Product Articles

BlueNRG-1 bluetooth without hassle December 10, 2018 - Designing and impendance matching RF-related circuitry is an art of its own. STMicroelectronics’s SPBTLE-1S combines a Bluetooth 4.2 radio module with a Cortex-M0 processor intended to handle RF communications. A look at the block diagram confirms that the module is, by and large, an SoC in a box. Thanks to STM pre-soldering it all onto … Continue reading BlueNRG-1 bluetooth without hassle
Texas Instruments’ OPA333 & OPA2333 November 7, 2018 - TI’s micro-power OPAx333 opamp goes where few opamps have gone before No matter how advanced your digital circuitry is: sometimes, you need an OpAmp. Technology improvements allow for low-power rail to rail OpAmps such as the OPA333. Running operational amplifiers from a single supply is a sure-fire way to cause problems while training. Generating positive … Continue reading Texas Instruments’ OPA333 & OPA2333
Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 November 7, 2018 - Nordic Semiconductor evaluation kits for cheap Nordic semiconductor is the king of the wireless hill. Their chips support a variety of protocols used in the internet of things. The recently announced nRF52840 Dongle uses the nRF52840 chip on a USB stick-like PCB. The $10 planar can plug into a PC. After that, it supports all … Continue reading Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840
Laird DA1206C121R-10 Ferrite bead networks November 6, 2018 - Ferrite bead networks – it takes multiple beads to tango Ferrite beads come in groups – if your circuit needs one, it usually doesn‘t take long until a regulator makes you add another. Laird now provides a resistor array-like solution for the ferrite bead problem. For those of you new to the concept: a ferrite … Continue reading Laird DA1206C121R-10 Ferrite bead networks
NXP PCF2127 November 6, 2018 - Lord of the time Adding real time clock information to microcontroller driven systems is problematic. As time goes by, small errors in computing routines add up. Given that users hate entering system times, a real-time element is valuable. NXP – once Philips Semiconductors – is an old hand in the space of real time clocks, … Continue reading NXP PCF2127
Accelerate machine learning with the Xilinx ALVEO A-U200-P64G-PQ-G November 6, 2018 - Accelerate machine learning with the Xilinx ALVEO A-U200-P64G-PQ-G Bitcoin mining experienced a severe acceleration with the introduction of dedicated accelerator ICs, most of which achieved effiency ratings miles above normal GPUs. Xilinx now introduces a series of FPGA-based accelerators intended for data center and machine learning jobs. From a principal point of view, both ALVEO … Continue reading Accelerate machine learning with the Xilinx ALVEO A-U200-P64G-PQ-G
NXP’s MMA8451QR1 October 10, 2018 - Accelerometer ahoi! Process computer designs usually start out with an accelerometer. As reliability problems creep in, making the switch to a more “professional” solution is beneficial. Accelerometers are based on the MEMS principle: instead of being a purely solid-state affair, the inside of the chip contains a micromechanical motion sensor along with a small mass. … Continue reading NXP’s MMA8451QR1
Texas Instruments’ PGA20 x series October 10, 2018 - One, Two, Gain! Test equipment and sensors both profit from amplifiers which change their gain on the fly. One of Texas Instruments evergreens recently saw quite a bit of additional attention. From a technical point of view, the part is extremely simple. As shown in the figure, the part – in essence – is an … Continue reading Texas Instruments’ PGA20 x series
Using NXP’s NXQ1TXH5 Qi Charging Circuit October 10, 2018 - QIck charging Adding wireless charging to furniture and other consumer goods is a nice way to add some oomph to an otherwise boring product. NXP’s NXQ1TXH5 provides an interesting, albeit difficult-to-prototype way around the problem. Creating a Qi-compatible is as easy as assembling the example circuit shown in figure one. From a technical point of … Continue reading Using NXP’s NXQ1TXH5 Qi Charging Circuit
BAV99 and BAS16 – Smart Diodes October 10, 2018 - Smart diodes Two-terminal diodes are among the best-known components in electrical engineering: electronics 101 cannot be passed without them – BAV99 and BAS16. Combining multiple diodes reduces part count and assembly cost. Candidate number one is the BAS16: a classic diode with 100V of reverse voltage capability and a decently fast switching time of about … Continue reading BAV99 and BAS16 – Smart Diodes
AD9833 from Analog Devices October 10, 2018 - Waveform-a-gogo! While arbitrary waveform generators are among the most helpful tools in the laboratory, they tend to spend most of their time outputting sines, triangles, and rectangles intended to stimulate sensors or actors. Analog Devices AD9833 is a compact IC dedicated to precise waveform emission. From a technical point of view, the part – its … Continue reading AD9833 from Analog Devices
Analog Devices’ AD215 September 6, 2018 - Isolated amplifier Galvanic insulation is God‘s gift to man – whether optocoupler or light waveguide line, being able to transfer things without creating a physical connection is extremely valuable. Sadly, most optocouplers are not particularly smart – an aspect Analog Devices seeks to change. Given that the AD215 is quite complex, let us start out … Continue reading Analog Devices’ AD215
Diodes Incorporated’s APX803S-31SA-7 helping you with Voltage Trips September 6, 2018 - Voltage gatekeeper Vdd brownouts are among the most common antipodes of microcontroller design – they are especially annoying, as their presence is not easy to detect. Diodes Incorporated provides a new family of easy-to-use supply voltage monitor ICs. From a principal point of view, the parts are not difficult to understand. Simply connect them to … Continue reading Diodes Incorporated’s APX803S-31SA-7 helping you with Voltage Trips
Panasonic’s popular EXB-28V470JX September 6, 2018 - It takes two to tango! Be it pull-up resistors, pull-down resistors or just any other thing – many, if not most PCB designs come with a group of similar resistors. The knee-jerk reaction involves hitting the add a resistor button until the PCB is populated. Resistor networks provide an attractive alternative. Resistor networks come in … Continue reading Panasonic’s popular EXB-28V470JX
Littelfuse’s RUEF300 Fuse September 6, 2018 - A fuse which never blows Surface-mount fuses do a good job at protecting components from burning up – sadly, exchanging them is not a simple task manageable by end users. LittelFuse‘s RUEF series provide an attractive alternative, which is not widely known. Parts like the RUEF300 are based on the concept of the PTC. Designers … Continue reading Littelfuse’s RUEF300 Fuse
Wurth’s 150353 LED Family September 6, 2018 - LED, meet Plant One of the issues making underground real estate unpopular with engineers is the lack of the ability to grow plants. Artificial lighting has low efficiency – recently, Würth introduced a set of LEDs targeted to the needs of plants. High school biology teaches that photosynthesis requires the presence of light. In practice, … Continue reading Wurth’s 150353 LED Family
Infineon IRLML5203PBF and Cree C3M0065090J August 7, 2018 - MOSFET Raising In the age of the IC, transistors usually are not considered particularily interesting. However, some MOSFETs stand in the center of attention – let us be your guide to some cool components. Reduced Creepage! Crees C3M0065090J is not particularily impressive from a purely technical point of view – its main secret, instead, lays … Continue reading Infineon IRLML5203PBF and Cree C3M0065090J
Through-Hole Connectors August 7, 2018 - Through-Hole Connectors Going Strong SMD inductors are a common culprit for TMI failures – if a HP 34401A croaks, checking input coils is a great idea. Nevertheless, engineers keep using SMD parts in this area. An interesting question is how developers think about SMD connectors. Having analysed search trends for both SMD and THT connector … Continue reading Through-Hole Connectors
MicroSemi AS73211 Precision Colour Sensor August 7, 2018 - Precision colour sensing made easy Austrian MicroSemi recently divested itself of its transceiver portfolio, leaving standards such as AS-I stranded. Sensors were selected as the new main field of business, leading to the introduction of a few extremely interesting products such as the JENCOLOR colour sensor ICs. In principle, the sensor is laid out according … Continue reading MicroSemi AS73211 Precision Colour Sensor
Analog Devices’ LT4412B and LTC4412 August 7, 2018 - A Very Brainy Diode Jack Ganssle, publisher of the legendary EmbeddedMuse newsletter, once stated that the embedded space is ideal as things permanently improve. When looking at diodes, the reverse is true – silicon-based diodes have had a drop of 0.7V for ages. Analog Devices now brings a workaround for power supply ORring circuits. In … Continue reading Analog Devices’ LT4412B and LTC4412
Weidmüller 1469530000 and TMR 1212 August 7, 2018 - To build or to buy? Power supply design has always been a bit of a topic – long-term followers of the OEMsecrets article series know that repairing TMI usually starts out with power supply trouble. Due to that, buying an off-the-shelf module can be attractive. Here are a few parts which caught our eye recently. … Continue reading Weidmüller 1469530000 and TMR 1212
Watchdog Meets LDO July 9, 2018 - Power supply problems and software lockups are amongst the most common issues… Power supply problems and software lockups are amongst the most common issues plaguing embedded systems. Watchdog timers alleviate the latter – they are now embedded in almost all microcontrollers. Some standards, however, demand the use of dedicated IC – in this case, Texas … Continue reading Watchdog Meets LDO
STM8S903K3T6C 8Bit Microcontroller from STMicroelectronics July 9, 2018 - If an 8bit microcontroller is needed… If an 8bit microcontroller is needed, Microchip normally comes up first. STMicroelectronics, a company more commonly associated with 32-bit processors, also offers quite a bit of eight bit technology. The STM8S903K3T6C, which we are going to introduce today, is a classic member of the family. First of all, take … Continue reading STM8S903K3T6C 8Bit Microcontroller from STMicroelectronics
Current Source IC by Nexperia July 9, 2018 - Current sources can be considered the outcast of the voltage source Current sources can be considered the outcast of the voltage source. They are a part which can be tremendously useful, but is not particularly well understood. A constant current source is a device driving a set current out of its pin. Physics dictates this … Continue reading Current Source IC by Nexperia
Analog Devices’ AD534 Series July 9, 2018 - Digital to analog converters usually come with one or two channels… Digital to analog converters usually come with one or two channels. Sadly, analog output needs tend to flock – in that case, Analog Device’s eight-converter AD534x family is an excellent contender. As with most DACs, the functional block diagram provides a general overview of … Continue reading Analog Devices’ AD534 Series
A Spike’s Mortal Enemy July 9, 2018 - Disturbances of the power supply are common… Disturbances of the power supply are common – in the automotive space just as much as in classic AC grids. Additional demands imposed by various forms of alternate energy will only make the issue worse, thereby ensuring that surge protection will remain a topic. Metal Oxide Varistors, also … Continue reading A Spike’s Mortal Enemy
ASEM-Series by ABRACON June 22, 2018 - Generating a stable clock is far from easy…   Small, fast and stable Generating a stable clock is far from easy: while current microcontrollers usually have some kind of embedded clock source, accuracy requires external components. Integrated oscillators provide a very interesting alternative, one of which we will look at here. The ASEM-Series by ABRACON … Continue reading ASEM-Series by ABRACON
Cypress Flash Chips June 22, 2018 - Capacitor prices… all hands on deck, brace for impact! MLCC capacitor troubles are real: since Murata decided to exit the market, prices go up. A similar trend can also be seen in flash memory. Memory prices have long shown themselves to be subject to the “pigs cycle”. This is shown by looking two types of … Continue reading Cypress Flash Chips
RS485 Driver June 22, 2018 - RS485 sounds like just another serial protocol…   RS485 sounds like just another serial protocol which no one really uses anymore. Sadly, this cannot be further from the truth – read on to find out about its benefits and about an IC which makes implementing it really easy. Differential signaling is helpful wherever noise can … Continue reading RS485 Driver
SMBJ Diode June 22, 2018 - When adjusting voltage levels for process computers… Resilient attenuator on the cheap! When adjusting voltage levels for process computers, accuracy is not always important: in many cases, good isolation from the incoming high voltage spikes is of more significance. A primitive design for an attenuator usually follows the lines shown in figure 1 – a … Continue reading SMBJ Diode
A nerd’s dream… June 21, 2018 - Controlling a large current with a small one without a physical connection…   Controlling a large current with a small one without a physical connection, traditionally leads to a knee-jerk reaction of relays. Optocouplers traditionally were limited to low currents. For quite a bit of time, solid-state relays have been on the market. What once … Continue reading A nerd’s dream…
SMD Coils – Yes, No or Maybe? June 8, 2018 - Old hands are not necessarily warm towards the idea of surface-mount in general; surface-mount inductors are considered the devil’s handiwork.   Old hands are not necessarily warm towards the idea of surface-mount in general; surface-mount inductors are considered the devil’s handiwork. On the other hand, integration and assembly cost pressures motivate even the most conservative … Continue reading SMD Coils – Yes, No or Maybe?
Quo Vadis, Connector Industry? May 4, 2018 - Whilst boring to most electrical engineers, connectors manage to gain significant interest in our search queries.   Whilst boring to most electrical engineers, connectors manage to gain significant interest in our search queries. At the last Hannover Fair, connector manufacturers showed off an interesting developmental path. Let us start out with the obvious; if something … Continue reading Quo Vadis, Connector Industry?
To Spend or Not to Spend… May 3, 2018 - Some years ago, development kits were expensive by definition…   Some years ago, development kits were expensive by definition. As the “maker revolution” redistributed electronics development into smaller and smaller companies, prices fell. Whilst Boeing or UAC might not flinch at a 600€ PCB, some of our clients balk heavily. When dealing with Nordic Semiconductors, … Continue reading To Spend or Not to Spend…
Using Murata’s PKMCS0909E4000-R1 to Create Sounds May 2, 2018 - Adding sound to a product can be useful in many cases… Adding sound to a product can be useful in many cases; in addition to checking boxes on product demand lists, a bone-shattering beep is a sure-fire way to alert users to problems in systems. Murata’s extensive experience in the production of all kinds of … Continue reading Using Murata’s PKMCS0909E4000-R1 to Create Sounds
Microchip’s MCP1640 | Super-Effective Battery Power May 1, 2018 - Designers working on line-powered systems are in luck…     Super-effective battery power Designers working on line-powered systems are in luck; whilst wasting power is always bad, a few mA of waste don’t really matter. When working on battery powered systems, every bit of energy helps – an efficient switching regulator can be helpful in … Continue reading Microchip’s MCP1640 | Super-Effective Battery Power
Allegro’s ACS723 Sensor Provides a Low Resistance of Just 0.65 Milliohms April 27, 2018 - Measuring currents is one of the oldest tasks of metrology…   Measuring currents is one of the oldest tasks of metrology. The knee jerk reaction involves adding a resistor to the current path and then analysing the voltage drop. Hall effect sensors provide a variety of benefits ranging from simplicity to galvanic insulation. Allegro’s ACS723 … Continue reading Allegro’s ACS723 Sensor Provides a Low Resistance of Just 0.65 Milliohms
Texas Instruments’ BQ40Z50 Alternative April 26, 2018 - Many moons ago, creating a battery for a mobile device was simple…   The same, or different? Many moons ago, creating a battery for a mobile device was simple. You grabbed a few nickel cadmium cells, trickle charged them and you were sorted. Today, advanced battery chemistry and their explosive behaviour make matters more difficult. … Continue reading Texas Instruments’ BQ40Z50 Alternative
The Benefits of MLCC Capacitors Part II April 5, 2018 - As discussed last week, MLCC capacitors will provide a variety of benefits to designers willing to use them… As discussed last week, MLCC capacitors will provide a variety of benefits to designers willing to use them. However, recent developments have shown stock levels to become critical. The trade press and analysts are assuming that the … Continue reading The Benefits of MLCC Capacitors Part II
The Benefits of MLCC Capacitors Part I April 4, 2018 - Casual observation would claim that the main job of a parts search engine like OEMsecrets involves… Casual observation would claim that the main job of a parts search engine like OEMsecrets involves finding cheaper sources for expensive parts. Recently, relatively low-priced MLCC capacitors have taken the lead in terms of search interest – let us … Continue reading The Benefits of MLCC Capacitors Part I
Wireless Freedom for the Pi-ple April 2, 2018 - When the Raspberry Pi Foundation introduced the Raspberry Pi Three, many a developer was fascinated by the integrated Wi-Fi module.   When the Raspberry Pi Foundation introduced the Raspberry Pi Three, many a developer was fascinated by the integrated Wi-Fi module. Sadly, practical performance was not quite as good. Let’s find out if the next … Continue reading Wireless Freedom for the Pi-ple
Amper Tradeshow Fair April 1, 2018 - Whilst the Nuremberg-based Embedded World celebrates its birthday, the Czech Amper tradeshow is in the 26th year of continuous operation.   While the Nuremberg-based Embedded World celebrates its birthday, the Czech Amper tradeshow is in the 26th year of continuous operation. Let OEMsecrets guide you through the most interesting aspects of the fair. First of … Continue reading Amper Tradeshow Fair
Power to the Pii-ple March 26, 2018 - The third revision of the Raspberry Pi can best be summed up by the old adage of more of the same.   The third revision of the Raspberry Pi can best be summed up by the old adage of more of the same. A faster processor and Power over Ethernet capability were advertised – OEMsecrets … Continue reading Power to the Pii-ple
ST Distance March 19, 2018 - Measure distance with ST’s VL53L1X distance sensor   Creating “color” images is not new. Microsoft’s Kinect sensor introduced developers to getting spatial information: a trick which STM now make manageable via their laser-based distance sensor monoliths which are ideally suited to drone landing sensors, distance-sensitive ignitors and other trinkets. All in one… Unlike the sensor … Continue reading ST Distance
TLV7011 Series Comparator from Texas Instruments March 12, 2018 - TLV7011 Series Comparator from Texas Instruments Digital is not everything: in real life, one sometimes needs a comparator. Texas Instruments recently-introduced TLV70x1 series provide a cheap and space-conscious solution for this problem. The traditional knee-jerk reaction to a problem requiring a comparator is a great indicator of your age; some will grab an LM324, others … Continue reading TLV7011 Series Comparator from Texas Instruments
Ing. Tam HANNA…has worked in the embedded space since the time when the PIC 16F84A was hot. After a few years of mobile computing, his consulting company Tamoggemon Holding k.s. has refocused on hardware design.