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  6. No.4 (December, 2007) Special Issue: Electronic Devices
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No.4 (December, 2007) Special Issue: Electronic Devices

Special Issue: Electronic Devices

NAKAJIMA Toshio President, NEC Electronics Corporation
NAKATA Takehiko President, NEC TOKIN Corporation



FUKUMA Masao Senior Vice President, NEC Electronics Corporation

In this special issue, we would like to introduce how our company is tackling the key digital consumer and automotive markets - two areas where we have been concentrating our efforts. In our overview of our endeavors in the digital consumer segment, we will provide a look at our image processing/display devices, network connectivity-related devices and microcontrollers that will pave the way for the coming Ubiquitous Information Age. The outline on our efforts in automotive sector will examine how we are meeting the challenge of multi-core processors to respond to the increasing incorporation of electronics and information technologies in automobiles, as well as introduce in-vehicle intelligent power devices that will serve as a bridge for the mechanical elements of the automobile. Finally, the reader will learn about our high-performance, low-power consumption process technologies and products that serve as the technology platform to drive all of our advances, and the low-cost HW/SW verification environment.



KUBO Yoshimi Associate Senior Vice President, NEC TOKIN Corporation

One of the corporate aims of NEC TOKIN is to become a “Device Creation Company Originating from Innovative Materials.” This special issue will introduce the solution strategy and product technology development that are propelling us toward this goal. Among the many cutting-edge products and technologies under development at NEC TOKIN, this feature will familiarize the reader with product R&D, device technologies and material technologies as it relates to our lineup of Proadlizer, next-generation NeoCapacitor, noise suppression sheets, and magnetic material for use in low-loss inductors, as well as RFID and piezoelectric devices. While pursuing device development, NEC TOKIN is also aggressively developing original material technologies that determine device performance, and proposing device solutions that will be ready to satisfy future needs related to the environment, security and the Ubiquitous Age.



Semiconductor Chips for Digital Consumer Field

MATSUNAGA Mitsuhiro, TSUBOI Eiji, SHIMOJIMA Satoru
NAKAMIZO Masaki, GOJIMA Hiroyuki

NEC Electronics released a world first system LSI that is compatible with both HD DVD players and recorders. This LSI processes the digital video, audio and graphics required for the HD DVD player. By the compatibility with the current video and audio compression standards including “MPEG-4 AVC/H.264” and “VC-1” that have been adopted to support the next-generation DVD, it is able to deal with advanced applications. The device is equipped with a stream processing capability and with multi-channel stream input/output for use in the recording of digital broadcasts. Any system that incorporates it may easily be extended in order to function as an HD DVD recorder.



NOSE Takashi, FURIHATA Hirobumi, OKAMOTO Kohei
FUJIMOTO Tetsuro, KUMETA Masayuki, OBA Tomoaki

The cellular phone has become an indispensable tool in daily life and its display is always required to “offer appealing images” and to “consume less power.” NEC Electronics has commercialized an LCD controller/driver IC product that incorporates our original backlight control technologies (Mobile AGCPS). These are technologies that enable a reduction of power consumption while maintaining a high display quality. Our developed driver IC has all needed functions for display driving and for backlight brightness control.
It contributes thus to the implementation of low power consumption for cellular phones without requiring any important modifications to the system design.



TANAKA Hideo, NAKAYAMA Takashi, TOKUE Tatsuya

NEC Electronics has developed a baseband LSI “M2” for use in mobile handsets that consists of a single chip incorporating both a high-performance baseband function that corresponds to HSDPA of W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS, and an application processing function. The M2 is based on the advanced 65nm process technology, and features various technologies designed to reduce power consumption. These technologies are applied in the circuit and layout designs to achieve an increase in speed and a reduction in power consumption at the same time as a reduction in the chip size.



IWATA Naotaka, SUGITA Kotaro

Compact and slim packaged switch ICs are required for use in switching the antennas and signals of wireless broadband applications such as WiMAX, wireless LAN, Bluetooth and cellular phones. This paper is intended to introduce the GaAs switch IC technologies that match these requirements as well as some of the characteristic products based on the technologies.



MIZOGUCHI Makoto, ISHIKAWA Kiyoshi, NAKANO Masataka
KUMAGAI Toshiyuki, ISOGAI Hideo, TAKANA Kentaro

In order to meet the needs of the embedded systems market by such means as performance improvements, power consumption reductions and a shortening of the development period, NEC Electronics has newly developed 16-bit microcomputers of the 78J0R series. The aim has been to “achieve the performance of a 16-bit microcomputer with the power consumption of an 8-bit microcomputer,” “secure upward compatibility with the 8-bit microcomputers (78K0)” and “provide a comfortable development environment.” The measures taken for reducing the power consumption include the adoption of an advanced flash-mixed CMOS process and circuitry and system devices including those for the CPU (Central Processor Unit) core. The 78K0R series will offer the user high performance and low power consumption in a variety of fields.



Semiconductor Chips for Automobile Field

YOSHIDA Masayasu, SUGIHARA Takeshi, TAKAHASHI Toshiaki
KOUMOTO Yasuhiko, ISHIHARA Toshinori

NEC Electronics has succeeded in developing NaviEngine 1, a system LSI for car navigation systems, thus achieving a world first use of the SMP type multicore. This paper is intended to introduce recent trends in the car navigation market. It also discusses the multicore technology used as the basis of development as well as the versatile features of NaviEngine 1 including the graphics and LCD controller functions.
In addition, this paper also discusses details of the development of the NaviEngine 1. These include techniques for achieving the high quality required for devices in car-mount equipment, the pre-evaluation of software to ensure high performance of the multicore LSI and the procedures adopted for creating an optimum development environment.



HOSOYA Futoshi, SOMA Osamu, AMADA Kenji
OTA Mitsuru, SHIMADA Eiji, TAI Siew Chin

More and more electronics are being used in automobiles and the switches in automotive equipment are shifting from mechanical ones to semiconductor ones. NEC Electronics is developing intelligent power devices with high reliability that can withstand the severe operating conditions of automotive applications.



Common and Key Technologies Supporting Advanced Products

NAKAYASU Tetsumasa

The CB-55L is a cell-based IC product based on a 55nm process that adopts various techniques for reducing the lead time and cost of development.
Circuit design techniques such as process miniaturization are featured in order to reduce power consumption. This paper introduces the design procedures aimed at meeting the requisite functions of the CB-55L, which is a cell-based IC product that has successfully developed with a short lead time.



YAMADA Kazuo, NISHIMOTO Hiroaki, DAITO Masayuki, ONO Hirohiko

Techniques for executing system verification using an FPGA-based prototyping board are being applied widely before the actual chip fabrication process is completed. For the verification of the next-generation processors to succeed the V850E1 series, NEC Electronics has recently started the in-circuit emulator (IE) verification at a few months before completion of actual chip fabrication by applying the Hybrid Emulator, a prototype board developed at NEC’s System IP Core Research Laboratories. In addition, NEC Electronics has also constructed an environment for system verification and SW benchmarking using the custom debugging function mounted in the Hybrid Emulator. This enables promotional activities based on customer benchmark measurements and the evaluation of compiler improvements resulting in the advancement of the evaluation process timings. This paper is intended to introduce the application of the hybrid emulator in processor verifications.



Noise & Power Devices

GENSHIN Akira

The Proadlizer is a decoupling device that absorbs noise over a wide frequency range up to the gigahertz band and stabilizes the power supply line by quickly supplying it with current. This paper is intended to introduce the D-Case products (9.5mm × 5.5mm × 2.2mm), which are new products featuring a compact and slim design and the downsizing of the F-Case products (9.5mm × 12.1mm × 2.5mm) that were introduced in the NEC Technical Journal last year. These products also feature a test board mounting an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) that is being adopted for network and broadcasting devices.



MURAYAMA Yuji, ISHIJIMA Masami, TAKADA Daisuke

NeoCapacitor is the name given to tantalum capacitors using conductive polymer materials. In order to meet speed increase trends, power consumption reduction and drive voltage reduction of CPUs, NEC TOKIN has released various V-sized low-ESR products of up to 9mΩ and it is continuing to develop products with lower ESR values. Recently NEC TOKIN succeeded in developing its most advanced 6mΩ product so far by improving the capacitor device structure and cathode layer to meet the latest market requirements.



MATSUMOTO Hiroyuki, URATA Akiri, YAMADA Yasunobu, YOSHIDA Shigeyoshi

Recently, the performance of electronic equipment has been advancing rapidly and function availability has been increasing. This trend is of particular importance in the case of compact equipment such as notebook PCs, where a reduction in voltages in order to reduce the power consumption has resulted in an increase in the current flowing through the power lines. This has made it necessary for the inductors to be capable of dealing satisfactorily with the high-current supply and to improve the power loss characteristic. NEC TOKIN has started development of low-loss magnetic core materials that can improve power conversion efficiency and has produced an ultra low loss dust material for inductors, named “SENNTIX.” “SENNTIX” is a metallic glass dust powder that features both a high saturated magnetic flux density that is proper to metallic materials and a stable amorphous structure proper to metal glass composite materials. There is no magnetic saturation under a high-current supply and it can therefore significantly reduce magnetic loss resulting from the effect of the core material. NEC TOKIN’s low-loss choke coils of the MPCG Series use the low-loss metallic glass composite material “SENNTIX” as the core material and offer a high power conversion efficiency reflecting the low loss characteristic of the material. We are now advancing the application and deployment of “SENNTIX” in power components with the aim of providing solutions for power supply systems issues of electronic equipment that is subjected to increasing power loads. This policy will enable energy saving and control of heat generation as well as improvements in the power integrity.



AWAKURA Yoshio, ABE Yasuhiro, SUZUKI Yutaka
ABE Masakazu, MAEHARA Yasuko, SATO Mitsuharu

Advancements in information and communication equipment such as notebook PCs and cellular phones have rapidly increased the design environments that are easily affected by electromagnetic noise radiated by electronic devices. NEC TOKIN has been leading the world in the development of noise suppression sheets that may be used to implement simple and safe noise countermeasures. On the other hand, the company is also making efforts to develop environmentally friendly products that do not use the specific harmful substances that are regulated by the European RoHS Directive and can meet the requirements of green procurement protocols. As one of the results of the above activities, the company has commercialized a halogen-free noise suppression sheet that features both enhanced noise suppression (with a magnetic permeability of 60) and a flame resistance capability (meeting UL94V-0), which is described in this paper.



RFID Products

OIKAWA Yoshinori

As was pointed out in the “ICT International Competitiveness Enhancement Program” established by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in May 2007, it is an urgent task to prepare a networked environment for the utilization of IC tags in order to enhance the international competitiveness of the Japanese ICT industry.
NEC TOKIN has been engaged in the RFID business from an early stage as a device manufacturer and has offered non-contact IC cards, IC tags and reader/writer since that time. At present, the company is focusing its efforts on UHF IC tags and reader/writers. These devices are expected to form the core of projected RFID businesses.
This paper is intended to explain the newly developed UHF RFID products.



Piezoelectric Devices

SUZUKI Tomomi, MIURA Shuji, SUGIHARA Tomoyuki

Piezoelectric inverters are often used in cold cathode tubes of LCD panels, etc. This is because of their superior performance over electromagnetic inverters and for their higher efficiency and their potential for inclusion in compact and slim devices. This paper introduces a newly designed inverter that is capable of supporting four cold-cathode tubes. This device features output controls and irregularity detection circuitry that have been developed with a view to exceeding the performance of competing products.



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