MEMs

Advanced Ceramic Heaters Improve IC Packaging and System Performance

The continuous increase in the consumption of semiconductor devices and the emergence of new applications in optical components — MEMS, LCD display, flip-chip, chip-onglass, and multichip modules — has created a vast demand for faster throughput and better die-bonding equipment for IC packaging. IC packaging requires a typical ramp rate of 100ºC per second to 400 to 500ºC ±2°C, and a cycle time of 7 to 15 seconds. Similarly, IC chip testing, which stresses chips between -40 to 125ºC while monitoring electrical parameters, also requires a faster cycle rate. To manufacture ICs of all types, a die bonder or die attach equipment is used to attach the die to the die pad or die cavity of the package's support structure. The two most common processes for attaching the die to the die pad or substrate are adhesive die attach and eutectic die attach. In adhesive die attach, adhesives such as epoxy, polyimide, and Ag-filled glass frit are used to attach the die. Eutectic die attach uses a eutectic alloy. Au-Si eutectic, one commonly used alloy, has a liquidous temperature of 370ºC, while another alloy, Au-Sn, has a liquidous temperature of 280ºC.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductor devices, Joining, Ceramics
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Accelerated Testing — Raising the Bar on Electronics Integrity

By now, most test engineers have recognized that both HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Testing) and HASS (Highly Accelerated Stress Screening) are the fastest and most effective new methodologies for quickly passing design verification and testing (DVT), and the most effective production screenings. Leaders across a broad range of industries have now embraced accelerated testing as a strategic move that can increase competitiveness and improve market share..

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Systems engineering, Production, Quality control, Test procedures
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High-Integrity Java Targets Safety-Critical Systems

High-integrity software plays critical roles in telecommunications, transportation, defense systems, industrial automation, and power management. Because human lives may be lost and tremendous economic costs may result if the software fails, the development of high-integrity software adopts practices that impose greater rigor on the software development processes. This rigor includes documentation of system requirements, architecture, design, test plan, and source code; development accountability audit trails; independent peer review of all development artifacts; full traceability analysis; and extensive test coverage. The goal of this increased rigor is to assure correct operation and reliability of the software. As computer automation expands its reach and influence, the size and complexity of high-integrity software is expanding as well. To deal with the increased development workload resulting from the ever-expanding role of high-integrity software, military and aerospace industries are leading the way towards the use of a safety-critical subset of the Java programming language to help increase developer productivity and reduce the maintenance costs associated with highintegrity software.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Safety critical systems, Productivity, Quality control
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Wired and Wireless Connectivity on One Single-Board Computer

WinSystems (Arlington, TX) has introduced the LBC-GX500, a singleboard computer based on the AMD GX500@1W processor, designed for machine-to-machine connectivity. The board is a Pentium-class CPU with an x86- native instruction set and 32KB of integrated L1 cache that runs Windows CE/XP Embedded, as well as Linux, VxWorks, and QNX. It features various wired and wireless connectivity options such as 802.11 wireless Ethernet, GSM/ GPRS cellular modem, CDMA cellular modem, and a ZigBee wireless RF module. It also includes a 10/100 wired Ethernet port, global- compliant dial-up modem, six USB ports, and six COM channels. The LBC-GX500 measures 5.75 × 8" and provides an open platform for management of geographically distributed machinery and sensors that operates over an industrial temperature range from -40º to 85ºC.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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8-Port RS-232 Universal PCI Communication Card

The eAutomation Group of Advantech (Cincinnati, OH) has released the PCI- 1625U, an 8-port RS-232 universal PCI communication card. The PCI-1625U functions as a self-contained computer and features an onboard DSP processor that can take over the processing load from the host PC. The PCI-1625U includes 1 MB of SRAM, which can store serial data and reduce host CPU loading. When the PCI-1625U initializes, it can download the driver software into its onboard DSP. A universal PCI connector is compatible with the 3.3 V PCI bus and 5 V PCI bus. A utility program called ICOM Tools is included that can test the PCI card performance by analyzing the port status.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Backplane and Development Chassis Provide Evaluation Platform

Molex (Lisle, IL) offers a μTCA backplane and development chassis to allow developers to build and debug μTCA designs before going to production. The backplane has a fully redundant dualstar architecture designed to run at 10 Gbps to facilitate the development of μTCA systems. The dual-star μTCA backplane features Molex μTCA press-fit edge card connectors that are combined with launch geometry, minimizing reflections and enabling 10 Gbps over each differential pair to handle up to four times the bandwidth of a backplane wired to meet XAUI specifications. The backplane also features Micro-Fit 3.0™ 14-pin, blind-mate fan tray connectors to mate to hot-swappable fan trays and ensure complete redundancy. The backplane uses single-wide AMC cards, is 0.42 × 0.012 m in size, and bolts into both the Molex μTCA Development Chassis and the Rittal Development Chassis. The backplane and development chassis can be used for developing applications that use off-the-shelf cards to configure systems for telecommunication applications such as access products, especially FTTX, cellular, and WiMAX base stations; industrial and instrumentation applications; and medical applications.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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10-Port Industrial Ethernet Managed Switch Supports Networking Features

SIXNET (Clifton Park, NY) has introduced the ET-10MG, a 10-port industrial Ethernet managed switch offering eight 10/100 Mbps RJ45 ports plus two Gigabit combination ports for copper or fiber connections. All of the RJ45 copper ports support auto-negotiating (10/100 or 10/100/1000), auto-crossover, and auto-polarity for plug-and-play connections. The fiber ports 9 and 10 also accept SFP fiber-optic transceivers for noise-immune links up to 80 km.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Single-Port Power Over Ethernet Controller Enables PSE Design

Linear Technology Corp. (Milpitas, CA) has introduced the LTC4263, an autonomous single-channel Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) controller with an onboard MOSFET for use in IEEE 802.3af Power Over Ethernet (PoE)-compliant systems. The IC functions as a single-port PSE tool that detects, classifies, and provides isolated 48V power to Powered Devices (PDs) connected to it. Offering standard-compliant AC or DC methods to sense the removal of a PD and featuring onboard control algorithms, the LTC4263 provides autonomous operation through required tasks without processor intervention. Using an internal sense resistor, the LTC4263 provides inrush, and current limit and short-circuit control to ensure IEEE 802.3af compatibility.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Platform Enables Wideband Data Links and SATCOM Processing

Mercury Computer Systems (Chelmsford, MA) has announced its integrated COTS application-ready platform for wideband data links and satellite communications (WBDLS) processing. The suite includes the Mercury Echotek™ Series ECV4-RFT 6U Wideband Remote Fiber Transceiver, which combines A/D and D/A technology, Xilinx® Virtex™-4 FPGA reconfigurable processing, and fiber I/O. The board brings COTS to applications such as 274- Mbps and wideband data links that require a blend of wideband I/O from dual 1.5-Gsps 8-bit A/D converters and dual 1.2-Gsps 14-bit D/A converters. The onboard FPGA reconfigurable processing resources enable multi-board coherent processing in distributed systems.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Pentium M-Based Slot-O Controller

KineticSystems (Lockport, IL) has announced the V155, a VXI Slot-0 controller featuring a Pentium® M embedded processor. The V155 is a single- width C-size module with 1.1-GHz, 1.6-GHz, and 1.8-GHz clocking options. It features dual Ethernet controllers that support 10BaseT, 100BaseTX, and 1000BaseT interfaces; 2 GBytes of bootable flash on a secondary IDE; 1.5 GByte of PC1600 DDR SDRAM; and one PMC expansion site for user expandability for FDDI, CompactFlash, GPIB, Fibre Channel, or FPDP. The V155 also supports the VXI Plug & Play Virtual Instruments Systems Architecture (VISA) Library, which allows modules to be controlled via several interfaces with the same I/O function calls. Industry-standard VISA support allows the V155 to be integrated into existing systems, while dual Ethernet ports enable direct LAN access for connectivity with LXI-based systems. The controller is suitable for data acquisition and control for applications such as ATE, and aerospace and aircraft testing.

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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