April 10, 2018 Volume 14 Issue 14

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Compact angle sensor for robotics and other applications

See the robotics video demonstrating ease of programming and robotics application of certain angle sensors from Novotechnik. Novotechnik’s Vert-X 1600 Series of angle sensors (shown here) features easy mounting in tight spaces with a 16 mm diameter body. The sensors measure 0 to 360° with linearity ≤ ±0.3%, 14-bit resolution and repeatability to 0.1°. A variety of analog and digital output options are available.
View the video.


M8 12-pin connectors with gold-plated contacts

Binder USA has added the M8 12-pin to their Series 718 & 768 lines of M8 Connectors. The 12 gold-plated contacts allow for more data connections in a small-form connector, making it easy to combine multiple connections into one connector to save panel space. The IP67-rated connectors are typically used with automation-related products including photoelectric, proximity, and temperature sensors. Available in male or female molded cable and panel-mount connectors with cable lengths of 2 m and 5 m and standard single-wire length of 200 mm.
Click here to learn more.


Full line of industrial laser modules

BEA Lasers' full line of ruggedized Industrial Laser modules are now available for use in factories, machine shops, and other harsh environments for alignment and positioning of products, components, and machine parts. The laser diode modules (Series MIL, GPL, SEN, MIC, IND) each include a housing and cable apparatus to alleviate hard wiring for replacements. All are offered with a choice of green or red laser light and include laser dot and line patterns; many available with a crosshair pattern. Most Industrial Laser families are available with 1-, 3-, or 5-mW output power. In addition, BEA’s "Yellow Sub" and "Yellow Torpedo" lasers can be used for leveling. Other laser applications include drilling, event detection, edge detection, security, cutting, vision systems, metrology, bar code readers, education, robotic control, and laboratory or test operations.
Click here to learn more.


Microcontroller for automotive and industrial radar systems

Mouser Electronics is now stocking the S32R274 radar microcontroller from NXP Semicon-ductors. Engineered to meet the high-performance computation demands required by modern beam-forming and fast chirp-modulation radar systems, the S32R274 combines signal-processing acceleration with a multicore architecture to provide up to four times the power performance in industrial and automotive applications, compared to previous generations of products. This device offers a multifaceted solution for general software tasks and car bus interfacing. Combined with radio frequency (RF) front-end technologies (RFCMOS or BiCMOS), the S32R274 provides designers a scalable solution that addresses ultra-short-range, short-range, mid-range, and long-range radar systems.
Click here to learn more.


New option for flexible heater applications

Rogers Corp. has introduced ARLON raPId polyimide substrates, a new, innovative solution for streamlining manufacturing and improving performance of flexible heater applications. These substrates incorporate the benefits of polyimide heater dielectrics with the flexibility and usability of a silicone adhesive system. This makes a big difference during manufacturing, because the innovative thermosetting silicone adhesive system locks the foil-etched circuit in place, minimizing circuit "swimming" during capping, while minimizing delamination and voids. This solution is ideal for high-reliability applications as a replacement for acrylic or FEP adhesives in polyimide flexible heaters.
Learn more.


Cool Tools: Rugged smartphone with built-in thermal imaging

The ruggedized Cat S61 is equipped with FLIR Lepton, the industry’s smallest, lightest, and lowest cost thermal imaging camera core. This smartphone enables users to see in total darkness and visualize heat that is invisible to the naked eye. The new model includes a variety of technical improvements, including an increased temperature range of -20 to 400 C (great for things like vehicle diagnostics and asphalt monitoring), upgraded visible HD camera and thermal image processing, and live thermal imagery streaming for sharing results in real time. Available 3Q 2018. Under $1,000.
Click here to learn more.


Faster, cooler-running new Raspberry Pi unit -- still $35!

After a two-year wait since its last upgrade, Raspberry Pi released a new and improved version of its wildly popular single-board computer on March 14 -- Pi Day, of course. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ boasts a 200-MHz increase in peak CPU clock frequency, roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput, and the ability to sustain high performance for much longer periods. Features include: a 1.4-GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2, faster Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0), Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT), improved PXE network and USB mass-storage booting, and improved thermal management.
Learn all about the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.


Cool Tools: World's fastest digital ultra-high-speed camera

Vision Research has introduced the Phantom v2640, the fastest 4-Megapixel (MPx) camera available. It features a new proprietary 4-Mpx CMOS image sensor (2048 x 1952) that delivers unprecedented image quality at up to 26 Gpx/sec, while reaching 6,600 frames per second (fps) at full 2048 x 1952 resolution, and 11,750 fps at 1920 x 1080. This is an excellent tool for researchers, scientists, and engineers who need to capture clean, high-resolution images at super high speeds. Go to the Videos tab on the product webpage to see it in action.
Click here to learn more.


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.


New series of tall board-to-board stacker connectors

AVX Corporation has released a new series of tall board-to-board stacker connectors. The new 00-9148 Series tall stacker connectors are cost-effective, reliable, and robust; exhibit excellent resistance to shock and vibration; and help reduce tolerance accumulation in a variety of demanding applications across the automotive, consumer, medical, and industrial markets. The single-piece connectors also reduce assembly time and shorten BOM lists, and feature a double-row design with an 8-mm (+/- 0.2-mm) board-stacking height, a 1-mm pitch, and eight positions, each rated for 1A continuous current. Rated for 125 V, 50 cycles, and temperatures spanning -40 C to 125 C.
Click here to learn more.


Development kit for IoT applications

ON Semiconductor is helping engineers address a broader range of high-growth Internet of Things (IoT) applications through the release of a new multi-sensor shield and expansion of software support for its IoT Development Kit (IDK). The IDK gives access to a wide variety of sensing, processing, connectivity, and actuation possibilities through a range of shields/daughter cards that attach to the Arm SoC motherboard. The multi-sensor shield adds a variety of inertial and environmental sensors. These coupled with, for example, the recently announced Bluetooth low energy (BLE) connectivity shield, enable the rapid prototyping of a wide range of ultra-low power smart home, industrial IoT, and wearable solutions.
Click here to learn more.


AC and DC motorized impellers designed for demanding environments

Orion Fans has expanded its AC motorized impeller product offering with 14 new IP55-rated models and has added a new line of 24-V and 48-V DC motorized impellers with 13 models. The AC motorized impellers provide high airflow for a wide range of harsh and demanding applications. The DC motorized impellers deliver a low-power solution with standard control and monitoring features. The new motorized impeller models are available in popular 133-mm, 175-mm, 182-mm, 220-mm, and 225-mm sizes, expanding the existing range from 133 mm to 400 mm. They feature backward curved plastic or all-metal blades, sealed dual ball bearings, and rugged die-cast aluminum frames. All AC motorized impellers ship with the required capacitor. All DC motorized impeller models include a PWM and Tachometer function.
Learn about AC motorized impellers.
Learn about DC motorized impellers.


Smallest capacitive touch LED sensor display

Visual Communi-cations Company (VCC) recently launched the CSM Series surface-mount capacitive touch LED sensor, which boasts the smallest footprint in the industry. These displays are unique because they measure only 15.0 mm x 15.0 mm x 3.2 mm and can be surface mounted or even reverse mounted to save additional space. The compact, high-output LED sensor displays can be used in a wide range of applications, including: medical devices, home automation and mobile communication devices, as well as portable instruments. Available in green, yellow, red, blue, and white, these touch sensor displays provide streamlined manufacturing and enhanced product life cycle over a mechanical on/off switch because there are no mechanical components to wear down or break.
See these touch LED sensors in action.


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.


Researchers demonstrate existence of new form of electronic matter

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have produced a "human scale" demonstration of a new phase of matter called quadrupole topological insulators (QTIs) that was recently predicted using theoretical physics. These are the first experimental findings to validate this theory.

The researchers reported their findings in the journal Nature.

The team's work with QTIs was born out of the decade-old understanding of the properties of a class of materials called topological insulators. "TIs are electrical insulators on the inside and conductors along their boundaries, and may hold great potential for helping build low-power, robust computers and devices, all defined at the atomic scale," said mechanical science and engineering professor and senior investigator Gaurav Bahl.

The uncommon properties of TIs make them a special form of electronic matter. "Collections of electrons can form their own phases within materials. These can be familiar solid, liquid, and gas phases like water, but they can also sometimes form more unusual phases like a TI," said co-author and physics professor Taylor Hughes.

TIs typically exist in crystalline materials (and other studies confirm TI phases present in naturally occurring crystals), but there are still many theoretical predictions that need to be confirmed, Hughes said.

A dipole moment can be represented by two charges, one positive and one negative, separated in one dimension. A quadrupole moment can be represented by four charges separated in two dimensions, etc. [Graphic courtesy: Kitt Peterson]

 

 

 

 

One such prediction was the existence of a new type of TI having an electrical property known as a quadrupole moment. "Electrons are single particles that carry charge in a material," said physics graduate student Wladimir Benalcazar. "We found that electrons in crystals can collectively arrange to give rise not only to charge dipole units -- that is, pairings of positive and negative charges -- but also high-order multipoles in which four or eight charges are brought together into a unit. The simplest member of these higher-order classes are quadrupoles in which two positive and two negative charges are coupled."

It is not currently feasible to engineer a material atom by atom, let alone control the quadrupolar behavior of electrons. Instead, the team built a workable-scale analog of a QTI using a material created from printed circuit boards. Each circuit board holds a square of four identical resonators -- devices that absorb electromagnetic radiation at a specific frequency. The boards are arranged in a grid pattern to create the full crystal analog.

"Each resonator behaves as an atom, and the connections between them behave as bonds between atoms," said Kitt Peterson, the lead author and an electrical engineering graduate student. "We apply microwave radiation to the system and measure how much is absorbed by each resonator, which tells us about how electrons would behave in an analogous crystal. The more microwave radiation is absorbed by a resonator, the more likely it is to find an electron on the corresponding atom."

A single circuit board, foreground, that when joined with others forms the experimental array of the quadrupole topological insulator. [Photo by L. Brian Stauffer]

 

 

 

 

The detail that makes this a QTI and not a TI is a result of the specifics of the connections between resonators, the researchers said.

"The edges of a QTI are not conductive like you would see in a typical TI," Bahl said, "Instead, only the corners are active, that is, the edges of the edges, and are analogous to the four localized point charges that would form what is known as a quadrupole moment. Exactly as Taylor and Wladimir predicted."

"We measured how much microwave radiation each resonator within our QTI absorbed, confirming the resonant states in a precise frequency range and located precisely in the corners," Peterson said. "This pointed to the existence of predicted protected states that would be filled by electrons to form four corner charges."

Those corner charges of this new phase of electronic matter may be capable of storing data for communications and computing. "That may not seem realistic using our 'human scale' model," Hughes said. "However, when we think of QTIs on the atomic scale, tremendous possibilities become apparent for devices that perform computation and information processing, possibly even at scales below that we can achieve today."

The researchers said the agreement between experiment and prediction offered promise that scientists are beginning to understand the physics of QTIs well enough for practical use.

"As theoretical physicists, Wladimir and I could predict the existence of this new form of matter, but no material has been found to have these properties so far," Hughes said. "Collaborating with engineers helped turn our prediction into reality."

The National Science Foundation and U.S. Office of Naval Research supported this study.

Source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Published April 2018

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