NEWS BRIEFS, October 2001

Intel Shows 10Gbit/sec Ethernet IC – TXN13303

Intel Corp. has introduced an optical networking subsystem supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet and OC-192 SONET/SDH communications on a single line card.  The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company also claimed to have the world’s first complete CMOS Physical Medium Dependent (PMD) chipset for 10Gbit/sec. applications.  This reflects the growing interest in 10 Gigabit Ethernet as a low cost high communications back bone technology for citywide metropolitan area networks.  As such it will be integrated with existing SONET/SDH optical communications data transport technologies, commonly being deployed by telephone operators and network companies.  The TXN13303 operates at 9.95, 10.3, and 10.7Gbit/sec. by incorporating three customized jitter filters.  By operating at all three rates, the product supports OC-192 SONET/SDH, 10 Gigabit Ethernet and forward error correction (FEC)-enabled optical systems.  It combines a laser source and receiver module with the company’s LXT16784/85 Serialiser/Deserialiser in a 300-pin, MSA compliant package.  The TXN13303 is sampling now and will be in full production in the first quarter of 2002.


Agilent’s 10Gbit/sec Chip To Expand Ethernet Market

Agilent Technologies Inc. is claiming an industry first with the introduction of a serial 10 Gigabit Ethernet optical transceiver module.  Significantly, it may not be Ethernet’s traditional market of office local area networks (LANs) that will drive the introduction of 10Gbit/s systems and the use of Internet protocol (IP) services means there is a chance of a bigger rollout of Ethernet in metropolitan networks for the first time, Agilent said.  The Palo Alto, Calif.-based Company’s 10Gbase-LR transceiver has been designed to the proposed 802.3ae IEEE 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard.  It also supports a multi-vendor packaging initiative, called Xenpak that Agilent co-founded earlier this year.  This 1310 nm, optical transceiver has a range of 10km.  The optical LAN PHY module incorporates the physical layer functionality from the optical interface to the XAUI (4 channels at 3.125Gbit/sec.) electrical interface, including both 8/10B and 64/66B coding and decoding. Agilent is developing reference designs with XAUI chip manufacturers for implementing a 10Gigabit Ethernet.

Atmel Introduces SiGe Amplifier T7023 For Bluetooth

Atmel Corp.’s latest power amplifier for the radio front end of Bluetooth wireless systems is manufactured in silicon germanium (SiGe) technology rather than the more expensive gallium arsenide (GaAs) technology, the company said.  The SiGe power amplifier has extremely high power efficiency and thus low current consumption and lower costs than GaAs solutions.  The power amplifier is designed for 2.4GHz-ISM, Bluetooth (class 1), data, HomeRF DECT, proprietary radios and WLAN FHSS applications.  In Bluetooth systems, the device helps to boost the operation range beyond 100 meters, said San Jose-based Atmel.  The amplifier achieves an output power of +23 dBm/ 3V at a gain of 25dB.  A ramp-up signal from a Bluetooth transceiver can even reduce the T7023’s gain to -17dB.  As required by the Bluetooth specification, the ramp-up signal also prevents an over swing of the output power by a defined, slow switch-on.

SigmaTel Introduces USB-to-Infrared SIR Chip

SigmaTel has introduced an USB-to-Infrared SIR (Serial Infrared) chip for deployment in PDAs, cell phones and MP3 players.  Achieving data rates of up to 115 Kbit/sec, the device offers wireless infrared connectivity based on standards developed by the IrDA (Infrared Data Association).  The STIr4115 and STIr4200 make it possible for IrDA adapters to be bundled as a value-added component with portable digital devices such as PDAs, digital cameras, cell phones or MP3 players.  The small form-factor adapter transforms the USB port into an infrared port for enabling walk-up printing, scanning and even Internet connectivity.  SigmaTel's USB/Ir adapter reference designs, which allow for a direct plug-and-play USB connection, are available in a cabled adapter format as well as a very small form factor configuration.

TSMC Debuts Calibration Platform For 0.13-Micron Process

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) has released its Interconnect Calibration Platform that it says will allow designers to validate designs more quickly.  The platform is based on the Hsinchu, Taiwan-based foundry’s copper and low-k dielectric, 0.13-micron process technology. The platform compiles engineering data from electronic design automation (EDA) vendors, which include Sequence Design Inc., Simplex Solutions Inc. and Synopsys Inc.  According to TSMC, the platform provides direct access to more calibration and correlation data than any other foundry.  TSMC said it is expanding the program to include more vendors and a new class of data, such as inductance, for its 0.10-micron industry standard process.  The Interconnect Calibration Platform was created in test chip form and delivered to certain EDA vendors in March 2000, TSMC said. These companies then used the platform’s parasitic extraction data validate tools for 0.13-micron design in TSMC’s process technology.  Supported extraction toolsets include Arcadia from Synopsys, Columbus from Sequence, and Fire & Ice QX from Simplex.

NEC and Solectron Set Contracting Deal

Solectron and NEC has signed a letter of intent under which NEC would transfer the manufacturing business of its Ibaraki, Japan-based facility (NEC Ibaraki Ltd.) to Solectron, and Solectron would provide manufacturing services for server, workstation and storage products.  This partnership expands Solectron's presence in Japan.  Solectron would purchase all shares of a new company established by NEC and take over NEC Ibaraki’s manufacturing business, including about 500 people with the skills for build-to-order/configure-to-order manufacturing, final test and fulfillment services for server, workstation and storage products.  The companies expect to enter into a multi-year agreement for Solectron to supply those services to NEC.  Solectron would also lease production space at the site, although the EMS house is not acquiring any NEC property or buildings.  The companies now begin negotiating details of a final agreement, a process expected to conclude in the first quarter of calendar 2002.

Intel Claims First 0.13-Micron Flash Memory Chips

Intel Corp. has begun sampling a 3V flash memory chip that it claims is the first to be built on 0.13-micron process technology.  The company said the chip is nearly 50 percent smaller and consumes less power than its 0.18-micron predecessor.  Intel said the flash chip would be used in cell phones and other electronics equipment where small form factors and low power are required. Initial configurations of 32- and 64- Mbit will be available, but Intel said the technology is scalable to 512Mbit.

Alcatel Pools Chinese Interests, Plans Expansion

Paris-based Alcatel has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Ministry of Information Industry to create a company named Alcatel Shanghai Bell (ASB).  Alcatel China, Shanghai Bell and Shanghai Bell Alcatel Mobile Communication will all be integrated into the new company.  Alcatel’s other telecommunications subsidiaries in China will be integrated into ASB within 24 months of its establishment.  ASB is expected to achieve sales of $2 billion in the first year of operation, Alcatel said.  The French telecommunications company will hold 50 percent plus one share in the newly formed company, paying a total of $312 million for the extra shares.  Chinese entities will take the remaining shares.  ASB will be a "company limited by shares," Alcatel said, allowing it to be listed in China in the future.  ASB will offer Alcatel’s products to Chinese operators and it is intended to become one of Alcatel’s major global R&D centers, employing 3,500 engineers within three years.  Core technologies to be developed for domestic and global markets include next-generation fixed and mobile networks.

Atmel Introduces CDMA Transmitter Using SiGe Technology

San Jose-based Atmel Corp. has announced a dual-band tri-mode CDMA/AMPS transmitter manufactured using silicon germanium (SiGe) technology. The device is one of a series of CDMA products jointly developed with TriQuint Semiconductor.  The T0345 is designed for cellular and PCS-band CDMA markets in the United States, Korea, South America and China.  Atmel said the single-chip integrates all transmit parts from analog base band input to RF driver output.  The company said the device’s high linearity and high output power allow its CDMA/AMPS performance to exceed the requirements of the IS-95 standard.  Using SiGe technology to manufacture the transmitter improves its RF performance, Atmel said, allowing low current consumption and extended talk time.  The integrated drivers support the special single-ended and the differential output signals.  The company said it has designed the on-chip auxiliary phase-locked loop, including active voltage-controlled oscillator, and the 3-wire 4-bit bus programming to help simplify the design-in.

TI Offers Logic Family, Optimized at 1.8V

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has introduced a logic family, which is optimized at 1.8V but is also operational to sub 1V levels.  Dubbed the advanced ultra-low voltage CMOS (AUC) family, it consists of little logic (single/dual/triple gates), octals and WideBus devices.  All devices are optimized at 1.8V, and have an operating voltage range of 0.8V to 2.5V.  With a voltage tolerance of 3.6V, AUC extends the life of systems by allowing legacy devices to remain functional, said the company.  In addition, the sub-1V feature allows AUC to be operated by a single cell battery.  AUC also includes Ioff, which protects the device by supporting partial power down applications.  TI has been working closely with Philips Semiconductor and Integrated Device Technology Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., to develop the specifications for the new AUC family.  Initially, TI will release little logic and Philips will offer an alternate source.  Subsequently, in 2002, IDT, Philips, and TI will release octals and WideBus devices.  Based on this collaboration, alternate source agreements are in place.

Samsung Introduces Slim Bluetooth Chip Antenna

Samsung Electro-Mechanics has developed a Bluetooth chip antenna for super slim devices.  The chip antenna embeds the function of a bar-type antenna into a chip, which then is incorporated into a device like any other integral component.  At 11mm x 3mm x 1.2mm, the miniature chip antenna uses technology that provides omni directional transmission/reception.  Additionally it is composed of 20 super slim layers with independently designed microprocessors on each layer.

Intersil Teams with Intel to Accelerate the Deployment of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) Wireless LAN Solutions

Intersil Corporation has teamed with Intel Corporation to accelerate deployment of current and future Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b) wireless technology and products.  Intel has incorporated Intersil's PRISM 2.5 chipset in the recently announced Intel PRO/Wireless 2011B LAN products; a suite of products that can wirelessly transmit voice, data and video content at speeds up to 11 megabits-per-second (Mbps).  The Intel PRO/Wireless 2011B LAN products include access points, PC cards, PCI adapters, embedded Mini-PCI cards and USB modules for use in notebook computers and other mobile devices, as well as residential gateways that will manage voice, data and video traffic to and among devices in the home.  A recent research report issued by leading analyst firm Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) reported that Wi-Fi (802.11b) based WLAN products have achieved a 71 percent share of the home wireless networking market in 2001, up from 42 percent last year. ABI also reported that the market is also expected to be worth $2.4 billion by 2006.

Applied Materials Expands Its Presence in the People's Republic of China

Applied Materials, Inc. has opened its major new facility and technical training center in the Pudong Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, Shanghai.  The opening ceremony was officiated by James C. Morgan, chairman and chief executive officer of Applied Materials, and attended by Samuel Bodman, deputy secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, Zhou Yu Peng, vice mayor of Shanghai, and other officials from the United States and China.  The new 90,000 square foot facility will incorporate a state-of-the-art Technical Training Center where engineers and customers will receive training on Applied Materials' sophisticated wafer processing equipment used to make semiconductors.  The Pudong facility will also serve as the regional center for administration, sales and marketing for the Company.  According to the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) trade organization, the planned semiconductor fab investment in China is expected to reach over USD 4 billion in 2002 to meet fast growing domestic semiconductor demands.

Oki Electric Develops PCB Interconnect Technology

Oki Electric Industry of Japan has developed an optical-based interconnect technology for chips used in printed circuit boards (PCBs). With the technology, a thin layer of quartz glass is attached underneath the board, and data is sent between chips as optical signals that reflect from the glass.  Theoretically, the technology can offer 2k wires/cm. Oki aims to develop a practical version by 2006.

Motorola Unveils New 0.18 micron SiGe:C Technology

Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector has introduced its new 0.18 micron silicon germanium:carbon (SiGe:C) BiCMOS process technology for use in optical and wireless communication applications.  The new technology will be targeted at high-performance applications, such as Bluetooth, 3G and wireless LANs. The technology is expected to obtain certification in 1st-qtr 2002, from when new designs will be accepted.

Repeater Technologies to Supply China’s National WCDMA Network

Repeater Technologies, Sunnyvale, CA announces that it has a received an order worth $11 million to provide its OA850C network repeaters to Capitel Group of Beijing, for China Unicom.  Capitel, Repeater Technologies' long-standing distributor in China, will supply these repeaters to that nation's second largest telecom firm, China Unicom, with nearly 30 million subscribers.  China Unicom will use these repeaters to enhance coverage as it builds out its CDMA network.

Ericsson Licensing Phone Technology

Ericsson, Stockholm, Sweden, announces it will license its mobile phone technology to other manufacturers of phones and wireless devices.  Ericsson Mobile Platforms began operation Sept. 1 with 800 employees.  The headquarters will be Lund, southern Sweden, and Ericsson will maintain control of the new technology-licensing company.  Ericsson plans to license complete component specifications, printed circuit board layouts and software.  It will also help customize products for customers' devices.

Atmel and TROY Team Up to Bring Bluetooth Solutions to Market

Atmel Corporation, an associate Bluetooth member, announced that it has partnered with TROY Wireless and Connectivity Division, an associate Bluetooth member, to build specific Bluetooth application software into its family of Bluetooth baseband controllers.  The combination of the Atmel baseband chip and the TROY software provides all the building blocks required to enable complete Bluetooth wireless communications on an Original Equipment Manufacturer's (OEM) device. The two companies have already partnered to secure OEM design wins and will work together in the future on other major Bluetooth customer opportunities.