Monday, December 18, 2017

What Do You Need to Have a Successful & Robust LIDAR System?

The GPX2 Time-to-Digital Converter is the Economical Answer

LIDAR is being used in a variety of applications today; from autonomous vehicles like drones, cars, and trucks to even collision avoidance systems. The LIDAR system needs to be robust and operate in hostile environmental conditions like temperature extremes and also deal with the variety of weather conditions likely to be encountered while traveling and still provide accurate information for the vehicle to operate. The laser, optics, and photodiode detectors are all important components to a good LIDAR system, but the accuracy and resolution of the measurements heavily depend on the component measuring the time of flight from when the laser fires to when the return occurs.

Why is the GPX2 the best solution for LIDAR systems? This device can provide resolution to 10 ps, which equates to 1.5mm resolution and a maximum measurement range that is greater than any LIDAR system today. So there is little to no risk of exceeding the maximum measurement range. The GPX2 is fast too, reaching a maximum data throughput of 70 MSPS per input channel. The GPX2 is designed to easily integrate into a system that is controlled by a microcontroller or FPGA offering LVDS inputs and outputs for highest performance. This very economical part helps to keep the overall cost of the system down and its ease of use means that development cycles are shorter.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Solutions for High Energy Physics

The neutron detectors combined with Delay Line Detectors offer an alternative to the 3He gas tube neutron detectors. The Surface Concept Imaging Neutron Detector with Time Resolution is that new alternative.
Since the 3He gas that is used is expensive and difficult to get, the tube neutron detectors are becoming increasingly difficult to acquire and more expensive. Nova Scientific and Surface Concept teamed up to develop a new generation of solid state neutron detection solution. The neutron detectors offer a large field of view of up to 150mm with very high spatial resolution to ~35us and high time resolution from 0.1us to 1us for low energy neutrons. This system offers uninterrupted time-resolved imaging at count rates of several million thermal, cold, or ultra-cold neutrons per second. Applications include neutron radiography and tomography tasks.

The solution is enabled by the Nova Scientific special neutron sensitive Micro Channel Plate (MCP) and the principle that allows this unique solution is shown here.
An impacting neutron produces charged particles by reacting with a 10B nucleus. This process releases electrons in the MCP, which in turn create secondary electrons that continue to multiply and create the output pulse.

The neutron detector is very flexible. It can be mounted in a vacuum chamber or an evacuated neutron beamline. Direct single neutron pulse counting is possible using the integrated Surface Concept Delay Line electronic readout which allows ~50um spatial and 100ns timing resolution simultaneously.

Please contact or call 727-532-6144 for additional information and pricing.

Friday, August 25, 2017

PicoCap04 Die Capability

PCap04 is a capacitance-to-digital converter (CDC) with integrated digital signal processor (DSP) for on-chip data post processing. Its front end is based on field proved ams PICOCAP measurement principle that offers high speed, high resolution (in the femtofarads) and Very Low Power consumption making it ideal for wireless and battery-operated devices used in IoT (Internet of Things).

For customers that are unable to use the QFN24 packaged Pcap04 or require die for their own packaging, ams now offers die in wafer form. Customers requiring less than a wafer for smaller projects or first article builds, PMT (Precision Measurement Technologies) in Clearwater, Florida has wafer packs in 100 and 250 quantities available for quick turnaround. Whether you need just a few hundred or a few thousand, PMT, an ams Technology Center, ships worldwide and can help with your project.

Please contact or call 727-532-6144 for additional information and pricing.

Monday, July 10, 2017

ams Wins Innovation Gold Award at Sensors Expo

2017 Sensor Expo judges honor ams for new Accessory Communications Interface, which lets sensor rich smart active noise-canceling headsets run battery free.

ams has won the prestigious Gold Level Innovation Award at the 2017 Best of Sensors Expo Awards (Sensors Expo & Conference, San Jose, California, 27-29 June 2017).

ams won the award for its novel Accessory Communications Interface (ACI), a technology, which enables Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) headsets to operate with no battery in the earphone when connected via a single wire to a host device like a smartphone. The new ACI developed by ams uses the microphone wire – one of four wires in a standard audio cable – to carry power and bi-directional data at a rate of up to 16 Mbit/sec, as well as digital audio signals. Therefore, the ACI can be used through the widely used and mechanically robust 3.5mm analog jack as well as through the analog mode of USB-C.

The innovative development by ams means, that manufacturers can build the smallest, most cost effective and lowest power smart ANC headphones currently available. Beside implementing ams best-in-class ANC, customers can differentiate by implementing a number of sensors such as capacitive touch, proximity, temperature, heart rate, and gesture.

According to the organizers, the Best of Sensors Expo awards ‘recognize advances in sensor and sensor-related technologies, either in the form of novel technologies or as significant improvements in existing technologies’. The judges studied the distinctiveness, potential impact and application of numerous entries, whittling them down to a list of just seven finalists before selecting the ACI technology from ams for the Gold award.

“Due to the ultra low latency and hence the high speed, the smartphones computation power can be used for the required smart data processing. At its heart, this is why this ACI solution enables the slimmest BOM count and hence the probably most cost effective solution available today”, said Christian Feierl, Head of Marketing Audio Sensors at ams.

“We are excited to enable smart, sensor rich in-box ANC earphones and are looking forward to seeing our solutions in the market soon”, he said.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CCS801/811: Solution of Choice for Air Quality Monitoring

by CK Hamilton
Product Technical Manager

The ams CCS801 and CCS811 gas sensors are fast becoming the solution of choice for the air quality monitoring industry based upon their ultra-low power, high sensitivity to VOC’s, and consistent high reliability. Produced using patent-pending proprietary technologies developed by ams, the CCS801/811 are perfect for air quality monitoring and safety/control type applications. Their ultra-low power consumption and quick response to target gases make them the perfect choice for iOT/Smart Home solutions.

The ams CCS801/811 allows for your choice of an analog or digital gas sensor solution. They monitor air quality for a wide range of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and are packaged in a very small form factor for maximum design efficiency. The CCS811 digital gas sensor makes designing quick and easy with an integrated MCU and ADC with an industry standard I²C interface. The market for CCS801/811 is growing rapidly due to new regulatory requirements and the need to monitor air quality in office buildings, schools, hospitals, and many other public places. Applications where air quality is a concern include:
  • Bathroom fans
  • Industrial ceiling fans
  • Warehouse fans
  • Indoor air spot ventilation systems
  • Indoor air dilution ventilation systems
  • HVAC ventilation systems
  • HVAC controllers
  • Appliances
  • Building Automation
  • Thermostats
  • Residential and commercial kitchen range hoods
  • And many, many more!
PMT has done proof of concept work for the air quality monitoring market utilizing mobile apps, wireless communication, and web portal capability for datalogging, setting alarms, and driving text and email alerts. The web portal allows for data trend analysis with 30 days of logged data, extremely helpful when trying to diagnose issues regarding environmental changes.

The CCS801/811 are highly optimized parts that are feature rich yet incredibly cost effective for high volume applications. The features of the parts include:

  • 2x3mm DFN Package
  • Optimized low-power modes
  • Reduced Cross-Sensitivity
  • Fast heating time
  • Integrated MCU
  • On-board processing
  • Standard digital interface
  • Optimized low-power modes
  • IAQ threshold alarms
  • Programmable baseline
  • 2.7 x 4.0mm LGA package
  • Low component count
  • Proven technology platform
Contact PMT to learn more about the CCS801/811, as well as any of the other ams sensor solutions.

Friday, April 21, 2017

NanEye 2D - Smallest Miniature Camera in the Market

by Admir Heljo
Product Technical Manager

The NanEye 2D is an industry leading and award winning digital miniaturized camera. It's based on CMOS technology and measures in at 1mm x 1mm. The compact camera offers 250 x 250 pixel resolution at 3μm pitch.

The NanEye camera provides delay free, smooth video operation resulting in crisp and clear imaging. The camera is mounted on a flat ribbon cable that provides digital bit serial data over an LVDS link at up to 55 frames per second. Due to its low energy interface, the NanEye does not require any complicated shield to meet EMC standards.

The NanEye 2D camera was designed with medical imaging devices in mind that require the smallest possible form factor and high resolution. Some of these applications include endoscopy, laparoscopy, catheters, surgical robots and 3D dental imaging. The camera can be used for both reusable and disposable devices. The NanEye can also be applied to consumer type applications such as eye tracking for virtual reality headsets.

Learn More ➣

Friday, February 17, 2017

TDC-GPX2: High Performance Time-to Digital Converter

by John Monteith
Product Technical Manager

Applications like radar, PET scanners, automatic test equipment, photon counting and mass spectroscopy require very high performance to acquire the data, process the data and deliver it to the data acquisition system for making decisions like radar range, precision timing measurements for ATE and precise mapping in PET scanners. The devices need to be small, light-weight and cost effective to be used in high volume applications. In fact, the GPX2 is already being designed into many of these applications today.

Ams AG has just launched the new high-end Time to Digital Converter, the TDC-GPX2. This new device offers high resolution, 10ps, high update rate to the outside world (up to 70 mega-samples per second) using the low voltage differential signaling interface (LVDS), and it has very low power consumption in operation. All this performance is available in a small 9mm by 9mm QFN64 package. These features make it ideal for use in high performance precision measurement systems.

TDC-GPX2 Applications 

The ability to measure very short time intervals all the way to very long time intervals make the GPX2 an ideal part for a very wide variety of applications. High resolution and fast update rate enable these systems to be very fast and very accurate and can provide more detailed data than has been possible before.

Ams is already a leader in the LIDAR, laser scanner and 3D LIDAR market with the TDC-GPX for high precision ranging applications. The GPX2 provides even higher resolution, better precision and higher update rate that allow customers to develop systems with even higher detail and accuracy.