APEM Inc.

<p style= SAN MATEO, Calif. — Mentor Graphics, in a counterstrike against arch rival Cadence Design Systems Inc., has announced a new link that allows its AutoActive RE router to work with Cadence's Allegro pc-board design tool. Mentor has also added new features to AutoActive RE.

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Samples of the BCM3352, packaged in a 484-pin PBGA, are available at $59 in 100,000s.

In evaluations of optical inspection technologies at International Sematech, Applied's multi-perspective laser-scanning system detected critical defects, such as 50-nanometer (0.05-micron) residue, in narrow via structures, according to the company. Applied said its technology detected critical defects in five categories considered to be yield limiting in 0.18-micron (180-nm) processes, based on Sematech's definitions.

Inspection of detects in high aspect ratio structures is considered a major hurdle in the industry's semiconductor technology roadmap. With 100-nm device geometries on the technology horizon of the semiconductor roadmap, it is critical for us to determine the effectiveness of optical techniques in finding new defect types associated with high aspect ratio features,” stated Rinn Cleavelin, the chief operating officer of Sematech in Austin, Tex.

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Cleavelin said Applied's most advanced defect detection technology demonstrated the capability to accurately and consistently detect these types of defects in high aspect ratio structures at the 180-nm technology node.”

To evaluate high aspect ratio inspection (HARI), Sematech has developed test wafers and a special manufacturing process that induced anomalies, including defects and residue, at the bottom of vias. These processes also form device structures with missing and partially closed vias.

Applied said its technology successfully used laser scan and multi-perspective light collection to consistently identify via defects as well as critical defects in transistor gate and metal structures. The company also said it has already incorporated much of what it has learned from the tests into its new Compass wafer inspection system, which was introduced three months ago (see June 19 story).

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SAN JOSE — At the Embedded Systems Conference here, Zilog Inc. demonstrated how it hopes to prolong the life of the venerable Z80 8-bit processor architecture. The Campbell, Calif.-based company rolled out a new Internet-enabled version of Z80-based chips, while repositioning the product line for mainstream embedded applications.

Looking for new sockets in the far-flung embedded world, Zilog has launched the eZ80 Webserver–an 8-bit, 50-MHz chip series designed for use in Internet-enabled industrial applications, such as factory automation systems, point-of-sale terminals, servers, storage-area networks, and other products.

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You don't need an x86-based PC to drive your low-cost embedded applications,” said Didier Le Lannic, senior vice president and general manager of communications for Zilog. The eZ80 Webserver is an ideal system solution for low-cost, embedded applications,” he added, during a presentation at the San Jose conference on Tuesday.

For years, Zilog has sold the Z80 chip into various markets. More than 20 years ago it was the Z80 was the leading 8-bit central processor in desktop computers. Later in the late 1980s and 1990s, the Z80 architecture took on applications in the traditional 8-bit microcontroller business.

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It was a nice summer evening on the east coast. I could clearly see the cloudless blue skies through my office window and feel that summer warmth radiating from the glass. I should be outside, I thought.

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