Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: July 27, 2005

July 27, 2005


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com July 27, 2005


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** NEW--Try LabVIEW Add-On Software Online Following the success of the LabVIEW Online Evaluation, the NEW LabVIEW Add-Ons Online Evaluation enables you to test drive LabVIEW add-on toolkits and modules in an easy-to-use online environment. With the LabVIEW Add-Ons Online Evaluation, you can learn about and explore select LabVIEW software add-ons through your web browser without downloading or installing any software. Click here to test drive LabVIEW software add-ons now! http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F66D:1001CD **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Editor's View *Useful Work From Wasted Energy, MEMS Style 2. Focus On Embedded *Kit Teaches Microcontroller-Based Mechatronic Design 3. News From The Editors *HDMI Switch Chip Supports Four 1.65-Gbit/s Channels *Power-Management IC Combines Five Programmable Regulators *Subminiature Switch Exceeds Sealing And Load Standards 4. Magazine Highlights: July 21, 2005 *Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- U.S. Military Embraces Commercial Technology *Technology Report -- High-Speed Interfaces Supercharge Micros *Technology Report -- Wireless Sensors Land Anywhere And Everywhere *Leapfrog: Industry First -- Uncooled Thermal Imaging Has Mass-Market Appeal *Design View/Design Solution -- Get More Power For Less By Using Class D Amplifiers Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor mailto:[email protected] **************************************************************** 2005 Engineering Hall of Fame The members of Electronic Design's Engineering Hall of Fame are those men and women whose accomplishments have shaped the electronics industry and, by extension, our world. It's time to vote for the 2005 slate of inductees. Give us a few minutes of your time to browse through our list of nominees and tell us who you think should be honored this year. Your vote counts! Go to http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F670:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Useful Work From Wasted Energy, MEMS Style By John Novellino, Senior Technology Editor People have been trying to design a perpetual motion machine for ages. That's not going to happen, and most people now realize that. They would have to rewrite the laws of physics. But maybe the next best thing is a system that performs useful work using energy that otherwise would be wasted. That's not new. Today's fashionable hybrid cars recharge batteries in part by using energy that is dissipated in braking systems. How about a similar device on a micro scale? Researchers are reporting success on a self-powered wireless sensor system that sounds an awful lot like an electrical analogy to the old-fashioned self-winding watch. A team at the University of Florida in Gainesville is generating electricity, admittedly in very small amounts right now, by "harvesting" the vibrational energy created by rotating machinery. The goal is to eventually use the electrical power to run wireless sensors that would monitor the machinery for condition-based maintenance. The researchers have built a mesoscale version already. "We're now in the process of fabricating a version using micromachining," said Toshi Nishida, a professor in the university's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "The current version is in the order of inches." In fact, the university is seeking companies interested in commercializing the new technology. The vibration energy harvester consists of three main parts. A piezoelectric transducer (PZT) serves as the energy conversion device, a specialized power converter rectifies the resulting voltage, and a capacitor or battery stores the power. The PZT takes the form of an aluminum cantilever with a piezoelectric patch. The vibration-induced strain in the PZT produces an ac voltage. An ASIC-based IC designed by the team converts the voltage to dc that's stored in a rechargeable battery or capacitor. Of course, one of the main challenges is to design a practical system as small as possible. But the smaller the system, the less power available. Right now, the mesoscale harvester prototype, which is about 2 in. long, generates on the order of 10 microwatts for a 1-g vibration at 100 Hz. The frequency is important because the cantilever operates best at its resonant frequency. So the harvester will be best suited for applications like rotating machinery, where the vibration frequency is well known and fairly constant. Since traditional power converters just wouldn't work with such low power levels, the team designed a custom power processor IC that could be run by a 1.2-V energy harvester putting out less that 100 microwatts. "One of the challenges is that the piezoelectric material has a highly reactive output impedance," said Nishida. "To maximize the power output requires you to match the impedance as much as possible." But a passive matching scheme would require too large an inductance. The team then came up with a pulsed-resonant micropower converter topology that uses a low switching speed to reduce switching losses and requires an inductance only in the tens of microhenries range. The prototype device was fabricated on an ASIC using a commercial 0.5-micron CMOS process. Power consumption was minimized by operating the analog blocks in the subthreshold region and activating the blocks only as needed. Thus, total dissipation was only about 0.6 microwatt. An efficiency just over 70 percent was measured using a large inductor made by the researchers. Using an experimental package and smaller commercial inductors with higher dc resistances offered average efficiencies of 60 percent. In fact, Nishida said better packaging is one of the important issues yet to be resolved. With such low power levels, the system couldn't run the sensors and transmitter continuously. Instead, it would repeatedly charge a battery or capacitor, which would operate the measurement system at a relatively low duty cycle. The team is working on creating a MEMS version of the vibration energy harvester using fabrication processes at a MEMS foundry and the University of Florida's Nanofabrication Facility. Other members of the interdisciplinary team at UF include Professors K. Ngo, also of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and L. Cattafesta and M. Sheplak in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Companies interested in working on commercializing this technology should contact Karl R. Zawoy of the university's Office of Technology Licensing at mailto:[email protected] To comment on this Editor's View, go to Reader Comments at the foot of the Web page: Electronic Design UPDATE ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F66A:1001CD **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Add Networking Capability to Your Products Imagine providing the ability to access, control, even diagnose and repair your products from virtually anywhere...at any time over a network or the Internet. XPort(tm) and WiPort(tm) device servers enable you to quickly build Ethernet or 802.11b connectivity into your designs. WiPort is even FCC-certified, so you don't need separate certification. Best of all, design changes are usually minimal or unnecessary. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F664:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 2. Focus On Embedded ********************** ***Kit Teaches Microcontroller-Based Mechatronic Design The PICDEM Mechatronics Demonstration Kit helps engineers learn to design PIC microcontrollers into electromechanical systems. Microchip Technology's new kit comes with nine projects that teach users how to read sensors, drive a brush dc or stepper motor, and display a value on LEDs or an LCD. In addition, the company's Mechatronics Workshop In-a-Box series of hands-on seminars, planned to begin in August, will further instruct potential users on how to utilize Microchip's semiconductors in electromechanical applications. The PICDEM Mechatronics board is very flexible, enabling users to experiment with the many peripherals on a typical PIC microcontroller and rapidly prototype a design. It has a 40-pin and a 20-pin socket, which are compatible with eight-, 14-, and 20-pin PIC microcontrollers. The board works with other Microchip tools for programming and/or debugging the onboard PIC microcontroller. The PICDEM Mechatronics Demonstration Kit (part number DM163029) is available now for $149.99. Microchip Technology Inc. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F673:1001CD ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***HDMI Switch Chip Supports Four 1.65-Gbit/s Channels The PI3HDMI412 high-definitition multimedia interface (HDMI) supports the transmission of digital television audio-visual signals from DVD players, set-top boxes, and additional audio-visual sources to television sets, projectors, and other video displays. Developed by Pericom, the interface incorporates four differential-channel, 2:1 multiplexers/demultiplexers. The DVI/HDMI switch was designed using high-speed differential broadband switching technology that delivers data at rates of up to 1.65 Gbits/s. This enables the PI3HDMI412 to provide the resolution (1920 by 1080 pixels) required by next-generation HDTV and PC graphics applications. The differential switch chip operates from a single 3-V supply. It's housed in a 42-contact TDFN leadless package. Samples of the chip are immediately available. In 10,000-unit quantities, it costs $1.50. Datasheets, application notes, and IBIS models also are available. Pericom Semiconductor Corp. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F674:1001CD ***Power-Management IC Combines Five Programmable Regulators Targeted at low-power portable applications, the SC900 software-controlled power-management IC incorporates five individual ultra-low-dropout (ULDO) regulators in one 4- by 4-mm package. Using I2C bus control, designers can quickly modify up to five regulator requirements that are often present in battery-operated designs, including reset logic, power-good indication, output voltage, and active shutdown. All five ULDOs are I2C programmable in 50-mV increments from 1.45 to 3.0 V with an accuracy of +/-3 percent, and each LDO can be independently enabled/disabled. Output noise is 45 microvolts (RMS), power-supply rejection ratio is 60 dB at 50 mA, and current drawn in sleep mode is approximately 215 microamps for all five ULDOs in total operation. The SC900 IC provides undervoltage lockout protection, overtemperature protection, and short-circuit protection. It's available immediately in an MLPQ-20 package, and it costs $1.05 in 1000-piece lots. An evaluation kit is also available. Semtech Corp. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F675:1001CD ***Subminiature Switch Exceeds Sealing And Load Standards The D2SW-P sealed subminiature snap-action switch from Omron exceeds the sealing requirements of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard IP67. It's available in two ratings: a 2-A version for power-switching applications, and a logic switching version for use with data circuits that are rated as low as 1 mA. The lower rating is achieved by the use of gold-alloy crossbar contacts that deliver long operating life even at low logic loads. Designers have the choice of four different actuators, three contact arrangements, and five types of terminals. This variety of available combinations makes the switch adaptable to a wide range of applications for moisture-prone environments, including medical diagnostic equipment and snowmobiles. The D2SW-P switch ships from stock. Prices range from $0.60 to $0.90 for the pc-board and solder-terminal versions and from $0.80 to $1.10 for the wire-harnessed versions. Omron Electronic Components ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F672:1001CD **************************************************************** Submit Photos And Get Paid! Grab some photos showing the "guts and glory" of you (and your team) at work. We need them for our "Day in the Life of an Electronic Designer" photo essay, which will appear in Electronic Design's Oct. 20 special issue. There's a $500 Grand Prize for best photo series and $250 prize for best photo, and we pay $50 if we use any of your photos in the issue. Please include the names and titles of all photo subjects, as well as company name and the type of work-in-process illustrated by the photo. Digital photos should be in .tif or .jpg formats and must have resolution of at least 300 dpi. Deadline for submission is Sept. 15. E-mail digital photos to Rich Gawel at mailto:[email protected] Mail hard-copy photos to: Roger Engelke Electronic Design Special Issues Editor 45 Eisenhower Dr., 5th Floor Paramus, NJ 07652 **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. July 21, 2005: * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- U.S. Military Embraces Commercial Technology A flying, unmanned washing machine? No, but enhanced COTS technology designed for white goods is now finding a home in military apps, too. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F665:1001CD * Technology Report: High-Speed Interfaces Supercharge Micros High-performance, on-chip interconnects have become a necessity for the latest speed-merchant MCUs. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F667:1001CD * Technology Report: Wireless Sensors Land Anywhere And Everywhere They may be modules. Or motes. Or even smart dust. Whatever the form, wireless "sensor nets" will make a heavy imprint on the industry. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F668:1001CD * Leapfrog: Industry First -- Uncooled Thermal Imaging Has Mass-Market Appeal With these temperature-tuned thin-film filters, inexpensive CCD/CMOS cameras can sense thermal radiation wavelengths of 8 to 15 microns. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F66B:1001CD * Design View/Design Solution -- Get More Power For Less By Using Class D Amplifiers Improve the price/performance ratio of your audio amplifiers by combining Class D's efficiency with digital signal processing to enhance perceived audio quality http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F666:1001CD For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F66C:1001CD **************************************************************** Embedded in Electronic Design (EiED) Online is your source for technical insight and hands-on reviews. Read one of Bill Wong's latest EiED Online columns: Virtual Embedding -- Virtualization has its place in mainframes and embedded applications. See why. Bill also takes a look at Slick Edit. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F669:1001CD ********************** TAKE A POLL! Where do you find the most useful information about new products and technology? -- Print magazines -- E-mail newsletters -- Google searches -- Trade shows -- Fellow designers Vote at Electronic Design ==> http://www.elecdesign.com **************************************************************** Designing With Video Signals Dealing with digital video signals in the analog world can be tricky. Arm yourself with knowledge and download our eBook, "Analog/Mixed-Signal Components For 21st Century Video," by Analog/Power Editor Don Tuite. Chapter 1 covers the basics, Chapter 2 discusses interfacing video amps to digital-to-analog converters, and the recently added Chapter 3 deals with video multiplexing and driving unshielded twisted pairs. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F66E:1001CD **************************************************************** Need To Go Green? We Can Help! The European Union, as well as Japan and China, are about to restrict the use of environmentally hazardous materials in electronic components and systems through the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. Electronic Design's RoHS Reference Center has the information you need to make the shift to green designs. The third chapter of our eBook, "Electronic Design's Guide To New International Environmental Laws," is now available for download. And don't miss our comprehensive list of industry and government Web sites and contacts. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F671:1001CD **************************************************************** SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TO ELECTRONIC DESIGN If you're reading this e-newsletter, then you are either a current Electronic Design subscriber, or should be (145,000 of your peers are). To apply for or renew a subscription to Electronic Design absolutely FREE and without paperwork or hassle, click on the link below. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=F66F:1001CD ****************************************************************




Editorial: Mark David, Editor-in-Chief mailto:[email protected] Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities: Bill Baumann, Publisher: mailto:[email protected]

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