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

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Plastic sunflowers

The Swiss Centre for Electronics & Microtechnology (CSEM) is leading project Sunflower, an EU Seventh Framework Programme, created to generate solar energy with highly efficient and recyclable printed plastic solar cells. Led by the CSEM, the project consortium includes industrial partners Agfa, BASF, DuPont Teijin Films and Konarka. The Euro 14.2M project is to develop advanced flexible plastic solar panels designed to be integrated into new consumer mobile applications and buildings.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

One tool to write them all?

Extreme ultraviolet lithography (also known as EUV or EUVL) is a next-generation lithography technology using an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelength, currently expected to be 13.5 nm. Anticipated uptake of EUVL may change, according to Burn Lin, Micropatterning Director at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. He says that as manufacturers seek to make ever smaller and denser chips, EUV could lose its edge in allowing the industry to follow Moore’s law. The answer may turn out to be switching to electron beam (e-beam) lithography. The move to using 450mm wafers would appear to require the costly development of a variety of patterning tools and resists if a conventional IC fabrication strategy were employed. Since multi-electron beam lithography can be used to write any layer, one 450mm e-beam direct-write tool could pattern them all, and for about 30% lower cost at production volumes. Only one machine would have to be engineered and only a few resists formulated.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Chips DNA

Counterfeit electronics and the cost of complying with new laws on detecting and replacing counterfeit items is causing concern in the USA. The law requires the US Government to buy parts either directly from the manufacturer, their authorized distributors, or from "trusted suppliers". Details are still being worked out, but to be categorized as trusted suppliers independent sources would likely be required to meet certain standards and be held liable in the event that they sell a counterfeit part to the government. In one approach to reducing counterfeiting botanical DNA is used to authenticate microcircuit chips. The use of a this type of DNA signature is already being used to prevent counterfeiting of such items as wine, textiles and bank notes.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Plessey growing

UK based Plessey Semiconductors Ltd have acquired Cam GaN Ltd a University of Cambridge spin-off formed in 2010 to commercialize proprietary technology for growing gallium nitride based high-brightness LEDs on large-area silicon substrates. Plessey will integrate its silicon processing knowledge with CamGaN’s proprietary GaN-on-Si technology to fabricate low cost, high quality HB-LEDs on standard, readily available 6-inch silicon substrates.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Bigger (slower), smaller (faster)

We may be seeing a human obesity epidemic in some parts of the world but according to a recent study on the evolutionary scale it is much quicker for animal species to decrease in size than grow in size. Apparently it takes about 24 million generations for a mouse sized animal to evolve into the size of an elephant. However a mere 100,000 generations are needed to reverse the process and achieve dwarfism. The differences may be explained by the evolutionary driving forces of smaller species requiring less food and being able to reproduce quicker.

Tuesday 6 March 2012


The latest Global Data Traffic Forecast from Cisco says that this year the number of mobile connected devices ('phones, tablets etc) will exceed the world's population. They also predict that there will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine modules, greatly exceeding the world's population at that time (7.3 billion). Adding in the speed/quality benefits available from 4G technology the rise in data consumption is likely to cause more problems for mobile operators already struggling to cope with demand. Although 4G connections represent only 0.2 percent of mobile connections today, they already account for 6 percent of mobile data traffic. CISCO think that global mobile traffic will increase 18-fold between 2011 and 2016.

Thursday 1 March 2012

Could be slower (or faster)

Many in the scientific press have decided that the potentially theory busting neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light are no more. The primary culprit being the timing system. However the recent press release from CERN and the OPERA group could be interpreted as a wonderful mix of honesty confusion and damage limitation. The groups have informed funding agencies that it has identified two possible effects that could have an influence on its neutrino timing measurement. One of them, due to a possible faulty connection in the fibre-optic cable carrying the GPS signals between Switzerland and Italy, would have caused the experiment to underestimate the neutrinos' flight time, thus negating the faster than light claim. The other effect concerns an oscillator in OPERA's particle detector that gives its readings' time stamps synchronized to GPS signals. Researchers think correcting for an error in this device would actually increase the anomaly in neutrino velocity, making the particles even speedier than the earlier measurements seemed to show.

The potential extent of these two effects is being studied with further experiments scheduled for May.