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Steering diode/TVS arrays safeguard computing interfaces

The low-capacitance components provide board-level protection against ESD and surges
By Majeed Ahmad, contributing writer
ProTek Devices has launched two series of multi-line steering diode/transient voltage suppressor (TVS) arrays that offer a low-capacitance of 5 pF and provide board-level circuit protection against surge and electrostatic discharge (ESD). ProTek is targeting these circuit-protection components at Ethernet ports, set-top boxes, and other computing ports and interfaces.
The PSRDAxx-4A is particularly suitable for video card applications, while the PSRDAxx-6A is considered more appropriate for industrial control designs. Here, it’s important to note that the PSRDAxx-4A series features a unidirectional configuration and protects up to four I/O ports, while the PSRDAxx-6A series with a bidirectional configuration protects up to six lines. Both lines are available in multiple voltages.
Both series provide circuit protection for standard TTL and CMOS bus line applications against the damaging effects of ESD, tertiary lightning, and switching transients and have a peak pulse power rating of 500 W for an 8/20-microsecond waveshape. They are compatible with various IEC standards, including 61000-4-2 for ESD, 61000-4-4 for EFT, and 61000-4-5 for surge. These steering diode/TVS array components also feature the UL 94V-0 flammability rating.
The PSRDAxx-4A and PSRDAxx-6A devices are available in a molded JEDEC SO-8 package with an approximate weight of 70 milligrams. ProTek provides these components on 12-mm tape and reel per EIA standard 481 in quantities starting at 1,000.

Time synchronization devices address 5G deployment issues

Microchip’s TimeProvider 4100 2.0 and IGM 3.0 1588v2 PTP Grandmasters solve time-precision and synchronization challenges for high-speed mobile and cable networks
By Majeed Ahmad, contributing writer
Microchip Technology Inc. has extended its Precision Time Protocol (PTP) PackeTime portfolio that came with its acquisition of Microsemi with the addition of the TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.0. It’s aimed at two major 5G network deployment challenges: synchronizing higher volumes of more densely packed base stations and keeping services operating through Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) lapses due to vulnerabilities such as jamming, spoofing, or loss of signal.
The new TimeProvider release adds support for 10-Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and a Boundary Clock operation mode that lowers operational costs. It accommodates increasing bandwidth requirements of high-speed mobile and cable network devices through an optional expansion module that provides 10-GbE interfaces. The TimeProvider 4100’s Gateway Clock operation mode was also extended with its High-Performance Boundary Clock (HP-BC) operation mode that enables it to support the latest high-accuracy ITU-T Class C & D boundary clock standards.
Microchip has also made other enhancements to improve how timing flows are distributed from multiple sources to a network’s base stations and other endpoints. For instance, it has expanded monitoring functions that enable service providers to understand how time and phase performance is affected by network elements.
The chipmaker has also unveiled Release 3.0 for its Integrated GNSS Master (IGM) family to allow service providers to deploy more compact PTP 1588 v2 Grandmasters to fewer base stations closer to the network’s edge. IGM 3.0 combines an IEEE-1588v2 PTP Grandmaster with a GNSS receiver and antenna to simplify indoor or outdoor installations. Each of the three IGM 3.0 additions delivers precise time and phase as well as new capabilities enabled by IGM Plus hardware models with enhanced oscillators and GNSS receivers, said Microchip. The IGM 3.0 software includes higher PTP capacity to 60 clients and IPv6 support for traffic and management flows.
Both TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.0 and IGM Release 3.0 are managed with TimePictra, Microchip’s centralized and unified management platform for its precise timing systems. Both releases are available now. The TimeProvider 4100 2.0 expansion module and three IGM Plus models with enhanced features can be ordered separately.

Imec adds machine learning to 140-GHz radar-on-chip

The smart radar system can detect small motions, enabling gesture recognition and non-contact vital-sign monitoring
By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief
Imec, a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, recently unveiled its small and highly sensitive 140-GHz multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) radar system. The researcher demonstrated the radar system with machine learning for gesture recognition, indicating capabilities for detecting small gestures and vital signs, at FutureSummits 2019.
Delivering high performance in resolution and motion sensitivity, the 140-GHz radar-on-chip prototype system offers ultra-fine resolution that allows the detection of micro-skin movements, such as in vital-sign applications for non-contact patient monitoring or driver monitoring. The radar operates up to a 10-m range, with a 15-mm range resolution and a bandwidth of 10 GHz.
Imec used multiple antenna paths to enable a complete (virtual) 1 × 4 MIMO configuration to achieve angular target separation. The transceiver with on-chip antennas are produced on 28-nm bulk CMOS technology for low-cost production.
With imec’s latest demonstration, the researcher shows the feasibility of using radar technology for detecting and classifying small motions based on Doppler data thanks to the new machine-learning capabilities.
Imec’s machine-learning algorithm is based on a multi-layer neural network, including an LSTM layer, and uses supervised learning to train the inference model by using in-house recordings of more than 25 people, including several captures for seven gestures. The model classifies the recorded seven gestures and predicts the right gesture at least 94% of the time using the experimental data set.
“This opens new opportunities — for example, enabling gesture recognition for intuitive man-machine interactions,” said Barend van Liempd, R&D manager at imec, in a release. “Think about the AR/VR space, where the new radar can support intuitive interaction with virtual objects. Gesture recognition can potentially also enable intuitive device control — complementary to existing interfaces such as voice control or smart touchscreens.”
In addition to gesture recognition, imec said that the technology can measure vital signs with very high precision thanks to the high radio frequency. This means that it could be used for in-car vital-sign monitoring systems to enable non-contact tracking of the driver’s state. It could detect if the driver is falling asleep, for example, or if the driver is experiencing abnormal stress levels or acute health issues such as heart or epilepsy attacks. It could also be used to monitor small children in the vehicle, even providing an alert if the child is left unintentionally in the car.
Radar solutions offer advantages over other types of motion sensors, said imec, offering operation in all lighting conditions and preserving privacy. In addition, the small size makes it easy to integrate into almost any devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and screen bezels.
Imec is working on a new generation of radar chips, incorporating the TX and RX as separate chips, for a new 4 × 4 MIMO radar system. This will provide greater flexibility in distributing the MIMO array elements across the available area, said imec. The researcher will also evaluate the feasibility of increasing the functionality of the standalone radar chips to enable MIMO systems with larger arrays of chips.
Imec’s 140-GHz radar was developed as part of an open innovation research and development (R&D) collaborative program. Companies can participate in the program or in a bilateral R&D project. They can also license the technology building blocks.

Analog Devices claims ‘breakthrough’ mmWave 5G chipset

Chipset combines advanced beamformer IC, up-/down-conversion and mixed-signal circuitry
By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief
Analog Devices Inc. claims that its new 5G millimeter-wave (mmWave) chipset, combining the company’s advanced beamformer IC, up-/down-frequency conversion (UDC), and additional mixed-signal circuitry, is a game-changer for the mmWave 5G wireless network infrastructure. The solution was designed with a high integration to reduce design requirements and complexity in the next generation of cellular network infrastructure.
The new mmWave 5G chipset includes the 16-channel ADMV4821 dual-/single-polarization beamformer IC, 16-channel ADMV4801 single-polarization beamformer IC, and the ADMV1017 mmWave UDC. The 24- to 30-GHz beamforming and UDC solution forms a 3GPP 5G NR-compliant mmWave front end to address the n261, n257, and n258 bands, said ADI.

ADMV4821 specs:
RF frequency range: 24 GHz to 29.5 GHz, addressing n257, n258, and n261 bands in one footprint
16 selectable TX channels
16 selectable RX channels
Horizontal and vertical polarization
Matched 50-Ω single-ended RF inputs and outputs
High-resolution vector modulators for phase control
High-resolution DGAs for amplitude control
Temperature compensation
Memory for TX and RX beam positions
Operation up to 95°C
3GPP specification-compliant
ADMV4801 specs:
RF frequency range: 24 GHz to 29.5 GHz, addressing n257, n258, and n261 bands in one footprint
16 selectable TX channels
16 selectable RX channels
Matched 50-Ω single-ended RF inputs and outputs
High-resolution vector modulators for phase control
High-resolution DGAs for amplitude control
Temperature compensation
Memory for TX and RX beam positions
Operation up to 95°C
3GPP specification-compliant
ADMV1017 specs:
RF input/output frequency range: 24 GHz to 29.5 GHz, addressing n257, n258, and n261 bands in one footprint
1.5-GHz RF bandwidth
Two up-conversion modes
Two down-conversion modes
LO doubler (×2) and quadrupler (×4) modes
Matched 50-Ω RF signal and LO ports
Temperature compensation
3GPP specification-compliant
The combination of high channel density and support for both single- and dual-polarization deployments increases system flexibility and reconfigurability for multiple 5G use cases, while best-in-class equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) extends radio range and density, said ADI.
Called a “Beams to Bits” signal chain, ADI said that it is the only company to offer this set of capabilities. “It can be extremely difficult to design these systems from the ground up, balancing system-level challenges in performance, standards, and cost,” said Karim Hamed, general manager of Microwave Communications at Analog Devices, in a release. “This new solution leverages ADI’s best-in-class technology; long legacy in RF, microwave, and mmWave communications infrastructure; and deep expertise across the RF spectrum to simplify the design process for customers, reduce overall component count, and accelerate the path to 5G deployment.”

Mobile devices drive innovation

By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief
One thing that you can count on in the mobile device sector is change. If you’re not delivering new innovations in your next-generation designs for smartphones, tablets, and wearables, which are occurring at a faster pace, then you might as well pack it up because most consumers are looking for the next big thing — augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), foldable displays, smart biometrics, and the list can go on and on.
A lot of this innovation centers on smaller form factors, display technologies, new types of sensors, and improved camera modules to create better user experiences. For OEM designers, it’s all about adding new features and functionality, increasing performance (especially in the area of battery life), and, if possible, lowering system costs.
Image: Shutterstock.One of the biggest trends in mobile devices is sensing and monitoring applications. Sensors continue to play a big role in this market, and it will only continue to grow as developers come up with new applications beyond location tracking and activity monitoring. To handle all of the data coming from these sensors, including accelerometers and gyroscopes, you’ll see more phone designs incorporate sensor fusion as a connectivity hub.
“Sensors are nearly everywhere, and that makes sensor fusion a crucial component in the mobile design recipe,” said contributing writer Majeed Ahmad. “Therefore, sensor-fusion technology will continue to evolve as newer applications land on smartphone, wearable, and other mobile platforms.”
Ahmad tells us that sensor fusion can help in tracking the exact location of the device by collating data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and other sensors such as a barometric pressure sensor that can enhance the smartphone functionality with weather forecasting, altitude sensing, and other location-centric features. We’re likely to see sensor fusion become a key technology differentiator in all kinds of wearable devices, offering different sensor combinations for new user experiences.
There is a lot of work happening in sensor-fusion algorithms to help deliver greater precision and accuracy as well as improved power consumption for different wearables such as active sports, clinical trials, and AR and VR devices. Algorithms will also play a key role in more sophisticated data analysis.
Clearly, sensors are a big part of enabling a mobile device’s functionality, but power management is also critical in ensuring that these new features can be implemented as consumers want to watch high-definition videos, play more games, and stream music. New functionality is an increasingly challenging performance requirement, which calls for better power management techniques to deal with higher heat-dissipation targets while meeting long battery life requirements.
To meet these design goals, the design of the power management subsystem starts with the battery, said contributing writer Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio. Factors such as recharge cycles, aging, and temperature can degrade the performance of the lithium-ion battery over time, he said. Thus, proper management and control of a rechargeable battery are essential to optimize battery life.
This means that designers need to consider the battery, power management and control techniques, and selection of the power management IC to deliver longer battery life and improved performance in mobile device designs.
At the same time, designers are trying to overcome the complexities and challenges of wireless charging systems. The goal is to have wireless chargers charge as fast as wired chargers while handling thermal management challenges to eliminate noise and vibrations.
A lot of what facilitates these improvements are the components themselves. Take, for example, audio ICs. For designers, audio IC selection requires effectively juggling performance, real estate, battery life, cost, and time to market, said contributing writer Carolyn Mathas.
A new generation of high-performance audio ICs are solving the challenges of implementing audio functionality and sound quality into next-generation mobile devices that must process signals at higher frequencies at ever-lower power and with minimum losses.
Mathas said that more powerful and flexible audio ICs are launching at breakneck speed that are delivering substantially improved audio quality and greater performance that can be used in smaller spaces while meeting power demands.
Mobile devices aren’t going to get any smaller, deliver longer battery life, or add new functionality without component innovation. New types of sensors, power management ICs, audio chips, and timing devices are what’s needed to bring new functionality to smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other portable devices.
You can read all about these new innovations, and more, in EP’s May/June 2019 issue.

RF power transistor can handle very high VSWR mismatches

Rugged RF LDMOS transistors can withstand the harshest conditions in industrial, scientific, and medical applications
By Majeed Ahmad, contributing writer
Ampleon has unveiled the first family of RF power devices that are based on its Advanced Rugged Technology (ART) derivative of the ninth-generation high-voltage laterally diffused metal-oxide semiconductor (LDMOS) process technology. The ART2K0FE, the first product in this family, is a 2-KW transistor with a frequency response of 0 to 650 MHz.
Available in an air-cavity ceramic package, the ART2K0FE is designed to withstand the harshest conditions in industrial, scientific, and medical applications. The ART devices can handle very high voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) mismatches of 65:1 at 65 V, and that makes them suitable for use in high-power CO2 lasers, plasma generators, and some MRI systems.
It’s easier to integrate these ART process-based devices into products during the development phase due to their high impedance. The ART process also enables these RF power devices to offer greater efficiency than competing LDMOS offerings and allows the devices to have greater power density, translating into smaller and lower-cost packages.
Moreover, the ART devices offer a high breakdown voltage, which ensures that they will work consistently and reliably throughout their expected lifespan. And the fact that Ampleon is guaranteeing device availability for 15 years allows product designers to plan for the long term.
The ART2K0FE and its over-molded plastic version with a lower thermal resistance, the ART2K0PE, are expected to go into production in the second half of 2019. Samples are available for the ART2K0FE in an air cavity ceramic package, with reference circuits available at different frequencies.

10 tiny chips for space-constrained designs

Delivering smaller, higher performance, and better power efficiency is the name of the game in all new designs, and that’s what you get with these 10 tiny devices
By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief
Besides power consumption challenges, reducing board real estate is one of the biggest obstacles that designers face in new designs, particularly for newer portable electronics and wearable devices. This means that component manufacturers are developing new chips and solutions in smaller packaging with higher integration. But quite often, it’s not enough to just reduce the footprint; component manufacturers also have to deal with performance issues that often arise as they shrink the size of their components.
At the same time, component manufacturers need to offer the same or, preferably, better performance in the smaller package. Designers will notice in the list below that microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology is driving a lot of the integration and smaller packaging.
Here are 10 devices that do double duty — shrink the solution size while delivering enhanced performance. These components range from sensors to timing devices.
ams, TMF8701 ToF sensorEarlier this year, ams claimed the industry’s smallest integrated 1D time-of-flight (ToF) sensor, housed in a 2.2 × 3.6 × 1.0-mm package. The TMF8701, used for proximity sensing and distance measurement in smartphones, such as triggering a facial-recognition system, can fit in a narrow bezel. This helps smartphone manufacturers achieve widescreen phone designs with a high display screen-to-body ratio.
A couple of drawbacks of 1D ToF sensors are that they are too large and the performance degrades in adverse lighting and when the display screen is dirty, said ams. The TMF8701 can identify reflections from fingerprint smudge contaminations on the display screen and optical reflections from objects beyond the cover glass, such as the user’s face, to maintain reliable performance.
The device also offers low-power operation. It draws only 940 µA in proximity-sensing mode when sampling at 10 Hz, which makes it a suitable companion to a smartphone’s facial-recognition system, said ams. Always on, it triggers the higher-power facial-recognition system to start up when the ToF sensor detects the presence of an object up to 60 cm from the display screen.
The integrated VCSEL emitter offers excellent immunity to interference from ambient light and produces accurate distance measurement in all lighting conditions, said ams. The module achieves accuracy of ±5% when measuring distance in the range of 20 cm to 60 cm in normal lighting conditions, and in bright sunlight (100 klux), ±5% accuracy is maintained at a range of up to 35 cm.
Bosch Sensortec, BMA400 accelerometerBosch Sensortec’s BMA400 accelerometer delivers an ultra-low-power acceleration sensor for wearables and IoT applications. The BMA400 is housed in a small 2.0 × 2.0 × 0.95-mm³ package. When combined with the integrated plug-and-play step counter, it makes the device very easy to design into a variety of wearable devices. The device also includes a built-in voltage regulator and flexible device tuning for power consumption, noise, and ODR parameters.
The ultra-low-current step counter, which draws only 4 μA, together with intelligent power management features like built-in activity recognition, helps extend battery life. The BMA400 also wakes up automatically only when it detects motion and goes back into sleep mode when the motion stops for longer battery life.
Lower power consumption is a big benefit when it comes to extending battery life. The BMA400 draws 10× less current than existing accelerometers. The sensor has a current consumption of 14 μA at the highest performance, continuous measurement, and a noise density of 220 μg/√Hz. This drops to 1 μA and below in the ultra-low-power self-wake-up mode.
Cirrus Logic Inc., CS35L41 smart power amplifierThe Cirrus Logic CS35L41 11-V boosted Class-D audio amplifier with DSP and the company’s SoundClear Playback software improves audio quality and increases the loudness of the smartphone speaker output while protecting the speaker. In addition, the smart power amplifier uses an advanced battery management system and predictive algorithms that adapt to changing audio, speaker, and battery conditions to minimize power consumption and battery current without sacrificing audio performance.

Thanks to 55-nm process technology, the audio chip is housed in a small, 5.64-mm2 wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP), enabling designers to pack in more features and functions for stereo audio in smartphones and portable devices. These devices are nearly half the size of other DSP smart amplifiers in the market today.
At the heart of the CS35L41 is a 5.3-W digital input, mono Class-D amplifier with the lowest noise and idle power consumption in its class, according to the company. It includes an integrated 11-V Class-H DC/DC converter, which boosts the supply voltage and maintains higher efficiency than other audio power amplifiers relying on Class-G boost regulators. Thanks to adaptive tracking at the audio level, the Class-H boost converter helps improve system efficiency, minimizes power dissipation, and preserves battery life.
Microchip Technology, DSC613 MEMS clock generatorMicrochip’s multi-output MEMS clock generator may be the smallest in the industry, offering 80% board space savings on timing components. The challenge is that clock sources need multiple components to meet the frequency requirements of consumer portable devices, said Microchip, which translates into more board space and power. But Microchip has been able to develop a small MEMS clock generator, housed in a six-pin DFN measuring as small as 1.6 × 1.2 mm, that can replace up to three crystals and oscillators on the board, thus cutting the space needed for timing devices.


The DSC613 clock family eliminates the need for an external crystal by integrating a MEMS resonator and two low-power phase-locked loops (PLLs). Typically, smart devices need external crystals/oscillators next to the controllers on the board or a clock generator with an external crystal for the reference input.
The family supports up to three clock outputs from 2 kHz to 100 MHz, making it suited for microcontroller-based embedded systems. Applications include digital cameras, smart speakers, virtual-reality (VR) headsets, streaming sticks, and set-top boxes.
At approximately 5-mA power consumption with three outputs running, the family provides up to a 45% power savings when compared to a solution that uses three low-power quartz oscillators. The clock output can be turned off through the output enable pin for additional power savings, said Microchip.
Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., 6-A buck regulatorMurata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. claimed the smallest, most efficient, fully integrated 6-A buck regulator. The device’s footprint is 25% smaller than the nearest competitive solution with a 30% lower profile, measuring 12 × 9 × 2 mm. In addition, the buck regulator doesn’t need any additional external components to meet stringent transient requirements, which reduces the typical solution footprint to about 50% smaller.
The device is based on a unique two-stage power conversion architecture developed by the company’s semiconductor division, pSemi, through its acquisition of MIT spin-out Arctic Sand, which offers higher efficiencies and reduces the size of passive components required. In addition, the power architecture delivers about a 5× reduction in input ripple, lower conducted and radiated EMI emissions, and a wide temperature range of –40°C to 150°C.
The MYMGA1R86RELC2RA DC/DC converter is designed for two-cell, three-cell, and 12-V point-of-load applications that call for high efficiency, low profile, and small solution size. The module integrates all passive components, including bulk output capacitance, to meet the exact transient load requirements, which means that no additional external components are required for most applications.
Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., MEMS resonatorMurata also claimed the smallest 32.768-kHz MEMS resonator on the market late last year with the introduction of the new WMRAG series. Designed to deliver a smaller and more power-efficient solution for wearables, IoT devices, and health-care devices, the MEMS resonator reduces power consumption and maximizes battery charge by keeping resources not currently in operation in deep-sleep mode.
Thanks to MEMS technology, the new resonator offers high-quality frequency accuracy and a low equivalent series resistance (ESR) while reducing power consumption in a package that is more than 50% smaller (0.9 × 0.6 × 0.3 mm) than typical tuning fork quartz-crystal resonators.
The MEMS resonator provides a stable reference clock signal while using 13% less power than more traditional quartz-crystal resonators due to its low (75-kΩ) ESR, based on internal testing. In addition, the silicon-based WLCSP allows it to be co-packaged with an integrated circuit, which eliminates the need for external low-frequency clock references. It also integrates load capacitors, so no external multilayer ceramic load capacitors are needed, which further reduces board space.
SiTime, SiT15xx MEMS oscillatorsSimilar to other MEMS devices, SiTime’s MEMS oscillators offer higher integration and smaller packaging for mobile, IoT, and wearables. As an example, the SiT15xx 32-kHz MEMS oscillator, which replaces traditional quartz crystals, is available in several package options, including a chip-scale package that measures 1.5 × 0.8 mm, reducing the footprint of existing 2012 SMD crystal packages by up to 80%. It’s also 60% smaller than the 1610 XTAL package.
SiTime can also integrate MEMS resonator die with an SoC, ASIC, or microprocessor die within a package, which can eliminate the need for external timing components, delivering high integration and size reduction.
The SiT15xx devices also eliminate the need for output load capacitors because the output drives directly into the chipset’s XTAL-IN pin, said SiTime. It also doesn’t need to be placed next to the chipset because the oscillator can drive clock signals over traces, and when combined with an ultra-low profile of 0.55-mm height, it delivers greater design flexibility on the board layout. The timing devices also have a special power supply filtering that eliminates the need for an external Vdd bypass-decoupling capacitor, which further miniaturizes the solution and board design.
STMicroelectronics, LIS2DTW12 MEMS chipDelivering integration with a small package, the STMicroelectronics LIS2DTW12 combines a MEMS three-axis accelerometer and a temperature sensor on a single die. Designed for space-constrained and battery-sensitive detectors such as shipping trackers, wearables, and IoT endpoints, the sensing accuracy of 0.8°C offers precision comparable with standalone standard temperature sensors. The device is available in an ultra-thin 2.0 × 2.0 × 0.7-mm LGA-12 plastic land grid array package.
In addition, the LIS2DTW12 offers a height of 0.7 mm, which is about 30% lower than other combination sensors, allowing for extra battery capacity for longer runtimes. It also provides several power-saving features that include a 50-nA power-down mode, multiple operating modes down to less than 1 µA, a dedicated internal engine for processing accelerometer signals, and a large 32-level FIFO to reduce intervention from the main controller.
Other key features include 65 user modes that enable developers to optimize power consumption and noise to meet application-specific requirements. It also offers user-selectable full-scale range up to ±16 g and measures acceleration with output data rates from 1.6 Hz to 1,600 Hz.
TDK Corp., µPOL DC/DC convertersTDK’s series of µPOL DC/DC converters, touted as the industry’s most compact and highest-power-density point-of-load (POL) solutions for applications such as big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G cells, IoT, and computing enterprise, is housed in a 3.3 × 3.3 × 1.5-mm footprint. These devices minimize the required external components by integrating the IC and inductor in a single package instead of using a side-by-side discrete IC and discrete inductor.

The FS series µPOL DC/DC converters deliver a high-density solution of 1 W/mm3 while offering 50% less solution size than other products available in its class. This translates into lower system, assembly, and PCB costs, and it reduces the size of the PCB. It operates over a wide junction temperature range of –40°C to 125°C and is rated for industrial applications.
The µPOL technology was developed by TDK’s group company Faraday Semi. The new solutions combine high-performance semiconductors in advanced packaging technologies such as semiconductor embedded in substrate (SESUB) and advanced electronic components to achieve a smaller size and lower profile by 3D integration.
Texas Instruments, precision data convertersAt the end of last year, Texas Instruments (TI) introduced four precision data converters, each touted as the industry’s smallest in its class. These digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are optimized for high-performance or cost-sensitive industrial, communications, and personal electronics applications such as optical modules, field transmitters, battery-powered systems, building automation, and wearables.
The DAC80508 and DAC70508 are eight-channel precision DACs that provide true 16- and 14-bit resolution, respectively, in 2.4 × 2.4-mm DSBGA and WCSP or 3 × 3-mm QFN-16 packages, offering a 36% space savings compared to competitive devices. They also integrate a 2.5-V, 5-ppm/°C internal reference to further shrink system size. In terms of better performance, the devices provide true, 1-least-significant-bit (LSB) integral nonlinearity to achieve the highest level of accuracy at 16- and 14-bit resolution, up to 66% better linearity than the competition, according to the company.
The ADS122C04 and ADS122U04 are 24-bit precision ADCs that feature a two-wire, I2C-compatible interface and a two-wire, UART-compatible interface, respectively, in 3 × 3-mm WQFN or 5 × 4.4-mm TSSOP packages. These precision ADCs eliminate external circuitry by integrating a flexible input multiplexer, a low-noise programmable gain amplifier, two programmable excitation current sources, an oscillator, and a precision temperature sensor.

SIM-only service enables access to Arduino IoT Cloud platform in 100 countries

A single data plan with competitive pricing provides developers and manufacturers access to cellular IoT device development
By Carolyn Mathas, contributing writer
With a goal of creating the easiest means possible for cellular IoT device development on its widely used platform, Arduino announced the Arduino SIM. The SIM-only service targeting IoT devices provides cellular access to the Arduino IoT Cloud platform to more than 100 countries with one data plan at an affordable price.
Arduino’s plan is to provide cellular IoT access to professionals and makers, enabling them to initially connect to Arduino security-focused boards, beginning with the 32-bit MKR GSM 1400’s TLS and X.509 certificate-based authentication. It will also support the upcoming Arduino MKR NB 1500 (LTE Cat-M and NB-IoT) and open it to third-party cellular boards in the future.
Simple to use, the Arduino SIM opens up the Arduino IoT Cloud platform to makers and professional developers.
Cellular service, provided by Arm Pelion Connectivity Management, ensures that one version of the Arduino SIM will now work in 100 countries worldwide, beginning in the U.S., with Europe and Asia to follow in a matter of months. Partnering with Arm Pelion Connectivity Management provides the basis of a solid foundation for users planning to scale to large numbers of devices in the future, said Arduino.
With the Arduino SIM, users can easily transmit sensor data to databases, spreadsheets, or alerts using Webhooks and also create custom IoT applications using the API. The secure connection is accomplished without coding.
Under the plan, Arduino’s SIM delivers 10 MB of data free to the user for up to 90 days, followed by a subscription at 5 MB monthly for a mere $1.50. The plan provides the same amount of data traffic for the same price wherever the device is being operated globally.