Technology Can Only Benefit From 2012’s “Collaborate To Innovate” Theme

Technology Can Only Benefit From 2012’s “Collaborate To Innovate” Theme

The new year has kicked off with a spate of high-level collaborations that promise to bring some interesting technological breakthroughs during 2012. For example, in Neubiberg, Germany, Infineon Technologies extended what it calls its compatibility partnership with U.S. chipmaker Fairchild Semiconductor. The extension will involve Infineon’s proprietary 5x6 power-stage asymmetric dual-MOSFET package.


The leadless SMD package integrates the low-side and high-side MOSFET of a synchronous dc-dc converter into a 5x6mm2 package outline. Advantages of such a design include the reduction of space requirements by up to 85%, and a minimised loop inductance that leads to 93.5% peak efficiency. The collaboration, which began in 2010, takes advantage of both company’s expertise regarding asymmetric dual MOSFETs that can handle over 30A.

Making Smart Phones Smarter

Dusseldorf-based Toshiba Electronics Europe has teamed up with mobile multimedia processor company Movidius to develop high-resolution 3D technology for smartphones. By combining Movidius’ MA1178 with Toshiba’s 8Mpixel EDOF (extended depth of field) cameras, they will enable 3D camera module manufacturers to ultimately deliver 3D imaging solutions.

The MA1178 dual ISP and video-processor chip integrates into the handset’s existing platforms with auto-calibration and auto-configuration functionality. According to the companies, that will accelerate the design process and cut manufacturing costs. Another design advantage is greater flexibility, whereby customers can implement a symmetric or asymmetric setup of either two 8Mpixel EDOF cameras or a combination of 8 and 3Mpixel EDOF cameras. A joint venture between Altium, a software company, and FTDI Chip, the fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland, centers on board-level components.

FTDI Chip specialises in converting legacy peripherals to the USB connectivity standard. For designers, FTDI offers an easy route to adding a USB port into system designs, or to migrate from serial interfaces, such as RS-232 or FIFO, to USB. Generally, FTDI solutions combine hardware and royalty-free USB drivers that are validated with USB-host-class drivers.

Working closely with FTDI Chip, Altium developed and released a full set of board-level components for FTDI Chip’s IC catalogue. The components are ready to use within Altium Designer. All components in the FTDI Chip product families include models for schematic symbol and PCB component with 3D body information.

Ready-To-Use Design Elements

The board-level components for FTDI Chip devices are also available through Altium’s “Hobart Vault,” one of Altium’s component repositories of ready-to-use design elements accessible through the AltiumLive portal. Altium Designer 10 users can access these components by connecting to the Hobart Vault directly from within their Altium Designer software using their AltiumLive credentials. Access also is possible via the AltiumLive Content Store.

The released board-level components provide access to the entire FTDI Chip product line, consisting of the FT Series family of USB device bridges and the Vinculum family of USB Host/Device controllers.

Finally, LSI Corp. recently announced that it has expanded an ongoing strategic relationship with ARM. The companies say this will lead to new product solutions that address design needs for accelerated performance, particularly in light of increased network traffic for applications such as mobile video and cloud computing.

As part of the collaboration, LSI will gain access to ARM processors, including the ARM Cortex-A15 processor with virtualization support and future ARM processors. ARM on-chip interconnect technology will be available, too, such as CoreLink cache-coherent interconnect system IP.

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