Microelectronics world news

Getting positive results from NTC thermistors with a simple passive interface

EDN Network - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 14:51

Given their generally low cost, small size, robust construction, accuracy, versatility, and sensitivity, it’s no wonder that basic negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistors rate among the most popular temperature sensors available. However, their temperature response function is highly nonlinear (literally exponential), making excitation and signal digitization and processing interesting design exercises.

The typical NTC thermistor’s datasheet (e.g., Molex 2152723605) summarizes thermo-electric properties with four parameters (Equations 1 through 5), shown in Figure 1 (numbers borrowed from 2152723605 data):

To = rated/calibration temperature (25°C = 298.15 K)          (1)
Ro = resistance at To (10k ±1%)                                               (2)
b = beta (3892 K)                                                                         (3)
Dissipation (self-heating) factor (1.5 mW/°C)                       (4)

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Then thermistor resistance (Rt) as a function of temperature (T) in Kelvin is predicted by:

Rt = Ro exp(b(T-1 – To-1))                                                           (5)

Applying the classic KISS principle, we see in Figure 1 a candidate for the simplest possible circuit to wheedle a signal from a thermistor, and some basic math to winnow a temperature measurement from its output and parameters 1, 2, and 3 from above.

Figure 1 Basic thermistor passive excitation circuit: Cx = optional noise reduction, perhaps 100 nF; Rx = excitation resistor; Rt = Rx(V/Vref)/(1 – V/Vref); T = (Ln(Rt/Rx)/b + Tx-1)-1.

Other than the (very uncritical) Cx and the thermistor itself, the only component in Figure 1 is Rx. How best to choose its value?

Intuition suggests and math confirms that the optimum (at least nearly so) choice is to make Rx equal to the thermistor’s at the middle of the span of temperature measurement required by the application. Said mid-point temperature (call it Tx) will then output V = Vref/2 and thus distribute ADC resolution symmetrically over the range of measurement. Equation. 5 tells us how to get there.

Suppose we choose a measurement range of 0oC to 100oC, then Tx = 50oC = 323.15 K and Equation 5’s arithmetic tells us (using the 2152723605’s numbers):

Rx = Ro exp(b(Tx-1 – To-1))
Rx = 10000 exp(3892(323.15-1 – 298.15-1))
Rx = 3643 (closest standard 1% value = 3650)

Now, if we conveniently choose Vref = 5V for both input to Rx and to the reference input of the ADC (since this is a ratiometric measurement, the absolute value of Vref is relatively unimportant) we can set:

X = ADC/2N = V/Vref
Then,
T = (Ln(X/(1 – X))/b + Tx-1)-1
oC = (Ln(X/(1 – X))/3892 + 0.003095)-1– 273.15

 And the job is done! 

Or is it? What about that dissipation (self-heating) factor (1.5 mW/°C)? 

We obviously don’t want thermistor self-heating to significantly interfere with the temperature measurement. A reasonable limit for self-heating error might be half a degree and in the case of the 2152723803’s 1.5 mW/°C, this would dictate limiting maximum dissipation to no more than:

Pmax = (1.5 mW)/2 = 0.75 mW

Dissipation maxes out to Vref2/4/Rx when Rt = Rx and in this case of Vref = 5 V will therefore be:

Pmax  = Vref2/4/Rx
= 25/4/3650
= 1.7 mW
= 1.1°C

Yikes! That’s more than twice the stipulated maximum self-heating error. What to do? Not to worry, a solution is suggested by Figure 2.

Figure 2 Rvdd limits max thermistor self-heating to Pmax: Pmax = Vdd2/4/(Rx + Rvdd); Rvdd = Vdd2/4/Pmax – Rx if  > zero, else Rvdd = 0; (Vdd Rx/(Rvdd + Rx)) < Vref  < Vdd.

Dipping again into the 2152723605 numbers and keeping Vdd = 5 V:

Rvdd = 25/4/(0.75 mW) – 3650
Rvdd = 8333 – 3650 = 4.7k
Pmax = 0.749 mW
2.8 V < Vref  <  5 V

Note that if the Figure 2 math yields a zero or negative value for Rvdd, then no Rvdd is required, and the original Figure 1 circuit will work just fine.

Although Vref will vary with Rt and therefore temperature, external-reference monolithic ADCs are typically very tolerant of Vref variations within the range shown and will perform accurate ratiometric conversions despite them.

And now the job is done! We just had to keep thinking positive.

Stephen Woodward’s relationship with EDN’s DI column goes back quite a long way. Over 100 submissions have been accepted since his first contribution back in 1974.

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The post Getting positive results from NTC thermistors with a simple passive interface appeared first on EDN.

India’s Semiconductor Dream: Building Manufacturing Prowess and Global Outreach

ELE Times - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 14:49

The Indian semiconductor industry is projected to reach USD 55 billion by 2026. To address the global semiconductor shortage, the Indian government has established the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM), which includes four key schemes aimed at building a global hub for semiconductor manufacturing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized the country’s evolving role in technology, stating, “India is already a digital power, nuclear power, and space power; soon India will become an Electronic Power.” The vision of a “Made in India” and “Designed in India” semiconductor powerhouse underscores the nation’s ambition to lead in this critical sector.

To achieve this, India aims to overcome technological challenges, build a skilled workforce, create a resilient supply chain, and develop green energy solutions for sustainable manufacturing. At the heart of all advanced technologies—such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), nanotechnology, image processing, and augmented reality—lies electronics, making the semiconductor industry a crucial aspect of the global economy.

By investing in and prioritizing the semiconductor sector, India seeks to solidify its position as a key player in the global technology landscape.

Strong Ambitions Fostering Economic Growth

 

India is striking remarkable streaks in the semiconductor industry, reflecting strong ambitions fostering substantial economic growth. Here are the key developments:

1. Upcoming Semiconductor Manufacturing Units:

India plans to establish three new semiconductor manufacturing units with an investment of ₹1.26 lakh crore. This major investment underscores the country’s commitment to becoming a global leader in chip manufacturing.

2. Renesas and IIT Hyderabad Collaboration:

Renesas and IIT Hyderabad have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on research in VLSI (Very-Large-Scale Integration) and embedded semiconductor systems. This partnership aims to drive innovation and enhance research capabilities in India.

3. Tata Group’s Semiconductor ATMP Facility:

The Tata Group announced in March this year the setup of a semiconductor ATMP (Assembly, Testing, Marking, and Packaging) facility worth ₹27,000 crore. This facility is crucial for strengthening the semiconductor supply chain and boosting India’s manufacturing capabilities.

4. Government Initiatives: Semicon India:

Launched in 2021, the Semicon India initiative aims to develop a robust and sustainable semiconductor and display ecosystem in the country. This initiative highlights the government’s strategic focus on advancing the semiconductor industry.

5. Design Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme:

The DLI scheme offers financial incentives and design infrastructure support for the entire semiconductor lifecycle, including integrated circuits (ICs), chipsets, system-on-chips (SoCs), systems and IP cores, and semiconductor-linked design. This scheme is designed to foster innovation and attract investments in semiconductor design and manufacturing.

6. Job Creation:

The semiconductor industry is expected to create at least 1 million jobs over the next decade, significantly contributing to economic growth and employment in the country.

These initiatives and investments demonstrate India’s determination to become a global semiconductor manufacturing hub, leveraging public and private sector efforts to achieve this ambitious goal.

On the Way to Become a Sustainable & Self-Reliant Electronics SuperPower

India’s journey towards becoming a sustainable and self-reliant electronics superpower is driven by several key initiatives and strategic policies to boost its electronics manufacturing capabilities, foster innovation, and ensure environmental sustainability. Here are some of the significant steps and factors contributing to this transformation:

·  Government Initiatives and Policies
  1. Make in India: Launched in 2014, this initiative encourages companies to manufacture their products in India to boost indigenous production and reduce dependency on imports.
  2. Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: This scheme offers financial incentives to electronics manufacturers to boost domestic production and attract investments.
  3. National Policy on Electronics (NPE) 2019: The policy aims to position India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) by promoting the growth of the semiconductor and display industry.
  4. 4. Digital India: This campaign aims to ensure that government services are available to citizens electronically, promoting digital literacy and connectivity.
·  Strengthening the Supply Chain
  1. Local Sourcing: Encouraging local sourcing of components to reduce reliance on imports.
  2. Semiconductor Manufacturing: Plans to set up semiconductor fabrication plants (fabs) in India to establish a strong semiconductor ecosystem.
  3. Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs): Establishing EMCs to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities to electronics manufacturers.
· Innovation and Research
  1. Research and Development: Promoting R&D in the electronics sector to drive innovation and develop cutting-edge technologies.
  2. Collaboration with Global Companies: Partnering with global technology companies to bring advanced manufacturing technologies and practices to India.
·         Environmental Sustainability
  1. E-Waste Management: Implementing stringent e-waste management rules to ensure proper recycling and disposal of electronic waste.
  2. Green Manufacturing Practices: Encouraging the adoption of eco-friendly manufacturing practices to minimize the environmental impact.
  3. Renewable Energy: Promoting the use of renewable energy sources in electronics manufacturing processes to reduce the carbon footprint.
· Skill Development
  1. Skilling Initiatives: Launching programs to train the workforce in advanced manufacturing technologies and electronics design.
  2. Collaboration with Educational Institutions: Partnering with educational institutions to develop a skilled talent pool for the electronics industry.
· Global Competitiveness
  1. Improving Ease of Doing Business: Simplifying regulations and providing incentives to attract foreign investments.
  2. Export Promotion: Encouraging the export of Indian-made electronics to global markets.

The post India’s Semiconductor Dream: Building Manufacturing Prowess and Global Outreach appeared first on ELE Times.

Vishay Intertechnology Releases Second-Generation Automotive Grade IHLE® Inductor With Integrated EMI Shield in 4040 Case Size

ELE Times - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 14:49

Improved Shield Design Delivers Higher Voltage Ratings, Up to 20 dB of Radiated E-Field Reduction, and Polarity Marking for Additional EMI Control

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. (NYSE: VSH) today expanded its IHLE® series of low profile, high current inductors featuring integrated E-field shields with a new second-generation Automotive Grade device in the 10 mm by 10 mm 4040 case size. Offering an improved shield design over previous-generation solutions, and polarity marked for more consistent EMI performance, the Vishay Dale IHLE-4040DDEW-5A lowers costs and saves board space by potentially eliminating the need for separate board-level Faraday shielding.

Compared to traditional composite inductors, the device released today contains the electric and magnetic fields associated with EMI in a tin-plated copper integrated shield. When the shield is connected to ground, the IHLE-4040DDEW-5A provides up to 20 dB reduction in radiated noise interference, and a further 6 dB reduction in magnetic flux leakage to minimize crosstalk to nearby board components. The inductor features continuous high temperature operation to +155 °C and improved operating and isolation voltage ratings of 75 V and 100 V, respectively.

The IHLE-4040DDEW-5A power inductor is optimized for energy storage in switch mode power supplies and provides excellent noise attenuation when used as a DC power line choke. AEC-Q200 qualified, the device is designed for filtering and DC/DC conversion in entertainment / navigation systems; LED drivers; and noise suppression for motors, automotive domain control units (DCU), and other noise-sensitive applications.

Packaged in a 100 % lead (Pb)-free, magnetically shielded, iron alloy encapsulant, the IHLE-4040DDEW-5A offers high resistance to thermal shock, moisture, and mechanical shock from the additional mounting support provided by its two shield terminals. The inductor is RoHS-compliant, halogen-free, and Vishay Green.

Device Specification Table: 

 

Low End

High End

Inductance @ 100 kHz (μH)

0.47

68

DCR typ. @ 25 °C (mΩ)

1.55

240

DCR max. @ 25 °C (mΩ)

1.66

252

Heat rating current typ. (A)(¹)

32

2.6

Saturation current typ. (A)(²)

28

3.5

Saturation current typ. (A)(³)

40.1

4.9

SRF typ. (MHz)

32.0

3.5

Case size

4040

4040

Part number

IHLE4040DDEWR47M5A

IHLE4040DDEW680M5A

 (¹) DC current (A) that will cause an approximate ΔT of 40 °C
(²) DC current (A) that will cause L0 to drop approximately 20 %
(³) DC current (A) that will cause L0 to drop approximately 30 %

Samples and production quantities of the IHLE-4040DDEW-5A are available now, with lead times of 16 weeks.

The post Vishay Intertechnology Releases Second-Generation Automotive Grade IHLE® Inductor With Integrated EMI Shield in 4040 Case Size appeared first on ELE Times.

Infineon announces CoolGaN bidirectional switch and CoolGaN Smart Sense for higher performance and more cost-effective power systems

ELE Times - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 14:26

Infineon Technologies AG today announced two new CoolGaN product technologies, CoolGaN bidirectional switch (BDS) and CoolGaN Smart Sense. CoolGaN BDS provides exceptional soft- and hard-switching behavior, with bidirectional switches available at 40 V, 650 V and 850 V. Target Applications of this family include mobile device USB ports, battery management systems, inverters, and rectifiers. The CoolGaN Smart Sense products feature lossless current sensing, simplifying design and further reducing power losses, as well as transistor switch functions integrated into one package. They are ideal for usage in consumer USB-C chargers and adapters.

The CoolGaN BDS high voltage will be available at 650 V and 850 V and feature a true normally-off monolithic bi-directional switch with four modes of operation. Based on the gate injection transistor (GIT) technology, the devices have two separate gates with substrate terminal and independent isolated control. They utilize the same drift region to block voltages in both directions with outstanding performance under repetitive short-circuit conditions. Applications can benefit by using one BDS instead of four conventional transistors, resulting in higher efficiency, density, and reliability. Furthermore, significant cost savings are achieved. The devices optimize performance in the replacement of back-to-back switches in single-phase H4 PFC and HERIC inverters and three-phase Vienna rectifiers. Additional implementations include single-stage AC power conversion in AC/DC or DC/AC topologies.

The CoolGaN BDS 40 V is a normally-off, monolithic bi-directional switch based on Infineon’s in-house Schottky Gate GaN technology. It can block voltages in both directions, and through a single-gate and common-source design, it is optimized to replace back-to-back MOSFETs used as disconnect switches in battery-powered consumer products. The first 40 V CoolGaN BDS product has a 6 mΩ RDS(on), with a range of products to follow. Benefits of using 40 V GaN BDS vs. back-to-back Si FETs include 50 – 75 percent PCB area savings and a reduction of power losses by more than 50 percent, all at a lower cost.

The CoolGaN Smart Sense products feature 2 kV electrostatic discharge withstand and can connect to controller current sense for peak current control and overcurrent protection. The current sense response time is ~200 ns, which is equal or less than common controller blanking time for ultimate compatibility.

Implementing the devices results in increased efficiency and cost savings. At a higher RDSs(on) of e.g. 350 mΩ, the CoolGaN Smart Sense products offer similar efficiency and thermal performance at lower cost compared to traditional 150mΩ GaN transistors. Moreover, the devices are footprint compatible to Infineon’s transistor-only CoolGaN package, eliminating the need for layout rework and PCB respin, and further facilitating design with Infineon’s GaN devices.

Availability

Engineering samples of the CoolGaN BDS 40 V are available now for 6 mΩ and will follow in Q3 2024 for 4 mΩ and 9 mΩ. Samples of the CoolGaN BDS 650 V will be available in Q4 2024, and 850 V will follow early 2025. CoolGaN Smart Sense samples will be available in August 2024. Further information is available here: https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/product/promopages/GaN-innovations/

The post Infineon announces CoolGaN bidirectional switch and CoolGaN Smart Sense for higher performance and more cost-effective power systems appeared first on ELE Times.

onsemi unveils complete power solution to improve energy efficiency for data centers

Semiconductor today - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 13:44
onsemi of Scottsdale, AZ, USA claims that the combination of its latest-generation T10 PowerTrench family and EliteSiC 650V MOSFETs create a solution that offers unparalleled efficiency and high thermal performance in a smaller footprint for data-center applications...

EPC Space launches 40V rad-hard GaN FETs with low on-resistance and gate charge

Semiconductor today - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 11:32
EPC Space LLC of Haverhill, MA, USA has launched two new radiation-hard gallium nitride (GaN) discretes with low on-resistance and extremely low gate charge for high-power-density solutions that are lower cost and more efficient than the nearest comparable rad-hard silicon MOSFET...

Using Advanced SPICE models to Characterize an NMOS Transistor

AAC - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 20:00
SPICE models designed for specific CMOS process nodes can enhance simulations of integrated-circuit transistors. Learn where to find these models and how to use them.

Aixtron acquires Italian production site near Turin

Semiconductor today - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 19:51
Deposition equipment maker Aixtron SE is expanding its manufacturing presence in Europe with the acquisition of a production site near Turin, in the Piedmont region of Italy. The firm is hence expanding its production capacities to be prepared for further growth in unit shipments in the coming years. Furthermore, the new location allows Aixtron to establish a link to the strong university and supplier ecosystem in the Piedmont region. Aixtron’s exiting locations in Herzogenrath, Germany (headquarters, R&D, production) and Cambridge, UK (R&D, production) are expected to benefit from the strengthened European footprint...

CGD demos new ICeGaN 650V GaN ICs at PCIM Europe

Semiconductor today - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 18:50
At Power, Control and Intelligent Motion (PCIM) Europe 2024 in Nuremberg, Germany (11–13 June), fabless firm Cambridge GaN Devices Ltd (CGD) — which was spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2016 to design, develop and commercialize power transistors and ICs that use GaN-on-silicon substrates — is demonstrating how its product portfolio is developing to address higher-power applications such as motor drives, inverters and data centers, as well as lower-power, ultra-compact smart portable device adapters and chargers...

Component abuse 🤣😂

Reddit:Electronics - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 18:06
Component abuse 🤣😂

Bit of a laugh... Random sh&t post...

Knocked up a quick and dirty UV light to try and cure some Chinese solder mask... (Don't ask lol) Running a LOT of UV LEDs And an LM317 with no heatsink... it's dissipating rather a bit of power... 24v supply 🤣

In fact I expected it to blow up 10 mins ago...

Currently sitting on 135degrees C. I could heat my damn coffee on it...

Yet it's still working... Damn... 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

submitted by /u/IllustriousCarrot537
[link] [comments]

Infineon adds bidirectional switch and Smart Sense products to CoolGaN family

Semiconductor today - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 16:26
Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany has announced two new CoolGaN product technologies: CoolGaN bidirectional switch (BDS) and CoolGaN Smart Sense...

Rohde & Schwarz approved by USB-IF for USB 3.2 Gen 1 & Gen 2 transmitter and receiver compliance testing

ELE Times - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 14:37

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has approved the USB 3.2 Gen 1 & Gen 2 transmitter and receiver compliance test solution from Rohde & Schwarz, confirming that it meets the stringent requirements set by the standardization body. Manufacturers of USB devices preparing for official USB-IF certification can have full confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the test results produced by the test solution.

Rohde & Schwarz has received approval from the USB Implementers Forum for its USB 3.2 Gen 1 & Gen 2 transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) compliance test solution. This approval underlines the company’s commitment to providing high-quality test and measurement solutions for the USB ecosystem.

The R&S RTP-K101 for Tx and R&S RTP-K102 for Rx enables manufacturers to test their USB devices for compliance with the USB 3.2 standard, using the R&S RTP oscilloscope from Rohde & Schwarz. The software option includes a range of test cases and scenarios that cover all aspects of electrical compliance testing of USB 3.2 Gen 1 & Gen 2 transmitters and receivers. They are implemented in the R&S ScopeSuite software, which controls all needed hardware to carry out these tests, including third-party bit error rate testers (BERT) required for receiver testing. R&S ScopeSuite features illustrated step-by-step instructions which guide users in terms of optimum setup and connection to test fixtures to obtain reliable test results in line with USB-IF test specifications.

The USB-IF is the industry body responsible for the promotion and development of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard. The organization oversees the development of USB technology standards and ensures that all USB-IF certified products meet the highest standards of interoperability and quality.

The R&S RTP-K101 for Tx and R&S RTP-K102 for Rx compliance test options for USB 3.2 Gen 1 & Gen 2 are available from Rohde & Schwarz and are part of the company’s extensive solutions portfolio for USB design and compliance testing. Rohde & Schwarz already has approval from the USB-IF for USB 2.0 transmitter and receiver testing as well as for USB cable and connector testing.

For more information on USB testing solutions from Rohde & Schwarz, go to: https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/_251317.html

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E-Fill Electric Joins Forces with DevvStream to Drive Carbon Credit Generation from India’s EV Charging Network

ELE Times - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 14:12

Strategic Partnership Aims to Generate Carbon Credits from EV Charging Network, Revolutionizing India’s Electric Mobility Landscape.

As the world celebrates World Environment Day, E-Fill Electric, a pioneering provider of technology-driven electric vehicle (“EV”) solutions, and DevvStream Holdings Inc. (NEO: DESG) (OTCQB: DSTRF) (FSE: CQ0), a leading carbon credit project co-development and generation firm specializing in technology-based solutions,  announced a definitive agreement (the “E-Fill Agreement”) to leverage E-Fill Electric’s network of EV charging stations in India for carbon credit generation. This agreement is anticipated to establish a new revenue stream for E-Fill Electric, enabling the expansion of the company’s R&D and manufacturing capabilities.

E-Fill Electric will serve as a launch partner forDevvStream’s Electric Vehicle Charging Carbon Offset Program (“EVCCOP”) in India, which aims to accelerate electric mobility by generating revenue for EV charging network owners and operators. The program achieves this by producing and selling voluntary carbon credits, which are generated when EV owners charge their vehicles. The program is tailor-made for Charge Point Operators and Mobility Service Providers that own/operate Level 1, Level 2, or DC Fast Charging stations, public or private, for passenger vehicles or heavy-duty vehicles like e-buses and e-trucks. The average Level 2 EV charger generates approximately 40 credits per year with medium use, while a Level 3 EV charger generates approximately 500 credits annually, according to Company estimates.

Mayank Jain, CEO of E-Fill Electric, emphasized the strategic significance of this collaboration, stating, “DevvStream’s unparalleled expertise in carbon markets aligns seamlessly with our vision to foster the widespread adoption of EVs in India. Through the EVCCOP, we are poised to create a lucrative revenue stream while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“With India prioritizing the adoption and growth of domestic manufacturing of EVs, there is a significant need for expanded EV charging infrastructure to support this shift, and carbon markets present a massive untapped source of funding for technology providers like E-Fill Electric,” said Sunny Trinh, CEO of DevvStream. “DevvStream’s EVCCOP will allow E-FillElectric to create a lucrative new revenue stream from its existing EV charging network through the generation of high value carbon credits which can finance further network expansion. As progress continues toward DevvStream’s business combination with Focus Impact Acquisition Corp., we look forward to sharing additional updates related to the on boarding of additional partners into this and other DevvStream programs.”

DevvStream’s EVCCOP incentivizes EV charging through the production and sale of voluntary carbon credits. This innovative program caters to ChargePoint Operators and Mobility Service Providers, offering a compelling financial incentive to bolster EV infrastructure. With India witnessing a surge in EV adoption, the EVCCOP is poised to catalyze the nation’s transition to electric mobility.

The EVCCOP comes at a critical juncture for India, where EV sales are on the rise, fueled by government incentives and a growing emphasis on environmental sustainability. As India charts a course towards becoming a manufacturing hub for EVs, robust charging infrastructure is imperative to support this transition.

“E-Fill Electric is dedicated to empowering our partners in expanding EV charging infrastructure across India,” added Jain. “The revenues generated through the DevvStream program will provide a vital financial boost, enabling us to realize our vision of a cleaner, greener India.”

With over 12,000 public charging installations already in place, India’s EV charging landscape is primed for exponential growth. As the world commemorates World Environment Day, the collaboration between E-Fill Electric and DevvStream serves as a beacon of hope, showcasing the power of innovation to drive positive change for our planet and future generations.

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u-blox launches comprehensive Bluetooth Angle-of-Arrival solution to enable reliable indoor asset tracking

ELE Times - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 13:43

u-locate offers every necessary hardware, software and middleware component for indoor positioning, including support for interoperability with the omlox™ standard.

u-blox, a global provider of leading positioning and wireless communication technologies and services, has announced u-locate, a complete indoor positioning solution, offering the optimal combination of accuracy, cost and power consumption. Based on Bluetooth LE AoA (Angle-of-Arrival), u-locate delivers positioning accuracy levels down to 10 centimeters while ensuring extended tag battery lifetimes at an affordable price point.

The flexible and modular u-locate solution targets RTLS (real-time location system) solution providers and systems integrators, with end-user indoor tracking applications in warehousing, manufacturing, healthcare and many more. The easy-to-configure mobile application includes an extensive management support tool and anchors with self-aware orientation, removing the pain of complex solution installations and ensuring reduced times to market.

u-locate’s advanced AoA positioning algorithms deliver market-leading accuracy while reducing the cost of tracking assets, enabling a wider range of use cases. The combination of Bluetooth 5.1 technology with the optimized antenna configuration of u-locate delivers exceptional levels of positioning accuracy, without compromising power consumption. The u-locate solution scales easily as the end-user installation grows, and futureproofing is underpinned with OTA (over-the-air) software updates ensuring continuous access to new features and updates.

The flexible solution can be tailored according to the needs of the application, and consists of a positioning middleware (u-locateHub), a positioning engine (u-locateEngine), anchor points (u-locateAnchor) and tags (u-locateTag). It can be complemented with GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) products from u-blox, to guarantee seamless indoor and outdoor localization.

u-locateHub complies with the omlox global interoperability standard and its well-documented API platform contains various APIs, supporting integration with multiple vendor solutions. By joining omlox, u-blox recognizes the importance of contributing to a growing ecosystem, and promoting global interoperability of positioning solutions.

“We are delighted that u-blox is entering the omlox ecosystem, by adopting the standard into u-locate, its new RTLS solution for indoor positioning systems,” says Dr. Matthias Joest, Committee leader for omlox.  “omlox is the world’s first locating standard. It specifies flexible locating solutions that allow customers to benefit from lower integration costs, while ensuring future-proof setups. Having u-blox – recognized leader in locating technologies – as member and supporter of omlox, is a huge benefit for our fast-growing ecosystem.”

With u-locate, u-blox is leveraging its deep expertise in wireless connectivity and positioning technologies to address the growing need for high-performance positioning systems which reduce operational costs and maximize sustainability by optimizing inventory management along with material and people flows.

u-blox provides semiconductor chips, modules, and IoT services that reliably locate and connect everything. Our cutting-edge solutions drive innovation for the car of the future and the Internet of Things. Headquartered in Thalwil (Zurich), Switzerland, we have a global presence of 1,400 experts who enable our customers to build solutions for a precise, smart, and sustainable future.  

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Application For Maker Faire Rome 2024: Deadline June 20th

Open Electronics - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 13:25

Learn More About the Ideas, Makers + Projects at Maker Faire Rome 2024 Developing a multitude of technologies for the sustainability of the planet and for environmental care is imperative today. The depletion of natural resources and the need to conserve what remains have brought technological innovation into our lives, especially at events and expositions […]

The post Application For Maker Faire Rome 2024: Deadline June 20th appeared first on Open Electronics. The author is Boris Landoni

First Solar becomes solar industry’s first EPEAT Climate+ Champion

Semiconductor today - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 11:24
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module maker First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA says that its Series 6 Plus and Series 7 TR1 products are the world’s first PV solar modules to achieve the EPEAT Climate+ designation, establishing a new benchmark for the solar technology and manufacturing industry...

NUBURU’s distributor Japan Laser Company installs BL250 BlueScan in Osaka office

Semiconductor today - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 11:16
NUBURU Inc of Centennial, CO, USA — which was founded in 2015 and develops and manufactures high-power industrial blue lasers — says that distributor Japan Laser Company (JLC) has installed a BL250 BlueScan system in the JLC Osaka office, to be used to demonstrate micro-welding and wire stripping to strategic electronic and medical device customers in the Japanese market...

Geely and ST set up joint lab and sign multi-year SiC device supply deal

Semiconductor today - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 11:07
STMicroelectronics of Geneva, Switzerland and China-based automobile and electric vehicle (EV) maker Geely Auto Group have signed a multi-year silicon carbide (SiC) supply agreement to accelerate their existing cooperation on SiC devices...

Elevating embedded systems with I3C

EDN Network - Wed, 06/05/2024 - 08:51

In modern electronics, embedded systems have become increasingly complex, incorporating a variety of sensors and components in many applications including IoT, computing, wearables and security-sensitive applications. To meet the growing requirements of these markets, the MIPI Alliance has developed the improved inter-integrated circuit® (I3C) interface. I3C is an advanced serial communication interface that offers a major upgrade in how electronic components can communicate with each other by providing faster communication rates, lower power consumption, and improved design flexibility. As a key component of an embedded system, microcontrollers (MCUs) are used to control application functions like sensor signal acquisition and closed-loop control. We will delve into several applications that can utilize an MCU with an I3C communication interface, offering a robust upgrade path and compatibility for I2C and SPI implementations. 

I3C and IoT applications

IoT touches nearly every facet of our daily routines, spanning from household gadgets to sophisticated building automation and wearable devices. These interconnected devices gather and exchange data, fundamentally shaping our digital ecosystem. Within IoT devices, different types of sensors play a pivotal role, measuring, monitoring, and relaying crucial physical attributes like temperature, humidity, pressure, and distance, among others.

The I3C protocol offers several benefits for networked sensor nodes. It enables high-speed communication, with speeds of up to 12.5 MHz in single data rate (SDR) mode. It also supports in-band interrupts and dynamic addressing. In dynamic addressing, a central controller assigns unique addresses to each connected device, preventing address conflicts. Compared to its predecessor I2C, I3C boasts faster speeds, a simpler 2-wire interface, a more efficient protocol structure, and operates at lower voltages to reduce power consumption. These improvements make I3C well-suited for efficiently managing multiple sensor nodes within a connected network.

Incorporating a low cost MCU with built-in I3C peripherals into IoT sensor nodes as an analog “aggregator” can enhance functionality and efficiency of the entire sensor network. In this setup, the MCU’s on-chip analog-to-digital converter (ADC) is utilized to convert readings from multiple analog sensors into digital values. These digital values can then be stored in the MCU’s internal memory for further analysis or organized for more efficient transmission. The aggregated sensor data is transmitted to the main controller via the I3C bus at intervals optimized for system efficiency.

The distinct advantage of I3C in sensor-based systems becomes apparent when considering its capacity to minimize component complexity, cost, and power consumption by necessitating fewer pins and wires compared to alternative communication interfaces. For system designers navigating the demanding IoT market landscape, a compact MCU with I3C communication interface emerges as an essential solution, facilitating the creation of successful IoT devices that align with market requirements.

Multiple protocols and multiple voltages in embedded devices

As technology requirements grow, embedded developers face increasing challenges with backward compatibility. This compatibility is crucial because it allows for embedded systems to be gradually updated, rather than completely redesigned. To help ease the transition to I3C, the new communication protocol addresses the limitations of I2C and SMBus, while using the same two pins as I2C for clock and data to maintain compatibility.

While I3C aims to be backward-compatible with I2C/SMBus protocols, the presence of an I2C/SMBus device on an I3C bus can affect bus performance, even with controller optimization for I3C devices. To resolve this, an MCU with an I3C module can serve as a bridge device, isolating I2C/SMBus target devices from the “pure” I3C bus. This maintains the integrity of the I3C bus, allowing the main I3C controller to communicate with I2C /SPI devices via the bridge MCU. Additionally, the MCU can consolidate interrupts from I2C /SMBus devices and transmit them to the main I3C controller using in-band interrupts, without additional pins or signals.

Embedded systems incorporate various components such as MCUs, sensors, and other circuits. Oftentimes, these components need to be connected to one another, yet they operate in different voltage domains. For instance, analog sensors typically operate at 5 V, while communication protocols like I2C and SMBus require 3.3 V. The I3C bus can even operate at 1 V to match the requirements of modern high-speed processors.

MCUs with a multi-voltage I/O (MVIO) feature resolve voltage incompatibility and eliminate the need for level shifters. This feature enables I3C and I2C /SMBus buses to operate at different voltages simultaneously. For instance, an MCU can run the I3C bus at 1 V while keeping the I2C /SMBus bus at a higher 3.3 V for compatibility with legacy devices.

As shown in Figure 1, Microchip’s PIC18-Q20 MCUs, with MVIO support, offer multiple communication protocols like I3C, SPI, I2C, and UART, and up to three independent operating voltage domains. This flexibility proves highly beneficial in complex networked environments where devices use different protocols and voltages, allowing embedded developers to maintain existing protocols while futureproofing their designs.

Figure 1 The PIC18-Q20 MCUs, with MVIO support, offer multiple communication protocols like I3C, SPI, I2C, and UART, and up to three independent operating voltage domains. This offers flexibility in networked environments where embedded devices may use different protocols and voltages. Source: Microchip

Modern computing infrastructure

People can easily underestimate how much we rely on data centers in our daily digital lives. From conducting business and financial transactions to browsing the internet, storing data, engaging in social networking, attending virtual meetings, and enjoying digital entertainment—all these activities are facilitated by data centers. These centers ensure that our data is safe, our internet is fast, and our digital services are always available.

At the core of the data center lies the modern blade server: a highly advanced computer designed to maximize space efficiency and optimize network performance on a large scale. Due to the crucial nature of their function, certain system tasks within each server chassis are delegated to a sideband controller. While the main processing unit focuses on managing the primary data flow, the sideband controller steps in to enhance network performance. It establishes a secondary communication channel to oversee individual server blades and handles important tasks such as monitoring system health, detecting faults, discovering and configuring devices, updating firmware, and conducting diagnostics without disrupting the main processor. This ensures smooth and efficient operation. Sideband management serves as a critical tool that can greatly enhance the reliability, availability and efficiency of data centers.

Solid state drives (SSDs) are also commonly used in data centers to store and quickly access data. The newest SSD form factor, SNIA® Enterprise and Datacenter Standard Form Factor (EDSFF), has adopted the I3C protocol for sideband communication as a natural upgrade from the existing SMBus protocol. I3C addresses the demand for faster performance, higher data transfer rates, and improved power efficiency. The high-speed communication of I3C enables faster bus management and configuration modifications for enhanced system responsiveness.

Flexible MCUs such as the PIC18-Q20 family (Figure 2) are particularly well-suited for system management tasks in data center and enterprise environments. With up to two separate I3C interfaces, these MCUs can easily connect to an SSD controller for performing system management tasks, as well as to a baseboard management controller (BMC) via a sideband connection. Moreover, with built-in legacy communication protocols like I2C/SMBus, SPI, and UART, these devices represent an ideal solution for both current and next-generation SSD designs.

Figure 2: The PIC18-Q20 family will easily connect to an SSD and BMC controller via a sideband connection. Source: Microchip

I3C’s growing ubiquity

The integration of the I3C protocol has emerged as an enabling force in embedded systems. The enhanced communication capabilities, lower power consumption, and compatibility with existing protocols make I3C a cornerstone for next-generation IoT and computing applications. By optimizing sensor functionalities in IoT devices and data center communication, the versatility of I3C when integrated into MCUs can provide a robust foundation for the modern electronic systems. The adoption of I3C is quickly growing in ubiquity, enabling enhanced performance, reliability, and efficiency.

Stephanie Pinteric and Ulises Iniguez are senior product marketing engineers in Microchip’s 8-bit MCU business unit.

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