The top 10 most read new product introductions in 2013 ranged from sensors and ferrite beads to op amps and 32-bit microcontrollers. Four of the top ten devices were IP&E components from three suppliers: Bourns, Murata, and Molex. The top semiconductor products were introduced by Linear Technology, Texas Instruments (TI), Microchip Technology, and Microsemi. Most of these products touted performance improvements and/or space savings for applications ranging from automotive and aerospace to mobile devices and medical equipment.
The top 10 products are based on the number of page views in 2013. EPS officially launched in September 2013.
Here is the top 10 list:
Although not selected as a hot product pick this year, Bourns' non-contacting torque sensors, which are optimized for electric power assisted steering (EPAS) automotive applications, was the most viewed product announcement in 2013, which means I made a big mistake in not selecting this component as a top pick this year. Mea culpa. The new models include a torque-only sensor, a torque angle sensor, and a torque index sensor. These non-contacting sensors feature clock spring-free and Hall Effect (HE)-based technology, which allows measurement without the constraints of a connecting cable for the transmission of power and output signals, said Bourns.
In the category of first to market, Murata offers the smallest chip ferrite bead, packaged in a 008004 size (0.25 x 0.125 mm), driven by industry demand for ultra-small components. The chip offers 75 percent lower volume than the 01005 size that is currently used in some smartphones, particularly in high-frequency modules, said Murata. Typical apps for these EMI suppression filters include mobile phones and mobile phone modules, where they are used to eliminate noise generated by electronic devices. Murata's ferrite bead is one of EPS' first hot product picks for 2013.
Linear Technology's LTC3330 is touted as a complete regulating energy harvesting solution that integrates a high-voltage energy harvesting power supply, and a synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter, which is powered by a primary cell battery to create a single non-interruptible output for energy harvesting applications including wireless sensor networks. The LTC3330 delivers up to 50 mA of continuous output current to extend battery life when harvestable energy is available. The LTC3330 requires no supply current from the battery when providing regulated power to the load from harvested energy and only 750 nA operating when powered from the battery under no-load conditions, said Linear Tech. In addition, it automatically transitions to the battery when the harvesting source is no longer available.
It's not every day that a component supplier invents a new component type, which is exactly what Texas Instruments claims, and a key reason why the new data converter was selected as a hot product in 2013. TI says it has developed the industry's first inductance-to-digital converter (LDC), which it describes as a "new data converter category that uses coils and springs as inductive sensors to deliver higher resolution, increased reliability, and greater flexibility than existing sensing solutions at a lower system cost." One of the nice features about this device is its versatility. It can be used in a variety of applications ranging from mobile devices to medical equipment.
Molex Inc. launched its next-generation Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) plus magnetic PDJack connectors this year that simplify implementation and support PoE standards in networking devices. The single-port controller integrates power device controller circuitry and PoE functionality in a single solution for a space savings of up to 75 percent on a PCB compared to discrete solutions, said Molex.
Linear's LTdC2057HV op amp was one of our hot product picks this year. In addition to its high stability over temperature, time, input range and supply voltage − all needed for hi-reliability apps, this part offers more than 140-dB dynamic range while operating on a 60V (±30V) supply, enabling tiny signals to be amplified in the presence of much larger signals without losing precision. Wide dynamic range is the key point for this product.
Microchip Technology Inc. has launched its PIC32MZ Embedded Connectivity (EC) family of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), targeting high-end embedded applications. This series of 24 devices is packed with performance: 330 DMIPS and 3.28 CoreMarks/MHz, integrated with dual-panel, live-update Flash (up to 2 MB), large RAM (512 KB), connectivity peripherals—including a 10/100 Ethernet MAC, Hi-Speed USB MAC/PHY (a first for PIC MCUs), and dual CAN ports. Microchip touts that the “PIC32MZ also has class-leading code density that is 30 percent better than competitors, along with a 28 Msps ADC that offers one of the best throughput rates for 32-bit MCUs.”
Another first-to-market device comes from TI. The company claims the first single-chip battery gauge with integrated protection that is designed to protect single-cell Li-Ion batteries in space-constrained designs. Housed in a 1.9- x 2.7- x 0.6-mm, 15-bump, chip scale package, these devices can be used in consumer devices as well as portable industrial and medical devices.
Molex's Temp-Flex microwave coax cable is another hot product pick. It was selected based on its ultra-low-loss performance. These cables are said to provide "extremely stable electrical performance" with minimal impedance and insertion loss variation in dynamic apps. They achieve 85 to 88 percent velocity of propagation (VOP) for increased signal speed, making them over qualified even for military/aerospace specifications.
Microsemi unveiled two plastic large area device (PLAD) transient voltage suppression (TVS) diode products in 2013 that protect aircraft electrical systems from transient lightning strikes. The 6.5-kW and 7.5-kW devices are the latest addition to Microsemi’s PLAD TVS product portfolio and feature 50 percent smaller footprints than the company’s current 15-kW and 30-kW solutions.