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Electronics

This blog described electronic components that can be used to support or interface to nanodevices.

IC Packages

System Administrator Friday 26 of March, 2010
I was looking for something and found two eval boards that shows the relative sizes of IC packages. When these packages fist became popular, it was a handy reference. I personally like the SOIC packages because they offer good packaging density, can be hand soldered, and the pins can be inspected without too much special equipment (see board from Fairchild Semiconductor]. The lower photo shows packages from On Semiconductor and are commonly used for Diode, Zener Diodes, FETs, Transistors. These packages offer good packaging density but the power dissipation capability could be better.

Photograph of surface mount IC packages.

Photograph of surface mount transistors packages evaluation board.

SmartFusion, It's here. It's here.

System Administrator Tuesday 23 of March, 2010
My SmartFusion eval board from Actel arrived today 7 week early. The board contains SmartFusion A2F200M3F device, Ethernet, USB, UART, OLED display, flash, and integrated programmer all for $129. The SmartFusion chip contains a ARM Cortex M3, FPGA, and programmable analog circuitry including ADCs and DACs. The programmable analog aspect coupled with the FPGA would seem to make this an ideal device to interface with nanodevices and nanosensors. More details on the kit can be found at A2F-EVAL-KIT. The kit was purchased from Mouser one of three Actel distributors. A development kit is also available but it like around $1000.

The first photos show the SmartFusion in the open box.
Photo of the SmartFusion evaluation board, box, and instructions.

The contents are removed and you can see the board, two USB cables, and instruction card.
The SmartFusion evaluation board kit is unpacked.

The front of the card is nicely laid out. The OLED display is in the upper right next to the pot.
Photograph of the top of the SmartFusion evaluation board.

The bottom of the card is nicely done as well and has more components than I expected.
Photograph of the bottom of the SmartFusion eval board.

I hope to turn it on and test it out but I'm still waiting for the Libero® Integrated Design Environment development tools on DVD. You can download the tools but the files size is around 1.7 GB. At the time, I could not wait that long but now that the boards here may be I can.

So, now I need a nanosensor. I'm now looking for a commercial device that I can buy that won't break the bank and looking an making my own that simple to make. I've read that people use crystal microbalances, cantilevers, and crystal resonators that they functionalize with a bioreceptor. This involve chemistry to link the bioreceptor to the microbalance. When the bioreceptor attaches to its analyte the mass changes so the microbalance slows down. The frequency then is proportional to the the mass of the analyte detected. So, there is much more to follow. Stay tuned.