The expectation for seminars like this is that they are not going to be information treasure troves but there might be a couple nuggets that justify the time spent. The following are take-aways from attending presentations by Cypress, ST, MuRata, and Analog Devices and walking and talking on the vendor floor.
The Cypress presentation focused on PSoC 6. These parts can be had with two core in the part, an M4 and M0. They also have the option for a Bluetooth radio that will be version 5 compliant to come degree. They come with the configurable analog and logic blocks that we’ve heard about since the introduction of PSoC. To some degree the logic can be configured with Verilog code which suggests it might be capable of advanced logic functions. In the past the added development time for peripheral configuration and weak microcontroller has limited the appeal of PSoC. The PSoC 6 might now have a sufficiently capable microcontroller but most applications will probably still not want to incur the additional development time associated with peripheral configuration.
The ST presentation was mostly reiterated the topologies and solutions for offline flyback and buck conversion. Some of their offline converters might have some uniqueness in that they can be applied to either a flyback topology or high voltage buck topology with the way the feedback is implemented. Some of the DC-DC converters can be configured to use the high side as a circuit reference. This may have an efficiency advantage as well as other benefits that were not clear in the presentation. This probably deserves more research to understand the advantages of configuring the converter this way.
Murata has a number of BLE, WiFi, and WiFi + Bluetooth modules based on silicon from several manufacturers. The most intriguing thing was the various software solutions offered. Some of their modules are Linux system on chips. For these they suggested the Android Things platform to make including IoT services more turnkey as opposed to Yocto. For embedded wireless systems on a
John Kruse gave an exceptionally competent presentation on the new medical device standard IEC60601 and Analog Devices’ solutions to meet it. The new standard increases the ESD and EMI withstand requirements while lowering product radiation requirements. The interesting part was that the devices recommended for these harsher than typical conditions where the next generation of ADuM isolators that compete with isolators from other suppliers. Experience has shown that the ADuM series performs better than other solutions when subjected to EMI so it’s encouraging to know the next generation parts will perform even better. John offered an interesting anecdote of using SP724 SCRs for ESD protection because of its high speed and energy handling capacity. John should be kept in mind as a resource for helping EMI/EMC problems.
One thing that stood out in the vendor hall were the large powder core inductors that Vishay and Pulse offered. They could be an option for high power buck converters.
Since there have been a few notices around the obsolescence of Cypress’ PRoC BLE module a conversation with a Cypress representative completed the story. Cypress is obsoleting the PRoC BLE module but the PSoC 4 with BLE can be substituted since it is the same functionally. The PSoC 4 will continue to be produced along side the more capable PSoC 6.
An inquiry at the OSRAM booth for high CRI white solutions received the answer that their some of their OSTAR RGBW parts include a high CRI white. A little additional information gathering revealed that OSRAM will also have a high power tunable white solution called Splitstar.