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Dürr and Rohde & Schwarz collaborate on ADAS/AD functional testing for EOL and PTI

ELE Times - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 14:22

Automated and autonomous vehicles, which rely on sensors like cameras and radar, either assist or take over decision-making in traffic situations. Sensors’ proper interaction and functionality must be thoroughly tested to ensure road safety. Dürr and Rohde & Schwarz, a global technology group, have developed an innovative, cost-effective solution for over-the-air (OTA) vehicle-in-the-loop (VIL) testing. This solution validates conformity and effectiveness during end-of-line (EOL) testing or periodical technical inspection (PTI).

Road safety is a key challenge for future mobility, especially for automated and autonomous vehicles. Ensuring the continued functionality of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) features is critical for long-term vehicle safety and performance. Therefore, manufacturers of vehicles equipped with these features require certification, either from a third party, authority or by self-certification. A vehicle-in-the-loop (VIL) test can validate the correct operation of all ADAS/AD functions in the end-of-line (EOL) and ensure conformity of production (COP) before a vehicle leaves the factory. In addition, maintaining proper functionality throughout a vehicle’s lifespan requires additional control measures during periodical technical inspection (PTI).

Simulating various driving scenarios

To address these additional requirements in the EOL and PTI process, Dürr and Rohde & Schwarz initiated a joint project incorporating Dürr’s patented x-road curve multi-function roll test stand, Rohde & Schwarz’ new RadEsT radar target simulator and the open-source simulation platform CARLA. The combination creates a virtual environment specifically for the camera and radar sensors installed in the test vehicle, allowing for the OTA simulation of different inspection scenarios without touching the vehicle. These scenarios include critical situations such as unintended lane departures and other vehicles braking suddenly or switching lanes directly in front of the test vehicle. The test vehicle must react promptly to changes in the VIL simulation and, if necessary, trigger the automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS) or advanced emergency braking systems (AEBS), for example, to pass inspection.

Patented technology for ultimate versatility

The 4WD x-road curve allows for unrestricted driving with steering movements, facilitating cornering maneuvers without altering the test vehicle. Laser measurement technology recognizes the front wheels’ position and steering angle while swiveling front double roller units automatically adjust for any angular difference to the driving direction. This ensures the vehicle remains centered on the test stand even at high speeds, regardless of the steering wheel’s position, and without the need for vehicle fixation, thus minimizing cycle times.

Resilient processes and precise results

RadEsT, the radar target simulator developed by Rohde & Schwarz, is exceptionally resilient to external factors, ensuring consistent performance in production and workshop environments. Its ability to provide precise and repeatable measurements makes it an invaluable tool for conducting accurate assessments in real-world conditions. Moreover, its compact and lightweight design enables easy and flexible integration at a cost-effective price point.

Easy to use test scenario generation

The open-source tool CARLA offers vehicle manufacturers or PTI organizations maximum flexibility with additional cost-saving opportunities and great potential for scenario selection. The recently announced upgrade of the CARLA simulator to Unreal Engine 5 is expected to enhance modeling, simulation realism, and performance, particularly for over-the-air camera simulation via monitors.

By combining Dürr’s patented x-road curve multi-function roll test stand, Rohde & Schwarz’ innovative radar target simulator, and the open-source platform CARLA, automated and autonomous vehicles’ full functionality can be cost-effectively evaluated to ensure proper operation in production and throughout the complete vehicle’s lifespan.

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Aixtron grows Q1 revenue and profit significantly year-on-year

Semiconductor today - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 14:14
For first-quarter 2024, deposition equipment maker Aixtron SE of Herzogenrath, near Aachen, Germany has reported revenue of €118.3m (near the top end of the €100–120m guidance range). This was down 45% on last quarter’s record €214.2m but up 53% on €77.2m a year ago (although the latter was reduced by delays in the issue of export licenses, pushing €70m worth of shipments out of the quarter)...

Radiation-Tolerant DC-DC 50-Watt Power Converters Provide High-Reliability Solution for New Space Applications

ELE Times - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 14:10

The LE50-28 power converters are available in nine variants with single- and triple-outputs for optimal design configurability

The Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) market is rapidly growing as private and public entities alike explore the new space region for everything from 5G communication and cube satellites to IoT applications. There is an increased demand for standard space grade solutions that are reliable, cost effective and configurable. To meet this market need, Microchip Technology (Nasdaq: MCHP) today announces a new family of Radiation-Tolerant (RT) LE50-28 isolated DC-DC 50W power converters available in nine variants with single- and triple-outputs ranging from 3.3V to 28V.

The off-the-shelf LE50-28 family of power converters are designed to meet MIL-STD-461. The power converters have a companion EMI filter and offer customers ease of design to scale and customize by choosing one or three outputs based on the voltage range needed for the end application. This series provides flexibility to parallel up to four power converters to reach 200-Watts.

Designed to serve 28V bus systems, the LE50-28 isolated DC-DC power converters can be integrated with Microchip’s PolarFire® FPGAs, microcontrollers and LX7720-RT motor control sensor for a complete electrical system solution. Designers can use these high-reliability radiation-tolerant power solutions to significantly reduce system-level development time.

“The new family of LE50-28 devices enable our customers to succeed in new space and LEO environments where components must withstand harsh conditions,” said Leon Gross, vice president of Microchip’s discrete products group. “Our off-the-shelf products offer a reliable and cost-effective solution designed for the durability our customers have come to expect from Microchip.”

The LE50-28 power converters offer a variety of electrical connection and mounting options. The LE50 series is manufactured with conventional surface mount and thru-hole components on a printed wiring board. This distinction in the manufacturing process can reduce time to market and risks associated with supply chain disruptions.

The LE50-28 family offers space-grade radiation tolerance with 50 Krad Total Ionizing Dose (TID) and Single Event Effects (SEE) latch-up immunity of 37 MeV·cm2/mg linear energy transfer.

Microchip offers a wide range of components to support the new space evolution with sub-QML strategy to bridge the gap between traditional Qualified Manufacturers List (QML) components and Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components. Designed for new space applications, sub-QML components are the optimal solution that combines the radiation tolerance of QML components with our space flight heritage that permits lower screening requirements for lower cost and shorter lead times.

Microchip’s extensive space solutions include FPGAs, power and discrete devices, memory products, communication interfaces, oscillators, microprocessors (MPUs) and MCUs, offering a broad range of options across qualification levels, and the largest qualified plastic portfolio for space applications. For more information, visit our space solutions webpage.

Support and Resources

The new family of LE50-28 devices are supported by comprehensive analysis and test reports including worst case analysis, electrical stress analysis and reliability analysis.

Pricing and Availability

The LE50-28 single-output and LE50-28 triple-output are now available. For additional information and to purchase, contact a Microchip sales representative, authorized worldwide distributor or visit Microchip’s Purchasing and Client Services website, www.microchipdirect.com.

Resources

High-res images available through Flickr or editorial contact (feel free to publish):

  • Application image: flickr.com/photos/microchiptechnology/53332596878/sizes/l
  • Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjXePfpjNa4

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TSMC crunch heralds good days for advanced packaging

EDN Network - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 14:09

TSMC’s advanced packaging capacity is fully booked until 2025 due to hyper demand for large, powerful chips from cloud service giants like Amazon AWS, Microsoft, Google, and Meta. Nvidia and AMD are known to have secured TSMC’s chip-on-wafer-on-substrate (CoWoS) and system-on-integrated-chips (SoIC) capacity for advanced packaging.

Nvidia’s H100 chips—built on TSMC’s 4-nm process—use CoWoS packaging. On the other hand, AMD’s MI300 series accelerators, manufactured on TSMC’s 5-nm and 6-nm nodes, employ SoIC technology for the CPU and GPU combo before using CoWoS for high-bandwidth memory (HBM) integration.

Figure 1 CoWoS is a wafer-level system integration platform that offers a wide range of interposer sizes, HBM cubes, and package sizes. Source: TSMC

CoWoS is an advanced packaging technology that offers the advantage of larger package size and more I/O connections. It stacks chips and packages them onto a substrate to facilitate space, power consumption, and cost benefits.

SoIC, another advanced packaging technology created by TSMC, integrates active and passive chips into a new system-on-chip (SoC) architecture that is electrically identical to native SoC. It’s a 3D heterogeneous integration technology manufactured in front-end of line with known-good-die and offers advantages such as high bandwidth density and power efficiency.

TSMC is ramping up its advanced packaging capacity. It aims to triple the production of CoWoS-based wafers, producing 45,000 to 50,000 CoWoS-based units per month by the end of 2024. Likewise, it plans to double the capacity SoIC-based wafers by the end of this year, manufacturing between 5,000 and 6,000 units a month. By 2025, TSMC wants to hit a monthly capacity of 10,000 SoIC wafers.

Figure 2 SoIC is fully compatible with advanced packaging technologies like CoWoS and InFO. Source: TSMC

Morgan Stanley analyst Charlie Chan has raised an interesting and viable question: How do companies like TSMC judge advanced packaging demand and allocate capacity accordingly. What’s the benchmark that TSMC uses for its advanced packaging customers?

Jeff Su, director of investor relations at TSMC, while answering Chan, acknowledged that the demand for advanced packaging is very strong and the capacity is very tight. He added that TSMC has more than doubled its advanced packaging capacity in 2024. Moreover, the mega-fab has leveraged its special relationships with OSATs to fulfill customer needs.

TSMC works closely with OSATs, including its Taiwan neighbor and the world’s largest IC packaging and testing company, ASE. TSMC chief C. C. Wei also mentioned during an earnings call that Amkor plans to build an advanced packaging and testing plant next to TSMC’s fab in Arizona. Then there is news circulating in trade media about TSMC planning to build an advanced packaging plant in Japan.

Advanced packaging is now an intrinsic part of the AI-driven computing revolution, and the rise of chiplets will only bolster its importance in the semiconductor ecosystem. TSMC’s frantic capacity upgrades and tie-ups with OSATs point to good days for advanced packaging technology.

TSMC’s archrivals Samsung and Intel Foundry will undoubtedly be watching closely this supply-and-demand saga for advanced packaging while recalibrating their respective strategies. We’ll continue covering this exciting aspect of semiconductor makeover in the coming days.

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CNIPA validates EPC’s GaN gate technology patent

Semiconductor today - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 11:58
Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA — which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) and integrated circuits for power management applications — says that the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has validated the claims of EPC’s patent ‘Compensated gate MISFET and method for fabricating the same’ (Chinese Patent No. ZL201080015425.X) for enhancement-mode GaN semiconductor devices...

Waaree Energies Limited and Ecofy Empower Indian Homeowners with Affordable Rooftop Solar Solutions and Hassle-Free Financing

ELE Times - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 11:51

Waaree Energies Limited, India’s largest manufacturer of solar PV modules with the largest aggregate installed capacity of 12 GW, as of June 30, 2023 (Source: CRISIL Report), has established a collaboration with Ecofy, an NBFC backed by Eversource Capital, committed to providing green finance for climate-positive initiatives. Ecofy is committing Rs 100 crores into the partnership, showcasing confidence in Waaree’s capabilities and the renewable energy sector’s growth potential.

Complementing the government’s PM Surya Ghar Yojana 2024 and leveraging favourable market conditions, this partnership is expected to contribute to India’s renewable energy transition. By synergizing Waaree Energies Limited’s solar expertise with Ecofy’s digital financing solutions, through the initiative we aim to accelerate the solarisation of over 10,000 rooftops across households and MSMEs, as envisioned in the PM Surya Ghar Yojana 2024. Through this partnership, we intend to make clean energy more accessible and affordable for homeowners, aiding in achieving the nationwide objective of solarizing households and MSME’s.

Kailash Rathi, Head of Partnerships & Co-Lending at Ecofy, added, “Our collaboration with Waaree signifies a milestone towards solar adoption at a time when the industry is at an inflection point. Over the past 15 months, Ecofy has empowered over 5000 rooftop solar customers. We have invested heavily in this segment enabling penetration through product innovation and instant approvals. As the country prepares for the peak solar season, the collaboration between Ecofy and Waaree is expected to act as a catalyst, and aid in accelerating solar adoption and penetration across diverse segments of society.”

Pankaj Vassal, President of Sales at Waaree Energies Limited, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “Our partnership with Ecofy represents progress towards democratizing solar power accessibility. By integrating our solar solutions with Ecofy’s financing platform, we are working towards removing barriers and aiding in accelerating the adoption of solar power across households and businesses. Ultimately, this is expected to empower more people to embrace the benefits of clean energy while collectively building a greener, more environmentally-conscious India.”

Waaree Energies Limited and Ecofy expect to play a significant role in achieving India’s energy independence goals while assisting households in embracing a greener, more cost-effective way of living.

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Kore.ai’s Research Reveals Historic Shift as Contact Center Agents and Consumers Increasingly Prefer AI-Driven Solutions

ELE Times - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 09:26

Kore.ai, a leader in enterprise conversational and generative AI platform technology, has unveiled its annual 2024 Agent Experience (AX) and Customer Experience (CX) Benchmark Reports, featuring historic findings that indicate the increased global acceptance of automation and self-service solutions.

Kore.ai commissioned the research to shed light on the impact of intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) and contact center AI solutions on customer interactions and agent job satisfaction. The reports show that, for the first time, customer service agents are prioritizing advanced AI technology and automated tools over competitive salaries and a fair work environment. Similarly, consumers are increasingly embracing AI, valuing its precision and reliability. A key factor in this shift is the IVAs’ ability to offer around-the-clock assistance and smoothly transition between tasks without requiring repetitive information, significantly enhancing consumer satisfaction and comfort levels.

Kore.ai and research partner Farrell Insights surveyed 1,200 customers and 600 agents across multiple regions including the Americas, UK, Germany, India, Japan, Philippines, and Australia, and in major industries like banking, retail, healthcare, travel, telecom, and others. The key findings are collated in the Kore.ai Agent Experience (AX) and Customer Experience (CX) Benchmark Reports 2024.

Key AX Findings Include:
  • An Industry First: Tech Trumps Pay- Agents ranked three automated assistant functionalities– tools that help them better understand customer needs, reduce time spent on searches and minimize typing during call wrap-ups– higher than competitive salary and fair working conditions in terms of importance.
  • Contact Centers are Lagging- 72% of agents express a strong desire for IVAs, but contact centers are lagging in implementation, with 62% of agents reporting a lack of AI use cases. Outdated systems also hinder productivity, with 91% of agents reporting technology-related frustrations.
  • AI Education Boosts Satisfaction- Agents trained in AI report 92% job satisfaction and engagement levels compared to their non-trained counterparts (73%).
  • Win-Win with IVAs- 71% of customer service agents view increased automated assistant usage for assessing and routing customer needs as mutually beneficial for both consumers and agents.
Key CX Findings Include:
  • Customers Prioritize Accuracy and Efficiency Over Live Agent Access– For the first time, effectiveness and accuracy ranked more important than the ability to access a live agent. Additionally, 68% of customers believe that AI assistants’ ability to seamlessly carry and continue conversations across channels is important when it comes to great customer service interactions.
  • Closing Gap between Automated and Live Agent Performance- In the US, there is only a 4% gap between the rating of IVA performance vs. expectations for live agents (72% vs 76%, respectively). In the APAC region, there is no difference in performance ratings.
  • The Rise of IVAs Across Industries- Comfort with IVAs is growing across most sectors (travel, banking, retail, cable/telco/ISP) while healthcare sees direct human contact as crucial. Retail emerges as a standout sector with universal approval for AI-assisted customer service, especially in areas like product search (75% respondents reported interest) and purchasing (74%), highlighting broad trust in AI for both advisory and transactional roles.
  • 24/7 Access Appeals to All- The allure of around-the-clock access to customer service is significant among consumers, with 77% noting this is a draw for automation and IVAs. Even Boomers are on board, with 68% recognizing the benefits of self-service’s constant access. Other key elements playing crucial roles in enhancing consumer acceptance include conversational voice and the assurance of secure communication for personal information, which enterprise-grade IVAs provide.

“Having monitored this sector for over a decade, this is the first time I’ve observed such a dramatic shift in agent preferences for automation over compensation,” said Michael Farrell, President and Chief Strategist at Farrell Insight. “As effectiveness, accuracy, security, ease of use, and trust increasingly become the top priorities for both agents and consumers, the method of achieving these results becomes secondary. Our research with Kore.ai indicates a watershed trend: people are leaning towards outcome-focused interactions in customer service, driven by their positive experiences with IVAs and contact center AI solutions.”

To improve customer experience, increase agent satisfaction, and optimize contact center performance, leveraging AI-powered solutions is essential for businesses to stay ahead of the curve.

“Our latest research shows increased engagement and satisfaction with AI solutions among agents and consumers,” said Raj Koneru, CEO of Kore.ai. “Adopting AI technologies in call centers not only enhances service quality for customers but also transforms agent roles by streamlining routine tasks and improving work conditions. We aim for this research to guide organizations looking to elevate their service interactions with AI-powered automation.”

To view the Kore.ai’s full AX and CX reports, please visit::  https://kore.ai/research-analysis/?utm_source=PR

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Building Blocks of the Aviation Industry

ELE Times - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 09:16

The aerospace and aviation industries are experiencing massive growth following the decimation of the pandemic. There is no denying the fact that both sectors stand at the cusp of technological advancements and evolution. The field has enormously stepped up from the early days of aviation to a more sophisticated and technology-laden service industry.

The industry is undergoing a transformative change in its overall lifecycle process- from the design to the final flight and everything in between. Technology breakthroughs are yielding some exceptional results, redefining commercial aviation and space exploration. Taking a closer look into the future, the aerospace and aviation industry is poised to grow manifold in the next decade, with AI/ML and other related technologies at the forefront of innovation. 

While many trends are being worked upon simultaneously, the one that is catching the most eyeballs is the eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off Landing) aircraft that uses electric power to hover, take off, and land vertically. This aircraft is from the not-so-distant future and would cater to point-to-point transportation between urban areas, finding its way as an efficient alternative to ground transport. 

Achieving Sustainability with Each Flight

Sustainability has become a norm that needs to be addressed by every industry. The aviation sector is utilizing forefront technologies and finding the right resources to help reduce its carbon footprint. Airlines are exploring eco-friendly, alternative sustainable aviation fuels like biofuels that would help in reducing carbon emissions or improving aerodynamics to enhance fuel efficiency. Engineers are also developing electric and hybrid aircraft and airports placing energy-efficient practices to reduce the industry’s reliance on fossil fuels. With such initiatives peaking, the aviation sector is moving closer to achieving green goals by formulating sustainable infrastructure and energy management systems.

Technological Impetus on the Rise

Right from operations to safety, efficiency, and customer experience, the aviation industry relies extensively on technology. At the forefront is AI/ML and automation that has the potential to transform the way airlines and airports operate. The development involves streamlining processes like cargo transport, aircraft data examination, integration of HR, maintenance, and flight systems into the apt interface, integration of AI-powered software into standard flight simulation training devices that are capable of analyzing real-time data, provide instant feedback on the pilot’s performance, and provide insights to instructors. Also, the constant evolution of technologies like cloud, robotics, augmented reality, virtual reality, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and AI/ML, is bringing faster and more crisp results in data refining that would help build advanced biometric technology and other sophisticated systems.

Moreover, this is the age of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) i.e. Drones and the aviation sector is benefitting tons from their ability to access difficult-to-reach areas and capture high-quality images. These features have helped the airlines to restructure and revolutionize their maintenance and inspection approach. 

Cyber Threats Creeping into Intricate Digitised Aviation Systems 

Any industry that works on critical digital infrastructure is prone to cyber-attacks. Aviation’s digital landscape is a complex one with multiple stakeholders including airlines, airports, OEMs, and several service providers. With growing complexity, the digital ecosystem built on diverse technologies, new and old, with different levels of cybersecurity measures becomes exceedingly vulnerable and high-value targets to cyber exploitation.

Multiple points in the industry’s vast and interconnected supply chain are usual targets of cybercriminals. The attacks can disrupt operations, steal valuable data (passenger’s personal info, credit card details, flight data, etc.) called phishing, or pose indirect threats (ransomware) on third-party vendors. 

Thus, understanding the cybersecurity space becomes vital in the aviation business to brace against any possible breach.  

Apurva Gopinath, Assistant Vice President, Financial Services and Profession Group, Commercial Risk Solutions, India at Aon India Insurance Brokers Private Limited spoke about the underlying cyber threat in the aviation sector and shared insights on how businesses can adopt better and stricter cybersecurity strategies. 

Aviation Businesses are facing the most challenging cyber threat landscape yet with global ransomware damage costs predicted to reach $20 billion this year, an increase of 57X from 5 years ago. Aon’s global Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) team report that over 50 per cent of those subject to ransomware attacks pay the ransom in some form. To strengthen cyber resilience, aviation companies must adopt a risk-based approach to review the effectiveness of controls, particularly in Access Management, Business Continuity, Third Party Risk and Vulnerability Management. Some of the actions companies can take to reinforce their cybersecurity strategies include conducting vulnerability assessments and breach simulations, proactively utilizing threat intelligence to monitor the techniques and procedures of threat actors, and reviewing governance including Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plans. Aviation businesses should also quantify the financial loss of cyber events listed on their cyber risk register to ensure the appropriate return of security investment (ROSI) and check contractual obligations to ensure insurance policies adequately cover any financial loss arising out of a breach.”

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STM32CubeMonitor 1.8, STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD 1.3, and STM32CubeMonitor-RF 2.12, more powerful data manipulations

ELE Times - Wed, 05/08/2024 - 07:42

Author: STMicroelectronics

STM32CubeMonitor 1.8 is the first version to add support for the SEGGER J-Link hardware probe. As a result, developers who are familiar with the third-party probe will be able to use it while capturing data with the ST software. It will make debugging and monitoring operations a lot simpler. As the J-Link fully supports the JTAG interface and offers download speeds of up to 4 MB/s (J-Link ULTRA+ / PRO), it also opens the door to greater development opportunities and rapid flashing operations. That’s why ST updated STM32CubeMonitor. We wanted to make the tool even more practical and enable developers to enjoy a more flexible and practical STM32 ecosystem.

ST often releases new versions of STM32CubeMonitorSTM32CubeMonitor-RF, and STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD. The tools repeatedly appear on our blog posts because many STM32 developers use them to release their products to market faster. Indeed, the challenge for any embedded system engineer is to find a comprehensive platform for their microcontroller or microprocessor. A device may have many features, but it won’t be useful if designers can’t implement them efficiently. As a result, it is critical to offer a wide range of software tools that facilitate the development of applications on STM32 devices. Let us, therefore, explore some of these tools and their new functionalities.

What’s new in STM32CubeMonitor 1.8?

The big update brought by STM32CubeMonitor 1.8 is the support for SEGGER J-Link probes. Avid readers of the ST Blog already know that SEGGER is an active member of the ST Partner Program. The company ships embOS, a real-time operating system optimized for STM32 devices. In fact, embOS was also one of the first pieces of software to receive the MadeforSTM32 label. More recently, we shared how SEGGER launched their STM32-SFI Flasher Commander to enable entire assembly lines to support software firmware installs (SFI). Hence, the support of their J-Link probes should come as no surprise.

The support of the SEGGER probe within STM32CubeMonitor is relatively straightforward. Instead of using the traditional STLINK in and out nodes acq stlink in and acq stlink out, developers just use ack jlink in and ack jlink out within the Node-RED interface. Hence, instead of having to convert the on-board STLINK into a J-Link, engineers can use the hardware probe to enjoy the SEGGER suite of software and solutions. Finally, STM32CubeMonitor 1.8 adds support for a greater range of acquisition rates when choosing a frequency lower than 1 Hz. The feature will help customize how often the software captures data, thus further optimizing its operations.

What is STM32CubeMonitor? The Netflix of MCUs

STM32CubeMonitor is a runtime variable monitoring and visualization tool with a web interface for remote connections and a graphical interface to create custom dashboards. It ensures developers can efficiently monitor their application through a graphical interface that relies on Node-RED. This flow-based programming tool enables users to create complex data representations with no coding at all. It will allow them to debug their software easily and analyze behaviors without disrupting an existing codebase. Additionally, users can share their dashboards on the Node-RED and ST communities to build on one another.

To make the first experience with STM32CubeMonitor more intuitive, the ST Wiki explains in detail how developers can monitor a variable within an application in just two steps. Users select the start address of the data they track in memory and its type. To assist in this task, we have a guide showing how to get addresses from ELF files. The interface then asks the user to select an STLINK probe.

A runtime monitoring utility based on Node-RED STM32CubeMonitorSTM32CubeMonitor

Keeping track of registers, variables in memory, interrupts, and the myriad of events that occur at any moment is daunting. Hence, manually monitoring them is so demanding that teams often do not have the resources for this endeavor. STM32CubeMonitor solves this problem and relies on Node-RED to keep things as simple as possible. Users drag and drop graphical representations of a program’s element onto a canvas to create a flow, meaning a sequence of events. For instance, conditions can trigger modules that send alerts by email or push data to a cloud platform using MQTT.

Without entering a single line of code, users can create graphs, chart plots, or generate gauges that will help them visualize values in a counter, data from a sensor, and many other aspects of an application. Additionally, the presence of a web server means that it’s possible to use these visualizations on any PC or mobile browser, whether on the local network or remotely. Moreover, thanks to the Node-RED and ST community, users can start by looking at other users’ dashboards and organically learn by studying other people’s examples.

A .CSV generator for power users

The previous version of STM32CubeMonitor (version 1.6) updated the export to CSV feature to generate files that would work better with spreadsheets. For instance, the time column moved before the value column to fit how most people set their tables. Similarly, time began at 0, and long numbers got a separator to be more readable. Finally, version 1.6 also made it easier to identify probe configurations by giving them names.

Version 1.7 of STM32CubeMonitor now builds on the previous release to bring features requested by our users to turn the CSV exporter into a powerhouse. For instance, creating and organizing multiple columns within the export interface is now possible. Previously, users would have had to run a Python script to manipulate data or do everything in their spreadsheet application, which tends to be cumbersome. Similarly, each variable gets its column and a timestamp to better track it. Hence, the new options within STM32CubeMonitor ensure users can structure their data more easily and use their spreadsheet software to view the results instead of applying time-consuming changes.

Node-RED 3.1

Since version 1.5, STM32CubeMonitor supports Node-RED 3. One of the most significant improvements is the addition of a contextual menu available when users right-click. Consequently, they can access a lot more actions and discover features that would previously require digging into menus. The other important functionality available in Node-RED 3 is junctions, a special type of node that makes it easier to route wires. It helps simplify and clarify designs by bringing greater flexibility. Version 3 also introduced debugging capabilities that expose node locations when working with sub-flows, thus helping developers see what node is generating an error message.

And since version 1.7, STM32CubeMonitor uses Node-RED 3.1, which brings notifications management at the tab level, thus offering a lot more granularity to developers tracking multiple aspects of their application. Users also get a bigger workspace (from 5000×5000 to 8000×8000) and lockable flow, which can prevent accidental changes, which is especially important when dealing with mission-critical flows. Version 3.1, released only a few months ago, also updated the context panel to include popular options absent from the previous iteration, forcing users to dig through menus. Finally, among the many other improvements, Node-RED 3.1 optimized the wiring between horizontally aligned nodes to make them significantly more readable.

Eco acquisition mode

STM32CubeMonitor features a low-power acquisition mechanism, named ECO mode, that reduces CPU consumption by lowering the ring sample rate below 10 Hz. There are many instances when developers don’t need fast data acquisition and could benefit from a lower processing load. Traditionally, the utility captures variables every 50 ms or double the low rate frequency. Thanks to the ECO mode, developers get far more granularity and can manage resources better. The feature is also quite accessible since the threshold is simply a value in the settings file. Changing it is thus straightforward.

A support tool throughout the life cycle of a product

During the prototyping phase, engineers will likely use an STLINK probe, such as one of the STLINK-V3 modules currently availableIt connects the MCU board to the PC, which will help set up the STM32CubeMonitor Dashboard and act as a gateway for the web interface. As designers prepare to ship their final product, they can create a software routine that will send data to a USB port using UART. Developers can thus still monitor their application securely by using a computer with STM32CubeMonitor connected to that USB port. As a result, the tool provides a long-term analysis that will help plan upgrades or upcoming features.

New format and symbol change notification

The latest version of STM32CubeMonitor brings the ability to export data in CSV instead of simply using a proprietary format. Users can import the information into Excel, MATLAB, and others, opening the door to more data optimization and manipulation. The new software will also throw a notification if symbols change. Put simply, the utility tracks variables by defining them in a file and associating them with a symbol. However, recompiling the code may render the symbols’ files obsolete, creating discrepancies with the Node-RED dashboard. The new STM32CubeMonitor will alert users if they forget to update the symbols’ file.

What’s new in STM32CubeMonitor-RF 2.12?

To support the latest features present in STM32WB and STM32WBA devices, STM32CubeMonitor-RF must align itself with their Bluetooth Low Energy stacks. Consequently, each new release tracks the changes brought to the microcontrollers’ firmware packages. In this instance, STM32CubeMonitor-RF 2.12 is aligned with version 1.17.0 of the firmware for the STM32WB and version 1.1.0 for the STM32WBA, the 1st wireless Cortex-M33 for more powerful and more secure Bluetooth applications. Additionally, the new utility brings support for over-the-air firmware updates on the STM32WBA and the latest Open Thread stack on the STM32WB.

What are some of the key features of STM32CubeMonitor-RF? Utility to optimize Bluetooth and 802.15.4 applications The OTA Updater and its Optimize MTU Size optionThe OTA Updater and its Optimize MTU Size option

STM32CubeMonitor-RF is a tool that tests the Bluetooth and 802.15.4 radio performance of STM32WB microcontrollers. The graphical user interface helps visualize signal strength and packet errors over time, while a command-line interface opens the door to macros, batch files, and other types of automation. Put simply, it draws from the same philosophy as the traditional STM32CubeMonitor but specializes in radio performance. Hence, developers can rapidly test their design and potentially spot issues. The utility can also sniff 802.15.4 communications between devices. The easiest way to try the utility is to connect an STM32WB development board to a computer and use its USB or UART interface.

Over-the-air performance

Since version 2.8.0, STM32CubeMonitor-RF more than doubled over-the-air performances thanks to larger data packets. When users select the “Optimize MTU size” option in the “OTA Updater”, the software tool increases OTA transfers from 16 kbit/s to 41 kbit/s. It is, therefore, an essential quality of life improvement for developers. Sending files or updating a device’s firmware are everyday operations during development. The faster speeds will ensure developers work faster and more efficiently.

Advanced Features

The software package includes advanced features like an OpenThread 1.3 stack and an 802.15.4 sniffer firmware that works with a USB dongle or a Nucleo board. STM32CubeMonitor-RF also inaugurates a new BLE Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) acquisition scheme, which helps determine the approximate distance between two Bluetooth devices. Faithful readers of the ST Blog will remember that the technology was crucial during the pandemic in assisting companies like Inocess in developing products such as the Nextent Tag to help maintain physical distancing guidelines.

Another milestone is that STM32CubeMonitor-RF 2.10 brought the latest features from the STM32WB BLE 5.3 firmware (stack version 1.15.0). Developers thus get to enjoy BLE extended advertising. Traditionally, Bluetooth 4 and 5 have three advertising channels only, each capable of sending a payload of 255 bytes. Thanks to extended advertisements, sending a much larger payload is possible using one of the 37 data channels. One of the three channels simply sends a header pointing to the extension. Consequently, developers don’t need to send the same data on all three channels to ensure its reception, and they can transmit more data faster.

ACI logs

CubeMonitor-RF 2.11 brought a quality of life improvement in the form of application command interface (ACI) logs in CSV format. Put simply, ACI is the mechanism that sends commands to the Bluetooth stack, and thus, one of the first logs developers look into when debugging or optimizing their software. Previously, ACI logs were only available in a traditional .txt format. The move to CSV opens the door to clearer presentations and easier manipulation. For instance, users can rapidly sort the list of commands by value, type, or number of times they were sent.

New testing capabilities

Version 2.11 of CubeMonitor-RF brought a new method of testing the reliability of 802.15.4 stacks thanks to the support of a continuous wave mode. As the name implies, it just sends an uninterrupted signal without modulation. Developers can thus perform basic but crucial measurements to gauge signal propagation under several conditions. It’s an important first test for engineers looking to understand how their design will perform. Currently, the feature is only available on devices running the STM32CubeWB 1.11.0 firmware or later.

What’s new in STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD 1.3?

STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD 1.3 is now compatible with the USB Extended Power Range (EPR), a new profile delivering 48 V at 5 A for a total of 240 W. At this level, it becomes a lot simpler to fast-charge laptops or power docking stations with multiple fast-charging ports. Moreover, 240 W also brings USB-C to more power tools, further democratizing the connector. As makers look to use one port to save resources, reuse cables, and reduce waste, support for the EPR mode enables teams to adopt the new standard faster. Furthermore, as 240 W compatible cables are now becoming available, it is critical. to adopt the profile as early as possible.

What is STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD?

STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD monitors and helps set up USB-C and Power Delivery systems on STM32 microcontrollers running the ST USB PD stack. Developers can use the tool to monitor interactions on the USB-C interface, use sink or source power profiles, and use vendor-defined messages (VDM). The tool even has predefined settings to facilitate and hasten developments by handling many of the complexities inherent to these new technologies. STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD was integral to the launch of ST’s USB-C Power Delivery ecosystem in 2019. Since then, we’ve continued to improve the software to help developers gauge performance and obtain certifications faster.

Since STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD 1.2.0 houses a Java machine, like the other tools in this blog post, the utility has everything the installer needs. Users no longer need to install Java themselves before running the application. Additionally, users can now display traces for the voltage and current bus, VDM, UCSI, and more. The new STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD also monitors electrical values from the battery. Hence, developers can track more processes and understand what happens when connecting two USB-C devices or using Power Delivery.

The post STM32CubeMonitor 1.8, STM32CubeMonitor-UCPD 1.3, and STM32CubeMonitor-RF 2.12, more powerful data manipulations appeared first on ELE Times.

Infineon supplying silicon carbide power modules to Xiaomi EV for new SU7 smart EVs

Semiconductor today - Tue, 05/07/2024 - 23:04
Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany is to provide HybridPACK Drive G2 CoolSiC silicon carbide (SiC) power modules and bare die products to Xiaomi EV of Shanghai, China for its recently announced SU7 electric vehicle until 2027. ..

Power Integrations to acquire vertical GaN power device firm Odyssey

Semiconductor today - Tue, 05/07/2024 - 17:47
Power Integrations Inc of San Jose, CA, USA (which provides high-voltage integrated circuits for energy-efficient power conversion), has agreed to acquire the assets of Odyssey Semiconductor Technologies Inc of Ithaca, NY, USA, which develops high-voltage vertical power switching components based on proprietary gallium nitride (GaN) processing technology. The transaction is expected to close in July, after which all key Odyssey employees are expected to join Power Integrations’ technology organization...

NUBURU wins second NASA contract for blue laser space technology

Semiconductor today - Tue, 05/07/2024 - 17:20
NUBURU Inc of Centennial, CO, USA — which was founded in 2015 and develops and manufactures high-power industrial blue lasers — has been awarded an $850,000 Phase II contract by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to advance blue laser power transmission technology as a unique solution to dramatically reduce the size and weight of the equipment needed for Lunar and Martian applications. The contract builds on NUBURU’s Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) announced in August 2023...

Double and invert 5 V to generate ±10 V using two generic chips and two bootstraps

EDN Network - Tue, 05/07/2024 - 17:15

Integration of analog circuitry with digital logic often requires the addition of an extra supply rail or two. The excellent PSRR of precision op-amps (typically >>100 dB) makes them unfussy about power rail variations. This simplifies power supply circuitry and eases the task of designing it to be uncomplicated and inexpensive.

Here’s a variation on the popular flying-capacitor charge-pump voltage converter motif that takes advantage of op-amp tolerance for less than perfect supply regulation. It first doubles and then inverts 5 V to generate nominally symmetrical positive and negative 10-volt rails which can each handily supply several milliamps. The complete converter consists of two inexpensive generic 20 volt-capable, metal-gate CMOS triple SPDT CD4053Bs, plus just eight passive components. Figure 1 shows the circuit.

Figure 1 A 25 kHz multivibrator (U2b) clocks flying capacitor switches that first, double 5 V to +10 V (paralleled U1a,c and U2a,c), and then inverts it to -10 V (U1b and U2b).

Wow the engineering world with your unique design: Design Ideas Submission Guide

 Paralleled switches U1c and U2c, running at Fpump = 25 kHz, alternate the top end of “flying” capacitor C2 between ground and +5 V, while U1a and U2a synchronously alternate its bottom end between +5 V and +10 V, creating a voltage-doubling capacitive charge pump. The connection of the resulting 10-V rail on U1,2 pin 13 to U1,2 pin 16 implements the first “bootstrap” mentioned above, whereby the switches supply 10 V to themselves. D1 gets things rolling on power up by initially providing ~+5 V until the charge pump takes over, whereupon D1 is reverse biased and disconnects.

Doubling up on the U1,2a and U1,2c charge pump switches serves to halve the effective impedance of the +10 V output to ~180 Ω. This is important because the +10 V output powers not only the external load, but also the internal U1,2b voltage inverter (more on this later). Plus, these relatively high ON-resistance metal-gate CMOS switches need all the help they can get. The result is a fairly stiff +10 V output that droops with loading current 180 mV/mA according to this expression:

V+ = 10 V – 180(I+ + I-)
Where:
I+ = +10 V output load current
I – = -10 V output load current

The 25 kHz pump clock is provided by a “merged” oscillator consisting of U2b driven by positive feedback. From U2c through C1 and negative feedback through R1, generating:

Fpump = (2 loge(2)R1C1)-1

Pump frequency will vary somewhat with component tolerance and loading of the 10 V outputs, but since the clock frequency isn’t critical, any effect on pump performance will be insignificant.

The resulting oscillator waveforms are sketched in Figure 2

Figure 2 The 25kHz multivibrator 10Vpp waveshapes.

 Inversion of +10 V to produce -10 V is handled by U1,2b switching C4 between +10 V and ground on the left side and ground and -10 V on the right. The connection to pin 7 provides the second “bootstrap”. D2 clamps pin 7 near enough to ground for the switches to begin working at power-up until the charge pump takes over.

The result is a negative rail that reacts to loading according to this expression:

 V- = -10 V + (430*I- + 180*I+)
Where:
I+ = +10 V output load current
I – = -10 V output load current

The dependence of the two output voltages on loading is graphically summarized in Figure 3.

Figure 3 Output voltages under four loading scenarios: (1) +10 V output with +10 V loaded 0 to 10 mA, -10 V unloaded; (2) +10 V output with both +10 V and -10 V loaded 0 to 10 mA equally; (3) -10 V output with -10 V loaded 0 to 10 mA, +10 V unloaded; (4) -10 V output with +10 V and -10 V loaded 0 to 10 mA equally.

Stephen Woodward’s relationship with EDN’s DI column goes back quite a long way. Over 100 submissions have been accepted since his first contribution back in 1974.

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The post Double and invert 5 V to generate ±10 V using two generic chips and two bootstraps appeared first on EDN.

Solid Q2 FY 2024. Prolonged weak demand in major target markets leads to a lowering of the forecast for the fiscal year. Program to strengthen competitiveness starts.

ELE Times - Tue, 05/07/2024 - 13:47

– Q2 FY 2024: Revenue €3.632 billion, Segment Result €707 million, Segment Result Margin 19.5 percent
– Outlook for FY 2024: Based on an assumed exchange rate of US$1.10 to the euro, Infineon now expects to generate revenue of around €15.1 billion plus or minus €400 million (previously €16 billion plus or minus €500 million), with a Segment Result Margin of around 20 percent (previously in the low to mid-twenties percentage range) at the mid-point of the guided revenue range. Adjusted gross margin will be in the low-forties percentage range (previously in the low to mid-forties percentage range). Investments are planned at around €2.8 (previously around 2.9 billion). Adjusted Free Cash Flow of about €1.6 billion (previously €1.8 billion) and reported Free Cash Flow of about €0 million (previously about €200 million) are now expected
– Outlook for Q3 FY 2024: Based on an assumed exchange rate of US$1.10 to the euro, revenue of around €3.8 billion expected. On this basis, the Segment Result Margin is forecast to be in the high-teens percentage range

Infineon Technologies AG is reporting results for the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year (period ended 31 March 2024).

„In the prevailing difficult market environment, Infineon delivered a solid second quarter”, says Jochen Hanebeck, CEO of Infineon. “Many end markets have remained weak due to economic conditions, while customers and distributors have continued to reduce semiconductor inventory levels. Weak demand for consumer applications persists. There has also been a noticeable deceleration in growth in the automotive sector. We are therefore taking a cautious approach to the outlook for the rest of the fiscal year and are lowering our forecast. In the medium to long term, decarbonization and digitalization will continue to be strong structural drivers of our profitable growth. In order to realize the full potential of our Company, we will further strengthen our competitiveness. To this end, we are launching the company-wide “Step Up” program. We are aiming to achieve structural improvements in our Segment Result in the high triple-digit million euro range per year.”

Group performance in the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year

In the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year, Infineon generated Group revenue of €3,632 million. This was 2 percent down on revenue in the prior quarter of €3,702 million. In the Automotive (ATV) segment, revenue remained stable compared with the prior quarter, while in the Green Industrial Power (GIP) and Power & Sensor Systems (PSS) segments revenue was lower. The Connected Secure Systems (CSS) segment saw a slight increase in revenue from the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year.

Image 1.1

The gross margin achieved in the second quarter of the current fiscal year was 38.6 percent, compared with 43.2 percent in the prior quarter. The adjusted gross margin was 41.1 percent, compared with 44.9 percent in the first quarter of the fiscal year.

The Segment Result in the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year was €707 million, compared with €831 million in the prior quarter. The Segment Result Margin achieved was 19.5 percent, compared with 22.4 percent in the first quarter.

The Non-Segment Result for the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year was a net loss of €211 million, compared with a net loss of €129 million in the prior quarter. The second-quarter Non-Segment Result comprised €91 million relating to cost of goods sold, €18 million relating to research and development expenses and €54 million relating to selling, general and administrative expenses. In addition, it included net operating expenses of €48 million. This figure includes impairment losses of €37 million relating to the write-down of assets in connection with the planned sale of two backend manufacturing sites in Cheonan (South Korea) and Cavite (Philippines).

Operating profit for the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year reached €496 million, compared with €702 million in the prior quarter.

The financial result in the second quarter of the current fiscal year was a net loss of €12 million, compared with a net gain of €25 million in the prior quarter. The financial result for the first quarter included interest income of €32 million arising on the release of a tax risk provision in conjunction with the acquisition of Cypress.

The tax expense in the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year amounted to €93 million, compared with €134 million in the prior quarter.

Profit from continuing operations in the second quarter of the current fiscal year was €394 million, compared with €598 million in the first quarter. The result from discontinued operations was €0 million, after a loss of €11 million in the preceding quarter. The profit for the period achieved in the second quarter of the current fiscal year was €394 million. In the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year, the profit for the period was €587 million.

Earnings per share from continuing operations decreased in the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year to €0.30, from €0.45 in the prior quarter (basic and diluted in each case). Adjusted earnings per share1 (diluted) stood at €0.42 at the end of the second quarter of the current fiscal year, compared with €0.53 one quarter earlier.

Investments – which Infineon defines as the sum of investments in property, plant and equipment, investments in other intangible assets and capitalized development costs –totaled €643 million in the second quarter of the current fiscal year, compared with €653 million in the first quarter. Depreciation and amortization in the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year amounted to €467 million, compared with €456 million in the preceding quarter.

Free Cash Flow2 improved in the second quarter of the current fiscal year to €82 million, compared with a negative figure of €1,597 million in the prior quarter. The figure for the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year included purchase price payments of around €800 million relating to the acquisition of companies, mainly the acquisition of GaN Systems Inc. Annual bonus payments were also made in the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year for the record 2023 fiscal year.

The gross cash position decreased from €2,712 million at the end of the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year to €2,583 million at the end of the second quarter. In the course of the second quarter, the dividend of €456 million was paid and €233 million was utilized to buy back own shares related with the employee stock option plan. Set against this was the issue of a €500 million bond. Financial debt at 31 March 2024 stood at €5,941 million, compared with €5,398 million at 31 December 2023. The net cash position was therefore a negative amount of €3,358 million, compared with a negative amount of €2,686 million at the end of the first quarter.

Segment earnings for the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year

ATV segment revenue remained stable in the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year, totaling €2,078 million, compared with €2,085 million in the first quarter. Set against increasing revenues in electromobility was a slightly lower level of revenue from ADAS. Revenue from classical car components was unchanged. The Segment Result in the second quarter of the current fiscal year was €512 million, compared with €564 million in the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year. The Segment Result Margin achieved was 24.6 percent, compared with 27.1 percent in the prior quarter.

In the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year, GIP segment revenue decreased by 4 percent to €469 million, compared with €487 million in the first quarter. As a result of high direct customer and distributor inventory, demand in the areas of renewable energy and energy infrastructure was weaker. The Segment Result in the second quarter of the current fiscal year amounted to €89 million, compared with €130 million in the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year. The Segment Result Margin was 19.0 percent, compared with 26.7 percent in the prior quarter.

PSS segment revenue decreased in the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year by 7 percent to €713 million, compared with €765 million in the prior quarter. The reason for the decline in revenue was ongoing weak demand for components for PCs, notebooks, consumer electronics, battery-powered devices and microinverters for roof-top solar systems. Revenue from silicon microphones and components for smartphones continued to recover. The Segment Result achieved in the second quarter of the current fiscal year was €64 million, compared with €99 million in the first quarter. The Segment Result Margin was 9.0 percent, compared with 12.9 percent in the prior quarter.

CSS segment revenue increased slightly in the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year to €371 million, up from €364 million in the first quarter. The growth in revenue of 2 percent was mainly the result of a higher level of sales relating to Wi-Fi. The Segment Result rose to €42 million, from €37 million in the prior quarter. The Segment Result Margin increased to 11.3 percent, from 10.2 percent in the first quarter.

Outlook for the 2024 fiscal year

Based on an assumed exchange rate of US$1.10 to the euro, revenue in the 2024 fiscal year is now expected to be around €15.1 billion plus or minus €400 million (previously €16 billion plus or minus €500 million). The adjustment of the forecast for the fiscal year is due to prolonged weak demand in major target markets as well as ongoing destocking at direct customers and distributors.

In the Automotive segment, revenue growth in the low to mid-single-digit percentage range is now expected. The decrease in revenue in the Green Industrial Power segment in comparison with the prior fiscal year is expected to be a low-teens percentage figure. The decline in revenue in Power & Sensor Systems is forecast to be in the high-teens and in the Connected Secure Systems segment in the low-twenties percentage range. With expected revenue in the 2024 fiscal year of €15.1 billion, the adjusted gross margin should be in the low-forties percentage range and the Segment Result Margin is expected to be around 20 percent. The Segment Result Margin for the Automotive segment is expected to be at the lower end of the aforementioned range of between 25 and 28 percent.

Investments – which Infineon defines as the sum of investments in property, plant and equipment, investments in other intangible assets and capitalized development costs – are now being slightly adjusted to a figure of about €2.8 billion (previously about 2.9 billion) for the 2024 fiscal year. The focus here will be investments in the manufacturing module at the Kulim site (Malaysia), which is designed to produce compound semiconductors, as well as the manufacturing module in Dresden (Germany), designed to produce analog/mixed-signal components.

Depreciation and amortization are anticipated to be around €1.9 billion in the 2024 fiscal year, of which around €400 million is attributable to amortization of purchase price allocations arising mainly from the acquisition of Cypress. Adjusted Free Cash Flow, which is adjusted for investment in large frontend buildings and the purchase of GaN Systems, is now expected to be about €1.6 billion (previously €1.8 billion), which is about 11 percent of the forecast revenue for the year of €15.1 billion. Reported Free Cash Flow should be around €0 million (previously €200 million). Return on Capital Employed (RoCE) is now forecast to reach around 9 percent. When the figures for Q1 FY 2024 were published, RoCE for the 2024 fiscal year was expected to be around 11 percent.

Outlook for the third quarter of the 2024 fiscal year

Based on an assumed exchange rate of US$1.10 to the euro, Infineon expects to generate revenue of around €3.8 billion in the third quarter of the 2024 fiscal year. Revenue in the ATV and CSS segments should grow in-line with group average quarter-on-quarter. Quarter-on-quarter growth rate for the GIP segment is expected to be belowand for PSS beyond group average. Based on this revenue forecast for the Group, the Segment Result Margin should be in the high-teens percentage range.

Structural improvement program “Step Up” to strengthen competitiveness

The Company wants to further strengthen its competitiveness. To this end, Infineon is starting the “Step Up” program focusing on a targeted, sustainable improvement of its cost structure. The program includes various packages of measures focusing on the areas of manufacturing productivity, portfolio management, pricing quality and operating cost optimization without compromising the Company’s innovative strength.

The program is expected to have a positive effect on the Segment Result in the high triple-digit million euro range per year (based on the 2023 fiscal year). The first financial benefits are expected in the course of the 2025 fiscal year. The full effect is expected to show in the first half of the 2027 fiscal year.

Telephone press conference and analyst telephone conference

The Management Board of Infineon will host a telephone press conference with the media at 8:00 am (CEST), 2:00 am (EDT). It can be followed over the Internet in both English and German. In addition a telephone conference call including a webcast for analysts and investors (in English only) will take place at 9:30 am (CEST), 3:30 am (EDT). During both calls, the Infineon Management Board will present the Company’s results for the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year as well as the outlook for the third quarter and the 2024 fiscal year. The conferences will also be available live and for download on Infineon’s website at www.infineon.com/investor

The Q2 Investor Presentation is available (in English only) at:
https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/about-infineon/investor/reports-and-presentations/

Image 2.1

FINANCIAL INFORMATION According to IFRS – Unaudited

The following financial data relates to the second quarter of the 2024 fiscal year ended 31 March 2024 and the corresponding prior quarter and prior year period.

image 3

Revenues, Results and Margins of the Segments

Segment Result is defined as operating profit excluding certain net impairments and reversal of impairments, the impact on earnings of restructuring and closures, share-based payment, acquisition-related depreciation/amortization and other expense, impact on earnings of sales of businesses or interests in subsidiaries, and other income (expense).

image 4

Reconciliation of Segment Result to operating profit

Reconciliation to adjusted earnings and adjusted earnings per share – diluted

Earnings per share in accordance with IFRS are influenced by amounts relating to purchase price allocations for acquisitions (in particular Cypress), as well as by other exceptional items. To enable better comparability of operating performance over time, Infineon computes adjusted earnings per share (diluted) as follows:

Adjusted profit (loss) for the period and adjusted earnings per share (diluted) should not be seen as a replacement or superior performance indicator, but rather as additional information to the profit (loss) for the period and earnings per share (diluted) determined in accordance with IFRS.

Reconciliation to adjusted cost of goods sold and gross margin

The cost of goods sold and the gross margin in accordance with IFRS are influenced by amounts relating to purchase price allocations for acquisitions (in particular Cypress) as well as by other exceptional items. To enable better comparability of operating performance over time, Infineon computes the adjusted gross margin as follows:

image 7

Adjusted cost of goods sold and the adjusted gross margin should not be seen as a replacement or superior performance indicator, but rather as additional information to cost of goods sold and the gross margin determined in accordance with IFRS.

Number of employees

Consolidated Statement of Financial Position

Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows Gross and Net Cash Position

The following table shows the gross cash position and the net cash position. Since some liquid funds are held in the form of financial investments which for IFRS purposes are not classified as cash and cash equivalents, Infineon reports on its gross and net cash positions in order to provide investors with a better understanding of its overall liquidity situation. The gross and net cash positions are determined as follows from the Consolidated Statement of Financial Position:

Free Cash Flow

Infineon reports the Free Cash Flow figure, defined as cash flows from operating activities and cash flows from investing activities, both from continuing operations, after adjusting for cash flows from the purchase and sale of financial investments. Free Cash Flow serves as an additional performance indicator, since Infineon holds part of its liquidity in the form of financial investments. This does not mean that the Free Cash Flow calculated in this way is available to cover other disbursements, as dividends, debt-servicing obligations and other fixed disbursements have not been deducted. Free Cash Flow should not be seen as a replacement or as a superior performance indicator, but rather as a useful item of information in addition to the disclosure of the cash flow reported in the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows, and as a supplementary disclosure to other liquidity performance indicators and other performance indicators determined in accordance with IFRS. Free Cash Flow is derived as follows from the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows:

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows D I S C L A I M E R

This press release contains forward-looking statements about the business, financial condition and earnings performance of the Infineon Group.

These statements are based on assumptions and projections resting upon currently available information and present estimates. They are subject to a multitude of uncertainties and risks. Actual business development may therefore differ materially from what has been expected. Beyond disclosure requirements stipulated by law, Infineon does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

Due to rounding, numbers presented throughout this press release and other reports may not add up precisely to the totals provided and percentages may not precisely reflect the absolute figures.

All figures mentioned in this press release are unaudited.

The post Solid Q2 FY 2024. Prolonged weak demand in major target markets leads to a lowering of the forecast for the fiscal year. Program to strengthen competitiveness starts. appeared first on ELE Times.

Kubos adds $2m investment to double red micro-LED efficiency for AR/VR displays

Semiconductor today - Tue, 05/07/2024 - 13:36
Micro-LED material technology company Kubos Semiconductors Ltd (which was spun out of the UK’s University of Cambridge in 2017) has raised $2m to accelerate development of its cubic-phase gallium nitride (GaN) technology, which is said to be able to double the efficiency of red micro-LEDs. This brings total funding to $5.5m and will enable Kubos to enter the micro-LED display market within three years through IP licensing...

Not a smartwatch

Reddit:Electronics - Tue, 05/07/2024 - 03:13

Not a smartwatch

Hi there

I am searching for a watch that has some GPS and walkie talkie function – and NO MORE. I don’t want a smartwatch with all bells and whistles. Just GPS tracking and some form of talk function. That’s all. Not even SMS.

Not sure if that exists. But if you can help me find this product that would be awesome!

Thanks

submitted by /u/Medium-Assistance494
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