Wireless and Portable
Development of low-power wireless systems made easier by TI
Texas Instruments has announced a tool for designing embedded systems that combines ultra-low-power MSP430 microcontrollers with wireless communications. At the low cost of $49, TI's new eZ430-RF2500 development tool, packaged in a convenient USB stick form factor, offers two radio frequency -enabled microcontroller target boards and a PC debugging interface that may be used to develop stand-alone wireless projects. Developers will now find it easier than ever to build low-power wireless systems for sensing and metering, home security and automation, medical and other innovative applications.
High performance transistors suit slimline portable applications
Zetex Semiconductors has added a pair of low voltage PNP transistors to its low saturation high current SOT23FF transistor range. With the footprint of the standard SOT23 package but with a reduced off board height of less than 1mm, the ZXTP25020CFF and ZXTP19020DFF will suit a range of slimline portable product designs.
Rogers Corporation New RO4500(tm) High Frequency Circuit Laminates Enable Cost-Effective Antenna Designs
Rogers Corporation announced today, its RO4500(tm) laminates, a new addition to Rogers' RO4000(r) product family of high performance antenna-grade materials. RO4500 glass reinforced hydrocarbon/ceramic laminates provide the controlled dielectric constant, low loss and passive intermodulation (PIM) response required by the wireless infrastructure market. They are designed for high volume commercial antenna applications, including communications cellular base stations and Wi-MAX networks.
Anglia signs up Telegesis for its ZigBee modules
Anglia has announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Telegesis, which produces ZigBee modules based around both Ember and STMicroelectronics chips. The Telegesis modules are designed to meet the needs of engineers who need the functionality of ZigBee but lack the resources or expertise to develop chip level solutions, and of those requiring a fast track to market.
RF620 Smart Radio modules provide simple low cost ‘plug and play’ solution
RF Solutions is announcing the immediate availability of its RF620 Smart Radio transmitter and receiver modules. These items provide low cost, reliable wireless data communications within a range of up to 100 metres. The RF620 Smart Radio modules enable a simple 'plug & play' solution, providing a direct radio link for either a serial data stream (CMOS/TTL) or up to 2 remote control telemetry lines.
HDMI transmitter simplifies portable HDMI product design
Analog Devices' ADV7520NK is a low-power HDMI v1.3 (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) transmitter for portable media and DVD players, video recorders, and other mobile multimedia devices capable of supporting high-definition audio and video content. The ADV7520NK is the first HDMI transmitter to incorporate a CEC (Consumer Electronic Control) buffer on-chip, which reduces component count, eases design complexity and speeds time to market for portable high-definition (HD) devices by eliminating the need for the design engineer to develop a separate CEC support channel.
Rugged Convertible Notebook and Tablet PC with Intel Core Duo Processor
Kontron has announced the new fully rugged Kontron NotePAC Duo equipped with a flip-and-rotate display to instantly convert the notebook into a tablet PC. With the 1.2 GHz Intel Core Duo U2500 processor, Intel 945 GMS chipset and up to 2GB DDR-RAM, the dual-core and dual-use convertible rugged PC, Kontron NotePAC Duo, offers outstanding mobile performance and an operation time of up to nine hours with only one lightweight battery pack.
Sub 1GHz RF Transceiver for Low-Power Wireless Applications
Texas Instruments has introduced a sub-1GHz RF transceiver featuring low-power consumption, high integration and excellent RF performance. The CC1101 targets low-power wireless applications in alarm and security, automatic meter reading, industrial monitoring and control, and home and building automation. The CC1101 is an improved performance, code-compatible version of TI's successful CC1100 sub-1GHz RF transceiver.
CMOS RF Transceiver simplifies 3G radio design
Analog Devices has announced the latest addition to its award-winning family of Othello direct conversion radios and its broad TD-SCDMA product portfolio, the Othello-3T AD6552. Expanding on the company's legacy as a leading provider of solutions for TD-SCDMA wireless handsets, the Othello-3T AD6552 is ADI's second-generation radio designed specifically for the 3G TD-SCDMA standard and complements all of the company's TD-SCDMA baseband chipsets, including SoftFone-LCR and SoftFone-LCR+.
Low-cost embedded GPS antennas
CTi Ltd has launched a series of low-cost GPS antennas for embedded applications. Available in five different sizes, from 12mm square to 25mm square, the new PA series of ceramic patch antennas provide electronics designers and system integrators with an inexpensive, ready-made solution for GPS satellite signal acquisition. All five antennas offer a choice of standard 4mm or ultra low 2mm profiles, and can also be supplied as a module with a built-in low noise amplifier and SAW filter for ease of integration and reduced product development times. Intended primarily for use in portable telematics systems, the antennas are also ideal for a wide range of embedded GPS applications, including handheld devices, asset tracking, fleet management, vehicle tracking and marine navigation.
PIC Microcontroller ‘Toothpick’ and DARC combination: immediate standalone operation and reliability
RF Solutions has announced the availability of its Toothpick 2.0 transceiver, a module combining a PIC microcontroller and LinkMatik (Bluetooth 2.0) radio which is preloaded with Toothpick Services firmware, providing FlexiPanel user interface server, wireless field programming and Toothpick Slave for optional external host control.
Video filter extends battery life and lowers system cost for handheld devices
Intersil has introduced the ISL59118, a 9MHz, dual-channel, low-pass filter that eliminates video glitch noise associated with the use of video DACs. The device uses nearly 50% less bias current than previous generation devices and stands out as the industry's lowest power dual channel video filter and clamp. Video DACs can be found in many applications from set-top boxes to handheld devices, such as phones and MP3 players that play video.
TI is Developing Ultra Low Power Bluetooth Products for Handsets and Other Portable Devices
Texas Instruments has announced that the company will leverage its expertise and leadership in ZigBee, low-power RF and mobile connectivity to develop leading products and solutions for Ultra Low Power (ULP) Bluetooth (previously known as Wibree). The recent merger between the Wibree Forum and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) created ULP Bluetooth, the first open technology extending wireless connectivity between mobile devices or PCs and small, button cell battery human interface devices (HIDs), such as watches, wireless keyboards, toys and sports sensors.
TI Expands Voice over IP Portfolio with addition to IP Phone Product Suite
Texas Instruments has announced its newest IP phone platform, enabling manufacturers to deliver cost effective IP phones for the low-end enterprise, small and medium business (SMB), and residential markets. This new addition to TI's IP phone product suite leverages the company's extensive experience in the Voice over IP (VoIP) industry and is powered by TI's digital signal processors (DSP), enabling real-time signal processing, low-power consumption and tremendous flexibility for next-generation VoIP devices. The TNETV2502 offers manufacturers a complete turnkey system for developing cost effective IP phones with up to a 50 percent reduction in the bill of materials (BOM).
Location Detection SoC for ZigBee Wireless Sensor Networking is a first says TI
Texas Instruments has introduced the industry's first System-on-Chip (SoC) solution with a hardware location engine targeting low-power ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4 wireless sensor networking applications. The CC2431, from the company's Chipcon product line, targets applications such as asset and equipment tracking, inventory control, patient monitoring, remote controls, security and commissioning networks. The device is supported by TI's leading ZigBee protocol stack, Z-StackT.
RF CMOS antenna switch has highest throw-count says Peregrine
Peregrine Semiconductor has announced the next generation of its UltraCMOS products at the MTT-S International Microwave Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The new 0.5µm PE42693 SP9T RF antenna switch is the highest throw-count RF CMOS antenna switch available on the market today. To support more highly integrated and even smaller WCDMA solutions, Peregrine also announced that it has qualified its 0.25 µm UltraCMOS technology for three new SP9T switches: the wirebond PE42691 and the flip-chip PE42692 and PE42694 devices.
4.3-inch WVGA and WQVGA displays save power
Anders Electronics has introduced a new 4.3-inch TFT LCD with WVGA resolution and two 4.3-inch displays with WQVGA resolution. All modules have a wide operating temperature range, delivering enhanced multimedia performance for mobile professional convergence devices. Applications include GPS receivers, security equipment, ultra-portable PCs and data acquisition systems.
FBAR-based Quintplexer Brings Single Antenna, Simultaneous GPS and Voice to Mobile Handsets
Avago Technologies has announced a quintplexer module delivering what it says is superior global positioning system performance levels. The company is a leading supplier of analog interface components for communications, industrial and consumer applications. Avago's highly integrated and compact ACFM-7102 quintplexer delivers a significant improvement in insertion loss while delivering high GPS to cell band, and GPS to PCS band isolation.With a unique, switchless design to optimize performance, the FBAR-based ACFM-7102 provides designers with flexibility and simplicity when creating ultra-small, high-performance mobile phones that deliver simultaneous GPS functionality.
Stereo Power Amp Chip Creates 3D Audio Effects for Mobile Phone Platforms
STMicroelectronics has announced a compact audio power amplifier chip – intended for mobile phones and for other portable audio products – which creates 3D audio effects in the stereo speaker outputs to add impact and a surround-sound feel to MP3 and video files. The TS4997 can deliver 1.2W per channel of continuous average output power into 8-ohm loads, from a 5V supply — although it operates from supplies of as little as 2.7V — while its high-efficiency design and ultra-low standby power will help extend battery life.
SoC solution for car navigation systems
Renesas Technology Europe today announced the SuperH family SH7775, an SoC solution designed for high-performance car information systems such as next-generation car navigation systems. Sample shipments will begin in July 2007. The SH7775 incorporates the SuperH family's top-end SH -4A CPU core and is capable of high processing performance of 1GIPS (giga floating-point operations per second) or more. It is a high-performance SoC product that integrates many comprehensive peripheral functions required by car navigation systems.
New Multiband antenna has GSM and 3G covered
EAD is pleased to introduce the TBR2100, a GSM/3G 1/2 wave dipole with knuckle SMA-Male connector supporting 870-960/1710-2170 MHz.
picoChip claims first with WiMAX Wave 2 and MIMO basestation reference design
picoChip has announced the next version of its industry-standard WiMAX basestation reference design, with a software upgrade to support Mobile WiMAX Wave 2 and MIMO. The new PC8532 WiMAX platform has its first public display at WiMAX World Europe this week (Booth Number 204). It is the only basestation reference design to support WiMAX Wave 2 and IO-MIMO, and scales from access point (femtocell) to sophisticated multi-sector carrier macrocells. The PC8532 is used for WiMAX certification and has already demonstrated the widest range of interoperability with third-party terminals.
New generation handset from Quadrant ideal for all mobile radio applications
Quadrant has introduced to the UK a new generation control handset from Peiker acustic GmbH that is designed for all analogue or digital mobile communication systems and can be customised to meet specific user requirements. Ideal for use in cars, trucks, buses and trains fitted with private mobile radio applications using GSM, GSM-R, Tetra, Tetrapol and Satphone radio standards, the new Peiker HA87 handset is also designed for use by the emergency services.
MP3 Decoder Under 6 MHz is a first says Tensilica
Tensilica has announced that it has optimized the MP3 decoder for its Xtensa HiFi 2 Audio Engine and Diamond Standard 330HiFi processor core. This MP3 decoder now runs at the lowest power and is the most efficient in the industry says Tensilica, requiring just 5.7 MHz when running at 128Kbps, 44.1 KHz and dissipating 0.45 mW in TSMC's 65nm LP process (including memories). This makes Tensilica's Xtensa HiFi 2 Audio Engine ideal for adding MP3 playback to cellular phones, where current carrier requirements are for 100 hours of playback time on a battery charge, and increasing to 200 hours in the near future.
USB 2.0 multiplexer reduces connectors and improves cradle functionality in portable devices
Intersil has introduced the ISL54200 USB 2.0 high/full speed multiplexer. With a wider supply voltage range, higher bandwidth and better insertion loss characteristics than the competition, the device provides the most flexible high performance solution for interfacing USB and non-USB portable devices. The flexibility of the ISL54200 comes from its ability to switch between data sources having different data speeds and signal levels, and to output them through a common connector.
Synchronous Mobile Multimedia Interconnect is industry first says IDT
IDT (Integrated Device Technology), has introduced what it says is the industry's first synchronous Mobile Multimedia Interconnect (M2I), fully-optimized for multimedia applications in high-end mobile handsets and personal digital assistant devices. A significant architectural advance over previous generation interfaces, the M2I performs up to six times faster with ninety percent less battery drain. High-end handset users can reliably playback multimedia of unsurpassed quality with minimal impact to their "talk time" and battery life. For handset suppliers, the sophisticated interface of the M2I enables the processor to support additional differentiating functionality such as Bluetooth, WiFi and global positioning systems (GPS) – a significant competitive advantage in mobile handsets.
GPS antenna operates from 1.8 to 6 Vdc
CTi Ltd, the specialist antennae manufacturer, has launched an innovative active GPS antenna that operates from any voltage in the range 1.8 to 6 Vdc. Known as GPS-UNI, the new antenna is believed to be the first in the industry that is capable of operating from such a low voltage - most competitive products on the market require at least 3.3 V. The antenna is particularly suitable for automatic vehicle location and tracking applications; its very low voltage requirements mean that a vehicle can continue to find and report its location until its battery is virtually exhausted - significantly extending the time available to recover the vehicle in the event of it having been stolen.
Jennic reduces pricing on ZigBee and IEEE 802.15.4 development kits
Jennic has announced new and significantly reduced pricing on its ZigBee and IEEE 802.15.4 development kits. The new pricing is designed to lower barrier of entry in the ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4 space and make it cost effective for OEMs to equip entire engineering teams with tools for wireless product development. The move comes after the distribution of over 1,000 kits since the rollout of the world's first single chip wireless microcontroller solution in this space in December 2004 and the release of a second generation chip, the JN513X series of products, this January.
White paper describes solution for incorporating TV-out capability to handheld products
It is predicted that over 40% of all smartphones will include 'TV-out' functionality by 2010, allowing devices to drive an external monitor, projector or TV. This application presents many design challenges in the areas of power management, device interoperability, and user interaction. QuickLogic has developed a flexible solution based on its unique low-power programmable technology, PolarPro, and published an explanatory white paper. The paper details a small-BOM design for a video subsystem with a device capable of X/Y swap and frame rate conversion. It consumes very little static and dynamic power and has the flexibility to interface to multiple application processors and TV-Out encoders.
Implantable grade radio chip for in-body Communication systems
Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. has introduced the ZL70101 transceiver chip, an ultra low-power RF system-on-a-chip solution for use in implanted medical devices, programmers, and monitoring base stations. Building on Zarlink's MICS technology platform, the ZL70101 transceiver chip delivers high data rates, low power consumption and unique wake-up circuitry. Using Zarlink's MICS technology, medical device manufacturers can design in-body communication systems that will improve patient care, lower healthcare costs, and support new monitoring, diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
Development support for STMicroelectronics' integrated ZigBee devices from Arrow
Arrow has announced the availability of a comprehensive suite of evaluation, development and debug products for engineers planning to use STMicroelectronics' latest integrated ZigBee devices. The comprehensive support package will ease development, lower costs and speed time-to-market for low-bit-rate wireless networks based on the new STMicroelectronics SN250 system-on-chip ZigBee device or the SN260 ZigBee network processor.
STMicroelectronics Extends its Secure MCU Portfolio
STMicroelectronics has introduced two secure microcontrollers designed specifically for high-volume 2.5G and 3G (third-generation) mobile-phone SIM cards. The ST21Y036 and ST21Y144 provide 36 Kbytes and 144 Kbytes of user EEPROM, respectively, and they join the ST21Y068, which was announced towards the end of 2006 and is already in volume production. Based on an enhanced 8/16-bit CPU core with up to 16-Mbytes linear addressing capability, the family is produced in a state-of-the-art 0.13-micron EEPROM technology to meet industry demands for high volumes, short lead times and competitive pricing.
Wireless Audio Solution from SST
SST Communications, a developer of RF integrated circuits for a wide range of wireless and multimedia applications, and a subsidiary of SST (Silicon Storage Technology, Inc., today announced the MelodyWing SP advanced wireless audio solution. The MelodyWing SP advanced wireless audio solution offers uncompressed, wire-equivalent sound quality for home theater surround sound and multi-room audio broadcasting found in a growing number of home entertainment applications; including HDTVs, home theaters, set-top-boxes, headsets, game consoles, home gateways, multimedia PCs and audio streaming. The new solution enables each transmitter to wirelessly stream high-quality sound to two full-range speakers and a sub-woofer. MelodyWing SP Smart Channel automatically selects the un-congested industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, to avoid interference with other wireless equipment and realize pop-free sound effects.
Dual 200-mA LDOs for Portable Designs
Texas Instruments has introduced a family of dual, 200-mA low-dropout linear regulators (LDOs) in a 2 mm x 2 mm SON package for portable, battery-powered equipment. The low-noise LDOs provide high power-supply rejection ratio (PSRR) over a wide frequency range of up to 10-MHz, fast 160-µs start-up time and excellent line and load transient response, while consuming a very low total 90-µA ground current with both LDOs enabled.
Customisable ZigBee transceiver dongle with USB interface
RF Solutions has introduced a USB interface ZigBee transceiver dongle. Housed in a compact, handy adapter enclosure the new UZBee 2.4GHz devices are able to communicate at speeds of up to 250 Kbps over distances of up to 120 metres. The UZBee can be used in wireless personal area network (WPAN) applications where there is a requirement for high data throughput but where duty cycles are low. The ZigBee protocol is ideal for enabling communication in home, business and industrial automation where control devices and sensors are commonly used.
Jennic ZigBee and IEEE802.15.4 modules receive full FCC and ETSI approvals
Jennic has announced that its modules based on the JN5139 wireless microcontroller family now comply with FCC and ETSI regulations in the USA and Europe, with certification now received from both regulatory authorities.
Single-Chip Solution Drives GPS into Mainstream Mobile Phones
Texas Instruments has announced a new single-chip device that is expected to drive GPS applications into mainstream mobile phones. Built on TI's DRPT single-chip technology, the NaviLinkT 5.0 solution has a footprint of 25mm2, delivering high performance with the industry's smallest solution size and lowest bill of materials, making GPS more affordable to accelerate adoption in mobile phones. The new NaviLink 5.0 GPS receiver architecture provides fast time to first fix (TTFF) in weak signal conditions typical in metropolitan areas and deep indoor environments. With GPS available in more handsets, operators can broadly deploy location-based services consumers have come to expect, such as rich 3D mapping and navigation applications.
Small S-Video drivers increase battery life and remove glitches in portable video applications
Housed in tiny, ultra-slim μTQFN or chipscale packages, 9MHz low-pass reconstruction filters from Intersil remove quantization noise and switching glitches created by video DACs on an analogue output signal. The devices have integrated gain-of-two buffers and a summer that recombines the S-video signal to provide a composite video output for those applications where the DAC does not provide a composite video out. Coupled with their ultra-small packages and extremely low current consumption, the ISL59114/16 are ideal for portable applications and next-generation video appliances. The ISL59114/16's tiny 0.5μA power-down current increases the application's battery life when the amplifier is not in use, in addition to having an extremely low quiescent current during video operation.
Supervisors with programmable voltage trip points
Intersil's ISL88016 and ISL88017 supervisors offer pin-selectable voltage trip points along with popular functions such as power-on reset (POR) control, supply voltage supervision, and manual reset assertion in a small 6-pin TSOT package. Both supervisors are designed for low power consumption as well as high threshold accuracy and are especially suitable for portable and battery-powered applications.
ISM Radio Modules Allow trouble-free implementation of wireless control functions
There are certain user applications where very simple 'on/off' control functions are all that are needed. Common examples, such as long-range lighting controls, alarm sounders, or machine shutdown safety systems, will normally require a microprocessor or dedicated remote control IC in addition to the radio module itself. Having to include such chips will incur extra cost, expand the system size, and increase the software overhead. This is clearly something of an irritation for engineers looking at what appear to be rather basic wireless designs, and which really shouldn't need too much effort to implement.