>>>> CIRCUITS & DEVICES
HIGH END DIGITAL CAMERA
PHOTO COURTESY OF SON Y ELEC TRONICS.
If you have been waiting for a professional
quality digital camera to come in below the $1,000
level, your time has come. Slated to be in stores
sometime this month is Sony’s Cyber-shot R1, billed
as “The world’s first integrated lens digital still camera to combine a professional-grade, 10.3-megapix-
el image sensor and the flexibility of live preview
while shooting.” Unlike digital SLRs, this unit’s
sensor allows for a “live” preview, thanks to Sony’s
improved CMOS technology. Until now, the high power consumption of such large sensors has limited their
operation to image capture only, unable to support the
benefit of a live preview. The camera’s electronic
viewfinder or two-inch LCD lets you evaluate scene
conditions, such as exposure and how color is rendered, before taking a shot.
The camera is fitted with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens that zooms from 24 to 120
mm, and the live sensor capability eliminates the need for a mirror and prism. This
allows a lens-to-sensor distance of as little as 2 mm, providing better image quality and
color accuracy. It also makes for quiet operation. Other features include a one-second
shot-to-shot time, three-frame-per-second burst shots, and a shutter release time of only
7. 5 msec. The low power consumption allows a battery life of up to 500 shots per charge. For more
details, visit www.sony.com/r1 or check with your local dealer.
■ SONY’S CYBER-SHOT® R1 OFFERS
10.3-MEGAPIXEL RESOLUTION AND
A “LIVE” PREVIEW.
MICROSTEPPER MOTOR CONTROLLERS INTRODUCED
Allegro MicroSystems, Inc. ( www.allegromicro.com), has introduced a new family of
Sanken unipolar microstepping two-phase constant-current motor driver ICs that feature
a built-in sequencer. The SLA706xM series is a complete unipolar microstepping motor driver family with a built-in translator
designed to operate unipolar stepper motors with a simple step
input. There is no need for phase-sequence tables, high-frequency control lines, or complex interfaces to program.
Useful for half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth microstepping, the family is made up of models SLA7060M, SLA7061M,
and SLA7062M. The series includes a PWM constant-current
control method, synchronous PWM chopping function for two
phases of motor coils to prevent motor noise at the hold mode,
and a sleep mode for reducing the IC inpu.t current in standby
The devices are primarily targeted toward applications in
robots, copy machines, and scanners. They are configured in a
21-pin single in-line power-tab package and are priced from
$1.92 to $2.35.
■ NEW FAMILY OF MOTOR
DRIVERS IS APPLICABLE
TO ROBOTICS AND OTHER
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLEGRO MICROS YSTEMS.
SINGLE-CHIP LIGHT SENSOR Intersil Corp. ( www.intersil.com) has introduced the EL7900, an optical sensor
that converts light to current. The device operates in lighting conditions from 1 to 10,000 lux, generating information that can be
used to determine the amount of ambient light present, which allows automatic backlight or brightness control for backlit keyboards and LCD monitors. This allows devices such as cell phones, laptops, and other handheld devices to decrease overall
system power consumption by dynamically controlling the current sent to the display or backlight. Designed to operate within a
temperature range of - 40 to + 85°C, it includes both photodiode and amplifier. Suggested price in 1,000-unit quantities is $0.70. ■
10 NUTS & VOLTS November 2005