Новини світу мікро- та наноелектроніки

An efficient and simple regulator for heating/lighting purposes

EDN Network - 4 hours 52 min ago

This switching regulator is highly efficient and can be used for AC and DC and requires no reactive L/C components. The regulator can provide a power factor very close to 1.

Wow the engineering world with your unique design: Design Ideas Submission Guide

The circuit (see Figure 1) can be used to regulate a heating process with some thermal inertia such as a soldering iron, hot wire cutter, heater, and so on. The circuit is easily scalable for many more purposes from clothing irons to industrial heating and drying processes. It can be used as a dimmer for incandescent lamps as well.

Figure 1 A simple regulator for heating or lighting purposes, the circuit can be used to regulate heating processes with thermal inertia such as a soldering iron, hot wire cutter, heaters, etc.

Due to its low thermal inertia, the lamp is a special case. During a period of several milliseconds a load should tolerate the voltage pulses at full input amplitude. This may be too harsh for an incandescent lamp to survive. So, the nominal voltage of the lamp should not be lower than Vin.  

The circuit has a capacitor-less rectifier at the input, hence the reverse voltage on the diodes is twice as low as it would be with a smoothing capacitor. This facilitates the usage of current-effective Schottky diodes in the bridge.

The output voltage is a train of monopolar pulses—thus the circuit regulates an effective voltage on the load. This resembles pulse width modulation (PWM), the difference is the non-constant amplitude of the pulses at the input in the case of AC.  

The monopolar pulses the circuit produces are averaged by R1C1 and some part of the result (R2/R8, R9, R10) is compared by TL431 (Q3) with its internal Vref. If this part is lower than the internal Vref (2.5 V), the transistor Q2 is closed, so the switch Q1 is closed as well, and the load is connected. And vice versa, when the input of TL431 is higher than 2.5 V, both Q2 and Q1 are open, and the load is disconnected.  

When the input of TL431 is higher than 2.5 V, its cathode voltage (Vka) is not well documented; it’s only known it would be about 2 V. The diodes D3 reduce the gate voltage of opened Q2 to a value lower than 0.2 V. Diode D4 protects the circuit from an overvoltage caused by load inductance. The transistor Q1 may have no heatsink.  

If the circuit uses AC as Vin, the time constant R1C1 must be more than the AC period. The values shown are for AC 50Hz. Potentiometer R8 can have a scale graduated in volts. The simple circuit in Figure 1 is not well-suited for very heavy loads (~100 W).  

The circuit in Figure 2 is more complex, it is intended for more heavy loads.  

Figure 2 Another regulator that is well-suited for heavier loads on the order of 100 W.

It has several distinctions from the previous circuit including:  

  • A “half-driver” Q5 which accelerates the opening of Q1,
  • A more effective source of auxiliary voltage (Q6, D1),
  • A green LED D2 (~2V) used as interface between TL431 and Q2 (instead of the diodes D3 in Figure 1), and
  • A faster diode D4.

Peter Demchenko studied math at the University of Vilnius and has worked in software development.

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Malaysia’s semiconductor journey spanning half a century

EDN Network - 5 hours 2 min ago

In 1972, Intel opened a 5-acre assembly plant in Penang, the trading hub close to Malaysia’s northern tip. The assembly plant employed nearly a thousand people and soon became crucial to Intel’s semiconductor supply chain. By 1975, it accounted for more than half of Intel’s assembly capacity.

Soon, AMD, Hitachi and HP followed suit, and by the early 1980s, 14 semiconductor firms were operating in Malaysia. According to a Harvard Business School paper by Goh Pek Chen, it all began when the Malaysian government established the first free trade zone in 1972.

Figure 1 The four-year-old Intel was the first semiconductor company to benefit from Malaysia’s free trade zones. Source: Intel

The free trade zones offered companies tariff exemptions on imports and exports, tax holidays, tighter controls on labor organization, and streamlined regulatory processes. Moreover, these zones were strategically located along well-linked highways and railway systems and offered easy access to well-equipped seaports and Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Fast forward to 2023, Infineon announced to significantly expand its fab in Kulim, Malaysia, which it built in 2006 to manufacture power semiconductor products like MOSFETs and IGBTs. Infineon will invest €5 billion in Kulim fab to build what it claims to be the world’s largest 200-mm-wafer silicon carbide (SiC) power fab. Kulim fab will be critical in Infineon’s goal to win 30% of SiC market share by 2030.

The journey from an assembly plant to a SiC semiconductor foundry marks a significant milestone for Malaysia’s semiconductor ecosystem. Taiwan-based contract manufacturer Foxconn has also announced to build a 300-mm wafer fab in Malaysia. It’ll operate on 28-nm to 40-nm process nodes and will have the capacity to produce 40,000 wafers per month.

New fab buildup aside, Malaysia’s semiconductor industry is known to comprise three main groups: outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing (OSAT), automated test equipment (ATE) suppliers, and designers and manufacturers of high-performance test sockets.

Take, for example, Bosch’s recent announcement to invest €65 million in an 18,000 square meters test center in Penang. It will carry out final testing of Bosch’s semiconductors fabricated in Reutlingen, Germany; Suzhou, China; and Hatvan, Hungary. The test center will include clean rooms, office space, and laboratories for quality assurance and manufacturing.

Malaysia has captured nearly 13% of the global chip assembly and testing market share; it’s also the world’s seventh-largest exporter of semiconductors. Furthermore, it’s consistently listed among the top 10 semiconductor manufacturing countries and is usually number seven or eight between the UK and the Netherlands.

Figure 2 Malaysia’s move from back-end to front-end chip manufacturing will raise its profile as a semiconductor industry hub. Source: UOB Group

The news about the new fab buildup hints toward the country’s ambitions to move up the semiconductor value chain. Especially when the semiconductor trade war between China and the United States is promising new opportunities for countries already exposed to the semiconductor technologies.

So, while semiconductor fabs are nothing new in Malaysia’s semiconductor ecosystem, the renewed interest in moving up the chip value chain is worth noting. Also, with the SiC power fab in Kulim, Malaysia’s semiconductor industry can claim an almost complete ecosystem to attract new investments.

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The other fusion challenge: harvesting the power

EDN Network - 5 hours 28 min ago

You undoubtedly saw the impressive news back in December 2022 that using what is called “inertial confinement”, scientists and engineering teams at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) achieved fusion “success” by producing more energy than the energy delivered by its 192 lasers converging on a target. The project and its precursors have consumed over 60 years of research and development in lasers, optics, diagnostics, target fabrication, computer modeling and simulation, and experimental design (plus many tens of billions of dollars), Figure 1. Note that the lasers themselves were only about 1% efficient, so the power required was 100× the laser output and the entire arrangement was a huge net-energy loss.

Figure 1 The almost unimaginably complex NIF/LLNL achieved brief fusion energy “gain”—if you ignore the 100× power needed to drive its 192 lasers. Source: NIF/LLNL via typeset.io

This fusion approach is not the only path being explored. There’s a huge European-centric effort called ITER and various smaller-scale approaches using different physics and principles.

Impressive as the LLNL/NIF and other efforts are, there’s another half to the story of “nearly endless, pollution-free power” that so many are touting as viable.  That thus-far unanswered question is how do you manage and extract—let’s be flexible and call it “harvest”—this enormous power and transform it into useful electricity?

Engineers are, of course, familiar with the concept and reality of harvesting at various scales and types, whether it is on a small scale such as a piezo-driven transducer, a medium or larger scale photovoltaic farm, or at a large scale via a fossil-fuel megawatt station. Each of these has been used extensively and there are mature techniques supported by components, systems, and structures for each one.

For fusion-based power sources, it’s a different story. On one side there’s the huge laser-driven fusion reactor of the LLNL-NIF project; on the other side, there are no precedents for this type of power conversion. Unlike a conventional boiler where the source heat is used to directly develop high-pressure steam and then drive a turbine and generator (Figure 2), nuclear fusion faces very different steam-creation challenges, even when compared to that “other” nuclear source of fission.

Figure 2 In contrast to a fusion-based source, a conventional oil/coal/gas-fired electric-generating station is conceptually simple, even if an actual installation has industrial complexities. Source: Chegg, Inc.

One approach is somewhat conventional. In the design being pursued by ITER, neutrons will be absorbed by the surrounding walls of their huge tokamak—a fusion-enabling construct which uses a powerful magnetic field to confine plasma in the shape of a torus—where their kinetic energy will be transferred to the walls as heat. The heat will be captured by cooling water circulating in the vessel walls and eventually dispersed through cooling towers, Figure 3.

Figure 3 In contrast to the inertial confinement fusion of the NIF/LLNL approach but with a similar huge size and scope, the European-led ITER project is using the magnetic field surrounding a tokomak to confine the plasma. Source: ITER

In contrast, start-up Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), a spinout of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, is developing high-performance tokamak that is much smaller and less expensive than the ITER approach, Figure 4 (note the humans standing nearby for scale).

Figure 4 Smaller start-ups such as Commonwealth Fusion Systems are striving to achieve fusion with much smaller tokamaks and other topologies, in sharp contrast the incredibly enormous NIF/LLNL and ITER projects. Source: Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Their plan for creating the useful steam output is to use a continuously flowing blanket of molten salt. A loop of this salt will be pumped into a tank surrounding the plasma chamber, where it absorbs radiated neutrons. This molten salt is then pumped outside the tokamak, where its heat energy is transferred into a more-conventional fluid that drives a turbine to generate electricity.

Although molten salt is already used in some heat-concentrating, non-photovoltaic solar installations, this molten salt is not ordinary at all. Instead, it will likely be a mixture of lithium fluoride and beryllium fluoride (FLiBe). In this combination, the salt also acts as a “breeding” medium in which some of the fusion neutrons interact with lithium atoms and change them into tritium. The tritium is then filtered out of the blanket and recycled into fusion fuel; a rare hydrogen isotope used to fuel magnetic-confinement reactors.

Helion Energy is going an entirely different way. According to their web site, their device “directly recaptures electricity; it does not use heat to create steam to turn a turbine, nor does it require the immense energy input of cryogenic superconducting magnets. Our technical approach reduces efficiency loss, which is key to our ability to commercialize electricity from fusion at very low costs. The FRC [field reversed configuration] plasmas in our device are high-beta and, due to their internal electrical current, produce their own magnetic field, which pushes on the magnetic field from the coils around the machine.”

It continues, “The FRCs collide in the fusion chamber and are compressed by magnets around the machine. That compression causes the plasma to become denser and hotter, initiating fusion reactions that cause the plasma to expand, resulting in a change in the plasma’s magnetic field. This change in magnetic field interacts with the magnets around the machine, increasing their magnetic field, initiating a flow of newly generated electricity through the coils. This process is explained by Faraday’s Law of Induction.” I’m not going to pass judgement on this, that’s for sure.

The large-scale LLNL-NIF and ITER projects as well as the smaller ones such as at CFS, Helion, and others are literally and figuratively focused on creating a controlled, self-sustaining fusion reaction to produce the power with the hoped-for attributes of being limitless and pollution free. How and when that will happen is anyone’s educated guess, ranging from at least several decades to perhaps—and let’s be brutally honest here—maybe never.

Still, the fusion challenge is only half of the overall problem. The second half is converting the enormous heat energy into electrical energy, and it is still another major project with its own known and unknown technical problems and scaling issues.

All of this complexity makes me wonder how the Sun and other stars do their fusion so easily, without need of all this hardware and organization. Perhaps a truly “out of the box” idea is needed, such as running a very long pipe filled with some suitable phase-change material from Earth towards the Sun and back in a long loop? As they say, “never say never”.

Until then, what’s your view on approaches to transforming the heat energy of a sustained fusion reaction—assuming that day comes—into useable, controllable electricity?

Bill Schweber is an EE who has written three textbooks, hundreds of technical articles, opinion columns, and product features.

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Skylo Technologies collaborates with Rohde & Schwarz to enhance non-terrestrial network (NTN) testing services

ELE Times - 5 hours 47 min ago

Rohde & Schwarz and Skylo Technologies are collaborating to set up a device acceptance scheme for Skylo’s non-terrestrial network (NTN). The proven device test framework from Rohde & Schwarz will be used to test NTN chipsets, modules and devices to validate their compatibility with the Skylo test specification. This partnership is expected to optimize Skylo’s network performance, reshaping industries worldwide by enabling reliable, ubiquitous connectivity.

Skylo Technologies, a global software-defined non-terrestrial network (NTN) operator, has announced a strategic partnership and ongoing collaboration with Rohde & Schwarz, an international leader in innovative test and measurement solutions. This collaboration aims to reinforce and expand the testing capabilities for NTN, ensuring that chipsets, modules and devices using the NTN NB-IoT protocol integrate seamlessly with Skylo’s network and are 3GPP Release 17 compliant. The two companies will integrate state-of-the-art testing methodologies to guarantee that Skylo’s groundbreaking connectivity solutions meet the highest standards of quality and efficiency.

Skylo’s NTN is designed to bridge the digital divide by providing reliable and affordable connectivity to under-connected industries, such as agriculture, maritime and logistics. The network leverages advanced satellite and terrestrial technologies to allow real-time data transmission, thereby transforming industries that have previously been limited by a lack of connectivity.

The Rohde & Schwarz NTN device acceptance test framework is built on the market-leading R&S CMW500 wideband radio communication tester. This framework is the go-to solution for all stages of terrestrial and now non-terrestrial IoT testing, from R&D and GCF/PTCRB certification to carrier acceptance tests. With the powerful R&S CMW500 software stacks, this framework guarantees reliable and repeatable results in a single box, ensuring that the whole ecosystem can achieve the highest levels of performance. It comes with NTN Release 17 features as well as support for different orbits. Customers can leverage their investment in R&S CMW500 testers with a single software update, which enables them to verify NTN NB-IoT as well as legacy NB-IoT devices.

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Rohde & Schwarz solutions will play a pivotal role in refining and optimizing NTN connectivity by rigorously testing NTN devices and their ability to work seamlessly in the Skylo network. The partnership will ensure that Skylo’s customers receive a superior and uninterrupted connectivity experience.

Dr. Andrew Nuttall, Chief Technology Officer of Skylo Technologies says: “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Rohde & Schwarz, a renowned leader in test and measurement solutions. This collaboration underscores our commitment to providing the highest quality non-terrestrial network services to our customers. By joining forces, we are confident in our ability to set new benchmarks for network reliability and performance in remote and underserved regions.”

Alexander Pabst, Vice President of Wireless Communications at Rohde & Schwarz says: “We are excited to work alongside Skylo Technologies to elevate the capabilities of their non-terrestrial network and help define their device acceptance process. Our cutting-edge testing solutions, combined with Skylo’s groundbreaking technology, will empower industries across the globe to harness the benefits of reliable and seamless connectivity.”

The partnership between Skylo Technologies and Rohde & Schwarz exemplifies the commitment of both companies to advancing technology and connectivity solutions for the benefit of industries and communities worldwide. With a shared vision of pushing the boundaries of innovation, this collaboration is poised to transform the way industries operate in previously hard-to-reach areas.

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Carlo Gavazzi installs Seratel’s next generation “Reel aMounts” component counting and inventory control system in their factory in Zejtun, Malta

ELE Times - 5 hours 54 min ago

Carlo Gavazzi, an international group designing and manufacturing industrial electronics, have installed Seratel’s Reel aMounts system for component counting and inventory control at their plant in Zejtun, Malta.

Inventory accuracy with unrivalled speed and integration

In common with other plants producing products in low to mid volumes, Carlo Gavazzi’s Zejtum facility must deal with frequent production line changeovers. There is a resulting loss of material in handling – a loss that placement machinery cannot record – which makes maintaining accurate component inventories a problem.

Etienne Ellul, Head of SMT at Carlo Gavazzi, explains, “Reel aMounts allows us to count reels returned from production instantly, but it also calculates for each part the attrition during the build and can forward to our IFS ERP system an appropriate scrap transaction. That means that our component inventories can always be up to date, and we avoid unexpected stoppages.”

This also means that Carlo Gavazzi no longer need to include scrap factors in their BOMs. Attrition can be properly costed, and pricing and purchasing decisions can be more informed.

Seratel’s Michael Bloor points out, “Reel aMounts can count components on reels of any size in just 1.2 seconds. At all times, the system automatically tracks every reel using both the system’s own unique reel ID and Carlo Gavazzi’s equivalent ID, thus providing extensive traceability.”

Remote commissioning and training

Seratel is committed to supplying energy efficient systems that are implemented in the most ecological way and passing the resulting savings on to the customer.

Mr. Ellul says, “Seratel supplied a ready to run system and then provided one-to-one, on-line training sessions. Delivering training this way means that we could schedule sessions for individual staff to fit in with shift patterns and availability. It also allows the supplier to give short, refresher sessions as we expand the use of the system into new areas.”

The results show the benefits of this. Mr. Ellul wrote, “it can be seen that we made the right choice since your support is so outstanding”.

Simplicity of operation

Reel aMounts provides the fastest possible counting for tape and reel components by linking a computer, electronic weighing scales, bar code scanner, bar code printer and a database of component types.  Patented technology, unique to the system, is used to provide accurate results.

When a reel is returned from production, the Carlo Gavazzi operator simply places it on the Reel aMounts scales and scans a bar code on the reel.  The system counts the reel instantly. The operator then scans a Reel aMounts “command” bar code.  This records all the count details in a database, prints a new label for the reel and updates a linked ERP system.

Web based reporting – including detailed inventories

For every counting transaction, Reel aMounts generates a database record with thirty items of information about that individual count.  Reel aMounts Reporting Centre – an extensive, web-based reporting system – then provides over 200 reports, including both management statistics and detailed analysis of the data. Reports available range from detailed traceability by individual reel through to data on plastics recycling.

This information includes providing detailed inventories showing any part code broken down by reel, even where the associated ERP system can only provide overall totals. Carlo Gavazzi can use this to select the best fit material for any build.

The Reporting Centre can be used on any authorized PC, tablet or smart phone. Information can also be forwarded to an ERP system, printed as reports or exported to Excel for further analysis.

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Rohde & Schwarz participates in project to strengthen microelectronics and communications technologies in Europe

ELE Times - 6 hours 5 min ago

The technology company Rohde & Schwarz is participating in an Important Project of Common European Interest of the European Commission in the field of microelectronics and communications technology (IPCEI ME/CT). The company is thereby helping to ensure Germany’s ability to shape key technologies.

To strengthen the semiconductor industry in Europe, the European Commission announced the IPCEI at the beginning of June, enabling funding of around 100 European projects. The technology company Rohde & Schwarz is taking part in the initiative with a project at four of its German locations: Munich, Memmingen, Teisnach and Duisburg. It is one of 31 projects funded in Germany by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) under the IPCEI ME/CT. Rohde & Schwarz will also back the project with its own R&D investments.

Andreas Pauly, Executive Vice President Test and Measurement at Rohde & Schwarz, says: “Microelectronics defines technical progress in our digitalized world like no other key technology. Innovative, efficient test and measurement equipment such as the solutions from Rohde & Schwarz is a core element of every value chain in the microelectronics industry. It enables the development and production of microelectronic components and systems.”

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That is why the Rohde & Schwarz project aims to develop a new, highly competitive European test and measurement solution for the millimeterwave range. A major part of this development work will be the creation of a state-of-the-art European GaN/SiC semiconductor technology.

This technology and the test and measurement solution based on it will be indispensable for developing and testing future microelectronic components. Wide-ranging application fields in the communications industry include next generation mobile communications standards (6G), sensors, automotive radar applications, the internet of things (IoT) and Industry 4.0.

There is a consensus in politics and industry about the importance of Europe’s and Germany’s technological and digital sovereignty. Essentially, it is about maintaining or even expanding national capabilities to shape key technologies. Rohde & Schwarz has championed research, development and production in Germany for 90 years.

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Building Robust IoT and Smart Home Networks: The Convergence of Wi-Fi 6, Thread, and Matter

ELE Times - 6 hours 17 min ago

Wi-Fi has been the dominant technology for wireless networking for more than two decades. It has evolved significantly over the years, with faster speeds and greater range. Wi-Fi is an excellent choice for high-bandwidth applications like streaming video, as it can handle large amounts of data quickly.

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the smart home, the importance of Wi-Fi has only grown. However, with all wireless technologies come limitations, and Wi-Fi’s primary design for high throughput makes it power-hungry, limiting its applications for low power, or battery-powered devices like those found in the smart home and IoT ecosystems. However, these limitations are mitigated through the release of the Wi-Fi 6 standard as well as interoperability with the Matter standard and Thread protocol.

Wi-Fi 6

Fortunately, the Wi-Fi 6 standard has improved operating conditions through included power-saving technology that allows designers to trade some throughput for longer battery life. By using a multi-access modulation technique called orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA), each of Wi-Fi 6’s 20MHz channels can be divided into hundreds of sub-channels, enabling it to support many more devices concurrently. These enhancements make Wi-Fi 6 a good choice for smart home appliances such as security cameras, smart thermostats, and smart speakers.


Moreover, Wi-Fi plays a foundational role in the new Matter standard, which promises to bring interoperability to smart home ecosystems. Matter incorporates Thread for low-power wireless connectivity, using Wi-Fi when greater throughput is needed, and as a result, more power is available. Matter also includes the Ethernet-wired standard and Bluetooth Low Energy for commissioning. Together with the other protocols used for Matter, Wi-Fi can support Internet Protocol (IP), which is essentially a network layer communication standard for rapidly moving data across the internet. This interoperability with IP makes it very easy to connect each smart home product to the cloud, making smart home applications very powerful and flexible.

Matter’s backing by Apple, Amazon, Google, Nordic, Samsung, and hundreds of other firms brings structure to a previously fragmented smart home sector. Customers will be able to purchase a smart device made by any mainstream supplier and then easily integrate the device into their preferred smart home ecosystem. This suits major suppliers eager to offer value-added smart home services to consumers, thereby multiplying the revenues from device sales. According to Vantage Market Research, a smart-home sector worth $75 billion in 2020 will expand over five-and-a-half times by 2028, resulting in over $420 billion in sales per year. As part of that total, shipments of Wi-Fi-based, smart-home devices will increase at a 21 percent compound annual growth rate from 2021 to 2025.

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Thread is a relatively recent protocol that is specifically designed for IoT. Thread is an IP-based protocol optimized for low-power devices, making it an excellent choice for smart home devices that run on battery power. It is also designed to be very reliable and secure, making it a desirable option for applications where security is a concern.

Wi-Fi and Thread are different technologies and do not compete. In fact, they can be used together to create a more robust IP network. For example, Wi-Fi could be used to connect high-bandwidth devices like smart TVs and streaming devices, while Thread could be used for low-power devices like smart thermostats and sensors, as we see in its use with the Matter standard.

One of the benefits of using both Wi-Fi and Thread together is that it allows for more flexibility in the design of IoT systems. For example, some devices may be better suited to Wi-Fi because they require a high-speed connection, while others may be more appropriate for Thread because they require low-power operation. By using both technologies, designers can tailor their systems to meet the specific requirements of each device.

Another benefit of using both Wi-Fi and Thread together is that it can improve the reliability of the network. Wi-Fi is prone to interference, but by using Thread for low-power devices, designers can reduce the risk of interference and develop more dependable networks.

Wi-Fi and Thread are both excellent options for building IP networks for IoT. As IoT continues to grow, it is likely that we will see more protocols and technologies emerge that are designed to address the unique challenges of building IP networks for smart devices.

Nordic Products Designed to Help Designers

Nordic Semiconductor is making it easier for developers to innovate low-power IoT applications and take advantage of Wi-Fi’s increasingly important role in the smart home by introducing the nRF7002 Wi-Fi 6 companion IC and its associated development kit (DK). The IC is a low-power Wi-Fi 6 device that provides seamless dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) connectivity. The nRF7002 also offers excellent coexistence with Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread, and Zigbee radios, and supports Wi-Fi 6’s Target Wake Time (TWT), a key power-saving feature. The DK makes it easy for developers to get started on nRF7002-based development because of the nRF5340 SoC host processor. The nRF5340 multiprotocol SoC supports Thread and Bluetooth Low Energy, making it suitable for development with all the Matter standard’s wireless technologies.


With the smart home set to become more popular and mainstream, it’s crucial to ensure that devices work together seamlessly, and Wi-Fi’s interoperability with IP and support for Matter will play a fundamental role in its success. By using the power-saving features of Wi-Fi 6 and Thread and taking advantage of Matter’s interoperability, smart home devices can be powerful, flexible, and energy efficient.

Finn Boetius, Product Marketing EngineerFinn Boetius, Product Marketing Engineer

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Microchip Introduces Industry’s First Low Pin Count MCU Family With I3C Support

ELE Times - 6 hours 38 min ago

Company’s PIC18-Q20 product line is space-efficient and easily interfaces with devices operating in multiple voltage domains

With the step-function increase in data collected and transmitted from cloud-connected edge nodes, Improved Inter Integrated Circuit® (I3C®) is rapidly becoming a more sustainable solution for interfacing sensors with a high data rate and will help expand capabilities in next-generation devices. Leading the way in I3C integration, Microchip Technology (Nasdaq: MCHP) has released its PIC18-Q20 family of microcontrollers (MCUs), the industry’s first low pin count MCUs with up to two I3C peripherals and Multi-Voltage I/O (MVIO). Available in 14- and 20- pin packages as small as 3 x 3 mm, the PIC18-Q20 MCUs are a compact solution for real-time control, touch sensing and connectivity applications. The MCUs offer configurable peripherals, advanced communication interfaces and easy connection across multiple voltage domains without external components.

With I3C functionality, flexible peripherals and the ability to operate on three independent voltage domains, PIC18-Q20 MCUs are well suited to be used in conjunction with a primary MCU in a larger overall system. This family of MCUs can perform tasks such as processing sensor data, handling low latency interrupts and system status reporting that the main MCU cannot perform as efficiently. While the Central Processing Unit (CPU) runs at a different voltage domain, the I3C peripheral operates from 1.0 to 3.6V. These low-power, small form factor MCUs can be used in a wide range of space-sensitive applications and markets including automotive, industrial control, computing, consumer, IoT and medical.

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“One of the main barriers to large-scale IoT adoption is the cost of implementing an edge node. With the PIC18-Q20 family of MCUs, Microchip is helping to break down that barrier,” said Greg Robinson, corporate vice president of Microchip’s 8-bit MCU business unit. “By introducing the industry’s first low pin count MCU with I3C we are enabling flexible, cost-effective scaling of IoT applications and embracing the new standard communications interface.”

As the market shifts to demand higher performance solutions with lower power and smaller size, I3C helps designers and software developers address these potentially challenging requirements. Compared to I2C, I3C offers higher communication rates and lower power consumption, all while maintaining backward compatibility with legacy systems. The I3C and MVIO functionality, combined with Microchip’s configurable Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs), allow for lower system costs, reduced design complexity and a reduction in board space by replacing external level shifters with on-chip multiple voltage domains. To learn more about Microchip’s portfolio of PIC® MCUs, visit the website and keep up with the latest company news by following Microchip on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Development Tools

The PIC18-Q20 MCU family is supported by Microchip’s full development ecosystem of hardware and software tools, including its MPLAB® X and MPLAB Xpress Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) and MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC) Microchip’s development environment is straightforward and makes it easier to implement and generate code, allowing for a reduction in overall development time and reduced financial investment.

Developers can get a quick start in evaluating I3C and MVIO capabilities on the PIC18-Q20 using Microchip’s PIC18F16Q20 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit—a compact, cost-effective development board for rapid prototyping.

 Pricing and Availability

For additional information and to purchase, contact a Microchip sales representative, authorized worldwide distributor or visit Microchip’s Purchasing and Client Services website, www.microchipdirect.com.

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"pocket scope"

Reddit:Electronics - 17 hours 1 min ago
"pocket scope"

Apparently back in the day people had big pockets 🤣

submitted by /u/iamnotatigwelder
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Power Tips #121: Improving phase-shifted full-bridge efficiency using an active snubber

EDN Network - Wed, 09/27/2023 - 15:23

The phase-shifted full bridge (PSFB) shown in Figure 1 is popular in applications >500 W because it can achieve soft switching on its input switches for high converter efficiency. Although switching losses are greatly reduced, you can still expect to see high-voltage stress on the output rectifier, as its parasitic capacitance resonates with the transformer leakage inductance—modeled as Lr in Figure 1. The voltage stress of the output rectifier could be as high as 2VINNS/NP, where NP and NS are the transformer primary and secondary windings, respectively.

Limiting the maximum voltage stress on the output rectifier traditionally requires a passive snubber [1] such as a resistor-capacitor-diode (RCD) snubber, but the use of a passive snubber will dissipate power, resulting in an efficiency penalty.

Figure 1 A PSFB power stage with a passive clamp and waveforms, the use of the passive clamp dissipates power which leads to an efficiency penalty. Source: Texas Instruments

Alternatively, you could apply an active snubber to clamp the rectifier voltage stress without dissipating any power in the snubber circuit (assuming an ideal switch) [2]. Figure 2 shows the insertion of an active clamp leg (ACL) formed by a capacitor (CCL) and a MOSFET (QCL) before the output inductor. When the output winding voltage becomes non-zero, energy will transfer from the primary winding to the secondary winding to energize the output inductor while also conducting current through the QCL body diode to charge CCL, even if QCL isn’t turned on. You can turn on QCL after its body diode has already conducted current to ensure zero voltage switching (ZVS) on QCL.

Figure 2 A PSFB power stage with an active clamp and waveforms, unlike the passive snubber, the active snubber doesn’t dissipate the ringing energy on the power resistor but circulates the energy in the LC resonant tank as a lossless snubber. Source: Texas Instruments

It’s important to turn on QCL before the current in the active clamp MOSFET (iCL)polarity changes to allow the current-second balance on CCL to be complete by the beginning of the effective duty cycle (DeffTS). In other words, QCL only needs to be turned on long enough for the current-second balance of the active snubber to work as intended, clamping the output rectifier voltage to the CCL voltage (VCL). In other words, QCL doesn’t need to conduct throughout the full DeffTS, but for a relatively short period of time instead. As such, QCL can have a fixed on-time—that is, the QCL on time (DACLTS) is constant—while keeping DeffTS always greater than the duration where the current-second balance (DCSBTS) is complete.

This approach addresses one of the challenges when using an active snubber in that the transformer winding current does not rise monotonically—which is an issue if you are using peak current-mode control. This happens because the active snubber capacitor energy also participates in energizing the output inductor, rather than solely relying on energy transfer from the primary side. Since DeffTS is larger than DCSBTS, peak current detection can occur when the transformer current is rising monotonically. And because you can expect higher efficiency for a PSFB with a larger Deff, you can design the PSFB to have a larger Deff at mid to heavy loads, where Deff >> DCSB. At light loads, the converter should operate in discontinuous conduction mode, where Deff will be smaller than Deff in continuous conduction mode at the same input/output voltage condition. In order to keep DeffTS greater than DCSBTS even at light loads, you can use frequency-reduction control or burst-mode control.

Because the CCL ripple voltage affects the total voltage stress on the output rectifier, you must select a large-enough CCL for a low capacitor ripple voltage. You must also select CCL such that the inductor-capacitor (LC) resonant period formed by Lr and CCL is much longer than the switching period [3], expressed by Equation 1:

The rectifier voltage stress will clamp to around VINNS/NP with the active snubber, which is half of the voltage stress without any clamp circuit. Unlike the passive snubber in [1], the active snubber doesn’t dissipate the ringing energy on the power resistor but circulates the energy in the LC resonant tank as a lossless snubber. Therefore, you can expect higher converter efficiency on a PSFB with an active snubber than a PSFB with a passive snubber in an identical specification.

To understand the factors that determine the ACL current level, you’ll need to calculate the current flow through the ACL itself. Figure 3 illustrates waveforms around the ACL conduction period.

Figure 3 Waveforms during an ACL current conduction period. Source: Texas Instruments

Assuming that VCL is a constant and Lm = ∞, Equation 2 derives the current in one side of the output rectifier (iSR2) as the drain to source voltage rises as:

By assuming iSR2 current decreases at a constant rate, Equation 3 derives the time duration of t2-t1 as:

Since CCL needs to maintain current-second balance, the sum of areas A1 and A3 will equal area A2. With all of this information, it is possible to calculate the root-mean-square (RMS) value of iCL. As Equation 3 shows, the synchronous rectifier (SR) output capacitance (Coss) controls the peak current on the ACL. If you select a lower Coss SR FET, the ACL RMS current will be lower and thus help improve converter efficiency.

Figure 4 shows waveforms of the Texas Instruments (TI) 54-V, 3-kW phase-shifted full bridge with active clamp reference design, which is a 400-V input, 54-V output, 3-kW PSFB converter using an active clamp realized with TI’s C2000™ microcontroller. In this design, the transformer turns ratio is Np:Ns = 16:3. With the ACL FET turned on only for 300 ns within the output inductor energizing period, the output rectifier voltage stress (Ch1 in Figure 4) is limited to 80 V, even at a 3-kW load. The lower voltage stress enables the use of SR FETs with a lower voltage rating and a better figure of merit to further improve the efficiency of the PSFB.

Figure 4 A 54-V, 3-kW phase-shifted full bridge with active clamp reference design steady-state waveforms. Source: Texas Instruments

This control method isn’t limited to a full-bridge rectifier with one ACL; you can also apply it to an active snubber with other types of rectifiers such as a current doubler [4] or a center-tapped rectifier. TI’s 3-kW phase-shifted full bridge with active clamp reference design with >270-W/in3 power density has a 400-V input, 12-V output, 3-kW PSFB converter with an active clamp where the secondary side uses a center-tapped rectifier. The output rectifier stress (Ch1 in Figure 5) is limited to 40 V at a 3-kW load.

Figure 5 A 3-kW phase-shifted full bridge with active clamp reference design with >270-W/in3 power density steady-state waveforms. Source: Texas Instruments

The merit of an active clamp in a PSFB converter

The implementation of an active snubber in a PSFB converter significantly reduces the maximum voltage stress on the output rectifiers. This reduction in voltage stress enables the use of an SR FET with a lower drain-to-source voltage rating, which can have a better figure of merit. While an active clamp can create challenges with the implementation of peak current-mode control, proper implementation enables the use of an active clamp and peak current-mode control in harmony. This combination achieves higher power density and higher efficiency compared to traditional PSFB implementations.

Ben Lough received his M.S. in electrical engineering at the Ohio State University in 2016. He joined TI in 2016 working on AC/DC power conversion, power factor correction and isolated DC/DC design. He has authored over 15 technical articles at TI and external publications. He currently works as a systems engineer in the Power Design Services team at TI.

Related Content


  1. Lin, Song-Yi, and Chern-Lin Chen. “Analysis and Design for RCD Clamped Snubber Used in Output Rectifier of Phase-Shift Full-Bridge ZVS Converters.” Published in IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics 45, no. 2 (April 1998): pp. 358-359.
  2. Sabate, J.A., V. Vlatkovic, R.B. Ridley, and F.C. Lee. “High-Voltage, High-Power, ZVS, Full-Bridge PWM Converter Employing an Active Snubber.” Published in Sixth Annual Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exhibition (APEC), March 10-15, 1991, pp. 158-163.
  3. Nene. “Digital Control of a Bidirectional DC-DC Converter for Automotive Applications.” Published in 28th Annual Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC), March 17-21, 2013, pp. 1360-1365.
  4. Balogh, Laszlo. “Design Review: 100 W, 400 kHz, DC/DC Converter with Current Doubler Synchronous Rectification Achieves 92% Efficiency.” Texas Instruments Power Supply Design Seminar SEM100, literature No. SLUP111, 1996.
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Powering your sustainable innovation: STMicroelectronics holds its 5th Industrial Summit in Shenzhen

ELE Times - Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:45

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, will host its Industrial Summit 2023 at the Futian Shangri-La Hotel, in Shenzhen, China, on Sep 28.

In recognition of the extraordinary climate-related challenges, ST has long been guided by its unwavering commitment to sustainability. The Company is actively working to increase power efficiency with its cutting-edge solutions for diffused intelligence (Digitalization) and Energy and Power Conversion, forging a path towards reduced carbon emissions and a sustainable future.

The Industrial Summit is the industry’s premier technology showcase of ST’s Industrial products and solutions. The theme of this year’s event is “Powering Your Sustainable Innovation.” Visitors will hear about the Company’s focus on Smart Power and Smart Digitalization during insightful keynotes and about 30 technical sessions, while also having the chance to experience over 150 demos focused on 3 market segments: Automation, Power & Energy, and Motor Control. The Summit will also host a number of showstoppers developed in close collaboration with ST’s customers and partners.

Innovation highlights in the key focus areas

To provide ST’s Industrial customers in Asia with strong and efficient support for their development activities, ST operates three dedicated Industrial Competence Centers focused on Motor Control, Automation, and Power and Energy that are located close to customers. At Industrial Summit 2023, ST and its customers and partners will showcase multiple innovations listed below leveraging expertise and system-level solutions from these three industrial Competence Centers.

Microgrid: Microgrid is a distributed grid network that is connected to renewable sources and energy storage to minimize energy transmission loss and provide efficient energy utilization while maintaining the benefits of grid connection. ST joined forces with customers to showcase a Microgrid application with multiple energy generation and storage solutions including a photovoltaic (PV) optimizer, a string inverter, a micro-inverter, a hybrid inverter with energy storage, stand-alone energy storage, and an energy-usage example using EV charging stations.

A list of the advanced technologies ST used in this multiapplication demo includes a full range of industry-leading STM32 MCUs, breakthrough wide bandgap power technologies such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium nitride (GaN), power metering products, and power-line communication (PLC) controllers. In particular, GaN power discretes and system-in-package devices like ST’s MasterGaN and Sti2GaN are expected to be the preferred technology for future residential PV+ energy storage system (ESS) applications that require high power density and energy efficiency.

KNX Energy Management System: KNX is a global standard with high compatibility and a huge supplier base, making it ideal for efficient energy system in buildings. At the Industrial Summit, ST will showcase how a KNX Energy-Management System manages energy consumption and generation from various energy sources, such as Solar Inverters, Microgrid, and Battery Storage, for all aspects of applications in buildings, home appliances, and EV charging stations. The KNX Energy-Management System can play an important role in achieving carbon neutrality, enabling energy production and consumption tracking, as well as static and dynamic load management.

By adopting this system, users can proactively decide whether renewable energy should be consumed or stored, while the system provides an optimized energy solution based on user needs. STKNX is a highly competitive KNX transceiver used in a wide range of KNX products from many manufacturers. In addition, ST’s best-in-class MCU, SiC and GaN power technologies, and power conversion ICs are also utilized in this energy-management system.

Servo Drives Orchestra: According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 53% of global electricity is consumed by motors, which makes motor-control efficiency among the most effective targets for sustainability benefits. On top of better energy performance of the motors themselves, great potential for improvement lies in how electric motors are integrated into industrial equipment and systems.

At the Summit, ST will showcase its most comprehensive motor-control demo – the Servo Drives Orchestra. This solution comprises 8 reference designs with loads ranging from 500W to 22kW. Each of the motors controls a rope that pulls a load and demonstrates high-precision position control, in harmonic movement coordinated simultaneously with the other motors. Each motor drive executes the commands sent by I/O link from the podium where an HMI (Human Machine Interface) controls the mode selection while each drive controller collects temperature and vibration data, executes condition-monitoring algorithms, and wirelessly sends data to the Baidu Cloud. The cloud then reports back system behavior and power savings, among other parameters.

ST is a leading technology provider for servo drives, power-device technologies, computational processing, isolation devices, industrial safety product, and for ecosystems, and Industrial Automation, Predictive Maintenance, and Connectivity. The Servo Drives Orchestra demo uses an STM32 microcontroller, ST drivers, as well as SiC and GaN power solutions for overall efficiency improvement.

Efficient Transformation to Factory Automation: The use of IO-Link products in factory automation systems can simplify the installation, setup, maintenance, and repair processes, while also contributing to increased production efficiency, energy savings, and carbon neutrality. ST is committed to providing a complete solution for any IO-Link device applications, including a free IO-Link device mini stack, to help manufacturers optimize their operations and achieve greater sustainability.

ST will feature an Automated packing machine with automatic printing and labeling functions for smart factories that utilize the Company’s IO-Link technology to manage digital input/output, sensors, and solenoid air valve drivers. The system is controlled by a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller), and the system status can be displayed and controlled on an HMI. By connecting the system to a LoRa node, the machine can be remotely monitored and controlled through the IoT Cloud via a LoRa Gateway. The machine uses Digital IO boards, sensor boards, and actuator boards developed by the ST Automation Competence Center, demonstrating the comprehensive ST portfolio in action.

To experience all the attractions and demos from ST and its customers and partners, please join us at the Industrial Summit 2023 in Shenzhen. The entire full-day proceedings will be live-streamed in both English and Mandarin here. A live photo album sharing will be available here.

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My first PCB design: USB to UART

Reddit:Electronics - Tue, 09/26/2023 - 19:35

This is my very first drawing, I will send the this to pcb manufacturer soon. Hope I can get some advices and tips so I won't fry my stuff wasting other components.

submitted by /u/Imcyee
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Intel’s next-generation CPUs hide chiplets inside*

EDN Network - Tue, 09/26/2023 - 17:05

Last week, Intel held its third annual two-day Innovation event, a resurrection of the previous Intel Developer Forums (a “few” of which I attended back in the old days). The day-one keynote, focusing on silicon, was delivered by CEO Pat Gelsinger:

while Greg Lavender, Intel’s chief technology officer, handled the day-two keynote duties, centering on software:

The big news coming out of the show was the public unveil of Intel’s chiplet-implemented Meteor Lake CPU architecture, now referred to as Core Ultra in its high-end configurations (the company is deprecating the longstanding “i” from the Core 3/5/7/9 differentiation scheme):

Chiplets are, as any of you who’ve been following tech news lately, one of the “hottest” things in semiconductors right now. And for good reason, as I wrote (for example) in my 2021 retrospective coverage on processor architectures, specifically about AMD in that case:

Some of AMD’s success is due to the company’s “chiplet” packaging innovations, which have enabled it to cost-effectively stitch together multiple die on a unified package substrate to achieve a given aggregate core count, cache amount and (in some cases) embedded graphics capability, versus squeezing everything onto one much larger, lower-yielding sliver of silicon.

The thing is, the chiplet concept isn’t particularly new. Multi-chip and multi-die modules under a single package lid, whether arranged side-by-side and/or vertically stacked, have been around for a long time. The chiplet implementation has only come to the fore now because:

  • Leading-edge processes have become incredibly difficult and costly to develop and ramp into high-volume production,
  • That struggle and expense, coupled with the exponentially growing transistor counts on modern ICs, have negatively (and significantly so) impacted large-die manufacturing yields not only during initial semiconductor process ramps but also long-term, and
  • Desirable variability both in process technology (DRAM versus logic, for example), process optimization (low power consumption versus high performance) and IC sourcing (internal fab versus foundry), not to mention the attractiveness of being able to rapidly mix-and-match various feature set combinations to address different (and evolving) market needs, also enhance the appeal of a multi- vs monolithic-die IC implementation.

Chiplets are “old news” at this point for Intel’s competitors. As previously mentioned, AMD’s been doing them with its CPUs, GPUs and APUs (CPU-plus-GPU hybrids) since 2019’s Zen 2 microarchitecture-based Ryzen 3000 series. Similarly, Apple’s first homegrown silicon for computers, 2020’s M1 SoC, integrated DRAM alongside the processor die:

The belatedly-but-ultimately unveiled highest transistor count M1 Ultra variant further stretched the concept by stitching together two distinct M1 Max die via a silicon interposer:

And (cue irony) it’s not even a new concept to Intel itself. Way back in early 2005 (speaking of IDFs), Intel was playing catch-up with AMD, which was first to release a true single-die dual-core CPU, the Athlon 64 X2. Intel’s counterpunch, the Pentium D, stitched together two single-core CPU die, in this case interacting via a northbridge intermediary vs directly. Still, what’s old is new again, eh? Intel also leveraged multi-die, single package techniques in 2010’s “Arrandale” CPU architecture, for example, and more recently in the 47-“tile” Ponte Vecchio datacenter GPU.

Although at a high level the “song remains the same”, different chiplet implementations vary in key factors such as the inherent cost of the technology, the performance latency and power consumption of the interconnect, and the ability (or lack thereof) to pack together multiple die tightly both horizontally and vertically. Intel, for example, has branded its latest approaches as EMIB (the Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge, for 2D multi-die interconnect) and Foveros (for vertical multi-die stacking purposes). Here’s a brief video on the latter:

And all that commonality-or-not aside, Intel’s mixing-and-matching of different slivers of silicon from different fab sources using different process lithographies, not to mention the partitioning of functions among those various silicon slivers, is also intriguing. Meteor Lake comprises four main die, each with its own power management subsystem:

  • The Compute tile, fabricated on the company’s own Intel 4 (7 nm EUV) process and integrating a varying mix of “P” (performance) and “E” (efficiency) processing cores. It’s reminiscent of the initial “hybrid” combinations in the company’s 12th generation “Alder Lake” CPUs, but these cores are generationally improved in metrics such as average and peak clock speed, power consumption in various modes, and IPC (the average number of instructions per clock cycle, for both single- and multi-threaded code).
  • The SoC tile, fabricated on TSMC’s N6 (6 nm) process. It integrates a network-on-chip processor, thereby acting as the conductor for communication between the other tiles. It also integrates cores for silicon and system security, and for AI inference (I’m guessing the latter derives from Intel’s 2016 acquisition of Movidius, although that’s just an uninformed hunch). And interestingly, it also contains its own “E” processor cores, acting as a lowest-power-consumption compute tile alternative for relevant usage scenarios.
  • The GPU tile, whose purpose is likely self-explanatory, is fabricated on TSMC’s N5 (5 nm) process and derived from the technology in the company’s latest Arc Xe discrete graphics processors. That said, the media codec and display controller functions normally found in a GPU aren’t included in this tile. Instead, they’re also in the aforementioned SoC tile.
  • And, last but not least, the I/O tile, the smallest (area-wise) of the four, and the one most likely to be omitted from low-end Meteor Lake implementations. As its name implies, it implements “boutique” functions such as Thunderbolt 4. And at least initially, it’ll also be fabricated at TSMC, specifically (as with the SoC tile) on the N6 process.

Initial rumors suggested that initial Meteor Lake products, targeting mobile computing implementations, might show up in October. Whether that month was originally hoped-for or not inside Intel, the official “due date” for CPUs (and presumably also systems based on them) is now December 14, which pushes them out beyond both the holiday 2023 shopping cycle (for consumers) and 2024 purchase cycle (for companies whose fiscal and calendar years coincide).

Why mobile first, versus desktop (or for that matter, server)? Mobile CPUs tend to prioritize low power consumption over peak performance and are also typically “kitted” with lower core counts than their desktop siblings, both attributes resonant with suppliers ramping up new die and packaged chip manufacturing processes. That said, Intel promises that desktop variants of Meteor Lake are also under development for production shipments beginning sometime next year. That said, and as presumed reassurance for skeptics, the company was already demoing its subsequent desktop client CPU, 2025’s Lunar Lake, last week. And as for servers, Intel has a next-generation 144-core (“E”-only) monolithic Xeon CPU also coming out on December 14, with a dual-chiplet 288-core version to follow next year.

One final thing, returning once again to mobile. Not announced last week but sneak-peeked (then quickly yanked) a few weeks prior at a packaging event Intel put on was a Meteor Lake derivative with 16 GBytes of LPDDR5 SDRAM onboard for the ride, alongside the logic “tiles”.

If you’re thinking “Apple Silicon”, you’re conceptually spot-on, an association which Intel management is seemingly happy to encourage. 2024 and beyond should very interesting…

*I realize, by the way, that I may be dating myself with the title of this piece. How many of you are, like me, old enough to remember the Intel Inside branding program, now deprecated (as of, gulp, nearly 20 years ago) but apparently still with a pulse?

Thoughts as always are welcomed in the comments!

Brian Dipert is the Editor-in-Chief of the Edge AI and Vision Alliance, and a Senior Analyst at BDTI and Editor-in-Chief of InsideDSP, the company’s online newsletter.

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Solutions from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS for the baking and confectionery industry Optimum protection

ELE Times - Tue, 09/26/2023 - 15:00

At iba 2023, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS will present its large range of innovative drives from October 22 to 26, 2023 at the Fairground Munich. The presentation in Hall B3, Stand 490, will focus in particular on NORD solutions for hygienically sensitive applications in the baking and confectionery industry.

NORD-surface-treatment-nsd-tupH.jpg: The nsd tupH surface treatment offered by NORD is a powerful corrosion protection for gear units, smooth-surface motors, frequency inverters and motor starters in wash- down-optimised cast aluminium housings. 

The food industry places great demands on reliable, efficient and easy-to-clean drive solutions. NORD DRIVESYSTEMS offers a wide range of solutions for this area that help to reliably realise hygienically sensitive applications.

Alternative to stainless steel: nsd tupH surface treatment

The nsd tupH process developed by NORD DRIVESYSTEMS makes drive surfaces very corrosion-resistant, similar to stainless steel This is not a coating, but a treatment based on an electrolytic process that creates a protective layer that is permanently bonded to the substrate material. So nothing can detach or flake off.

Drives with the nsd tupH surface treatment are largely resistant to acids and alkalis and can be cleaned reliably and hygienically. The efficient surface treatment is thus perfect for use in hygienically critical areas in the food, beverage, packaging, pharmaceutical or chemical industry. It is also the optimum solution for applications in extremely humid environments, for example in maritime and coastal areas.

 NORD’s IE5+ motor generation.

Fanless or smooth IE5+ synchronous motors

The new IE5+ motor generation was designed by NORD DRIVESYSTEMS with a special focus on its use in the food or beverage industry as well as the intralogistics sector. The IE5+ generation is available in both fanless and smooth versions up to a power of 4.0 kW with a continuous torque from 1.6 to 18.2 Nm and speeds from 0 to 2,100 min-1. The smooth-surface, hygienic design of the fanless variant is particularly efficient, easy to clean, corrosion-resistant and wash-down capable. It is therefore ideal for reliable use in hygienically sensitive environments. If desired, nsd tupH surface treatment and the protection class IP69K are available. The outstanding feature of the particularly compact and energy-efficient synchronous motors is their constant high efficiency – up to 95% over a wide torque range. As a result, they also offer optimum energy consumption performance in partial load and speed ranges.

 less components, increased operational reliabilityNORD-SAFOMI-IEC.jpg: SAFOMI-IEC adapter for MAXXDRIVE® industrial gear units from NORD
DRIVESYSTEMS combined with a drive motor: less components, increased operational reliability SAFOMI-IEC adapter for agitators

The SAFOMI-IEC adapter (SAFOMI = Sealless Adapter For Mixers) from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS, which was specially developed for mixers and agitators has an integrated oil expansion chamber and thus provides the MAXXDRIVE® industrial gear units with decisive advantages such as increased reliability and reduced maintenance. Compact and simple in design, the adapter has an integrated oil expansion volume. Oil tanks and hoses as well as the radial shaft seal that is subject to leakage and wear between gear unit and IEC cylinder are not required. SAFOMI is available for MAXXDRIVE® parallel gear units and in sizes 7 to 11, i.e. for maximum output torques from 25 to 75 kNm. The compact combination of the MAXXDRIVE® industrial gear unit, SAFOMI-IEC adapter and a drive motor is an optimal choice for mixer and agitator applications in order to reduce wearing and attached components.

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Circular economy, a path to a sustainable ecosystem: Infineon’s security solutions support the industry, the consumer, and the environment alike

ELE Times - Tue, 09/26/2023 - 14:36

Global resources are becoming increasingly scarce and responsible use of them is crucial to counteracting climate change. With over 57.4 million tons of electronic waste produced annually (2021) at a net worth of nearly $60 billion, e-waste constitutes one of the largest waste streams. Keeping resources circulating in the value chain for as long as possible is one way to tackle this challenge. A circular economy helps extend the lifecycle of products, saving resources and energy. Providing reliable spare parts for electronic devices plays a major role in this concept. Authentication solutions like the Infineon Technologies AG’s (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY) OPTIGA Authenticate product family support the verification of spare parts as well as original products and contribute to a trustworthy, sustainable economic approach.

A circular approach to electronic products is defined by what is called the 6R concept: Reduce, reliability, repair, reuse, refurbish and recycle.

To Infineon, circular economy is relevant on different levels: These principles not only guide the company’s waste management for instance by reusing solvents in the manufacturing process. Infineon’s product design also aims to reduce resource consumption and hazardous waste and replace critical substances. On the other hand, Infineon delivers products to customers that help them innovate and create more sustainable solutions to the market based on the principles of circularity.

Sustainable and reliable – thanks to OPTIGA Authenticate security solutions

The Right to Repair regulation, for example, is not only under the umbrella of the European Green Deal, but also part of national sustainability programs worldwide. Infineon security solutions such as the OPTIGA Authenticate family support manufacturing companies in efficiently and purposefully addressing some of the key challenges of these new regulations and in reducing their environmental footprint.

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The goal of the EU’s Right to Repair, Battery and Ecodesign initiatives is to save resources and increase energy efficiency of products. With regards to the Right to Repair this means that consumers not only have a right to the availability of spare parts. It should also be kept in mind that in many cases non-professionals have to be able to repair the product. Manufacturers therefore face the challenge of meeting their warranty claims, but also providing spare parts, while at the same time protecting the quality of their brand and their intellectual property as well as protecting the safety of end users.

“The OPTIGA Authenticate product family allows authentication of devices, the verification of spare parts and of the genuineness of original products. This enables product safety for end users and helps manufacturing companies meet quality and performance standards for electronic devices”, explains Josef Haid, Distinguished Engineer Security System Architectures Infineon Technologies. “Authenticators also create more security and transparency for consumers, since they can trust the authenticity and quality of devices and spare parts. Moreover, due to the increased demand for spare parts, it opens up a new market for the industry, covers potential warranty claims, and prevents counterfeiting at the same time.”

Authentication solutions protecting consumers and products

The OPTIGA Authenticate product family can be used in a wide range of replaceable components for example within a smartphone ecosystem. In a smartphone, elements such as batteries, displays and camera modules as well as power adapters, wireless chargers, and headphones (see graphic) can be equipped with authenticators. In addition, OPTIGA Authenticate security solutions can be used in other electronic devices such as power tools, notebooks, light electric vehicles, multicopters, VR/AR applications and many more. The mechanism is very simple: The OPTIGA Authenticate S security chip is integrated in a product, for example, the battery (client) of an e-scooter (host). This allows the host and client to communicate with one another and authenticate themselves, letting the host verify that the battery is original or that it conforms to certain standards. The authentication process itself is managed by the exchange of certificates, keys, and cryptographic tasks.

Authentication solutions such as the OPTIGA Authenticate product family are an easy and cost-efficient way for manufacturers to help meet legal requirements and protect their brand value from potential counterfeits. With the OPTIGA Authenticate product family, Infineon takes another step towards a circular economy, making it possible for its customers to build more sustainable solutions.

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Infineon heads European research project for advancing the circular economy and sustainability of the electronics industry

ELE Times - Tue, 09/26/2023 - 14:08

Infineon Technologies AG has taken over as head and coordinator of the broad-scope European research project EECONE (European ECOsystem for greeN Electronics), intended to make electronics in Europe more sustainable. The objective is to investigate the corresponding technologies along the entire value chain, from design, manufacture and use all the way to recycling. EECONE is one of the Key Digital Technologies research projects supported by the European Union as a Joint Undertaking. 49 partners are participating in the project, which has a volume of approximately 35 million euros total costs. The project is being funded by the European Union and the national governments of the participating companies with around 20 million euros.

“Electronics are fundamental to improving the sustainability of many applications.
But this is not sufficient, electronics themselves have to become greener,” says
Constanze Hufenbecher, Infineon Management Board member and Chief Digital
Transformation Officer. “Infineon is pleased to take on the lead role in the research
project EECONE in order to advance the circular economy together with our
partners along the value chain. The only way to achieve sustainability from design
and use and all the way to recycling is by working together.”

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EECONE is aligned with the 6R concept (Reduce, Reliability, Repair, Reuse, Refurbish, Recycle); the amount of materials required by electronics is to be reduced, electronics are to be made more reliable, easier to fix and use again, and easier to recondition and to recycle. The project will investigate a total of ten application examples from the widest possible variety of fields in terms of developing green electronics. The applications are from the areas Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Health, Information and Communication Technologies, Aviation and Agriculture. Focus points are for example reducing the amount of material used by making circuit boards thinner or smaller, or improving sustainability by introducing materials which are easier to separate during recycling. Facilitating the replacement of not only circuit boards but also of semiconductors is to make it easier to repair devices. The technologies involved could also make it possible to reuse and recycle electronic components. The project will in addition develop technologies which for example generate and store their own power in IoT devices. New, ecologically friendly materials are to make it easier to recycle lithium-ion batteries. Artificial Intelligence will be used to prolong the service lives of electronic equipment, while tools for more sustainable electronic design, including comprehensive impact assessments for the use of electronics, are to be developed as well. EECONE also covers the use, dissemination and standardization of electronics and will train specialists in handling electronic refuse.

The EECONE research project has a planned duration of three years. It will establish decisive foundations for the sustainable development, manufacturing and use of electronics in Europe. The on-site inaugural event of the project will be held in Toulouse on 20 and 21 September 2023.

The post Infineon heads European research project for advancing the circular economy and sustainability of the electronics industry appeared first on ELE Times.

STMicroelectronics releases secure software for STM32-powered edge devices connecting to AWS IoT Core

ELE Times - Tue, 09/26/2023 - 09:02

New developer software for STM32H5 leverages ST’s Secure Manager to simplify safe connectivity to AWS IoT devices platform

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has added new software to its STM32Cube development tools that simplify connecting high-performing Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the AWS cloud.

ST has released the X-CUBE-AWS-H5 expansion package which enables a seamless and secure connection to the AWS cloud. It contains a set of libraries and application examples designed for high-performance microcontrollers of the STM32H5 series, which act as end devices.

The solution is built on the FreeRTOS open-source real-time operating system and ST’s Secure Manager embedded security software. The recently announced STM32H5 Discovery kit is available to use with this solution and lets developers easily and securely connect their STM32H5-based prototypes to AWS IoT Core.

 “The STM32H5 is ready for the next generation of IoT edge devices, bringing the performance to handle complex applications within a tight energy budget,” said Daniel Colonna, STM32 Marketing Director, STMicroelectronics. “The STM32Cube ecosystem helps developers unleash its powerful capabilities, accelerate development, and, with our latest software, connect securely to the powerful storage and data analytics services in the AWS cloud.”

STM32H5 is one of the most powerful Arm® Cortex®-M33 MCU series. Devices are programmed with their own immutable identity at the ST factory. Combined with ST’s Secure Manager, this simplifies registering smart devices to the AWS cloud and removes the need for costly infrastructure otherwise necessary to keep the identities of IoT objects secret during their production. 

Remote provisioning and administration of credentials will also be available via third-party service providers, during the production of devices and in the field.

The isolation properties provided by Secure Manager enable the intellectual property of multiple owners to be protected. This is also known as multitenant IP protection. It is part of a comprehensive set of services that protect the confidentiality and integrity of assets belonging to STM32 developers and partners, through development, manufacturing, and in the field.

This is a perfect fit for edge AI use cases, where models are running on the edge, on devices, protected by the Secure Manager, and further trained and securely updated via the cloud. The STM32Trust TEE Secure Manager makes stronger security simpler.

Overall, the STM32Cube ecosystem with STM32H5 microcontrollers provides developers with a powerful and secure platform for developing IoT applications that comply with future regulations and standards. STM32H5, introduced in March 2023, is the first to support Secure Manager and targets PSA Certified level 3 and SESIP3 certifications.

X-CUBE-AWS-H5 is ready to download now.

For more information, please go to www.st.com/x-cube-aws-h5.

The post STMicroelectronics releases secure software for STM32-powered edge devices connecting to AWS IoT Core appeared first on ELE Times.


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