Electronica 2010: Component suppliers target automotive applications

Electronic component and system suppliers are showcasing a host of solutions at Electronica 2010 that are aimed at a variety of automotive applications ranging from electric vehicles (EVs) chargers to automotive safety systems.

Delphi is displaying a variety of products including high-voltage connection systems, a portable electric-vehicle charging unit, data connectivity products, miniaturized components and automated assembly technologies.

Delphi Connection Systems, for example, has expanded its portfolio of cables, connectors, and consumer ports to allow communication of audio, video, and navigation data throughout the vehicle. The company recently launched an enhanced online catalog featuring more than 100,000 records with product details for transportation, aerospace, military and commercial markets.

Delphi says improvements to the user interface and additional data attributes now allow customers to locate the products they are searching for in less time

Delphi Automotive is offering a new family of connection systems aimed at demanding applications such as commercial vehicles and construction equipment. The Harsh Environment Series (HES) offers SAE J2030-validated 24 shell size circular connectors, pin and sleeve terminals and a SAE J1939 diagnostic connector. The HES connection systems are compatible with existing systems and integrate into vehicle manufacturers’ existing applications.

These interconnects are well-suited for making connections in a firewall pass-through location, engine compartments and any high-density, in-line application. The connectors also can be used in agricultural vehicles and marine applications. They offer up to a 50 percent improvement in sealing performance thanks to Delphi’s three-rib design.

Delphi Automotive also is displaying its new Charge Port Coupler Cordset for electric vehicles at the IAA CV Show. The company announced the product in the United States in April, and now has a European version under development at its Customer Technical Center in Wuppertal, Germany.

Delphi expects this system to provide one of the safest, most innovative charging solutions, allowing consumers to plug into existing electrical infrastructure. The system is well-suited for the commercial vehicle market, particularly for city transport, such as service and utility vehicles, buses and delivery trucks, which have been among the first types of vehicles to make the transition to electric power, said Delphi.

The Charge Coupler Cordset is targeted at all electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle automakers, giving them the option to provide a charging system in the trunk of every plug-in vehicle on the road, said Delphi.

Also aimed at hybrid and electric vehicles, Avago Technologies has introduced an automotive-qualified gate drive optocoupler with an extended temperature range. The Avago ACPL-38JT 2.5-amp optocoupler is qualified to AEC-Q100 Grade 1 stress test requirements, delivering safe electrical signal isolation from -40&deg: to +125°C.

Increasing consumer demand for hybrid and electrical vehicles with more powerful engines has car makers and their suppliers seeking more robust gate drive optocouplers to help drive higher-capacity engines, as well as battery charger and DC-DC converter systems, said Avago.

The highly-integrated ACPL-38JT power control device incorporates a complete insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) driver for signal switching, along with desaturation detection and fault status feedback systems for constant signal protection.


The device is part of the Avago R2Coupler family of optocouplers with reinforced insulation for reliable signal isolation, which is critical in automotive and high-temperature industrial applications such as isolated IGBT/power MOSFET gate drives, industrial inverters, AC and brushless DC motor drives, and uninterruptable power supplies.

During power-up, the ACPL-38JT optocoupler’s under-voltage lock-out (UVLO) protection feature protects the IGBT from receiving insufficient gate voltage by forcing lower output. The integrated IGBT gate driver is designed to increase the performance and reliability of a motor drive without the cost, size and complexity of a discrete design, said Avago.

Available in a 16-lead small outline (SO-16) surface-mount package, the device is compliant to UL 1577, IEC/EN/DIN EN 60747-5-2 and CSA industrial safety standards.

The ACPL-38JT optocouplers are priced at $4.15 in quantities of 10,000. Samples and production quantities are available now through the Avago direct sales channel and via worldwide distribution partners.

Avago also introduced cyan-colored high-power LEDs optimized for traffic signals. The ASMT-JC11 and ASMT-AC00 1-watt LEDs offer high lumens output and high energy efficiency in small footprint packages that boost design flexibility. The devices also effectively address sign backlighting and architectural, commercial and decorative lighting applications, said Avago.

Addressing space constraints, the new LEDs are available in one of the industry’s smallest footprints of 5 x 4 x 1.85-mm for the ASMT-JC11 device’s 6-leaded small outline package (SOP). Both devices can withstand maximum current of up to 500 mA to provide high-flux-output performance of 58 lumens at 350 mA. The high-flux output results in more efficient designs that use fewer LEDs to achieve an application’s required lumens, said Avago.

Both new LEDs feature an exposed thermal pad for efficient heat dissipation and low thermal resistance of 10°C per watt, delivering better reliability over their operating life. High maximum allowable junction temperatures of 150°C for the ASMT-JC11 device and 135°C for ASMT-AC00 device enable the LEDs to be driven in stringent operating conditions.

The devices offer a best-in-class electrostatic discharge (ESD) resistance of 16 kV. As a result, special ESD protection equipment is not required to handle the parts during installation, thereby reducing production costs, said Avago. The LEDs have an electrically neutral heat sink pad that allows them to be configured in an array using a common metal substrate without fear of electrical shorting, which simplifies thermal design.

Prices for the ASMT-JC11 and ASMT-AC00 LEDs start at less than $2.00 each in quantities of 1,000.

Freescale Semiconductor also has beefed up its automotive portfolio with a new family of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) and wide dynamic range accelerometers.

The company has unveiled its next-generation 32-bit MCUs designed specifically for automotive applications at this week’s show. The Qorivva microcontroller families, based on Power Architecture technology, are built using a unique 55 nanometer (nm) non-volatile memory (NVM) process for improved power efficiency and cost efficiency.

The 55-nm Qorivva MCU families address key challenges in a new generation of smarter and more connected vehicles, including the need for increased performance, new safety requirements and enhanced security features.

Freescale says MCUs with multiple cores help build redundancy into the system for the fault monitoring and distributed control required by safety-critical applications. In addition, the company’s unique design process documents all the features and functions of the MCU so automotive manufacturers have all of the necessary, detailed information during the required safety certification processes.

Key features include configurable peripheral sets such as flexible timers and motor control systems, and digital signal processing capabilities for additional functionality.

The Qorivva MCUs also provide increased processing speeds that allow more complex control algorithms, increased on-chip memory content (flash and RAM) to significantly reduce the need for off-chip memory, intelligent peripheral sets to drive complex control systems such as transmission solenoids, complex injectors and electric motors, with minimal overhead from the microprocessor core.

The family also offers improved, embedded sensor interfaces to allow simple connection to next-generation automotive sensors, and high-speed analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) designed to meet the different needs of the latest interfaces.

Many devices in this family also will feature Freescale’s advanced safety architecture for next-generation powertrain systems.

Each 55 nm Qorivva MCU comes with a full run-time software solution, including AUTOSAR MCAL driver suites and AUTOSAR real-time operating system for single-core and multicore MCUs. Qorivva MCUs also are supported by development tools, including high-performance compiler support and multicore debuggers from Freescale development partners and Freescale’s own CodeWarrior tool set.

The Qorivva MCU families built on 55nm process technology are planned for availability in early 2012.

Freescale also expanded its line of Xtrinsic intelligent sensors with the addition of the MMA6900Q and MMA6901Q accelerometers for advanced automotive active safety applications.

The Xtrinsic MMA6900Q and MMA6901Q accelerometers offer a wide dynamic range of sensing, with exceptionally high resolution, said Freescale. Designers of advanced automotive safety systems are able to filter out extraneous signals such as parasitic vibrations, which could potentially interfere with the vehicle’s lateral acceleration measurement.

The Xtrinsic MMA6900Q and MMA6901Q accelerometers are based on Freescale’s next-generation, high-aspect-ratio microelectromechanical systems (HARMEMS) technology, aimed at airbag sensing applications. The HARMEMS technology is said to provide over-damped mechanical response and exceptional signal-to-noise ratio to address customer requirements. Over-damped HARMEMS technology enables a high degree of immunity to high-frequency, high-amplitude parasitic vibrations.

For ESC applications, the higher signal-to-noise ratio combined with Freescale’s DSP-based signal chain is designed to provide a wide range and high sensitivity with less than one least significant bit (LSB) noise.

Key features include:
–+/-3.5 g or +/-5 g full-scale range per axis
MMA6900Q: +/-3.5 g (11-bit data sensitivity = 3.43 mg/digit typical at 25 degrees C)
MMA6901Q: +/-5 g (11-bit data sensitivity = 4.91 mg/digit typical at 25 degrees C)

The Xtrinsic MMA6900Q and MMA6901Q accelerometers are available now starting at $4.55 in quantities of 10,000. Freescale Tower System modules are offered for both accelerometers for rapid evaluation and prototyping. Suggested resale price for the boards is $19.

The Xtrinsic MMA6900Q and MMA6901Q accelerometers are included in Freescale’s product longevity program, with ensures supply for a minimum of 15 years.

Similarly, STMicroelectronics has recently introduced a new family of high-g acceleration sensors for advanced airbag systems. These MEMS devices detect the rapid deceleration of the vehicle during a crash and send instant information to the airbag control unit.

The AIS1xxxDS peripheral-sensor accelerometers provide single-axis in-plane motion sensing across five full-scale ranges, from +/-20 g up to +/-400 g. An on-chip IC interface converts the deceleration data into a high-resolution digital bit stream that is transmitted to a dedicated microcontroller chip through a standard DSI protocol. Sophisticated algorithms decide whether or not to deploy the airbag within a few milliseconds, said ST.


The devices are qualified to AEC-Q100 and operate over an extended temperature range from -40 to 125°C. The sensing part of the airbag accelerometer is fabricated on ST’s 8-inch MEMS line, which has produced more than 850 million motion sensors to date.

Samples are available and volume production is scheduled for 2012. Unit pricing is $3 in quantities of 1,000.

Aptina has expanded its family of automotive imaging solutions with the launch of the MT9M024 image sensor. The 1.2-megapixel, 1/3-inch optical format sensor provides a variety of advanced features that include high dynamic range (HDR) greater than 115 dB, full motion compensation and DR-Pix technology that enhances the performance of the pixel in very low light conditions.

This extension of the dynamic range results in excellent image quality in widely contrasting lighting conditions such as forward-facing or viewing automotive applications, said Aptina.

The MT9M024 provides high performance with HD video capability (720p/60fps) and excellent pixel sensitivity for capturing details in very low light environments. The advanced imaging technology improves driver safety for automotive forward-facing solutions like lane departure warning (LDW) and traffic sign recognition (TSR). The device also is surround-view ready.

The AEC-Q100 qualified sensor is available in a 9 x 9-mm iBGA package. The operating temperature range is -40°C to +105°C. The sensor offers additional features such as on-chip automatic exposure (AE), statistics engine, context switching, temperature sensor, parallel and serial outputs and auto black level calibration.

The MT9M024 is currently sampling and will be in production starting in the third quarter of 2011.

Silicon Laboratories Inc. has claimed the industry’s most highly integrated car radio tuner IC family, incorporating the entire radio tuner solution from antenna input to audio output in a single CMOS IC. The Si475x radio tuners are based on the company’s digital low-IF architecture. (See Electronica Product Roundup: Day 1 for more information.)

ON Semiconductor has launched three new products specifically targeted at the automotive market sector. All three devices support current and next generation body electronics applications.

The NCV7321 is a fully featured local interconnect network (LIN) transceiver designed to interface between a LIN protocol controller and the physical bus in low data rate in-vehicle networking (IVN) applications. The device offers excellent electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) coupled with system level electrostatic discharge (ESD) performance of up to 13 kilovolts (kV) that eliminates the need for external ESD components.


The NCV7321, housed in a SOIC-8 package, can be used in a wide range of body electronics functions such as door locks, power mirrors and seat adjusters, as well as other functions including electronic steering locks and tire guard electronic control units (ECUs).

The NCV7321 draws only 10 mu;A in sleep mode. Other key features include thermal shutdown, indefinite short circuit protection and 45 volts (V) load dump protection.

The NCV7608 is an octal configurable low-side / high-side driver. The compact AEC Q10X-12 (rev.A) qualified SOIC-28W packaged device operates at junction temperatures ranging from -40°C to +150&degC. The device offers designers greater flexibility with driving a large number of loads with a wide input voltage range of 3.15 V to 5.25 V, and eight fully independent output drivers that can be configured in any combination of high-side, low-side, or half-bridge configurations.

Digital control of all output stages can be carried out through the integrated standard serial peripheral interface (SPI). This also allows diagnostic fault information to be acquired, said ON Semiconductor. In addition, four channels can be pulse width modulation (PWM) controlled via external control input pins. The device has a typical on state resistance (RDSON) of 1.2 ohms, at 25°C, helping to extend battery life.

The device also features positive/negative transient, over-current, and over-temperature protection functions. Integrated clamping circuits (both in high-side and low-side operational modes) ensure over-voltage protection plus under-voltage lockout.

The NCV786xx power ballast and dual LED driver product platform is designed for advanced LED front lighting systems. Developed to support system level requirements for driving multiple LED strings of up to 60 V, PWM dimming to maintain LED color temperature, and controlled average current, the product platform enables designers to control high and low beams, daytime running lights, turn indicators, and fog lights with one system-on-chip (SoC) device.

The platform allows communication with an external microcontroller to change operating parameters after power-up, implement LED-short detection, and provide advanced system diagnostics.