Keithley Introduces System to Measure both Very High and Very Low Voltage
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 2, 2012...Keithley Instruments, Inc., an electrical test systems company in Cleveland, Ohio, introduced the Model 2657A High Power System SourceMeter® instrument, which adds high voltage to the company's Series 2600A System SourceMeter family. The company boasts that a built-in 3,000V, 180W source allows the Model 2657A to source up to five times as much power to a tested device as the nearest competitor, and it can quickly and accurately measure very low leakage current down to a resolution of 1fA (femtoamp). The company says that no other measurement system on the market has this flexibility.
The Model 2657A is optimized for high voltage applications such as testing power semiconductor devices, including diodes, FETs, and IGBTs, as well as characterizing materials such as gallium nitride (GaN), silicon carbide (SiC), and other compound semiconductor materials and devices. The system can also characterizing high speed transients and perform breakdown and leakage tests.
Keithley says that the Model 2657A combines the functionality of multiple instruments in a single full-rack enclosure: semiconductor characterization instrument, precision power supply, true current source, 6½-digit DMM, arbitrary waveform generator, voltage or current pulse generator, electronic load, and trigger controller.
Lee Stauffer, Keithley's chief technology officer says that "Between 50 and 75 percent of published papers have measurement errors that the publishers or authors didn't even know they made." He asserts that the 2657A system can reveal measurement errors that designers and researchers could easily miss with other systems.
DARPA Hopes to Develop Methods of Combining Compound Semiconductors with Silicon
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 2, 2012...DARPA's Diverse Accessible Heterogeneous Integration (DAHI) program is launching the DAHI Foundry Technology effort to advance novel methods for combining a variety of devices and materials including compound semiconductors onto a single silicon chip. The research will be used in areas such as communications, sensing and electronic warfare. Current fabrication technology forces circuit designers to make compromises when selecting devices for an integrated microsystem. This effort also seeks to enable complex signal-processing and self-correction architectures to be brought to bear. The DAHI Foundry Technology effort hopes to establish a foundry capability for the production of chips using a wide range of heterogeneously integrated devices.
DAHI builds on the DARPA Compound Semiconductor Materials on Silicon (COSMOS) program, which focused on Indium Phosphide (InP) heterojunction bipolar transistor integration with silicon. COSMOS is now one of the DAHI program thrusts, along with Electronic-Photonic Heterogeneous Integration (E-PHI, which kicked off in November, 2011) and this new DAHI Foundry Technology effort.
According to Thomas Lee, office director, DARPA Microsystems Technology Office, “This integration would provide DoD systems with the benefits of a variety of devices and materials integrated in close proximity on a single chip, minimizing the performance limitations caused by physical separation among devices.”
Sanjay Raman, DARPA program manager commented, “Such convergence would enable foundry-style production of high-performance microsystems, leveraging today’s silicon IC manufacturing base.”
April 2, 2012...RF Micro Devices, Inc. of Greensboro, North Carolina USA will supply multiple components for LG's Optimus 4X HD and the Optimus 3D Max smartphones. LG's Optimus 4X HD and Optimus 3D Max are expected to be available globally in 2012.
The LG Optimus 4X HD features a 4.7-inch HD display (1280 x 720), Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 21 Mbps HSPA+ performance, front (1.3MP) and rear (8MP) cameras, and dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity. All of these features are housed within a sleek exterior that is only 8.9mm thick. The LG Optimus 3D Max features a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 8GB of storage, a 5MP dual-lens camera, Android 2.3 "Gingerbread," and LG's "exclusive brightened" WVGA 4.3-inch display, all housed in a compact 9.8mm shell.
The RFMD notes that the components enabling LG's flagship smartphones include RFMD's PowerSmart® power platform, and RFMD's RF5501 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi front end module. RFMD's PowerSmart features an RF Configurable Power Core™ that delivers multiband, multi-mode coverage of all cellular communications modulation schemes, including 4G, up to LTE 64QAM.
RFMD says that the RF5501 Wi-Fi enables significant size reductions in 802.11b/g/n front end solutions, while delivering high linear output power and reduced component count.
Bob Bruggeworth, president and CEO of RFMD, said, "RFMD's PowerSmart power platforms continue to lead a product category that is reshaping the future of multimode, multi-band cellular RF architectures, and we anticipate sequential growth in PowerSmart shipments throughout the calendar year."
Strategy Analytics: LED Market Appears to Be Slowing in 2012
LIGHTimes News Staff
March 29, 2012...After two years of explosive revenue growth, the LED market appears to be slowing down in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics. The Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs) viewpoint, highlights news that equipment spending and epitaxial substrate demand in the LED sector will decline in 2012. Strategy Analytics points to recent announcements from equipment manufacturers, such as Aixtron, that indicated that substantial funding from Asian governments has been masking inherent softness in LED demand.
“The LED industry has grown in cycles,” observed Eric Higham, Director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service. “The first phase involved backlighting for small consumer devices, like mobile handsets. These solutions have evolved to meet the needs of laptop, television, electronic sign and automotive applications and the next wave for LED adoption appears to be commercial and residential lighting.”
Asif Anwar, Director, Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice added, “Despite a slowdown in demand, companies are hard at work developing products that improve the performance and cost of devices in preparation for the next wave of LED adoption.”
Aixtron shipping CCS MOCVD reactor to NTT Photonics for InGaAsP laser research
March 28, 2012...Deposition equipment maker Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath, Germany says that in first-quarter 2012 it is delivering a CCS reactor metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system to existing customer NTT Photonics of Japan for indium gallium arsenide phosphide (InGaAsP) quaternary diode laser research.
Ordered in second-quarter 2011, the reactor is being installed by a local Aixtron service support team at the NTT Photonics Device Laboratory in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
The new reactor for NTT Photonics is being supplied with several special features, including an EpiCurveTT, ARGUS, Gap Adjustment and Epison 4 in-line gas concentration monitor.
For the NTT Photonics application, another key selection criterion was the Group V efficiency of the CCS reactor, which directly translates into significantly lower operating costs, says Aixtron.
Aixtron says that, able to deliver even the most challenging MOCVD applications, the CCS reactor has very good process flexibility due to the Showerhead concept and uniform flow distribution. Combined with gap adjustment and ARGUS in-situ monitoring for temperature mapping of the entire susceptor, it suits research and development of high-end devices such as InGaAsP quaternary diode lasers, says the firm.
NTT Photonics Laboratories has a long history of expertise in R&D on photonic device technology to support next-generation innovation in telecoms. This involves photonics devices, electronic components, modules and materials with the goal of further contributing to progress in telecoms business through developing new technologies such as diode lasers and commercializing the technology.
Stion to Begin CIGS Module Shipments from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Factory
CompoundSemi News Staff
March 26, 2012...Stion, a maker of CIGS thin-film solar modules based in San Jose, California USA, has received both Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) and International Electrotechnical Commissions (IEC) certifications to ship modules produced at its Hattiesburg, Mississippi, factory. Stion says its modules with nominal power of up to 140 watts are now available, with commercial shipments from the factory commencing later this month. The first phase of the 500 megawatt factory has 100 megawatts of annual production capacity, which is the equivalent of approximately 25,000 residential solar electric systems.
The company’s modules have a robust, simple monolithic circuit design, and are manufactured using proven industry standard production tools. They are specifically designed for use in all major market segments; residential, commercial, government / municipal and utility.
Stion’s modules measure 65 cm x 165 cm. Stion claims that the module's PTC / STC ratio - a measurement of the module’s field performance versus standard test conditions – is higher than those for 95 percent of the products listed for use by the California Solar Initiative.
“Beginning shipments from Hattiesburg less than one year after starting construction represents a tremendous accomplishment by our team,” said Chet Farris, CEO of Stion.
Soitec Earns New Manufacturing Certifications
CompoundSemi News Staff
March 26, 2012...Soitec of Bernin, France, a maker of silicon-on-insulator semiconductor technology, has earned new certifications from the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS).
Based on its most recent audit conducted at the end of 2011, LRQA (Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance) has awarded: ISO/TS 16949 certification to Soitec’s semiconductor material operations in France at its Bernin and Paris Sud facilities, both of which demonstrated full compliance on their initial audits. The company’s Singapore factory also achieved this compliance, so Soitec will now use the ISO/TS 16949 standard – which is more specific and stringent than the ISO 9001 standard – as the basis of its worldwide quality-management system.
Soitec’s solar facility in Freiburg, Germany, where the company manufactures its concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems. ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification. The OHSAS 18001 health and safety certification was given to Soitec’s Paris Sud facilities. Therefore, all of the company’s semiconductor material operations are in compliance with OHSAS 18001. By the end of 2012, the company hopes to extend these protocols to its solar module facility in Freiburg.
Paul Boudre, chief operating officer of Soitec stated, “Our fully integrated quality, safety, health and environmental management system is focused on ensuring the superior quality and reliability of our products as well as maintaining our best practices to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction. ”
Soitec aims to gain ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications next year and OHSAS 18001 compliance by 2014 at its newest manufacturing solarplant in San Diego, California.
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