June shows bracket significant product and technology news

The month of June, bracketed by two trade shows—the International Microwave Symposium and last week's Sensors Expo, saw some significant product and technology news related to topics ranging from RF/microwave communications to sensor fusion.

Apart from the two shows, companies were busy introducing a variety of products, ranging from components for a greener Internet of things to a new smart camera.

First, at the International Microwave Symposium, Agilent and Cascade Microtech announced a strategic alliance to provide fully configured and validated wafer-measurement capabilities. The alliance aims to streamline wafer-level semiconductor measurements while delivering guaranteed configuration, installation, and support.

Anritsu chose the International Microwave Symposium to introduce its new ShockLine RF vector network analyzer specifically designed to meet the price/performance considerations associated with testing passive multiport and differential devices.

Also at IMS, National Instruments was on hand to present several demonstrations, with a particular emphasis on power-amplifier design and test. Noise eXtended Technologies (Noise XT) introduced the 2-MHz to 7-GHz SLC ultra-low jitter/dual clock synthesizer. And Signal Hound demonstrated the new Signal Hound BB60C, successor to the Signal Hound BB60A.

Freescale was on hand at both IMS and Sensors Expo. First, at IMS, Freescale introduced its first plastic-packaged power amplifiers designed specifically for high ruggedness applications. Second, and of particular interest to engineers involved in test, measurement, and characterization, the company unveiled what it calls the “RF Power Tool System,” which consists of a bench-top instrument, evaluation board, and NI LabVIEW runtime GUI.

At Sensors Expo, the company won an honorable mention application award for its Xtrinsic Sensor Fusion for Kinetics MCUs. Xtrinsic Sensor Fusion offers support for tilt, eCompass, gyro/accel, and full 9-axis sensor fusion;  prebuilt fusion templates for a variety of Freescale Freedom boards;  support for ARM Cortex M0+, M4, and (coming soon) M4F; and full documentation and on-line training materials.

Read more about Sensors Expo awards here. My colleague Tom Lecklider will have more on the show in our August print issue.

Apart from the two shows, vendors were busy with a variety of product introductions and enhancements, spanning smart cameras, software, instruments, power supplies, and components.

ADLINK Technology, for example, announced the release of its x86 smart camera, NEON-1040, featuring a quad-core Intel Atom processor, a 1.9-GHz, 2048 x 2048-pixel, 60-fps 1” monochrome CMOS global shutter image sensor, and PWM lighting-control support. The company had previewed the camera at The Vision Show in Boston in April.

ADLINK also announced the release of its new PXIe-9848H 8-CH 14-bit 100-MS/s high-speed PXI Express digitizer. The PXIe-9848H features a x15/x50 signal-conditioning module providing both a high input voltage range of ±100 V and high dynamic performance to deliver the optimum solution for measurement range expansion in a PXI system.

In addition to its IMS news, Agilent said in June that the EEsof EDA W1918 LTE-Advanced baseband verification library has added support for key 4G technologies, such as Adaptive Modulation and Coding (AMC) and Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP). In other software news, Agilent announced that its SystemVue 2013.08 Service Pack 1 supports co-simulation with the Questa functional verification platform from Mentor Graphics. And the company announced that the Agilent EEsof EDA W1462 SystemVue FPGA Architect now supports on-board FPGA design and simulation with the Agilent M9703A AXIe wideband digital receiver/digitizer.

In addition, Agilent announced several innovations for the 2014 release of its suite of device modeling and characterization software tools. The suite comprises Agilent EEsof EDA’s Integrated Circuits Characterization and Analysis Program (IC-CAP), Model Builder Program (MBP), and Model Quality Assurance (MQA).

On the instrument front, Agilent announced the addition of two new ranges of instruments to its portfolio of handheld tools. The U5855A TrueIR thermal imager provides clear and sharp thermal images with its unique Fine Resolution capability. The U1450A/60A Series offers five models of insulation resistance testers with wireless testing and report generation capability. And the company debuted enhancements to the N9000A CXA X-Series signal analyzer that broaden its use in RF and microwave applications.

Agilent also announced that the Agilent HDMI 2.0 6G test solution has been selected by Simplay Labs after the HDMI Forum certified it as an official compliance test tool.

EXFO Inc. has announced the introduction of EXFO TFv, a suite of defined offerings that focuses on test function virtualization.

Rigol Technologies Inc. announced its latest series of products: two new high-performance, high-frequency spectrum analyzers built on the DSA800 Series platform. The DSA832 and DSA875 expand the DSA800 Series spectrum-analyzer family to 3.2 and 7.5 GHz, respectively.

Teledyne LeCroy announced the HDO8000 oscilloscope product line with eight analog input channels, 12 bits of vertical resolution utilizing Teledyne LeCroy’s HD4096 technology, and up to 1 GHz of bandwidth. A variety of mixed-signal, serial data, long memory, and probe options and accessories are available with the HDO8000 oscilloscopes.

Rohde & Schwarz announced an enhancement to the R&S SMW200A high-end vector signal generator, whose frequency range has been expanded to 20 GHz. Rohde & Schwarz also announced that its R&S SGT100A vector signal generator covers the frequency range from 80 MHz to 6 GHz. In addition, the company debuted R&S CMA180 radio test set, which enables manufacturers and service technicians to test analog radios in the 100-kHz to 3-GHz frequency range.

Rohde & Schwarz also said the new R&S TS-ITS100 for the automotive industry is the first fully automated test system for standards-compliant testing of RF components in line with IEEE 802.11p.

Spirent Communications is also addressing automotive applications. The company introduced a solution for testing automotive Ethernet functionality and security to help accelerate new in-vehicle features and deliver a better driving experience.

In other news, Chroma Systems Solutions has announced the release of the new 63115A LED Simulating DC Electronic Load, and Hioki E.E. Corp. announced the launch of the CT6841 and the CT6843 AC/DC current probes (rated at 20 A and 200 A, respectively) for high precision testing applications, particularly in the electric-vehicle and hybrid-vehicle markets but also in solar power systems.

In addition to software and communications test instruments, Agilent also introduced a new family of basic AC power supplies in June. The new Agilent AC6800 Series includes four models from 500- to 4000-VA output power.

Also debuting new power supplies was Keithley Instruments. The company announced the new Series 2260B programmable DC power supplies, which include two 360-W and two 720-W models. And TDK Corp. announced the introduction of high-voltage models in the TDK-Lambda Z+ series of 200-W and 400-W programmable DC power supplies. The series is now available with output voltages of up to 160, 320 or 650 VDC, extending the line-up from 100 VDC maximum.

And MAC Panel addressed instrument connectivity with the introduction of its new APEX electrical connector.

On the component and processor front, Analog Devices has introduced the ADSP-BF70x Blackfin processor family, a high-performance DSP series that delivers 800 MMACS of processing power at less than 100 mW.

e2v, a provider of high-reliability semiconductors, announced that, as part of a program of IC re-introductions, qualification has been completed on several devices in the Maxim Life Extension Program, including CMOS analog switches and multiplexers.

And Spansion Inc. has announced a new family of power management integrated circuits (PMICs) for energy harvesting that can enable a greener Internet of things (IoT) by eliminating the need for or extending the life of batteries in a multitude of IoT devices from individual wearable electronics to the nodes in wireless sensor networks.

In brief

A new position contact probe from Peak Test Services features a built-in position sensor system designed to provide an exact measurement of the distance travelled by the probe in contacting the test item. Designed for measuring parameters such as pin lengths, component heights or the depth of drill holes in wire harnesses and connectors, the new PS 21/G Series incorporates a small integral potentiometer that is screwed together with the contact probe and the receptacle.

B&K Precision launched its new 4060 Series line of dual-channel function/arbitrary waveform generators. The series includes three models that generate sine waveforms up to 80 MHz (4063), 120 MHz (4064), and 160 MHz (4065).

Microscan announced the availability of the Vision MINI Xi industrial compact smart camera with embedded Ethernet, part of the company's AutoVISION machine vision product suite.

Granta Design announced the release of the GRANTA MI:Product Intelligence Package, a new suite of software and data that helps engineering enterprises to optimize products while minimizing environmental, regulatory, and supply chain risks.

EXFO released the latest software version for its NetBlazer Series, which enables the accurate activation and validation of next-generation Carrier Ethernet services with little time and effort.

Saelig Company Inc. said it will be distributing Rigol DS2000A and DS1000Z scopes with MSO functionality.

Sonoscan announced its AW322 200 fully automated system for ultrasonic inspection of MEMS wafers. Based on Sonoscan’s C-SAM technology, the system images and identifies internal gap-type defects down to 5 microns in size.

Matrox Imaging announced the availability of Design Assistant 4 (DA 4) vision software, a hardware-independent integrated development environment (IDE) that lets users create an application flowchart and HMI and take projects from concept to completion, without the need for conventional programming. It works with the Matrox Iris GT smart camera and any PC with GigE Vision or USB3 Vision cameras, including the Matrox 4Sight GPm industrial computer.

Measurement Specialties said has expanded its magneto-resistive (MR) product offering with a line of accurate, low-power position sensors housed in a compact DFN package. The KMXP series can be easily soldered to a PCB via automated standard assembly methods, significantly reducing production costs.

Pulse Electronics introduced the HOT ROD product family of I-Bar chokes for automotive networks, which provide EMC/EMI protection for automotive electronics. The new line of I-Bar HOT ROD chokes are optimized to meet Broadcom's BroadR-Reach automotive Ethernet technology for mode conversion up to 400 MHz.

Altium, a provider of 3D PCB design (Altium Designer) and embedded software development (TASKING) tools, has announced the release of the next generation of Altium’s enterprise data management and collaboration platform–Altium Vault 2.0. “Designing and maintaining engineering data demands rigor and reliability, but it should not create an administrative burden,” noted Jason Hingston, chief technology officer for Altium. “Our development focus for this release is around collaboration and productivity—making the next generation of the Altium Vault the natural choice for design library, data, and collaboration management.”

Dranetz introduced the Dranetz HDPQ line of hand-held power quality and energy instruments. “The new Dranetz HDPQ product line, with its enhanced Visa, Guide, and Xplorer models, represents a significant evolution of our popular line of handheld instruments,” said Ross Ignall, director of product management. “The Dranetz HDPQ product line integrates Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, as well as USB communication technology for enhanced safety and productivity, while retaining our core, standard-setting measurement and reporting technology.”

And Everett Charles Technologies (ECT) introduced a new modular connector family for a broad range of applications in the electrical market.  These connectors are dedicated to provide highest reliability and life cycle of more than 100k cycles and therefore are the superior solution for any high cycle deployment. Each contact is capable to carry 10 A.

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