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The MCUs include up to 60 kbytes of flash, 2 kbytes of RAM and a 160-segment liquid-crystal display. They also include an eight-channel, 200-ksample/second, 12-bit analog-to-digital converter, a comparator, two pulse-width-modulator timers and a 16-bit hardware multiplier.

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The MCUs include up to 60 kbytes of flash, 2 kbytes of RAM and a 160-segment liquid-crystal display. They also include an eight-channel, 200-ksample/second, 12-bit analog-to-digital converter, a comparator, two pulse-width-modulator timers and a 16-bit hardware multiplier.

UMC's average selling price (ASP) for processed wafers in the fourth quarter grew 1% from the prior three-month period mainly due to an increase in shipments of products with 0.18-micron and below processes, said the company. In the fourth quarter, UMC said it shipped 359,000 of eight-inch equivalent wafers, compared with 323,000 in Q3 and 345,000 in Q2 of 2001–excluding its Trecenti Technologies Inc. joint venture with Hitachi Ltd. and the UMCJ subsidiary in Japan.

The company predicted that it would have fab capacity for 2.275 million eight-inch equivalent wafers in 2002, a 21% drop form 2.885 million in 2001. UMC's capacity grew 24% last year from 2.329 million eight-inch equivalent wafers in 2000.

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Planar Systems has developed a point-of-care medical information system. Invitium, which features a high-contrast flat-panel display, provides information management close to the patient.

Improvement in the management of patient information, especially in clinical and critical care areas, is an emerging trend as hospitals move away from paper records.

Bedside information systems must be fluid-resistant and portable.

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They once seemed as rare as hen's teeth, but it looks as though tantalum capacitors could be headed for a glut and further price falls.

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Analysts at ABN Amro have disclosed that three of the main sources for the devices — AVX, Kemet and Vishay — are locked into fixed price and volume contracts with the main suppliers of raw tantalum, even though demand for the capacitors fell away sharply in 2001.

The collapse in demand has been driven by the inventory burn in mobile comms. While tantalum-based devices remain necessary for other applications requiring a high level of heat resistance, they are unlikely to take up the slack.

The TXN17401 will be priced below $1,000 in high volume. Pricing for the TXN13200 will be less than $2,000 in high volume. Samples are currently available.

Several midtier printed-circuit-board fabricators have recently entered the quick-turn manufacturing business to boost profits and fill underutilized facilities, but their long-term commitment to the market remains in question.

By offering quick-turn capabilities, new entrants-Merix Corp. and Rockwell Collins Inc.-hope they can convert prototype contracts into volume production and provide OEMs with a one-stop shop that can help them reduce time-to-market.

[Quick-turn] makes sense for us,” said Janie Brown, chief financial officer at Merix, Forest Grove, Ore. Merix, which has offered quick-turn services since last year, added 56 customers in the last quarter because of its prototype work, she said.

However, established players contend that vendors like Merix aren't able to build multilayer boards as fast, cheaply, or efficiently.

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