Electronica news

01 November 2006


If any politician wanted to bury a scandal that concerned electronics, this year's electronica week would give four good days from which to choose. For all the eyes of the electronics engineering community will be on the 14 exhibition halls in Munich where electronica 2006 will be held (4 to 17 November). Every mind will be distracted by the sheer volume and quality of announcements at this year's event, speculates CAROLINE

In last month's issue of Electronic Product Design, we presented a taster of some of the products visitors would be able to see for the first time. These included Green Hills Software's microkernel, the u-velOSity, part of the Integrity RTOS in hall A6.407 and its Integrity workstation. We also featured Ramtron's FRAM (ferroelectric random access memory)-Enhanced FM3130 Processor Companion and two new serial NV FRAM devices, in hall A5.321. Silicon Laboratories's single chip phone, the AeroFONE will be seen at A6.475 with demonstrations of its FM tuner and 8bit microcontrollers. Visitors can also catch up on the first mixed-signal FPGA from Actel, the PSC and the IGLOO FPGA, both in hall A4.375. In the same hall, A4.506, National Semiconductor is presenting a plethora of analogue devices from power management to analogue audio devices.

In hall B2.175, Vicor (www.vicoreurope.com) announces eight mid-power Maxi DC/DC converters to the company's 24V DC input range (left). They span five, 12, 15, 24, 28, 36 and 48V out, 300W models and also a 3.3V, 200W model.

For projects where the full-power capability of a 24V Maxi module is not required, this midpower range provides the functionality and configurability of the high-power modules and introduces low-noise switching which reduces filtering demands for power converters to ensure they meet emissions requirements.

All have the company's patented, low-noise, Zero-Current and Zero-Voltage Switching (ZCS/ZVS) topology and can be used for distributed power, medical, communications, military and aerospace, ATE and industrial applications. They also have switching frequencies up to 1MHz for rapid transient response

suitable for RF applications.

All converters are RoHS-compliant and measure a compact 117 x 56 x 12.7mm and have a height above board of 10.9mm. The complete 24Vin Maxi family is made up of 16 models with outputs from 3.3 to 48V DC and power levels from 200 to 400W. Converters operate from 24V nominal input and have an input range of 18 to 36V. Efficiencies are up to 88 per cent for the higher output voltages. Five environmental grades are available, with six pin options and three baseplate choices.


Another power company, a UK one, Lambda (www.lambda-europe.com) is able to show visitors new power products (right) from boardmounting DC/DC converters to multi-kW power supplies. The company is able to offer TDK power supplies to industrial, medical and instrumentation customers in Europe, since the Japanese company's acquisition of the company. The stand in B2.205 has Genesys power supplies as well as the space saving, high density NV300W and 700W 1U configurable power supplies, the new PFE 500 and 700W front-end models which can be combined with the company's DC bricks and PoL converters.

HiTek Power (www.hitekpower.com) in the same hall (B2.630) is looking to a more specialist visitor, with a small x-ray generator power supply and a compact supply for ion and electron beam systems.

The HG70 is a 72W x-ray generator module for grounded cathode tubes. It has high voltage and filament power supply stages and, what the company describes as, all necessary beam control circuitry. Control and monitoring is via a 15-way D-type connector, front panel potentiometers and an optional RS232C interface. It measures 204 x 73 x 127mm, and is claimed to be the smallest on the market for its power capability. It is supplied from a 24V DC rail and provides up to 60kV for the x-ray tube anode with a maximum current of 1.2mA. It provides a low-voltage output for the x-ray tube filament with a current of up to 3.5A. Maximum voltage is 5.5V.

The OL10K family of 10kW high-voltage power supplies is designed for use in ion and electron beam systems and is housed in a 3U high converter box, claimed to be one of the smallest in the industry. The mains-powered supply can provide a choice of eight maximum output voltages between 60 and 200kV. It is designed with the adverse operating conditions in mind and includes continuous primary current monitoring with fast pulse truncation and soft start, thermal monitoring and automatic shutdown on key components, passive output current limiting for instantaneous surge control and independent output over-voltage sensing. There is an optional active arc management system for ion implanter applications, the Arc Count and Extinguish (ACE).

Further along, in B3.211, JAE Europe (www.jae.co.uk) has industrial and embedded PC connectors. The MM50 series of JEDEC MO-224 compatible connectors (below) has been designed for DDR memories that bring reduced memory power requirements, higher system performance and easier board layout. The company has introduced 200pin, 0.6mm pitch, low-profile (5.2mm) DDR2 and DDR SDRAM modules which withstand extended temperature ranges of - 55 to 105C. They have a durable latch structure and an additional metallic spring in the key to secure positioning and retention. Contact resistance is below 40m¦¸, insulation resistance is >1M¦¸ and they have a current rating of 0.3A/contact, suitable for embedded computing. Connectors for DDR2 SO-DIMM applications meet JEDEC MO-224 1.8V specifications. The complete range includes support for the 2.5V DDR standard, opening up the available DRAM memory module options for PC builders.

Two companies are using electronica to showcase display technologies. Both are in hall A3. UK-based Zytronic (www.zytronic.co.uk) is unveiling its Through-Glass display technology which can sense input at a distance through additional glass (above). It is designed for use in shop windows, for example. One scenario would be for customers to use the shop window for instant commerce. The show will also see the European debut of its entire PCT range, including ZySwitch, a replacement for soft membrane switches and for applications requiring a keypad. There is also ZyTouch, touchscreens and ZyPos which brings PCTbased touch sensors to mass markets. Zytronic is at A3.438.


Near-neighbour on stand A3.239, Anders (www.anders.co.uk) is showing its TFT LCD and OLED displays, together with compact, embedded COM (computer-on-module) technologies (below). The Ra-Tek enhancement technique for transmissive TFTs will be presented at electronica. It is named after Ra, the Egyptian sun god, as it enables displays to be read in direct sunlight, using the sun’s rays to boost the effect of the display’s backlight.

As well as the new 7in white LED-backlit Wide-VGA LTPS TFT display from TPO, the company will also be exhibiting the TPO 3.5in VGA touch-equipped LTPS TFT display and development kit, together with QVGA LTPS TFT displays in 2.2, 2.8 and 3.5in formats for lowpower portable device use.

Visitors can also see OLED modules from Osram, including a new 128 x 128 x 1.3in colour module. What is believed to be the world’s first COM to feature on-board 802.11 WLAN functionality will also be on show. The

CM-X270L is built around the Intel XScale PXA270 processor and has up to 128Mbyte RAM, 512Mbyte flash disk storage, Ethernet, stereo audio, LCD and touchscreen controllers. Compulab’s CM-iGLX X-86-compatible, lowpower, low-cost COM with Windows XP embedded functionality is a credit-card sized device based around the AMD Geode LX 800 0.9W processor. It has up to 256Mbyte RAM, up to 512Mbyte flash disk, Ethernet, IDE, USB 2.0, video input, audio and a touchscreen controller that runs without a cooling fan.

In hall A6.746, UK hardware distributor and manufacturer, Amplicon (www.amplicon.co.uk) is launching its Ventrix-W rackmount industrial computer (above). The W in the title stands for ‘workstation’, referring to the 4U 1.3-compliant SBC-based rackmount industrial computers made from heavy-duty, cold-rolled electroplated steel that make up the computer. New features include 83/84 key sliding keyboards with integrated track and two mouse buttons and the flat multimedia 6.4in TFT LCD with 680 x 480 resolution.

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