In brief, May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014. In the run-up to the Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., companies were busy making news on a variety of fronts, including instrumentation, software, inspection, and components.


Agilent Technologies has announced that its EXM wireless test set now supports 4×4 True MIMO capability for WLAN design and validation, with up to four TRXs testing multiple-input, multiple-output antenna characteristics simultaneously. This capability further advances the gigabit era for WLAN evolution, especially the rapidly evolving 802.11ac technology. Other new features for the EXM include WLAN combined measurements that support transmitter beamforming test for device calibration testing, and independent source and analyzers for parallel receiver and transmitter testing to further speed up and optimize WLAN device manufacturing.

Rohde & Schwarz has announced that P3 Communications, a worldwide technical engineering, testing, and consulting-services company for the telecommunications industry, has selected the R&S PR100 portable receiver as its instrument of choice for identifying and eliminating RF interference in 3G and 4G/LTE mobile networks. With units deployed across key mobile markets in the U.S., P3 Communications' mobile network maintenance and engineering team is able to quickly and effectively identify RF interference negatively impacting customer quality of experience (QoE).

Yokogawa Corp. of America has announced that its Newnan, GA, facility’s calibration laboratory has been awarded ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). Yokogawa was issued A2LA Certificate No. 3474.01 on November 26, 2013. The Yokogawa Calibration Laboratory also meets the requirements of ANSI/NCSL Z540.3-2006 and holds ISO 9001:2008 certification.

Measurement Computing has announced the release of two high-speed USB counter/timer DAQ devices available with four or eight counter I/O. The USB-CTR Series features high-speed pulse counting with a 48-MHz maximum input frequency. Resolution is programmable up to 64 bits, with an aggregate scan rate of 8 MB/s. Software options include comprehensive support for Visual Studio and Visual Studio .NET, DASYLab, and NI LabVIEW. The 4-channel USB-CTR04 is priced at $359, and the 8-channel USB-CTR08 is priced at $429.

Elsys Instruments, a manufacturer of custom and standard fast, high-precision data acquisition systems, has expanded its family of LAN-controlled transient recorders with a new, cost-effective series of high resolution PCIe data acquisition cards. The 4- or 8-channel single-ended and differential cards offer sampling rates of up to 240 MS/s per channel, include up to 1 GB of memory (128 MS per channel), and feature 14-bit and 16-bit vertical resolution. Pricing for individual TPCE-LE modules starts at USD $3,400.

Anritsu announced clock-recovery options for its MP1800A Signal Quality Analyzer (SQA) that expand the analysis capability of the BERT in high-speed interconnect design applications. Integrating the clock recovery options into the MP1800A creates a single-instrument solution for signal-integrity engineers to conduct highly accurate BER measurements and jitter tolerance tests on SerDes, active optical cables (AOCs), and optical transceiver modules used in next generation networks (NGNs) operating at speeds of 400 Gb/s.

Fluke Networks has unveiled three new solutions for its family of cabling certification and testing solutions for the data communications and cabling market. Dubbed “Accelerator” solutions, the FI-7000 FiberInspector Pro, Singlemode MultiFiber Pro, and SmartLoop OTDR speed fiber test, inspection, and certification within data center, datacom installation, and large enterprise operations—in most cases, slashing the time to complete fiber jobs by more than 50%.

Microlab, a Wireless Telecom Group company, has released the active DAS tray DCC500 Series as part of the low PIM DAS tray product line. The DAS Control Rack (DCR) is the monitoring and controlling unit for Microlab’s DCC Series product offering.   The stand-alone 19” rack-mount 1RU system allows for real time monitoring of eight independent wideband channels, from 698 MHz to 2,700 MHz.  These channels comprise four uplink and four downlink sections that can be monitored and controlled locally or remotely. Each channel contains a variable attenuator and RF power monitors to optimize power levels to the DAS head end. Settings also provide Automatic Level Control (ALC) to insure consistent power levels for each channel. Local access is available through a keypad and LCD display on the front panel or an Ethernet web server.  Remote access is available via an Ethernet web server or SNMP V3.

EMC Test Design LLC announced a new 40 GHz isotropic ultra broadband electric field probe: Model PI-05. It spans 1 MHz to 40 GHz and measures 2 to 1000 V/m. It meets the requirements of most EMC and RF safety standards for industrial, military, and radar communication applications, including those in the microwave K-band. The probe is designed to operate with all RFP-05 type meters.


The latest version of dSPACE's test automation software, AutomationDesk, has been certified by TÜV SÜD for testing safety-related systems according to ISO 26262 and IEC 61508. The TÜV SÜD certificate confirms AutomationDesk's suitability for the development and testing of safety-related systems in automotives, commercial vehicles, aerospace and many other industries. It also confirms the high-quality development process and extensive quality assurance for AutomationDesk 4.1. The company said AutomationDesk is the first hardware-in-the-loop test automation software product to be awarded such a certificate.


YXLON, a provider of X-ray and CT inspection for industrial applications, announced the new YXLON FF20 CT and FF35 CT systems for the nondestructive testing and measurement of materials. Conventional computed tomography scanners on the market are complex systems involving sophisticated operation—even for experienced users. In contrast, the new YXLON Geminy software platform intuitively supports all levels of users with simplistic operation that delivers the best data quality in three-dimensional inspection via the platform’s system intelligence.

Component news

A newly released training video, DVD-166C, “Counterfeit Components,” from IPC-Association Connecting Electronics Industries, explains not only how counterfeit components find their way into the supply chain, but more important, how to detect fraudulent devices during visual inspection. Available on standard definition DVD in wide-screen format or Blu-ray in hi-definition, “Counterfeit Components,” can be purchased from the IPC Online Store. The standard definition DVD is $495 for IPC members and $595 for nonmembers. The Blu-ray is $545 for members and $645 for nonmembers. Online video training is also available.

AMD has announced the second-generation AMD Embedded R-series accelerated processing unit (APU) and CPU family (previously codenamed Bald Eagle) for embedded applications. The new solutions are targeted at gaming machines, medical imaging, digital signage, industrial control and automation, communications, and networking infrastructure that require industry-leading compute and graphics processing technology. The second-generation AMD R-series APU and CPU solutions are designed for mid- to high-end visual and parallel compute-intensive embedded applications with support for Linux, RTOS and Windows operating systems. The new solutions range from 2.2–3.6 GHz CPU frequency with max boost, based on AMD’s latest CPU architecture (codenamed Steamroller) and 533–686 MHz GPU frequency based on AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, designed to advance the visual growth and parallel processing capabilities of embedded applications.

Designers may now add a high-accuracy, 4-channel analog output to their industrial automation designs with 33% fewer components than competitive designs by using the Alameda (MAXREFDES24#) subsystem reference design, now available from Maxim Integrated Products. The Alameda subsystem combines four high-accuracy (< ±0.1%) outputs with a high-efficiency, low-noise power-supply controller on a single board. Alameda's outputs are configurable to ±10 V, ±20 mA, 0 to 10 V, or 4–20 mA for current and voltage applications. Automatic error reporting for detecting open and short circuits, brown-outs, and overtemperature conditions make this subsystem suitable for demanding, precision industrial control and automation applications.

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has introduced its fourth-generation 2.4-GHz WirelessUSB radio-on-a-chip. The new WirelessUSB NX transceiver delivers Cypress’s robust performance along with ultra-low power consumption, aided by a fast 2-Mb/s data rate to limit time spent transmitting and receiving. The solution enables three years of battery life for wireless mice, keyboards, trackpads, remote controls, and other human interface devices (HIDs).

Cree has introduced high-power continuous wave (CW) GaN HEMT RF transistors packaged in a dual-flat no-leads (DFN) format. Aimed at the cost-sensitive sub-100-W commercial radar and data-link amplifier market segments, the new 6- and 25-W DFN transistors effectively obsolete the use of inefficient GaAs transistors in C- and X-Band frequencies and also enable the practical replacement of short life tube-based technology for commercial radar applications such as weather, marine, and surveillance.

Measurement Specialties now offers the U5200, a cost-effective industrial pressure transducer for OEM applications requiring high accuracy. The new unit incorporates a stainless steel housing with a large selection of threaded fittings, electrical connectors and cable options to give designers a reliable transducer tailored to their specific application environment. Typical pricing for a U5200 starts at $60.48 per unit in quantities of 100.

Measurement Specialties has also released the Model 142, a low-noise inline strain gage amplifier with an auto-zero function that provides extreme measurement accuracy. The patent-pending auto-zero feature is initiated right before measurement either using an integrated push-button or remotely via a grounding pin. This function provides a zero reference within ±1.5 mV of true zero as well as corrects for zero errors due to mounting stresses or misalignment. Long term drift errors are corrected in real time so that the device is zeroed out prior to operation.

Cissoid and M.S. Kennedy have jointly announced that they have signed a long-term collaboration agreement to develop high-reliability (HiRel) and high-temperature electronic modules. The agreement brings together Cissoid’s 14 years of experience in developing semiconductors that operate in extreme temperatures and harsh environments with M.S. Kennedy’s 43 years of expertise in developing complex high-quality/high-reliability multichip module solutions. Collaboration between the companies will address packaging multiple ICs into new, integrated, and highly compact standard multi-chip module products. Products introduced jointly will address new, high-temperature applications enabling customers to quickly develop their own solutions and reduce time to market.,

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