Amper Tradeshow Fair

MicroCrystal RV-8803 – A Really Accurate RTC June 17, 2019- RTC chips traditionally were the domain of Maxim and NXP. Switzerland-based MicroCrystal recently made quite a buzz with its RV-8803, which offers simple integration, an I2C interface and extreme accuracy. Let us start out by looking at a system overview. Figure one shows how this I2C RTC is made up internally – interested observers note […]
Analog Devices’ LTM2887 – If a Digital Bus Needs Galvanic Isolation June 15, 2019- In theory, digital buses are intended to connect things to one another. Sadly, one sometimes wants but a logical connection – in many cases, galvanic isolation helps out. Should you ever feel like isolating very fast buses, definitely give the LTM2887 a chance. From a technical point of view, Linear Technologies attempt at entering the […]
AVAGO APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – Keeping an Eye on Ambient Light June 14, 2019- Recent times saw quite a bit of interest for part numbers such as the APDS-9008 or APDS-9005-020 – they are a very interesting type of ambient light sensor. One of the oldest questions in regards to light sensors involves their spectral sensitivity. If a part is to output but one voltage level, the conversion between […]
STMicroelectronics’ LIS2DH12 – Low Power Motion Sensing June 12, 2019- Apple’s iPhone introduced gyroscopic sensors to a wider range – before that, accelerometers were not commonly found in consumer hardware. STM sells excellent parts which, however, get little media attention – time to take a look at the LIS2DH12. Integrating the part into your circuit as an MPU6500 alternative or MPU9500 alternative is not difficult. […]
Panasonic AMG8833 – FLIR for cheap June 7, 2019- FLIR made infrared thermal sensors cool – sadly, their parts are all but cheap (and suffer from export control problems). Panasonic’s Grid-EYE family is a low-resolution alternative which comes at significantly lower cost. From a technical point of view, Panasonic’s image sensor could not be simpler. We are looking at an 8×8 sensor with an […]
DipTronics DTS-62R-V – Small Switch, Very Big (and Very Cheap) June 5, 2019- When yours truly was but a lowly cadet, various US manufacturers produced (pricey but quite reliable) switches. Chinese vendors recently started to catch up – seeing the DTS-62R-V top our customer interest list shows that the run stage of the crawl-walk-run cycle is reached. DipTronics has been around the Asian switch market for ages, exhibiting […]

Whilst the Nuremberg-based Embedded World celebrates its birthday…

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 all, semiconductor manufacturers and makers of test equipment usually don’t show up in person at Amper. Instead, they are represented by their distributors – funnily, one company can have multiple booths presenting it at the same time. This probably dates back to time of the Soviet Union: then, development largely took place with components selected from catalogs. As the Soviet empire fell, distributors took their place (see e.g. Howard Moon’s classic Soviet SST).

Given that Amper traditionally targets electrical engineering, one can clearly see that most cable manufacturers add intelligence to their connectors, switches and other electromechanical gadgetry – being unwilling to leave the value added services pie to third party suppliers is a wise business decision.

To speak of third party suppliers, there were many. For example, a start-up called 4Dot is offering the monitoring of ball bearings as a service: you buy the hardware from them, slap it on to your bearing and pay them some money every month. Another company offers a Wi-Fi button based on SigFox, which furthermore contains a few sensors. Finally, BigClown provides developers with an Arduino-like set of modules which can be combined into a ready-made PCB prototype easily.

In the metrology department, distributors show a lot of interesting components. For example, Transmille’s distributor provided one of their transfer standards which is the most modern 8.5 digit multi meter currently on the market (discounting new Russian units which are unlikely to become available in the West).

Danaher elected to become Farnell’s madness victim in this year’s Amper. Their DMM6500 multi meter, still in beta stage, was demonstrated at the booth. The system is not bad, but suffers from a slightly low resolution touchscreen which furthermore feels wobbly to the touch. Another issue is that the pricing of the unit seems to be extremely geo-dependent, in one country, it cost about €800, while another country’s residents have to pay about €1400. Help yourself, of course, by combining OEMsecrets with a travel sniffing service like GoEuro or Opodo.

Finally, technologies like SigFox and LoRa are coming to age. Starnet is a network operator who covers almost the entire Czech Republic with its custom LoRa network: developers of smart devices can use this low-power network as an alternative to 3G and 4G connectivity. According to the vendor, device congestion is not an issue: in practical tests, up to 20,000 units were handled by a single gateway.

People who feel gouged by Messe Nuernberg will be happy to find Amper significantly more affordable. Booths are cheap, while Czech hotels have yet to figure out the trick of really raising prices during a trade fair. Food prices are also very fair and in line.

To cut a long story short: for people who create smart devices, the world is your oyster – fairs like Amper show that a good business model can be found by trying to create value and reduce pains. OEMsecrets, of course, is always at your side when it comes to saving money during component purchases – let us help you take your next idea to fruition.