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Cypress Semiconductor PSoC 6 BLE Pioneer Kit Now In Stock at Digi-Key; Pre-Orders Being Shipped to Customers

Customers who opted in to be early adopters of the Cypress Semiconductor PSoC 6® BLE Pioneer Kit through Digi-Key Electronics, a global electronic components distributor, will be seeing the product arrive at their doors shortly. The company has received their highly-anticipated stock and have begun processing and shipping customer pre-orders. Cypress' PSoC 6 MCU is an IoT game changer. It delivers the ultra-low-power, high-performance, and builtin security features that tomorrow’s IoT devices demand, all built on the best-in-class flexibility PSoC is known for. The PSoC 6 MCU has already generated a lot of customer interest and attention in the industry thus far, and Digi-Key is proud to be a key partner with Cypress in bringing this product to the market as fast as possible. To get a more in-depth look at the PSoC 6 MCU, visit Digi-Key’s TheCircuit entry entitled “Cypress’ PSoC® 6 IoT MCU is on the Way.” For more information about Cypress Semiconductor and to see their entire product listing, please visit their Supplier Center page on the Digi-Key website Digi-Key electronics |


Win a Microchip aTMega328pB DevelopMenT SuiTe BunDle!

Win a Microchip ATmega328PB Development Suite Bundle from Electronica Azi International. ATmega328PB is a low-power CMOS 8-bit microcontroller based on the AVR enhanced RISC architecture. By executing powerful instructions in a single clock cycle, the ATmega328PB achieves throughputs close to 1MIPS per MHz. The ATmega328PB is supported with a full suite of program and system development tools and this bundle includes an ATmega328PB Xplained Mini evaluation kit, an ATATMEL-ICE development tool and an ATPOWERDEBUGGER Power Debugger kit. The ATmega328PB Xplained Mini (ATMEGA328PB-XMINI) evaluation kit is a hardware platform for evaluating the ATmega328PB microcontroller. It comes with a fully integrated debugger that provides seamless integration with Atmel Studio. The kit provides access to the features of the ATmega328PB MCU enabling easy integration of the device into a custom design. The kit features two capacitive buttons for easy evaluation of the integrated QTouch® Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC). The Atmel-ICE (ATATMEL-ICE) is a development tool for debugging and programming ARM Cortex-M based SAM and AVR microcontrollers with on-chip debug capability. It offers programming and on-chip debugging of all AVR 32-bit MCUs on both JTAG and aWire interfaces, programming and on-chip debugging of all AVR XMEGA family devices on both JTAG and PDI 2-wire interfaces, JTAG and SPI programming and debugging of all AVR 8-bit MCUs with OCD support on either JTAG or debugWIRE interfaces, programming and debugging of all SAM ARM Cortex-M based MCUs on both SWD and JTAG interfaces and programming of all tinyAVR 8-bit MCUs with support for the TPI interface. The Power Debugger kit (ATPOWERDEBUGGER) is a tool for debugging and programming AVR microcontrollers using UPDI, JTAG, PDI, debugWIRE, aWire, TPI or SPI target interfaces and ARM Cortex-M based SAM microcontrollers using JTAG or SWD target interfaces. In addition, the Power Debugger has two independent current sensing channels for measuring and optimizing the power consumption of a design. It also includes a CDC virtual COM port interface as well as Data Gateway Interface channels for streaming application data to the host computer from a SPI, USART, TWI or GPIO source. The Power Debugger is a CMSIS-DAP compatible debugger which works with Studio 7.0 or later, or other frontend software capable of connecting to a generic CMSIS-DAP unit. It streams power measurements and application debug data to Data Visualizer for real-time analysis.

For your chance to win this Microchip ATmega328PB Development Suite Bundle, visit : and enter your details in the online entry form.


TaBle of conTenTS

3 | conTeST: Win a Microchip aTmega328pB

22 | advantages of peripheral pin select on 8-bit Mcus 26 | connecting the home of Tomorrow with

Development Suite Bundle! 6 | cloudy with chances of microcontrollers

Te connectivity

10 | reliability of supply for small batches and sampling

28 | a novel approach towards void reduction

12 | coDico: Small, efficient & very low power

28 12

30 | SMT houSe - rent Your SMT line 13 | nB-ioT-Technology is here

32 | Seica auToMaTion - an experience of more

14 | powervr ray tracing delivering interactive

than 20 years 33 | rehm introduced innovative software at

lightmap editing in unity 5


14 33

18 | lighting from stadium to lettuce - could lighting contribute to feed 10 billion people in 2050?

34 | industrial cameras, Technical features, and Market

® Management Managing Director - ionela ganea Editorial Director - gabriel neagu Accounting - ioana paraschiv Advertisement - irina ganea Web design - eugen vărzaru

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Electronica Azi International is published 6 times per year in 2017 by Euro Standard Press 2000 s.r.l. It is a free to qualified electronics engineers and managers involved in engineering decisions. Copyright 2017 by Euro Standard Press 2000 s.r.l. All rights reserved.

Electronica Azi International | 6/2017


ClOuDy WiTh ChAnCEs Of MiCROCOnTROllERs Lucio Di Jasio, EMEA business development manager for Microchip Technology, looks at the latest complete online IDE

In the past few years, several integrated development environments (IDEs) have moved to or were created first in the “cloud”. But while this was perhaps natural for web application development (using Javascript, HTML, CSS, PHP...) and later for more general computing (Java, Python, Ruby...), the embedded development industry has been lagging behind. Perhaps this is because the target system in embedded applications is intrinsically more “physical”. Or perhaps because of the excessive hype surrounding the term “cloud” so much that developers have been greeting “cloud” product announcements with either apparent indifference or cautious scepticism. These reactions come from two opposing points of view. There is a generation that is entering the workforce today that has lived its entire life connected. For them being online is part of the natural order of things. Vice versa, a service or tool that is not available around the clock, everywhere and from any computing platform, represents an anomaly. The other perspective comes from a more pragmatic group, perhaps still representing the majority, that is wondering what kind of benefits could be had by moving the development environment to the browser. They have many concerns about security and performance and they need proof and reassurance before they can accept any such new technology. For this group the greatest motivation could actually come from the realisation that modern IDEs have grown to become very powerful 6

but also very large and complex objects. They need frequent updates and careful maintenance. For example MPLAB X -- which is based on the Netbeans open-source IDE project -covers thousands of different microcontroller models and is updated on a monthly cycle, requiring a download of approximately 400Mbyte. The C compilers that plug into it – MPLAB XC compiler suite – have a less frequent cycle but require approximately 100Mbyte on top of that. Adding a few more plugins can quickly take the tally beyond the half-gigabyte quota. On top of that is the time spent to perform the actual installations and general maintenance. Anyone who runs a small lab in an educational environment or supports a

team of professional developers knows how much work is required to keep it all up to date and in good shape. In such environments there are also great concerns about permissions management required to install applications on shared computing equipment. When adopting a cloud-based toolchain, all that work turns into a simple online login. Instantaneously, the most up to date revision of each component of the toolchain – or a selected archived one – becomes available to the user inside a browser. But being online can add a totally new dimension to the embedded development experience. Once an IDE is virtualised, projects can move quickly from workstation to workstation and work started in one office or class can move to any new (work) location.

Figure 1: MPLAB X or MPLAB Xpress? Electronica Azi International | 6/2017


Sharing and communicating among close or geographically dispersed teams becomes more natural in addition to being easier to set up and maintain.

entire portfolio of 8, 16 and 32-bit products, potentially including more than 1000 unique devices. As per the software debugging capabilities

loWering The Barrier The important consequence of making a complete development environment accessible through a simple web login is that effectively what used to be a tall barrier of entry has been flattened to the ground. There is virtually no commitment required to give a new microcontroller a try. Even the actual act of logging in is spared to those that choose to take the system for a quick and practically anonymous test-drive! Testing a new feature, be it a microcontroller peripheral or a new rapid prototyping software tool, is only a few mouse clicks away.

Figure 2: A USB bridge to standard Microchip programmers and debuggers

However, MPLAB Xpress is not a toy or a beginner’s only tool. Both the user interface and the underlying tools have been made to look and behave exactly like the real desktop equivalent – the two are often indistinguishable. This means there won’t be a second learning curve if or when the user decides to graduate from the cloud to the desktop. In fact, the cloud tool is equal in capabilities to its desktop alter ego and a project transition between the two is not only possible but seamless. perforMance When thinking about a development environment that requires constant presence online, many will be immediately worrying about the speed and bandwidth and resulting cost of the connection. But most modern cloud tools are based on AJAX technology. That means they make the most use of the browser ability to run code locally – asynchronously and using Javascript, hence the A and J part of the acronym – so the application (AX) can be very responsive and does not require every single keystroke to be sent up to a server on the other side of the planet.

Figure 3: MPLAB Code Configurator 3.0 in the cloud With the recent launch of the cloud-based MPLAB Xpress IDE, Microchip has given a strong signal to the embedded development community. While perhaps not the first to offer editors and compilers in the cloud, the new web based tool chain is perhaps the most complete from a hardware and software support point of view. In fact, from the get-go it includes support for around 400 microcontroller models and is claimed to be soon expanding to cover the

offered, the list includes support for online simulation but also direct access to in-circuit debuggers and programmers. Most importantly the long list includes a novel rapid development tool named MPLAB Code Configurator, which lets expert and novice designers save the many long hours spent studying the device (datasheet) and/or its peripheral libraries (API reference) documentation and focus more on the creative part of their applications.

File transfers do occur, but only when a file is saved or opened for editing. These are typically small text files (.c, .h, .hex) that are easily surpassed in number and size by the average images and ads loaded by a browser when accessing any modern web site. When compiling the application code instead, the server is working entirely on the local copies and the process is surprisingly fast. 7


In fact, in the daily experience it is common to observe how the cloud compiler can regularly outperform a laptop, the more so as the project complexity and size increases. SecuriTY The concerns about security of cloud applications are a very delicate subject. Large corporations are spending enormous amounts of money in advertising to convince us all that data – or code in this case – are perfectly safe once in the cloud. The best arguments so far from the two opposite sides go more or less like this:

serial port (USB-CDC) allowing any terminal programme to connect directly to the target PIC microcontroller’s UART. Windows users will need to install a small (.inf) file to enable this feature the first time; Linux and Mac users get a free pass instead.

SuMMarY Embedded control developers both new and consummate will find that MPLAB Xpress brings a breath of fresh air. The sheer number of devices supported and the integration with rapid development

• Doubters: If there is sufficient value or motivation, attackers will eventually find a way in. This is a rule that is generally true for all things, and includes any private corporation code vault too. • Believers: Companies that provide cloud services are also very motivated and in the best position to put very specialised resources – human and equipment – to work to keep the data secure. These are probably far superior to the resources that the average business organisation IT department can afford. MPLAB Xpress adopts advanced encryption technology – the same used by the best online banking systems – to protect connections and each users sensitive data and applications. In the end, in the coming years each of us will be exposed to this technological dilemma and we will have to make the choice weather the risks will be greater than the benefits offered by a multitude of new cloud services. harDWare ToolS in The clouD The MPLAB Simulator has been included in the online toolchain providing basic debugging capabilities, but most users will want to use hardware prototyping and debugging tools. Various paths are available. For example, the MPLAB Xpress Evaluation Board (Figure 4) offers the latest PIC16F18855 general-purpose microcontroller that sports what is perhaps the largest selection of core independent peripherals to date. The evaluation board connects to a host PC, Mac or Linux computer as a USB mass storage device and allows the user to simply drag and drop an application executable (.hex) file to programme the target. This has the advantage of not requiring any driver installation. The board also automatically registers with the host computer as a virtual 8

Figure 4: MPLAB Xpress evaluation board A USB bridge, launched as a Java plugin (Figure 2), can be used to connect to Microchip universal hardware programmers and debuggers such as the PICKit3 or the PICDEM Curiosity. This option opens the door to the entire set of Microchip and third party demonstration boards and of course any user’s custom board.

tools such as the MPLAB Code Configurator put MPLAB Xpress in a class of its own. It is going to be exciting to see how the new generations will use this tool and how embedded control will change in the era of the cloud. Bio Lucio Di Jasio is the EMEA business development manager for Microchip Technology. He has been covering various technical and marketing roles within the company’s 8, 16 and 32bit divisions for the past 18 years. As an opinionated and prolific technical author, Lucio has published numerous articles and several books on programming for embedded control applications. Following his passion for flying he has achieved both FAA and EASA private pilot licence certifications. Microchip Technology

Figure 5: MPLAB Xpress IDE logo Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

STorage faciliTY

Reliability of supply for small batches and sampling Direct from small quantities storage facility To supply development engineers and companies that have smaller requirements quickly also with individual items and partial quantities, Rutronik has set up a new storage facility to meet precisely these requirements. Tilo Rollwa, who as On-line Marketing Director is responsible for it, explains the details.

Author: Tilo Rollwa, On-line Marketing Director

Mr. rollwa, what can rutronik customers expect from the new storage? Now, a packaging unit is no longer the smallest quantity they can order from Rutronik. They can also order partial quantities and individual items for small batches and sampling. All available articles are delivered very quickly to customers, generally within one to two working days. as a broadliner, rutronik maintains an extremely extensive portfolio. are all articles also available in small quantities? No, we systematically select NPI products and fast-selling, high-value components. At the moment, these are primarily semiconductors, with additional product groups and suppliers added gradually. Our 40 top suppliers provide excellent support with 10

advance information about their future articles and early shipments of the agreed products. how can a customer find out if a product is also available in small quantities? The e-commerce platform indicates for each product whether it is available in the small quantities storage facility. All of these products can be ordered in partial quantities, the smallest ordering unit being a single item. can customers also avail of support from rutronik for these parts? Yes! The FAEs (Field Application Engineers) provide design support if required. Customers can use the on-line support function that we offer for every

product for this purpose. Here, they can contact the relevant product specialist directly, who can usually answer questions immediately or clarify them directly with the supplier if necessary. In the event that this is not possible, or if more complex issues need to be clarified, our FAEs will also travel directly to the customer. Customers can also find out about product innovations via the Rutronik-TEC forum, the newsletter, and Rutronik activities on the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Here, they will also receive useful information about promotions as well as news of current events, background information about new technologies and much more. Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

SMall orDerS

labeling, if they actually still have any, can only be deciphered with the help of a magnifying glass. It is no longer so easy to separate them and insert them into a piece of foam rubber before sending them. As a result, the process of separating them has become increasingly time-consuming and costly. Added to this are the frequent special packaging requirements, such as dry packaging for shipping and repackaging of moisture-sensitive components – all of which involves additional handling costs.

What made a special storage facility for these small order quantities necessary? The ongoing miniaturization of components has had two effects in the last few years: The products have now become extremely small and sensitive – some are so tiny that their

Another aspect is the increasing size of the packaging units for many products. Small designs are now mostly delivered in rolls with much higher packing densities than a few years ago. A single unit containing 1,000 high-value components can very quickly end up costing several thousand euros, thereby blowing the budget of a development office, a smaller company, or start-up. In certain circumstances, a packaging unit may even exceed the requirements for the planned series production, e.g. in sectors such as the medical or aerospace industries that do not manufacture in such high quantities. As a result, we are seeing a

growing demand for partial quantities. However, we can only respond to these requests to a limited extent from our central storage. how does the new storage facility differ from the existing one? The small quantities storage facility is tailored precisely to these processes, which means that most of the processes are unique and are carried out manually. Naturally, we also take into account all packaging requirements from the suppliers and the ESD (Electro Static Discharge) standards in the same way as in the central Rutronik storage and logistics center. This is designed to handle the packaging units and larger-scale re-packaging and its operations are largely automated to deliver orders to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible and to offer them reliability of supplies. The combination of both storage facilities will allow Rutronik to play a leading role in the logistics for electronic components in the future as well. rutronik elektronische Bauelemente


WireleSS DeSign

coDico: SMall, efficienT & verY loW poWer CSR102X, a new Bluetooth® Smart 4.2 System-on-Chip (SoC) family specifically designed to help engineers meet the needs of today’s “always-on” world. The CSR102x family is optimized for specific applications in the Internet of Things (IoT), including wireless remote controls, simple smart watches, home automation solutions and beacons, where balancing performance, battery life and cost is critical. Balancing power, features and cost, optimized for specific use cases and target applications, is not easy but the new CSR102x family of SoCs brings extensive and flexible I/O capabilities designed to simplify integration and eliminate expensive interface components. A comprehensive software development kit enables developers to get ahead with example applications such as Bluetooth Smart profiles and smart-

while in service. Other features that have been added to address target use cases includes high quality voice command capabilities with ultra-low power, for remote controls with always-on voice and CSRmesh™ support for home automation manufacturers looking to create whole home systems. Much of the Low Power capabilities of the CSR120X family can be rewarded to the efficient 16 –bit RISC controller being used and also to the Hardware Link Controller, which let the chip stay in sleep much longer periods than conventional solutions and thus saving power. There are development kits available today, both for general IoT applications, as well as for more specific use cases like a Smart Remote Control Development Board and a Smart Watch Development Board. If you are interested on more information, please get in touch with your CODICO contact or Ivan Mitic.

phone apps, all in source code. A secure, over-the-air update (OTAU ) capability enables flash-based product family members to be reliably updated

ivan Mitic +43 1 86 305-194

Features: MCU: 16-bit 16MHz RISC embedded CPU Bluetooth: Version Bluetooth v4.2 compliant with optional features Memory: 192KB ROM; 80KB RAM; 64KB OTP 256KB integrated flash (CSR1024/CSR1025) Bluetooth TX/RX: up to +4dBm max RF transmit power -92dBm receiver sensitivity; No external power amplifier or TX/RX switch required Interfaces: I2C, UART, SPI/Q-SPI, PDM, I2S, 15/33/37 GPIOs4x quadrature decoders, 2x time stamping blocks, 5x PWM blocks, key matrix scanner, LCD glass drive10-bit ADC, G.722 and G.711 audio codec Current Consumption: Total system current during active TX/RX: <5mA(at 3V, +0dBm) Operating Voltage: 0.9V to 3.6V (CSR1020/CSR1021) 1.4V to 3.6V (CSR1024/CSR1025) Operating Temperature: -30°C to +85°C 12

Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

ioT applicaTionS

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a new way of communicating with smart devices that require small amounts of data, small power consumption, in hard to reach places. NB-IoT is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) radio technology standard that has been developed to enable a wide range of devices and services to be connected using cellular telecommunications bands.

QUECTEL BC95 module, one of the first cellular module compliant to the 3GPP Release 13 is now available at CODICO and it will provide the basic platform for the terminal suppliers' NB-IoT deployment.

QUECTEL’s first NB-IoT module is available at CODICO!

nB-ioT-TEChnOlOGy is hERE BC95 module is based on Hisilicon Boudica chipset and is single mode LTE Category NB1 and single band. It’s available in 3 frequency bands configurations: 850Mhz (B5), 900Mhz (B8), 800Mhz (B20). Dual band B8/B20 version is also available.

Features • Size: 19.9×23.6×2.2mm • Industrial temperature range: -40°C + 85°C • Supply voltage : 3.1~4.2V Typical: 3.8V • Interfaces: 2x UART, ADC, Antenna, SIM • NB-IoT protocols • FOTA support • Output power: 23dBm • Power sensitivity: -135dBm • Power consumption: Sleep < 10uA, Idle < 6mA

Both B8 and B20 will become standard and widely deployed bands across Europe but 800MHz. will be predominately used in metering segment due to the lower frequency, hence best penetration. The BC95 module is also compatible with 2G module M95, 3G modules UG95/UG96 and 4G modules EG91 which allows easy migration from existent GPRS application to NB-IoT as well as full scalability between different cellular technologies with a common footprint on the pcb. It features ultralow power consumption, offering global connectivity with over 10 years’ battery life for low data rate IoT applications. The low profile, the small size of 19.9×23.6× 2.2mm and the easy LCC package allows BC95 to be easily embedded into IoT applications which are every day

smaller and smaller. Due to compact form factor, ultra-low power consumption and extended temperature range, BC95 is the best choice for a wide range of M2M applications, such as smart metering, smart city, security and asset tracking, white goods, agricultural and environmental monitoring, etc. it is able to provide a complete range of SMS and data transmission services to meet client-side demands. For more information, please get in touch with your CODICO contact or Ivan Mitic. ivan Mitic +43 1 86 305-194



PowerVR ray tracing delivering interactive lightmap editing in Unity 5 Last year we debuted a collection of PowerVR ray tracing demos designed to improve significantly the aesthetics of real-time and offline rendering. One particularly exciting use case is the interactive lightmapping feature embedded inside the soon to be released update to Unity 5. Even though Imagination is primarily known for the hardware GPU IP we license to silicon vendors, we embraced Unity’s write once, run everywhere mantra by enabling the ray tracing technology on the CPU. Even at the comparatively limited performance of a general purpose CPU, interactive ray tracing is the key to bringing unprecedented quality and fast feedback to game artists. This approach enables developers to accelerate the light baking process as well as seeing interactive feedback on how their lightmaps will look during gameplay.

With the upcoming Unity 5 lightmapping feature that uses powervr ray tracing for prebaked lighting, developers and artists can use our ray tracing technology to get unbiased physically-based global illumination (gi) and interactive feedback on any changes

they make to the scene, including materials, geometry or lights. At the core of Imagination’s PowerVR, ray tracing-based lightmapping system beats the heart of a production renderer developed over more than 18 years. It has been used in the creation of many Hollywood

films and the expertise gained from several lifetimes working on the most demanding productions comes through in this feature. Imagination and Unity engineers have spent a lot of time making sure that the workflow is seamless and the quality is perfect.

This screenshot is from a game called Project Wight, presented by The Outsiders. The results demonstrate how the Progressive Lightmapper offers the ideal workflow for real-life production environments. 14

Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

uniTY 5

The ray tracing behind this feature is entirely running on the CPU and the results are already groundbreaking. We could accelerate this process even further if we were using a PowerVR Wizard GPU, which traces rays with hundreds of times more efficiency than any CPU or GPU currently available, measured by rays per watt with simple shaders.

Whenever anything happens that affects a lightmap – for example, changes to geometry placement, material or light settings, etc. that lightmap needs to be reset and baking begins afresh with the new settings. Global illumination is tricky like that; anything in the scene can affect the lighting on everything else. In other words, it’s impossible to know where light will bounce and off of what until you’ve traced the rays to figure it out. The PowerVR ray tracing-based lightmapper is integrated just as you would expect it to be, using the UI that will seem very familiar to fans of Unity. And with the selection of a checkbox, the lightmapper runs in the background converging on an ever improving result as you work.

This approach is called progressive refinement. You can think of this like a real camera. A short exposure means image noise, which looks like unevenness or splotches in a light map. Over time, we shoot more and more rays and the lighting looks better and better.

Fast ray tracing is a game changer for the types of techniques game developers can use to push the limits of in-game realism and interactivity. The partnership between Imagination and Unity has given both companies the opportunity to work together on some amazing research related to using PowerVR ray tracing, both inside Unity 5 and also directly within the gameplay experience. In a series of future articles, we will dive into some serious technical depth and show what is possible with lightmaps baked in-game at 30 or 60 fps, to create perfect fully interactive global illumination during gameplay. follow this link to see the video that shows you the tool in action:

This screenshot demonstrates how it is possible to use the technology for different type of art styles.



This post is written by Luke Peterson, Director of Research & Strategy, PVR Research, Imagination, San Francisco and Travis Hopkins, Software Design Engineer, PowerVR Ray Tracing, Imagination, San Francisco

Above is the same scene, but the viewport is showing only the baked lightmaps using a small number of samples (rays) and no material shading. Even at this early stage, the developers is able to see how the lighting in the scene will look so any mistakes can be spotted quickly.

luke peterson luke peterson is the Director of R&D for PowerVR Ray Tracing at Imagination Technologies. Luke has been working for over 10 years to bring ray tracing to mainstream interactive graphics, first as cofounder of Caustic Graphics, and then at Imagination following the acquisition of Caustic. This work culminates in the PowerVR Wizard architecture, a full-featured GPU with specialised hardware to accelerate ray tracing. Luke and his team continue to work on next- generation GPU architectures as well as developing and demonstrating use cases for ray tracing in consumer applications and games. Travis hopkins Travis hopkins has spent more than 12 years in game development and has worked with over seven shipped AAA titles at major studios, including 2K Games and EA. He is currently a senior graphics engineer on the PowerVR ray tracing team, at Imagination Technologies.

This is the same scene as before with more samples. The developer can continue to work on the scene as the lightmap continues to be refined in the background.

imagination Technologies

This is the scene with enough samples to eliminate all perceptible noise. 16

Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

poWer DeSign

could lighting contribute to feed 10 billion people in 2050?

Lighting from stadium to lettuce

Author: patrick le fèvre, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer powerbox

With the vital need to save energy, the power industry has permanently innovated numerous ways to increase efficiency including by the way we convert electron to electron. Power conversion ratios are approaching physical limits, energizing researches and inventions and enabling applications that were heretofore impossible or at least not cost effectively viable. In lighting, new applications are requiring power designers to explore a new dimension, the efficient conversion from electron to photon which has created the lighting of the future. Since 1860, when the English inventor Sir Joseph Wilson Swan created the first electric light bulb concept, followed by Thomas Edison and his team in 1879 patenting and perfecting the carbon-thread incandescent lamp after many, many attempts and the subsequent and rather ubiquitous “Edison bulb” used around the world, the lighting industry has been continually evolving. From the sodium lamps introduced by Philips in 1932 and the commercialization of the fluorescent lamps by General Electrics in 1938, to the introduction of “energy saving in lighting” this segment has been very innovative but as well contributed to the development of vital technologies in health, safety and sustainability. The amazing flood of lighting innovations, contributed to make our lives better while reducing energy consumption but the real benefits are not always obvious when applying on very large scale. 18

Figure 1: Stadium Solid State Lighting saving more than 60% energy compared to conventional lighting (source PRBX / iStock) From: “how to save three quarter of the energy consumed to light gigantic stadiums to how to grow food for, projected, 10 billion people in 2050”, energy efficient and intelligent lighting are taking part of the solution! How could that be possible? SoliD STaTe lighTing on STaDiuM anD ManY More! The lighting market segment is very diversified, but Solid State Lighting (SSL) based on LEDs have popped the conventional light bubble making the Edison bulb effectively obsolete and they are now infringing on fluorescent lighting. as well. The possibilities offered by SSL are also bringing lighting advantages in industrial applications such as for roads and parking lots, stadiums and stages (Figure 1), but as well for urban farming, horticulture, water purification, and medical lighting and light therapy.

Where electrons meet photons, it requires power designers to work very close with LED manufacturers. One example is socalled “GaN (Gallium Nitride) lighting,” using GaN transistors in the power stage, and GaN-on-Silicon in the LED element. Although anecdotic, it reflects the industrial maturity of the usage of GaN in the power and lighting industries. As power designer it is very interesting to follow both technologies and I foresee huge benefits in that association. SSL lighting currently dominates some segments of the lighting market where the cost of replacing a light bulb is inordinately expensive and could cost the end user more than the light itself. Lights on tall poles where a lift truck is required to even reach the lighting fixture would be an example. Having to stop or reroute traffic on a bridge or in a tunnel is another example. Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

poWer applicaTionS

These type of applications benefit from having very long lasting SSLs Additionally, the SSLs are much more efficient than the typical high pressure light that they are replacing so the power consumption for providing the same level of light is notably reduced, often resulting in a very good ROI for the end user but also high contribution to reduce energy consumption. One example is the Houston's NRG Stadium (USA), which in 2015 became one of the first professional venues to use energy-efficient LED lights. The field was illuminated exclusively by 65.000 LED light consuming, when at full power, 337 kilowatts! Seems to be a lot of power though it is about 60 percent less energy than the previous system using conventional stadiumlighting and we foresee future technologies to save even more energy with 75% saving in target. The energy saved is remarkable but only the beginning of what is possible when combining SSL technology and efficient power management. More large infrastructures and cities are renovating their lighting systems in favour of digitally controlled SSL and, combined with renewable energy, we are approaching the mythic zero emissions lighting circle (from generation to utilisation). lighTing for fooD To all! Right now, there are around 7.6 billion people in the world and every year, the world’s population is expanding by 83 million people. By 2050, there will be just short of 10 billion. Providing food to 10 billion people will require the agriculture to develop very efficient production processes while preserving the environment by reducing hazardous chemical and optimizing water utilisation. In a recent communication, the World Bank very well pictured the situation and what was the expected future of food supply around the world. “The world needs to produce at least 50 percent more food to feed 10 billion people by 2050. But climate change could cut crop yields by more than 25 percent. The land, biodiversity, oceans, forests, and other forms of natural capital are being depleted at unprecedented rates. Unless we change how we grow our food and manage our natural capital, food security – especially for the world’s poorest – will be at risk.” Considering all the parameters and requirement to produce food with the highest respect for the environment, in 1999, Dr. Dickson Despommier with his students developed the idea of a modern indoor

farming, revitalizing the terms coined in 1915 by the American geologist Gilbert Ellis Bailey: “Vertical farming.” We have all heard about it, read a lot of articles about industrial building converted into vertical farms but from the early days using fluorescent or halogens lighting to SSL, there is an amazing number of technology innovations contributing to optimize the energy delivered to the plants for optimal growth and benefits of indoor farming multiples. From space utilization, 100 time more food produced by square meter compared to regular agriculture to reducing water utilization by 90% and hazardous chemical to none, indoor farming are very attractive though to be

method, the results are impressive and getting even more impressive when using modern lighting technologies computercontrolled, which for power designers is a very interesting area to explore, combining advanced power electronics and modern agriculture, with software in mind. Since its introduction, indoor farming engineers conducted researches to validate spectrum and energy required by different plants to grow efficiently. From wide spectrum fluorescent or halogen lamps to more narrow spectrum, the conventional lighting industry innovated a lot but those technology not flexible nor efficient enough to respond to the demand.

Figure 2: Solid State Lighting to grow vegetables in indoor farming (source PRBX / iStock)

Figure 3: The Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density required to grow plants and vegetables typically starts at 450 nm (blue light) and goes through 730 nm (far red) (source PRBX) really efficient such agriculture requires a very efficient lighting system (Figure 2). Not all vegetables can grow with limited soil and nutrition by impregnation but for the ones applicable with this farming

Following experimentations in Japan in 2005-2008, agronomical researchers investigated the different lighting methods to adjust spectrum and energy to specific plants. 19

poWer DeSign

Researchers concluded that the specific light spectrum to grow plants and vegetables typically starts at 450 nm (blue light) and goes through 730 nm (far red) (Figure 3). The Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) required ranges from 50 micromoles (µmol) for mushrooms up to 2,000 µmol for plants like tomatoes and some flowers that thrive in full summer light (Figure 4). Agricultural experts tell us that for optimal results different plants types

may require different light spectra as well as differing light balance and intensities between the seedling to harvesting stage. This often results in a requirement for the artificial light to have a number of different spectra channels that are individually adjustable for intensity. Urban farms are increasingly moving to modern SSL lighting, especially as the amount of light energy per watt of power steadily increases. This increased efficacy

also lowers the cooling costs as the produce yield is negatively impacted by too high of air or soil temperatures. LED lighting allows the grower to use lights that only consume energy in just the spectra that the plants require, generally red and blue, thus saving energy over having to deliver full spectrum lighting where the majority of the light is not used by the plants. This goes back to your days in elementary school when you asked your teacher “Why are plants green?”

Figure 4: Light energy required ranges from 50 micromoles (µmol) for mushrooms up to 2.000 µmol for light intensive plants (source PRBX) 20

Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

poWer applicaTionS

(In case you never asked, the answer is because most plants don’t absorb (use) green light and thus it is reflected back to your eyes making the plant look green.). Today multiple LED lamps are commonly used to energy efficiently grow vegetables though more progresses can be achieved by integrating intelligent power sources in LED modules. One of the research area is to create micro-LED panel with growth index monitoring, able to modulate the light locally (1/2 square meter area). That will require a very efficient distributed power solution able to adjust all parameters to “vegetable growth.” Here the electrons and the photons meet a new dimension, “feeding the population with sustainability for future generations.” Despite a lot of articles and papers present-

ed at conference, indoor farming is still at infant stage though the demand on the agriculture to produce more with less environmental impact is an important factor to the development of “urban farming.” Combining latest technologies in SSL, power management, software controlled environment will contribute to improve productivity and tools to modern farmers to grow foods for the 2050 10 billion people. A great time for all power designers to take part of this exciting journey! referenceS World Bank - about the agriculture global practice 180711468125682981/About-the-agriculture-global-practice

global agriculture toward 2050 issues_papers/hlEf2050_Global_Agricultur e.pdf leD lighting advances in horticultural applications, boosts productivity -lighting-advances-in-horticultural-applications-boosts-productivity.html gan on silicon: a breakthrough technology for leD lighting powerbox

POWERBOX’S MEDICAL POWER SUPPLY DELIVERS POWER AND SAFETY TO HEALTHCARE FACILITIES AT ALTITUDE Powerbox, one of Europe’s largest power supply companies, and for more than four decades a leading force in optimizing power solutions for demanding applications, announces the launch of a new series of power supplies for medical applications requiring BF (Body Floating) class insulation and full, reliable operation up to 5,000 meters altitude to power medical healthcare facilities and equipment. Complying with the latest EMI coexistence standard IEC 60601-1-2: 2014 (4th edition) and specifically designed with patient and operator safety in mind, the OBR04 series delivers an output power of 650W. The OBR04 is available in 12 different voltages from 12V to 58V with an efficiency rating up to 91%. With a strong focus on ‘no interference and radio coexistence’, the product meets conducted and radiated EN55011 class B without requiring any additional components. Built to ensure patient and operator safety, the OBR04 has an input-tooutput isolation of 4,000 VAC (2xMOPP), an input to ground of 1,500VAC (1xMOPP) and a 1,500VAC output-to-ground, when many conventional products offer only 500VDC isolation. In order to guarantee full operation up to an altitude of 5,000 meters, the OBR04 has been designed in respect of required creepage distances and additional isolation barriers. The OBR04 leakage current is 300µA maximum, and the touch current is 100µA maximum at 264 VAC and 63 Hz. Powerbox’s OBR04 is available as standard in twelve output voltages; 12, 15, 18, 24, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 48, 57 and 58VDC, covering a large range of applications from 12VDC intermediate bus voltages through to point-of-loads up to 58VDC to power the latest generation of power amplifiers. Depending on the output voltage the maximum output power starts at 600W and rises to 650W with a peak power level of up to 720W. An auxiliary 12V output is provided for an additional fan, as well as a standby 5VDC supply at 200 mA. The output voltage of the OBR04 is protected against overvoltage exceeding 115-140% of the nominal output voltage and is

current protected. The power supply also includes thermal shutdown and a TTL interface that provides a power fail detect signal. The OBR04 input voltage spans from 90VAC to 264VAC and includes an active PFC, typically 0.98. Exhibiting versatility, the power supply is designed for global operation with an input frequency range of 47 to 63Hz. The input current at 115VAC and 60Hz is 8.4A (RMS), and 4.2A (RMS) at 230VAC 50Hz. The power supply can be safely operated within a temperature range of -10 to +70°C and stored at -40 up to +85°C. Housed in an aluminum chassis, the OBR04’s dimensions are 165.8 × 101.6 × 62.5 mm (6.53 × 4.0 × 1.95 inches) and it is available in a ‘U’ shape chassis or an enclosed box with built-in fan. Based on a calculated MTBF per MIL-HDBK-217F, at full load and at 25 degrees C, the OBR04 has an impressive MTBF of 190,000 hours. Targeting demanding application and low EMI, the OBR04 series meets EN55011, FCC and VCCI Class B conducted and emitted standards. It also complies with safety standards TÜV EN60601-1, UL ES 60601-1, CSA C22.2 No.60601-1 and is RoHS compliant. powerbox |

PRBX OBR04 Medline 650 series – Up to 5,000 meters operation 21

Application Note Number: TB3130

Author: June anthony asistio, senior Applications Engineer Microchip Technology

Advantages of peripheral pin select on 8-bit microcontrollers June Anthony Asistio from Microchip Technology looks at the benefits of peripheral pin select and explains how it can be implemented on 8-bit microcontrollers. Accessing the exact peripheral set, utilizing a smaller package and reducing the board layout complexity are some of the benefits that an 8-bit PICÂŽ microcontroller can offer if it has a Peripheral Pin Select (PPS) module. The PPS module selects which digital input goes in or which digital output goes out to a particular microcontroller pin and this can be done statically after code initialization or dynamically during code execution. Figure 1 shows the block diagram of the PPS for the Microchip PIC16 microcontroller. The module is basically composed of multiplexers and control registers. For the input section, the pins are multiplexed to the input of a certain peripheral. For the output section, the different peripheral outputs are multiplexed to the pins of the microcontroller. The PPS control registers map the different peripheral functions and pins.

to limited pins. The PIC16 and PIC18 have different naming conventions for their control registers and their remappable pins.

inpuT SelecTion The Peripheral Input Selection register, xxxPPS, on the PIC16 controls which pin

figure 1: ppS block diagram for pic16 devices

The implementation of PPS is different for some 8-bit microcontroller families. Some have full PPS capability, where all remappable peripheral IO functions can be placed on any of the IO pins of the microcontroller. Other devices have a reduced version of PPS where the remappable peripheral functions can only be mapped 22

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would be connected to the input of the peripheral. The register is preloaded with a 5-bit field value, so each digital input is initially tied to a specific pin. Modifying this register changes the connection of the peripheral to another pin. The PIC18, has a similar input register, RPINRx, that controls which pin can be mapped to a specific peripheral input. A value must be written on the register to select the pin that can be connected to the input of the peripheral. ouTpuT SelecTion In the PIC16, the Output Source Selection register, RxyPPS, controls which peripheral output is connected to a particular pin. By default, this register holds a 5-bit field value that ties an output to a pin. Modifying this register changes the connection of the pin to the output of another peripheral.

the register to select the peripheral output that can be connected to that pin. The register holds a default null value, which means the pin is initially disconnected to any of the remappable peripheral outputs. unlocK anD locK MechaniSM PPS registers can be modified multiple times during code execution through the use of a special unlock/lock code sequence. However, if the designer wants to set the PPS only once, and avoid unwanted changes to the PPS registers, the fuse in the configuration register must be enabled flexiBle Mapping Mapping flexibility can be achieved when using PPS. A single pin can serve as input to different peripherals or an output of a peripheral can be placed to multiple pins at the same time. Figure 2 shows how a single event can trig-

figure 2: Multiple pin functions on a pic16 device

COG1A output signal can be replicated on two pins. This flexibility is useful for applications that require an output signal to be routed to different sections of a circuit or system. The two COG1A pins can also be connected together to increase the output current drive capability of the peripheral. uSing MplaB coDe configuraTor The MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC) plug-in for MPLAB X IDE provides an easy and visual way to set the pin functions on the PIC microcontroller devices. In this example, the COG1 outputs and the COGIN shutdown will be assigned to some specific pins of the PIC16F1716. Open MCC and select COG1 from the Device Resources Area. The COG1 module and its input and output functions will appear on the Pin Manager Area. Assign a COG1 output or COGIN input to the desired pin by clicking on the respective lock symbol corresponding to that pin. Once selected, the lock closes. The changes in the Pin Manager Area are shown in Figure 3. Click the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Generateâ&#x20AC;? button and the PPS can be configured automatically. concluSion PPS increases the flexibility of 8-bit microcontrollers by providing an option for the developer to customise and manage pin layouts of the device.

The same can be said with the PIC18. The output register, RPORx, again controls which peripheral output can be mapped to a particular pin. A value must be written on

ger two peripheral functions such as shutting down a PWM signal of a Complementary Output Generator (COG) while capturing a timed event.

Note: The Microchip name, logo, PiC and MPlAB are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology incorporated in the u.s.A. and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective companies. Microchip Technology

figure 3: pin layout as generated by the MplaB code configurator


neWS DECREASE TIME TO MARKET AND COST FOR THE NEWSPACE MARKET BY USING RADIATION-TOLERANT SOLUTIONS BASED ON COTS DEVICES Microchip announces a new microcontroller (MCU) that combines specified radiation performance with the low-cost development associated with Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) devices. The AtmegaS64M1 meets the needs of NewSpace and other critical aerospace applications which require faster development and reduced costs. Traditionally, developing radiation-hardened systems for space applications has a history of long lead-times and high costs to achieve the highest level of reliability for multi-year missions in a harsh environment. The AtmegaS64M1 is the second 8-bit megaAVR® MCU from Microchip that uses a development approach called COTS-toradiation-tolerant. This approach takes a proven automotivequalified device, such as the Atmega64M1, and creates pin-out compatible versions in both high-reliability plastic and spacegrade ceramic packages. The devices are designed to meet radiation tolerances with the following targeted performances: • Fully immune from Single-Event Latchup (SEL) up to 62 MeV.cm²/mg • No Single-Event Functional Interrupts (SEFI) which secure memory integrity • Accumulated Total Ionizing Dose (TID) between 20 to 50 Krad(Si) • Single Event Upset (SEU) haracterization for all functional blocks The new device joins the AtmegaS128, a radiation-tolerant MCU that has already been designed into several critical space missions including a Mars exploration plus a megaconstellation of several hundred Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. The COTS version of the device, ATmega64M1, along with its full development toolchain including development kits and code configurator can be used to begin development of hardware, firmware and software. When the final system is ready for the prototype phase or production, the COTS device can be replaced with the pin-out compatible, radiation-tolerant ATmegaS64M1 in a 32-lead ceramic package (QFP32) with the same functionality as

the original device. This leads to significant cost savings while also reducing development time and risk. The ATmegaS64M1 meets the high operating temperature range of -55°C to +125°C. It is the first COTS-to-radiation-tolerant MCU to combine a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus, Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) and motor-control capabilities. These features make it ideal for a variety of subsystems such as remote terminal controllers and data handling functions for satellites, constellations, launchers or critical avionic applications. To ease the design process and accelerate time to market, Microchip offers the STK 600 complete development board for the ATmegaS64M1, giving designers a head-start to develop code with advanced features for prototyping and testing new designs. The device is supported by the Atmel Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and software libraries for development and debugging. Microchip Technology |

NEXPERIA INTRODUCES NEW GENERATION OF HIGH PERFORMANCE INVEHICLE NETWORK PROTECTION DIODES Nexperia, the former Standard Products division of NXP, announced a new generation of in-vehicle network (IVN) protection diodes that offer a higher surge current, greater ESD robustness and a significant improvement in ESD clamping performance. The new AEC-Q101 qualified PESDxIVN series of surface mount devices is optimized for the latest generation of CAN, LIN, and FlexRay transceivers. The new parts are drop-in replacement for legacy devices, available in familiar SOT23, SOD323 and SOT323 packages. However the new parts deliver higher performance. For example, PESD2IVN24-T parts deliver a 30kV ESD robustness (up from 23kV on the legacy PESD1CAN), an improved surge current of 3.5A and much better clamping of 42V at 3.5A (was 70V at 3A). Other parameters remain constant or slightly better. The PESD1IVN27-A offers the same improvement in ESD robustness with a lower (=better) clamping voltage compared to the legacy PESD1LIN. nexperia | 24

Electronica Azi International | 6/2017


RENESAS AND DIBOTICS REALIzE REAL-TIME, POWER-EFFICIENT LiDAR PROCESSING BASED ON R-CAR SoC TO BOOST AUTONOMOUS DRIVING Renesas Electronics, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, and Dibotics, a pioneer and leader in real-time 3D LiDAR processing, today announced their collaboration to develop an automotive-grade embedded solution for LiDAR processing used in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving applications. The jointly-developed solution will enable system manufacturers to develop real-time 3D mapping systems with high level functional safety (FuSa) and low-power consumption. LiDAR processing today requires an efficient processing platform and advanced embedded software. By combining Renesas’ highperformance image processing, low-power automotive R-Car system-on-chip (SoC) with Dibotics’ 3D simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology, the companies deliver a SLAM on Chip™. The SLAM on Chip implements 3D SLAM processing on a SoC, a function that used to require a high-performance PC. It also realizes 3D mapping with LiDAR data only, eliminating the need to use inertial measurement units (IMUs) and global positioning system (GPS) data. The collaboration enables a real-time 3D mapping system with low power consumption and high-level functional safety in automotive systems. As the automotive market prepares for the autonomous-driving era, optimizing the sensor technology required for autonomous vehicles, including real-time, high-definition perception of the environment, precise localization of the vehicle, and real-time sensor fusion, remains a significant challenge. LiDAR has become a key sensor, providing higher-precision obstacle sensing around the vehicle and real-time electric control unit (ECU) management for vehicle control compared with alternative methods

such as cameras and radars. The rapid increase in the amount of data delivered by new LiDAR sensor technologies is driving a growing need for high-performance real-time processing of all this data. Unlike existing approaches, Dibotics’ Augmented LiDAR™ software realizes 3D SLAM technology that only requires data from the LiDAR sensor to achieve 3D mapping. It does not require additional input from IMUs, GPS, or wheel encoders, which eliminates extra integration efforts, lowers bill-of-material (BOM) costs and simplifies development. In addition, the software realizes point-wise classification, detection and tracking of shape, speed, and trajectory of moving objects, and Multi-LiDAR fusion. renesas electronics europe |

CONGATEC MODULES ACCELERATE FIRST-TO-MARKET STRATEGIES congatec - a leading technology company for embedded computer modules, single board computers and embedded design and manufacturing services - announces support of the new 64-bit NXP i.MX8 processors for the Qseven and SMARC module standards. As a member of NXP's Early Access Program, the new congatec modules will be available in time with the production launch of the new ARM Cortex A53/A72 based processor family. This enables OEM customers to implement their first-to-market strategies efficiently, since they can start designing the carrier board for their applications now and will be able to leverage application-ready i.MX8 based congatec modules from day one of the launch date. No other design strategy promises faster time-to-market and higher design security. Customers gain important competitive advantages that they can use to capture crucial market share. The new Qseven and SMARC modules with NXP i.MX8 real-time processors are of great interest for a wide range of industrial, stationary and in-vehicle applications, as the processors integrate up to four cores and high-performance graphics for up to four independent displays with low energy consumption. Since the modules are designed for the extended ambient temperature range from -40°C to +85°C, they can also be used in fleet systems for commercial vehicles or in infotainment applications in cabs, busses and trains as well as all the new electric and autonomous

vehicles. The acceptance of these new platforms is accelerated by the widespread use of ARM technologies in the consumer electronics market, which further reinforces the dominance of ARM technology, especially in the (ultra-) low-power segment of embedded computer technologies. congatec ag |


proDucT neWS

COnnECTinG ThE hOME Of TOMORROW WiTh The dream of millions to have a truly automated home is finally with us. The desire for an automated home has been around for decades, from 1950's black and white television infomercials to science fiction spanning the whole spectrum from The Jetsons to i, robot. The technology to enable this revolution in the way we live has, for many, been just out of reach. This is changing. The idea of a Connected Consumer is a new concept, and is driven by the power that millions of us carry round in our pocket in the shape of a smartphone. When combined with the continuous evolution of electronic systems and explosion of the internet, this has finally created the conditions whereby the average homeowner can control their entire home from their armchair. Key to this new world will be the components that engineers will need to design appliances that can not only interact with the Internet of Things, but can play a central role in the home of tomorrow. Aurocon COMPEC provides you the products of the global leader of component technology - TE Connectivity (TE) .

connecTorS Interconnection technology is at the heart of appliances within the automated home. Whether a connector is a humble terminal block, a low profile spring finger to the latest in state-of-the-art, fine pitch flexible printed circuit (FTP) type, TE has been at the cutting edge of connector design for decades. With solutions for power, data, signal and networking, TE has the complete offering for all of your connector needs. 26

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SenSorS One of the key differences between a truly automated home and one simply controlled remotely is the feedback provided by sensors. Sensors allow appliances to monitor themselves, adjust their operation or generate messages to the user concerning their status. Sensors can either be connected to the control board directly, or be part of the wiring harness of the device. TEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sensors are at the forefront of sensor technology with both analogue and digital outputs, making it easy to interface with I2C and SPI Networks. The TE range of sensors are all designed with connectivity in mind, and include options for monitoring temperature (including both traditional and non-contact versions), humidity, vibration, and position.

relaYS Relays are vital for the remote control of electrical circuits. Relays and contactors are employed where it is necessary to control an electrical circuit with a low voltage signal, perfect for use in an internet-connected application. TE has a wide range of products from small, PCB-mounted low power relays such as the RE Series up to large power relays like the T9A Series, making them the ideal partner for any design including access control systems, lighting, HVAC, and a wide range of other safety-critical applications.

paSSiveS At the heart of every electronic design is an array of passives. TE has been a major player in the passives market for many years. TE offers not only a range of inductors such as the 3640 Series, ferrites like the BMB Series and resistors such as the 3521 Series Thick Film Resistors, all of which are ideal for designs in the home automation sector, but also has a range of board-level shielding products for limiting the effect of EMI on the modern mobile devices.

Details of the products mentioned above can be found at Step in to the future with us by connecting your house to the world you live in!

aurocon compec 27


A novel approach towards void reduction Void formation under components with large soldering planes and low stand-off heights, such as Qfn components, is a well-known phenomenon. The use of this type of components is on the rise, giving many designers, sMD line operators and quality control staff ever growing headaches to meet iPC criteria. This article focuses on a novel approach toward void reduction.

By: ralph lauwaert, Technical Expert – Sales Support, interflux® electronics n.v. inTroDucTion The mechanism behind the formation of voids in a solder joint has been the subject of study for many years. A number of void types and forming mechanisms have been identified. Most notable are macro voids, where the main contributor to the void formation appears to be the soldering chemistry of the solder paste.

Because of this focus on the solder paste flux however, investigations on void formation differences between soldering alloys have always been flying under the radar. Until now. voiD level DeTerMinaTion A baseline void formation percentage was established with standardly available soldering alloys, such as SnAg3Cu0,5(SAC305), SnAg0,3Cu0,7 (LowSAC0307) and Sn42Bi57Ag1. The same solder paste chemistry was used for all tests described in this paper. To level out differences between PCB finishes, tests were performed on 3 commonly used finishes in the field: OSPCu, ENIG (NiAu) and I-Sn. To have sufficient void generation, a stencil of 120µm was used without any pad reduction. 60 Sn-finished QFN components for each paste were reflowed using a standard ramp-up reflow profile, suitable for each specific soldering alloy.

Image 1-2: Different levels of voiding Micro voids, shrinkage voids and Kirkendall voids are also well known and documented void types, but fall outside the scope of this article. Many techniques to reduce void formation have been established over the years. Adjusting the solder paste chemistry, the reflow profile, the component, PCB and stencil design or finish, are some of the optimizing tools that are actively being used in the field today. Even machine manufacturers are jumping on the wagon by offering solutions to reduce voids by ways of a frequency sweep or vacuum technology. There is, however, another very important, parameter that defines void formation : the soldering alloy.

Image 3: Test component example

The SolDering alloY: an unuSual SuSpecT The main contributor to void formation is and has always been thought to be the solder paste flux. Designing a solder paste flux that actively works on reducing voids seems to be the right way to go, since about 50% of the flux paste will evaporate during the reflow process, actively generating voids.

Each component was x-rayed and the void level of the ground plane was used for determining the void percentage. Void percentage is calculated as the area of voids compared to the area of the ground plane surface. Individual void size was not taken in consideration. The test results show rather poor results for SAC305 and LowSAC0307. Better results were obtained with Sn42Bi57Ag1.


Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

SMT – info

voiding performance with X-ray. The initial test results showed significant reduction of the void levels when compared to the standard SAC305, LowSAC0307 and even Sn42Bi57Ag1. Test alloy G resulted in lowest voiding values in combination with the narrowest spreading of the results.

Graph 1: Reference void levels Sac305



Graph 3: Prototype alloys void levels

Image 4-5-6: Sample pictures of reference test alloY opTiMizaTion Based upon these test results, a research project was started to determine the optimal soldering alloy in perspective of voiding performance. TGA analysis and X-Ray analysis were used for this purpose. Further parameters, such as reflow profile, yield strength, pasty range, elongation and usability in other processes were taken into consideration as well.

This alloy was selected for further mechanical reliability testing. Together with its low voiding properties it also showed good shock and vibration resistance in combination with better thermal cycling properties than SAC305. Furthermore, beside reflow, the alloy proved also to be suitable for wave and selective soldering. Alloy G was chosen for commercialization under the name LMPA™-Q. concluSion A serious decrease in void formation was obtained with the adjusted soldering alloys when compared to the market standards SAC305 and LowSAC0307. Furthermore, the ultra-low voiding soldering alloy LMPA™-Q performs better in thermal cycling & vibration resistance when compared to most of the soldering alloys used on the market today. Bio Ralph Lauwaert has more than 10 years of experience in the field of electronics manufacturing. At the manufacturing company of soldering chemistry, Interflux® Electronics NV in Gent (B), he got the opportunity to give world wide support to the Interflux subsidiaries, customers and distributors. Many years of hands-on experience in a wide variety of applications, processes and their parameters created the basis for an expertise in analyzing and solving reliability problems.

Graph 2: TGA analysis The strategy of development involves starting with the standard lead-free soldering alloys and adjusting them with e.g. Sn, Bi, Ag, zn, Cu, ... As this quickly results in numerous candidate alloys TGA analysis was used as an initial selection tool. With TGA analysis, the evaporation of the flux paste chemistry in combination with a certain alloy and reflow profile can be monitored. A smoother evaporation curve means lower void formation. From this research 8 Prototype soldering alloys were chosen for further investigation. Super-8 The 8 prototype soldering alloys were subjected to the same test setup as the initial reference testing. This means soldering QFNs with each solder paste on different PCB finishes and analyzing real

Want to know more?


For more information, please contact: Eng. Ciprian Varga, Technical Director, Comet Electronics Tel.: +4 (0) 212 432 090 Fax: +4 (0) 212 434 090 29

rent Your SMT line Not having to spend a lot of money upfront can help your business manage its cash flow more effectively. Whether you’re starting out or expanding, renting is the smart option for your business. Staying ahead of the game We live in a time of constant changes where every day we have to adapt to our customers’ needs. Either because of the new technological challenges, a focus on ROI “return on investment” or better productivity against new competition. The reasons can be many, and we believe we can help in providing the right solution. Keeping up with the pace and always being a step ahead of your competitors is what we are all striving to. Today you can rent almost everything starting from airplanes and properties to cars and machines. So, why not rent your next SMT equipment?

advantages of renting 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

It’s the right to use the equipment, and not the ownership, that creates revenue and profit for the company. Rentals can be customized from 18 months, and to customer's needs: monthly, quarterly or annually. Renting allows your company to “protect” your normal bank relationship. Renting allows you to minimize your risk on big asset depreciation. Renting does not affect a take away from the balance sheet as debt-financed assets; it has a positive effect on a number of key figures. Cash Flow; payments are allocated over the period during which the equipment is used and generates profit. (When you have bought the equipment your cash is locked away) Renting strengthens the company’s competitiveness; use your cash where your returns are the greatest. (Production companies often choose to use their cash on new development, salaries or purchase of raw materials which equals the highest return on investment) Flexibility – you are not “stuck” with your SMD-Line. Renting provides you the possibility to change your equipment depending on your customer's demands and market requirements! What equipment fits your business best? To give you a choice in our rental concept, we have created two different product production lines. The first one is called the “PREMIUM SMT CONCEPT” and the second one is called “ECONOMIC SMT CONCEPT”.

preMiuM SMT concepT It contains all the premium brands you know such as Assembléon, DEK, Vitronics-Soltec, and others. Everything to make you feel secure with the machines that will deliver your client's products. Scalable from 9,000 to 165,000+ CPH.

econoMic SMT concepT Here we have selected the equipment that is of high quality and proven reliability and that gives you a competent and powerful alternative, that maintains a lower price image without compromising on quality and reliability, and with access to good service and support. Scalable from 8,000 to 80,000+ CPH. 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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financial SoluTionS for elecTronic ManufacTuring Standard leasing solutions are restricted to any improvement / changes. The financial solution of SMThouSe is tailored to the needs of electronic production environments and includes the following additional advantages. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Choose your manufacturing equipment based on today’s and future need from market leading suppliers. Total SMT line solutions or single machines Best competitive monthly rates based on contracts between 18-72 months Fixed rates including service, maintenance and spares SMTH Technology Guarantee allows you to swap your installed equipment during the contract period Additional options can be added into the running contract at any time Flexible options after the end of the contract based on your needs

Configure your SMT Lines upon your demands from world known manufacturers like KNS/Assembleon, Hanwa/Samsung, Mirae, DEK, Reprint, Vitronics Soltec, MEK, TRI and others. Adapt it to your changing demands during the rental agreement and get your full flexibility regarding changing production demands. preMiuM line / 70 - 175.000 cph (ipc) Renting instead of buying from 13.995,- EUR per month Scalable output without the need to exchange machines coMpeTiTive line / 36.000 Bt/Std. (ipc) Highly flexible SMT Production line

Renting instead of buying from


EUR per month

enTrY line / 15.000 Bt/Std. (ipc) Renting instead of buying from 2.495.- EUR per month Complete SMT Production Line for low volume and NPI

lThD corporation S.r.l. head office: Timișoara - roMÂnia, 300153, 70 ardealul Str.,, Tel.: +40 256 201273, +40 356 401266, fax: +40 256 490813



SEICA AUTOMATION was founded to fulfill customer needs of handling systems for the electronic production. The company can supply every kind of automation systems to complete production lines, from the easiest to the most elaborate ones. Thanks to its engineering department, which uses themost advances tools for development and 3D design, SEICA AUTOMATION can offer high quality standards, fast conceiving times and a wide customization of the modules. The internal production department assures the possibility to put on trial every single machine in its entire working cycle; systems development and later upgrades can be also available. People with more of 20 years of experience in board handling gives Seica Automation team the necessary know-how to find always the most efficient solution and to solve any production issue. SEICA AUTOMATION manufactures loaders, unloaders, conveyors, buffers, shuttles, and has a wide range of standard handling systems as well as an infinite number of other customized solutions. An experience of more than 20 years gives to SEICA AUTOMATION the necessary know-how to find the efficient solution for customer board handling,traceability and custom automated solution, we propose to our customer the complete realization of turnkey assembly system. SEICA AUTOMATION product portfolio include Board Handling, Traceability product like label applicators and laser marking, soldering line, press fit cell and many other custom products. The whole production flow is “MADE IN ITALY”, under the control of SEICA AUTOMATION R&D and quality dept, all European rules and laws are fully respected. BoarD hanDling Create your PCB line flow process with our proven, flexible and reliable handling system. Seica Automation is organized to design and manufacture our product lines and accessories to ensure the rapid response times needed to meet the demands of SMT manufacturers, providing solutions that are high performance, flexible and that have an optimum price/quality ratio. Each unit is equipped with its own control PLC and is fully SMEMA compliant. Our two different product lines, Flo and Flex, have been designed to satisfy every customer requirement. flo SerieS® Has a great price/performance ratio, and is the ideal solution for standard lines handling small to medium size PCBs. flex SerieS® Guarantees maximum performance for every handling requirement, thanks to its high level of flexibility and customization. We provide standardized solutions designed for your specific applications, such as traceability, testing, curing, cutting, and dispensing. High performance robots are equipped with specific tools to fulfill each application. TraceaBiliTY The traceability system enables the user to locate boards requiring verification or modifications. It is therefore possible to track, for each assembled PCB, every component used, as well as the operator responsible. Seica Automation has a wide range of both laser marking machines and labeling machines. SolDering lineS Soldering lines can solve every PCB manufacturing cycle requirement involving manual assembly, by optimizing carrier logistics as well as handling of single boards. The information made available through barcode readers and pin codes, enables carriers to be sent to specific areas, as well as the automatic selection of soldering programs and the implementation of customized assembly cycles. This structure enables the operators to work either in-line (sequential assembly) or in work areas of varied complexity. We can implement your project, whether it be a simple or very complex soldering line. 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 | 6/2017


PRODuCE EffiCiEnTly WiTh ViCOn

rehm introduced innovative software at “productronica” Digitisation, networking and big data are megatrends in the electronics industry, to which electronics manufacturers today should react quickly and with flexibility. Huge data volumes have to be managed and archived for the long term. At the same time, demands on performance are increasing. Rehm has developed a smart system software with the new ViCON that not only provides the best possible control of the VisionX series, but also increases machine uptime and efficiency with numerous analysis tools. “As the volume of data in modern industrial plants increases, so too do the demands on machine control in today's digital transformation. We presented our new software to an international expert audience at this year’s ‘productronica’. The visitors were particularly impressed by the new tools that make everyday production easier. This shows that we as an industry leader and global player are in tune with the times with ViCOn and are implementing new trends ready for series production,” says Johannes rehm, Managing Director of Rehm Thermal Systems.

The objective is to depict the system’s current operating status clearly so that the operator can react quickly to status and alarm messages. Only the relevant information is displayed, and a cluttered software interface is a thing of the past. In addition to the basic software, Rehm is developing additional features to increase efficiency, including monitoring tools from vicon analytics range, the vicon connect remote manager for monitoring the entire Rehm machinery and the vicon app, which allows the operator to keep an eye on production in a mobile way. vicon analYTicS: greaTer TranSparencY in The ManufacTure of elecTronicS What is happening in the reflow soldering system? What areas can be further improved? Where are the hidden potential savings? These questions can be answered quickly with ViCON Analytics. Special monitoring tools capture the plant’s data on quality, costs or performance and collate the results in clearly laid-out logs. This makes corresponding analyses possible and potential for improvement apparent.

ViCON software user interface and ViCON App Keep The line running – a gooD BaSiS counTS Rehm has achieved a small milestone in the development of modern operating concepts with the new software. ViCON stands out with a clearly structured interface design and intuitive touch control. All messages, commands and parameters are visible at a glance in the main screen with machine view. With numerous features, for example, a favourites bar that can be freely added, the unique grouping of parameters or the individual process monitoring and documentation, ViCON offers the operator optimum support for all manufacturing processes. Access rights, views and favourites are tailored exactly to each user.

Alarm messages with a display for the action buttons and the favourites bar

Main menu, depending on user level

(images: Rehm)

vicon connecT: flexiBle operaTion – offline, online or on The SYSTeM Being able to access the machine from anywhere and at any time is essential these days. With remote access via ViCON Connect, the operator can retrieve machine data at any time, switch directly to the system, and monitor production conveniently at the workstation. This makes it possible, in conjunction with a cross-divisional system, to maintain an overview of the entire production – even worldwide! MoBile reTrieval of SYSTeM DaTa WiTh The vicon app The App – developed especially for ViCON – allows mobile access to all the relevant system information via smartphone. Operating status and alarms are visible at first glance. The responsive design ensures optimum display on varied devices, thus offering a convenient overview – system-wide for IOS, Android and Windows. The ViCON App is not restricted to a specific system; instead it represents all Rehm systems that are installed during the production and which have been connected to the App. rehm Thermal System | 33

neWS fRAMOsÂŽ iMAGinG inDusTRy MARkET sTuDy 2017

Industrial Cameras, Technical Features, and Market Each year, in cooperation with the trade journals Vision systems Design and inspect, global imaging expert, fRAMOsÂŽ identifies technical and commercial trends in the industry based on users' and manufacturers' views. for this 10th market study, 90 manufacturers and users from 22 countries responded to questions about the status quo of the imaging market, and its ongoing development. In the Age of Automation and the Smart Factory, classic machine vision is the cornerstone of success for the Imaging industry. CMOS technology and fast processing are enabling real-time precision, while cognitive vision solutions using artificial intelligence are the bases for further growth. Customized embedded vision is expanding into a wider range of industries and innovative applications, boosting their performance and efficiency. Integrated image processing, which provides a combination of reliability, superior quality, and a high level of innovation, is now a basic building block in the digitally networked world. This study is based on opinions from 61 users and 29 manufacturers who gave comprehensive information about the imaging market, cameras, sensors, applications and trends. European respondents, at 68%, were the largest responding group, while North Americans accounted for 19% with the rest coming from Asia and The Middle East, at 13%. Relevance ranking was carried out based on purchase or production volumes. Purchase and production were concentrated in Europe, at 61% and 50%, respectively. Also, manufacturers built more products in both Asia (24%) and North America (24%), signaling an increase in these two regions compared to previous years. The Asian and North American purchasing trends rank behind Europe, accounting for 31% and 8% of users, respectively. The Asian purchase market declined compared to last year (28%), partly because there were fewer survey participants from Asia, but these figures also suggest that the European and North American markets are stabilizing (See Chart 1). a MarKeT BaSeD on Machine viSion, WiTh arTificial inTelligence for innovaTive SYSTeMS Automation in production and agriculture, like in previous years, is the main imaging field according to both manufacturers and users. Quality assurance is the top camera application for both manufacturers (72%) and users (49%), followed by opto-sensory measurement tasks (62% and 48%, for manufacturers and users, respectively). Also, robotics and scientific applications still represent an important part in the total imaging sales and purchase decisions, as outlined by the responders of this survey. Manufacturers reported 115% growth in the transportation sector compared to 2016, driven by autonomous vehicles and assistance systems applications. Meanwhile, medical technology was stagnant and did not grow in 2017. The fact that machine vision is expanding into more fields shows that manufacturers are capitalizing on the huge potential of innovative technologies: 28% of respondents stated that their cameras are used for drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Other application areas that are seeing increases include those based on artificial intelligence, 3D scanning, gesture control, and virtual reality. While users recognize this potential, they are still firmly 34

Chart 1: industrial camera applications

Chart 2: image processing use by industry Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

inDuSTrial caMera focused on traditional machine vision applications (See Chart 2). At the industrial level, electronics, mechanical engineering and measurement technology continue to dominate both production and sales; in fact, they increased their lead slightly compared to 2016. The automotive industry remains a key player, albeit with a 17% drop compared to last year. Users and manufacturers agree on the importance of the R&D sector, including the medical and pharmaceutical fields, which retained their positions in the ranking. Other significant verticals for manufacturers are the food and beverage, print and packaging, security and surveillance, and, logistics. A growth area identified by manufacturers includes the multimedia and entertainment markets. Generally, manufacturers who respond naturally cover a broader range of applications and industries than do users, who tend to be concentrated in certain markets. Manufacturers are more innovationdriven, while users are more focused on traditional vision applications. SuSTaineD inveSTMenT confiDence, eMBeDDeD viSion, anD poSSiBle MarKeT fragMenTaTion Camera manufacturers' main customers are OEMs and system suppliers who make up 39% of their customer base â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an increase of 30% compared to 2016. This increase underlines how the imaging market is moving toward embedded vision with more complex systems and requirements. Consequently, end users are becoming less significant (-63%), but this trend is largely offset by increased sales by distributors acting as intermediaries and consulting vision experts. System integrators remain a stable customer segment at 31%. Both of these trends clearly show that users are looking to the technical expertise of external partners to develop their integrated systems. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of users stated their vision systems were developed and implemented in-house, however, this is a declining trend â&#x20AC;&#x201C; shown by an 11% drop from last year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which infers that they are more likely to seek support from value added distributors more often in the coming years.

this increase, the proportion of system integrators remained consistent at 54%. This is significant in terms of the role that intermediaries and experts are playing between manufacturers and end users. Manufacturers predict strong and secure ongoing growth in the machine vision industry. Thirty-eight percent (38%) expect this growth to be driven by new users; 21% by the modernization of existing systems; and, 41% by customers who require a mix of the two. Manufacturers see artificial intelligence, 3D imaging, hyperspectral imaging, and embedded vision as key drivers; and, 21% of manufacturers see embedded vison as an opportunity to grow further. The vast majority of users (91%), plan to continue investing in imaging with 52% of them intending to introduce either new or modernized vision systems over the next two years, while another 39% anticipate doing a mix both types of investment. In line with the users in more traditional application fields and industries, 75% stated they would be using off-the-shelf (OTS) components with 39% of all user respondents stating they would like to develop their own solutions. This result outlines what manufacturers see as the risks of traditional machine vision markets: where 17% of them believe that expansion into almost every industry will fragment the imaging market, due in part to industrial use of consumer devices. Also, twenty-one percent (21%) feel that their business could be severely impacted by users who develop and build their own unique cameras and systems.

Chart 4: industrial camera price ranges, users

Chart 3: industrial camera price ranges, manufacturers Twenty-four percent (24%) bought a complete system (a 9% increase) with only 13% supported by a system integrator. Given

Overall, the status of machine vision as a standalone discipline is on the decline as it becomes more of an embedded component to a more complete solution. Forty-three percent (43%) of users are currently using embedded vision as part of their integrated automation and control systems. Despite a predicted increase in market growth, some manufacturers were skeptical of this: though users are not about to defect en masse to the Asian market, 59% of manufacturers see competition from this region as a threat. In addition, 38% are still concerned about the risks relating to embedded vision, like industrial cameras being replaced by specific embedded solutions, as well as changes to traditional business models. 35

neWS As a result of the growth and ongoing development of machine vision technologies, the classical roles for manufacturers, integrators, and users are evolving and being constantly challenged. Embedded vision and the use of imaging technology in nearly every industry points to fragmentation. Users need and want specific solutions for their integrated systems and OEM solutions. This scenario is an opportunity for consulting distributors and system integrators to demonstrate their role as both advisors and partners in the development and implementation of individual and modular embedded vision solutions, far removed from the traditional industrial camera.

to $350 for a camera, compared to 45% in 2016. Users paying between $350 and $1,000 (38%), or more than $1000 (42%) increased as compared to last year (+7 and +19 percentage points, respectively). The high price segment is clearly growing because more performance is now being added to higher priced cameras. User trends are largely confirmed by manufacturers, especially in terms of a decrease in demand for cameras priced below $150, and the steep increase for those over $1,000 (See Chart 4). Market fragmentation, embedded vision and highly specific modular vision systems also appear to be promoting quality awareness. Superior

Chart 5: camera brand awareness and usage healThY price levelS, MaTrix caMeraS, anD gloBal BranD aWareneSS Besides the inherent desire for users to purchase cameras, the price range of these cameras is a key market development indicator. After a gradual decline in prices prior to and including 2015, the cost of mid- and high-price cameras is noticeably more stable in 2017, which should lessen manufacturers' concerns about low cost Asian competition (See Chart 3). Only 19% of users limited their budget 36

image quality with improved processing performance combined with integrated intelligence, speed, and simple connectivity, are key criteria for "smart" investments with good price-performance ratios. In the 2017 study, demand was mainly for the type of cameras used in vision systems. Area scan cameras, at 60%, are, by far, the users' top choice followed by 3D and stereo vision cameras (8%), and OEM camera modules (8%). Twelve percent (12%) of users utilize a custom designed camera to solve their imaging problems. Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

inDuSTrial caMera Seven percent (7%) use line scan cameras and only 5% use smart cameras – representing a sharp decline for smart cameras compared to 27% in 2016. A significant proportion of those who have changed their usage of smart cameras are likely now using area scan cameras. These cameras, like smart cameras, can be equipped with all the necessary features in a compact form. The view among manufacturers is more balanced: 37% sell area scan cameras, followed by 18% for 3D and stereo vision, 16% for smart cameras, and 10% for OEM modules. However, 16% sell cameras for various special solutions, which clearly plays a key role in their revenues.

than any other brand – followed by Edmund Optics and Fujinon at 31% and 30%, respectively (See Chart 6). cMoS iS The neW norM, SonY anD on SeMi reMain popular, anD cuSToMizeD SenSorS gain MoMenTuM The previously announced decline of the CCD sensor usage is more evident as the switch to CMOS sensors is nearly complete: today, 73% of manufacturers and users employ CMOS technology, while the remaining 27% are still using CCD. This has been accelerated by Sony's discontinuation of CCD technology. The study predicts that CCD usage will fall to 22% among manufacturers and 12% among users – a clear confirmation of recent forecasts and changes in the sensor market landscape. After the groundbreaking technological innovations and resulting upheavals in recent years, the sensor market is showing signs of stabilization. Sony remains the clear market leader with 49% of users, and lost only 4 percentage points compared with 2016. ON Semiconductor’s share changed little at 30%, and the projected 175% growth over last year in customized sensors, increasing their market share to 11%, has been achieved. At 9%, CMOSIS still plays a significant role for users in a clearly segmented sensor market (See Chart 8). Manufacturers are still fiercely loyal to Sony, with percentages similar to those from 2016. Although Japan's top dog leads the market at 28%, in-house development is a serious threat to traditional suppliers. According to manufacturers, 33% of their cameras are currently using customized sensors. ON Semiconductor has a 25% market share, almost bringing it level with Sony. Meanwhile, CMOSIS, holds on to its 7% market share. It is clear that camera manufacturers desire themselves to be far more independent of major suppliers and their potential limitations. Customized sensors allow manufacturers to respond more effectively to individual customer requirements, and those requirements for specific embedded vision components (See Chart 7).

Chart 6: lens brand awareness and usage The camera brand best known to users is Sony, with 67% brand awareness – no doubt influenced by its reputation as a high-quality sensor provider and its many consumer products in various segments. Basler and Baumer, each with 59%, and Flir (former Point Grey) with 56%, are all vying for second place behind the top brand. Among users, 54% are familiar with Matrox, Teledyne Dalsa and JAI. However, when it comes to actual use, Basler is the most popular brand (43%), followed by Allied Vision and iDS (26% each); then, Cognex, Sony and Teledyne Dalsa follow with 21% each (See Chart 5). In conjunction with cameras, optics is an important part of any vision systems. The best known optical brand is Edmund Optics at 66%, higher than zeiss, at 62%. Whether this is due to in-house Edmund lenses, or a familiarity of the distributor’s name with users is not clear from the results. Computar and Tamron share third place in user brand awareness at 43%. However, when it comes to actual usage, Tamron lenses are employed by 33% of users – more

Chart 7: Sensor brand usage, manufacturers innovaTive anD grounDBreaKing aT The SaMe TiMe: iT'S all aBouT The applicaTion area What criteria are important to users and manufacturers when it comes to selecting and using a specific sensor? CMOS sensors are the new industry standard coming with high quality for those more demanding vision applications. 37

neWS The new market potential in VR/AR, autonomous vehicles and aircraft, intelligent automation and robotics solutions require high sensitivity and high quality for real-time processing and control. On the other hand, the traditional machine vision market still uses lower resolutions, monochrome sensors, and lower frame rates. These are perfectly sufficient for classic measurement and testing, like when it comes to inspecting the fill level inside a bottle on a conveyor belt traveling at 2 m per second, little more is required for automated quality inspection.

turers are increasingly implementing color sensors in their designs, though the majority of users (76%) are still working with monochrome (versus 24% color). C-mount lenses, at 45% (users) and 46% (manufacturers), are the dominant lens type, with a strong tendency toward custom solutions. Manufacturers categorized 34% of versions as "Other" (special solutions) for their lens mount of choice, but 19% of users also specified this category when asked the same question. A significant majority of users seek global shutters as an on-sensor readout technology, thereby benefiting from excellent image quality without motion blur, especially in fast moving applications. high iMage fraMe raTeS anD high BanDWiDThS are MaKing real-TiMe proceSSing feaSiBle The demand for high speed imaging systems for data analysis and control in real-time is driving developments in image frame rates and data transmission standards. Here too, the split between moderate-speed traditional machine vision systems and innovative high-speed applications is marked. The use of cameras below 25 frames per second (fps) recovered significantly at 51% this year, while there was a corresponding decrease in last year's main category, that being the 25 to 60 fps group. However, applications using devices running at 60 to 100 fps doubled from 7% to 14% in this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s study. Manufacturers report that image rates between 25 and 60 fps are still their bestsellers, and are forecasting robust growth in their high-speed product lines: 60 to 100 fps (+53%), 100 to 200 fps (+67%) and over 200 fps (+21%). This growth is a clear signal that users are looking for faster speeds from their imaging products (See Chart 9).

Chart 8: Sensor brand usage, users The breakdown of the required criteria by application is clear from the survey data on technical sensors. Looking at sensor resolution first, the main category being used is between 1 to 3 megapixels and comes in at 40%. Although this figure represents a decrease of 15 percentage points from 2016, users expect this category to remain stable over the next two years. Last year's smallest usage category, that of sensors with less than 1 megapixel, made a modest gain of 22%. Meanwhile, the high-resolution category, the one between 10 and 20 megapixels, increased significantly. Based on the feedback received, combined with the increased use of innovation-driven vision applications, manufacturers reported a decrease in all sensor categories under 5 megapixels but was offset by a rise in all those over 5 megapixels. While the 1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 megapixel range remains in the lead at 24%, the sensors forecasted to grow most significantly are those in the 5 to 10 megapixels range, and 10 and 20 megapixels range, at 88% and 67% respectively. However, in traditional machine vision, stable manufacturer forecasts for VGA resolution show that it remains an important component of their sales. With sensor image formats, a little more than two-thirds of users prefer a 1/3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2/3 inch sensor format, while one-third (33%) of users use a 1/2 inch and a 2/3 inch sensor format. This result is a clear shift toward the higher format category compared to last year, and is probably driven by increasing requirements for image and analysis quality. Despite big advances in miniaturization of sensors and their respected pixel sizes while still providing equal or even improved performance over previous generations, bigger pixel sizes ensure better utilization of incidental light. Sensors used by manufacturers varies widely by application area: 35% use very large sensors over 1 inch, and 27% use small sensors from 1/2 to 1/3 inch. Also, manufac38

Chart 9: interface usage Despite the difference in user and manufacturer responses about image rate requirements, almost 50% of users view transmission rates of more than 5 gigabits per second as relevant or very relevant to their applications, which is expected to rise more than 70% over the Electronica Azi International | 6/2017

inDuSTrial caMera next two years. Real-time monitoring and analysis is one of the key benefits and is a driver for continued development when it comes to vision technology expansion. Fast image rates and rapid transmission of the data for immediate processing are seen as a must for high-precision applications. Users are recognizing this potential thus see the logical conclusion as a shift toward higher speeds (See Chart 10). When it comes to data interfaces for imaging systems, GigE Vision is the most accepted transmission standard among manufacturers and users, at 27% and 26%, respectively. FireWire and CoaxPress gained ground compared against the 2016 poll, but this might be a result of a different respondent mix in this year’s study. Where future highspeed interfaces are concerned, users (at 48%) and manufacturers (at 62%) agree: 10GigE is going to be used to quickly transmit high data volumes in the near term. The ongoing development of the GigE Vision standard predicts a simple upgrade and straightforward connectivity, without additional components. Frame grabbers, despite a decrease of about 10%, retain their position and their justification for specific applications: more than a fifth (+20%) of both manufacturers and users employ them and plan to continue into 2019.

in-house implementations. Also, users expect the whole vision system to be supported by data security and wireless connections. Users want to expand the potential of their imaging applications with more analysis options, while maintaining and improving on quality assurance and significant production optimization. Along with Smart Factory optimization and traditional machine vision, users see huge potential in embedded vision technologies for 3D applications and in deep learning using artificial intelligence. The imaging landscape, given the exhaustive application potential of sensors, has an opportunity to conquer and revolutionize new industries where the majority of users are still deliberating over specific applications. This is a big opportunity for system integrators and value add distributors to generate new custom solutions with practical examples and use cases, and to increase the market penetration of imaging systems.

Chart 10: Bandwidth relevance

arTificial inTelligence, huMan-Machine TeaMWorK anD innovaTive applicaTionS Manufacturers agree with users on the following points: they are looking for higher performance at lower prices from vision technologies, and they want good usability and consistent interfaces. Manufacturers make it very clear that quality is a top priority, both in terms of differentiating themselves from Asian competitors, and to gain a solid foothold in new markets with more demanding requirements. Consequently, alongside increased automation and the Smart Factory, manufacturers have a far greater focus for using artificial intelligence. In their view, human-machine collaboration, specifically in robotics, and an increasing number of autonomous driving and aviation systems are key areas of growth. The new imaging solutions from Intel® and Nvidia®, who have capitalized on their processing expertise to produce innovative, cognitive vision systems, were frequently mentioned in manufacturers’ comments. They believe the entire imaging industry will reap the benefits of this innovation. One obvious conclusion is that it will drive expansion into new industries, and into more consumer segments. Demands for standardization should help mitigate the resulting fragmentation and customization often seen with new technology introductions.

a STeaDY TrenD: preciSion, high perforMance anD efficiencY, pluS eaSe-of-uSe In an era of zero-error production of systems starting at a small batch size of 1, many users emphasize the importance of greater precision in automation, measurement, and testing. They expect to achieve this goal through improved vision performance using higher resolutions, better sensor technologies, and high image frame and transmission rates to retrieve and consume this data very rapidly. At the same time, higher performance must come in at lower costs and at better price-performance ratios to make it viable for them to implement it into their systems. In particular, smaller operators along with new application markets are looking to capitalize on this improvement in efficiency but profitability and ROI (return on investment) are major factors across the board in their decision process. Participants, as in last year's study, stated that imaging must have a clear benefit for them but also needs to keep them profitable. The conditions for further growth are still the same this year according to users who also stated a need for easy system integration and straightforward component assembly. User-friendliness, open source software and libraries, intelligent algorithms, and consistent interfaces are a must for most users to allow for ongoing growth in imaging. These results come as no surprise considering the most recent vision system customizations and more frequent

concluSion The results of the FRAMOS 2017 Market Study clearly indicate that imaging is no longer a standalone discipline, but is increasingly an integral part of modern automation and control systems. Along with traditional machine vision applications, embedded vision now provides the capability to analyze images at lightning speed and to make independent decisions based on the captured visual data. The real growth potential of vision technology rests on increased penetration into the Smart Factory, together with the innovative use of artificial intelligence in new industries and consumer markets. Visual sensor technology is equipping machines with human senses and human intelligence, giving them the capability to “sense”, understand, interact, and learn. New types of consumer goods, safety features, and industrial solutions are becoming viable thanks to reliable wireless devices like those used for eye-tracking, gesture, and face recognition. Self-aware robots, collision avoiding drones, and reliable monitoring solutions are just a few examples that are expected to be seen in industry. Now, smart homes can be controlled with a swipe of a finger, and cars can automatically brake if they detect the driver falling asleep at the wheel. Imaging is becoming a fundamental building block of the digitally networked world and is contributing to greater efficiency, security and comfort in every area of life. fraMoS |


Electronica Azi International no. 6 - December 2017  

The English version of the "Electronica Azi" magazine

Electronica Azi International no. 6 - December 2017  

The English version of the "Electronica Azi" magazine