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Several of us believe today's shared memory model is fundamentally broken,” said University of Illinois researcher Sarita Adve, working on DeNovo. We still want a global address space, but we need a more disciplined programming model with more explicit structures and effects,” she said.

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Several of us believe today's shared memory model is fundamentally broken,” said University of Illinois researcher Sarita Adve, working on DeNovo. We still want a global address space, but we need a more disciplined programming model with more explicit structures and effects,” she said.

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SEMI boosts capex forecast to $30.9 billion, 88 percent growth

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Irvine, Calif.—Microsemi Corp. has introduced a new CCFL controller featuring mega-contrast dimming for 24-volt cold cathode fluorescent light (CCFL) inverter applications in small- to large-sized LCD displays.

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Microsemi's LX6502 full-bridge controller integrates 12V gate drivers with 800mA source/1000mA sink drive. It employs its patented third-generation PureBLACK mega-contrast dimming technology, which provides high image quality with improved black levels and increased dynamic contrast.

Microsemi's LX6502 inverter supports full-bridge, high- and low-side N-channel power MOSFET configurations with input voltages to 35V. An integrated on-chip voltage regulator with under-voltage lockout protection further minimizes the overall system BOM costs.

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Additional BOM cost reductions are enabled by a fully integrated suite of protection functions that include soft-start, direct duty cycle control with maximum duty limiting, and over-current and over-voltage protection.

Additional features include inverter SYNC functionality; PWM or analog-based burst dimming; a wide range of supply operation from 10V to 35V; and a -40°C to +85°C operating temperature range. The LX6502 is offered in a 28-lead, wide-body small outline (SOIC) plastic package.

As part of its development process Baolab has successfully created MEMS devices using standard 0.18-micron process on 200-mm diameter volume CMOS wafers with four or more metal layers, and has achieved minimum feature sizes down to 200 nanometers. This is an order of magnitude smaller than is currently possible with conventional MEMS devices, bringing NanoEMS into the realm of nanostructures, with the additional benefits of smaller sizes, lower power consumption and faster devices. The finished device can be packaged the same way as a conventional CMOS device.

We have solved the challenge of building MEMS in a completely different way,” said Dave Doyle, Baolab's CEO. MEMS are regarded as fairly cost ineffective, with one or two notable exceptions, such as inkjet print heads and pressure sensors. They have to be either built on top of the wafer at a post production stage or into a recess in the wafer. By contrast, our new NanoEMS technology enables MEMS to be built using standard CMOS technologies during the normal flow of the CMOS lines.”

Doyle said Baolab plans to make a range of discrete MEMS including RF switches, digital compasses and accelerometers, along with solutions that combine several functions in one chip. The prototype stage has already proved the NanoEMS technology and evaluation samples will be available later this year. These are aimed at handset designers and manufacturers, and power amplifier and RF front-end module markets.

Building mechanical structures in metal does provide a number of challenges. For example, vHF is quite selective with respect to AlCu compared with the silicon dioxide dielectric. However, despite being a good etchant to free the BEOL it is not easy to control the zone that it etches. Baolab claimed to have solved this by a combination of design rules and a process tweak to change the refractive index of the silicon-nitride passivation layer.

Another challenge is that the metal layers are thin and not optimized for MEMS design. This could be addressed by adjustments to the CMOS process but Baolab wanted to have solutions that are foundry independent so the company has created designs that anticipate and allow for these issues. Similarly, sophisticated design work overcame the problems of metal creep by the aluminium along with limited voltage and current carrying capabilities.

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