Electronic Design

Company Wire

A collaboration between GeneScan Europe AG and Clinical Micro Sensors, a business unit within Motorola Inc., is set to produce new DNA detection tools for genetically modified crops. The tools will apply bioelectronic technology deployed in Motorola's eSensor DNA detection system, which uses organic molecules to form electronic circuits that can detect and quantify many different DNA targets at once. GeneScan and Clinical Micro Sensors will use the eSensor platform to develop a single test for several genetically engineered traits, enabling on-site analysis. The technology should provide the agriculture and food industries with better tracking and management of new generations of crops and food products.

Streaming21 Inc., Neon Technology Inc., and Sigma Designs have announced a joint effort for delivering broadcast-quality streaming audio and video for Video on Demand (VOD). Streaming21 will provide carrier-class delivery and content distribution. Neon Technology's SurfReady Set-Top Box environment, based on Sigma Design MPEG decoder chips, will supply end-user presentation of streaming multimedia information.

The Motorola and Wind River Systems joint Center of Excellence (CoE) program will foster tighter integration of Motorola's PowerPC processors and cores with Wind River's various operating systems and software development tools, including its latest VxWorks AE. The first new combination from the relationship is the integration of Wind River's Tornado with Motorola's MPC7410 and MPC7450 processors.

Motorola Semiconductor and Surf Communication Solutions Inc. have allied to provide OEMs with bundled hardware and software for Internet telephony and data-access markets. Surf will port its high-density convergence software, including the Surf Multi-Access Pool (SMP), to Motorola's StarCore-based MSC8101 and MSC8102 DSPs. In addition to the MSC810x/SMP kit, Motorola and Surf plan to provide a comprehensive suite of tools, including multi-DSP reference designs, host-level interfaces that comply with Smart Networks, and evaluation platforms.

To integrate DSP cores into its ASIC design process, IBM Microelectronics has licensed LSI Logic's superscalar ZSP400 DSP core and associated software development and verification tools. IBM will integrate the ZSP400 DSP core into its 0.13-µm CMOS Blue Logic ASIC library. IBM will modify the core to work with its open on-chip bus architecture, CoreConnect.

Semiconductor vendor Infineon Technologies and IMEC, a microelectronic R&D organization, will jointly develop advanced CMOS semiconductor process steps and modules. Their work will seek to establish the underlying technologies for producing dimensions of 70 nm or less, as well as advanced optical lithography. The organizations also will collaborate on system-on-a-chip design and wireless LAN (WLAN) system applications.

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 currently 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.

TAGS: Digital ICs
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