Friday, September 19, 2008

1.5 GHz FPGA family features up...

The Speedster family of FPGAs uses picoPIPE acceleration technology that speeds the way data moves through the FPGA fabric. Instead of a global parallel clock, picoPIPEs use simple handshake protocols to efficiently control data flow, resulting in what is said to be significantly improved performance. The 1.5 GHz 65 nm devices have 24,576 to 163,840 LUTs.

The fist device in the family is the SPD60 with 47,040 LUTs, twenty 10.3 Gbit/s SerDes, five 5 Gbit/s SerDes, 144 18 Kbit blocks of RAM, and 98 multipliers. The device takes 8 to 10 W, excluding I/O, has four DDR3/DDR2 controllers, and comes in a FBBA 1285 or 1892 package.

The chips 10.3 Gbit/s SerDes supports numerous high-speed interfaces, such as 40G/100G Ethernet, CEI-6G, 10 Gbit/s backplane, XFI, PCI Express, XAUI, SRIO, and Infiniband. Design tools and a development kit are available. ($200 to $2,500 ea/volume qty. — SPD60 available Q3.)

Achronix Semiconductor, San Jose, CA
Sales 408-889-4100

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Murata SAW resonators for SRDs

Murata's latest family of SAW resonators is designed for short range devices (SRDs) operating in the ISM300 and ISM400 bands, and achieves +/-50ppm tolerance. Because of its tight tolerance, the SARCC series of SAW resonators helps designs comply with the latest ETSI frequency error standard.

The thermal coefficient of the three millimetre square package has been reduced by almost 50% to 0.016ppm/ deg C (typical) and the resonant loss has been improved by approximately 1dB to 1.5dB (maximum), compared to previous generations of SAW resonator.

The range is offered with tolerance of either +/-50kHz or +/-50ppm, compared to the +/-75kHz offered by previous generations.

Resonators in the SARCC series come in two types, each named using a different suffix: part numbers suffixed -KX are intended for the consumer electronics applications and are also suitable for some automotive applications such as RKE (remote keyless entry) systems. Part numbers suffixed -TX are full automotive grade (AEC-Q200) devices, suitable for applications such as TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring systems).

The new family, which covers all the most requested frequencies, is available in industry standard 3.0x3.0mm size, 6-pin ceramic packaging and is backward compatible with older devices.

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Op-amp integrates over-voltage ...

Housed in an 8-lead LFCSP, the ADA4091-2 op amp integrates over-voltage protection circuitry. The 1.5-MHz op amp features a 350-µA-per-channel supply current, a 0.5-V/µs slew rate, and offset voltage of 500 µV max.

In addition, the 36-V dual micro-power device protects up to 12 V above and below the supply rails at ±15 V and 25 V above and below the supply rails at ±5 V. ($1.80 ea/1,000 — available now.)

Analog Devices, Wilmington, MA
Technical Support 800-262-5643

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2.4GHz wireless chip has own MCU

Nordic Semiconductor has introduced its smallest 2.4GHz wireless device, the nRF24LE1 which integrates a 2.4GHz transceiver core (the nRF24L01+) and a mixed signal 8-bit microcontroller with flash memory for ULP wireless applications.
The device has an enhanced 8051 mixed-signal MCU core featuring fewer clock cycles per instruction than legacy 8051 devices. Most instructions need just one or two clock cycles leading to an average performance improvement of x8 using the MIPS benchmark.
This performance and the chip's 16kbyte of on-chip flash plus 1kbyte of SRAM enables it to run both the RF protocol stack and application layer.

The chip is available in a 4x4mm QFN package.
A ULP 32kHz crystal oscillator provides timing for low report rate synchronous protocols and a 16MHz RC oscillator provides fast start-up times from idle. The 32kHz oscillator can provide timing accurate enough for higher report rate protocols without requiring an external crystal.
A security co-processor supports AES encrypted wireless communications.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Intersil ISL59450 multiformat video multiplexer with integrated sync separator

Intersil's ISL59450 multiformat video multiplexer with integrated sync separator has six Composite, four S-Video and four Component video inputs enabling simultaneously switching of a number of video signals in different formats.

Another feature is that two of the Component input channels can be configured for RGB signals with separate horizontal and vertical syncs. This allows for handling of PC video signals often used in multimedia and home-theatre applications.

The device features integrated programmable anti-aliasing filters that provide the ability to program the corner frequencies to specifically address the video standard being used.

Two universal sync separators extract the timing signals from input signals, which will be needed further down the signal path to display and manipulate images. This, along with two active output channels per input group, supports picture-in-picture (PIP) functions.

The ISL59450 also features programmable output gain control. To support very high resolution signals it can be configured to bypass the filters and provide 275MHz of bandwidth.


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MOSFETs target Li-ion battery apps

The EFC4601R, EMH2407, ECH8651R series of MOSFETs contain 11 n-channel MOSFETs that are well suited for lithium-ion battery charge/discharge protection circuits. The packaging offers a 70% reduction in mount area and a 40% reduction in height compared to an earlier version of the product.

The MOSFET series has a turn-on delay time of 310 ns and a turn-off delay time 3,000 ns, and a gate to source charge of 0.89 nC. The typical RDS(on) at 3 A at 4.5 VGS for the EFC4601R is 34 mohms, the EMH2407 has 19mΩ, and the ECH8651R offers 10.5 mΩ. The devices also use lead-free and halogen-free design. (Contact sales at 201-825-8080 or email for price and availability.)

Sanyo Semiconductor, Rochelle Park, NJ
Information 201-825-8080
FAX 201-825-0163
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Mirics Semiconductor radio module platform for FlexiRF reconfigurable RF tuner

Mirics Semiconductor is offering a consumer radio module platform for its FlexiRF reconfigurable RF tuner, addressing FM, DAB, DAB+, DMB-A and DRM standards.

Measuring 60x55mm, the platform includes the MSi002 FlexiRF IC and integrates all necessary active and passive components, including a multi-standard demodulator IC, needed to deliver a complete analogue and digital broadcast radio receiver module.

For more information see the Mirics Semiconductor website.

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Industry’s highest accuracy DAC improves system performance

Tiny part delivers ±2-LSB INL and ±1 LSB DNL

Offered as the industry's highest accuracy DAC, the DAC9881 features 18-bit monotonic performance, ±2-LSB INL and ±1 LSB DNL — all in a tiny QFN-24 package. The chip reduces external components by 75% by integrating a low-noise buffer and enables customers to increase system performance and simplify designs in precision industrial applications such as automatic test equipment, instrumentation, process control, data acquisition and communications systems.

The device supports a SPI serial interface capable of operating with input data clock frequencies up to 50 MHz. Other key features include a 4-mW power consumption at 5 V, 24 nV/√Hz noise, a 5-μs settling time, rail-to-rail output swing over the full supply range of 2.7 to 5.5 V, and selectable power-on reset to zero-scale or midscale. (From $16.90 ea/1,000 — available now.)

Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX
Product Information Center 800-477-8924
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Revolution in the cellphone industry by the introduction of Iphone

The Apple iPhone has brought about a revolution in the world of consumer electronics. In 2007 it was Steve Jobs who mentioned it in his key address at Macworld Conference & Expo.

Initially in the hands of Job it looked like a slim black triangle lacking in animation. Then the touch of Jobs on its screen was like a magic wand. All on a sudden the stodgy lifeless black rectangle came to life - the surface began to throb with animation. The fingers of Job slid around the screen moving an arrow to unlock the phone. To many it is this that is most amazing feature of the marvel that is the iPhone - the connection between the finger and the image on the screen.

There are plenty of other features. The iPhone is more akin to a palmtop computer rather than the cellular phone. As with the typical smart phones the iPhone can be used to make as well as receive phones. One can view movies, hear music, browse through the web as well as operate e-mails. Messages too can be sent like the conventional SMS. Inside it there is a camera for taking photographs. Pictures can be transferred from the computer to the iPhone by the use of special software. The iPhone allows for viewing of maps and satellite information from Google.

A modified edition of Macintosh OS X operating system can also be used on Apple computers. iPhone allows interaction with these applications. Icons for each of these operations are displayed on the screen of the iPhone. It automatically controls battery power and the security devices. Similar to the computer it is amenable to multi tasks.

The iPhone dispenses with the use of a mouse or a typical keyboard. It uses buttons and controls. These appear on the screen. The touch screen of iPhone is distinct from others in many ways. Usually when the screen is touched a contact is made with a slim stylus with a point. But the iPhone makes use of the fingers. Multiple touch points are detected simultaneously. This many of the touch screen devices in the market cannot do. With each passing day touch screen technology is becoming more sophisticated and prevalent. Microsoft recently introduced Surface. It is the latest in touch-sensitive computer interfacing. This will lead to a mouse-free age of the computer.

The Apple iPhone is unique by itself as regards multi touch interfacing. Apple is incorporating the touch-screen at the reverse of the iPhone rather than on the front. For enforcing this magical touch device wherein the iPhone responds to the touch of the fingers the technology that is used makes use of multi layered capacitive layers.

Its circuit arrangement is such that it can respond to changes at each point right through the grid. Each point on the grid, therefore, generates own signals when touched. It then relays that to the processor inside the iPhone. Thus the phone responds to multiple touches. It is the fingers alone that bring to life the iPhone.

Thus the most important parts are the processor and the software of the iPhone. The processor makes use of the software to understand the data that comes through - that is find out the nature of each touch. The processor measures the difference between the point of start and end of the touch. The processor then relays the instruction to the programme.

With only one button on the front surface the Apple iPhone is weaving this magic. Pressing it one goes to the main screen where there are icons for using the four primary functions.
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Excelsys Technologies XCE 1450W family of 1U power supplies

Excelsys Technologies has introduced the XCE 1450W family of 1U power supplies measuring 268x127mm and with a peak power output of 1450W at efficiencies up to 90%.

Providing power density of 16W/cubic inch, the XCE can be populated with up to six off the shelf powerMods output modules with output power ratings between 72 and 200W and with combinations of nominal output voltages across the range 2.5, 5, 12, 24, 48 and dual 24Vdc.

All outputs are isolated and may be connected in series or parallel for greater flexibility and all are individually adjustable over a wide range. Output voltages between 1.0-59Vdc are obtainable by selection and adjustment of the available standard powerMods output modules.

All possible output configurations carry full safety agency approvals, UL60950, EN60950 and are CE marked.


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Analogue Devices low-power HDMI v1.3 transmitter

Analogue Devices has a small low-power HDMI v1.3 (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) transmitter for video delivery to HD televisions from portable multimedia devices.

The ADV7521NK HDMI v1.3 transmitter has on-chip support for Consumer Electronic Control (CEC), which enables a single remote control to run multiple CEC-enabled high definition devices.

The low-power transmitter offers full support for HDTV (high-definition television) video standards up to 1080p/30f, 1080i/60f, 720p/60f and computer graphics standards up to XGA at 75Hz.

It features an I2C (inter-integrated circuit) master for EDID (extended display identification data) reading, a single 1.8V power supply and 5V tolerant I/Os that support I2C and HPD (Hot Plug Detect).


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STMicroelectronics STCC08 solid-state AC-switch driver

The STCC08 from STMicroelectronics is its first solid-state AC-switch driver to integrate switch-supervision for use in mains-powered devices designed to meet IEC60335-1 and IEC60730-1 safety standards.

The device's supervisor capability meets IEC60335 by detecting short-circuit or open-circuit failures, as well as diode-mode failure of a solid-state AC switch in both half-AC-line polarities.

The device uses unique techniques to detect true switch status, and generates a logic signal connected to a digital input of a microcontroller (MCU), which implements the diagnostic using a simple two-input truth table. In insulated applications, the IC's output is also able to drive an opto-transistor.

The STCC08's integrated switch gate driver is capable of sinking up to 25mA to drive a directly connected AC switch, and supports continuous, pulsed or angle-phase modes. The output current is regulated using an external resistor. The CMOS-compatible input enables direct connection to the microcontroller.

Designed for connection in parallel with the power path, the STCC08 delivers a robust solution able to withstand EMI fast transients up to 4kV, thereby meeting IEC61000-4-4.

It can operate from 3.3V or 5V, is offered in a surface-mount ECPOACK SO-8 package.


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Monday, September 15, 2008


Sony today introduced two notebooks with Blu-ray Disc™ technology— the VAIO® NS and CS models.

"With these new units, Sony is now offering consumers a host of multi-media PC options to choose from," said Mike Abary, senior vice president of VAIO product marketing at Sony Electronics. "And with a starting price of around $1,000 for the NS model, we're expecting a new audience to experience HD entertainment on their computers."

HD Entertainment Attractively Priced

The VAIO NS notebook features an optional Blu-ray Disc-ROM drive that is ideal for viewing HD content. It also has the added convenience of DVD and CD read/write functionalities. 

The PC is equipped with a 15.4-inch (measured diagonally) widescreen display, and Sony's own XBRITE-ECO™ LCD technology for sharp details and vivid colors. 

The NS model easily accesses your music, movies and the Internet. Its integrated A/V mode features a dedicated menu, putting entertainment within easy reach by letting you select up to nine programs, such as a favorite web site, from one location. 

Packing an Intel® CoreTM 2 Duo processor, significant RAM and ample storage, the NS notebook is equipped with the tools required for everyday computing.

Available in three colors— nightfall blue, silk white and granite silver— the VAIO NS notebook will start at around $650, while the Blu-ray Disc model will go for about $1,000. 

High Fashion Meets High-Def

The VAIO CS notebook is available in four glossy colors— sangria, cosmopolitan, dove and black. A standard black matte finish is also available.

The unit is equipped with a 14.1-inch widescreen display and XBRITE-ECO™ LCD technology for sharp images. Matched with an optional Blu-ray Disc-ROM drive, the CS model is ideal for watching HD entertainment on-the-go.

Its instant A/V mode lets you kick off your entertainment with ease. Go straight to watching a movie, playing music, or viewing photos with the touch of a button. A built-in A/V slide control also lets you control all functions (play, pause, rewind, fast-forward, stop, eject, etc.) all with one-touch ease.

The PC has a uniquely configured keyboard, designed with spacing between the keys, for a comfortable typing experience. A specialized keyboard font adds a fun touch. The unit also has a12-tone music analyzer that translates your music into a colorful LED light show that plays out beneath the palm rest of the PC.

It is backed by optional Intel® Centrino® 2 processor technology with plenty of power for high-speed performance and an energy-efficient design for remote computing.

The CS model will start at about $920, while the BD model will go for around $1,070.

The VAIO NS and CS notebooks will be available online at They will also be sold at Sony Style® stores and select retailers around the country starting this fall.

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Future Nanoelectronics May Face Obstacles

When the size of the components approaches the nanometer level, all information will disappear before it has time to be transferred.

"Our findings throw a monkey wrench in the machinery of future nanoelectronics. At the same time, it's a fascinating issue to address just how we might be able to prevent the information from being lost," says Mattias Marklund, professor of theoretical physics at Umeå University in Sweden.

The electronics we know in our computers today is, as the name suggests, based on the transfer of information with the help of electrons. Using electrons has allowed us to shrink the size of computer circuits without losing efficacy. At the same time, communication with the help of electrons represents a rather slow means of transmission.

To alleviate this problem, light can be used instead of electrons. This is the basis of so-called photonic components. While the transfer speed in photonics is extremely high, the size of the components cannot be shrunk to the same level as 'ordinary' electronics.

For a number of years, so-called plasmonic components have proven to be a possible way around the dilemma of electronics and photonics. By combining photonics and electronics, scientists have shown that information can be transferred with the help of so-called plasmons. Plasmons are surface waves, like waves in the ocean, but here consisting of electrons, which can spread at extremely high speeds in metals.

The findings now being presented by the Swedish-American research team show that difficulties arise when the size of such components is reduced to the nanometer level. At that point it turns out that the dual nature of electrons makes itself felt: the electrons no longer act like particles but rather have a diffuse character, with their location and movement no longer being clearly defined. This elusive personality leads to the energy of the plasmon being dissipated and lost in the transfer of information. For nanocomponents, this consequence is devastating, entailing the loss of all information before it can be transferred.

"The effects we have discovered cannot be fully avoided, but the behavior of the plasmons might nevertheless be controlled by meticulous component design that takes into consideration the quantum nature of the nanoscale. It's our hope that continued research will provide a solution to this problem," says Mattias Marklund.

Source :

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It may be time for you to consider cutting the (phone) cord

If you haven't rethought your home phone service, now might be the time. Intense competition among companies and technologies has traditional standalone phone service from a Ma Bell descendant seemingly going the way of the dodo.

The dodo, a flightless island bird, became extinct in the 17th century because of human behavior and the introduction of new predators. Ditto, perhaps, for traditional landline phone service. Landline phone service is high quality and extremely reliable. But phone companies are losing customers daily to competing companies and technologies.

Bill Kula, a spokesman with Ma Bell descendant Verizon Communications Inc., said the company is experiencing an 8 percent to 9 percent decrease per year in landline phones. But he said the traditional landline has a future in the home telecommunications mix. Surveys show customers like the reliability of a landline and the security of knowing it has full emergency 911 capabilities. ''The wired telephone is not going away with the dinosaur,'' he said. ''It will continue to be a versatile part of the society for decades to come.''

Time will tell, but here are examples of predators and human behavior invading the habitat of traditional phone companies. They might just save you money:
Bundles. Deals abound, with phone and cable companies duking it out to sign customers to their triple-play services--TV, Internet and phone. Landline phone service has become such a commodity that it's almost a throw-in. It often includes unlimited long-distance calls and a wide host of features, such as call-waiting and caller ID. If you already subscribe to pay TV and Internet access, you might save by moving all your services under one roof.

Wireless. Cutting off landline service and using only a wireless phone is becoming more common as people become used to calling people, not places. A generation ago, callers would dial up a place, such as a home or an office because phones were tied to buildings. Today, wireless phones are associated with individuals, so people call other people. As they become commonplace, it's harder to justify duplicate landline telephone service.

Before cutting the cord, make sure you have adequate reception throughout your home and enough minutes on your wireless plan to handle calls at home and on the go. Several wireless carriers have introduced unlimited calling plans, many for about $100 per month. They often are of dubious value, said Allan Keiter, president of wireless comparison site For $100 per month, consumers already could receive 2,000 minutes--33 hours--with free nights and weekends, and free mobile to mobile. Few people use that much. Unlimited plans are aimed at dangling the concept of unlimited calling at customers on $80 plans with about 1,300 minutes so they trade up.

VoIP and MagicJack. Consumers have many choices for using their broadband Internet access as a phone line, using a technology called voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP. Maybe the most interesting and easiest is from, which offers phone service with unlimited long-distance, voice mail, caller ID, call waiting and other features for $19.95 per year.

For an additional $20, you must buy a matchbox-sized device that plugs into the USB port on your computer. You plug a phone line and phone into the other end of the device. Software loads onto your computer automatically and you get a dial tone. So, to get started, the device plus a year's service costs $39.95, and you never receive a monthly bill.

MagicJack inventor Dan Borislow said the company has sold more than 1 million of the devices so far. He assumed his customers would be business travelers, perhaps taking the device abroad to call home for free. Not so.

''They're people on budgets, people trying to save money,'' Borislow said. The average age of users is 55. The other major group of customers wants to dump their landline but their cell phone doesn't work well in the house, he said. They use MagicJack as their landline, often plugging a cordless phone base into the MagicJack line and adding multiple handsets throughout the house.

Drawbacks of MagicJack include not being able to keep your existing phone number. You'll receive a new one. And you must have the computer on to place and receive calls. If it's off, incoming calls go to voice mail. Borislow said the company is working on solutions to both of those disadvantages.

And while MagicJack works flawlessly for many people, others seem to have problems. The service is only as good as your broadband Internet connection. Voice quality can range from as good as a landline to as poor as a cell phone with a weak signal. Use the 30-day money-back guarantee to try MagicJack before canceling landline service.

Other Internet-based phone services, such as Skype and Vonage, can also use regular telephones and can be cheaper than landline phone service. Several traditional phone companies also offer VoIP service.
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Gleichmann Sunrise starter kit for NEC V850ES/Jx3-L All Flash 32-bit MCUs

For users of NEC's V850ES/Jx3-L All Flash 32-bit microcontroller family, Gleichmann Sunrise is offering a ready-to-use starter kit including application examples.

In addition to hardware components for the demonstration of simple I/O functions such as timer input/output, the development board also contains a variety of pushbuttons, 7-segment LEDs, A/D converters, UARTs, a range of further serial interfaces and connections for external hardware components.

The power consumption of the V850ES/Jx3-L is approximately 50% lower than other 32-bit microcontrollers from NEC Electronics.

The integrated hardware multiplier on a V850 core based 32-bit MCU, enables an efficient execution of arithmetic functions with the processing of large amounts of data.

Furthermore, with regard to peripherals the V850ES/Jx3-L microcontrollers offer users a number of channels for different types of serial communications. In addition, they also offer 4 independent DMA channels, 11 integrated 16 bit timers, 12 channels for 10-bit A/D conversion, two channels for 8-bit D/A conversion, 256kbyte flash memory, 16kbyte RAM and a bus interface for megabytes of extra memory capacity.

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Anders Electronics 7-inch WVGA TFT display module

A 7-inch WVGA TFT display module from Anders Electronics combines excellent visual characteristics with an extended operating temperature range of -30°C to +85°C.

The device is part of a automotive range for use in equipment that requires excellent readability while coping with harsh climatic conditions. These include outdoor and industrial applications such as portable information terminals, field-test equipment, automotive, plant machinery and access-control systems.

The 800xRGBx480 pixels (WVGA) TFT LCD module uses amorphous silicon transmissive LCD technology and an LED backlight to achieve typical brightness levels of 500cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 400:1. 

A wide left-right viewing angle of 140° further underlines the display's adaptability in real-world industrial applications.

The display module is capable of displaying up to 262,000 colours and features an integrated low voltage differential signalling (LVDS) interface. The module's mechanical attributes also ease the designer's task: with an overall thickness of 7.95mm, it provides greater flexibility in terms of physical positioning within the end system.

Designed for use with a 3.3V power supply, the module provides an active viewing area of 152mm x 91mm. Typical LCD current is 150mA, while the LED backlight requires a 100mA constant current source.

More information:

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Panasonic unveiled Lumix G1-World’s First Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera

Like it or not, the first Micro Four Thirds's digital interchangeable lens camera is here. Sooner, you wouldn't be able to tell a photographer is chimping or talking a picture. Panasonic has announced Lumix G1, the smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens camera with full time live view to break new ground. 12 megapixel Four Thirds Live-MOS sensor, automatic eye sensor, 3-inch HVGA swivel LCD and dust removal system are among many advanced features come with the 0.85 pound Lumix.


The Micro Four Thirds System is a joint venture between Panasonic and Olympus. The most significant feature of the new standard is eliminating traditional mirror box with a high resolution electronic viewfinder, thus reducing the size and weight of conventional Digital SLR.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 will be available as kit bundle with a new Lumix G Vario 14-45mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH O.I.S around mid-November. Another Micro Four Thirds lens announced is the LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm/F4.0-5.6 O.I.S. lens which will be sold separately. Pricing information will be revealed early next month.

[update prices from Japan:]
Bare body, 80,00 yen or $756,00
Bundled with 14-45mm, 90,000 yen or $840
Bundled with 45-200mm, 125,000 yen or $1,166

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1, a 12.1 Megapixel camera, also includes the following features.

  • Live MOS Sensor – Provides the best of both worlds with high image quality from a CCD sensor, and the lower-power consumption of a CMOS sensor. New technology makes it possible to read four channels of data simultaneously and deliver 60 frames-per-second full-time Live View images.
  • Venus Engine HD – New imaging processor enhances noise reduction and provides independent gradation control for each of the R, G and B colors.
  • Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System – Designed to prevent dust from adhering to the image sensor by vibrating 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles.
  • HDMI Output – With an optional HDMI cable, the G1 can connect to an HDMI-capable High Definition television, such as a Panasonic VIERA Plasma or LCD. When connected to a VIERA, using VIERA Link capability, the TV's remote control can direct the slideshow on the G1.
  • My Menu – This new tab automatically stores the five most recently used menu selections for quick, convenient retrieval. The custom-setting can also be used to program a frequently-used function, which can be activated by pressing the down arrow on the cursor key. The color of the menu viewed on LCD can also be changed to three different colors: black, red, blue.
  • Three Color choices - Black, Blue and Red
  • Eye-Sensor – auto detect when the user is nearing the view finder and automatically switches off the LCD
  • Auto-Focus System- new Contrast AF system, multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking.
  • Intelligent Exposure – Helps prevents photos from being under- or over-exposed by analyzing the framed image and adjusting the brightness in areas that are too dark because of dim lighting, backlighting or the use of the flash.
  • MEGA O.I.S. – Gyrosensors detect hand-shake and the lens system shifts to compensate, helping to prevent hand movement from creating a blurry image.
  • Intelligent ISO – Determines if the photo subject is moving and changes the ISO setting and shutter speed accordingly, thus giving a blur-free photo.
  • Intelligent Scene Selector – Senses the ambient conditions and will automatically select the appropriate mode from Scenery, Portrait, Close-up, Night Portrait or Night Scenery
  • Face Detection – Detects faces in the frame (up to 15 faces), even if they are moving, and selects optimal focus and exposure settings so portraits come out clear. Also features Digital Red-Eye correction.
  • lumix-g1-red-1






    Source :

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    802.11n wireless router is low cost

    The ENHWI-N2 wireless router is compatible with IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 specifications providing up to a 300-Mbit/s data rate. The unit has four 10/100 Ethernet ports with an auto MDI-X function, is compatible with older 802.11g devices, and uses a 5-V, 2.5-A power adapter.

    The device supports wireless data encryption with 64/128-bit WEP standard for security and supports enhanced security with WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK, WPA and WPA2. It uses the NAT active firewall to assist in preventing hacker attacks and web-based configuration/management tools are provided. ($72 — available now.)

    Encore Electronics, La Puente, CA
    Sales Office 626-336-4567
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    Discrete has isolated transistor, rectifier

    The CTLM1034-M832D discrete module is composed of a 40-V, 1-A VCE(sat) npn transistor, and a 40-V, 1-A low VF Schottky rectifier. The complementary CTLM1074-M832D is made of a 40-V, 1-A low VCE(sat) pnp transistor and 40-V, 1-A low VF Schottky rectifier. Both devices are suitable for dc/dc converters, switching circuits, and LCD backlighting.

    The npn transistor version has a typical VCE(sat) of 130 mV at 500 mA, and the PNP type has a typical VCE(sat) of 150 mV at 500 mA. The Schottky rectifier features a maximum VF of 450 mV at 500 mA. The TLM832D leadless surface-mount case provides 1.65-W power dissipation rating. The package measures 3.1 x 2.1 mm with a 1.0-mm height. (CTLM1034-M832D: $0.22; CTLM1074-M832D: $0.24 — available now.)

    Central Semiconductor, Hauppauge, NY
    Tom Donofrio 631-435-1110
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    80-Gbyte SSDs provide fast access times, high MTBF

    1.8- or 2.5-in.-form-factor drives feature 250-Mbyte/s read speeds

    The X18-M and X25-M SATA solid-state disk drives are built with multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash and provide boot-up and program loads up to nine times faster than an HDD. The SATA revision 2.6-compliant 1.8- or 2.5-in. mounting form factor units come in 80- and 160-Gbyte capacities and target laptop, embedded, and desktop computers. Their typical power consumption is 150 mW average (PC workload) and 60 mW in idle.

    The 80-Gbyte drive is said to have an MTBF of 1,200,000 hours, with up to 250-Mbyte/s read speeds, up to 70-Mbyte/s write speeds, and 85-µs read latency. Operating from 0° to 70°C and RoHS compliant, the devices have controllers that feature a parallel 10-channel architecture.

    The drives have been tested and validated on the latest Intel-based notebook and desktop platforms. (80-Gbyte version, $595 — available October; 160-Gbyte version available 4th qtr.)

    Intel, Santa Clara, CA
    Sales 408-765-8080
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    Welwyn WHPC thick-film chip resistor with enhanced power rating

    TT electronics Welwyn Components has launched the WHPC series of thick-film chip resistors with enhanced power rating. It is available in sizes 1206 and 2010, rated at 0.5W and 1W respectively. Due to limited trimming, both the power rating and the pulse performance are better than for a commodity part of the same footprint.

    The WHPC series offers diversity, flexibility and versatility to design engineers facing space restrictions and high-energy pulse requirements.

    Thick-film electrodes, resistor material, overglaze and organic protection are screen printed on an alumina substrate. Wrap-around terminations have an electroplated nickel barrier and matt tin plating which ensures outstanding 'leach' resistance properties and solderability. The body protection is resistant to all normal industrial cleaning solvents suitable for printed circuits.

    Key features:

    • Double the standard power for size.
    • Small footprint flat chip.
    • Excellent pulse performance.
    • RoHS compliant.

    More information:

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    Monday, September 01, 2008

    BlueAnt Launches Voice-Controlled B'tooth Headset

    BlueAnt Wireless has launched its V1 Bluetooth headset, a fully voice-controlled Bluetooth headset.

    The V1 features BlueGenie Voice Interface and the company’s proprietary Voice Isolation Technology.

    The BlueGenie Voice Interface, from Sensory, is designed to allow users to control their headset with voice commands rather than pressing multiple buttons or looking at the phone. Unlike other headsets that only support voice-dial capabilities through a mobile phone’s voice features, the V1’s voice control is embedded in the headset itself, BlueAnt said, and the V1 lets users control all headset features such as pairing, volume and connection status using only their voice.

    Other features include a lightweight form factor that can clip to a shirt or tie, Comply foam tips, rubber ear gels, dual microphones, three charging options and the ability to pair with up to eight Bluetooth devices. It lists a talktime of five hours with 200 hours of standby time.

    Suggested retail is $129. It is scheduled to be available by the end of this month.

    Source :
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    From noise-cancellation for frequent travelers to affordability for customers on a budget, Sony today unveiled three new Walkman® players (series S, E and B) that have something to offer nearly every customer segment.

    “Whether the fit and finish, the engineering or the integration of unique technologies, each of these new series has different points of appeal,” said Mitch Li, product manager for Walkman players in the Digital Imaging and Audio Division at Sony Electronics. “These new Walkman players satisfy the need of consumers who don’t want to sacrifice sound quality for the digital music and MP3 experience.”

    S-Series Walkman Players

    The top-end, format-friendly Walkman S-series broadens options for enjoying tunes from multiple sources, including many download stores and personal music collections. The supplied Content Transfer software even simplifies “drag and drop” transfer of non-DRM music, videos, podcasts and playlists from online music services to Walkman players. If you’re migrating your personal collection of ripped tracks from another MP3 player, there’s no need to re-rip all your tunes from your CDs.

    Support for popular audio and video codecs is enhanced because the S-series Walkman devices play Windows Media Video (WMV) files with DRM, allowing you to enjoy rights-protected movies and video clips from other media collections.

    Additionally, the S-series Walkman players are the first MP3 players with Sony’s SensMe™ Channels function, which automatically creates channels that can align with a user’s preferences. Based on Sony’s SensMe Channels function, the S-series players analyze a user’s music collection and suggest channels based on each song’s speed, mood and rhythm. They create a choice of 11 themed channels from upbeat pop to emotional ballads.

    In-Flight Noise Cancellation

    Whether commuting, flying high or just listening to music at home, the new S-series Walkman players help diminish background noise while improving your overall listening experience. The top-end S-series Walkman players feature integrated active noise cancellation with supplied 13.5mm EX noise canceling headphones and an accessory cable that extends the noise canceling functionality of the device. On airplanes, travellers can – for the first time – connect the S-series player directly to a plane’s audio video system with the included accessory cable and enjoy regular in-flight entertainment with the bonus of high-quality noise cancellation.

    Just 7.5mm thin, the super-light S-series is the slimmest Walkman player in any of the new series. It has a bright, high-contrast 2-inch QVGA LCD screen (measured diagonally) that has an ultra-quick response time, with smooth playback at up to 30 frames per second and selectable horizontal/vertical viewing. The interface can be personalized with the user’s choice of 10 pre-installed wallpaper images or their favorite digital photo.

    E-Series Walkman Players

    The E-series combines high-quality video and audio performance to create the perfect device for enjoying favorite photos and video clips. Like the S-series, all E-series models are format friendly, easily playing back ripped tracks from your personal music collection, music store downloads and rights-managed video clips. Non-DRM files can be transferred by “drag and drop” from online music services to Walkman players.

    Support for popular audio and video codecs is enhanced because the E-series Walkman players can also support Windows Media Video (WMV) with DRM, allowing rights-protected movies and video clips from other media collections.

    B-Series Walkman Players

    The affordable entry-level Walkman B-series player offers the high-quality sound that users have come to expect from Sony. The ultra-portable devices can connect to your PC’s USB port for easy “drag and drop” file transfers. Like all other Walkman models, open support for Windows Media Audio (WMA) and MP3 codecs enables users to buy, copy and manage music to fit their needs.

    The stylish design is enhanced by an illuminator that pulses in time with the music when the bass button is pressed. The device has an FM radio for enjoying favorite stations and a voice recorder that’s great for capturing memos, shopping lists or random thoughts while you’re on the move.

    Battery Life

    The battery life is up to 40 hours of music playback for S-series, up to 45 hours for the E-series and up to 16 hours for the B-series. The battery life is up to 10 hours of video playback for S-series, up to 8 hours for the E-series. The battery life is also up to 30 hours of audio playback for the S-series when the noise-cancellation feature is activated. Actual battery life may vary upon usage patterns, product settings, battery and environmental conditions.

    Sony’s Open Platform Means More Choice

    The E- and S-series Walkman players support an open platform, providing more choices for downloading and managing music and video collections online. The devices can support security-enhanced Windows Media Audio (WMA), as well as non-secure AAC, linear PCM and MP3 music formats plus JPEG files for photos, in addition to the WMV with DRM, AVC (H.264/AVC) Baseline Profile and MPEG-4 video codecs.

    Pricing and Availability

    The S-series of Walkman noise canceling video MP3 players come in two different storage capacities in black:

    * The NWZ-S736F has approximately 4GB of internal storage and will cost about $150.
    * The NWZ-S738F has approximately 8GB of internal storage and will cost about $180.

    The E-series of Walkman video MP3 players will be available in the following configurations:

    * The NWZ-E436F comes in black, red, pink, blue, has approximately 4GB of internal storage and costs about $100.
    * The NWZ-E438F comes in black, red, pink, has approximately 8GB of internal storage, and costs about $140.

    The B-series of Walkman MP3 players come in two different capacities and four colors:

    * The NWZ-B133F player has approximately 1GB of internal storage; comes in black, red and blue and will cost about $45.
    * The NWZ-B135F player has approximately 2GB of internal storage; comes in black, red and pink and will cost about $60.

    Source :
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    SST adds 1.8V 4Mbit serial flash device

    SST has added to its 1.8V 25WF series SPI serial flash memory family the 4Mbit, small form factor SST25WF040 device.

    The SST25WF040 has a full voltage range from 1.65V to 1.95V for read and write operations and a fast read speed of 40MHz.

    Active read currents are 4mA (typical at 40MHz), standby currents are only 2µA (typical) and maximum write currents are 10mA for both program and erase operations.

    The device is rated for industrial temperatures (-40 to +85 deg C) and offers 100,000 read/write cycles minimum per memory block for high-endurance applications. It is available in an industry-standard SOIC package with other smaller package options available later this year.

    Source :
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    Researchers Develop New Technique For Fabricating Nanowire Circuits

    Spearheaded by graduate student Mariano Zimmler and Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering, both of Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and Prof. Carsten Ronning of the University of Jena, the findings will be published in Nano Letters. The researchers have filed for U.S. patents covering their invention.

    While semiconductor nanowires---rods with an approximate diameter of one-thousandth the width of a human hair---can be easily synthesized in large quantities using inexpensive chemical methods, reliable and controlled strategies for assembling them into functional circuits have posed a major challenge. By incorporating spin-on glass technology, used in silicon integrated circuits manufacturing, and photolithography, transferring a circuit pattern onto a substrate with light, the team demonstrated a reproducible, high-volume, and low-cost fabrication method for integrating nanowire devices directly onto silicon.

    "Because our fabrication technique is independent of the geometrical arrangement of the nanowires on the substrate, we envision further combining the process with one of the several methods already developed for the controlled placement and alignment of nanowires over large areas," said Capasso. "We believe the marriage of these processes will soon provide the necessary control to enable integrated nanowire photonic circuits in a standard manufacturing setting."

    The structure of the team's nanowire devices is based on a sandwich geometry: a nanowire is placed between the highly conductive substrate, which functions as a common bottom contact, and a top metallic contact, using spin-on glass as a spacer layer to prevent the metal contact from shorting to the substrate. As a result current can be uniformly injected along the length of the nanowires. These devices can then function as light-emitting diodes, with the color of light determined by the type of semiconductor nanowire used.

    To demonstrate the potential scalability of their technique, the team fabricated hundreds of nanoscale ultraviolet light-emitting diodes by using zinc oxide nanowires on a silicon wafer. More broadly, because nanowires can be made of materials commonly used in electronics and photonics, they hold great promise for integrating efficient light emitters, from ultraviolet to infrared, with silicon technology. The team plans to further refine their novel method with an aim towards electrically contacting nanowires over entire wafers.

    "Such an advance could lead to the development of a completely new class of integrated circuits, such as large arrays of ultra-small nanoscale lasers that could be designed as high-density optical interconnects or be used for on-chip chemical sensing," said Ronning.

    The team's co-authors are postdoctoral fellow Wei Yi and Venkatesh Narayanamurti, John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor and dean, both of Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; graduate student Daniel Stichtenoth, University of Gottingen; and postdoctoral fellow Tobias Voss, University of Bremen.

    The research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the German Research Foundation. The authors also acknowledge the support of two Harvard-based centers, the National Science Foundation Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) and the Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS), a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN).

    Source :
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    Sunday, August 31, 2008

    Murata offers 1 microF capacitor array

    Murata has introduced what it claims is the first 0.9x0.6mm 1.0µF two -element capacitor array.

    “This 0302-size two-element capacitor array has achieved 1.0µF per element, which is unprecedented even for a single 0102 [0.6x0.3mm] device,” said Murata. “Due to its structure, a capacitor array can achieve greater capacitance in the same footprint compared to multiple monolithic capacitors.”
    The dielectric material has not been revealed, but is described as ‘cutting edge’. The array is aimed at phones, mobile PCs, and digital AV equipment.

    Samples are available now.
    Read more ...

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Link supplies 1119 solid-state high-power amplifier

    The 1119 high-power amplifier is designed for mobile jamming applications.

    Link Microtek, a specialist supplier of RF and microwave components and subsystems, has announced a solid-state high-power amplifier module designed for use in military mobile jamming systems to counter the threat of IEDs.

    Manufactured by Empower RF Systems, the 1119 module covers the frequency range 500MHz to 2.5GHz and features a rugged construction that ensures excellent long-term reliability.

    The module utilises high-power advanced GaN transistors to achieve an output of 50W with high efficiency, low distortion and wide dynamic range. It has a maximum noise figure of 10dB and a minimum IP3 of +48dBm.

    Operating from a 28VDC supply, the 1119 includes built-in control and monitoring circuits to protect it against input overdrive, any load VSWR and thermal overload.

    This compact module measures 188 x 91 x 27mm, weighs 454g and has an operating temperature range of -40º to +80ºC.

    More information:

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    Keithley guide to wireless and RF testing

    This CD contains useful and informative RF testing resources, including application notes, articles, white papers, and product demonstrations, to help engineers reduce their cost of test by simplifying and solving the most challenging RF measurement applications. The CD is available free of charge at Measurement Techniques for OFDM- and MIMO-based Radio Systems gives test engineers a broad range of information on the fast changing wireless communication and RF testing field for a wide array of applications, including spectrum analyzer power averaging, as well as the most challenging testing of the most complex signals, such as OFDM, MIMO, and WiMAX. In-depth application notes cover topics such as battery testing for mobile phones, RF semiconductor characterization, and RF and microwave signal switching in test setups. The CD also includes an RF glossary and useful tables, such as wireless communication protocol specifications, dbM-Watts-Volts conversion tables, and VSWR loss conversion tables.

    Keithley Instruments, a supplier of products for emerging measurement needs, announces the Advanced Measurement Techniques for OFDM- and MIMO-based Radio Systems: Demystifying WLAN and WiMAX Testing, a new guide to wireless and RF testing.

    More Information: To request a free copy of the CD Advanced Measurement Techniques for OFDM- and MIMO-based Radio Systems or for information on any of Keithley's RF test solutions, visit or contact the company at:

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    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Paralleling power supply outputs for redundancy

    The highest reliability attainable in a single power supply is not nearly as good as that of a redundant power system, in which the outputs of two (or more) power supplies are connected so that - even if one were to fail - the other(s) would continue to provide uninterrupted power to the load But implementing redundancy is not as straightforward as it may appear to be

    To have a redundant power system that will function as intended requires careful consideration not only of the power supplies to be used and the electrical configuration, but also of the physical arrangement.

    As every power supply will fail at some point, it's necessary to allow for quickly and easily replacing a supply that's failed or is in need of refurbishment.

    For example, if the supplies are within an assembly mounted in an equipment rack, equip the assembly with slides so that it can be extended out of the rack for access - and don't forget to include handles on the front panel to pull it out.

    Alternatively, some power supply manufacturers make supplies that can be plugged into the front panel of an enclosure or rack adapter, permitting a supply to be, quite literally, changed in a matter of seconds.

    Another approach is to have the system's controls and indicators located on a main control panel, but to mount the power supplies in a more accessible location a few feet away.

    And the supplies should be mounted in such a way that they can be easily and quickly removed and replaced - for example, by using thumbscrews.

    Similarly, it must be possible to do the actual connecting and disconnecting of the power supplies quickly and easily.

    If the supplies have screw terminals or lugs rather than connectors, then use insulated connectors that can be easily pulled apart in the wiring cable to each supply.

    An isolation diode must be used in series with the output of each power supply, for two reasons - to avoid the possibility of the combined output being shorted if the output of one supply should short, and to prevent current from one supply flowing back into the other and reverse biasing it (which could cause it to malfunction and possibly damage it).

    Obviously, the use of diodes introduces a voltage drop in the output voltage from the supply as seen by the load.

    This is especially significant at low voltages; for example, a 5V output might drop to only 4V.

    Using Schottky diodes can minimise the drop, but doesn't eliminate the need to allow for it.

    Keep in mind that the supply must be capable of providing a voltage equal to the sum of the voltage required across the load, the diode drop and the drops (round trip.) in the wiring.

    Particularly at low voltages, the lower drop of a larger gauge wire can be a big help.

    A typical power supply can compensate up to a volt or so of drops in the wiring, but may not be capable of compensating both the wiring and the diode drops of a redundant system.

    And if you're using remote sensing to regulate the voltage across the load, you might not be able to solve this problem by simply stepping up to a supply with a higher nominal output voltage (for example, going from a 5V supply to a 6V supply), because then the sense lines of that supply would try to maintain 6V across the load rather than 5V.

    Therefore, be sure to use a supply that is capable of putting out a voltage high enough to compensate both the diode and wiring drops under worst-case conditions (usually, at low line voltage and with maximum rated load current being drawn), and also has the desired load voltage within its adjustment range.

    A supply's maximum output voltage is usually considered to be the high end of its adjustment range; for example, a supply with an output specified as 24+/-1V could be relied on to provide a maximum of 25V, so if the load requires 24V and if the combined drops will be no more than 1V, you're in good shape.

    Sometimes an easy solution to this potential problem is to use a wide range power supply; in the above example, a 0-30V supply adjusted to 24V would be capable of compensating "round-trip" drops up to 6V.

    If two sources of AC power are available, providing separate AC wiring for each power supply permits using a different source of input power for each supply, resulting in the additional advantage of input power redundancy.

    Even using two different branches of the same building power source will offer improved input redundancy.

    A battery-backup UPS may also be used in series with one of the inputs, further improving overall reliability by permitting continued normal operation of the load even if both of the AC sources should fail simultaneously.

    Although meters and/or indicator lights are helpful for monitoring, they don't command attention and may not be checked regularly.

    However, an audible alarm can't be easily ignored.

    Include an undervoltage alarm circuit on the output of each supply to detect if its output is lower than normal (or a relay can be used if you simply wish to know if an output is there or not), and use it to control an audible alarm, either built into the assembly containing the power supplies or remotely located where it will be heard.

    The contact wiring for two or more relays can be cascaded so that only one audible alarm is required.

    Checking the meters or indicator lights will then disclose which of the power supplies is low.

    Power supply outputs don't always go low when they fail; with linearly regulated supplies, the series pass transistors can short and the voltage can instead go high - by 50% or more in some cases - and quickly fry the load.

    Therefore, it's vitally important that power supplies used in redundant applications be equipped with overvoltage protection to assure that the output voltage can't go much higher than the nominal under any circumstances Don't use output fuses.

    Virtually all power supplies today have output current limiting circuits that will drop the output faster than the time required for a fuse to blow, so including a fuse won't accomplish anything.

    And with most supplies the current limiting automatically resets after a surge, while a blown fuse is counterproductive to the intent of a redundant power system - always having the output present.

    Space the power supplies away from sources of heat.

    If convection air flow is restricted, use a fan.

    Overheating dries out capacitors, which is probably the single greatest cause of power supply failure.

    And speaking of capacitor dryout, schedule testing of both supplies at least annually to be certain that each is capable of functioning properly.

    If the capacitors are drying out (reducing the output current capability of the supplies) and the supplies are sharing the load, it's possible that working together they can support the load, but if one should fail the other won't be able to support it by itself.

    Or, if one supply is set slightly higher than the other, the first will provide all of the current because the isolation diode of the other won't be forward biased; the voltmeter of the other may show that it's maintaining its output voltage, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it can support the entire load.

    Slightly increase the output voltage of each power supply occasionally so that it will assume the entire load and verify that it can support the load by itself.

    In summary, configuring a redundant power system isn't as simple as connecting two power supplies in parallel.

    It requires careful consideration not only of how the power supply outputs may be affected by the manner in which they are connected, but also of factors that may affect both short and long term performance, and a physical arrangement that permits safe and fast maintenance while the system remains on line.

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    AVX tantalum capacitor for TPM low ESR multianode series

    AVX has added a high capacitance to its low ESR tantalum capacitor product range for TPM series (low ESR multianode).

    Key parameters of the new capacitor are a very low ESR of 18mOhm and a high capacitance of 2.200uF at 2,5V. 

    The capacitor is available in E case packages (EIA Code 7343). It is ready to be used with high-performance processors which usually require a capacitance of 5.000uF and more for an operating voltage of approx. 1V. In the past 5x 1.000uF Low ESR Polymer capacitors have been used to achieve these target specifications.

    By means of this new capacitance the capacitor count can be reduced to three, thereby cutting space and reducing costs.

    The TPM low ESR multianode series is available as samples and series quantities from Rutronik, which is a broadline distributor for semiconductors, passive and electromechanical components in addition to wireless products, displays as well as embedded boards.

    All product information stated in the current press release is based on the franchise situation in Germany and may vary by country.

    More information:

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    Power Integrations TOP260LN, TOP261LN and TOP262LN family of offline switcher ICs

    The small package combined with the best-in-class efficiency and high operating frequency of TOPSwitch-HX enables slim, compact, and lightweight power supplies from 20 to 100 watts.

    Applications include adapters for notebook computers, as well as power supplies for LCD monitors and flat-panel TVs, in which slim form factor and high efficiency have become critical design criteria.

    The "L" shaped lead-bend allows the company's innovative eSIP package to lie flat against the printed circuit board with the heatsink pad facing upwards. The device stands 2 millimetres above the board giving space for a heatsink and enabling slender power supply designs.

    The elegance of adapter designs enabled by the package is demonstrated by a new reference design (DER-196) for a 65 W notebook adapter only slightly larger than a standard deck of playing cards.  The design, which complies with the upcoming Energy Star 2.0 specifications for external power supplies, uses a TOP261 chip in the new eSIP-L package.

    The efficient IC combines a 700 V switching power MOSFET with controller and supervisory functions into a single monolithic IC, reducing the need for bulky heatsinks required in designs using traditional TO-220 packaged MOSFETs and discrete controllers, and eliminating the need to encase the electronics with thermally-conductive potting compound.

    The package's 90º pin deflection enables the PCB, chip and heatsink to lie parallel to each other, while the high switching frequency of TOPSwitch-HX eliminates the need for an expensive planar type transformer. This, together with Power Integrations' proprietary transformer design, greatly reduces both the cost and size of the notebook adapter.

    Andrew Smith, product manager at Power Integrations, said: "TOPSwitch-HX has the best overall efficiency and lowest heat dissipation of any integrated flyback solution, which minimizes the surface area and heatsink hardware required to radiate the heat away from the electronics. The eSIP-L package delivers the same thermal performance as the older TO-220 package but with a much lower profile.  Until now, slim power adapters have tended to be sold after-market and use exotic technologies and even potting compound to achieve acceptable thermal performance – they're expensive. The combination of TOPSwitch-HX with the new low-profile lead-bend package makes it possible to build slimline adapters - just 15mm thick - using standard wire-wound transformers and simple manufacturing techniques at a cost similar to a standard laptop adapter brick."

    TOP260LN, TOP261LN and TOP262LN devices suitable for slim adapters from 20 W to 100 W power levels are available in the eSIP-L package style from $1.00/ea in 10K unit quantities.

    Power Integrations' Green Room website contains information on the issue of energy waste from inefficient power supplies, as well as tips on designing products that minimize the amount of energy wasted by household and office electronics. The Green Room also provides a comprehensive guide to energy-efficiency standards around the world, as well as a host of reference designs and software to assist in the design of energy-efficient power supplies.
    More information:

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    Tough Laser Module

    Photonic Products industrial laser modules are constructed to withstand harsh conditions and satisfy rigorous application demands. The modules are encapsulated in a hard-coat anodised case with a scratch-resistant sapphire window to protect the lens and offer rugged, durable performance at an extremely economical price. When the laser needs to be changed, the connectors (either 2.5mm DC jack or industrial screw-on) facilitate easy installation. The modules' compact size allows for easy and efficient integration into existing production systems.

    Source : Click here
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    International Rectifier IRS260xD family of single-phase high voltage ICs

    International Rectifier has released the IRS260xD family of single-phase high voltage ICs for motor drive applications including air conditioners, fans, pumps, micro, mini and general purpose inverter drives.

    These power Mosfet and IGBT drivers offer optional dependent or independent high- and low-side referenced output channels with a gate drive supply range from 10V to 20V.

    The output drivers feature a high-pulse current buffer stage designed for minimum driver cross-conduction while the floating channel can be used to drive N-channel power Mosfets or IGBTs in the high-side configuration operating up to 600V.

    The devices provide matched propagation delay for both channels and an advanced input filter to improve noise immunity in addition to negative voltage spike immunity to protect the system against catastrophic events during high-current switching and short circuit conditions.

    The IRS2607D high- and low-side driver features outputs in phase with inputs and is suitable for both trapezoidal and sinusoidal motor control.

    The IRS2608D and IRS2609D half-bridge drivers feature internal 540ns dead-time. 

    The IRS260xD features under-voltage lock-out protection, integrated deadtime protection, shoot-through protection, a shutdown input and is compatible with 3.3V input logic.


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    picoChip surfing Wimax, Femtocell wave

    picoChip, the Bath-based wireless start-up, is seeing a booming market for Wimax chips and an emerging femtocell chip market

    picoChip, the Bath-based wireless start-up, is seeing a booming market for Wimax chips and an emerging femtocell chip market which should match Wimax for size next year.

    "picoChip is the largest supplier of silicon to the Wimax infrastructure industry and the only supplier of silicon to the femtocell market", picoChip founder and COO, Peter Claydon, told Silicon South-West's recent Wireless 2.0 conference in Bristol.

    "The Sprint/Xohm/Clearwire Wimax service in the US starts commercial launch in September which means we are selling more chips every month. It's quite a large amount", said Claydon, "and we sell a lot in Japan. We've been amazingly successful in the Japanese market. picoChip has 100 per cent market share in Japan because it sells to Samsung and Fujitsu. We have a good distributor there."

    With Intel, Samsung, Motorola and Nokia putting Wimax chips into portable products like phones and laptops, and with the Japanese having recently completed a 2.5GHz spectrum auction for a next generation PHS system based on Wimax, the Wimax chip market is set to grow exponentially.

    Asked if he's worried about Intel and Fujitsu getting into the Wimax chip business, Claydon replied: "Intel are going to put Wimax chips into laptops. We are focused exclusively on the wireless infrastructure side. Intel don't see the value in the infrastructure side, the value in laptops is a lot higher. Fujitsu sells to the terminal side not the base-station side."

    Read more ...

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Renesas Technology R8C/Tiny Series 16-Bit MCUs grow by 36 models

    These include the 80-pin R8C/38E group, 64-pin R8C/36E group, and the 48-pin R8C/34E group. Together they strengthen the R8C/Tiny Series line-up for in-vehicle automotive equipment applications.

    Available during October 2008, the MCUs feature on-chip flash memory, a built-in precision clock oscillator, and enhanced functionality, as well as packages with extra I/O pins. Moreover, within each of these three groups, there are MCUs with or without a CAN1 (controller area network) interface, with various amounts of flash ROM and RAM (32KB/2.5KB, 48KB/4KB, and 64KB/6KB), and with or without on-chip 4KB of data flash2 (data storage flash memory). Versions of the chips are available in two operating temperature ranges: standard (-40 to +85ºC) and extended (-40 to +125ºC).

    The greatly expanded R8C/Tiny product line, now encompassing functionally compatible models with 20-, 32-, 48-, 64-, and 80-pin packages, makes it easier for automotive engineers to find the best, most economical MCU solution for any particular set of application requirements.

    Also, the broader span of choices allows them to readily accommodate the specification modifications that often arise during the development and fine-tuning of MCU-based body-control systems. They can add functions or increase memory capacity, for example, just by switching to another R8C/Tiny device. This flexibility saves cost and time by eliminating the need for major design changes.

    The MCUs in the R8C/38E/36E/34E groups provide improvements in various on-chip peripheral functions. For example, the high-speed on-chip oscillator has improved oscillation precision: ±1%, the industry's highest ranking. This feature eliminates the external resonator that would otherwise be needed to implement the clock circuit, enabling system cost reductions while also helping to boost reliability.

    The data flash built into some of the new R8C/Tiny models eliminates the need for external EEPROM (electrically erasable and programmable read only memory) for data storage. It now has a background-operation (BGO) function that allows the CPU to execute instructions during data flash reading or writing. This boosts the MCU's processing efficiency and also allows system engineers to write programs without concern for data flash read/write times, simplifying program development. The size of the data flash capacity has been doubled to a total of 4KB (1KB × 4 blocks) compared with previous products, so more data can be stored.

    The devices that expand the R8C/Tiny line-up include a data transfer controller (DTC) that enables data transfers to be performed between memory and a register without CPU intervention. This capability shortens transfer-processing time and reduces the load on the CPU, making more computing time available for executing application code.  The DTC is based on the highly rated design used in the high-performance MCUs in the 16-bit H8S series and the 32-bit H8SX series.

    The R8C/Tiny chips incorporate a power-on reset (POR) function that places all on-chip circuits in the reset state when the MCU is turned on. However, the revised POR circuit in them has been upgraded for extra flexibility and can now handle a slower ramp-up of the power supply voltage. Like the other R8C/Tiny MCUs, the devices have a single-pin debugging interface that lets system engineers use the Renesas E8a emulator/on-chip debugger as a development environment — even while all I/O pins are in use — for efficient program development.

    The new MCUs have an additional debugging function that allows developers to make RAM references and changes during user program execution, a capability that can improve debugging efficiency. The E8a emulator retains its capability as a code writer for the MCU's on-chip flash memory.

    Besides the E8a emulator/debugger, Renesas offers a comprehensive set of hardware and software development products for systems that use R8C/Tiny MCUs. Additional support is available from a large international community of third-party suppliers. Renesas plans to offer support for the E100 full-spec emulator for situations requiring a more powerful debugging tool. The company also will continue to extend the R8C/Tiny line-up for automotive applications with microcontrollers offering improved performance and functions. 
    More informtion:

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    Toshiba Electronics TB6588FG evaluation board speeds motor drive development

    Toshiba Electronics Europe has expanded its family of motion control development platforms with a new evaluation board that will speed implementation of sensorless drives for three-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motors. The board is ideal for testing and prototyping drives for motion control applications requiring motor bridge voltages ranging from around 10V to 42V.

    Based around a Toshiba PWM sensorless driver ASSP, the new TB6588FG evaluation board allows engineers to modify key parameters that adjust start-up performance, motor efficiency and acoustic noise. The board is designed for direct control by voltage input or connection to a host processor, and connects directly to the motor under test with no additional hardware components. Target applications include home appliance, pump, industrial and automotive motion control designs.

    At the heart of the board is Toshiba's TB6588FG PWM sensorless driver ASSP (application specific standard product). This IC brings together PWM sensorless motor control, protection functionality, an output power stage and an operational amplifier in a single 36-pin HSOP package.

    By combining sensorless operation with high levels of on-board functionality, the ASSP significantly reduces the component count, design complexity and development time of three-phase, full wave BLDC motor applications with power levels up to 60W.

    The TB6588FG is a complete motor driver system that controls forward or reverse rotation speed by changing the PWM duty cycle based on an analogue control signal input. Full wave PWM operation provides for high-efficiency and low-power operation while minimising electrical and acoustic noise. Lead angle control options of 0º, 7.5º, 15º and 30º allow designers to tune their application for optimum efficiency.

    More information:

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    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    Quebec's EXFO develops industry-first carrier Ethernet test products

    EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc., Quebec, has developed test enhancements for its FTB-8510B/G and IQS-8510B/G Packet Blazer Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GigE) test modules.

    These now support Provider Backbone Bridge - Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE) and Internet Protocol, Multi-Protocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) functionalities in a single module, allowing network service providers (NSPs) and network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) to fully validate carrier Ethernet services and network equipment.

    "Our Packet Blazer test modules continue to evolve with market needs through the industry’s first field-test solution that supports PBB-TE and MPLS and strengthens the ability of NSPs to expand their Ethernet infrastructures in a cost-efficient, quality-assured manner," Etienne Gagnon, EXFO Vice-President Product Management and Marketing, says. "The successful deployment of Ethernet services depends on carrier-grade scalability, reliability and quality of service (QoS). PBB-TE and IP/MPLS are two choice technologies enabling NSPs to efficiently deploy Ethernet services with high levels of configurability and resiliency."

    The new software also introduces a number of testing features, including support for advanced multi-stream traffic filtering techniques and 1X and 2X Fibre Channel testing. These new capabilities on the FTB-8510B/G, combined with full-line rate TCP throughput testing and bi-directional RFC 2544 measurements, offer NSPs a comprehensive and portable tool for deploying, maintaining and troubleshooting next-generation Ethernet services, EXFO says.

    The modules, designed for portable field-test applications, are compatible with the FTB-200 Compact Platform and more advanced FTB-400 Universal Test System. The IQS-8510B/G modules, purpose-built for manufacturing and R&D test applications, are hosted inside the IQS-500 and IQS-600 platforms. All of these platforms support a wide range of additional test modules, including optical, transport and datacom, at various transmission rates reaching up to 43 Gbit/s, EXFO says.

    The firm says it is the second-largest provider of portable test and measurement products in the global telecommunications industry and is positioning itself in next-generation network (NGN) testing and monitoring applications.

    Its Telecom Division, which represents about 85% of the company's business, provides a full suite of test products and monitoring systems to network service providers, cable-TV operators, and network equipment and component manufacturers.
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    Multi-Channel Transceiver Offers 5-km Range

    With a 500-mW (+27 dBm) RF output power and a receiver sensitivity of –118 dBm (for 12 dB SINAD), the BHX2 multi-channel narrowband transceiver sports a range of up to 5 km. Standard operating frequency is 458.5 to 459.1 MHz, but factory-tuned custom versions can cover any 5 MHz switching band between 420 and 480 MHz. The transceiver's 25-kHz channel spacing allows a total of 128 channels, configurable via an RS-232 interface. Using a supply voltage of 5.5 to 15 V, the BHX2 draws 350 mA while transmitting and 30 mA for receiving. The module offers a 5-kbit/s data rate and incorporates a 1200-baud half-duplex modem that is compatible with that used by the company's other devices. An automatic noise squelching function activates when there is no RF at detectable levels or when the non-coherent noise is high enough to block out weak signals. The module comes in an 85- by 39- by 13-mm package and conforms to both the EN 300 220-3 and EN 301 489-3 standards. RADIOMETRIX LTD., Harrow, UK. +44 (0) 208-909-9595.

    Company - RADIOMETRIX LTD.
    Product URL: Click here for more information
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    L-Band VCO Features Low Second-Harmonic And Phase Noise

    Operating in the L-band from 1560 to 1580 MHz, the CLV1570B-LF voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) is well-suited for microwave radio applications that require superior second-harmonic suppression and very low phase noise. The device's tuning voltage range is 0.5 to 4.5 V dc. It has a typical phase noise of –108 dBc/Hz at a 10-kHz offset and a typical tuning sensitivity of 25 MHz/V. Second-harmonic suppression is typically –25 dBc. The VCO uses a 5-V dc supply, drawing 24 mA (typical) over a –40°C to 85°C range. The RoHS-compliant CLV1570B-LF comes in the company's industry standard MINI package with low shield measuring 0.50" by 0.50" by 0.13". It is available in tape-and-reel packaging for production requirements. The CLV1570B-LF is also well suited for automated surface-mount assembly and reflow soldering. Z-COMMUNICATIONS INC., San Diego, CA. (858) 621-2700.

    Product URL: Click here for more information
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    Allegro MicroSystems Europe A4935 automotive-grade 3-phase MOSFET pre-driver IC

    The A4935 is targeted at the rapid growth in 3-phase brushless DC motor applications in the automotive and industrial sectors.

    This third-generation device includes enhanced performance and operational features, and is ideal for systems that use sinusoidal control of the motor phase currents. This commutation method provides smooth operation, reducing audible noise and minimising torque ripple at the load.   

    The new device integrates a regulating charge pump which provides full gate drive capability for battery voltages down to 7 V and reduced gate drive for battery voltages as low as 5.5 V.

    Also included are performance enhancements of the current sense amplifier, as well as better fault diagnostics and reporting to decode and identify faults. Features such as top-off charge pump and bootstrap charge management make the A4935 much easier to manage in terms of ensuring an adequate bootstrap capacitor charge under varying PWM conditions.

    Other features include cross-conduction protection with adjustable dead time and a low-current 'sleep' mode.

    The A4935KJP-T is supplied in a small-footprint 48L eLQFP small profile thermally efficient exposed-pad package which is lead (Pb) free with 100% matte tin leadframe plating.

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    Monday, July 14, 2008

    Tantalum capacitor achieves new CV ratings

    High-capacitance cathode construction designed for harsh environments

    The TWA wet electrolytic tantalum capacitor features a patented high-capacitance cathode construction that enables previously unavailable CV ratings of 2,200 µF at 25 V and 1,000 µF at 60 V — exceeding the values specified in the MIL-PRF-39006 shock and vibration standard. With a welded tantalum can and header assembly providing a hermetic seal in harsh environments, the capacitor operates in temperatures from –55° to 125°C.

    The capacitor is available in a variety of case sizes and ratings, including a T1, A case offering up to 10 µF at 125 Vdc through a T4, E case offering up to 150 µF at 125 Vdc. Custom capacitance and voltages are also available. (From $35 ea/50 — available now.)

    AVX, Myrtle Beach, SC
    Dan Lane 843-946-0483
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    Rohde & Schwarz application firmware for Wimax MIMO measurements

    Rohde & Schwarz has added a suite of application firmware for Wimax MIMO measurements in line with IEEE 802.16e-2005.

    The FSQ-K94 option is designed to run on the FSQ and FSG signal¬ analysers. It also supports a combination of several analysers for testing up to 4x4 MIMO systems.

    The application firmware can be used for testing semiconductor components such as Wimax MIMO chipsets, amplifiers and mixers, as well as complete products such as Wimax basestations or pico stations.

    A large number of measurements required for testing MIMO systems can be performed by means of a single vector signal analyser. To test the interaction between the individual components, however, two instruments may sometimes be required.

    In this case, the user can combine several R&S FSQ or R&S FSG analyzers to create a flexible test solution made up of standalone signal analyzers for testing 4x4 MIMO
    systems, for example.


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    Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Alpha Micro MatchPort b/g Pro for remote secure control

    Alpha Micro Components has added the MatchPort b/g Pro to its line of networking products.

    The MatchPort b/g Pro allows a range of machines to be managed and controlled remotely over a network with an added level of security.

    The secure embedded WiFi networking module features SmartRoam that continuously tracks the radio signal strength of access points within range. Pre-authentication and caching enables smooth and automatic transition to an access point with a stronger signal, enhancing mobile reliability while minimising communication disruption for the user.

    MatchPort b/g Pro handles the most computationally demanding or data intensive applications effortlessly with a 32-bit, 159 MIPS (Dhrystone 2.1) 166MHz processor.

    With 8 MB of SDRAM and 8 MB flash, it provides enough memory capacity for OEM customisation, loading web pages, and data 'store and forward' applications.

    It features two serial input ports with 230kbit/s data rate capability, seven control pins (CP/GPIO), and a wide operational temperature range of -40 to 70 deg C, with the option to operate up to 85 deg C with lower MTBF (mean time between failures).


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