Market Insights

Embedded World 2016 – Ever More Successful

April 01, 2016 by Roland Ackerman

This discusses the key events in Embedded World 2016 Exhibition & Conference in Nuremberg end February.

Embedded technologies all around: The "embedded world 2016" Exhibition & Conference in Nuremberg end February was bigger than ever, with more exhibitors (939 from 38 countries) and more exhibition space booked. 


Embedded World 2016 Entrance Area
Figure 1: Embedded World 2016 Entrance Area


After three days, more than 30,000 expert visitors (+17%, about 10,000 from outside Germany) had attended the annual summit meeting of this industry segment and became familiar with the current trends and new concepts. The special areas – M2M, electronic displays and new safety&security – focused on three important topics for the industry, bridging the gaps between scientific expertise, practical innovation and pioneering products and services at the exhibition halls.

The embedded community has discussed future challenges for embedded system technologies in the conferences accompanying the exhibition, and in the halls themselves. Naturally, as with all events these days, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 were the dominating topics, in close combination with everything that´s prerequisite to make these plans and dreams come true: components, innovative solutions, safety and security, and not to forget: efficiency and power. 


Embedded Award

For the 12th time in succession, the Embedded Award has recognized innovative products and solutions that make a special contribution to the advancement of the entire sector of embedded systems and the IoT. And the winners were:

Keolabs wins in the hardware category with IoTize – a flexible communication solution that can contribute to the continued growth of the Internet of Things. This solution uses common communication interfaces (e.g. NFC, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy and WiFi), but also existing embedded solutions that do not currently have a network connection. Neither expert knowledge nor changes to current hardware and software are needed to connect IoTize. IoTize uses the system processor’s debugging interface to record relevant communication data. 

QNX Software Systems impressed in the software category with QNX OS for Safety – a special operating system that has been pre-certified up to IEC 61508:2010 SIL 3 in order to effectively support developers in this task. The system enables solutions to be rapidly developed for industrial systems, railway systems, robotics, medical diagnostics, surgical techniques and automotive applications. QNX OS for Safety is built on a highly reliable software architecture proven in nuclear power plants, train control systems, laser eye-surgery devices and a variety of other safety-critical environments. 

Goepel electronic triumphs in the tools category with JEDOS (JTAG Embedded Diagnostics OS), embarking on a completely new path to embedded system diagnostics. This specially developed test and diagnostics operating system is able to perform functional circuit tests on the native processor in real time. No special test software or flash-resident firmware is required. JEDOS features maximum fault coverage and comprehensive diagnostics for digital, analogue and mixed-signal components. 


Conference Session "Ultra-Low Power"

Power specialists were especially interested in the conference session Ultra Low Power. The proceedings included five papers with the following titles: 

  • Selecting Microcontrollers for IoT and Other Battery-Powered Applications
  • Seven Essential Low-power Software Techniques for MCU Embedded Developers
  • Affordable Energy Autonomous Wireless Sensor for Day and Night
  • Vibration Energy Harvesting Sensor Node with Bluetooth Smart Communication
  • Increased Efficiency in a Vibration Based Energy Harvesting System by Using a SSHI Circuit.


Small Selections of New Products Exhibited:


Prismatic Semi-Smart Standard Battery Packs with Chargers 

RRC power solutions has enhanced its standard battery pack series to include two single-cell prismatic Li-Ion batteries. There are characterized by a slim and compact design with high energy density. 

The special feature of both 1S1P configurations consists in the use of smart technology features in combination with a prismatic Li-ion cell. The electronics contain a gas gauge and security features, e.g. voltage, current and temperature monitoring. This data can be transferred via I²C interface between the battery and the application. The RRC1120 and RRC1130 are standard Li-Ion Smart Single Cell Packs with 3.7V at 2000 mAh and 7.4 Wh for the RRC1120 and 3.8 V, 3880 mAh and 14.7 Wh for the RRC1130. The battery packs come standard with worldwide approvals. 
Compatible battery chargers also are available. The RRC-SCC1120 and RRC-SCC1130 are 5 Watt desktop chargers that are custom tailored to the battery packs. Comprehensive approvals will allow worldwide usage. 


Power Solutions Portfolio

Specifically addressing 40V power for industrial applications, Exar has a range of solutions that include its XR76203/05/08 Synchronous Step-Down Constant on-Time Regulators, its XR79203/06 High Current Power Modules and its XR77129 Single-Chip 40V Programmable PMIC. These parts feature industry-leading performance: regulators with exceptional line/load regulation, modules with the highest power density and smallest size and controllers that solve unique and difficult power conversion challenges. 


Industry’s Smallest IO-Link Transceiver Reduces Power Dissipation by More Than 50% 


MAX14827 enables intelligent sensors
Figure 2: MAX14827 enables intelligent sensors


Maxim Integrated’s MAX14827 enables intelligent sensors with reduced maintenance and increased uptime with continuous diagnostics and monitoring.
Industrial systems designers now have a robust IOLink dual-channel transceiver that dissipates the lowest heat in the smallest package with the MAX14827 from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM).
The Industry 4.0 revolution is enabling smarter factories to increase productivity and manufacturing flexibility. IO-Link sensors enable this revolution by bringing intelligence and control down to the factory floor. Sensors are getting smaller and need to deliver more functionality, while ensuring robust communications. Power is also critical because these sensors are small and it is difficult to dissipate heat. The MAX14827 dual-channel, 250mA transceiver meets these requirements, while also integrating high-voltage functions commonly found in industrial sensors, including drivers and regulators. It features two ultra-low power drivers with active reverse-polarity protection to reduce downtime.


Extended Wireless Power Range with 15W Transmitter IC 


Wireless power transmitter IC with a 15W transmission capability
Figure 3: Wireless power transmitter IC with a 15W transmission capability


Toshiba Electronics Europe has launched a compact and efficient. In combination with a host microcontroller, the TC7718FTG realises a wireless power transmission system compliant with WPC Qi version 1.2[1]. 
Built on Toshiba’s proprietary, cutting edge CD-0.13 semiconductor process, the TC7718FTG combines a small package with high efficiency. This simplifies system integration and ensures charging systems with small footprints. A 15W wireless transmitter system based on the new IC will recharge devices quickly, at a rate equal to or faster than wired chargers. 
The new IC is ideal for smartphone and tablet charging stand applications. In addition, the 15W rating of the device extends the possibility of wireless charging to industrial products and other higher power applications that may require more energy or longer charging times than consumer devices.


World’s Smallest and Lowest Power 64-bit ARM-based Processor 

NXP Semiconductors has introduced the tiny QorIQ LS1012A processor, delivering enterprise-class performance and security capabilities to consumer and networking applications, all in a package size normally associated with microcontrollers. Combining a 64-bit ARMv8-based processor with network packet acceleration and QorIQ trust architecture security capabilities, the device features line-rate networking performance at 1W typical power in a 9.6mm x 9.6mm package. 

This new NXP processor is designed to enable the creation of entirely new classes of products which combine battery-powered operation with line-rate networking. The QorIQ LS1012A is also ideal for a range of established and fast-growing applications including next-generation IoT gateways, portable entertainment platforms, high-performance portable storage applications featuring mobile HDD, and mobile storage for cameras, tablets and other rechargeable devices.


Ambient Energy Manager 

Belgian start-up e-peas semiconductors introduced its highly efficient, dual regulated output, ambient energy manager. The AEM10940 is an ambient energy harvesting chip dedicated to wireless sensor nodes applications, harvesting the available input power from 1 µW to 50 mW.. With the lowest power cold-start – it can start operating with an empty storage element at an input voltage as low as 380 mV and an input power of just 11 µW – and the smallest footprint on the market, it is particularly suited for low-light indoor applications. 

The AEM10940 extracts DC power from PV cells or TEGs to simultaneously store energy in a rechargeable element and supply the system with two independent regulated voltages. This allows product designers and engineers to extend battery lifetime and ultimately get rid of the primary energy storage element in a large range of wireless applications like industrial monitoring, geolocation, home automation or wearables. Also presented was the dedicated AEM10940 power-IC platform (see photo).  


Tiny 3W DC/DC Converter

Power-specialist Recom introduced its new RI3 3W DC/DC converter in a SIP4 package as small as 11.5mm x 10.2mm, i.e. with the same dimensions as the 2W version. Power density is 3.365 W/cm³; depending on the load, the device can be operated at -40 to +85°C or even +100°C without derating. In derating mode the module reduces its power to prevent overheating. Efficiency goes up to 90%. With an I/O isolating voltage between 1 and 3kW DC the devices are available with input voltages of 5, 12, 15 and 24V.


This article originally appeared in the Bodo’s Power Systems magazine.