Friday, March 30, 2012

Global lead-acid battery market to grow at CAGR of 3.1 percent from 2010-2014

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Lead-acid Battery Market 2011-2015" report to its offering.

One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the emergence of absorbed glass mat lead-acid batteries. The Global Lead-acid Battery market has also been witnessing increasing investment in smart grid construction. However, the possibility of explosion could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

Key vendors dominating this market space include Johnson Controls, Inc., Exide Technologies, GS Yuasa Corp., and EnerSys Inc.

An analyst from TechNavio's Clean Tech team said: "The governments of various countries have forecast that their nationwide energy demands will double within the next decade. As a result, various countries across the globe have started investing large amounts of money in smart grid technology in order to meet the huge demand for power by 2020. This increased investment in smart grid technology is leading to the growth of the Global Lead-acid Battery market. This is because lead-acid batteries can be used in vehicles such as EVs, which is one of the major sectors in the Smart Grid industry. Moreover, the usage of solar chargers for lead-acid batteries in EVs enables distributed power generation."

According to the report, another major technology that is in demand is the EV. Investments of up to US$15 billion have been made in smart grid electric vehicles trigger innovations in electric vehicle technology. This is a major trend affecting the Global Lead-acid Battery market.

The report also discusses that the lead-acid batteries are exposed to risk of explosion, which is a drawback for the growth of this market.

Vulcan Flex Circuit awarded contract

LONDONDERRY, USA: Vulcan Flex Circuit Corp. (VFCC), a division of Vulcan Electric Co., has been awarded a $2.7 million contract by L-3 Communications, Fuzing and Ordnance Systems (L-3 FOS), for flexible circuits.

This particular award is in support of a highly sophisticated proximity fuze developed by the US Army Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey and manufactured by L-3 FOS in Cincinnati, Ohio. VFCC has been supporting L-3 FOS on this program for over 15 years from initial product development, prototyping and qualification, to high rate production.

"We look forward to continuing to provide L-3 FOS with superior service and support on this and the many other programs we share with them," said Al Wasserzug, director of Corporate Development.

Vulcan Electric Company's flexible circuit division engineers and manufactures flexible circuits, rigid-flex circuits and circuit assemblies to various demanding industries, such as military/defense, aerospace, medical and complex industrial markets.

AuraSound acquires key assets from Arvani

SANTA ANA, USA: AuraSound Inc. announced that it has acquired key assets from Arvani, a Norway based consumer electronics company. Included in the acquisition is the Arvani trademark, transfer of Arvani's current customers, and key staff. Ove Kristensen, previously CEO of Arvani, has joined AuraSound as GM, Europe.

"The Arvani acquisition is another key step in our previously announced strategy to expand our sales significantly outside of the US market," stated Harald Weisshaupt, AuraSound CEO and president.

"In addition to providing AuraSound with the recognized Arvani brand, it provides immediate access to some well-established retailers across several countries. We have initiated customer engagements and plan to ship our industry-leading TV soundbars products into these new channels next quarter. I am very excited to have someone with Ove's breadth of experience, market knowledge, and business relationships join the AuraSound senior executive team. He brings the leadership required to ensure that we meet our aggressive sales revenue growth targets for the European market."

Vishay Intertechnology intros slim polypropylene film capacitor for DC-link apps

MALVERN, USA: Vishay Intertechnology Inc. announced a new high-performance metallized DC polypropylene film capacitor, engineered for DC-link applications, that features a slim design, the industry's broadest CV range from 2 to 100 microfarads, and voltage ratings of 500 VDC, 700 VDC, and 1,000 VDC. Providing designers with a number of options for their specific application, the slim MKP1848S features low profiles of 12 mm, 15 mm, 18 mm, and 24 mm.

With a long life of > 100,000 hours at nominal DC voltage and + 70 ºC, the MKP1848S is optimized for inverters, power supplies, solar micro-inverters, on-board chargers (EV/HEV), pumps, and LED drives.

The DC-link capacitor features capacitance tolerance down to 5 %, low self-inductance of less than 1 nH per mm of lead spacing, high peak current capabilities to 900 A, and high RMS current to 22 A. Offered in a flame-retardant plastic case with a resin seal, the device features a high operating temperature to + 105 ºC, is lead (Pb)-free and RoHS-compliant, and introduces halogen-free materials to Vishay's portfolio of film capacitors.

Samples are available now.

Chelsio demos over 1 million IOPS storage solution using off-the-shelf components

SUNNYVALE, USA: Chelsio Communications, a leading provider of 10Gb Ethernet Unified Wire adapters, ASICs and Unified Storage solutions, announced it will be showcasing the capabilities of its Unified Storage Server (USS) software to enable high performance storage solutions with a demonstration next week at the Chelsio booth (#417) at Storage Networking World (SNW Spring) in Dallas, Texas.

The demonstration shows 1,100,000 IOPS (input/output instructions per second) performance with a simple and cost-effective iSCSI target solution that is built with off-the-shelf components.

The demonstration will include five iSCSI initiators (running MS Windows 2008 R2) accessing the high performance iSCSI target through a generic 10GbE switch. The iSCSI target server includes a Chelsio T4 Unified Wire adapter, four enterprise-class PCIe SSDs from Micron Technology, Inc., and Chelsio's USS software. IOmeter benchmarking software will be used to show the read/write performance of the system.

Comprised of off-the-shelf components, this solution demonstrated at SNW will show how resellers and integrators can use the USS software to easily construct a cost-effective, high performance iSCSI target.

"PCIe flash-based solutions have proven to provide a dramatic performance boost for enterprise systems—evident by the demonstration Chelsio is showcasing at SNW," said Kevin Kilbuck, director of marketing for Micron's NAND Solutions Group. "Micron's customers choose our P320h PCIe SSD not just for best-in-class performance, but because they know it is designed to perform reliably in demanding enterprise environments."

"The combination of Chelsio USS software and offload silicon technology and SSDs shatters the expectations of what a customer would have to pay for a million IOPS storage solution," said Kianoosh Naghshineh, president and CEO of Chelsio. "USS software uniquely takes advantage of all the offload features of Chelsio's Terminator architecture to enable an new level of price/performance."

Digi-Key announces stock of TT/BI Technologies’ HM78D series dual winding inductors

THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Digi-Key Corp. announced the addition of the HM78D series of dual winding inductors from BI Technologies, a division of TT Electronics.

The HM78D series offers higher inductance, better efficiency, and superior current handling in a rugged, low-cost part. The new HM78D-1210 series comes in 12.5 mm footprint shielded SMD packages and, in common with other HM78D models, can be configured as inductors, common mode chokes, or DC/DC converters.

“Digi-Key has always made every effort to offer our customers the highest quality product,” said Jeff Shafer, VP, global interconnect, passives, and electromechanical product, Digi-Key. “TT Electronics has been a vital part of achieving this goal and we are pleased to add these high-quality inductors to our line card.”

"By taking advantage of Digi-Key's online presence, product training modules, and technical support, TT Electronics/ BI Technologies rapidly extends our magnetics solutions to a worldwide audience,” said Donna Schaefer, global product line director, magnetic business unit, TT Electronics.

The HM78D series can be purchased now from the Digi-Key website.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

World LED replacement lamps market will exceed $3.7 billion in 2016

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Strategies Unlimited, the leading market research company covering LEDs and LED lighting, projects unit growth of 30 percent in 2012 – 2016 for LED replacement lamps. The global market will grow from $2.2 billion in 2011 to $3.7 billion in 2016.

The revenue growth will be moderated by a forecast 14 percent per year decline in the average selling price. The research covered LED lamps that are used in existing sockets and serve as replacements for legacy lighting sources in residential and commercial indoor applications.

On the supply side, manufacturers will continue to benefit from the oversupply of LED sand governmental subsidies that aim to advance the adoption of LED lighting.

On the demand side, the LED replacement market units growth rate is expected to be the highest in China at 44 percent CAGR. In 2011, the LED replacement A 19 bulbs were the highest selling product with Japan leading the number of units sold. Sales of PAR LED lamps and LED MR 16 were driven mostly by commercial applications in developed economies. However, this trend will be reversed as the construction sector recovers in developing countries.

LED replacements for linear fluorescent lamps yielded the highest units sales numbers in China and Japan; between 2010 and 2011 the average selling price declined at 23 percent. The US and European markets yielded fewer sales due to stricter requirements for product quality.

Mouser’s new design services referral program offers companies a way to accelerate time to market with new products

DALLAS & FORT WORTH, USA: Mouser Electronics Inc. announced the launch of its new Design Services Referral Program.

The Program is a service that connects customers with third-party design firms for contract engineering services. Mouser has partnered with key engineering firms across North America that have expertise in industries such as Alternate Energy, Lighting, Medical and Wireless with a broad range of capabilities including ASIC/FPGA design, embedded systems development and RF applications.

Steve Newland, Mouser VP of Americas Sales and Service, explains: “Being the first to enter the market with new products is a constant struggle for many companies. In some cases, businesses can improve their time to market by leveraging third party design firms to augment their own design teams and expertise. Utilizing design firms can also improve cycle time for prototyping and testing which can help them get new products to market faster.”

The Design Services Referral Program is relevant at any point in the design cycle from initial concept to design and development, testing and validation, to prototyping and production. To utilize the Program, Mouser customers simply fill out a short online form with the project information detailing the type of service needed. Mouser does the rest by matching the customer to a design partner with the required skills and capabilities.

“Our Design Services Referral Program can help our customers shorten their design cycles and get their products to market faster,” Newland elaborates. “We are pleased to offer yet another capability that addresses our customers’ needs.”

Keithley expands measurement capability of S530 parametric test systems

CLEVELAND, USA: Keithley Instruments Inc. continues to enhance the capabilities of its S530 Parametric Test Systems, the semiconductor industry’s most cost-effective solution for high speed production parametric test.

Supported by the latest version of Keithley Test Environment software (KTE V5.4), the S530 can now be configured for 48-pin full Kelvin switching and with new integrated options for pulse generation, frequency measurements, and low voltage measurements. These new capabilities allow S530 systems to address an even broader range of production parametric test applications with one high speed, cost-effective test solution.

48-pin full Kelvin switching configuration
The S530 Low Current System employs a high performance switch matrix to direct signals between instruments and test pins, providing sub-picoamp measurement resolution and low current guarding all the way to the probe pin. The latest capabilities of this system now support a 48-pin full Kelvin (four-wire) switching configuration, doubling the full Kelvin pin-count previously available.

By maintaining the signal integrity associated with full Kelvin switching and cabling while doubling the system’s maximum pin-count, the S530 combines precise high speed measurements with enhanced system configuration flexibility to ensure full test coverage well into the future.

Optional ring oscillator measurement capability
A new high speed, high resolution oscilloscope option supports ring oscillator testing over a broad frequency measurement range. With a sample rate of up to 400 megasamples/second, this new system option provides measurements from approximately 10kHz to 20MHz. Frequency measurement capability within parametric test systems has become increasingly important as a growing number of semiconductor fabs have incorporated ring oscillators into their overall process control monitoring test structures.

Optional pulse generation capability
As more integrated circuits incorporate embedded memory such as flash into their design, semiconductor fabs have increasingly added memory structures and measurements to their process control monitoring routines. Testing these devices requires sourcing user-defined voltage pulses to program and erase memory cells, followed by precise DC measurements of the device.

To address this need, the S530 uses the same sub-system chassis that currently hosts the capacitance-voltage (C-V) instrument card to integrate two, four, or six channels of pulse generation capability into the configuration, so it can produce a wide range of device testing waveforms and extend system flexibility.

Optional system DMM
Testing van der Pauw and metal structures as part of process control monitoring demands a combination of low voltage measurements, high measurement resolution, and excellent repeatability. For these applications, S530 systems now offer an optional 7-1/2-digit, low-noise digital multimeter optimized for low voltage measurements. It provides 10nV resolution on its lowest (100mV) range and 100nV resolution on its next lowest (1V) range. It also offers 7ppm DC voltage repeatability.

Choice of low current or high voltage systems
Two different S530 systems are available. The S530 Low Current System was developed for measuring characteristics such as sub-threshold leakage, gate leakage, etc. The S530 High Voltage System incorporates a source measurement unit (SMU) capable of sourcing up to 1000V at 20mA (20W max.) to any system pin.

This version is optimized for the difficult breakdown and leakage tests that GaN, SiC, and Si LDMOS power devices demand. Although the new 48-pin Kelvin capability is unique to the low current system, all of the new measurement options are available for both systems.

Global OLED lighting technology/company trend and market forecast (2010-2020)

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global OLED Lighting Technology/Company Trend and Market Forecast (2010-2020)" report to its offering.

The most widely used lighting sources are .incandescent light and fluorescent light. However, these cause world power consumption of lighting fixtures to amount to 2.1 trillion KW each year, corresponding to about 12-15 percent of the entire electricity. As a result, about 1.7 billion tons of CO2 are being discharged each year, causing mercury contamination or various types of environmental pollution. Thus, there is a need for new eco-friendly lighting allowing for human sensitivity as well as high efficiency.

The best known type of this new concept lighting might be LED. However, OLED is also at the height of technical development, making the best use of its success in the display industry as a springboard in the field of lighting.

Since OLED lighting has the advantages -no emission of contaminants such as mercury and high efficiency- like LED, it is considered as eco-friendly lighting that can reduce power consumption compared to existing lighting types. Moreover, in that it is a surface light source, it allows a variety of choices in design, a wide range of applications (transparent) and flexible lighting, which indicates its high market potential.

In addition, it is expected that new technologies to be adopted in the field of display in the future will be also applied to the field of OLED lighting, due to a relatively low technical level of OLED lighting compared to OLED display.

OSI Systems receives $5 million in orders for electronic sub-assemblies

HAWTHORNE, USA: OSI Systems Inc., a vertically-integrated provider of specialized electronic products for critical applications in the Security and Healthcare industries, announced that OSI Electronics, a business within its Optoelectronic and Manufacturing division, has received orders valued at approximately $5 million to supply electronic sub-assemblies to major OEM’s that provide leading solutions in the digital imaging and healthcare therapeutic device markets.

OSI Systems' CEO, Deepak Chopra stated, "OSI is proud to support these innovative OEM’s that develop solutions to improve the overall quality of life.”

LED market remains unsettled

BOSTON, USA: After two years of explosive revenue growth, the LED market appears to be slowing down in 2012. The Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs) viewpoint, “Compound Semiconductor Industry Review January 2012: Optoelectronics, Materials and Equipment” highlights news that equipment spending and epitaxial substrate demand in the LED sector will decline in 2012.

This validates recent announcements from equipment manufacturers, like AIXTON, that substantial funding from Asian governments has been masking inherent softness in LED demand. The report also captures announcements for companies such as Soitec, Sumitomo Electric, AXT, IQE, Oclaro, Cree, Renesas Electronics, GigOptix, Avago Technologies, JDSU, Lumileds and First Solar.

“The LED industry has grown in cycles,” observed Eric Higham, director of Strategy Analytics' GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service. “The first phase involved backlighting for small consumer devices, like mobile handsets. These solutions have evolved to meet the needs of laptop, television, electronic sign and automotive applications and the next wave for LED adoption appears to be commercial and residential lighting.”

Asif Anwar, director, Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice, added, “Despite a slowdown in demand, companies are hard at work developing products that improve the performance and cost of devices in preparation for the next wave of LED adoption.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cirrus Logic enters LED lighting market

AUSTIN, USA: Cirrus Logic Inc. is entering the emerging high-growth LED lighting market with a digital LED controller that directly solves dimmer compatibility issues that have been a major barrier to consumer adoption of LED retrofit bulbs. Featuring Cirrus Logic’s new digital TruDim technology, the CS161X controller family has been tested to provide near 100 percent compatibility with a wide array of dimmers representing the vast majority of the installed base worldwide.

The CS161X is already in high volume production with a tier-1 lighting company. Cirrus Logic expects to ship between 5-10 million LED controllers during calendar year 2012.

LED retrofit bulbs are considered by many as the heir apparent to incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps, due to their superior energy efficiency and long life. Key barriers to mass adoption have been higher cost and, like compact fluorescents, poor dimmer compatibility. None of the LED bulbs available today, which are primarily based on analog controllers, provide consumers broad compatibility with the wide variety of dimmers installed within residences, retailers and businesses. Dimmer incompatibly problems, which include bulbs that produce flickering or flashing light or the inability to turn on or off, are a leading cause for high rate of return by consumers.

“Several years ago Cirrus Logic identified the growing LED market as an area where we could leverage our signal processing expertise and solve meaningful engineering challenges,” said Jason Rhode, Cirrus Logic president and CEO. “To the consumer, buying an LED lamp today can be a frustrating experience because so many of them just don’t work once you take them home. As it turns out, solving the challenges of dimmer compatibility was enormously complex, and we're pleased that one of the largest LED lamp manufacturers has showcased our first LED controller precisely because it provides near-perfect compatibility with every installed dimmer from around the world that we could find and test.”

Market analyst firm Datapoint Research estimates that the LED lamp market in ambient lighting applications will grow from around 200 million units in 2011 to around one billion units by 2015. “Making LED light bulbs nearly universally compatible with all of the dimmer systems that currently exist around the world is one of the biggest challenges facing LED bulb manufacturers," said Jon Gamble, senior analyst, Datapoint Research. “Solving dimmer compatibility whilst maintaining a competitive bill of materials is key to accelerating the LED market toward widespread consumer adoption during the next few years.”

Digital TruDim technology
The CS161X family enables industry-leading dimmer compatibility as a result of a three-year investment in TRIAC interface algorithms, LED driver topologies and system architecture, which are the foundation of TruDim technology. The CS161X’s digital intelligence allows the controller to identify the type of dimmer in use and adapt its dimmer compatibility algorithm to provide smooth dimming in much the same way the consumer has come to expect from decades of using incandescent light bulbs. This smart adaptive digital signal processing technology is not possible with today’s analog controllers.

Near 100-percent tested dimmer compatibility
Cirrus Logic acquired more than 200 dimmers from all over the world and developed a compatibility test to measure the performance of existing solutions against the CS161X products. This dimmer compatibility test, which involves the testing of 120V and 230V products, in single and multilamp configurations of five and 10 lamps in parallel, measures five key parameters for determining dimmer compatibility: functionality, flicker-free steady state, smooth dimming and dimming range (max-minimum).

Cirrus Logic’s CS161X performed near flawlessly across the test’s metrics, achieving 98 percent compatibility. The closest competitive LED controller performed at 71 percent, and the average among today’s current LED controllers was 50 percent.

CS161X family product information
The CS161X is the first family of products in Cirrus Logic’s new line of LED controller solutions designed to help leading LED lamp manufacturers solve complex engineering challenges and drive high-volume LED sales growth. The CS161X family’s unique adaptive dimmer compatibility algorithm controls the boost stage to enable best-in-class flicker-free phase dimming across the light spectrum, including “deep dimming” down to zero percent of light output with leading edge, trailing edge and digital dimmers.

The CS161X integrates a variable conduction mode boost converter (CRM/CCM), providing power factor correction and dimmer compatibility with primary-side control, constant output current and quasi-resonant flyback or buck output stage and includes solutions for both 100-120 VAC and 220-240 VAC line voltages.

While Cirrus Logic’s first LED driver family solves the dimmer compatibility challenge, subsequent products in the company’s roadmap are planned to address industry demands for improved LED light color and system cost reduction, showcasing the company’s continued long-term investment in LED products.

The CS161X is currently in volume production. It is available in a 16-pin SOIC package and is priced at $0.81 in quantities of 100,000.

Market for key RF components to reach $4.7 billion in 2016

LYON, FRANCE: Yole Développement announced its report “RF filters, PAs, Antenna Switches & Tunability for Cellular Handsets”. Discover how emerging technologies are driving the RF architecture changes and will create new market opportunities.

The radio-front end is a key part in every cell phone, from low cost GSM handset to multi-mode multi-band LTE smartphones. This market is very fragmented in terms of architectures, however there are a few types of components that are key. Filters or duplexers, power amplifiers and antenna switches are at the heart of every cell phone radio. “Those components represent a $3.6 billion market in 2011 already, growing at a 5.6 percent rate annually until 2016,” says Laurent Robin, Activity Leader, Yole Développement.

This report highlights that as this market becomes increasingly attractive, major technical evolutions and changes are observed in the competitive landscape for those categories of devices.

Filters and duplexers are the most dynamic market. Driven by duplexers which are growing at a 10.5 percent rate annually, this market will reach $1.7 billion in 2016. Indeed, smartphones are widely using WCDMA bands and LTE is a new strong driver. Depending on each band, SAW or BAW developments are candidate to further growth. While Epcos and Murata dominate the SAW area, we observe a fierce competition between Avago and TriQuint in the BAW segment.

Power amplifier is another strategic component in the RF part. This market matures, but Yole Développement’s analysts still see many new technologies, which impact the market. One current trend is that converged PAs and more broadband PAs are increasingly accepted in the market. GaAs is still dominating the PA market by far but is poised to loose market shares as CMOS PAs are growing, starting at the low end side of the market, and as SOI technology could be used for PAs in the near future. There is thus still room for many changes in the competitive landscape dominated by Skyworks, with RFMD, TriQuint, Avago and Murata / Renesas as challengers.

Antenna switches also become more mature however Yole Développement observes evolutions in two directions. First the team sees an evolution towards more performance for the new LTE bands and increasing number of throws. This is where Peregrine Semiconductor has a leading position. Second, they see massive adoption of SOI technology since 2010. All big players are now involved with this technology which offers a good price/performance ratio. GaAs switches are thus decreasing, although some players still release products with exceptional performances, such as Sony. At the same time, new technologies are getting closer to production, this is what is observed with MEMS.

Tunability and changes in architecture
Yole Développement’s report provides a detailed analysis on tunability, which is a new hot topic for radio front end modules. Indeed after years of development, antenna tuners have been accepted in 2011. Not only GaAs switches but also ferroelectric capacitors and MEMS variable capacitors have been successfully integrated into flagship products such as some Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphones.

While there is no consensus yet on this topic, antenna tuners are now really providing a significant value proposition, Yole Développement thus expects it to be the next very hot market in this space.

New types of tuners and massive deployment of LTE within 2014 will be additional drivers for tunability. Leading the MEMS field, Wispry will be a key player to watch, while Sony and Peregrine also offer promising approaches based on alternative technologies. The acquisition of Paratek by RIM in March 2012 is also a sign that antenna tuners will be a strategic technology to be integrated in many cellphone platforms in the near future.

All those changes at the component level (PA, ASM, filters) and the rise of tunability are having a dramatic impact in the global RF part architecture evolutions. Both technical and competitive challenges and opportunities are shaping the future front end modules. Similarly, the trend for integration in various types of modules is driving changes at the individual component level. New packaging technologies now enable compact multi-chip packages: Rx modules, PA modules, multiduplexers. All together, the front-end modules are already a $2 billion market in 2011 and grow at a 12 percent yearly rate, this will represent more than three times the value of the standalone PAs, filters/duplexers, tuners in 2016.

Rapid evolution of technology and competitive landscape
While the analysts’ team starts to see some level of consolidation, the competitive landscape in this RF market is changing quickly. Some companies are getting more vertically integrated, such as Murata after the acquisition of Renesas PA business, which may translate in a change in the business model of the company. As highlighted in the report, there are today a limited number of companies which dominate this RF space, but generally those players are involved in very specific market space, this means that significant evolutions can be expected in the near future.Source: Yole Développement, France.

For instance, Skyworks is leading the PA market and is big in switches but has no activity in filters, while Avago is a large PA vendor and dominates the BAW filter market, but is neither involved in SAW filters nor in antenna switches.

The evolution of architecture toward modules is one driver that pushes each company to be able to handle all types of components or to set up specific partnerships. Another driver for competitive change is the technical evolution which is very quick in this area: at the antenna switch level, players with early involvement in SOI switches (Skyworks, RFMD) are getting more market shares against players involved in GaAs (TriQuint). This type of change should be observed with PA technology as well.

Agilent’s test equipment selected by SigmaTron to cut cost, increase business

SANTA CLARA, USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that SigmaTron International Inc. has adopted the Agilent i1000D diagnostic test set (DTS) application and the TS-8900 functional test system to reduce the cost of test and increase business.

SigmaTron, a leading US-based contract electronics manufacturer, said the new Agilent solutions help the company meet a wide range of test requirements, including stringent cost, quality and shipping targets. This has enabled SigmaTron to expand its business amid a challenging and uncertain worldwide economy.

SigmaTron is active in the medical, aerospace/defense, appliance, fitness, telecommunications, gaming, semiconductor, consumer, automotive and industrial markets. Using the modular PXI-based TS-8900 system and i1000D DTS application, SigmaTron developed a standard platform-test strategy to support its customers’ requirements for rapid prototyping and short-run capabilities to accelerate time to market. This strategy also improved the company’s ability to increase capacity and implement new test technologies via improved throughput and coverage.

“In today’s competitive business environment, a contract electronics manufacturer must be able to distinguish itself from the competition, providing cutting-edge test solutions from design to shipment, while reducing the cost of test,” said NK Chari, marketing manager for Agilent’s Measurement Systems Division. “Agilent is honored to be able to provide SigmaTron with the i1000D DTS and TS-8900 to increase the company’s manufacturing test efficiency.”

SigmaTron said usage of multiple test solutions to support customers and reduce the time to market is a key strategy for their business. By tapping benefits from both the TS-8900 and i1000D DTS, such as common hardware and software, the company can accelerate the learning curve for new applications and lower labor costs for support. The result is lower maintenance and infrastructure costs.

“The TS-8900 provides a standard platform that is flexible due to its modular PXI-based architecture and re-usable for different product applications from different markets,” said Raj Upadhyaya, SigmaTron’s executive VP of West Coast Divisions. “It is able to provide up to 60 percent of various industries applications’ functional test needs, enabling us to help our customers focus on developing and deploying the fixtures, customized connections and test plan to significantly improve the timeline from prototyping to mass production, while lowering the total cost of test.”

Southwire's SIMpull WireBARREL revolutionizes circuit wire installation

CARROLLTON, USA: The introduction of the Southwire SIMpull WireBARREL circuit management system offers electrical contractors an innovative advancement in the way branch circuit wiring is installed.

The system includes NoLube SIMpull THHN made available for the first time in circuit-sized conductors paralleled in the barrel package, a new MAXIS BarrelTRUCK hand-truck, and a MAXIS BarrelTAP wire-guide. This combination of products and tools improves home run circuit installations from the moment wire arrives at the jobsite to final installation.

Like other Southwire SIMpull Solutions products and services, the WireBARREL system provides a solution that can improve productivity, while offering yet another way for contractors to manage installation costs. The system essentially replaces the wire cart and multiple reels, thus removing the difficulties associated with maneuvering the cart and repeatedly handling heavy reels. The MAXIS BarrelTRUCK hand-truck and MAXIS BarrelTAP pay-off device are both equipped with a universal wire-guide feature.

This feature allows for a smooth and consistent means of guiding the paralleled conductors out of the WireBARREL package, thus requiring very little effort by the installer. You simply roll the WireBARREL system into place - even through narrow electrical room doors - and you are ready to start your pull.

"Unlike the traditional use of individual reels and wire carts for branch circuit home run installations, the patent pending SIMpull WireBARREL concept is a unique system approach to solving branch circuit wiring challenges. We've paralleled individual branch circuit conductors together into standard home run packages. We call this our circuit Barrellel process. The result -- more wire with a smaller footprint, in an easy-to-transport, easy-to-use barrel. They're in-stock and ready to ship today," says Phil Tuggle, SVP of Marketing and Business Development for Southwire's Electrical Division.

"The SIMpull WireBARREL is a jobsite game changer," stated Tuggle. "Our SIM Technology innovation has proven to reduce installation steps and make the pulling of feeder-sized conductors easier and more efficient for over 8 years. We've now extended this benefit to circuit- sized wires and combined it with a unique packaging and transport option resulting in fewer steps and less complexity for branch circuit installations. More importantly, there's an additional benefit of reduced worker heavy reels to lift and significantly less effort required to pull the wire through the conduit compared to pulling from reels on a wire cart."

Southwire's SIMpull Solutions umbrella includes its patented SIMpull ROMEX brand NM, SIMpull THHN, and SIMpull XHHW-2 cables; SIMpull Head pulling grips; SIMpull Stack reels; and SIMpull Truck delivery. Since its introduction in 2009, Southwire's SIMpull Solutions offering of products and services has racked up a variety of industry awards that recognize the products as being a smarter, faster, and safer way to handle the wire and cable installation process.

Fractal Antennas unwire Big Sports

WALTHAM, USA: The latest in technological innovation isn’t a government secret. It’s an unobtrusive antenna in a small pizza-sized box. But this small box is producing a big revolution in live and televised sports coverage, broadcasting, and production, along with other live performances.

Packed inside the ‘radome’ is a fractal shape, a repeating geometric pattern that produces unprecedented frequency coverage and performance. The brainchild of physicist and inventor Nathan Cohen, this ‘fractal antenna’ exploits the mathematics of fractals, a field of mathematics founded by Benoit Mandelbrot.

“Although Mandelbrot was the first to recognize the ubiquity of fractal shapes in nature, and a great facilitator to push them in applications, few realize that fractals are becoming an everyday aid and enabler in technology. It’s a quiet revolution going on around us,” notes Cohen.

Fractal Antenna Systems, a Boston area high tech firm, holds the source patents on fractal antennas, and churns out fractal antenna solutions across many industry segments, including cell phone technology, wireless microphones, surveillance, remote monitoring, imaging, aerospace, DAS, wireless sensors, public safety, RFID, and many others. Fractal antennas have been around for many years, but only in the last year or so have they been widely accepted as an answer to problems posed in wireless and telecom. Cohen poses that “We’ve waited out the naysayers, who resisted the self evident fact that you have something better.”

Sports-wise, ‘FRACTAL’ teamed up with Clair Global and its Wireless First division to make the ‘pizza box’ fractal antenna, dubbed the CF 1090. It is offered exclusively and sold by Clair Global. Recent sporting events using the CF 1090 include the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend Events, and the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Rock and pop performances, both live and televised, by the cream of the music chart holders, have also benefited from the CF 1090 antenna.

The key advantages to the CF 1090 antenna are its wide reception without dropouts, in addition to being inconspicuous. “The existing antennas tend to be clunky, like ‘mad scientist’ props from a Sci-Fi movie, with less performance capabilities,” says Cohen, “The CF 1090 enables data and audio as never before. It is all about providing more with less—visually and in hardware.” The CF 1090 essentially unwires the experience, making more elaborate audio and lighting control easy and flawless—and less distracting from the game or performance.

The CF 1090 is available from Clair Global, with info and referrals through Fractal Antenna System.

Mouser’s new design services referral program offers companies a way to accelerate time to market with new products

DALLAS & FORTH WORTH, USA: Mouser Electronics Inc. announced the launch of its new Design Services Referral Program.

The Program is a service that connects customers with third-party design firms for contract engineering services. Mouser has partnered with key engineering firms across North America that have expertise in industries such as Alternate Energy, Lighting, Medical and Wireless with a broad range of capabilities including ASIC/FPGA design, embedded systems development and RF applications.

Steve Newland, Mouser VP of Americas Sales and Service, explains: “Being the first to enter the market with new products is a constant struggle for many companies. In some cases, businesses can improve their time to market by leveraging third party design firms to augment their own design teams and expertise. Utilizing design firms can also improve cycle time for prototyping and testing which can help them get new products to market faster.”

The Design Services Referral Program is relevant at any point in the design cycle from initial concept to design and development, testing and validation, to prototyping and production. To utilize the Program, Mouser customers simply fill out a short online form with the project information detailing the type of service needed. Mouser does the rest by matching the customer to a design partner with the required skills and capabilities.

“Our Design Services Referral Program can help our customers shorten their design cycles and get their products to market faster,” Newland elaborates. “We are pleased to offer yet another capability that addresses our customers’ needs.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Phosphors for LED lighting - technology trend and market forecast (2010-2015)

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Phosphors for LED lighting - Technology Trend and Market Forecast (2010-2015)" report to its offering.

LED lighting sources as next lighting sources are in the limelight for eco-friendly lighting solutions, reducing energy consumption and CO2 emission. LED can express various colors, by regulating a composition ratio of composite semi-conductors, and synthesizing the three primary colors ; red, green, and blue. As key elements, phosphors emit light by absorbing light emitted from LED. There is effort to develop various technologies for color reproduction close to natural light.

With the development of LED lighting, it is expected that the use of red/green phosphors with high color reproducibility and nitride phosphors with high color rendition and heat resistance will increase, though YAG phosphors and silicate phosphors are frequently used now.

According to analysis of the phosphor market for white LED by type (as of 2010), yellow phosphors, which are combined with high-efficiency blue LED chips, account for more than 85 percent; among which, YAG phosphors account for about 60 percent. The global white LED phosphor market is expected to hit 1,350 billion won in 2015 from 387.2 billion won in 2010, with the annual growth rate of about 29 percent.

This report covers the light emitting principle of phosphors used for LED lighting, manufacturing technologies thereof, and technologies for phosphor coating and phosphor layer formation. It also contains patent issues related to phosphors and the market forecast of phosphors used for LED lighting.

Johnson Electric launches Compact Lite drive for automotive sunroofs

HONG KONG: Johnson Electric announced the Compact Lite sunroof drive for automotive sunroofs. This product is the industry’s lowest weight and low noise sunroof drive in a slim package. The Compact Lite sunroof drive is based on a rare earth free motor design. This product line is 30 percent lower weight and 6dBA quieter than traditional products.

The unique technology within this new sunroof drive includes key components such as gearbox, commutator, brush holder and Johnson Electric’s Curve technology motor. This highly efficient drive design reduces vibration and noise levels compared to traditional products.

“The Compact Lite drive is a result of our engineering strategy to create fuel efficient products,” said Jim Dick, Johnson Electric’s senior VP of Strategic Marketing. “Passenger comfort is improved by lower noise and more compartment space.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

AVX delivers world’s first validated conflict-free tantalum capacitors

FOUNTAIN INN, USA: AVX Corp. has shipped the world’s first tantalum products manufactured from validated conflict-free tantalite ore mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to Motorola Solutions, a leading provider of mission-critical communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers.

The first shipment of conflict-free tantalum capacitors is a result of both AVX’s and Motorola Solutions’ commitment to the Solutions for Hope initiative. The initiative demonstrates a process for delivering conflict-free tantalum material from the DRC under the guidelines of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and is in full-compliance with the independently-audited Conflict-Free Smelter Program.

The basis of the process is an AVX-controlled and -funded “closed pipe” in which tantalite ore, mined from government-approved concessions within the Katanga Province of the DRC, is traced along its secure closed supply chain to the end customer’s equipment in the form of tantalum capacitors.

“AVX is pleased to help lead the Solutions for Hope initiative by delivering the world’s first shipment of validated conflict-free tantalum capacitors,” said Bill Millman, Tantalum Divisional director of Quality and Technology.

“The production of the first validated non-conflict, advanced high reliability capacitors required the involvement of numerous organizations, all of which will continue to participate in the Solutions for Hope project. AVX is committed to working with our partners so that non-conflict tantalum products become the industry standard by demonstrating that verifiably conflict-free tantalum material can be mined and shipped within the guidance of the OECD. This provides real long-term benefits to the local peoples of the Katanga region of the DRC who have been suffering as a result of the de-facto ban resulting from the Dodd Franks legislation.”

The Solutions for Hope project enables companies to meet the requirements of the impending Dodd-Frank legislation, which states that U.S. companies must fully disclose the use of certain minerals, including tantalum, in their products as well as describe the purchasing process used to ensure these minerals do not fund the illegally-armed groups operating in the DRC.

Blue Spark to showcase low voltage printed batteries

Printed Electronics Europe 2012, CLEVELAND, USA: Blue Spark Technologies, the leading supplier of thin, flexible, eco-friendly printed batteries, has announced participation in Printed Electronics Europe 2012, a conference and exhibition hosted by IDTechEx. The annual event, to be held on April 3-4 in Berlin, Germany, highlights global technology advances in printed, organic and flexible electronics.

Blue Spark’s exhibit (Stand D108) will demonstrate how its low voltage printed batteries provide a primary power source in a wide variety of printed electronics applications, including: interactive packaging and merchandising displays for consumer goods; battery assisted RFID and RF-linked sensor solutions for product and asset tracking; powered “smartcards” that provide transactional authentication and security; and interactive printed media, such as books, magazines, toys, greeting cards and apparel.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Vulcan Flex Circuit to acquire JETI Testing

LONDONDERRY, USA: Vulcan Flex Circuit Corp., a division of Vulcan Electric Co., has entered into an agreement to acquire JETI Testing LLC of Nashua, NH. JETI is a PWB (printed wiring board) Industry service provider offering electrical testing of printed circuit boards (PCB) and flexible printed circuits (FPC).

"The addition of JETI to our existing electrical test resources will provide us with expanded capacity and capabilities in line with our strategic growth plans," said Michael Quick, CEO of Vulcan Electric. Al Wasserzug, director of Corporate Development, said, "We will integrate JETI into our existing testing department, allowing us to continue offering the superior service commitment that JETI is known for, as well as an expanded service offering that includes cable harness and assembly testing and Polar impedance testing."

JETI Testing uses ATG and TTI Flying Probe and Grid Testers, offering conventional continuity and isolation testing at 10V to 500V on standard products as well as high density and fine pitch designs. Fixtureless testing, double-sided testing and fault repair are services available as well as Gerber-to-CAD-Net-List comparisons. JETI is fully certified to DSCC (DLA) and CCR requirements.

Phototron signs merger agreement with SG Technologies

GARDENA, USA: Phototron Holdings Inc., the hydroponic growing systems company behind the “grow your own” revolution, announced that in accordance with its previously announced letter of intent, Phototron has signed a definitive agreement and plan of merger to acquire SG Technologies Corp, a leading manufacturer of hi-powered light emitting diode products for indoor horticulture.

“This merger with SG Technologies is a major milestone for Phototron,” said Craig Ellins, Phototron’s CEO. “We believe the merger will significantly expand our current product offering and provide additional financial strength as we look to integrate the Stealth Grow line, which is well respected in the industry.”

SG Technologies sells products under the highly recognized “Stealth Grow” brand. SG Technologies is comprised of a team of experienced horticulturists and engineers who have worked to bring LEDs to the forefront of indoor horticulture by creating a superior line of LED grow lights.

“We believe that combining our operations will create a win-win for both the long established Phototron and Stealth Grow brands,” said Sterling Scott, CEO of SG Technologies. “As I increase my role at Phototron post-merger, I look forward to implementing various strategic growth opportunities and sales initiatives that will benefit our loyal customers and enhance stockholder value.”

The closing of the Merger is subject to several conditions, including, without limitation, the approval of the Merger by the holders of a majority of SG Technologies’ outstanding shares of common stock and the absence of demands for or entitlement to dissenters’ rights with respect to the Merger. There can be no assurance that the conditions to the closing of the Merger will be satisfied, or that the Merger will be consummated. If all conditions to the closing of the Merger are satisfied, Phototron anticipates that the Merger will close within the second quarter of 2012.

Mouser connects with engineers through high tech IndyCar platform

DALLAS & FORT WORTH, USA: Mouser Electronics Inc. unveiled the No. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS/GEICO/KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Dallara to be driven by IndyCar Champion, Tony Kanaan, for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.

The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season will be the 101st season of American open wheel racing. It also marks the biggest change to the sport in recent history as the existing car used through 2011 – a 2003 model Dallara IR-05 powered by naturally aspirated V8 engines – is permanently retired. Driven by the need to increase driver safety and performance, the ICONIC Project (Innovative, Competitive, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant, Cost-Effective) was led by experts and executives from racing and technical fields.

The committee included Randy Bernard, William R. Looney III, Brian Barnhart, Gil de Ferran, Tony Purnell, Eddie Gossage, Neil Ressler, Tony Cotman and Rick Long. IndyCar accepted proposals from BAT Engineering, Dallara, DeltaWing, Lola and Swift for chassis design. At the finish, organizers accepted the Dallara proposal.

Under the new ICONIC regulations, all teams will compete with a core rolling chassis, called the "IndyCar Safety Cell," developed by Italian designer Dallara. Teams will then outfit the chassis with various "Aero Kits," which consist of front and rear wings, sidepods, and engine cowlings. Development of Aero Kits is open to any manufacturer. However, all teams will use the Dallara aerodynamic package in 2012 and delay the introduction of multiple aero kits until 2013. The new IndyCar Safety Cell will be assembled at a state-of-the-art Dallara facility in Speedway, Indiana.

2011 Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon carried out the first official test of the Dallara chassis at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August 2011. Following Wheldon's death at the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship, Dallara announced that the 2012 chassis would be named the DW12 in his honor. Safety was one of the foremost requirements in the design of the new chassis, which was designed around identified areas for improvement based on IndyCar’s own research and testing.

The new engine formula consists of 2.4 L V6 turbocharged engines, fine-tuned to produce 550–700 horsepower (410–520 kW) with a 12,000 RPM limit. All engines will run E85 fuel with IndyCar being the only motorsports property to take to the racetrack using this renewable and environmentally friendly fuel. The "push to pass" feature in 2012 will allow a limited horsepower gain up to 100 HP as opposed to the last season’s "overtake assist," which only provided 10 to 20 HP increase.

The turbocharger will be provided by BorgWarner. Powerplants for 2012 will be supplied by Honda, Chevrolet, and Lotus. The No. 11 MOUSER ELECTRONICS/GEICO/KV Racing Technology IndyCar will be powered by a Chevrolet twin turbo V6. The powerplant will be built in a joint effort with Ilmor Engineering. Additionally, Mouser will serve as the exclusive supplier of electronic components to KV Racing Technology.

LED market on the upswing -- Veeco and Rubicon look to benefit

NEW YORK, USA: The light emitting diode (LED) industry is witnessing tremendous growth of late as governments and businesses look for ways to reduce energy consumption. The high-brightness LED (HB-LED) market grew 4.3 percent year-on-year to $12bn in 2011, according to the report 'LEDs: The 2011 Market Review' from the European Photonics Industry Consortium.

Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Semiconductor (LED) Industry and provides equity research on Veeco Instruments Inc. and Rubicon Technology Inc.

According to IMS Research, the global market for power semiconductors used in LED lighting is forecast to reach over $3 billion by 2016. According to the IMS report, titled "Opportunities for Power Components in LED Lighting," more than half of this market will come from retrofit LED lamps, which will contribute to more than $2 billion of the 2016 outlook.

The expanding range of available lamps with varying electronics design, requirements and specifications are driving opportunities power semiconductor manufacturers, IMS states.

Five Star Equities releases regular market updates on the semiconductor (LED) industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous stock reports and industry newsletters.

According to a recent report from Digitimes, Japan's power shortages following the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 have spurred both the public and private sector to seek ways of reducing energy consumption. Japan has set a target of achieving a 50 percent LED lighting penetration rate by 2015. Other nations including South Korea and China have also set significant LED lighting targets for 2015, Digitimes reports.

China is becoming the premier destination of LED manufacturers. According to deputy secretary general of China Solid State Lighting Alliance, Tang Gouquin, China is likely to enlarge LED-lighting subsidization coverage, including not only more product items but also more supply sources.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

IXYS Colorado intros PCX-7420 precision laser diode driver

FORT COLLINS, USA: IXYS Corp. announced the introduction of the PCX-7420 Precision Laser Diode Driver by its IXYS Colorado division. This system level product provides precision pulsed power with accurate MCU based digital power control.

The PCX-7420 is an air-cooled, high power CW/QCW current sourced designed to drive diode lasers, bars and arrays up to 21.5 Amps at 24 Volts. Designed from the ground up to provide a laser diode driver/current source that is dependable and easy to operate, the PCX-7420 represents the next step in driving laser diodes and other current source applications for research, laboratory, scientific and industrial applications.

By utilizing one of several communication choices all standard with the PCX-7420, customers can easily develop automated testing and characterization configurations which can be stored in the instrument’s on-board memory.

PCX-7420 features:
* 1A – 21.5A Output Current – High current capability with 1-5.8A bias and an additional 15.7A of laser pulse power.
* Fast Rise and Fall Times – less than 25nS for high speed applications.
* Forward Voltages up to 24V – Combining higher current and a 24V capability the PCX-* 7420 provides flexibility to test both single diodes and arrays.
* Output Bias (Simmer) Current
* Diode and Driver Safety – Safety features include over current limit, open load detection and diode steering (prevents reverse current).
* Ease of Operation – Intuitive touch screen interface.
* Communicate – Ethernet, USB and RS232 all standard.
* CE and RoHS compliant – The PCX-7420 is compliant with both the CE and RoHS standards.

Mouser launches new space-saving board solution from Murata

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. announced it is stocking Murata’s LXDC2HL Series Micro DC-DC converters.

Murata LXDC2HL Series are ultra-small Micro DC-DC Converters. Designed to reduce board space, counter EMI noise and conserve energy, the series is ideal for mobile devices. The ultra-small size is accomplished by integrating the inductor, a ferrite substrate, and a power IC. The result is a footprint 60 percent smaller than a discrete converter.

Harmonic noise has been reduced by 30dB compared to discrete converters. High efficiency is gained using step-down synchronous rectifier technology and PWM/PFM automatic switching control. LXDC2HL Series Micro DC-DC Converters from Murata are suitable for any mobile device application where downsizing is required.

Mouser Electronics partners with FIRST Robotics regional competition in North Texas

DALLAS & FORT WORTH, USA: Mouser Electronics Inc. announced that it is a “Friends of the Future” sponsor of the 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Dallas Regional (March 29-31, 2012, Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas). Through North Texas FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) programs, local kids have the opportunity to team up with local engineers, professors and business people to solve real-world engineering challenges.

The Dallas Regional is the culmination of six weeks of building a large-scale robot to perform specific tasks, and this sponsorship helps provide resources and financial support throughout the process. This year’s regional competition will feature 81 teams from North Texas, around the state, surrounding states and even teams from Mexico. At its largest capacity yet, teams registered for the FRC Dallas Regional will compete on two fields simultaneously!

Teams will compete for various awards and the opportunity to advance to the FIRST Championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. This double-impact event will include not only students, but also a large audience of parents, university and corporate mentors, and local leaders in business, government, education and the media.

“At Mouser, we are dedicated to inspiring young people's interest in science and technology. The FIRST Robotics Competition provides youth with a platform for innovation and a chance to solve real-world engineering challenges,” says Larry Johannes, VP of Strategic Marketing at Mouser Electronics. “We are proud to sponsor an event that supports the brightest young minds and future design engineers across the country.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

GigOptix announces sampling of EXO8602ZZ Lange coupler for high capacity E-band radios

SAN JOSE, USA: GigOptix Inc., a leading fabless supplier of semiconductor and optical components that enable high speed end to end information streaming over the network announced sample shipments of its EXO8602ZZ, an E-band Lange coupler, to a number of European telecom customers.

The EXO8602ZZ is a high performance Lange coupler featuring low insertion loss and is implemented in a small form factor GaAs MMIC die. The solution enables two E-band power amplifiers to be coupled together to substantially increase the output power for E-band Point-to-Point (PtP) radios. The EXO8602ZZ typically provides 1 dB insertion loss and excellent return loss from 71 to 86 GHz. The device can be used for a wide range of applications from defense electronics to commercial E-band PtP communication systems.

"We continue to see increasing bandwidth demands in the mobile backhaul from consumers using smartphones and tablets with high speed 4G LTE network connections and GigOptix is excited to release the EXO8602ZZ, our latest E-band solution to help address these needs," stated Padraig O'Mathuna, VP of Marketing.

"Network operators are now looking to E-band PtP radio links as a means of providing the gigabit and multi-gigabit wireless links to handle this increasing traffic over the mobile backhaul. The EXO8602ZZ solution enables E-band radio manufacturers substantially increase the output power of their E-band radios which translates into the radio being able to transmit more data over a longer distance. EJL Wireless Research, in a recent report, forecast E-band PtP radio links as being one of the fastest growing segment in the wireless mobile backhaul market with better than 100 percent CAGR to 2015. We believe that GigOptix is well positioned with our current E-band product portfolio and development funnel to be a leading component supplier in the high growth E-band market."

Arrow Electronics signs distribution agreement with ILS Technology

ENGLEWOOD, USA: Arrow Electronics Inc. has signed a distribution agreement with ILS Technology, a leading provider of ready-to-use cloud platforms to connect enterprise IT systems to remote devices and machines on which businesses depend.

Under the agreement, Arrow customers in the Americas will now have access to the ILS Technology deviceWISE M2M Application Platform and deviceWISE M2M Deployment Kit. ILS Technology solutions deploy to any device without the need for complex programming or development, and include security measures to help protect company and customer data and ensure regulatory compliance.

“By adding ILS Technology deviceWISE offerings to our line card, we can significantly simplify the process for our customers when bringing new M2M applications to market,” said David West, VP of supplier marketing and asset management for Arrow Electronics.

“Arrow is focused on approaching the M2M marketplace with end-to-end solutions, and we’re happy to be an enabler to their business as well as to their clients,” said Fred Yentz, CEO of ILS Technology. “We look forward to working with Arrow to help enhance the M2M experience for their customers.”

element14 acknowledges two top suppliers at Electronica China 2012

SINGAPORE: element14 (formerly Farnell), the first electronic component distributor that fuses commerce and community, announced two key awards for their top suppliers at Electronica China 2012.

These awards recognise the outstanding work that TE Connectivity and Freescale Semiconductors have accomplished, in addition to their commitment to provide the best-in-class services and products to the element14 inventory portfolio for the engineering community in Asia Pacific.

Devashish Saxena, regional marketing director, element14 Asia-Pacific commented: “Much of the successes of our e-commerce site and the Community depends on the quality products, support services and engagement provided by our suppliers and we are committed to ensure this work is significantly recognised. We are delighted to acknowledge these two suppliers for their outstanding participation in our various marketing programmes that have appealed widely to customers across Asia.”

element14 and TE Connectivity's rapport and cooperation have grown steadily over the past years, resulting in element14 more than doubling their stock of TE Connectivity inventory in Asia Pacific. This extends element14’s high service proposition to serve customers with more breadth and depth of TE Connectivity’s products. element14 now offers over 28,000 of TE Connectivity’s products, with one of the widest selection of connectors, passives, relays, cable accessories and circuit protection in the region. This has contributed to TE Connectivity’s top performance in terms of e-commerce sales for FY12.

Freescale Semiconductors and element14 have forged a distinctive partnership in providing embedded processing solutions. In addition to dev kits, element14 also stocks a broad range of components from Freescale such as microprocessors and peripherals, microcontrollers, special function ICs and development tools.

The XL_STAR, a cobranded dev kit exclusive to element14 launched in May 2011, is a Multifunction System that allows development, download and debug of up to 64Kbytes of code using CodeWarrior, a professional IDE. Its popularity since its launch has resulted in element14 being the number one distributor selling the most dev kits and tools in Asia-Pacific. element14 is pleased to recognise Freescale with the ‘Leadership in Innovation for Dev Kits’ award.

New LED TVs fueled LED utilization rate, orders to continue pouring in well into April

TAIWAN: According to LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce, the February revenues of Taiwanese listed LED manufacturers totaled NT $6.92 billion (MoM +14.1 percent, YoY -4.5 percent). Due to the inventory stocking in the backlight market and increasing bidding projects in the lighting market, LEDinside expected the high demand to persist well into April, 2012.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

LED backlight market outlook
Korean panel makers launched new LED TVs in 2012, which stimulated the demand and in turn increased LED companies’ utilization rates. As a result, LED makers’ revenues rebounded by 15-20 percent compared to January. Following Samsung Electronics reported to cease its production of CCFL LCD TV, the utilization rates of the LED suppliers in Samsung’s LED TV supply chains, including Epistar, Formosa Epitaxy and the package makers, like Unity Opto, has been climbing since March.

However, according to LEDinside, Samsung was the sole Korean TV maker that launched low price direct-type LED TV; LG and other Japanese TV brand vendors remained conservative about the market acceptance of the new LED TVs. The panel makers’ purchasing strategies depended on the outlook for the end market sales in 2Q12, which closely affected the LED industry’s development in 2012. In light of the uncertain prospects for the backlight market, players still have to place certain emphasis on the lighting market to be on the safe side.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

LED lighting market to benefit from China’s lighting subsidy
As for the lighting market, in order to meet the market expectations for lm/$ and to increase market share, LED chip and package’s prices for lighting usage continued to plunge, but the companies still strived to make inroads into the lighting market. Notably, the financial subsidy policy issued by China’s official ministries has generated a considerable amount of attention in the industry.

China launched a new subsidy policy for the solid-state lighting products in 2012, arranging public biddings for interior and outdoor lighting products which are set to take place on March 20. Nonetheless, during China’s previous endeavor “Solid-state Lighting Demonstration Projects,” besides Philips and Panasonic, all the other bid winners were China-based companies; LEDinside expects the same results this time around. Given that China’s LED chip and packaging quality is still not quite on par with global big names, European, American, Taiwanese and Korean companies will still win bids despite China’s efforts to increase the self-sufficiency of LED chip and package.

LED TV backlight demand propelled LED makers’ utilization rates
Benefitting from the increasing large-size backlight orders, Taiwanese listed LED chip foundries’ revenues amounted to NT $2.96 billion in February (+17.4 percent MoM, -16 percent YoY). With Samsung’s TV backlight orders, Epistar and Formosa Epitaxy’s revenues went up 15-20 percent and reached NT $1.185 billion and NT $320million, respectively, with utilization rates hitting 80 percent. The utilization rates in March is expected to further increase to 90 percent.

Additionally, with the demand for residential lighting beginning to pick up, Epileds’ February revenue hit NT $9.78million, representing a MoM 55.2 percent increase. The new LED TVs will continue to fuel LED demand till 2H’Mar. On the other hand, Chinese TV makers expect the May Day Holiday to stimulate the demand, so they have been increasing their TV shipment.

LED package makers revenue performances
The revenues of Taiwanese listed LED package makers in February hit NT $3.96 billion (MoM +11.7 percent, YoY +6.5 percent). Lextar’s revenue reached NT $721million, a 19.1 percent MoM increase, with the utilization rate increasing to 70 percent. The company plans to set up lighting product assembly lines in its Suzhou plant in the hope of reducing manufacturing cost and reaching economies of scale.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Benefiting from the increasing residential lighting market demand in Japan and its IR LED’s solid performance, Lite-on Technology’s revenue totaled NT $970 million in February. The company is expected to put more emphasis on the LED industry.Source: LEDinside, Taiwan.

Power Integrations announces industry’s first LED-driver design for replacement of 100 W A19 incandescent bulbs

SAN JOSE, USA: Power Integrations, maker of the world’s most efficient, longest-lasting off-line LED driver ICs, announced an LED-driver reference design for high-power LED bulb replacement.

The driver can deliver the power required for a 100 W incandescent bulb replacement in an A19 form factor - an industry first. DER-322 describes a non-isolated, 93 percent efficient, high-power-factor (PF) LED driver designed to drive a nominal LED string voltage of 78 V at 230 mA from an input voltage range of 195 VAC to 265 VAC (47 Hz-63 Hz). The LED driver utilizes the very low-profile LNK460VG from the LinkSwitch-PL family of ICs from Power Integrations.

DER-322 fits neatly inside the A19 form factor, is EN61000-3-2 C (D) compliant and easily passes THD limits. With a PF above 0.95, it suits commercial as well as consumer applications. With PFC and CC conversion combined into a single switching stage, the design has a very low component count, which enables miniaturization, lowers cost and increases reliability. It also eliminates short-lived electrolytic input bulk capacitors.

Andrew Smith, product marketing manager, Power Integrations, said: “With an 8-10 percent efficiency advantage over older solutions, DER-322 provides a compelling option for lighting engineers working toward the landmark achievement of a commercially viable A19-sized replacement for the 100 W incandescent bulb. With LED efficacies continuing to improve, this important milestone will soon be within reach. In the meantime, the LinkSwitch-PL family of ICs easily enables production of cost-effective replacements for 60 W and 75 W bulbs.”

Suitable for an A19 incandescent bulb replacement-driver but also reconfigurable as a T8 tube replacement driver, DER-322 is of interest to designers of both high-end LED lighting and those working on cost optimization of bulbs for retail sale. The reference design may be easily modified to support TRIAC dimming.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

LEDpac announces over 100 Lumens per watt LED Troffer design

SAN DIEGO, USA: LEDpac delivers over 100 lumens per Watt to customers with its new RETROtrac Troffer system designed for both in-place retrofit to existing fixtures or as a new fixture solution. Best of all, RETROtrac Troffer installs in minutes. LEDpac’s Troffer LED is the high efficiency solution to lower maintenance and operating costs while solving the problem of finding a technology partner that can deliver a reliable solution with a solid return on investment in less than three years.

The new design is LM79, ETL and UL rated which ensures a headache-free way to reduce maintenance costs, reduce running energy costs, and reduce lighting retrofit installation time and money. RETROtrac 420 and 600 use 32W to 58W and reaches 3800 to 5887 lumens per fixture running at 120 Volt or 277 Volt, respectively.

LEDpac also offers customized versions for OEMs and facility managers to ensure a high-lumen efficiency solution tailored to fit both unique and general purpose lighting needs. LEDpac’s RETROtrac Troffer system will soon be approved for energy rebates in markets where rebates are available.

Cree expands industry’s most versatile family of mid-power lighting-class LEDs

DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. introduced new mid-power XLamp ML-C and ML-E LEDs, bringing increased versatility and flexibility to a wide spectrum of lighting applications.

Designed to accelerate the adoption of LED lighting, the expanded XLamp ML family now offers red, green and blue color options, high-voltage and three different price-performance options in the proven and reliable ML package. The ML LED high-voltage options can enable the use of more efficient, smaller drivers to lower cost for applications such as LED replacement lamps.

XLamp ML LEDs deliver the flexibility and optimization needed to quickly design a portfolio of products for multiple lighting applications, including architectural, hospitality, emergency vehicle, decorative lighting, and linear florescent LED replacements. With a shared 3.5mm x 3.45mm footprint, customers can quickly and easily expand or update their product portfolio by leveraging a common ML package.

“Using products from Cree’s ML LED family gives us great flexibility,” said Michael Pena, president, Blue Ridge Lighting Solutions. “From a full white color temperature spectrum and different power ratings to the offer of color LEDs, the family of ML products gives us the capacity to offer our customers a full range of lighting options.”

“Providing the broadest portfolio of LED components is essential to accelerate LED adoption,” said Mike Watson, Cree senior marketing director, LED components. “Cree’s expanded family of optimized ML LEDs further extends the options for our customers to support a wide array of lighting applications without sacrificing lighting-class performance.”

The ML-C LED delivers luminous flux up to 37 lumens in cool white (5000 K) and up to 31 lumens in warm white (3000 K), both at 100 mA. The series versions of XLamp ML-C and ML-E white LEDs have typical voltages of 6.4V and 9.6V, respectively, at 50 mA. The entire family of XLamp ML white LEDs provides 6000 hours of LM-80 data available now, which can speed up the ENERGY STAR® qualification process. The XLamp ML white family is also available in minimum 80, 85 and 90 CRI options.

Falcon Electric adds rugged extended runtime battery bank option for industrial-grade SSG series UPSs

IRWINDALE, USA: Falcon Electric Inc., an award-winning manufacturer of online uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), frequency converters and precision ac regulators, announced that it has added a ruggedized wide temperature (-30°C to 63°C) extended runtime battery bank option to its popular SSG and SSG-RP UPS products.

The wide-temperature-rated batteries provide long back-up runtimes for protecting connected computers and instrumentation operating in harsh environments during a prolonged power outage. The new battery pack gives users over 10 times the battery runtime, compared to Falcon’s standard 2U extended battery pack option.

The new battery bank carries a UL listing when powering Falcon’s unique UL-listed SSG2.5KRP-1. UL is pending for the remaining models in the SSG and SSG-RP Series wide-temperature rated UPS product line. The SSGB-1S40-5U 40AH battery bank is a rugged battery option that consists of eight deep cycle, valve regulated lead-acid, maintenance-free 40 Amp Hour (AH) batteries and two internal one amp chargers. The batteries and chargers are housed in a sleek rack mount enclosure which takes only 5U (8.75 inches) of vertical rack space.

“The frequency of power outages, along with electronics and computers taking over more critical tasks, such as remote security cameras and oil well head operations, translates to runtime requirements that are measured in days, not hours,” said Falcon’s VP of Engineering, Michael A. Stout. “The success of our SSG Series wide-temperature UPS line is driving the development of accessories and options that are rugged and can withstand large temperature swings.”

The battery banks may be interconnected or “daisy chained” to provide exceptionally long battery runtimes and can be easily added in the field after the SSG units are installed and in service. In order to ensure a reasonable recharge time, Falcon offers an optional charger system housed in a separate 2U rack enclosure. Each 2U rackmount charger module can support up to two 4 AH chargers.

The 40 Amp hour batteries join other options for the industrial-grade SSG UPSs including, an SNMP/HTTP agent board, frequency converter and ICB conformal coating.

The SSG and SSG-RP models are true regenerative online UPSs which are designed to give users the highest level of protection against a wide spectrum of power problems. Ideal for protecting equipment in harsh environments, these units can operate in extreme temperatures from -30ºC to 65ºC.

In addition, the SSG UPSs provide continuous, clean, tightly regulated power from the most polluted incoming AC power source. Unlike offline and line-interactive UPS designs, the SSG and SSG-RP online UPSs act as an electronic firewall between incoming “dirty” power and sensitive micro-processor-based Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), computers and automated systems found in industrial environments.

RF Code intros long-lasting wireless (wire-free) temperature-humidity sensor

Data Center World Spring 2012, LAS VEGAS, USA: RF Code, a leading provider of active IT asset management and wire-free environmental and power monitoring solutions, introduced the R155 five-year temperature and humidity sensor tag. Based on a power saving technology developed by RF Code, the sensor combines long life with a 10-second beacon rate.

This new sensor differs from other wireless sensors, which typically sacrifice beaconing rate to preserve battery life. Because data center environmental conditions can change on a dime, with consequences that affect cooling and power as well as asset viability, the ability to know immediately about a change is critical. So the key is to combine both long life and fast beaconing in one sensor.

“Our customers depend on timely information in order to run their data centers most efficiently,” said Chris Gaskins, VP of Product Development, RF Code. “Therefore, we wanted to make sure that extending the battery life didn’t come at the expensive of the beacon rate. Our new R155 temperature-humidity sensor achieves the twin goals of long life and real time monitoring. This gives customers the most affordable, accurate solution available.”

The R155 sensor is based on the same active RFID technology that underlies all RF Code sensors, eliminating the need to use cabling for deployment. Such wire-free installation means deployments aren’t restricted by wiring requirements. The sensor is part of RF Code’s environmental monitoring solution, which fully automates the capturing of sensor data, including temperature, humidity, fluid detection, power usage, air pressure and more.

Signal Transformer announces new line of SMD power inductors available at Digi-Key

INWOOD & THIEF RIVER FALLS, USA: Signal Transformer (a subsidiary of Bel Fuse Inc.), a leading manufacturer of standard and custom power transformers and high frequency magnetics, and Digi-Key Corp. announced that the two companies have entered into an agreement under which Digi-Key will distribute Signal's 150+ new series of SMD wire wound inductors to customers worldwide.

Signal's RoHS-compliant, Pb-free, SMD wire wound series of inductors are engineered for employment in a broad array of consumer and industrial power applications including test and measurement, automotive electronics, and industrial process control. Encompassing 2,700 standard part numbers, the shielded and unshielded devices are used in DC to DC converters, switch-mode and regulated power supplies, telecommunications equipment, mobile phones, small-size pagers, computers, LCD displays, printers and other peripherals. These inductors are also appropriate in audio and video applications, and in LC resonant circuits such as oscillators and signal generators. In addition, these parts are used in impedance matching, circuit isolation, and RF filters.

Available in extremely low-profile versions, these power inductors exceed industry standards for durability, thermal shock resistance, moisture, shock and vibration. They are capable of handling high peak transient currents without overload concerns. To optimize design flexibility, wide inductance ranges are offered in parts having the same footprint.

"Local access to Signal's SMD wire wound inductors is a tremendous asset to our customers," said Jeff Shafer, Digi-Key's VP of global interconnect, passive, and electromechanical products. "Our ability to provide design, prototype, and production quantities will enable customers to accelerate time-to-market while ensuring the utmost in quality standards."

Sandy Axelrad, Signal's GM, commented: "Signal is very pleased to partner with a world class distributor having a global customer base and a reputation for superior service, competitive pricing, and on-time delivery. We look forward to leveraging Digi-Key's experience and market reach, and are confident this distribution agreement will bring tremendous value to design engineers worldwide."

Monday, March 19, 2012

New report on OLED luminaire market

GLEN ALLEN, USA: NanoMarkets has announced the release of its latest report, "OLED Lighting Market Forecast Q2 2012. In the report NanoMarkets presents its outlook on the OLED lighting sector with some notable changes since its last release in 2011.

The firm notes concerns with the current economic situation in Europe which is a major center for OLED lighting as well as changes in manufacturing that will dampen prices in the short term but open the door to wider acceptance of the technology as OLED lighting efficiency, panel size and light output improvements bring the technology to the mainstream. NanoMarkets now expects that the total market for OLED lighting luminaires will reach approximately $6.3 billion in 2017.

This report provides eight-year forecasts for OLED lighting in six different applications: purchases by lighting designers; luxury lighting; major installations in showrooms, tradeshows, etc.; residential lighting; commercial/industrial lighting; and automotive lighting. Forecasts are presented in both revenue terms ($ millions) and volume terms (units/square meters sold). In addition, the report contains qualitative forecasts of future opportunities for OLEDs in such areas as personal illumination products, signage, industrial lighting and novelty products.

The forecasts in this report are based on NanoMarkets' insider understanding of OLED lighting demand patterns, but are backed up by matching projected demand against the plans of major OLED lighting panel suppliers to build manufacturing capacity. Among the firms discussed in this context are AUO, First-o-Lite, GE, Jusung Engineering, Kaneka, Konica Minolta, LG, Lumiotec, Moser Baer, NEC, Osram, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer/Mitsubishi, Samsung and Visionox.

While NanoMarkets sees the overall prospects for the OLED lighting market as remaining strong, we now expect to see a major decline in OLED prices in the next two years as mass production technologies start to be applied to this kind of lighting. This pricing trend is expected to dampen OLED lighting revenues for the next three years until OLED lighting efficiency, panel size and light output have improved to the point where OLED lighting is acceptable in mainstream—and mass market -- residential and business lighting markets.

In particular, NanoMarkets believes that OLED lighting has the potential to seriously compete with the standard fluorescent lighting panels widely used in offices through improved energy efficiency, lower costs and improved aesthetics. By 2017, NanoMarkets expects that more than 75 percent of revenues for OLED luminaires will come from lighting for commercial and industrial buildings.

In 2012, almost 90 percent of OLED sales for lighting applications will come from niche markets such as luxury lighting, large showroom installations and sales to lighting designers. By 2017, that share will have fallen to under 1 percent. NanoMarkets has lowered its penetration forecasts for OLED lighting compared to the forecasts it published in 2011 due to weaker than expected economic growth throughout the eight-year forecast period.

NanoMarkets is particularly concerned about the impact of Europe's ongoing monetary woes on the OLED lighting market. OLED lighting market is very Eurocentric with most of the important suppliers based in Europe and Europe's importance to advanced lighting technology.

Molex debuts next gen MobliquA bandwidth enhancing antenna technologies

LISLE, USA: Molex Inc. has released details about their development of innovative new technologies for antennae. The MobliquA antenna technology incorporates proprietary bandwidth enhancing technologies, which have been used successfully in Molex standard and custom antenna designs. The MobliquA technology is designed to improve impedance bandwidth in any application with a wireless interface antenna, including mobile phones, smart phones, portable TVs, and standard antennas in industrial applications.

“Traditional passive antenna structures are based on meandered antenna patterns, with limitations on manufacturing tolerances and mechanical properties. The MobliquA technology enables simple mechanical and robust antenna designs that minimize efforts needed for iterative retuning during each build cycle,” explains Morten Christensen, RF research manager, Molex.

Suitable for small cell phones, portable electronics, tablet and laptop-sized devices, the MobliquA technology offers a strong multi-use platform supporting both single and dual feed RF architectures within the same antenna structure. The dual feed configuration can provide at least 20dB isolation between the input ports, while maintaining the bandwidth-enhancing features. The good isolation and bandwidth simplifies optimization of antenna impedances to match different RF engines, which reduces current consumption and improves power transfer efficiency.

MobliquA technology provides a high degree of immunity towards insertion of metal objects into the antenna volume. Additionally, it enables utilization of RF decoupled or grounded parts, such as a grounded connector housing, as an integrated component of the antenna system. Furthermore, the technology provides excellent ESD protection of the front end due to its unique feeding techniques combined with a direct grounding of the antenna elements.

“Compared to standard systems, such as L or F type antennas, this new technology can provide impedance bandwidth improvements of 60 to 70 percent without increasing the antenna volume or compromising the radiation efficiency,” adds Christensen.

MobliquA bandwidth enhancing antenna technology is now available for new designs and has already been chosen by a leading tier-one mobile phone manufacturer.

GigOptix now shipping production samples of LX8901 100Gbps TFPS modulator

SAN JOSE, USA: GigOptix Inc., a leading fabless supplier of semiconductor and optical components that enable high speed end to end information streaming over the network, announced the shipment of production 100Gbps serial Mach-Zehnder Modulators (MZM) to Mil/Aero European customers.

The LX8901 is a serial 100Gbps DPSK (Differential Phase Shift Keying) MZM implemented using GigOptix's proprietary Thin Film Polymer on Silicon (TFPSTM) technology. The device is unique in that it provides optical bandwidth of over 65GHz with low drive voltage.

The LX8901 enables a number of ultrahigh frequency applications in the field of microwave photonics such as antenna remoting, RF beam steering, phased array radar, ultrahigh frequency signal sampling and mixing that are not viable using other modulator technologies, such as Indium Phosphide and Lithium Niobate. The LX8901's compact form factor and large bandwidth further enables systems solutions required in demanding aerospace and other military applications.

Eric Miller, GM of GigOptix Bothell, stated: "We are delighted to bring yet another TFPS modulator to production to serve the Mil/Aero markets. Moreover, with our recent shipments we are seeing interest for our devices from new markets, especially in microwave photonics and instrumentation and measurement, since the device's high bandwidth can enable complex high fidelity signal generation at ultra-high speeds."

Blueview LED lighting brand to showcase at ISA International Sign Expo

ORLANDO, USA: During Mar. 22-24, 2012, the yearly event in the sign industry- ISA International Sign Expo, will take place in Orlando, FL, USA. As one of the leaders in this industry, Blueview will launch it's new LED digital strip and double sided LED Strip light for their two-sided lighting box at Booth No. 208.

Blueview places great importance on technology innovation, quality and after sales services, and has put all efforts to create an international high-end brand since 10 years ago. As GM, Li, said, "The commercial value Blueview pursues is to create the best lighting source for signs."

Some of Blueview's products have already acquired the EU's CE certificate and ROHS certificate, US's FCC and UL certificate, with recognizable and favorable quality and services. Customers now come from more than 40 countries and regions, such as the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc.

With its production base in Chengdu, China, Blueview will also attend other international sign exhibitions in Germany, Brazil, Russia and so on, to pronounce worldwide to customers that Blueview not only sells the products, but also delivers the concept of environmental protection, comfort and satisfaction.

Electromigration in thin films and electronic devices: Materials and reliability

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of Woodhead Publishing Ltd's new book "Electromigration in Thin Films and Electronic Devices: Materials and Reliability" to its offering.

Understanding and limiting electromigration in thin films is essential to the continued development of advanced copper interconnects for integrated circuits. Electromigration in thin films and electronic devices provides an up-to-date review of key topics in this commercially important area.

Part one consists of three introductory chapters, covering modelling of electromigration phenomena, modelling electromigration using the peridynamics approach and simulation and x-ray microbeam studies of electromigration. Part two deals with electromigration issues in copper interconnects, including x-ray microbeam analysis, voiding, microstructural evolution and electromigration failure.

Part three covers electromigration in solder, with chapters discussing topics such as electromigration-induced microstructural evolution and electromigration in flip-chip solder joints.

With its distinguished editor and international team of contributors, "Electromigration in thin films and electronic devices" is an essential reference for materials scientists and engineers in the microelectronics, packaging and interconnects industries, as well as all those with an academic research interest in the field.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vishay's TANTAMOUNT surface-mount molded tantalum chip capacitors offer low DCL of 0.005 CV in five standard case sizes

MALVERN, USA: Vishay Intertechnology Inc. introduced the new TL3 series of TANTAMOUNT surface-mount tantalum molded chip capacitors, the industry's first such devices to offer DC leakage current (DCL) as low as 0.005 CV, a capability that enables system designers to extend battery run-time in portable devices.

Offered with a wide range of capacitance and voltage values, devices in the TL3 series are optimized for a wide variety of demanding applications that require long product life, such as battery-operated equipment, portable instrumentation, tire-pressure monitoring, medical instruments, local power supplies, hand-held Instruments, and battery backup supplies.

The TL3 capacitors are offered in a molded package in five standard EIA-535BAAC case codes -- A, B, C, D, and E -- with standard and low ESR options. The devices offer a capacitance range from 0.1 to 470 microfarads over voltage ratings from 4 VDC to 63 VDC, with capacitance tolerances of 10 percent and 20 percent. Case codes B, C, D, and E are 100 percent surge current tested and offer improved reliability of 0.5 percent/1,000 hours. The devices are available with RoHS-compliant tin terminations and halogen-free.

Samples and production quantities of the new TL3 series are available now, with lead times of eight weeks for larger orders.

Friday, March 16, 2012

ISO 26262 certification now available in Detroit

DETROIT, USA: kVA, an engineering company specializing in automotive electronic systems, has unveiled a new training program aimed at the growing demand for ISO 26262 expertise. This training program is the only US course presented entirely by kVA's Functional Safety Certified Automotive Engineers (FSCAEs), a designation awarded by German safety expert TÜV-Nord. The next session is scheduled for April 16-19 in Troy, Michigan.

"The US market doesn't have another expert source for ISO 26262 training," says Bill Taylor, managing partner, kVA. "We provide industry-focused, practical training on the ISO 26262 standard, right here in Detroit. Our trainers are certified experts in the field, with decades of experience in automotive system design and development."

kVA's training materials describe several advantages of the course, including:

Optional Certification for Individuals: An optional examination is offered at the end of the training session. Successful completion of the examination will qualify attendees as Functional Safety Certified Automotive Engineer (FSCAE).

Hardware FMEDA Tool for Attendees: All participants of the System and Hardware Session will receive the unique Excel-based FMEDA-Workbench database tool, which streamlines FMEDA analysis in accordance with ISO 26262 principles.

Training Developed by the Experts: kVA's training modules are developed in cooperation with Germany's TÜV-Nord, the world-leader in safety critical systems.

Training to a Broad Audience, with Technical Depth: The training is suited for managers, engineers, and quality professionals interested in functional safety and the new ISO 26262 standard.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

3M invests in novel silicon anode for Li-ion batteries

ST. PAUL, USA: 3M, the leading United States (US) battery materials supplier, is investing in research and manufacturing of novel Silicon (Si) based 3M anode materials. The technology enables advanced batteries for reliable power that is required to keep up with the global increase of mobile societies and electric vehicles.

3M was recently granted another US patent, 8,071,238 for its Silicon anode compositions that can increase cell capacity by over 40 percent when matched with high-energy battery cathodes. The company has invested resources and expertise toward commercialization of battery technology for the past 15 years.

3M’s investments into the high-energy metal based anode for lithium ion batteries include matching a recent US Department of Energy (DOE) grant for $4.6 million as part of efforts to build more energy-efficient vehicles. The research will help to develop and integrate new cell materials that will make a transformative change in energy density and in cost in lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles.

Especially critical to the project success is 3M’s Si based anode material. The 3M investment in research and development includes putting in 3M’s best battery materials technology for cathode, anode and battery electrolyte additives into the project.

“3M has a proven track record of being an innovator in battery materials, and we are committed to supporting the growing U.S. and global lithium ion battery industry,” said Chris Milker, business development manager for 3M Electronic Markets Materials Division. “Our investment into research and development, coupled with our experience and portfolio of more than 40 core technologies – including nanotechnology, adhesives, precision coating, fluoromaterials – give us the tools and confidence in our ability to develop next-generation materials for better cells.”

The new research efforts deepen 3M’s rich history of sustainability and in making a global impact through innovation. The research expands upon the company’s long-standing initiatives in the battery market to commercialize battery technology for electric vehicles and consumer electronics.

In addition to its investment in robust research and development, 3M recently completed the first phase of Silicon anode manufacturing capacity expansion in early 2012 in its Cottage Grove, Minn., facility. The expansion included the installation of large-scale manufacturing equipment specialized to 3M and its proprietary anode chemistry. The US-based facility will provide Si anode material to 3M’s global battery customers.

3M is well ahead of its time in pioneering research for lithium ion battery materials, which began in the 1990s for early auto market applications. Lithium ion batteries are a common source of power for laptop computers and electronic handheld devices and emerged as a power source for battery powered hand tools. In addition, 3M lithium ion technology is emerging for transport applications including the hybrid vehicles market. Because of the company’s consistent investment into the industry, 3M has uniquely developed three critical battery materials used in lithium ion batteries. These include silicon anode chemistry, novel cathode technologies (nickel, manganese, cobalt) and electrolyte (salts and additives).

Besides battery cathode, anode and electrolyte technologies, 3M also offers tapes and adhesives for assembly of consumer electronics and fluids to manage heat during the manufacture of electronic devices. Using its broad portfolio of battery materials, 3M has the unique capability to integrate these materials to solve customers’ battery problems.