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Editors’ Choice: Products of the Week

It is post Embedded Systems Conference week, and the start of spring break for many, but the electronics industry hasn't slowed when it comes to introducing new products. There were several key devices that hit the market this week. Here's an inside look at the products our editors believe are making the industry tick.

Analog

Stereo headphone amplifier doubles audio playback time for portables

Planet Analog editor Bill Schweber believes National Semiconductor's latest part deserves a closer look. This Class G amplifier draws only 0.9 mA (typical) of quiescent current, doubling the audio playback time of smart phones, full-featured mobile phones and portable music players.

“National Semiconductor's LM48824 Class G stereo headphone amplifier (216403308) provides power with high efficiency in a small package, largely due to its adaptive power-supply approach,” Schweber said.

He added that Class G is the hottest new class of amplifier (figuratively, not literally) for high-efficiency portable audio, pointing out that a week earlier, Texas Instruments had introduced the TPA6140A2 and TPA6141A2 Class G stereo headphone amplifiers.

Editors' Choice

Microchip introduces high-speed 45 nS comparators

Another one that's hard to ignore in the analog world is a line of comparators from Microchip Technology. The MCP6561/2/4/6/7/9 (MCP656X) family of 45 nS comparators features rail-to-rail I/O, low operating voltage down to 1.8V, low quiescent current and package options with push-pull and open-drain outputs. These features make Microchip's parts well-suited for a very wide variety of applications, putting them on this week's 'A' list.

DSP

TI ‘6743 DSP combines fixed and floating point with connectivity

Combining the ease-of-use and precision of floating-point programming with the connectivity and lower-cost options of fixed-point devices, Texas Instruments announced the availability of the TMS320C6743 DSP.

Patrick Mannion, Editorial Director, TechOnline (a division of TechInsights), likes the combination of floating point's precision with fixed-point's speed and flexibility, together with the connectivity feature.

“It opens up a whole range of new applications that could use the display/interface and high-end processing functionality, particularly in test and measurement,” Mannion said.

Networking ICs

Layer 7 content processor performs wire speed, deterministic deep packet inspection

Rick Merritt, editor at large, selected NetLogic Microsystems Inc.'s latest chip, the NLS2008, which he says stakes a claim to processing application-level packet data at Layer 7 at up to 2.5 Gbits/second with latency measured in microseconds. Geared for data path processing on network switch and router cards, the device can support uses such as content-aware routing, security processing or quality-of-service delivery. The chip uses full custom circuit design to embed hundreds of thousands of processing elements on the device. The company expects to start sampling the part in July.

RF

Wi-Fi sensor networking module has 5-year battery life

Steve Bitton, technology analyst for TechInsights and editor of www.industrialcontroldesignline.com cited a product from RF Monolithics, which on March 31 rolled out a low-power Wi-Fi sensor networking module dubbed the WSN802G. The 802.11 b/g module integrates the GainSpan GS1010 SoC, a low power Wi-Fi chip solution. The module enables OEMs to build low-power WLAN and sensor monitoring products for the global market.

Bitton likes the sleep mode feature with low leakage current that he says will keep this module running for a while. “The other neat feature is that the processor and I/O control is all in one package; no extra processing power required,” he said.

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