Electronics is becoming increasingly important to the automotive sector, enabling the systems which we all expect to find in the latest cars. But those involved in the the sector, as well as those looking to enter the automotive supply chain, need to keep up to date.

New Electronics covers developments in the automotive sector, bringing technology updates and opinion from the market.

Keeping compliant with all relevant EC Directives

A raft of new CE Marking Directives was implemented earlier in 2016. Amongst the nine new pieces of legislation was the third edition of the EMC Directive and new Low Voltage and ATEX Directives. Rather unusually, the changes to eight of the nine Directives were identical and furthermore the ninth contains the same changes as part of a wider overhaul. So why new the Directives and what are the implications for manufacturers?

What is the difference between FDM and Polyjet 3D printing technology?

Whether you’re buying your first 3D printer or upgrading from one you’ve been running for years, it's important to understand the differences between the two leading printing technologies. Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) and Polyjet each build 3D models layer by layer, but while the process by which they do this differs greatly, the one you choose to buy will likely be determined less by the technology itself than by the kind of models or tools you need for production.

A power limiter using a load switch

Constant current limiting circuits are commonplace, but sometimes a constant power limiting function is desired instead. This can be because downstream loads, like DC/DC converters, present a constant power load to their supply voltage, as delivered by the upstream converter. If the supply voltage to the DC/DC converter load exhibits significant tolerance, then a simple current limit may not deliver enough power to the load under all the voltage conditions. Setting a constant current limit to deliver the required power during a low supply voltage condition would result in greater power being demanded at the higher supply voltages during an overload condition. This article shows how to make an approximate constant power limiter.

Half-bridge motor drivers save time

A family of NovalithIC components from Infineon integrates the control chip and MOSFETs into a single component. Rutronik expects this to bring a new level of performance to integrated and protected motor drivers.

Catalyst brings together engineers and researchers in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Science Park, recently rebranded Catalyst, brings together engineers and researchers to create a community of innovators. The Northern Ireland Science Park is seen by many as an unqualified success for the Northern Ireland economy. Recently rebranded Catalyst, new plans have been unveiled with the aim of investing a further£100million to drive innovation and technology to support growth in the region.

Enabling robust data communications within a high voltage BMS

The primary purpose of the battery management system (BMS) is achieving reliability, performance and longevity of battery packs. As part of this, the battery management electronics measures each cell voltage and transmits this information to a central processor. For high voltage battery strings – such as is typical for automotive drivetrains –a modular distributed pack is an attractive choice. Battery modules can serve as the basic building block for multiple pack designs. Modules also allow for optimal weight distribution and maximum use of available space. The biggest challenge is the datalink required to operate the pack as a single unit.

Data centre interconnect drives optical module advances

The huge growth in demand for video, cloud services and social networking is changing almost everything about the way the networks are built and used, not least the interconnect technologies within data centres and the ‘top of rack’ network switches that shift packets between the optical internet boxes – or Data Centre Interconnect (DCI) – and the servers that store and process the data.

Intel’s Programmable Systems Group takes its first step towards an FPGA based system in package portfolio

Speaking in 2012, Danny Biran – then Altera’s senior VP for corporate strategy – said he saw a time when the company would be offering ‘standard products’ – devices featuring an FPGA, with different dice integrated in the package. “It’s also possible these devices may integrate customer specific circuits if the business case is good enough,” he noted.

Irish company pioneers the development of 94GHz RF circuits for a range of applications

It wasn’t too long ago that GHz frequencies were regarded as exotic; few applications took advantage of that part of the spectrum as technology was not only difficult, but also expensive. That meant that military dominated the few applications there were. The Brimstone missile is believed to use 94GHz technology for targeting purposes, rather than the lasers used in previous missiles.

The Brexit debate: should we get out or ‘remain, reform and revitalise’

Could the UK pulling out of the European Union pose as big a threat to the global economy as a ‘hard landing’ in China? That was the claim made recently by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) chief economist Catherine Mann. According to Mann, a vote to leave the EU will not only impact the UK, but would also have a significant impact on the global economy.

RF tests are the basis for V2X

Wireless technologies are being used to connect vehicles, but in order to ensure that messages are received accurately, developers need to adhere to minimum standards.

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