March 01, 2022 Volume 18 Issue 09

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Image sensor for virtual reality, drones, machine vision

OMNIVISION has just announced the OG0VE global shutter (GS) image sensor, a small-form-factor, high-sensitivity device for AR/VR/MR, metaverse, drone, machine vision, and barcode scanner products. This new-generation image sensor is 26% smaller and more than 50% more power efficient than its predecessor. It supports one-lane MIPI D-PHY at up to 800 Mbps and was designed to address the high market demand for the smallest and lowest power-consuming cameras.
Learn more.

Smallest Smart Motor Module for DC fan applications

Alpha and Omega Semiconductor Limited has introduced an extension to its compact Smart Motor Module (SMM) family. Available in an ultra-compact, thermally enhanced 3-mm x 3-mm QFN-18L package, the highly integrated AOZ9530QV SMM is a half-bridge power stage with a slew of features and protections that simplify motor drive designs. It is suitable for use in a large number of BLDC fan applications ranging from PC and server fans to seat cooling and home appliances.
Learn more.

Application Note: Wireless -- Decoupling high-frequency signals from a DC supply

From 5G systems to radio and antenna applications, wireless communication accompanies us throughout our daily lives, so the demand for universal high-frequency amplifiers is correspondingly high. By selecting the optimal passive components, the transmission characteristics of the amplifier can be improved during development. A well-designed layout further improves RF performance. The aim is to transmit both RF signals and the DC supply on a single line without interference or cross-talk. A key component is the inductor for decoupling the RF and DC supplies.
Read this in-depth W├╝rth Elektronik application note.

Smallest all-in-one LIN driver propels relay window lifters

Melexis' new LIN pre-driver IC for relay DC motors offers a combination of high power, compactness, and attractive pricing. The MLX81160 is the latest addition to the company's Gen3 family of compatible embedded motor drivers. Its 48-KB of memory (16 KB ROM for the included LIN protocol and 32 KB Flash for the application software) is suitable for applications like window regulators.
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Pull-type solenoids in a range to meet tons of applications

Magnetic Sensor Systems (MSS) has released their S-20-100X model of high-efficiency, low-cost Pull Type Tubular Solenoids (1 in. diameter x 2 in. long). Their S-20-100X series features 18 different solenoids to select from based on the voltage, duty cycle, force, and stroke requirement of the user. MSS solenoid coils typically use Class F 23- to 40-AWG windings with Class A insulation for better protection of the solenoid during longer duty cycles. Applications include: vending machines, medical dispensing, mixing, valve control, farm machinery, disconnects, transmission shifting, fire suppression systems, cabinet locks, door controls, and sorting equipment.
Learn more.

Industrial imaging at warp speed

When fast-moving scenes need to be captured in all their details, a high-performance transmission interface is essential in addition to the right sensor. With uEye Warp10, IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH is launching a new camera family that, thanks to 10GigE, transmits data in the Gigabit Ethernet-based network at a very high frame rate and virtually without delay. The first models with the IMX250 (5 MP), IMX253 (12 MP), and IMX255 (8.9 MP) sensors from the Sony Pregius series are now available.
Learn more.

Top Tech Tips: How to specify electric rod-style actuators for optimal performance, reliability, and efficiency

Andy Zaske, Vice President, Tolomatic, provides his Top 10 Tips for specifying electric rod-style actuators, which have a higher initial cost, more advanced design, and more predictable performance compared to fluid power cylinders. This is a really thorough presentation filled with useful information.
Read the full article.

Standard IP65 slip rings with short lead times

The Orbex Group, a leading manufacturer of high-performance electric motors and slip rings, introduces standard slip rings with an IP65 protection rating, providing washdown tolerance in many food, beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing applications. These washdown-ready slip rings feature stainless steel or aluminum housings. They offer flexible mounting options with through-hole diameters ranging from 25 to 100 mm, or capsule style when a through-hole is not required.
Learn more.

New polymers engineered for e-motor applications

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has expanded the use of its Thermally Conductive, Electrically Insulating (TCEI) materials to produce walled slot liners for electric motor applications. The company's TCEI material grades demonstrate superior thermal conductivity and better electrical insulation when tested against other thermoplastic materials currently available.
Read the full article.

Heatsink solutions for electronic housings

Phoenix Contact has increased the breadth and depth of its popular Industrial Case System (ICS) housing family to include both customizable passive heatsinks and heatsink fillers. New heatsink solutions allow design engineers to choose from a wide range of thermal management solutions to keep their components from overheating. To support the new heatsink solutions, a web-based, intuitive platform for thermal assessment has been incorporated into the Electronic Housing Online Configurator tool on Phoenix Contact's website.
Learn more.

Mini-FAKRA cable assemblies for automotive and industrial applications requiring high data transfer rates

Amphenol RF has expanded its AUTOMATE Type A Mini-FAKRA product series with pre-configured cable assemblies. These assemblies feature a straight quad port mini-FAKRA jack on both ends and are designed on low-loss TFC-302LL. AUTOMATE assemblies support data transmission rates up to 20 Gbps, which makes them ideal for automotive and industrial applications that require high data transfer rates to communicate information for safety, performance, and entertainment without lag.
Learn more.

New compact touchless linear position sensors

The TFD Series of touchless linear position sensors from Novotechnik provides wear-free operation in tight spaces. The TFD-4000 Series uses a magnetic position marker to provide a touchless measurement range of 0 to 14, 24, or 50 mm -- depending on model. These sensors make measurements through air and non-magnetic materials. Sensing direction can be either parallel or perpendicular to mounting holes. Applications include textile, packaging, and sheet metal machinery; medical applications; marine; mobile engine management; and construction, agricultural, and forestry machinery.
Learn more.

Top Tech Tip:
2D, 3D, or 2.5D? Choosing a vision system for your automation project

If you're looking at machine vision systems for automation, you will need to decide whether to invest in a 2D, 3D, or 2.5D camera system. That choice will have a major impact on the deployment's cost, complexity, capabilities, and functionality. OnRobot's Kristian Hulgard, General Manager - Americas, explains the differences, benefits, and shortcomings of each system type.
Read this informative OnRobot article.

Next-generation electronic digital comparators

The Millimess 2000 W(i) and 2001 W(i) Digital Comparators from Mahr set new standards in metrology with unique and innovative features such as touch display, inductive measurement system, and integrated wireless connectivity. The systems combine practical and reliable operation with maximum precision using a unique inductive measuring system.
Learn more.

All about slip rings: How they work and their uses

Rotary Systems has put together a really nice basic primer on slip rings -- electrical collectors that carry a current from a stationary wire into a rotating device. Common uses are for power, proximity switches, strain gauges, video, and Ethernet signal transmission. This introduction also covers how to specify, assembly types, and interface requirements. Rotary Systems also manufactures rotary unions for fluid applications.
Read the overview.

Researchers use tiny magnetic swirls to generate true random numbers

Magnetic swirls called skyrmions fluctuate randomly in size, a behavior that can be harnessed to generate true random numbers. [Credit: Xiao Lab/Brown University]



Whether for use in cybersecurity, gaming, or scientific simulation, the world needs true random numbers, but generating them is harder than one might think. A group of Brown University physicists has developed a technique that can potentially generate millions of random digits per second by harnessing the behavior of skyrmions -- tiny magnetic anomalies that arise in certain two-dimensional materials.

Their research, published in Nature Communications, reveals previously unexplored dynamics of single skyrmions, the researchers say. Discovered around a half-decade ago, skyrmions have sparked interest in physics as a path toward next-generation computing devices that take advantage of the magnetic properties of particles -- a field known as spintronics.

"There has been a lot of research into the global dynamics of skyrmions, using their movements as a basis for performing computations," said Gang Xiao, chair of the Department of Physics at Brown and senior author of the research. "But in this work, we show that purely random fluctuations in the size of skyrmions can be useful as well. In this case, we show that we can use those fluctuations to generate random numbers, potentially as many as 10 million digits per second."

Most random numbers produced by computers aren't random in the strictest sense. Computers use an algorithm to generate random numbers based on an initial starting place, a seed number, but because the algorithm used to generate the number is deterministic, the numbers aren't truly random. With enough information about the algorithm or its output, it could be possible for someone to find patterns in the numbers that the algorithm produces. While pseudorandom numbers are sufficient in many settings, applications like data security -- which uses numbers that can't be guessed by an outside party -- require true random numbers.

Methods of producing true random numbers often draw on the natural world. Random fluctuations in electrical current flowing through a resistor, for example, can be used to generate random numbers. Other techniques harness the inherent randomness in quantum mechanics -- the behavior of particles at the tiniest scale.

This new study adds skyrmions to the list of true random number generators.

Skyrmions arise from the "spin" of electrons in ultra-thin materials. Spin can be thought of as the tiny magnetic moment of each electron, which points up, down, or somewhere in between. Some two-dimensional materials, in their lowest energy states, have a property called perpendicular magnetic anisotropy -- meaning the spins of electrons all point in a direction perpendicular to the film. When these materials are excited with electricity or a magnetic field, some of the electron spins flip as the energy of the system rises. When that happens, the spins of surrounding electrons are perturbed to some extent, forming a magnetic whirlpool surrounding the flipped electron -- a skyrmion.

Skyrmions, which are generally about 1 micrometer (a millionth of a meter) or smaller in diameter, behave a bit like a kind of particle, zipping across the material from side to side. Once they're formed, they're very difficult to get rid of. Because they're so robust, researchers are interested in using their movement to perform computations and to store data.

This new study shows that in addition to the global movement of skyrmions across a material, the local behavior of individual skyrmions can also be useful. For the study, which was led by Brown postdoctoral fellow Kang Wang, the researchers fabricated magnetic thin films using a technique that produced subtle defects in the material's atomic lattice. When skyrmions form in the material, these defects, which the researchers call pinning centers, hold the skyrmions firmly in place rather than allowing them to move as they normally would.

The researchers found that when a skyrmion is held in place, it fluctuates randomly in size. With one section of the skyrmion held tightly to one pinning center, the rest of the skyrmion jumps back and forth, wrapping around two nearby pinning centers, one closer and one farther away.

"Each skyrmion jumps back and forth between a large diameter and a small diameter," Wang said. "We can measure that fluctuation, which occurs randomly, and use it to generate random numbers."

The change in skyrmion size is measured through what's known as the anomalous Hall effect, which is a voltage that propagates across the material. This voltage is sensitive to the perpendicular component of electron spins. When the skyrmion size changes, the voltage changes to an extent that is easily measured. Those random voltage changes can be used to produce a string of random digits.

The researchers estimate that by optimizing the defect spacing in their device, they can produce as many as 10 million random digits per second, providing a new and highly efficient method of producing true random numbers.

"This gives us a new way of generating true random numbers, which could be useful for many applications," Xiao said. "This work also gives us a new way of harnessing the power of skyrmions, by looking at their local dynamics as well as their global movements."

Source: Brown University

Published March 2022

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