Heidelberg Instruments and SwissLitho join forces to serve the Nano- and Microlithography market

We are delighted to announce that Heidelberg Instruments has invested in the Swiss high-tech company SwissLitho AG. Heidelberg Instruments has acquired 70% of the shares, the remaining 30% of the shares are held by the founders and Managing Directors Felix Holzner and Philipp Paul. Both parties have confirmed that the current management of SwissLitho AG will continue to lead and develop the company in Zurich. Completion of the transaction is expected in Q1/2018.

According to Martin Wynaendts, CEO of Heidelberg Instruments, the partial acquisition of SwissLitho is the first step in a focused expansion of Heidelberg Instruments’ core business to include a wider range of equipment and state-of-the-art developments in the lithography market. With the investment in SwissLitho AG, Heidelberg Instruments will be able to serve customers with an additional choice of tools and options in the Nano- and Microlithography field. SwissLitho’s technology in fact has been shown in the past to be capable of writing structures smaller than 10 nm. The team of SwissLitho consists of highly skilled and enthusiastic innovators and constitutes the perfect partner for Heidelberg Instruments.

Dr. Felix Holzner, CEO and co-founder of SwissLitho emphasized that the association of the two companies will benefit SwissLitho’s existing as well as potential customers and employees. With access to the global service and sales network of Heidelberg Instruments, SwissLitho will be able to gain additional visibility and trust for its revolutionary technology in all parts of the world. In collaboration with Heidelberg Instruments, they will also be in a position to develop new technologies and products to serve the R&D community as well as selected industrial applications.

About Heidelberg Instruments:

With an installation base of over 800 systems in more than 52 countries, Heidelberg Instruments Mikrotechnik GmbH is a world leader in production of high-precision maskless lithography systems. Due to their flexibility, these systems are used in research, development and industrial applications for direct writing and photomask production by some of the most prestigious universities and industry leaders in the areas of MEMS, BioMEMS, Nano Technology, ASICS, TFT, Plasma Displays, Micro Optics, and many other related applications.

For more information, please visit http://www.himt.de

About SwissLitho:

SwissLitho is a young high-tech company with the vision to change the way nanostructures are commonly made. Their multiple-patented nanolithography technology, called NanoFrazor, was originally invented at IBM Research Zurich as a successor of a new concept for data storage – the so called Millipede memory. Heatable silicon tips are used for direct patterning of arbitrary 2D and 3D nanostructures and for simultaneous imaging of the tiny nanostructures. The extreme patterning and imaging resolution down to single nanometers and the fact that the NanoFrazor process, unlike conventional nanolithography technologies, does not damage delicate emerging materials open up various new and unprecedented possibilities for all fields of nanotechnology. Since its foundation in 2012, the multi-national and interdisciplinary team of SwissLitho has received many of the most prestigious national and international start-up and technology awards. SwissLitho’s NanoFrazor lithography systems are installed at leading research institutions in more than 8 countries.

For more information, please visit http://www.swisslitho.com

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RFS to showcase advanced antenna solutions to simplify the evolution to 5G at MWC 2018

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), a global designer and manufacturer of total-package solutions for wireless and broadcast infrastructure, will be showcasing three new antenna product lines at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 to help streamline the evolution to 5G. 

As operators continue to invest in new hardware as a means of keeping pace with growing capacity demands, it’s become all the more important to introduce high performing infrastructure designed for today’s complex macro-environment. RFS CEO, Herbert Merz commented, “To help address this and satisfy our customers, we have extended our product range looking at the specific challenges operators face with LTE-A and 5G infrastructure and designing an innovative portfolio to solve these, driving further efficiency and reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for existing and next-generation network deployments. 

MWC will see RFS showcase three flagship products:

• Active Passive Antenna

RFS is introducing the first Active Passive Antenna (APA) with interleaved radiating layers for 3.5GHz mMIMO. As a key enabler of 5G, mMIMO systems will be used on both small cell and macro sites, however, operators face the challenge of deploying the infrastructure to support this on crowded cell sites. RFS will exhibit a prototype APA at MWC and demonstrate how it solves many of the technical and economic challenges operators face with mMIMO on LTE-A and 5G networks.  

• Multi-band Antennas

Revealed for the first time at MWC will be RFS’s new multi-band antenna range to support the newly reallocated L band for LTE applications. This new product range holds the greatest potential for operators as it not only allows the addition of the 1.4GHz band, but has an evolution path to support 3.5GHz and 2.3GHz TDD applications. 

The design features and capabilities of the high-performance, multi-band platform allow operators to expand capacity and coverage, as well as integrating new frequencies, delivering a product that not only supports the frequencies of today but can easily adapt to integrate the next-generation frequencies as networks evolve. 

• Microwave Antenna Systems

To offer a more efficient microwave backhaul solution to meet the needs of growing 4G, and 5G networks, RFS will demonstrate its new Dual Band Microwave Antenna system which combines two frequency bands into a single antenna. RFS’s Dual Band system provides benefits both on reducing CAPEX due to lower transportation and installation costs; and on savings OPEX due to a reduction in tower leasing costs. 

RFS will also be showcasing an expansion of its existing SerenityLine family of microwave antennas, built to meet ETSI Class 4 standard to increase the link capacity of a network by deploying new microwave links where high levels of interference are present; to help mobile operators satisfying their customer connection expectations.

Alongside the above newly developed products, RFS will be discussing its broader portfolio of end-to-end solutions for indoor and outdoor capacity extension and network densification with small cells, uniquely positioning RFS as a full-service strategic partner to operators and OEMs. 

A range of demos and solutions will be showcased on hospitality stand 2LV24, Hall 2. To set up a meeting at MWC 2018 with RFS to discuss the evolution from 4G to 5G and how RFS can help, contact Véronique De Fournoux: veronique.de_fournoux@rfsworld.com 

Trademarks: RFS® is a registered trademark of Radio Frequency Systems. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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RFS and Blue Danube Systems Announce First Active Passive Antenna (APA)

RFS and Blue Danube have demonstrated the first Active Passive Antenna (APA) that combines a 96 element Hybrid Massive MIMO antenna for mid band frequencies (1700-2300 MHz) and a low band passive antenna for low band frequencies (600-900 MHz). Outdoor testing results confirm APA performance is uncompromised by the integration.  Several variants have been tested, with gains over 23 dBi gain in the mid band active antenna and 17 dBi in the low band passive antenna. The first commercial system trial will begin in March. The APA supports todays LTE 4G systems and is upgradeable to 5G. The product will be showcased at Mobile World Congress in both the RFS and Blue Danube booths. The APA is contained in one panel and does not increase the site antenna counts. The system provides increased capacity while reducing the OPEX of a multiple antenna solution. 

“Wireless networks must address not only future capacity but existing tower top and siting challenges. Massive MIMO offers significant gains in wireless data rates,” said Mihai Banu, CTO at Blue Danube. “By combining Massive MIMO with a passive low band we are providing operators a flexible solution for site implementation.”

“RFS provides a full range of antenna solutions for the Wireless industry. We are proud to announce the APA as an extension to our product line. APA is a major technical enabler for the evolution of 4G and 5G networks as it simplifies adding and deploying Massive MIMO systems on existing crowded macro sites,” said André Doll, CTO at RFS. “RFS will continue to innovate in this integration of passive and active antennas to bring solutions to our customers.”

As network demand grows, operators have to rely on acquiring more sites, obtaining additional spectrum and deploying multiple frequency bands. This results in a shift towards complex multiband passive antennas to reduce OPEX and meet zoning and environmental regulations. With the introduction of Massive MIMO active antennas for 4G LTE today and 5G in the future, a new dimension of complexity is added to existing deployments.  By integrating Massive MIMO systems with passive antennas into an APA, a number of potential issues can be solved. APA’s do not increase the site antenna counts with a minimal size increase to reduce visual impact and wind loading.  APA’s also help solve some technical challenges faced by Massive MIMO radios such as thermal dissipation and number of RF connections. All of these will ease and reduce site negotiations and its related OPEX and CAPEX.

Trademarks: RFS® is a registered trademark of Radio Frequency Systems. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About Blue Danube Systems
Blue Danube Systems is a privately held start-up backed by Sequoia Capital and Silver Lake along with other investors including AT&T. Blue Danube’s unique, award-winning technology combines intelligent software and hardware into a Massive MIMO solution that enables a significant increase in network capacity, utilizing existing infrastructure and today’s mobile devices. For more information, please visit www.bluedanube.com

Blue Danube Participation at Mobile World Congress 2018 
Blue Danube will have representatives at Mobile World Congress from February 26 through March 1n Barcelona. Blue Danube can be found in Hall 2, hospitality stand 2L10

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RFS takes active steps to address 5G infrastructure challenges with APA

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), a global designer and manufacturer of total-package solutions for wireless and broadcast infrastructure, today announced its new Active Passive Antenna (APA) system. Designed to help operators overcome the technical and economic challenges associated with the evolution to 5G, and continued network modernization in relation to LTE-Advanced, RFS’ APA system will be demonstrated for the first time at Mobile World Congress 2018.

The new APA system uniquely interleaves a 5G active antenna with a passive base station antenna under the same radome. It is being developed in response to operator demand to combine the antennas for 3.5GHz mMIMO with existing passive systems, thereby addressing the significant challenge they face in relation to cell site restraints when looking to deploy new active antennas in dense urban areas.

RFS’ interleaved APA system has a number of benefits:

  • Simplifies the evolution to 5G, allowing operators to easily deploy active antennas and thereby introduce support for new spectrum bands to existing macro sites without needing to increase the overall antenna count per sector (and minimizing visual impact).
  • Lowers Total Cost of Ownership due to shared chassis and RF components between the two antenna systems and reduced windload.
  • More efficiently tackles the common heat dissipation issue associated with active antenna technology. RFS’ APA system takes advantage of the design and housing of the existing passive antenna to act as the heat exchange for the active antenna, driving efficiency, increasing reliability and reducing overall weight by downsizing the bulky heatsinks that are typically needed.

“Operators will have many different options for deploying 5G active antennas, but for dense urban locations where space is a considerable issue, APA technology is a very efficient approach,” said Herbert Merz, CEO at RFS. “Investment into infrastructure is going to grow considerably with 5G and so will deployment complexity. This new approach will help to streamline that evolution.”

The APA is effectively a two-in-one system housed in a form factor that’s the same size as the systems operators have already deployed. By interleaving the two antennas using RFS’ longstanding heritage and expertise, it’s been able to minimize distortion while ensuring consistent high performance of both systems. For operators, APA technology will therefore allow them to prepare for 5G’s evolution while also improving their 4G and LTE-A networks to support ever-increasing demand for capacity.

Trademarks: RFS® is a registered trademark of Radio Frequency Systems. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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RFS Announces Additions to Class 4 Microwave Antenna Line to Increase Link Capacity in High-Density Environments

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), a global designer and manufacturer of total-package solutions for wireless and broadcast infrastructure, today announced the availability of 1ft and 2ft antennas with higher performance radiation characteristics according to ETSI EN 202217 Class 4 standards.  The company’s SerenityLineTM family of Class 4 microwave antennas continue to provide the market’s best RF performance and allow mobile operators to increase the link capacity of a network by deploying new microwave links where high levels of interference are present. 

While RFS’ high quality ETSI Class 3 antennas are sufficient for most of today’s network scenarios, Class 4 antennas will allow RFS customers to offer the highest performance in even the most congested environments. The higher side lobe suppression of SerenityLine antennas supports networks in ultra-dense areas and enables earlier reuse of frequencies. The lower interference increases the carrier-to-interference-ratio and allows smaller antennas with better link throughput, reducing tower leasing fees. The lower interference also enables higher modulation schemes, increasing the data capacity per antenna.

The lightweight, easy-to-install 1ft and 2ft SerenityLine antennas minimize the total cost of ownership by improving network efficiency, facilitating better re-use of a frequency channel, and decreasing installation expenses. The latest offerings are available in both single (SL) and dual polarization (SLX) versions.

“At RFS, we pride ourselves on offering a complete portfolio of high quality, innovative microwave products that not only address the requirements that operators and system integrators have today, but also well-positions them for the future,” said Benoit Bled, Product Line Manager, Microwave Antenna Systems, RFS. “Our SerenityLine antennas have a flexible feed design, better radiation performance, and allow for in-field updates so our customers can make the most of the limited spectrum they have available and embrace next generation radio by easily upgrading from single to dual polarization in the field.”

In addition to its antennas, RFS provides a complete, end-to-end microwave product portfolio, including elliptical waveguides, connectors, components and accessories to support wireless network deployments and upgrades. 

Trademarks: RFS® is a registered trademark of Radio Frequency Systems. ShareLite™ is a trademark of Radio Frequency Systems. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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RFS Introduces New Three-column Multi-Band Antennas Supporting the 1.4GHz Frequency Band for LTE Applications

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems providing total-package solutions for wireless and broadcast infrastructure, today announced the availability of a three-column antenna configuration to support the L-band (1.4GHz). This antenna family is particularly critical as the 1.4GHz band continues to be reallocated from satellite communications to LTE applications. RFS’ three-column platform is also ready to host additional bands such as 3.5GHz and 5GHz. Newly licensed frequencies have the potential to provide today’s mobile operators with much-needed capacity support for continually growing mobile network traffic.  

RFS’ three-column platform allows the addition of 1.4GHz band support alongside legacy low (694-960MHz) and high (1695-2690MHz) frequency bands without the need for any internal or external diplexing and will continue enabling MIMO 4×4 in these bands while offering high gain on all bands. The innovative ultra-wide band (1400-2690MHz) antenna design and latest features provide the best trade-off between gain and vertical and horizontal patterns from a single antenna, and is ideal for adding capacity and coverage to existing sites and integrating new frequency bands.

RFS takes a building block approach to antenna development, efficiently tailoring existing and trusted platforms to serve as the foundation for future-proof new solutions. The three-column platform will allow the evolution up to 16-ports on a single antenna without any diplexing required. This platform gives operators the flexibility to deploy multiple radio technologies with several frequency bands and 4-way MIMO on one 50 cm (19.7 in)-wide antenna with best-in-class wind-load and PIM performances.

“RFS is a technology innovator committed to providing our customers around the world with the most flexible, high-performance and cost effective platforms that will enable them to support the frequencies of today – and easily integrate the next-generation frequencies of tomorrow,” said Laurent Cruchant, Vice President Antennas Business Unit, RFS.  “We understand the unrelenting network capacity demands that mobile operators face and the importance of supporting all low, high and middle band frequencies from a single antenna platform.” 

RFS’ flexible three-column platform achieves the optimal tradeoff between RF performance and mechanical constraint, providing MIMO-enabling features (Port-to-port isolation, cross polar discrimination, squint) at the highest market standards. It is designed for low wind-load to minimize tower loading, as it is comparable in size to available dual-band antennas but it adds a third antenna path. Its 4.3-10 connector interface supports future-proof multi-band antenna deployments with optimized PIM stability.

RFS will debut its 10-port and 16-port three-column antenna models supporting 1.4GHz band in Booth 2LV24, Hall 2. at Mobile World Congress Barcelona taking place February 26-March 1, 2018. 

Trademarks: RFS® is a registered trademark of Radio Frequency Systems. ShareLite™ is a trademark of Radio Frequency Systems. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Sap Hybris now integrated with Office 365, SharePoint, Azure, and 100+ via Layer2 Cloud Connector

The company Hybris sells enterprise omni-channel and product content management software for Commerce, Marketing, Sales, Service, and revenue to help their customers to design customer-interactions across all touchpoints.

Layer2 leading solutions, a specialist for creating and developing innovating products, solutions and features with a major focus on Data Integration, Collaborative Knowledge Management, and Cloud Computing, can integrate SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (C4C) data with many IT systems and apps like Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, and One Drive via its Layer2 Cloud Connector to keep all data in sync. Along with this new solution, Layer2 also delivers existing connections with SAP, SAP HANA, and SAP AQL Anywhere.

Simply keep SAP data in sync, one-way or even two-way, with flexible create, update, and delete options

The Layer2 Cloud Connector works without any programming in just minutes based on pre-defined templates, e.g. via DOT.net provider and comes with an easy to use management interface to set up connections, map data fields, schedule data synchronizations. In addition, it provides flexible logging with just a few clicks.

“Our new and reliable solutions reduce the dependency on corporate IT and directly empowers departmental subject-matter experts to get integration projects done faster with SAP Hybris due to significantly reduced complexity, risks, and costs. There is no need for customers to change anything in the connected systems or the local network on the one hand, and on the other hand there is no need for user CALs (Client Access Licenses) or volume-related costs as well, as we offer a low-priced one-time fee for installation-based licensing”, explains Wolfgang Cords, General Manager of Layer2 leading solutions.

Layer2 offers a free trial version of the Layer2 Cloud Connector after a registration on their homepage. Existing customers with a valid software assurance can update this tool at any time.

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New study extends application range of GILUPI CellCollector® towards quantitative analysis of gene expression in circulating tumor cells

GILUPI announces the publication of a peer reviewed study about a new and promising mRNA-based assay that allows detection and quantification of clinically relevant prostate and pancreas cancer markers in circulating tumor cells (CTCs)[1].

CTCs are a surrogate marker for cancer progression and response to therapy. CTCs indicate tumor cell spreading and are a prerequisite for the development of metastasis. Detection and characterization of these rare cells could provide a powerful approach for early disease diagnosis as well as disease monitoring. The GILUPI CellCollector® offers medical personnel at any point-of-care with the unique opportunity to enrich these CTCs in vivo.

In this peer reviewed study, El-Heliebi from the Medical University of Graz and his coworkers combine the enumeration and expression analysis of CTCs by developing an in situ padlock probe assay. This method enables the quantitative analysis of mRNA expression for therapy relevant cancer markers. For this study, the GILUPI CellCollector® was applied to patients with prostate and pancreatic cancer and subsequent CTC enumeration and detection of mRNA transcripts were conducted by fluorescence microscopy.
In summary, CTCs were detected in 62% of prostate cancer and 47% of pancreatic cancer patients and therapy relevant cancer markers (e.g. AR-V7 transcripts or KRAS mutations) were identified in the majority of those cells. This advanced approach will improve the predictive and prognostic value of CTC analysis in clinical practice and therefore lead to further advances in cancer research and patient care.

[1] El-Heliebi et al. " In Situ Detection and Quantification of AR-V7, AR-FL, PSA, and KRAS Point Mutations in Circulating Tumor Cells” Clin Chem. 2018 Jan4. pii:clinchem.2017.281295. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2017.281295.

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Digitisation presents the fashion industry with challenges and opportunities

Digitisation is no fad, with data and a suitable IT infrastructure playing significant roles in determining which path fashion companies go down.

Although digitisation is not turning the fashion industry on its head, the changes are noticeable and require immediate attention. This can be seen in the decline in footfall and the increase in online sales. Rising customer demands and expectations also present challenges for retailers, as shoppers have come to expect a seamless customer experience across the online and offline channels.

With decreasing loyalty to shops and brands, fashion companies are finding it more difficult to retain customers and need to take action in order to remain relevant and competitive in the future marketplace.

Data and IT as the key to success

One effect of digitisation is the growing amount of data collected by companies on shoppers, offering a tremendous opportunity for fashion companies in regards to encourage customer loyalty. If utilised sensibly and ideally in real-time, retailers will be able to better understand and fulfil their customers’ expectations and wishes before, during and after their shopping journey.

Among other benefits, these insights will enable brands to react to trends more quickly and distribute stock based on demand, and help sales associates add more value by allowing for a more personalised approach on the shop floor.

These enhancements not only require a suitable IT backbone, but also a clear strategy regarding new innovations. A system that can adapt to this new reality and meet these challenges is SAP S/4HANA for Fashion and Vertical Business. Following our involvement in its acceptance tests, attune has since started working on the third implementation project of the new solution.

If you are interested in introducing a future-proof system to match your forward-thinking strategy, the fashion specialists at attune are happy to help. Get in touch and let us know how we can support your digitisation roadmap by calling: +49 (0)89 322 08690 or sending an email to: info@attuneconsulting.com.

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OPC Foundation And Fieldcomm Group Announce Cooperation To Develop A Standardized Information Model For Process Automation Devices

The OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group today announced an alliance to further advance process automation system multi-vendor interoperability and simplified integration by developing a standardized process automation device information model. 

A joint working group between OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group, tasked with developing a protocol independent companion specification for process automation devices, was formed in late 2017. The goal of the working group is to leverage the extensive experience of FieldComm Group with the HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus communication protocols to standardize data, information, and methods for all process automation devices through FDI using OPC UA. The OPC UA base information model and companion Device Information (DI) specification will be extended to include the generic definition and information associated with process automation devices. 

The OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group have worked together for over a decade, initially working on the development of the EDDL specification and most recently on the creation of FDI technology.

“FDI provides the new standard for device integration to deliver a protocol independent path to configuration, diagnostics and runtime operation for process devices,” states Ted Masters, President and CEO of FieldComm Group. “The partnership between OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group further builds upon the common information model of both to deliver process automation data in context which is the key to enabling value from enterprise systems and analytics. The 350+ suppliers of devices and applications that are members of FieldComm Group have an opportunity to benefit from the key initiative to develop a standard process automation information model by their adoption of FDI and OPC UA technologies.” 

“I’m excited that the OPC Foundation and FieldComm Group are working together on this important initiative, and will be partnering with other organizations, end-users and suppliers to make the dream of a standardized process automation device information model a reality. This is truly a breakthrough in our industry that will provide significant operational benefits across all points of the value chain,” states Thomas J. Burke, OPC Foundation President and Executive Director.

“This important collaboration will provide a solid foundation for standardization of devices that will serve as the base infrastructure for the numerous other collaborations that the OPC Foundation is doing across international boundaries,” says Stefan Hoppe, OPC Foundation Global Vice President.

Paul Sereiko, FieldComm Group’s Director of Marketing adds, “HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus have been the leading digital process automation standards for field device communication for over 20 years. It is a very natural progression to extend the extensive capabilities of these technologies to higher level systems through the use of FDI and a standardized process automation information model. As we enter the 4th Industrial Revolution and IIoT becomes prevalent across industries, it becomes extremely important that we, as an industry, come together around standardized models to ensure seamless device and system communication and interoperability.”

The joint working group plans to release an extensible, future-proof process automation information model specification during the first quarter of 2019.

Please contact FieldComm Group or the OPC Foundation for information about participation in this joint working group.   The working group is open to all members of both organizations as well as collaboration partners of the organizations.

About FieldComm Group

The FieldComm Group is a global standards-based organization consisting of leading process end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations that work together to direct the development, incorporation and implementation of new and overlapping technologies and serves as the source for FDI technology. FieldComm Group’s mission is to develop, manage, and promote global standards for integrating digital devices to on-site, mobile, and cloud based systems; provide services for standards conformance and implementation of process automation devices and systems that enable and improve reliability and multi-vendor interoperability; lead the development of a unified information model of process automation field devices while building upon industry investment in the HART®, FOUNDATION™ Fieldbus and FDI™ standards. Membership is open to anyone interested in the use of the technologies. For more information, please visit fieldcommgroup.org

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