Product News 12392

DN Staff

January 21, 2002

7 Min Read
Product News

Prototypes delivered overnight

What if you could come up with the design of the components for your new product one day and have a working prototype the next? Well now you can, for dc-to-dc power supplies, wireless applications, and microcontrollers thanks to the features in National Semiconductor's latest WEBENCH design on-line design tool, version 3.0.

WEBENCH is a free, interactive, on-line workbench that permits engineers to select power supply components (for example), do a virtual physical layout, and simulate the design electrically and thermally. The tool integrates supply chain partners (Pioneer Standard in the case of power supplies) to deliver prototype kits overnight to U.S. addresses, and fully assembled and tested custom prototypes in five days. Engineers analyze a design on WEBENCH until optimal and then order the chips, boards, and software for delivery.

In the past, under deadline pressures, "design engineers usually had to go with what worked, but which may have been suboptimal," says National Semiconductor's Phil Gibson, VP of Web business and sales automation.

In WEBENCH, designs are saved in secure accounts where the engineer can review and re-vise them at any time, along with automatically updated documentation. Engineers can share designs with peers, management, purchasing, and customers for approval and review. True on-line design collaboration is not enabled at this time because it is such a "server-intensive" function. The power supply range currently encompasses designs up to 185W using heat sinks or surface-mount designs with variable copper for thermal management.

In other WEBENCH design environments, Easy PLL (phase-locked loop) for wireless offers simulation and customization of reference designs for the 1.8-GHz GSM and 2.4-GHz ISM standards. The service simulates RF and Aux frequency PLL and loop filter designs. The site can be used for easing selection of flash microcontrollers and visually configuring on-chip peripherals, registers, and interrupts. One feature is the library of pre-configured Embedded Java Beans for each peripheral/controller core combination. It even creates functional code with minimal knowledge of underlying controller complexity.

National Semiconductor, Enter 599

RF test sockets

These radio frequency (RF) test sockets, complete with spring-loaded lids, are used in RF/microwave, automated handling, and burn-in/life testing applications. The company's Microstrip Contact(TM), used on the sockets, fits pitch devices with up to 208 leads and has a low dielectric strip for lead placement accuracy. Mix-and-match springs from .50 to over 25 lbs. may also be used for the test sockets for precise pressure measurements.

Aries Electronics, Enter 600

Hybrid gate array

The XpressArray(TM) platform is a hybrid gate array designed to convert medium density, high-speed 1.8V Xilinx Virtex-E and APEX-E FPGAs to lower power, higher performance ASICs. It reports local clock speeds of 350 MHz and system clock speeds of up to 250 MHz. According to the company, the platform provides non-recurring engineering cost savings as well as high performance.

AMI Semiconductor, Enter 601

Cable assembly

The micro IDC system has four-finger Beryllium Copper contacts on 0.05- x 0.05-inch pitch (FFSD Series), with standard Notch polarization and double row designs from 10 to 25. The 0.2-inch tall assembly reaches a mated height of 0.25 inches above the board with a mating through-hole or surface mount terminal strip (FTS Series).

Samtec Inc., Enter 602

Level sensors

The +GF+ SIGNET family of Level Sensing products includes the 2210 Ultrasonic Level Sensor, 2222 Magnetostrictive Level Sensor, 2450 Pressure Sensor, 2211/2212 Ultrasonic Point Level Sensor, and the 8250 ProcessPro Level Transmitter. Designed for industrial process control, the microprocessor-based level sensors use the S3 L(TM) digital interface for instrumentation development. Applications include pump protection, storage tanks, sewage systems, chemical transfer/storage and leak detection, and continuous level and volume monitoring.

George Fischer, Enter 603


FS, HS, AS, and MX solid-state relays are for industrial use. The FS series is chassis mountable, measuring 0.83 x 1.4 x 0.9 inches, and has an output current rating of 280 V ac. The HS series is designed for mounting on printed circuit boards with a maximum current of 10A. Its thermal efficiency and thyristors are said to handle high inrush currents. AS series relays offer zero cross or random switching for high current overloads. Applications include vending machines, light and lamp control, and fan speed control. The MX series offers an output current rating of 4A to 240V ac for DIN rail mounting. The relays are available in two- or three-pole configurations. Applications include fan speed control, contactor drive, and HVAC.

Teledyne Relays, Enter 604

Digital multimeter

The DM73B is a probe-style digital multimeter, weighing less than four ounces and measuring just over one inch wide and under eight inches long. Suited for troubleshooting production machinery and lighting, the multimeter measures resistance, continuity, and ac/dc voltage for hard-to-reach electrical and electronic spots. An analog bargraph with 3,400-count digital display reports a plus or minus 0.5% accuracy level.

Wavetek Meterman, Enter 605

Pressure indicator

The Kipster miniature peak pressure indicator is an alternative to electronic instrumentation for fluid and gas systems. The indicator includes a threaded mount body with .25-inch hex drive, an operating pressure range of 2,000 - 8,000 psi, and a pressure-sensitive disk made to deform irreversibly, proportional to pressure. Peak pressure is found by comparing the deformation to a relational graph.

The Lee Company, Enter 606

Serial module

The TPMC866 and TPMC868 are a family of six PMC modules. Each offers eight channels of serial interface for transmitting and receiving FIFOs, which reportedly reduces data-provision overhead. The TPMC866 has four different configurations and features front panel I/O, RS232 with P14 I/O, and RS422 with P14 I/O where the baud rate is up to 460.8 kbaud. The TPMC868 is a standard, single-width, 32-bit PMC module with 16 RS232 interfaces and front panel I/O, and a maximum baud rate of 230 kbaud.

TEWS Technologies, Enter 607

Single board computer

The CP620-PM single board computer (SBC) features two PMC slots to adapt to I/O needs, two Fast Ethernet ports, four configurable serial ports, and 4 or 8 MB soldered flash memory for operating system and application code. Employing the IBMPPC750CX(E) PowerPC processor at up to 700 MHz, the SBC includes direct soldered SDRAM with ECC, and may be configured as a peripheral master. Applications include military, transportation, and industrial automation uses.

PEP Modular Computers Inc., Enter 608


The IRDCiP2001-A high-current dc-dc converter is a two-phase unit capable of up to 40A. The IRDCiP2001-B is a three-phase buck converter capable of 60 A, and the IRDCiP2001-C is a four-phase 80 A buck converter. The reference designs use one iP2001 device per phase and are said to be efficient and compact. Appli-cations include circuit development for CPUs in servers and network processing units and ASICs in networking, telecom switchers, and routers.

International Rectifier, Enter 609


P-Lok(R) connectors are spring-loaded, positive locking couplings that use the company's RADSOK(R) socket technology for up to 150% higher amperage, more temperature rise, and lower milli-volt drop. Allowing for high current circuits with lower power and/or signal circuits, the connectors include cable jacket compression grommets and front and rear o-ring seals and gaskets.

Amphenol Corp., Enter 610

Lighting system

Suited for specialty commercial vehicles, the TST Underbody Service Lighting System is designed to burn consistently as a rear or side lighting source. The lighting assembly connects to the vehicle's turn signal lamps and emergency flashers, to improve nighttime driving, corner safely, view brakes for problems, and check the rear and sides of the vehicle while in motion. Unless more than four lamps are installed, the lighting assembly requires no additional wiring.

Transportation Safety Technologies, Enter 611

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