Sunday, November 11, 2007

Analog companion IC melds power, audio functions for wireless handhelds

The AT73C206 analog companion power supply and audio interface IC from Atmel Corporation integrates a high-quality audio interface and all the necessary power management functions for handheld wireless communication/multimedia devices on a single chip.

Power functions include nine LDOs, one high-current DC/DC converter, a standalone continuous battery charger with integrated pass transistor, a four-channel white LED driver and a self-contained RTC.

The AT73C206's voice/audio analog interface comprises a 16-bit voice codec, 16-bit stereo audio DAC with headset driver and a 300-mW speaker driver. Packaging is in a 9 x 9-mm, 96-ball ultra-thin BGA.

Pricing and availability: The AT73C206 is priced at $2.90 in quantities of 100K units. A reference design and samples are available now.

Atmel Corporation, 408-441-0311,

Product literature:
AT73C206 data sheet (summary) (PDF)
AT73C206 data sheet (complete) (PDF)

Single-supply multiplexers save board space, cost

Milpitas, Calif. — Intersil Corp. has released two single-supply, triple 4:1 buffered multiplexers for use in high-end consumer video products. The ISL59451 offers an integrated DC-restore feature and the ISL59452 is designed for AC-coupled systems.

Intersil said the ISL59451 and ISL59452 devices are the first single-supply, buffered triple 4:1 multiplexers in the industry. This feature set is important for consumer customers designing systems where video input is the only feature requiring a negative rail, said the company. By eliminating the need for a negative rail, these ICs will help simplify the design of products such as projectors, high-definition TVs and broadcast equipment, as well as save board space and cost for original device manufacturers (ODMs).

The ISL59451's integrated DC-restore feature lifts the video signal above ground and into the operating range of the multiplexer, ensuring the video is in the correct voltage range for processing. For systems using an AC-coupled design, the ISL59452 is offered without the integrated DC-restore feature and at a slightly lower price.

Using these parts, customers can choose between AC or DC coupling video over the 0-V to 5-V range, while maintaining excellent video characteristics from the multiplexer that are usually associated with ±5-V performance, said Intersil. These parts can also be used as an input stage, where multiple channels of video are coming into a device (such as a projector) but only one channel needs to be selected at any one time.

Pricing: The ISL59451 is available in 5 x 5 QFN packaging in quantities of 100-999 for $6.49. The ISL59452, offered in the same packaging and quantities, is priced at $4.88
Product information: ISL59451 and ISL59452

Intersil Corp., 1-408-432-8888,

Toshiba expands motor controller line

San Jose, Calif.—Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC) added three products to its line of motor drivers: a stepping motor driver (TB6560AHQ/AFG) and two H-bridge DC motor drivers (TB6559FG and TB6593FNG).

The TB6560AHQ/AFG is designed to control the two-phase bipolar stepping motors used in printers, where the driver's two-phase operation can provide smoother transition between motor speeds to prevent paper jams.

The TB6560AHQ/AFG is a pulse width modulation (PWM) controlled, chopper-type, sinusoidal, micro-step bipolar stepping motor driver. It supports the excitation modes 2-phase, 1-2-phase, 2W1-2-phase and 4W1-2-phase, as well as forward/reverse mode. The TB6560AHQ/AFG provides a low vibration, high-performance drive for two-phase bipolar type stepping motors using only one clock signal. The driver was developed in Toshiba's BiCD (bipolar/CMOS/DMOS) process.

The TB6559FG and TB6593FNG DC motor drivers target applications such as vending machines, gaming machines, printers and small appliances.

The TB6559FG full-bridge DC motor driver IC offers support for two motor control-operating modes, either internal constant current PWM (for Vref between 0V and 3V) or direct PWM (for Vref between 4.5V and VREG). The TB6593FNG motor driver IC has a very low R(on) of 0.35 ohms, which allows the device to provide high performance while drawing power at levels similar to a motor driver intended for battery-powered applications. The TB6559FG operates with an output current of up to 2.5 amps (peak) and supply voltages of up to 30 volts. The TB6593FNG operates with an output current of up to 3.2 amps (peak) and supply voltages of up to 13.5 volts. These devices were also developed in Toshiba's BiCD manufacturing process.

Pricing: The evaluation price in 10,000 unit quantities for the TB6560AHQ/AFG is $3.30 each, $0.62 for the TB6559FG and $0.66 each for the TB6593FNG.
Availability: Engineering samples of the TB6560AHQ/AFG are scheduled for availability in the fourth quarter 2007, with mass production scheduled to begin by end of year. Both the TB6559FG and TB6593FNG are currently in mass production.
Product brief: click here.

Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc., 1-949-623-2900,

Software helps verify A/D convertors

Jivaro tools apply user-controllable reduction techniques upon parasitic data files obtained from layout extraction tools

EdXact's Jivaro netlist reduction tool was chosen by e2v, a developer and manufacturer of specialised components and subsystems. e2v is using Jivaro to help verify its A/D convertors, developed using Jazz Semiconductor's SiGe BiCMOS 0.18-micron process. The new convertor family includes quad 8bit devices capable of delivering conversion rates from 1.25 to 5GSps from a single chip at 1W per channel.

EdXact provides software solutions that help to accelerate the overall backend IC physical verification cycle.

Jivaro tools apply user-controllable reduction techniques upon parasitic data files obtained from layout extraction tools.

This helps simulation tools to cope with huge data files while still maintaining accuracy.

Jivaro was chosen to help accelerate postlayout verifications on the A/D convertors' design On that A/D mixed signal design, Jivaro-enabled simulations proved to execute three to 10 times faster, with the same level of accuracy, allowing more verifications to be executed and larger blocks to be verified, while still meeting tape-out delivery schedules.

Multiple simulation runs increase verification confidence, which is crucially important during the tape-out process.

Moreover, Jivaro's ease of use allows quick adoption of the tool by designers.

'Thanks to Jivaro, we were able to meet our just in time constraints and to increase our verification targets as well' according to D Boisgontier, manager of e2v's Broadband Data Convertor Development Team.

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Single-chip switch spreads GbE connectivity

As a result, home networks will need to transition from FE to GbE connectivity to create the wired infrastructure necessary to support increased network speeds

Broadcom has released the industry's first 65nm five-port gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch in a single-chip design that enables the ubiquitous deployment of GbE connectivity to consumer electronic devices and home networking equipment. 65nm process technology allowed Broadcom to develop an intelligent switching solution with the industry's smallest footprint, achieving unprecedented performance and a 30% reduction in power versus previous generations of Broadcom silicon.

The desire to share bandwidth-intensive content across a large number of computers and consumer electronics devices puts a strain on home networks.

This is particularly true in the WLAN market where the migration from 802.11g to 802.11n Wi-Fi technology will boost network speeds in excess of 100Mbit/s.

As a result, home networks will need to transition from FE to GbE connectivity to create the wired infrastructure necessary to support these increased network speeds.

'Our new switch takes the digital home to the next level by enabling the deployment of Gigabit Ethernet in any consumer product that currently has Fast Ethernet', said Martin Lund, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's Network Switching line of business.

The BCM53115 GbE switch provides better network performance in a smaller, cooler device.

It offers a comprehensive Layer 2 (L2) feature set, support for digital subscriber line (DSL)/cable modem and wireless LAN (WLAN) connectivity.

It can provide intelligent traffic management through Broadcom's compact field processor (CFP), which provides quality of service (QoS) and ensures a better user experience.

The CFP makes it possible for consumers to share HD video, download music to a handheld multimedia player, transfer photo libraries and make VoIP calls simultaneously across the same network.

The 65nm process is the most advanced lithographic node for manufacturing semiconductors in large volumes today.

It provides significant benefits over 90 and 130nm processes by enabling lower power consumption, smaller size, higher yields and higher levels of integration.

Fabric Circle Cutter

Fabric Circle Cutter
Unique features & benefits:

There are hundreds of patterns used in quilting and sewing that require the use of circles of many sizes. The Fabric Circle Cutter offers quilters and sewing enthusiasts the ability to easily and quickly cut the one shape in "fabric" that, until now, has eluded the advanced cutting techniques used in quilting and sewing today - the circle!

Currently there are 4 circle templates on the market. The Fabric Circle Cutter is a superior and simple tool that replaces the need for templates and a rotary cutter.

A simple plunging motion depresses a rotary blade that cuts the material, while the base keeps the material from shifting. The Fabric Circle Cutter is safe, accurate and efficient, cutting circles from 2 inches to 6 1/2 inches (and all sizes in between). The Fabric Circle Cutter is also designed for left or right handed use.

To use:

  1. Always use a cutting mat under the Fabric Circle Cutter, since the blade is very sharp when exposed.
  2. Loosen the screw and move the blade arm to the desired size of the curve, half circle or full circle using the ruler located above the blade arm. Tighten the screw when the desired measurement is achieved.
  3. Center the clear base over the fabric using measurements on top of the base as a guide. The straight lines (center lines) can be used to determine the straight grain of fabric.
  4. Using one hand, place pressure on the center knob. Using the other hand, place pressure on outer edge of the cutting arm and turn until the desired cut is made. The base will turn, keeping the fabric from twisting or moving during the cutting process. Releasing pressure from the center knob and cutting arm will lift the blade from the fabric. The blade guard will return to the protective position over the blade.
  5. Hint: To cut a row of circles from the same fabric, cut a strip of fabric, (e.g. 4 1/4 inches wide for a 4 inch circle). Adjust the blade arm to the 4 inch measurement. Fold the material in half and align the folded edge under the center straight line indicated on the base. You only need to cut a half circle to get a whole circle!

As an added benefit, the Fabric Circle Cutter can also be used to cut paper products, making it a valuable tool for crafters and hobbyists.

Ear Pro TekTM

The Problem To Be Solved:

The ear is one of the most sensitive areas of the human body.
In certain allergic or unfriendly environments a protection is required even for healthy ears.
When the ear (external or auditory canal) is infected, protection is needed from moistures, chemicals, dust, insects.
After surgery extreme caution must be taken against the entry of any fluids or foreign matters.

Ear Pro TekTM Unique Features & Benefits:


* The Ear Pro TekTM is a soft waterproof plastic enclosure, with non allergic adhesive, that fits snugly over the outer ear and keeps the entire ear dry.
* Inexpensive, use a simple existent technology to manufacture.
* Easy to apply:
peel-off protective release paper, hook over the top of ear and press firmly.

Easy to use. No painful ear plugs.
Soft clear plastic with non allergenic adhesive.
Available in small, medium and large size.

- Not recommended for swimming or diving -


Keeps water, fluid & foreign matters out of ear.
Healing process is faster & less painful.
Protects during shower or shampoo.
Protects ear after surgery.
Easy shampoo for bedridden patient.
Efficient protection in hostile environment..

Protects ear in shower.
One unit fits right or left ear. Disposable.
Easy to pack for travel

No battling children with ear plugs, while shampooing or playing in sprinklers during summer.
Use it while recovering from Swimmers Ear.

Protects ear during beauty procedures.
Keeps hair dye or permanent solutions out of ear, use under the dryer if hot air is uncomfortable.
Helps prevent infection after ear piercing.

Target Market:

1) Doctors specializing in ear problems;
2) Pediatricians;
3) Beauticians;
4) Dermatologists;
5) Hospitals;
6) Nursing Homes;
7) Hotels;
8) Retail stores;
9) Pharmacies;
10) Places to take a shower (spas, gyms, sport arenas,
swimming pools, tanning salons);

Note: Product is Patented.
Testimonial letters available

Portable Multipurpose Interactive Ultrasonic Sensor

Portable Multipurpose Interactive Ultrasonic Sensor: Features and Benefits

Currently, there are ultrasonic systems that detect obstacles in certain monitored areas. An example of these types of sensors include car alarms and home safety sensors which basically detect the presence of an object and trigger a sound alarm and/or the turning on of lights. These types of sensors are utilized in specific environments or locations.

The Portable Multipurpose Interactive Ultrasonic Sensor is a multipurpose ultrasonic sensor that not only senses an object, but also monitors its movement and position

The Portable Multipurpose Interactive Ultrasonic Sensor does the following:
1) measures distance and speed, singularly or in combination
2) counts repetitions
3) prompts the user to maintain a certain activity speed according to a pre-programed setting

The sensor has a display and an audio generator which provides interactive feedback to the user. Along with the Portable Multipurpose Interactive Ultrasonic Sensor's sophisticated features, it is battery operated and portable, giving it a wide spectrum of uses and functionability.

The Portable Multipurpose Interactive Ultrasonic Sensor includes an ultrasonic transmitter and a receiver element. The two units are placed at approximately 30 feet apart and includes a stand-up base for placement on the ground.

It features an "On", "Off" or "Continuous" mode for hands-off operation, as well as a remote controlled keypad for selecting the activities, setting relevant parameters, and activating the transmissions and functions.

It also features an audio output to generate sounds that indicate progress or count according to a display and the computing unit that controls the transmission of the ultrasonic pulses and the detection of the received reflections. Overlay sheets help convert the data into measurable terms for any designated activity.

The sensor has a card port which can accept small program chips chosen by the user to add functions, enhancements or applications.

Among the wide range of activities that the Portable Multipurpose Interactive Ultrasonic Sensor can be utilized for, is the following partial list:


The sensor detects objects crossing the area being monitored by the sensor from 0 to 30 feet away. The monitored area forms a line, and the sensor's detection of an object crossing of this line can be verified and recorded within tenths of a second. This mode can be used for:

  1. Sports: Track & Field training and racing - the sensor can be used as a finish line.
  2. K-12 physical education training and/or school racing competitions - the sensor can be used as a finish line
  3. Toys and Games: can be used for children's racing contests, whether bicycle, skateboarding, skating, and scooter - the sensor can be used as a finish line to measure who makes it to the finish first, or in the best time.


The sensor detects objects positioned right on top of the line, measuring speed, distance, and whether the objects stays on the line or not. This mode can be used for:

  1. Police Department sobriety tests: officers place the sensor units on the ground and require the subject to walk the line. The sensor measures the walking speed, the distance walked, and whether the subject stays on or off the line.
  2. Gymnastics training: to learn balance and for preliminary balance beam practice, trainers have their students walk on the line while measuring the student's speed, the distance walked, and whether the student stays on or off the line.
  3. Dancing: for training in ballet, and other dance that requires learning balance and precision movements along a line.


The sensor can be programmed to detect motion at pre-determined intervals, so that it detects and counts repetitions and prompts the user to maintain a specific speed of motion. This mode can be used for:

  • Exercising: for example keeping track of running in place at a pre-determined pace.
  • Rehabilitation: to keep track of the repetition of certain motions at a specified pace for exercise therapy without the aid of special equipment.

The sensor can be used at night in the dark.

Note: Product is patented.