Automotive

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.

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.

The benefits of using non-isolated DC/DC converters

The DC power requirement for electronic industrial equipment often consists of a 24V high power output and a number of lower power, lower voltages. Traditionally these requirements have been achieved by a number of power architectures, depending upon the amount of system power required.

Power supply standby voltage and off-load power draw

The use of a Standby Voltage on computer power supplies became widespread when the ATX specification was published in 1995. It enables a computer to be put into a low power consumption mode without fully powering down the processor, allowing a quick response when activated again. This was achieved by using a remote on/off signal to turn off the outputs, but still supplying a small amount of power to the processor from an independent voltage. This ‘Standby Voltage’ is always present even if the main outputs are inhibited using the remote on/off.

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