eTech Magazine - Issue 3


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

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eTech Magazine - Issue 3

  1. 1. e YOUR ELECTRONICS MAGAZINE ISSUE 306Online & On timeDesign tools are evolving to increasethe productivity of
  2. 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 (logo) and Tyco Electronics are trademarks of theTyco Electronics group of companies and its licensors.
  3. 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 or visit Registered No. 1002091. RS Components Ltd 2010. 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. 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 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 to see the FCi automotive range, go to eTech - ISSUE 3 eTech - ISSUE 3 05
  5. 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. 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 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. 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 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. 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 every month eTech - ISSUE 3 11
  8. 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. 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. 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 For more parts visit: eTech - ISSUE 3
  10. 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. 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 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, in the ‘cloud’. There’s nothing to allowing engineers unfamiliar © 2010 Agilent Technologies, 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. eTech - ISSUE 3