Microelectronics world news

STMicroelectronics achieves Vodafone NB-IoT certification for location-aware cellular IoT modules

ELE Times - Thu, 08/24/2023 - 10:26

ST87M01 NBIoT modules now tested and approved by leading cellular network operator Vodafone

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has announced the achievement of Vodafone NB-IoT certification of its ST87M01 NB-IoT and GNSS modules. The ST87M01 combines cellular IoT connectivity and geolocation in a miniaturized, low-power, integrated module featured for wide-ranging IoT and smart-industrial applications.

Completing our test program with Vodafone assures our customers of a reliable and future-proof data connection for their IoT solutions that leverage this module’s novel and power-efficient features,” said Domenico Arrigo, General Manager, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics. “Also, being entirely conceived, designed, and industrialized by ST ensures high product quality and security with supply independence and longevity.”

Sven Sobe, Senior Expert IoT Innovation & Certification at Vodafone, added, “ST’s ST87M01 module has demonstrated flawless connectivity with our NB-IoT global infrastructure and offers an excellent option to connect to our network anywhere in Europe.”

The ST87M01 has also been recently certified by the Global Certification Forum (GCF) that promotes interoperability of mobile and IoT products. The module complies with 3GPP Release 15 and provides extended multi-regional LTE coverage.

Bringing together reliable geolocation capability with long-term assured cellular connectivity, the ST87M01 module addresses emerging massive IoT applications such as smart traffic-emergency lights, to become mandatory in Spain by 2026. The new lights supersede the passive emergency triangle, by providing real-time car geolocation to the local traffic-control system in the event of accident, consistent with the European road safety charter. The ST87M01 is the most integrated module in the market, embedding all the functions needed to support this application and paving the way towards safer and interconnected mobility.

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NB-IoT certifications for the ST87M01 also come at the right time for design-in to new electric, water and gas smart-metering roll-outs planned worldwide. In particular, the module represents a very effective solution for deployment in the new Indian smart metering infrastructure, which is estimated to reach 250 million units in the next five years.

The module integrates a state-of-the-art ST4SIM embedded SIM (eSIM), certified according to the latest industry standards, such as the latest GSMA eSA (Security Assurance) certification. The ST4SIM also includes a certified embedded secure element (eSE). The complete circuitry is contained within an ultra-small 10.6mm x 12.8mm LGA package.

Low energy consumption features maximize the runtime of battery-powered applications. The integrated native GNSS receiver ensures optimized power-savings features while operating during NB-IoT sleep time slots.

The ST87M01 integrates easily with other components from ST’s portfolio such as MEMS intelligent actuators and sensors, interfaces, and other connectivity to address many more IoT applications that need precise geolocation. These include tracking devices for pets and personal possessions, industrial asset tracking, and sensors for use throughout smart infrastructure, smart agriculture, and others.

The ST87M01 is sampling now to major customers worldwide. Please contact your ST sales office for pricing options and sample requests.

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Saphlux Brightens AR/VR Micro-LED Displays With Nanoporous Quantum Dots

AAC - Thu, 08/24/2023 - 02:00
Using modified quantum dot technology, Saphlux says its new display prototype offers the best red micro-LED engine in the industry.

Selecting Inductors for Step-Down Switching Regulators, Continued

AAC - Wed, 08/23/2023 - 20:00
Are you picking out components for a step-down switching regulator? Learn how to think about inductance values and inductor current when choosing an inductor.

Power Tips #120: How isolated bias transformer parasitic capacitance impacts EMI performance

EDN Network - Wed, 08/23/2023 - 17:20

Small, isolated power supplies provide power across isolation barriers in applications from electric vehicle traction inverters to factory control modules. In this Power Tip, I’ll examine different isolated bias-supply topologies and their electromagnetic interference (EMI) performance. As you’ll see, parasitic capacitance across the isolation transformer is a major contributor to common-mode noise propagation.

In traction inverters, gate drivers actuate the high-power switches—usually insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) or silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs—which convert energy between the high-voltage battery and the electric machine (see Figure 1). The gate drivers are typically isolated, with one part of the gate driver IC connected to the low-voltage domain (the primary side) and another part connected to the high-voltage domain (the secondary side). The gate-drive control signals come from a microcontroller on the primary side and are passed through to the secondary side to turn the power switch on and off.

Figure 1 A traction inverter with isolated gate drivers. Source: Texas Instruments

The secondary side of the isolated gate driver needs an isolated power supply in order to actuate power switch turn-on and turn-off (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 An isolated bias supply provides power across the isolation barrier for the isolated gate driver. Source: Texas Instruments

 The power ratings for isolated bias supplies are usually fairly low—less than 10 W. The equation below estimates their power requirements as:

PDRV = VDRV x Qg x FSW        (1)

where VDRV is the gate-drive voltage, Qg is the switch gate charge, and FSW is the switching frequency of the switch (not the isolated bias-supply switching frequency). The gate-drive voltage depends on which switch you select, but typically ranges from +15 V to +25 V on the positive rail and –8 V to 0 V on the negative rail.

Common topologies for isolated bias supplies include flyback, push-pull and inductor-inductor-capacitor (LLC). Some fully integrated power modules (that include the transformer in the package) use a full-bridge configuration on the primary side. Flyback converters, such as the LM5180-Q1 from Texas Instruments (TI), are well known, provide good output voltage regulation, are fairly efficient, can be designed without an optocoupler (using primary-side regulation), and can have multiple isolated outputs. Their drawbacks are that they tend to be limited in frequency range (<350 kHz) and have a large transformer size. Push-pull converters, such as TI’s SN6507-Q1 and LLC converters, such as TI’s UCC25800-Q1, are simple but do not have closed-loop feedback. As a result, the output voltage regulation suffers, potentially requiring a pre-regulator, a post-regulator, or both. Integrated power modules (such as TI’s UCC14341-Q1) can regulate the output voltage and are simple and small, but their drawbacks are limited power output (typically <1.5 W) and lower efficiency than alternative options.

One question you may have is about the EMI performance of different topologies: Do certain topologies have more or less impact on electromagnetic compatibility results? To address these questions, let’s first examine the isolation transformer. Some parasitic capacitance does exist between the windings of the transformer, which charges or discharges when the traction inverter switch node (VSW) switches between HV+ and HV– nodes. A short pulse of common-mode current charges or discharges the parasitic capacitance during the switching transition. The common-mode current is directly proportional to the parasitic capacitance and the switch-node slew rate (dv/dt). Large capacitance or faster switch-node slew rates—as you might see with wide band-gap semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) and SiC—will result in more common-mode current. Figure 3 highlights this parasitic capacitance and the common-mode current used to charge and discharge it.

Figure 3 Common-mode current charges the transformer parasitic capacitance when the switch node (VSW) transitions. Source: Texas Instruments

Converter topology does influence transformer design and the resulting parasitic capacitance. Flyback converter transformers (or coupled inductors if you prefer that nomenclature) are designed to have strong coupling between the primary and secondary sides in an effort to reduce leakage inductance. Leakage inductance causes unwanted voltage spikes and power loss in snubber circuits. The unfortunate impact of designing for low leakage inductance is that the interwinding capacitance typically increases, and can be 20 pF or more. On the other hand, it is possible to design LLC converters to use a transformer’s leakage inductance in its resonant tank. As a result, you would not need to design the transformers to minimize leakage inductance; they can have a parasitic capacitance around 2 pF. As you’ll see, this helps reduce common-mode currents.

Table 1 shows some parameters from a study of four isolated bias topologies to experimentally validate the impact of transformer parasitic capacitance on common-mode current. All of the converters were designed for a 15-VIN, 15-VOUT, 1.5-W application. The switching frequency of each topology is based on typical values, with the transformers designed accordingly. As you can see, the flyback converter transformer has the lowest leakage inductance and the highest parasitic capacitance. The LLC converter transformer has the highest leakage inductance and the lowest parasitic capacitance.

Table 1 Transformer parameters for four example isolated bias-supply converters. Source: Texas Instruments

Comparing these isolated bias-supply topologies involved performing an extensive set of tests: efficiency, load regulation, input and output ripple, thermals, and conducted and radiated EMI. To focus on the common-mode current measured between the isolated grounds in the system, my colleagues connected a wire between the two grounds and measured the common-mode current when the high-power switches (in this example, a GaN half bridge using the LMG3522R030-Q1) turned on and off at 400 V. Figure 4 and Figure 5 show the results for a high-voltage switch-node slew rate of 40 V/ns and 100 V/ns, respectively.

Figure 4 Common-mode current comparison at a 40-V/ns slew rate on the switch node. Channel 1 is the high-voltage switch node (200 V/div) and Channel 2 is the common-mode current (500 mA/div). Source: Texas Instruments

Figure 5 Common-mode current comparison at a 100-V/ns slew rate on the switch node. Channel 1 is the high-voltage switch node (200 V/div) and Channel 2 is the common-mode current (500 mA/div). Source: Texas Instruments

The measured results demonstrate that the common-mode current for the flyback transformer was the largest (935 mA and 1,420 mA for 40-V/ns and 100-V/ns slew rates). This is to be expected, since the transformer had the largest parasitic capacitance. And because the LLC converter had the lowest parasitic capacitance, the common-mode current measured was the smallest (197 mA and 570 mA for 40-V/ns and 100-V/ns slew rates). Large common-mode current spikes are detrimental, since they can conduct noise from the high-voltage domain to the low-voltage domain, cause ground bounce; and potentially lead to poor converter operation including skipped pulses, lost regulation, or unexpected shutdowns.

Common-mode currents can be especially difficult to mitigate. One of the best ways to address common-mode current issues is to avoid generating common-mode current in the first place. While the application discussed here was a traction inverter in an electric vehicle, the principles apply to applications such as grid-connected converters and server power supplies.

Pradeep Shenoy leads the Power Design Services team at TI, focused on automotive systems. He previously worked in TI’s Kilby R&D Lab and in the Switching Regulators business unit. He has presented technical and industry presentations at the Applied Power Electronics Conference nearly every year since 2011, and serves as general chair in 2023. He received the Illinois International Graduate Achievement Award in 2010, the Jack Kilby Award for innovation in 2015, and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Richard Bass Award in 2020. He serves actively in the IEEE Power Electronics Society as treasurer. Shenoy has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


Prashant Kumar and Markus Zehendner completed the hardware design and testing.

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Security and Resilience Key for 5G Private Mobile Networks Adoption : Spirent Report

ELE Times - Wed, 08/23/2023 - 14:19

Spirent Communications, the leading provider of test and assurance solutions for next-generation devices and networks, has released its “Accelerating Private Networking Value Creation” survey, providing insights on key trends and requirements around the adoption of 5G private mobile networks (PMNs). The survey identified technical and commercial drivers, challenges, service level management (SLM), delivery ecosystems, and buying centers for private 5G networks.

“Private networks are emerging as a viable alternative to traditional enterprise networks, offering a wide range of benefits,” said Spirent’s principal strategist for private networks, Marc Cohn. “But the disaggregated private networking ecosystem, wide range of domains, technologies and diversity of user cases result in much greater complexity than the traditional wide area networks (WANs) enterprises have previously relied on.”

The market survey of prospective enterprises reveals that security and network resiliency are key drivers motivating enterprises to consider private networking, fuelling a market that is forecast to reach $7.7 billion (USD) by 2027. As the survey reveals, service level management is especially critical because private networking directly enables enterprise business outcomes which are impacted by network performance and service-level agreement (SLA) compliance.

“Spirent has observed first-hand how private network resiliency requirements, complexity and risk thresholds are introducing new dynamics. To ensure success, rigorous testing is essential at every step of the private network lifecycle – from network design and validation testing, field and acceptance testing, to live network operations and maintenance. Test automation and simplification are also essential for deploying and managing diverse private networks and reduce operational costs,” said Cohn.

The new report was compiled by STL Partners and surveyed 200 enterprises in the manufacturing, financial services, transport and logistics, and oil, gas and mining sectors.

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Key findings included:
  • Service level management is becoming critical because private networking directly enables enterprise business outcomes which are impacted by network performance and service level agreement (SLA) compliance.
  • Increased security and network reliability are the top two business values enterprises are requiring to achieve from their private network. This is due to sensitivity requirements around data sovereignty and IP, security and reliability being viewed as “table-stakes” to enable mission-critical user cases and the current costs and complexity of trying to implement security and reliability across “best-effort” networks.
  • Automation and continuous testing across the lifecycle from network/device design through to site acceptance testing and into live operational assurance and SLA management is essential for deploying and managing diverse private networks, and to reduce operational costs.
  • Enterprises appear willing to pay a premium for an increase in service level requirements. But stringent SLAs are viewed as difficult to achieve on current public networks.
  • Global systems integrators (GSIs) and cloud service providers (SPs) could have advantages as future lead suppliers. Manufacturers favor GSIs due to complex environments and use cases, and cloud SPs have a strong position due to their IT buyer relationships.
  • Enterprises are trying to shift from CAPEX to OPEX models, as private networks are typically financed with IT budgets. Many enterprises favor consumption based as-a-Service models.

Private networks must support diverse applications, environments and commercial models, which drive up complexity, and while PMNs offer previously unobtainable capabilities, and significantly lower total cost of ownership, unprecedented complexity necessitates a new approach to service level management.

“Comprehensive and robust private network service level management is an essential tool to ensure business outcomes as planned. With this in place, a significant opportunity exists for MNOs and CSPs to monetize their investments in 5G,” says Cohn. “However, as the survey shows, none of this is possible without a mature testing strategy in place and employed in the planning, development, and throughout the lifecycle of the solution.”

Spirent’s “Accelerating Private Networking Value Creation” report is available for download at: https://www.spirent.com/assets/report-accelerating-private-networking-value-creation

About Spirent

Spirent Communications plc. (LSE: SPT) is the leading global provider of automated test and assurance solutions for networks, cybersecurity, and positioning. The company provides innovative products, services and managed solutions that address the test, assurance and automation challenges of a new generation of technologies, including 5G, SD-WAN, cloud, autonomous vehicles and beyond. From the lab to the real world, Spirent helps companies deliver on their promise to their customers of a new generation of connected devices and technologies.

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Rohde & Schwarz and MediaTek successfully verify 5G RedCap Rel. 17 connectivity with the R&S CMX500 OBT

ELE Times - Wed, 08/23/2023 - 14:10

Rohde & Schwarz and MediaTek have partnered to successfully verify MediaTek’s 5G RedCap (reduced capability) test platform, as defined in 3GPP Release 17. RedCap will enable a new range of 5G standalone devices such as industrial sensors for 5G smart factories, logistics, edge-AI and always connected wearables. Rohde & Schwarz has tailored the R&S CMX500 OBT wireless communications tester to support RedCap and other Release 17 features.

 Rohde & Schwarz and MediaTek announced today that MediaTek has successfully verified its 5G RedCap test platform with the R&S CMX500 signaling tester, enabling MediaTek to confidently test, measure and verify its final products.

5G RedCap for mid-tier use cases

5G RedCap introduces true mid-tier, enhanced machine-type communication (eMTC) to the 5G ecosystem and will help launch a new wave of devices that bridge the capability and complexity gap between earlier low-speed narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) standards and today’s 5G with an optimized design for mid-tier use cases, such as sensors in industrial automation, smart cameras and wearables. 5G RedCap modems are less complex, use less spectrum bandwidth, consume much less power and work only in standalone (SA) mode, in contrast to 5G modems designed for eMBB use-cases.

R&S CMX500 supports 5G RedCap and other 3GPP Release 17 features

As a market leader in eMTC and NB-IoT testing, Rohde & Schwarz has optimized the R&S CMX500 OBT for IoT testing. R&S CMX500 OBT enhancements let MediaTek verify the various RedCap aspects defined in 3GPP 5G Rel.17 for network access restrictions, bandwidth parts (BWP), bandwidth part switching, power saving and other RedCap-specific protocol signaling procedures.

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The R&S CMX500 wireless communication tester has a one-box tester configuration for best-in-class, future-proof testing of 5G NR. The R&S CMX500 supports all relevant 5G frequencies up to 8 GHz via the intuitive and flexible web-based user interface R&S CMsquares. The signaling test solution is suitable for all 5G mobile devices and chipsets. The R&S CMX500 supports all possible 5G NR network deployments and frequency ranges; including the FR1, FR2 and LTE bands in a single instrument. The R&S CMX500 OBT lite is the most compact hardware configuration with the best pricing, optimized for all RedCap testing requirements.

One test solution for all 5G device product lifecycle stages

The R&S CMX500 speeds up the time to market while supporting a complete range of early R&D design stages, from RF parametric tests, end-to-end application testing, signaling protocol tests, type approval conformance tests up to sample production tests. The one-platform strategy for all 5G NR test equipment creates a unified environment for signaling and non-signaling testing through all 5G device production stages.

Christoph Pointner, Senior Vice President of Mobile Radio Testers at Rohde & Schwarz, says: “I am really honored that our R&S CMX500 will help the industry advance 5G and address new device types that support 5G RedCap in early R&D stages. We are committed to our close and long-standing partnership with MediaTek, and we will continue to innovate further to support all future RedCap and 5G enhancements in upcoming 3GPP releases after 17.”

Dr. Ho-Chi Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnerships at MediaTek, says: “Continuing our close collaboration with Rohde & Schwarz has enabled MediaTek to verify an important milestone towards the next era of 5G. MediaTek will bring the new capabilities of 5G RedCap into our next-gen product lines, and as one of the world’s largest 5G modem suppliers, this milestone gives our customers confidence in their strategic planning and innovation development.”

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The commercialization of digital circuit breakers

EDN Network - Wed, 08/23/2023 - 12:13

Ryan Kennedy began his career as an electrician, and after spending six years in the power distribution industry, he went to college to become a professional engineer. During his college days and soon after that, Kennedy worked on building designs, which included facilities like data centers with large power systems.

That’s when he developed this idea that the future would be electrified more than previously seen, which meant that many things had to change on the grid as well as on the electrical consumption side. Since 2003, Kennedy started noticing that while we put a big emphasis on the grid stuff, power consumption defines everything.

“At the end of the day, billions of points of consumption define the grid needs,” he added. “The idea was that if consumption is going to be the most important element of the system, then protection, visibility, and control are super important at the points of consumption.” So, Kennedy started thinking about a unified method for doing all that.

The view was that all circuits need protection, visibility, and control whether it’s a device charger or a heat, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. And if there is one element in front of everything that consumes energy, it’s the circuit breaker. “It’s universal across every industry, including residential and industrial power systems,” Kennedy said.

So, the idea was that instead of spending money on HVAC control or industrial control systems, you buy circuit breakers that can do these things. “You can do it using a sophisticated software platform, but you still need hardware to do that,” Kennedy added.

For him, that meant that there must be a new solid-state circuit breaker, utilizing semiconductors instead of mechanics to control the energy flow. There are different current ratings in electrical systems because the physics of mechanical breakers and control systems wildly change depending on which environment you are in to be fault tolerant. “Semiconductors do pretty good in fault tolerance.”

Figure 1 From an electrician to CEO of a power electronics company, Kennedy’s journey in power systems encompasses 28 years. Source: Atom Power

Solid-state circuit breakers

After co-founding Atom Power in 2014, Kennedy and his team set out to commercialize solid-state circuit breaker technology. It was certainly not a new idea; it’s been experimented with for at least four decades. “But our view was that the world needs a universal platform for protection, visibility, and control at the edge of the power grid.”

“If you look at the world’s energy, between 85% to 90% is consumed from 100-A or lower circuits,” he said. “So, we thought of solid-state circuit breaker up to three-phase and 100 A as our flagship technology product.” Kennedy added that it was more of technology development that can be applied to all markets at some point.

By 2019, Atom Power became the first company to commercialize solid-state circuit breakers. It also received the first UL listing for solid-state circuit breakers. But Kennedy and his teams also recognized that it was a new product category. “It was chaotic in the beginning, and then we realized that we have to focus on one industry, at least for the time being.”

So, in 2021, Atom Power decided to focus on a major pain point in the market: electric vehicle (EV) charging. “We’ve replaced the complexity of the traditional EV chargers with the software-defined digital circuit breaker, pairing it with application-based hardware,” Kennedy said.

Figure 2 The first UL-listed commercial solid-state digital circuit breaker facilitates centralized charging at the panel level, providing both circuit protection and EV charging. Source: Atom Power

Atom Power manufactures the circuit breaker along with the board where it sits and the peripheral equipment. The company also manufactures silicon carbide (SiC) modules that feature avalanche protection, control systems, and current sensing.

“Unlike the traditional mechanical breaker, which is a single-purpose device, we can use SiC technology to bridge the flow of energy, both from circuit protection and control standpoints,” Kennedy said. “With SiC switching, we can achieve everything in one box.”

A key thing here is that UL still requires that when a breaker trips, it’s galvanically isolated. Here, SiC does the work as galvanic connections never break under load.

Charging for EV fleets

Atom Power has recently announced to supply solid-state breaker EV charging solutions to Inovis Energy, an energy services company, which is building charging infrastructure for Mecklenburg Paint Company to transition its fleet to EVs by 2025. The project was launched in July 2023.

Figure 3 Digital circuit breaker technology enables EVs to charge from a centralized panel. Source: Inovis Energy

Inovis will install solid-state digital circuit breakers to charge vehicles from a centralized panel, eliminating the need for expensive utility upgrades. Otherwise, traditional chargers necessitate a utility transformer upgrade, thereby increasing costs and project timeline.

The system enables the installation of eight charging ports using the existing transformer capacity. Moreover, the installed EV charging ports will be fully networked for secure on-premise and cloud-based asset and power management. That’s also a step closer to the premise of dynamic power management.

Atom Power is headquartered in Huntersville, North Carolina.

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Bentley Systems’ iTwin Ventures Acquires Blyncsy, Breakthrough Innovator in AI Services for Transportation Operations and Maintenance

ELE Times - Wed, 08/23/2023 - 09:11

To Broaden and Accelerate Infrastructure Asset Analytics 

Bentley Systems, Incorporated (Nasdaq: BSY), the infrastructure engineering software company, today announced the acquisition of Blyncsy provider of breakthrough artificial intelligence services for departments of transportation to support operations and maintenance activities. The digital twin ecosystem focus of Bentley’s iTwin Ventures portfolio is bolstered by accelerating the development and propagation of such broadly valuable infrastructure asset analytics.

Founded in 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah, by CEO Mark Pittman, Blyncsy applies computer vision and artificial intelligence in analyzing commonly available imagery to identify maintenance issues on roadway networks. Pittman originally conceived the idea for the company while stuck at a traffic light, believing there had to be ways to combine “real-time” condition data and innovative technologies to help DoTs become more efficient.

Blyncsy’s disruptive AI services replace costly and slow manual data collection efforts, reducing the need for personnel or specialized vehicles or hardware in the field and improving transportation owner-operators’ awareness and timely mitigation of road conditions. Blyncsy detects over 50 different roadway safety issues, including the actual location of active construction work zones.

Pittman said, “Blyncsy is committed to applying the latest AI and machine learning techniques to benefit transportation networks. This alignment with Bentley will only strengthen the value to our users and together we will provide even deeper asset analytics to transportation owners, to support the drivers of today and tomorrow.”

“Safety is our first priority, and operational efficiency is a high number 2. We depend on real-time data, like the information we receive from Blyncsy, to proactively manage the highway system to be as safe and reliable as possible,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Ed Sniffen. “HDOT embraces technology that enables us to run in the most productive manner possible. Blyncsy gets us weekly reports with graphics and photos detailing guardrail, roadway, and vegetation conditions that provide more tools to allow us to prioritize our resources to address the needs of the system.”

Bentley’s iTwin Ventures managing executive, Mike Schellhase, said, “Blyncsy came to our attention for potential participation in a successive VC investment round. But we were so convinced of the significance of their breakthrough that we undertook its outright acquisition, in order to scale it rapidly and pervasively. We expect investments in widespread asset analytics to accelerate leveraging infrastructure digital twins.”

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Blyncsy will adopt Bentley’s iTwin Platform for immersive integration with infrastructure owners’ engineering and simulation models, and Bentley will incorporate and bring to market Blyncsy’s AI services within its emerging mobility digital twin offerings.

The acquisition was supported for Blyncsy by Ignatious Growth Capital and Advisory. Blyncsy’s investors included: Peterson Ventures, Doug Wells, Elemental Excelerator, Park City Angel Network, OakHouse Partners, and CEAS Investments.

Image 1Image 1

Blyncsy’s automated AI road inspection technology detecting paint line presence and its visibility

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Automated pothole detection is a critical variable, as potholes grow when snowplows and cold weather impact the roadway. Blyncsy uses AI to detect these automatically.

Image 3Image 3

Roadways are worn down by vehicles driving on them. Different types of vehicles and heavier vehicles wear roadways faster. Blyncsy’s AI application reports changes to users so they can fix the road at the appropriate time to reduce the costs for transportation managers.

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Blyncsy’s automated road inspection application uses AI to identify roadway assets, assess their condition, and alert users to problems. Image courtesy of Bentley Systems.

About Bentley Systems

Bentley Systems (Nasdaq: BSY) is the infrastructure engineering software company. We provide innovative software to advance the world’s infrastructure – sustaining both the global economy and environment. Our industry-leading software solutions are used by professionals, and organizations of every size, for the design, construction, and operations of roads and bridges, rail and transit, water and wastewater, public works and utilities, buildings and campuses, mining, and industrial facilities. Our offerings, powered by the iTwin Platform for infrastructure digital twins, include MicroStation and Bentley Open applications for modeling and simulation, Seequent’s software for geoprofessionals, and Bentley Infrastructure Cloud encompassing ProjectWise for project delivery, SYNCHRO for construction management, and AssetWise for asset operations. Bentley Systems’ 5,000 colleagues generate annual revenues of more than $1 billion in 194 countries.

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Autonomous Robot Takes to the Soccer Field to Aim, Pass, and Score

AAC - Wed, 08/23/2023 - 02:00
To play a complex sport, this competitive robot uses multiple processors and local computer vision.

Two-half-period rectifiers on op amps

EDN Network - Tue, 08/22/2023 - 20:17

Schemes of two-half-period rectifiers on op amps with switching inputs in accordance with the polarity of the input voltage are given. The switching of inputs is performed by a control signal taken from the output of the zero-indicator made on the comparator.

Precision two-half-period rectifiers, whose operation is based on switching inputs in accordance with the polarity of the input voltage, usually contain an op amp, the non-inverting input of which is shunted by a diode, Figure 1, R1 = R2 = 2R3.

Figure 1 Classical scheme of a precision two-half-period rectifier.

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When a positive half-wave of the input voltage enters the input, the diode D1 is locked. The op amp U1 operates in the mode of a non-inverting amplifier with a transmission coefficient equal to R2/R1. The output voltage is equal to the input voltage: Uout = Uin.

When a negative half-wave of the corresponding amplitude arrives at the input of the device, the diode D1 opens, the circuit operates in the mode of an inverting amplifier with a transmission coefficient equal to –1, Uout = –Uin.

The disadvantage of the circuit is obvious: with a low input voltage of negative polarity due to the fact that the diode D1 has a noticeable resistance, Uout ≠ –Uin. In practice, the amplitude of the input signal when using the op amp U1 LM324 and the diode D1 1N4148 should be in the range of 2.5 V to the supply voltage.

It is possible to improve the operation of a precision two-half-period rectifier by using key elements (FET Q1, Figure 2, or analog switch U2, Figure 3), controlled by a zero detector on the comparator U1.1.

The practical scheme of the first of the devices is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 A two-half-period rectifier with switching of the input of an op amp by a FET.

A zero detector of the input signal is made on the comparator U1.1 of the LM339 chip. From the output of this detector, the control signal is applied to the gate of the FET Q1 2N3823, which switches the input of the op amp U2.1 of the LM324 chip.

The amplitude of the input signal when using an op amp U2.1 LM324 and a FET Q1 2N3823 should be in the range of 0.5 V from the supply voltage.

It is possible to improve a two-half-period rectifier by using an analog U3 switch as a switching element such as Figure 3, for example, CD4066, or a more modern element with less losses. To reduce the resistance of the public key, all 4 channels of the CD4066 switch should be connected in parallel. The switch S1 can change the polarity of the output signals.

Figure 3 A two-half-period rectifier with switching of the input of an op amp by an analog switch.

The precision of the two-half-period rectifier in Figure 3 is operable in the input voltage range from 20 mV to the supply voltage of the device. The maximum frequency of the rectifier is 100 kHz and depends on the frequency properties of the active elements.

Michael A. Shustov is a doctor of technical sciences, candidate of chemical sciences and the author of over 750 printed works in the field of electronics, chemistry, physics, geology, medicine, and history.

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SiLabs Announces Big Additions to Connectivity SoC and SDK Offerings

AAC - Tue, 08/22/2023 - 20:00
At this year's Works With conference, today Silicon Labs announced new wireless SoCs and software support that may add range for smart wireless devices.

CVD Equipment appoints Ashraf Lotfi to board

Semiconductor today - Tue, 08/22/2023 - 17:14
CVD Equipment Corp of Central Islip, NY, USA (a designer and maker of chemical vapor deposition, physical vapor transport, gas and chemical delivery control systems, and other equipment and process solutions for developing and manufacturing materials and coatings) has appointed Dr Ashraf Lotfi to its board of directors, which has also approved an expansion of the number of directors from the current level of five to six...

TI Tightens Accuracy and Integration of New Current Sensing Solutions

AAC - Tue, 08/22/2023 - 16:00
TI says the new Hall-effect current sensor and EZShunt integrated shunt portfolio balance the major features of current sensing solutions: cost, size, accuracy, and speed.

Pasternack Introduces Hermetically Sealed RF Connectors and Adapters

ELE Times - Tue, 08/22/2023 - 15:22

New Line of Hermetically Sealed RF Components Meets Needs of Military and Defense

IRVINE, Calif. – Pasternack, an Infinite Electronics brand and a leading provider of RF, microwave and millimeter-wave products, has announced a new series of hermetically sealed RF connectors and adapters designed to meet the stringent requirements of military and defense applications.

The hermetically sealed terminal connectors and bulkhead-mount adapters in the series are developed with a variety of BNC, Type N, TNC, SMA, 2.92 mm and 2.4 mm options. This provides users with a vast range of options tailored to various specifications and needs.

Adhering to the rigorous MIL-STD-348B connector interfaces, this product line confirms its commitment to delivering top-tier performance and reliability.

In addition to their versatility, these connectors and adapters exhibit remarkable resilience across a wide temperature spectrum, highlighting their suitability for even the most challenging environments.

Furthermore, they exhibit remarkable leak rates of 1×10-6 and 1×10-8 helium per second, epitomizing Pasternack’s dedication to crafting products with a strong focus on quality.

“What sets this line apart is its ability to perform in harsh environments that require a highly robust seal, coupled with its superior electrical efficiency,” said Product Line Manager Kevin Hietpas. “The combination of adaptability, strength and superior functionality ensures that our customers receive the most advanced solutions for their mission-critical applications.”

Pasternack’s hermetically sealed RF connectors and adapters are in stock and available for same-day shipping. For inquiries, please call +1 (949) 261-1920.

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About Pasternack:

A leader in RF products since 1972, Pasternack is an ISO 9001:2015-certified manufacturer and supplier offering the industry’s largest selection of active and passive RF, microwave and millimeter-wave products available for same-day shipping. Pasternack is an Infinite Electronics brand.

About Infinite Electronics:

Based in Irvine, Calif., Infinite Electronics offers a broad range of components, assemblies and wired/wireless connectivity solutions to the aerospace/defense, industrial, government, consumer electronics, instrumentation, medical and telecommunications markets. Its brands include Pasternack, Fairview Microwave, L-com, MilesTek, ShowMeCables, NavePoint, INC Installs, Integra Optics, PolyPhaser, Transtector, KP Performance Antennas, RadioWaves and Aiconics. Infinite serves its customers with deep technical expertise and support. Its broad inventory is available for immediate shipment, fulfilling unplanned demand for engineers and technical buyers. Infinite is a Warburg Pincus portfolio company.

The post Pasternack Introduces Hermetically Sealed RF Connectors and Adapters appeared first on ELE Times.

NECTO IDE from MIKROE adds GNU C for ARM supports more MCU cores from ST, TI and NXP

ELE Times - Tue, 08/22/2023 - 15:10

Myriad of new features includes Planet Debug board sorting functionality and easy access

MikroElektronika (MIKROE), the embedded solutions company that dramatically cuts development time by providing innovative hardware and software products based on proven standards, has launched a new version of its powerful IDE (Integrated Development Environment), NECTO™ Studio 4.0, which now includes including full releases of mikroC AI for ARM, PIC, PIC32, dsPIC, and AVR. The update also adds GNU C for ARM, and makes using Planet Debug™, which enables designers to develop and debug embedded systems remotely over the internet without investing in hardware, more powerful and simpler to use.

One of the most significant new features of NECTO Studio 4.0 is the natural and seamless integration of the GNU C compiler for ARM. This extends support for a range of cores including M0, M0+, M3, M4, and M7 from various vendors such as STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, and NXP. This integration is especially beneficial as it provides compatibility with mikroSDK libraries for ARM, allowing developers to use a myriad of Click libraries on ARM microcontrollers with the GNU C Compiler. Moreover, developers can switch between different architectures without the need to modify their code.

Another new addition is the introduction of NECTO Studio Plot, a real-time data collection tool that requires no additional hardware or bulky libraries. With just a single line of code, developers can log data, which is collected in an Excel-like table view. This data can be exported to a CSV file at any moment, which is highly beneficial for data analysis and reporting, and is set to change how developers collect and visualize data from microcontrollers.

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As Planet Debug continues to gain in popularity, MIKROE is continuing to add new features into NECTO, the IDE on which Planet Debug runs. In NECTO Studio 4.0, one notable enhancement is the automated sorting function, which intelligently prioritizes and displays available boards prominently. This sorting mechanism saves developers’ time, enabling them to quickly identify and select the boards they need without scrolling through a potentially long list.

Comments Nebojsa Matic, CEO of MIKROE: “Our mission is to save design engineers time. Every new feature we add into NECTO aims to make the design engineer more productive. Take MIKROE Passport, that is also new.  A unique login system that unifies access across all MIKROE platforms, including NECTO Studio, Planet Debug, Libstock, MIKROE forum and MIKROE shop, MIKROE Passport allows developers to use their existing accounts from Google, GitHub, Microsoft, Facebook, or Apple to connect with MIKROE, eliminating the need for maintaining multiple accounts and passwords, making access to MIKROE’s resources more streamlined and hassle-free. Of course, it is also totally secure.”

A new video is available on MIKROE’s YouTube channel which explains all the new features.

About MikroElektronika

MikroElektronika (MIKROE) is committed to changing the embedded electronics industry through the use of industry standard hardware and software solutions. In 2011, the company invented the mikroBUS™ development socket standard and the compact Click™ boards for peripherals that use the standard to dramatically cut development time. Now the company offers more than 1450 Click boards – ten times more than competitors – and the mikroBUS standard is included by many leading microcontroller companies on their development boards. SiBRAIN™ is MIKROE’s standard for MCU development add-on boards and sockets and the company’s DISCON™  standard enables uses to choose between a wide variety of supported LCDs and touchscreen options. MIKROE also offers NECTO™, the world’s most flexible IDE, as well as industry’s widest range of compilers, plus development boards, programmers and debuggers. MIKROE’s Planet Debug™ – the embedded industry’s first hardware-as-a-service – enables designers to develop and debug embedded systems remotely over the internet without investing in hardware.

The post NECTO IDE from MIKROE adds GNU C for ARM supports more MCU cores from ST, TI and NXP appeared first on ELE Times.

Fairview Microwave Announces Low-Frequency Waveguide Standard Gain Horns

ELE Times - Tue, 08/22/2023 - 15:00

New Devices Are Set to Transform Landscape of Antenna and Wireless System Testing

IRVINE, Calif. – Fairview Microwave, an Infinite Electronics brand and a leading provider of on-demand RF, microwave and millimeter-wave components, has announced the release of its groundbreaking low-frequency waveguide standard gain horns.

Designed to enhance test and measurement applications, the low-frequency waveguide standard gain horns offer a comprehensive solution for characterizing antennas and wireless systems. With their unique ability to support frequency ranges as low as 320 MHz, they ensure precision and versatility in an increasingly complex field.

These waveguide horns are designed for easy integration into existing setups, boasting direct mounting capabilities to other waveguide systems. Made from high-grade aluminum, the horns are built for durability and longevity. The inclusion of a corrosion-resistant powder coating ensures their reliable performance in a variety of environments.

The low-frequency waveguide standard gain horns present an affordable alternative for customers who do not require TAA/US-made products. However, these products do not compromise on quality or functionality, maintaining consistent gain versus frequency for accurate and consistent test and measurement results.

“Our new waveguide horns demonstrate our commitment to providing advanced solutions that empower our clients,” said Product Line Manager Kevin Hietpas. “We’re offering high-quality, affordable solutions that cater to a wide range of testing needs.”

Fairview’s new low-frequency waveguide standard gain horns are in stock and available for same-day shipping. For inquiries, please call +1 (949) 261-1920.

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About Fairview Microwave:

A leading supplier of on-demand RF and microwave products since 1992, Fairview offers immediate delivery of RF components including attenuators, adapters, coaxial cable assemblies, connectors, terminations and much more. All products are shipped same-day from the company’s ISO 9001:2015-certified production facilities in Lewisville, Texas. Fairview Microwave is an Infinite Electronics brand.

About Infinite Electronics:

Based in Irvine, Calif., Infinite Electronics offers a broad range of components, assemblies and wired/wireless connectivity solutions to the aerospace/defense, industrial, government, consumer electronics, instrumentation, medical and telecommunications markets. Its brands are Pasternack, Fairview Microwave, L-com, MilesTek, ShowMeCables, NavePoint, INC Installs, Integra Optics, PolyPhaser, Transtector, KP Performance Antennas, RadioWaves and Aiconics. Infinite serves its customers with deep technical expertise and support. Its broad inventory is available for immediate shipment, fulfilling unplanned demand for engineers and technical buyers. Infinite is a Warburg Pincus portfolio company.

The post Fairview Microwave Announces Low-Frequency Waveguide Standard Gain Horns appeared first on ELE Times.


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