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EETE JULAUG 2014

Prototyping with ARM Cortex-M: Get the Altium boost This month, Altium Ltd is offering EETimes Europe’s readers the chance to win one TASKING VX-Toolset for ARM Reader O f f er Cortex-M Premium Edition, normally licensed for 2.395 Euros, for ultra-rapid prototyping and code development around ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers. The VX-toolset for ARM is the first TASKING compiler suite to receive the Software Platform technology, which is seamlessly integrated into the toolset’s Eclipse based IDE. The complete offering also includes a C/C++ compiler, simulator and hardware debugger, and a wide collection of frequently used middleware components, such as TCP/ IP, USB, CAN, web server, graphical user-interface, and an RTOS. At the cost of a traditional development toolset the developer gets everything needed to build an application much faster than is possible with other compiler suites and additional third party middleware components. Check the reader offer online at www.electronics-eetimes.com Time-of-flight sensor brings gesture recognition to car cockpit Belgian chipmaker Melexis is utilizing the time-of-flight 3D motion sensing technology from software company SoftKinetics, also from Belgium, to implement a sensor chip that detects gestures to control several functions within the car. Thus, the Melexis chip enhances the range of basic technologies to be employed in Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs): Besides pusing buttons, turning knobs or issue spoken instructions to the vehicle, now HMI concepts also can include gestures. The technology will be used in the infotainment domain in the first place. The MLX75023 camera sensor, featuring SoftKinetic technology and manufactured in Melexis’ Automotive grade CMOS mixed signal process, is the highest resolution 3D sensor available. Unlike competing implementations, it works in full sunlight, making it the perfect solution for a vehicle’s cockpit. It can be used for natural 3D gesture recognition and driver monitoring, bringing a new level of infotainment navigation control and safety features. The MLX75023 features a resolution in QVGA format (320 x 240 pixel). It represents an implementation of SoftKinetic’s DepthSense 3D Imaging technology and will typically be used with that company’s image processing software. Now drivers can adjust the temperature and radio, or make a phone call, using simple gestures and without taking their eyes off the road. Driver behavior and context can be monitored, creating a safer environment for all passengers. Melexis www.melexis.com Acoustic middleware improves hands-free sound quality The weakest part of the communications link in cars typically is not the wireless connection but the sound quality of the hands-free equipment. Software maker QNX now has introduced a new version of its Acoustics middleware platform that could resolve this problem. QNX Acoustics for Voice 3.0 targets high-end hands-free equipment and voice recognition systems, offering improved echo cancellation and noise reduction, adaptive equalisation, and automatic volume control. In addition, the software supports the Wideband Plus voice recognition standard and thus meets the requirements regarding sound quality as defined by the latest smartphone connectivity protocols for telephony and VoIP services. According to QNX, the software has been developed with the intention to filter out noise generated by the vehicle’s wheels, engine, air conditioning and similar sources. The software features an improved voice recognition algorithm for Wideband Plus that causes less CPU load. As a result, more CPU power is available for other acoustic and infotainment applications. A comprehensive diagnosis tool set facilitates the fine-tuning of the parameters and thus enables users to reduce the time-to-market. Voice recognition can be handled quite flexible: Depending on the user’s requirement, this function can be implemented in the cloud or embedded in the car. QNX Acoustics www.qnx.com Paper-thin batteries target Internet-of-Things STMicroelectronics has announced limited production of its EnFilm advanced rechargeable batteries that are less than 0.25mm thick. These paper-thin batteries free designers from the constraints of standard battery sizes for personal technology and Internetof Things (IoT) devices. At 220μm thick and measuring 25.7x25.7mm, ST’s EFL700A39 EnFilm solid-state lithium thin-film battery is suited for use in ultra-low-profile devices. Surface-mount terminals allow direct attachment to the circuit board, which simplifies assembly and eliminates wires and connectors. Optional tape-and-reel packaging allows high-speed automated placement. With 3.9V nominal voltage and 0.7mAh capacity, the EFL700A39 can power a wide range of applications. Its lithium technology recharges rapidly from a 4.2V charging circuit and displays low capacity loss as well as long cycle life allowing some 10 years of use if charged once per day. The EFL700A39 is RoHS compliant and UL certified, satisfies UN tests and criteria for battery transportation, meets IEC 62133 safety specifications, and meets the ISO7816/IEC10373 mechanical and flexibility standards for smart cards. STMicroelectronics www.st.com 46 Electronic Engineering Times Europe July/August 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE JULAUG 2014
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