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Call monitoring used to refer to recording calls and playing them back. The latest monitoring systems incorporate customers’ feedback.

Magram combines non-volatility with the speed of random read/write access. Last week, Micromem announced it had made advances in the development of Magram memory that will allow it to produce evaluation units (EVUs) of 1,000 bits or more (see Jan. 27 story ). Micromem also said Honeywell is close to being able to wire bond and encapsulate the Magram chips.

Flat-panel-display maker FED Corp. today changed its name to eMagin Corp.

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Susan Jones, executive vice president of the company, based in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., said the name is pronounced imagine” and is intended to represent a new focus on organic LED (OLED) flat-panel technology.

Under the eMagin name, the company will produce OLED-on-silicon microdisplays for camera viewfinders, cell phones, Internet handset devices, GPS map viewers, and display headsets for electronic games, portable DVD players, and wearable computers. The company licensed the OLED technology from Eastman Kodak Co., and claims to be the first U.S. designer to demonstrate a 300,000-pixel display.

The OLED product line will be shown at this week's DisplayWorks and Dappcon 2000 show in San Jose.

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EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands — Philips Semiconductors here today announced the creation of an Integrated Discretes operation, which will combine integrated passive components with very small-scale integration (VSSI) devices to serve a broad range of system applications.

The distinction between ICs and discretes has begun to blur, so it is logical to bring VSSI discretes and discrete semiconductors and multiple passive devices together into a single product line within the same organization,” said Stephan zur Verth, general manager of the new Integrated Discretes unit. This will speed up time-to-market and improve design-in service for our customers.”

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Dynamic application areas, such as telecommunications, offer great potential for further growth in integrated discretes,” zur Verth said. Our new organizational structure will ensure that Philips Semiconductors is optimally placed to take advantage of a world market that we expect to grow from $80 million in 1999 to more than $450 million within three years.”

The new business unit will focus on integrated discrete solutions for mobile phones, pagers, computers, peripherals, and other applications where board space is limited. The chip arm of Royal Philips Electronics N.V. noted that manufacturing processes for integrated passive components and discrete semiconductors are becoming similar. Thick- and thin-film production techniques have enabled passive component manufacturers to achieve higher levels of integration by combining multiple devices into a single package. Electrostatic discharge protection to complex passive networks have contained semiconductor components, such as silicon diodes, noted Philips.

The second driver is the prevalence of global contract electronics manufacturers (CEMs) and increased pressure on suppliers to pipeline product to wherever the manufacturing is done. AMP has a compelling need to be more global than it already is, analysts said.

The company has already inked a worldwide pact with Avnet Inc., which is AMP's largest distributor. However, Avnet and Arrow, Melville, N.Y., are pretty evenly divided” in servicing the global CEM business, and AMP is missing out on Arrow's portion of that business.

According to connector-market research firm Fleck Research, Santa Ana, Calif., 21% of all connector factory shipments go to CEMs. By 2004, that portion will increase to 41%. At the same time, however, more CEMs are turning to distributors for materials management, so the portion of connectors passing through the distribution channel is also expected to rise.

What happens in the next five years is dramatic change in the connector-distribution channels,” said Ken Fleck, principal at Fleck Research. In the U.S., there will be a decline in shipments directly to OEMs, and an increase in shipments to CEMs and distributors.”

However, AMP faces the possibility of diluting its existing channel efforts, at least in North America. AMP, a subsidiary of Tyco International Ltd., is the largest connector supplier sold through distribution, registering an estimated $592 million in point-of-sales (POS) last year.

WASHINGTON — USA Digital Radio took another step to advance its proposed U.S. standard to the global market this week. The company said it is collaborating with Digital Radio Mondiale, a global broadcasting consortium based in Geneva, to develop a worldwide standard for digital AM broadcasting. The partners said their aim is to ensure that receivers purchased anywhere in the world will work anywhere in the world.

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