October 10, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 38

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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High-current connector for high-end battery systems

Amphenol Industrial Products Group has enhanced its SurLok Plus high-current connector and cabling system. The quick connect and locking system includes a high-voltage interlock loop (HVIL) safety feature, as well as electromagnetic interference shielding (EMI) for noise immunity. These features are a requirement of high-end battery systems to ensure safety and proper operation. Ideal for use in electric vehicles, materials handling, hybrid electric vehicles, and in energy storage for commercial and residential battery storage systems, SurLok Plus is a reliable alternative to common compression lugs.
Click here to learn more.


Selection tips for rodless electromechanical and electric rod actuators

When you specify a linear actuator, some basic decisions come first. Do you go with electric or fluid-powered? Do you need the push/pull of an electric rod actuator or the load-carrying action of a rodless electromechanical actuator? Aaron Dietrich from Tolomatic may have your answer. Dietrich has compiled some very good tips for selecting these actuator types.
Learn about selecting linear actuators.


LED controller for automotive lighting designs

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced the first 3-channel high-side linear automotive light-emitting diode (LED) controller without internal MOSFETs, which gives designers greater flexibility for their lighting designs. The TPS92830-Q1's novel architecture enables higher power and better thermal dissipation than conventional LED controllers, and is particularly beneficial for automotive LED lighting applications that require high performance and reliability. The LED controller's flexible on-board features give designers the freedom to select the best MOSFET for their system requirements. With this new approach, designers can optimize their lighting power designs more quickly and efficiently for automotive system requirements and desired dimming features.
Click here to learn more.


Filter fan kits with louvered sliding and hinged guards

Orion Fans has expanded the industry's lowest cost louvered filter fan kit to include sliding (LFGS Series, push/pull) and hinged (LFGH Series, flip-up) guard versions. Made up of a louvered sliding or hinged fan guard, filter, fan, metal guard, and hardware, the heavy-duty louvered filter fan kits simplify installation and reduce maintenance time and costs. They are easy to open, with no tools required to access the filter. Compared to regular grills or guards, the louvered filtered guards provide ingress protection as well as protecting fingers from fan blades. Standard filtering to 8 microns and specialty filters are available. Louvered guards feature UV protection. Filter fan kits are available with 120-, 172-, 180-, 200-, 225-, and 280-mm fans.
Click here to learn more.


Cartridge fuse for cooking appliances, photovoltaic systems

SCHURTER offers a robust, compact, and cost-effective cartridge fuse (part SHT) with increased breaking capacity and voltage ratings. The high breaking capacity up to 3,500 A at a nominal voltage of 250 VAC meets standards for commercial electric cooking appliances according to UL 197, while the 1,500 A at 500 VAC is suited for a broad range of industrial one- and three-phase systems such as photovoltaic systems and frequency converters for industrial automation. The fuse is also rated for DC applications up to 400 V.
Learn more about the SHT fuse.
Learn more about the SHT Pigtail fuse.


Alternatives to screws for compact electronics

Aluminum and stainless steel microPEM TackSert pins from Penn-Engineering provide cost-effective alternatives to micro screws for attaching top panels to base panels or chassis in compact electronic assemblies. They will attach top panels of any material to a base or chassis manufactured from common cast metals (such as magnesium and aluminum) or plastics (such as ABS and printed circuit boards). The pins ultimately eliminate many of the costs and issues associated with screws and integrate unique design features, promoting reliable and effective performance.
Click here to learn more.


Two-way piloting solenoid valve

The Lee Company’s new 2-way Piloting Solenoid Valve draws on the design elements of the company's ultra-compact and field-proven 3-way valve and provides a simplified flow path for applications requiring only two ports. MultiSeal technology radically simplifies port layout, offers significant space savings, reduces machining costs, and provides superior reliability over traditional sealing methods. Available biased either normally open or closed, and with lead wires or integral electrical connector, the single-coil 2-way Piloting Solenoid Valve weighs only 0.14 lb and consumes just 7.8 W at 28 VDC.
Click here to learn more.


Solving water leak inspection challenges on vehicle assembly lines

About 3% of new vehicles leave the factory with leaks large enough to cause mold growth and damage to expensive electronic components. ON Semiconductor and RFMicron have developed the Moisture Intrusion Detection System that automatically inspects vehicles for leaks at the end of the assembly process using battery-free wireless sensors at specific vehicle points to verify if those spots are wet or dry.
Read the full article.


Easy wire connection to PCB without wire soldering

In the fast-growing LED/lighting market, lead wire is a major component used in connecting a board to a lighting module. The conventional method of manually soldering the wire to a board presents limitations that result in a complicated assembly process and an unstable connection. Yokowo’s new one-action Lead Socket Connector, however, eliminates wire soldering and allows users to easily plug the lead wire into the socket. A two-contact lock structure ensures a reliable connection. Applications for the Lead Socket Connector include LED lighting, LCD television backlights, tablets, PCs, and any device where a lead wire must be soldered onto a PCB.
Click here to learn more.


Thermoelectric alternative for beverage cooling

Laird's standard and custom thermoelectric cooling systems offer superior heat pumping capability with lower power consumption, noise, weight, and footprint compared to compressor-based systems. The 12-V or 24-V DC thermoelectric modules (TEMs) and thermoelectric assemblies (TEAs) offer reliability, design flexibility via vertical integration capabilities, and an overall lower cost of ownership. Thermoelectric coolers also operate at lower noise levels and provide a more environmentally friendly solution. This technology does not use ozone-depleting refrigerants, which must be phased out of new and existing equipment in the European Union by 2022.
Click here to learn more.


Compact LED driver with 5x power density

Seoul Semiconductor has developed an ultra-compact LED driver series with a power density five times higher than conventional LED drivers. Based on Seoul Semiconductor’s patented Acrich technology, the MicroDriver Series delivers more than 24 W of output power with a power density of 20 W/cubic in., compared to existing drivers at 3 to 5 W/cubic in. This MicroDriver is 80% smaller than conventional LED drivers, giving lighting designers the ability to develop ultra-thin and novel luminaires with flicker-free operation -- shrinking the size of light fixtures by as much as 20%. Ideal for wall sconces, vanity lights, downlights, and flush-mounted lighting fixture applications.
Click here to learn more.


Cool Tools: You'll FLIP over this inspection system

Who doesn't like a little flexibility these days? The L.S. Starrett Company has just introduced the HVR100-FLIP, an innovative large field-of-vision (FOV) Benchtop Vision Measurement System that can be used in either a vertical or horizontal orientation and features a high-resolution digital video camera and minimal optical distortion for accurate FOV measurements of up to 90 mm (3.65 in.). The changeable orientation lends itself to an extremely wide array of applications, from flat parts such as gaskets and seals to turned and threaded parts. Includes a 24-in. LCD touch-screen monitor, LED ring light, and motorized drive. Auto Part Recognition can be set to recognize and inspect a part in a few seconds.
Click here to learn more.


World's first solid-state 3D LiDAR IC receives two CES 2018 Innovation Awards

LiDAR laser surveying tech is now available to the masses. LeddarTech is the developer and owner of Leddar, a patented solid-state LiDAR sensing technology that constitutes a novel approach to light detection and ranging. Their product recently one two CES 2018 Innovation Awards in the categories of "Embedded Technologies" and "Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving." Up to now, this high-resolution 3D-mapping technology has been very expensive to incorporate into planes, autonomous cars, and drones. This advancement should help push forward large-scale production of automotive-grade LiDAR at an affordable price for mass-market vehicles.
Learn more about this exciting technology.


MEMS inertial accelerometers for drones and more

The Silicon Designs Model 1525 Series tactical-grade MEMS inertial accelerometer family is ideal for zero-to-medium frequency instrumentation applications that require high repeatability, low noise, and maximum stability, including tactical guidance systems, navigation and control systems (GN&C), AHRS, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), robotic controllers, flight control systems, and marine- and land-based navigation systems. They may also be used to support critical industrial test requirements, such as those common to agricultural, oil and gas drilling, photographic and meteorological drones, as well as seismic and inertial measurements.
Click here to learn more.


First 7-axis motion and pressure sensor

TDK has announced the availability of the InvenSense ICM-20789 MEMS 7-axis integrated inertial device, combining a 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer, and an ultra low-noise MEMS capacitive barometric pressure sensor. The ICM-20789 features a single small footprint, with the industry’s lowest pressure noise of 0.4Pa RMS and excellent temperature stability with a temp coefficient of +/-0.5 Pa/°C. Applications include: drones and flying toys; smart watches, wearables, activity monitoring; motion-based gaming controllers; virtual reality headsets and controllers; and indoor and outdoor navigation.
Click here to learn more.


Can we bypass the limits of Moore's Law? Fast-moving magnetic particles could enable new form of data storage

By David Chandler, MIT

New research has shown that an exotic kind of magnetic behavior discovered just a few years ago holds great promise as a way of storing data -- one that could overcome fundamental limits that might otherwise be signaling the end of "Moore's Law," which describes the ongoing improvements in computation and data storage over recent decades.

Rather than reading and writing data one bit at a time by changing the orientation of magnetized particles on a surface, as today's magnetic disks do, the new system would make use of tiny disturbances in magnetic orientation, which have been dubbed "skyrmions." These virtual particles, which occur on a thin metallic film sandwiched against a film of different metal, can be manipulated and controlled using electric fields, and can store data for long periods without the need for further energy input.

In 2016, a team led by MIT associate professor of materials science and engineering Geoffrey Beach documented the existence of skyrmions, but the particles' locations on a surface were entirely random. Now, Beach has collaborated with others to demonstrate experimentally for the first time that they can create these particles at will in specific locations, which is the next key requirement for using them in a data storage system. An efficient system for reading that data will also be needed to create a commercializable system.

The new findings were reported recently in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, in a paper by Beach, MIT postdoc Felix Buettner, graduate student Ivan Lemesh, and 10 others at MIT and in Germany.

One of the biggest missing pieces needed to make skyrmions a practical data-storage medium was a reliable way to create them when and where they were needed. [Illustration by Moritz Eisebitt]

 

 

The system focuses on the boundary region between atoms whose magnetic poles are pointing in one direction and those with poles pointing the other way. This boundary region can move back and forth within the magnetic material, Beach says. What he and his team found four years ago was that these boundary regions could be controlled by placing a second sheet of nonmagnetic heavy metal very close to the magnetic layer. The nonmagnetic layer can then influence the magnetic one, with electric fields in the nonmagnetic layer pushing around the magnetic domains in the magnetic layer. Skyrmions are little swirls of magnetic orientation within these layers, Beach adds.

The key to being able to create skyrmions at will in particular locations, it turns out, lay in material defects. By introducing a particular kind of defect in the magnetic layer, the skyrmions become pinned to specific locations on the surface, the team found. Those surfaces with intentional defects can then be used as a controllable writing surface for data encoded in the skyrmions. The team realized that instead of being a problem, the defects in the material could actually be beneficial.

"One of the biggest missing pieces" needed to make skyrmions a practical data-storage medium, Beach says, was a reliable way to create them when and where they were needed. "So this is a significant breakthrough," he explains, thanks to work by Buettner and Lemesh, the paper's lead authors. "What they discovered was a very fast and efficient way to write" such formations.

Because the skyrmions, basically little eddies of magnetism, are incredibly stable to external perturbations, unlike the individual magnetic poles in a conventional magnetic storage device, data can be stored using only a tiny area of the magnetic surface -- perhaps just a few atoms across. That means that vastly more data could be written onto a surface of a given size. That's an important quality, Beach explains, because conventional magnetic systems are now reaching limits set by the basic physics of their materials, potentially bringing to a halt the steady improvement of storage capacities that are the basis for Moore's Law. The new system, once perfected, could provide a way to continue that progress toward ever-denser data storage, he says.

The system also potentially could encode data at very high speeds, making it efficient not only as a substitute for magnetic media such as hard disks, but even for the much faster memory systems used in Random Access Memory (RAM) for computation.

But what is still lacking is an effective way to read out the data once it has been stored. This can be done now using sophisticated X-ray magnetic spectroscopy, but that requires equipment too complex and expensive to be part of a practical computer memory system. The researchers plan to explore better ways of getting the information back out, which could be practical to manufacture at scale.

The X-ray spectrograph is "like a microscope without lenses," Buettner explains, so the image is reconstructed mathematically from the collected data, rather than physically by bending light beams using lenses. Lenses for X-rays exist, but they are very complex, and cost $40,000 to $50,000 apiece, he says.

But an alternative way of reading the data may be possible, using an additional metal layer added to the other layers. By creating a particular texture on this added layer, it may be possible to detect differences in the layer's electrical resistance depending on whether a skyrmion is present or not in the adjacent layer. "There's no question it would work," Buettner says, it's just a matter of figuring out the needed engineering development. The team is pursuing this and other possible strategies to address the readout question.

The team also included researchers at the Max Born Institute and the Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics, both in Berlin; the Institute for Laser Technologies in Medicine and Metrology at the University of Ulm, in Germany; and the Deutches Elektroniken-Syncrotron (DESY), in Hamburg. The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the German Science Foundation.

Published October 2017

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