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Microchip’s Low-Cost PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit Makes RISC-V and FPGA Design More Accessible for a Wider Range of Embedded Engineers

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 14:08

Cost-sensitive development platform helps student, beginner and seasoned designers work with emerging technologies

The embedded industry is seeing an increased demand for open-source RISC-V-based processor architectures, but there are still limited options when it comes to commercially available silicon or hardware. To fill this gap and help empower innovation, Microchip Technology has launched the PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit. By offering a user-friendly, feature-rich development kit for embedded processing and compute acceleration, Microchip is making emerging technology more accessible to engineers at all levels. The open-source development kit features a quad-core, RISC-V application-class processor that supports Linux and real-time applications, a rich set of peripherals and 95K of low-power, high-performance FPGA logic elements. This full-featured, yet low-cost kit allows rapid testing of application concepts, developing firmware applications, programming, and debugging user code.

“We are dedicated to helping support the growth of embedded systems that require low-power, high-performance FPGA fabrics. The PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit is a pivotal step in our journey towards creating more accessible, smart, secure and high-performing computing solutions for a wide range of applications,” said Shakeel Peera, vice president of marketing for Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “With the new Discovery Kit, experienced and new design engineers, as well as university students, will have access to a low-cost RISC-V and FPGA development platform for learning and rapid innovation.”

In addition to traditional sales channels, PolarFire SoC Discovery Kits are being made available through a pilot project as part of the Microchip Academic Program in the second half of 2024. By offering the Discovery Kit at a reduced price to universities, Microchip is ensuring that the future generation of engineers have direct access to state-of-the-art technology. This approach not only enhances the practical learning experience for students but also aligns academic studies with the latest industry trends. Microchip’s academic program offers resources for educators, researchers, and students worldwide and helps universities incorporate advanced technology into their curriculum.

“Preparing students for the work world, a capstone project is a unique opportunity for students to develop practical applications. Several ASU students are using the PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit in their projects this year and it’s been an invaluable experience for them to have access not only to development boards but also the amazing mentorship provided through Microchip’s academic program,” said Steven Osburn, professor at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. “The students are getting hands-on experience working with new technology to complete real-world engineering projects, finding innovative solutions to real-world problems.”

The Discovery Kit is built around the PolarFire MPFS095T SoC FPGA that features an embedded microprocessor subsystem consisting of a quad-core, 64-bit CPU cluster based on the RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). A large L2 memory subsystem can be configured for performance or deterministic operation and supports an asymmetric multi-processing (AMP) mode. The board includes support for Microchip’s Mi-V ecosystem, a MikroBUS expansion header for Click Boards and a 40-pin Raspberry Pi connector, as well as a MIPI video connector. The expansion boards can be controlled using protocols like I2C and SPI. An embedded FP5 programmer is included for FPGA fabric programming and debugging, and firmware applications development.

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Rohde & Schwarz first to test 5G eCall interoperability of Quectel’s 5G module with its wideband radio communication tester

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 13:39

Quectel Wireless Solutions, a global IoT solutions provider, and Rohde & Schwarz have successfully validated Quectel’s innovative 5G eCall module, part of the AG56xN series of automotive modules. For the test, the R&S CMX500 wideband radio communication tester has been used. The test setup will be shown at the Mobile World Congress 2024.

eCall, the automatic emergency call system for vehicles sold within the European Union, was introduced in 2015 and has been a mandatory requirement for all new cars in the EU since 2018. eCall systems currently make use of 2G/3G circuit-switched cellular networks. As these networks will be phased out in just a few years, emergency call systems (in-vehicle systems and infrastructure) will be adapted to the newest 4G/5G packet-switched cellular networks.

The European Commission’s initiative to update the eCall standards and legislation to transition eCall to 4G and 5G networks is ongoing. The automotive industry will need NGeCall test solutions to deliver eCall modules that include the new NGeCall functions. In future years it is expected that an upcoming Chinese eCall standard will also require 4G/5G packet-switched cellular networks.

The AG56xN series represents a cutting-edge line of 5G NR modules, leveraging the MediaTek MT2735 chipset to provide exceptional connectivity solutions. These modules support 5G Rel-15, delivering impressive data rates up to 4.0 Gbps downlink and 480 Mbps uplink within a 200 MHz bandwidth, showcasing a significant leap in wireless communication speeds. They are equipped with a comprehensive array of interfaces, including cellular (4 × 4 MIMO) and GNSS antenna interfaces, USB 3.0, PCIe (Gen3), RGMII, SGMII, multiple UARTs, SPI, I2C, I2S (PCM), SDIO, ADCs, and GPIOs, ensuring versatile connectivity options for various applications.

“We are very pleased to have Rohde and Schwarz validate the AG56xN series of automotive modules with the next generation of eCall features,” commented Norbert Muhrer, President and CSO, Quectel Wireless Solutions. “This sets a new benchmark for the future of intelligent transportation.”

With computing capabilities up to 15K DMIPS and SGMII/RGMII throughput reaching 2.5 Gbps, these modules are designed to meet high-performance requirements. Additionally, they have achieved eCall/NG eCall certifications, underscoring their reliability and safety for automotive applications. The AG56xN series modules are also compatible with automotive-grade Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, offering a proven combination that enhances connectivity solutions for the automotive industry and beyond.

The test setup for testing the 5G/LTE automotive module from Quectel included the R&S CMX500 communication tester along with the R&S CMX-KA098 5G eCall test option simulating a NG eCall Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and a R&S SMBV100B vector signal generator for GNSS simulation. The test confirmed the successful establishment of a 5G emergency call between the Quectel module and the PSAP. The transmission of the Minimum Set of Data (MSD) was successfully achieved without any data loss and the simulated GNSS position was accurately transmitted. Additionally, voice communication was established with clear audio quality.

As a highly versatile tool, the R&S CMX500 with the R&S CMX-KA098 software option can be effectively used for NGeCall testing under reliable and configurable 5G network conditions. To accelerate the deployment of this technology, cooperation between companies within the industry becomes increasingly important. The Rohde & Schwarz and Quectel cooperation helps to mutually validate their solutions, reducing effort and accelerating time to market for our mutual customers.

Juergen Meyer, Vice President of Market Segment Automotive at Rohde & Schwarz says: “This is an important milestone in the rollout of the next generation eCall system, which will have a significant impact on road safety. With our test equipment and Quectel’s 5G eCall module, we successfully established an entire eCall process and verified this new key feature. We are very grateful to Quectel for this excellent collaboration which provides an important checkpoint from which the automotive industry can proceed with greater speed and confidence.”

The test setup will be shown at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, from February 26 to 29, 2024, at the Fira Gran Via, in hall 5, booth 5A80.

The post Rohde & Schwarz first to test 5G eCall interoperability of Quectel’s 5G module with its wideband radio communication tester appeared first on ELE Times.

Aspiring & Promising Career Opportunities in the ESDM industry 2024

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 08:29

Author: Dr Abhilasha Gaur, Chief Operating Officer, Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI)

Dr Abhilasha Gaur, Chief Operating Officer,
Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI)

A circuitous future awaits in India’s electronics sector! This vibrant industry is at the cusp of a major growth phase – poised to rise like voltage through a resistor. Demand for electronics products is surging as rapidly as current through a superconductor. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and gadgets are energizing the Global and Indian market. At the same time, the push for Make in India and Digital India is catalysing growth – like doping silicon with atoms.

From appliances to automation, electronics have become ingrained into every facet of our lives. The PCBs, chips and sensors form the nervous system that powers our gadgets, devices and machines. The electronics industry is currently in the midst of a significant growth spurt, with rising revenues, innovations, and opportunities creating a high demand for qualified workers. Electrifying opportunities lie ahead for skilled professionals. So, charge your enthusiasm, expand your knowledge, and get set to launch into an electronics career that will shine like a supernova. The only thing stopping the brightest paths from being discovered are your creative ideas. The outlook for 2024 is sparky and bright. Are you ready to switch careers and become part of India’s electronics growth story? Here are 5 career roles that are expected to be in high demand in 2024:

Embedded Systems Engineer

With electronics and internet-connected devices becoming more compact yet sophisticated, there has been a rising demand for qualified embedded systems engineers who can design and program the complex integrated circuits and small microprocessors that go into smart devices. From home appliances and wearable gadgets to automotive systems and industrial equipment, embedded technology runs the show behind the scenes. They are the backbone of modern electronics found in consumer devices, automobiles, industrial equipment, and more.

The complexity and demand for embedded devices have surged with rising automation, IoT and focus on localization of electronics manufacturing in India. This has created increased demand for skilled embedded systems engineers who can design, develop and maintain embedded firmware, hardware and software. As per a LinkedIn Emerging Jobs report, embedded software development is one of the top emerging jobs.

Key skills required are expertise in languages like RTOS, working with various SoC architectures, interface protocols like UART, SPI, I2C, CAN etc. and tools such as Visual Studio, Eclipse IDE. Electronics engineers with relevant embedded training and certification have a strong advantage. Testing, debugging and analysing the software are an integral part of the role.

According to NASSCOM, India’s embedded engineer workforce will need to grow 6X from 180,000 in 2018 to 1.2 million by 2025 to meet domestic demand. The average salary of embedded engineers in India ranges from ₹5 lakhs to ₹12 lakhs per annum for freshers, going up to ₹25 lakhs for mid to senior roles.

Mechatronics Engineer

Modern automobiles employ a wide array of electronics to enhance performance, safety, comfort, and passenger experience. Foundational electrical systems have now advanced into much more complex domains like smart infotainment, driver assistance technologies, electric powertrain systems and autonomous driving capabilities. This evolution within automotive electronics is creating promising avenues for qualified engineering professionals. In manufacturing, you could design automated systems and robots using PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), sensors, actuators, and drives. You may also work on SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems to remotely monitor equipment and processes through HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces).

As per McKinsey & Co estimates, electronics systems already account for 40% of automotive costs and their share is expected to grow over 50% by 2030. Disruptive trends like vehicle electrification, connected mobility and self-driving will further accelerate electronics innovation in the automotive sector.

Automotive electronics engineers require specialised knowledge spanning computer engineering, electrical/electronic circuits, software programming as well as vehicle design and mechanics. Key focus areas include designing ECUs (engine control unit), ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), infotainment systems, telematics, lighting systems etc. Automotive communications protocols like CAN bus and FlexRay are also covered. Engineers in this field must stay updated with the latest breakthroughs in AI, sensors, battery technology to excel.

The automotive sector in India has witnessed steady growth with domestic sales projected to reach $300 billion and exports to $80 billion by 2026. Automotive electronics engineers earn attractive pay packages ranging from ₹5 lakhs per annum for freshers to over ₹18 lakhs for engineers with over 6 years of experience.

VLSI Design Engineer

VLSI refers to the integration of millions of transistors onto a single silicon chip to build complex integrated circuits and microprocessors. VLSI design engineers are responsible for designing, testing and developing VLSI chips and electronic components. Increased focus on electronics manufacturing and applications across automotive, consumer electronics, telecom, and other sectors has amplified the demand for skilled VLSI design engineers in India.

Engineers proficient in tools like Cadence, Mentor Graphics, programming languages such as Verilog, VHDL and key concepts of digital logic design and semiconductor fabrication are highly valued. Hands-on experience with FPGA prototyping is an added advantage.

Aspiring VLSI engineers must gain expertise in areas like VLSI circuits, semiconductor physics, design verification, signal processing, chip design and layout. Knowledge of hardware description languages like Verilog and VHDL along with simulation tools is imperative. VLSI engineers collaborate closely with design teams to deliver optimized chip architectures. With scaling of device geometries, design complexities are increasing. Adaptability to evolving standards and tools will be key. VLSI is one of the highest-paying engineering specializations in India, with average salaries ranging from ₹7 lakhs per annum for freshers going up to ₹25 lakhs for experienced roles.

PCB Design and Manufacturing

Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design and manufacturing is a key field in electronics engineering dealing with the design, testing and fabrication of PCBs that provide the foundation for almost all electronic devices and systems. As a PCB design engineer, you would use CAD software tools like Altium, OrCAD, Eagle etc to design the layout of a PCB including the components, connections, layers, footprints as per the circuit schematics and requirements. You need strong skills in schematic capture, component library management, routing, signal integrity, electromagnetic compatibility and PCB fabrication processes. You would work closely with circuit designers and electronics engineers to create the gerber files needed for PCB production.

In PCB manufacturing, you would work in positions like process engineering, equipment engineering, quality control etc. This involves knowledge of PCB fabrication techniques like photolithography, etching, drilling, plating, solder masking, automated optical and x-ray inspection. You would monitor the PCB production process flow and maintain, optimize, and troubleshoot the equipment. You would also be responsible for testing the fabricated PCBs against specifications and ensuring quality standards.

With the growth in consumer electronics, IoT, defence systems and industrial automation, there is increasing demand for more compact, efficient and reliable PCBs. As a PCB design and manufacturing engineer, you get to work on cutting-edge electronics products in fields like automotive, aerospace, consumer appliances, medical devices etc. It provides opportunities to travel and work in fabrication facilities worldwide. With your expertise in both design and manufacturing, you can build a rewarding career in the electronics industry.

The Indian PCB design and manufacturing market is growing rapidly. According to a report by IMARC Group, the Indian PCB market is expected to reach US$ 11.8 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 16.6% during 2023-2028. Several factors are fuelling the expansion of the Indian PCB market, including the burgeoning Indian electronics sector, heightened consumer demand for electronics products, and the widespread adoption of cutting-edge technologies such as 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). If you are interested in becoming a PCB designer, there are several steps you can take to get started. First, you should consider pursuing a degree in electronics engineering or a related field. You can also gain experience by working as an intern or apprentice in a PCB design and manufacturing company.

Drone Specialist

The drone ecosystem in India is poised for massive growth, with the sector projected to grow at 30% CAGR through 2025. Liberalized drone policies and increased adoption of drone technology across agriculture, mining, defence, logistics, entertainment and other sectors has opened up numerous opportunities for drone specialists.

Drone specialists are essentially electronics engineers who conceptualize, design, develop, assemble, program and maintain unmanned aerial vehicles. They need strong expertise in embedded systems to build flight controllers, expertise in electronics hardware design to create reliable power systems, motors and batteries, knowledge of sensors, wireless communication systems, materials science and autonomous flight control algorithms using robotics and computer vision.

Drone specialists find roles in UAV/drone technology startups that are mushrooming in India, service providers that operate drone fleets, drone consultancies that advise enterprises on drone adoption as well as companies from end-user sectors like mining, agriculture, surveillance, mapping etc that leverage drones extensively. The average salary for drone specialists in India ranges from ₹4-7 lakhs per annum for freshers and can go up to ₹15-18 lakhs per annum for engineers with more than 5 years of experience. With strong growth anticipated in the Indian drone landscape, there are rich opportunities for electronics engineers who specialized in this futuristic domain.

Conclusion:

The electronics sector is experiencing significant growth, with the government’s commitment to the sector and the increasing demand for electronic products driving the growth. The sector offers a wide range of career opportunities, from electronic and electrical engineers to product safety engineers and semiconductor engineers. As new technologies continue to emerge, the demand for skilled electronics professionals will grow, and the industry will need innovative thinkers and problem-solvers to drive its forward. By exploring these career opportunities and the various industries they serve, individuals can make informed decisions about their educational and career paths in the electronics sector.

The post Aspiring & Promising Career Opportunities in the ESDM industry 2024 appeared first on ELE Times.

Littelfuse Launches SM10 Series Varistor: A Breakthrough in Automotive and Electronics Surge Protection

Tue, 02/20/2024 - 12:49

AEC-Q200 compliant, compact, vertical surface-mount design, ideal for harsh environment applications

Littelfuse, Inc., an industrial technology manufacturing company empowering a sustainable, connected, and safer world, announced the SM10 Varistor Series, a revolutionary Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) designed to provide superior transient surge protection in automotive electronics, electric vehicles (EVs), and various other applications. This latest addition stands out as the first surface-mounted MOV device compliant with the AEC-Q200 automotive standard, capable of withstanding high operating temperatures and offering ultra-high surge current handling in a compact package.

The SM10 Series Varistor is a game-changer in the industry, offering:

  • High Operating Temperature: Able to withstand temperatures up to 125 degrees Celsius, ensures reliability in harsh conditions.
  • AEC-Q200 Compliance: Meets rigorous automotive electronics standards, suitable for Electric Vehicles (EVs) and charging stations.
  • Ultra-High Surge Capability: Excellent repetitive surge capability handles up to 40 pulses of 6 KV / 3 KA surges, significantly extending product reliability and lifespan.
  • Compact Design: With dimensions of 15.7 mm x 8.5 mm x 14 mm, it saves valuable PCB surface space and is ideal for automated SMT PCB assembly processes.
  • Wide Voltage Rating: Ranging from 130 Vac to 625 Vac, accommodating a broad spectrum of electronic applications.

“The SM10 Series Varistors effectively protect electronic circuits against multiple transient voltage surges with ultra-high surge handling capability,” states Johnny Chang, director of product management at Littelfuse. “They are AEC-Q200 compliant, enabling end-products to work in harsh ambient environments for longer lifetimes.”

Amy Chu, global product manager at Littelfuse, adds, “The vertical surface-mounted SM10 Series Varistors enable electronics designers to realize a ‘SMT components only policy’ for primary side circuit surge protection. Their compact size and ability to replace through-hole devices allow for fully automated and SMT PCB assembly processes.”

The SM10 is ideal for a variety of demanding applications, including:

  • Automotive electronics
  • Electric vehicles and charging stations
  • Building automation
  • Appliances
  • Consumer electronics
  • Power storage systems
  • High-end power supplies

Compared to existing solutions, the SM10 Series offers unparalleled performance with its high operating temperature, excellent repetitive surge capability, and compact size. This combination makes it an attractive option for automotive, appliance, and building automation industries requiring reliable high-surge varistors.

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eDSim, a simulator 50x faster than PSpice with an unlimited license to the ST community

Tue, 02/20/2024 - 11:53

Author: STMicroelectronics

eDSim is our latest simulation tool for switched-mode power supplies (SMPS) and other power analog circuits. The tool runs on the SIMPLIS/SIMetrix engine, is available to download for free on our website, and is governed by a free-to-use commercial license. In a nutshell, our eDSim models are exempt from node limit count, thus enabling engineers to utilize them without restrictions on the number of nodes or circuit size. We even worked on a workflow that allows users to export a design out of eDesignSuite and into eDSim to help them run more detailed simulations faster. ST is also working on an online version of eDSim to optimize further the experience of designing and simulating a circuit.

Why did we decide to work on this? The challenges behind designing power circuits

Power circuits are notoriously difficult to design because of their inherent complexity. Engineers must account for a specific load and how the overall circuit responds when there are sudden shifts in the line voltage or the load current due to spikes or low loads. In the case of an SMPS, teams must ensure that cycles are consistent, meaning that no significant fluctuations disrupt voltage regulations. It’s also critical to examine how the circuit performs under regular operations to determine the overall quality of the design. Is the ramp-up, when the input voltage is first applied, smooth, or is there a massive under- or over-shoot, among other issues?

The necessity of running simulations A simulation in eDSimA simulation in eDSim

Until simulations came along, the only way for engineers to test their power circuit was to design a PCB layout, manufacture it, and then physically try it in their lab. The obvious problem is that the process is slow and extremely expensive. Furthermore, because power calculations are often based on differential equations, complex models, and matrix computations1, teams may spot a problem but may not have an obvious solution to it, requiring even costlier trial-and-error operations. Hence, simulators are an essential tool when designing a power circuit. Unfortunately, licenses can be expensive, and knowing what software to use isn’t always obvious. Consequently, we tackled this problem so our partners wouldn’t have to.

Why did we invest so much time and money into eDSim? 10x to 50x faster

In essence, eDSim takes the SIMPLIS/SIMetrix engine and runs it on ST components and models. Why choose this engine? According to our benchmarks, simulating a synchronous step-down converter based on our L6983 would take between 10 minutes and 50 minutes on OrCAD PSpice, but only one minute or less on eDSim, thanks to its SIMPLIS/SIMetrix implementation. OrCAD PSpice takes a general-purpose approach to circuit simulation, which explains why it is very popular in many other instances. On the other hand, SIMPLIS/SIMetrix specializes in the types of calculations that are essential when simulating a power stage, which is why it can be 10 to 50 times faster at modeling a switching circuit.

A useful license for the ST community

ST worked with SIMPLIS Technologies to ensure we could provide professional engineers with one of the most flexible licenses. For instance, working with one of our models doesn’t contribute to the eDSim node count or circuit size limit, regardless of its complexity. A brief overview eDSim will reveal that we have tens of models for SMPS and analog ICs. We are also in the process of extending the coverage with power discrete and other smart power devices in future releases.

How to get started?

eDSim is a testament to our desire to create more accessible solutions and bridge digital divides. By working with SIMPLIS Technologies to offer our utility for free, any engineer can build a power circuit and learn from one of the most powerful simulators in the industry. All it takes is to download eDSim from ST.com. Additionally, to increase accessibility even further, we are happy to announce that we are working on an online version of eDSim and will update this blog post when it becomes available. In the meantime, we published the videos below to show how to get started, and we are also offering an example application built on the L6983.

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Delta Honored with Double A-List Ratings by CDP for the Third Time for its Substantial Contribution to Climate Change and Water Security

Tue, 02/20/2024 - 08:32

Delta Electronics, Inc., a global provider of IoT-based Smart Green Solutions, announced it has achieved double “A” scores in the 2023 Climate Change and Water Security reports of CDP for the third time. This year’s double “A” score was granted to only 61 companies out of over 21,000 worldwide based on their superior contribution to climate change and water security challenges. Delta’s recent key climate change and water security endeavours include the implementation of an internal carbon pricing (ICP) mechanism since 2021 to accelerate carbon reduction initiatives, the successful 13.5% YoY reduction in its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the increase in the proportion of renewable electricity used in its global operations to 63%, and the reduction in its water withdrawal and water discharge by over 4% YoY.

Jesse Chou, Delta’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said, “CDP honoring Delta’s climate change and water security endeavors with top scores for the third time is a major milestone for us. In 2023, Delta became a member of The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Forum and completed the first biodiversity risk assessment of Delta’s sites. In January of this year, Delta also became an early TNFD adopter. Externally, we have incorporated our climate transition plan into our Annual Shareholders’ Meeting and quarterly investor conferences agendas. Internally, we have completed a GHG inventory for 15 categories under Scope 3 to identify key areas for future emissions reduction. Hence, we look forward to collaborating closely with our value chain partners to achieve our ultimate Net-zero SBT goal by 2050.”

Delta has been actively implementing climate change governance. Since 2021, Delta has included the achievement of its percentage of renewable electricity in its senior executive performance indicators. Delta estimates it surpassed its 2023 renewable electricity usage target, reaching over 70% in its global operations comes from renewable sources, with the respective figure exceeding 80% in its Taiwan operations. In 2021, Delta also implemented an ICP scheme of US$300 per metric ton of CO2 emissions, which is invested in energy-saving and carbon reduction projects, as well as in the development of carbon-negative technologies and low-carbon innovation, contributing to the company’s progress toward RE100 and Net-zero SBT.

In terms of biodiversity, Delta has collaborated with the National Museum of Marine Science & Technology to establish the Asia’s first zero-carbon coral conservation center. Through the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, Delta assesses climate change risks and opportunities, translating them into operational strategies and actively exploring green opportunities such as electric vehicles, energy storage, and hydrogen energy.

Benjamin Lin, President, Delta Electronics India “This recognition reaffirms our unwavering dedication to sustainability. We are continuously pushing boundaries, implementing innovative solutions like internal carbon pricing and exploring green opportunities like EVs and hydrogen energy. We are confident in achieving our Net-Zero SBT goal by 2050 through collaboration with our stakeholders.”

Regarding water security management, although Delta is not a heavy water user, the Company has established strategic goals and methodologies, implementing them in daily operations. In 2022, Delta conducted a water risk assessment for its global sites and formulated a water resource policy across the entire organization. The Company also assessed its tier-1 suppliers engaged in ongoing business transactions and incorporated the assessment results into decision-making. In 2022, Delta achieved a 12.8% YoY reduction in its global water productivity intensity, with its total water withdrawal and water discharge decreasing 4% YoY despite the higher revenue delivered.

CDP’s annual assessment and scoring process is recognized as an important standard for environmental transparency. In 2023, more than 740 investors with over 136 trillion in assets and over 300 major procurement organizations with a combined spending of 6.8 trillion requested companies to disclose information about their environmental impacts, risks, and opportunities through the CDP platform. In this latest CDP reports, more than 21,000 companies to participated the assessment, the highest number ever recorded. Delta has been included in the CDP A List for Water Security Management for four consecutive years and has received leadership scores in the Climate Change category for seven years.

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Infineon introduces lower cost Bluetooth long-range module, CYW20822-P4TAI040, for low power applications

Mon, 02/19/2024 - 14:24

Infineon Technologies has announced the CYW20822-P4TAI040, its latest Bluetooth module that pushes the low-power and range boundaries for wireless connectivity in IoT and consumer electronics. This module is the most cost-effective in its class, offers seamless integration, enhanced performance with Bluetooth low-energy long-range (LE-LR) support, and exceptional reliability for a wide range of applications. With the right combination of low power and high performance, Infineon’s CYW20822-P4TAI040 is designed to support the entire spectrum of Bluetooth LE-LR use cases including industrial IoT applications, smart homes, asset tracking, beacons and sensors, and medical devices.

According to a recent report by ABI Research 1, future use cases will demand additional
improvements across almost all metrics. These include industrial IoT applications such as
sensing, robotics, beacons, smart home, and asset tracking. In response, Infineon’s
CYW20822-P4TAI040 Bluetooth module delivers unparalleled connectivity and
performance, enabling customers to create innovative products in the IoT and consumer
electronics space.

With extensive experience in delivering certified Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE modules,
Infineon’s regulatory testing (FCC, ISED, MIC, CE) and certification process with the
Bluetooth SIG is precise and rigorous. Its pre-certified modules are optimized for cost, size,
power, and range.

“Infineon is thrilled to expand its Bluetooth portfolio with the introduction of the CYW20822-P4TAI040 Bluetooth module to help designers get to market faster,” said Anurag Chauhan, Director of Marketing for the Bluetooth product line at Infineon Technologies. “As a leader in the IoT area in delivering innovative new Bluetooth LE solutions, this new module is a testament to our customer commitment. This new module delivers low power, long range, and excellent RF performance to meet our customers evolving needs.”

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Vishay Intertechnology 30 V N-Channel MOSFET With Source Flip Technology Delivers Best in Class RDS(ON) Down to 0.71 mΩ in PowerPAK 1212-F

Mon, 02/19/2024 - 14:04

Device Offers High Power Density and Improved Thermal Performance in 3.3 mm x 3.3 mm PowerPAK 1212 F Package With Center Gate Design

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. has introduced a versatile new 30 V n-channel TrenchFET Gen V power MOSFET that delivers increased power density and enhanced thermal performance for industrial, computer, consumer, and telecom applications. Featuring source flip technology in the 3.3 mm by 3.3 mm PowerPAK 1212-F package, the Vishay Siliconix SiSD5300DN provides best-in-class on-resistance of 0.71 mΩ at 10 V and on-resistance times gate charge — a critical figure of merit (FOM) for MOSFETs used in switching applications — of 42 mΩ*nC.

Occupying the same footprint as the PowerPAK 1212-8S, the device released today offers 18 % lower on-resistance to increase power density, while its source flip technology reduces thermal resistance by 63°C/W to 56 °C/W. In addition, the SiSD5300DN’s FOM represents a 35 % improvement over previous-generation devices, which translates into reduced conduction and switching losses to save energy in power conversion applications.

PowerPAK 1212-F source flip technology reverses the usual proportions of the ground and source pads, extending the area of the ground pad to provide a more efficient thermal dissipation path and thus promoting cooler operation. At the same time, the PowerPAK 1212-F minimizes the extent of the switching area, which helps to reduce the impact of trace noise. In the PowerPAK 1212-F package specifically, the source pad dimension increases by a factor of 10, from 0.36 mm² to 4.13 mm², enabling a commensurate improvement in thermal performance. The PowerPAK 1212-F’s center gate design also simplifies the parallelization of multiple devices on a single-layer PCB.

The source flip PowerPAK 1212-F package of the SiSD5300DN is especially suitable for applications such as secondary rectification, active clamp battery management systems (BMS), buck and BLDC converters, OR-ing FETs, motor drives, and load switches. Typical end products include welding equipment and power tools; servers, edge devices, supercomputers, and tablets; lawnmowers and cleaning robots; and radio base stations.

The device is 100 % RG- and UIS-tested, RoHS-compliant, and halogen-free.

Key Specification Table:

PowerPAK 1212-F

PowerPAK 1212-8S

Package size: 3.3 mm x 3.3 mm

Package size: 3.3 mm x 3.3 mm

Source pad dimension: 4.13 mm²

Source pad dimension: 0.36 mm²

Thermal resistance: 56 °C/W

Thermal resistance: 63 °C/W

Lowest available on-resistance in Gen V technology:
SiSD5300DN: 0.87 mΩ (maximum)

Lowest available on-resistance in Gen V technology:
SiSS54DN: 1.06 mΩ (maximum)

 

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Rohde & Schwarz collaborates with Sony Semiconductor Israel to reach milestones for NTN NB-IoT roll-out

Mon, 02/19/2024 - 13:43

In collaboration with Sony, Rohde & Schwarz has successfully validated and verified Sony’s Altair device for its NTN NB-IoT capability. Using the advanced R&S CMW500 mobile radio tester platform from Rohde & Schwarz, Sony was able to verify all 3GPP-defined RF parameters on their chipset in an interactive testing mode, in both geostationary orbit (GEO) and geosynchronous orbit (GSO). The company also validated the released protocol conformance test cases (PCT) for compliance, demonstrating exceptional performance and reliability of the Sony device. Additionally, both companies have committed to completing Skylo’s certified test plan on the R&S CMW500 as part of the carrier acceptance program.

In addition, the R&S TS8980 conformance test system from Rohde & Schwarz was used to perform RF tests in compliance with the requirements of the Global Certification Forum (GCF) for NTN NB-IoT, making it the first RF performance verification of an NTN NB-IoT chipset. With this achievement, Rohde & Schwarz marks a significant milestone in mobile device certification.

Skylo, the pioneer in non-terrestrial networks (NTN), has worked closely with both Rohde & Schwarz and Sony to ensure test plans satisfy industry standards. Sony’s Altair ALT1250 can now be upgraded for NTN connectivity and can be immediately embedded into devices for dual-mode operations. The validation of PCT demonstrates the companies’ collective commitment to ensuring that the NTN NB-IoT technology is not only market-ready but also meets the high standards of reliability and performance that Skylo’s test plans and its Standards Plus require.

The successful validation of Sony’s device for NTN NB-IoT underscores the commitment of Rohde & Schwarz to driving market readiness for the emerging requirements of the internet of Things via non-terrestrial networks. The technology is bringing wireless connectivity to remote areas that do not have access to terrestrial networks for use cases like SOS messaging or remote monitoring.

At the Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2024, Rohde & Schwarz will exhibit in hall 5, booth 5A80, its cutting-edge test solution for 3GPP NTN NB-IoT based on the R&S CMW500, verifying Sony’s Altair device. The R&S CMW500 covers testing needs from R&D to conformance and operator testing for NTN NB-IoT, not only supporting protocol, RRM and RF conformance testing in line with 3GPP, but also the Skylo test plan, which is required to operate on the Skylo Network – all in a single box.

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Infineon drives decarbonization and digitalization with the broadest power solutions portfolio in the industry at APEC 2024

Mon, 02/19/2024 - 13:20

Infineon Technologies, a global leader in power systems and IoT, detailed its plans to highlight the industry’s broadest range of power electronic devices during the 2024 Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC), 25–29 February. Infineon’s wide-bandgap solutions offer the highest efficiency and power density, providing a key element to addressing climate change and accelerating decarbonization efforts. Infineon’s best-in-class portfolio includes power devices for leading applications on silicon, silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) materials.

Infineon’s exhibits will span two booths, #1013 and #1319 (Infineon + GaN Systems), and
feature demonstrations of a broad range of applications. Booth #1013 will be organized in
six application zones, including:

• USB-C/Charging. See Infineon’s latest AC/DC and DC/DC USB-C PD chargers,
along with system power solutions for next-generation applications such as laptops
and notebooks.
• Motor controls. The company’s latest BLDC motor drive solutions for tomorrow’s
power tools and robotic applications will be on display. Rad hard reaction wheel
motor drives for satellites and space applications will also be demonstrated.
• Data centers. Infineon demonstrations will include a complete artificial intelligence
(AI) server solution, a digital power hot-swap solution, and a liquid-cooled high
density power supply optimized for next-generation applications. Also, see Infineon’s
latest high-density dual-phase power modules that reduce the total cost of
ownership in generative AI data centres.
• Electric vehicles (EVs). See Infineon’s latest 50 kW and 22 kW EV chargers, along
with SiC- and GaN-based on-board charging solutions, and the company’s latest
Hybrid PAK-based inverter for next-generation EVs.
• Renewables & energy storage. Highlighting critical energy applications, this
demonstration area will feature the company’s latest solar DC/DC maximizers, along
with DC-to-AC inverters, a bi-directional PFC/inverter, and DC-to-DC converters.
• Industrial control. The company’s growing portfolio of solid-state relays and circuit
breakers used to replace electromechanical switches will be highlighted.

Infineon’s second booth (#1319) will showcase the company’s expanded portfolio of GaN
solutions, such as class D audio amplifiers, data centre power supplies, and consumer
reference designs.

In addition to exhibits in booths #1013 and #1319, Infineon will play a significant role as a
contributor to the conference program, participating in more than 30 industry and technical
sessions.

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Rohde & Schwarz enables Qualcomm to pioneer new frequency ranges for future 5G-Advanced and 6G networks

Fri, 02/16/2024 - 09:24

 

In the evolving landscape of 5G networks, leveraging frequency ranges FR1 (0.41 to 7.125 GHz) and FR2 (24.25 to 71 GHz) has been pivotal. As the era of 5G-Advanced and 6G unfolds, a third frequency range is being discussed in global regulatory and industry consortiums worldwide. FR3, which is also known as upper-midband, spanning 7.125 to 24.25 GHz, will open a new frontier for mobile communication technology. Rohde & Schwarz technology plays a key role in enabling Qualcomm Technologies to show the readiness and effectiveness of the latest RF modem technology for FR3.

At the most recent World Radio Conference 2023, held in November and December 2023 in Dubai, organized and hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a consensus emerged among regulatory bodies and industry leaders to explore additional spectra for the next generation of mobile communication, officially labeled IMT-2030, also known as 6G. Notably, the 14.8 to 15.35 GHz frequency range has been earmarked for global study. In addition, local agencies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States are also eyeing the upper 12 GHz band (12.7 to 13.25 GHz) for future wireless applications.

In anticipation of these developments, Rohde & Schwarz, leading supplier of test and measurement solutions to the wireless industry, has enabled Qualcomm Technologies, a trailblazer in wireless system technology, to demonstrate that the Giga-MIMO system for tomorrow’s infrastructure is ready and effective to operate in these frequencies. It promises enhanced data performance while offering coverage comparable to current 5G massive MIMO networks operational at 3.5 GHz.

To validate the performance of this prototype, Qualcomm Technologies utilized the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator and R&S FSW signal and spectrum analyzer from Rohde & Schwarz. The setup included specialized firmware for the testing of different subcarrier spacings with wider signal bandwidths compared to today’s 3GPP physical layer specifications. The wider bandwidths will ultimately enable higher data rates and lower latency.

Andreas Pauly, Chief Technology Officer at Rohde & Schwarz, said: “We are thrilled to extend our support of Qualcomm Technologies and explore the new frontier of mobile communications together. Our tailored test solutions are instrumental in advancing research for 5G-Advanced and 6G networks, and exploring the possibilities of the FR3 frequency range lays the foundations for the success of tomorrow’s mobile applications.”

Tingfang Ji, Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm Wireless Research, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., said: “We are committed to pioneering next-generation mobile technologies and are grateful to Rohde & Schwarz for its support in helping to make this a reality. Our efforts to enable Giga-MIMO in upper midband for wide-area coverage help to set the stage for 6G and a transformative leap in wireless communication.”

Demonstration of FR3 signal generation and analysis at MWC Barcelona

At MWC Barcelona, Rohde & Schwarz will demonstrate a high performance signal generation and analysis setup for early FR3 research, featuring the latest vector signal generator and analyzer products. The setup consists of the brand new R&S SMW200A, not only with a new front panel and user interface but also significant improvements in EVM performance. On the analysis side, the R&S FSVA3000 includes special features like IQ noise cancellation to achieve outstanding EVM measurement performance thanks to a noise corrected measurement path. Dedicated 5G signals for FR3 are being generated and analyzed as part of the demonstration.

Rohde & Schwarz will present its comprehensive test solutions for the mobile industry including a setup demonstrating high-performance signal generation and analysis for FR3 signals at the Mobile World Congress 2024. Visitors can find Rohde & Schwarz in hall 5, booth 5A80, at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona.

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STMicroelectronics and Mobile Physics join forces to create EnviroMeter for accurate air-quality monitoring on smartphones

Fri, 02/16/2024 - 09:15

Time-of-flight optical sensing enables world’s first accurate personal air quality monitor and smoke detector for smartphone

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, and Mobile Physics, a software-development startup specialized in environmental physics, have revealed an exclusive collaboration that enables smartphones and other devices to measure household and ambient air quality with a built-in optical sensor.

Developed exclusively for ST’s multizone ranging sensors, which are widely used for features like camera autofocus and presence detection, this solution measures particulates in the surrounding air. With accuracy comparable to purpose-designed air-quality monitors, Mobile Physics’ EnviroMeter app acts as a personal, portable environment monitor and smoke detector to safeguard health – and enhance fire safety. Manufactured using ST’s low-power technology, it can operate ‘always on’ to provide constant awareness with minimal impact on battery life.

Each year, 3.2 million people die prematurely from illnesses attributable to household air pollution. The combined effects of ambient air pollution and household air pollution are associated with 6.7 million premature deaths annually (1). Monitoring air quality has become a real necessity and a public health issue. Leveraging ST’s market positioning to accelerate integration, the two companies have integrated Mobile Physics’ software and ST’s VL53L8 direct time-of-flight (dToF) sensor on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 smartphone platform. As showcased at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2023, this project creates the world’s first smartphone with always-on air-quality sensing and smoke detection.

Personal environment monitoring can give everyone greater control over their own health and safety, using their smartphones. The customer will also have the option to opt in to access wider environmental data covering their local area,” said Erez Weinroth, CEO, Mobile Physics. “ST’s direct ToF sensors enabled us to deliver a solution with accuracy close to that of high-end dedicated environment monitors but at lower cost and in a smaller package.”

The team at Mobile Physics has made ingenious use of the data from our dToF sensor to produce this groundbreaking yet economical and elegant environment monitor,” said Alex Balmefrezol, General Manager, Imaging Sub-Group at STMicroelectronics.  “We are delighted to enable this new, wellness-enhancing feature that complements the established ToF use cases providing even more value to our customers.“

The air-quality sensing solution developed with ST is included in Mobile Physics’ EnviroMeter Software Development Kit (SDK), which also provides data on temperature, wind, precipitation, humidity, light-intensity, UV, and noise-level monitoring. Sensing can detect particles smaller than 2.5 micron and thus empower users to protect their health. The solution does not require any additional equipment; a standard dToF sensor and the Mobile Physics software is all that is needed.

To learn more about this solution, come to the ST booth (7A61) at Mobile World Congress 2024 where we will showcase the air-quality monitoring demonstration.

Technical Notes to Editors:
The VL53L8 is used in diverse electronic products including smart speakers, projectors, laptops, robots and home appliances, and door-entry systems, as well as IoT devices such as occupancy sensors. Any of these products can now deliver extra value by providing air-quality indication and fire protection with no extra hardware components required. The sensor’s small size, measuring just 6.4mm x 3.0mm x 1.75mm, eases integration anywhere a small form factor is required.

Engineers can accelerate projects including proximity and presence detectors using the development ecosystem available from ST. This includes the X-Nucleo-53L8A1 development board, the P-Nucleo-53L8A1 evaluation pack that also contains a microcontroller development board, and SATEL-VL53L8 breakout boards. The VL53L8 is in production now. Pricing information and sample requests are available at local ST sales offices.

About STMicroelectronics
At ST, we are over 50,000 creators and makers of semiconductor technologies mastering the semiconductor supply chain with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. As an integrated device manufacturer, we work with more than 200,000 customers and thousands of partners to design and build products, solutions, and ecosystems that address their challenges and opportunities, and the need to support a more sustainable world. Our technologies enable smarter mobility, more efficient power and energy management, and the wide-scale deployment of cloud-connected autonomous things. We are committed to achieving our goal to become carbon neutral on scope 1 and 2 and partially scope 3 by 2027. Further information can be found at www.st.com.

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NeoChromVG GPU, the 1st vector graphics accelerator for general-purpose MCUs enables single-chip designs

Wed, 02/14/2024 - 09:12

Author: STMicroelectronics

ST is announcing today the NeoChromVG GPU, the first vector graphics accelerator for general-purpose microcontrollers. Available on the upcoming STM32U5G9 and STM32U5F9, it builds on the Neochrom GPU, launched in 2023, and takes features like vector fonts, available on TouchGFX 4.23, to the next level by enabling a whole new type of optimization on embedded systems. Avid readers of the ST Blog will notice how NeoChromVG GPU is the culmination of our push into vector graphics in the hope of helping makers reduce their memory footprint. We even provide development kits and demos to help engineers know if this solution is right for their project.

Table of Contents What’s new? NeoChromVG GPU! The challenge of creating UIs with less memory

The reason ST decided to release a specific hardware IP accelerating vector operations is because it was an increasingly popular demand from customers looking to reduce their dependency on external flash modules. Memory markets have always been volatile, but many analysts, according to Forbes, anticipate strong demand in flash during 2024, bolstered in part by new AI applications trying to create “all-flash object storage systems”. Consequently, smaller companies with less purchasing power could encounter serious issues sourcing modules or simply facing prices too high to make their products viable. Hence, many are looking to either reduce their external NAND needs or obliterate them altogether, which led us to offer NeoChromVG GPU in new STM32U5F9 and STM32U5G9 MCUs.

The NeoChromVG GPU solution

In essence, NeoChromVG GPU is a traditional Neochrom GPU with a hardware unit accelerating vector graphics computations, such as quadratic Bézier curves, which are very common in vector fonts, Bézier tessellation to render surfaces, and vector calculations for vertex transformation, among other things, to rapidly draw vector graphics on screen. It still relies on the same texture mapper as the regular Neochrom GPU and has similar features like L8 compression. Vector graphic acceleration simply becomes an additional tool in a developer’s arsenal to optimize their UI. The feature also comes on the heels of TouchGFX 4.23, which just gained support for vector fonts. Hence, engineers see the overarching strategy ST is using to help with memory dependency.

NeoChromVG GPU will be available on the new STM32U5G9 and STM32U5F9, the former being the version housing a crypto core. Both will feature 3 MB of RAM and 4 MB of dual-bank flash. This hardware configuration has enabled some of our customers to move to a single-chip design that didn’t require external memory at all, while the increase in internal memory and vector graphics support helped others use smaller NAND devices. In both cases, it helps simplify the PCB design to move to only four layers and lower the bill of materials. Similarly, as embedded systems tend to map their NOR memory for greater optimization, not having to map anything above 32 MB becomes a significant time saver.

The best way to start using vector graphics on STM32

Vector graphics aren’t for every system. Even with hardware acceleration, the performance penalty incurred by vector rendering may be too much in certain UIs. However, we are ensuring that developers get rapid prototyping tools to test NeoChromVG GPU in minutes. We are releasing the STM32U5G9J-DK, with a 480 x 480 display, and the STM32U5G9J-DK2 with an 800 x 480 screen, as well as a UI demo showing what developers can accomplish thanks to vector graphics. Even the ST Partner Riverdi, famous for its STM32 Embedded Displays, will soon offer a model with the STM32U5G9 to help develop and take advantage of the vector graphics accelerator.

From Chrom-ART to NeoChrom GPU What Are Chrom-ART and NeoChrom GPU?

Readers familiar with ST technologies can guess that NeoChrom GPU is the next evolution of Chrom-ART. The latter is a 2D accelerator (DMA2D) embedded inside several STM32 MCUs that optimizes memory access to manipulate images faster. Many tools and products from ST partners use it, such as Storyboard from CrankMicrovisor from Twilio, or interfaces from PsiControl, a TouchGFX Implementer, to only name three. Comparatively, NeoChrom GPU draws from the same philosophy while offering a greater scope of optimizations. Thanks to texture mapping with bilinear and point sampling, the new technology provides new drawing acceleration and supports animations. Hence, what used to require a Desktop PC GPU card can now run on a microcontroller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparing specs between Chrom-ART and NeoChrom

How Does NeoChrom GPU Integrate Into the TouchGFX Ecosystem?

Historically, Chrom-ART represented one of ST’s first forays into graphical optimizations. Since then, we acquired TouchGFX and built an entire ecosystem with TouchGFX Designer, Simulator, and Generator. As a result, ST is integrating NeoChrom GPU into these tools right from the start. TouchGFX Designer contains demos showing a smooth animation running at 60 FPS on a circular display. More importantly, it shows the impact on the frame rate when NeoChrom GPU is off to help decision-makers grasp its importance. Similarly, the texture mapping widget will automatically use the new GPU if the MCU supports it. Hence, the immediate integration of the new IP within TouchGFX serves as a witness to ST’s cohesive ecosystem instead of a simple feature list.

From NeoChrom GPU to Real-World Performance What Are the Challenges to Graphical Performances?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The STM32U5

There exist two main challenges to graphical performances: an instructions-per-clock limitation and a memory issue. The first one often follows architectural innovations. Microcontrollers have ALU and FPU restrictions due to their size and low power consumption, but improvements in manufacturing processes allow for more transistors capable of handling more operations. NeoChrom GPU follows such trends with a hardware IP accelerating more types of graphical calculations. The second challenge is trickier but all the more critical because memory will always remain a scarce resource. While the STM32U599 will come with 2.5 MB of internal RAM capable of storing two frame buffers, many embedded systems need external RAM. The problem is that it comes with significant performance penalties.

What Are Unique STM32 Implementations?

To solve this second challenge, NeoChrom GPU comes with hardware optimizations specific to STM32 MCUs. For instance, the STM32U5 relies on either an 8-bit Octal Serial Peripheral Interface (OSPI) or a 16-bit high-speed interface (HSPI) at 200 MHz to external memory modules to hasten fetching operations to the L2 cache. Similarly, the L1 cache can directly access two 832 KB frame buffers in the internal RAM. As a result, tessellation is significantly faster thanks to quick access to all the data necessary to render the image in real-time. Put simply, our engineers optimized performance by working on reducing the time it takes to access textures and other assets, ultimately accelerating rendering by up to six times.

What’s Next?

The first industry feedback around NeoChrom GPU has been very positive. While many MCU makers have similar IPs to accelerate graphical computations, the specific STM32 optimizations and the TouchGFX ecosystem led many early alpha testers to adopt NeoChrom GPU instead of competing solutions. The new technology is already supported within TouchGFX 4.19, and a few alpha customers have already worked on production-ready UIs using an upcoming STM32U599 development kit. ST will also include NeoChrom GPU in other upcoming microcontrollers and we’ll update this blog post as they become public.

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Rohde & Schwarz drives roll-out of NTN NB-IoT technology with new GCF-certified conformance test cases

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 14:23

Conformance approval is a major step in bringing devices for the Internet of things (IoT) to the market. To ensure that these devices work properly, they need to be certified by testing laboratories accredited by certification bodies such as GCF, PTCRB or CTIA. With the successful verification of the 3GPP Rel. 17 NTN NB-IoT test cases in work item 333 at the CAG #77 meeting, using the R&S CMW500, the Global Certification Forum was able to activate the work item, kicking off conformance testing for NTN NB-IoT devices.

With this accomplishment, Rohde & Schwarz together with tier 1 chipset vendors like Qualcomm Technologies, Mediatek, and Sony Semiconductor Israel’s Altair and their respective platforms have contributed significantly to the adoption of non-terrestrial network-based IoT use cases spanning multiple sectors such as smartphone, consumer, automotive, agriculture, maritime, logistics, and mining. The NTN NB-IoT protocol test cases of work item 333 cover NTN-specific signaling aspects for NB-IoT devices as specified in 3GPP Rel.17 TS 36.523-1.

Rohde & Schwarz has equipped its market-leading NB-IoT solution with 3GPP Rel. 17 NTN features to provide the ecosystem with R&D, production, and conformance testing functions. The protocol conformance test cases were developed using the R&S CMW500 radio communication tester, which allows engineers to assess their NTN NB-IoT devices under realistic conditions, establishing a real-time, comprehensive connection with the simulated satellite network and testing the relevant signaling and RF scenarios in line with the 3GPP Rel. 17 specification. The test solution emulates geosynchronous orbit (GSO) and geostationary orbit (GEO) as well as low earth orbit (LEO) constellations. It helps engineers to verify NTN device challenges like time and frequency synchronization due to prolonged delay and Doppler effect, low Signal-to-Interference-plus-Noise Ratio (SINR), power saving mechanisms, satellite ephemerides, and GNSS acquisition, to name just a few of the core features.

The official GCF platform R&S CMW-IoT is a single box solution for conformance testing including PCT, RRM and RF. In addition to this, the single box also supports carrier acceptance testing.

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Technovos’ announces latest innovation GaadE- Electric Wheelbarrow to revolutionise sustainable mobility landscape

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 14:17

With latest ground-breaking innovation, Technovos is proactively paving the way for a new era of Green Mobility Solutions, amalgamating automotive capacity to eliminate manual labour-intensive tasks.

Technovos- a leading developer of sustainable mobility solutions disrupting the Cleantech and Agritech landscape has recently launched its latest yet innovative offering the GaadE Electric Wheelbarrow to redefine manual-material handling tasks. The launch signifies a revolutionary stride in labour-intensive tasks, reshaping the peripheral of diverse industries.

Challenging conventions and breaking the boundaries of possibilities in the realm of agriculture, logistics, construction and many more, the Wheelbarrow stands at the edge of sustainability convergence. Moving beyond the limits of being an electric motor-driven upgrade of its traditional counterparts, it embodies an inaugural fusion of cutting-edge technology and eco-friendliness.

Thrilled with the launch of its latest offering, Bharath Anantha Srinivas, CEO and Founder of Technovos, commented, “In a world where technological innovation continues to dominate every facet of our daily lives, Technovos aims to become the catalyst for revolutionising the Agritech and Sustainable mobility space. With our latest product, the dynamic Electric Wheelbarrow, we’ve crafted a breakthrough in the realm of material movement, being the premier platform to offer a purpose-driven electric wheelbarrow, designed to exude excellence from concept development to integration and assembly.”

With Electric Propulsion at its forefront, it employs a 4KW 3Phase Induction motor which helps in efficiently transporting substantial loads. Utilising advanced sensors and AI algorithms, it has opened the doors to self-navigation, along with obstacle avoidance and precise manoeuvring. Furthermore, it boasts a loading capacity to move 80% of the applications to minimise the need for human effort.

Accelerating green mobility to an elevated level, it operates with zero-emissions and energy-efficient mechanisms, emerging as the gateway to fostering a sustainable environment.

Offering an opportunity to partake in a future driven by automation, the introduction of electric wheelbarrows in the Precision AgriTech segment is a game-changing innovation. Being a labour-intensive sector, it will deliver farmers and agronomists an escape from manual lifting, opening doors to a versatile and efficient solution that is designed to improve farm operations, whilst enhancing crop management.

With multifaceted warehouse operations, the seamless integration of the GaadE- Electric Wheel-Barrow marks a significant leap forward in material handling and sustainability endeavours. This ingenious solution is poised to transform the warehousing and logistic industries, with access to streamlined operations and reduced costs, whilst enhancing the notions of industrial safety and environmental responsibility.

In the absence of a purpose-built machine for the hyper-local segment, Technovos has carved a distinctive niche with the augment of India’s premier purpose-driven Electric Wheelbarrow. With the launch of this innovative solution, the company has showcased its commitment to becoming the vanguard developer of sustainable mobility solutions that address the gap of implausible material movement methods in an array of markets. Autonomous wheelbarrow after this Electric wheelbarrow is the next innovation planned by Technovos.

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Infineon and Worksport collaborate to reduce weight and cost of portable power stations with GaN

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 14:00

Infineon Technologies has announced a collaboration with Worksport Ltd. Worksport will use Infineon’s GaN power semiconductors GS-065-060-5-B-A in the converters for its portable power stations to increase efficiency and power density. Enabled by Infineon’s GaN transistors, the power converters will be lighter and smaller in size with reduced system costs. In addition, Infineon will support Worksport in the optimization of circuits and layout design to further reduce size and increase power density.

“Infineon’s high-quality standard and solid supply chain provide us with the best components to ensure power-dense converters for our COR system product line and contribute to a first-class end product performance,” said Worksport CEO Steven Rossi. The company’s COR battery system can be integrated into a pickup truck or recharged by any solar panel or wall outlet. By replacing the former silicon switch in the power converter with Infineon’s GaN power semiconductors and operating the transistors at higher switching frequency, Worksport will be able to reduce the battery system weight by 33 percent and system costs by up to 25 percent.

The working relationship with Infineon will also help Worksport to reduce CO2 in the manufacturing process. GaN is proving itself as a game-changing technology across many markets and applications. For example, in data centers, GaN solutions have a global energy savings potential of 21 TWh annually, 10 million tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent. “In order to further drive electrification and decarbonization, the industry’s power designs require innovation,” said Johannes Schoiswohl, Business Line Head GaN Systems of Infineon’s Power & Sensor Systems Division. “With our GaN power semiconductors we enable Worksport to create the next generation portable power stations that users require.”

Infineon’s GS-065-060-5-B-A is an Automotive-grade 650 V enhancement mode GaN-on-Silicon power transistor. It offers very low junction-to-case thermal resistance for demanding high-power applications such as on-board chargers, industrial motor drives and solar inverters. Furthermore, it features simple gate drive requirements (0 V to 6 V) and a transient tolerant gate drive (-20 / +10 V).

Availability

The GS-065-060-5-B-A is available in a bottom-cooled, low-inductance GaNPX® package.

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Toward the metaverse: Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom join forces to realize 5G-enabled AR-animated avatar calls

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 09:12

The metaverse and extended reality (XR) applications are considered critical to unlocking the full consumer potential of the 5G technology. Rigorous testing is crucial to ensure the performance and market acceptance of these immersive experiences. Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom have collaborated to address this need, developing essential tools to test XR use cases thoroughly prior to market launch. At Mobile World Congress 2024, visitors can experience a first demonstration of how to enable tomorrow’s augmented reality.

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) closely examined extended reality (XR) applications with Release 17. This was pivotal in identifying the current limitations and potential enhancements in today’s 5G specifications, paving the way for 5G-Advanced, which will be addressed in Release 18. One of the key areas for 5G-Advanced is the development of animated avatar calls that use augmented reality. This is considered a stepping stone toward a broader integration of the metaverse.

Rohde & Schwarz, a leader in test and measurement solutions, has partnered with Slalom, a next-generation professional services company creating value at the intersection of business, technology, and humanity, to create a state-of-the-art lab environment. This collaboration has resulted in a test bed for XR-based use cases. At the test bed’s core is the R&S CMX500 5G one-box signaling tester from Rohde & Schwarz. This innovative setup empowers network operators to evaluate XR-based applications and services in a controlled environment, ensuring optimal performance and quality of experience (QoE) for their subscribers even before mainstream deployment.

The animated avatar, developed by Slalom, renders on a cloud computing architecture, which is seamlessly integrated with the R&S CMX500. The R&S CMX500 emulates a 5G network to establish a Voice over New Radio (VoNR) connection to the end-user device. The end-user experience is brought to life using a Motorola Edge 40 Pro 5G smartphone connected to Lenovo ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses, where the avatar is displayed. The system also features a loopback of audio samples, laying the groundwork for future audio quality assessments based on the POLQA algorithm. A key aspect of the avatar’s animation is head movement emulation, which is designed to convey attentiveness during calls. The accurate rendering and timely display of such details on the end-user device are among the key performance indicators that are being further investigated by both companies.

Christoph Pointner, Senior Vice President for Mobile Radio Testers at Rohde & Schwarz says: “We are thrilled to enhance our application testing capabilities through our collaboration with Slalom. This partnership lays a robust foundation for the wireless ecosystem, accelerating the market introduction of XR-based applications and services to pave the way for the metaverse.”

Sam Andrews, General Manager at Slalom says: “In partnership with Rohde & Schwarz, we have developed an innovative concept where we can assess and measure the end-to-end quality of XR experiences that considers network, device, and application to create seamless outcomes for end users and unlock new opportunities for enterprises.” Jason Inskeep, Advanced & Converged Architectures / Mobile / 5G at Slalom, adds: “At Slalom, we believe that being able to architect a true end-to-end integrated solution – from the network to the application layer to the end user – is fundamental to helping our customers achieve resiliency and efficiency at scale, unlock new revenue streams and create amazing customer experiences.”

This collaboration between Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom opens the way to virtual interactions that are more immersive and personal. For consumers, this innovation promises an enhanced sense of presence and engagement during voice calls.

Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom will demonstrate the test bed for AR-animated avatar calls at the Mobile World Congress 2024 at the Rohde & Schwarz booth 5A80 in hall 5 of Fira Gran Via in Barcelona.

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SmartViser and Anritsu unite to optimise testing for Energy Labelling regulation for smartphones and tablets with Strategic Partnership

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 08:00

Anritsu Corporation a global provider of innovative test and measurement solutions now enable advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities for solving difficult problems in wireless communications systems using DeepSig’s proven AI machine learning (ML) technology.  Radio Spectrum is a valuable asset that needs to be managed, shared, and utilized optimally in wireless networks.  New radio frequencies required to enable 6G Use Cases are becoming increasingly scarce, and there is increased attention towards the development of novel spectrum-sharing techniques.  Traditional RF sensing techniques face limitations in dynamically changing wireless environments, and more advanced monitoring and signal characterization is required.

Anritsu has addressed this challenge by partnering with Deepsig to deliver a groundbreaking solution that integrates the capabilities of the Anritsu MS2090A Field Master Pro Spectrum Analyser with DeepSig’s wireless signal detection and classification software, which is based on its patented Artificial Intelligence (AI) deep learning algorithms.  Employing a deep learning, data-driven approach allows Anritsu to rapidly incorporate new radio signal models into their capabilities using DeepSig’s ML training tools. RF signals of interest from diverse new sources like drones and IOT devices can be learned quickly and accurately in days, rather than months, to meet fast-changing customer requirements. These advanced technologies also form the foundation for AI-native RF sensing for 6G. This integrated solution will empower customers to enhance network performance, optimize spectrum utilization, and achieve real-time adaptation to changing RF conditions.

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Rohde & Schwarz Unveils Wi-Fi 7 Test Solutions for Seamless 5G Integration

Thu, 02/08/2024 - 12:12

Step into the future of wireless technology with Rohde & Schwarz’s latest innovation in Wi-Fi 7 test solutions, aimed at enhancing device development for ultra-high-definition video streaming, VR, AR, and beyond.

As the telecommunications landscape embraces the era of 5G technology, the integration of non-3GPP networks like public, home, and enterprise WLAN hotspots with the 5G core is of paramount importance. This integration paves the way for the future of smartphones and wireless devices, heavily reliant on advanced WLAN technologies such as Wi-Fi 7, promising greater power and efficiency but posing challenges of complexity.
Addressing these emerging needs, Rohde & Schwarz has unveiled its cutting-edge Wi-Fi 7 test solutions. These solutions are tailored to tackle the growing test challenges associated with next-generation WLAN technologies and their coexistence with existing LTE and 5G standards. Equipped with Wi-Fi 7 testing capabilities, the multi-technology multi-channel signalling tester enables R&D engineers to streamline the testing process for wireless devices across both cellular and non-cellular standards, thus optimizing the development process.

Key features of these solutions include new Wi-Fi 7 capabilities, testing of RF TX/RX characteristics of WLAN devices under real conditions, support for Multi-Link-Operation (MLO), flexibility across multiple radio technologies for Wi-Fi 7-specific tests, and the ability to test WLAN offloading and Voice over WLAN for seamless service continuity and high-quality voice experiences over WLAN networks.

Wi-Fi 7, also known as IEEE 802.11be, marks a significant leap forward in WLAN technology, aimed at supporting extremely high data throughput for applications like ultra-high-definition video streaming, virtual reality, and augmented reality. With enhancements such as increased channel bandwidth (up to 320 MHz), up to 16 spatial streams, and advanced 4096 QAM modulation, Wi-Fi 7 sets the stage for the future of wireless connectivity.

Rohde & Schwarz’s Wi-Fi 7 test solutions are meticulously designed to meet these advanced specifications, underscoring the company’s commitment to supporting the evolution of WLAN technologies. Optimized for efficient RF measurements in non-signaling mode for device production, the tester supports a wide range of cellular and non-cellular technologies, including Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7, and 5G NR FR1, with bandwidth capabilities up to 500 MHz, positioning itself as a forward-looking solution for both R&D and production needs.

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Rohde & Schwarz presents its Wi-Fi 7 multi-channel single-box test solutions for R&D and production at MWC 2024

Wed, 02/07/2024 - 13:45

As 5G technology evolves, non-3GPP networks such as public, home and enterprise WLAN hotspots will be more and more interlinked with the 5G core. As a result, tomorrow’s smartphones will rely even more on the next generations of WLAN technology, which will be more powerful and efficient, but also more complex. At Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona, Rohde & Schwarz will be showcasing its latest Wi-Fi 7 test solutions for R&D and production to meet the ever-increasing test challenges posed by the technology and the parallel operation with LTE and 5G cellular standards.

Rohde & Schwarz will display its R&S CMX500 multi-technology multi-channel signaling tester at MWC 2024 with newly added Wi-Fi 7 testing capabilities. With this functionality, the one-box tester allows R&D engineers of wireless devices to comprehensively test their design’s operation in cellular and non-cellular standards of the latest generation in a single instrument setup. In addition to this, the R&S CMP180 radio communication tester will verify a signal waveform of 480 MHz bandwidth in loopback mode, attesting to be a future-proof solution for users in R&D and production, even beyond the requirements of Wi-Fi 7.

Challenges of next-generation WLAN testing

While the market for the sixth generation of Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.11ax, is still growing, the development of Wi-Fi 7, or IEEE 802.11be, is in full swing. Wi-Fi 7 is the next generation of Wi-Fi technology, designed for extremely high data throughput. With tens of gigabits of data per second and low latency, it meets the growing demand for ultra-high-definition video streaming, virtual reality and augmented reality applications. Key elements to achieve higher throughput are an increased channel bandwidth of 320 MHz, up to 16 spatial streams and 4096 QAM modulation. In addition, for a yet-to-be-defined Wi-Fi 8 (IEEE 802.11bn) standard, even wider channel bandwidths are in discussion. Rohde & Schwarz meets these challenging characteristics with its solutions for testing Wi-Fi 7 and beyond, showcased at MWC Barcelona.

R&S CMX500 features new Wi-Fi 7 capabilities for R&D

During the development of WLAN devices, measurements of the RF TX and RX characteristics must be conducted under real-world conditions in signaling mode. The R&S CMX500 one-box tester is a multi-technology multi-channel signaling tester that is now available with integrated Wi-Fi 7 test functionality. Especially in Wi-Fi 7 where Multi-Link-Operation (MLO) is a key feature, a test environment that provides multiple RF chains is crucial. The tester’s flexibility, support for multiple radio technologies, and embedded IP test capabilities make it a versatile solution for a wide range of Wi-Fi 7-specific tests, such as 2×2 MIMO, 6 GHz band with out-of-band discovery, coexistence and E2E test capabilities.

Testing WLAN offloading with Voice over WLAN in a single box

WLAN offloading is the process of delivering data originally intended for cellular networks over WLAN. It helps reduce the amount of data carried on the cellular bands, freeing up bandwidth for other users. It is also used to ensure service continuity in scenarios where cellular coverage is insufficient, but a WLAN hotspot is available to take over the connection. For example, the handover between a cellular network and WLAN during a voice call, often referred to as Voice over WLAN, aims to provide subscribers with an uninterrupted voice call experience.

At MWC, Rohde & Schwarz will demonstrate the R&S CMX500 and its ability to test seamless traffic offloading and interworking between cellular 5G and WLAN with a single box solution. The newly integrated Non-3GPP Interworking Function (N3IWF) gateway in the R&S CMX500 makes it an easy-to-use solution for testing WLAN offloading with Voice over WLAN, enabling device manufacturers and operators to efficiently test these applications. In addition, the integrated POLQA voice quality measurement function of the R&S CMX500 offers a comprehensive and cost-effective solution to ensure the quality of experience for voice over WLAN applications at an early stage.

Future-proof R&S CMP180 R&D and production tester

In the production phase of WLAN devices, all RF measurements are performed in non-signaling mode to save time. Rohde & Schwarz has optimized the R&S CMP180 radio communication tester for this purpose. The instrument supports many cellular and non-cellular technologies including Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7 and 5G NR FR1 up to 8 GHz in frequency with bandwidths up to 500 MHz. Leveraging the wide bandwidth, the R&S CMP180 will demonstrate at MWC its ability to verify a WLAN waveform with 480 MHz bandwidth in loopback mode, a potential waveform candidate for the yet-to-be-defined Wi-Fi 8 (IEEE 802.11bn) standard. This feature shows that the cost-effective instrument is future-proof for users not only in production but also in R&D.

Two analyzers, two generators and two sets of eight RF ports are integrated in the R&S CMP180 to support 2×2 MIMO testing in a single box. Two R&S CMP180 instruments can be combined and scaled to support four analyzers and generators for efficient testing of 4×4 MIMO access points.

Rohde & Schwarz will present its comprehensive test solutions for next-generation WLAN at the Mobile World Congress 2024 at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona in hall 5, booth 5A80.

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