Electronic Design

The E-mail “Bag” Offers Some Interesting Components Tidbits

To commemorate our second annual Top 101 Components report, I read through some of the hundreds of e-mails I get on a daily basis for information related to the kinds of components we typically cover in the Electronic Design Products section, which appears every other issue.

Let’s start with resistors. Vishay recently introduced streaming video comparisons of different types of resistors on its Web site. The purpose is to help visitors to the site understand the advantages of using the company’s bulk metal foil resistors in their applications.

According to the company, these resistors are designed and manufactured to eliminate the inter-parameter compromise that’s inherent in all other types of precision resistors. All important characteristics—tolerance, long-term and load-life stability, temperature coefficient, noise, capacitance, inductance, and rise time—are optimum, approaching in total performance the theoretical idea of a straight wire of constant electrical resistance.

I checked out the videos at www.vishay.com/resistors-discrete/metal-foil/tcr-video-list and was duly impressed. Richard Zuratt, a senior engineer at Vishay, gives two short demos: an accelerated life test and a temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) stability test (see the figure).

Newark, part of the global Premier Farnell Group, recently launched a new online portal showcasing a broad range of quality, value-priced products for design, production, and benchtop applications at www.newark.com/value. Products are searchable by category or brand.

The value brand product categories include switches, relays, connectors, wire management products, fuses, test leads, and other electronic components from the SPC Technology brand; capacitors, resistors, fans, connectors, and semiconductors from the Multicomp brand; and heat-shrink tubing and cable ties from Voltrex. The site also features an RF/coax cable assembly configurator offering 3600 options. Custom assemblies can be configured in four easy steps, and lead times are as short as two days.

TTI Inc., a global distributor of passive, connector, electromechanical, and discrete components, has announced that its part search results have been given a user-friendly redesign, giving customers access to the filters they want to use more quickly. Parametric filters are now arranged in a more visually appealing single row, providing users easy access.

Manufacturers, product type, in stock, Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS), and lead filters are immediately available, so tabs are no longer necessary. Both search results and part details offer a more visually appealing color scheme. It looks pretty good to me. You can check it out at www.ttiinc.com.

Moving on to sensors, Omron and Renesas Technology recently agreed to jointly develop capacitive touch-sensor solutions. Renesas will integrate Omron’s touch-sensor technology into its R8C Family of 16-bit microcontroller products and supply touch-sensor solutions for a wide range of fields, including household appliances and mobile devices.

By creating a hardware version of Omron’s touchsensor technology in the form of a touch-detection circuit and integrating it into Renesas’ R8C MCUs as a single-chip solution, the companies expect enhanced system performance, reduced system power consumption, compact size, and reduced overall cost.

One of the newest display technologies uses organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. Yet OLEDs are also being used as a light source. In fact, according to a recently released report from DisplaySearch, the OLED lighting market is set to take off in 2011, with revenues forecasted to surpass passive matrix OLED (PMOLED) displays in the 2013/2014 timeframe, reaching $6 billion by 2018. The report is entitled OLED Lighting in 2009 and Beyond: The Bright Future.

“The unique features of OLED lighting are inspiring the imagination of designers. OLED lighting devices emit from the surface, can be made flexible/ rollable, and even transparent like a window or reflective like a mirror,” said Jennifer Colegrove, director of display technologies at DisplaySearch.

She noted that OLED lighting is thin, rugged, and lightweight and has fast switch-on times and wide operating temperatures. Also, OLEDs have no noise and are environmentally friendly. She further said that the power efficiency of OLED lighting has improved dramatically in recent years. It sounds like some neat OLED lighting applications are lurking just around the corner.

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