Micro fuel cells to hit mainstream in 2010 News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment Despite a flurry of announcements and investments in micro fuel cells for portable devices, the technology is not expected to become a mainstream product until 2010 or so, according to an expert in the arena.
ST selects Obducat nano-imprint litho for R&D News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment STMicroelectronics has placed an order for a nano-imprint lithography (NIL) R&D system from Obducat AB to be used in a post-silicon R&D unit for development purposes. Obducat has also produced stampers that are being used in this assessment project.
Qimonda's Loh banking on DRAM market comeback News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment One year into his tenure as CEO of the world's third largest DRAM maker, Qimonda's Kin Wah Loh is out to prove that his company can be nimble and aggressive rather than a problematic memory division of its parent company, Infineon Technologies AG.
Under the Hood: Inside Microsoft's Xbox 360 Elite Teardown 4/30/2007 Post a comment In the wake of its Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii video teardowns, Semiconductor Insights kept the cameras rolling as it took apart the new Xbox 360 Elite to see just how Microsoft plans to stay competitive in the hotly contested, three-way gaming platform market.
K&S posts loss, sales drop News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment Chip-equipment provider Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. (K&S) said net revenue from continuing operations for the second quarter was $142.7 million, compared to $152.3 million for the previous quarter and $160.3 million for the comparable year-ago quarter.
Promise, peril in going green News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
Don't worry, this is not another commentary about climate change, although I do know that simulations can be very sensitive to assumptions in their underlying models and to errors in the input data. (As physics Nobel laureate Niels Bohr said, "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.") My concern is about the R&D structure that will arise as society attempts to reduce the possibility of global warning through new and improved energy sources, greater efficiency and
Pushing for 'another record year' News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
Despite a seasonal slowdown in the overall semiconductor industry, Microchip Technology Inc. last week smashed Wall Street's estimates for its fourth fiscal-2007 quarter and broke the $1 billion plateau in annual sales for the fiscal year.
CEO interview: Microchip's Steve Sanghi News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
Steve Sanghi joined Microchip Technology Inc. as president and CEO in 1990--when the company was near liquidation--and engineered a remarkable turnaround. Today Microchip is the world's leading supplier of 8-bit microcontrollers, has branched out into 16-bit MCUs and analog, and surpassed the $1 billion sales mark in fiscal 2007, ended March 31. In an interview with EE Times' Mark LaPedus, Sanghi pulled no punches as he weighed in on the chip industry at large, the private-equity steamroller,
Hidden IP: booby trap or buried treasure? News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment If the process by which technology standards are forged and implemented isn't broken, it is surely straining under the weight of globalization, relentless technological change, patent-infringement and antitrust lawsuits as well as increasingly noisy standards battles among competing industry consortia.
IEEE's patent policy fails to quell EDA standards row News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
Hoping to head off intellectual-property disputes in standards efforts, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) is clarifying and strengthening its patent protection policy. But the changes don't appear to resolve an EDA standards dispute that's based in part on IP protection concerns.
Line blurs between phones, PCs News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
Mainstream notebook PCs and mobile phones are worlds apart when it comes to cost, size and design metrics. But trends revealed in recent teardowns on ultramobile PCs from Sony, Samsung and Tablet- Kiosk show the chasm is closing when UMPCs are compared with a recent ultrahigh-segment smart phone from HTC.
Networks: Ethernet card challenges Infiniband News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
NetEffect Inc. (Austin, Texas) claims that its dual-port 10-Gbit/second Ethernet card closes in on the throughput, latency and cost of Infiniband, currently the performance leader in data center networking. The NE020 card implements the iWarp standard, defined more than five years ago to create a high-performance version of Ethernet using the techniques baked into Infiniband.
Samsung uses direct metal links in DRAM stack News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
Samsung Electronics scored a win last week in what is shaping up to be an industrywide effort to accelerate the development of direct metal connections between chips. Samsung completed the task in an all-DRAM stacked package--the first of its kind, according to the company.
A path around patent ambushes News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment The rules for licensing the patents essential for standards are hard to understand, even for experts. Participants in standards bodies, whether or not ANSI-accredited, have claimed that their duty to disclose essential intellectual-property rights (IPR) is unclear and that the obligation to license IP on "fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory" (FR&ND) terms has no legal content.
Japan rolls Li-ion battery safety plan News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment Tales of burning notebook PCs that hit the news last summer raised serious concerns among consumers about the safety of lithium-ion batteries. Responding to those fears, Japan's battery and PC industries have jointly hammered out guidelines for the safe use of Li-ion batteries. The industries' task force has also presented its proposal to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
MEMS exec sees billion-dollar markets News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are poised to leverage the economies of scale that have driven the semiconductor industry, enabling a bright future of new devices with lower cost, superior performance and increasingly diminutive size. So says MEMS expert Kaigham (Ken) Gabriel, the co-founder of Akustica Inc. (Pittsburgh) and a veteran MEMS developer.
DFM: just what doctor ordered News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment As design-for-manufacturing and design-for-yield take on critical importance at the 65-nanometer node, discussions proceed apace about how best to handle them. At the recent Design Automation and Test in Europe conference here, experts from chip, EDA and foundry companies used a medical metaphor to frame the debate, asking whether it's better to be "surgeons" who deal with DFM and DFY issues at tapeout or "family doctors" who, with an eye toward prevention, minister to the design starting at the
Standards not quite a 'hot topic' in Beltway News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
The word "innovation" is on the lips of nearly every politician and half the lobbyists in Washington. But when it comes to the technical standards that form the underpinnings of U.S. innovation, the subject is "a real killer at a cocktail party," said Don Deutsch, vice president for standards strategy and architecture at Oracle Corp.
BenQ refocuses on ODM business to survive News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment BenQ Corp. pulled a U-turn last week, opting to spin off its branded business instead of its manufacturing division in an effort to find firm footing after a disastrous attempt to become a household name.
Palmarès INPI des déposants de brevets en 2006 News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment Dressant le bilan de l’année 2006, l’Institut National de la Propriété Intellectuelle (INPI) note une croissance de 3,3% sur un an des dépôts de brevets de la part des entreprises et des organismes de recherche français.
APT brings pro-audio quality sound to Bluetooth News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment Audio compression algorithm specialist Audio Processing Technology Ltd (Belfast, Northern Ireland) has expanded its relationship with Bluetooth chip pioneer CSR plc. to bring professional quality audio to headsets and other consumer devices.
Chip sales start growing again News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment Worldwide sales of semiconductors increased by one percent in March to $20.3 billion compared with the previous month, and are 3.2 percent better than the $19.7 billion reported for March 2006, according to the the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).
Chip sales start growing again News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment Worldwide sales of semiconductors increased by one percent in March to $20.3 billion compared with the previous month, and are 3.2 percent better than the $19.7 billion reported for March 2006, according to the the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). The increase reverses three months of sequential declines recorded by the SIA.
AT&T shareholders cry foul over executive pay News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment AT&T Inc. announced at its shareholders meeting that Edward Whitacre would be stepping down as chairman and chief executive but a shareholder proposal called for advisory voting powers in the approval of executive pay to be given to shareholders.
Alcatel-Lucent, NEC supply 20,000km submarine cable network News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment Alcatel-Lucent and NEC Corporation announced they have been selected to deploy the Asia America Gateway, the first direct Terabit submarine cable network between Southeast Asia and the United States. The contract, amounting to about $500 million, aims to deliver a 20,000-km cable network spanning almost half the length of the equator.
Software: Analysis tool maps code's 'DNA' News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment
Coverity Inc. says the new release of its Prevent static code-analysis software embodies a new approach to "software mapping" that finds more bugs in embedded and enterprise software than previous technologies. The Prevent Software Quality System (SQS) also includes new defect- tracking capabilities and Java support.
Standard boosts disk drive performance News & Analysis 4/30/2007 Post a comment The IDEMA group of disk drive makers has put the finishing touches on its Long Block Data standard that aims to lower error rates and boost performance on hard drives that will start sampling later this year.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.