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Digital TV is Not Immune

Digital TV is Not Immune The number one concern facing all corners of the semiconductor industry in 2009 is declining sales. You might think that makers of chips for digital TVs would be fairly immune. The economic downturn keeps more people at home so they invest in home entertainment, and the imminent (so far) switch to digital broadcasting seems to favor sales in that market as well. However logical that analysis might be, reality has proven somewhat more sobering. According to this article in emsnow, digital TV semiconductor sales actually declined in 2008 (down 1.1% at $7.95 billion), and prospects for this year appear no rosier.

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Heater and Thermal Sensors-heaters with Sensors
Thermal Circuits, Inc.

Heater and Thermal Sensors-heaters with Sensors Optimizing the utility of a thermal sensor is a critical success factor in every heater application. Thermal Circuits' engineers are experienced and trained to integrate state-of-the-art temperature sensing, controlling and limiting componentry to assure accuracy, repeatability, and quality.

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Electronic Components Distribution . . .
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National's Audio Solutions Available from Digi-Key
Digi-Key Corporation

New Pressure Sensor Solution Starting at €97 National's high-performance series brings dramatically improved sound quality to high-fidelity consumer and professional audio equipment. National manufactures Class AB and Class D amplifiers and audio subsystems for speakers, headphones, and ceramic and piezoelectric speakers. National makes it easier to design better, richer-sounding systems with our acclaimed Boomer® and Overture® lines. With the capability to process an order, from order entry to shipping, in as little as 15 mins., Digi-Key processes more than 99% of its orders the same day.

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Semiconductor Materials . . .
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Chemicals Actuate Microgrippers

Chemicals Actuate Microgrippers In a step toward the development of micro-chemo-mechanical systems (MCMS), chemical and biomolecular scientists have developed microgrippers, chemically triggered microscopic devices that can manipulate, pick up, and move small objects with great precision. Unlike MEMS tools, the microgrippers are triggered by chemistry instead of electricity.

MEMS Displays Get Smaller, More Efficient

MEMS Displays Get Smaller, More Efficient MEMS display technology is addressing the need for smaller size and higher efficiency, while liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are targeting larger signage. An article in Electronic Products reviews several new products including the PerfectLight Display, the time-multiplexed optical shutter (TMOS), and the PicoP-based prototype device, called SHOW.

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How Tough is Your Insulator Layer?

How Tough is Your Insulator Layer? The resilience of insulating film between conducting layers indicates how well a high-performance chip will function. But measuring resilience presents something of a challenge. The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) developed a measurement technique, called nanoindentation, that manufacturers can implement without expensive equipment.

3D TSV Shows Promise

3D TSV Shows Promise Discussions from the 3D architectures sessions of the 2008 Semiconductor Integration and Packaging conference reveal that despite its progress and quick adoption, 3D through-silicon-via (TSV) technology still needs standards and thermal solutions in order to tackle real-world, high-end applications. Also discussed are four key drivers important to 3D development and the 3D TSV interconnect technology roadmap.

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Fabrication Services for Magnetic Micro-components
Advanced MicroSensors, Inc.

Fabrication Services for Magnetic Micro-components Advanced Microsensors offers many years of experience with designing, developing, and manufacturing magnetic components (magnetic sensors, inductors, specialty recording heads). AMR and GMR technology is available as well as a variety of process capabilities (sub-micron photolithography, DRIE, plated, and sputtered metals and insulators). We also specialize in MEMS technology.

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Semiconductor Test & Measurement . . .
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Don't Forget the Software

Don't Forget the Software When selecting test equipment, engineers check specifications, examine hardware, and compare capability to their needs. According to this Test & Measurement World column, hardware and specs have become sufficiently similar. Understanding the user interface and the hardware/software relationship can affect your test success.

Leaving No Memory Gaps

Leaving No Memory Gaps Memories have become commodities, with low prices and tight margins exerting pressure to keep manufacturing costs low. That pressure falls on the test process. This Evaluation Engineering article examines ways to reduce test costs, focusing on test-system flexibility and the parallel testing of several devices at once.

Manufacturing Process Equipment . . .
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3D Micromirror Array Doubles Density

3D Micromirror Array Doubles Density Boasting 8 μm x 8 μm mirrors capable of being individually controlled by high-speed integrated CMOS, a newly developed monolithically integrated 3D micromirror array achieves high reliability by today's standards and nearly double the pixel density as compared to the state-of-the-art. The device will find use in high-end industrial applications such as video projection or in lithography mask writers.

Could a Microbot be Your Surgeon?

Could a Microbot be Your Surgeon? Microbots are now one step closer to being ready for surgical use, as university researchers demonstrated how piezoelectricity could be used to produce microbot motors small enough to be injected into the human bloodstream. The micro-motor research will pave the way for opportunities not only in biomedicine, but also in fields as diverse as electronics, aeronautics, and the automotive industry.

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Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online!
Victrex plc

Victrex APTIV PEEK™ Films for RFID Tags Victrex APTIV™ films offer unique combinations of properties and manufacturing flexibility providing an unrivaled material solution for engineers and designers for use in high-performance applications. It's the most versatile and high-performing thermoplastic film available and has a proven track record of success in demanding applications in a broad range of industries and markets.

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Careers & Commentary . . .
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Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online!
Villanova University Online

Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online! Gain the Latest Project Management Credentials Online!

Be among the first to receive PMBOK® Guide — Fourth Edition-based training. Learn 100% online from acclaimed Villanova University. Save up to $1,540 now!

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January 15, 2010 - Volume 3 Issue 1
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