System Design

Many electronics engineers create board level products, but their boards are integrated into systems at some point. And systems need things like enclosures, power supplies and environmental management.

New Electronics recognises the importance of system design and its impact on the final product. In this section, New Electronics reviews the latest developments in system design and brings visitors to the website information on how these developments are being applied.

Two VME SBCs to implement latest processor

The XVB603 and XVR19 6U VME single board computers (SBCs) have been announced by Abaco Systems, which are based on the seventh generation Intel technology codenamed ‘Kaby Lake’. The boards are designed to cover the full range of VME processing applications from industrial control through to fully rugged, mission critical defence and aerospace deployments.

Home automation reference designs

Two wireless occupancy sensor and smart outlet reference designs from Silicon Labs address the home automation market. According to the company, the designs – pre-certified by the US FCC and UL – include all the hardware, firmware and software tools required to create connected home products based on its ZigBee ‘Golden Unit’ Home Automation (HA 1.2) software stack and the EFR32MG Mighty Gecko SoC.

First SMARC 2.0 module

Congatec has unveiled its first credit card sized modules for the new SMARC 2.0 specification. They are based on the newly released 14nm Intel Atom, Celeron and Pentium processors (code named Apollo Lake).

Processor blade for rugged applications

The cPCI-6940 6U CompactPCI processor blade from Adlink Technology is available with up to 16 cores and high performance graphics. Suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -45 to 85°C, the rugged device comes with 16Gbyte of soldered DDR4 memory.

Demonstration platform for BLE sensor node

A demonstration platform for a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensor node has been released by Microchip. The platform comes complete with the low power BTLC1000 module, a SMART SAM L21 Cortex-M0+ MCU, Bosch sensor technology and software. It also comes with source code, hardware design files, user guide and Android application source code that enable designers to bring their products to market faster.

Sensor to cloud developer kit accelerates IoT design

A prototyping vehicle designed to help engineers to connect wireless sensor nodes to mobile devices and the cloud has been introduced by Silicon Labs. The Thunderboard React developer kit features a battery powered, sensor rich demonstration board with Bluetooth low energy technology and an ARM Cortex-M4 processor for IoT connectivity, along with open source design files and software for mobile apps running on Android and iOS devices.

SIGFOX reference design module

A SIGFOX reference design module has been introduced by éolane, a French solution provider. The small-footprint (18 x 26mm) module is said to provide a wireless sensing solution for space-sensitive applications.

USB-C reference design launched

Silicon Labs has introduced a reference design that is said to reduce the cost and complexity of developing cables and cable adapters based on the USB Type-C specification. The reference design features the ultra low power EFM8 MCU, USB Power Delivery protocol stacks and USB Billboard Device source code.

IP65 version of Hammond 1553 ergonomic handheld enclosures

JPR Electronics has announced an IP65 sealed version of the 1553 handheld enclosure family from Hammond Electronics.The soft-sided 1553W enclosures are suited for applications including instrument or mobile data enclosures requiring a keypad and display, particularly when repetitive assembly and disassembly are required.

Keeping processors cool

AMD has expanded its processor range and is offering thermal solutions that are said to generate less than 10% of the noise created by previous devices. According to the company, the AMD Wraith Cooler not only has ‘near silent’ operation at 39dBa, but also supports 34% more airflow and 24% more surface area for heat dissipation.

Integrated battery management IC monitors up to 256 cells in series

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced what it claims to be the industry’s first integrated battery monitor and protector to measure 16 battery cells at one time. The bq76PL455A-Q1 provides highly accurate cell-voltage monitoring for large batteries with up to 256 cells in a series and can enable more intelligent battery management in electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and grid energy storage systems.

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