Control software for three-phase BLDC motor drives

Power Integrations has bundled three-phase BLDC control software into its Motor-Expert configuration suite for the BridgeSwitch IC family of half-bridge motor drivers. According to the manufacturer, the hardware-software combination achieves 98.2% efficiency and reduces board space by more than 70%. In addition, just three components are required for current feedback circuity, compared to 30 components … Read more

Get ready for M-PCIe testing

The PCI-SIG, the organization responsible for PCI Express, and the MIPI Alliance, the organization behind M-PHY, are in the process of finalizing a new M-PCIe specification that combines the low-power, flexible signaling electrical performance of M-PHY with the interoperability and I/O functionality of PCIe.  For designers who in many case are still coming up to … Read more

Stamped CPU heat sink improves air convection by up to 5%

ASSMANN WSW has introduced the 'Stamped CPU Heat Sinks' series, a combination of 'CROSS-CUT' and 'Finger-Shaped heat sinks'. The series is available at distributor Rutronik. An advantage of the new CPU heat sinks is an improved air convection of up to five percent, because of non-simultaneous heating from one cooling fin to the other. The … Read more

It’s what’s inside that counts

Nine years ago, I was working at a company dealing with light-curing systems. The cornerstone of the business was a UV (ultraviolet)/visible spot-curing unit that could withstand the mechanical and electromagnetic disturbances common in a manufacturing environment. It was well-received in the medical, optoelectronics, and electronic-assembly markets. However, the box buried some performance issues. The … Read more

Corrosives on a PCB: Finding the source

When a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) is returned with corrosion, the analyst needs to find the source of the contamination causing the corrosion in order to eliminate it.  Contamination can come from a variety of sources such as manufacturing operations, packaging, installation, and the environment.   A variety of methods can be used to … Read more

One processor to rule them all?

This series of articles on processor architectures asks, “Can a single processor architecture do it all, and if so, would it be a good idea?” Part one begins with a brief overview of the processor architecture ecosystem. Much like Middle-earth in The Lordof the Rings , the ecosystem forembedded and computing systemsis home to a … Read more

Advanced low-power synthesis for multi-Vt design

The VLSI design cycle is partitioned into two phases i.e. front-end and back-end phases of the complete SoC design cycle from top level. While at front-end, most of the architectural specification, coding and verification parts are performed; similarly back-end involves more with the physical implementation of the design on the targeted technology node. RTL Logic … Read more

How FPGAs and multicore CPUs are changing embedded design

With the explosion ofembedded devices in thepast few decades, manyimprovements have beenmade in both the hardwarecomponents and softwaretools. Despite this innovationand growth, however,traditional embedded-systemdesign approacheshave evolved little if at alland are increasingly provingto be a hurdle. Giventhe increasingly rapidgrowth of new standardsand protocols as well asincreasing pressure ondesign teams to deliverto market more quickly,embedded-system designis … Read more

JOT inline router automates PCB depaneling

According to manufacturer JOT Automation, its router is one of the smallest and most cost-effective inline routing solutions for automated depaneling of PCBs used in smart phones, tablet computers, PCs, motherboards, automotive electronics, and practically any electronic product. The router’s modular architecture comprises a dual-spindle cutting unit, a vision system to ensure precise alignment and … Read more

Dumping the noise

I recently completed designing an ultrasonic receiver that accepted signals in the 100- to 200-kHz band, downconverted the signal to an audio band, digitized it, and sent it to a remote computer. The computer provided an audio output and could display an FFT (fast-Fourier-transform) spectral analysis on the received signal. The receiver was closely integrated … Read more