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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shipments of Silicon to Jump 23.6 Percent in 2010

By Nick Flaherty
Global silicon shipments in terms of square inches will rise to record levels in 2010, according to semiconductor manufacturing market research firm iSuppli.
Shipments of silicon for semiconductor manufacturing in 2010 will grow by 23.6 percent year-over-year, reaching 8.9 billion total square inches, up from 7.2 billion square inches in 2009, iSuppli forecasts. By 2014, 12.4 billion total square inches of silicon will be shipped.
However, while this is good news for filling fabs, it doesn't necessarily follow through to the average selling price (ASP) and the health of the industry. There is a fine balance between demand for silicon and production - too much silicon, low prices; too much demand and not enough siliocn - high prices. 
“Following the recession of late 2008 and 2009, chip manufacturers spent the first half of 2010 striving to reverse the damage they had suffered,” said Len Jelinek, director and chief analyst for semiconductor manufacturing and supply at iSuppli. “Visibility in the second half of 2010 remains limited even as the all-important holiday season inches closer. The good news is that barring any new collapse, silicon suppliers will have sufficient orders on the books to carry them through the third and fourth quarters. And while growth in 2011 won’t match the high expansion rate seen in 2010, iSuppli anticipates that the semiconductor industry will require additional increases in silicon shipments of about 13 percent compared to 2010 shipment rates to meet the projected development.”
Outperforming the industry
The demand for silicon in 12-inch wafers continues to rise at a rate that will outperform the industry average for silicon through 2014. In order to maintain growth, however, silicon suppliers must continue to expand 12-inch wafer manufacturing.
Beyond 2010, iSuppli expects to see a greater emphasis on shifting to even more 12-inch wafer manufacturing. Specifically, mixed signal and other technologies will be moving to 12-inch wafers as a result of older 12-inch tools no longer being cost effective for the manufacturing of leading-edge technology products.
Over the next five years, the availability of additional mature manufacturing capacity and tools will accelerate the conversion to 12-inch wafer manufacturing for products such as analog and mixed signal devices.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Freescale to drive industrial connectivity with i.MX28 family of processors

Industrial-Focused Processors With On-Chip Connectivity and Analogue Features at Less Than 0.5 Watts

By Nick Flaherty

Freescale Semiconductor has launched two new families of processors for low-power, cost-sensitive industrial applications. Consuming less than half a watt and priced starting at less than $6, these devices are aimed at a wide range of applications, including appliances, portable and diagnostic medical devices, energy distribution equipment, meters, human machine interfaces, motor control and industrial controllers. These applications can benefit from the processors’ on-chip connectivity and analogue features, which reduce system-level discrete components, power consumption, board size, development effort and system cost.
The MCF5441x ColdFire family provides customer benefits tailored for motor control, and the i.MX28x offers benefits for display applications. These two processor families introduce an embedded three-port Layer 2 switch that can replace up to $4 (USD) of external component cost. Applications such as elevator and assembly line controllers may use this feature to eliminate network equipment and reduce cable costs by daisy-chaining between Ethernet-connected nodes. In addition, both processor families integrate popular cores with dual 10/100 Ethernet ports containing IEEE 1588 hardware timestamp support for accurate clock synchronization of networked devices. These features are combined with many other industry-standard connectivity options, such as multiple UARTs, controller area network (CAN) controllers and USB interfaces to provide system design flexibility. “Industrial customers typically design systems without cooling fans,” said Bruno Baylac, Freescale’s director of global industrial segment marketing. “With all features running at maximum performance, the i.MX28x and MCF5441x families consume less than half a watt of power across the industrial temperature range of -40C to +85C. These highly integrated devices give design engineers a low-cost, ultra-low-power solution for a broad range of industrial designs.”

i.MX28x: Less than 0.5 watts powers 500 MIPS processors
The i.MX28x applications processor family is based on a 454 MHz (500 MIPS) ARM9 core and integrates a rich feature set including: an on-chip display controller with touchscreen for a rich user interface; a power management unit to power sequence the device and external components in the system; two USB modules with PHYs; analogue to digital converters (ADC); low-power modes for low standby current and secure boot.
The i.MX28x is suppported by Freescale’s i.MX28 evaluation kit, multimedia codecs and complete board support packages for Linux and Windows Embedded CE. In addition, integrated development environments and tool chains, industrial network protocols, additional operating systems, development boards and System on Modules are supported by a vast i.MX ecosystem. The i.MX28x is featured in Freescale’s recently announced Home Energy Gateway reference platform to support the growing smart energy market.

MCF5441x: Offering MCU peripherals with MPU performance
The MCF5441x ColdFire microprocessor family integrates a ColdFire V4 core that offers a high level of connectivity with up to 10 serial ports. Serial connectivity provides designers increased flexibility to meet current and future development needs.
These devices allow designers to reduce system costs with multiple analog peripherals built in to simplify system architecture. Analog features include high-speed precision pulse width modulators and dual high-speed ADCs.
The MCF5441x is supported with a powerful suite of enablement software developed by Freescale, including a board support package for Linux®, Freescale’s complimentary full-featured MQX™ 3.6 real-time operating system, and Eclipse™ based CodeWarrior 10.0 IDE. The MCF5441x Freescale Tower System for rapid prototyping completes the offering by providing nearly unlimited quick prototyping capabilities to help eliminate months of development time.
Availability and pricing
The MCF5441x ColdFire family suggested resale pricing starts at $4.99 in 10,000-unit quantities. Evaluation and demonstration systems for the MCF5441x family are available now. The TWR-MCF5441X 32-bit MPU module is available at a suggested resale price of $139. The TWR-MCF5441X-KIT is available at a suggested resale price of $259

The i.MX28x family suggested resale pricing starts at $5.27 in 10,000-unit quantities. Evaluation and demonstration systems for the i.MX28x family are available now. The MCIMX28EVK evaluation kit is available at a suggested resale price of $399, with the optional LCD module add-on for $199

The MCF5441x and i.MX28x devices are part of the Freescale Product Longevity program, with 15 years of assured supply. For terms and conditions, please see:

Adeneo Embedded

“Adeneo Embedded is very excited to extend its collaboration with Freescale Semiconductor to the new i.MX28 processor, through our support to device makers in the integration of Windows Embedded CE and Embedded Linux on i.MX based architectures,” said Yannick Chammings, CEO of Adeneo Embedded. “Our collaboration with Freescale for the distribution, maintenance and support of the i.MX28-based Home Energy Gateway reference design leverages further our expertise with i.MX architecture as well as our leading position helping OEMs from the industrial market releasing high performing product at most optimized cost and time-to-market.”
AllGo Systems
“The i.MX28 family of processors is a great follow-on series to the popular i.MX23 and i.MX25 family from Freescale. The integration of power management, dual USB ports, Ethernet and LCD controller make this a very interesting platform for consumer and industrial markets,” said K. Srinivasan, CEO, AllGo Systems. “AllGo plans to port Android to i.MX28 as well as offer our Smart Home Energy Gateway software on top of i.MX283 running Linux.”
"CodeSourcery is pleased to provide professional C/C++ development tools for i.MX28 developers targeting bare-metal, RTOS and Linux platforms," said Mark Mitchell, chief sourcerer of CodeSourcery. "The debugger in Sourcery G++ fully supports popular low-cost JTAG emulators, and Sourcery G++ offers excellent source code development tools and build management for a simple yet powerful solution to development on Freescale's exciting new i.MX28 processor."
Innovate Solutions
“Innovate Software Solutions Pvt Ltd is excited to collaborate with Freescale on the i.MX28 processor family and is announcing its Swiftboard, a user-friendly, low-power and low cost development board,” said Manjunath P, managing director of Innovate Solutions. “Swiftboard’s flexible, open embedded, small, 10x12-cm form factor can be directly used for industrial or consumer product deployment. Enabled with multiple expansion and interface options Swiftboard allows users to create end-use applications such test and measurement systems with advanced Human Machine Interface and Portable Medical applications. Additionally, the Swiftboard supports Linux and comes with an interface for a 3G Module, SDIO based WI-FI and BT, RS-485, keypad, and 4.3" TFT/LCD touchscreen.”
“Freescale already offers the most comprehensive line of processors that are enabled with IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol hardware-assisted time stamping, and IXXAT is now adding its PTP support to the i.MX28 and MCF5441x families of applications processors,” said Bill Seitz, managing director of IXXAT, Inc. “The i.MX28 and MCF5441x address a full range of IEEE 1588 PTP applications in Telecom, Ethernet AVB, Smart Grid, Automotive, Industrial Automation and Test and Measurement.”
Karo Electronics
“The i.MX28 is the ideal enhancement to the i.MX25, the basis of Ka-Ro’s TX25 module,” said Ekkheard Meurers, CFO of Karo Electronics. “Due to its memory integration with improved speed plus the integration of RTC, the Ethernet switch with 2 ports, power management and 2 CAN interfaces, the i.MX28 is especially interesting as it is very closely positioned to the area of remote control units and remote control home automation applications. The longevity program helps ensure long-term availability which in turn serves as the basis of Ka-Ro’s 7 year long-term availability for all TX modules.”
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