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Articles & Papers

Power Integrations Revolutionizes Switch-Mode Power-Supply Design

Using FluxLinkTM safety-isolated communication technology, InnoSwitch™ combines primary- and secondary-switcher circuitry to reduce component count, eliminate slow and unreliable optocouplers, outperform primary-side controllers and slash manufacturing costs. InnoSwitch ICs combine primary, secondary and feedback circuits in a single, worldwide safety-rated, surface-mount package.

Jump-start your Freescale Kinetis MCU project with powerful, integrated tools

This whitepaper describes how to use an integrated development environment to configure and generate initialization code and peripheral drivers ideally suited to your needs without studying the MCU docs--from pin muxing through application-specific parts. See how to develop a simple application or proof-of-concept quickly without in-depth programming knowledge.

External USB Protocol Decoders for the Total Phase Data Center

Learn how MCCI utilized Total Phase’s Beagle™ USB 480 Protocol Analyzer and Data Center software with their own custom application to decode RNDIS protocol and meet their advanced debugging requirements. While this case study focuses on RNDIS decoding; it also serves as a template for developers to implement their own custom decoding applications.

Vroom, Vroom: Energy Harvesting Gives New Meaning to Automotive Power

Few applications have the level of wasted heat, vibration and multiple available power sources as that of automotive applications. While ambient energy abounds across multiple systems in all vehicles, until recently, 70 percent of the energy released from a car was lost, predominately as heat. Today, greater percentages of heat, vibration and unutilized power are being captured, harnessed and used to charge the batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Print my ride! Your next car will be 3D-printed in less than two days

History was made when the world’s first 3D-printed car drove out of Chicago’s McCormick Place during the 2014 International Manufacturing Technology Show back in September. The vehicle components took 44 hours to print, and after a swift assembly, the vehicle named “Strati” headed off the showroom floor.

Internet of Beer? Avnet Helps iKeg 'Tap' Into the Internet of Things

Inventory management is a pretty big deal for bar and restaurant owners. Since bar patrons will drink a third less beer per outing if their brew of choice is unavailable, bar owners often struggle with finding the balance between keeping adequate stock of popular sellers available and minimizing the risk of getting stuck with kegs of unsold, expired beer.

Designing for the future: The I6400 MIPS CPU Core

Streaming media, cloud services, wearables, IoT, and Big Data are all relatively new terms in the high-tech industry. The impact of the technology behind these terms represents an increasing rate of change and challenges designing solutions to keep pace. For semiconductor providers, this rate of change means not only designing for the next generation of devices and networks, but also planning ahead for the next two or even three generations.

Designing a solar powered remote sensor

With the growing IoT, designing a sensor to be powered from an energy harvesting power source (ie.,a solar panel or thermo- or piezo- electric generator) requires more design time and planning than designing a system with a standard power source.

Playing the Embedded Market

When making the decision to use an embedded module, one must think about the module and the technology, as well as the provider. The goal is to find a long-term, reliable solution, as the one-off investment to purchase a modular design should have lasting effects. There are a lot of providers in the embedded market, and the range of modules available can be confusing. So, how to find the best provider?

The C8051 Core: A Viable Compute Engine for 8-bit MCU Designs

In today’s ARM-oriented MCU development environment, 8-bit devices might look old and a bit long in the tooth, but looks are deceiving. When coupled with modern process technologies and advanced mixed- signal peripherals, 8-bit performance on most control tasks can match or exceed many other CPU architectures, while providing improvements in speed, design time, size and integration.

Should You Buy or Build?

Does using a module let you save costs over the complete lifetime of the project?

Design Calculator

1. Concept phase: Feasibility study, analysis of components, time and personnel requirements is approximately $70,000 for an i.MX6 based project. This can be reduced to $27,000 if using an embedded module.

2. Circuit diagram: Preparing a circuit diagram with an integrated processor and memory is going to cost $30,000. Using an embedded module reduces the complexity and can bring this cost down to $6,500.

3. Layout: Since the application board is simpler to put together with a modular design, $13,500 to $15,000 will usually suffice. With an integrated processor costs can be double.

4. Software: The module is delivered with  BSPs for a number of different OSs and/or RTOSs. If these have to be developed then the cost can be at least $50,000.

5. Testing: As a rule integrated designs require more complex testing and cost difference can be as much as $30,000.

Bottom Line: The additional costs for an integrated design can amount to $300,000 not counting the costs of redesigns and interest charges. Comments

Power Supply Chips Get Smart

Renesas has recently introduced a number of new ICs for microcontroller power supply systems. When you have an MCU with standby modes in the nanoamp range, how much energy does that save when the multiple switching and LDO supplies that support it stay fully powered up? Not so much. That’s the problem that Renesas’ new Simple Power Supply ICs address. More


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