March 14, 2023 Volume 19 Issue 10

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Machine vision: Check part orientation and more

Automation-Direct has entered the industrial vision market with the addition of the Datalogic Smart Vision sensor. This sensor is an intelligent self-contained system that can capture an object's image as it passes by and make decisions based on the details of that image. Built around a powerful multiprocessor platform featuring embedded artificial intelligence tech, the Smart-VS sensor is highly advanced but remains simple to configure. Applications include part orientation for pick-and-place systems, verifying proper application of tamper-proof seals, and checking solder connections in circuit board production.
Learn more.


Ultra-compact IEC appliance inlet saves valuable interior space

SCHURTER continues to meet today's increasing demand for smaller electronic equipment with the launch of its 5121 filtered appliance inlet. The compact filter series features an IEC C14 inlet with capacitors and a fully encased steel housing that reliably shields high-frequency interference conducted through cables or radiated interference. Targeted for applications with shallow installation depth, the new 5121 filter series is available in both standard and medical M80 versions, making it well suited for lab, industrial, medical, telecom, audio/video, and office equipment.
Learn more and get the specs.


Optimize space with mini-FAKRA cables

Amphenol RF has expanded their AUTOMATE Type A mini-FAKRA breakout cable line with additional connector configurations and cable types. The cable assemblies combine industry-standard FAKRA connectors with next-gen mini-FAKRA. This combination allows for a compact solution at the compute module -- an industry-standard sealed solution at the connected device with a max frequency of 3 GHz for automotive and industrial applications such as compute modules, camera systems, and warehouse robotics. This assembly creates a waterproof seal at the connected device for added versatility.
Learn more.


ScanCobot: Easy entry into 3D metrology automation

The GOM ScanCobot is a mobile measuring station with a collaborative robot, a motorized rotation table, and powerful software that is smart enough to figure out the optimal positions to scan to get the most comprehensive profile possible on a part. The system provides cleaner, more accurate data than manual scans. Exact Metrology has the ScanCobot technology at their Milwaukee area office. Learn about its impressive capabilities.
Read the full article.


How do autonomous vehicles see at night?

Owl Autonomous Imaging is offering a new whitepaper that explains how the Owl Thermal Ranger uses convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to accurately and reliably locate and classify pedestrians and animals in the dark from their own thermal signatures using just one infrared camera. This whitepaper covers the history of convolutional neural networks, how the technology works (AI/machine training), why Owl thinks the CNN approach is the best solution to address current pedestrian safety concerns, and how auto manufacturers can implement it. Very interesting.
Get the Owl AI whitepaper.


Anti-surge resistors handle surges up to 10 KV

High-voltage applications such as HVAC controls, appliance and white goods controls, metering, automation, medical devices, digital storage, and surge-protection devices typically require resistors with high working voltage that may be challenging to find. If the applications are low current or low energy, film resistors are an ideal technology. The ASR/ASRM series from Stackpole offers high working voltages, high pulse voltage handling, and well-defined pulse behavior. For applications with high-voltage surge and low-energy requirements, the ASR/ASRM is a viable replacement for carbon composition resistors, providing improved electrical and environmental stability, better tolerance and TCR, with better long-term availability.
Learn more.


All about slip rings: How they work and their uses

Rotary Systems has put together a really nice basic primer on slip rings -- electrical collectors that carry a current from a stationary wire into a rotating device. Common uses are for power, proximity switches, strain gauges, video, and Ethernet signal transmission. This introduction also covers how to specify, assembly types, and interface requirements. Rotary Systems also manufactures rotary unions for fluid applications.
Read the overview.


What's new in ABAQUS 2023?

The Abaqus Unified FEA product suite offers powerful and complete solutions for both routine and sophisticated engineering problems. Best-in-class companies are taking advantage of these complete solutions for realistic simulation to consolidate their processes and tools, reduce costs and inefficiencies, and gain a competitive advantage. From new techniques in analysis, modeling, and visualization to special features for structural mechanics and linear dynamics, learn what's new in Abaqus 2023.
Learn more.


EMI/RFI gasketing on-demand webinar: Specialty Silicone Products elastomer solutions

Join Dominic Testo, business development manager for Specialty Silicone Products, for this on-demand, in-depth presentation called "EMI/RFI Gasketing: Outside-the-Box Solutions to Protect What's in the Box." Learn about new ways to overcome the restraints caused by outdated compression molding processes; new materials to overcome galvanic corrosion issues; new softer, compliant materials used for shielding; and a whole lot more.
View the video.


Battery-powered wireless multi-sensor module for machine monitoring

TDK has collaborated with Texas Instruments on the new i3 Micro Module, the world's first sensor module with built-in edge AI and wireless mesh connectivity. The i3 Micro Module's ultracompact battery-powered wireless sensor allows users to achieve sensing at almost any desired position without physical constraints like wiring. This dramatically expedites the prediction of anomalies in machinery and equipment, enabling an ideal Condition-based Monitoring implementation for an enhanced smart factory environment.
Learn more.


Fluke 831 Laser Shaft Alignment Tool

Misalignment causes at least half of all damage to rotating machinery, but instead of fixing the problem, teams often just treat the symptoms by replacing bearings, couplings, and seals. The new Fluke 831 Laser Shaft Alignment Tool makes shaft alignment easy with an intuitive guided user interface that enables quick and complete shaft alignment without advanced training or complicated programs.
Learn more.


Image sensor for virtual reality, drones, machine vision

OMNIVISION has just announced the OG0VE global shutter (GS) image sensor, a small-form-factor, high-sensitivity device for AR/VR/MR, metaverse, drone, machine vision, and barcode scanner products. This new-generation image sensor is 26% smaller and more than 50% more power efficient than its predecessor. It supports one-lane MIPI D-PHY at up to 800 Mbps and was designed to address the high market demand for the smallest and lowest power-consuming cameras.
Learn more.


Smallest Smart Motor Module for DC fan applications

Alpha and Omega Semiconductor Limited has introduced an extension to its compact Smart Motor Module (SMM) family. Available in an ultra-compact, thermally enhanced 3-mm x 3-mm QFN-18L package, the highly integrated AOZ9530QV SMM is a half-bridge power stage with a slew of features and protections that simplify motor drive designs. It is suitable for use in a large number of BLDC fan applications ranging from PC and server fans to seat cooling and home appliances.
Learn more.


Application Note: Wireless -- Decoupling high-frequency signals from a DC supply

From 5G systems to radio and antenna applications, wireless communication accompanies us throughout our daily lives, so the demand for universal high-frequency amplifiers is correspondingly high. By selecting the optimal passive components, the transmission characteristics of the amplifier can be improved during development. A well-designed layout further improves RF performance. The aim is to transmit both RF signals and the DC supply on a single line without interference or cross-talk. A key component is the inductor for decoupling the RF and DC supplies.
Read this in-depth W├╝rth Elektronik application note.


Smallest all-in-one LIN driver propels relay window lifters

Melexis' new LIN pre-driver IC for relay DC motors offers a combination of high power, compactness, and attractive pricing. The MLX81160 is the latest addition to the company's Gen3 family of compatible embedded motor drivers. Its 48-KB of memory (16 KB ROM for the included LIN protocol and 32 KB Flash for the application software) is suitable for applications like window regulators.
Learn more.


New kind of transistor could shrink communications devices on smartphones

Electrical & Computer Engineering research scientist Ding Wang (right) and graduate student Minming He (left) from the University of Michigan are working on the epitaxy and fabrication of high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) that can foster new functionalities and boost device performances. [Image credit: Marcin Szczepanski/Lead Multimedia Storyteller, Michigan Engineering]

 

 

 

 

Integrating a new ferroelectric semiconductor paves the way for single amplifiers that can do the work of multiple conventional amplifiers, among other possibilities.

One month after announcing a ferroelectric semiconductor at the nanoscale thinness required for modern computing components, a team at the University of Michigan (U-M) has demonstrated a reconfigurable transistor using that material.

The study is a featured article in Applied Physics Letters.

"By realizing this new type of transistor, it opens up the possibility for integrating multifunctional devices, such as reconfigurable transistors, filters, and resonators, on the same platform -- all while operating at very high frequency and high power," said Zetian Mi, U-M professor of electrical and computer engineering who led the research, "That's a game changer for many applications."

At its most basic level, a transistor is a kind of switch, letting an electric current through or preventing it from passing. The one demonstrated at U-M is known as a ferroelectric high electron mobility transistor (FeHEMT) -- a twist on the HEMTs that can increase the signal, known as gain, as well as offering high switching speed and low noise. This makes them well suited as amplifiers for sending out signals to cell towers and Wi-Fi routers at high speeds.

Ferroelectric semiconductors stand out from others because they can sustain an electrical polarization, like the electric version of magnetism. But unlike a fridge magnet, they can switch which end is positive and which is negative. In the context of a transistor, this capability adds flexibility -- the transistor can change how it behaves.

"We can make our ferroelectric HEMT reconfigurable," said Ding Wang, a research scientist in electrical and computer engineering and first author of the study. "That means it can function as several devices, such as one amplifier working as several amplifiers that we can dynamically control. This allows us to reduce the circuit area and lower the cost as well as the energy consumption."

Areas of particular interest for this device are reconfigurable radio frequency and microwave communication as well as memory devices in next-generation electronics and computing systems.

"By adding ferroelectricity to an HEMT, we can make the switching sharper. This could enable much lower power consumption in addition to high gain, making for much more efficient devices," said Ping Wang, a research scientist in electrical and computer engineering and also the co-corresponding author of the research.

The ferroelectric semiconductor is made of aluminum nitride spiked with scandium, a metal sometimes used to fortify aluminum in performance bicycles and fighter jets. It is the first nitride-based ferroelectric semiconductor, enabling it to be integrated with the next-gen semiconductor gallium nitride. Offering speeds up to 100 times that of silicon, as well as high efficiency and low cost, gallium nitride semiconductors are contenders to displace silicon as the preferred material for electronic devices.

"This is a pivotal step toward integrating nitride ferroelectrics with mainstream electronics," Mi said.

The new transistor was grown using molecular beam epitaxy, the same approach used to make semiconductor crystals that drive the lasers in CD and DVD players.

The University of Michigan has applied for patent protection. Early work leading to this study was funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Blue Sky Initiative at the U-M College of Engineering.

The device was built in the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility and studied at the Michigan Center for Materials Characterization.

Source: University of Michigan

Published March 2023

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