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Articles from 2006 In February

California prepares RoHS-like law

California prepares RoHS-like law

As expected, the California legislature is getting ready to look at laws banning hazardous materials in electronic products. While the state has already enacted waste recycling laws governing electronic products, this is the first proposed law that outright bans toxic materials in consumer electronic products.

The bill unveiled last week by Assembly Member Lori Saldana, a Democrat from San Diego, applies to any electronic or battery-power device. Hazardous substances will have to be phased out by 2008. “We know that the manufacturers of these products are able to produce them without including harmful toxic materials,” said Saldana in a statement. “California deserves to be included among the markets that receive this cleaner stream of consumer products.”

With a Democratic-led legislature and the backing of environmental groups, the bill is likely to pass. No exceptions have yet been mentioned in the bill. In most cases, this will be little burden on OEMs, as the vast majority are already planning a complete switch to RoHS-compliant products. The only danger would be if the California bill’s specifications were substantially more restrictive than the European Union’s RoHS directive.

Digital oscilloscopes

Big display/small footprint

The WaveRunner Xi series of digital oscilloscopes is designed to eliminate the trade-off between high performance, display size and bench footprint. It features 10.4-inch displays and 6-inch depth, making them ideal for a crowded bench. Sample rates are up to 10 GS/sec on the 600 MHz unit and standard 2 Mpt/Ch memory. They are available in 400 and 600 MHz bandwidths.

LeCroy Corp.

Power/signal connector


Designed for use in applications requiring a high reliability miniature connector that offers signal and/or power contacts, the Dragonfly series offers contact current ratings of 20A continuous for size 16 contacts. Size 20 contacts are rated at 12A when used with 18 awg wire. Features include multiple package sizes with an integral quick latch locking system, and closed and open entry female contacts.

Positronic Industries


TI's Video Processors

Texas Instruments' TMS320DM644x devices offer video integration for applications ranging from videophones to automotive infotainment systems, and digital cameras to IP set-top boxes. Based on the company's DaVinci technology, the highly-integrated system-on-chip includes a DSP core and an ARM926 processor, as well video accelerators, networking peripherals and external memory storage interfaces, all tuned for video. For more information, go to


Xilinx's DSP-Based Multimedia and Video Solutions

Xilinx Inc.'s XtremeDSP solutions accelerate development of multimedia, video, and image processing (MVI) systems and extend performance of digital signal processor-based (DSP-based) applications. The solutions provide programmable hardware platforms, design tools, IP, and reference designs for development of real-time video and image processing systems. Applications include video broadcasting, video conferencing, medical imaging, home gateways, and digital televisions. For more info, go to



Isolated, integrated

Engineered to provide solutions for current sensing in industrial, commercial and communications systems, the ACS706 isolated, integrated current-sensing devices are designed for easy implementation in user applications. They are bi-directional sensors that can measure either ac or dc currents. The power lead frame is meant for extremely low power loss, and is electrically isolated from the sensor signal leads.

Allegro MicroSystems Inc.

DC brush drive

Fully enclosed

The ION dc brush drive is a fully enclosed, compact module engineered to provide network connectivity, power amplification and advanced motion control features in a rugged, easy-to-use package. It is available for dc brush, brushless dc and microstepping motors. The product is ideal for medical, scientific, industrial, robotic, semiconductor and general automation applications. Multiple modules (up to 127) can be connected on a single network.

Performance Motion Devices


ITC/PLTC cable

Many options available

The company's line of custom-configured ITC/PLTC cable is designed for use in industrial control and instrumentation circuit applications. Three of the six new product platforms are exposed run rated, and the cable is customizable in virtually endless options to fit users specifications, according to the company. The products are designed for applications 150V or less with a maximum current of 5A.

Northwire Inc.


Power supplies line

Universal input

The LPS50 series product line of PCB switching power supplies is engineered to meet the space and performance needs in instrumentation, industrial controls, embedded systems and telecommunications applications. All models accept universal input from 85 to 265V ac, and six models are available that provide single outputs from 3.3 to 48V dc. All models also contain over-voltage and short-circuit protection circuitry.


Hollow shaft encoder

Rugged housing

The HS35 hollow shaft encoder features expanded capability for finer resolutions. High resolution is reportedly obtained using robust internal interpolation electronics that multiply internal signals with no degradation of overall accuracy. Interpolative multiples of 2× to 16× are available. The product features a rugged cast metal housing and dual preloaded bearings, along with rotating shaft seals and a sealed connector for NEMA 4, 13, and IP65 ratings.

BEI Industrial Encoder Div.