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Thursday, February 18, 2010

iPhones drive NAND Flash Undersupply in 2010

Thanks to its huge sales and high memory usage, Apple’s iPhone is expected to generate insatiable demand for NAND-type flash memory in 2010, helping to strain supplies for the year, according to iSuppli.
“An average of 35.2Gbytes of NAND will be used in each iPhone sold in 2010, iSuppli estimates,” said Michael Yang, senior analyst for memory and storage at iSuppli. “Furthermore, iPhone shipments are set to rise to 33 million in 2010, up 31.5 percent from 25.1 million in 2009. With the iPhone already the largest application for NAND, this huge growth is likely to lead to some periods of undersupply for the year.”
Partly owing to demand driven by the iPhone and competitive products, global NAND flash revenue will rise to $18.1 billion in 2010, up 34 percent from $13.5 billion in 2009, according to a preliminary forecast from iSuppli. This compares to a 14.8 percent increase in 2009.
Partly because of increasing shipments of the iPhone and the arrival of competitive smart-phone products, the number of mobile handsets that contain embedded NAND flash is expected to rise sharply in 2010. iSuppli forecasts that shipments of mobile handsets with embedded NAND flash will grow to 732 million units in 2010, up 13.8 percent from 643 million in 2009. This compares to marginal growth of 1.6 percent in 2008.
“The success of the iPhone in the smart-phone category has spurred the launch of a series of competitive mobile phones,” Yang said. “These include the Motorola Droid, HTC Android Iris, Palm Pre and Google Nexus One. Although these phones may choose a different solution for storage memory, such as a microSD card, they will still aim to match the iPhone spec for spec in terms of memory capacity. This bodes well for NAND flash demand.”
Beyond the smart-phone segment, a number of other promising products are driving the NAND market in 2010, including eBooks and tablet PCs.
However, while eBooks such as the Amazon Kindle may follow a similar growth path as Apple’s iPods, they don’t use nearly as much NAND flash memory. eBooks contain a mere 512MBytes to 2GBytes of embedded NAND included in each device. And although density will no doubt grow in the coming years as wireless Internet enables more features and functionality, NAND usage in eBooks will remain low in 2010, iSuppli predicts.
Tablet PCs—with an anticipated storage density of 32GBytes to 64GBytes of storage—represent an attractive opportunity for NAND suppliers. However, it remains unclear if volumes will reach the projections of hopeful manufacturers. The introduction of Apple’s iPad, though, might boost the market, and if the adoption rate for the iPad that approximates those of the iPod and iPhone could be a serious market-changing segment for NAND vendors.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

From the creators of the IPAD, the iNEMO

STMicroelectronics Boosts Realism and Accuracy in Gaming, Robotics and Navigation by Combining Multiple Sensors with Microcontrollers 
STMicroelectronics, which owns the trademark for the IPAD, has now launched the iNEMO, a family of multi-sensor Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) devices combined with micocontrollers.
The integration of a variety of motion, magnetic, pressure and temperature sensors with a 32-bit processing unit and dedicated software in one package will lead to leaps in functionality and performance in a wide variety of applications, including Gaming, Human Machine Interface, Robotics, Portable Navigation Devices and Patient Monitoring.

The very specific iNEMO naming does indicate that ST intends to keep the iPad branding, used recently for Apple's tablet PC, or at least will build a case to extract a signifcant amount of money. 

Members of the iNEMO family of modules offer combinations of 3-axis sensing of linear, angular and magnetic motion with temperature and barometer/altitude readings, representing ST’s first IMUs with 10 degrees of freedom. The modules contain a memory card socket for data logging and dedicated connectors for wired/wireless connectivity, including USB, ZigBee or GPS.
ST’s first iNEMO module (STEVAL-MKI062V1) integrates six different sensors and a 32-bit microcontroller and it is available as a 4.5x5cm evaluation board with a firmware library, a PC Graphical User Interface, and a set of software solutions for different applications.
The most recent iNEMO product (v2) represents a further step in miniaturization and runs a sophisticated sensor fusion algorithm (Attitude Heading Reference System) to provide static and dynamic orientation and inertial measurements.
This iNEMO v2 integrates five ST sensors – a 2-axis roll-and-pitch gyroscope (LPR430AL), a single-axis yaw gyroscope (LY330ALH), a 6-axis geomagnetic module (LSM303DLH), a pressure sensor (LPS001DL) and a temperature sensor (STLM75). All the sensors and the AHRS algorithm are managed by an on-board STM32 microcontroller. The module, which comprises a 4x4cm evaluation board and all the necessary firmware and software, will be available for volume orders in Q2 2010.
“The introduction of iNEMO modules confirms ST’s industry-leading capabilities in providing all the sensors and processing capabilities required by the market. When it comes to sensors, we are the one-stop supplier,” said Benedetto Vigna, Group Vice President and General Manager of the MEMS, Sensors and High Performance Analog Division at ST.
“At the forefront of the MEMS technology development, the iNEMO family roadmap heads toward inertial measurement units delivering ten degrees of freedom in a single package,” added Matteo Lo Presti, General Manager of the Subsystems Product Group. 
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TI delivers first quad core radio

WiLink7.0 integrates WLAN, GPS, Bluetooth and FM on true single-chip

Texas Instruments has developed the first truwe single chip to integrate WLAN 802.11n, GPS, FM transmit/receive and Bluetooth technologies. The 65nm WiLink 7.0 solution reduces costs by 30 percent, reduces size by 50 percent and delivers superior coexistence performance as compared to today’s existing solutions. Built on seven generations of proven technologies and legacy software, this single-chip solution further extends TI’s heritage of bringing technologies previously seen in high-end devices to the broad mobile market.
“TI's announcement that its Bluetooth/FM/GPS/WLAN combination IC is sampling to major OEMs marks the first of its kind, demonstrating the strong future for combination ICs that enable device manufacturers to offer multiple radios without sacrificing performance, space requirements or profit margins,” said Lisa Arrowsmith, analyst, IMS Research. “IMS Research forecasts that by 2013, more than 4.5 billion combination ICs featuring a variety of radios will have been shipped.”

WiLink7.0 Video

Features and benefits
Key feature Benefits
Unique coexistence capabilities
  • Hardware mechanisms cancel out board- and chip-level RF interference at the source to simplify design process
  • Enhanced WiFi/Bluetooth/Bluetooth Low Energy inter-core communication prioritizes packet scheduling, supports more connections in parallel
High-performance GPS core
  • Best-in-class 3GPP test performance
  • Multi-path resolution engine coupled with advanced algorithms reduces interference impact for more accurate positioning in urban canyons
  • On-chip position engine simplifies integration with device host processor
  • Supports reduced power consumption during tracking
  • Host-independent location buffering and geo-fencing features further reduce host loading and power consumption
Powerful Bluetooth core
  • Best-in-class RF performance
  • Dedicated audio processor system-on-chip
  • Supports latest Bluetooth low-energy and Bluetooth 3.0 specifications
  • Extensible to support additional protocols
Robust Wi-Fi core
  • Supports the soon-to be ratified WiFi Direct™ and Soft AP mode capabilities, extensible to support additional protocols
  • Supports 802.11 a/b/g/n capabilities
FM core
  • Increased output power for FM transmit combined with highly sensitive FM receive delivers cleaner FM experience
  • Supports internal antenna

“As the first company to put the power of GPS, WLAN, Bluetooth and FM technologies on a single chip, we are excited to have solved some of the market’s most complex coexistence challenges,” said Haviv Ilan, vice president and general manager, wireless connectivity solutions, TI. “This type of innovation builds on our strong heritage in the wireless market and commitment to spearhead next-generation advancements. With its ability to support simultaneous use of all four radios, the WiLink 7.0 solution will truly revolutionize the way people interact with their devices and connect to the larger world.”
The WiLink 7.0 solution is sampling to major OEMs today. Devices using the WiLink 7.0 solution are expected to enter the market by the end of 2010.

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Micron buys Numonyx

Micron Technology has bought struggling NOR flash memory joint venture Numonyx for $1.27bn in Micron shares.
The transaction really strengthens Micron’s position as one of the world’s leading memory companies, with a broad portfolio of DRAM, NAND and NOR memory products and strong expertise in developing and supporting memory system solutions. Micron would also gain increased manufacturing scale globally and access to Numonyx’s customer base, providing significant opportunities to increase multi-chip offerings in the embedded and mobile markets.Using shares, rather than debt, as well is a good move.
“Acquiring Numonyx brings together two memory leaders and positions Micron to offer the most comprehensive, cost-competitive solutions in the industry to a broad range of customers and end-markets,” said Steve Appleton, Chairman and CEO of Micron.
“We believe the opportunity for Numonyx to join with Micron will deliver a clear advantage for our customers and our employees,” said Brian Harrison, President and CEO of Numonyx, a lossmaking joint venture between Intel and STMicroelectronics. “This announcement is a strong testimony to the value of Numonyx technologies, products and people. The result will be a strong company that can best serve our target market segments and customers by delivering enhanced memory solutions, strength and scale. It is good for Numonyx and good for Micron.”
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Numonyx Sold To Micron - 10/02/2010 - Electronics Weekly

Numonyx Sold To Micron - 10/02/2010 - Electronics Weekly

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Altium adds high-performance, low-cost option to its NanoBoard 3000 range

Altera Cyclone III added to NanoBoard 3000 range of FPGA-based development boards

Altium has expanded its range of low cost, rapid prototyping boards with a new NanoBoard 3000 hosting the Altera Cyclone III FPGA.

The new board provides electronics designers with the same hardware, software and ready-to-use, royalty-free IP of the NanoBoard 3000, but with the power of Altera’s low-cost, high power Cyclone III FPGA at its core.
With the board, electronics designers have everything they need to design and deploy sophisticated FPGA-based designs. Complete with hardware and software, the NanoBoard 3000 eliminates the need to search the web for drivers, peripherals or other software. It is a low-risk, low-cost design alternative for electronics designers looking to move beyond the constraints of fixed hardware.

"As we said last September, electronics designers without any prior FPGA skills can use the NanoBoard 3000 to construct sophisticated ‘soft’ processor-based systems inside the FPGA," said Nick Martin, CEO of Altium. "Using their existing board layout skills and Altium’s intuitive graphical interface, electronics designers can construct, test and implement entire FPGA-based embedded systems. This new addition to the range provides the perfect entry point for electronics designers, as it exploits the low-cost, high power benefits of the Altera Cyclone III in an easy-to-use and easy-to-deploy electronics design environment."
 The new NanoBoard 3000AL and NanoBoard 3000XN (hosting the Xilinx Spartan 3 FPGA) cost just €295, including software, hardware and Altium’s royalty-free IP. Electronics designers can also exploit Altium’s vast range of learning materials and reference designs to get them up and running immediately.
Designers looking to deploy their designs can also purchase one of Altium’s modular commercial enclosures. Available in a variety of sizes, the modular commercial enclosures will let designers go from prototype to deployment in a single step by simply snapping the NanoBoard 3000 into the enclosure.   
The NanoBoard 3000 is available for a recommended retail price of €295 and includes a 12-month subscription to an Altium Designer Soft Design License which also includes all software updates released by Altium during the 12-month subscription period. Users of the latest release of Altium Designer can also use the NanoBoard 3000.
Designers can purchase a NanoBoard 3000 from Farnell at:

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Cambridge Consultants launches Bluetooth development kit

DEVA hardware platform enables developers to quickly design and test differentiated Bluetooth products

Cambridge Consultants has launched a comprehensive development platform for the rapid development of highly differentiated Bluetooth products and mobile accessories.  The DEVA platform allows electronics and software engineers to rapidly prototype and test accessory products that deliver new features for users before committing to final product hardware.  By accessing the full power of the BlueCore-5-Multimedia device from CSR, it enables the development of highly differentiated products that maintain very low product cost.
DEVA can be used to develop a range of novel Bluetooth products - from mobile phone accessories and headsets, including for Apple’s iPhone, to wireless payment systems, industrial remote control devices, sports activity monitors or telehealth sensors that can be compliant with the Continua Health Alliance’s guidelines.

The key value of the DEVA platform is that has been optimised to work with all of Cambridge Consultants’ existing software tools and libraries, including its generic Bluetooth tool, xIDE for Interface Express, its Continua Compliant wireless health platform, VENA, and its Internet service accessory platform, CatchNet.  DEVA can also be used with CSR’s BlueLab development suite.

DEVA provides developers with access to the comprehensive features and processing power of CSR’s market leading BlueCore-5-multimedia chip.  DEVA includes a 128x128 monochrome LCD display, three user-interface buttons and LEDs allowing rich user interfaces to be developed for the product.  With USB, Serial and MicroSD interfaces for data integration, a range of GPIO, and both digital and analogue stereo audio connection, DEVA can support the development of complex products that have the lowest possible cost in their final manufactured form.  Being battery powered, DEVA provides a completely wireless experience.
“DEVA has been designed to provide a comprehensive environment for the development of sophisticated Bluetooth products,” said Tim Fowler, Commercial Director at Cambridge Consultants. “Not only does it speed the development of new versions of established Bluetooth products such as headsets with added capabilities, but it is also enabling the rapid development of new devices in many more diverse markets - medical applications are one example.  We have used our extensive experience in this market to deliver a development platform that gives designers a real head start in creating truly differentiated products.”
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