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Performance of Steel Stud Walls Subjected to Blast Loads

Construction trends have brought about an increase in the use of cold-formed steel studs in Air Force facilities. These steel stud walls have significant potential for mitigating large blast events. The current state of steel stud research, however, has not addressed all the variables that can influence the behavior of typical wall systems. As a result, there is a research gap that exists in the blast-resistant design of conventional steel stud wall systems.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Materials properties, Steel, Protective structures, Construction vehicles and equipment
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12-Volt System with Mini-ITX Motherboard

ITOX (East Brunswick, NJ) has partnered with Systium® Technologies to introduce the Model 132 “mini” series 12-volt system utilizing the ITOX NP101-D16C Mini-ITX motherboard. The Systium Model 132 “mini” series system platform is designed for cost-sensitive applied computing and x86 embedded systems applications requiring high-quality, long-life modular computing solutions. This is particularly applicable to medical electronics, industrial control, security and surveillance, telecommunications, ATM/POS, digital signage, gaming, and kiosk systems fields. The motherboard utilizes the 45nm 1.6 GHz Intel® AtomTM N270 processor with Intel 945GSE Express chipset and ICH7M I/O controller hub. The platform exhibits a thermal design power of less than 15 watts, delivering higher performance-per-watt than previous platforms. A single 12 VDC power input also reduces overall system configuration and operating costs.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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DB9 Adapter

Sealevel (Liberty, SC) has developed a compact, rugged DB9F-to-5 screw terminal block adapter that allows users to connect their field wiring to DB9 connectors on USB Serial adapters, Ethernet Serial servers, and other Sealevel RS-485 products with a DB9M connector. It is RoHS compliant, works with 2- and 4-wire RS-485 networks, and can be secured to the serial port with thumbscrews to prevent accidental disconnection. The screw terminals accept 16-28 AWG gauge wiring.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Embedded Virtualization Manager

TenAsys® Corporation (Beaverton, OR) is now shipping eVMTM for Windows®, an embedded virtualization manager software product that enables different real-time operating systems (RTOSes) to run alongside Windows on the same multi-core processor platform. Using eVM, applications that have been developed for standalone RTOSes such as QNX®, VxWorks®, and Windows CE, can be run on multi-core Windows platforms with full native performance. eVM utilizes hardware-assisted features built into Intel® processors to allocate hardware resources and ensure that time-critical I/O processes are not interrupted.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Rugged Waterproof Computer

SmallPC.com (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) has released its latest waterproof computer. The SC240ML is designed and tested for reliable operation in the most extreme wet, dirty, and dusty environments, hot or cold. The SC240ML’s rugged aluminum chassis uses a unique heat pipe

assembly along with a set of specialized I/O connectors and cables to provide a high performance computer that is sealed to IP67/NEMA 6 standards. The operating temperature range

is -20°C to +60°C.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Ternary Content Addressable Memory

Renesas Technology America (San Jose, CA) now offers the TCAM (Ternary Content Addressable Memory) Series of memory products to enable high-speed packet processing for networking equipment such as routers and switches. The first product in the series is the R8A20410BG TCAM, which has a capacity of 20 Mbits and delivers high-speed search performance of up to 360 MSPS (mega-searches per second)/Table. TCAM memory cells can store three data states: 0, 1, and X (“Don’t Care”). It is suitable for applications such as networking equipment because it achieves deterministic, high-speed searches by using simultaneous parallel operation to compare data strings input from an external device with data strings stored in the memory and outputting the matches.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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LPDDR2 Compliance and Protocol Test Tools

Agilent Technologies Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced a new comprehensive low-power double data rate 2 (LPDDR2) compliance and protocol test application package and industry-first LPDDR2 ball-grid array (BGA) probes. The Agilent N5413B LPDDR2 test application, which runs on Agilent Infiniium 9000 Series oscilloscopes, provides LPDDR2 physical-layer compliance measurements. The Agilent B4623A LPDDR2 bus decoder and the B4622A DDR protocol compliance tool, which run on the Agilent 16900 Series logic analyzers, provide debug and protocol compliance measurements.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Single-Chip OTN Platform

Zarlink Semiconductor (Ottawa, Canada) has introduced ClockCenter, a platform for high-speed optical transport network (OTN) and communications equipment. ClockCenter synchronous products synchronize “any rate, any port, all the time,” meaning the single-chip solution accepts and generates any frequency (1 kHz to 720 MHz) required to support all communication services delivered over optical and Ethernet networks. The ClockCenter free run products are suitable for designing equipment for a range of applications that have traditionally relied on multiple oscillators, logic converters, and fan outs to time processors, memory chips, PHY chips, and more. The free run clock products allow equipment manufacturers to replace multiple external components with an integrated single-chip device.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Programming Network Processors Made Simple

The telecommunications industry’s continuous strive for higher performance has spurred innovations in processor architectures. The general trend has been to go parallel; adding more cores to a single processor device and then dividing tasks between them. This has resulted in a more complex environment for software engineers to master. But does this mean that the programming of next-generation network processors (NPUs) has to be difficult? Not necessarily.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware
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Designing Solid State Drives Into ATCA-based Platforms

Due to the growth of video on demand (VoD), IPTV media content, and embedded database applications, AdvancedTCA (ATCA)-based storage capacity requirements continue to increase exponentially. In addition, storage requirements have become more complex and varied for ATCA designs that have expanded beyond the central office to include network data center and general data center applications that need to handle a wide variety of server platforms. The advancements and general availability of new storage solutions, particularly solid state drives (SSDs), enables ATCA platform developers to meet the design metrics of a broader range of markets where distributed data storage and management become increasingly required. The continual evolution of SSD storage technology, with its improved capacity, performance, and cost reductions, provides additional opportunities for integrating storage directly into the ATCA platform, allowing new designs to gain the benefit of high performance and availability provided by ATCA-based systems.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Data management
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Achieving Embedded Software Safety with Agility

Safety-critical development standards, such as DO-1781, have been very successful in guiding the production of reliable software. These standards assist developers in applying good software practices during development, ensuring, as much as possible, the absence of errors. Compliance with these stringent standards involves a high cost because of their labor-intensiveness and high levels of know-how.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Optimizing the Interoperability of Military Satellite Communications

Satellite communications offer mobility and communications for military operations in remote locations where terrestrial-based connectivity is not available, or is too expensive. Unfortunately, satellite connectivity brings many challenges that can impair network performance in delivering mission-critical information and applications. High-latency transport and application protocol inefficiencies, adverse weather, and interference are just a few of the causes that slow the delivery of applications and limit the amount of traffic that can run over a satellite link. Compounding these problems is interoperability among disparate military networks that can jeopardize mission-critical communications.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Optimization, Communication protocols, Satellite communications, Defense industry, Satellites
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Vehicle-Mounted Amplifier

AR Modular RF (Bothell, WA) has released the AR-75 75W auto-tuning, multi-band, vehicle-mounted tactical booster amplifier that enables troops to maintain constant communications in harsh environments. It boosts tactical radio signals from transceivers operating in the 30-512 MHz band, providing 75 watts of power across the entire frequency band. The unit is SINCGARS and HAVE-QUICK-compatible, and offers auto-switching and remote control with vehicle power supply spike and noise protection. The system also provides a switchable SATCOM low-noise amplifier and RF power level control. It is designed to operate from military vehicle 24-volt power systems.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Power Amplifier Module

Mimix Broadband (Houston, TX) offers the XP1044-QL 3W power amplifier module housed in a 7 × 7 mm package. The linear 2-stage amplifier delivers 18.5 dB of gain and 34 dBm of power at 1 dB compression point. The input and output of the device are internally pre-matched. The device is designed for WiMAX applications between 4.9 and 5.9 GHz, and performance can be shifted by adding external matching components for applications between 3.5 and 5.0 GHz.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Monopole Antenna

Pulse, a Technitrol Co. (San Diego, CA) has announced a set of monopole antennas that deliver Zigbee 2.4 GHz and ISM bands 868 MHz, 915 MHz, and 2.4 GHz. The antennas are alternatives to using trace antennas since they occupy very little printed circuit board space while maintaining key properties regardless of changes to the board. They provide a radio interface for multi-purpose machine-to-machine devices and applications such as data loggers, remote control, tracking, monitoring, industrial, metering, security, and automation.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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RF Front-End Modules

RF Micro Devices (Greensboro, NC) offers the RF7177 and RF7178 RF front-end modules. The RF7178 module integrates a quad-band, class 12-compliant GSM/GPRS power amplifier; a pHEMT antenna switch; and receive SAW filters. The RF7178 offers full quad-band transmit performance and four dedicated receive ports in a single-placement package. The RF7177 is a dual-band front-end module that is pin-to-pin compatible with the RF7178 and features a similar feature set integrating the pHEMT antenna switch and SAW filters.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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RFID Controller

Pepperl+Fuchs (Twinsburg, OH) has introduced IDENTControl Compact one- and two-head RFID Ethernet controllers that feature two onboard Ethernet connectors with a built-in switch. This allows for multiple Ethernet topologies including linear, star, and ring. Ring topologies incorporate media redundancy, so if the ring is broken, the communication path is rerouted to keep the system running. The same controller supports all common industrial Ethernet protocols including Ethernet/IP, PROFINET, Modbus/TCP, and TCP/IP. The controllers have quick-disconnects that enable mounting in a panel or in the field without switching hardware. Read heads, including low-frequency 125-kHz, high-frequency 13.56 MHz, and microwave 2.45 GHz, can be connected.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Vector Signal Generators and Analyzers

National Instruments (Austin, TX) offers the NI PXIe-5663E 6.6-GHz, 2-, 3-, and 4-channel RF vector signal analyzers (VSA) and NI PXIe-5673E 6.6-GHz, 2-, 3-, and 4-channel RF vector signal generators (VSG) based on PXI Express. They incorporate a shared local oscillator architecture to achieve true phase coherency between each RF port. They can be used for prototyping and testing multichannel MIMO wireless devices.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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RF Power Amplifier

BC Systems (Setauket, NY) has introduced the DA Module, an RF power amplifier for defense applications. The amplifier combines power supply/RF power amplifier integration, a frequency range of 25 to 1,000 MHz, and RF output power of at least 20 W in an enclosure measuring 4.5 × 3 × 0.6" and weighing less than 1 pound. The amplifier is based on Gallium Nitride (GaN) RF power transistors that combine high RF power density with broadband frequency coverage. The amplifier is designed to be operated in Class AB mode, is stable over all combinations of load impedance and phase conditions, and can operate at full RF output power into a VSWR of 2.5:1.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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Power Amplifier

Hittite Microwave Corp. (Chelmsford, MA) offers the HMC-C074 and HMC-C075 connectorized power amplifiers for military and test instrumentation applications from 10 MHz to 6 GHz. The modules are specified for operation between 10 MHz and 6 GHz, and exhibit 13 dB and 24 dB of gain while consuming 450 mA and 740 mA, respectively, from a 15V supply. They provide 40 dBm and 42 dBm output IP3, and 29 dBm and 29.5 dBm of output power at 1 B

gain compression, respectively. Amplifier I/Os are internally matched to 50 ohms and are DC-blocked. Integrated voltage regulators allow for flexible biasing of both the negative and positive supply pins, while internal bias sequencing circuitry allows robust operation.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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RF/Microwave Device Tester

The SMART^E™ 5300 general-purpose test environment from Aeroflex (Plainview, NY) is a high-speed system for testing RF and microwave devices. The DC to 40 GHz system can test, monitor, and control any device under test within a single test environment. It features open system architecture and an intuitive user interface to write and program new tests and test sequences. Third-party modules and instruments can be added, and software measurement libraries enable set-up for turnkey testing. System-level calibration ensures that all modules and instruments are fully integrated to perform repetitive NIST-traceable measurements up to the interface of the device under test. The hardware modules and interfaces are based on industry-standard PXI, LXI, cPCI, and Ethernet.

Posted in: Products, RF & Microwave Technology, RFM Catchall, RF & Microwave Electronics
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High-Speed Converters

Electro Standards Laboratories (Cranston, RI) offers three configurations of high-speed ruggedized interface converters. Available as encased, board-only, or DIN rail-mounted, the fiber-to-USB interface converters are used for PC communications requiring secure communication and optical isolation. The converters provide integrated rate buffering, and convert USB 2.0-compliant data from a standard PC to a serial asynchronous data interface over fiber, with a user-selectable baud rate of up to 3 Mbps. The units feature ESD protection circuitry on the USB I/O converter with power inputs protected from transients, and feature 3KVDC isolation to prevent system ground loops. Other features include user-selectable fiber polarity, asynchronous data format, dual DB9 power connectors, and Tx, Rx, and Power indicator LEDs.

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Plastic Circular Connectors

ITT Interconnect Solutions (Santa Ana, CA) offers the APD Series plastic circular connectors for use in wheeled armored vehicles. The connectors are lightweight, easy to assemble, and offer the additional security of a secondary locking system for high pin counts. The connectors are capable of handling up to 48V, and are available in a range of layouts from 1 to 51 contacts. The connectors feature high vibration resistance and are sealed to IP67/IP69K ratings. Specified to ISO 15170 standards, they are offered with stamped or machined contacts, along with mechanical and color coding.

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Switches and Isolators

Perfect Switch, LLC (San Diego, CA) has introduced the POWER-GATE line of high-current solid-state DC relays, low-voltage disconnects, and battery isolators. The switches can be configured for various applications to handle both low- and high-current switching with no arcing and no moving parts. The isolators require no heat-sinking, and are used in multiple-battery applications such as aeronautical APU management and telecommunications. The modules are available in several configurations and can be custom-designed for any high-current switching or isolation application.

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Testing String Pot

The MT3A testing string pot for high-acceleration test applications in potentially wet environments is available from Celesco Transducer Products (Chatsworth, CA). The string pot is available in 3, 9, 15, and 30" stroke ranges. The sensor offers an expanded operating temperature range, and a rugged aluminum sensor cover option. It has three different cable tension options for tests to 90 Gs. A linear position test sensor built to withstand outdoor applications, the device has O-ring seals that protect it from wet conditions.

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Single-Board Computer

GE Intelligent Platforms (Charlottesville, VA) has announced the IMP3A, a 3U CompactPCI single-board computer featuring dual-core QorIQ™ processor technology from Freescale™. The IMP3A combines the processor with a range of memory resources and I/O features, and implements SATA and NAND Flash memory. The board offers technologies for programs committed to the 3U CompactPCI architecture. Applications include part of a control system onboard a tank, armored vehicle, or helicopter. The board supports a choice of either the QorIQ P2010 single-core processor or the QorIQ P2020 dual-core processor, operating at up to 1.2 GHz. Both symmetric and asymmetric processing are supported, enabling users to scale performance through either thread-level or application-level parallelism.

Posted in: Products
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Data Recording and Playback System

PT (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) offers the MPR2000 radar and sensor data recording/playback system that enables integrators to expand their existing air traffic control recording systems and build IP-based sensor and radar recording solutions. The record feature stores data in raw or payload format with time-stamping, enabling the user to view previously captured data as source material to analyze or transmit to remote archive locations. A multiple playback function enables simultaneous sessions to be conducted and distributed to discrete users.

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Coatings and Optics

Precision Glass & Optics (Santa Ana, CA) offers thin-film coatings, commercial optics, and precision optics for military and defense applications, including plano optical components from prisms to windows, beamsplitters, light pipes, optical mirrors, and retroreflectors. Glass and thin-film-coated optical materials are available from square, rectangular, and/or circular parts. Fabrication services include abrasive waterjet technology, laser engraving, annealing, CNC machining, drilling, double-sided grinding and polishing, diamond bandsawing, slicing, and scribing. Thermal and

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Battery and Audio Connectors

Mil-Con (Wood Dale, IL) offers a new series of battery connectors and audio connectors. The battery connectors are available in traditional plug/socket contact styles, as well as in circular contact designs. Standard and custom connectors are available, as well as flex-circuit and cable assemblies involving the connectors. SINCGARS 6-pin battery-type square flange panel-mount connectors are compatible with MIL batteries BA5590, BB590, and BB390A/U. They are available in filtered and non-filtered versions, meet a minimum of 1-meter immersion, and feature 6 gold-plated pins rated at 10 amps.

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Optics Replication

OPCO Laboratory (Fitchburg, MA) provides a proprietary replication process that reproduces complex optics. It transfers the profile of a precision optical surface from a master, creating an exact duplicate on a variety of substrates. The process produces both ruled and holographic diffraction gratings, reflective and transmission holographic optical elements, an dual-wavelength gratings, as well as plano and conic sections. Substrate materials include glass, silicon carbide, ceramic, and metals such as beryllium, aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel. Additional mounting holes and other features such as tabs can be incorporated into a metal replica. Diffraction gratings are produced in sizes up to 110 × 110 mm with groove densities from 40g/mm to 3600 g/mm, with available wavelengths from the deep UV to the far IR.

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