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posted in February 2002
Gain enters analog IC market with physical-layer transceiver for USB 2.0
News & Analysis  
2/27/2002   Post a comment
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gain Technology Corp. rolled out its first analog front-end interface chip for high-speed USB peripherals during the Intel Developer Forum here this week. The GT3200 is compliant with the USB 2.0 Transceiver Macrocell Interface (UTMI) specification, said Gain, which is based in Tucson, Ariz.
IMP's profit turnaround continues despite drop in sales
News & Analysis  
2/27/2002   Post a comment
SAN JOSE -- Analog chip maker IMP Inc. here increased its profitability in the last fiscal quarter after staging a dramatic turnaround in 2001. The company this week reported a net profit of $17,000 in the fiscal quarter, ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $1.2 million in the period last year.
Demodulation Capabilities of a DSSS Super-Regenerative Receiver
Design How-To  
2/26/2002   Post a comment
The super regenerative circuit has found use for many years in AM and, sometimes, FM receivers. F.X. Moncunill Geniz and colleagues from the UPC Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Spain, show how to use this venerable circuit for direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) signal detection.
IBM tailors SiGe foundry processes for wireless chip applications
News & Analysis  
2/25/2002   Post a comment
EAST FISHKILL, N.Y. -- IBM Corp. today announced two new versions of its existing silicon-germanium (SiGe) process technologies for foundry services in wireless ICs.
High-power boost converter maintains light-load efficiency
News & Analysis  
2/20/2002   Post a comment
Switching regulators tend to lose efficiency with small current loads. Here's a pointer from Maxim on keeping efficiency up when the load goes down. Great for portables!
Counting cycles saves energy for battery-powered processors
News & Analysis  
2/20/2002   Post a comment
Reducing power consumption in battery-powered systems isn't entirely up to the voltage regulators and dc-dc converters. As this Intel engineer points out, it depends on scaling processor clocks and cycles to just what it takes to do the job.
Fairchild hikes revenue forecast as orders rise
News & Analysis  
2/20/2002   Post a comment
Citing improving order rates, Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. said it expects its first quarter revenues to be roughly flat from fourth quarter levels. The South Portland, Me., semiconductor supplier had previously forecast first quarter revenues to be down 3% to 5% sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2001.
Cell phone power management requires small regulators with fast response
News & Analysis  
2/20/2002   Post a comment
What is the real current draw on a GSM phone? Does a buck-boost regulator make any sense? In this Planet Analog publication, Analog Devices' technologists look at the requirements for next-generation handsets.
The D/A diaries: A personal memoir of engineering heartache and triumph
Design How-To  
2/20/2002   Post a comment
It's 10 PM. You haven't slept or eaten properly for days. Hands shaking, you solder the lead frame of the new device to its test board: No chance of some loose connector fixture wrecking your measurements. All the confidence you thought you had before tapeout, simulating this over and over until you though you'd puke, now gives way as your mind imagines the worst-possible scenarios. In a moment, you'll know the truth... Planet Analog is pleased to present "The D/A diaries."
Motorola announces 3G platform in new open cell-phone strategy
News & Analysis  
2/19/2002   Post a comment
CANNES, France -- Motorola Inc. rolled out its promised third-generation cellular phone chip set and development platform at the 3GSM World Congress conference here. The 3G phone chip set's baseband processor is based on the StarCore DSP architecture, which was jointly developed by Motorola and Agere Systems Inc.
Microsoft supports smart phone platform based on TI's OMAP
News & Analysis  
2/19/2002   Post a comment
CANNES, France -- In a move to play more of its cards in the next-generation "smart phone" marketplace, Microsoft Corp. today announced its Windows Powered Smartphone 2002 software is available on a DSP-based design reference platform from Texas Instruments Inc.
Philips Semi to use TriQuint as InGaP chip foundry under new alliance
News & Analysis  
2/19/2002   Post a comment
HILLSBORO, Ore.-- Philips Semiconductors of the Netherlands today announced a manufacturing partnership with TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. here, which will fabricate indium-gallium-phosphide (InGaP) heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) on 150-mm wafers under a new foundry agreement.
Tropian teams with Agilent and Silicon Labs to serve advanced GSM phones
News & Analysis  
2/18/2002   Post a comment
CANNES, France--Prior to the opening of a cellular phone trade show here, Tropian Inc. today announced it was collaborating with Agilent Technologies Inc. to jointly demonstrate a radio-frequency transmitter for GSM/GPRS/Edge handsets. Silicon Valley-based Tropian also announced a partnership with Silicon Laboratories Inc. to offer the industry's first tri-band E-GPRS radio transceiver reference-design platform.
Analog Devices aims mixed-signal DSPs at high-precision embedded control
News & Analysis  
2/18/2002   Post a comment
NORWOOD, Mass. -- Aiming to expand its reach in embedded control applications, Analog Devices Inc. today introduced a new family of mixed-signal DSP chips, which combines a C-programmable digital signal processor core and high-performance analog functions.
Chartered strikes mixed-signal IP alliance with VCX exchange
News & Analysis  
2/18/2002   Post a comment
SINGAPORE -- In a move to increase its support and availability of third-party mixed-signal design cores for silicon foundry customers, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. today announced an alliance with the online Virtual Component Exchange (VCX) to lower the cost of "hardening" intellectual property (IP) for ICs fabricated in Chartered's wafer fabs.
STMicro launches division to create wireless infrastructure ICs
News & Analysis  
2/18/2002   Post a comment
GENEVA--STMicroelectronics today announced a new chip division in the south of France to pursue dedicated products for wireless infrastructure equipment, such as base stations and other systems serving cellular phones and mobile terminals.
National has designs on TI's 'stranglehold'
News & Analysis  
2/18/2002   Post a comment
National Semiconductor is developing a complete reference design for a 3G handset in a bid to tackle the 'stranglehold' that Texas Instruments (TI) has on the market, says chief executive Brian Halla.
US players line up 3G chipsets
News & Analysis  
2/18/2002   Post a comment
Three US companies have said they will launch their 3G chipsets at 3GSM Congress this week.
Agilent, Cadence pool technologies for RF/mixed-signal IC development
News & Analysis  
2/14/2002   Post a comment
PALO ALTO, Calif.-- Agilent Technologies Inc. and Cadence Design Systems Inc. today announced a "far-reaching" alliance to combine their technologies to accelerate development and testing of next-generation ICs for wireless and wireline communications systems.
Philips integrates audio codec, touch-screen controller for handheld devices
News & Analysis  
2/13/2002   Post a comment
SAN JOSE -- Philips Semiconductors today announced a mixed-signal audio codec IC, which combines coder-decoder functions with a touch-screen controller and power management interface for handheld systems based on Intel Corp.'s embedded processors.
LogicVision, National create IC for remote mixed-signal test using bus standard
News & Analysis  
2/13/2002   Post a comment
SAN JOSE -- LogicVision Inc. and National Semiconductor Corp. today announced joint development of the industry's first IC supporting the new IEEE 1149.4 mixed-signal test bus, which potentially opens the door for a new level of remote diagnostics of systems.
Sipex has loss despite sequential rise in revenue
News & Analysis  
2/12/2002   Post a comment
Sipex Corp. reported net revenue of $18 million for the fourth quarter of 2001, ended December 31, a 14% decrease from the $20.8 million reported for the same quarter a year earlier and a 20% increase from the $15 million reported for the third quarter of 2001.
Mixed-signal chip suppliers point to end of order famine
News & Analysis  
2/12/2002   Post a comment
Mixed-signal chip makers believe most inventories will have cleared by the end of the coming quarter and customers will start to place larger orders rather than the 'turns fills' that have dominated since last year.
Sierra Monolithics uses IBM's SiGe to make 40-Gbit chips for optical networks
News & Analysis  
2/11/2002   Post a comment
REDONDO BEACH, Calif.-- Sierra Monolithics Inc. here today announced a highly integrated multi-rate chip set for 40-gigabit-per-second OC-768 optical communications. The company said its chip set was the first highly-integrated serializer/deserializer (SerDes) fabricated with silicon-germanium (SiGe) technology.
Colour image sensor does away with filters
News & Analysis  
2/11/2002   Post a comment
US start-up Foveon has designed an image sensor for digital cameras that does away with the colour filters normally needed by CMOS and CCD sensors.
Chipmakers look to quad-band GSM transceiver upgrades
News & Analysis  
2/8/2002   Post a comment
Chip makers are putting together designs for handset transceivers that can handle all four GSM bands, but few are showing enthusiasm for the idea of a true quad-band phone.
Tektronix to use IBM's 0.18-micron SiGe in future test instruments
News & Analysis  
2/7/2002   Post a comment
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Tektronix Inc. here today announced plans to use next-generation 0.18-micron silicon-germanium (SiGe) technology from IBM Corp. in test instruments, such as digital oscilloscopes.
Shanghai startup creates 2.4-GHz transceiver on Chartered's 0.18-micron CMOS process
News & Analysis  
2/6/2002   Post a comment
SHANGHAI -- A startup joint venture here pursuing high-speed wireless network chips has received its first working prototypes of 2.4-GHz radio frequency transceivers fabricated in 0.18-micron RF CMOS by Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte. Ltd. in Singapore.
Portable Text-To-Speech helps email listening
News & Analysis  
2/6/2002   Post a comment
Automotive telematics, wearable computers, cell phone email readers will demand an accurate text to speech interface. Such an interface requires not only a natural-sounding voice decoder, but also a memory buffer specially architected for voice. There's a ton of analog in these chips, points out Hezi Saar, Winbond's speech product specialist. He shows too how to hook them up.
Direct-conversion IC demand to surge in cell phones, wireless LANs, says report
News & Analysis  
2/6/2002   Post a comment
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- A major shift from dual-conversion architectures to direct-conversion radios is shaking up the chip market serving cellular phones and other wireless communications systems, said a new report from iSuppli Corp.
Optical extinction ratio is dependent on noise and power
News & Analysis  
2/6/2002   Post a comment
Extinction ratio - the means of distinguishing data ones and zeros in fiber optic systems - is effected by very small variations in transmitter power. To keep BER low, it is important to understand their relationships. Maxim's Justin Redd, one of Planet Analog's most popular contributors on communications specs, offers this tutorial.*
Linear Tech CEO says length of patent suit against Micrel unfair
News & Analysis  
2/5/2002   Post a comment
MILPITAS, Calif. -- Linear Technology Corp. today announced a favorable ruling from an appellate court, which has overturned a lower court's decision to invalidate a patent on IC voltage regulators because of promotional activities prior to the filing of the U.S. patent.
ON Semiconductor sees uptick in orders
News & Analysis  
2/5/2002   Post a comment
In its fourth 2001 fiscal quarter ended December 31, ON Semiconductor Corp. reported a net loss of $451 million or $2.60 per share, including restructuring, amortization, and other non-recurring charges, on revenues of $267 million.
Debate follows application of Moore's Law to analog ICs
News & Analysis  
2/5/2002   Post a comment
Those looking for a brouhaha at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference almost got one Monday (Feb. 4) as technologists debated the future of Moore's Law for analog circuits.
Cirrus adds UMC as multi-year foundry source for advanced ICs
News & Analysis  
2/4/2002   Post a comment
AUSTIN, Tex. -- Cirrus Logic Inc. today announced it has entered into a new multi-year foundry agreement to source advanced ICs from United Microelectronics Corp. in Taiwan. Under the pact, UMC will accelerate the availability of mixed-signal and other processes for Cirrus chip designs, based on features sizes down to 0.10 micron (100 nm).
Dual-band issue: super-heterodyne v.s. zero IF
News & Analysis  
2/1/2002   Post a comment
The success of dual-band WLAN products will be determined predominantly by their cost compared to a single-band product.
For speed: there's 802.11, everything else, Bluetooth
News & Analysis  
2/1/2002   Post a comment
The biggest challenge in applications development is successful porting to multiple platforms and devices. IEEE 802.11b supports full Ethernet-style data communications.
Achieving battery life for handhelds with 802.11b connectivity
News & Analysis  
2/1/2002   Post a comment
Handheld devices typically operate off of lithium ion or alkaline batteries, so power consumption is always a concern for system designers.
Software development crucial for multistandard radios
News & Analysis  
2/1/2002   Post a comment
As we look into the future of wireless connectivity, software will become an important element that bridges the various wireless standards.
How to get backward compatibility in next gen WLANs
News & Analysis  
2/1/2002   Post a comment
Designers of next-generation high-speed wireless LAN (WLAN) devices are primarily concerned with two issues: Which high-speed standard, 802.11a or the proposed 802.11g, will offer the best solution? And, how do they address backward compatibility with a legacy 802.11b infrastructure?
Can Bluetooth, Wi-Fi coexist in the future?
News & Analysis  
2/1/2002   Post a comment
Many in the industry see Bluetooth and Wi-Fi fighting for the limelight.
802.11g spec: Covering the basics
News & Analysis  
2/1/2002   Post a comment
Adopted last November after a long and often-heated debate, the IEEE 802.11g draft standard extends data rates for 2.4-GHz wireless-LAN (WLAN) systems to 54 Mbits/second and provides backward compatibility with existing 802.11b (Wi-Fi) equipment.
WLAN vendors debate 802.11g spec, coexistence issues
News & Analysis  
2/1/2002   Post a comment
Though security has been getting the lion's share of attention in discussions of wireless local-area and personal-area networking, it is, paradoxically, the easiest problem to fix through basic attention to keys and virtual private networking.


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