Power Electronics

Data Points

Internet SPICE Simulation Now Available

AEi Systems, Los Angeles, has introduced webSPICE, a software product that enables interactive analog and mixed-signal circuit simulation over the Internet. Semiconductor vendors can use webSPICE to assist design engineers worldwide with product selection and the viewing of customized applications circuits over the Web. webSPICE enhances the communication of product performance, allowing engineers to customize and simulate circuits for products they are interested in buying. It also allows engineers to obtain information without resorting to prototyping or technical support from the vendor's application engineering group.

The software resides and runs on the host company's server with minimal schematic and post-processing functions running client-side. webSPICE supports Cadence's PSpice, Intusoft's IsSpice, and SPICE 3 as the back-end simulator. It can use models and circuit syntax supported by these simulators. A custom file architecture using XML and XSL technology allows new webSPICE circuit designs to be added to the vendor's Web site in just a few hours.

webSPICE can be used to simulate any circuit that can normally be simulated by a SPICE simulator. Analyses such as ac, dc, transient, noise, distortion, and sensitivity are available. Simulations run using the industry-standard SPICE program are typically completed in less than 30 sec.

For more information on AEi Systems, call (310) 216-1144 or visit www.AENG.com.

July Component Order Index Remains Flat

Electronic component orders remained flat in July, according to the latest report from the Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA). While some companies report growth, others see little or no improvement entering the second half of the year. Bob Willis, ECA president, characterizes the trend as “positive stability.”

Some manufacturers reported growth in the second quarter, but a sustained recovery might be delayed until the fourth quarter of 2002.

“Inventories remain lean in many market areas, which could trigger improved growth if demand picks up in the latter half of 2002,” said Willis. “Electronic component manufacturers still see increasing unit sales this year. Whether this will result in increased dollars is dependent on new demand and a lessening of price pressures on suppliers.”

For more information, visit the Web at www.ec-central.org.

Chip Sales Grow 5.8% in June Quarter

Quarterly sales increased 5.8% to $11.35 billion in the June quarter from $10.73 billion in the March quarter, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) recently reported.

“The semiconductor industry is continuing the recovery that started late last year, and we are encouraged by the progress we have made pulling out of the 2001 downturn,” said SIA president George Scalise. “While computer and computer-related sector demand is lagging, wireless and consumer sectors continue to strengthen. These two leading sectors are stimulating strong sales in Flash, digital signal processors, application specific products, discretes, and analog — all of which increased by double digits rates in the June quarter.”

In August, strong growth in the digital consumer sector led the sales increase in Japan, while the Asia/Pacific markets continue to benefit from outsourcing for board level and box manufacturing. Sales in the Americas were impacted by the slowness of the recovery in the PC markets, while the shake out and restructuring of the telecom markets — in addition to a slow PC market — has had a short-term effect on revenues in Europe.

In June, the SIA released its midyear market forecast, providing an overview of an industrywide recovery that is under way. Sales in 2002 are expected to result in approximately 3% growth from 2001.

ECA, IWCS/Focus Sign Cooperative Agreement

The Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Wire & Cable Symposium (IWCS/Focus) under which the two organizations will share technical and marketing resources.

The organizations have begun cooperative work on marketing activities, information exchange, conference presentations, and cross-promotion of industry exhibitions. The first major activity is the ECA acting as a supporting associate for the IWCS/Focus Symposium, Nov. 18-22, 2002, in Orlando, Fla.

“It is critical to the future of IWCS/Focus that we provide information and educational value from the major end-use market segments for cablemakers,” said Dieter Nordmann, chair of IWCS/Focus. “ECA is the industry leader for the electronic cable assembly and component segment, which will help us enhance our programs and increase key industry participation.”

ECA Forms Council for Integrated Electronic Components

The Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA) has formed a council to collect information, promote discussion of issues, and provide accurate reporting on the integrated electronic components market. The council extends ECA's work beyond integrated passive devices (IPDs) to include modules, networks, and arrays that integrate electronic components into discrete packages.

Integrated elements are increasingly being used with thin- and thick-film, low-temperature co-fired ceramic, and other technologies in modular components. Industry leaders expect that use of these integrated products will continue to grow, fueled by the need to miniaturize component modules and create greater manufacturing efficiency in markets such as wireless and automotive electronics.

Randy Pinkelman, Vishay Intertechnology's product manager, chairs ECA's new Integrated Electronic Component Market Council. The group plans to meet in October in Charlotte, N.C., in conjunction with ECA's IPD Engineering Committee. ECA's first market report is expected at the end of 2002. Interested organizations and individuals can contact ECA's Sheron Miles at (703) 907-7542 or [email protected].

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