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Disassembling a “dumb phone”

EDN Network - Втр, 05/16/2023 - 20:07

Flip phones and other “dumb phone” form factors are apparently “hot” with Gen Zers (and others) at the moment, so says mainstream media. There’s even a subreddit devoted to them. So too, apparently, are decades-old digital cameras (such as these beauties)…but that’s a topic to delve into more detail another day…

What’s a “dumb phone”, you say? Per the relevant Reddit wiki:

A “dumb phone” is a cellular phone with less or no “smart” features as a smart phone. It’s actually called a “feature phone” but it’s commonly referred to as a dumb phone because it’s seen as the opposite of a smart phone.

 Dumb phones lack the advanced technology of smart phones and typically only have core tools like calling, text messaging, maybe a calendar or notes, and typically do without feature-rich apps like social media and maps.

One of my neighbors, who knows that I periodically donate mobile phones, computers and the like to local charities, brought over the other day a flip phone which had been collecting dust at her residence for a few years. It was a LG 442BG, a circa-2016 TracFone Wireless (a US prepaid cellular service provider)-tailored (i.e., carrier-locked) variant of the LG 440G shown here:

Glancing at it, I suggested that it probably wouldn’t be usable to a donation recipient since (due to its age) it likely relied on a 3G (or older) cellular network that the major carriers had already phased out. But, I told her, if my hunch was right, I’d welcome the opportunity to instead do a teardown on it for EDN. She agreed with my proposal, and I promised I’d do definitive research on the flip phone before putting it “under the knife”.

The situation was, it turns out, even more dire for the LG 442BG than I initially imagined. Not only was the flip phone 3G cellular network-based, but it was also GSM-based. I emphasize this point because, it turns out, CDMA-friendly (and GSM-unfriendly) Verizon had acquired TracFone Wireless in November 2021. Teardown it is, then!

I’ll begin with the obligatory set of outer box shots:

Look at the coverage map graphic at the top. See, I told you…GSM.

Uniquely identifying information greyed out for my neighbor’s privacy protection…

Opening the front flap:

provides us with even more overview information on the left side:

and the first glimpse of our patient on the right side:

Here it is out of the cardboard box, but still in its clear plastic sarcophagus, as usual, alongside a 0.75″ (19.1 mm) diameter U.S. penny for size comparison purposes (the phone’s un-flipped size is 3.85″ x 2.00″ x 0.73″, and its weight including the battery is 3.63 ounces):

Turn the sarcophagus around and you’ll encounter…a jumbled mess (in fairness to my neighbor, the result of its past use and subsequent re-storage):

The literature packet (along with a mysterious dark-color rectangular non-magnetic thing with a white backside sticker that I didn’t remove; I’m not sure what it’s for, and it doesn’t seem to be mentioned in the user manual) slides right out the top:

To get at the rest, I needed to crack open the sarcophagus (hey, I wonder if the mysterious rectangular thing was a shield for placement behind the RFID tag?):

Prepaid service card details again obscured for neighbor privacy:

and, of course, obligatory closeup shots of the “wall wart” specs and micro-USB connector:

Now for our patient. Front (folded-up) view first, of the mini-display and 1.3 Mpixel camera:

Left side (I think that hole toward the top of the phone was for an optional wrist “leash”, although I see no indication that one was actually ever included with the phone):

Right side (to the left/top of the phone is the up/down volume toggle, with the charger power input to it right/toward the bottom):

And (boring) back:

Finally, the hinged top:

And (again, boring) bottom:

Flip the phone open and the first thing you’ll likely notice is a sticker affixed to the keyboard with power on/off instructions. Apparently, my neighbor didn’t use the phone much (if at all)!

Speaking of phone usage (and fundamental operation), before beginning the teardown, I thought I’d see if it was still in working condition, including its charging capabilities:

and boot-up abilities:

That’s a big “yes” on both fronts, folks!

The battery compartment (if it exists) is often a fruitful first bet when figuring out how to get a device apart, so that’s where I focused my initial attention and efforts:

Look at the upper left corner of the phone, previously underneath the back battery cover, and you’ll see a small vertical plastic pin. The chassis cavity in which it’s located is also accessible by the previously mentioned hole at the top of the left side of the phone.

Remember my earlier missing “wrist leash” (aka, “strap” or “lanyard”) comment? My theory is that the thin-thread end of the leash goes through the hole and loops around the pin. Here’s a visual example of what I’m talking about:

Enough of the asides…let’s get that battery outta there:

Specs and such are clearly visible:

as is the now-uncovered full-size SIM (remember folks, this phone dates from 2016).

Let’s remove that too (numerical code on SIM once again greyed out for phone-donor privacy):

You may have already noticed the six screws exposed on the backside after I removed the battery cover: one in each corner, and one midway on each side. Guess what’s next?

Another quick aside: going forward, I’m going to refer to this half of the phone-when-flipped-open, containing the keypad, microphone, battery, SIM and presumably also the primary PCB, as the “body”, and the other half, containing the displays, the camera and speaker, as the “flip”. After removing the six screws holding them together, the two halves of the body case separated fairly easily, although there were still plenty of plastic clips to…unclip…

Let’s first look more closely at the inside of the back half of the body:

In the upper left is the haptic (aka, vibration) motor, whose electrical contacts press-connect against the PCB (if you look closely at the one-earlier two-halves photo, you can see exactly where). To its left is a metal-and-foam assembly which, I believe, serves only a mechanical purpose: to hold the rectangular connector connected to the PCB (again, reference the earlier photo) in place. And between and above them, what’s that stamped into the plastic? “LG440G”? But I thought this was the “LG442BG” ;-). A firmware-based cellular carrier “lock” in the latter case, I suspect, is the sole difference between them. Finally, note the two flexible “pins” in the lower left, which are seemingly connected to a thin metal assemblage below and extending to either side of them, and which also press-connect to contacts on the PCB. Read on for my theories as to what this is.

Now let’s look at the insides of the other half of the body:

There’s not a lot that we haven’t already seen, thanks to the voluminous battery cavity, and/or already mentioned by press-connect association. The battery contacts at upper left are now fully visible, and what’s that down at the bottom of the phone? It’s the electret microphone (again, folks, this is a 2016 design)!

Next step: detach that flex PCB-terminating connector.

And with it disconnected, we can now pop the PCB right out:

Comparatively boring (aside from our first glimpse at the “action-packed” portion of the electret microphone) PCB frontside first:

whose array of switches mate up with the backsides of the phone’s keypad buttons (note, again, the “LG400G” reference):

Now for the “action-packed” backside.

The Faraday cage popped right off:

leaving me momentarily delusional that I might be able to subsequently reassemble the phone in mechanically intact and fully functional form.

Faraday Cage closeups first:

And now, what you’re all really interested in:

In the upper left corner are two chips I can’t ID, although their proximity to the battery contacts has me suspecting they’ve got something to do with battery charging and/or system power generation (reader insight is as always welcomed). The larger, lighter one to the left has the following markings:

001A
F627
2RP

while the slightly smaller and slightly darker sibling to its right is adorned with the following faint topside stamp (discerned to the best of my old, tired eyes’ abilities):

TI66AFYZI
TRA2058D3

The IC in the upper right corner is easier to ID; it’s Broadcom’s BCM2070 Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (enhanced data rate) single-chip baseband processor and 2.4-GHz transceiver. No Wi-Fi support to be found anywhere; did I mention that this is a 2016-era design? And where’s the Bluetooth antenna? I can’t discern a PCB-embedded one, which is the common approach nowadays. Instead, I suspect it’s that bottom-of-phone, two-pin-fed assemblage I mentioned earlier.

In the next “row” is, at left, a Fidelix multi-chip module marked FMN2SD1SBK-50IA and containing, this handy online guide tells me:

  • 2 Gbits of NAND flash memory with a x16 system interface and
  • 1 Gbit of 200 MHz DDR SDRAM, again x16,

with both memories running at 1.8V and operating across a -40°C to 85°C temperature range. Below it is the larger Qualcomm QSC6270 single-chip HSDPA/WCDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE single-chip controller, integrating (among other things) a radio transceiver, baseband modem and multimedia processor, along with power management functionality. Although Qualcomm is mostly known for its CDMA “chops”, it clearly also was a supplier “player” in the GSM realm.

To the right of the Fidelix-plus-Qualcomm IC cluster, and to the left of the micro-USB connector, is another IC I can’t seem to ID, marked:

17 3F
D2M

Ideas, anyone? Also note, BTW, the two volume-control switches above the micro-USB port.

Finally, the bottom row. Left-to-right, there’s first a two-Avago (previously Agilent, before that HP, now Broadcom…phew!) chip clique, both wireless power amplifiers, an A5502 for UMTS Band 2, and an A5505 for Band 5. In the middle is another “mystery IC” with these markings:

SP1
QJC65

And at right is an RF Micro Devices RF3194 quad-band GSM power amp module (with a way-cool wireless-themed logo in one corner).

I “could” have stopped here, and maybe even gotten the phone back together in one piece (with no extra pieces) and fully functional to boot (both figuratively and literally). But that flex PCB dangling from the “flip” case taunted me; I really wanted to see what was on the other end of it, specifically that awe-inspiring 1.3 Mpixel camera (I jest). So, I pressed on. See the screw holding a metal piece in place in the upper left corner next to the aforementioned “leash” pin?

Let’s remove ‘em both:

This step admittedly didn’t seem to do much, at least as far as getting inside the “flip” was concerned, although I suspect that the bracket’s tension in its original location had acted to hold the hinge in place (keep reading for more on this). In the midst of the removal process however, I inadvertently dislodged the keypad from its mooring:

Along with the rubber piece on the side that activated the volume switches:

Initial attempts to separate the two halves of the flip via the seam between them were spectacularly unsuccessful; something other than just plastic tabs was holding them together:

In search of screws, I first turned my attention to the plastic piece on the front that surrounded (and protected) the LCD along with encircling the camera:

I got it most of the way off before it began to crack (a preparatory heat gun exposure to loosen the adhesive would have, in retrospect, been wise):

After all that, I found no screws underneath…

…although before proceeding, here’s a closer peek at that camera…

Next, I thought I’d tackle the hinge. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it (and the flip connected to it) now popped off the body fairly easily. One end was spring-loaded:

and the other, I suspect, had been normally held in place by that mysterious metal piece I’d earlier removed:

Here are some more shots of both the hinge (including that flex PCB that continued to taunt me) and the housing that both ends fit into.

Unfortunately, that exercise didn’t get me inside any further (via the seam segment on that end) either:

A bit frustrated, I put the flip aside for a bit, a short-term break which, from past experience, I suspected would be long-term productive. Indeed, it was. When I returned to it, I noticed two round indent suspects in the bottom corners of the large LCD, which I’d bet at least some of you already noted in previous pictures, and which, when I (“enthusiastically”, I admit) popped them off, revealed screw heads underneath:

Progress, finally, but only partially; the case’s other end was still being somehow held together:

In search of what I suspected were two more screws, I peeled off the protective plastic from the other side of the flip:

A-ha!

With the remaining screws removed, the two halves of the flip case finally (easily) separated:

Looks from the inside stamp that LG reused the outer flip case piece from the B460 flip phone:

We now can see where the flex PCB ends up: at a PCB-based connector where its signals subdivide to control the camera module as well as to drive both of the flip’s displays (the smaller outer one is shown here). Also note the metal assembly surrounding the PCB, which (I’m guessing) holds it in place and protects it, as well as providing additional rigidity to the entire flip assembly. Also note the speaker at bottom.

In order to contemplate the larger inner LCD more completely visually:

it’s necessary to first lift the internals out of the flip case surroundings, thankfully an easily accomplished task.

Here’s the flip case shell, now absent its contents:

An overview picture of the new-unobscured large-LCD circuitry side (I have no idea whose finger- and palm-prints are all over that screen 😉 ):

and small-LCD circuitry side:

In closing, here are some closeups of the small LCD itself:

the camera assembly above it (I’m guessing that what’s in between the sensor-and-lens assembly and the merged-signals connector I mentioned earlier is an ISP chip):

and the speaker:

And that’s all he wrote (nearly 2,700 words in…yikes!). While I conceptually miss flips, “candy bars” and other highly pocketable form factors, all I need to do is briefly ponder how much comparative time I spend doing various data-centric things on my smartphones versus…y’know…making and taking voice calls…to acquiesce that a large-screen (but still pocketable) form factor is more feasible, practically speaking, for me. What about you? Let me know your thoughts on this, and/or anything I’ve covered in this teardown, in the comments.

Brian Dipert is the Editor-in-Chief of the Edge AI and Vision Alliance, and a Senior Analyst at BDTI and Editor-in-Chief of InsideDSP, the company’s online newsletter.

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A “free” ADC

EDN Network - Пн, 05/15/2023 - 16:28

Despite the increasing availability and declining cost of on-chip analog peripherals, the humble PWM DAC retains its appeal as a “free” DAC that can repurpose an uncommitted DIO pin and counter/timer module, add a simple low pass ripple filter, and become an (albeit imperfect but still useful) analog output.   

Wow the engineering world with your unique design: Design Ideas Submission Guide

Okay, but what about the other end of the analog/digital/analog signal chain? How close can we come to a (albeit imperfect but still useful) zero cost ADC? Figure 1, with its two transistors, four resistors, and one capacitor is my “free” (< $0.50 in singles) ADC.

Figure 1 Circuit of a “free” (approximately) ADC.

Here’s how it works.

Tri-stateable I/O pin DIO1, when programmed for high impedance, allows the top end of C1 to charge through R1 and acquire input voltage Vin, as shown in the ACQUIRE phase of Figure 2.

Figure 2 Acquire, convert, and calibrate phases of “free” ADC.

 The minimum duration of the DIO1 = high-Z acquisition phase is determined by N (the desired number of bits of conversion precision) and the R1C1 time-constant.

Minimum acquisition interval = R1C1 ln(2N)

For example, for the RC values shown and N = 8, the minimum interval = ~1.5 ms. If N = 12, the minimum interval would be ~2 ms. While C1 is charging, Q1’s forward-biased and saturated base provides a low impedance (~1 Ω) path to ground with an offset (Vq1b) of ~650 mV. The acquisition phase ends with DIO1 being reprogrammed for a 0 output.  This drives the top end of C1 to ground, and Vq1b negative, turning Q1 off. Q1 turning off allows DIO2 = 1, which is intended to be programmed so to enable a microcontroller counter/timer peripheral to begin counting clock cycles (e.g., 1 MHz) and thus measure the duration of Q1 = OFF.

Q1 = OFF (and therefore counting) continue until C1’s negative charge dissipates and allows Vq1b to return to the 650 mV. The time that elapses (and therefore cycles counted) while this happens is directly proportional to Vin and inversely proportional to current source Q2’s collector current.

C1 recharge interval = C1 * Vin / Q2ic

Q2ic = (5v – Vq3e) / R3 * Q2alpha ~ 430 µA

So that…

Counting interval = 51 µs / Volt and conversion count = 51 * Fclk(MHz) * Vin,

approximately!

R2 is provided to avoid Q2 saturation. R4 is Q1’s collector and DIO2’s pullup. Combining acquisition (1.5 ms) and conversion (256 µs for 8 bits with 1 MHz clock) times predicts a max conversion rate of ~560 samples/sec. Okay so far.

But how to cope with that “approximately” thing? It covers a multitude of “free” circuitry limitations, including tempco’s of inexpensive resistors, capacitors, and transistor bias voltages and current gains so simply ignoring it simply won’t do.

Fortunately, as suggested by the right side of Figure 2, this “free” ADC incorporates a self-calibration feature.

To self calibrate, DIO1 is programmed for output, set to 1 to charge C1, then to 0 to generate a counting interval and Ncal count value. Subsequent conversion results are then scaled as…

Vin = 5V * conversion_count / Ncal

 …which corrects for most of the error sources listed above. But unfortunately, not quite all.

One that remains is an uncorrected zero offset due to the minimum Vq1b excursion needed to turn Q1 off and generate a non-zero counting interval. The least Vin required to do so is approximately 10mV = .01 / 5 = 1 / 500 = ~1/2 lsb of an 8 bit conversion result of full-scale 5V.

Which leaves just one obvious source of potential inaccuracy: the 5V supply. Logic supplies are not the best choice for an analog reference and the accuracy of this “free” ADC will ultimately depend on how good the one used actually turns out to be.

Of course, the classic PWM DAC suffers from exactly the same logic-supply-limitation malady, but this hasn’t negated its utility or popularity.

Which sort of takes the topic of “free” analog peripherals back to where it began. Albeit imperfect—but still useful?

Stephen Woodward’s relationship with EDN’s DI column goes back quite a ways. In all, a total of 64 submissions have been accepted since his first contribution was published in 1974.

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Aspired European Nvidia aims DPUs at embedded AI

EDN Network - Пн, 05/15/2023 - 12:17

The “Technological Maturation and Demonstration of Embedded Artificial Intelligence Solutions” call for projects under the “France Relance 2030 – Future Investments” initiative has selected the IP-CUBE project led by Kalray for accelerating AI and edge computing designs. The IP-CUBE project aims to establish the foundations of a French semiconductor ecosystem for edge computing and embedded AI designs.

These AI solutions, deployed in embedded systems as well as local data centers, also known as edge data centers, aim to process data closer to where it’s generated. For that, embedded AI and edge computing designs require new types of processors and semiconductor technologies to process and accelerate AI algorithms and address new technological challenges relating to high performance, low power consumption, low latency, and robust security.

The €36.7 million IP-CUBE project is led by Kalray, and its Dolomites data processing unit (DPU) processor is at the heart of this design initiative. DPU is a new type of low-power, high-performance programmable processor capable of processing data on the fly while catering to multiple applications in parallel. Other participants in the IP-CUBE project include network-on-chip IP supplier Arteris, security IP supplier Secure-IC, and low-power RISC-V component supplier Thales.

“In the current geopolitical context, the semiconductor industry has become essential, both in terms of production tools and technological know-how for designing processors,” said Eric Baissus, CEO of Kalray. “France and Europe need production plants, but they also need companies capable of designing the processors that will be manufactured in these plants.”

Kalray claims it’s the only company in France and Europe to offer DPUs. Its DPU processors and acceleration cards are based on the company’s massively parallel processor array (MPPA) architecture. The French suppliers of DPU processors is also part of other collaborative projects such as the European Processor Initiative (EPI).

Arteris, another participant in the IP-CUBE project, has recently licensed its high-speed network-on-chip (NoC) interface IP to Axelera AI, the Eindhoven, Netherlands-based supplier of AI solutions at the edge. The Dutch company’s Metis AI processing unit (AIPU) is equipped with four homogeneous AI cores built for complete neural network inference acceleration. Each AI core is self-sufficient and can execute all standard neural network layers without external interactions.

The four cores—integrated into an SoC—encompass a RISC-V controller, PCIe interface, LPDDR4X controller, and a security arrangement connected via a high-speed NoC interface. Here, Arteris FlexWay interconnect IP uses area-optimized interconnect components to address a smaller class of SoC.

The above developments highlight some of the AI-related advancements in Europe and a broad realization that a strategic and open semiconductor ecosystem should be built around AI applications. Here, smaller SoC designs targeted at edge computing and embedded AI will be an important part of this technology undertaking.

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POWER ELECTRONIC TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

Electronic lovers - Пн, 05/15/2023 - 02:28

Power electronic tools are a major part of electrical engineering; these tools are very useful as they deal with the control and the conversion of electrical power through these electronic devices. There are so many common examples of power electronic tools like our mobile phones or televisions.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE USES OF POWER ELECTRONIC TOOLS?

The things that these devices can do are unlimited because they are so beneficial, let us read about how they are used:

Let’s talk about how through these devices we can easily control power, systems where we need higher flow of energies or where we need lower energy is all controlled by the help of these tools.

The increasing use of electronic tools has had a positive impact on our environment by the reduction of electrical waste.

These devices have a lot of safety features that helps us prevent electrical fires or other electrical hazards.

They are highly flexible devices, due to their versatility they can operate in a device of any size.

Even in harsher conditions, power electronic tools are very reliable; they tend to live for a long while.

They make the conversion of power possible for example like the conversion of direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).

Another very common use is the use of UPS to provide backup when there is no power a power outage.

These were some of the very few uses of the power tools, now that we have had an overview of some of the uses let’s look into some of these power electronic tools.

INFRARED CAMERAS: To find a hot spot in an electrical device or to check some temperature abnormalities infrared camera are used, the use of these cameras can prevent many accidents like fires or other equipment failures.

HARMONIC ANALYZERS: These power tools are used when we have to measure the distortion in a power system or other power equipment.

ELECTRICAL FILTERS: These have a common function to harmonic analyzers; these tools cancel out any unwanted frequencies or interference in a power system.

VOLTAGE REGULATOR: Power systems where stable and consistent power connections are needed there voltage regulators are used to regulate the desired voltage to attain stability and efficiency.

POWER ANALYZERS: To measure and analyze the power parameters like voltage, current, resistance and other power factors, power analyzers are used, just as the name indicates these are used for performance testing and analysis of power systems.

POWER INVERTERS: These are used to convert direct current to alternating current; these tools are commonly used in renewable energy systems.

MULTIMETERS: Essential for checking the correct operation of a system as well as trouble shooting problems, multimeters are used by measuring factors like voltage, current or resistance etc.

ELECTRONIC LOADS: For verifying and testing of the power electronic tools like inverters a load is stimulated in the power system which is made possible by electronic loads.

CAPACITOR BANKS: For storing and the releasing of electrical energy capacitor banks are used.

OSCILLOSCOPES: To display the waveforms of current and voltage oscilloscopes are used, these are also used in troubleshooting problems. It also helps to significantly improve the efficiency of electronic devices.

SWITCHED MODE POWER SUPPLIES (SMPS): These are used to provide a stable and desired supply and are also being used in a variety of devices for example computers or battery chargers; these devices are highly efficient and are capable to convert AC supply into DC supply.

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS: Current transformers are used in power transmission and power distribution to various power systems, they monitor current levels and are able to protect against overloading and short circuits.

These are some of the very few power tools we have discussed, there is so much to world of these tools, how they could be of our use is very important, in near future advancements in technology will lead to even better and significantly stronger power tools. These power tools help engineers having more reliable devices to design and test power systems with. Overall there is huge significance of power tools in computer engineering and further advancements will take these power tools to give even more efficient outputs.

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Known Facts about Laser Trip Wire Alarms

Electronic lovers - Пн, 05/15/2023 - 01:43

In today’s world, security is a major concern for individuals as well as businesses. Despite the fact that security systems have evolved tremendously, it is always a good idea to constantly seek out new and innovative ways to keep our surroundings safe. One such innovation is the laser trip wire alarm, which has shown to be extremely effective in detecting and repelling intruders. 

Construction of a Laser Trip Wire Alarm

Let us first construct a laser trip wire alarm. It is, as the name suggests, a system that uses lasers to create an interactive wire. The laser beam is projected across an area and is disturbed when an intruder passes through it, resulting in an alarm. The warning could be anything from a loud siren to a hushed signal sent to a central monitoring station.

The versatility of a Laser Trip Wire Alarm

The versatility of laser trip wire alarms is one of its most notable features. They can be used in a variety of settings, including homes, businesses, and military locations. These can be set up indoors or outdoors and cover a wide range of areas. As a consequence, they are an increasingly common option among security professionals searching for a trusted and efficient way to defend their property.

The Precision of a Laser Trip Wire Alarm

Another striking feature of laser trip wire alarms is the precision with which they function. They are extremely sensitive and can detect even the smallest movement. This is because the trip wire is made with infrared light, meaning it’s undetectable to the human eye. When an intruder breaks through the beam, the infrared light is interrupted, and the alarm sounds. Other types of security systems are unable of competing with this type of precision.

Aside from their accuracy, laser trip wire alarms are also quite easy to set up and use. They are simple to install and do not require any special tools or equipment. Once installed, they require little maintenance, resulting in a cost-effective security solution.

Effective Burglar Deterrents

Laser trip wire alarms are very effective burglar deterrents. The dearth of a laser trip wire can act as a deterrent, as hackers are less likely to cross the border if they know they will trigger an alert. This is especially important in high-security locations, where detection might have significant consequences.

The Adaptability of a Laser Trip Wire Alarm

The most striking feature of laser trip wire alarms is their adaptability. They can be customised to satisfy a range of security needs. They can be set to sound an alarm just when a specified weight or height is detected, for example. This is useful in cases when animals or small children may set off the alarm. They can also be set to create different types of alarms based on the severity of the breach.

Alt: “Hardware Components of a Laser trip Wire Alarm”

Image Source- makerpro.com

Demerits of a Laser Trip Wire Alarm

Despite their various advantages, laser trip wire alarms have a number of disadvantages. Weather conditions, such as rain or fog, might have an effect on them. They may also be inefficient at recognising intruders that crawl or move slowly. However, these limitations can be overcome by putting numerous laser trip wire alarms in an interconnected system or integrating them with other security technologies.

Long laser trip wire alarms have been around for a while, but most people are ignorant of their presence. This is because they are regularly used in high-security settings such as military bases and government buildings. They have, however, become increasingly common as technology has become more accessible and user-friendly.

Detecting Intruders

Laser trip wire alarms are becoming increasingly popular since they can detect intruders without the use of physical barriers. As a result, they can be used in situations where physical barriers would be difficult or inappropriate, such as open fields or large outdoor areas. This is especially useful for businesses with large exterior storage yards or construction sites.

Security

While laser trip wire alarms are commonly used for security, they also have other applications. They may be employed in scientific studies, such as determining the migration of microscopic particles or monitoring animals. They can also be used in the entertainment industry to create special effects such as laser displays or interactive sculptures.

Finally, laser trip wire alarms are a versatile and effective tool for safeguarding valuables and identifying intruders. Notwithstanding the fact that these devices have been available for some time, they are still poorly understood by the general public. However, as technology becomes more readily available and simple to use, they are becoming more common in both residential and commercial settings. A laser trip wire alarm could be just what you need to keep your possessions safe and secure, whether you’re seeking to secure your home or your business.

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Nano-electronics Latest Innovations – 2023

Electronic lovers - Ндл, 05/14/2023 - 23:51

Nano electronics is the field of electronics which deals with the study, application and development of devices on the Nano scale (lesser than 100 nm). This field is one of the most interesting fields of electronics as its purpose is to make the tiniest device and it’s concerned with the design and fabrication of electrical components that lies on the Nano scale.

Nano electronics serves a very important purpose which is to break the limitations of devices which cannot be further innovated or revolutionized due to their bigger sizes. Researchers try to make devices on Nano scale to make efficient, faster and powerful electronic devices which can further help us in computing or healthcare and so on.

Some commons devices that are made through Nano technology are transistors and sensors.

Before we get to the endless innovations of this field let’s get to know as to why this field is important for us and what its uses are.

USES AND IMPORTANCE OF NANO ELECTRONICS:

1. ELECTRONICS: One of the most common uses of this field is in electronics like mobile phones and laptops.

2. TRANSPORTATION: An uncommon use is the use of Nano electronics in transportation, it’s important because it has the capability to improve the safety and efficiency of transportation, by using Nano sensors, detection and a response could be generated in real time to bad traffic and weather conditions so accidents could be avoided.

3. ENVIRONMENT: A lot of environmental problems like air pollution or water contamination could be fixed by solutions derived from Nano technology. It could also be integrated into such systems that can detect changes in environment which could avoid environmental hazards.

4. BIOMEDICAL APPLICATION: Nano sensors could be used for the early detection of cancerous cells and for the drug delivery to specific cells of the body.

5. ENERGY: It can improve energy efficiency and reduce the waste by different industries as well as reducing the reliance on fossil fuels.

LATEST INNOVATIONS:

Let us talk some of the latest innovations in Nano electronics:

1. FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS:

Flexible electronics as the name suggests are electrical components that are flexible they can be bent or they can be stretched without breaking. By Using Nano electronics these devices lead to the development of new, efficient and more powerful wearable devices.

2. 3D (3 DIMENSIONAL) INTEGRATION:

3D integration improves the efficiency and performance of electronic devices; it also allows stacking of multiple chips on top of each other to create an efficient and powerful system.

3. 2D MATERIALS:

Researchers use 2D materials like graphene to make even better more efficient, smaller and powerful electronic components like solar cells, electrodes, transistors and so on.

4. NEUROMORPHIC COMPUTING:

Neuromorphic computing is a method of computer engineering modeled after a human brain and nervous system. Scientists are developing Nano scale devices which can give us devices that have mimic human intelligence and give us better and intelligent computing systems.

5. CARBON NANOTUBES:

These have great electrical conductivity as well as mechanical strength and have a great use in mechanical field as targeted drug delivery and regeneration of nerve cells.

6. TERAHERTZ:

Nano technology provides tools and techniques to design and fabricate the Nano scale components that are needed in the making of terahertz devices. These devices operate at terahertz frequencies and are capable to enhance the efficiency of imaging, sensing and communication.

7. NANOPORE SEQUENCING:

This method is used to analyze DNA and RNA bases. By this method researchers can develop faster and accurate DNA analysis.

8. SPINTRONICS:

Spintronics is a new type of technology which uses spin of electrons to process information. This technology has the potential to enable faster data processing and data storage.

9. NANOPHOTONICS:

Nano photonics is a field that combines nanotechnology and photonics to manipulate light at Nano scale, it can enable us faster and efficient data transfer and communication.

10. NANOROBOTICS:

Scientists have developed and are developing tiny robots that can perform at the Nano scale, these robots having potential to detect cancerous cells and they can also help in drug delivery to specific parts of the body.

11. NANOSENSORS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING:

Nano sensors are highly sensitive devices and can be easily integrated into environmental monitoring systems which will be able to detect the slightest changes in the environment like pollutant or other hazards. Because of these sensors we will be already warned by any hazard and will be able to take action to avoid accidents.

These are just few of the innovations that are seen in the field of Nano electronics as research continues we will be able to see even better and exciting innovations in the near future.

The post Nano-electronics Latest Innovations – 2023 appeared first on Electronics Lovers ~ Technology We Love.

What the Future of Wireless Devices Work Looks Like After Coronavirus

Electronic lovers - Ндл, 05/14/2023 - 22:55

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on how we live, work, and interact with one another. The world has had to adapt to new methods of doing things, including how we use and interact with wireless technologies. 

Significant Effects of COVID on Wireless Devices

The move to remote work has been an important effect of the pandemic on wireless device work. With many businesses being required to use remote work to protect employee safety and avoid virus spread, customer demand for wireless devices has skyrocketed. Companies are investing in increasingly powerful computers, tablets, and smartphones to ensure that their workers can work efficiently from home.

Trend Towards Remote Work

Even after the epidemic, the trend towards remote work is expected to persist. Many businesses have realised that remote work is capable of being just as productive as in-person work, with the added benefit of lowering office space costs. As a result, the demand for wireless gadgets that allow for working from home will continue to rise. Another effect of the pandemic on the operation of wireless devices is the greater adoption of video conferencing platforms. Due to the impossibility of face-to-face meetings, businesses have been forced to rely on video conferencing systems such as Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams for conducting meetings. As a result, there is a greater need for devices with excellent sound and video capabilities.

Trends Towards Video Conferencing

Even after the epidemic, the tendency for video conferencing is likely to persist. Many businesses have realised that audio and video conferencing may prove just as effective as in-person meetings while also being more accessible and cost-effective. As a result, there will be a rise in demand for wireless equipment with superior audio and video capabilities.

The epidemic has also brought to light the significance of dependable wireless networks. Because many people work from home and rely on wireless networks, reliable and swift connections are more important than ever. As a result, more money is being invested in 5G networks, which provide faster speeds and higher reliability than prior generations of wireless networks.

Trend Towards 5G Networks

Even after the epidemic, the movement towards 5G networks is likely to continue. With more gadgets relying on wireless connections, the demand for more reliable and swift networks will grow. Companies will thus need to invest in 5G networks to accommodate this demand.

Trend Towards Healthcare

Another effect of the epidemic has been an increase in the usage of wireless devices in healthcare. With many healthcare practitioners being pushed to use telemedicine to deliver care while reducing the risk of infection, the demand for wireless devices that can support telemedicine has skyrocketed. This includes devices like smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices that can be used to remotely monitor patients.

Trend Towards Telemedicine

Even after the pandemic, the shift towards telemedicine is expected to persist. Many healthcare providers have recognised that telemedicine may prove as efficient as in-person care for many conditions, while also being more convenient and cost-effective. As a result, the demand for wireless devices capable of facilitating telemedicine will continue to rise.

Ultimately, the global epidemic has highlighted the crucial role of cybersecurity in the operation of wireless devices. With greater numbers of individuals operating from home and relying on wireless networks, the risk of cyber-attacks has greatly increased. This has resulted in a greater emphasis on cybersecurity in wireless device design and development.

Trend Towards Cybersecurity

Even after the pandemic, the drive for cybersecurity in portable electronics is expected to persist. With the threat of cyber attacks on the rise, the requirement for secure wireless devices will remain a top issue for businesses and individuals alike. As a result, firms will keep making investments in the creation of secure and private wireless devices.

We should expect to see increased investment in the development of wireless devices that prioritise distant work, video conferencing, 5G networks, telemedicine, and cybersecurity as a result of these trends. We may also expect additional creativity in the layout and development of these gadgets, with an emphasis on increasing their ability to perform along with rendering them more user-friendly. Individuals may anticipate seeing a broader selection of wireless gadgets that cater to their requirements and preferences, whether they are working from home, participating in virtual meetings, or getting healthcare remotely.

The post What the Future of Wireless Devices Work Looks Like After Coronavirus appeared first on Electronics Lovers ~ Technology We Love.

Strategies for Overcoming Poor Habits Related to Home Electrical Appliances

Electronic lovers - Ндл, 05/14/2023 - 22:45

Electrical appliances are now an essential component of daily living in modern households. We rely on this technology to render our lives easier and more comfortable, from refrigerators to washing machines. However, our reliance on these gadgets can sometimes lead to bad habits that harm our performance and longevity. 

Read the User Guide

Reading the user manual that comes with the appliance is one of the easiest and most effective tactics for utilising your home electrical appliances successfully. The manual offers useful information on how to properly operate the appliance, maintain it, and repair frequent problems. You can avoid damaging the appliance or compromising its function by reading the handbook.

Prevent Appliance Overloading

Overloading household electrical appliances is another prevalent bad habit. For example, overcrowding your refrigerator might block airflow, causing the appliance to work more than it should. Overloading your washing machine, on the other hand, can cause excessive wear and tear on the engine and other components, resulting in malfunctions and costly repairs. To avoid these problems, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s load capacity recommendations.

Clean the Appliances on a Regular Basis

It is critical to keep your household electrical appliances clean in order to preserve their performance and extend their lives. Dirt, dust, and grime can build up on the surfaces and components of the appliances, leading them to perform inefficiently and finally fail. To keep your appliances in good condition, clean them on a regular basis according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Utilise the Appliances Properly

The appropriate use of your household electrical equipment is critical for its performance and lifetime. Using improper detergent in your washing machine, for example, might harm the drum and other elements, resulting in pricey repairs. Likewise, using the incorrect sort of cookware on your stove or oven can result in scratches, dents and other damage.

Unplug all of the Appliances

When it is not in use When your home’s electrical appliances are not in use, leaving them plugged in is both inefficient and sometimes dangerous. Appliances can drain power from the socket even while switched off, which is referred to as standby power. Standby power can add up to a large amount of electricity over time, resulting in increased energy bills. Furthermore, leaving plugged-in appliances may boost the possibility of fires caused by electricity, specifically if the gadget is broken or defective.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

Maintaining your home’s electrical equipment on a regular basis is crucial to maintaining them in good operating order. Regular maintenance inspections with a competent technician can help spot potential faults before they become serious concerns, minimising the likelihood of breakdowns and expensive repairs. Regular maintenance can also improve the performance of your appliances, allowing them to run more efficiently and consume less energy.

Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances

Investment in appliances that are energy-efficient is one of the most effective ways to reduce the cost of energy and reduce your carbon footprint. Energy-efficient appliances use less energy than traditional appliances, which makes them environmentally conscious and cost-effective over time. When shopping for appliances, search for products with the ENERGY STAR certification, which signifies that they meet or exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s energy efficiency criteria.

Learn How to Troubleshoot Common Issues

Learning to handle common electrical appliance problems could save you both cash and time. For example, if your refrigerator is not properly chilling, you may be able to resolve the problem by washing the coils on the condenser or replacing the door gasket. In a comparable manner, if the washing machine is making unusual noises, it may be necessary to balance the load or repair worn-out bearings. You may avoid calling a professional for simple difficulties and save money on repairs by learning to identify and resolve common problems.

Surge Protectors Should be Used

Power surges can cause electrical appliances in your home to fail, particularly after cyclones or other severe weather. Purchasing a surge protector will protect devices from spikes in voltage and save you money. Surge protectors protect your electrical devices and other equipment by diverting excess electricity to the ground.

Avoid Overheating Your Appliances

Overheating can harm and impair the life of your home’s electrical appliances. Operating the cooling system at maximum efficiency for extended periods of time, for example, can cause the motor to overheat, resulting in breakdowns and repairs. Similarly, leaving your oven or stove on for an extended period of time can harm the heating elements and other components, necessitating costly replacements. Use your appliances sparingly and according to the manufacturer’s temperature and usage recommendations.

The post Strategies for Overcoming Poor Habits Related to Home Electrical Appliances appeared first on Electronics Lovers ~ Technology We Love.

Weekly discussion, complaint, and rant thread

Reddit:Electronics - Сбт, 05/13/2023 - 18:00

Open to anything, including discussions, complaints, and rants.

Sub rules do not apply, so don't bother reporting incivility, off-topic, or spam.

Reddit-wide rules do apply.

To see the newest posts, sort the comments by "new" (instead of "best" or "top").

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Review on Russian led bulb Onlite.

Reddit:Electronics - Сбт, 05/13/2023 - 13:45
Review on Russian led bulb Onlite.

Today I will disassemble an Onlite LED lamp of the budget segment for 99 rubles.

https://preview.redd.it/l9y13aa3vkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=02f43123f0b37d11b2701e3d74eb8c564b44f2d4

The manufacturer claims 12 watts of power, let's check! At the input of 220 Volts and the first time I turn on, I see that the real power is 8.9 watts.

https://preview.redd.it/twnowvy3vkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=754e941ef85c1fe85e62f270cf98465f46809fb4

Yeah, it's not very similar to 12 watts, but anyway, I'll try at 230 Volts. It got even worse — 8.7 watts.

https://preview.redd.it/9ok9yol4vkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=64606102b775212db303b3141d23e678d19927d0

I leave the lamp to work for 15 minutes and measure the power again — 8.3 W. Yes, although I did not expect the power to match for a budget lamp, but it's a shame every time.

https://preview.redd.it/m6v05bc9vkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=46141c1eec7606c274bdfc1249d30452532e59b5

Now it's time to measure the real characteristics of the light quality of this lamp. Let's start with the color temperature — I got it equal to 3880 K, and the color rendering index turned out to be 79.3.

https://preview.redd.it/614s4xx9vkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=a2c87a975c9d042a897db6c10eacbdc5eb85bc8b

Using the data on the deviation of radiation from this lamp from the arc of a completely black body, I find the color offset for this lamp.

https://preview.redd.it/s9nj6shavkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=dc66aa856b0d3db3101ba1c02bdf7b2d468a57bd

It turns out that the lamp has a green-yellow tint, but it is negligible, not to be noticed by the eye.

Now the lamp pulsates. Everything is fine! There are no pulsations that could harm health.

https://preview.redd.it/iqfnuenbvkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=fef5b4a4d1207f5cf0b96dc14dbe11609b2e5ea8

I measure the amount of light from a light bulb. The lamp is located 1 meter above the plane of the table, I turn off the external backlight.

At 220 Volts, I observe 235 Lux.

250 Volts — 235 Lux,

170 Volts — 235 Lux.

And only at 45 Volts the lamp stops shining! A very curious result. This lamp can be quite recommended to those who are looking for stable light.

https://preview.redd.it/xfu9dnecvkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=74cd2d8a7787ac5845b19cc2fba00853b8658550

The operation of the illuminated switch is normal, there are no problems.

https://preview.redd.it/n0dospqdvkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=f46f2b32cec368a0b9693f8ee05d74782d941717

The dimensions of the lamp correspond to those indicated by the manufacturer 108 x 60mm.

https://preview.redd.it/0fscnbdevkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=7dd2512cfc73bce610bbf361f69e5ae52941bd60

The heating of the lamp bulb is 77 degrees Celsius, and the housing is 38.2.

https://preview.redd.it/1odi3qtevkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=94e243e903cd18f20444ee59421c5f3ce9d20474

Let's remove the illumination diagram from the light bulb Online. My luminous flux came out equal to 703 Lumens, while the manufacturer indicated 1000.

https://preview.redd.it/8j21g1dfvkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=27e1330a31ded48c6b3e218ddfe7944783725dcd

There are 8 LEDs connected in series under the bulb. The entire element base of the driver is heated on the same board as the LED housings.

https://preview.redd.it/brkzqc0gvkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=c024722e7f591c69a72d561d7424cdbce6606483

Let's measure the temperature of the hottest point of the board using a thermocouple. After 30 minutes of warming up, it turns out that the temperature of the diode board is 82 degrees Celsius.

https://preview.redd.it/n1lrdahhvkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=e9dcc09a650a62cdc0d9fc61f92effb0e41b74ce

Under the phosphors, three crystals of LEDs are guessed.

https://preview.redd.it/74yy241ivkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=4726152266f20e987e0dfb0cb25eb7af5e34b3cc

The direct voltage drop on the normally glowing LED housing is 9 Volts.

https://preview.redd.it/j41t2k4kvkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=0e83ca35a8f4c0b072c89d23db751897bd8fa397

The current in the LED power supply circuit is 107 mA.

https://preview.redd.it/6vm56bnkvkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=c768905ccabc6dd1140a3fd71ffb0732afd624c6

Cooling is pretty standard — the case is composite and careless coating with sealant.

https://preview.redd.it/7dxbg3alvkza1.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=f0153e5d0dcb0067a065f751a8580f78541c9a7b

That's it. And as much as I would not like to advise this lamp due to its resistance to voltage changes and pretty good light characteristics, but the deception in power does not allow me to do this, so there is no need to buy an online lamp for 12 watts.

More info on Russian is here https://domorost.ru/post/obzor-lampi-onlait-15-vt-s-tsokolem-ye27_645c883aa8d3e1bd4febd35a (hope u have got translation addon on ur brouser)

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The 2023 Google I/O: It’s all about AI, don’t cha know

EDN Network - Птн, 05/12/2023 - 19:20

As longstanding readers may already recall, I regularly cover the yearly Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, with the 2023 version scheduled for next month, June 5-9 to be exact. Stay tuned for this year’s iteration of my ongoing event analysis! Beginning this year, EDN is also kicking off a planned yearly coverage cadence from yours truly for Google’s developer conference, called Google I/O (or is it parent company Alphabet’s? I’ll use the more recognizable “Google” lingo going forward in this writeup). Why, might you ask? Well:

  • Google’s Linux-derived Android and ChromeOS operating systems are best known for their implementations, respectively, in the company’s and partners’ smartphones and tablets, and in netbooks (i.e., Chromebooks) and nettops (Chromeboxes). But the OSs’ open-source foundations also render them applicable elsewhere. This aspiration is also the case for the Linux-abandoning but still open-source Fuschia O/S sibling (successor?).
  • Although Google’s been developing coprocessor ICs ever since the Pixel 2 smartphone generation’s Visual Core, with added neural network processing capabilities in the Pixel 4’s Neural Core, the company significantly upped its game beginning with the Pixel 6 generation with full-featured Tensor SoCs, supplanting the application processors from Qualcomm used in prior Pixel phone generations. And beginning in 2016, Google has also developed and productized multiple generations of Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) useful in accelerating deep learning inference and (later also) training functions, initially for the “cloud” and more recently expanding to network edge nodes.
  • Speaking of deep learning and other AI operations, they unsurprisingly were a regularly repeated topic at Wednesday morning’s keynote and, more generally, throughout the multi-day event. Google has long internally developed various AI technologies and products based on them—the company invented the transformer (the “T” in “GPT”) deep learning model technique now commonly used in natural language processing, for example—but productizing those research projects gained further “code red” urgency when Microsoft, in investment partnership with OpenAI, added AI-based enhancements to its Bing search service, which competes with Google’s core business. AI promises, as I’ve written before, to revolutionize how applications and the functions they’re based on are developed, implemented and updated. So, Google’s ongoing work in this area should be of interest even if your company isn’t one of Google’s partner or customers.

AI everywhere

Let’s focus on that last bullet first in diving into the details of what the company rolled out this week. AI is a category rife with buzzwords and hype, which a planned future post by me will attempt to dissect and describe in more detail. For purposes of this piece, acting among other things as a preamble, I’ll try to keep things simple. The way I look at AI is by splitting up the entire process into four main steps:

  1. Input
  2. Analysis and identification
  3. Appropriate-response discernment, and
  4. Output

Take, for example, a partially-to-fully autonomous car in forward motion, in front of which another vehicle, a person or some other object has just seemingly appeared:

  1. Visible light image sensors, radar, LiDAR, IR and/or other sensing technologies detect the object’s presence and discern details such as its size, shape, distance, speed (and acceleration-or-deceleration trend) and path of travel.
  2. All of this “fused” sensor-generated data is passed on a processing subsystem, which determines what the object is including whether it’s a “false positive” (glare or dirt on a camera lens, for example, or fog or other environmental effects).
  3. That same or a subsequent processing subsystem further down the “chain” then determines what the appropriate response, if any, should be.
  4. Possible outputs of the analysis and response algorithms, beyond “nothing”, are actions such as automated takeover of acceleration, braking and steering to prevent a collision, and visual, audible, vibration and other alerts for the vehicle driver and other occupants.

Much media attention of late is focused on large language models (LLMs), whether text-only or audible in conjunction with speech-to-text (voice input) and text-to-speech (output) conversion steps. This attention is understandable, as language is an already-familiar means by which we interact with each other, and therefore is also a natural method of interacting with an AI system.

Note, however, that LLMs represent only steps 1 and 4 of my intentionally oversimplified process. While you can use them as a natural-language I/O scheme for a search engine, as Microsoft has done with OpenAI’s ChatGPT in Bing, or as Google is now beta-testing, you can also use an LLM input in combination with generative AI to create a synthesized still image, video clip, music track (such as MusicLM, which Google announced this week) or even code snippet (Google’s just-announced Codey and Studio Bot, for example), whose output paths include data files, displays and speakers.

This brief-but-spectacular discernment will, I hope, help you sort out the flurry of AI-based and enhanced technology and product announcements that Google made this week. One of the highlights was version 2 of PaLM (Pathways Language Model), the latest version of the company’s core LLM, which has seemingly superceded its BERT predecessor. When Microsoft announced its OpenAI partnership and ChatGPT-based products at the beginning of this year, it didn’t immediately reveal that they were already running on the latest GPT-4-based version of ChatGPT; OpenAI’s GPT-4 unveil came more than a month later.

Similarly, although Google announced its Bard AI-based chatbot back in early February, it waited until this week (in conjunction with revealing service enhancements and the end of the prior public-access waitlist) to reveal that Bard was PaLM 2-based. And like Microsoft, Google is adding LLM- and more general AI-based enhancements to its Workspace office suite, branding them as Duet. Bigger picture, there’s the Labs, where Google will going-forward be rolling out various AI-based “experiments” for the public to try before they “go gold” (or are eventually canned), including the aforementioned search enhancements.

A new mainstream smartphone

Roughly a half-year after launching each new high-end Pixel smartphone offering, Google unveils a more cost-effective and somewhat feature-reduced mainstream “a” derivative. The company’s followed this pattern ever since 2019’s Pixel 3a, and “a” Pixel phones have been my “daily drivers” ever since. The Pixel 7a is the latest-and-greatest, coming in at $500, roughly $100 lower-priced than the Pixel 7, and normally I’d be planning on transitioning to it once my Pixel 4a 5G times out and falls off the supported-device list later this year…but Ars Technica also makes compelling ongoing arguments for the Pixel 6a (which I also own and planned on using as a backup), which continues to be sold and whose price has been cut by $100 to $350. Now that Google’s using its own Tensor SoCs, as I mentioned earlier, the company promises security updates for five years, and the Pixel 6a was launched only a year ago. The biggest arguments in favor of the Pixel 7 line, ironically, are that its cellular radio subsystem is seemingly less buggy than with Pixel 6 precursors, and that its fingerprint-unlock scanning also seems more reliable.

A tablet revisit

I was quite enamored with my Google-branded, ASUS-developed and Android-based Nexus 7 tablet of a half-decade-plus back, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. Its multiple successors, including the ChromeOS-based Pixel Slate, didn’t replicate its success, but Google’s trying again to recapture its past glory with the new Pixel Tablet. It’s based on the same Tensor G2 SoC that powers the entire Pixel 7 line, including the just-introduced 7a mentioned previously in this piece, and Google curiously seems to be positioning it as (among other things) a successor to its Home (now Nest) Hub products, along with an optional $129.99 docking station (complete with speakers and charging capabilities). The screen size (11”) is heftier than I’d prefer bedside but spot-on elsewhere in the home. And at $500, it’s priced competitively with Apple iPad alternatives. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again? We shall see if this time’s the charm.

Gambling on Folding

Google’s reveal of its first foldable smartphone, the aptly named Pixel Fold, is bittersweet on a personal level. A bit more than a year ago, I told you about my experiences with Microsoft’s also-Android-based first-generation Surface Duo, for which initial reviews were quite abysmal but which improved greatly thanks to software evolutions:

Unfortunately, things returned to “bad” (if not “worse”) shortly thereafter. There have been no significant software-experience enhancements since the Android 12L update, only Android security patches in rough cadence with their releases by Google. To date, specifically, both Surface Duo generations have yet to receive otherwise-mainstream Android 13; ironically, this week Google rolled out the second public beta of Android 14. And even the security patches are increasingly getting delayed; March’s didn’t show up until month end, and April’s didn’t arrive until just a couple of days ago (May, mind you), after Google released the May security updates! The dual-screen Surface Duo 3 was reportedly canceled in January, and more generally, rumor has it that the team within Microsoft has been gutted and essentially disbanded.

With that as a backdrop, what do I think of a Samsung-reminiscent foldable with a $1,800 (starting) price tag? Google probably won’t sell many of them at that price, but the company has arguably got deep enough pockets that it doesn’t need to do so at least for this initial go-around. You had to know, after all, that when Google announced it was developing a widescreen variant of its showcase Android O/S, it wasn’t doing so just out of the goodness of its own heart for its licensees: it had product plans of its own. Specifics include the same Tensor G2 SoC as that found on the Pixel 7 smartphone line and the Pixel Tablet, a 7.6” (unfolded) 1840 x 2208-pixel OLED display, and 12 GBytes of system DRAM along with both 256 GByte and 512 GByte flash memory storage options. Microsoft’s Surface Duo misfires aside, I remain bullish on the foldable form factor (and remain amused that I am, given my historical fondness for small-screen smartphones), and once again I’m seemingly not alone.

But wait, there’s more

I’ve hit what I think are the highlights, but there’s plenty more that came out of Shoreline Amphitheater this week; Googlers themselves even came up with a list of 100 things they announced. I’ll briefly touch on just one more; the way-cool (IMHO) Project Starline hologram-based virtual conferencing booth system announced two years ago:

has now been significantly slimmed down and otherwise simplified:

With that, I’ll close here in order to avoid crossing the 2,000-word threshold which would undoubtedly ensure that my colleague and friend Aalyia would never speak to me again (just kidding…I think…). What else caught your eyes and ears at Google I/O this year? Let me know in the comments!

Brian Dipert is the Editor-in-Chief of the Edge AI and Vision Alliance, and a Senior Analyst at BDTI and Editor-in-Chief of InsideDSP, the company’s online newsletter.

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HDR image sensors aim to make cars safer

EDN Network - Птн, 05/12/2023 - 17:27

Hyperlux image sensors from onsemi deliver a 150-dB high dynamic range (HDR) with LED flicker mitigation (LFM) across the full automotive temperature range. Targeting advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), Hyperlux sensors are also expected to provide a smooth transition to Level 2+ driving automation, which requires the driver to only take over when alerted by the technology.

Hyperlux CMOS digital image sensors feature a 2.1-µm pixel size and serve both sensing and viewing camera applications. The first two devices in the Hyperlux family are the AR0823AT and AR0341AT. The AR0823AT is an 8.3-Mpixel, 1/1.8-in. sensor, while the AR0341AT is a 3-Mpixel sensor in a 1/3.6-in. format.

The simultaneous HDR and LFM capabilities of these devices enable them to capture high-quality images under extreme lighting conditions without sacrificing lowlight sensitivity. LFM also ensures that pulsed light sources do not appear to flicker, avoiding flicker-induced machine vision issues. Further, onsemi claims that the automotive image sensors consume up to 30% less power and occupy up to a 28% smaller footprint that competing devices.

The AR0823AT and AR0341AT are now sampling to early access customers. Learn more about Hyperlux technology here.

AR0823AT product page 

AR0341AT product page 

onsemi

Find more datasheets on products like this one at Datasheets.com, searchable by category, part #, description, manufacturer, and more.

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5G module elevates AIoT terminal connectivity

EDN Network - Птн, 05/12/2023 - 17:27

Fibocom’s SC151 5G smart module enhances AI-based applications with premium 5G NR and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity and high-performance processing. The module is powered by a Qualcomm QCM4490 octa-core processor with a 3GPP Release 16-compliant 5G NR sub-6 GHz modem offering global carrier support.

The SC151 can be used in a wide range of 5G AIoT scenarios, including industrial handhelds, point-of-sale devices, body-worn cameras, and push to talk over cellular (PoC) systems. This smart module extends 5G connectivity by supporting downlink 4×4 MIMO, uplink 2×2 MIMO, and roaming under both 5G SA and NSA network architectures, allowing backward compatibility with 4G/3G bands. It also enables 2.4-GHz/5-GHz WLAN and Wi-Fi 6E communications, plus dual band simultaneous (DBS) operation to increase overall capacity and performance.

Along with a rich set of interfaces, the SC151 leverages multi-constellation GNSS to improve position accuracy in mobile scenarios and simplify product design. The module is equipped to run the Android 13 operating system and subsequent OS upgrades.

Engineering sample of the SC151 5G smart module will be available starting Q2 2023. A datasheet was not available at the time of this announcement.

Fibocom

Find more datasheets on products like this one at Datasheets.com, searchable by category, part #, description, manufacturer, and more.

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