PowerBench is a suite of enhanced online powersupply design tools that helps designers select the best power supply to meet their requirements. If an appropriate standard product doesn’t already exist, engineers can use Vicor’s PowerBench to design a customer-specific product. Consequently, they won’t be constrained by power-supply availability, freeing up more time for design.

PowerBench’s module design system specifies online the exact power supply needed, and will verify in real time its performance and attributes. This helps eliminate the risk of specifying the wrong power supply for the application.

By integrating design, ordering, and manufacturing processes, PowerBench cuts costs and lead time, claims Vicor. The tools also provide information such as immediate price and availability quotes.

Extra option speeds CompactTSVP open test platform
These days, electronic assemblies employ increasingly complex digital circuits. Reacting to that trend, Rohde & Schwarz developed a new option for its PXI-based CompactTSVP production test platform. The option enables fast digital functional testing even in applications dealing with large amounts of data.

The TS-PHDT high-speed digital test module features a maximum data rate of 40MHz and a storage capacity of 1.5GB. All stimulus, nominal, and actual data required for testing electronic assemblies is stored locally. Due to the real-time comparison of actual and nominal data, the recorded test data no longer has to be transferred to the system controller, thus considerably reducing test time.

R & S developed the compact TS PHDT test module in cooperation with the RF and Automotive Business Unit of semiconductor firm Atmel.

Built-in translator simplifies stepper IC
The A4983 is a compact DMOS micro-stepping motor driver IC with built-in translator circuitry for easy operation. Developed by Allegro Microsystems Europe, it combines an easy-to-use step and direction interface with a high output capability of up to 35V and ±2A. In addition, the chip offers high-resolution microstepping control.

The motor driver, designed for the PWM control of bipolar stepper motors in full-, half-, quarter-, eighth-, and sixteenthstep modes, is targeted at the office automation, industrial, and medical markets. The highoutput drive capacity provides an additional safety margin for high-reliability designs. Use of synchronous rectification reduces power dissipation and minimises the need for expensive Schottky diodes, while the low-resistance DMOS outputs further limit power dissipation and allow for higher average output currents because of the lower die temperature rise.

Built-in translator circuitry makes the A4983 very easy to operate—it requires only two control lines compared with eight or more for competing devices. Simply inputting one pulse on the “step” input drives the motor by one microstep. There are no phase sequence tables, high-frequency control lines, or complex interfaces to program, suiting the device for applications in which a complex microprocessor is unavailable or overburdened.

60nm, 2Gb DDR2 DRAM arrives
Featuring a speed of 800Mb/s, a 60nm-class, 2Gb DDR2 DRAM is claimed to improve DRAM performance up to 20% over its 80nm cousin. Developer Samsung also says that production efficiency will be enhanced by about 40%.

Besides improved efficiencies, the new DDR2 device will provide twice as much storage capacity over existing-system memory solutions, which will accelerate the move toward higher densities in high-end market segments. The highcapacity DRAM is well-suited for applications in servers, workstations, and notebook PCs, where operating speed is a major concern.

Samsung plans to mass-produce the device later this year.

Cover kits keep a low profile
Emerson Network Power recently introduced cover kits for the Artesyn NLP250, Artesyn TLP150 and Astec LPS120 series of ac-dc power supplies. Until now, the power supplies had only been available in openframe, or non-enclosed, versions.

The cover kits are designed to simplify mechanical integration of the power supplies into systems, and add an extra measure of electrical safety for service personnel. The Artesyn NLP250 and TLP150 series, and the Astec LPS120 series, are designed for use in low-profile applications, such as 1U rack applications. The installation of a cover kit adds minimal height to the power supplies, and doesn’t impact on their usage in these types of applications.

All three cover kits are available as separate add-on accessories, and the Artesyn NLP250 power supply can optionally be ordered with the cover preinstalled at the factory.

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