NEWS BRIEFS, December 2002

Flextronics Expanding Operations in China

Flextronics International Ltd. said it will expand its design and development service capabilities in China.  The Singapore-based EMS provider intends to boost its electrical, mechanical, semiconductor, software, and test development services along with its design and development skills at its plants in Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, China.  The company plans to double the size of its design and development staff at those sites by March 2003.  With OEMs seeking low-cost design and manufacturing services for commodity products such as cell phones, digital cameras and printers many companies have turned to Asia, especially China, for its low labor and material costs.

Samsung Introduces Single-chip LCD Driver

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. announced that it had developed a new one-chip TFT LCD driver IC with 260K real color depth, claimed to the first in the industry.  With a small form factor, the new driver IC is aimed at multimedia applications for wireless handheld devices.  The single chip integrates the gate and source drivers with a power core and 418Kbit graphic memory core.  The 1.8V operation and power-saving mode enables longer battery life for mobile applications.  The IC driver enables 132RGB x 176 resolutions.  Mass production is slated to start in March 2003. Samsung estimated that color screens for handsets would reach 110 million units in 2003.  The firm claimed a 24% global market share of LCD display driver ICs this year.

Single Chip FM Radio LSI Covers all FM Bands by Rohm Electronics GmbH

Rohm Electronics BH1400KN consists of the FM front-end (RF low noise amplifier and mixer), IF amplifier and detector, a local oscillator, a phase-locked loop frequency synthesizer, a crystal oscillator, and the synchronous serial microcontroller interface.  This integration level makes the design of a radio receiver quite easy and shortens the development time.  It is suitable for the European, US and Japanese FM bands, i.e. for 87.5 to 108 MHz and for 76 to 90 MHz and uses the popular 10.7 MHz IF.  The chip comes in a small QFN28 package (5.2 x 5.2 x 0.8mm, 0.5mm pitch).  In case there is already a clock signal available in the circuit (such as 12.6, 12.8, 13.0, 16.8, 19.2 or 19.8 MHz), this can be used, saving a crystal for the radio chip.  The wide temperature range from -25 to +75 C, the supply voltage range from 2.7 to 4.5 V and the low current consumption of typically 9 mA and 1 A Max. in standby mode predestine the IC to be used in battery powered applications.  No manual adjustment is needed for any external device.

GSM/GPRS Transceiver Module by Silicon Laboratories

Silicon Lab has introduced a 100% CMOS RF product, the Aero+ GSM/GPRS transceiver that features an integrated digitally controlled crystal oscillator (DCXO), eliminating the need for an expensive voltage controlled TCXO.  The transceivers' high integration saves handset manufacturers more than 50% in board space and 80% in component count over competing solutions.  The Aero+ transceiver integrates the entire frequency error compensation circuit including the reference amplifier, automatic gain control loop and varactor diode.  Additional features include an IF SAW filter, external LNAs, transmit and RF VCOs and more than 60 other discrete components.

2.5-Gbit SONET Transceiver by Exar Corp.

Exar Corp. XRT91L81 IC is designed to transmit and receive 2.488 Gbit/s SONET/SDH clock and data signals.  This OC-48/STM-16 part contains a serdes, clock multiplier unit, and limiting amplifier.  It also offers a four-bit SFI-4 system-side interface.  Additionally, the transceiver features an auxiliary on-chip phase/frequency detector and charge pump.  When combined with an external VCXO, these elements for a de-jittering PLL that can be used in loop-times applications.  Target applications for the transceiver include ADMs, digital cross connects, DWDM termination equipment, optical modules, and ATM switches.  The OC-48 transceiver operates from a 1.8-V core voltage and delivers 3.3-V tolerant I/Os.  It is housed in a 160-lead BGA.