September 14th, 2005
Integration reported that its Integration IA4420 Transceiver has
been selected by BRK Brands, Inc., the producer of First Alert, a very popular home safety products. The transceiver and Integration’s
EZMAC protocol, known as Integration’s EZRadio technology, are central to the design of BRK’s ONELINK smoke and
carbon monoxide series of safety products.
BRK’s ONEKINK products bring low-cost home protection to a
new level, According to Mark Colello, senior vice president and general manager, BRK Brands, Inc., "These new products make
it possible for all homeowners to have whole-home protection without huge costs or hassles. With Integration's EZRadio technology
we were able to deliver homeowners a complete, cost-effective solution to provide the first interconnected alarm network for
both fire and CO emergencies."
ONELINK offers homeowners a complete wireless network of alarms
that communicate vital security and safety information to each other and the homeowner via an early warning system. The voice
warning system can be installed in every room in the house and has been designed to inform the homeowner of the location of
the smoke or carbon monoxide leak in the house. A beep warning signal can also be selected.
One can find the First Alert ONELINK home safety system at The Home
Depot, one of the largest home improvement retail stores in the world.
August 30th, 2005
Alereon Releases Wireless USB Developers Kit
Alereon, a fabless company involved in the development of wireless chip solutions for the Ultra Wide Band (UWB) and wireless
USB markets, in preparation for the release of its AL4000 Wireless USB chipset, announced its AL4000-SDK Software Developer’s
Kit. The kit includes driver, soft MAC emulator, and applications and documentation information. The company indicated that
kit would allow developers to work on wireless USB applications for its AL4000 chipset, which is expected to be available
later in 2005. "The introduction of the AL4000 - SDK is an important step for developers," commented Eric Broockman, CEO of
Alereon. "Having tools available just prior to silicon allows our customers to begin their software development and be ready
to ramp their designs quickly as silicon soon becomes available."
The company listed applications for its wireless USB chipset as wireless docking stations, MP3 players, cell phones,
digital still cameras and photo printers.
August 29th, 2005
Nanosys has received an investment from In-Q-Tel. Nanosys is
pursuing commercial opportunities for its electronically steerable RF antennas. These phase array antennas are expected to
provide a low-cost solution for wireless applications. The low-profile antennas differentiate themselves from traditional
antennas in that they are thin and are formed into lightweight flexible sheets, which would enable electronic devices to be
adapted for wireless applications without the need for a protruding antenna. Phase array antennas also differentiate themselves
from other steerable antennas in that they have no movable parts, but can redirect their focus such that a signal can be received
or sent for optimum transmission distance and reception.
August 26th, 2005
Freescale indicated, with the recent announcement of volume production
of its FlexRay MFR4200 controller chip, that X-by-wire automotive subsystems for applications such as braking, steering, suspension
and throttle control, will eventually become standard in tomorrow’s car. Tomorrow’s autos are planned to have
an internal wireless network that connects to wireless motors, sensors, brakes and transmissions, not to mention fuel economy
control systems. Furthermore, tomorrow’s autos are expected to be linked with other automobiles to form the basis for
car-to-car communications. Such car-to-car communication systems could provide direct driver-to-driver communications, as
well as provide vital navigation statistics about the velocity, acceleration and distance of other nearby and even distant
The FlexRay standard, besides enabling very advanced navigation
and communications features, should also increase vehicle stability and safety, as well as increase communications throughput
over 10 fold from current CAN network based automobiles. According to Juergen Weyer, vice president and general manager of
Freescale's Transportation & Standard Products Group in Europe, Middle East and Africa, "We believe FlexRay is destined
to be the de facto global standard for innovative high-speed control applications in the car. The list of manufacturers embracing
the protocol -- including Audi, BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, Toyota and Volkswagen -- underscores the momentum FlexRay
has already achieved. As a core partner in the FlexRay Consortium, we're working to help proliferate the standard."
Freescale expects that FlexRay-enabled vehicles will arrive on the
market sometime in 2006.
August 24th, 2005
Analog Devices Develops Consumer Oriented High Definition Video Wireless Technology
Analog Devices Inc. (NYSE: ADI), reported that it will demonstrate its video wireless transmission technology at the
DisplaySearch HDTV conference this week. The company indicated that the JPEG2000 based technology has overcome the limitations
of wireless video technology such as effects of error on visual quality and quality images in noisy environments. The company
sees potential markets in high definition (HD) gaming applications and low cost video distribution in the home.
The company’s demonstration is based on Pulse-Link’s CWAVE UWB technology. According to John Santhoff, Chief
Technology Officer at Pulse-LINK, "Pulse-LINK's CWave UWB technology combined with Analog Devices JPEG2000 codec solves many
of the challenges associated with implementing QoS for streaming HDTV wirelessly. Together, these technologies produce a low-latency,
highly responsive interactive video gaming experience wirelessly as well as the first lossless wireless alternative to DVI
Bill Bucklen, product line director, high-speed converters. at Analog Devices indicated that Analog Devices is experienced
in advanced television applications, "Analog Devices is no stranger to developing high-performance components for advanced
TV applications, including those in the ever-expanding HD market. We are pleased to team with Pulse-LINK to deliver a wireless
HD solution that makes wireless distribution of professional quality video available to the consumer electronics market."
Analog Devices’ chip used for video distribution is called the ADV202 and comes in a 12mm x 12mm BGA package. The
chip can be purchased now in production quantities. Analog Devices indicated that the chip is fundamental to future low-cost
versions for consumer applications.
August 15th, 2005
RoseStreet Labs has opened a 3D Research and Development laboratory
in Phoenix, Arizona focused on the development of advanced semiconductor packaging technology. At the facility, RoseStreet
and its subsidiary FlipChip International will develop new materials and processes for the packaging of wireless devices.
As well, through an alliance with SUSS MicroTec, the facility is expected to be equipped with a full range of lithography
and 3D packaging equipment from SUSS. The laboratory offers R&D contract services for polymer, metal deposition, lithography,
3D packaging, System-in-Package, MEMS packaging and interconnect development. Summing up the five year plan was Bob Forcier,
CEO of RoseStreet Labs, "This opening of our new R&D lab and our alliance with our close partner, SUSS MicroTec, is part
of our five year technology roadmap to provide next generation solutions to our valued customers in the areas of wafer level
MEMs, sensor, System-In-Package and advanced 3D packaging. We are very excited by this milestone and will continue to invest
in advanced technology."
RoseStreet Labs, LLC, bills provides its services and products
for applications in the life sciences, wireless and renewable energy markets. RoseStreet in April of this year entered
into a solar cell commercialization agreement with Cornell University.
August 12th, 2005
WiSpry Operations Expand Into New Facility –
Open-House Scheduled for August 16th
WiSpry, Inc., a company with tunable RF-MEMS technology for the wireless
industry, has moved into a new location. The new location, a 7,000 square foot facility, is the new home to the over 20 employees
at the company. Commenting on the new facility was CEO of WiSpry, Jeff Hilbert, "The new location is centrally located in
Orange County, with easy access for employees and customers from two major highways and is ideally located to attract the
top talent that Orange County has to offer."
The new building, which is located at 20 Fairbanks, Irvine, California,
includes a state-of-the-art custom built RF lab used for the development of WiSpry's RF-MEMS-based switch and filter components
WiSpry will be hosting an Open House at the new facility on August
16th at 5.00 p.m.
August 10th, 2005
IBM Offers 130 nm SiGe Foundry Process for High Frequency Wireless Applications
IBM has announced the availability of its fourth generation silicon
germanium (SiGe) bipolar complementary metal oxide semiconductor (BiCMOS) foundry technology. The new process, according to
IBM will allow for a wide range of new applications in the areas of wireless local area network technology, cellular handsets,
Global Position Satellite and advanced automotive safety systems such as on-board radar, collision warning systems and blind
side detection. In addition, IBM noted that the SiGe process will permit lower cost consumer products and longer battery life.
Specifically, IBM reported that the new 130 nanometer process would permit 24 GHz automotive radar systems, 77 GHz collision
warning systems and 60 GHz Wi-Fi chips.
IBM offers two new SiGe processes. One is called 8HP, and the other
8WL, which is a lower cost version. The 8WL variant has been designed for wireless applications that need longer battery life
such as cellular handsets, wireless local area networks and global positioning satellite technologies.
With the announcement, IBM reported SiGe process NPN transistor specifications.
These include an emitter width of 120 nanometers, a cutoff frequency of 200 GHz (8HP) and 100 GHz (8WL). The process also
includes passive resistors, varactors, MOS and MIM capacitors and high Q inductors, all necessary components for the construction
of on-chip wireless RF circuitry.
Sierra Monolithics, a customer, already has commented on its selection
of the process, "Sierra Monolithics has selected IBM's SiGe8HP technology for demanding applications such as highly-integrated
ultra-high-speed fiber optic components, high performance data converters and 60 GHz broadband wireless transceivers," said
Charles Harper, Sierra’s chairman.
August 9th, 2005
One of the major stumbling blocks for wireless electronics has been
the integration of the necessary RF oscillation components into silicon. Left off chip, these components add to the power
consumption of everything wireless from cell phones to Bluetooth enabled headsets.
The goal of the FP6 project, coordinated by IMEC, one of the leading
R&D organizations in Europe and the world, is to demonstrate an oscillator that can be integrated with silicon so as to
give every silicon chip integrated wireless connectivity at low cost.
Such an achievement would have significant implications. One such
implication is that many of the IO used on chips would no longer be needed and that massively parallel wireless digital FPGA
based multiprocessor systems could be created without wires or complex wired PC boards. Besides the architectural implications
of wireless processors, semiconductor companies would also have a potential solution for the expensive test problems associated
with chips that have hundreds of IOs. On a product applications level, an all wireless chip world would
offer a path to the elimination of wired Internet connections. Currently complete cellular internet connections are expensive;
necessitating wireless WiFi connections to PC based wired connections.
The approach that is being tried through the European Union's FP6
project is referred to as "Tunable Nano-Magnetic Oscillators for integrated transceiver applications" or TUNAMOS-project.
A nano-magnetic oscillator is tuned with a magnetic field or current as opposed to today’s oscillators, which require
an inductive or capacitive element to be tuned to generate a specific frequency. IMEC reports that the tuning range
of the nano-magnetic oscillator is in the range of 5 to 40 GHz. The organization also reports that the Quality (Q) of
the nano-magnetic oscillator has been measured at 18,000.
IMEC indicates that the nano-oscillator is a candidate suitable
for silicon integration and like all integrated circuits can be scaled downward as process technology evolves towards lower
and lower feature lengths – lowering the cost and improving the performance of the oscillator at each process node.
Besides IMEC, other involved in the TUNAMOS-project include STMicroelectronics,
UPS Universite Paris Sud and UFSD University of Sheffield. The project was initially launched in June of 2005 and is expected
to be completed within three years.
August 3rd, 2005
The Ultra Spectral Modulation (USM) technology, implemented in July
of this year as a chip, by aeroTelesis, and its partners, has obtained significant attention from the finance community. aeroTelesis
obtained a $100 million commitment in the form of a Standby Equity Distribution Agreement (SEDA) from Cornell Capital Partners,
LP. The SEDA permits aeroTelesis to issue and sell common stock to Cornell for a purchase price of up to $100 million for
a two year period. In addition to the large financial cushion, aeroTelesis also reported that it will receive $3 million of
financing through the sale of secured convertible debentures.
Both Accelchip, Inc., an algorithm-to-chip design software company
and Photron Technologies Ltd., the company aeroTelesis licensed the USM technology from, were both involved in the conversion
of the USM technology to an FPGA, announced in early July. At that time, aeroTelesis reported that the technology should significantly
lower the cost of wireless communications – the technology offers 5 Mbps wireless data transmission through narrow 50
KHz channels. aeroTelesis is presently focused on the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), fixed and mobile wireless
broadband, and satellite communications markets.