Flex Power Modules launches 1000W DC/DC advanced bus converter

Based upon Flex Power Modules’ Hybrid Regulated Ratio (HRR) topology, the BMR480 DC/DC bus converter module delivers up to 1000W and 96.2A peak power.

The BMR480 DC/DC advanced bus converter targets high-end and high-power applications. It is available in an industry-standard and low-profile quarter-brick-format with dimensions of 58.4 x 36.8 x 12.19mm (2.30 x 1.45 x 0.48-inch), and operates from a wide input range of 40 to 60V and offers multiple tightly regulated (±2.5 per cent) pre-programmed outputs at 10.4, 12 and 12.5V but can be factory configured at any voltage between nine to 13.2V.

Flex’s Hybrid Regulated Ratio technology enables better use of the powertrain to deliver high-power conversion across its input voltage range. The BMR480 offers power conversion of up to 97 per cent efficiency – at 53V and half load – while also keeping power losses low, says Flex.

As well as suitable for intermediate bus conversion (IBC), dynamic bus voltage (DBV) and distributed power architectures (DPA), the BMR480 power module has been designed to power high-end and high-power applications powered by multi-cell batteries or rectifiers that are commonly used in ICT (information and communication technologies) applications. It can also be found in networking and telecommunications equipment, industrial equipment, and server and storage applications.

The BMR480 is reliable, says Flex, delivering higher useable power in high ambient temperature and limited-airflow environments. Although supplied with a standard baseplate, it can also be connected to a heatsink or coldplate for extremely challenging thermal environments.

Dynamic load compensation and support for the latest version (v1.3) of the PMBus communication specification and the Ericsson Power Designer software tool are significant features of the BMR480, together with droop load sharing capability, 1500V I/O isolation, monotonic start-up, remote control, and a range of protection capabilities including over-temperature, output-short-circuit and output-over-voltage.

Flex Power Modules, a division of Flex, designs and manufactures scalable power supply solutions that improve the operational efficiencies of advanced data centre, IT information and communications networks. Flex Coldwatt products provide a complete on-board system solution for cloud, storage and server applications.


Acconeer’s A111 – Pulsed Coherent Radar

Acconeer’s A111 radar sensor is based on a unique patented technology enabling mm accuracy with very low power consumption.

The Acconeer A111 is a low power, high precision 60 GHz pulsed SRD radar sensor with a footprint of 29 mm2, delivered in one chip system in package (SiP) solution with embedded RF and antenna. The small size and the low power consumption makes it suitable for integration into any mobile or portable battery driven device.

The A111 radar sensor is based on a unique patented technology enabling mm accuracy with very low power consumption. The 60 GHz unlicensed ISM band provides robustness not compromised by any natural source of interference such as noise, dust, color, direct or indirect light, and easy integration with no need of an aperture. The A111 radar sensor detects multiple objects at close range with single measurements as well as continuous sweeps set to any frequency rate up to 1500 Hz. Additionally, the unique characteristics of the radar sensor enables material recognition and motion detection for advanced sensing applications.


  • mm Accuracy – distance mm accuracy for one or multiple objects
  • Movement and speed measurement – continuous measurements up to 1500 Hz
  • Material identification – distinguish between materials with different di-electric constant
  • Microwatt – enables integration into any battery driven device
  • Optimized integration – small one chip solution with embedded RF and antenna solution that requires no need for aperture
  • Robustness – not compromised by any natural source of interference such as noise, dust, color, direct or indirect light


  • Range measurements with high accuracy
  • Configurable measuring update frequency, up to 1500 Hz
  • Material identification. Possible to distinguish between different materials
  • Movement, speed measurement and object tracking e.g. gesture control, vital signs
  • Radar assisted camera for high performing lateral measurement i.e. Depth mapping, computational photography, assisted AF
  • Proximity sensing with high accuracy. Possibility to define multiple proximity zones
  • Radar assisted biometrics for enhanced security e.g. face recognition, human fingerprint recognition

VL53L1X Time-of-Flight (ToF) Long Distance Ranging Sensor

STMicroelectronics’ VL53L1X is a state-of-the-art ToF laser-ranging sensor, enhancing the ST FlightSense product family. It is the fastest miniature ToF sensor currently on the market with accurate ranging up to 4 m and fast ranging frequency (up to 100 Hz). Housed in a miniature and reflowable package, it integrates a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) receiving array, a 940 nm invisible laser Class 1 emitter, and optics to achieve the best ranging performance in various ambient lighting conditions.

It is easy to integrate into devices, allowing creative ID since it can be hidden behind various cover window materials and colors. Unlike conventional IR sensors, the VL53L1X uses ST’s latest generation ToF technology which allows absolute distance measurement whatever the target color and reflectance. It is also possible to program the size of the ROI on the receiving array, allowing to reduce the sensor FoV.


  • Long distance and accurate ranging up to 4 meters
  • High speed ranging frequency (up to 100 Hz)
  • Very small package for easy integration (single module combining laser emitter, SPAD receiving array, and microcontroller in a reflowable package)
  • Can be hidden behind various cover window material and colors (creative ID)
  • Not affected by target reflectance, material and color, unlike traditional IR proximity sensors

Raspberry Pi Plus Cloudio – A Personal IoT Computer with Drag and Drop Programming

Everybody loves the Raspberry (at least the makers does) and has seen several applications from being blasted to space or powering a self-driving car. Raspberry Pi in its natural state is an ideal platform for IoT development mostly due to its connectivity interfaces like the Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet but no significant development has been done in this space apart from some pretty hacks in the last years. GraspIO in partnership with Farnell Element14 distributor has released the GraspIO Cloudio, a Raspberry Pi add-on board with Drag and Drop programming interface for full suite IoT applications development.
GraspIO Cloudio
Cloudio offers the ability to do drag and drop programming instead of the conventional text-based python programming and is supported on iOS and Android devices. So with just an Android phone, iPhone or iPad, you can start programming and controlling your raspberry pi cloudio based applications. Cloudio incorporates Voice Assistant Capabilities, Internet of Things cloud service, sensor monitoring and dashboard, custom notifications, and even provides off the shelf support with the beautiful IFTTT (“If This Then That”) platform. With the integration of IFTTT, you can easily automate some actions like for examples – if an email is received then send sensor reading or feed the fish for a while, another interesting case is – if a weather forecast states there is a likelihood of rain then closes the cage. Cloudio also provides support for upload program to multi-board at once, a perfect option if you will be managing a large number of boards.
Cloudio and Raspberry Pi
At the heart of the Cloudio board is the Atmel 8-bit AVR Atmega32U4 controller and comes in a portable size that makes it compatible with Raspberry Pi 1/2/3/Zero and ZeroW. It comes with a 0.96″ OLED Screen, a display that can be used for displaying real-time sensor values, custom messages and even supports emojis. The board includes proximity, light and temperature sensors and an extra 3 ADX ports for interfacing with external sensors. The board consists of a proximity, light, and temperature sensors plus 3x ADC interfaces for connecting other sensors such as humidity and motion. With the Cloudio, you will never run out of 5V ports as it comes with three digital 5V output ports. Cloudio does not require any external power supply unit and gets its power from the underlying Raspberry Pi. Other features of the board are a mini 5V servo motor port, a buzzer, RGB LED and tactile switch.
According to Steve Carr, the Global Head of Marketing at Premier Farnell and Farnell element14, he says –
“The versatility of GraspIO Cloudio along with its ease of use will make it popular with makers and innovators in a wide range of application environments. Cloudio, when combined with a Raspberry Pi, is a Full Stack IoT platform meaning that you can programme IoT devices simply and quickly with drag and drop programming on a mobile app. The combination of built-in hardware facilities and access to innovative application software will make Cloudio a valuable addition to the range of tools available to developers of projects involving voice, motion, imaging and cloud interaction.”
Cloudio lets you build and create your own voice assistants using the inbuilt speech recognition feature to control it from your smartphone. It comes with an unlimited cloud service from GraspIO to connect, program, monitor, and manage Cloudio from your mobile device. It is preloaded with 50,000 free Cloud Calls and which a daily 100 non-cumulative calls will be credited to the user’s account for life. Cloudio drag and drop based approach to IoT development is undoubtedly going to help limit the barriers in commencing IoT development.

The GraspIO Cloudio Raspberry Pi add-on board is now available to purchase, priced at $40 and is exclusively manufactured and distributed by Premier Farnell UK Limited and other companies that are members of Premier Farnell Group. You can buy the Cloudio Raspberry Pi add-on board here.

RGB Led Driver Shield for Arduino Nano

This is my second project for LED Driver based on CAT4101 IC. The first project was for single White LED. This project has been designed to drive 3 channels of RGB LEDs with PWM signal which helps to create multi-color LED light. Arduino Nano is used to generate PWM signals for RGB LEDs and board has 3 tactile switches and Analog signal input to develop various RGB LED related applications. Each channel can drive load up to 1A and input supply up to 12V DC. 1A X 3 Constant current LED driver shield for Arduino Nano has been designed for verity of LED related applications. The shield provides accurate LED current sink to regulate LED current in a string of LEDs. The LED current is mirrored and the current flowing from the RSET is set by PR1. On board 2W X 3 LED are used for testing purposes.

RGB Led Driver Shield for Arduino Nano – [Link]

LTC7124 17 V, Dual 3.5 A Synchronous Step-Down Regulator

Spread spectrum modulation reduces EMI in Linear Technology’s compact 3 mm x 5 mm QFN step-down regulator.

Linear Technology’s LTC7124 is a dual-channel, 3.5 A per output, high efficiency monolithic step-down regulator capable of operating from input supplies up to 17 V. The programmable switching frequency ranges from 500 kHz to 4 MHz with a ±25% external clock synchronization capability around the programmed frequency. The regulator features ultra-low quiescent current for high efficiency over a wide VOUT range.

The step-down regulator operates from an input voltage range of 3.1 V to 17 V and provides an adjustable output range from 0.6 V to 99% of VIN while delivering up to 3.5 A of output current per channel. A user selectable mode input is provided to allow the user to trade off output ripple for light load efficiency; Burst Mode® operation provides the highest efficiency at light loads, while forced continuous operation provides the lowest output ripple. The LTC7124 includes spread spectrum modulation for low radiated and conductive noise. The LTC7124 is offered in a thermally enhanced, low-profile, 24-lead, 3 mm x 5 mm QFN package.


  • Wide VIN range: 3.1 V to 17 V
  • Wide VOUT range: 0.6 V to 99% VIN
  • Integrated 80 mΩ/40 mΩ N-channel MOSFETs. provide up to 95% efficiency
  • No-load IQ < 8 µA with both channels enabled; IQ < 5.5 µA with only one channel enabled
  • Programmable frequency (500 kHz to 4 MHz) with ±25% frequency synchronization range
  • Dual step-down outputs: 3.5 A per channel
  • Configurable for a 2-phase single output at up to 7 A
  • ±1.0% output voltage accuracy
  • Current mode operation for excellent line and load transient response
  • Internal or programmable external loop compensation
  • Available in a 3 mm x 5 mm QFN-24 package

Unlimited Source of Energy- As good as it Sounds

In recent decades, humans realized that fossil fuels are a finite source of energy that not only pollutes the environment but is also difficult to extract (it can even be dangerous). Because of this, there has been a huge increase in the development of new ways to extract energy from other sources such as solar, wind, geothermal etc. Following this trend, researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology have developed a diode that generates electricity using infrared energy.

Not all sources of energy have been exploited by humans, and infrared energy is one of them. This was mainly because of the small wavelength of these waves which made it hard to harvest energy. Unlike, solar power or wind, infrared energy can be harvested 24 hours a day because it does not depend on day and night or weather conditions, and unlike solar power it is not limited only to the visible spectrum.

The diode works by using a rectifier (semiconductor diode) to transform alternating signals received by special antennas into electric current. The diode will harvest infrared radiation and waste heat from industrial processes and does this by transitioning quadrillionth- of- a- second wave signals into useful electricity.

The project leader Atif Shamim said :

There is no commercial diode in the world that can operate at such high frequency

that’s why they decided to use quantum tunneling to solve the problem. They used a bowtie- shaped Nano-antenna holding the insulator film between two metallic arms to generate the fields needed for tunneling. One of the researchers mentioned that one of the biggest challenges was working in a nanoscale that require precise alignment for it to work.

These new methods might be still less efficient than fossil fuels, but with the development of the technology used they could improve and be just as efficient, or even more. Additionally, the energy provided by the device is clean and comes from a renewable source. Infrared radiation is emitted all around us at all times and its estimated to be millions of Gigawatts per second. The device has already been tested and it successfully harvested energy solely from radiation and not from thermal effects, and as the project leader said “This is just the beginning- a proof concept”.


Phantom v2640 – The World’s Fastest High Speed Camera Captures 303,460 fps

Vision Research‘s latest addition is the new Phantom v2640 model to its array of products. This is seemingly the world’s fastest video capturing camera, able to record up to 11,750 fps in color and HD or 25,030 fps in monochrome. The maximum resolution is 2,048 x 1,952 pixels with up to 6,600 fps.

Phantom v2640 - the world's fastest video camera
Phantom v2640 – the world’s fastest video camera

At maximum resolution, it can only manage 6,600 images per second but this is enough to provide smooth x100 slow motion replay. HD (1920×1080) mode offers reduced resolution but accomplishes an impressive 11,750 fps. Things can get really breathtaking in monochrome ‘binning mode’ where up to 25,030 fps are possible. Playing the footage at the standard 24 fps gives out at more than a thousand times slow motion.

Apart from scientific applications and materials research, the capabilities of the camera would make it valuable for recording low-frequency sound events in high resolution. One obvious application could be making it a useful tool to study the movement of a bass speaker or subwoofer cone to determine membrane stability and surface resonances. Although it would not be quite fast enough to do the same job for tweeters operating at the upper limits of audibility. There is a special very high-speed mode in the camera which pushes up the frame rate up to 303,460 fps, providing images with a 1792 x 8 pixels format. This would be enough to record tweeter membrane movement but only along a very thin slice of the motion.

This camera is a technical marvel. A pixel rate of up to 26 Gpx/second suggests there are some fairly extreme high-speed electronics, resulting in a data rate reaching way in the GB/s range. As a result, the camera requires a massive internal frame-buffer to record footage of more than just a few milliseconds. Regards this, there is up to 288 GB of RAM installed which is enough to capture at least 7.8 seconds of footage. There is also a fast Ethernet interface of 10 Gb/s and other alternative data transmission connections. Battery operation is available but not necessarily too practical because the camera draws 280 Watts of power. Availability and pricing information is not available yet.

TE Connectivity releases over 25,000 new digital models in collaboration with SnapEDA

Engineers can now easily design-in a wide variety of components with free symbols & footprints

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland and SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 14, 2018) — TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensors, and SnapEDA, the Internet’s first parts library for circuit board design, are collaborating to make more than 25,000 new digital models available to electronics designers, helping them bring their products to market faster.

Traditionally, designers have spent days creating models for each component in their designs, a tedious and time-consuming process. Some components, such as connectors, are particularly challenging to create models for due to their non-standard shapes, pitches, pads, and cutouts. (more…)

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