Readers Choose 11 Winners For Annual Awards

First-time winners and three new categories accent EE’s 5th annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Since the awards began in 1994, the list of categories has grown from a modest seven to 11—so it isn’t just PCBs that are getting more complex or densely populated.

Along with adding ATE-related awards, the selection process has expanded. This year, the awards are comprised of your responses to both new product announcements and advertisements. Each company receiving an award represents a different discipline in the electronics industry.

The winner of the first ATE—Accessories award is Everett Charles Technologies with the PogoPlus™ Probes. These probes feature MicroSharp™ technology for long-lasting sharpness and P3™ plating that increases durability and decreases electrical resistance.

CST takes the new ATE—Low-Cost honors with the SP3000 Tester for SIMM and DIMM memory modules. The ATE—Systems victor is the HP 83000 Multimedia Series from Hewlett-Packard.

In Communications Test, the award goes to Anritsu. Two new models for the company’s Site Master™ SWR/Return Loss Analyzer line are tops in this division.

For EMC, the winner is Fair-Rite Products. The company offers a variety of surface-mount suppression components and round and flat cable beads for eliminating EMI on PCBs.

The static-dissipative ESD Wipe from Texwipe cleans up in the ESD category. The wipes feature a durable nylon construction without any elemental carbon or metal fillers or chemical antistats.

Top honors in Environmental Stress Screening (ESS) go to Thermotron Industries for the SE-Series Chambers and the 7800 Programmer/Controller. The redesigned and re-engineered chambers combine an air circulation system, a modular humidity system, and larger compressors. ThermoTrak™ software also is included.

Pixera holds the 1998 title for Inspection. The 1-Million-Pixel Digital Camera System captures 2-D or 3-D still or moving images directly to a PC, Mac, or laptop and then manipulates, organizes, archives, and communicates the images via video conferencing or e-mail.

Again this year, the Instrumentation awards are divided into Hand-Held and Benchtop sections. Fluke emerges as the winner in the Hand-Held Instrumentation with the ScopeMeter® 123.

For the second year, the Benchtop Instrumentation award goes to Yokogawa Corp. of America. This time, it is the OR 1400 Oscillographic Recorder with a range of isolated plug-in input modules that takes the honors. The OR 1400 samples data at 100 kS/s with a 40-kHz bandwidth and has eight analog inputs with 12- or 14-bit resolution.

Accolades go to the victor of the Software award: National Instruments, a three-time winner in this category. LabWindows®/CVI Virtual Instrumentation Tools for C/C++ reign victorious. Using this interactive development environment, you can choose from more than 600 GPIB, VXI, and serial instrument drivers and perform waveform analysis, FFTs, filters, and statistics.

For More Information

Well, this brings to a close the 1998 announcement of winners for EE’s Readers’ Choice Awards. If you missed any of these award-winning products when they first appeared in EE, it is not too late to find out more about them. Use the Reader Service Card in this magazine or on our web site ( and select the circle number that corresponds to the number printed with each product in this article.

New Testers Address Multimedia Chips

The HP 83000 Multimedia Series of IC ATE tests the digital, analog, memory and high-speed interface components of multimedia chips. The HP 83000 Model C is designed for high-volume production testing of low-cost ICs. It also performs analog testing.

The HP SmartDSP Smart Waveform Instrument is an integrated component of the HP 83000. Optional add-on analog test capabilities include the Smart Video Sampler, Smart Waveform Generator, Smart Analog Clock and Smart Capture Memory.

The series features a hardware-per-pin algorithmic pattern generator (APG) for testing the embedded-memory portions of a multimedia chip. The APG can be programmed to generate address/data and control signals to as many pins as needed. Hewlett-Packard, (800) 452-4844.

New Test Tool Is Combination Scope/Meter

The ScopeMeter® 123, a hand-held, ruggedized test tool that integrates oscilloscope, multimeter and paperless-recorder functions, features ‘connect and view’ hands-off operation. You can access 26 common oscilloscope and multimeter measurements from a menu list, including VDC, Vrms, Vpeak, amps, time, frequency, duty cycle, phase, temperature and resistance. The oscilloscope has a 20-MHz bandwidth, and the multimeter is a true-rms dual-channel 5,000-count DMM with 0.5% accuracy.

The 2.5-lb instrument stores two screen images and up to 10 user setups in nonvolatile memory, and includes an RS-232 interface for printing or downloading measurements to a PC. It is compatible with FlukeView® for Windows to document, analyze and archive measurements. Fluke, (800) 44 FLUKE.

System Tests SIMM/DIMM Memory Modules

The SP3000 is a stand-alone tester for both SIMM and DIMM memory modules. It features a plug-in adapter that supports 72-pin SIMMs and 168-pin DIMMs in a fast page mode (FPM) and extended data out (EDO) for either 3.3-V or 5-V operations. It also is equipped with 80 built-in data bits with 16 multiplexed address lines to test up to 4 Gwords.

Testing features include chip heating, voltage bouncing, loop testing, adjustable timing parameters and alterable refresh mode and cycling. Optional adapters are available for SODIMM memory cards, PCMCIA memory cards, pipelined cache, synchronous DRAMS, 30-pin SIMMs and DRAM chips. CST, (972) 241-2662.

Cable and Antenna Analyzer

Rejects External Interference

Two models added to the Site Master™ SWR/Return Loss Analyzer line offer segmented coverage from 5 MHz to 3,300 MHz. The units measure SWR, return loss, and distance-to-fault on analog and digital RF transmission lines. They also provide wattmeter features. The models reject external RFI, allowing them to test at live sites and in dense RF environments. Site Master isolates transmission faults using frequency-domain reflectometry which locates RF faults, not just DC open- or short-circuit conditions. Anritsu Wiltron, (408) 776-8300.

Copyright 1998 Nelson Publishing Inc.

March 1998

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