Judging the Golden Mousetrap Awards is one of the most fun parts of my job. The good news is that there was no lack of really good candidates. The bad news is that there were a ton of entries I had to read. Two of the categories in which I participated fell into the Electronics & Test category -- Analog/Power Management/Control and Test & Measurement (T&M).
I'm not allowed to reveal the winners just yet, but I would love to brag about the finalists. The best place to learn who the winners are is at the live awards ceremony in Anaheim, Calif., on Tuesday, Feb. 11. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Pacific Design and Manufacturing Show.
Maxim's Corona MAXREFDES12 reference design provides an architecture for industrial programmable logic controller digital input modules. (I happen to be a big fan of reference designs.) The proliferation of sensors has put added pressure on industrial designers, so this product provides a great head start to folks less familiar with digital input modules.
I'd like to mention a pair of entries on the T&M side. First is Tektronix's PA4000 Power Analyzers. A power analyzer is generally used to test an array of power electronics devices, from cellphone chargers at the low end to 1,000 kW grid-connected inverters at the high end. The PA4000 features the company's Spiral Shunt technology and delivers consistently accurate measurements, even with challenging power waveforms. Two spiral shunts are employed on each channel -- one for current measurements up to 1 A, and one for up to 30 A.
Agilent says its X-Series of signal analyzers delivers the industry's best performance in multi-domain mode. The analyzers allow designers to see, capture, and understand highly elusive signals, known or unknown. They also can operate in real-time.
Do you think any of these products has a chance to win? Stay tuned. The winners will be announced in just a few more weeks.
Golden Mousetrap finalists: