A SOUND INVESTMENT: NXP POURS MILLIONS INTO SPEAKER PRODUCTION

Eindhoven, Netherlands: NXP Semiconductors announced it will invest e42 million in its sound solutions innovation and manufacturing activities in Vienna, Austria in 2007. This investment will enable the company to expand fully automated mass production of its rectangular speaker generation for mobile phones.

“Whilst personal music players have given people a soundtrack in their lives, speakers enable the experience to be shared,” explains Marc Cetto, executive vice president, NXP Mobile and Personal Business Unit. “Currently, nearly 40% of mobile phones can play MP3 music and high profile music phones coming to market will increase the demand for high performing mini sound systems. The market will also be driven by traditional applications such as hands-free listening and polyphonic ring tones as well powering portable sound accessories that allow people to enjoy the quality of great music.”

Nearly one in three phones sold in the world incorporates an NXP speaker system. The company expects sales to increase to 550 million sound components in 2007, an annual increase of over 50%. NXP also expects to create over one billion units by 2010.

COM Express Extension welcomes more supporters Eching, Germany: Kontron and

Advantech announced that six more Computer-on-Module manufacturers have committed to supporting the COM Industrial Group’s (COM-IG) COM Express Extension: AAEON Technology, Aewin Technologies, Arbor Technology Avalue Technology, Axiomtek, and IBASE Technology.

Based on the PICMG COM.0 COM Express specification, the document describes optimised pin-outs for graphics and other core features for COM Express designs. The COM Express Extension was published this year as a joint effort between Kontron and Advantech.

Among the key features of the Extension, as proposed by the COM-IG, are multiplexed graphics pin-out to support PEG; SDVO, TMDS, and display port in order to fit the needs of all chipsets that will appear in the next few years; and an extended power-supply range from 8.5Vdc to 18Vdc instead of 12Vdc only. Other features include onboard thermal control and BIOS implementations with smart-battery support; two dedicated GPIO pins for energy management functions; and new obligatory support of legacyinterfaces via super I/O chips.

Stage is set for the Fab 4

Yokkaichi and Tokyo, Japan: Toshiba Corp. opened Fab 4, the company’s latest 300mm wafer fabrication facility at its Yokkaichi operation. Fab 4 is expected to start mass production in December 2007 and reach a production capacity of 80,000 wafers a month in the second half of 2008. It will employ a 56nm process technology at startup; Toshiba says there will be a gradual transition to 43nm technology from March 2008.

Power-One licenses Z-One to Murata

Camarillo, Calif., USA: Power- One recently agreed to a license transfer from C&D Technologies to Murata Manufacturing Company. The transfer of the license was requested by Murata, as part of Murata’s purchase of C&D’s Power Electronics Division.

Under the terms of the license agreement, Murata will now succeed C&D as licensee and join the Z-Alliance. Murata will manufacture Power-One’s product line and actively promote the sale of Z-One compliant products.

“We are delighted to have Murata join the Z-Alliance and be a licensee for the Z-One digital power management system,” says Bill Yeates, Power-One’s CEO. “The acquisition of the C&D’s Power Electronics Division group positions Murata as one of the leading dc-dc converter companies in the world, and their strong presence within the Asia/Pacific, Japanese, North America, and Europe regions makes them a very powerful Z-Alliance partner.”

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