Electronics & Computers

C40 Heatsink System

Ohmite Manufacturing (Arlington Heights, IL)recently introduced their high performance C40 Heatsink System with modular cooling benefits. Designed to provide engineers with a variety of cooling options, the C40 heatsinks feature flexible board mounted modular assembly that can be used in conjunction with up to four TO-247 and TO-264 power resistors, or similarly packaged passive and active components. These 58mm heatsinks can be used individually or in compact paired configurations. Patented camming clips (sold separately) easily secure the devices in place without the need for holes or screws. In order to create active cooling and enhance their thermal capacity in back-to-back paired operations, the C40 heatsinks include pre- configured mounting holes to accommodate a standard 40mm x 40mm fan.

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OpenVPX HDS Data/Graphics Processing Module

OpenVPX™ systems operating Serial RapidIO(R) or 10Gigabit Ethernet data plane architectures can process data and graphic information faster with the HDS6502 (High Density Server) module from Mercury Systems (Chelmsford, MA). HDS6502 is a potent integration of Mercury packaging/cooling technology, implementation of Mercury firmware and the latest Intel processors. Mercury’s POET (Protocol Offload Engine Technology) firmware implemented data plane bridge, dual 2.4GHz 4th Generation Quad-core Intel i7-4700EQ processors with native AVX2 (Advanced Vector Extensions 2.0), on-die GT2 GPUs, and Gen 3 PCIe interfaces are supported with 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM of system memory.

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Modular Backplane System

Molex Incorporated (Lisle, IL) has announced a high-performance connector system designed specifically to enable PCB developers in the video, commercial broadcast and telecommunications industries to transfer multiple RF signals across mated boards in a single assembly while taking into consideration space constraints. The RF DIN 1.0/2.3 Modular Backplane System features a unique bracket housing design, which enables an expansion capability of up to 10 ports for increased orthogonal PCB mating flexibility. The modular board-to-board system offers multiple options including a standard four port, 75 Ohm contact version or customizable six, eight and 10 ports with 50 Ohm contacts. The DIN 1.0/2.3 interface allows up to 1.00 mm of axial engagement tolerance.

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Designing Rugged, Standards-Based Embedded Solutions

It can be argued that small form factor design trends are paradoxical. As form factor size decreases, functionality requirements increase; as processing power requirements heighten, lower power consumption and thermal output is expected. Add to that the requirement for ruggedness to accommodate for the shock, vibration, humidity, and temperature extremes and variance inherent in mobile and outdoor applications, and designers are faced with a very complex soup.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Embedded software, Thermal management, Vibration, Reliability
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Tips for Selecting or Designing a Membrane Switch

Membrane switches are known for standing up to tough environmental conditions. Flexible and durable, the membrane switch can be customized with embossing, backlighting, sealing, and electrostatic discharge (ESD) shielding. Membrane switches can be made with either tactile or non-tactile feedback and they can be integrated with LEDs and other components. To get the switch that works for your application, follow these simple guidelines.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Switches
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PCIe RAID Controller Cards

StarTech.com (Lockbourne, OH) has released two new PCI Express RAID Controller Cards (SKUs: PEXSAT34RH, PEXSAT34SFF). The new PCIe RAID cards feature Marvell™ HyperDuo SSD Auto-Tiering Technology, an embedded technology for 6Gbps SATA controllers that allows users to combine SATA SSD and HDD drives into a single volume (up to 3 SSD + 1 HDD), while built-in HyperDuo technology discreetly identifies and moves frequently accessed files to the faster SSD drive(s). While providing the improved speed and data throughput (up to 80% SSD performance), the cards still enable all data to be safely stored on a larger capacity HDD. The HyperDuo feature can be configured either at the boot level (no software required) or at the OS level through an intuitive administration GUI console in Windows.

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Microcontrollers

LAPIS Semiconductor (San Jose, CA), a ROHM Group Company, recently introduced the ML610Q100 series of low-cost, low-power microcontrollers. The Mini LP Micros’ peripherals around the processing core and non-volatile memory and RAM include: GPIO, PWMs, counter/timer blocks, ADCs and comparators. The devices exhibit very low power consumption in both sleep (1uA typical) and operating modes (3.7mA typical), while executing one instruction per clock cycle at up to 8 MHz clock rates. The microcontrollers are unique in having their timing reference circuit completely integrated within the devices, meaning no external crystal or any other component is required. Some of the devices in the Mini LP Micro series have internal writable Flash RAM, which eliminates the need for external EEPROM for data storage. Their wide supply voltage range (2.7V dc to 5.5Vdc) and temperature range (-40°C to 85°C) allow the Mini LP Micros to be used in battery-powered and energy-harvesting applications located in harsh environments.

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Avionics Compliance Management Tools

LDRA (Merseyside, UK) has released the LDRA Compliance Management System (LCMS) to help companies develop the infrastructure to become DO-178B/C, DO- 278A, and DO-254 compliant. LDRA Certification Services (LCS) experts, fully accredited across all aviation disciplines, walk customers through the fully compliant plans, standards and other lifecycle documents, process checklists, and problem reports to help customers manage certification planning, development, verification, and regulatory activities. To provide additional flexibility and security for customers, LDRA has adapted and licensed LCMS to work in cloud-based or locally hosted environments. Both options include a two-day quick start training and LCS Level A DER ongoing support to ensure full compliance to the standards.

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PIC32 Wireless Products

Microchip Technology Inc. (Chandler, AZ) announced a major expansion of its embedded-wireless portfolio with Bluetooth® additions that include the PIC32 Bluetooth Audio Development Kit, featuring modules, stacks and CODECs, and XBee® footprint-compatible socket modules with integrated stacks. The new Wi-Fi® offerings comprise IEEE 802.11b/g Wi-Fi modules with Microchip’s feature-rich and free source-code TCP/IP stack running on a PIC® microcontroller for greater configurability, as well as XBee footprint- compatible socket modules with integrated stacks for ease of use. Microchip is also adding a low-power 2.4 GHz radio that supports—for the first time in one chip—both the IEEE 802.15.4 and proprietary data rates (from 125 kbps to 2 Mbps), including the ZigBee®, MiWi™ and other proprietary protocols.

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Multi-Phase Power Analyzer

Tektronix, Inc. (Beaverton, OR) recently announced its new precision multi- phase power analyzer. Featuring the industry’s first Spiral Shunt™ design (patent application submitted), the Tektronix PA4000 power analyzer gives power electronics engineers stable, precise current measurements even on highly distorted power waveforms common in many applications. The PA4000 uses two Spiral Shunts on each channel – one for current measurements up to 1 A, for precise low-current measurements, and one for current measurements up to 30A, for higher-current measurements. This state-of-the-art shunt design is then combined with unique high-speed digital signal processing algorithms, allowing the PA4000 to track power cycles accurately, even in the presence of transients and noise.

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