Microprocessors may get a lot of press as they answer the endless call for faster, smaller, and more powerful performance. Yet these devices aren’t responsible for all of the hard work in today’s most cutting-edge technologies.

Components can offer some eye-catching specs of their own. And today’s distributors aren’t shy about spotlighting the host of new interconnect, passive, and electromechanical (IPE) products that have hit the market recently.

Tiny Capacitive Sensor

Omron’s E2K-F series of thin rectangular plastic capacitive sensors fits tight spaces. Offered by Allied, these devices can be used in the non-contact detection of metallic and non-metallic targets including water, oil, glass, plastic, and wood. They’re also ideal for detecting the level inside non-metallic containers.

The thin 10-mm body is great for conveyor wall mounting. The unshielded sensor has an LED indicator and fixed sensitivity for simple installation. The built-in amplifier provides NPN switching of loads to 100 mA. And, the heat-resistant ABS plastic body is IP66 rated.

Low-ESR Microwave Capacitors

TTI has turned its attention to the MLOC series of 0603 case-size surface-mount capacitors from AVX, which supports frequencies from 700 MHz to well above 5 GHz. These advanced organic RF capacitors maintain high Q and high self-resonance while providing low equivalent series resistance (ESR) values at high frequencies. Based on AVX’s patented multilayer low-loss organic (MLO) technology, the polymer-based organic capacitors use high-conductivity copper interconnects in a multilayer fashion.

The ability to fabricate these components on large area substrates with sophisticated laser direct imaging allows for improved cost benefits and tolerance control. The end result is a low-profile, low-ESR, and high-performance RF capacitor. In addition, the MLOC series is expansion matched to printed-circuit boards (PCBs) to allow for improved reliability.

Humidity/Temperature Sensor

Available through Mouser, Honeywell’s HumidIcon humidity/temperature sensor offers a lowest-cost solution with the company’s combined Humidity/Temperature Sensor. Honeywell’s total error band provides true accuracy of ±5% RH over a compensated range of 5°C to 50°C (41°F to 122°F) and 10% RH to 90% RH.

True temperature-compensated digital I2C output allows the removal of the components associated with signal conditioning from the PCB to free up space and reduce costs associated with those components.

The HumidIcon comes in an ultra-small SOIC-8 surface-mount device package (Fig. 1). Applications include HVAC/R systems, sleep apnea machines and ventilators, incubators/microenvironments, air compressors, weather stations, and telecom cabinets.

Rugged Wire-To-Board System

Presented by Newark-element14, FCI’s new 1.25-mm wire-to-board system is designed for a range of environmentally demanding interconnect applications, including industrial control, automotive telematics, home security systems, and aerospace/defense (Fig. 2). The series features a single-row design available with two to 20 circuit positions and suits a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications.

Products in the series include terminals, polarized crimp housings, and PCB headers in straight- and right-angle, surface-mount, and through-mount configurations. The series meets the European Community Industry Safety Standard, and the PCB header material meets halogen-free guidelines as well.

Small Connectors

TE Connectivity’s Minipak HDL series offers a high-density power interface in a blind-mateable, co-planar board-to-board connector that stands only 8 mm off the edge of the PCB—35% smaller than other solutions (Fig. 3). The small size reduces airflow impedance over the PCB, increasing cooling efficiencies in small 1U power-supply designs.

Offered by Avnet, the connectors are fully qualified to end-of-life conditions and produce a current rating of 17 A per contact, with eight adjacent contacts all carrying 17 A. They can be customized as well.

Surface-Mount Power Inductor

Vishay’s IHLP3232CZER100M01 is part of the IHLP series of low-profile, high-current shielded surface-mount power inductors. This Future Electronics offering boasts shielded construction, a frequency range of up to 5 MHz, operating temperature up to 125°C, and the lowest DCR/µH in this package size (Fig. 4).

In addition, the series handles high transient current spikes without saturation, features ultra-low buzz noise due to composite construction, and complies with the European Union’s Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive 2002/95/EC.

Applications include PDAs, notebooks, desktops, and servers; high-current point-of-load (POL) converters; low-profile, high-current power supplies; battery-powered devices; dc-dc converters in distributed power systems; and dc-dc converters for FPGAs.