Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vishay Intertechnology releases slew-rate-controlled P-channel high-side load switches in compact WCSP6 package

USA: Vishay Intertechnology Inc. has introduced two new slew-rate-controlled p-channel high-side load switches designed for 1.5 V to 5.5 V operation.

The SiP32458 and SiP32459 each offer an integrated gate pump that provides low and flat on-resistance down to 20 milliohms, while maintaining a low quiescent current. Offered in a compact 6-bump wafer-level CSP package (WCSP6), the devices feature a controlled slow turn-on slew rate of 3 ms typical at 4.5 V to limit the in-rush current for designs with capacitive or noise-sensitive loads.

For higher efficiency, the load switches released today provide low switch on-resistance of 30 milliohms typical at 1.5 V, 26 milliohms typical at 1.8 V, and 20 milliohms typical at 3.3 V and 5 V. Both switches support 3 A of continuous current, while a low quiescent current of 4.2 micro-amps typical allows for longer on-times in battery-powered equipment.

When disabled, the SiP32458 provides a reverse blocking circuit to prevent high current from flowing into the power source. The SiP32459 integrates an output discharge switch that enables a fast discharge of the load when the load switch is disabled.

The WCSP6 package of the SiP32458 and SiP32459 offers a small 1 mm by 1.5 mm footprint with a 0.5 mm pitch, and features a top-side lamination for enhanced mechanical ruggedness. To save further space, the load switches feature a low input logic control threshold that can interface directly with low-voltage I/O pins, eliminating the need for extra level-shifting circuitry or higher voltage gate drivers. Both devices provide integrated 2.8 megohm pull-down resistors at their control logic EN pins.

Rambus expands family of revolutionary LED-based light bulbs

National Hardware Show 2013, USA: Rambus Inc. has expanded its LED bulb product portfolio to include both PAR30 and BR30 bulbs.

Like the previously introduced Rambus A19 bulb, the two new products are built on the company’s MicroLens optical technology, provide excellent energy efficiency and broad dimmer compatability, and are designed to provide highly effective thermal management.

The new Rambus PAR30 (65-watt equivalent) and BR30 (75-watt equivalent) LED bulbs are designed to address the energy efficiency, reduced glare and lighting experience needs of consumers, property managers, retailers, lighting designers, and specifiers across a wide range of indoor and outdoor lighting applications.

“The LED market is experiencing record growth as consumer and professional demand for energy-efficient products continues to rise and new innovations improve the performance, cost and overall value of LED-based products,” said Jeffery Parker, president of the Rambus Lighting and Display Technology business.

“Rambus is at the forefront of LED bulb innovation with our optical technologies, significantly improving light distribution, performance, and overall product lifetime.”

The Rambus PAR30 and BR30 LED bulbs exceed lumen output specified by Energy Star. In addition, the superior micro-electronics improve dimmability and provide a better lighting experience. The full portfolio of Rambus LED bulbs are currently available for commercial orders, with shipments expected to start by the third quarter of this year.

The Elite Group will promote and sell the Rambus LED bulb portfolio to retail markets within North America, including the broad range of major retail customers already working with Elite.

IXYS intros 3.6kV 630A dual isolated base rectifier module

SWITZERLAND: IXYS Corp. announced that its subsidiary, IXYS UK Westcode Ltd., has launched a new higher voltage rectifier diode in a dual isolated base module.

The diodes, rated at up to 3600 volt, are encapsulated in the industry standard 5.87 inch (149mm) x 2.36 inch (60mm) base plate housing. The diodes have an average current rating of 632 Amperes for a case temperature of 85 degrees centigrade and have a peak surge rating of 13 kilo Amperes.

Junction to case thermal resistance for each diode is 0.062 kelvins per watt. The diode dice are fused to a metal disc for optimum thermal performance with a copper base plate and an all pressure contact construction for maximum reliability and ruggedness.

The diode is available in two voltage classes, 3kV and 3.6kV, and three different configurations: MDD (half bridge), MDA (common anode) and MDK (common cathode). Nomenclature is as standard for this product group from IXYS UK: Half bridge 3kV MDD630-30N2 and 3.6kV MDD630-36N2, Common anode 3kV MDA630-30N2 and 3.6kV MDA630-36N2 and Common cathode 3kV MDK630-30N2 and 3.6kV MDK630-36N2.

Devices are suitable for all rectifier diode applications requiring this current and voltage rating.

Excelitas expands family of Avalanche photodiodes (APDs)

SPIE Defense, Security & Sensing 2013, USA: Excelitas Technologies, a global technology leader focused on delivering innovative, customized optoelectronics to OEMs seeking high-performance technology solutions, has introduced two new products to its line of industry-leading high-speed, low-light analog APD LLAM receiver modules, the LLAM-1550E-R2AH and the LLAM-1550E-R08BH.

Featuring enhanced optical damage thresholds and increased 1550 nm peak response, the LLAM-1550E modules offer greater resilience when exposed to higher optical power densities and increased reliability for a broad range of mission-critical applications.

The LLAM-1550E modules from Excelitas were developed specifically for situations requiring a wide dynamic operating range, high frequency response, extremely low-light detection scenarios such as laser imaging detection, combat, range finding and free-space communication.

The modules, hermetically sealed within a TO housing, are capable of detecting extremely low-light signals with a bandwidth up to 200MHz and have an excellent spectral response between 900 – 1700 nm. Excelitas’ LLAM series is offered as a standard, RoHS-compliant, commercial off-the-shelf product and can be customized for bandwidth and gain optimization, use of different APDs, and packages.

Mouser announces global distribution of Terasic design solutions for Altera FPGAs

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. announced a new global distribution agreement with Terasic Technologies, a world innovator in FPGA design solutions. The Terasic product line-up includes FPGA based and programmable logic devices.

Terasic is a top design partner for Altera Corp. and is a member of the Altera Design Services Network (DSN) Program. As an Altera DSN Partner, Terasic continues to assist Altera in providing timely services, high-quality products, and excellent technical support to customers.

The significant improvements in FPGA performance and the dramatic reduction in costs have opened up the use of programmable logic to a universe of new products.Such improvements have made programmable logic even more essential for product development, education, and research. Terasic Technologies is dedicated to providing a wide range of various FPGA based boards for academia and to industries that combine quality, performance, and low cost to meet every single requirement.

Mouser is stocking Terasic’s newest Stratix and Cyclone FPGA development tools, boards, and kits, including tools for Cyclone I through Cyclone IV and the DE5-Net Stratix V GX FPGA Development Kit.

These kits provide ideal hardware solutions for designs that demand high capacity and bandwidth memory interfacing, ultra-low latency communication, and power efficiency. The DE5-Net is designed for the most demanding high-end applications, empowered with the top-of-the-line Altera Stratix V GX, delivering the best system-level integration and flexibility in the industry.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Kingston Digital releases wireless reader, battery charger for Apple, Android mobile devices

USA: Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Co. Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, announced the release of MobileLite Wireless.

MobileLite Wireless is the next generation of the innovative Wi-Drive portable wireless storage device Kingston® released in 2011, for Apple and Android devices. The new reader is enhanced as it wirelessly streams movies, music, photos and documents from USB Flash drives, microSD (with included adapter) and SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. MobileLite Wireless also serves as an emergency mobile charger when the user’s phone battery gets low.

Kingston’s new MobileLite Wireless is the ultimate companion to keep up with one’s active lifestyle, giving users access to unprecedented mobile essentials at a great price. It is as easy as plugging in any USB Flash drive into the USB port to quickly watch and share movies or view and share files wirelessly on mobile devices.

The SD/SDHC/SDXC slot enables fast, easy sharing of images with friends and family by removing the card from a camera and plugging it directly into the MobileLite Wireless. The included adapter allows the same access and sharing for microSD cards used in many mobile phones and tablets.

MobileLite Wireless also serves as an emergency backup battery charger to keep devices going longer. The charging feature works with most mobile phones as it charges them via the device’s USB slot. MobileLite Wireless has a rechargeable battery which can handle up to five hours of continuous use as a wireless reader, easily handling long road trips.

MobileLite Wireless allows streaming and sharing of data with up to three users simultaneously. Like the Wi-Drive, the new device allows simultaneous connections to both device and router via Wi-Fi so, for example, one can stream music and browse the Internet at the same time. The MobileLite Wireless app is available now for Apple devices and soon for Android and Kindle Fire. Support for Windows Phone OS, Windows PC and Mac are forthcoming.

The feature-rich MobileLite Wireless has a suggested price of $69.99. It is available via e-tail in the United States at Amazon.com, and will be carried in the coming weeks at Staples retail locations. It will be available globally soon via a ramped regional rollout.

Fairchild's quad-MOSFET solution boosts efficiency and eliminates heat sinking in active bridge apps

USA: Excessive heat generation in high-definition, compact active bridge applications such as network cameras can cause image quality issues.

Similarly, thermally induced noise can affect the system’s image sensors which can also degrade the camera’s picture quality. The typical heat sinking solution to regulate thermal fluctuations can further complicate these intricate designs with added component count and cluttered board space.

Fairchild Semiconductor’s FDMQ86530L 60V quad-MOSFET provides designers with an all-in-one package to help with these critical design challenges.

Comprised of four 60V N-Channel MOSFETs and utilizing Fairchild’s GreenBridge technology, the FDMQ86530L solution improves the conduction loss and efficiency of the conventional diode bridge providing a ten-fold improvement in power dissipation.

Available in a thermally enhanced, space-saving 4.5 x 5.0 mm MLP 12-lead package, the device eliminates the need for a heat sink enabling a compact design that increases power conversion efficiency in 12 and 24V AC applications.

Fairchild improves energy efficiency and reliability in motor control apps

USA: Electric motor drive systems (EMDS) are the single largest user of electrical power and account for twice as much energy usage when compared to lighting applications.

By 2030, the demand associated with electric motors is expected to more than double. The associated CO2 emissions are expected to increase by more than 40 percent. In the European Union, new regulatory initiatives including the Eco-design Directive and the Electric Motor Regulations, are intended to ban energy-inefficient electric motors, and to further achieve the goals of creating environmental sustainability, and reduce CO2 emissions.

At PCIM 2013, 14-16 May, in booth 9-436 at Nuremberg Messe, Nuremberg, Germany, Fairchild Semiconductor, a leading global supplier of high performance power and mobile semiconductor solutions will focus on motion control applications.

Efficiency, reliability, and thermal performance, along with reducing noise and board space and ease of design, are critical challenges for motor control architectures. Designers commonly choose AC Induction Motors (ACIM), brushed and brushless DC, stepper and Permanent Magnet Synchronous (PMSM) to meet these challenges. However, choosing the right components for the system is also critical to the success of the design.

During the show, “Fairchild in Motion” addresses these challenges with solutions that improve power efficiency and shorten time-to-market while minimizing design efforts. Demonstrations include:

3-phase motors: 3 phase AC input motor control solutions featuring SiC BJTs that offer leading efficiency and reliability; SPM® smart power modules in power conversion systems.

Single-phase AC input motors: Single-phase AC input motor solutions featuring 4kW power factor correction (PFC) using silicon carbide (SiC), as well as SPM devices.

Low/medium voltage motors: UL-certified BLDC controller that accelerates time to market and offers simplified software design for BLDC/PMSM motor control designs.

Automotive motors: Standard and customized automotive power modules for voltages ranging from 12V to 650V and currents beyond 160A.

Other demonstrations at the show include LED lighting solutions (dimmable and non-dimmable), industrial power solutions; Opto/IGBT/SiC driver boards; high density power supply solutions; PowerTrench MOSFETs and TO-Leadless (TO-LL) packages for automotive applications and DC-DC conversion demos with superior thermal regulation.

Allied Electronics signs distribution agreement with ON Semiconductor

USA: Allied Electronics, a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, recently signed a distribution agreement with ON Semiconductor, one of the largest global semiconductor companies offering a comprehensive portfolio of energy-efficient products.

"The addition of ON Semiconductor to the Allied linecard offers customers a premium brand focused on energy-efficient solutions for their electronics applications," says Frank Cantwell, VP of product management at Allied. "We are excited to continue our pursuit of globally recognized partnerships to fulfill our customers' expanding needs."

Allied has more than 2,000 ON Semi product skus in stock, available for same-day shipping and next-day delivery, and anticipates quarterly expansion of top sellers and new product introductions.

China’s LED lighting market demand value may reach $10 billion in 2015

TAIWAN: According to the “Chinese Lighting Market Report (2013 version)” released by LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce , the Chinese government successfully passed a series of domestic policies in 2012 that serve to not only stimulate LED lighting demand, but also to strengthen the entire business momentum within the LED lighting market.

A few of the key policies worth noting include the proposed spending of 2.2 billion RMB on the promotion of CFL and LED lights. Bans on the sales of 100 Watt-and-above incandescent light bulbs, along with those of halogen lamps whose efficiency levels fall below required standards, took effect on October 1st, 2012.

With the general demand for traditional lighting replacement, both LED-based and energy-saving lighting items are expected to gain significant momentum. LEDinside has attempted to measure Chinese LED lighting market value by formulating a model based on the original demand for general luminous flux and the replacement demand for LED-based lighting.

As a means to ensure as much prediction accuracy as possible, factors such as China's domestic economic growth and the factors to raise LED lighting penetration rate in China were also taken into account. LEDinside has forecasted that by 2015, the Chinese LED lighting demand will rise up to as high as $10 billion.

Assuming the country is successful in maintaining its economic growth and increasing LED lighting popularity, the demand value is likely to reach a staggering $22 billion in 2020.

Despite the large, huge scale of China’s LED lighting market, different marketing channels are expected to exert different impacts on the various production life cycles of LED lighting products. While China’s LED industry development is at present still known to be dependent on engineering projects and bidding projects, the situation is expected to change for the better if more and more LED lighting manufacturers deeply develop their business channels and tradition lighting manufacturers generally use LED luminaires.

As indicated by LEDinside, through the help of online and physical sales channels, the popularity of LED lighting products will ultimately be greater now than it has ever been in the past. In time, LED lighting is expected to break away from the confines of its segmented market and be able to reach a wider, broader audience in China.

Toshiba launches stepping motor control drivers combining high voltage, high current and high efficiency

JAPAN: Toshiba Corp. has launched six next-generation stepping motor control drivers using the Toshiba BiCD 130nm mixed-signal process technology, providing excellent Ron per unit area, to achieve highly integrated, low-power devices with the industry's highest voltage and current combination, (Parts TB6600HG and TB67H302HG)1 and compact footprints (Parts TB67S213FTAG, TB67S215FTAG, TB62261FTAG and TB62262FTAG).

These devices are well suited for a variety of applications such as printers, ATM, robotics, process control machines, and medical equipment.

Today's printers, ATMs, and process control machines require high speed, high torque, and high precision for efficient long-term operation. The new Toshiba stepping motor control drivers satisfy these requirements through exceptional design, superior performance, and optimum packaging.

For high-power applications, the TB6600HG and TB67H302HG devices combine the highest voltage and current combination in class and are rated 50V/5.0A2. They come in a heatsink mountable HZIP25 package. In addition, the TB6600HG has 1/16 micro-stepping capability that reduces acoustic noise and vibration.

The TB67S213FTAG and TB67S215FTAG devices are rated 40V/2.5A2 and are housed in a compact QFN-36 6mm x 6mm package for medium-power applications. They also reduce power consumption by 50 percent compared to previous generation devices. The TB62261FTAG and TB62262FTAG devices are rated 40V/1.5A2 and also come in a QFN-36 6mm x 6mm package for low-power applications.

All of the above mentioned Toshiba motor control drivers have a mixed-decay mode, which improves the response characteristics of the motor drive current by changing the current path, for optimum motor driving. The QFN-36 6mm x 6mm packaged devices are also about 30 percent smaller than surface mount devices of similar performance . As such, these motor control drivers can be integrated in motor control boards to reduce customer design costs.

Friday, April 26, 2013

AOS expands 600V AlphaMOS portfolio

USA: Alpha and Omega Semiconductor Ltd (AOS) has announced the release of AOD4C60, AOD3C60, and AOD2HC60, the newest additions to its 600V AlphaMOS portfolio, which combines features such as robustness, controlled switching and low on-resistance to produce high-performing devices.

These new products are well suited for commercial and industrial CFL ballasting as well as LED lighting for residential and commercial applications.

These new devices are built using proprietary AlphaMOS technology, designed for efficient switching and dependable reliability. The device structure of these solutions allows for a smooth dv/dt and di/dt
transition during hard switching, thereby reducing the ringing typically experienced with other superjunction-type devices.

Furthermore, these devices offer 3x the avalanche current capability versus comparable superjunction solutions and enables power circuits to outlast fault conditions such as power line surges and lighting surges. These solutions are available in 4A, 3A, and 2.5A varieties in the DPAK green package and are 100 percent Rg and UIS tested.

Declining prices of LED luminaires triggers market growth

USA: The LED revolution is here! Adoption rates of LED lighting are expected to soar in the coming years as the efficacy and quality of LEDs surpass those of competing technologies and as prices fall to enable reasonable payback periods.

Between 2011 and 2012, more efficient manufacture through improved luminaire designs utilizing high lumen packages arranged in multichip arrays contributed to cost reductions in LED luminaires triggering market growth and adoption.

Revenues grew from $7.3 billion in 2011 to $9.4 billion in 2012, representing a growth of 28 percent. The forecast CAGR for revenues in LED Luminaires in all applications between 2012 and 2016 is 18 percent.

Except for consumer portable and emergency lighting applications, all other applications are expected to post compound growth rates in the double digits. Robust market growth for LED luminaires is expected to surpass 15 percent CAGR in most regions as LED luminaire adoption for commercial applications continues to rise.

Lighting is the fastest growing market segment for LED technology. To understand this dynamic market and its driving forces, Strategies Unlimited has released a comprehensive report that looks at the demand of the high-brightness LED lighting luminaire market. The report includes an application analysis, worldwide market review, five-year market forecast and an appendix of LED Luminaire manufacturers.

Mouser stocks Cree’s smallest lighting-class XLamp XQ-B and XQ-D LEDs

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. announced it is stocking the new XLamp XQ-B and XQ-D LEDs from Cree, their smallest lighting-class LEDs, offering breakthrough size and light distribution.

Cree XLamp XQ-B and XQ-D LEDs deliver lighting-class reliability and a wider spread of light than typical plastic packages. Built on Cree's revolutionary SC3 Technology Platform, the XLamp XQ LEDs deliver the unique combination of small size, reliability, and novel light distribution.

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 1.6 x 1.6mm, 57% smaller than Cree's XLamp XB package. The ceramic-based XQ LEDs deliver reliability comparable to Cree's other ceramic high-power LEDs, such as the high-performing XP or XT LEDs.

The XQ LED also features an innovative light-emission pattern where more light is directed to the sides than straight out of the package. Compared to standard LEDs, XQ LEDs allow the use of fewer LEDs to achieve a wide, distributed light pattern. Together, these innovations enable manufacturers to increase the light output, reliability, and omni-directionality of their designs.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

AOS delivers industry's lowest on-resistance in a DFN5x6 package with 150V power MOSFET

USA: Alpha and Omega Semiconductor Ltd (AOS) announced the release of AON6250, the flagship device in its new 150V AlphaMOS medium voltage portfolio.

The AON6250 is well suited for a wide range of applications that are pushing the limits of efficiency such as primary side and secondary side switching in telecom and industrial DC/DC converters, secondary side synchronous rectification in DC/DC and AC/DC converters, as well as solar micro-inverters, and POL modules for telecom systems.

The advanced AlphaMOS silicon technology enables AON6250 to deliver an optimized combination of industry-leading on-resistance and fast switching performance. The on-resistance of this device is 57 percent lower than the previous generation of products and is 8 percent lower than the leading 150V device found in the market today.

Additionally, AON6250 delivers the best figure-of-merit for RDS(ON) * COSS in the market, thereby reducing the energy loss incurred during switching. The result is increased efficiency in both light-load and heavy-load conditions. This device is available in a compact size DFN5x6 green package and is 100 percent Rg and UIS tested.

AON6250 is the lead product in what will be a new portfolio of 150V products.

Mouser delivers LedEngin ViviLux LED modules

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. announced it is stocking the new ViviLux LEDs from LedEngin, winner of "Advanced in Lighting" by e-Legacy Awards for 2012.

LedEngin ViviLux LEDs deliver bold, vivid, and energy-efficient Lux-on-Target directional lighting for retail and commercial lighting. These high-efficiency, CRI 90 emitter-plus-lens combinations offer superior performance, leveraging LedEngin's high density LuxiGen LED emitters and optics with high quality light, beam control, and the energy-efficiency demanded in today's green environment.

The powerful, yet compact ViviLux emitter and lens combinations have the highest luminous efficacy, or lux/Watt, for a single CRI 90 LED, while maximizing Lux-on-Target for downlighting and accent lighting where high quality illumination is demanded.

Additionally, emitter-to-emitter variations of less than 2.5 MacAdam Ellipses guarantee lighting consistency. ViviLux is available in three beam options—24º, 35º, and 45º—providing flexibility and freedom in lighting design.

AVX develops connector-less contact system

USA: AVX Corp., a leading manufacturer of passive components and interconnect solutions, has developed a coplanar, connector-less contact system that optimizes lateral PCB alignment and maximizes mating tolerances in linear LED lighting applications.

Packaged on tape and reel for individual, automatic placement, the new 70-9159 horizontal contact system features a 5A current rating, absorbs significant X- and Y-axis assembly tolerances, provides a reliable gold-to-gold active contact interface for maximum contact integrity in rugged lighting environments, and can support both board-to-board and wire-to-board applications.

AVX's new 70-9159 contacts remove the insulator from the connection solution, enabling LEDs to be placed in the center of the PCB and contacts to be individually placed on its outer edges, effectively
maximizing function and mitigating costs. Featuring a contact height of 1.2mm above the PCB to prevent shadowing, the contacts may be individually spaced to support any voltage rating with a 5A current rating.

Capable of supporting operating temperatures ranging from -40 degrees C to +125 degrees C, the 70-9159 copper alloy contacts have gold socket contacts with 1mm side-to-side tolerance, tin plugs with gold in the mating area and a 1mm mating tolerance, and five-cycle durability.

In addition to LED strip lighting, AVX's 70-9159 contacts are ideal for use in commercial and industrial co-planar or extended card applications.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fairchild's integrated low-side gate driver incorporates 3.3-V LDO regulator in 5-Lead SOT 23 package

USA: Saving board space, reducing bill of material (BOM) costs, and decreasing time to market are constant challenges for electrical designers.

Many applications today use a combination of a microcontroller, an external low-dropout regulator (LDO), and a gate driver in systems such as switch-mode power supplies (SMPS), consumer electronics, or portable hand-tools.

To help designers of such systems save component count, board space, design time and cost, Fairchild Semiconductor developed the FAN3180 which is a single, 2-A low-side driver with an integrated 3.3-V output voltage regulator which can power microcontrollers or ASICs as well as provide a strong gate drive for an external semiconductor switch.

The FAN3180, part of Fairchild’s comprehensive portfolio of gate drivers, helps designers reduce component count, board space, system costs and design times for today’s electronic designs.

Available in a lead (Pb)-free green 5-pin SOT23 package, the FAN3180 is priced at $0.60 in 1,000 piece quantities.

Innovation leaders roadmap future of portable power

Battery Power 2013, USA: From mobile phones and tablets to power tools and two-way radios, portable electronics are an integral part of everyday life. Improving the consumer experience with longer battery life and convenient charging can give OEMs and battery manufacturers a competitive edge. Join hundreds of design engineers at Battery Power 2013, June 6-7 in Denver, Colo., to discuss the best practices to improve your power needs.

The conference is designed for OEM design engineers, system engineers, technical and management professionals involved in mobile battery powered products, battery manufacturing, R&D and power management technology. Presentation topics include new battery designs, battery materials, power management, wireless charging, testing and safety, as well as the latest market trends.

“With the continued expansion of power-hungry electronic devices and the trend to integrate wireless charging into main-stream America, it is more important than ever for design engineers to develop products that live up to consumer expectations,” said Shannon Given, program manager of Battery Power 2013. “With devices such as tablets, e-Readers and smart phones, design engineers are seeking ways to improve battery life while reducing the battery footprint. Battery Power 2013 addresses these topics and others impacting mobile devices.”

Industry-leading companies presenting at Battery Power 2013 include Nokia, Intel, Argonne National Lab, XMS Capital, Underwriters Laboratories, Texas Instruments, Pike Research, Idaho National Lab, Vishay, Qualcomm, Palladium Energy and RRC Power Solutions.

SWITCH unveils next gen LED A-Lamp

LIGHTFAIR International 2013, USA: SWITCH Lighting, makers of the only family of liquid-cooled LED replacement A-Lamps, unveiled its latest breakthrough product, the SWITCH infinia, to a group of industry insiders at LIGHTFAIR International yesterday.

The SWITCH infinia is the company’s newest LED A-Lamp, available in 40 and 60 watt-equivalent models, and will be released this summer at limited retail locations and commercial distribution with an average price to the end user of under $20.

“This is another example of technology innovation from SWITCH,” said EC Sykes, CEO of SWITCH. “Our team is consistently recognized for developing cutting edge lighting products and now has developed the next generations of LED A-Lamps to serve the broader consumer and specialty commercial markets. Due to the LQD Cooling System, our unmatched thermal management technology, we’re able to offer our customers a more affordable alternative to the incandescent with no compromises to light quality.”

The SWITCH infinia is designed to exactly replace the look and performance of traditional 40W and 60W incandescent A-Lamps, while saving up to 83 percent on energy costs. The SWITCH infinia will be available in warm and cool color temperatures (2700K and 5000K), will offer a full range of light distribution, and is covered by a 10 year residential and three year commercial warranty.

Like the rest of SWITCH’s LED A-Lamps, the SWITCH infinia provides the same familiar glow of an incandescent A-Lamp, while using a fraction of the energy and lasting 25 times as long. The SWITCH infinia fits into standard light sockets, turns instantly on, and is dimmable. Unlike some LED replacement A-Lamps, it can be used in the same manner as any incandescent or compact fluorescent equivalent - in any orientation, any fixture, anywhere. The SWITCH infinia contains no hazardous chemicals, unlike the mercury found in CFLs.

The SWITCH infinia also uses the company’s patented LQD Cooling System - the most innovative and effective thermal management system on the market today. The LQD Cooling System is a blend of the company's overall electronic design and proprietary technologies: a coolant made of liquid silicone, and a patented, highly efficient and reliable electronic driver. SWITCH is up to 40 percent more effective at cooling LEDs than typical air-cooled LED A-Lamps.

Maxim Integrated's 12/16-channel analog front-ends (AFEs) double accuracy

USA: Maxim Integrated Products Inc. announced it is sampling the MAX14920/MAX14921, high-accuracy, 12/16-channel cell-measurement analog front-ends (AFEs) that lower battery-management electronics costs by up to 35 percent.

These devices double the accuracy of cell voltage readings through the use of high-accuracy common-mode level shifting and an integrated high-precision amplifier that simplifies ADC data conversion.

Higher accuracy improves state-of-charge determination and cell balancing that in turn lengthen the life of rechargeable Lithium-ion (Li+) battery packs and maximize available energy, especially important for modern battery chemistries that exhibit flat voltage discharge curves, such as those with LiFePO4 cathodes.

The MAX14920/MAX14921 enable the industry's highest accuracy cell voltage measurements (±0.5mV, max). Ideal for 48V to 65V pack voltages required in uninterruptible power-supply (UPS) systems, smart grid energy-storage packs, and telecom power backup-battery packs, the MAX14921 eliminates up to two 6-channel AFEs required for 13S-16S channel battery packs.

New series of load switch ICs from Toshiba now available

USA:  Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC), a committed leader that collaborates with technology companies to create breakthrough designs, today announced the availability of a new lineup of load switch ICs for mobile devices. Featuring Toshiba's newly developed micro CMOS process, the new lineup features low voltage operation and low ON-resistance characteristics – in ultra-small packages.

The TCK101G and TCK102G are low consumption current load switch ICs with slew rate control driver for power management. Featuring low voltage operation at 1.1V and a low ON-resistance characteristics of 55m ohms (typ.) (VIN = 3.3V, IOUT = 500mA) in a 0.4mm pitch ultrasmall WCSP6 (0.8mm x 1.2mm, t: 0.64mm (max.)) package, these ICs come standard with an inrush current limiter and overtemperature protection circuit. An output auto-discharge function is also available.

Toshiba's new lineup of 200mA output LDO regulators control inrush current, making them suitable for a wide range of applications including mobile phones, portable audio players, notebook PCs, DSC/DVC, and other small mobile devices.

Toshiba's TCK104G and TCK105G are load switch ICs for power management and current limit function featuring wide input voltage operation from 1.1 to 5.5V. They feature low switch ON- resistance at 65m ohms typical at 3.3V, 700mA load condition and a slew rate control driver, with thermal shutdown and an output auto-discharge function.

Output current type is available, simplifying device selection and design. Available in a 0.4mm pitch ultra small package WCSP6 (0.8mm x 1.2mm x 0.64mm (max)), these devices are ideal for portable applications that require high-density board assembly – including mobile phones.

Toshiba is also offering the TCK106G, TCK107G and TCK108G which are available in the ultra-small WCSP4 package with a 0.64mm 2 footprint.

MSi launches Marvell-powered LED family into retail for 3M

USA: Marvell announced that MSi LED Lighting has selected the Marvell® 88EM8183 deep dimming single-stage AC/DC LED driver integrated circuit (IC) to power its new line of LED bulbs they are manufacturing for 3M.

MSi selected Marvell's 88EM8183 LED driver because of its high compatibility with a wide variety of installed dimmers, deep dimming performance similar to that of incandescent bulbs and the lowest component count on the market. Leveraging Marvell's driver, 3M is unveiling the industry's leading dimmer compatible LED bulbs for distribution at major retailers nationwide.

Marvell's highly integrated LED driver drastically reduces the bill of materials (BOM), enabling MSi to distribute cost-efficient and high-performance 3M LED bulbs in retailers nationwide. Marvell's 88EM8183 driver significantly improves performance of the bulb to achieve smooth, deep dimming down to 1 percent of current, compared to competitive solutions that are only capable of dimming down to 10 to 20 percent of current. Additionally, the 88EM8183 IC is compatible with many different types of (TRIAC) wall box dimmers from a wide variety of global manufacturers.

"To meet the needs of consumers, it was essential that we evaluated several vendors based on their ability to support a variety of installed dimmers at the price point we desired," said William Weiss with MSi.
"Marvell's 88EM8183 LED driver was the best choice for our bulbs because of its performance, affordability and overall quality. By lowering the component count by nearly half, Marvell's driver significantly lowers the bill of materials, helping our team distribute bulbs at a lower price to end users. Marvell's solution also hosts the greatest level of integration, allowing our team to deliver different bulb form factors to consumers across the nation."

Invensys Eurotherm maintains quality and efficiency whilst driving down PCBA cost working with eXception EMS

UK: eXception EMS, part of the eXception Group, a leading UK based printed circuit board and contract electronics manufacturer, has successfully achieved maximum efficiencies in the supply and assembly of PCBs for the Eurotherm division of Invensys, saving it over £60k in the last 12 months alone.

With 250 varieties of PCBs required for its 30+ product lines, Eurotherm needed a supplier who could produce high quality PCBs, first class testing facilities, extensive quality control, knowledgeable staff and performance of good housekeeping skills. After a review of a number of suppliers, and a thorough selection review based on cost, quality, capability and service level, Eurotherm chose to work with eXception EMS.

eXception EMS provides PCB assembly of 13 different boards that fit inside of three of Eurotherm’s core products, the 6000 Series Data Management, the Nanodac Recorder/Controller, and the EPower Controller. Many of the boards that fit into these devices are highly complex, and that’s where eXception’s skill and experience in this area comes into play.

High layer count boards with multiple BGAs require precise soldering control. eXception’s team of skilled personnel and the testing facilities available at their Wiltshire site have given Eurotherm the ability to produce high quality, high complexity PCBs at cost effective pricing.

GoI receives proposals for mobile phones and electronic components

INDIA: The Government of India is said to have received two separate proposals worth Rs.1,000 crore for setting up units for manufacturing of mobile phones and electronic components used in automobiles.

As per a PTI report, the Appraisal Committee at Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has approved these proposals, under the modified special incentive package scheme (M-SIPS).

BeagleBone Black now available to order at Mouser

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. is accepting orders for the new highly anticipated BeagleBone Black from BeagleBoard by CircuitCo, a lower-cost, high-expansion focused BeagleBone featuring a Sitara AM335x Cortex A8 ARM processor from Texas Instruments.

BeagleBone Black is the newest member of the BeagleBoard family, taking popular features from the original BeagleBone, and adding excellent additional features and performance with a faster processor, onboard HDMI and double the memory.

The BeagleBoard.org platform has a proven track record of facilitating innovation from concept to market and BeagleBone Black's enhanced feature set enables developers to turn ideas into prototypes more easily than ever. Whether operating stand-alone or in conjunction with another computer, BeagleBone Black will provide developers, hobbyists and enthusiasts with easy access to industry standard interfaces and a well-developed ecosystem of software and tools.

The original BeagleBone's cape plug-in boards are also compatible with the BeagleBone Black, making easy integration with previous projects yet another advantage.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Digi-Key continues support of innovative line of TI-based ARM development boards from BeagleBoard.org

USA: Digi-Key Corp. announced its continued support of the BeagleBoard line - a series of low-power, open-source, hardware expandable single-board computer development boards - with the addition of the newly-released BeagleBone Black from BeagleBoard.org.

The latest in the BeagleBoard line of development boards, BeagleBone Black, features numerous improvements over the previous iteration. The sleeker, more efficient board features an upgraded 1-GHz Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), 512 MB DDR3 system memory, reduced power consumption, and the addition of HDMI connectivity, among other improvements.

The original BeagleBone is a credit-card-sized, open-source, hardware expandable Linux computer that connects with the Internet and runs software such as Android 4.0 and Ubuntu. It allows developers to evaluate TI’s Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processors with a single cable and under 10-second Linux boot, enabling development in less than five minutes.

“During our years of collaboration, Digi-Key has demonstrated a distinctive ability to swiftly and efficiently market and distribute the BeagleBoard line to their extensive customer base,” said Jason Kridner, co-founder, BeagleBoard.org. “Their support has been a vital component in the success of the BeagleBoard line, and we are excited to continue this relationship with BeagleBone Black.”

Digi-Key has long been an ardent supporter of the BeagleBoard line. In 2008, Digi-Key was the first to recognize the significance of this newly released development board, and jumped in with both feet, leveraging their marketing and distribution capabilities to fully support this groundbreaking technology.

Surpassing all expectations, demand for the board exploded, and BeagleBoard.org was hard-pressed to keep up with the overwhelming demand generated by Digi-Key. Sales have far exceeded projections and cemented the BeagleBoard line as a fixture within the development community.

“Four years ago, Digi-Key saw exceptional potential in the Beagle Board line of product,” said Mark Zack, VP, Global Semiconductor Product at Digi-Key. “TI’s innovative single-board computing solutions offer outstanding value to our product line and we are excited to strengthen this partnership with the BeagleBone Black.”

Power switches from Diodes Inc. increase power density in USB Port protection

USA: Diodes Inc. introduced a new family of current-limited power switches offering high current handling in an ultra-small (2mm x 2mm) package.

The new power switches enable power density to be increased in the protection of multiple USB3.0 ports used in applications such as set-top boxes, LED TVs and notebook computers. The six new single-channel devices introduced have an on-resistance of only 70mΩ, cover maximum continuous output currents up to 2.5A and are being made available in the miniature footprint U-DFN2020-6 package.

For any applications subject to heavy capacitive loads and a possibility of short circuit, the switches provide a robust port protection solution, comprising reverse-current blocking, over-current, over-temperature, under-voltage lockout and short-circuit protection. All devices also integrate an output discharge function to ensure controlled discharging of the output capacitor. In addition, the switches’ fast short-circuit response time of 2µs prevents any unnecessary system shutdown or restart.

With an input voltage range of 2.7V to 5.5V, all devices are suited for 3.3V and 5V rail systems in a variety of product designs including set-top boxes, LED TVs and notebooks. Supporting a maximum continuous output current of 2.5A, the AP2501 and AP2511 are, respectively, active-low and active-high enabled and are footprint-compatible with the AP2301 and AP2311 devices handling a 2A continuous output current.

The AP2401 and AP2411 are also 2A rated power switches but provide in addition an output latch-off function that responds to an over current excursion, enabling further optimization of fault behaviour management. All six power switches also feature an open-drain, over-current fault flag with a 7ms deglitch time to prevent false reporting.

As well as the U-DFN2020-6 package, the devices are also offered in SO8, MSOP-8/EP and U-DFN3030-8 package options. Ambient operating temperature range is -40ºC to +85ºC.

Larson Electronics releases explosion proof LED light with trunnion mount

USA: Larson Electronics has announced the release of an explosion proof LED area light designed to provide durable and reliable illumination with versatile mounting capabilities.

The HBLP-1MLED-TRN Trunnion Mount Light Fixture features 10,000 lumen output while drawing only 150 watts, copper free aluminum construction, a light weight aluminum trunnion mount, and UL approval for use in location where flammable gases or vapors may be present.

The Larson Electronics HBLP-1MLED-TRN explosion proof trunnion mount light fixture provides operators in hazardous locations with a powerful and reliable source of efficient illumination that can be mounted in a variety of positions using an included trunnion mount This explosion proof approved fixture features a 16 inch round aluminum housing body that has been designed for excellent heat dissipation and durability and an aluminum trunnion mount that makes mounting and placement simple and adjustable.

This LED area light draws only 150 watts of power, yet produces 10,000 lumens of light output in a wide flood pattern that is ideal for illuminating work areas, warehouse space, processing lines and anywhere large scale illumination is needed. The aluminum housing on this unit is lightweight and specially designed to dissipate heat, helping to maintain LED longevity while providing excellent fixture durability.

The LED assembly is rated at 60,000+ hours of operational life, giving this fixture over twice the average life of fluorescent lamps and over one and a half times that of HID systems. The light output of this fixture has a color temperature of 6000 Kelvin and a color rendering index of 70, making this lamp well suited to applications where color rendering and contrasting is critical such as with assembly lines and small parts inspection operations.

This explosion proof light mounts using an included aluminum trunnion bracket that is designed for attachment to flat surfaces such as walls and ceilings. This trunnion mount is predrilled for easy installation, and allows the operators to adjust the position of the lamp once mounted for optimum coverage of the work area. This light is T5 temperature rated and approved for areas deemed as hazardous locations and carries Class 1 Division 1 & 2, Class 2 Division 1 & 2, and Class 3 approvals as well as CSA and cTEL certifications.

The HBLP-1MLED-TRN can be operated with universal 100-277 VAC current and includes a set of long flying leads for easy connection to existing fixture wiring. This explosion proof LED light is an ideal lighting solution for  both hazardous and non hazardous locations including petrochemical processing facilities, water treatment plants, warehouses, manufacturing lines, and anywhere operators wish to improve the efficiency and reliability of their lighting systems without sacrificing any overall lighting output.

LED bulb retail price drops in March of 2013, 40W equiv. bulb price falls to $4 in the Chinese market

TAIWAN: According to LEDinside, a research division of TrendForce , in March, only several new LED lighting products were launched in the global market, and the price of existing products showed a steady decline. In the global market, 40W equiv. LED bulb retail price has dropped by 3.9 percent to $17.1, and 60W equiv. LED bulb average price has dropped by 6.5 percent to $24.1.

40W equiv. traditional incandescent bulb price drops to $4 in the global market
LEDinside indicated that in March of 2013, the retail price of 40W equiv. LED bulbs dropped by 3.9 percent to $17.1 in the global market. In the UK and Germany, 40W equivalent LED bulb price has dropped by 5.3 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively, while the price of existing products continued to fall. In Japan, the average price of 40W equiv. bulbs has dropped by 4.5 percent and the existing product price has also showed a steady decline. Price declines in the above countries have also resulted from the increased exchange rate.
In March, the average price of 40W equiv. LED bulbs dropped by 5.1 percent in the US, 1.4 percent in Korea, 0.4 percent in Taiwan, and 2.3 percent in China ($10.8, the lowest among other countries). In addition, the lowest price has also declined further to $4.1.

Average price of 60W equiv. traditional incandescent bulbs drops steadily in each country
In March, the average price of 60W equiv. LED bulbs fell by 6.5 percent to $24.1 in the global market, 3.8 percent in Japan ($25.8), 1.4 percent in Korea (the price of existing products stayed flat; price decline was mainly caused by the increased exchange rate), 2.9 percent in the US (with a slight fluctuation in the existing product price and a lower new product price), 11.3 percent in the UK, and 3.5 percent in Germany.

Price decline in the UK and Germany was mainly caused by the steady decline in existing product price as well as the increased exchange rate.

In China, the price of 60W equiv. bulbs dropped by 15.5 percent to $17.1. The price of existing products remained flat, thus such price decline was mainly caused by the lower price of new products. In Taiwan, the price of 60W equiv. bulbs dropped by 6.4 percent to $13.9 in March. The slight decline of the existing product price and the increased exchange rate have both resulted in the price decline.

Facing fierce market competition, 40W LED bulb price drop more rapidly in the Chinese market
The price of China’s 40W equiv. bulbs still remained low. SunSunLighting’s 6.5W LED bulbs (450 lumen), for example, was quoted at $4.1 in March, which is currently the lowest in all statistical areas. Besides the UK and Germany, 40W LED bulb price in other statistical areas are all below $10. It is clear that 40W LED bulb price is lower in the Asian market than the European and US market.
On the other hand, the average price of 60W LED bulbs remained still in Japan, Korea, Europe, and the US. In China and Taiwan, however, 60W LED bulb average price has dropped due to other cheap local products. LEDinside believed that the usage and penetration rate of 40W equiv. bulbs was higher than that of 60W equiv. bulbs, thus the market competition was more intense, and price decline was more rapid.

GE Lighting reveals new LED bulb

USA: New reveal LED light bulbs available this fall from GE Lighting promise to save energy while putting colors and patterns in a whole new light. GE's new 60-watt standard incandescent replacement reveal LED light bulb is engineered to have the familiar size and shape of an incandescent bulb and deliver big energy savings.

In true reveal fashion, it does not produce dull yellow rays like regular bulbs and provides a crisp white light that brings out more vibrant colors and patterns.

"At the forefront of all of our engineering is consumer research, and we heard across the board that the size and the shape of an LED bulb is very important to shoppers," says Tom Boyle, chief innovation manager, GE Lighting. "As LED technology continues to evolve, producing the same quality of light with smaller bulbs will allow consumers to be more creative with lighting. LEDs can change the way we light our homes."

The reveal LED light bulb, which will last more than two decades based on three hours of use each day, will be offered in 40- and 60-watt replacements, as well as a popular BR-30 shape for recessed fixture down-lighting. These products are additions to GE's growing LED portfolio, including 40- and 60-watt incandescent replacement LED bulbs available now and a 100-watt incandescent replacement LED bulb that becomes available later this year.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Marvell and SHARP demo smart digital LED lighting system

USA:  Marvell and Sharp Electronics announced the results of a collaboration to develop a Smart Digital LED Lighting System designed to enable custom-featured solution in lighting automation and control.

The Digital LED Lighting System allows wired and wireless network control, which includes lumens, brightness, CRI and CCT creating a Full Semblance White Light System.

The system combines Sharp's Tiger Zenigata 15W LED and a production down light luminaire design with Orama Inc.'s Smart LED drivers & digital controller, which is based on Marvell's advanced LED driver ICs and control ICs.

The system lays the foundation for luminaires that can be quickly configured by software control to meet each client's individual lighting application's setting. The Marvell and Sharp collaboration brings advanced LED lighting features – including remote access from mobile devices and light automatically optimized for the viewers' experience for every task to various markets at an affordable price point.

Epistar signs LED collaboration and IP licensing agreement with Intermolecular

USA: Intermolecular Inc. has signed a collaborative development program (CDP) and royalty-bearing IP licensing agreement with Epistar Corp. to increase the efficiency and reduce cost of Epistar's light emitting diode (LED) devices.

Under this agreement, Epistar and Intermolecular engineers will work together to leverage Intermolecular's High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC(TM)) technology platform to dramatically accelerate development and manufacturing qualification of novel materials and processes for advanced LED products.

"After a rigorous review of Intermolecular's capabilities through an initial collaboration engagement, we have seen how their combinatorial approach to materials innovation and device integration can augment Epistar's leadership in LED technology," said M. J. Jou, president of Epistar. "Collaboration with our industry partners has been critical to our world-leading R&D and manufacturing strategy. We are confident that leveraging Intermolecular's team and technology platform will further increase our competitive advantage."

The commercial LED market is highly competitive, and new technologies created by R&D are needed to both improve light output and to reduce costs. A multi-functional team of technologists from Epistar and Intermolecular will work together using the HPC Platform to accelerate the pace of R&D ten times or more compared to what can be achieved in a conventional LED lab.

Emerson unveils 60W convection cooled medical power supply

HONG KONG: Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson, and a global leader in delivering scalable embedded computing technology and power supplies for original equipment manufacturers in a wide range of industries, announced the latest addition to its portfolio of 60 W convection cooled open-frame ac-dc power supplies.
The new NPS64-M has a 15 Vdc output, which can be adjusted by plus or minus 20 percent, and can deliver up to 4 A. It has a full load operating temperature range of zero to 50 degrees Celsius, and can be used at up to 80 degrees Celsius with suitable de-rating.

Emerson Network Power’s latest NPS64-M power supply carries a comprehensive set of worldwide IT equipment (ITE) and non-patient contact and non-patient critical medical safety approvals.

The model has a compact 2 x 4 inch (51 x 102 mm) footprint and a height of just 1 inch (26 mm), which makes it ideal for use in light industrial, instrumentation and process systems, as well as in low-power dental and laboratory equipment. An optional enclosure kit (LPX50) is available for maximum protection.

The NPS64-M has a peak efficiency of 90 percent, and meets a variety of rigorous energy efficiency standards, including International Efficiency Level V and Energy Star 2.0, as well as being California Energy Commission (CeC) compliant.

It features a wide universal input voltage range of 90 to 264 Vac and is also capable of operating from a 127 to 300 Vdc input. The NPS64-M has a maximum input power requirement of less than 74 W, and a no-load power consumption of less than 300 mW.

Emerson Network Power’s NPS64-M power supply provides tight regulation, maintaining the output voltage to within plus or minus two percent for all standard line and load conditions, and features remote sense capabilities to compensate for a 0.5 V drop in the output cables. The power supply is comprehensively protected against fault conditions and has a high demonstrated mean time between failures (MTBF) of more than 550,000 hours.

The NPS64-M power supply features a built-in CISPR 22 Class B EMI filters, and meets the rigorous EN55022 Class B, FCC Class B and VDE0878PT3 Class B conducted noise standards. The power supply also complies with the EN61000-3-2 harmonic emissions standard. International safety approvals include TUV/UL/CSA/NEMKO/CB 60950/60601-1, CCC and, CE Mark (LVD).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Aleddra LED lighting brings energy-efficient LightFly 5000 LED balloon luminaire to US market

USA: Aleddra LED Lighting, a business unit of Lightel Technologies Inc. announced its LightFly 5000 LED Balloon luminaire is now available in the US as an energy-efficient solution for construction area lighting.

Aleddra LED lighting is a leader in LED retrofit segment for the fast market growth of its highly popular EasiRetrofit LED T8 tube lamp used to replace linear T8/T12 fluorescent tube lamp. The new LightFly 5000 LED Balloon Light is now available in the US market for meeting construction lighting needs.

This LED balloon fixture offers 360-degree lighting at a high efficacy at 97.5 LPW, making it the ideal choice for any work area lighting application, indoor or outdoor. The translucent balloon cover reduces glare that is associated with harsh HID lighting alternatives. The luminaire's pleasant soft white light helps create a safer workspace for workers.

Lumen output level is controlled with a toggle switch for changing lumen output between 11,700 and 23,400 lumens, depending on the application needs. At 23,400 lumens it consumes only 240W as compared to the standard HID lamps using 1000W at 20000 lms. The LightFly 5000 Balloon will be debuted at LightFair 2013 in Booth #2259, April 23-25, 2013, Philadelphia.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More than one-third of companies completely unprepared for US conflict-minerals rules

USA: With time running out until US component manufacturers are legally required to disclose their usage of conflict minerals to the federal government, many companies are woefully unprepared for the new regulations, with more than one-third of firms indicating they haven’t even commenced compliance planning, according to a survey from information and analytics provider IHS.

In a poll conducted last week during an IHS webinar entitled “The Clock’s Ticking: How to Comply with the New Conflict Minerals Regulations,” more than 35 percent of respondents—a plurality of the attendees—said they have made no plans on how to conform with the rules set out by the SEC Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on conflict materials, which will start to go into effect in May 2014. Just 7.5 percent said that they were well-prepared for compliance, as presented in the attached figure.

The survey was taken of 134 electronics industry managers during the IHS webinar on April 9.

The Congo connection
Conflict minerals are raw materials mainly sourced in the war-torn country of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The materials—tantalum, tungsten, gold and tin—are widely used in the electronics market, in products ranging from cellphones to hearing aids, to pacemakers. For example, IHS estimates that $0.15 worth of tantalum was contained in every smartphone shipped when Dodd-Frank was originally signed in 2010. In 2012, this would amount to $93 million worth of tantalum in smartphones.

The SEC rules took effect in August 2012, with initial reporting required by May 2014. The rules affect publicly traded companies in the United States.

However, electronics manufacturers procure products and materials from all over the globe, so the likelihood is high that one or more supply-chain partners will require information regarding the sourcing of the four conflict minerals.

Compliance costs
While complying with the SEC rules is time-consuming and costly, the process may not be as complicated as originally projected.

One of the key industries involved in processing conflict minerals —smelters— are getting involved in and supporting compliance efforts, said Scott Wilson, content solution strategist at IHS.

“Smelters are a good control point, and this simplifies how far back in the supply chain companies have to go,” Wilson told the webinar audience.

Nevertheless, Wilson advises companies across the electronics supply chain to be prepared to provide compliance information by next May. Even if a business does not use conflict minerals in its products, it has to demonstrate it has conducted due diligence in making that determination. There is existing guidance to assist in the process, Wilson said. These include guidelines already in use issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that outline the key aspects of compliance.

Conflict resolution
Wilson suggested that companies focus internally on four key areas as they develop their compliance strategies:

* Management systems: Most Material Requirements Planning (MRP) and Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) systems have the capability to track materials, but may not be programmed to do so. * Companies need to determine if their systems need additional capabilities.
* Identify and assess risk: Prioritize the suppliers that are most likely to use or source conflict minerals.
* Respond to the risk: If suppliers don’t share information, companies should consider alternative sources.
* Audit smelters: An Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) standard provides the necessary guidance and content.

Achieve improved motion and efficiency for advanced motor control designs in minutes with TI's InstaSPIN-MOTION technology

USA:  At long last, system designers have been liberated from limited operating ranges and time-consuming tuning processes with the new InstaSPIN-MOTION motor control solution from Texas Instruments Inc. (TI).

InstaSPIN-MOTION is a comprehensive torque-, speed- and motion- control software solution that delivers robust system performance at the highest efficiency for motor applications that operate in various motion state transitions.

Built upon TI's InstaSPIN-FOC motor control solution, InstaSPIN-MOTION is uniquely designed to optimize complex motion sequences, reduce tuning to a single parameter and tracking desired trajectories with unmatched accuracy across operating ranges. It constitutes the easiest and most effective method for achieving optimized sensorless motor control.

TI's InstaSPIN-FOC solution, which was announced earlier this year, takes advantage of the FAST premium software sensor for rotor flux measurement and provides motor identification, automatic current control tuning and sensorless feedback in a field-oriented control (FOC) torque controller and speeds deployment of efficient, sensorless, variable load three-phase motor solutions.

Mitsubishi Electric to release sample TYPE+B J-series IPMs

JAPAN: Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has developed a series of large-capacity intelligent power modules (IPMs) mainly for application in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Sample shipments of two J-Series IPM (TYPE+B) models will start August 5 and mass production is expected to begin in 2014.

J-Series IPM (TYPE+B) models will be exhibited at Power Conversion Intelligent Motion (PCIM) Europe 2013 in Nuremberg, Germany on May 14-16.

Power modules for automobiles offer higher reliability than industrial-use modules due to extremely high standards for vehicle safety. Mitsubishi Electric pioneered the mass production of power modules for hybrid vehicles in 1997, and since then the demand for these modules has grown in parallel with the expanding global market for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Mouser authorized for global distribution of Micrel’s high-performance IC solutions

TAIWAN: Mouser Electronics Inc. announced it is partnering with Micrel, a leading manufacturer of IC solutions, to offer Micrel’s broad range of high-performance semiconductors and solutions.

Micrel’s product portfolio includes high-performance analog, power, advanced mixed-signal, and radio frequency semiconductors. The company also produces high-speed communication, clock management, and LAN solutions for a variety of global markets and advanced applications. Micrel’s award-winning MIC943xx Ripple Blocker ICs provide low-frequency ripple attenuation to a regulated output voltage.

This monolithic IC solution is important for RF applications and other designs that require a DC/DC switching converter to lower or raise a battery voltage but that have sensitive downstream circuits that cannot tolerate switching noise.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fairchild'd eco-friendly battery charger reduces charge time and powers USB peripherals

USA: Today’s mobile devices are becoming powerful computing products, with an increasingly feature-rich, immersive user experience.

With the emergence of USB charging standards and the continuing trend for electronic devices, especially handsets, to be powered through the USB port, product designers are faced with the challenge of enabling advanced product features while quickly and safely charging high-capacity batteries and supporting connected peripherals.

Fairchild Semiconductor’s FAN54015 USB-compliant single-cell Li-ion switching charger provides designers a balance of safety, accuracy, efficiency, and solution size for charging mobile device batteries.  

To reduce charge time and mitigate heat dissipation, the FAN54015 switching charger employs a high-efficiency, eco-friendly, 3MHz DC-DC synchronous buck converter capable of supplying 1.45A. Additionally, to accommodate legacy and emerging lithium battery technologies, the regulated battery float voltage can be programmed from 3.5V to 4.44V. The device’s innovative system architecture allows reverse use of the switch-mode buck converter, resulting in a 500mA USB on-the-go (OTG) boost regulator, and providing power for USB peripherals.

To protect the battery and maximize mobile device usage time, the FAN54015 device supports battery charging in three phases: pre-conditioning, constant current (CC), and constant voltage (CV). An integrated over-voltage protection (OVP) FET blocks current flow when the input voltage reaches dangerous levels, eliminating the need for an external protection MOSFET and thereby reducing complexity and bill of material (BOM) costs.

The FAN54015 charger is fully programmable via an I2C interface, allowing setup of custom charging profiles and is part of a growing family of battery charging solutions that combine safety, accuracy, and fast charging time, while reducing overall solution cost.

Quantum dots market and quantum dot display (QLED)

USA: ResearchMoz has published a new study Quantum Dot and Quantum Dot Display (QLED): Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, Nanotechnology, 2013 to 2019.

WinterGreen Research announces that it has published a new study Quantum Dot and Quantum Dot Display (QLED) Market Shares, Strategy, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2013 to 2019. The 2013 study has 221 pages, 80 tables and figures. Quantum dots will cascade into the marketplace. They offer lower cost, longer life, and brighter lighting.

According to Susan Eustis: "The commercialization of quantum dots using kilogram quantity mass production is a game-changer. High quality, high quantity and lowest price quantum dots increase product quality in every industry. The rate of change means speeded products cycles are evolving."

Once manufacturers learn to integrate higher efficiency luminescent quantum dots into their products, each vendor will need to follow or dramatically lose market share. This level of change brought by quantum dot and quantum dot displays (QLED) represents a new paradigm that will create new industries, products and jobs in science and industry. The list of possible quantum dot applications is ever expanding. New applications are waiting for the availability of more evolved quantum dots.

Quantum Dot LED (QLED) commercial focus has remained on key optical applications: Optical component lasers are emerging as a significant market. LED backlighting for LCD displays, LED general lighting, and solar power quantum dots are beginning to reach the market. Vendors continue to evaluate other applications.

New microbatteries a boost for electronics

USA: Though they be but little, they are fierce. The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery – and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye.

Developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the new microbatteries out-power even the best supercapacitors and could drive new applications in radio communications and compact electronics.

Led by William P. King, the Bliss Professor of mechanical science and engineering, the researchers published their results in the April 16 issue of Nature Communications.

“This is a whole new way to think about batteries,” King said. “A battery can deliver far more power than anybody ever thought. In recent decades, electronics have gotten small. The thinking parts of computers have gotten small. And the battery has lagged far behind. This is a microtechnology that could change all of that. Now the power source is as high-performance as the rest of it.”

With currently available power sources, users have had to choose between power and energy. For applications that need a lot of power, like broadcasting a radio signal over a long distance, capacitors can release energy very quickly but can only store a small amount. For applications that need a lot of energy, like playing a radio for a long time, fuel cells and batteries can hold a lot of energy but release it or recharge slowly.

“There’s a sacrifice,” said James Pikul, a graduate student and first author of the paper. “If you want high energy you can’t get high power; if you want high power it’s very difficult to get high energy. But for very interesting applications, especially modern applications, you really need both. That’s what our batteries are starting to do. We’re really pushing into an area in the energy storage design space that is not currently available with technologies today.”

The new microbatteries offer both power and energy, and by tweaking the structure a bit, the researchers can tune them over a wide range on the power-versus-energy scale.

The batteries owe their high performance to their internal three-dimensional microstructure. Batteries have two key components: the anode (minus side) and cathode (plus side). Building on a novel fast-charging cathode design by materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun’s group, King and Pikul developed a matching anode and then developed a new way to integrate the two components at the microscale to make a complete battery with superior performance.

With so much power, the batteries could enable sensors or radio signals that broadcast 30 times farther, or devices 30 times smaller. The batteries are rechargeable and can charge 1,000 times faster than competing technologies – imagine juicing up a credit-card-thin phone in less than a second. In addition to consumer electronics, medical devices, lasers, sensors and other applications could see leaps forward in technology with such power sources available.

“Any kind of electronic device is limited by the size of the battery – until now,” King said. “Consider personal medical devices and implants, where the battery is an enormous brick, and it’s connected to itty-bitty electronics and tiny wires. Now the battery is also tiny.”

Now, the researchers are working on integrating their batteries with other electronics components, as well as manufacturability at low cost.

“Now we can think outside of the box,” Pikul said. “It’s a new enabling technology. It’s not a progressive improvement over previous technologies; it breaks the normal paradigms of energy sources. It’s allowing us to do different, new things.”

The National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research supported this work. King also is affiliated with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology; the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory; the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory; and the department of electrical and computer engineering at the U. of I.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

TI unveils breakthrough battery monitoring technology for lead-acid batteries

USA: Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) introduced the first lead-acid battery management gas gauge integrated circuit with TI's proprietary Impedance Track capacity measurement technology.

The bq34z110 gas gauge IC, which comes in a small 14-pin package, is the industry's only scalable power management device to support multi-cell lead-acid battery packs with battery voltages of 4 V, 12 V, 24 V, 48 V and higher. The highly accurate, simple-to-use gauge supports batteries used in mobile and stationary applications like medical instruments, wireless base stations and telecom shelters, e-bikes, inverters and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).

Lead-acid batteries typically behave better than lithium chemistries in environments with wide temperature ranges. However, today's lead-acid battery designs do not accurately measure and report current battery capacity, which often frustrates the end user, and could mean adding more batteries to keep the system adequately charged.

The new bq34z110 gauge with Impedance Track technology constantly informs a user about the battery's state-of-health and state-of-charge and maintains up to a 95-percent accurate capacity measurement for the entire life of the battery. This information also prevents premature shutdown, increasing the longevity of the battery and end-equipment.

Haptic technology market worth $51.77 billion by 2018

USA: According to a new market research report of "Haptic Technology Market for Touchscreen (2013- 2018): By Components (Kinesthetic & Tactile Sensing, Actuators); Technology (Resistive, Capacitive); Devices (Touchscreens, Input Devices); Applications (Consumer Electronics, Automotive, Medical)", published by MarketsandMarkets, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 41 percent from 2013 to 2018 and reach $51.77 billion in 2018.

Haptics creates multi modal experiences that improve the usability by engaging touch, sound, and sight. Haptics improve the usability by fully engaging the user's senses such as in a shooter game when a user selects a virtual button; he/she can sense the button due to the haptics and performs much better.

Haptics provides the users with in-built and definite tactile confirmation. Haptics also makes a user more confident by improving the safety and overcoming the distractions. Haptics rebuilds the mechanical feeling as the user is able to touch and feel the buttons on the touchscreen.

The overall haptic touchscreens market is segmented into three major segments namely: application, touch technologies and geography. All the major segments are further segmented into sub segments. All the segments and sub segments are separately described in the report.

Global haptic touchscreens market is expected to reach $51.77 billion by 2018, at an estimated CAGR of 41 percent from 2013 to 2018.

The major driving factors for the haptic technology market are the growth of the Smartphone's and virtual interfaces. In the report, different Touchscreen technologies are discussed like capacitive touchscreens, resistive touchscreens, surface acoustic wave (SAW) touchscreens, optical imaging touchscreens, and others.

Haptic technology is increasing in use for capacitive touchscreens. Haptic technology in touchscreens is based on two different types of sensing systems, namely Kinesthetic and tactile. Different types of actuators, electronic systems, and the software's required for a haptic system are also discussed in the report.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Marvell drives launch of Samsung's family of retail LED retrofit bulbs

USA: Marvell announced the Marvell 88EM8183 deep dimming single-stage AC/DC LED driver integrated circuit (IC) will power Samsung Electronics' new suite of LED retrofit bulbs.

Announced in February 2012, the 88EM8183 LED driver IC delivers the highest compatibility of wall dimmers, the lowest component count in the industry and supports many of the world's lighting standards, making it a premier solution for OEMs across the globe. Scheduled to be in retail stores next month, Samsung's new Marvell-powered products will include A19, bulged reflector (BR) and parabolic aluminized reflector (PAR) bulbs.

"With consumers increasingly adopting LED lighting in their homes, it is essential that OEMs address this demand by integrating advanced dimming capabilities into their most efficient bulbs," said Kishore Manghnani, VP of Green Energy Products at Marvell.

"By leveraging Marvell's 88EM8183 driver, Samsung Electronics now produces high-performance, low-cost LED bulbs that offer deep dimming capability and are fully compatible with more than 150 different types of wall-box dimmers around the world. We believe there is no solution on the market that provides the same widespread dimmer compatibility and affordable price point that our LED driver IC provides."

The highly integrated Marvell 88EM8183 LED driver IC is designed to achieve smooth, deep dimming down to 1 percent LED current, which represents significantly improved performance when compared to competitive solutions capable of dimming down to just 10- to 20 percent of current.

The 88EM8183 IC also is compatible with many different types of (TRIAC) wall box dimmers from a wide variety of global manufacturers. The architecture of the 88EM8183 LED driver IC allows a high level of integration, which greatly reduces the bill of materials (BOM).

By reducing the components count needed for an LED driver by more than half, the Marvell solution requires dramatically less board space, which allows OEMs and ODMs to bring LED lighting to a diverse range of lamp form-factors, including A19, PAR and BR, without compromising dimming performance.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Emerson Network Power ATCA systems ready for deep packet inspection

USA: Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson and global leader in delivering scalable embedded computing technology and power supplies for original equipment manufacturers in a wide range of industries, announced new application-ready platforms for deep packet inspection (DPI) applications.

Emerson has integrated its new FlowPilot load balancing software with its Centellis series 40G ATCA systems to create platforms that enable network equipment providers to accelerate the development and delivery of applications that use DPI. These include ‘bump in the wire’ applications such as policy enforcement, security gateways, and firewalls as well as network monitoring and optimization.

Building on Emerson Network Power’s number one position in ATCA, the new FlowPilot software provides the foundation for network intelligence applications, allowing users to deploy context-aware network applications faster, more cost effectively and with less risk.

The initial release of FlowPilot software acts as the platform’s central packet dispatcher to achieve low latency, full wire speed, and context-aware packet distribution to and from all processing blades in the system. Emerson has collaborated with network intelligence software specialist Qosmos to enable customers to manage those data flows down to individual processors, cores or virtual machines.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Murata selects ANADIGICS 802.11ac FEIC for WiFi module

USA:  ANADIGICS Inc. announced that its AWL9581 front-end integrated circuit (FEIC) is used in Murata's latest WiFi module, which is now in mass production in support of high-volume smartphones equipped with 802.11ac WiFi technology.

Murata's new WiFi module is optimized for mobile applications by providing complete high-performance WiFi connectivity in an incredibly compact package.

To meet the increasing demand for high-performance WiFi functionality, the wireless mobile device industry is rapidly transitioning to the new IEEE 802.11ac standard. According to Strategy Analytics, 802.11ac will lead WiFi handset sales by 2016. In support of these trends, ANADIGICS' AWL9581 delivers exceptional performance and integration to enable 802.11ac mobile devices with longer battery-life, greater range, and higher data throughput, while minimizing space requirements.

"ANADIGICS is extremely pleased to be supporting Murata in high-volume production with our most sophisticated 5 GHz front-end IC," said Dave Cresci, VP of WiFi Products at ANADIGICS. "The AWL9581 combines a power amplifier, low noise amplifier, and RF switch in a compact, low-profile package. It is a perfect fit for applications that demand highly-integrated, high-performance front-end functionality that is easy to use. With outstanding linearity and noise figure performance, our new 802.11ac FEICs enable maximum throughput and range in mobile devices for an enhanced user experience."

ANADIGICS' WiFi FEICs provide an industry-leading combination of integration, efficiency, and linearity to accelerate time to market, increase battery life, and maximize throughput for mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks, and gaming systems.

These FEICs use the Company's exclusive InGaP-Plus technology and patented design architectures to combine a power amplifier (PA), low-noise amplifier (LNA), and RF switch on a single die. This level of integration reduces valuable PCB space requirements and simplifies RF front-end design. ANADIGICS' WiFi FEICs also deliver exceptional error vector magnitude (EVM) and noise figure performance, which enables ultra-high data throughput and connectivity over greater range.

Fairchild provides smart meter service disconnect switches

USA: Smart e-meters need the ability to remotely disconnect the loads from the grid to better manage the system during high demand usage or during a shortage of power sources.

The function must be tolerant of the noisy environment of the smart meter as it is directly connected to the incoming feed from the grid and controlled by a micro-controller. The best solutions integrate service disconnect switches with accurate input filter timing, XOR input protection, the maximum output pulse-width to protect the relay, and the configurability of either following the input or to always provide a pre-defined maximum pulse width.

To enable these functionalities, Fairchild Semiconductor (NYSE: FCS), a leading global supplier of high performance power and mobile semiconductor solutions, developed the FAN324x family of smart dual-coil relay drivers.

The family provides strong DC output currents to safely open and close a relay contactor and has a wide operating voltage range to use with relays of several voltage rating. The devices also integrate a linear regulator from a single unregulated bias supply that allows for both non-isolated and isolated designs.

Key features:
* 8 V to 60 V operating range for use with 12 V, 24 V or 48 V relays.
* Strong DC current to break through welded contacts without using external switches.
* Accurate input filter time (factory adjustable) and XOR input protection.
* Accurate maximum output pulse width (factory adjustable).
* Output can follow input width or give maximum limit (mode factory adjustable).
* Internal thermal shutdown protection.
* Single bias voltage design for the chip allows isolated and non-isolated designs.
* Inputs compatible with 3.3 V or 5 V square-wave logic signals.
* Enable pin for operational flexibility.

The FAN324x family of smart dual-coil relay drivers with integrated switches and wafer-level adjust capability for timing customization, is available in an 8-lead SOIC package and is part of Fairchild’s continuing efforts to create innovative power management solutions for smart meters and renewable energy.

Semtech partners with Ross Video to demo 6G UHD-SDI solutions

2013 NAB Show, USA: Semtech Corp. announced that it is working with Ross Video and has delivered UHD-SDI components so that the company can develop a UHD-SDI capable distribution amplifier.

Semtech’s 6G UHD-SDI components allow the industry to transport higher resolution formats - both UHDTV and 4k digital cinema. These parts provide twice the density and half the power with outstanding performance all at a substantially lower cost than competitive 3Gb/s multi-link solutions.

Semtech’s Gennum Product Group is showcasing its latest 6G UHD-SDI solutions at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas at its invitation-only VIP suite (booth #N2116). Ross Video is showcasing its UHD-SDI enabled, 6Gb/s openGear Distribution Amplifier in booth #N3808. Also on display is a 6Gb/s fiber-optic link running between the two booths.

5th HK International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition) ends; buyers increased by 18 percent

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), drew to a successful close today. The four-day exhibition (6-9 April) welcomed close to 18,000 buyers, up 18 percent from the previous year.

Over 1,000 exhibitors from 12 countries and regions and close to 18,000 buyers from 109 countries and regions attended this year’s Spring Lighting Fair. Most of the buyers came from the Chinese mainland, Russia, India, the US and Taiwan. Buyer attendance from mature and emerging markets both saw an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. Attendance from France, Germany, UK, and Brazil, India, Thailand and Russia recording double-digit growth. This reflected an optimistic buying sentiment from global buyers.

A number of well-known brands and chains also sent representatives to the Lighting Fair, including LED Lighting Tecnologia em Iluminacao Ltda from Brazil, LinYi TianMa Light Co Ltd from the Chinese mainland, Wipro from India, Orbit Lighting from New Zealand, Daste from Poland, Megalux and PROlight from Russia, Ull Lighting Industrial Corp from Taiwan, Lighting & Equipment Public Co, Ltd from Thailand, Adım Aydınlatma from Turkey and Gargash Lighting System LLC from the United Arab Emirates etc.

Apart from more overseas buyers, local buyers also increased by over 30 percent. Many local lighting retailers, property developers, estate management companies, government departments and public organisations, hotels, etc. sent representatives to the fair as well.

Ideal platform for expanding customer base and promoting new products
French lighting supplier IPW EUROPE has been engaging in the R&D and manufacturing of LED lighting systems since 2008. Its director, Daniel Wang, said their products are eco-friendly, energy-saving, waterproof and durable, and are designed for use in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor environment.

“Our company has been attending the Spring Lighting Fair since 2009. As we launch our home lighting series this year, we take the fair as a prime opportunity for us to reach out to more buyers”, Wang said. “We met a good deal of buyers from Europe, South America and Southeast Asia at the fair; and a few buyers from France, Germany and Thailand have expressed keen interest in our products. We are now discussing the details of our cooperation.”

Hong Kong’s MEGAMAN, a regular of the Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition), is attending the Spring Lighting Fair for the first time. Its senior marketing manager, Matthew Chu, indicated that its products are already sold in a number of countries.

“We noticed how this fair is attracting more and more overseas buyers, so we decided to attend this year. We do so in hopes of expanding our customer base, as well as capturing more promotion opportunities for our products as the market trends towards shorter product cycles. We have met many quality buyers in just a few days’ time, from Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Middle East, Russia, and Sweden, etc. We are confident that attending the fair would translate into new orders.”

Good buying atmosphere as LED products took centre stage  
HKTDC organised a number of buyer forums alongside the fair to share information on the latest developments in different markets. At one of the forums, buyers from India, Singapore and Thailand all agreed that LED is going to drive the market. Yet marketers should also be mindful of the conditions presented by different markets.

Indian buyer Ramesh N. Chandra, deputy CEO of CEMA Electronic Lighting, noted how India’s consumer markets are more dispersed, making it more time-consuming to position LED products and set prices. Singapore’s Loh Kah Phang, director of VTX Solutions, highlighted Singapore consumers’ preference for energy-saving and stylishly designed products.

As for Thailand, Warut Jaengsadaeng, senior product engineer of Lighting & Equipment Public Co. Ltd, remarked how Thai buyers generally prefer working with distributors that could provide certificates of origin and certified products.

The overall buying atmosphere at the Spring Lighting Fair was good. Joe Chua, MD of Lightcraft Private Limited, Singapore, said they have placed over $200,000 worth of orders by the second day of the fair, which included LED decorative lamps and ceiling lights, wifi lighting controller, etc. He considered the fair to be a good place to find new products and learn about the latest market trends.

A Small-Order Zone was also set up at the fair. The Zone was very popular with buyers, attracting around 6,000 visits from buyers during the four-day fair period, generating over 12,000 business enquiries.

Seminars explored inspiration behind lighting design  
A number of seminars were also organised during the Spring Lighting Fair to facilitate exchange among industry professionals. “New Definition of Metropolitan Lighting” held yesterday (8 April) explored the inspiration behind lighting design, prompting industry professionals to use innovative designs to make their products stand out to consumers.

C.P. Poon, director of Acelab Technology, spoke about LED lighting in retail design. He said retailers are most concerned with the shop design’s distinctiveness, attraction and cost in order to present the best shopping experience to customers.

“As LED lighting technologies rapidly develop, LED is becoming an important solution to contemporary shop design.” He explained how LED lamps’ many advantages make them particularly useful for shop designs, “The high brightness and focused beams are great at minimising light waste; they consume only a small amount of power, are quick to start-up, and can be adjusted for brightness and colours. They last longer than incandescent light bulbs too.”

Poon cautioned about the initial costs and fluctuating quality of LED lamps. He suggested industry professionals to carefully examine the quality of LED lamps they use.

Danny Ng, principal of 4N Architects, also touted LED’s impact to lighting design on buildings, and how LED is able to create the moods for shops or restaurants. He cited an interior design project his company handled, explaining how adding bright yellow lights in a restaurant could help bring out the festive atmosphere of the Chinese people.

Isola enhances quick turnaround service to support PCB fabricators' just-in-time inventory requirements

USA: Isola Group S.a.r.l., a market leader in copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepreg materials used to fabricate advanced multilayer printed circuit boards, announced that it has enhanced its Quick Turnaround (QTA) Service in the US to support its customers' Just-in-Time (JIT) inventory strategies and QTA programs.

Expediting production to reduce the time-to-market presents a big challenge for PCB fabricators,  considering the variety of base materials and configuration options involved in the production of complex, multi-layer printed circuit boards. Many PCB fabricators rely on JIT inventory strategies to improve the management of their inventories and to meet the increasingly demanding needs of their customers for quick turnarounds of finished PCBs, often in support of new product introductions. Isola supports its customers with QTA offerings tailored to meet their specific needs.

Isola has successfully reduced the average cycle-time for standard orders to less than five business days. While this standard cycle-time is impressive, Isola now offers three premium tiers to its QTA service.
Depending on the customer's urgency, Isola's high-quality laminates and prepregs can be ready to ship in 48-, 24- or less than 24-hours. Isola guarantees the order will ship as scheduled.

All products offered in Isola's QTA program are manufactured in the US. Customers can order the precise amount of product needed, enabling them to reduce their inventory levels and the risk that prepreg expires on the shelf. Customers can also pick up their orders at Isola's manufacturing facilities in Chandler, AZ, Elk Grove, CA and Ridgeway, SC.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Digi-Key to distribute IPDiA products worldwide

USA & FRANCE: Digi-Key Corp. announced an agreement to distribute IPDiA products worldwide. IPDiA, founded in 2009 as an offshoot from NXP, provides innovative 3D silicon sub-mounts, 3D silicon RF, and 3D silicon capacitor products.

High reliability and stability capacitors are in great demand for medical, aeronautics, avionics, automotive, and military applications. IPDiA’s innovative design is ideally placed to serve this area of growth,” said Tom Busher, VP, Global Interconnect, Passives, and Electromechanical Product at Digi-Key. "IPDiA’s rugged product provides a unique dimension to our line card and we are pleased to enter into this partnership."

The unique technology developed by IPDiA offers a highly efficient way of integrating tens or even hundreds of passive components. Moreover, the performance resulting from this technology exceeds that of traditional MLCCs. Features of these devices include low profile, high stability, derating resistance, low failure rate, and high temperature operating range. Applications for these innovative devices are myriad, including medical, aerospace, and automotive markets.

Fujifilm Electronic Materials receives Intel's preferred quality supplier award

USA: Fujifilm Electronic Materials has been recognized as one of 17 companies receiving Intel Corp.'s Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) award for its performance in 2012.

Fujifilm Electronic Materials is recognized for their significant contributions providing Intel with formulated chemicals, developers, precursors, slurries and advanced photoresists, deemed essential to Intel’s success.

“On behalf of FUJIFILM and the global companies of our Electronic Materials Division, we are honored to be selected as a 2012 PQS award winner,” said Takashi Iwasaki, president and CEO, FUJIFILM Electronic Materials USA Inc.

“We proudly deliver best-in-class technology, designed to keep pace with a company such as Intel that sets the bar in supplier quality expectations. We look forward to our continued relationship as we work together to meet future expectations.”

“Congratulations to Fujifilm Electronic Materials for winning the 2012 Preferred Quality Supplier award,” said Tim Hendry, VP, Fab Materials Operation, Intel. “Fujifilm Electronic Materials continues to expand their product portfolio with INTEL and is well aligned with Intel’s technical requirements. This PQS award acknowledges their continued efforts to deliver quality and ramp readiness. We greatly value and appreciate this partnership.”

Stackable, right-angle HS Stac headers from Molex

USA: Molex Inc. has introduced modular, stackable HS Stac headers that combine the high-speed USCAR-30 HSAutolink interface with the modular, stackable configuration of the versatile Stac64 connector system.

With a 0.80mm pitch, the new HS Stac headers achieve greater design flexibility and space savings in PCB trace routing for in-vehicle infotainment and telematic devices.

The automotive industry-standard interface, known as USCAR-30, supports USB 2.0 requirements and other high-speed technologies, including low voltage differential signaling (LVDS) and Ethernet for infotainment, telematic devices, car stereo and navigation systems, and driver-assist electronic modules.

HS Stac right-angle headers package the USCAR-30 interface found in the Molex HSAutoLink family in a rugged, shroud-stackable formation compatible with the widely deployed Molex Stac64 header family. This design creates a unique multi-bay, high-speed connection system to meet growing in-vehicle terminal requirements for devices and modules in automotive and commercial transportation applications.

Cree lights way to savings

USA: Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-scale grocery retailer in the northeast United States, recently selected energy-efficient LED lighting by Cree Inc. to illuminate its 51,364-square-foot store in Geneva, N.Y.

The store, which opened in November 2012, features Cree CS18 luminaires and CR24 troffers lighting the aisles, specialty departments and pharmacy for an estimated energy savings of 70 percent over the T5 fluorescent lighting that Tops Markets had previously installed.

Featuring Cree TrueWhite Technology, Cree CS18 and CR24 architectural troffers provide exceptional color rendering, helping to improve the visual shopping experience by making the merchandise colors more vibrant and appealing. In addition, the Cree CS18 troffers solve the need for strong vertical light levels when mounted on the store’s 13-foot ceiling.

Designed to offer up to 100,000 lifetime hours, Cree CR24 troffers help Tops Markets reduce energy consumption by offering dimming capabilities – key considerations for the 24-hour store. In addition to savings achieved through dimmable light levels and decreased maintenance costs, the Cree LED troffers are backed by a 10-year limited warranty. Tops Markets estimates the Cree system will pay for itself within two-and-a-half years.

Designers showcase local creativity @ lighting design competition

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition), organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), is currently underway at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. On April 6 , the results of the 6th Hong Kong Lighting Design Competition were announced, and an award presentation ceremony was held. The winning works are now exhibited at Hall 1C.

This year’s competition featured the theme: Symphony of Light. It received a total of 210 entries for the Open and Student Group categories. A judging panel comprising of industry experts and local designers was formed, and included Antony Chan, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Interior Design Association; Ir Daniel Chan, ex-chairman of the Electronic Division, The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers; Howard Hsu, assistant GM of LED Lighting Expert Ltd(Optiled); Dennis Lau, JP, chairman of The Association of Architectural Practices; Brian Lee, VP of the Industrial Designers Society of Hong Kong; Lee Wing Tak, CEO of Neonlite Electronic & Lighting (HK) Ltd; and Eugene Sze, executive committee member of the Hong Kong Designers Association.

The winners of the 6th Hong Kong Lighting Design Competition were:

Champion, Open Group
Designer: Wong Man Hon Entry: Ordinary.

1st Runner-up, Open Group
Designer: Katrina (Boris Design Studio Ltd) Entry: Rosary Lamp.

2nd Runner-up, Open Group
Designer: Ng Chun Kit (PSL Ltd) Entry: Vitality Lamp.

Champion, Student Group
Designer: Nip Fu Yuk (Hong Kong Design Institute) Entry: Luo.

1st Runner-up, Student Group; and winner of ECO Design Award 
Designer: Law Tsz Wang (Hong Kong Polytechnic University) Entry: Old Folk.

2nd Runner-up, Student Group
Designer: Hung Ying Nga (Hong Kong Design Institute) Entry: Light Up The Green.

Asian Lighting Forum – exploring market’s latest developments and technologies
In addition to the Hong Kong Lighting Design Competition, the HKTDC also hosts a number of fair seminars during the Lighting Fair (Spring Edition) to facilitate exchange among industry professionals. The Asian Lighting Forum, also held yesterday (6 April), looked into the lighting industry’s latest developments and relevant regulatory updates.

Heavyweight speakers included Dr Mark Chang, global senior product line manager of Philips Lumileds; Dr Stuart Mucklejohn, technical operations manager of Ceravision; C.Y. Mok, senior technical manager (China and Hong Kong), Electrical and Electronics Consumer, Consumer Testing Services, SGS Hong Kong; Dr Roland W Koch, segment manager Asia of Tridonic GmbH & Co.; Eric Chan, GM of ConTech Global Co. Ltd; Johnny P.K. Tam, acting senior building services engineer of Housing Authority; and Daniel Yau, executive member of The Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association.

The Asian Lighting Forum was kick started by a session titled "Marking a Milestone – Forecast for Lighting Development". It explored some of the hottest topics in the industry, offering perspectives on the lighting market, discussing the latest technology development of high power lighting, and examining regulatory updates for lighting products.

Dr Mark Chang of Philips Lumileds explained that the first generation of practically useful LED, a light-emitting semiconductor, was developed by General Electric's Nick Holonyak in 1962. "Today, LEDs are being used in an increasing number of ways, from the traditional use of illuminating homes to being used outdoors for industrial, retail, and even entertainment purposes."

Dr Chang pointed out that as LED technology matures and production costs lower, the market potentials of LED are enormous. He anticipated global revenue generated from LED to grow from 2012's $2.2 billion to 2016's $4.5 billion, a 19 percent increase. "The world is actively engaging in the R&D of LED technologies, and LED will soon be entering its digital era. Take our Hue LED illumination system; one can adjust the bulb's colour and brightness with a smartphone. This increases the LED's eco-friendliness and range of application."

Dr Stuart Mucklejohn of Ceravision noted that with LED's durability, low power consumption, easy maintenance, quick heating and high stability, its superiority is evident. He added that LED makes an eco-friendly product as well, as the majority of High Bay luminary in LED are recyclable and the electronic components can be easily taken apart. As the market demand for LED rises, industry giants are joining in the R&D of high power LED technologies; and business opportunities are bound to increase. This is not to be missed.

As for the latest regulations governing LED, C.Y. Mok of SGS Hong Kong explained that different countries impose different regulations and import standards to the sale and use of LED; such as the EU’s LVD and EMC directives under the CE certification. He reminded industry professionals that, "Apart from focusing on design and appearance, manufacturers should also pay attention to the products' internal designs, so as to prevent the products from being barred from sale."

Mok added that with incandescent light bulbs being banned in more countries, LEDs are taking up a more prominent role. Countries like those in Europe, the US and Japan are constantly updating their mandatory regulations governing LED to enhance consumer protection. The EU ErP directive is among the most concerned by the industry.

Mok said: "The EU issued the (EU) No 1194/2012 directive last 14 December to govern the eco-design requirements of directional lamps, LED lamps and related equipment. The first phase of the ErP directive will enter into force this 1 September, in parallel with the energy labelling directive (874/2012)." He suggested industry professionals to leave a month’s time for compliance verification procedures, which may take time to go through.

The four-day Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition) welcomes over 1,000 exhibitors from 12 countries and regions around the world; setting a new record. Two zones – Hall of Display World and World of Chandeliers – have been added this year to facilitate buyers to find products and distributors.

Other exhibit areas include Hall of LED and Green Lighting; Hall of Aurora; Commercial Lighting; Decorative Lighting; Lighting Accessories, Parts & Components; Technical & Outdoor Lighting; and Business of IP Zone, etc. The fair showcases all kinds of energy-saving, multi-featured and brilliantly designed lighting products.