Only 69% of contract electronics manufacturers believe they will be fully compliant with European Union (EU) environmental legislation by the July 2006 deadline prescribed by the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives, according to research by Technology Forecasters (TFI) and components distributor Avnet Electronics Marketing.
A team of scientists from Philips and the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft claims the world first growth of III-V semiconductor nanowires on germanium and silicon substrates (Nature Materials, November 2004). The scientists believe that this is an important step towards the integration of the superior high frequency and optoelectronic properties of III-V semiconductors with the huge silicon technology base of the semiconductor industry.
Infineon Technologies is using an innovative "chip-sandwich" technique that involves face-to-face interconnection to design chip card ICs for use in mobile communications. One aim is to offer more than 100 times the memory capacity of today's chip cards, while just doubling the chip's area. The new chip card ICs will not only deliver significant performance boosts, the company says, but will enable new applications for mobile phones and smart cards.
UK automatic test equipment supplier (ATE) Acuid has been awarded a second funding grant from the Scottish Executive. Up to GBP500,000 ($800,000) will be provided to Acuid to develop a high speed pin driver ASIC under Scotland's SPUR PLUS scheme. The funding is to extend the test performance of the company's latest bT144 ATE system up to 2.667Gbits/sec (Gbps), enabling coverage of the existing double data rate (DDR 1 and DDR 2) dynamic random access memory (DRAM) technology and the impending DDR 3 format. Infineon has recently selected the bT144 for its Engineering Test department.
ASML is to install a full-field EUV pre-production tool at IMEC's 300mm research facility in late 2005 to prepare for a IMEC Industrial Affiliation Program on EUV lithography to begin in early 2006. The focus will be on the 32nm node and beyond to ensure that EUV technology is ready when the transition from 193nm immersion lithography takes place.
Cornell University researchers have achieved all-optical switching in silicon using relatively low pulse energies (Nature October 28, 2004). The scientists used highly confining resonant structures to enhance the sensitivity of light to small changes in refractive index. Modulation of up to 94% in less than 500psecs (0.5nsecs) was achieved using light pulses with energies as low as 25pJ.
The Slovak Institute of Physics has developed and constructed a scanning capacitance scanning probe microscope (SPM) technique. While capacitance capabilities are offered by commercial SPMs, the new technique is based on a different patented principle that promises greater analytical possibilities.
Given Imaging's diagnostic system for imaging the esophagus has received marketing clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The system includes Given's PillCam ESO video capsule, which is the same size as the company's small bowel video capsule, the PillCam SB, measuring 11x26mm. Miniaturisation of electronics has enabled the PillCam ESO capsule to include two imaging sensors, one at each end of the capsule. Each imager captures two frames (images) per second to give a total of four frames per second.
The highest capacity ion beam accelerator facility in the world was officially opened at EBIS in Oxfordshire, UK. The GBP2mn Tandem 5MV ion beam accelerator is designed principally to meet the needs of the power semiconductor processing industry.
Philips Electronics' Handshake Solutions business and ARM announced the joint development and marketing of an ARM processor using Handshake Solutions' low-power, self-timed technology. The compact asynchronous ARM processor is being aimed at smart card, consumer electronics and automotive markets because of its potential for very low-power consumption and low electromagnetic interference (EMI). The partnership provides Handshake Solutions with a license to develop the implementation using its design flow and methodology.