Friday, March 29, 2013

Toshiba expands discrete IGBTs for general and industrial purposes

JAPAN: Toshiba Corp. has expanded its line-up of sixth-generation hard-switching discrete IGBT series for general and industrial purposes with the addition of "GT50J342", a TO-3P(N) package product with ratings of IC = 55A and VCES = 600V.

The new series guarantees VCE(sat) = 1.5V (typ.) under the conditions of IC = 50A and tsc = 5μs (Tj ≤ 150°C) and is suited for use in general-purpose inverters and motor drives.

Applications include general-purpose inverters and motor drives.

Main specifications include ;ow saturation voltage: VCE(sat) = 1.5V (typ.) @ IC = 50A, high junction temperature: Tj = 175°C, allowable short-circuit time: tsc = 5μs (Tj ≤ 150°C), and incorporating FRD (fast-recovery diodes).

Toshiba launches dual polarity input photocouplers for PLCs

JAPAN: Toshiba Corp. announced the launch of high-speed photocouplers for programmable logic controllers (PLCs) which work with both plus and minus LED currents.

PLCs accept either sink logic input, used mainly in Japan, or source logic input, used mainly outside Japan. With globalization, bridge circuits are increasingly employed upstream from photocouplers used as PLC input interfaces, in order to provide support for both sink and source logic.

The new photocouplers, the buffer logic type "TLP2395" and the inverter logic type "TLP2398", support both sink and source logic by combining two LEDs in inverse parallel, thereby allowing omission of the bridge circuits. Since there are cases where a single board will contain multiple bridge circuits, employing the new photocouplers can support reductions in circuit size, power consumption and cost.

The operating power supply voltage range of the new products supports a wide range, between 3V and 20V, and high-temperature operation is possible with an operating ambient temperature up to 125°C. The photocouplers support a data transfer speed of 5Mbps.

With their wide operating power supply voltage range and temperature range, a propagation delay time under 250ns, pulse width distortion under 80ns and propagation delay skew of 130ns are guaranteed. These features make the new products suitable for communication interfaces (RS232C, RS422, RS485, etc.) in industrial applications. A low input current drive (2.3mA) and low supply current (3mA) are also realized, contributing to energy efficiency.

Toshiba to launch full-HD, 1.12 nicrometer, CMOS image sensor with color noise reduction

JAPAN: Toshiba Corp. announced that it will launch a full-HD (1080p), 1.12 micrometer, back side illumination (BSI) CMOS image sensor integrating a color noise reduction (CNR) circuit.

Samples will be available at the end of April with mass production scheduled to start in September.

The new 1.12 micrometer image sensor, "T4K71", integrates both BSI and CNR to achieve a signal to noise ratio (SNR) equal to Toshiba's existing 1.4 micrometer product. It enables chip and camera module miniaturization and will contribute to achieving thinner smartphones and tablets.

The T4K71 delivers a high speed frame rate of 60 fps at full resolution, essential for smooth, continuous recording of full high-definition video.

Compound Photonics acquires commercial laser technology assets of Alfalight

USA:  Compound Photonics, the engineered light technology company that is changing the world of modern projection, has purchased certain assets of Alfalight, a leading manufacturer of high-performance laser diode products.

Compound Photonics will acquire Alfalight's commercial laser diode product line and operations and will support current commercial laser customers. Alfalight retains its defense lines of business to focus on developing and manufacturing ruggedized laser component and system-level solutions for defense customers.

Compound Photonics develops complete high-definition and ultra HD 4K projection light engines for smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronics devices as an integrated system including the display, laser illumination sources, mirrors, optics, drive electronics, software and housing. This keeps costs low and simplifies the supply chain and integration process so manufacturing can scale to the huge volumes required for rapidly growing global mobile device markets.

"Adding highly efficient, wavelength-stabilized diode and diode pump laser components to our substantial technology portfolio strengthens our position as the most advanced vertically-integrated projection light engine manufacturer," said Jonathan A. Sachs, president and CEO of Compound Photonics.

The acquisition brings together the science and engineering teams and manufacturing capabilities from both companies. The combined team includes experts in imaging technologies, laser diode light sources, thin films, digital and analog ASIC design, image processing software, optics and system design.

This innovative technology is based on advanced aluminum-free active region (ALFA) laser structures enabling the manufacturing and delivery of laser diodes with exceptionally high reliability and industry-leading efficiency all protected by a strong intellectual property portfolio.

The laser diode technology acquired by Compound Photonics has established the benchmark for high-power diode laser efficiency. The company's diodes have high brightness and output power, while delivering excellent beam quality in a variety of package configurations. The lasers are highly-efficient solid state diode lasers with a miniature form factor ideal for embedded projectors for mobile devices.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Advantest enters MEMS testing market

JAPAN: Advantest Corp. has entered the high-growth market for testing micro-electromechanical system (MEMS)-based sensors by installing V93000 Smart Scale systems at several of Freescale Semiconductor's facilities around the world.

In addition to using Advantest's testers for engineering development at Freescale's Sensor and Actuator Solutions Division engineering center in Tempe, Arizona, the semiconductor manufacturer has started to employ the V93000 platform in production testing of its newest generations of MEMS-based sensors being manufactured in Asia.

Advantest's versatile V93000 Smart Scale platform, equipped with Pin Scale 1600 digital channel cards, can be configured to provide the lowest cost of test for high-volume sensors. While the ultra-compact A-Class test head enables a small footprint, the V93000's robust system resources and its unique, processor-based universal pin architecture combine to deliver unmatched parallelism and high multi-site efficiency in testing all current and emerging sensor technologies.

The tester is equipped with drivers for all major MEMS handlers and can communicate with the handler during the test flow. This is a key performance attribute in testing MEMS, which requires the handler to move between different orientations during test runs.

The Advantest V93000 tester has a successful track record with Freescale. The company contracts with outsource semiconductor assembly and testing (OSAT) facilities throughout Asia that are using V93000 systems.

Cree extends LED street lighting leadership delivering up to 15 percent performance increase

USA: Cree Inc. announced the next performance upgrade to the LEDway Series LED Street Light. These energy-efficient luminaires, provided in several versions and tailored to specific applications, are the ideal replacement for outdated high pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH) fixtures.

Providing significant improvements over the prior LEDway Series, select versions of the new LEDway Series LED Street Lights provide up to 20 percent additional energy savings and increased lumen output, while other versions provide up to 15 percent higher lumen output and additional energy savings. These improvements can help municipalities reduce operating cost where budgets are tight – lowering the total cost of ownership while providing the same illumination performance.

“Cree is committed to helping municipalities and facility owners lower their lighting energy costs and maintenance expenses,” said Greg Merritt, VP, lighting at Cree. “The increased performance of the new LEDway Series can improve payback up to 25 percent compared to the previous generation and strengthens the argument to replace antiquated lighting technologies. These cost savings can greatly benefit municipalities and free up money for other expenses.”

Engineered to optimize illumination and economic performance, Cree LEDway Street Lights boast an industry-leading ten year warranty and offer more than 20 optical distribution patterns, flexible drive currents and multiple lumen packages. The versatility of the LEDway luminaire lets municipalities fully optimize the LED fixture to meet application and project goals.

Cree intros XLamp XQ LEDs delivering breakthrough size and light distribution

USA: Cree Inc. announced the availability of a new product family, the XLamp XQ LEDs, featuring a unique combination of small size, novel light distribution and high reliability design. This combination of features enables the next generation of designs for applications that require broader light distribution such as omni-directional lamps and fixtures.

The XQ LEDs are Cree’s smallest lighting-class LEDs at just 1.6mm x 1.6mm, 57 percent smaller than Cree’s XLamp XB package. Built on Cree’s revolutionary SC3 Technology Platform, the ceramic-based XQ LEDs are designed to deliver the long-term calculated lifetimes of Cree’s other high-power LEDs, such as the high performing XP or XT LEDs.

The XQ LED’s new light emitting pattern directs more light towards the edge rather than the center of the package. Compared to existing LEDs, XQ LEDs allow fewer packages to achieve a wide, distributed light pattern. Together, these innovations can enable manufacturers to increase the light output, expected lifetime and omni-directionality of their designs.

“The high reliability of the ceramic based XQ-B LED allows us to offer a high quality solution that does not compromise on lifetime,” says Martin Hockemeyer, vice chairman of the Board of TELEFUNKEN Licht AG. “The unique optical advantage of the XQ-B gives us the opportunity to create the brilliant look that our customers are looking for.”

“Once again, Cree is creating innovative solutions to allow our customers to differentiate their products,” said Paul Thieken, Cree director of marketing, LED components. “Unlike other mid-power packages, the XQ LEDs allow lighting manufacturers to meet their light distribution requirements using fewer LEDs without giving up the performance or reliability that they expect from Cree’s lighting-class LEDs.”

The XQ family includes two new LEDs, the XQ-B and the XQ-D. In cool white (5000K), the XQ-B LED delivers up 160 lumens-per-watt at 0.18 W and the XQ-D LED delivers up to 130 lumens-per-watt at 1 W. Both LEDs are available in 2700K to 6500K color temperatures with minimum 80 CRI option.

RS Components boosts automation offer with latest range of pneumatic fittings from SMC

ENGLAND: RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the world's leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, has announced availability of the upgraded KQ2 Series of one-touch, general-purpose fittings from world-leading pneumatic provider, SMC.

With over 50 body models within the range, the new KQ2 Series offers highly flexible pneumatic technology and incorporates SMC's KJ Miniature Fittings Series. RS is stocking more than 400 product variations from the range, suitable for a wide array of automation applications in industries such as automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical, petroleum and chemical, steel, textile and mining.

The KQ2 fittings require up to 30 percent less force for inserting and sealing a tube and offer 20 percent less resistance when being removed, making the fittings even quicker and easier to assemble leading to reduced labour costs.

In addition to the compact and lightweight solutions in SMC's existing range, the new KQ2 Series offers further reduced dimensions for confined spaces, providing shorter widths of up to 23 percent and up to 24 percent reduction in height, making the overall fittings 57 percent lighter than previous models.

SMC's KQ2 Series also has two thread material options of brass, and brass and nickel plating, and two types of seals, featuring a sealant or gasket design, allowing for repeatable piping and preventing contamination in the case of the gasket.

Additionally, it offers several thread types: M, R, NPT, UNF and Uni, as well as a full range of diameters from Ø2 mm that can now deliver air saving in low flow applications and up to Ø16 mm to improve cycle times in high flow applications.

Three potential scenarios for OLED lighting

USA: The OLED lighting market continues to evolve from its earliest days of luxury luminaires and show pieces. Most of the industry's observers and participants have been targeting the year 2016 as the year that OLED lighting was to really take off.

Unfortunately though, in the past year the market showed no discernible technical advancements and from the manufacturing standpoint, there has been insufficient progress on bringing yields up and costs down to support OLED lighting's entry into general illumination applications like office lighting.

Production facilities remain insufficient and the economies within both Europe and Japan are severely dampening market prospects. Last but not least, the industry lacks a true market "champion" that will lead the business forward.

While the OLED lighting products business can still surpass $2 billion in revenues by 2020, number of market and technical factors will need to be overcome for this market opportunity to fully emerge. To realize the potential, several challenges remain, including the needs for performance improvements, standardization, cost reductions, capacity expansion, and development of demand-side market pull.

A new report "OLED Lighting Market Forecasts 2013" examines three possible scenarios for the OLED lighting business:

OLED market scenario 1: One or two "champion" firms will emerge (perhaps with government support), make substantial performance and process improvements, and sufficiently expand production capacity to bring costs down to a level that with finally enable penetration of general illumination markets.

OLED market scenario 2: If no champion emerges, costs stay high, and performance lags the competition then OLED lighting will be relegated to specialty, niche-only luxury lighting with a market value unlikely exceeding $500 million in revenues before the end of the decade. This will certainly lead to a large exodus from the business.

OLED market scenario 3: Industry fails to attain any reasonable targets – cost or otherwise – and thus relegating the technology to the dustbin of abandoned "revolutionary" technologies.

Mouser provides space-saving power CSP MOSFETS from Panasonic

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. is now stocking power CSP MOSFETs from Panasonic that provide a 5 percent improvement in thermal dissipation and a dramatically reduced size compared to conventional solutions.

Panasonic electronic components FJ3P02100L and FK3P02110L power MOSFET transistors provide improved thermal performance and drastically reduced size due to a package structure consisting of a unique pad design and drain clip technology.

These Panasonic devices are 80 percent smaller than conventional MOSFET solutions. They also boast fine trench silicon technology that allows for 47 percent lower RDS(on) over same-sized devices. Power CSP MOSFETs are optimized for use in load switches that combine low RDS(on) and a smaller form factor and for use in Li-Ion battery applications that depend on low RDS(on).

Toshiba launches single-lane (two differential channel) SPDT bus switch ICs supporting PCI Express Gen3 (8Gbps)

JAPAN: Toshiba Corp. has launched new single-lane SPDT (Single Pole Double Throw) bus switch ICs that support PCI Express Gen3 (8Gbps) and achieve wide bandwidth characteristics of 11.5GHz at -3dB.

The new products, TC7PCI3212MT and TC7PCI3215MT, are suited for applications involving the switching of PCI Express (single lane), USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 signals. Mass production will start from the end of March.

The new products reduce switch terminal capacitance to achieve wide bandwidth characteristics of 11.5GHz at -3dB, making high-speed transmission with lower signal degradation capable.

The new SPDT switches have optimal configurations for all arrangements of PCI Express slots, connectors, and switches on the motherboards of desktop PCs and notebook PCs.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Programmable Hall switch from Diodes Inc. extends flexibility of detection circuit designs

USA: Diodes Inc. has introduced a programmable omnipolar Hall effect switch enabling designers to use the same contactless detection circuit in multiple applications or with different field strengths.

The miniature and micropower AH1898 is suitable for numerous portable consumer applications including cell phones, tablets and cameras as well as a variety of domestic, office and industrial equipment.

Able to detect both north and south magnetic fields, the AH1898 features a band-select pin, which allows device sensitivity to be changed to one of two predefined magnetic sensitivity ranges. In addition, it can also be used change the band on the fly, using an external logic source or microcontroller. The high sensitivity of the Hall sensor also means that it can support weaker, lower cost magnets and can be used at a greater distance from the magnet.

The AH1898 Hall switch has been optimized for use over a 1.6V to 3.6V low-voltage supply range and employs a hibernating clocking system to minimize power consumption. With an average supply current of just 4.3µA (typical) at 1.8V, this micropower device helps to extend portable battery cell lifetime.

To ensure high reliability in a broad range of applications, the AH1898 has been designed with an 8kV ESD rating on supply and output pins. Circuit robustness is further raised by the AH1898’s chopper stabilized design, delivering superior temperature stability over the operating range from -40ºC to +85ºC, absolute minimum switch point drift, and enhanced immunity to RF noise and physical stress.

The AH1898 is available in the miniature 0.8mm x 0.8mm CSP package, making it 12 times smaller than common TSOT-packaged alternatives. At the same time, its simple 4-pin footprint and integration of pull-up resistors results in reduced external component counts and a simplification of PCB layouts.

OEMs turn to smart accessories

USA: While the shipments for smartphones have reached over 40 percent of all handsets, the shipments of aftermarket smartphone accessories account for 56 percent of accessory shipments and 64 percent of revenues.

“With a large portion of the accessory ecosystem focusing on smartphones, handset and accessory OEMs are looking to make their accessory products ‘smart’ in an attempt to differentiate, extend brand, and increase revenues,” comments senior analyst, Michael Morgan. Currently the smart accessory ecosystem is dominated by health and fitness applications that are leveraging a combination of the GATT profile in Bluetooth v4.0, and low-power sensors made by leading IC vendors such as Texas Instruments.

ABI Research believes that leveraging the processing and software capabilities inherent in mobile devices in combination with hardware products will open a new vector for accessory OEMs looking to create differentiated accessory products. Furthermore, research into smart accessory products indicates that adding ‘smart’ capabilities to accessories can increase product ASPs by 30 percent to 100 percent over non-smart versions of the same product.

Smart accessories pose challenges for accessory OEMs who tend to have limited electrical engineering and software engineering skillsets. However, the need to differentiate their products and meet the challenge from new product innovations will eventually force many accessory OEMs to learn on the job. This new technology vector for accessories also poses an opportunity for IC vendors looking to expand their reach beyond the mobile device and handset market.

“The growing interest in smart watches, smart glasses, and wearable sensors will drive a need for processing power that resides outside of the smartphone. It will be imperative that IC vendors and accessory OEMs determine the best way to extend the use case of smartphones into the green field opportunity of smart accessories,” adds senior practice director, Jeff Orr.

Seesmart LED tube lamp sets industry standard for efficiency and output

USA: Lighting manufacturer Seesmart has released a new 15-watt LED tube lamp that sets a new industry standard for energy efficiency and light output.

The new product from Seesmart, a subsidiary of Revolution Technologies, Inc., produces a measured efficacy of 112 lumens per watt. With more than 1,700 lumens of light, the lamp is the industry’s most efficient four-foot LED T8 lamp, utilizing the lowest wattage and generating the highest light output available.

The UL-listed LED tube lamps present a cost-effective, energy-saving LED lighting solution that delivers great light and a rapid return on investment.

“Our latest 15-watt LED tube lamps offer a new paradigm of efficiency and convenience for solid-state lighting installations,” said Ray Sjolseth, director of engineering for Seesmart. “We believe this is the T8 LED product that many customers have been waiting for.”

The Seesmart LED tube features rotatable end caps that allow easily customized lighting angles by rotating the tube. Unlike typical LED tube lamps, the lightweight LED tubes also feature a true T8 profile with a specially designed internal power supply that distributes the weight equally at both ends. The power supply is carefully designed for high-efficiency, resulting in a high power factor and a low total harmonic distortion (THD).

Pulse Electronics expands low-loss, high-saturation, round-wire coil SMT power inductors

USA: Pulse Electronics Corp. has expanded its range of round-wire coil (RWC) surface mount power inductors to deliver higher inductance/current capability.

Mechanical sizes from 7.6 x 7.4 x 6.4mm up to 21.7 x 21.5 x 12.5mm are now available with an inductance range from 0.3uH to 50uH and with a current rating up to 70A. These inductors use a ferrite core material which yields a 90% core loss reduction and 30% increase in maximum operating temperature when compared to standard iron powder material used in flat-coil inductors.

“Because ferrite material is immune to thermal aging, these inductors are more reliable and better performing at higher temperatures and frequencies than non-ferrite core inductors,” said Gerard Healy, field applications engineer, Pulse Electronics Power Division. “The properties of ferrite material are more appropriate to the typical requirement of a DC/DC converter inductor, and using round wire instead of a flat coil results in a 25 percent cost reduction.”

These inductors are used as energy storage devices and filters in point-of-load (POL) regulators and as DC/DC converter output inductors for telecom, datacom, server, and industrial applications. They are a lower cost alternative to flat coil inductors for applications where very low profile is not a requirement.

The series consists of the PG0871NL, PG0702NL, PG0926NL, PH0936NL, and PG1083NL. These inductors have a three-pin design for improved mechanical stability. An unconnected third pin at the back of the inductor distributes the part’s weight and balances the three terminals during mechanical vibration. Flattened leads serve as the pad, making the coil self-leaded. No additional base is required, further minimizing the cost.

The smaller packages are size compatible with industry-standard flat-coil inductors on the market (including the Pulse PG0426NL, PG0255NL, and PG0277NL series) commonly referred to as the 2525 series (quarter inch by quarter inch), 4040 series (0.4 x 0.4 inch) and 5050 series (0.5 x 0.5 inch) flat-coil inductors. The larger sizes satisfy the needs for emerging higher power (current) PSUs where industry standard platforms are currently lacking.

Pulse’s RWCs are RoHS compliant and meet standard EIA481 requirements. They are available in tape-and-reel packaging. Lead time is eight weeks. The price ranges from $0.49 to $0.99 in quantities of 50,000 pieces.

Exar delivers enhanced 2Amp step down PowerBlox voltage regulator

USA: Exar Corp. announced the availability of the XRP7674, a new synchronous pulse frequency modulation/pulse width modulation (PFM/PWM) step down voltage regulator with a maximum load current of 2 Amps and operating input voltage up to 18V.

This latest addition to Exar's PowerBloxTM family of high voltage, high current step down regulators, provides customers with a compact and integrated solution with improved light load efficiency, achieving better than 90 percent efficient conversions for output current as low as 50mA.

The XRP7674 is optimized for 5V and 12V inputs and addresses the needs of energy efficient equipment and the latest Energy Star regulations. This includes audio-video equipment such as set-top boxes and gaming systems, telecom, computing peripherals, distributed point-of-load conversions and portable applications where light load efficiency is essential.

"Energy efficient products are not only about energy bill savings, they also run cooler ultimately improving overall reliability and operation," said Eric Pittana , director of marketing, Power Product Line, Exar. "The XRP7674 delivers excellent efficiency for always on points-of-load over a wide range of currents without the additional costs of other solutions."

The XRP7674 is a synchronous current mode PFM/PWM step down (buck) regulator capable of delivering a constant output current up to 2Amps. Reaching up to 95 percent efficiency, it achieves greater than 85 percent efficient conversions over a 30mA to 2A load current range.

The XRP7674 operates at a fixed 340 kHz switching frequency, with output voltage adjustable down to 0.925V with +/- 2 percent accuracy across the entire operating range. A dedicated enable pin and programmable soft start provide design flexibility for any point-of-load supply. Built-in current limit, output over voltage and thermal shutdown protection provide the XRP7674 with fail-safe operations.

The XRP7674 offers a package equivalent upgrade to Exar's popular XRP7664.

Aledia makes first LEDs on 8-inch silicon wafers

FRANCE & USA: Aledia, a developer of LEDs based on disruptive microwire GaN-on-Silicon technology, announced that it has made its first LEDs on 8-inch (200mm) silicon wafers.

The cost of Aledia’s LED 3D chips based on microwires is expected to be four times less than traditional planar (2D) LEDs. Additionally, Aledia announced its first-round financing totalling €10 million (approximately $13M) with leading US and European investors, which was closed in 2012.

Aledia solves the important cost issue in the very large and growing LED market. The continued integration of LEDs into new applications, such as general lighting, depends on LEDs becoming available at substantially lower prices than today.

Aledia’s microwire technology enables the steep cost reduction that is vital for the further transition to LED. The Aledia LED technology, made on large-size silicon wafers and with very low materials cost, represents a cost-disruptive solution to this problem. Furthermore the new LED technology is compatible with silicon CMOS technology and will be manufactured directly in existing high-volume silicon foundries.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Farnell element14 announces agreement with Micrel

ENGLAND: Farnell element14, has formalised its relationship with Micrel by signing an agreement to become an authorised reseller.

The leading multi-channel distributor of electronic components, and part of the Premier Farnell group, is now able to offer an extensive range of Micrel products to its customers with over 700 items stocked in its global portfolio.

Micrel is a leading manufacturer of IC solutions for the worldwide high-performance analog and high-speed mixed signal, LAN and timing and communications solutions markets.

The product range includes high performance analog, power, advanced mixed-signal and radio frequency semiconductors; high speed communication, clock management, and LAN solutions including Ethernet switch and physical layer transceiver integrated circuits providing customers with the solutions they need.

The range of products will be targeted particularly at the cellular handsets, portable and enterprise computing, enterprise and home networking, wide area and metropolitan area networks and industrial equipment segments.  Customers can access locally stocked products through their local operating businesses.

Mike Buffham, director of Supplier and Product Management at Farnell element14, said: "We have been working with Micrel for 15 years, however, this formal agreement cements our relationship and allows us to accelerate our product offer, further strengthening our position as the leading high service distributor.  Delivering an extensively stocked Micrel range enhances our semiconductor linecard and expands our award-winning technology solutions product range to support the needs of design engineers and purchasing professionals."

Pete Horwat, EMEA Distribution Sales manager at Micrel, said: "We are extremely pleased to announce a reseller agreement with Farnell element14 who has a long history supporting the electronic design engineering community in both Europe and Asia. Over the past two years, we have engaged heavily with Farnell element14 and see them as a key enabler in driving Micrel's NPI programs, products and technologies into the vast electronic design engineering community.

"During this time, we have expanded our product range to more than 700 lines which in turn, have seen us increase both revenue and customers; we very much look forward to continued growth over the coming months and years."

Taiwan, Japan share tasks professionally, AMOLED launched inevitably

TAIWAN: Sony revealed the first 56” 4K2K OLED TV of the industry in CES this year, not only showing its ambition for OLED TV planning but allowing the market to peek at the highly-anticipated product of Sony and AUO’s co-operation.

According to WitsView, the display research division of TrendFroce, in the LCD market, the integration ability usually means competitiveness advantages, as the resources are constantly shared and the brand power is weakened, the professional task sharing may replace the complete integration in the future, will be the new mainstream market value, and further impacts the OLED TV developments.

WitsView indicates that Taiwan’s panel manufacturing faces challenges from Korea in terms of technology and threats from China in terms of capacity. In addition, without the support of the domestic brands, Taiwanese makers have relied only on external clients’ orders for a long time, seeing mounting obstacles. Although they lack vertical integration advantages, Taiwanese makers’ role as professional component suppliers is neutral and apparent.

Besides, Taiwan-based panel makers such as AUO and Innolux continue the R&D on various display technologies and products. Taking AMOLED for example, AUO has not only devoted significant research resources, but controlled the IGZO capacity of large generations. It lags Koreans in maturity but leads Chinese and Japanese makers on the OLED product developments.

WitsView believes that the TV brands’ focus shift is another key that drives OLED TV developments. Japanese brands who dominated the market during the CRT era have lost their competitiveness advantages when the LCD TVs rise, which is quite related to the acquirement strategy of the crucial component LCD panel. Both Sharp and Panasonic put their own abilities to the LCD panel production, but the brand developments are dragged down by the panel manufacturing which turns out to be a heavy burden on elevated production costs.

Although Sony chose to co-develop panels by joint-venture with Samsung, the joint-venture showed limited benefits to Sony actually and provided chances for Samsung to grow instead, forcing the Japanese maker to give up the No. 1 crown with regrets. The integrations between brands and LCD panel production don’t seem successful, and this will be a strategy mirror for Japanese panels to review the importance of the resource integration and the professional tasking when developing OLED TVs.

The Korean brand LG has officially put its OLED TV on sale at the beginning of this year, but the elevated costs and significant production complexity cause high selling prices, indicating the OLED TV development is only at the initial stage and the following coopetition and development direction still have large flexibility.
WitsView says that Taiwan owns professional manufacturing ability and ample production bases, while Japanese TV brands enjoy great brand reputation and marketing resources in the global market.

In the condition of professional task sharing and execution, if manufacturing-oriented Taiwan and marketing-oriented Japan can work together on OLED TV developments, they can save overlapping costs expenditure significantly and perform the complementary effect of “one plus one is greater than two. This kind of combination will hold quite good conditions and compete with the Korean brands who appeal for high integration.

Fuji Electric begins US production of EV charging stations

USA: Fuji Electric Corp. of America has announced that US production of UL-certified DC quick chargers for electric vehicles has commenced, with the first production units shipping out of Milpitas, CA by late-March.

The manufacturer’s 4th Generation 25kW DC quick charger features a slimmer design than previous versions, making it an ideal choice for a wide variety of commercial applications.

“Since entering the US EV market in March 2012, we have been working diligently to begin local production of our DC quick chargers in order to better serve our customers,” said Larry Butkovich, Fuji Electric’s GM of EV Systems. “We are now able to offer faster delivery on orders, and respond to evolving market demands and design requirements with greater ease.”

The sleek DC quick charger is built to the CHAdeMO specification and allows EV owners to charge their electric vehicles in under an hour. With over 350 units deployed worldwide, Fuji Electric has been an international market player in the EV industry for over five years and uses their own power supply in the DC quick charger.

“By using our core technology in the design of our EV charging stations, we were able to leverage our power electronics expertise to guarantee the product will meet Fuji Electric’s quality standards,” said Phil Charatz, president and CEO of Fuji Electric America. “Bringing production to the US is an important milestone for us, and it reinforces our commitment to the EV industry for many years to come.”

Intelligent Energy reports highest power densities for automotive fuel cells

ENGLAND: Intelligent Energy announced that its proprietary fuel cell technology is providing leading levels of power output and performance for a number of its automotive customers, with the company’s fuel cell stacks demonstrating continuous volumetric and gravimetric power densities of 3.7 kW/L and 2.5 kW/kg, respectively.

“We believe that our fuel cell stack technology has achieved industry leading power density performance. These interim results are only part way along our technology roadmap and much more is still to come with further improvements in the pipeline,” Intelligent Energy’s Motive Division MD, James Batchelor commented.

“Importantly, we deliver these benchmark performance levels using our own patented technology which has been designed for high volume, low-cost manufacturing. We provide our technology to existing clients as they progress towards series production and continue to work with new automotive customers and OEMs under a variety of commercial arrangements.”

Intelligent Energy is a global leader in fuel cell design and development, with a range of high performance, compact, cost-effective and scalable technology focused on its target market sectors.

In 2012, the company formed a joint venture in Japan with the Suzuki Motor to manufacture fuel cells for a range of automotive and other sectors. This February, within 12 months of its incorporation, the joint venture, SMILE FC System, announced the completion of the first ready-to-scale production line.

Signal chain solution for 4-mA to 20-mA HART enabled field instrument apps

USA: Analog Devices Inc. has introduced the CN0267 demonstration circuit for a loop powered HART (Highway Addressable Remote Transducer) enabled smart transmitter, for industrial applications that need to operate within a set 3.5-mA power budget.

This field instrument circuit demonstrates a complete low power, high precision signal chain solution with minimum area overhead, which has been tested and verified by ADI as part of their Circuits from the Lab reference circuits’ initiative.

This circuit has been compliance tested, verified and registered as an approved HART solution by the HART Communication Foundation. This ensures that systems designed with these ADI devices will adhere to HART protocol requirements and that DEMO-AD5700D2Z is a proven, tested solution.

Combining the lowest power components in their class, this solution enables system engineers to support increased system functionality including the communications of diagnostics and additional measurement or calibration data. The 7-cm by 2.3-cm CN0267 PCB demonstrates a direct sensor interface, microprocessor and two-way HART communication over a 4- 20-mA loop.

Smallest MEMS mic designed for hearing aid apps

USA: Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) has introduced a high performance MEMS microphone developed specifically for hearing aid applications.

When compared to legacy solutions like electret condenser microphones (ECMs), the  ADMP801 is not only smaller in size at only 7.3 cubic millimeters, but also offers greater performance stability over time, temperature, and environmental changes, produces  very low equivalent input noise (EIN) at 27 dBA SPL (sound pressure level), and consumes only 17 µA at 1Vsupply -- a fraction of the power consumed by traditional ECMs.

The ADMP801 MEMS microphone is available in a tiny surface-mount package measuring only 3.35 mm x 2.50 mm x 0.98 mm that is reflow-solder-compatible with no sensitivity degradation.

The ADMP801 is a high quality, ultralow power, analog output, bottom-ported, omnidirectional MEMS microphone designed specifically for hearing aid applications. It is fully pick-and-place and reflow compatible, offering an option to save on cost using a mechanized assembly process as compared to ECMs that require manual assembly processes.

The device offers excellent environmental and temporal stability, and multiple ADMP801 MEMS microphones can be configured in an array to form a directional response, facilitating sound of voice localization.

Toshiba releases motor driver IC for small fan

JAPAN: Toshiba has launched single-phase motors for axial fans, such as home appliances like refrigerators and PC sine wave drive digital control type. The driver IC begins volume production in April.

Single-phase axial flow fan is commonly used appliances that requires low noise and energy saving, cooling applications of PC server. Recently, in some cases due to the high capacity of the server, cooling fan (s) is required 6-8 per unit. In these applications, there is a need for low power consumption of the motor, low noise, downsizing.

The digital control circuit with newly designed, to control the sinusoidal current flowing through the motor, compared with the rectangular wave drive system in the past, to smooth rotation of the motor, "TC78B002FTG" new product, 30 percent of the efficiency of the motor improved 2 a reduction of approximately 2~3dB noise value 2 I realize.

In addition, the digital control, it is possible to control the amplitude and phase from the outside, and the modulation scheme of the output waveform is also possible the optimization of each application.

The control circuit in the IC is in power output circuit is configured with a single chip by while using DMOS, using a hybrid process of our latest technology, the CMOS. Type 16-pin package is adopted leadless QFN, was downsized by 70 percent reduction compared with its predecessor.

Mitsubishi Electric delivers world's first SiC auxiliary power supply systems for railcars

JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has commercialized and delivered railcar auxiliary power supply systems that incorporate the world's first silicon carbide (SiC) power modules for actual use in operating trains. Systems now being installed for test operation in new Type 1000 railcars of Tokyo Metro's Ginza Line subway are scheduled to enter commercial operation in June.

Auxiliary power supply systems provide electricity to air conditioners and lighting inside railcars. Compared to Mitsubishi Electric's existing system incorporating silicon power modules, the new system achieves 30 percent less power loss, is 20 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter. It also reduces transformer noise by 4dB due to a 35 percent improvement in the distortion rate of output voltage waveforms.

Compared to Si, SiC helps to reduce size and weight through lowered power loss and higher energy efficiency, as well as smaller power module radiators. Mitsubishi Electric has developed a variety of SiC power module applications, including the world's first large-voltage SiC railcar inverters for DC600V/750V power lines, which were launched in October 2011 and incorporated in Tokyo Metro's Ginza Line Type 01 railcars in February 2012. Also, SiC railcar inverters developed for DC1500V power lines were launched in November 2012 and installed in Tokyo Metro's Tozai Line Type 15000 railcars beginning in January 2013.

The new SiC auxiliary power supply system incorporate technologies Mitsubishi Electric developed for SiC inverters.

Zierick launch 3D parts catalog with CAD configurator powered by CADENAS PARTsolutions

USA: CADENAS PARTsolutions, a global provider of 3D parts catalogs and sales configurators, and Zierick Manufacturing Corp., a leading manufacturer of solutions for complex interconnection requirements, launched Zierick's online 3D CAD sales configurator.

Zierick is filling a common need seen by electrical engineers and circuitry designers who require high quality CAD models. Offering downloadable 3D models from the new CAD configurator enables designers to quickly and accurately place, fit and specify Zierick components within their CAD system. Not only does this save the engineer design time but allows Zierick to reach a greater audience.

Using the eCATALOGsolutions software platform, Zierick is able to author 3D components themselves. Those CAD models can then be published for users to download online in more than 150 native and neutral CAD and graphic formats. Downloadable models are certified by Zierick to ensure accuracy for engineers incorporating into their designs.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Galaxy S4 offers enhanced display technology, contributing to boom in AMOLED market

USA: The new Galaxy S4 from Samsung Electronics joins a growing trend of premium smartphones featuring enhanced active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels, spurring the market for these high-quality displays to more than double by 2017.

AMOLED display shipments for mobile handset applications are expected to grow to 447.7 million units in 2017, up from 195.1 million units in 2013, according to insights from the IHS iSuppli Emerging Displays Service.

Within the mobile handset display market, the market share for AMOLED displays is forecast to grow from 7.9 percent in 2013 to 15.2 percent in 2017. AMOLED’s market share for 4-inch or larger handset displays employed in smartphones is set to increase to 24.4 percent in 2017, up from 23.0 percent in 2013.

“Because of their use in marquee products like the Galaxy S4, high-quality AMOLEDs are growing in popularity and gaining share at the expense of liquid crystal display (LCD) screens,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, director for mobile & emerging displays and technology at IHS.

“These attractive AMOLEDs are part of a growing trend of large-sized, high-resolution displays used in mobile devices. With the S4 representing the first time that a full high-definition (HD) AMOLED has been used in mobile handsets, Samsung continues to raise the profile of this display technology.”

AMOLED on display in S4
For its new premium smartphone, Samsung Display—the AMOLED display supplier for Samsung Electronics—increased the AMOLED pixel format to 1920 by 1080 Full High Definition (Full HD), up from 1280 x 720 WXGA present in the Galaxy S III.

Part of Samsung’s popular Galaxy line, the S4 joins several high-end smartphone models from other manufacturers also featuring 1920 by 1080 resolution but distinguished by an important difference. The other handsets use thin-film transistor LCD (TFT-LCD) displays, while the Galaxy S4 is the first Full HD smartphone utilizing an AMOLED display.

Among the handsets with 1920 by 1080 TFT-LCD panels are the 4.8-inch HTC One, the 5-inch Sony Xperia Z, the 5-inch ZTE Grand S, the 5-inch OPPO Find, the 5.5-inch LG Optimus G Pro and the 5.5-inch Lenovo Ideaphone K900.

Samsung tackles technical issues
The high-resolution mobile handset display market is currently dominated by Low-Temperature Polysilicon (LTPS) TFT-LCDs, which accounts for the entire Full HD mobile handset display market.

Reaching the high-resolution point with true pixel densities greater than 300 pixels per inch (ppi) has been a challenge for AMOLED displays, as it is difficult to achieve dense pixel arrangements using the conventional Fine Metal Mask process while still securing enough display brightness and not compromising power consumption.

Samsung Display, however, was able to enhance AMOLED display performance by implementing two new technologies in addition to its existing Fine Metal Mask process. The maker succeeded in increasing the lighting area in AMOLED panels with its new structure of Pentile matrix, and it used phosphorescent material for the green subpixels, allowing better light management and lower energy consumption.

As a result, the AMOLED display was able to achieve a denser pixel arrangement, boosting its pixel density to greater than 400 ppi and resulting in 1920 x 1080 Full HD display in the Galaxy S4. This compares to 1280 x 720 WXGA in the Galaxy S III, 800 x 480 WVGA in the Galaxy S2 and 1280 x 800 WXGA in the Galaxy Note. The higher pixel density provides sharper and more defined images, while being able to display more content on a smaller display area.

Samsung also implemented the Floating Touch system in Galaxy S4, allowing users to interact with the touch screen by letting their fingers hover a few inches away from the display. By combining mutual capacitance, the on-surface normal touch sensing and self-capacitance, the Floating Touch in the Galaxy S4 expands the user experience of the display. It also detects touch inputs from gloved hands, a feature that was first introduced through Nokia’s Lumia 920 in 2012.

Galaxy S4 will be the first Full HD AMOLED display offering in the market. However, material lifetime, color balance and limited supplier base still need to be addressed for a larger market presence of OLEDs and stronger competitiveness against LTPS TFT-LCDs.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Kingston ships HyperX memory kits with black PCB

USA: Kingston Technology Co. Inc. continues to celebrate its 10th HyperX anniversary by announcing all-new black printed circuit boards (PCB) on two of its product lines.

Kingston’s high-performance HyperX Beast and entry-level enthusiast ‘black’ lines will incorporate black PCB under the signature heatspreader designs.

HyperX Beast, a part of the Predator family, matches large capacity with ultra-fast frequencies. Now featuring black PCB, HyperX Beast is available in various dual- and quad-channel kits in capacities from 8GB to 64GB and speeds up to an ultra-fast 2400MHz.

It is perfect for hardcore gamers, PC modders, content creators and overclockers. The 2133MHz, 64GB and 2400MHz, 32GB Beast memory are the fastest and highest capacity certified Intel XMP-ready kits on the market.

HyperX black is available as single 4GB and 8GB module or as an 8GB or 16GB dual-channel kit in 1333- or 1600MHz frequencies. HyperX black is ideal as a cost-efficient performance upgrade for an overall faster system or for increased in-game frames-per-second rate.

“Our customers and fans have asked us to come out with HyperX memory featuring black PCBs to better match their system designs,” said Larry Yang, HyperX business manager, Kingston. “We are able to match good looks with high performance. The black on black combination allows for easy pairing with any color component on the market.”

Supercapacitors and supercabatteries market landscape

ENGLAND: Electrochemical double layer capacitors (supercapacitors, ultracapacitors, EDLCs) and asymmetric electrochemical double layer capacitors (supercabatteries, AEDLCs) are utilised for multiple purposes in mobile devices, electric vehicles, power scavenging, renewable energy as well as a lot of other products with future potential.

Forecasts say the market will be worth more than $11 billion in a decade with significant potential for further growth.

Worldwide, 55 percent of the producers and those intending to manufacture EDLCs and AEDLCs are located in East Asia, 28 percent are in North America, with Europe, however, still being fast asleep at only 7 percent.

Due to their beneficial properties like superior low temperature performance, service and cycle life, fast charge/discharge rates and reliability, supercapacitors and supercabatteries tend to replace traditional batteries and capacitors in a mushrooming number of applications from renewable energy to microscopic electronics.

TI's 4.5-A Li-Ion battery chargers deliver faster, cooler charging

USA: Texas Instruments Inc. has introduced lithium-ion battery charger integrated circuits (ICs) that reduce charge time by 50 percent in smartphones and tablets compared to other charger solutions.

The bq2419x family of 4.5-A output, 20-V input-rated switch-mode chargers with I2C interface and USB On-the-Go (OTG) support delivers faster and cooler charging to a wide array of applications ranging from power banks and packs to 4G LTE routers, Wi-Fi speakers, portable medical and industrial designs.

Consumers continue to want faster battery charging in portable electronics. New designs require more accurate, highly efficient charge circuitry that keeps the system cool and safe while charging at a faster rate.

TI's new bq24190, bq24192, bq24192i, bq24193, bq24195, bq24195L and bq24196 fast-charge circuits reduce charge time through battery path impedance compensation, and offer programmable thermal management capability to ensure the safest, most reliable system operation.

The bq2419x battery chargers for single-cell Li-Ion batteries is available now in a 24-pin, 4-mm x 4-mm QFN package, priced at US$2.50 in quantities of 1,000.

Feb. 2013 LED bulb retail prices show continuous decline

TAIWAN: According to market intelligence organization TrendForce’s LEDinside division’s newest LED bulb retail findings, the retail prices of LED bulbs all over the world have a downward trend this year for February.

Worldwide 40W replacement LED bulb average retail price dropped by 8.2 percent, reaching $17.8. This is due to the relatively low prices in the newly added Chinese and Taiwanese regions. Worldwide 60W replacement LED bulb average price in certain areas had a clear drop of 13 percent, reaching $25.7. Aside from the slight drop in original statistical region price, the newly added Chinese and Taiwanese regional prices are also comparatively lower.

40W equivalent LED bulbs, Chinese average price reached $11
LEDinside expressed that worldwide 40W replacement LED bulb retail price in February 2013 shows a decline of about 8.2 percent, attaining $17.8. Of the newly added statistics, the 40W replacement merchandise prices in the Chinese region are low with an average price of $11, currently being the lowest among all the surveyed regions.
Chinese domestic-brand bulbs are mostly retailed at $10, with the lowest being $5.5. The Taiwanese region merchandise prices are equally low, with a local-brand bulb dropped to a price of about $8.8.

Aside from this, the UK had a clear price drop in February of 0.6 percent, original merchandise prices slightly fluctuated, with the exchange rate rise bringing about the average price to slightly drop. This area’s newly added items are few. In February, the Germany region prices rose 7.9 percent, original merchandise prices rose and the exchange rate dropped, leading to an increase in price.

This area did not see any newly added items. The 40W replacement merchandise average price in the Japanese region dropped about 11 percent, with a stable decrease in original merchandise prices, and the rise in exchange rate also lead to the decrease. This area did not see any newly added items.

The average merchandise price in the US in February rose 5.9 percent. The original merchandise price has a slight fluctuation, and the newly added items' high prices lead to the rise in the average price. The Korean region in February saw a drop in price by 2 percent, the original merchandise prices did not change. The drop in price was due to the exchange rate growth. There was no new items added in this month.

60W equivalent LED bulbs, worldwide lowest price broke $8.8
In Febuary, 60W replacement LED bulb worldwide average price declined 13 percent, reaching $25.7. Aside from the slight price drop in the original statistical regions, the newly added Chinese and Taiwanese regional prices are relatively low.
In the Chinese region, 60W replacement merchandise prices is at about $20.3 usd, with the lowest being $7.8, which is currently the lowest in all the surveyed regions. Aside from this, the price difference between products of international brands such as Philips and local brands is large.

The Taiwanese region 60W replacement merchandise price is $14.8, with local brands maintains a price at $20 or lower. The average price in Japan in February dropped 5.8 percent, reaching $26.8. The original products had a stable price drop, and this area did not see any newly added items. The Korean area price dropped slightly by 2 percent, with original merchandise prices remaining the same. The price drop was caused by exchange rate growth.There was no new items released in this month.

The US during March had a price drop of 0.5 percent, with original merchandise prices having a slight fluctuation. This region also had no new items released. Aside from this, the price in the UK dropped 9.6 percent, mainly due to the temporary stop of supply of certain original high-price products, leading to a decline.

The remaining merchandise prices had a slight fluctuation. Germany saw a price rise of 9.7 percent in Febuary. Certain original merchandise prices rose, due to the end of New Year sale promotion period ending, which lead to a rise in average price. Also, the exchange rate decrease caused a price rise as well.

Chinese LED bulb market has high level of confusion, still needs experiencing long integration period
LEDinside observed that in February, the worldwide LED bulb average price showed a large decline due to the newly added statistics from the Chinese and Taiwanese regions prices being lower. The rest of the region merchandise prices still maintained a fluctuating trend.

Among these, Chinese and Taiwanese local-brand bulb prices were mostly quite low. For example, Everlight introduced a 60W replacement 8W LED bulb with a luminous flux of 810 lumen. In the Taiwanese market, the retail price is about $11.2, much lower than the worldwide average price. Also, international brands like Philips and Osram priced their products much higher than the local brands.

LEDinside believes that, comparing with other regions, Chinese and Taiwanese LED bulb markets have currently not entered into a mature period. Especially for the Chinese region, product specifications and prices between different brands have a large range of diversity. With the quality not being uniformed, many low-price poor-quality products exacerbate the price competition and market chaos.

This makes consumers’ knowledge and acceptance of LED products unable to increase. In order to drive the market into a mature period, unified specification and quality standards are needed. Also, according to the present situation of the Chinese LED bulb market, the market integration and elimination of non- normalized products still needs a considerably long period of time.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Larson releases flange mounted class 1 division 2 LED light

USA: Larson Electronics Magnalight announced the addition of a Class 1 Division 2 linear flange mounted LED for hazardous location area use.

The HAL-24-2L-LED-FLGM is a two foot, 2 lamp LED fixture with a flange style mounting bracket the wiring hubs can be connected above the mounting surface while the lens and bulb access is available below the mounting surface.

Larson Electronics announced the release of the HAL-24-2L-LED-FLGM LED light for Class 1 Division 2 areas. A one inch flange around this hazardous location lighting fixture enables operators to install the light in a 'cut-out' on a mounting surface. This enables operators to lower the profile of the fixture to less than 3 inches, since the bulk of the fixture, including the wiring hubs is outside the mounting surface.

Operators looking to maximize the usable space within a booth or enclosure will benefit from this flange mounted LED light. The flange mount preserves the ability for the operators to change the lamps and access the fixture from within the enclosure for easy maintenance.

Noesis announces ComLab platform

GREECE: Noesis Technologies announced the immediate availability of ComLab, a cost efficient highly integrated development environment (IDE) that enables a system designer to rapidly build, configure and evaluate in real-time the performance of complex telecommunication systems.

It is comprised of a Xilinx FPGA based board for the real-time HW emulation, a sophisticated application SW with interactive GUI capabilities for configuration, control and monitoring purposes as well as a rich portfolio of highly optimized telecom subsystem silicon IPs. ComLab platform is ideal for proof-of-concept rapid prototyping as well as an intuitive educational tool for engineers.

ComLab platform can be used in a variety of applications, including:
* Fast and efficient modeling and development of complex telecom systems.
* Proof-of-concept rapid prototyping.
* In-circuit emulation.
* R&D telecom engineers training.
* Educational tool for universities.
* Low-volume production.

ANADIGICS expands surface mount line amplifier family

USA: ANADIGICS Inc. announced that it has introduced three new surface mount line amplifiers. The ACA2460E, ACA2461E, and ACA2462E 1 GHz line amplifiers are optimized for cable television (CATV) systems in Asia by combining low power consumption and enhanced thermal performance with a wide gain range. These new line amplifiers also provide world-class linearity to ensure optimal performance in a fully-loaded spectrum.

"As emerging CATV markets aggressively build out new infrastructure, equipment manufacturers are seeking RF components that meet the unique specifications required by these applications," said Tim Laverick, VP of Infrastructure Products at ANADIGICS. "ANADIGICS' line amplifiers continue to set the performance and reliability standard, ensuring distortion-free video and audio, while minimizing costly field failures.  Our new surface mount line amplifiers expand our MMIC product family with a wider range of gain and significantly reduced power consumption targeted for CATV systems in Asia."

ANADIGICS' new 24 V MMIC line amplifier "eco" power doublers leverage the Company's proven MESFET technology to deliver world-class linearity and industry-leading reliability.  The ACA2460E, ACA2461E, and ACA2462E line amplifiers provide 22 dB, 25 dB, and 28 dB of gain, respectively, to provide the performance and flexibility required to design systems up to 1 GHz.

With lower power consumption and the proven thermal characteristics of ANADIGICS' standard SOIC package platform, these new MMIC line amplifiers help reduce heat sink requirements. ANADIGICS will also demonstrate an innovative system-level manufacturing solution for these MMICs during the 2013 China Content Broadcasting Networking (CCBN) conference in Beijing, China.

RS Components and SCHURTER expand their cooperation through a global distribution agreement

GERMANY: RS Components (RS) has a global distribution agreement with SCHURTER, a specialist in the development and manufacture of electronic and electromechanical components completed.

This global agreement expands the scope of the existing business relationship between the two companies, working in partnership since 2002 to develop the sale of SCHURTER product portfolios in Europe.
During the past two years, both companies have deepened their cooperation and thereby acquired more than 200 new product lines SCHURTER into distribution and warehousing system of RS.

Overall, these are some 1,500 components - consisting of fuses, connectors, circuit breakers , input systems, touch panels and keypads - all listed in the source model, the new web-based component library of RS. In addition, many of these devices 3D CAD models can be downloaded for free via the website or via RS, the RS online community for developers.

"The closer collaboration with RS in recent years has led to measurable positive results for our business. We have achieved double-digit growth in key regions in Europe," said Hans-Rudolf Schurter, chairman and CEO of the Schurter Group. "The e-commerce strategy of RS is very impressive, and there is every indication that the extension of our agreement on a global basis for our customers and will give us more benefits."

Chris Page, Global Offer director of RS Components, added: "This agreement is the recognition of our success in Europe with its range of SCHURTER in introducing new products and our online initiatives our 17 worldwide distribution warehouse are now equipped with these products. this enables us to offer all our customers the same excellent service and delivery anywhere in the world."

Samsung tops optoelectronics ranking after absorbing LED venture

USA: Samsung Electronics catapulted to the top of the optoelectronics supplier ranking in 2012 from 12th place in 2011 after it gained full ownership of Samsung LED, a 50-50 joint venture in light-emitting diodes that was created in 2009 between Samsung Electronics and affiliate Samsung Electro-Mechanics.

In April 2012, the venture was absorbed into Samsung Electronics to strengthen and expand the use of high-brightness LEDs in displays, LCD TVs, and new solid-state lighting products.  This transfer increased Samsung’s optoelectronics sales by 223 percent to $2.5 billion in 2012 compared to $780 million in 2011, according to the new 2013 edition of IC Insights’ O-S-D Report—A Market Analysis and Forecast for Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes.

The LED operation added $1.5 billion to Samsung’s total revenues in 2012, based on the O-S-D supplier rankings in the new 350-page report, which becomes available in March 2013.  The rest of Samsung’s optoelectronics sales come from CMOS image sensors, which generated $975 million in 2012—a 25 percent increase from 2011.
The 2013 O-S-D Report shows Samsung as the second-largest supplier of CMOS image sensors in 2012, positioned between top-ranked OmniVision and third-place Sony. The 2013 O-S-D Report provides top 10 supplier rankings for the individual optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discrete semiconductor markets in addition to an overall top 30 list of companies selling O-S-D products in 2012.

Samsung’s huge increase in optoelectronics sales vaulted it to first place in IC Insights’ top 30 O-S-D ranking for 2012 from 20th in 2011 (see figure).  High-brightness white LED and blue-laser pioneer Nichia in Japan moved up to second place in the O-S-D ranking from fourth place in 2011 with an 11 percent increase in optoelectronics sales in 2012.

In the 2012 O-S-D ranking, Toshiba and ST fell to third and fourth, respectively, due to steep sales declines in CMOS image sensors and double-digit drops in discretes.  Toshiba and ST had been the No. 1 and No. 2 suppliers in the O -S-D marketplace since the middle of the last decade.

Suppliers of high-brightness LEDs generally moved higher in the overall O-S-D ranking in 2012 due to strong sales growth in lamp devices used for solid-state lighting systems. In addition to Samsung and Nichia moving up to the No. 1 and 2 positions in O-S-D, six other LED makers climbed higher in the top 30 ranking (Sharp, Osram, Philips, LG Innotek, Seoul Semiconductor, and Toyoda Gosei).  U.S.-based Cree, which makes LEDs and radio-frequency/microwave power transistors, was unchanged in the top 30 O-S-D ranking at 17th place in 2012.

Among the significant changes in the O-S-D supplier rankings was ST climbing to first place in the sensors/actuators market in 2012 from fourth in 2011. ST’s sensor sales grew 19 percent in 2012 to $791 million.

Hewlett-Packard fell to fourth place in sensors/actuators last year from the top spot in 2011 due to a 10 percent decline in sales of HP’s inkjet-printer actuators in 2012. In discrete semiconductors, Toshiba held on to its top position despite a 12 percent decline in discretes sales in 2012.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Global smart lighting market to exceed $6.5 million by 2018

USA: has announced the addition of the market research report "Global Smart Lighting Market (2013 - 2018) By Component" to its product offering.

Smart lighting is an advance technology in lighting that makes use of intelligent lighting control systems to intelligently control light based on various parameters like occupancy, movement, color temperature, amount of natural/daylight etc. Smart lighting market is growing at a phenomenal way and main drivers for this growth are energy efficiency, development in electronics and sensor technology, eradication of incandescent lamps, favorable government policies and evolution of novel wireless technology.

Entry barriers are low for this market and many new players are arriving in this market. For example: the smart lighting market in the US is being dominated by start-ups that are just three years old. In the present scenario, many companies are launching new products in the market. It can be observed that LED-based products which are based on wireless technology are being launched at a large scale at present.

Commercial and industrial buildings are the most prominent application of smart lighting. In commercial buildings, lighting adds up to 40% of total energy cost. Deployment of intelligent lighting control is being supported by building owners, governments, utilities, and many other stakeholders as it helps to drastically reduce energy consumption.

Public and government building have the second largest share among all application in the smart lighting market. As smart lighting projects for public and government buildings are government-funded projects, the growth of this application area will be stable as it would be given priority in every economy. Residential buildings application has largest growth potential and will grow at the highest CAGR of 87.5 percent from 2013 to 2108 when compared with other application.

Initial investment will pose as a restraint initially, however it is predicted that once the customers become aware of the energy savings benefits of intelligent lighting system in the long run, it will grow exponentially. Outdoor lighting application is another promising application.

The greatest opportunity area in this market is the prospect of its integration with other important systems in the city like traffic signals, energy meters, pollution sensors, parking-lot lights, and traffic sensors to form a smart city. Smart lighting systems are mainly employed by high end cars. Companies like Mercedes-Benz and Audi have already incorporated the systems in their luxury cars.

The growth of smart lighting market is expected to be remarkable with the revenue growth from $1,070 million in 2012 to $6,747.9 million by 2018, at an estimated CAGR of 36 percent from 2013 to 2018.

Pulse's EP13 Plus DC/DC transformer platform provides over 25 percent more power handling capability

USA: Pulse Electronics Corp. announced its new EP13 Plus platform that delivers 25 percent more power handling capability than the industry standard EP13 platform in the same PCB footprint.

This catalog series of 12 isolation transformers is designed for multiple input voltage ranges (9-57v and 33-57v) and can provide six different output voltage combinations from 3.3v to 24v. The transformers are used in DC/DC power supplies for Power over Ethernet (PoE, PoE+), datacom, telecom, and industrial applications.

Pulse’s EP13 Plus platform incorporates two innovative features that advance the wire-wound transformer technology. The first innovation is the use of a modified core with an increased cross-sectional area to reduce the number of turns necessary for a given output voltage, or to increase the output power by better utilization of the available winding window.

The second innovation is a new bobbin lead shape which allows for an increased number of lead wire terminations. This helps avoid damaging the leads or causing solder bridges to adjacent leads during IR reflow. Optimization of the magnetic core combined with the modified lead design of the winding termination give the EP13 Plus 25 percent more power throughput and lower winding resistance.

Pulse Electronics’ EP13 Plus series transformers are designed for either active clamp forward (PA3856.XXXNL) or continuous mode flyback (PA3855.XXXNL) topologies and offer 24 different output voltage and power combinations.

The transformers come in an industry standard package of 14.0(h)x17.7(l) mm. The EP13 Plus series is used in a wide variety of electronic applications including wireless base stations, IP phones, security cameras, automation and test equipment, and networking gear.

Orbotech wins $18 million in frame agreements from two leading PCB makers

ISRAEL: Orbotech Ltd has signed major frame agreements, totaling approximately $18 million in value, with two leading printed circuit board makers in Taiwan and China for the mass production of high density interconnect PCBs.

These orders, which are expected to include multiple Paragon\ laser direct imaging and automated optical inspection systems, as well as related digital production tools, reflect an increasing level of capital investment by PCB customers in the most up-to-date Orbotech technology used in the manufacture of advanced PCBs for highly sophisticated electronic devices.

“We are gratified that these customers, which are major suppliers to several of the world’s top electronics companies, have once again selected Orbotech solutions as part of their strategic growth plan,” commented Richard Klapholz, corporate executive VP of Electronics Business at Orbotech.

He added: “PCB manufacturers are coming to realize that the significant challenges involved in the mass production of high quality, ultra-thin and increasingly complex boards can now only be met by the use of systems having LDI capabilities. The highly competitive nature of the advanced micro manufacturing segment requires continuous development of new production techniques that can keep pace with the rapid advances in electronics innovation and we are very pleased to be partnering with our customers in this process.”

Toshiba launches fiber optic transmission modules

JAPAN: Toshiba Corp. has launched the latest addition to its TOSLINKTM fiber optic transmission device line-up: fiber optic transmission modules that can send and receive signals from DC to 500 kb/s with low consumption current up to a maximum distance of 10m when using APF (all plastic fiber).

A newly developed high-luminosity LED allows the new products to be driven at a lower current than the existing products. Also, while existing products consume the same current, regardless of whether the module is engaged in optical communication or not, the new products has a circuit configuration that drastically reduces current consumption at times of no communication and that is highly suited for use in energy-sensitive applications.

The new products will be available in two package types: samples of horizontal-type transmitting and receiving modules, TOTX1353(F) and TORX1353(F), will be available by the end of March, with mass production in April; samples of vertical-type transmitting and receiving modules, TOTX1353(V,F) and TORX1353(V,F), will be available by the end of April, with mass production in May.

Power modules for charger apps

GERMANY: Semiconductors figure prominently in modern-day battery charging applications. This is why Vincotech has developed a wide range of power modules specifically for this purpose.

H-bridges, half-bridges, as well as buck and boost modules, in combination with rectifier modules, convert a fixed voltage and frequency into a lower DC voltage suitable for batteries. They boost overall efficiency and improve the size-to-cost ratio. Another benefit over conventional designs is the controllability.

What’s more, custom topologies can easily implemented in Vincotech’s power modules. These power modules make the most of the PCB and are very well suited for applications designed to leave a small footprint.

Omron releases D6F-PH thermal flow-type MEMS differential pressure sensor

JAPAN: Omron Corp. announced the release of the D6F-PH MEMS differential pressure sensor featuring Omron’s newly-developed cutting-edge MEMS thermal flow sensor chip.

The D6F-PH is a thermal flow-type sensor meaning it is capable of measuring with superior sensitivity and reproducibility in low pressure environments and with a wider pressure range than the commonly-used capacitance-type and piezoelectric-type differential pressure sensors.

Embedded ASICs carry out digital correction (linearity and temperature correction) making the D6F-PH more precise and less influenced by temperature than conventional analog output sensors.

The D6F-PH will make it possible to optimize business and household air conditioning and ventilation control in order to maximize energy efficiency, and also, for example, increase the accuracy of gas flow control and monitoring in digital medical equipment such as anesthetic machines and respirators.

Crystal IS announces record performance from single chip UVC LED

USA: Crystal IS, Inc., the leading manufacturer of proprietary, high-performance ultraviolet light emitting diodes (UVC LEDs) for monitoring, purification, and disinfection applications, has achieved more than 65mW in optical output at 260 nm from a single UVC LED operated in a continuous mode. The details of this breakthrough were recently published in Applied Physics Express.

"This achievement is a technological milestone in the continued development of brighter, more efficient and reliable UVC LEDs. By employing die thinning and encapsulation techniques, we were able to increase the photon extraction efficiency to over 15 percent, “said Leo Schowalter, founder and CTO.

"By fabricating our LEDs on our home grown aluminum nitride substrates, we continue to set the pace of what is possible for the combination of highest efficiencies and longest lifetimes in the 250-280 nm wavelength range, far surpassing diodes fabricated on sapphire."

“This R&D accomplishment represents a more than 6-fold increase in performance from just one year ago,” said Larry Felton, CEO. “Our progress in business operations continues on a like pace, readying us and our LEDs for commercial success.”

UVC refers to ultraviolet light with wavelengths between 200 – 280 nanometers (nm). Light in the UVC wavelength can be used for disinfecting water, sterilizing surfaces, destroying harmful micro-organisms in food products and in air, and for spectroscopy applications. Yole Développement estimates the UVC lamp market to be nearly $200 million in 2012, with lamps being replaced increasingly by UV LEDs.

Engineering samples of UVC LEDs are available from Crystal IS.

Avnet announces agreement to acquire RTI Holdings

USA: Avnet Inc. has agreed to acquire the shares of RTI Holdings Ltd., a value-added distributor of wireless, optical, telecom, data communications, and industrial components in Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

In addition, Avnet will also acquire the shares of three related entities, RTI Technology China Ltd, Eastele Technology China Ltd and DSP Solutions Ltd. This transaction has received all necessary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the next 30 days.

“China remains a high priority and key strategic focus for Avnet Electronics Marketing. The acquisition of RTI not only expands our market coverage in industrial, telecom, optical and datacom but it also strengthens our demand creation resources,” said Stephen Wong, president Avnet Electronics Marketing, Asia.

“RTI is a reputable player in the region delivering a breadth of engineering services from basic circuit design to total product solutions. The addition of RTI will further complement our strategic vision of providing best-in-class products and services to our customers in a critical growth region for Avnet.”

Configurable series of PoE-capable THT RJ45 jacks available in over 100 different versions!

GERMANY: Available in over 100 different variants to match customer requests and application requirements, SUYIN’s robust, right-angled 8P8C RJ45 jack with the model designation 101113FS520M204ZA is designed for THT-processes.

When fully equipped, this receptacle features a built-in receiver/transmitter filter (transformer module), two integrated light-emitting diodes (with yellow, green, and orange indication colors), and an additional Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connection.

That makes it possible to eliminate the need for a separate power supply cable and for a DC power supply jack on the board when used in applications for broadband data connections in 10/100-Base-T Ethernet networks, such as routers, POS systems, telephone systems, set-top boxes, and many similar devices.

Thanks to the modular design, users can now select individual configurations that meet specific needs in regard to the desired technical specifications and the mechanical layout:

• Alternative transformer solutions, for instance in regard to the inductance (standard: 350 µH), the transceiver’s insertion attenuation (standard: maximum of –1.2 dB in the 1 MHz to 125 MHz range), the common-mode rejection (standard: –30 dB) or the crosstalk (standard: –35 dB at up to 100 MHz).
• Equipping with LEDs (in different counts, or in versions without any LEDs)
• Alternative LED indication colors
• Different wiring plans
• And many other features.

QuickLogic's ArcticLink III VX6 supports embedded and external displays from single processor display output

USA: QuickLogic Corp., the innovator in low-power Customer Specific Standard Products (CSSPs), announced the immediate availability of its new ArcticLink III VX6 solution platform device.

This product integrates QuickLogic's Visual Enhancement Engine (VEE) and Display Power Optimizer (DPO) technologies along with LVDS, MIPI, and RGB interfaces into a single chip bridging and connectivity solution for consumer mobile devices. This enables developers to easily integrate a secondary HDMI and/or MHL video output into systems initially designed to support a single, on-board display.

The VX6BxG is optimized for tablet architecture, offering system designers a solution that bridges the MIPI output of the AP to an LVDS interface for the on-board display, while outputting the same display content to the RGB or MIPI interface of the MHL/HDMI transmitter. This approach eliminates the need for inefficient, multi-chip architectures or the need to upgrade to a more expensive application processor which supports two simultaneous display interfaces.

Arrow Electronics signs global distribution agreement with Critical Link

USA: Arrow Electronics Inc. has signed a distribution agreement with Critical Link, a leader in the development of embedded systems with expertise in a broad range of electronic applications.

Under the agreement, Arrow will distribute Critical Link’s ARM and DSP-based system-on-modules (SoMs) and development kits to customers in North America.

“Arrow is highly regarded throughout the industry for the depth and breadth of products and services they offer,” said Tom Catalino, VP for Critical Link. “Given their reputation and reach, we are very pleased that Arrow will be carrying our products.”

“Critical Link expands Arrow’s diverse embedded solutions offering and the tool packages to help our customers design and go to market quickly and effectively,” said David West, VP of supplier marketing for Arrow Electronics. “This collaboration adds to our strength in enabling new technologies and accelerating customer timelines.”

SEICA holds seminar on electronic testing of PCBs

ITALY: SEICA Italy held a technical seminar dedicated to the electronic testing of PCBs. This meeting was the official opportunity to present to the attending companies the new product line called RAPID; flying probers targeted to PCB testing.

The product represents the combined knowledge and expertise of the SEICA BBT line, and is based on the “Ultra Fast” technology. In addition to speed, attention to aesthetics and improved ergonomics were also very important. Compactness and rationality, combined with the software ease of use, are the result of Seica’s research to develop a system that is simple to use and maintain.

The Ultra Fast technology is based on an innovative stimuli and measurement system which is directly installed on the flying probes, and hence very close to the circuit under test. This technology is present on all Rapid Line testers. Therefore, every single test has “smart” hardware available, based on DSP technology, able to communicate in real-time with the central unit allowing for capacitive, resistive and inductive measurements which are highly accurate and precise.

The changes in the manufacturing processes and in the economy of many companies, along with the short time-to-market, increasingly justify the use of automation.  The use of automation will allow customers to achieve the efficiency levels and throughput imposed by the time and costs restraints of the market.

To be economically cost-effective in most of the manufacturing PCB operations of today (featured by high-quality of different units and by production cycles of small-to-medium series) any automated solution should have a high level of flexibility and a very short setup time. To reach this requirement, an automated solution should include mechanical flexibility, and simplified and intuitive software in order to empower the user with the complete solution in mixed, and low-volume production.

The Rapid range also has in-line test solutions (Rapid 240, equipped with four flying probes, Rapid 280, equipped with eight probes), with automatic loading/unloading capability.

Since the time required for testing is normally longer than most other manufacturing processes, the most common configuration for testing is the “stand-alone” configuration, with storage units/external loaders connected to the internal loader of the test system.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Newark element14 expands Panasonic distribution agreement to stock full industrial devices line

USA: Design engineers can now quickly source Panasonic's full range of board-level passive components and discrete semiconductors from Newark element14.

Newark element14, a leading distributor of electronic components and engineering solutions in the Americas, and Panasonic, an industry-leading manufacturer of high quality electronic components, have agreed to expand their distribution agreement to include a wide range of passive components, semiconductors and wireless RF modules.

The agreement builds on Newark element14's long-term success marketing Panasonic relays, sensors, electromechanical components and industrial automation products, and increases the range of capacitors, resistors, inductors, electromechanical switches and discrete components available for same-day shipping.

Silego intros world's smallest plastic packaged load switch

USA: Silego Technology's extensive line of load switches now includes the world's smallest standard packaged load switch.

The 1x1 mm load switch has programmable ramp rate control, integrated discharge, and over-temperature protection. "Silego designs our products with reliability, ease of use, and high volume in mind," said John McDonald , VP of Marketing.

He continued: "We again demonstrate adherence to those principals with this introduction of the world's smallest high-performance load switch using standard packaging. Most electronics manufacturers prefer standard plastic packages over WL-CSP, as they are easier to manufacture, and have better reliability in harsh environments."

In addition, Silego's power process allows integrated advanced power protection circuits. The SLG59M1440V has an integrated temperature sensor that shuts the switch OFF during over-temperature conditions.

Load switches are used to switch power rails. Silego load switches control surge currents at turn on with programmable linear ramps, reduce leakage on a power rails when the system is OFF or in hibernate mode, and replace the much larger power MOSFETs and their associated control circuitry often at the same cost and with lower Rds(ON).

Industry's first mass-produced SiC MOS module, without a Schottky diode

USA:  ROHM has started the mass-production of a 1200V/180A-rated SiC MOS module BSM180D12P2C101 for inverters/converters used in industrial equipment, photovoltaic power conditioners and the like.

This new module is the first to incorporate a power semiconductor comprised of just an SiC MOSFET, increasing the rated current to 180A for broader applicability while contributing to lower power consumption and greater compactness.

Next-generation SiC MOSFET technology is utilized to minimize conduction degradation of the body diode, eliminating the need for diode rectification. This makes it possible to increase the mounting area for higher current handling capability while maintaining the same compact form factor.

In addition, by improving processes and device structures related to crystal defects ROHM was able to overcome all problems related to reliability, including that of the body diode. The result is 50 percent less loss compared with conventional Si IGBTs used in general-purpose inverters. This decreased loss, along with an operating frequency greater than 50kHz, ensures compatibility with smaller peripheral components for greater end-product miniaturization.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Finisar demos high-density CFP2 single- and multi-mode 100G modules

USA: Finisar Corp. is demonstrating several new technologies for datacom applications at OFC/NFOEC, including two 100G CFP2 modules, which improve port density and flexibility in high-performance optical networks. Demonstrations will take place during OFC/NFOEC in Finisar's booth #2405 at the Anaheim Convention Center, March 19-21, 2013.

CFP2 high-density 100G modules: Finisar is demonstrating two new optical transceiver modules enabling high-density single mode and multimode 100G ports using the new CFP2 multi-sourced 100G module form factor. For single mode fiber applications, the 100GBASE-LR4 CFP2 module supports 100GE links up to 10km using 4x28G DFB lasers, with a power dissipation of less than 8W maximum and 6W typical.

This is significantly lower than EML-based solutions and enables higher port density systems. The module meets IEEE 802.3, OIF and OTN standards, interoperates with existing 100GBASE-LR4 CFP modules, and is expected to be in full production later in 2013. For multimode fiber applications, the 100GBASE-SR10 CFP2 module supports 100GE links up to 150 meters.

The module also supports 10G Ethernet fan-out applications, interoperating with either 10x 10GE-SR SFP+ modules (up to 300 meter links) or with 2x 40GE-SR4 QSFP+ and 2x 10GE-SR SFP+ modules, enabling 100% bandwidth utilization. Based on 10x10G VCSELs and supporting digital diagnostic monitoring functionality, the module offers a maximum power dissipation of 3.5W and interoperates with 100GBASE-SR10 CFP modules.

Highest density 25G embedded optical engine: With the Parallel 25G BOA (Board Mounted Optical Assembly), Finisar is demonstrating 24 channels supporting more than 600Gbps between transmitter and receiver modules. The Parallel 25G BOA offers the smallest footprint available in a transceiver, is ideal for board-to-board interconnect and optical backplanes, and supports protocols ranging from 1 Gbps to 28 Gbps per channel including, but not limited to, Ethernet, PCIe, InfiniBand, and Fibre Channel.

4 x 10G parallel single mode QSFP+ using 1310nm VCSELs: By transmitting four independent longwave 10Gbps signals on parallel single mode fibers to separate SFP+ modules, a single QSFP+ module can provide extremely high density 10Gbps links in data center deployments. The use of longwave VCSEL technology makes this single mode module complementary to today's short reach multimode QSFP+ modules, and the use of standard wavelengths makes it interoperable with the installed base of longwave 10GBASE-LR transceivers.

Active Optical Cable (AOC) Family Showcase: This product display shows the comprehensive AOC portfolio available from Finisar today for server and switch interconnects for high performance computing and data center applications. Products on display include Laserwire, Quadwire, C.wire, SFPwire and consumer-grade cables, and reflect Finisar's 25 years of expertise in optical components.

"Finisar continues to invest in advancing technology for optical networks to improve the performance of existing infrastructure as well as to drive innovation at the leading edge of high-density optical networks," said Rafik Ward, VP of marketing, Finisar. "With products like the CFP2 and the Parallel 25G BOA, Finisar once again has proven its forward-thinking leadership in the communications industry."

In addition to these demonstrations for datacom applications, Finisar demonstrated a new Dual 1x20 Wavelength Selective Switch (WSS) and Triplexer OSA for telecom applications. Finisar will also have on display optical products from its wide portfolio, including its latest optical transceivers, WSS devices, advanced optical components, amplifiers, and passive devices.

Ioxus brings three new modules (iMOD) with high power and energy density

USA: Ioxus, a manufacturer of premium performance ultracapacitor technology for transportation, alternative energy, medical, industrial and consumer product markets, unveiled three new modules: the iMOD 16V/500F, 80V/15F and 48V/165F, which all deliver higher power and energy densities as compared with competitive products.

Notably, the iMOD 16V/500F provides power density up to 95 percent greater than modules currently on the market.

“We’re seeing global customers in the automotive, wind energy, industrial and hybrid bus sectors strive for greater efficiency and higher performance with their systems, making the need for flexible and powerful products more important than ever,” said Mark McGough, CEO of Ioxus. “Here at Ioxus, we invest significant resources into our product design and are proud to have the most advanced R&D in the industry. We are always striving to create products that provide the technology, form and function best-suited to address our customers’ needs and the pain points of key industries.”

The iMOD 16V/500F, 80V/15F and 48V/165F have several applications integral to the success of global industries, including in stop/start transportation systems, regenerative energy capture, grid power storage systems, backup power/UPS and robotics.

In addition to addressing needs of key industries, these modules were designed with the customer experience in mind. The iMOD 80V/15F can be ordered as a preassembled field replacement unit (FRU), eliminating up to 10 hours of labor and reducing the opportunity for assembly error.

The iMOD 16V/500F has customizable end plates to fit a variety of alternate mounting configurations based on a customer’s need. Additionally, the iMOD 48V/165F has better thermal performance than competitors, leading to long life in high power, high cycle applications.

MSA to advance 400 Gbps copper cable and fiber optic transceiver markets

OFC/NFOEC 2013, USA: Five leading global companies intend to enter into a multi-source agreement (MSA) to create the CDFP (400 Gbps form-factor pluggable) industry consortium to define a transceiver module/plug mechanical form factor and a host-board electrical edge connector and cage.

These are: Avago Technologies, Brocade Communications Systems Inc., JDS Uniphase Corp., Molex Inc., and TE Connectivity.

The new CDFP MSA is intended to specify and encourage the development and commercialization of a 400 Gbps hot pluggable module that integrates 16 transmit and 16 receive channels supporting passive and active copper cables, and active optical modules.

“This highly integrated transceiver module is expected to enable network equipment manufacturers to implement 400 Gbps solutions with high port density and increased system data throughput,” states Scott Kipp, senior technologist, Brocade. “The MSA group intends to make specification details available to promote industry-wide adoption of compatible high density products.”

The CDFP MSA participants desire to provide products that are mechanically and electrically interchangeable. The project scope will specify the electrical interfaces, optical interfaces and mechanical interfaces, which may include optical connector and mating fiber optic cable plug, electrical connector, guide rail, front panel and host PCB layout requirements. Additionally, the MSA specification is expected to include thermal, electromagnetic and electrostatic discharge design recommendations.

“The collaboration is committed to enhancing customer choice and assuring interoperation and interchangeability by establishing multiple compatible sources of front panel, hot pluggable, 16-channel 400 Gbps modules that will essentially allow the entire copper cable and fiber optics transceiver market to grow more rapidly,” states Scott Sommers, group product manager, Molex.

Zilog announces MCU based battery charging reference design

USA & SWITZERLAND: Zilog, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IXYS Corp. and a pioneer supplier of application-specific, embedded microcontroller (MCU) system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for industrial and consumer power management applications, is introducing its new Buck Converter Battery Charger Reference Design that employs Zilog’s Z8F042A MCU to control a step-down DC-DC converter (also known as a buck converter) that acts as a regulated power source.

This buck converter battery charger hardware is capable of regulating charger output in a number of modes, such as constant voltage or constant current with set current limits. The charger can be viewed as a complete control system. The type and capacity of the battery determines the mode of operation of the battery controller.

The voltage and current set points are also determined by the type and capacity of the battery. All battery control loop operations can be controlled by the user via the Z8F042A MCU’s UART block and feedback is provided in the HyperTerminal console. Additionally, LEDs provide a visual status of the charging process.

This low-cost reference design demonstrates a lithium ion battery charger consisting of a Z8F042A MCU and a buck converter. The charging process utilizes the highly accurate ADC peripheral and alternates between current and voltage monitoring which is controlled in the background software routine, allowing for the UART to be processed in the main function.

With the provided hyper terminal GUI, the user can enter desired set-voltages and set-currents. A proportional/integral (PI) control loop is used to charge the battery and to monitor the battery voltage after the charging process is completed. To save memory resources, the provided UART does not implement the STDIO.H libraries. Instead, a simple UART using only integer values is used.

Next-gen batteries eye slice of $10 billion Li-ion market

USA: Mobile energy storage is critical for everything from the phones and computers we carry, to the soldiers and weapons that protect us – and even to the cars we drive.

While lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries have established themselves as the leading technology today, exotic ideas such as lithium-air, lithium-sulfur, solid-state and zinc-air batteries offer up to 10 times better energy density. However, most are at early stages of development and none will attain parity with the Li-ion before 2024.

“The next generation of batteries remains mostly in research labs, undergoing fundamental development, and technologies led by Li-air, Li-S, and solid-state are still not yet ready for prime time,” said Cosmin Laslau, Lux research analyst and the lead author of the report titled, “Beyond Lithium-Ion: A Roadmap for Next-Generation Batteries.”

“However, customers will ultimately require the top-shelf performance that only technologies beyond Li-ion can provide – and leading companies like BASF, Toyota, and IBM are placing large and early bets,” added Laslau.

Lux Research analysts assessed the next-generation batteries, dispelling hype and identifying obstacles, and built a next-generation energy storage roadmap. Among their findings:

A roadmap for adoption. Cost-insensitive military applications will provide the entry point for next-generation batteries around 2020, while consumer electronics will follow a little later with significant adoption of solid-state batteries. However, next-generation batteries will face cost and technology hurdles in transportation.

Cost parity in a decade. Next-generation batteries will become cost-competitive with Li-ion in 2024. Solid-state batteries will take until 2021 to reach $409/kWh, the current cost for Li-ion batteries. By 2030, most battery cells will drop in nominal cost to below $200/kWh on the cell level.

Three early leaders emerging. Start-ups PolyPlus, Sion Power, and Oxis Energy have received ample funding and made technical headway. PolyPlus, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, has developed a coating for protected lithium electrodes in Li-air and Li-S. Sion Power, backed by BASF, and Oxis Energy, financed by Sasol New Energy, own proprietary organic and polymer electrolytes for Li-S.