Following my retirement, we have closed our company for new business.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly, our email portal remains open and I would be delighted to hear from you and provide ongoing support or advice.

Richard Thomson

Companies represented up to the end of December 2023. Please now contact them directly.

k-Space Associates, Inc.
Phone: +1 (734) 426-7977

Phone: +49 8761 76 24 0

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Arnie Saccnuson?

I am probably losing grasp of reality but I could not feel a pang of concern when I read that there is a project to drill a hole through the earth's mantle. Having just seen the impact of nature moving the earth are we really sure that we know what we are doing?

Monday 18 April 2011

New III-V partner

Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, Thales and CEA-Leti have announced that CEA-Leti has joined the III-V Lab in a move to strengthen the industrial research capabilities of the R&D centre. The new public-private partnership combines III-V semiconductor and silicon technologies with the enlarged III-V Lab including more than 130 staff. Focusing on practical applications for the combined potential of semiconductors, the III-V Lab will focus on four primary areas of research and markets: Integrated photonic circuits; High-power and microwave GaN-based microelectronics; Ultra-sensitive, highly-selective gas sensors;Thermal and near-infrared imagery.

Friday 15 April 2011

Indium as well

Supply chain issues for materials such as gallium and indium have been known for some time. According to a new report from NanoMarkets the price of Indium is heading to more than $1,000/kg. China is the world’s largest supplier of indium, having about three-quarters of world reserves and around half of production. Japanese indium users, who currently use 70% of China’s indium production may find themselves short of indium within a year. NanoMarkets expects firms in countries that have not been large suppliers of indium (eg Australia, Canada, Laos and Peru) to explore new extraction approaches to get into the market.

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Sapphires are an LEDs best friend

Sumitomo Chemical and Samsung LED have announced a joint venture in South Korea for R&D, manufacturing and sale of sapphire substrates for LEDs. This is clearly in response to the demand for sapphire substrates driven by growth in the market for LEDs in LCD TV backlights, interior lighting and automobile applications. Around five organisations currently control 90% of the global supply of sapphire ingots and Samsung LED wants to secure its supply as global demand rises.

Monday 11 April 2011

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark?

It is a fair bet that neither Shakespeare, Hamlet, Polonius or Marcellus used an iPad, they probably had better things to do with their time. However if they had been transported in a time machine to 2011 then according to Reuters Denmark is the most expensive place to buy an iPad2 with the USA being the cheapest. I am sure that the cunning commercial people in Apple who set global pricing could quote the Danes a further line from Hamlet: "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't."

Friday 8 April 2011

3D chips

After several years of discussions it appears that, notwithstanding the above mentioned "power wall" issues, through-silicon-via technology (TSV) is being pushed by several companies to develop 3 dimensional ICs. Reporting on the GSA Memory Conference, Electronic Times notes that a plethora of companies, including IBM, Intel, Samsung, Toshiba, TSMC are exploring the possibility of stacking current devices in a 3-D configuration. Additionally, a 3-D working group within SEMI met for the first time last week to sketch out the initial wafer and tool standards for TSV technology. SEMI has three task groups within its 3-D group. A fourth group is being formed, which may be led by Applied Materials, Inc.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Winner - EMBE 2011 BandiT competition

We are delighted to announce that the winner of our very successful BandiT competition is Miryam Elouneg-Jamroz from the Nanophysics and Semiconductors Group in Genoble. This is a joint group between the Institut NĂ©el – CNRS / University J. Fourier, and the Institute for Nanoscience and Cryogenics of the CEA-Grenoble. The prize of €100 Amazon vouchers is on its way to her.

Surprisingly, nobody had the correct answer to the question "Why is the product called BandiT?". The answer is "Band-edge inferred Temperature". Miryam's answer was very creative, "fit a 'Band' through 'iT'" as was one of our users from ETH Zurich - "Band-edge intelligent Temperature measurement" - they know their BandiTs at ETH and have 3 systems!

We had a strong interest from both existing users and non-users ... and yes, there are some MBE scientists who don't yet measure their substrate temperature using BandiT, using all the benefits that it provides.

Thanks for your interest and we will run more competitions in the future - as one of the entrants (a senior Professor) commented "What an excellent ploy to get potential customers to research your product. Congratulations on a great product and an excellent sales strategy".

If you were not at EMBE but would like to have a go at answering the questions, these can be found here.

Game Over or Next Level?

The above question is the subtitle and in effect the conclusion of a report into the future of computing power published by the National Research Council. The electronics industry is greatly concerned that microprocessor computing is coming to a “power wall”. As Moore’s Law runs out of steam and computing goes mobile, everyone is looking for ways to make the leap to new parallel programming solutions that use low-power multicore architectures. As single processors and CMOS technology approach the end of the technology line, the report concludes that chip designers and software developers must shift their focus to parallelism. To that end, the report specifically recommends that research should focus on:New algorithms that can exploit parallel processing; Developing new programming methods with an eye toward broader industry use; overhauling the traditional computing “stack” to account for parallelism and resource-management challenges; investing in new parallel architectures that are driven by emerging applications like mobile computing; investing in R&D that focuses on power efficiency at all system levels.