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tomers paying for additional storage probably means nothing, but the question will be, ‘will this affect their majority sales,’” he said. Doherty noted that LG had to “rush out with swappable batteries” in its G3 smartphone when customers were dissatisfied with the G2’s internal battery. The S6 also boasts 3GBytes LPDDR4 RAM, heretofore unseen in smartphones, to achieve an 80% increase in running memory. The company fused SSD and eMMC to create a new flash storage technology similar to that used in smartwatches and Internet of Things devices. “I think the DDR4 push clearly differentiates Samsung from Qualcomm and Intel in trying to secure these advanced phone sets,” Doherty said. Samsung has improved the media experience on the handsets by using 5.1-inch displays with 577 pixels/inch. Its image sensors support optical image stabilization. It has a 5-megapixel front camera capable of real-time HDR and a 16-megapixel rear camera with object tracking autofocus. The S6 and Edge were launched alongside a new edition of its Gear VR ready for the S6 and Samsung Pay, which integrates MST or LoopPay and NFC. As many as 90% of U.S. merchants aren’t equipped for Apple or Google pay systems, Samsung officials said. “We believe that for any payment service to be successful universal acceptance is critical. NFC is not universally accepted,” Justin Denison, vice president of product strategy and marketing, said. “MST allows you to use mobile payments when merchants only use the stripe barcode.” Users will be authenticated by fingerprint and the card will be encrypted; no information will be stored by Samsung or in the device. Doherty called the announcement bold, but added that Apple and Google won’t be threatened until Samsung Pay debuts this summer. Semitrex’ ultimate goal: one size fits all power conversion ABy Julien Happich fter two years in stealth mode and having filed 46 patents around a capacitive voltage reduction technology dubbed muxcapacitor, Californian startup Semitrex Technologies is looking up to address a three billion unit a year power supply and battery charger market with what it claims to be a one-size fits all power supply on a chip, the Tronium. By arranging a network of cascading silicon supercapacitors cleverly controlled through interconnected gates, founder Michael Freeman, CEO and CTO for Semitrex explained EETimes Europe that he had effectively designed a much more energy efficient power conversion device without relying on inherently dissipative inductors. The design gets rid of magnetic and inductive components altogether, finely controlling instant charge transfers through the chip’s built-in networks of multiplexed supercapacitors. Doing so, Freeman was able to design a very compact down converting solution programmable to output voltages from 1.7V to 48V starting from high mains DC levels. In a way, what the Tronium chip does is to control the flow of charges from one voltage level to the next, barely with any dissipation. Built at the 1.8um node, the design’s tunable capacitance across a whole chip can vary from 0.1uF to 7uF. “The real breakthrough was that we were able to figure out custom circuitry and unlock the secret of sharing the gates appropriately to take a main DC voltage all the way down to any voltage”, told us Freeman, not willing to reveal more about the architecture of the chip. Prototyped in a 50x50mm form factor this configurable “dial-a-voltage” solution could eliminate the need for the more than 2,500 existing power supplies currently offered to span the globe’s differing voltage requirements, he claims. According to the company’s datasheets, Tronium ICs boast an efficiency that starts at 92% right from a 50mA current output, going up to 97%. Freeman hopes to improve this efficiency figure to 99% by tweaking the process or using GaNi or other material options. The equity-owned startup (strong of 30 engineers) has already churned out its 3rd round of silicon and is expecting its fourth batch by the end of February. Generations 5 and 6 should be ready by July with first samples going to selected customers by the end of the summer and maybe a first commercial product ready by the end of the year, the Tronium IoT PSSoC. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe March 2015 15


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