Products

In-Line Inspection

The VT-S700 in-line automated optical inspection system from Omron Electronics, Schaumburg, IL, shortens tact time of soldered component inspection with an expanded field of view. Using a telecentric lens with a 2-megapixel camera, the system reduces image distortion at the edges of the field of view. It delivers high-resolution inspection of up to 10 microns for components as small as .01005, and down to a 12-mil pitch. The system uses a three-color highlight system that illuminates the printed circuit board in a 360-degree dome. The 3-CCD camera enhances solder shape recognition accuracy and identifies lead-free solder joints. Auto-teaching modes automatically extract components based on model pattern data, and logic customization allows the system to adapt to future changes in component shapes and solder types. Optical character verification capability is available, and resolution can be selected for 10, 15, or 20 microns.

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Network Cameras

Panasonic, Secaucus, NJ, has introduced two IP network cameras, the BL-C101A and BL-C121A that monitor from a PC or cell phone. The BL-C101A features one-wire, plug-and-play installation; the BL-C121A is wireless and features IEEE 802.11 operation with an internal antenna. Both cameras can simultaneously capture MPEG-4 video and JPEG images, and include a free Web address from which users can remotely monitor the camera’s video. Both cameras have a built-in microphone. Other features include digital input for camera triggering, full-screen monitoring, image transfer by motion detection/timer, and 4-up, 9-up, and 16-up multi-camera pages.

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Image Sensors

Banner Engineering Corp., Minneapolis, MN, offers the iVu series image sensors that combine a photoelectric sensor and a vision sensor. They feature a touchscreen with intuitive interface and configurable inspection parameters. Three sensor types are offered in one rugged package for applications such as injection molding verification, label inspection, packaging verification, weld nut orientation, and electronic marking verification.

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2D and 3D Design and Engineering Software

Autodesk, San Rafael, CA, has introduced the latest releases of its 2D and 3D design and engineering software for manufacturers. The 2010 products include Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD Mechanical, and AutoCAD Electrical. Autodesk Inventor 2010 features new capabilities for 2D product documentation and 3D product design, including automated capabilities for designing injection molds for plastic parts, and improved support for motion simulation and static and modal finite element analysis at both the part and assembly levels. Inventor also has a new user interface that combines an intuitive 3D design environment for creating parts and assemblies, with tools that drive the automatic creation of components such as plastic parts, steel frames, and rotating machinery. The new version of AutoCAD Mechanical includes intelligent drafting features for automating common design tasks. AutoCAD Electrical includes a new one-line circuit symbol library and enhancements to the Circuit Builder tool that lets designers analyze the energy efficiency of circuits for “green” engineering.

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Audio Enrichment Technology

ARC International (San Jose, CA), has introduced the Virtual Bass™ audio enrichment technology that delivers a deep rich bass response on existing speakers or headphones, eliminating the need to add subwoofers or other audio components. Virtual Bass optimizes a product’s bass rendering capabilities, taking into account the analog to digital converter, amplifier, speaker cavity, and speaker driver, resulting in audio that more accurately reflects the original performance without adding artificial signals or muffling voice articulation and audio clarity.

The low-power ARC® Sound Subsystem is a 100-hour audio playback solution for portable devices. When implemented on the ARC® Sound Subsystem, Virtual Bass offers a complete solution that lowers manufacturing cost while producing an enhanced listening experience. The complete solution includes an underlying silicon solution that cuts chip size and lowers power consumption, a complete set of software to provide playback of any digital music format, all the tools needed to develop the chip solution, and the complete Sonic Focus™ audio enrichment technology suite.

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DSP Library

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has released a new DSP library for its ARM Cortex-M3-based STM32 microcontrollers. The STM32 DSP library is license-free, royalty-free, and provides a large number of valuable functions coded in C or assembly language. These include a PID controller, Fourier transform functions, and a selection of digital filters such as 16-bit FIR, IIR direct-form, and IIR canonical-form filters. The functions are ready to use, easy to integrate, and are comprehensively documented to promote software maintainability and accelerate endproduct development. Operations such as multiply-accumulate or hardware divide can be executed within only two cycles. Demonstrations running on the STM32F103 Performance Line MCU have performed a complex 256-point 16-bit radix-4 Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) in only 362μs. Compared to alternative hybrid architectures such as digital signal controllers (DSC) with separate control- and signal-processing cores, the STM32 streamlines software development, enhances performance, and allows developers to use standard tools. The new DSP libraries can be used with the IAR, Keil, and Raisonance tool-chains for the STM32. The DSP library reduces cost and time-to-market for applications such as digital power conversion, including solar-energy projects, closed-loop control of switched-mode power supplies, audio and speech processing, and digital image processing.

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Energy Harvesting Development Platform

Infinite Power Solutions (Littleton, CO) has introduced the THINERGY™Application Development Platform (ADP) that, coupled with IPS’ THINERGY thin-film micro-energy cell (MEC™) products, allows users to create new microelectronic applications, such as perpetually powered and deeply embedded systems. Companies in the active RFID, powered smart card, wireless sensor, medical device, consumer electronics, automotive, and military/aerospace markets can now have access to both volume- production-ready thin-film MECs and a powerful development platform.

IPS’ thin-film MECs deliver a highly efficient, safe, rechargeable and powerful energy storage solution in an extremely thin form factor. The MEC’s thinness, power, and long life make it ideal for integration into embedded applications, while the ADP enables the simultaneous development of energy harvesting solutions to create a new generation of autonomously powered microelectronics systems. The THINERGY ADP simplifies the typical lab setup for micro-battery testing and is ideally suited for evaluating the IPS micro-energy cells’ performance, the effectiveness of charging circuits using ambient energy harvesting, and overall system development of the user’s end application.

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Static-Analysis Tool

CodeSonar 3.3 Enterprise from GrammaTech, Inc. (Ithaca, NY) offers improved performance, and richer API that makes it easier for users to add a wide variety of custom checkers. It is also easier to visualize trends in software quality, and managementlevel reports and custom charting features have been refined. CodeSonar is a sophisticated staticanalysis tool that performs a whole-program, interprocedural analysis on code and identifies complex programming bugs that can result in system crashes, memory corruption and other serious problems.

CodeSonar is a useful softwareanalysis tool for companies working on mission-critical applications such as satellites, avionics, industrial controls and medical devices. CodeSonar is also suitable for companies outside the safety-critical space that are looking to significantly improve software reliability and security, which includes organizations developing software for wireless devices, networking equipment, and consumer electronics.

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Safety-Certifiable Messaging Middleware

Real-Time Innovations (Sunnyvale, CA) releases the Safety- Critical Edition of RTI Data Distribution Service. The small-footprint version of RTI’s real-time messaging middleware is designed to meet safety certification standards such as DO-178B. Safety- Critical Edition was initially developed for use in satellite applications by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). However, Safety- Critical Edition is also ideal for communication within and between avionics systems and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) ground-control stations.

Based on the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service for Real- Time Systems (DDS) standard, Safety-Critical Edition provides a high-performance message bus for integrating distributed components of avionics systems, such as control systems, sensors, actuators and displays. Its loosely coupled integration approach significantly reduces long-term software maintenance costs by allowing individual subsystems to be added or upgraded without impacting existing software.

Safety-Critical Edition supports the standard DDS interoperability protocol and the Real-Time Publish-Subscribe Protocol (RTPS). Applications developed using Safety-Critical Edition can communicate with other systems developed using RTPS-compliant DDS middleware. This allows military UASs to be easily integrated with net-centric combat systems, where DDS is widely used.

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USB Data Acquisition Board

Data Translation (Marlboro, MA) has introduced the DT9818, a high performance, multifunction USB data acquisition board for OEMs. The DT9818 is aimed at embedded applications rather than the more common USB approach of connecting externally to the PC. The module runs completely on USB power and offers ±500V galvanic isolation, a critical feature for industrial embedded systems. The DT9818 board features 500 volt galvanic isolation that prevents ground loops, maximizes analog signal integrity, and protects the computer; true 16-bit resolution for both the analog input and analog output subsystems; and independent clocking and triggering for input and output subsystems for maximum flexibility.

The DT9818 board provides 8 or 16 analog inputs, 2 analog outputs, 16 digital I/O lines, 2 counter timers, and allows simultaneous operation of all subsystems at throughput rates up to150kHz. The board-only OEM version allows the user to embed data acquisition capability directly into their USB system. Many software choices are available for application development from ready-to-measure programs like Measurement Applets and quickDAQ, to full graphical programming with Measure Foundry rapid application development builder.

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