All Latest Electronics News

Iris gets you off the ground

A reference design for flyback topology ac/dc power supply circuits commonly found in dvd/cd players, set top boxes and an array of consumer devices is now available from International Rectifier. The IRISMPS4 uses IR’s IRIS4009 ac/dc integrated switcher as the main switch and control device. The design features a universal ac line input and a 12V 1A full load dc output. The IRIS4009 combines a control circuit and a low loss Hexfet power mosfet in a single five pin package for ac/dc power supplies up to 30W. It can handle over 60% more power than leading competing devices classified at the same power level, as a result of application specific silicon and package technologies. Compared to a discrete solution, the part reduces component count and board space by around 25%.

Samsung's fb dimm is not so dim

A 1Gbyte fully buffered, dual in line memory module (fb dimm) based on DDR2, designed to boost memory density and bandwidth to improve data processing in servers and workstations, is due to be sampling soon by Samsung. Explaining the emergence of fb dims, Samsung says that currently, the memory slot access rate per channel decreases as the memory bus speed increases, resulting in limited density build up as channel speeds increase. The fb dimm, however, eliminates this ‘stub-bus’ channel bottleneck by using point to point links that enable multiple memory modules to be connected serially to a given channel. A memory buffer chip is added to each module to enable the use of high and low speed interfaces. The buffer can generate speeds of 3.2 to 4.8Gbit/s, six times that of dram, according to Samsung.

Han DDD module with 40% increase in contact density

Capable of housing 17 Han-D connector inserts with crimp termination, the Han DDD module from Harting offers a 40% increase in contact density compared to earlier designs. The modules fit Han-Modular hinged frames and Harting’s Han-Modular Compact housing and suit signal transmission in industrial systems.

Zarlink adds circuit emulation services

Zarlink has added three low density circuit emulation services (ces) over packet processors to its circuit to packet device portfolio. The devices enable one to 32 TI/E1 streams of time division multiplex (tdm) traffic to be sent over any packet switched network. The ZL50120 family caters for one, two or four streams of tdm voice, video and data traffic, with associated timing and signalling, across Ethernet, IP and multiprotocol label switching networks. On chip sram capable of handling network delays of more than 100ms, means the ZL50120 family does not require external memory. Zarlink also claims chip count is minimised as the processors connect directly to a line interface unit or framer on the tdm side and to an Ethernet PHY on the packet side. A reference design, evaluation board and software application programming interface are available.

Toshiba's surface mount photocouplers

Designed for applications that need to combine high speed switching with isolation levels that meet international safety standards, are Toshiba’s latest surface mount photocouplers with 5kV isolation voltage. Supplied in a package that is just 6.8 x 4.5 x 3.6mm, the TLP70x and TLP71x 6pin sdip series are said to be 50% smaller than conventional 8pin DIP parts. Nevertheless, they offer the same functionality and isolation ratings – the use photo ics that are optically coupled to gallium arsenide IR emitting diode to provide minimum isolation levels of 5000V rms.

Fully differential amplifiers from Texas Instruments

Fully differential amplifiers from Texas Instruments have been designed to get the best performance from high speed a/d converters. The 1.9GHz THS4509, with what is said to be one third less settling time than previous fully differential amplifiers, has been designed with applications such as test and measurement, medical imaging and wireless infrastructure in mind. Made on TI’s bipolar SiGe process, the amplifier offers an input referred voltage noise of 2.0nV/rtHz, second and third order harmonic distortion at 70MHz of –80 and -87 dBc respectively.

Flash targets mainstream

Bringing flash into the mainstream is the target for Actel’s third generation of flash based programmable logic devices, the ProASIC3 and ProASIC3E families. Actel claims the parts are not only the lowest cost fpgas yet, but also deliver performance and security advantages over comparable sram based devices. They address consumer, automotive and other ‘cost conscious’ markets – the fastest growing segment of the fpga market at the moment, according to the company. The single chip devices deliver 64bit, 66MHz PCI performance, and have on chip user flash memory, useful for IP device addressing or user preference storage for example. Ranging in density from 30,000 to 1million system gates, they include secure in system programmability. The ProASIC3/E provides 1kbit of non volatile flash and clock conditioning circuits based on up to six onboard phase locked loops. The devices come with up to 504kbit of embedded dual port sram and up to 616 user I/Os, with 66MHz 64bit PCI performance. Densities for the ProASIC3/E family range from 600,000 to 3m system gates.

Hitachi display terminals from Arrow Electronics

Display terminals from Hitachi Display Products have been designed for use in a wide range of industrial and mobile product applications. Available through Arrow Electronics, the devices are said to be up to 25% smaller in terms of surface area than similar 5.7in lcds. The TX14D12VM1CXX range offers a wide viewing angle, high colour saturation and a contrast ratio of 350:1. Also featured are an integrated dc/dc converter, an L shaped cfl backlight and a brightness of 350cd/m2. A four wire analogue resistive touchscreen is also available.

Adlink Tech's 3U CompactPCI cpu board

A 3U CompactPCI cpu board from Adlink Technology is now available from Crellon. The cPCI-3840 offers versatility by supporting the Intel Pentium M, Pentium M 745/755 and Celeron M processors. Two ddr so-dimm sockets are provided, giving the ability to add up to 2Gbyte of ECC or non ECC memory. True gigabit Ethernet bandwidth is achieved by the high performance PCI-X bus communicating between the onboard Intel 82546EB ethernet controller and the 6300ESB I/O Controller. The 6300ESB also integrates a 32bit/33MHz CompactPCI bus, four USB 2.0 ports, two COM ports, IDE interface and a two stage watchdog timer. In addition the cPCI-3840 comes complete with a Compact Flash socket, a Serial ATA interface and onboard Intel 855GME high performance integrated graphics with interfaces for CRT and DVI on RTM and AC97 Audio.

Affordable Tektronix!

Tektronix and Livingston are offering engineers three ways to obtain the latest Tektronix tools to best suit their budgets. The Rent-to-Own plan allows equipment to be purchased for just €15 after 14 monthly rental payments. The Trade-up programme allows users to exchange equipment which no longer suits their needs for credit against new Tektronix devices. Meanwhile, Livingston still offers the ability to rent equipment for periods as short as a week.

Sefram DAS 1200 ideal for troubleshooting or maintenance

Combining recorder, multimeter and oscilloscope functions in one unit, the Sefram DAS 1200 is said to be ideal for troubleshooting or maintenance applications. The unit has two fully isolated ‘universal’ inputs for dc or true rms (ac and dc) voltage and thermocouple signals. Eight additional low voltage digital inputs are designed for logic signals. The recorder features a sampling rate of 1MHz, 14bit resolution and comes with a 1Mbyte internal memory. In autoranging multimeter mode, the DAS 1200 can display two different measurements – for example, voltage and frequency – for each of the independently isolated input channels. The device weighs 1kg and can be battery powered for portability.

Focus on Phones

Texas Instruments has reached a significant technological waypoint by becoming one of the first semiconductor vendors to deliver a working product fabricated on a 65nm process. Delivering on its promise to shrink its 90nm design by 50% and to cut leakage power from idle transistors by a factor of 1000, TI has produced a wireless digital baseband processor. Showing intelligent integration, Infineon Technologies has combined a baseband processor with a quad band radio transceiver. The E-GOLDradio enables the baseband and RF functionality to be realised in less than 4cm2 of board space – about 30% less than the two chip solution. The part is also claimed to reduce the bill of materials by around 30% thanks to the integration of the capacitors and discrete components necessary in a two chip approach. The part is said to be particularly applicable to cost driven low to mid range phones, as it supports many features without the need for an application processor, such as a camera, MP3 playback, dual displays and polyphonic ringtones. As such it is expected to attract manufacturers of clam shell and ‘slider’ phones. For designs that do require an application processor, NEC has recently announced a part that integrates three ARM cores which targets terrestrial digital broadcast reception (see the relating feature on page 21). The MP211 also integrates NEC’s proprietary dsp core and all four cores are connected with a new bus architecture that allows them to share a single memory unit. “Parallel processing technology is key to enabling enhancement of future applications, especially those that require both high performance and low power consumption,” stated Yoshiharu Tamura, general manager, mobile terminal unit within NEC. “With the addition of the Linux operating system, we can expect greater usability and more efficient development.”

Chip modem in revolutionary package

Adding to its current range of Sagem modem modules, Alpha Micro Components has announced the launch of the Sagem XS200. It is housed in a revolutionary ball grid array package for use in ultra slim portable applications. Measuring in at 33 x 38 x 3mm and weighing 10g, it is one of the smallest modules available on the market to offer both GPRS class 10 and GSM functionality, allowing small devices to become GPRS enabled with minimum disruption. The bga packaging makes it more like a component than a module, claims Alpha, at the same time it eliminates the need for connectors. It is available in two tri-band variants, for European and North American markets respectively.

PsoC development kits for design, debug and prototype

Three development kits unveiled by Cypress Microsystems are intended to help with the design, debug and prototyping of the company’s PSoC programmable system on chip. The kits include: the CY3215-DK in system emulator; the CY3210-PSoCEval1, an evaluation board with mini programmer; and Flex-Pod kits, which integrate a cable, pod, mask and foot into one component. The CY3210 evaluation kit includes a board and a mini programming unit. Supporting all members of the CY8C2x PSoC range, the kit comes with a 28pin PSoC socket, an in system programming connector, a 5V regulator, and an RS232 serial port.

Lastest addition to the V850 range from NEC

Applications requiring high performance real time processing are said to be targets for NEC’s V850E2/ME3 32bit risc microcontroller. The latest addition to the V850 range features the V850E2 core, which supports processing rates of up to 400MIPS and clock rates of up to 200MHz. The device has a seven stage pipeline and is said to bring a 90% increase in processing speed over previous versions. Along with a 168k ram cache, the device has an 8k instruction cache and an 8k data cache. A full speed USB2.0 port is included, as is a spread spectrum clock generator, which reduces emi by 10dB, says NEC. Consuming 530mW, the device comes in a 176pin lqfp.

Extended range of Microchip's PIC 18F

Four high pin count parts have been added to Microchip’s PIC18F range. The parts offer performance levels of up to 10MIPS and run at speeds of up to 40MHz. According to the company, the four new members of the PIC18F8722 family operate from a supply ranging between 2 and 5.5V. Available with 96 or 128kbyte of flash, the 8bit microcontrollers also boast a 16channel 10bit a/d converter and two analogue comparators amongst their features. The parts are available in 64 or 80pin tqfp housings.

Jump on the Express

The 889LCD/ATX and 889LCD/ATXU motherboards from Kontron support Pentium 4 or Celeron processors respectively. The industrial ATX motherboard, the 889LCD/ATX, comes with two PCI Express x1 slots for I/O assemblies and one PCI Express x16 slot for graphics or ADD2 cards. Four classic PCI slots are also available. Meanwhile, the Micro ATX motherboard, the 889LCD/ATXU, offers one each of PCIe x1 and PCIe x16, as well as two PCI slots. According to Kontron, both boards are ready to house PCI Express expansion cards.

Yokogawa's latest version of DL750 ScopeCorder

Yokogawa has introduced the latest version of its DL750 ScopeCorder, offering enhanced a built in A4 printer. It offers 16 analogue and 16 logic inputs, for both high and low frequency signal monitoring. It is accompanied by two additional universal measuring modules, incorporating both voltage and temperature management functions.

Reader Offer: Digital Compass

Win a free digital compass reference design and development kit courtesy of Silicon Laboratories. In association with New Electronics, Silicon Labs is offering readers a chance to win one of 10 development tool packages including a digital compass reference design and the C8051F350 development kit. It showcases the company’s direct sensor interface technology (DsiT), which interfaces an unconditioned, uncompensated, raw output signal from a sensor directly to a single chip microcontroller. DsiT is embedded in the C8051F350 along with a high speed 8051 core and analogue peripherals. The reference design demonstrates this in a multi axis tilt compensated electronic compass, that allows small signals to interface directly to the microcontroller, with no additional instrumentation circuitry. DsiT enables the integration of all of the elements necessary in an instrumentation system, including: a multiplexer; an offset d/a converter; a programmable gain amplifier; a comparator; a 24bit sigma delta a/d converter; an on board voltage reference; programmable digital filter, and current controlled d/a converters. The C8051F350 provides a complete data acquisition and control solution for applications where precision measurement, high speed data processing and space efficiency are required, says the company. This includes: sensing systems; industrial process control; scientific instrumentation; test and measurement; medical devices; building automation; HVAC; intelligent transmitters, and weigh scales. The reference design includes a working compass, a user’s guide, schematics, USB cable and pc based user interface software, allowing easy evaluation

RF Micro Devices' power amplifiers

RF Micro Devices has just announced two gallium arsenide heterojunction bipolar transistor pre driver power amplifiers for cellular base station applications. The half Watt RF3807 and 2W RF3809 single stage devices operate across cdma, gsm, dcs, pcs and umts frequencies.

Fujitsu's ETHOS

Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe has recently commenced rolling out ETHOS - its Ethernet over SDH/SONET device, designed in collaboration with AimCom, a specialist in next generation carrier class optical networking. It is believed by analysts to bring a new level of Ethernet over SDH/SONET integration to the access and metro edge markets – expected to be one of the high growth segments for optical networking over the next few years. It is designed for equipment in customer premises access or metro aggregation networks. It also targets equipment for the wireless and DSLAM backhaul infrastructure due to its dual access technologies, providing a migration path for cell to packet based networks.

CIP' semiconductor optical amplifier

The Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP) has launched a novel semiconductor optical amplifier, offering optimised non linear operating characteristics that may be used to implement advanced all optical networking functions, such as wavelength conversion. The SOA-NL-OEC-1550 has an extremely fast gain recovery that makes it ideal for use at 40Gbit/s transmission speeds and additionally offers large spot interfaces with ultra low reflectivity that allow it to be passively aligned when building integrated optical subsystems, claims CIP. A datasheet is available on request from

Know where you are

Epson has developed a single chip global positioning system module, whose small size and high sensitivity (-160dB max) should make it ideal for use in next generation mobile handsets equipped with gps support.

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