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Etch system brings 'atomic level precision'

As process nodes shrink, the problem of feature variations is increasing. Looking to address the issue, Applied Materials has unveiled the Centris Sym3 etch system. The tool is said to feature an entirely new chamber and to enable what the company calls atomic level precision manufacturing.

Renesas, Audi announce strategic relationship

Renesas Electronics and Audi have established a strategic relationship which not only addresses the traditional automotive control areas powertrain, chassis, body and safety, but also newer applications, including automated drive, connected car and the electrical vehicle.

GaN-on-Silicon production gets boost from AMSCI grant

Plessey Semiconductors has announced that it will be leading a £1.3million government funded project in conjunction with AIXTRON Ltd and Bruker Nano Surfaces Division. Plessey claims this project will accelerate high volume manufacturing of its LEDs created with GaN-on-Silicon technology.

Faraday medal for physics awarded

Professor Henning Sirringhaus, head of Microelectronics and Optoelectronics Group at the Cavendish Lab, Cambridge University, has been awarded the 2015 Faraday medal. According to the Institute of Physics, the accolade has been granted for 'transforming our knowledge of charge transport phenomena in organic semiconductors as well as our ability to exploit them'.

Bacteria programmed to detect and treat diseases

Researchers at MIT have unveiled a series of sensors, memory switches, and circuits that they hope to encode into common human gut bacterium. It is said these basic computing elements will allow the bacteria to sense, memorise, and respond to signals in the gut, with future applications that might include the early detection and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer.

Black arsenic phosphorus used to build FET

Black phosphorous is emerging as a serious challenger to graphene as researchers look for materials which might replace silicon in future electronic devices. However, chemists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have developed a semiconducting material in which individual phosphorus atoms are replaced by arsenic. And, in a collaborative international effort, American colleagues have built the first FETs from the new material.

IBM led team debuts 7nm test chips

IBM Research, in association with Globalfoundries and Samsung at SUNY Polytechnic Institute's Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE), has produced the first 7nm test chips with functioning transistors. The achievement is a product of IBM's $3billion five-year investment in R&D, announced in 2014.

Motion tracking modules for volume apps

Motion tracking technology specialist Xsens, the Fairchild subsidiary, has released a series of self-contained 3D motion tracking modules for high volume industrial and 'prosumer' applications. The parts are said to be suitable for use in attitude and heading reference systems, vertical reference units and inertial measurement units

Nordic products now distributed by Silica

Silica has signed a distribution agreement with Nordic Semiconductor. The agreement authorises Silica to sell and support the full range of ultra low power wireless solutions available from Nordic across Europe.

Semiconductor IP revenues drive EDA sector forward

Revenues for EDA products and services grew by 7.5% in Q1 2015 to $1.877billion, compared to $1.746bn in Q1 2014. And, according to the EDA Consortium, the moving average – which compares the most recent four quarters to the prior four quarters – increased by 8%.

Omnidirectional wireless charging system works over 50cm

Researchers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) claim to have developed a wireless-power transfer (WPT) system that allows mobile devices to be charged at any location and in any direction, even if the devices are away from the power source, just as Wi-Fi works for Internet connections.

New standard in EMC testing

RN Electronics has become one of the first Test Houses in the UK to be UKAS accredited to EN55032 (CISPR32), the new standard for electronics described as Multimedia Equipment (MME). EMC (electromagnetic) testing is already taking place on a range of professional audio equipments to the new standard.

Terahertz sensor enables detection of hidden objects

Scientists at the University of Warwick have developed the 'Q-Eye', a sensor that is said to be much faster than competing technologies used to detect and identify hidden objects. The invention senses radiation across the terahertz band of the electromagnetic spectrum, just between the infrared and microwave bands.

Toshiba develops process technologies

Toshiba has announced a method of embedding flash memory based on 65nm logic process that uses less power than current mainstream technology, and a single-poly non-volatile memory (NVM) process based on 130nm logic and analogue power. Applying the optimal process to various applications will allow Toshiba to expand its product line-up in such areas as microcontrollers, wireless communication ICs, motor controller drivers and power supply ICs.

Spinning a yarn when it comes to powering wearable electronics

Researchers at MIT and the University of British Columbia claim to have found a promising new approach to delivering the short, but intense, bursts of power needed by wearable electronic devices. The trick, they say, is to use yarns made from niobium nanowires 140nm in diameter as the electrodes in tiny supercapacitors – pairs of nanowires with an insulator between them.

Many-core computing power for automated driving

The AMALTHEA4public project is attempting to develop more powerful computers and complex software for autonomous vehicles to help them become more intelligent. The project, headed up by Bosch, comprises a team of 21 international technology specialists looking to develop embedded systems with central processing units that work in parallel.

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