Electronic Design

Company Wire

  • Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. has been added to the Standard & Poors 500 index. The S&P500 is widely used as the standard for measuring the performance of large-company stocks. Vitesse makes high-performance ICs for high-speed optical and other data communications and networking applications.

  • With a $30 million expansion of its Canton, N.Y., facility, Corning Inc. will more than double its capacity to manufacture fluoride crystals. These crystals are used to fabricate optical microlithography lenses, which are employed in the manufacture of silicon wafers. Corning's expansion was driven by the expected growth in semiconductor production. The semiconductor industry is forecasting compounded annual growth of 18% to 20% over the next five years. Demand for fluoride crystals is expected to rise even faster.

  • C&D Technologies Inc. has purchased dc-dc converter specialist Newport Components. With this acquisition, C&D Technologies bolsters its position as a manufacturer of power storage and conversion products. Newport has traditionally focused on dc-dc converters rated under 5 W and on magnetic components. C&D Technologies has emphasized dc-dc converters above 20 W. The deal gives C&D Technologies access to Newport's production facilities in Milton Keynes and Workington, the U.K., as well as its high-volume factory in Guangzhou, China. C&D also acquires Newport's research facilities in Oxford and its U.S. sales operation in Raleigh, N.C.

  • Lucent Technologies' microelectronics spinoff will be named Agere Systems. Agere, pronounced a-GEAR, has its roots in the Latin verb "ago," meaning "to lead, to drive, to act." Formerly the microelectronics group at Lucent Technologies, Agere comprises two major divisions: integrated circuits and optoelectronics. The integrated circuits division develops and manufactures communications products for wireless, access, networking, and computing applications. The optoelectronic division handles optoelectronic components for long- and short-haul communications networks.

  • STMicroelectronics has licensed the Ovonic phase-change semiconductor memory technology from Ovonyx Inc., a developer of nonvolatile memory technology. Ovonic flash memory will be used in STMicroelectronics products. The companies will work together to integrate the thin-film memory technology into STMicroelectronics' fabrication process.

  • CMX Systems, a developer of real-time multitasking operating systems, and DSP Group Inc., a maker of licensable digital processing cores, have launched CMX-RTX for DSP Group's Teak DSP Core. CMX-RTX, a real-time multitasking operating system, is well noted for its very small code size.

  • Streaming21, Neon Technology, and Sigma Designs have developed a joint solution for delivering broadcast-quality video and audio streaming. The system will employ Streaming21's carrier-class delivery and content distribution platform in conjunction with Neon's SurfReady set-top box environment. In turn, Neon's technology uses Sigma's decoder chips.

  • Analog Devices Inc. and Tellium Inc. have joined forces to develop optical switching components using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. These MEMS devices will be tailored for use in a switching fabric that Tellium is building for next-generation optical networking. Called the Aurora Full-Spectrum all-optical switch, it will provide scalability, speed, and reliability.

  • Texas Instruments has readied a DSP-based reference design for Eureka digital audio broadcast (DAB) radios. The reference design contains TMS320DRE200 DSP baseband, analog parts and RF circuitry to complete a receiver. Being an open software platform, this design will facilitate easy upgrades as the digital radio technology evolves.

  • High-performance MIPS and application-specific processor (ASP) designer SandCraft Inc. is transitioning from IP licensor to a merchant semiconductor supplier. For that, it has raised a total of $35.5 million. Cisco Systems is a major contributor to this funding.

  • Direct PC seller Micron Electronics will be the first North American manufacturer to offer the AMD Athlon chip in desktops built for the corporate market. Micron will ship the chips in future ClientPro PCs, a line aimed at government customers and small to mid-size businesses.

  • Semiconductor maker Mitsubishi Electric has agreed to pay royalties to Rambus, becoming the seventh such company to sign a patent license agreement with the chip designer. Mitsubishi will pay royalties for memory chip designs and chip sets. This follows Rambus' other royalty agreements with Samsung Electronics, NEC, Hitachi, Oki Electric Industry, Toshiba, and Elpida Memory.

  • Cadence Design Systems Inc., a supplier of electronic design products and services, has acquired CadMOS Design Technology Inc., a privately held design tools firm. The acquisition will provide Cadence with signal-integrity analysis capabilities to be incorporated into its front- and back-end design solutions. It will also be integrated into the Assura physical verification and extraction tool suite.

  • Digital product development and design company e.Digital Corp. has signed a letter of intent with EASTECH, an Asian conglomerate specializing in developing and designing sound, vision, and Internet appliance products for the OEM consumer electronics market. It is expected that EASTECH will license e.Digital's MicroCAM technology-based, DataPlay-enabled product designs.

  • The Air Force has awarded a contract potentially worth $1.3 billion to Boeing Satellite Systems for research and development work on a high-capacity communications satellite system termed the Wideband Gapfiller. The initial contract, worth $160.3 million, is for work on three satellites. The Air Force may exercise an option to buy a total of six satellites through 2010. The first Wideband Gapfiller satellite is scheduled to be launched in 2004.

  • Palm Inc., a manufacturer of PDAs, has allied with Sprint PCS to broaden wireless Internet options on mobile handheld devices. As part of the deal, the companies will offer a new co-branded version of the MyPalm portal, which features access to personal and corporate e-mail, e-commerce, and Web browsing.

  • IBM Corp. and Infineon Technologies are teaming up to deliver magnetic random access memory (MRAM). MRAM uses magnetic, rather than electronic, charges to store bits of data. Potentially faster and less expensive, MRAM will compete with nonvolatile Flash memory. Commercial products are expected in 2004.
  • TAGS: Digital ICs
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