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EETE JULAUG 2013

Imagination tips ‘Warrior’ MIPS cores By Peter Clarke imagination technologies Group plc (Kings Langley, England) has announced that is planning to launch a generation of 32/64-bit MIPS processor cores under the codename Warrior. The Series 5 MIPS processors are described as an update to the Aptiv generation but Warrior has equivalents across three performance profiles. The Warrior generation includes 32- and 64-bit variants with a focus on performance efficiency across the high-end, mid-range and entry-level/microcontroller CPUs, Imagination said. Imagination said it will introduce next-generation Warrior cores later this year and has begun to share details with customers. The company also said that Warrior would provide binary compatibility with legacy 32-bit and 64-bit MIPS code. Some of the Warrior CPUs will include the MIPS SIMD Architecture (MSA), which is designed to provide single-instruction multiple data support for handling multimedia codecs from high level programming languages and APIs such as C and OpenCL. Imagination said that other features include: technology for trusted execution environments within mobile and embedded systems and hardware virtualization for both MIPS32 and MIPS64 processor designs. Imagination has also announced it has extended its Aptiv generation of cores, adding a small-footprint single-core version to the interAptiv family and a floating point version to the microAptiv family. “The industry is longing for a choice in the CPU market, and we are making MIPS a clear and superior alternative,” said Hossein Yassaie, CEO of Imagination, in a statement. “We have an outstanding range of cores available today and that will be complemented by our forthcoming Warrior cores, which will provide levels of performance, efficiency and functionality that go beyond other offerings in the market.” Scott Gardner, senior analyst with The Linley Group, said: “If Imagination does as great a job with the new MIPS generation as it has done with PowerVR GPUs, then the industry will have another strong player in the CPU IP space.” Direct semiconductor wafer bonds target next-gen solar cells By Julien Happich the fraunhofer institute for solar Energy Systems ISE today has joined forces with EV Group (EVG) to develop equipment and process technology to enable electrically conductive and optically transparent direct wafer bonds at room temperature. The new solutions, developed in partnership with Fraunhofer ISE based on EVG’s recently announced ComBond technology aim to enable highly mismatched material combinations like gallium arsenide (GaAs) on silicon, GaAs on indium phosphide (InP), InP on germanium (Ge) and GaAs on gallium antimonide (GaSb). Direct wafer bonding provides the ability to combine a variety of materials with optimal properties for integration into multi-junction solar cells, which can lead to new device architectures with unparalleled performance. “Using direct semiconductor bond technology developed in cooperation with EVG, we expect that the best material choices for multi-junction solar cell devices will become available and allow us to increase the conversion efficiency toward 50 percent,” stated III-V multi-junction concentrator solar cells on 4-inch diameter wafer. (c) Fraunhofer ISE. Dr. Frank Dimroth, Head of department II-V – Epitaxy and Solar Cells of Fraunhofer ISE. “We are excited to partner with EVG, a leading supplier of wafer bonding equipment, to develop industrial tools and processes for this application.” Fraunhofer ISE has developed II-V multi-junction solar cells for more than 20 years and has reached record device efficiencies of up to 41 percent with its metamorphic triplejunction solar cell technology on Ge. Higher efficiencies require the development of four- and five-junction solar cells with new material combinations to span the full absorption range of the sun’s spectrum between 300-2000 nm. Integration of III-V solar cells on silicon opens another opportunity to reduce manufacturing cost, especially when combined with modern substrate lift-off technologies. Direct wafer-bonding is expected to play an important role in the development of next-generation II-V solar cell devices with applications in space as well as in terrestrial concentrator photovoltaics (PV). EVG’s ComBond technology has been developed in response to market needs for more sophisticated integration processes for combining materials with different lattice constant and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). The process and equipment technology enables the formation of bond interfaces between heterogeneous materials— such as silicon to compound semiconductors, compound semiconductors to compound semiconductors, Ge to silicon and Ge to compound semiconductors—at room temperature, while achieving excellent bonding strength. The ComBond technology will be commercially available later this year on a new 200-mm modular platform currently in development, called EVG580 ComBond, which will include process modules that are designed to perform surface preparation processes on both semiconductor materials and metals. 14 Electronic Engineering Times Europe July/August 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE JULAUG 2013
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