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   Date: 23rd Aug 2010

New programmable analog architecture from Advanced Linear

Advanced Linear Devices (ALD) has announced new Electrically Programmable Analog Device (EPAD) architecture. EPAD replaces mechanical dificulties inherent in trimmer potentiometer technology in power circuit applications.

This new analog semiconductor technology allows for on-chip and off-chip programming techniques to set fundamental device parameters that ALD claims were previously unheard of in the entire industry by precisely setting the threshold voltages of on-chip MOSFET devices. This enables to development of new low voltage nano-power MOSFET products as well as other circuits that ALD will be announcing the second half of the year. This is a patented and trademarked technology, which allows for electrical trimming a variety of CMOS analog integrated circuit elements at the semiconductor die or packaged level according to ALD. Once trimmed, the device voltage and current characteristics are stored indefinitely in the chip even when the power to the chip is removed. Programming or trimming is achieved through a series of software controlled voltage bursts to a floating gate structure.

EPAD technology enables operation of MOSFET device in the sub-threshold voltage region which further enables certain circuit elements to operate in the nano-ampere current levels resulting in the possibility of nano-power circuits.

"ALD’s new EPAD Technology adhere to industry-standard CMOS technology and was able to simultaneously reduce power consumption, improve on precision and lower circuit function cost," said Bob Chao, CEO and president of ALD. “The precision trimming technology provides us with the ability to dramatically improve device features and performance to give designers the ability to create and improve their designs at a more economical cost point."

This technology is useful for handheld wireless devices, energy harvesting, precision instruments and many security applications.

Availability: New ALD product families utilizing this new EPAD architecture are planned for release starting in Q4'10.

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