Editorial preview October issue 2021
Advertising deadline: September 15, 2021
Publication date: October 12, 2021
DC-to-DC converters optimized for higher input voltage ranges
Voltage transformers, or converters, hold the key to reliable electrical systems: The lower the losses, the lower the thermal stress. However, there are other stress variables that also need to be taken into account in order to build durable, long-lasting transformers. Components can also fail or be destroyed due to excessive voltages, current spikes, and radiation. A transformer that fails will usually take the whole system down with it – but only if the decision has been made not to use any UPS solutions or redundant systems.
Off-grid power supplies for the solar industry
DC-to-DC converters designed specifically for solar energy applications help to reduce the system costs of photovoltaic (PV) installations and supply electricity to remote areas. Rugged, long-lasting transformers that have been developed specially for use in a voltage range up to 1,500 V DC ensure that PV installations can be operated safely and reliably.
GaN in DC-to-DC converters
The trend of the past few decades has been for smaller, more efficient transformers, and this is expected to remain so in the future. New topologies, new materials, and new processes of integration will make this a reality. The GaNonCMOS project set out to integrate GaN and Si closely on various levels, with newly developed soft magnetic materials being specifically suited to new applications involving high switching frequencies and to embedding in PCBs. In particular, interest centered around low-power DC-to-DC converters in the sub-100-volt range for server applications as well as for the automotive and aerospace industries.
Miniature laser drivers – nanosecond laser pulses for ToF
Time-of-flight (ToF) sensors place heavy demands on the light pulses emitted by the various laser sources. Minuscule pulse widths and clearly defined pulse shapes are crucial if the time of flight and light spacing are to be measured accurately. Ultrashort pulse laser drivers are a rapid, straightforward solution for a wide range of applications in the automotive, industrial, medical, security, and consumer electronics sectors. Boasting easy scalability and highly flexible pulse shaping, they offer a distinct advantage over discrete driver circuits.
Applications for DC energy meters
Driven by the development of efficient and inexpensive power conversion technologies based on wide-bandgap semiconductors such as GaN and SiC components, switching to DC power transmission is now becoming an attractive option for many applications. This is making accurate DC power metering an important factor, particularly when energy is being billed for. This article looks at the opportunities for DC power metering in charging stations for electric vehicles, in renewable energy generation, in microgrids, and in peer-to-peer energy sharing as well as presenting a design for a DC power meter.
MEMS and piezoelectric acceleration sensors compared
MEMS and piezoelectric (PE) acceleration sensors share similar properties in several respects. On account of their specific characteristics, however, piezoelectric sensors are the more reliable choice when it comes to long-term stability. With an extensive frequency response, embedded PE acceleration sensors are ideal for machinery running at low to high speeds
Using absolute pressure sensors to measure heights
Heights can be determined precisely by measuring the atmospheric pressure. A sensor fitted with integrated functions and on-chip offset compensation helps to eliminate inaccuracies caused by weather conditions, while altimeter applications can be implemented using a corresponding sensor equipped with integrated calibration algorithms and data logging.
Safety and Security
Secure flash protects code and data in IoT devices
External standard NOR flash drives should be replaced with secure flash versions in order to preserve the integrity of the boot code and application data of IoT endpoints. In the most straightforward scenario, the drive’s safety features enable secure, encrypted authentication: In other words, only an authorized host is allowed to perform read and write operations, thus protecting data from being accessed by a device other than the host SoC.
Authentication solutions for mobile device batteries
Charging cables from a budget supermarket, chargers without a fast-charging mode, low-quality replacement batteries bought online: If modern mobile devices are to be charged securely, the “trustworthiness” of the hardware used must always be ensured. Equipped with the right authentication solution, mobile devices can handle battery verification themselves these days. On-chip solutions are now being used to carry out asymmetric authentication. It is important for the carefully thought-through process of ensuring security between the mobile device and the battery to itself be programmed securely at the manufacturing stage. Ultimately, the integrity of the whole process hinges on the codes saved inside the battery staying secret. Solutions such as Optiga Authenticate IDoT make this possible.
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