Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Protect your Design or IP

If you have made an electronic product with a new circuit or code and need to protect it, then these are some Methods. If your Intellectual Property is an Idea, A Hardware Innovation or Software Application; It may need some protection other than patents. Sometimes patents are used for general applications and generic designs. Patent only an Original Idea or Innovation or an Exclusive and Unique Method.

Microcomputer Circuits in Process Control.

Protect your Design or IP

If you are small and the innovation very big, tie up with established companies with reputed brands. If you are a source for a certain product component or module, make certain restriction on patenting products made from it. Else, your Module or Application Sales may be jammed by Panic Patents.

That is the reason, the Platform that fosters innovation is Open Source.

1. Security Bit -

Use for digital logic area, an atmel uC with security bit protection or any uC-uP with internal memory read protected with security bit. the firmware should be kept in tight control from both external people and your employees and must be on a non-networked and non-internet machine.

2. Hermetically seal -

This is a crude and ancient way, delete the chip part numbers and pot it in a plastic can with ciba araldite epoxy with alumina filler, this way product may not be copied and it will be immune to vibration and corrosive environment. but heat dissipation and serviceability is affected, so make a epoxy potted module of only some part of the circuit.

3. Make ASIC or FPGA -

ASIC is only for volume production and is copy protected, if you design in-house and the chip maker you order is trustworthy, then this is ok, for small volume production use FPGA, CPLD, DSP uC or uP with read protection as practical.

Embedded Systems - More about uC based designs are here.

4. Go open source -

Design a circuit and put it on the internet to share, let the community use it and improve it, here also revenue is made by service of product, custom design and customer support and this will work long term free of tensions. This way has proved to foster greater innovation and stable technologies.

(my dairy log 2002, Amps-n-Volts June 2005, Now logged here - delabs)

Monday, May 02, 2016

Embedded Linux Devices and Gadgets

Embedded Linux is not only Open Source, but can be adapted to any type of dedicated embedded system. It is more like a configurable firmware for Embedded Equipment. Its ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently makes it more friendly and stable, compared to any other OS.

When you look at the History of Operating Systems, you will see that that an OS that meant serious business was UNIX. It was the anvil for the creation of the C Language and AWK. Now we have Linux, the evolved Unix like OS, which is comfortable and versatile for Networking and Clustering.

Related Reading
Here is a Embedded Linux Wiki for the embedded product design community.

Gadgets and Appliances are become increasingly complex. More memory and CPU power for small devices are commonplace. Linux is one OS that can be muntzed to the smallest size. This helps developers make something like a super-firmware. Just what you need for that device, can be the OS.

Touchscreens for Home Appliances, wireless networking and web enabled consumer electronics make Linux an excellent escalation from "Firmware". For tiny systems a firmware is the OS. For complex devices today, Linux is user configured firmware.

Leopardboard DM355

Leopardboard DM355
  • High-performance Digital Media System on Chip 
  • ARM926EJ-S core 
  • Video Processing Subsystem (VPSS) 
DM355 combines high performance MPEG4 HD (720p) codecs and JPEG codecs up to 50M pixels per second, high quality, and low power consumption at a very low price point.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Surgical Tools useful for Manufacturing

Long ago, i was making and supplying some hybrid electronics to some firms. The soldering and handling required some tools and custom jigs which were designed. As the product was mass produced, some tools for managing and working on Tiny PCB's and parts were not available in the market.

Electronic Product Production Manufacturing

So a affordable solution was created, the jigs were supplemented by surgical tools. These are the Clips and Tweezers that a doctor uses when he conducts an operation.

Surgical Tools useful for Manufacturing

Let use see one here an Hemostat Clamp and other tools at P J Tool and Supply

Call it Forceps, Tweezers or Pliers. These tools, both the bent/arched/curved one and straight are useful.

When you go to a Surgical Supplies Store, Buy some Filter Paper, capillary tubes and a spirit lamp as well. These can find a lot of good use in the ultimate quest for the God Particle. Beat the Swiss to it.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

National Semiconductor

National Semiconductor was an American semiconductor manufacturer, that specialized in analog devices and subsystems, formerly headquartered in Santa Clara, California, USA. The products of National Semiconductor included power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, communication interface products and data conversion solutions.

Wiki of National Semiconductor

National's key markets included wireless handsets, displays and a variety of broad electronics markets, including medical, automotive, industrial, and test and measurement applications.

On September 23, 2011, the company formally became part of Texas Instruments as the "Silicon Valley" division.

An Exquisite Evaluation Board from National Semiconductor

The LMH0356 Serial Digital Interface (SDI) reclocker is designed to recover a clean clock from a serial digital video signal which may be contaminated by jitter and to resynchronize the input video data to the recovered clean clock. The LMH0356 SDI reclocker accepts signals conforming to standards SMPTE 259M (C), SMPTE 292M, and SMPTE 424M.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Blind Dial Proportional Temperature Controller

This is a Low cost controller, Analog Dial Temperature Controller. It is also called Blind Controller. This essentially means Open Loop, just control the fuel or energy input to the system to regulate heat. This is not a Blind Controller that way, it only cannot display the temperature value, that could be another reason it is called blind.

Blind Dial Proportional Temperature Controller

Blind Temperature Controller

Dial cyclic timers were used to control heat, these were purely mechanical clockwork devices. They could regulate well, when the material flow (liquid) is constant and mains power is regulated. But when the job to be heated, varies in quantity, control temperature is close to ambient or when a precise control is required; closed loop controllers are used. Even a thermostat is like closed loop, as the bimetallic sensor is temperature dependent. But not good enough.

This controller is closed loop, precision controller, only the digital display of temperature is absent. Fine one deg variations may not be easy in this.

Blind Dial Proportional Temperature Controller

Blind Dial Proportional Temperature Controller

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The MOSFET in Power Electronics

delabs Notes - In a Circuit Module, if all Power and Signal Polarities are reversed. All NPN to PNP, All N-Channel to P-Channel and Vice Versa. All Diodes and Caps too turned around. This Topsy Turvy or Mirror Design ought to work in Theory. It has worked for some circuits in practice too in my experience. ?

Some believe that N-Channel is more Robust than the P Type. In Bipolar Transistor NPN is more trusted for the final output stages. The NPN Transistor and N-Channel turn-on by a Positive control bias. It may be inappropriate to say this mosfet is NPN or PNP.

The MOSFET in Power Electronics
The traditional metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) structure is obtained by growing a layer of silicon dioxide (SiO2) on top of a silicon substrate and depositing a layer of metal or polycrystalline silicon (the latter is commonly used). As the silicon dioxide is a dielectric material, its structure is equivalent to a planar capacitor, with one of the electrodes replaced by a semiconductor.

If the MOSFET is an n-channel or nMOS FET, then the source and drain are "n+" regions and the body is a "p" region. If the MOSFET is a p-channel or pMOS FET, then the source and drain are "p+" regions and the body is a "n" region. The source is so named because it is the source of the charge carriers (electrons for n-channel, holes for p-channel) that flow through the channel; similarly, the drain is where the charge carriers leave the channel. MOSFET - Wikipedia

This application note discusses the breakdown voltage, on-resistance, transconductance, threshold voltage, diode forward voltage, power dissipation, dynamic characteristics, gate charge and dV/dt capability of the power MOSFET.
Application Note AN-1084 Power MOSFET Basics - IRF

A MOSFET is a transistor. It is a Metal Oxide Field Effect Transistor. Here are the symbols for FETs and MOSFETs: The MOSFET How the MOSFET works

The conductivity of the path from Source to drain is controlled by applying a voltage between the gate and the body of the semiconductor. N-channel enhancement MOSFET

See this simple circuit that explains everything
n-channel MOSFET switch - George Watson, Univ. of Delaware, 1996.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

EDA and Product Design Ideas

Product Design Optimization - Some Ideas of mine that are decades old , related to EDA and Product Design.

Make Practical (it works), Affordable, Usable (ergonomics), Safe, Reliable (robust), Durable and Consistent, Maintainable (means servicing) Products.

EDA CAD Circuit Design Software Tools

EDA and Product Design Ideas

Electronics Product Design Development 

Dust and Contamination in Connectors

Once i opened a RF Millivolt Meter of Marconi Instruments. It did not have a spec of dust inside, not even one micron size of dust particle.

Connectors exposed to Environment should not only be Corrosion resistant but also Dust, Grime & Insect Proof! Dummy Covers on exposed units.

Air Vents, Fans & Unused Slots in Modular Instruments. Missing Fasteners in cabinets, gaps in panel components collect Dust & Insects inside

Dust + Moisture + Smoke + Pollutants = Conductive Grime Deposits on PCB, Parts & in-between the IC pins. Can Simulation include this aspect.

Virtual Environmental Testing a part of simulation and EDA, just like Mechanical Modelling and Studying Thermal Gradients on PCB.