Wafer-scale processing of lab-on-chip devices at Imec

Imec has found a material that allows wafer-scale processing of lab-on-chip devices. Called Photo-Patternable Adhesive (PA) made by JSR of Japan, the material has been used by Imec to process microfluidic cell-sorter devices, merging microheaters and sensors with wafer-scale polymer microfluidics. PA is a good microfluidic channel material and adhesive at the same time, suitable for wafer-scale processes and mass production. The key to lab-on-chip technology is the ability to integrate microfluidics with heterogeneous components such as electronics, sensors, microheaters, and photonics in a cost-effective manner. “PA solves a number of issues that we have with other materials, such as the widely-used PDMS more

Posted on: November 4, 2013Posted by: assuredelectronics

LED lighting – business opportunity, design challenge

The market size for high brightness (HB) LEDs is expected to reach $20.2bn by 2015 – a CAGR of 30.6% from 2012 (according to Strategies Unlimited). One of the key application areas driving this significant growth factor are the LEDs used to backlight thin film transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). Applications range from high definition (HD) TVs and portable tablet PCs to automotive displays and a myriad of handheld communication devices. However, in order to maintain this impressive growth rate LEDs must not only offer enhanced reliability, reduced power consumption and more compact form factors, but they must also provide improvements more

Posted on: October 25, 2013Posted by: assuredelectronics

Maxim chip secures system IP and microcontroller links

Maxim Integrated Products says it is possible to retrofit IP security technology to microcontroller based designs. It has introduced a secure encryption IC which sits alongside the host controller to authenticate peripherals or embedded designs. It also offers encrypted bidirectional communications from the microcontroller. Maxim sees an obvious need for greater levels of IP security embedded in the hardware, be it in a IT data centre or smart meter, or in a factory automation system or medical device. “The key to secure systems is to embed security into the hardware and even into the chip,” said Chris Neil, senior v-p industrial and more

Posted on: September 25, 2013Posted by: assuredelectronics

Better times ahead for semis, says Infineon CFO

Better times are coming for the chip industry, Infineon’s CFO tells German financial newspaper Boersen-Zeitung. “After two years of stagnation, a recovery is on the horizon for the global semiconductor industry,” CFO Dominik Asam (pictured) told the newspaper. For Infineon, it means that profits will be up by a fifth over previous forecasts. “We will most likely earn about 20% more profit than previously planned in the 2013 fiscal year (ending September 30),” said Asam. Infineon had a goal of getting to Euros 5 billion ($6.8 billion) in sales by 2015, but this is now likely to slip to 2016, said Assam. The more

Posted on: September 23, 2013Posted by: assuredelectronics

TI has first inductance sensor chip

Texas Instruments is proposing inductive sensor technology as a more accurate alternative to magnetic Hall effect sensors and it has introduced its first inductance-to-digital converter (LDC) that uses coils and springs as inductive sensors. The approach using two forms of position sensing – Eddy current and inductance changes to measure the position, motion, or composition of a metal or conductive target, as well as detect the compression, extension or twist of a spring. The combination allows for greater accuracy in measuring lateral, axial and rotational motion of the conductor. According to Jon Baldwin of TI, a position accuracy of 180nm is possible at more

Posted on: September 16, 2013Posted by: assuredelectronics

PowerVR mobile graphics chips boosted by 16nm finfets

Imagination Technologies says  it is working with foundry TSMC to raise performance of its PowerVR graphics chips. The UK-based processor firm says it has already achieved 25% overall performance improvement for the PowerVR Series6 graphics processor core, and some ”key blocks demonstrating as much as 30% improvement compared to existing design flows,” said Imagination. Imagination R&D teams working with TSMC are developing highly-optimised IP libraries and fully characterised reference system designs for Imagination’s IP cores on TSMC’s advanced processes including 28HPM and 16nm finfet technologies. Imagination is taping out a multi-core, multi-cluster PowerVR Series6 GPU design to characterise these performance improvements and plans to demonstrate a test chip later this more

Posted on: September 4, 2013Posted by: assuredelectronics

Farnell element14 sells Freescale’s EMI tolerant MCU platform

Farnell element14 is stocking the latest Freescale Freedom development platform, the FRDM-KE02Z which is designed for rugged EMI performance applications based on the Kinetis E series of MCUs. Featuring the Cortex M0+ Kinetis E Series microcontroller KE02Z64VQH2, it offers design engineers 5V tolerant EMC/ESD performance in noisy environments. It is available through Newark element14 in North America, Farnell element14 in Europe, and element14 in Asia Pacific for $12.95. See: Freescale aims rugged Cortex-M0+ at home appliances The FRDM-KE02Z is perfect for industry applications, accepting 5.5V Vcc inputs and tolerating up to 5.5V I/Os, and is hardy enough for use in industrial controls, remote communication devices, motor control and battery powered devices. Features more

Posted on: August 12, 2013Posted by: assuredelectronics

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