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27 April - 3 May 2011 | No. 2465 |

Shedding light
on LEDs

Going with the flow


Faster measurements using SCPI

the week in electronics
Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy EDITOR’S CHOICE PRODUCT OF THE WEEK Samsung closes gap on Intel
Apple is suing Samsung, claiming Samsung, the No.2 chip-maker,
that its mobile phone and tablet
product lines copy technology from
On-chip security manager continues to close the gap on Intel,
the No.1 chip-maker, by taking 9.2%
Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices. of the world chip market in 2010
In a lawsuit filed at the US District compared to Intel’s 13.3%, says
Court for the Northern District of IHS iSuppli. In 2001, Intel’s market
California, Apple alleges Samsung’s share at 14.9% was more than three
Galaxy smartphones and tablet times that of Samsung at 3.9% when
design features violate its trademarks Samsung ranked fifth.
and patents.
Acal sales up 17% in Q4
France to make 3D wafers Acal has seen strong sales growth in
CEA-Leti is moving toward pilot the past three months, driven by its
production of 3D semiconductor electronics distribution business. In
structures on 300mm wafers at its a trading update for its year ended 31
research centre in Grenoble, France. March 2011 the distributor reported
CEA-Leti has installed fabrication that fourth quarter like-for-like sales
tools supplied by EV Group in its first increased by 17% year-on-year.
300mm cleanroom dedicated to R&D “We continue to see good trading
and prototyping for 3D-integration conditions in the electronics division
applications. The initial aim will across Europe,” said Nick Jefferies,
be research and development and group chief executive.
prototyping, but the lithography BLOG WATCH
and packaging systems will have
the capability for low-volume pilot
production on 300mm wafers.
Microwave firm eyes export hopes 19nm NAND samples in April
Toshiba and SanDisk will sample 19nm NAND flash from the end
of this month, and plan to mass
Apple profits up 95% produce it in Q3. The first product
Apple made a $5.99bn (£3.6bn) profit to be made on the 19nm process is a
on sales of $24.67bn in Q1, profit 64Gbit multi-level cell flash memory.
was up 95% and sales up 83% on
the same quarter last year. “We will
continue to innovate on all fronts Distributor adds scopes
throughout the remainder of the RS Components has extended
year,” said company CEO, Steve Jobs. its distribution agreement with Tektronix to cover a wider range
of oscilloscopes. The distribution
Nokia profits slump on slow Q1 channel is dramatically growing in
Nokia saw its profit halved in Q1 importance for test system suppliers
compared with Q4, and its Q1 as they bid to expand their markets
revenues fell 18% compared with with mid and low cost scopes and
Q4 revenues. The number of mobile meters. RS will add to its catalogue
phones sold in the quarter – 108.5 the MSO/DPO3000 and MSO/
million – was down 12% on Q4. DPO4000B series scopes.
OLED driver for Lenovo phone Copier chips from Wolfson
Dialog Semiconductor is supplying
its DA8620 passive matrix OLED
So manufacturing is good, again? Wolfson has announced a range of
analogue front-end digitiser chips
driver to Lenovo for the S800 for digital copiers and scanners. Part
colour feature phone. The S800 is of the firm’s imaging portfolio, the
the first commercial phone to offer WM8232, WM8233, WM8234 and
a transparent colour display, said WM8235 process and digitise the
Dialog, using its SmartXtend brand analogue output signals from CCD
driver technology. sensors or contact image sensors.

Intel Q1 profits up 29% Europe’s smart meter standards

Boosted by revenues and profits from The telecoms standards body
the McAfee and Infineon wireless and the European Association of
division acquisitions, Intel recorded the Electricity Transmission and
Q1 net profits of $3.2bn (£1.9bn), Distribution Equipment and Services
up 29% on Q1 2010. Revenues of Industry (T&D Europe) have signed
$12.8bn were up 25% from Q1 2010. a Memorandum of Understanding
Operating income increased by 21%. to collaborate on the development
Sales of chips for mobile, embedded of ETSI standards for smart-grid
applications and communications highlighting the importance of
were $1.15bn. standardisation in smart metering. 27 APRIL - 3 MAY 2011 EW | 3


Electrolytic capacitor-free power

architecture for solar inverters
ambridge-based solar

C inverter firm Enecsys has

revealed details of a novel
power architecture, which
eliminates the need to use electro-
lytic capacitors, thereby increasing
The firm’s designs are intended to
be fixed to the back of solar panels,
producing 240V 50Hz directly. They
are called micro-inverters by the
solar industry to distinguish them
from larger remote-mounted invert- A boost first stage and ripple-tolerant buck second stage allow non-electrolytic DC link capacitors to be used
ers that take power from a string of
solar panels.
Direct mounting means micro-
inverters have to operate at high “The various bits of the topology where the high voltage plus the rip-
ambient temperature, and if they are known. It is the configuration of ple tolerance of the second stage
contain electrolytic capacitors these the three stages that no one has done mean that only 30μF is needed to
will cause the inverter to fail well before,” Enecsys founder and chief deliver 240W at the output – a value
before the panel’s predicted 25-year architect Dr Lesley Chisenga told that can be made from film capacitors
life, said Enecsys.
With a patented topology, the firm
has eliminated electrolytics and has
Electronics Weekly.
The first stage is a boost converter
that produces a DC link voltage of up
 without resorting to electrolytics.
Custom capacitors have been sourced
simply to keep the profile of the
instead moved to film capacitors, to 600V. This is followed by a second micro-inverter below 30mm.
custom-made by Epcos (TDK-EPC), stage, a current output buck converter The third stage is a bridge switch
rated at 30,000 hours MTBF. which is tolerant of up to 120V of which flips the polarity of every sec-
 ond cosine pulse to produce a 50Hz
sine wave.
To remove the need for opto-

  isolators, which the firm claims is the

   next most damaging component for
MTBF, galvanic safety isolation is
provided by a transformer in the first

 stage where no feedback is required.
  “This stage uses a half-bridge with
a transformer which has substantial
  benefits in terms of efficiency and

  simplicity, and it allows us to use
$$$# !"
zero-voltage switching for low
losses,” said Chisenga.
ripple on its input. “Another aspect of The all-important maximum
our intellectual property covers the power point tracking (MPPT) – a
significant ripple capability of the technique which extracts the most
second stage,” added Chisenga. from a solar panel under varying
The main energy reservoir capaci- lighting and temperature conditions
Enecsys micro-inverter: the custom Epcos film capacitors are blue tor is connected to the 600V DC link, – is provided in the second stage.
Usually MPPT would require a
measure of voltage and current pass-
ing through, but in this case the sig-
nificant ripple on the capacitor
allows rate-of-change-of-voltage
across the capacitor to substitute for
the current measurement.
“Tracking is done on the DC link
component. All the other solar
inverters we know about track on the
load side,” said Chisenga. O


4 | EW 27 APRIL-3 MAY 2011


Organic LEDs move into the big time

with launch of overhead panels
Manufacturers are keen to prove viability of mass production of OLEDs for lighting large areas, writes Steve Bush

urope’s OLED100 research

E project has demonstrated its

largest organic-LED (OLED)
lighting panel. OLED tech-
nology has been identified as the
most attractive alternative to tradi-
tional fluorescent lighting panels,
due to its potential to be low-cost and
The main goals of the pan-
European OLED research project are
to achieve power efficacy of
100lm/W, a lifetime of 100,000 hours,
with lighting panels measuring
100x100cm2 and costing no more
than €100/m².
This latest OLED panel, which
measures 33cmx33cm and with an
active area of 828cm², was developed
by the project partners and made at
Fraunhofer IPMS on an in-line pre-
pilot tool.
“We intended to show that we can
up-scale to larger areas in a process
that is mass manufacture-
compatible,” OLED100 project man-
ager Stefan Grabowski told Electron-
ics Weekly.
Lifetime testing is still under way,
and predicted lifetime from 1,000cd/
m², wearing to 700cd/m², is well be-
yond 1,000 hours so far, said Over 20% of EU electricity consumption is for lighting but better adoption of OLED systems could cut greenhouse gas emissions
Techniques include screen print-
ing the metallisation for contacts and
bus bars on to the glass substrate. Efficacy is more than 25lm/W, not the EU is used for lighting. “The en- adoption of OLED lighting could ac-
However, not all the processes are enough for lighting, but impressive ergy used to supply lighting produces tually result in a decrease in green-
quite so factory-ready and at the mo- for an OLED. High efficiency OLEDs greenhouse gases equal to 70% of the house gas emissions,” said
ment the device has a cavity glass lid are another thread in the project, emissions from all the world’s pas- Grabowski.
to keep oxygen and moisture from which will eventually be combined senger cars,” he said. is a pan-European re-
the vulnerable OLED and electrode with the large area processing, said “Our project will deliver OLED search project working on the devel-
materials. “We are working on thin- Grabowski. lighting that is at least seven times opment of OLED technologies. It re-
film encapsulation, which is cheap- According to Grabowski over 20% more efficient than conventional in- ceived funding of €12.5m (£11m)
er,” said Grabowski of all the electric power consumed in candescent lighting. Widespread from the European Community’s
Seventh Framework Programme to
form the technological basis for effi-
cient OLED applications for the gen-
eral lighting industry in Europe.
Philips has recently introduced a
commercial OLED lighting panel
measurung 70mmx70mm. Called the
Lumiblade Plus, the panel has an ef-
ficiency of 45lm/W, which improves
on the 12lm/W of previous panels. It
costs €120. O

6 | EW 27 APRIL - 3 MAY 2011



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Wireless sensors
powered by radio #!"* (*&'%#.*+
owercast, a US-based wire- transmitters and RF-powered sensor 
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harvesting company, has in-
troduced a wireless sensor
system that works within buildings.
The significance of this system is that
According to Powercast, a wire-
lessly-powered sensor system could
save users 40-50% over the installed
cost of wired sensors and controllers
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receivers embedded inside the sensor ments. A starter kit, with two wire- ###&$%
nodes which will receive RF energy less temperature and humidity sen-
up to between 60ft and 80ft away sors, a transmitter and a BAS
from the transmitters broadcasting gateway, is available for $799.
radio waves at 915MHz. The firm’s chips can be bought  

“Broadcasted RF energy can reach from Future, Mouser and Microchip '(%"

and power sensors even through Direct. O
walls, above ceilings, and behind  !'%  

objects,” said the company.  

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Receiver sensitivity is
“Powercast’s wirelessly-
powered sensors offer the long-
term predictability of wired
sensors with the deployment
flexibility of battery-powered
systems,” said Harry Ostaffe,
vice-president of marketing and
business development at
Powercast. The firm’s WSG-101
BAS Gateway can scale up to
100 sensor nodes and 800 sensor
points for large-scale
The gateway interfaces to
wired BAS networks via
industry-standard protocols,
including BACnet, Modbus,
Metasys, and LonWorks.
The sensors and gateway use
data links at 2.4GHz using
802.15.4 radios, which users can
set to channels that will not
interfere with, nor be interfered
with by, Wi-Fi networks.
Powercast has also teamed
with microcontroller supplier    

Microchip and Texas Powercast
Instruments to offer a design kit for 27 APRIL - 3 MAY 2011 EW | 7


3D laptop
Palm reader can Will fabs
ever be built
due in July make PCs secure in Africa?
oshiba is to launch a glasses- aybe there is a psychologi-

T free 3D notebook on the ujitsu claims to have de-

M cal synergy between chip
Japanese market in July. Called
‘dynabook Osmio’, the notebook will
be able to display 3D and 2D content,
while at the same time allowing users
to simultaneously work and play
F signed the smallest contact-
free palm-print authentica-
tion sensor which can be
used for biometric authentication
in PCs.

manufacturing and earth-
quakes. Semiconductor design and
manufacture is an unpredictable
business, while people in seismically
active areas live with uncertainty,
games. Existing palm print authentication and Silicon Valley was spawned in
3D images are created using paral- technology requires a person’s palm an earthquake zone.
lax, by delivering separate images to
the left and right eyes. This produces
3D images if the separate images are
to be held motionless over a device in
order to capture an image of the
palm. The sensor includes an image-
 But it is still a shock to be told that
90% of the world’s pure-play foun-
dry capacity is in seismically sensi-
properly delivered to each eye. capture system that continuously tive regions. And that all the fabs in
Toshiba has adopted a distinctive captures the user’s palm print at 20 Japan, Taiwan and China are in earth-
‘face-tracking’ function and ‘Active frames per second. quake-prone areas.
Lens’ to fulfil this requirement. The sensor also has the capability Integrated Excellence IC Insights, the Arizona analyst,
Face-tracking allows the web cam- of identifying the best image from as standard came up with these findings while
era integrated into the notebook to among those it has captured and au- posing the thought: ‘The March 11,
track the user’s face and recognise the tomatically verifying it. 2011 Japan earthquake might just be
position of the eyes. the wake-up call that spurs the entire
Active Lens, integrated into the electronics supply chain to create
LED panel, controls the polarization new contingency plans, just in case...’
of light delivered from the panel. If just the Hsinchu fabs went
These functions secure precise de- down, says IC Insights, the world-
Tel. 01932 268990
livery of separate images to each eye, wide electronics systems industry
even when the user moves. would lose $10bn in sales.
The computer uses an image proc- This is hairy stuff. Will it change
essor derived from the multi-core the industry’s thinking? Thirty years
technology of the Cell processor. “This allows users to perform au- ago earthquakes were seen as just one
An image-processing algorithm thentication by simply placing their of many risks, and by no means a pri-
called Face3D uses face detection palm lightly over the sensor, rather ority. Nowadaysit may just sway a
technology to locate faces in 2D than holding their hand motionless fab-siting decision. After all, labour
images and then applies a human over the sensor, as before,” said cost is low compared to capital cost.
depth template to the image, giving Fujitsu. Africa is, apparently, the least seis-
the features more depth and assuring According to the company, com- mically active continent, because the
a 3D appearance with graded pared to fingerprints, the distinctive edges of the tectonic plate under Afri-
shading. O features of palm prints are more nu- ca are the furthest distance away –
merous and create more complex particularly to the West.
patterns, resulting in a higher volume That points to the Sahara (pic-
Toshiba of data. tured). The Sahara has two other adv- PCs may get biometric security As a result the system’s recognition natages: it sits on the world’s largest
accuracy results in a false-negatives fossil aquifer and has a lot of sun, so
rate of 0.01% and a false-positives the two prime necessities for fabs –
rate of 0.00008%. water and electricity – are abundant.

1$#"44&.#-: The sensor is 29.0mm wide,

11.2mm tall, and 29.0mm thick.
The design is based on a photo-
But could the Saharans stump up
the billion dollars in grants, loans, tax
concessions, hand-outs and variegat-
:06$"/(&5#&55&34&37*$&"/%1":-&44500 graphic optical system that is half as ed graft required to get a chip compa-
,V\RXU3&%DVVHPEOHUWRRH[SHQVLYH" thick as previous models. ny to build a modern fab? O
The smaller size is important be-
$UHWKH\ODWHRQGHOLYHU\" cause it increases the range of devices
,VWKHLUTXDOLW\QRWJRRGHQRXJK" into which the sensor can be de-
8QGHUSUHVVXUHWRJHW\RXUFRVWVGRZQ" signed, according to Fujitsu.
Biometric authentication is in-

creasingly being used in ID cards and
8FåMMHJWFZPVUPQRVBMJUZBOESFBMDPTUTBWJOHT based on unique personal character-
istics. O

Fujitsu Mannerisms blog

8 | EW 27 APRIL - 3 MAY 2011


DC-DC converter
becomes charger *&'+*

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It drives buck, boost and flyback designs
Q$ #  "
inear Technology has in- The interface between the

L troduced a chip that can

transform DC-DC converters
into fully-featured battery
chargers for any rechargeable battery.
The only restrictions on the converter
LTC4000 and DC-DC converter is
through the converter’s compensa-
tion pin. “It only requires the DC-DC
converter to have a control or exter-
nal-compensation pin, usually
Q $   % 

is that it must span the input voltage named VC or ITH, whose voltage
and battery voltage, and have a pin level varies in a positive monotonic     
for external compensation. Dubbed way with its output. The output vari-
LTC4000, the chip will handle input able can be either output voltage or
and output voltages from 3-60V and output current,” said Linear. """  
back-up mediation between the input Because it is connected to the con-
supply, battery and load. verter’s compensation pin, the chip
“It is capable of driving typical includes an amplifier that can com-
DC-DC converter topologies, includ- pensate the combined circuit using a
ing buck, boost, buck-boost, sepic discrete resistor and capacitor.
and flyback,” said Linear. “It prefer- Full parameters and equations are
entially provides power to the system provided for those who wish to cal-
load when input power is limited, culate the RC values.
and controls external pFETs to pro- And for those who don’t, there is a
vide reverse current protection.” rather neat practical method for itera-
A feature that allows the load to be tively deriving the correct values –
fed the moment external power is ap- first published by the firm in app
plied, even with a flat or dead battery note AN19 in 1986(Figure 32) –
connected, is built in. The power involving an oscilloscope, a signal
range is “from mW to kW”. generator, and a 50Ω resistor.
Other features include: +/– 0.2% Operational temperature range is
programmable float voltage; selecta- –40 to 125°C, and the chip comes in a
ble timer or C/X current termination; 0.75mm high 28-pin 4x5mm QFN
temperature-qualified charging using package or a 28-lead SSOP. O
a thermistor; automatic re-charge;
C/10 trickle charge for deeply dis-
charged cells; and bad battery Web link description

The chip preferentially provides

power to the system load when input
power is limited 27 APRIL - 3 MAY 2011 EW | 9

UK scientists produce spin current
in graphene using current flow
Graphene spintronics gets a boost from University of Manchester scientists, writes Steve Bush

niversity of Manchester

U scientists have found a

way to produce spin cur-
rent – essentially magnet-
ism – in graphene using current flow,
a discovery which could have impli-
cations for graphene spintronics.
Manipulating the flow of conven-
tional current in graphene is straight-
“Pronounced field effect: the
dependence of the resistivity on
applied gate voltage; was already
demonstrated in first graphene
reports six to seven years ago and
triggered enormous research activity
in the field,” Manchester researcher
Dr Leonid Ponomarenko told
Electronics Weekly.
However, the spin of electrons in
graphene is not easily manipulated.
In their experiment, the research-
ers connected spin and charge by ap-
plying a relatively weak magnetic Researchers connected spin and charge by applying a weak magnetic field to graphene to create a flow of spins.
field to graphene and found that this
causes a flow of spins in the direction
perpendicular to electric current, chance that the other person would “You create a normal current, designing existing spintronics devic-
making a graphene sheet magnetised. feel the flow,” he said. “In our graph- which makes a spin current, which es, and making new ones including
And the induced magnetism ex- ene swimming pool, we use normal propagates across all the graphene spin-based transistors.
tended over macroscopic distances current to make spin current in one and makes a normal current else- “The holy grail of spintronics is the
from the current path without decay. place, and the spin current propagates where,” explained Ponomarenko. conversion of electricity into magnet-
“It is a non-local signal that you across all of the graphene, and makes According to the University, it is be- ism or vice versa,” said University of
would not expect in materials like normal current in another place.” lieved that coupling between the cur- Manchester Professor Andre Geim,
this,” said Ponomarenko. In the experiment, voltage differ- rent and spin will be direct in future one of graphene’s discoverers. “We
Non-local? ences are found well away from the spintronics devices, without using offer a mechanism, thanks to unique
Ponomarenko made an analogy. input current path, so they cannot magnetic materials to inject spins as it properties of graphene. I imagine that
“Imagine a swimming pool with have been induced by normal current is done at the moment in hard drive many venues of spintronics can ben-
one person on each side. If one stirred flow, and the implication is that they heads for example, and that the team’s efit from this finding.”
the water, there would be very little arrive via spin current. discovery offers opportunities for re-



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test & measurement
Photometric testing aids luminaire
designers as LEDs replace light bulbs
Robert Yeo of Pro-Lite walks Steve Bush through the basics of testing LED-based luminaires.

here are a lot of companies ing. It is usually really temperature

T makin LED light fittings, also

known as luminaires.
Most of these firms started
off using incandescent and fluores-
cent light sources, and are having to
issues. The LEDs are specified at
25°C and are being run hotter.”
Temperature confusion is such an
issue that, at last, LED makers are be-
ginning to specify their products at a
get used to working with semicon- more realistic 75 or 85°C.
ductors rather than hot wires and So, the luminaire maker has two
glass. questions, according to Yeo.
“We still see customers who put Does the LED or LED module I am
10x100 lm LEDs into a luminaire and buying do what it is specified to do
expect to get 1,000 lm out,” said Rob- when I use it the way I want to use it?
ert Yeo, technical director of optical And, what are the photometric
test equipment distributor and photo- specifications of my finished lumi-
metric test house Pro-Lite. “High naire so that I can tell my customers.
temperature, lenses and increased These are answered by two pieces
current all reduce the output of of test equipment: and integrating
LEDs.” sphere and a goniophotometer re-
Colour is also an issue: white LEDs spectively.
are loosely separated into cool, neu- “An integrating sphere is a hollow
tral and warm white depending on sphere painted with highly reflective,
how much red they have in their very matt paint,” explained Yeo, add-
spectrum, but luminaire makers have ing a word of caution for those con-
to work in much finer detail than this sidering a DIY approach. “This is not
if they are to produce attractive and Dulux vinyl matt, which is only 85%
consistent products. reflective, but 98-99% reflective
LED makers test devices as they paint.”
come off the production line and sep- The luminaire is suspended inside,
arate them into multiple (beyond just or can shine in through a hole if like a
warm, neutral and cool) ‘colour tem- Integrating spheres measure the total luminous flux (in lumens) of LEDs, LED modules torch or car headlight it produces a
perature’ bins that are labelled with and complete luminaires of all sorts. It takes only seconds to measure total light beam .
the temperature of a hot filament that output and colour. This 1m diameter example is from Labsphere. Much smaller Light bounces around inside, illu-
would produce that shade – general- versions are available. minating the entire internal surface
ly between 3,000 and 6,500Kelvin. evenly, so the light sensor, which
There are also side bins for those protrudes through another hole into
that carry a slight colour tint, and will ticeable effect on colour temperature. manufacturers, all this LED variabili- the sphere, gets a reading proportion-
consequently be a little cheaper. The luminaire maker has to use ty has caused suspicion among light- al to the total light inside.
And all these are further separated LEDs with matched colour tempera- ing manufactures who are used to The only other object inside it the
into intensity bins that tell the cus- ture and intensity if its luminairs are buying 60W bulbs that are all the ‘baffle’, a small opaque shield that
tomer how bright the LED will be for to look the same–or be very clever at same. stops light from the luminair directly
a given current at a certain tempera- combining multiple side bins to get “There is a body of opinion that impinging on the sensor.
ture – device temperature has a pro- the same effect. LEDs do not do what they say they “In a few seconds the detector can
found effect on intensity and a no- Although well understood by LED do,” said Yeo. “It is a misunderstand- tell you colour and brightness,” said
He advocates a real sphere.
“The thing about a sphere is that it
has to be a sphere, not a box or a geo-
desic shape,” said Yeo. “A sphere
works by uniformly collecting. I have
seen a geodesic design suffer
The second tool, the goniophotom-
eter, measures luminous intensity in
candelas as a function of angle.
“Once you have got goniophotom-
eter data, it can be put into a standard
photometric data file and the end re-

sult is what their customers are look-
ing for, so they can design an installa-
 8F CPVOEBSZTDBO tion,” said Yeo.

12 | EW 27 APRIL-3 MAY 2011

test Y8BUUT

Goniophotometers measure luminous intensity (in candelas) as a function of angle

from a luminaire. The resulting data is compiled into standard photometric data in .ies
or .ldt format for lighting designers to feed into their modelling software. Pictured is a
near-field imaging goniophotometer from US firm Radiant Imaging, co-designed with
UK measurement firm Pro-Lite.

The goniophotometer set-up has “This instrument was developed

the luminaire separated from a meas- after a customer requested a system
uring detector in a dark room. The
separation distance has to be suffi-
that didn’t quite exist,” said Yeo.
“With radiant, we figured out that an
cient to allow the luminair to be treat- existing piece of Radiant equipment
ed as a point source. This will be 10,
20 or even 25m depending on the
could be used for near-field measure-
ment, and between us we developed
size of the luminaire. software to do the processing.”
To extract angular data, either the The system, which Yeo claimed
luminair stepped through a solid costs “a fraction of the price” of a far-
angle in small increments, or the sen- field goniophotometer and needs
sor is moved on a frame. only 2x2m of floor, takes around
Measured data is then formatted 1,000 2D pictures of the luminaire
using software from firms including from different angles, then uses ray-
Pro-Lite. tracing algorithms to calculate the far-
“The lighting industry recognises field data.
two standard formats: .ies or ‘eulum- “We aim to achieve a match within
dat’ [.ldt format],” said Yeo. “Their 1% or so,” said Yeo. “Customers usu-
customer can take the file and open it ally have some far-field figures, and
in their lighting design software and they compare it with our results and
it will tell them how many lumi- say it is the same.”
naires they need to install to get the And for those that do not want to
lighting they want.” buy an integrating sphere or gonio-
Goniophotometers need a lot of photometer, there are photometric
room, so two years ago Pro-Lite with labs, including one at Pro-Lite, that
US firm Radiant Imaging developed a will do the measurements and con- %FTJHOFE NBOVGBDUVSFEBOETVQQPSUFEJOUIF6,
near-field imaging goniophotometer struct formatted photometric files for 5IF OFX 219% BOE5(  BMPOH XJUI UIF XIPMF SBOHF PG55J UFTU
),4; ,01
1,;%&$%;1" %


H6A:H#G:CI6AH#H:GK>8:#86A>7G6I>DC 27 APRIL-3 MAY 2011 EW | 13

4G mobile
The testing challenges of moving to
4G LTE mobile technology
When several architectures develop in parallel interoperability issues must eventually be tackled, writes C Raj Khanna

wo architectures were con- On the device side, the challenges

T sidered by the 3GPP stand-

ards body to support faster
air interface technologies
in the next generation mobile phone
technology – long-term evolution
of implementing two different radio
access technologies were simpler. It
was obvious that it was possible to
integrate an LTE radio with existing
CDMA and EV-DO radio solutions,
(LTE) and ultra mobile broadband even though there were numerous
(UMB). The Institute of Electrical and challenges, such as the absence of
Electronics Engineers (IEEE) also de- common device testing procedures.
veloped its own technology, WiMax, From a network perspective, the
and began commercialising it as a challenges of getting the two systems
broadband wireless alternative. to talk to one another were considera-
LTE was the natural choice for op- ble. The “messaging” that each sys-
erators with legacy GSM/high speed tem used was different, and until
packet access (HSPA) networks, but then there had been no mechanism to
for operators of CDMA or cdma2000 ensure that a call that had initiated
EV-DO networks the decision was on one network could be successfully
more difficult. The choice of LTE handed off to the other.
(and WiMax) as 4G technology posed The absence of a hand-off mecha-
a challenge to the CDMA/EV-DO op- nism means that a data session
erator community. How to operate would be interrupted. As a result, Evolution of mobile networks
two separate network systems that, services such as streaming audio,
from the ground up, had very little in video and data transfer would suffer
common? from transmission interruptions.
CDMA and EV-DO feature air inter- To resolve these issues new mecha-
face technologies, core network ar- nisms are being introduced to share
chitectures, service and security in- messaging between the two systems
terfaces and testing requirements that so that the air interfaces on the two
are completely different from those of networks can interoperate and main-
LTE and WiMax. Mechanisms for tain call and service continuity. Ad-
making these legacy networks inter- ditions have been made to the speci-
operate and converse with 4G tech- fications for radio access, core
nologies were not even defined in the network and system and service, to
standards specifications. make network interoperability and EV-DO Revisio B peak data rates

connectivity possible. For example, if

How EV-DO Revision B will work for 4G networks a data call that is initiated on an oper-
ator’s LTE network needs to be hand-
ed off to its EV-DO network, there are
now defined mechanisms to address
this scenario.
In addition to these extensive new
interoperability architectures, new
specifications are also being written
to develop test plans and require-
ments for devices that operate on
both networks. This is a complex and
daunting technical task, made more
difficult by the fact that the testing
philosophies of the two communities
are considerably different and test
specifications are written in different
formats. O

C Raj Khanna is technology manager at

Rohde & Schwarz.

Rohde & Schwarz

14 | EW 27 APRIL - 3 MAY 2011

test and measurement
Measuring pulsed waveforms with
high-speed A/D converters
Traditional integrating analogue-to-digital converters may offer high accuracy and excellent noise immunity, but the
charge-discharge cycles result in long inter-measurement intervals, writes Mark Cejer

or the growing array of ratio of the unknown signal to the repeatable than those made using the are made synchronously with the

F products that employ pulsed

signals, including today’s
more energy-efficient ICs,
switching power supplies and inver-
tors, as well as LED modules and
reference signal.
Although this ADC technology
offers high accuracy and excellent
noise immunity, the charge-discharge
cycles on the capacitor result in long
integrating ADC. For applications
that demand higher throughput, the
lower accuracy can be tolerated, or if
needed, improved by averaging
several readings.
Asynchronous triggering is also
useful for performing a spot mean
measurement at the top of a pulse
(Figure 3b).
subassemblies, it is important to test inter-measurement intervals (at least Typically, integrating ADC meas- Often, analysis software is used to
the discrete components that make 50 microseconds), which can urements with integration rates of average sampled data to improve
up these end products under pulsed significantly slow the measurement 0.01PLC or faster can be made with accuracy, but newer SMU designs
conditions. process. similar accuracy using a high-speed offer averaging and median filters
Test instruments with only DC ADC. Newer SMU designs that incor- that can be applied to high-speed
sourcing capabilities can deliver a High-speed precision porate two high-speed ADCs allow ADC readings, making it possible to
level of power to a device that causes In contrast, high-speed ADCs are voltage and current to be measured return spot mean measurements.
enough heat dissipation to alter its capable of sampling signals at burst simultaneously. At times, it is useful to characterise
characteristics. The use of a pulsed rates of up to 1MHz. Unlike inte- With some designs, the combina- how a pulse is transmitted through a
stimulus also demands instrumenta- grating ADCs, these high-speed tion of high-speed ADCs and an device or system. These applications
tion capable of faster measurements. ADCs use sampling technology advanced trigger model supports require that the entire pulse be digi-
Traditional precision source- similar to an oscilloscope, taking precisely timed measurements on tised, including the rising and falling
measure units (SMUs) are based on snapshots of the signal over time. pulsed signals. edges (Figure 3c). This measurement
an integrating analogue-to-digital They provide higher resolution than is possible using the high-speed
converter (ADC), which averages the an oscilloscope (18 bits versus 8 bits), Characterising the slope ADCs to measure asynchronously to
signal over a certain time interval resulting in more precise transient For some applications, such as ther- the source operation.
known as the integration time. characterisation in comparable mal impedance of power diodes and Pulses are sometimes used to pro-
Figure 1 depicts a simplified dual- bandwidths. LEDs, characterising the slope of the vide power stresses to the device. In
slope integrating ADC, which oper- Figure 2 illustrates the difference measured voltage at the top of the these applications, it is useful to
ates by charging a capacitor with the in results between integrating and pulse is important. This capability is record the device state before the
unknown signal, then discharging high-speed ADCs. also useful for characterising pulse stress is applied. This can be done by
the capacitor using a reference volt- Although the high-speed ADC amplitude flatness. The high-speed programming a pulse with a non-zero
age. The ratio of the charge and dis- returns more readings, these meas- ADCs can digitise the top of the pulse idle level and triggering the measure-
charge times is proportional to the urements are less accurate and less (Figure 3a) when the measurements ments before triggering the pulse
(Figure 3d). The user can specify how
long before the pulse the measure-
ments should occur. Timers are used
to programme the start of the meas-
urement and the beginning and end
of the pulse.
When using pulse testing to stress
a device, the device must also be
Figure 1: Dual-slope integrating ADC characterised after the stress is
applied. This is typically done by
sourcing a pre-defined test voltage or
current after the pulse (Figure 3e).
The test level is chosen so as not to
cause any additional thermal or elec-
trical stress to the device. The meas-
urement can be made by sourcing a
pulse with a non-zero idle level and
using the high-speed ADCs to per-
form the measurement. The results
from the high-speed ADCs indicate
how the device recovers from the
Figure 3: stress. O
(a) measuring at the top of the pulse;
(b) performing a spot mean measurement at the top The author is Mark Cejer, director of
of the pulse; marketing at Keithley Instruments
(c) digitising the entire pulse;
Figure 2: Results from integrating versus sampling (d) triggering measurements to begin before the pulse;
(high-speed) ADCs (e) triggering measurement to begin after the pulse Keithley Instruments

16 | EW 27 APRIL-3 MAY 2011

test and measurement
Faster measurements using SCPI
Optimising RF/MW power measurement speed can be achieved through an understanding of Standard Commands
for Programmable Instruments (SCPI) used to set the instrument, write Goh Ching Chuan and Karen Chew

ower meters will return a Assume a production engineer “MEAS?” command should be used ASCII format will need 17 bytes,

P measurement upon receiv-

ing a measurement query
command such as “FETC?”,
“READ?” or “MEAS?”. “MEAS?” is
the simplest command because it is
needs to measure RF power level
around -10dBm with a three-digit
resolution for five times. At this
power level and resolution, the
power meter will automatically
despite the longer test time.
However, if five settled measure-
ments with moving averaging are
required, the “FETC?” command may
be used for quicker measurements.
in which 16 bytes are data and 1 byte
is terminator. Because of this, the
speed difference is significant when
obtaining hundreds or thousands of
a compound command equivalent to select an average count of 16 with the Continuing from the previous set-
“ABORT” followed by “CONF” and “MEAS?” command. Buffered mode cuts overhead tings where it took about 10s to
“READ?”. For comparison, we set the average Typically, if 1,000 measurements acquire 1,000 readings in buffered
It is the simplest because the power count to 16 when using the “FETC?” are required, we will need to write mode, we will switch randomly
meter auto-configures itself before command. To make sure there is no the meter 1,000 times and read from between ASCII format and REAL for-
returning the measurement. “READ?” systematic error influencing the the meter 1,000 times. The buffered mat for 20 times, each time acquiring
is also a compound command, result, the program will randomly mode will reduce this overhead. This 1,000 measurements. Figure 3 shows
equivalent to “ABORT” followed by alternate between “MEAS?” and mode is available under FAST mode the speed comparison of using ASCII
“INIT” and “FETC?”. “FETC?” is not “FETC?” for 10 times. Figure 1 with TRIG:COUNT set higher than 1. format and REAL format.
a compound command. compares the test time taken by the TRIG:COUNT 50 will be the fastest
In most cases, configuration and “MEAS?” and “FETC?” commands. buffered mode since one query will Watts faster than dBm
initialisation should be done just The “FETC?” command is faster return 50 measurements. Figure 2 Inside power meters, everything is
once before performing measure- because initialisation is done only shows a comparison of buffered calculated in linear Volts or Watts
ments until it is necessary to recon- once, while initialisation is done five mode and normal query mode. before conversion to other units. To
figure the power meter. The draw- times using the “MEAS?” command The drawback of buffered mode is increase speed, measurements should
back of this is that the user has to because of the “INIT” command in that none of the measurements returned be obtained in Watts. The difference
understand the configuration require- “MEAS?”. If five complete settled are averaged because the FAST mode is not noticeable if only one or two
ment and also the test method. measurements are required, the disables averaging. If the power level of measurements are taken because the
interest falls in the most accurate part of difference is hidden by software and
the power sensor dynamic range that hardware latencies.
doesn’t need averaging, buffer mode To demonstrate the speed differ-
>OLU`V\ULLK[OLILZ[PU[LZ[ will be best for acquiring large numbers ence, the previous program will
^LTLHZ\YL\W of power measurements. switch randomly between using dBm
and Watts for 20 times, acquiring
REAL beats ASCII for speed 1,000 measurements each time.
Power meters can be configured to Power meters and the sensor
return power measurement in two for- should be zeroed and calibrated prior
mats: ASCII and REAL. For the same to use and also when the environ-
amount of power measurement data, mental temperature changes. Zero
a smaller number of bytes are trans- and calibration can take anywhere
ferred from power meters to computer from less than 15s to more than 40s
when using the REAL format. To depending on the model of meter and
transfer a measurement from power sensor used. One of the easiest ways
meter to computer, REAL format will is to use the maximum amount of
need 9 bytes, in which 8 bytes are waiting time.
data and 1 byte is terminator. Assume a fixed wait period of 40s

Figure 1: To complete five measurements with 16 averages each, it

 ^^^ZQLSLJ[YVUPJZJV\R takes 5s using MEAS? and 1.2s using FETC?

18 | EW 27 APRIL-3 MAY 2011

test and measurement

Figure 2: To complete 1,000 measurements, it takes 45s using Figure 3: To complete 1,000 buffered mode measurements, it takes
non-buffered mode and 10s using buffered mode 10s in ASCII format and 2.5s using REAL format

regardless of the model used. Should To solve this problem, we can set tomer power measurement require- to enable asynchronous operation so
the particular model only need 15s, the interface to time out in 60s and ments. To achieve the fastest speed that other tasks may be performed
25s will be wasted. Another way is use the following SCPI commands: possible, the user has to understand while waiting for power meters to
that if the power meter and sensor CAL:ALL their test requirement and how to complete pending operations. O
require 15s, a 16s wait time can be *OPC? configure the meters and sensors to
set. This may seem like a good solu- This will limit wait time to 60s. If adapt to different test methods. The authors are Goh Ching Chuan, design
tion, but there is no guarantee that zero and calibration time takes only From experiments of buffered mode and development engineer, and Karen Chew,
the zero and calibration procedure 15s, “*OPC?”, an operation complete to acquire 1,000 measurements above, application engineer, at Agilent Technologies
time will not increase or decrease as query command, will return “1” im- we see that test time is cut from 10s to
the power meter and power sensor mediately after zero and calibration 2.5s and then to 0.9s by just changing
design evolves. Besides, waiting 16s is completed. Power meters and sen- the format and unit. Besides buffered Agilent Technologies
still means 1s is wasted. sors are designed to meet many cus- mode, power meters support features



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 27 APRIL-3 MAY 2011 EW | 19


put voltages for each LED string,” reduced using a standard AC mains
said the supplier. TRIAC dimmer down to 1% (3mA)
1PXFSXFPGGFS%$QPXFSTVQQMJFTBOE"$ From a 48V input, the LT3597 can without instability or flickering of the
QPXFSTPVSDFTUPCFZPOELJMMPXBUUT drive up to three strings of LEDs, LED array.
each with up to ten 100mA LEDs The supply is designed to be
in series, delivering efficiencies compatible with both low-cost,
above 90%. leading-edge dimmers and more
Each channel can be independent- sophisticated trailing-edge dimmers.
ly dimmed with True Color PWM™ It operates over the universal AC
dimming, offering dimming ratios as input range (85Vac-265Vac, 47Hz-
Mosfet drivers offer peak high as 10,000:1. Operating frequen- 63Hz) and can withstand an input
output currents of 2A and 3A cy is programmable between 200kHz range of 0Vac-300Vac, improving
Microchip has expanded its fam- and 1MHz. field reliability and lifetime during
ily of mosfet drivers with the The LT3597 is available in a line sags and swells.
MCP14E6/7/8 and MCP14E9/10/11 5x8mm QFN package. Power factor is specified greater
low-side drivers. than 0.9 and input current total
The drivers offer peak output cur- harmonic distortion (THD) is less
rents of 2A and 3A respectively. They 5W offline LED driver features than 10% at 115Vac and less than
have an operating voltage range of flicker-free TRIAC dimming 15% at 230Vac.
4.5V-18V and features enable input Power Integrations is offering a The board fits inside a pear-
pins to provide a shutdown capabili- reference design for a 5W offline shaped A19 LED replacement lamp
ty for conserving power. LED driver that includes flicker-free with an E26/27 base. RDK-251 con-
They are offered in eight-pin SOIC TRIAC dimming and single-stage tains full power supply specifica-
and eight-pin 6x5mm DFN packages. power factor correction (PFC). Based tions, schematic, bill of materials,
The MCP14E6/7/8 dual devices on the firm’s LNK457DG LED driver, transformer documentation, printed
are rated for a peak output current of the reference design provides a single circuitboard layout, and perform-
2A, while the dual MCP14E9/10/11 LED driver for handhelds boasts constant-current output of 350mA at ance data.
drivers are rated for a peak output fault protection and diagnostics a nominal LED string voltage of 15V.
current of 3A. ON Semiconductor has introduced a The output current can be single-channel LED driver tuned for
low-power applications such as port-
High-efficiency switched mode able handheld medical equipment.
controller for high-power LEDs The CAT3661, which uses a
International Rectifier has the patented architecture and integrates
IRS2548D switched mode power fault protection and fault diagnostics,
supply control IC which is designed is able to drive a single LED backlight
for use in high-power LED lighting, with a current of up to 5mA. Soft-
including LED street lighting, sta- start current limiting and short-
dium lighting and theatrical lighting. circuit protection make the device
The device combines power factor ideal for use in equipment powered
correction (PFC) and a half-bridge by coin cell batteries.
driver. It offers greater than 88% effi- Typical applications include low-
ciency for a 40V/1.3A HBLED load. power backlighting for LCDs and
The intention is to offer a higher ef- backlighting for a wide range of port-
ficiency compared with alternative able handheld devices, including
flyback converter designs at power medical equipment.
levels above 60W. Packaged in a 16-lead TQFN pack-
The IC achieves PWM dimming age measuring 3x3x0.8mm, the chip’s
down to less than 2% light output quad-mode charge pump supports a
and offers protection features that in- range of input voltages from 2V-5.5V
clude programmable PFC and half- and helps achieve peak efficiency
bridge over-current protection, latch levels of up to 92%.
immunity and ESD protection. A typical quiescent current of
The IRS2548D also includes varia- just 150μA across all operating
ble frequency oscillator, fixed inter- modes at full load and a zero current
nal 1.6us deadtime, internal boot-
strap mosfet, internal 15.6V zener
shutdown help reduce power
Constant current 16-channel LED
clamp diode on Vcc, and micropow-
er start-up (250μA). drivers offer 25MHz data transfer DC-DC converter delivers three-
channel constant current for LEDs
Linear Technology has introduced a
60V, 1MHz, step-down DC/DC con-
verter designed to operate as a three-
channel, constant current LED driver.
Each channel of the LT3597
contains a constant current sink LED
driver with a dedicated adaptive-
output buck converter.
“This design offers maximum effi-
ciency for applications such as RGB
displays, which require different out-

20 | EW 27 APRIL-3 MAY 2011



Tektronix scopes expand support for MIPI testing



Regulated bus converter delivers south pole operated) and dual output
up to 210W output power device the AH1891 provides the de-

Murata Power Solutions has a regu- sign flexibility to suit a variety of low
lated bus converter that delivers up power circuit architectures,” said the
to 210W output power, with a Vin company.
range of 36-75V. When a magnetic flux density is
At 225kHz fixed-frequency opera- detected and exceeds the IC’s operat-
tion, efficiency is specified at 92.5% ing point, output 1 is pulled low
at full load, with Vout regulation while output 2 is inverted high, ena-
(±1.5%) in a quarter brick open frame bling different logic systems to be ac-
package. commodated.
The fully isolated (2250Vdc) RBC- With operating and release points
12/17-D48 is able to accept a range optimized and stable over the tem-
36Vdc to 75Vdc (48V nominal) input. perature range -40ºC to 85ºC, the
This is then converted to a AH1891 is immune to the possibility
12Vdc/17A output. of early or late switching effects. 

Overall dimensions are  

56.39x36.83x10.67mm. license for Lattice Diamond design software for use with the Versa Kit. Motor control evaluation kit for
The demonstration systems, refer- brushless DC motors
LatticeECP3 Versa development ence designs and Lattice Diamond Texas Instruments has introduced a
kit for just $99 in limited quantity software are available for free down- complete motor control evaluation
Lattice Semiconductor has intro- load. kit for spinning brushless DC (BLDC)
duced the LatticeECP3 Versa devel- and permanent magnet synchronous
opment kit at a promotional price of (PMSM) motors.
only $99. Smallest output omnipolar Hall Based on sensorless field-oriented
Lattice is also offering a limited effect switch IC for mobiles control and trapezoidal commuta-
quantity promotion on five IP suites, Diodes claims to have the smallest tion, the kit is aimed at the develop-
which are described as building dual output omnipolar Hall effect ment of sub-50V and 6.5A brushless
blocks for applications such as high- switch IC. motors for driving medical pumps,
speed data transfer, Ethernet net- Designed for open/close detection gates, lifts and small pumps
working, high speed memory inter- in mobile phones and other battery- Industrial automation and robotics   
faces, digital signal processing and powered products, the AH1891 oper- are other likely applications.  
video pixel processing. ates over the supply voltage range The DRV8312-C2-KIT evaluation
The five IP Suites normally retail 1.8V to 3.3V. There is also a sleep kit includes the DRV8312 motor driv-
for an annual subscription fee of $995 function, assuring an average current er, a 32-bit C2000 Piccolo microcon-

each. A limited number of IP Suites consumption of only 7μA. troller and controlCARD module.
licenses are available for a promo-
tional first year subscription of only
Provided in an 0.8mm x 0.8mm
CSP package, the IC is some 13 times
Software support includes a graph-
ical user interface, full development 
$99 each. smaller than common 3-leaded source code, Code Composer Studio    

The Versa package includes the TSOT packaged alternatives and is (CCStudio) integrated development
LatticeECP3 Versa Evaluation Board, significantly smaller than other DFN environment (IDE) and a three-phase
seven demonstration systems, 16 free and SOT553 packaged parts. BLDC motor.
reference designs and an evaluation “Being an omnipolar (north and 27 APRIL-3 MAY 2011 EW | 21

sponsored by

gadget master
MOST POPULAR Welcome to the monthly page featuring the Gadget Master blog,
This month’s most read posts sponsored by Digi-Key. As well covering the most popular posts and highlighting current
competitions, we look at some classic Gadget Master posts from the past.
1 Gadget of the Week –
Acer Aspire Z5761
touchscreen PC

Time to fish some MOST RECENT POSTS

likely contenders
from the swelling > LockCracker robot always finds the combination
ocean of gadget What combination locks can resist the LockCracker robot? A group of Gadget Masters have ingeniously
and technology constructed this device as part of a student project at Olin College of Engineering – I take my hat off to them!
blogs. As always, let’s get a few
eye-catching-but-rather-frivolous > Skeletonics builds running exoskeleton
non-contenders out of the way… A very impressive exoskeleton project from a team of Japanese students. They are called Skeletonics and
their prototype is still evolving.

2 Video: The tie tying

It would be a
> Building a binary bench
A strange sort of beauty, or just downright ugly? It’s the binary low table from BRC Designs, making the most
brave man who of recycling old computer components. A table version, almost, of the chip art we featured before.
would trust this
machine to tie > Video: How a differential gear works
his tie in the For those Gadget Masters with a mechanical bent, here is an old video from the 1930s that may be of
morning, but credit to its creator, interest, “Around The Corner”, courtesy of the Chevrolet Motor Division.
Seth Goldstein. He describes it as “a
kinetic sculpture that continually ties > Gameduino spritely takes centre stage
and unties a necktie”. We’ve often sung the praises of the Arduino – see the roundup “The many faces of Arduino”, for example –
but this has never involved the subject of gaming.

3 Homemade brushless
motor reed switch motor
Take a look at this
Get the latest Gadget Master posts via RSS feed:

one, recommends
our Technology COMPETITION
Editor. It’s a motor
with a small alarm > Win a Samsung Blu-Ray player
contact (reed switch). “The switch Time is running out to win a Samsung BD-C5500 Blu-Ray Player WiFi Ready, courtesy of
triggers a transistor which in turn Digi-Key, which sponsors the Gadget Master blog. Features of the Samsung BD-C5500
fires the coil. The switch is sensing include full 1080P high-definition video, Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio, internet
the position of the drum and the four content on your TV such as the BBC iPlayer, support for wireless connectivity, and BD live
magnets. The motor runs on 6 Volts.” (Profile 2.0) and Bonusview. It would set you back £57 on Amazon (RRP £84.99).
As always, we’ll keep the format familiar and straightforward: correctly answer one question for a chance of winning the

4 Keep your property where

you can see it
A safe home is
toolkit. Please note that the competition closes at end of play on Friday 29 April, so you only have a couple of days to enter!

a happy one,
surveillance > GM Classic: Do you want to build your own laser harp?
cameras are Stephen Hobley has invented one and has shared his workings online. It certainly looks impressive. Hobley says the harp is
too expensive driven by an Arduino (Boarduino variation) and connected to the impOSCar VSTi software synthesiser, with a TAOS sensor
or simply array sitting on the floor in its own stand. The array above the harp is just made up of front surface mirrors for “added p’zazz”.
impractical for home use. That’s why The harp does respond to hand distance from the sensor, but that can sometimes go awry, he writes, so he switched it off
designer Alberto Ricci Bitti created for the demo version. Hobley says the Arduino board supported all the key elements required for the harp: SPI interface, to
an automated and inexpensive connect to a DAC chip; timer interrupts, to control the signal pattern we must output; hardware interrupt pins, to react to
surveillance camera that uses a flash signals coming back in from a sensor; serial output, to transmit the MIDI messages to the synthesiser; easy to program
card as recording media. using the WIRING/C++ language; good community support; and inexpensive! You can read the datasheet and see example
code, but watch the video first! Please note he does charge $19 to download the full Laser Harp plans and schematics.

5 Build your own LED cube

The project
is fully docu-

mented in terms E-NEWSLETTERS

of parts and the
build process, > Daily newsletter
and Peter Straight to your inbox, no fuss, early afternoon. Short and sweet, the daily e-mail will contain the latest news on the
provides a number of photos to help site, the latest product releases, and the most popular content that your peers are reading, keeping you up to date
navigate construction. There is also a with developments in the electronics industry on a daily basis. Under the My Emails heading, tick the box for: “Daily
ready to program HEX file with some news – daily highlights of the latest news from”.
demo cube animations and the
source code. > Circuits newsletter
See all these and more at: Featuring the Gadget Master blog and other circuit-related content, the Circuits e-newsletter is chock full of ideas for design engineers who love circuits and are looking for inspiration for their own projects.

22 | EW 27 APRIL-3 MAY 2011

00 M
H – 4455 G
d l EEdition
diti 004-2011
4 2011

Oscilloscope Overview
WaveSurfer MXs-B Series
200 MHz – 1 GHz Oscilloscopes

WavePro 7 Zi-A Series
1.5 GHz – 6 GHz Oscilloscopes

LabMaster 9 Zi-A Series
20 Channel Oscilloscopes
with up to 45 GHz

New WaveRunner 6 Zi Series

400 MHz – 4 GHz Oscilloscopes
Up to 40 GS/s – Up to 128 Mpts – Rotating 12.1" Display
Oscilloscope Selection Guide
NEW 400 MHz – 4 GHz Bandwidth 3 40 GS/s max. Sample Rate 3 128 Mpts max. Memory 3

WaveRunner® 6 Zi
Unbelievable Performance
Series The WaveRunner 6 Zi oscilloscope is the most versatile scope in the 400 MHz to 4 GHz class. The performance offered
is unmatched, offering deep memory, 40 GS/s sample rate, low noise and fast operation to help get the job done quickly
and accurately. The toolset provides every necessity for an engineer to validate a design, debug errors at board bring up,
and offer powerful analysis to characterize an embedded system. The front panel and rotating/tilting display provide the
optimum viewing and waveform display to provide the most detail. The WaveRunner 6 Zi is the Ultimate Debug Machine.

A New Way to Navigate

The WavePilot control area provides convenient control of Cursors, Decode,
WaveScan™, History, LabNotebook™, and Spectrum by their respective function
buttons on the front panel. The SuperKnob is a joystick-like knob in the center of
the WavePilot control area used to easily navigate through tables, zoom and position
waveforms, and quickly document and annotate your setups.

Rotating Display
The 12.1" high resolution WXGA wide screen is designed to provide the best view of any signal type on the display.
The widescreen is ideal for a variety of signals where long records are required and zooming or scrolling results in a
large block of data. Rotate the screen 90 degrees to optimize the display for viewing digital signals, jitter tracks, eye
diagrams, and frequency plots. The screen image will adjust automatically when rotated. Tilt the display up or down in
either orientation to minimize reflections or glare.

May 2011: Superior Validation, Debug, Analysis

12-bit Oscilloscopes
scopes with The WaveRunner 6 Zi defines superiority in a test instrument with a powerful feature set including a wide range of
400 MHz and 60000 MHz, application packages, advanced triggering to isolate events, a user interface developed for quick and easy navigation,
2 GS/s, 256 Mptss a wide range of probing options, lightning-fast performance and silent fans.

Excellent Signal Fidelity

The WaveRunner 6 Zi oscilloscope family features a pristine signal path that

offers unmatched signal fidelity with low noise. This performance is


augmented by a huge offset and timebase delay adjustment to allow



easy signal and amplifier performance assessment

and zooming on vertical and horizontal signal
I 2C • • •
SPI • • •

Q Check
I 2S • • • for more information
• • •
CAN • • •

LIN • • •
FlexRay • • • £11,200
20 0
Military &

ARINC 429 • •
MIL-STD-1553 • • •
DigRF 3G • •
Handset Cellular


• •
WaveRunner WaveRunner WaveRunner WaveRunner WaveRunner WaveRunner
DigRF v4 • •
604 Zi 606 Zi 610 Zi 620 Zi 625 Zi 640 Zi
8b/10b • • Channel 4 4 4 4 4 4
Fibre Channel • • Bandwidth 400 MHz 600 MHz 1 GHz 2 GHz 2,5 GHz 4 GHz
SATA (1.5 & 3 Gb/s) • • • • Sample Rate 10 GS/s / 10 GS/s / 10 GS/s / 20 GS/s / 20 GS/s / 20 GS/s /
Storage / Peripherals

per Ch/max. 20 GS/s 20 GS/s 20 GS/s 40 GS/s 40 GS/s 40 GS/s


SAS (1.5 & 3 Gb/s) • •

PCIe (Gen1) • • • • Acquisition and 32 Mpts – 32 Mpts – 32 Mpts – 32 Mpts – 32 Mpts – 32 Mpts –
Analysis Memory 128 Mpts 128 Mpts 128 Mpts 128 Mpts 128 Mpts 128 Mpts
USB 2.0 • • • •
Touchscreen Display 12.1" WXGA 12.1" WXGA 12.1" WXGA 12.1" WXGA 12.1" WXGA 12.1" WXGA
Operating System 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit
DDR2 • Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7®
Ethernet • Mixed Signal Options 18/36 Channel 18/36 Channel 18/36 Channel 18/36 Channel 18/36 Channel 18/36 Channel
NEW 200 MHz – 1 GHz Bandwidth 3 10 GS/s Sample Rate 3 25 Mpts Memory 3

The WaveSurfer was designed with speed and responsiveness in mind, from capturing waveforms and making measure-
MXs-B Series ments to using FFTs and decoding serial data. With up to 10 GS/s sample rate and 25 Mpts/Ch memory and a very fast
processing speed it can handle long memory captures faster than any of the competition. The new Sequence mode
enables capturing of very fast pulses in rapid succession with trigger rates of up to 1.25 million waveforms per second.
The touch screen interface is the ultimate in ease-of use. With standard Advanced Math and Trigger packages and features
like WaveStream fast viewing mode, WaveScan Search and Find and LabNotebook Reporting, you can be confident that
every problem can quickly be detected and analyzed. Beyond these great features, the WaveSurfer offers a wide range of
serial data tools for I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, LIN, FlexRay, USB, ARINC 429, MIL-1553, MIPI, DigRF3G, and Digital Audio as well
as industry leading 18/36 digital channel mixed signal capabilities to quickly troubleshoot embedded system designs.

Most Complete Serial Trigger and Decode Solution in its Class

Quickly and easily isolate specific serial data events on your embedded controller for better understanding and faster
debug with trigger conditions in binary or hexadecimal formats. The conditional data trigger allows for triggering on a
range of values. Advanced software algorithms deconstruct the waveform into binary, hex, or ASCII protocol information,
£ 6,435
435 then overlay the decoded data on the waveform. Various sections of the protocol are color-coded to make it easy to
understand. The decode operation is fast — even with long acquisitions.

WaveSurfer WaveSurfer WaveSurfer WaveSurfer WaveSurfer WaveSurfer

24MXs-B 42MXs-B 44MXs-B 62MXs-B 64MXs-B 104MXs-B
Channel 4 2 4 2 4 4
Bandwidth 200 MHz 400 MHz 400 MHz 600 MHz 600 MHz 1 GHz
Sample Rate 2.5 GS/s 5 GS/s 5 GS/s 5 GS/s / 10 GS/s 5 GS/s / 10 GS/s 5 GS/s / 10 GS/s
per Ch/max.
Memory 25 Mpts/Ch 25 Mpts/Ch 25 Mpts/Ch 25 Mpts/Ch 25 Mpts/Ch 25 Mpts/Ch
Display 10.4" Touchscreen 10.4" Touchscreen 10.4" Touchscreen 10.4" Touchscreen 10.4" Touchscreen 10.4" Touchscreen
Serial Bus Options I2C, I2S/AudioBus, SPI, LIN, CAN, FlexRay, UART/RS-232, MIL-STD-1553, USB, MIPI, DigRF3G Trigger & Decode Options
Mixed Signal Options MS-250 and MS-500 18 / 36 Digital Channel Options

NEW 1.5 GHz – 6 GHz Bandwidth 3 40 GS/s max. Sample Rate 3 256 Mpts max. Memory 3

Combining signal fidelity with an architecture that maximizes speed in every performance aspect, the new WavePro 7
SDA 7 Zi-A Series Zi-A Series presents a totally new oscilloscope experience from 1.5 to 6 GHz bandwidths. Experience 50 1 and 1 M1
inputs for every channel and four inputs into high-speed front end amplifiers and analog to digital converters.
The X-Stream™ II architecture maximizes speed in all aspects —10–100 times faster analysis processing on maximum
record lengths and instantaneous instrument responsiveness. The WavePro 7 Zi-A Series provides superior performance
for the debugging, validation, compliance testing, and analysis of electronic designs..

Standard Customization & Jitter Analysis Packages

Only LeCroy completely integrates third party programs into the scope’s processing stream by allowing you to create
and deploy a new measurement or math algorithm directly into the oscilloscope environment and display the result
on the oscilloscope in real-time! Use C/C++, MATLAB, Excel, Jscript (JAVA), and Visual Basic to create your own
customized math functions, measurement parameters, or other control algorithms.
The Jitter Package includes a complete set of time domain measurements for Clock, Clock-to-data, and Data Stream
Analysis. Parameter measurements offers 3 Jitter views: Jitter Histogram, Jitter Trend, JitterTrack, and a Persistence
£ 21,190
WavePro WavePro/ WavePro/ WavePro/ WavePro/
715 Zi-A SDA 725 Zi-A SDA 735 Zi-A SDA 740 Zi-A SDA 760 Zi-A
Channel 4 4 4 4 4
Bandwidth 1.5 GHz 2.5 GHz 3.5 GHz 4 GHz 6 GHz
Sample Rate 10 GS/s / 20 GS/s 20 GS/s / 40 GS/s 20 GS/s / 40 GS/s 20 GS/s / 40 GS/s 20 GS/s / 40 GS/s
per Ch/max.
Analysis Memory 256 Mpts 256 Mpts 256 Mpts 256 Mpts 256 Mpts
Off-line Data transfer 325 MB/s 325 MB/s 325 MB/s 325 MB/s 325 MB/s
Input Coupling 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1
Touchscreen Display 15.3" WXGA 15.3" WXGA 15.3" WXGA 15.3" WXGA 15.3" WXGA
Operating System 64-bit Windows 7® 64-bit Windows 7® 64-bit Windows 7® 64-bit Windows 7® 64-bit Windows 7®
Mixed Signal Options 18/36 Channel 18/36 Channel 18/36 Channel 18/36 Channel 18/36 Channel
Oscilloscope Selection Guide
WaveMaster®/ 4 GHz – 45 GHz Bandwidth 3 120 GS/s max. Sample Rate 3 768 Mpts max. Memory 3

SDA 8 Zi-A Series Product Highlights:

Q Industry leading performance – 45 GHz bandwidth,120 GS/s sample rate, 768 Mpts of analysis memory
Q Exceptional 20 GHz (4 input channels) and 30 GHz (2 input channels) performance
Q Widest bandwidth upgrade range (4 – 45 GHz) provides best investment leverage
Q Lowest Jitter Noise Floor (125 fs rms ) and highly stable over long acquisitions
Q 10–100 times faster analysis and better responsiveness than other oscilloscopes
Q Superior serial data analysis with SDA II software—more capability to decompose and analyze jitter
Q Check for more information
WaveMaster 8 Zi-A combines the highest bandwidth (45 GHz) and sample rate (120 GS/s) with superior performance
at 20 GHz on all four input channels. A complete bandwidth upgradability throughout the entire product range makes it
easy and affordable to stay current with emerging high-speed technologies and standards. The X-Stream™ II architec-
ture maximizes speed in all aspects —10–100 times faster analysis processing on maximum record lengths, instan-
taneous responsiveness, and 20 times faster off-line data transfer. Combined with LeCroy’s flexible and deep analysis
toolbox, the WaveMaster 8 Zi-A Series provides superior performance for the debugging, validation, compliance testing,
and analysis of electronic designs.
SDA 8 Zi provides the fastest and most complete understanding of why serial data fails a compliance test. Whether
debugging eye pattern or other compliance test failures, the SDA 8 Zi-A Series rapidly isolates the source of the
problem in your design. Advanced jitter decomposition methodologies and tools provide more information about root
cause. Tj Analysis, RjBUj Analysis and DDj Analysis is made simple with the deepest toolset for the highest level of
insight into your serial data signals. The combination of the SDA 8 Zi-A Serial Data Analyzer, the PeRT3 and the SPARQ
provides the most comprehensive solution for serial data compliance testing. These three pieces of equipment enable
a full suite of physical layer compliance testing and debugging ability that will guarantee the best signal integrity for
your serial data signals.

WaveMaster/ WaveMaster/ WaveMaster/ WaveMaster/ WaveMaster/ WaveMaster/ WaveMaster/ WaveMaster/ WaveMaster/

SDA 804 Zi-A SDA 806 Zi-A SDA 808 Zi-A SDA 813 Zi-A SDA 816 Zi-A SDA 820 Zi-A SDA 825 Zi-A SDA 830 Zi-A SDA 845 Zi-A
Channel 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Bandwidth 4 GHz 6 GHz 8 GHz 13 GHz 16 GHz 20 GHz 25 GHz 30 GHz 45 GHz
Sample Rate 40 GS/s / 40 GS/s / 40 GS/s / 40 GS/s / 40 GS/s / 40 GS/s / 40 GS/s / 40 GS/s / 40 GS/s /
per Ch/max. 80 GS/s 80 GS/s 80 GS/s 80 GS/s 80 GS/s 80 GS/s 80 GS/s 80 GS/s 120 GS/s
Memory std. 20 Mpts 20 Mpts 20 Mpts 20 Mpts 20 Mpts 20 Mpts 20 Mpts 20 Mpts 20 Mpts
Max. Acquisition and 512 Mpts 512 Mpts 512 Mpts 512 Mpts 512 Mpts 512 Mpts 512 Mpts 512 Mpts 768 Mpts
Analysis Memory
Rise time* 71 ps 47 ps 37 ps 24.5 ps 21.5 ps 16.5 ps 13 ps 11.5 ps 8 ps
Jitter Noise Floor^ 550 fsrms 425 fsrms 375 fsrms 265 fsrms 240 fsrms 190 fsrms 165 fsrms 140 fsrms 125 fsrms
Input Coupling 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1M1 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1 50 1 and 1 M1
Touchscreen Display 15.3" 15.3" 15.3" 15.3" 15.3" 15.3" 15.3" 15.3" 15.3"
Operating System 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit
Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7® Windows 7®
* typ., 20 – 80 %, flatness 50 1; ^ for acq. length ) 10μs, TIE typ.

NEW Up tp 20 Channels 3 4 GHz – 45 GHz Bandwidth 3 120 GS/s max. Sample Rate 3 768 Mpts max. Memory 3

LabMaster 9 Zi-A Highest Performance – No Compromises

The LabMaster 9 Zi-A represents the pinnacle for bandwidth (45 GHz), sample rate (120 GS/s), channels (up to 5 ch.
at 45 GHz, 10 ch. at 30 GHz, or 20 ch. at 20 GHz) and analysis memory (up to 768 Mpts/Ch). For the most demanding
research and development applications, such as next-generation optical transmission development, LabMaster 9 Zi-A
is the only solution available.

Synchronized Clocking for Highest Time base Accuracy

The LabMaster utilizes a single, distributed 10 GHz clock for all channels to ensure that timing accuracy amongst all
channels is identical to that provided within a single, standard oscilloscope package.

Server-class Multi-core Processor for Fast Acquisition and Analysis

The LabMaster 9 Zi-A utilizes a server-class multi-core processor that is 16 times more powerful than what is normally

provided for in a single LeCroy high bandwidth oscilloscope. Combined with LeCroy’s X-Stream II technology that is
optimized for multi-core processing, the result is the most impressive acquisition and analysis capability possible.

© 2011 by LeCroy Corporation. All rights reserved. Specifications, prices, availability, and delivery subject to change without notice. Product or brand names are trademarks or requested trademarks of their respective holders.