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Miniscule IR Subsystem

As part of their recent announcement of FPGAs for sensor management, Lattice also introduced a couple of new devices for their iCE40LP family. From a device standpoint, the key here is the package: a 16-ball chip-scale-package (CSP) measuring 1.4 mm by 1.48 mm, and only 0.45 mm thick.

While this is an extraordinarily small device, and it is a general purpose device (it could even do sensor management for a couple sensors), they have some specific ideas for it. They have teamed the devices up with some IP so that, together, they constitute an infrared subsystem.

This includes logic and electronics for driving the LED, sensing an IR remote, and doing bar code emulation.

The latter is a particularly interesting application for use when trying to display a barcode on a phone for a barcode reader to detect. The problem is that the phone glass will typically reflect the IR light from the reader, preventing it from figuring out the code.

Instead, the IR LED can transmit the equivalent code, which the reader will detect. It probably won’t even know that it didn’t get the code from where it thinks it got the code.

Confused by the concept of FPGAs in a cell phone? Well, we’ve got that covered in a separate article.

You can read more about this new device as well as the new iCE40LM devices in their release.

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