Components such as interconnects, power sources, circuit protection devices, and more continued to face challenges caused by faster speeds, smaller packaging, higher reliability, and myriad other parameters in 2012—and continued innovation enabled them to meet those challenges. Products from FCI, TE Circuit Protection, MicroPower Direct, and MicroOLED all rose to the occasion.
Shield-Less Connector Design
The AirMax VS high-speed internal cable assembly from FCI utilizes an innovative shield-less connector design (Fig. 1). It’s responsible for delivering excellent signal integrity performance and data rates of up to 10 Gbits/s.
An optimized air dielectric between adjacent conductors simplifies the grounding structure while reducing cost and weight. The assemblies support the Infiniband QDR data rate and other industry-standard parameters, and they’re designed for data communications applications that require efficient high-speed data transfer.
The AirMax VS connectors come in both right angle and vertical mating board headers with passive latch retention, suiting them for internal high-density cabling for high-speed signaling. Additionally, this all-in-one cable assembly solution can replace typical backplane systems. The internal cables are 26 AWG and constructed using four differential pairs per column base configurations in both eight- and 10-column counts.
External cable assembly solutions can be configured using the same four-pair per column base configuration, while integrating customer-defined requirements related to cable retention and electromagnetic interference (EMI) system termination. External AirMax VS cable assemblies feature die-cast covers that include guides and EMI shielding. The EMI terminates to both metal cable covers and hardware chassis. A plastic snakeskin outside jacket allows for tighter bend radius capability and easier cable routing than conventional jacketed cables.
It Takes Two
The 2Pro AC circuit protection device is an innovative hybrid part that offers designers an integrated, resettable approach to protect sensitive downstream electronics against damage from overcurrent and overvoltage events (Fig. 2). This hybrid device design from TE Circuit Protection, a business unit of TE Connectivity Ltd., combines a resettable polymeric positive temperature coefficient (PPTC) device and a thermally enhanced metal-oxide varistor (MOV) into one package.
This innovative configuration offers benefits over other approaches currently used in low-current applications to help prevent thermal runaway. Alternate approaches include using an MOV with a fuse, which must be replaced when blown; placing the PPTC device and MOV next to each other on the board, which can lead to thermal instability and design complexity; and employing a thermal fuse integrated with an MOV, which is a one-use solution that trips without allowing resettability.
In contrast, the 2Pro AC has thermally coupled components, is resettable, and provides stability by maintaining a varistor surface temperature of less than 150°C. AC-line protection solutions like the 2Pro AC are typically used in low-current applications such as LED lighting, smart meters, appliances, and power supplies.
AC-DC Supply With Minuscule Footprint
Several years ago, MicroPower Direct pioneered the single-in-line package (SIP) power supply for space-constrained applications. The form factor of this ultra-miniature device continues to resonate with engineers who are trying to fit a power supply into very tight quarters on a printed-circuit board (PCB). The company used this design again this year in its MPL-03SE series 3-W ac-dc power supplies (Fig. 3).
Designed specifically for space-critical board-level applications, five standard models operate from a universal input of 85 to 264 V ac. They provide regulated single outputs of 5, 9, 12, 15, or 24 V dc. They may also be used in high-voltage dc-dc applications with an input of 100 to 400 V dc. Standard features include tight line/load regulation, continuous short circuit protection, input/output isolation of 3000 V ac, and over-temperature protection. The devices are EN 60950 approved for safety.
The MPL-03SE has a Class II input, which means it can be used without an earth ground connection. This is an advantage for remote or portable equipment that is often used in applications where a reliable ground may not be available. Each model is specified for operation over the industrial operating temperature range of –40°C to 85°C. The pin-out is industry standard.
Big Density In A Small Package
Designed for applications that demand high picture quality in a compact space, MicroOLED’s organic LED (OLED) microdisplay on silicon boasts a 0.61-in. diagonal with 5.4 million pixels. With a sub-pixel pitch of 4.7 by 4.7 µm, it offers the highest pixel density of any available OLED microdisplay (Fig. 4).
By doubling the pixel density of comparable products, MicroOLED eliminated the gap between pixels. With no black matrix present, the resulting image resolution is of the highest quality. This suits the microdisplay for defense, medical, and professional camera applications that demand sharp images with very smooth transitional tones.
Its high contrast (maximum 100,000:1) and high uniformity of 96% also play key roles in its picture quality. Depending on how one drives the OLED microdisplay, it can perform using as little as 0.2 W, which is half the power consumption of other products in its category.
The microdisplay comes in full color (16 million colors) SXGA or monochrome formats (2560 by 2048 pixels), both with digital video input. It meets the standard environmental operating requirements for military applications. Also, it builds on MicroOLED’s exclusive OLED patent technology, which is recognized for its ability to eliminate defects common in other microdisplays such as color non-uniformity or fixed pattern noise.
According to MicroOLED, this microdisplay addresses needs in three areas: head-mounted displays used by surgeons, where high resolution and quality of colors and contrast are critical; professional camera and camcorders, where picture quality is key; and night vision applications, where heightened contrast and uniformity enable defense and security professionals to improve the performance of detection and identification equipment.