Electronic Design

Company Wire

  • Microsoft Corp. has allied with Internet services company NTT Communications Corp. NTT will provide net access for the new Xbox game console. Microsoft will offer services using NTT Communications' asymmetric dedicated subscriber line (ADSL) net access service. Trials of online gaming services are set to begin this year. Other online services will be launched in 2002.
  • Raytheon's RF Components Division will manufacture the RMPA 1951 gallium-arsenide HBT power amplifier for Hyundai Corp. The RMPA 1951 extends battery life by reducing current consumption without degrading signal quality. Hyundai, a wireless telephone manufacturer, will use the amplifier in its TX-20B PCS platform. This dual-band, trimode phone technology will be deployed to the U.S. CDMA market.
  • Allegro MicroSystems, a vendor of mixed-signal semiconductors, has expanded its portfolio to include LED products developed by parent company Sanken Electric. As a result, Sanken LEDs are now available through Allegro's North American distribution channels with lead times of about 12 weeks. Offered in 3-, 4-, and 5-mm leaded packages as well as chip packages, Sanken's LEDs come in standard colors with light output up to several candelas.
  • Hoping to tap into the growing automotive-electronics market, Technitrol has acquired Mexico City-based Grupo ECM. This deal provides magnetic-components manufacturer Pulse, one of Technitrol's properties, with a line of magnetics for automotive applications. The new group, known as Pulse ECM, will design and develop surface-mount and standard-mount magnetic parts including inductors, power transformers, filters, magnetic sensors, and couplers. Registered under both QS 9000 and ISO 9001, Pulse ECM also holds customer certifications as a Delco PPAP Certified Supplier and Ford supplier.
  • Wind River Systems Inc. has expanded its high- and low-end product lines by purchasing the BSD/OS from BSDi and the Virtuoso DSP real-time operating system and development environment from Etonic Software. BSD/OS, providing virtual memory UNIX support, runs many applications that also run on Linux. Wind River also will support the open-source version of BSD/OS, FreeBSD. Virtuoso supports the Virtual Single Processor (VSP) model that allows code to be written for a virtual processor and then targeted for over 1000 processors. These two OSs complement Wind River's VxWorks and VxWorks AE.
  • M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. and General Software Inc. will jointly support disaster recovery solutions for OEM telecommunications devices. The solutions will be based on M-Systems' DiskOnChip flash disk storage devices and General Software's Firmbase firmware operating environment, providing a self-heal system that can recover even when the boot operating system becomes corrupted or is missing.
  • Microsoft Corp. will incorporate Transmeta's low-power Crusoe microprocessor into the next-generation Tablet PC. Microsoft Windows XP will be optimized for operation on the Crusoe. The pen-based interface uses digital ink to capture handwriting and drawings.
  • Hewlett-Packard Co. and Adobe Systems Inc., a provider of software solutions for network publishing, have teamed up to improve digital publishing by reducing inefficiencies in Internet printing workflows. HP has licensed the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) libraries to function as the preferred file format for use in its products. HP products that will incorporate the Adobe PDF technology include cameras, scanners, and all-in-one devices. These products are expected to hit the market by the spring of 2002.
  • A consortium of 11 Japanese chipmakers and one South Korean firm will pool their resources to develop new technologies for increasingly intricate semiconductor circuitry. This five-year, $675 million research project, called Asuka, will let the chipmakers share resources in basic technology so they can focus on their core businesses. A research venture named Semiconductor Leading Edge Technologies Inc. has been established to promote Asuka's advancement. The project aims to develop new materials and basic technology required to produce chips with 70-nm widths.
  • Intel Corp. has announced its financial support of 3DSP Corp., a privately held designer of DSP technology. The investment was made through Intel Capital Division, which supports companies whose technology will further Intel's core business. 3DSP designs DSPs for use by Internet, broadband, wireless, and multimedia companies.
  • Informix Software is selling its assets to IBM in a $1 billion cash transaction. Informix provides database management systems for data warehousing, business intelligence, and transaction processing. IBM will integrate Informix database business operations and personnel into its existing software data- management division. Also, it will market and sell Informix's database products worldwide through an integrated IBM/Informix sales force. And, IBM will maintain existing relationships with Informix customers and business partners, including support for and updating of current Informix products.
  • HAI, a manufacturer of home automation systems, worked with BellSouth Residential Solutions in developing eight automated residences in Carpenter Village, a community in Cary, N.C. These homes combine BellSouth's Digital Passport Service wiring system with HAI's controllers and accessories to let homeowners coordinate functions like lighting, security, temperature, telephone, and Internet access remotely through the phone or through the Internet.
  • Raze Technologies and North Texas Web Services are working together to bring fixed wireless broadband to Wise County, a rural area of Texas that has limited Internet access and unreliable phone service. NTWS already is a facilities-based competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) that delivers high-speed data to the region. Raze's efforts will add lifeline voice for a complete package of services.
  • Communications IC developer Peregrine Semiconductor has opened an RF IC design center in Chicago. The new RF CMOS mixers, PLLs, VCOs, switches, and other functions designed there for optical networking and wireless applications will be manufactured in Peregrine's 6-in., 0.25-µm fabrication facility in Sydney.
  • To expedite the deployment of artificial neural networks (ANN) in automobiles, IAV Inc. and Calico Systems have formed an automotive research and development consortium. The Automotive Neural Network Consortium (AutoNNC) will research the application of ANN to control, calibration, diagnosis, simulation, and modeling of advanced power-train systems. Target vehicles in this four-year program include light-duty gasoline and diesel vehicles, heavy-duty diesel engines, hybrid electric cars, and other emerging technologies such as fuel cells.
  • Microsoft Corp. has completed its acquisition of Great Plains Software Corp. This company will now be an operating division of Microsoft known as Microsoft Great Plains. It will continue to develop and support the Dynamics, eEnterprise, and Solomon business applications. It also aims to provide new capabilities for Microsoft's bCentral small-business service and develop new solutions on the Microsoft .Net platform.
  • Intel will acquire three companies with key capabilities and technologies for producing optoelectronic components. Two of these firms, Cognet Inc. and nSerial Corp., develop high-speed electronic components for 10-Gbit Ethernet optical modules. The third company, LightLogic Inc., provides highly integrated, high-speed optical transponders for metropolitan markets. With these acquisitions, Intel will expand its product portfolio to include a new breed of optoelectronic components that lower the cost and power consumption of optical networking equipment.
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