Alpha Wire

<p style=With all of the news lately about leading-edge multi-gigaHertz-bandwidth oscilloscopes breaking the sound barrier, it's energizing to see that Pico Technology Limited (Cambridge, England) continues to address the lower end of the lab instrumentation spectrum with its range of new PC-hosted oscilloscopes.

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In general, the effectiveness of a test set in detecting bridging defects can be measured by a metric called the bridging-coverage estimate (BCE). Given a test set T and target fault list F, the BCE is calculated as follows (with assumption of signal probability of 50 percent on the circuit nodes): where fi is the number of stuck-at faults detected i times by T, |F| is the total number of stuck-at faults in the target fault list F and n is the maximum number of detections that a fault can be detected by T.

The new XGbt test automation software and text fixtures work with Tektronix DSA/DPO oscilloscopes and AWG7000B waveform generators to provide a true one-button test solution for 10GBASE-T compliance testing.

According to Tektronix, the oscilloscope-based product lowers cost by nearly 50 percent, removes complexity and improves usability compared to competitive 10GBASE-T test solutions that require the use of up to three separate instruments.

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Pricing: A complete solution including DPO7354 oscilloscope, software, and fixtures has a starting list price of $47,200 U.S. MSRP.Availability: August 2009. Datasheet: click here.

Tektronix, www.tektronix.com

PARIS — Total solar panel production in 2009 will grow by 14.3 percent, to 7.5 Gigawatts (GW), up from 6.5GW in 2008, according to a forecast by market research firm iSuppli.

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The only snag is that only 3.9 GW worth of installations will take place this year. In other words, almost one out of every two panels produced in 2009 will not be installed but stored in inventory, iSuppli (El Sequndo, Calif.) notified.

iSuppli predicted that the inventory glut will have a long-term impact on the solar business, with panels set to remain in a state of oversupply until 2012. Then, it is likely that fast-growing demand for solar installations will be able to absorb global panel production and inventory.

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iSuppli said it has updated its solar panel production forecasts, from 20,2GW to 17,2GW in 2012 and predicted that it will amount to 19,7GW in 2013. More generally speaking, supplier production will flatten for the years from 2011 to 2012.

The solar industry in 2009 has been undermined by collapse in demand due to the decision by Spain—which accounted for 50 percent of worldwide installations in 2008—to change its feed-in-tariff policies,” commented Henning Wicht, senior director and principal analyst for photovoltaics at iSuppli.

Ryckaert believes that many parties seek to establish different positions within the consortium agreement, with differences depending on whether partners are large or small companies or universities, and also varying along country lines.

It is Ryckaert's experience that industry tends to prefer broad access rights on everything, along the lines of the old FP5, while universities and R&D institutes seem to prefer no access rights on their results. But Ryckaert suggests this is because the different groups are at different stages in the evolution of their own IP exploitation path when they come together.

Narrower rightsCompanies are conducting joint research that is some distance from products. As they get closer, production companies too prefer narrower and narrower licensing rights. Meanwhile, the commercial basis of R&D institutes and universities is research, so they favor more protection.

The repeated exchange of conflicting models just delays the projects and ends up keeping the lawyers busy,” said Ryckaert. Can we find a compromise on the general principles for FP7?”

However, even if an appropriate compromise could be found, there will still be tensions. One such was thrown up at the ARRM, when a member of the audience asked a panel session what could be done about restrictions on funded research knowledge being sublicensed to non-European companies, or the fact that many European companies are members of global consortia and yet their overseas partners have problems joining European research teams.

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Functionality will be similar to the cable market SoCs. The satellite STB silicon will support the distribution throughout subscribers’ homes of HDTV programs, VOD, multi-room DVR programming, Internet content, user-generated video, music, photos and VoIP.

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