October 2003 Archives of Breaking News

Nov. 11, 2003
10/7/2003 Edited by PETech Staff Electronic Thermal Design and Analysis Seminar Sensor Products Inc. presents a special "Electronic Thermal Design and

Edited by PETech Staff

Electronic Thermal Design and Analysis Seminar

Sensor Products Inc. presents a special "Electronic Thermal Design and Analysis Seminar" to be held on January 15-16, 2004, at the Amerisuites Hotel (Medford) in Boston.

This seminar was developed to educate engineers and technicians about all conventional and cutting-edge aspects of thermal management design and analysis for electronic systems. In addition to important cooling topics such as heat transfer principles, this course covers the physics of heat sinks and heat transfer, power trends, environmental stress testing, fan placement and design, heat pipe strategies, and temperature and air velocity measurement techniques. Attendees will also delve into such fundamental topics as predicting and classifying thermal failures, and the influence of environmental temperature. Finally, discussion of a new proprietary analytical tool used to effectively determine optimal cooling solutions for your application is included.

Anyone working with electronics, PCB or power supply development, as well as system design and architecture for portable devices will gain valuable insight from this unique course. More than 2,500 students have attended this seminar.

For more information, visit www.sensorprod.com/heatsink.


Edited by PETech Staff

IBM, Intersil Announce Foundry Services Agreement

IBM Microelectronics and Intersil Corporation recently entered into a multiyear foundry services agreement. The companies plan to install Intersil semiconductor process technology in IBM’s Burlington, Vt., chip manufacturing facility. IBM will serve as a second source manufacturer for Intersil's Endura power management integrated circuits (ICs).

Intersil's Endura ICs power CPUs, chip sets, memory, graphics, buses and ports for desktop PCs, servers and portable computing appliances. Devices that regulate power and charge batteries in handheld equipment, power systems in broadband gateways and PC peripherals, including graphics cards, are also part of Intersil's power management IC portfolio.

IBM plans to reserve capacity for Intersil's power management ICs manufactured in Intersil's P6 process. Over the life of the agreement, however, the parties may extend the agreement to cover additional processes, including potentially jointly developed processes. The agreement marks an expansion of IBM's foundry services capabilities into power management and other high-performance analog applications. IBM plans to begin manufacturing Intersil's power management ICs in the first quarter next year.

For more information, visit www.intersil.com or www.ibm.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Xicor Acquires Poweready Inc.

Xicor Inc. recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire Poweready Inc. of San Diego, Calif. The negotiated price of $15.0 million is comprised of stock, cash and contingent consideration if certain performance milestones are met in 2004 through 2006.

Poweready, a private company, designs, develops and manufactures charging systems for SMBus battery management applications. The company has developed substantial intellectual property in Level 1, 2 and 3 charging as well as SMBus 1.1 compliant battery management, charging, safety circuit, fuel gauging and cell balancing solutions, which maximize the efficiency of batteries.

According to Xicor president and CEO, Lou DiNardo, “The acquisition of Poweready Inc. will provide Xicor the intellectual property and customer relationships necessary to expand our presence and penetrate the explosive area of smart battery management. Our existing solutions for 3-cell and 4-cell lithium ion and lithium polymer battery systems have been successful in notebook computing and portable test, measurement and medical equipment in part because of our relationship with Poweready and their understanding of the rechargeable battery market.”

For more information, visit www.xicor.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Smart Product Configurator Added to APP Web Site

Anderson Power Products (APP) recently added a Smart Product Configurator to its corporate Web site for its new Power Mod and Power Drawer products. This enhancement represents a major expansion of the technical capability and engineering content of APP’s Web services.

The APP Power Mod and Power Drawer product families have many selectable features, which create hundreds of standard part numbers. The APP Smart Product Configurator allows a Web user to select an APP Power Mod or Power Drawer part number in one of four ways. Moreover, it makes selecting a part number effortless by dynamically building a unique drawing for verification of the product selection.

For more information, visit www.andersonpower.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

STMicroelectronics Extends Lead in Light-Emitting Silicon

At a technical seminar devoted to some of its leading edge R&D and manufacturing activities, STMicroelectronics (ST) recently disclosed further significant advances it has achieved in the field of light-emitting silicon technology. Among other applications, the enhanced technology will allow ST to enter the market for optocouplers in the near future.

Last year, ST announced a breakthrough technology that allowed silicon-based devices to emit light with an efficiency that was some two orders of magnitude better than the best previously achieved results with silicon, allowing these devices to reach, for the first time, efficiencies comparable to those of more expensive compound semiconductors while retaining the cost advantages of high-volume silicon technology.

"Since then, ST has made substantial further progress toward turning this pioneering research into both near-term commercial products and potentially disruptive new technologies," said Dr. Salvo Coffa, research director of the SST (Soft Computing, Si-optics and post-silicon Technologies) group within ST's corporate R&D organization. The results announced by ST in October 2002 already went far beyond the existing state-of-the art in silicon-based light emission, making ST the first semiconductor manufacturer in the world to be in a position to consider the integration of Si-based light emitting technology into products such as optocouplers, for which there is already a substantial world market based on more expensive nonsilicon technologies, as well as entirely new types of product that exploit ST's ability to integrate the all three functions of light emission, light waveguides and light detectors on a single silicon chip that can be manufactured at low cost on high-volume production lines.

Already, ST has produced fully working prototypes of a completely silicon-based optocoupler that demonstrate that all-silicon devices can deliver similar performance to that of traditional devices while offering the cost benefits of silicon manufacturing.

"Comparing the performance of our first prototypes with that of existing devices and considering the improvements we have already made to the initial technology, we expect to reach the commercial crossover point in around six months," said Coffa.

In fact, Coffa's team has not only increased the external quantum efficiency of its light-emitting devices by a factor 1.5, which already exceeds the quantum efficiency of traditional semiconductor materials, but also increased the maximum emitted power by a factor 50. As a result, ST is now able to produce more than 1 mW of emitted light power for each square millimeter of silicon. For more information, visit www.st.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Nitronex Issued Key U.S. Patent

Nitronex Corp., a privately held manufacturer of gallium nitride (GaN) based radio frequency (RF) power transistors, has been issued U.S. Patent No. 6,617,060. Additionally, Nitronex, in collaboration with aviation electronics and communications leader Rockwell Collins, announce the demonstration of a single unit GaN transistor yielding record-breaking output power of 120 W.

The latest Nitronex patent was issued on Sept. 9, 2003 and is entitled "Gallium Nitride Material and Methods." The patent teaches process technology used for growing GaN semiconductor layers on silicon substrates and includes Nitronex’s SIGANTIC. core platform technology.

Kevin Linthicum, Nitronex’s CTO stated, “The issuance of this patent strengthens our intellectual property space and differentiates Nitronex from others commercializing gallium nitride semiconductors. This is a valuable addition to Nitronex’s portfolio and is of strategic importance as it captures very broad protection for depositing device-quality gallium nitride on industry standard silicon wafers.”

Nitronex used the SIGANTIC. platform and fabricated the 120-W device, employing their baseline process developed for 3G-WCDMA market applications. Rockwell Collins packaged and tested the device at their Cedar Rapids, Iowa, facility. Nitronex’s GaN High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) technology is being evaluated by Rockwell for a variety of pulsed power applications. The results reported were from a 39-mm gate width device pulse tested (pulse width of 11.4 microseconds at 5% duty cycle) at 2 GHz and 28 V. At 2 dB into compression, the device exhibited a gain of 11.3 dB with an efficiency of over 39%.

The current results of the combined effort between Nitronex and Rockwell Collins validates that GaN has great potential to play a major role in future RF power amplifier systems.

For more information, visit www.nitronex.com or www.rockwellcollins.com.

10/7/2003 Edited by PETech Staff

SEI Electronics Names New COO

SEI Electronics Inc. recently appointed James Mullane as chief operating officer (COO), effective Oct. 1, 2003. Mullane will be replacing John McCabe, who has held the position of SEI president for the past eight years.

“With more than 13 years of experience in the electronics industry, James has the market knowledge and proven leadership capabilities to further advance SEI’s reputation as an industry leader in customer service,” said Kesao Akahane, SEI Electronics chairman of the board. “We want to thank John McCabe for many years of outstanding service and we look forward to moving ahead with Jamie as our COO.”

Mullane joined SEI as director of materials in September 2000, and since that time has taken on additional responsibilities, including customer service and sales administration. Prior to his employment with SEI, Mullane worked with Murata Electronics, where he held various management positions in supply chain management and logistics.

John McCabe has been employed with SEI for more than 22 years, serving as sales and marketing manager, vice president, and president. McCabe will continue his relationship with SEI in the role of advisor and consultant.

For more information, visit www.seielect.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Multiphase Power Controller

The Endura™ ISL6244 from Intersil Corp. is a new multiphase synchronous-buck PWM controller. This precision controller has a 5-bit voltage identification (VID) input optimized for new AMD Athlon™ 64 processors used in notebook PCs. When combined with Intersil’s MOSFET driver ICs, the ISL6244 provides the industry’s most precise voltage regulation at ±1%. The 32-pad quad flat no-lead (QFN) package, also available lead-free, saves space and offers enhanced thermal efficiency.

Voltage and current feedback are actively monitored to detect fault conditions. A power good (PGOOD) output indicates that the controller is operating properly and the output voltage is within a set window, as determined by undervoltage and overvoltage comparators. The controller provides overcurrent protection by monitoring individual channel current and will shut down if any of the channel currents exceeds a reference current. The ISL6244 also allows selection of channel switching frequency in the range of 80 kHz to 1 MHz.

For more information, visit www.intersil.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Log-Taper Digital Potentiometer IC

Catalyst Semiconductor’s CAT5116 is a new Digitally Programmable Potentiometer (DPP™) integrated circuit (IC) for the audio and optical equipment markets. The CAT5116 features a 100-tap, log-taper resistance with nonvolatile memory storage of wiper position.

The CAT5116 is controlled by an increment/decrement control signal that allows multiple potentiometers to be controlled by push-buttons or through a microcontroller I/O port. The chip select input allows multiple devices to be controlled in a system and is also used to store the wiper position prior to power-down.

The CAT5116 standby current is 1 µA maximum compared to competitive solutions that are specified at 750 µA maximum. Active current, drawn only during wiper position storage in EEPROM memory, is a low 1 mA maximum compared to competitive solutions that are specified three times higher. In addition, the CAT5116 ratiometric temperature coefficient is a low 20 ppm per degree centigrade maximum.

The CAT5116 is offered in 8-lead SOIC, TSSOP, DIP and MSOP packages covering the industrial, -40°C to 85°C temperature range.

For more information, visit www.catsemi.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Nonvolatile Digital-to-Analog Converter Products

Xicor Inc.’s new X79000 series of digital-to-analog converters (DACs) is targeted at the bias adjustment and calibration market. This family of products integrates a single channel, 12-bit nonvolatile DAC, voltage reference with selectable gain and level shift, a configurable output buffer and general purpose EEPROM into a single-chip solution. The flexibility of the X79000 series can achieve effective resolution of 14 bits to 16 bits by utilizing its programmability and non-volatile storage at a 12-bit DAC cost.

The X79000 series offer several advantages for bias and calibration applications, such as data acquisition, sensor signal conditioning and power amplification bias. These devices provide several non-volatile registers whose values are restored during the power up of the device, making the device capable of operating independently of a microcontroller. The flexible DAC, or FlexDAC™, devices provide user configurability of the following functions:

  • Nonvolatile initial-value, DAC-register that restores the values during the power up.
  • Push-Pot-style DAC control that allows for incrementing or decrementing from the initial DAC value in either one LSB or byte or word steps, making the device ideal for calibration or human interface.
  • Nonvolatile selection of both the upper and lower DAC ladder voltages using a single internal voltage reference. A serial interface allows for on-the-fly selection of these values without any hardware changes using an internal variable gain and level shift circuits. This provides digital selection for course or fine voltage output span.
  • Unbuffered output or buffered output (configurable via external feedback) options.
  • 64-bytes of general purpose EEPROM to store manufacturing information, calibration coefficients and other important information, such as curve-fit profiling, signal conditioning parameters and device or system identification.

For more information, visit www.xicor.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Power Management IC

The new DA9031 from Dialog Semiconductor Plc is an advanced power management controller IC designed to support high-performance multimedia applications in high-end personal digital assistants (PDAs) and wireless handsets based on the upcoming processor for portable computing platforms by Intel Corp., code-named Bulverde.

The DA9031 is a highly integrated, complete, single-chip power management controller IC connecting directly to the battery. It’s designed for the growing market of PDAs and wireless handsets capable of capturing and transmitting high-quality digital still pictures and video clips. Based on Dialog's proven mixed-signal, low-power CMOS technology, key features that make new controller ideal for such applications include:

  • A high-efficiency dc-dc buck converter supporting Intel® Dynamic Voltage Management (Intel DVM); this is important in adjusting the supply voltage according to processor operating frequency, enabling power consumption to be optimized according to the application being run.
  • Programmable white LED drivers with 20V boost converter to drive two channels of four LEDs very efficiently; this is an important feature for screen and keyboard backlights in the PDA and wireless handset
  • A 500mW 8Ω loudspeaker driver with volume and anti-pop control, for driving multimedia and other audio applications.

The chip provides stable, low-noise power supplies for all the core circuits within the PDA or handset, with its additional features including 13 high-performance low dropout programmable voltage regulators using Dialog's patented Smart Mirror™ technology; RTC (real-time clock) supply; boost converters for SIM card, USB interface and vibrator drivers. The DA9031 includes a programmable multimode battery charger for single cell, 4.2V lithium chemistry battery packs, and supports charging currents up to 1.4A.

Automatic charger detection and battery pack temperature monitoring are also included within this section of the device.

For more information, visit www.Dialog-Semiconductor.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Single-Chip Interleaved PWM Controllers

The new UCC28220 and UCC28221 from Texas Instruments (TI) is the industry's first single-chip, interleaved pulse-width modulation (PWM) controllers for 50-A to 100-A high-current power supplies in off-line and dc-dc converters used in computer servers, telecom, datacomm and consumer systems such as plasma display products.

These peak current-mode controllers use advanced interleaving techniques to control two isolated power stages to maximize power density, reduce output current ripple and improve transient response. The devices, available in either interleaved forward or interleaved fly-back isolated topologies, integrate two PWM channels operating at 180 degrees out-of-phase to control one high current output. In addition, the controllers provide programmable internal slope compensation with an internal circuit to precisely match currents between the two channels.

Enabling higher power density than competing two- or three-chip solutions, the UCC28220 and UCC28221 PWM controllers provide an accurate maximum duty clamp, which can be programmed between 60% to 90% duty cycles per channel. The controllers also include programmable soft start and highly accurate (within 1%) input line undervoltage (UV) and overvoltage (OV) thresholds with programmable hysteresis for each threshold. Additionally, the UCC28221 has a 110-V start-up device that removes the need for an external trickle charge boot strap resistor to help save cost.

For more information, visit www.ti.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Six-Channel Precision Voltage Marginer

Summit Microelectronics’ new six-channel SMM605 joins the SMM105 and SMM205 single- and dual-channel devices families of precision margining active voltage controllers.

Applications for the device are a wide variety of electronic systems, including computing, server, networking, communications and other equipment where highly-reliable operation is required.

Summit uses proprietary active control (ADOC—Active DC-DC Output Control) to provide the accuracy required to correctly margin, typically ±0.1% (guaranteed ±0.2% worst case). Inaccurate margining causes an uncertainty in the actual voltage being applied to processors, ASICs, FPGAs and other PCB circuitry.

For more information, visit www.summitmicro.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Inductors and Chokes

CoEv Magnetics, a business unit of Tyco Electronics, has introduced a new SMT series of surface-mount inductors and chokes. These power magnetic devices are designed for a wide range of switch-mode power supply (SMPS) applications. They are used to suppress and filter ac ripple current in the dc output circuit, and they can also be used for energy storage and common mode noise attenuation.

The SMT devices feature toroidal cores in a convenient surface-mount package. The unique header design provides quick and efficient installation by incorporating a new wire-clamping feature that lowers the time required in the manufacturing process. CoEv Magnetics now offers nine series of SMPS inductors, coupled inductors, and common mode chokes which help minimize circuit board real estate requirements in power supplies, telecommunications equipment, computers, and cable modems. They are also suitable for 150-kHz and 260-kHz National Semiconductor SimpleSwitcher™ applications.

For more information, visit www.tycopowercomponents.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Rugged, Reliable Power IGBTs

International Rectifier’s new pair of 600V 50A non-punch-through (NPT) discrete IGBTs are for motor drive applications in D 2Pak and TO-220. These IGBTs feature a “square” reverse bias safe operating area (RBSOA) and 10µs short-circuit capability, which improves motor drive ruggedness and reliability. A square RBSOA means that the current rating does not degrade at higher voltage. These IGBTs are ideal for hard-starting motor drive applications with high in-rush currents up to 6kW. Typical applications span from vacuum systems to switch reluctance (SR) drives and UPS systems.

IR’s thin silicon NPT technology offers lower turn-off energy losses, allowing operation at high frequencies without any increase in conduction losses and reduced thermal resistance. The new devices can operate up to 175°C junction temperature, achieving a maximum current rating of 50A.

For more information, visit www.irf.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Vicor Launches
New Web Site

Vicor Corp. has launched its new Web site, www.vicorpower.com. The site makes use of cutting-edge data-mining tools to ensure “minimum-click” navigation and easy search and selection.

“We’ve created a content-rich, product-centric site, where we believe design engineers can find the products and related information they need quickly and efficiently,” said Stephen Bahn, director of marketing communications at Vicor. “And if they need a product with special parameters, they can easily specify it using our interactive design and configuration tools.”

Vicor’s thousands of products are easily accessible through the site’s new search engine, the highly-intuitive MondoSearch. MondoSearch, which searches comprehensively across Web pages, documents and media, provides results that are easy to sort due to intelligent and detailed categorization.

The Technical Library, the Product Selector, and two innovative on-line design tools enable design engineers to learn about power conversion issues and to select or configure›in real time›products specifically suited to their applications. VCAD (Vicor Computer Assisted Design) facilitates on-line design of configurable VIPAC and VIPAC Array ac and dc power systems. Designs can be saved in the user’s account for future reference and convenience.

VDAC (Vicor Design Assistance Computer) enables design engineers to design dc-dc converters to fit their specific requirements. They can specify on-line and verify in real time the attributes and performance of custom dc-dc converter modules.

The Web site provides comprehensive information on Vicor’s Factorized Power Architecture featuring the new V·I Chips, and an enhanced focus on product support and easy access to applications and technical support.

For more information, visit www.vicorpower.com.


By Ashok Bindra, Editor, PETech

Power Electronics Conference Addresses Impending Challenges For Designers

On November 2-6, 2003, at the Power Electronics Technology Exhibition & Conference at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif., power electronics designers, manufacturers and integrators will get a firsthand view of the current and forthcoming trends in magnetics, passives, power management devices, power supplies, power protection techniques, and other power-related solutions for motor drives and motion control applications. In essence, some 15 technical tracks with a total of 60 technical papers, along with 11 professional advancement courses and a few poster sessions, will cover topics from designing power supplies with DSPs to innovations in motor drive control. Plus, a few will shed light on techniques to confront challenges of designing power solutions for next-generation microprocessors and ASICs at voltages below 1V with currents approaching over 100A, along with higher demands on regulation and load transients.

Aside from technical sessions and professional courses, there will be over 200 exhibitors to unwrap new products and technologies that will spark new trends in the industry, as well as offer new ways of solving present and future problems. On the semiconductor front, for instance, suppliers like ABB Semiconductors, Allegro MicroSystems, Central Semiconductor, DALSA Semiconductor, Fuji Semiconductor, International Rectifier, Infineon Technologies, Intersil, IXYS, Philips Semiconductors, Power Integrations, Powerex, Powersemi, SanRex Corp., Semikron, STMicroelectronics, Supertex, Taiwan Semiconductor and Toshiba will showcase their latest power ICs, modules and discretes to enable designers to raise the performance bar on existing power products, while providing fodder for future solutions. Similarly, a vast number of power component suppliers will display advances in magnetics, passives, power protection devices and interconnect systems to simplify the design and development of myriad power supplies and motion control solutions.

Speaking of power protection, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) makers such as MGE UPS Systems and Active Power will shed light on battery-free solutions. MGE UPS Systems, for example, will demonstrate the first viable fuel cell-based UPS. The Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company will address the decaying utility infrastructure reliability while examining the economic, facility and environmental considerations that have now positioned fuel cells as a viable and cost-effective alternative to generator-based systems and battery banks. Together with Canada’s Ballard Power Systems, MGE will discuss the pros and cons of fuel cell vs. battery-backed UPS solutions. Moreover, they will show that fuel cell-based UPS offers a more compact, reliable, environmentally friendly, lower maintenance solution with an extended-run time to keep business and critical processes up and running during power blackouts that continue to plague the nation. Likewise, Active Power, an Austin, Texas-based maker of battery-free power quality products, will demonstrate its new generation flywheel technology to deliver critical power protection for mid-range applications.

Two renowned experts in the power electronics industry will enlighten the attendees on emerging system level challenges. In the first keynote address, “Are You Ready for the Future”, Trey Burns, vice president of worldwide technology at Artesyn Technologies, will explore the tools, skills and technologies needed to continue to deliver optimum power solutions in the near future. International Rectifier’s CEO Alex Lidow will speak on systems approach to power design. In his keynote talk, entitled “Systems Approach to Solving Challenges in DC-DC Technology,” Lidow will explain why a holistic systems approach is required, from ac mains to final point-of-load, to deliver the increased performance at lower cost with shorter design cycles.

Finally, National Semiconductor’s analog guru Bob Pease and colleague Wanda Garrett will demonstrate the benefits of online power design tools in a seminar titled “Power Platitudes vs. The Real World”. In this seminar, Pease and Garrett will show engineers how to quickly fix bad designs using online simulations tools. Plus, it will offer an opportunity for old and new engineers to come face to face with the world recognized analog expert Pease.

The Power Electronics Technology Exhibition & Conference is part of PowerSystems World, and will be co-located with Power Quality Exhibition & Conference. For details, call (800) 927-5007 or visit www.powersystems.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Vicor Announces V•I Chip License to Celestica

Vicor Corp. recently entered into a nonexclusive license with Celestica Inc. to manufacture and sell the V•I Chip™ (VIC) Product Family. V•I Chips are the building blocks of the new Factorized Power Architecture (FPA) that Vicor announced this past April.

V•I Chips deliver up to 240W of power in a surface-mount (SMD) ball-grid array (BGA) package occupying less than 0.25 cubic-inch of space, with power densities up to 960W per-cubic-inch—five times better than competitive products. Available in both an "in-board" BGA configuration and an "on-board" leaded SMD configuration, and capable of efficiently delivering currents greater than 100A to the point-of-load, V•I Chips set new standards for conversion efficiency, fast response to dynamic loads and low noise performance.

V•I Chips are currently available from Vicor and will soon be offered by Celestica.

For more information, visit www.vicr.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

1U Heat Sink

Enertron’s PB64-1U Cooler is a compact heat sink for the AMD Opteron™ and Athlon™ 64 CPUs for use in 1U servers. This compact cooler will dissipate as much as 90W of heat in a 40°C environment.

The compact cooler was designed to fit within the limited height of 1U environments. The heat sink features a copper base and high-density array of thin copper fins. Two dual-intake blowers are integrated into the heat sink to provide the forced convection; no other airflow ducting is required. The two blowers also offer redundancy protection; in case one blower fails, the second blower continues to cool the heat sink. The total thermal resistance (Θc-a) of the PB64-1U cooler is 0.32°C/W.

A high-performance interface pad is preinstalled. The heat sink is mounted to the CPU using the standard mounting plate. Custom mounting designs are available.

For more information, visit www.enertron-inc.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

High-Voltage 35W DC-DC Converter

Beta Dyne’s new 35W high-voltage dc-dc converter provides isolated output voltages of 48Vdc (±24V) up to 450Vdc (±225V) based on customer need. When its dual output is used, the converter can power any high-voltage power amplifier requiring ±24V to ±225V. When a pair of converters is employed, they can provide ±450V to power OPAMs. The converter has a 2-to-1 input voltage range with nominal voltages of 12Vdc, 24Vdc, 48Vdc and 120Vdc. The customizability afforded by its design means customers can specify their own models and a custom part number will be assigned based on customer specifications.

Features of the new customizable converter include 86% efficiency, input undervoltage and overvoltage protection, input-to-output isolation, soft start, dual short-circuit protection, 500µA off-state current, multiple converter synchronization, adjustable outputs, 100kHz switching frequency, thermal protection, and six-sided shielding. Package size is 2 in. × 2 in. × 0.5 in (50.8 mm × 50.8 mm × 12.7 mm). Ideal applications include telecommunications equipment, micro-mirror devices, DSL systems, remote feed systems, battery power systems, transducer drivers, and high-voltage power OPAMs.

For more information, visit www.beta-dyne.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Programmable Analog Design Software

New features in Anadigm's® programmable analog design software add a higher level of realism to simulations of field programmable analog arrays (FPAAs) while providing further safeguards to ensure that designs made in AnadigmDesigner®2 will seamlessly translate into working analog circuits.

Featuring full support for the new entry-level AN221E02 FPAA, the new AnadigmDesigner®2 v2.4 also gives users the ability to add voltage-controlled variable gain stages, low-corner frequency bilinear low-pass filters, sum/difference integrators, and square root functions to their analog circuit designs—simply by dragging and dropping Configurable Analog Modules (CAMs).

AnadigmDesigner®2 v2.4 features extensive improvements to support post-simulation probing of circuits designed in FPAAs, including an enhanced oscilloscope feature that provides a real-time trace display during simulations. All data at all output nodes is now saved after a simulation run, allowing designers to test the simulated circuit with virtual oscilloscope probes. The oscilloscope subsystem further allows users to save probed data to a CSV file. After simulation, probes may be moved about and additional CSV files can be generated as needed.

Complex analog circuits created using AnadigmDesigner®2 are based on prequalified software modules, ensuring that designs are correct by construction, repeatable, and automatically translated into C-code. With AnadigmDesigner®2 v2.4, the correct-by-construction feature is enhanced with additional check sheet coverage, through which visual cues are provided immediately to the user if the software detects a phase mismatch, misconnected wire, or other irregularity. The check sheet function automatically checks for a wide variety of potential circuit design problems and allows the user to correct or ignore them.

Four new CAMs are included with AnadigmDesigner®2 v2.4. A voltage-controlled variable gain stage CAM creates circuitry that alters the gain of a signal path as controlled by an external signal or through closed-loop feedback. A new low-corner frequency bilinear low-pass filter CAM allows designers to implement a filter with a corner frequency that is decades lower than that of the standard bilinear filter CAM, extending the capabilities of the FPAA with the use of external capacitors. A sum/difference integrator CAM acts as an integrator on the sum or difference of up to three input voltages, which can be used to create closed-loop feedback circuits, while a new square root CAM generates the square root of the input voltage and can be used for linearization or RMS calculation.

In addition to these new CAMs, AnadigmDesigner®2 v2.4 includes upgraded versions of the bilinear filter and biquadratic filter CAMs, enabling the creation of noninverting low-pass filters.

For more information, visit www.anadigm.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Powerwise™ Interface Open-Standard Specification

National Semiconductor Corp. and ARM have released PowerWise™ Interface (PWI) technology, jointly promoted as an open standard interface for system power management. PWI technology enables rapid deployment of advanced power management solutions in handheld electronic devices by providing an open, industrywide standard for the interconnect between digital processors and power management integrated circuits.

Today's portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, handheld gaming consoles and portable media players offer a host of new benefits for consumers. However, these benefits place a significant strain on the power budget. Designers now face the dilemma of having to reduce the power consumption of digital processors while simultaneously maximizing battery life. This dilemma has led to the development of more advanced power management solutions that dynamically reduce power consumption based on the application software workload and environmental conditions. PWI technology provides the hardware interconnect standard for universal deployment of such solutions.

For more information, visit www.pwistandard.org, www.national.com or www.arm.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Vishay Introduces SMF Diode

Vishay Intertechnology Inc. is offering more than 120 diode devices in the SMF (DO219-AB) package, which combines high power capability and miniaturized dimensions of 3.7 mm × 1.8 mm × 0.98 mm to allow considerable space savings on printed circuit boards.

With its industry-low package height of 0.98 mm—as much as 50% lower than competing devices—the SMF (DO219-AB) package reduces space requirements and improves circuit board density. Vishay Semiconductors diode products offered in the SMF address all industry segments and include switching, fast switching, ultrafast switching, Schottky, ESD protection, and Zener diodes.

The SMF (DO219-AB) package meets the demand for smaller and thinner diodes that enable small and light portable products, such as cellular phones, notebook PCs, and portable consumer products, as well as space-constrained automotive modules.

By maximizing power dissipation per unit of board space used, the package also serves in portable and wireless board designs that must meet strict power-management and protection requirements.

Designers will use the SMF-packaged devices as drop-in replacements for the diodes in the SOD-123FL, SOD-87, and PowerMite, compared to which the SMF offers better power handling and up to a 50% lower height profile. The SMF (DO219-AB) package can also be used to replace larger footprint devices, such as the SMA and M1F with space savings up to 40%.

For more information, visit www.vishay.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Solid-State Relay and Sensor Catalog

Crydom Corp. is now offering a newly designed and compact product catalog. The 28-page, full-color catalog lists more than 1600 standard parts and numerous custom offerings, and displays over 80 color product photos and descriptions.

Crydom's new logo and look are reflected in the catalog's color-coded table of contents, product index, and style-including rounded page corners for easy browsing. Solid-state relays and auxiliary modules are easily located in the product index that sorts by ampere ratings. The table of contents organizes product series by colors, listing parts by PCB mount, panel mount, DIN rail mount, auxiliary modules, power modules, I/O modules, and liquid level and flow.

Each product series includes a product description, part numbers, technical specifications, such as dc and ac input, operating temperature ranges, and voltage and current specs. Schematic diagrams are included in the power module section. The concise catalog format provides product series overviews and thumbnail photos, allowing users to review products before obtaining complete detailed product specifications on the Web.

For more information, visit www.crydom.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Multiphase CPU Controllers

ON Semiconductor’s new family of multiphase controllers meets the stringent requirements of VR10.x computing power demands. The new NCP5314 2-/ 3-/ 4-phase controller is ideal for high-performance CPUs requiring up to 120An and the NCP5316 4-/5-/6-phase controller offers an easy upgrade path for next-generation CPUs requiring up to 200A.

The onboard 6-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) provides a voltage output of 0.83V to 1.6 V, with a tolerance of ±0.5% over the full temperature range and input range. The NCP531x features differential current sense inputs for each phase to help insure signal integrity and noise immunity in the challenged PC layouts. It also features inductor current sensing that provides an accurate, loss-less current sense scheme. In addition to providing two extra phases, the NCP5316 features per phase current limit and pins that provide a signal scaled to both the total inductor current and the per phase current.

For more information, visit www.onsemi.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Controller Implements Power Supply Tracking, Sequencing

Linear Technology’s new LTC2923 is a simple and flexible power supply tracking controller in the tiny 10-lead MSOP package for systems with specific supply tracking or sequencing requirements. The LTC2923 controls power supply start up and shut by introducing currents into the feedback nodes, making the relationship between the supplies easily configurable.

With just two resistors, a supply is configured to ramp up as a function of a "master" signal. This master signal can be a third supply, a capacitor charging up or a signal generated externally. By properly selecting the resistors, the supplies can be configured to ramp-up and ramp-down together, with options for fixed voltage offsets, time delays, or different ramp rates. The LTC2923 allows an additional supply to be controlled with a series FET for systems that require tracking of a third supply, or when a supply does not allow direct access to its feedback resistors.

The LTC2923 causes the two power supply outputs to track or to follow a sequence without inserting any pass element losses. The LTC2923 doesn’t affect the transient response or stability of the supplies, since the currents are controlled in an open-loop manner. Furthermore, the device presents a high impedance when power-up is complete, effectively removing it from the dc-dc circuit.

For more information, visit www.linear.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

1.5A Switch DC-DC Boost Converters

Texas Instruments’ new TPS6102x family of synchronous 1.5A switch dc-dc boost converters features linear regulation functionality for battery-powered electronics. The converters reduce board space, provide up to 96% power conversion efficiency from an input voltage range of 0.9V to 5.5V, and enable designers to power innovative applications such as a white LED flash for wireless camera phones.

The TPS6102x family supports power supplies for personal digital assistants (PDAs), PC peripherals, wireless headsets and other products powered by either a 1-cell, 2-cell or 3-cell alkaline, nickel-cadmium (NiCd), nickel metal-hydride (NiMH), or a 1-cell lithium-ion (Li-Ion) or lithium-polymer (Li-Poly) battery. The highly flexible converters provide 200mA from a 0.9V input when using a single-cell alkaline battery. The TPS6102x can also be used for generating 5V at 500mA from a 3.3V rail or a Li-Ion battery at up to 96% power conversion efficiency.

The boost converters generate a stable output voltage that can be adjusted by an external resistor divider or fixed internally on the chip. For maximum power efficiency, the integrated device uses a synchronous rectifier based on a pulse-width modulation (PWM) controller. Unlike typical boost converters, the TPS6102x family can operate in a down-mode with linear regulation if the input voltage reaches or exceeds the output voltage. In this mode, the control circuit changes the behavior of the rectifying integrated switching transistor. The converter then operates as a linear regulator by setting a voltage drop across the transistor high enough to regulate the output voltage. As a result, the output voltage remains regulated even if the input voltage exceeds the nominal output voltage.

Further improving battery life, the TPS6102x enters a power save mode at light loads and can be fully disabled to minimize battery drain. During shutdown, the load is completely disconnected from the battery to avoid battery depletion.

For applications that require a dual output, the popular TPS611xx family of dc-dc boost converters with integrated LDO features two independent voltage regulators in a small 4 mm × 4 mm QFN package.

For more information, visit www.ti.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Novel Power Assist Technology

A new technology from Cambridge Consultants Ltd. (CCL) allows power assistance to be applied in highly sensitive ways to everyday consumer and trade equipment, from work tools to kitchen appliances. The concept has the potential to stimulate new generations of products with the capability and throughput provided by motor power, but the feel and interactivity of manual control. Simple to apply, it could provide a rich new seam of differentiators for companies looking for imaginative ways to repackage everyday items based on mature technologies.

Dubbed Power Assist, the technology provides a way of interacting with powered products that replaces crude "on/off" functionality with natural and responsive control that is directly related to a user's hand movement.

"Motorized power can be a very blunt instrument," says Craig Webster, head of Power Products at CCL. "This new concept creates an opportunity to produce a range of high-value, interactive products, at relatively low cost. This is particularly important in markets like power tools, where many products are mature and gravitating towards commodity pricing."

Power Assist is a low-cost control and feedback technique for applying the power of an electric motor based on a hand-wheel user interface. CCL is demonstrating the concept with a power drill, where the normal trigger control is replaced by the kind of hand-wheel used on a manual drill. Motor power is applied according to the wheel's speed of rotation. A novel torque feedback technique also applies varying degrees of reverse pressure to the wheel to give the user the sensation of the load and the force being applied.

In this example, CCL's control scheme gives the tool a much more natural feel, directly translating a user's turning hand movement into powered drilling— or stopping in synchronization with the user's hand and reversing drilling direction if the user changes rotation direction.

The highly precise control this affords can be applied to appliances in ways that appeal to distinct new categories of users. In the case of a power tool, for example, this might range from the less confident user who perceives motorized equipment as difficult to handle or dangerous, through the novice user who lacks skill rather than confidence, to the skilled craftsman who might otherwise choose a hand tool for fine control over critical tasks.

For more information, visit www.cambridgeconsultants.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Dual High-Voltage Diodes

Central Semiconductor Corp.’s new CMLD2004 Series of PICOmini™ surface-mount high-voltage dual diodes are rated at 300V (max) peak repetitive reverse voltage with a peak repetitive reverse current of 200mA (max) per device. In addition to the high-voltage specification, the CMLD2004 Series exhibits a respectable t rr of 50nS (max).

This next generation of smaller, higher density discrete semiconductors manufactured by Central is optimal for portable handheld electronic devices requiring superior performance and reliability in the smallest possible package. These PICOmini diodes in the SOT-563 package boast the same electrical specifications as the larger SOT-26 (CMXD2004) devices, but require less circuit board space.

The CMLD2004 Series high-voltage diodes are manufactured in five configurations:

  • CMLD2004—two individual diodes, isolated in parallel
  • CMLD2004A—two individual diodes with common anodes
  • CMLD2004C—two individual diodes with common cathodes
  • CMLD2004DO—two individual diodes, isolated with opposing anodes and cathodes
  • CMLD2004S—two individual diodes, in series.

These devices also have a nominal profile of 0.58 mm and are SUBONE™ certified

For more information, visit www.centralsemi.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

JMC Expands Quiet Cooling Fan Technology

JMC Products has expanded its Panther quiet cooling fan technology to new form factors, ranging from 60 mm up to 92 mm.

Panther fans operate by converting a conventional low frequency signal to a high-frequency signal. By operating at switching levels above 20 kHz, Panther fans produce a soft commutation that results in a quiet operation above the audible range for human hearing. High-frequency, silent operation is achieved when running Panther fans at low speeds.

At a fixed low speed, a Panther fan measures a 1-3 decrease in sound pressure, as measured in decibals, over a standard dc fan of the same form factor.

Panther fan technology is available in a low speed 60 mm x15 mm, 60 mm x25 mm, 70 mm x15 mm, 70 mm x 25 mm, 80 mm x15 mm, 80 mm x 25 mm, and 92 mm x 25 mm. These fixed speed fans are ideal for applications that run at low temperatures such as consumer electronics, medical devices, and numerous electronic enclosures where silent operation is required. The Panther fan design is a highly efficient, direct design with a single-phase motor and bipolar drive that allows the fan to operate at a low current level.

For more information, visit www.jmcproducts.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

High-Power System for Central Office, Wireless Telecom Applications

Valere Power’s new Modular DC Power System is the company’s first ac-dc power system targeted at high-power central office and wireless telecommunications applications that need between 800A and 20,000A of power.

The company will debut the Modular DC Power System and demonstrate its complete product line in a series of customer events in key North American cities, as well as Mexico City, throughout October and November.

The Modular DC Power System can be configured to offer 800A in half of a telecom rack—enough to power an entire wireless base station in only 25% of the space normally allocated for power systems. In a full telecom rack, it is scalable from 3200A up to more than 20,000A in multiple rack systems, enough to power large central office equipment installations.

The system uses Valere's new X-Series rectifier, which is based on the company's patented zero-voltage switch mode (ZVSM) ac-dc power conversion technology. The X-Series rectifiers are 2RU-high units that support 48V, 24V or 12V output voltages, and range in current levels from 50A to 200A.

The Modular DC Power System has extra space in the distribution modules for safety and ease of installation. The distribution modules have insulated cable channels to simplify cabling, and a wide range of breakers to support various equipment types. This capability is especially important in evolving networks, where the power system must support new equipment with different connection requirements.

An optional Enhanced Monitoring System can accept alarm and status signals from co-located batteries, engine alternators, HVAC, utility, security, building management and other network elements to form a single network management system. Up to 16 other devices can be connected through this gateway.

For more information, visit www.valerepower.com.


Edited by PETech Staff

Power Technology Roadmap Report

The Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) recently announced that the Power Technology Roadmap Report is now available to the power sources industry, projecting the power trends and needs of the end-user community for the next five years. The study is intended to help influence future power supply and component development.

The report synthesizes presentations and discussions from a workshop held earlier this year at APEC 2003, capturing the exchange of ideas and future needs as seen by the participants and their companies. The meetings were attended by many of the industry's most influential members representing end-users, power supply manufacturers, component suppliers and academia. The workshop is held every three years, in order to qualify and update projections.

The nearly 400-page report focuses on the future of power supply products including five-year forecast metrics and trends on:

  • ac-dc supplies (≤1000W)
  • Isolated dc-dc brick converters (≤100W)
  • Nonisolated dc-dc converters (≤200W)

The report takes the reader through the power supply value chain, beginning with an overview of the power supply industry, leading through associated components, manufacturing, marketing, selling and consumption. This leads to a set of summary tables for various power supply families, comparing today's state of affairs with future trends for such criteria as:

  • Cost, size, I/O voltages, reliability and efficiency
  • Topology and switching frequencies
  • Analog control types and the emergence of digital control
  • Component types
  • Packaging issues

The appendix includes 15 presentations from notable companies representing both demand-side (users), supply-side (manufacturers) of power supplies, as well as component manufacturers. Marketing viewpoints and ongoing university research are also represented. Associated with these presentations are transcribed notes from the lively discussions that often followed the presentations thus offering the reader detailed insight into comments and debates among leading industry representatives.

This project was coordinated by the organization and member companies of the PSMA, whose mission is to integrate the resources of the power sources industry to more effectively and profitably serve the needs of power sources users, providers, and PSMA members. The report is available in both hard copy and electronic download.

For more information, visit www.psma.com.


By Ashok Bindra, Editor, PETech

High-Temperature Batteries Target Pressure Monitoring Systems

Tragic accidents due to improperly inflated tires and the subsequent recall of nearly 6.5 million Firestone tires in 2000 prompted Congress to take legislative action to protect American motorists. The result was passage of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act in the fall of 2000, which requires installation of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) as one of its five major points.

As a result, the new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standard requires automotive manufacturers to begin installing one of two monitoring systems in 10% of their light vehicles beginning in November 2003. Next year, Nov.1, 2004 to Oct. 31, 2005, 35% of the manufacturer’s light vehicles must comply with the new law, and 65% must comply during third year (Nov. 1, 2005 to Oct. 31, 2006).

The two TPMS approaches include a direct measurement system that has a tire pressure sensor for each tire, or indirect measurement systems that determine tire inflation pressure from wheel speeds, or something other than tire pressure. The direct TPMS implements pressure sensors for measuring pressure in each of the four tires, and transmit the pressure data via a wireless RF transmitter to a central receiver, which is linked to a display that informs the driver what tire is underinflated. The indirect system employs wheel speed sensors on vehicle’s antilock brake (ABS) systems to keep track of each tire’s rotation. An underinflated tire has a smaller radius, resulting in higher rotational speed as compared to a properly inflated tire. Consequently, when the sensor detects a faster rotation, the system warns the driver.

Based on new regulations, the number of vehicles with monitoring systems will increase over the next two years as NHTSA learns which of the two systems is more effective. By March 2005, NHTSA will determine which system works best, and by November 2006, every light vehicle sold in the United States will include a tire pressure monitoring system as standard original equipment. The estimated cost per average new vehicle to consumers would amount to only $66.33 to implement direct measurement systems, which would warn a driver when tire pressure is 25% or more below the required pressure for one to four tires. NHTSA estimates that tire-monitoring technology will prevent more than 100,000 injuries and 70 deaths per year in the United States alone. NHTSA reports that 23,000 crashes and 535 fatal crashes annually involve blowouts or flat tires.

To enable TPMS makers comply with the new mandate, Fair Lawn, N.J.-based Maxell Corp. of America has developed two new heat-resistant battery types that have been specifically designed for use in onboard tire pressure monitoring systems. Maxell’s new high-temperature resistant Lithium Manganese Dioxide (Li/MnO2) coin cells power pressure-sensing tags, which mount on the rims of each vehicle’s wheels. The new cells, types CR2450-HR and CR2450HR-EX, include a change in gasket material, a totally new crimping structure, and improved content to operate in the high-temperature environment encountered on rotating auto and light truck wheels. In fact, Maxell employs a proprietary sealing technique to protect the battery's resistance to high- and low-temperature extremes, which are essential to this new set of automotive requirements and applications. The company believes that this may be the first time coin cells have been designed for and exposed to these rigorous extremes.

According to Maxell, the new cells offer a nominal voltage of 3 V, and one lithium battery, with a minimum life span of at least five years. They can also replace two cells of another chemistry. In addition, these coin-type lithium batteries have a very high energy density, making them ideal for use in compact equipment that requires powerful small-sized batteries.

Lithium batteries undergo little change in their internal resistance over time, and deliver stable discharge voltage use after use. Maxell’s advanced sealing technology creates tough lithium batteries that operate safely over extended periods of time.

Maxell offers two versions of the new cell: the CR2450-HR for standard vehicles, and the CR2450HR-EX for high-performance, premium vehicles. The CR2450HR cell operates in the temperature range of –40°C to 120°C, has a standard capacity of 550 mAh, and weighs 6.8 grams. The high-performance CR2450HR-EX cell operates between the temperature extremes of –40°C to 150°C, has a capacity of 525 mAh and weighs 6.7 grams. Both cells measure 24.5 mm in diameter by 5 mm high. Maxell expects the high-temperature Lithium cells to be qualified for full production in 2004, the pricing to TPMS manufacturers for both batteries starts at approximately $1.00 and up, with variations depending on specific terminal configuration.

For more information, visit www.maxell.com.

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