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Commenting on the achievement of shipping 250 million PA modules, Eric Creviston, vice president of wireless products at RF Micro Devices, said, We are proud to announce this major milestone for RF Micro Devices. In May 2003, just three months ago, we shipped our 200 millionth PA module, and we view today's announcement as further proof of our position as the world's leading PA provider for handsets.”

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Commenting on the achievement of shipping 250 million PA modules, Eric Creviston, vice president of wireless products at RF Micro Devices, said, We are proud to announce this major milestone for RF Micro Devices. In May 2003, just three months ago, we shipped our 200 millionth PA module, and we view today's announcement as further proof of our position as the world's leading PA provider for handsets.”

This fellow Carr needs to listen to the Work can be Fun” school of thought a bit more. Without Wi-Fi, Google, and yes, on a good day even Amazon.com, where would inspiration come from?

David Lammers covers SoC process equipment. Contact him at dlammers@cmp.com.

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http://www.eet.com

Santa Clara, Calif. – Leading suppliers of instruments for IC test have unveiled plans to support an emerging open standard for automatic test equipment (ATE).

GuideTech, Roos Instruments and Wavecrest are working to develop third-party instruments for the open ATE architecture devised by the Semiconductor Test Consortium Inc. (STC). Formed last year by Advantest, Intel, Motorola, Philips and others, the group today counts GuideTech, Racal, Roos Instruments, Wavecrest and other third-party instrumentation makers as members.

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STC's goal is an open ATE architecture that would enable the development of lower-cost, plug-and-play instruments and modules for IC test. The modules would be integrated into open” IC testers, enabling chip makers to reduce test costs.

The consortium released its first hardware and software specifications, dubbed the Open Semiconductor Test Architecture, or Openstar, in June. The specs define the backplane and other critical ATE data.

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Advantest Corp. (Tokyo) is readying an IC tester based on Openstar, but thus far that company, an STC cofounder, is the only major ATE vendor in the STC camp. Agilent, Credence, LTX, NPTest and Teradyne have declined to join STC and are pushing their own ATE platforms as open standards (see June 9, page 26).

The lack of ATE standards means instrument makers must develop different versions of the same product to support a bevy of ATE platforms.

Evaluation licenses are available and production versions of MEMulator are due to be available in October 2003.

TOKYO — Seiko Epson Corp. has developed a new ferroelectric material for ferroelectric random-access memory (FeRAM)). The company claimed the material tentatively named PZTN will significantly improve endurance cycles.

The new material, presented by Epson at a meeting of the Japan Society of Applied Physics earlier this week in Fukuoka, Japan, is based on lead zirconate titanate (PZT), a widely used FeRAM material. It replaces some titanium with niobium.

PZT is one of the more promising materials for FeRAM but is subject to fatigue. Memory performance deteriorates about by 50 percent after 1 billion rewrites, Epson said. An FeRAM memory based on the new material exhibited minor deterioration measured in just several percent after 1 billion rewrites, according to Epson.

Epson engineers postulated that the oxygen deficit in PZT caused fatigue problems in PZT-based FeRAM. They countered the problem by introducing niobium, which was used in addition to PZT FeRAM.

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