Texas Instruments has expanded its TMS320C2000 microcontroller (MCU) digital power family to help engineers jump start digital-power design. Digital-power designs rely upon a microcontroller that runs power-control algorithms in the digital domain while it controls power in the analog realm. For complete information, visit: www.ti.com/digpwr-pfc-pr-sw.The company grouped its announcement into three sections:1. More than 25 free, modular digital-power software blocks are now available in the controlSUITE software. The free, open-source, and modular digital-power libraries let developers change control techniques in software, so they need not modify or redesign power-related hardware. TI has optimized the software blocks for both the Piccolo C28x core and the control-law accelerator (CLA). For information on the CLA, visit: focus.ti.com/lit/ml/sprb197/sprb197.pdf.2. The new High Voltage PFC Developer’s Kit provides hardware and software needed to quickly implement digital power-factor correction (PFC). The Piccolo F28027 kit (Part no: TMDSHVPFCKIT, $US 249) includes hardware and software for two-phase 300-W interleaved power-factor correction and TI claims engineers can get up and running in under 10 minutes. An isolated JTAG port lets engineers test and debug code without exposing their lab PCs to high voltages.3. Biricha Digital Power Ltd. now offers training that gives engineers a solid foundation in digital-power theory and extensive hands-on lab exercises. The 3-day workshop provides an introduction to digital-power technology, a step-by-step design of a digital power supply (buck topology), and explanations of how to use the Piccolo MCU in digital-power designs. For course information, visit: www.biricha.com/. The 3-day course costs $US 1995.Have you used digital control of power-supply or PFC circuits? –Jon Titus
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.