The ever increasing functionality of both industrial and consumer electronics continue to drive demand for high performance, space saving electronics components. Advances in mobile technologies, RF communications and automotive applications necessitate high reliability electronic parts with leading-edge capabilities. Component and design engineers have a growing need for new technologies that offer cost savings and help simplify design. Below are the latest trends in information technology for 2015 as well as some of the state-of-the-art devices that make them achievable.
The large number of applications offered for today’s smartphones requires sophisticated technologies that are frequently accompanied by high power consumption. Bosch Sensortec has developed MEMS sensor devices that substantially lower power consumption and prolong the battery life for Android. The BHI160 and BHA250 include an integrated sensor hub that enables them to process sensor data locally. Additionally, these new electronics components allow the MEMS sensors to be integrated with the manufacturer’s Fuser Core 32 –bit microcontroller to significantly reduce the amount of real estate required.
Compact design and weight reduction remain high priority goals for electronics manufacturers. DunAn Microstaq has introduced a new MEMS microvalve. The company’s new silQflo Silicon Servo Valve (SSV) is 36 percent smaller than their previous version. The space savings provided allows more efficient design capabilities as well as cost savings.
Another space saving device introduced by Vishay is the bidirectional symmetrical (BiSy) single-line diode. In addition to its 0.6 mm x 0.3 mm size, the VBUS05B1-SD0 offers ESD protection to prevent damage to high-speed data lines and antennas. Vishay’s compact electronics components are used in a variety of applications including smart phones, handheld gaming systems and mp3 players.
Passive components account for the largest percentage of electronics components shipped to electronics manufacturers. This includes electronic parts such as capacitors, resistors and connectors. Therefore, passive component manufacturers are an integral part of the ongoing trend for improved performance and efficiency. For example, AVX Corporation recently released a multilayer ceramic capacitor with Q values that average 290 at 1 GHz for a capacitance of 4-pF. The new capacitors are used for ultra-high frequency applications between 300 MHz and 3 GHz. They can significantly lower the amount of power consumed and extend the battery life of multiband RF communication devices.
The increasing trend toward connectivity has broadened to include applications such as home automation, medical devices, industrial automation and automotive infotainment systems. This brings about the demand for a variety of specialized connectivity solutions that require low power consumption and compact size. Texas Instruments has released the first smart power switch with power limit programming capabilities. The TPS1H100-Q1 is designed to supply variable loads in powertrain and automotive information systems. It has a 20 percent higher current sensing accuracy than switches offered by competitors to deliver real time data on loading conditions. The TPS1H100-Q1 can also supplant discrete electronics components in powertrain and automotive body electronics. In addition, the smart power switch saves board space and helps simplifies design.
More innovative solutions were introduced by Analog Devices with the development of the one of a kind converter with on-chip phase-locked loop. The AD9154 quad-channel, 2.4-GSPS, 16-bit D/A converter delivers the highest performance available in the 100- to 300-MHz range used for intermediate frequency transmitters. The device allows designers to use a single component to fulfill the requirements in LTE transmitters used in applications such as microwave or military radios.
Counterfeit electronic parts have become an increasing concern especially for military operations. Thus far, the majority of efforts applied to mitigating the risk of counterfeit parts have involved providing traceability to the OEM. These measures may include tracking through unique ink-based DNA markers or identification numbers provided by the manufacturer. However, not all manufacturers employ a system to account for each component produced, and most COTs parts have no identifiers whatsoever. There is a growing trend to develop test procedures capable of proving the authenticity of electronic components. One such program is underway at DARPA. The SHIELD program proposes inserting dielets that would detect tampering at any stage of the supply chain.