New Products

PXI Microwave Multiplexers

Pickering Interfaces has expanded its 40-785B PXI Microwave Multiplexers range with new 50 GHz modules. These new modules are single or dual 6-channel multiplexers with relays mounted on the front panel. They are suitable for switching 50 Ω signals up to 50 GHz. The single slot version can support up to three remotely mounted multiplexers. Channel setting for all options is indicated by LEDs, a feature widely supported in earlier rack and stack solutions.

The 40-785B microwave multiplexer range is compatible with any PXI chassis and can be fitted to PXI hybrid slots in a PXIe chassis. It can also be used in Pickering’s Ethernet controlled LXI modular chassis with a choice of 18 and 7 slots, as well as their 2-slot USB/LXI chassis for remote mount relay requirements.

The product range is also supported by Pickering’s signal routing software Switch Path Manager, for simplified signal routing through complex switching systems.

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New ATE Core Configurations

National Instruments (NI) announces new ATE Core Configurations which deliver core mechanical, power and safety infrastructure to help users accelerate the design and build of automated test systems in industries ranging from semiconductor and consumer electronics to aerospace and automotive.

ATE Core Configurations help simplify the design, procurement, assembly, and deployment of smarter test systems at a lower cost and shorter time to market by empowering test organizations with a platform for standardization. These 19-in, rack-based configurations are available in various rack-unit heights and offer scalable power profiles to match the needs of nearly any application and geography. 

Key features and benefits include:

  • Highly customizable– Choose what is included in the system, and where within the rack, including PXI instrumentation, signal conditioning, kW power supplies, cooling and more
  • Streamlined procurement– Simplify bill of materials management with consolidated part numbers and fewer vendor transactions
  • Readily deployable– Benefit from IEC 61010 certified systems which are backed by more than 1,500 NI sales, system and support engineers worldwide
  • Expansive ecosystem– Work directly with NI Alliance Partners to specify a turn-key system, including mass interconnect and fixturing, test software development, system maintenance, lifecycle support and more

ATE Core Configurations also benefit from NI’s high-performance PXI instrumentation and extensive test software portfolio. This includes more than 600 PXI instruments ranging from DC to mm Wave featuring high-throughput data movement using PCI Express Gen 3 bus interfaces and sub-nanosecond synchronization with integrated timing and triggering. ATE Core Configurations can also include TestStand test management software and LabVIEW code module development software, extensive API and example program support for PXI instruments, and more than 13,000 instrument drivers for third-party box instruments.

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Triple-Output Power Supplies Reduce Power Issues

Keysight Technologies announces the introduction of the E36300 Series triple-output programmable DC power supplies. With a large color display, intuitive user interface, modern device connections via LAN (LXI, USB and optional GPIB), the E36300 matches the performance of more expensive system power supplies.

The E36300 Series' low "normal mode" noise specifications assure quality power for precision circuitry applications, enabling engineers to power their designs with confidence. In addition, the power supplies are acoustically quiet. Each model provides excellent line/load regulation of 0.01 percent, fast transient response time of less than 50 μs, low-range current measurement, and over-voltage, over-current and over-temperature protection to prevent damage to the device under test.

Keysight's BenchVue software supports the E36300 Series, enabling control of power supplies to set parameters and status alerts, visualize power output, and log changing voltage and current over time. The included Test Flow capabilities let users quickly automate power-supply setups and measurements into test sequences.

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Laser Diode for (Rb) Rubidium Spectroscopy/Optically Pumped Atomic Clocks

The 795 nm DFB laser is the latest addition to eagleyard’s product portfolio. Next to the 780 nm DFB lasers and the gain chips for extended cavity setups (ECDL) the new laser enlarges the choice for Rubidium spectroscopy and the related application such as optically pumped atomic clocks.

The 14-pin butterfly package adds ready-to-use single-frequency-emission features by comprising thermoelectric cooler and thermistor enabling precise wavelength tuning. The package complying with industry standard is designed to provide electrical input as well as optical output in the same layer. It allows the convenient use of standard peripheral equipment such as mounts and drivers.

Major performance parameters are:

  • wavelength: 795 nm (for Rb D1 line at 794.98 nm)
  • line width: < 1 MHz
  • mode-hop-free tuning range: >10 GHz
  • output power: 80 mW
  • 14-pin windowed butterfly package with integrated beam collimation
  • optional integrated micro-isolator available 

Single Frequency Laser Diodes have a wavelength-selective grating integrated in the laser chip. Thus, they operate on a single resonator mode emitting quasi-monochromatic radiation with a very small line width and low phase noise. The lasers can have very low-intensity noise because of the lack of mode partition noise. Due to the Gaussian mode, the output is diffraction-limited.
The choice of a DFB design instead of a similar DBR structure guarantees even a broader smooth tuning range around the operational point w/o the risk of experiencing spectral issues known as mode-hops, as these are given by design of a DBR diode, making the latter less suitable for the needs of atom spectroscopy.

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MEMS Inertial Sensors Overcome Stiction Problems

Nanusens has announced that it has solved the problem of stiction in its MEMS inertial sensors. CMOS nano-sensor technology has been successfully used to solve the problem, which is a major source of failure for this type of sensor. 
The problem of stiction in MEMS is caused by attractive forces that occur on microscopic levels such as Van der Waals and Casimir.  These are surface area dependent and not mass dependent.  In an inertial sensor design, there is a proof mass connected to a spring.  This mass moves when there is an acceleration and the movement is detected by the mass acting as one electrode and the change in capacitance is measured relative to a second fixed electrode.   However, if there is a large movement such as from a shock or collision, the mass goes beyond the normal range of travelling and touches a surface enclosing the sensor where it 'sticks' due to the attractive forces and stops working.  This can be countered by having stronger springs, but this reduces the sensitivity of the sensor.  A solution to increase the sensitivity could be to increase the mass, but this results in a greater surface area for the mass and so, unfortunately, more attractive forces. 

The approach used by Nanusens is to reduce the sensor design by an order of magnitude from Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) with linear feature sizes of 1-2 µm to Nano Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) where the features are 0.3 µm.  This reduces the attractive forces significantly as the surface area reduction is in two dimensions, i.e., almost two orders of magnitude reduction.  Reducing the proof mass could result in decreased sensitivity except this is offset by reducing the gap between it and the fixed electrode.  The size reduction also means that the energy stored on the proof mass when it hits the surface in case of a shock is much less and the travelling gap is small.  A shock with less energy is also easier to detach.
The new nano-sensors are made using standard CMOS processes and mask techniques.  As only standard CMOS processes are used, and the sensors can be directly integrated with active circuitry as required, the sensors can potentially have high yields similar to CMOS devices.   
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Miniature Accelerometer

PCB's new UHT-12™ miniature accelerometer was designed for applications that demand minimal sensitivity change across a wide temperature range.  Model 320C53 features a sensitivity of 1 mV/g to complement the Model 320C52 sensitivity of 10 mV/g. Both models feature a UHT-12™ sensing element which provides a stable sensitivity over large thermal shifts.

Small and lightweight, these sensors weigh just 1.85 g with a size of 9.6 mm x 17.3 mm. They are hermetically sealed in a rugged titanium housing and feature easy to install thru-hole mounting. The accelerometers attach to test structures with an insulated mounting screw.

Both models have an operating temperature range of -100 to +325 °F (-73 to +163 °C).  Model 320C52 has a frequency range from 1 to 10 kHz (+/- 5%) and Model 320C53 has a frequency range from 1 to 5,000 Hz (+/- 5%). A single pole low pass filter, with a corner frequency set to ≥20 kHz, is incorporated into each model which reduces the potential for saturation or clipping. 

Built-in ICP® microelectronics provide a low noise, low impedance output signal capable of being transmitted over cable lengths of hundreds of feet. Any ICP® signal conditioner or data acquisition system that incorporates an ICP® constant current excitation can be used to power the accelerometers.

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Lightweight Vector Network Analyzer Simplifies Accurate S-Parameter Measurements

Rohde & Schwarz has launched the R&S ZNLE vector network analyzer to address the requirements of customers looking to perform RF measurements to characterize components such as antennas, attenuators, filters and PCBs. The new standalone instrument weighs only 6 kg and has a footprint of just 408 mm x 235 mm, saving up to two thirds of space on the workbench compared with competitive VNAs.

The two-port vector network analyzer not only saves space but also provides quick and accurate measurements, due to its easy-to-use S-parameter wizard. The R&S ZNLE performs bidirectional measurements of the S11, S21, S12 and S22 S parameters. An optional GPIB interface is available for remote control of the analyzer. The instrument comes in two models with frequency ranges from 1 MHz to 3 GHz (R&S ZNLE3) and to 6 GHz (R&S ZNLE6).

The R&S ZNLE offers RF performance with a wide dynamic range of typically 120 dB and measurement bandwidths from 1 Hz to 500 kHz. Measurement time is just 9.6 ms for 201 points at 100 kHz measurement bandwidth, for a 200 MHz span, with two-port TOSM/SOLT calibration. For stable, repeatable measurements, the R&S ZNLE produces low trace noise of typically 0.001 dB.

The R&S ZNLE features a large 10.1-in WXGA touchscreen, providing good visibility of all traces. The touchscreen supports zooming in and out of traces using multitouch gestures. The well-structured user interface makes it possible to access every function with a minimum number of steps. Undo/Redo softkeys are available to cancel and restore user entries. Context-sensitive help menus for the diverse functions and parameters facilitate interactive operation.

Calibration of the instrument is straightforward. The R&S ZNLE incorporates the well-known calibration wizard used in other Rohde & Schwarz R&S ZNx analyzers. To make life even easier, the "Start Auto Cal" function delivers automatic calibration at the touch of a button.

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New Life for Legacy Semiconductor Test Systems

The new Marvin Test Expansion Kit (MTEK) platform breathes new life into legacy semiconductor test systems with a PXI-based add-on solution that easily adds capability without the expense of replacing the entire system.      

Part of a suite of semiconductor test solutions ideal for engineering and production applications as well as incoming inspection and failure analysis, the MTEK Series is a flexible, scalable test system upgrade for both wafer and packaged device test. 

The MTEK platform offers a cost-effective, performance solution and that addresses common legacy test system challenges:

•    Existing test systems are 20+ years old with dated and limited capabilities
•    Customers require new test capabilities for testing and characterizing new designs
•    Cost of new test systems are prohibitive
•    New test systems require learning new tools
•    Porting tests to new test systems can be costly

By incorporating the MTEK solution into an existing ATE platform including Teradyne, LTX/Credence and Verigy installations, extended functionality and benefits are realized including:
•    Easy implementation, the PXI chassis becomes an extension of the host CPU
•    Easy integration with existing test programs via DLL calls to the new MTS instruments which are compatible with a wide range of programming languages
•    Easy integration with test floor data collection, data analysis, etc. 
•    Little or no additional training for production personnel
•    Multisite capability for both wafer sort and package test

MTEK eliminates the trouble and capital expense of replacing your entire legacy semiconductor ATE. MTEK allows users to configure the ideal solution with the performance RF, digital and/or analog test capabilities your legacy system lacks.

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Software Analyzes Shocks

The new MSR ShockViewer data logger software, which specializes in analyzing shock events and jolts, allows you to clearly present extensive measured data, as well as quickly analyze and conclusively document critical events.

During transport, cargo is subjected to a multitude of external impacts that may cause it to sustain damage. Mini data loggers and the new MSR ShockViewer software, which is manufactured by the MSR Electronics GmbH Company in Seuzach, Switzerland, can be used to record, store and analyze the most important physical impacts on cargo (acceleration, temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, light) or other applications where shock data needs to be measured. 

The most important physical parameters that should be monitored in a transport and logistics chain are accelerations, shock events, jolts and vibrations, as they may have a very negative impact on the mechanical structure of any industrial object or commodity. This is done in all three geometric axes (x, y, z) to obtain acceleration values in all directions. The 3-axis acceleration sensor starts recording data either when an acceleration threshold is exceeded or at a set time. 

The logger data can then be analyzed very accurately using the new, intuitive MSR ShockViewer software. All measured values are given an exact “timestamp,” which can subsequently be used to reconstruct the time of an event accurately to the second.  

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Solid State Amplifier and Antenna Combinations Generate Up to 50 Volts per Meter

AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation has introduced a line of state-of–the-art solid state field generating systems for numerous applications. These products now offer an attractive alternative to using Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs) driving separate antennas to generate field strength up to 50 V/m. Performance characteristics of this magnitude (both in frequency and output power) were previously dominated by low MTBF, short warranty TWTAs; however, these new solid-state designs offer better performance, increased reliability, and a 3-year warranty.

The amplifier and horn antenna combination form one completely housed unit which may be tripod mounted. These new “AA” series systems produce field strengths up to 50 V/m in two band-specific models over the 18 to 40 GHz frequency range when driven with a suitable signal generator. A separate rack mounted unit (AA1000) contains the power supply and control circuitry (RF and DC cables included) for interfacing with these products. The rack mounted assembly can be used for any of the AA series designs. AR can supply the AA model(s) and AA1000, in addition to a signal generator for a complete turnkey system. Standard products cover 18 to 26.5 GHz and 26.5 to 40 GHz frequency ranges.

Applications include EMC Radiated Susceptibility for MIL-STD-461 Testing, Radar Systems, Communications, and TWT Replacements.

Products offered:
•    AA18G26-20 : 18 to 26.5 GHz, producing a field strength of 20 V/m at 1 meter
•    AA18G26-50 : 18 to 26.5 GHz, producing a field strength of 50 V/m at 1meter
•    AA26G40-20 : 26.5 to 40 GHz, producing a field strength of 20 V/m at 1 meter
•    AA26G40-50 : 26.5 to 40 GHz, producing a field strength of 50 V/m at 1 meter
•    AA1000 : Rack mounted Power Supply, control circuitry, and fault monitoring

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Digital Platform Connects Machinery

thyssenkrupp connects machinery via a new digital platform. Thanks to “toii” all machines can communicate with each other. Due to predictive maintenance, the platform is also supposed to forecast the necessity of machine services in the future. The name chosen by the business area is a double play on words-- it spells IIoT backwards, the abbreviation for “Industrial Internet of Things”-- and it is pronounced like the word “toy,” an indication of how the new platform makes linking heterogeneous machines to existing IT structures “child’s play.” 

The machines perform a wide range of tasks, were made by various manufacturers and differ in age. Now toii makes it possible to connect bandsaws and bending machines, mobile objects like cranes and forklifts and even complex production facilities such as slitting and cut to length lines and sophisticated processing solutions through milling machines and laser systems digitally in line with the Industrial Internet of Things. The digital platform allows the machines to share data and communicate with one another and with the IT systems. Processes can be planned and coordinated optimally and flexibly– across locations, worldwide. 

An international Materials Services team of IT professionals from Germany, India and the USA worked together to develop toii. Alongside various projects in Germany, there are already plans to deploy the system in the UK and the USA. 

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