May 1, 2006
ACCELERATED TESTING PLATFORM QualMark's patented omni-axial vibration system (OVS) tables used in its highly accelerated life testing (HALT) and highly

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QualMark's patented omni-axial vibration system (OVS) tables used in its highly accelerated life testing (HALT) and highly accelerated stress screenings (HASS) chambers mechanically excite every part of a product, down to the component level, at its resonant frequency. HALT testing is a proven method to find design defects. Without discovery, design defects often appear in end-use applications, causing product failures after release. HALT increases product reliability by pushing a product to its operating limits and beyond.

These capabilities require vibration in all three axes as well as the rotation around those axes, simultaneously, across a wide frequency range. At the same time, and within the same chamber, thermal tests are undertaken. The chamber's patented Typhoon air-handling technology quickly drives products from ambient to the appropriate stress temperature using less electricity and liquid nitrogen, providing low total cost of chamber ownership for everyday operation.

Every manufacturer whose product contains a microprocessor, circuit card or electromechanical assembly can benefit from accelerated test methods that enable companies to develop products quickly, free of design flaws and within budget.

HALT and HASS techniques quickly expose any weak links in a product so they can be fixed before they become expensive field issues. After HALT has revealed any product weaknesses, proper root cause of failure analysis facilitates the corrective action necessary to improve the design. As a result, HALT reduces R&D costs, shortens the time to market, and increases product quality and reliability.

Once an approved design goes into production, HASS testing comes into play to ensure that any weak links in the manufacturing processes do not undermine the already-proven design. In essence, the goal of a HASS is to detect failure modes that can be introduced in the production of the product.

Realizing the full potential of HALT and HASS rests on employing the correct testing equipment and procedures. QualMark adds value to the sale of accelerated testing equipment by counseling manufacturers on how to successfully set up these testing procedures. QualMark has installed more than 600 of its proprietary testing systems in 30 countries.
QualMark • (303) 254-8800 •


AMI Semiconductor's high-speed CAN repeater IC, the AMIS-42700 high-speed CAN repeater, is the latest product release in the company's family of in-vehicle networking (IVN) products. The device is a dual-transceiver IC that provides a low-cost, low-component count, low-power CAN repeater solution by providing, in a single chip, the interface between two physical CAN lines and the protocol controller in high-speed CAN (CANH) networks. Suitable for 12 V and 24 V automotive systems, the IC is ideal for applications including the control of engine management units and body electronics systems such as electric windows, air conditioning and lighting.

Housed in a compact ‘green’ SOIC 300 20-pin package, the AMIS-42700 operates with very low electromagnetic emission (EME) due to very close matching of the output signals; a common-mode choke is not required. In addition, the wide common-mode voltage range of the receiver inputs allows the device to offer very low electromagnetic susceptibility (EMS).

As well as providing a simple route to extending the length of the CAN bus, the AMIS-42700 is also suitable for providing a diagnostic access point to a CAN bus without requiring a separate microcontroller. Using the repeater IC, the impedance of the CAN line remains constant regardless of whether interfaces are connected or disconnected. Contact AMI for pricing and availability.
AMI Semiconductor • (208) 233-4690


Hamamatsu Corporation's transmitter-receiver pair of photo ICs is intended for use in media-oriented system transport (MOST)-compliant automotive multimedia networks. MOST is a communications standard developed by the automotive industry to support networking of a wide array of devices, including audio/video entertainment systems. The L10063-01 transmitter works together with the S10064-01 receiver to provide a maximum data communications rate of 50 Mbps over plastic optical fiber (POF) links.

The L10063-01 can be set to an operating mode that reduces the optical output level by 50%, which contributes to reduced power consumption. Meanwhile, the S10064-01 has a low power “sleep mode,” and can shift into normal operating mode by detecting a light trigger. The S10064-01 also has the benefits of a wide dynamic range and immunity to external noise.

Both components are housed in a clear plastic package and have a wide operating temperature range (from -40 °C to +105 °C). Signal transfer is done digitally between the components via TTL interface. Small quantity pricing for the L10063-01 is $18.20 and $14.50 for the S10064-01.
Hamamatsu Photonics • (800) 524-0504


Green Hills Software has released a version of its platform for automotive systems. Additions to the platform include the micro-velOSity royalty-free real-time microkernel, CAN driver software, and support for next-generation office-in-the-car systems.

Green Hills Software's enhanced platform for automotive systems is aimed directly at addressing these challenges. It enables automotive device makers to produce products that perform better and with maximum reliability, while being developed in the least amount of time and at the lowest production cost.

Micro-velOSity is the latest addition to the company's universal operating system. With a ROM footprint as small as 1600 bytes, RAM footprint as small as 1000 bytes, service call times as low as 30 cycles, and time to first thread execution (boot time) as low as 1500 cycles, micro-velOSity is ideal for real-time, performance-critical, resource-constrained automotive electronic devices (ECUs), many of which lack off-chip memory, that can be found within in-car head units, handsets, dashboards, and body electronics. Because of micro-velOSity's API compatibility with velOSity and INTEGRITY, it can be the low end in the platform architecture for these types of devices.

Added to velOSity's and INTEGRITY's shared ecosystem of automotive drivers and middleware are new FlexCAN drivers suitable for use on a variety of popular microcontrollers. These include the PowerPC 5500, ColdFire 5200, and MAC7100 families from Freescale Semiconductor.

Green Hills Software's Padded Cell technology can now be used to implement in-car office functionality securely and reliably. Instant-on, real-time multimedia applications may run directly on INTEGRITY, while one or more instances of Windows or Linux, with their associated HMI and office applications, can run Padded Cell under the control of Green Hills Software's virtualization technology, all on a single automotive-grade PC.

The enhanced Green Hills Software Platform for Automotive Systems is available today. Pricing varies based on the required technologies.
Green Hills Software (805) 965-6044

Glass Optical Fibers

SCHOTT has developed a multicore glass optical fiber that guarantees the high data transfer rates required for transmitting audio and video signals in vehicles, while at the same time being resistant to high temperatures.

The media oriented systems transport (MOST) bus is a ring bus that allows data to be exchanged between the system components via optical fibers, with no loss of quality, at a sufficiently high speed and with very high electromagnetic compatibility. As a result, CD and DVD players, navigation systems, multiband GSM telephones and on-board computers can all be interconnected.

Polymer fibers are only able to withstand temperatures of up to 85 °C, which rules out their use under the vehicle roof or in the engine compartment. What is more, plastic waveguides can be bent only in wide radii. Even at bending radii of below 25 mm, significant additional signal attenuation occurs in the material. The multicore glass optical fiber (MC-GOF) developed by SCHOTT can withstand temperatures of up to 125 °C and can be laid with a minimum bending radius of 5 mm without noticeable attenuation, almost like a copper cable.

These properties open up new installation opportunities for optical fiber applications, for example, in the engine compartment. Contact for Schott for pricing and availability of its multicore glass optical fiber.
SCHOTT (570) 457-7485

Portable Radio Test Set

The 3500 from Aeroflex is a lightweight and portable radio test set designed specifically to test vehicle-based radio systems used predominantly by first responders. The test set allows the user to test all aspects of the vehicle's system, from the radio to the cable and the antenna, with powerful features typically found only in bench-top radio test equipment.

With a built-in generator and receiver, the Aeroflex 3500 radio test set operates from 2 MHz to 1 GHz and it is capable of measuring high power (up to 200 W with an external attenuator) as well as finding faults in antenna, power amplifiers and interconnects. It performs a wide variety of AM/FM transmitter and receiver tests including RF power, RF frequency error, AM modulation, FM deviation, receive signal strength indicator (RSSI), distortion and SINAD/sensitivity.

Many radio system faults actually originate in the cabling or antenna rather than in the radio. The radio test set conveniently allows the user to measure the voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) of both the cable and the antenna. A large VSWR can indicate a high return loss caused by a bad cable, connector or antenna. Isolating the problem in the cable, connector or antenna prevents the user from returning a good radio to the manufacturer or depot for repair.

The radio test set weighs just 8.5 lbs. (3.86 kg) including the battery and solid aluminum weatherproof case. It has an operating temperature of -10 °C to +50 °C, and is designed with rugged construction specifications for humidity, altitude, shock and vibration. It has a battery life of seven hours and can be fully recharged and ready to operate in only four hours. When not in use, the radio test set and the optional accessories can be easily stored and transported in a carrying case.

The Aeroflex 3500 radio test set is designed to enable quick “drive-by” testing, allowing the user to connect to the supplied antenna, key up the radio and measure the radio parameters over-the-air. A microphone/speaker combination handset is provided to check voice quality of the transmitter and receiver.

The test set uses a software-defined radio architecture where the software defines almost all of the functionality of the test set from the RF physical layer and up. Because it is software-defined, it allows for future updates and improvements to the capability of the instrument and the user can easily add options or update functional improvements in the field without the need to return the instrument to the factory. Future product enhancements will include spectrum analyzer and oscilloscope functions.

The Aeroflex 3500 radio test set pricing starts at $14,995 for a base configuration that includes an internal battery, ac-dc charger, audio/ microphone handset, audio/microphone cable, VSWR load TNC female and TNC to TNC cable.

Optionally, the 3500 has available a combination cover/stand, 150 W (200 W intermittent) 20 dB attenuator, 50 W 20 dB attenuator, various antennas as well as a hard and soft carrying case.
Aeroflex (516) 694-6700


Innovation Technology (I&T) has announced the availability of light by wire lighting strips for vehicle lighting, commercial signage, task lighting, architectural and appliance lighting applications. Light by wire is produced by I&T in collaboration with 3M. This compact, high-efficiency strip lighting concept is based on proprietary I&T extruded flat flexible cable (FFCe) technology with directly attached LEDs.

With this technology, the lighting source is integrated with the power distribution, and thereby eliminates the need for PCBs and cable-to-board interconnects. FFCe cables with flat copper conductors are used with TPU, PVC or PBT substrate material, depending on application requirements. For more information on I&T FFCe light by wire cable, visit 3M's website.
3M (888) 364-3577


PerkinElmer Optoelectronics has developed the LHS-AL25, a lens holder system for the ACULED all-color ultrabright LED. The system is an easily attachable, lens collection system for use in a variety of specialty lighting applications, including vision systems.

The ACULED LHS-AL25 system has a compact size with a surface area of 25 mm sq. and is available with two different lens apertures. The LHS-AL25-L22 lens has a medium aperture of 22°, which can be used to make the ACULED a highlighter for illumination applications such as color-changing spotlights. The LHS-AL25-L32 has a wider aperture of approximately 32° and can be used to create a light cone for small distances between the ACULED and illuminated object. Both lens types provide superior far field color mixing for distances of more than 20 cm from the lens.

Contact PerkinElmer for pricing and availability of the ACULED LHS-AL25. An evaluation kit is available with the ACULED, along with the two new lens models.

PerkinElmer Optoelectronics (800) 775-6786


Microchip Technology has developed complementary read-only-memory (ROM) PIC microcontrollers in the PIC16 family. The PIC16CR73, PIC16CR74, PIC16CR76 and PIC16CR77 (PIC16CR7X) general-purpose ROM microcontrollers are the first in a new series of ROM microcontrollers in the PIC16 and PIC18 families from Microchip. The microcontrollers provide the first seamlessly interchangeable options for Microchip's PIC16F73, PIC16F74, PIC16F76 and PIC16F77 (PIC16F7X) Flash products.

The PIC16CR7X ROM PIC microcontrollers allow manufacturers to enjoy the cost-effectiveness of ROM for high-volume production, while enjoying the flexibility and short lead times of Microchip's Flash microcontrollers for development. Additionally, because of their interchangeability with Flash versions, the ROM microcontrollers solve many challenges that high volume manufacturers face.

These mask ROM PIC microcontrollers already contain the customer-specific code required for high volume, stable applications. This saves the customer programming costs, product handling, and production cycle time. The PIC16F7X Flash PIC microcontrollers remain ideal for development and flexibility. Their compatibility provides new options for Microchip's customers.

The PIC16CR7X ROM microcontrollers are available in 28-pin DIP, SOIC, SSOP or QFN packages, 40-pin PDIP and PLCC packages, and a 44-pin QFP package option. For pricing or additional information, contact Microchip.
Microchip Technology (480) 792 7200

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