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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

The Future of Circuit Design

The cloud is changing the way we build circuits. In the near future we won’t make our own symbols, or layout our own traces, review our own work, or even talk to our manufacturers. We are moving from a world of desktop, offline, email-based engineering into a bold new world powered by collaborative tools and the cloud.

I know that’s a strong statement, so let me try to explain. I think a lot about how we work as engineers. How our days are filled, how we go about our tasks, and how we accomplish our missions. But also how it’s all changing, what the future of our work looks like, and how the cloud, outsourcing, and collaboration are changing everything.Homuth schem

For the past five years I’ve been a pioneer. I started the first company to attempt to build a fully-cloud circuit design tool. That was years before anyone else even thought it was possible. It was before Google docs went mainstream, and before Github became the center of the software universe. I didn’t build it because I have some love affair with the cloud (though I do now), or because deep down inside I wanted to make CAD software (eek!), I did it because I believed in a future of work that required collaboration.

So how does it work? Well, instead of double clicking an icon on your desktop, you open your web-browser and navigate to upverter.com. Then, instead of opening a file on your harddrive, you open one of your designs stored in the cloud. It loads, looks, and feels exactly the same as your existing design tools. You make your changes, and it automatically saves a new version, work some more, and ultimately export your Geber files in exactly the same way as you would with a desktop tool.

The biggest difference is that instead of working alone, instead of creating every symbol yourself, or emailing files, you are part of an ecosystem. You can request parts, and invite your teammates or your manufacturer to participate in the design. They can make comments and recommendations—right there in the editor. You can share your design by emailing a URL. You can check part inventory and pricing in real-time. You get notified when your colleagues do work, when changes get made, and when parts get updates. It feels a lot like how it’s supposed to work and maybe the best yet, it’s cheaper too.

Let me dispel a few myths.

The cloud is insecure: Of course it is. Almost every system has a flaw. But what you need to ask instead is relative security. Is the cloud any less secure than your desktop? And the answer shouldn’t surprise you. The cloud is about 10× MORE secure than your office desktop (let alone your phone or laptop). It turns out when companies employ people to worry about security they do a better job than the IT guys at your office park.

The cloud is slow: Not true. Web browsers have gotten so fast over the past decade that today compiled C code is only 3× faster thana JavaScript. In that same time your computer got 5× faster than it used to be, and that desktop software you’re running was written in the 90s (that’s a bad thing). And there is more compute power, available to the cloud that anywhere on Earth. All of which adds up to most cloud apps actually running faster than the desktop apps they replace.

Collaboration is for teams: True. But even if you feel like you’re on a team of one, no one really works alone these days. You order parts from a vendor, someone else did your reference design, you don’t manufacture your boards yourself. There could be as many as a dozen people supporting you that you don’t even realize. Imagine if they had the full context of what you’re building? Imagine if you could truly collaborate instead of putting up with emails and phone calls.

I believe the future of hardware design, and the future of circuits, is in the cloud. I believe that working together is such a superpower that everyone will have to do it. It will change the way we work, the way we engineer, and the way we ship product. Hardware designed in the future, is hardware designed in the cloud.

Zak Homuth is the CEO and co-founder of Upverter, as well as a Y Combinator alumni. At Upverter, Zak has overseen product development and design from the beginning, including the design toolchain, collaborative community and ondemand simulators. Improving the rate of innovation in hardware engineering, including introducing collaboration and sharing, has been one of his central interests for almost a decade, stemming from his time as an hardware engineer working on telecommunication hardware. Prior to Upverter, Zak founded an electronics manufacturing service, and served as the company’s CEO. Before that, he founded a consulting company, which provided software and hardware services. Zak has worked for IBM, Infosys, and Sandvine and attended the University of Waterloo, where he studied Computer Engineering before taking a leave of absence.

Ideallion Taking Pre-Orders for Portable Electronics Lab

Tired for sharing a crowded electronics lab? Now you can take your electronics lab wherever you go with Ideallion’s Portable Electronics Lab (PEEL), which is a complete, battery-operated lab packed with handy instruments such as a power supply, function generator, and oscilloscope.peel-spread-3000x1800_300dpi

Ideallion launched its pre-order campaign on October 11, 2015. “We have designed the PEEL system to advance the art and the science of electronics engineering. We believe this will unleash torrents of new experiment and achievement throughout the community, from the newest student to the most experienced engineer,” PEEL inventor Bob Faust noted in a statement.

PEEL specifications:

  • A multimeter that features auto-ranging and auto-power off, as well as measuring DC/AC voltage (100 µV to 600 V), DC/AC current (0.1 µA to 10 A), resistance (0.1 Ohm to 40 MOhm), capacitance (0.1 nF to 200 µF), frequency (10 Hz to 10 MHz), and duty cycle (0.1% to 99.9%). It also measures temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius.
  • A hand-held oscilloscope that features two analog channels and and two 0-5 V digital channels. The analog channels sample simultaneously at 36 Msamples/sec per channel. The bandwidth is good at 4 MHz, slightly less at 5 MHz, but still usable at 10 MHz. The digital channels resolve 50 ns on signals as low as 3 V with 1:1 probe. Sampling permits capture and hold of rare events.
  • Power supplies use lithium-ion batteries, with a 2,200-mAh capacity. All outputs are short-circuit protected, as is the charger.
  • A function generator gives you the waveform you need, when you need it.
    • 2x 1 Hz to 5 MHz sine, +/- square
    • Frequency sweep 20 Hz to 1 MHz in eight ranges
  • A speaker with built-in driver
  • 25-key programmable keypad
  • 4 × 20 text display
  • Connection Port for accessing all of the power outputs and function generator waveforms
  • The PaperChip documentation system aimed at solderless breadboard circuit design, building, and testing
  • XTenTips multimeter probe tips
  • Hand tools: needle nose pliers, diagonal cutters, tweezers, screwdrivers, wire strippers (30 – 20 ga), and an adjustable temperature soldering iron
  • Components: resistors, capacitors, transistors, regulators, op-amps, digital logic, and assorted solder-less breadboard plug wires
  • BreadCubes: a flexible solution to create solderless breadboards that will accommodate any design, any configuration. Just snap them together and plug in your components and wiring.

You can pre-order now at: www.getpel.com/shop/portable-electronics-lab

Source: Ideallion

Precision MOSFETS Automatically Balance Supercaps in Industrial Apps

Advanced Linear Devices (ALD) has launched a family of Supercapacitor Auto Balancing (SAB) Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors (MOSFETs) intended for industrial applications to regulate and balance leakage currents while minimizing energy used for balancing supercapacitor cells stacked in series stack of two or more. The MOSFETs are well-suited for a variety of industrial-grade energy storage applications that require an operating temperature between –40° to 85°C. ALD - ALD8100xx


Each device in the industrial SAB MOSFET ALD8100xxx/ALD9100xxx family contains 26 different products, each of which can balance supercapacitors up to four cells in a single IC package. Starting with two cells, the devices can balance an unlimited number of supercapacitor cells stacked in a series. In addition, each device in the SAB MOSFET family dissipates near zero leakage current to eliminate extra power dissipation.


Available in both quad and dual packages, the industrial SAB MOSFETs are made with ALD’s precision EPAD technology. The ALD8100xx/ALD9100xx SAB MOSFET family is available in industry standard 16-L or 8-L SOIC packages. One thousand-piece pricing starts at $1.76 each.

Source: Advanced Linear Devices

Next-Gen Programmable ProSLIC Devices

Silicon Labs recently introduced a new family of small subscriber line interface circuits (SLICs) that offer high levels of integration and programmability for the VoIP gateway market. The single- and dual-channel Si32x8x ProSLIC family provides a best-in-class subscriber line interface solution for a wide range of VoIP customer premises equipment (CPE) including cable gateways, xDSL integrated access devices, xPON optical network terminals, fiber to the home (FTTH), fiber to the building (FTTB), and wireless fixed terminals.Silicon Labs ProSLIC

The Si32x8x ProSLIC family provides industry-leading configurability to ensure future-proofed one- and two-channel foreign exchange station (FXS) telephony interfaces in a compact, single-chip solution. The ProSLIC devices minimize SLIC power consumption by using flexible, integrated tracking DC-DC controllers that support patent-pending, ultra-low-cost capacitive boost configuration technology. They also reduce power by leveraging Silicon Labs’s patented low-power ringing (LPR) technology and an ultra-low-power 50 mW per channel on-hook mode. Patent-pending smart ringing technology available in dual-channel ProSLIC devices also enables the use of cost-effective power adapters in two-channel CPE designs by typically reducing the required peak current by more than 300 mA.

The Si32x8x family offers single-channel SLICs in QFN package options as small as 5 mm × 6 mm, as well as a very compact 7 mm × 7 mm dual-channel solution. The Si32x8x BOM footprint is only 4.2 cm2 per FXS channel.

Beta samples of the Si32x8x ProSLIC devices and evaluation boards are available now. General samples and production quantities are planned for the first quarter of  2016. Single-channel Si3218x device pricing begins at $1.58 in 10,000-unit quantities. Dual-channel Si3228x 10,000-unit pricing begins at $2.12. The ProSLIC evaluation kit costs $250 and ships with full documentation and Silicon Labs’s ProSLIC GUI software.

Source: Silicon Labs

The GAMMA Smart Module

RF Solutions’s GAMMA smart plug-in RF module offers incredible range and simple setup. You can it as a remote control, data modem, or a bidirectional switch.RF Solutions GAMMA

The latest addition to RF Solutions’s SMART Radio family, the module uses spread-spectrum technology and extensive algorithm enhancements to achieve 16-km range. With eight switch inputs or eight digital outputs, you can use two GAMMA’s modules as a receiver/transmitter remote control. Alternatively, you can set up a transceiver between two GAMMAs, where outputs on the receiving GAMMA will follow the inputs on the transmitting GAMMA.

Ready to use right out of the box, the GAMMA works either on its own or as a part of an existing system. It’s available in 868 and 915 MHz (with an option of SMT or SIL), you can use the GAMMA for a variety of applications.

Source: RF Solutions

New Pre-Certified HumRC Series Remote Control Transceiver

Linx Technologies recently introduced new pre-certified remote control and sensor transceiver modules. Built on the Hummingbird platform, the HumRC Series transceiver is a frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) transceiver designed for reliable bidirectional remote control and sensor applications. Available in 900 MHz, the HumRC outputs up to 10 dBm, which results in a line-of-sight range of up to 1 mile.HumRC pre-cert-series-pr-art

The HumRC Series module is a completely integrated RF transceiver and processor designed for bidirectional remote control. It employs a fast-locking FHSS system for noise immunity and higher transmitter output power as allowed by government regulations.

The remote control transceiver has eight status lines that can be individually configured as inputs to register button presses or as outputs to drive application circuitry. A selectable acknowledgement indicates that the transmission was successfully received. Primary settings are hardware-selectable, which eliminates the need for an external microcontroller or other digital interface.

The transceiver also has two analog-to-digital (ADC) inputs for sensors or circuits that output an analog voltage. The module can automatically respond to a command with these values, so a sensor node does not need an additional microprocessor.

To aid rapid development, the HumRC Series low-cost RF modules are available as part of a newly conceived type of Master Development System. This development kit is intended to assist in the rapid evaluation and integration of the HumRC Series data transceiver modules. It features several preassembled evaluation boards that include everything needed to quickly test the operation of the transceiver modules.

Source: Linx Technologies

October Electrical Engineering Challenge Update (Sponsor: NetBurner)

Spot the schematic error? Take the October Electrical Engineering Challenge (sponsored by NetBurner) now!

This month, find the error in the schematic posted below (and on the Challenge webpage) for a chance to win a NetBurner MOD54415 LC Development Kit ($129 value) or a Circuit Cellar Digital Subscription (1 year).


Click the image to enlarge. Find the error in this schematic and submit your answer by October 20, 2015.

Find the error in this schematic and submit your answer by October 20, 2015. Submit via the Challenge webpage. Click image to access submission form.


Out of each month’s group of entrants who correctly find the error in the code or schematic, one person will be randomly selected to win a NetBurner IoT Cloud Kit and another person will receive a free 1-year digital subscription to Circuit Cellar.

  • NetBurner MOD54415 LC Development Kit: You can add Ethernet connectivity to an existing product or use it as your product’s core processor! The NetBurner Ethernet Core Module is a device containing everything needed for design engineers to add network control and to monitor a company’s communications assets. The module solves the problem of network-enabling devices with 10/100 Ethernet, including those requiring digital, analog, and serial control.NetburnerMod54415module
  • Circuit Cellar Digital Subscription (1 year): Each month, Circuit Cellar magazine reaches a diverse international readership of professional electrical engineers, EE/ECE academics, students, and electronics enthusiasts who work with embedded technologies on a regular basis.Circuit Cellar magazine covers a variety of essential topics, including embedded development, wireless communications, robotics, embedded programming, sensors & measurement, analog tech, and programmable logic.


Read the Rules, Terms & Conditions


NetBurner solves the problem of network enabling devices, including those requiring digital, analog and serial control. NetBurner provides complete hardware and software solutions that help you network enable your devices.

NetBurner, Inc.
5405 Morehouse Dr.
San Diego, CA 92121 USA

Build a Hand-Held Microcontroller-Based Scoring Device

The QuizWiz is an innovative hand-held device that teachers can use to score multiple choice tests. It’s unlikely that you’ll need such a device, but you’ll surely learn a lot from Paul Kiedrowski’s description of the design process. He covers the circuit design, hardware analysis, software, and more.

1—The prototype QuizWiz sports a 2 × 8 character LCD display and just two operating switches labeled “scores” and “save.” The quiz format can be seen here, requiring a starting sync section, dark areas between answer selections, and a minimum amount of white space between questions. A mini-DIN connector is on one end to provide an optional serial port interface.

Photo 1: The prototype QuizWiz sports a 2 × 8 character LCD display and just two operating switches labeled “scores” and “save.”

Kiedrowski writes:

For automatic scoring of multiple choice tests, many schools use a commercially available system based on a desktop card reader machine, which requires that students mark their answers on preprinted forms of specific size and layout. This method is expensive because of the equipment and score cards, therefore usually it’s used only for critical testing.

In most cases, because only one centralized scoring machine is available to teachers, it is not located in the classroom where it would offer the most convenience. Perhaps more importantly, the most useful time to evaluate test results is immediately after a test so that feedback could be given and the missed questions discussed promptly. This is especially desirable for periodic quizzes where the intent is to allow the teacher to quickly gauge the classroom’s learning progress. What is needed is a better, lower cost, convenient way of quickly scoring quizzes.

Introducing the QuizWiz

To answer these needs, I developed a hand-held scoring device based on an 8-bit microprocessor I dubbed QuizWiz. The 87LPC764 is a new 20-pin offering that combines fast speed, 8051 code compatibility, and low cost. This processor is ideally suited for this project because of its 4K code space, power-saving modes, serial port, and remaining 16 I/O pins. Philips wanted to create a device simple to operate and affordable enough that every teacher could own one (see Photo 1).

QuizWiz has several features that make the teacher’s ability to score multiple-choice quizzes fast and easy. It reduces scoring time to only 10–15 s per page. It is capable of scoring tests printed on standard paper without preprinted forms, using a word-processing template.

QuizWiz does not require machine-assisted paper handling mechanisms. Also, as a hand-held device, it operates on three AAA batteries. The processor is inexpensive ($30 for parts) and measures only 6″ × 1.7″ × 1.0″. Simple to learn, the new teacher’s aid requires only two buttons to operate.

An eight-character by two-row LCD displays the status and results. There is a buzzer to provide distinctive audio feedback. QuizWiz has automatic power shutdown, providing a long life (estimated at >100 quiz sets). The flexible quiz format allows multiple columns and/or pages.

For your convenience, there is temporary memory storage of results during power shutdowns. Totals, per question and per quiz, are available. QuizWiz can handle eight choices per question, four columns of questions, and 32 questions per quiz. The processor provides an RS-232 serial connection for uploading results in real time to a PC, which allows tracking of which questions were missed per student.

1—Here you can see the 87LPC764 processor, MAX221 RS-232 interface, and MAX710 DC/DC converter. The device supplies 5 V to the LCD, which uses a 4-bit interface to save I/O pins.

Figure 1: Here you can see the 87LPC764 processor, MAX221 RS-232 interface, and MAX710 DC/DC converter. The device supplies 5 V to the LCD, which uses a 4-bit interface to save I/O pins.

Circuit Description

Figure 1 shows the circuitry has been partitioned by the two chassis sections. A PCB in the lower half contains most of the components, whereas the sensor tip, LCD, and battery compartment are in the upper half. The processor was DIP socketed for the development phase (see Photo 2).

A design-for-manufacturing approach was taken for the construction of the aluminum-chassis prototype. The main two-sided PCB has ample room for parts, mainly because of the housing size needed to fit the AAA battery pack and LCD display.

Photo 2: The main two-sided PCB has ample room for parts, mainly because of the housing size needed to fit the AAA battery pack and LCD.

A single reflective opto-sensor was chosen to perform the scanning detection process, with an optimum sensor-to-paper distance of 1.0 mm. To preserve battery power, the opto-sensor LED is only activated when QuizWiz is pressed against the paper, which depresses a mechanical switch located in the tip. An alternate scheme initially considered required two sensors, the second one used for scanning a parallel column of markings intended only to synchronize the scan position. The additional LED would have significantly increased the power consumption, however.

Normal battery operating current is approximately 25 mA when all circuits are operating, 15 mA when not scanning, and 20 mA during shutdown. Using three AAA batteries in series, with a typical capacity of 1000 mA/h, the teacher can score approximately 100 quizzes for a classroom of 30 students.

QuizWiz uses a simple three-chip design consisting of the processor, a 5-V DC/DC converter, and an RS-232 three-wire interface. The 87LPC764 is a good match for the required QuizWiz features, because all of its pins and most of its features are used in this project. The only features not used are the I2C interface and analog comparators. To minimize cost further, no external crystal is required, because the processor conveniently includes an internal 6-MHz RC oscillator..

Paul Kiedrowski’s article, “QuizWiz: A Hand-Held Scoring Device,” originally appeared in Circuit Cellar 125, 2000. Download the article

The IAR Connect Portal for the IoT

IAR Systems recently launched IAR Connect, which is a portal that presents product development platforms and serves as hub intended to connect innovators interested in the Internet of Things (IoT) and other emerging technologies.IAR Systems connect

One of the first members of IAR Connect is Renesas Electronics. Customers using the Renesas Synergy Platform can begin product development at a high level of abstraction and focus completely on designing innovative features for embedded applications and connected devices.

“The best way to take advantage of the possibilities of the new connected world is by providing new technology offerings, sharing knowledge and establishing strategic alliances, such as our strong partnership with Renesas. With IAR Connect, we enable innovation by connecting people and technologies. I invite everyone to connect, get inspired and explore the potential of the Internet of Things and the connected world at www.iarconnect.com”, said IAR Systems CEO Stefan Skarin in a released statement.

Source: IAR Systems

New RF Signal Generator

RIGOL Technologies recently expanded its portfolio of RF Test solutions with the launch of the DSG800 Series RF Signal Generator. The series—which is targeted at engineers implementing Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other RF interfaces in embedded systems—covers output frequencies from 9 kHz to 3 GHz. It provides maximum output power up to 20 dBm and low SSB phase noise of –105 dBc/Hz, amplitude accuracy of ±0.5 dB, and frequency resolution 0.01 Hz at any frequency. An oven-controlled crystal oscillator timebase provides less than 5 ppb temperature stability and less than 30 ppb/year aging stability.DSG800 Rigol

The DSG800 RF signal generators provide:

  • Conventional sweep functions (step, list, logarithmic, and linear)
  • Analog modulation functions including amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), phase modulation (ΦM), and pulse modulation
  • An optional pulse train generation capability for translating serial data onto an RF link

    There are two models in the DSG800 series. THe DSG815 (9 kHz to 1.5 GHz) costs $1,999. The DSG830 (9 kHz to 3 GHz) costs $3,599.

Source: RIGOL Technologies

New Low-Power Smart Sensor Wireless Platform for IoT Devices

Dialog Semiconductor recently announced that it is collaborating with Bosch Sensortec to develop a low-power smart sensor platform for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The 12-DOF smart sensor reference platform is intended for gesture recognition in wearable computing devices and immersive gaming, including augmented reality and 3-D indoor mapping and navigation.DS008_bosch-Dialog

The platform comprises Dialog’s DA14580 Bluetooth Smart SoC with three low-power Bosch Sensortecsensors: the BMM150 (for three-axis geo-magnetic field measurement), the BME280 (pressure, humidity, and temperature sensor), and the siz-axis BMI160 (a combination of a three-axis accelerometer and three-axis gyroscope in one chip). The resulting 14 × 14 mm2 unit draws less than 500 µA from a 3-V coin cell when updating and transferring all 12 × 16 bits of data wirelessly to a smartphone.


The 2.5 × 2.5 × 0.5 mm DA14580 SmartBond SoC integrates a Bluetooth Smart radio with an ARM Cortex-M0 application processor and intelligent power management. It more than doubles the battery life of an application-enabled smartphone accessory, wearable device, or computer peripheral in comparison with other solutions. The DA14580 includes a variety of analog and digital interfaces and features less than 15 mW power consumption in active mode and 600-nA standby current.

Bosch Sensortec’s BMI160 six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) integrates a 16 bit, three-axis, low-g accelerometer and an ultra-low power three-axis gyroscope within a single package. When the accelerometer and gyroscope are in full operation mode, the typical current consumption is 950 µA.

The BMM150 integrates a compact three-axis geo-magnetic field sensor using Bosch Sensortec’s high performance FlipCore technology. The BME280 Integrated Environmental Unit combines sensors for barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature measurement. Its altitude measurement function is a key requirement in applications such as indoor navigation with floor tracking.

Source: Dialog Semiconductor

Reference Design Addresses Demand for Voice Control

Silicon Labs recently released a new, cost-effective solution for voice-enabled ZigBee remote controls. The ZigBee Remote Control (ZRC) reference design reduces the need for expensive external hardware by implementing a software-based audio codec into a single-chip wireless SoC. It includes all of the hardware and software necessary for developing full-featured, voice-enabled remote controls.SiLabs Zigbee

The ZRC reference design is based on Silicon Labs EM34x wireless SoCs and ZRC 2.0 Golden Unit-certified software stack, which provides an industry-standard way to implement interoperable, low-power RF remote controls. The reference design includes complete RF layout and design files, an acceleration sensor for backlight control, a buzzer for “find me” capabilities, support for IR control, a digital microphone, and the ability to transmit voice commands over RF.

Silicon Labs offers two development kits the voice-enabled reference design. The  $249 EM34X-VREVK Voice Remote Evaluation Kit features preprogrammed devices and a simple GUI to demonstrate remote control capabilities, including RF, voice commands, and legacy IR support. The $399 EM34X-VRDK Voice Remote Development Kit provides you with an “out-of-the-box” design experience. It simplifies development of the remote control and target devices, and it comes with an EM34x voice-enabled remote control, USB stick, EM34x development board, EM34x wireless modules, and ISA3 debug adapter.

Samples and volume quantities of Silicon Labs’s EM34x SoCs are available with prices starting at $1.68 in 10,000-unit quantities.

Source: Silicon Labs

New LDO Regulators Deliver clean output voltage to MCUs

Intersil Corp. recently launched the SL80510 and ISL80505, which are two new single-output, low-dropout (LDO) voltage regulators that provide impressive dropout and transient performance for noise-sensitive loads. They deliver 1 A and 0.5 A of continuous output current and ultra-low dropout of 130 mV and 45 mV at full load, respectively. The ISL80510’s maximum dropout is approximately 50% lower than the nearest competitor, which enables lower power dissipation in industrial, wireless, and wired equipment.

The LDOs also provide better transient performance with peak-to-peak excursions up to nine times lower than otherLDOs. This transient performance level and DC accuracy of 1.8% safeguards against voltage undershoots and overshoots to deliver clean point-of-load voltage to CPUs, DSPs, and MCUs, which require tight voltage accuracy and low noise. The ISL80510/05’s compensation loop provides excellent noise filtering by maintaining a flat power supply rejection ratio (PSRR) response over a wide range of frequencies.ISL80510_Intersil

The ISL80510 operates from input voltages of 2.2 to 6 V. The ISL80505 supports 1.8 to 6 V. Since LDOs’ output voltage can be adjusted from 0.8 to 5.5 V, you can cover a broad range of applications, such as low-power RF amplifiers, communications equipment, and consumer network routers. An adjustable soft-start feature enables you to control the input inrush current and program the start-up time to accommodate any power-up sequencing requirement.

Specifications and features of ISL80510 and ISL80505:

  • ISL80510 provides dropout of 130 mV at Vout of 2.5 V with a 1-A load current
  • ISL80505 provides ultra-low dropout of 45 mV at Vout of 2.5 V with a 500-mA load current
  • Stable operation with a small 4.7-μF output ceramic capacitor
  • Delivers ±1.8% Vout accuracy guaranteed over line, load, and junction temperature range of –40°C to 125°C
  • Programmable output soft-start supports sequencing and helps power supply designer control inrush current
  • Current limit protection and thermal shutdown function safeguards against excessive load current or operating temperature
  • Both LDOs are pin-to-pin compatible and supplied in thermally enhanced 8-lead, 3 mm × 3 mm DFN packages

The ISL80510 and ISL80505 cost $0.39 1,000-unit quantities. The ISL80510EVAL1Z evaluation board costs $20.

Source: Intersil Corp.

Small, Low-Power Battery Management Solution for the IoT

Texas Instruments’s new bq25120 battery management solution features low quiescent current (Iq) at 700-nA with the buck converter and operates at 1.8 V. Supporting batteries from 3.6-V to 4.65-V, and fast charge currents from 5-mA to 300-mA, the bq25120 enables wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) applications to remain on without draining the battery. TI Battery1

The bq25120 includes a linear charger, configurable LDO, buck converter, load switch, push button control, and battery voltage monitor. You can use it with other devices to integrate more end application features.

With the $99 bq25120 evaluation module (EVM), you can speed up time to market by easily evaluating device features and performance. The 2.5 mm × 2.5 mm bq25120 charger costs $1.60 in 1,000-piece quantities.

Source: Texas Instruments

Parts.io Vendor-Independent Search Engine Goes Live

Parts.io recently launched and announced that it is live, fully open, and free for anyone to use in their search for electronic components.  According to Parts.io, you can search over 135 million electronic components by category, availability, popularity, and price across a global network of distributors and manufacturers. The platform offers a visual representation of complex data, enabling engineers to make the best component selection for their projects and allows users to order directly from their favorite supplier through the platform.partsIO

“Component selection is a critical step in the design cycle, often impacting production schedules six months or more down the line. Parts.io offers a transparent way to compare and select the best components based on reliable data and big data analysis,” says Chris Gammell, Product Lead for Parts.io, which is part of the SupplyFrame engineering network. Visit Parts.io for more information.

Source: Parts.io