Electrical/Electronics

Virtual Fabrication and Assembly Documentation

Over the years, the term “virtual” has become associated with many different domains. Virtual machines are now commonplace as a substitute for physical laptops or desktops, allowing for the emulation of computer systems. Of course, virtual reality is in the news daily as new headsets, apps, and games provide a substitute for images and sounds, allowing for the simulation of a three-dimensional environment. In the printed circuit board (PCB) space, some fabrication and assembly information such as artwork, drill, netlist, test, and component placement have been conveyed virtually to manufacturing for more than 30 years.

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Product of the Month: May 2017

Spectrum Instrumentation Corp., Hackensack, NJ, introduced the DN6.44x, a range of 12 highspeed, 14- and 16-bit LXI-based digitizers with up to 24 fully synchronized channels. The 16-bit ADC models offer sampling rates of either 130 MS/s or 250 MS/s, and the 14-bit units feature sampling rates of 500 MS/s. The units are suitable for applications where arrays of receivers, sensors, detectors, rectifiers, antennas, and other electronic devices are to be used and tested. Each channel is equipped with its own front-end amplifier that features six input ranges (from ±200 mV to ±10 V full scale), switchable input impedance (50 Ω and 1 MΩ), and programmable positive input offset for unipolar signals. Analog bandwidth is as high as 250 MHz (for 500 MS/s models), enabling the units to capture electronic signals in the DC to 200-MHz frequency range. The instruments are equipped with onboard acquisition memory of 512 MSamples per channel, and feature an industrial chassis with integrated cooling, a replaceable dust filter, and low-noise power supplies.

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Product of the Month: March 2017

Watlow, St. Louis, MO, introduced the D4T with INTUITION® data logger with a range of field-removable I/O modules. The data logger features a 4.3” color graphical touch panel with a high-resolution graphical user interface that allows channels, alarms, inputs, and outputs to be customized with user-defined names. The unit is programmable to show information in multiple languages, and enables users to choose encrypted, .CSV, or both types of file formats for tamperproof record needs. Users can select which parameters to log, from one to 128 points simultaneously, and where to store files — inside the controller, on a connected USB memory device, or to a connected PC anywhere in the world. The system records as fast as one time per 0.1 second, or as slow as one time per hour. The system is available with 1 to 24 channels, and is compatible with temperature, altitude, humidity, AC current, and other 0-10VDC or 0-20 mA process units. It connects with a controller via Ethernet, and offers communications options including Ethernet Modbus® TCP and SCPI, and EIA-232/485 Modbus® RTU.

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PRINTED ELECTRONICS: THE FUTURE IS FLEXIBLE

Chances are that most of us have used a printed electronic device, whether it's a security tag on a piece of clothing, or a plastic badge used to open the door of our workplace. Printable electronics have diverse potential applications in flexible solar cells, batteries, sensors, lighting products, medical diagnostic devices, drug delivery devices, smart packaging and clothing, and displays. Following are several innovative applications incorporating printable electronics.

Low-Cost Printable Electronics Fabrication

The need for low-cost and environmentally friendly processes for fabricating printable electronics and biosensor chips is rapidly growing. NASA has developed a unique approach for an atmospheric pressure plasma-based process for fabricating printable electronics and functional coatings. This system involves aerosol-assisted, room-temperature printing in which an aerosol carrying the desired material for deposition is introduced into a cold plasma jet operated at atmospheric pressure.

Posted in: Articles, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Sensors and actuators, Additive manufacturing, Magnetic materials, Nanomaterials
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CoaXPress Frame Grabber

Responding to the need to create a cost-effective, high-speed interface to fully leverage CXP cameras, BitFlow (Woburn, MA) has introduced the Aon-CXP single link CoaXPress frame grabber. The Aon is powerful enough to support camera speeds up to 6.25 Gigabits/second, which is almost twice as fast as USB3 and over six times the speed of current offerings of GigE Vision. While capturing video at those speeds, it is simultaneously sending control commands, triggers and up to 13 W of power over a single piece of 75 Ohm coaxial cable.

To learn more, click here

Posted in: Products, Data Acquisition, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Video
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Edge-Connect SBC

ADL Embedded Solutions Inc. (San Diego, CA) has announced its compact ADLE3800SEC SBC with Edge-Connect. This ultra-compact 75mm x 75mm form factor is a full-featured, standalone SBC for rugged, embedded applications. The ADLE3800SEC is ideal for rugged, extended temperature intelligent systems with stringent size, weight, and power (SWAP) requirements. It boasts a wide thermal junction temperature (Tj) range (-40°C to +85°C), wide input voltage (20-30 VDC), DisplayPort, USB2.0, USB3.0 and two GLAN ports with support for DirectX 11, Open GL 4.0, and full HD video playback. The Edge-Connect architecture allows for added I/O expansion and connectors in a variety of baseboard/breakout board configurations (flat, vertical, odd-shapes, etc.).

Posted in: Products, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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MP3 Audio DSP Microcontroller

VLSI Solution (Tampere, Finland) has introduced the VS1010 MP3 Audio DSP Microcontroller, a highly integrated all-in-one MP3 player system-on-a-chip. VS1010's I/O system includes support for Hi-speed USB (both host and device operations are supported), SD/SDHC cards, 2xSPI, MEMS microphones, S/PDIF, I2S, 2xUART, RTC clock, SAR inputs, a PWM output, GPIOs. It also contains a 24-bit stereo DAC and an integrated earphone amplifier with a dynamic range of 100 dB(A). VS1010 runs VLSI Solution's VSOS operating system. For those who want to program the VS1010, VLSI Solution's Integrated Development Environment VSIDE is available for free.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs
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Optical Encoders

MICROMO (Clearwater, FL) announced the FAULHABER high-precision IER3 and IERS3 optical encoders. Both encoders deliver two-channel quadrature signals and an additional index signal. They can position a FAULHABER micro DC motor or brushless DC servomotor with a typical accuracy of 0.1° to 0.3°. The encoders combine the LED, photodetectors, analysis unit, and interpolation levels on one chip. They lengthen motors by 15.5 to 18.5 mm. Both encoders are also available with line drivers that generate complementary output signals and make data transmission resistant to electrical interference, especially in encoders with long connecting cables. The IER3 encoder has a resolution of up to 10,000 lines per revolution, and achieves an angular resolution of 0.009° with the evaluation of 40,000 edges per revolution. The IERS3-500 provides resolutions of 250 and 500 lines per revolution.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers, Motors & Drives, Optical Components, Optics
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GigE Vision over NBASE-T Video Interface

Pleora Technologies (Ottawa, Canada) has unveiled a product that brings the bandwidth and Cat 5e cabling advantages of NBASE-T technology to the vision industry. The NBASE-T specification, compatible with the recently adopted IEEE 802.3bz™ standard, defines a new type of Ethernet signaling that boosts the speed of Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables well beyond the previous limit of 1 Gbps. The iPORT™ NTx-NBT Embedded Video Interface hardware provides a cost-effective upgrade path for imaging device designers by supporting faster 5 Gbps transfer of GigE Vision-compliant images over existing Cat5e cabling in retrofit installations, or inexpensive cabling for new systems.

Click here to learn more.

Posted in: Products, Board-Level Electronics
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Rugged Train Control System

MEN Micro’s (Blue Bell, PA) MA50C is a modular system for safe train control that complies with AAR (Association of American Railroads) standards. The new controller unit features a mechanical design that meets AAR S-590 as well as an AAR S-9401-compliant enclosure that houses a safe CPU, real time Ethernet card, power supply and shelf controller. An MCU (modular concept unit) design efficiently hosts a single tower of up to six standard 3U CompactPCI boards. User-specific functions, such as safe digital I/O, MVB (multifunction vehicle bus) and serial I/O, are accommodated by incorporating different boards into the system’s slots.

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Posted in: Products, Computers
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