News – 2007.12.20

RF Micro Devices Acquires Filtronic Compound Semiconductors
RF Micro Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq: RFMD), a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance radio frequency systems and solutions, and Filtronic PLC (LSE:FTC) announced a definitive agreement pursuant to which RFMD will acquire Filtronic Compound Semiconductors Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Filtronic PLC, for an acquisition price of approximately 12.5 million pounds in cash. The acquisition price includes the purchase of Filtronic Compound Semiconductors’ six-inch GaAs wafer fabrication facility (“fab”) at Newton Aycliffe, United Kingdom, which is currently a major supplier of GaAs pHEMT semiconductors to RFMD. The acquisition price also includes the purchase of Filtronic Compound Semiconductors’ millimeter wave RF semiconductor business.

Aldec Active-HDL 7.3 Features Multi-Threaded HDL Compilation
Aldec, Inc., a pioneer in mixed-language simulation and advanced design tools for ASIC and FPGA devices, announced the release of Active-HDL 7.3. The release includes multi-threaded HDL compilation, new waveform viewer and expanded VHDL 2006 construct support. A noticeable performance improvement in VHDL, Verilog and mixed RTL compilation and simulation is included as part of the release. Active-HDL is a mixed-language design creation, FPGA Project Management and simulation environment supporting VHDL, Verilog, SystemVerilog, and SystemC.

Five Companies Join Si2 Design-For-Manufacturability Coalition
Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) announced five new members of the Design-For-Manufacturability Coalition (DFMC), which will build on previous efforts to ensure that ICs can be manufactured in accordance with the original design intent. The new members include Infineon, Intel, Mentor Graphics, STARC, and UMC. They join founding members Cadence, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Ponte Solutions, Sagantec, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, and Texas Instruments (TI) in the DFMC. In addition, TI has assumed the role of Chair for the DFMC, a leadership position which helps drive the goals and activities of the Coalition. The former Chair, Freescale Semiconductor, will assume the role of Past-Chair.

ABI Research Publishes Report on Femtocell Challenges, Opportunities
One of the major talking points at recent femtocell conferences has been the question of which technology will take precedence for fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) in the home: femtocells, or Voice over Wi-Fi. ABI Research suggests that this is an outdated view of the market and that a mindset embracing both femtocells and Wi-Fi would provide the ideal solution to support a fuller FMC concept.

ST Debuts STi5202 Standard-Definition Set-Top Box Decoder Chip
STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), the world’s largest supplier of silicon chips for set-top boxes (STBs)*, announced a new low-cost STB decoder chip – the STi5202 – intended for standard-definition (SD) terrestrial, cable, satellite and IP (Internet Protocol) TV applications, and for both retail and operator-supplied boxes. It shares the same architecture as ST’s STi7109 single-chip H.264 high-definition (HD) decoder, highly successful in markets worldwide, and it is also software compatible.

Research In Motion Gains 10% Share of Smartphone Market
Research In Motion (RIM) is likely to end 2007 with around 10% share of the smartphone market. This means that in terms of device shipments, RIM will be the second largest smartphone vendor in 2007, after Nokia. RIM’s share in the smartphone market has steadily increased in the last five quarters — from 7.2% in 3Q 2006 to 9.5% in 3Q 2007. However, RIM’s business is still predominantly in North America and the company now needs to put increasing efforts into addressing and benefitting from the growing demand for smartphones in the emerging markets of Asia Pacific and other regions.

Lambda Introduces ZPSA 20W, 40W, 60W AC-DC Power Supplies
The new ZPSA range of single output 20W, 40W and 60W AC-DC power supplies have been introduced by Lambda. All units within the new series boast a very low profile – the ZPSA20, for example, measures just 88.9 x 50.8 x 20.32mm – making them an ideal choice for applications ranging from video/audio routers, datacoms, point of sale equipment, low power LED signs and lighting.

ISaGRAF 5 Powers Semaphore’s Kingfisher G30 Compact SCADA System RTU
ICS Triplex ISaGRAF Inc., the leading automation software technology partner, announced that its flagship product ISaGRAF is the software of choice for Semaphore’s new Kingfisher G30 compact remote terminal units. The Kingfisher G30 fully embeds the ISaGRAF 5 control software environment to provide support both the IEC 61131-3 and IEC 61499 standards. The G30 compact RTU allows open programming in all 5 languages specified by the IEC 61131-3 standard and supports IEC 61499 for easy creation of distributed control applications. Function blocks for applications such as AGA flow calculations are provided in the comprehensive function block library.