The enhanced-performance implanted CMOS family of Advanced CMOS Logic functions, EPIC ACL, jointly developed by Dallas-based Texas Instruments and Philips’ Signetics subsidiary has, as reported briefly (CI No 865), expanded to incorporate 25 new ACL devices, bringing the total number in the logic family to 43. Texas Instruments claims that when combined with its recently developed BiCMOS bus-interface functions family, it will enable designers to develop systems that meet requirements of both low power dissipation and high performance by virtue of the BiCMOS process. The new design support tools are divided into groups of design aids and CMOS logic functions. New functions include gates, octal buffers/drivers, comparators, flip-flops and latches, while a number of manuals – a design reference guide entitled Advanced CMOS Logic Designer’s Handbook, an ACL data book and an ACL qualification book – form part of the design aids package. Other design aids include an ACL system evaluation board which can simulate a range of system environments and demonstrate the effects of noise switching on data integrity by altering transmission line length, output loading and operating frequency. The company took time out to proselytise its practice of putting the soldering pins in the centre of the components throughout the ACL range, saying that the configuration reduces simultaneous switching noise spikes – the microelectronic counterparts of those electric blips that momentarily disturb your TV picture or FM radio reception, but which can generate errors or cause permanent damage on a chip – by 50% without experiencing performance degradation, thus eliminating the need to redesign systems with the addition of passive suppression components. In order to supply European manufacturers with accessible fabrication, packaging and testing facilities, Texas Instruments is expanding its European bases in West Germany and Portugal. The company has spent $1m on updating equipment in Freising, West Germany where it estimates 31% of its ACL chips will now be designed, and over $4m on its packaging and testing plant in Oporto, Portugal, where 70% of European ACL units will now be assembled.