EDA News – 2007.08.15

Texas Instruments Acquires ICD, Gains Low-Power RF Design Expertise
Texas Instruments (TI) Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) announced that it has acquired Integrated Circuit Designs, Inc. (ICD), a privately-held company that specializes in the design of radio-frequency (RF) integrated circuits (ICs). Combining ICD’s design expertise with TI’s extensive high-performance analog and low-power microcontroller product portfolio will enhance TI’s ability to provide industry-leading low-power RF solutions for industrial, commercial and consumer applications.

Semiconductors Equipment Market Grows to $11.06 Billion in Q2 2007
SEMI reported that worldwide semiconductor manufacturing equipment billings reached $11.06 billion in the second quarter of 2007. The billings figure is three percent higher than the first quarter of 2007 and about 15 percent greater than the same quarter a year ago. The data is gathered in cooperation with the Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ) from more than 150 global equipment companies that provide data on a monthly basis.

Microsoft Selects TSMC 90nm eDRAM Process for Xbox 360 Subsystem
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (NYSE: TSM, TSE: 2330) announced that Microsoft has started production of the Microsoft Xbox 360 graphics-memory subsystem using the TSMC 90nm embedded DRAM process. Designed to meet the needs of volume consumer electronics devices, the TSMC 90nm eDRAM process features a high-density macro design (80Mb) and fast performance to 500MHz.

Actions Announces Personal Media Player Chipsets with CSR BlueCore
Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACTS), one of China’s leading fabless semiconductor companies, announced the availability of Personal Media Player (PMP) chipsets featuring CSR’s BlueCore technology for Bluetooth. Actions chipset featuring CSR’s BlueCore reference design enables users to wirelessly stream music and transfer files from PCs and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. The handsfree mobile application on the chipset features call handling, where the mobile phone sends a signal to the MP3 player to pause the music, routes the call through a Bluetooth headset, with the MP3 player resuming playback at the conclusion of the phone call.

PC Platform Drives Ultra Wide Band Wireless Interconnectivity
With the promise of entirely wireless interconnections for PCs, standards and technology battles are looming, reports In-Stat. Most digital interconnects are first adopted in PCs and then by consumer electronics (CE), the high-tech market research firm says. “Like USB vs. 1394, the outcome of the battle between ultra wide band (UWB) solutions will be determined by the PC platform,” says Qasim Inam, In-Stat analyst.

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BAE Systems Demonstrates Flexible Access Secure Transfer Networking
BAE Systems has completed another successful demonstration of its Flexible Access Secure Transfer (FAST) networking waveform. FAST, an effort to modernize the NATO-standard Link 16 computer data exchange format, is a wireless networking protocol developed for airborne tactical networking. The demonstration included Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity, Voice over IP, mobile ad-hoc networking, streaming video, and imagery. The demonstration was part of an $8 million contract performed in concert with SRA International Inc., prime contractor for the U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

Mobile Phones Drive RF Semiconductors Market
Mobile phone penetration continues to rise in developing countries such as India and China. This market penetration has created numerous opportunities for handset manufacturers, thereby directly driving the market for handset radio frequency (RF) semiconductors. With 2.75G yet to take off and the deployment of third-generation (3G) in the pipeline, the market for RF semiconductors in these countries will likely thrive in the next few years.

EDA Tech Forum Introduces Keynote Speakers
EDA Tech Forum, a key technical and networking resource for the electronics engineering community, has announced the keynote speakers for its September 12, 2007, event in Santa Clara, California. Dr. Steve Squyres of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) mission to Mars will present “The Spirit and Opportunity of Mars.” Andrew Rassweiler, iSuppli Principal Analyst and Teardown Services Manager, will present, “Apple iPhone – Design Choices and Comparative Analysis.”

Avnet, Xilinx Conclude 90-City Global X-Fest Technical Seminars
Avnet Electronics Marketing (NYSE: AVT) and Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) have concluded their 90-city global X-Fest technical seminars. More than 7,000 attended the technical sessions held across the globe. Attendance exceeded expectations in all regions.

Low-Power, Low-Overhead, High-Fidelity Digital Sound for SOCs Webcast
Tensilica, Inc., will present a live webcast, “Low-Power, Low-Overhead, High Fidelity Digital Sound for SOCs,” discussing how most consumer products must support multiple codecs and offer a broad range of audio-enhancement features. All of these factors have resulted in a high demand for a flexible, high-performance, low-power audio engine that adds digital-sound capabilities to an SOC with the least amount of design effort and a small on-chip footprint. This online seminar presents a proven way to add low-power, low-overhead, high-fidelity audio to SOC designs.