<p>The deal was prompted by the rise of the MiniPCI form factor, said Dirk Gates, chief executive of Xircom. The company began shipping MiniPCI products in 1999 and had been talking with Intel about ways to cement the companies' presence in that market, Gates said on the conference call.</p>

BILLERICA, Mass. — PRI Automation Inc. here announced development of the industry's first unified material handling system for fab-wide delivery of 300-mm wafers directly to each tool inside the factory.

The LAN card makes it possible to hook up a network cable to the projector and access it from a remote location via a Web browser. The projector incorporates Vortex technology, which the company said provides data and graphic displays with superior uniformity, color and contrast, and video displays with greater depth, detail, brighter whites and more realistic colors.

The unit lets users automatically adjust and optimize to incoming computer or video signals and can store up to 100 computer and video signals.


Priced at $14,995 retail without the lens option and $15,995 when shipped with the GT19ZL lens, the MultiSync GT1150 is now available.

Call (877) NEC-EDIThttp://news.nectech.comEETInfo No. 657

Some time ago I wrote a blog From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks about a guy Andreas Olofsson who left his job, formed a company called Adapteva, and – working in his basement and living off his pension fund – single-handedly invented a new computer architecture. Andreas designed his own System-on-Chip (SoC) from the ground up – Including learning how to use all of the EDA tools – then took the device all the way to working silicon and a packaged prototype… and that's when things really started to get interesting!


The chip that Andreas designed is called the Epiphany . This is an array of processor cores, each equipped with its own local memory and a single-precision floating-point engine. Everything is designed so as to offer optimum performance while consuming as little power as possible. Epiphany is extremely scalable – The Epiphany-III (implemented at the 65nm node) boasts an array of 16 processors, while the Epiphany-IV (implemented at the 28nm node) features an array of 64 processors.

The end result is that, when operating at peak performance, running at 800MHz, the Epiphany-IV offers 100 Gflops of raw computing power while consuming only 2W. This means that, at 50Gflops/Watt, the Epiphany-IV is 50 to 100X more efficient than anything else out there.


Well, I just heard from Andreas. His current project is to create an open source personal supercomputer platform that anyone can buy for only $100, and that can be used to implement the most compute-intensive tasks like embedded and robotic vision, software-defined radios, and … well, almost anything really. This supercomputer, which is called the Parallella , is based on a combination of the Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC from Xilinx and the Epiphany from Adapteva as illustrated in the block diagram below.

Initially there will be two versions of this little beauty — the version equipped with an Epiphany E16 (16 cores) will cost only $100, while the version equipped with an Epiphany E64 (64 cores) will cost only $199. I'm told that, even when running flat out, the Parallella equipped with an Epiphany E64 will consume as little as 5W!

Atomic probe manipulation, an approach whereby structures can be built one atom at a time under total control, may represent the ultimate in precision but is also agonizingly slow. Direct-write electron-beam methods have the same drawback.

But an approach to sub-tenth-micron fabrication called nano-imprint lithography promises to blend the precision and control of e-beam methods with the parallel-processing speed of lithography.

The first step in nano-imprinting is building a silicon relief mold using direct-write e-beam equipment. That is a slow process wherein each feature is defined by rastering an electron beam across the wafer. But once the imprint mold has been defined, it can be used to stamp out features with the same parallel speed of the mask-based exposure process.

The nano-imprint process, devised by Princeton's Chou while he was a nanoscale researcher at the University of Minnesota, is evolving into a useful tool for building custom parts at very small scales. Other research groups are taking up the process as a means of defining complex structures without having to invest in state-of-the-art lithography equipment.

One significant effect associated with the nano-imprint technique was discovered by chance. In 1997, when Chou was moving his laboratory from the University of Minnesota to Princeton University's electrical engineering department, he found that one of his molds had become contaminated with dust, which had formed enough of a barrier to prevent the features from being imprinted on the polymer. However, in place of the defined features, an absolutely regular array of pillars appeared. The actual mechanism behind this effect has resisted analysis.

As part of the announcement, Mitel, Optenia, and the National Research Council (NRC) will pool their resources to develop components for use in the dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) market.

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