Product News

New Products: February 2013


The 36-Position Quadrature Encoder Set provides rotational feedback for robot wheels. The set was specifically designed for Parallax’s Motor Mount and Wheel Kit, which is included with the Eddie and MadeUSA robotic platforms. The kit also can be used with custom robots or mechanical systems with 0.5” axles.

The encoder set provides two out-of-phase outputs from within a single sensor assembly. Its 36-position encoder disks, which resolve to 144 positions with the quadrature sensor output, are incised to grip 0.5” diameter axles. Key features include low power consumption, dual-channel outputs that provide speed and directional information, and a six-pin, single-row header that accommodates a four- or six-wire interface.

The Si1143 Proximity Sensor is well suited for noncontact gesture recognition in microcontroller applications. Gestures in the up, down, left, right, and center directions can be detected by measuring infrared light levels from the three on-board IR LEDs.

The Si143 measures visible and IR ambient light levels, providing a range of operation from darkness to full sunlight. The sensor’s easy-to-use interface is compatible with any microcontroller. Its standard 0.1” header pins enable the sensor to conveniently connect to breadboard or through-hole projects.

The 36-Position Quadrature Encoder Set and the Si1143 Proximity Sensor both cost $29.99.


Parallax, Inc.


The XMC4400, XMC4200, and XMC4100 Cortex-based microcontrollers offer a high-resolution PWM unit. Devices in the XMC4000 microcontroller family use ARM Cortex M4 processors.

With a 150-ps PWM resolution, the XMC4400, XMC4200, and XMC4100 microcontrollers are well suited for digital power conversion in inverters, switching and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and other applications including I/O automation units, user interfaces (HMI), and logging and control systems.

Like Infineon’s XMC4500 microcontrollers, the XMC4400, XMC4200, and XMC4100 series offer powerful application-optimized peripherals, fast and robust embedded flash technology, an extended –40°C-to-125°C temperature range, and tools for automatic code generation.

The XMC4000 family includes four series: XMC4500, XMC4400, XMC4200, and XMC4100. The microcontroller families differ mainly in core frequency, memory capacity, peripheral functions, and number of I/Os. The XMC4400, XMC4200, and XMC4100 series have a powerful CPU subsystem with 120 MHz or 80 MHz, DSP functionality, a floating-point unit, and fast flash memory (512, 256 or 128 KB). They feature a 22-ns read time and error-correction code and SRAMs up to 80 KB. The microcontrollers’ peripherals include high-speed 12-bit ADCs and DACs and integrated delta-sigma demodulator modules (XMC4400). Communication is provided by Ethernet MAC (XMC4400), USB 2.0, CAN interfaces, and serial communication channels, which can be individually software-configured as UART, SPI, Quad-SPI, I2S, or I2C. The microcontrollers also provide a touch interface and an LED matrix display.

The XMC4400, XMC4200, and XMC4100 are supported with the DAVE 3 integrated development platform, which enables convenient, fast, and application-orientated software development. Third-party tools can be used to extend the Eclipse-based environment with free GNU compiler and debugger. DAVE 3 also supports automatic code generation based on predefined software components (i.e., the “DAVE Apps”). The DAVE Apps are configured in a user-friendly way via the graphical user interface. DAVE 3 ensures industrial application developers can use the XMC4000 microcontrollers’ functionality with little programming effort. The generated code can be compiled and debugged directly in DAVE 3 or imported into third-party tools for further processing (currently Altium, ARM, Atollic, IAR Systems, and Rowley).

Contact Infineon for pricing.

Infineon Technologies



The AD514x and AD512x series of nonvolatile single-, dual-, and quad-channel digital potentiometers (digiPOTs) feature a ±1% resistance tolerance to improve component matching in industrial and communication control systems. The 11 digiPOTs in the AD514x and AD512x series achieve a high 3-MHz bandwidth, which enables fast system response time.

The nonvolatile digiPOT series meet a range of system-level requirements in 256- or 128-TAP, SPI or I²C interfaces, leaded and leadless packaging, all of which feature 4-kV ESD protection. The devices offer a low temperature coefficient performance over a –40°C-to-125°C temperature range.

The AD514x and AD512x digiPOTS are available in a 3-mm × 3-mm LFCSP package option for board savings. Contact Analog Devices for pricing.


Analog Devices, Inc.


The Barix Real-Time Clock (RTC) accessory helps ensure audio and control devices continue operating uninterrupted during network failures. The devices help keep mission-critical operations for broadcast radio, streaming media, building automation, and other applications on time.

The self-sustaining reference clock plugs into any device with an RS-232 serial port, including Barix IP audio and control products. The Barix RTC maintains time, even when unpowered, for years. This enables the RTC to provide time information immediately after a device startup, even without a network-based time reference.

The Barix RTC enables devices to work offline without network connection, playing out audio messages and time-sensitive content on time. Similarly, broadcasters streaming syndicated programs with local network IDs, jingles, ads, and promotions can trigger scheduled events without affecting their on-air content.

The RTC can be used by IP control devices to gain independence from network time references, continuing to switch lights and boilers on and off if the network fails. This ensures energy-saving techniques for schools, businesses, and other facilities continue without disruption.

Contact Barix for pricing.



The A2530x24xxx series, Anaren’s new family of Anaren Integrated Radio (AIR) modules, are specifically designed to help OEMs develop products that wirelessly communicate in compliance with the ZigBee standard. Based on the Texas Instruments (TI) CC2530 low-power RF system-on-a-chip (SoC), which operates using TI’s Z-Stack firmware, the family of AIR modules is bundled with AIR Support for ZigBee, which includes time-saving AIR-ZNP firmware (including more than 30 code examples), precertification to applicable global, regulatory standards, and development tools (e.g., Anaren’s BoosterPack for TI MSP430 and Stellaris LaunchPad development kits).

The A2530x24xxx devices require minimal RF engineering and ZigBee experience. They are easy to program for a shortened design cycle. The devices are available with an integral or connectorized antenna and a tiny, 2.5-mm × 11-mm × 19-mm standardized footprint. The devices are pre-certified to FCC/IC and compliant with ETSI. There is a choice of range-extender or non-range extender modules. The A2530x24xxx devices’ additional features include a 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4-compliant RF transceiver (TI’s CC2530), a wide 2.2-to-3.6-V input voltage range, and excellent receiver sensitivity and robustness to interference (–95 dBm average).

Anaren has also introduced a BoosterPack featuring its new family of modules. The CC2530 BoosterPack Kit helps OEM engineers develop wireless applications using a TI LaunchPad for MSP430 or a Stellaris microcontroller. The BoosterPack provides “out-of-the-box” wireless connectivity to easily develop applications based on the ZigBee standard. It also includes AIR-ZNP firmware solution (based on TI’s Z-Stack).

The kit includes three A2530E24A AIR Module BoosterPacks for connection to TI’s MSP430 or Stellaris’s LaunchPad development kit (LaunchPad not included). Each BoosterPack includes an on-board MSP430G2553IN20 Value Line microcontroller, pre-flashed with Anaren’s AIR-ZNP firmware (based on TI’s Z-Stack for the ZigBee standard).

Contact Anaren for pricing.

Anaren, Inc.


The M24LR Discovery Kit helps you design battery-free electronic applications that can exchange data with ISO15693-compatible NFC-enabled smartphones or radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader-writers. The kits help create and integrate energy-autonomous data collection, asset tracking, or diagnostics capabilities in applications, including phone and tablet accessories, computer peripherals, electronic shelf labels, home appliances, industrial automation, sensing and monitoring systems, and personal healthcare products.


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With a combination of industry-standard serial bus (I2C) and contactless RF interfaces, the M24LR EEPROM memory is capable of communicating with host systems “over-the-wire” or “over-the-air.” The M24LR’s RF interface can convert ambient radio waves emitted by RFID reader-writers and NFC phones or tablets into energy to power its circuits and enable complete battery-free operation.

The M24LR Discovery Kit includes an RF transceiver board with a 13.56-MHz multiprotocol RFID/NFC transceiver (CR95HF) driven by an STM32 32-bit microcontroller, which powers and wirelessly communicates with a battery-less board. This board includes ST’s dual-interface EEPROM memory IC (M24LR), an ultra-low-power 8-bit microcontroller (STM8L), and a temperature sensor (STTS75).

The M24LR Discovery Kit costs $17.50.



The configurable MGC3130 is an electrical-field (E-field)-based 3-D gesture controller, providing low-power, precise, fast, and robust hand-position tracking with free-space gesture recognition. The controller features Microchip’s GestIC technology, which enables intuitive, gesture-based, non-contact user interfaces for many end products.

The MGC3130 includes 150-dpi, mouse-like resolution and a 200-Hz sampling rate to sense fast hand and finger motions. It has a super-low-noise analog front-end for high-accuracy interpretation of electrode sensor inputs. The controller’s configurable Auto Wake-Up on Approach at 150-µW current consumption enables always-on 3-D gesture sensing in power-constrained mobile applications.

The MGC3130’s additional features include automated self calibration, 32-bit digital signal processing for real-time processing of x/y/z positional data, integrated flash memory to easily upgrade deployed products, and a 70-to-130-kHz E-field with frequency hopping to eliminate RF interference.

GestIC technology achieves high gesture-recognition rates through Colibri Suite, which is a library of 3-D gestures for hands and fingers that is preprogrammed into the MGC3130. The Colibri Suite combines a stochastic Hidden Markov model (HMM) and x/y/z hand-position vectors to provide recognized 3-D hand and finger gestures. Examples include Wake-Up on Approach, Position Tracking, Flick Gestures, Circle Gestures, and Symbol Gestures to perform functions (e.g., on/off, open application, point, click, zoom, scroll, free-space mouseover, etc.). The chip also provides prefiltered electrode signals for additional functionality.

GestIC technology uses thin sensing electrodes made of any conductive material, such as PCB traces or a touch sensor’s indium tin oxide (ITO) coating, to enable invisible integration behind a device’s housing. In addition, the technology provides 100% surface coverage, eliminating “angle-of-view” blind spots. With a detection range of up to 15 cm, the MGC3130 is well suited for products used in close proximity for direct user-to-device interaction.

In addition, Microchip’s Sabrewing MGC3130 single-zone evaluation kit enables development with the MGC3130 by providing a 5” or 7” selectable electrode size. The kit comes with the AUREA graphical user interface (GUI), which is available for a free download at The GUI enables designers to easily match their system commands to Microchip’s Colibri Suite. The evaluation kit costs $169. The MGC3130, featuring GestIC technology, is available in a 5-mm × 5-mm, 28-pin QFN package. The controllers cost $2.26 each.

Microchip Technology, Inc.


The SMC-01 is a manual servomotor controller for a single servomotor. The controller performs via an on-board potentiometer. A Microchip Technology PIC12F683 microcontroller is at the heart of the SMC-01. The potentiometer connects to the microcontroller to proportionally control the servomotor’s rotation.

The servomotor’s shaft is capable of responding as fast and as far as the potentiometer knob is rotated. A universal three-pin header enables easy connection to the servo motors. They are simply plugged into the board. The circuit is controlled by an inexpensive, eight-pin microcontroller and powered by a 9-V battery.

The unit can be purchased as a kit or fully assembled. The SMC-01 kit costs $24.95. The fully assembled SMC-01A costs $34.95.

Images SI, Inc.



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The Class D ToolStick kit is a cost-effective USB-based evaluation kit that enables developers to add digital Class D audio capabilities to 32-bit embedded designs based on Silicon Labs’s SiM3U1xx Precision32 microcontrollers. The kit helps developers upgrade basic “buzzer/beeper” alert sounds used in personal medical devices, fitness equipment, high-end toys, small appliances, and other consumer electronics products to sophisticated voice prompts, music, sound clips, and streaming audio.

The SiM3U1xx microcontrollers include the following: a 300-mA, high-drive I/O that can directly drive a small speaker; a crystal-less USB transceiver compatible with the USB audio interface; two 250-ksps, 12-bit ADCs; and an I2S receiver that supports audio streaming from a PC, a portable music player, or a range of I2S-enabled audio devices. The only external components required to drive Class D audio from SiM3U1xx microcontrollers are inexpensive inductors, some capacitors, and ferrite beads.

You can use the ToolStick to add capacitive-touch buttons and sliders to 32-bit embedded systems. The SiM3U1xx microcontrollers’ high-drive I/Os with PWM can be used to directly drive other components (e.g., small motors), without using separate power field-effect transistors (FETs).

The Class D ToolStick kit is powered from USB using the SiM3U1xx microcontroller’s internal 5-V regulator. The board uses a simple speaker to play music from a stereo jack, a computer, or a recorded message. The ToolStick provides four modes of operation. The microcontroller’s on-chip ADCs are used to sample data from a portable music player or USB audio streaming from a PC. The kit uses a common audio compression algorithm to play prerecorded sound clips stored from on-chip flash memory and it uses an audio-compression algorithm as a voice recorder that stores data in flash. Capacitive-touch buttons and control volume with a capacitive-touch slider are used to handle mode transition.

The Class D ToolStick evaluation kit comes complete with hardware Gerber files and software, which helps streamline the process of adding Class D audio to embedded applications. The ToolStick features a built-in USB-based debugger/programming interface and accessible pins for easy prototyping. The ToolStick debug interface is fully operational with Silicon Laboratories’s complimentary Precision32 IDE, compiler, AppBuilder crossbar configuration software, and Keil toolchains.

The Class D ToolStick evaluation kit includes full source code and implements a Class D amplifier demonstration using a small-footprint, 40-pin, 6-mm × 6-mm package SiM3U1xx microcontroller. The kit costs $35.

Silicon Laboratories, Inc.


The RL78/G1C group of 16-bit microcontrollers conforms to the USB Battery Charging Specification, Revision 1.2. The microcontrollers provide USB host/function interfaces, which support full-speed and low-speed USB communication. The USB interface is used between PCs and PC peripheral equipment and also as a general-purpose interface for consumer and industrial equipment in applications such as smartphone accessories, portable healthcare devices, AV accessories, and game and industrial equipment.

The microcontrollers’ battery-charging function enables high-speed charging up to 1.5 A. They also integrate a 1% accurate high-speed oscillator.

The RL78/G1C microcontroller group is the first RL78 microcontroller family that includes USB host/function and can be easily deployed in existing systems utilizing other RL78 family products. The integration of USB functionality alongside RL78’s smart peripherals enables them to achieve 71 µA/MHz in full operation and 0.23 µA in Stop mode (RAM retained). The first series within the RL78/G1C microcontroller group features 32-to-48-pin devices in packages as small as 5 mm × 5 mm, up to 32 KB of flash, and 5.5 KB of on-board RAM.

Samples of the RL78/G1C group of microcontrollers are available. Prices vary by USB peripheral functions and USB host functions including packages and number of pins. For example, the 32-pin LQPF package R5F10KBCAFP device with USB peripheral function costs $1 per unit, in 10,000-unit quantities.

Renesas Electronics Corp.


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New Products: February 2013

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 10 min