by Ransom Stephens @ edn.com:
Moore’s Law, famous for predicting the exponential growth of computing power over 40 years, comes from a simple try-fail/succeed model of incremental improvement. The predictive success of Moore’s Law seems uncanny, so let’s take a closer look to get an idea of where it comes from.
Moore conceived his law for computational power but Moore’s-like growth laws permeate human endeavor—a fact that had never occurred to me until I went to a presentation by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab energy researcher, Robert van Buskirk. He showed several technologies that improve according to Moore’s law, but with different timescales than the original. You can read his paper here, notably co-authored by Nobel Laureate and former Secretary of the Department of Energy, Steven Chu.
Moore’s Law extends to cover human progress - [Link]
Two-dimensional (2D) materials such as molybdenum-disulfide (MoS2) are attracting much attention for future electronic and photonic applications ranging from high-performance computing to flexible and pervasive sensors and optoelectronics. But in order for their promise to be realized, scientists need to understand how the performance of devices made with 2D materials is affected by different kinds of metal electrical contacts.
Researchers in PML’s Semiconductor & Dimensional Metrology Division, in collaboration with researchers from George Mason University, compared silver and titanium contacts on MoS2 transistors to determine the influence of the metal–MoS2 interface.
Scientists discover a better metal contact that improves two-dimensional transistor performance - [Link]
Alex Lidow @ edn.com:
For the first time in 60 years, a new higher-performance semiconductor technology is less expensive to produce than the silicon counterpart. Gallium nitride (GaN), has demonstrated both a dramatic improvement in transistor performance and the ability to be produced at a lower cost than silicon. GaN transistors have unleashed new applications as a result of their ability to switch higher voltages and higher currents faster than any transistor before. These extraordinary characteristics have ushered in new applications capable of transforming the future. But this is just the beginning.
GaN field effect transistors (FETs) are now available as discrete transistors and as monolithic half-bridges, with performance 10 times better than the best commercial silicon MOSFET. But what happens when many devices are integrated to create a system on a single chip? What happens when the performance of that chip is 100 times better than silicon?
GaN technology will transform the future - [Link]
Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) announced the launch of a new transistor output photocoupler in a low-height SO6L 4 pin package – the TLP385. With its low-height of 2.3 mm (max), 45 percent lower than DIP4 packages, the TLP385 can be used in situations with strict height requirements. Applications including motherboards, programmable logic controllers, AC adapters, I/O interface boards, inverter interfaces and general purpose power supplies are suited to the new photocouplers.
Toshiba’s new photocoupler has an isolation specification equivalent to DIP4 F (wide lead) type package products, and provides a creepage and clearance distance of 8 mm (min) and isolation voltage of 5 kVrms (min).
Toshiba Introduces New Low-Height Transistor Output Photocoupler - [Link]
by Jessica MacNeil @ edn.com:
What began as research to improve telephone service became one of the most important inventions in electronics history.
In 1945, AT&T’s research division, Bell Labs, began working on technology to replace vacuum tubes and make long-distance telephone service more reliable. William Shockley organized a solid-state physics group to research semiconductor replacements for vacuum tubes and electromechanical switches.
1st successful test of the transistor, December 16, 1947 - [Link]
by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:
International Rectifier’s IRFH4257D is a 25-V dual N-channel power MOSFET housed in a 4×5-mm PQFN power-block package aimed at 12-V input DC/DC synchronous buck applications, such as telecom equipment, servers, graphic cards, and computers. With this latest power-block addition, designers now have the option of choosing a 4×5-mm or 5×6-mm PQFN to suit their design requirements.
Dual MOSFET squeezes into PQFN package - [Link]
by w2aew @ youtube.com:
This tutorial back-to-basics video discusses the operating point (or quiescent point, Q-point, bias point, etc.) of a bipolar transistor (BJT) circuit, and how the choice of the circuit design can affect how sensitive the bias point will be to the value of Beta (current gain) of the transistor. Ideally, you’d want to use a circuit which is completely independent of beta, so that a wide variety of transistors could potentially be used. Three different transistor bias circuits are demonstrated with three transistors, each with a different value of Beta. The current gain of the three transistors are measured and recorded, and then the resulting voltage ACROSS the collector resistors is measured for each transistor in each configuration. In other words the voltage between VCC and the collector is what is measured and recorded (not the collector voltage with respect to ground).
Bipolar Transistor bias circuits and Beta dependence - [Link]
by Suzanne Deffree @ edn.com:
Texas Instruments announced plans for the Regency TR-1, the first transistor radio to be commercially sold, on October 18, 1954.
The move was a major one in tech history that would help propel transistors into mainstream use and also give new definition to portable electronics.
TI was producing germanium transistors at the time, but the market had been slow to respond, comfortable with vacuum tubes.
However, the use of transistors instead of vacuum tubes as the amplifier elements meant that the device was much smaller, required less power to operate, and was more shock-resistant. Transistor use also allowed “instant-on” operation because there were no filaments to heat up.
TI announces 1st transistor radio, October 18, 1954 - [Link]
Kevin Rye writes:
I’m in the very early stages of prototyping a nixie clock. I picked up some MJE340 power transistors to switch on some IN-3s. I can then use a digital pin on my Arduino to turn on the IN-3s through the transistor. I’ll then have myself a blinking colon for my nixie tube clock.
Flashing a Nixie with an Arduino - [Link]
International Rectifier have announced the introduction of the IR66xx series of high performance 600V ultra-fast Trench-gate Field Stop insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). The new high power family of devices features extremely low conduction and switching losses optimized for welding applications.
Utilizing Trench thin wafer technology to offer lowest conduction and switching losses, the new devices are co-packaged with a soft recovery low Qrr diode and feature ultra-fast switching (8 KHz – 30 KHz) with 5 µs short circuit rating. The 600 V IGBTs also feature low VCE(ON) and positive temperature coefficient for easy paralleling.
IR Launch Welding IGBT - [Link]