Electronic Design

Company Wire

NumeriTech and other lithography equipment providers have formed the Stepper Alliance Program. Its main goal is the maximization of compatibility between advanced photolithography tools and NumeriTech's dual-exposure subwavelength software solutions. Members hope to prepare to meet the demands placed on next-generation photolithography with existing tool sets. A stepper's ability to support dual-exposure phase shifting may be the one factor that determines which companies will survive and which will not.

ASML MaskTools and Mentor Graphics Corp. are touting the first three deliverables of their collaboration. They hope to leverage their combined expertise in imaging equipment, EDA software, and advanced processes to create an integrated process solution for successful silicon yield at subwavelength geometries. The deliverables include an unbundled manufacturing license from ASML MaskTools' enabling wafer fabs, a jointly authored "Calibre Scattering Bars Application Guide," and the Calibre WORKbench interactive software.

Anacon Systems will provide its DigiDrive ac motor controller system to ITT Industries, a vendor of pump systems. ITT's goal is to develop pumps with greater functionality, quieter operation, more efficiency, longer life, and better network compatibility. The application of sophisticated signal-processing techniques to motor control appears to be a growing trend. This movement is supported by the likes of Analog Devices and Texas Instruments, who in the last few years introduced DSP-based chip solutions for motor control.

According to the Molded Interconnect Device International Association (MIDIA), the global market for molded interconnect devices (MIDs) will grow by more than 50% this year and nearly 75% next year. With estimates of MID sales at $54 million in 1999, forecasts call for sales of $83 million in 2000 and $144 million in 2001. Meanwhile, three more companies—Nokia, Zuken Redac, and Atotech GMF—have joined MIDIA, boosting corporate membership to 29. The industry's rapid growth and MIDIA's expansion indicate a growing interest in MID technology.

ECI Telecom Ltd. signed a $6 million agreement with Hansol M.com, a Korean wireless communications provider. ECI's DWDM and SDH solutions will be the basis of a new optical backbone network that will deliver a broad range of services, including voice, data, Internet, and video. The network's construction will be flexible enough to accommodate future telecom needs as well. Delivery of the equipment will be complete by the end of the second quarter of this year.

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