NEWS BRIEFS, October 2003

Motorola Adds Security Chip to PowerQuicc

Motorola Inc. has launched the new version of PowerQuicc I and II families which support encryption and Internet Protocol Secure tunneling thanks to an integrated security core.  The PowerQuicc I family's RISC core has a clock frequency range of 50 to 133 MHz, while the PowerQuicc II has a clock speed of 200 to 450 MHz.  A total of eight new devices are being rolled out: MPC885, MPC880, MPC875 and MPC870 in the PowerQuicc I family; and MPC8272, MPC8271, MPC8248 and MPC8247 in the PowerQuicc II family.

Ultra Low-power 500-mV Chip Set is unvailed

Researchers at the University of Idaho have designed a chip whose power consumption is more than an order of magnitude less than that in existing satellite chips.  The chip was designed so that the operating voltage could be lowered to the point where static power and active power are equal.  In this way, power can be cut with minimal impact on performance. Normally, static power is much lower than active power, but the design team wanted to keep the threshold voltages low in order to maintain good performance.  By making adjustments to the doping levels and tweaking the transistor design, threshold levels were set near or below 0 V for n-channel transistors and slightly positive for p-channel devices.  Operating voltages are adjusted using the transistor body effect by controlling the back-bias voltage of the substrate and the well. Running at 60 MHz, the ultra low-power device consumes 14.3 milliwatts, about 30 times less power than an earlier 3.3-V design.  The optimum frequency, where total power and static power are about the same, is at 47 MHz

Micron Rolls out Flash, DRAM for Mobile Applications

Micron Technology Inc. is sampling a very fast 64Mbit NOR flash memory and a new 288Mbit reduced latency DRAM II, both targeted for mobile applications.  The new 1.8V flash chip has a random access speed of 60ns and a burst frequency of 81 MHz, above the 66 MHz burst frequency of current NOR devices.  The two memory devices can be used together for high memory throughput in 2.5G and 3G handsets.  It is sampling a 288Mbit RLDRAM II operating at 400MHz double data rate (DDR).  The RLDRAM eight-bank architecture has a peak bandwidth of 28.8Gbits/s.  The chip has a low latency and random cycle time of 20ns.  It has on-die termination (ODT), multiplexed or non-multiplexed addressing, on-chip delay lock loop, programmable output impedance, and 1.8V operation.

Philips Integrates Logic Functions to Boost Oscillator Performance

Philips Semiconductors unveiled the first multifunction logic device in its PicoGate family.  The 74LVC1GX04, designed for crystal oscillators, combines the functions of an unbuffered inverter and crystal driver in a single 6-pin footprint.  According to Philips, oscillator performance is also increased, producing a cleaner clock signal and more stable operation over a wide range of frequency and temperature.  In addition, use of the multifunction part can eliminate the need for on-board resistors or capacitors.  The new device is the first of a planned family of multifunction PicoGate logic parts.  The 74LVC1GX04 crystal driver operates between 1.65 and 5.5V with 5V I/Os and symmetrical 24 mA output drive capability at 3V.  It is available in 2 x 2.1mm SOT363 and 2.75 x 2.9mm SOT457 packages.

Kyocera Introduces a Tiny Chip Scale RF SAW Filter

Kyocera Corp. has developed an RF SAW filter for advanced mobile handsets in a chip-scale package measuring 1.6 x 1.4 x 0.6mm, believed by the company to be the industry's smallest.  Kyocera's SF16 SAW filter is designed for use with PCS, cellular, and GPS bands with respective operating frequencies of 1.9GHz, 800MHz, and 1.5GHz.  The part is compatible with Qualcomm Inc.'s MSM6000 series CDMA chipsets for cell phones, and adds to Kyocera's growing line of components for CDMA applications that include VC-TCXOs, VCOs, and Bluetooth modules.  According to the company, the filter's small chip-scale package is a result of enhancements in the company's substrate and sealing technology.  Instead of mounting the SAW chip onto a ceramic package, the company flip-chip-mounts the filter onto a ceramic substrate, seals it, and then applies a high-temperature resin coating.  Specifications for the SAW filter include a bandwidth insertion loss of 1.8 to 4.1dB, ripple of 0.7 to 2dB, and voltage standing wave ratio of 2.5V.  Attenuation is 30dB at DC to 824 MHz through DC to 1,475 MHz, depending on mode, and impedance is 50 Ohms.

IEEE to Explore 60 GHz Band for WPANs

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Piscataway, N.J., has formed an interest group to explore the use of the 60 GHz band for wireless personal area networks (WPANs), which generally have a range of 10 meters.  This 7-GHz wide portion of the radio spectrum avoids interference with nearly all electronic devices, given the high attenuation of these wavelengths by walls and floors, and promises to allow more WPANs to occupy the same building.  Designated the IEEE 802.15.3 Millimeter Wave Interest Group (mmWIG), the body is part of an effort to develop a millimeter wave-based alternative physical layer for the IEEE high-rate WPAN standard.

Micro Lambda Releases New Low Voltage YIG-tuned Oscillators

Micro Lambda Wireless Inc. has announced the production release of its new low voltage YIG-tuned oscillators covering frequencies from 2 GHz to 12 GHz.  The new oscillators use Micro Lambda's standard 1 inch x 1 inch x .5 inch package, and provide 13 dBm power output levels at customer specified fixed frequencies.  Tuning ranges of +/-100 MHz are offered using special FM coils.  These units operate from a single +8 V bias supply and require no heaters for operation.  The operation temperature range is from -20 C to +70C.

New Low Power WLAN Chip Sets

Atheros has launched two chip sets featuring technologies to extend the range and reduce the power consumption of 802.11 wireless networks.  The AR5004G supports 802.11b and 802.11g in the 2.4 GHz band from 2.300 to 2.500 GHz.  The AR5004X adds support for 802.11a in the 5 GHz band from 4.900 to 5.850 GHz, thus enabling tri-mode or universal WLAN products.  The AR5004X meets international requirements for WLAN operation based on the draft 802.11h and 802.11j standards.