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u-blox Launches NORA-W4 Module: Next-Generation IoT Connectivity Solution

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 12:55

In a move set to revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape, u-blox has introduced the NORA-W4 module, a cutting-edge solution tailored to meet the evolving demands of IoT applications. This state-of-the-art module, hailed as the most cost-effective and reliable single-band Wi-Fi 6 module on the market, promises to redefine connectivity standards for battery-operated devices.

Designed to address the burgeoning needs of various sectors including smart homes, asset tracking, healthcare, and industrial automation, the NORA-W4 module integrates advanced wireless technologies including Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth Low Energy 5.3, Thread, and Zigbee. Boasting compact dimensions of just 10.4 x 14.3 x 1.9 mm, the module is built on the Espressif ESP32-C6 System-on-Chip, offering a single-band tri-radio Wi-Fi 6 solution.

One of the standout features of the NORA-W4 module is its ability to enable battery-powered IoT nodes to operate directly over Wi-Fi, eliminating the necessity for a Bluetooth gateway and subsequently reducing system-level costs. This attribute is particularly advantageous for wireless battery-operated sensors and similar applications, promising enhanced efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Key features of the NORA-W4 module include:

  • Integration of Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth Low Energy 5.3, Zigbee, and Thread connectivity.
  • Support for Wi-Fi 6 Target Wake Time and low-power peripherals.
  • Comprehensive security features ensure enhanced protection.
  • Compact design with various antenna options and compatibility with other NORA modules.
  • Support for the Matter protocol over Wi-Fi or Thread.
  • Global certification ensures usability worldwide.

Emphasizing the significance of Wi-Fi 6 technology, the module is optimized for IoT environments, offering reduced network congestion and improved throughput in crowded settings such as factories and warehouses. Moreover, its compatibility with Wi-Fi 4 ensures seamless integration with existing infrastructure.

Security remains a top priority, with the module incorporating features such as secure boot, a trusted execution environment, and flash encryption. Offering six variants catering to diverse requirements, the module provides options for open CPU or u-connectXpress, antenna pin or PCB antenna, and 4MB or 8MB flash memory.

Early samples of the NORA-W4 module are currently available, with volume production slated to commence in the second half of 2024. This milestone launch underscores u-blox’s commitment to delivering innovative solutions that push the boundaries of IoT connectivity.


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Rohde & Schwarz presents 3GPP 5G conformance test solutions with smallest footprint on the market

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 11:44

Rohde & Schwarz is introducing two new setups for 5G RF and RRM conformance testing. The R&S TS8980S-4A is a cost-efficient single-box solution tailored to 3GPP inband test cases, and the R&S TS8980FTA-3A is a single-rack solution covering all inband and out-of-band test cases. No other solution on the market offers the same capabilities in such a compact format.

The R&S TS8980 is an official 5G conformance test platform approved by the Global Certification Forum (GCF) and the PCS Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB). Chipset, modem and end device manufacturers as well as test houses can use the test system to perform RF (TP298) and RRM (TP296) tests in line with 3GPP specifications. The platform also meets the test requirements of network operators and regulatory bodies.

Rohde & Schwarz has developed two new setups for its successful R&S TS8980 family: the R&S TS8980S-4A and the R&S TS8980FTA-3A. These solutions meet the market requirements for reduced hardware and a smaller footprint.

The single-box solution R&S TS8980S-4A is a fully automated conformance test system for performing validated conformance test cases up to 8 GHz and 4 carrier aggregation (4 CA). Based on an enhanced R&S CMX500 one-box 5G signalling tester (OBT), it is a cost-efficient solution that supports 3GPP RX/TX inband conformance test cases, demodulation and radio resource management (RRM) test cases. Customers can also upgrade their R&S CMX500 to an R&S TS8980S-4A. This solution is particularly attractive for 5G device manufacturers who want to perform inband testing in-house and outsource out-of-band testing to a test house. The automation is based on the R&S Contest software platform with an intuitive GUI, advanced tools for fast debugging and a sophisticated report manager for big data analysis and cloud services.

The single-rack solution R&S TS8980FTA-3A is the most compact conformance test solution on the market. It supports the full range of both inband and out-of-band test cases and the entire device certification process for RF and RRM, covering 5G NR as defined by 3GPP and carrier acceptance specifications. Typically, these capabilities require a two-rack solution. Now, Rohde & Schwarz has succeeded in reducing the footprint of this test system to a single rack setup, allowing it to be installed in laboratories with limited floor space.

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Renesas Develops New AI Accelerator for Lightweight AI Models and Embedded Processor Technology to Enable Real-Time Processing

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 11:08
Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the development of embedded processor technology that enables higher speeds and lower power consumption in microprocessor units (MPUs) that realize advanced vision AI. The newly developed technologies are as follows: (1) A dynamically reconfigurable processor (DRP)-based AI accelerator that efficiently processes lightweight AI models and (2) Heterogeneous architecture technology that enables real-time processing by cooperatively operating processor IPs, such as the CPU. Renesas produced a prototype of an embedded AI-MPU with these technologies and confirmed its high-speed and low-power-consumption operation. It achieved up to 16 times faster processing (130 TOPS) than before the introduction of these new technologies, and world-class power efficiency (up to 23.9 TOPS/W at 0.8 V supply).
Amid the recent spread of robots into factories, logistics, medical services, and stores, there is a growing need for systems that can autonomously run in real-time by detecting surroundings using advanced vision AI. Since there are severe restrictions on heat generation, particularly for embedded devices, higher performance and lower power consumption are required in AI chips. Renesas developed new technologies to meet these requirements and presented these achievements on February 21, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference 2024 (ISSCC 2024), held between February 18 and 22, 2024 in San Francisco.
The technologies developed by Renesas are as follows:
(1)  An AI accelerator that efficiently processes lightweight AI models
As a typical technology for improving AI processing efficiency, pruning is available to omit calculations that do not significantly affect recognition accuracy. However, it is common that calculations that do not affect recognition accuracy randomly exist in AI models. This causes a difference between the parallelism of hardware processing and the randomness of pruning, which makes processing inefficient.
To solve this issue, Renesas optimized its unique DRP-based AI accelerator (DRP-AI) for pruning. By analyzing how pruning pattern characteristics and a pruning method are related to recognition accuracy in typical image recognition AI models (CNN models), we identified the hardware structure of an AI accelerator that can achieve both high recognition accuracy and an efficient pruning rate and applied it to the DRP-AI design. In addition, software was developed to reduce the weight of AI models optimized for this DRP-AI. This software converts the random pruning model configuration into highly efficient parallel computing, resulting in higher-speed AI processing. In particular, Renesas’ highly flexible pruning support technology (flexible N: M pruning technology), which can dynamically change the number of cycles in response to changes in the local pruning rate in AI models, allows for fine control of the pruning rate according to the power consumption, operating speed, and recognition accuracy required by users.
This technology reduces the number of AI model processing cycles to as little as one-sixteenth of pruning incompatible models and consumes less than one-eighth of the power.
(2)  Heterogeneous architecture technology that enables real-time processing for robot control
Robot applications require advanced vision AI processing for recognition of the surrounding environment. Meanwhile, robot motion judgment and control require detailed condition programming in response to changes in the surrounding environment, so CPU-based software processing is more suitable than AI-based processing. The challenge has been that CPUs with current embedded processors are not fully capable of controlling robots in real-time. That is why Renesas introduced a dynamically reconfigurable processor (DRP), which handles complex processing, in addition to the CPU and AI accelerator (DRP-AI). This led to the development of heterogeneous architecture technology that enables higher speeds and lower power consumption in AI-MPUs by distributing and parallelizing processes appropriately.
A DRP runs an application while dynamically changing the circuit connection configuration between the arithmetic units inside the chip for each operation clock according to the processing details. Since only the necessary arithmetic circuits operate even for complex processing, lower power consumption and higher speeds are possible. For example, SLAM (Simultaneously Localization and Mapping), one of the typical robot applications, is a complex configuration that requires multiple programming processes for robot position recognition in parallel with environment recognition by vision AI processing. Renesas demonstrated operating this SLAM through instantaneous program switching with the DRP and parallel operation of the AI accelerator and CPU. This resulted in about 17 times faster operation speeds and about 12 times higher operating power efficiency than the embedded CPU alone.
Operation Verification
Renesas created a prototype of a test chip with these technologies and confirmed that it achieved the world-class, highest power efficiency of 23.9 TOPS per watt at a normal power voltage of 0.8 V for the AI accelerator and operating power efficiency of 10 TOPS per watt for major AI models. It also proved that AI processing is possible without a fan or heat sink.
Utilizing these results helps solve heat generation due to increased power consumption, which has been one of the challenges associated with the implementation of AI chips in a variety of embedded devices such as service robots and automated guided vehicles. Significantly reducing heat generation will contribute to the spread of automation into various industries, such as the robotics and smart technology markets. These technologies will be applied to Renesas’ RZ/V series—MPUs for vision AI applications.

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Infineon sells manufacturing sites in Cavite, Philippines and Cheonan, South Korea to ASE, strengthening the strategic partnership of the two companies

Thu, 02/22/2024 - 14:26

Infineon Technologies and ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd. have announced that definitive agreements were signed under which Infineon will sell two backend manufacturing sites, one in Cavite, Philippines and one in Cheonan, South Korea, to two fully owned subsidiaries of ASE, a leading provider of independent semiconductor manufacturing services in assembly and test. The plants currently run under the entity names Infineon Technologies Manufacturing Ltd. – Philippine Branch (Cavite) and Infineon Technologies Power Semitech Co., Ltd. (Cheonan) and will be acquired by ASE Inc. and ASE Korea Inc. respectively. Post the transaction, ASE will assume operations with current employees, and further develop both sites to support multiple customers. As such, ASE and Infineon have also concluded long-term supply agreements under which Infineon will continue to receive previously established services as well as services for new products to support its customers and fulfill existing commitments.

Infineon’s manufacturing strategy, with a balanced operations footprint combining in-house and external manufacturing, is an important pillar of the company’s profitable growth path. By pooling manufacturing volumes in Cavite and Cheonan under a new owner and offering highest-quality manufacturing services to the overall industry, Infineon and ASE will be able to leverage mutual synergy potentials, thus generating attractive growth potentials for both companies.

“We have excellent, highly competent teams and a great track record of highest quality standards at both sites, Cavite and Cheonan,” said Alexander Gorski, EVP and Head of Backend Operations at Infineon. “ASE has been a trusted, strategic partner of Infineon for many years and will be an excellent new owner that will continue on this successful path and strengthen both fabs even further. The sale of our sites to ASE is in line with Infineon’s manufacturing strategy, provides mutual synergies and enables further growth while strengthening supply chain resilience”.

“Both the automotive and power management market segments are strategic focus areas for ASE,“ said Dr. Tien Wu, Chief Operating Officer of ASE. “This acquisition of Infineon’s facilities in Cavite and Cheonan marks ASE’s strong commitment to form a strategic long-term partnership with Infineon in developing backend manufacturing solutions matching future growth opportunities. Given Infineon’s market leadership in automotive and power semiconductors and ASE’s leading position in backend semiconductor manufacturing, this partnership creates a win-win solution for the entire ecosystem from product companies to the end consumer.”

Infineon Technologies Power Semitech is a backend manufacturing site with around 300 employees. The fab is located in Cheonan, South Korea, about 60 miles south of Seoul. Infineon Technologies Cavite, is a backend manufacturing site with more than 900 employees. It is located in one of the fastest growing and most industrialized provinces in the Philippines.

The transaction is expected to close towards the end of the second calendar quarter of 2024 when all pending closing conditions will have been fulfilled.

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Lightning research with 8-channel digitizer system

Thu, 02/22/2024 - 11:52

ADC cards by Spectrum Instrumentation help to reveal the secrets of how lightning forms

The causes of a lightning flash are complex and still unclear. At Duke University, North Carolina, USA, the team of Prof. Cummer tries to resolve these secrets. Lightning often occurs entirely in opaque clouds which makes it impossible to see what is going on. However, a flash also produces radio waves in the UHF and VHF frequency range that can be captured and studied. The challenge is that a huge amount of data needs to be processed and recorded in the seconds before and during the lighting event. The scientists chose ADC cards by Spectrum Instrumentation to manage this challenge. The objective of the research is to understand how lightning forms, using this knowledge to better protect buildings from damage and also to understand if climate change will result in more or fewer lightning storms.

Two M4i.4451-x8 digitizers syncronized for lightning research

Steven A. Cummer, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Duke University explains, “A few years ago, there was nothing that could capture and process the huge volume of data involved. During an active thunderstorm, we often need to be able to record over one TeraByte per hour. We selected the Spectrum M4i.4451-x8 digitizer card with four channels, and we use two of them in the recording equipment. They are connected via Spectrum’s Star-Hub to enable us to record simultaneously from eight antennas. Star-Hub ensures that everything is perfectly in sync which is vital as we are using the antennas to form an interferometer. From small time differences between the signals at different antennas, we are able to work out the location of each lightning event which can be up to 50 kilometres away. The cards have a sampling rate of 500 MegaSamples per second on each channel to gather the amount of data we need, and the 14-bit resolution ensures we capture all the small signals.”

The important second before the lightning event

Prof. Cummer in front of one of the eight antennas in the setup

The research of Prof. Cummer is partly focussed on the moments just before and just after the lighting starts. The structure of lightning once formed is understood – it is a conducting channel of hot ionised gas that can be hundreds of meters long. “A challenge is that we are trying to capture data before the lightning begins. This pre-event data is virtually impossible to obtain if you rely on optical data capture of the flash as there is no easy way to gather this from back in time”, he explained. “But now, with the Spectrum-based setup, we are able to get pre-lightning data. The cards constantly record data and then overwriting if it is not needed. The lightning event is the trigger to not only record data for the next second but also keep the previous fraction of a second before the event, as that is always in the card’s memory but just not stored unless triggered. With 2 GigaSamples of memory per card, there is more than enough storage to capture all the several hundred MegaSamples of signals per second we need, which is then written to an SDD. That done, the system quickly resets to record the next lightning event’s data. This is vital to capture data from a storm where lightning can occur every few seconds for several hours.”

Regarding the software of the 8-channel system, Prof. Cummer commented that he uses Spectrum’s measurement software SBench 6 to control and program the cards. “This was so easy and versatile to use that no time in this project was needed to create special software programs from scratch”, he reports.

Lightning Gamma Radiation

Another mystery that Prof. Cummer and his team are investigating is why some lightning events generate high-energy gamma radiation and others do not. The fact that this happens was discovered around 30 years ago. Gamma ray detectors on satellites picked up signals from Earth while scientists expected they should only come from deep space. The gamma rays in a thunderstorm are generated right at the beginning of a flash, so the pre-event data gathered on this project will enable physicists to understand this kind of gamma ray production.

An example of lightning analysis

The 8-channel system with its antennas could be moved around, but up to now it was operated in a fixed location at the Duke University in Durham. On April 12, 2019 at 21:24:40 UTC, the lightning flash analysed here was recorded. It is noteworthy that this entire flash took place inside a storm cloud, so only a diffusely illuminated cloud could be seen. But, with VHF radio measurements, the entire structure was captured which is shown in the diagram. With azimuth and elevation, every position in the sky is clearly defined. The timing sequence of this lightning can be seen in the linked 48 sec video that shows in slow motion the 1 second duration lightning flash. Each dot in the movie is a different detected and located radio source from the lightning flash. When all shown together, these dots make a very clear movie of the space and time structure of the lightning event.

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Vishay Intertechnology IGBT Power Modules in Redesigned INT-A-PAK Package Reduce Conduction and Switching Losses

Thu, 02/22/2024 - 09:16

Built on Trench IGBT Technology, Half-Bridge Devices Offer Choice of Low VCE(ON) or Low Eoff for High-Current Inverter Stages

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. has introduced five new half-bridge IGBT power modules in the newly redesigned INT-A-PAK package. Built on Vishay’s Trench IGBT technology, the VS-GT100TS065S, VS-GT150TS065S, VS-GT200TS065S, VS-GT100TS065N, and VS-GT200TS065N offer designers a choice of two best in class technologies — low VCE(ON) or low Eoff — to lower conduction or switching losses in high current inverter stages for transportation, energy, and industrial applications.

The half-bridge devices released today combine Trench IGBTs — which deliver improved power savings versus other devices on the market — with Gen IV FRED Pt anti-parallel diodes with ultra-soft reverse recovery characteristics. Offering a new gate pin orientation, the modules’ compact INT-A-PAK package is now 100 % compatible with the 34 mm industry-standard package to offer a mechanical drop-in replacement.

The industrial-level devices will be used in power supply inverters for railway equipment; energy generation, distribution, and storage systems; welding equipment; motor drives; and robotics. To reduce conduction losses in output stages for TIG welding machines, the VS-GT100TS065S, VS-GT150TS065S, and VS-GT200TS065S offer an industry-low collector to emitter voltage of ≤ 1.07 V at +125 °C and rated current. For high-frequency power applications, the VS-GT100TS065N and VS-GT200TS065N offer extremely low switching losses, with Eoff down to 1.0 mJ at +125 °C and rated current.

The RoHS-compliant modules feature 650 V collector-to-emitter voltages, continuous collector current from 100 A to 200 A, and very low junction-to-case thermal resistance. UL-approved file E78996, the devices can be directly mounted to heatsinks and offer low EMI to reduce snubbing requirements.

Key Specification Table:

Part #







@ IC and +125 °C


650 V

100 A

1.02 V

6.5 mJ

DC to 1 kHz



650 V

150 A

1.05 V

10.3 mJ

DC to 1 kHz



650 V

200 A

1.07 V

13.7 mJ

DC to 1 kHz



650 V

100 A

2.12 V

1.0 mJ

8 kHz to 30 kHz



650 V

200 A

2.13 V

3.86 mJ

8 kHz to 30 kHz


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Infineon introduces the OPTIGA Trust M MTR, making it easy to add Matter and security to smart home devices

Thu, 02/22/2024 - 09:03

In a world of increasing connectivity and the growing popularity of the Internet of Things, it is important to simplify interoperability across connected devices and to enhance their security and reliability. The Matter standard was created precisely for this purpose. In order to facilitate integration of the Matter standard and security features into smart home and smart building devices, Infineon Technologies now introduces the OPTIGA Trust M MTR. The Matter-certified Secure Element is the latest configuration of Infineon’s OPTIGA Trust M, combined with a Matter provisioning service.

Matter: smooth interoperability of connected devices

According to ABI Research forecasts, the number of smart home devices will double by 2030, reaching about 1.7 billion worldwide. All these devices have to be able to connect securely and reliably with each other and with different smart home ecosystems. That’s where the Matter standard comes into play, facilitating smooth interoperability across connected devices even from different companies. The Matter protocol defines a set of principles that support uniform security and privacy measures for the smart home, since smart homes rely on smart devices to increase not only comfort but also efficiency and security.

“When we designed the Matter protocol in the Connectivity Standards Alliance, we were committed to building strong security,” said Steve Hanna, Distinguished Engineer at Infineon and leader of the standards teams that defined Matter’s security. “That’s why Matter brings new security features to the smart home, some of which were challenging for IoT product designers. Infineon’s OPTIGA Trust M MTR addresses those challenges head-on so that now it can be even easier to build a Matter product.”

OPTIGA Trust M MTR facilitates Matter and security integration

The tamper-resistant security controller can be easily integrated into a system to perform security-related functions and provide a high level of protection for sensitive data and cryptographic operations. As a discrete Secure Element, OPTIGA Trust M MTR can be integrated into any MCU-based design to enhance security and handle multiple product protocols simultaneously. This gives original equipment manufacturers greater flexibility and allows faster time to market.

According to the Matter protocol, every smart home device must have a Device Attestation Certificate (DAC), containing the Product ID (PID) and the Vendor ID (VID), to verify the authenticity and trustworthiness of each device commissioned in the Matter ecosystem. With OPTIGA Trust M MTR, the PID no longer needs to be defined in advance when the reel is ordered or manufactured. Instead, each device receives a personalized DAC injection at a later point right up until the start of device production. This gives device manufacturers more flexibility in creating multiple product variants of smart home devices.

OPTIGA Trust M MTR Secure Elements are pre-provisioned at a Common Criteria-certified Infineon facility. The batch of Secure Elements on a reel is shipped with an associated barcode. The customer claims ownership of these chips on the IoT portal of Infineon partner Kudelski IoT by scanning the barcode. Kudelski IoT is a trusted and established Product Attestation Authority (PAA) approved by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA). Kudelski IoT will enable the download of production DACs corresponding to the vendor and the product. Finally, the personalized DAC is transferred to the OPTIGA Trust M MTR at the factory level (see graphic).

Please note: An Online Media Briefing will be held on 22 February 2024 (3:00 pm CET / 9:00 am EST), in which Distinguished Engineer Steve Hanna will present additional information about the new OPTIGA Trust M MTR.

About Matter: In order to enhance the security and reliability of smart devices, Infineon and more than 600 companies are collaborating in the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) to simplify and harmonize the Internet of Things using technology standards such as Matter. Matter was created to keep devices and information protected and private, yet easy to use. The Matter standard provides guidance to device manufacturers, enabling them to select the appropriate platform security for their devices and corresponding use cases. Matter embeds privacy principles into all interactions between devices and software agents that handle personal data. Ultimately, it creates the foundation for connected things by supporting simplicity, interoperability, reliability and security.

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Rohde & Schwarz and SmartViser partner to demonstrate test solutions for new EEI regulation

Thu, 02/22/2024 - 08:42

Rohde & Schwarz and SmartViser have partnered to develop a solution for testing compliance with a new regulation that will require Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) labelling for smartphones and tablets sold in the EU. At the core of the solution is the R&S CMX500, a radio communication tester that supports end-to-end testing of all signalling use cases, combined with SmartViser’s viSer test automation application – available for Android and iOS. Both companies will showcase the solution at the Mobile World Congress 2024.

Rohde & Schwarz, a leading provider of test and measurement solutions, has partnered with SmartViser, a provider of active test automation products, to develop a tailored solution for testing compliance with a new EU Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) label for smartphones and tablets.

The DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2023/1669, published in September 2023, mandates EEI labeling for smartphones and tablets sold in the European Union starting from June 20, 2025. Annex II of the regulation specifies the energy efficiency class and EEI requirements, while Annex IV outlines the measurement and calculation methods.

SmartViser has been actively involved in creating solutions to help customers ensure that their products comply with this regulation. The company is currently offering the first pilot application, which features a repeatable and reliable test procedure and can be installed on smartphones and tablets to perform a series of user actions such as calling, browsing and streaming.

To address future test requirements, SmartViser and Rohde & Schwarz have paired up and combined their solutions. The R&S CMX500 wireless communication tester supports the latest wireless technologies, including LTE, 5G NR and WLAN. Its energy efficiency test solution offers seamless power consumption measurements in parallel to RF measurements, protocol tests or application tests.

Alexander Pabst, Vice President of Wireless Communications at Rohde & Schwarz emphasizes the importance of energy-saving initiatives within the wireless communication industry: “We are excited that the R&S CMX500 has been selected to be part of the SmartViser test solution. Energy efficiency is a key issue in wireless communications, and we are confident that this collaborative effort with SmartViser will make it easier for mobile device manufacturers to test their products for compliance with this new regulation.”

Gilles Ricordel, CEO of SmartViser says: “We are excited to announce our collaboration with Rohde & Schwarz. At SmartViser, we believe that strategic collaborations are pivotal to driving technological advancements. By combining our automation experience with industry-leading Rohde & Schwarz technology, we empower our customers to offer market-leading products that ensure the highest standards of energy efficiency.”

Rohde & Schwarz and SmartViser will showcase a live demo of their joint test solution for EEI labeling at the Mobile World Congress 2024 at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona in hall 5, booth 5A80. SmartViser can be found in hall 5 booth 5B41-4 French Tech Pavilion.

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STMicroelectronics Announces Edge AI Solutions to empower Developers with Robust Tools and Techniques

Thu, 02/22/2024 - 06:46

AI is everywhere, and with the rise of machine learning and the Big Data revolution, it is a transformational field essential for building a smart and connected world.

STMicroelectronics is a prominent player in the semiconductor industry, offering a diverse range of solutions for various applications, including industrial, automotive, consumer and personal electronics. They are highly known for their comprehensive offerings including microcontrollers, sensors, analog chips, and embedded systems, which are integral to the development of AI-enabled devices operating at the edge.

Matteo MARAVITA, Senior Manager, AI Competence Center and Smartphone Competence Center, Asia Pacific Region, STMicroelectronics

Matteo MARAVITA, Senior Manager, AI Competence Center and Smartphone Competence Center, Asia Pacific Region, STMicroelectronics, presented before the media, their latest release – ST Edge AI Suite. The article is an excerpt from the online briefing.





In today’s interconnected world, edge AI is becoming increasingly essential for businesses looking to upgrade their products with intelligence and decision-making capabilities. By processing data locally at the edge, companies can reduce latency, improve privacy, and enhance overall efficiency. ST with its extensive portfolio of hardware solutions along with the capabilities of Edge AI Suite, is well positioned to facilitate this transition to a more intelligent edge. Companies can unlock a wide range of possibilities including real-time decision-making, customisable solutions pertaining to industry needs, scalability and future-proofing etc.

ST’s Automotive Edge AI Solutions

ST has partnered with HPE Group to create a virtual sensor that optimizes the operation and maintenance of EV motors. To explain, the AI algorithm works on their latest automotive controller, the Stellar family, which takes external data from sensors and uses it to extrapolate and estimate the internal rotor temp of the motor. On the side, the microcontroller not only runs several AI algorithms (also for predictive maintenance to identify anomalies) but also drives the motor itself.

ST’s Consumer Edge AI Solutions

Using AI algorithms and STM32 microcontroller at the helm of the solution, ST’s innovation has helped businesses experience 15-40% performance improvement for washing machines. To explain, two machine learning algorithms work towards creating a virtual sensor approach and in collecting data from a 6-axis motion sensor to enable drum collision avoidance. Through the algorithm input, the motor is driven using exactly the needed current, and the water and detergent requirement is adjusted, thus saving significant energy and water for a washing cycle. Both algorithms have been developed with NanoEdge AI and run on an STM32G0 MCU together with an ST 6-axis sensor.

ST’s Personal Electronics Edge AI Solutions

The HP engineering team collaborated with ST in developing and training AI models that recognize different user activities based on device and user motion. Different scenarios were addressed, including – the laptop is placed on a table, on the user’s lap, carried inside a bag, and taken out. The team worked on Smart context detection using smart sensor technology to optimize the power monitoring of the laptop by avoiding overheating and battery drain. All solutions for ultra-low power PC activity monitoring are based on ST’s 6-axis IMU MEMS sensors.

Implementation on edge AI- Tackling Software and Hardware Challenges

For developers to create a full-fledged edge AI solution, ST has put in years of R&D efforts to discover and evaluate various bottlenecks on both the hardware and software side of development. This included research on machine learning techniques, development of ML models, and testing the performance, security, and power efficiency of the connected devices with overall integration of the system.

Furthermore, ST Edge AI Suite addresses the needs and requirements of different profiles. It empowers embedded developers, data scientists, and product designers and creators with various aspects of ML model optimization and product redefining.

ST has announced the ST Edge AI Suite, a comprehensive and integrated set of software tools free to use with ST hardware. This offers developers and companies an ecosystem with a broad range of hardware with free software and tools, supported by partnerships with cloud services and AI toolchain providers. The ST Edge AI Suite is set to simplify the development of AI solutions exploiting ST’s range of hardware and related tools for embedded AI optimizations.

The ST Edge AI Suite is compatible with the external ecosystems for AI development, simulation tools like MATLAB, machine learning models trained using deep learning frameworks like TensorFlow Lite, Keras, PyTorch, etc., and a possibility of connection to cloud services like AWS and Azure.

Also, the tool works across multiple ST hardware platforms including STM32 general-purpose MCUs, STM32N6 and STM32 MPUs built for industrial applications, Stellar automotive microcontrollers, etc.

ST’s strategy on AI relies keenly on an innovative, unified optimizer of embedded AI solutions called ST Edge AI Core Technology. Looking at the ST Edge AI Core is a critical component that brings together all the software and tools engineers need at each step of their project. It is the core library with a unified common line interface that the customer could use to evaluate the model and further port it to the specific target device. The software tools can be used with the STM32 microcontroller and the MEMS sensors with the hardware accelerators (MLC or ISPU).

Also, the tools (ST Edge AI & Nano AI Studio) are completely free for unlimited quantities on any STM32.

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NEPCON JAPAN 2024: Showcasing new technologies from R&D to manufacturing

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 14:17

The NEPCON JAPAN 2024 Exhibition was successfully held between 24-26 January 2024 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan. With over 30 glorious years of fostering Japanese & Asian electronics industries, NEPCON JAPAN, consisting of seven shows, specialised in essential areas for electronics manufacturing, R&D, and Packaging Technology and increased its value as an exhibition representing Asia’s leading one-stop venue for all those involved in the electronics industry.

NEPCON JAPAN consists of seven specialised Shows i.e. Internepcon Japan, Electrostate Japan, IC & Packaging Expo, Electronic Components & materials expo, PWB Expo, Fine Process technology Expo, Power Device and Module expo. Other Concurrent Shows organised by RX Japan Ltd during the time are 15thAUTOMOTIVE WORLD, Factory Innovation Week 2023, 2ndSMART LOGISTICS Expo and 9thWEARABLE EXPO.

With over 1688 exhibitors and 77744 visitors, the exhibition was a massive hit that showcased the latest and futuristic technologies in the respective areas.

The expo saw participation from 25 countries, which showcased trends in the domains of IC & Packaging, Electronic Components and materials, Fine Process technology, Power Device and Module Electric Vehicle and Automotive Technologies, Factory Automation, Smart Logistics and Wearables.

Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States participated with large delegations and demonstrated cutting-edge solutions and breakthrough technologies from their respective nations.

The dedicated zones offering insights into how the related industries will adopt technology, sustainability and innovation. These dedicated zones showcased solutions in EV Charging, EV Mobility, IoT based technologies, ADAS, AI Vision, Driver Monitoring System, Super Heat Resistant Glass Ceramic, Design and development of Vehicle, Semiconductor, Sensor, machine Learning, Software defined vehicle, Image recognition System and Testing providing an engaging platform for visitors to experience smart solutions.

The expo has truly been an amazing experience to the visitors. Visitors and exhibitors from overseas returned with a great degree of satisfaction, and the show concluded with a great success. The exhibition was a marvel of state-of-the-art technologies from around the world. Some of the technology display is worth mentioning as below:

EVR Motors, Israel: EVR Motors, developed a unique Trapezoidal Stator topology that disrupts the incremental trajectory of electric motor development. The Trapezoidal Stator: The patented topology allows the company to design radial flux motors that are less than half in size and weight than current advanced RFPM motors – without compromising of power or performance. The air-cooled 17kw Peak Power Motor, which weighs only 9 kg, offers more power per kg and torque per liter than motor performances made public by other manufacturers. EVR offers double the power and torque density.

Responding to the aspiration of many OEMs to reduce or eliminate the reliance on rare earth materials, EVR Motors offers a rare earth-free solution based on ferrite magnets. The solution retains acceptable power and torque density, at a lower cost to manufacturers and the environment.

Contact for more information: Email: noak@evr-motors.com

Foretellix: Foretellix is the leading provider of safety-driven verification and validation solutions for Automated Driving Systems and ADAS.  For Automated Driving Systems and ADAS Foretellix’s hyperscale V&V solutions are trusted worldwide to tame the infinite range of scenarios critical for the development and safe deployment of ADAS and AVs. The Foretify Safety-Driven V&V platform helps Automotive OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, and AV developers to ensure safety, reduce development costs, and accelerate time-to-market of ADAS and Automated Driving Systems (ADS).

Contact for more information: Email: Nathalie.koskas@foretellix.com

StoreDot: StoreDot is the innovator of proven EV batteries that recharge faster, are safer and more sustainable, running on patented organic nanomaterials fully optimized by AI, and packed into high-energy cells. StoreDot’s current technology supports a charge of 100 miles (or 160 km) per 5 minute of charging, and is working on improved technology that will allow to reduce the charging time for 100 miles, or 160 km, to 3 minutes, within few years. To secure EV battery safety and stability, StoreDot battery architecture features a multi-layered safety-protection structure, it runs on patented bio-inspired nanomaterials designed for longevity, with near-zero carbon.

Optimizing pack-level energy density: Cell-to-pack involves directly connecting individual battery cells to form a larger battery pack; cell-to-chassis involves mounting the cells onto a structural chassis, which also serves as a heat sink dissipating heat generated by the cells during operation, and a support structure for the cells.

The benefit of using these approaches is that they provide the necessary support and protection for the battery cells. In a cell-to-pack system, the cells are tightly packed together and secured within a protective casing, which reduces the risk of damage from vibration, impact, or thermal expansion. StoreDot’s I-BEAM XFC cell-to-pack configuration also simplifies the manufacturing process, minimizes part count and reduces the weight and volume of the battery pack.

D-TEG: D-TEG provides new values for the vehicle CCTV system and cloud-based video telematics.

By applying AI Solution to Edge device, it automatically detects the road surface and surrounding conditions, transmits and analyse the detected data to the service platform, and deliver risk information to customer through the Edge Device.  AI SOLUTION: The company offers development of artificial intelligence solution using image-based object detection AI model.

Creative Synergies Group: The company accelerate electrification through expertise in system integration and controls, power electronics and battery system engineering. It leverage proven track record in NextGen technologies to innovate in autonomous navigation, connectivity and shared mobility. The company empowers very demanding customers to achieve business outcomes through domain expertise from concept to production.

Autocrypt: Secures mobility for the autonomous revolution. AUTOCRYPT is an automotive cybersecurity provider dedicated to the safety of connected, autonomous, and software-defined mobility. AUTOCRYPT secures the rapidly evolving architecture of software-defined vehicles and smart mobility, using custom solutions built for ISO/SAE 21434 and UN R155/156. Backed by decades of industry experience, our solutions can be customized and adapted to any vehicular and infrastructure environment.

Eatron Technologies: Intelligent Software Layer: It Unlocks the full potential of battery with Intelligent Software Layer for Battery Management. Maximum battery performance is achieved with unique algorithms that offer best-in-class accuracy and robustness in battery state estimation and control. It Extends battery lifetime by accurately predicting the remaining useful life of the battery in the real world – right from beginning of its life. It Improves safety and reduces downtime by enabling early detection of cell degradation and safety critical failures.

Auroralabs: Vehicle Software Intelligence: Solving the Challenges of Automotive Software Development with AI. AUTO VALIDATE SYSTEM COMPATIBILITY & SBOM: Validate effects of software updates on interrelated functions, systems and ECUs providing evidence for integration and certification. AUTO DETECT: AI-DRIVEN SW GLITCH CATCHER. Detects faults in software behavior

and predicts downtime events. AUTO UPDATE: ML-DRIVEN OTA UPDATES Over-The-Air Update solution for any and all ECUs using standard protocols without reprogramming, with or without A/B Memory.

Sonatus: SOFTWARE DEFINED COMPONENT SOLUTION delivers vehicles that intelligently adapt. Achieve the full promise of Software-Defined Vehicles with components that can be dynamically tuned for peak performance in any driving condition. Continuously improve performance of vehicle components: Ensure electronically controlled vehicle components are continuously tuned to deliver optimal performance in all driving conditions. Leverage precise real-world data to improve vehicle performance: Collect real-world vehicle and driving data in diverse driving conditions, enabling more efficient and accurate AI/ML analysis in the cloud. Dynamically tune components in real-time Ensure motors, sensors, and actuators operate at peak performance under diverse driving conditions by automatically tuning their Electronic Control Units (ECUs) in real-time.

Software Defined Component: The full promise of Software-Defined Vehicles is realized when all electronic components in vehicles can be continuously updated and improved throughout their lifetimes. The Sonatus Software-Defined Component Solution, consisting of the Sonatus Collector and Automator products, lets OEMs and their suppliers establish a closed-loop process to apply real-world, data-driven analysis and automated updates to tune vehicle ECUs, ensuring maximum component performance under any driving and vehicle conditions.

SRM Tech: Software Integration & Solution Engineering: The company’s Product Engineering Services start from Conceptualization, Development, Prototype, Launch, Manufacture and Distribution. The company has expertise spans product ideation, hardware, firmware and middleware, application development, complemented by testing, validation, verification and product sustenance. Dedicated teams are at work delivering critical solutions for various OEMs & Tier 1 suppliers. Engineers work across a wide range of Software Integration technology segments such as powertrains, body, interiors, infotainment, telematics, electronics, ADAS Systems (Vision-based, RADAR-based & LIDAR-based) and mobility.

Fukuda: Air leak tester for EV: FLZ-0630 series: In EV battery case leak tests, this air leak tester can reduce noise and enable stable measurements for workpieces that are characterized by large volumes and are likely to expand due to pressure. The product features a fitting correction function and a newly developed smoothing function that are used together to reduce both the noise caused by the large size and the noise caused by expansion and deformation. In addition, in order to achieve low pressure control that is difficult to control and increase flow rate for large volumes, a bypass BOX (CBU-600) is included.

Transtouch: The touch panel solution provided on automotive equipment allows users to operate on the CID screen and control various basic functions. It is paired with a high-brightness touch screen that supports multi-touch. Related applications include entertainment systems, satellite positioning systems (GPS), real-time driving prompts, reversing radars, and anti-collision systems, etc., all of which require good functions and user-friendly human-machine interfaces. Touch screens have become a necessary consideration for global car manufacturers to develop new cars.

Magna: Although market trends show a clear shift towards electrified vehicles, the share of conventional powertrain systems will still be globally significant during the next decade. Therefore, Magna continues to work intensively on efficiency improvement of all conventional and mild hybrid drivetrain solutions. Being a long-term premium supplier for the global automotive industry, Magna has broad experience and a unique market position. With this expertise, the innovations contribute to the overall performance of the vehicle with any type of powertrain, always pushing to the next level of CO2 emissions reduction.

With the purpose of tailoring to global market needs, Magna supports this development with innovative, efficient, and cost effective advanced all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive systems (4WD), in addition to disconnect systems, manual transmissions (MT), dual-clutch transmissions (DCT), and mild hybrid solutions (HDT 48V).

The field-tested mild hybrid systems provide an answer to multiple existing challenges, like legislation driven CO2 reduction and high-cost pressures. Such systems support high-volume applications of electrified drivelines as well as fleet average targets at reasonable costs. Mild hybrid systems also achieve improved driving dynamics through electric torque vectoring and traction support. These systems even enable functions like autonomous electric parking.

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

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 14:08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 13:39

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Aspiring & Promising Career Opportunities in the ESDM industry 2024

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 08:29

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

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

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

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

Embedded Systems Engineer

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

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

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

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

Mechatronics Engineer

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

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

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

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

VLSI Design Engineer

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

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

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

PCB Design and Manufacturing

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

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

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

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

Drone Specialist

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

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

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


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

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

Tue, 02/20/2024 - 12:49

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tue, 02/20/2024 - 11:53

Author: STMicroelectronics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A useful license for the ST community

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

How to get started?

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

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

Tue, 02/20/2024 - 08:32

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mon, 02/19/2024 - 14:24

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

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

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

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

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

Mon, 02/19/2024 - 14:04

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Specification Table:

PowerPAK 1212-F

PowerPAK 1212-8S

Package size: 3.3 mm x 3.3 mm

Package size: 3.3 mm x 3.3 mm

Source pad dimension: 4.13 mm²

Source pad dimension: 0.36 mm²

Thermal resistance: 56 °C/W

Thermal resistance: 63 °C/W

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

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


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

Mon, 02/19/2024 - 13:43

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mon, 02/19/2024 - 13:20

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

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

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

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

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

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