Passives, Sensors, And Power Sources Rise Above A Weak 2011 Economy

Nov. 29, 2011
There were stellar achievements in the 2011 components arena, particularly in passive, image sensor, and power source markets.

Fig 1. Vishay’s HTH series ultra-high-precision Bulk Metal Z1-Foil hybrid surface-mount chip resistors operate in temperatures up to 240°C.

Fig 2. The OV10810 CMOS image sensor from Omnivision can capture video and still images simultaneously.

Fig 3. TDK-Lambda’s GWS250 series 250-W ac-dc power supplies achieve efficiency levels up to 93%.

Fig 4. XL Hybrids’ patent-pending hybrid powertrain conversion technology promises to reduce fuel consumption for commercial-vehicle fleets.

Despite economic bleakness, there were some stellar achievements in the components arena this past year, particularly in the passive, image sensor, and power sources markets. These bright advances address issues such as high heat and better image capture. They also provide clean and efficient power and save commercial vehicle fleets a bundle in fuel costs and hardware investments while keeping the environment a bit greener on both sides of the wallet.

Foil Resistors Relish Scorching Environments

Vishay Precision Group hit a home run in the realm of high-heat applications with its HTH series ultra-high-precision Bulk Metal Z1-Foil hybrid surface-mount chip resistors (Fig. 1). Connected using gold wire bonding, the components operate in temperatures as high as 240°C.

Specifications include a temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) of ±1 ppm/°C from –55°C to 125°C and ±2.5 ppm/°C from –55°C to 220°C, taken with a +25°C reference, a load-life stability to ±0.05% at 220°C for 2000 hours at working power, long-term stability to ±0.05% at 240°C for 2000 hours at no power applied, and tolerances to ±0.02%. Additionally, the HTH series can take withstanding electrostatic discharges up to 25 kV without degradation. With an eye on shrinking budgets, pricing starts at $6.60 each.

Sensor Simultaneously Captures Video And Images

Committed to the advance, evolution, and improvement of backside illumination (BSI) technology, Omnivision scores another bull’s eye with its RAW OV10810 CMOS image sensor, which can simultaneously capture video and still images (Fig. 2). Built on the 1.4-µm OmniBSI pixel architecture, the component combines 10-Mpixel burst photography at 30 fps with full 1080p HD video in a native 16:9 aspect ratio.

The OV10810’s integrated programmable scaler enables either 1080p or 720p HD video capture at 30 fps while maintaining full field of view. With a resolution at 2.6 Mpixels, the sensor operates at 60 fps with pixel binning and maintains full field of view. At 5.3-Mpixel resolution with cropping, the OV10810 runs at 60 fps.

Other features include 2-by-2 binning functionality, a post-binning resampling filter, support for up to eight-lane low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) or Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) interfaces, and compatibility with a comprehensive range of custom and commercial Internet service providers (ISPs).

250-W Supplies Hit 93% Efficiency

Like most power-supply makers, TDK-Lambda strives for the holy grail of the highest efficiency and gets closer every time. The company’s GWS250 series 250-W, green ac-dc power supplies achieve efficiency levels up to 93% and comply with the European energy saving requirements of the Energy Related Products (ErP) Directive (Fig. 3). Standby power consumption is less than 0.5 W under no-load conditions.

Measuring a mere 4.1 by 7.8 by 1.61 in., the series consists of four models with nominal outputs of 12 V, 24 V, 36 V, and 48 V. Outputs are user-adjustable by 20% depending on the model, and the 24-V and 36-V models have a peak power rating of 300 W. Other features include over-voltage, over-temperature, and over-current protection. Pricing starts at $140 each/250.

Hybrid Technology Cuts Commercial Fuel Costs

In a cash strapped world, there’s no shortage of money-making and money-saving schemes out there, but ones that are actually well thought out and really work are few at best. XL Hybrids’ efforts to save commercial vehicle fleet owners a ton of money in fuel and emissions costs is one of those rare gems.

Founded in 2009, Boston-based XL Hybrids offers a unique and proprietary hybrid conversion technology for commercial vans and trucks. The patent-pending hybrid powertrain technology reduces fuel consumption and generates a financial return from fuel savings for urban fleets. This is significant since commercial vehicles are generally kept in service longer than most business equipment because complete replacement is far from cost effective.

The company’s initial pilot tests involved GM 2500 series vans including the Chevy Express and GMC Savana. According to XL Hybrids, the technology will reduce fuel consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions by as much as 20% and add torque for the same or better performance with better efficiency. In reality, commercial fleets can realize fuel-cost savings between $1500 and $2500 or more per year.

The conversion outfits an existing vehicle’s powertrain with XL’s electric motor, battery pack, and controls (Fig. 4). Using the GM Hybrid 2500 pilot test as an example, specifications and parameters include a 300-V system voltage; lithium-ion battery chemistry and 2-kWh energy level; permanent-magnet motor; 40-kW (54 hp) peak motor power; 60 ft-lb peak motor torque; and 8600-lb gross vehicle weight reading (GVWR).

The hybrid system itself weighs 400 lb. Also notable, the system limits a vehicle’s top speed to 70 mph, increasing the safety factor, and boosts city miles-per-gallon by 25%. The company is planning to extend its technology to more vehicles in the near future, including Ford E and F series vans and trucks, respectively, GM 1500 and 3500 vans, and Chevy Silverado trucks.

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