Thursday, May 3, 2012

Micross Components becomes worldwide distributor for GeneSiC Semiconductor bare die

ORLANDO, & DULLES, USA: Micross Components, a global provider of distributed and specialty electronic components, and GeneSiC Semiconductor, a pioneer and world leader in Silicon Carbide (SiC) technology, announced an agreement establishing Micross as an authorized supplier of GeneSiC's bare die products worldwide.

The driving force behind the agreement is the shared commitment of both companies to increase the availability of SiC bare die to industrial, military, aerospace, and energy (particularly, drilling and exploration) customers.

For years, Silicon has been the building block of semiconductor design and fabrication because of its natural abundance, processing ease and relatively useful, although limited, temperature range. SiC, which is a manmade compound, offers enhanced performance, a broader temperature range, greater reliability, and natural radiation resistance.

Until recently, challenges and costs associated with SiC production had limited its use among semiconductor manufacturers, but GeneSiC, with its design and fabrication advances, has successfully increased yields. This has resulted in more competitive pricing and offerings, such as GeneSiC's Schottky diodes, which offer significant design and performance advantages.

Extending those advantages to bare die customers will be Micross' role under the new agreement. As the leading independent distributor of die products worldwide, Micross has both the product and assembly expertise required to certify the GeneSiC bare die for high-temp/high-reliability applications, as well as the sales channels needed to reach potential customers around the globe. Further, with its technical knowledge and resources, Micross can provide long-term product support to all die customers.

"This agreement is a natural fit," says GeneSiC's chief business development officer, Michael DiGangi. "With Micross' marketing and product support, we can confidently grow this part of our business, knowing that our die customers will be served in a manner second to none."

Tony Hamby, Micross' GM for Die Distribution in the US, shares DiGangi's enthusiasm for the new relationship and explains, "Having GeneSiC as a technology partner will be a great advantage for our customers, who, by virtue of their specialty applications, are always pushing performance limits, just like GeneSiC."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

LED manufacturers considering GaN on silicon

BOSTON, USA: As the LED market faces the challenges of softening demand, reduced government subsidies and rapidly declining pricing, manufacturers must investigate new techniques to improve cost structure.

Most of the LEDs currently produced use a Gallium Nitride (GaN)-on-sapphire manufacturing process. The Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs) viewpoint, “Compound Semiconductor Industry Review February 2012: Optoelectronics, Materials and Equipment” provides details of two companies that have purchased equipment from Veeco Instruments to develop less costly GaN-on-silicon fabrication processes, SemiLEDS and Epistar. The report also captures announcements for companies such as Soitec, AIXTRON, AXT, Hitachi Cable, JDSU, Sharp, Furukawa, Finisar, Oclaro, Emcore, GigOptix, IQE and Avago Technologies.

“Gallium Nitride is creating a lot of product and process development activity across a number of RF, power electronics and LED markets,” observed Eric Higham, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service. “The goal is to find lower cost ways to manufacture LEDs. For some manufacturers, that means replacing sapphire with silicon.”

Asif Anwar, director, Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice added, “While there are many processing challenges that remain to be solved, we are also seeing some very interesting product results from companies like Nitronex, EPC and International Rectifier for applications in the RF and high power electronics markets.”

Cree technology breakthrough enables 50 Amp silicon carbide power devices

DURHAM, USA: In a breakthrough that redefines performance and energy efficiency in high-power applications, Cree Inc. announced a new family of 50A Silicon Carbide (SiC) devices, including the industry’s first 1700V Z-FET SiC MOSFET.

These new 50A SiC devices, which also include a 1200V Z-FET SiC MOSFET and three Z-Rec SiC Schottky diodes, will enable a new generation of power systems with record-setting energy efficiency and lower cost of ownership than with conventional technologies.

The new devices, available in die form, are designed for high-power modules for applications such as solar power inverters, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment and motor drives. Using the Cree SiC 50A devices, power electronics engineers can set new standards for system cost of ownership through reduced size, lower-cost bill of materials (BOM), and improved efficiency.

“Only Cree has the relentless innovation and expertise across SiC materials technology, wafer processing and device design to make this kind of technology possible,” said Cengiz Balkas, VP and GM, Cree power and RF. “These larger die extend the benefits realized with our 20 Amp SiC MOSFETs to power applications up to 500 kW, making it possible to replace less capable conventional silicon IGBTs in high-power, high-voltage applications.”

These higher-rated SiC devices continue a long history of Cree SiC technology innovation firsts, including the industry’s first 1200V SiC MOSFET and the first production 1200V and 1700V SiC Schottky diodes.

The comprehensive 50A SiC device series includes a 40 mOhm 1700V MOSFET, a 25 mOhm 1200V MOSFET and 50A/1700V, 50A/1200V, and 50A 650V Schottky diodes. Samples of all these high-power devices are available immediately, with production volumes targeted for fall 2012. Preliminary datasheets are available upon request for samples in die form.

Cree LED downlight obsoletes fluorescent technologies

LIGHTFAIR International 2012, DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. has introduced the industry’s first LED downlight designed to deliver specification-grade lighting performance with pricing to match the everyday price of incumbent technology fluorescent grade downlights. With initial models designed to replace 18 and 26 watt fluorescent downlights, the KR Series is at least 35 percent more efficient than incumbent fluorescents and is designed to last up to five times longer.

“The innovative Cree KR Series truly goes head-to-head with the initial cost of fluorescent downlights,” said Christopher Ruud, VP, global sales, Cree lighting. “When you factor in the increased energy savings, long lifetime and aesthetic appeal, it leaves us wondering why anyone would ever specify a CFL downlight again.”

Designed for new construction, the new cost-effective six-inch downlight features line voltage dimming to five percent, as well as multiple color point, light output and specification-grade reflector options. The KR Series features Cree TrueWhite Technology – a revolutionary way to generate white light with LEDs. Cree TrueWhite Technology delivers high efficiency with beautiful light characteristics, while maintaining color consistency over the rated lifetime of the product.

The new downlight is available in 2700K, 3000K and 3500K color temperatures, all with 90 CRI to enable beautiful, efficient, color effective light. Designed to last 50,000 hours, the KR Series features a five-year warranty.

Cree SR series LED architectural downlight breaks payback and performance barriers

LIGHTFAIR International 2012, DURHAM, USA: Cree Inc. has introduced a six-inch LED architectural luminaire, extending its family of the world’s most efficient downlights.

Featuring modern design, high color quality and double the efficacy of fluorescent technology, the revolutionary SR Series LED Architectural Downlight uses 85 percent less energy and is designed to last up to 30 times longer than comparable incandescent lighting. Priced at par with incumbent fluorescent architectural downlights, the new SR Series provides instant payback while delivering breakthrough performance.

Increasingly strict energy codes and LEED certification for buildings are significantly decreasing the energy density (measured in watts per square foot) that can be used for lighting. These stringent codes often restrict lighting options, which can compromise the overall aesthetics of a building’s design. The SR Series offers significant opportunities to reduce power consumption and operating expenses for end-users, while providing exceptional aesthetic qualities.

“With the SR Series, the high quality LED light you expect from Cree comes in a package that you would expect from an architectural-grade lighting manufacturer and at a price point consistent with the industry,” said Leah Robinson, lighting designer at Affiliated Engineers Inc. “Plus, its high efficacy and color consistency allows designers to put more thought into the details of their design and feel confident in the quality of their downlighting solutions.”

The SR Series introduces the new, innovative Cree Light Source-Reflector Unity Optical system. Specifically designed with the end application in mind, the reflectors virtually eliminate glare and distracting optical reflections for projects that require the most refined aperture appearance and brightness control. Featuring award-winning Cree TrueWhite Technology, the SR Series delivers industry-leading color quality and specifically tuned color points (3000K, 3500K and 4000K). The downlights deliver light with a CRI >90 and are designed to last at least 75,000 hours and feature a five-year warranty.

“The SR6 is the industry’s best downlight and extends Cree’s leadership in LED-based indoor lighting,” said Christopher Ruud, VP, global sales, Cree lighting. “It offers superior efficacy, improved color quality and exceptional aperture aesthetics, all for the same price as a CFL equivalent.”

Cree SR Series LED Architectural Downlight is sold through Cree lighting sales channels with sample quantities targeted for availability in June 2012.

Rehm continues new sales channel initiatives in North America

GERMANY: Rehm Thermal Systems LLC has been busy making sweeping changes to the sales organization in North America to both leverage the significant installed base and accelerate the introduction of new products and technology into this once again buoyant market.

Rehm has operated directly in America for over a dozen years, and has been headquartered in Roswell, Georgia. Since 2009. General Manager John Bashe, a nine year Rehm veteran with twenty five years industry experience manages the sales and service organization in North America.

This week, Rehm announced the signing of new partners in the Eastern and Southeast US, Atlantec Inc. Atlantech is an engineering and process solutions company established in March of 1990 by its President and Owner Nagy Bayoumi to service the Printed Circuit Board Industry.

Having experienced many years of serving customers in that industry they then redirected efforts and knowledge to focus on the SMT and Microelectronics industries in the early 2000s. With the help of its sales professionals, Atlantech was reshaped as a Representative and Distribution Company in those industries.

Bayoumi has lived in the Washington DC area for most of the past 35 years and studied Chemistry and Business at George Mason University. He started his career in PCB Fabrication in 1976, and brings over 30 years experience in the electronics industry to his new partnership with to Rehm, including manufacturing, purchasing, technical sales, and sales management.

Rehm GM, John Bashe commented: “As the only global soldering equipment manufacturer delivering both Vapor Phase and Convection Soldering Systems, Rehm is enabling our customers to achieve measurably higher productivity from our advanced technologies. Thermally demanding and complex products, particularly next-generation lead-free conversions, stress the capabilities of many existing reflow soldering systems. At Rehm, we’ve answered this challenge with innovative products, and have put in place an experienced team of professionals to support those products and our customers on their factory floor where it counts the most.”

Keys to lithium battery devlopment – energy storage system and power battery app

TAIWAN: As the global green energy industry grows, emerging industries of countries around the world have been increasingly focusing on energy independence and energy saving for development.

According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, demand from the mobile phone and laptop industries has underpinned the lithium battery industry over the past decades, and the growth momentum in the next 10 years for the lithium battery industry is expected to be household energy storage system and power battery system in the electric vehicle market.

Taking the comparatively mature Japanese market for example, the latest green energy policy implemented by its government in March 2012 provides subsidies for residential energy storage system that is presumed to establish a 60 billion yen market, offering a market with significant potential for a long-term development.

While in Taiwan there are quite a number of manufacturers that have been contributing to the green energy industry in preparation to seize future business opportunities. Founded in 2009 and being one of the first-tier manufactures, Chang Hong focuses on developing lithium battery using the LFPO powder as positive material supplied by Formosa Energy & Material Technology Co. (FEMTC).

According EnergyTrend research, Chang Hong makes use of aqueous and stacking process on its production line that not only ensure less pollution and greater safety but also suits stand alone mode energy storage and applicable for automobile industry compared to other manufacturing process.

According to the latest release in April 2012, Chang Hong’s battery is now applicable for both electric vehicle and the energy storage system. The company has gained valuable experience through continuous tests and experiments on its products, showing positive results on both UPS and energy storage system.

Chang Hong co-operates with several provinces in China on state grid projects, making use of wind and light to run the 2.5kW renewable energy storage system. Also, the company has entered the Japanese market to further expand its energy storage system, which includes 3kW and 5kW, in the residential market. These systems could be built with the smart grid and photovoltaic system and transform as one of the most influential and important storage system in the Japanese residential energy saving market.Lithium Battery in UPS module. Source: Chang Hong Energy, Taiwan.

Chang Hong adopted a diverse electric vehicle business development, on one hand cooperating with car makers and performing sampling certification, and at the same time, the company is also collaborating with power system manufacturers by remodeling current vehicle, compiling data, and verifying component certificate. In addition, Chang Hong have just successfully collaborated with Chairman Jiang of Hong Yu to develop BEV (10KWh, 96V 100Ah) (Chart 2), which can travel the furthest 100km at 120km/h. The highest output current can reach 300 Ah. Nowadays, this BEV has been delivered to Taiwan and the trial plan has been in the process. It is anticipated that after compiling all data, the product will be fully promoted to car makers.

EnergyTrend indicates that stable product quality is the key issue in the lithium battery market development. In addition, increasing battery capacity and battery energy density will not only support power battery market, which meets market’s expectation, but also aid in developing the potential household and industrial storage system markets. If lithium battery can be applied in power system market and storage system market, it is believed that the lithium battery manufacturer’s capacity can be much better utilized.Chang Hong’s Battery has been adopted in BEV. Source: Chang Hong Energy, Taiwan.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Digi-Key signs global distribution agreement with Thomas Research Products

THIEF RIVER FALLS & HUNTLEY, USA: Digi-Key Corp. has entered into a global distribution agreement with Thomas Research Products (TRP).

As an industry-leading global supplier of advanced electronic lighting components, TRP designs, manufactures, and supplies advanced drivers and power solutions for solid state lighting. Offerings include a comprehensive line of LED drivers, transient immunity devices, and step-down transformers. TRP designs are optimized for quality, efficiency, longevity, and cost-competitiveness.

“Thomas Research Products is a company dedicated to producing electronic lighting components of superior quality for its customers, and now for Digi-Key’s global customers as well,” said Jeff Shafer, Digi-Key’s VP of global interconnect, passive and electromechanical product. “We are pleased to add TRP to Digi-Key’s line card and to provide products from another high-quality supplier.”

TRP also manufactures energy-saving electronic controls, switches, and relays for commercial HID and fluorescent lighting, used in both indoor and outdoor applications.

“We’re pleased to partner with Digi-Key,” said Glenn Garbowicz, VP and GM of Thomas Research Products. “Their commitment to customer service and their global reach will assist TRP in providing quality products to our customers, both current and new.”

Agilent announces cost-effective millimeter-wave signal analysis solution

SANTA CLARA, USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. announced that its EXA signal analyzer is now the industry's most cost-effective millimeter-wave signal analyzer, covering frequencies up to 44 GHz. With external mixing, it can cover up to 325 GHz. The result is easier, more accurate millimeter-wave measurements.

The need to test and operate systems in the millimeter-wave range continues today. Additionally, the growing demand for higher resolution radar, imaging and sensor systems, along with multi-gigabit wireless and fiber data communications, has fostered increasing interest in high-frequency components and systems. The EXA’s extended capabilities and enhanced performance in millimeter-wave measurements effectively address this need, while offering a lower-cost alternative.

“As signal frequencies move into the millimeter-wave range, especially in the aerospace/defense and wireless markets, the ability to make accurate signal and spectrum measurements while also dealing with a range of increasing challenges gets significantly more difficult," said Andy Botka, VP and GM of Agilent’s Microwave Communications Division. "As the industry's most cost-effective millimeter-wave signal analysis solution, the EXA is able to help engineers balance the challenges between increasing demands for higher frequency coverage and their ever-tightening budgets.”

Like other Agilent X-Series signal analyzers, the EXA is versatile, expandable, offers the broadest set of measurement applications, and can be easily upgraded. In addition, its portability versus the PXA signal analyzer (16 kg/35 lbs. versus 22 kg/48 lbs.) makes it ideal for millimeter-wave applications in aerospace/defense and wireless communications backhaul.

The EXA’s exceptional sensitivity (< –140 dBm/Hz across the V-band with Agilent’s smart harmonic mixers) enables accurate measurement of spurs and harmonics. Along with its excellent phase-noise performance (-106 dBc/Hz typical at 10 kHz offset, 1 GHz carrier), the EXA is able to meet tighter regulations and test requirements for millimeter-wave device design and performance verification.

The EXA is a member of the Agilent X-Series signal analyzers, with frequency coverage from 10 Hz to 44 GHz. The X-Series is an evolutionary approach to signal analysis that spans instruments, measurements and software, including more than 25 industry-leading measurement applications that cover cellular communication, wireless connectivity, digital video and other purposes.

The Agilent N9010A EXA signal analyzer is currently available worldwide. Base prices range from $42,000 for the 32-GHz option (N9010A-532) to $60,000 for the 44-GHz option (N9010A-544). The external mixing upgrade is available on both the 32- and 44-GHz EXA at a price of $2,805.

Agilent intros 6-GHz signal generators with industry-best performance

SANTA CLARA, USA: Agilent Technologies Inc. announced four new X-Series signal generators that provide unmatched performance in phase noise, output power, ACPR, EVM and bandwidth. With these capabilities, Agilent’s new MXG and EXG products (available in analog and vector models) support the development of components and receivers that meet the complex challenges of mitigating interference, speeding data throughput and increasing signal quality in applications such as radar, military communications and consumer wireless.

Today’s aerospace/defense environment requires enhanced radar performance to detect weak signals at long distances. To provide the pure and precise signals needed to test these designs, the MXG uses an innovative triple-loop synthesizer to deliver phase noise performance of -146 dBc/Hz at 1 GHz and 20 kHz offset. For developers of radar components such as mixers and analog-to-digital converters, the MXG also features industry-leading spurious performance of -96 dBc at 1 GHz.

In wireless communications, demand for more data and better coverage is driving higher performance in consumer devices and network infrastructure. For designers developing faster data streaming in 802.11ac devices, the MXG is the only solution with factory-equalized 160-MHz RF bandwidth and ±0.2 dB flatness. For those seeking to enhance range, mitigate interference and boost component performance, both the MXG and EXG deliver three industry-leading capabilities: low EVM, output power up to +27 dBm, and ACPR of up to -73 dBc (W-CDMA test model 1, 64 DPCH).

“Our ongoing innovation in signal generation is driving the unsurpassed performance our customers need to test their highest performance devices,” said Andy Botka, VP and GM of Agilent’s Microwave and Communications Division. “With signals that range from simple to complex and pure to impaired, the MXG and EXG support detailed measurements that reveal the true performance of advanced designs.”

To support a broad range of signals for cellular communications, wireless connectivity, video, and navigation, the MXG and EXG now provide real-time simulation of complex real-world signals. The associated Agilent Signal Studio software – a flexible suite of tools that accelerates signal creation – offers support for rapidly changing standards and highly complex signals such as real-time simulation of GPS or GLONASS constellations and performance testing of LTE base stations.

In manufacturing test, the cost-effective EXG is optimized for extended uptime and fast throughput (<900-┬Ás switching). It also provides the signals needed for basic parametric testing of components and functional verification of receivers.

To reduce cost of ownership, the X-Series is designed for reliability and fast, easy calibration, service and repair. Today’s MXG and EXG leverage technology used in previous-generation MXG signal generators, which are among the most reliable signal sources ever offered by Agilent. The recommended three-year calibration cycle and self-maintenance strategy will help reduce support costs and increase instrument uptime.

TDK announces new series of extended life capacitors

LINCOLNSHIRE, USA: TDK Corp. has introduced a new series of TDK multilayer ceramic capacitors that provide extended life performance and meet electrical, mechanical, and environmental standards from multiple industry specifications, including automotive and higher grades.

The new CGJ series is best suited for applications that require field life such as smart meter, smart grid, solar inverters and charging stations, or higher reliability applications in the medical, industrial and automotive markets. Mass production of the new series has already begun and production volumes are available now.

The new CGJ series is available in C0G and X7R temperature characteristics and standard JIS/EIA case sizes of C1005/0402, C1608/0603, C2012/0805 and C3216/1206. This extended life series capacitor was made possible by using TDK’s expertise in dielectric materials coupled with extensive testing during the manufacturing process and guarantees 2000hr life at 2x rated voltage.

As the market for smart energy applications continues to grow, products must withstand much more challenging environments and require components that can meet those demands, even beyond typical commercial and automotive standards. Because these new TDK capacitors can contribute to a longer product life cycle, they make an important contribution towards the improvement of energy efficient technologies.

Anaren Integrated Radio (AIR) modules to be sold through Digi-Key

SYRACUSE, USA: Anaren, Inc. will be marketing its new family of Anaren Integrated Radio (AIR) modules with online electronics distributor Digi-Key Corporation (Thief River Falls, MN). The move to partner with Digi-Key is Anaren's first initiative to stock one of its technologies through the renowned online distributor and is expected to be a valuable sourcing option for AIR module customers.

"We are genuinely excited to have Digi-Key represent our AIR product line," said Mark Bowyer, the business development manager in Anaren's Wireless Group responsible for the AIR line. "We chose Digi-Key based on its excellent reputation for customer service, impressive customer base, and ability to provide online customers with a new supply chain option."

Bowyer added that the alliance with Digi-Key widens Anaren's array of both online and brick-and-mortar distribution partners.

"RF technology is one of the fastest growing tech segments in today's market," noted Mark Zack, vice president, global semiconductor product at Digi-Key. "Anaren is well-placed to continue innovating within this market, and we are pleased to add them to our expansive line card."

As for the AIR product family itself, this relatively new line for Anaren provides an elegant, 'plug and play' RF solution -- with each module's footprint being smaller than a postage stamp -- to electronic engineers challenged with adding wireless capability to new or existing devices.

Applications for AIR modules range from industrial control, building automation, and low-power sensor networks -- to lighting and equipment and appliances intended for inclusion in smart-grid and energy-management scenarios (e.g. automated meter reading, devices and equipment intended for ZigBee Standard applications, etc.).

More specifically, the AIR module product family offers:
* Easy integration and implementation on existing or newly-designed two-layer PCB.
* Very little RF engineering experience necessary.
* Tiny common footprints across the product family (e.g. 9 x 12 x 2.5mm and 9 x 16 x 2.5mm).
* Pre-certification to applicable industry standards, including FCC, IC and ETSI.
* Choice of embedded or connectorized antenna.
* 100 percent RF-testing.
* Low power consumption.
* Choice of frequencies in the Global ISM bands to match an OEM's application (433MHz, 868MHz, 915MHz, and 2.5GHz.
* A growing library of software stacks, supporting specific applications (i.e. devices intended for compliance with the ZigBee.
* Out-of-the-box connectivity -- attributable to a wide range of development tools compatible with Texas Instruments' popular design-tool library, including: AIR BoosterPacks compatible with TI's LaunchPad environment; EZ target boards that work with TI's EZ430 tools; and AIR-equipped EM boards compatible with TI's development kits (CC1101DK and CC2500DK).
* Tape and reel packaging for easy integration into automated assembly systems (matrix tray packaging also avail).
* Competitive pricing: Under $10 for 10K pieces or more.

Cree LED Linear Luminaire revolutionizes retail and industrial lighting with record-setting performance

LIGHTFAIR International 2012, DURHAM, USA: Building on the success of the CR Series LED Troffer, Cree Inc. introduces the CS Series LED Linear Luminaire to deliver fast payback* to low bay lighting applications.

The new high-efficacy suspended linear luminaire uses 40-50 percent less energy than comparable linear fluorescents and delivers an unmatched performance combination of up to 120 lumens per watt, 90 CRI and 75,000 hour lifetime. Featuring Cree MicroMixing Optics, the CS Series brings an extraordinary combination of performance, aesthetics, optimal light distribution and affordability to grocery stores, retail, showrooms, schools, offices, warehouses and light industrial environments.

“The CS Series LED Linear Luminaire is poised to revolutionize low and mid bay lighting applications just like the CR Series did for Troffers,” said David Elien, VP, Cree lighting.

“The Cree CS Series luminaire is unlike any other suspended linear lighting on the market today,” said Jason D. Curtis, principal, Cardinal Gibbons High School. “We researched the LED market extensively and only Cree offered a solution that delivered high-quality lighting and easy payback. Since the new CS Series is designed for 75,000 hours of life, Cardinal Gibbons High School can benefit from ongoing operational savings due to decreased maintenance and lower energy consumption compared to the linear fluorescents we replaced.”

The CS Series is designed for low maintenance and long life – lasting up to three to four times longer than standard fluorescents and enhancing the appearance of any space. The new luminaire introduces a deceptively simple yet highly efficient optical design approach that integrates an upward-facing LED light strip with Cree TrueWhite Technology and an ultra-lightweight upper reflector, featuring all-new Cree MicroMixing Optics for precise optic control. The CS Series comes standard with 0-10V dimming control to five percent and features a seven year warranty.

“Everything we do at Cree is focused on accelerating LED acceptance and the latest CS Series innovation delivers on our promise and truly provides a no-compromise alternative to fluorescent lighting,” Elien continued. “Businesses no longer have to choose between color quality and savings and no longer have to suffer the poor performance, toxic mercury and hazardous disposal expense inherent with fluorescent lighting. The color quality and visual impact offered by Cree CS Series makes it the ideal solution for large retailers and industrial users.”

New, innovative Cree MicroMixing Optics are formed from thousands of tiny impressions imprinted on the state-of-the-art highly reflective polymer material. Unlike direct-view LED solutions, this multi-faceted pattern blends and softens the intense light and redirects it with precise control and color mixing. The result is beautifully balanced white light with optimal distribution within the desired area.

The Cree CS Series LED Linear Luminaires are made in the United States and sold through Cree lighting sales channels with sample quantities targeted for availability in May 2012.

CSR strengthens audio platform with high fidelity class-D amplifier technology

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND & SUNNYVALE, USA: Extending and enhancing its audio platform offerings, CSR plc announced the acquisition of Direct Digital Feedback Amplifier (DDFA) technology, a proprietary, highly scalable digital Class-D audio amplifier technology which will allow CSR to offer a broader, more complete range of audio solutions to OEMs that dramatically simplify system designs and reduce cost while achieving unsurpassed audio quality.

The innovative DDFA technology will enable CSR to provide complete, high-performance, all-digital audio processing pipelines, from source to speakers, for a variety of wireless and wired active speakers, speaker docks, sound bars and other consumer audio products.

“This patented DDFA technology now gives us the unique ability to produce incredibly compact digital power amplifier stages that combine the high energy efficiency of Class D operation with output sound quality that until now has only been possible with the very best linear amplifiers,” said Anthony Murray, senior VP for the Home Business Group at CSR. “With the acquisition of DDFA technology, CSR will be able to provide a complete audio platform solution to address the needs of our customers in existing and emerging new markets for wireless audio. We believe the DDFA technology will enable us to ultimately offer our customers a broad range of truly all-digital audio solutions that deliver significant cost and quality benefits over traditional designs, and which will spark entirely new consumer product categories.”

The acclaimed NAD VISO 1 Wireless Digital Music System from NAD Electronics is a prime example, where DDFA technology has been selected as the amplifier solution. Greg Stidsen, Director of Technology and Product Planning of NAD explains: “DDFA is the ideal digital amplifier technology to meet our performance needs while at the same time providing the processing features that allow our engineers to perfectly optimise the system’s acoustic performance.”

DDFA technology benefits
The DDFA architecture employs a fast and highly accurate digital feedback loop to create a Class-D audio switching amplifier that sets new standards in digital amplifier sound quality. Even when used with an inexpensive, unregulated power supply, including switching power supplies, digital amplifiers based on DDFA technology can achieve THD+N performance levels of less than 0.004 percent and a dynamic range of 120dB, according to our internal studies.

The DDFA architecture is highly scalable in terms of power output, number of channels and the range of applications it is suitable for. Implementations with today’s chipset are able to produce 20 to 250 Watts with up to eight single-ended or four bridge-tied load channels using a single modulator, with flexible combinations of modulators and feedback processors allowing a variety of channel counts to be implemented. Applications cover the entire range of consumer audio products, from docking stations, active speakers and sound bars to premium AV receivers, component high-fidelity amplifiers and home entertainment systems.

Unlike more traditional linear amplifier solutions, the DDFA architecture integrates the functions of DAC, DSP, pre-amp and power amp to significantly simplify system design, maintain signal integrity and reduce cost. DSP capability includes dedicated configurable IIR filters supported by mix/map functions to implement active crossovers and parametric EQ for room or cabinet equalization. Conventional functions such as tone and volume controls also benefit from the full digital implementation, avoiding the degrading side-effects seen in analogue implementations.

Advanced power management features enable the DDFA architecture to provide intelligent short-circuit protection, programmable clip management, dynamic compression, configurable power and current limiting.

DDFA technology from CSR is already deployed in mass-produced consumer audio products.

SEMICOA and Arrow Electronics expand distribution agreement to Europe

COSTA MESA, USA & LONDON, ENGLAND: SEMICOA Corp., a leading supplier of high-reliability bipolar transistors and power MOSFETs to the military, aerospace and commercial markets, announced that it has signed Arrow Electronics, Inc. to represent SEMICOA in the European marketplace. Both companies have expanded their existing USA distribution agreement so that Arrow will now distribute SEMICOA products in Europe.

"We have enjoyed a long-term, positive working relationship with Arrow, one of the world's top discrete semiconductor distributors," commented Ramesh Ramchandani, president of SEMICOA. "Expanding our distribution agreement to include the EU helps our partner and expands the reach of our existing bipolar transistors and new Power MOSFET product lines launched earlier this month. We are very excited about this new partnership and look forward to continued success."

Since September 2011, SEMICOA has aggressively rebuilt and redesigned its global sales and marketing network. It has also expanded its product roadmap, launching a new wave of power MOSFETs for military, aerospace and commercial applications. The expansion into Europe will address major customer challenges in the European marketplace.

"We are delighted to work with SEMICOA to expand its new product offerings to the EU," stated Bill Ramsdale, Arrow's Aerospace and Defence Business Development manager. "Arrow has worked with SEMICOA for many years and its expansion into the European region will benefit EU customers in both the mil/aero and commercial markets."