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MicroTCA Ecosystem

VadaTech (Henderson, NV) has released a complete ecosystem of boards and chassis in the MicroTCA architecture that is conduction-cooled. Designed for rugged applications, the products include air transport racks (ATR), MicroTCA carrier hubs (MCH), power modules, and advanced mezzanine cards. Compliant to MicroTCA.3 (Hardened Conduction-Cooled MicroTCA) specification, the boards and chassis come in various sizes and formats.

The MCH, which acts as a shelf controller, features a 400 MHz RISC CPU for high performance and low latency. The power modules provide true hot- swappability in a dual 10-36V input and outputs of up to 800W. They also have dual Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) and two banks of 256K flash for redundancy. Several of VadaTech’s advanced mezzanine cards (AMCs) are in the conduction-cooled format. The company is also able to modify standard AMCs to ruggedized versions with wedge locks.

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XMC Controller/Adapter

Technobox, Inc. (West Berlin, NJ) has introduced a new SATA-based storage solution in its 6183 Dual CFast XMC Adapter. The 6183 accommodates two CFast devices – either the Type 1 or 2 – with one affixed to an on-board site and the other removable via the front panel port. Data movement between each CFast device and the internal 1X PCIe bus is controlled by a Silicon Image Sil3132 bridge. The bridge supports two SATA Gen2 interfaces at 3.0 GBytes/s.

On-board BIOS, loaded in flash memory, provides boot up configuration for the Sil3132. The bridge retrieves the stored configuration data via an I2C interface. Two LEDs on the front panel provide activity status for the front panel and onboard CFast cards. Another four LEDs on the card give an indication of activity for each device.

A retention mechanism is included to prevent accidental removal of the front panel device. The retainer also functions as an interlock for the 6183 hot swap feature. .

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DDS Function Generator

Saelig Company, Inc. (Fairport, NY) has introduced the TG1006 - a DDS-based 1mHz to 10MHz function generator that, unlike other digital generators, can be operated over any frequency range using analog control in addition to numeric or spin-wheel frequency entry. The quasi-analog frequency control can rapidly sweep the frequency between preset limits, which is difficult to do with most digital function generators.

The TG1006 Function Generator can produce waveforms between 0.001Hz and 10MHz with a resolution of six digits, and with a one-year stability of better than 10ppm. Up to ten frequencies can also be stored in memory for preset test procedures. The output amplitude is variable between 5mV and 20V pk-pk from a source impedance of 50 ohms or 600 ohms. The LCD display shows frequency and amplitude or offset simultaneously. For accurate frequency selection, precise frequencies can be entered directly from the numeric keypad in Hz, kHz or MHz.

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Embedded Radios

Specialized wireless transceivers and radio modems from Ritron (Carmel, IN)provide OEMs and Integrators with wireless connectivity and COTS convenience in a compact, cost-effective package. Direct modulation with low distortion and low group delay results in a low bit-error-rate (BER) for enhanced system integrity and reliability. The Swift Lock™ synthesizer-loading algorithm reduces unit turn-on-time to less than 10ms or high-speed data throughput, and Controlled Envelope™ keying reduces adjacent channel “keyclicks”, resulting in spectrum-friendly operation.

All models meet the 2013 FCC narrowband mandate. All components are placed on the top side of a single PCB for mechanical rigidity and increased protection against damage. Narrow band (12.5 kHz) and Very narrow Band (6.25 kHz) models available.

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Thermal Cloak Heat Barrier

Concept Group (West Berlin, NJ) is developing the Insulon® Thermal Cloak™ heat barrier for use on automatic weapons. The barrier, which is attached to the fore-end of the weapon, uses a hair-thin Shaped Vacuum™ layer to halt the convection of heat and prevent thermal imagers from seeing the barrel and gas tube after firing. Thermal imagers can “see” heat coming off a weapon long after firing, even though the soldier is in complete darkness. The new Insulon thermal cloaking technology eliminates this risk. A tube whose wall contains a hair-thin Shaped Vacuum layer surrounds the barrel and gas tube. It can completely stop the convection of heat, cloaking the weapon’s barrel and gas tube with a virtually impenetrable thermal shield. Even though the weapon’s fore-end parts are extremely hot –– hundreds of degrees –– the outside of the Insulon Thermal Cloak remains at ambient temperature, virtually invisible to thermal imagers.

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Analyzer Remote Control

Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) has announced that its FieldFox handheld analyzers can now be remotely controlled via an iOS device such as an iPad or iPhone. Also new are a spectrum analysis time-gating option and support for Agilent’s USB peak-power sensors. The remote control capability enables viewing and control of the instrument via the Remote Viewer iOS application. With a wireless LAN or cellular broadband data connection using an iOS device, the analyzers can be placed in areas where users do not wish to stay long due to extremely harsh or unsafe conditions. Additionally, if one technician or engineer has trouble making a measurement or determining the source of a problem, another can step in to remotely troubleshoot and solve the problem.

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MIL-STD-1553 Transceiver/Transformer Device

Data Device Corporation (Bohemia, New York) has introduced a radiation-tolerant SPACE-PHY +5V Dual MIL-STD-1553 Transceiver/ Transformer Device. SPACE-PHY is an integrated MIL-STD-1553 physical layer in a single package, including dual transceivers and transformers. The SPACE-PHY features an extended -55°C to +125°C temperature range.

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Capacitive Touch Sensing Tools

Texas Instruments Incorporated (Dallas, TX) has announced a new software library, sensor tuning GUI, design collateral, and support for additional microcontrollers (MCU). TI’s MSP430™ MCUs operate at less than 1μA average current per button. TI’s open source MSP430 Capacitive Touch Software Library now allows developers to use the MSP430G2xx5 Value Line devices and Wolverine MSP430FR58xx/FR59xx devices for button, slider, wheel, and proximity capacitive touch applications.

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PCIe Carrier Card

The APCe8675 carrier card from Acromag (Wixom, MI) allows a PC to communicate with an XMC mezzanine module over a PCI Express (PCIe) bus. Acromag’s FPGA modules, or other XMC modules, can be inserted on the carrier card. The carrier’s PCIe x8 interface supports up to eight serial lanes for rapid data transfer between the plug-in XMC module and the host computer.

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RF Switch

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. (San Diego, CA) has released the PE95421 SPDT RF switch. Manufactured on Peregrine’s UltraCMOS® technology, the PE95421 switch is resistant to total dose and single-event radiation effects. The switch features HaRP™ technology enhancements for high linearity of 60 dBm IIP3.

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