Qorvo Drives GaN into Ka-band to Improve Satellite Internet

High Frequency GaN Enables VSAT Power Efficiency Improvements

PARIS, FRANCE – September 8, 2015 – Qorvo™, Inc. (Nasdaq: QRVO), a leading provider of RF solutions for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications, today announced a new highly cost effective, high performance Ka-band 3 watt GaN power amplifier for commercial VSAT satellite ground terminals transmitting high speed internet data.

“Qorvo’s 0.15um high-frequency GaN process delivers three times the power density of past generation GaAs pHEMT solutions. With unmatched, power, device gain and reliability, the technology is ideal for both saturated and linear high power amplifier for Ka-band satellite ground terminal transmit applications,” said Gorden Cook, general manager of Qorvo’s transport business unit. “Supporting both saturated and linear applications, the TGA2636-SM delivers 3 watts of peak output power for traditional saturated power VSAT ground terminal applications, and when operated in a ‘linear power back-off mode’ required for higher–order modulation systems, enables more effective use of the Ka-band spectrum, resulting in higher data rates delivered to the user.”

The TGA2636-SM GaN PA is fabricated utilizing Qorvo’s 0.15-micron gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN on SiC) process, and operates across a 28 – 31 GHz frequency range while delivering 3 watts of saturated output power and 25dB linear gain at 30% power-added efficiency (PAE) in a compact 5x5mm surface mount package.

Qorvo’s new GaN VSAT power amplifier will begin sampling in the current quarter 2015, with production quantities available in the first quarter of calendar 2016.

Qorvo is showcasing its GaN power amplifiers at stand C307 at European Microwave Week, September 8-10 at the Palais de Congrès in Paris, France.

IDT Wireless Power kit: Easing designer’s time to market

Integrated Device Technology, Inc. introduced wireless power kits plug-and-play, Qi-compliant transmitter and receiver reference kits to simplify designer integration. These two-layer boards use IDT’s wireless power IC solutions.

IDT is a leader in wireless power transmitter and receiver solutions for wireless charger applications, addressing all major standards and technologies with an extensive portfolio of standards-certified products. IDT has proven expertise in both magnetic induction and magnetic resonance technologies, and actively participates in the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), Power Matters Alliance (PMA), and Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) as a board member.  The company has introduced a number of innovative  products that they claim as unique, including the first true single-chip transmitter, the highest-output-power single chip receiver, and the first dual-mode receiver IC compatible with both WPC and PMA standards.This choice of standards offers the designer a level of versatility not easily found in the industry.

In order to develop and integrate a robust wireless power design, designers need a certain level of expertise. That design prowess needs to be developed and takes time, especially in the broad market where companies run leaner with less engineers who need to learn expertise in different disciplines to design many varying types of circuits for their systems, which inherently  delays a product to market. IDT’s 5 Watt Wireless power reference design has the transmitter and receiver designs done with optimum PCB layout, minimum board space, extensive documentation, layout import files and as a bonus a Foreign Object Detection (FOD) tuning guide.

Designers will be able to more easily integrate Wireless power in systems such as PC peripherals, furniture, medical devices, and other portable devices still hindered by traditional contact-based charging bases or cables.

IDT Expands VersaClock 5 Family

IDT Expands VersaClock 5 Family to include Devices with Additional Outputs Supporting PCI Express Timing

The Latest Versions of the Leading Programmable Clock Generator Reduce Board Space and BOM for Designs Requiring Multiple PCIe Clocks

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 30, 2015 – Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT®) (NASDAQ: IDTI) announced today the expansion of its VersaClock® 5 family of programmable clock generators with new devices that simplify the creation of PCI Express® clocks while providing the flexible outputs for which VersaClock is known. The new members of the high-performance VersaClock 5 family feature dedicated low-power HCSL (LPHCSL) outputs that reduce board space and bill of materials (BOM) by providing an integrated clock generation and distribution solution for PCIe designs.

The 5P49V5907 and 5P49V5908 devices have three outputs that can generate any frequency up to 350 MHz in various output types, and an additional four or eight LPHCSL outputs specifically for PCIe clocking. They possess the same best-in-class jitter and power performance as the original 5P49V5901 device.

IDT continues to develop technology that enables engineers to build highly flexible low-power timing systems with ultra-compact footprints,” said Kris Rausch, general manager of IDT’s multi-market timing division. “With these new devices, design teams building PCIe-based systems enjoy the superior performance of the original VersaClock 5 device as well as tighter integration that shrinks board space and BOM.”

VersaClock 5 programmable timing devices feature excellent jitter performance at half the power of competing devices. With RMS phase jitter of less than 0.7 picoseconds over the full 12 kHz to 20 MHz integration range, the products are ideal for such markets as high-end consumer, networking, computing, industrial and communications.

Qorvo Announces Second Edition of GaN For Dummies®

GREENSBORO, N.C. and HILLSBORO, Ore. – June 2, 2015 – Qorvo, Inc. (Nasdaq: QRVO), a leading provider of RF solutions for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications, today announced a second edition of their “GaN For Dummies” books. Written in conjunction with publisher John Wiley and Sons, Inc., the books consist of two volumes, GaN RF Technology For Dummies® and RF Applications of GaN For Dummies®. This edition includes updates to Qorvo’s original GaN For Dummies books, which were published in 2014.

The GaN For Dummies books help technical and nontechnical professionals learn more about the basics of gallium nitride (GaN) in radio frequency (RF) technology and how they can use GaN in RF product designs. Both e-book volumes are free and available for download from the GaN For Dummies landing page on the Qorvo website.

GaN transistors were first demonstrated in the 1990s and now are widely available for commercial and defense applications. GaN’s popularity is based on the high power density and high efficiency it can achieve. Revenue for GaN RF devices in both military and commercial applications will grow at a compound average annual growth rate (CAAGR) of more than 20 percent to nearly $560m in 2019, according to Strategy Analytics.

“GaN technology is rapidly gaining traction for base transceiver stations (BTS), cable TV (CATV) and defense systems because it can meet the exacting performance requirements those applications demand,” said Dr. Douglas Reep, Qorvo’s Sr. Director of Research, Infrastructure and Defense Products. “GaN For Dummies provides company leadership, system engineers and designers with a short course introducing the benefits of GaN, illustrating its exceptional reliability and unique performance capabilities.”

Volume 1, GaN RF Technology For Dummies®, covers:

  • The key properties of GaN
  • What makes GaN FETs unique
  • How GaN compares to other semiconductor technologies
  • The thermal challenges of GaN
  • Ten important facts about GaN technology

Volume 2, RF Applications of GaN For Dummies®, includes:

  • How GaN benefits your system applications
  • Why and when to use GaN
  • Important design factors for GaN
  • GaN’s utility in multiple applications
  • Ten keys to success using GaN

About For Dummies®

After 20 years, more than 250 million copies printed, and millions of e-books downloaded, For Dummies is the world’s bestselling reference series, well known for enriching people’s lives by making knowledge accessible in a fun and easy way. Loyal customers around the globe agree that For Dummies is “more than a publishing phenomenon … [it is] a sign of the times,” [The New York Times]. With more than 1,800 active topics covering everything from health to history, music to math, sports to self-help, technology to travel, For Dummies is dedicated to Making Everything Easier. The For Dummies brand presence continues to expand wherever there is a need to know, including e-books, mobile apps, e-learning courses, a corporate custom publishing program, a robust consumer website and a licensed product line that includes consumer electronics, culinary, crafts, video, software, musical instrument packs, home improvement, automotive, game and more. For more information, visit Dummies.com. For Dummies is a branded imprint of Wiley.

About Qorvo

Qorvo (Nasdaq:QRVO) is a leading provider of core technologies and RF solutions for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications. Qorvo was formed following the merger of RFMD and TriQuint, and has more than 6,000 global employees dedicated to delivering solutions for everything that connects the world. Qorvo has the industry’s broadest portfolio of products and core technologies; world-class ISO9001-, ISO 14001- and ISO/TS 16949-certified manufacturing facilities; and is a DoD-accredited ‘Trusted Source’ (Category 1A) for GaAs, GaN and BAW products and services. For the industry’s leading core RF solutions, visit www.qorvo.com.

Katie Caballero
Marketing Communications Manager
Qorvo Infrastructure and Defense Products

Will the Large Hadron Collider and IDT finally agree that the answer is 42?

Will the Large Hadron Collider and IDT finally agree that the answer is 42?


Most of us have heard of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern in Switzerland, the machine tasked with job of smashing particles of matter together to simulate the conditions in the moments after the Big Bang, generally regarded as the creation of the Universe.

However, for some of us, the legendary author of the excellent Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams, already answered the “Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.”

In Adams’ world a supercomputer, Deep Thought, churned away for 7½ million years to compute and check the answer and concluded it was 42. Deep Thought did point however out that the answer was meaningless because the beings that instructed it never actually knew what the question was.

So, back to the real yet somewhat science fictional world of the LHC. In addition to being the largest single machine in the world, the LHC is also one of the most computationally demanding when it comes to analysing its findings. The experiments in the Large Hadron Collider produce about 15 petabytes of data per year and in July 2012 it was revealed that the operators of the LHC collected about 200 petabytes of data from the 800 trillion collisions created looking for the Higgs boson.

Just to put that in perspective, I petabyte equals 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes so we are talking about biblical amounts of number crunching.

To help with this, US electronics company Integrated Device Technology (IDT) has signed up to a three-year agreement with CERN to provide low-latency RapidIO interconnect technology. This will be employed to improve the efficient analysis of mass data from the LHC.

Teams from IDT and CERN will use the IDT technology to improve the quality and timeliness of this data collection, as well as the initial analysis and reconstruction work at the experiments’ data farms and the CERN Data Centre.

The LHC produces millions of collisions every second and generates approximately one petabyte of data per second. The RapidIO technology provides a low-latency connection between clusters of computer processors. Used for 4G base stations, IDT’s low-latency RapidIO products can also enable real-time data analytics and data management.

IDT’s current RapidIO 20 Gbps interconnect products will be used in the first stage of the collaboration with an upgrade path to RapidIO 10xN 40 Gbps technology in the future as research at CERN progresses.

Because of the volume of real-time data CERN collects, current implementations use custom-built ASIC hardware. Using algorithms implemented in hardware, the data is sampled, and only 1% is selected for further analysis.

The collaboration is based on industry standard IT form factor solutions suitable for deployment in HPC clusters and data centers. Engineers will use heterogeneous servers based on specifications from RapidIO.org that are targeted towards the Open Compute Project High Performance Computing initiative that IDT co-chairs.

The computing platform used for the collaboration is based on commercially available RapidIO-enabled 1U heterogeneous servers capable of supporting industry-standard servers, GPU, FPGA and low-power 64-bit SoCs, as well as top-of-rack RapidIO switches available from Prodrive Technologies.

Marvell’s IoT Platform is Industry’s First to Offer Full HomeKit Support to Hardware Manufacturers

Marvell’s SDK for HomeKit includes EZ-Connect IoT platform with 88MC200 microcontroller, advanced Avastar 88W8801 Wi-Fi SoC and EZ-Connect software

Santa Clara, California (March 10, 2015) – Marvell (NASDAQ:MRVL) — a worldwide leader in providing complete silicon solutions from mobile communications to storage, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud infrastructure, digital entertainment, in-home content delivery and Kinoma® software enabling the “Smart Life and Smart Lifestyle”— today announced that it is the industry’s first silicon vendor to develop a fully supported SDK for HomeKit. HomeKit from Apple is a framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home. Marvell’s SDK for HomeKit is available on its EZ-Connect™ IoT Platform, including Marvell’s 88MC200 microcontroller and advanced Avastar® 88W8801 Wi-Fi system-on-chip (SoC). The SDK is already being used by several hardware manufacturers and paves the way for the first HomeKit accessories to be brought to market.

“At Marvell we aim to expand the role of IoT in the home, which is a significant trend in the new era of ‘Smart Life and Smart Lifestyle,’” said Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder at Marvell. “By adding HomeKit support, we hope to empower millions of consumers around the world with innovative connected applications and experiences.”

Marvell’s EZ-Connect Wi-Fi Microcontroller IoT platform features a powerful Cortex-M3 microcontroller (88MC200) and a best-in-class 802.11n wireless radio (88W8801) that together provide the essential pieces for enabling a HomeKit solution. Marvell’s SDK for HomeKit is built on top of the field-proven and industry-leading EZ-Connect Software SDK and greatly simplifies the development of HomeKit accessories. Hardware manufacturers using Marvell’s SDK for HomeKit benefit from the complete, supported implementation of the HomeKit framework and are able to save months of development effort and can instead focus their efforts on innovative product features or providing great user experiences.

Marvell’s Wi-Fi microcontroller IoT platform powers many IoT products available in the market and has been adopted by many industry leaders developing connected home products such as appliances, lighting, and home-automation as well as products in other IoT markets such as toys, wearables, accessories, and commercial applications.

For more information about the Marvell’s IoT solutions, please visit: http://www.marvell.com/solutions/internet-of-things/

Qorvo’s New High-Performance RF Filters

Qorvo’s New High-Performance RF Filters Provide Faster Data Throughput and Longer Battery Life for Next-Generation 4G Smartphones

As the global transition to LTE accelerates, Qorvo’s proprietary filter technologies solve increasingly complex interference problems to enhance the mobile user experience

GREENSBORO, N.C. and HILLSBORO, Ore. – February 4, 2015 – Qorvo, Inc. (Nasdaq: QRVO), a leading provider of RF solutions for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications, today announced several new high-performance RF filters that provide faster data throughput and longer battery life for next-generation 4G smartphones and other mobile devices. Setting new bars in performance and size, these latest additions to Qorvo’s fast-growing line of premium filters leverage the company’s proprietary filter technologies to enhance the overall mobile user experience and optimize efficient use of limited spectrum.

“The global transition to 4G is just beginning, and higher filter performance is a critical enabler in LTE and TD-LTE solutions,” said Eric Creviston, President of Mobile Products. “Qorvo is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing need for highly specialized filtering solutions, given our filter technology leadership, broad product portfolio, systems-level expertise, and high volume manufacturing scale.”

Industry analysts forecast robust demand for high-performance filters. “Smartphones with more LTE bands and carrier aggregation for higher data rates are pushing OEMs to use more high-performance RF filters and duplexers. We expect the total market for standard and premium RF filters in cellular devices to grow above 25 percent per year from 2014 to 2019,” said Christopher Taylor of Strategy Analytics.

As performance requirements tighten and RF complexity increases, Qorvo’s proprietary LowDrift™and NoDrift™ filter technologies solve the industry’s most challenging LTE system and chipset problems. “LTE-Advanced will usher in more sophisticated carrier aggregation and MIMO techniques in the years ahead, and Qorvo is committed to setting the industry standard for performance and size.” said Glen Riley, General Manager of Filter Solutions. “Qorvo is redefining filter performance in small form factors and achieving unmatched temperature stability to extend battery life, improve insertion loss, limit service disruptions and reduce dropped calls.”

Three of the filters are shipping in quantity, and the remaining two – the TQQ1007 and TQQ0041T – are expected to commence volume production in the March 2015 quarter.

Additional information about Qorvo’s LowDrift™ and NoDrift™ premium filters can be located at http://www.triquint.com/products/lowdrift-nodrift-filters. Qorvo’s newest e-books – RF Filter Technologies For Dummies® and RF Filter Applications For Dummies®, written in conjunction with John Wiley & Sons, Inc., are available at http://www.qorvo.com/filters-for-dummies.

#Qorvo is presenting the Company’s expanding portfolio of high performance RF solutions for smartphones, tablets, and other broadband mobile devices at the 2015 GSMA Mobile World Congress #MWC2015, March 2-5, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. See more at: http://www.qorvo.com/mobile.

To locate Qorvo’s distributors, resellers or field sales representatives, please visit http://www.qorvo.com/how-to-buy.

About Qorvo

Qorvo (Nasdaq:QRVO) is a leading provider of core technologies and RF solutions for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications. Qorvo was formed following the merger of RFMD and TriQuint, and has more than 6,000 global employees dedicated to delivering solutions for everything that connects the world. Qorvo has the industry’s broadest portfolio of products and core technologies; world-class ISO9001-, ISO 14001- and ISO/TS 16949-certified manufacturing facilities; and is a DoD-accredited ‘Trusted Source’ (Category 1A) for GaAs, GaN and BAW products and services. For the industry’s leading core RF solutions, visit www.qorvo.com.

Qorvo Media Contact:
Rob Christ
Product MarCom Director


Vitesse to Participate in The Benchmark Company Micro Cap Discovery Conference

CAMARILLO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance “Ethernet Everywhere” in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, will host one-on-one meetings with investors at The Benchmark Company Micro Cap Discovery Conference at The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago on December 11, 2014.

During the event, management will discuss the Company’s “Ethernet Everywhere” strategy that simplifies the transition to Ethernet for all network types with its differentiated technologies and new product line developed for this large growth market.

Attendees can contact their Benchmark representative or LHA to arrange a meeting. The applicable presentation will be accessible on the investor section of Vitesse’s website: www.vitesse.com.

About Vitesse

Vitesse (Nasdaq: VTSS) designs a diverse portfolio of high-performance semiconductor solutions for Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks worldwide. Vitesse products enable the fastest-growing network infrastructure markets including Mobile Access/IP Edge, Cloud Computing, SMB/SME Enterprise and Industrial-IoT Networking. Visit www.vitesse.com or follow us on Twitter @VitesseSemi.

Vitesse is a registered trademark of Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other trademarks or registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective holders.


Company Contact:
Vitesse Semiconductor
Marty McDermut, +1-805-388-3700

Marvell Launches Highly Integrated Quad-Core 64-bit

Marvell Launches Highly Integrated Quad-Core 64-bit ARMADA Mobile PXA1908 Platform for the Fast Growing 5-Mode 4G LTE Worldwide Mass Market

Marvell’s ARMADA Mobile PXA1908 platform features quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex A53, efficient power management, integrated location and sensor technology, and field proven 5-mode 4G LTE modem technology


Sue Kim
Director, Corporate Communications and PR

Santa Clara, California (November 17, 2014) – Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL), a worldwide leader in providing complete silicon solutions from mobile communications to storage, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud infrastructure, digital entertainment and in-home content delivery and Kinoma® software enabling the “Smart Life and Smart Lifestyle,” today announced the highly integrated quad-core 64-bit ARMADA® Mobile PXA1908 platform, extending its award-winning ARMADA Mobile product family. Targeted for the fast growing 5-mode 4G LTE worldwide mass market, Marvell’s cost optimized mobile processor features ARM Cortex A53, efficient power management, integrated location and sensor technology, and field proven 5-mode 4G LTE modem technology. The PXA1908 mobile processor maintains complete software compatibility with the octa-core ARMADA Mobile PXA1936, enabling OEMs and ODMs to quickly and seamlessly launch a higher performing octa-core mobile phone. The ARMADA mobile PXA1908 supports today’s most popular cellular communications including: TD-LTE, FDD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and GSM.

“Built upon our worldwide leadership and proven track record in enabling high performance, low power, and affordable 4G LTE smartphones since last year, I believe our new ARMADA Mobile PXA1908 will further empower global mobile operators and tier-one OEMs to quickly expand the 4G LTE market to entry-level smartphones and greatly accelerate its deployment to the mass market around the world. With PXA1908’s field-proven 5-mode 4G LTE modem, high level of integration, low power consumption, cost effective architecture and the 64-bit quad-core processor supporting the latest Android operating system, I believe Marvell has once again raised the technology bar,” said Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell. “I’m very thankful for our global teams of talented engineers for their innovation, invention and dedication to continually leading the industry and delivering best-in-class mobile solutions.  At Marvell, it is our mission and passion to make the world a better place for all.”

The 64-bit quad-core 5-mode LTE system-on-chip (SoC) is designed to address the fast growing LTE market, enabling easy integration from 2G and 3G connectivity to 4G LTE. Marvell’s 64-bit family of mobile SoCs also pave the way for device makers to release 64-bit tablets and smartphones with the Android L operating system. Major smartphone vendors are expected to begin shipping products powered by Marvell’s PXA1908 globally in early 2015.

Key features of the Marvell ARMADA Mobile PXA1908 include:

  • Cost optimized quad-core Cortex A53, up to 1.2GHz clock speed
  • Improved image processing to support 8MP to 13MP camera
  • Advanced power management
  • Supports 720p display
  • Field proven DSDS software for 5-mode modem

To learn more about the Marvell PXA1908 processors, visit http://www.marvell.com/communication-processors

Strip Design and Development–Gaining Confidence in the Process

By: Brad Kuvin

Saturday, February 01, 2014

“We use simulation software differently than other tool builders might,” begins Jason Andras, design manager at Atlantic Tool & Die Co. (ATD), when asked to describe the firm’s recent uptick in inhouse die design and development. The 650-employee automotive-stamping and assembly company works out of numerous locations, including four in Ohio; plants in Texas and Mexico; a primary design and engineering center in Costa Rica; and a die-build, stamping and assembly shop in China. ATD’s facility in China produced 70 new stamping tools for ATD and other North American customers in 2013, generating $3.5 million. In 2014 it is projected to produce 100 to 120 new progressive dies generating $5 to $7 million.

We caught up with Andras, who oversees ATD’s die-design and development process, at its headquarters facility in Strongsville (Cleveland), OH. Up for discussion: its evolving use of 3D modeling and surfacing of dies and weld fixtures, based on its use of:

• VISI PC-based CAD-CAM software;

• Progressive-die strip simulation using the Dynaform suite of software modules; and

• Reverse engineering of cutting sections and forming details using a portable coordinate-measuring machine —a Faro ScanArm outfitted with a laser scanner.

ATD's Faro ScanArm portable coordinate-measuring machine
ATD’s Faro ScanArm portable coordinate-measuring machine, equipped with a laser scanner, captures surface data and enables reverse engineering of die surfaces—new trim edges, for example.

ATD launched its foray into 3D design and development—of stamping dies and of weld fixtures to support its secondary operations—in 2005. The goal, says Andras, was to develop expertise in stamping and assembling more complex parts and assemblies, such as large rear parcel shelves and tiny yet complex airbag housings.“While we’ve used VISI companywide for years primarily at our design center in Costa Rica,” says Andras, “we’re ramping up its use here in Cleveland as we look to retire various other software and consolidate to VISI. To supplement the eight seats of VISI in Costa Rica (two added in June of 2013), in the last two years we’ve acquired four VISI seats in Ohio (one at its Sharon Center plant, two seats in Strongsville and one in Texas), with more coming. One of the nice features of VISI our designers really appreciate is the ability to work in 2D and 3D—they can sketch in 2D and extrude in 3D, surface and model all in one. That’s been a great benefit.”

Accurate Simulation Starts with a Robust Material-Property Database

ATD’s ongoing design-software evolution also aims to improve its ability to accurately simulate new progressive-die strip models, and also to support weld-fixture development. Enter Dynaform, with modules for estimating blank size and predict thinning and thickening; create complete die-face models, including binder and addendum, from part geometry; simulate and validate die designs and identify problem areas, as well as optimize designs to reduce wrinkling, thinning and tearing; and analyze a completed die to provide insights into stamping-production issues such as scrap shedding and material handling.

“Simulation has become an important tool for us,” shares Andras, “as we seek to control the development of our progressive dies and simulate the process during strip development. We can easily flow data back and forth between VISI and Dynaform, to avoid excessive troubleshooting in the press, which can become quite time consuming and costly.

“The real benefit to simulation for us,” stresses Andras: “Creating a robust forming sequence and strip layout that we can pass on to our tool designer and builder with confidence that the die will run in production almost immediately.”

ATD ScanArms to scan intricate stamped parts
ATD uses its ScanArms to scan some of its more intricate stamped parts, “to capture features not easily rendered with a conventional CMM,” Andras says. “We can scan tiny features, enlarge them on the screen and run cross-sections through them for metrology and color mapping of deviations.”

Moving up the learning curve as ATD engineers zero in on the benefits of Dynaform simulations, Andras points to the need to completely understand material properties in order to ensure accurate simulations. We’re talking yield strength coefficient, k, n and r values, yield stress, precent elongation, ultimate tensile, etc.“We are creating our own library of material properties for the alloys we stamp, by sending material samples out for testing,” he says. “These are stored within Dynaform. This practice is particularly critical to accurate simulation results when forming our more sensitive parts.”

Last but not least, engineers working in the ATD design center in Costa Rica employ Dynaform further downstream in the die-development process, to develop press and energy curves for the company. “This ensures we can run specific dies in specific presses,” says Andras. “And, Dynaform can tell us, by calculating forming pressures throughout a tool, where we might need to tweak the tool, by adding nitrogen cylinders for example.”

Scanning Captures Toolmaker’s “Magic”

As much as its new software tools have enhanced the strip- and die-development process at ATD, the firm still must continue to work to overcome challenges related to increased part and assembly complexity, and the slew of new steels finding their into automobiles. Here, more often than not a toolmaker must “work his magic,” says Andras, “and perform handwork on one or more die stations to get a die to run flawlessly in the press.”

Such “magic” often renders die stations notably altered from their original CAD models. The inability to capture the result of these die-development activities often causes die-design data to be inaccurate at best and unusable at worst. In 2002, ATD purchased its first FaroArm capable of scanning form and cutting edges. In 2009, a new FaroArm was purchased, along with a laser scanner to capture the magic. ATD engineers employ the machine to acquire surface data and enable reverse engineering of die surfaces. This device has proven to be so useful that ATD acquired a second ScanArm for its Seville, OH facility. In addition, ATD has added a third machine for its sister facility in China. This allows designs to be easily updated after the tryout and development activity has been completed, which guarantees complete and accurate tool designs for each stamping tool produced.

“The ScanArm helped build our confidence in the simulation software,” explains Andras. “For example, we recently brought in a takeover tool that, when we ran a simulation of the forming operation the software predicted the part would split. But, in reality the die ran just fine in our press. We figured that the form tools did not match the CAD models, and proved that theory by using the ScanArm to scan the form tools. Using PolyWorks (parametric software for 3D metrology/reverse engineering applications), we back-fed the new surface data into Dynaform and ran the simulation again. It was incredible how accurate the revised simulation matched actual results in the press.”

Faro designed the ScanArm to offer users the ability to combine the benefits of contact and noncontact scanning. Its product literature states that “the ScanArm’s hard probe and the Laser Line Probe can digitize interchangeably without having to remove either component. Users can accurately measure prismatic features with the hard probe, then laser scan sections requiring larger volumes of data.”

Andras also explains that ATD uses its ScanArms to scan some of its more intricate stamped parts, “to capture features not easily rendered with a conventional CMM,” he says. “We can scan intricate features, enlarge them on the screen and run cross-sections through them for metrology and color mapping deviations.” MF

See also: ETA Software, Inc., Faro Technologies Inc., Vero Software

Related Enterprise Zones: Quality Control, Software, Tool & Die