Toshiba has added a 512-Gbit (64-Gbyte), 64-layer flash memory device that employs 3-bit-per-cell TLC (triple-level cell) technology to its BiCS Flash product line. This technology will allow the development of 1-terabyte memory chips for use in enterprise and consumer solid-state drives.
Part of the Swatch group, EM Microelectronic announced what the company believes to be the world’s smallest Bluetooth chip. Offered in a 4x4mm QFN-28 package, in a WLCSP-21 or as a bare-die, the EM9304 is optimized for Bluetooth v4.2 low energy enabled products.
Clemens Valens @ elektormagazine.com discuss about a new IC substrate. He writes:
A new, ultra-thin ceramic substrate with an ESD strength of up to 25 kV – more than three times higher than the standard 8 kV of state-of-the-art Zener diodes – also features a high thermal conductivity of 22 W/mK. This is three times better than that of conventional carriers, even though the substrate is significantly slimmer. The new technology is especially well-suited for LED applications where the number and density of LEDs per unit continues to grow.
Ultra-thin, high thermal conductivity substrate integrates ESD protection – [Link]
ICStripBoard is a innovative cheap tool to enable rapid prototyping of surface mount integrated circuits (IC’s) and allow their usage in prototype electronics projects.
Inline surface mount IC’s come in a Variety of packages which are different sizes and these Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s) have been designed to accommodate the majority of IC’s. Available in the four standard IC pitches (space between IC pins) of 0.5mm, 0.65mm, 0.95mm and 1.27mm. These boards have been designed as long strips on thin (half the standard thickness) 0.8mm FR4 boards which can easily be cut to the correct amount of pins which the IC in question has. This allows the strip to be cut for multiple IC’s on multiple projects.
The cut pieces can easily be soldered and glued to other prototyping products and in conjunction with traditional through hole components can be used to create unique electronic prototypes. These boards will allow you to experiment with multiple IC’s without having to build PCB’s and is far cheaper than buying alternative break out boards due to the fact you cut them to size and the pattern repeats down the strip allowing this to be done multiple times. (more…)
When it comes to protecting sensitive circuitry from potentially damaging over-voltage spikes and supply surges we usually resort to networks of coils, capacitors, resistors and suppression diodes to iron out the transients. The LTC4380 low quiescent current surge stopper IC from Linear Technology goes about it in a different way; it looks out for over-voltage nasties and switches a fast N-channel external series-connected MOSFET to limit the surge. The chip is just 3 mm square and draws very little quiescent current.
A detailed die photos and reverse engineering of the 74181 ALU chip by Ken Shirriff:
What’s inside a TTL chip? To find out, I opened up a 74181 ALU chip, took high-resolution die photos, and reverse-engineered the chip.1 Inside I found several types of gates, implemented with interesting circuitry and unusual transistors. The 74181 was a popular chip in the 1970s used to perform calculations in the arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) of minicomputers. It is a moderately complex chip containing about 67 gates and 170 transistors3, implemented using fast and popular TTL (transistor-transistor logic) circuitry.
Inside the 74181 ALU chip: die photos and reverse engineering – [Link]
Software Defined Radio teardown: R820/RTL2832U Decap
Recently there has been much interest in two integrated circuit which were originally designed to receive FM radio and DVB-T TV (as used in Europe).
Some enterprising people quickly realised that since they were based on software-defined techniques they could be quickly re purposed for all sorts of clever things.
The MAX11311 is industry’s first configurable high-voltage mixed-signal I/O that allows user-defined ADC, DAC, or GPIO functionality.
Programming MAX11311 is very easy. A nice GUI tool helps to generate the right register values. If you want to make a universal signal processing board with a good number of I/O, it often gets very difficult to select a correct microcontroller. Finally, when you select one, it either has less I/O than you need or has fair enough number of I/O but burns your pocket. But if you know about MAX11311, then you’ve got a perfect solution.
The MAX11311 integrates a PIXI™, a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), and a 12-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC) in a single integrated circuit. This device offers 12 high voltage, bipolar ports. Each of the ports is configurable as an ADC analog input, a DAC analog output, a general-purpose input output (GPIO), or an analog switch terminal. One internal and two external temperature sensors track junction and environmental temperature. This feature prevents thermal runaway. Adjacent pairs of ports are configurable as a logic-level translator for open-drain devices or an analog switch.
Up to 12 12-Bit ADC Inputs
Single-Ended, Differential, or Pseudo-Differential Range Options: 0 to 2.5V, ±5V, 0 to +10V, -10V to 0V
Programmable sample averaging per ADC port
Unique voltage reference for each ADC PIXI port
Up to 12 12-Bit DAC Outputs
Range options: ±5V, 0 to +10V, -10V to 0V
25mA current drive capability with over-current protection
Up to 12 General-Purpose Digital I/Os (GPIO)
0 to +5V GPI input range
0 to +2.5V GPI programmable threshold range
0 to +10V GPO programmable output range
Logic-Level Shifting Between any two pins
60Ω analog switch between adjacent PIXI Ports
Internal/External temperature sensors with ±1°C Accuracy
You can use this chip as an expansion module to MCUs in various applications. Let’s see the list:
Base station RF power device bias controllers
Control for optical components
Industrial control and automation
Power supply monitoring
System supervision and control
Universal signal processing
The MAX11311 adapts perfectly to specific application requirements and allows for easy reconfiguration as the system needs further change. It also reduces BOM (Bill of Materials) cost with fewer external components in a small footprint.
To know more about this awesome chip, refer to the datasheet.
There was a time that every extra storage byte crammed into a chip was greeted with cheers and applause but today only few people will get the champagne out when an extra gigabyte or so is announced. We have become so used to the ever growing capacity of memory chips that new product launches in this area do not create much excitement anymore. Yet sometimes an event manages to stir things up a bit, like a few weeks ago when a major semiconductor manufacturer announced that it started sampling its new 32 gigabyte flash memory chip.