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eTech Magazine - Issue 3

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Online & On Time …

Online & On Time
Design tools are evolving to increase
the productivity of engineers

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  • 1. e YOUR ELECTRONICS MAGAZINE ISSUE 306Online & On timeDesign tools are evolving to increasethe productivity of engineersrswww.com/electronics
  • 2. New left and right hand plugsNew left and right hand plugs have been added to Tyco Electronics’ line ofwire-to-board, Eurostyle terminal blocks. This product extension provides additionalconfigurations of wire access angles to the standard 3.5mm and 3.81mm vertical andright angle headers. Specific applications of this product include control, input/outputand field wiring.A key feature of the plugs is their multiple wire access angles which mate with 90° and 270°header interfaces. Their rising, screw clamp orientation mates to industry standard open andclosed end headers on the same centerline spacing. In addition, they areend-to-end stackable without loss of centerline spacing.The plugs are UL recognized and serve the industrial control, communication equipment,and HVAC control markets. Other product options include custom marking, printing andcolor selection.rswww.com/TycoelectronicsTE (logo) and Tyco Electronics are trademarks of theTyco Electronics group of companies and its licensors.
  • 3. l Ro T DDED coN 06 4 bE l 2 S oo :E M T aRDUINo NEW DESIgN ed mb 16 ThE fUTUR IS EWe’ve all wasted hours searching through the myriad of onlineinformation. The profusion of internet sites available, for both ourprofessional and personal needs, inevitably means our onlineexperience can range between the good, bad and the ugly.As engineers, we now spend more of our design time online than ever. Whether it’sconnecting with other engineers, sharing information, or seeking new tools to help usspeed up designs and differentiate our products from competitors, the internet offerslots of potential solutions. INSIDE eTechTo know which solution is right, having a reliable and trusted source of informationis vital. That’s why we’ve introduced a suite of essential design resources from RS,all available online, for engineers. Our major new initiatives are Component Chooser, 04 iSay3D CAD model downloads, DesignSpark and DesignSpark PCB – read more about 05 RS NEWSlINEthese exciting new developments on page 6. This is in addition to the EmbeddedDevelopment Platform (EDP) launched in April with access to the new ARM mbed 06 NEW DESIgN ToolSmicrocontrollers – read the latest update on page 36. 10 PRoDUcT NEWSFurthermore, we have just launched the first fully integrated online quote managementservice. This powerful, comprehensive and flexible new tool offers an invaluable service 12 EcaD To McaDfor engineers and buyers – read more in Newslines on page 5. 16 ThE fUTURE IS mbed We all have our favourite and trusted sites. 20 REvIEW: PaRallax PRoPEllER Terms and conditions: Terms and We hope you find our new resources valuable andconditions of sale set out in the current RS Catalogue. This issue is valid from that you return to them time-and-time again. 24 aRDUINo: EMbEDDED coNTRol July 2010 to September 2010. I’m always delighted to receive emails from our 26 MEDIcal INSTRUMENTS Published by: RS Components Limited. Registered office: Birchington Road, Weldon, Corby, readers and would like to hear more. You can drop 28 DESIgN TIPS: ElEkToR Northamptonshire NN17 9RS. me an email at etech@rs-components.com or visit Registered No. 1002091. RS Components Ltd 2010. www.rs-components.com/etech. 32 ESSENTIalS RS are trademarks of RS Components Limited. An Electrocomponents Company. 34 aUToMoTIvE coNNEcToRS Glenn Jarrett Head of Electronics Marketing 36 EDP UPDaTE 38 32-bIT TEchNology 40 lUNch bREak 42 INDUSTRy NEWS: fRaUNhofERELE_0002_0710 eTech - ISSUE 3 03
  • 4. iSay RSSimon Whittle, Chairmanopenet allianCe and deSiGn NEWSlINESCentre manaGer, nuJira SayS: New Resources for Designers“envelope Thinking first phases revealed in new programme to provide essential online resources to speed up design process. The new programme from RS and accurately than ever before. outside the aims to connect with designers at Also launched are 3D CAD each stage of their design journey, models available for download ” reducing the time from concept to registered online customers. New online bill of materials to production by making it easier to search, select, Over 20,000 products have 3D models available, and all quotation service launched design with and buy components online major download formats are supported. RS website gives customers full quote from RS. management capability As announced in the First releases include April edition of eTech, RS has launched the first complete online quotes Component Chooser, RS has also partnered with management service for customers. Users of the service the powerful new ARM to launch an mbed are provided with full visibility of their quotation process, parametric search and module for its EmbeddedIt’s a funny thing how often the solution to a completely making product identification, pricing and redemption compare engine that features Development Platform (EDP),new engineering problem turns out to be an old faster and easier to manage. customers will be able over 260,000 electronic and helping to bring virtual designsidea that hasn’t previously found its niche. Envelope to go to their My account area and upload their bill of electro-mechanical products, to life. materials (boM) into the website, with up to 500 lines. exposing 6.5M searchableTracking is a beautiful theory first described by bell The boM will be matched against RS part numbers, attributes. Users can configure For more on the designlabs in 1937. It’s proved surprisingly resistant to manufacturer (including manufacturer part numbers) search parameters to specify and resources programme from rS,implementation, but now turns out to be part of the and descriptions to return an accurate priced quotation identify components more quickly turn to page 6 in this edition.answer to cellphone networks collapsing under the back for confirmation. Users will then be able to approve the quote, automatically placing the order onlinedata traffic generated by over-eager iPhone users. against specified delivery dates, and if they choose, also receive enhanced messaging including confirmation Extended fPga Range and delivery updates via RS online. RS has added over 100 new fPga productsOperators are investing in network Nujira finally cracked the problem from xilinx, altera and lattice. To use online Quotes for your next bill of materials,capacity but each base station they in 2002 with High Accuracy Tracking go to rswww.com and select My account.add will draw about 3KW. Radio (HATTM) and momentum behindnetworks account for about 80% of Envelope Tracking is now growing. The range expansion creates a comprehensive fPgaan operator’s energy use and carbon Sumitomo has released an envelope offer from RS, including mainstream Spartan and virtexemissions, and about half of this isdissipated as heat in the transmission tracking radio head, and Texas Instruments, RFMD and Triquint fcI automotive connectors families from xilinx, providing engineers with affordable devices and supporting development kits. from alteracircuit, so operators are pressing forhigher efficiency base stations. have all offered support. At Mobile World Congress, the OpenET Alliance range now available come the current cyclone families, offering low-power and high-performance devices. In addition, published a Terminal Interface Range extension makes RS the only high service coming soon from lattice will be the EcP2MAn Envelope Tracking power modulator specification on the web, allowing any level distributor to stock fcI automotive lines family with SERDES and the xP2 non-adjusts the supply voltage to the device or terminal manufacturer to use volatile fPga family - all supportedPower Amplifier output transistor the technology. Design engineers will have access to the FCI OE-quality connectors, with development kits anddynamically, in synchronism with with no minimum order quantity for prototyping, test programmes, programming aids.the envelope of the modulated RF There are two morals here. One is replacement-parts supply and specialist markets such as industrialsignal passing through the device, so not to confound the difficult with the vehicles. The range includes wire-to-wire connectors, flexthat the output device remains in its impossible, and the other is that there interconnects, wire-to-PCB and wire-to-device connectors, powermost efficient operating region. ET is huge value in blue sky research that terminals, signal terminals, squib interconnects, high-reliabilityis attractive because it can triple the doesn’t have an obvious application. enclosures, pin headers and press-fit pins.efficiency of the PA and is wideband One could call it ‘thinking outside the “ RS is supporting customers with overand modulation scheme agnostic. The envelope’ perhaps?challenge is meeting the accuracy, Momentum behind 100 different product configurations optimised for use in areas suchbandwidth and noise specifications Envelope Tracking is as engine compartment, power- ”at a level of conversion efficiency that train, body and chassis, cockpitdelivers a significant energy saving forthe system as a whole. now growing. and multimedia. for the latest fPga additions, go to rswww.com/electronics to see the FCi automotive range, go to rswww.com/fci04 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 05
  • 5. online &on timeDesign tools are evolving to increasethe productivity of engineers.The advent of affordable computing changedmany aspects of modern day life, but nowherehas it been more apparent than in the fieldsof electronics and electro-mechanical design.The move from drawing board to computerscreen was rapid but the transition fromcomputer assisted drafting to computeraided design was perhaps more subtle.However, with continued improvements in graphics rendering, the developmentof more capable and accurate modelling algorithms and the ability to translatethose models in to real-world designs means engineers now, more thanever before, rely heavily on computer-based design tools to deliver betterdesigns quickly.These developments in design tools include more effective ways of sharinginformation. The engineering community has always benefited from thedissemination of information and in today’s connected community thatincreasingly revolves around the internet. To allow its customers to better benefitfrom these trends RS Components has announced the first four of a series ofinitiatives to create an authoritative and convenient online source of trustworthyinformation that will support customers in making informed design decisions. Continued page 08>06 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 07
  • 6. Microcontrollers World’s Lowest Power Microcontrollers with USB OTG in the delivery of 3D content, one of the most important elements of which is its ability to supply a file type native to the majority of the world’s most popular CAD packages. At product line level, visitors to the RS website will see a rotating 3D model of the part. Once Digital Signal Controllers the correct component has been successfully identified, registered users can simply download the 3D model in a file format that suits them. Another advantage of this approach is that a unique image will exist for all product variants. In the past families of products were often represented graphically by a single image for one particular popular or high level variant Analog within that product range. This will help remove any ambiguity when it comes to correct product identification. component chooser One of the biggest challenges the engineering These are the first results of a renewed community faces is the time taken to navigate emphasis on playing a key role throughout< Continued from page 07 the wealth of online information. Crucially, one the design process, but not the last. By of the most fundamental decision processes in delivering DesignSpark PCB, Component Serial EEPROMs any project is component selection and, here, Chooser and 3D CAD models, and with ourDesignSpark RS is forging the way with a new, industry- new DesignSpark website, RS is showingDesignSpark is a dedicated website for leading parametric search engine that will its commitment to providing the designelectronic engineers providing a trusted set enable the engineering community to intuitively community with the right tools for the right job,of design resources, reviews and industry search, select and compare electronic in the right way.interaction to simplify and speed up the design components more efficiently and effectivelyprocess. A major part of DesignSpark is the saving valuable time.independent reviews for development kits andevaluation platforms, provided by engineers, This online search facility, called Component Extend the battery life in your portable USB application using PIC® LOW PIN COUNT USB “for engineers. Members are also able to voice Chooser, provides an easy to use interfacetheir views through blogs, creating themes that allows users to search RS’ entire stock The engineering microcontrollers with integrated USB and XLP technology. Get the STARTER KITaround the latest technology trends. of electronic components on the most world’s lowest power USB microcontrollers with the flexibility to • Supports PIC18F14K50 Family extensive range of parameters available in the community has communicate as an embedded host or device. • Includes PICKitTM 2 Programmer always benefitedDesignSpark will also form the distribution industry, quickly returning a shortlist of possiblehub for a range of design tools to be launched solutions. The number of attributes held • Tutorials for USB Novicesby RS. The first is DesignSpark PCB; a fullyfeatured PCB design tool, available free of against each component technology has more than doubled, and each parameter for every from the • Combine eXtreme Low Power with Full-Speed USB device, embedded host,charge to all DesignSpark members without component has been normalised, so results dissemination dual role and On-The-Go ”limitation. Engineers can create schematics are presented in a consistent format. Thisfor any sized PCB, with any number of enables simple and reliable comparison of information • Download FREE USB stacks and drivers including thumb drive supportlayers. Fully (auto)routed and design-rule of products for price, performance - Host, OTG and Device Stackschecked designs can then be exported in a or compatibility.number of file formats including IDF DXF , - Class Drivers (HID, Mass Storage, CDC Drivers)and standard Gerber/manufacturing format. 3D caDTo download and evaluate DesignSpark PCB When entering the mechanical design phase, - Thumb Drive Support (Mass Storage Driver, SCSI Interface, File Management)from the DesignSpark website, register as a the availability of electromechanical and DV164126 RS Stock No 667-7980DesignSpark member to obtain an activation interconnect 3D models can significantlycode that will unlock the ‘Save’ functions of reduce the product design cycle. UnfortunatelyDesignSpark PCB. availability of such models in a format get more online... Family Flash Program Pins USB Type Sleep Current Sleep with Watchdog Sleep with Real compliant with the engineers’ preferred CAD Memory (KB) (nA) Timer (nA) Time Clock (nA)DesignSpark PCB comes with a component suite is limited at best. Visitors to the RS Join DesignSpark andlibrary that can be extended and shared – website will see the results of the work to get DesignSpark Pcb at PIC18F14K50 8-16 20 Device 24 450 790through the DesignSpark community – with remedy this as 3D models for the first 20,000 www.designspark.com PIC18F46J50 16-64 28-44 Device 13 813 813other engineers. DesignSpark outputs a of its 45,000 electromechanical components PIC24FJ64GB004 32-64 28-44 OTG, Dual Role, Embedded Host, Device 20 220 520flexible format (CSV) Bill of Materials that can are made available, each compliant with over Search and select withbe automatically configured to include the 20 major CAD suites. The remaining 25,000 are component chooser atRS part number for ease of ordering. It canalso be uploaded into RS’ new online Quote under development and will be added to the RS website over the coming 9 months. rswww.com/cc Intelligent Electronics start with MicrochipManagement service, a tool that enables get the latest 3D caD modelsan upload of up to 500 component lines for In order to achieve this RS has partnered with available for download atimmediate price and availability verification Traceparts, a leading 3D content supplier to rswww.com/3D rswww.com/microchip www.microchip.com/usband response. give customers access to Traceparts’ expertise08 eTech - ISSUE 3 The Microchip name and logo and the Microchip logo are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Incorporated in the U.S.A. and other countries. © 2010 Energizer. Energizer and other marks are trademarks owned by Energizer. All other trademarks mentioned herein are property of their respective companies. © 2010, Microchip Technology Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. ME254Eng/04.10D
  • 7. PRoDUcT aTMEl QToUch coNTRollER PRoDUcTNEWS n The QT1106 is a self-contained, patented charge-transfer NEWS capacitive controller capable of detecting near-proximity or touch on up to seven electrodes and a wheel. It allows electrodes to project sense fields through any dielectric such as glass or plastic. These electrodes are laid out as a scroller (e.g. a xIlINx coolRUNNER IIThERMoElEcTRIc PoWER wheel or slider) plus seven additional independent a leading cPlD family featuringgENERaTIoN MoDUlE keys. The QT1106 can be assessed using the E1106 low power capabilities evaluation kit. The kit provides a convenient reference SEoUl SEMIcoNDUcToRcontrolling the temperature ofcomponents in an efficient manner design and allows the user to visualize discrete touch acRIchE 4W SQUaRE MoDUlE n The coolRunner™-II 1.8v cPlD family leads buttons, dials and sliders using interchangeable light source powered directly from the mains the industry with its high performing, low powern a range of semiconductor thermoelectric QWheel and QSlide touch panels. capabilities. Enhanced with revolutionary featuresdevices working on the Peltier effect when online search term: atmel QTouch n Acriche is the world’s first semiconductor light source such as DatagaTE, advance inputs/outputs andsupplied with a suitable electric current, that operates directly from AC power without an additional the industry’s smallest form factor packaging,these modules can either cool or heat. When conversion circuitry. This makes it suitable for many coolRunner-II cPlDs deliver the ultimate systemsubject to an externally applied temperature residential and commercial lighting applications where the solution for today’s design challenges. The familygradient these devices will generate a main source of available power is AC. A design with Acriche delivers advanced system features and low powersmall amount of electrical power. These product minimizes component count and board space. The operation that enable the integration of discretesolid-state devices offer long term stability operating voltage range system functions into a single re-programmableand have the advantage of not generating from 100V to 230V and device. They are offered in a wide range of densities,any acoustic noise. The larger devices the lifetime is over 35,000 abundant I/o, and the user has the flexibility to movecan be used for cooling or controlling the hours. The modules from one density to another in the same package.temperature of sub-assemblies. The small are available in warm online search term: coolrunner - IIsize of the mini module makes it ideally white and pure whitesuited for cooling miniature electronic with multiple packagecomponents such as infra-red detector options. Applications forchips, microwave Ic’s, fibre-optic lasers 48/12vDc Eco 160 SERIES the modules are generaland detectors. SWITch MoDE PoWER SUPPlIES lighting, architectural STMIcRoElEcTRoNIcS 2W lED DRIvERonline search term: gM2* lighting, street lighting, Switch Mode 35W to 200W high, open offline lED Driver board using vIPer17, STEval-Ill017v1 residential lighting (Under- frame Power Supplies cabinet), decoration lighting n This board demonstrates a 2W non-isolated offline n RS has been renowned for providing quality and sign lighting. constant-current lED driver based on the vIPer17 offline products, under its own name, for over 70 online search term: converter. The vIPer17 features hysteretic thermal years. Now we’ve expanded our PSU range to acriche 4W protection, soft-start and safe auto-restart after be of one of the most comprehensive around the removal of a fault condition. burst mode for general industrial applications. This family operation and the very low consumption of the are all in a “2 *4” footprint, rated at 160Watt device combine to meet standby energy saving with Power factor correction. Running at 90% regulations. advanced frequency jittering reduces efficiency they are approved for medical EMI filter cost. The board provides 500ma constant applications. other features include short circuit current for lED applications providing over- protection, circuit overload and over voltage temperature protection, lED open-circuit protection, MolEx xRc SEalED coNNEcToRS protection. The input voltage varies from 5v and lED short-circuit protection. xRc sealed, plastic-circular connectors meet to 48v with the maximum current from 2.1a to online search term: STEval-Ill017v1 the demanding requirements of the non- 20a. all the power supplies are guaranteed for automotive transportation market 3 years and comply with all the standard safety approvals. n Never before has Molex offered such an economical, rugged, online search term: eco-160 sealed, circular connector. The XRC (Extra Rugged Circular) 14- RS EMbEDDED and 31-circuit (18 and 24 shell size), circular connectors are ideal for heavy-duty applications such as trucks, buses and agricultural DEvEloPMENT PlaTfoRM markets. For maximum design flexibility, the XRC plugs and featuring an mbed module for easy receptacles are available in standard and reverse gender. The implementation of additional firmware connectors can be used for in-line or panel-mount applications. Designed to meet IP67 standards, XRC plugs and receptacles n This Command Module for the EDP utilises oSRaM oSloN SSl lED protect against the ingress of dust, water and other contaminants cycloNE® III fPga faMIly an ARM7 LPC2368 device from NXP The mbed . The new class of light to maintain the integrity of the mated pair. a family of low cost, low power field Module plugs into an mbed Adapter Board, which Programmable gate arrays from altera n One of the world’s smallest LEDs in the 1 W online search term: Molex xRc fits into the EDP Baseboard allowing access to the sector. Small in size, big on performance – that is the features of the EDP The mbed Module introduces a . new ultra-white Oslon SSL LED from OSRAM Opto n The Cyclone® III FPGA family offers an unprecedented new way to write embedded firmware. Instead of having Semiconductors. Its package measures just 3 x 3 mm combination of low power, high functionality, and low a C compiler license installed upon the users machine the but in terms of luminous efficacy the LED is among cost to maximize your competitive edge.. To address your mbed Module makes use of a C Compiler installed on a virtual the greats with a typical value of 100 lm/W. The LED unique design needs, this FPGA family has up to 200K logic host. The software and project are built within the framework of provides light that is ideal for spotlights, desk lights elements, 8 Mbits of embedded memory, and 396 an HTML page and the resulting binary image file is transferred. and ceiling floodlights. At an operating current of 350 embedded multipliers, Cyclone III LS devices By rebooting the mbed Module the new image is flashed into the mA this light source achieves a typical brightness are ideal for processing intensive low- hardware and the mbed Module runs your application code. of 110 lm in ultra-white (5700 and 6500 K), with a power applications including: Automotive, online search term: mbed module maximum possible luminous flux of 130 lm. consumer, display, industrial, military, online search term: oslon video and image processing and wireless applications. online search term: altera cyclone III10 eTech - ISSUE 3 See more online - over 5,000 new products are added at rswww.com/electronics every month eTech - ISSUE 3 11
  • 8. In just about every industry you care to mention, a metaphorical brick wall has at some stage existed between the various design departments. It used to be that electronic and mechanical designers rarely met – apart from at weekly update meetings – such was the lack of interaction between the two disciplines. These days, contemporary business models – driven by rapidly changing customer demands and the need to drive down costs – dictate that a faster and more efficient concurrent approach is adopted in the pre-launch design and evaluation phase of any engineering programme. To successfully embrace this concurrent approach regular and pertinent, real time, coherent communication is vital; and the passage of this information between two departments or disciplines must be as efficient as possible. Although the take up of modern business practices has been successful in theory at the project management level, it is often the practical tools at the disposal of the engineers that let them down. In the world of design – and CAD especially – electronic CAD (ECAD) has changed very little in its core offering over the past few years, staying firmly rooted in the 2D world. This is in direct contrast to CAD in the mechanical world (MCAD), where theadding the move into the 3D realm is now the dominant industry trend.3rd Dimension to EcaD It is of course arguable that the extra ‘D’ – taking 2D to 3D – is not a major necessity in the design of electronics; being primarily a physically flat design environment with only minor intrusions into the Z axis. However, with the burgeoning expansion of mechatronics and electro-mechanical systems ECAD and MCAD are meeting head on and merging in what is currently a very loosely defined middle ground. This merging of information across designIn the never-ending mission to get to market faster, design departments are as departments has, in fact, always been a possibility,crucial as ever. This importance is not just restricted to their role in determining but it has never been the most effective and efficienthow a product is manufactured; but also how effectively they interact with other practice in terms of data hand over and translation from an ECAD package to an MCAD package.departments in order to make the early stages of a product’s lifecycle as smooth,cost effective and as efficient as possible. Continued page 14 >12 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 13
  • 9. UTS Hi seal dynamic ip68/ip69K IDF import sub-routines, designed especially to handle Waterproof connectors in mated and unmated condition this type of data. The traffic is also far from one way. In many instances it is necessary to transfer MCAD data to ECAD packages in order to provide physical restraints for PCB shapes, mounting points or height restrictions for ■ operational safety - eSd Protection of electronics inside the equipment/boxes in case example. Like their MCAD peers, ECAD packages also cater for this eventuality with dedicated import filters. of maintenance, unmated conditions or cable damage · plastic shells ■ rapid and secure locking system As well as the structures, components and data that are f · quick disconnect roo obviously mechanical or electrical, there is of course the Sealed io n-p sing ■ Suitable for overmoulding · sealed insulator and contacts unmated os ou electromechanical realm and the world of mechatronics, which don’t really belong in either domain, but play a vital orr tic h C as role interconnecting them. In these instances, the data Pl ■ available : RoHS flow can be back and forth and must maintain its efficacy · 4 shell sizes, Compliant as it migrates between packages; in many cases, CAD · 16 different layouts package-specific files are often the favoured route. · multiple polarization options. The CAD industry and the companies that rely on it to · standard connectors supplied with disseminate data are also looking to the future, especially preassembled solder and PCB contacts. to the growing number of users classed as Generation ■ uV resistant ‘Y’ – the next generation of engineers who are used to · suitable for outdoor use seeing free software variants, such as Google SketchUp. Although Google SketchUp only represents 1% of current MCAD seats, the availability of a free SDK and < Continued from page 13 supporting community have taken it from an architectural- Souriau your Key Success partner targeted package into the industrial space; and this is This is all set to change. Not only are many of the leading making it an important platform to address for the future. www.souriau-industrial.com ECAD software companies starting to investigate the introduction of 3D CAD in the electronics market (flex advert_led_rs_halfpage.qxp 14.05.2010 10:02 Seite 1 circuits, thermal airflow effects and chassis design) but they are also looking to make the transition from ECAD to MCAD a much less painful experience. Before 3D becomes truly native in the ECAD world, the next best thing is an easier way to transfer design data. It used to be that the file information behind entire PCB assemblies would be transferred to the MCAD packages, with RCD series: drivers that shed new light huge amounts of unnecessary data going with them, but intermediary steps have been developed which The RCD series is a step-down constant current designed for high power LEDs use, potted, smallest, high are not only faster, but more efficient and require far efficiency and wider input/output voltage range, it also provides two kinds of dimming controls (PWM and less post processing. Analogue) to meet a wider variety of customer demands.“ The key features of the RCD series at a glance: The next generation of ✔ Supplies up to 10 x 2-watt power LEDsengineers... are used to seeing google SketchUp ✔ Accurate constant current output ” ✔ Wide range of output currentsfree software SketchUp is undoubtedly going to gain some serious ✔ Wide range of output voltages ✔ PCB and wired versions ground in the next few years if its early adoption rates are anything to go by. The basic free version is also going ✔ PWM dimming This “middle step” often comes in the form of an to be many people’s first foray into the 3D realm, so it ✔ Up to 97 percent efficiency Intermediate Data Format, or IDF which breaks the , has an important role to play – a fact certainly not lost on ✔ Analog dimming function ECAD data into “easily digestible” chunks, which the many of the suppliers and software developers as they for linear output dimming MCAD package finds far easier to import. By only make sure SketchUp forms a major element of their The RCD series. ✔ Short circuit protection swapping the physical data that is required, the amount future business roadmap. Highly efficient step-down regulator of information transferred is cut significantly too, making for constant-current output for the entire handover far quicker. In many cases two files RECOM Part No. RS Stock No. are generated; for example, one file will contain physical RCD-24-0.35 416-913 information about the PCB such as its shape, the location RCD-24-0.50 472-228 and orientation of each component, hole locations RCD-24-0.50/W 667-1664 RCD-24-0.70 472-222 and “areas of concern” The other file will contain the . RCD-24-1.00 668-9870 component information such as its size and shape. RCD-24-1.00/W 668-9882 RCD-24-1.20 668-9889 It is not just the ECAD packages doing all the work find the lastest RS 3D caD models available though. Most leading MCAD packages will have specific for download at rswww.com/electronics For more parts visit: rswww.com/Recom14 eTech - ISSUE 3
  • 10. mbed: the future of product development adopting new technology is an important step in product development, but it needn’t be a barrier. The introduction of programmable devices changed the world of electronics forever; it ushered in a new era of digital dominance and flexibility. Since then, the role of embedded software has continued to shape the industry such that today the predominant investment and risk associated with new product development is in the bits and bytes that define their functionality. Continued page 18 >16 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 17
  • 11. “ ... ‘cloud hosted’ development devices will still be familiar with the peripherals and resources they offer, so those coming toenvironment gives developers instant mbed with experience of microcontrollers and ” assembly code should feel comfortable withaccess to the aRM architecture... the mbed platform and what it can offer. The real benefits of the mbed environment will be clear once the engineer starts developing more complex software. It uses C/C++, or rather it uses C and makes use of some the< Continued from page 17 productivity boost, as they can start developing useful features of C++, such as classes. Those code targeting the ARM7 or Cortex M3 cores not familiar with C, C++ or object orientedThe concept of embedded software when without the need to invest in further tools, programming might see this and shiver, butcompared with hardware can be a little such as an IDE or perhaps even an instruction don’t be put off; mbed makes it really easy to‘abstract’, as we can’t ‘see’ the instructions set simulator. learn about high level languages (which is whatbeing executed. For some, this level of C is) and how to use them.abstraction means the hardware has almost The environment is called mbed and whilebecome incidental, at least during the it is accessed entirely online, it is intrinsically For instance, there are tutorials on the mbeddevelopment phase. It is possible to model linked to a local hardware platform which uses website that will guide the newcomer throughthe processor’s instruction set and developentire software applications before the an ARM based microprocessor. Initial mbed boards use NXP devices but others will be their first program, explaining how the compiler works, as well as why ‘include’ files Surround yourself withhardware is even available. This represents available in the future. Once connected via a make it really easy to write complete programsa significant productivity boost and for large USB cable, the mbed board appears to the using just a few additional lines. There is safety.OEMs it has become an important part of host computer as a USB memory stick which already an active mbed community, too, whichtheir design process. However the cost holds an HTML file. By simply opening the offers advice, encouragement and a growingof tools for modelling a microprocessor file engineers are able to access the online repository of embedded software targeting the Not to mentioncan be so prohibitive as to divide the tools needed to develop embedded software mbed platform. As the community grows sodeveloper community. In the world of 32-bit through their browser window. too will the resources it offers.microprocessors this division is amplifiedto the extent that it encompasses some ofthe conventional development tools such as Access is controlled by the mbed module’s ‘identity’, so the resources that appear on The world of embedded electronics is constantly changing; it enjoys one of the most greater accuracy and more features.integrated development environments (IDEs), screen are directly relevant to the mbed active areas of technological investment andstatic analysis tools or advanced compilers. module attached. This makes configuration development, as it plays such a vital role across of the design environment unnecessary; all industrial sectors. The mbed environmentFor many developers new to microprocessors the first step towards removing the barriers demonstrates that the way we access Performing at your best in hazardous workthis can represent a significant barrier to to entry for newcomers. The next step is to this technology is also changing, making it easier than ever for more engineers to start environments takes exceptional tools. Our newentry, something manufacturers are keen demonstrate how accessible the hardwareto remove. In an unprecedented move to is by writing, building, downloading and developing with advanced microprocessors. family of handhelds put safety first, packing aincrease accessibility to hardware, ARM running the mbed equivalent to the ‘Helloteamed with NXP to introduce an environment World’ application normally associated with wealth of important features and capabilities intofor embedded software development that software development. For those unfamiliar Digital Multimeters bright orange cases. Each meets critical safetyexists entirely online. This ‘cloud hosted’ with this, it is customary for the first programdevelopment environment gives developers developers write using a new language to be for the latest aRM mbed Digital Oscilloscopes standards while providing world-class accuracyinstant access to the ARM architecture using a simple ‘Hello World’ message on a screen. microcontrollers and development Capacitance Metersophisticated software development tools that As the mbed modules aren’t configured with kits, visit rswww.com/electronics and ease-of-use. Backed by more than 70 years LCR Metersare maintained on their behalf and require no screens, the equivalent task is to make an Multi-Function Calibrator/Meter of measurement expertise. That’s value. That’sdownloads, installations or – perhaps most LED on the board flash on and off. By Clamp Metersimportantly - maintenance. What’s more, it understanding this simple program, Agilent.empowers a new segment of engineering to users will rapidly become familiar withstart developing with 32bit microprocessors, the process of writing, compiling andallowing them to develop prototypes rapidly, downloading programs to thewithout incurring a steep learning curve or mbed platform. And as they For a free application notelarge financial investment. Engineers morefamiliar with programming environments see the results immediately, it reinforces the link between and product informationwill appreciate how innovative it is to put the hardware and software, www.agilent.com/find/GoOrangecompiler in the ‘cloud’. There’s nothing to allowing engineers unfamiliar © 2010 Agilent Technologies, Inc.download or configure, all the groundwork with embedded softwareis taken care of leaving the engineer free to to overcome the ‘abstraction’focus on the application code. What’s more, between the two.unlike some development environments, thiscloud compiler is not restricted to a maximum The hardware is provided in a modularnumber of bytes, lines of compiled code or a format that gives the engineer access todate; once you start programming you’re free all of the microprocessor’s resources, suchto explore the full features of cloud computing as timers, I/O, PWM generators and more.without restriction. Even for more seasoned Many engineers not familiar with high leveldevelopers, this represents a significant embedded software development for 32bit Agilent and our Distributor Network Right Instrument. Right Expertise. Delivered Right Now. rswww.com/agilent18 eTech - ISSUE 3
  • 12. DESIgN DESIgNREvIEW REvIEWget intoParallel Processing The common feature is a single processor supported by specialist, dedicated logic providing features like Pulse Width Modulation output and pulse- counting input. The Propeller I/O routines are loaded from system ROM at Reset to allow programs to be downloaded from the PC or from the EEPROM, but are then shut down before the user’s program to EEPROM busses, etc. on this demo board. The Propeller is a +3.3V device although both +3.3V and +5V regulated supplies are available. Hence the logic of the L293D works off thewith the Parallax Propeller from Parallax represents a major change in begins execution. If your program requires +3.3V supply, while its separate motor supply ™ design philosophy. This device contains eight these I/O resources, then it will have to load pin is connected to +5V. A small but very 32-bit processors or ‘COGs’ with minimal them and assign COG(s) as appropriate. This useful feature is the Ground or 0V post which support logic and only the most basic I/O may seem awkward at first, but why have takes the croc clip from a oscilloscope probe.by Dr William Marshall, RS components hardware (Fig.1). A first reaction to this layout unwanted resources cluttering up memory might be: ‘Great, I can implement that Neural space if you don’t need them? Programming in Spin network project with each COG running A possible solution for the program to drive theEvery now and again something different comes along. Microcontroller chip essentially the same program’. Propeller Tool motor is given in Listing 1 (see page 22). It is The IDE that comes with the starter kit is not presented as an optimal solution but doesdevelopment has proceeded down the same paths for many years now: either While pure parallel processing may indeed be called Propeller Tool and provides program illustrate some of the key features of Propellerthe same basic ‘core’ processor being surrounded by more and peripherals or a good use for the Propeller, I don’t believe this editing, compilation of the high-level language programming. The aim is to use two COGs;the processor itself being made more and more powerful. was the main driver behind the design. The Spin, and downloading to the demo board. one driving the PWM output with a mark/ idea is to give the engineer maximum control You have the option of programming in Spin, space ratio set by the global variable Ratio, the over the peripheral system in a particular assembly language or a combination of both. second monitoring two push button inputs and Cog 0 Cog 1 Cog 2 Cog 3 Cog 4 Cog 5 Cog 6 Cog 7 application. You may still have a single COG Obviously the assembler produces more setting the value of Ratio. The PWM frequency pin direction running the top-level program, farming out efficient, faster operation and there is the is to be 1kHz. pin output lower-level tasks such as serial I/O to another usual trade-off between faster development 32 32 COG as and when required. This is the really and faster operation. The CON statements set up two system p31 p30 p15 p14 fascinating feature of this device: the ability constants and fix the clock speed. We p29 p28 p13 p12 to reconfigure itself under program control The editor screen is very colourful and the decided on a 20 MHz clock so the internal p27 p11 to suit the requirements at a particular time automatic assignment of different colours PLL multiplier is set to 4 given the 5 MHz i/o direction reg. i/o direction reg. i/o direction reg. i/o direction reg. i/o direction reg. i/o direction reg. i/o direction reg. i/o direction reg. Video Generator Video Generator Video Generator Video Generator Video Generator Video Generator Video Generator Video Generator Counter a + ppl Counter a + ppl Counter a + ppl Counter a + ppl Counter B + ppl Counter B + ppl Counter B + ppl Counter B + ppl Counter a + ppl Counter a + ppl Counter B + ppl Counter B + ppl Counter a + ppl Counter a + ppl i/o output reg. i/o output reg. i/o output reg. i/o output reg. Counter B + ppl Counter B + ppl i/o output reg. i/o output reg. i/o output reg. i/o output reg. p26 p10 p25 p24 io p9 p8 and then to shut processes down when no to code blocks aids understanding of the crystal supplied with the board. Next, the VAR p23 p22 pins p7 p6 longer needed, perhaps re-assigning processor program structure. There are two options statements set up global variables: Ratio as p21 p20 p5 p4 resources to a completely different task. The for downloading and running: compile and mentioned, Period and Stack which assigns 512 x 32 ram 512 x 32 ram 512 x 32 ram 512 x 32 ram 512 x 32 ram 512 x 32 ram 512 x 32 ram 512 x 32 ram p19 p18 p3 p2 processor clock is also under program control run in COG RAM, and compile and send stack space for the second COG. processor processor processor processor processor processor processor processor p17 p16 p1 p0 so power consumption can be reduced if high to the external EEPROM from where it is 32 speed is not needed when implementing slow automatically loaded into RAM by the device The first public method, PUB Main performs 32 pin inputs I/O such as RS-232. bootloader. The former is best for development, the usual initialization tasks including setting an 32 System Counter only transferring to non-volatile memory when initial value of Ratio equivalent to 50% PWM. The Starter kit hardware Each COG has a simple ‘Count/Capture Unit’ data Bus 32 the code works. made from some registers and a few bits of address Bus 16 The kit contains a very small demonstration board packed with various I/O sockets, some Using the Demo board logic. There are two identical counters, A and power up hub System Vdd detector CloCK Counter rather surprising: VGA output to a monitor, TV To illustrate some of the main features of B each consisting of three registers CTR, FRQ (~10ms) Vdo VSS VSS p31 p30 p29 p28 p27 Propeller programming, a task was devised and PHS. CTR sets the operational mode, PHS reSet output, PS/2 keyboard and mouse sockets. The p3 p2 p1 p0 reset delay (~50 ms) Bus Sequencer Brown out Cog video outputs are provided because the chip involving the speed control of a small DC is the accumulator holding the current value 44 43 42 41 40 39 38 37 36 35 34 Boen 8192 x 32 ram p4 1 33 p26 detector ClKSel 0 p5 p6 2 3 32 31 p25 p24 3 Cog 7 Cog 1 contains as part of its central resource ROM, motor using PWM. Two pushbuttons provide and FRQ is added to PHS when required. 3 8192 x 32 rom Counter A is used here. First, the CTRA reSn p7 VSS 4 5 30 29 Vdd Xo SoFtreS rC oscillator 12 mhz / 20 mhz the look-up table of a character generator. The Speed Up and Speed Down inputs. The drive hubBoenreSn 6 7 28 27 VSS Xi 5 Clock Selector CloCK Cog enables Cog Cog only ‘conventional’ I/O port is USB derived from capability of the I/O ports is insufficient for register is set to select PWM mode and Bit 31 Vdd p8 8 9 26 25 p23 p22 Clock pll (muX) lock Bits (8) 6 ram, rom, Configuration, 2 the on-board FTDI chip. The UART function that the motor used so an H-Bridge circuit was of PHSA connected to output Port 0. FRQA is pllena drives this device is of course implemented constructed from half of an L293D quad driver set to 1 so that PHSA is incremented by one Control p9 10 24 p21 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x, p10 11 23 p20 (16x must be SoFtreS 64 - 128 mhz) Cog entirely in software and runs on one of the chip. This was mounted on the breadboard for each cycle of System Clock. 12 12 14 15 16 20 21 22 18 19 17 Xi pllena System Cog Crystal oscillator 5 i/o Xo Configuration Counter 3 dC 0 80 mhz oSCena pins oSCena (4 - 8 mhz with 2 register Cog COGs. All communication with the IDE together with two ‘Tact’ switches, pull-up Vdd VSS p12 p13 p14 p15 p16 p18 p19 p17 p11 oSCmode 4 2 Clock pll) 3 oSCmode software on the PC - Propeller Tool – is via the resistors and decoupling capacitors (see picture ClKSel USB port. There is a serial EEPROM on-board on page 23). Note the use of the D-variant of hub & Cog interaction this chip which has built-in protection diodes which communicates with the Propeller via an I2C bus which, you guessed it, is implemented for driving inductive loads. Only Ports 0 to 7fig. 1 in software run by a COG. It provides non- of the Propeller are available to the user out volatile memory for user programs. These of a possible 32, the others being committed Continued page 22 >20 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 21
  • 13. DESIgN DESIgNREvIEW REvIEW < Continued from page 21 The WAITPNE instruction in the Buttons ‘’ ************************************************************** method waits for Port 1 or Port 2 (or both) component list ‘’ * Simple DC motor speed controller using counters for timing * to go to a logic 0. In other words it waits for RS Stock No. ‘’ * PWM mark/space ratio from 0 to 100% * Now comes the first really interesting a button to be pressed. The beauty of these 32330 Propeller Starter Kit 405-571 ‘’ ************************************************************** instruction: COGNEW. This is what launches Wait instructions is that the COG operation L293DNE Quad half-bridge drive 526-868 the second COG. Up to now, COG 0 has been is suspended with its power consumption doing everything, running the boot-loader and reduced by over 85%. You can see that the Tact push button switch 479-1390 ‘’Port 0 = PWM output then the first part of our program. COGNEW COG running Buttons spends most of its time ‘’Port 1 = Speed Up button input tells it to load the public method Buttons into ‘asleep’, only waking when necessary. The RE280 DC motor 238-9709 ‘’Port 2 = Speed Down button input the next free COG, in this case COG 1, and set max (<#) and min (#>) statements in Buttons it running. Once it has done that it launches the provide the upper and lower limits for Ratio. CON Toggle method and runs that from now on. A feature peculiar to the Propeller is the sharing Speeding it up _clkmode = xtal1 + PLL4X of the 32 GPIO port lines by all processors. You would normally expect programs run by _clkfreq = 20_000_000 Each COG has its own Port Direction register, an on-board interpreter, in this case SPIN, to each output of which is ‘OR-ed’ with the next be slower than those in native assembler. VAR COG’s register (see Fig.1 page 20). A COG The unique architecture of the Propeller word Ratio ‘Ratio = PWM pulse width requiring an output port needs to set the does to some extent widen the speed gap. appropriate bit in its Direction register to logic This is because user SPIN code is held in word Period ‘Period = PWM period 1. Once set it also enables the corresponding shared central RAM while each COG runs the long Stack[9] ‘Make stack space for COG 1 output from the COG I/O register to drive the interpreter in its own local memory. The hub I/O pin. Care must be taken to ensure that two provides access to central resources in a strict PUB Main COGs don’t try and use the same port line for time sequence and a particular COG may be ‘’Initialisation of ports, counters and program start output, as program operation will not be as held up waiting its turn. Machine code from Ratio := 10000 ‘Initial PWM 50% expected! Port input is completely independent the assembler is stored and run in the COG and any COG may read the state of any port local memory resulting in a considerable Period := 20000 ‘Set PWM period pin at any time. A COG can check its own increase in throughput. ctra[30..26] := %00100 ‘Configure Counter A to NCO/PWM mode output or indeed monitor what other COGs are ctra[5..0] := %00000 ‘Direct Counter APIN to Port 0 doing on port pins they have set as outputs. frqa := 1 ‘Set counter increment to 1 dira[0..2] := %100 ‘Set Ports 0 = output, 1 & 2 = input The Propeller has no interrupt system so there are a number of Wait instructions which cause cognew(Buttons, @Stack) ‘Start COG 1 running Buttons routine program execution to pause until some Toggle ‘COG 0 runs PWM generator routine event takes place. WAITCNT suspends operation for the specified number of PUB Toggle | Time system clock cycles by checking the ‘’COG 0 produces PWM signal with pulse width set by variable Ratio value of a target figure against the Time := cnt ‘Set base time from System Counter value of the System Counter CNT. In PUB Toggle PHSA is loaded with the repeat ‘Repeat next 3 lines forever negative (2’s complement) value of phsa := -Ratio ‘Load negated Pulse width into PHS Ratio. This of course sets Bit 31 or the Time += Period ‘Time = Time + Period ‘sign-bit’ of PHSA to logic 1. As this bit waitcnt(Time) ‘Wait for interval set by Time is connected to Port 0, the PWM output also goes high. PHSA is now automatically incremented at the System Clock rate by PUB Buttons | Width having FRQA added to it. After Ratio clock Essential reading ‘’COG 1 monitors two pushbuttons to derive value for Ratio cycles, PHSA reaches zero and Bit 31 changes Programming and Customizing the repeat ‘Repeat next 8 lines forever to logic 0. That is the end of the PWM pulse. Multicore Propeller Microcontroller Width := Ratio While all this is happening the COG is sat in the Shane Avery et al ISBN 978-0-07-166450-9 waitpne(%110, %110, 0) ‘Wait for button press WAITCNT statement for the duration of Period. McGraw Hill if ina[1] == 0 ‘If Speed UP button pressed Of course PHSA continues to increment, but the end of Period will be reached long before Width := Width + 1 <# Period ‘then increment Width to max Period PHSA reaches a value setting Bit 31 high again. else ‘Speed DOWN button pressed When WAITCNT times out the cycle repeats, Width := Width - 1 #> 0 ‘so decrement Width to min 0 with PHSA being reloaded with –Ratio. get more online... Ratio := Width We have thus added some more parallel waitcnt(6000 + cnt) ‘Wait before checking buttons again operation by having the Counter determine a fuller version of this review the pulse width, while independently the along with SPIN source code COG program is setting the period. This is files is available at how the PWM waveform on Port 0 is rs-components.com/etechlisting 1. SPIN source code for the PWM demonstration program generated by Toggle.22 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 23
  • 14. arduino With its low cost of entry, flexibly modularised enable engineers to quickly create complete approach and vibrant developer community systems with almost limitless possibilities. for support, Arduino is one of the most straightforward ways to add intelligence to your As an open source project, Arduino has an active design. Arduino allows prototypes to be built developer’s community, meaning help is neverEmbedded control as based on multi-pin devices such as the 100- pin TQFP ATmega 1280 without resorting to far away. The Arduino site features blogs from the team, as well as links to developer forums,EaSy aS... complex soldering and handling techniques. where the topics range from powering up your first board to designing complete systems. The Arduino project was initially developed to The accessible nature of software development enable university students to create complex for Arduino is unlike traditional embedded applications running on standardised hardware platforms; the IDE provides the key building platforms. This has largely become possible blocks to software development and uses a through the use of a special programming subset of the C/C++ language syntax, meaning language based on C/C++, running in an users only need a very basic understanding environment developed specifically for Arduino of software development to create real-world boards featuring Atmel’s 8bit MCUs. It is this applications. Essentially, Arduino applications are combination of hardware and software that is endless loops, defined using simple constructsfor designers and students new to now enabling all engineers to explore the world using keywords such as If…Then…Else. Themicrocontrollers, arduino represents of embedded control, and RS has recently become a worldwide supplier of Arduino boards, digital and analogue I/O are referenced directly using keywords and pin designations, allowingone of the most accessible routes making this exciting platform accessible to the simple control functions to be created quickly,to becoming part of a new era in entire engineering community. while allowing more complex algorithms to be generated intuitively.embedded control. The arduinoboard is so straightforward and easy “ The vibrant community also provides accessto program that it is accessible to With its low cost to a wealth of existing software, donated by active developers. It is this willingness toengineers with no prior experience,while at the same time offering of entry, flexibly comply with the spirit of open source that really underpins the unrivalled growth beingenough performance and capability modularised experienced by Arduino. For any engineer new to microcontrollers, the Arduino project offersto address ambitious tasks. approach and everyone – irrespective of experience – a chance to expand their horizons. vibrant developer community for support... ” Arduino is essentially a concept; an open source standard defining a hardware platform which offers a number of digital and analogue inputs and outputs (I/O). The behaviour of the processing board’s I/O is defined by the program, which in turn is created using the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE); a freely available download from the project’s website (www.arduino.cc). Arduino’s modular approach extends beyond RS components is the exclusive official the processor, to include add-on boards that global catalogue distributor for arduino, provide specific functions. Known as Shields, stocking the Duemilanove McU board these boards can offer access to wireless based on the atmega328, Zigbee and connectivity, such as the XBee ZigBee shield Ethernet Shield boards. Plus workshop from Digi International (part number 696-1670), kits containing all the components or the Ethernet shield (part number 696-1661). required to begin prototyping. See our Together, the processing boards and Shields range at rswww.com/electronics24 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 25
  • 15. The front (and back) panel of a medical instrument presents special challenges to the electronics design engineer. In addition to being clear and easy-to-use, the equipment must comply with very specific standards such as the Medical Devices Directive, quality management standards like ISo13485, and must often be risk-assessed to evaluate the potential for and the consequences of incorrect connection and use. In particular, with a vast amount of Rear panel solutions well-suited to OEM medical designs. Those instrumentation, information systems, The rear panel normally provides power to with medical approvals, namely EN60601- patient care and critical care equipment in the device alongside any data connections. 1, can be designed into patient monitoring use in hospitals alongside the inevitable Good rear panel design entails reducing systems and other portable equipment for personal and professional wireless risk of misconnection through clear use in medical wards and surgical communications systems, careful attention labelling and simplicity of use, and keeping operating theatres. To meet this standard to electromagnetic compatibility and RF the size and number of connections to a the level of leakage current for ac/dc power immunity is essential minimum to improve device portability supplies is 500 micro amps max at 230V, and miniaturisation. Connectors with with a further requirement for power In the constant drive to minimise hospital a wide range of mechanical or colour supplies and dc/dc converters to have infections, front panels will usually need coding possibilities are popular to guide higher isolation voltages. to be thoroughly and regularly cleaned end-users to connect the right cable to the and sterilised, especially where patients right socket safely, easily and quickly, and Simple, reliable, connectors have physical contact with the system. if necessary prevent potentially dangerous When it comes to data connections on Waterproof switches, keypads and misconnections. Power inlet modules for the rear panel, the first prerequisite for coverings are essential for front panels medical equipment need to be double fused connectors and cable assemblies is and, whilst IP65 protection against dust and for protection and should offer good mains reliability. They need to be engineered with moisture ingress is adequate to provide filtering to ensure a clean power supply high quality materials, fully adapted to wipe-clean capability, moving up to IP67 medical environments, tested to be shielded allows equipment to be fully immersed and against electromagnetic interference and – “ sterilised. as with front-panel components – must be As an example, the whole ITW Switches ...prevention able to withstand a range of cleaning and sterilisation processes. range is IP67 rated. Its portfolio of more than 1500 switches offers designers a of MRSa and A prime example is ODU’s MEDI-SNAP® vast array of options, for instance in the Flex-Tech 57M family of miniature panel other lethal miniature cylindrical connectors, which ensure higher safety through blind sealed metal pushbutton switches. These hospital-borne mating capability and a push-pull-locking infections requires miniature, rugged vandal-resistant switches mechanism. The medical connector have zinc alloy housings and velour chromo range comes with plastic housing made plating, and are available as maintained more active from either polysulphone (PSU) or ” or momentary action, in illuminated and polyetherimide (PEI) thermoplastics.Prescribing non-illuminated versions. defence. These offer superior performance to standard polycarbonate materials: PSU Reducing the risk of infection can be subjected to repeated cleaning Increasingly, however, prevention of MRSA and sterilisation, whilst PEI is additionally and other lethal hospital-borne infections with low EM emissions. In addition, there resistant to autoclaving and steam requires more active defence. APEM, for is a requirement on medical equipment to sterilisation processes. example, offers antibacterial coatings keep current leakage as low as possible,the right connections on its membrane overlay, switch and embodied in the IEC 950 standard. Schaffner From the power inlet to the front keypad products, in addition to wipe-clean FN92XXB and FN28XB series medical IEC panel, innovative and dependable IP65/67 sealed switches and waterproof Inlet plugs, for example, have an integral electromechanical components like membranes. Tactile switches have been mains filter that eliminates mains borne these are helping designers to meetfor medical instruments developed to meet the very specific demands of medical devices. A particular requirement is that usually the operator is wearing disposable gloves, calling interference beyond the capability of capacitors alone. Earth leakage current specifications of 0.002mA/phase ensure conformity with IEC 950. the very special challenges of medical instrumentation and equipment. for a strong tactile feel and audible click. learn more about the growing The reverse is true for equipment used in Internal and external power supplies range of products supplied by RS that audiology, where even a quiet click would such as those offered by Emerson under are suitable for medical applications be distracting. the Astec and Artesyn brand names are at rswww.com/electronics26 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 27
  • 16. DESIgN DESIgNTIPS TIPS IN aSSocIaTIoN WIThoUTMaNoEUvRED +12V IC2 +5V D25 D5 D10 D15 D20 D26 78L05 1 3 D6 D11 D16 D21 3V6 1W3 C7 C6 4 C5 R18 D7 D12 D17 D22 2 IC1 = MCP6004-I/P 12V IC1 1k5 220u 10u 11 100n 25V 63V D8 D13 D18 D23Perfect parking with a reversing aid 0 +5V D9 D14 D19 D24 R19 R20 R21 R22 D1 +5V 330R 330R 330R 330R BAT85 C1 P1 R4 R5 100k R8 C3 100u C2 470k 22k 68k 25V 4u7 MOD1 3 100n 63V K2by Ton giesberts (Elektor labs) 5 3 7 PSD R3 IC1B K1 SIGNAL 1 6 IC1A VOLTAGE 100kbased on an idea by ludovic Meziere (france) PROCESSING CIRCUIT REGULATOR R1 1 100k 2 +12V OSCILLATOR CIRCUIT R6 T2 D3 R16 220k +5V 0.5 V while an object is held at the required LED LED DRIVE CIRCUIT OUTPUT CIRCUIT R9 R10 R2 100k 4k7 BAT85 minimum distance from the sensor. The VCO R7 T1 R12 BD139 4k7 GP2D120 2 R14 39k 39k 22k D4 is then turned off by T1 when the minimum 100k R17 1kIt’s not always easy to reverse a car. There are distance is reached. P2 BC550C 10 8 BAT85some good reasons why modern cars are 12 D2 IC1C 100k 9 14 IC1D R13 R15 13 C4 The operation of the VCO is quiteoften fitted with sensors that indicate R11 BAT85 100k 1M 2k7 straightforward. C3 is charged via R3. 470u 25Vwhen the rear bumper comes (We’re assuming that T1 is turned on.) +5V 090184 - 11dangerously close to an When the voltage at the inverting input of IC1B becomes less than the voltageobject behind the car. at the non-inverting input, the figure 1. In the circuit diagram we can see some classic applications of opamps:The circuit described here output becomes high and C3 an inverter and a comparator.is the perfect solution to is discharged via D1 and R4. The threshold set by R5 we expected because the data sheet made opamps are powered by a 78L05. A zenermake parking easier in and R6 determine the us believe that the maximum range was only diode has been added to the input of thefixed locations, such as operating range. 30 cm (1 foot). When the voltage output of the regulator to keep its dissipation to a minimum.in a garage. R8 has been chosen such sensor becomes too low the output of IC1D becomes high and D2 then prevents C3 from Otherwise there would be 7 V across the small regulator, for no good reason. The LEDs are that the hysteresis is charging up. The output of IC1B will then stay powered directly from the mains adapter. With about 0.5 V. When the low. Once the car has been parked, the LEDs a mains adapter of 12 V you can connect fiveMost people find it more difficult to reverse a car than driveforwards. In any case, it is much trickier to VCO is operating the hysteresis is between 3.4 V and 3.9 V. The stay on for about 5 minutes before they’re turned off by IC1C. red LEDs in series without any problems. The current consumption in stand-by (no reflection) is 39 mA. With all the LEDS turned on 76 mAestimate how much space there is between an maximum input voltage of IC1C is used to check if the LEDs are flashing. is drawn.object and the rear bumper, and looking behind the VCO is then about 3 V. When the output of IC1B is low, C4 will beyou can result in an unpleasant feeling in your With the right settings – in our charged up quickly and the output of IC1C For this circuit a small single sided PCB hasneck. A solution to this problem is the reversing prototype we set the voltage on stays high, blocking D4. The LEDs will now be been designed, which consists of two parts.aid, which indicates how much further you can the wiper of P1 (pin 3 of IC1A) to off in all circumstances. If the output of IC1B The PCB artwork can be downloaded fromdrive backwards without hitting anything. The 1.45 V – this covers the complete sensor stays high then C4 will slowly discharge via the eTech website. The LEDs have been keptcircuit presented here should be mounted in a output range. The VCO has been designed in R13. Finally, after about 5 minutes, the output separate so that they can be mounted in afixed position, for example on the back wall of such a way that the pulse width varies as well of IC1C becomes low and the base current clearly visible position.a garage. With the help of a clearly positioned as the frequency. At higher frequencies the of T2 is then diverted via Schottky diode D4.visual display you can tell if you can reverse larger current through R3 will cause a larger The LEDs will now stay off until the car moves The sensor and the rest of the circuit can thenfurther without crashing into the wall. Controlled Oscillator) has current to flow through R4, which means away again, when the LEDs start flashing be mounted in the most suitable location. been used to implement it will take a bit longer before C3 becomes until the car moves out of range. Headers have been used for the connectionPrinciples this. The LEDs will turn on sufficiently discharged to make the output of between the two boards. On the LED sideFor the measurement of the distance we use permanently when a minimum order to properly drive the following VCO IC1B switch state again. At the maximum distance the period of the a right-angled version is most suitable. Witha special sensor made by Sharp, the GP2D120. distance has been reached. built around IC1B, the signal is first inverted flashing LEDs is about 240 ms, with a pulse the appropriate sockets you can make anThe sensor measures the distance with the using IC1A. Preset P1 has been added to The output voltage of the sensor is monitored width of 50 ms (D = 21%). At the minimum easily maintainable connection between thehelp of an IR LED that has a wavelength of circuit diagram shift the output voltage of IC1A such that it by opamp IC1D, which is configured as a distance the period is 160 ms, with a pulse boards. The sensor made by Sharp can alsoabout 850 nm. The output voltage of the sensor As we mentioned earlier, the GP2D120 comes completely within the operating range comparator. Its function is to make sure width of 95 ms (D = 59%). The change in be connected via a pin-header. The sensorbecomes less as the distance increases. (MOD1 - in figure 1) measures the distance of the VCO. The VCO is turned on when T1 is that the LEDs start to flash with a minimum frequency from 4 Hz to 6 Hz may not appear itself has to be connected using a special 3-pinThe visual display of this ‘radar’ consists of a and reduces its output voltage as the distance made to conduct. This is easily implemented frequency when an object comes within range. to be much, but the change in the duty cycle socket with a lead pitch of 2 mm, made by JSTnumber of LEDs that start to flash when an to the object (the car) becomes greater. The by connecting the base resistor of T1 to the P2 is used to adjust the voltage across R11 makes it much more noticeable. (Japan Solderless Terminals).object comes within range of the sensor. The relationship isn’t inversely proportional and output of IC1A. To make the LEDs light up between 0.1 V and 0.32 V. At the lowest settingcloser the object comes to the sensor, the neither is it linear, since the angle of reflection continuously the output voltage of IC1A of P2 the sensor appeared to have a range of Power supply and Pcbfaster the LEDs will flash. A VCO (Voltage changes less as the distance increases. In has to be adjusted with P1 to be just under about 1 m. That was surprisingly more than The sensor and the circuit built around the Continued page 30 >28 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 29
  • 17. DESIgNTIPS component list figure 2. The layout of the relatively small boards makes them appear fairly crowded. however, due to the use of through-hole components the soldering shouldn’t cause any difficulties. Semiconductors RS Stock No. D1–D4 = BAT85 300-978 D5–D24 = LED, 5mm, red, low current 646-6670 D25 = LED, green, 5mm, low current 826-436 D26 = zener diode 3.6V, 1.3W 812-358 T1 = BC550C 545-2254 Resistors RS Stock No. T2 = BD139 314-1823 R1,R2,R3,R14,R15 = 100kΩ 151-303 IC1 = MCP6004-I/P 403-181 R4,R7 = 22kΩ 151-167 IC2 = 78L05 398-552 R5 = 68kΩ 157-531 R6 = 220kΩ 157-480 Miscellaneous RS Stock No. R8 = 470kΩ 151-331 K1,MOD1 = 3-pin SIL pinheader 681-3269 R9,R10 = 39kΩ 151-325 K2 = 3-pin right angled SIL pinheader 681-2521 R11 = 2.7kΩ 151-072 MOD1 (not on PCB) = GP2D120 315-400 R12 = 1kΩ 157-446 2 pcs PCB solder pin, diam. 1.3mm 434-138 R13 = 1MΩ 151-123 3 pcs BPH-002T-P0.5S, JST BPH-002T-P0.5S 353-1276 R16,R17 = 4.7kΩ 151-000 PHR-3, JST PHR-3 353-1311 R18 = 1.5kΩ 151-094 Socket for 3-pin SIL header 681-3269 R19 - R22 = 330Ω 151-375 P1,P2 = 100kΩ preset (Piher) 473-590 capacitors RS Stock No. C1 = 100µF 25V, radial, lead pitch 2.5mm (0.1”), diam. 8mm max. 684-1942 C2 = 100nF MKT, lead pitch 5mm (0.2”) or 7 .5mm (0.3”) 463-1765 C3 = 4.7µF 63V, radial, lead pitch 2.5mm (0.1”), diam. 6.3mm max. 520-1040 C4 = 470µF 25V, radial, lead pitch 5mm (0.2”), diam. 10mm max. 684-1958 C5 = 100nF ceramic, lead pitch 5mm (0.2”) 652-9995 C6 = 10µF 63V, radial, lead pitch 2.5mm (0.1”), diam. 6.3mm max. 440-6547 C7 = 220µF 25V, radial, lead pitch 2.5mm (0.1”), diam. 8 mm max. 193-6815opamp choice In many rail-to-rail opamps there areFor the quad opamp we’ve selected an protective diodes connected ininexpensive rail-to-rail version made by anti-parallel between theMicrochip, the MCP6004-I/P which is perfect , inputs, which means thefor this application. The opamp specifications maximum differentialthat have to be considered for this circuit are input voltage may onlynot the bandwidth, slew-rate or output current be 1 V. In theory our circuitfor a change, but the maximum differential could also use these opamps.input voltage. We’re using two opamps ascomparators, which means that the voltage For this reason R9 has been added to thedifference between the two inputs could inverting input of IC1D. As an example, we get more online...be several volts. The opamp used here can tried using a TS924IN. What goes wrong in thiscope with a voltage difference that is equal case is that the two inputs of the comparators Download the Pcb artworkto the supply voltage. This supply voltage affect each other. The time constant of C4 from Design Tips atcan be between 1.8 V and 5.5 V (7 V is and R13 turns out to be lower because of the www.rs-components.com/eTechthe absolute maximum). addition of R14 and R15.30 eTech - ISSUE 3
  • 18. ESSENTIalS ESSENTIalS TEST lEaDS SET Practical lead set with a wide range of accessories for taking measurements in most situations.cRyDoM SSRSSolid state relays are the future for reliable n Includes: 2 x 1.2m silicone multimeterelectronic and electrical load switching. leads with shrouded 4mm terminations one end straight, one end right angled, (redn They contain no moving parts, offer high and black); 2 x crocodile clips (red andresistance to vibration and require lower black); 2 x long reach multimeter probescurrents to operate making them ideal for with removable 4mm tip exposure adaptorsuse in portable and industrial equipment. MUlTI-fUNcTIoN gRaPhIcal METER (red and black); 2 x spring loaded ’grabber’The crydom range of SSRs includes both an analogue input meter with a programmable multimeter probes (red and black).Pcb & DIN rail mount versions from 100ma multi-function 320x240 pixel graphcis display complies with IEc1010-1 cat III 600v vISIToR’S / lab covERSPEcSto 125a with both ac & Dc control options. safety standard. can be worn on its own or over prescription spectacles.online search term: crydom SSR online search term: 262-7742 n Supplied complete with Windows based configuration software n Ideal for lab or manufacturing areas, the coverspecs are ultra- the SGD 24-M can be programmed via USB for input scaling and lightweight, with a single piece polycarbonate lens moulding. With 6 types of virtual meter including analogue meters, VU type bar- a tough construction, they provide excellent all-round visibility. graphs, or 3½ digit. Powered from 4-30Vdc with a supply current Meets EN166-1F with a Class 1 optical lens. , less than 100mA and supports input voltages from 0-40Vdc. online search term: 764-142 online search term: lascar SgD Eco WIRE a range of hook-up wire which uses an environmentally-friendly alternative to Pvc sheath. aNTISTaTIc fIElD SERvIcE kIT lINDSTRoM cUTTERS & PlIERS Ideal for field based personnel that need a a wide range of high precision tools designed n EcoWire uses a modified polyphenylene ether temporary anti-static area to work on specifically for use within the electronics industry. (mPPE) thermoplastic and contains no heavy metal pigments, allowing it to help manufacturers meet Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) n Available in a lightweight and heavy duty version these kits n In addition to cutters and pliers, we also supply requirements. Available with a variety of sheath colours include a black wide jaw croc clip, stacking snap tweezers and screwdrivers from Lindstrom. All from 28AWG (0.07mm²) to 10AWG (5.37mm²). banana, 10 mm male snap riveted to material, products are manufactured to the highest online search term: Eco wire adjustable wrist strap and a ground cord which is standards guaranteeing an accurate and supplied in a plastic service wallet with zipper. even action for the life of the tool. online search term: 681-1235 & 681-1231 online search term: lindstrom DIgITal PRogRaMMablE SolDERINg IRoN cost effective, entry level soldering station for the intermittent / low volume user. The hand piece and tips are designed to enable rapid heat recovery required for lead free soldering. n Digital display with 3 programmable set point temperatures, pre- programmed to: 150, 300, 400°C. Operating temperature range: flUkE 233 MUlTIMETER 150 – 450°C. Supplied with 24V / 48W soldering iron be in two places at once with the and 230V power supply, with grounding stud/ new fluke remote display multimeter. socket for critical applications and ESD work. TEchSPRay RENEW™ hIgh PERfoRMaNcE online search term: n The removable display solves the problem of holding both Eco-clEaNINg™ foR SMT 665-4789 the meter and the test leads, so taking measurements in a range of eco-cleaners that are non-ozone hard-to-reach places is easy. The removable display gives the depleting, have very low vocs (volatile organic user flexibility in situations where display viewing is difficult or compounds) and no global Warming Potential impossible, or in areas where the operator cannot easily be close to the active measurement point, for example in clean rooms or temperature test chambers. Wireless technology n SMT Eco-STENcIl™ effectively removes all types allows the display to be carried up to ten metres away from of solder paste and uncured adhesive from the point of measurement. screens, misprinted boards and equipment. It online search term: fluke 233 is a safe replacement for IPa cleaners. SMT Eco-ovEN™ cleans reflow ovens, wave soldering systems by removing all types of flux residues. It is fast acting and more effective than IPa for baked on flux residues. online search term: TEchSPRay32 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 33
  • 19. “ although many suitableautomotive solutions are available, they are commonly targeted at manufacturers ordering in high volumes. ”connector solutionsvehicle markets worldwide are changing quickly, as factors such as electricvehicles and rising car ownership in fast-growing economies empower newbrands to challenge established players. Innovations like vehicle buses, lEDlighting and hybrid or all-electric powertrains are especially demanding oninterconnect and switch components.From specialist government and commercial components, whilst at the same time handling protected earth offering 60A short-circuitvehicles, to motorsport and custom cars, the a larger number of I/O and higher currents. current capability. The connectors are protectedautomotive industry demands top reliability, This can only be achieved with smaller pitch: to IP 66 when mated and operate in ambienttop performance and top cost-effectiveness. automotive connectors have to deal with temperatures up to 80°C.Although many suitable solutions are available, wires less than 0.05mm², yet still operatethey are commonly targeted at manufacturers at temperatures up to 125°C. Features like Demands like this are already filtering from theordering in high volumes. Where does this secondary locks, straight-angle “scoop-proof” volume market to systems for lower-volumeleave the specialist vehicle manufacturer, or mating and low insertion forces are mandated applications, such as emergency vehicles,those developing prototype or test designs? by standards bodies like USCAR 2 to ensure construction equipment, prototypes and racingRS is expanding its range of switch and that automotive interconnects are assembled cars, as well as after-market products.interconnect solutions through partnerships correctly and will therefore perform withinwith top manufacturers. specifications for the whole design life. That is why RS is expanding its portfolio rapidly. For example an exclusive agreement withautomotive connectors high brightness, low power FCI Connectors has just been announced toThere is a huge amount of interconnection in The latest automotive designs are putting introduce FCI’s family of automotive productstoday’s vehicles, whether signals are routed still-greater demands on interconnection. through high service level distribution forby conventional wiring looms or automotive Take, for example, the increasing trend for the first time. OE-quality connectors arebuses such as CANbus, FlexRay or LINbus, LED lighting as daytime running lights for cars. produced by FCI’s Motorized Vehicles Division,for example. Increasingly, the trend is to use High-power LEDs have significantly different and include wire-to-wire connectors, flexlow-voltage differential signalling (LVDS) instead requirements from conventional incandescent interconnects, wire-to-PCB and wire-to-deviceof conventional serial or parallel data, with its lamps: in particular, there is a need to keep connectors, power terminals, signal terminals,advantages of high speed and excellent junction temperatures as low as possible squib interconnects, high-reliability enclosures,EM shielding. in order to maximise light output and unit pin headers and press-fit pins. Such life. Manufacturers like JAE are developing agreements give customers rapid access toThe durable, two-conductor JAE MX38 is able connectors for main driver modules, cable specialist automotive interconnect and switchto withstand tight bend radii and more than assemblies with built-in heat-sinks and solutions, with no minimum order quantity for82,000 flex cycles and is ideal for distribution wiring harness connectors to meet these prototyping, test programmes, replacement-of high-speed data at LVDS levels, for example emerging requirements. parts supply and specialist markets such ascarrying serial data from externally-mounted industrial vehicles.cameras in advanced parking and vehicle Another technology that pushesguidance systems. LVDS interconnects will interconnection to extremes is that of hybridalso distribute DVD and TV video and audio and electric cars. Even the charging connectorsto seat-mounted LCDs, as part of Rear Seat require extreme power capacity, reliability andEntertainment (RSE) systems. safety. Connectors developed by ODU for the new MINI E have two power contacts rated See the latest additions to ourAs with other automotive interconnects, the at 60A, 240V AC, three signal contacts rated range of automotive componentsoverall aim is to reduce the size and weight of at 1A 42V, nominal current, and a safety- at rswww.com/electronics34 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 35
  • 20. EDPUPDaTEEDP supportsaRM mbed formatThe Embedded Development Platform fromRS now offers easier access to aRM processorsThe mbed development environment launched by ARM recently(see the mbed article in this issue for further details) providesinstant access to a very powerful suite of software tools, hosted inthe ‘cloud’ to support a hardware platform for rapid prototypingand proof-of-concept. Now, RS has added support for the mbedformat to its Embedded Development Platform (EDP), whichwill bring even more benefits to developers who are new to theconcept of 32bit processors.EDP is the perfect complement to mbed, as it too offers a fast andflexible way of configuring hardware functions using modules.With the introduction of a special adapter, engineers can nowplug their mbed module into the EDP baseboard and operate our online quote tool is so quick it willit alongside up to three additional modules, chosen from the give you a slice of your day back.growing number of Application Modules offered for the EDP This .instantly extends the capabilities of mbed processing modules toinclude peripheral functions without the need to build unwieldybreadboards or develop a bespoke hardware platform.The reusability inherent within EDP coupled with the ,open and unrestricted access to mbed’s softwaredevelopment environment, create a powerfulprototyping platform. Creating a proof-of-concepthas never been easier or more accessible;mbed is designed to provide engineerswith an easy and intuitive route to 32bitprocessing, so no experience is required.The software development tools are only aclick away, along with a growing repository ofcode, examples and advice.RS is dedicated to providing engineers with the resourcesthey need to move from concept to prototype as quickly andefficiently as possible. Bringing together EDP and mbed representsa significant milestone along the road to simpler development,giving engineers of all abilities the tools they need to createprototypes using the latest technologies. The strengths of EDPinclude the ability to assimilate other innovative solutions such asmbed, which means its worth as a reusable, extendable platformis matched only by its value. get more online... Stay up-to-date with the latest additions to the RS EDP portfolio at rswww.com/edp oNlINE QUoTES rswww.com/tips36 eTech - ISSUE 3
  • 21. The number of viable application areas for protocols will demand faster, more capable compatibility Roadmap to microcontrollers (MCUs) is growing and processor cores and this represents one ofthe A key focus for Microchip is the compatibility inherent in that growth is a need for higher key reasons why the industry is transitioning it offers between its families of PIC® MCU performance. In general, the vast number of to 32-bit based devices. Most MCU vendors devices. Through the use of MPLAB® 8- and 16-bit MCUs available may cover the are now actively developing 32-bit solutions but (Microchip’s Integrated Developmentperformance needs of all traditional applications, but the few are taking the same measured approach as Environment) this extends to the PIC32, as it trend towards ‘smarter living’ is driving demand Microchip. While Microchip’s very successful offers pin- and peripheral-compatibility with the for smarter MCUs; devices that can provide 8- and 16-bit MCU families use a proprietary 16-bit PIC® MCU families, which means code all the usual control functions but with core, Microchip has chosen to standardise its developed for a 16-bit device will be compatible something extra. Typically that something 32-bit families on 3rd Party IP from MIPS. This with the PIC32 family, providing a true extra is connectivity. benefits Microchip customers by bringing an performance roadmap. This is unrivalled in the entire eco-system of software development industry, even among vendors standardising The term ‘connectivity’ covers both wired tools to the PIC® MCU platform. Furthermore, on a common 3rd Party core technology; and wireless communications, but while by adopting licensable IP Microchip is able , predominantly the peripherals, memory If you only listen to the manufacturers, all 32-bit processors established markets have in the past to deliver leading-edge performance without management, interrupts and pin configurations offer class-leading performance, so how do you really implemented relatively simple serial protocols compromising on features. will be significantly different, both between choose the right solution for you? such as RS232/422, today’s applications require more robust solutions which are The 32-bit technology chosen by Microchip vendors and a single vendor’s range of MCUs – even those using the same core architecture. able to support higher bandwidths over for the PIC32 families is the MIPS M4K In addition, the extensive suite of software networked topologies. This may include wired core; it uses a Harvard architecture (separate development tools offered by Microchip technologies such as USB, Ethernet or CAN, data and program buses) and independent remains compatible across all PIC® families, or wireless networking solutions including benchmarks show the PIC32 delivers more allowing its extensive software libraries to be 802.11, Bluetooth or ZigBee®. These modern performance than competing 32-bit MCUs. used on all devices, including the PIC32. The communication protocols are essentially driven For example, at 80MHz the PIC32 delivers 120 significance of this compatibility can not be by standards which are not trivial, requiring a Dhrystone MIPS (1.5DMIPS/MHz) compared underestimated; the choice of which MCU EaSE of significant amount of processing power. Many to 1.25DMIPs of the nearest competitor. These family to adopt today is based largely on the DEvEloPMENT 8- and 16-bit MCUs are able to meet the need independent benchmarks show the PIC32 quality of the software development tools and for relatively complex communications, but as completes tasks over 30% more efficiently the availability of software libraries. Microchip applications become more sophisticated the than other cores and along with the Harvard continues to develop software applications need for processing power will increase; real- architecture, the core features a single-cycle and make them freely available to customers, time operating systems and time-critical hardware MAC, which enables it to complete including advanced communications protocols many common processing tasks much quicker; for the PIC32 family. typically the PIC32 would complete an FFT in 28% less time than a comparable 32-bit device. For the many existing PIC® users now evaluating 32-bit MCU solutions, the PIC32 represents their simplest transition. It offers an almost seamless move from 8- and 16-bit devices to high performance processing. For a wide choice in performance, a familiar and SEaMlESS compatible development environment, the PIC32 family is unsurpassed. TRaNSITIoN There are many 32-bit solutions available, all claiming to offer the highest performance when measured against a specific parameter. hIghER However, for your application, only one solution is truly the best; the key is to find it. PERfoRMaNcE Independent benchmarks are an excellent starting position and in this respect the PIC32 is unbeaten, but why leave it to chance? RS offers a range of development kits for all leading 32-bit solutions, allowing engineering teams to evaluate devices using real life applications; your own benchmark. faSTER loW PRocESSINg PoWER for more information or to check out the range of development kits available, visit rswww.com/electronics38 eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 39
  • 22. lUNch lUNchbREak bREak WIN Daily No. 1513 Easy a garmin Nuvi 255W gPS 24 10 23 11 Name: Job Title: with our killer sudoku 16 10 7 20 Ship-To-Number: Tel: how to play: 11 15 15 10 as with standard sudoku, every row and column and 3 x 3 E-mail: square must contain the numbers 1 through 9 exactly once. 11 31 The grid is composed of shapes with a dotted outline. at the top of each shape is a number, this signifies the sum of the Send your completed Sudoku to: RS Components Ltd, eTech Team, DPN 24, Corby, Northamptonshire, cell. for example; if there is a shape composed of two cells 18 11 NN17 9RS. with a ‘3’ in the corner, the total of those cells is ‘3’. from that you can tell that the values of the cells must be ‘1’ and ‘2’ or terms & Conditions: ‘2’ and ‘1’. This competition is being run by RS Components Ltd. To enter the 17 18 18 6 24 competition, all information on the entry form must be supplied. Entry is free, no purchase is necessary. It is the responsibility of It is not permitted to repeat a number in a shape. If you have the participant to gain permission from his/her employer to enter a sum of 8 across three cells, this cannot be ‘2’, ‘4’, ‘2’ as the this competition. The prize is as stated. No cash alternatives are ‘2’ is then repeated 15 5 available. The competition is open to all RS Components catalogue in the shape. recipients, except employees of RS Components or their families. The closing date for entries is 01/09/2010. The date of the draw will be in the month of September 2010. The winner will be selected No numbers are placed in the grid to start with, unlike in 19 16 at random by RS Components and will be notified by 1st October normal sudoku; however you can work out every number 2010. Responsibility cannot be accepted for lost entries, damaged with no guesswork but applying logic alone to reach the or delayed in transit to the porters address. Illegible, altered or unique solution for each puzzle. incomplete entries will be disqualified. Details of the prize winner 7 17 can be obtained from the promoter after the date of the draw by 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.comWhere will you take yoUR eTech? broadcast to the Nation Quiz! our very own Pui chueng launches 1 What video standard is 5 What does DvD stand for? 9 What is the furthest distance at our new competition “Where will you used in the Uk? which the human ear can detect take yoUR eTech?” a. audio frequencies? a. Pui climbed Mount Kilimanjaro earlier this year and was snapped with her copy of eTech when she 6 What Does hDMI stands for? a. reached the peak. 2 What does NTSc stand for? can you beat this? a. a. 10 Phantom power is a means of what? Are you going to the pyramids, diving with sharks or trekking in the jungle? 7 What does ccD stand for? 3 What is the standard aspect ratio a. Send your photographs along with your name and of a widescreen television? a. company via email to etech@rs-components.com. a. The best photo(s) will be printed in the next edition. 8 Where does the term “vox pop” 4 how many frames per second come from? (fPS) does a Pal signal contain? You may submit up to 5 photos per eTech issue. Entries must be clearly labelled a. with your name and company details and be sent from your company e-mail address for verification. Entries from a personal e-mail address may not be a. used. All entries must be your own original work and must not infringe anyone’s privacy or copyright or breached any laws. You must have obtained permission of any people featured in the photo, or their parents or guardians if children under 16 are featured. By entering your photo, you allow RS Components to edit and reproduce your photo along with your name and company details in any media in all countries. RS is under no obligation to publish your photo.40 eTech - ISSUE 3 answers can be found at www.rs-components.com/etech eTech - ISSUE 3 41
  • 23. INDUSTRyNEWSa Mini-laboratoryfor all casesMany illnesses can be reliably diagnosed through laboratory tests, butthese in vitro analyses often use up valuable time. a system developedby fraunhofer research scientists, which can carry out complexanalyses on the spot, will soon be ready for the market.“We’ll just have to wait for the results of the laboratory tests”These .words are familiar to many patients. It then usually takes several days forspecimens to be sent to the laboratory and analyzed and for the doctorto receive the results. For many illnesses, however, a speedy diagnosisis crucial if the treatment is to be successful. In future, the patient mightonly have to sit in the waiting room for a few minutes until the resultsare ready. In a joint project, researchers from seven Fraunhofer instituteshave developed a modular platform for in vitro diagnosis which enablesvarious types of bioanalysis – of blood and saliva for example – to beconducted in the doctor’s surgery. “Thanks to its modular design ourIVD platform is so flexible that it can be used for all possible bioanalyticaltasks, states Dr. Eva Ehrentreich-Förster from the Fraunhofer Institute ”for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT) in Potsdam-Golm.The core element of the mini-laboratory is a disposable cartridge madeof plastic which can be fitted with various types of sensor. For ananalysis the doctor fills the cartridge with reagents – binding agentswhich indicate the presence of certain substances such as antigens inthe specimen material. Various tests or assays are available for differenttypes of analysis. To perform an assay, the doctor only has to placethe relevant substances in the cartridge and the test then takes placeautomatically. “We have optimized the assays so that up to 500 assayreactions can be conducted in parallel in a single analysis step, explains ”Dr. Ehrentreich-Förster. Even in the case of complex analyses the doctor “ Thanks toIvD platform its modularobtains a result within about 30 minutes. A new module on the reverseside of the cartridge also makes it possible to analyze the specimenmaterial at DNA level. design ourOnce the cartridge has been prepared, the doctor places it in the is so flexible that it canmeasurement system. The results can be read out with either optical be used for all possible ”or electrochemical biosensors. The researchers have installed a readoutwindow for both methods in the measurement system, which features bioanalytical tasksa bypass through which the specimen is pumped.In addition to medical applications, Dr. Ehrentreich-Förster has othermarkets in her sights. “The IVD platform is also suitable for food dr. eva ehrentreich-Förster from theanalysis and doping checks. The mini-laboratory will soon be ready ” Fraunhofer institute for Biomedicalfor the market. engineering (iBmt) in potsdam-Golm42 eTech - ISSUE 3
  • 24. We’ve added over 4,000 Vishay products, giving you an ever expanding choice.rswww.com/vishay 08457 201201
  • 25. DON’TKEEP YOURBRILLIANCETO YOURSELFDesignSpark is a new online gateway connecting electronic designengineers like you with the latest information and resources. Join thegrowing band of members to exchange ideas, share expertise, makecontacts, grow your network and, of course, unleash that brilliance.www.designspark.com POWERED BY