About Circuit Cellar Staff

Circuit Cellar's editorial team comprises professional engineers, technical editors, and digital media specialists. You can reach the Editorial Department at editorial@circuitcellar.com, @circuitcellar, and facebook.com/circuitcellar

Three Firms Team Up for Industrial IoT Security Effort

IAR Systems, Secure Thingz and Renesas Electronics have announced their collaboration to secure Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. As part of this collaboration, the companies will develop new solutions that combine IAR Systems’ software development technology, Secure Thingz’ expertise in advanced IoT security, and Renesas Electronics’ secure semiconductor technologies.

Security is an inherent risk when it comes to connected devices. In the Industrial IoT, incoming threats and system vulnerabilities can result in life-threatening or high-risk situations. Therefore, embedded applications in this area require very strong features for security and reliability. To meet these requirements, Secure Thingz’ Embedded Trust, which is a security development environment that leverages the IAR Embedded Workbench IDE from IAR Systems, will support Renesas microcontrollers (MCUs) when Embedded Trust is launched to the broader market in 2019. This new hardware and software solution will enable organizations to secure their systems, intellectual property (IP) and data.

“Despite legislation and new security standards mandating greater protection, the news stories of hacking, theft and counterfeiting still persist. It is now a question of when, and not if, you will be compromised,” says Haydn Povey, CEO, Secure Thingz. “At Secure Thingz, we are collaborating with trusted industry friends to secure the connected world and inhibit these compromises. The collaboration between Secure Thingz, IAR Systems and Renesas will help organizations conquer the security challenges of today and tomorrow.”

“To really deliver on the promise of the IoT, embedded applications will need to include security from start, both in hardware and software,” says Stefan Skarin, CEO, IAR Systems. “IAR Systems’ long-standing collaboration with Renesas has resulted in a number of successful activities and solutions. Now with connected IoT devices all around us and ongoing security threats, we as suppliers need to help our customers in the best way we can. IAR Systems and Secure Thingz are working together to make superior security available for all, and we are pleased to have Renesas with us on this journey.”

“With increased connectivity come greater security risks, and the growing number of connected industrial devices requires a stronger focus on security from the early stages of chip design to protect both the silicon solution and the application from potential security issues,” says Yoshikazu Yokota, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Industrial Solution Business Unit, Renesas Electronics Corporation. “For the past 30 years, our collaboration with IAR Systems has introduced reliable and high-performance solutions that have enabled the creation of innovative embedded designs, and with the addition of Secure Thingz moving forward, we are poised to support the next generation of Industrial IoT design with the security it needs.”

IAR Systems | www.iar.com

Secure Thingz | www.securethingz.com

Renesas Electronics | www.renesas.com



12:1 Input Quarter-Brick DC-DC Converters Target Railway Systems

RECOM has expanded its railway portfolio with two 40 W and 60 W DC/DC converter series in quarter-brick packages with an ultra-wide input voltage range from 14 VDC to 160 VDC..The 12:1 input voltage range of RECOM’s RP40Q-RUW and RP60Q-RUW series covers all input voltages from nominal 24 VDC up to 110 VDC in a single product (including EN50155 transients).

These quarter-brick DC/DC converters are designed for railway rolling stock and high voltage battery applications and offer basic isolation with regulated 5 V, 12 V, 15 V, 24 V or 48 VDC outputs, including sense and trim pins. They have a consistently high efficiency over the entire input voltage range and an operating temperature range from -40°C up to +85°C (+68°C for the RP60Q-RUW) at full load without forced air cooling.

An optional heat sink allows these converters to provide full load up to +90°C and +77°C respectively. The case is fitted with threaded inserts for secure mounting in high shock and vibration environments. The converters are CE marked, EN50155 and EN45545-2 certified and come with a three-year warranty. Samples and OEM pricing are available from all authorized distributors or directly from RECOM.

RECOM | www.recom-power.com

Motor Driver Provides Complete Solution for Industrial Designs

Infineon Technologies has launched the IFX007T NovalithIC motor driver for industrial applications. The IFX007T smart half-bridge provides an easy and efficient way to drive brushed and brushless motors, integrating a p-channel high-side MOSFET, an n-channel low-side MOSFET and a driver IC into one package. Along with a microcontroller and power supply, no other devices are necessary to drive a motor.

For many years, Infineon has followed this NovalithIC integrated approach for automotive applications. According to Infineon, the IFX007T now allows industrial system designers to benefit from this experience. It is qualified according to JESD47I and can be used to drive motors with supplies up to 40 V and peak currents up to 55 A. The broad application range includes pumps, healthcare, home and garden appliances as well as industrial automation, fans and many more.

Ease-of-use is a key benefit of the integrated solution. System designers save layout and manufacturing effort while reducing stray inductances and external components. Additionally, only three general purpose microcontroller pins are needed to control a full H-bridge.

The IFX007T has integrated self-protection, including over-temperature and cross-current protection. Within an H-bridge configuration, the half-bridge approach provides logic redundancy—if one device fails, the other can still stop the motor.

Another key benefit is the flexible motor control. The IFX007T can be used in either half-bridge, H-bridge or three-phase configurations. Furthermore, the motor speed can be adjusted via pulse width modulation (PWM) up to 25 kHz. Active freewheeling is possible from either the high side or the low side. An adjustable slew rate enables reduction of electromagnetic emissions.

Infineon Technologies | www.infineon.com

Highly Integrated, Precision ADCs and DACs Feature Small Footprint

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced four tiny precision data converters. The new data converters enable designers to add more intelligence and functionality, while shrinking system board space. The DAC80508 and DAC70508 are eight-channel precision digital-to-analog converters (DACs) that provide true 16- and 14-bit resolution, respectively. The ADS122C04 and ADS122U04 are 24-bit precision analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) that feature a two-wire, I2C-compatible interface and a two-wire, UART-compatible interface, respectively. The devices are optimized for a variety of small-size, high-performance or cost-sensitive industrial, communications and personal electronics applications. Examples include optical modules, field transmitters, battery-powered systems, building automation and wearables.

Both DACs include a 2.5-V, 5-ppm/°C internal reference, eliminating the need for an external precision reference. Available in a 2.4-mm-by-2.4-mm die-size ball-grid array (DSBGA) package or wafer chip-scale package (WCSP) and a 3-mm-by-3-mm quad flat no-lead (QFN)-16 package, these devices are up to 36 percent smaller than the competition. The new DACs eliminate the typical trade-off between high performance and small size, enabling engineers to achieve the best system accuracy, while reducing board size or increasing channel density.

In addition to their compact size, the DAC80508 and DAC70508 provide true, 1 least significant bit (LSB) integral nonlinearity to achieve the highest level of accuracy at 16- and 14-bit resolution – up to 66 percent better linearity than the competition. They are fully specified over a -40°C to +125°C extended temperature range and provide features such as cyclic redundancy check (CRC) to increase system reliability.

The tiny, 24-bit precision ADCs are available in 3-mm-by-3-mm very thin QFN (WQFN)-16 and 5-mm-by-4.4-mm thin-shrink small-outline package (TSSOP)-16 options. The two-wire interface requires fewer digital isolation channels than a standard serial peripheral interface (SPI), reducing the overall cost of an isolated system. These precision ADCs eliminate the need for external circuitry by integrating a flexible input multiplexer, a low-noise programmable gain amplifier, two programmable excitation current sources, an oscillator and a precision temperature sensor.

Both ADC devices feature a low-drift 2.048-V, 5-ppm/°C internal reference. Their internal 2 percent accurate oscillators help designers improve power-line cycle noise rejection, enabling higher accuracy in noisy environments. With gains from 1 to 128 and noise as low as 100 nV, designers can measure both small-signal sensors and wide input ranges with one ADC. These device families, which also include pin-to-pin-compatible 16-bit options, give designers the flexibility to meet various system requirements by scaling performance up or down.

Engineers can evaluate the new data converters with the DAC80508 evaluation module, the ADS122C04 evaluation module and the ADS122U04 evaluation module, all available today for $99.00 from the TI store and authorized distributors.

TI’s new tiny DACs and ADCs are available now with pricing ranging from $3.95 to $9.99 (1,000s).

Texas Instruments | www.ti.com

Tiny PLC Reference Design Serves Digital Factory Needs

Digital factories require a surprising amount of analog and power technology. Exemplifying that trend, Maxim Integrated Products offers its new programmable logic controller (PLC) reference design called Go-IO. Go-IO embeds 17 configurable I/Os in a space one-half the size of a credit card and enables productivity-enhancing self-diagnostic capabilities in automated factory subsystems. System designers are striving to bring greater intelligence into Industry 4.0 digital factory equipment while meeting the stringent size and power demands of PLCs.
Digital factories can dynamically adjust the manufacturing line on the fly based on new or changing requirements. To fully realize industrial convergence, automated equipment must also possess self-diagnostic and optimization capabilities. Go-IO pushes intelligence closer to the edge, enabling active monitoring and communication of equipment health and status information as well as higher throughput and productivity. The reference design also meets increasingly stringent size and power requirements of PLCs, providing a 10x smaller solution with 50% less power consumption compared to its predecessor, the Pocket IO.

The flexible, rugged, open-source Go-IO reference design is ideal for industrial automation, building automation and industrial robotics applications. It has 12 highly integrated ICs, 17 IOs supporting multiple digital IO configurations, a 4-channel IO-Link master to provide a universal IO interface to both analog and digital sensors, and a robust 25 Mbps isolated RS-485 communications channel that provides a reliable, multi-drop data network for uploading time-sensitive health and status information into a local data lake or the cloud.

Go-IO contains the following technologies:

  • MAX14819 low-power, dual-channel, IO-Link master transceiver with sensor/actuator power-supply controllers.
  • MAX22192 8-channel octal digital input with isolated Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), wire break detection and accurate input current limiters in a 6 mm x 10 mm package. The MAX22192 was announced today as part of Maxim’s expanded Digital IO portfolio. (Read today’s digital input press release)
  • MAX14912 8-channel digital output driver featuring 640mA high-side switches or push-pull configurable outputs, capable of achieving 200 kHz switching rates while providing proprietary fast, safe demagnetization inductive kickback protection.
  • MAXM22511 integrated 2.5 kVRMS isolated power and digital isolated RS-485 transceiver module supporting 25 Mbps data rates with ±35 kV ESD protection in a compact 9.5 mm x 11.5 mm package. (Read the October 31, 2018 press release)
  • MAX14483/MAX14130 6-channel, 3.75 kVRMS galvanic low-power digital isolator in a compact 20-pin SSOP package/4-channel 1 kVRMS galvanic digital isolator in a small 16-pin QSOP.
  • MAXM15462 Himalaya uSLIC voltage regulator ICs and power modules for cooler, smaller and simpler industrial power supplies.

The Go-IO is available as MAXREFDES212# at Maxim’s website for $495. The reference design consists of an application processor, baseboard and the Go-IO module.

Maxim Integrated | www.maximintegrated.com

DC-DC Power Regulator Eases Data Center Cooling Costs

Analog Devices (ADI) has expanded its suite of Power by Linear µModule regulators with the LTM4700 step-down DC/DC power regulator. The device features energy efficient performance that reduces data center infrastructure cooling requirements. Configured as dual 50 A or single 100A configuration, the power µModule’s packaging technology enables an increasing server density and boosts data center throughout and computational power with minimal impact on system size and cooling costs.

The LTM4700 µModule’s highly integrated, component-on-package design includes on-board memory, data conversion circuitry and digital interface, reducing it to nearly half the size of competing devices, according to ADI. Applications include cloud computing, high-speed computing and optical networking systems, communication infrastructure, and PCIe boards, as well as medical, industrial and test and measurement equipment.

The LTM4700 operates at 73°C using heatsink packaging technology. That’s much cooler compared to modular solutions from competitors which typically run at 90°C, says ADI. The device can deliver full 100 A at 12 VIN to 0.8 VOUT with 200 LFM air flow up to 70°C ambient temperature. Peak conversion efficiency at 12 VIN to 0.8 VOUT reaches 90%.  The µModule’s architecture also enables system designers to combine up to eight devices, delivering up to 800A of load current to meet the higher power needs of data center processors, including FPGAs, ASICs, GPUs and microcontrollers.

The LTM4700 operates from a 4.5 V to 16 V input range, with output voltages digitally controlled from 0.5 V to 1.8 V. Integrated A/D converters, D/A converters and EEPROM enable users to digitally monitor, record and control power parameters using an I²C PMBus interface. Switching frequency is synchronized to an external clock from 200 kHz to 1 MHz for noise-sensitive applications. The LTM4700 also has self- and load-protection features against fault conditions such as over- and undervoltage, overcurrent and overtemperature.

Summary of Features:

  • Dual 50 A or Single 100 A Digitally Adjustable Outputs with Digital Interface for Control, Compensation and Monitoring
  • Wide Input Voltage: 4.5 V to 16 V
  • Output Voltage Range: 0.5 V to 1. 8V
  • ~90% Full Load Efficiency from 12 VIN to 1 VOUT at 100 A
  • ±0.5% Maximum DC Output Error Over Temperature

Pricing for LTM4700 starts at $97.26 (1,000s) in a 15 mm x 22 mm x 7.87 mm BGA package.

Analog Devices | www.analog.com

Low-Cost Flash MCU Eyes IoT Edge Applications

NXP Semiconductors has launched the LPC5500 which the company claims as the industry’s first microcontroller platform with single- and dual-core Arm Cortex-M33 and Arm TrustZone technology. Built on a low-power 40 nm embedded flash process, the LPC5500 MCU achieves 32uA/MHz efficiency at up to 100 MHz core clock frequency. It also provides dual-core Cortex-M33 capability with additional tightly coupled accelerators for signal processing and cryptography, and up to 640 KB flash and 320 KB on-chip SRAM for advanced edge applications.

LPC55S69 integrates a 16-bit Successive Approximation ADC (SAR ADC) with differential pair mode; a rich set of peripherals for system expansion, including, 50 MHz high-speed SPI, a High-Speed USB with integrated physical transceiver, eight flexible communication interfaces; and dual SDIO interfaces for concurrent Wi-Fi connection and external data logging. NXP’s autonomous programmable logic unit for offloading and execution of user defined tasks provides enhanced real-time parallelism.

One of the key features of the Cortex-M33 is its dedicated co-processor interface that extends the processing capability of the CPU by allowing efficient integration of tightly-coupled co-processors, while maintaining full ecosystem and toolchain compatibility. NXP has utilized this capability to implement a co-processor for accelerating key ML and DSP functions, such as, convolution, correlation, matrix operations, transfer functions and filtering; enhancing performance by as much as 10x compared to executing on Cortex-M33. The co-processor further leverages the popular CMSIS-DSP library calls (API) to simplify customer code portability.

Integrated benchmark security features: secure boot with immutable hardware ‘root-of-trust,’ SRAM PUF based unique key storage, certificate based secure debug authentication, AES-256 & SHA2-256 acceleration, and DICE security standard implementation for secure cloud-to-edge communication. The public key infrastructure (PKI), or asymmetric cryptography, is further accelerated by the dedicated asymmetric accelerator for ECC and RSA algorithms.

The LPC5500 MCU series features pin-, software- and peripheral compatibility across seven distinct families, with varying levels of functionality. The lead device family is enabled with LPC55S69-EVK, an evaluation board supported by NXP’s MCUXpresso Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and comprehensive software development kit which includes peripheral drivers, security and connectivity middleware, Amazon FreeRTOS based demos, and Arm TrustZone based security examples. Partner tools from Arm Keil MDK, IAR Embedded Workbench, Segger and others have been enabled to support LPC55S69-EVK.

NXP is sampling LPC55S69 development boards and 100-pin LQFP packages, with associated MCUXpresso based software development kit, through NXP field sales representatives. Direct to customer sampling on NXP eCommerce platform is expected by end of 2018. Volume production commences in Q1-2019. Devices within the LPC55S6x family are starting at a per unit price of $1.99 for 256K B flash and $2.49 for 640 KB flash, in 10,000-unit quantities.

NXP Semiconductors | www.nxp.com

Smart Vehicles Leverage Semtech’s LoRa Technology

Semtech has announced that EasyReach Solutions, an Indian startup specializing in smart IoT solutions for industrial applications, has incorporated Semtech’s LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) into its industrial and smart vehicle monitoring products. EasyReach’s LoRa-enabled sensors have been developed to include electrical current testing, temperature reading and GPS capabilities. All sensors are compatible with the LoRaWAN protocol and have been verified for GPS tracking ability over eight kilometers line of sight.
According to EasyReach, the LoRa Technology allows the company to remotely monitor its equipment and vehicles in new ways and to more intelligently manage its industrial resources. Meanwhile, the flexible capabilities of the sensors allow the solution to scale to its needs. EasyReach’s LoRa-based applications for smart industry include sensors for steam traps, concrete mixers, forklifts, diesel tankers, back hoes, water meters, and trucks.

Semtech | www.semtech.com


Tuesday’s Newsletter: Analog & Power

Coming to your inbox tomorrow: Circuit Cellar’s Analog & Power newsletter. Tomorrow’s newsletter content zeros in on the latest developments in analog and power technologies including ADCs, DACs, DC-DC converters, AD-DC converters, power supplies, op amps, batteries and more.

Bonus: We’ve added Drawings for Free Stuff to our weekly newsletters. Make sure you’ve subscribed to the newsletter so you can participate.

Already a Circuit Cellar Newsletter subscriber? Great!
You’ll get your Analog & Power newsletter issue tomorrow.

Not a Circuit Cellar Newsletter subscriber?
Don’t be left out! Sign up now:

Our weekly Circuit Cellar Newsletter will switch its theme each week, so look for these in upcoming weeks:

Microcontroller Watch. (12/11) This newsletter keeps you up-to-date on latest microcontroller news. In this section, we examine the microcontrollers along with their associated tools and support products.

IoT Technology Focus. (12/18) Covers what’s happening with Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology–-from devices to gateway networks to cloud architectures. This newsletter tackles news and trends about the products and technologies needed to build IoT implementations and devices.

Embedded Boards.(12/24) The focus here is on both standard and non-standard embedded computer boards that ease prototyping efforts and let you smoothly scale up to production volumes.

Cutting-edge Embedded Vision Solutions Are Here

Clarius Mobile Health revolutionized ultrasounds. Xilinx’s technology helped get them there. IoT-connected, portable ultrasound machine leveraged Xilinx’s Zynq programmable SOC solution. Avnet connected Clarius to Xilinx’s technology—some of which wasn’t even on the shelves yet.

1500 W AD-DC Power Supplies Certified for Medical and ITE

TDK has announced the introduction of the TDK-Lambda 1500 W rated CUS1500M series of AC-DC power supplies. This extends the CUS-M family of products, to now cover 30 W to 1500 W. The CUS1500M has both medical and ITE (Information Technology Equipment) certifications and is ideally suited for industrial, medical, cosmetic laser treatment and analysis equipment requiring less than 300 µA earth leakage current, low audible noise and class B EMI.

The 1500 W additions are available with 12, 15, 24, 36 and 48 V outputs, adjustable from -15/+20% (+15% for the 48 V) of nominal. All models accept an 85 to 265Vac input and can operate at full load in -20oC to +50oC ambient temperatures, derating linearly to 60% load from +50oC to +60oC. High operating efficiencies of up to 88% reduce internal waste heat and component temperatures, resulting in electrolytic capacitor service life predictions of at least ten years.

The CUS1500M measures 127 mm x 63 mm x 261 mm and has a seven-year warranty. Other features include a 5 V, 1 A standby voltage, remote on/off, parallel operation of up to five units, an isolated open collector DC good / fan fail signal and a variable speed fan that produces 45 dBA (typical) at 30°C at 70% load.

To facilitate safe and easy installation, output cable connections are made to screw terminal blocks with covers rather than bus bars. The terminal block can also be quickly configured for either a vertical or horizontal wiring orientation.

The TDK-Lambda CUS1500M models are certified to the safety standards of IEC/ES/CSA/EN 60601-1, IEC/UL/CSA/EN 60950-1 (62368-1 pending), IEC/EN 62477-1 (OVC III), and are CE marked according to the Low Voltage, EMC and RoHS2 Directives. Input to output isolation is 4,000Vac (2 x MoPP), input to ground 2,000Vac (1 x MoPP) and 1,500Vac output to ground (1 x MoPP) for suitability with B and BF rated equipment. All models offer conducted and radiated performance to EN55011/EN55032-B, meet EN 61000-3-2 harmonics and are compliant to EN 61000-4 and EN 60601-1-2 (Edition 4) immunity standards.

Major applications include industrial, medical, cosmetic laser treatment and analysis equipment requiring less than 300µA earth leakage current, Class B EMI and low acoustic noise.

Main features and benefits:• Seven year warranty

• IEC 60601-1 / 60950-1 safety certification
• Compact case size
• Class B conducted and radiated EMI
• Long service life (conservative electrolytic capacitor ratings)

TDK Lambda| www.us.tdk-lambda.com

IoT Door Security System Uses Wi-Fi

Control Via App or Web

Discover how these Cornell students built an Internet-connected door security system with wireless monitoring and control through web and mobile applications. The article discusses the interfacing of a Microchip PIC32 MCU with the Internet, and the application of IoT to a door security system.

By Norman Chen, Ram Vellanki and Giacomo Di Liberto

The idea for an Internet of Things (IoT) door security system came from our desire to grant people remote access to and control over their security system. Connecting the system with the Internet not only improves safety by enabling users to monitor a given entryway remotely, but also allows the system to transmit information about the traffic of the door to the Internet. With these motivations, we designed our system using a Microchip Technology PIC32 microcontroller (MCU) and an Espressif ESP8266 Wi-Fi module to interface a door sensor with the Internet, which gives the user full control over the system via mobile and web applications.

The entire system works in the following way. To start, the PIC32 tells the Wi-Fi module to establish a connection to a TCP socket, which provides fast and reliable communication with the security system’s web server. Once a connection has been established, the PIC32 enters a loop to analyze the distance sensor reading to detect motion in the door. Upon any detection of motion, the PIC32 commands the Wi-Fi module to signal the event to the web server. Each motion detection is saved in memory, and simultaneously the data are sent to the website, which graphs the number of motion detections per unit time. If the security system was armed at the time of motion detection, then the PIC32 will sound the alarm via a piezoelectric speaker from CUI. The alarm system is disarmed at default, so each motion detection is logged in the web application but no sound is played. From both the web and mobile application, the user can arm, disarm and sound the alarm immediately in the case of an emergency.


The PIC32 acts as the hub of the whole system. As shown in Figure 1, each piece of hardware is connected to the MCU, as it detects motion by analyzing distance sensor readings, generates sound for the piezoelectric speaker and commands the Wi-Fi module for actions that pertain to the web server. The distance sensor used in our system is rated to accurately measure distances of only 10 to 80 cm [1]. That’s because motion detection requires us only to measure large changes in distances instead of exact distances, the sensor was sufficient for our needs.

Figure 1
The schematic of the security system. Note that the door sensor runs on 5  V, whereas the rest of the components run on 3.3 V

In our design, the sensor is facing down from the top of the doorway, so the nearest object to the sensor is the floor at idle times, when there is no movement through the door. For an average height of a door, about 200 cm, the sensor outputs a miniscule amount of voltage of less than 0.5 V. If a human of average height, about 160 cm, passes through the doorway, then according to the datasheet [1], the distance sensor will output a sudden spike of about 1.5 V. The code on the PIC32 constantly analyzes the distance sensor readings for such spikes, and interprets an increase and subsequent decrease in voltage as motion through the door. The alarm sound is generated by having the PIC32 repeatedly output a 1,500 Hz wave to the piezoelectric speaker through a DAC. We used the DMA feature on the PIC32 for playing the alarm sound, to allow the MCU to signal the alarm without using an interrupt-service-routine. The alarm sound output therefore, did not interfere with motion detection and receiving commands from the web server.

The Wi-Fi module we used to connect the PIC32 to the Internet is the ESP8266, which has several variations on the market. We chose model number ESP8266-01 for its low cost and small form factor. This model was not breadboard-compatible, but we designed a mount for the device so that it could be plugged into the breadboard without the need for header wires. Figure 2 shows how the device is attached to the breadboard, along with how the rest of the system is connected.

Figure 2
The full system is wired up on a breadboard. The door sensor is at the bottom of the photo, and is attached facing down from the top of a doorway when in use. The device at the top of the figure is the PIC32 MCU mounted on a development board.

The module can boot into two different modes, programming or normal, by configuring the GPIO pins during startup. To boot into programming mode, GPIO0 must be pulled to low, while GPIO2 must be pulled high. To boot into normal mode, both GPIO0 and GPIO2 must be pulled high. Programming mode is used for flashing new firmware onto the device, whereas normal mode enables AT commands over UART on the ESP8266. Because we only needed to enable the AT commands on the module, we kept GPIO0 and GPIO2 floating, which safely and consistently booted the module into normal mode.


Before interfacing the PIC32 with the Wi-Fi module, we used a USB-to-TTL serial cable to connect the module to a computer, and tested the functionality of its AT commands by sending it commands from a serial terminal. …

Read the full article in the December 341 issue of Circuit Cellar

Don’t miss out on upcoming issues of Circuit Cellar. Subscribe today!

Note: We’ve made the October 2017 issue of Circuit Cellar available as a free sample issue. In it, you’ll find a rich variety of the kinds of articles and information that exemplify a typical issue of the current magazine.

IIoT Evolution: An Approach To Reuse And Scale Your IIoT Technology Investment

FREE White Paper –
This white paper introduces an IoT framework that complements and extends the massive investments made by cloud vendors to provide comprehensive IIoT features that can be implemented down to the hardware of the edge or end node devices – and can be ported across platforms and clouds. The benefits of using a framework such as MEIF are abundantly clear: minimize learning curves, simplify implementations, increase code reuse, reduce porting costs, and reduce testing.

Get your copy – here

New CPU Core Boosts Performance for Renesas MCUs

Renesas Electronics has announced the development of its third-generation 32-bit RX CPU core, the RXv3. The RXv3 CPU core will be employed in Renesas’ new RX microcontroller families that begin rolling out at the end of 2018. The new MCUs are designed to address the real-time performance and enhanced stability required by motor control and industrial applications in next-generation smart factory, smart home and smart infrastructure equipment.

The RXv3 core boosts CPU core architecture performance with up to 5.8 CoreMark/MHz, as measured by EEMBC benchmarks, to deliver industry-leading performance, power efficiency and responsiveness. The RXv3 core is backwards compatible with the RXv2 and RXv1 CPU cores in Renesas’ current 32-bit RX MCU families. Binary compatibility using the same CPU core instruction sets ensures that applications written for the previous-generation RXv2 and RXv1 cores carry forward to the RXv3-based MCUs. Designers working with RXv3-based MCUs can also take advantage of the robust Renesas RX development ecosystem to develop their embedded systems.
The RX CPU core combines a design optimized for power efficiency and a fabrication process producing excellent performance. The new RXv3 CPU core is primarily a CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) architecture that offers significant advantages over the RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture in terms of code density. RXv3 utilizes a pipeline to deliver high instructions per cycle (IPC) performance comparable to RISC. The new RXv3 core builds on the proven RXv2 architecture with an enhanced pipeline, options for register bank save functions and double precision floating-point unit (FPU) capabilities to achieve high computing performance, along with power and code efficiency.

The enhanced RX core five-stage superscalar architecture enables the pipeline to execute more instructions simultaneously while maintaining excellent power efficiency. The RXv3 core will enable the first new RX600 MCUs to achieve 44.8 CoreMark/mA with an energy-saving cache design that reduces both access time and power consumption during on-chip flash memory reads, such as instruction fetch.

The RXv3 core achieves significantly faster interrupt response times with a new option for single-cycle register saves. Using dedicated instruction and a save register bank with up to 256 banks, designers can minimize the interrupt handling overhead required for embedded systems operating in real-time applications such as motor control. RTOS context switch time is up to 20 percent faster with the register bank save function.

The model-based development (MBD) approach has penetrated various application developments; it enables the DP-FPU to help reduce the effort of porting high precision control models to the MCU. Similar to the RXv2 core, the RXv3 core performs DSP/FPU operations and memory accesses simultaneously to substantially boost signal processing capabilities.

Renesas plans to start sampling shipments of RXv3-based MCUs before the end of Q4 2018.

Renesas Electronics | www.renesas.com

600-V GaN FET Power Stages Support up to 10 kW

Texas Instruments (TI) has announced a new portfolio of ready-to-use, 600-V gallium nitride (GaN), 50-mΩ and 70-mΩ power stages to support applications up to 10 kW. The LMG341x family enables designers to create smaller, more efficient and higher-performing designs compared to silicon field-effect transistors (FETs) in AC/DC power supplies, robotics, renewable energy, grid infrastructure, telecom and personal electronics applications.
TI’s family of GaN FET devices provides a alternative to traditional cascade and stand-alone GaN FETs by integrating unique functional and protection features to simplify design, enable greater system reliability and optimize the performance of high-voltage power supplies.

Dubbed the LMG3410R050, LMG3410R070 and LMG3411R070 TI’s integrated GaN power stage doubles power density and reduces losses by 80 percent compared to silicon metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). Each device is capable of fast, 1-MHz switching frequencies and slew rates of up to 100 V/ns. The portfolio is backed by 20 million hours of device reliability testing, including accelerated and in-application hard switch testing. Additionally, each device provides integrated thermal and high-speed, 100-ns overcurrent protection against shoot-through and short-circuit conditions.

Devices for every power level: Each device in the portfolio offers a GaN FET, driver and protection features at 50 mΩ or 70 mΩ to provide a single-chip solution for applications ranging from sub-100 W to 10 kW.

These devices are available now in the TI store in 8-mm-by-8-mm split-pad, quad flat no-lead (QFN) packaging. The LMG3410R050, LMG3410R070 and LMG3411R070 are priced at US$18.69, $16.45 and $16.45, respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities.

Texas Instruments | www.ti.com