Friday, November 30, 2012

Enpirion partners with Future Electronics to offer world’s lowest-cost power-SoC DC-DC converters

CANADA & USA: Enpirion, the leader of integrated power IC solutions, and Future Electronics, a global leading distributor of electronic components announced the availability of products based on the world’s first wafer level magnetics (WLM) technology.

In partnering with Future Electronics, Enpirion has made available these devices worldwide, which are the lowest cost PowerSoC DC-DC converters in the world enabled by bringing the economics of silicon wafers in place of traditional discrete bulk magnetics.

The newly released EL700 family is a low power fully-integrated PowerSoC family based on electroplated wafer level magnetics. The EL700 family delivers low cost, low power point-of-load DC-DC conversion at a record-breaking 18 MHz switching frequency for ultra-low ripple. Compared to an LDO, the EL711 and EL712 improve power conversion efficiency up to 40 points, with efficiency of up to 90 percent. The 1A and 1.5A switch-mode DC-DC converters support an input voltage range of 2.65V to 5.5V and are true Enpirion PowerSoCs:

In a form factor of only 42mm², they monolithically integrate MOSFET switches, controller circuits, compensation, and a tiny silicon inductor. With an ultra-fast transient response, the EL711 meets the demand of high performance digital ASICs, DSPs, and FPGA cores found in a broad range of applications.”

“Besides enjoying the fastest time to market, customers benefit from a combination of low cost and highest density not possible with any other alternative integrated power management solution,” says Mark Cieri, VP of Sales and Corporate Marketing at Enpirion.

“We are happy to partner with Enpirion to offer the EL700 family to the market,” say Dan Casey, executive VP at Future Electronics. “Future prides itself of offering its customer a complete breadth of electronics components while focused on enabling fastest time to market solutions such as Enpirion’s PowerSoC DC-DC converter solutions.”

The EL711 PowerSoC comes in a 3 x 4.5 x 0.9 mm DFN package. It is pin-compatible to the 1.5A switch-mode DC-DC converter EL712. Both devices can be used as an economical replacement of low drop-out regulators.

The EL711 and EL712 are available exclusively from Future Electronics. The EL711 is priced at $0.57 in volumes of 1k units. The EL712 will be available in Q1-13. Future Electronics also offers evaluation boards for Enpirion products.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

LightPath in supply contract with leading digital camera manufacturer

USA: LightPath Technologies Inc., manufacturer and integrator of precision molded glass aspheric optics, Black Diamond infrared aspheres, GRADIUM glass products and high performance fiber-optic beam delivery systems, announced that it has entered into a supply agreement with a leading global manufacturer of high-end, digital video recording and playback equipment with an initial stocking order of approximately $1.1 million.

Under the terms of this agreement, LightPath will begin deliveries of lenses to this new customer beginning in the first calendar quarter of 2013.

"The investments we made in designing optics for the digital imaging and projection market have resulted in an outstanding product line that is now being adopted by top players in this market," said Jim Gaynor, CEO of LightPath Technologies.

"Digital imaging applications with capabilities that enable digital resolution in excess of 4X HD quality are just now beginning to proliferate through the video production market, and our products and technology are well-positioned to participate in this area of rapid growth. These high tech optics are a critical element in high performance camera and digital projection systems and our ability to win new business like this validates the price, performance and quality of our optics in a competitive and highly technical marketplace.

"Expanding into new areas is one key element of our growth plan and shows the continued progress we've made in our strategy to become a leading global supplier of molded glass optics and assemblies that serve a diverse group of end-markets and applications. Our goal is to lead both the technology and price-to-performance curves, and I believe this is a good indication of our successful penetration of a market that is expected to grow to $770 million by 2018."

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Global market for medical device electrodes to reach $1.43 billion

USA: The US represents the largest regional market worldwide for both medical device electrodes and digital radiography while Europe represents the single largest EEG/EMG/brain function monitoring equipment market. However, these medical technologies are gaining traction quickly in the emerging markets of China, India and Latin America.

The global market for Medical Device Electrodes is projected to reach $1.43 billion by the year 2018. Medical electrodes are mass products with limited scope for differentiation and represent a small business for a medical device manufacturing company. The global market for electrodes for medical devices is highly mature, price-sensitive as well as competitive.

Disposable electrodes have been gaining immense popularity at the expense of reusable electrodes as they reduce initial costs, eliminate cross contamination between patients and reduce the lengthy sterilization process. Over the years, the medical electrodes market has been witnessing several technological advances, primarily aimed at enhancing patient comfort, maintaining skin integrity, and improving electrode-tissue interface for improved recording and stimulation.

Major players profiled in the report include 3M Co., Ambu A/S, CONMED Corp., Covidien, C.R Bard Inc., Katecho Inc., Prosurg Inc., Utah Medical Products Inc., and ZOLL Medical, among others.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Toshiba debuts new line of SDIP6 photocouplers

USA: Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc., (TAEC), a committed leader that collaborates with technology companies to create breakthrough designs, has announced the addition of the TLP700A and TLP705A to its family of photocouplers.

The new photocouplers from Toshiba are housed in small packages (SDIP6) – half the size of conventional 8 pin DIP packages, and consist of a GaAIAs infrared light-emitting diode (LED) optically coupled to an integrated high-gain, high-speed photodetector IC chip.

Toshiba's TLP700A can directly drive a middle-capacity IGBT or power MOSFET. With a guaranteed transmission delay skew, ideal for designing dead time for inverters, this product achieves a shorter transmission delay time - approximately one half that of the existing model. With improved peak output current and operating ambient temperature, the TLP700A is suitable for use in high temperature environments.

In addition, it complies with the reinforced insulation class of the international safety standards. The TLP700A can be used in a wide range of products, including industrial devices, digital home appliances, measurement devices, and control devices. Its small packaging can contribute to a smaller footprint and cost reduction.

The TLP705A can directly drive a small-capacity IGBT and power MOSFET. Using a new LED with excellent longevity, the TLP705A has better output current, variation in transmission delay time, and transmission delay skew characteristics than those of the existing model.
Toshiba's new IC complies with the reinforced insulation class of the international safety standards, and can be used in a wide range of products - including industrial devices, digital home appliances, measurement and control devices.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Vincotech power modules feature split output

GERMANY: Customers want smaller, even more affordable devices, compelling manufacturers to conserve installation space and cut costs. To do both, engineers have to come up with new designs that combine technologies in unprecedented ways.

The trend toward IGBTs and MOSFETs with higher switching frequencies is also picking up momentum, particularly for solar inverters and other applications where high efficiency is a must. This places even greater demands on drivers and power supply modules.

In many applications, IGBTs and MOSFETs are driven by unipolar gate voltage, which presents considerable challenges when it comes to parasitic turn-on. The MOSFETs’ body diode is not powerful enough for many applications, which impedes reactive power. In this document, Vincotech looks at the benefits of its standard modules featuring H-bridges with split outputs, neutral point clamped (NPC) inverters, and MNPC (mixed voltage NPC) topologies.

What sets these modules apart is that their phase output is split, which deactivates the MOSFETs’ body diode and makes it easier to power the semiconductors.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Mouser delivers TE Connectivity’s Power4Net hybrid connectors

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. is stocking new hybrid connectors from TE Connectivity (TE).

TE’s Power4Net hybrid connectors are designed to be an integral part of the customer application most suitable in the automation & Control space and in machine automation applications that require a higher performance data connection and power of up to 10A in harsh and challenging conditions and environments.

The Power4Net connector portfolio provides highly reliable connection technology supporting the demanding durability and quality requirements of real-time Ethernet applications in industrial automation.

The standard Power4Net connectors offer eight power and four signal contacts, combining high speed Ethernet connectivity with high power contacts, which allows devices to be powered and communicate with a one-connector system. Combining the power supply and signal into one single connector helps provide customers with greater flexibility in machine architecture.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

STM32 F3 mixed-signal MCUs now at Mouser

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. is now stocking STMicroelectronics’ STM32 F3 Series of MCUs that combines the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 core with a DSP, FPU instructions, and advanced analog peripherals.

The STM32 F3 series innovates in embedded DSC design by combining a Cortex-M4 core with fast 12-bit 5 MSPS and precise 16-bit sigma-delta ADCs, programmable gain amplifiers (4 gains, 1% accuracy), fast 50 ns comparators and versatile time control units running at 144 MHz, giving optimum integration.

The devices are optimized for efficient handling and processing of mixed signals in circuits such as 3-phase motor controllers, biometrics and industrial sensor outputs or audio filters, allowing designers to tackle mixed-signal control applications. These devices help simplify design, cut power consumption and reduce PCB size in consumer, medical, portable fitness, system monitoring and metering applications.

STM32 F3 Series Mixed-Signal MPUs are pin compatible with the STM32 F1 series, and the new STM32 F3 series enlarges the STM32’s Cortex-M4 portfolio to now offer both entry-level cost with the F3 series and highest performance with the F4 series.

The STM F3 Series includes devices with 64 to 256 Kbytes of on-chip Flash memory, up to 48 Kbytes of SRAM and is available in WLCSP66 (less than 4.3 x 4.3 mm), LQPF48, LQFP64, LQFP100 and UFBGA100 packages.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ethernet test equipment market abuzz with activity

USA: The end users' demand for high density test equipment is considered both a driver and a challenge for Ethernet test equipment vendors.

While offering immense growth opportunities, test vendors are constantly challenged to keep their products, such as Layer4 wire-speed transmission communications protocol and Internet protocol (TCP/IP) testing, Y.1564, 1588v2/SYNC, IPv6, to name a few, aligned with the market's emerging functional test requirements. On top of completing all of this, they must continue providing the most value for money for end users.

Attendees of this presentation will learn about the growth of the Gigabit Ethernet test equipment market, along with finding out who are the key market participants in this area. Topics to be discussed include drivers and restraints, as well as revenue figures corresponding to the 1,10,40/100 Gigabit Ethernet market.

"The increasing complexity of protocols and the concurrent development of different standards call for Ethernet test equipment with greater testing capabilities," said Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Prathima Bommakanti. "However, as protocols become more difficult to comply with, it is a bigger challenge for the test equipment to provide the desired results."

element14 enhances Raspberry Pi community collaboration with GitHub-enabled code exchange

UK: Committed to speeding the adoption of new technology for engineers and enthusiasts, the award-winning element14 Community, a part of global electronics distributor Premier Farnell, has launched the Code Exchange  to complement its popular Raspberry Pi Group.

Integrated with GitHub, Code Exchange offers Pi fans a secure environment to easily upload and modify code to collaborate with peers on the element14 Community.  The Code Exchange also provides a range of user guides, educational examples and Python programming tutorials from the Python Foundation to help Raspberry Pi users get started.

"The Code Exchange on the element14 Community adds yet another level of secure collaboration for users, giving them access to an abundance of resources, including learning code and sharing project ideas with fellow Raspberry Pi users," said Dianne Kibbey, global head of community, element14. "The very nature of the exchange is what the element14 Community is all about – offering engineers, students and DIYers an easy way to interact with one another to advance their designs."

Introduced in February when the device was launched, the element14 Raspberry Pi Group has 7,700 global members, attracts 38,000 weekly visits and continues to grow in popularity. Pi users and enthusiasts have an open forum to exchange project ideas through the Group, plus they can purchase the new 512MB Raspberry Pi Model B and a wide range of accessories to enhance their Pi experience. These include element14's exclusive new WiPi adaptors and PiView cables to connect to WiFi networks and VGA monitors.

Monday, November 19, 2012

LED market facing fierce competition

TAIWAN: Thanks to the replenishment demand from brand vendor in 3Q12, the production value for October has shown a respective performance compared to the same period of last year.

According to LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce, total revenues for listed LED companies in Taiwan amount to approximately $NT 9.27 billion, a 16.8 percent growth YoY. With oversupply remaining an issue within the LED industry, many vendors have turned to strategic alliances and share exchanges for the sake of long term development.
In the future, the role played by LED manufacturers is likely to expand beyond simply providing chips and components. Many are expected to begin making end products.

Chip makers begin forming alliances
The LED chip manufacturers have been facing a sluggish market momentum as well as lowered replenishment demand.  The listed Taiwanese chp manufacturer’s revenue remained stable, and reached to NT 3.89 billion (MoM-0.7 percent, YoY +10.8 percent) in October 2012. An alliance amongst various manufacturers has been formed due to the price competition and the oversupply situation within the LED chip industry.
With regards to , LEDinside indicated that Formosa Epitaxy Corp. will have a flexible strategy, ; Beginning from Mitsui and FOREPI’s joint venture, Formosa Epitaxy was able to become the OEM for Sharp’s Backlight order as well as receive orders for Japan's lighting market.

Through the cross licensing agreement formed with Toyoda Gosei n 2012, the company FOREPI gained access to the overseas market. Through this strategic strategy between FOREPI and Sanan, becoming OEM partnership each other, FOREPI is able to concentrate on products line, and avoid unnecessary price war. There is also a chance to enter into the Chinese lighting supply chain by OEM order.

Aside from Formosa Epitaxy, other chip manufacturers from within Taiwan’s LED industry are seeking their own strategic partnerships. Epistar has used its partnership with Toshiba, along with the cross licensing agreement with the AlGaInP LED patent, using the partnership with Toyoda Gosei as a means to enter into Japan’s LED market and to become an effective vendor. Tekcore, similarly, has officially under the hands of Everlight’s chairman, Yeh Yin Fu, and as a result is enjoying stable shipments and revenue.

LEDinside believes that the biggest challenges facing chip manufacturers is  that chip prices are dropping at a rate significantly faster than sales volume growth. Although, the LED market performances better in 2012 than in 2011, the rapidly dropping prices is causing revenue to either stay flat or to increase in minor level. In order to maintain decent profits levels, manufacturers plan to release low Vf LED chip products at a better C/P ratio and reliability.
LED packaged manufacturers turning to lighting app market
For this October, the overall revenue for listed LED Package manufacturers remained stable and reached to NT $ 5.367 billion (MoM +0.42 percent, YoY+21.7 percent) .

With traditional revenue recovery in lamp LED product, , Everlight saw steady shipment orders for Key Pad and Flash lights, and has been able to maintain its utilization rate at around 70-80 percent. Order visibility is about one month, and is likely to stay at the same level as the third quarter.

For Lite-on Technology, October revenue for LED components is six times larger than it was during the same period of last year, thanks in part to the demand from global branded clients and expansions of the shipments. The LED product revenues, overall, is approximately 40 percent higher than it was last year.

In the LED backlight application, Lextar is currently getting ready to release its direct-type light bar for  32~40 inch entry TV model and  50~65 inch premium TV model . For lighting applications, other than the steadily rising LED component shipments,  LED tube light shipment to the Japanese market has been persisting during October. The LED panel light shipment, on the other hand, has been slightly dropping due to the economic situation in Europe.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fujitsu announces two complete families of 32-bit MCUs

SINGAPORE: Fujitsu Semiconductor Asia Pte Ltd announced the launch of the new FM4 Family of 32-bit general purpose RISC microcontrollers based on ARM Cortex-M4 processor core, as well as a new FM0+ family adopting the Cortex-M0+ core.

Fujitsu plans to release sample quantities of products in these new families within 2013, and will also begin full-scale production of these products later in the year. Combined with current FM3 family of microcontrollers, the group of products featuring the Cortex-M4, M3, and M0+ processor cores will amount to a line-up of more than 700 different products. These products with a consistent architecture & flexibly now more broadly meet the growing customer need for higher performance and lower power consumption.

Fujitsu Semiconductor initially released its FM3 Family of 32-bit general purpose RISC microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M3 processor core in 2010, and to date has developed 463 products within the line-up.
While continuing to expand the FM3 family with new products that feature high capacity flash memory and lower pin-counts, Fujitsu Semiconductor will further enhance its microcontroller line-up with the addition of two entirely new families starting from 2013, the FM4 family and the FM0+ family.

The FM4 family will cover the high-end product range, featuring higher performance and enhanced functionality, and will additionally feature DSP and FPU (floating-point number processing Unit). The FM0+ family will cover the low-end product range, featuring more compact, energy efficient, and lower-leakage-current products compared to the FM3 family.

By bringing new products to the market that feature the latest three types of Cortex-M processor cores, customers will not only be able to select products to suit a broader range of applications, but they will also be able to utilize the enhanced scalability of each core to smoothly transition from low-end to high-end equipment, or vice-versa.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

AVX intros unique lead-less schottky rectifier diodes for switching power supply apps

USA: AVX Corp. has introduced a new series of Schottky barrier rectifier diodes uniquely packaged as lead-less chips. Eliminating the standard lead frame wire bond provides the chip with top-bottom symmetry, which enables better heat transfer, better current handling capability than SOD devices, and fewer mounting problems.

Available in several case sizes and a range of current values spanning 0.1A to 8A, the new lead-less chip form Schottky rectifier diodes are ideal for applications including switch mode power supplies, high frequency rectification, portable battery powered devices, and reverse bias protection.

“A complement to the recent extension of AVX’s inductor lines, the new Schottky barrier rectifier diodes allow us to provide solutions for all of the major passives needs of switching power supply designers,” said Mike Muir, North American product manger for circuit protection products at AVX.

AVX’s low power loss, high efficiency Schottky rectifier diodes are lead-free, halogen-free, and RoHS compliant. Housed in cases composed of FRP substrates with epoxy underfill, a UL 94V-0 class package material, the diodes are available in 0603, 0805, 1206, 2010, 2114, and 3220 cases sizes and in both standard and thin thicknesses.
Mechanically robust, the new Schottky diodes are also available in a range of voltages, spanning 20V to 200V, and in both standard and low Vf. The diodes’ terminations are 100% tin-plated and are solderable per MIL-STD-750, method 2026.

The 2114 case size Schottky rectifier diodes are packaged on 13” reels in quantities of 5000, the 3220 case size diodes are packaged on 13” reels in quantities of 3000, and all other case sizes are packaged on 7” reel in quantities of 3000.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Emerson extends LCM power supply family with 310 and 1,500W models

HONG KONG: Emerson Network Power has launched two new models in the popular LCM series of AC-DC power supplies, which is known for providing high efficiency and reliability at a competitive cost.

With the addition of the LCM300 and LCM1500, rated for 310 W and 1,500 W loads, alongside the existing 600 W LCM600 unit, Emerson Network Power’s LCM series can provide for almost any AC-DC embedded power requirement.

Featuring high build quality with robust screw terminals, long life, and typical full-load efficiency of greater than 91 percent, these units are ideal for use in industrial and medical applications. They are backed by a comprehensive set of industrial and medical safety approvals and certificates.

In the LCM300 and LCM1500, this quality and performance is offered at a competitive price of $80 for LCM300 and $255 for the LCM1500 in production volumes.

The quality and reliability of the LCM series units are assured through careful component selection, automated production processes and sophisticated circuit design. Variable-speed ‘Smart Speed’ fans draw on software controls developed by Emerson Network Power to match fan speed to the unit’s cooling requirement and load current. Slowing the fan not only saves power but also reduces wear, thus extending its life.

The MTBF of the LCM300 and LCM1500 units is greater than 500,000 hours, and the units carry a manufacturer’s warranty of three years.

A sophisticated digital control loop optimizes efficiency across a wide load range. The efficiency of both the LCM300 and LCM1500 is greater than 91 percent at full load (230 Vac nominal input), and is at least 80 percent at all loads higher than 25 percent. Power factor correction is implemented internally, offering a typical power factor of 0.99 (LCM1500) or 0.98 (LCM300).

Both units accept operating inputs between 90Vac and 264Vac. Maximum input current for the LCM300 is 5 A, and 18 A for the LCM1500. The compact LCM300 has a power density of 7.1W/in3, and the LCM1500, 12W/in3.

Both the new LCM series units will be available in versions offering 12, 15, 24, 36, and 48V outputs; the LCM1500 additionally offers a 28 V unit. All output voltages can be trimmed to ±20 percent (LCM300) or ±10 percent (LCM1500) of their nominal value, which means that almost any output voltage between 10 and 53 V can be provided by LCM series parts.

The LCM300 and LCM1500 safety certificates include UL (60950-1, 508/1598/1433, and 60601-1 Ed 3); CSA (60950-1); VDE (60950-1 and 60601); China (CCC); and CB Scheme international certification. The power supply meets EMI Class B and EN61000 standards for conducted noise and the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) 2 directive.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

AVX expands TCJ series with100V and 125V tantalum polymer SMD capacitors

USA: AVX Corp. a leading manufacturer of passive components and interconnect solutions, is expanding its award-winning TCJ Series with two new high-voltage tantalum polymer chip capacitors.

Rated for 100V and 125V – nearly twice the rated voltage of similar products currently on the market – AVX’s new surface mount, tantalum polymer chip capacitors provide excellent capacitance and low ESR for a broad range of high-voltage applications, including telecommunications equipment, base stations, switching hubs, router and line filters, DC/DC converters in LED TVs and notebook computer power supplies, and a host industrial applications.

“The new, high-voltage TCJ Series capacitors provide design engineers with the ability to reduce the number of components on the board, increasing layout flexibility, as well as take up less board space than comparable aluminum electrolytic capacitors, which will enable the devices they’re designed into, such as LCD monitors and LED TVs, to become even sleeker and more compact,” said Dan Lane, marketing manager at AVX.

AVX’s new 6.8µF/100V and 3.3 µF/125V TCJ Series tantalum polymer SMD chip capacitors maintain 20 percent recommended voltage detracting, which significantly extends the usable voltage range, and are capable of replacing up to two of the highest rated component values in this technology, which provides design engineers with greater flexibility regarding board design.

Exhibiting reliability exceeding 1 percent per 1,000 hours at 85ºC and full-rated voltage, as well as a benign failure mode, which eliminates the ignition failures that can occur in standard MnO2 tantalum technology, the new capacitors are also exceedingly robust.

AVX’s 100V and 125V TCJ Series SMD capacitors are rated for use from -55ºC to +105ºC, feature small case sizes (2924 for the 100V and 2917 for the 125V) and low profiles, and are halogen-free in accordance with the criteria for environmentally responsible product design that were recently adopted by several other major electronics manufacturers.
Compatible with high-speed pick and place manufacturing processes, the new high voltage capacitors are available on 7” and 13” pure tin reels.

Engineering samples of AVX’s new 100V and 125V tantalum polymer SMD chip capacitors are currently available upon request and will be made commercially available in the first quarter of 2013.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mitsubishi launches 8.4-, 10.4- & 12.1-inch color TFT-LCD modules with circuit board-embedded LED drivers

JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced the launch of its new 8.4-, 10.4- and 12.1-inch TFT-LCD (thin film transistor liquid crystal display) industrial-use modules in both SVGA and XGA color versions.

The six models, in addition to featuring high brightness and wide viewing angles, have a LED driver embedded in the circuit board to help reduce the size and cost of final products. Sales will begin successively from December 1 through Mitsubishi Electric global offices.

Industrial-use color TFT-LCDs capable of high-quality images are used widely in POS terminals, bank ATMs, factory line displays and for many other applications. In the case of these conventional TFT-LCDs, however, the driver circuitry for the LED backlight must be added to the module to complete the final product. Mitsubishi Electric’s six new modules eliminate the need for this circuitry, enabling the manufacturing of smaller products at reduced costs.

Digi-Key adds VPG precision foil resistors

USA: Digi-Key Corp. announced the addition of Vishay Precision Group’s (VPG) precision foil resistors to its vast product line.

VPG’s Vishay Foil Resistors (VFR) brand of bulk metal foil resistors ‒ with the lowest TCR, PCR, current noise, thermal EMF, lowest cumulative end-of-life error envelope, and available in very tight tolerances ‒ are the highest precision resistors in the industry. They are commonly used in the most critical circuits in avionics, military and space (AMS) applications as well as in the medical, measurement/control, energy exploration/production, and automotive industries.

Digi-Key has been, and continues to be, a valued distributor of VFR’s most popular precision resistor part numbers. Digi-Key now operates a VFR-approved precision center in which the distributor trims VFR-supplied resistor elements to the exact customer-requested resistance, specified to six-digits.

The bulk metal technology contains all of the operational precision and reliability within the resistor element. Digi-Key’s final trimming to the exact resistance value maintains all the inherent performance characteristics of the original element. Now Digi-Key can ship VFR’s newer VSM and VSMP models from its own finishing operations.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Digi-Key and Fremont Micro Devices sign global distribution agreement

USA: Digi-Key Corp. and Fremont Micro Devices USA, Inc., a global leader and supplier of serial EEPROM and energy efficient power management integrated circuit products, have signed a global distribution agreement.

“The Fremont Micro Devices EEPROMs hit a sweet spot of the embedded memory space,” said Mark Zack, Digi-Key’s VP of global semiconductor product. “This product is a great addition to our expansive offering of electronic components.”

FMD is engaged in three areas of non-volatile memory development that support the low density and embedded memory market. FMD’s patented UltraEE EEPROM technology delivers the best price performance low density memory in the industry.

In the past eight years, FMD has captured a substantial share of the EEPROM market and growth is expected to exceed 40 percent per year for the next three years. FMD offers standard memory products from 2k to 1024k bit densities and customer specific memory products.

“We are pleased to add Digi-Key as our worldwide distributor of electronic components. They are one of the largest distributors, shipping over 3.4 million orders a year, have a broad product portfolio, and have 40 years of experience serving customer needs,” said Alex Woo, president of Fremont Micro Devices USA.

“Digi-Key has quickly expanded across the globe and can support our customers’ design and production requirements in North America, Europe and Asia. This capability plus the goal of immediate shipment of customer requests for products provides outstanding support.”

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Global market for magnetic materials to reach $33 billion by 2018

USA: In the world of metals and advanced materials, three key segments are on the rise and shaping the future of this global industry. From magnetic materials to high performance alloys and metal finishing chemicals, Global Information Inc (GII) highlights three noteworthy market reports from our premium research partner Global Industry Analysts Inc.

Through key company profiles, market estimates and projections and segment analysis, these reports examine the latest trends, issues and strategic industry activities connected to the global markets for magnetic materials, metal finishing chemicals and high performance alloys.

The global market for Magnetic Materials is forecast to reach US$33 billion by the year 2018, buoyed by strong global demand for Magnetic Materials that is largely driven by Asia, particularly China. The resurgence of global economy, rapid technological advancements and continued strong demand from existing applications are also driving growth in the global Magnetic Materials market.

Soft Magnetic Materials, comprising Soft Ferrites and Electrical Steel, represents the largest product segment in the Global Magnetic Materials market. Powder-based soft magnetic products such as soft ferrites and other iron-based powder components are expected to witness growth in the near future mainly driven by the growing demand from end-use industries such as high frequency power electronics and information technology. Another important category is Permanent Magnetic Materials, which includes Alnico Magnets, Hard Ferrite, Samarium Cobalt Magnets and NdFeB Magnets.

Asia-Pacific leads the global market for magnetic materials. China's magnetic materials industry has witnessed a rapid growth and leads the world in terms of production, yield, and output of magnetic materials. Based on the favorable investment climate, ferrite magnet enterprises in developed nations such as Europe and America have relocated manufacturing operations to China and surrounding countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

High performance alloys
Driven by strong industrial production in developing countries, the global market for high performance alloys is projected to reach 12.7 million metric tons by the year 2018. The US continues to remain the largest regional market. Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing market over the analysis period.

In Europe, demand for high performance alloys are losing steam due to an overall economic slowdown in the region. By product, non-ferrous alloys represents the largest segment accounting for a lion's share of the market pie.

The automotive industry, in particular, is driving demand for lightweight alloys, given the growing OEMs focus on producing more eco-friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles. In this regard, demand for aluminium alloys in the manufacture of automotive parts and components are poised to grow robustly. The potential offered by the increasing use of aluminium in vehicle production can be put into perspective by the automotive industry's futuristic vision of manufacturing aluminium cars which are believed to be 28 percent lighter than their conventional counterparts.

Metal finishing chemicals
Metal finishing is among the few industrial sectors to hold ground despite the volatile economic scenario. The global market for Metal Finishing Chemicals is projected to reach $8.5 billion by 2018, driven by the recovery in sectors such as electronics, heavy equipment and machinery, automobile, appliances, and aerospace. Trends in the market are also being shaped by the adoption of stringent environmental, worker safety and performance regulations, which in turn are driving sales of high-value products.

Segment-wise, Plating Chemicals represents the largest product segment in the global metal finishing chemicals market. Rising popularity of up market bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixtures is expected to fuel demand for high value plating chemicals. Growth would be driven by the launch of advanced and improved chemicals in order to ensure compliance with stringent performance specifications and for conforming to the strict workforce safety and environmental regulations.

However, the demand for plating chemicals is expected to be adversely affected by the intense regulatory pressure to minimize pollutants, which is compelling metal finishing companies to focus on limiting the discharge of potentially hazardous chemicals. Future demand for plating chemicals will also be restrained on account of mounting environmental concerns, which is causing the metal finishing companies to recycle the chemicals.

Proprietary Additives & Others, used to purify the deposit characteristics of chemicals, constitutes the fastest growing product category. In terms of end-use segments, Electronics and Electrical represents the largest market, while Aerospace segment is poised to grow at the fastest rate.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Touchstone alternate-source products available from Digi-Key

USA: Touchstone Semiconductor, a developer of high-performance, low power analog integrated circuit solutions, announced that all of Touchstone’s Maxim alternative-source analog IC products are now available for purchase from global electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp.

This includes Touchstone’s family of Maxim second-source comparators, current sense amplifiers, and voltage references. Digi-Key now offers Touchstone’s entire family of proprietary and second-source products on the Digi-Key global website.

Touchstone provides customers two pin-compatible Maxim alternatives:
* Touchstone Maxim alternate source ICs are pin-compatible, specification-identical and functionally identical to the original Maxim part.

* Touchstone pin-compatible ICs that provide significant performance improvements versus the original Maxim part.

Touchstone’s pin-compatible alternative source and improved proprietary to Maxim include:

Current-sense amplifiers:  TSM9634 /TSM9938 Maxim alternate source ICs, and the TS1100/TS1102 pin-compatible improved performance ICs.

Voltage reference ICs:  TSM6025A/ TSM6025B Maxim alternate source ICs, and the TS6001A/TS6001B improved performance ICs.

Single-supply comparators with voltage reference: TSM9117 /TSM9118 Maxim alternate source ICs, and the TS9001 pin-compatible improved performance ICs.

Low-power, single-supply comparators: TSM9119 /TSM9120 /TSM917 are alternate ICs to the MAX9119/MAX9120 /MAX917.

All Touchstone products are always in stock and available to ship immediately.

Anritsu opens India subsidiary

INDIA: Anritsu Corp., a global provider of innovative communications test and measurement solutions for more than 110 years, announced the opening of 100 percent India subsidiary in Bangalore.

The new office brings together the functions of marketing, sales, engineering, services, and support. By co-locating all the departments, the company expects to accelerate the rate of delivery of new products and provide better and broader support to its growing customer base in India. It will also plan to start a branch office operation in Noida within this fiscal year.

 “We are pleased to reach the day we open our full-scale presence in India. India’s emerging market is part of our overseas business expansion strategy; the telecommunications industry will witness further growth due to the new telecom policy and will continuously outpace its global counterparts. We foresee India business growth by 20 percent annually with the increased demand for test & measurement equipments”, said Kenji Tanaka, senior executive VP, Anritsu.

The Indian test and measurement market has been driven by global and domestic demands. According to Frost & Sullivan research on Indian test & measurement shows that the domestic demands have risen over the years, to make the market realize the opportunities from every sector in India.

There has been an increasing integration of internet connectivity, wireless communications (3G/4G/WiFi/Bluetooth), high-fidelity audio and HD video in consumer electronics devices. This has been accelerating the demand for new technology testing solutions.

NASA identifies counterfeiting as one of greatest challenges

USA: NASA has always confronted big challenges in outer space, from putting men on the moon, to landing an SUV-sized rover on Mars, to sending a probe 5.7 billion kilometers to explore Pluto. However, back here on Earth, the storied agency now is facing what may be an even bigger challenge: the scourge of counterfeit parts, a phenomenon that threatens the success of its missions, the safety of its personnel and the security of the country.

To help combat this problem, NASA on Friday spoke at a webcast in cooperation with IHS detailing its robust approach to the counterfeit-part deluge, including methods to assess suppliers’ capabilities and expose deficiencies. Delivered by Steven Foster, head of procurement quality assurance at the Dryden Flight Research Center, the presentation covered comprehensive data, processes and tools NASA uses to support its counterfeit detection and avoidance efforts.

“Our number one challenge is counterfeit parts,” Foster told an online audience of more than 500 registered attendees. “Because of this, we engage in extensive activities to mitigate risk, including working with outside organizations like IHS and ERAI.”

Counterfeiting increases and gets more sophisticated
Foster noted that counterfeit parts are a growing problem and that high-risk suppliers are employing increasingly sophisticated techniques to pass off fake components. During his presentation at the event, Rory King, director of supply chain global product marketing at IHS, noted that counterfeiters have become more successful in recent years by sensing and capitalizing on supply chain vulnerabilities exposed during fluctuations in electronics supply and demand.

“Counterfeiters sometimes are portrayed as simple villagers processing e-waste,” King observed. “But in reality, counterfeiters are sophisticated operators that are highly in tune with the market.”

The degree to which counterfeiters have refined their tactics is evident by correlating reported incidents of fake parts with total semiconductor fab capacity utilization. As presented in the figure attached, counterfeit incidents hit an all-time high in the second quarter of 2011, during the same period when fab utilization was peaking.

“Counterfeiters track market conditions much in same way that legitimate producers of original parts do,” King noted. “When they see the market ramping up, they ratchet up their counterfeiting activities to take advantage of the tight supply situation.  They identify market opportunities and exploit them to the fullest.”
Counterfeiters also are continually developing effective techniques to defeat tests designed to detect fake parts.

King noted that the problem of counterfeiting is widespread, impacting not only aerospace and defense, but all electronics and technology fields.

Leading the way at NASA
The costs of just a single counterfeit incident can be enormous. For instance, the Department of Defense spent $2.7 million to repair problems caused by fake parts in the THAAD missile system. This year’s US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2012 included section 818, to address such issues by mandating improved measures for detection and avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts throughout the defense supply chain.

When discussing the NDAA and a memorandum from Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense, urging DoD components to immediately take action to decrease the probability of counterfeit items across the department, Foster said that NASA has long since implemented several of the counterfeit detection and avoidance capabilities that defense has under consideration.

In support of its comprehensive supplier quality and risk mitigation program, Foster said NASA employs a wide range of tools, including the IHS BOM Manager, IHS CAPS Universe, IHS Standards Expert and IHS Haystack Gold systems, as well as ERAI part and supplier vetting tools, to fight counterfeiting.

Foster showed how IHS BOM Manager, IHS CAPS Universe, and ERAI work together to manage bills of material (BOM) and individual components, while also screening them for fraudulent, high-risk, and suspect counterfeit parts.

IHS Haystack and ERAI work in tandem to help vet supplier purchases for risk though high-risk supplier database analytics, including ERAI Reported Companies and Haystack access to Excluded Parties List System (EPLS).  As reported previously in the week by IHS, the number of high-risk suppliers to the US government, including companies that sold suspect counterfeit product to military and commercial electronics channels, soared by 63 percent from 2002 to 2011 and included 9,539 new high-risk suppliers in 2011 alone.

IHS Haystack Gold  also enables the use of Trusted Suppliers through access to qualified lists of parts and suppliers. Haystack is a logistics management  system with parts and sourcing data for well in excess of 100 million items in the US Federal Supply Catalog, and also for more than 70 U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and related databases.

The IHS Standards Expert system provides access to critical standards including SAE AS5553, providing information on counterfeit electronic parts; as well as avoidance, detection, mitigation and disposition.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

ADI's non-volatile digital potentiometers deliver industry’s highest bandwidth and lowest resistance tolerance

USA: Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) introduced a series of non-volatile single-, dual- and quad-channel digital potentiometers (digiPOTs) that improve component matching in industrial and communication control systems by featuring resistance tolerance of ± 1 percent (typ).

The 11 new digiPOTs in ADI’s AD514x and AD512x series also achieve a 3-MHz bandwidth that is 50 percent higher than the closest competitor, which enables faster system response time. The new devices offer the industry’s lowest temperature coefficient performance over the widest temperature range (-40°C to 125°C).

ADI’s non-volatile digiPOT series meets a wide range of system-level requirements in single, dual, or quad, 256-tap or 128-tap, SPI or I²C interfaces, leaded and leadless packaging, all featuring 4 kV ESD protection.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Analog Devices expands flash LED driver portfolio

USA: Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has introduced two flash LED drivers. The ADP1660 is a dual 750-mA (1500-mA total) flash LED driver available in a 2.0-mm x 1.6-mm 12-ball WLCSP package. The ADP1649 is a single 1000-mA LED driver available in a 2.0-mm x 1.5-mm 12-ball WLCSP package. Both parts exhibit best in class efficiency to extend battery life in smartphones and tablets and to limit the load on the battery during flash and torch events.

“Minimizing the current drawn from the battery during flash or torch mode is critical in today’s smartphone applications as new features and higher data rates increasingly load down the battery,” said Brian Wengreen, marketing manager, Power Management Products, Analog Devices. “The ADP1649 and ADP1660 not only have the industry’s lowest Rds(on) power FETs, which boosts efficiency and reduces input current, they also have special features, for example algorithms that adjust flash current autonomously during low battery conditions.”

The ADP1649 and ADP1660 flash LED drivers reduce circuit board size by integrating a programmable 1.5-MHz or 3-MHz synchronous inductive boost converter which enables the use of a 1-mm-high, low-cost, 1-μH power inductor and 0603 case-size input and output capacitors. The two devices include I²C communication ports for added flexibility and safety control. The interface also enables the programmability of timers, currents and status bit readback.

A Tx masking feature is included to reduce the risk of overloading the battery during a simultaneous power amplifier (PA) transmission burst and flash event. The masking feature can be used to quickly reduce the flash LED current during the PA burst to maintain an acceptable load on the battery.