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TimeProvider 4100 Grandmaster Version 2.4 Firmware Offers Embedded BlueSky Firewall Technology to Detect Security Threats

ELE Times - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 14:09

Adds IEEE 1588 standard profiles to meet power and 5G private network synchronization requirements

Critical infrastructure such as public utilities, transportation and mobile networks depend on time to synchronize their networks. The primary source of time comes from national timing systems like Global Position Satellite (GPS), but GPS signals are susceptible to jamming and spoofing attacks. To continue to provide critical infrastructure operators with a secure timing solution, Microchip Technology today announces the release of version 2.4 of the TimeProvider 4100 grandmaster firmware with an embedded BlueSky firewall function to detect potential threats and validate GNSS before using the signal as a time reference.

“Security is of utmost importance to operators; it is critical to make sure that the time reference used by a grandmaster is a valid signal and can be trusted,” said Randy Brudzinski, vice president of Microchip’s frequency and time systems business unit. “The TimeProvider 4100 grandmaster, with its embedded BlueSky GPS firewall, offers our customers a cost-effective solution that provides highly effective protection against spoofing, jamming and other threats that could compromise the validity of the GNSS signal.”

The TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 also implements IEEE 1588 power profiles, which enables gateway capabilities between PTP telecom and power profiles. With this device, utility companies can connect the communication and substation networks to support the convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) networks as operators continue to modernize.

The growth of emerging private networks continues to increase in a variety of locations like factories, stadiums and mines. These private networks can now be synchronized with the TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 equipped with the Time Sensitive Network (TSN) profile 802.1.AS. This functionality provides private networks with a more accurate and autonomous time system to coordinate private network Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Depending on their unique deployment requirements, operators need grandmasters that can scale to support very few clients up to many clients. The TP4100 v2.4 can serve 2,000 Precise Time Protocol (PTP) clients, providing the capability to synchronize a large number of base stations with precise time without having to deploy multiple grandmasters.

As existing legacy communication signal deployments age, there is a need to migrate these installations to a modern and modular architecture. The TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 provides a new operation mode that includes the filtering of legacy input signals and provides the ability to serve as a Synchronization Supply Unit (SSU), enabling the migration of large SSU environments to a TimeProvider server architecture. This presents a combination of new protocols such as PTP, NTP, SyncE and legacy signals at a large scale, allowing operators to ensure legacy services remain, while affording the capability to provide modern synchronization signals to support the newer network architectures.

Resiliency is necessary for synchronization solutions serving critical infrastructures. A failure can lead to degradation or a complete loss of service, thereby affecting customer satisfaction. Software redundancy contributes to the resiliency of the TimeProvider 4100 series because it enables two grandmasters to be synchronized in an Active/Standby model so network clients can be served by the Standby unit if the Active unit encounters a disruption. Another important and valuable feature of the TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 is the additional model for redundancy, allowing two units to operate in Active/Active mode, providing flexibility depending on the customer’s preference. Customers employing the Active/Active mode can benefit from the two grandmasters designed to operate at all times, as compared to the Active/Standby configuration where one device is not used while remaining in the standby mode.

The TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 is integrated with the TimePictra Synchronization Management System to provide users a complete view of their synchronization operation and health across their network.

Pricing and Availability

The TimeProvider 4100 v2.4 grandmaster is now available for purchase. For additional information and to purchase, contact a Microchip sales representative or an authorized distributor.

Performance levels may differ depending on usage, system configuration, and other influencing factors.

Resources

High-res images available through Flickr or editorial contact (feel free to publish):

  • Application image: flickr.com/photos/microchiptechnology/53662329147/sizes/l

Video link: https://youtu.be/md7fV6pgGI4

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КПІшник в ефірі Українського Радіо

Новини - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 12:14
КПІшник в ефірі Українського Радіо
Image
medialab чт, 05/23/2024 - 12:14
Текст

У ранковому ефірі Українського Радіо відбулась цікава розмова щодо перспективних досліджень і розробок у сфері автономних систем.

STM32 Series is Cost-Effective and Fastest STM32 MCUs and First STM32 to Support Bootflash: STMicroelectronics

ELE Times - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 07:30

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in the semiconductor space developing customer-centric and sustainable products. Their STM32 Portfolio is a hugely popular highly reliable and scalable solution that caters to areas including Smart homes and cities, Industrial, Medical, and Robotics. Further expanding and innovating on this series, ST has introduced a line of STM32H7R/S high-performance and graphics MCUs that leverage technology to become the best-in-class platform for graphics applications and much more.

The STM32 launch event happened at ST’s Greater Noida campus in the presence of technology experts and media.

Sridhar Ethiraj, Sr. Technical Marketing and Applications Manager, Microcontrollers- India (APeC Region), STMicroelectronics

Rashi Bajpai, Sub-Editor at ELE Times, spoke with Sridhar Ethiraj, Sr. Technical Marketing and Applications Manager, Microcontrollers- India (APeC Region), STMicroelectronics about the latest launch of STM32H7R/S Series and discussed the many features and USPs of the product portfolio.

This is an excerpt from the interview.

 

 

 

 

ELE Times: What kind of support does ST provide for IoT projects based on the STM32 platform?

Sridhar Ethiraj: ST provides large number of solutions and reference designs for IoT applications based on the STM32.

Sridhar Ethiraj:

Our STM32 Open Development environment is an open, flexible, easy and affordable way to develop innovative devices and applications based on the STM32 32-bit microcontroller family combined with other state-of-the-art ST components connected via expansion boards. It enables fast prototyping with leading-edge components that can quickly be transformed into final designs.

We also offer complete reference designs for IoT applications.

An example is the cost-effective and highly integrated AWS IoT qualified Alexa Voice Service design – This Amazon-qualified solution allows the rapid integration of Alexa Voice services into embedded devices. It enables end products to deliver enhanced user experience through best-in-class natural language-based voice user interface and additional Amazon AWS based services. The solution is based on the STM32H7 high-performance MCU complemented with other ST components in a reference design.

ELE Times: What are the key features of the H7R/S microcontroller compared to other STM32H7 Series?

Sridhar Ethiraj:

  • 600MHz Arm Cortex-M7
  • Cost effective (lowest cost H7 to-date)
  • Neochrome GPU, JPEG Codec and LTDC Accelerating MPU-like GUIs
  • Cost effective boot Flash MCU with high-speed external memory interfaces for real time XiP, with state-of-the-art security.
  • Advanced security: authenticated debug, life cycle, secure key storage, immutable root of trust
  • I3C with DMA
  • 2xUSB HS/FS with PHY & UCPD

ELE Times: How easy is it for the developers in creating applications that utilize external memory for STM32H7R/S series with STM32 Ecosystem?

Sridhar Ethiraj:

H7R/S enable simpler development thanks to our MCU ecosystem:

Free STM32CubeMX software enables to simplify development using external memories (Bootmode configurator, External memory management and External memory protection management). Additionally, the tool enables users to initialize projects by configuring pinouts, clock trees, MCU peripherals, and middleware. It also facilitates the development of a boot project, which includes access management for the selected external memory, with options for Load-and-Run or Execute-in-Place boot options.

ELE Times: How the graphics capabilities of the STM32H7R/S series enhance user graphics applications? (The Volt Post)

Sridhar Ethiraj:

The Neochrome graphics accelerator in the STM32H7R/S series offloads graphical computations from the CPU, which frees up CPU resources and enhances performance. This series also includes a JPEG Codec for video animation. Moreover, it offers high flexibility in framebuffer strategies, supported by high-speed external memory interfaces, to accommodate growing memory needs for high-end graphical user interfaces.

The post STM32 Series is Cost-Effective and Fastest STM32 MCUs and First STM32 to Support Bootflash: STMicroelectronics appeared first on ELE Times.

Microchip Adds Radiation-Tolerant, 32-bit MCU to Space Portfolio

AAC - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 02:00
The low-power Arm Cortex M0+ microcontroller provides 8-bit prices with 32-bit performance.

Diamagnetic, Paramagnetic, and Ferromagnetic Materials Explained

AAC - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 20:00
This article examines three different types of magnetic materials and how they react to an external magnetic field.

Power Tips #129: Driving high voltage silicon FETs in 1000-V flybacks

EDN Network - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 16:04

The 800 V automotive systems enable higher performance electric vehicles capable of driving ranges longer than 400 miles on a single charge and charging times as fast as 20 minutes. 800 V batteries rarely operate at exactly 800 V and can go as high as 900 V with converter input requirements up to 1000 V.

There are a number of power design challenges for 1000-V-type applications, including field-effect transistors (FET) selection and the need to have a strong enough gate drive for >1,000 V silicon FETs which generally have larger gate capacitances than silicon carbide (SiC) FETs. SiC FETs have the advantage of lower total gate charge than silicon FETs with similar parameters; however, SiC often comes with increased cost.

You’ll find silicon FETs used in designs such as the Texas Instruments (TI) 350 V to 1,000 V DC Input, 56 W Flyback Isolated Power Supply Reference Design, which cascodes two 950 V FETs in a 54 W primary-side regulated (PSR) flyback. In lower-power general-purpose bias supplies (<10 W), it is possible to use a single 1,200 V silicon FET in TI’s Triple Output 10W PSR Flyback Reference Design which is the focus of this power tip.

This reference design can be a bias supply for the isolated gate drivers of traction inverters. It includes a wide input (60 V to 1000 V) PSR flyback with three isolated 33 V outputs, 100 mA loads, and uses TI’s UCC28730-Q1 as the controller. Figure 1 shows the UCC28730-Q1 datasheet with a 20-mA minimum drive current.

Figure 1 Gate-drive capability of the UCC28730-Q1 with a 20-mA minimum drive current. Source: Texas Instruments

The challenge is that the 1,200 V silicon FET will have a very large input capacitance (Ciss) of around 1,400 pF at 100 V VDS, which is 4 times more than a similarly rated SiC FET.

With a relatively weak gate drive from the UCC28730-Q1, Equation 1 estimates the primary FET turn-on time to be approximately 840 ns.

Figure 2 shows that as FET gate-to-source capacitance (CGS) and gate-to-drain capacitance (CGD) increases, it consumes the on-time of the primary FET required to regulate the output voltage of the converter.

Figure 2 FET turn on and off curves, as FET CGS and CGD increase, it consumes the on-time of the primary FET required to regulate the output voltage of the converter. Source: Texas Instruments

Figure 3 shows the undesirable effect of this by looking at the gate voltage of the UCC28730-Q1 driving the primary FET directly. In this example, it takes approximately 800 ns to completely turn on the FET and 1.5 µs for the gate to reach its nominal voltage. As you go to 400 V, the controller is still trying to charge CGD when the controller decides to turn off the FET. It is much worse at 1,000 V where the CGS is still being charged before turning off. This shows that as the input voltage increases, the controller cannot output a complete on-pulse and therefore the converter cannot power up to nominal output voltage.

Figure 3 Gate voltage of UCC28730-Q1 directly driving the primary FET with increasing input voltage. Source: Texas Instruments

To solve this, you can use a simple buffer circuit using two low-cost bipolar junction transistors as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 Simple N-Channel P-Channel N Channel-, P-Channel N-Channel P-Channel (NPN-PNP) emitter follower gate-drive circuit. Source: Texas Instruments

Figure 5 shows the gate current waveform of the primary FET and demonstrates the buffer circuit capable of gate drive currents greater than 500 mA.

Figure 5 Gate drive buffer current waveform of PMP23431, demonstrating that the buffer circuit is capable of gate drive current greater than 500 mA. Source: Texas Instruments

As shown in Equation 2, this reduces the charge time to 33 ns and is 25 times faster compared to just using the gate drive of the controller.

A PSR flyback architecture typically requires a minimum load current to stay within regulation. This helps increase the on-time and the converter can now power up to its minimum load requirements at 1000 V as shown in Figure 6. The converter’s overall performance is in the PMP23431 test report and Figure 7 shows the switching waveform with constant pulses on the primary FET. At 1,000 V with the minimum load requirement, the on-time is approximately 1 µs. Without this buffer circuit, the converter would not power up to 1,000 V input.

Figure 6 Converter startup with minimum load requirement with a 1000-V input. Source: Texas Instruments

Figure 7 Primary FET switching waveform of PMP23431 at 1000 V input. Source: Texas Instruments

In high voltage applications up to 1,000 V, the duty cycle can be quite small—in the hundreds of nanoseconds. A high-voltage silicon FET can be the limiting factor to achieving a well-regulated output due to its high gate capacitances. This power tip introduced PMP23431 and a simple buffer circuit to quickly charge the gate capacitances to support the lower on-times of these high voltage systems.

Darwin Fernandez is a systems manager in the Automotive Power Design Services team at Texas Instruments. He has been at TI for 14 years and has previously supported several power product lines as an applications engineer designing buck, flyback, and active clamp forward converters. He has a BSEE and MSEE from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

 

Related Content

Additional Resources

  1. Read the application note, “Practical Considerations in High-Performance MOSFET, IGPT and MCT Gate-Drive Circuits.”
  2. Check out the application report, “Fundamentals of MOSFET and IGBT Gate Driver Circuits.”
  3. Download the PMP41009 reference design.
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ESSCI Partners with IIT Guwahati & IIT Ropar to Boost Semiconductor Skill Development and Innovation

ELE Times - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 14:49

New Delhi: Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) proudly unveils a momentous leap forward in its relentless pursuit of skill development and innovation within the semiconductor domain. In a historic move, ESSCI has inked a game-changing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the esteemed Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Guwahati and Ropar. This visionary collaboration is poised to ignite a revolution, fostering a dynamic ecosystem primed for skill enhancement, innovation acceleration, and the flourishing of semiconductor startups.

This MoU aims to train not only students from Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) but also aspiring engineers from diverse academic backgrounds in various job roles crucial for the semiconductor industry. It will play a crucial role in providing skilled manpower to the industry, including Tata Semiconductor Assembly and Test Pvt Ltd (“TSAT”), which is in the process of establishing a semiconductor unit in Morigaon, Assam. This state-of-the-art facility, with a remarkable capacity of producing 48 million chips per day, is being constructed at an investment of Rs 27,000 crore. The facility will cater to diverse segments such as automotive, electric vehicles, consumer electronics, telecom, and mobile phones.

At the heart of this groundbreaking partnership lies the establishment of cutting-edge, industry-led skill centers dedicated to nurturing skilled manpower in semiconductor technology development and testing realms. This initiative includes Training of Trainers (ToT) programs under the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) standards, as well as the development of courses and programs aligned with industry standards.

Formalized amidst great anticipation in Guwahati, the MoU bears the signatures of luminaries Dr. Abhilasha Gaur, the dynamic Chief Operating Officer of ESSCI, and the venerable Prof. Rajeev Ahuja, serving as Director at both IIT Guwahati and IIT Ropar.

The momentum surged further as Dr. Abhilasha Gaur took the stage as a distinguished speaker at the prestigious Semiconductor Horizons Workshop hosted by IIT Guwahati. Her illuminating insights illuminated the path forward, offering a glimpse into the latest trends and breakthroughs shaping the semiconductor landscape.

ESSCI_MoU-2

Mr. Amrit Manwani, Chairman, ESSCI, highlighted the immense growth potential of the semiconductor industry and underscored the importance of skilled professionals to meet the industry’s workforce demands. Citing an ESSCI study, as the manufacturing component of the industry gains traction, the share of manufacturing job roles in the manpower pool is expected to reach around 35-40% by 2025-26 from the current 30%.

Dr. Abhilasha Gaur, COO, ESSCI further emphasized three key factors driving the growth of the semiconductor sector in India: government support, focus on ATMP (Assembly, Testing, Marking, and Packaging), and bullish industry plans. She reiterated ESSCI’s dedication to collaborating with industry partners to develop a skilled workforce capable of supporting the industry’s growth.

Prof. Rajeev Ahuja, Director, IIT Guwahati, said, “We are dedicated to uplifting the surrounding community and fostering productive industry-academic collaborations. Understanding the pivotal role of the nation leading the semiconductor industry in shaping the future, IIT Guwahati is committed to advancing progressive initiatives in this sector and aspires to lead the way.”

Dr. Charan Gurumurthy, CEO of Tata Semiconductor Assembly and Test Pvt Ltd, speaking as the chief guest, highlighted the pervasive role of semiconductors in our daily lives and emphasized the importance of prioritizing their localization. Dr. Gurumurthy’s remarks also detailed the strategic initiatives pursued by TSAT to uphold its position as a leader in technological innovation, thus establishing a benchmark for the industry. Additionally, Tata’s upcoming semiconductor plant in Assam, slated for 2026, is projected to create employment opportunities for hundreds of young individuals.

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India’s Semiconductor Journey: A Path to Technological Self-Reliance

ELE Times - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 14:29

In the realm of global technology, India is forging ahead with ambitious plans to enhance its semiconductor or chip manufacturing capabilities. Semiconductors, crucial components in modern electronic devices ranging from smartphones, EVMs, and applications of Artificial Intelligence, etc., are at the heart of India’s strategic initiatives aimed at reducing dependence on imports and establishing itself as a significant player in this pivotal ICT sector.

The  Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme extended to the ICT sector including chip manufacturing has been a game changer. It signaled also India’s determination to bolster semiconductor manufacturing., among other things This initiative attracted global giants such as Intel, Samsung, and TSMC, recognizing India’s potential as a lucrative market and manufacturing hub. The prospect of substantial incentives and access to India’s expanding consumer base has spurred a flurry of activity in the semiconductor sector.

Recent advancements underscore notable progress toward India’s semiconductor aspirations. Tata Group is on track to launch commercial production from India’s inaugural semiconductor fabrication unit by 2026, with plans for additional facilities in the pipeline. Samsung’s pledge to invest $8 billion in expanding its semiconductor fabrication facility further underscores India’s appeal for semiconductor production.

Besides, companies like Reliance Jio and Infosys are leveraging their telecommunications and IT services expertise to drive innovation in semiconductor design and manufacturing. This collective effort from both domestic and international stakeholders is propelling India toward semiconductor self-sufficiency and also chip designing. India has a considerable capacity in chip designing and that work has been outsourced to a few software companies. With the prospects of FAB coming up in India, domestic chip-designing companies will have more work.

The Indian government’s proactive stance, through initiatives like the National Electronics Policy and Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) scheme, is fostering an enabling environment for semiconductor manufacturing. Nevertheless, challenges persist, including environmental concerns surrounding fabrication processes and the necessity for additional policy reforms,  skill development and more importantly capital infusion since semiconductor manufacturing is a highly capital-intensive sector.

Addressing these challenges requires the implementation of sustainable practices and rigorous environmental regulations. Additionally, efforts to streamline regulations, facilitate ease of doing business, and invest in education and vocational training programs are imperative for sustaining India’s semiconductor manufacturing growth. Chip manufacturing is a highly competitive segment, which requires sourcing rare earth, which is hard to find out in India. Countries like China, the Netherlands, and the US are sourcing the high-demand rare earth that goes into chip manufacturing from countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, and Latin American countries. Our embassies and high commissions should play an important role in identifying such locations for sourcing rare earth. Chip-making also requires considerable investment in R&D since the specifications of the chips keep on changing.

Despite these challenges, India’s semiconductor journey holds great promise. With robust government support, strategic investments, and a burgeoning talent pool, India is poised to emerge as a global leader in semiconductor innovation and production. As momentum gathers, India’s semiconductor industry is paving the way for a new era of technological advancement and economic prosperity.

Photo Mr Rajiv BatraMr Rajiv Batra, President, Rabyte.

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Wise-integration & Leadtrend Technology Introduce GaN System-in-Package Targeting Rapid Consumer Device Charging

ELE Times - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 14:11

SiP Includes Wise-integration’s 650V E-Mode Gallium-Nitride (GaN) Transistor Die And Leadtrend’s Silicon Die Flyback Controller

Wise-integration, a French pioneer in digital control of gallium nitride (GaN) and GaN ICs for power supplies, and Leadtrend Technology Corporation (TWSE stock code: 3588), a specialist in analog and analog-digital mixed-mode IC designs, today announced the release of a GaN system-in-package (SiP) supporting consumer electronics applications.

Their collaboration’s targeted application is a 65-watt USB PD adapter for high-speed charging of smartphones, laptops and other devices. The LD966LGQALVE High Voltage Multi-Mode PWM Controller of Flyback with GaN integrated includes Leadtrend’s silicon die flyback controller and Wise-integration’s 650V e-mode gallium-nitride (GaN) transistor die in a SiP. The SiP has passed 1,000 hours of operating life tests (OLT).

“This SiP enables original design manufacturers (ODM) to develop a less expensive system with fewer components, a smaller printed circuit board and faster system-development time,” said Thierry Bouchet, CEO of Wise-integration. “This collaboration also underscores Leadtrend’s confidence in the breadth and depth of our GaN expertise and the quality of our products.”

­­­The LD966L is green-mode PWMIC built-in with brown-in/out functions of a QFN8X8 package. It minimizes the component count and circuit space, and reduces overall material cost for the power applications. It features HV start, green-mode power-saving operation, soft-start functions to minimize power loss and enhances system performance.

The LD966LGQALVE Evaluation Board features an overall peak efficiency of 93.02 percent and a power density of 22.7 W/in3.  For more information, see: https://www.leadtrend.com.tw/tw/product-page/12/355-ld966L.

Figure 1: LD966LGQALVE Evaluation Board

 

Wise-integration has optimized GaN capabilities to make power-electronics technology both greener and more efficient with high-current, high-voltage breakdown and high switching frequency. Its WiseGan® power-integrated circuit (IC) combines several power electronics functions into a single GaN chip for improved speed, efficiency, reliability and cost-effectiveness.

The company opened an office in Taiwan in 2022, and uses 650V GaN/Si technology from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) in its  650V e-mode GaN transistor die with ESD protection.

Wise-integration recently announced the closing of its Series B round of funding totalling €15 million.

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Rohde & Schwarz first to achieve TPAC for NTN NB-IoT RF and RRM conformance test cases

ELE Times - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 13:58

At the recent Conformance Agreement Group (CAG) meeting #78 of the Global Certification Forum (GCF), Rohde & Schwarz verified NTN NB-IoT test cases for radio frequency (RF) and radio resource management (RRM), successfully meeting all test platform approval criteria (TPAC). The R&S TS-RRM and R&S TS8980 test platforms were approved for every type of NTN NB-IoT test (RF, Demod and RRM), making Rohde & Schwarz the only company to have activated both NTN NB-IoT radio frequency (RF) and radio resource management (RRM) work items (WI) in the GCF.

The R&S TS8980 meets test platform approval criteria (TPAC) by GCF for NTN NB-IoT RF and RRM conformance test cases. (Image: Rohde & Schwarz)

Non-terrestrial networks (NTN) are wireless communication systems that operate above the Earth’s surface. They are essential to realizing ubiquitous connectivity, bringing coverage even to remote areas that do not have access to traditional terrestrial networks.

Rohde & Schwarz continued its success in verifying NTN narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) test cases at the recent Conformance Agreement Group (CAG) meeting #78, satisfying all test platform approval criteria (TPAC) with the R&S TS-RRM and R&S TS8980 conformance test systems. This achievement allowed the Global Certification Forum (GCF) to activate work item (WI) 336 in its device certification program. It also means that Rohde & Schwarz now supports the complete certification of Release 17 NB-IoT user equipment (UE) for NTNs.

The R&S TS-RRM and R&S TS8980 are conformance test systems designed to facilitate NB-IoT certification across LTE and other radio access technologies (RAT). The R&S TS RRM is a fully automated conformance test system for running RRM conformance test cases and runs 5G NR and LTE inter-RAT RRM test cases for certifying wireless devices. The R&S TS8980 is the most compact full-range conformance testing solution on the market. It supports the entire device certification process for RF and RRM.

For more information on NTN solutions from Rohde & Schwarz, visit: https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/_256719.html

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Littelfuse Unveils IX4352NE Low-side Gate Driver for SiC MOSFETs and High-power IGBTs

ELE Times - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 13:44

New driver offers tailored turn-on and turn-off timing, minimized switching losses, and
enhanced dV/dt immunity

Littelfuse, Inc., an industrial technology manufacturing company empowering a sustainable, connected, and safer world, is excited to announce the launch of the IX4352NE Low-side SiC MOSFET and IGBT Gate Driver. This innovative driver is specifically designed to drive Silicon Carbide (SiC) MOSFETs and high-power Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs) in industrial applications.

The key differentiator of the IX4352NE lies in its separate 9 A source and sink outputs, which enable tailored turn-on and turn-off timing while minimizing switching losses. An internal negative charge regulator also provides a user-selectable negative gate drive bias for improved dV/dt immunity and faster turn-off. With an operating voltage range (VDD – VSS) of up to 35 V, this driver offers exceptional flexibility and performance.

One of the standout features of the IX4352NE is its internal negative charge pump regulator, which eliminates the need for an external auxiliary power supply or DC/DC converter. This feature is particularly valuable for turning off SiC MOSFETs, saving valuable space typically required for external logic level translator circuitry. The logic input’s compatibility with standard TTL or CMOS logic levels further enhances space-saving capabilities.

The IX4352NE is ideally suited for driving SiC MOSFETs in various industrial applications such as:
  • on-board and off-board chargers,
  • Power Factor Correction (PFC),
  • DC/DC converters,
  • motor controllers, and
  • industrial power inverters.

Its superior performance makes it ideal for demanding power electronics applications in the electric vehicle, industrial, alternate energy, smart home, and building automation markets.

With its comprehensive features, the IX4352NE simplifies circuit design and offers a higher level of integration. Built-in protection features such as desaturation detection (DESAT) with soft shutdown sink driver, Under Voltage Lockout (UVLO), and thermal shutdown (TSD) ensure the protection of the power device and the gate driver. The integrated open-drain FAULT output signals a fault condition to the microcontroller, enhancing safety and reliability. Furthermore, the IX4352NE saves valuable PCB space and increases circuit density, contributing to overall system efficiency.

Notable improvements over the existing IX4351NE include:
  • A safe DESAT-initiated soft turn-off.
  • A thermal shutdown with high threshold accuracy.
  • The charge pump’s ability to operate during thermal shutdown.

The new IX4352NE is pin-compatible, allowing for a seamless drop-in replacement in designs that specify the existing Littelfuse IX4351NE, which was released in 2020.

“The IX4352NE extends our broad range of low-side gate drivers with a new 9 A sink/source driver, simplifying the gate drive circuitry needed for SiC MOSFETs,” commented June Zhang, Product Manager, Integrated Circuits Division (SBU) at Littelfuse. “Its various built-in protection features and integrated charge pump provide an adjustable negative gate drive voltage for improved dV/dt immunity and faster turn-off. As a result, it can be used to drive any SiC MOSFET or power IGBT, whether it is a Littelfuse device or any other similar component available on the market.”

Availability

The IX4352NE Low-side SiC MOSFET and IGBT Gate Driver are available in tube format in 50 per tube or tape and reel format in quantities of 2,000. Place sample requests through authorized Littelfuse distributors worldwide. For a listing of Littelfuse distributors, please visit Littelfuse.com.

For More Information
Additional information on the latest series release is available on the IX4352NE Low-side SiC MOSFET and IGBT Gate Driver product page. For technical questions, please contact one of the following in the Littelfuse Integrated Circuits Division (SBU):

Hugo Guzman, Product Marketing Manager, HGuzman@Littelfuse.com

Klaus Wiedorn, Sr. Technical Marketing Analyst, KWiedorn@Littelfuse.com

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Unleashing the potential of industrial and commercial IoT

EDN Network - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 10:58

We’re in the fourth industrial revolution, commonly referred to as Industry 4.0, where advanced technologies are reshaping the landscape of manufacturing and business. The idea of machines communicating with each other, robots milling around, and factories practically running themselves no longer seems like a sci-fi concept.

In the fourth industrial revolution, digital and physical worlds are converging to improve the industrial and commercial (I&C) industries. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a critical player in this revolution, disrupting every facet of the global economy and laying the foundation for a comprehensive overhaul of production, management, and governance systems.

With an estimated annual economic impact ranging from $1.6 trillion to $4.9 trillion by 2025 for factories and retail settings, the rising potential of IoT is becoming increasingly evident as advancements in connectivity open new doors for innovative use cases across the I&C industries.

Despite the rapid advancements in wireless network technologies, companies have been held back from achieving their maximum efficiency and productivity gains due to several operational challenges. Many businesses in industrial and commercial settings face substantial downtime, delayed production, high operating costs, low energy efficiency, and inefficient processes.

So, how can we leverage Industry 4.0’s digital transformation to increase productivity, reduce downtime, lower costs, and drive future growth? The answer may lie in harnessing the power of the I&C IoT.

What’s industrial and commercial IoT?

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) involves the integration of smart technologies and sensors in the industrial sector, enabling the collection and analysis of data to optimize processes, improve worker safety, enhance energy efficiency, improve productivity, and predict potential issues. The IIoT is indispensable for navigating global competition, striking a balance between capturing new business and ensuring sustainable operations.

Commercial IoT encompasses the application of interconnected devices and technologies in the commercial business domain, where the integration of digital solutions aims to enhance retail efficiency, reduce labor costs, and create a seamless omnichannel experience. These advancements in smart retail technology are helping transform traditional business models and increase overall profitability for companies across the globe.

Figure 1 IoT technology will contribute to the growth of commercial industries. Source: Silicon Labs

While such devices may sound out of reach, many exist and are used today for a growing number of I&C applications. In the commercial industry, facility managers seeking to upgrade their estate cost-effectively often use commercial lighting devices like the INGY smart lighting control system that incorporates sensors into luminaires to enable a variety of smart building services without needing an additional infrastructure investment.

Retailers are also adopting electronic shelf label (ESL) devices like the RAINUS InforTab that manage store-wide price automation and reduce operating costs by eliminating hours of tedious human resources. Additionally, asset tracking devices like the Zliide Intelligent Tag can provide fashion retailers with extremely precise location information on how their merchandise moves, helping improve the user experience.

Of course, the commercial industry is not the only application for asset-tracking devices. Machine manufacturers and contractors can also use asset tracking devices like the Trackunit Kin tag that helps connect the entire construction fleet through one simple platform, reducing downtime and costs associated with asset management.

Manufacturers also use smart factory automation devices like CoreTigo’s IO-Link that provide cable-grade, fast, and scalable connectivity for millions of sensors, actuators, and devices at any site worldwide to enable real-time control and monitoring across the entire operational technology.

Likewise, plant and facility managers seeking a comprehensive view of their operations can use predictive maintenance devices such as the Waites plug-and-play online monitoring system to provide a range of sensors and gateways for monitoring and analyzing data, which streamlines device setup and installation.

Benefits of industrial and commercial IoT devices

The growing use of I&C IoT devices could help businesses in the commercial industry make well-informed, real-time decisions, have better access control, and develop more intelligent, efficient, and secure IoT applications. For example, before advanced I&C IoT technology, someone at a retail store had to go out and change the tags on the store shelves if the pricing changed.

Now, with electronic shelf labels, retailers can provide real-time updates. Additionally, by using connected devices and sensors to collect data about a wide variety of business systems, companies can automate processes and improve supply chain management efficiency.

For example, a large retail chain operating hundreds of stores across the country could integrate smart shelf sensors, connected delivery trucks, and a warehouse management system to monitor goods moving through the supply chain in real time. Insights from this data would enable retailers to reduce stockouts, optimize deliveries, and improve warehouse efficiency.

Businesses are also improving control by adopting commercial lighting solutions and wireless access points. With these solutions, businesses can enable indoor location services to track assets and consumer behavior and speed up click-and-collect through shop navigation.

I&C devices also have the potential to positively impact the industrial segment by helping businesses optimize operation efficiency, routing, and scheduling. Prior to predictive maintenance devices, manufacturers had to halt their production line for hours or days if a pump failed and they weren’t planning for it. The repercussions were substantial since every hour of unplanned machine downtime costs manufacturers up to $260,000 in lost production.

Figure 2 IIoT is expected to play a critical role in reshaping the industrial automation. Source: Silicon Labs

Now, with predictive maintenance systems, manufacturers can identify early-stage failures. Moreover, recent advancements in edge computing have unlocked new capabilities for industrial IoT devices, enabling efficient communication and data management.

Machine learning (ML) integration into edge devices transforms data analysis, providing real-time insights for predictive maintenance, anomaly detection, and automated decision-making. This shift is particularly relevant in smart metering, where wireless connectivity allows for comprehensive monitoring, reducing the need for human intervention.

Challenges for industrial and commercial IoT devices

I&C IoT devices have progressed significantly due to the widespread adoption of wireless network technologies, the integration of edge computing, the implementation of predictive maintenance systems, and the expansion of remote monitoring and control capabilities.

Despite all the benefits that I&C IoT devices could bring to consumers, these technologies are not being utilized to their fullest potential in I&C settings today. This is because four significant challenges stand in the way of mass implementation:

  1. Interoperability and reliability

The fragmented landscape of proprietary IoT ecosystems is a significant hurdle for industrial and commercial industry adoption, and solution providers are addressing this challenge by developing multi-protocol hardware and software solutions.

Multi-protocol capabilities are especially important for I&C IoT devices, as reliable connectivity ensures seamless data flow and process optimization in factories, guarantees reliable connectivity across vast retail spaces, and contributes to consistent sales and operational efficiency. Due to the long product lifecycle, it is also critical for the devices to be compatible with legacy protocols and have the capability to upgrade to future standards as needed.

  1. Security and privacy

Security and privacy concerns have been major roadblocks in the growth of industrial and commercial IoT, with potential breaches jeopardizing not only data but also entire networks and brand reputations. Thankfully, solution providers are stepping in to equip developers with powerful tools. Secure wireless mesh technologies offer robust defenses against attacks, while data encryption at the chip level paves the way for a future of trusted devices.

This foundation of trust, built by prioritizing cybersecurity from the start and choosing reliable suppliers, is crucial for unlocking the full potential of the next generation of IoT. By proactively shaping their environment and incorporating risk-management strategies, companies can confidently unlock the vast opportunities that lie ahead in the connected world.

  1. Scalability of networks

Creating large-scale networks with 100,000+ devices is a critical requirement for several industrial and commercial applications such as ESL, street lighting, and smart meters. In addition, these networks may be indoors with significant RF interference or span over a large distance in difficult environments. This requires significant investments in testing large networks to ensure the robustness and reliability of operations in different environments.

  1. User and developer experience

Bridging the gap between ambition and reality in industrial and commercial IoT rests on two crucial pillars: improving the user experience and the developer experience. If we’re going to scale and deploy this market at the level that we know needs to happen, we need solutions that simplify deployment and management for users while empowering developers to build and scale applications with greater speed and efficiency.

Initiatives like Matter and Amazon Sidewalk are paving the way for easier wireless connectivity and edge computing, but further strides are needed. Solution providers can play a vital role by offering pre-built code and edge-based inference capabilities, accelerating development cycles, and propelling the industry toward its true potential.

Looking ahead

As the industrial and commercial IoT landscape evolves, we are primed for a dynamic and interconnected future. The industrial and commercial IoT industry is poised for continued growth and innovation, with advancements in wireless connectivity, edge computing, AI, and ML driving further advances in industrial automation, supply chain optimization, predictive maintenance systems, and the expansion of remote monitoring and control capabilities.

The semiconductor industry has been quietly helping the world advance with solutions that will help set up the standards of tomorrow and enable an entire ecosystem to become interoperable.

Ross Sabolcik is senior VP and GM of industrial and commercial IoT products at Silicon Labs.

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To Exascale and Beyond: 7 Key Takeaways From ISC 2024

AAC - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 02:00
In this roundup, we highlight some announcements from the International Supercomputer Conference that shed light on the state of exascale computing.

Hear me out

Reddit:Electronics - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 00:43
Hear me out

What if somebody built an entire calculator using only transistors, resistors, buttons and LEDs. No ICs, no logic gates, no arrays, nothing but pure smd transistors. A calculator with 4 7-segment displays (1+1 for the two input numbers, 2 for the result), 10 inputtable numbers (0-9) and 4 operations (+,-,*,/). Everything would be driven by transistors, including the displays. According to ChatGPT (very reliable, I know), it would take around 3000 components to build such a device. Difficult to make? Yes. Cool to look at? Yes!

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STMicro Releases Variants of Buck Converters for More Efficiency Options

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The new step-down, synchronous DC-DC converters come in many configurations to save space and ease integration into automotive OEM designs.

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