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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

COMSOL Multiphysics 5.0 with App Builder and COMSOL Server to Run Simulation Apps

COMSOL provides simulation software for product design and research to technical enterprises, research labs, and universities throughout the world. Its flagship product, COMSOL Multiphysics, is a software environment for modeling and simulating any physics-based system and for building applications. A particular strength is its ability to account for coupled or multiphysics phenomena. Add-on products expand the simulation platform for electrical, mechanical, fluid flow, and chemical applications. Interfacing tools enable the integration of COMSOL Multiphysics simulation with all major technical computing and CAD tools on the CAE market.ComsolAcousticSimulationModelWeb

COMSOL’s Acoustics Module is designed specifically for those who work with devices that produce, measure, and utilize acoustic waves. Application areas include speakers, microphones, hearing aids, and sonar devices, to name a few. Noise control can be addressed in muffler design, sound barriers, and building acoustic applications.

Straightforward user interfaces provide tools for modeling acoustic pressure wave propagation in air, water, and other fluids. Dedicated modeling tools for thermoacoustics enable highly accurate simulation of miniaturized speakers and microphones in handheld devices. Its also possible to model vibrations and elastic waves in solids, piezoelectric materials, and poroelastic structures.

Multiphysics interfaces for acoustic-solid, acoustic-shell, and piezo-acoustics brings acoustic simulations to a new level of predictive power. By using COMSOL’s realistic simulations in 1D, 2D, or 3D, its possible to optimize existing products and design new products more quickly. Simulations also help designers, researchers, and engineers gain insight into problems that are difficult to handle experimentally. By testing a design before manufacturing it, companies save both time and money.

November 2014 marked the release of the revolutionary Application Builder, now available with COMSOL Multiphysics software version 5.0. The Application Builder, which allows COMSOL software users to build an intuitive interface to run any COMSOL model, has been very well received by the engineering community. COMSOL Multiphysics users are already building applications and exploring the benefits of sharing their models with colleagues and customers worldwide.

The Application Builder empowers the design process by allowing engineers to make available an easy-to-use application based on their COMSOL Multiphysics model. Included with the Windows operating system version of COMSOL Multiphysics 5.0, the Application Builder provides all the tools needed to build and run simulation apps. Any COMSOL Multiphysics model can be turned into an application with its own interface using the tools provided with the Application Builder desktop environment. Using the Form Editor, the user interface layout can be designed, while the Methods Editor is used for implementing customized commands. Based on the project at hand, engineering experts can now easily build a specialized application to share with their colleagues and customers that includes only the parameters relevant to the design of a specific device or product.

COMSOL Multiphysics 5.0 also brings three new add-on products to the extensive COMSOL product suite: the Ray Optics Module, the Design Module, and LiveLink for Revit.

For engineers working in application areas including building science, solar energy, and interferometers, the Ray Optics Module is an industry-leading simulation tool for analyzing systems in which the electromagnetic wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric detail in the model. Key features of the module include the ability to compute the trajectory of rays in graded and ungraded media, and the modeling of polychromatic, unpolarized and partially coherent light.

The Design Module expands the available toolset of CAD functionalities in the COMSOL product suite. The module includes the following 3D CAD operations: loft, fillet, chamfer, midsurface, and thicken, in addition to CAD import and geometry repair functionality.

Additionally, COMSOL is proud to offer LiveLink for Revit, which allows COMSOL users to interface with the building information modeling software from Autodesk. With LiveLink for Revit, users can seamlessly synchronize a geometry between LiveLink for Revit Architecture and COMSOL, allowing multiphysics simulations to be brought into the architectural design workflow.

Version 5.0 also introduces numerous enhancements to the existing functionalities of COMSOL Multiphysics. New features and updates have been added to the entire product suite, which includes over 25 application-specific modules for simulating any physics in the electrical, mechanical, fluid, and chemical disciplines.

COMSOL also announced the release of COMSOL Server, a new product developed specifically for running applications built with the Application Builder. Released earlier this year, the Application Builder allows COMSOL Multiphysics software users to build an intuitive interface around their COMSOL model that can be run by anyone—even those without prior simulation experience. COMSOL Server enables the distribution of applications, allowing design teams, production departments and others to share applications throughout an organization using a Windows-native client or web browser.

WiLink 8 Range of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Modules

Texas Instruments has announced the WiLink 8 combo connectivity modules to support Wi-Fi in the 2.4- and 5-GHz bands. The new highly integrated module family offers high throughput and extended industrial temperature range with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The modules complement TI’s PurePath Wireless audio ICs and TI’s SimpleLink Wireless Network Processors.WiLink8TexasInstruments

WiLink 8 modules are well-suited for power-optimized designs for home and building automation, smart energy applications, wearables, and a variety of other IoT applications. The WiLink 8 modules and software are compatible and preintegrated with many processors, including TI’s Sitara processors.

The WiLink8 family offers 2.4 and 5 GHz versions that are pin-to-pin compatible. With integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the WiLink 8 modules could be used for a variety of applications.

Features:

  • An extended temperature range of –40° to 85°C required for industrial applications
  • 5-GHz modules for high-performance solutions
  • Smart energy and home gateways, which offer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ZigBee coexistence, can manage multiple devices through Wi-Fi multi-channel multi-role (MCMR) capabilities
  • 1.4× the range and up to 100 Mbps throughput with TI’s WiLink 8 maximal ratio combining (MRC) and multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology
  • Optimization for low-power applications with low idle connect current consumption
  • Audio streaming for home entertainment applications with both Wi-Fi and dual-mode Bluetooth/Bluetooth low energy

The WiLink 8 modules complement several TI platforms to deliver system solutions for manufacturers including WiLink 8 module-based evaluation boards (2.4 GHz-WL1835MODCOM8 and 5 GHz -WL1837MODCOM8) that are compatible with the AM335x EVM and AM437x EVM. Additionally, the WiLink 8 modules, which offer Bluetooth and Bluetooth low energy dual-mode technology, are compatible with TI’s Bluetooth portfolio that allows developers to create a complete end-to-end application.

WiLink 8 evaluation boards (WL1835MODCOM8 and WL1837MODCOM8) are currently available. WiLink 8 modules production units will be available in Q1 2015 through TI authorized distributors starting at $9.99 in 1,000-unit volumes.

New PMR Common Platform Processor

CML Microcircuits recently released a PMR common platform processor to support digital/analog FDMA PMR/LMR and two-slot TDMA digital systems. As engineers have moved two-way radio from analog to digital, a variety of digital FDMA and TDMA PMR/LMR systems have emerged along with the on-going requirement for a radio platform to support legacy analog. Each system potentially has different requirements and specs down to the radio architecture level. The CMX7241/7341 PMR Common Platform Processor addresses the issue.CML - 7241_7341Image

The CMX7241/7341 provides a common platform that can deliver FDMA digital PMR/LMR, TDMA digital PMR/LMR and legacy analog. Based on CML’s FirmASIC component technology, a Function Image (FI) can be uploaded into the device to determine the CMX7241/7341’s overall functions and operating characteristics.

The first Function Image focuses on digital and analog FDMA PMR/LMR. It provides a comprehensive feature set including auxiliary functions to support the whole radio. When combined with CML’s CMX994 Direct Conversion Receiver IC, it presents a flexible, high-performance radio platform solution.

Important features:

  • Automatic analog/digital detection
  • Digital PMR/LMR (ETSI TS 102 658, TS 102 490 and EN 301 166 compliant; Embedded air interface physical and data link layers; and Mode 1, 2, and 3 operation)
  • Analog PMR/LMR (EN 300 086, EN 300 296 and  TIA-603-D compliant; Complete audio processing; Sub-audio signalling; Audio-band signalling; and MPT 1327 modem)
  • Function Image roadmap includes DMR, NXDN and PDT

Source: CML Microcircuits

Quad Output Programmable Universal PMIC

Exar Corp. recently announced the XR77129, a quad output programmable universal PMIC with an input operating voltage range of 6 to 40 V. Its patented control architecture is well suited for 40-V inputs using a 17-bit wide PID voltage mode VIN feed forward architecture. This controller offers a single input, quad output, step-down switching regulator controller with integrated gate drivers and dual LDO outputs. It can also monitor and dynamically control and configure the power system through an I2C interface. Five configurable GPIOs allow for fast system integration for fault reporting and status or for sequencing control.Exar-EX039_xr77129

The XR77129 can be configured to power nearly any FPGA, SoC, or DSP system with the use of Exar’s PowerArchitect and programmed through an I²C-based SMBus compliant serial interface. PowerArchitect 5.2 has been upgraded to support the additional capabilities of the XR77129 including output voltage ranges beyond the native 0.6 to 5.5 V with the use of external feedback resistors. The XR77129 wide input voltage range, low quiescent current of 450 µA (standby) and 4 mA (operating) make it a logical choice for a wide range of systems, including 18 to 36 VDC, 24 VDC or rectified AC systems used in the industrial automation and embedded applications.

The XR77129 is available now in an RoHS-compliant, green/halogen-free, space-saving 7 mm × 7 mm TQFN. It costs $9.95 in 1,000-piece quantities..

Summary of features:
•       6 to 40 V input voltage
•       Quad channel step-down controller
•       Digital PWM 105 kHz to 1.23 MHz operation
•       SMBus-compliant I²C interface
•       Supported by PowerArchitect 5.2 or later

Source: Exar

New EZ App Lynx Library for Creating Smart Bluetooth Sensors

CCS C-Aware IDE now includes the EZ App Lynx library (#include <EZApp.c>). Quickly create a Bluetooth wireless sensor, or controller, that may be viewed or managed on a paired mobile device using the EZ App Lynx Android app.EZ App Lynx Post_final

The free EZ App Lynx Library was created to shorten the design time for smart Bluetooth app development. With EZ App Lynx, and no required hardware or software expertise, the library removes the barriers to entry for smartphone app developers who want to take advantage of a growing number of Bluetooth enabled smartphones and tablets. The new library allows for any GUI, on the App, to be created at run time from a PIC program. The library offers many useful sensor interface components, which allow for: Status Bars, Gas Gauges, Sliders, Buttons, Text Fields, and more.

EZ App Lynx Library Features and Advantages:

  • No app design knowledge required
  • Source code libraries included with all CCS C Compilers
  • Included with maintenance update download

EZ App Lynx App:

  • Available for Android in Google Play Store (iOS available soon)
  • Build your own EZ App Lynx App in minutes with simple C library calls on the PIC
  • Quick and easy prototyping

Source: CCS

HumPRO Series Frequency-Hopping Digital Data Transceiver Module

Hummingbird platform is a low-cost complete wide-band transceiver with microcontroller module. The HumPRO Ssries wireless UART module is a completely integrated RF transceiver and processor designed to transmit digital data across a wireless link. It has a built-in frequency hopping over-the-air protocol that manages all of the transmission and reception functions. It takes data in on its UART and supplies the data out of a UART on the remote module.HUM-900-PRO

The HumPRO series modules have three addressing modes that support point-to-point and broadcast messages with 16- or 32-bit addresses. With no internal address or routing tables, the module does not limit the number of directly addressed or broadcast receivers within the operating range of the transmitter. Routing can be performed by an external microcontroller that is sized for memory and speed appropriate for the desired network size.

Specifications and features:

  • Low Cost: It uses advanced system on chip (SoC) technology to minimize the footprint and the number of components. The module is designed for high volume production, leading to a price that is nearly half that of similar modules, and making it cost competitive with discrete designs.
  • Robust: Built-in error detection and retransmission options create extremely robust point-to-point links for bi-directional data transmissions.
  • Frequency Hopping: The module has a FHSS protocol that typically locks in under 30 ms at 115 kbps and 60 ms at 9.6 kbps. This allows it to quickly wake up, send data and go back to sleep, saving power in battery-operated applications that have strict power budgets. It handles all protocol functions automatically.
  • Ease of Implementation: The user can configure a wide variety of settings through a standard UART interface. For point-point applications, the modules can be configured once, then send and receive data without need for further commands. For larger networks, commands support selective addressing and group broadcasting. The simple interface significantly reduces firmware development.
  • Addressing: All HumPRO modules have a unique 32-bit serial number that can be used as an address. Additional addressing modes support customer-assigned 16 or 32-bit source and destination addressing, enabling point-to-point and broadcast messages. Address masking by the receiving module allows for creating subnets. Advanced networks can be implemented with an external microcontroller.
  • Small Size: Like its namesake, Hummingbird modules are tiny. At 11.5 mm × 14 mm, it is less than one quarter the size of similar competitive modules.
  • Low Power: Linx designed the Hummingbird platform for battery powered applications. It operates as low as 2.0 V and has low transmit current of 40 mA, receive current of 25mA and standby current under 1 μA.
  • Ample Range: The HumPROTM outputs up to 10 dBm, resulting in a line-of-sight range of up to 1,600 m (1.0 mile), depending on the antenna implementation.
  • External Amplifiers: The module has control lines that allow it to work with an external PA and LNA for applications that need more system range.
  • Certification: The HumPRO Series is available in a non-certified version and in pre-certified versions with an RF connector or castellation connection.

Source: Linx Technologies

Electrical Engineering Crossword (Issue 294)

The answers to Circuit Cellar’s January 2015 electronics engineering crossword puzzle are now available.294-crossword-(key)

Across

  1. SHIELD—Conductive cover that isolates equipment from electromagnetic interference
  2. TRIMPOT—SMALL POTENTIOMETER FOR MAKING PREDETERMINED MODIFICATIONS IN A CIRCUIT
  3. NINE—A nonet is a grouping of what?
  4. LIMITER—A device that prevents signal peaks from exceeding max levels
  5. HERTZ—One cycle per second.
  6. DIP—Dual inline package
  7. QUALITYCONTROL—QC
  8. MOCKUP—Non-working model of a system
  9. PETABYTE—1 quadrillion bytes
  10. PATCH—Reroute a signal to a different circuit
  11. RF—Electromagnetic signals with frequency > 70 kHz

Down

  1. SMOOTHINGCIRCUIT—A filter for removing spurious noise from a power supply
  2. EXTENSIBLE—“X”
  3. POINTSOURCE—Small energy source that has no effect on its directivity
  4. SHUNT—Component that bypasses another component
  5. GERMANIUM—Semiconductor material used in solid-state diodes and photocells
  6. DAMP—Suppress resonance
  7. DYNE—10 micronewtons
  8. CBAR—0.01 bar
  9. ERG—10–7 joules

Electrical Engineering Crossword (Issue 293)

The answers to Circuit Cellar’s December electronics engineering crossword puzzle are now available.293-crossword-(key)

Across

  1. AMPACITY—Max electrical current
  2. HUMREDUCTION—Use a bridge rectifier driven from an 8- to 12-V transformer winding, a capacitive filter, and a three-terminal IC voltage regulator to achieve this [two words]
  3. EMI—Radiated spurious EM energy
  4. BINARY—Offs and Ons
  5. PASCAL—1 newton/cm2
  6. QUARTZ—Timing crystal
  7. ETCHING—The production of a printed circuit through the removal of unwanted areas of copper foil from a circuit board
  8. CROSSTALK—Caused when one circuit’s signal creates an unwanted effect on another
  9. BUCK—Switched-mode power supply converter
  10. BETATRON—Designed to accelerate electron
  11. BIDIRECTIONAL—Radiating toward or receiving from the front and back only
  12. CRYOTRON—Operates via superconductivity

Down

  1. STOKESSHIFT—Can reduce photon energy [two words]
  2. INPUT—Signal in
  3. ATTO—0.000000000000000001
  4. NOISECANCELLATION—Eliminates out-of-phase information [two words]
  5. MAL—10 Decimals equals?
  6. RAMP—Linearly rising signal
  7. FORCE—Newton
  8. KEYED—OOK is on/off what?
  9. BUS—Common path for several signals

Electrical Engineering Crossword (Issue 292)

The answers to Circuit Cellar’s November electronics engineering crossword puzzle are now available.292-crossword-(key)

Across

  1. BITS—A nibble is 4 of these
  2. REPEATER—ELECTRONIC DEVICE THAT RECEIVES AND AMPLIFIES A WEAK SIGNAL BEFORE RETRANSMITTING IT
  3. MICRO—Metric Prefix for 0.000001
  4. PATCH—To re-route a signal to a different circuit
  5. TOKEN—Used for authentication
  6. RELAY—A switch that is actuated by another electrical signal
  7. JITTER—The deviation of some aspect of a digital signal’s pulses
  8. RHEOSTAT—A variable resistor
  9. LUX—Lx
  10. VOLTA—Italian physicist who invented the first batteries
  11. GERMANIUM—Ge
  12. CONDUIT—Wire piping
  13. PIGTAIL—Short wire connecting components
  14. RECTIFIER—A diode, used for converting AC into DC

Down

  1. SCHOTTKY—High-speed diode that has very little junction capacitance
  2. PEERTOPEER—P2P
  3. INRUSH—A sudden input current surge
  4. CRESTFACTOR—The ratio of the peak value to the RMS value (two words)
  5. MICROFARAD—1,000,000 pF
  6. ANALOG—Constant signal processing

 

 

Issue 294: EQ Answers

Problem 1—Let’s get back to basics and talk about the operation of a capacitor. Suppose you have two large, flat plates that are close to each other (with respect to their diameter). If you charge them up to a given voltage, and then physically move the plates away from each other, what happens to the voltage? What happens to the strength of the electric field between them?

Answer 1—The capacitance of the plates drops with increasing distance, so the voltage between them rises, because the charge doesn’t change and the voltage is equal to the charge divided by the capacitance. At first, while the plate spacing is still small relative to their diameter, The capacitance is proportional to the inverse of the spacing, so the voltage rises linearly with the spacing. However, as the spacing becomes larger, the capacitance drops more slowly and the voltage rises at a lower rate as well.

While the plate spacing is small, the electric field is almost entirely directly between the two plates, with only minor “fringing” effects at the edges. Since the voltage rise is proportional to the distance in this regime, the electric field (e.g., in volts per meter) remains essentially constant. However, once the plate spacing becomes comparable to the diameter of the plates, and fringing effects begin to dominate, the field begins to spread out and weaken. Ultimately, at very large distances, at which the plates themselves can be considered points, the voltage is essentially constant, and the field strength directly between them becomes proportional to the inverse of the distance.


Problem 2—If you double the spacing between the plates of a charged capapcitor, the capacitance is cut in half, and the voltage is doubled. However, the energy stored in the capacitor is defined to be E = 0.5 C V2. This means that at the wider spacing, the capacitor has twice the energy that it had to start with. Where did the extra energy come from?

Answer 2—There is an attractive force between the plates of a capacitor created by the electric field. Physically moving the plates apart requires doing work against this force, and this work becomes the additional potential energy that is stored in the capacitor.


Question 3—What happens when a dielectric is placed in an electric field? Why does the capacitance of pair of plates increase when the space betwenn them is filled with a dielectric?

Answer 3—Dielectric materials are made of atoms, and the atoms contain both positive and negative charges. Although neither the positive nor the negative charges are free to move about in the material (which is what makes it an insulator), they can be shifted to varying degress with respect to each other. An electric field causes this shift, and the shift in turn creates an opposing field that partially cancels the original field. Part of the field’s energy is absorbed by the dielectric.

In a capacitor, the energy absorbed by the dielectric reduces the field between the plates, and therefore reduces the voltage that is created by a given amount of charge. Since capacitance is defined to be the charge divided by the voltage, this means that the capacitance is higher with the dielectric than without it.


Problem 4—What is the piezoelectric effect?

Answer 4—With certain dielectrics, most notably quartz and certain ceramics, the displacement of charge also causes a significant mechanical strain (physical movement) of the crystal lattice. This effect works two ways — a physical strain also causes a shift in electric charges, creating an electric field. This effect can be exploited in a number of ways, including transducers for vibration and sound (microphones and speakers), as well as devices that have a strong mechanical resonance (e.g., crystals) that can be used to create oscillators and filters.

Contributed by David Tweed

Issue 292: EQ Answers

Problem 1—Let’s talk about noise! There are different types of noise that might be present in a system, and it’s important to understand how to deal with them.

For example, analog sensors and other types of active devices will often have AWGN, or Additive White Gaussian Noise, at their outputs. Any sort of analog-to-digital converter will add quantization noise to the data. What is the key difference between these two types of noise?

Answer 1—The key difference between AWGN and quantization noise is the PDF, or Probability Density Function, which is a description of how the values (voltage or current levels in analog systems, or data values in digital systems) are distributed.

The values from AWGN have a bell-shaped distribution, known variously as a Gaussian or Normal distribution. The formula for this distribution is:292-EQ-equation

µ represents the mean value, which we take to be zero in discussions about noise. σ is known as the “standard deviation” of the distribution, and is a way to characterize the “width” of the distribution.

It looks like this:

292-EQ-graph

Source: Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Standard_deviation_diagram.svg)

While the curve is nonzero everywhere (from –∞ to +∞) it is important to note that the values will be within ±1 σ of the mean 68% of the time, within ±2 σ of the mean 95% of the time, and within ±3 σ of the mean 99.7% of the time. In other words, although the peak-to-peak value of this kind of noise is theoretically infinite, you can treat it as being less than 4σ 95% of the time.

On the other hand, the values from quantization noise have a uniform distribution — the values are equally probable, but only over a fixed span that’s equal to the quantization step size of the converter. The peak-to-peak range of this noise is equal to the converter’s step size (resolution).

However, it’s important to note that both sources of noise are “white”, which is a shorthand way of saying that their effects are uniformly distributed across the frequency spectrum.


Problem 2—Signal-to-noise ratios are most usefully described as power ratios. How does one characterize the power levels for both AWGN and quantization noise?

Answer 2—The power of a noise signal is proportional to the square of its RMS value.

The RMS value of AWGN is numerically equal to its standard deviation.

The RMS value of quantization noise is simply the peak-to-peak value (the step size of the converter) divided by √12, or VRMS = 0.2887 VPP. This is easily derived if you characterize the quantization noise signal as a small sawtooth wave that gets added to the analog signal.


Question 3—When you have multiple sources of noise in a system, how can you characterize their combined effect on the overall system performance?

Answer 3—When combining noise sources, you can’t simply add their RMS voltage or current values together. From one sample to the next, one noise source might partially cancel the effects of the other noise source(s).

Instead, you add the individual noise power levels to come up with an overall noise power level. Since power is proportional to voltage (or current) squared, this means that you need to square the individual RMS measurements, add them together, and then take the square root of the result in order to get an equivalent overall RMS value.

VRMS(total) = √(VRMS(n1)2 + VRMS(n2)2 + …)


Problem 4—Broadband analog sensors and other active devices often specify their noise levels in units of “microvolts per root-Hertz” (µV/√Hz) or “nanoamps per root-Hertz” (nA/√Hz). Where does this strange unit come from, and how do you use it?

Answer 4—As described in the previous answer, uncorrelated noise sources are added based on their power. With AWGN, the noise in one “segment” of the frequency spectrum is not correlated with another segment of the spectrum, so if you have a particular voltage level of noise in, say, a 1-Hz band of frequencies, you’ll have √2 times as much noise in a 2-Hz band of frequencies. In general, the RMS noise level for any particular bandwidth is going to be proportional to the square root of that bandwidth, which is why the devices are characterized that way.

So, if you have an opamp that’s characterized as having a noise level of 2 µV/√Hz, and you want to use this in an audio application with a bandwidth of 20 kHz, the overall noise at the output of the opamp will be 2 µV × √20000, or about 283 µVRMS. If your signal is a sinewave with a peak-to-peak value of 1V (353 mVRMS), you’ll have a signal-to-noise ratio of about 124 dB.

Contributed by David Tweed

Dual Ethernet Module Operates as Independent Ports or Switch

The NetBurner MOD54417 network core module provides 10/100 Ethernet connectivity with two Ethernet ports. The ports can operate independently, each with its own MAC address, or as an Ethernet switch, simplifying network infrastructure (i.e., daisy chaining) by enabling Ethernet devices to connect through it.

Source: NetBurner

Source: NetBurner

The module is industrial temperature rated (–40 to +85°C) and also provides: 8 UARTs, 4 I2C, 2 CAN, 3 SPI, 1-Wire, a MicroSD flash card socket, 42 digital I/O, eight 12-bit analog-to-digital inputs, two 12-bit digital-to-analog outputs, and five PWM outputs.  Wireless 802.11 b/g/n communication is available with the optional Wi-Fi add-on.

The NetBurner Network Development Kit (NNDK) provides a complete software and tools package including the Real-Time Operating System, full featured TCP/IP Stack, Web Server, DHCP Server, Eclipse development environment, C/C++ compiler and debugger.  The NNDK is focused on ease of use and you will have your first custom program running within a few hours of receiving the kit. The price of the MOD54417 ranges $94 to $129.

Source: NetBurner

New STM32 Micrcontrollers in Small Memory Sizes

STMicroelectronics’s new STM32F446 microcontrollers feature ARM Cortex-M4 based processing combined with 256- or 512-KB on-chip flash memory options. In addition to using STMicro’s ART Accelerator, the microcontrollers feature smart architecture, advanced flash technology, and an embedded ARM Cortex-M4 core to achieve a performance of 225 DMIPS and 608 CoreMark at 180 MHz executing from embedded flash.

Source: STMicroelectronics

Source: STMicroelectronics

Key features include:

  • At 180 MHz, the STM32F446 delivers 225 DMIPS/608 CoreMark performance executing from flash memory with 0-wait states. The DSP instructions and the floating-point unit expand the range of addressable applications.
  • Using a 90-nm process, the current consumption in Run mode and executing from flash memory is as low as 200 µA/MHz at 180 MHz. In Stop mode, the power consumption is 50 µA typical.
  • Two dedicated audio PLL, SPDIF input, three half-duplex I²S, and two serial audio interfaces (SAI) supporting full-duplex I²S as well as time division multiplex (TDM) mode.
  • Up to 20 communication interfaces (including 4x USARTs plus 2x UARTs running at up to 11.25 Mbps, 4x SPI running at up to 45 Mbps, 3x I²C with a new optional digital filter capability, 2x CAN, SDIO, HDMI CEC and camera interface)
  • Two 12-bit DACs, three 12-bit ADCs reaching 2.4 MSPS or 7.2 MSPS in interleaved mode up to 17 timers: 16- and 32-bit running at up to 180 MHz
  • Easily extendable memory range using the flexible 90-MHz memory controller with a 32-bit parallel interface, and supporting Compact Flash, SRAM, PSRAM, NOR, NAND and SDRAM memories
  • Cost-effective NOR flash extension with the 90-MHz Dual quadSPI interface supporting memory-mapped mode
  • STM32F446 samples are now available for lead customers. Volume production is scheduled for Q1 2015 in packages from a tiny WLCSP81 measuring 3.728 × 3.85 mm to a 20 × 20 mm LQFP144 with 256- or 512-KB flash memory, all with 128-KB SRAM. Pricing starts at $3.75 for the STM32F446RC in a 64-pin LQFP64 package with 256-KB flash memory and 128-KB SRAM for orders of 10,000 units.

Source: STMicroelectronics

Mouser’s New Motor Control Application Site

Mouser Electronics recently launched a new Motor Control Applications site for motor control engineers and anyone interested in control applications. The site features motor control resources and offers components available from Mouser Electronics for building motor control systems.

The site’s Applications section segments motor control into five main subsections: Permanent Magnet Synchronous motors, Brushless DC motors, Stepper motors,AC Induction motors, and Low Voltage DC motors. These subsections describe each motor’s use and operation. You can view functional block diagrams explanations of each block, as well as a parts list of products available for same-day shipping.

Source: Mouser

Source: Mouser

The Articles section covers topics such as Introduction to Rotary Resolvers & Encoders and Passive Components for Advanced Motor Control.

The Featured Products section focuses on key products available from Mouser.com that speed and enhance the construction of motor control systems. Products include the Vishay Widebody VOW3120 2.5A IGBT and MOSFET Driver, Molex Sealed Industrial USB Solutions, and the Fairchild FAN9673 CCM PFC Controller. Additional products for motor control systems include products for EMI suppression, circuit protection, passives, sensors, and motor control development kits.

The Resources section features videos, application notes, and white papers that cover topics such as device selection and system considerations when designing motor control systems. Systems discussed include selecting motor drivers, implementing control feedback loops, Power Factor Correction (PFC) techniques, and designing for thermal management.

Source: Mouser

New Power Factor-Corrected AC-DC Drivers for LED Lighting Apps

ON Semiconductor has announced two new series of power factor corrected (PFC) offline AC-DC drivers for high performance LED lighting applications. Extending the NCL3008x family of products, the NCL30085, NCL30086, and NCL30088 address single-stage design implementations up to 60 W that require high power factor. The NCL30030 broadens the existing solutions which support higher power (up to 150 W) two-stage topologies that require low optical ripple and wide LED forward voltage variation.

 

Source: ON Semiconductor

Source: ON Semiconductor

The NCL30085, NCL30086, and NCL30088 use a PFC current control algorithm that makes them suitable for flyback buck-boost and SEPIC topologies. By operating in quasi-resonant mode, they can deliver optimum efficiency across wide line and load levels. The innovative control methodology enables strict current regulation to be achieved (within 2% typically) solely from the primary side.

 

The non-dimmable NCL30088 is complemented by the “smart-dimmable” NCL30086, supporting analog and pulse-width modulation (PWM) dimming with a single input that controls the average LED current. Completing the series is the NCL30085, which supports three levels of log step dimming: 70%, 25%, and 5%. As a result, it permits light output reduction by toggling the AC switch on/off to signal the controller to lower the LED current point. All three devices feature user-configurable current thermal fold-back mechanisms that help prevent overheating and enable manufacturers to support longer lifetime warranties.

 

The NCL30085 and NCL30088 are available in SOIC-8 packages. The NCL30086 is offered in an SOIC-10 package with pricing of the series starting at $0.35 per unit in 10,000-piece quantities.

 

The NCL30030 is a two-stage PFC controller plus quasi-resonant flyback controller optimized for medium and high power LED lighting applications up to 150 W. This device is best suited for commercial lighting such as lowbay, highbay, and streetlighting. The NCL30030 makes use of a proprietary multiplier architecture to achieve low harmonic distortion and near-unity power factor while operating in critical conduction mode (CrM).

The NCL30030 is in an SOIC−16 package with one pin removed for high-voltage spacing. Pricing starts at $0.65 per unit in 10,000-piece quantities.

 

Source: ON Semiconductor