April 16, 2012...TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. of Hillsboro, Oregon USA announced that it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to develop gallium nitride (GaN)-based ICs. The CRADA to explore and fabricate high frequency and mixed signal circuits is reportedly aims to accelerate new programs for communications, radar, electronic warfare, and similar applications.
TriQuint's new agreement with the ARL is designed to stimulate high performance monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) development. The ARL's design and testing capabilities will be leveraged with TriQuint's MMIC fabrication, testing and packaging expertise. The new agreement leverages technology TriQuint created through on-going R&D programs. According to TriQuint, the circuits created are expected to be based on the company's new E/D (enhancement-depletion mode) GaN technology.
"Creative partnerships through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements encourage outside businesses and university organizations to share in the discovery of and investment in technologies. In this case, ARL is leveraging industrial fabrication capabilities allowing ARL to maximize its return on investment," said John Miller, Army Research Laboratory Director. "These advanced IC processes, coupled with ARL's design expertise, could lead to innovations and advancements in both military and consumer applications in communications, radar and electronic warfare."
Ball Aerospace Awards Emcore Solar Panel Manufacturing Contract
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 16, 2012...Emcore Corporation based in Albuquerque, New Mexico USA, reports that Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation (BATC) awarded it a contract to design, manufacture, test, and deliver solar panels for a new spacecraft. Emcore indicated that the two year contract has a total contract value of nearly $6 million.
Emcore's ZTJ multi-junction solar cells will populate BATC. Emcore claims that the ZTJ is currently the highest performance space-grade solar cell available in volume production to the global market. Production of the solar cells and panels will take place at Emcore's manufacturing facilities located in Albuquerque.
Emcore is a leading manufacturer of highly-efficient radiation-hard solar cells for space power applications. The radiation-hardened multi-junction cells have a beginning-of-life (BOL) conversion efficiency nearing 30% and the option for a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode. The company says that they provide the highest available power to interplanetary spacecraft and earth orbiting satellites.
"We are very pleased to receive this award from Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation and recognize their confidence in our capabilities to manufacture and deliver the solar panels for this important mission," said Christopher Larocca, Chief Operating Officer for Emcore.
LED-IT Fusion Technology Center of Korea Orders Veeco MOCVD System; Veeco Introduces Spector HT Ion Beam Deposition System
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 16, 2012...Veeco Instruments Inc. of Plainview, New York USA, announced that LED-IT Fusion Technology Research Center (LIFTRC) of Korea selected its TurboDisc K465i GaN metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system for research and development of HB LEDs, including green and (UV) varieties. Veeco also introduced the Spector-HT Ion Beam Deposition (IBD) System to create thin film coatings for the optical market.
LED-IT Fusion Technology Research Center seeks to develop LED-IT fusion technology into commercialized technologies. Dr. Ja-Soon Jang, Chief Director, LIFTRC, and Professor, Department of Electronic Engineering, at Yeungnam University commented, "Veeco's K465i enables us to conduct research and development of next generation LED technology on a fully-automated, low cost of ownership platform."
Veeco asserts that the Spector-HT is the first fully automated ion beam deposition system to achieve accelerated deposition rates at speeds comparable to PVD while maintaining high quality, optimal films for challenging production requirements. According to Veeco, the Spector-HT provides up to 400% increase in throughput, 300% increase in target utilization and 50% improvement in material uniformity compared to previous Spector generations. Veeco contends that the new system also offers cost-effective manufacturing for optical applications including: precision optics, lasers, life sciences, biomedical devices, and telecommunications.
Robert P. Oates, Executive Vice President, Veeco Ion Beam Equipment, commented, "The new Spector-HT system offers unparalleled throughput advantages, and a cost-effective platform compared to competing optical deposition technologies, such as physical vapor deposition (PVD), evaporative coatings or ion assisted deposition."
Yole Development Predicts Market for Key RF Components Will Reach $4.7 Billion in 2016
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 9, 2012...Yole says that while radio-front end market is very fragmented in terms of architectures, a few types of components are key with filters or duplexers, power amplifiers, and antenna switches at the heart of every cell phone radio.
“Those components represent a $3.6B market in 2011 already, growing at a 5.6% rate annually until 2016,” says Laurent Robin, activity leader, Yole Développement.
Yole asserts that filters and duplexers are the most dynamic market segment of this market. Sale of duplexers is growing at a 10.5% rate annually. Yole Development says this market will reach $1.7B in 2016. The company says that smartphones' wide use of WCDMA bands and LTE is a new strong driver. Depending on each band, SAW or BAW developments are candidates for further growth. The company says that while Epcos and Murata dominate the SAW area, Avago and TriQuint are in fierce competition in the BAW segment.
Yole notes that despite maturing, many new technologies are impacting the PA market. Also converged PAs and more broadband PAs are increasingly accepted. GaAs still dominates the PA market, but CMOS PAs are gaining at the low end side of the market, Yole indicated.
Yole predicts that Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology could be used for PAs soon.
According to Yole, the antenna switches segment, which includes Peregrine Semiconductor, is evolving towards more performance for the new LTE bands and increasing number of throws. Yole says it also observed massive adoption of SOI technology in the segment since 2010.
First Solar Powers One of India's Largest Solar Power Plants
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 9, 2012...First Solar, Inc. of Tempe, Arizona USA, announced the commissioning by Reliance Power Ltd., a Reliance ADA Group company, of a 40 megawatt (MW) (AC) ground-mounted solar photovoltaic power plant in the state of Rajasthan, India. The plant, which is comprised of 500,000 of First Solar's CdTe-based thin-film modules, will provide clean energy to Mumbai.The project was reportedly completed in just five months.
According to First Solar, the power plant near the village of Dhursar in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan in northwestern India is expected to generate more than 60 million kilowatt hours (kwh) of clean solar energy a year, making it one of the country's highest power output potential photovoltaic power plant. The plant covers 350 acres and is said to be 23 times the size of Calcutta's famous Eden Gardens cricket grounds. First Solar says the plant is expected to satisfy the annual electricity needs of more than 70,000 average Indian households.
"This power plant demonstrates the huge potential of solar energy to help India meet itsgrowing energy needs in the most environmentally friendly manner. It is also a testimony of the quick timeframe in which solar power plants can be built and commissioned," said Anil D Ambani, chairman of Reliance Power.
The Dhursar project is the first of several that Reliance plans to build with First Solar modules as part of a 100MW module order placed last year.
Advanced Photonix Introduces New Terahertz Energy-based Industrial Evaluation Product
CompoundSemi News Staff
April 9, 2012...Advanced Photonix, Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan announced the introduction of a new terahertz non-destructive evaluation system product at the National Plastics Exposition (NPE) in Orlando, Florida. The new system, called T-Gauge®, was developed for factory floor evaluations of quality and process control for products including web processing and conversion.
The ability of radiation in the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum to penetrate non-conducting materials combined with the system's high speed data processing, enables non-destructive inspection of web based products with feedback for continuous process adjustments. According to API, the T-Gauge is non-nuclear and provides sensitivity to physical and chemical composition changes in products. T-Guage can reportedly monitor proces and product quality through measuring single and multi-layer thickness, density, basis weight, and detect subsurface defect and delamination.
API says it is the first company to commercialize terahertz technology and deploy it to the factory floor using its patented fiber-coupled sensors. The company asserts that these sensors can be mounted on a scanning frame without contacting or impeding the product, and they collect more information than previously possible to enable tighter tolerances for manufacturing processes, resulting in cost savings, and improved quality.
"This technology is aimed at replacing nuclear gauges while improving quality control and saving material at our customers. Web processing and converting is one of many markets we are working with globally to take the terahertz technology to the factory floor," said Richard Kurtz, CEO of API.
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.
Our news features are reported
by the CompoundSemi News staff writers.
For submissions or content suggestions, you can contact us using
editor -at - compoundsemi.com
For more information and to reserve promotion space contact
Info7 -at - compoundsemi.com
or call +1 (512) 257-9888