Flow battery technology breakthroughs: store solar energy will become reality

Jena University (FSU Jena) chemist redox flow battery technology research group has taken a decisive step in the oxidation, the new battery is easy to handle both safety and economy: the new battery using an organic polymer and a harmless salt solution. “This battery innovation lies in its significantly lower price,” said Dr. Martin Hager representation.

Compared with the conventional battery, the redox flow battery electrode is not formed from a solid material (e.g., metal or metal salt), but in the form of a solution exists: the electrolytic solution stored in two tanks, respectively, to form a battery of positive and negative. By means of a pump, the polymer solution was transferred to an electrochemical cell, the polymer is reduced or oxidized electrochemically, thereby charging or discharging the battery. In order to prevent the electrolyte solution mixed with each other, the battery electrolyte solution through a membrane isolation. Martin Hager explained:. “Energy storage capacity of a new battery, and the rated power can be adjusted individually.” In addition, hardly any self-discharge occurs.

Most conventional redox flow system using dissolved heavy metals vanadium sulfate as an electrolyte solution. Not only extremely expensive, but also highly corrosive, so need to use a particular film. In addition, the battery using the new synthetic materials, no longer need to use a strong acid; polymers can be in an aqueous solution, “swim” was. “The new battery using a simple, low-cost cellulose membrane, to avoid the use of toxic and expensive materials.” The study’s first author Tobias Janoschka said, “This oxidation of the polymer-based redox flow battery is very suitable for large-scale wind power energy storage system field and photovoltaic power plants. “Dr. organic and polymer chemistry Chairman Ulrich S. Schubert and Professor of the University of Jena in Germany represented.

In this test the first University of Jena, the redox flow battery can withstand up to 10,000 times the charge cycle, and not lose key stocks. Studies show the energy density of the system is ten watt-hours per liter. However, scientists have begun to larger and more efficient system.


More graphics power for the embedded market

AMD has introduced “Merlin Falcon”, the first SoC Processors its Embedded R-Series. The based on the 64bit-x86 core “Excavator” components promise in combination with the 3rd generation of the Graphics Core Next GPU a high-end single-chip solution for particularly heavy applications graphic.

System-on-chip architectures (SoC) permit by their small form factor and simple space-saving board and system designs. With the R-Series AMD announces its next generation of single chip solutions for high-end applications, place high value on the high-resolution graphics and multimedia performance, such as the ability to hardware-accelerated decoding of 4K video. Together with a wide range of peripherals and interface support, the proven Radeon graphics architecture and support of DDR4 memories be based SoCs the R Series to a wide range of embedded applications. Moreover, the components meet first the HSA 1.0 certification (Heterogeneous Systems Architecture) for a more energy-efficient computing.

“In an increasing number of embedded applications a claim to immersive graphics, visualization in high quality and parallel computing is,” said Jim McGregor, an analyst of the high-tech consultancy TIRIAS Research. “In this regard, the Embedded R-Series represents AMD an extremely attractive solution.”

The embedded SoCs R Series, codenamed “Merlin Falcon” are equipped with the third generation of AMD Radeon GPU architecture and integrated multimedia technolgy. In addition to a significant increase in graphics performance, the components thus provide a support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) in full 4K resolution and DirectX 12. Compared to the previous generation of Embedded R-Series APU, also called “Bald Eagle”, can the SoCs with better by up to 22% GPU performance Attending. The graphics performance compared to Intel-powered with Broadwell Core i7 series is loud 3DMark11 benchmark tests even up to 58% faster if the CPUs operate at 15W.

The integrated graphics systems include among others up to 8 processing units, two blocks and a rendering clocked at 800MHz GPU up to (819 GFLOPS). The operating temperature of the CPU and APU of the components is from 0 to 90 ° C.

With the embedded market in focus, AMD has the Embdedded-R-Series equipped with additional, industry-relevant features. These include temperature control, support for DDR3 or DDR4 memory in dual-channel mode with ECC (Error Correction Code), Secure Boot and a larger L1 data cache. Designers are adapting from 12W to 35W as required able to configure the TDPzu and in 1 W steps. Also, the form factor was compared to the previous series “Bald Eagle” improved, “Merlin Falcon” comes with a 35% smaller footprint from.

The AMD Embedded R-Series SoCs support, inter alia, the operating systems Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Embedded 7 and 8 Standard, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and AMD’s open Linux drivers, including Mentor Embedded Linux Mentor Graphics and Sourcery CodeBench IDE development tools from Mentor Graphics.

To strengthen Sony CMOS image sensor business does not rule out possible acquisitions

In August after Sony launched the world’s first 4K video recording functions built digital camera α7R II, we will continue to push high-end α7R series. The products do not use chemical low-pass filter (bandpass filter), so the image sharper. Pixels increase from 36.4 million to 42.4 million and at the same time strengthening the autofocus (AF) and the anti-shake function.

Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) reported that the camera and a 399 phase focus, 5-axis image stabilization system and other characteristics of 4K video, photographic value (ISO) up to ISO 102,400, combined with high-resolution, high sensitivity and High-speed Focus models, the actual price of about 451,000 yen (about $ 3,800).

According to the medium-term business plan at the beginning of Sony Kazuo Hirai, president and recently published an interview with Japanese media interview, once again stressed that the main cause of technical standards Sony CMOS image sensor is higher than the other 2 to 3 years in the industry, especially the mobile phone camera aspect of the stream of orders It does not, but also because thanks to the CMOS image sensor, Sony continued to dominate the digital camera industry.

Sony’s sensors except for their own cameras, among other manufacturers, but also for the driver, robot, unmanned aerial vehicles to detect and around the object distance between. However, a non-Sony exclusive image sensor technology, along with TSMC, OmniVision (OmniVision) joined the ranks of the image sensor, Sony’s technology actually can lead long, it remains to be seen. And with the memory and LCD prices are no longer expensive, or will become money-losing business.

However, the introduction of ultra-high-pixel camera of the industry not only α7R II, often used as a control group, Canon (Canon) EOS series 5DsR, up to 50.6 million pixels, is the world’s first 50 million pixel than pixel camera, not only with high-speed continuous shooting function, and because the camera makes a seamless micro-lens technology, and remove the optical low-pass filter to improve clarity, can achieve low noise and wide dynamic range (Wide dynamic range) image quality.

In order to establish a leading position in Sony image sensors, today announced the spin-off will enhance the growth of the business. Hirai expressed willingness to cooperate with the plant developed CMOS sensor, and does not rule out acquisitions manner, the CMOS sensor business covering R & D, manufacturing, application and other fields. That is on the 8th as Sony announced the acquisition of the image sensor startups Belgium R & D enterprise SoftKinetic Systems, or help enhance virtual and augmented reality (AR) technology development strength.

In addition, before the Canon (Canon) has introduced up to 250 million pixels, mining 29.2mm x 20.2mm, APS-H size CMOS image sensor, will be used in digital surveillance, industrial image recognition, Sony digital image career Senior Managing Makihara Kimio said that if customers more than 100 million pixel camera there is a demand, of course, mass production, but did not see the relevant requirements. The implication that is, Sony has research and development capabilities of the product, but that the current market demand is not high. Should know something: Sony Sony M Softkinetic as to why the merger of Belgium’s high dynamic range image sensor innovation company Softkinetic Systems SA, in order to promote the development of the company towards the next generation of high dynamic range image sensors and solutions ahead?.

Sony recently in and Softkinetic Systems after its shareholders agreed to announce the completion of acquisition of the company. After the acquisition of the company, with ToF (time-of-flight) high dynamic range image sensor technology Softkinetic, and related systems and software, have switched to become fully held subsidiary Sony.

ToF is a method to distinguish between something and distance. Two size sensors placed above the distance measurement pixel ToF measurement light from the light source, the reflecting object, and return to the time of flight required impact sensor (deferred).

Sony will focus on the expertise of Softkinetic ToF high dynamic range image sensor technology combined with the company’s own, aiming high dynamic range image sensor development and the next generation of solutions, not only for the development of image field, but also related to and induction The wider range of applications.

The results of this merger, is not expected to have a material impact on Sony ended March 31 integrated fiscal year earnings.

Chinese enterprises to quickly acquire 85% stake in two subsidiaries of AMD

Not long ago, AMD announced that it will spin-off the graphics chip department and set up a new department –Radeon Technologies Group, the reorganization caused the industry in an uproar. After the news, due to funding constraints, AMD is considering the sale of a 20% stake at a low price to the private equity firm Silver Lake Capital (Silver Lake Management), which Microsoft is likely to become buyers.

It now appears that domestic enterprises action faster. October 17 at noon, the domestic IC packaging giant one through rich micro-power announcement, the company intends to implement a major reorganization of assets, has acquired 85% stake in the famous microprocessor and graphics processor vendors AMD designed its two subsidiaries, Enhanced package main industry.

Announcements, the company has set up the first layer Runda acquisition platform Nantong Investment Limited (hereinafter referred to as “pass Runda”) on the transaction, the strategic investor country IC Industry Investment Fund Ltd. and other equity and intends to (or) debt investment and other ways to pass as a co-investor Runda capital increase, through cash purchase will Runda located AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) 85% stake in China. At the same time, through Runda will establish a wholly owned subsidiary in Hong Kong (hereinafter referred to as “SPV (HK)”), SPV (HK) will cash purchase Advanced Micro Devices Export Sdn. Bhd. (Hereinafter referred to as “AMD Penang”) 85% stake.

AMD is designed for the computer, communications and consumer electronics industry designs and produces innovative microprocessors, Flash memory and low-power processor solutions for the computer program areas of the company. The Penang-based AMD AMD AMD Suzhou and affiliated subsidiaries specializing in packaging and testing services, primarily for receiving the AMD chip packaging and testing of internal operations, before the reorganization, the only client-based AMD AMD AMD Suzhou and Penang .

Through rich micro-power, he said after the acquisition is completed, will help the company enhance the international influence and enhance Chinese enterprises in overseas market visibility; the introduction of advanced production equipment, master the advanced packaging and testing technology, the development of high-end products, achieve higher the level of profitability, obtain a dominant position in the market competition.

LED into the cost of CSP hot era so much more difficult problem is not resolved

CSP into LED human vision is not one or two days, from Lumileds introduced to the now almost-chip companies have to participate, and even packaging companies are beginning to relate which, however CSP is applied in the lighting still very rare.

For CSP concept of hot, not only to reduce its costs in terms of cost, but from it into the LED industry on the “to be out of leather packaging business life” and fire. But if you want to compete with the current LED product front, I’m afraid not imagine so fast.

Advantages cost escalation CSP highlights

Full name CSP Chip Scale Package, also called chip level package. Conventional packaging which is defined as the volume of the same LED chip, or a volume of not more than 20% of the LED chip, and full-featured package member.

Which has been around for ages in the traditional semiconductor industry, according to the conventional semiconductor package development process point of view, it has undergone TO → DIP → LCC → QFP → BGA then CSP. This technique appears whose main purpose is to reduce package volume, improve the reliability of the wafer, the wafer to improve heat dissipation.

And since entering this year, LED industry gradually towards a mature, competitive advantages of conventional LED packaging products gradually rose to fight for money. According to TrendForce’s Green Energy Business Unit offers Show LEDinside, Q2 2835 mainland mainstream lighting market, declines of 10 to 17 percent, its main specifications 0.5W price decline is to reach 17%, visible LED has entered the large-scale price war era.

With the cost of large-scale era, whether it is large or listed companies focus on segments of the small and medium enterprises, there is a different competition. And in today’s lighting market, we compete to lower prices, each package promotional banner branded device constantly forced to quickly occupied the LED lighting market Heights. CSP can be described as homeopathy and health, to a large extent solve the customer requirements for the product cost.

Comparison of CSP can be applied directly in the customer’s PCB board ultimate goal of CSP is currently still in the initial stage of development. But once CSP achieve this ultimate goal, it will effectively shorten the heat source to heat the substrate to reduce the source of the thermal resistance path, whether it is from when the product price or stability, are better than the current LED.

From the industry point of view CSP mature period, because with no substrate, wire-free, small size and light density advantages, omitting some of the intermediate links, so that the costs have been dropped, to eliminate some of the uncertainty. In addition, since as existing traditional semiconductor technology has matured, when being re-used in the LED field, nature is able to shorten the maturity period of its technology.

From the technical point of view, because CSP is a very early use of the backlight and flash, its own technical problems do not exist, but because the mass production yield is not high, resulting in a high cost is the current problem. With the optimization and upgrading of process equipment, said CSP completely replace perhaps impossible, but definitely not the market just before those special areas of possession, future applications will be more extensive, especially in the lighting industry.

Restricting process maturity yield is the key

It is well known as a technical high content of CSP, how to cut, or select an entry point and catch up vital points. If too far ahead, one to the technical level of difficulty and the risk is too big, probably without success; followed by demand from the market point of view, is not enough to achieve market-oriented support force, resulting in a relatively small market, there are no technical or market caused blank period. Conversely, if too far behind, not only the gap between the level of the global LED industry is growing, resulting in wasteful of resources, also a departure from the mainstream market demand.

Here, we must mention or reference to the concept of ITRS (International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors) technology node. This concept is defined as “to achieve significant progress in the process.”

The reason for the current CSP market applications in the lighting field little or not cost effective. And that reason is not dependent on high technology. CSP due to the small dimensions, the mechanical strength of the deficiencies, material sorting test process is difficult, SMT mount technology requires higher technical barriers, etc., resulting in finished product yield is not high. Thus, CSP package Free applications for lighting manufacturers belong to a new subject, there are still many issues to be resolved.

In this regard, LatticePower Hanmin Zhao also said that although the CSP technology reduce or even remove the stent, reduces packaging costs, but also have certain characteristics luminous appearance and better heat dissipation, etc., in the very attractive for many applications force, but subject to chip small, high precision placement equipment, unprotected stents, are more vulnerable than traditional SMD package and other limitations, making CSP in some areas will develop more quickly, while in other areas it would be more slow.

Having said that, but before the traditional dress contrast white LED development, CSP technology is mature period should be shorter than the original maturity period of LED being installed.

From the current point of view into the LED business, already mature LED products, technology has reached a pinnacle. Although CSP are still in the development stage, but the current LED LED when companies have not just touched, and now many of them not only have many years of industry experience, but also acquired a number of foreign companies with experience and get some related patents.

Thus, although the CSP is still not mature with the current price of LED products to fight, but the fight will not take much longer than the original LED maturity period.

Apple four days to acquire two companies in the field of artificial intelligence attempt to challenge Google

According to foreign media reports, Apple has acquired artificial intelligence company Perceptio. As a start-up company under, Perceptio developed technology that allows companies without too many users share data, advanced artificial intelligence systems run on a smartphone.

Furthermore Apple is also on Friday also confirmed that the company acquired UK voice technology startups VocalIQ. The latter developed artificial intelligence software that can help computer users a more natural conversation. Acquisition VocalIQ, will help Apple improve virtual voice assistant Siri, and is expected to further promote Apple’s car project. In VocalIQ speech processing and machine learning techniques can be integrated into wearable devices, home networking equipment among the same time, the company special attention to the development of automotive applications. VocalIQ with General Motors had already established a partnership.

Apple’s latest analysis of the industry for job recruitment, Apple is accelerating the recruitment of specialists in artificial intelligence and is a significant expansion of the size of its artificial intelligence team to challenge in the field of long-term occupation of the dominant Google.

The analysis results confirmed multiple sources, as the vanguard in this field, is currently Apple is trying to increase the relevant personnel at least 86 machine learning field. According to Apple, a former employee said the increase in the number of 2-3 times over the past few years, the experts hired by the company in the field of machine learning.

Modules for SuperSpeed ​​USB to FIFO Bridge ICs

In order to promote the use of its USB interface technology of the next generation, provides FTDI Chip on new evaluation and development modules.

The FT600 / 1Q USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ​​ICs from FTDI are already in mass production and now are ready for it the UMFT60XX modules. Four models offer different FIFO bus interfaces and bit widths.

With the modules is full access to the operating parameters of the FT600 / 1Q-blocks in order to make an evaluation and connection to external hardware such as FPGA platforms leading manufacturer can.

With dimensions of 78.7 mm x 60 mm and the UMFT600A UMFT601A offer HSMC interface (High Speed ​​Mezzanine Card) with 16 or 32-bit wide FIFO bus, respectively. The UMFT600X and UMFT601X have the dimensions 70 mm x 60 mm and offer FMC connector (Field-Programmable Mezzanine Card), also with 16- or 32-bit wide FIFO bus.

The HSMC interface is compatible with most FPGA reference design boards from Altera, while the FMC connector provides the same function with respect to Xilinx boards. The UMFT60xx modules are compatible with the data transfer rates of USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ​​(5 Gbit / s), USB 2.0 High Speed ​​(480Mbit / s) and USB 2.0 Full Speed ​​(12 Mbit / s).

They support two parallel slave FIFO bus protocols with a data burst rate of 400 MB / s. The multichannel FIFO mode can handle up to four logical channels. In addition, a 245-synchronous FIFO mode, which allows an optimized operation.

“We recognized early on that USB 3.0 designs to build instead of MCUs on programmable logic, which embedded developers offers numerous advantages,” said Fred Dart, CEO and founder of FTDI Chip. “This allows the unit costs nothing to control and avoid writing / compiling extensive C-code.”

Dart continues: “We are working closely with major companies in the FPGA area to 3.0 drive this technically and financially efficient way to integrate USB. The new modules are compatible with most FPGA development platforms, such as those offered by Xilinx or Altera. “

US ITC: Samsung did not infringe on patents Nvidia

October 10, according to foreign media reports, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) Friday ruled that Samsung Electronics will use unlicensed graphics chip company Nvidia technology approach is not inappropriate.

Nvidia Corp. sued ITC in September 2014, sued Samsung and Qualcomm. Nvidia while still in federal court in Delaware sued the two companies. Nvidia accused South Korea’s Samsung and Qualcomm to use its technology in the field of graphics chips in without permission.

Nvidia said that Qualcomm’s “Snapdragon” processor with Samsung’s “Exynos” processor violated the company’s patents ITC to ban the import requirements include “Galaxy” brand of smart phones and tablet PCs, including several models of Samsung products.

Samsung conducted a counterattack. The company in November last year Nvidia counterclaim in federal court in Virginia, complains of patent infringement. Samsung has also sued a client of Nvidia.

ITC has the power to ban the import of its products that the infringement of US patents. Companies often brought to the ITC proceedings in order to ban the product, for the sake of a claim in the District Court to initiate proceedings.

ITC judge said that Samsung did not infringe on two patents Nvidia’s. In addition, although the Samsung patent infringement for another use, but the judge ruled that the patent is invalid, the reason is that the third patent, compared with the previous known innovation invention patent does not exist.

Nvidia spokesman said, ITC all members will assess the verdict and give final judgment in February next year. “We still have confidence in the case,” he said.

Samsung Apple A9 processor produced 10% less than TSMC

As we all know, Apple for the new iPhone on A9 processor is jointly provided by Samsung and TSMC, but the two are not the same manufacturing process, so A9 actually have two versions are not the same size. Among them, A9 processor, code-named APL0898 of Samsung production, the manufacturing process of 14nm FinFET, total chip area of ​​96 mm2; and a processor, codenamed APL1022 TSMC production technology for the 16nm FinFET, total chip area of ​​104.5 mm2 . Samsung production of processors on TSMC smaller area than 10%, and thus the power consumption may be lower than the latter.

As we all know, Apple for the new iPhone on A9 processor is jointly provided by Samsung and TSMC, but the two are not the same manufacturing process, so A9 actually have two versions are not the same size. Among them, A9 processor, code-named APL0898 of Samsung production, the manufacturing process of 14nm FinFET, total chip area of ​​96 mm2; and a processor, codenamed APL1022 TSMC production technology for the 16nm FinFET, total chip area of ​​104.5 mm2 . Samsung production of processors on TSMC smaller area than 10%, and thus the power consumption may be lower than the latter.

Pacific Design Center established ARM CPU Cortex-M core storm in Taiwan

Internet of Things (IoT) all kinds of applications are booming, covered the wisdom of the medical, industrial 4.0, vehicle networking, robotics, intelligent agriculture, wearable devices market are rapid warming, is expected to drive a huge demand for embedded processors. Optimistic about this opportunity, silicon intellectual property (IP) security manufacturers seeking international (ARM) to establish the Asia-Pacific region’s first central processor in Hsinchu (CPU) design center and focus on developing the next generation of embedded Cortex-M core, in order to meet future matter networking applications.

From left Ministry of Economic Affairs Permanent Secretary 杨伟甫, Allen Wu, executive vice president and president of global Greater ARM, the executive vice president of Chang San-cheng, James McNiven ARM Processor Division general manager

Allen Wu ARM, executive vice president and president of global, Greater China, said Taiwan’s semiconductor industry with a complete chain, coupled with high-quality R & D personnel on the ground, and thus an ideal location for the company’s design center in Asia’s first CPU settled. While deep roots in Taiwan, ARM will work with regional partners to expand more close exchanges, in a unique ARM open innovation, driving the growth of Taiwan’s technology industry.

It is understood, ARM CPU design center will be set up in Taiwan, not China, it is because of the different structure of the two talent base, the company is optimistic about Taiwan’s CPU design talent; with many Taiwanese manufacturers MCU, ARM is both beneficial for the development of condition.

James McNiven, general manager, Processor Division, ARM pointed out alone in 2014 had 12 billion global ARM architecture chip shipments to the market, and the key to success lies in innovation ARM. Asian markets accounted for 50.3% ARM is the world’s total turnover, the world’s largest, and therefore in Taiwan that has a complete semiconductor supply chain set up CPU design center, ARM is the key to future success. This R & D center will focus on research and development of embedded applications, and ARM CPU Hsinchu Design Center will play an important role not only in Asia, but its contribution will drive the global Internet of Things applications.

It is reported that from 2008 to 2014, ARM continued to invest in Taiwan, the number of employees increased by more than sevenfold, and Taiwan, together with partners to build a wafer shipments will grow nine times.