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In brief

01 August, 2003

In brief

• The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) has approved the 802.3af-2003 standard which defines a specification for carrying power over standard Ethernet cables. The IEEE expects the standard to result in thousands of new products which will increase the take-up of Ethernet, especially in applications where separate power cabling would add significantly to the costs…

…At the same time, California-based Pulse has announced a range of IEEE 802.3af-compliant transformer modules for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) applications. The devices can upgrade existing Ethernet installations to PoE operation, allowing remote devices to receive power and data over the same unshielded twisted-pair cable. They can deliver 15W to devices such as cameras, remote sensors and transducers, located 100m away.

International Rectifier has developed a servo and motor drive module which integrates bridge, brake and inverter functions in a single device. The 1.2kV, 15A module is a closed-loop control building block for high-performance induction and brushless motor and servo drives. Built-in protection circuits can disable PWM operation and use a "double path" technique to ensure redundancy and maximum safety.

• The US motor developer UQM Technologies has won a $630,000 contract from the US Air Force to convert a half-tonne pick-up truck to all-electric operation, using an electronically controlled 100kW permanent magnet motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. CAN communications will be used and sub-systems such as power steering and air conditioning will be electrically powered.

Digi International has developed a serial-to-Bluetooth adaptor which acts as a wireless replacement for RS-232 serial cables, allowing peripherals to be connected simply, securely and reliably to a host. The Wavespeed/S adaptors have an adjustable transmission range of 10-100m, and can connect to any serial port with no changes in the host PC or application software.

• The ZigBee Alliance, which is developing a low-cost, low-power wireless networking technology, has announced its endorsement of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard for low-power monitoring and control applications. The Alliance is defining the network, transport and applications layers that lie above the IEEE layers. The networks will include star, mesh, and hybrid topologies.

Data Device Corporation has announced a low-cost resolver-to-digital converter with an accuracy of 1 arc-minute — which it claims is the highest available. The monolithic converters take analogue AC inputs from resolvers and convert them to a digital angular format. The RD-19230FX device has programmable resolution from 10-bit to 16-bit.

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