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Prying Eyes:

17
FEB
Issue 4/2011
The Nexus One Pg 24
Stuxnet and
the Internet of
www.edn.com
Victims Pg 11
Photosensing
with ambient
background Pg 22
Design Ideas Pg 48
VOICE O F THE E N G I N E E R A wrench in the works Pg 58

DESIGNING OFFLINE AC/DC


SWITCHING POWER SUPPLIES
BRICK BY
BRICK
Page 36

ACCELEROMETERS
AND TEMPERATURE
SENSORS
FIGHT SIDS
Page 28

EDN’s 2010
INNOVATION
AWARD
FINALISTS
Page 46
Goodbye
status-quo.

Tektronix Tektronix
TDS2000C MSO/DPO2000
Series (DSO)† Series†

Bandwidth (MHz) 50, 70, 100, 200 100, 200

Max sample rate 2 GSa/s 1 GSa/s

Max memory depth 2.5 kpts 1 Mpt

Max update rate


200** 5,000
(waveforms/sec)

Fully upgradable No No

Function Generator No No

Oscilloscopes Rede
© 2011 Agilent Technologies, Inc.
*All prices are in USD and subject to change Starting at $1,230*
**Refer to Agilent Pub 5989-7885EN for update rate measurements
† Data for competitive oscilloscopes from Tektronix publications 3GW-25645-0 and 3GW-22048-1
Hello future.

Agilent 2000 Agilent 3000


X-Series X-Series
(MSO and DSO) (MSO and DSO)

Bandwidth (MHz) 70, 100, 200 100, 200, 350, 500

Max sample rate 2 GSa/s 4 GSa/s

Max memory depth 100 kpts 4 Mpts

Max update rate


50,000 1,000,000
(waveforms/sec)

Fully upgradable Yes Yes

Function Generator Yes Yes

efined Agilent and our


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DC-DC Converter
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Input voltages of 5V, 12V, 24V And 48V.
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400Hz/800Hz
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See PICO’s full Catalog Immediately on the internet

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Their sites have search engines.
Ours has a find engine.

On most inductor web sites, their search engine pricing. Even analyze the core and winding
results in more aggravation than answers. losses of up to four different power inductors!
But Coilcraft’s web site is different. You’ll find lots of other design tools to help
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2.17.11
contents

Accelerometers and
Designing offline temperature sensors
ac/dc switching power fight SIDS
supplies, brick by brick A simple microcontroller-
It’s a challenge to 28 based design may be a

36 convert high-voltage
ac to dc while keeping
efficiency high and cost low.
weapon in the fight against a
dreaded problem.
by Manish Shakya, Emmanuel
Tuazon, Mohammed Bhatti, and
EDN’s 2010 Innovation
Award finalists: Are
you inspired?
by Paul Rako, Technical Editor
Subra Ganesan, Oakland University You pick the winners in our
46 21st annual program honor-
ing engineering excellence.

pulse
14 Chip-scale atomic clock survives
Dilbert 16

18 1-GHz DSP core targets low-cost,


500g shock on any axis high-definition audio applications
14 Secondary phosphors simplify 18 CompactPCI single-board
white-LED-lighting design computer uses Intel Core
processor
16 Two entry-level scope series
offer mixed-signal capability, 20 Voices: Emerging power tech-
built-in waveform generator nology: silicon carbide
PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION BY TIM BURNS.
BRICKLAYER: DNY59/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM;
ADAPTER: JERIDU/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

DESIGNIDEAS 8V

10k
XR-2206
48 Reduce acoustic noise from capacitors
Ľ8V
16k
8V

50 Function generator has variable frequency


100 μF
100k
8V à

10k
7 3 LINEAR
à
6 POTENTIOMETER
LM318

4
Ľ
2
à 52 Power supply accepts wide input-voltage range
10 μF
Ľ8V à
1 μF

4.7k
4.7k
0.1 μF
55 Circuit lets you test capacitors

FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 7


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tive owners.
contents 2.17.11
Benchmark
MOSFETs
40 V – 250 V MOSFETs
in High Current
56 58 PQFN Package

D E PA R T M E N T S & C O L U M N S
11 EDN.comment: Stuxnet and the Internet of Victims

22 Baker’s Best: Photosensing with ambient background


24 Prying Eyes: The Nexus One: Google hits a smartphone home run
Standard
nda
dard
dGGatee Dr
Driv
Drive
ivee
iv
26 Mechatronics in Design: From the real world to the digital world
RDS(on)
Part Number V ID QG
56 Product Roundup: Switches and Relays @10 V
IRFH5004TRPBF 40 V 100 A 2.6 mΩ 73 nC
58 Tales from the Cube: A wrench in the works
IRFH5006TRPBF 60 V 100 A 4.1 mΩ 67 nC

IRFH5007TRPBF 75 V 100 A 5.9 mΩ 65 nC

online contents www.edn.com IRFH5010TRPBF 100 V 100 A 9.0 mΩ 65 nC

IRFH5015TRPBF 150 V 56 A 31 mΩ 33 nC
O N L I N E O N LY IRFH5020TRPBF 200 V 41 A 59 mΩ 36 nC

Check out these Web-exclusive articles: IRFH5025TRPBF 250 V 32 A 100 mΩ 37 nC

Verifying complex clock and reset


regimes in modern chips: the challenge
and scalable solutions VOTE NOW! Logic Level Gate Drive also Available
Automation at every step and built-in tool Take a look at page
intelligence offer the only practical path to 46 in this issue to see
Features
scalable verification of modern chips. a list of the innovative • Low thermal resistance to PCB
➔www.edn.com/110217toca engineers and products • High Current Package –
our editors selected up to 100A continuous
Design second- and third-order as finalists in the 21st
Sallen-Key filters with one op amp annual EDN Innovation • Industry-standard pinout
An Excel spreadsheet helps you design Awards. After perusing E
ST CHOIC
filters with low component sensitivities. the candidates, head Your FIR rmance
➔www.edn.com/110217tocb to the Web to view a for Perfo
write-up of each finalist
Truck starting with supercapacitors For more information call
and help us honor
In response to anti-idle laws, truck manu- electronic innovation 1.800.981.8699 or visit
facturers seek solutions that ensure suf- by using the easy www.irf.com
ficient stored energy is available for starting. electronic ballot to
Supercapacitors deliver the required high make your voice heard.
rates of discharge. ➔www.edn.com/
➔www.edn.com/110217tocc innovation21

EDN® (ISSN#0012-7515) is published semimonthly, 24 times per year, by UBM Electronics, 11444 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064-
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07-09 March 2011
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EDN.COMMENT

BY RON WILSON, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

plications for the future of the entire


Internet.
The implications for design are dis-
turbing. A network-connected em-
bedded controller capable of defend-
ing itself certainly must have authen-
tication and encryption technology. If
interactions with the Internet are in-
Stuxnet and the Internet tense, the node will need a dedicated
cryptography engine. Experience has
of Victims shown, however, that high security
n marketing speak, it is the Internet of Things. Just as in the first de- cannot rely on passive defenses. Mis-

I
sion-critical systems—such as the traf-
cade of this century the Internet connected the world’s people, so—the fic signal—may need a full hardware-
pundits tell us—in this decade, the Internet will connect the world’s based firewall, especially if these sys-
man-made objects. The toaster will talk to the television, and the light tems will do code updates.
switch will lie down with the lamp. Without debating the wisdom of And what about the code? We will
this scenario for global unification, we feel the need to offer it a hurled certainly need a secure kernel and
monkey wrench and then to observe the consequences.
Our spanner comes in the form of directions because someone wants to Every node on the
that recently famous computer virus, disrupt an election in Athens. Internet of Things
Stuxnet. As you may recall, no one Connectivity brings with it vulnera-
has admitted to being the source of bility. And when you make the things can be either
the virus. But it appears that some with which we live vulnerable, you the target of a
organization opposed to Iran’s nu- must defend them. This observation
clear program launched Stuxnet has implications for how we design, malicious attack
onto the Internet to attack the soft- test, and maintain embedded systems. or the collateral
ware that controls Iran’s uranium-en- Given the realities
richment centrifuges. Unfortunate- of human
damage from one.
ly, Stuxnet seems to have attacked nature,
many other instances of this wide- there probably full virtualization. From ex-
ly used software, as well, making m a y perience with PCs and smartphones,
it perhaps the first act of global be im- we already know that security means
cyberterrorism. not just secure design: It means a con-
It won’t be the tinuous battle of countermeasures
last. against an unseen foe. So, yes,
And that brings there will be code updates.
us to the point. And the need for updates
PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION BY TIM BURNS. TOASTER: BARIS SIMSEK/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

Every node on means that the node must re-


the Internet of main tethered to its developer
Things can be as long as it is in service.
either the tar- If you add all this up—hard-
get of a mali- ware requirements, secure vir-
cious attack tualized software, frequent up-
or the collateral dates over the whole product
damage from one. life—you get to the bottom
Your toaster may line. Security, not performance,
burn breakfast be- will set the minimum cost of a
cause your junior- node. Ignore security, and the
hacker nephew is Internet of Things becomes the
bored. Or the traffic Internet of Victims.EDN
light you are approach-
ing may turn green in all Contact me at ron.wilson@ubm.com.

FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 11


“How can I tell if a power supply is reliable?”

There’s an indicator on the front.


It says “Agilent.” With a typical MTBF of 40,000 hours, over half-a-
century of experience, and with more than 250 models to choose from,
Agilent’s power supplies are the ones you can count on. In fact the array
of our power supplies is so extensive, it wouldn’t fit on this page. For
clean, low-noise, programmable power to countless DUTs, there’s an
Agilent power supply with your name on it. Actually, it’s our name on it,
but you know what we mean.

Agilent and our


Distributor Network For free measurement tips and the
Right Instrument. Agilent Power Products brochure go to
Right Expertise.
Delivered Right Now.
800-463-9275 www.newark.com/Agilent_Power_Supply
www.newark.com/agilent
© 2010 Agilent Technologies, Inc.
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, COLUMNISTS
EDN WORLDWIDE Howard Johnson, PhD, Signal Consulting
Judy Hayes, Bonnie Baker, Texas Instruments
1-925-736-7617; Pallab Chatterjee, SiliconMap
judy.hayes@ubm.com Kevin C Craig, PhD, Marquette University
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR LEAD ART DIRECTOR
Ron Wilson Marco Aguilera
1-415-947-6317;
ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR
ron.wilson@ubm.com
Tim Burns
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PRODUCTION
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Contributed technical articles Jeff Tade,
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brian.dipert@ubm.com EDN ASIA
Wai-Chun Chen,
TECHNICAL EDITOR Group Publisher, Asia
Margery Conner waichun.chen@ubm.com
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FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 13


pulse
EDITED BY FRAN GRANVILLE

INNOVATIONS & INNOVATORS

TALKBACK
Chip-scale atomic clock survives “Everything has
500g shock on any axis capacitance, all
wires have resis-
ymmetricom’s new SA.45s chip-scale military handheld GPS (global-positioning-sys- tance, and most
S atomic oscillator outputs a 10-MHz, 3.3V
square wave and a 400-nsec, 1-pulse/
sec signal. You can use an RS-232 interface
tem) units, and geophysical sensors. It comes
in a 1.6×1.39×0.45-in., hermetically sealed
package. Option 001 operates from −10 to
people don’t get
engineering hu-
to the device’s internal DSP to provide status +70°C, and Option 002 operates from −40 mor. These rules
and modify the pulse output. The SA.45s has to +85°C. The SA.45s sells for $1500 (small always matter.”
a center-frequency accuracy of ±5×10−11 and quantities).—by Paul Rako —Engineer Ken Thornton-Smith,
can survive 500g shock on any axis. It occu- ▷Symmetricom, www.symmetricom.com. in EDN’s Talkback section, at
pies 16 cc of volume, weighs 35g, and requires http://bit.ly/gvX1ON. Add your
comments.
115 mW of power. Allan-deviation stability is PHOTODETECTOR
2×10−10 over a tau of 1 sec. The device features UPPER HEATER/
SUSPENSION
SSB (single-sideband) RF-output phase noise RESONANCE CELL
at 1 Hz of less than −53 dBc (decibels referred WAVE PLATE
to carrier)/Hz. With a 110-second warm-up, SPACER
the oscillator has MTBF (mean time between LOWER HEATER/
SUSPENSION
failures) of greater than 100,000 hours. VCSEL
This oscillator finds use in applications such
as dismounted IED (improvised-explosive- The physics package in the Symmetricom atomic clock has a microwave oscillator on
device) jammers, UAVs (unmanned aerial the PCB (printed-circuit board) that modulates a VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emit-
vehicles), next-generation man-pack radios, ting laser). The Q (quality factor) of the cesium resonance cell is greater than 10 million.

Secondary phosphors simplify white-LED-lighting design


ntematix hopes to separate LED emitters white light when the LED’s blue-wavelength fluorescent tube is ultraviolet and becomes

I from their white-light-producing phos- photons strike it; the phosphor emits white
phors and simplify the design
of LED lighting by selling solid
light in response.
Matching LEDs to phos-
white only after striking the internal phos-
phor coating, which in turn emits the white
fluorescent light.
forms of phosphors, or sec- phors can be tricky. LED man- The phosphors are available in the
ondary phosphors, which ufacturers make the decision ChromaLit development kit, which imple-
designers can assemble sep- during the design of the LEDs, ments precision optics manufacturing and
arately from the LED as part and the designers of end-light- Intematix’s phosphor technology to enable
of the light itself. In traditional ing systems can’t tweak these lighting manufacturers to create lighting sys-
white-LED design, using pri- designs for their applications. tems in any shape and color. You can cus-
With Intematix’s
mary phosphors is the most ChromaLit secondary- Intematix’s approach is not tomize ChromaLit products in geometry,
familiar approach. A white LED phosphor approach, new: You can think of fluo- color temperature, color-rendering index,
is essentially a blue LED with a the phosphor is sepa- rescent lights as having sec- and substrate material, thus offering cre-
dollop of phosphor directly on rate from the blue-light ondary phosphors because ative opportunities.—by Margery Conner
the die. This phosphor emits source. the initial wavelength in the ▷Intematix, www.intematix.com.

14 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


Name
Dr. Dennis Hong
Job Title
Associate Professor of
Mechanical Engineering,
Virginia Tech
Area of Expertise
Robotics
LabVIEW Helped Me
Convey and respond to
vast amounts of data in
real time
Latest Project
Design and prototype a
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©2010 National Instruments. All rights reserved. LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI, and ni.com are trademarks of National Instruments.
Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies. 2784
pulse
Two entry-level scope series offer The scopes
offer option-
mixed-signal capability, al MSO capabil-
built-in waveform generator ities and an in-
gilent Technologies The InfiniiVision X-series All models come with an tegrated Wave-
A has expanded its MSO
(mixed-signal-oscillo-
scope) and DSO (digital-storage
scopes include a custom
90-nm CMOS ASIC with 6
million gates and embedded
8.5-in.-diagonal, 800×480-pixel
WVGA (wide-video-graphics-
adapter) display, which offers
Gen function
generator.
oscilloscope) portfolios with two memory. This MegaZoom IV twice the viewing area of other
affordable entry-level InfiniiVision single-chip architecture enables popular scopes. X-series units ysis. Upgrade options provide
X series that together comprise the integrated logic-timing ana- weigh only 8.5 lbs and con- investment protection: The fully
26 models, including units that lyzer; function generator; and, in serve bench space with a foot- upgradable (including band-
have two and four analog chan- the 3000 X series, protocol ana- print approximately 15 in. wide width within the series) X-series
nels. The 2000 X series offers lyzer. The scopes also allow you by less than 6 in. deep. scopes allow you to purchase
bandwidths of 70 to 200 MHz to see more of the signal more The scopes offer optional inte- what you need today and add
and boasts 50,000-waveform/ of the time because the Mega- grated MSO capability for time- capability as your performance
sec update rates. Maximum Zoom IV technology delivers aligned digital- and analog-sig- needs evolve. Optional mea-
sampling rate is 1G sample/ 3000 X-series update rates to nal viewing and an optional inte- surement-software packages,
sec, which doubles when you 1 million waveforms/sec, mini- grated WaveGen function gen- which add functions either at
use only half of the channels. mizes blind time, and main- erator. The 3000 X-series units purchase or as needs arise,
Waveform-memory depth is tains responsiveness with deep also offer optional hardware- include segmented memory for
100,000 points/channel. memory enabled. accelerated serial-protocol anal- analysis of laser pulses, radar
The scopes include optional bursts and serial packets, and
eight-channel MSO capability hardware-accelerated mask
and optional built-in 20-MHz testing to quickly perform pass/
sine-, square-, ramp-, triangle-, fail analysis using known-good
pulse-, dc-, and noise-wave- waveforms.
form generation. The 3000 X The 3000 X series also offers
series offers 100- to 500-MHz hardware-accelerated serial
bandwidths and a waveform- decoding and trigger enabling
update rate of 1 million wave- to allow rapid analysis of I2C
forms/sec.The 2G-sample/sec (inter-integrated-circuit), SPI
maximum sampling rate and (serial-peripheral-interface),
the waveform-memory depth CAN (controller-area-network),
of 1 million (optionally, 2 million) LIN (local-interconnect-net-
points/channel double when work), I2S (I2C sound), RS-232,
you use only half of the ana- and other UART (universal asyn-
The 1M-waveform/sec update rate, optional built-in waveform
log channels. Options include generator, and moderate price are among the features that dis- chronous receiver/transmitter)-
a 16-channel MSO capability, tinguish the MSO-X 3054A 500-MHz-analog-bandwidth mixed- based networks.
the built-in waveform genera- signal scope. With the optional double-depth memory and two US suggested retail prices
tor, and hardware-accelerated analog channels in use, the scope acquires 4M-sample records range from $1234 for a two-
serial-protocol decoding. at 4G samples/sec/channel. channel, 70-MHz DSOX2002A
to $13,520 for a four-channel,
DILBERT By Scott Adams 500-MHz MSOX3054A with
16 logic-analysis channels;
optional double-depth wave-
form memory; a built-in wave-
form generator; and one hard-
ware serial-triggering option.
Discounts are available for edu-
cational users.
—by Dan Strassberg
▷Agilent Technologies,
www.agilent.com/find/
infiniivisionx-series.

16 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


Power Manager II

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©2010 Lattice Semiconductor Corporation. All rights reserved. Lattice Semiconductor Corporation, L (& design), Lattice (& design) and specific product designations are either registered trademarks or
trademarks of Lattice Semiconductor Corporation or its subsidiaries, in the United States and/or other countries. Other marks are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of other parties.
pulse

02.17.11
1-GHz DSP core targets low-cost, COMPACTPCI
SINGLE-BOARD
high-definition audio applications COMPUTER USES
eva’s new TL3211 DSP range and efficient bit manipu- 5.1 encoder, DTS-HD LBR (low

C core is code-compati-
ble with the company’s
TeakLite-III architecture. The
lation. It supports as many as
three instructions running in
parallel and single- and dou-
bit rate), DTS-HD Master Audio,
and DTS Neo 6.
The TL3211 includes Ceva’s
INTEL CORE
PROCESSOR
The MIC-5603 AMC (ad-
core addresses the require- ble-precision FFT (fast-Fourier- PSU (power-scaling unit), vanced-mezzanine-card)
ments of 2 and 3G (second- transform) instructions for effi- which applies clock frequency CompactPCI (Peripheral
and third-generation) modems cient codec implementations. and voltage scaling to reduce Component Interface)
in low-cost smartphones and For mobile devices, the power consumption, allowing single-board computer
supports HD (high-definition) TL3211 enables integration for lower-cost IC packaging. It incorporates the second-
audio features for DTVs (digital of baseband processing with also includes two 16-bit MAC generation Intel (www.
televisions), set-top boxes, and application processing for (multiply/accumulate) units, a intel.com) Core i7 proces-
Blu-ray Disc players. HD audio, supporting voice 32-bit MAC unit, Viterbi func- sor and targets applica-
Ceva manufactured the core enhancements, such as noise tions, an ALU (arithmetic-logic tions requiring graphics
in a 40-nm CMOS process, cancellation, speech recogni- unit), a BMU (bit-manipulation or vector processing and
achieving a silicon footprint of tion, and beam forming. Ceva unit), two AGUs (address-gen- computationally intensive
0.2 mm2 and operation at a offers more than 90 audio and eration units), a PCU (power- tasks.
1-GHz clock rate. A complete voice codecs, including MP3, control unit), and full-duplex An optional front-panel
audio circuit in the 40-nm pro- AAC (advanced audio cod- APBs (advanced peripheral HDMI (high-definition
cess includes 24k words of ing), HE-AAC (high-efficiency buses). multimedia interface)
data memory, 8k words of code advanced audio coding), WMA The Ceva-Toolbox provides connects to the proces-
memory, memory controllers, (Windows media audio), WMA a software-development and sor’s on-chip control-
and the AXI (Advanced Exten- Pro, and RealAudio. Ceva also -debugging environment for the ler, offering integrated
sible Interface), with a chip area provides a suite of fully certi- TeakLite-III family. The develop- Intel HD (high-definition)
of 0.6 mm2. fied Dolby (www.dolby.com) ment environment fully simulates graphics DX10.1 and
The 32-bit TL3211 audio- codecs, including Digital, Digi- the TL3211’s cached memory OpenGL (graphics-library)
DSP core has a single-cycle tal 5.1 encoder, Digital Plus, subsystem. The TL3211 core capabilities. The system
32×32-bit multiplier, a 32-bit TrueHD, and ProLogic IIx, and and Ceva-HD-Audio are now includes as much as 8
register file, 64-bit-wide mem- DTS (Digital Theater System, available for licensing. Gbytes of 1333-MHz DDR
ory bandwidth, and 72-bit www.dts.com) codecs, includ- —by Mike Demler SDRAM with ECC (error-
accumulation for wide dynamic ing the DTS core decoder, DTS ▷Ceva, www.ceva-dsp.com. correcting-code) suit-
ing use in applications
AXI MASTER AXI SLAVE AXI MASTER requiring low-latency
memory access. The
PROGRAM- DATA-MEMORY SUBSYSTEM device achieves external
MEMORY WRITE AXI CACHE
SUBSYSTEM ARBITERS Ethernet connectivity
BUFFER INTERFACE CONTROLLER
CACHE through two dedicated
CONTROLLER GbE (gigabit-Ethernet)
ARBITERS PCU DATA-ADDRESSING UNIT
front-panel ports.
AXI SEQUENCER —by Fran Granville
INTERFACE SCALAR AGU 0 AGU 1 ▶Advantech,
EMULATION INTERRUPTS
www.advantech.com.
AND SYSTEM
DECODERS REGISTER FILE
ON-CHIP
EMULATION PSU
COMPUTATION AND BIT-MANIPULATION UNIT
REAL-TIME
TRACE REGISTER FILE

HARDWARE 32-BIT
FFT MAC ALU The MIC-5603 single-board
PROFILER
computer incorporates Intel’s
APB 3 16-BIT 16-BIT
VITERBI BMU second-generation Core i7
MAC MAC
processor family for perform-
APB 3 PORT ance enhancements and
scalability in graphics-pro-
Ceva’s TL3211 core includes program- and data-memory subsystems, a bit-manipulation unit, a cessing applications.
power-control unit, a power-scaling unit, and Viterbi and FFT functions.

18 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G S E C T I O N

R A Q ’ s

Strange stories from the call logs of Analog Devices

Considerations on High-Speed Converter


PCB Design, Part 2: Using Power and
Ground Planes to Contributing Writer
Rob Reeder is a senior
Your Advantage converter applications
engineer working in
Q. What are some impor- Analog Devices high-
tant PCB layout rules when speed converter group
using a high-speed in Greensboro, NC since
converter? 1998. Rob received
his MSEE and BSEE
A. Part 1 of this RAQ discussed from Northern Illinois
why splitting AGND and DGND University in DeKalb,
is not necessary unless circum- IL in 1998 and 1996
stances within the design force you respectively. In his
to make that choice. Part 2 discusses
spare time he enjoys
the design of a power delivery system
(PDS) for the printed circuit board (PCB). use as much of the plane as possible. mixing music, art, and
Often overlooked, this task is critical for Don’t leave voids, but be mindful of sen- playing basketball with
analog and digital designers working at sitive circuitry as well. This will maximize his two boys.
the system level. the capacitance for that VDD plane. If
the design allows extra layers—from six
The PDS design goal is to minimize the to eight in our example—put two extra Have a question
voltage ripple that occurs in response ground planes between power1 and involving a perplex-
to supply current demand. All circuits power2, doubling the inherent capaci- ing or unusual analog
require current, some more than others tance in the stack given the same 2-mil to problem? Submit
and some at faster rates than others. A 3 mil core spacing.
your question to:
low-impedance power or ground plane
with adequate decoupling and a good With the perfect PCB stack, use decou- www.analog.com/
PCB stack will minimize the voltage ripple pling at both the entry point where the askrob
that occurs as a result of the circuit’s cur- power plane originates and around the
rent demands. For example, if a design DUT. This will ensure a low PDS imped-
has 1-A switching currents and the PDS ance across the entire frequency range.
has 10-mΩ impedance, the maximum Use a handful of capacitor values from
voltage ripple will be 10 mV. 0.001 μF to 100 μF to help cover this For Analog Devices’
range. It isn’t necessary to sprinkle Technical Support,
First, design a PCB stack that supports capacitors everywhere, and butting them Call 800-AnalogD
a large plane capacitance. For example, right up against the DUT breaks all kinds
a six-layer stack may comprise top sig- of manufacturing rules. If these kinds of
nal, ground1, power1, power2, ground2, drastic measures are required, then some-
and bottom signal. Specify ground1 and thing else is going on in the circuit.
power1 to be close in the stack—sepa-
rating them by 2 mils to 3 mils forms an SPONSORED BY
inherent plane capacitor. The best part
about this capacitor is that it is free; just To Learn More About
specify it in the PCB fabrication notes. If High-Speed Layout
the power planes must be divided, with http://dn.hotims.com/34921-101
multiple VDD rails on the same plane,
pulse
times higher defect, or dislo-
cation, density than does SiC.
All those dislocations lead to
leakage current that prevents
you from taking a power

VOICES device to avalanche. Then, if


you grow your process on sili-
con, there’s another factor of
Emerging power technology: 10 times more defects.
silicon carbide Regarding the argument that
you can use cheap 6-in.
ohn Palmour, co-founder of Cree and chief technology

J officer for the company’s power and RF products, sees


SiC (silicon carbide) as a viable competitor to silicon
devices for high-power switches. Silicon wafers have formed
You can buy IGBTs typ-
wafers for GaN; we’re soon
moving our 4-in. SiC process
to 6 in.
I think, though, that GaN on
the basis of virtually all digital-computing wizardry and many
power devices, as well. However, new wafer technologies are
A ically capable of as silicon makes a lot of sense
much as 200A in die size, and for lower voltages. It doesn’t
emerging to challenge silicon’s domination in the power arena.
you can buy modules of par- stack up well in the 600V and
Palmour sees SiC as a challenger that will emerge from and
alleled die that do 1000A. We higher voltage range. If you
transcend the niche power market to rival silicon in high-power
can likewise parallel SiC look back, Cree started with
devices. According to Palmour, using SiC-based devices results
devices to 1000A, although a focus on SiC and GaN. The
in an efficiency increase of more than two percentage points
we don’t currently offer any- company has grown around it
over competing components. For more on this technology, see
thing as high current as an as a focus. You can do amaz-
“SiC power MOSFET pushes past Si-based MOSFETs/IGBTs
IGBT chip. We do want to go ing things with focus—and a
with lower losses, lower capacitance, easier drive,” EETimes,
up in current because it little bit of money.
Jan 17, 2011, http://bit.ly/fboYvC.
makes life easier for the mod-
ule guys. One of the things What if alternative-energy
Your new silicon-carbide been in the SiC market for about SiC is that it’s easy to applications, such as large-
MOSFET switches com- a long time and has a lot of parallel because it has a scale solar inverters, dc-
mand a stiff price premium. patents protecting its tech- [positive]-temperature coeffi- voltage backbones for serv-
Do you see them as prod- nology. Are you concerned cient so [the chips] share cur- ers, and wind generators,
ucts for a niche market? about stifling innovation in a rent well [in a module]. don’t take off? Are you will-
No, we see it as a new technology? ing to bet that they will?
A mainstream high-volt- We sell wafers to any- What about other emerg- Yes, we’re willing to
age technology; 30 years ago A one who wants to buy ing technologies? Manu- A make that bet, but the
when vendors introduced the them. We’re not the only one facturers have also recently good news is that we don’t
first HEXFETs [hexagonal investing in the technology. introduced GaN [gallium- have to. Beyond alternative
FETs], they sold for approxi- The Japanese have been nitride]-on-silicon wafers as energy are large motor-drive-
mately $100 each. Now, spending a tremendous a way to leverage GaN on business and traction applica-
they’re about $2. Like the first amount of money to develop the more common silicon- tions, such as trains and
HEXFETs, these SiC devices SiC, from crystal growth right manufacturing process. trams, as well as the electric-
are not easy to make, but up through device technology. GaN on silicon is cur- and hybrid-vehicle market.
there’s a lot of opportunity to We don’t expect to be alone A rently at a much lower SiC is a generally applicable,
shrink the devices, simplify in this [market]. voltage range—in the low superior power semiconduc-
the process technology, hundreds of volts. One com- tor. [SiC’s advantage is not at
develop device architectures, In the 600 to 1200V range pany offers a 200V HEMT a] part-to-part price compari-
and go to larger die sizes: of silicon carbide, the real [high-electron-mobility-transis- son; it can save you money at
Today, we’re on 4-in. wafers, competitor seems to be tor] device. Silicon carbide is the system level. You get to
and we’ll move up to 6 in. in IGBTs [insulated-gate bipo- at six times the voltage and throw away snubber circuits,
the next 18 months. lar transistors]. Yet, SiC two to three times the current shrink heat sinks, downsize
MOSFETs currently have range of an HEMT device. In switches, and [still] get higher
One of the reasons that sili- 20A specifications, well power devices, leakage cur- efficiency. In the long term,
con technology dominates below those of IGBTs, rents, reliability, and avalanche we expect this technology
in new-device development whose specs can range capability are extremely im- to be a ubiquitous power
is its ready availability; there higher—into the hundreds portant. We firmly believe that semiconductor.
are lots of silicon foundries of amperes. How can they SiC is a much better choice —interview conducted and
and designers. Cree has compete? than GaN. GaN has a million edited by Margery Conner

20 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


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BAKER’S BEST

BY BONNIE BAKER

ground light. This environment cre-


ates a dc offset voltage of approximate-
ly 3.5V referred to the output. The
transimpedance amp has a built-in off-
set due to the fact that the photodiode
can conduct current in only one direc-
tion. The combination of ambient light
and the amplifier’s built-in offset makes
Photosensing with a total offset of about 7.5V, which you
may be able to calibrate from your sys-
ambient background tem. However, you are using only one
rying to shield ambient light from your photo circuit is not a quadrant of the amp’s output range.

T
Further, when the measured light signal
trivial task. You would think that you could just cover your cir- increases to maximum intensity, the
cuit with your hands, but that is not a solution: Pulse oximeters amplifier’s output starts to saturate.
depend on the translucency of flesh. Covering the photosensor A dc-restoration circuit, A2, com-
with black electrical tape doesn’t work, either, because light is prises a noninverting integrator driv-
somehow able to get through even that material. ing the summing junction of the tran-
simpedance amplifier through R5 (Fig-
So it is fair to say that ambient light photo of A1, a dual-supply, transimped- ure 2). The current through R5 cancels
can be a problem in some light-sens- ance amplifier, shows a square-wave the current from the photodiode at fre-
ing applications. Figure 1’s oscilloscope light signal in the presence of back- quencies below the integrator’s signal-
R2 zero frequency. In Figure 2, the signal-
20 1M zero frequency from the dc-restoration
15
circuit is R2/[R5(2πR4C4)]. You adjust
C1 this zero by changing R5. This dc-resto-
10 40 pF
ration circuit requires that the portion
5
OUTPUT
R1 of the signal zero that R3 and C3 gen-
VOLTAGE 0 VOUT
(V) Ľ 75 erate matches that of R4 and C4. The
Ľ5 ID A1
AMPLIFIER SATURATION à transimpedance amplifier’s output sig-
Ľ10 STARTING TO OCCUR nals above the signal-zero frequency do
Ľ15 not feed directly back into the transim-
Ľ20 pedance amp’s summing junction.
0 100 200 300 400 500
The value of R5 depends on the re-
TIME (μSEC)
lationship between the signal-zero fre-
Figure 1 The output range of a transimpedance amplifier spans only one quadrant. quency and the signal-pole frequen-
cy. The signal-pole frequency in this
C4
0.1 μF circuit is 1/(2πR2C2). If the output of
R4
R5 1M the dc-restoration amplifier is 10V, a
100k Ľ higher-than-100-kΩ resistor value for
20 A2
à R5 decreases the signal-zero frequency
15 C3 and increases the dc-restoration range.
10 0.1 μF Combining the signal-pole and signal-
5 R2 R3 zero frequencies distorts the output sig-
OUTPUT 0 1M 1M
nal with R5 values below about 10 kΩ.
VOLTAGE C1
(V)
Ľ5
40 pF By using the dc-restoration circuit,
Ľ10 the transimpedance amplifier’s output
Ľ15 reaches approximately 0V. The dc-res-
Ľ R1 VOUT
Ľ20
0 100 200 300 400 500 ID A1 toration circuit also brings the transim-
TIME (μSEC)
à pedance amplifier’s output signal into
the linear region of A1’s operation.EDN
Figure 2 A dc-restoration circuit expands the output range of a transimpedance
amplifier across both quadrants. Bonnie Baker is a senior applications engi-
neer at Texas Instruments.

22 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


PRYING EYES BRIAN DIPERT • SENIOR TECHNICAL EDITOR

The Nexus One:


Google hits a smartphone home run
bout 17 months ago, EDN dissected Google’s first crafted devices, the Google Ion, or ADP2 (Android Developer

A Android-based and developer-intended handset,


the HTC-designed T-Mobile G1, that Google had
released roughly one year earlier (see “Google’s
Android OS emerges,” EDN, Sept 17, 2009, pg 22,
http://bit.ly/hlAa3R). About two months ago, Google unveiled
its fourth-generation developer smartphone, the Samsung-
developed Nexus S. Between these bookends, two other HTC-
Phone 2), and the Nexus One, emerged. Google last year sold
the Nexus One directly to consumers in a six-month experi-
ment. As a partnership project with iFixit shows, the Nexus
One represents a substantial leap in capability beyond the G1
(see “Nexus One Teardown,” http://bit.ly/8oFE7D). More than
a year after its unveiling, it remains a leading-edge product,
both in an absolute sense and relative to its Nexus S successor.

Like many of its HTC-developed contemporaries of the era, the Nexus One
leverages a Samsung-manufactured OLED (organic-light-emitting-diode) dis-
play. Crisper and touting richer colors than a conventional LED-backlit LCD
(liquid-crystal display), its comparative downsides include washed-out images in
high-ambient-light environments, greater power consumption than LCDs in some
situations, and limited availability. OLED-supply shortcomings prompted HTC
to subsequently redesign several handsets for LCDs (see “Display-technology
advancements: Change is the only constant,” EDN, Dec 15, 2010, pg 24, http://
bit.ly/gpZpSq).

Synaptics supplies the Nexus One with the same ClearPad 2000 touchscreen and
controller technology as that in the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini and many other
touch-augmented mobile electronics devices (see “Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10
mini: the teardown skinny,” EDN, Aug 26, 2010, pg 20, http://bit.ly/bBxoGd and
“A magic touch: The concept’s sound, but implementation options abound,” EDN,
Nov 4, 2010, pg 26, http://bit.ly/ia4bNM).

The primary system PCB’s underside show-


cases a Samsung MCM (multichip module)
encompassing 512 Mbytes of NAND-flash
memory and 512 Mbytes of mobile SDRAM.
Power-management ICs include Qualcomm’s
PM7540 and Texas Instruments’ TPS65023,
and Skyworks’ SKY77336 tackles the GSM
(global-system-for-mobile)-communications
power-amplifier function. Google sold Nexus
One versions that supported both AT&T and
T-Mobile’s 3G (third-generation) cellular-data
frequencies in the United States. Google initially
also planned a Verizon-cognizant CDMA (code-
division-multiple-access) variant but decided a
few months later to reference-sell the HTC Droid
Incredible instead.

24 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


PRY FURTHER AT EDN.COM
+ Go to www.edn.com/pryingeyes
for past Prying Eyes write-ups.
+ For more on the Google Nexus
One, see http://bit.ly/fCQVdI.

The primary PCB’s topside includes Qualcomm’s RTR6285


RF-transceiver IC and 1-GHz, first-generation QSD8250
Snapdragon application processor, which integrates cellular
modem and GPS (global-positioning-system) functions. The
QSD8250 also includes the proprietary Adreno graphics core
that the company acquired from Advanced Micro Devices’
ATI Graphics division. The QSD8250 is a variant of the ARM
Cortex-A8 architecture, thereby supporting the ARM Version
7 instruction set, but Qualcomm’s ARM architectural license
gave Snapdragon’s engineers additional design flexibility
to—at least on paper—deliver multimedia performance
higher than that of a conventional Cortex-A8 SIMD (single-
instruction/multiple-data) multimedia product.

Between the two Qualcomm devices is the Audience A1026


audio processor. This IC works in conjunction with two Knowles
Electronics MEMS (microelectromechanical-system) microphones;
one resides on the handset’s underside to capture the user’s voice,
while the other is located on the back—to the left of the 5M-pixel
still camera lens and associated flash—and focuses on ambi-
ent environmental sounds. Whereas conventional beam-forming
techniques simply subtract ambient noise from the voice input
to enhance the perceived quality of the input on the other end of
the cellular connection, Audience’s more complex Computational
Auditory Scene Analysis approach mimics how the human audi-
tory system operates, thereby justifying a dedicated silicon engine
in the Nexus One design. Other manufacturers, such as Motorola
and Verizon, with the Droid, instead shoehorn the voice-processing
algorithm onto the application processor. A speakerphone trans-
ducer resides in the handset backside’s upper-right corner.

The Nexus One one-ups Apple’s iPhone series and many other modern
handsets by integrating Broadcom’s BCM4329 wireless transceiver,
which supports 802.11n-transfer-speed enhancements, albeit only
in the 2.4-GHz band. The iPad, iPhone 4, and third-generation iPod
touch also use the BCM4329, but Apple hasn’t yet unlocked the chip’s
beyond-802.11g capabilities. The BCM4329 also handles the Nexus
One’s Bluetooth 2.1 and EDR (enhanced-data-rate) support, but Google
hasn’t yet harnessed the chip’s FM-transmitting and -receiving features.
Instead, hackers have migrated code from the similarly equipped HTC
Desire to begin the unsanctioned and incomplete process of adding
FM-radio capabilities to the handset.

FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 25


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Control

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Systems

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Systems Electronics

M AT E R I ALS

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Software mechatronics Electronic

IN DESIGN
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FRESH IDEAS ON INTEGRATING Electro-

DE
Mechanical

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CAD mechanics

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MECHANICAL SYSTEMS,

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ELECTRONICS, CONTROL SYSTEMS,

SE
Mechanical

C
FA
AND SOFTWARE IN DESIGN

S
Systems

U
T

S
E N
M A
S M
CO
NSU C TS
MER PRODU

From the real world


to the digital world
Digitization, including sampling and quantization, is universal and essential in engineering.

n an April 2008 column for Design News, I focused on how a sampled signal back to its origi-

I the image sensor of a digital camera was replacing film


(Reference 1). I never thought that, even if you had a
roll of that film today, you could not get it developed any-
nal analog signal (digital-to-analog
conversion) without any error if the
sampling rate is more than twice as
where in the world! Yet that scenario has occurred. On Dec large as the highest frequency of the
30, 2010, Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, KS, processed the last signal.
rolls of Kodachrome film. It dramatically shows how digital If you violate this Nyquist Sam-
the world has become. pling Theorem, an inevitable, ir-
Figure 1 shows a computer-controlled system and the in- reversible effect—aliasing—results. Kevin C Craig, PhD,
terface between the analog power domain and the digital You cannot eliminate aliasing, is the Robert C Greenheck
information domain. Digitization (analog-to-digital conver- but you can reduce it with an an- chair in engineering
sion) is the act of converting an analog signal—continuous tialiasing analog filter before sam- design and a professor of
in both time and amplitude—to a digital signal—discrete pling takes place. Aliasing causes mechanical engineering,
in both time and amplitude. Discrete values in time are the frequencies above the Nyquist fre- College of Engineering,
result of sampling an analog signal; discrete values in ampli- quency (one-half the sampling, or Marquette University.
tude are the result of representing those values using a finite folding, frequency) to fold back into For more mechatronics
number of bits (quantization). the useful frequency range and ap- news, visit mechatronics
Fourier showed that you can generate any waveform that pear indistinguishable from the real zone.com.
exists in the real world by adding up sine waves of differ- signals. For example, a tone 1 kHz
ent amplitudes, frequencies, and phases, and that represen- above the Nyquist frequency folds
tation is unique. And Nyquist showed that you can convert back to 1 kHz below, whereas a tone 1 kHz below the sam-
pling frequency appears at 1 kHz. The control system re-
INFORMATION
DOMAIN SAMPLED AND sponds to both signals—real and fictitious. The antialiasing
QUANTIZED
DIGITAL SETPOINT CONTROL SIGNAL
filter limits performance because of time delay, but the ef-
DIGITAL
COMPUTER fects of aliasing are much worse.
SAMPLED AND The accuracy of a digital memory device depends on the
QUANTIZED
MEASUREMENT
number of bits it uses to store each sample. Quantization is
the process of changing the sample values to discrete lev-
SAMPLING els and results in quantization-noise errors. The measure of
ADC DAC
SYSTEM
the relative size of quantization noise is the SNR (signal-
SAMPLING to-noise ratio), and you derive it from the simple equa-
SWITCH
tion SNR=2B, where B is the number of bits used to store
samples.
Yes, everything is going digital, but I hope that, like Ko-
ANTIALIASING
SENSOR
PLANT/
ACTUATOR dachrome film, all these digital devices can “make you think
FILTER PROCESS
all the world’s a sunny day.” We all need that!EDN
POWER DOMAIN
Figure 1 Digitization is the act of converting an analog signal to REFERENCE
1 Craig, Kevin C, PhD, “Mama Don’t Take My Kodachrome
a digital signal.
Away,” Design News, April 2008, pg 20, http://bit.ly/gxsDtn.

26 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


A SIMPLE
MICROCONTROLLER-
BASED DESIGN MAY BE
A WEAPON IN THE
FIGHT AGAINST A
DREADED PROBLEM.

ACCELEROMETERS AND TEMPERATURE SENSORS

FIGHT SIDS B Y M A N I S H S HA K YA , E M M A NUEL TUA Z O N, MO H A MMED BH ATTI ,


A N D S U B R A GA N ESA N • OA KLA ND UNI VERSI TY

Although there is no agreement on a


IDS (sudden-infant-death syndrome), or

S
single cause for SIDS, factors linked to
crib death, is the sudden and unexplained the phenomenon include babies’ sleep-
death of infants from causes that forensic ing on their stomach; overheating from
and death-scene investigation cannot ex- excessive sleepwear and bedding; to-
plain (Reference 1). It is one of the leading bacco-smoke exposure following birth;
causes of death during infancy, with an esti- maternal smoking, drinking, or drug
use during pregnancy; poor prenatal
mated 2500 SIDS-related deaths annually in care; prematurity or low birth weight;
the United States and thousands more world- and maternal age of less than 20 years.
wide. Although these rates, in the United Some of the suggested causes behind
RENÉ JANSA/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

States, are at an all-time low and have fallen by about 50% since SIDS are related to choices that par-
1983, the number of infants dying from SIDS remains a cause ents make—smoking, early pregnan-
cies, and poor obstetrical care—and
for concern. Globally, especially in developing nations, where ac-
can be addressed through better educa-
cess to quality medical care and accurate information is far low- tion about the impact of lifestyle choic-
er than in the United States, SIDS-related deaths remain high. es. Other suggested causes relate to the

28 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


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T

–! 2Xaadb;^VXR8]R0[[aXVWcbaTbTaeTS2Xaadb;^VXR2XaadbP]ScWT2Xaadb;^VXR[^V^STbXV]bPaTcaPST\PaZb^U2Xaadb;^VXR8]R
0[[^cWTaQaP]SbP]S_a^SdRc]P\Tb\PhQTcaPST\PaZb^abTaeXRT\PaZb^UcWTXaaTb_TRcXeT^f]Tab       43=! &!
environment in which an infant sleeps; and activates various alarm and warn-
the parents can address these causes by AT A G L A N C E ing modes.
monitoring the infant and interven- ↘ A microprocessor-based monitor The baby-monitor unit comprises a
ing when necessary. Current research can give peace of mind to parents temperature sensor, an accelerometer,
suggests that a variety of preventive who want to prevent SIDS (sudden- and a wireless transmitter/receiver in a
measures, such as ensuring that infants infant-death syndrome). microcontroller. An LCD allows users
sleep on their backs rather than their ↘ The baby monitor collects data to monitor both the data the monitor
stomachs and removing from the crib from a variety of sensors and trans- receives from the sensors and the status
blankets, pillows, or other objects that mits it wirelessly or through a wired of the system. Status includes whether
might cause the infant to suffocate, are connection to the control module. communication with the control unit
the best means of reducing the poten- ↘
exists and whether an alarm is present.
The monitor comprises a tem-
tial of a SIDS-related death. perature sensor, an accelerometer,
Using this system, the parent attaches
With advances in computing tech- and a wireless transmitter/receiver the unit to the infant by bringing the
nology and the plummeting prices of in a microcontroller. sensors into contact with the baby.
components, other available products The position sensor connects to the
↘ Lightweight, stackless “proto-
can supplement physician-recommend- analog input on the microcontroller,
ed preventive practices. A micropro- threads” implement a sequential and the temperature sensor is the built-
flow of control without complex
cessor-based baby-monitoring system in sensor available on the microcon-
state machines or full multithreading
fulfills demand from parents looking for and provide conditional blocking
troller. A serial interface transfers this
peace of mind. Using this system allows within a C function. data to the wireless HRTF (head-re-
parents to better monitor their infants lated-transfer-function) module. The
and act more quickly to pre-empt some HRTF module then transmits or re-
of the suggested causes of SIDS. The tor comprises a control unit and a ba- ceives data using FSK (frequency-shift-
system can monitor both babies sleep- by-monitor unit (Figure 1). The baby keying) technology to an identical
ing on their stomachs and those who monitor collects data from a variety of HRTF module that attaches to the con-
are overheating. sensors and transmits it wirelessly or trol unit.
through a wired connection to the con- The control unit is responsible for
MONITOR DESIGN trol module. The control module re- menu functions, adjusting various set-
In its basic configuration, the moni- ceives, analyzes, and displays this data tings, and updating and alerting the par-
ent or guardian of the infant’s status (Fig-
ure 2). The control unit includes another
LCD microcontroller, an LCD, a hexadecimal
TEMPERATURE keypad, an accelerometer, and a multi-
SENSOR tone alarm. The wireless HRTF module
WIRELESS that attaches to the microcontroller re-
MICROCONTROLLER
TRANSMITTER ceives data from the infant-monitoring
unit and routes it to the microcontroller
POSITION
SENSOR through a serial interface.
ALARM Software displays various parameters
on a menu on the LCD that attaches
Figure 1 The baby monitor collects data from a variety of sensors and transmits it to the microcontroller. The parent us-
wirelessly or through a wired connection to the control module. es the keypad to browse through the
menu, access various options, and en-
ter input. The alarm activates when the
values of certain monitored parameters
LCD exit a predetermined safe zone. The ac-
celerometer resets the LCD to the de-
WIRELESS fault view when the user shakes the de-
TRANSMITTER
vice and so offers an easy way to exit
MICROCONTROLLER KEYPAD
the various menu options a user might
be adjusting or viewing.

ALARM IMPLEMENTATION
The system uses two Hope Microelec-
ACCELEROMETER tronic HCS12 Mini-Dragon-plus2 de-
velopment boards employing the Com-
pact MC9S12DG256 board with a sol-
Figure 2 The control unit is responsible for menu functions, adjusting various settings, derless breadboard, two RS-232 ports,
and updating and alerting the parent or guardian of the infant’s status. one CAN (controller-area-network)
port, two H bridges, and four servo

30 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


connectors and headers (Reference 2).
The board offers both an LCD interface
and a keypad interface, which allow
for easy integration of those peripher-
als. The MC9S12DG256 offers a 16-bit
CPU; 256 kbytes of flash memory; 12
kbytes of RAM; 4 kbytes of EEPROM;
and SCI (serial-communications-inter-
face), SPI (serial-peripheral-interface),
and CAN 2.0 ports.
One wireless module attaches to
the baby-monitor unit, and the oth-
er attaches to the control unit. Both
units can both transmit and receive.
The HRTF module functions on FSK
technology in half-duplex mode in
the ISM (industrial/scientific/medical)
band. The user can select the transmit-
ting-frequency deviation, the receiver
bandwidth, and the data range. The
HRTF module is compatible with ei-
ther TTL (transistor-transistor-logic)
or RS-232-logic levels. The compact
and lightweight HRTF module is prac-
tical for use as a baby monitor. Table 1
shows the pin definitions of the 24×43-
mm wireless module.
The HRTF module has a working
voltage of 5V. If the Config pin is high
at power-on, the module enters the con-
figure mode to allow a user to set up work
parameters. This system uses the default
parameters. If the Config pin is low at
power-on, then the module enters nor-
mal mode for data transmission. The En-
able pin serves primarily as a means of
regulating power consumption. When
you set the Enable pin, the wireless mod-
ule immediately enters sleep mode. This
circuit does not use the Enable pin.
The default configuration for the
HRTF module is a baud rate of 9600,
8 data bits, no check or parity bit, and
one stop bit. It caps the data-burst
length at 32 bytes. The HRTF module
works in half-duplex mode and imme-
diately transmits data upon receipt of 32
bytes from the serial port. If the mod-
ule receives less than 32 bytes of data, it

TABLE 1 WIRELESS-PIN
FUNCTION
Pin name Description
VDD Power supply
DTX Data transmission
DRX Data reception
CONFIG Configure mode
ENABLE Working function
VCC VDD tion sensor, which you attach to the
DTX infant to detect whether the infant
GND GND
DRX rolls over from his back to his stom-
6
1 CONFIG ach. In this application, the data from
2 ENABLE
7 the Y and Z axes are the most rele-
3
8 vant. You determine the orientation of
4
9
5 GND
the baby depending on the values from
the ADC.
RF
LCD AND KEYBOARD
The system uses two LCDs for dis-
playing system-status information, vari-
Figure 3 The HRTF module automatically switches to receiver mode, after transmis- ous infant parameters, and menu op-
sion, in approximately 5 msec. tions. One LCD connects to the baby-
monitor unit, and the other connects
to the control unit. An advantage of
waits for 30 msec to ensure that the data package is complete having integrated LCDs in both modules is that it provides
and then transmits the data. The HRTF module automatical- the ability to debug the system while you are programming
ly switches to receiver mode, after transmission, in approxi- it. Table 3 shows the pin assignments of the LCD and the
mately 5 msec (Figure 3). microcontroller.
The system uses two KXPS5 triaxis accelerometers with a The system uses one hexadecimal keypad for input and menu
full-scale output range of ±3g (Figure 4 and Reference 3). selection (Reference 4). The keypad is on the control unit
The accelerometer measures 5×3×0.9 mm; the operating-
voltage range is 1.8 to 5.25V dc, and the optimal operat- START
ing voltage is 3.2V dc. The connection to the controller is
straightforward (Table 2). Communication with the chip can
be through either an I2C (inter-integrated-circuit) interface GET TEMPERATURE
or an SPI and can trigger analog-to-digital conversions, set AND ACCELEROMETER
threshold delays, or manage power consumption. The ASIC
triggers acceleration thresholds when the device exceeds ac-
celeration limits. SEND DATA TO
CONTROL UNIT
With the accelerometer, the monitor unit acts as a posi-

DID CONTROL
UNIT
RESPOND?
14
SOUND
1 13 VDD ALARM
(a)

12 START
CS 2 MOT ENABLE
C1

ADDR/SDI 3 11 FF/MOT IS DATA SOUND


RECEIVED? ALARM
KXPS5

SDA/SDO 4 10
ANALYZE
DATA

SCL/SCLK 5 9 Z

SOUND DISPLAY
ALARM DATA LCD
ENABLE 6 8 Y

7
IS THERE A
PANIC CONDITION?
(b)
X
Figure 4 The system uses two KXPS5 triaxis accelerometers Figure 5 The firmware uses C and assembly language, using
with a full-scale output range of ±3g. protothreads for the baby-monitor unit (a) and control unit (b).

32 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


and connects to Port A on the micro- the LCD and can find use in debugging. (Figure 5 and references 7 and 8) in
controller. Ports 0 to 3 are input ports, Key A on the keyboard enables the key- programming the control unit. The
and Ports 4 to 7 are output ports (refer- board to snooze for 10 seconds; Key B, lightweight, stackless protothreads pro-
ences 5 and 6). The design uses inter- 30 seconds; and Key C, 60 seconds. Key vide a blocking context on an event-
nal pullup resistors from the microcon- D stops the alarm. driven system without the overhead of
troller rather than external resistors. per-thread stacks. Protothreads imple-
The basic principle behind the op- SOFTWARE IMPLEMENTATION ment a sequential flow of control with-
eration of the keypad is as follows: A The firmware uses C and assembly out complex state machines or full mul-
16-character array stores the keypad language, employing “protothreads” tithreading and also provide condition-
codes. Firmware reads this array through
a loop and assigns various codes to Port
A. The microcontroller reads the codes
after a few milliseconds and compares
them with those in the previous val-
ues. If the comparison indicates identi-
cal values, then a key is pressed. If the
comparison is not equal, the key is not
pressed.
The keypad performs several functions
in the system. It acts as the primary in-
put peripheral for the user to set and re-
set the password, set the alarm to snooze
mode, reset the alarm if it goes off, and
select various tones for the alarm. It also
resets the data-transmission counter on

TABLE 2 ACCELEROMETER
AND MICROCONTROLLER
CONNECTION
smarter, faster, smaller
At CUI, our approach is to develop smarter, faster, smaller power modules.
Accelerometer Whether it’s an embedded ac-dc power supply, a board level dc-dc converter,
Microcontroller module or a level V external adapter, we continuously strive to keep our power line, that
PAD8 (Pin 68) X-axis input ranges from 0.25 W to 2400 W, ahead of the curve.
PAD9 (Pin 70) Y-axis input
PAD10 (Pin 72) Z-axis input
Check out the latest addition to CUI’s power line:
TABLE 3 LCD- AND Novum digital dc-dc power POL modules
MICROCONTROLLER-PIN
CONNECTIONS Smarter
Microcontroller ¬ Auto compensation
LCD pin pin
¬ Dynamically adjustable
Pin 1 (ground) Ground
¬ System intelligence
Pin 2 (power 5V
supply)
Faster
Pin 3 (through a ¬ Greatly reduce your design cycle
220Ω resistor to
ground)
Smaller
Pin 4 (RS) PK0
¬ Reduced footprint:
Pin 5 (read/write) PK7 NDM1-250
12 A - 0.50" x 0.925"
Pin 6 (enable) PK1
25 A - 0.50" x 1.075"
Pin 7 to 9 (not NDM1-120
used)
Pin 11 (DB4) PK2
Pin 12 (DB5) PK3
Pin 13 (DB6) PK4 cui.com/power
Pin 14 (DB7) PK5

FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 33


)&-1
:063
&%*503*"-
&910463&
45"/%
Figure 6 The prototype can monitor only one baby.

065
al blocking inside a C function. activities as well as for periodic data ac-
In memory-constrained systems, such quisition. Both the monitoring unit and
3&13*/54"3&*%&"-'03 as deeply embedded systems, traditional the control unit use three interrupts each:
multithreading may have too large of a interrupts 7, 13, and 20. Interrupt 7 is a
Q /FX1SPEVDU"OOPVODFNFOUT
memory overhead. In traditional multi- real-time interrupt to deal with the tim-
Q 4BMFT"JE'PS:PVS'JFME'PSDF threading, each thread requires its own ing issues of the system.
stack, and each is typically overprovi- Upon every real-time interrupt, the
Q 13.BUFSJBMT.FEJB,JUT sioned. These stacks may use large parts system increments a Tick variable, from
of the available memory. In contrast, the which all system-timing information
Q %JSFDU.BJM&ODMPTVSFT main advantage of protothreads over or- is derived. Interrupt 13 uses enhanced
dinary threads is that protothreads are capture timer Channel 5 for tone gen-
Q $VTUPNFS1SPTQFDU lightweight: A protothread does not eration, generating various frequencies
1SFTFOUBUJPOT require its own stack. Rather, all proto- by appropriate reloading values. Inter-
threads run on the same stack, and the rupt 20 is the SCI at Port 0 for wireless
Q 5SBEF4IPXT1SPNPUJPOBM&WFOUT system performs a context switch by communication.
stack rewinding. The wireless modules in the baby-
Q $POGFSFODFT4QFBLJOH
This feature is advantageous in mem- monitor system are relatively easy to
&OHBHFNFOUT
ory-constrained systems, in which a configure, and data transmission be-
Q 3FDSVJUNFOU stack per thread might use a large part tween the two units is efficient. The
of the available memory. A protothread two units can communicate with each
5SBJOJOH1BDLBHFT
requires only 2 bytes of memory per pro- other over approximately 100 feet,
tothread. Moreover, protothreads are through walls, and in the presence of
°)BSE$PQZ implemented in pure C and require no other electrical equipment. The pro-
3FQSJOUT"WBJMBCMF machine-specific assembler code. For a totype can monitor only one baby
7JTJUMBOEJOHGPTUFSQSJOUJOHDPN description of the format for transmit- (Figure 6).
DBOPODPNNVOJDBUJPOT ting accelerometer data from the mon- Adding a wireless sensor network al-
itor unit, see sidebar “Transmission of lows you to monitor any number of ba-
'PSBEEJUJPOBMJOGPSNBUJPO QMFBTF data” in the Web version of this article bies. From a marketability standpoint,
DPOUBDU'PTUFS1SJOUJOH4FSWJDF  at www.edn.com/110217df. the prototype is too bulky (Figure 7).
UIFPGGJDJBMSFQSJOUQSPWJEFSGPS Interrupts can be external or internal. Size issues arise primarily from the size
External interrupts occur when the ex- of the microcontroller-prototype boards
&%/
ternal circuitry sends an interrupt signal (references 9, 10, and 11).EDN
to the CPU. Internal interrupts come
from the hardware circuitry inside the ACKNOWLEDGMENT
chip or from software errors. The system The authors would like to thank Professor
uses various interrupts to coordinate I/O Richard Haskell of Oakland University
$BMMPS
TBMFT!GPTUFSQSJOUJOHDPN
Figure 7 From a marketability standpoint, the prototype is too bulky.

for his support during this project. where he designed and implemented embed-
ded software. You can reach him at
REFERENCES mshakya@oakland.edu.
1 American SIDS Institute, www.sids.

org. Emmanuel Tuazon is a test


2 “HCS12: MiniDRAGON-Plus2 Devel- engineer at Cobasys, where
opment Board,” EVBplus, http://bit.ly/ he has worked for more than
hRE0RR. five years. He is also pursu-
3 Hope Microelectronics, www.hoperf. ing his master’s degree in
com. electrical and computer engineering at
4 www.kionix.com. Oakland University (Rochester, MI).
5 “LTC2990 Temperature, Voltage and Tuazon earned a bachelor’s degree in elec-
Current Monitor, Linear Technology,” trical engineering at Wayne State Univer-
http://bit.ly/fUmt78. sity (Detroit). You can reach him at
6 EVB Shopping Accessories, EVB- etuazon@oakland.edu.
plus, http://bit.ly/gdRnlA.
7 Dunkels, Adam, “Protothreads: Mohammed Bhatti is pursu-
Lightweight, Stackless Threads in C,” ing a bachelor’s degree in
2008, www.sics.se/~adam/pt. electrical engineering at
8 “Protothreads,” Wikipedia, http://bit. Oakland University (Roch-
ly/hM3wGM. ester, MI). He currently
9 Oakland University, www.oakland. works for Costco Wholesale, and his inter-
edu. ests include electronics, geopolitics, hiking,
10 Shakya, Manish; Emmanuel Tuazon; running, and reading. You can reach him
and Mohammed Bhatti, “Anti-SIDS at mzbhatti@oakland.edu.
Demo,” YouTube, http://bit.ly/iiv0bw.
11 Haskell, Richard, and Darrin Hanna, Subra Ganesan is a profes-
Learning by Example Using C, www. sor of electrical and com-
lbebooks.com/downloads.htm. puter engineering at Oak-
land University (Rochester,
AUTHORS’ BIOGRAPHIES MI) and director of the real-
Manish Shakya is currently time-embedded-DSP-systems lab. After
working on his master’s graduating from the Indian Institute of Sci-
degree in embedded systems ences (Bangalore, India), he served at
at Oakland University many universities and research laboratories
(Rochester, MI). Previ- as a scientist and professor. You can obtain
ously, he worked as a firmware-design more information about him at www.secs.
engineer at Real Time Solutions (Nepal), oakland.edu/~ganesan.
DESIGNING
OFFLINE AC/DC
SWITCHING
POWER SUPPLIES,
BRICK BY
BRICK
BY PAU L R A KO • T E C HN I CA L E D I TO R

36 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


IT’S A CHALLENGE TO CONVERT
HIGH-VOLTAGE AC TO DC WHILE KEEPING
EFFICIENCY HIGH AND COST LOW.

n an effort to meet worldwide efficiency requirements, engi- COMMON DESIGN PROBLEMS

I
neers are designing offline power supplies integrating high- Because these supplies radiate EMI
into space and into the power cord
efficiency switching-regulator-control circuits. This approach
feeding the supply, engineers often
uses less copper and is thus less expensive than that of conven- place differential and common-mode
tional linear supplies with large transformers and no control filters on the input circuit. The filter
IC. Designing these offline switching power supplies, however, requires a Class X capacitor across the
brings a difficult set of prob- ac input. The failure of this type of ca-
lems, including EMI (electro- pacitor cannot lead to electric shock
but can cause safety problems if you dis-
magnetic interference), in- connect the supply during high applied
rush current, input-capacitor line voltage. You can discharge the ca-
discharge, and universal-in- pacitor with a parallel resistor, but this
put requirements. There are approach wastes power when the sup-
various approaches to dealing ply is working. Instead, you can use
parts such as those in Power Integra-
with these issues.
tions’ two-terminal CapZero family of
automatic-X-capacitor-discharge ICs,
which eliminate power losses but still
allow power supplies to comply with
safety standards.
You may also need Y capacitors,
whose failure can lead to electric shock,
from the line to earth ground. These
capacitors reduce conducted EMI into

FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 37


the power cord, but large ones can trip ing a fire in another component. UL
ground-fault outlets and circuit break- AT A G L A N C E (Underwriters Laboratories) testing is
ers. You can solve radiated EMI into ↘ Offline switchers are high-voltage primarily about fire prevention. In ad-
space with tight PCB (printed-circuit- power supplies. dition to examining failure modes, UL
board) layouts and by slowing any fast ↘ Many design problems are can short-circuit your supply output to
current transitions in the circuit (Ref- unique to ac/dc supplies. observe whether it catches fire.
erence 1). As a last resort, you can use Although an undervoltage lockout

shielding, which adds cost and may in- Flyback and forward converters keeps the input capacitors charged to
terfere with cooling. are the most common types of reduce subsequent inrush events, you
Another problem that can occur offline switchers.
cannot allow these capacitors to stay
when you are designing offline power ↘ Quasiresonant flyback converters charged up indefinitely. A constantly
supplies is their requirement for a large have 88% efficiency. charged state would present a safety haz-
input capacitor, which in turn requires ard to service personnel. To deal with
↘ LLC (inductor/inductor/capacitor)
a large pulse of current that charges up this problem, wire a resistor across the
and asymmetrical half-bridge con-
the capacitor when you turn on or plug capacitor; the resistor drains the capaci-
verters reach 93% efficiency.
the supply into the wall. Using a large tor’s charge within a few minutes but is
input capacitor reduces the input rip- ↘ Phase-shifted full-bridge con- a constant power waste and drain on
ple to your switching stage but causes verters deliver power greater than efficiency. To eliminate this efficiency
a greater inrush current, which can trip 500W. loss, use a FET in series with the resistor
the ac circuit breaker feeding the sup- to disconnect it when the supply is on.
ply, damage the rectifier diodes in the circuit so that the required energy to After solving the inrush problem,
input section, or blow fuses in the input charge the input capacitor from this lev- you must decide whether your supply
circuit. To mitigate these problems, you el to line operating levels does not dam- accepts universal inputs. If it does, it
can add NTC (negative-temperature- age the supply or blow the circuit break- will work from worldwide line voltag-
coefficient) inrush limiters. When these ers, even if the NTC limiter is hot. es and frequencies. These inputs can be
inrush limiters are cold, they have a Passive NTC limiters respond to am- as extreme as 85V at 60 cycles for Ja-
high resistance, limiting the inrush-cur- bient temperature. If your supply must pan and 264V at 50 cycles for Europe.
rent surge. In the hot state, the limiters work over large temperature ranges, you Wide input range causes problems re-
have low impedance and allow the sup- face the difficult task of balancing all lating to the minimum pulse width at
ply to deliver full power. the requirements and keeping the in- which your supply operates. As the in-
You must be careful when design- rush current low (see sidebar “Testing put voltage increases, a conventional
ing systems that have applied inter- your design”). Another way to solve the PWM (pulse-width-modulated) switch-
mittent power because the input could inrush-current problem is to put a series ing power supply makes narrower puls-
lose power. The switching supply would FET or another transistor in the input es. At some point, the pulses become so
then drain the input capacitor in 100 stage (Figure 1 and Reference 2). If you narrow that the power transistors spend

PHOTO-ILLUSTRATION BY TIM BURNS. BRICKLAYER: DNY59/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM; ADAPTER: JERIDU/ISTOCKPHOTO.COM (PREVIOUS PAGE)


msec. Restoration of power while the properly size the FET, you can then slow- most of their time ramping high or low
NTC limiters are still hot could cause ly turn it on, operating it in its linear re- in their linear region. This linear re-
an unacceptable inrush. To overcome gion and dissipating power. You must gion exposes the transistors to both sig-
this problem, use control chips with un- ensure that repeated turn-on or turn-off nificant voltage and significant current,
dervoltage lockout. These chips prevent events do not overheat the part. overheating the parts.
the switching supply from draining the You must ensure that a failed input To solve the universal-input prob-
input capacitor when the voltage reach- capacitor can safely blow a fuse or melt lem, add transistors to the front end
es some threshold. You can design your a trace without catching fire or caus- to change the input from a bridge-type
VIN rectifier to a push-pull type or use con-
trol ICs that support short rise and fall
R1 á times. These fast transitions may solve
R3
D1 D2 770k C RLOAD VOUT
330k the overheating problem but at the ex-
1% ź
pense of greater EMI. Alternatively,
you can address these wide input ranges
á
Q2 using different topologies, such as PFM
V1
VAC IGBT ź (pulse-frequency modulation).
R4 You next must figure out how to
IC1 33k
VREF
TL431 1% power the control IC. The convention-
0.5W Q1 al way is to use a series-dropping resis-
BS170
R2 D5 R5 D6 tor from the input dc bus to the control
6.8k chip (Figure 2). Although simple, this
D3 D4 5.6k 8.2V 15V
0.5W 1% 0.5W
1%
0.5W scheme wastes a significant amount of
power in the resistor. If the input bus
Figure 1 This circuit, a recent EDN Design Idea, eliminates the losses of NTC inrush limiters. is 264V ac, the rectified dc bus will be
373V. Control chips operate at 10 or

38 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


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RINRUSH
VDCBUS
VAC
RSTART
RX CX RBUS CBUS

r fa ce Moun)t VAC IC1


Su lug Inand
(and P rmers
CONTROL
IC
a ns fo
Tr nductors Figure 2 The resistors in this circuit create efficiency losses in the supply. You should
I immed
iately
g
switch them or use a chip that internally switches them out of the circuit.
Catalo com
o’s full onics.
See Pic el e c t r
ico 20V and might consume 10 mA of cur- SupreMOS FETs with smaller die and
w w w. p rent. The resistor wastes 353V times 10 cost for a given breakdown voltage.
mA, or 3.53W, of power. You can re- You might want circuitry to soft-
Low Profile from
duce this waste by using a small wind- start the supply. If so, you must ensure
.19"ht. ing in the transformer to feed current to
the chip once the supply starts up. This
that the soft-start works properly when
power is intermittent. Most control ICs
technique reduces but does not elimi- provide a soft-start function, and many
nate the current the supply draws from regulators and controllers also have
the dc bus. The wasted power violates built-in protection features for over-
the various “green” initiatives and reg- temperature and overcurrent. Once
Audio Transformers ulations, such as Energy Star and other external, protection features are now
Impedance Levels 10 ohms to 250k ohms,
Power Levels to 3 Watts, Frequency Response worldwide standards. parts of the IC.
±3db 20Hz to 250Hz. All units manufactured
and tested to MIL-PRF-27. QPL Units available.
To eliminate the power loss in the
start-up resistor, you have to either OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Power & EMI Inductors switch it out with an external FET or All of these design problems are just
Ideal for noise, spike and Power Filtering use a regulator chip that performs this the start of the design process. You now
Applications in Power Supplies, DC-DC
Converters and Switching Regulators task. Alternatively, you can use a chip must select a switching architecture.
from Power Integrations’ SenZero fam- Part of this task might involve deciding
Pulse Transformers ily, which steers current to any manu- to put the control chip on the secondary
10 Nanoseconds to 100 Microseconds. ET
Rating to 150 Volt Microsecond, Manufactured facturer’s chip. The chips require an side to eliminate sending the feedback
and tested to MIL-PRF-21038. external enable signal. Another option voltage over isolation boundaries and
is to use a FET with a normally on de- to enable synchronous rectification.
Multiplex Data Bus
pletion mode, such as the high-voltage Synchronous rectification allows you to
Pulse Transformers
Plug-In units meet the requirements
PFETs from Supertex. replace the output diode with FETs that
of QPL-MIL-PRF 21038/27. Once you have the control chip, you the control chip switches on and off at
Surface units are electrical equivilents
of QPL-MIL-PRF 21038/27. must select an output device. Regulator the proper times. Placing the control
ICs have built-in power FETs, where- chip on the secondary side means, how-
DC-DC Converter as controller ICs, which target use in ever, that you must send start-up power
Transformers tough ambient conditions, require that over the isolation boundary to get the
Input voltages of 5V, 12V, 24V And 48V.
Standard Output Voltages to 300V (Special you add external FETs. Some designers chip working.
voltages can be supplied). Can be used as self
saturating or linear switching applications. All
use IGBTs (insulated-gate bipolar tran- Another decision is whether to use
units manufactured and tested to MIL-PRF-27. sistors) at powers greater than 1 kW. current-mode or voltage-mode feed-
You can create cost-conscious, low- back. Current-mode feedback uses the
400Hz/800Hz power designs using conventional bi- current in the primary winding as the
Power Transformers polar transistors. The CamSemi C2471 controlled parameter. This approach
0.4 Watts to 150 Watts. Secondary Voltages 5V
to 300V. Units manufactured to MIL-PRF-27 chip, for example, controls inexpensive eliminates the reactive nature of the
Grade 5, Class S (Class V, 1550C available).
bipolar transistors. Power Integrations’ primary from the control loop and re-
eek TopSwitch family integrates the FET moves a pole associated with the pri-
one w
-Stock to ntities
Delive ry
mple
qua on die with a 700V process, whereas mary inductance. Many engineers pre-
for sa
Fairchild uses two dice in one package fer current-mode control because, in
in its FPS product line. Fairchild also this approach, the power supply has
makes a complete line of controllers, one dominant pole and exhibits bet-
for FREE PICO Catalog
as do Texas Instruments and STMicro- ter stability. Current-mode control al-
Call toll free 800-431-1064
electronics. Using a controller requires so protects the switching transistor and
in NY call 914-738-1400
Fax 914-738-8225 you to select primary-switch transistors, measures current through the transistor
PICO Electronics,Inc.
143 Sparks Ave. Pelham, N.Y. 10803
such as those from Vishay, On Semi-
conductor, International Rectifier, ST-
at all times, preventing excessive cur-
rents that would damage the device.
E Mail: info@picoelectronics.com Micro, Ixys, Texas Instruments, and Re- Many semiconductor companies
www.picoelectronics.com nesas. Fairchild recently introduced its have begun to tout ICs that use digi-
tal power. Chips that use digital PWM add phase shift and can cause control
loops are popular in PFC (power-factor- problems. The optocoupler reduces the
correction) circuits because the funda- bandwidth of the control loop, reduc-
mental control is 60 Hz, slow enough ing transient response. Many control
that almost any digital loop can keep chips replace the optocoupler with a
up with it. Digital power is inherently sense winding on the transformer. This
neither superior to nor inferior to ana- scheme cannot hold as tight a regula-
log power. Deciding the internal archi- tion but does achieve 5% output ac-
tecture of the chip is a problem for the curacy. However, iWatt claims that its
semiconductor company (Reference proprietary primary-sense algorithms
3). Companies such as iWatt have en- can improve accuracy beyond that lev-
joyed high designer acceptance of their el. “Cell-phone chargers need tight-

t
digital-power parts, but the parts’ fea- er control than you can achieve with

Outpu
tures are more important than their competing primary-sensing schemes,”

0 VDC ers
control methods. says Zahid Rahim, iWatt’s vice presi-
Most ac/dc power supplies need out- dent and general manager.
put regulation because it compensates Alternatively, you can send the ana-
for changes in output load and input log voltage across the isolation bound-

10,00 nvert
line voltage. To regulate the output ary with a delta-sigma modulator, such
voltage, you must feed the signal back as those from Avago. As another alter-
to the control chip. Most ac/dc sup- native, you could represent the output
plies use an optocoupler such as those voltage as a digital value and send it
from Fairchild and Avago. The supplies across the boundary with a digital iso-

2V toDC-DC Co
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eek
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in NY call 914-738-1400
(c) Fax 914-738-8225

Figure 3 The flyback (a) and forward converter (b) are the workhorses of the industry.
PICO Electronics,Inc.
143 Sparks Ave. Pelham, N.Y. 10803
The two-switch forward converter (c) eliminates the reset winding.
E Mail: info@picoelectronics.com
www.picoelectronics.com
lator (Reference 4). These alternatives VDCBUS VOUT
are costly, however, and create phase
lags that reduce the control-loop band-
width. Another approach is to place the
control chip on the secondary side and
let it control the primary side across the
isolation boundary. In that case, you
must send isolated start-up power to
the chip. You can achieve tighter volt- Figure 4 An asymmetrical half-bridge operates at a fixed frequency.
age regulation if the control chip is on
the secondary side, according to Rich-
ard Garvey, an application manager at VDCBUS VOUT
Texas Instruments. You need not send
the output-voltage feedback across an
isolation boundary.
If your design has high power levels or
low output voltages, you might want to
replace the secondary-side diodes with
synchronous FETs. You can control the
power supply with the chip on the pri-
Figure 5 The series-resonant converter, which Vicor developed, shifts frequency as it
mary and send the secondary control
operates.
over the isolation boundary. Texas In-
struments’ UCC28250 power-supply
chip operates in this way. Alternatively, values despite varying loads. On the load changes. They also can employ a
a secondary rectification circuit, such other hand, flyback converters tend to smaller transformer for a given power
as International Rectifier’s IR11672AS emit more EMI and have worse tran- because they need not store an entire
secondary-side-driver IC, can sense the sient response than do other topologies. cycle’s energy in the core.
power delivery and run independently The architecture must build current in Flyback and forward converters have
of the primary control loop. the primary before it can respond to an served the industry for decades, but re-
output load change, so the switching cent eco-friendly initiatives have made
ARCHITECTURE ABUNDANCE frequency is a fundamental limit on the them less attractive because they rarely
When designing a switching pow- transient output response. Fairchild, provide more than 85% efficiency. As a
er supply, you’ll find an abundance of Texas Instruments, STMicro, Power result, control chips that support mul-
available architectures for your design. Integrations, and many other vendors tiple architectures, such as Power In-
The architectures include both fixed- make dozens of flyback control ICs. tegrations’ HyperPFS, have flourished.
frequency PWM and variable-frequen- When your design reaches power re- The chip incorporates PFC and a semi-
cy architectures. Among the fixed-fre- quirements of approximately 60W, you resonant, asymmetrical, two-switch for-
quency architectures is the flyback con- should consider using a forward con- ward topology.
verter, a classic ac/dc switching power verter, which transfers power to the You can achieve 93% efficiency at
supply (Figure 3). A flyback converter output and switches the energy into the 200 to 500W power levels using an
transfers energy when the primary tran- primary side. Forward converters, in- asymmetrical half-bridge topology (Fig-
sistor switch is off. Closing a transistor cluding push-pull devices, have lower ure 4). This architecture suits use in
switch allows current to build up in a secondary ripple current and better ef- designs having output voltages lower
transformer. When the current is flow- ficiency than flyback converters, and than 24V (Reference 7). The fixed-fre-
ing into the primary windings, the di- they respond more quickly to transient- quency PWM circuit eases input- and
odes on the secondary side block cur-
rent, and the secondary windings de- VDCBUS
liver no current to the output. Turning
off the input transistor causes the volt-
age at the drain node to fly to a value VOUT

higher than the dc input bus. The volt-


age goes high enough to damage the
transistor, so you must limit the excur-
sion of the drain node with a snubber
(references 5 and 6).
Flyback power supplies provide good
tracking between multiple outputs.
Thus, if you regulate a 5V rail with Figure 6 The LLC topology operates with variable frequency and delivers 93%
feedback to the control chip, the ±12V efficiency.
rails stay fairly close to their nominal

42 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


output-filter design by combining se- circuit’s frequency changes with the The LLC (inductor/inductor/capaci-
ries capacitors with the transformer and load. By operating at the boundary or tor) switching power supply is a true
a series inductor. The inductor can be the transition mode, at which the pri- resonant architecture (Figure 6 and
the transformer’s leakage inductance or mary current has reached 0A, the de- references 12, 13, and 14). You oper-
a discrete inductor, which adds cost and vices eliminate reverse-recovery loss ate the circuit at a frequency at which
space but has a more predictable value. in the output rectifier. A plethora of the tank is inductive. Lower frequen-
The asymmetrical half-bridge has a sec- control ICs are available, including cies see less impedance and deliver
ondary-side output inductor that pro- TI’s UCC28610, Power Integrations’ more power, and lower loads create an
vides lower ripple current to the output PLC810PG, and CamSemi’s CC2163. increase in frequency. LLC devices in-
capacitors, making it more attractive for
low-voltage or high-current supplies.
For power levels greater than 500W,
you should consider a full-bridge archi-
tecture using four MOSFETs. This ap-
proach fully uses the transformer’s wind-
Go Direct
ings because it excites the primary with
both polarities. The downside of this
circuit is that it places stress on the FET
& Stretch
switches. One approach to this problem
is to use a phase-shifted full-bridge to-
pology (references 8, 9, and 10). You
accomplish this task by adding capaci-
tors and fast-recovery diodes across the
four FETs. Alternatively, you could use a
FREDFET (fast-recovery epitaxial-diode
field-effect transistor). You then use a
control IC, such as the TI UCC2895 or
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MPD EDN1102.indd 1 1/24/2011 12:47:20 PM


FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 43
TESTING YOUR DESIGN
Once you design the input, start-up, supply, such as those from California ing on the waveform as the supply
control, architecture, and power Instruments, Pacific Power Source, recovers. The thorough way to test
devices for a switching power Elgar, or Kikusui. These instruments a supply’s stability is with a network
supply, you can test your design. can vary input voltage over the uni- analyzer. Ridley Engineering and
Experienced ac/dc-power-design versal range and supply 50- or 60-Hz Venable Instruments make special-
engineers understand that safety is frequencies. You can use an isolation ized network analyzers for power-
a constant concern. Keep one hand transformer to make the negative supply applications. The source
in your pocket while probing so that rail of the dc bus into a chassis com- excitation in these instruments is
current does not conduct across your mon for your oscilloscope. You can isolated, so you can inject a signal
heart. Testing on wooden benches also use differential probes, but they into the feedback loop of your sup-
is safer than on metal ones because rarely have adequate voltage capabil- ply. Alternatively, you can combine a
touching a high-voltage node on a ity for primary circuits. conventional network analyzer, such
wooden bench does not cause a To understand a switching power as the 200-MHz Agilent HP3577, with
short circuit to the parts of your body supply, it is essential for you to have an isolation transformer. Omicron
touching the bench. at least one current probe with as makes the B-WIT-100 and network
Even small supplies store enough great a bandwidth as possible. Most analyzers for this purpose.
energy to blow up components. engineers comprehend resistive Once you have set up the network
Your prototype most likely has a circuits, but reactive circuits with analyzer, get a bode diagram of the
backward-polarized capacitor. Thus, capacitors and inductors act in non- gain and phase plots of your power
you must wear safety glasses or a intuitive ways. Looking at the voltage supply’s control loop over frequency.
full-face shield when troubleshoot- of a node with an oscilloscope does Power-supply engineers leave 30
ing your design. not tell you what is going on. You to 60° of phase margin. Measuring
Test your design over all the ambi- must understand both the voltage EMI (electromagnetic interfer-
ent temperatures it will encounter. at the node and the current passing ence) requires instruments such as
The applied ac does not necessarily through it. Kikusui’s harmonic and flicker ana-
start at 0V. A user can close a switch Power supplies are servo systems. lyzer to evaluate conducted noise
or plug in a supply at the moment the You feed back the output voltage to into the ac-power cord. Dozens of
ac voltage is at its peak, causing a a control chip and add components instruments will help you measure
large inrush current. to compensate that feedback loop. radiated noise. Using a control IC
Avoid applying full ac voltage to All the principles of control theory that dithers the PWM (pulse-width-
your design the first time you try it. apply to power supplies. You must modulated) frequency lowers the
Use a VARIAC (variable-ac) trans- ensure that your design is stable measured EMI but does not reduce
former to slowly increase the ac over all line voltages, loads, and tem- EMI. It reduces only the measure-
input voltage. Testing the input sec- peratures. You can apply a step load ment results from swept-receiver
tion requires a laboratory ac-power to the output and observe the ring- instruments.

START-UP
clude Fairchild’s FSFR2100 regulator
and FAN7621 controller and Interna- VENABLE Và
tional Rectifier’s IRS27951S. UC1526

NO MAGIC
The many challenges inherent in de- VDCBUS VOUT
signing offline switching power supplies
are daunting. If you are new to switch-
ing-power-supply design, you should
not start with offline switchers because ĽVOUT
they involve significant safety hazards.
On the other hand, there is no magic
FEEDBACK
to them. Look at other designs for in-
spiration (Figure 7). Prowl the elec-
tronics-salvage yards and find a supply SYNC
that outputs 300W; you could use that START-UP Và UC1526
supply’s transformer to make your own FEEDBACK ĽIN
300W device. Try changing the archi-
tecture or increasing the switching fre- Figure 7 This compound power supply finds use in military systems. It has a buck con-
quency to see what happens. Playful ex- verter that varies the voltage to a half-bridge converter that operates at a 50% duty cycle.
perimentation will bring the intuition

44 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


and experience you need to design off- Magazine, 2005, http://bit.ly/gcXzpd. 11 Harper, Jon, “Selecting the right
line switchers. 6 “Design Guidelines for RCD Snubber topology for energy-saving power sup-
Engineers who take on a design chal- of Flyback Converters,” Application plies,” Embedded.com, May 14, 2009,
lenge often risk their safety to design Note AN-4147, Fairchild Semiconduc- http://bit.ly/ihWzGI.
high-voltage circuits. They enjoy the tor, 2006, http://bit.ly/fgnhom. 12 “An introduction to LLC resonant

difficulties of understanding reactive 7 “Designing asymmetric PWM half- half-bridge converter,” Application
circuits that behave in a nonintuitive bridge converters,” Application Note Note AN2644, STMicroelectronics,
manner. They read, study, and keep up AN-4153, Fairchild Semiconductor, September 2008, http://bit.ly/hKGjya.
with developments, and they often en- 2008, http://bit.ly/dO0h6b. 13 Choi, Hang-Seok, “Design Consider-

joy making the world a better place by 8 Mappus, Steve, “Control Driven ation of Half-Bridge LLC Resonant
squeezing every last percentage point Synchronous Rectifiers In Phase Converter,” Journal of Power Electron-
of efficiency from a design. You are not Shifted Full Bridge Converters,” Appli- ics, Volume 7, No. 1, January 2007,
alone. The vendors’ application engi- cation Note SLUA287, Texas Instru- http://bit.ly/eBU7FX.
neers will help you conceive, build, and ments, March 2003, http://bit.ly/iangqz. 14 Yang, Bo, “Topology investigation of

test your ac/dc power supply.EDN 9 Aigner, Hubert; Kenneth Dierberger; front end DC/DC converter for distrib-
and Denis Grafham, “Improving the uted power system,” Electronic Theses
REFERENCES Full-bridge Phase-shift ZVT Converter and Dissertations, Virginia Polytechnic
1 Rako, Paul, “Circulating currents: for Failure-free Operation Under Institute, Sept 12, 2003, http://bit.ly/
The warnings are out,” EDN Europe, Extreme Conditions in Welding and fLnTYO.
November 2006, http://bit.ly/h3rofF. Similar Applications,” Application Note
2 Castro-Miguens, JB, and C Castro- APT9803, Advanced Power Technolo-
You can reach
Miguens, “Limit inrush current in low- gy, December 1998, http://bit.ly/
Technical Editor
to medium-power applications,” EDN, eyCma9.
10 Jang, Yungtaek, and Milan M
Paul Rako at
Nov 4, 2010, pg 44, http://bit.ly/
1-408-745-1994
eMbUNT. Jovanovic, “A New Family of Full- and paul.rako@
3 Rako, Paul, “Digital power—without Bridge ZVS Converters,” IEEE Transac- ubm.com.
the hype,” EDN, April 22, 2010, pg 25, tions on Power Electronics, Volume 19,
http://bit.ly/hCEHub. No. 3, May 2004, http://bit.ly/eeVz5u.
4 Rako, Paul, “Draw the line: Isolation

shields systems from shocking surpris-


es,” EDN, Sept 3, 2009, pg 22, http://
bit.ly/hT9Djw.
5 Ridley, Ray, “Flyback Converter Leading Embedded
Development Tools
Snubber Design,” Switching Power

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N
Agilent On Semiconductor
www.agilent.com www.onsemi.com
Avago Pacific Power Source
www.avagotech.com www.pacificpower.
California com
Instruments/Elgar Power Integrations
www.elgar.com www.powerint.com
CamSemi Renesas
www.camsemi.com am.renesas.com
Elgar Ridley Engineering
www.elgar.com www.ridley
Energy Star engineering.com
www.energystar.gov STMicroelectronics
Fairchild www.st.com
Semiconductor Supertex
www.fairchildsemi. www.supertex.com
com Texas Instruments
International Rectifier www.ti.com
www.irf.com Underwriters
A full featured development solution for
iWatt
www.iwatt.com
Laboratories
www.ul.com
ARM-powered Linux and Android platforms.
Ixys Venable Instruments
www.ixys.com www.venable.biz
Kikusui Vicor 1-800-348-8051
www.kikusui.co.jp www.vicor.com
www.arm.com/ds5
Omicron Vishay
www.omicron.at www.vishay.com

FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 45


2010

AWARD FINALISTS:
ARE YOU INSPIRED?
DN’s annual Innovator and Innovation of the Year competition was designed Android, MontaVista Software

E more than two decades ago with one goal in mind: to find, recognize, and pro-
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viduals and companies to achieving engineering excellence. And, with your help, we kit, Xilinx
are eager to recognize some of them. Check out the finalists across many categories
on these pages, and then go to www.edn.com/innovation21 to review complete write- DIGITAL ICs
ups of each finalist and cast your online ballot. We’ll roll out the red carpet and honor ▶ Flash controllers based on
all of the nominees and winners at a reception on May 2 in San Jose, CA. If you’d like MSP (Memory Signal Processing)
to join the festivities, you can also find event and ticket information at this link. technology, Anobit
▶ Mobile XDR, Rambus Inc
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46 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


▶ Crystal Touch multitouch ▶ ▶ Kinetis 32-bit microcontrollers,
projected capacitive touch panels, Freescale Semiconductor
Ocular LCD Inc INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR ▶ TMS320C6A8168 Integra
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touch-sensing technology, Dave Dascher, Nick Fernandez, Texas Instruments
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sign team, Agilent Technologies ▶ Power Debugging Technology,
PASSIVE COMPONENTS, ▶ Mario Paniccia, Intel Corp IAR Systems
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AND INTERCONNECTS ▶ Robert Dobkin and Tom Hack, Group Inc
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of motion processors, InvenSense Inc Ericsson Power Modules
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▶ N6781A two-quadrant source/ SYSTEMS AND BOARDS
POWER ICs measure unit for battery-drain ▶ PXI and AXIe test portfolio,
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Conversion Corp analyzer, National Instruments
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controller, Linear Technology ▶ 2010 Intel Core processor family, analyzer, LeCroy Corp
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FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 47


EDITED BY MARTIN ROWE

designideas
AND FRAN GRANVILLE

READERS SOLVE DESIGN PROBLEMS

Reduce acoustic noise


DIs Inside
from capacitors 50 Function generator has
Damian Bonicatto, Landis+Gyr, Pequot Lakes, MN variable frequency

Some surface-mount capacitors pacitor. Applying the voltage makes 52 Power supply accepts
↘ exhibit acoustic noise when op- the PCB operate as a speaker. Keeping wide input-voltage range
erated at frequencies in the audio range. that fact in mind, consider two meth- 55 Circuit lets you
A recent design uses 10-μF, 35V X5R ods for improving the situation. The test capacitors
1206 ceramic capacitors that produce first technique is relatively simple: If
noticeable acoustic noise. To quiet such your circuit uses one capacitor, replace ▶To see all of EDN’s Design
a board, you can use acoustically quiet it with two in parallel, each with half Ideas, visit www.edn.com/design
capacitors from manufacturers such as the capacitance of the noisy capacitor. ideas.
Murata (www.murata.com) and Kemet This approach lets you place a capaci-
(www.kemet.com). Unfortunately, they tor on top of the board and the other
tend to cost more than standard parts. on the bottom of the board; the capaci- for approximately 27 cents (1000). A
Another option is to use capacitors tors lie directly above each other, and quieter KPS-series part from Kemet
with a higher voltage rating, which their orientations are the same. As the costs approximately $1.50. The sec-
could reduce the noise. Those parts upper capacitor tries to flex the board ond method involves making a slot in
may also be more expensive than stan- down, the lower capacitor tries to flex the PCB near each end of the capaci-
dard capacitors. A third path is to make the board up. These two stresses tend to tor (Figure 2). When the capacitor
a physical change to the PCB (printed- cancel each other, and the PCB gener- expands and contracts, it flexes only a
circuit board). ates little sound. small portion of the PCB, which should
A ceramic capacitor expands when Adding a second capacitor increases reduce the noise.
you apply a voltage and contracts when cost but not as much as replacing the A test with five 10-μF, 25V ceramic
you reduce the voltage. The PCB flex- noisy capacitor with one that might capacitors connected in parallel showed
es as the capacitor changes size because not create noise. A ceramic capacitor that putting three capacitors on top of
the ends of the capacitor mechanical- from Digi-Key (www.digikey.com) sells the PCB and two on the bottom reduc-
ly couple to the PCB through solder es the noise by 14 dBA (acoustic deci-
(Reference 1). bels). Routing a slot on both sides of the
Figure 1a shows a capacitor with no SLOTS IN PCB five capacitors reduces the noise by 15
applied voltage, and Figure 1b shows dBA. Both are substantial noise reduc-
an exaggerated condition of PCB flex- tions. A Murata JG8-series capacitor re-
ing when you apply voltage to a ca- duces the noise by 9.5 dBA. Combining
these techniques should further reduce
the noise.EDN
(a)
REFERENCE
1 Laps, Mark; Roy Grace, Bill Sloka,

John Prymak, Xilin Xu, Pascal Pince-


(b)
loup, Abhijit Gurav, Michael Randall,
Philip Lessner, and Aziz Tajuddin,
CAPACITOR
“Capacitors for reduced microphonics
and sound emission,” Electronic Com-
Figure 2 Adding a second capacitor ponents, Assemblies, and Materials
Figure 1 A ceramic capacitor expands increases cost but not as much as Association, Capacitor and Resistor
when you apply a voltage (a) and con- replacing the noisy capacitor with one Technology Symposium Proceedings,
tracts when you reduce the voltage (b). that might not create noise.
2007, http://bit.ly/eKyPKR.

48 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


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designideas
Function generator has nal reference voltage of approximately
3V at Pin 7 of the XR-2206. With this
variable frequency internal reference, the circuit requires
no voltage regulators—not even in the
Adolfo Mondragon, Electrolux Products, Juarez, Mexico power supply. The circuit requires a
power supply with only a 12V, 500-mA
The Exar (www.exar.com) XR- variation similar to a logarithmic scale. center-tapped transformer, a bridge rec-
↘ 2206 function-generator IC can To change this behavior, the manufac- tifier, and two filter capacitors (Figure
generate square, triangular, and sinusoi- turer’s data sheet recommends con- 1). You can define the frequency equa-
dal signals with low distortion. Its out- necting a resistor network to a variable tions using Figure 2 as a reference.
put frequency is inversely proportional external voltage source. The voltage When VX is 0V, you determine the
to the components in an RC network, should be stable and vary from 0 to al- frequency using F=1/RC. The current
according to the formula F=1/RC. most 3V. trough, IR, equals 3/R, where 3 is the
Use a potentiometer as the resis- Instead of using an external voltage, voltage reference in Pin 7. From this
tor component to provide a frequency the circuit described here uses an inter- equation and resolving the recipro-

S2 270
SINUSOIDAL-
TRIANGULAR Ľ8V
SWITCH

8V

XR-2206
10k

Ľ8V
16k
8V
100 μF
100k
8V à 8V

10k 2 8
Ľ
73 LINEAR 1
47 6
à
POTENTIOMETER 3 LM358
LM318 à
2
SIGNAL Ľ
4 à 10k
OUTPUT
1k
10 μF
à 10k
Ľ8V
1 μF 6
10k 4.7k 7 Ľ
5 10k
4.7k à LINEAR
0.1 μF 10k
4.7k 4 POTENTIOMETER
0.01 μF 10k
1k Ľ8V

0.001 μF TWO-POLE,
TRIMMING 1N914
FIVE-THROW
POTENTIOMETERS
FREQUENCY-SCALE
FOR SCALE
SELECTOR
CALIBRATION

8V
S1
110V AC à
ON/OFF 1N4007 1N4007 1000 μF

à
1N4007 1N4007 1000 μF

Ľ8V
12V CENTER-TAPPED
500 mA

NOTES: ALL RESISTORS ARE 1/8W, 5% TOLERANCE.


CAPACITORS ARE 20% TOLERANCE.

Figure 1 The waveform-generation circuit has a frequency of 1 Hz to 100 kHz in five scales.

50 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


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designideas
cal of R, you define the frequency as
IR/3R=1/R, as a function of the current,
XR-2206
F=IR/3C.
When VX>0V, you define the current Ľ
as IR=(3−VX)/R. Replacing IR from the à
previous equation, you can define the C
R
frequency as a direct function of the
voltage: F=(1/3RC)(3−VX). Ľ
IR
Figure 1 shows the final circuit to VX à LINEAR
generate the waveforms. The circuit’s POTENTIOMETER
frequency ranges from 1 Hz to 100 kHz
in five scales. The rotary switch lets you
select the scale by switching in a set of Figure 2 With an internal reference, this circuit requires no voltage regulators—not
even in the power supply.
capacitors.EDN

Power supply accepts of life. The power supply can also run ef-
ficiently off higher input voltages, such
wide input-voltage range as 12V automotive power. The heart of
the circuit is a SEPIC (single-ended-pri-
Jim Windgassen, Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems, Annapolis, MD mary-inductance-converter)-based
switching power supply, which provides
The switching power supply in an input voltage as low as 1.5V once it an output voltage greater than or less
↘ Figure 1 produces 3.3V dc from starts from a minimum of 2.5V dc, al- than the input voltage (Reference 1).
an input voltage of 2.5 to 20V dc with lowing the switcher to fully discharge a This power supply includes bootstrap
high efficiency. The circuit operates at pair of alkaline cell batteries nearing end circuitry comprising IC1, an LT3008

D1
ZLLS350
IN OUT
IC1 R1
LT3008 1.87M à C2
SHDN ADJ 4.7 μF
GND
R2
590k

IN

C1
22 μF
L1
4.7 μH

à V1
VIN
Ź 2.5V
INTVCC RUN C4 D2
C3 à 10 μF DFLS230L-7
4.7 μF OUT
MODE SENSE
IC2
R3 Q1 L2 C7
LTC1871 R4
33.2k FDMA430NZ 4.7 μH 100 μF
ITH 1100k I1
GATE
0.5A
C5 C6 FREQ FB
6800 pF 50 pF GND
R6 R5
40k 634k

NOTES: INDUCTOR MODEL IS BASED ON 4.7-μH WÜRTH 744878004 DUAL INDUCTOR FOR 600 kHz.
L1 AND L2 ARE WOUND ON A COMMON CORE.

Figure 1 The power supply can provide a 3.3V output from 2.5 to 20V input voltages. It needs 2.5V to start.

52 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


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designideas
the total charge that must go into and
50-mA LOAD EFFICIENCY 500-mA LOAD EFFICIENCY out of the MOSFET gate, further im-
proving efficiency. SEPIC controller IC2
84
normally uses its internal low-dropout
82 capability to generate an operating volt-
age of 5V from the input. Running IC2
80
from the bootstrapped output reduces
EFFICIENCY
78 IC2’s operating voltage to approximate-
(%) ly 3V, which also limits the drive voltage
76
to Q1’s gate.
74 Table 1 lists the key components for
72
the power supply, including an appro-
priate commercially available coupled
70 inductor. The PCB (printed-circuit-
1.5 2 2.25 2.5 3 4 6 9 12 15 20
VOLTAGE (V) board) design and the choice of cou-
pled inductors for this power supply
Figure 2 The power supply’s efficiency is consistent over 50- and 500-mA loads. are critical for good performance. For
the power supply to achieve high effi-
voltage regulator; Schottky diode D1; drain-to-source voltage of 30V to allow ciency at low input voltages and high
and capacitor C2. It needs a minimum of for operation up to a 20V input. output current, the coupled inductor
2.5V to start. Voltage regulator IC1 pro- The bootstrap circuit allows the con- must have low-resistance windings,
vides 2.5V to start SEPIC controller IC2. verter to run from very low input volt- and the high current tracks should use
Once the output voltage of the SEPIC ages by maintaining the input voltage to wide copper pours to minimize resistance
power supply reaches its normal output IC2, and it increases efficiency at high
voltage of 3.3V, D1 lets the output power input voltages by eliminating the use
of the switcher flow back to power IC2. of IC2’s internal linear voltage regula-
Once this action occurs, IC1 drops out tor. Figure 2 shows the efficiency of the
of the circuit because the voltage at its prototype power supply at both 50- and
output is above its setpoint voltage. The 500-mA loads. The power supply’s effi-
converter’s own output now powers IC2, ciency is consistent over a range of oper-
and the regulator’s internal circuitry pre- ating voltages because of the bootstrap-
vents backflow of power through IC1. ping circuit.
MOSFET Q1 has low threshold voltage, Because the circuit uses a low-thresh-
appropriate on-resistance to provide old-voltage MOSFET, the switch, keep- Figure 3 The complete power supply
fits onto a 23×15×3.5-mm PCB.
current feedback to IC2, and a maximum ing the gate drive voltage low, reduces

TABLE 1 KEY PARTS FOR POWER SUPPLY


Component Description Manufacturer Part
Input capacitor 22-μF, 25V, 10%-tolerance, AVX 12063D106KAT2A
1210-size X5R ceramic
capacitor
Output capacitor 100-μF, 6.3V, 1206-size X5R Kemet C1206C107M9PACTU
ceramic capacitor
Coupled inductor 4.7-μH coupled-inductor Würth 744878004
Cuk SEPIC
Bootstrap low-dropout Regulated-low-dropout- Linear Technology LT3008EDC#TRMPBF
regulator adjustment, 20-mA,
6-DFN-packaged IC
SEPIC controller 10-MSOP-packaged Linear Technology LTC1871EMS#PBF
current-mode-IC controller
MOSFET 30V, 5A, N-channel Fairchild Semiconductor FDMA430NZ
microMOSFET
Bootstrap diode SOD-523-packaged, 40V Diodes Inc ZLLS350TA
Schottky diode
SEPIC diode 2A, 30V Schottky Diodes Inc DFLS230L-7
power diode

54 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


pickering

losses and unwanted inductance.


A prototype of the power supply
com). You can download the Linear
Technology LTSpice code for this circuit 3LFNHULQJ
measures 23×15×3.5 mm (Figure 3).
It uses a custom coupled inductor, but
from the online version of this Design
Idea at www.edn.com/110217dia.EDN 5HHG5HOD\V
you can choose from many off-the-
shelf coupled inductors available from REFERENCE 1HHG,QVWUXPHQWDWLRQ
BH Electronics (www.bhelectronics. 1 “Designing a SEPIC Converter,” Appli- *UDGH5HHG5HOD\V"
com), Coilcraft (www.coilcraft.com), cation Note 1484, National Semiconduc- /RRN1R)XUWKHU
and WÜrth Elektronik (www.we-online. tor, April 30, 2008, http://bit.ly/ich5pf.
3LFNHULQJ(OHFWURQLFVLV
D0DQXIDFWXUHURIKLJK
TXDOLW\5HHG5HOD\VIRU
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Circuit lets you test capacitors

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Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Maharashtra, India y +LJKYROWDJHVZLWFKLQJ
y /RZWKHUPDO(0)
Electrolytic capacitors tend to pacitor under test, CX, discharges through
↘ leak with time. The circuit in its internal resistance. If the leakage in CX y 'LUHFWGULYHIURP&026
Figure 1 lets you test capacitors and de- is greater than that of CREF through RREF, y 5)VZLWFKLQJDQGRWKHU
cide whether they’re worth using. You then its voltage will fall faster. Thus, the VSHFLDOLVWDSSOLFDWLRQV
can set the constraint on the leakiness voltage at the op amp’s noninverting
through the values of CREF/RREF. The val- input will be lower than at its inverting 6RIW&HQWHUŒ
ues in the figure are typical for general input, forcing the op amp’s output low

0X0HWDO0DJQHWLF6FUHHQLQJ
testing of all capacitors, from 1-nF ce- and lighting the red LED. This LED in-
ramic versions to 1000-μF electrolytic dicates that the test capacitor leaks. Test-
types. The value of CREF in the circuit is ing of the circuit reveals that even a 1-nF
near the value of the test capacitor, CX. ceramic capacitor holds against the ref- 2QO\3LFNHULQJKDV
You can also choose RREF, by a rotary- erence. Check the voltage rating on the
6RIW&HQWHUŒ7HFKQRORJ\
switching arrangement, to be greater test capacitor to make sure that it is high-
than or less than 22 MΩ. er than the voltage to which it will be
(QFDSVXODWLRQ 6RIWLQQHU
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their respective PNP transistors. When voltage of 10V, but the testing took VFUHHQ WRSURWHFW
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the switch opens, the capacitors begin place at only 6V to allow a low upper- *UDGH5HHG

6RIW&HQWHUŒ
to discharge. CREF, assuming that it is in limit voltage for the test capacitor. Make 6ZLWFK
good condition, has an additional dis- sure the capacitor has a FET or a MOS-
charge external resistance, RREF. The ca- FET input stage.EDN 5HHG
6ZLWFK
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6V 6HOI

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− 7
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4 LF357
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BC177 CREF + RREF OR EQUIVALENT
+ CX GDPDJHWKHUHHGVZLWFKDQG
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Figure 1 Electrolytic capacitors tend to leak over time, but this circuit lets you test
them and decide whether they’re worth using.
SLFNHULQJUHOD\FRP
FEBRUARY 17, 2011 | EDN 55
productroundup
SWITCHES AND RELAYS
Dual SPST analog
switch operates
from a 1.8 to 5.5V
power supply
The monolithic DG723 analog
↘ switch switches both analog and
digital signals. It contains two inde-
pendent SPST switches; Switch 1 is
normally open, and Switch 2 is nor-
mally closed. Working from a 1.8 to
5.5V power supply, the DG723 delivers
low switching noise for signal integrity
and system
accuracy. It
combines a
compact sur-
Transmit/receive switches face-mount
integrate clamping diodes package with
low power
The MAX4936/MAX4937 fully integrated octal high-voltage transmit/ consump-
↘ receive switches integrate clamping diodes to isolate the low-voltage tion and the ability to work with the
receiver path from the high-voltage transmitting path. This feature protects the low voltages in new-generation porta-
receiver input from voltage spikes due to leakage currents flowing through the ble designs. It features a typical on-
switches. The devices feature eight individually programmable switches controlled resistance of 2.5Ω, typical leakage cur-
through an SPI with a 12-bit shift register and transparent latch. The devices oper- rent of 1 pA, off-capacitance of 8 pF,
ate over the 0 to 70°C commercial-temperature range and come in 5×11-mm, on-capacitance of 19 pF, and charge
56-pin TQFN packages. Prices start at $12 (1000). injection of 1.8 pC. On-resistance flat-
Maxim Integrated Products, www.maxim-ic.com ness is 0.9Ω at 5V, and typical band-
width is 366 MHz at −3 dB. The switch
ADVERTISER INDEX sells for 70 cents (1000).
Vishay Siliconix, www.vishay.com
Company Page Company Page
Agilent Technologies C-2, 3, 12 Lattice Semiconductor 17
Analog Devices Inc 19 Linear Technology C-4 Miniature pushbutton
ARM 45 Maxim Integrated Products 49, 51 switches feature built-in
Avnet Electronics Marketing C-3 MicroPower Direct 43
Avtech Electrosystems Ltd 57 Mouser Electronics 8
RGB-LED illumination
The KP series of miniature
Centellax
Cirrus Logic Inc
27
29
National Instruments
Panasonic Industrial
15
57
↘ RGB-LED-illuminated pushbut-
Coilcraft 6 Pickering Interfaces 55
ton switches have square caps with a
CUI 33 Pico Electronics Inc 5, 40, 41
clear lens and a white diffuser. They
come in flat, sculptured, or home-key
Digi-Key Corp C-1, 4 Renesas Technology Corp 23
styles in 17.4-, 15-, and
Express PCB 13 RFM 31
12-mm sizes. They pro-
Integrated Device Technology 10 Trilogy Design 57
vide a choice of two-
Intel Corp 39 UBM Trade Events 53
stroke-travel or actua-
International Rectifier Corp 9 VersaLogic Corp 47
tion-force combinations
Lambda Americas 35 Vicor Corp 21
and measure 23 mm high
EDN provides this index as an additional service. The publisher assumes no liability for errors or omissions.
from the PCB to the top

56 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


of the cap. The switches feature a maxi-
mum current of 100 mA at 12V dc.
Prices start at $17 (sample quantities).
NKK Switches, www.nkkswitches.com

Power-off-protection
switches prevent
productmart
damage to data This advertising is for new and current products.
and systems
The ADG4612 and ADG4613
↘ power-off-protection switches op-
erate either open or closed and guarantee
an off state in the absence of a power sup-
ply, preventing potentially damaging
current from flowing to PCBs. The Bluetooth® RF MODULES
devices suit use in applications in which
Bluetooth, which is based
analog signals may be present at the on IEEE 802.15.1, was
switch inputs before the power-supply developed for the purpose
voltage is on or in which a user has no of sending larger amounts
control over the power-supply sequence. of data quickly from com-
puters to portable handheldd
The switches also feature overvoltage devices. Key features include high data
protection, which can block signal levels rate, frequency hopping, very small form
as high as 16V in the off state. The factor and modest power consumption.
switches have a maximum on-resistance Panasonic offers a new Bluetooth RF
module product line that makes connectivity
of 6.1Ω and contain four independent between mobile devices easily implemented,
SPST switches. Each switch in the creating a seamless data chain from sensors
ADG4612 turns on with logic one on to the Web.
the appropriate control input, and two
switches in the ADG4613 turn on with
Visit us online at www.panasonic.com/rfmodules
logic zero. The switches sell for $1.87 email piccomponentsmarketing@us.panasonic.com
or call 1-800-344-2112
each (1000).
Analog Devices Inc,
www.analog.com

Fast Pulse Test Solutions from AVTECH


Crosspoint switches Avtech offers over 500 standard models of high-speed
support multiple pulse generators, function generators, and amplifiers
Typical Output Waveform
ideal for both R&D and automated factory-floor testing.
data rates AVR-CD1-B Reverse Recovery Test System
2 A/div, 40 ns/div

The family of six crosspoint


↘ switches includes the industry’s
first 290×290 crosspoint switch. The
GX3290, with 84,100 unique paths at
Some of our standard models:
3.5 Gbps, consumes 34W with all chan-
AVR-EB4-B: +2A / -4A pulser for diode reverse-recovery time tests
nels active and operates at 1W in AV-156F-B: +10 Amp constant current pulser for airbag initiator tests
standby mode. The devices support the AVO-9A-B: 200 mA, 200 ps rise time driver for pulsed laser diode tests
development of routers with an assym- AV-151J-B: ±400 V, 50 kHz function generator for piezoelectric tests E-mail us at: info@
AVOZ-D2-B: 700 V, 70 A pulser for production testing of attenuators
metrical number of inputs and outputs AVR-DV1-B: 1000 V, variable rise-time pulser for phototriac dV/dt tests
avtechpulse.com
and feature an on-chip pattern genera-
tor and checker. Packaged in a 50×50- Pricing, manuals, datasheets: www.avtechpulse.com
mm BGA (ball-grid array), the GX3290 AVTECH ELECTROSYSTEMS LTD. | Tel: 888-670-8729
is priced at $2400 (1000). PO Box 265 Ogdensburg, NY 13669 | Fax: 800-561-1970

Gennum, www.gennum.com
TA L E S F R O M T H E C U B E WHITHAM D REEVE • REEVE ENGINEERS

When I climbed into the DC-6, I


A wrench in the works popped the fasteners that held the com-
partment covers and exposed the two
inverters. I scoped out their mountings
and electrical connections. There were
two large, approximately #4/0 AWG
wires for the 28V-dc input and several
smaller ones for the three-phase ac out-
put and on/off control. The ac system in
the DC-6 used a delta configuration with
one corner grounded.
I decided to disconnect the large dc
wires first and grabbed an open-ended
wrench from my toolbox; the company
forbade the use of adjustable wrenches.
I started to unscrew the nut on the posi-
tive dc input stud. When my wrench
hit the enclosure structure, all hell
broke loose.
There was a big flash, and the wrench
instantly turned red. I had shorted the
live dc bus to ground. Nobody told me
to have one of the air-frame mechanics
disconnect the batteries in the airplane
before working on the inverters because
the dc bus was hot all the time. The
DC-6 had big batteries with lots of short-
n the summer of 1965, I went to work in the family airline busi- circuit current capability because they

I
ness as a radio technician. As a new hire, I got the jobs that were had to start four huge Pratt & Whitney
R2800 engines.
in line with my experience and that nobody else liked to do, I flinched but quickly again grabbed
such as sweeping the floors and cleaning the shop. One interest- the wrench. It had welded itself to the
ing assignment was to repair and overhaul the large backlog of aluminum structure. Worse, red-hot,
MG-149G and H-model rotary inverters. Our DC-3 and C-46 molten aluminum and steel had splat-
airplanes used the inverters, dc motors with ac generators that ran tered onto the carbon dust that coated
everything in the inverter compart-
off the airplanes’ main 28V-dc bus and supplied 115V ac and 400
ment and set it on fire. I was somehow
Hz for certain radio-navigation equipment and instruments. able to pull the wrench away without
Overhaul involved completely disas- It took me a week or two to work burning myself. Miraculously, the car-
sembling and cleaning the unit. Once I through the stack of inverters, but I bon fires fizzled out, and no significant
cleaned up the components, I thorough- finished them. Our spares rack was now damage occurred to anything except my
ly examined them to check for anything full of shiny, clean MG-149 inverters. By new wrench.
out of the ordinary. The inverter rotor now, though, everyone considered me I climbed out of the airplane and,
had a bearing in each of the end bells. the inverter expert. I received instruc- still shaking, told the mechanic fore-
The rotor had some sealed bearings and tions to remove the No. 2 inverter from man what had happened. He had a good
some open bearings. I had to thoroughly the DC-6 over in the hangar and take it laugh and said he’d have a mechanic
clean and regrease the open bearings. to a local shop for overhaul. disconnect the battery. I then vacuumed
All bearings required hand operation The DC-6 used a much larger invert- the inverter compartment and removed
to make sure they were smooth. Upon er than the MG-149 due to the larger ac the inverter without further trouble and
reassembly, the inverter end bells, bear- load. Our test bench was not set up for took it to the overhaul shop. I realized
ings, and rotor had to be in perfect the larger inverters. Off I went, but not how close I had come to burning up a
alignment, which I accomplished by before asking where the inverters in the perfectly good DC-6 and probably the
DANIEL VASCONCELLOS

starting up the inverter on the bench, DC-6 resided. It turns out that they were hangar with it.EDN
listening, and then lightly tapping the directly behind the radio rack in a closed
end bells with a nonmetallic hammer to compartment, with No. 1 at the top and Whitham D Reeve is an engineer at
align the bearings. No. 2 at the bottom. Reeve Engineers (Anchorage, AK).

58 EDN | FEBRUARY 17, 2011


Accelerating Your Success. ™

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Bell Microproducts provides the expertise you need to accelerate your success.
Our combined team gives you access to world-class resources. Bringing industry
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Finally

A Simple, Precise 2-Terminal Current Source


The simplest functions are often the most difficult to design. The current source—a basic circuit element—has not been
available as an IC. Discrete implementations suffer from poor accuracy, high TC or complexity. Our new current source, the
®
LT 3092, provides all the performance without the compromises: programmable up to 200mA, high AC and DC impedance,
low TC and no capacitors required. Its two floating terminals make it easy to use in precision or remote current limiting, bias
circuits, intrinsic safety circuits, temperature sensing, active load and signaling applications.

Features Current Accuracy vs Temperature Info & Free Samples

• 0.5mA to 200mA Output Current 1.00 www.linear.com/3092


• No Capacitors Required 0.75 1-800-4-LINEAR
0.50
• 10ppm/V Regulation
Current Accuracy (%)

0.25
• 1.2V to 40V Input Voltage
0
• Reverse Voltage & Current Protection – 0.25
LTspice ®

• Thermal Protection – 0.50

– 0.75 www.linear.com/LTspice
• 1% SET Pin Current Accuracy
TM –1.00
• 3mm x 3mm DFN-8, 8-Lead ThinSOT – 50 –25 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 , LTC, LT, LTM, μModule and LTspice are registered trademarks
and ThinSOT is a trademark of Linear Technology Corporation.
and 3-Lead SOT-223 Packages Temperature (°C) All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.