<p>AMD Chairman W. J. (Jerry) Sanders III last month told a federal court antitrust hearing that Microsoft's lock on the market isn't bad. The software titan actually promotes competition with its open” operating system that a host of PC makers use.</p>

Dan McCranie, Cypress' vice president of sales and marketing, said there is no product overlap with Galvantech, which has attacked a niche in the SRAM market that Cypress has avoided because it needs volume to feed its fabs.

The new Diamond products may use a new Maverick chip Cirrus recently announced which contains secure audio chip based on digital rights technology it had licensed.

The chip will be designed for so-called trusted players”: third-generation Internet audio players that support protected Internet transactions. The on-chip security technology makes it difficult to access certain types of content thrrough illegal Internet distribution (see Nov. 16, 1999, story).

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S3, the PC graphics-chip maker, branched out into the consumer electronics market last June by acquiring Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc. (see June 22, 1999, story). The purchased price ended up being about $165 million.

Working with Diamond Multimedia on the development of future products will enable innovative solutions to emerge from zero to market in Internet time,” said Matthew Perry, vice president and general manager of Cirrus Logic's Embedded Processors Division in Fremont, Calif.

I've had the pleasure of working with various IPC technical committees, both design- and performance-based, for the past two years now. Within that short stretch of time, I've been able to isolate several buzz words that have proven to be such harbingers of heated discussions that one would think they had come with lifetime guarantees attached to them. One set of buzz words that has caught the interest of anyone with an interest in high-speed transmission lines is impedance models.”

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If you've had the opportunity to sit in on an IPC working session for any of the high-speed, high-frequency documents, then you've probably noticed that work being done these days is on impedance modeling for striplines, dual striplines and embedded microstrips. Currently, these formulas are used in four different IPC standards in one fashion or another. A new goal is to find them a single home in the future successor to the IPC-D-317A, Design Guidelines for Electronic Packaging Utilizing High-Speed Techniques. That document will keep the same name, but will have a new number: IPC-2251.

You may recall a previous article concerning the accuracy of these IPC equations in the February 2000 issue of Printed Circuit Design. Doug Brooks, owner of UltraCAD Design, indicated that the IPC equation for embedded microstrip is an approximation at best” and that the results are highly sensitive to the values of the variables.” Doug's article was discussed during the IPC Printed Circuits Expo 2000 meetings last April.

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Instead of forming a rebuttal to Doug's argument, the committee concluded that Doug was absolutely correct. The IPC equation for embedded microstrip, as well as for stripline and dual stripline, is accurate only within a certain range of dielectrics. Users familiar with the equations in the document have been advising others to use them as guidelines and then ask the board fabricator if more accurate results are needed. I was impressed by the level of cooperation among the committee attendees, despite the nature of the discussion, and quickly chided myself for initially thinking of installing metal detectors in the doorway.

So what does IPC intend to do in light of this revelation? First off, we've been able to obtain a new set of equations for the three conductor geometries mentioned above. Rick Hartley of Applied Innovation provided IPC with a set of equations he obtained from a board house. These equations have drawn praise from others within the industry for having improved accuracy over the existing IPC-D-317A equations. Armed with these new equations, the IPC committee members were determined to test both old and new against boards of known impedance. Evaluations were then processed through the early spring.

We are extremely pleased to work together with Texas Instruments to bring high-quality encoding capabilities to the C5000 platform,” said Martin Dietz, head of the audio department at Fraunhofer. This offers exciting new opportunities for future products and will add even more drive to the portable audio business.”

The TI/Fraunhofer solution, scheduled to be available for evaluation in the second quarter of 2000, will adhere to SDMI guidelines, which seek to protect the rights of content owners by building security measures such as watermarking, encryption and decryption into compact discs, electronic music distribution (EMD), personal computer hosts and portable players. TI andFraunhofer are each founding members of SDMI and helped to define inter-industry guidelines for secure download measures.

But since we are in a new millennium, I thought, hey, this year I'll try something new. My new resolution came to me: In the new year, don't worry about money.

This is tougher than you might think. Just try it for a few hours. Scrooge I am not, but it seemed like sometime back in 1999 I decided that frugal was where I wanted to be. With four children, including three teenagers with their escalating needs, I have some legitimate reasons to worry about money, I guess.


A Westerner has divided up his mind into separate areas that only nominally overlap. He has an area for business that is turned on when he is working. He has an area for family at home. He has a different area for friends. He has an area for recreation and hobbies. When the Westerner is involved in any one of these areas, he rarely turns his mind to the others at the same time.”

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