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

High-Voltage, Dual-Output Step-Down Charge Pump

Linear Technology’s new LTC3256 is a high-voltage, low-noise, dual-output power supply that  takes a single positive input and generates 5- and 3.3-V step-down supplies with high efficiency and no inductors. Featuring a 5.5-to-38-V input voltage range, the LTC3256 includes independently enabled dual outputs: a 5-V, 100-mA supply and a 250-mA, 3.3-V low-dropout (LDO) regulator for a total of 350 mA available output current. This combination of regulators offers much lower power dissipation than a dual-LDO solution. The device is well-suite for a variety of applications,  including automotive ECU/CAN transceiver supplies and general-purpose 12-to-5-V and 3.3-V conversion.Linear LT3256

 

The LTC3256’s features and  specs:

  • Input voltage range of  5.5 to 38 V
  • Independently enabled 5- and 3.3-V fixed outputs
  • 5-V Output: 100 mA max
  • 3.3V LDO Output: 250 mA Max
  • Multi-mode step-down charge pump (2:1, 1:1) with automatic mode switching
  • Low quiescent current
  • 20 μA with both outputs regulating (no load)
  • Less than 0.5 μA in Shutdown
  • Engineered for ISO26262 diagnostic coverage in systems
  • 1.1-V Reference output for system diagnostics
  • Power-on reset and watchdog controller with adjustable timing
  • Overcurrent fault protection on each output
  • Overtemperature protection
  • 150°C Max operating junction temperature
  • Thermally enhanced 16-lead MSOP package

Source: Linear Technology

Open Flash Loader Capabilities Added to J-Link, J-Trace, and Flasher

SEGGER recently added Open Flash Loader capabilities to its J-Link, J-Trace, and Flasher offerings. This gives you the flexibility necessary to take advantage of the enhanced features incorporated into the J-Link debug probe solutions by adding support for new target devices.segger jlink
You can use the target devices in the same way as the target devices currently supported by SEGGER, with direct flash download functionality in all related IDEs and debuggers, including GDB-based tool chains (e.g, Eclipse). For target devices implemented with the Open Flash Loader, you can also add an unlimited number of breakpoints in flash memory.

Silicon vendors can implement support for new devices at the early stages of the development process, even before first silicon samples have been fabricated. Furthermore, they’ll find it useful where the flash programming algorithm utilized must be kept confidential. End users also benefit, especially when flash loaders will be working in conjunction with special external memories.

Source: SEGGER

Multiport USB Type-C Docking System

Texas Instruments recently introduced a multiport USB Type-C and Power Delivery (PD) minidock reference design, which you can power it via a traditional power adapter, USB Type-C adapter, or notebook computer. The reference design—which that provides audio, USB data, power, and video support—offers a fully tested plan for a compact 2” × 4” dock.TI usb type c

A TPS65982 USB Type-C and PD controller sits at the core of the USB Type-C and Power Delivery Minidock. It enables dual-role port USB Type-C functionality, and thus it’s capable of delivering 60 W of power and supporting DisplayPort Alternate Mode and USB data transmission. In addition, the design features the TPS65986 USB Type-C and PD controller, an HD3SS3212 SuperSpeed multiplexer, a TUSB321 dual-role port controller, and an HD3SS460 Alternate Mode multiplexer, which work together to provide dual-role port capability for power, data, and video transfer.

Features, specs, and benefits:

  • Bidirectional power and data transfer
  • Smallest solution size enables you to develop up to 50% percent smaller docking stations compared to similar systems.
  • DisplayPort and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) design flexibility
  • Fast development time: All integrated circuits (ICs) within the design are compliant with the current USB Type-C and PD standards, simplifying and speeding engineers’ design cycles.
    Simple implementation

The minidock TI Designs reference design (TIDA-01243) is now available for download. Additionally, an evaluation module allows designers to quickly evaluate and implement their minidock designs. The USB-CTM-MINIDK-EVM costs $499.

Source: Texas Instruments

New Highly integrated Hall sensors

Infineon Technologies recently introduced a new family of Hall sensors targeted at cost-effective, compact designs. Available as latch and switch-type devices, the sensors in the TLx496x family have precise switching points, stable operation, and a low power consumption.Infineon TLx496x

The TLx496x Hall sensors consume no more than 1.6 mA. In addition, they have an integrated Hall element, a voltage regulator (to power the Hall element and the active circuits), choppers (ensure that the temperature remains stable), an oscillator, and an output driver.

 

The TLE496x-xM series is well suited for automotive applications (e.g., power windows and sunroofs, trunk locks, and windshield wipers) with an operating voltage of 3 to 5.5 V. The TLI496x-xM series units function like the TLE496x-xM units, but it is specified for a temperature range of –40° to 125°C and is JESD47 qualified. The TLI496x-xM is used in BLDC motors in e-bikes and fans in PCs and in electric drives in building automation. The TLV496x-xTA/B series was specifically developed for the cost-effective, contactless positioning. Typical applications are BLDC motors in home appliances (e.g., dishwashers), compressors in air-conditioners, and more. Despite the pressure to cut costs, these applications need very precise Hall latches or Hall switches (unipolar/bipolar) for temperatures ranging from –40 °C to 125 °C. The TLV496x-xTA/B versions have a power consumption of 1.6 mA and an ESD protection up to 4 kVH Human Body Model (HBM). The output has overcurrent protection and automatically switches off at high temperatures.

The Hall sensors of all three series are available in high volume. Development support includes online simulation tools and application manuals.

 

Source: Infineon Technologies

Live Webinar on Security for the Connected Car

Recent automobile hacks (e.g., the Chrysler Jeep hack) have many engineers focusing on security in the connected car. Mentor Graphics will focus on this topic in a live webinar on August 10.

The webinar will be led by Alan Grau, President and co-founder of Icon Labs, and Andrew Patterson, Business Development Director for Mentor Graphics’s embedded division. The webinar will address:

  • Automotive cybersecurity requirements
  • Secure architectures for automotive
  • Security throughout the car and beyond (IVI, ADAS, and Gateway ECUs to small constrained ECUs)
  • Secure software updates
  • Emerging automotive cybersecurity standards
  • And more

The webinar will take place on August 10 from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (US/pacific). Register Now

Source: Mentor Graphics

New 3D NAND SSDs for Embedded Applications

Interested in wafer-packaged NAND flash storage solutions?  ATP Electronics recently launched a new generation of storage solutions using the  latest 3D NAND flash technologies. These new 3D NAND-based SSDs are targeted at the industrial and embedded markets for industrial, IoT, medical, automotive, and telecom applications.ATP NAND SSDs

ATP provides various chip densities using DDP, QDP, and even ODP die-stacking while using the same wafer stock. This offers flexibility in supply chain, and also enables ATP to ramp multiple product densities quickly. The new 3D NAND solutions are reliable, cost-effective storage solutions.

Source: ATP Electronics

USBXpress Controller for Simplified USB Connectivity

Silicon Labs recently added new lower-power member to its line of USBXpress bridge devices. The CP2102N USB controller provides a simpler faster way to add USB connectivity to your embedded designs. Offering advanced functionality in QFN packages as compact as 3 mm × 3 mm, the CP2102N is intended for a variety of portable, space-constrained applications, such as USB dongles, gaming controllers, and wearable medical devices.USBXpress SiliconLabs

 

The CP2102N USBXpress feaures and specs include:

  • Data transfer rates up to 3 Mbaud
  • A low active current of less than 10 mA
  • Remote wake-up capability
  • USB battery charger detection capability (USB BCS 1.2) for detecting the type of charger connected to the system
  • Crystal-less operation and integrated regulator to reduce bill of materials cost
  • Small-footprint package options: 3 mm × 3 mm QFN20, 4 mm × 4 mm QFN24, and 5 mm × 5 mm QFN28
  • Royalty-free Virtual COM port drivers
  • Easy-to-use software tools including Xpress Configurator

Prices for the CP2102N begin at $0.91 in 10,000-unit quantities. The CP2102N-EK evaluation kit costs $25.

Source: Silicon Labs

Open-Source Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon

Nordic Semiconductor recently announced the availability on Kickstarter of a Nordic nRF52832 SoC-based Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacon intended for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. You can program the Puck.js wirelessly from a website using a graphical editor or JavaScript instead of C or C++, which are traditionally used by Bluetooth low energy beacon developers.NS_PUCK Nordic

The open-source Puck.js supports both the iBeacon and Eddystone beacon formats and comes with firmware updates for the upcoming Bluetooth v5.0 specification. The circular 35-mm Puck.js has a silicone rubber cover and plastic base. Powered from a CR2032 coin cell battery, the Puck.js includes a magnetometer (digital compass), user-assignable tactile button, and four LEDs (red, green, blue, and infrared).

The Puck.js features an nRF52832 SoC, which means it benefits from a powerful ARM Cortex-M4F processor, 64-MHz clock speed, 64 KB of RAM, 512 KB of flash memory, built-in NFC, over-the-air firmware updates, a 12-bit ADC, timers, an SPI, a temperature sensor, and more.

Source: Nordic Semiconductor

New High-Linearity I/Q Demodulator

Linear Technology recently introduced the LTC5586, which is a new high-linearity I/Q demodulator with more than 1-GHz, –1-dB flatness bandwidth supporting next-generation 5G wireless infrastructure equipment. It’s intended for applications ranging from DPD receivers for base stations to software-defined radios (SDR).Linear LTC5586

The LTC5586’s features and specs:

  • 5 mm × 5 mm plastic QFN package
  • Ultra-wide bandwidth DC to 1 GHz
  • 300 MHz to 6 GHz operating frequency range
  • Image rejection (adjusted) 70 dBc at 3.5 GHz
  • OIP3 at 3.5 GHz, +35 dBm
  • OIP2 at 3.5 GHz (Adjusted), +70 dBm
  • Maximum power gain at 1.9 GHz, 7.7 dB
  • SPI Serial Bus Tunable Performance: Image Rejection (I & Q Amplitude & Phase Balance); IIP2 & IIP3 Performance; HD2 & HD3 Performance; DC Offset Null; LO Frequency Match; RF Front-End Attenuator and RF Switch Control; and IF Gain Control

The LTC5586 starts at $7.79 each in 1,000-piece quantities.

Source: Linear Technology

New Automotive Power Integrated Module Solution for Next-Gen Automotive BLDC Systems

ON Semiconductor recently expanded its line of power integrated modules (PIMs) with the STK984-190-E, which is a highly integrated module well suited for driving three-phase brushless DC motors in automotive systems. The module is intended for use in 12-V automotive electric motor drive applications with power ratings up to 300 W (e.g., electric pumps, fans, and wipers). OnSemi_STK984

The STK984-190-E’s features and specs include:

  • Six 40-V, 30-A MOSFETs configured as a three-phase bridge with an additional 40-V, 30-A high-side reverse battery protection MOSFET.
  • A specified operational temperature range of –40°C to 150°C.
  • The integrated MOSFETs are all AEC-Q101 qualified.
  • It comes in a Pb-free DIP-S3, measuring 29.6 mm × 18.2 mm × 4.3 mm.

The STK984-190-E It costs $7 unit in 16-unit quantities.

Source: ON Semiconductor

August Code Challenge (Sponsor: Programming Research)

Ready to put your programming skills to the test? Take the new Electrical Engineering Challenge (sponsored by Programming Research). Find the error in the code for a shot to win prizes, such as an Amazon Gift Card or a Circuit Cellar magazine digital subscription.


The following is a sample piece of code that has a subtle programming error that would cause the software to fail. This code is a C++ language program but written as a function.

Specification: The program does a bubble sort for a list (array) of numbers. That means that it takes a list of numbers like this: 5 23 7 1 9 and turns it into 1 5 7 9 23.

Click to enlarge. Find the error and submit your answer via the online submission form below. Submission deadline: 2 PM EST, July 20.

Click to enlarge. Find the error and submit your answer via the online submission form below. Submission deadline: 2 PM EST, July 20.

Take the challenge now!

August Schematic Challenge (Sponsor: Technologic Sysetms)

Can you spot the error in this month’s schematic challenge (sponsored by Technologic Systems)? This your chance to put your technical skills to test. Find the error in the schematic for a shot to win prizes, such as a TS-7250-V2 High-Performance Embedded Computer or a Circuit Cellar Digital Subscription.

Click to enlarge. Find the error and submit your answer via the online submission form.

Click to enlarge. Find the error and submit your answer via the online submission form.

Take the challenge now!

Tool for Selecting Coils for Wireless Power Transfer

Wurth Elektronik now offers developers with a tool—Mix and Match—to help select the right transmitter and receiver coils. Mix and Match is a new tool in the RED EXPERT Toolbox. Also like the other tools in RED EXPERT, Mix and Match shows online accessible product specifications. While some combinations of transmitter and receiver coils work well, some combinations aren’t good matches. Mix and Match helps you find suitable coils for your application.Wurth MixMatch

The free Mix and Match online tool will be expanded as time goes on. In Q4 2016, Wurth is slated to publish data on the resonant circuits of the coil combinations tested.

Source: Wurth Elektronik

Low-Power BLE Sensor Node for IoT Applications

Microchip Technology recently released a demonstration platform for the lowest-power Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) sensor node. The platform features an ultra-low-power BTLC1000-certified module, a SMART SAM L21 Cortex-M0+ MCU, Bosch sensor technology, and a complete software solution. The BLE demonstration platform includes source code, hardware design files, a user guide, and Android application source code.Microchip BLE Demo Platform

Features, benefits, and specs:

  • An integrated BTLC1000-MR110CA BLE module, delivering at least 30% more power savings compared to existing solutions.
  • An ultra-tiny 2.2 mm × 2.1 mm Wafer Level Chipscale Package (WLCP).
  • A SAM L21 that achieves a ULPBench score of 185, with power consumption down to 35 µA/MHz in active mode and 200 nA in sleep mode.
  • Bosch six-axis motion (BHI160) and environment (BME280) sensors that can be used for a wide variety of sensing applications.

The Ultra-Low-Power Connected Demonstrator Platform costs $39.

Source: Microchip Technology

Qi-Certified, 15-W Wireless Power Transmitter

Texas Instruments now offers the industry’s first WPC v1.2 Qi-certified, 15-W wireless power transmitter. Intended to deliver high-power wireless charging to industrial systems (e.g., hand-held medical devices), the bq501210 enables 84% system efficiency with significantly less thermal dissipation.TI bq501210

The bq501210’s features, benefits, and specs:

  • Fixed-frequency operation enables 15-W efficiency and reduces electromagnetic interference (EMI).
  • Fast-charging capability enables the transfer of up to 10 W to compatible receivers, including currently available fast-charging devices.
  • The High-Voltage Dedicated Charging Port (HVDCP) protocol negotiates with capable AC/DC wall adapters to adjust the input voltage.

The bq501210 transmitter is shipping in volume production. It comes in a 9 mm × 9 mm VQFN package and costs $3.75 in 1,000-unit quantities. An evaluation module (bq501210EVM-756) is available for $149.

Source: Texas Instruments