Avnet Abacus Articles
Selecting DC-link capacitors in power converters
In applications from the simplest cell-phone charger to grid-tied inverters operating at hundreds of kW, power conversion schemes are used which incorporate an intermediate stage where energy is processed at DC. A ‘DC-link’ capacitor is fitted at this point to provide a low impedance path for high frequency switching currents and to provide energy storage.
Specifying explosion-proof connectors
The threat of explosion is real in many industrial applications, from petrochemical refineries and cleaning facilities to flour silos and even landfill sites. While explosion is a hazard anywhere there is a flammable substance in the atmosphere in the form of gas, vapour or dust, the presence of the flammable substance on its own is not enough to trigger an explosion.
Hybrid capacitors combine technologies to get the best of both worlds
Supercapacitors are commonly used wherever a quick energy boost is needed, as an alternative to a rechargeable battery. The most prevalent type of supercapacitors, EDLCs (Electrical Double Layer Capacitors), provide thousands or tens of thousands of times the capacitance of normal capacitors while their energy density makes them ten times smaller than batteries (more here about how EDLCs work in detail).
Understanding ESR in electrolytic capacitors
Today’s microprocessor-based systems require power sources that deliver high current and ultra fast transient performance, with tight regulation. This creates a need for cost effective, compact capacitors with high capacitance values. Electrolytic capacitors are the solution of choice but it’s important to go beyond specifying capacitance and voltage to consider Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) as a figure of merit.
Input protection for switched mode inverters and converters
These days, a typical specification for a power converter starts with a list of international standards that must be met for EMC and safety compliance. The requirements for functional performance are often many pages into the document.
Chip-to-chip at the speed of light
As data centres and data farms continue to expand and grow, better solutions are required for system architectures that allow faster communication and more efficient operation. The physical limits imposed by copper PCB traces are being reached - communication over copper is limited to around 10GBps, and at high speeds losses limit the distances to a few inches.
Enabling richer data for the applications of the future
The combination of data from multiple sensor types can give electronic systems much richer and more accurate information about their environment, writes Martin Keenan, Technical Manager at Avnet Abacus.
Power trends in transportation
Transportation covers a fairly broad field of endeavour, from railway systems through to hybrid electric vehicles, e-bikes, e-scooters and more besides. A focus on energy efficiency is leading to a continuous stream of technology enhancements.
When failure is not an option
What is the most vulnerable component within an electronic design? Candidates would include anything with a moving part, such as a disk drive or fan, power supplies or fans which need strict control of temperature, and ICs which are sensitive to electrical noise.
Interconnect for harsh environments
Connectivity is a key determinant of overall system reliability - and in harsh environments even more so. An understanding of connector types that provide the highest reliability in environmental extremes is an important consideration for designers.
Advanced power architectures move into industry
Technology moving from one market to another happens a lot. Industrial computing and processing hitherto based on closed and secure proprietary systems is increasingly embracing the possibilities of Internet-based communications and is even putting its toe into the exciting new pool known as the IoT.
How to impose a smoking ban on lithium batteries
Lithium batteries are found in a vast number of applications due to their superior lifetimes compared to other battery types. Lithium is the lightest of all metals, has the greatest electrochemical potential and provides the largest specific energy per weight.
MEMS sensors ensure vehicle safety
The increasingly electronic nature of modern cars means that there are more automatic safety systems than ever before. These systems require accurate input about the car’s movement to determine when the car is moving (or will move) in a potentially unsafe way, in order to trigger the appropriate response, be it deploying the airbags or applying the handbrake.
Digital power will change your board
With modern electronic systems becoming more and more complex, demands on power systems are increasing rapidly. It’s now common for systems in every sector to incorporate more than one processor, FPGA or DSP – and all of these sub-systems have specific, conflicting power management requirements.
Altitude measurements help to keep you fit
How can MEMS pressure sensors help you keep fit? Well, they are now commonly being integrated into wearable activity monitors that help consumers track their daily activities and thereby monitor their fitness levels.
Healthy lifestyles are growing the market for air quality sensors
A growing pre-occupation with leading healthier life styles means that many of us are becoming much more sensitive to the environment around us, and in particular air quality. There’s even a website dedicated to providing information about air pollution in London city and an inevitable smartphone app to keep you up to date with the facts on how quickly you’re being poisoned.
An introduction to wireless charging
Battery charging without cables can add convenience, durability and safety to a number of different applications. For example, smartphone charging on the go, such as in public places, or home charging stations that don’t require that search for the correct charging cable.
Understanding micro switches and hysteresis
The invention of the micro switch goes back over 80 years to 1932 and is attributed to one Peter McGall of Freeport, Illinois, US. Giovanna Monari explains.
Creating challenges and opportunities for connector manufacturers
The Internet of Things is a common topic, as the next great wave of technology which will drive the electronics industry forward with 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, according to some experts. Alan Jermyn explains.
Boosting growth of the LoRaWAN network architecture
Avnet Silica, an Avnet company, announced it has joined the LoRa Alliance as an ‘Adopter’ member to support development, growth and adoption of networks based on the LoRa protocol (LoRaWAN) low-power wide-area networking technology (LPWAN). Prior to joining the LoRa, Avnet Silica had already built-in support for LoRaWAN via the company’s ‘Visible Things’ industrial IoT platform.