Electronic Design


Configurable Core Delivers High Performance, Density
eASIC Corp.

The eASICore has been successfully proven in silicon on UMC's 0.18-µm, six-metal-layer process. According to the company, this configurable core delivers high performance and high density. The eASICore is now characterized at the silver level (hardware available, silicon available). It will be represented in UMC's Gold IP catalog. The fabrication is done in a conventional semiconductor process. Due to its proprietary technology, eASICore significantly reduces the number of mask sets used for programming. The company says this configuration leads to time and cost savings. This technology combines an SRAM lookup-table cell with metal mask programmable interconnection. This configuration delivers close to a standard cell's performance and density as well as an FPGA's ease-of-design.

The eASICore and supporting EDA tools are now available for implementation in silicon by chip developers using UMC's 0.18-µm process technology.

Decision Software Optimizes Semiconductor Yield Management
Syntricity Inc.
(858) 552-4485; fax (858) 552-4493; www.syntricity.com

The updated version of the Web-based engineering decision support solution, dataConductor 3.0, incorporates over 100 new features, upgrades, and enhancements. The software is optimized for semiconductor yield management. The new scheduler, when used in conjunction with the enhanced sequencer, allows users to automate the typical analysis and reporting steps necessary. The autoInsertion feature eases access to datasets from a variety of sources by transforming them into a standard format and storing them in a centralized database. Analysis is enabled via a user-specified combination of attributes. Additional enhancements have been made to defect density and bin limit analysis. The retest yield calculation function has also been optimized. This version of the software also includes increased data storage capacity. Substantial improvements in system administration tools and support for clustered hardware configurations ensure improved scalability and reliability.

Design Environment Facilitates C/C++ Hardware Design
C Level Design Inc.
(408) 369-0555; fax (408) 369-0544; www.cleveldesign.com

The System Compiler Designer provides users with a complete C/C++ design environment. It includes support for C/C++ post-simulation graphical analysis via industry-standard VCD waveform viewers. It also features automated regression tests to verify the generated HDL from System Compiler and the CycleC StyleChecker analyzer. A powerful compile-time engine enables designers to develop higher-quality, error-free hardware designs. This system enables design teams to use C/C++ concurrently with Verilog/VHDL.

According to the company, the System Compiler Designer raises the level of productivity for design teams that use C/C++ for hardware design by enabling engineers to use HDL-like features for design and debugging. The system also automates the task of verifying the post-synthesis results against the original C/C++ design. The StyleChecker analyzer performs a comprehensive compile-time analysis of the C/C++ design, checking for coding violations that would result in inefficient or incorrect HDL output during synthesis. Available now, the System Compiler Designer costs $95,000.

RTL Design-Prediction Environment Works For ASIC And SoC Designs
InTime Software Inc.
(408) 565-0111; www.intime-online.com

DesignArena is a pre-Register Transfer Level (RTL) design-prediction environment for ASIC and SoC designs. According to the company, this tool offers designers a high-level, pre-RTL look at their designs. Predictive views of the design include size, power, and performance estimates based on user-provided design data.

Users select the technology library. Users also provide the estimated gate count and the number and size of memories, intellectual-property building blocks, and user-defined blocks. Clock information and voltage domains must also be defined. The user supplies the number and type of signal pins employed in the design. Once the user places the memory and intellectual-property blocks, the power buses are automatically routed. Based upon the design criteria, DesignArena calculates the number of power and ground pad cells required.

Automatically placing these power and ground pad cells where required, DesignArena offers a complete pre-RTL view of the design. Performance feedback provides guidelines for logic in individual clock domains that can be tracked by other tools for conformance during RTL design. According to the company, DesignArena can be used as the starting point for its DesignWarrior integrated RTL development environment. Available now, DesignArena runs on Sun workstations. Pricing begins at $37,500.

Active Harmonic Cancellation Filter Connects In Parallel
Current Technology Inc.
(800) 238-5000; fax (972) 252-7705; www.currenttechnology.com

The Harmonix active harmonic cancellation filter is connected in parallel with a building's network. It eradicates all zero-sequence harmonics from the phases and neutral upstream in the distribution system. According to the company, this device cancels up to 200% more harmonic current than passive technologies. It also safeguards mission-critical equipment from overheating. Harmonix prevents the destruction of computer components as well as burned relay contacts. In addition, it prevents increased energy costs.

For more information concerning pricing and availability of the Harmonix active harmonic cancellation filter, contact the company.

Converters Come In Quarter Bricks To Power Low-Voltage Silicon Devices
di/dt Inc
(866) WOW-DIDT; www.didt.com

Members of the QL48 family of dc-dc converters are specifically designed to power low-voltage silicon devices in telecommunications, data communications, and server applications. These 30-A converters provide high-efficiency, single-stage conversion directly from a 48-V bus to subvolt levels. This configuration eliminates the cost, board space, and efficiency penalty that results from two-step conversion. Available in quarter-brick sizes, these devices deliver a full 30 A of output current with no derating up to ambient temperatures of 70°C at an airflow of only 100 LFM. The QL48 converters are available in standard output voltages of 1.2, 1.0, and 0.8 V.

These converters come in an open-frame package that does not require a heatsink. They measure 1.45 by 2.3 in., with a height as low as 0.26 in. The devices weigh only 27 g. They are available in a surface-mount version (QL48-S30) and in an industry-standard through-hole format (QL48T30). Industry-standard features include an input undervoltage lockout, thermal shutdown, a remote on/off, and an output-voltage adjust pin. In 1000-unit quantities, the QL48 converters cost $92.00.

Control Suite Complements Popular AC Power Sources
Elgar Electronics Corp.
(800) 733-5427; fax (858) 458-0267; www.elgar.com

The SmartWave Control Suite (SWCS) is a comprehensive Windows-based GPIB control system designed to complement the company's SmartWave ac power sources. This suite provides a simple approach for managing the SmartWave models. Features include the ability to write and store sequences on a PC, the control of system settings, and the ability to log measurements into a PC file for use in spreadsheet programs. According to the company, the SWCS offers a complete range of functions with its five user-friendly Windows-based program tabs. Tabs include the Program Settings Tab, the Waveform Tab, the Sequence Tab, the Systems Tab, and the Measurement Tab. The control suite also includes stored Mil-Std-704 test sequences.

The SmartWave Control Suite is free with the purchase of any SmartWave model. Pricing for the SmartWave starts at $9495.

5-W Power Adapter Features Replaceable Power Plugs
Phihong USA Corp.
(510) 445-0100; fax (510) 445-1678; www.phihongusa.com

The PSA-05R is a small 5-W R series adapter. This device features replaceable power plugs. According to the company, this single-output power supply is an excellent mate for small, lightweight, and portable electronics products. Applications include PDAs, digital cameras, MPEG players, and personal electronic devices.

This power adapter features a universal input, allowing it to operate from any worldwide line voltage from 90 to 264 V ac. Various models are available offering a single output ranging from 3.3 to 12 V. Safety-approved to UL1950, this double-insulated adapter meets the CE (LVD and EMC) requirements. It measures only 2.8 by 1.8 by 1.4 in., and it includes a 70-in. cable with a center-positive 2.1-mm barrel connector. Pricing for the PSA-05R adapter starts at $13.30 for 100-unit quantities.

Power Amplifier Generates Up To 3.4 A Of Output Current
Apex Microtechnology Corp.
(520) 690-8600; fax (520) 888-3329; www.apexmicrotech.com

The PA35 monolithic 1.7-A power amplifier is configured with a voltage follower to generate up to 3.4 A of output current. Operating on 5- to 40-V single supplies, this amplifier can also run on ±2.5- to ±20-V split supplies. An extended common-mode range includes the negative rail (ground). This configuration facilitates single-supply applications. This device is housed in a small, industry-standard TO-220 package.

The PA35 offers high efficiency due to a superior output swing that drives within 1.4 V of the supply. It includes internal current-limit circuitry for protection on the output stage. According to the company, the PA 35 is suited for use as a high-current driver for single-supply, 12- and 28-V motor applications. In 100-unit quantities, the PA35 power amplifier costs $5.75.

16-A Safety Relay Monitors Various Applications Up To 200 A
Pilz Automation Safety L.P.
(248) 473-1133; fax (248) 473-3997; www.pilzusa.com

The PNOZpower 16-A safety relay provides the ability to monitor high-amperage machinery, such as electric motors. This device eliminates the need for additional equipment, including external contactors or related accessories that are required with conventional 8-A relays. According to the company, manufacturers can potentially use a single safety relay to monitor all the applications within a given manufacturing cell. Additional expansion units can be attached to the relay to increase the number of contacts. This allows the PNOZpower relay to monitor various applications up to 200 A.

The base of this relay is 45 mm wide. It measures 135 mm with one expansion unit. The company says this relay suits various applications where size constraints can pose a problem. The relay also is suited for applications in various industries, including robotics, machine tooling, automotive, semiconductor, food processing/packaging, and woodworking. For information concerning pricing and availability, contact the company.

Half-Bridge MOSFET Drivers Optimized For High-Frequency Switching
Vishay Intertechnology Inc.
(610) 644-1300; fax (610) 296-0657; www.vishay.com

The Si9912 and Si9913 single-input dual MOSFETs offer an extended input-voltage range of 4.5 to 30 V. The supply voltage ranges from 4.5 to 5.5 V. The devices are packaged in an 8-pin SOIC. They integrate drivers capable of switching a 3000-pF load with a 60-ns propagation delay. A transition time of 25 ns is featured. This fast switching speed minimizes switching losses and increases power efficiency.

The devices are outfitted with an integrated bootstrap diode on the high-side driver. They are capable of handling the high-voltage slews associated with "floating" high-side gate drivers. The MOSFETs offer a 1-A drive current that supports switching frequencies up to 1 MHz. According to the company, the Si9912 and Si9913 are an optimal choice for high-frequency, high-current converters. Integrated protection features include an undervoltage lockout and an automatic break-before-make circuit that prevent shoot-through current in the external MOSFETs. This ensures that the high-side and low-side MOSFETs do not operate at the same time. The Si9913 features a synchronous enable pin used to enable the low-side driver. The Si9912 provides a shutdown pin that enables the driver, with a power-efficient quiescent current of less than 5 µA when the driver is disabled.

While samples of the Si9912 and Si9913 are now available, production quantities will be available next March. For 25,000-unit quantities, the devices cost $1.17.

Switcher Series Features High Power Density And Low Profile
Vicor Corp.
(408) 522-5280; fax (408) 774-5555; www.vicr.com

Two new members of the LoPAC Series of low-profile ac-dc switchers feature a power-factor corrected (PFC) front end. The PFC MicroS measures just 7.95 by 5.06 by 1.86 in. It provides up to 600 W of power from one to three outputs (one slot). It features a power density of 8.02 W/in3. The single slot can contain one full-size, two half-size, or three quarter-size dc-dc converter bricks manufactured by the company.

The PFC Micro measures 10.4 by 5.06 by 1.86 in. It can provide up to 800 W of output power. This device features a power density of 8.17 W/in3. The two-slot FPC Micro can be configured for one to six outputs by selecting the appropriate dc-dc converter bricks manufactured by the company. Both of the switchers feature an EMI filter, an offline single-phase customer interface with associated housekeeping circuitry, and a self-contained cooling fan. All units accept a universal input of 85 to 265 V ac and 47 to 500 Hz. This corresponds to 100 to 300 V dc. The PFC Micro and the PFC MicroS are priced at $0.70/W for 100 pieces.

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