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Lambda News

Lambda is a leading supplier of characterisation, measurement and analysis equipment, applied to signals from DC to Light. Our company provides hardware, software and integrated solutions throughout the UK & Ireland.

  • Powder Characterisation in Additive Manufacturing Seminar

    Powder Characterisation in Additive Manufacturing Seminar

    The main purpose of this event is to share information on a range of technologies that can investigate and help solve problems of powder behaviour in additive manufacturing.

    Thursday 25th May 2017.

    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin

    Click here for more information

  • Installation and Maintenance of Solar Photovoltaic Systems - Application Note

    This application note introduces the test solutions comprising Keysight ruggedised handheld and benchtop measuring instrument for the installation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

      Click here for more information

  • Using Fine Resolution to Improve Thermal Images - Application Note

    Fine Resolution effectively quadruples the resolution of the 160x120 pixels to 320x240 pixels. Fine Resolution is created through - multi-frame acquisition, super-position and reconstruction.

      Click here for more information

  • Thermography for Photovoltaic Panel Using the U5850 Series TrueIR Thermal Imager - Application Note

    This 5-page application note looks at the use of thermal imaging as a method to expedite identification of faulty PV cells.

      Click here for more information

  • Analysing and Trending Battery Charging Temperature Rise Using an IR Thermal Imager and Handheld DMM

    This application note shows how the Keysight U5850 Series TrueIR thermal imagers and contact type temperature measurement solutions can work hand in hand to effectively analyse charging temperature rise.

      Click here for more information

  • Buy Any Keysight Big5 Bench Instrument, Get A Complimentary Handheld!

    As a Keysight Authorized Distributor, we strive to provide you with valuable offers from our broad portfolio of innovative General Purpose Test and Measurement products. The Big5 Bench Promotion is effective 1st April 2017 through to 30th September 2017 and encompasses select bench instruments for your workbench—for your R&D, tests, or manufacturing tasks. When you purchase any Keysight Big5 Bench instrument, you are eligible to receive the Keysight U1242C handheld DMM (worth £236**) at no cost.

    Qualifying Big5 Bench instruments
    Big5 Bench Product Families Promotion Products Product Description
    Big5 Bench 1: Low-Profile Modular Power System & DC Power Analyzer
    Accelerate ATE with small, flexible, fast DC power.
    N6700B/C Low-Profile Modular Power System Mainframe, 400 W
    N6701A/C Low-Profile Modular Power System Mainframe, 600 W
    N6702A/C Low-Profile Modular Power System Mainframe, 1200 W
    N6705B/C DC Power Analyzer, 600 W
    Big5 Bench 2: Programmable DC Power Supply
    Power your designs safely and quietly during manual tests or automated sequences.
    E36102A DC Power supply, 6 V, 5 A, 30 W
    E36103A DC Power supply, 20 V, 2 A, 40 W
    E36104A DC Power supply, 35 V, 1 A, 35 W
    E36105A DC Power supply, 60 V, 0.6 A, 36 W
    E36106A DC Power supply, 100 V, 0.4 A, 40 W
    Big5 Bench 3: DAQ / Data Logger Switch Unit
    Create more measurement possibilities in less time.
    34970A DAQ/Data logger Switch Unit, GPIB & RS232 connectivity
    34972A LXI DAQ/Data Logger Switch Unit, LAN & USB connectivity
    Big5 Bench 4: Trueform Waveform Generator
    Exclusive technology for lowest jitter, harmonic and non-harmonic distortion.
    ECN2015 Impact Awards and EDN 2015 Best in Design & Test Award Finalist.
    33611A Waveform generator, 80 MHz, 1-channel
    33612A Waveform generator, 80 MHz, 2-channel
    33621A Waveform generator, 120 MHz, 1-channel
    33622A Waveform generator, 120 MHz, 2-channel
    Big5 Bench 5: Basic AC Power Source
    Engineer dependability into your designs with stable, reliable AC power.
    AC6801A Basic AC Power Source, 500 VA, 270 V, 2.5 A
    AC6802A Basic AC Power Source, 1000 VA, 270 V, 5 A
    AC6803A Basic AC Power Source, 2000 VA, 270 V, 10 A
    AC6804A Basic AC Power Source, 4000 VA, 270 V, 20 A

    For more details please call us on 01582 764334 or [email protected]

    **Price is in GBP, excluding VAT and is subject to change.

  • New Non ITAR Micro-SWIR 640CSX Camera

    Sensors Unlimited Inc., a division of UTC Aerospace Systems, responds to customer needs with the introduction of the Sensors Unlimited Micro-SWIR™ 640CSX Camera, the latest in its line of exportable high performance short wave infrared (SWIR) cameras.  The lightweight, rugged camera provides customers with an opportunity to get the size, weight, power and capability of a Sensors Unlimited MicroSWIR™ camera at a very affordable price, and without ITAR export restrictions.

    The camera’s compact size and low power draw are ideally suited for integration into commercial systems and industrial process monitoring applications. The low-light to daytime imager offers a digital output of 30 or 60 frames per second full frame rate and is available with optional Near Infrared (NIR)/SWIR  wavelength response to extend the sensitivity of the 640CSX.

    “Our commercial customers have been asking for more affordable, small SWIR imagers,” said Bob Jones, Director of Sales for Sensors Unlimited. “Within the last eight months we have responded by releasing two new cameras. This 640CSX joins the previously-launched 320CSX, giving our customers options to choose from based on their specific application needs.”

    On the front end, the 640CSX offers an industry standard C-mount lens interface, which allows customers to select a myriad of commercial-off-the-shelf lens options. On the backend, the Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) camera offers a Camera Link ® digital output providing for plug-and-play video with 12-bit images for digital image processing or transmission.  At its core, the 640CSX camera provides VGA resolution (640x512 pixels, 12.5µm pixel pitch), weighs less than 45 grams, measures 1.25 inches on each side, uses less than 1.5 W of power at 20°C, operates from -40 to 70°C case temperatures, and provides a range of features to optimise imagery in a wide variety of lighting conditions.

    Like all members of the MicroSWIR™ product family, the 640CSX was built for rugged operation and includes the assurance of MIL-STD-810G environmental testing.

    UTC Aerospace Systems is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defence industries. UTC Aerospace Systems supports a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and customer service facilities.

    To speak with a Sales & Applications Engineer please call 01582 764334 or click here to email.

  • New design for interference microscopy lenses wins Rudolf Kingslake Medal

    Optical Engineering article reports how Zygo pair extend range of applications for flexible microscope platforms to larger fields of view.

    Two researchers from Zygo Corporation have been awarded the Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize for 2016. The award is presented annually for the most noteworthy original paper in Optical Engineering, published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics (and publisher of

    Zygo, based in Middlefield, CT, USA, is a leading developer of advanced optical metrology systems and ultra-precise optical components and assemblies.

    Peter de Groot and James Biegen are the authors of Interference microscope objectives for wide-field areal surface topography measurements. The award will be presented at a banquet during the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference in San Diego, California, in August, 2017.

    Precision manufacturing

    From the fabrication of diesel fuel injectors to patterned semiconductor wafers, surface metrology on the microscopic scale is an essential step in the precision manufacturing and production of many modern products.

    To increase the field of view on current state-of-the-art microscopes for interferometry, multiple obstacles must be addressed, including the size, weight, and form factor of classical interference objectives.

    The researchers propose a type of low-magnification interference objective that extends the range of application for flexible microscope platforms to larger fields of view. In the Optical Engineering article, they stated, "The objective comprises a beam splitter plate and a partially-transparent reference mirror arranged coaxially with the objective lens system. The coaxial plates are slightly tilted to direct unwanted reflections outside of the imaging pupil aperture, providing high fringe contrast with spatially extended white-light illumination."

    The study presents two separate designs; a turret-mountable 1.4x magnification objective parfocal with high-magnification objectives up to 100×, and a dovetail mount 0.5x objective with a 34x34  mm field. The scientists say that these designs are “a practical alternative to the classical Michelson and Mirau type objectives, which have been the standard objectives for most of the history of surface topography interference microscopy.”

    For more details on Zygo Optical Profilers click here.

    About the winners

    Peter de Groot is the Executive Director of R&D at Zygo. His research focuses on optical metrology for form, texture, part dimensions, and position. He has published over 140 technical papers, tutorials, and book chapters in the fields of physics, interferometry, stage motion measurement, and international metrology standards. His research has led to 130 US patents for optical instruments. He is an SPIE fellow and active contributor in the optics community.

    James Biegen is a Senior Technical staff member at Zygo, specialising in the optical design of advanced metrology instrumentation. His interests range from laser Fizeau interferometry to interference microscopy, covering the complete product development cycle from applied research to manufacturing engineering. His contributions include physical optics modelling and the invention of high-precision interference objectives for both laser and white-light illumination. His work is highlighted in multiple U.S. patents and peer-reviewed journal articles.


  • Electronic Warfare & Countermeasure Technology Conference

    Consisting of the 15th Electro-Optics & Infrared and 8th Radio Frequency EW Conferences

    Monday 19th - Friday 23rd June 2017,

    Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham

    A suitably classified environment, open to both UK and NATO personnel. Specific days (Day 1 and 2) will be dedicated to EOIR and (Day 4 and 5) to RF aspects of Electronic Warfare with one day (Day 3) dedicated to technology integration. You can choose to attend the complete event or the EOIR and RF days separately with the middle day (Day 3) included.

    Click here  to register.

  • What is USB 3.1?

    Considerable time has passed since the finalisation of USB 3.1 specification in August 2013 where an announcement was made that it would double USB 3.0 theoretical transfer speeds to 10 Gbps and support scalable power delivery of up to 100 Watt using the USB Power Delivery spec. Here is the clarification of current situation:

    Quick points about USB 3.1

    • USB 3.1, at the moment, has two versions:
      Gen 1 - “SuperSpeed USB” - basically the same as USB 3.0 with 5 GBit/s bandwidth
      Gen 2 - “SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps” - future upgrade that needs chips that are yet unavailable
    • All current USB 3.1 devices should be backward compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
    • USB 3.1 does not include the Type-C connector - it is optional
    • USB 3.1 does not include USB Power Delivery - it is optional
    • USB 3.1 refers to the transfer rates of USB products
    • USB3 Vision standard is not affected by USB 3.1 specification update.
    • Lambda Photometrics are shipping XIMEA USB 3.1 Gen 1 machine vision cameras

    Latest News

    • USB 3.1 Gen 2 will add an optional 10 Gbit/s transfer rate.
    • Gen 2 throughput is approximately 2.5 times higher than USB 3.0 due to more effective new data encoding scheme - actual rate of 1 Gigabyte per second.
    • For now, USB 3.1 Gen 2 cables have the maximum length of 1 meter.
    • USB-IF certified USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices will use a new SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps logo which you can see below.
    • USB 3.1 1.0 specification was published July 2013.
    • Introduction of new connectors with enhanced EMI contact zones that are designed to minimise RF leakage. Radiated interference from the USB interface and susceptibility to other RF sources are improved. Backward compatible with previous ones.
    • Revision 3.x
    • USB 3.1 capable products will begin to ship in the first half of 2015, partly due to the backing of companies as Microsoft, Intel and Apple. Officials in the European Union and China have approved the verification procedures for USB 3.1 which should help the technology come to market sooner than expected.
    • At Computex 2015 Intel showcased that company has abandoned its proprietary connector replacing it with the super-fast Thunderbolt standard and adopted USB Type-C connectors to supercharge the reversible cable.
    • Intel’s Thunderbolt USB Type-C cable delivers 40Gbps  Comparison:
    Note: Not all USB Type-C cables will have equal parameters

    Note: Not all USB Type-C cables will have equal parameters

    • Thunderbolt 3 will be backward compatible with USB 3.1 Type-C ports by integrating USB 3.1 controller into the cable making it able to be used on any USB Type-C port.
    • There will several Thunderbolt 3 cable options:
      Passive 20Gbps copper cable based on the existing USB Type-C cable with up to 2 meter length,
      Active 40Gbps copper cable with up to 2 meters,
      Optical Fibre cable 40Gbps for lengths up to 60 meters (planned for 2016).
    • USB Type-C ports are able to support many different protocols using system aptly called “alternate modes”. This interesting feature means: you can have adapters that can output HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, or other connections from single USB port (last Apple MacBook provides this with USB Type-C Digital Multiport Adaptor), which represents fewer types of ports on the host device in the future - further miniaturization.


    The full claim in distributed was that:
    "SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps uses a more efficient data encoding and will deliver more than twice the effective data through-put performance of existing SuperSpeed USB over enhanced, fully backward compatible USB connectors and cables. Compatibility is assured with existing USB 3.0 software stacks and device class protocols as well as with existing 5Gbps hubs and devices and USB 2.0 products."

    As you can see in the logo, the new upgrade is referred to as "SuperSpeed+" and while a lot of work has already been done, there is still some time before this will transfer into products.

    USB Promoter Group already organized and will be holding continuous developer conferences to further promote the standard.

    XIMEA team was already present on several conferences and plans to keep this practice to follow the newest progress and ensure that our partners and customers receive the most up to date information and exceptional products based on the most modern technology that is available at the moment.

    Reversible USB Type-C connector

    In addition to previous USB Promoter Group announcements, there is a separate category which notified that design of the USB Type-C plug is finalised. This new type of USB plug deserves special attention since it is supposed to completely replace every USB connector type of any size that is currently available. Many people compare it to Apple's Lightning cables because the new connector is also reversible and can be used inserted in any orientation.
    After USB Type-C finalisation, which IT world quickly adopted, it is possible to see already available devices, cables, adapters and other accessories that support the new reversible connector. Few examples are: latest Apple MacBook has one, latest Chromebook Pixel  with two USB Type-C ports, HP Pavilion x2, Nokia’s N1 tablet etc.

    Reference footprint for a USB type-C mid-mount dual-row SMT receptacle (informative)

    Note: USB Type-C cables and ports may be used for USB 3.1, BUT, depending on the host controller and devices, the also may only be compatible with USB 2.0 or USB 3.0

    Summarising the USB-IF’s press release, the new connector is "similar in size" to current micro USB 2.0 Type-B connectors (the ones you use for most non-Apple phones and tablets). It is designed to be "robust enough for laptops and tablets" and "slim enough for mobile phones." The openings for the connector measure 8.4mm by 2.6mm.

    USB Type-C connector has 18 pins and is basically a unification of two USB 3.1 SuperSpeed connectors (these have four pins and additional five to enable 10Gbps). Simply put - if you plug the connector one way one set of pins is used and if you reverse it the other set is used.

    USB type-C to USB 2.0 standard-A cable assembly

    An important side-note is that cables and adapters connecting older Type-A and Type-B ports to Type-C devices will be readily available. Also, the USB Type-C connector is designed taking into consideration the possibility to scale when USB spec gets faster - increasing the bandwidth and length beyond USB 3.1 For further comfort, there will also be new USB cables that have a USB Type-C connector at both ends.


    A huge benefit, which is often neglected, is that USB Type-C connector allows delivery of up to 100 watts through the USB cable - that is enough to charge 4K monitor, most peripherals and in fact laptop itself. The USB Promoter Group claims the USB Type-C connector is rated as Micro-USB to 10,000 cycles. Another claim is that design is supposed to be future-proof so will be part and parcel of any USB versions in the years ahead.

    Note: USB Type-C can support USB Power Delivery if the device’s host controller and the cable itself support the standard, but the fact that you have USB Type-C does not mean you automatically have USB Power Delivery.

    The new USB Power Delivery specification had a parallel development to USB 3.1 which is also why, like the Type-C connector, USB Power Delivery is separate from the USB 3.1 specification.
    Together with the USB Power Delivery standard there will arrive new PD-aware cables.
    These will have an interesting feature called “handshake” - which will happen between a host and device. Device itself can request up to 20V at 5A from the host, but before the host can deliver more than 5v at 900mA, it will check if the cable is able to safely deliver the requested power.

    Note: Ports that will support respective USB Power Delivery profiles with voltages greater than 5V, or currents greater than 1.5A, would be marked with an according logo.


    USB Type-C supports USB 2.0, USB 3.1 Gen 1 (SuperSpeed USB 5 Gb/s), and USB 3.1 Gen 2 (SuperSpeed USB 10 Gb/s) data speeds.
    Note: USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 are defined under separate specifications.

    "Thunderbolt and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries".

    For further information please contact one of our Machine Vision sales/applications engineers on 01582 764334 or click here to email.

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