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Seven strategies for designing wearable devices on an ultra-low power budget

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 18:32

By Philip Ling, Avnet. 

The design requirements for wearable devices are unique amongst embedded systems. Design engineers don’t have the freedom to trade size against weight, or performance for power. When it comes to wearables, smaller isn’t just better, it is essential.

As semiconductor processes evolve, they deliver smaller integrated devices with lower power dissipation. These are important contributors to expanding the potential applications for wearable technology. Engineers have greater design freedom with access to more capable integrated devices.

Today, most wearable products are worn on the wrist. Smart watches are multifunctional but fitness bands that track activity are rising in popularity. Fitness and wellbeing are closely related to medical and healthcare and in this context the wrist is merely convenient. It provides a good place to monitor movement as well as pulse rate. Heart health can also be measured using electrocardiogram methodology, with the wrist providing one point of contact.

Transducers provide the interface between the physical and digital domains. Electronic (MEMS-based inertial measurement) and mechanical (Piezo) sensors are perhaps the best known. Other types of sensors exist and are being developed, particularly for wearable medical devices. Optical sensors use different wavelengths to penetrate the skin by a defined depth and analyze the reflections to gain insights into the health of the wearer. Similarly, near-field radio frequency sensors can detect breathing patterns and lung capacity. Microfluidic biosensors are used in wearable medical devices to detect markers in sweat.

Future wearable technology will be more aligned with our own senses. Smart earwear and eyewear leverages augmented and virtual reality and can be used in all types of vertical markets. Bodywear, including foot and hand, provide a more personalized experience by tracking the wearer’s movements with greater accuracy.

The incredible rise of the wearable

Wearable devices vary in their application, but as a market sector they share common features. They need to be as unobtrusive as possible, which means size and weight will drive design. The availability of physically small integrated devices is part of the solution but powering the device will be fundamental. While research is ongoing around self-powered wearable sensors, the majority will still need a battery.

New battery technologies for wearables

Battery capacity is also limited by size. The popular CR2032 coin cell battery measures 20 mm in diameter and 3.2 mm thick. It provides 220 mAh of power at 3 V. To get a week of use time out of a wearable using a battery with a capacity of 220 mAh, the device will need to consume, on average, around 130 uA.

Using electric vehicles as a comparison, an electric car will return approximately 5 miles of range per kWh of power. EV batteries are reported to have an energy density of around 250 Wh/kg. A battery that can provide a range of 500 miles will weigh around 400 kg, while a 200-mile range battery would be around 160 kg. The same applies to anything battery-powered, including wearables. The larger the battery the longer the usable lifetime between battery charges or recharges, but the device will be larger, heavier, and possibly more expensive.

Solid-state lithium battery technology is being adopted by the EV market. It is reportedly safer than lithium-ion technology due to the solid electrolyte. This inherent safety means the battery casing can be thinner, reducing the overall weight and increasing the energy density. The same is true for wearables, in the form of solid-state micro batteries. Leaders in this field are reporting solid-state micro batteries with twice the energy density of conventional lithium-ion coin cell batteries.

As the industry moves toward body wearables, the shape of batteries becomes more flexible. This is the case for soft lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that can be manufactured in pliable pouches. The format supports larger batteries with a relatively lower weight for the power density. These could be used in smart clothing, as an example, by incorporating them into the fabric.

Ultra-low-power process technologies

The semiconductor industry is acutely aware of power. This doesn’t just relate to how much active power a device uses; it also impacts the amount of heat a device can dissipate as transistor density increases. There is a link between transistor scaling and energy density, so developing low power processes is important to the future of semiconductor integration.

Several process technologies have emerged over time. These include fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI), which adds an insulating layer to the bulk substrate to reduce body capacitance. This improves speed and lowers noise, which can be exploited to reduce the operating voltage and, by extension, power consumption. Its lower noise has also prompted some manufacturers to use it for analog ICs.

Another innovative technology involves operating the transistors at a voltage lower than the conventional threshold used. This so-called subthreshold approach for digital ICs delivers power savings due to the same principal; lower operating voltage equals lower power.

High performance and low power don’t really go together. For performance, the semiconductor industry moved to FinFET transistors some time ago, but the technology has only recently been pitched at ultra-low power applications. The majority of low power technologies still rely on a planar transistor process, but FinFETs could be the next small thing in wearable technology.

Process technologies continue to evolve, with ultra-low power becoming one design objective

Three semiconductor process technologies currently in production, including planar for bulk CMOS silicon, fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) for low noise and fast operation, and finFET for high performance

Power saving circuit features

Saving power extends beyond the process technology. Techniques continue to emerge, specifically intended to lower active power. Domino logic is not a new technology, but researchers continue to explore its low power potential, particularly when used in a subthreshold process. Domino logic is related to dynamic logic, which uses a clock for combinatorial logic. This contrasts to static logic, which doesn’t use a clock.

Asynchronous logic extends the concept of clockless circuits. This approach uses a protocol between functional blocks to indicate when the result from one block is valid for the next, rather than synchronizing everything to a clock edge. The benefits of asynchronous logic were exploited when power density was becoming an issue. Removing the clock avoided the instantaneous surges in supply current that could occur when all functional blocks switched in time to a common clock. Research into how asynchronous logic could support lower supply rail voltages is ongoing.

Other techniques developed by processor manufacturers include voltage and clock scaling, which reduces both during times of low processor demand. This is still predominantly intended to address active power consumption, while standby, sleep and deep sleep modes are focused on static power. Techniques to reduce static power include clock and voltage gating, which removes the clock and/or supply rail from blocks of circuitry when they are not in use. With no power or signal to trigger switching, no power is consumed by the CMOS transistors in those areas.

ULP power management

Power management ICs, or PMICS, provide voltage regulation, conversion and supply protection in a single device. These features are important for most products, but they can be even more critical in battery-powered devices that strive for ultra-low power operation.

The features available from highly integrated PMICs include the standard protection that power management devices offer, such as over/under voltage/current protection, and short-circuit protection. PMICs aimed at rechargeable devices also include battery charging management, battery protection (thermal, deep discharge), and battery voltage monitoring during operation.

Additional features designed specifically for ultra-low power devices, such as wearables, include standby mode. This puts the PMIC itself into an ultra-low power mode, reducing the quiescent current when the wearable device isn’t being used.

Low power display technologies

Light emitting diode technologies continue to develop, offering higher pixel density and lower power. Active-matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) technology has become popular with smart phone manufacturers and is expected to dominate foldable screens. Its use in wearables has also increased, with many smartwatches using AMOLED displays.

One of the most promising developments in recent years is the microLED array. The light output of a microLED, measured in Nits (candelas per m2) can be orders of magnitude higher than OLED technology. This means they need less power to provide the same Nits as other displays.

Just as with other displays, microLEDs are arrays of pixels based on three (red, green, blue) very small LEDs. Displays are manufactured using either a pick-and-place approach to position the microLEDs on a substrate, or a monolithic process that doesn’t require the additional pick-and-place process. The monolithic microLED technology can support a smaller pixel pitch than pick-and-place technology. This makes it attractive for small wearable displays, in particular eyewear.

Ultra-low-power wireless communications

Wireless connectivity is not a prerequisite for wearable technology, as many applications could synchronize over a wired connection such as a docking station that also provides power to recharge batteries. However, consumer expectation has been set by early and current examples of wearables that offer an always-on, always-connected experience. It seems inevitable that wireless communication is now essential for future wearable technology.

Bluetooth remains the wireless technology of choice in peer-to-peer applications. While wearables may adopt a mesh networking model, the personal nature of wearable technology suggests that peer-to-peer will probably be favored.

Recent revisions to the Bluetooth specification, from 5.0 onwards, have mostly focused on extending the applicability of Bluetooth to smart applications. These haven’t addressed power directly, but Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE, (introduced with version 4.0) still manages to deliver excellent performance in ultra-low power applications.

If position tracking is an important feature of the wearable device, then Bluetooth version 5.1 onwards will be an attractive option. It includes location and tracking support by providing angle of arrival and angle of departure for the RF signal. This can be used to determine position when used with a beacon in a known location.

Some wearable devices may need to be directly addressable over the internet. Here, an IP-based mesh network protocol may be better. The options include 6LowPAN and Thread, as well as Wi-Fi. There are now several examples of system-on-chips that offer multi-protocol radios integrated alongside microcontroller cores to address this part of the wearables market.

Near-field communications (NFC) is another wireless technology making its way into the wearables sector. NFC can provide both power and data to a wearable sensor, to charge a small battery and exchange data. This would be a viable option for wearable devices that do not need to be always-connected, but potentially always-on.

The lab-on-a-chip for wearables

The idea of integrating digital processing alongside analog frontends for biomedical sensing has been around for some time. Developments continue in this area, with more focus on making the medical device wearable.

These highly integrated devices combine ultra-low power processing with dedicated sensor interfaces. This makes them less generic than most ICs, which is itself an indication that the market is maturing.

Optical sensors work well in this context, as they provide a non-invasive way of monitoring vital statistics and can be placed in various places around the body. Manufacturers are now integrating the photonic element alongside the logic to create a lab-on-a-chip solution. Again, the wrist is showing up as a favorite location for the wearable devices these ICs enable.

The future of wearable electronics

Forecasts for wearable technology have always been optimistic. The biggest potential has been and remains pinned to wearable technology for home health and medical applications. Integrated devices hold the key to enabling growth in the market and, as is normally the case, the IC manufacturers want to see real potential before they invest too much time, money and effort into developing the solutions needed.

Once the decision has been made, it still takes time before those solutions appear. The dynamics of the semiconductor market can be frustrating for innovators and start-ups looking to launch a new application that will capture the minds of the end consumer. There are many such applications in the wearable space.

But there is proof positive that those solutions are now available. Smartwatches and fitness trackers are currently the primary example of wearable technology, at least in the consumer sector, with sales continuing to expand. Medical devices are hugely interesting for manufacturers, but the market dynamics are clearly different. Augmented reality is primed to revolutionize the industrial vertical.

And this is perhaps the biggest challenge that wearable technology now faces. In terms of the end applications, it is hugely fragmented. Few other sectors face such a level of fragmentation. Fundamentally, however, the enabling technologies are largely the same. It falls to the OEM to leverage those technologies to create new products that really solve a problem or improve a situation in a specific application area.

The post Seven strategies for designing wearable devices on an ultra-low power budget appeared first on ELE Times.

Low Power Design

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 17:54
Processors, Power Conversion, Peripherals

Users keep expecting more from their battery-operated and portable devices, and design engineers keep giving them more. And if engineers can make an instrument or consumer device portable, they are pushed to do so. Improved Li-ion batteries have made many portable devices practical. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies are replacing wires in industrial automation systems, and wireless communication is much more prevalent now in consumer and medical devices. Industrial control systems and Internet of Things (IoT) devices need to be smaller, lighter, and sometimes portable. Even if not portable, they really need to be low power. This article looks at how engineers can examine their overall designs—including components such as microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators—to minimize power consumption.


While programming an 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) is often easier than programming a 32-bit MCU, clever hardware and accompanying software can make the 32-bit design just as low power but with the capabilities necessary in many current applications and emerging applications. The wider bus tends to use more energy, but it performs more work per cycle and can often be powered down when not in use. An 8-bit architecture, though popular, typically hits its limits when dealing with any networking or communications.

The power draw of MCUs is not always easy to determine, as it depends on many variables, including clock speed, peripheral usage, supply voltage, and memory activity. Additionally, temperature can affect power performance, increasing supply current for an ultra-low-power (ULP) MCU by a factor of ten at 80°C compared to that at room temperature. Software can make a big difference in energy consumption, so engineers should look to manufacturers who can advise in this area.

There are, perhaps, three mainstay processors at the heart of very-low-power 32-bit MCUs: Arm Cortex-M0, Arm Cortex-M4, and RISC-V. The following examples incorporate these popular processors.

Microcontroller Examples

The low-cost STM32C011 MCU from STMicroelectronics uses the 32-bit Arm Cortex -M0+ core and features direct memory access (DMA), four 16-bit timers with motor control, two USARTs, a real time clock (RTC), a fast 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), and cyclic redundancy check (CRC). Using 3.0V, the STM32C011 consumes 3800µA in run mode at 48MHz, 80µA in stop mode, 8.0µA in standby, and only 0.02µA in shutdown. The IC has up to 32kB of flash memory and 6kB or 12kB of SRAM, with nested vector interrupt control.

Texas Instruments offers an entire family of low-power SimpleLink wireless MCUs. The 2.4GHz CC2651R3 device has a 48MHz Arm Cortex-M4 processor with support for Bluetooth Low Energy, Zigbee, and the 802.15.4 low-data-rate WPAN. It includes 352kB of flash, 32kB of ultra-low-leakage SRAM, and 8kB of cache SRAM. The MCU needs 2.9mA in active mode (running CoreMark®), 61μA/MHz running CoreMark, 0.8μA in standby mode with RTC and 32kB of RAM, and 0.1μA in shutdown mode. The chip’s radio consumes 6.4mA in Rx, -7.1mA Tx at 0dBm, and 9.5mA Tx at +5 dBm. The IC has an AES 128-bit cryptographic accelerator, a true random number generator, an eight-channel 12-bit ADC, and a temperature and battery monitor.

The Analog Devices MAX32670 ultra-low-power microcontroller uses an Arm Cortex-M4 CPU with a floating-point unit (FPU). It targets industrial and IoT applications with complex sensor processing capabilities, plus AES and CRC hardware acceleration engines. The chip has a low-dropout (LDO) regulator for the 1.5V core and runs from a single 1.7V to 3.6V supply. It requires 5.0mA when active at 100MHz and only 2.6μA for full memory retention power in backup mode at 1.8 VDD. The chip has up to 384kB of flash and 160kB of SRAM and features error correction coding (ECC) over its entire RAM space. It provides two low-power timers to enable pulse counting and PWM generation even in the lowest-power sleep modes, plus I2C, 50MHz SPIs, and UARTs.

The Infineon Technologies CY8C4247LQQ-BL483 32-bit PSoC 4 MCU has a 24MHz Arm Cortex-M0 core with 2.4GHz Bluetooth Low Energy; a 12-bit, 1MS/s SAR ADC; CAPSENSE touch button interface; and up to 256kB of flash and 32kB of SRAM. The device can be powered from batteries with a voltage range of 1.9V to 5.5V. The supply current in active mode is 1.7mA at 3MHz flash program execution, while only 1.5μA in deep sleep mode using a watch crystal oscillator (WCO). Hibernate mode needs just 150nA with RAM retention. The chip has four programmable logic blocks, each with eight macrocells.

The Microchip Technology ATSAML21E MCU incorporates an Arm Cortex M0+ core with 48MHz clock in a TQFP-32 package. The chip features sophisticated power management technologies, like power domain gating, sleepwalking, and ultra-low power peripherals. It consumes as little as 35μA/MHz in active mode and 200nA in sleep mode. The ATSAML21E works from an operating voltage between 1.62V and 3.63V and offers five independent power domains. The IC has a single-cycle hardware multiplier, a micro-trace buffer, 16 external interrupts, one non-maskable interrupt, and a 16-channel DMAC. It also features a 12-channel event system and up to five 16-bit timer/counters. Active current with all functions in operation at 3.3V is approximately 85µa/MHz, while idle current is ~200µA at 12MHz. Standby current is as low as 1.5µA (or 50µA at 105°C). The MCU also features a backup state, powered by VBATT input, that requires only ~0.2µA.

The NXP Semiconductors LPC55S66 MCU features a 150Mhz Arm Cortex-M33 core and a second M33 co-processor (Figure 1), but it still manages to consume very little power. The M33 core is crafted in Armv8-M architecture and has advanced security features, including TrustZone, FPU, on-the-fly flash encryption/decryption, and a memory protection unit (MPU). It has 256MB of flash and 144kB of SRAM (640/320 optional), and nine flexible serial communication peripherals (USART, SPI, high-speed SPI, I2C, or I2S interface). The IC also offers integrated DSP instructions, support for secure boot, HASH, AES, RSA, UUID, DICE, dynamic encrypt and decrypt, debug authentication, and serial wire debug. Supply current with CoreMark code executed from SRAM in CPU0, CPU1 in Off mode, and flash powered down, with a 12MHz clock is 0.9mA. At 150MHz, the current is 6.2mA. With CPU0 in SLEEP mode and CPU1 in OFF mode with a 12MHz clock, VCC current is 0.7mA, and deep sleep can go as low as 0.11mA.

Figure 1: NXP LPC55S66 microcontroller block diagram, showing dual cores and all peripherals. (Source: NXP Semiconductors)

Silicon Labs EFR32BG22 Wireless Gecko Bluetooth 5.2 system-on-chip (SoC) combines ultra-low transmit and receive power (3.6mA Tx at 0dBm, 2.6mA Rx) and a security-enhanced, single-core Arm Cortex-M33 CPU that draws 27µA/MHz while active and 1.2µA in sleep mode. The device enables coin cell battery life of up to ten years and offers up to 512kB of flash and 32kB of RAM. Features include Secure Boot with Root of Trust and Secure Loader, a 12- or 16-bit ADC, DMA, dual I2C ports, and 26 general-purpose I/O pins. The operating range is 1.71V to 3.8V on a single supply.

Espressif Systems makes RF SoCs and modules with either Xtensa or RISC-V CPUs. All devices support 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 Low Energy. The ESP32-C3FH4 is a low-power SoC using a 160MHz RISC-V core with 400kB of SRAM (16kB for cache) and 384kB of ROM. Also on the chip are 14 programmable GPIOs, a DMA controller, an SAR ADC, and a temperature sensor. If the modem is idle and the CPU runs, the supply current is 23mA. In light-sleep mode—with VDD of 3.3V, SPI and Wi-Fi powered down, and all GPIOs in high impedance—the supply current is just 130µA.


Almost every type of sensor has seen a significant reduction in required power in recent years. This trend toward lower power consumption plus decreasing costs have enabled designs that monitor almost anything, from machinery and health to communications systems, pets, and environment.

Sensor Examples

STMicroelectronics offers a variety of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) sensors that enable a performance jump and new features for consumer mobile, healthcare, and retail applications. The devices bring adaptive, machine-learning capabilities to edge applications that operate at extremely low power. The charge-variation (QVAR) sensing channel monitors changes in electrostatic charge to provide contact sensing. Applications include moisture and condensation sensing, human-presence detection, activity monitoring, and people counting.

ST’s MEMS portfolio includes the LPS22DF barometric pressure sensor and waterproof LPS28DFW barometric pressure sensor, which feature active supply current as low as 1.7µA and absolute pressure accuracy of 0.5hPa. The LIS2DU12 3-axis accelerometer offers a great ultra-low-power architecture with active antialiasing and consumes only 3.5µA at 100Hz.

Power Conversion

Most modern rechargeable battery-operated designs use a single lithium-ion (Li-ion) cell, while primary (non-rechargeable) designs will use a coin cell made of manganese dioxide lithium. Generally, Li-ion rechargeable batteries have a final charge voltage of 4.2V and an end of discharge of 3.0V. The 3V CR2032 coin battery has a 2.0V discharge cut-off and a 3.2V maximum charge point. Many MCUs have an internal regulator and can handle these voltages directly.

While high-efficiency power conversion is taken for granted these days, it can be challenging to achieve efficiency when the design’s current is very low. For battery-operated designs, the system must also perform at low and high battery voltages. An LDO linear regulator may be appropriate in such cases, but a regulated charge pump can be very efficient at low currents.

Example Power Converters

The Texas Instruments TPS62743 is an ultra-low-power DC-DC step-down converter with a quiescent current of only 360nA. The device uses DCS-Control™ topology and operates with a typical switching frequency of 1.2MHz, using a 2.2µH inductor and 10µF output capacitor. In power save mode, the device extends the light load efficiency to a current load range of 10µA. The input voltage range is 2.15V to 5.5V, providing a maximum current of 300mA. Once started, the device operates down to 2.0V input, allowing operation directly from a single Li-MnO2 coin cell.

The Torex Semiconductor XC9265 series step-down DC/DC converters have built-in 0.4Ω N- and P-channel switching transistors as well as short circuit protection and an under-voltage lockout. Using pulse frequency modulation (PFM), the chips have a fixed output voltage from 1.0V to 4.0V (±2.0%) in increments of 0.05V and regulate down to very low-current loads. Input voltage is from 2.0V to 6.0V, with a maximum output current of 200mA (XC9265A/C) or 50mA (XC9265B/D). The supply current is just 0.5µA.

Solid State Relays

Solid-state relays have improved to the point of being useful in ultra-low-power designs. Being able to drive an external device, such as an alarm or control valve from a small battery-operated unit, can be a big bonus.

Example Relays

The Omron G3VM201D MOSFET relay (Figure 2) requires a trigger forward input current of just 0.5mA typical (2mA maximum) at about 1.6V. The normally open, opto-isolated, SPST switch output handles up to 200mA at 200V AC/DC loads in a four-pin, surface-mount package. Dielectric strength is 5000VAC for 1s, and some models are available with current-limiting functions.

Figure 2: The Omron G3VM201D low-drive-current isolated solid state relay requires a trigger forward input current of just 0.5mA. (Source: Omron)

The Panasonic AQY4C is an AC/DC, dual-use, PhotoMOS, normally closed relay with an I/O isolation voltage of 200VRMS. The chips output is rated for 60V and 0.15A. The required input current is just 0.2mA, and the input voltage is 3V to 5V. Output on resistance is 4Ω typical. It comes in a small four-pin 3.5mm TSON package.


The combination of ultra-low power and wireless technology is one of the top trends of the 21st century thus far. This is true for a wealth of new battery-operated consumer and medical devices, but it is also true for other designs. For example, prioritizing low power draw in a vehicle’s instrument panel requires smaller and lighter wiring and offers energy savings. As this is true for almost any industrial control or IoT device, design engineers have an opportunity to improve many systems and products through informed component selection.

Jim Harrison, Consultant, Lincoln Technology Communications

The post Low Power Design appeared first on ELE Times.

One-stop integration of electronics R&D, manufacturing, and packaging technology trends

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 17:30

Automotive World 2023, Tokyo, Japan

37th NEPCON JAPAN, January 2023 edition, Asia’s leading exhibition for electronics R&D, manufacturing, and packaging technology, concluded with great success. 1,420 exhibitors and 74,357 visitors gathered during three days show, from 25 – 27 Jan, 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan an International Exhibition Center.

NEPCON JAPAN, launched more than 30 years ago, has grown together with the Japanese and Asian electronics industry. Consisting of 6 shows specialised in essential areas for electronics manufacturing and R&D, the show has increased its value as an exhibition representing Asia’s leading one-stop venue for all those involved in electronics industry.

‘Automotive World 2023’, the world’s leading exhibition for advanced automotive technologies, is a combination of exhibitions and conferences covering important topics in the automotive industry such as automotive electronics, connected car, autonomous driving, EV/HV/FCV, lightweight, processing technology and MaaS. The exhibition was a grand success as local and foreign visitors visited the exhibition with great fanfare.

At the technology conference, OEMs such as Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Denso and Bosch shared the latest technology information relating to decarbonization and autonomous driving.

RoboDex and Smart Factory Expo attracted the curious crowd as both the fairs showcased the latest solutions from robotics and factory automation. latest automation technologies for realizing eco-friendly energy infrastructure, robot arms, coffee-manufacturing robots, wearable suits were the point of attraction at the show.

Japan, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, Israel, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Armenia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Turkey, Vietnam and Mexico showcased their latest solutions at the exhibition.

I must congratulate the organisers and team for the strict safety measures taken amidst the looming danger of Covid 19, as China and Japan were under heavy threat of the pandemic cases reported every day. Despite the odds, it was the exceptional display of organitional capabilities of RX Japan while organising the show. I also congratulate the people of Japan for their disciplined behaviour and cooperation with the organising authorities. The business was as usual – good to see all. Live long Japan. Such attitude will have a positive impact on the future exhibitions.

Nepcon Japan showcased the latest in technologies from all around the world. Some of the noteworthy technologies are listed as below:


Automotive-grade, 5.1 Mpixel image sensor with global shutter and rolling modes for full image resolution and performance, in NIR and RGB

The VB1940, VD1940 is a 5.1 MP image sensor with both rolling and global shutter modes. In rolling shutter mode, the VB1940, VD1940 produces a single HDR color frame output through the MIPI CSI 2 interface. This is achieved by combining a short and long exposure. In addition, the user can activate a function that converts the RGB NIR pattern to an RGGB format. Such format is compatible with any standard automotive ECU (electronic control unit).

In global shutter mode, the RGB pixels upscale the NIR image to full resolution. This innovative use of the NIR information is achieved thanks to the independent exposition of the NIR and RGB pixels.

The sensor captures up to 60 frames per second in a 2560 x 1984 resolution format. The device is fully configurable through the I²C serial interface. It also provides flexible frame-to-frame configuration changes via the use of programmable contexts. Up to four contexts can be sequenced in a versatile loop of up to 32 elements.

The sensor is designed as a SEOOC (safety element out of context). It is compliant with ISO26262 standards and ASIL-B safety levels. The VB1940, VD1940 is designed with a full set of cyber security features.

For more information visit:www.st.com/

ASMPT Limited:

Advanced packaging – enabled by Open Automation

ASMPT, a leading maker of hardware and software for semiconductor and electronics production, further expanded its customer and business contacts at Asia’s leading exhibition for research and development, electronics and manufacturing as well as packaging technologies. The main focus at the ASMPT booth was on advanced packaging under the banner of the company’s Open Automation concept for the automotive sector.

In the open-plan exhibition area, industry visitors could examine the automatic XFINITE epoxy die bonder for 12-inch wafers along with 0201m demo boards on the subject of high-density placement. A tabletop display provided information about WLFO. Other highlights included the SIPLACE TX micron and SIPLACE CA placement systems as well as sintering systems, clip bond, and other power packages. Many visitors took advantage of the opportunity to engage in personal technical discussions with ASMPT’s experts. Many decision makers showed deep interest in ASMPT’s way of combining the two worlds of semiconductor and SMT production in one innovative and powerful machine. The new SIPLACE CA processes SMT components and dies directly from the diced wafer with die-attach and flip-chip processes in the same work step – with tremendous speed and accuracy.

Restructuring as a growth driver

“The entire automotive sector is currently undergoing a profound restructuring, not only in powertrain technology,” explained Yuzo Ishizaki, General Manager at ASMPT SMT Japan. “Our customers in this industry in particular are showing great interest in innovative advanced packaging solutions for things like SiP and power modules. True to our Open Automation concept, ASMPT offers this technology very fast, highly precise, process-stable and integration-capable production machines that give manufacturers the freedom to choose the extent to which they want to automate their operations at any time.”

To learn more about ASMPT, please visit us at asmpt.com.


Analog Devices:

Automotive Ethernet Connectivity with 10BASE-T1S E2B

Automotive Ethernet connectivity is a key enabler of new, zonal architectures in automotive design and supports automotive megatrends like personalization, autonomy, and electrification. Ethernet has become the ubiquitous technology for backbone network connectivity across many industries, and it’s proving to be a critical technology in the automotive world as well.

In existing automotive architectures, edge node connectivity is provided by non-Ethernet legacy networks. As systems transition to zonal architectures based on Ethernet connectivity and centralized processing, maintaining legacy network edge connectivity dictates the need for gateways to bridge from Ethernet to these legacy networks. However, bridging adds complexity, latency, and inflexibility, making systems difficult to scale and reuse.

Maintaining Ethernet all the way to the edge nodes removes this bridging function, providing a fully optimized Ethernet architecture utilizing time sensitive networking (TSN) to deliver quality of service and flexible address-based routing for dynamic network creation. The broad physical layer portfolio enables the optimal solution for all situations.

10BASE-T1S E²B (Ethernet to the Edge Bus)

Selecting a 10BASE-T1S multidrop link delivers the benefits described above while optimizing the cable harness design. ADI’s E2B (Ethernet to the Edge Bus) low complexity Ethernet implementation for 10BASE-T1S simplifies the design process by removing the need for an MCU in the edge nodes.

E2B nodes are highly optimized yet flexible hardware-based 10BASE-T1S Ethernet edge nodes, perfect for Ethernet connection to edge sensors and actuators. E2B fits seamlessly into the overall larger Ethernet architecture and can be used on the same bus as other 10BASE-T1S compliant products.

For more information visit: https://www.analog.com/e2b



Measuring Systems for Automotive Industry

Measuring Technology and Film Deposition Technology Offered by Shimadzu Industrial Systems for Achieving Progress and High Quality for the Automotive Industry

In recent years, the automotive industry has been expanding from conventional gasoline and diesel powered vehicles to environmentally-friendly electric and fuel cell powered vehicles. Additionally, there has been significant progress in the development of fully self-driving vehicles and technologies for reducing weight. Shimadzu Industrial Systems offers solutions based on broad experience and an extensive track record related to technological innovation for solving challenges faced by customers.

X-Ray Inspection Technology

Shimadzu started manufacturing industrial X-ray systems in 1965. Offering among the sharpest images and most user-friendly operability in the world, Shimadzu now supplies X-ray systems to the automotive industry and a wide range of other fields as well.

Leak Inspection Technology

Shimadzu started manufacturing helium leak detectors in 1954. Due to a unique analyzer tube deflection angle and outstanding sensitivity, Shimadzu has established a leading position in Japan. Systems are also available for oil-free mass production lines. 

Quantifying and Improving the Accuracy of Automotive Part Airtightness Inspections:

  • Achieves accurate and highly precise leak inspections, regardless of the operator’s technical skill or expertise level (10-13 Pa·m3/s max. standalone detection sensitivity).
  • Shimadzu can offer a wide range of solutions depending on the customer’s application, from manual systems to automatic helium leak testing systems for production lines or even helium recovery systems.
  • Shimadzu’s proprietary analyzer tube configuration with a 270-degree deflection angle and a 3 L/s helium pumping rate help minimize downtime even if a large leak occurs.

Dynamic Balance Testing Technology

Shimadzu started manufacturing balancing machines in 1968. Due to needs-based technology development and outstanding software, Shimadzu now offers among the world’s highest measurement accuracy and most user-friendly operability.

Achieving Higher Efficiency and Longer Life for Automotive Parts

  • By making various rotating parts rotate more smoothly, these systems help save energy, reduce noise, and extend service life.
  • Helps improve the efficiency of motive power sources and saves energy by reducing the vibration of rotating parts.
  • Lengthens the service life of bearings, for example, and satisfies high precision requirements for cutting tools.

Film Deposition Technology

Increasing Added Value and Productivity for the Transition of Automotive Parts to Plastic: These systems ensure high-quality film properties and offer among the highest throughput rates available in the industry for automating operations inline with injection molding machines.

Vacuum Heat Treatment Technology

Aimed at Lighter Weight, Higher Capacity, and Increased Mass Production of Automotive Parts: Shimadzu offers a rich line-up of small to large vacuum furnaces to meet the needs of various non-oxide ceramics sintering applications and improve maintainability for mass production.

For more information visit: https://www.sis.shimadzu.co.jp/



Amphenol is a leading supplier of advanced interconnect systems, sensors and antennas for a growing array of automotive applications. In addition, the company has developed advanced technology solutions for hybrid and electric vehicles and are working with leading global customers to proliferate these advanced interconnect products into next-generation automobiles. The primary solutions for automotive include antennas, electric vehicles, engine management and control, exhaust monitoring and cleaning, hybrid vehicles, infotainment and communications, lighting, power management, safety and security systems, sensing systems, telematics systems and transmission systems.

Amphenol is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of connectors and interconnect systems, antennas solutions, sensors and high-speed cable. Connector and connector system solutions include fiber optic interconnect, harsh environment interconnect, high-speed interconnect, power interconnect, power distribution and busbars and radio frequency (RF) interconnect products. Sensors and sensor-based product solutions include gas and moisture sensors, level sensors, position sensor, pressure sensors, temperature sensors and vibration sensors. Value-added cable assemblies include cable assemblies and harnesses, cable management products and backplane interconnect systems. Cable solutions include coaxial cable, power cable and specialty cable. Amphenol provides combiner/splitter products, flexible and rigid printed circuit boards, hinges and molded parts.

For more information visit: www.amphenol-cs.com



HMI design with CGI Studio

Candera CGI Studio is a scalable and hardware independent HMI design software. It enables the creation of brilliant and customizable embedded UI solutions of all kinds for the automotive area and beyond. The special USP of this GUI creation tool are its user-friendly interface and the high performance representation of 2D / 3D display elements and animations.

CGI Studio comes with ready-to-use HMI controls, an AI based Smart Importer and integrated state machines enabling to display the logics with only a few clicks. The open architecture of CGI Studio allows deep integration and automatization into your company’s workflow. 

With CGI Studio 3.11’s ability to import directly from Adobe XD, HMI creation is now faster than ever

For users of CGI Studio, time-to-market is of high priority. This understanding is reflected in the main new features of CGI Studio 3.11. These features include an improved user interface, the award-winning Smart Importer’s new ability to import graphics directly from Adobe XD, accompanying documentation to help integrate CGI Studio 3.11 into an automotive Cybersecurity environment according to the ISO/SAE 21434 standard, and a new extended Control set to speed up HMI creation.

For more information visit: https://cgistudio.at/



Automotive Electronic Solution enabled by NOVOSENSE

Comprehensive Analog Chip Product Portfolio of NOVOSENSE Contributes to the Rapid Development of xEVs

NOVOSENSE Microelectronics is a highly robust and reliable analog and mixed signal IC design company. Since its establishment in 2013, the company has been focusing on signal sensing, system interconnection and power drive, providing comprehensive semiconductor products and solutions such as sensor, signal chain, isolator, interface, power driver, power management, which are widely used in automotive, industrial control, information communication and consumer electronics markets.

With the mission of “Sense and Drive the Future, Build a Green, Smart and Connected World with Semiconductors”, the company is committed to providing chip-level solutions to link the digital world and the real world.

For more information visit: www.novosns.com


INFINITY Engineering Products

Custom Air Springs

Vehicle designers can take full advantage of the benefits of air spring technologies by working with Goodyear Air Springs design and engineering teams to develop air springs that are optimized for specific applications.

Flex Members — Thicker Reinforced Woven Material Bellows: Goodyear Air Springs flex members are thicker and include a tighter cord than the competition, providing excellent rubber wall and internal splice strength, helping to increase the life cycle of your product and reducing cost-per-mile.

Sleeve Air Springs

Goodyear Air Springs sleeve-style air springs provide operator and passenger comfort through truck and bus driver seat springs, truck cab vibration isolation systems and ride springs for passenger vehicles and light trucks. Sleeve air springs are also ideal for use as actuators and isolators in industrial applications.

Sleeve Performance; Sleeve air springs incorporate a flexible member without the use of an internally molded bead. The flexible member is attached to the end retainers by pinching the material between the end retainers and exterior crimp rings, which are then swaged to the proper diameter. For Cab and Specialty Industrial Applications. Designed for a smoother ride in cab, or on seat for driver comfort.

Super Cushion Bellows Air Springs

Goodyear Air Springs Super-Cushion bellows air springs are superior quality products, designed and built for durability, performance and value. Super-Cushion bellows air springs operate dependably in the toughest conditions. With quality built into every Super-Cushion air spring, they are made to last.

Bellows Air Springs Styles: Bellows air springs have one, two or three convolutions in a flexible member. There are two styles of bellows designs:

  • Crimped design bellows air springs feature an end retainer that is permanently attached to the air spring by crimping a retainer around the built-in bead wire of the flexible member, or bellow.
  • Sleeve style bellows offer similar characteristic to crimped design bellows, but the flexible member is constructed without internally molded bead wires, much like that of a rolling lobe bellow. The end retainers are permanently attached by pinching the flexible member between the end retainers and external crimp rings, which are then swaged to the proper diameter.

Super Cushion Rolling Lobe

Goodyear Air Springs Super Cushion air springs give your trucks, trailers and buses the best in safety, productivity and long life. Our rolling lobe air springs provide constant-level hauling and deliver trouble-free service.

Improve Safety and Load Hauling Stability: Super Cushion air ride springs offer a quiet, cushioned ride that helps improve driver comfort by reducing fatigue, which keeps them more alert. On rough roads, vehicles with Goodyear Air Springs Super Cushion rolling lobe air bags bounce less than those with steel springs, helping drivers remain in control. Plus, cargo stays safer with improved protection from shock and vibration.

For more information visit: https://infinityairsprings.com/



Coil tester

Impulse Winding Tester DWX Series – DWX-01A (1000V) – 05A (5000V) – 10(10000V)

  • Definitive low inductance coil test!
  • Clear waveform display of 10μH coil

With the advance requirement of miniaturization and high frequency technology of coil products, the DWX tester is designed to test other coils and low inductance coils used in high end electronic components. Through the use of impulse power source with high speed switch , highly efficient input circuit, and high speed A/D sampling circuit, the DWX tester can offer a new solution to the low inductance coil tests.

How does the impulse windign tester work?

The impluse coil-winding tests the electrical characteristics of coil winding without damaging the sample. The prerequisite conditions for quality of a coil can be detected at just a glance. The detection is carried out when the same electric impulse by capacitor discharge is applied to the master and the test coils. The voltage dacay waveform is generated in response to the impluse, related to the Q-factor and inductance (impedance) of the coil. In this sense, the tester can detect turn and layer short, the differences in the number of turns and the matericak of the core. If high impluse voltage is applied, the poor insulation will appear as a corona of layer discharge.

For more information visit: http://www.ecginc.co.jp/english/


TCS Autoscape – Autonomous Vehicle Solutions

  • The TCS Autoscape – Autonomous Vehicle Solutions suite accelerates AV development and drastically improves a manufacturer’s time-to-market.
  • The solutions offer end-to-end capabilities across vehicle engineering, data management, and algorithm development and deployment.
  • TCS partners with leading technology and solution providers to help customers seamlessly build their AV technology stack.

In their endeavour to shape the future of mobility, global car manufacturers are racing to develop SAE Level 5 autonomous vehicles (AV).

To develop fully autonomous vehicles, manufacturers have to efficiently manage myriad technology and business challenges. Among these are collecting and analyzing petabyte-scale driving data. Technology teams then use the data to develop and deploy algorithms to guide AVs in the real world.

Autoscape facilitates the development of AVs using leading-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to transform the car into an agile, customer-centric product. The solution suite also improves the productivity and quality of vehicle data management services. TCS’ proprietary Machine First Delivery Model helps customers build complete AVs by accelerating time-to-market and optimizing capital expenditure.

To make L5 AVs a reality, manufacturers must harness the right data. To achieve this, engineering and IT teams need to: 

  • Seamlessly collect and manage petabyte-scale autonomous driving data from in-vehicle recorders.
  • Search, analyze, and interpret petabyte-scale data collected from autonomous vehicles across multiple test locations.
  • Optimize the life cycle management of AV data and ensure secure access to globally distributed teams.
  • Curate perception data from sensors such as cameras, lidars, and radars and generate training datasets at scale.
  • Ensure robust verification and validation of AV algorithms to ensure passenger safety.
  • Securely deploy software updates to AVs in near real time.

Autoscape leverages intelligent, agile, automated, and cloud capabilities across vehicle engineering, algorithm development, application life cycle and data management, and vehicle validation.

Autoscape comprises the following features: 

  • AV data services: Comprehensive compute infrastructure architecture, data management solution, AI workbench, and toolkits to manage AV data and accelerate AV development.
  • TCS Data Annotation Studio:Data curation solution with cost-effective workflow orchestration, model management, and best-in-class AI tools.
  • Smart validation: A simulation-led validation platform that is coverage-driven and enables AI-enhanced test case and scenario generation, and true edge case identification. The solution accelerates time to market, significantly reduces cost, and enhances the validation process.
  • Application life cycle management (ALM):This solution is underpinned by TCS’ ALM methodology, solutions, and industry-leading partner ALM solutions.

For more information visit: www.tcs.com/



LV5 CTRL TWR – A first of its kind ‘Autonomy Through Infrastructure’ solution

Level 5 Control Tower (LV5 CTRL TWR) is an autonomous fleet system that equips mesh network of sensors and computers on infrastructure to drive vehicles without requiring that any extra hardware to be placed on individual vehicles.

Seoul Robotics is in the early stage of commercial deployment with automotive OEMs to automate last-mile fleet logistics at their manufacturing facilities. Beyond OEMs, LV5 CTRL TWR can to transform fleet operations for a wide range of business applications ranging from vehicle distribution centers to car rental companies and trucking logistics.

LV5 CTRL TWR is a safe and reliable autonomous driving system, for use within controlled logistics grounds and parking lots. It performs in both indoor and outdoor environments, and in adverse weather conditions to provide 24/7 autonomous driving.

Hundreds of vehicles can be autonomously driven simultaneously in a controlled network, safely navigating around obstacles and other vehicles, with data from sensors on the infrastructure.

SENSR is an extremely robust and accurate 3D vision platform for LiDAR and 3D sensors. SENSR enables data from hundreds of sensors to be simultaneously fused, calibrated and processed with deep learning AI in real time, providing the localization information of all cars, personnel and physical entities within the LV5 CTRL TWR’s coverage area.

Seoul Robotics has partnered with major German automotive OEM BMW, and with the largest telecommunications company in Korea and leading provider of autonomous driving system 5G connectivity, KT, to commercialize LV5 CTRL TWR.

For more information visit: https://www.seoulrobotics.org/



With a vision to secure the vehicles of tomorrow, VicOne delivers a broad portfolio of cybersecurity software and services for the automotive industry. To address the rigorous needs of automotive manufacturers, VicOne solutions are designed to secure and scale with the specialized demands of the modern vehicle. VicOne is powered by a solid foundation in cybersecurity drawn from Trend Micro’s 30+ years in the industry, delivering unparalleled automotive protection and deep security insights that enable our customers to build secure as well as smart vehicles.

For more information visit: https://www.vicone.com/


JHC Technology

JHC Technology is a professional industrial rugged computer manufacturer with more than 20 years of experience. JHC provides solutions for product series including embedded box PC, industrial touch panel PC, industrial multi-touch display, in-vehicle computer, edge AI GPU computer, automation controller, and Single-board computer (SBC) in response to different vertical market demands. The company guarantee two years of product warranty and support long-term supply.

JHC TECH’s In-Vehicle Computing Unit Supports ADAS Open Road Data Collection

In recent years, the automotive industry has been rapidly developing, paving the way for many innovations and new trends. With the rapid increase in consumer demand for high-performance cars, commercial vehicles with autonomous driving are gradually gaining recognition in the market. Safety is the most critical factor in the development process of autonomous vehicles. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is one of the key active safety systems for vehicles, closely related to the vehicle power system, brake system, and steering system. ADAS vehicle control system requires high reliability.

Automotive testing and functional evaluation is the most important part of confirming and improving smart driving functions, and its importance does not require any explanation. ADAS is one of the fastest-growing safety applications in intelligent networked vehicles, using a combination of sensors, cameras, and displays to provide a larger driver visual range and respond to dangerous situations in case of driver negligence.

For more information visit: https://www.jhc-technology.com/


PERSOL Cross Technology

Transportation & Mobility – OEMs and innovators are redefining the future of mobility with industry-leading 3D EXPERIENCE solutions.

Explore Industry Solutions in our Virtual Vehicle Innovation Showroom

Transform future vehicle innovation: The next generation of new vehicles is accelerating faster than ever before. 3DEXPERIENCE platform can accelerate the development of your sustainable vehicle; including key domains of VEHICLE CONCEPT DESIGN, VEHICLE ENGINEERING, and VEHICLE MANUFACTURING. The next generation of new vehicles is accelerating faster than ever before.

Transportation & Mobility Solutions: Running on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Persol’s industry solutions deliver secure collaborative capabilities for real-time process simplification and acceleration across time-zones and domains of expertise. All solutions enable industry best practices out-of-the box, facilitating deployment, use and standardization. At the same time, they can be easily combined and scaled according to the needs of any user, enterprise or innovation ecosystem.

For more information visit: https://www.persol-pt.co.jp/en/


WAS Automotive Lighting Manufacturer

WAS company is located in Poland, specializes in the production of lamps and reflective devices used in the automotive industry. The company is operating in the market since 1979. It uses the most modern technologies in the industry to offer top-class solutions in the field of automotive lighting. The company combines innovation with care for the environment, and openness to new trends with a thorough analysis of clients’ needs.

For more information visit: https://www.was.eu/


The post One-stop integration of electronics R&D, manufacturing, and packaging technology trends appeared first on ELE Times.

The Next Generation of Power Quality Monitoring Technology—Helping Industrial Equipment Stay Healthy

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 17:01

Swarnab Banerjee, System Engineering Manager, ADI & Niranjan Chandrappa, Product Applications Engineer, ADI

According to a recent study published by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), large industrial facilities in the U.S. lose over $100 billion every year due to power problems, including power supply variations and voltage disturbances. When the lights flicker at home, it’s an annoyance. But when power is disturbed at a factory, it can cause the malfunction and early breakdown of expensive equipment. Subtle power quality events often pass through traditional protection networks undetected and contribute to equipment degradation over time. Furthermore, the source of many power quality disturbances are the loads connected to the same network, causing disturbances to propagate through adjacent facilities and buildings. In order to overcome power quality challenges, it is necessary to monitor inputs and disturbances generated by the load. Power quality monitoring can provide appropriate protection to equipment and can help identify suitable mitigation techniques that improve power quality.

If stakeholders take full advantage of the technology, their expensive infrastructure will benefit from clean power and an extended life.

Power quality refers to a wide variety of variations in the electric power supplied to utility customers. It can cover wiring problems, grounding issues, switching transients, load variations, and harmonic generations. In some cases, poor power quality can go undetected, yet damage expensive equipment. In Europe, the quality of electricity that is provided by a grid operator is defined by the reference parameters set in the national grid codes and the European standards (EN 50160). When the supply voltage is distorted, a device draws nonsinusoidal currents and can cause many technical problems such as overheating, malfunction, and premature aging. The nonsinusoidal current also causes thermal and insulation stress on network devices, such as transformers and feeder cables. Poor power quality ultimately results in financial losses caused by equipment downtime, increased maintenance activities, and shorter life times. In this article the impacts of poor power quality will be analyzed from the perspective of industrial equipment and how to maximize machine health.

Figure 1. Different sources of power quality problems in a) United States b) Europe.

Where Do Power Quality Disturbances Originate?

Figure 1a summarizes a study that the Electric Power Research Institute conducted for distribution power quality among 24 utilities throughout the U.S. The majority (85%) of power quality incidents originate from voltage dips or swells, harmonics and wiring, and grounding problems. Figure 1b shows the results of a different European Power Quality survey, which estimated that power quality problems in EU-25 countries create financial loss of more than $156 billion per year (€150 billion). In industrial settings, starting and stopping of heavy loads can result in voltage sags and swells that move the network voltages outside the standard operating condition. As most equipment is designed to operate within a certain operating condition, prolonged voltage dips and swells result in shutdowns and process outages. In today’s business climate, many companies are considering or already installing locally generated renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. In many cases, distributed generation sources introduce a need for switch mode power supplies in electrical installations. With the increased adoption of power electronics and switching power supplies, harmonics will become a more common source of power quality problems in industrial equipment. These types of power supplies can inject harmonics on electrical lines and degrade power quality so that everything tied to the supply network is impacted, including transformers and cables. Facility managers can often observe impacts of large harmonic currents as the network components get overloaded. In some cases, increases in total losses of 0.1% to 0.5% on network components can cause tripping of protection devices. Some other occurrences that can contribute to poor power quality include differential loading of phases, incorrect wiring and grounding schemes, load interactions, EMI/EMC, and switching of large reactive networks.

Figure 2. Visualization of network voltages and currents under different distortion effects.

Power Quality Standards

In order to cope with and manage power quality, one must find a reliable monitoring and reporting method. Some of the key standards created by industry are IEC 61000-4-30 Class A and Class S, IEC61000-4-7 harmonic measurements, and IEC61000-4-15 for flicker. Most utilities have adopted these power quality standards to develop and enforce regulations. In certain cases, utilities may penalize a customer if power quality standards do not meet regulations. Industry standards not only establish a common understanding of power quality in real-world applications, but also give users confidence they will have accurate data to solve problems and issues related to events. In electrical networks, voltage sags, swells, flickers, variation in nominal ratings, and distortion due to harmonics—all contain the key information regarding the electrical health of the network. Measurement accuracy is the key to providing reliable and repeatable results.

Applying Power Quality Monitoring to Improve Grid and Machine Health

Modern day power quality devices provide information that will benchmark the overall system performance, assist in preventive maintenance, monitor trends and conditions, assess network performance and sensitivity to process equipment, and improve energy rates. A network of power quality monitors can be installed on supply systems, and their raw measurement data can be aggregated to correlate and help identify sources of disturbances. Power quality monitors can also be a part of embedded equipment design for tighter integration and control. A unique electrical signature of a machine can be captured to understand overall health. Conclusions from data analysis and diagnostics can provide reliable input to design next-generation protection algorithms and products to improve power quality.

If equipment has already been deployed in a factory environment, the power quality profile can be used to determine the best mitigation techniques. For instance, power quality profiling of an industrial facility in India revealed significant distortions of voltage and current waveforms. After extensive analysis, a hybrid power factor correction system was installed in the factory. With the new correction system, the power factor changed from –0.5 to +0.9 and THD improved by 50%.

A Modern Power Quality Analyzer

In the past, designing a high accuracy, power quality analyzer required significant technical skill and often involved using discrete components and developing custom power quality measurement algorithms. A new class of power quality analog front ends (AFEs) integrates high performance ADCs with low drift overall gain and a DSP core. This integrated AFE reduces the complexity and cost associated with the discrete design approach and writing custom algorithms.

The integrated AFE calculates and provides power quality parameters such as sag, swell, rms, phase sequence error, and power factor values. It also obtains line frequency harmonic content from the input signal. Analog Devices has mastered a world class, power quality monitor front end called the ADE9000. It absorbs most complexity in calculations and simplifies the time and effort to implement a power quality monitoring system.

Figure 3. Information and reporting from power quality monitors.

Figure 4. Functional block diagram of ADE9000. Highly integrated, multiphase energy, and power quality monitoring IC.

Figure 5. Typical power quality monitoring system signal chain.

Opportunities for Big Data Analytics That Drive Better Energy Intelligence

As individual devices in industrial settings become more connected and IoT deployments accelerate, power quality information from distributed equipment will be collected and leveraged in new ways. For example, stakeholders can analyze historic trends and enable early detection of an emerging problem. Within a network, real-time data from multiple nodes can be used to identify and isolate a disturbance. Data analytics for machine diagnostics, preventive maintenance, and isolation of problem loads are new ways to reduce process interruptions, increase equipment lifetime, and improve uptime.

Summary The total energy demand worldwide is expected to grow approximately 5% annually. The magnitude and complexity of equipment connected to the grid will grow and power quality disturbances will increase proportionally. Modern businesses will grow increasingly dependent on electrical energy that is clean, reliable, and always on. By using next-generation power quality monitoring technology, industrial equipment owners can expect to see fewer cases of premature machine failure or wear out and benefit from clean power.

The post The Next Generation of Power Quality Monitoring Technology—Helping Industrial Equipment Stay Healthy appeared first on ELE Times.

‘Extraordinary properties’: Scientists develop new ultra-fast electronic devices for 6G and beyond

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 16:29

By Farhad Mirmohammadsadeghi

Having things like ultra-high-definition streaming at our fingertips on our mobile phones is something we’ve only been able to enjoy thanks to 5G, the fifth generation of mobile communications.

But say our future daily lives will include satellite Internet, virtual reality, autonomous vehicles and smart homes: they will need even more high-speed connectivity, and technologies capable of processing huge amounts of data extremely quickly.

Accelerating wireless communications requires quicker signals, with electronics operating at higher frequencies – the number of oscillations per second, or how fast a signal can go from point A to point B.

Currently, communication systems can use signals with speeds of up to tens of gigahertz (1 billion oscillations per second), but for future 6G communications, they will need signals as swift as one terahertz (1 trillion oscillations per second).

Unfortunately, right now electronic devices such as transistors cannot function at such high speeds, resulting in what’s frequently referred to as the “terahertz gap”. This limitation could impede the progress of upcoming technologies.

Electronic ‘metadevices’

Iranian researcher Mohammad Samizahed Nikoo and his team at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a new type of device as an alternative to transistors and diodes that is capable of transmitting much higher speeds.

Conventional electronic devices work based on controlling electrons: there is a “gate” that either lets the electrons go, or forces them to stop. But the scientists came up with a new approach to electronics that controls electromagnetic transmission without injecting a single electron.


These high speeds enable us to transfer a substantial amount of information quickly, meeting the demands of 6G telecommunications

They called this concept an “electronic metadevice” – because it can do much more than a normal device. In fact, it exhibits “extraordinary electronic properties,” the study says.

Having things like ultra-high-definition streaming at our fingertips on our mobile phones is something we’ve only been able to enjoy thanks to 5G, the fifth generation of mobile communications.

But say our future daily lives will include satellite Internet, virtual reality, autonomous vehicles and smart homes: they will need even more high-speed connectivity, and technologies capable of processing huge amounts of data extremely quickly.

Accelerating wireless communications requires quicker signals, with electronics operating at higher frequencies – the number of oscillations per second, or how fast a signal can go from point A to point B.

Currently, communication systems can use signals with speeds of up to tens of gigahertz (1 billion oscillations per second), but for future 6G communications, they will need signals as swift as one terahertz (1 trillion oscillations per second).

Unfortunately, right now electronic devices such as transistors cannot function at such high speeds, resulting in what’s frequently referred to as the “terahertz gap”. This limitation could impede the progress of upcoming technologies.

It uses a “completely different kind of switch, with a distinct working principle and mechanism” than transistors, Samizahed Nikoo told Euronews Next.

“Instead of relying on the movement of electrons, we manage electromagnetic interactions to achieve much faster speeds. This new electronic switch allows us to control rapid signals,” he explained.

10 times faster than 5G – and perhaps even faster than that

Samizahed Nikoo and his team managed to transmit data at terahertz frequencies of up to 100 gigabits per second, which is already 10 times faster than 5G, and 100 times faster than 4G.

“These high speeds enable us to transfer a substantial amount of information quickly, meeting the demands of 6G telecommunications,” he added.

Their findings suggest that such electronic meta devices may be able to achieve even higher speeds and pave the way for wireless connections with data speeds in the terabits per second (in the thousands of gigabits per second).

In other words, according to the team, these devices could not only easily handle the speeds required for 6G, but they may also usher in the next generation of ultra-fast communications.

Companies like Huawei, Apple, and Ericsson are already working on developing new semiconductor materials – other than silicon – to make transistors more efficient for 6G telecommunications.

Samizadeh Nikoo said his team, by contrast, developed “a new type of electronic device that can be constructed on any type of semiconductor”.

“This means that we can achieve 6G speeds by focusing on economical silicon, and by implementing the device on new semiconductor materials, we can achieve even higher speeds for future post-6G telecommunications”.

“A crucial aspect of this novel electronic device that makes it viable is that it can be produced without requiring any special conditions using standard semiconductor industry processes,” he added.

Samizadeh Nikoo said he and his team expect this device to be used both as standalone and integrated circuits.

There are lingering fears that the race towards ever faster Internet connection through 5G networks may have detrimental effects on the environment and on human health, and Samizadeh Nikoo said research is ongoing to ensure the technology is safe.

“However, the intriguing aspect of 6G telecommunications is that the extremely high-frequency waves employed, known as terahertz, lack the capability to penetrate deep into the skin tissue,” he said.

“This means that they only enter the surface of human skin by around 0.1mm, thus reducing the likelihood of any adverse effects on internal organs or tissues”.

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How To Design Fieldbus Agnostic Smart Factory Sensors

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 16:20

By Michael Jackson and Brian Condell

If you’re about to start designing a smart factory sensor, you’ll want to ensure that you can do it as quickly and efficiently as possible while maximizing the number of customers who can use it. This blog presents design ideas for smart factory sensors (temperature and pressure) that can communicate with a PLC regardless of the type of Fieldbus or industrial ethernet network used in a factory process.

Temperature Sensor Transducers – What are the Options?

The most common temperature transducers are 2-,3-, and 4-wire resistance-temperature detectors (RTD), thermocouples, and thermistors, each with relative advantages and disadvantages. If you have the time, there is a vast choice of signal conditioning and data converter ICs for you to build and debug a custom analog front end (AFE),

Is there a Quicker Way to Turn Around my Design?

If time is of the essence, a fully integrated AFE, like the AD7124 or AD4130 sigma-delta ADCs (with integrated PGA), could be a better option. Suppose you’re designing a sensor for an application that requires a thermocouple. In that case, the MAX31855 is a ready-to-use thermocouple-to-digital converter IC (that also performs linearization) and cold-junction compensation. If you’re planning an RTD-based sensor, consider using the MAX31865 RTD-to-Digital IC. Suppose you don’t have time to investigate different transducer types and simply want to design a sensor to quickly and accurately provide a digital temperature reading – in this case, the MAX31875 or the ADT7420 digital temperature sensor ICs are ideal ‘one-stop-shop’ solutions. These integrate a transducer, AFE, and linearizer in a single package that interfaces to a microcontroller via an I2C. Figure 1 illustrates each of these options.

Figure 1 – Alternative temperature sensor signal chains

What about Pressure Sensors?

Strain gauges and load cells are commonly used to generate an electrical signal in pressure sensors, and conveniently, you can use the AD7124 and AD4130  AFEs with these too. Alternatively, you can use the ADA4558 bridge signal conditioner IC to handle linearization if you want to remove this overhead from your microcontroller (Figure 2).

Figure 2 – Alternative pressure sensor signal chains

How have Sensors Traditionally been Connected to Industrial Networks?

Typically, sensors were designed to communicate using a single Fieldbus or Industrial Ethernet protocol.  However, this approach requires you to include a network interface IC inside the sensor itself, which adds significantly to its cost while limiting the sensor’s market to those customers using that protocol. Targeting your sensor for another network means a costly and time-consuming redesign of your sensor using a different interface IC. Also, the number and type of diagnostic features vary significantly by network type (with some having none at all), so depending on which protocol your sensor is designed for, it may be difficult for customers to maintain your sensor and identify any performance issues that arise with it, after installation. Therefore, designing your sensor in a way that allows it to work on any industrial network makes more sense as it reduces costs while broadening your market.

How can I make my Sensor ‘Network Agnostic’?

You can do this using IO-Link®, a 3-wire industrial communications standard designed to link sensors and actuators with industrial control networks. In IO-Link applications, a transceiver acts as the physical layer interface to a microcontroller running the data-link layer protocol while supporting digital inputs and outputs (up to 24V). The advantage of using IO-Link is that it carries four different types of transmissions – Process Data, Value Status, Device Data, and Events. These can flag if your sensor malfunctions and allow it to be quickly located. The MAX14828 is a low-power, IO-Link device transceiver which is available in a (4mm x 4mm) 24-pin TQFN package and a (2.5mm x 2.5mm) wafer-level package (WLP) and is specified over the extended -40°C to +125°C temperature range.

How does the IO-Link Device Transceiver Communicate with an Industrial Network?

The IO-Link device transceiver communicates (via a cable) with an IO-Link Master, which connects to an industrial network through a protocol interface IC (like the ADIN2299 for industrial ethernet). The MAX14819A is a low-power, dual-channel, IO-Link master transceiver with sensor/actuator power supply controllers that fully comply with the latest IO-Link and binary input standards and test specifications, IEC 61131-2, IEC 61131-9 SDCI, and IO-Link 1.1.3.

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Bringing Next-Generation eBeam Technology Out of the Lab and into the Fab

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 16:03

by Ziv Parizat

Semiconductor complexity continues to increase with each new process node as the industry pushes the limits of 2D logic and DRAM scaling using EUV lithography and transitions to intricate 3D architectures including Gate-All-Around (GAA) transistors, high-aspect ratio DRAM and 3D NAND memories. This complexity creates significant challenges for process engineers. Defects become much more critical and difficult to detect as chip patterns shrink, the use of 3D structures proliferate and the number of layers increases. The ability to detect and characterize tiny, buried defects in emerging logic and memory chip designs is surpassing the imaging capabilities of conventional eBeam technology. In short, you can’t fix what you can’t see.

This is where cold field emission (CFE) technology comes in. Long regarded as the optimal eBeam technology, CFE operates at room temperature, resulting in narrower, higher-energy electron beams that produce higher resolution and faster imaging speed compared to conventional thermal field emission (TFE) technology which operates at temperatures exceeding 1,500 degrees Celsius. Process engineers can tune the CFE eBeam system for maximum resolution or they can lower the resolution to match that of TFE but with significantly faster imaging speed. The animation below illustrates the resolution and speed differences between CFE and TFE.

Until now, use of CFE-based systems has been limited to lab environments because the stability of the eBeam column was insufficient for the stringent requirements of high-volume semiconductor manufacturing. One of the main factors affecting stability is the cleanliness of the eBeam column. All eBeam systems contain an extremely small source tip that emits the electrons used for imaging. Because the tip is so small, any contamination – even a single atom – can potentially disrupt the flow of electrons and cause system instability.

In TFE systems, the source tip is so hot that it automatically repels any contaminants that might gather on the surface. In contrast, the room temperature operation of CFE, which is the main driver for its higher performance, makes cleaning much more challenging.

To bring CFE technology out of the lab and into the fab, Applied’s engineers and technologists developed two innovations that solved the CFE stability challenge. The first was creating an extreme ultra-high vacuum inside the eBeam column that is well below 1 x 10-11 millibar, which is two to three orders of magnitude better than for TFE systems and nearly the vacuum level found in outer space! Through an extensive optimization process, Applied combined an extreme ultra-high vacuum with specially developed chamber materials to greatly reduce the presence of contaminants inside the eBeam column.

Even under extreme ultra-high vacuum, a tiny amount of residual gas can still exist. If gas molecules adhere to the electron source, performance is significantly degraded. The second innovation we developed is a cyclical self-cleaning process that continuously removes contaminants from the CFE source, thereby enabling stable and repeatable performance for high-volume manufacturing environments.

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How EV Developers Get Ahead of the Curve for High-Voltage Battery Management Systems

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 15:57

Global sales of electric vehicles continue to grow, with a total of 10,5 million new BEVs and PHEVs were delivered during 2022, an increase of +55 % compared to 2021. Massive investment by carmakers to optimize technologies, with most gains from improvements in the battery chemistry and in the performance of the battery management system (BMS), means that the average battery range is now treble  to what it was a decade ago. Consumers are now more confident about buying BEVs with quoted ranges of 300 miles  and more.

Though most BEVs on the roads today run on 400 V, there is a gradual shift to 800 V battery architectures. By the middle of the decade, more and more carmakers anticipate they will have 800 V models in their offering. Running on such a high voltage gives these BEVs much lower charging times, making them even more attractive to potential buyers.

Although high-voltage BMS (HVBMS) architectures exist, there is no blueprint for them – it’s not like the old days when the same internal combustion engine (ICE) could, with a few mechanical and electronic tweaks, fulfill the powertrain needs of a range of models. The market is evolving from a new vehicle model every 6-8 years to more frequent updates or upgrades, similar to the smartphone market with yearly innovation spins. During this transition period, architectures are highly variable, and there is no standard way of doing it. The challenge for OEMs and Tier 1s is to bring the latest semiconductor innovations into the market as soon as possible. Indeed it’s not just the semiconductor innovations that are required; the functional safety of these devices needs a lot of attention and design effort.

Fig 1: HVBMS Architecture for 400 V Using CAN FD

Fig 2: HVBMS Architecture for 800 V Using ETPL

As there’s no ‘one-glove-fits-all’ HVBMS architecture, any reference design must be flexible enough to adapt to all possible upcoming architectures. They need to address the varying system voltages from 400 V to 1000+ V, as well as upcoming hybrid 2 x 400 V configurations for switchable 800 V charging and 400 V driving. System architects need to assess how to set up the BMS internal communication between the battery management unit (BMU), which is the brain of the system and the cell monitoring unit (CMU) and the battery junction box (BJB) subsystem PCBAs. Considering next-generation function aggregation architectures, for example, via a propulsion domain controller, CAN FD poses an interesting alternative to state-of-the-art isolated daisy chain buses, by allowing the removal of the controller from the battery pack.

The BMS is Composed of 3 Modules: BJB, BMU, CMU

With the development of the high voltage battery management system reference design (HVBMS-RD), NXP showcases system-level knowledge and exceptional functional safety expertise. In addition to the scalable and flexible hardware architecture, the HVBMS-RD comes with an extensive range of supporting documentation that enables accelerated time-to-market and reduces the development effort and associated risk. The solution combines all the latest BMS silicon with production-grade software device drivers and reusable functional safety documentation, delivering ASIL D measurement values the customer’s application layer software can trust.

Emiliano Mediavilla Pons,  System, product and functional safety architect, NXP

Konrad Lorentz, Product Manager in the BMS Marketing Team, , NXP

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LiDAR solutions with longer sensing range and high resolution

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 14:16

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) can accurately measure distance and space, and has been widely used in autonomous driving, sweeping robots and some industrial applications. With the maturity of LiDAR technology and more competitive product prices, the market has developed quite rapidly. This article will show you the technical development of LiDAR and the reference design of LiDAR high-power laser diode and high-speed gate driver introduced by ROHM Semiconductor.

LiDAR drives the innovation of new services

LiDAR is an optical remote sensing technology, which measures the distance and other parameters of the target by irradiating a pulsed laser beam to the target. It has been applied in the automobile industry some time, and can be used to accurately measure the distance of objects and determine the space for autonomous driving, etc. In addition, it has developed rapidly in other application fields, such as sweeping robots and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). In such applications, LiDAR can be used to detect obstacles and calculate the forward route through algorithms. LiDAR is also used to capture traffic on highways in order to avoid traffic jams, and map data services based on 3D drawings.

Moreover, using the real-time point cloud data obtained by LiDAR combined with AI algorithm, object cognition and behavior prediction can be realized. The demand for important data and high precision obtained through LiDAR is increasing greatly. With the further improvement of LiDAR characteristics, the demands will not be restricted to the automobile market, but also industrial and infrastructure fields, and LiDAR expected to drive the innovation of new services.

Aimed at LiDAR and object detection application, in order to improve the accuracy of object position, the extension of object detection distance, the high refinement of object detection image and the accuracy of object detection algorithm, LiDAR sensor needs longer sensing ranger and high resolution as well as high-precision and high-power beam source. Therefore, it is necessary not only to improve the characteristics of laser diodes for luminescence, but also to drive laser diodes at faster speed and higher power.

Laser source and high frequency drive technology

Currently, the image sensing technology combining CMOS image sensor and laser diode light source has been widely used in various fields. The characteristic of this technology is that it can measure the distance from the measured object and the shape of the measured object without touching. Innovation using LiDAR module for various robotic automation and autonomous driving purposes is great anticipated in industrial equipment and in-vehicle fields.

The distance data acquired by LiDAR module is usually called a “point cloud map” or “3D depth map”, and each pixel of its image data stores the distance between LiDAR module and the measured object. Especially in the field of autonomous driving, it must be possible to cover a longer distance, so relevant manufacturers in the industry have made great efforts to develop point cloud image technology with higher resolution. The resolution of point cloud depends on the range that one pixel can cover, and the size of one pixel depends on the pixel size of photosensitive element, the scanning distance of laser beam and the size of laser beam spot.

Because LiDAR is suitable for a long range of more than tens of meters away, it is very important to reduce the divergence angle of the outgoing beam of the lens in order to improve its resolution. Therefore, a semiconductor laser with the smallest possible size and a lens with the longest focal length needs to be selected.

On the other hand, in LiDAR applications, GaN devices capable of high-frequency drive are most suitable because they can send narrow-pulse signals and build a higher-precision image system. GaN devices, one of the wide band gap semiconductors concerned together with SiC devices, can greatly reduce the on-resistance per unit area compared with previous Si semiconductors. In the same on-resistance products, the chip size can be reduced and the switching loss can be greatly reduced (about 65% compared with Si). SiC devices continue to evolve towards higher resistance voltage and greater power, while GaN devices develop towards higher frequency drive.

Key solutions for LiDAR applications

To cope with the growing market for LiDAR applications, ROHM offers solutions such as laser diodes, GaN HEMT (EcoGaN), and GaN gate drivers, etc., which are key parts for improving LiDAR characteristics.

ROHM has successfully developed a high-power laser diode with its own patented technology, which can obtain high-precision images. RLD90QZW3, as a 75W product, realizes the narrow luminous width of laser diode, which is reduced by 22% to 225µm compared with the competing product 290µm. It can realize high beam ability, narrow luminous area and high optical density, and can realize higher resolution and a wider detection range. In addition, the temperature dependence of laser wavelength is improved by 40% to 0.15nm/℃ compared with the competing products 0.25nm/℃, so narrow wavelength bandpass filters can be used for system design in a narrow wavelength range. This means that the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ratio) is improved, so that objects with longer ranges can be accurately measured. Moreover, through ROHM’s unique technology, PCE (Power-Optical Conversion Efficiency) also reaches the top 21% of the industry, which inhibits the increase of power consumption.

In automotive applications, it is necessary to further expand the ranging range, and there is a strong demand for semiconductor lasers with higher output power. Therefore, in addition to RLD90QZW3, ROHM also released RLD90QZW8 with 120W class, and its rated output optical power is 1.6 times that of RLD90QZW3. Generally, in order to increase the output light power, it is necessary to increase the light source size. The light source size of RLD90QZW8is about 1.2 times that of RLD90QZW3.

In in-vehicle applications, the ranging range is more than 100m, so it is necessary to select laser diodes with high output optical power, and at the same time, it is necessary for products to have optical design technology that can suppress the divergence angle of the beam emitted from the lens as small as possible. RLD90QZW8 is the first product in the industry with high output power of 120W and fast axis divergence angle of 20deg. In the future, ROHM will continue to give full play to the industry’s ultra-high-level beam quality technology advantages, and contribute to innovation in the field of image sensing through high-quality laser diode products.

ROHM will use these advanced technologies to enhance the lineup of laser diodes used by LiDAR and lead the market trend of high power. In addition does to package products, ROHM also provides dies. Users can apply them to the development of multi-chip package modules, so they can design more characteristic LiDAR systems.

At present, ROHM has established the mass production system of GaN devices. Compared with competing products, the resistance voltage between gate-source has increased to 8V, and the margin of overshoot damage during switching action has also increased by about 30%, so it is a device that makes circuit design easy. In addition, the surface-mounted package with high heat dissipation is adopted, which makes it easier to mount. The structure of package parasitic inductance is reduced by 55% compared with that of the previous package, and the deterioration of characteristics is suppressed.

ROHM has started to provide samples of high-speed gate driver IC (BD2311NVX-C), which is an ideal choice for driving GaN HEMT. The BD2311NVX-C is a high-speed 1-channel gate driver optimized for GaN HEMT driving with a reduced output delay of 3.4 ns (Turn-on)/3.0 ns (Turn-off) on the input signal. As with EcoGaN, it is an easy-to-mount product due to the adoption of a surface-mounted package.

Gate driver solutions for GaN HEMT and GaN HEMT drives enable high-frequency driving, a feature of GaN HEMT. In addition to laser driving for LiDAR, they can also be applied to high-frequency DC/DC converters that utilize the features of GaN devices.

Complete laser-driven reference design

In order to speed up the product development of customers, ROHM developed REFLD002 reference design by combining laser diode, GaN HEMT (EcoGaN), gate driver for GaN driving and other devices that play a key role in laser driving.

Generally, GaN HEMT, which can be switched on and off at high speed, is used to drive LiDAR laser diodes, and is configured in a square wave or resonant wave circuit. The square wave circuit turns the switch connected in series to the laser diode connected to the power source on and off, but the rise/fall time is limited by the speed of the semiconductor switch and the loop inductance formed in the circuit. Although resonant wave circuits are common for high-frequency driving circuits, knowledge of high-frequency is required to design the circuit constants. At ROHM, we have developed and published a reference design for both circuits. The design data (circuit diagrams, PCB Gerber, BOM) and evaluation data are published, so users can refer to it and alter the reference designs freely. In addition, since the simulation circuit is published on the ROHM Solution Simulator, which is a free simulator available on the web, users can easily simulate both circuits. Since changes in waveform following circuit constants changes can be immediately confirmed, the simulator can be used for initial design studies.

In addition to the reference design data, application notes, simulation models (SPICE models, Ray data), and PCB library data for individual products are also available on the web. By utilizing the reference designs, reference design circuit simulations, and product data, design and evaluation man-hours can be drastically reduced, and the process of introducing products to the market can be accelerated.

REFLD002 is a reference design for high-power laser diode high-speed driving EcoGaN and high-speed gate driver for LiDAR. The reference design includes REFLD002-1 and REFLD002-2, which contain laser diodes, the key device in high-speed driving LiDAR applications, and high-speed gate driver (BD2311NVX-C) for driving the next generation device “EcoGaN” (GaN HEMT), including square wave and resonance circuits, which can be applied to ADAS LiDAR, industrial LiDAR, sweeping robot, automated guided vehicles (AGV) and other products.


With the increasing application and introduction of LiDAR in the future, ROHM has introduced a variety of solutions such as laser diodes, GaN HEMT (EcoGaN) and gate drivers for GaN driving, which are key parts for improving LiDAR characteristics. ROHM has introduced reference designs as design references to accelerate the market introduction process of products for users.

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The key 5G Cybersecurity risks and how to overcome them

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 13:32

Shirley Lim, Channel Marketing Manager – APAC, VIAVI Solutions

The deployment of 5G networks will enable new advanced forms of data transmission that have never been possible previously, changing the way we communicate both personally and professionally. Businesses across all industries will benefit from the quicker data speeds that 5G technology will enable, however, it will have the biggest impact on industries that rely on field workers performing remote tasks for extended periods of time, such as repair technicians and industries such as manufacturing.

Businesses across a range of industries will adopt 5G technology in the next few years and should start the process of preparing for 5G rollout now. A key part of this preparation is putting defences in place to safeguard the organization from the new security challenges that will emerge as a result of the technology.

The Key Security Concerns Presented by 5G Technology

While 5G undeniably provides network communication improvements, the rollout of the technology brings with it a few key security concerns.

As 5G transmits a significantly higher amount of data per unit time, these networks become a more attractive target for cybercriminals attempting to infiltrate data. Additionally, malware can be downloaded to devices quicker on 5G networks, which presents a risk for business owners providing employees with connected devices. As such, communicating responsible device use with employees has become more important than ever before.

The deployment of 5G will also see use cases expanding. For many use cases that rely on low-latency communications, connection stability and reliability is paramount. For example, 5G may be used to power driverless vehicles or in complex surgeries, where an interruption in the connection could result in serious injury or death. In addition, operational issues may go unnoticed with the increasing use of automation powered by 5G technology. If no one in an organization is accountable for fixing ‘blind spots’ in business processes, the likelihood of a key issue being overlooked increases.

A further consideration for businesses deploying 5G technology is the new equipment, and set up of this equipment, that is required for network operation. This presents a significant investment in terms of both cost and time, as the equipment required is likely to take a long time to set up. Moreover, if a careless mistake is made during the set-up of the equipment, it can be difficult to rectify later, and these oversights can result in major issues down the road.

Finally, several network operators will opt for a transition period between 4G and 5G as opposed to an immediate switchover. This means any vulnerabilities that exist in the current 4G networks will carry over to the new 5G networks through the transition period.

How To Overcome the Security Challenges of 5G

The deployment of 5G technology essentially does not change the steps and processes businesses must take to protect their assets. Whether operating with 4G or 5G technology, it is always important for businesses to control what their users can do with business devices. It’s also necessary for businesses to carry out an evaluation as to the devices necessary for operations, rather than over-populating a workplace and employees with internet connected devices. However, with 5G the margin for error is much smaller, and the consequences of an issue are significantly higher.

With the deployment of 5G, companies should review their infrastructure to identify any organizational ‘blind spots’ that may leave the business open to cyber-attacks. Businesses should also ensure they are across any existing vulnerabilities in their 4G networks that may continue to affect legacy devices and networks. It is also essential for 5G devices to be managed with mobile device management software, in order to increase security. To protect devices utilizing 5G technology, businesses must source a device management solution that will scale with the needs of the organization, with particular focus on IoT.

In addition, it is important to remember that during the initial phase of global 5G rollout, your company may experience poor 5G coverage, particularly if it’s in a rural area. The business activities and management expectations should align with the 5G access that you have.


5G is more than an incremental network improvement. It will fundamentally transform and revolutionize a number of industries. Companies that invest in securing 5G infrastructure now are best positioned to succeed in the era of 5G.

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What to expect from 6G: Here are nine important takeaways from early global research

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 13:09

6G research is advancing rapidly and already in the applied phase. With standards work set to begin in 2025, our experts summarize the most important takeaways from early 6G research across industries, academia and all parts of the world.

Designing a new generation mobile system is a very complicated engineering task involving thousands of researchers and developers. Their creativity comes up with novel concepts and they work on designing, testing, agreeing upon and building a truly best-in-class end-to-end cellular system. There really is nothing like it.

Today, although we’re at the beginning of this journey with 6G, the volume and breadth of research activity has already been substantial. Basic research concepts underlying 6G are well understood, and concrete 6G technology roadmaps have been proposed by leading collaborations such as the European Hexa-X project, the North American Next G Alliance (NGA), the Chinese IMT-2030 (6G) Promotion Group. And of course, the road to 6G will change over time as 5G evolves and 6G standards work begins.

We already see the emergence of several promising 6G technology concepts across different vendors, industries, and regions. While the exact technical specifications will be a matter for standardization in 2025 and beyond, we can at least say one thing: by enabling and delivering wireless cyber-physical services, 6G will radically alter the world as we see and experience it.

Figure: Above: The high-level view of Ericsson’s 6G vision

But does the wider ecosystem agree? We reviewed various seminal 6G white papers across wireless industries, regional research partnerships and academia to give you the nine key takeaways from the 6G early research phase. As it turns out, these ecosystem takeaways concur very well with our own research outlook towards 6G. 

  1. Sustainability goals will be crucial to 6G use case development

Sustainability is of utmost importance for all sectors of society, and wireless networks already play an important role in achieving UN SDGs and other climate action goals. With 6G, Ericsson believes there is clear potential to further accelerate the value of wireless networks in ensuring digital inclusion on a global scale, enabling access to high-end services for socially important institutions such as schools and hospitals, enabling better resource efficiency such as through global end-to-end digital-asset tracking, and supporting new more environmentally friendly ways of living, working, traveling and more through digitalization.

We also believe that ensuring high network energy performance will continue as a critical design factor in future network platforms, reducing node energy usage to close to zero when not carrying traffic and improving scalability with load adapting to rapid traffic variations.

The University of Oulu’s 6G Flagship project, one of the earliest 6G research projects, compares the shift in focus like going from “5G engineering” to “6G humanity”, and cite an aging population and growing urbanization as some of the challenges which 6G should look to address.

The NGA believes that 6G applications will offer key societal and economic value in achieving high-level goals, for example improving cost efficiency, affordability, access, and societal sustainability when it comes to digital equity. While the European Hexa-X project identifies global service coverage as one example how 6G can contribute to the transformation of society, providing global access to digital services and energy-optimized infrastructures and services.

  1. 6G will deliver extreme performance

Through immersive communication, 6G will deliver a full telepresence experience, removing distance as a barrier to interaction. To support this and other highly advanced use cases such as remote autonomous robotics, 6G will need to deliver extreme levels of radio access performance in an adaptable fashion – i.e., depending on situational requirements – to a high number of users across a global and pervasive coverage span.

Most stakeholders agree that this will be characterized by an ability to provide high data rates, massive throughput, extremely low latency, seamless multi-access service continuity and ubiquitous connectivity delivered across land, sea and air using terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks.

There is a consensus across the ecosystem that 6G’s extreme performance will also be derived from a combination of factors, including new spectrum bands and the evolution toward new radio technologies including holographic beamforming, advanced duplexing technologies and advanced (also called ‘gigantic’) massive MIMO technology which the NGA regards as a key enabler of 6G’s fast data rates and wide coverage. Nokia Bell Labs suggests that, in the 6G era, multi-user MIMO could be widely applied in mmWave bands to enable massive-scale, multi-user massive MIMO to exploit the available spectrum and manage network density.

At Ericsson, we believe that spectrum in the sub-1 GHz frequency bands will remain necessary even in the 6G era, while mid-band spectrum will continue to address wide area use cases that require capacity. Spectrum in the mmWave range will continue to provide high capacity in crowded environments. New spectrum in the centimetric (7-15 GHz) will be essential to enabling mobile high capacity 6G use cases, while a complementary sub-THz (92-300 GHz) range will help to deliver required speeds beyond 100Gbps and extremely low latencies of 6G niche use cases.

  1. 6G networks will offer sensing capabilities

Leading network vendors agree that accurate spatial mapping through detailed sensing and high-precision positioning technologies will serve as one of the key pillars of the future 6G system.

This essentially means that 6G networks will be designed with the integrated capability to gain accurate spatial knowledge of physical surroundings, such as through radar-like technologies and other interesting research areas. Sensing can be achieved by observing the characteristics of received signals already present for the communication or using the communication equipment to send additional signals and observe their reflections on objects.

At Ericsson, we believe that reusing cellular systems for sensing can result in both a more cost-efficient sensing system and broader coverage than what can be provided by dedicated sensing systems.

Achieving fully immersive sensing and joint communication in the networks will require significant technology advances in many areas. For example, Nokia Bell Labs identify a need to advance technologies such as AI/ML, and new software and knowledge systems to be able to interpret what the networks see, feed the information into digital twins, and enable wireless industries to build the applications and services that will act upon that data.

  1. 6G will support trillions of embeddable devices

Digital twins and applications like smart cities will not only benefit from 6G’s spatial mapping technologies, it also requires input from a large number of embedded sensors as well as the possibility to send information to actuators. 6G will therefore support trillions of embeddable devices with trustworthy connections that are available all the time. Low-cost deployment and energy supply to these devices are two of many aspects that are important to address.

  1. Network resilience will be a key design element of 6G systems

As a key component of future societies, ensuring a continued high level of network reliability, availability, and resilience (NRAR) will remain a key design element of future network evolution. This will be necessary to ensure service continuation against a potential rise of natural disasters, local disturbances, societal breakdowns, and malicious attacks.

At Ericsson, we believe that network resilience will need to be addressed from multiple perspectives. Ensuring the development of a distributed architecture, for example, will be key in ensuring that not all information (and risk) is centralized among a few parties.

Hexa-X agrees that it is important to allow regional network portions to continue operation even when central functions may fail and would be key to ensuring service continuation of critical use cases e.g., emergency health care.

As the demand for potentially life-critical connectivity increases, Nokia Bell Labs believes that the development of 6G sub-networks could serve to ensure high data rates, extreme low latency, and high reliability, where 6G security and resilience features can be enforced to the lowest level of devices in the sub-network.

Then there is the high impact of AI and real-time analytics which will also play a prominent role in ensuring 6G system resilience against dynamic changes in traffic load and radio environments. For example, automated recovery mechanisms can be implemented by analyzing and aggregating data through a distributed and hierarchical approach, ensuring improved observability of performance and real-time requirement validation of services and applications.

  1. 6G network architecture will be more adaptable and dynamic

As we move toward the 6G era, networks will need to become more adaptable and dynamic to address expected future challenges in areas of deployment costs, energy consumption, network development and expansion, and management and operations.

  1. 6G networks will have the ability to learn and act autonomously

It will not be possible to enable and support the expected scale and versatility of 6G services without new levels of network intelligence and autonomy. This paradigm shift will take place gradually over the coming years, resulting in 6G networks that are fully cognitive with the ability to observe, reason, acquire new knowledge, and act autonomously. Such cognitive networks will also be crucial in enabling energy efficiencies, optimal performance, and high service availability.

At Ericsson, we believe that the key enablers for this evolution will be data-driven operations, distributed intelligence, continuous learning, intent-based automation, and explainable and trustworthy AI – and will be required to work in synergy across different aspects of functional architecture, deployment scenarios and responsibility areas of different vendors and communication service providers.

Above: Functional architecture view of future cognitive systems

Cognitive networks, together with a transition to data-driven network and service operations, will enable a high degree of automation, performance, efficiency, and insight. For communication service providers, this will inevitably have a significant positive impact on operating- (OPEX) and capital (CAPEX) expenditure, as well as average revenue per user (ARPU) and overall net promoter score (NPS).

There is broad consensus in early 6G research about the key role of AI in 6G systems. Autonomous, cognitive networks require AI capabilities across the end-to-end network architecture to be able to adjust to its environment, and constantly observe and learn from previous actions. AI must therefore be integrated both as a service and a native feature in the 6G system.

Going even further, 6G networks may also provide AI-as-a-service (AIaaS) which can support applications and leverage high-quality data from the ubiquitous generation of raw network intelligence at the edge.

  1. An integrated network compute fabric will fuel 6G network evolution

Future 6G use cases such as the Internet of Senses and Cyber-Physical Systems will require a new set of capabilities beyond connectivity. Consequently, 6G systems will be designed with the capability to deliver an integrated network compute fabric – transforming the network into a pervasive, globally interconnected compute and storage platform that facilitates optimized handling of application components while giving the impression of locality. – transforming the network into a pervasive, globally interconnected compute and storage platform that facilitates optimized handling of application components while giving the impression of locality.

Real-time infrastructure and services together with unified data access are core elements of the network compute fabric, as well as enabling other key capabilities such as intelligent operations, simplification, and serviceability.

The evolution of the compute and storage paradigm forms a central theme in early 6G research. In their early 6G research, Nokia Bell Labs identify compute as one of the ‘essential dimensions driving the design of the new communications system’.

  1. 6G will be built to ensure trustworthiness in a new age

The architectural changes foreseen by 6G systems will present a range of new complex and sophisticated cyber security challenges. The threat analysis of future 6G use cases will include new angles such as potential on-body sensors/actuators, extensive AI, and sophisticated 3D+audio content spoofing. In addition, new data privacy- and cryptographic aspects in a new quantum computing era will add further challenges to an already-complex technology area.

Consequently, there has been a lot of focus in early 6G research to ensure the trustworthiness and dependability of future 6G systems, both by strengthening security controls for well-known threats and disruptions, as well as exploring new aspects.

The ability to withstand, detect, respond to, and recover from attacks and unintentional disturbances is a cornerstone in designing trustworthy systems.

At Ericsson, we believe that confidential computing, secure identities and protocols, service availability, and security assurance and defense will continue to be the four crucial building blocks for trustworthy 6G systems and should be further developed in coming years. Confidential computing, for example, has the potential to not only protect the privacy of future cloud users, but also to enhance the security of future network slices through cryptographic isolation.

To address the prospect of more frequent and sophisticated cyber-attacks and security breaches, Hexa-X also identifies the need to develop new and efficient security and privacy schemes, i.e., applying AI to predict problems, detect and automatically resolve attacks that are caused by either classical or AI-based approaches. Another approach identified by Hexa-X includes embedding resilience and security-enabled trustworthiness in both the corresponding software and hardware implementations of future network technologies.

Way forward

Collective efforts to research and define 6G are ongoing and, as you can see in the roadmap below, will continue in the coming years.

Some of the notable activities include ongoing research and industrial projects, such as the second phase of the EU’s Hexa-X project starting now in 2023 with a focus on the systemization of 6G. Parallel to this, there is also ongoing work in the ITU-R with regard to spectrum processes as well as vision and KPI activities.

Ericsson’s view is that 3GPP will begin work on 6G requirements as early as next year, in 2024, with work on technical standardization beginning the following year in 2025. The aim is to have implementable specifications ready by 2028.

A lot of work remains but the coming years will for sure be very interesting!

Above: The roadmap for 6G research, development and standardization

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How carmakers and Tier-1 suppliers can secure connected cars

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 12:52

Author: STMicroelectronics

Connected cars provide opportunities for car makers and Tier-1 suppliers to introduce new functionalities and services such as infotainment, digital key systems, authentication, and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication. While these new possibilities promise many benefits, cybersecurity experts have voiced well-founded concerns over how this connectivity is secured. Let’s discover how we can ensure the highest level of security in connected cars, in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Hardware secure MCUs: the safest road to security

Among the different strategies available to tighten security, hardware systems offer greater protection against tampering and other malicious attacks than any software-based approach. EAL6+ Common Criteria certified, ST’s secure hardware element offers the highest level of security currently available. Named ST33K-A, the product provides authentication, confidentiality, and integrity services to protect car manufacturers and Tier-1 suppliers against cloning, counterfeiting, malware injection and unauthorized production.

ST33K-A was specifically developed for the automotive industry. Designed to protect any kind of device from unauthorized access, this tamper-proof MCU can store confidential and cryptographic data, protect credentials and run secure, unique authentication and identification services. More specifically, ST33K-A securely generates and stores encryption keys in a Root of Trust (RoT) platform to encrypt and decrypt data “on demand”. These tasks can be performed effectively in harsh environments, from –40 °C up to 105 °C. In terms of performance, the chip incorporates the most recent generation of Arm® processors.

Easy Lego-like modular developments

ST’s hardware secure MCU has more to offer than just security. It can host and run a wide range of in-cabin applications, such as Qi charging pads, digital car keys and ‘plug and go’ platforms. To create and secure these connected services in a timely manner, ST has developed an easy-to-use modular approach. Developers can use the ST33K-A secure element as a strong security hardware foundation. Depending on their targeted applications, they can add STSAFE-V, a secure system solution for vehicles, with either a STSAFE-VJ multi-SoC solution based on Java Card or a STSAFE-TPM dedicated solution. This agile development process is the preferred solution of thousands of OEMs. More than 1.5 billion units of ST33 have been sold and customized so far.

ST provides end-to-end confidentiality. ST33K-A units are produced using certified manufacturing processes, through a trusted supply chain with pre-provisioned secrets and certificates. Sensitive customer data is handled in a highly confidential environment. Developers receive a set of software libraries and drivers to ensure their secure and seamless integration into the final device. If necessary, ST can also develop tailored innovative solutions that meet specific customer needs.

Affordable security access points

The automotive industry is moving to deliver the right level of security. But change doesn’t happen overnight. While a secure element might be the only viable route to security, concerns about the cost of implementing such a secure element into every single device may arise. ST’s R&D team is committed to helping carmakers and Tier-1 suppliers to gradually upgrade their architecture in a cost-effective way. As a leader in integrated solutions, ST R&D experts can create access points, with one single secure element addressing various applications. More information is available on our website.

Make sure you aren’t ignoring threats. Build new competitive infotainment services that keep hackers out with ST33K-A and STSAFE-V.


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Mouser Electronics Features Latest from Panasonic Corporation

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 10:55

Mouser Electronics is showcasing the newest innovations from Panasonic Corporation to provide manufacturers with the latest in Panasonic performance, quality and reliability, building world-class solutions for customers in virtually all industries, including automotive, industrial, power and sensor systems and smart home applications. Mouser continues to expand its customers’ product development process with nearly 25,000 parts from Panasonic and their subsidiaries, Panasonic Batteries, Panasonic Electronic Components and Panasonic Industrial Devices.

The Panasonic PAN9028 Wi-Fi dual-band and Bluetooth Module supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, with integrated Bluetooth Basic and Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR) capability, bundled with Low Energy (LE) power features. This module meets the speed, reliability and quality requirements of highly integrated applications like Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), smart homes, buildings, medical devices, and beacons. The independent yet simultaneous operation of both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards offers flexibility for connectivity, with high data rates (802.11ac) and low-power operation utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy. Other features include integrated power management, a fast dual-core CPU, 802.11i security standard support and high-speed data interfaces.

Mouser also offers the Panasonic ACTE3CH2A05V automotive TE relay. This twin-type relay features a compact, space-saving design (13.6 mm x 12 mm x 13.5 mm), with a 20 A at 14 VDC switching capacity and a 25 A maximum carry current rating, in both a 1 Form C and 1 Form C x 2 contact arrangement, mounted using PCB terminals. The ACTE3CH2A05V automotive TE relay features high heat resistance, can control both forward and reverse motor directions, and can be utilized in a wide variety of applications from industrial robotics to electric scooters, and automotive applications such as defoggers, seat heaters, DC power controls, and more.

The Panasonic AQY215S SOP4 PhotoMOS  relay is designed to control low-level analog signals found in telecommunication, measuring/testing equipment, and factory automation applications. The Panasonic AQY215S offers 1 μA maximum low-level off-state leakage current in a small SOP4-pin package, featuring 100 V load voltage and 250 mA load current.

Panasonic’s Polymer capacitors, also available from Mouser, offer various technologies for the most demanding applications. OS-CON capacitors feature a long-life span and minimal changes in ESR (equivalent series resistance) throughout the entire rated temperature range. POSCAP (Tantalum Polymer) parts offer high reliability and heat resistance, making them ideal for digital, high-frequency devices. The SP-Cap (Aluminum Polymer SMD) line from Panasonic is resistant to temperature drift and DC/AC bias characteristics while offering extremely low ESR, capacitance ranges up to 560 µF, and a voltage range from 2 V to 16 V. The EEH-ZA, EEH-ZC and EEH-ZK devices combine the benefits of both electrolytic and aluminum polymer capacitor technologies to create capacitors with low ESR, low leakage current, high ripple current, and smaller case sizes.

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iWave launches iW-Rainbow-G50M: The NXP Semiconductors i.MX 93 SoC-Based System on Module powering energy efficient edge computing

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 10:51

iWave launches iW-RainboW-G50M: The Solderable NXP i.MX 93-based LGA System on Module (SoM). The SoM incorporates NXP’s  powerful i.MX 93 applications processor and is built on the OSM v1.1 solderable SoM standard, providing extensive interfaces in a rugged and compact form factor.

NXP’s i.MX 93 SoC is the first in the industry to integrate the Arm Ethos-U65 microNPU and the first in the i.MX Family to integrate the scalable Arm Cortex-A55 core features the latest Armv8-A architecture extensions with dedicated instructions to accelerate machine learning (ML).

Key features of iW-RainboW-G50M

  • NXP i.MX 9352 SoC
    • 2 × Cortex-A55 + 1 × Cortex-M33
    • NPU up to 0.5 TOPS
  • 2GB LPDDR4X RAM & 8GB eMMC Flash
  • 2-Lane MIPI-CSI and 4-Lane MIPI-DSI Interface
  • 2 x RGMII, 2 x CAN-FD, 1 x LVDS
  • 1 x USB 2.0 OTG, 4 x USB 4.0 Host
  • Wi-Fi 6 & Bluetooth 5.2 Connectivity
  • Size-L Form Factor: 45mm x 45mm
  • Solderable LGA Package in OSM v1.1 Standard
  • 662 Contacts

The System on Module is built on a 45mm x 45mm OSM Size-L standard with the provision for 662 contacts, offering the highest pin-to-area ratio across SoM standards. With the ability to directly solder the SoM onto the carrier card, the SoM ensures high levels of robustness and is ideal for products prone to vibrations.

The SoM supports the MIPI-CSI camera interface to leverage the integrated NPU while supporting a 4-lane MIPI-DSI with 1080p60 resolution for 2D graphics processing through a high-efficiency pixel pipeline. The availability of high-speed interfaces such as USB 2.0, Gbit ethernet, and CAN-FD makes the SoM ideal for industrial and automotive market segments.

Building on the ML capabilities of NXP’s i.MX 93 applications processor, the SoM can be adopted by product companies as a powerful building block for machine vision, AIoT, Smart City, Industrial automation, and other ML-related applications.

“With billions of devices connected worldwide and the rise of AI on the edge, it is crucial to ensure safety, energy efficiency, and compute power,” said Immanuel Rathinam, Vice President – System on Modules at iWave.” NXP’s i.MX 93 OSM System on Module enables a new generation of intelligent devices across industrial, IoT, and automotive applications and speeds up time to market with reduced risk and complexity.”

“The i.MX 93 applications processors deliver a strong combination of performance and power optimization to accelerate processing and machine learning at the edge,” said Justin Mortimer Senior Director Secure Connected Edge at NXP Semiconductors. “ïWave’s iW-Rainbow-G50 SOM, by utilizing the new OSM standard, ensures our latest processing technology is both accessible and applicable to a wider range of embedded applications.“

The i.MX 93-based System on Module is also integrated on a carrier board, which is positioned as a Single Board Computer and also doubles up as an evaluation kit. The production-ready Single Board Computer is built on a Pico-ITX form factor and integrates across various AI and ML applications. Software companies can concentrate on their core competencies, such as AI and machine learning algorithms and software, and enable them on the Single Board Computer.

Key Features of the Single Board Computer

  • NXP i.MX 9352 SoC
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • Dual USB 2.0 Host & USB 2.0 OTG
  • Micro SD Slot and M.2 Connector Key B
  • MIPI CSI Camera Connector
  • MIPI DSI Display Connector
  • LVDS Display Connector
  • RS232 and CAN header
  • 5 mm Audio In/Out through I2S Codec
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 Module
  • GNSS Receiver module
  • Line In / Out Speaker Header

The System on Module and Single Board Computer are go-to-market and production ready, with all documentation, necessary software drivers, and BSP available for customers. iWave maintains a product longevity program and ensures the availability of the modules for 10+ years.

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Infineon teams with Infinitum to drive decarbonization; showcases Infinitum’s breakthrough, sustainable air core motor drive at APEC 2023

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 10:32

At APEC 2023, Infineon Technologies announced the company is joining forces with Infinitum, creator of the sustainable, breakthrough air core motor. In this technology collaboration, Infineon will provide silicon carbide (SiC) CoolSiC MOSFETs and other key semiconductor components that greatly contribute to the Infinitum motor system’s precise motor control, optimal power and energy savings.

The Infinitum Aircore EC motor for commercial and industrial applications will be showcased at Infineon’s booth #932 at APEC 2023 in Orlando, Florida, 19 to 23 March. The motor uses Infinitum’s patented air-core motor design, which replaces heavy iron used in traditional motors with a lightweight, printed circuit board (PCB). The company’s award-winning motors are 50 percent smaller and lighter, ten percent more efficient and use 66 percent less copper than traditional motors.

“Infineon is a leading provider of silicon carbide chips and embedded technologies that can greatly contribute to Infinitum motor system’s value-added features from an energy, carbon footprint and performance standpoint,” said Rick Tewell, President of Infinitum. “We are excited to team with Infineon on our continued collaboration. The company helps us bring innovative new breakthroughs to our customers in the industrial sector.”

“Infineon and Infinitum are two companies with the same mission to drive decarbonization, with greater efficiency in motor control and less waste in hardware for industrial applications,” said Michael Williams, Director of Product Marketing, Industrial Power Control Division, Infineon Technologies. “We are excited to team with Infinitum, a company that delivers award-winning motor control systems with hardware motor design that has been taken to a whole new level. With our proven SiC and semiconductor technologies, we are helping Infinitum deliver more precise motor control for better power and energy savings.”

As an industry leader in SiC chips, Infineon provides power switching in this arena of voltages at 650 V and above for a wide range of applications that operate in harsh environments. The company has more than two decades of SiC experience. Infineon’s CoolSiC semiconductors also offer added value to customers like Infinitum by providing better efficiency, size and cost compared to silicon-based solutions.

Infineon will also be showcasing its broad product portfolio of advanced silicon and wide bandgap materials at booth #932 at APEC 2023 in Orlando, Florida, 19 to 23 March. More information is available at www.infineon.com/apec.

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ASMPT announces key global and SMT leadership changes to prepare it for the future

Mon, 03/20/2023 - 12:11

ASMPT Ltd, the leading global supplier of integrated hardware and software solutions for the manufacture of semiconductors and electronics has been profitable ever since listing in Hong Kong in 1989 and it has successfully grown its business organically and inorganically for more than 40 years. It recently announced its full year 2022 results, achieving its second highest ever revenue and bookings in spite of a challenging macroeconomic environment and an industry downcycle. The Group is pleased to announce significant developments in its leadership team that will help it further strengthen the strategic implementation of its corporate goals and vision.

“As a truly global company with a unique, broad portfolio and technology leadership in many areas, ASMPT must continue adapting in order to continue growing and thriving,” said Robin Ng, Group CEO. “We are continually reviewing and adjusting our plans, bearing in mind our global footprint and the ongoing dynamic macroeconomic environment we are operating in. We are strengthening key areas such as corporate strategy, digitalization, sustainability, and company culture, which are foundational for our future, allowing ASMPT’s SMT Solutions and Semiconductor Solutions to embark on a path to develop an integrated organization that will best serve its customers and partners needs, while enabling it to continue growing and competing well.”

Global Leadership Team – Guenter Lauber, EVP & Chief Strategy and Digitalization Officer

With more than 25 years in the business, Guenter Lauber, an Executive Vice President, has been the CEO of the Group’s SMT Solutions Segment since its inception, successfully growing it to become one of ASMPT’s key businesses and the clear leader in the SMT market, while deepening its technology footprint in key industries such as automotive, EMS and industrial. The SMT Segment also reported its highest ever annual revenue for the year 2022 recently.

Guenter Lauber took on two additional portfolios in 2018. As ASMPT Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Digitalization Officer he has been coordinating key strategic growth and cost optimization initiatives, major corporate projects such as digitalization, strategic investment decisions, and driven ASMPT’s change and transformation work, including ESG and sustainability. His visionary and strategic leadership has been instrumental to ASMPT´s continued success.

Looking forward, Guenter Lauber will focus even more on the growth and progress of ASMPT’s strategy and digitalization journey, which includes developing a leading market position in software solutions for the semiconductor and electronics industry. In this regard, Guenter Lauber will pass the baton as CEO of the SMT solutions segment to Josef Ernst, a Senior Vice President and SMT COO, with effect from 1 May 2023. Guenter Lauber will continue to serve as Chairman of the SMT Board to provide continuity and guidance to the SMT management team as needed.

“In my focused global roles, I will help bring our ‘One ASMPT’ culture to life in order to drive our success in key areas such as our business and people strategy, digitalization, ESG and sustainability, including DEI,” said Guenter Lauber. “I am convinced that, beyond the right strategy, it is the company culture that will underpin the success of ASMPT. My vision is for all members of ASMPT – whether Business Units, Regions, Departments or individual employees – to be empowered, motivated, and armed with the right tools and resources, to make decisions and take actions that are best for the company, and by doing so, help to make our strategies a reality.”

SMT Segment Leadership – Josef Ernst, SVP & CEO, SMT Solutions Segment, ASMPT

Josef Ernst will take over from Guenter Lauber as CEO for the SMT Solutions Segment after two years as Segment COO. A Senior Vice President of ASMPT, Josef Ernst has extensive experience across the company in various global management roles and deep industry knowledge of the SMT business. Josef Ernst began his career with the company in Quality Management-Technical Analysis before moving on to work in SCM, where he was instrumental in setting up the Group’s SMT factory in Singapore. He then headed the segment’s global R&D organization for about eight years before taking on the role of head of the Global SMT Solutions CRM organization, where he spent 4 years, before taking on the Segment COO role.

Josef Ernst’s excellent management skills, his extensive hands-on SMT expertise, his knowledge of the SMT market, and his customer-focused approach make him ideally suited to lead the SMT Solutions Segment to maintain its technology and innovation leadership in the SMT market.

“The success of our customers is always my top priority; their success is our success,” said Josef Ernst, CEO, SMT Solutions Segment, ASMPT. “The electronics market and our world of the ‘new normal’ in general demand a lot of openness and cooperation from us as colleagues, fellow market players, and partners. It is my goal to lead teams of experts across the world to success, efficiently and effectively with a focus on individual customer and strategic long-term market requirements. What counts for us is quality paired with innovation speed based on a focused approach. That’s what I stand for.”


Guenter Lauber, EVP & Chief Strategy and Digitalization Officer, ASMPT

Josef Ernst, SVP & CEO, SMT Solutions Segment, ASMPT


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Centre targets Rs 24 lakh cr electronics manufacturing capacity by 2026: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Mon, 03/20/2023 - 11:58

Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the government has set the target to increase electronics manufacturing capability to Rs 24 lakh crore by 2025-26.

Centre targets Rs 24 lakh cr electronics manufacturing capacity by 2026: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Addressing a gathering of students in Bengaluru as part of the ‘New India for Young India Initiative’, the minister said that young Indians are driving the country’s progress in India’s ‘Techade’.

The IT Minister said that the government’s initiative to increase electronics manufacturing will help create over 10 lakh jobs in the country.

“There are more than 90,000 startups, including 110 unicorns, in which Young Indians are playing a big part,” he said.

He informed that 15 lakh young Indians from Karnataka will be given training in industry-relevant future-ready skills.

Recently, the Centre approved another tranche of production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme worth Rs 765 crore for large-scale electronics manufacturing, including Apple iPhone chip maker Wistron.

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India lacks talent for chip manufacturing; requires 10-13k resources by 2027: Meity official

Mon, 03/20/2023 - 11:53

There is no skilled talent available to handle chip manufacturing plants in India, and there will be a requirement of 10,000-13,000 human resources to meet industry requirements by 2027, a Meity official said, citing an internal report.

While speaking at a panel discussion on Electronics Sector Skill Council foundation day, Ministry of Electronics and IT Scientist ‘E’ Prashant Kumar said that India has a big pool of semiconductor design engineers, but to handle semiconductor plants, talents will initially come from overseas, and gradually resources will be developed in the country.

“For semiconductor manufacturing, other than Strategic Works, SCL etc, we do not have skilled manpower readily available in India. There will be around 10,000-13,000 kinds of requirements for semiconductor manufacturing,” he said citing the task force report.

He later said the manpower to handle the wafer fab (semiconductor manufacturing plant) will initially come from outside, and then the companies will be engaged in creating skilled resources locally to meet the estimated requirement of a 10,000-13,000 talent pool by 2027.

Kumar said that under the Chips-to-Startup programme, the government is targeting to create over 85,000 skilled manpower by 2027 and provide expensive state-of-the-art chip designing EDA (Electronics Design Automation) tools to 120 organisations, including colleges, startups and public institutions, to give hands-on experience to students.

At the event, the Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) launched the Electronics Olympiad in association with state-owned CSC E-governance Services that will engage students in schools, colleges and higher education institutions for competition in electronics projects.

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Knightscope’s Autonomous Security Robots delivers breakthrough detection technology for public safety

Mon, 03/20/2023 - 11:50

High-density power modules enable acute surveillance networks leveraging AI to deter crime

The concept of automated policing began as a science fiction concept years ago, but today it is real and impactful. The sophistication of robot-powered security is actually even more interesting if you spend a few minutes talking to Stacy Stephens, the co-founder and chief client officer of Knightscope, Inc.

Launched in 2013, the Mountain View, CA, public safety technology services company was the first in the world to deploy mobile, fully autonomous security robots (ASRs) in public spaces such as malls, parking lots and neighborhood parks. The Knightscope vision was to find a more effective means of deterring crime while minimizing risk to law enforcement officers.

Knightscope’s mobile robots are completely autonomous, using a system of LIDAR, GPS, sonar, IMUs, 4K cameras and high-fidelity audio. The robot has five sensor types—similar to humans but with far greater acuity.

Knightscope as a leading public safety tech company rather than a robotics organization with expertise in a fusion of robotics, self-driving technology, vehicle electrification and artificial intelligence. Combined, they yield an agile platform upon which numerous types of sensing capabilities and other technologies can be integrated to provide actionable intelligence.

Delivering superior ASR surveillance capability

ASRs are equipped to scan for known threats, allowing companies to reduce workplace violence by recognizing terminated employees or those who have been issued criminal trespass warnings. ASRs also provide parking lot security by using exception monitoring to ID the license plates of cars that don’t belong on site. With their audio feature, ASRs provide two-way communication, allowing the robots to act as a public address system with broadcast capability. This enables them to engage with perpetrators to de-escalate hostile situations.

“The ASR’s ‘talk-down’ feature takes the danger off the human and puts it on the robot,” Stephens said. “Robots are a nondescript object that allow a conversation to take place without having a person in front of a hostile suspect that could unintentionally escalate the situation. They also lower operating overhead,” Stephens added. “ASRs never get sick, and they don’t take vacation.”

Infusing technology to drive ASR autonomy

Knightscope’s mobile robots are completely autonomous, using a system of LIDAR, GPS, sonar, IMUs, 4K cameras and high-fidelity audio. The robot has five sensor types (similar to humans) to manage its surroundings. In most cases, the robot’s senses are more acute than a public safety officer’s.

In all, 21 LIDAR lasers map the surrounding area every 25 milliseconds. That data is used to create a 3D map of the area around the robot out to a 100-meter radius, which enables the ASR to “see” its environment. Additionally, sonar sensors provide proximity sensing that allows the robot to tell when something is physically close. GPS is included as a tertiary input for internal navigation and helps track the machine if someone were to attempt to move or steal the robot.

Odometry sensors calculate wheel rotation to indicate if the robot is moving or tracking left or right. Finally, an inertial measurement unit, or IMU, provides six-degrees-of-freedom spatial awareness to determine if the robot is upright or tilted, which could signal it has become stuck or immobilized.

Power efficiency is paramount for ASRs

The intense level of computing, communications and sensing places a tremendous burden the ASRs’ power delivery networks. They must be compact and have high efficiency. Because the ASRs have no airflow or venting, Knightscope went hunting for a pure conduction-cooled solution that could use the aluminum skin as a heat sink. The company adopted a Vicor DC-DC converter module (DCM3623) because its unique ChiP packaging was thermally adept and very small. The DCM’s power density also helped with routing the wiring and cable assembly and increased battery efficiency, performance and runtime.

On the electrical side, the robot required isolation from all of the different power rails. Because there are so many sensors with different EMI signatures, the Vicor DCM helped minimize EMI and noise interference.

“The more we’re able to reduce the burden on the battery, the longer runtime we will get,” Stephens said. “So, power’s always, always going to be a consideration. And, ultimately, all of this will help us achieve our vision for the company, which is that when an architect sits down to plan a commercial development or a mixed-use space, we’re part of the security check list along with smoke detectors and fire suppression systems.”

A typical mobile robotics application powers a variety of loads ranging from computers to motor drives and cameras. Knightscope powers LIDAR, GPS, sonar, IMUs, 4K cameras and high-fidelity audio and uses Vicor high-density power modules to power these loads. Knightscope sought power that was compact and highly efficient because the ASRs have no airflow or venting. They needed a pure conduction-cooled solution that could use the aluminum skin as a heat sink.

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ASMPT announces key SEMI Solutions Segment leadership changes to prepare it for the future

Mon, 03/20/2023 - 11:19

ASMPT is pleased to announce developments in its Semiconductor Solutions (SEMI) Segment leadership team that will help it to be prepared for further growth. The Group sees the SEMI Segment’s focus on developing an even more integrated organization that can best serve the needs of its customers and partners, while enabling it to continue growing and competing well. Beginning in mid-2022, this essentially involved combining all its CRM, PLM and SCM activities under one business entity to enable end-to-end business ownership, with dedicated Marketing & Sales, Product Development and Supply-Chain Management functions.

Semi Segment Leadership Enhancements

Leadership enhancements are a key part of this integration, including the appointments of Isaac Law, SVP and MD, China Manufacturing Operations, to an additional role as SEMI Segment COO; and the appointment of Justin Tham, Senior Director for Investor Relations, to a VP and SEMI Segment CFO role.

Crucially, the two existing CEOs for the various SEMI Business Groups (BGs) and its subsidiaries have been designated Co-CEOs for the entire SEMI Segment. They are jointly responsible for managing an integrated, global SEMI team in addition to their ongoing responsibilities as CEOs of their respective BGs.

Lim Choon Khoon (CK Lim), Senior Vice President; Co-CEO, Semiconductor Solutions Segment; CEO, ICD & CIS Business Units

CK Lim began his career with US semiconductor companies before joining the Group in Malaysia, with positions in Hong Kong and Singapore. His previous responsibilities included equipment product marketing and sales, key account management and leading advanced packaging initiatives. As Co-CEO, his portfolio covers mainstream ICD, Advanced Packaging, Consumer & Automotive CIS, as well as the NEXX, AEi and ALSI business units.

“The evolution of the SEMI organization in tandem with the whole of ASMPT is an ongoing process,” said CK Lim. “To me, it enables us to serve our customers even better by enhancing the way we work with them, and the way we support and develop our broad portfolio suite. With an improved business focus, Joe and I firmly believe an integrated SEMI team structure and leadership is making an impact.”

Poh Tson Cheong, Joseph (Joe Poh), Senior Vice President; Co-CEO, Semiconductor Solutions Segment; CEO, Opto & Display Business Unit

Joe Poh joined the Group as a Service Engineer and during his career with the Group, has held various positions in its IC, CIS, SMT Solutions and Opto businesses. Joe Poh’s wide exposure to the electronics supply chain has enabled him to develop extensive customer contacts and a deep understanding of market needs. As Co-CEO, his portfolio covers optoelectronics, LEDs, as well as Silicon Photonics with the AMICRA business unit.

“We have made good progress,” said Joe Poh. “We are laser focused on presenting a compelling SEMI organization to our customers and partners that not only boosts operational efficiency but will turbocharge new product development and new business development capabilities. CK and I look forward to tapping the synergies and power of the entire ASMPT organization, including deeper integration with our SMT segment.”


Lim Choon Khoon (CK Lim) is a Senior Vice President, Co-CEO of the Semiconductor Solutions Segment, and CEO of the Segment’s ICD & CIS Business Units, ASMPT

Source: ASMPT

Poh Tson Cheong, Joseph (Joe Poh) is a Senior Vice President and Co-CEO of the Semiconductor Solutions Segment, and CEO of the Opto & Display Business Unit, ASMPT  

Source: ASMPT


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