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

Simplified Interfacing to High-Speed Infotainment In-Vehicle Networks

Microchip Technology recently announced a new high-speed network solution for in-vehicle infotainment with device control over Internet Protocol (IP). Unified Centralized Software Stack (UNICENS) is a free software module for anyone using Intelligent Network Interface Controllers (INIC), such as the OS81118, OS81119, and any future INICs. It enables you to focus on application development rather than network management.

Microchip UNICENS
With UNICENS, you can choose your preferred device control method including Media Oriented Systems Transport (MOST) technology’s FBlock, Ethernet IP and customer-specific methods. It also supports the configuration and control of all network participants from one central node. Furthermore, you don’t need microcontrollers in all the other nodes in the network. UNICENS is currently available as open-source software for Microchip customers.

Microchip Technology | www.microchip.com

Creativity Lives Here

An Interview with Jean Noel Lefebvre

With the proliferation of affordable ‘Net-connected technologies during the last decade, the nontechnical members of society have come to realize that electrical engineering is an exceedingly creative endeavor. Outside-the-box innovators like Jean Noel Lefebvre are literally reinventing how we interact with the world around us.

By Wisse Hettinga

Lefebvre-P1

Jean Noel Lefebvre is an electronics engineer with a strong interest in how people interact with the electronic systems. A true outside-the-box thinker, started his company, Ootsidebox (www.ootsidebox.fr), right in the middle of the YouFactory fab lab in Lyon, France. He knows where creativity lives and is willing to show it to you. Meet Jean Noel Lefebvre.

HETTINGA: Why do you have your office in the middle of the fab lab?

LEFEBVRE: The fab lab here is a wonderful place where people can come to do some 3-D printing, laser cutting, or to work with electronics. But perhaps more importantly, it is a place where you can meet other people, where you can learn new skills and find new ideas and inspiration.

HETTINGA: That is important for you—the interaction between technology and others?

LEFEBVRE: Yes, that has always been part of my projects. My first invention was the Ootside box. It was a touch application and it allowed you to control a computer or a system just by pointing or with gestures. We tried raising enough funds on Indigogo to continue developing it, but unfortunately, we did not reach our targets. After that, I decided to name my company after this project. Through this project, I also discovered the Arduino ecosystem and the enormously inspiring world of makers and fab labs. I always was interested in electronics, but when you are very young, you have no idea what you are doing and all my radios and sound equipment failed. That is what I learn here—how to help people, sometimes young people, understand how electronics works.

Lefebvre-P2

HETTINGA: And what do they need to learn?

LEFEBVRE: Good soldering! If you learn good soldering, you are already halfway to a successful project. I sometimes do soldering classes in schools. I bring some easy soldering projects and some equipment, and it is very rewarding to see how the kids are able to make their first electronic project.

HETTINGA: You are a big fan of Arduino.

LEFEBVRE: Indeed. The Arduino platform and ecosystem is important because of its low threshold to the world of electronics. Arduino is even so important and valuable that I decided to make a real gold version, the Golduino. I have it here, and it is still work in progress, but for people who want to have something special and valuable, it will be a great thing to have or to give to others.

Lefebvre-P3

HETTINGA: Again, I see you have a special take on electronics. And again, this refers to a special interaction between people and electronics.

LEFEBVRE: I feel that is very important. The world of technology can make people alone and isolated with very little room for emotions. Take the IoT developments as an example. You can see it as a world of sensors, actuators, and huge amounts of data. You can easily get lost. To find a response to that, I am doing a special project called “Color the World.” It will be a Wi-Fi-connected lamp that will take the color of everything you hold in front of it. In the back, there will be a world map where you can “share” you color with others and color the world. On Earth Day you can all decide to color the world green, make your part of the world yellow if the sun shines, or blue if the world is “blue.”

HETTINGA: And you found a way to keep playing your old EP records?

LEFEBVRE: Ha, yes. If you are like me, you will still have your old EP vinyl records, but no easy way to play them anymore. With my Floating Disc Player, you will be able to use the cover of the EP to play your favorite music again. Inside the EP cover, there is an RFID tag, and the moment you insert the EP in the player, it will recognize the song in the playlist and start the music. It is a great player for home parties!

Lefebvre-P4

HETTINGA: What more are you working on?

LEFEBVRE: Again, it is interaction, I am afraid. I am making an interface for the Airbar. The Airbar is an infrared sensor bar that originally was developed to turn your laptop screen into a touch screen. With my interface, it will be possible to turn everything like desks, whiteboards, displays, and windows into interactive areas. You can draw a piano keyboard on a piece of paper, launch the application, and you can start playing by just touching the paper. The resolution is good enough to recognize your writing on plain paper, turn that into a digital pattern, and display that in an application.
HETTINGA: This will all be available for others?

LEFEBVRE: Yes, it will be available on my website www.ootsidebox.fr. It will be all open source, so everyone who is interested can continue developing the product.

HETTINGA: You know where creativity lives?

LEFEBVRE: Yes, that’s easy. It lives where open-minded people come together and want to share their ideas with others. That is why fab labs, tech shops, and makerspaces are important—open places where people can walk in, have a coffee and a chat, and go away with new ideas.

TeraFire Hard Cryptographic Microprocessor

Microsemi Corp. recently added Athena’s TeraFire cryptographic microprocessor to its new PolarFire field programmable gate array (FPGA) “S class” family. The TeraFire hard core provides Microsemi customers access to advanced security capabilities with high performance and low power consumption.

Microsemi
Features, benefits, and specs:

  • Supports additional algorithms and key sizes commonly used in commercial
  • Internet communications protocols such as TLS, IPSec, MACSec and KeySec.
  • The Athena TeraFire EXP-5200B DPA-resistant cryptographic microprocessor capable of nearly 200 MHz operation.
  • Enables high-speed DPA-resistant cryptographic protocols at speeds well over 100 Mbps
  • Integrated true random number generator for generating keys on-chip and for protecting cryptographic protocols
  • The TeraFire crypto microprocessor is extensible with additional object code licensed from Athena or with accelerators attached via the PolarFire FPGA fabric

Microsemi’s PolarFire “S class” FPGAs with Athena’s TeraFire cryptographic microprocessor will be available in Q2 2017. A soft version of the core is available for Microsemi’s SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs.

Microsemi | www.microsemi.com

Radar Module for Makers

OmniPreSense Corp.’s recently unveiled radar module is capable of detecting objects 5 to 10 m away and giving electronic systems enhanced information about the world around them. Intended for the “maker” community, the $169 OPS241-A module is capable of making any Android phone supporting USB On-the-Go (OTG) into a radar gun.

OmniPreSense
The 53 mm × 59 mm OSP241-A short-range radar is capable of reporting motion, speed, and direction of objects detected in its wide field of view. You can plug it into a Raspberry Pi’s USB port to enable a variety of useful applications. An API provides direct control of the OPS241-A and allows for changes to reported units (e.g., meters/second and miles/hour), transmitted power, and other settings. Compared to PIR or ultrasonic sensors, the OPS241-A provides increased range, a wider coverage area, and immunity to noise and light, while providing enhanced information about the detected object.
Potential applications range from security motion detection to a radar gun. You can plug the OPS241-A directly into an Android phone or tablet running USB OTG and terminal program to turn them into a radar gun. When mounted on a drone, the OPS241-A can detect objects 5 to 10 m away for collision avoidance.

OmniPreSense Corp. | omnipresense.com

New Development Tool for Bluetooth 5

Nordic Semiconductor’s Bluetooth 5 developer solution for its nRF52840 SoC comprises the Nordic S140 v5.0 multi-role, concurrent protocol stack that brings Bluetooth 5’s long range and high throughput modes for immediate use to developers on the Nordic nRF52840 SoC. The Nordic nRF5 SDK offers application examples that implement this new long-range, high-throughput functionality. The existing Nordic nRF52832 SoC is also complemented with a Bluetooth 5 protocol stack.

NordicBluetooth5Board
Bluetooth 5’s high throughput mode offers not only new use cases for wearables and other applications, but also significantly improves user experience with Bluetooth products. Time on air is reduced and thus leads to faster more robust communication as well as reduced overall power consumption. In addition, with 2 Mbps, the prospect of audio over Bluetooth low energy is possible.
The new Preview Development Kit (nRF52840-PDK) is a versatile, single-board development tool for Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth low energy, ANT, 802.15.4m, and 2.4-GHz proprietary applications using the nRF52840 SoC. The kit is hardware compatible with the Arduino Uno Revision 3 standard, making it possible to use third-party-compatible shields. An NFC antenna can be connected to enable NFC tag functionality. The kit gives access to all I/O and interfaces via connectors and has four LEDs and four buttons which are user-programmable.

Nordic Semiconductor | www.nordicsemi.com

Circuit Cellar Welcomes Jeff Child as its New Editor-in-Chief

JeffHeadShotJune 15, 2017 – Circuit Cellar is pleased to announce that Jeff Child has joined our team as Editor-in-Chief of Circuit Cellar magazine. Over his 27 years covering the embedded electronics and computing industry, Jeff has held senior editorial positions with EE Times, Computer Design, Electronic Design, and Embedded Systems Development—most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief of COTS Journal. He brings a strong background in editing and writing technical content. Well known and well respected in the technology trade media, Jeff has knowledge in a variety of electronics/embedded topics including but not limited to embedded computers, microcontrollers, processors, power supplies, memory storage, drones, FPGAs, IoT, graphics processors, software development, and real-time operating systems.

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining Circuit Cellar magazine—a publication whose stature and legacy in the electronics industry I have long admired,” says Jeff. “There are two converging trends happening in technology today: On the one hand the tools, chips, and information resources available today put more power into that hands of makers and electronics do-it-yourself (DIY) experts than ever before. At the same time, system-level chip technologies are enabling some of the most game-changing applications driving today’s markets; including commercial drones, driverless cars, Internet-of-Things (IoT), robotics, mobile devices, and more. I am thrilled by the fact that Circuit Cellar’s readers are at the center of both those trends.”

“Jeff has just the right experience, skills, and background to carry on the high-quality level of technical content that Circuit Cellar is known for while also extending the CC brand,” said KC Prescott, President of KCK Media Corp., “I’m pleased to have him join our team; especially now when so much compelling technology innovation is happening in the industries Circuit Cellar’s readers are interested in.”

Handy Four-Channel, High-Resolution Oscilloscope

The TiePie engineering recently introduced a new four-channel, high-resolution, USB 3.0 oscilloscope. Featuring TiePie engineering’s SafeGround technology, the Handyscope HS6 DIFF is available in models with sampling rates from 50 MSps up to 1 GSps. SafeGround enables you to use the oscilloscope inputs both as single ended and as differential. When SafeGround is active and you accidentally create a short circuit, SafeGround disconnects the ground of the input channel without damaging the oscilloscope or PC.

TiePie-Handyscope
The Handyscope HS6 DIFF’s features, benefits, and specs:

  • 1 GSps sampling and a flexible resolution of 8 to 16 bit
  • Four input channels with up to 250-MHz analog bandwidth
  • Highly accurate 1 ppm time base
  • DC accuracy of 0.25 % and 0.1 % typical
  • 200-MSps USB streaming data logger
  • Up to 256 mega-sample memory per channel
  • SureConnect connection test on all channels
  • Spectrum analyzer with 32 million bins

TiePie | www.tiepie.com

New Thermal Imaging Solution for Benchtop Electronics Testing

FLIR Systems recently launched the FLIR ETS320 thermal imaging solution for benchtop electronics testing. Well suited for testing and analyzing the thermal characteristics of electronic components and printed circuit boards (PCBs), the battery-powered FLIR ETS320 comprises a high-sensitivity thermal camera and an adjustable, hands-free table stand. With more than 76,000 points of temperature measurement, the rechargeable FLIR ETS320 enables you to monitor power consumption, detect hot spots, and identify potential points of failure during product development. The highly accurate camera can visualize small temperature differences so you can evaluate thermal performance, ensure environmental compatibility, and troubleshoot problems.

FLIR-ETS-320
The FLIR ETS320 ships fully assembled and ready to connect to a PC running FLIR Tools software for detailed data analysis, recording, and reporting. The integrated test stand and sliding mount design offer flexibility when imaging electronic components of various sizes.
The FLIR ETS320 costs $2499 and is available through established FLIR distribution partners.

FLIR Systems | www.flir.com

Advances in 3-D Printing and Related Technologies – Nicolas Roux

Q&As with Industry Innovators – Circuit Cellar Issue #323, July 2017

Nicolas Roux
Founder/CEO | Zimple

C. J.: Tell us about your background and technical interests.

NICOLAS: I am an embedded system engineer, with a background in electronics and mechanics. I fell in love with 3-D printing four years ago, and then I started to make some personal projects (RC cars, lights, toys). My cofounder, Antoine, is a data scientist student passionate by the internet.

C. J.: How did you get started with 3-D printing? A school project? A personal project?

NICOLAS: I started to work with 3-D printers four years ago, with a Prusa i3. Since my childhood, I have always loved making things. I have tried all the construction games! After my preparatory class, which is a two-year intensive program preparing you to pass the competitive examination for engineering school, I bought my first 3-D printer in order to restart making things, with my own ideas and designs. Being able to design, print, and try something I’ve got in my mind is a huge pleasure for me. Since I’ve tried it four years ago, I never stopped to make things!

C. J.: Your company Zimple’s focus is “3-D printing without toxic emissions.” What led you to this mission?

NICOLAS: After using a lot of different 3-D printers, I found that all of them have some problems regarding their use. So with Zimple, we want to share the solutions I found to counter the problem I’ve been facing with my 3-D printers. The fumes released by 3-D printers was the biggest problem for me. It really smells bad and gives me headache. After looking into research on the subject, I realized that this issue was really important and theses fumes were very harmful. So, tired of keeping my window open with my printer nearby, I decided to develop a solution. I had the idea of this solution: “hoovering” the particles directly at the nozzle, because I found it more elegant, less expensive, and more scalable on my different printers than building an enclosure.

C. J.: It seems logical that the air around a working 3-D printer isn’t as clean as the air in an empty room. But is there hard data on the negative effects of exposure to printer-related toxins?

ZimpureDelta

NICOLAS: Many studies about the emissions when processing thermoplastic are available on the Internet. The results are unambiguous: they are very toxic and released in huge amounts. After talking with many people around the 3-D printing industry and the thermoplastic ecosystem, we realized that this problem is known by every professional. They are all aware of the fumes released by the fusion of thermoplastic, and so they use big and powerful exhausting systems when melting plastic. Desktop 3-D printing is a very new technology. It’s the first time that a real manufacturing machine can be placed in a living room, on a desktop near an engineer, or in a school room. And this is the problem: people tend to forget that 3-D printers are real manufacturing boxes and not computers. The technology will reach the point where everyone will be able to use it as we use photocopiers, but even photocopiers have a particle filter inside it. It’s just a question of time before all 3-D printers will have a built-in filter.

C. J.: Tell us how you came to develop Zimpure, which is a compact air filtering system. In terms of engineering, what were the biggest problems associated with designing the system?

NICOLAS: With Zimpure we wanted to develop an efficient and compact filtering system. The two main challenges in terms of engineering were: First, to find a way to exhaust all the gases and particles, without using a huge and loud exhausting fan. Then, to use the filter that will be able to filter all the nanoparticles and gases released. Testing these two points isn’t easy, because you can’t see the particles. Even if the ABS smell disappeared when we were turning on Zimpure, we wanted to know how efficient it was on both issues: nanoparticles and gases. To do so, we’ve collaborated with a laboratory (CEA) in the Laboratory of Climate and Environment Science department (LSCE). They kindly provide us the measuring instruments we need to conduct our tests. After testing our prototype, we improved it to reach our goal: a 99% particle filtration ratio and more than 90% for the gases. We are now proud of, and confident in, our product, and we rely on it every day in our office and home.

C. J.: Give us an overview of Zimpure. Tell us more about what it does and its benefits.

NICOLAS: So Zimpure is a very compact (160 × 120 × 124 mm) and silent (around 50 dB, a bit less than some printers). And it’s a really efficient exhausting and filtering system. (It filters 99% of the particles and more than 90% of the gases released while printing.) It is also a very affordable product. We sold it for $108 (€99) on Kickstarter. The final price is $162.80 (€149). The enclosure or cover we can buy costs between $273 and $327. That’s not possible for many of us. That’s why we choose to make Zimpure more affordable.

C. J.: Compatibility with the many 3-D printers on the market could be a problem. How are you dealing with compatibility?

NICOLAS: Our Zimpure is the same for all the 3-D printers. The only change concerns the suction head, because printers don’t have exactly the same extruders. That’s why the users will print themselves their suction head, depending on their printer. Being able to ask our customers to print a custom part gives our project an affordable cost. It also connects us to our community in a very pleasant way. We can talk about the emission issues and compatibility design. We love it! Community is the strength of 3-D printing. We are designing and testing suction heads for a lot of 3-D printers. The final user will be able to download his own suction head on our website. He will just have to print it and Zimpure will be ready to clean! Many 3-D printer users are designers or engineers, so we think they will probably adapt or even improve our suction heads for their specific needs. We will share some CAD files in order to make them easier to modify.

C. J.: You exceeded your Kickstarter goal in April 2017. What are your plans now?

NICOLAS: We are currently running our production—a batch of 500 Zimpures. When it is, done we will go in different fab labs and resellers to test new suction heads on other 3-D printers and to present our product. We will send all the Zimpure units before the end of June 2017 for sure. Some backers will even receive it by the end of May.

C. J.: Any new products in the pipeline?

NICOLAS: Zimpure is going to evolve this year, and two other products are coming.

C. J.: Where do you see the 3-D printing industry going in the next five to 10 years?

NICOLAS: 3-D printing is going to be more and more used by everyone in society. Personal 3-D printers will maybe take longer to come up, but we think everyone will be able to access them and more and more products using the technology will appear. 3-D printing is a disruptive technology that enables us to mass produce custom products. It will be used more and more for production purposes and not only prototyping.

www.zimple3d.com 

Client Profile: Newhaven Display International, Inc.

About Newhaven Display
Since 2001, Newhaven Display has been providing the worldwide marketplace with cost-effective, high-quality displays, including OLEDs, LCDs, and VFDs. In addition to its vast standard part offerings, Newhaven Display develops custom display designs for all industries. It prides itself on first-rate customer support, design services, and development assistance.
At its Elgin, IL headquarters, Newhaven Display performs product quality inspections, stock, design, develop, manufacture, and assemble our display products. All of its partnered production centers are state-of-the-art facilities with extensive experience in display development. Newhaven Display works closely with its production centers to ensure its products meet all requirements of proper design and quality standards.

NewhavenDisplay

Why Should CC Readers Be Interested?
Newhaven Display offers a variety of high-quality TFT displays. Ranging from 1.8” to 7.0”, these TFTs come ready with the option of capacitive or resistive touch and are available as standard, Premium (MVA), or Sunlight Readable displays. When wider viewing areas are needed, the Premium TFTs have up to 75° view from all sides, whereas the Sunlight Readable TFTs are the ideal option for outdoor applications.
To help with developing with these TFTs, Newhaven Display also has plug-and-play BeagleBone and Arduino development boards that make prototyping a breeze. Developed and designed by Newhaven Display’s engineers in Elgin, IL, these boards are perfect for any level of engineer looking to get started with TFT development. For high-quality, brilliant TFT displays and development assistance, turn to Newhaven Display.

Elgin, IL, USA
www.newhavendisplay.com

Isolated Monolithic Flyback Converter – Linear Technology

Linear Technology recently announced H-grade versions of the LT8304/-1 monolithic flyback regulators with guaranteed operation for junction temperatures as high as 150°C. By sampling the isolated output voltage directly from the primary-side flyback waveform, it requires no opto-coupler or third winding for regulation.
Linear-LT8304H-300x214
The LT8304H/-1’s features, specs, and benefits:
  • VIN Range from 3 to 100 V
  • Up to 24 W of output power
  • LT8304-1 Capable of output voltages up to 1 kV
  • Onboard 2-A, 150-V integrated DMOS power switch
  • Off-the-shelf power transformers
  • No opto-coupler or transformer third winding required for voltage feedback
  • 116-µA Quiescent current
  • Boundary mode operation
  • Accurate input enable & undervoltage lockout with hysteresis
  • Output diode temperature compensation
  • H Grades: –40°C to 150°C operating junction temperatureLinear Technology | www.linear.com

vSound Violin Digital Processor

Saelig Company recently introduced the Cambrionix ThunderSync16, which provides 16 USB2.0 ports and a Thunderbolt host connection capable of transfer speeds of up to 20 Gbps to allow large data transfer in the shortest possible time. For data syncing requirements, the Thunderbolt’s data transfer speed delivers a greatly increased data transfer rate between a host Thunderbolt connection and 16 attached devices than a USB2.0 connection.

vSound Violin Digital Processor
The ThunderSync 16’s features, specs, and benefits:

  • Speeds up situations needing large data transfer (e.g., video file uploading or operating system updates) when the data is required to be loaded in the fastest possible time.
  • Supports universal, intelligent charging of USB ports at up to 2.4 A simultaneously.
  • It can be daisy-chained via the dual Thunderbolt ports.
  • Allows for the charging of multiple device types simultaneously (e.g., mobile phones, MP3 players, e-readers, etc.)
  • Preprogrammed Very Intelligent Charging protocol ensures the correct charging profile is used for the specific product, maintaining battery performance and extending battery life
  • Operates with the complementary Cambrionix LiveView app
  • Supplied software displays the charging status in detail.
  • An API is also provided for software automation scripting, essential for software QA and mobile phone remarketing companies.

The ThunderSync 16 is well suited for industrial, defense, security, software QA, and wearable camera applications requiring large-scale charging and data transfer. It is powered by an internal universal power supply, and is Intel Certified, CE Marked, UL Listed, and EMC FCC tested

Saelig Company | www.saelig.com

Cypress Announces First Two-port USB-C Controller with Thunderbolt 3 Support

Cypress Semiconductor announced availability of a new USB-C controller with Power Delivery (PD) optimized for Thunderbolt notebook and desktop PCs, as well as docking stations. The EZ-PD CCG5 controller is the industry’s first two-port USB-C controller that supports the Thunderbolt alternate mode with Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 (Alpine Ridge) controllers. This is a programmable, highly-integrated controller that allows designers to easily add Thunderbolt alternate mode and USB Power Delivery 3.0 to USB-C ports in the PC ecosystem.

The new EZ-PD CCG5 controller enhances the plug-and-play USB-C user experience, while providing Bill-of-Material (BOM) integration with features such as built-in protection against shorts and electrostatic discharge. The highly integrated controller increases the reliability of a system by integrating Flash memory that can store two firmware images for fail-safe boot. It offers the EZ-PD family’s trademark programmability to keep up with evolving industry standards.

“The world’s leading PC makers have been closely monitoring the maturity of USB-C controllers to bring all of the universal connectivity and fast charging benefits of the standard to their customers,” says Ajay Srikrishna, vice president of Cypress’ Wired Connectivity Business Unit. “Our new EZ-PD CCG5 controller is optimized to enable the broad scale proliferation of USB-C in desktop and notebook PCs, as well as docking stations, and has already earned multiple design wins with top tier PC OEMs.”

The one-chip EZ-PD CCG5 solution minimizes bill-of-material costs for two USB-C ports by integrating 20V regulators, sideband (SBU) muxes, USB high-speed (HS) muxes, high-voltage power FET gate drivers, VBUS-short protection for configuration channel (CC) and SBU pins, dedicated hardware to protect the system against overvoltage, undervoltage and overcurrent fault conditions, and system-level electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection.

The USB Type-C standard is gaining rapid support with top-tier electronics manufacturers by enabling slim industrial designs, easy-to-use connectors and cables, and the ability to transmit multiple protocols and deliver up to 100W of power. As the USB Type-C standard continues to evolve, compliance and interoperability pose an ongoing challenge, but Cypress’ programmable EZ-PD controllers enable firmware upgradeability to keep up with changes and overcome interoperability issues. The EZ-PD CCG5 controller integrates an ARM Cortex-M0 and 128KB Flash with read-while-write functionality for firmware upgradeability.

The two-port EZ-PD CCG5 controller is now sampling in a 96-BGA (6×6 mm) package, and the one-port version is sampling in a 40-QFN (6×6 mm) package. The controller will be in production in the third quarter of 2017.
www.cypress.com/ccg5

MediaTek Launches 4×4 802.11n/Bluetooth 5.0 System-on-Chip with Dedicated Wi-Fi Accelerator

MediaTek announced the world’s first 4×4 802.11n and Bluetooth 5.0 system-on-chip featuring a dedicated Wi-Fi network accelerator. The MediaTek MT7622 was created for premium networking devices including routers and repeaters, whole home Wi-Fi, and home automation gateways that pre-integrates audio and storage features. MediaTek also announced its next generation Wi-Fi low power chipset portfolio for connected smart home devices.

MediaTek’s new MT7622 SoC is a single platform for 4X4 dual-band and tri-band premium networking devices and introduces several best-in-class features including Bluetooth 5.0 and Hardware NAT, Hardware QoS and a dedicated Wi-Fi engine - MediaTek’s Wi-Fi Warp Accelerator. This eliminates bottlenecks by connecting the Gigabit+ class 802.11ac networking with multi-Gigabit internal pathways. It also features the ability to offload the CPU from multiple-users throughput and QoS calculations, all with lower power consumption. The end result is the ability to sustain high-performance for multiple, simultaneous heavy users.

“Based on MediaTek’s Adaptive Network technology, the MT7622 features easy setup, network self-healing, roaming, band steering, smart quality of service, and advanced security for whole home Wi-Fi,” says Alan Hsu, General Manager of Home Smart Device Business Unit, MediaTek. “For manufacturers looking for flexibility in the design of innovative networking devices, this chipset couples high performance and extensively integrated functionality.”

The MT7622, with the power a 1.35GHz rated, 64-bit dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor, provides a host of advanced connectivity options like SGMII/RGMII, PCIe, SATA and USB, and 4×4 802.11n FEM integration. To meet the growing demand for applications using audio and voice controls, the MT7622 includes essential audio interfaces such as I2S, TDM and S/PDIF. MT7622 also delivers a rich array of slow I/O in addition to the integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee co-existence for home automation gateways.

New Generation Wi-Fi Portfolio
MediaTek also announced its next generation Wi-Fi chipset portfolio. The new MediaTek MT7686, MT7682, and MT5932 devices will deliver high levels of integration with low power consumption for all connected applications, including audio products. The product family consists of highly integrated single chip solutions featuring an application processor, a low-power 1T1R 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi subsystem and a Power Management Unit. The application processor subsystem contains ARM Cortex-M4 MCU with floating point unit (FPU). All three were designed with a focus on core principles essential to connected applications, including deep sleep, fast wake-up and reliable data connectivity.

“Our new generation of chipsets have been optimized  to deliver a 300 percent improvement in energy efficiency, as well as the ability for a device to re-establish a Wi-Fi connection within 0.1 seconds of waking from sleep mode,” says YuChuan Yang, Deputy General Manager of Internet of Things Business Unit, MediaTek.

The MT7682 features a low-power subsystem and fast connection and requires few external components to save porting cost. The MT7686 contains 4MB of embedded RAM and 4MB of embedded Flash memory that makes the chipset an ideal platform for rich data and storage applications. With Wafer Level Chip Scale Package (WL-CSP) technology, the MT5932 has a very compact 3.2 by 3.2mm footprint, saving BOM cost for space-constrained IoT applications.

The three chipsets offer a range of features to meet the needs of uses cases requiring varying levels of embedded memory. All include a number of peripherals, including: SDIO, UART, I2C, SPI, I2S, PWM and auxiliary ADC.
www.mediatek.com/products/homeNetworking/mt7622
www.mediatek.com/products/iot/smart-home

Renesas New R9J02G012 Controller Enables Device-to-Device Authentication in Support of Safer USB Power Delivery Ecosystem

Renesas Electronics announced its new R9J02G012 USB Power Delivery (USB PD) controller intended for use in a wide range of USB Power Delivery products employing direct current (DC) power including AC adapters, PCs, smartphones, other consumer and office equipment, and toys. The new R9J02G012 supports both USB Power Delivery Rev. 3.0 (USB PD 3.0) and USB Type-C Authentication Rev 1.0, which enables device-to-device authentication.

The demand for fast charging mobile devices is growing, driving increased demand for high DC power delivery (e.g. 100W). Previously, system manufacturers frequently implemented proprietary fast-charging methods using USB Micro-B connectors. However, with recent smartphone charging/battery incidents, it is critical to offer a safe ecosystem of USB PD compatible products. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), an industry-leading technology consortium, has standardized the following specifications to provide open, unified and interoperable technologies to fulfill these market needs:

1) USB Type-C Rev 1.2 Specification: For simpler, easier physical connection of cables, chargers and devices

2) USB Power Delivery Rev 3.0 Specification: For higher power delivery protocols with additional performance, safety and upgradability features like PD firmware update

3) USB Type-C Authentication Rev 1.0 Specification: For device-to-device authentication allowing system manufacturers to implement additional charging policies for trusted high-power charging over USB Type-C

As a long-time supporting member and a board member for USB Implementers Forum, Renesas has adopted all three standards. The new R9J02G012, introduced during Computex Taipei 2017, is a flexible, small-package USB PD controller for USB Type-C port control on any USB PD devices. All connecting ports to these USB PD devices with the R9J02G012 will be able to electronically verify and trust its authenticity based on the certificates and public key infrastructure (PKI) defined in the USB Type-C Authentication specification. This mechanism allows system manufacturers to implement policies to examine the genuine origin of the connected PD devices such as cables and chargers before a high-power charging of (e.g., 20V at 3A) is executed.

The R9J02G012 integrates support for the USB PD 3.0 and USB Type-C Authentication standards in a single package, where previously each required a separate chip. It is available in an easy-to-mount QFN package as well as the more compact BGA package, reducing the mounting area in cables or electronic devices. The board mounting area is less than 50 percent the area required when using the existing Renesas R9A02G011.

The R9J02G012 also supports the Power Delivery Firmware Update (PDFU) Specification, Revision 1.0. This optional PD feature is an open standard enabling firmware updates of the device via a USB Type-C cable.

Samples of the R9A02G011 are available from June 2017. Mass production is scheduled to begin in the beginning of January 2018. Renesas plans to expand its range of reference designs for applications such as USB Type-C power banks and mobile batteries by combining the R9J02G012 with power products from Renesas and Intersil Corporation, which was acquired by Renesas in February 2017. With the introduction of the R9J02G012, system manufacturers can easily construct a trusted power charging ecosystem of USB PD products based on the USB PD and USB Type-C Authentication standards.
renesas.com