3A Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC) Driver

3A TEC Driver Module is a complete power stage solution to drive Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC). The required DC voltage input controls the output current. It consists of the Texas instruments DRV593 power driver IC, along with a few discrete passive components required for operation. It also includes jumpers for configuring the features of the device, LEDs for fault monitoring, and an output filter. The 4 Pin header connector  for the inputs, 4 pin header connector for  output, and 4 Pin header connector for power supply, provide ease of connection to any system, from an existing design to a bread-boarded prototype. Connect a dc control voltage to CN1 Pin 3 (IN+), ranging from ground to VCC. The Pin 7 of the IC is held to VCC/2 with a resistor voltage divider, as shown in the schematic. Therefore, a dc control voltage of VCC/2 provides 0-V output from PWM to H/C. Input DC voltage range is 1.2V to 3.8V when supply voltage is 5V and 1.2V to 2.1V when supply voltage is 3.3V.

Features

  • 3A Maximum Output Current
  • Low Supply Voltage 2.8V To 5.5V
  • Frequency 500 KHz (Refer to Note To change Frequency)
  • High Efficiency Generates Less Heat
  • Over Current and Thermal Protection
  • Fault LED for Over Current, Thermal & Under Voltage Conditions
  • When J3-Jumper is closed, the board is configured for 500-kHz operation.

3A Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC) Driver – [Link]

Tyre pressure monitoring system using Bluetooth Low Energy

A tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) aims to monitor air pressure on various automotive systems. The most common TPMS sensors mainly use sub-GHz radio standards to transfer information to the vehicle’s computer. There are two different types: direct (dTPMS) and indirect (iTPMS). The use of bluetooth low energy (BLE) connectivity makes it possible offering a high performance. All information will be displayed in real-time by simple user interface with low power consumption. With low power consumption, applications can run on a small battery for many years. As result, it’s actually extremely positive when talking about M2M communication and automotive systems.

TPMS helps to avoid the tyre wear and improves road safety.  Due to the advantages of a longer battery life and connectivity, DA14585 is suitable for IoT applications in various industries. The figure 1 show a typical block diagram for a TPMS system.

block diagram of TMPS general system
Figure 1: block diagram of a TPMS. The block of transmission (transmit data) can implement the bluetooth low energy protocol.

Bluetooth low energy for automotive industry

Connectivity, Intelligence and energy saving are the main features for the new generation of IoT devices. Luckily, SmartBond can achieve all these features. Especially relevant is one of the series, DA14585 SoC. It offers all benefits, such as, full support of all bluetooth standards, including version 5. Moreover, it is suitable  for many applications, as remote controls, proximity tags, headlights, connected medical devices, smart home and smart automotive (Figure 2). The figure 2 shown the block diagram of DA14585, where is visualized the ARM M0 core and other peripherals.

block diagramm of DA14585 for bluetooth low energy applications
Figure 2: block diagramm of DA14585

With 96 kB of RAM and retention capability, DA14585 offers a wider memory than its predecessor in order to fully utilize standard features. Moreover, it also includes an integrated microphone interface for low-cost voice support. DA1485 supports a wide range of power supply voltages from 0.9 to 3.6 V. This range offers a wider choice of energy sources with a great design performance.

As a result, DA14585 represents the ideal solution to add bluetooth low energy technology to various applications. It supports Data Packet Length Extension, Link Layer Privacy v1.2, Secure Connections, Bluetooth Low Power Mesh and Efficient Connectable Advertising. Dialog Semiconductor has started contacting with the automotive industry for the construction of first TPMS devices with BLE. The goal is to manage the entire measurement process with the addition of sensors for measuring temperature and pressure. All powered by a simple battery.

The initial adoption of BLE technology for TPMS is a great opportunity for the automotive market and for new TPMS devices. As a result, the advent of BLE connectivity in automotive systems will open many connectivity scenarios for the smart automotive market.

LT8362 – Low IQ Boost/SEPIC/Inverting Converter with 2A, 60V Switch

The LT8362 is a current mode, 2MHz step-up DC/DC converter with an internal 2A, 60V switch. It operates from an input voltage range of 2.8V to 60V, suitable for applications with input sources ranging from a single-cell Li-Ion battery to automotive and industrial inputs. The LT8362 can be configured as either a boost, SEPIC or an inverting converter. Its switching frequency can be programmed between 300kHz and 2MHz, enabling designers to minimize external component sizes and avoid critical frequency bands, such as AM radio. Furthermore, it offers over 90% efficiency while switching at 2MHz. Burst Mode operation reduces quiescent current to only 9μA while keeping output ripple below 15mVP-P. The combination of a 3mm x 3mm DFN or high voltage MSOP-16E package and tiny externals ensures a highly compact footprint while minimizing solution cost.

LT8362 – Low IQ Boost/SEPIC/Inverting Converter with 2A, 60V Switch – [Link]

OSD335x-SM & OSD3358-SM-RED Dev Board

Austin, Texas (September 19, 2017) – Octavo Systems LLC (Octavo) announced the production release and immediate availability of its highly anticipated OSD335x-SM System-In-Package (SiP) device.  The OSD335x-SM, like the entire OSD335x family, integrates the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara™ AM335x processor with an ARM® Cortex®-A8 core running at 1GHz, DDR3 memory, a TPS65217C power management IC (PMIC), a TL5209 low-dropout (LDO) regulator, and passive components into a single wide pitch (1.27mm) BGA package.  The OSD335x-SM enhances this integration by adding EEPROM as well and reducing the package size by 40%.

The OSD335x-SM comes in a 21mm x 21mm (0.83in x 0.83in) 256 Ball wide pitch (1.27mm) BGA. Occupying 441 square millimeters, the OSD335x-SM uses 60% less space than the equivalent system designed with discrete components.  It is the smallest AM335x processor-based module on the market today that still allows complete access to all the AM335x device I/Os including the PRUs.

“The OSD335x-SM was built to allow system designers to quickly create the smallest possible ARM Cortex®-A8 system and then easily transition into production,” says Bill Heye, President of Octavo Systems.  “By removing the need for DDR routing, power sequencing, complex supply chains and larger PCBs, the OSD335x-SM provides value across the entire life cycle of a design.  We are excited to finally release it to the market and we can’t wait to see the innovative ways people leverage this technology.”

The first 21mm device in the family, the OSD3358-512M-BSM, can be purchased today through Octavo’s distribution partners, Digi-Key Electronics and Mouser Electronics.

The OSD3358-SM-RED Platform

Terahertz Electronics – Way To Bridge The largely-untapped Region Between 100GHz and 10THz

The terahertz (THz) region, which is based on 1THz frequency, separates electronics from photonics and has been difficult to access for ages. Semiconductor electronics cannot handle frequencies equal to or greater than 100GHz due to various transport-time related limitations. In other hand, photonics devices fail to work below 10THz as photon’s energy significantly drops to thermal energy. Terahertz Electronics (TE) is a new technology that extends the range of electronics into the THz-frequency region.

The Terahertz Gap
The Terahertz Gap

The main goal of Terahertz Electronics is to build a bridge between low-frequency “Electronics” and high-frequency “Photonics”. Since these devices use photon-electron particle interactions, as photon energy “hv” decreases below thermal energy “kT”, the device ceases to operate efficiently unless it is cooled down. At the low-frequency end, electronics cannot operate above 100GHz as transport time is dependent on drift and diffusion speeds of electrons/holes. As a result, a large region between 100GHz and 10THz remained inaccessible. Terahertz Electronics solves this problem efficiently by cleverly incorporating electronics with photonics.

Terahertz electronics technology offers practical applications in high-speed data transfer, THz imaging, and highly-integrated radar and communication systems. Surprisingly enough, It does not use semiconductors. Instead, it is based on metal-insulator tunneling structures to form diodes for detectors and ultra-high-speed transistors for oscillator based transmitters.

One drawback of the Terahertz Electronics is, it requires high-frequency radiation sources. Lack of a small, low-cost, moderate-power THz source is one of the main reasons that THz applications have not fully materialized yet. Scientists are trying to find a solution to this problem. They created a compact device that can lead to portable, battery-operated sources of THz radiation. This new solid-state T-ray source uses high-temperature superconducting crystals that contain stacks of Josephson junctions. So, even a small voltage, around two millivolts per junction, can induce frequencies in the THz range.

Mercury arc lamps generate light in terahertz
Mercury arc lamps generate light in terahertz

TE devices are extremely fast and they are made entirely of thin-film materials—metals and insulator. Hence, it is possible to fabricate Terahertz Electronics devices on top of complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) circuitry—a technology for creating integrated-circuits circuitry or on an extensive variety of substrate materials. In TE devices, charge transport through the junction occurs via electron tunneling. Further research and development will make Terahertz Electronics a reality in not-so-distant future.

Digi-Key Releases New Addition of Symbols & Footprints for Vishay Products

New models, available via SnapEDA, streamline the design-in of Vishay optoelectronics parts.

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minnesota, SANTA CLARA, California, and SAN FRANCISCO, California, USA – Digi-Key Electronics, a global electronic components distributor, today announced the addition of symbols, footprints, and 3D models for Vishay’s catalog of optoelectronics products.

The models, made available via online parts library SnapEDA, can be downloaded for free for most major PCB design tools.

Designers spend days creating digital models for each component in their circuit board designs. With this new collaboration, designers can simply drag-and-drop high-quality, auto-verified models into their designs, saving them days of time.

“Each day, thousands of designers use Digi-Key to find components for their designs,” said Natasha Baker, CEO & Founder of SnapEDA. “By adding SnapEDA’s high-quality, ready-to-use digital models to the content solutions available, we’re helping them move from idea to production faster than ever with Vishay products.”

Products supported with this release include a wide variety of Vishay’s optical sensors, optocouplers, solid-state relays, and MOSFET drivers.

LimeSDR Mini – Software-defined-radio card

An open, full-duplex, USB stick radio for femtocells and more.

The LimeSDR and LimeSDR Mini are members of the same family of software-defined radios. One does not replace the other. Rather, they are complementary.

Simply put, the LimeSDR Mini is a smaller, less expensive version of the original LimeSDR. However, it still packs a punch – at its core, the LimeSDR Mini uses the same LMS7002M radio transceiver as its big sibling. The Mini has two channels instead of four, and, by popular demand, SMA connectors instead of micro U.FL connectors. Check out the comparison table below for more details.

LimeSDR Mini – Software-defined-radio card – [Link]

Fennec: LoRa Development Board

An ultra low power LoRa sensor node powered by just one CR2032 batter. By Harm Wouter Snippe:

Do you want to measure temperature, connect a soil humidity sensor in your vegetable garden or monitor the air quality at your street corner? With the Fennec Development Board you are able to connect almost any sensor and create your own amazing ultra low power wireless projects. We have created the most energy efficient Arduino compatible IoT device with LoRa communication in the world. Powered by only a button cell you can send sensor readings every 15 minutes for the next five years over long distances (5-15km).

New Ultrathin Semiconductors Can Make More Efficient and Ten Times Smaller Transistors Than Silicon

The researchers at Stanford University have discovered two ultrathin semiconductors – hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide. They share or even exceed some of the very important characteristics of silicon. Silicon has a great property of forming “rust” or silicon dioxide (SiO2) by reacting with oxygen. As the SiO2 acts as an insulator, chip manufacturers implement this property to isolate their circuits on a die. The most interesting fact about these newly discovered semiconductors is, they also form “rust” just like silicon.

enlarged cross-section of an experimental chip made of ultrathin semiconductors
An enlarged cross-section of an experimental chip made of ultrathin semiconductors

The new materials can also be contracted to functional circuits just three atoms thick and they require much less energy than silicon circuits. Hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide “rust” even better than silicon and form so-called high-K insulator. The researchers hope to use these materials to design thinner and more energy-efficient chips for satisfying the needs of future devices.

Apart from having the ability to “rust”, the newly discovered ultrathin semiconductors also have the perfect range of energy band gap – a secret feature of silicon. The band gap is the energy needed to switch transistors on and it is a critical factor in computing. Too low band gap causes the circuits to leak and make unreliable. Too high and the chip takes excessive energy to operate and becomes inefficient. Surprisingly, Hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide are in the same optimal range of band gap as silicon.

All this and the diselenides can also be used to make circuits which are just three atoms thick, or about two-thirds of a nanometer, something silicon can never do. Eric Pop, an associate professor of electrical engineering, who co-authored with post-doctoral scholar Michal Mleczko in a study paper, said,

Engineers have been unable to make silicon transistors thinner than about five nanometers, before the material properties begin to change in undesirable ways.

If these semiconductors can be integrated with silicon, much longer battery life and much more complex functionality can be achieved in consumer electronics. The combination of thinner circuits and desirable high-K insulation means that these ultrathin semiconductors could be made into transistors 10 times tinier than anything possible with silicon today. As Eric Pop said,

There’s more research to do, but a new path to thinner, smaller circuits – and more energy-efficient electronics – is within reach.