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eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
eTech Magazine - Issue 2
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eTech Magazine - Issue 2

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RS EDP & ARM …

RS EDP & ARM
mbed make proof of concept supersonic

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  • 1. e YOUR ELECTRONICS MAGAZINE ISSUE 2 13 Just Add Wireless! 16 A bright future for renewable energy06RS EDP & ARMmbed make proof ofconcept supersonicrswww.com/electronics
  • 2. lOGUE 06 4 nA P E 2 D nD A PRECISIOn ARM, MBED A Y ERG En 16 REnEWABlThe world of electronic design is under increasing pressure to Eoffer competition kicking products in ever decreasing timescales.Short-cuts and inside information are essential to stay ahead ofthe game. That’s why we strive to make RS your first choice forelectronic components and solutions by continually introducingnew technologies and partnerships to support designs fromconcept to prototype and production. InSIDE eTechOur aim is to make the RS Components website the place where you start and finishyour design. That’s the thinking behind a very significant upgrade to our online presence 04 iSAYwhich started with our new Electronics Centre initially launched across the UK and 05 RS nEWSlInESEurope in October. It’s also why we’re extending our universal Embedded DevelopmentPlatform, EDP to support ARM’s new mbed virtual design environment, and driving , 06 ARM, MBED AnD EDPthrough a host of improvements great and small to help you get your design off the 10 PRODUCT nEWSCAD screen and into production more quickly and easily. The article on page 6provides an overview of EDP and the start of more things to come. 13 JUST ADD WIRElESS! 16 REnEWABlE EnERGY In this edition, we’ve also put the spotlight 18 OlED DISPlAY TECHnOlOGY on energy saving products, with technical articles looking at solar power as well as low 20 ATTEnTIOn! 32-BIT ARCHITECTURE Terms and conditions: Terms and power comms, processor, connector and 22 FPGA FlAGSHIP DEVICESconditions of sale set out in the current display technologies. RS Catalogue. This issue is valid from March 2010 to May 2010. 24 THE JOY OF PRECISIOn AnAlOGUE We’ve received lots of positive feedback about our 26 DESIGn TIPS Published by: RS Components first edition of eTech and want to hear more from Limited. Registered office: Birchington Road, Weldon, Corby, you. eTech is written by you as well as for you so, 30 ESSEnTIAlS Northamptonshire NN17 9RS. Registered No. 1002091. RS if you’ve got a great idea for a technical article or 32 THE POWER BEHInD THE TEST SYSTEM would like to offer an opinion in iSay (pg 4), drop 35 Components Ltd 2010. RS are trademarks of RS GRAPHICAl DISPlAY IS A WInnER Components Limited. An me an email at etech@rs-components.com or Electrocomponents Company. visit www.rs-components.com/etech. 36 THE SCIEnCE OF OnlInE SECURITY 39 COnnECTORS FOR REnEWABlE EnERGY 40 lUnCH BREAK 42 InDUSTRY nEWS Glenn Jarrett Head of Electronics MarketingGLO_0106_0210 eTech - ISSUE 2 03
  • 3. iSAY RSADRIAN RAWLINSON,MANAGING DIRECTOR OF nEWSlInESMARL INTERNATIONAL, TALKS: Over 4,000 more Tyco Electronics lines Save energy“ with the new More than 18,000 parts now available through RS online Candelas, watts Amongst the introductions, are over 270 hermaphroditic and poke-in connectors. The more Universal MATE-N-LOK connectors, giving design engineers increased choice poke-in connectors are low profile, surface mount (SMT) two-position connectors ideally RS light Energy in selecting the right connector for new industry, HVAC and lighting applications. suited for LED strings and lighting controls. The hermaphroditic blade and receptacle Saver tool Easy to use calculator shows and Over 240 AMPMODU micro-interconnect connectors are new SMT connectors your savings from using ” products have also been added, which are available in 2, 4 and 6 positions, intended for lumens designed for cable-to-board, cable-to-cable use with in-line board-to-board LED lighting greener lighting and board-to-board applications along with applications. 140 additional PIDG crimp terminals, and over 300 additional relays. To search the full Tyco Electronics range available from RS, visit rswww.com/te Also introduced are 85 connectors from the Tyco Electronics LED printed circuit board (PCB) mount lighting connectors, includingIf you walk into a car showroom now and a salesman tries to convince you that hisflash sports car was outstanding because it uses lots of fuel, you’d think he was daft.Yet that’s still more or less what we do in the lighting industry. By and large, customers Molex introduce 2,300 new linesand manufacturers correlate the light output of a lamp to the power it uses. RS has now doubled your choice of Molex products Now available across all European websites, the Lamp Energy Calculator Highlights from the new range with over 250 new additions to this has been developed to help RS additions include the introduction of family, giving customers multiple pitch customers increase their abilityThe story more or less workedwhen there was one lighting the mix: halogen and LED, and things start to get silly, especially as LED lighting in on the point at which you measure the power used. Incandescent lights are driven candle, but few buyers other than lighting specialists understand them. the C-Grid® / Sl system into the RS offer. The C-Grid dual-row board-to- options and allowing thousands of configurations. The RS range of FFC to deliver energy efficient lighting solutions for buildings. The calculator board system combines with the Sl connectors, designed for use in signal allows users to select their currenttechnology, incandescent, particular is seeing very rapid direct from a mains supply, (Stackable linear), a modular single- and data applications requiring flat lighting solutions, setting features suchwhich saw very little change progress. A 6W LED today can fluorescent lights are driven Everyone is concerned about row wire-to-wire and board-to-board flex cable, has doubled in size with as lamp type, wattage and temperaturein efficiency year on year. It produce twice as much light through an inverter and the energy used by lighting system. Together, these products offer more than 150 new products added. output. Using these criteria, it will thenwasn’t too much of a stretch as its equivalent a year ago. LEDs need a rectified supply, systems, but a sensible debate the largest number of variations and Further additions include increased identify potential alternatives from theto accommodate a second LEDs also have very different normally low voltage. about which form of lighting cabling configurations in the industry. Mini-Fit Jr and Micro-fit 3.0 ranges. RS energy efficient lighting range, and– Cold Cathode Florescent characteristics than other does the best job in a specified The popular Molex KK series, You can see the full Molex range calculate the savings to be gained fromLamp - and fluorescent forms of light, as they give I don’t know whether to be set of circumstances is being developed to meet the challenges of and supporting technical information running and replacement costs, as welltubes are commonly sold a directional, as opposed to, amused or to despair at the constrained by the lack of modularisation has been increased at rswww.com/molex as reduced energy usage costs.as being ‘equivalent to’ spherical output. idea that measures such as a standardised method ofan incandescent bulb of candela, lumens and mean measuring light output and First launched in the UK in Maya specified power. Throw The apparent efficiency of a spherical candle power are power consumption across 2009, the calculator has been usedanother two technologies into lighting system also depends based on the output of a the US, Europe and Asia. 1,400 more relays and switches from by thousands of RS customers to help save energy and reduce costs. Omron now available from stock Combined with energy efficient product ranges including heating and RS now has the largest stocked range of Omron electronic components plumbing, test and measurement, insulation, IT and renewable energy, RS has been working Alex Grout, European relays, switches, and RS offers a complete solution with Omron Electronic Distribution Manager for connectors are available for energy efficient design and Components to develop a Omron Components said online from RS”. maintenance of buildings. complete offer for design “RS has spent a great effort engineers to use, with a and huge investment in To learn more about As energy efficiency continues to dedicated Omron web our partnership. With the the Omron Electronics be a dominant industry trend for portals, plus implementation expansion of the weblinks, range available from RS, Electronic Design Engineers, go to of buy-it-now web referral dedicated Omron portals including all the new rswww.com/energyRSource and links from the Omron and range developments, introductions, go to find out how RS can help ensure that website to RS and expansion specifiers of our products www.omron-rs.eu. the design environment is as energy If you’ve got a strong opinion and would like the opportunity to of the Omron product range can be confident that the efficient as the latest application get on your soapbox, write it up in around 300 words and email available from RS. widest range of Omron designs being worked on. it to etech@rs-components.com04 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 05
  • 4. RS EDP & ARMmbed make proof ofconcept supersonicThe RS generic Embedded Development Platform (EDP)now supports mbed, the new online development toolfor rapid prototyping with ARM microcontrollers.As part of its roadmap for EDP going forward, RS isestablishing a close partnership with the need for a large initial investment in a suitable compiler, for example. Even the developer’s workspace is rapid proof-of-concept work can take advantage of this online approach to reduce design-start costs and quicklyARM aimed at allowing developers maintained online, giving engineers acquire knowledge and code. Into take full advantage of ARM’s the freedom to login from anywhere addition, customers will also be ableweb-based mbed embedded without needing to ensure access to to use the baseboard with the latestdevelopment concept. project documentation stored locally. Cortex-M0 microcontrollers targeting In addition, mbed development ultra low-power applications, whenRS has added mbed processor is independent of the developer’s these become available.modules supporting the ARM7 chosen platform – whether PC,and Cortex®-M3 architectures to Linux or Mac. EDP Explainedits range of available modules for Embedded design projects typicallyEDP This gives EDP users access . Developers can also access the aim to have a proof-of-concept to the industry’s first online platform mbed online library of functions. ready early in the project lifecycle.for fast, low-risk prototyping This provides an API-driven approach This requires some basic hardware,of ARM based microcontroller to coding, and pre-written drivers which is usually obtained bysystems. are also available saving developers purchasing an evaluation board from learning microcontroller hardware the processor vendor or from a third-The EDP and mbed concepts are details. Each peripheral also has the party developer. However, hardwareideally matched. ARM’s mbed benefit of a turnkey “Hello World” modifications may be required, andmodule containing the microcontroller example to quickly verify correct the project must usually absorbhas a 40-pin DIP form factor designed functionality. RS is taking a leading the full purchase price. Such kitsto allow the microcontroller I/Os to be role in further development of mbed are rarely re-usable in subsequentconnected to a solderless prototype by working with ARM to provide projects, either because theboard or a through-hole printed circuit resources dedicated to writing right features are not providedboard (PCB). The module connects production-ready drivers. This will or the technology may haveto the EDP baseboard via an adaptor quickly increase accessibility for been superseded.board that, together with the 40-pin developers to high-quality functionsmbed module, makes up the EDP optimised for the ARM Cortex A more cost-effective approach is tombed Command Module. With embedded processor family. work using a modular developmentthe module connected, programs platform that can also be reconfiguredare downloaded by dragging and Another benefit of mbed throughout the longer term to meetdropping the program binary in the development is access to a large requirements for initial hardware insame way as using a Flash USB drive. online community of developers future projects. The EDP fulfils this sharing code and resources through concept. It provides a baseboardPerhaps the most powerful aspect mechanisms such as the mbed into which are plugged processorof mbed-based development is its Cookbook online repository, wiki modules and special-functionfundamentally online nature. Many and the mbed forums. modules as required by each project.of the programming resources and This provides a trusted platform,project-management functions Developers combining the EDP suitable for long-term use,developers need to call on are mbed Command Module with EDPmaintained in “the cloud” removing , application modules to complete Continued page 08 >06 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 07
  • 5. wireless development. Users can High Reliability also build their own modules, if required, by referring to the EDPCON bus specification. A key challenge facing embedded- systems developers is to build drivers for each of the functions to be implemented. The time taken to write and debug a driver, at the proof-of-concept stage, can delay the project; particularly if the driver will not work. Later in the project, it may be necessary to develop certain drivers further to achieve the full connectors of 140 and 100 pins functionality and robustness. each, called EDPCON1 and EDPCON2 respectively. The EDP EDP solves both of these challenges motherboard also solves issues by including all necessary drivers for such as inter-module and inter-EDP each function. Moreover, the drivers system communications, using are written from the outset to be available interconnects such as production ready. Hence, developers I2C and CAN. can progress their projects without debugging drivers at the initial < Continued from page 07 Plug-in Command Modules hardware stage or refining the drivers This architecture allows a wide for production later in the project. which will not only save purchasing variety of processor modules, based numerous development kits but on various microcontrollers, to be EDP Hits the Open Roadmap will also save the time to make built by mapping the device I/O pins By introducing EDP RS has delivered , any adaptations. onto the EDPCON1 and EDPCON2 a solution that enables today’s connectors. The microcontroller design engineers to meet the then appears to be a virtual CPU increasingly acute cost and time- Configurable Baseboard to another I/O device fitted on the to-market demands on embedded The EDP baseboard, or bus, such as a digital or analogue systems design. As a common motherboard, is an Extended peripheral module. It is possible platform, the EDP reduces design Eurocard size (220 x 100 mm) board that provides four identical “stations” for the plug to map almost any microcontroller to this format. The first Command Modules to be introduced for EDP and construction times from weeks to days. Project cost savings are achieved by removing the need when you need it most in modules. The motherboard have supported the Infineon XC167 , to purchase and adapt to multiple allows microcontrollers and I/O STMicroelectronics STR9, and manufacturer-specific development Datamate, the 2mm pitch cable to cable, devices to communicate through the Microchip Plug-in Module for kits. Ultimately, EDP sets developers a standardised interface similar to microcontrollers and dsPIC devices free to try more new ideas and cable to board and board to board connector PC/104 or STE buses. However, (PIC-PIM) spanning 8-bit, 16-bit and push boundaries to create more family from Harwin, is designed to perform whereas PC/104 and STE tend 32-bit families. successful, highly differentiated to support only power-line, data, products. A new, two-station EDP in harsh operating conditions, surviving address and control signals, Plug-in Functional Modules baseboard will be introduced in the the EDP interface supports Of course, since the EDP is near future, to further reduce the extremes of shock, vibration & temperature microcontroller applications by also conceived to provide a configurable cost of building initial embedded- catering for specialist pin functions platform for proof-of-concept work, systems hardware. – yet the cost per contact is that of an relevant to typical 8, 16 and 32-bit its success is also dependent industrial, commercial device. microcontrollers. There are three on providing a diverse range of I2C channels, two CAN channels, peripheral functions that are also in RS is also inviting participation an SPI port, and various signal- EDPCON-compatible modules. The in the EDP developer measurement and signal-generation first modules to be developed as community from academic peripherals. There are also groups part of the EDP programme include institutions. Universities of pins to support interrupts in analogue and digital I/O modules, a interested in gaining access to response to external events, communications module, and two development kits for research making the right connection groups of pins able to create motor-control modules. and teaching can contact us at pulsetrains, others dedicated etech@rs-components.com to motor control, I2S, memory The EDP modular concept lends itself cards and many other common to the development of an increasing microcontroller IO types. Advanced range of application modules going interfaces such as SD/MMC are forward. RS is actively pursuing also supported. development of new modules; recent announcements include a All of these signals are contained new SD Card module and plans To see more on the EDP within two 0.8mm dual-row for modules to enable EDP-based go to rswww.com/edp08 eTech - ISSUE 2 rswww.com/harwin
  • 6. PRODUCT PRODUCTnEWS nEWS TEKTROnIX  CURREnT MEASUREMEnT FCI - FFC & FPC High sensitivity current probes for accurate power COnnECTORS and load analysis. Ever extending options for flex circuit FFC/FPC TDK-lAMBDA - 300W MEDICAl n The TCP300 and TCP400 series AC/DC Current Measurement connectors. POWER SUPPlY family is a highly advanced current measurement system for 300/400 Watts, digital power solution today’s current measurement needs. Tektronix current probes n FCI, a leader in flex FFC/FPC for medical applications. provide industry-leading measurement sensitivity to a minimum connectors continue to bring you of 1mA, which is critical for accurately measuring low level unique solutions that give you the footprint and the quality level n TDK-Lambda has introduced their new digitally currents and frequency components. When connected to you need for your application. FCI were the first to introduce controlled 300-watt power supplies designed specifically Tektronix Oscilloscopes with TEKPROBE level II, TekConnect a flex connector with a back side flip actuator that allows you with medical applications in mind. With a 4kVAC reinforced (with TCA-BnC) or TekVPI (with TPA-BnC) interfaces, current to insert the flex cable and lock the actuator with one hand. input to output isolation and an output-to-ground measurements and calculations are made simple and easy. Products include flex connectors for LIF (low insertion force) and isolation of 1500VAC, the EFE300M meets the rigorous Additional measurement power is available with add-on ZIF (zero insertion force), top and bottom contact options, vertical international safety standards of IEC 60601-1 for medical software such as the TDSPWR2 power measurements package. and right angle orientations, surface mount and through hole equipment. Designed with space limitations in mind, the RS Online search term: Current Probes, Tektronix terminations in contact spacing options down to 0.3mm. 3 x 6” footprint, 1.6” height is ideal and the low profile RS Online search term: FCI FFC connectors allow maximum airflow for optimised cooling efficiency. Other features such as a redundant operation capability and high current standby make the EFE300M equally suitable for highly integrity applications including lECROY - WAVEACE SERIES instrumentation, routers and security networks. OSCIllOSCOPES RS Online search term: tdk-lambda efe300* Oscilloscopes offering a powerful combination of TEXAS InSTRUMEnTS large, informative displays at an affordable price. - nEW 60V STEP DOWn DC/DC n Our WaveAce oscilloscope series simplifies your work and COnVERTER CREE - XlAMP MC-E SERIES lEDS shortens the time taken to find and debug problems. The lighting class, high lumen multichip lED’s. 60V step down DC/DC WaveAce™ combines long memory, a colour display, extensive converters, for light load measurement capabilities, advanced triggering and excellent efficiency and automotive n Cree leads the industry in brightness and reliability for connectivity to improve troubleshooting and shorten debug applications. power lEDs with its Xlamp lED family. Cree is time. With both 2 and 4 channel models, bandwidths from enabling the lighting industry with efficient, 40 MHz to 300 MHz, sample rates up to 2 GS/s and waveform n The TPS54160 from Texas environmentally friendly lED light. MC-E memory up to 9 kpts/Ch (18 kpts interleaved) the WaveAce Instruments is a step down X-lAMP lEDs can reduce lED exceeds all expectations of a small affordable oscilloscope. regulator with an Integrated system complexity and RS Online search term: lecroy Waveace digital Switch. The input voltage size by combining 4 lED range is 3.6-60Volts. Output chips in one package. Compared to discrete voltage range is 0.8-58V with ARDUInO DUEMIlAnOVE a maximum output current of lEDs, they reduce the AGIlEnT - U1701A 1.5A. The TPS54160 has excellent ATMEGA328 MCU distance between lED die, HAnDHElD efficiency in light load conditions STARTER BOARD creating a small optical source for excellent CAPACITAnCE and is from the 0.5A to 10A Atmel Development boards. optical control and efficient METER ™ SWIFT Converter family. FAIRCHIlD MOTIOn-SMART RS Online search term: n The new Arduino Duemilanove colour mixing. They have A Capacitance Meter in a maximum output of 430 POWER MODUlES (SPM™) the palm of your hand. TPS54160 is an ATmega328 starter board lumens bringing high performance and quality Integrated 3 Phase Motor Drive Solutions which contains everything needed to of light to a wide range of applications, including for BlDC PMSM/BlAC and ACIM. n Agilent’s new U1701A start designing straight away. parking, roadway and pedestrian outdoor areas, Capacitance Meter now It has 14 digital input/output pins portable and personal lighting, retail display n The Motion-SPM in DIP packaging offers a high allows random checks (6 can be used as PWM outputs), lighting and emergency vehicle lighting. performance simplified solution for commercial across the production 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz RS Online search term: MCE4WT and industrial inverter motor designs, Each SPM floor and performance crystal oscillator, a USB connection, integrates six IGBTs, six diodes, three HVICs, one checking at your a power jack, an ICSP header LVIC and a thermistor in a single compact module inspection or sorting stations. With a wide measurement range and a reset button. The platform is (60mm * 31mm). Compared to discrete IGBT and many features, the U1701A puts a new level of convenience open-source, implements the solutions, the integrated into capacitance meters. It has up to 25 sets of high/low limits to Processing/Wiring language and SPM requires less than store and choose from in compare mode. The U1701A also lets you provides a free IDE; simply connect it half the board space, while breeze through capacitor sorting without the need to set and reset to a computer with a USB cable or APTInA 10MEGAPIXEl COlOUR IMAGE SEnSOR providing low voltage control the standard reference for different capacitors under test. Handy power it with an AC-to-DC adapter A High-Speed, low-Power Sensor for Camera Designs. and a high voltage output functions, include tolerance and relative modes, Hold, Min/Max/ or battery to get started. stage rated at 10A-75A Average recordings and PC data logging. RS Online search term: n The MT9J003 is a 1/2.3-Inch CMOS Digital Image Sensor, built with Micron’s at 220Vac. This compact, RS Online search term: Agilent capacitance Duemilanove exclusive DigitalClarity® technology, this sensor features exceptionally low noise ceramic and DBC-based levels and low-light sensitivity. It supports full HD—1080p at 60 fps, delivering transfer moulded-type CCD image quality (based on SnR and low-light sensitivity)—along with the low package optimises heat cost, low power, high performance, small form factor, and fast time-to-market. transfer from the IGBTs. With very low power consumption and variable functions such as gain, frame RS Online search term: rate, and exposure, this sensor outputs high-quality images at high speeds. It is Fairchild FSAM* easily programmed through a simple two-wire serial interface. RS Online search term: Aptina 10MP10 eTech - ISSUE 2 See more online - Over 5,000 new products are added at rswww.com/electronics every month eTech - ISSUE 2 1 11
  • 7. Lowest RDS(on) in TO-247 Package * Just add N-Channel MOSFETs With performance improvement of up to 50% over competing devices, the new TO-247 BVDSS RDS(on) ID@ 25˚C Qg typ MOSFETs from International Rectifier can Part Number WIRElESS! (V) (mΩ) (A) (nC) help extend battery life in motor applications, improve efficiency in solar inverter systems, IRFP4004PBF 40 1.7 195** 220 and deliver the wattage required for high power IRFP4368PBF 75 1.85 195** 380 Class D audio systems. IRFP4468PBF 100 2.6 195** 360 Applications • High Power Synchronous Rectification IRFP4568PBF 150 5.9 171 151 • Active O’Ring IRFP4668PBF 200 9.7 130 161 • High Power DC Motors Trends in consumer electronics often IRFP4768PBF 250 17 93 180 • DC to AC Inverters create a climate of expectation in • High Power Class D the wider electronics market, and so * Based on data compiled October 2008 it is with wireless communications. It ** Package limited Features would be really hard to buy a laptop • 40V to 250V in TO-247AC Package without WiFi and all but the simplest • Industrial grade, MSL1 mobile phones now come with • RoHS compliant Bluetooth as standard. Since the pieces OICE of electronics that most customers Your FIRST CHnce for Perfo rma use most often now have wireless connections, there is an increasing expectation that all the rest of their personal gadgets and professional tools will offer no less. For more information visit us at rswww.com/IR THE POWER MANAGEMENT LEADER Continued page 14 >12 TITlE nOVEMBER 2009 eTech - ISSUE 2 13
  • 8. “ Modules are a highly competitive market, andprices are coming down all the time. Many useChip-on-Board technology, so that the completemodule ends up coming in as small as - orsometimes smaller than - the packaged IC.John FairallDirector, RF Solutions ”< Continued from page 13 products based on all of the major standards, help the developer, they are best avoided need to do is squirt data in and RF comes out, ” Energy Harvesting for high volume designs, where the team and his advice is that developers shouldn’t by development teams without RF design according to Fairall. A particularly neat idea is to harvest energy has access to the appropriate expertise. InThe task of adding wireless communications to a systemmay appear daunting, with the RS website necessarily adopt any of them. “The major benefit of choosing an independent standard is that it offers access to a wider market. For experience. “RF design is full of pitfalls, and unexpected things like the density of the fibreglass mounting board can be a real issue, ” Proprietary solutions A wide range of low-power applications just from the surrounding environment to power a wireless link, eliminating the need to use a batter altogether. This makes the system most cases, modules offer the shortest time to market and the lowest design risk, usually with no or very little penalty in terms of size,listing support for no less than eight different a system where you control both ends, all says Fairall. “ reference design simplifies the A need simple point-to-point or networked entirely maintenance-free and reduces costs power consumption and bill of materials cost.standards, as well as several proprietary four of the major standards will burden you development for a suitably qualified specialist. communications, that can be run from a by eliminating the need for wires of any form. Truthfully,the latest modules make it easy toalternatives. Which of these multiple with features and performance that you don’t Those choosing this path should either lean on battery. Such applications include alarm and EnOcean GmbH develops and manufactures incorporate a wireless link into almost anyalternatives is the best for any given project, need, and will probably be more costly than a the supplier for enough application support to security products and home automation. Using such self-powered wireless sensors, which electronics product at low cost and with littleand what are the implementation challenges? proprietary solution, he says. ” troubleshoot their design, or expect to hire in a proprietary solution leaves the developer harvest heat or light from the environment, design effort. a consultant to advise on its completion. This ” in complete control of the whole system, or the energy used for example to depress aThe candidates He continues, “However, if your product requirement probably makes the discrete path eliminating the commercial and technical switch to generate enough electricity to allowFor the purposes of this discussion, we’re needs to communicate with a laptop or to uneconomic for products with volumes of less downsides of allowing customers to introduce the transmission of a short pulse of control data.going to assume that the requirement is for surf the web through an access point, then than 10,000 pieces per annum. third-party products into the mix. Their self-powered wireless switches consumewireless communications with a range of wireless LAN is a great idea. If it needs to Texas Instruments SimpliciTITM network about 50 µWs for a complete command which10-100m, with the capability to penetrate solid connect to a mobile phone, Bluetooth would In truth, though, with the outstanding module protocol is one example of the low-power RF takes less than one millisecond, and has a rangeobjects. For short range line-of-sight data or be an excellent choice. Similarly, ZigBee is solutions currently emerging, there is little need protocols available for simple, small RF of 300 meters in the open. If this sounds tooremote control applications, there is a range of building critical mass in home automation, to brew your own. Fairall continues, “Modules networks (less than 100 nodes). Designed good to be true, take a look at the Trial Packsolutions based on infra-red that can be readily sensor networks and remote metering, and are a highly competitive market, and prices are for easy implementation with minimal offered by RS (stock number is 189-065).accessed. Longer range connections normally RFID is widely used in logistics. If these are coming down all the time. Many use Chip-on- microcontroller resource requirements itrequire the use of the cellular infrastructure, your target markets, and interoperability would Board technology, so that the complete module runs out-of-the-box on TI’s low-power Conclusionwhich is a whole subject in its own right. be attractive to your customers, then that ends up coming in as small as or sometimes microcontrollers and RF transceivers. Despite For a great many customers looking for aOn this basis, the main alternatives are should drive the decision. ” smaller than the packaged IC. ” the modest resources required, SimpliciTI simple point to point or point to multipoint link,WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, RFID or proprietary network protocol supports peer-to-peer a proprietary protocol offers the simplest andsolutions. According to John Fairall, Director Implementation Modules can be highly configurable, with communication, the option to use an access lowest cost solution. The major standards, WiFi, For the latest information onof the company RF Solutions, the main All of these technologies are offered as parameters including frequency selectable by point to store and forward messages and range Bluetooth, ZigBee and RFID are only needed if wireless technology availableparameters to consider are power, physical discrete components or modules. Although the customer. Some offer standard RS-232 extenders to extend the range of the network the market demands them. Either way, it is only from RS, visit the Electronics Centresize, range and data rate. RF Solutions offers vendors usually offer reference designs to interfaces. “With the smart versions, all you to four hops. worth considering discrete implementations at rswww.com/electronics14 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 15
  • 9. A bright future for IGBT IGBTrenewable High-side Q1 Q2 IGBTs DC supply AC-out (Solar Inverter, L1 C1 battery) C2energy L2 AC-out IGBT IGBT Q3 Q4 Low-side IGBTs The potential for photovoltaic solar energy is high but requires careful design consideration in order to Fig.1 The solar-power inverter taps high voltage IGBTs in attain maximum efficiency. a full-bridge topology Conservation in general is now high on the global agenda and as part of the due to the removal of a single point of failure outweighs the higher unit price over the system’s lifetime. (typically 50 or 60Hz). This effectively means that, during the positive half-cycle, Q1 is pulse- width modulated at 20kHz while Q4 remains overall drive for efficiency, the momentum on (Q2 and Q4 are off) and, similarly for the behind alternative forms of renewable energy Both centralised and distributed topologies negative half-cycle, Q2 is modulated and Q3 is growing. One of the most viable and buoyant have their merits but both share the need remains on (Q1 and Q4 are off). Clearly, the technologies is solar power derived from for efficient inverter technology. Without an characteristics of the high-side and low-side photovoltaic cells. There are now numerous efficient inverter, any gains made through IGBTs differ based on this architecture, so it is examples of how PV energy can be employed; improving the system’s performance could important to choose devices from a supplier from portable phone chargers, to arrays of be in vain. However, the requirements of who understands these requirements. solar roof panels generating enough energy to the inverter(s) used will differ based on the supply a home or small business. topology and it is here that the technology International Rectifier’s (IR) portfolio of IGBTs within the inverter plays a key role. and MOSFETs provides for this scenario, The latter is the subject of much interest at as Figure 1 shows. For the high-side IGBTs, the moment, as efficient installations are The input voltages to the inverter will depend switching time is crucial and so selecting a fast capable of supplying surplus energy back into on the topology chosen and, in turn, the switching IGBT can minimise switching losses. the power grid under the right circumstances, efficiency of the inverter will depend on its A new range of IGBTs launched recently thereby providing not only a form of renewable design based on those system requirements. by IR, the 600V Trench IGBTs, have been energy for the owner, but also a modest return It is well established that insulated-gate bipolar optimised for high-side switching at 20kHz on investment. However, along with much transistors, or IGBTs, offer advantages for this and target inverters used in uninterruptable interest there is also much debate, as the type of inverter design. These devices present power supplies (UPS) and solar panel inverters. deployment of PV technology is susceptible the best of field effect transistor (FET) and In fact, using these devices can deliver up to to losses at various stages in the power chain. bipolar junction transistor (BJT) technologies in 30% efficiency gains in these applications. To combat this, manufacturers throughout the a single device; allowing them to be controlled supply chain are becoming polarised over the by a voltage, as with a MOSFET, but offer the The low-side devices need not be optimised best system architecture to implement. higher current-passing capabilities of BJTs. for switching speed in the same way and in As a result, their use in power delivery has this application the recommended devices The power generated by solar panel arrays is increased rapidly and while there is now a would be standard speed IGBTs, constructed a direct current and so using PV technology wide range of IGBTs to choose from, it is clear from a planar process as opposed to the to supply an AC voltage at mains power levels that one size does not fit all applications. This is trench devices used for the high-side. These requires a DC-AC inverter. A debate rages illustrated not only by the differences between devices have been optimised for low speeds over how best to implement the inverter inverters within a centralised or distributed and low conduction losses and therefore technology: Centralised or distributed? topology, but the optimised selection of the represent the most efficient solution. IGBTs within those inverters. With a distributed approach (which is gaining The use of PV solar panels is increasing rapidly, favour over the more traditional centralised To create the AC waveform, the DC input yet the technology offers a great deal of topology) a dedicated inverter is positioned from a solar cell or battery passes through a scope in terms of efficiency improvements. close to each solar panel’s output. The main full-bridge inverter, as shown in Figure 1. This Developing more efficient inverters is a critical benefit of this approach is that no individual requires four high-voltage IGBTs; Q1 and Q2 stage in the advancement of PV technology, as cell’s performance can negatively impact (referred to as ‘high-side’), and Q3 and Q4 well as other forms of renewable energy. the overall system’s performance – a major (referred to as ‘low-side’) transistors. criticism of the centralised approach. While the duplication of inverters does carry a higher One technique to create the AC sine wave cost, advocates of the distributed approach is to pulse-width modulate the high-side For more on IR’s portfolio of IGBTs argue that the increased efficiency coupled transistors, at 20kHz, and commutate the low- and MOSFETs for PV technology, with the improvement in system reliability side IGBTs at the desired power grid frequency go to rswww.com/ir16 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 17
  • 10. In our increasingly portable world,reducing power consumption, weight andcost conflicts with the need to provide asophisticated user interface on even the COnnECT  COnFIGURE simplest measurement or test system. Themobile phone industry is a wonderful proving COnTROl YOUR SERIAl DEVICESground for new technologies that can Serial data is still used for many industrial and Featuresreconcile these conflicting requirements, and machine control tasks, but with demands for greater control and remote access the • RS422 Full duplex. RS485 4 wire full duplex or 2 wire half duplex with Autogating,OlED display technology is the latest idea growth in Ethernet usage continues apace. automatic control of data directionthat was pioneered in this market and is now Brainboxes have the solution with a simple • Support for 5,6,7 or 8 data bits for , to install Ethernet to serial converter which maximum system compatibilitybeing offered to the general display user. allows RS-232 or RS-485 based control • Support XON/XOFF software flow control systems to transmit data via a local Ethernet and parity bits network and even further. • Ethernet port is auto-sensing 10/100Mbit with normal or crossover operation The ES-357 Ethernet to Serial device server • Power input range from 5-30Vdc makingOlED – provides access to one RS232 and one it suitable for all applications RS422/485 serial port via any Ethernet • Compact dimensions - 90x62x25mm network. With support for data transfer baud (not including mounting ears or connectors) rates up to 230,400, coupled with software support for multiple network protocols For datasheets and to see the full including DHCP TCP IP and HTTP it delivers , , range of serial data solutions for uncompromising performance. Brainboxes available visit rswww.comthe backlight-free and search for ‘668-5506’.display option METCAl MX-5000 SOlDERInG SYSTEMSOlED explained active matrix OLED display is The new MX-5000 Series Soldering and More power. With nearly double theOLED is an emissive typically 50µs versus 25ms of Rework System is the next generation of power of its predecessor, the MX-5000 MX-5041 PRECISIOn TWEEZERS,technology, each pixel emitting LCD, meaning full motion-video the trusted Metcal Soldering Systems that time to recovery increases production SOlDERInG AnD REWORK SYSTEMits own light – so when it is is smoother and greyscale will enable you to increase productivity rates and throughput. Combines both the Metcal Advanced™ Hand-off, it produces no light and rendition is far superior. and process control for a wide range of piece and the Precision Tweezers Hand-piece,consumes virtually no power. applications with these new features: Improved ergonomics. A new Metcal users get maximum application flexibility forUnlike backlit LCD displays lower cost Advanced™ Hand-piece for soldering and soldering and reworking the widest range oftherefore, OLEDs produce a OLED manufacturing capacity rework is carefully designed to decrease surface mount components.true black, and their contrast globally is limited, and the operator fatigue and enhance the operator RS Part number: 675-0701ratio is much higher, typically displays are manufactured in manual dexterity.10,000:1 compared with 400:1 much lower volumes than LCDs Despite its higher price and other issues such as shorter MX-5051 SOlDERInG, DESOlDERInGfor an LCD display. They are at the moment. Accordingly, lifetimes, OLED adoption is growing rapidly. iSupply forecasts Greater process control. SmartHeat® AnD REWORK SYSTEMalso brighter, partly because OLED displays are currently an eight-fold increase in take-up between 2009 and 2015 and Technology in every MX-5000 means that For unmatched rework versatility, the MX-they don’t require the polarizers sold at a premium to LCD LG has announced a 15” TV using OLED instead of TFT LCD. soldering and rework are always performed 5051 addresses through-hole desoldering,which filter out up to half the products. The manufacturing Designers can keep abreast of this new technology and evaluate at safe, controlled temperatures. general soldering, and SMD reworklight from the backlight with an process is in fact simpler it in their own project with the expanding RS range of displays applications. The system incorporates theLCD display. though, so eventually, they are from the world’s leading OLED manufacturers including 4D MX-5010 SOlDERInG Metcal Advanced Hand-piece and the Metcal expected to be much lower in Systems, Bolymin, CMEL, Powertip and Univision. AnD REWORK SYSTEM DS1 Desoldering Hand-piece.Aesthetically OLED is better cost than other comparable Configured with the Metcal Advanced™ RS Part number: 675-0704than LCD. OLED not only display technologies. One RS now offers displays, both active and passive matrix, Hand-piece, this system is highly effectiveachieves increased brightness variant, Polymer-OLED can spanning a range of sizes (0.79” to 7.6”) and resolutions for soldering applications including: lead-free,and contrast, but offers a much be printed onto almost any (64x48 to 800x480). high mass components or boards, thermallywider viewing angle - up to 170 substrate with inkjet printer sensitive components requiring low operatingdegrees up/down and left/right, technology, meaning ultra-thin temperature, high volume productioncompared to 150 degrees on displays become achievable, soldering and touch-up soldering operations.all but the most advanced TFT with the potential for roll-up See the latest displays and evaluation kits online RS Part number: 675-0691LCDs. The response time of an displays in the future. at rswww.com/electronics18 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 19
  • 11. scaling, to the point of a Deep Sleep state, where the clock can be stopped completely. Through these low power modes, the Atom is now capable of operating at levels comparable with other processors targeting deeply embedded applications. ARM, of course, has always pioneered low power technology, which may, in part, account for its success in mobile phones. As its architectures have increased in performance, it has striven to maintain that reputation but it is clear that the application software has a significant impact on the overall system performance. Software Developing software for an Intel Atom is, arguably, much simpler than developing software for other deeply embedded processors, because it is Windows-compatible. This means it can run the same operating system used by the majority of desktop computers, so porting an application developed on a PC to an Atom based hardware platform should be relatively straightforward. It does require that the OEM purchases a Windows licence for every unit deployed, however, which may not be commercially viable. But there is an alternative. Windows Embedded Standard is the componentised version of Windows XP and is comprised of around 12,000 individual software components. This allows for an optimised software environment which contains only those components necessary for a given application, making the platform more reliable. Windows Embedded Standard also carries a lower licencing fee than a desktop product (although there are restrictions on how it may be used). The eco-system surrounding the ARM architecture is much larger in terms of solutions targeting embedded applications and so offers potentially even more scope for an optimised solution. This, coupledVYInG with the vast number of semiconductor vendors supporting the ARM architecture, may present a more attractive solution for OEMs targeting Within the embedded engineering sector, ARM and Intel are rarely considered competitors because ARM is a RISC based architecture and, predominantly, they are active in different deeply embedded applications, many of which fall in to the industrial sector – an area where the Intel architecture has seen some success in the form of Single Board Computers (SBCs). application areas. But with the increased interest in 32-bit architectures SBCsFOR YOUR within the deeply embedded space, ARM and Intel are now competing against each other and a vast number of other potential solutions, for a Applications within the industrial sector are the ‘sweet spot’ for SBC wide range of applications. vendors, but it’s interesting to learn that until the advent of the Atom processor, Intel devices didn’t support the industrial temperature ARM offers a large family of processor cores, which have been licensed specification. This meant that Intel based SBCs for industrial applications by over 40 partners – the majority of which are semiconductor vendors. needed to either be screened for compliance with the industrial As a result, an increasing number of ARM-based microcontrollers are temperature specification, or be cooled – both of which represent anATTEnTIOn appearing on the market, covering a range of processing performance increased cost. However, the Atom is the first Intel IA-32 processor to and peripherals. ARM also has a reputation for being a low power be supplied to industrial temperature specification, which means its solution, which in the embedded space always features high won the use in SBCs has escalated. Such as the offering launched by RS from ‘must have’ list. Congatec and AValve. Under these conditions, how can a processor developed for the desktop ARM based devices are developed by semiconductor vendors to meet computing sector hope to compete? The answer is it couldn’t, which the industrial specification, making them much more accessible in this is partly why Intel developed the Atom. While it retains the same IA-32 application area. Many vendors support their ARM implementations instruction set, the Atom has a number of features that make it more with hardware and software development kits.Choosing the right 32-bit architecture for your applicable to the embedded market. By considering the demands of the market, the relative merits of both the Atom and an ARM solution can When choosing a 32-bit processor architecture, there is an increasingnext embedded development now presents be identified. number of vendors competing for the same design wins, manyan even wider challenge. of which will be ARM based, many of which may use proprietary Power core. Only one will be Intel based, but with its renewed focus on Until relatively recently, the question of power meant different things embedded applications, the Atom deserves to be compared against to Intel and ARM; for the former it meant processing performance, for the rest. Ultimately, while ARM, Intel and others continue to develop the latter it meant battery conservation. Today, neither company is in leading edge solutions for the embedded space, it is the engineering any doubt that low power operation is important. Both companies now community at large who will remain the winner. implement voltage and frequency scaling technology, Intel calls this SpeedStep technology and in the Atom this has been further extended Visit rswww.com to see the latest ARM development kits, to what it calls ‘enhanced low-power states’ (C1E, C2E and C4E). These ATOM processors and ATOM based SBCs from Cangatec are sequentially more extreme states of frequency and core voltage and AValve.20 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 21
  • 12. et The big FPGA houses enthuse about their flagship high-performance devices to anyone who will listen, but innovations among the low and mid-range devices le he ip have much more to offer engineers tackling general-purpose designs. T F h The the s word FPGA encourages CPLD properties such as high pin-to-pin on production boards against alternatives thoughts of hugely complex performance and instant-on functionality. such as ASSPs and microcontrollers. In devices offering the ultimate in resources Lattice, for example, has positioned its addition, new generations of development g ind and performance to a minority of specialist LatticeXP architecture for high-volume, low- tools, including fast-starter kits, evaluation designers able to exploit them. But behind cost applications by using a combination boards, application-specific boards and eh la the flagship silicon, mainstream FPGAs are of SRAM and Flash technology and reference designs are also emerging to b a competitive design option for general- optimising the feature set to include further reduce the barriers to FPGA design purpose applications demanding low configurable serial and parallel ports, on- starts in the general-purpose space. F power, low cost and high performance. chip PLLs, embedded block RAM, and a Family-specific kits such as Xilinx’s Low- combination of logic-only and combined cost Spartan-3A development kit, as FPGA vendors are competing hard to logic/RAM blocks. well as application-oriented products such conquer general-purpose markets. as the Altera USB-Blaster™ kit, usually Each of the major suppliers – Xilinx, There is also a noticeable difference in provide everything the designer needs Altera and Lattice – is positioning security mechanisms, compared to high- to get started. They also take advantage low-cost, low-power device families performance devices typically featuring of each vendor’s well-established and supported by easily accessible on-chip AES encryption/decryption. robust FPGA design software, which development kits allowing Techniques such as Xilinx’s Device DNA walk engineers through a methodical and engineers to implement design-level security provide lower-cost easy to understand sequence to complete relatively straightforward protection against threats such as reverse the design. designs benefiting from engineering, cloning, tampering, or the fast time to market overbuilding. Device DNA, using principles A key characteristic of the new breed of and efficient lifetime- similar to those of a cash machine development tools supporting the latest management achievable transaction, is designed specifically to be ultra-competitive FPGA families is a low through FPGA-based design. effective in cost-sensitive, high-volume purchase price. The selling prices allow applications. Connectivity is a central many of these kits to be ordered without Features Philosophy aspect of many embedded designs, and requiring purchase authorisation, effectively Features conceived to target the enormous bandwidth requirements can range from making access to FPGA technology as variety of cost- and power-sensitive low-data-rate serial communications, easy as starting a microcontroller design. opportunities in industrial, scientific, through industrial Ethernet speeds, to medical and some consumer applications Gigabit Ethernet and higher. Flexible Unprecedented Accessibility include specialised on-chip functions, connectivity is a known FPGA strength, Low-to-mid-range FPGAs are now more power-management features, and low-cost and families such as the Xilinx Spartan-3 accessible than ever for general-purpose packages. Whereas the largest FPGAs and LatticeXP2 families deliver high applications. RS supports engineers require multiple power rails to support bandwidth per price by supporting looking to take advantage of these features diverse system-on-chip functions, today’s high-speed I/O standards such as LVDS in new designs, by increasing access general-purpose devices such as the Xilinx enabling off-chip communications at to general-purpose devices, simplifying Spartan-3A and Altera Cyclone® IV families high Mbit/s rates. purchasing even for small quantities, and simplify power distribution by operating supporting low-cost starter kits from all the from only two power rails thereby helping For applications requiring higher major FPGA vendors. to save cost, engineering time and board bandwidth, Altera’s Cyclone® IV family space. FPGAs are regarded as being and Xilinx Virtex-6 provide integrated relatively heavy users of power, but transceivers enabling communication at up FPGA vendors are closing the gap using to 3.125Gbit/s suitable for protocols such “ innovations and process improvements. as Gigabit Ethernet, PCI Express, Serial A key characteristic of the As a result there is now a growing body RapidIO® and XAUI. At the same time, Altera claims that Cyclone IV consumes new breed of development of general-purpose FPGA devices that provide a viable upgrade path for CPLD- up to 30% less total system power than comparable devices requiring tools supporting the latest ultra- based designs. In the past, designers have had to balance the extra flexibility an external transceiver. competitive FPGA families is a and performance of an FPGA against low-Cost Tools ” factors such as higher cost and complexity. By optimising device performance, Our FPGA range is growing rapidly. low purchase price. But designers can now get the best of features and cost, FPGA vendors have Go to rswww.com/electronics to both worlds without trading valuable delivered silicon that can compete for slots see the latest additions.22 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 23
  • 13. be determined, and the signals more designs can utilize the 3, which has a 0.1% voltage choices in how a design can can be read by an oscilloscope money savings from using these reference. In this case, the be accomplished and allows effectively turning the analogue devices as systems-on-chips. external reference is not needed. for unique methods to solve front end into a reference design. The ADC can use the internal a problem. The thermocouple If the design effectively uses a A digital cooking thermometer reference for measurement so example discussed shows how mixed-signal microcontroller to is a good example of how new the designer does not need to various levels of mixed-signal condition the analogue signal high-precision mixed-signal worry about accounting for the microcontrollers can solve then it renders that design into a microcontrollers can provide a additional setup to accurately an issue, and how the newer black box situation. A competitor concise solution over previous read a thermocouple, which generations allow an even trying to determine how an generations. In this example, is shown in Figure 2. If the more simplified design. analogue signal is being handled a type K thermocouple will be device being used also has Mixed-signal microcontrollers only sees the input into the used for the temperature probe, a high-resolution ADC, then are becoming more prevalentThe Joy of Precision Analogue: device and has no insight into the components used, how they are which provides an output of ~40µV/ºC. Since the output is the amplification stage can be removed since the conversion in a wide variety of designs, and the latest generation of these True System- interconnected, or their settings. small for the range needed, a will provide enough granularity devices, with their increased Good designs utilize novel very precise reference is required of the signal. The Cypress PSoC analogue performance, validates methods to solve a problem; to accurately capture the signal. 3 device has a 20-bit Delta- this growth. on-Chip smart designs employ novel The thermocouple output is Sigma ADC which can measure means to protect their IP . an absolute measurement, a 1.0V range signal down to so a cold junction reading 1µV. The use of a high-precision Another benefit of certain mixed- is required as well, which is mixed-signal microcontroller Performance signal microcontrollers, such as performed by a thermistor (as a allows designers to spend less Cypress’ PSoC 3 and PSoC 5 thermistor provides a ratiometric time on the design, as it is less devices, is that they solve worries measurement). complicated. This in turn saves on routing signals. When board space and money. laying out traces on a PCB, Previous generations of mixed- By Aaron Gl Podbelski, senior product marketing engineer, designers need to take signal microcontrollers required Overall, new generations of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. careful consideration of the use of some external mixed-signal microcontrollers noise-inducing signals components to properly measure allow designers to simplify As systems increase in complexity, and properly shield a thermocouple. Because their designs, protect their IP, sensitive ones. the internal voltage reference reduce the need for external engineers have a need to incorporate The software tools inside of older mixed-signal components, and increase more components, both analogue used to program these microcontrollers is accurate to the amount of value they are RS has a wide devices automatically route 3% on average, an external receiving from a device. The range of mixed signal and digital, into a single device while all the internal signals to provide precision reference is required. A increased quality of the analogue microprocessors now maintaining the integrity of the design. the optimal integrity for analogue 0.1% accurate voltage reference components in these devices available. To find out more, new mixed-signal microcontrollers signals, so a system designer is commonly used for this provides designers with more visit rswww.com/electronics has more time to focus on other purpose. The voltage reference are emerging which integrate more portions of the project. is used as a scale reference point precision analogue components thanprevious generations. Utilizing these next Previous generations of mixed-signal chip. By incorporating ADCs, DACs, comparators, mixers, amplifiers, filters, and voltage In general mixed-signal microcontrollers allow for and is fed into the controller’s ADC as well as into the thermocouple input. The ADC Thermocouplegeneration mixed-signal microcontrollers microcontrollers allowed for an references a single mixed- cost savings in a design. The then alternates between reading Amp allow for designs which reduce BOM Thermistor 14-bit ADC Processing increased level of integration in a signal microcontroller can be integration of ADCs, DACs, the thermocouple and the voltage Core costs, save board space, protect IP , design, but often those featured the complete analogue front comparators, amplifiers, reference in order to provide analogue components did not end of a design and the control mixers, voltage references, a proper reading. Because the 0.1% VREF and provide more flexibility for change have enough precision for many system. A design could have the analogue MUXs, etc., provide thermocouple’s output is small, throughout the design process. now designs. Low-end analogue input of two sensors, amplify a BOM reduction. As a device an amplifier may be used to Previous Generation Mixed Signal Microcontroller designs benefited from the and condition the signals, then incorporates more commonly increase the signal depending mixed-signal microcontrollers have integration, but mid- and high-end quantify them to be displayed used analogue components, then on the resolution of the ADC. Figure 1: Block diagram of a thermocouple reading based on lessADCs with a precision upwards of 20-bits, designs still required external on an LCD that is directly driven the external components are The output of the thermistor precise mixed-signal microcontrollers. amplifiers with lower offset voltages, analogue components. Newer by the device. An example of obviously not needed and money is read as a thermal reference generations of mixed-signal this would be a temperature is saved. In the same respect, and the output of the and 0.1% voltage references. microcontrollers have improved compensated gas meter, a design as these components are no thermocouple is added to Thermocouple their analogue components, and which would be a complete longer on the board, the PCB can this measurement. Figure 1 therefore are allowing mid- and system-on-a-chip. be reduced in size to save more shows this setup. Processing some high-end designs to take money. Additionally, with fewer Thermistor 20-bit ADC Core advantage of the benefits of a One of the main benefits of using components on the board, routing For the new mixed-signal device incorporating both digital a mixed-signal microcontroller is simplified, allowing a designer microcontrollers the setup for 0.1% VREF and analogue signals. is analogue IP protection. A to worry less about noise issues measuring a thermocouple’s complex analogue design which with traces and spend less output is far simpler. Some Next Generation Mixed The more capable the mixed- uses individual components design time. As mixed-signal of these mixed-signal Signal Microcontroller signal microcontroller is, can be reverse-engineered microcontrollers start to increase microcontrollers have a highly the more likely the design by competitors. The list of the precision and accuracy of the accurate voltage reference, Figure 2: Block diagram of a thermocouple reading base on new high can be a true system-on-a- components used can easily included analogue components, such as Cypress’ PSoC precision mixed-signal microcontrollers.24 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 25
  • 14. DESIGn DESIGnTIPS TIPS In ASSOCIATIOn WITH the tone control has a steeper response. C1 C2 Components R9 and C4 have the same 68p 180n functions for the mid frequency control as R6 and C7 for the low and high controls. C3Part 2: Power in the Pocket R3 R4 P2 R5 10k 2k2 2k2 has the same function as C2, but filters the 10k lin. high frequencies much later. Together with C8 2 R6 68p C4 it sets the range of the mid control. In the 15k P1 R12 1 end, the control ranges of the mid and highPOCKET PREAMP IC1A 1M 3 adjustments are not only determined by, for R1 R2 6 example, the ratio of P3 to R7 and R8, but the 10k R13 log. R9 7 other components in the feedback circuit also 220k IC1B 100R 3k3 5 play a role. That is why the ratios between 4k7 P3 and P4 to R7/R8 and R10/R11 are greater C7 C4 IC1=NE5532 than would be expected from the actual R7 6n8 P3 27n R8 control ranges. The low tone control has quite +9V 1k5 1k5 a wide bandwidth, because we assume C9 R10 10k lin. R11 that small loudspeakers will be used. If this 100n 8 C3 tone control is going to be used with a larger 0 IC1 1k 1k 4 amplifier and speakers, a larger value for C2 C10 4n7 100n C5 P4 C6 may result in a better sound. Output resistor -9V R13 prevents problems in the event 27n 10k lin. 27n 080278 - 11 an excessive capacitive load is connected. Power supply Figure 1. The preamplifier is quite straightforward for a volume control with triple-band tone control. The power supply is symmetrical. This way we can avoid relatively large coupling capacitors and their detrimental effects on sound quality. amplifier stage (IC1a) is non-inverting and has a and R5 determine the minimum and maximum The disadvantage is that a negative supply gain of 4 times as calculated from: control range respectively. The maximum gain voltage is required. The easiest solution is a for example is: circuit that inverts the positive power supply. R3 / R2+1 (P2+R5) / R4 We selected a DC/DC converter from Maxim, At a supply voltage of ±9 V, a signal of more the ICL7662 (see Figure 2). This IC works as a than 1 V (i.e. a little over 1.2 Veff) can be and amounts to about 5.5 times (15 dB, DC). charge pump and can operate with voltages processed without distortion, when the tone R6 is necessary so that the other frequencies up to 20 V. Pin-wise and functionally the IC isTon Giesberts (Elektor labs) controls are in their centre positions. It will be obvious that when either the high or the can be adjusted with P3 and P4. C7 primarily determines from which frequency the high compatible with the more common ICL7660, low tone control is at its maximum value, tone control operates. C5 and C6 ensure that Continued page 28 >The PWM power stage discussed in the previous edition of eTech can be used the maximum permissible input signal is a lot smaller at only 300 mV (for the applicableperfectly well on its own. But a matching preamplifier with power supply would frequencies, of course). At this point the outputcomplete this amplifier nicely. That is why this edition’s Mini Project presents of the tone control is just below the point of C9 C11the sequel: the Pocket Preamp. being overdriven (but it will already overdrive R1 C5 10u 100n 9V 8 the power amp, so take care!). L1 7 1 63V 0 V+ 100k OSC TEST 100n R3 The operation of the tone controller is not all 2 IC2 4 8 10uH CAP+ 7 C3 5 C10 C12 R difficult to understand. The part around IC1b DIS VOUT 1k R2 ICL7662CPA 9V C1 IC1 10u 63V 4 10u 100nIn the previous edition of this series of articles Main Specifications something wrong with the loudspeakers. is an inverting amplifier with three feedback 9V 9V 6 3 6 L2 100k GND THR OUT CAP- LV 63V R4 100nwe described a small PWM amplifier. What A control range of 12 dB means that, circuits connected in parallel for the tone 2 TLC555 1mH • 3-band tone control 3 TR C7 C8 1k CV C2is missing from this are tone and volume because of the relatively limited power of the control. Resistor R12 ensures that the output • Symmetrical supply 5 1 4u7 4u7controls. Since most people are spoilt these output stage, there is an imminent danger cannot swing to the power supply rail in the 100p 63V 63Vdays with surround sound systems equipped • Compact of overdriving it, particularly for the low and event of contact bounce by the wiper of P2. C6with an equalizer as an absolute minimum, middle frequencies. After all, an increase of Incidentally, R1 functions in a similar way for 8 • Connector layout matched 7 1 V+ OSC TEST 100nwe made this preamp with a 3-way tone 12 dB implies an increase in power by a volume control P1. C8 and C1 suppress RF 2 CAP+ IC3 to associated boards C4 5control, instead of the more customary factor of 16! (high frequency) interference. VOUT ICL7662CPAbass/treble control. 10u 63V 4 6 GND CAP- LV more than enough, because our ears are more The circuit P2 is the bass control. C2 determines the 3 080278 - 12Tone control sensitive to mid-range frequencies. The circuit The volume control (P1) is connected directly frequency range that will be controlled. SimplyThe tone control has an adjustment range of will also remain reasonably straightforward to the input of the preamplifier (see Figure 1). put, at higher frequencies, C2 effectively shorts±12 dB for the low and high frequencies and with these values. If these adjustment This is the best place to prevent the tone out P2. The amplification is then determined by Figure 2. A voltage converter is used to convert a single power supply voltage±9 dB for the mid frequencies. The latter is ranges are too small then there is very likely control stage from being overdriven. The first the ratio of R5 and R4. The ratios of P2 to R4 into a symmetrical power supply.26 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 27
  • 15. DESIGn DESIGnTIPS TIPS< Continued from page 27 Test results quite large; ±20 % is typical, and inevitably is as compact as possible. For a reliable Component list Component list The most interesting test results for the has an effect on the frequency ranges and mounting option you could consider a couplewhich can operate up to 10 V (the ‘ ’ version A tone controller are of course the individual maximum and minimum gains. With multiple of plastic supports with slots. The boards can Preamplifier board Power supply boardcan handle voltages up to 12 V). These parts frequency response curves for the tone channels the individual deviations can result in then be mounted one above the other. Thecan also be used here without any problems. adjustments. Figure 3 shows the maximum, audible differences. If you have the opportunity best order is the power supply board at theThe biggest advantage of this is the simplicity; minimum and neutral positions (the positions to check whether the individual channels of bottom, the tone control above that and theonly two external capacitors are required. of the bass and treble controls remain stereo potentiometers are matched then it power amplifier at the top.A small disadvantage is that the output unchanged). In the neutral position a slight is certainly recommended that you do this.voltage is not regulated. attenuation of less than 1 dB at 20 kHz can be With more than two channels, the use of (080278-1) seen. This is mainly caused by RF suppression rotary switches with multiple poles may beThe unloaded output voltage is equal to the capacitors C1 and C8. At 20 Hz the variation in considered, but this is an expensive solution.input voltage, but negative. As the output gain is ±14 dB (±12 dB at 40 Hz) and at 20 kHz Kit setcurrent increases the output voltage will it is about ±12 dB. Construction of the three boards As indicated in the parts list, you can orderreduce however. To increase the stability of The connections for the three boards have the bare printed circuit boards for thisthe output voltage two ICs are connected in The distortion with an input signal of 0.5 V is been placed in the same positions as much project from www.thepcbshop.com.parallel. If you load a single IC powered at 9 V less than 0.005 % (1 kHz, 22 kHz bandwidth, as possible. The output of the preamplifier iswith a resistance of 100 Ω, the output voltage volume control to maximum, tone controls to in the same corner as the input to the powerdrops to about –4.6 V. With two ICs in parallelthis drops to only –6.3 V. With your preamplifieras a load the output voltage drops only 0.35 V(the NE5532 draws about 7 mA). You could .5 +15also use other opamps that have a lower +12current consumption, but their quality +10 is often inferior; the NE5532 is anexcellent audio opamp. +8 +6In our prototype we initially connected four +4ICs in parallel, but with three or four not Resistors Resistors d +2much more is gained. There was however a B R1 = 220kΩ (159-004) RS P/N R1,R2 = 100kΩ (151-303) RS P/N r +0strange effect: the ripple in the output was R2 = 3.3kΩ (157-480) R3,R4 = 1kΩ (157-446)found to vary slowly between a minimum A R3 = 10kΩ (150-928) -3and a maximum value. This was caused by R4,R5 = 2.2kΩ (151-088) Capacitors -5the asynchronous operation of the internal R6 = 15kΩ (151-145) C1,C5,C6,C11,C12 = 100nF ceramic, -7oscillators. In addition, the frequency of this R7 = 1.5kΩ ,R8 (151-094) lead pitch 5mm (0.2”) (652-9995)power supply ripple was 10 kHz so it could -9 R9 = 4.7kΩ (151-000) C2 = 100pF lead pitch 5mm (0.2”) ,become audible. That’s why the ICs are -11 R10,R11 = 1kΩ (157-446) (405-7662)driven with an external clock furnished by a R12 = 1MΩ (151-123) C3,C4,C9,C10 = 10µF 63V radial -13555 IC. The frequency of the 555 is set to R13 = 100Ω (157-610) electrolytic, lead pitch 2.5mm (0.1”) -1540 kHz, so that the ripple at 20 kHz is just 20 50 100 200 500 1k 2k 5k 10k 20k P1 = 10kΩ potentiometer, (521-3504)outside the audible range. An advantage is Hz 080278 - 13 logarithmic (361-7033) C7 = 4.7µF 63V radial electrolytic, ,C8that the inductor in the output filter can be P2,P3,P4 = 10kΩ potentiometer, lead pitch 5mm (0.2”) (520-1040)much smaller, which results in a much smaller Figure 3. The curves show the effects of the different maximum settings of the tone control. linear (361-7033)resistance loss for this coil. The inductor we Inductorsused for L2 has a rated series resistance Capacitors L1 = 10µH axial (vertical mounting)of 12 Ω. L1 and L2 are standard axial noise (lead pitch 5mm / 0.2”) (191-0481) neutral). The current consumption of the entire amplifier. The power supply connections ofsuppression chokes, which are fitted upright C1,C8 = 68pF ceramic (653-0030) L2 = 1mH axial (vertical mounting) circuit is 56 mA at 9 V, 12 mA up on the PWM the preamplifier are in the same place as thehere. The latter is also true for the four resistors C2 = 180nF polyester / MKT (334-209) (191-0712) amplifier by itself. With an 8 Ω loudspeaker power supply outputs of the power supplyin the circuit; this saves space. C3 = 4.7nF polyester / MKT (312-1661A) and the amplifier overdriven slightly, the board. The 9-V input of the power supply board C4,C5,C6 = 27nF polyester / MKT Semiconductors current consumption peaks at about 162 mA. is looped directly to the two connections forWe won’t dwell on the circuit around the 555. (312-1447A) IC1 = TLC555 (DIP-8) (638-942) This really is too much for a 9 V battery. With the power amplifier. The position of theseIt is the standard astable configuration. IC1 C7 = 6.8nF polyester / MKT (622-4145) IC2,IC3 = ICL7662CPA+ (DIP-8) multiple channels we therefore recommend corresponds to the power supply connectionsdrives the clock inputs of the two converters, C9,C10 = 100nF polyester / MKT (Maxim IC) (207-0118) that you use an AC power adapter. of the power amplifier. On the power amplifier,each via a 1 kΩ resistor, to prevent potential (463-1765) next to the power supply connections, thereproblems at power-on (risk of latch-up). The Miscellaneous During the tests we didn’t actually use are also the connections for the power supplyripple across the filter capacitors C7 and C8, Semiconductors PCB # 080279-1 potentiometers for the tone controls, but switch (S1). This is only for the power amplifier.which are connected in parallel for a lower IC1 = NE5532 (DIP-8) (810-188) (www.thepcbshop.com) instead went for rotary switches and resistors. It is better to insert a switch in series with theseries resistance, is almost completely This is because the interest is mainly in the input to the power supply board. You can thenremoved by output filter L2/C10/C12. On an Miscellaneous performance at the neutral positions and at the short out the connections for S1.oscilloscope only a very small amount of PCB, # 080278-1 upper and lower limits. So, each potentiometerthe switching frequency of the power (www.thepcbshop.com) is reduced to two resistors and a rotary switch. Mounting holes were deliberately not includedamplifier can be seen. The tolerance of potentiometers is usually on all three of the boards so that everything28 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 29
  • 16. ESSEnTIAlS ESSEnTIAlS TIME ElECTROnICS 8-DECADE RESISTAnCE BOX Offers a wide resistance range for general laboratory work. ISO-TECH IDM91E MUlTIMETER lInDSTROM ® A cost-effective digital multimeter for TWEEZER SET n A high accuracy resistance box, with a low temperature day-to-day use. n Two-piece set of the most coefficient. Clear visual indication is provided with colour popular tweezers supplied in coded digits, and is ideal for Platinum Resistance Thermometer n This very popular multimeter has a largean ESD wallet. Items are hand simulation. A special multiple gold contact arrangement ensures 20mm digit high contrast display for clarity, crafted from stainless steel low contact resistance. Accuracy is 0.1% to 10% depending on as well as diode test, continuity beeper, DCto give perfect tip symmetry range, and zero residual resistance is less than 90mΩ. and AC Volts and Current measurement. Theand balance which ensures RS Online search term: 610-297 protective holster includes a tilt stand for use tips always meet and line on a bench, as well as storage for the test up perfectly. leads when not in use. RS Online search term: RS Online search term: 159-2140 POlYURETHAnE 361-3104 POTTInG COMPOUnD n Twin pack format enables mixing of the resin and hardener within the bag thus preventing air entrapment and providing ease of application for user. This dark grey, two part flexible encapsulant is designed to provide environmental protection whilst not causing component stress by shrinkage during RS UlTRAnE 550 curing process. Cure time is 16 hours at 25°C and once cured is flame HAnD PROTECTIOn retardant and gives good adhesion to a wide variety of materials. RS Online search term: 199-1395 For use in assembly, finishing, clean room and electronics manufacturing. n With excellent abrasion resistance for enhanced durability, superior breathability thanks to the material, enhanced finger sensitivity due to the reduced ElECTROnIC CUTTERS thickness, and a hand-specific design providing precise n lindstrom® are well known within the electronics fit. To EN388 4131. Supplied in bags of 10. DInO-lITE industry to be of the highest quality. They are made RS Online search term: 475-849 (small), to exacting standards using the finest quality COMPACT DIGITAl 475-823 (medium), 475-855 (large) materials and are used in high-end electronics MICROSCOPES application such as aviation, computer, Ideal for electronics assembly, repair telecoms and medical. and quality inspection. RS Online search term: lindstrom cuttersn Dino-Lite is a compact digital microscope with a lot of new possibilitiescompared to the traditional microscope. The Dino-Lite can be connected to a computer and allows you to record moving and still images.Dino-Lite comes in different versions, developed for specific applications. AC DIGITAlDepending to the version, magnification ranges from ~10 to 200 to 500x. VOlTMETER/ LED lights are built-in, in white, polarized, and ultraviolet combinations. AMMETER Most versions have calibration and measuring options, and housings n A 3 & ¾ digital display PRECISIOn ClEAnInG EQUIPMEnT are either composite or aluminium alloy. with 40 segment bar n RS has a full range of products for use in precision RS Online search term: Dinolite graph. Available in both electronic applications from swabs and wipes to standard and negative BI-COlOUR BACKlIT lCD METER cleaning fluids and air dusters. We also have a wide lCD formats, with colour range of RS branded cleaning products to n A compact, panel mount, 3.5 digit lCD options of red, green and offers a cost effective but quality solution. 200mV FSD voltmeter with dual colour ‘stop/ white. Options available RS Online search term: go’ backlit display. During normal operation measuring AC & DC Precision cleaning equipment the display is green, however if the reading voltage up to 300Vdc exceeds a programmable threshold the display and current up to 40A. will turn red to warn operators. 48x48mm sizing makes them ideal for upgrade Easy setup via DIP switch and 2 buttons. Open- from older moving coil collector alarm output mirrors backlit status for panel meters. remote monitoring or process control. 40x72mm RS Online search term: panel cut-out and supplied complete with Trumeter *APM* mounting bezel and accessories. RS Online search term: 667-399130 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 31
  • 17. The (Hidden) PowerBehind the Test System Engineers typically feel little pressure to renew However, the latest models offer some important benefits and valuable using several power supplies. Agilent’s latest products include robust fault-detection capabilities, as well as Smaller is Better To save desk space and help engineers work more efficiently, Hameg has designed current at lower nominal levels. Thurlby Thandar Instruments (TTi) has responded to this by emphasising user-interface removed by applying impractical levels of filtering. Mixed-mode architectures feature in power supplies from most their trusty laboratory new features that help to reduce setup guaranteed specifications for its benchtop, its range to allow engineers to use one enhancements that help engineers achieve leading vendors. power supplies. Although and execution time and provide greater modular and application-specific PSUs, PSU to fulfil as much as 85% of the a valuable increase in control over the TTi has further developed this topology control and flexibility for testing modern giving engineers a high level of confidence general-purpose power supply instrument. The user interface of TTi’s new for its PowerFlex range, which uses a digital oscilloscopes assemblies. in the latest equipment. requirements they deal with on a daily PL series of PSUs, for example, has been modified form of mixed-mode regulation and function generators basis. Its HMP family comprises four designed to satisfy customers’ wishes for to provide higher levels of current when are frequently upgraded Design priorities for modern electronic products are changing, and these changes As another example, showing how the latest units can respond automatically units, offering two- and three-channel configurations, in 200W and 400W classes, equipment combining the stability of digital control with the simplicity and speed of the voltage is set to lower values. This is valuable for powering advanced, to test high-speed, affect the expectations placed on laboratory to protect the device under test (DUT) capable of supplying up to 40A. This traditional analogue control knobs. These high-performance equipment such as feature-rich new designs, PSUs. The consolidation of functionality in the event of a fault, the fuse-linking approach will allow some companies to provide true analogue control knobs but motherboards and rack-mount cards into ICs to reduce product size and cost and capability included in Hameg’s range of provide a PSU cost effectively on each also implement internal digital circuitry populated with low-voltage processors. engineers believing “they to add extra features, is increasing the need laboratory PSUs caters for boards having engineer’s desk. This can save the need to to perform functions such as locking don’t make them like this for engineers to perform actions such as interdependent power domains. In a laboriously retrieve and return equipment voltage and current settings at the press of Conclusion anymore” can be happy device characterization and validation on motor-control system, for example, if a from storage and will help companies a button to provide optimal security and While tried and tested equipment has its the bench. There is also a trend towards short circuit causes one supply rail for the avoid accumulating a large assortment of stability. Another important digital function attractions, engineers risk underestimating to connect the board to portable and battery-powered equipment, driver bridge to shut down, it is desirable different power supplies. allows users to define the output-voltage the contribution that modern laboratory the same PSU that has which is increasing the importance also to turn off the complementary supply. adjustment range. The instrument also PSUs can make to improving efficiency,served the department for of accurate measurement of power The PSU can be programmed to shut down On the other hand, buyers facing many then configures the control knob response streamlining test design and execution, consumption. these two rails while continuing to supply diverse requirements need flexibility and automatically so that one full turn of the saving capital expenditure and, ultimately, 20 years or longer. the controller board to and so allow the choice. Agilent, for example, can offer over knob will span the entire user-selected reducing time to market for new Precision Power circuit to be tested. 200 configurations including benchtop DC range. This function, called V-span, generations of products. Multiple output channels allow the PSU to supplies such as the single-output 601X, allows engineers to create a voltage be connected to modern boards that often Moreover, with the growth in markets 603X, 606X, 65XX, 66XX families as well source that is adjustable over a very have several power domains operating at for alternative energy sources, an as its N5700/N8700 compact, high-power small range, if required. different voltages, for example to supply increasing number of engineers need to system supplies in a variety of standard power-electronic components, analogue be able to test devices such as solar cell U sizes.This is one of the widest Mixed-Mode Regulation voltage rails, ICs operating from a variety of assemblies. PSUs such as the Hameg power-product ranges in the industry, PSU manufacturers have implemented voltage levels, or devices with independent HMP series cater for this growing need conceived to satisfy as many customers’ mixed-mode regulation to deliver core logic and I/O voltages. The latest by allowing users to create complex V/I needs as possible. the best aspects of both linear and models deliver a significant advantage profiles specific for each cell. The ability to switching principles. On the AC side, a over many older types by providing more simulate events such as brown-outs or the Enhancing Usability compact switching regulator performs flexible over-voltage and over-current injection of voltage or current peaks, or to Most of today’s circuit boards operate from efficient bulk power conversion. In the protection capabilities. PSUs offering individually program current versus time generally lower voltages than previous DC output channels however, precision independent over-voltage and/or over- behaviour for any channel, also allows generations. As far as laboratory PSUs linear regulators are used to produce a To see the full range of laboratory current settings, for individual outputs, engineers to create robust tests for are concerned, more precise control is stable, accurate voltage free of switching PSUs available from RS, visit allow engineers to power boards without battery-charging circuits. necessary to maintain stable voltage and harmonics that could otherwise only be rswww.com/electronics32 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 33
  • 18. Graphicaldisplay isa winner forPowelectricsA well structured user interface which makes imaginative Commenting, Glenn Jarrettuse of a flexible graphical display can be a huge advantage said, “To maintain the rate of innovation for which ourin the market, as Powelectrics found when they launched industry is justly famous,Metron2, an affordable telemetry outstation and the first of it is crucial to encourageits kind to feature a graphical display. The design netted young men and women to enter the electronicsthe company a significant global contract with a major engineering profession.multinational – and won its designer, Oliver Start, the Young These awards play a key part in recognising theEngineer of the Year award, sponsored by RS, at the British crucial role that they play. ”Engineering Excellence Awards. He continued, “Oliver Start took the Metron 2 project from concept, developed them into prototypes, and brought to production aAccordingto Powelectrics Sales Director reliable and functional telemetry system offering a great user experience can now be realised at just a few years of graduation and joining the company is an exceptional achievement. ” highly innovative solution that is already showing great commercial potential. He isDavid Oakes, the achievements low cost. Powelectrics consulted ” an excellent example ofin the design of the Metron2 extensively with users at all Powelectrics made extensive the kind of young engineerwere twofold. “Traditionally, levels at the final design of the use of the RS next day delivery we need to encourageindustrial products requiring menu system and the layout of service during the prototyping in industry. ”installation have a poor level of information on the display, a point phase of the Metron2 project.user feedback, which means which particularly impressed thethat the installer is working BEEA judges. According to Dave Oakes,almost blind. The LCD graphical “Like all designers, we exploredisplay on the Metron2 makes Glenn Jarrett, Head of many alternative options beforethe commissioning process clear Electronics Marketing from RS, specifying the display and otherand simple, using a logical menu congratulated Oliver Start on his key components. Slow arrival ofsystem. The display also offers success in the awards saying, samples can be a huge frustrationlocal access to measurements if “The user interface and other – and can add considerably torequired. he said. “ the same ” At features conceived by Oliver the time to market over thetime, Metron2 is designed to and developed by him to a tight life of a project. With RS, we cancompete at the price sensitive budget gave Powelectrics a be absolutely sure that anythingend of the GSM/GPRS telemetry significant advantage. Achieving we order from stock will bemarket. It proves that a compact, a design of this quality within with us the next day. ” eTech - ISSUE 2 35
  • 19. Quantum is the keyto beat fraudstersBy Richard nock, Bristol UniversityThe growth of Internet-based commerce has highlighted security limitationsin card transaction systems, leading to improvements in cryptographicstandards and techniques. However, the currency of conventionalcryptography is computing power; with enough computational ability,the key can be broken to enable fraudulent transactions.One such project aims to perfect a new generation of securitysystems for card transactions. In this article, the key’s security is not dependent on computational difficulty and computational time, QKD effectively takes the breaking of communication channel is via light. The Bristol system communicates through free space, but an optical fibre could be used. bits with matching bases is now the Key, and Bob shall transmit which ones matched back to Alice, again not transmitting the implementation whilst improving bit rate and key/basis storage space.Bristol University PhD student Richard key codes out of the realm of the quantum The system must also have a classical actual data. My next goal is to reduce the size and costNock describes his work with the Faculty computer and also provides a means for the channel, which could use a standard of the QKD system, in which Alice currentlyof Engineering’s Professor John Rarity communicators to detect an eavesdropper such as Ethernet/Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, The error rate is how we verify the QKD measures around 10cm x 12cm and Bob isand Dr Naim Dahnoun on the university’s in the quantum channel whilst generating RS-232 or similar, to carry non-secure channel is secure. Due to the physics of in a 19 inch rack mount case. The new BobQuantum Key Distribution (QKD) project, a key. This will allow banks and institutions communications. light, if an Eavesdropper (Eve) is passively will be reduced in cost and size by buildingwhich aims to provide a basis for secure to combat many types of fraud, including looking at the photons, she will disturb a DSP & FPGA based implementation. RSe-commerce capable of resisting attacks “Card Not Present” frauds, by enabling Light is encoded such that there are their state, losing any data encoded upon is providing development environmentsusing aggressive code-breaking algorithms. secure communications and money four polarizations 0°, 90°, 45° and 135°. them. Hence Eve’s presence increases the for the chosen DSPs, the Texas Instruments transfers using guaranteed-secure keys The 0° and the 90° polarizations are the error rate. Another exploit would be for C2000 and OMAP .The time is approaching when ultra- between the two parties. rectilinear bases with 90° representing a Eve to replicate a Bob receiver, and thenminiature processor circuitry will begin to logical zero and 0° representing a logical retransmit photons to the real Bob. It is still too early to predict exactlyfollow the rules of quantum physics, rather Quantum Key Distribution one. In a similar fashion 45° and 135° This would also introduce more errors when a QKD system could be viable atthan those of classical physics. At this My PhD is in researching and creating the are the diagonal bases with 45° and as Eve’s receiver will have to choose the consumer price points. Practically, currentpoint, quantum algorithms such as Shor’s technologies required for making a QKD 135° representing logical zero and one receiving basis randomly, which will also cryptography offers adequate security atalgorithm will be able to perform number- system plausible for consumer markets. respectively. Alice transmits random bits, increase the error rate. By monitoring of the a relatively low cost; hence QKD remainscrunching tasks such as those used to break The final aim of the research is to have a on random bases, and Bob receives by also error rate, we can ensure the bits we have largely an academic pursuit. In reality,security keys much more quickly than the system where QKD transmitter chipsets selecting at random the basis to measure between Alice and Bob are secure. however, the race between QKD andcomputers we know today; this will make could be embedded in phones, PDAs and in. After transferring a sufficiently large quantum computing is happening now,conventional cryptography obsolete almost other smart devices, to communicate with number of bits Alice uses the classical Research Objectives and the outcome is critically important toovernight. a corresponding receiver in Quantum channel to transmit the bases she used to Current development is on an FPGA and commerce and finance worldwide. Automated Teller Machines (ATM) allowing Bob. Bob then analyses the received data, Microcontroller-based Alice, and a BobQuantum Key Distribution (QKD) anyone to generate secured keys for use discarding data where they did not select receiver comprising an FPGA and ansystems establish a different currency for with facilities such as online shopping. the same bases. Alice should also release Embedded PC running Linux. Buildingcryptography, based not on computing part of the actual data she sent such that on earlier work by researchers in the If your university is interestedpower but on the physics of light. QKD A typical QKD system consists of the QKD Bob can estimate an error rate. This subset department, I have implemented some in working with RS and wouldprovides a means of generating a perfectly Transmitter, usually called Alice, and the of the key is then discarded as it has been improvements to the Alice transmitter like more information, emailsecure key between two parties. Because QKD receiver, known as Bob. The Quantum on a classical open channel. The remaining aimed at enabling a smaller, lower-cost etech@rs-components.com36 eTech - ISSUE 2 eTech - ISSUE 2 37
  • 20. Digital Oscilloscopes COnnECTORS FOR REnEWABlE EnERGY Mixed Signal MSO Xs-A 400 MHz – 1 GHz 4 Ch. + 18 Digital Channels 10 Mpts/Ch Renewable and sustainable electrical and electronic systems From are often characterised by high levels of DC current and the need WaveSurfer Xs-A for low energy losses. These requirements pose specific challenges 200 MHz – 1 GHz £ 9255 when it comes to developing interconnect and electromechanical up to 5 GS/s products for this market. In expanding its 35,000 strong portfolio of connectors from 70 suppliers, RS has introduced a number up to 10 Mpts/Ch of solutions aimed at this application area. WaveJet 300A From 100 MHz – 500 MHz £ 5785 Energy efficient lighting / VDE strain relief and should up to 2 GS/s Lighting in commercial and feature a safety clip that prevents domestic buildings uses a lot of unmating without the appropriate 500 kpts/Ch electricity and there is growing tool to meet NEC 2008 standards. interest in using LEDs as an The systems need to be low loss, energy efficient and long lasting so that as little as possible of the WaveAce 100/200 From light source. RS is supporting this application with a new family of hard-won renewable electricity is dissipated as heat downstream 40 MHz – 300 MHz £ 1965 Tyco hermaphroditic blade and receptacle wire-board and board- of the panel. Multi-Contact is a market leader in this field. up to 2 GS/s board connectors, supporting the Its solutions meet IEC 60529 increasingly popular strips of LED for protection of the contacts up to 20 kpts lights that are being produced to against accidental touching when give effect lighting and to replace unmated. A recently introduced fluorescent tubes. Rated at 6A innovation is a plug that interrupts and 125VAC/DC, they are ideal the flow of current when From for this class of applications. withdrawn and activates an £ 850 High DC Currents anti-arcing circuit. Sustainable systems such as electric and hybrid cars require small, light and cost-effective connectors that can cope with the very high DC currents. Tyco the manufacturer has extended and the inverter, often linking The New Oscilloscope Experience offers a broad range of multi-point the range with new versions multiple panels in the same contact systems that meet these addressing the needs of the installation. The requirement RS is continuing to expand specifications, from the cost latest applications. here is for a low loss, easy to use it’s connectors portfolio effective AMP MCP system to push in – pull out connector that to address renewable higher performance interfaces Solar energy meets the demanding safety and energy and many other with larger number of contact Solar energy is another environmental requirements of new applications. points. The Tyco Kilovac range of growing market with exacting this application. Each connector Visit rswww.com/electronics hermetically sealed contactors requirements to meet. Solar panel needs to be well protected to find a solution thatrswww.com/lecroy (relays) has been used in electric installations feature a series of against UV radiation and water addresses your specific vehicles for many years, and connectors between the module alike, have the required UL/ DIN requirements. eTech - ISSUE 2 39
  • 21. lUnCH lUnCHBREAK BREAK WIn Daily No. 1478 Easier a PS3 Slim 120GB 18 8 10 8 14 11 Name: Job Title: with our killer sudoku 7 16 19 Ship-To-Number: Tel: 13 23 17 How to play: E-mail: As with standard sudoku, every row and column and 3 x 3 square must contain the numbers 1 through 9 exactly once. 11 12 13 10 8 Send your completed Sudoku to: RS Components Ltd, eTech Team, DPN 24, Corby, Northamptonshire, The grid is composed of shapes with a dotted outline. NN17 9RS. All entries must be received by 1st June 2010 and the At the top of each shape is a number, this signifies 5 21 9 17 winner will be notified by the end of June 2010. the sum of the cell. For example; if there is a shape composed of two cells with a ‘3’ in the corner, Terms & Conditions: the total of those cells is ‘3’. From that you can This competition is being run by RS Components Ltd. To enter the 8 4 competition, all information on the entry form must be supplied. tell that the values of the cells must be ‘1’ Entry is free, no purchase is necessary. It is the responsibility of and ‘2’ or ‘2’ and ‘1’. the participant to gain permission from his/her employer to enter this competition. The prize is as stated. No cash alternatives are It is not permitted to repeat a number in a 12 10 13 10 available. The competition is open to all RS Components catalogue recipients, except employees of RS Components or their families. shape. If you have a sum of 8 across three cells, The closing date for entries is 01/07/2010. The date of the draw this cannot be ‘2’, ‘4’, ‘2’ as the ‘2’ is then repeated will be in the month of August 2010. The winner will be selected at in the shape. 9 18 12 13 random by RS Components and will be notified by 1st September 2010. Responsibility cannot be accepted for lost entries, damaged no numbers are placed in the grid to start with, unlike in normal or delayed in transit to the porters address. Illegible, altered or incomplete entries will be disqualified. Details of the prize winner sudoku; however you can work out every number with no guesswork 9 17 can be obtained from the promoter after the date of the draw by but applying logic alone to reach the unique solution for each puzzle. sending an SAE to RS Components, eTech Team, DPN 24, Corby, Northamptonshire, NN17 9RS or by visiting www.rs-components.com/etech. Copyright (c) 2009, killersudokuonline.comCorrectly match these IT-terms with the following descriptions: General technology fun Quiz AMAZOnED STORAGE CAPACITY EQUAl TO 200,000 BRITISH lIBRARIES 1 What does html stand for? 4 What home video title released 7 Only one of the stable chemical EXABYTE lOSInG OnES JOB TO OnlInE BUSInESS by Artisan Entertainment became elements is named after a person, a. the first publicly available DVD- which one? BETAMAXED 2 QUERY WORDS PRODUCInG OnlY OnE RESUlT 18? (That is, the first two-sided, 2 The world’s most powerful particle dual-layered disc.) a. SPAMISH SOFTWARE REQUESTInG A THAnK YOU REPlY accelerator is the lHC, what does a. ClICKS AnD MORTAR UnIT DEFInED AS 0.127mm OF MOUSE MOVEMEnT this stand for? 8 What temperature is the same in Celsius as Farenheit? MEATSPACE lARGE DATABASE TRAWlInG a. 5 What classic screen actress co-invented spread-spectrum a. GOOGlESTAlK REGISTERInG DOMAInS OnlY A FEW KEYSTROKES FROM POPUlAR SITES 3 What is the full name for the wireless technology? international protocol standard for lighting control? a. 9 What corporation was the first to TYPOSQUATTInG WHERE YOU SUBSTIUTE WORDS TO AVOID WEB STOPS I.E V!AGRA move to Silicon Valley in 1938? MICKEY USInG GOOGlE TO FInD FORMER FRIEnDS a. 6 What does pdf stand for? a. a. DATAMInInG REAl lIFE AS OPPOSED TO CYBERSPACE 10 Who invented the Integrated Circuit in 1958? POSTCARDWARE BUSInESSES TAKEn OVER BY OnlInE PRESEnTATIOnS a. GOOGlEWHACK OVERTAKEn BY SUPERIOR TECHnOlOGY40 eTech - ISSUE 2 Answers can be found at www.rs-components.com/etech eTech - ISSUE 2 41
  • 22. InDUSTRYnEWSFraunhofer ISE develops newphotovoltaic technologiesResearchers at the Fraunhofer Institute forSolar Energy Systems ISE have developednew methods and cell conceptsfor the manufacture of n-typesilicon solar cells. As a result,higher efficiencies and powerproduction levels are alsopossible for commercial solarcells. The prototype exceededan efficiency of 23 %.Fraunhofer ISE’s group manager Dr. MartinHermle explains the difference between thenew technology and current products. “Mostcommercial silicon solar cells are currentlyp-types, but the new n-type silicon used forthe novel solar cell structures developed at ISEhas better properties for photovoltaic electricityproduction, such as greater tolerance formost impurities. In practice, there are twooptions: either greater efficiency, or lowermanufacturing costs because you can useless expensive silicon. In addition, p-type ”Czrochalski (Cz) silicon suffers from light-induced degradation, which does not occurwith n-type silicon.Silicon solar cells consist of two areas with in using n-type solar cells, in which the efficiency is 23.4 % on 2x2 cm² – the highestdifferent thicknesses for different conduction: emitter is on the side facing the sun, was the efficiency ever reached for this cell type.n stands for negative, p for positive. The thicker passivation of the emitter, which was usuallylayer, the substrate material, is considered the doped with boron. Such surfaces cannot Christian Schmiga, project leader in the groupbase and determines the cell’s type – such as be optimally passivated with conventional for high-efficiency silicon solar cells, has alsop-type for conventional solar cells. Such cells layers, such as silicon oxide SiO2 or silicon reached 18.2 % efficiency on 12.5x12.5 cm²have a p-type base and a thin n-conductive nitride SiNx. In collaboration with the Technical by using much simpler process stages closelayer – the emitter, or the charge carrier. In University of Eindhoven, the problem of front to industry practice, including a screen printingn-type solar cells, the emitter is p-doped, passivation was solved through the use of process to apply the aluminum alloy emitter.either through boron diffusion or the addition aluminum oxide Al2O3.of aluminum. Fraunhofer ISE continues to further develop Jan Benick, who is working on his doctorate process technology for n-type solar cells soFor some time, experiments have been in the group for high- efficiency silicon solar that industrially manufactured silicon solarconducted on n-type silicon as a base cells, managed to develop a highly efficient cell cells can reach efficiency rates exceedingmaterial, but production technology was very process especially for n-type cells that uses 20% quickly.complicated. For instance, the main problem boron diffusion to make the emitter; the42 eTech - ISSUE 2
  • 23. Power With Confidence ExclusivE OffEr fOr eTech rEadErs No Surprises Save up to 12% on Tektronix 4-channel Oscilloscopes Predictable, Reliable Agilent DC Power Supplies WHY STRUGGLE WITH 2 CHANNELS WHEN YOU CAN HAVE 4?E3600 and U8000 Series Basic Power Supplies There’s a lot going in today’s embedded systems: Analogue & SAVE MONEY SAVE TIME6030 Series Basic AutorangingDC Power Supplies digital i/o, clocks, serial communications and more. Signal timing Validate setup & hold timing Quickly validate analog Signal needs to meet specification across all of them to validate system in a single view. Integrity performance.6500 And 6600 Series High Performance operation and performance. With four scope channels you canDC Power Supplies • Key specs for any clocked device • Crosstalk easily correlate critical signal timing across your designs.N5700 Series and NEW N8700 Series • Data, Clock, Q • Rise & fall timeBasic DC Power Supplies • Reflections More scope than you would expect applications MAKE YOUR JOB EASIERN6700 Low-Profile Modular • Up to 500 MHz bandwidth • Digital design and debugPower System Easily check for digital Signal • Up to 5 GS/s sample rate • Education and training Integrity (SI) issues acrossN6705A DC Power Analyzer on all channels • Manufacturing test • Up to 25 automatic measurements and quality control multiple channels.66000 Modular Power System • FFT standard • Service and repair • Race conditionsDC Electronic Loads • OpenChoice and LabVIEW • General bench test • Metastability SignalExpress software for • Manufacturing test • Bus contentionAC Sources documenting and analysing measurement resultsU2720 Series USB Modular • Front panel USB port forSource Measure Units easy storage and transfer of measurement data SPECIAL OFFER • Multiple language user interface Between now and the end of May you can save up to • Portable, lightweight design 12% on Tektronix TDS2000B and TDS3000C 4-channel (optional battery pack oscilloscopes. for TDS3000C models) • Basic and performance low noise DC power supplies • 3-year warranty Quote promotion code ETECH0410 • Robust protection and fault detection capabilities • Guaranteed specifications Manufacturer Part No. Tds2004B Tds2014B Tds2024B Tds3014c • Typical MTBF of 40,000 hours RS Stock No. 617-0082 617-0105 617-0127 462-988 • Over 200 DC power supply models to choose from Bandwidth 60 MHz 100 MHz 200 MHz 100 MHz • 50 year history of innovation and patents Channels 4 4 4 4 • Most models are programmable with standard interfaces Sample Rate 1 GS/s 1 GS/s 2 GS/s 1.25 GS/s (all channels) such as GP-IB, LAN/LXI, and USB Record Length 2.5k 10k Promotional Price £1,168.40 £1,377.00 £1,557.60 £3,560.40 Detailed information on Agilent Technologies power Saving 8% 10% 12% 8% supplies is available at rswww.com/agilent All products sold are subject to the current RS Conditions of Sale set out at rswww.com. The offer is applied at the point of goods despatch, if goods are despatched outside of the validity date of the offer then the promotional offer will not be applied to the order. Offer ends 31 May 2010. Prices may be changed by RS at any time, and exclude VAT which will be charged at the current rate. rswww.com/tektronix
  • 24. Now landing, over 18,000 Tyco Electronics products ready for next generation designs.rswww.com/electronics 08457 201201
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