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<p>An accounting adjustment also decreased operating expenses by $4.6 million in the third quarter, with similar savings expected in the first half of 2000.</p>

The battery maker's customer base is expanding, with recent additions that include Germany, Hungary, and the United Kingdom. Sanyo has also gotten a foot into the booming wireless market in South America, producing cellular battery packs in Manaus, Brazil.

Meanwhile, flash shortfalls have forced Sachan and Samsung to delay the introduction of a second MP3 player model developed earlier this year. Baromtech, which had negotiated a supply contract with Seoul Mobile Telecom, was also forced to delay plans for a July launch here of a supermini MP3 player. The company will instead focus on the export market.

Technology startups developing MP3 players and products are also being forced to delay production plans as a result of the flash memory and memory card shortage, industry sources said.

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— Exclusive to EE Times by Chom Dan Inc. (Seoul, South Korea).

AUSTIN, Texas — Motorola Inc.'s Microcontroller Division here today rolled out a second-generation flash technology for its 8-bit 68HC08 microcontroller family, speeding the time it takes to program devices and reducing the die area for embedded non-volatile memory on MCUs.

A new flash memory design and process shrink have made the in-system programmable feature so cost efficient that Motorola has decided to no longer introduced new EPROM-based, one-time programmable (OTP) parts in the 68HC08 family. All of our new designs will be flash-based instead of OTP because we can offer this memory storage at about the same price as the one-time programmable solutions,” said Kevin Kilbane, corporate distribution manager for Motorola's Microcontroller Division.

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The new 68HC908JL and JK devices offer 1.5-kilobytes and 4-kbytes of reprogrammable flash respectively. The enhanced memory design enables 64 bytes of flash to be programmed in 2 milliseconds. The flash offers up to 10,000 write/erase cycles over a part's operating temperature range and is suitable for data storage. It's inclusion on-chip eliminates the cost of separate electrically erasable PROM, said Motorola, which is fabricating the new microcontrollers in a 0.5-micron process.

Typically customers use flash for their program storage to allow them to update or fix code, but now with the higher write/erase cycles across operating temperatures, they also can use flash for data storage as well,” Kilbane said. Common applications for that are programmable user interface settings or allow some sort of adjustment of sensors in a system.”

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The series includes MCUs integrating a 12-channel analog-to-digital converter and a multi-trip point low-voltage inhibit feature widely used in analog applications. We believe this series is the first 8-bit flash MCU with an integrated A/D, priced under $1 in large quantities of 500,000 or above,” Kilbane said.

The 24-pin MCU with 4-kbytes of flash has a suggested resell price of $2.10 each in 50,000-piece quantities. The 20-pin 4-kbyte flash MCU is $1.65 each and the 1.5-kbyte flash microcontroller has a suggested resell price of $1.25 each in quantities of 50,000 through distributors. Samples and volume production of the first parts in the series are scheduled to become available in November.

The company–which carries 40,000 cable, semiconductor, passive, and other components, and serves customers ranging from hobbyists to cell-phone giant Ericsson–also had to position itself for the cultural adoption of the Internet in the European marketplace, he said.

While the Internet in many ways is becoming a cornerstone for driving greater efficiencies throughout the supply chain, many companies must tear down cultural barriers before winning acceptance of online purchasing transactions.

However, as the European Union develops policies to facilitate e-commerce, business-to-business communication becomes more vital to success, and cable modems and digital TV provide faster access to the Net, many of those obstacles are expected to be surmounted, according to Craig Powell, a United Kingdom-based global SAP portfolio manager at HP Consulting. HP Consulting was hired to help ELFA link its SAP system and roll out its e-commerce blueprint.

The pace in Europe has picked up steadily over the last 12 months. I think e-commerce in Europe is still someways behind the U.S., and has slowed in the last three months due to Y2K restrictions,” Powell said. [But] the area where we see the most growth is in business-to-business. Many of our European customers are moving their intercompany communication to the Internet. We're now seeing a ramp-up in interest for e-procurement.”

Looking to ride the growth wave, privately held ELFA, which had the U.S. equivalent of $69.1 million in sales last year, has taken several steps to move in that direction, Wejnarth noted.


Bob Rango, general manager of new business initiatives at Lucent in Murray Hill. N.J., said DataPath had a codec that appeared to be the best fit to the 16370/270 class of multichannel DSPs and hence would be a good partner in tuning algorithms to the codec's linear performance.

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