A Much-Appreciated Change of Seasons with a very Testy Topic

Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD



Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD

­Welcome to the Fall, and a very special welcome to less extreme weather. After the brutal summer we’ve had, I’ve never been happier for a seasonal change (in fact, I think I’ve had reverse seasonal depression over the last several months).

Then again, if my wife read this, she’d probably kill me since she worked outside at a summer camp and I spent 95% of my time in my basement office and the AC. Sooo…it can always be worse.

On the flipside, our industry has scarcely looked better, having prospered throughout the pandemic as an “essential business,” and if today’s recession has affected our sector’s collective bottom line, it’s been minor.

So with the 4Q about a month away, I head into the twilight of 2022 with boundless optimism. And what better way to celebrate those good vibes than with some test & measurement and sensors?

With such a broad (and quintessential) topic, our contributors attacked it from several very different perspectives.

Take, for example, Crocus Technology’s piece, which covers “Current Sensing for Electric Vehicles.”

Crocus’s Aaron Reynoso notes how vital sensing and measuring current is for electric batteries for energy storage, an electric motor for movement, and a controller to manage the system, and he discusses ways to manage the endemic safety, accuracy, and thermal management challenges with an eye towards a new magneto-resistive sense technology.

As he says, “accurately monitoring a battery’s current not only helps extend its operating life and improve driving distance, but it also alleviates ‘range anxiety’ by keeping the driver informed on the remaining battery capacity.”

Meanwhile, Analog Device’s Richard Houlihan, Naveen Dhull, and Padraig Fitzgerald discuss the increasing number of transmitter (Tx)/receiver (Rx) channels in today’s semiconductor market and how those channels require both high speed digital and DC parametric testing.

And as the trio point out, not addressing these new challenges addressing “leads to increased test time, increased load board complexity, and reduction in test throughput,” and “in turn, this will drive up operational expenses.”

Anyone who’s been in the industry – or on planet Earth – for any length of time knows how destructive that last part can be. It can spell the difference between a major breakthrough and an abandoned project.

To successfully address these modern automatic test equipment (ATE) issues, you need a switch that is operational at DC and high frequencies.

And finally, I’d like to briefly mention our piece from EA Elektro-Automatik, which touts the benefits of autoranging as a way to fulfill the power supply’s output characteristic.

As Craig Frahm emphasizes, “In many applications, a test engineer can select an autoranging DC power supply with a lower power rating than what a rectangular output supply would require.”

Best Regards,

Jason Lomberg

North American Editor, PSD