Flexible logic speeds SOC gold rush News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment Embedded programmable logic has become a significant design aspect in the system-on-chip era. Silicon vendors such as Lucent Technologies Inc. are beginning to supply standard, off-the-shelf chips with embedded programmable logic. Dataquest Inc.'s Jordan Selburn has even coined a category for upcoming off-the-shelf chips that incorporate embedded programmable logic: application-specific programmable parts (ASPPs). Venture capitalists have poured more than $35million into Silicon Valley alone to
An option: multiple dice on a substrate News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment Though systems-on-chip (SOC) herald a new level of component integration, there is a point at which too much complexity negates the cost benefits that the semiconductor industry has traditionally brought to electronic systems. While SOC attempts to integrate different process technologies, an unnecessary level of complexity and cost is added to chip design, manufacturing and test.
Hardware/software design flows change News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment Turning electronics into consumer products creates an insatiable market appetite for additional product features and performance with ever-falling prices. This trend mandates tough design goals and is driving developers to rapidly adopt system-on-chip (SOC) technologies to meet them.
Programmable logic blends 'soft IP' News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment Until fairly recently, the ASIC and programmable-logic industries have been characterized by continual introductions of ever-larger "blank slate" devices. In other words, vendors placed the burden of system-level design on the shoulders of their customers. However, traditional development tools and methods fall short of the levels of complexity needed for the system-on-chip (SOC) applications targeted for these devices. As a result, designers have been forced to make difficult choices between lo
Single-chip systems leap technology barriers News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment While advances in semiconductor fabrication technology have always been roughly measured in circuit density, the current stir over system-on-a-chip (SOC) capability marks a significant change in industry metrics. Rather than asking how many devices can be crowded onto a single piece of silicon, semiconductor experts are now turning to the question of how many different circuit types can be merged. The vision-blending a palette of technologies in a single fab run-could potentially boost the usefu
Malaysian foundry to run Sharp technology News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment Silicon foundry startup 1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. today announced that it has received a syndicated loan exceeding $200 million and struck a technology-transfer agreement with Japan's Sharp Corp. to begin wafer processing services by the end of next year.
Oxide breakthrough presages CMOS GaAs circuits News & Analysis 3/29/1999 Post a comment A semiconductor process breakthrough at Lucent Technologies' Bell Laboratories bodes well for the future of gallium-arsenide-based circuits. Using molecular-beam epitaxy deposition, Bell Labs researchers have shown that the rare-earth element gadolinium can form very thin oxide layers on GaAs substrates. Since electrically insulating oxide films have been the critical element in the silicon VLSI revolution, this development suggests that higher-performance GaAs circuits might now attain the same
Static tool speeds functional verification News & Analysis 3/29/1999 Post a comment A new type of verification tool that promises rapid and exhaustive block-level functional checks will be rolled out by startup HDAC Inc. next week at the International HDL Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. The tool, Solidify, is said to be among the first of a new breed of "static functional verification" tools.
Students need technical education, study finds News & Analysis 3/29/1999 Post a comment All U.S. undergraduate students should be required to take courses in science, mathematics, engineering or technology, according to a recent National Research Council report. Many students will eventually make important decisions that will require an understanding of basic scientific concepts that many students now lack, according to the study, which was overseen by the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering.
Samsung orders $34M GSM chips from VLSI News & Analysis 3/29/1999 Post a comment VLSI Technology Inc.today said it has received the largest single order for semiconductors in its history from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which is buying $34 million worth of chip sets for digital cellular phones, based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) standard.
MediaQ launched display controller with embedded DRAM News & Analysis 3/29/1999 Post a comment Plenty of attention has been paid to power-stingy CPUs developed with the consumer electronic appliance market in mind. Now, MediaQ Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) is moving the spotlight to other forms of silicon optimized for mininotebooks, handheld computers, Web phones and other Internet appliances.
Proxim moves to Windows CE, Lucent goes Turbo News & Analysis 3/29/1999 Post a comment Activity in the wireless-LAN client market is warming up with the weather. Proxim Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) turned to the Windows CE environment for a low-cost option addition to its RangeLAN 2 family. Lucent Technologies Inc., meanwhile, emphasized speed at the recent CeBit fair in Hannover, Germany, showing off a WaveLAN/IEEE Turbo card in the PC card and ISA formats.
Synopsys brings Linux into EDA mainstream News & Analysis 3/29/1999 Post a comment The open-source Linux operating system will receive by far its biggest EDA endorsement next week, when Synopsys Inc. announces that it is porting its Verilog VCS simulator to Red Hat Linux. The popularity of VCS, the number-two Verilog simulator, pushes Linux much deeper into the EDA mainstream than it has ventured before.
Synopsys acquires Gambit News & Analysis 3/29/1999 Post a comment Synopsys Inc. has completed its purchase of Gambit Automated Design Inc., according to a source at Gambit, who requested anonymity. Synopsys previously held a 12 percent stake in Gambit, an IC tool and service provider.
SBC fueled by lower-power Pentium or K6 for portables Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment Xtech Embedded Computers said it built ruggedness and low-power capability into its 8.5- x 6.1-inch NxL-400 single-board computer to serve portable applications. The SBC offers an on-board hard-disk drive, multiple PCMCIA slots, built-in 256-color Super VGA graphics and Sound Blaster-compatible audio.
Flat-panel systems feature big LCDs Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment An 18.1-inch-diagonal color liquid-crystal display (LCD) with a 1,280 x 1,024-pixel SXGA format graces Computer Dynamics' new series of flat-panel products, which the company dubs Clarity-18.
Siemens adds PIN transceiver Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment Siemens Microelectronics has begun shipping a 1 x 5-pin, 850-nm fiber-optic 10/100-Mbit/second PIN-preamplifier transceiver that it said complies with 10Base-FL Ethernet, 100Base-SX Fast Ethernet and 4/16-Mbit token-ring.
FIFOs range up to 1-Mbit densities Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment Cypress Semiconductor has launched its x36 Deep Sync family of 36-bit-wide, synchronous FIFO memories in both 3.3 V and 5 V. The 32-member family ranges from 8-kbit to 1-Mbit densities.
Newport expands its SMD capabilities Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment Newport Components has hit the market with two dc/dc converters that extend the capability of surface-mount devices. The first is the NMT triple-output 3-W dc/dc converter with on-board shutdown that targets ISDN and SLIC designs. The other is the NMRi, a 1-W dc/dc for industrial distributed-power systems.
Slim supply fits shape of mobile units Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment Artesyn's SSL40 series of external 40-W supplies measures 4.21 x 1.77 x 0.98 inches for such mobile applications as network adap-ters, xDSL modems, cable modems, flat-panel displays and external storage devices.
Buck-converter vendors boost efficiency Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment Competition grows keener among synchronous-rectifier buck-type converter supplies, which are stepping up with more efficient systems to meet the requirements of lower-voltage, higher-current designs in ever-expanding distributed dc/dc power applications.
Power MOSFETs tout low on-resistance Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment Vishay Siliconix has introduced four new power MOSFETs in "Little Foot" SOT-23 packages: the 30-V n-channel Si2306DS and p-channel Si2307DS; and the 60-V n-channel Si2308DS and p-channel Si2309DS.
MF's synthesizer line is software-programmable Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment The M2XXX family of frequency synthesizers from MF Electronics Corp. is software-programmble to generate more than 4 million frequencies between 10 MHz and 220 MHz for a broad range of applications, including test-pattern generation and radio-receiver tuning.
PECL oscillators hit 250-MHz frequency Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment Fox Electronics has introduced JITO-2 positive emitter-coupled logic (PECL) oscillators for high-frequency applications where the cycle switching times from positive to negative are extremely short and critical. Shipment of Fox's JITO (Just-In-Time Oscillators) is promised in 10 or fewer working days, with prototypes and test samples shipped within two days.
Coil reduces EMI emissionsc Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment The B5W common-mode choke coil from Toko America Inc. is a dual-wound filter designed for common-mode noise attenuation in twisted-pair cable interfaces and IEEE 1394 apps.
Coaxial contact system debuts Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment Hypertronics Corp.'s low-insertion-force coaxial contact system boasts electrical repeatability of more than 25,000 insertion/extraction cycles. These 50-ohm contacts, dubbed the Coaxtac system, are rated at 1.20:1 (max) voltage standing-wave ratio at 3 GHz and 1.40:1 up to 6 GHz and are designed for high-pin-count assemblies as well as for portable computers, test equipment and wireless apps.
Optocouplers target telecom Product News 3/29/1999 Post a comment The SOC600 series of optocouplers from Solid State Electronics is designed for applications such as telecom ring circuitry and switching, current detection, ring and loop detect, industrial testing equipment and medical electronics. Each SOC600 device consists of an input LED optically coupled to an output phototransistor, allowing for high isolation levels while maintaining low-level dc signal-control capability.
In conjunction with unveiling of EE Times’ Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. One of Silicon Valley's great contributions to the world has been the demonstration of how the application of entrepreneurship and venture capital to electronics and semiconductor hardware can create wealth with developments in semiconductors, displays, design automation, MEMS and across the breadth of hardware developments. But in recent years concerns have been raised that traditional venture capital has turned its back on hardware-related startups in favor of software and Internet applications and services. Panelists from incubators join Peter Clarke in debate.