Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: August 13, 2003

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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> http://www.planetee.com August 13, 2003

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*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Verisity's Next-Generation Verification Seminars This technical seminar introduces you to a verification process that delivers results. Learn the reality of what it takes to achieve first-pass silicon success with today's extremely complex chips, systems, hardware and software systems. Attendees will also preview demonstrations of innovative NEW process automation technologies. Sign up today! http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBq60Ai **************************************************************** HOT TIP: Visit our recently redesigned Web site, www.elecdesign.com, where the power of Electronic Design is a mouse click away! Read our Web exclusives, discover Featured Vendors, access our archives, share viewpoints in our Forums, explore our e-newsletters, and more. NEW! NEW! NEW! EDITORIAL SURVEY ON CONTINUING EDUCATION Besides serving as our Communications Editor, Lou Frenzel is also a noted author of several technical books, as well as an active college instructor for various electronic engineering courses. That's why Lou was anxious to snap up the assignment for the upcoming feature on Continuing Education in our October 13 issue. To augment his research, Lou has put together a simple five-question survey. Take a moment to give him the benefit of your response: Continuing Education Survey ==> http://www.zoomerang.com/recipient/survey-intro.zgi?ID=JJLSDF6F7W8E&PIN=7HJ 9BEEF33D3&PANEL= And be sure to participate in our current QUICK POLL: Dave Bursky, Editor-at-Large, wonders if you believe DSP chips are dead as standalone components. Go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ05Am0AW Today's Table of Contents: 1. Industry View DC-DC Converters Come Full Circle In New Niches 2. News From The Editors * Optical Components Permit Custom High-Speed Interface * Pipelined SRAMs Boast No Bus Latency, Speeds To 250 MHz * Broad-Based Recovery Boosting Semiconductor Sales * SoC Processor Family Gets A New Home 3. Upcoming Industry Events * Field-Programmable Logic Conference * Broadband Worldforum International Engineering Consortium * International Conference on the Commercialization of Micro and Nano Systems * Embedded Systems Conference * Society for Information Display International Display Research Conference * Intel Developers Forum 4. Magazine Highlights: August 4, 2003 issue * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- Intellectual Property: What's Yours Is Mine * Leapfrog: First Look -- MIPS-Laden Processors Hit The Road Running * Embedded in Electronic Design -- SETEC Astronomy: Too Many Secrets * Design View / Design Solution -- Designers Must Take Care When Powering High-Speed CMOS Edited by John Novellino ********************** 1. Industry View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** DC-DC Converters Come Full Circle In New Niches By Mike Wagner, Vice President of Marketing, Cherokee International There's a new twist to an old design. Despite the power industry's migration to open-frame dc-dc converters in recent years, slightly modified baseplated dc-dc converters are serving the needs of some important market niches. In the past, dc-dc converters were expensive and their thermal efficiency was fairly low. To compensate, dc-dc converters were encapsulated (potted) using a thermal compound that drew the heat away from the dissipative elements to a baseplate. The baseplate was accessible to the end user, allowing the user to cool the converter using conduction or convection techniques. The potting-and-baseplate method was an effective strategy for its time. Nevertheless, the potting process increased the cost of manufacturing the converter. It also boosted the converter's weight, typically making it too heavy for surface-mount assembly. But in the last five years, new dc-dc converters were introduced with improved performance, eliminating the baseplate and potting requirements. However, those benefits were restricted to applications operating in controlled environments, where ambient temperatures fell within reasonable bounds and forced-air cooling was usually an option. While these developments were occurring, the market for dc-dc converters -- the distributed power market -- was maturing. This caused prices to come down significantly and efficiencies to increase dramatically. These changes have encouraged new industries to adopt distributed power and dc-dc converters in place of centralized power designs. Yet, some of the applications now adopting distributed power schemes aren't ideal for the newest open-frame converters. Two examples are found within the automatic test equipment and RF wireless markets. For instance, the operating environment for RF wireless applications is completely different from that of telecom equipment, which typically employs open-frame dc-dc converters. Unlike the typical 50-degree C ambient temperature that a dc-dc converter may see in the controlled environment of telecom or datacom equipment, operating ambient temperatures in RF wireless systems are more likely to be at 90-degree C on the high end and required to meet -40-degree C startup conditions on the low end. This is typically true of remote applications, where the power supply is exposed to the natural elements and the varying temperatures found in global applications. In addition, most of these applications will not permit use of forced-air cooling. Instead, they must operate with no airflow (zero LFM) and converter efficiencies maximized for less than half their ratings. Generally, these applications employ a cold plate that cools the dc-dc converter by conduction. The end user can control the cold plate temperature using heatsinks or even water cooling. This presents a challenge for open-frame dc-dc converters that do not provide a thermal plate or require airflows of 200 to 300 LFM for realistic operation without derating. Today's MOSFET and dc-dc converter circuit technologies provide the efficiencies required to lower power dissipation and create power solutions for applications with harsh environmental operating conditions. By using the latest materials for thermal transfer, dc-dc converters can offer higher efficiencies in baseplate packages without revisiting the previous problems found in the first generation. With the maturity of the market and the cost benefit and technology increases, other industry segments can and are adopting distributed power and changing their approach for incorporating power designs. Mike Wagner is vice president of marketing for Cherokee International. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from New York Polytechnic Institute. He can be contacted at [email protected] To comment on this Industry View, go to Reader Comments at the foot of the Web page http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrg0AY *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Don't Miss the Intel Developer Forum, Sept. 16-18. Register now and pay only $995! San Jose McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, California Register today at http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBq80Ak * See technologies and products up-close and in-person * Attend interactive hands-on labs * Exchange ideas with fellow technology leaders As a valued subscriber to Electronic Design, register now using price code CRNBDE and receive the special pre-conference rate of $995. Take advantage of this offer today. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBq80Ak **************************************************************** ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Optical Components Permit Custom High-Speed Interface A family of optical components includes TO-can packaged vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) diodes, detectors, and LC sleeve assemblies. The devices target data transmissions from 1 to 10 Gbits/s over 850-nm multimode fibers and from 100 Mbits/s to 4 Gbits/s using 1310-nm single-mode-access applications. The company is also releasing VCSEL-based 1310-nm transceivers in the small-form-factor pluggable package. These long-wavelength transceivers bring the low cost of VCSEL diodes to applications like extended-reach, single-mode fiber applications, setting a new price-performance point for the transceivers. Samples of the 1310-nm tranceiver modules are available, with full production slated for the fourth quarter. Sample prices start at about $50 per unit, and volume prices will be lower or competitive with Fabry-Perot solutions. Picolight Inc. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrA0Au ***Pipelined SRAMs Boast No Bus Latency, Speeds To 250 MHz Available in either 36- or 72-Mbit densities, a pair of synchronous static RAMs offers high-bandwidth, 72-bit wide data buses (organizations are 512 kwords by 72 bits and 1 Mword by 72 bits, respectively). The pipelined architecture has no bus-turnaround latency. The SRAMs are housed in 14- by 22-mm, 209-contact ball-grid-array packages and operate from a 2.5-V supply. Available speed grades range from 150 to 250 MHz. The 36- and 72-Mbit devices in the 166-MHz speed grade sell for $52 and $150 apiece, respectively, in lots of 1000. Samples are immediately available. White Electronic Design Corp. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrB0Av ***Broad-Based Recovery Boosting Semiconductor Sales Computation, the largest end market for semiconductors, is once again contributing to the growth of the industry, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). Although chip sales edged up only slightly from May to June 2003, from $12.49 billion to $12.54 billion, quarter-to-quarter results were up 3.2 percent, from $36.4 billion in the first quarter to $37.6 billion in the second quarter. The year-to-year numbers were even more encouraging, with a 10.4 percent rise from the second quarter of 2002 to the corresponding period in 2003. SIA president George Scalise said the recovery was broad-based, as predicted, with the global consumer and communications sectors also contributing. Capacity use on the leading edge has reached 96 percent, and excess inventory in the supply chain is negligible, the SIA said. Now that inventory has been worked off, increasing demand as the year progresses will directly generate rising sales, said Scalise. Semiconductor Industry Association ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ07EI0A1 ***SoC Processor Family Gets A New Home Advanced Micro Devices has agreed to buy National Semiconductor's x86-architecture Geode system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor family. The Geode has been a very popular solution for thin clients, smart displays, and set-top boxes. The processors were the primary assets in National's Information Appliances business unit, which AMD will acquire. AMD's Personal Connectivity Solutions (PCS) group will handle the Geode along with its existing Alchemy MIPS-technology RISC-based SoC processors. The companies estimate that 132 of National's employees will join AMD. Advanced Micro Devices ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrC0Aw National Semiconductor Corp. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ07xo0AV ********************** 3. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** Sept. 1-3, Field-Programmable Logic Conference, Lisbon, Portugal http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrD0Ax Sept. 8-11, Broadband Worldforum International Engineering Consortium, London, England http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrE0Ay Sept. 8-11, Eighth International Conference on the Commercialization of Micro and Nano Systems (COMS 2003), Amsterdam, The Netherlands http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrF0Az Sept. 15-18, Embedded Systems Conference, Boston, Mass. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrG0A1 Sept. 15-18, Society for Information Display International Display Research Conference (IDRC), Phoenix, Ariz. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrH0A2 Sept. 16-18, Intel Developers Forum, San Jose, Calif. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrI0A3 ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue, August 4, 2003. * Cover Story: Engineering Feature Intellectual Property: What's Yours Is Mine New questions are being raised about the practice of engineers signing pre-assignment IP agreements with their employers. Whose idea or invention is it? * Leapfrog: First Look -- MIPS-Laden Processors Hit The Road Running Packing high-performance compute engines and plenty of peripheral support features, two new processors meet the increasingly voracious demands of telematics. * Embedded in Electronic Design -- SETEC Astronomy: Too Many Secrets * Design View / Design Solution -- Designers Must Take Care When Powering High-Speed CMOS For the complete Table of Contents, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/ecLo0DJhUf0EmQ0BBrh0AZ

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CONTACTS: Electronic Design UPDATE e-NEWSLETTER

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Editorial: Lucinda Mattera, Associate Chief Editor: mailto:[email protected] Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities: Bill Baumann, Associate Publisher: mailto:[email protected]

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