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Semtech Shows Off Wireless Charging at CES

Representatives from Semtech Corp. attended last month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to show off the company’s wireless charging technology. The Camarillo semiconductor manufacturer demonstrated the LinkCharge system on a number of products, including a robotic vacuum cleaner, a drone and surveillance equipment. Phil Daggett, senior director in the company’s power and high-reliability product group, said the technology gives Semtech entry into new markets. “Wireless charging is a fairly new technology,” Daggett said. “There are a lot of people who have a smartphone that is capable of wireless charging who do not know it is capable of it. There has to be some education of the consumer.” The wireless charging system works with a pad that contain electronics and a coil and a corresponding receiver also with a coil attached to a smartphone or other electronic device. When the receiver is placed on the charging pad, the two coils can induce power into the receiver over the air. What accelerated the adoption of wireless charging was Apple Inc. saying that its iPhone 8 and iPhone X would support the technology, Daggett explained. “The fact that we have been developing it and have had the products available for a while now means that we’re going to be able to capitalize on the renewed interest from the end consumer,” Daggett said. Semtech got into wireless charging with its acquisition three years ago of Triune Systems LLC in Plano, Texas. Triune had been working on wireless charging technology for the industrial and automotive industries since about 2011. Semtech branded the technology as LinkCharge in early 2016. Wireless charging uses a standard known as “Qi” developed by the Wireless Power Consortium. All Semtech products support that standard, Daggett said. “Any phone, whether it’s an LG or a Samsung or an Apple, can be charged on that independent of what you need to plug into it,” he added. “You don’t need to plug anything into it. Having an industry standard is important to that interoperability.” Improved Missile The defense systems group of aerospace contractor Orbital ATK Inc. will be doing upgrade work on a guided missile program. The work on the advanced anti-radiation guided missile will take place at Orbital’s Northridge facility as well as in Ridgecrest. The upgrades will improve operational capabilities, including extended range and survivability. The missile, which is currently in full rate production, is used by the Navy and Marine Corps on the Navy’s Hornet, Super Hornet and Growler aircraft. “This contract is a major step in Orbital ATK’s ongoing commitment to advancing (guided missile) counter-air defense capability for the U.S. Navy,” Cary Ralston, general manager of Orbital’s Defense Electronic Systems division, said in a statement. “We are committed to increasing the effectiveness of the warfighter to suppress and destroy enemy air defense threats while remaining safe.” The company has been developing the guided missile in the San Fernando Valley since it received its first development contract in 2003. ATK had been in a low rate of production for about three years, making a couple of missiles a month. Then, in September 2012, it received its first full production contract valued at $71 million. Last June, Orbital delivered its 500th guided missile and in September received a contract valued at up to $350 million from the U.S. Navy to continue production. Orbital ATK is in the process of being acquired by defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. in a deal valued at $9.2 billion. Catalina Island Shuttle BYD Coach and Bus announced on Jan. 29 it is deploying three electric buses to shuttle tourists around Catalina Island. The 23-foot BYD C6 Motor Coach is built at the Chinese company’s plant in Lancaster. The arrival of the electric bus reflects another innovative step toward developing sustainable transportation alternatives on the island. Macy Neshati, senior vice president with BYD, called Catalina a beautiful treasure and the decision to use electric buses reflects a public stewardship. “More than a million people visit Catalina each year, and swapping out diesel buses with battery-electric vehicles will dramatically lessen their footprint,” Neshati said in a statement. BYD opened its Lancaster production facility in 2013 and employs more than 700 workers. The C6 has room for up to 20 seats and has a range of 124 miles per charge. Visual Accounting Accounting software developer FloQast Inc. added a visualization component to its Close Analytics product to better manage and help improve the month-end closing process. The Van Nuys company put visualization capabilities into the software to give controllers an instant view of the overall close status, informing them how their team is progressing and giving them the ability to know whether the close is on track. “Close management software has revolutionized the long, tedious and manual close process,” Chief Executive Michael Whitmire said in a statement. Staff Reporter Mark R. Madler can be reached at (818) 316-3126 or mmadler@sfvbj.com.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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