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Silicon Carbide Junction Field-Effect Transistor Devices for Scalable Solid-State Circuit Breakers

Power electronic converters functioning as components in high-power systems, such as those of hybrid military ground vehicles, require fast fault isolation, and in most cases, benefit additionally from bidirectional fault isolation. To prevent converter damage or failure, fault current interrupt speeds in the hundreds of microseconds to few millisecond range are necessary. Presently used mechanical contactors do not provide adequate actuation speeds, and suffer severe degradation during repeated fault isolation. Instead, it is desired to use a large array of semiconductor devices having a collectively low conduction loss to provide large current-handling capability and fast transition speed for current interruption.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Power electronics, Transistors, Semiconductors
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GPU Tools

NVIDIA (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced what it claims is the most powerful and advanced graphics visualization product lineup in the company’s history. Spanning the range from entry-level to standalone visual computing systems, the new series includes:

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Extended Temperature COTS Filters

LCR Electronics (Norristown, PA) now offers a line of single phase COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) filters that operates over an extended temperature range of -40°C to +85°C (-40°F to +185°F). The new RoHS-compliant Single Stage F9100 Filters and Double Stage F9200 Filters are ideal for high ambient environments or in applications with limited temperature rise requirements as found in the military, industrial and medical industries.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Cooling Embedded Systems What Are The Options?

As the cooling challenges in embedded system applications have multiplied due to increased processing performance, smaller package and system footprints, and the requirement to operate in more rugged environments, new thermal management options and industry standards continue to evolve. Designers of systems for these markets, and especially those in remote or rugged, 24/7 operating environments, have always had to make difficult decisions regarding lifespan, reliability, and cost.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Embedded software, Cooling, Durability
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The Inner Workings of Solid State Flash: SLC versus MLC

Because all solid state flash products are not created equal and flash storage is finding its way into more and more embedded computing applications, system designers should understand the critical tradeoffs between competing technologies when evaluating flash products. Most commonly, the endurance and reliability required in end-user applications help dictate the appropriate storage technology to use. Two well-known flash storage technologies, Single Level Cell (SLC) and Multi Level Cell (MLC), offer distinct advantages, depending on a user’s needs.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Data management
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VITA 66 & 67 Bringing Fiber Optic and Mixed Signal Capability to VPX

Today’s rugged embedded computing industry demands the best of technology and reliability. Driven by requirements for higher performance solutions, platforms continually evolve. Standards organizations, such as the VSO (VMEbus Standards Organization), are diligently working to bring the technology for these solutions to the mainstream. The VSO’s VPX architecture, based on Tyco Electronics’ MULTIGIG RT2 backplane connector as qualified to the VITA 46.0 standard, is the latest technology to be applied to rugged embedded computing. In addition to dealing with escalating processing, power, and cooling requirements of leading edge solutions, the VSO is now addressing the need to realize high bandwidth and high fidelity transmission via alternative media — e.g. fiber optic and coaxial wave guides. This technology is crucial in realizing the full potential of today’s cutting edge C4ISR gear, including RF intensive radar, SIGINT and IED defeat gear, as well as systems benefiting from fiber optics, including secure, long distance and high data rate communications lines.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Embedded software, Fiber optics, Waveguides, Reliability
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Taking COTS to the Next Level in Vetronics Subsystems

Embedded vetronics (vehicle electronics) subsystems for rugged deployed ground vehicles have long benefited from the reduced risk, faster time to market, and long lifecycle support offered by COTS board vendors. Recent advances in open standards developments, namely the OpenVPX/VITA 65 specification that defines system-level interoperability profiles for VPX architecture boards and backplanes, promise to take the COTS model from the board to the subsystem level, enabling faster deployment of proven, standards-based fully integrated enclosures.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Electronic equipment, Integrated circuits
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Characterization of High-Temperature Polymer Thin Films for Power Conditioning Capacitors

Wide bandgap semiconductors (e.g., silicon carbide) will enable operation of military systems at temperatures above 150 °C, which eases thermal management. However, such systems cannot be designed efficiently unless capacitors are available that can operate at similarly high temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Capacitors, Heat resistant materials, Polymers, Semiconductors, Military vehicles and equipment
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RF Polymer Composites for Electromagnetic Systems

Design of polymer composites with specific engineered electromagnetic properties are of use in a variety of physical electromagnetic systems above 100 MHz. In physical electromagnetic systems such as GPS, radomes, WiFi, etc., proper choice of the material can be transformative in that it can yield considerably better performance. Of interest in this work is the possible development of low-loss magneto-dielectric composites. This project investigates various aspects of material systems, starting with possible composite designs, to design of measurement techniques, to development of finite element models for complex waveguide and conformal antenna configurations that use these materials.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Finite element analysis, Antennas, Waveguides, Composite materials, Materials identification, Polymers
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Modeling Defects in Transparent Ceramics to Improve Military Armor

The dominant materials solution used for ballistic transparency protection of armored tactical platforms in commercial and military applications is low-cost glass backed by polycarbonate. Development of next-generation ceramics is critical to offering enhanced protection capability and extended service performance for future armored windows to the soldier. Among the potential ceramic materials considered for armor — sapphire, edge-form-growth sapphire, magnesium aluminate spinel, aluminium oxynitride — one was selected for the current pursuit: magnesium aluminate spinel (MgAl2O4).

Posted in: Briefs, Materials, Windows and windshields, Failure modes and effects analysis, Ceramics, Occupant protection, Military vehicles and equipment
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