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Microchip solves interoperability challenges of delivering up to 90 Watts of Power over Ethernet wiring

Win a Microchip 1 Msps SAR ADC Evaluation Kit

Microchip enables both pre-standard and IEEE-compliant Powered Devices (PDs) to receive up to 90W of power without changing Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches or cabling.

Win a Microchip 1 Msps SAR ADC Evaluation Kit from Electronica Azi International.

Many proprietary solutions were brought to market through 2018 and support specifications such as Universal PoE (UPOE) and Power over HDBaseT (PoH). They meet the higher powering needs of two-pair and four-pair PDs including kiosks, POS terminals, thin clients, 802.11ac/ax access points, small cells, smart buildings, industrial automation systems and connected LED lighting. During this period Microchip has offered a PSE chipset for implementing the widely adopted PoH four-pair power standard for 95W PDs. It is now the first to also offer an IEEE 802.3af/at/bt chipset that enables pre-standard switches to interoperate with new IEEE 802.3bt-2018-compliant products. Its complete IEEE 802.3bt-compliant offering includes a range of products. PoE injectors and midspans: • Users can power any combination of pre-standard and IEEE 802.3bt-2018-compliant PDs by installing the single- or multi-port solutions between PDs and their existing switch. • Family includes single- and multi-port options that will also enable new IEEE 802.3bt-compliant switches to power pre-standard PDs. PSE chipset and supporting PDs: • The PSE chipset’s unique design balances thermal dissipation more evenly across the system while enabling scalability for supporting two-pair and four-pair systems with a single board design. It provides all required manager and controller functionality for building power sourcing equipment with the industry’s most extensive interoperability and can source 90 to 99.9 watts of power per port while supporting up to 48 ports for IEEE 802.3bt Type 3 (Classes 1-6) and Type 4 (Classes 7-8) applications. • Earlier pre-standard PSE designs based on Microchip’s Gen 6 PSE chipset can be upgraded to IEEE 802.3bt via a software update with no hardware changes. • The dual-pack IdealBridge™ MOSFET-based full-bridge rectifier device is used on the powered side of the PoE connection and protects PDs against reverse-polarity connections while cutting power, space and costs of delivering IEEE 802.3bt Type 4 Class 8 power. Microchip Technology |

The 1 Msps SAR ADC Evaluation Kit (ADM00873-BNDL) includes all tool sets needed to evaluate the MCP33131D-10 16-bit 1 Msps SAR A/D converter. This kit includes MCP331x1x-xx 1 Msps SAR ADC Evaluation Board with 9V Power Supply, Pre-programmed PIC32 Curiosity Board and USB cable. Designed to operate in high temperatures and high electromagnetic environments, the MCP331x1(D)-xx family includes the industry’s only one million samples per second (Msps) fully AEC-Q100-qualified 16-bit SAR, providing the reliability required for automotive and industrial applications. The MCP6D11 differential amplifier provides a low-distortion, high-accuracy interface to achieve the full performance of the ADC within systems. The MCP331x1(D)-xx family ranges in resolution from 12-, 14- and 16-bit, with speed options ranging from 500 kilosamples per second (ksps) to 1 Msps, allowing developers to choose the right ADC for their designs. A fixed low analog supply voltage (AVDD) of 1.8V and low-current operation (1.6 mA typical active current for 1 Msps and 1.4 mA for 500 ksps) enables this family of ADCs to have an ultra-low power consumption, while maintaining a wide input full-scale range. These devices support a wide digital I/O interface voltage (DVIO) range (1.7V - 5.5V) which allows it to interface with most host devices, including Microchip’s PIC32, AVR® and Arm®-based microcontrollers and microprocessors. This eliminates the need for using external voltage level shifters. The MCP331x1D-XX Evaluation Kit is available to demonstrate the performance of the MCP331x1D-XX SAR ADC family devices. The evaluation kit includes the following: • MCP331×1D Evaluation Board • PIC32MZ EF MCU Curiosity Board for data collection • SAR ADC Utility PC Graphical User Interface (GUI)

For your chance to win a 1 Msps SAR ADC Evaluation Kit, visit and enter your details in the online entry form. 3

Electronica Azi International » TABLE OF CONTENTS

3 | CONTEST: Win a Microchip 1 Msps SAR ADC

18 | Pulling the Peripheral Trigger

Evaluation Kit

22 | Powering Your FPGA Applications

3 | Microchip solves interoperability challenges of

28 | Solid State Relays

delivering up to 90 Watts of Power over Ethernet wiring


32 | MSI 400 – compact construction and easy 6

to program

6 | 5G - The Future Starts NOW

33 | Sensor Instruments GmbH. Perfect Copy Counting

9 | New technology for mature applications:

34 | Contrinex: Photoelectric miniature sensor in place

CoolSiC™ MOSFET evaluation board for motor

of optical fiber

drives up to 7.5 kW


10 | How to Isolate Development Tools from Faulty Hardware

35 | ASENTICS Videolab Image Processing Systems 14

35 | Cube Encoders from POSITAL: Updating an Old Industry Favorite

14 | Edge computers make AI applications ready for large-scale use

39 | SAKI Corporation Introduces Ultra-fast, Inline, 2D Bottom-side automated Optical Inspection for PCBs

16 | Redefining the HMI − Going Beyond Touch

40 | Martin offers an innovative solution to gently

® Management Managing Director - Ionela Ganea Editorial Director - Gabriel Neagu Accounting - Ioana Paraschiv Advertisement - Irina Ganea Web design - Eugen Vărzaru

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Contributing editors Cornel Pazara PhD. Paul Svasta PhD. Norocel Codreanu PhD. Marian Blejan PhD. Bogdan Grămescu

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Electronica Azi International is published 6 times per year in 2019 by Euro Standard Press 2000 s.r.l. It is a free to qualified electronics engineers and managers involved in engineering decisions. Copyright 2019 by Euro Standard Press 2000 s.r.l. All rights reserved.

Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


The Future Starts NOW By Anja Schaal, Senior Marketing Manager Wireless

In order to assess whether developments should better be implemented now or after the launch of 5G, it is necessary to take a closer look at the objectives to be achieved with the new standard. They basically apply to three main topics:

4G now or 5G later? 2020 will be the year when 5G, the fifth mobile generation, is launched commercially worldwide. It is not long until then, but many companies are, nevertheless, currently faced with the question of whether it is wiser to wait with corresponding applications or whether solutions already exist today. • eMBB – enhanced mobile broadband. Data transfer rates of up to 20 Gbps pave the way for the digital lifestyle of end consumers. In addition, eMBB is a prerequisite for applications that have a high bandwidth requirement, e.g. high definition videos as well as virtual and augmented reality.

• mMTC – massive machine type communications addresses the challenges of stable and ubiquitous network coverage in urban areas with a very high connection density of MTC devices. MTC devices are characterized by a battery life of more than 15 years and low hardware costs, as is necessary

Figure 1

Peaceful coexistence: Network slicing distributes applications to various virtual networks to ensure eMBB, mMTC, and uRLLC can be used simultaneously. 6

Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


for smart city or smart agriculture applications. The main objective of 5G is to support one million such connections per square kilometer. • uRLLC – ultra-reliable and low latency communications. Latency times of below 1ms are prerequisites for reliable and time-critical applications, such as autonomous driving, car-to-car and car-to-everything communication or predictive maintenance based on cloud computing. NETWORK SLICING Another fundamental innovation that 5G will deliver is network slicing. This allows the three core areas eMBB, mMTC, and uRLLC with their varying requirements to coexist within the same physical networks without disturbing each other. Network slicing is a type of virtual network architecture that uses the same principles as software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). SDN and NFV are both technologies that can already be implemented under LTE to increase flexibility and scalability within a network. The hardware and software are decoupled from each other, thereby enabling further network infrastructures to be programmed. This means that different end devices can enter a network via the same radio access network (RAN) but can then be divided into various virtual networks according to their actual application. They remain in these networks up to the network provider or the data center in which the contents and applications are hosted. (Figure 1) Even if SDN and NFV can already be implemented within LTE networks, only network slicing under 5G really allows all the services to run through one and the same physical network – from the emergency call service, which depends on a robust and time-critical 24/7 network, to the private user sitting in the street café reading the latest news online. MANY THINGS ARE ALREADY POSSIBLE TODAY Under 4G, or with LTE, LTE-Advanced, and LTE-Advanced-Pro, basic technologies have already been created that are fully or partially incorporated into 5G. They form the basis for the introduction of the new mobile radio generation and already support certain 5G targets completely or at least to a large extent. With regard to eMBB, several carrier components can already be combined under 4G

through carrier aggregation (CA) to thus create a broader data line. The multiple antenna method massive-multiple input multiple output (M-MIMO) enables more simultaneous data strings, while license assisted access (LAA) allows for the use of the unlicensed frequency spectrum above 5GHz. 3GPP release 13/14 with LTE-M (also known as eMTC / enhanced machine type communications) and NB-IoT has already created the basis for the implementation of mMTC. Both technologies in the LTE Category 0 range offer additional features, such as power saving mode (PSM) or extended discontinuous reception (eDRX). These functions can wake up devices periodically in order to send very small amounts of data and then immediately put them back into sleep mode. This allows the devices to “sleep” most of the time, thus helping to extend the battery life significantly. Maximum coupling loss (MCL) already ensures increased coverage, as is also the aim with mMTC. The 3GPP release 12 already contains requirements for reducing latency times – a target within the framework of uRLLC. However, considerable improvements can only be expected with the introduction of 5G. LTE CAT. 18, LTE-M, AND NB-IOT AS A FIRST STEP TOWARDS 5G This means: Companies can already start their development of IoT solutions today. The LM960 Mini PCIe card from Telit, for example, is available for implementing eMBB, i.e. higher data transfer rates (figure 2). The LTE-Advanced Category 18 solution enables downlink speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps with the 4x4 MIMO mode.

Figure 2

(Source: Telit)

One of the first LTE-Advanced Cat. 18 cards in Mini PCI Express format: Telit’s LM960.

Thanks to CA, it can support up to five carrier components, while LAA ensures better penetration in buildings.

Figure 3

(Source: Telit)

The ME910C1 family combines LTE-M and NB-IoT. Telit offers the ME910C1 LTE-Cat.-M1/NB1 family for mMTC applications (figure 3). It combines LTE-M and NB-IoT and provides high energy efficiency thanks to features such as PSM (power saving mode) and eDRX. MCL increases the level of coverage. On the home straight to 5G: • December 2017: First part of the – 5G NSA (non-standalone) – specification completed. It can be used to extend 5G mobile technology on the basis of 4G core networks. • June 2018: The second part of the 5G NR (new radio) specification – 5G SA (standalone release 15) – is available. Its core consists of a new end-to-end network architecture that enables particularly short latencies of up to less than 1ms. 5G SA will be anchored on its own 5G core. • Today: Together, both parts create opportunities for new developments and business models that herald a new era of comprehensive networking. CONCLUSION With 5G, it is possible to look forward to many technologies and improvements that are essential for applications in the uRLLC sector, such as connected cars or autonomous driving. For eMBB and mMTC applications, it is recommended, however, to start with development immediately. Suitable solutions are already available from various suppliers. When making their choice, developers receive competent support from Rutronik’s wireless specialists. This means that companies will not lose any investments until the start of 5G in 2020, will be able to make their applications IoT-capable today, and will still benefit from 5G tomorrow. Rutronik 7


New Products in Essential Analog Portfolio by Maxim Shatter Industry Benchmarks in Power, Solution Size and Accuracy Designers can further reduce power consumption and solution size, while improving measurement accuracy, with three new industry-leading analog products from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. The MAX6078A voltage reference IC, the MAX16155 nanoPower supervisor and the MAX16160 voltage monitor and reset IC achieve best-in-class performance for cloud

infrastructure, IoT, intelligence-at-the-edge, on-device AI, as well as smart and emerging applications in consumer, communications, industrial and medical markets. As designers develop new and next-generation systems for greater performance, smaller size and innovative capabilities, they demand reliable analog solutions to provide essential performance functions

such as precision measurement and reliable protection. Maxim leverages world-class circuit design expertise and unique advanced process technology to provide high-quality building block ICs that support system advances in multiple applications. Maxim has added three new solutions to its Essential Analog portfolio of high-performance, single-function analog ICs which provide efficient power, precision measurement, rugged connectivity and reliable protection. Maxim’s New Solutions in Essential Analog Portfolio: • MAX6078A: Precision Voltage Reference Delivers Industrial Level Accuracy on a Tight Battery Power Budget • MAX16155: Industry’s Lowest Power nanoPower Supervisor • MAX16160: New 4-Channel Voltage Monitor and Reset IC Without VCC Rail Power-Up Requirement Maxim Integrated

Microchip’s low-power Radiation-Tolerant (RT) PolarFire® FPGA enables high-bandwidth space systems with lower total system cost Microchip announces the RT PolarFire FPGA that is optimised to meet the most demanding requirements in spacecraft payload systems’ high-speed data paths with the lowest possible power consumption and heat generation. Microchip has extended its RT (Radiation Tolerant) FPGA offering to bring these capabilities to emerging highperformance space applications. A growing number of space applications need greater computational performance so they can transmit processed information rather than raw data and make optimal use of limited downlink bandwidth. The RT PolarFire FPGA enables this at significantly lower cost and with faster design cycles than possible with Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). It also significantly reduces power as compared to the alternative of using FPGAs based on Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) while eliminating their vulnerability to radiationinduced configuration upsets. The RT PolarFire FPGA is supported by all necessary radiation data, specifications, package details and tools customers need to start 8

new designs now, initially with the commercial version of the device. The RT PolarFire FPGA builds on the success of Microchip’s RTG4 FPGA, which has been widely deployed in space applications that require its radiation-hardening by design against Single Event Upsets (SEUs) and inherent immunity to Single Event Latch-ups (SELs) and configuration

upsets. For space applications that require up to five times the computing throughput, the RT PolarFire FPGA provides 50 percent more performance and triple the logic elements and Serialiser-Deserialiser (SERDES) bandwidth. Microchip Technology

Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


New technology for mature applications: CoolSiC™ MOSFET evaluation board for motor drives up to 7.5 kW Silicon carbide (SiC) is en route to mainstream for applications like photovoltaic and uninterruptable power supplies. Infineon Technologies AG is now targeting the next group of applications for this wide bandgap technology: The evaluation board EVAL-M5-E1B1245N-SiC will help to pave the way for SiC in motor drives and help strengthening Infineon’s market position as #1 for industrial SiC. It was developed to support customers during their first steps in designing industrial drives applications with a maximum of 7.5 kW motor output.

The evaluation board comprises an EasyPACK™ 1B with CoolSiC™ MOSFET (FS45MR12W1M1_B11), a 3-phase AC connector, EMI filter, rectifier and a 3-phase output for connecting the motor. Based on the Modular Application Design Kit (MADK) the board is equipped with the Infineon standard M5 32-pin interface which allows the connection to a control unit such as the XMC DriveCard 4400 or 1300. Its input voltage covers the range of 340 to 480 V AC. The new member of the MADK family is optimized for general purpose drives as well as for servo drives with very high frequency. It features the EasyPACK 1B in Sixpack configuration with a 1200 V CoolSiC MOSFET and a typical onstate resistance of 45 mΩ. The power stage contains sensing circuits for current and voltage; it is equipped with all assembly elements for sensorless field oriented control (FOC). The EVAL-M5-E1B1245N-SiC has a low inductive design, integrated NTC temperature sensors and a leadfree terminal plating, which makes it RoHS compliant. Availability The EVAL-M5-E1B1245N-SiC can be ordered now. More information is available at product/evaluation-boards/eval-m5-e1b1245n-sic/. Infineon Technologies |



How to Isolate Development Tools from Faulty Hardware By Rich Miron Contributed by Digi-Key's North American Editors

Connecting a development tool, laptop, and other resources to electronic hardware for test and debug is risky. While direct connections over UART, SPI, I2C, and other buses are necessary to monitor how the system behaves, there are many times when the hardware under development can fail. It can then send unwanted voltage and current over those interfaces and damage those tools and laptops. These tools are often expensive. Not only that, but Murphy’s Law dictates that the hardware and tools will fail at the worst possible moment. The result will be a delayed project and extra expenses in overnight shipping to get the workbench back up and running. This article will discuss how developers can protect their tool investment using interfaces based on inexpensive isolation ICs that can be built in less than 30 minutes. It will also discuss how those isolators can be selected and provide several tips and tricks to ensure that when hardware does go bad, development tools and laptops don’t go with it. CONSIDERATIONS FOR SELECTING AN ISOLATOR An isolator divides a circuit into two circuits, separated by an isolation barrier. The circuits on each side of the barrier are separately powered and grounded. The barrier acts as a filter that blocks high voltages and transients, only allowing digital information or data to be transmitted from one side to the other through a coupling mechanism. The coupling mechanism is usually capacitive, magnetic, or optical. In many cases, the reader will find that for any interface they may be interested in protecting, they will have more than a single option available to them. For example, I2C isolators are often offered in both capaci10

tive and magnetic variants. Before selecting which technology, we need to understand the environment in which we are working. Capacitive coupling uses a changing electric field to transmit data across the isolation barrier, which makes it a great choice in applications where there may be intense magnetic fields. Capacitive coupling also tends to result in a smaller board footprint and more energy efficient operation, both of which make it a good choice for many applications. It’s important to note, however, that capacitive coupling does sometimes have issues with noise due to a shared signal path. Magnetic coupling uses changing magnetic fields to transmit data across the isolation barrier, which makes it a great choice in

applications where there may be intense electric fields. Magnetic coupling often uses small transformers, which helps with noise rejection and a highly efficient energy transfer across the barrier. Optical coupling uses optical pulses to transmit light across a non-conductive barrier, which makes it the perfect choice for noisy electric and magnetic environments. Unlike with magnetic and capacitively coupled signals, optical coupling can transmit steady state signals across the barrier. The disadvantages to using optical couplers are that they can be speed limited and require more power to operate. With these different technologies and their characteristics in mind, the next step is Electronica Azi International | 5/2019

DESIGN SOLUTIONS » development tools

to examine several different bus protocols and walk through how to isolate development tools on the various interfaces. SELECTING AN I2C ISOLATOR A great way for developers to develop drivers for devices outside the microcontroller is to use a bus spy tool of some sort. These tools allow a developer to monitor bus traffic. A high quality, more expensive tool will also allow a developer to inject messages onto the bus as well. Short anecdote: I once had an I2C/SPI combo tool that was connected to a customer’s I2C bus. Their hardware failed and dropped 42 volts across the I2C bus, destroying their hardware and taking my development tool with it. Had I used an I2C isolator to protect my tools, I would not have had to spend the extra money on a new tool, and also pay for expedited shipping. There are several characteristics that should be looked at when selecting an I2C isolator. First, the voltage isolation should at least be 2500 volts rms. This level of isolation will protect against 90% or more of embedded development mishaps. Second, the data rate of the isolator should be examined. Standard I2C operates at 100 kilobits per second (kbps) and 400 kbps. High-speed I2C operates at 1000 kbps. The tool or the application will determine which isolator and isolator technology is best selected. There are several different general purpose I2C isolators that work well for protecting development tools. For a general purpose isolator, the ADUM3211ARZ-RL7 from Analog Devices is a good option (figure 1).

Figure 1: The ADUM3211 is a general purpose twochannel magnetic coupled isolator that can operate up to 1000 kbps. (Image source: Analog Devices)

The ADUM3211 uses magnetic coupling to transfer data across the barrier at data rates as high as 1000 kbps. This isolator can therefore handle high-speed I2C, but it does not contain a bi-directional barrier.

This means the development tool can monitor the bus, but it cannot write to it which is perfectly fine for most applications. To protect development tools that need to both monitor and inject data on the bus, the ISO1541DR I2C isolator from Texas Instruments is an excellent choice (figure 2).

microcontroller SPI peripherals of 4 Mbps, but also data rates that are common for memory interface controllers as well. The ADUM3154 also supports up to four isolated slave selects (figure 3).

Figure 2: The ISO1541DR I2C isolator from Texas Instruments contains two bi-directional isolation channels that can operate at up to 1000 kbps.

Figure 3: The ADUM3154 is a four-channel SPI isolator from Analog Devices that can handle data rates up to 17 Mbps.

(Image source: Texas Instruments)

(Image source: Analog Devices)

The ISO1541 uses capacitive coupling in a SOIC-8 package to transmit bi-directional data at up to 1000 kbps. The isolator contains two separate isolation channels: one for the data signal (SDA) and one for the clock signal (SCL). Notice from both Figure 1 and Figure 2 that these devices require that the tool side provide power to its side of the isolator and that the target side power its side. Forgetting to power these from each respective source is a common reason for lack of communication across the barrier, so care should be taken during setup to ensure both sides are powered.

In cases where 17 Mbps is not fast enough, Analog Devices also offers the ADUM 3151BRSZ-RL7 (figure 4).

SELECTING AN SPI ISOLATOR The SPI bus can be a little bit trickier to protect than the I2C bus. The I2C bus contains just two communications lines, no matter how many devices are connected on the bus. The SPI bus on the other hand contains three data lines for master out, master in, and clock. In addition to these three, every device that is connected to the SPI bus requires a slave select line. It’s imperative that any SPI isolator also contain several isolation lines for the slave select lines. There are several different options that fit well to protect a SPI development tool. The first is the ADUM3154 SPI isolator from Analog Devices. The ADUM3154 uses magnetic coupling to transmit data across the isolation barrier at data rates up to 17 megabits per second (Mbps). This not only covers the maximum baud rate for most

Figure 4: The ADUM3151 is a seven-channel SPI isolator from Analog Devices that can handle data rates of up to 34 Mbps. (Image source: Analog Devices)

The ADUM3151 also uses magnetic coupling but can handle data rates up to 34 Mbps. It also has four channels that can be used for slave selects. SELECTING A SERIAL WIRE DEBUG (SWD) ISOLATOR One of the most expensive development tools that an embedded software engineer will usually have is a debug probe. A good debug probe can cost upwards of several thousand dollars. While the chances that something will go wrong on the programming lines is low, it’s not worth the gamble. 11


First, an isolator needs to be selected. The ADUM 3211 discussed earlier is a great option because it has two high-speed isolation channels that are in opposite directions. This is perfectly suited for a UART’s Tx/Rx lines, which are often right next to each other. Once the isolator is selected, a developer can get a breakout board like the LCQTSOIC8-8 from Aries Electronics (Figure 6). (Image source: SEGGER Microcontroller Systems)

A developer could go and develop their own isolation solution to protect all the SWD lines, but that would be a bit time consuming and expensive. Instead, a simple solution is to use the J-Link SWD Isolator from SEGGER Microcontroller Systems (figure 5). The J-Link SWD provides 1000 VDC isolation between the emulator and the target hardware.

Figure 5: The SEGGER Microcontroller Systems J-Link SWD isolator provides 1000 volts of isolation between a debug programmer and the target system. It already includes headers and can easily be soldered onto the BOB-12731. When soldering the isolator onto the board and then to the UART adapter, it’s important to make sure that the voltage and ground pins align properly. If they don’t, then the isolator will not be powered.

• Review the datasheet and make sure that the voltage isolation specification meets your needs. • Become familiar with the different isolation mechanisms and make sure to select the right technology for the application. • Isolate any bus or interface that connects back to the USB port on a laptop as it is a potentially damaging ground path. • Leverage existing development kits for the selected isolator or use breakout boards to simplify development time and cost. • Protect a professional debugger by using an SWD isolator. CONCLUSION Many embedded systems developers don’t give a second thought to connecting an expensive development tool to a piece of hardware that is under test. Normally there won’t be any problems. However, a time will come when something unexpected happens and the development tools will be exposed to voltages and

(Image source: Beningo Embedded Group)

SELECTING AND BUILDING A UART ISOLATOR Many developers might consider isolating a little UART to be a waste of time and money. After all, a low-cost tool like the BOB-12731 USB-to-serial breakout board from SparkFun Electronics could easily be replaced if something happened to it. However, if something did go wrong, there could be several thousand dollars’ worth of computer equipment on the other side that should be protected. The extra time and money can be well worth it. Putting together a UART protection circuit is simple, and similar steps can be followed to protect other bus interfaces as well.

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR DEVELOPMENT TOOL ISOLATION There are many techniques and isolation interfaces that can be used to protect development tools. Here are several tips and tricks to protect those investments:

Figure 7: An assembled UART isolator circuit that has been connected to the USB to UART converter, providing customized isolated communication with the target device.

Figure 6: The Aries Electronics LCQT-SOIC8-8 provides a breakout for a SOIC-8 chip that already has jumpers on board to make a quick connection with a device target. (Image source: Aries Electronics)


It’s also important to ensure that the isolator channel direction is in the right direction. If the breakout board or the isolator do not align properly, it may be necessary to customize a board (figure 7). Once assembled, the USB to UART converter supplies power to the tool side of the isolator, while the target device would supply power to the target side. The result is an isolated bi-directional UART tool that is protected for up to 2500 volts.

currents that exceed their specifications, resulting in damage. In order to avoid a last-minute dash to get a workbench up and running, spending a few hours properly isolating tools using the many isolation solutions now available leads to a more efficient and less costly development process. Digi-Key Electronics Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


New surface-mount fully integrated current sensors offer easy handling and layout for high current density applications Allegro MicroSystems announced significant ease-of-use enhancements to its popular high current fully integrated ACS772/3 current sensor “CB” package family. These industry-leading, automotive grade high voltage isolation current sensors already provide economical and precise solutions

for both AC and DC current sensing up to 400A. Building on that leadership and deep customer-understanding, Allegro’s new surface-mount leadform option for the CB package is the answer to many customer challenges by providing a flexible solution for space constrained applications.

Flexible. Easy. Efficient. The ACS772/3 family of current sensor ICs has an enhanced feature set that helps engineers simplify their bill of materials and improve efficiency in the toughest of applications: • Small form footprint over competing solutions • Very fast 2.5μS response time that enables overcurrent fault detection ideal for safety-critical applications • Enhanced working isolation voltages up to 1300kV+ for basic DC voltage, and 650V+ for reinforced isolation DC voltage - No need for opto-isolators or other costly isolation techniques. • High accuracy of ±2.1% over the lifetime of the IC These features make the ACS772/3 family ideal for a range of applications from industrial robotics to electric vehicles. Allegro MicroSystems

Renesas Premieres RE Family For Its SOTB™ Process-Based Energy Harvesting Embedded Controller Portfolio Renesas Electronics Corporation introduced its RE Family, which encompasses the company’s current and future lineup of energy harvesting embedded controllers. The RE Family is based on Renesas’ proprietary SOTB™ (Silicon on Thin Buried Oxide) process technology, which dramatically reduces power consumption in both the active and standby states, eliminating the need for battery replacement or recharging. Following the mass production of the RE01 Group (formerly known as the R7F0E embedded controllers), the first of the RE Family, the new RE01 Group Evaluation Kit was launched today, which allows users working with the RE01 Group of devices to jump start system evaluations for energy harvesting applications. The new RE01 Evaluation Kit includes an evaluation board which features an RE01 embedded controller, an interface for the energy harvesting device and a rechargeable battery interface. The Kit also includes an Arduino-compatible interface for easy expansion and evaluation of sensor boards and a Pmod™ connector to expand and evaluate wireless functionality. In addition, there is an ultra-low power MIP LCD expansion board so that users can evaluate display

functions faster. The Kit also contains sample code and application notes that serve as references for power management design that eliminates the need for battery maintenance, and driver software that supports CMSIS, Arm®’s Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard. Sample code for ultralow power A/D converters, digital filter and FFT (fast Fourier transform) routines, 2D graphics MIP LCD displays, and secure boot

and secure firmware update functions for improved security are available. With these features, this kit makes it possible to adopt energy harvesting based on RE01 Group devices at the system level and will accelerate the development of equipment that does not require battery maintenance. Renesas Electronics Corporation


Edge computers make AI applications ready for large-scale use The cooperation between the companies within the S&T Group opens up many new fields of applications. With the IoT Software Framework SUSiEtec from S&T Technologies, Kontron can offer artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for its edge computers from a single source, such as for instance for Visual Inspection. This is where Kontron benefits from its many years of experience as a manufacturer of high-performance, state-of-the-art industrial computers based on the latest processor technology. By Stephan Eberhardt Business Development Manager S&T Technologies In addition to machine control, edge computers also perform other key tasks: on the one hand, they serve as gateways into the network extending onto the Internet. On the other hand, powerful embedded computers can take on demanding tasks directly at the machine that cannot be performed in the cloud due to latency times and bandwidth restrictions, such as AI applications. In the field of visual inspection, for example, recordings via a camera are analyzed and evaluated directly on the edge device by a trained neural network, connected either by USB or network in a process called ‘Inference’ − more precisely than humans would be able to do. Other possible applications for computers with edge performance are machine and deep learning, in whose compute-intensive processes pre-configured neural networks are usually trained to fulfill dedicated applications. Implementing this on the edge side is usually more efficient than uploading terabytes of training material into the cloud. A complete process for deep learning consists of different phases: 14

The SUSiEtec software framework from S&T Technologies also includes components that make it easy to program AI applications under Windows with Java and .NET. It can also be used to connect IoT and other components in industrial environments “from Edge to Fog to Cloud”. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Collecting samples Training phase Transforming the learned network Integration of the trained network into a product

HIT RATE GREATER THAN 80 PERCENT REQUIRED Hit rate greater than 80 percent required According to customer experiences of S&T Technologies, customers expect a finished Electronica Azi International | 5/2019

DESIGN SOLUTIONS » edge computers

product in most cases, for example when it comes to object recognition. A "minimum viable product" that meets the minimum requirements must have a hit rate of at least 80 percent. The application fields are diverse: • Supermarket scales should be able to automatically recognize which type of fruit or vegetable is being weighed; therefore, customers no longer must remember the corresponding item numbers and enter them manually. Employees at the checkout no longer must check whether the customer has determined the correct price. • When it comes to professional permanent hair removal via laser at the dermatologist, the device can automatically recognize which skin type it should adjust to. A complex examination and adjustment by the doctor is no longer necessary. • For repairs and maintenance, a photo of the part to be replaced or defective is sufficient for the software or app to correctly identify the part and, if necessary, immediately trigger the re-order of the spare part.

machine part. For example, trains could be checked “in passing”. Sooner or later, firewalls in IT networks will “learn” what normal behavior is in the network and give alerts or even initiate protective and defensive measures if activities are detected as unusual.

SIMPLE PROGRAMMING OF AI APPLICATIONS S&T Technologies often experiences that companies already have tried and tested visual inspection systems in operation. These have sometimes been in use for well over ten years and are therefore perfectly tailored to the application. New AI solutions naturally have a hard time asserting themselves against established systems. Often the knowledge of an efficient programming language for the development of a new solution is missing. Here, the AI Software Framework SUSiEtec offers an alternative: it allows developers to program the learning and inference phase in the common languages .Net and Java by Windows. On the hardware side, it shows that embedded computers are very well equipped for AI tasks, because in practice the evaluation speed often plays only a minor role: the difference between a tenth of a second and two seconds is often not decisive for the application. Powerful hardware accelerators such as Intel® Movidius™ chips for neural networks are therefore usually required in time-critical scenarios, but not in every application. In addition to visual inspection, AI applications are also conceivable in text recognition and reproduction, audio recognition and behavior pattern recognition. Audio recognition for instance can be used to identify unusual vibrations that indicate a faulty

The robust high-performance server Kontron KISS 4U V3 SKX is especially suitable for demanding applications: e.g. high-end image processing, SCADA/MES applications, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The system effortlessly handles computeintensive processes and large amounts of data thanks to processors from the Dual Intel® Xeon® SP series. The volume during operation is kept at a low level of less than 35dBA, so the computer platform is also qualified for use in noise-sensitive, people-oriented areas such as laboratories or control centers. In addition, the Kontron KISS 4U V3 SKX is designed for harsh environments and is suitable for operation at high temperatures and mechanical loads. Several PCIe slots and powerful power supplies allow the integration of multiple GPGPU cards, e.g. from NVIDIA, into the computer for AI tasks.

AI TAILOR-MADE FOR ALL APPLICATION FIELDS The basic research of many Internet companies as well as from universities such as Harvard and other research institutes contribute further to the development of AI applications. On this basis, commercial companies can now also implement their own applications: this is where Kontron and S&T Technologies step into the picture. They enable their customers to concentrate on their core competencies and implement state-of-the-art technologies tailored to the customer's needs, such as automated image searches on an Internet search engine. The same neural networks are used when an S&T Technologies AI application categorizes products. Of course, the application is executed and accelerated on Kontron hardware. In principle, Kontron and S&T Technologies consider the market ripe for scalable AI solutions, as all components are available “off the shelf”. In addition, the S&T Group supports its customers in entering

this new technology with the IoT Software Framework SUSiEtec. In the case of visual recognition, as a prominent example, this includes clarifying hardware requirements, selecting and integrating open source modules and packages and encapsulating

complex problems, e.g. via dockers. This enormous complexity often results in many small problems during interaction, which can then be solved by Kontron together with the S&T Group for the customer. The customer is accompanied throughout his entire journey from consulting to a finished, tailor-made “product”. Starting with small, successful solutions, this results in comprehensive applications that bring real added value to the customer. A wide range of AI applications are not only imaginable today but can in fact already be implemented. About the author: Stefan Eberhardt is responsible for business development for artificial intelligence (AI) at S&T Technologies, a company of S&T AG. Kontron Member of the S&T GROUP 15

Redefining the HMI − Going Beyond Touch By Mark Patrick Mouser Electronics

In principle, the basic HMI concept is not a new one − arguably rudimentary forms of it were used as far back as the industrial revolution of the 19th Century. The Jacquard Loom and Babbage’s Difference Engine are examples from that era of where control functions were applied to machinery through human input of some description. As we entered into the computing age, mechanical keyboards would become the route via which commands could be initiated or programs put into action. Modern times have seen the emergence of touchbased display technology (most notably projected capacitive derivatives), and this has brought more advanced and intuitive HMIs to the fore. The touchscreens incorporated into MP3 players, at the start of the new millennium, proved to be a key factor in securing these gadgets’ widespread popularity. Then, when the first smartphones and tablets started to appear, they would be designed into these too. Before long, they became the mandatory mechanism via which we would interact with consumer electronics goods. Industrial controls soon followed suit, with clunky switches and dials being supplanted by sleek and far more reliable touch-based alternatives. Now there are calls for taking HMIs even further. Though touch-enabled HMIs have many appealing qualities, there are still reasons 16

The human-machine interface (HMI) is a core element of almost any electronic system that you can think of, enabling the operator to interact with the particular device or item of equipment, in order to execute different functions or to access information through it. In the following article, we will look at how the unquestionable success of touchscreen technology is now inspiring the development of ambitious new HMI mechanisms that can potentially add further dimensions to the user experience. why employing them might not always be recommended. Under certain circumstances, physical contact may be problematic. This could be due to the potential spreading of germs in clinical environments or even public places − where information terminals might be used by many people over the course of a day, without any opportunity for the touch surface to be cleaned. Also, in situations where the user’s concentration must remain fixed on something important (such as driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery, for instance), utilising a touchscreen HMI for some secondary function could be too much of a distraction. Consequently, there is growing interest in exploring non-contact alternatives. Though voice-control is becoming increasingly popular in within households (thanks to the widespread proliferation of digital assistants), offering a way for simple instructions to be carried out, it is not always totally applicable. This is especially true in outdoor public use, or in industrial and automotive settings, where there is likely to be substantial background noise to contend with. Incorrect commands, and subsequently rectifying them, could result in too much time being taken to get the action done and lead to annoyance. There might also be privacy considerations to factor in. So, though clearly valid in some scenarios, other methods need to be looked into.

UPTAKE OF ToF One option that is gaining a lot of traction is time-of-flight (ToF) technology. This provides a straightforward means of controlling electronic systems without the person involved having to divert their attention, thanks to use of just hand movements. In simple terms, infra-red (IR) pulses are emitted and when they hit an object these bounce back to be picked up via some form of sensing array. By measuring the time delay between the pulses being sent out and them being subsequently picked up again, it is possible to accurately calculate the distance of the object. Furthermore, there is provision to detect movement of the object - and from this various different gestures can be determined. The RFD77402 from RF Digital has the capacity to handle rapid and accurate gesture recognition − with a 10Hz refresh rate and ±10% precision. Supplied in a compact 4.8mm × 2.8mm × 1.0mm surface mount package, this 3D ToF sensor module comprises a 29° field-of-illumination (FoI) 850nm VCSEL emitter, along with accompa-

Figure 1

The RFD77402 from RF Digital. Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


nying driver circuitry, a microcontroller unit (MCU) and an on-board memory, plus a 55° field-of-view (FoV) photosensor and appropriate optics. Captured gesture data is transferred to the adjoining system across its I2C I/O. Seeed Studio’s DepthEye 3D ToF camera module incorporates a 1/6" format, 80x60 pixel resolution OPT8320 sensor from Texas Instruments with a 1000fps frame rate. This streamlined 60mm × 17mm × 12mm unit can connect to a laptop/tablet via its USB interface to provide gesture recognition capabilities to such hardware. It has operating system (OS) support going from Windows 7 onwards.

Figure 2

The Seeed Studio DepthEye ToF camera. Based on the company’s patented FlightSense™ technology, the VL6180 from STMicroelectronics is intended for enabling gesture recognition in smartphones, tablets and domestic appliances. This three-in-one optical module (which has dimensions of 4.8mm × 2.8mm × 1.0mm) features an 850nm VCSEL emitter and a proximity sensor, along with a 16-bit output ambient light sensor (to mitigate interference from background illumination). Concentrating mainly on HMI implementation in automobile designs (though applicable to industrial automation too), Melexis’ 320×240 pixel resolution MLX75x23 image sensor and MLX75123 companion IC present engineers with a complete AEC-Q100-compliant system solution for ToF-based HMIs that ensures drivers don’t need to take their eyes off the road. This means that phone calls can be made or the infotainment system accessed without placing vehicle occupants, or other road users, in danger. Given the uncompromising application environment, a -40°C to 105°C operational temperature range is supported by these components. In addition, a high degree of optical resilience means that extreme changes in ambient light conditions can be dealt with (the system being able to cope with as much as 120lux of incident background light). Through the companion IC, regions of interest can be selected or response activation triggers set.

POTENTIAL OF MMWAVE IN HMI Also suited to contactless gesture recognition, but without relying on optoelectronics, Texas Instruments’ IWR1642 mmWave motion sensor has the ability to capture data relating to range, velocity and angle. Through this, hand swipes (either vertically or horizontally oriented) and finger twirls can be registered. Using a 76GHz to 81GHz frequency range, the unit has a 40MHz transmitter and a low noise (-14dB) receiver. An ARM Cortex-R4F processor core takes care of front-end configuration and system calibration, while a high performance C674x DSP is responsible for all the signal processing workload. A PLL and ADCs are also integrated into this single chip solution. In addition, there is 1.75MB of memory resource available. The main attraction of using mmWave technology is that it works through materials, so there is no ‘line of sight’ dependency. This means that the sensor does not have to be exposed to the external environment (and the potential sources of damage that are present there), but can instead be located behind a protective enclosure. The low power consumption levels needed for sensing via this method are also advantageous. ELECTRIC FIELD-BASED HMIs Built upon the company’s proprietary GestIC technology, Microchip’s MGC3140 controller ICs rely on quasi-static electrical nearfield proximity sensing − something that is still in its infancy, but showing a great deal of promise. The controller can detect gestures at distances of up to 10cm away from the actual HMI surface.

Figure 3

The Microchip MGC3140 controller for electric field sensing. An electric field is propagated from this surface, with a DC voltage providing a constant field strength, while an AC voltage supplements with a sinusoidal varying field. Via this set-up, conductive objects (like parts of the human body) that are present in the field will cause distortions to be witnessed. The nature of the mechanism used means that this form of HMI is not in any

way effected by ambient light or sound, making it suitable for use in gaming consoles, medical equipment, automotive control pillars and all sorts of domestic appliances. The MGC3140 has the capacity to support a 150dpi spatial resolution and record positions at a rate of up to 200Hz. OTHER PROSPECTS There are a host of potential HMI manifestations currently being experimented with elsewhere in the industry. Development is currently underway on solutions that utilise ultrasound projection. Elliptic Labs’s INNER MAGIC is able to detect hand gestures (to control smart speakers and suchlike) through the company’s patented 180° FoV touchfree sensor technology. The mid-air haptics offered by Bristol-based start-up Ultrahaptics use a 256-element grid of ultrasonic transducers (along with a motion-tracking image sensor) to construct virtual HMIs that, despite their lack of physical presence, still have haptic feedback. The upshot of this is that they can emulate conventional manual controls (like buttons, sliders, etc.) without necessitating any cleaning or maintenance work. Surgeons and industrial operatives could clearly benefit for this, but there are also opportunities in retail, home automation, digital signage and automotive too. There is no doubt that touch is still important though, and its value in relation to next generation HMI construction should not be overlooked. Only recently, engineers at Korea’s leading research institute KAIST informed the world about the progress they have made with the use of sound wave localisation sensing to generate virtual keyboards from standard smartphone handsets. This will allow walls, tables, mirrors and other everyday objects to act as touch surfaces for user manipulation, and has a considerably shorter lag than previous attempts at HMIs of this kind. It is clear that there are a wealth of different possibilities now emerging that will enable HMIs which can overcome the constraints that characterise certain applications and delivering better user experiences. Through IR, ultrasound, mmWave and electric fields, the scope of HMI implementation is destined to expand profoundly, complementing established touch-based technologies with new and exciting developments. Mouser Electronics Authorised Distributor 17

Pulling the Peripheral Trigger By Ravikiran Shetty Applications Engineer Microchip Technology Inc.

As the name suggests, the PTG is a userprogrammable sequencer that generates triggers with complex input signal sequences to coordinate the operation of other on-chip peripherals. Applications that use the PTG do so with other peripherals, such as an Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC), Output Compare (OC), Pulse-Width Modulator (PWM), timers and interrupt controllers to achieve a complex sequence of triggers and responses. The PTG not only reduces the application dependency on the core but also solely takes care of module interactions, which helps to reduce software complexity and maintain modularity. The PTG peripheral supports 8-bit commands, called the step commands, to the PTG queue registers. Each 8-bit step command is comprised of a 4-bit command code and a 4-bit option field. These commands define a sequence of events for generating output trigger signals to the peripherals. The step commands can also be used to generate interrupt requests to the core. POWER FACTOR AND MOTOR CONTROL In an integrated Power Factor Correction (PFC) and motor control application, a single DSC controls a permanent magnet synchronous 18

Today’s embedded applications are extremely complex with a single microcontroller handling multiple functions. These applications demand enhanced safety and optimal execution time with real-time response, along with seamlessly synchronizing various functions. From motor control with integrated power factor correction to handling light intensity, complex applications require switching among various modules with ease. Processor driven timing and sequencing solutions are subject to inherent latencies, which cannot always be accurately predicted. This approach also consumes precious CPU bandwidth, under-utilizing its capabilities, which could be off-loaded to optimize the application performance. The Peripheral Trigger Generator (PTG), a Core Independent Peripheral (CIP), featured in Microchip’s 16-bit dsPIC33 Digital Signal Controller (DSC) devices, enables precise timing and sequencing of functions in complex applications to be coordinated, while offloading the CPU. Several examples are detailed to showcase how the PTG helps to streamline peripheral sequencing for timing-critical applications such as controlling a motor with power factor correction, controlling the intensity of light or generating a constant frequency signal which also acts as a clock source independent from the core. Since the PTG is core independent, this work can be done while the CPU sleeps to save power or focuses on other critical tasks. motor using a Field Oriented Control (FOC) scheme as well as the PFC converter. This application requires three PWM channels to control the motor functioning and an additional PWM to control the PFC operation. An Output Compare (OC) peripheral can be used to augment the number of PWM channels available to the application, even beyond the number of high-speed PWM channels available on the device.

The PWM peripheral together with an OC peripheral, can be used to generate the necessary signals for motor control and PFC operation. However, in an application such as PFC, execution timing is very important making it necessary to complete various tasks within an optimal execution time. These include synchronising motor control and PFC PWM, triggering ADC for conversion and switching ADC channels used for motor control and PFC feedback signals. Electronica Azi International | 5/2019

DESIGN SOLUTIONS » Peripheral Trigger Generator

These requirements can be achieved effectively using the PTG peripheral, which can synchronise the high-speed PWM and OC peripherals and generate ADC peripheral triggers by monitoring high-speed PWM peripheral edges. It also monitors the “ADC conversion done” interrupt and generates appropriate interrupts, executing the FOC and digital PFC control code.

PWM. The channels should be configured in such a way that, at the end of a fourchannel sample and conversion sequence, the conversion results for either FOC or PFC are available in their corresponding ADC buffer registers. After setting the channel selection bits to connect the PFC feedback signals to the S&H circuit of an ADC, for every PFC PWM cycle, a trigger has to be generated.

Figure 1: Code execution using PTG interrupts.

And it reduces CPU intervention, making the peripheral handling core independent. This reduces the overall power consumption of your application while freeing up the CPU to perform more critical functions. The switching frequency of motor control and PFC PWM should be selected such that it is in integral multiples. The ADC in the dsPIC® DSC is capable of four-channel simultaneous sampling. Both FOC and PFC algorithms have their own analog channels that need to be sampled simultaneously, because the phase relationship of these signals is key to implementing efficient control. The feedback signals of the motor control and PFC should be selected such that, by alternating between the ADC channel selections, both motor control and PFC signals are sampled. The motor control and PFC signals can be connected to the sample-and-hold (S&H) circuits before triggering the ADC, based on the edges of the

Similarly, for every motor control PWM cycle, an ADC trigger has to be generated after setting the channel selection bits to connect the motor control feedback signals to the S&H circuit of the ADC.

the implementation by efficiently sequencing the use of the ADC and PWMs to achieve motor control and PFC implementation in one dsPIC33 device. LIGHTING CONTROL In a light intensity control application, a PWM generator using an OC can be used to control the brightness of a light. In this application, two OC peripherals are used and their duty cycles are controlled by inputs obtained from two separate ADC channels. Depending on each ADC value, the duty cycle is updated. The PTG peripheral supports a simpler way of synchronising ADC and OC peripherals. In addition, the PTG helps avoid a peripheral deadlock to enhance application safety. To perform synchronisation, the circuit first monitors the ADC and generates appropriate interrupts to change the OC duty cycle. It then changes the ADC channel without disturbing the CPU, as the PTG can do this independently. As an additional safety feature, in the event of an unexpected failure, the PTG peripheral has a dedicated watchdog timer to monitor and perform the necessary required corrective actions. A block diagram of this application is shown in figure 2. The watchdog timer within the PTG peripheral will prevent a situation where the PTG waits indefinitely for an external event when executing a command that waits for a hardware trigger high-low state. In this application, the PTG will wait for an ADC-conversion-done trigger. Once enabled, the watchdog timer starts counting when the command execution starts. It is disabled when the command completes execution. If an expected event fails to arrive before the watchdog timer time-out period expires, the PTG peripheral aborts the failing command underway

Figure 2: Output Compare duty cycle control using PTG. Hence, the PTG peripheral is configured to generate an ADC trigger by monitoring the edges of the motor control and PFC PWM pulses. In addition, two PTG interrupts are generated to execute the code for FOC and PFC, as shown in figure 1. As seen in this example, a PTG simplifies

and halts the sequencer. It then issues a watchdog timer error interrupt to the CPU. This acts as a safety feature to recover from a situation where the ADC or PTG peripheral stops working. These peripherals can be re-initialized and restarted within the watchdog timer error interrupt. 19


The PTG will make the application core independent by switching the ADC channels and monitoring peripherals without the CPU peripheral’s intervention. This enables the CPU to be used for other tasks in the application. The PTG alone will take care of all interactions within a peripheral, which helps reduce software complexity and maintain modularity. The PTG peripheral’s watchdog timer will help recover from any catastrophic failure, thereby providing a more robust application.

the comparator output. As long as the PTG generates triggers continuously, the comparator will generate a constant frequency waveform. The pulse width of the waveform will be one cycle of the PTG clock. The on-off times can be controlled by the PTG timer and pulse-width bits. The output pulse width will decide the off time of the output waveform and the timer will decide the on-time of the output waveform, which is the delay between the triggering comparator peripherals. Depending on the comparator output

complementary waveform can be generated. The PTG also works in power-saving modes such as idle and sleep. SUMMARY The PTG peripheral in Microchip’s dsPIC33 Digital Signal Controller devices lets users design complex application sequences with increased flexibility for timing-critical or power-critical applications. A PTG allows various peripherals to interact with each other with little to no CPU interruption and enhances the capabilities of

Figure 3: User-programmable masking function. CONSTANT FREQUENCY WAVEFORM A PTG peripheral can be used to generate a constant frequency signal which also acts as a clock source. The PTG triggers a comparator which acts as a mask input select. The PTG’s trigger pulse width can be varied and the PTG has its own timer. The peripheral trigger can also work as a mask input select for the op amp and comparator, as shown in figure 3. Using this feature, a PTG output can be brought out through a comparator peripheral. The comparator is configured such that the inverting input is connected to ground and the non-inverting input is connected to an internal reference voltage. The trigger pulse will directly emerge as 20

polarity, the on-off time will be controlled by either the timer or pulse-width bits. The output frequency can also be controlled by a register that acts as a clock divider. By changing the comparator output polarity, a complementary waveform can be generated using four comparator peripherals. The width of the pulse can be modified using the pulse-width bits, which reduce the frequency of the output. Hence, a constant waveform can be generated using the PTG and comparator peripherals. Among the advantages of using the PTG in this application are that the output can act as a constant clock source and run completely independent of the core. Using more comparator peripherals, an even

the existing peripherals, thus expanding the possibilities of what any given peripheral can accomplish. Using a PTG peripheral provides faster response time and reduced software burden. The peripheral also provides built-in functions, such as a dedicated watchdog timer, that increase functional safety. Additional resources: Applications of the Peripheral Trigger Generator (PTG) Application Note: Notes/cn586398.pdf Microchip Technology Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


Powering Your FPGA Applications FPGAs are widely used in a variety of products due to their many advantages, including short development time, cost effectiveness, and flexibility to reconfigure or update in the field. Many new FPGAs employ advanced technology to achieve low power consumption and high performance. They use a new fabrication process that tends to require a lower core voltage, which extends the supply voltage range and increases current capability. Many FPGAs also have varying power supply requirements for each power rail. These power rails may have a different voltage output requirement, sequencing requirement, and noise sensitivity. Power module devices are ideal for addressing these power supply requirements. By: Xiao Li, Renesas Electronics Corp. A power module includes the controller, FETs, inductors, and the majority of the passives encapsulated in a single package, leaving only the input and output bulk capacitors outside to complete the system design. Digital power modules combine the benefits of power modules and digital power. By using a digital power module, designers can shorten development time and quickly update power monitoring and sequencing control functions, which analog solutions cannot provide. Benefiting from improved voltage regulation accuracy and advanced digital control techniques, digital power modules have quickly become more competitive in FPGA applications. This article examines the ISL8274M from Renesas, and explains how its main features satisfy the requirements for powering FPGAs. DIGITAL POWER MODULES ADAPT TO FPGAs Analog and digital power modules are both suitable for FPGA power supply applications. However, digital power management provides many additional benefits such as real-time monitoring, digital control with fast transient response, reduced bill of materials (BOM), and simplified design effort. The digital power module solution is flexible and can adapt to the changing FPGA power requirements of lower voltage, higher current and additional rails with less effort. A new voltage rail is easily added to the power management system through the PMBus. Renesas’ proprietary Digital-DC (DDC) communication 22

bus is used to provide a communication channel between power devices, enabling trouble-free communication, sequencing, interleaving, and fault spreading. Today, many digital power modules can achieve excellent output voltage regulation accuracy with the exact set-point reference.

DDC serial bus that enables communication between other Renesas power devices, allowing easy configuration and implementation of power-up sequence, fault protections, and monitoring. Its general application circuit is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: General application circuit of the ISL8274M The ISL8274M is a general-purpose stepdown digital power module and features PMBus communications and numerous other characteristics that satisfy the requirements for FPGA power supplies. It has two channels, which can operate as two separate power rails for different FPGA parts or connect in parallel to support the same rail with a high current capability requirement. Moreover, the ISL8274M has an internal

Digital ChargeMode Control Scheme The ISL8274M uses Renesas’ patented ChargeMode™ control scheme, which has the ability to achieve a fast response when loading the transient with a fixed switching frequency and to support an all-ceramic output capacitor design. Delays are reduced between the error-sampling instant and the moment the PWM is generated using a multirate sampling technique and digital filter. Electronica Azi International | 5/2019

DESIGN SOLUTIONS » fpga applications

This is also an easy compensation control scheme, achieved without the need for extra passive RC components for a compensation loop design as required by an analog module. For any in-system change, new compensation can be easily reconfigured by the PMBus command or PIN-strap setting. A reference design is provided by the manufacturer for the user’s convenience. Soft-Start with Adjustable Ramping Time It may be necessary to set a delay from the time when an enable signal is received until the output voltage ramps to its target value. The ISL8274M provides designers with an easy process through the PowerNavigator™ GUI design tool to reset both the delay and ramp times precisely and independently. The ISL8274M also provides pre-bias protection by sampling the output voltage before initiating an output ramp in the event a pre-bias condition exists at the output stage prior to startup. Figure 2 shows the soft startup process, with startup rising time equal to 5ms.

sequencing is configured by issuing PMBus commands to assign the preceding device in the sequencing chain, as well as the device that follows the sequence. The ISL8274M integrates a voltage tracking scheme that allows one of its outputs (Channel 1 or Channel 2) to track a voltage that is applied to the VTRKP and VTRKN pins, with no external components required in two optional modes that are based on the specific application.

temperature (UT/OT). Each protection has both a fault limit and warning limit. The user can set the corresponding fault limit value easily through PMBus commands. There are also different fault response options from which a designer can choose, including hiccup mode. Additionally, the designer can configure the response function through the PMBus command. The ISL8274M is able to monitor a wide variety of system parameters using PMBus commands. The most complete set of protection functions and monitoring features are provided by the ISL8274M from Renesas. These functions protect the power system operation in a safer, more robust manner and provide increased system design flexibility to the designer.

Various Protection Functions and Monitoring A full list of protection functions is supported by the ISL8274M, including power input under-voltage/over-voltage (UV/OV), driver voltage UV/OV, two levels of output current under-current/over-current (UC/OC) (average and peak), output voltage UV/OV, and temperature under-temperature/over-

DESIGN TOOLS FROM RENESAS Evaluation Board/User Guide

Figure 2: ISL8274M startup performance Power Sequencing/Voltage Tracking A group of power modules for different rails or multiphase operation can be configured to power up in a predetermined sequence. This feature is especially useful when powering advanced processors, such as FPGAs, that require one supply to reach its operating voltage prior to another supply reaching it in order to avoid latch-up. With the ISL8274M, multiple device

ISL8274M Key Features • Complete digital power supply • 30A/30A dual-channel output current − 4.5V to 14V single rail input voltage − Up to 95.5% efficiency • Programmable output voltage − 0.6V to 5V output voltage settings − ±1.2% accuracy over line/load/temperature

Figure 3: Evaluation board image of ISL8274M • ChargeMode™ control loop architecture • − 296kHz to 1.06MHz fixed switching frequency − operations − No compensation required − − Fast single clock cycle transient response − • PMBus interface and/or pin-strap mode − Fully programmable through PMBus − Pin-strap mode for standard settings − Real-time telemetry for VIN, VOUT, IOUT, temperature, duty cycle, and switching frequency

Advanced soft-start/stop, sequencing, and tracking Complete over/under voltage, current and temperature protections with fault logging PowerNavigator™ support Thermally enhanced HDA package

Table 1: Key features of the Renesas ISL8274M digital power module



An evaluation board and detailed user guide for customer testing and evaluation are available for the ISL8274M. A photograph of the evaluation board is shown in Figure 3. PowerNavigator The PowerNavigator GUI software offered by Renesas will help accelerate the design, testing, finalization, and debugging of your power design. It connects to development boards through PMBus to set various adjustable system parameters and threshold values. The final configuration is simply stored to non-volatile memory. Figure 4 shows an example of the PowerNavigator GUI software windows.

PowerCompass The PowerCompass tool helps users quickly identify parts that match their specific requirements, set up multiple rails, perform high-level system analysis, and generate custom reference design files. The tool is available exclusively as a web app, from which users can also work offline. iSim Design & Simulation Tool Renesas provides a power web-based simulation tool called iSim, which is an easy-touse, interactive power management and opamp design tool. iSim allows the user to quickly select supporting components and design and simulate their circuit and system.

CONCLUSION The ISL8274M digital power module leverages the Renesas patented ChargeMode control architecture to provides the highest efficiencies with better than 90% on most conversions. It provides a single clock cycle fast transient response to output current load steps common in FPGAs that process power bursts. Their compensation-free design keeps the module stable regardless of output capacitor changes due to temperature, variation or aging. Its power density, high efficiency and fast transient response address demanding single and multi-rail power requirements. Learn more about the ISL8274M: Detailed instructions and video tutorials on the PowerNavigator, PowerCompass, and iSim Design & Simulation Tool are available online and can help the user get started easily: • • • About the Author Xiao Li is a Senior Applications Engineer with the Industrial Analog & Power Group at Renesas Electronics Corporation.

Figure 4: Screenshot of PowerNavigator windows

Renesas Electronics |


Renesas and Altair Semiconductor announce collaboration for Cellular IoT Solutions Renesas Electronics Corporation and Altair Semiconductor announced a partnership aimed at bringing ultra-small and ultra-lowpower cellular IoT solutions to the global IoT market. Cellular IoT device makers will be able to use this combination of best-inclass solutions to create highly differentiated IoT products and services that offer much greater efficiencies and faster time to market. These integrated solutions will be delivered through Renesas’ sales channels, enabling cellular connectivity to all of its markets. With billions of devices expected to be deployed by 2024, the IoT market demands products that operate seamlessly out of the box. Sensors, cameras, metering, tracking, and smart devices all rely on ultra-low power 24

consumption, offering the potential for a sensor to operate in the field for 10 to 20 years without requiring any hardware maintenance. As a first step of this collaboration, Renesas and Altair plan to develop cellular IoT solutions with CAT-M and NB-IoT dual mode chipsets and technologies. They will also design a variety of development tools and software to further streamline the adoption of cellular IoT solutions for industrial and consumer applications. This partnership aims to achieve technical lead-

ership in size reduction, power consumption, and IoT security.

Renesas Electronics Corporation Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


Taoglas and u-blox bring centimeter-level GNSS positioning solution to IoT applications u-blox announced that Taoglas, a leading provider of next-generation IoT solutions, has developed a centimeter-level GNSS positioning solution. Comprising a high precision L1/L2/E5 GNSS receiver, the ublox ZED-F9P, all the required RF electronics and antennas in a single package, the Taoglas Edge Locate™ positioning module simplifies the development and deployments of IoT solutions that depend on high precision positioning information. Taoglas Edge Locate addresses the growing demand for highly accurate centimeter-level positioning performance, which, until recently, was reserved for high value use cases such as guidance systems for precision agriculture and heavy machinery. This changed with the release of the use of additional satellite signals and the announcement of u-blox F9 high precision positioning platform, which lowered the cost of ownership of the technology, extending its benefits to mass market applications for the first time. Featuring the u-blox ZED-F9P high preci-

sion GNSS module with concurrent reception of GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou on multiple frequency bands, the Taoglas Edge Locate module can also use real-time kinematic (RTK) algorithms to help achieve even faster convergence times and reliable performance, even in highly dynamic applications. The integrated smart antenna is specifically designed and optimized for multi-band GNSS applications. High precision positioning enables a range of mission-critical services and use cases,

such as emergency response, smart infrastructure, drone delivery, micro-mobility, and precision agriculture. Edge Locate’s RTK positioning capabilities let end users benefit from centimeter-level positioning without subscribing to GNSS correction services, relying instead on a local RTK network that Taoglas can also help customers design and set up. u‑blox | Taoglas |

Belden Addresses Increasing Data Demands with New Full Gigabit Ethernet Switches Belden Inc., a global leader in signal transmission solutions for mission-critical applications, released today its Full Gigabit OCTOPUS Ethernet PoE Switches. The new managed switches from Hirschmann are designed to meet evolving data demands by increasing bandwidth and ensuring reliable, high-speed connections, even in the toughest industrial settings.

tailored to specific networking demands. The switches are also compact and don’t require cabinets, making them easy to install and maintain. Built in compliance with international train approvals for use alongside tracks or onboard trains, the new switches are ideal for transportation applications, including traffic control systems, rail-rolling stock,

mass transit systems and railway and train stations. The Full Gigabit OCTOPUS switches are also well-suited for applications requiring superior data transfer rates in extreme operating conditions, such as general manufacturing, automotive and machine building settings. Belden |

Hirschmann’s Full Gigabit OCTOPUS switches offer the following benefits: • Maximize network performance and guarantee high-speed connections with full Gigabit Ethernet options on all ports • Ensure network reliability under extreme conditions with vibration and waterproof IP67 housing design • Save precious operating space with unique L-shaped IP67 housing for efficient cabling and cabinet less mounting • Reduce cabling to end devices using Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch variants Hirschmann’s Full Gigabit OCTOPUS switches are highly configurable and come with a variety of feature sets including three housing sizes for 8, 16 or 24 ports,



Anatomically shaped hand for the intelligent tool Panda With their "SoftHand", German Robotics from Munich present the first anatomically shaped hand for collaborating robots (Cobots). With its 19 dislocatable, self-healing finger joints, the SoftHand replaces numerous individual grippers and thus is predestined for complex handling tasks. The research variant of SoftHand offers open interfaces including Matlab. The industrial design, on the other hand, impresses with

protection class IP65 and easily exchangeable gloves. The SoftHand for research is intended for educational purposes, research institutes, laboratories, and universities. It is available in different colours and equipped with a stiff wrist. Numerous software interfaces, including Matlab-Simulink and a highlevel C interface, are available to simplify integration with test programs. The industrial-grade variant impresses with

its flexible application options, which avoid tiresome gripper changes: Between the thumb and a finger, the SoftHand reliably holds objects weighing up to 600 g. Once the SoftHand is fully utilised, the maximum gripping weight increases to 2kg. The wrist is rotatable; the gloves are easily replaceable. Protection class IP65 makes it possible to use it in damp, dusty or other environments that are unpleasant for humans. The SoftHand fulfils numerous normative requirements, especially regarding risk assessment, strength and force limitations. Especially for highly sensitive robots, such as the Panda by Franka Emika, which has force sensors in all seven joints, the SoftHand is a congenial supplement. With its anatomical shape and 19 finger joints, the SoftHand can be used as a gripper for parts with complex geometries as well as for "shaking" electromechanical or large electronic components into place in electronics production. GERMAN ROBOTICS

Panasonic Industry Europe presents solutions for the Connected Factory and microelectronics at the productronica & Semicon in Munich Panasonic Factory Solutions Europe, a division of Panasonic Industry Europe, is one of the world's leading companies in the area of Smart Factory. Panasonic presents at the productronica in hall A3, booth 177, and Semicon, in hall B1, booth 640, in Munich Germany, the latest innovations connected to Smart Factory, Industry 4.0 solutions and microelectronics. As an equipment provider and manufacturer, having our own facilities and lines, we experience production every day. This allows us to understand customers challenges and needs best. A highly unique combination with over a century of experience and engineering know-how enables us to provide a tailor-made solutions package of software and hardware to all our customers worldwide. Highlights like the AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) with feeder cart autochangeover or the Power Consumption Meter will be displayed at the productronica. Also security systems within the Smart Factory will be showcased, for example Panasonic’s kaizen concept, which is a camera security system that optimizes the production process and logistics. 26

Different modules of PanaCIM Enterprise Edition Gen2 provide a complete integrated management of the SMT floor. In order to increase the productivity, reduce costs and enhance the quality of the product it can be tailored to support one machine or over 1000 machines. The modules of PanaCIM EE Gen2 can be installed individually according to customer needs and requirements. It provides modules for material control and verification, production control, traceability, analysis, monitoring and maintenance. PanaCIM EE Gen2 is a multi-level manufac-

turing execution system and supports from machine level to cloud level. The integrated line management system iLNB provides collective control of the entire production line. It is a revolutionary system that controls the production with only one PC. The one master PC with iLNB connects all relevant steps on the production line and improves the overall productivity. Even the control of automatic production changeover is possible. Panasonic Industry Europe

Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


Kontron expands its Panel PC family by innovative Web Panels and Control Panels with Scalable Performance Kontron announces the addition of a Web Panel and a Control Panel series to its Human Machine Interface (HMI) portfolio. The devices of both product lines are characterized by an attractive design, IPS displays with high resolution in 7 inch, 10.1 and 15.6 inch, brightness and capacitive multitouch technology as well as scalable processor performance based on Single- or DualCore Arm® NXP i.MX6 processors. They feature a rugged touch screen in an aluminium or stainless steel frame and are specifically designed for use in industrial environments. In the standard version, the Panel PCs of both series are intended for installation in control cabinets or consoles and exhibit IP65 protection on the front side. The Web Panels visualize HTML5 content via a performance-optimized browser based on Chromium and are suitable for flexible visualizations on devices and machines as well as in building automation or infotainment. Alternatively they are available with the slim Micro-Browser from iniNet, which enables shortest reaction times for PLC controls with an integrated webserver from CODESYS. The Control Panels offer various fieldbus interfaces on the rear and are

optionally available with the CODESYS SoftPLC to quickly and efficiently implement sophisticated automation and visualization solutions for device or machine controls, but also for building automation. If required, the devices of the Control Panel series can be supplemented with Web Panels to display visualization contents at other locations. Linux Embedded serves as the operating system. Thanks to the robust design and

the possibility of deployment in ambient temperatures from 0°C to 55°C, the panels are ideally suited for use in industrial environments. The modular design allows easy adaptation to customer-specific requirements. A version with higher performance based on NXP i.MX8 processors is planned for the 2nd quarter of 2020. Kontron |

Flex Power Modules introduces high power density 15A/50W output digital PoL regulator Flex Power Modules announces the BMR4615001/001, a new variant of its popular BMR461 series of digital point-ofload (PoL) regulators. The new module provides up to 15A/50W at an adjustable output voltage of 0.6-3.3V, which equates to a 25% higher current and power delivery at 3.3V than the previous 12A maximum for that voltage. The input voltage range of the device is 4.5V to 14V. The higher output is in response to customer demands, offering increased current and power in the compact 12.2 × 12.2 × 8.0mm (0.48 × 0.48 × 0.315in) package of the BMR461 series, and hence saving PCB space due to higher power density. It is ideal for a range of applications, including wireless and fixed telecoms infrastructure, datacoms uses such as network routers and data centers, and industrial applications including Industry 4.0 and process automation. The new regulator is part of a family of scalable digital PoL solutions from Flex Power Modules. Each device includes a digital PMBus interface to provide advanced

toring, configuration and control capabilities, and is fully supported by the Flex Power Designer design tool. The regulator is designed in accordance with the safety standards IEC/EN/UL 62368-1.

Reliability is high, with an MTBF of 24 million hours. The BMR4615001/001 is available in OEM quantities in November. Flex Power Modules | 27

Solid State Relays WHAT ARE SOLID STATE RELAYS? In electrical terms, a relay is a relatively simple switching device that’s used to automatically close or open a set of contacts between two circuits. This process is triggered by an electrical input or control signal of some kind, in response to which the relay switch usually moves from an ‘off’ to an ‘on’ position.In a standard relay, the process is electromechanical (hence these relays being referred to by the acronym EMRs). In other words, an electrical control signal triggers a mechanical response in the relay. The standard mechanical relay switch is therefore composed of key moving parts, and it’s these parts that physically change position in order to open/close the contacts and complete or break the circuit as required. By contrast, a solid state relay has no mechanical or moving parts. As electrical components, SSRs are widely used to perform much the same on/off, open/close functions as standard relays, but a solidstate switch does so entirely without any 28

physical movement within the relay itself. The term ‘solid state relay’ is ageneric one, and can, in fact, refer to all manner of different relay components and configurations used to achieve the basic on/off switching function. Many of these configurations will be designed around specific industries or applications. Solid state relays made for automotive use, for example, tend to be optimized for plug-and-play installation methods and resilience against harsher environmental conditions (anti-vibration, over-voltage protection, polarity reversal and short circuit protection) than you’d typically encounter in, say, industrial or production applications. WHAT ARE SOLID STATE RELAYS USED FOR? Solid state relays are widely used in a highly diverse range of applications, sectors and industries, includingindustrial controls, motor control, robotics, medical equipment and patient/equipment isolation, instrumentation, meters, home appliances.

HOW DO SOLID STATE RELAYS WORK? As noted above, the key characteristic of a solid-state relay is that it requires no moving parts to perform the task of opening or closing contacts on a circuit. Unlike a mechanical relay, there’s no positional change of any component within the solid state relay when it switches between on/off, open/closed states. Instead, a solidstate relay works by converting the incoming Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


SOLID STATE RELAY COMPARISONS The most common comparisons made between solid state relays vs mechanical ones are broadly based on two key factors: speed of operation, and overall longevity. As we’ll see, solid state versions tend to outperform mechanical relays on both counts, because the lack of moving parts in a SSR means it can work faster and for longer without needing replacement than an equivalent mechanical version. Despite this general rule of thumb, though, there may still be specific applications and environments in which mechanical relay switches remain a more suitable option, and are actually preferable to solid state switches in day-to-day use. SOLID STATE RELAYS VS MECHANICAL RELAYS Because the SSR is basically using light and/or sensors to transfer the signal, rather than physical movement, switching between on/off states can be performed orders of magnitude faster than in EMR equivalents. This means that SSRs boast a range of abilities and characteristics that may be of potential value in many specific usage applications and industries. Applicationspecific advantages of solid-state relay switches might include: electrical control signal to an optical one, often output via an infrared LED or similar (note, however, that the term ‘solid state relay’ is a generic one, and covers a variety of configurations). This optical signal is then fired across a small gap of (permanently) open space within the module - known as an opto-isolator - to where it’s received by a photosensitive transistor, which in turn converts and sends on the signal to further electrical components. This completes the circuit and ultimately triggers the desired action, all without any contacts in the solid-state relay ever coming into direct physical contact with one another. SOLID STATE RELAY MOUNT TYPES In addition to there being numerous different types of solid-state relay switches sold in worldwide markets, there is also a very wide range of mounting solutions available for physically installing them to circuits or housing them as part of a wider electrical

system. Some of the more common mounting solutions for solid state relays: PCB mounts, DIN rail mounts, panel and chassis mounts, heatsink mounts, plug-in mounts.

• Very little wear over time thus increased longevity on paper (Electromechanical relays with moving parts will eventually need replacing) • Near-silent operation • Ability to perform extremely fast/highfrequency switching • Typically, far lower power consumption than EMRs • No potential for sparking caused by rapid movement of components (This is important in some chemically volatile or potentially explosive environments) • Reduced risk of contact failure due to physical defects or inconsistencies • No risk of ‘bouncing’ contacts (accidental multiple contacts made, to due inaccuracy or inadequate cushioning of movement) • Solid state relays themselves can be manufactured in far smaller and more compact form factors than mechanical versions



To complete the above actions reliably, smoothly and quickly without performing any actual mechanical action, SSRs instead rely on a number of other crucial components in order to function properly. These may include a variety of different semiconductor switching elements, such as photocouplers, diodes, transistors, thyristors and more.However, while technically impressive and extremely useful in a range of different scenarios, the added complexity of SSRs means that they do also have their perceived drawbacks when compared to EMRs in certain uses or environments. These might include: • Reduced overall efficiency in terms of effective voltage transfer compared to EMRs (there will always be a fixed dropoff on the output side) • This might make very little difference at higher voltages, as it’s fixed rather than proportional - but at lower voltages, it will be comparatively much more significant • This can make a noticeable difference to equipment on the output side, impacting its ability to run at full power • There is almost always some form of ‘leakage’ current when an SSR is supposedly in an open position • This makes them unsuitable for use in many types of safety disconnect, as they can still transfer current (and deliver a shock) at high voltages even when ‘off’ • Vulnerability to being triggered by very brief voltage spikes and surges, which a less responsive EMR would typically ‘ignore’ • Greater potential for SSRs to overheat when components are crowded, or when switching large loads • Some configurations of solid state relays may require external cooling • Although longevity is commonly cited as a major reason to opt for SSRs over mechanical relays, many of the potential failure points in either type of relay don’t involve the moving parts themselves • Some argue this makes the difference in perceived durability something of a ‘theoretical’ advantage, rather than a very practical one • Solid state relays tend to considerably more expensive than mechanical ones

Author: Bogdan Grămescu 30

Sensata / Crydom 5A Solid State Relay, Zero Cross, PCB Mount RS Stock # 291-2371 Mfr. Part # CX240D5

RS PRO, 0.5A SPNO Solid State Relay, DC, DIN Rail, MOSFET, 60V Maximum Load RS Stock # 888-6843

• Exceptional surge rating and steady state rating of 5AAC • Models to switch from 48-660Vrms • 250A pk 1-cycle surge capability • Input-Output capacitance: 10pF • Zero-cross switching where stated otherwise random-fire • Operating temperature range: -30 to +80°C • Dimensions (mm) H33 × W7.6 × D43.1

Interface Solid State Relays – Covering a wide range of applications offering extremely accurate processing, especially for coupling signals and for switching loads of up to 250 V/16 A at temperatures ranging from -40 to +75°C. A compact width of 6.2mm, which is excellent for narrow applications. Also available with spring loaded connections for areas with strong vibration.

Finder, 25A SPNO Solid State Relay, Zero Crossing, Heatsink, 280VAC Maximum Load

Celduc, 12A Solid State Relay, Zero Crossing, Chassis Mount, Triac

RS Stock # 800-2934 Mfr. Part # • Finder 77 Series - 25, 40 and 50 A panel solid state relays, hockey puck style, specially designed for heater control applications. • 48 to 600V ac output • Zero-crossing switch-on version • High switching speed and endurance • Silent, spark and bounce-free switching • Low control power • Relay-style terminal arrangement (input and output terminals on opposite sides) • Mounting on heatsink with screws • IP 20 protection category • Heat-sinks also available for models 77.25, 77.45 and 77.55

RS Stock # 499-0446 Mfr. Part # SO941460 • Synchronous solid state relay suited to most loads. • TMS2 technology thyristor output ensures longevity. • Voltage protection for input as well as output (VDR) for very high immunity to interference. • Wide control range: 20 → 265 VAC/DC with regulated control current. • Green LED input display. • Solid state relays must be mounted on a heatsink.

Aurocon COMPEC authorised distributor for RS Components Electronica Azi International | 5/2019

MSI 400 – compact construction and easy to program Robust and Cost Efficient Tilt Monitoring The new generation of safety control MSI 400 offers efficient solutions for versatile application in machine and system construction. Even the basic module offers 24 I/Os, Ethernet gateway functions and special function blocks, e.g., for use on presses. All MSI 400s can be flexibly extended and, with the license-free MSI.designer configuration software, can be programmed very easily and conveniently. Together with the Leuze electronic safety sensors, the perfectly matched safety components make complete safetyrelated automation solutions possible for every machine type. Safe movement monitoring in mobile and stationary applications With the MSI 400 safety control, the inputs for safe movement monitoring in accordance with EN 61800-5-2 are already integrated in the base module. The safety controls process pulses from sensors at up to 70 kHz and convert these to speed, angle, position and directional information. These are monitored for the limits required for safe operation: SSR – Safe Speed Range SDI – Safe Direction SLS – Safe Limited Speed SSM – Safe Speed Monitor SLP – Safe Limited Position Safe standstill monitoring Safe movement monitoring on vehicles

Safe movement monitoring on machines

– Monitoring of travel speeds for adherence to the application-specific limit values – Standstill monitoring at transfer stations – Changeover of the protective fields of safety laser scanners for adapting the fields to the driving situation

– Monitoring of a reduced speed for setup and maintenance mode – Monitoring of a defined speed range for adherence to the process limits – Safe standstill detection, e.g., for tool changes

Program efficiently The corresponding programming tool, MSI.designer, offers an intuitive working environment: Simple configuration is possible at the click of a mouse. Quickly reach your goal: with simple configuration, integrated simulation and professional report function. Test our MSI.designer programming tool. 32

Electronica Azi International | 5/2019

Sensor Instruments GmbH. Perfect Copy Counting When cartons, magazines, or single sheets are packed, it must be ensured that each package has the correct number of items. In most cases such material is transported in shingled form before, as with magazines, newspapers or advertising prints, it is packed by means of a compensating stacker. Depending on the thickness of the individual copies and on their transport speed (up to 10m/s) the shingled stream may have differing heights in this process. Especially with cartons that have an individual thickness of e.g. 2mm the height difference of the shingled stream may be up to 100mm. Furthermore, the shingle distance from copy to copy may also differ (sometimes up to 50% with the same material). With single sheets the sheet thickness is another challenge for the detection system, because especially in the Asiatic region there may be paper thicknesses that already start with 50Îźm. For the detection of copies, it must furthermore be considered that these in most cases are in printed form, and often in high-gloss. For meeting the high requirements concerning counting accuracy under the abovementioned conditions, the RED series that is used here operates with the principle of edge detection in reflected-light operation. With a maximum scan frequency of typ. 100kHz the RED110-L edge detector is excellently suited for accurate copy counting, even at highest transport speeds. A power-controlled focussed red laser line prevents incorrect counting results even in case of printed copy surfaces with changing surface structure (with respect to gloss, color and roughness). Additional software measures such as the so-called dynamic dead time and the variable switching hysteresis effectively suppress multiple counting of a copy if there are several edges. High-precision evaluation allows the detection of edges starting from a thickness of 30 Îźm. The standard model has a typical operating range of 90mm to 130mm, and the RED-110-L-XL that is optimised for the detection range has a typical operating range of 60mm to 200mm. The detectors can be comfortably parameterised with the RED Scope PC software, and the real-time digital scope that is integrated in the monitoring software considerably facilitates the setup process.


Contrinex: Photoelectric miniature sensor in place of optical fiber In some applications, installation space is so limited that there is no room for photoelectric sensors. So optical fibers are often used, despite their higher installation cost. Now Contrinex has developed a new photoelectric sensor which, due to its extremely small size, offers the ideal alternative. The sensor specialist has developed a 4 mm diameter or M5 threaded photoelectric sensor that is ideal for use in the robots, grippers, and small conveyors that must detect very small parts, typically in packaging, logistics, assembly and automation applications. All components of the miniature sensor, from the active light source with optics to the evaluation electronics and IO-Link connection, are combined in a robust stainless

steel housing. Large, pre-calibrated sensing ranges of 12, 24, 60 or 120 mm for the diffuse type (LTR version) and up to 500 mm for the through-beam type (LLR version) allow easy installation. These miniature photoelectric sensors work with visible red light (630 nm), which simplifies adjustment. The switching frequency of 500 Hz to 2.5 kHz, which can be set via IO-Link, enables the integrated evaluation electronics to detect very small parts, such as wires, with great reliability even at high throughput.

Standard sensor


D04 and M05

Robust stainless-steel housing The cylindrical housing in V2A stainless steel is mechanically very robust, has an IP67 protection rating and is suitable for embeddable mounting in both the 4 mm diameter version and the M5 threaded type. Thanks to the advanced focusing technology of its integral optics, the sensor’s light spot has a diameter of just 6 mm at a sensing range of 50 mm, depending on the model. This allows even the smallest parts to be reliably detected. The supply voltage of the miniature photoelectric sensor is in the range 10 to 30 VDC, the connection for power and data is either via a PUR cable or an M8 4-pin connector. Depending on the type of sensor, the weight of these tiny devices is 4, 12 or 30 g for connector, pigtail or cable versions. The permissible operating temperature ranges from -25 to +65°C (-13 to +149°F).

Electronica Azi International | 5/2019

ASENTICS Videolab Image Processing Systems Fast processors, conveniently numerous and modern interfaces and an extremely robust design are just a few of the advanced characteristics of the new Videolab image processing systems. Depending on the requirements, ASENTICS offers a range of different designs, from small, compact systems for the mounting rails in switch cabinets up to 19” systems. Videolab image processing systems demonstrate their strengths above all in complex image processing tasks. They also offer a high level of convenience for the user. These premium products fulfil even the most exacting demands of quality management.

Cube Encoders from POSITAL: Updating an Old Industry Favorite Dynamic Response in a Rugged Package Cube encoders – incremental rotary encoders with a cube-shaped housing – have been popular with machine builders since the 1960’s, largely because these devices are easy to install without special mounts or brackets. Now POSITAL has updated this old favourite with new features and capabilities that will keep this design relevant for years to come.

tors, system integrators or machine builders since it helps them control inventories. With programmable devices, they can hold a relatively small stock of ‘standard’ models and set them up for specific applications on an as-needed basis. When restock is necessary, POSITAL’s international pro-


■ ■ ■

Simple Installation – No Special Mounts or Brackets Needed Robust Housing Tolerant of Shock and Vibration Loading Programmability of Incremental Interfaces and Resolution via UBIFAST Configuration Tool ■ Cost Effective Solution for Accurate Positioning ■ Easy Drop-In Replacement POSITAL cube encoders are built around the company’s versatile magnetic measurement platform. The measurement module inside the cube provides high levels of accuracy and dynamic response in a rugged package that is tolerant of shock and vibration loading, dust and moisture. Best of all, these measurement modules are programmable. Resolution (number of pulses per revolution) can be set anywhere from one to 16,384 pulses per revolution (PPR) by simply updating the devices’ software, with no changes to mechanical components. Similarly, pulse direction and the output driver – either Push-Pull (HTL), RS422 (TTL) or Open Collector (NPN) – are defined through software. Device programmability is especially significant for

duction system can deliver product anywhere in the world in a matter of days at highly competitive prices. Simple and Cost Effective Replacements POSITAL’s cube encoders are designed to be used as drop-in replacements for traditional cube designs, with identical mechanical dimensions and interfaces. This makes them a cost-effective replacement for older units that have failed or become unreliable. They are also a versatile choice for new machines, retaining the easy-toinstall characteristics of the original design, while introducing up-to-date levels of performance and durability. 35


MicroCare Introduces Important Cleaning Process Validation Results at Productronica MicroCare Corp. will present its findings from an ongoing study with the industry’s leading flux and solder paste manufacturers which seeks to determine the best cleaning solutions for specific flux and paste products. The results will be presented for the first time in Europe during Productronica in Munich, Germany from 12–15 November 2019. Working in partnership with principal companies including AIM, Alpha, Loctite, Indium, Koki and Kester., the MicroCare Critical Cleaning Lab conducted controlled

benchtop and automated vapour degreaser cleaning tests. These determined which MicroCare cleaning fluids work best on specific flux and solder paste materials. The results give customers an efficient method in which to select a cleaner and validate their cleaning processes easily. Scott Wells, General Manager, MicroCare Europe said: “By collaborating with the world’s leading flux and solder paste manufacturers we were able to independently verify specific MicroCare chemistries that will successfully clean each flux or paste. The

testing has been verified to IPC A-610 certification which means it is within the accepted criteria for assembled electric products. This will help to ensure the reliability and quality of the cleaning undertaken.” “MicroCare’s technical capabilities are consistently expanding and it is through studies like this, that we can help companies to clean better. With a critical cleaning lab now also available in the UK, we can provide our European customers with tailored formulas and processes to suit individual critical cleaning applications.” MicroCare invests in pioneering research and development to provide customers with both off-the-shelf products and customised cleaning fluids to meet their specific needs. The MicroCare Critical Cleaning Lab provides a service which helps customers confidently select the best product to clean effectively, quickly, more safely, economically and with the environment in mind. To find out more about the service and the newest cleaning innovations visit MicroCare Europe BVBA at Productronica in Munich, Germany from 12 – 15 November 2019, Hall A4 booth 101. MicroCare Europe BVBA

Emil Otto presents additional flux paste for repair work The Hessian flux specialist further expands its portfolio of flux pastes for special applications and will present the new flux paste EO-FP-002 for repair work at the productronica 2019 in Munich. The EO-FP-002 flux paste has been devel-

oped especially for SMD repair applications and is suitable for both SnPb- as well as Pbfree alloys. It is characterised by a high level of activity and good wetting and dispersion behaviour, and for this reason can be dosed economically. The precise application takes

place via plastic tips. As a result an exact dosing as well as positioning of the paste is possible. "We deliberately avoid steel needles because they can easily scratch printed circuit boards during manual application", stated Markus Geßner, Marketing- and Sales Manager at Emil Otto GmbH. The flux paste is a pasty electronic fluxing agent with halogen-free activators. The paste is highly viscous and due to its temperature stability in the SMD range, produces very good results. It can be used for manual soldering and all kinds of repair soldering. Furthermore, the flux paste is suitable for dip soldering as well as special applications. The processing can be done with hot air- or soldering irons. Emil Otto will present it at the productronica 2019 in Munich in Hall A4, Booth 420. EMIL OTTO Flux- u. Oberflächentechnik


Electronica Azi International | 5/2019


Fast and precise cleaner concentration measurement in several machines The ZESTRON® EYE Mobile is a mobile digital concentration measurement device that can monitor the concentration of different cleaning chemistry used in up to ten stencil or PCB assembly cleaning machines. The device’s easy-to-use touchscreen menu guides the user through the concentration measurement process, resulting in precise measurements. The user only needs to select the measurement profile preconfigured with the proper system parameters, and the ZESTRON® EYE Mobile does the rest. If the measurement results are outside the preconfigured application concentration, the user receives a recommendation to

add either cleaning chemistry or DI water to correct the concentration. The batterypowered process optimization equipment also provides complete documentation and storage of measurement results for process control and traceability. The data is then transferrable to a PC via the included software. The ZESTRON® EYE Mobile is a multiprocess alternative to the original ZESTRON® EYE, whose sensor is installed directly into the machine and continuously monitors the cleaning agent concentration. ZESTRON |

XJTAG Million Dollar Product Giveaway XJTAG launches a million dollar product giveaway at Productronica, the world’s leading trade fair for electronics development and production. XJTAG®, a leader in JTAG boundary scan test solutions, is delighted to announce the XJAnalyser product giveaway to celebrate the up-coming 30th anniversary of the IEEE Standard for boundary scan. Simon Payne, XJTAG’s CEO, said, “IEEE 1149.1 revolutionised how engineers can check boards for assembly faults by introducing a test technique that’s beyond the capability of traditional methods. XJTAG creates products such as XJAnalyser to leverage the power of the JTAG boundary scan standard to help engineers test their designs.”

To mark IEEE 1149.1’s 30th birthday, XJTAG is giving away 150 XJAnalyser systems (worth $7900 each) between November 2019 and December 31st, 2020. To be eligible, prospective clients need to receive a no-obligation trial of XJTAG’s suite of products and allow XJTAG to set up their first test project for free. At the end of the trial,

clients will be able to keep the XJAnalyser licence and hardware. Full details can be found at XJTAG will be showcasing its product range at the Productronica Trade Fair in Munich from November 12th to 15th in Hall A1, booth 345. XJTAG |

Indium Corporation Features WS-446HF Flip-Chip and Ball-Attach Flux at IEEE EPTC Singapore 2019 Indium Corporation will feature its new combined flip-chip and ball-attach flux, designed to provide a simple solution to SiP and flipchip BGA assembly, at IEEE EPTC Singapore 2019, December 4-6, in Singapore. WS-446HF is a water-soluble, halogen-free flux with an activator system powerful enough to promote good wetting on the most demanding surfaces, including solder-on-pad (SoP), Cu-OSP, ENIG, and surfaces used in embedded trace substrate (ETS), and flip-chip on leadframe (FCOL) . WS-446HF provides: • An activator chemistry powerful enough to deal with a variety of metallizations, yet cleans away completely to eliminate electrical failures such as dendrites. This is critical for fine-pitch flip-chip applications

• Tackiness suitable for flipchip and BGA assembly

- BGA: holding 0.15–0.5mm diameter solder spheres during reflow, eliminating missing balls - Flip-chip: Retaining 5x5–15x15mm die in place during reflow, reducing die misalignment and die tilt • Consistent deposition in pin transfer, printing, and dipping processes, ensuring consistent joint quality and improving production yields • Elimination of multiple fluxing steps, especially in ball-attach assembly enabling a single-step ball-attach process thus removing the warpage-inducing effects of prefluxing • Good cleanability with room temperature DI water (20-35°C), avoiding the formation of white residue Indium Corporation | 37


Emil Otto launches additional flux concentrates onto the market Since the introduction of the flux concentrates, the product line has continued to develop well at Emil Otto. For this reason, the Hessian flux specialist is once again adding to its list at productronica 2019 and presenting two more flux concentrates at the trade fair.

Since these conventional fluxing agents are regarded as hazardous goods in the sense of the transport regulations, requirements had to be met that made the product even more expensive. Shipment per air freight was also impossible, as the flux is only allowed to be packed in small containers. In

order to circumvent these problems, Emil Otto developed the flux concentrate GSP25/AF/OVP, which is suitable as a solution for the spray flux application. A complete package consists of a granulate, which is sufficient for 20 litres of fluxing agent. Furthermore, Emil Otto will present the flux concentrate EO-B-011B. This is a universal fluxing agent low in solids, that is suitable for wave-, selective- and manual soldering and complies with the specification DIN-EN 61190-1-1: L0. Accordingly, it contains organic, halogen-free activation additives with synthetic resin in a special combination coordinated to the thermal requirements of the soldering processes. EO-B-011B can be applied by brushing, spraying, dipping etc. The solid content is 3 %. EO-B-011B is completely free of corrosion. Emil Otto will present the new flux concentrates at the productronica 2019 in Munich in Hall A4, Booth 420. EMIL OTTO Flux- u. Oberflächentechnik

Emil Otto develops flux cover for surface protection Emil Otto has developed the Flux Cover PFS-001 for the surface protection of component connections. The product will be presented to the professional public for the first time at the productronica 2019. "Our new flux cover is an aqueous, milky liquid that is used for the coating of the surfaces of component connections and provides a reliable, solderable protection", says Markus Geßner, Marketing and Sales

Manager at Emil Otto GmbH, introducing the new product. In particular with components that are difficult to wet, such as for example THT components with nickelbrass pins, the flux cover ensures for a good soldering result. The flux cover is compatible with all Emil Otto fluxing agents. The coating of component connections should preferably be carried out by immersing the connections in the flux cover.

The immersion depth for an optimal coating must be determined by the user himself. If the components are mounted immediately after the coating process, they can be processed directly. With automatic assembly subsequent drying is necessary. The following wave soldering process can be performed as usual, i.e. in general the selected parameters do not need to be altered. If the coated parts are not to be processed immediately but stored, the coatings must be dried immediately and completely before storage. Only this way is an adhesion of dirt or other materials prevented. Depending on the quantity of surface protection applied, from experience a drying time of 15 minutes at 120°C is adequate. Subsequent storage can take place at room temperature. Coated components taken out of storage can be processed without any further pre-treatment. The viscosity of the flux cover can be adjusted by the user through the addition of EO SPECIAL THINNER PFS-V / WB. The flux cover is available immediately in packaging units of 100 g. EMIL OTTO Flux- u. Oberflächentechnik


Electronica Azi International | 5/2019

SAKI Corporation Introduces Ultra-fast, Inline, 2D Bottom-side automated Optical Inspection for PCBs By: Ikumi Sugawara, email:, Saki Europe

Featured at NEPCON China and SMTconnect Saki Corporation, an innovator in the field of automated optical and x-ray inspection and measurement equipment, announces the release of its new 2Di-LU1 inline bottom-side automated optical inspection (AOI) system at NEPCON China, Shanghai, China, and SMTconnect, Nuremberg, Germany. Saki’s 2D linescan technology is ultra-fast, capturing the image of an entire 460×500mm printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) and 610×610mm as a carrier size in one pass, in real time, storing the image into memory, and creating inspection data for the entire board. This versatile system automates the bottom-side inspection process, eliminates board flipping and handling, and ensures quality after the potting, dip, wave, and selective soldering processes. The 2Di-LU1 software includes Saki’s proprietary Fujiyama algorithm, which provides complete throughhole joint inspection in a single step. It simultaneously inspects for copper exposure, pin detection, pin-holes, solder fillet abnormalities, missing components, soldering problems, and bridges. Saki’s inspection software has been used for extra component detection of solder balls and foreign objects and through-hole device inspection in the automotive industry for several years and complies with the IPC-A-610 standard. “Incorporating bottom-side AOI into the assembly process increases productivity by reducing the time, costs, labor, and floorspace needed for manual inspection, additional conveyors, or equipment to flip the board,” explained Yoshihiro Akiyama, Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Saki Corporation. “Saki’s system speeds the inspection process, increases throughput, and eliminates extra PCBA handling and the risk of substrate damage.” The platform and construction of the 2Di-LU1 bottom-side AOI system is based on Saki’s rigid, time-tested hardware that ensures very stable machine performance and long hardware life. The system supports L-size PCBs, high clearances, heavy and substrates. Saki will feature its 2D bottom-side AOI system, along with its 3D AOI, SPI, and AXI systems and Saki Self-Programming Software, at NEPCON China, Shanghai, China, in the Saki booth 1J30 and the Fuji booth 1G60, being held April 24-26 and at SMTconnect, Nuremberg, Germany, in Hall 4A133 being held May 7-9. For more information contact Saki at or, or visit our website at or LTHD Corporation S.R.L. Head Office: Timișoara - ROMÂNIA, 300153, 70 Ardealul Str.,, Tel.: +40 256 201273, +40 356 401266, Fax: +40 256 490813



LTHD Corporation S.R.L. Head Office: Timișoara - ROMÂNIA, 300153, 70 Ardealul Str.,, Tel.: +40 256 201273, +40 356 401266, Fax: +40 256 490813

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Electronica Azi International | 5/2019

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Electronica Azi International no. 5 - 2019  

The English version of the Electronica Azi magazine

Electronica Azi International no. 5 - 2019  

The English version of the Electronica Azi magazine

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