World's first combination protection-and-termination IC enables system designers to increase performance, reduce power, simplify designGENEVA, Feb. 12 — (PRNewswire) — STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a world leader in protection ICs, has announced the world's first device combining field signal-termination and protection functions, enabling designers of industrial control and building-automation equipment to increase system performance and EMI robustness while simultaneously cutting power consumption, size, and heat dissipation.
Digital automation in factories and buildings helps companies collect detailed information for manufacturing process improvements. The market for control and processing equipment is expected to exceed $71.6bn globally in 2010*. The equipment is becoming more sophisticated as designers add extra digital signal channels to increase system capabilities and precision. Traditionally, this also increases size and power consumption of functional blocks, such as line transceivers and optical isolators, which require extra components to handle the additional channels. Optical isolation usually requires further protection, for equipment and users, against effects such as power surges or electrostatic discharge (ESD).
ST's SCLT3-8BT8 integrated protection and signal-termination device allows designers to increase the number of channels in new equipment designs without adding large numbers of extra components. Using conventional terminations, one optical transistor is required per data channel. The SCLT3-8BT8 combines eight data channels into a single serial output, allowing the number of optical transistors and associated components to be reduced significantly. This approach can save in excess of 50% of pc-board area and about 30% of power consumption, compared to existing alternatives.
The effective power consumption is less than 78mW per input, which saves energy and reduces heat generated by the isolator. This benefit is particularly valuable for sealed control units, which are required in applications such as food-processing and chemical industries.
With input characteristics meeting the international standard IEC61131-2 for programmable controllers, the device can be used in equipment for a wide range of applications and environments. The SCLT3-8BT8's built-in protection features meet the IEC61000-4 standards for electrical transients up to +/-4kV, voltage surges up to +/-1kV, and ESD up to +/-15kV air discharge. The device provides an industry-standard SPI communication interface, enabling direct connection to other components in the system such as ST's VNI8200 high-side driver or an STM32 or STM8 microcontroller.
Samples of the SCLT3-8BT8 are now in stock, and budgetary pricing is $3.20 for orders over 1000 units.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2009, the Company's net revenues were $8.51 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
* Global Industry Analysts, March 2008, Control And Processing Equipment: A Global Strategic Business Report
Michael Markowitz of STMicroelectronics