Electronic Design

Company Wire

  • Intercept Technology recently acquired the intellectual property assets of ESA Design Inc. This move adds parametric symbol and geometry generation technology to Intercept's Pantheon software product family. Designers, then, will be able to extract design data from either an Intercept or Mentor Graphics library and regenerate it to meet evolving library specifications as symbol and geometry rules change.

  • In a bold attempt to broaden its functional verification product portfolio and expand its marketshare, Verisity Ltd. is acquiring SureFire Verification. Consequently, Verisity should become a dominant functional verification player in module-level verification and system-level integration, while opening the door wide for development of a comprehensive intelligent testbench solution.

  • Further extending their partnership, RF Micro Devices has unveiled plans to use TRW's patented gallium-arsenide-based heterojunction-bipolar transistors (HBTs) for RF ICs aimed at coaxial and other broadband nonfiber wireline applications. This will result in products like broadband cable television distribution amplifiers with 1-GHz bandwidth, wideband TV tuners, and downconverters for set-top boxes.

  • Semtech Corp. has acquired USAR Systems Inc. to expand its power and battery management IC offerings for the growing notebook and palmtop computer industries. By acquiring USAR's embedded microcontroller devices, standard interface ICs, and embedded firmware, Semtech will be able to supply highly integrated power and battery-management solutions to subsystem developers.

  • To provide an additional source for its backplane fiber-to-fiber interconnection system, known as LIGHT MPX, AMP/Tyco Electronics Corp. has inked a production deal with Sumitomo Electric Industries of Japan. Under the non-exclusive licensing agreement, Sumitomo will produce LIGHT MPX multifiber connectors and accessories in a variety of configurations.

  • A collaboration between Mosaid Technologies Inc. and ATMOS Corp. promises to yield a memory compiler tool that will simplify the creation of DRAM macrocells. The compilers, which can generate macrocells containing up to 64 Mbits of DRAM, will use Mosaid's established DRAM architecture and circuit technology along with ATMOS' software and EDA tool expertise. Initial releases will target leading-edge 0.18-mm embedded DRAM processes that can permit 200-MHz system operation and access times of less than 15 ns.

  • The world's smallest, close-coupling contactless RF identification (RFID) device and a companion IC to read and write data on the chip are the result of a multicompany partnership between Hitachi Maxell Ltd., Kyusyu Hitachi Maxell, and Yozan Corp. These firms have created the MY1007 coil-on-chip technology by combining Yozan's low-power design with Kyusyu Hitachi Maxell's super electro fine forming technology, which can mount an antenna coil directly on a 2.3- by 2.3-mm chip. This reduces chip size and cost. The coil-on-chip has an operating range of 3 mm and contains a 1-kbit EEPROM that holds up to 108 bytes of user data.

  • An agreement between Philips' flat-panel display systems division and Snippets.com, a developer of Java-encoded software, will give Philips access to its new partner's software. This software will allow Philips to integrate unique applications within the flat-panel platforms, increasing the functionality that the company can deliver to customers. The software addresses many of the limitations in today's browser technology and provides a digital "dashboard-like" interface that lets users parse and snip portions of web pages directly onto their desktops.

  • A joint announcement between Echelon Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., and Sun Microsystems Inc. detailed how some fundamental changes in the nature of the Internet will drive the next wave of Internet innovation. The three companies described a world in which everything is connected—down to the smallest everyday devices like home appliances, pumps, valves, and light switches—opening up the potential for new applications and business opportunities. To listen to the archived webcast about the evolving Internet, point your browser to www.echelon.com/internetfuture.

  • Nichicon Corp. of Japan and Vishay Intertechnology Inc. have agreed to combine research and development activities to advance tantalum capacitor technology. The companies also will focus on creating better materials and improving production equipment. As a result, Vishay expects to release a family of organic polymer tantalum capacitors that will offer extremely low equivalent series resistance (ESR) values. Such low-ESR devices are in high demand in the computer, notebook, and telecommunications industries.
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