Mar
09

Series of Silicon Labs Bluetooth Workshops

 

Along with its supply chain partner Solid State Supplies, Silicon Labs are hosting a series of informative workshops designed to give engineers a hands-on introduction to Bluetooth. Each of these (which will be will be staged at 3 different locations) will cover all the main considerations when using this ultra-low power wireless technology in system designs, in order to lead to a better understanding of how to implement it more effectively. Throughout the workshops  all the tuition provided will be based on use of the Silicon Labs’ Thunderboard platform. To  see the agenda for these events and register, please go to one of the links shown below:

Date: 28th March; Location Redditch

Date: 29th March; Location Camberley

Date: 30th March; Location Rochester

Mar
09

Powerful Development Tool Enables Superior HMI Realisation without Requiring Any Coding Effort

Bridgetek has further raised the degree of support that is supplied with its FT81x Embedded Video Engine (EVE) graphic controllers, by releasing Version 3 of the popular EVE Screen Designer. The EVE Screen Designer 3.x (ESD3.x) integrated development environment (IDE) generation further facilitates EVE-based human machine interface (HMI) construction. It presents a simple, highly intuitive package through which a wide range of exciting visual effects can be created and various items of graphical content edited, in order that enhanced user experiences are derived. Building on the previous genera-tion, it has advanced code generation capabilities (with exported C-based source code being applicable to any hardware associated with Bridgetek’s FT90x MCUs), plus a greater scope of widgets that can be incorporated. As users rely predominantly on visual programming (though there is provision to use text for editing purposes), they do not need to have an in-depth understanding of EVE display lists.

Using a straightforward drag-and-drop method, widgets (buttons, dials, clocks, gauges, scroll bars, etc.) can be taken from an extensive library and placed into the HMI design. Once the design has been completed, ANSI C code is subsequently generated in relation to the specified hardware platform. It is possible to simulate the whole design on the ESD3.0 IDE, before compiling and downloading the generated source code. This means that the user can check they are totally happy with the look and feel of the HMI before it is implemented. Furthermore, the logic node editor function gives users complete visibility of how different elements of the design interact with one another, so they can see what effect changing a particular element will have on the other elements that are connected to it. Through this the effectiveness of the control structure can be maximized – allowing the coding up of a specific response to a button press, for example. The Bridgetek ESD3.0 IDE package works with the Windows operating systems (ideally Windows 10, but also Windows 7 and 8 when appropriate updates have been applied).

www.brtchip.com/utilities

Mar
08

Corephotonics Collaborates with Samsung Electro-Mechanics to Bring New Era of Imaging to Smartphones

Corephotonics has partnered with prominent camera module integrator Samsung Electro-Mechanics (SEMCO) to develop a complete reference design, based on its revolutionary dual camera technology. Through this reference design, which is now in volume production, smartphone manufacturers are able to benefit from dramatic enhancements in image quality without any impact on the slim designs that consumers now expect from their handsets.

The new partnership combines SEMCO’s universally recognized expertise in camera module design and manufacturing, with Corephotonics’ innovative camera-related technologies. It enables a far greater number of smartphone manufacturers to access ground-breaking imaging technology that will help them to elevate user experience.

The dual camera concept made possible by Corephotonics’ proprietary technology presents smartphone manufacturers with the means to distinguish their handsets from those of their rivals through greatly improved imaging capabilities – with better zoom, increased effective resolution and broader dynamic range all being derived. It comprises one camera producing a wide field of view (FOV) image – much like the technology found in a conventional smartphone. In addition, however, there is a second camera that features a telephoto lens – which addresses the narrow FOV image. The result is an imaging mechanism that can deliver up to 3x optical zoom and provides the user with highly detailed photographs even in the most challenging of low light conditions. Combining such imaging capabilities with proprietary lens design and actuator implementation allows a compact form factor (down to 5.5mm in Z-height) to be maintained, while eliminating delicate opto-mechanical arrangements that are prone to damage.

“The camera has become a key differentiator in the current, highly competitive global smartphone market. Via the dual camera zoom solution pioneered by Corephotonics and the access we have now gained to their technology, it is possible to greatly expand upon our current smartphone camera capabilities,” states EVP Hong, CMO of SEMCO  “This will take us closer than ever before to the imaging performance that would normally be associated with an SLR.”

“SEMCO is an acknowledged leader in smartphone camera modules and it is now fully equipped with a broad range of Corephotonics technology,” adds Eran Briman, VP of Marketing & Business Development at Corephotonics. “By integrating our calibration tools into its production lines, SEMCO is now better positioned for delivering mass production zoom dual camera modules which are drop-test certified and support relaxed calibration assembly. Combining such modules with Corephotonics’ zoom and bokeh algorithms easily satisfies consumer demands for elevated imaging functionality.”

 www.corephotonics.com

 

Mar
08

Extensive Oxygen Sensing Portfolio from SST Addresses Challenges of Transporting Perishable Goods

In order to lengthen their storage life, fruit and vegetables are often transported inside refrigerated containers where a controlled atmosphere (with reduced oxygen content) has been applied. Instrumental in maintaining this is the acquisition of accurate data concerning the oxygen levels present on an ongoing basis. As a recognized specialist in advanced oxygen monitoring technology, SST Sensing has numerous products in its portfolio that are targeted at this specific application. The company is able to supply complete solutions for quick and simple installation. Alternatively, it can offer component parts that are easy to retrofit into existing systems.

 

Delivering elevated performance parameters is SST’s flagship Zicronia based offering. These products utilize the company’s own proprietary technology, which results in improved precision and prolonged operation (as they do not become depleted) compared to conventional oxygen sensors on the market, as well as avoiding the inconvenience of using a reference gas. Furthermore, such devices are not prone to sensor drift over time, which means they do not need regular recalibration.

 

Achieving a 0.01% O2 measurement resolution with less than ± 0.5% repeatability, the highly sophisticated OXY-COMM oxygen analyser consists of one of these sensor devices accompanied by all the necessary supporting electronics, a fault tolerant RS485 serial interface and a die-cast aluminium housing (which is fully IP65 compliant). This presents customers with a comprehensive monitoring subsystem, featuring built-in diagnostic capabilities that safeguard against erroneous measurement data.

 

Targeted at cost sensitive system designs, SST’s LuminOx range of oxygen sensors employ an innovative optoelectronics mechanism that allows them to serve as a suitable alternative for electrochemical based devices, while providing considerable performance, logistical and ecological advantages. These devices exhibit 2% full scale accuracy, thereby outperforming any other oxygen sensor in their price bracket by a sizeable margin. An RS232 interface facilities integration. This means that they can supply an output direct to the connected system without any need for additional signal processing or data translation. Unlike competing electrochemical oxygen sensors, they do not contain any hazardous materials (so there are no issues associated with disposal). They also have significantly longer operational lifespans (at least 5 years).

 

“Being able to mitigate the perishing of food products by reducing their exposure to oxygen is of huge importance to suppliers. This allows them to minimize the losses that occur during storage and transportation processes and thus makes their business operations more profitable,” comments Paddy Shannon, Technical Director at SST Sensing. “Thanks to our breadth of expertise in oxygen sensing, and the unique technologies we have developed, SST is better positioned than any of its rivals to attend to this type of activity. Consequently, we are working with many of the world’s leading names in shipping and freight transportation.”

http://www.sstsensing.com/product/oxy-comm-zirconia-oxygen-analyser

Mar
07

Workshop on Developing Sensor-to-Cloud IoT Applications – 23rd March, Redditch

To assist engineers in creating more effective IoT systems, Solid State Supplies is organising a hands-on workshop specifically focused on the mangOH™ product offering from Sierra Wireless. This free of charge event, held at Solid State Supplies’ headquarters in Redditch on the 23rd March, will give engineers of all levels of experience ample opportunity to further improve their IoT development skills. Attendees will start with simple tasks to get them more familiar with the highly intuitive mangOH™ hardware platform and its accompanying Legato® Linux-based open source application framework. They will then progress to more advanced projects, like implementing a complete end-to-end IoT application (where Bluetooth-enabled sensors will pass data across the cellular network and interface with the cloud via MQTT messaging). During this session work will be carried out on the mangOH™ Green boards provided. USB sticks containing the complete development environment set up will be given to each participant for them to keep after the session has been completed. Those who have a laptop with a USB boot activated (whether it has a Windows, Linux or Mac operating system) are advised to bring it. To register for this informative workshop visit: http://www.sssltd.com/seminars/hands-on-mangoh-with-bt-sensors.html

Feb
01

SEGGER Enables Low Cost, High Capacity NAND Flashes for Embedded Systems

SEGGER introduces a software error correction (ECC) package allowing the whole spectrum of NAND flashes to be used in microcontroller based embedded systems. The supported memory chips include high capacity, low cost consumer grade NAND flashes.

Consumer grade NAND flashes with multi-level (MLC) or triple-level cell (TLC) technology require error correcting codes capable of detecting and correcting up to 40 bit errors. Previously, this required a high-cost application-class microprocessor with integrated MLC NAND flash controller.

With SEGGER’s new error correcting library, standard 32-bit microcontrollers can now access MLC and TLC NAND, expanding the designer’s choice to a broad range of host microcontrollers and flash memories.

The new software package has been designed from the ground for embedded processors with limited flash and (especially) RAM, but to still deliver high performance of up to 25 MB/sec. The software can easily be integrated into any embedded system, makes NAND flashes the number one choice in applications requiring large capacity storage at low cost.

This technology can be used with SEGGER’s emFile File System or just the Storage layer making it possible to use the storage in other ways such as for a USB memory stick or with other file system products.

With the rise of IoT devices requiring gigabits of storage, and with board space and cost at a premium, the wider selection of target devices made possible with SEGGER’s solution can make all the difference.

To access more information on the emFile NAND flash driver, please go to: https://www.segger.com/emfile_driver_nand_flash.html

More information on the ECC software implementation can be found here: https://www.segger.com/emlib-ecc.html

Jan
30

SST & Sparkfun Collaborate on Arduino-Based Liquid Level Sensing Hardware

In order to address the vibrant and constantly expanding maker market, SST Sensing Ltd. has partnered up with Sparkfun. Together they have developed and simple to implement solution for single point liquid detection using infra-red technology. This highly reliable and accurate solution comprises an Optomax Digital liquid level switch which is connected to an Arduino board via the TTL output and powered by its 5V source. LEDs on the Arduino can be easily programmed to indicate if the sensor is/isn’t immersed by the liquid (and thus determine if liquid level is too high/low). Using this hardware, hobbyists are provided with plenty of scope to experiment, while professional engineers have the opportunity to evaluate their prototype before moving on to a full scale design.

The Optomax devices have compact dimensions that allow them to be deployed within environments where there is only limited available space. As relatively long cabling can be supported, the sensor can be placed in close proximity to a liquid without any risk of the accompanying electronics on the Arduino being damaged. Furthermore, as this solution is of an optical rather than a mechanical nature, issues such as the build-up of deposits, jamming, or wear and tear are avoided. A long term operational life span is thereby assured. 

The liquid level switch can be supplied by SST in a robust housing with either a Polysulfone or Trogamid® construction (depending on the particular application requirements). The complete solution has an operational temperature range that covers -25°C to +80°C. For information, including a video showing this solution in action, go to: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13835

 

 

Jan
04

Bridgetek Brings Us Closer to Smarter Living with its Unique PanL Concept

Drawing together the various elements of its advanced semiconductor technology, Bridgetek will demonstrate its game-changing PanL home automation solution at CES 2017. The objective of this all-encompassing platform is for users to finally be able to control the various lighting, air conditioning, heating and security systems that are present in their house/apartment via one single point of contact.

 

Currently the home automation market is very disjointed, with systems from different manufacturers each relying on their own proprietary control technology and thus needing users to access a multitude of specific apps. This proves both inconvenient and highly frustrating. Users want to be able to centralize the control of these functions rather than having separate stand-alone controls for each respective system.

 

PanL home automation hubs comprise an array of different wireless and wireline connectivity options – including Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 4.2, Zigbee and PoE-enabled Ethernet (100Base-T). This gives them the scope to connect with numerous systems simultaneously. Their processing capabilities are derived from the Bridgetek FT900 series of 32-bit microcontrollers. Inclusion of one of the company’s second generation FT813 Embedded Video Engine (EVE) high resolution graphic controllers in each unit takes care of the human machine interface (HMI) aspect. This provides simple and intuitive control to the user, with access to rich graphical content and multi-touch functionality. Another major benefit of PanL’s centralized approach is that it allows coordinated operation of different systems (so that the lighting and heating could be brought on at the same time, for example). Furthermore it means that data from different systems can be consolidated together (allowing parameters like overall household energy consumption to be monitored).

 

Announcements over the course of 2017 will see the PanL portfolio expand. These will make use of the innovative modular framework that has been put in place. Further developments will result in additional wireless technologies being integrated into the platform, thereby enabling direct connection to the cloud.

 

http://brtchip.com/product/

Dec
19

SEGGER Training Classes: Introduction to Software Development for ARM Cortex-M Microcontrollers

SEGGER has launched an extensive training program for 2017. Through this, the company’s team of Embedded Experts will be able to give guidance to software developers to help them get the most out of ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers. All participants will be given extensive opportunities to work hands-on with the evaluation boards provided. They will be shown how a Cortex-M based target system should be set up and how to subsequently debug targets, as well as being introduced to modern techniques for carrying out system analysis. Basic tuition on use of an RTOS will also be covered. Each of the topics will be demonstrated and explained in detail, with all projects being shared with participants, so they can rebuild and modify them, then take them home. There are 6 one day training sessions already scheduled for early 2017. The first these will take place on 12th January at SEGGER’s headquarters in Hilden, Germany. Some of the further training sessions that are being organized will be hosted at its US facility, near Boston. To access more information on SEGGER’s training classes go to: https://www.segger.com/segger-training-classes.html

Dec
13

IR-Based Liquid Level Switches Deliver Low Power Operation, Compact Design & Attractive Price Points

Drawing on its expertise in fluid sensor technology, SST Sensing Ltd. has developed the Optomax Digital series of liquid level switches. These highly cost-effective and simple-to-use devices have the capacity to detect almost any liquid type (whether it is oil or water based). Each unit incorporates an infra-red (IR) LED emitter, a phototransistor and a microcontroller within a streamlined housing (which can be as small as 22.7mm in length and 12mm in diameter) well suited to space constrained settings.

 

As they rely on solid state electronics, rather than the conventional mechanical technology of float switches, the members of the Optomax series are not prone to jamming or wear and tear – resulting in long, maintenance-free operational lifespans. Furthermore, unlike other optically based devices on the market, the performance of these liquid level switches is not affected by ambient light. This is due to the advanced optical design employed, as well as SST Sensing’s propriety signal conditioning algorithms. Furthermore, they are not affected by the presence of a foam layer on top of the liquid, so superior accuracy levels are assured.

 

There are a multitude of application possibilities for the Optomax series. Among these are fuel/industrial chemical tanks, hydraulic systems in heavy machinery, vending machines, telecommunication cabinets, transportation, etc. To broaden their scope still further, these devices are supplied in a choice of rugged, chemically-resistant materials that can deal with the harshest of fluid media. The standard Polysulfone housing is complemented by a Trogamid® option (which is suited to use in the food/beverage sector and has full European standards approval). The switches can be externally or internally mounted, with an array of different fittings offered (M10, M12, 1/2-inch SAE, 1/4-inch NPT).

 

Driven by a 4.5V to 15.4V DC supply, these low power devices draw a maximum current of 2.5mA. The sensors are available with high or low in air outputs as well as a PWM option for maximum reliability and fail-safe operation. They are capable of supporting pressures of up to 20bar and offer an operational temperature range of -25oC to +80oC (with extended range versions covering -40°C to +125°C). 

http://www.sstsensing.com/product-category/sensors/liquid-level-switches

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