LSI Sells Mobility Group to Infineon

London, England: LSI Corp. announced a deal to sell its mobility products business to Infineon Technologies for $450 million in cash, plus a performance- based payment of up to $50 million payable in the first quarter of 2009. The sale is the result of a strategic review within LSI of its business portfolio, following its merger with Agere Systems on April 2, 2007. LSI expects to benefit from the sale by realigning its resources to pursue growth opportunities for its storage systems as well as its storage and networking semiconductor businesses.

Under terms of the agreement, Infineon will purchase the LSI Mobility Products Group (MPG), which designs semiconductors and software for cellular telephone handsets and complete chip-level solutions for satellite digital audio radio applications.

Upon closing, approximately 700 LSI employees will join the Infineon Communications Solutions business group, which manufactures and markets end-toend semiconductor products and solutions for cellular, wireless, and wired communications. Infineon will also enter into additional agreements with LSI, which include intellectual property, transition services, and supply.

Pedal power
Neubiberg, Germany: So, where’s your e-bike? With a market that’s grown to more than 18.5 million this year, the electronic- bicycle craze has definitely arrived. The premise behind the electronic bicycle, or e-bike, is that it features a battery pack that frees riders from pedaling.

Keeping in step (or should we say pedal?) with the trend, Infineon Technologies developed an 8bit microcontroller for electric bicycles (e-bikes). At the heart of the e-bike control unit, the 8bit microcontroller controls the motor operation and contributes to the efficient use of the energy. With one fully charged battery, an e-bike with a load of up to 100 kg can travel approximately 40 km at an average speed of 25 km per hour.

According to Infineon, the ebike market is expanding at a 25% clip every year. Bike on!

AES acquires Altis
Paris, France: IBM and Infineon Technologies recently agreed to divest their shares in Frenchnews based Altis Semiconductor via a sale to Advanced Electronic Systems AG (AES). Terms of the deal, which are subject to governmental and regulatory approval and works council consultation, were not disclosed.

AES, located in Zurich, Switzerland, is a Swiss affiliate of GIS (Global Information Services), a Russian-based holding company.

Altis, an Infineon and IBM joint venture since 1999, manufactures semiconductor components for communications, automotive, and security applications in 250 to 130nm technologies.

Diode deal has cosmic implications
Glasgow, Scotland: Intense, a developer of next-generation semiconductor lasers, has won a new research & development contract with the European Space Agency called PULSAR (PUmp Laser Stacks with Aerospace Reliability). The contract involves the development of reliable, high-power, high-efficiency laser-diode arrays for solid-state laser pumping applications in space.

The PULSAR program focuses on improving both the reliability and efficiency of laser-diode stacks at 808nm wavelength. The arrays will target a power of 1.2kW under pulsed operation with an electro-optical conversion efficiency of 65%. Such a value is unachievable with existing technology.

Production starts for 0.13-micron embedded flash
Hsinchu, Taiwan: Now that its 0.13-micron embedded flash process has been qualified, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has initiated production. According to TSMC, it’s the first pure-play foundry to launch production of a logic-compatible 0.13-micron process that features embedded flash technology.

The 0.13-micron embedded flash process employs the same split-gate flash cell as the previous generation, which allows for easy migration. It is compatible with TSMC’s logic baseline of the 0.13-micron general-purpose process as well as the lowpower process.

Such compatibility ensures that customers will be able to get the most out of their investment in libraries and silicon intellectual property. This is the case particularly when customers become interested in new product development with embedded flash function. Either that, or they want to strengthen cost performance of an existing product by embedding flash memory.

ZigBee agreement weds stack software with chipsets
San Jose, Calif., USA: ZigBee technology provider MeshNetics and Atmel inked a deal in which MeshNetics’ eZeeNet ZigBee networking stack software will be bundled with Atmel’s AVR ZLink chipsets. AVR Z-Link program was initiated to bring Atmel hardware-based system solutions to the IEEE802.15.4/ ZigBee market.

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