Mid-October's WESCON tradeshow and conferences brought an eclectic collection of electronics exhibitors together in San Jose this year, and did not disappoint its nearly 30,000 attendees with the breadth of new offerings. Here are some of the developments we saw:
Power supply and conditioning developments were prominent, especially the trend toward more efficient, low-power applications. International Rectifier announced its IR2171 600V current sensing IC which gives single-chip functionality in replacing Hall-effect sensors in measuring motor phase current with a linearity within 0.5%. … Newcomer BIAS introduced its compact 0.25W standby ac-dc switching power supply. A patented pulse scheme allows supplying standby power for 3-15V dc functions with a 50% efficiency rating. SynQor's new quarter-brick-sized isolated dc/dc converters deliver up to 25A without the need for a heatsink. Synchronous rectifiers and a patent-pending, fixed switching frequency converter topology provide 87% efficiency for a 3.3V output at 25A.. The Alpha Series of modular power supplies from Lambda Electronics is having its output range extended down to 1.8V.
Connectors, sinks, and switches
Phoenix Contact was on hand showing the QC-1 COMBICON QUiX PCB terminal block that uses insulation displacement technology to terminate up to #18 AWG wire. Available in 2-16 positions it mates with any standard 0.200 inch board mount header...Wells-CTI announced completion of EIA-540B0AA testing on its Z-LOKTM zero insertion force ball grid array sockets. The test calls for shock and vibration loads followed by a 2,000-hour power cycle stress regimen.… Aavid Thermal Products debuted its ball grid array cooling solutions that include the company's Push-PinTM attachment (now available in brass), stronger double sided tape, and low profile 40 x 40 x 7-mm fans.C&K introduced the 8700 Series pushbutton switches featuring extended pre-travel or over-travel, a continuous plunger seal, and 100,000 cycle electrical life...Raychem showed the RYC8000 family of power distribution switches for USB applications. An analog IC prevents nuisance tripping during hot plugging and allows shutting of an affected single port rather than the whole IC when overcurrents and over-temperatures occur.
Hamamatsu unveiled the S7815 photo IC that combines a photodiode and amplifying signal processing circuit (furnishing up to 1,400X amplification) within a subminiature, clear plastic housing. Applications include sorting machines and functioning as a light dimmer for LCD displays...Entrelec introduced a line of CAIS/E multifunctional universal signal converters that convert voltage, current, resistance, RTD, and thermocouple signals for process control. Each unit features eight signal converters, 3-way isolation, and precise adjustment controls in a 22.5-mm-wide, DIN 3-rail mount package…Lucent Technologies unleashed the Onami isolated 48V power module which offers true load-sharing capability during current transients, programmable output voltage ranges of 1.3 to 3.5V, and a transient response of 0 to 30A (up to 50 A/mS). Onami boasts a 5 million-hour MTBF rating in a small footprint...Kenwood Test & Measurement unveiled a new PDS switching dc power supply with output voltages ranging from 20 to 120V and output currents from 6 to 36A, in small, lightweight packages…A high-speed parallel board connector with 2.5 Gb/sec performance was introduced by Teradyne Connection Systems. The NeXLev provides up to 145 signals per linear inch, giving designers the flexibility to remove high pin-count devices and reduce system complexity…Advanced Interconnections demonstrated SocketPak power module sockets for connecting dc converters to printed circuit boards before soldering. The single-sheet media allows for quick loading and visibility of different terminal types before soldering… CALEX showed a 75W high efficiency, half brick DC converter, a design that it says promises unbeatable price and superior performance.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.