with smartcards the dominant application for most of the period forecast in the report with RFID, disposable electronics and sensor applications providing the bulk of the remaining revenues.

Companies that will survive will have to do more than simply be well capitalized, they will have to be proactive in pursuing a vertical integration strategy to find applications for their printed battery products or in building close alliances with OEMs.

Report details
The report projects both the volumes and the value of printed batteries used in powered smart cards, RFID, smart packaging, electronic shelf labels, cosmetic and pharmaceutical patches, smart bandages, military and civilian sensors, and disposable electronics. The battery chemistries covered in this report include the common zinc manganese dioxide and carbon zinc types.

The opportunities for using lithium battery chemistries in the printed battery space as well as more advanced chemistries that are still in the lab are also explored. The market forecasts in the report run from 2011 to 2018.

This report identifies both immediate and longer-term opportunities for printed batteries including how they may work with energy harvesting devices. In addition, it analyzes the product/marketing strategies that employed by leading printed batteries manufacturers and related companies. Among the firms discussed in this report are Blue Spark, Enfucell, Power ID, Ntera, PARC, Planar Energy Devices, Power Paper, Prelonic Technologies, Rocket, Solicore, VARTA Microbattery and VTT.

Friday, August 12, 2011

LED light bulb prices dropped 2~6 percent

TAIWAN: According to a survey conducted by LEDinside, a research institute focusing on the LED industry, LED lighting products have been receiving increasing interest in the market. For example, before May, 2011, few LED light bulbs were available on the Chinese online shopping website Taobao;however, the amount began surging since June and has increased to several thousands by July.

LEDinside’s recent price survey, targeting the warm white LED light bulbs in global major markets as replacements for traditional 40W and 60W incandescent bulbs, indicates that the average selling price of LED light bulb for 40W incandescent light replacement declined to $24 with a 2 percent drop compared to June, while the ASP of LED light for 60W incandescent light replacement plunged to $45 with a 6 percent decrease.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

LEDinside points out that in regard to prices in July, the European market underwent the most prominent setback, averaging a double-digit price decline. In addition to fluctuations in the currency exchange rates and mild price adjustments by major brand vendors, the drastic price downturn can be mostly attributed to the effects caused by second-tier manufacturers’ new products.

The Japanese market suffered the second largest decline (a 5 percent drop in LED light bulb ASP), with the American market in a close third. As for the South Korean market, the LED light bulb price remained steady.

LED light price for 60W incandescent replacement averaged $45 with no rebound in sight
The ASP of LED light bulbs as replacements for 60W incandescent lights dropped to $45, with a 6 percent decrease compared to June and a considerable decline of 7 percent in the Japanese market. Although an ASP of $45 still seems rather pricey for most consumers, many LED light bulbs with more affordable prices have been launched in the market, providing more options for consumers. However, the new light bulbs’ reliability remains to be seen over time, while the product standards and indications have yet to be established.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

With the persisting downturn, LEDinside states that the price is expected to continue plunging. As for LED light bulb for 40W incandescent light replacement, the price declined to $52/Klm in July, while the price of LED light for 60W incandescent light replacement dropped to $55/Klm.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

InfinityQS releases ProFicient 4.4 to drive quality aspects of OEE programs

CHANTILLY, USA: InfinityQS International, the leading provider of real-time quality control solutions, today announced the release of ProFicient 4.4, the latest upgrade to its Statistical Process Control (SPC) software.

The new version includes enhancements to allow manufacturers to further support the quality aspects of OEE (Operational Equipment Effectiveness) programs, as well as the quantitative aspects regarding process efficiencies. The new functionality analyzes machine utilization and provides actionable information that engineers and operators can use to make real-time decisions.

ProFicient 4.4 also enables manufacturers to identify small shifts in processes with new statistical functionality and comparative analyses.

Specific enhancements to ProFicient 4.4 include:
Process State Chart: A critical component of OEE programs, process utilization, can be monitored and analyzed with ProFicient 4.4. The new functionality allows users to identify areas where processes are underutilized and take corrective actions to reduce downtime, optimize maintenance schedules, and address other areas for improvement. Users can compare process utilization at the process level, by area, department, site and throughout the corporate hierarchy.

Six-way Pareto and Box & Whisker Analysis: InfinityQS is the only SPC Software provider to offer Six-level Pareto and Box & Whisker analysis. Manufacturers can compare detailed quality test results across all plants, within a single plant, by a production line, shift to shift, across production work orders, and in a multitude of other ways. This depth of visibility allows manufacturers to set global quality standards and monitor them at all levels.

Tabular CUSUM (Cumulative Summation) Chart: This new chart offers greater sensitivity to changes in the process mean when compared with standard control charts. It identifies small shifts in process means which can have a significant impact on product quality. This predictive analysis tool allows users to rapidly respond to process deviations and maintain greater control over product quality.

Confidence Interval: This new feature is particularly valuable to manufacturers requiring control limits based on sigma levels different than +/- 3. Users can quickly and easily specify their own sigma level to use for the control limits or set the limits to accommodate a set confidence band.

Toshiba Electronics announces DPAK+ MOSFETs for industrial apps

IRVINE, USA: Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC) has announced a new range of power MOSFETs that combine the company's latest trench MOS process with its enhanced DPAK+ package technology. The new MOSFETs will significantly improve application performance while reducing PCB real estate and noise. The new products are ideally suited for a range of applications, including switching regulators, DC-DC converters and motor drives.

Toshiba's new MOSFET line-up comprises 11 n-channel devices that offer a choice of maximum voltage ratings of 40V, 60V and 100V, and ten p-channel parts with maximum voltage ratings of -40V and -60V. Current ratings range from +8A to +80A depending on the device chosen. All of the MOSFETs are designed to operate in environments with channel temperatures of up to 175 degrees Celsius.

The DPAK+ package has the same form factor as, and is pin-to-pin compatible with, conventional DPAK packages. However, its proprietary internal design reduces resistance and thermal losses and ensures improved efficiency, current handling and reliability when compared with conventional DPAK alternatives.

Based on Toshiba's proven 'WARP' technology, DPAK+ replaces conventional internal aluminum bondwires between the MOSFET die and the package leads with wider copper clamps. The clamping mechanism maintains a highly reliable mechanical connection capable of withstanding repeated power cycling as well as exposure to shock and vibration.

In addition, the larger cross-sectional area, combined with higher electrical connectivity, minimizes I(2)R heating due to package losses and also reduces package inductance. This, in turn, contributes to heat reduction, lower noise and faster device operation.

MOSFETs in the new DPAK+ family have low leakage currents and ultra-low resistances, as low as 2.4 milliohms (typical, V(GS) = 10V). Typical thermal resistance between channel and case is only 1.5 degrees Celsius/W, while power dissipation at 25 degrees Celsius is just 100W.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

element14 intros technical service initiatives to enhance the region’s quality and depth of vertical knowledge

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell), the first electronic component distributor that fuses commerce and community, announced the roll-out of specialist technical support services and technical microsites. This further extends the company’s leadership in customer and technical support as well as value-added services in service offerings, service levels and customer responsiveness in Asia Pacific.

The establishment of the Global Technology Centres in India and China underscores element14’s commitment to the growing electronic components market and electronic design engineering communities in the region. element14’s dedicated team of technical experts are combining proprietary intelligence with the latest relevant information from over 100 of the world’s top electronics suppliers to provide the most comprehensive and appropriate technical knowledge and solutions for engineers.

The technical teams at the Global Technology Centres have created up to three gigabytes of data for each product, including those stocked in element14’s 130,000-strong Asia Pacific inventory. In addition they have developed a comprehensive portfolio of vertical market solutions for alternative energy, transportation, lighting, wireless, instrumentation and measurement.

The technical content and engineering resources developed are uploaded onto element14’s network of global online websites, providing a crucial database of information and valuable technical support that customers can readily access and utilise. Design tools and specialised design resources such as application notes and development kits which are necessary tools for the conceptualisation and evaluation stages of the design cycle, can be easily accessed online. These factors help electronics design engineers to significantly accelerate their design cycles and reduce time-to-market.

All Specialist Technical Support team members are certified in their respective disciplines and have extensive training from leading vendors and manufacturers. These members are well-versed in key technological domains such as embedded design, test and measurement, power, analogue technology, passive components, optoelectronics and electromechanical devices. Regular training is conducted to ensure that element14’s panel of specialists have the most current and comprehensive knowledge base to provide accurate and relevant answers to customers, enabling them to resolve any challenges more efficiently.

Customers are able to contact the support team through various new channels such as the 24-hour web-based ‘’Live Chat’ services, telephone and email, allowing the customers to establish a direct connection with specialists from different fields at anytime. This enables customers to get personalised technical support that can help evaluate and provide the most effective solutions to resolve any challenges more efficiently.

“As technology continues to evolve and become more specialised in each sector, engineers across Asia Pacific require more in-depth and vertical-specific intelligence,” says Umasankar Pingali, regional director for Business Development, element14, Asia Pacific.

“Both the Global Technology Centres and the Specialist Technical Support solution will serve as an integral part of our business strategy to elevate the quality of the expertise we offer as well as to expand the scope and accessibility of our technical assistance. These unique service propositions will enhance productivity and enable the innovation of product ideas through knowledge and consultation to help design engineers create innovative, best-in-class designs.”

“element14 is committed to delivering the best possible customer experience and the roll-out of our new suite of support services including specialist engineering technical support, further extends our leadership in global customer support for electronic design engineers,” said David Shen, Group senior VP, Global Head of EDE and Technical Marketing at Premier Farnell.

“Our customers are now able to get detailed technical support anytime, anywhere, in any language saving them valuable time in knowledge acquisition and troubleshooting problems. ‘Live Chat’ further enhances our ability to aid with productivity improvements for engineers designing with our world-class CadSoft EAGLE.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

NautiCase by Keystone ECO offers rugged protection for iPhone

HOLLYWOOD, USA: Now you can ensure your iPhone is protected from bumps, thumps, dust and water splashes. The NautiCase from Keystone ECO is a super tough iPhone case that provides three layers of protection to keep your phone safe. Think of it as body armor for the iPhone.

The newest addition to the Keystone ECO line of iPhone covers features a high-impact polycarbonate hard shell with a clear protective film so users will have full access to the iPhone 4 touch screen without losing any phone functionality. A strong rubber skin, with a textured shock-absorbing bumper provides a firm grip. The bumper also includes flaps for the dock connector and the headphone mini-jack so there is no need to remove the case while charging and synching.

The NautiCase offers a choice of six bright and bold color combinations and is equipped with a holster that keeps the phone face-in or face-out position. The holster also has a built-in viewing stand so the iPhone is easy to view while watching video.

The NautiCase works with both AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4 versions in black or in white. The Keystone ECO NautiCase retails for $49.99.