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APRIL, 2013 足 ISSUE NO. 4, VOL. 11









Integrated condition monitoring functions increase the availability of industrial PCs


Fixing faults before they occur


APRIL 2013 Table of Contents EDITORIAL 4 NFC Technology Payments and beyond NFC is a short-distance wireless technology that’s been under development for years, and is anticipated to be a catalyst for mobile commerce. Some researchers are predicting that by 2014, one in five phones will be NFC-enabled.



Embedded World 2013 in Nurnberg presented the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Stefan Dosch of Freescale Semiconductor. He is the EMEA sales director for distribution, industrial and multimarket. Stefan has provided valuable insights into the strategy and development direction of a major player in the semiconductor industry. Here comes that interview.

WIN A Microchip PIC32 USB Starter Board!! EP&Dee is offering its readers the chance to win a PIC32 USB Starter Kit ll from Microchip! The PIC32 USB Starter Kit II enables users to develop USB embedded host, device and OTG applications on the high performance PIC32 microcontroller family.

COVER STORY Forward-looking: Fixing faults before they occur Executing condition monitoring on industrial PCs means that with proactive measures, OEMs and industrial users can increase the availability of their machines and equipment and keep downtimes to a minimum.


12 Robust storage media for industrial use SSD or HDD? Hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) are known first and foremost as storage media for PCs and other computer systems, for portable media players and navigation systems.

18 10 LED Driver Problems Solved by the PIC12HV752 MCU. In the best numerology-style, this article will list the 10 top reasons why embedded control engineers (are going to) love this little and inexpensive 8-pin MCU. The article presents each point as a solution to a very specific problem that presents itself to the budget-conscious, savvy LED driver designer.

22 Tips, Tricks and Hardware Design Services for FPGA Developers 24 Auspicious switches in the TME’s offer 26 Magnetic resonance imaging shows greater detail thanks to high-performance current sensors 30 Grid-EYE - Infrared Array Sensor from Panasonic

This kit includes: • PIC32 USB Starter Board II • Standard A to mini B cable for debugger • Standard A to micro B cable for USB application development • Quick start card directing users to web based instructions for software download and installation.

32 MiniMini 34 COWIN helps Sensaris certify the ZAO biomedical sensor PRODUCT NEWS Embedded Systems (p 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 34, 35, 36, 37) LEDs (p 38) Display (p 39) Active Components (p 40, 41, 42, 43, 44)

37 Group Publisher Director Gabriel Neagu Managing Director Ionela Ganea Accounting Ioana Paraschiv Advertisement Irina Ganea WEB Eugen Vărzaru

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EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

The board contains an on-board programming/ debugger, standard A USB and micro A/B connectors, and an expansion header compatible with the PIC32 Starter Kit and expansion board such as I/O Expansion Board (DM320002) or for prototyping your own. Host PC requires Windows-based operating system. The USB Starter Kit II has the same form factor and expansion connector as other PIC32 Starter Kits.

For the chance to win a PIC32 USB Starter Kit ll, go to: and enter your details in the online entry form.

41 Contributing editors Radu Andrei Ross Bannatyne Consulting Marian Blejan Bogdan Grămescu Mihai Savu

Asian Reprezentative Taiwan Charles Yang Tel: +886­4­3223633

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EP&Dee (Electronics Products & Design ­ Eastern Europe) is published 10 times per year in 2013 by Euro Standard Press 2000 s.r.l. It is a free to qualified electronics engineers and managers involved in engineering decisions. Starting on 2010, this magazine is published only in digital format. Copyright 2013 by Euro Standard Press 2000 s.r.l. All rights reserved.


EMBEDDED SYSTEMS Microchip expands PIC24 Lite microcontroller portfolio with advanced analogue integration and 5V operation Key Facts: • New PIC24 Lite MCUs with on-chip op amps, 8-bit DACs, 12-bit ADC, flexible PWM modules and extreme low power technology • First with Multiple-output Capture Compare PWM Module (MCCP) and Single-output Capture Compare PWM Module (SCCP) peripherals • First PIC24 with a Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) for increased peripheral interconnection • Low-cost Microsticks support development of 3V or 5V variants

Mobile World Congress's Hottest Product Launches A look at some of the most intriguing smart phones and tablets launched at the mobile world's premiere event. More than 72,000 people attended the 2013 Mobile World Congress, setting a new record, according to the GSMA, the organization that hosts the event annually in Barcelona, Spain. More than half of the attendees hold C-level positions, including more than 4,300 CEOs, according to the group. One highlight of the event outlined by GSMA was the Connected City portion of the exhibit, which featured a complete urban environment, including a town hall, department store, apartment and other elements. More than 10,500 people also participated in a new interactive exhibit, NFC. Experience, which allowed NFC-enabled handsets to exchange information and conduct transactions at locations throughout the venue. Of course, MWC was also the site of dozens of highprofile product launches, chiefly smart phones and tablets; hereafter those that captured the most attention. 1) Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0 has received rave reviews. The 8inch tablet, which features an intelligent pen, promises unrivalled multimedia performance and power for multi-tasking. 2) The Nokia Lumia 720, one of several handsets that the Finish phone giant says will target consumers in developing markets, offers high-end camera performance and a mid-range price point, according to the company. It features a large f/1.9 aperture and exclusive Carl Zeiss optics designed to deliver bright, clear HD-quality pictures day and night. 3) Sony's Xperia Tablet Z, a 10.1-inch Android tablet that Sony claims is the world's thinnest. It features the same OmniBalance design as Sonys Xperia Z smart phone and measures just at 6.9 mm thick. The tablet, which weighs just 495 grams, is also the first tablet to feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro asynchronous quad core processor and can withstand being immersed in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. 4) HP threw its hat back in the tablet ring with HP Slate, billed as an affordable Android Jelly Bean consumer tablet that provides easy access to Google Mobile services. HP Slate features a stainless-steel frame and soft black paint in gray or red on the back and starts at just $169. 5) Huawei's Ascend P2 is billed as the world's fastest smart phone with a 150-Mbps download speed. The handset features a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and LTE Cat 4 providing an ultrafast web experience with download speeds. n (inspired and adapted from EE Times)

Radu Andrei

Microchip announces a new addition to its 16-bit PIC® microcontroller (MCU) portfolio with the low-cost PIC24F “KM” family. This family offers up to 16KB Flash, 2KB RAM and 512B EEPROM, along with advanced analogue integration, in low pincount options for cost-sensitive automotive, consumer, medical and industrial applications. The PIC24F “KM” family provides a new level of integrated analogue functionality such as a 12-bit ADC with threshold detection, 8-bit DACs for analogue control loops and precision comparator references, as well as op amps to assist in sensor amplifications. The PIC24 “KM” MCUs are the first to feature the new Multiple-output Capture Compare PWM Module (MCCP) and Single-output Capture Compare PWM Module (SCCP) peripherals, which include integrated timers and advanced PWM control to enable motor-control, powersupply and lighting applications. The MCCP and SCCP modules

combine timers, input captures, output compare and PWM functions in a single time-base for optimal flexibility. These modules include 16/32-bit timer support, and can operate from a high-speed clock for higher resolution due to their ability to operate asynchronously. They also allow for automatic operations during sleep mode, to optimise power consumption. This is also the first PIC24 family to offer a Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) for increased on-chip interconnection of peripherals. The CLC module helps in creating custom real-time logic functions on-chip and is supported by the CLC configuration tool, which helps in coding the circuit graphically instead of in assembly or C, thereby saving time for the programmers. In addition to advanced peripheral integration, the “KM” family includes support for both 3V and 5V applications. MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




NFC Technology Payments and beyond NFC is a short-distance wireless technology that’s been under development for years, and is anticipated to be a catalyst for mobile commerce. Some researchers are predicting that by 2014, one in five phones will be NFC-enabled. Interestingly, we are seeing many new applications that present possibilities outside of pure mobile payment situations. Wendy Du takes a look inside NFC devices and Steven Bell looks at the intersection of NFC and RFID devices. NFC (Near Field Communication (NFC)) is a short-range contactless communication technology which is a combination of RFID and intercommunication technologies. NFC devices operate at 13.56MHz with data transfer speeds ranging from 106 kbit/s to 424 kbit/s. The communication distance between two NFC devices is effective within 10 cm in active communication mode, which gives this technology an inherent security. For several years, it has been heralded as a replacement for card based payments and in the popular imagination this is the first application we are likely to think of. However, the potential for NFC standards to reach much further is huge. This article explains the underlying standards and technology of NFC in the context of contactless payment before looking at wider applications.

modes: active and passive. In active communication mode, initiator and target both generate their own RF field, whereas in passive communication mode, only the initiator provides the RF field. See figure 1 and figure 2. The standards include the modulation scheme, coding scheme, transfer speed and frames’ format of the RF interfaces on NFC devices, define the initialization and describe the requirements on data collision control during initialization. See Table1.

Standards and Major Applications of NFC Currently, the standards for NFC include ISO/IEC 18092 and ECMA-340, which are compatible with existing standards for contactless smart cards (MIFARER by Philips and FeliCa by Sony). ISO/IEC 18092 and ECMA340 standards define two communication Figure 1

• Read/Write Mode In this mode, NFC devices read information from electronic tags. An example of this might be a “smart” newspaper stand or poster, where interactive or online content would add value to the static display. • Peer-to-Peer Mode. In this mode, two NFC devices can exchange data, in a mobile phone this could range from synchronising address books to exchanging images and complex multimedia. • Card Emulation Mode. In this mode, the NFC devices work as a traditional contactless smart cards.

Figure 2


EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

Transfer Speed 106 Kbit/s 212 Kbit/s 424 Kbit/s

This enables them to act as a contactless paying and ticketing device. This mode allows for contactless payment and ticketing, the most popularly perceived uses for NFC technology.

Modulation Coding 100% ASK Modified Miller 8-30%ASK Manchester 8-30% ASK Manchester

According to the standards, NFC technology can be used in three application modes:

Different applications for NFC enabled mobile device

Structure of NFC Mobile Payment Devices Basically a NFC device used in mobile payment has an Analogue Front End (AFE), NFC controller and secure element. The AFE consists of an antenna and transceiver which is used to detect RF signals, as well as modulate and demodulate signals. A number of communication interfaces such as I2C, SPI and UART used to communicate with a host controller can be found on the transceiver.



Generally a NFC controller is a SoC that integrates NFC transceiver and microcontroller, as well as Host Controller Interface (HCI) and interfaces for connecting secure elements. Apart from ISO/IEC 18092 and ECMA-340 NFC protocols, a NFC controller may integrate other short-range contactless communication protocols in order to provide compatibility in different applications. The secure element is a smart card chip capable of storing multiple application programs. As for the application of mobile payment, the related programs are stored in the chips. A smart card chip usually consists of a block for card management, security domain block (the security domain includes card issuer security domain and provider application security domain), and application program management block. Major Solutions of NFC Mobile Payment The hardware architectures of NFC-enabled products vary depending on different application requirements. The major differences lie in the placement of the secure element. In some cases, the secure elements of the NFC device are kept separate from the SIM card, whereas other NFC-enabled products integrate the secure payment elements into the SIM card itself. Currently the former solution is the mainstream in the market. There is no need to integrate secure elements in SIM cards in this solution (See figure 3). In other words, the adoption of NFC technology can be driven directly by the semiconductor manufacturers and mobile phone companies without the need for cooperation from the mobile phone operator. However, because the secure elements are not able to communicate with SIM cards directly, the information collected during NFC applications cannot be sent to remote devices such as servers in banks, limiting the usefulness of the protocol to real time financial tracking. If remote communication is required a dedicated interface for the con-

As with optical pattern recognition in technologies such as QR codes, NFC is already popular among early adopters and gaining ground as an “optional extra” or alternative to more established communication channels.

Figure 3: SIM Card with Separated Secure Element

nection between the NFC secure element and baseband processor is necessary. This results in an extreme complexity in hardware design and the need to update the secure element’s application programs. The latter solution is the one that mobile operators prefer. In this solution, the key data and secure elements are all integrated in a SIM card (as shown in figure 4). The NFC controller communicates with the SIM card by using SWP (Single Wire Protocol), which has the capability of full-duplex communication based on the principle of voltage and load modulation. The application programs stored in the secure elements can then be downloaded and updated though over-the-air interfaces. Of course, this method hands control of these updates to the mobile network operators rather than the original software authors. Currently NXP and STMicroelectronics have specialised products for mobile payment. TI and Renesas have announced they will join in this market (See Table 2).

As further semiconductor manufacturers and mobile phone operators throw their weight behind implementing NFC technology, it is likely that contactless payment will become a common feature of our lives. However, analysts from Forrester predict that the uptake may not gain momentum for up to 5 years, even in countries with advanced infrastructure. This year, hundreds of millions of NFC-enabled mobile devices will ship and it’s important to consider that contactless payment is not the only use of this technology.

Transceiver Part No. Supplier Farnell SKU PN512 NXP 1902844 PN513 NXP Controller Part No. Supplier Farnell SKU PN531 NXP PN532 NXP 1902845 PN533 NXP 1902846 PN544 NXP ST21NFCA ST

Figure 4: SIM Card Integrated with Secure Element Advertising material and ticketing are two obvious examples which are already establishing a foothold. NFC is also attracting interest in the medical sector, in particular turning smart phones into diagnostic tools. In 2011, the US-based X Prize Foundation announced the “Tricorder X Prize”, inspired by the multifunction hand-held device used for sensor scanning, data analysis, and recording data dubbed Tricorder in Star Trek. NFC might well prove to be a 21st century solution to this US$10 million competition. n | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Embedded World 2013 in Nurnberg presented the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Stefan Dosch of Freescale Semiconductor. He is the EMEA sales director for distribution, industrial and multimarket. Stefan has provided valuable insights into the strategy and development direction of a major player in the semiconductor industry. Here comes that interview. Please summarize for us the Freescale strategic thrust since its privatization. What is the strategic thrust in terms of products and markets? What role does R&D plays in the overall Freescale strategy. When Gregg Lowe joined Freescale in June 2012 he looked in detail at the strategic set-up of our different businesses and their future potential. As a result of this analysis, Freescale reorganized the business units to drive the high growth segments in a very consequent fashion. This included fewer hierarchies to ensure more personal accountability. Target is a faster reaction to customer and market needs. Now Freescale has 5 business units: Industrial and Multimarket Microcontrollers, Automotive Microcontrollers, Digital Networking, Analog & Sensors as well as RF. The R&D expenditure will focus on the identified growth areas. Particularly in the industrial microcontroller and digital networking segments we still see a lot of growth potential. In order to support this growth, Freescale is heavily investing in a wide and very scalable ARM portfolio. In the industrial and multimarket segment Freescale now offers solutions from a 0,49US$ Kinetis L with M0+ core which is optimized for very low power consumption to high end performance IMX6 solutions with 1, 2 or 4 ARM A9 cores. Key for Freescale is to ensure a maximum of scalability and compatibility: both within a family as well as across them.


EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

How important is Eastern Europe for Freescale? We all know emerging markets grow faster than mature ones; however, they are less stable and less predictable. Therefore, what are your perceived advantages and disadvantages of Eastern European markets? Today a large percentage of the revenue in Eastern Europe is the result of external manufacturing. This part of the business cannot be influenced by Freescale, it is the decision of our customers where to produce, Freescale and our distribution partners will support with excellent logistic services . What Freescale is very interested in, is to grow the revenue with local customers and projects which are developed in the region. Based on the increasing success of local Eastern European companies in their home markets as well as in export, I see a huge growth potential here. The disadvantage is that the customers are spread over a large region and local projects often start with lower volumes. This generates a challenge to provide excellent technical support. Therefore Freescale cooperates with strong distribution partners in the individual countries. Additionally we support forums, communities, local language publications and continuously invest into our world class TICS (Technical Information & Commercial Support). The TICS allows customers to ask questions per phone, live

chat or service request. Customer feedback on the response times and the quality of answers is 95% satisfaction! Which Eastern European markets are most important for Freescale, both in terms of segments and countries? Freescale is present in all Eastern European Countries and has attractive customers in each of them. From the pure size and potential of the economy Poland and Russia are very important. We also see all segments represented: from industrial to networking, consumer and automotive. Freescale serves them all.



But we continuously want to improve our presence and local perception. For example I decided to do a special investment in Romania. Since last year we run with our distribution partners workshops and technical trainings in several cities. It enables us to get in touch with many more customers than in the past. This strategy starts to pay off: we see much more interest and demand for Freescale solutions. How much does the Freescale strategy overlap with the Eastern European market needs? There is a large amount of overlap both in terms of product portfolio as well as support infrastructure. Freescale’s decision to offer the broadest ARM portfolio in the industry has attracted many new customers. The applies without limitation aslo to all Eastern European countries. Based on our Kinetis and I.MX products we now talk to customers which did not consider Freescale in the past. In order to support these customers well we have invested heavily to offer excellent development tools, documentation, reference designs, demonstrators as well as a strong and competent partner network. Freescale makes it easy for customers to quickly develop their project in good quality. Also in this regard there is no difference between the expectations from our customers in Eastern or Central Europe.

What is your business roadmap for Eastern Europe? What is your strategy to increase sales in Eastern Europe? What role do market share and sales margin play in your strategy? I triggered a number of initiatives to drive our growth in the region in the past and continue to do so. In Romania we started a multi city tour of technical workshop for IMX and Kinetis. This was a great success last year which will be continued this year. We have assigned local Freescale sales to support business development and fund local language technical communities. Also in other countries we increase our engagement with additional technical resources, “Design with Freescale” events, community support, workshop series etc. Our target is to grow our market share in a profitable fashion. The success of the last years proves that these initiatives address the needs of our customers successfully. Automotive has been and still is a strategic focus. What role, if any, do Eastern European markets play in your overall plans? Same question about networking. Same question about embedded applications. Automotive in the past has been the key to Freescale’s success in Eastern Europe. It is the segment Freescale traditionally is very strong in and where Freescale enjoys an excellent reputation. Therefore it is not surprising that automotive dominated Freescale’s locally generated revenue. The same applies for Networking where Freescale is a market leader in many segments. In both segments Freescale will continue to invest to keep

these strong positions. Thanks to the initiatives for the industrial space I described before, the industrial segment will soon enjoy the same reputation and importance. What keeps you awake at night? Honestly: from a business perspective nothing. With the current focus on a very scalable and broad ARM portfolio in combination with a world class support and eco system, I sleep very comfortable. The only one waking me up at night is my over motivated, little dog. It starts barking like crazy when it hears noises outside. I am working on it… Please give us your personal perspective on Eastern Europe. Conventional wisdom says the emerging markets are the most attractive for suppliers, particularly because of their growth rates. Can you indicate how long do you expect these markets to retain their “emerging” status? I see the economies and local design activities developing at very different paces in the different countries. “One” Eastern Europe does not exist in my mind. This will generate great growth opportunities for the next years to come. Anything else you wanted to tell us and we did not ask? My target is to establish Freescale across Eastern Europe is the preferred supplier for microcontroller and MPU applications. Our very scalable product portfolio from very low to very high end offers customers a unique “One Stop Shop” opportunity. You will not find this with any other supplier. n | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




New Kontron 3U VPX graphics board provides desktop-class AMD graphics in a rugged, long-term available form factor

Digital Audio Broadcast Receiver (DAB) from Maxim Integrated Enables Software-Defined Radio (SDR) Through Its RF to Bits® Architecture

Kontron has announced the launch of the Kontron 3U VPX graphics board VX3324, offering leading-edge desktop-class graphics capabilities. The graphics board comes in an embedded form factor and targets military and aerospace applications. It has been designed for long lifecycle applications and is equipped with the AMD Radeon E6460 graphics processing unit. The new VPX graphics board has been optimized for size, weight, power and cooling (SWAP-C) constrained applications and supports the latest high-end graphics performance features such as DirectX 11 OpenGL 4.0 and Shader model 5.0, providing an immersive 3D user experience. Moreover, it reduces the bill-ofmaterial in multi-monitor environments with its support of up to three independent high-resolution monitors. Despite its powerful graphics capabilities, the Kontron VX3324 requires only up to 22 watts,

Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. announced the MAX2173 RF to Bits tuner for digital audio broadcast (DAB) applications in automobiles and other mobile DAB/FM products. The industry’s first RF to Bits DAB/FM tuner integrates a radio tuner, analog-to-digital converter (ADC), and digital filtering, and uses a digital I2S output to interface directly to digital signal processors (DSPs). RF to Bits radios will enable system designers to implement baseband pro cessing using off-the-shelf DSPs. This architectural partition will facilitate faster development times and seamless software based upgradability. This level of integration eliminates numerous external components associated with traditional RF tuners to reduce cost, BOM count, and space. By integrating ADCs with digital

enabling applications to be designed with a low-power footprint and low-heat dissipation to meet the needs of power and heat sensitive situational awareness, intelligence, surveillance, and

reconnaissance applications. Further target segments include, command and control workstations, radar consoles and cockpit displays. Users can experience an increased field of view by spanning the video signal across three monitors. The integrated unified video decoder effectively offloads the system host processor when decoding HD H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, or MPEG-4 part 2 video streams, leaving maximum system resources for mission-critical tasks. KONTRON

filtering, the MAX2173 reduces the output data rate and eases the processing load on the backend DSP. The clear separation between the radio’s front-end and the DSP simplifies system

design. The DSP’s processing capacity is freed to support other functions or future upgrades. The MAX2173’s high performance and flexible RF front-end supports DAB, FM, and Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcast (TDMB) applications in the FM, VHF band-III, and L-band frequency bands. MAXIM INTEGRATED

Laird Technologies to Demonstrate Thermobility™ Wireless Power Generators at Energy Harvesting & Storage Europe Laird Technologies, Inc., a leading global technology company, announced today that it will demonstrate its Thermobility™ Wireless Power Generator series at Energy Harvesting & Storage Europe. The event will be held at the International Congress Centrum ICC Berlin in Berlin, Germany, April 17-18, 2013. Laird Technologies will exhibit at booths P7 and P8. The Thermobility™ Series are selfcontained thin-film thermoelectric power generators that harvest waste heat and convert it to usable DC power. Due to its compact size, ability to regulate voltage and store power, these products are ideal for powering wireless sensors, low power LEDs or trickle charge batteries where a


heat source is readily available. When combined with Laird’s eTEG™ embedded thermoelectric power generators, Thermobility provides turn-key solutions for design engineers as opposed to designing a complex thermal energy harvester. Laird’s Engineered Thermal Systems Group will also showcase a new generation of thermoelectric power generators and embedded wireless solutions. The eTEG PG8000 Series is a new series of thin-film thermoelectric power generators that offer higher power, more robust mechanical design and ease of integration with common sources of thermal energy. Laird’s wide range of embedded wireless solutions are designed to add

EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

true power and performance to any product including end-toend solutions for M2M data acquisition and control. Energy Harvesting & Storage Europe is the world’s largest event covering energy harvesting and storage technologies and applications. The tradeshow brings together over 1,600 top level executives from more than 35 countries for networking opportunities along with the

conference portion which features case studies, Masterclasses and world first announcements from leading companies in the energy harvesting and storage industry. LAIRD TECHNOLOGIES


QA•Verify embraces Continuous Code Inspection, team-sharing collaboration and workflow integration for high-quality coding practices PRQA | Programming Research announces a significant upgrade to QA•Verify, its sophisticated software quality management solution. QA•Verify already leverages the broad industry adoption of QA•C and QA•C++, providing team-sharing collaboration, sophisticated coding standards compliance, metrics and reporting facilities across multiple software projects. In this latest release, we extend this functionality to make the process of Continuous Code Inspection even more effective. The adoption of structured code inspections remains surprisingly low, despite the fact that the benefits are well documented and compelling. Inspections have historically been a manual and intensive effort, difficult to scale as code volume and complexity increases, along with the inevitable schedule and resourcing pressures on a development team’s most experienced resources. A key part of the solution is to automate the code inspection. By replacing manual inspections with the advanced facilities of QA•Verify, organizations will be able to conduct their code inspections in an automated and collaborative environment. Several key product features combine to deliver this: • Specific notes and subsequent comment threads from each review are captured and documented. And the ongoing developer action assignments are initiated. • Run-time issues and undefined language use are identified - among the most important inputs to a code inspection. • Code structure and metrics with trend graphs over each function’s lifetime, provide an advanced timeline of code complexity. • A detailed picture of coding rule compliance is available, incorporating sophisticated mechanisms to control deviations. • Continuous, incremental analysis is provided and this can also be triggered through the build-environment integration, including continuous build environments such as Jenkins. Code inspection need not be a subjective, tedious, confrontational and labour-intensive activity. With extensive automation, online collaboration and the realization of continuous, incremental updates, the new Continuous Code Inspection paradigm is now established through intelligent features of QA•Verify. PRQA | PROGRAMMING RESEARCH

EMBEDDED SYSTEMS IAR Embedded Workbench certified for functional safety development IAR Systems®, the world’s leading supplier of development tools for embedded systems, announced that the build chain of the tool suite IAR Embedded Workbench® for ARM® has been certified by TÜV SÜD as a qualified tool for development of safety-related applications. In conjunction, IAR Systems also announced the availability of a special support agreement for customers working with safety-critical development. IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM has been tested and approved according to the requirements on support tools put forth in International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508, the international umbrella standard for functional safety, as well as International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26262, which is used for automotive safety-related systems. IEC 61508, and standards derived from it, is used within all kinds of industries with requirements on reliability and safety, for example process industries, the oil and gas industry, nuclear power plants, machinery, and railway control systems. The assessment has covered the relevant parts of IAR Systems’ development processes, as well as the safety-related customer documentation and the customer support. The quality assurance measures applied by IAR Systems and the included Safety Manual allow customers to use IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM in safety-related software development for each Safety Integrity Level (SIL) according to IEC 61508 and each Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) of ISO 26262 without further tool qualification. IAR SYSTEMS

New Freescale Microcontrollers Help Streamline Automotive Body Electronics Networks and Reduce Vehicle Weight The automotive industry is changing rapidly to address complex challenges, including higher bandwidth networks, improving data security, implementing functional safety and reducing overall energy consumption. Freescale Semiconductor is expanding its Qorivva and S12 MagniV vehicle body network microcontroller (MCU) portfolios to address these challenges and bring a new level of integration and function to automotive body applications. As the number of electronic control units in a vehicle grows, the amount of connectivity needed also increases. The average vehicle includes several miles of copper wire – weighing up to 150 lbs. or more – for in-vehicle networking. Integrating more functionality within the vehicle’s main ECUs and increasing the intelligence of its satellite nodes (i.e. modules in doors or electric motors) can help reduce the number of ECUs and the amount of associated wiring required, eliminating weight in the vehicle wiring harness and helping improve vehicle fuel economy. Along with the demand for greener cars, there is a major push for compliance with the ISO 26262 functional safety standard for automotive body modules, given the critical nature of the functions they enable such as exterior lighting and wind shield wipers. And as wireless communication to and from the vehicle becomes more prevalent, there is a growing need for security measures within automotive microcontrollers – to safeguard the intellectual property they contain and also prevent unauthorized and potentially dangerous access to the vehicle network. Freescale’s new Qorivva MPC5748G and S12 MagniV S12ZVL/S12ZVC MCUs are complementary technologies with the Qorivva central controller acting as the networking gatekeeper with centralized data security, intelligent power management and ASIL support for functional safety, and the S12 MagniV satellite nodes having integrated power supplies and communications transceivers embedded onto smart mixed-signal MCUs. FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Freescale Introduces Healthcare Analog Front End Reference Platform

Modular 2U 19-inch industrial computer with intelligent design

The global proliferation of portable medical devices is making medical technology more accessible to consumers and transforming the healthcare industry by providing previously unavailable technology to end users, often in their own home. Medical device manufacturers are facing the challenges of the consumer marketplace including its price sensitivity and time-tomarket pressure. To help simplify product development, reduce cost and speed time to market, Freescale Semiconductor is introducing a Healthcare Analog Front End (AFE) reference platform that includes hardware, schematics and software for easy prototyping. The global medical device industry is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $228 billion by 2015, up from $164 billion in 2010, according to a recent industry research report by Espicom. According to Gartner, portable consumer medical devices, such as blood glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, insulin pumps and heart rate monitors, represent the fastest-growing segment in that market.

DSM Computer's robust 2-U 19inch 96I2380-MBQ67 system has an installation depth of only 380 mm. Despite its compact construction, the flexible Infinity® industrial computer provides one 5.25 inch slimline bay and two 3.5 inch bays. This allows, for example, the installation of four 2.5 inch hard disks in two 3.5 inch removable frames. A 500 GB 3.5 inch SATA II 300 hard disk (or larger) is integrated as standard. A DVD-RW drive (slimline) or a 2.5 inch SSD drive can be installed as an option. Two PCI Express™ 2.0 ×16 slots, one of which with four lanes, and two PCI slots (32 bit, 33 MHz) are available for system extensions. Although the Infinity® I2 industrial computer is envisaged for installation in 19-inch cabinets, it can also be supplied as a standalone device. The operating elements, such as the power-supply switch, the reset switch, the monitoring LEDs, the two USB slots, the drives and the air filter are located on the front side protect-

Reducing development costs The Freescale Healthcare AFE reference platform is a highly integrated HW/SW development platform, that helps reduce system cost, board size and complexity. The platform is built around the Kinetis K53 MCU which includes an integrated analog front end (AFE) featuring everything needed to capture biometric sensor data.

The integrated AFE contains a precise voltage reference, four high performance amplifiers and two high-resolution ADC and DAC modules. FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR

ed behind a metal flap. The housing can be given a customer-specific company logo. An air filter that can be replaced from the front is installed as dust protection to permit operation in a harsh industrial environment. The IPC can be supplied with or without 19-inch mounting brackets

and, on request, in any desired color. As standard, the 96I2380 is delivered with a 550W power pack; a DC power pack (12, 24, 48VDC) or a redundant AC power pack can be ordered on request. Three 8-cm fans at the front ensure the system cooling. The operating temperature range lies between 0° and 45°C, but depending on the configuration, a temperature as high as 50°C can also be tolerated. DSM COMPUTER

Qseven Starter Kit with AMD Embedded G-Series APU MSC Vertriebs GmbH is announcing the availability of a new Qseven Starter Kit based on MSC’s Qseven modules featuring the AMD Embedded G-Series APU (Accelerated Processing Units). The MSC Q7-SK-A50M-EP4 Starter Kit consists of MSC’s 3.5” Qseven baseboard Q7-MB-EP4 with suitable heatspreader and heatsink and an integrated power supply with cable kit. The kit comes with a ready-torun Linux installation in Flash Disk to enable an out-of-the-box functional experience. Optionally, a TFT kit can be ordered which provides for a 12.1” LCD panel with XGA resolution (1024 x 768), the appropriate cable kit for operation off the Qseven baseboard and full implementation in the Qseven module’s Graphics BIOS. Along with the Starter Kit, the user can decide for the Qseven module with the most suitable processor and clock speed from the MSC range of Q7-A50M modules: - AMD G-T40E Dual-Core APU at 1.0 GHz, optionally 7.2GB Flash Disk


EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

- AMD G-T40R Single-Core APU at 1.0 GHz, optionally 7.2GB Flash Disk - AMD G-T16R Single-Core APU at 615 MHz The AMD Embedded G-Series APUs combine a low-power CPU and a discrete-level GPU in a single processor chip. The MSC Q7-A50M module family features three different lowpower APU versions so that fanless system designs and highly integrated solutions are possible. All processors come with the built-in AMD Radeon™ HD6250 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) which delivers very high graphics performance, enables dual independent highresolution displays up to Full-HD and supports OpenGL® 4.0, DirectX™-11 and OpenCL™ 1.1. The Computer-On-Module MSC Q7-A50M offers up to 4GB DRAM, four PCI Express™ x1 lanes, two high-speed SATA-II interfaces, eight USB 2.0 host ports, LPC, High-Definition Audio (HDA) and a GBit Ethernet interface. Optionally, a Flash Disk up to 32GB soldered on the module may be used as system boot device.



GreenPeak Launches the New GP501 ZigBee Radio Chip GreenPeak Technologies, a leading semiconductor company in low power RF communication, with a rich offering of communication solutions for Smart Home applications, today announces the GP501, a new generation of ZigBee transceivers which contains a sophisticated coexistence scheme that allows Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee chips to work side by side in the same device. The GP501 also contains Deep Packet Inspection allowing deep sleep modes of set-top boxes and other host devices by means of Wake-on-LAN messages. ZigBee shares the 2.4 GHz frequency band with other Wi-Fi equipment. The GP501 has a coexistence interface to allow optimized and colocated ZigBee/Wi-Fi radios to work in the same device, successfully avoiding RF interference when operating simultaneously. This coexistence interface enables arbitration over the shared radio frequency medium to prevent contention, signal degradation and data loss. Another advantage of the GP501 is its small size: its 32-pin 5×5mm2 footprint allows integration into even the smallest product form-factors. A new key feature of the GP501 ZigBee transceiver chip is the Deep Packet Inspection for ZigBee applications. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) enables advanced packet management, allowing the host processor to go into a deepsleep mode to conserve power. While most other ZigBee transceiver chips only include a superficial inspection of the MAC and PHY headers, the GP501 looks beyond these layers and executes a Deep Packet Inspection and based on the outcome, the chip can decide if the packet has to be passed on to the higher layer application or can be ignored. The DPI engine is also security aware, blocking unauthorized packets without involving the host processor and ensuring the system does not waste energy analyzing non-compliant packets. The DPI feature can be used for Wake-on-LAN functionality, where ultra-low power ZigBee is used to wake up the main processor from its sleep mode to enable Wi-Fi networking. “The Wi-Fi Coexistence Interface and Deep Packet Inspection enabling Wake-on-LAN are new and exciting features of the GP501”, says Cees Links, CEO of GreenPeak Technologies “These features make the GP501 the optimal choice for the set-top box/gateway market. With its small 32-pin footprint, the GP501 is a great successor to the already very successful GP500. Once again GreenPeak is leading the industry in adding smart functionality and superior performance to its ZigBee devices.” GREENPEAK TECHNOLOGIES

EMBEDDED SYSTEMS New Ericsson power interface modules integrate digital communication abilities to simplify energy monitoring Ericsson has announced an extension of its 3E digital power module family with two new digital-communication-bus-enabled 540-648W low-profile quarter-brick Power Interface Modules (PIMs). Compliant with the 300W de facto industry-standard footprint and offering both I2C- and PMBusbased serial bus communications, the PIM4328PD and PIM4328PDA modules simplify board power monitoring and operational functionality without the need for additional external components, thereby shortening time-tomarket and reducing development costs. Based on the company’s high-efficiency PIM4328P analog platform, the addition of bus communication to the modules increases the level of flexibility offered by digital monitoring, including voltage/current input parameters, making it possible for systems architects to evaluate the power consumption at board level – an important parameter to accurately monitor efficiency and also aid system compliance with energy efficien-

cy legislation, where necessary. Originally designed for Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) applications – because of the huge benefits delivered by a standalone module in terms of board space and time-to-market – the Information and Communications Technology industry is rapidly adopting PIM technology, which is becoming an

increasingly important component for system designers in the migration to new platforms. ERICSSON POWER MODULES

Silicon Labs Achieves ZigBee® IP Golden Unit Certification Silicon Labs announced that its Ember ZigBee solutions – silicon devices, software and development tools – have achieved Golden Unit certification from the ZigBee Alliance for the newly released ZigBee IP specification. ZigBee IP is the first open standard for IPv6based wireless mesh networking solutions, providing seamless, end-to-end Internet connectivity and a scalable architecture to control low-power devices. The new ZigBee IP specification adds network and security layers and an application framework to the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. It supports cost-effective, energy-efficient wireless mesh networks based on standard Internet protocols such as IPv6, 6LoWPAN, PANA, RPL, TCP, TLS and UDP. Ultimately, ZigBee IP will provide a standards-based foundation for Internet of Things (IoT) applications ranging from smart meters for the smart grid to in-home energy management systems to wireless sensor networks. As one of the first to be certified by the

ZigBee Alliance, Silicon Labs’ Ember ZigBee solutions, including EM35x wireless systemon-chip (SoC) devices, Ember ZigBee IP networking software and development tools, will serve as a preferred development platform for building and testing future connected products based on the ZigBee IP specification. The Golden Unit certification process instills confidence among developers and end users that all connected device products for the IoT from different vendors will interoperate seamlessly.

SILICON LABS | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Robust storage media for industrial use

SSD or HDD? by Batke Waldemar Rutronik

Hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) are known first and foremost as storage media for PCs and other computer systems, for portable media players and navigation systems. But they are also finding increased use in industrial applications, because these technologies allow for unheard-of flexibility and new opportunities for service and production management. Which one to choose though – HDD or SSD? A hard disk stores data by writing it to a rotating disk. The data is read by probing the surface of the disk. The performance of a hard disk is therefore dependent on its mechanical properties. They require constant correction to maintain the position and movement speed. The faster a mechanical component must react, the higher the force or energy needed to generate this movement. SSDs, on the other hand, are an electronic storage medium and


EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

do not contain any moving mechanical parts. This eliminates the search time and rotation delay of HDDs. This speed, combined with a higher data transfer rate and more inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) are among the most important sales arguments of SSD technology. Another advantage of SSDs is their quietness in operation due to the lack of moving parts. This may be of benefit in applications where low noise levels are critical.

However, every read or write shortens the life of the memory cells of an SSD. Particularly in industrial use, this is often an important counterargument, as the workloads are frequently extremely high and encompass large quantities of transaction data, where more write operations are needed than read operations. HDDs have the upper hand over SSDs when it comes to capacity too, even if SSD capacity will continue to grow considerably in the course of


further development. HDDs are also superior to SSD in terms of having lower costs per GB – and are therefore also currently the more successful technology. SSDs continue to be restricted to devices that are not sensitive to acceleration or vibration, are small in size and lightweight, or for which high speeds are required. This is why both storage media technologies will continue to co-exist for the next few years. But whether SSD or HDD, industrial applications impose special requirements upon both that are not met by all products. HDDs Industrial hard disks are designed to provide outstanding performance in a wide variety of challenging situations. Even if the nature of industrial environments varies, a number of cores, characteristic requirements are always the same. The digital contact must always be supplied reliably and stored under extreme conditions. An example of another requirements in industrial use is 24/7 operation. Unlike people, hard disk drives do not get to take breaks during high-performance storage applications. They must operate without any faults or interruptions, even though they operate with physically moving parts. This is why Toshiba has developed HDDs designed to operate 24/7. They can run 24 hours a day, seven days a week (depending on the hard disk model, level of usage and the environment in which it is used). They only shut down or switch to energy-saving mode if the workload permits. For industrial systems with intensive write and read loads, Toshiba offers special high-durability hard disks that allow for more read/write cycles than conventional hard disks. They are also fitted with special anti-vibration technology. This provides them with an industry-leading


tolerance to vibration, which in turn provides a previously unheard-of level of uptime and performance in systems with multiple drives. The core features of an industrial hard disk include the possibility of their use under extreme environmental conditions. The Toshiba MK1060GSCX, for example, can be used at altitudes from -300 m to 5,650 m. In 24/7 operation (low-duty cycle), this hard disk works reliably under a temperature range unique to this design, namely -15 to +70°C (measured on the housing surface).

combining the capacity of up to 512 GB with a read speed of 524 MB/sec and a write speed of 461 MB/sec. To prevent the increase in data transfer rates from comprising the data integrity, Toshiba has fitted the THNSNF SSDs with QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Code).

Many industrial systems are exposed to stronger vibrations than consumer or mobile applications. To enable the drives even under these conditions to operate smoothly and reliably, models are available that have a higher resistance to vibration. Reduced energy consumption and low noise levels are also frequent deal makers or breakers. SSDs If a decision is made in favour of an SSD due to speed or size requirements, there are also SSD models available that are specifically developed for the industrial sector. Toshiba, for example, introduced the world's first SSD with 19 nm NAND process technology onto the market in the form of the THNSNFxxxGzzS series. This series of SSDs offers an extraordinary combination of capacity and performance,

This internally developed, highly efficient error correction code procedure (ECC) protects against read errors by adding units. With the additional “Data Corrupt Protection” feature, the THNSNF series of SSDs also provide a protective mechanism which protects data during an internal data transfer in the event of an unexpected power failure or if write errors occur. The integrated "read-only mode" enables the user to access the data if even the ability to write to the drive fails. This provides developers of industrial applications in any fields where high-quality specifications and unique functionality are critical with storage solutions that provide high performance. n | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Forward-looking: Fixing faults before they occur

Integrated condition monitoring functions increase the availability of industrial PCs

by G端nther Dumsky Global Product Line Manager Rackmount IPC, PICMG 1.x, BoxPCs Kontron

Executing condition monitoring on industrial PCs means that with proactive measures, OEMs and industrial users can increase the availability of their machines and equipment and keep downtimes to a minimum. The basic prerequisite for monitoring, however, is profound knowledge about accessing the sensors of the individual hardware and peripherals. OEMs can save time and money if they opt for industry servers which already have application-ready monitoring and signaling functions integrated. 14

EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

COVER STORY Currently a great deal is being written about 'Industry 4.0', the future project which the federal government is pushing ahead as an integral part of its action plan for the German high-tech strategy. According to Industry 4.0, the economy is on the brink of a fourth industrial revolution in which so-called CyberPhysical-Systems (CPS) take on an increasingly important role. It refers to all systems integrated in industrial processes where the aim is to have them networked both locally as well as factory-wide in the internet of things. This network would then give access to all the relevant data necessary for the development of intelligent monitoring functions and autonomous decision processes. It would make it possible to control, monitor and optimize all the value added networks in real time. Not only to increase the production output thanks to more efficient operations, but by continuous monitoring of key vital parameters of systems and peripherals, faults can be predicted and anticipatory maintenance carried out to avoid costly downtimes.

EMBEDDED SYSTEMS trial environment or a hard disk can no longer stand up to the vibrations in a machine hall. Continuous monitoring of vital operating parameters, such as processor temperature, fan rotation speed, state of hard disk and system voltages means that possible failures can be detected at an early stage - also in an industrial environment - and suitable measures can be put into action in advance. Hard disk failures, which predominantly have mechanical causes, usually make themselves known in advance by, for example, the slow deterioration of the vital parameters. This deterioration includes an increasing number of read/write errors or defect sectors which can be read from the hard drives with help of the standardized Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.). Even imminent failures of system and processor cooling fans announce themselves in advance with changing fan speeds or higher processor temperatures. Monitoring these parameters makes it possible to predict such failures occurring and components can be purchased accordingly -

Unexpected failures can cause incalculable downtimes which mean high consequential costs. Similar to traditional IT servers, in terms of money the consequences of an industrial PC failure can be extremely drastic. While IT servers are, however, in the majority of cases running in air-conditioned rooms and are being monitored by IT administrators, industry PCs more often than not have to operate in harsh environments. To date, centralized monitoring by IT specialists is rare. So, unexpected failures with all their unpleasant consequences are inevitable because even the best hardware can fail at some point. For example, if the environmental temperature exceeds the permitted range, the fan becomes dirty in this raw indus-

plus exchanging them can be carried out during routine maintenance, so that expensive production downtimes can be avoided. Maintenance costs can easily be reduced by factor 10 to 100, provided that maintenance is carried out in advance. Taking on a forwardlooking approach, which includes the continuous monitoring of all vital parameters would save the operator both time and money as well nerves. If OEMs are in a position to offer maintenance solutions like this then this closer cooperation with the customer results in a significant improvement in the after-sales relationship.

Permanent monitoring allows for pre-scheduled maintenance, which reduces maintenance time and can reduce the costs by factor 10 to 100.

Appropriate solutions are to date scarce Solutions which have been available in the market to date for permanent monitoring of industry servers are often connected to the sensors with dedicated hardware building blocks, which are an additional cost factor. Not every OEM is prepared to pay this additional cost and neither is the end-user. On the other hand, there is a large number of professional software-based remote management solutions for IT servers, which however are not tailored to the industrial server market, and are often oversized. Until now, searching for affordable solutions more or less always ended at software tools, which require profound knowledge of the hardware and of all the monitored hardware components as well as of all the sensors and the access to sensor data. OEMs and end-users, however, want simple tools, which present the required information as easily and conveniently as possible. And they want this, if possible, available on all communications channels, which can be easily integrated into existing infrastructures and work processes. What's required are individually configurable notification methods such as e-mail or SMS directly to the service technician. Particularly in demand from OEMs are network protocols such as SNMP or the web service interface SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). This allows vital parameters to be passed to a centralized monitoring server, which can take on the monitoring of multiple systems. Therefore, a simple, inexpensive and efficient monitoring system is required which provides significant benefits with a minimum of effort. Remote management for industrial applications A solution which fits this bill of OEM requirements is available from Kontron. The PC Condition Monitoring PCCM is a software solution which takes care of permanent condition monitoring of industry servers. The PCCM is available for Kontron's KISS server family but other product families can also be equipped with this. The permanent condition monitoring system has been designed for ease of use and inexpensive application per installation. It directly accesses the corresponding condition parameters of the server components. Service technicians and administrators can receive individually parametrizable condition monitoring alerts by a method of their choice i.e. SMS, e-mail, SNMP, Windows News Service or on-site as acoustic and/or optical signals. If required, the data can be stored in an archive that can be viewed both locally and remotely, as remote access of the system is also possible. A SOAP web service is also implemented to enable the connection of customer-specific maintenance systems. Additionally via the parallel interface, hardwired signaling can be carried out. | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Secure implementation In contrast to a wide range of condition monitoring tools, which are based on the industry standard ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface), the PCCM accesses the data of the sensors and hardware directly via its own API. This means that the PCCM works especially reliably without any influence from the software or driver. The OEM's customer, or the OEM himself, experiences a significant increase in terms of maintenance convenience without having to be in possession of any indepth knowledge about the hardware and without having any additional effort. The measurable condition parameters include system voltages, temperatures of the processors, chip set or hard disk as well as rotation speed of processor, chassis and power supply fans. Hard disk status is read via the S.M.A.R.T.interface. Alternatively, monitoring entire RAID subsystems is possible. Even supply voltages and the availability of redundant power supplies can be measured with the PCCM.

Thanks to PCCM, Kontron's second generation whisper-quiet KISS industry servers not only allow the continuous monitoring of the key parameters, but also reduce the maintenance effort in case of an emergency: The hot-swappable chassis-fans can be simply exchanged at the front and during operation so that no downtimes occur.

What the user sees In addition to alerting via SMS or e-mail, the condition data can be displayed using a standard web browser at the system technician's workplace. Condition diagnosis is an intuitive process with its green-amber-red traffic light system. Also the parameters for triggering and resetting threshold values as well as time delays for noisy or peak-prone parameters can be individually set via the web interface. Condition statistics for long-term diagnoses over the complete lifecycle are also stored. The minimum, maximum or average values of any statistics can be stored for any period of collection time. Different storage intervals within and outside of the normal operating range can help to reduce the variety of data without any loss of precision. For external analysis, the data can be exported to the open CSV format which makes importing it into various data bases an easy task. Flexible expandability Owing to the modular application structure, apart from the condition parameters, which are supplied via the various embedded hardware components, vendor-specific measuring data can be integrated. As an example, the prompting of external shock and humidity sensors or other peripherals can be carried out. And even when it comes to configuring threshold values for alerting, customers are not out on a limb. Kontron not only can reap from and share its vast experience in this field but can, if necessary, carry out the configuration before the product is shipped. n

Via its own API, Kontron's PC Condition Monitoring PCCM directly accesses the sensor data of the hardware components. Thanks to its green-amber-red traffic light system, condition diagnosis is completely intuitive. 16

EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

Author: G端nther Dumsky is Global Product Line Manager Rackmount IPC, PICMG 1.x, BoxPCs at Kontron in Eching.



LED Driver Problems Solved by the PIC12HV752 MCU In the best numerology-style, this article will list the 10 top reasons why embedded control engineers (are going to) love this little and inexpensive 8-pin microcontroller. The article presents each point as a solution to a very specific problem that presents itself to the budget-conscious, savvy LED driver designer. Introduction

LED Buck Converter

Offline Flyback


EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

The PIC12HV752 is a small and inexpensive mixed signal microcontroller designed specifically to please the LED lighting designers. To be more specific, this class of engineers is looking for new and innovative Solid State Lighting (SSL) solutions to obtain higher energy efficiency. They also want to help their companies differentiate by “adding intelligence to lighting.” Regardless of how they plan to achieve it, by providing communication capabilities, advanced sensing, touch inputs or just more flexibility, the key new requirement is the presence of a “brain” in the form of a little Flash based microcontroller. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), since these applications have the potential of running in really high volumes, there is always an extreme attention to the total cost of the solution; and more often then not its size. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that all of the eatures in the following 10 quick points eventually translate into a significant cost AND size reduction of the overall circuit. For simplicity, most of the considerations in this article will refer to a buck or fly-back converter topology. However, the experts among you will be able to quickly relate to their (more advanced) topology of choice. Let’s get started!

DESIGN #1 Direct High Voltage Supply The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of adding a microcontroller to what otherwise could be a simple (analog) dc/dc converter circuit is that you know how finicky these MCUs can be about their own power supplies. You will be glad to hear that with the PIC12HV752 you won’t need to worry about providing a nicely regulated 5V rail. The “HV” piece of the part number was the giveaway, as this device incorporates an on-chip shunt regulator. You can simply place a single resistor in series and hook it straight up to a high-voltage input source. The shunt (operating similarly to a Zener diode) will adjust the amount of current absorbed, as necessary, to allow a voltage drop on the resistor sufficient to guarantee that no more than 5V (±10%) will ever be present on its (Vdd-GND) terminals. There is a minimum amount of current that is required to produce a nicely regulated supply: 1mA will do, over the entire temperature range from -40 to +85°C. Other than that, you will be free to use Ohm’s law to determine the smallest resistor necessary, as well as its power.

MCUs That’s why the PIC12HV752 does include a Fixed Voltage Reference (FVR) with a 1.2V nominal output that can feed directly, without need for external connections, into a 10-bit Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) input channel, and/or an analog-comparator input. This makes it possible for the microcontroller to compare its Vdd to an absolute voltage, which is useful either when a battery power supply is applied, to detect a low battery condition, or in a flyback application to help regulate the voltage output of a secondary supply designed to relieve the shunt regulator (see #1) after a brief initial bootstrap. The latter provides an increase in the overall efficiency of the circuit for a very modest computational cost.

Figure 2b: Monitoring Battery Voltage

Now, if you think that 5 bits might not be adequate for all but the most rudimentary regulation applications, let me explain how this module really operates. For efficiency reasons, the way you detect the current (peak) is by applying the smallest possible series resistor to your load (the LED string). To be realistic, you are looking at a resistive value that provides a few hundred (300) mV feedback. More would be a waste of energy; less would get you in trouble with a poor signal-to-noise ratio. If this signal is applied to one side of a (fast) comparator while the DAC is connected to the other side to set the trip point, the DAC module should provide the maximum resolution specifically in the range between 0 and 300mV. This is exactly what the PIC12HV752 “Limited range” mode operates, providing you with the effective resolution that a 9-bit DAC would (10 mV@5V), but without the cost.

Figure 4: Reducing Sensing Losses

#3 High(er) Frequency Operation The analog-comparator module provided inside the PIC12HV752 is not the typical device you would expect in your everyday microcontroller. This one is capable of better than 30 ns response time, which is definitely what you want when you need it to control the peak current through your buck converter, operating at speeds up to 500KHz. Most lowcost DC/DC converters will actually stop far short of that limit, and will happily operate between 150-250kHz for the best cost/size compromise.

Figure 1 To ensure that no other external components will be required, the PIC12HV752 includes a power-on reset circuit for proper power up sequencing and a brownout detect circuit to guarantee safe operation when power is cycled. #2 Monitoring Supply Voltage Beside the power-on and power cycling conditions, there is a number of reasons why you will need an absolute voltage reference.

Figure 2a: Monitoring Supply Voltage

Figure 3: High(er) Frequency Operation Some of you will certainly find interesting the option to switch the comparator to a low(er) power mode, where power consumption is traded for speed. In fact, bringing the response time in the 200ns range, the lowpower mode provides a significant reduction in the power consumption of the module. This is a valuable option when using the comparator only as a voltage threshold detector in alternative applications; possibly battery operated. #4 Reducing Sensing Losses Designed to work in conjunction with the comparators, in a typical buck or flyback converter topology, the PIC12HV752 offers a 5-bit “Limited range” DAC module, with all the proper internal connections to operate as a peak current detector in the feedback circuit.

#5 Reducing Switching Losses Synchronous switching topologies are used in DC/DC converter designs to increase the efficiency (and reduce the so-called switching losses) when the output voltage is relatively low (short strings or single LED). Essentially, the forward-voltage drop on the “flyback” diode, present in all buck and boost topologies, can be seen as a source of losses. By replacing it with a second active element, we can reduce such losses at the cost of an additional MOSFET and a minimum of circuitry to drive it with the proper (complementary) timing. In fact the PIC12HV752 can make this option really simple to adopt, as the output of the comparator (or the PWM module) can be fed into a small module, known as the Complementary Output Generator (COG), which will provide two complementary output signals ready to drive the MOSFET pair. The COG module offers additional control over the two output signals, to provide the so called dead-band; a measure that prevents the capacitance of the two MOSFET gates to produce a dangerous cross-bar effect (shoot through). | April, 2013 | EP&Dee


DESIGN In reality, there is much more the COG can do to ensure safe control of the synchronous outputs, including: • Input blanking, to avoid noise on the current feedback and produce multiple commutations • Phase delay, to stabilize the system without requiring external compensation networks • Selectable rising-and falling-edge source inputs (PWM, comparator, pin) • Independent rising-and falling-edge dead-band control • Selectable shutdown sources • Auto-restart enable • Auto-shutdown pin override control

MCUs ticularly expensive, but this is always a relative consideration. The PIC12HV752 does its best to help you reduce cost by providing 50mA strength (sink and source) on two selected I/O pins (corresponding to the two outputs of the COG, of course). While these values are a far cry from the Amperes provided by some of the discrete MOSFET-driver ICs, this is a tradeoff that needs to be evaluated very carefully. On one side, there is the additional cost and space requirement of a MOSFET driver (possibly dual). On the other side there are losses, that cause reduced efficiency of the converter, along with heat that needs to be dissipated.

almost completely autonomously, after the MCU has performed a simple initial set up. The MIPS requirements of such applications are minuscule; I like to call this a zero-MIPSsolution. In fact, all the “computational power” of the MCU is available to the designer to provide the “intelligence,” while the hard work is done in the background by a clever combination of the comparator (or PWM), DAC and COG module. Interestingly, a number of applications involving a smarter (more intelligent) kinds of lighting solutions revolve around what the luminary does when it is NOT active. In such cases, the MCU must be alert and operating meanwhile, its power consumption becomes the dominant component of the entire application power budget. You will be pleased to learn that the PIC12HV752 has one of the lowest active power consumption numbers (if not the absolute lowest) among all embedded microcontrollers available on the market, as of this writing. This has been characterized to be below 45uA/MHz (@2V).

Figure 5: Reducing Switching Losses All of these features provide flexibility to help you achieve the ideal compromise between component count, cost and efficiency. #6 Driving MOSFETs Among the few components required to assemble a complete DC/DC converter, there is always at least one (power) MOSFET device.

The choice will depend on the design specifics. For example, lower power designs are affected less by the loss in efficiency, while being more susceptible to cost considerations. Advanced (logic) MOSFET devices are slowly but surely becoming more affordable, and will help more often than not to swing the decision in favour of a simpler solution.

Figure 6: Driving MOSFETs

Figure 7b: Power Consumption When the device is inactive (Sleep), i.e., not executing code and all peripherals are disabled, the core consumption drops to 10nA, a value so small it challenges the resolution of any instrumentation you might have on your desk.

PIC® microcontrollers are notorious for their strong output sink and source performance (25mA), but ensuring that a MOSFET is kept out of the linear region requires more. MOSFET drivers are ubiquitous and not par-

Figure 7a: Power Consumption 20

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#7 Power Consumption You’ve probably realized that the PIC12HV752 is designed to provide you with a hybrid solution, where the DC/DC conversion at the core of the LED driver design is performed in analog,

#8 Volatility The PIC12HV752 is a Flash microcontroller, which means that its program memory contents can be rewritten hundreds of thousands of times. This provides the product with a longer life span as new code can be injected even when deployed in the field. But, wait there is more. The microcontroller can use a portion of its Flash program memory to store parameters at run time. The PIC12HV752 flash memory is guaranteed for 100,000 erase/write cycles and 40 years of data retention. Granted, this is not the exact equivalent to the functionality of a proper data EEPROM, yet the PIC12HV752’s Flash memory can prove more than adequate for many lighting applications, in order to: • Store a unique serial number (re-assignable) • Permanently record a few set points (current, voltage, temperature…) • Permanently record calibration values • Perform logging • Maintain a usage count

DESIGN #9 Space The PIC12HV752 is offered in 8-pin packages, a feat made possible by itshigh integration and the flexible internal connections offered. This includes some relatively (physically) large packages, such as DIP8 and SOIC8, which are very handy for quick prototyping and lab experimentation. Also available are minuscule packages such as the 3×3mm DFN option, which combines small dimensions with relatively large pitch (0.6mm), which means ease of use and low cost of assembly. #10 Cost Not only will the PIC12HV 752 be your lowest cost item on the BOM, with prices starting at 0.56 USD for a quantity of 10,000, but you should appreciate how few other components will be required to provide the complete solution. Beyond all the other elements already mentioned in the previous points, consider the fact that, on-chip, you will find already integrated: • Precision Oscillator (1% factory tuned) with selectable 8MHz, 4MHz, 1MHz and 31KHz output options • Power-on and brownout-detect reset circuits • Watchdog timer • 4 Timers (3×8-bit, 1×16-bit) • 1 Capture, Compare PWM module • Pull up/down resistors on each I/O pin • In-Circuit Programming and Debugging interface Conclusions I hope these ten short points have helped you appreciate the advantages of choosing the PIC12HV752 microcontroller to design small, cost-effective, and efficient LED drivers. Similarly, any other DC/DC conversion application (e.g., small power supplies, battery chargers…) that needs the intelligence and flexibility of a microcontroller with the ease of use of an analog switcher will benefit from the same combination of analog integration and simplicity. n References • PIC12HV752 Datasheet: ( spx?dDocName=en552818) • High Power LED Flashlight Demonstration ( viceDoc/41625A%20.pdf) • Next-Generation Peripherals Brochure ( viceDoc/41565c.pdf) PIC is a registered trademark of Microchip Technology Incorporated in the U.S.A., and other countries.

MCUs Microchip’s Graphics Display Designer X supports PIC® MCU-based GUI creation on Windows®, Linux or Mac® computers Microchip announces the release of Graphics Display Designer X (GDD X), Microchip’s enhanced visual design tool that provides a quick and easy way of creating Graphical User Interface (GUI) screens for applications using Microchip’s 16- or 32-bit PIC® MCUs. With GDD X, developers have the freedom to work in the environment of their choice, including Windows®, Linux or Mac OS® operating systems. Graphical user interfaces are found in a wide range of products today; from coffeemakers to automotive dashboards. While the requirement is becoming commonplace, there is a lack of cost-effective tools available to the developer. Placing dialogue boxes, guidance text, buttons, sliders, dials and other elements of your GUI, while determining colours and calculating x/y coordinates, can be very time consuming. GDD X enables the development of GUIs in a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) environment, and saves valuable design time by automatically generating the C code needed for the user interface. With GDD X, a highly effective GUI

can be created to improve the customer experience for applications such as automotive numeric, gauge or infotainment displays; industrial interfaces such as operator touch-screens; home-appliances including coffee-makers, refrigerators, cooker tops and microwave ovens; consumer electronics such as home automa-

tion, alarms and learning toys; and medical bedside monitoring or lab analysis equipment. GDD X enables development using Microchip’s Graphics Library, and can be used as a stand-alone tool or as a plug-in to Microchip’s free MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE). MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY

Microchip adds smallest and lowest-cost PIC® microcontroller with I2C™ to its portfolio Microchip announces a new addition to its PIC12/16F15XX 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) family. The low-cost, low pin-count PIC12LF1552 is Microchip’s smallest (2×3 mm UDFN package) and lowest-cost PIC® MCU with hardware I2C™ support, and includes a four channel 10-bit Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with hardware Capacitive Voltage Divider (CVD) support for capacitive touch sensing. In addition, this new MCU features 3.5 KB Flash programme memory, 256 Bytes RAM, a 32 MHz internal oscillator, low-voltage operation from 1.8V to 3.6V, and low power consumption for active and sleep currents of 50 μA/MHz and 20 nA, respectively. The hardware CVD enables a more efficient implementation of capacitive sensing for touch applications. This “Core-Independent Peripheral” includes additional control logic that enables automated sampling, which reduces software size and minimises CPU usage. It also provides automatic control of guard-ring drive and a programmable sample-and-hold capacitance, to better match larger touch or proximity sensors. These capabilities, combined with the low

cost and small footprint of the PIC12LF1552, make it well suited for applications which include temperaturemonitoring devices; small remote controls for garage doors, window blind and other products; cell-phone buttons such as input

interfaces for Android™ and Windows® 8 utilising the hardware CVD; room light control for switching and dimming, both taking advantage of hardware CVD; and in coffeemakers for the input interfaces and water-level monitoring, which both could utilise the hardware CVD and the integrated communication capabilities. MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Tips, Tricks and Hardware Design Services for FPGA Developers by Michele Kasza Vice President Sales, Connect Tech Inc.

With the large-scale integration of today’s systems-on-chips (SoCs), FPGAs can help embedded designers reduce cost, weight, area and power; they also offer flexibility so that designers can respond to new standards, evolving customer needs and other requirement changes and still meet their timeto-market window. But the complex architectures of these devices can also present new challenges to board-level designers. Whether you’ve implemented your custom design in a development board and need assistance, lack resources to create the board-level design or are considering designing your own solution, our years of experience in FPGA board-level design are here to assist you. Through development of numerous COTS and custom FPGA board designs we’ve identified a number of steps and considerations that are essential to a successful design cycle; steps that will help you to avoid a costly re-spin and delay your time to market. Review peripheral interfaces that will be connected to the FPGA First we review the customer’s high-level design to determine the peripheral interfaces connected to the FPGA. Then we analyze each of these interconnects and determine their speed, interface, voltage level, I/O standards and how many pins are required. Second, we review the customer intended FPGA application, with the goal of estimating the design metrics. This leads to an indication of the logic density and speed grade needed from the FPGA. By analyzing the FPGA design itself, we can answer some critical questions. What are the internal clock rates? How many logic resources are required? Is any special hard IP required, such as DSP slices, Ethernet MACs or PCIe endpoints? Answering these questions early in the


EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

design phase will ensure that your initial FPGA selection will meet the needs of the design out of the gate. Power, Create a power budget, Review Sequencing From the early stages of the design, we create a power budget that defines the current required per FPGA voltage rail. This budget is based on resource estimates including logic usage, block memory usage, internal clock rates, I/O quantity, I/O data rates and I/O voltage levels. It’s important to be aware of any voltage rail sequencing requirements for the FPGA and the sequencing requirements for the surrounding peripherals that might conflict with the FPGA. In addition, we need to be aware of any sequencing requirements for the design –are there certain ICs that need to be

powered up before the FPGA or vice-versa or if there is no method to disable or idle a specific IC, is it necessary to delay its power-up until the FPGA is configured and ready? We also need to determine how this will fit with on-board power supplies that might be present, which will also help define what additional supplies or power monitoring circuitry will be required on the PCB design. Additionally, it’s important to know whether there are voltage rails that need to be especially quiet. For example, perhaps the FPGA core voltage is 1.2V and the SERDES supply is also 1.2V; it might be necessary to isolate and drive the SERDES supply separate from the noisy core voltage. And we always want to consider the possibility of future FPGA capacity upgrades, and whether the extra power requirement has been factored in.

DESIGN Configuration Considerations Configuring a FPGA can be a trivial task, or it can be very complicated, depending on the application. Every design should have at a minimum a JTAG connection for debugging, development and production testing, as well as persistent storage for the application. The persistent storage is usually in the form of serial or parallel flash or a hybrid device produced by the FPGA vendor. In more complex designs, the FPGA could be configured by microcontroller, CPU, CPLD or other FPGA. But focusing on the flash design, there are quite a few things to consider. Are the flash configuration pins on the FPGA dual-purpose? Are these pins already tasked and connected to another device? If so, we need to make sure the I/O standards are compatible – flash is typically 3.3V CMOS. If the signals are shared, we need to know if the peripheral interface is high-speed; if so, it may not tolerate having another device in the signal path. Sequencing requirements, such as the flash needing to be powered up a certain amount of time before it can be accessed by the FPGA also needs to be considered, as well as timing requirements, such as whether the FPGA can read data from the flash and configure itself in time. A perfect example is PCI and PCI Express, which specify that a device must be ready approximately 100ms after power-on. Programming on the Fly: Many products need to be field-upgradeable over Ethernet, PCIe or USB, in order to add new features or fix bugs. In any of those cases, the designer has to consider whether the flash is writeable over the general I/O. Some FPGA vendor-specific flash is read only, and can only be written to via JTAG. Plus, there are a number of other possible issues, including whether the FPGA can restart the configuration cycle on the fly (a soft boot) without doing a power cycle (complete on/off ), and whether the other circuitry can handle a temporary interruption in the state of the FPGA as it goes from configured to an un-configured state. We also think about what happens if the flash programming operation is interrupted; for example, if the Ethernet cable is disconnected. What if the flash is corrupt? In this case, consider designing a failsafe configuration scheme where the first half of the flash contains a known good golden image and the second half contains the actual application image. Recommended Pre-Production steps: After all the FPGA pins have been allocated and the board schematic design is nearing completion, it is very good practice to run the FPGA design through the vendor synthesis and placement tool suite before beginning the PCB layout. Usually the FPGA RTL design is nowhere near completion; however, it is good to generate at least a useable framework of the

FPGAs RTL design, which at minimum allocates the proper I/O resources. Developers typically make every effort to properly map each I/O peripheral to a specific bank and assign any clocking signals to the appropriate pins, but there are often device limitations that are only apparent if you’ve had the time to read all 300 pages of all ten user guides. Simply running this FPGA framework through the FPGA tool suite can help uncover these limitations with the DRC. Most of the limitations can be seen in lower-cost devices; for example, some pins are setup for inputs only, or in the specific case of the Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA, only banks 0 and 2 can accommodate LVDS outputs, while every bank can handle LVDS inputs. Once the board goes to the layout stage, hardware engineering might decide that the routing will be much easier if DDR3 data pin 1 is swapped with data pin 15, for instance. It’s always good practice to run this change through the tool suite to see if it passes all checks. Choosing your FPGA Often our customers are predisposed to one FPGA vendor or another, typically based on past experience or reputation. Whatever the case, there are many factors to analyze with respect to cost. Those include the number of I/O, size of logic resources, maximum internal clock rate, maximum general I/O clock rate, availability and quantity of SERDES pins, size of the package and configuration options. The analysis of the I/O peripheral and logic design that we perform up front, which were described previously, should help narrow the choice. However, there are several other, lessobvious factors to consider before selecting the device. For instance, the data rates and clock rates quoted in the marketing material are often based on the highest speed grade available and these devices often come at a premium. Another thing to look at is how I/O resources are grouped and mapped onto the FPGA pins. For example, a device might have 240 I/O that might be in three banks of 80 pins or six banks of 40 pins. If your design has multiple I/O standards – such as 1.5V for DDR3, 1.8V HSTL for Ethernet, 2.5V LVDS for ADC/DAC and 3.3V for CMOS – the number of banks will be important. We typically make the FPGA vendor decision based on a few main factors. The technologies they offer are important of course, but we also consider the support given by that vendor’s FAEs and online resources. Design software is another big component – each vendor will use a different set of tools, so use what you are most comfortable with or what has the best features for your needs. Future Proof your FPGA selection It’s very important to consider your upgrade path – this is often overlooked in the early stages of the design but can turn out to be a

real advantage if leveraged properly for your product. Some FPGA devices will have a pin compatible upgrade path to a larger capacity parts within the same FPGA family. This means that you can select a smaller device for your basic product that provides the end-customer a low cost, reduced feature set option; while keeping the same board design for the high cost, full featured product. Or if the RTL design simply outgrows the selected part in terms of logic capacity, you want to make sure there’s a high density part available in the same footprint. Looking for a design partner? Although a manufacturer of many COTS products, custom design is part of our day-to-day operation. Our design process has been refined over many years resulting in successfully completed, on time and on-budget projects time and time again. Improved time to market: Our COTS product lines act as an IP pool from which we draw from with every custom design. With expertise over a wide variety of bus architectures and I/O interfaces, the learning curve for custom designs is always minimal. This signature method equals improved time to market and ensures a very high potential for a successful Revision A build. On average, our time to market on functional prototypes from time of engagement to time of delivery is approximately an 8 week window depending on project complexity. Manufacturing Expertise: Beyond board-level design we create prototype qualification plans for each unique product, ensuring all custom product is fully verified using appropriate compliance tools, such as PCI_SIG software and test equipment. Power supplies and batteries are fully stressed and wide range temperature testing is part of the deliverables offered by Connect Tech design services. Beyond the prototype phase we can quickly ramp up to production quantities under strict ISO 9001:2008 procedures, handle lifecycle management at the component level and finish with packaging and delivery of 100% verified hardware. n

This article was originally published in the 2013 Engineers’ Guide to FPGA and PLD. To view additional FPGA technical articles, news, opinions, product information, market trends and industry research visit Subscribe to the FPGA and PLD Quarterly Report at | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Auspicious switches

in the TME’s offer Switches of this Taiwanese Auspicious manufacturer are presented in the online catalogue at our Website This article presents only basic information, whereas detailed information can be found at manufacturer’s catalogue. TME’s offer design allows to quickly selecting a group of products suitable for individual needs, which makes the designer’s choice even easier.

The way the equipment or a module interacts with its user is often undervalued element during the design process. Many designers as well as engineers think that what is most important is internal electronics which, in a way, sets the standard of the equipment. It is difficult to disagree with this statement, yet, there is the other side of this problem which focuses on the usefulness. One can with confidence say that even the best device might turn out a fiasco when communication between a human being – device is inappropriate. In professional and industrial applications which require

high safety, this problem gets a new meaning. The consequences of a bad choice need not to be explained to anyone, since almost everyone encountered with a badly designed appliances where pres-buttons were too small or too densely located. After short time, nobody wants to use such equipment, which makes it useless. The contemporary offer of available switches, press-buttons, keyboards or touch screen modules might give a headache even to a specialist. So, how to choose from a tangle of elements something for yourself and avoid making mistakes? In this article, a range of Auspicious switches will


be presented, from which designers might choose a product most suitable for their application. TME’s offer contains products of this Taiwanese manufacturer. These products stand out thanks to their exceptional electric parameters. Over 50 types of switches are available in the offer. They differ in type, standard, contact configuration, connection type, the number of stable positions and other parameters. The basic division of switches can be made based on the switch type – safety switches, rotary switches, double and press-button switches (Figure 1.). Machines and industrial appliances

ROTARY Figure 1: Basic types of switches


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should be designed in a way to ensure the maximum safety. Each appliance should be equipped with the system allowing quick switching off and stopping by means of the safety press button switch. TME’s offer contains 9 Auspicious products. All are made of plastic, in red and green colors and meet IP65 requirements pursuant to the BS EN60529 standard. Panel switches offer three terminal configurations NC, NC+NO and NO with mushroom button or high switches in the 22 mm and 30 mm standards. The EBL22-1-O/C-R and EBL22-1-O/C-G work in the monostable mode and inside, they are equipped with a lamp, which



makes them even more visible in dust-laden rooms or in places with low level of lighting (Figure 2.a).



switches, in the NC+NO or NOx2 terminals configuration. Offered products ensure the following


monostable switches. This series consists of two protected press buttons among which there is a signalling lamp. Switches are equipped with BA9 bayonet coupling and they are designed for 22mm and 30mm standard diameter hole mounting. There is an additional option of applying a special waterproof protection which is applied on element’s face.

Figure 2: Press-button safety switches a) illuminated b) simple, high press button Another group of Auspicious products are electric rotary switches. The main applications of such solutions are breaker switches and main switches. They are also used as terminals to change the equipment operation mode, e.g. revolutions, temperature, etc. Transfer Multisort Elektronik offer comprises of 11 products, similarly as in 22mm and 30mm standards. The main functional parameters are, among others: the number of stable positions and

a) KS30-2-O

switchover manners (ON)-OFF(ON), where the stable state is a zero state, whereas 1 and 2 states are switched off by means of the return spring. Other means of switching over include ON-OFF – two bistabile working products, one working in the NC-NO, ONOFF-ON and ON-ON modes. Additional functionality offered in rotary switches is integrated key increasing the security level protecting against unauthorized access.

b) LSR30-2-O-R

Figure 3: Electric rotary switches a) with a key b) without a key terminals configuration. The offer contains also 2-position, 3-position, bistable and monostable


The next to last group of available solutions comprises of DPB (Double Push Button) series


Figure 4: Double monostable switch with a lamp The last group of products comprises of press button industrial switches. This is one of the most fundamental groups of products as to their complexity. It is the widest group of Auspicious products in TME’s offer. Press button switches work only in the NC+NO mode, they are available in the 22mm, 30mm standards and the Auspicious company standard, i.e. 30mm. By choosing this type of element, we have monostable or bistabile products. Apart from mentioned parameters, an important factor might be the shape of the press button, covered – mushroom, covered, flat and high, additional distinguishing element is also enclosure dimensions of 50 × 30 × 38mm, 50 × 36 × 38mm, 56 × 34.5 × 38mm. Press button switches available in TME’s offer


are available in red, green and yellow colours. Solutions presented in this article allow efficient designing of control panel boards and industrial machines ensuring high security level. The used materials are resistant to external conditions and are characterized with good mechanic properties. Compliance with IP65 ensures complete protection against dust and water jets from all directions. It should be remembered that during control panel board planning, press buttons are located in appropriate distance, whereas the safety switch is located in easily accessible and distinguishing place. The manufacturer ensures reliability of switches at the level of 600 000 cycles, whereas at the level of 1 000 000 operations for contact blocks and press buttons. The permissible temperature cope is within the range of -20 to 60°C, thanks to which, described elements can be used in a greater number of industrial applications. The resistance of terminals oscillates at the level below 50mΩ. All switches are characterized with voltage insulation of 600V and resist short circuit current of up to 1000A. Operating parameters, depending on the marking, are characterized as AC-15 (120V/6A, 240V/3A), AC-12 (480V/1.5A, 600V/1.2A), DC-12 (120V/2.2A, 240V/0.6A, 480V/0.4A). Additionally, attributes of the presented elements given by the manufacturer, include: thermal current (1th) at the level of 10A (50/60HZ) and normal open thermal current (1the) 10A. n


Figure 5: Press button switches: a) mushroom type b) covered c) flat d) high | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Magnetic resonance imaging shows greater detail thanks to highperformance current sensors by Claude Gudel, LEM Research & Development Senior Engineer

Magnetic resonance imaging has become an indispensable tool in modern hospitals, quickly and accurately providing doctors with information on what is happening within their patient’s bodies. Accident victims are quickly assessed for damage to internal organs, and the presence and progress of disease is monitored without the need for investigatory surgery. As the sensing mechanism involved depends on magnetic fields, patients do not need to be exposed to X-rays in order to determine what is happening deep within the body. As is well-known, MRI is particularly well-suited to picturing the soft-tissue structures, within the human body. It is able to do this because what MRI in fact maps is the distribution of water molecules. Every different part of each organ will have a characteristic density of water contained within it – it is well-known that a high proportion of the chemical make-up of every human being is water – and by building up a picture of the different water densities, you also assemble an image of the organs that contain the water. Water is not, conventionally, thought of as a “magnetic” material, and the parameters that are measured in MRI depend on a subtle effect at the atomic and molecular level; a weak signal that is only revealed under powerful, but extremely precise, stimulus. When first devised, MRI scanners typically employed, within their control systems, current sensors that exploited the Hall Effect. This, in time, became a limitation on the precision and quality of results. Now, a new generation of sensors has contributed to greatly improving the detail available in MRI images. MRI fundamentals The large toroid that surrounds the patient in an MRI scanner houses both excitation and detection mechanisms.


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It contains coils to generate magnetic and electromagnetic fields – driven by powerful and precise amplifiers – and sensors organised to collect a specific, tiny signal. Signal processing maps the energy contained in that signal for every volume element (a “voxel”, analogous to a 2-D pixel) scanned. The detected signal is the resonant note from the protons comprising the nuclei of hydrogen atoms in the body’s water molecules. Atomic nuclei act like magnetic dipoles or magnets when excited by a magnetic field (Figure 1). Nuclei of atoms have a spin (or magnetic moment) which we conventionally represent by a vector along the rotation axis. Under the influence of a constant and homogeneous static magnetic field (referred to as

Figure 1: Atomic nuclei of atoms have a magnetic moment, represented a vector quantitiy with its direction along the rotation axis.

Figure 2: With a DC magnetic field H0 between 0.2 and 3 [T], the spins are in line with the field.

DESIGN Ho) the dipole aligns with Ho in two directions: parallel and anti-parallel to the field. The nuclear magnetic moment is tiny and requires an intense applied field to achieve the align-

SENSORS ment; the related magnetic induction Bo is commonly between 0.2 and 3 Tesla (Figure 2). MRI scanners use superconducting coils to support the very large electrical currents

needed to generate fields of this intensity over a large enough area to image a human body. Nuclei do not simply align themselves exactly along the axis of the applied field. Their spin axis precesses or rotates around the applied-field axis along a cone at angular speed ωo: it does so at a characteristic frequency, the Larmour frequency. There is a simple relationship between the Larmour frequency and the strength of the static field; ωo=γBo

Figure 3: At any instant, the spin axis is not aligned with the applied field but due to its precession the average x and y components cancel out.

Figure 4: An excitation antenna excites the nuclei with a frequency matched to the Larmour frequency.

Figure 5: Atomic nuclei radiate energy as they re-align with the static magnetic field, allowing their distribution to be mapped.

For example, a field of Bo = 1Tesla gives a frequency fo = 42.5MHz. (Figure 3) Generating a detectable signal depends on exciting this resonant effect into a higher-energy state, and that is achieved by applying a further, high-frequency external field (H1) at exactly the Larmour frequency (Figure 4). During the application of H1, the spin axes of the nuclei are no longer aligned with Ho (z axis) but move into the x-y plane. After the H1 excitation is turned off, the spin axes once again align with Ho, and the extra energy the nuclei gained from the H1 excitation radiates away in the form of a damped electromagnetic wave (also known as relaxation). An antenna detects this damped wave, yielding an induced voltage called Free Induction Decay (FID): the MRI’s computer processes the FID signal into a 3D or section image. (Figure 5) Magnetic field generation Most of today’s MRIs generate the static field with a magnet using coils of niobium-titanium (NbTi) wires immersed in liquid Helium at a temperature of 4K. Gradient coils superimpose a magnetic gradient to the static field Ho in order to provide spatial information from which the geometry of the image is constructed. Imaging takes place in just one plane or slice at a time. To ensure that signals are received only from nuclei in that plane, only those exact nuclei must be stimulated into resonance. The appearance of the resonance is strongly dependent on the value of the magnetic field Ho – in other words, the resonant peak is very sharp – and the gradient coils superimpose a magnetic field to ensure that the final magnetic field is exactly equal to Ho, only and exactly in the plane of interest. To set up the gradient, a pair of coils carrying opposing currents is orientated to augment the static field at one end of the region of interest, and oppose it at the other. (Figure 6)

Figure 6: Gradient coils add to the static field at one end and diminish it at the other, controlling the plane in which the total field has exactly the correct value.

Three pairs of gradient coils are located around the cylinder of the MRI apparatus to create three orthogonal magnetic fields. So, it is possible to adjust the magnetic field at any point in the volume of the cylinder. | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Gradient amplifiers operating in a closed servo-type loop drive the currents in the gradient coils (Figure 7). Each MRI therefore needs three such current control loops, and it is in these control loops that new sensor technology is making a significant contribution. Image clarity and resolution is directly linked

to applied magnetic field, and therefore to the control of the current injected into the gradient coils. One of the key elements in the current control loop is the global accuracy of the current transducer, which needs (among other parameters) to exhibit extremely low non-linearity error, of under 3 ppm of measuring

Figure 7: Feedback from output current transducers is fundamental to obtaining the required degree of precision from the gradient current amplifier.

range; very low random noise with low frequency noise from 0.1Hz to 1kHz; very low offset and sensitivity drifts over temperature range of under 0.3 ppm/K; very high stability of offset versus time, to handle scans lasting tens of minutes; measuring range of 1000A peak; and wide bandwidth, with a –3dB point of 200 kHz. With superficial similarities to a Hall Effect device, but with significant advantages, the double fluxgate closed loop transducer (ITL 900) achieves all of these requirements, and for many other high-accuracy current measurement functions in addition to MRI gradient amplifiers. In its present form, the technology is limited to a relatively narrow operating temperature range (typically +10°C to +50°C) but further development of the technology is on-going, with the objective of extending high-current measurement precision even further. The ITL 900 transducer could prove to be as significant for the future of MRI scanning as the Hall Effect transducers were for its introduction. n

Rutronik: Specialist in sensor components, modules and signal processing As a specialist in sensor components, modules and signal processing, Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH will be exhibiting at the Sensor + Test measurement technology trade fair (14-16 May 2013 in Nuremberg), hall 12, stand 388.

The unique portfolio of the broadline distributor comprises all sensor types, technologies and manufacturers. Sensor experts from Rutronik and the manufacturers will be on hand to provide visitors with expert and comprehensive advice.


Key product areas in the sensor field include magnetic sensors with Hall switch, Hall linear and MR (magneto resistive) sensors, MEMS sensors (acceleration, gyro, pressure and microphone as well as xDOF modules) as well as optical sensors (transmission, reflec-

tion, light and proximity). In terms of analogue signal processing, the focus is on: Sensor signal conditioning ICs from ZMDI, reference designs from Intersil and Renesas as well as thermocouples and strain gauges, amplifiers, other analogue

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ICs/ASSP and data converters (ADC, DAC). Products spotlighted on the Rutronik stand: The high-precision TLI4970 current sensor from Infineon is based on Infineon’s proven Hall effect technology with electrically isolated primary and secondary sides. It requires only one quarter of the area of comparable chips and does not experience any hysteresis effects. The differential measurement process allows for excellent suppression of leakage fields. The portfolio of BYD current sensor modules comprises 24 series with an input range of 3A to 2000A. Thanks to manufacturing processes at automotive level, they offer robustness, quality and

long-term availability. The Micronas gas sensors are based on the mySENS technology developed in-house which detects gases by means of physical effects. Independent sensors measure two gases, temperature as well as relative humidity. Temperature and humidity information are used to compensate for the corresponding gases. Due to the high integration density including the digital interface, the sensors save a great deal of space and are good value. The complete Rutronik portfolio can be found at the web page: RUTRONIK



Grid-EYE - Infrared Array Sensor from Panasonic • Senses Thermal Gradients to Detect Motion/Motionless Presence • 5m Detection • 8 × 8 (64) Pixel Range • Digital Output (I2C) • SMD Package (Reflow Compatible) • 11.6 (L) × 8.0 (W) × 4.3 (H) mm Grid-EYE is a thermal array sensor capable of simultaneously detecting the direction of moving objects and the presence of motionless objects. With an array of detection elements, Grid-EYE can use passive infrared detection to determine temperature differentiation, allowing it to detect multiple objects simultaneously. For example, a moving person and a coffee maker would be detected as unique items. The infrared array sensor is able to measure actual temperature and temperature gradients, providing thermal images and identifying direction of movement. Typical applications include people counting, security, lighting control, simple gesture recognition, and presence detection for energy saving devices.

Grid-EYE has an I2C digital output for direct connection to a microcomputer, covers a wide detection area with a 60° field of view, has a selectable frame rate with a maximum 10 FPS and three operating modes, normal, sleep and stand-by. Options include an amplification setting, high gain for wider temperature range detection and low gain for higher temperature accuracy.

Basic Operation Grid-EYE operates by sensing temperature difference between the ambient environment and a detected object within the field of view. Individual elements are highlighted in a color range for illustrative purposes, with red signifying the highest temperature difference.


Medical Imaging • Patient Detection • Movement Detection • Positioning • Lighting

Simple Gesture Control • Non-Contact Operation • Horizontal, Vertical, Forward & Backward

Clean Rooms • Device Control • Entryway Control • Security

Kiosk / ATM • Energy Saving Display • Advertisement Timing • Control

Security • People Counting • Detect Movement Direction • Multiple Person Detection

Lighting Control • Energy Savings • Detection Without Movement • Targeted Lighting



EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

Power Voltage: 3.3±10%, 5.0V±10% Current Consumption: 4.5 mA Viewing Angle: 60° Absolute Temperature Accuracy: ± 2.5°C Frame Rates (Selectable): 1 or 10 FPS Ambient Temperature Range: -20 ~ +80°C Detection Temperature Range: -20 ~ +100°C External interface: I2C Operating Modes (Selectable): Normal, Sleep, Stand-by

60° Viewing Angle Tel. +40 256-201346 Mail Web


Leuze n n n

Optical sensors Sensors for logistic applications Safety at work

Contrinex n n

Optical Sensors Inductive Sensors


ASM n n n


Linear Sensors Angle Sensors Tilt Sensors

n n n

Selec n n n


PLCs Temperature Controller Timer

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Sensor Instruments n n n

Color Sensors True Color Sensors, Spectrometers Gloss Sensors

Kobold n n n

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AUTOMATION Honeywell Introduces Limitless™ Wireless Non-Contact Switch Honeywell announced it has expanded its Limitless™ Wireless Solutions portfolio with the introduction of its new Limitless™ Non-Contact Switch WLS Series. The new WLS Series switch uses non-contact technology, enabling the device to actuate based on the presence or absence of magnets installed on a customer’s device – making it suitable for harsh operating environments. The battery-operated Limitless™ Wireless Non-Contact Switch allows customers to choose either top sensing or side sensing. This flexibility, combined with proven harsh-duty packaging, can increase efficiency and reduce installation and

maintenance costs compared to a traditional wired switch. Wireless offers advantages over traditional wired switches by reducing total installed costs as there are no wires or conduit to install, no cable wear-and-tear to mend, and no cords or connectors that can be damaged in the application. Wireless also increases flexibility by offering easy reconfiguration in remote or temporary installations. Instead of a lever, button, or wobble stick, the Limitless™ Wireless NonContact Switch can be actuated with a magnet, simplifying use in tight areas often found in machine tools, packag-

ing machinery, lifts, ag/construction equipment, and industrial machines, or in applications where mechanical actuators are not feasible. The switch’s zinc head and body are phosphate treated and epoxy finished to deliver sealing to IP67 and NEMA 1, 4, 12, 13, and all-stainless steel hardware. The entire Limitless™ portfolio utilizes the global, license-free RF wireless 802.15.4 WPAN protocol that provides up to a 305 m [1000 ft] line-ofsight communication range, and prolongs battery life with advanced power management technology. HONEYWELL | April, 2013 | EP&Dee





maximum sensor performance in minimum space MINIMINI: THE SMALLEST INDUCTIVE SENSOR ON THE MARKET


Measuring just 12 mm in length and 3mm in diameter, the MiniMini is the smallest inductive sensor in the world today. This subminiature construction, which even includes IO-Link, has been made possible by using the latest mixed-signal ASIC technology. This technology reduces component count by combining analog signal processing with digital computing power on a single chip. Another advantage is that it eliminates the need to use separate analog components. The MiniMini impresses with its high switching frequency of 8kHz and excellent temperature stability. Alongside the standard version with a plastic cap Contrinex also offers a pressure-resistant version with a ceramic sensing face. With a plastic cap the switching distance is 1mm; with a ceramic cover it is 0.8mm. Sensor calibration takes place after the production process by means of the integrated ASIC. Due to the extraordinary accuracy, there are only slight measurable production variations in operating distance or other key values across any single series. Key benefits − Subminiature construction 3 × 12 mm − Reduced component count − Increased reliability − Excellent temperature stability in range -25°C to +70°C (-13°F to +158°F) − Pressure-resistant version up to 200 bar (2902 psi), IP 68 + IP 69K protection

The MiniMini’s mixed-signal ASIC technology makes it particularly suitable for all applications where signals are recorded in analog form, but must be digitized for transmission. Typical application areas are mainly found wherever very limited available space demands ever more compact construction with increasing integration density and sensor performance.






− Robotics − Pharmaceutical sector − Automated handling − Production of electronic components

Smaller and shorter than ever – MiniMini makes the impossible possible

TECHNICAL DATA Housing material Degree of protection Connection type Max. switching frequency Supply voltage range Ambient temperature range Mounting Output current

Stainless steel V2A IP 68 + IP 69K PUR cable 8000Hz 10 … 30 VDC -25 ... +70°C (-13 ... +158°F) Embeddable ≤ 100ma

Stainless steel V2A IP 67 PUR cable 8000Hz 10 … 30 VDC -25 ... +70°C (-13 ... +158°F) Embeddable ≤ 100mA



EP&Dee | April, 2013 |


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COWIN helps Sensaris certify the ZAO biomedical sensor Compact portable vital signs monitor uses WiFi to display data on smartphones, tablets and computers. Sensaris ZAO multi-use biomedical monitor

Sensaris has announced that it has developed a novel, multi-sensor device for monitoring vital signs. Called the ZAO™, it is currently going through the certification process and will be available mid 2013. Roughly the same size as a thick paperback book, it is designed to provide professional level diagnostic data so that it can be used by medical professionals and yet its low target volume price point of around €550 means that it can also be used by the home health market. This compact, battery-powered device measures glucose level, body temperature, oximetry (saturation level of a patient’s hemoglobin) and blood pressure and uses WiFi to deliver the information to Android or iOS devices such as smartphone, tablets and computers. Data can also be sent to a remote server for centralized processing and monitoring.

The ZAO weighs 310 g and measures 129 × 44 × 135 mm with a built in, rechargeable 3.7V lithium battery and a Microchip processor. Sensaris was founded in 2001 as a wireless sensor consultancy. In 2010, it started looking at the mobile health (m-health) market that had been predicted to be big since 2005 but there were barriers preventing this. Biomedical manufacturers tend to be very specialized (either for blood pressure monitor, pulse oxymeters or glucometers) and can not keep up with the quickly changing mobile landscape. For hospital monitoring, chronic disease management or homecare, users typically have to not only purchase various devices, read several manuals, juggle different chargers, but also need to ensure that the various software packages are compatible with their mobile devices. This is far from an easy task. By combining its existing sensor technologies into a single, allin-one design, and mastering the latest web based software technologies, Sensaris has been able to create a low cost, professional grade solution that is very simple to deploy and use, is compatible with 90% of the mobile devices sold today and addresses interoperability and security issues using the latest web and mobile technologies. Moreover, it provides a single easy to use and future proof platform. “As a small company, it is very challenging to find your way through all certification processes to bring a medical device to market,” explained Michael Setton, the CEO of Sensaris. “In late 2012, we came across COWIN, which is a European initiative to help facilitate the take-up of advanced technologies. Part of their remit is to provide advice, coaching and consultancy to European companies especially start-ups. As this is funded by the EU, it does not cost us anything and it


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also means that we can be confident that the advice is impartial from people who really understand our industry and are not driven by having to meet sales targets. “I have found that people who are Michael Setton, CEO Sensaris experts in the biomedical field rarely have the breadth of experience that encompasses designing and bringing a product to market. I am very impressed with the mentor that COWIN has provided us with as he has actual experience of all this and going through the approvals and certification processes which will really cut down the time to market. He also gives us pep talks when the going gets tough which happens frequently in a small company!” Emmanuel Cohen-Laroque (COWIN Biotech / MedTech expert and Senior Partner at YOLE Finance in charge of M&A and fundraising operations), who is the COWIN mentor helping Sensaris, added, “My brief is not only to help Sensaris bring its product to market but also to help the company with all the other challenges that a small start-up faces such as raising finance. For example, we helped them review and negotiate the term sheets for the recent angel round that will fund the certification process and bring the product to market. We also monitor the global market for rival product offerings and for new technologies that could be used in the ZAO.” COWIN will also help Sensaris to explore the various business models for bringing the product to market such as direct sales, distributors,

DESIGN medical equipment specialists and also via mobile phone operators. “We have already developed and validated an app that runs on Android and iOS devices to display vital sign data in real time,” added Michael Setton.

Real time monitoring “It was very important from a patient point of view to use familiar devices that they already use in every day life. In general, we think that the whole design of the solution is the key for product acceptance. From the user experience to the end-product design.” Sensaris has also found from discussions with possible users that patients are really keen to embrace new technology especially if it can help them get better faster. ZAO’s real time monitoring of their health status provides reassurance that they are making a speedy recovery rather than having to wait for checkups. Patients and caregivers also like the reassurance that real time monitoring immediately flags up an issue so that it can be quickly addressed. “There are strong expectations both from patients and caregivers to help patients address their health with serenity and the development of plug-and-play devices for monitoring health from home is now a reality," explained Michael Setton. Geraldine Andrieux-Gustin, the COWIN coordinator, added, “There is a perception that the EU only helps teams of big companies. In reality, the COWIN initiative is designed to help start-ups through to medium sized companies use new technologies to provide innovative solutions to the market. Importantly, COWIN also provides them with independent business advice to commercialize technologies and products from a team of people who have first-hand, practical experience of running companies and bringing products to market. Technology is the key to creating new jobs, new companies and wealth within the EU and COWIN is the key driver enabling this to happen.” n Further information on Sensaris can be found at Further information on COWIN can be found at Further information on YOLE Finance can be found at

SENSORS Peratech working on new ink formulations with CPI to enable QTC sensors and switches to be printed using industry standard processes for printed electronics Peratech, the innovator in touch technology, has announced that it is working with The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) to develop new formulations for its awardwinning QTC™ materials; the work is supported by government funding as a R&D Technology Strategy Board (TSB) project. At present, QTC ink formulations are silkscreen printed and they are being used successfully to create pressure sensitive sensors and to print Peratech’s innovative QTC Clear touchscreens. The project will establish if existing commercial printing machinery can be used to print a new generation of printable electronics, including QTC sensors, which is a rapidly expanding area of print technology with a clear potential to reduce the weight, component and assembly cost of a vast range of future products. Until now, the missing piece of the Printed Electronics jigsaw has been the switches and similar Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) such as touchpads as they typically need structures that cannot be screen printed and are vulnerable to water or dirt ingress getting between contacts. By contrast, QTC switches are solid state

with no moving parts giving them a long operational life and robustness against contamination. The QTC switches can be simple on/off or provide a variable response as their resistance changes according to the pressure applied. QTC touchscreens are similarly a solid state film of QTC providing x and y co-ordinate

input along with z from the amount of pressure applied. The development of QTC inks that can be printed with standard printing techniques at the same time as the other components will enable the whole field of Printed Electronics to take off by providing this control interface. PERATECH

Peratech working on “Nose in clothes” and touch technology for wearable electronics Peratech, the innovators in touch technology, is working with the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London to develop wearable electronics that use Peratech’s award-winning QTC sensors. This is a three and a half year PhD research project funded by an EPSRC ICASE award to explore the needs base and applications for wearable technology bringing together the expertise of industry and academe in a highly creative way. The core of QTC technology is that QTC materials change their resistance when a force is applied such as pressure. Printing QTC inks on to textiles enables simple on/off switches to be created but, more interestingly, because the resistance changes proportionally to the amount of force applied, areas of the cloth can become touch sensitive or can be made to recognise pressure inputs. Apart from being touch sensitive, QTC materials can also detect the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Its printable QTC™ E-nose sensors work by

the QTC material expanding in the presence of VOCs which changes the resistance of the QTC material giving very rapid response and recover times along with a high level of sensitivity. Different formulations can be made according to

the specific VOC to be detected so that low cost warning sensors and the associated electronics can be printed onto textiles to provide clothing that monitors the wearer for signs of illness, fatigue or exposure to dangerous chemicals. PERATECH | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Kontron's ACE Flight 600 server platform fast-tracks deployment of best-in-class flight communication and wireless IFE server systems Kontron launched its next-generation of the ACE Flight 600 general purpose airborne servers product line, helping avionics systems developers fast-track the design to deployment process of best-in-class flight communication and wireless server applications. The Kontron ACE Flight 600 is a complete, highly integrated application-ready platform that is specifically designed to meet advanced communication application requirements for Ethernetbased network installations on both linefit and retrofit aircraft. Qualified to D0-160F and optimized for a full range of flight information systems, the enhanced Kontron ACE Flight 600 line is an ideal platform to build applications that include: crew and passenger web servers, flight maintenance or manifest servers, connectivity server,

wireless content server and InFlight Entertainment (IFE) servers. The Kontron ACE Flight 600 integrates the latest dual core 1.5 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR3 memory and up to 1.8 terabytes (TB)

of combined SATA SSD storage to address increased demands in performance, software and data access. It supports extensive connectivity and bandwidth with features including an L2/L3 managed Gigabit Ethernet Switch with 11 externally available 10/100/1000BT ports. KONTRON

Renesas Electronics Europe and Partners introduce an Innovative Support programme Renesas Electronics Europe, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced a new innovative support programme for European customers that select its Renesas’ RX microcontroller family. These customers are invited to submit their designs to Renesas to qualify free-of-charge commercial software up to the value of 20,000 euros. Renesas has teamed up with selected Alliance partners to provide wide range of Software tools and libraries tailored to RX microcontroller family to help accelerate time-to-market for RX customers while driving innovation in their design. Renesas’ 32-bit RX microcontroller platform offers customers a broad product spectrum, with 32K-2MB on-chip Flash memory and 8-256KB on-


chip SRAM in 48-177 pin packages. Maximum compatibility across the range is guaranteed by a common core, common IP and common development tools. This innovation support programme adds maximum value to RX MCU

range, providing qualifying customers with free development boards and free, market-leading software. Customers also benefit from the huge RX ecosystem backed by an online community of developers and the industry’s largest Alliance Partner and local support networks. RENESAS ELECTRONICS EUROPE

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Kontron SMARC Starterkit offers fast entry into the world of embedded ARM processors With today's introduction of Kontron's new ready-to-use SMARC Starterkit, the company enables developers to gain fast entry into the world of embedded ARM processors, which is now highly scalable thanks to SMARC Computer-on-Modules. The SMARC kit comes in a sturdy transport case, has all the cables already connected and is equipped with all the necessary components, including a display and power supply. All Kontron SMARC Computer-onModules can be selected individually and - as an option the SMARC Starterkit can be delivered with preinstalled module, operating system, Board Support Package and cooling solution. This allows developers to immediately launch into evaluation of their desired ARM platform. Kontron currently offers a selection of SMARC specification conform module families based on ARM Cortex A9 and A8 processors from Freescale, Texas Instruments and Nvidia. While the Freescale i.MX6-based Kontron SMARC-sAMX6 and the

Texas Instruments AM3874based Kontron SMARC-sA3874i modules are designed for industrial temperature ranges of -40 °C to +85 °C - a common requirement for transportation, mobile, military and other rugged environmental applications, the Nvidia Tegra 3-based Computer-on-Module Kontron SMARC-sAT30 is ideal for graphic-hungry applications as, for example, the POS/POI and

medical markets require. All the SMARC designs fulfill this market demand for a compact Computer-on-Module with a standardized feature set and low-power consumption of only a few watts. Application areas range from mobile devices to on-board equipment and solar or conventional powered stationary devices. KONTRON

IAR Systems launches tools for developing powerful auto IAR Systems® releases a suite of tools for developing embedded applications based on Renesas Electronics’ new RH850 core. IAR Embedded Workbench® for RH850 includes user-friendly features and powerful optimizations that enable developers to fully benefit from the high performance offered by the new RH850 core. The RH850 microcontrollers are targeted for automotive applications and are the industry’s first with embedded 40nm flash technology. The series addresses functional safety and security requirements, while combining high performance and low power consumption. It offers

features such as ultra-low power, high temperature tolerance, multi-core technology and compliance with the standardized automotive software architecture AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture). IAR Embedded Workbench for RH850 provides a complete set of development tools, with build tools and the comprehensive C-SPY® Debugger incorporated in a user-friendly integrated development environment with a feature-rich text editor and source browser. Tapping into the success of IAR Systems’ well-proven tools for Renesas V850, IAR Embedded Workbench for RH850 brings



Kontron expands Cab-n-Connect line of wireless access points with new 28VDC power input version Kontron has expanded its industry-leading line of Cab-n-Connect cabin wireless access points (CWAPs) with a new 28VDC version. Designed for use in business jets and regional aircraft that utilize 28VDC power instead of AC power, enterprise class wireless access point takes advantage of the IEEE 802.11n specification, which increases maximum throughput to 300 megabits per second (mbps) for wireless clients. It is also backwards compatible to 802.11 a/b/g standards, and is based on Motorola's advanced access point technology. The Kontron Cab-n-Connect product family provides secure wireless connectivity for commercial airlines, general aviation and now with the release of a 28VDC power input option, supports the DC requirements of smaller business and regional jets. The unit also supports simultaneous dual radio operation (2.4GHz and 5GHz), is compliant to the I/O requirements of ARINC 763, and can operate in both cabin wireless LAN and terminal wireless LAN modes. With the growing demand for bandwidth within the aircraft cabin and the trend to provide video streaming to passengers, existing wireless access points using 802.11a/b/g wireless standards are not able to support large numbers of high throughput users on a plane, said Andy Mason, Business Line Manager of

Commercial Avionics at Kontron. The Kontron Cab-n-Connect utilizes a unique adaptive architecture that provides intelligent and automatic features to enhance the overall performance and experience for passengers. It does all this at a reduced total cost of ownership to airlines and aircraft owners, and we believe it gives a significant performance advan-

Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. announced that it is now sampling the MAX77301 Li+ battery charger. It integrates the intelligence to enumerate with the host device, automatically identify the adapter type, and then determine the fastest rate to charge a battery.

tage over competing airborne access points. The entire Kontron Cab-nConnect product family has been rigorously tested to DO-160, and the AC power input version has been successfully deployed in numerous narrow-body and wide-body commercial aircraft. The Kontron Cab-n-Connect line offers a highly cost-effective CWAP solution compared to other solutions on the market. KONTRON

omotive applications based on Renesas’ RH850 core architecture-specific adaptations and optimizations for the RH850 architecture. One of the focal points during development has been to maximize the code performance and the IAR C/C++

Intelligent Enumerating Battery Charger from Maxim Integrated Provides the Safest and Fastest Possible Charge for Mobile Equipment

Compiler™ for RH850 generates very compact, extremely fast-performing code by applying several levels of generic and processor-specific optimizations. The tools are well tested and comply with industry standards. They use the standard ELF/DWARF object format, and are compliant with Renesas ABI (Application Binary Interface), which gives users the possibility to incorporate libraries created with other Renesas ABI-compliant software tools. IAR SYSTEMS

With advanced temperature monitoring, the MAX77301 modulates the charge current and battery regulation voltage automatically to maximize safety in any temperature environment. It performs all of these functions without an external CPU or system hardware. The MAX77301 is ideal for mobile equipment, such as cameras, Bluetooth® headsets, MP3 players, and portable medical devices. To enhance battery safety, battery makers often recommend charging “gently” in cold or hot ambient temperatures. This often necessitates use of a microcontroller to monitor and control the charger. The MAX77301 solves this charging problem by automatically setting charge parameters at a safe level. The device also provides full programmability via the I2C interface, increasing flexibility. Furthermore, it integrates an enumeration and adapter detection engine to maximize charge current. This safety feature and the adapter detection ensure the fastest and safest possible charging. Key Advantages • Maximizes charge current: automatically detects charge source and sets the highest allowable charge current. • Optimizes user convenience: Smart Power Selector™ technology allows a portable device to operate with a discharged battery or no battery. • Highly flexible: fully programmable I2C interface; charges from a USB port. • Easy implementation: no extra software required for charger detection or USB enumeration. MAXIM INTEGRATED | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




OMC offers wide colour range of custom LCDs & backlights targeting low and mid volume applications

Rutronik presents the new mid-power LED package from Samsung with highest light efficacy

OMC, the pioneer in optoelectronics - LED lighting, backlighting and industrial fibre optic transmission components – has announced that its Profiled LED backlighting technology perfectly complements custom LCD glass modules, for the first time enabling designers requiring displays for relatively low volume applications to be able to choose a fullcustom option. OMC’s Profiled backlight technology ensures that very consistent illumination is provided across the entire display. Uniquely, they can feature single or dual chip LEDs depending on power output availability and requirements, and they are available in full RGB and blue/white colours.

Samsung Electronics has developed a new lineup of middle power LED packages with the industry’s highest efficacy level. It is ideal for use in a wide variety of LED lighting applications including LED tubes, LED ambient lighting, downlighting and retrofit lamps. The LM561B series is available at distributor Rutronik as of now. The new LM561B features 160lm/W light efficacy, which is the highest available among mid-power LED packages worldwide, with electric current rated at 65mA, 5000K CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) and a rating of over 80 CRI (Color Rendering Index). Compared to Samsung’s previous mid-power LED package, the new LM561B achieves a 30%

Complementing a standard product range which numbers over 250 different sizes, OMC can turn around bespoke-shaped backlights is as little as five working days with set up costs starting as low as £50. OMC supports its

customers during the design process to simplify module design and assembly costs by integrating assembly features into the backlights. OMC

Plessey is first to release GaN on silicon LEDs Plessey announced that samples of its Gallium Nitride (GaN) on silicon LED products (p/n PLW111010) are today available. These entry level products are the first LEDs manufactured on 6inch GaN on silicon substrates to be commercially available anywhere in the world. Plessey is using its proprietary large diameter GaN on silicon process technology to manufacture the LEDs on its 6-inch MAGICTM (Manufactured on GaN I/C) line at its Plymouth, England facility. The use of Plessey’s MAGIC GaN line using standard semiconductor manufacturing processing provides yield entitlements of greater than 95% and fast processing times providing a significant cost advantage over sapphire and silicon carbide based solutions for LEDs of similar quality. The release of the availability of Plessey’s GaN on silicon LEDs was coincident with a visit to the


Plessey Plymouth facility by the Rt. Hon. Dr. Vince Cable, MP, Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade. Business Secretary Vince Cable commented, “The government is supporting innovative companies like Plessey who are growing, cre-

ating jobs and exporting their products all over the world. That’s why we selected Plessey’s £3.25 million Regional Growth Fund bid for Government support, which will create 100 new, high tech and highly skilled jobs in the region.” PLESSEY

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increase in efficiency. This results in reduced energy consumption and improved heat management, which allows the use of smaller heat sinks, saving on material costs and providing customers with the ability to create more compact and flexibly innovative

products. The Samsung LM561B product line offers a wide range of color temperatures. It also comes in three brightness levels and provides quarter binning. RUTRONIK

Mouser Leads with World’s First Round LED from Luminus Devices Mouser Electronics, Inc. announced it is stocking the world’s first round LED, the CBT140 Big Chip Round LEDs from Luminus Devices. This new round emitting aperture provides the most efficient match for circular optical systems and narrow beam projectors. Luminus Devices CBT140 Big Chip Round LEDs & Modules are the perfect solution for applications defined by a circular aperture. Such optical architectures, previously mismatched with a traditional square LED, can now be updated with round LEDs which better match the application. These Big Chip Round LEDs & Modules increase system-level efficiency by as much as 30%, enabling customers to use a single LED to replace a 250W HID lamp. They will accelerate the adoption of solid-state technology by displacing conventional light sources in high brightness lighting applications. Markets and applications that will benefit from Luminus' round LED technology include medical, machine vision, portable, and retail spot lighting. For exam-

ple, in fiber coupled lighting systems the fiber is round, the optic is round, but the LED has always been square. This has now been resolved with the round LED breakthrough that will enable users to replace the 300W Xenon lamp in an application like endoscopy. To learn more, visit

With its broad product line and unsurpassed customer service, Mouser caters to design engineers and buyers by delivering What’s Next in advanced technologies. MOUSER ELECTRONICS



New Touch Panel Computers with Serious Horse Power Captec has introduced three new highly responsive Touch Panel Computer models. These are ideal for SCADA, process control systems and machine automation applications, providing users with fast and clear graphics displays and control interfaces. The powerful new Touch Panel Computers have IP65 sealed front panels and are shock and vibration protected. Able to operate over a wide temperature range, they are ideal for factory, process or on-machine installations. Configuration versatility is provided by five configurable function buttons and expansion capabilities, enabling a range of I/O cards to be incorporated. This is further enhanced by two

USB ports on the front panel, and multiple communications ports including Dual GB LAN, RS232 Port and multiple USB ports. These fast Touch Panel Computers are available in 12”, 15” and 17” models with a

choice of Intel 3rd generation Core i3/ i5 / i7, or Celeron processors, giving outstanding processing and graphics performance. These new Touch Panel Computers are available now. CAPTEC

Cost-effective displays for high optical demands Gleichmann Electronics now offers the new Lite+ TFT-LCDs from KOE Europe. These new high-quality displays are especially suitable for cost-effective applications having high demands on optical performance. The 5-inch (12.7cm) TX13D06VM2BAA in one of the first Lite+ display modules to be introduced by KOE. The TX13D 06VM2BAA with WVGA (800 x 480 px) resolution has mechanical outline dimensions of 120.0 × 80.7 × 8.0mm and features a brightness of 1000cd/m² and a 500:1 contrast ratio. The industry standard 40-pin, 6-bit RGB CMOS interface simplifies design in and supports a color palette of up to 262,000 colors. The 10.4inch (26.4 cm) TX26D19V M2BAA display module has a 20pin single channel LVDS interface that supports 8-bit RGB and enables a color palette of up to 16.7 million colors. Bright, clear

and concise display images are achieved with a contrast ratio of 500:1 and a brightness of 550cd/m². If necessary, brightness can be increased to 800cd/m² by driving the LED backlight with an increased current of 20mA, however, this will shorten the white LED backlight lifetime. Both the 5-

inch TX13D06VM2BAA and 10.4-inch TX26D19VM2BAA (mechanical dimensions of 243.0 × 185.1 × 9.4 mm ) support an operating temperature range of 20°C to +70°C. The white LED backlight provides a guaranteed 50,000 hours half brightness lifetime. GLEICHMANN & CO. ELECTRONICS

New Advanced Wide View TFT LCDs from Kyocera Display America deliver true color and optimum optical performance in larger size panels Kyocera Display America has announced four new TFT-LCDs that are being added to its extensive product line. The new 10.4” SVGA and 12.1” SVGA TFT-LCD displays feature Kyocera’s Advanced Wide Viewing (AWV) technology. Advanced Wide Viewing technology delivers true color and the best optical performance and enables people to view images with vivid color (no grey inversion) from any angle. And, one version of each size also features super high brightness for readability in sunlit or high-glare environments. Designed with the latest highefficiency, long-lifetime LED backlights, the new LCD panels achieve brightness levels as high as 1200 nits (cd/m2), and provide an ideal solution for a range of

applications including medical, gaming, POS, ATM and any outdoor applications requiring wide viewing angles with sunlight readability. The LED driver circuit is integrated into the LCD module, with full dimming func-

tion, so no additional components are required to drive the backlight. The backlight itself is specially designed to provide lower power consumption by using the latest technology for LED chips and light guides. KYOCERA

Displays Continue to Reign Supreme Evaluation Kit Promotes Familiarization with Display Trend There are hardly any devices left that do not feature a display for operating, control, or programming purposes. The EA eDIPTFT57-A intelligent display from Electronic Assembly is the ideal candidate for implementing an interactive control in mechanical engineering or industrial electronics applications, as well as in all other conceivable scenarios, due to its performance characteristics and elegant, straightforward development support. The high-contrast screen, which measures 5.7" in the diagonal and has LED background illumination, offers a crisp, colorful resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. Its most important feature, however, is the built-in intelligence that greatly facilitates developers who want to integrate the display modules in their application. Special evaluation kits make it

even easier to start working with the EA eDIPTFT57-A display and the other eight models of the EA eDIP series. These kits comprise a display with touch panel as well as an evaluation board, a USB cable, and a mini-DVD containing software, documentation, and

sample macros. The evaluation board features a USB connection for communicating with the PC. Interface daughter boards for RS-232, I²C, and SPI do come with the shipment to communicate with the host computer of the target application. ELECTRONIC ASSEMBLY | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




CUI Introduces Next-Generation Low Power Isolated Dc-Dc Converters

30 W DC-DC converter complies with railway transient and EMC standards

CUI Inc has introduced its second generation of low power, board mount dc-dc converters with improved efficiency, isolation, and thermal performance compared to existing products. The unregulated dc-dc modules are available in 1 W and 2 W configurations, featuring 1.5 kVdc isolation and anti-static protection up to 8 kVdc. The PDS and PES series are designed

of 3.3, 5, 12, 15, and 24 Vdc and a range of single and dual output voltage configurations, the dc-dc converters are highly efficient, offering efficiencies as high as 89% in the 2 W models. To further enhance the series’ performance across the entire load curve, the modules have been designed to greatly reduce power draw under light and no load conditions. The new family

with an ultra-wide operating temperature range of 40~105°C, offering a rugged and reliable solution for converting and/or isolating dc rails within a range of industrial, telecom, security, and machine control applications. The PDS and PES families are housed in compact, industry standard SIP, DIP, and SMT packages. Providing nominal inputs

of dc-dc converters also comes standard with continuous short circuit protection, providing an additional layer of protection for sensitive loads. The PDS and PES series are available immediately with prices starting at $3.81 per unit for 500 pieces. Please contact CUI for OEM pricing. CUI

XP Power announced the RDC30 series of highly efficient metal cased and isolated 30 W DC-DC converters designed specifically for railway applications. Accommodating a wide input range based around the popular railway input voltages of either 72 (36-140) VDC or 110 (55176) VDC, the converters are available with single, dual or triple outputs and conform to the railway industry transient standards EN50155, NF F 01-510 and RIA12. The single output models provide the standard regulated output voltage of 3.3, 5, 12 or 15 VDC, and duals provide ± 5, ± 12 or ± 15 VDC. Triple output models provide a 3.3 VDC output with either ± 12 or ± 15 VDC outputs, or a 5 VDC output with either ±12 or ± 15 VDC outputs. These convection-cooled converters have an efficiency rating of up to 91%, and deliver a power density of 37.5 Watts per cubic inch from their compact package that measures 25.4 × 50.8 × 10.16 mm (1 × 2 × 0.4 inches). When convection cooled the operating temperature range is from – 40°C to + 75°C. An optional heatsink extends this up to + 80°C. Maximum case temperature is + 105°C. 1500 VAC Basic isolation between input and

Mouser Stocks Industry’s Smallest True Bipolar 18-Bit ADC from Maxim Mouser Electronics, Inc. is now stocking the industry's smallest true bipolar +/-5V, 18-bit analogto-digital converter from Maxim Integrated. MAX11156 SAR ADC offers excellent AC and DC performance with true bipolar input range. This reduced-form factor Maxim device features internal reference and measures a ±5V (10VP-P) input range while operating from a single 5V supply. A patented charge-pump architecture allows direct sampling of high-impedance sources. MAX11156 guarantees 18-bit resolution with no missing codes and communicates using an SPI-compatible serial interface at 2.5V, 3V, 3.3V, or 5V logic. This Maxim ADC is ideal for use in data acquisition systems, industrial control


systems/process control, medical instrumentation, and automatic test equipment. With its broad product line and unsurpassed customer service, Mouser caters to design engineers and buyers by delivering What’s Next in advanced technologies. Mouser

offers customers 19 global support locations and stocks the world’s widest selection of the latest semiconductors and electronic components for the newest design projects. MOUSER ELECTRONICS

EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

output, and 1600 VDC between input/output and the metal case is provided across the range. The RDC30 series complies with the internationally recognized EMC standard EN50121-3-2 as required for railway applications and rolling stock apparatus.

A remote On/Off function gives external control of the output while a trim input provides the capability to adjust the output voltage ±10% of the nominal output voltage. The RDC30 is available from Farnell, element14, approved regional distributors, or direct from XP Power and come with a 3 year warranty. XP POWER

Renesas announces R-Car H2, offering highest CPU and gr Renesas Electronics, a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, and Renesas Mobile Corporation, a leading supplier of advanced cellular semiconductor solutions and platforms announced the availability of a new member of the R-Car Series of automotive Systems-on-Chip (SoCs). Capable of delivering more than 25,000 DMIPS, the R-Car H2 provides high performance and state-of-the-art 3D graphics capabilities for high-end multimedia and navigation automotive systems. The R-Car H2 is powered by the ARM® Cortex™A-15 quad-core configuration running an additional

ARM® Cortex™A-7 quad-core – the industry’s first implementation of a Quad ARM® Cortex A15 and the big.LITTLE processing technique in an automotive SoC. Powerful media hardware accelerators enable features like 4 x HD 1080p video en/decoding including Blu-Ray support at 60 frames per second, image/voice recognition and high-resolution 3D graphics with almost no CPU load. These implemented hardware modules also execute the display content improvements needed for human-machine interface (HMI) / navigation data in parallel to Movie/DVD handling.



Compact low profile “green” 225 W power supply targets IT, industrial and medical applications XP Power announced availability of the ECP225 series of highly efficient low profile AC-DC power supplies. Delivering up to 150 W by convection cooling alone, the units deliver a maximum of 225 W when a forced air flow of only 10 CFM is applied. With a typical efficiency of 94% and a no-load power consumption of less than 0.5 Watt, the series helps engineers ensure their end product comply with the latest energy efficiency standards. With a very low profile of just 25.4mm (1.0 inch) and a footprint measuring just 63.5 × 127 mm (2.5 × 5.0 inches), these ultra compact power supplies occupy significantly less volume than similar rated power units on the market. 5 single-output models are available within the series, providing all the popular nominal output voltages from + 12 to + 48 VDC. A trim function permits a ±5% adjustment from stated output in order to compensate for load losses or special application requirements. In addition a + 12 VDC/0.5 A fan output is provided across the range. Meeting the IT equipment safety specifications of UL/IEC/EN 60950-1 and the latest stringent 3rd edition medical safety standards ANSI/AAMI IS 60601-1 and IEC/EN60601-1, the ECP225 series is suitable for use in a wide range of information technology, industrial and medical equipment. The units also comply with the internationally recognised EMC standards EN55011 and EN55022

Class B specifications for conducted noise and Class A limits for radiated emissions. The ECP225 accommodates most operating temperature environments from -20 to + 70°C, with no derating until +50°C. The ECP225 series is available from Farnell, element14, approved regional distributors, or direct from XP Power and come with a 3 year warranty.


raphics performance for the Automotive Infotainment Market The R-Car H2 also features the Imagination Technologies PowerVR Series6 G6400 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). This is the first worldwide implementation of the GPU into an automotive SoC, which demonstrates the stateof-the-art 3D graphics capability of the

Innovasic Announces Production Availability of Pin Compatible Am186™ER and Am188™ER Embedded Processors Production units are now available for the IA18×ER embedded processor. These devices are form, fit, and function compatible with the Am186™ER and Am188™ER devices. The IA18xER is capable of operating as a 186 or 188 processor (16-bit or 8-bit) and is available in 100-lead PQFP and 100-lead LQFP RoHS-compliant packages. Innovasic's version of the Am186™ER and Am188™ER has the same instruction set as the original and provides full software compatibility - no special software tools or re-compile steps are required. The same 1 Mbyte memory address space and 64 Kbyte I/O space are supported along with the same 32 Kbytes of internal RAM. The PLL operates the same and allows the processor to operate at up to four times the input clock. All of the integrated peripherals in the original device are contained in the Innovasic device including: • Thirty-two Programmable I/O (PIO) pins • A synchronous serial interface allowing half-duplex, bidirectional data transfers • An asynchronous serial port allowing full-duplex, 7-bit or 8-bit data transfers • A PSRAM controller including auto refresh capability • Two independent DMA channels with DMA to and from the asynchronous serial port • A reset configuration register • A programmable interrupt controller with six external interrupts • Three programmable 16-bit timers • A hardware watchdog timer to generate an NMI or system reset • Programmable memory and peripheral chip select logic • A programmable wait state generator and power-save clock mode.

R-Car series. The R-Car H2 offers one of the best graphic performance solutions in the automotive embedded market. This GPU is ready to not only support open technologies like OpenGL ES 2.0, but also the OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenCL standards. Support of the Open graphics standards combined with the R-Car H2’s cutting-edge IP and other features makes it the perfect platform to develop next-generation infotainment systems. Renesas’ IMP-X4 core, implemented in R-Car H2 as an optional feature, provides real-time image processing that enables developers to support the emerging trend of augmented reality.

The IA18×ER operates at 3.3V with 5V tolerant I/O over the -40°C to +85°C industrial temperature range.


INNOVASIC | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




DELTA Microelectronics to expand global activities through new joint alliance with ChipStart

32.768 kHz MEMS oscillators offer up to 85% space saving and 50% less power

ChipStart LLC, a leading provider of semiconductor intellectual property (SIP), and DELTA Microelectronics, a leader in ASIC services for the semiconductor industry, are partnering to bring the power of innovation to the market through a joint relationship. The relationship will involve the sale, marketing and global representation of DELTA’s design services, including its production and test capabilities, through ChipStart’s extensive sales channel.

MSC now offers the new SiT15xx family of 32.768 kHz MEMS oscillators from SiTime. These new oscillators feature up to 85% space saving compared with the current smallest conventional quartz crystal and an ultralow current consumption of only 75μA typical. The new MEMS oscillators are currently available in three different models: the SiT1532/42 in a 1.5 mm × 0.8 mm chip scale package (CSP), the SiT1533/43 in a 2.0 mm × 1.2 mm package that is pincompatible with quartz resonators and the SiT1534/44 that support frequencies from 1Hz to 32.768kHz and are available in both the 1.5 mm × 0.8 mm CSP and the 2.0 mm × 1.2 mm packages. Thanks to NanoDrive™, factory-programmable output stage, all of the 32.768 kHz MEMS oscillators can easily and with minimal expenditure of energy be adapted to the requirements of the particular application. A high frequency stability of up to ±20ppm

“We are extremely pleased to be in a position to take advantage of DELTA’s in-depth knowledge of the mobile payment, RFID and sensor markets and to offer its extensive portfolio of solutions,” said Howard Pakosh, President and Chief Executive Officer, ChipStart. “By officially recognizing this partnership, we continue to grow our capabilities and services and give our customers the tools necessary to develop next generation technologies.”

“DELTA Microelectronics is happy to team with ChipStart. Its portfolio is complementary to DELTA’s, and we expect our customers will gain significant synergies from this cooperation,” comments DELTA’s

Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Gert Jørgensen. ChipStart will promote DELTA Microelectronics’ ASIC Design Services to system houses and semiconductor communities worldwide, with a specific focus on chips used in mobile payment systems, RFID, optical systems and sensor systems. CHIPSTART DELTA MICROELECTRONICS

New 3A Ultra-Low Dropout Linear Regulator from Advanced Power Electronics Corp. Advanced Power Electronics Corp. (USA), a leading Taiwanese manufacturer of MOS power semiconductors for DC-DC power conversion applications, has introduced the APE8968MPHF3, a new series of 3A, ultra-low dropout linear regulators designed to provide simple POL DC-DC conversion in board-level applications, including motherboard and notebook applications. Requiring two supply voltages – one for the control circuitry and the other for the main supply – the IC reduces power consumption and provides a dropout of just 0.23V (typ) at 3A. APE8968MP-HF3 integrates many functions, and has a Power-OnReset (POR) circuit to monitor


both supply voltages to prevent incorrect operation. Thermal shutdown and current limit protection features are included, and a POK indicates output status with a time delay which is set internally. The APE8968MP-HF3 can control another converter for

power sequencing, and can also be controlled by another power system. Pulling and holding the EN pin below 0.4V shuts off the output. ADVANCED POWER ELECTRONICS CORP.

EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

ensures accurate timekeeping. Unlike crystal resonators, the new 32.768kHz MEMS oscillators, which are suitable for many different applications, eliminate the need for external load capacitors. Thus, this together with an extremely low height of

only 0.55mm saves board space. The SiT153x MEMS oscillators operate from a 1.2V to 3.63V power supply. The SiT154x MEMS oscillators operate from a 2.7V to 4.5V power source. MSC

Lattice Announces World’s Smallest FPGA for Miniature Sy Lattice Semiconductor Corporation announced the iCE40 LP384 FPGA, the smallest member of its expanding iCE40 family of ultra-low density FPGAs. Enabling designers to rapidly add new features and differentiate cost-sensitive, space-constrained, low-power products, the new small footprint FPGA is ideal for applications such as portable medical monitors, smartphones, digital cameras, eReaders, and compact embedded systems. The tiny, low- power, low cost iCE40 LP384 FPGA has a capacity of 384 LUTs; consumes 25Microwatts static core power; comes in packages as small as 2.5

mm × 2.5 mm with a migration path to 2.0 mm × 2.0 mm; and costs less than 50 cents per unit in multi- million unit quantities. New Applications Drive Hardware Innovation The exponential growth of handheld applications is creating new challenges for hardware designers. Many new applications today connect end users with data collected from a growing number of sensors that measure natural phenomena such as temperature, moisture, light, and positioning. At the same time the growing use of video is driving the deployment of new low power, display tech-



Power Integrations’ New PI Expert Suite 9.0 Power Supply Design Software Supports LED Lighting Power Integrations, the leader in highvoltage integrated circuits for energyefficient power conversion, announced that the latest version of its popular power supply design software, PI Expert Suite 9.0, now includes support for its LinkSwitch™-PL and LinkSwitch-PH LEDdriver ICs and its recently introduced TinySwitch™-4 off-line switcher IC family. Version 9.0 includes an enhanced schematics-manipulation tool. It also enables designers to upload the resulting BOM from the auto-generated schematic layout to selected, leading design-fulfillment distributors. PI Expert Suite 9.0 improves the productivity of power supply design teams by greatly reducing the time to first prototype and by slashing the number of prototype iterations required to reach a finished product. The software now includes support for solid-state-lighting products, enabling LED designs to be optimized for CC, dimming and harmonic emissions. As with previous-generations, PI Expert Suite 9.0 generates a complete schematic of the power supply and offers power transformer optimization techniques, even specifying the transformer design and offering links to wound component manufacturers. A

heatsink calculation tool provides the designer with an estimation of the thermal design requirements for a new power supply which may be used to guide layout and mechanical prototyping decisions - avoiding iterations and wasted time. Enhanced PCB layout recommendations based on the IC device and package chosen allow the designer to minimize trace-induced EMI and board area, and also maximize electrical noise immunity and surge tolerance. PI Expert Suite 9.0 can be downloaded at

Transformer prototypes resulting from the use of this software may be ordered through Power Integrations' Rapid Transformer Sample Service (RTSS); a quick-start guide describing how to create a compatible design file is available at POWER INTEGRATIONS

ystems nology that not only enhances the visual experience, but does so without breaking stringent power budgets. Moreover, small automated control units are now being used to maximize energy efficiency and security in buildings and homes by responding to light, infrared, noise, and by adjusting fans,

blinds, and temperature controls. Designers of these types of equipment must find ways to shrink the size of their systems while differentiating their products from competitive market offerings. The iCE40 LP384 Solution The iCE40 LP384 FPGA includes the programmable logic, flexible IO, and onchip memory necessary to process data at speeds greater than ASSPs or companion microprocessors while simultaneously reducing power consumption for an equivalent cost. Lattice also provides reference designs and application notes to accelerate development and reduce time-to-market by several months. LATTICE SEMICONDUCTOR

Silicon Labs Launches Most Integrated Multiband Receiver Solution for Wheel-Tuned Radio Designs Silicon Labs introduced the latest generation of the company’s widely used analog-tuned, analog/digitaldisplay (ATxD) multiband radio IC family. The new Si4825/27/36 AM/FM/SW receivers provide superior radio band coverage and a 16-pin SOIC package option that eases the design and manufacturing of ATxD radio products. The new Si48xx radio ICs provide an “all-in-one” single-chip receiver solution for tabletop and portable radios, stereos, mini/micro systems, boomboxes, clock radios, iPod docking stations, toy radios and many other consumer products containing wheel-tuned radios.

The wheel-tuned or “analog-tuned” multiband radio product market exceeds 115 million units per year, according to Silicon Labs estimates. More than 90 percent of all ATxD radios including products for the global export market are manufactured in China. A pioneer in RF-in-CMOS multiband receivers for the wheel-tuned radio market, Silicon Labs has now delivered three generations of single-chip receiver solutions that reduce the cost and complexity and simplify the manufacturing of radio products used by many millions of consumers worldwide. Silicon Labs’ new Si4825/27/36 receivers offer the same exceptional RF performance, unmatched integration in CMOS, bill of materials (BOM) and labor cost reduction, and ease of design and manufacturing as previous generations of Si48xx radio ICs. In addition, the new receivers use a single band to cover a wider frequency range for FM and SW bands, and they also support TV audio carrier reception in the China market. Additionally, the devices provide advanced audio conditioning for all signal environments, removing pops, clicks and loud static in challenging signal conditions. The Si4825 mono-output, consumer-grade product and the Si4836 stereo-output, commercial-grade product are designed for the ATAD radio market. The Si4827 mono-output, consumer-grade product targets the ATDD radio market. Each receiver supports worldwide broadcast frequencies from 64-109 MHz in FM, 504-1750 kHz in AM and 2.3-28.5 MHz in shortwave (SW), enabling a single radio design based on the receivers to support all worldwide markets. SILICON LABS | April, 2013 | EP&Dee




Murata and Beta LAYOUT offer PCB service with free embedded UHF RFID

Very Low Power VFM Step-Up DC/DC Converter from Advanced Power Electronics Corp.

Murata and their RFID partner Beta LAYOUT announced the launch of a prototype trial service for their MAGICSTRAPbased PCB RFID devices. Using Murata’s MAGICSTRAP devices, Beta LAYOUT will embed the UHF RFID component for a regular prototype order of up to 50 PCBs without extra charge. This allows electronics equipment manufacturers to investigate the ease with which this PCB identification approach can be implemented. The use of UHF RFID has immense advantages compared to traditional optical identification methods. UHF RFID uses a batteryless approach. It will work when the device is unpowered and does not need line of sight. Identification can occur when the finished PCB is fully assem-

Advanced Power Electronics Corp. (USA) announced the APE2902, a high-efficiency VFM Step-up DC/DC converter for small, low input voltage or battery powered systems with ultralow quiescent supply current. Devices can operate from a positive input voltage between the start-up voltage and VOUT and convert it to a higher output voltage, adjustable in 0.1V steps from 2.5 to 5V range with an accuracy of ±5%. APE2902 converters combine ultra-low 22μA (typ.) quiescent supply current and high efficiency (typ 87% at VOUT = 5V) to give maximum battery life. The high switching frequency and the internally limited peak inductor current permits the use of small, low cost inductors. Only three

bled and when it is packaged in the shipping carton. Apart from board traceability, the identification is available across the whole supply chain and greatly aids anti-counterfeit brand protection initiatives.

Starting from April 2013 this free RFID-prototyping service is available for 6 months. More information on the trial offer, MAGICSTRAP and Beta LAYOUT can be found here: MURATA

external components are needed: an inductor a diode and an output capacitor. The APE2902 is suitable to be used in battery powered equipment where low noise, low ripple and ultra-low supply current are required. Maximum shutdown current is

lower than 1μA and output current is up to 100mA. Devices feature a very low start-up voltage and internal soft-start. ADVANCED POWER ELECTRONICS CORP.

DC/DC power supplies with RCC topology New 1 Mbit and 2 Mbit SPI FRAM Products by Fujitsu The two new FRAM products MB85RS1MT and MB85RS2MT feature 1 Mbit and 2 Mbit memory densities and are immediately available from MSC. The new products will be made available in sample quantities from the end of March 2013. Guaranteeing 10 trillion (10¹³) read-write cycles – the two new FRAM products are ideal for applications such as smart meters, industrial machinery and medical devices. Compared to identical-density EEPROM, MB85RS1MT and MB85RS2MT reduce power consumption by 92 percent for writing operations. The new FRAM products can also make substantial reductions to component costs, mounting footprint and power consumption by replacing all of the technologies required for the system – typically consisting of EEPROM, SRAM and a battery – by single chip. As a result, FRAM strongly promotes the development of smaller systems that are more power-efficient


and maintenance-friendly. In applications such as measurement devices, industrial machinery and medical devices (e.g. hearing aids), the new 1 Mbit and 2 Mbit SPI FRAM products offer an alternative that is both considerably faster and less power-hungry than EEPROM at high density levels – resulting in

systems with improved performance, better data security and a longer battery life. For industrial machinery applications – where SRAM and EEPROM are used in parallel for storing data and parameters respectively – the new FRAM products can unify the two memory technologies. MSC

EP&Dee | April, 2013 |

Especially for cost effective power supply in various digital applications MSC is now offering 13 new series of Aimtec DC/DC power supply modules with RCC topology (ringing choke converter). The new series feature output voltages in the range of 3 W and 6 W. The input voltage range of the DC/DC converters is programmable between 4.5 to 72 VDC with a ratio of either 2:1 or 4:1. Single or dual output voltage choices range from 3.3 to 24 VDC with input/output isolation of either 1.5 kV DC or 3.5 kV DC. Additional features of these DC/DC power supply modules include an effective operating temperature of – 40°C to 85°C with derating, con-

tinuous short circuit, and efficiency rates up to 82%. With a choice of over 525 models, this new line of constant voltage power supplies is designed to meet IEC 60950-1 standard for IT equipment and will meet the needs of multitude of digital applications including blade servers, high-end consumer electronics, major home appliances, industrial motor and process

control, solar inverters, telecom / datacom systems, UPS units, and smart lighting systems. MSC

EP&Dee no 4 - April 2013  

Electronics Products & Design - Eastern Europe - The April issue

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