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Direct-Write Polymer Nanolithography in Ultra-High Vacuum

The deposition of materials in vacuum is the foundational technology for creating modern electronic circuits; a vacuum being essential both to preserve the cleanliness of the substrate and the deposited materials, and to minimize the creation of defects. Consequently, most deposition techniques, from thermal evaporation to atomic layer deposition, require a high level of vacuum, preferably ultra-high vacuum (UHV), to be used effectively.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Electronic equipment, Fabrication, Polymers
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Operation and On-Chip Integration of Cavity-QED-Based Detectors for Single Atoms and Molecules

A new experimental platform for studies of transport and quantumlimited measurements of cold, trapped atomic gases was constructed. Using microfabrication processes, a silicon wafer was micromachined to allow for deposition of micrometer-scale electromagnet wires, and for the integration of closely spaced, highly reflective optical mirrors. With this device, nanokelvintemperature atomic gases were produced and placed with nanometer precision within a high-finesse optical resonator. This device was applied to the construction of a cavity optomechanical system with ultracold atomic gases, with the goals of understanding how to conduct quantum-limited measurements of the motion of a macroscopic mechanical object, and characterizing the new phenomena arising in such a hybrid optomechanical quantum system.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Measurements, Optics, Storage, Gases, Silicon alloys
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Reverse Pressure Capable Finger Seal

Each finger seal consists of a number of multiple thin metal laminates, each with a multitude of flexible projections that are referred to as “fingers.” To form a functional seal, multiple laminates are formed into a stack, with each laminate oriented so that the slots between its fingers cover the slots of the neighboring laminates. For protection and support of the laminates, forward and aft cover plates are placed on each side of the finger seal stack. A high pressure exists on one side of the seal, providing a driving force to push the air from one side of the seal to the other.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Seals and gaskets
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Smart Reset ICs

STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has introduced a new line of Smart Reset™ chips. The integrated circuits reset ‘frozen’ gadgets, such as mobile phones, media players, and other portable consumer devices.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Battery Simulation Software

Using its low-power EFM32 Gecko microcontrollers, Energy Micro (Oslo, Norway) has introduced a software tool that enables designers to predict battery cell life expectancy. The free energyAware™ Battery Estimator provides a simulation of total system energy usage, taking into account actual battery source, MCU energy modes, peripherals employed, and external circuit components.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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DRAM-on-Logic IC

Imec (Leuven, Belgium) has demonstrated 3D integrated DRAM-on-logic for lowpower mobile applications. The 3D stack technology consists of Imec’s proprietary logic CMOS IC, on top of which a commercial DRAM is stacked using through-silicon vias (TSVs) and micro-bumps. Heaters were integrated to test the impact of hotspots on DRAM refresh times. The chip contains test structures for monitoring thermo-mechanical stress in a 3D stack, electro-static discharge (ESD) hazards, electrical characteristics of TSVs and micro-bumps, and fault models for TSVs.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Architecture of the Air Force Satellite Control Network

The Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) is a worldwide network of ground stations that supports a variety of users from NASA to the National Recon naissance Office (NRO). The network performs tracking, telemetry, and commanding (TT&C) for these users. Users, located at Satellite Operations Centers (SOCs), must compete for time on the AFSCN (see Figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, RFM Catchall, Aerospace, Architecture, Telemetry, Military vehicles and equipment, Satellites
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Implementing PCI Express on PC/104-Size Modules

As PC/104 celebrates its 20th anniversary as an open standard this year, it continues to grow in terms of new design-ins, applications, and integration of the latest technology. In today’s fast paced, throw-away world, this is a remarkable achievement. PC/104 users typically demand a long product life cycle of seven years or more, so for two decades, these small, stackable, embedded computer systems have found applications in military, medical, industrial, transportation, communications, pipelines, mining, utilities and a host of other industries. However, as technology changes and becomes more powerful and complex, challenges arise in implementation. This has never been truer than for the different implementation strategies for PCI Express on PC/104 size modules.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Embedded software, Reliability
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COM Express Revision 2.0: What’s new in the latest specification?

The COM Express specification was first released in 2005. Its main target was, and still is, to define the mandatory requirements of COM Express modules and carrier boards as far as it is necessary to ensure interoperability between the products of different vendors. Nevertheless, with continuous technical progress, there is also the need for adjustments of the common interface — that being the COM Express connector.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Connectors and terminals, Performance upgrades, Parts, Reliability
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Fluorosilicones

A broad operating temperature range, fuel resistance and long-term reliability are some of the unique properties of fluorosilicones that make them useful in aerospace applications. To demonstrate their effectiveness, NuSil recently compared fluorosilicones to standard dimethyl silicones in a series of tests.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Suppliers, Fluoride, Silicon alloys, Reliability, Performance tests
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