October 25, 2022 Volume 18 Issue 40

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Machine vision: Check part orientation and more

Automation-Direct has entered the industrial vision market with the addition of the Datalogic Smart Vision sensor. This sensor is an intelligent self-contained system that can capture an object's image as it passes by and make decisions based on the details of that image. Built around a powerful multiprocessor platform featuring embedded artificial intelligence tech, the Smart-VS sensor is highly advanced but remains simple to configure. Applications include part orientation for pick-and-place systems, verifying proper application of tamper-proof seals, and checking solder connections in circuit board production.
Learn more.


Ultra-compact IEC appliance inlet saves valuable interior space

SCHURTER continues to meet today's increasing demand for smaller electronic equipment with the launch of its 5121 filtered appliance inlet. The compact filter series features an IEC C14 inlet with capacitors and a fully encased steel housing that reliably shields high-frequency interference conducted through cables or radiated interference. Targeted for applications with shallow installation depth, the new 5121 filter series is available in both standard and medical M80 versions, making it well suited for lab, industrial, medical, telecom, audio/video, and office equipment.
Learn more and get the specs.


Optimize space with mini-FAKRA cables

Amphenol RF has expanded their AUTOMATE Type A mini-FAKRA breakout cable line with additional connector configurations and cable types. The cable assemblies combine industry-standard FAKRA connectors with next-gen mini-FAKRA. This combination allows for a compact solution at the compute module -- an industry-standard sealed solution at the connected device with a max frequency of 3 GHz for automotive and industrial applications such as compute modules, camera systems, and warehouse robotics. This assembly creates a waterproof seal at the connected device for added versatility.
Learn more.


ScanCobot: Easy entry into 3D metrology automation

The GOM ScanCobot is a mobile measuring station with a collaborative robot, a motorized rotation table, and powerful software that is smart enough to figure out the optimal positions to scan to get the most comprehensive profile possible on a part. The system provides cleaner, more accurate data than manual scans. Exact Metrology has the ScanCobot technology at their Milwaukee area office. Learn about its impressive capabilities.
Read the full article.


How do autonomous vehicles see at night?

Owl Autonomous Imaging is offering a new whitepaper that explains how the Owl Thermal Ranger uses convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to accurately and reliably locate and classify pedestrians and animals in the dark from their own thermal signatures using just one infrared camera. This whitepaper covers the history of convolutional neural networks, how the technology works (AI/machine training), why Owl thinks the CNN approach is the best solution to address current pedestrian safety concerns, and how auto manufacturers can implement it. Very interesting.
Get the Owl AI whitepaper.


Anti-surge resistors handle surges up to 10 KV

High-voltage applications such as HVAC controls, appliance and white goods controls, metering, automation, medical devices, digital storage, and surge-protection devices typically require resistors with high working voltage that may be challenging to find. If the applications are low current or low energy, film resistors are an ideal technology. The ASR/ASRM series from Stackpole offers high working voltages, high pulse voltage handling, and well-defined pulse behavior. For applications with high-voltage surge and low-energy requirements, the ASR/ASRM is a viable replacement for carbon composition resistors, providing improved electrical and environmental stability, better tolerance and TCR, with better long-term availability.
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.


What's new in ABAQUS 2023?

The Abaqus Unified FEA product suite offers powerful and complete solutions for both routine and sophisticated engineering problems. Best-in-class companies are taking advantage of these complete solutions for realistic simulation to consolidate their processes and tools, reduce costs and inefficiencies, and gain a competitive advantage. From new techniques in analysis, modeling, and visualization to special features for structural mechanics and linear dynamics, learn what's new in Abaqus 2023.
Learn more.


EMI/RFI gasketing on-demand webinar: Specialty Silicone Products elastomer solutions

Join Dominic Testo, business development manager for Specialty Silicone Products, for this on-demand, in-depth presentation called "EMI/RFI Gasketing: Outside-the-Box Solutions to Protect What's in the Box." Learn about new ways to overcome the restraints caused by outdated compression molding processes; new materials to overcome galvanic corrosion issues; new softer, compliant materials used for shielding; and a whole lot more.
View the video.


Battery-powered wireless multi-sensor module for machine monitoring

TDK has collaborated with Texas Instruments on the new i3 Micro Module, the world's first sensor module with built-in edge AI and wireless mesh connectivity. The i3 Micro Module's ultracompact battery-powered wireless sensor allows users to achieve sensing at almost any desired position without physical constraints like wiring. This dramatically expedites the prediction of anomalies in machinery and equipment, enabling an ideal Condition-based Monitoring implementation for an enhanced smart factory environment.
Learn more.


Fluke 831 Laser Shaft Alignment Tool

Misalignment causes at least half of all damage to rotating machinery, but instead of fixing the problem, teams often just treat the symptoms by replacing bearings, couplings, and seals. The new Fluke 831 Laser Shaft Alignment Tool makes shaft alignment easy with an intuitive guided user interface that enables quick and complete shaft alignment without advanced training or complicated programs.
Learn more.


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.
Learn more.


Thinnest ferroelectric material ever paves the way for new energy-efficient devices

A representation of a two-dimensional ferroelectric material. [Credit: Image by UC Berkeley/Suraj Cheema]

 

 

By Jared Sagoff, Argonne National Laboratory

As electronic devices become smaller and smaller, the materials that power them need to become thinner and thinner. Because of this, one of the key challenges scientists face in developing next-generation energy-efficient electronics is discovering materials that can maintain special electronic properties at an ultrathin size.

Advanced materials known as ferroelectrics present a promising solution to help lower the power consumed by the ultrasmall electronic devices found in cell phones and computers. Ferroelectrics -- the electrical analog to ferromagnets -- are a class of materials in which some of the atoms are arranged off-center, leading to a spontaneous internal electric charge or polarization. This internal polarization can reverse its direction when scientists expose the material to an external voltage. This offers great promise for ultralow-power microelectronics.

Unfortunately, conventional ferroelectric materials lose their internal polarization below around a few nanometers in thickness. This means they are not compatible with current-day silicon technology. This issue has previously prevented the integration of ferroelectrics into microelectronics.

However, now a team of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley performing experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have found a solution that simultaneously solves both problems by creating the thinnest ferroelectric ever reported and the thinnest demonstration of a working memory on silicon.

In a study published in the journal Science, the research team discovered stable ferroelectricity in an ultrathin layer of zirconium dioxide just half a nanometer thick. That's the size of a single atomic building block -- about 200,000 times thinner than a human hair. The team grew this material directly on silicon. They found ferroelectricity emerges in zirconium dioxide (normally a nonferroelectric material) when it is grown extremely thin, approximately 1 to 2 nanometers in thickness.

Notably, the ferroelectric behavior continues to its near-atomic-scale thickness limit of roughly half a nanometer. This fundamental breakthrough marks the world's thinnest ferroelectric. This is surprising for a material that is not even typically ferroelectric in its bulk form.

The researchers were also able to switch the polarization in this ultrathin material back and forth with a small voltage, enabling the thinnest demonstration of a working memory ever reported on silicon. It also offers substantial promise for energy-efficient electronics, especially considering conventional zirconium dioxide is already present in today's state-of-the-art silicon chips.

"This work takes a key step towards integrating ferroelectrics into highly scaled microelectronics," said Suraj Cheema, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, the first author of the study.

Visualizing the ferroelectric behavior of such ultrathin systems required the use of Argonne's Advanced Photon Source, a DOE Office of Science user facility. "X-ray diffraction gives needed insight into how this ferroelectricity emerges," said Argonne physicist John Freeland, another author of the study.

Beyond the immediate technological impact, this work also has significant implications for designing new two-dimensional materials.

"Simply squeezing 3D materials to their 2D thickness limit offers a straightforward-yet-effective route to unlocking hidden phenomena in a wide variety of simple materials," Cheema said. "This greatly expands the materials design space for next-generation electronics to include materials already compatible with silicon technologies."

The researchers hope this work will motivate more research into two-dimensional 3D materials exhibiting emergent electronic phenomena relevant for energy-efficient electronics.

See "Emergent ferroelectricity in subnanometer binary oxide films on silicon," in Science.

Published October 2022

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