ACL Staticide, Inc.

<p>The multiband OFDM system achieves data rates of 480 and 960 Mbits/s over a line-of-sight range of 2.9 and 1.8 meters, respectively. For nonline of sight, the range drops to 2.6 and 1.6 meters. The range for additive white Gaussian noise at the same data rate is 8.9 and 5.6 meters. This range — called the 90 percent outage range — is the distance where the multiband OFDM system has a less than 8 percent packet error rate for 90 percent of the multipath-channel realizations. The range assumes 0-dBi antennas, free-space propagation, a CMOS implementation with a 6.6-dB noise figure referenced at the antenna and a 2.5-dB implementation loss. </p>

Malcolm Penn, CEO of market analysts Future Horizons (Sevenoaks, England), is one who dares to defy the popular notion that Europe can no longer compete in the world market by manufacturing at home. A complete fallacy,” Penn said.

Today, the electronics industry is much broader and more diversified than it was just a few short years ago. As supply chains have rapidly evolved and electronics manufacturing has spread around the world, the technological background of systems developers has broadened with it.

More than ever before, semiconductor suppliers must support a highly differentiated customer base. Vendors need diversified product and support offerings. For example, developers in the digital consumer space can rarely design a custom chip let alone integrate it into a design with a handful of other devices. They often require not only a silicon solution, but also a wide range of design, test and production skills ranging from supporting EDA libraries and IP to an entire hardware/software reference design to achieve their goals. Other customers working in specific market segments may know more about their applications than anyone else. Frequently, however, they will need the supporting systems' hardware, software and production skills to implement that solution into an end system. Finally, at the more sophisticated end of the customer spectrum, developers of industrial solutions looking for a specific standard or custom IC will often have their own advanced IC and systems design expertise. These customers may need little more than basic product support.

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What's needed to support this broadened customer base is a flexible business and customer support model that enables semiconductor suppliers to package solutions tailored for each customer from a portfolio of customer service components, ranging from device support up through hardware and software solutions, and including complete reference designs.

As a first step, semiconductor vendors need to forge close relationships with their customers to identify their unique needs. Only by completely understanding their businesses and the roles they play in their markets can vendors provide them with the exact solutions they need.

Customers in extremely competitive markets like consumer electronics don't have the time or in-house skills to develop their own highly differentiated solutions. For these customers, vendors like NEC Electronics America can bring together our standard product and ASIC portfolio, our extensive experience with design tools, finely tuned technical support, applications software expertise, complete reference designs and highly evolved relationships with distributors and other partners, including third-party IP vendors, EDA companies and design houses, to help customers quickly develop the right solution to meet their markets' needs.

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The electronics industry has changed in more ways than one over the past few years. A semiconductor supplier cannot expect to win today's new kinds of customers by following the old paradigm of simply providing a broad array of ICs. Instead, it must play a collaborative role with its customers and partners to deliver a wide range of supporting skills and services to turn today's ICs into tomorrow's solutions.

Toshio Nakajima, President and Chief Executive Officer,NEC Electronics America, Santa Clara, Calif.

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Some think that this intermediate bus architecture is inevitable and must even go a step further when considering supplying microvolt components. Even the conversion from 12- to sub-1-V levels is not efficient enough and they see multiple DC/DC voltage conversion occurring within a system to efficiently supply the appropriate power to all of the components.

In this scenario, it can be envisioned that a board might take a 48-V feed and convert some of that current into 12 V for high-voltage components such as fans or hard drives, and step down the rest of that current to a 7- or 8-V level to be distributed to lower voltage ICs. Proponents argue this architecture increases efficiency and could lower costs by leveraging lower cost POL devices.

These dual conversions involved with IBAs exact a price in terms of efficiency, and more power is lost due to the multiple conversions. On average, in a system drawing 100 W, a designer can expect the IBA to consume 2-W power more than the single-conversion architecture due to this efficiency problem.

Powering Next-Gen Networks Dramatic changes are occurring in the deployment scenarios for most network equipment, which impact power architectures and the operating temperatures of this gear.

Perhaps the most dramatic impact is on the push to the remote office. The dramatic popularity of broadband data and wireless telephone services has dominated the network build out for most carriers, but brings with it a need to put more equipment in the remote terminal. Distance limitations on both DSL and wireless technology mean these services can't efficiently reach the bulk of the potential subscriber base from the central office. To support these services, carriers are building new wireless cell sites and upgrading remote equipment locations with DSL and cable modem equipment.

The next technical development will be the release, in mid-2005, of the 802.11n standard. It uses multiple input/multiple output technology, a scalable array of antennas. It will be backwards-compatible with 802.11a and 802.11g, providing both 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands respectively and offering minimum rates of 100 Mbits/second. This will allow it to serve as a replacement for 100BaseT Ethernet networks. Expect 802.11n to also push its way into consumer electronics.

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