Michelle Winny, Editor of Electronics visits Silicon Valley on Global Press Connection’s Euroasia press tour to discover some latest tech innovations

Silicon Valley has long held the international reputation of being the world leading hub for hi-tech innovation and development and is said to account for around one-third of all of venture capital investment in the United States.

It is also home to some of the world leading heavyweight tech industry giants with the likes of Intel, Google and Yahoo having Head Offices based there and is something of a Mecca for all those involved in the electronics and technology sector.

During a Euroasia press tour to the region, organised by Global Press Connection Inc. in an event specifically arranged to bring together US hi-tech companies and international trade and business media from Europe and Asia to be demonstrated some of the latest industry developments; we were given an insight into a future world, hinged by technology currently in the making. Presentations were given by an eclectic cross-section of industries leaders and also some smaller innovators at start-up stage.

Technologies presented covered a diverse range of industry sectors including lighting, with the announcement of a new digital AC/DC SSL (solid state lighting) driver platform from power management IC provider iWatt Inc. This device features the company’s latest ‘Flickerless’ technology with digital dimming control.

The company’s iW3616 and iW3617 devices are said to increase output power in excess of 25W which can be retrofitted to a wide range of existing dimmers, including residential TRIAC dimmers as well as more sophisticated digital dimmers.

Focusing on power efficiency, for the infotainment sector, a 1.5A step down regulator was presented by Exar Corporation that is capable of delivering high frequency in a SOT 23 Package. The company’s XRP7659 ­features a high operating frequency and integrates high side MOSFET switch and control loop compensation.

These devices incorporate a fixed frequency operation of 1.4MHz and are designed to handle a 12V input voltage making them suitable for a variety of consumer oriented applications such as infotainment equipment and set top boxes.

Electric car power battery monitor

Continuing the theme of power but for the automotive sector, a high voltage battery monitor for hybrid electric and electric vehicles was announced by Linear Technology Corporation. The company’s LTC6804 can measure up to 12 series connected battery cells at voltages up to 4.2V with 16-bit resolution and can exceed 0.04 percent accuracy.

Such high precision is maintained over time, temperature and operating conditions by a sub-surface Zener voltage reference, similar to references used in precision instrumentation. When stacked in series, these devices enable measurement of every battery cell voltage in large high voltage systems.

Driving the renewable industry ­forward, Alta Devices presented technology advances in solar power with the aim of making solar a more viable and cost competitive alternative to fossil fuels. The company is working to achieve this using a variety of manufacturing techniques. It claims to have invented the world’s first thinnest, highest efficiency solar cells available.

This advance in solar cells is aimed at consumer devices, for roofing and building materials. They also have the potential to provide power for air and ground transportation, compelling the adoption of solar power forward.

With a further focus of the consumer sector, a new solution for advancing the user experience of mobile technology was unveiled by Analogix Semicon­ductor with its SlimPort device.

This is an entertainment focused solution aimed at enabling content from mobile devices to be played on larger displays, essentially enabling the mobile device to become the hub of all data.

The SlimPort device is available now to OEMs with the first SlimPort phones expected to be available  by the end of the year.

Staying in the field of communications and throwing a spotlight on the telecoms sector, a PCIe Gen3 high ­­port-count 6Gb/s SAS/SATA Raid adapter was presented by PMC, Inc.

The company’s Adaptec Series 7 family are claimed to be the first Raid adapters to fully leverage PCIe Gen3 bandwidth and are ideal for enterprise and cloud computing applications.

Focusing on the broadcast and ­communications sector, transceiver technology from Altera Corporation was presented that has the capability to deliver better core performance of more than two speed grades.

The technology follows in response to the growing demand for more bandwidth in communications and broadcast applications. The company’s Arria V GZ FPGAs feature 36 backplane-capable transceivers, can operate at speeds of up to 12.5Gbps and can enable a variety of protocols.

Maxim Integrated Products unveiled plans to drive growth through analogue integration. This largely involves the company’s plans to drive forward its smart technology offerings for a more energy efficient, power ­conscious future, focusing on the industrial, medical and automotive sectors. The company also announced an update it its corporate logo.

On the medical front, an interesting announcement was made by Owl Biomedical and IMT (Innovative Micro Technology) with the launch of a commercial cell sorting system, integrating IMT’s MEMS cell sorting devices. Owl’s high-speed, disposable systems sort living human cells and are important for the treatment of cancer, development of regenerative medicines and the diagnosis of disease and chemotherapy. A core enabling technology of this system is the MEMS sorting chip technology licensed from IMT.   

This is just a cross section of some of the advances taking place in the Valley and Euroasia press tour is the ideal opportunity to present and be presented with these developments.

In this case the ‘Golden Gate’ is the bridge that crosses the wide ocean of innovation with a fast paced current of evolution leading to an estuary of the future world of tomorrow.

Globalpress Connections Inc.