Wednesday, February 29, 2012

RS Components responds to huge customer demand for Raspberry Pi

OXFORD, ENGLAND: Following the announcement on the launch of Raspberry Pi, the revolutionary credit card sized computer created as an educational tool to re-ignite interest in building and customising computers, RS Components (RS), has experienced an unprecedented demand for the product on its website.

Chris Page, GM, Electronics at RS Components, said: ”With tens of thousands of customers looking to order on the RS website since the launch of Raspberry Pi earlier today, this is the greatest level of demand RS has ever received for a product at one time. We clearly understand how excited customers are about this ground-breaking product and we are working closely with Raspberry Pi to satisfy this unprecedented demand.”

Customers can continue to register their interest in Raspberry Pi on and RS expects to receive the first batch of boards into warehouses late next week, with the shipping of products on a first come, first served basis in line with customer registrations. As deliveries of the Raspberry Pi boards arrive at RS, registered customers will be kept up-to-date with the progress on availability.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity established to promote the development of computer development skills in education across the globe.

element14 drives Raspberry Pi revolution to educate a new generation of programmers

LONDON, UK: element14 announced a global distribution deal with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to offer its ground-breaking credit card sized computer. The element14 Community will support the conversations, debate and sharing of knowledge and information from the anticipated flood of enthusiastic developers and first-time programmers keen to get the most from their Raspberry Pi.

Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell, the company behind element14, said: “This partnership brings together the world’s biggest online design engineer community with one of the most exciting electronic/embedded computing products to be launched for decades. We believe it will provide the catalyst for a programming revolution. The opportunity to engage a new generation of engineers and computer experts is very much in our sweet spot as a company. Through our element14 Community we will encourage everyone from developers, modders, coders and programmers to discuss, share and develop their ideas and fully utilise the game-changing potential of the Raspberry Pi computer.”

There has been real excitement in the marketplace around the launch of the Raspberry Pi computer, a device that takes its lead from a history of iconic educational-targeted computers that influenced the adoption of automation in industry, science and research from the late 1970s. Today design engineers and would-be coders across the world are clamouring to get their hands on the device to see how it can be modified and what innovative programs can be created to run on it.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity formed and supported by some influential computing minds and businesses. It believes in the need for more developers to understand what truly goes on ‘under the hood’ of a computing device and is convinced there is a need to rely less on development tools and power hungry layers of code. The element14 Community has been supporting design engineers for over two years and offers organic support, expert advice and information to all members and a platform to share ideas and examples freely.

Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, commented: “The decline in core computing skills is something we really want to address with Raspberry Pi and the way the element14 Community supports developers of all skill levels makes it a really strong partner in tackling this issue. Overcoming the students’ fear of programming for the first time is a critical step in unlocking the full potential of the smartest people in any industry. I have no doubt that having the support of a community of like-minded developers will be a catalyst for success.”

The distribution agreement, which will see Premier Farnell distribute in all its territories under the brands of Newark element14 in North America, Farnell element14 in Europe and element14 in Asia Pacific, offers the education-aimed computer available for just £22 or $35. Units are available for pre-order from 29 February on a first come first served basis and bundles of essential ancillary products such as cabling and power supplies have been added to the line-card to simplify users purchasing needs.

Initially, the Raspberry Pi will be sold in one uncased configuration – the Model B – which has two USB slots, 256MB of RAM, HDMI slot, SD memory card slot and an Ethernet port. This will be followed later in 2012 by the Model A which has 256MB RAM, one USB port. Raspberry Pi breaks new ground with a selling price of just $35 for the ‘Model B’, and $25 for the ‘Model A’. As a result the market opportunities in all areas of the world are huge as well as providing access to a wealth of literature and software, as well as a unique opportunity to start to learn coding and programming which has been created on a Fedora OS.

Digi enables Internet of ANYthing with iDigi connector

MINNETONKA, USA: Digi International has released the iDigi Connector, a free software download that allows any device, regardless of manufacturer or operating system, to seamlessly connect to the iDigi Device Cloud. This means any device, anywhere, can now connect to any Internet application.

“The iDigi Connector makes the iDigi Device Cloud a completely open platform and extends the benefits of cloud connectivity to any device in the world,” said Larry Kraft, senior VP of global sales and marketing, Digi International. “It enables easy access and control of devices over the Internet making the ‘Internet of ANYthing’ a reality.”

The iDigi Connector features an extremely small memory footprint that will fit even in low-cost microcontrollers. It supports two-way messaging for full cloud-to-device messaging and control and works on any device operating system. By enabling access to the device from the application, new device types can be added to a network without changing the application. This allows organizations to maximize their investment in their applications. Additionally, any derivative works created with the iDigi Connector are the property of the developer.

The iDigi Device Cloud provides the infrastructure required to access, control, configure and upgrade devices securely over the Internet. It is a secure and scalable platform that meets the highest standards of reliability. With the iDigi Connector, the iDigi Device Cloud provides instant connectivity to any type of device from any manufacturer. This allows software developers to access the rich features of the iDigi Device Cloud, including device management tools and robust security capabilities.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Samsung spinoff targets next big thing in displays: AMOLEDs

EL SEGUNDO, USA: While the spinoff by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. of its liquid crystal display (LCD) operations undoubtedly will boost the short-term competitiveness of the business, the long-term benefit may be domination of the next wave in display technology: the active matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED), according to the IHS iSuppli Display Materials & Systems Service.

Samsung last week said it will spin off its LCD business into a new company called Samsung Display Co. on April 1. The next move for Samsung Display Co. may be a merger with Samsung Mobile Display Co Ltd., a joint venture between Samsung Electronics and Samsung SDI Co. that makes both LCD and AMOLED displays.

“Samsung’s LCD division is the world’s second-largest LCD panel maker in terms of unit shipments, while Samsung Mobile Display is the top supplier of AMOLED displays,” observed Sweta Dash, senior director for LCDs at IHS. “A merger would allow the new company to combine its OLED expertise with internal prodigious experience and market influence in the LCD segment. Because of its myriad advantages, OLED represents the future of display technology, representing a huge growth opportunity in the coming years.”

Samsung Electronics in 2011 commanded a 22.9 percent share of the global large-sized LCD shipments, second only to LG Display, with a 25.8 percent share, as presented in Table 1. However, Samsung Mobile Display dominated the AMOLED space, with an 85 percent share, compared to 15 percent for LG Display.

While the AMOLED market is tiny compared to the massive LCD segment, the new technology holds the potential for much-faster growth given its emerging status compared to the mature LCD segment. Global AMOLED shipments are set to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 29 percent from 2011 to 2015, compared to 5.8 percent for LCDs.

AMOLED the beautiful
Compared to LCDs, AMOLEDs offer wider viewing angles, faster response times and lower power consumption. They also eschew the need for backlights, not only further reducing power consumption, but allowing for thinner, more attractive displays. Finally, OLEDs are compatible with flexible substrates, which will enable innovative new form factors that are not possible with LCDs.

AMOLEDs already have been used in large volumes in high-end Android smartphones. Furthermore, both Samsung and rival LG demonstrated 55-inch AMOLED TV prototypes at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, with these products set for introduction in the second half of 2012.

AMOLED panel production costs presently are considerably higher than for LCDs, especially for large-sized TVs that are 55-inches and bigger. Production of AMOLEDs is conducted only at Gen 4.5 and 5.5 fabs, which are capable of making only one to two displays that are 55-inches in size on one substrate. In contrast, 8.5-generation LCD fabs can make six 55-inch displays on a single substrate. This limitation is driving up manufacturing costs for AMOLEDs.

Furthermore, yields for the larger sized AMOLED panels are low—and the limited number of materials suppliers also is driving up costs. These means production costs and prices for 55-inch AMOLEDs will remain high for the next few years. However, companies are investing in AMOLED production and technology, which will drive down costs further in the future.

Leading the way is Samsung Mobile Display, which is making the largest investment in AMOLED manufacturing, with the company planning an eighth-generation fab in the second half of 2013.

However, LG Display, Chi Mei Innolux, AUO Irico and Tianma are all aiming to enter or expand their operations in the AMOLED market. LG Display’s current AMOLED capacity is limited to a 4.5 Gen fab, where the company is making panels for smartphones. However, LG also plans to commence operations at its own eighth-generation AMOLED fab in 2013.

Rear-guard action in LCDs
In addition to merging with Samsung Mobile Display, Samsung Display Co. may combine with S-LCD in an effort to shore up its flagging business in television LCD panels.

S-LCD was established in 2004 as a joint venture between Samsung and Sony Corp. to operate 7.5-generation and newer fabs to produce large-sized television panels. In late 2011, with its television business having become unprofitable, Sony decided to end its seven-year collaboration with Samsung.

This left Samsung as the sole owner of the S-LCD fabs—at a time when television sales growth has slowed markedly. Because of this, the S-LCD fabs now have lowered their utilization rates in order to reduce production. Still, Samsung Electronics may be able to breathe new life into S-LCD by making it part of the independent Samsung Display Co.

“Samsung Display Co. can operate independently, offering panels without the baggage of being so closely associated with the Samsung Electronics brand,” Dash said. “The independent company will have the capability to develop its own innovative products, expand its customer base and establish strategic partnership with other brands—some of whom are direct competitors of the Samsung brand.

Currently, the majority of Samsung’s LCD panels are used internally, although it also has other customers such as HP, Lenovo and Apple. This restructuring will allow the new company to attract a larger number of customers from smartphones, to tablets, to notebooks, to monitors, to televisions. This is essential for the company to make the most efficient use of its fab capacity and to cash in on future growth in the display industry.

Also, the Samsung Electronics brand can still continue to use displays from Samsung Display Co.—but now has the option to buy even more panels from other suppliers.”

Restructuring an unprofitable business
Such a restructuring is essential for Samsung, given that it and other LCD panel suppliers have been losing money for the last four quarters due to the global economic slowdown. There has been slow growth in the consumer electronics market—especially television. This, combined with the over expansion of fab capacity and fierce competition among panel makers, has led to below-cost panel pricing and loss of profitability.

Prior to 2011, Samsung’s LCD business unit had predominantly been profitable, buoyed by rising demand for LCD TVs in particular. In 2010, the LCD unit recorded an impressive operating margin of 6.7 percent, with annual revenue growing to 30 trillion Korean won. This changed dramatically in 2011, with the division recording four straight quarters of unprofitability, leading to an operating loss of 750 billion won in 2011.

Tablets leading the way
More new suppliers from China are starting to enter the LCD market with new Gen 8.5 fab capacity. Because of this, the industry is bracing for more competition and further price erosion in the coming years.

In order to reduce losses and improve profitability, LCD panel suppliers are shifting production at larger fabs— including sixth-generation and 8.5-generation fabs—away from television panels and toward more the more profitable tablet and smartphone applications.

The merger of Samsung Display Co. with Samsung Mobile LCD and S-LCD will allow more efficient and perhaps more profitable ways to use fab capacity.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Molex's EXTreme Guardian system receives DesignVision award

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. introduced the EXTreme Guardian header and cable solution for high-end servers in the computing and telecommunication markets. Recognized with the 2012 DesignVision Award in the Interconnect Technologies and Components category, this next generation solution features a three circuit, wire-to-board configuration that delivers up to 80 Amps of current per circuit, a PCB header with centerline spacing of 11.00 mm (0.433”) for increased PCB real estate savings and an EMI-shielding option to reduce cable crosstalk and improve immunity to external noise.

“Winning the prestigious DesignVision Award recognizes the innovation of the EXTreme Guardian solution. When developing the system, the Molex technical team focused on several critical requirements expressed by customers, including small package size, high amperage support and good shielding characteristics,” said Ken Stead, new product development manager, Molex. “By gaining a full understanding of these needs, we were able to develop a solution to meet all of the unique physical, mechanical and electrical specifications required by the end user.”

The EXTreme Guardian PCB header assembly reduces network downtime with a recessed, first-mate/last-break terminal that allows for hot-swapping of power units. The headers also include several unique design features, such as insert-molding for higher insert placement accuracy, integral screw threads on the header housing flange for easy and secure mating and locating pegs that enable accurate through-hole positioning of the connector.

The EXTreme Guardian cable assemblies are capable of handling up to 600 V, supporting high voltage with the lowest feasible voltage drop and I2R (irreversible dissipative power) losses. Other mechanical features of the cable solution include thumb-screws on the cable overmold that can withstand a minimum extraction force of 1.5 kgf (3.3 lb), a jacket-included strain-relief that can take a minimum pull force of 9.98 kgf (22 lb) in any direction and a secondary terminal lock to secure the cable from accidental pull out and disconnection.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Eltek ramps up battery distribution fuse bay to 4800A total current capacity

RICHARDSON, USA: Eltek, the world leader in high efficiency power systems, today announced it has ramped up its -48VDC battery distribution fuse bay (BDFB)/battery distribution circuit breaker bay (BDCBB) with an industry-leading 800 amps of power per bus and a total current capacity of 4800A. This ensures an uninterrupted power supply for large telecom network central offices and wireless mobile telephone switching offices (MTSOs).

Telecommunications equipment requires power redundancy from the battery plant, and the BDFB/BDCBB provides a variety of load busses and fuse options to meet redundancy requirements. The unit can be configured as a single bus bay or equipped with up to six separate load busses. Both fuses and circuit breakers are accommodated.

“Demand for mobile broadband and cloud computing continues to grow and networks must have reliable power with battery backup to ensure continuous service,” said David Leal, Eltek’s VP of North American sales. “The new version of our BDFB offers the industry’s highest power as well as advanced remote management and control.”

Additional flexibility has been added with flexible support for either fuses and/or circuit breaker distribution that utilizes TPS/TLS-style fuses up to 125 amps and/or plug-in bullet-style breakers up to 250 amps.

The BDFB/BDCBB is equipped with Eltek’s industry-leading Smartpack2 controller, which displays system load voltage and current on each bus and provides extensive programming and monitoring capabilities that enable custom alarm threshold values, alarm grouping and more via both remote and local access.

An optional alarm battery supply (ABS) is included, which provides continued alarm and controller access in the event of power loss. The ABS features redundant alarming, so power is continuously supplied to the alarm circuits until the last bus no longer has power available. An audible alarm is provided with a user-configurable on/off feature.

The BDFB/BDCBB is easy to install and is field upgradable. The entire footprint is 15 inches deep by 7 feet tall, with optional 2 and 4-foot extensions. The cabinet can be configured with either an internal or external ground return bus assembly; optional external ground bars are also available. The BDFB is designed for either top- or bottom-feed cabling.

The BDFB/BDCBB comes with two, four or six input feeds, each equipped with shunts upgraded to 1,000 amps. It is certified to NEBS, UL and CSA requirements.

austriamicrosystems announces smartphone LCD backlight LED drivers with industry’s highest efficiency and smallest PCB area

Mobile World Congress 2012, UNTERPREMSTAETTEN, AUSTRIA: austriamicrosystems has announced the AS3674 and AS3490 LED backlight drivers for smartphone LCD displays.

These new LED drivers enable the industry’s best application efficiency at a peak level of 90%, including the DC-DC converter and the current sources. With a PCB footprint of only 11.5 mm², and just four external components required, the AS3674 and AS3940 are well suited for smartphones and other mobile devices where space is at a premium.

The AS3674 backlight driver family complements austriamicrosystems’ large portfolio of lighting management units which address backlight, smart light and ALS (ambient light sensing) processing inside a single IC. The AS3674 is a highly efficient 2 MHz DC-DC switch mode step-up converter controlling 5 current sources with each driving 2 LEDs in series. For added flexibility, the current for the LED channels can be set by an external resistor with a maximum of 25 mA per channel. The AS3490 incorporates the same functionality as the AS3674 but addresses only three LED channels.

A soft startup feature allows the AS3674 to be easily integrated into noise sensitive RF systems. The AS3674 is controlled by two enable inputs which can also serve as PWM inputs between 100 Hz and 800 Hz with 1:2000 dimming ratio. The 2 LED per channel configuration combined with the 2 MHz operating frequency of the converter allow the use of tiny external components such as a 4.7 µH coil and results in very high efficiency, up to 6% higher than the closest competitor.

“Today’s smartphones are power hungry miniature computers that use large displays with significant power requirements,” said Ronald Tingl, senior marketing manager Illumination at austriamicrosystems. “Yet smartphone manufacturers are challenged to extend the battery capacity and shrink the overall size of the phone. The AS3674 addresses these 2 challenges by offering the industry’s highest efficiency with the smallest PCB area. In fact the total PCB area required is 60 percent smaller than today’s commonly used single string LED backlight solutions.”

The AS3674 operates from a 2.5 to 5.5 V power supply and includes a number of safety features such as under-voltage lockout, overcurrent and over-temperature protection and LED testing. Both the AS3674 and AS3490 are housed in space saving 12-ball WL-CSP package (1.7 x 1.4 x 0.5 mm, 0.4 mm pitch).

element14 Features showcases lighting solutions for Asia Pacific

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell) announced that the newest instalment of ‘element14 Features’ showcases lighting solutions such as high bay LED lighting, solar powered LED lighting and MR16 LED lamps, among others, from over 115 brands from industry leading LED suppliers such as Avago Technologies, CML Innovative Technologies, Cree, Kingbright and Lumex, driver ICs suppliers such as Diodes Incorporated, Linear Technology, ON Semiconductor and Texas Instruments, and LED power supply specialists such as, Recom, TDK Lambda and XP Power.

As the next generation of lighting source, high power LEDs are environment friendly and boasts of a long life, reducing the cost of maintenance. To address challenges in meeting efficiency and reliability goals in LED lighting designs, engineers can now benefit from element14’s comprehensive product portfolio of LED drivers and power management devices to control the power stage, regulate LED currents, while eliminating the need for multiple components and ensure they keep their designs affordable.

“The LED lighting market is growing tremendously at an annual growth rate of over 30 percent till 2016,” says William Chong, regional director of Supplier Marketing, element14, Asia Pacific. “To support the increase in adoption rate of LED technology, element14 is dedicated to providing our more than 50,000 LED lighting customers with the best-in-class products from world-leading suppliers, and featuring solutions and design resources to aid them in incorporating these energy saving technologies into their designs.”

Engineers can access a comprehensive range of design resources and find a broad spectrum of products from leading brands via the latest instalment of ‘element14 Features’.

Complemented by application notes, training materials and design tools, ‘element14 Features’ is a platform where engineers can access all the information that is required for their lighting designs. Engineers can also easily submit their question to the element14's lighting experts through ‘element14 Features’.

Product line cards which are available on the site give an overview of the different solutions that are available from each supplier. Customers can be assured that these genuine components will deliver the highest standard of quality, performance and reliability.

Among the solutions, its high-bay luminaires deliver energy efficiencies, better illumination and the ability to integrate with building control systems. Exclusively available on element14, the Cree XM-L Lighting Kit includes parts for light source, power supply, optics and thermal for plug-and-play evaluation, facilitating customers’ lighting design solutions.

MR16 LED lamps are power efficient, environment friendly, safe, long-lasting, shock resistant and it is gaining widespread popularity as commercial and decorative lightings as well as in other applications. Engineers seeking to optimise their lighting designs by fitting more lumens into a small design package can now do so with Cree XLamp MT-G LED. Delivering 600 lumens, this component is suitable for high-output, small-form-factor, directional-lighting applications such as MR16 fixture.

Power management is one of the constant challenges engineers face. Recom’s RACT20 series of AC/DC-drivers can be dimmed linearly down to 0 percent without flickering, and is suitable for indoor LED lighting systems.

Emerson updates line of innovative, integrated ATCA power entry module and DC-DC bus converters

HONG KONG: Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity, announced the availability of an updated version of its innovative integrated 250 W ATCA power entry module and dc-dc bus converter.

The ATCR250-48D12-03J is one of the only products available to integrate a 12 V primary intermediate bus output with a secondary 3.3 V management bus output, for ATCA control and monitoring functions. This greatly simplifies the task of implementing dual redundant, hot swap -48Vdc power distribution with EMI filtering on an ATCA or other telecom board.

While providing high reliability, innovative features and compact design in a cost-effective package, the module significantly reduces the valuable telecom board real estate compared to conventional designs. Power interface functions include ORing, filtering and inrush control, while power management functionality is facilitated by an I2C serial bus interface.

The ATCR250-48D12-03J dual-input fully regulated bus converter is available now. Pricing starts at US $151 per unit.

SiliconExpert intros first pro-active approach for mitigating counterfeit electronic component issues

SANTA CLARA, USA: SiliconExpert Technologies, the leading provider of electronic component management tools, officially released a Counterfeit Risk algorithm that forecasts the likelihood of an electronic part to be targeted by counterfeiters. Using historical data points on previously counterfeited parts, SiliconExpert's latest algorithm helps provide a proactive and realistic approach to combating counterfeits in the supply chain.

The algorithm assigns counterfeit risk scores through rigorous data analysis of many factors such as lifecycle, market shortages, and price hikes which have been found to be key motivational factors for counterfeiters to target a part. SiliconExpert's Counterfeit Risk algorithm has been created to be a dynamic indicator of counterfeit activity as the electronics industry moves forward.

"Current solutions to mitigate counterfeit issues in the electronics industry are reactionary. Electronic part counterfeit mitigation should not just be reactive based on known counterfeit reports only, but proactive as well," says Mohammad Ahmad, product manager at SiliconExpert Technologies.

Each electronic part in the SiliconExpert database now has a risk score of the likelihood of it being targeted by counterfeiters. The percentage offers a quantifiable approach for evaluating electronic component counterfeit risk that helps customers know where to focus their counterfeit mitigation efforts.

"It is unfeasible to test every single electronic part to determine counterfeits. With SiliconExpert's Counterfeit Risk Algorithm, guidance can be provided to focus testing efforts on parts most likely to be counterfeited," adds Ahmad.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Slowdown in UPS market - Sign of things to come?

ENGLAND, UK: According to recent quarterly tracker results of the global UPS market from IMS Research, year-over-year growth slowed to 5 percent in Q4 2011 following three consecutive quarters of double digit growth. As part of its ongoing UPS market analysis, IMS Research shows 2011 revenues roughly in line with what was forecast. The year started out relatively strongly, ending with a nearly 12 point gain year-to-date over 2010. However, fourth quarter’s sales slumped and this is a trend likely to continue rather than be just a seasonal slowdown in the market.

America’s UPS sales performed as projected in 2011, with mid-range and large UPS sales growing faster than single-phase UPS. 2012 growth rates for the region are forecast to be soft, as North America’s economy is still a risk despite recent more upbeat news. Strained budgets and uncertain future investments are consequences of the US’s financial woes. While Latin America’s market is projected to show double-digit growth, the market size is only a quarter of that of the US.

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) also saw faster growing sales in the mid-range to large UPS after being flat in 2010, though favorable currency exchange helped the situation to some extent. Unfortunately, EMEA’s signs of improvement appear to be short-lived, as problems with economic stability continue and the region slides back into recession.

IMS Research market analyst Lori Lewis explains: “Europe’s financial health has been very dependent on the outcome of the European debt crisis. Since there have been no resolutions to the problems and many countries are faced with credit rating downgrades, it is likely that EMEA’s UPS market will contract slightly as a result.”

The Middle East and Africa both have incredible potential for growth; yet continued political corruption and instability are deterrents that keep many investors away.

“Both of these regions have the resources to thrive and develop, but no one wants to take the financial risk in an already vulnerable global economy,” adds Lewis.

While Asia’s growth rates outpaced the rest of the market by a convincing margin, the region has showed signs of slowing down, especially the single-phase segment. “The low growth in Asia’s fourth quarter is relative only to an extremely strong past two years in the region.” explains Lewis. “We knew Asia’s growth would decelerate a bit towards the end of the year, but we project that the region’s growth will continue to outperform the rest of the market over the next three to five years.”

As 2012 carries on, there are noticeably more signs of a market slowdown. Additionally, the IMF’s most recent GDP forecasts were recently downgraded due to sustained concerns in the US, the European Union, the Middle East, and Africa. If these are any indication as to how the UPS market will perform in 2012, it is in for a bumpy ride.Source: IMS Research, England.

Panasonic to supply Li-ion battery cells for Ford Motor's hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles

OSAKA, JAPAN: Panasonic Corp. announced that it will supply lithium-ion battery cells for Ford Motor Company's hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The upcoming models of the Ford Fusion Hybrid Electric and C-Max Hybrid Electric as well as the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids will use Panasonic battery cells in combination with a gasoline engine.

With growing environmental concerns and escalating oil prices, demand for rechargeable batteries for eco-friendly vehicles is expected to grow rapidly. Panasonic is building up its battery business to meet such demand. The company is already supplying nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery cells and systems for hybrid electric vehicles to a growing number of automotive manufacturers around the world, including Ford Motor Company as well as lithium-ion battery cells and systems for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

The lithium-ion battery supply agreement with Ford Motor Co. builds on a long-term partnership between the two companies. SANYO Electric Co. Ltd, which was acquired by Panasonic last year, has been supplying Ni-MH battery systems for the Ford Escape hybrid vehicle since 2004. The company's battery systems have been powering the Ford Escape Hybrid, and the company's battery cells have been powering the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. The partnership now expands to lithium-ion battery cells for the four Ford hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Battery cells are delivered in cell stack configuration to increase transportation efficiency and reliability.

Panasonic continues to accelerate the development and commercialization of high performance rechargeable batteries for green vehicles and further expand its rechargeable battery business globally, thereby contributing to reducing the carbon footprint of automotive activity worldwide.

MOSFET controller from Diodes Inc. enables PSUs to exceed Energy Star efficiency goals

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc. announced the ZXGD3105N8 synchronous MOSFET controller. Enabling flyback power supply designers to replace inefficient Schottky rectifiers with a MOSFET driven as an ideal diode, the ZXGD3105N8 can achieve a standby power consumption for set-top boxes of less than 100mW and full-load efficiencies greater than 87 percent.

Drawing a quiescent current of less than 1mA, and with its ability to operate from supply voltages as low as 4.5V, the controller outperforms competing solutions and delivers flyback power supplies capable of exceeding the Energy Star standby ratings.

Of interest to makers of AC-DC and DC-DC internal and external power supplies used in both industrial and consumer product sectors, the SO8 packaged ZXGD3105N8 can also operate at switching frequencies as high as 500kHz, affecting a reduction in transformer size leading to slimmer form factor design.

To help maximize power supply circuit efficiency, the MOSFET controller functions as a proportional gate drive, which both protects against unnecessary MOSFET turn-off and reduces MOSFET turn-off propagation delay down to 15ns, thereby minimizing reverse current flow.

Molex and TE Connectivity announce high-speed interconnect second source agreements

LISLE & BERWYN, USA: Molex Inc. and TE Connectivity Ltd announced second source agreements under which TE Connectivity will have the right to manufacture, market and sell worldwide several Molex high-speed interconnect solutions including the z-Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable Plus (zQSFP+) and the Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus (zSFP+), among others.

Molex will have the right to manufacture, market and sell worldwide TE Connectivity’s Quadra High-Speed I/O Connector. These products are the plan of record for the InfiniBand* Trade Association (IBTA), the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and other standards bodies.

Molex and TE Connectivity will work jointly to deliver electrically and mechanically interchangeable products to the market as quickly as possible by sharing design and manufacturing processes. The two companies will also continue to partner on industry standard solutions to ensure customers have the products necessary to meet design demands.

Molex and TE Connectivity are world-class connector manufacturers with global design and manufacturing footprints. By pairing high-speed/high-signal integrity technology with robust manufacturing capabilities, the companies will be able to offer customers a combination of innovation, performance and service. Both companies are leaders in the high-speed connector industry in R&D spending, and employ customer-focused, customer-driven product design and development processes that enable solutions to meet performance, quality and cost expectations.

Supporting next-generation 100 Gbps Ethernet and 100 Gbps InfiniBand Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) applications, the zQSFP+ solution from Molex is designed for high-density interconnect applications. Components of the system include an SMT connector; copper passive cable assemblies; EMI cages and active optical cables. The zQSFP+ SMT 38 -circuit connectors and cage assemblies provide excellent signal integrity and electromagnetic Interference (EMI) protection. They also support 10 Gbps Ethernet and 16 Gbps Fibre Channel applications, with the ability to support up to 40 Gbps serial lanes.

The Quadra high-speed I/O connector from TE Connectivity addresses 100 Gbps market requirements with a new interface specifically developed for 28 Gbps per differential pair data rates. Due to the optimized connector performance, it is expected to be able to support data rates up to 40 Gbps per differential pair. The Quadra connector technology, with various pair count configurations, is being proposed to support industry standards and MSAs. In high-density applications, it can be used to support copper cable and short-reach optic interconnections, and in long-reach applications, it can support higher power optical transceivers.

Quadra connectors have companion cage systems that incorporate electromagnetic interference (EMI) containment and thermal management elements. The architecture of the connector arranges the differential pairs in a way that provides system implementers with the ability to optimize routing to achieve additional channel benefits.

DEV expands core function products family

NEWPORT BEACH, USA: DEV America LP is now shipping its new Core Function Products (CFP) series Active L-band Splitters, the DEV 2161 and DEV 2162. By focusing on core functionality, the CFP series offer up to 70 percent costs savings compared to DEV’s standard devices, while still offering the high RF transmission quality for which DEV devices are known. The announcement follows recent news that DEV started shipping its CFP series bi-directional RF switches, as DEV continues to rapidly expand its Core Function Products family.

The CFP model DEV 2161 and DEV 2162 are Active L-Band Splitters for the 500 to 2300 MHz frequency range. They offer excellent RF performance, including high isolation and flat frequency response in a compact, modular 1RU chassis. The base chassis comes with one splitter unit with four (DEV 2161) or eight (DEV 2162) output ports. Each chassis is optionally expandable by up to three additional splitter units. Each splitter unit provides DC blocked on/off switchable LNB power at the input port.

Like all DEV CFP models, the new CFP Active L-Band Splitters offer the same high quality RF performance as DEV’s feature-packed standard product series. However, CFP models are streamlined to core features and support, offering savings for cost-sensitive applications.

Monnit releases new line of industrial wireless sensors

KAYSVILLE, USA: Monnit Corp. introduced a new line of industrial wireless sensors, available for immediate release. The new industrial sensors are robust and weatherproof. Using NEMA 1, 2, 4, 4x, 12 and 13 rated, sealed enclosures, these new devices are UL listed to UL508-4x specifications.

"Monnit has taken the lead in providing robust commercial sensors and have expanded our offering to the industrial sector because of market demands. These are robust products that address the needs of our ever-growing customer base,” said Brad Walters, CEO.

Monnit customers now have the ability to use wireless sensors in more extreme environments, such as outdoors, shipping docks, warehouses and mechanical (industrial) plants. The ability to use wireless sensors in these areas provides a tremendous cost savings to alternative (wired) methods. Provided in a robust, sealed enclosure, the electronics are protected against dust, light and water. These new sensors are sealed watertight (weatherproof), meeting NEMA ratings that the device must be able to exclude at least 65 GPM of water from a 1-inch nozzle delivered from a distance not less than 10 feet for five minutes.

The new industrial sensors complement's Monnit’s existing line of wireless sensors, which are designed to detect and monitor conditions that are critical to businesses, including: temperature, water, humidity, light, motion, movement, distress and much more. Monnit’s sensors communicate to wireless gateways which aggregate the sensors data and forward it on to the iMonnit online data monitoring system, which records sensor information and sends notifications via text or email if user defined conditions are met or exceeded.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ticer Technologies introduces TCR-HF

CHANDLER, USA: Ticer Technologies, a manufacturer of thin film resistor materials, announced that it has added TCR-HF, a low insertion loss NiCr thin film embedded resistor copper foil designed for high frequency applications, to its line of products.

"TCR-HF answers the high frequency market's need for an embedded resistor copper foil having insertion loss performance comparable to rolled copper foil," said David Burgess, president, Ticer Technologies. "In addition, TCR-HF has excellent sheet resistance uniformity, etching accuracy characteristics associated with smooth copper and NiCr's proven predictability through printed wiring board (PWB) processes."

TCR-HF is designed for PTFE laminate and bond ply systems. Test results show:
* Insertion loss comparable to rolled copper foil out to 50 GHz;
* Wyko surface profile of 0.48 µm Rq, comparable to rolled foil at 0.4-0.5 µm Rq; and
* Peel strengths greater than 5 PLI.

The NiCr resistive alloy allows for the proven two-step etching process using cupric chloride followed by ammoniacal etchant. NiCr is not affected by the ammoniacal or alternative oxide chemistries. The NiCr alloy's predictable performance enables PWB fabricators to hit resistor value targets at the end of the process.

Applications of TCR-HF include defense microwave and radio frequency electronics; ground, airborne and speed-based radar systems; antennas and Wilkinson power dividers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Diodes Inc. expands general-purpose low-voltage CMOS logic family for wide application range

PLANO, USA: Diodes Inc. has expanded its low-voltage CMOS (LVC) general–purpose logic family, beyond single- and dual-gate products, with the addition of 10 popular functions in 14-pin TSSOP packages.

The new 74LVCxx logic ICs are designed for a broad range of computing applications including desktop and notebook PCs, computer peripherals like hard-disk and optical drives, networking equipment such as routers and hubs, as well as an array of consumer equipment including TVs, set-top boxes, DVRs and gaming consoles.

Currently available devices in the family include: hex inverters, hex inverters and buffers with open drains, and hex inverters with Schmitt trigger inputs. Variations of quadruple NAND, AND, OR, XOR and two types of tri-state buffer gates will soon be available.

Key advantages of the new logic family include: a 1.65V to 5.5V range, allowing use in both battery-operated and traditional 5V applications; voltage tolerant inputs, to 5.5V, for use in a mixed-voltage environment; supply current of less than 1µA in many applications; and I(OFF) output circuitry, which disables the outputs preventing backflow current when the device is powered down. Additionally, the device inputs can be driven at 3.3V or 5.5V for voltage translation applications.

New ICs in the expanded family, which are direct drop-in replacements for industry-standard parts and are available at highly competitive prices, include:

74LVC00AT14-13 - Quadruple 2-Input NAND Gates
74LVC04AT14-13 - Hex Inverters
74LVC06AT14-13 - Hex Inverters with Open-Drain Outputs
74LVC07AT14-13 - Hex Buffers with Open-Drain Outputs
74LVC08AT14-13 - Quadruple 2-Input AND Gates
74LVC14AT14-13 - Hex Inverters with Schmitt Trigger Inputs
74LVC32AT14-13 - Quadruple 2-Input OR Gates
74LVC86AT14-13 - Quadruple 2-Input XOR Gates
74LVC125AT14-13 - Quadruple 3 State Buffers OE LOW
74LVC126AT14-13 - Quadruple 3 State Buffers OE HIGH.

iWatt ships one billion products

CAMPBELL, USA: iWatt Inc., a developer of energy-efficient digital power supply control integrated circuits (ICs) used in leading-edge power supplies, has shipped one billion units of its ICs to customers worldwide.

This milestone is the result of iWatt’s strong position in ICs for smart phone and media tablet power adapters, SSL LED lighting and LED-backlit LCDTVs.

The company has a history of innovation, earning 44 patents with 58 more pending. Many of these patents relate to the company’s proprietary digital techniques that enable compact, low-component-count, energy-efficient and cost-effective power supplies, as well as flicker-free dimming in SSL LED lighting applications.

Power Integrations launches convenient online selection tool for LED driver reference designs

SAN JOSE, USA: Power Integrations, maker of the world’s most efficient, longest-lasting off-line LED driver ICs, launched an online selection tool that enables users to rapidly identify the best power supply reference design for their LED lighting application. The LED Design Selector allows engineers to enter simple selection criteria and provides the best choice from Power Integrations’ library of reference design options for LED lighting.

Starting with basic decisions such as application and power level, the LED Design Selector enables users to quickly and easily see the filtered, optimized results. For example, the new LED Design Selector eliminates the laborious process of screening multiple designs while evaluating the effect of isolated vs. non-isolated topology or power range. After new data are entered, the best solutions are immediately displayed, enabling the designer to make a rapid and informed choice.

Andrew Smith, product marketing manager for LED lighting applications at Power Integrations, said: “The LED Design Selector is ideal for lighting designers working to optimize their LED driver based on multiple electrical and physical design requirements. Using the new tool, engineers can quickly identify the best design approach and clearly understand the design trade-offs.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

LS Cable & System and Mercury Cable & Energy announce global agreement

DANA POINT, USA: LS Cable and System, a global leader in the wire and cable industry, and Mercury Cable & Energy, the leading developer of High Voltage Composite Reinforced Conductors (HVCRC) for electrical transmission lines, have signed a multi-year global agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, LS Cable will strand and sell Mercury’s HVCRC product line in Korea, Vietnam, India and other agreed upon markets around the world. Additional details will be announced in the second quarter 2012.

“With this agreement, LS Cable & System’s business portfolio will be strengthened and this will give us a new momentum for overseas market entry,” said Jae-In Yoon, executive director of LS Cable & System’s Energy Division. “We will emphasize those countries in which we are preparing for new power network implementation and transmission capacity extension projects.”

“We are pleased to begin our relationship with LS Cable,” said Ron Morris, CEO of Mercury. “As a global leader in the manufacture of wire and cable products, LS Cable is an ideal fit for the introduction of Mercury’s HVCRC products into these markets.”

LED bulb price dipped sharply in 12’ Jan., 40W equivalent LED bulb price dropped below $10

TAIWAN: According to the latest price survey conducted by LEDinside, the LED research division of TrendForce, LED bulb ASP continued to fall in 12’Jan following the steep price drop in 11’ Dec., with the ASP of 40W equivalent LED light bulb sliding to $19.6.

The price competition in South Korea was the fiercest – the light bulb prices of the first tier brands have plunged below $10. As for the 60W equivalent LED light bulb, the world-wide ASP fell to $35.4, while the ASP in South Korea plummeted below $20.

40W equivalent LED lamp underwent sharp drop in prices
LEDinside states that the ASP of 40W replacement products fell nearly 7 percent in January; South Korea still held the most competitive ASP at $10.4, dipping 13 percent with the lowest price at $8.2. On the other hand, the ASP in Japan merely fell by 1 percent, unable to maintain a sharp downtrend in 4Q11.

Due to the Japanese Yen appreciation, the price fall appears modest after conversion to US dollar. Moreover, LED bulb prices in Japan has undergone a sharp drop before, so there is little room for the prices to fall. The price in the United Kingdom fell by approximately 9 percent; with more new products entering the market, while 40W replacement products’ prices have dropped below $30. The price in the United States dropped by 6 percent in 12’ Jan.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

60W equivalent LED lamp prices remained high
As for the 60W equivalent LED light bulb, the ASP in 12’ Jan fell by about 4 percent; the prices in most areas remained above US$30, with the only exception in South Korea at $17.3.

According to LEDinside’s research, on account of the high technology barriers of thermal dissipation, 60W replacement products are relatively few in the market, but recently, there is a trend of more new products being released in Japan and the United States.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Perspectives from LEDinside
LEDinside indicates that as opposed to 4Q11, it was the price of 40W equivalent LED bulb that experienced more drastic price drop in 1Q12. Aside from South Korea, the 40W equivalent LED bulb’s prices in North America and the United Kingdom have been sliding toward $10. The lowest prices in most areas are expected to fall below $10 in 2H12.

At present, the major brand vendors, in particular, South Korean vendors, are actively participating in the price war and lowering prices for their products, launching 40W and 60W replacement products with significantly lower prices. The world-wide ASP of LED light bulbs has been in a strong downtrend; it is only a matter of time that the LED light bulbs become affordable to most consumers.

South Korean makers’ LED chip prices are lower than those of other manufacturers, and the same goes for their LED light bulb prices, which suggests that the South Korean government and the makers are taking a highly aggressive strategy to secure their leading position in the LED industry.

Prices aside, technologies and specifications such as brightness and color temperature are equally crucial. It is expected that the manufacturers will focus more on improving their products’ quality and specifications, and not just on releasing new products with lower prices.

Monday, February 20, 2012

SIGN CHINA and LED CHINA commences

GUANGZHOU, CHINA: The 10th annual SIGN CHINA, the world's pioneer sign industry event, and LED CHINA 2012, the world's largest LED event dedicated to the complete LED industry supply chain, open their doors today from 20-23 Feb. 2012 at the China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex, Area B in Guangzhou, P.R. China. The two co-located fairs organised by UBM Trust, continues to set new exhibition records and innovate in terms of creating a complete buyer experience.

SIGN CHINA 2012 has increased from eight to ten halls across 100,000+ sqm - a 25% increase from the 2011 edition. The exhibition hosts 1,320 exhibitors from across the world as well as famous brands including Roland, Fujifilm, Canon, Ningbo Yuan Yuan, Hebei Yuxin Industry and Trade, Guangzhou Aorise Aluminum Products, Showshop Display, Foxconn, HongLi, Nationstar, Philips Lumileds, Rubicon, Unilumin and many more.

With over 900 exhibitors across 70,000 sqm, LED CHINA 2012 sets new records as the largest scale event in the fair's history. This year, LED CHINA 2012 hosts over 250 LED display exhibitors, the largest number among all similar exhibitions in the world.

In addition, the exhibition has expanded to one additional floor as a special sector for LED Lighting, with 400+ LED lighting exhibitors showcasing the latest technologies, products, and styles. Notable overseas brands include Philips Lumileds, RUBICON TECHNOLOGY, NuSil, OVATION POLYMERS, Dowa, TN-Sanso, Sapphiretek, Verticle, Monocrystal, Rusgems, and PENTEC, to name a few.

Concurrent to the two fairs, the inaugural China International LED Application Forum taking place on 19 and 21 February and the China LED Intellectual Property Summit taking place on 20 February have been added to the line-up of onsite activities. The LED Application forum will host over 200 global LED industry leaders and government officials to discuss current LED market developments, standards and trends, and share case studies on infrastructure and commercial projects.

The one day LED IP Summit will include lectures on how IP is shaping the industry, how manufacturers are managing their patents, and strategies on navigating this new landscape.

"2012 is milestone year for SIGN and LED CHINA," said David Tang, MD of UBM Trust. "Aside from our recording-breaking exhibiting numbers, we have introduced key educational components this year. Our aim is not only to connect buyers and sellers from across the supply chain of the LED and SIGN industries, but we realise it is necessary given the rapid developments in LED to educate our participants on the changing opportunities around them so that they can make the most use of their time at our fairs."

New 48 V model extends Emerson Network Power LCC250 sealed enclosure 250 W power supply series

HONG KONG: Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity, expanded its LCC250 series of 250 Watt sealed fanless ac-dc power supplies with the addition of a new 48 Vdc model.

With approval to the international EN60601-1 safety standard for medical electrical equipment, LCC250 power supplies are ideal for a wide range of sealed box and desktop healthcare applications, where the absence of cooling fans can help minimize dust and noise. These power supplies are high efficiency designs, typically achieving 91 percent at full load.

The LCC250 power supply series includes conduction-cooled models providing full useable power at elevated temperatures. Unlike many power supplies on the market, which typically require output derating above approximately 55 degrees Celsius, Emerson Network Power LCC250 supplies fed from a nominal 115 Vac input are capable of maintaining their full 250 W load capacity up to their maximum baseplate temperature of 85 degrees Celsius. This makes them especially cost-effective for users who would otherwise need to budget for larger or additional power supplies.

A robust fully-sealed enclosure provides the LCC250 series with IP64 protection against the ingress of dust and water. This makes them ideal for applications that require the power supply to be located in the same outdoor environment as the equipment it is powering, such as bulk power for outdoor signage and for telecom installations such as antenna and base station equipment.

The power supplies are equally suitable for indoor use, such as in control consoles, indoor signage and desktops for medical applications. They are also capable of operating in constant-voltage or constant-current mode, which is frequently a requirement for LED lighting applications.

A very compact 7 inch by 4 inch (178 mm by 101 mm) footprint enables them to be accommodated easily in end users’ equipment. The conduction-cooled versions have a height of just 1.1 inch (28 mm), while the convection-cooled versions feature an integral low profile heat sink which raises their overall height to 1.5 inch (38 mm).

Active power factor correction is employed to minimize input harmonic current distortion. The power supplies have a safety-ground leakage current of less than 275 µA when fed with a 250 Vac input, and provide an output hold-up time of at least 16 ms when fed with a 115 Vac input and delivering full load. Overcurrent and overtemperature protection are fully auto-recovering; overvoltage protection is latching and requires the ac input to be recycled before output power can be restored.

Safety approvals include UL/CSA/TUV 60950/60601-1, CE Mark (LVD), CB certification and China CCC. The power supplies are also fully compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) per EU directive 2002/95/EC.

The conduction and convection cooled versions of Emerson Network Power’s LCC250 power supplies are available at the competitive prices of $103 and $109 respectively per unit in production quantities.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Design concept behind Vincotech power modules

GERMANY: Vincotech produces highly efficient power modules with various housings designed for a wide range of power and other applications. The offering extends beyond standard motor drive topologies such as CIB / PIM, PACK, and half-bridge modules to encompass products designed specifically for PFC, welding, solar, and UPS applications.

This paper describes the underlying design concepts for Vincotech’s flow 0, flow 1 and flow 2 families, as well as flowSCREW 2s and the new flowSCREW w housings. It also discusses the pros and cons of Press-fit pins, DBC substrates, and stress-relief zones. The different types of power module assemblies and topologies are described using a module with three levels as an example.

Designers in search of utmost efficiency and reliability for their applications will find the features and benefits they seek in Vincotech modules. Designed for a power range from 500 to 1700 V and from 4 to 600 A, these power modules feature a variety of topologies and technologies to satisfy the needs of the most diverse applications.

Shin-Etsu Chemical develops new generation of low refractive index silicone encapsulating material

TOKYO, JAPAN: Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd has developed a new silicone encapsulating material product for applications in packaging materials for HBLEDs (High Brightness Light-Emitting Diodes), the "KER-7000 Series," which is a low refractive index (RI)-type that greatly reduces gas permeability. The company is beginning sample shipments, mainly for applications in LED lighting.

Low gas permeability is one of the important characteristics sought in LED encapsulating material along with superb photo-thermal stability in withstanding high temperatures and excellent retention of its initial optical transparency throughout the lifetime of the device. With an encapsulating material that has high gas permeability, it is well known that such gases as oxygen can easily permeate and cause oxidation and sulfuration to occur, and that can lead to the possibility of degradation in light intensity.

Up to now, Shin-Etsu Chemical has been developing many silicone encapsulating materials that have various characteristics, such as methyl-group material that is superior in heat resistance and phenyl-group material that is characterized by low gas permeability. The newly developed silicone encapsulating material product succeeds in greatly reducing the level of gas permeability by 1/10 while maintaining heat resistance at the same level as that of the methyl-group.

In addition, when compared with the phenyl group, this new product has the same level of gas permeability and much higher resistance to high temperatures. LED packaging materials that apply this product will achieve dramatically improved reliability of LED lighting because of its effectiveness in preventing the degradation of light intensify caused by the corrosion of the peripheral materials.

As this new product has a refractive index of 1.38, which is lower than that of the methyl-group material, and is superior in transparency, it is a particularly attractive encapsulating material for flat-package HBLEDs. There are two types of products in this new series that are formulated based on different hardness properties: "KER-7080 A/B" has a hardness level of (Durometer A) 80, and "KER-7030 A/B" has a hardness level of (Durometer A) 30.

In addition to the new silicone encapsulating material product series that is being announced in this press release, Shin-Etsu Chemical has a group of other diverse silicone encapsulating materials for HBLED applications. Representative products in the "SCR Series" are increasingly being adopted for backlighting applications in mobile phones and notebook PCs, and products in the "ASP Series," which have superior characteristics with regard to long-term reliability and possess greatly reduced gas permeability, also are being increasingly adopted, mainly for applications in backlighting for LCDs.

Shin-Etsu Chemical, in addition to encapsulating materials, has successively developed new products for HBLEDs, such as heat-radiating die-bond materials, lens materials, reflector materials and moisture-proof insulating materials. Shin-Etsu is the world's largest manufacturer of HBLED packaging materials.

Going forward, to further expand its world's No.1 position in packaging materials for LED applications, Shin-Etsu Chemical will continue to pursue the development of cutting-edge technologies and will carry out its product development efforts with the goal of meeting the needs of the rapidly developing, more sophisticated market for HBLEDs.

Mouser named leading global distribution partner by ON Semiconductor

embedded world 2012, DALLAS & FORT WORTH, USA: Mouser Electronics Inc. has been honored with ON Semiconductor’s 2011 Leading Global Distribution Partner for New Product Introduction (NPI) Award. This is the second consecutive year Mouser has won the prestigious award. ON Semiconductor is a premier supplier of high-performance silicon solutions for energy efficient electronics.

Mouser was measured against its competition in several key categories, including total sales growth, new product sales, customer-base expansion, marketing capability, and overall process excellence.

“Receiving the ‘Leading Global Distribution Partner for New Product Introduction’ Award from ON Semiconductor for the second year in a row is an excellent affirmation of Mouser’s continued dedication to What’s Next,” says Mike Scott, Mouser’s VP of Semiconductors. “With excellent partners like ON Semiconductor providing the cutting-edge products that design engineers need, Mouser’s broad lineup of the latest parts, superior local customer service, concise product data and fast, global delivery really shines. ON Semiconductor has provided us with a broad portfolio of innovative, energy-efficient, high performance silicon solutions highly sought after by today’s design engineers.”

“The dynamic partnership we have formed with Mouser and unique channel sales opportunities available through their focused marketing and sales methods continue to be key to the on-going growth and success of the company,” said Jeff Thomson, ON Semiconductor VP of Global Channel Sales. “For the second year in a row, Mouser has exceeded our expectations for new product introduction. With this award, we honor their efforts and look forward to the continuation of our collaborative partnership.”

Digi-Key and F-RAM pioneer Ramtron sign global distribution agreement

THIEF RIVER FALLS & COLORADO SPRINGS, USA: Digi-Key Corp. has signed a global distribution agreement with Ramtron International Corp.

Ramtron is a leading developer and supplier of nonvolatile ferroelectric random access memory (F-RAM) and integrated semiconductor solutions. The distribution agreement will make Ramtron’s entire line of F-RAM-enabled semiconductors available for purchase from Digi-Key and its international websites.

“The adoption of F-RAM technology and products is growing quickly and Ramtron is a leading supplier in this product category,” said Mark Zack, Digi-Key’s VP of semiconductors. “We look forward to working with Ramtron as a pioneer in the research and development of ferroelectric materials and their integration into a variety of semiconductor products.”

Pioneered by Ramtron, F-RAM offers unique features relative to other semiconductor technologies. It is a nonvolatile memory that does not lose its data content when power is removed or interrupted. F-RAM combines the nonvolatile benefits of PROM (programmable read-only memory) with the speed and ease-of-use of RAM (random access memory) into a single device.

Ramtron offers a portfolio of hundreds of innovative F-RAM-based solutions including standard, ultra-low energy, and wireless memory products. Available and in stock from Digi-Key, Ramtron products offer unique benefits to a wide variety of industrial, consumer, automotive, and military/aerospace markets.

“Over the past several years, Digi-Key has embraced the online revolution – evolving to serve not only customers’ evaluation and prototype component orders, but to serve worldwide customers’ needs over the entire production life cycle,” said Scott Emley, Ramtron’s VP of worldwide marketing. “By taking advantage of Digi-Key’s comprehensive product launch, technical training, and online support infrastructure, Ramtron instantly extends its worldwide reach with its F-RAM-based semiconductor solutions.”

Thursday, February 16, 2012

ANADIGICS launches multimode multiband power amplifiers

WARREN, USA: ANADIGICS Inc. introduced a new multimode multiband power amplifier (MMPA). The ALT6181 MMPA utilizes ANADIGICS' third generation High-Efficiency-at-Low-Power (HELP3E) technology to provide industry-leading efficiency in a single module solution for quad-band GSM/EDGE and dual-band WCDMA/LTE mobile applications. This world-class combination of performance and integration helps extend battery life and reduce RF space requirements in handsets, smart phones, tablets, netbooks, and notebooks.

"Mobile devices continue to evolve in both form and function, creating performance and size constraint challenges on the RF front-end," said John van Saders, senior VP of RF products at ANADIGICS. "ANADIGICS has responded to these challenges by continuously improving power amplifier performance and integration. The introduction of our new multimode multiband power amplifiers extends our high performance RF integration. By delivering a converged solution with industry-leading performance, we are able to provide manufacturers with greater design flexibility to enable the next-generation of mobile devices."

ANADIGICS multimode multiband power amplifiers are optimized to deliver compelling performance under LTE, WCDMA and CDMA signal modulations for bands 1,5,6,18,19 and 26. Efficiency, current consumption and linearity specifications have been enhanced for all modulations, while ensuring that critical harmonic, noise and intermodulation performance results in superior phone level performance.

ANADIGICS' MMPA solution uses the company's exclusive InGaP-Plus technology and HELP architecture to achieve optimal efficiency across low-range and mid-range output power levels, without the use of a DC-DC converter. When paired with a DC-DC convertor, the MMPA can deliver additional performance benefits.

The compact 5 mm by 7.5 mm MMPA features an integrated voltage regulator and separate single-ended RF chains. The inclusion of high directivity couplers also ensures optimum system performance. The GSM performance of the MMPA is characterized by high efficiencies at all power levels, while the EDGE performance meets all stringent modulation mask requirements under all conditions.

Inventory closeout caused 4Q11 LED price to fall 10 percent; price drop to alleviate in 1Q12

TAIWAN: According to the latest price survey conducted by LEDinside, the LED research division of TrendForce, due to the inventory closeout, the LED price dropped by 10 percent in 4Q11 averagely. As for 1Q12, the price downtrend is expected to alleviate following the steep fall in 4Q11 and the releases of new products.

Notably, 7030 will become the new LED specification for the mainstream LCD TV in the market in 2012. In regard to the lighting sector, as 5630’s price drops to a certain point, it will take up a bigger market share in the mid and low-power LED sector of the LED lighting market, where 3014 and 3020 are currently the popular choices.

Price in 4Q11
On account of the stagnant demand and the inventory closeout, certain applications’ prices plummeted with the ASP sliding by 10 percent. As for the lighting applications, affected by the inventory pressure facing the LED makers and the mid and low-power LEDs’ price cut stemming from the fierce competition, the high-power LED’s price took a serious hit.

Prediction on LED price in 1Q12
According to LEDinside, the price downturn started to alleviate in 1Q12: 5630’s price fell by 4 percent, and 7030 has not entered mass production, which resulted in its less competitive price. However, if it enters mass production smoothly, the price is expected to drop considerably by the year end.

In terms of MNT, LED package and brightness have both reached the mature stage and the price has already hit the rock bottom; the price in 1Q12 merely dropped by 3-4 percent. In regard to NB, fueled by the increasing popularity of Ultrabook and tablet PC, more and more LED manufacturers make their way into this sector, which causes the price of 0.8t LED to plunge by 8 percent. As for mobile phones, whose LED specifications are more mature, the price drop averaged 5-6 percent.

As for high-power LED, as the manufacturers are dedicated to upgrade the specifications and close out the older specifications, the price fell by approximately 10 percent.

LED TV backlight at turning point
Global major brand names’ new LCD TVs have gone into production in 4Q11, and the old ones have been closed out. The 5630, whose price fell by 4-5 percent in 1Q12, will be adopted in the next-generation LCD TVs and hit the market in 12’Mar at the soonest. In regard to the price gap between CCFL backlight module and LED backlight module, it is possible to see the gap further narrow on certain models, which will play an integral role in terms of LED TV reaching 70 percent penetration rate in 2012.

In 2012, the panel makers still prefer LED light guide plate with the size of 3mm. Hence, 7030 is expected to be the mainstream choice in 2012. At present, South Korean makers are the forerunner in this sector. However, the specifications, including drive current, LED chip volume and phosphor, every LED package maker adopts differ.

The mainstream specifications will become clearer after the products hit the market for some time. Compared to the price in 4Q11, the price in 2H12 will likely fall by 15-20 percent.

Mobile phone, NB, MNT enter mature stage; price relatively stable
Mobile phone backlight is the first LED application to reach the 100 percent penetration rate, and is also the most mature application; its price decrease remains 3-5 percent per season. Smartphone will adopt fewer LED and start using LED with higher brightness. Therefore, 0.6t LED’s brightness will be improved to 2700mcd. Currently, smart phones with brightness of 2400mcd and above are mainly from Japanese and South Korean makers; Taiwanese makers will have a hard time competing with them.

Moreover, Netbook begins to lose its place following the tablet PC’s product release, which causes many brand vendors to leave the netbook market. According to LEDinside, the market mainly consists of 12-inch (and bigger) notebook, 11-inch tablet PC (and smaller) and Ultrabook. The mainstream Ultrabooks adopt low voltage LED (0.8t LV), whose price plunged by 7-8 percent due to the increasing Ultrabook makers. As for LCD displays, some brand vendors started to adopt 3014 in 1Q12, which can reduce the LED usage volume by half.

High power LED makers develop new specs and lower prices to compete with South Korean companies
The maturity of 5630 results in its sharp price drop, which causes more and more lighting companies to use 5630 to make LED light tubes and light bulbs. The high power LED makers not only launches new specifications and enhance their products’ brightness in order to compete with South Korean manufacturers, but also lower their products’ prices to stimulate the market demand. The price decrease is expected to be about 10 percent in 1Q12.

Perspectives from LEDinside
The LED industry will remain oversupplied in 2012. Although the releases of new LCD TVs fuel the TV backlight demand, the growth momentum for the market is limited. In light of the intensifying competition, the players will either survive or be forced to quit; manufacturers with good market development and technology strengths will obtain bigger market shares.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Renesas Electronics announces low-loss P-channel MOSFET

TOKYO, JAPAN: Renesas Electronics Corp., a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced the availability of its lineup of five low-loss P-channel power metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect-transistor (MOSFET) products, including the µPA2812T1L, optimized for use in charge control switches for lithium-ion (Li-ion) secondary batteries of notebook PCs and power management switches for power supply switching with AC adapters.

Demand has increased in recent years for notebook PCs with lower power consumption by the overall system, longer running time when using battery power, and smaller and thinner form factors. Power MOSFETs are used in charge control switches for Li-ion secondary batteries and power management switches for power supply switching with AC adapters.

They must handle the large current flows needed to operate the system overall, and this has brought demand for reduced operating resistance (on-resistance) in order to lower system power consumption. At the same time, there is strong demand for smaller and thinner Li-ion battery packs as notebook PC bodies become slimmer and more compact.

This means that power MOSFET products with smaller packages than the conventional SOP-8 are needed. In response to this demand, Renesas has developed a new fabrication process employing ultrafine process technology, among other innovations, that reduces the on-resistance by half for the same effective area compared with the earlier process used to fabricate MOSFETs for similar applications. The five new products, including the µPA2812T1L, deliver low on-resistance in very compact packages.

Agilent intros industry’s most comprehensive LPDDR3 compliance test application

SANTA CLARA, USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced the industry’s most comprehensive compliance test application for systems using low-power double-data-rate 3 memory. In addition to accelerating the turn-on and debug of LPDDR3-based systems, the tool offers great flexibility to engineers working with nonstandard operating speeds and voltages, giving them an efficient way to characterize their LPDDR3 designs.

The Agilent U7231B LPDDR3 test application, which runs on Agilent Infiniium 9000, 90000A and 90000 X-Series oscilloscopes, provides LPDDR3 physical-layer compliance measurements. Signal access is provided by Agilent’s LPDDR3 BGA probes.

LPDDR3 is a type of dynamic random-access memory technology optimized for embedded and mobile applications. It is ideal for mobile devices like smartphones, due to its low power requirements. LPDDR3 DRAM, with data rates up to 1600 MT/s, is 50 percent faster than current LPDDR2 DRAM.

The Agilent LPDDR3 compliance test application is designed for engineers who work on smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and other consumer electronics. The U7231B provides automated testing capabilities for clock, electrical and timing tests. The U7231B LPDDR3 application automatically configures the oscilloscope for each test and generates a HTML report at the end of the test. The report compares the results with the specified test limit and indicates how closely the device passes or fails each test.

Engineers can easily debug signal integrity issues using the U7231B software in conjunction with the new InfiniiScan multichannel and multizone triggering scope features. Using this method is more convenient than using multiple digital channels for command bus triggering to separate read and write commands. This unique InfiniiScan feature is available only with Agilent’s 9000, 90000A and 90000 X-Series oscilloscopes.

To complete its LPDDR3 solutions, Agilent offers LPDDR3 BGA probing solutions to provide the LPDDR3 signal accessibility needed to perform physical-layer characterization, protocol analysis and compliance tests. The U7231B LPDDR3 compliance test integrates InfiniiSim and PrecisionProbe tools to enable de-embedding, which removes probing effects, thereby improving measurement accuracy.

“Our new LPDDR3 solution offers debugging and physical-layer characterization capabilities to help design engineers test under nonstandard conditions,” said Jay Alexander, VP and GM of Agilent’s Oscilloscope Products Division. “By automating setup with the compliance test software, engineers can save significant test time and ensure their LPDDR3 systems are compliant.”

TransDigm completes acquisition of AmSafe

CLEVELAND, USA: TransDigm Group Inc., a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components, has completed the acquisition of AmSafe Global Holdings Inc. for a total purchase price on a cash free, debt free basis of approximately $750 million in cash from a group controlled by Berkshire Partners LLC and Greenbriar Equity Group LLC.

AmSafe is a leading supplier of innovative, highly engineered and proprietary safety and restraint equipment used primarily in the global aerospace industry. The acquisition was previously announced on January 20, 2012.

AmSafe is best known for its proprietary aviation passenger seatbelts and airbags and had calendar 2011 revenue of about $260 million. The company's products are on virtually all of the world's airlines with products certified and installed on more than 90% of the aircraft produced globally. They are also the first and only company to have a seatbelt airbag system installed worldwide on both commercial transport and general aviation aircraft. Below deck, AmSafe manufactures various cargo and restraint products.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

UPG launches Adventure Power Phantom line of Li-iron phosphate Powersports batteries

INDIANAPOLIS, USA: Universal Power Group Inc., a Texas-based distributor and supplier of batteries and related power accessories, launched the Adventure Power Phantom line of lithium-iron phosphate batteries for motorcycles and the powersports category.

UPG also announced a new strategic alliance with Calif.-based Shorai Inc. (Shorai), a manufacturer of lithium iron-based powersports batteries, that will provide the technological expertise required for the development and production of the new Phantom line, which will be marketed by UPG. The companies made the announcement ahead of the Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, where UPG is introducing the capabilities of its latest, high-performance product line.

Under the terms of its agreement with Shorai, UPG will market a line of lithium iron phosphate-based batteries under the Phantom line, utilizing Shorai’s exclusive and world-leading eXtreme-Rate LiFeP04 cell technology. The lithium-based batteries offer several benefits over traditional lead-acid batteries including:

* Advanced LFP cell technology;
* Substantial weight reduction – less than 1.5 pounds, or one-fifth the average weight of lead acid batteries;
* Carbon composite case designed to military specifications;
* The capacity to hold a charge for up to one year without maintenance in most vehicles without a parasitic draw;
* Quicker starting, with fast cranking power and fast recharging; and
* Environmentally conscious attributes, including no hazardous chemicals.

“We are pleased to announce the growth of UPG’s Adventure Power series of motorcycle and powersports batteries and our alliance with Shorai, which creates an exciting opportunity to expand the breadth of our offerings,” said Ian Edmonds, UPG’s president and CEO. “This collaboration allows UPG to market new and innovative products to our customers, meeting their unique demands for lightweight and high-performance solutions. Working with Shorai also fits well with our long-term strategy of engaging with partners that have complementary technologies and strengths that we can leverage in our core markets.”

David Radford, president of Shorai, commented: “We are pleased to work with UPG on expanding the reach and acceptance of our leading-edge battery technology beyond our core distribution channel of motorcycle dealers, and to access UPG’s broad distribution base of eTailers, retailers and battery specialists. We see many opportunities to market our advanced battery chemistry and features to meet the needs of motorcycle and powersports enthusiasts around the world, and this agreement will bring us closer to realizing that goal.”

The Phantom line is the latest, high-performance addition to the Adventure Power series, an extensive line of batteries designed for motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, and American V-Twins. The new lithium iron-batteries are designed to be a drop-in replacement for all OEM equipment and install in a matter of minutes. In addition, they are designed, engineered and tested in accordance with JASA’s JIS D 5302, the internationally accepted standard for powersports batteries.

UPG is introducing the new Phantom line at Booth 4348 at the Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo, which is being held Feb. 17-19 at the Indiana Convention center in Indianapolis. UPG expects the new Phantom line to be available to eTailers, retailers and battery specialists in the second quarter of 2012.

Vincotech releases symmetrical booster with parallel switch for high efficiency

UNTERHACHING, GERMANY: Vincotech, a supplier of module-based solutions for power electronics, released two new symmetrical boosters designed specifically for premium solar inverter and SMPS applications. Equipped with a parallel switch and SiC boost diodes to boost efficiency, the flowBOOST 0 sym modules come in Vincotech’s compact flow 0 housing.

Both flowBOOST 0 sym feature a parallel switch configuration combining the fast, low-loss switching performance of MOSFETs with the high current capability and low conduction losses of IGBTs.

Both new modules benefit from ultra fast 600V SiC boost diodes and bypass diodes with low forward voltage, making them the optimum solution for input stages in solar and SMPS applications where high efficiency (99 percent) matters. Companion products for the inverter and output section may be found on Vincotech’s homepage.

RFMD intros high power amplifier

USA: RFMD has introduced the RF5652 high power amplifier. It addresses IEEE 802.11b/g/n WiFi (2.4GHz to 2.5GHz) for customer premises equipment (CPE) applications.

It further supports IEEE 802.16e WiMAX (2.5GHz to 2.7GHz) CPE applications. It integrates a three-stage Linear Power Amplifier with 30dBm (1W) linear power at PA output, along with power detection, in a 5mmx5mm QFN package.

POUT = 30dBm <3 percent EVM at 5V.
Gain = 34dB.
2.4GHz to 2.7GHz Frequency Range.
Integrated Three-Stage PA.
Integrated Power Detector.

WiFi IEEE 802.11b/g/n Applications.
Picocell, Femtocell.
Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).
WiMAX IEEE 802.16e.
Spread-Spectrum and MMDS Systems.

This product is now available in production quantities. Pricing begins at $6.15 each for 100 pieces.

Chevron petroleum station goes green with Cree LED lighting

DURHAM, USA: Beaverton, Oregon’s Highland Chevron gas station and ExtraMile food market recently underwent extensive eco-renovations, including the installation of energy-efficient interior and exterior LED lighting by Cree Inc.. The addition of Cree LED fixtures supports Highland Chevron’s mission of becoming a zero-energy establishment.

Rebuilt from the ground up, the Highland Chevron store is fully lit with Cree LED luminaires under the exterior canopy and inside the convenience store—delivering energy savings estimated at nearly 70 percent over the old non-LED fixtures.

According to Bob Barman, owner of the Highland Chevron, the indoor and outdoor LED lighting allows the station to consume a third less energy than typical 24-hour c-stores and petroleum stations. Barman estimates that the new Cree luminaires should provide payback in 2.5 years and the financial savings just add-up after that. The Beaverton Chevron anticipates more than a decade of virtually maintenance-free operation.

“The payoff is more than what is saved in energy consumption and cost,” said Barman. “The payoff is also intangible – it’s what your customers think of you as a leader in sustainability and how you think of yourself – it’s just the right thing to do. The only time I’m going to think about my lighting is when I’m showing it off. The high-quality LED light makes everything appear brighter and safer—and that translates into a better customer experience.”

Twenty-four Cree 304 Series recessed canopy luminaires with petroleum symmetric optics replaced the original 368-watt metal halide fixtures on the fueling canopy. Based on BetaLED technology, the 105-watt 304 Series luminaires provide superior NanoOptic lighting control with little to no spill-off into neighboring areas, helping Highland Chevron comply with local light pollution ordinances. In addition, 330-watt fluorescent fixtures were replaced by 27 Cree 304 Series pendant-mount luminaires in the ExtraMile food market.

Other green features of the gas station and convenience store include 180 solar panels on the fueling canopy and store rooftop, capable of delivering nearly one-third of a typical gas station’s electricity needs. Highland Chevron also installed a geothermal well that exchanges heat through groundwater to naturally cool water for the store’s refrigeration cases, while water pipes store heat from cooling units underground for hot water usage.

“Energy efficient and near maintenance-free LED lighting is ideal for the 7/24 operations of gas stations and convenience stores,” said Andy Strickland, Cree VP, petroleum lighting. “Cree’s LED products offer the Beaverton Chevron early payback and financial savings over their lifetime – they are the best choice for c-stores and gas stations.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Micro Power receives UL 2054 certification and CE mark for IronWorks iron-phosphate battery

BEAVERTON, USA: Micro Power Electronics Inc., a subsidiary of Electrochem Solutions, Inc. and the global leader in portable power solutions for mission-critical equipment, announced UL 2054 Certification and CE Mark for the IronWorks battery, a patent-pending Iron-Phosphate battery solution, which serves as a drop-in replacement for Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries.

Manufacturers of mobile equipment can now achieve lighter weight, longer runtime and longer cycle life with the standard U1 format Lithium Iron-Phosphate battery.

IronWorks is a 12 Volt, 44 Ah Lithium Iron-Phosphate battery with Smart Battery 1.1 compliant SMBus interface for delivering state-of-charge information. IronWorks provides equipment manufacturers with a drop-in replacement for Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries, at a fraction of the weight and with exceptional cycle life.

UL 2054 is the safety standard for Household and Commercial Batteries. Compliance with this standard reduces the battery-related risk of fire or explosion during use, and reduces the risk of injury when batteries are removed from a product to be stored, transported, or discarded. The UL 2054 certification enables mobile equipment manufacturers to declare compliance with IEC 60601-1, the general safety and essential performance standard for medical electrical equipment, for their mobile or portable equipment.

“UL 2054 Certification confirms that Micro Power’s Lithium Iron-Phosphate battery provides the highest standard in product safety,” said Robin Tichy, Micro Power’s product manager for IronWorks. “IronWorks is one of the first Lithium Iron-Phosphate batteries to receive this esteemed certification.”

IronWorks also passed all tests and requirements to receive the CE Mark, which enables IronWorks to be sold in the European Community (EC). By qualifying IronWorks for the CE Mark, Micro Power ensures that IronWorks complies with all the requirements of the applicable EC directives.

element14 reveals technologies that will revolutionise electronics design engineering

SINGAPORE: element14, a collaborative global electronics community from Premier Farnell plc, has revealed the biggest technologies that have the potential to revolutionise electronics and the one product engineers can’t do without out of a survey conducted across all its social media channels.

The “We love innovation” poll that was conducted for a week starting 3rd Feb captured responses from over 4,500 element14 Facebook, Twitter and Google+ fans and provides interesting insights into the world of electronics technology.

More than 50 percent of the respondents chose the iPad as the one electronics product they love and can’t do without. This was followed by the Amazon Kindle, the iPhone and the Playstation, which is further complemented by Sensing, which was voted as the biggest technology with the potential to revolutionise electronics in the future, followed closely by LED Lighting, Robotics and medical electronics.

Sensing has increasingly become critical in terms of enhancing the ways in which humans interface with technology. Sensing technology facilitates intuitive human interactions with devices such as smartphones and without it, we would be restricted to more mechanical methods of interface, which wouldn’t allow for things like miniaturisation which is critical going forward.

The technology is also significant in terms of industrial applications, including areas like factory automation, the international space programme and alternative energy, and will be one of the driving technologies in medicine as we move toward non-invasive diagnosis and treatment.

The 2012 Olympics also turned out to be an interesting theme where the majority of respondents chose embedded as the technology that will be a highlight this year, followed by Sensing, Green IT and mobile and wireless. This was particularly interesting given the latest announcements around wireless spectrum demands during the games in London this year. Embedded technology in the games can be combined with Sensing to be used in various areas like monitoring athletic performance or prosthetics for paralympians.

“Our bespoke “we love innovation” poll was an initiative to gauge the current perceptions the electronics design community has around various technologies and to look at what design engineers love the most,” said Dianne Kibbey, global head of Community, element14. “The results do show some interesting trends within the industry and the technologies that will spearhead the future, which is where key innovations will become even more significant.”

RoadTest continues to be the favourite element14 Group to assist with design work and the biggest challenge faced by electronic design engineers is the time involved in initial design stages so element14 will be looking at ways how the Knode and the Drawer can be used as solutions to overcome such challenges.

Mitsubishi Electric launches 8.4-, 10.4- and 12.1-inch color TFT-LCD modules

TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has launched the 8.4-inch SVGA, 10.4-inch SVGA and 12.1-inch SVGA color TFT-LCD modules.

These industrial-use models feature super-wide viewing angles, wide-ranging operational temperatures and extended-duration LED backlighting. Sales of the 8.4-inch SVGA and 10.4-inch SVGA modules will begin on March 1, and for the 12.1-inch SVGA module on April 1, through Mitsubishi Electric offices worldwide.

These industrial-use modules will be presented at FPD China 2012 held in Shanghai, China on March 20-22. Initial production has been set at 5,000 units per month for each model.

The TFT-LCD modules meet the increasing market demands for high brightness, high contrast, wide-ranging operational temperatures and wide viewing angles for diverse applications and installations. The introduction of the three new modules increases Mitsubishi Electric’s lineup of super-wide viewing angle models to nine items.

TE Circuit Protection intros industry's lowest capacitance silicon ESD devices for high-data-rate apps

MENLO PARK, USA: TE Circuit Protection, a business unit of TE Connectivity, announces a family of eight new single-channel and multi-channel silicon ESD (SESD) protection devices offering the lowest capacitance (bi-directional: 0.10pF typical; uni-directional: 0.20pF typical), highest ESD protection (20kV air and contact discharge) and smallest size (multi-channel: smallest flow-through form-factor and 0.31mm height) packages available on the market.

The devices' ultra-low-capacitance results in the industry's lowest insertion loss, which is essential for maintaining signal integrity in ultra-high-speed applications. The devices help protect against damage caused by electrostatic discharge (ESD), surge and cable discharge events. The multi-channel devices also feature a flow-through design package that allows for matched impedance of PCB trace routing, which is essential for maintaining high-speed signal integrity.

The ultra-low-capacitance, small size and high ESD kV rating of the SESD devices are well-suited for smart phones, HDTVs and similar consumer, auto and other markets' products using today's – and tomorrow's – highest-speed interfaces such as USB 3.0/2.0, HDMI, eSATA, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt.

The single- and multi-channel SESD devices also feature an industry-leading 20kV contact and air discharge rating, exceeding IEC61000-4-2's 8kV industry standard. In the event of a high voltage ESD strike, this high kV rating helps minimize the risk of the ESD device failing short and permanently disabling the port, or open, exposing the downstream chipset to damage caused by another ESD strike. This capability helps reduce customer complaints and warranty repair costs.

"ESD protection devices add capacitance on data lines, which in turn can cause signal integrity issues that hamper a product's performance and interoperability. Today's high-speed ports need the lowest-capacitance ESD devices available to provide the highest degree of protection while having minimal effect on signal transmission," said Patrick Hibbs, Global Strategic Marketing and ESD Business Manager for TE Circuit Protection.

"Our new SESD devices offer capacitance that is up to 92 percent lower than competing 'ultra-low-capacitance' solutions. This means our SESD devices are ready for Thunderbolt applications today. And even though the 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) and quad high-definition (QHD) TV markets are still emerging, our SESD devices are ready for these applications as well."

Consumer electronics are constantly shrinking and TE Circuit Protection's SESD devices offer size advantages in the ongoing trend for miniaturization. The single-channel devices are available in 0201-sized XDFN small footprint (0.6mm x 0.3mm x 0.31mm) and 0402-sized XDFN (1.0mm x 0.6mm x 0.38mm) packages. The multi-channel SESD arrays (two-, four- and six-channel options) feature a package height as low as 0.31mm– resulting in up to a 50% lower profile than comparable devices.

The SESD devices' lower profile allows for placement closer to the edge of the PCB, or in-between boards and connectors, facilitating design flexibility.

Additionally, one miniature four-channel SESD array can be used in a smaller board area than four 0201 devices, resulting in board space, assembly cost and device cost savings. As the smallest 4- and 6-channel flow-through arrays on the market, these devices also ease routing when used with applications employing miniature-size connectors, such as HDMI Type-D, mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 Micro-B.

US Department of Energy recognizes Universal Display for advances in efficient white OLED lighting

EWING, USA: Universal Display Corp. was recognized by the US Department of Energy (DOE) for outstanding achievements in solid-state lighting throughout 2011. Universal Display received the award during ‘Transformations in Lighting,’ the DOE’s annual Solid-State Lighting R&D Workshop, held Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2012 in Atlanta, GA. This is the fifth consecutive year that the company has received this DOE award.

This year’s award is for Universal Display’s demonstration of an all-phosphorescent OLED lighting system with greater than 55 lumen per Watt system efficacy in an under-cabinet application. This under-cabinet demonstration is an excellent example of the myriad lighting applications that can benefit from white OLEDs, as a result of their energy-efficient and cool operation, their ultra-thin form factor, and their pleasing color emission.

“The US Department of Energy is pleased to see Universal Display’s prototype systems demonstrating the promise of white OLED lighting with commercially-viable performance,” said Dr. James Brodrick, Lighting Program Manager, US Department of Energy. “This DOE-UDC cost-shared project shows how government-industry partnerships can achieve R&D goals that ultimately bring energy savings to Americans.” Dr. Brodrick presented the award to Dr. Mike Hack, who accepted it on behalf of the entire team at Universal Display.

“We appreciate the ongoing support from the US Department of Energy, and also appreciate the recognition for our work in advancing OLED lighting in the broad scope of solid-state lighting,” said Steven V. Abramson, president and CEO of Universal Display. “We have a tremendous team at Universal Display, as well as a strong network of partners that support our ongoing advances in highly energy-efficient phosphorescent OLED technology and materials. We look forward to continuing our work with the DOE to achieve performance targets for the commercialization of OLED lighting in a broad range of applications.”

The US DOE has estimated that solid-state lighting, including OLED lighting, could lead to a 50 percent reduction in energy use for lighting by 2030, or enough electricity to power more than 24 million homes in the US. Recent advances in OLED lighting, including those made by Universal Display, now allow OLEDs to meet a variety of niche lighting performance targets and to demonstrate the potential for OLEDs to achieve general lighting targets established by the US Department of Energy.

Universal Display’s phosphorescent OLED technology and materials offer up to a four-to-one power advantage over other OLED technologies, resulting in record energy-efficient OLEDs. In addition, OLED lighting may enable a range of exciting new product concepts with innovative form factors, transparency and flexibility.