Electrical/Electronics

Chalcogenide Nanoionic-Based Radio Frequency Switch

The electrochemical switch is non-volatile, lacks moving parts that can fail, and is easy to fabricate.NASA’s Glenn Research Center has developed nanoionic-based radio frequency (RF) switches for use in devices that rely on low-power RF transmissions, such as automotive systems, RFID technology, and smartphones. These groundbreaking nanoionic switches operate at speeds of semiconductor switches, and are more reliable than microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switches while retaining the superior RF performance and low power consumption found in MEMS, all without the need for higher electrical voltages. In this new process, metals are photo-dissolved into a chalcogenide glass and packaged with electrodes and a substrate to form a switch. Since the nanoionic-based switch is electrochemical in nature, it has certain advantages over switches that are mechanically based, including nonvolatility, lack of moving parts that can fail, ease and efficiency of activation, and ease of fabrication. This innovative device has the potential to replace MEMS and semiconductors in a wide range of switching systems, including rectifying antennas (rectennas) and other RF antenna arrays.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, RF & Microwave Electronics

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X-ray Diffraction (XRD) Characterization Methods for Sigma=3 Twin Defects in Cubic Semiconductor (100) Wafers

This technology is especially relevant in high-end, high-speed electronics.NASA’s Langley Research Center has developed a method of using x-ray diffraction (XRD) to detect defects in cubic semiconductor (100) wafers. The technology allows non-destructive evaluation of wafer quality in a simple, fast, inexpensive process that can be easily incorporated into an existing fab line. The invention adds value throughout the semiconductor industry, but is especially relevant in high-end, high-speed electronics where wafer quality has a more significant effect on yields.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers

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System for Configuring Modular Telemetry Transponders

Possible applications include weather monitoring and forecasting, Earth observation, and ionospheric studies. Figure 1. The individual slices, or decks, that comprise the PULSAR telemetry unit. The modular design enables inclusion of multiple-band frequency transmitters and receivers. Researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center have developed software-defined radio (SDR) telemetry transceiver technology to collect and transmit data to and from small satellites and microsatellites. The SDR concept uses a minimal number of traditional analog radio-frequency components to convert RF signals to a digital format. Digital signal processing replaces bulky radio-frequency components, and enables reduced cost as well as size, weight, and power requirements (SWaP). The NASA technology enables software and firmware updates that increase the lifespan and efficacy of satellites, supporting a wide variety of changing radio protocols as they are developed. A modular design enables inclusion of multiple band frequency transmitters and receivers (S-band, X-band, Ka-band, etc.). The NASA SDR can find use in satellite applications in which cost savings, upgradability, and reliability are essential. A first-generation SDR has been flight tested on NASA’s FASTSAT mission.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers

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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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Enabling Small-Form-Factor, High-Capacity Small-Cell Platforms

There are about eight billion people who use cellphones to communicate, access social media, and upload and download videos and other content. This insatiable demand for connectivity and data will continue to increase. By 2020, and beyond, there could be a 1,000x increase in mobile data, which outpaces today's technology network capacity. The communication industry must determine how to scale networks to accommodate the increase in bandwidth demand for better security, power efficiency, reduced latency, and lower total cost of ownership. This paper discusses the options available to increase network capacity.

Posted in: White Papers, Communications, Electronics & Computers

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Combating Driver Fatigue with Mobile Surveillance

Driver fatigue is a leading cause of traffic accidents for heavy-duty vehicles such as mining trucks, excavators, bulldozers, cranes, cargo trucks, and buses. Their drivers need a rapid alert system to keep them awake and on the road. Find out about an in-vehicle surveillance platform that uses a camera to monitor drivers for fatigue, analyzing video in real-time to activate alerts and wireless communications.

Posted in: White Papers, Automotive, Communications, Electronics & Computers, Cameras, Displays/Monitors/HMIs

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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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