February 27, 2018 Volume 14 Issue 08

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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New touchless angle sensors with CANBus interface

Novotechnik, U.S. introduces the RFC4800 Series of touchless angle sensors measuring angular position up to 360°, revolution counter, and speed -- with J1939 CANBus interface in addition to CANopen. Features include programmable zero-point offset, measurement averaging, and sign of rotational direction. RFC4800 Series has a resolution of 14-bits across 360°, repeatability of 0.36°, and independent linearity of +/-0.5% of full scale. J1939 CANBus provides a different feature set than CANopen. It has peer-to-peer or broadcast signaling and fixed messages rather than configurable. There are other differences too.
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Inline Code Matcher makes for reliable packaging

The Inline Code Matcher is a stand-alone quality-control system featuring SICK Lector 6xx image-based code readers that reliably read 1D and 2D codes on packages to match packaging with the correct products. The Inline Code Matcher system software uses a 7-in. touch screen with an intuitive user interface for operation and to visualize data. The Inline Code Matcher’s modular design and auto set-up feature allow for easy integration into existing plants. Products can be changed over during a live operation on the basis of an example product or manually with a hand-held scanner.
Click here to learn more.


Minimizing noise in electric linear motion systems

Under most circumstances, electric linear motion systems are quiet. They certainly don’t create the hissing and bang-bang noises associated with pneumatic systems. However, there’s another type of noise that comes with electric systems of all types: electrical noise or interference. The results can be anything from erratic movements to complete system failure. Patrick Hobart from Tolomatic runs through best practices for minimizing noise in these automation systems.
Read this insightful blog.


Sony releasing 0.5-type OLED microdisplay with top-of-class UXGA resolution

Sony Corporation recently announced the upcoming release of the ECX339A OLED Microdisplay featuring UXGA (1,600 x 1,200 resolution), the highest in class for a 0.5-type. This product achieves the world's smallest pixel pitch of 6.3μm by leveraging Sony's OLED display technology and miniaturization technology, enabling a resolution 1.6x higher than the previous model. By employing a new drive circuit design that operates on half the voltage of the previous model, the new product achieves the same level of low-power operation as its predecessor but with much higher resolution.
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Want to make your factory wireless? NIST how-to guide

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the first-ever set of science-based guidelines to help users select the best wireless system for any specific industrial environment, custom-design the setup to make it work, successfully deploy it, and then ensure that the network performs as needed. The publication is called, "Guide to Industrial Wireless Systems Deployments." By eliminating physical connections such as wires and cables from a facility's communication network, wireless technology offers many manufacturing, chemical processing, and utility organizations a means to run their entire operation more efficiently, more productively, and at less cost.
Get the guide. No registration required.


Mike Likes: Fixed-mount infrared cameras help you analyze the heat

For precise research, science, and engineering applications, just seeing heat is not enough -- it needs to be measured and analyzed as well. The new Fluke RSE300 and RSE600 Infrared Cameras are the first fully radiometric, fixed-mount cameras from Fluke with advanced features including MATLAB and LabVIEW software plug-ins to easily analyze thermal data. These cameras continuously stream up to 60 frames of data per sec, allowing for detailed monitoring of temperature patterns and variances. With the included SmartView desktop software, users can remotely focus the camera, auto-capture images, adjust level and span, and analyze infrared videos frame by frame. The software also makes it easy to edit images, generate customized reports, and export images to multiple formats to share thermal data quickly.
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LED controller for automotive lighting designs

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced the first 3-channel high-side linear automotive light-emitting diode (LED) controller without internal MOSFETs, which gives designers greater flexibility for their lighting designs. The TPS92830-Q1's novel architecture enables higher power and better thermal dissipation than conventional LED controllers, and is particularly beneficial for automotive LED lighting applications that require high performance and reliability. The LED controller's flexible on-board features give designers the freedom to select the best MOSFET for their system requirements. With this new approach, designers can optimize their lighting power designs more quickly and efficiently for automotive system requirements and desired dimming features.
Click here to learn more.


New ultra high-brightness LCDs for outdoor viewing

The Tianma Group has introduced two new LCDs: a 10.1-in. WXGA and 15.6-in. WXGA, both with ultra-high luminance. These modules are ideal for industrial applications needing superior viewing in outdoor or other high ambient light environments such as ATMs and payment terminals. The 10.1-in.-wide model has a luminance of 1000 cd/m2, and the 15.6-in.-wide model has a luminance of 1250 cd/m2. The ultra-high luminance of these models results in displays with vivid colors and excellent visibility, even in direct sunlight, and further expand Tianma’s extensive offering of industrial products.
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Mouser Electronics New Product Insider

Mouser Electronics specializes in the rapid introduction of new products and technologies. As the industry leader in New Product Introductions (NPIs), Mouser makes it a priority to stock the newest products and technologies from their 700+ manufacturer partners, giving customers an edge and helping speed time to market. In 2017, Mouser launched a total of 2,326 new products. Last month, Mouser launched more than 270 new products ready for same-day shipment. Latest products include: Linear Technology/Analog Devices DC1962C-KIT Starter Kit step-down DC/DC controller; TE Connectivity AmbiMate Sensor Module MS4 Series that provides motion, light, temperature, and humidity sensors plus optional sound; andON Semiconductor RSL10 Multi-Protocol Bluetooth 5 System-on-Chip.
See the latest from Mouser Electronics.


LED panel-mount indicators are all about flexibility

Visual Communica-tions Company’s (VCC) 90 Series panel-mount indicators are designed for an extended life and quick installation, and they are unique because they deliver enhanced design flexibility through three termination styles: cartridge, bi-pin, and wire leads. They save time during installation and maintenance and require less-frequent replacement. The P80 Series LED panel mount indicator is designed to streamline installation with a snap-in mounting design that requires no additional hardware. It is offered in six single LED colors (red, orange, amber, green, blue, and clear). Five lens colors are also available: red, amber, green, blue, and clear.
Click here to learn more.


Flexible Printed Circuits Design Guide

Tech-Etch manufactures high-reliability flexible printed circuits on polyimide substrates using advanced manufacturing processes to create circuits for today's sophisticated electronic applications. Special processes include the ability to selectively plate a single circuit with two different finishes, contoured circuits with variable metal thickness, semi-additive and subtractive techniques to manufacture trace patterns, BGA pad arrays, and open window or cantilevered contact leads. Surface mount technology (SMT) for component assembly is employed for both prototypes and full production runs. Tech-Etch specializes in flexible circuits for medical device, medical implant, diagnostic ultrasound, telecommunications and patient monitoring applications, in addition to telecommunications, aerospace, semiconductor, industrial, and other high-reliability electronic applications.
Learn more and download the guide (no registration required).


Compact angle sensor for robotics and other applications

See the robotics video demonstrating ease of programming and robotics application of certain angle sensors from Novotechnik. Novotechnik’s Vert-X 1600 Series of angle sensors (shown here) features easy mounting in tight spaces with a 16 mm diameter body. The sensors measure 0 to 360° with linearity ≤ ±0.3%, 14-bit resolution and repeatability to 0.1°. A variety of analog and digital output options are available.
View the video.


M8 12-pin connectors with gold-plated contacts

Binder USA has added the M8 12-pin to their Series 718 & 768 lines of M8 Connectors. The 12 gold-plated contacts allow for more data connections in a small-form connector, making it easy to combine multiple connections into one connector to save panel space. The IP67-rated connectors are typically used with automation-related products including photoelectric, proximity, and temperature sensors. Available in male or female molded cable and panel-mount connectors with cable lengths of 2 m and 5 m and standard single-wire length of 200 mm.
Click here to learn more.


Full line of industrial laser modules

BEA Lasers' full line of ruggedized Industrial Laser modules are now available for use in factories, machine shops, and other harsh environments for alignment and positioning of products, components, and machine parts. The laser diode modules (Series MIL, GPL, SEN, MIC, IND) each include a housing and cable apparatus to alleviate hard wiring for replacements. All are offered with a choice of green or red laser light and include laser dot and line patterns; many available with a crosshair pattern. Most Industrial Laser families are available with 1-, 3-, or 5-mW output power. In addition, BEA’s "Yellow Sub" and "Yellow Torpedo" lasers can be used for leveling. Other laser applications include drilling, event detection, edge detection, security, cutting, vision systems, metrology, bar code readers, education, robotic control, and laboratory or test operations.
Click here to learn more.


Microcontroller for automotive and industrial radar systems

Mouser Electronics is now stocking the S32R274 radar microcontroller from NXP Semicon-ductors. Engineered to meet the high-performance computation demands required by modern beam-forming and fast chirp-modulation radar systems, the S32R274 combines signal-processing acceleration with a multicore architecture to provide up to four times the power performance in industrial and automotive applications, compared to previous generations of products. This device offers a multifaceted solution for general software tasks and car bus interfacing. Combined with radio frequency (RF) front-end technologies (RFCMOS or BiCMOS), the S32R274 provides designers a scalable solution that addresses ultra-short-range, short-range, mid-range, and long-range radar systems.
Click here to learn more.


More than illuminating: Researchers steer the flow of electrical current with spinning light

Light can generate an electrical current in semiconductor materials. This is how solar cells generate electricity from sunlight and how smart phone cameras can take photographs. To collect the generated electrical current, called photocurrent, an electric voltage is needed to force the current to flow in only one direction.

In new research, scientists at the University of Minnesota used a first-of-its-kind device to demonstrate a way to control the direction of the photocurrent without deploying an electric voltage. The new study was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

The study reveals that control is effected by the direction in which the particles of light, called photons, are spinning -- clockwise or counterclockwise. The photocurrent generated by the spinning light is also spin-polarized, which means there are more electrons with spin in one direction than in the other. This new device holds significant potential for use in the next generation of microelectronics using electron spin as the fundamental unit of information. It could also be used for energy-efficient optical communication in data centers.

"The observed effect is very strong and robust in our devices, even at room temperature and in open air," said Mo Li, a University of Minnesota electrical and computer engineering associate professor and a lead author of the study. "Therefore, the device we demonstrate has great potential for being implemented in next-generation computation and communication systems."

Optical spin and topological insulators
Light is a form of electromagnetic wave. The way the electric field oscillates, either in a straight line or rotating, is called polarization. (Your polarized sunglasses block part of the unpleasant reflected light that is polarized along a straight line.) In circularly polarized light, the electric field can spin in the clockwise or counterclockwise direction. In such a state, the particle of light (photon) is said to have positive or negative optical spin angular momentum. This optical spin is analogous to the spin of electrons, and endows magnetic properties to materials.

Recently, a new category of materials, called topological insulators (TI), was discovered to have an intriguing property not found in common semiconductor materials. Imagine a road on which red cars only drive on the left lane, and blue cars only in the right lane. Similarly, on the surface of a TI, the electrons with their spins pointing one way always flow in one direction. This effect is called spin-momentum locking -- the spin of the electrons is locked in the direction they travel.

This image shows a false-colored electron microscope image of the University of Minnesota device. The blue area marks the topological insulator on top of the optical waveguide in red. [Credit: University of Minnesota]

 

 

Interestingly, shining a circularly polarized light on a TI can free electrons from its inside to flow on its surface in a selective way, for example, clockwise light for spin-up electrons and counterclockwise for spin-down electrons. Because of this effect, the generated photocurrent on the surface of the TI material spontaneously flows in one direction, requiring no electric voltage. This particular feature is significant for controlling the direction of a photocurrent. Because most of the electrons in this current have their spins pointing in a single direction, this current is spin-polarized.

Controlling direction and polarization
To fabricate their unique device that can change the direction of a photocurrent without the use of an electric voltage, the University's research team integrated a thin film of a TI material, bismuth selenide, on an optical waveguide made of silicon. Light flows through the waveguide (a tiny wire measuring 1.5 microns wide and 0.22 micron high) just like electrical current flows through a copper wire. Because light is tightly squeezed in the waveguide, it tends to be circularly polarized along a direction normal to the direction in which it flows. This is akin to the spin-momentum locking effect of the electrons in a TI material.

The scientists supposed that integrating a TI material with the optical waveguide will induce strong coupling between the light in the waveguide and the electrons in the TI material, both having the same, intriguing spin-momentum locking effect. The coupling will result in a unique optoelectronic effect: light flowing along one direction in the waveguide generates an electrical current flowing in the same direction with electron spin polarized. Reversing the light direction reverses both the direction of the current and its spin polarization. And this is exactly what the team observed in their devices. Other possible causes of the observed effect, such as heat generated by the light, have been ruled out through careful experiments.

Future prospects
The outcome of the research is exciting for the researchers. It bears enormous potential for possible applications.

"Our devices generate a spin-polarized current flowing on the surface of a topological insulator. They can be used as a current source for spintronic devices, which use electron spin to transmit and process information with very low energy cost," said Li He, a University of Minnesota physics graduate student and an author of the paper.

"Our research bridges two important fields of nanotechnology: spintronics and nanophotonics. It is fully integrated with a silicon photonic circuit that can be manufactured on a large scale and has already been widely used in optical communication in data centers," he added.

This research was funded by the Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces and Novel Architectures (C-SPIN) at the University of Minnesota, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program sponsored by the Microelectronics Advanced Research Corp. (MARCO) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Source: University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering

Published February 2018

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