SERVICE centers, INTEGRATED circuits, THREE-dimensional printing, CONDUCTING polymers, and ORGANIC conductors
Accucode 3D is to offer 3D printing of electronics for prototyping and low volume manufacture from locations in Colorado and Texas, writes Steve Bush. This is claimed to be the world's first service bureau for 3D printing of electronics, by Isreal-based Nano Dimension, which has provided the two DragonFly printers that Accucode will be using. Accucode 3D parent company Accucode also has a centre in Ireland, but without a DragonFly printer. [Extracted from the article]
INTEGRATED circuits, TECHNOLOGY, PRINTED circuits, DETECTORS, and ELECTRONICS
The article offers information on an add-on prototyping kit for Raspberry Pi from DIY electronics website Adafruit. The prototyping plate is designed to snap-on to the Pi PCB and has both breadboard style and perfboard style areas for wiring up DIP chips and sensors. The pins are also connected to 3.5mm screw-terminal blocks at the edges of the prototyping area.
PROGRAMMING languages, C (Computer program language), COMPUTERS, ASSEMBLY languages (Electronic computers), INTEGRATED circuits, and EMBEDDED computer systems
The article focuses on the use of a model-based language in embedded control systems. Today, most embedded projects use C, and more use assembly language that C++. Few in the field of information technology would think of writing in a language as close to the machine as C, let alone assembly, these days. Development tools now support debugging on the target, profiling, code coverage, performance analysis, prototyping on the host, and many more functions. Integrated development environments integrate these tools into a coherent whole. Moving up the abstraction chain lengthens the development tool chain.
INTEGRATED circuits, HIGH technology industries, ELECTRONIC industries, and SILICON industry
The article reports that the silicon technology firm Innos in Southampton, England, is promoting its e-beam fabrication capability as a realistic approach to fast prototyping for fabless chip firms in Great Britain. Because e-beam is a serial write process, it will never be viable for production quantities, but for a few prototypes it is an effective technology. As Innos is based in Great Britain, design to manufacture time is potentially faster than with foundries in the Far East.
INTEGRATED circuits, PROTOTYPES, NANOTECHNOLOGY, HIGH technology, ELECTRONICS, and MAGNETIC fields
This article reports that the British chip industry would be well-served by investing, perhaps in collaboration with Europe, in developing a version of Japan's HALCA (highly agile line concept advancement) minifab chip production technology. A report for the DTI's GlobalWatch service suggests that an indigenous flexible fabrication capability, built at lower cost and with far lower operating expense than a traditional fab, would meet the production requirements of typical chip firms in Great Britain. For these firms, local prototyping and low-volume production would save them from having to compete for space in foundries in Asia Pacific with higher volume chips, and improve feedback. The DTI mission was also interested in adopting the concept to provide production capability for complex nanotechnology-based devices.
The article reports that FPGA tool market-place is a hive of activity with products popping up from chip firms as well as the third-party community. The JTAG interface attaches to the parallel port of a developer's computer and has flying leads that connect to the target development board. Available in 'basic evaluation' ($ 249) and 'advanced prototyping' versions ($ 695), the Axcelerator Starter Kit includes a pre-programmed AX250-PQ208 Axcelerator chip with matching evaluation board as well as the firm's Libero Gold integrated design environment, tutorials, and support documentation.
Jeff Baloun, CEO of Atlantic Technology, claims the firm can retain customers as they move to volume production, following its acquisition by Malaysian chip packaging and test company Unisem. "In the past we lost all the work we did for customers when a product moved to volume manufacturing," Baloun said. Now, Baloun claimed, prototyping and low volume manufacturing technology will be passed on within a larger group. The $18 million acquisition was completed recently after first being announced at the end of last year. Baloun also said the mixed-signal and RF test and assembly business that made up Atlantic will continue to focus on small innovative firms, taking their products to manufacture.
Electronics Weekly. 6/2/2004, Issue 2149, p22-22. 1/5p. 1 Color Photograph.
INTEGRATED circuits, ELECTRONIC industries, DC-to-DC converters, ELECTRIC circuits, and ELECTRONIC controllers
Vishay Intertechnology is offering plug-in versions of all devices in its Function-PAK family of integrated DC-DC converters. Because they can be plugged easily into a bread board for prototyping and testing within circuitry, these devices may be used to simplify product development, particularly for engineering labs with limited assembly equipment. A variety of loads, including FPGAs, power amplifiers, microcontrollers, or baseband logic ICs, can be powered. The module has a 0.1inch grid pin configuration for soldering directly into the circuit board, but each FunctionPAK comes with a standard socket.
The EDA industry needs to help design teams cut costs of chip development and reduce time-to-market. Silicon compilation is one concept that has the potential to dramatically reduce the design cycle and hence development costs. The term silicon compilation refers to a tool or tool suite with the ability to take the register transfer level code describing a design and to automatically generate the corresponding GDSn files, which are used to create the photomask. This means that the silicon compiler has to assume control of all of the prototyping and physical implementation portions of the design process.
Electronics Weekly. 12/17/2004, Issue 2128, p16-16. 1/9p. 1 Color Photograph.
INTEGRATED circuits, APPLICATION-specific integrated circuits, FIELD programmable gate arrays, PROGRAMMABLE logic devices, and ELECTRONICS
Hardi Electronics has introduced an application specific integrated circuits (Asic) prototyping board that can trial up to one million gates of logic using its Xilinx field programmable gate arrays (FPGA). When combined with the firm's other boards, it can implement larger amounts of logic, as the boards can be stacked. Other daughtercards allow interfaces to memory and high speed I/O. Low voltage differential signalling is used to communicate between boards, with 120 LVDS pairs per board. This speeds up Asic designs implemented across multiple boards, the firm explained. Programming the Xilinx XC2V6000 or XC2V8000 is through a JTAG port or CompactFlash card reader.
INTEGRATED circuits, CONCURRENT engineering, RAPID prototyping, DESIGN, and DESIGNERS
The article reports that Synopsys Inc. has added provision for flip-chip bonding to its Galaxy design suite. The JupiterIO tool interrelates die and package data and makes them visible in real time, so development of both can proceed concurrently. Extending the possibility for concurrent design is one of the major techniques EDA firms are using to help designers address increasing chip complexity. This can be achieved by enabling simultaneous work on parts of the flow previously treated in isolation, or by giving designers the chance to interact with a tool during use, when hitherto it would have been a 'press the button and wait' operation.