Electronic Design

Company Wire

Electronics manufacturing services provider Flextronics has expanded its photonics offerings by acquiring two companies—Fico Fiber Optics and Wave Optics. With this, Flextronics gains design and manufacturing services for optical networking applications. Wave Optics designs, manufactures, and packages optical subcomponents and components for the DWDM, Sonet, and Gigabit Ethernet markets. Fico Fiber Optics concentrates on product industrialization and manufacturing advanced optical modules, electro-optical modules, and passive optical components for telecom and datacom products.

Seven, a new wireless startup, has partnered with British Telecom and Microsoft. Genie, BT's Mobile Internet Division, will offer wireless data-access technology to enterprise customers through Seven's global network platform. BT also will support the Microsoft Mobile Information Server, a core component of Microsoft's overall mobility strategy.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab plans to expand to India. The lab is working with the Indian government to bring projects to several locations throughout the country. Once completed, the facility will be larger than the Cambridge Media Lab. Last year, Media Lab Europe was launched in Dublin, Ireland, with a $35 million pledge over 10 years from the Irish government.

Hansatech Ltd., a U.K. contract electronics manufacturer, is working with Zellweger Analytics of Poole, England, to fabricate parts for the pc-board assembly of Zellweger's gas-detection instrumentation. Zellweger is a specialist instrumentation and applications knowledge firm that provides technology for environmental-safety monitoring applications.

Zucotto Wireless Inc., a provider of Java semiconductors for wireless applications, has announced an agreement with RealChip Communications Inc., a maker of custom and standard chips for communications applications. Under this multichip design pact, the companies will jointly manage the production and delivery of the Xpresso Java native processor. RealChip will function as a liaison between Zucotto and various IP suppliers, manufacturers, and EDA tool suppliers.

E Ink Corp. and Philips Components, a division of Royal Philips Electronics, will jointly develop high-resolution electronic ink displays for smart handheld devices. E Ink will develop electronic ink sheets, which Philips will integrate with active-matrix drivers, spawning lighter gadgets with true paper-like readability and dramatically lower power. Philips also has invested in E Ink to secure global rights to manufacture and sell its handheld devices using E Ink display sheets. Commercial deployment of the electronic ink is expected later this year.

The dual-MAC-based microsignal DSP core jointly developed by Analog Devices Inc. and Intel Corp. has found a home. ADI will incorporate the 600-MMACs DSP core in its SoftFone baseband processors designed for 3G wireless terminal applications. The SoftFone 3G baseband processors are slated for release by the end of the year.

Using a 0.15-µm CMOS process, Marvell Semiconductor has readied a low-power 3.125-Gbit/s serializer/deserializer (SERDES) core for building networking chips that address the 10-Gbit/s space, such as Gigabit Ethernet, Sonet/SDH, Infiniband, and Fibre Channel. It consumes less than 150 mW at 1.5 V. At this power level, up to 64 such cores can be integrated on a single networking chip. Transceiver chips incorporating the new SERDES core are expected this summer.

Samsung Electronics and Intel have entered a strategic relationship to raise monthly RDRAM production. Intel will support capital expenditures that will be used to add component test and qualifying capability, boosting 128-Mbit RDRAM output. This will help Samsung turn out at least 10 million RDRAMs per month. By midyear, production will double to 10 million RDRAMs per month.

GretagMacbeth, a color-management solutions provider, is strategically partnering with Fuji Hunt, a provider of chemical products for the photographic and graphic arts industries. GretagMacbeth's ProfileMaker 3.1 and iCColor will be integrated into Fuji Hunt's digital solutions offerings.

Palm Inc., a provider of handheld computing solutions, is set to acquire Extended Systems Inc., a supplier of infrastructure software for enterprise applications on handhelds. Extended Systems offers Bluetooth connectivity software for wireless communications. The goal of the acquisition is to expand the wireless capabilities of Palm's handheld devices and to target large enterprise consumers.

IBM Corp. is establishing a life sciences consulting practice within its Global Services organization. This business will cover knowledge management, data management and integration, and clinical trial capabilities for companies engaged in drug development. IBM aims to simplify data gathering and analysis, improve research and development cycles, and lower development costs through its technology.

NEC Corp. of Japan will manufacture and sell computers incorporating processors manufactured by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD's Athlon and Duron processors will be used in a line of PowerMate DT computers. These desktop PCs target large enterprise and government markets in the U.K., France, Italy, and The Netherlands.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is working with RealNetworks Inc., a provider of media delivery over the Internet, to create products that will let consumers easily play digital entertainment from the Internet on stereos and televisions. RealNetworks will supply the software platform for the products HP produces.

Accellent Systems Inc., a Linux tools developer for Internet appliances, is collaborating with SST, a wholly owned subsidiary of Woodhead Industries Inc., to develop a Linux-based Internet gateway called NetGateway. Based on StrongARM, NetGateway will provide remote plant floor access from an office environment while supplying a firewall between the two environments. Accellent's acceLinux is based on the latest 2.4.0 open-source kernel.

STMicroelectronics will begin delivering its Indus system-on-a-chip for DataPlay's micro-optical engine. This engine plays 500-Mbyte DataPlay digital disk media. A single disk can hold over 11 hours of music. STMicroelectronics also is providing the Yukon drive control and tracking logic. The remaining system semiconductor components include the pickup preamplifier, laser driver, and memory chip.

Infineon Technologies AG and Sanyo Electric Co. will cooperate in the production of UHF RF devices for wireless applications. Infineon will supply high-end, RF transistor chips (fT = 45 GHz) to Sanyo. Using these chips, Sanyo will produce leadless environmentally considered chip-scale packages (ECSPs) for Infineon.These chips measure 1.0 by 0.6 by 0.48 mm. At the same time, Infineon and Sanyo will market Infineon RF transistor chips in the ECSP package under their own brands.

Cielo Communications has joined an existent multisource agreement (MSA) with Infineon Technologies, JDS Uniphase, Nortel Networks, and LightLogic Inc. to develop a small-footprint OC-192 optical transponder. The agreement specifies a full drop-in, 10-Gbit/s solution. The MSA provides significant space and cost savings for high-speed optical links requiring a reach of 0.6 to 12 km.

Interlink Electronics Inc., a developer of intuitive interface solutions, is partnering with Cardiff Software Inc., a provider of e-business automation solutions to make Interlink's ePad handwritten electronic signatures compatible with Cardiff's LiquidForms XML-based eForm Management System. The LiquidForms management system publishes automated electronics forms online, where they may be accessed via popular Web browsers. Once the work is completed, users will be able to legally sign LiquidForm documents using Interlink's ePad e-signature solution.

iQuest Consultants Inc. is launching a networking business unit to provide corporate clients with a variety of data networking solutions. This business unit will be centered around the iQ Rack System, an automated network error-detection system comprising components from Cisco, AT&T, and other third-party manufacturers.

FRx Software Corp., a developer of financial reporting software and financial analytics, plans to acquire ebudgets.com, a developer of budgeting, planning, and collaboration applications. The acquisition will be in the form of a stock-for-stock exchange using Great Plains Software Inc. common stock. FRx Software plans to enhance its financial analytics applications by adding components that can be deployed via the Internet or in a client/server environment.

Itronix Inc., a manufacturer of rugged laptop computers, has chosen Portsmith as the endorsed provider of port replicators for Itronix's newest laptop, the GoBook. Portsmith produces a variety of connection devices designed to ease mobile workers' access to networked information.

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