Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: April 6, 2005

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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com April 6, 2005

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*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Ultracapacitors boost dragster to record Brigham Young University (BYU) set a world record for fastest electric drag racecar after a little BOOST from Maxwell Technologies. This free technical paper examines the design and development of their electric dragster and examines the performance benefits delivered by BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D65:1001CD **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Editor's View *Test Emerges As An EDA Battleground 2. Focus On ASICs *Improved Smart Power Process Shrinks Mixed-Signal Chip Size 3. News From The Editors *16-Bit DAQ Board Has Flexible Inputs *Graphics Processor Offers PCI Express Interface *ISA Committee Focuses On Wireless Technology 4. Magazine Highlights: March 31, 2005 *Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- Getting To A Higher Level *Technology Report -- Smarter Antennas Breed Success In Wireless Arena *Leapfrog: First Look -- Build A Board In-House Without The Mess *Design View/Design Solution -- Roll Your Own Custom x86-Based Embedded Systems Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor **************************************************************** Free Webcast: Maximize System Mobility By Selecting The Best Memory Options April 21, 2005 at 2 p.m. EDT Mobile systems such as cell phones, handheld media players, and PDAs depend on both volatile and nonvolatile memory to store ever increasing amounts and types of data. But choosing the best memory for your next design can be a confusing, time-consuming proposition if you don't know how to sort through all of the options and understand which memory best suits your application. Join Samsung Semiconductor Inc. and Electronic Design's Editor-at-Large Dave Bursky for this one-hour webcast that will help you cut through the confusion to choose the optimal memory solution. To register, go to: http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D62:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Test Emerges As An EDA Battleground By David Maliniak, EDA Editor As noted by some observers, the EDA industry's attention is shifting away from the center portion of the IC design cycle (RTL design), which has become very much commoditized, and toward the extreme front and back ends of the process. At last month's Design Automation and Test in Europe (DATE) Conference in Munich, vendors certainly made a great deal of effort to highlight their electronic system-level (ESL) methodologies ( http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D5B:1001CD ). To be sure, ESL is emerging as the Great Hope for closure of the verification gap that only grows wider with each new downward step into the nanometer realm. Among other things, ESL methodologies target validation of system architectures, a growing concern in this age of platform-based design and heavy intellectual-property (IP) reuse. But the ongoing shift to nanometer process technologies brings up other issues that are much more related to the back end, meaning testability and, ultimately, yield. The battle among EDA vendors for the hearts and minds of designers with regard to how they achieve testability of their designs is just beginning. As more design teams find themselves compelled, for want of greater functional integration, to move down the nanometer scale, they'll quickly learn that their existing test methodologies aren't going to cut the mustard. Each new generation of process technologies has seen adoption of very different test strategies, each of which targeted different primary fault mechanisms. In the days of relatively spacious design rules of 0.25 microns and higher, a functional test model was sufficient to flag problems. For today's mainstream 180-nm processes, a stuck-at fault model is the primary mechanism used to ferret out hard, static failures that result when any given node in a design is "stuck at" zero or one. Automatic test-pattern generation (ATPG) tools are typically used to generate static test vectors to detect such faults. Move below 180 nanometers, though, and stuck-at methodologies become a liability, just as functional test models are at 180 nm. New classes of fault mechanisms appear at nanometer geometries, such as resistive shorts, resistive opens, and bridges, none of which can be detected with stuck-at testing. These are primarily speed-related failures, or, as they're sometimes called, at-speed failures. Resistive nodes or bridges can cause given nodes to be slow to rise or fall, but they still rise or fall, nonetheless, which is why such faults can cause errors in high-speed circuits but still pass static stuck-at tests. They won't cause the circuit to completely fail to change states, but rather, they royally screw up your timing. So the industry finds itself moving to a new test paradigm of transition fault models. Such models test whether the circuit is transitioning properly or not between logic states. Transition delay fault models determine if the delay between two logic values is acceptable. And, path delay fault models test for delays along a predetermined path caused by RC coupling with other paths. None of these failures, by the way, will show up using stuck-at testing. DATE saw a pair of significant announcements in the test arena, both of which purport to address this ongoing test-methodology shift. Cadence Design Systems ( http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D6B:1001CD ) rolled out another pillar of its Encounter test strategy with the release of Encounter Test Architect. All designers need to insert a test infrastructure into their designs. Today, this requires disparate tools for creation of the various flavors of test, including scan chains, memory built-in self-test, IP core test, I/O test, and others. Further, these tests typically require manual creation of the connectivity that ties them together. Encounter Test Architect is based on full-chip compilation of test infrastructure, which automates this entire process. It couples nicely with Cadence's earlier Encounter True-Time Delay Test, which creates tests based on actual SDF post-layout timing as opposed to traditional delay testing that simply tests at the system clock speed. Cadence's approach accounts for the fact that some paths are longer than others, some shorter, and some are multicycle paths. Synopsys ( http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D6A:1001CD ) chose DATE to debut its DFT Compiler MAX, a next-generation design-for-test (DFT) synthesis tool that offers one-pass test data volume compression. DFT Compiler MAX uses what Synopsys calls "adaptive scan" technology to generate an efficient scan architecture, which leads to minimum test application time. It enables compression of both stuck-at and at-speed tests. The announcements show that test is indeed on the radar screens of the EDA industry's biggest players and that promising technologies are appearing to help address the test issues that arise at nanometer process geometries. There's little doubt that more tools and technologies along these lines will surface in June at this year's Design Automation Conference. To comment on this Editor's View, go to Reader Comments at the foot of the Web page: Electronic Design UPDATE ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D5A:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 2. Focus On ASICs ********************** ***Improved Smart Power Process Shrinks Mixed-Signal Chip Size An enhanced Smart Power mixed-signal process technology developed by AMI Semiconductor (AMIS) significantly reduces transistor on-resistance by up to 25%. The reduction in on-resistance improves transistor efficiency, enabling the creation of devices with higher power capabilities or with smaller transistor sizes for the same power. The process helps reduce the size of mixed-signal ASICs and application-specific standard products employed in a wide variety of automotive, industrial, and computer peripheral applications. AMIS's I2T100 (Intelligent Interface Technology) mixed-signal technology includes 40-, 60-, and 100-V high-voltage transistors based on 0.7-micron mixed-mode CMOS. A single IC can combine low-, medium-, and high-voltage circuitry; high-precision analog circuitry; nonvolatile memory; and some medium-complexity digital logic. Embedded power switches, H-bridge circuitry, and other applications requiring higher current draw (up to 5 A) will benefit most from this enhanced transistor technology. AMI Semiconductor ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D6C:1001CD ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***16-Bit DAQ Board Has Flexible Inputs The PCI-1747U data-acquisition card features 16-bit resolution and can run at 250 ksamples/s even when different ranges are used on its 64 input channels. This is possible because of an onboard scanning circuit that controls multiplexer switching during sampling in a way that is more efficient than a software implementation. The circuit's SRAM stores different gain, single-ended versus differential, and bipolar versus unipolar values for each channel. Also, a built-in autocalibration feature reduces calibration downtime to a matter of seconds. Other standard features include Advantech's BoardID switch and plug-and-play function for easier configuration as well as a universal PCI interface that supports both 3.3 and 5 V. Device drivers are available for Windows XP, 2000, and 98. ActiveX control for VB.NET and C#.NET programming tools and a LabVIEW driver are also available for free. The PCI-1747U costs $995 and is available directly from Advantech or through one of its North American distributors. Advantech ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D68:1001CD ***Graphics Processor Offers PCI Express Interface Armed with PCI Express as its host interface, the GammaChromeS18 graphics processor plans to invade the mainstream graphics market. S3 Graphics' chip incorporates hardware digital video accelerators and supports DirectX 9.0 3D graphics along with the company's Hi-Def native HDTV display capability. There's also support for all of the latest displays, including multiple screen configurations. The PCI Express interface handles either eight- or 16-lane operation for a maximum throughput of up to 8 Gbytes/s. Capable of 500-MHz clock speeds, the GammaChromeS18 series includes an enhanced version of the company's Chromotion programmable video engine. The Chromotion 2.0 engine performs line doubling using an adaptive de-interlacing scheme that does a per-pixel analysis of the video stream in real time. Chromotion 2.0 also includes ArtisticLicense, a real-time video-effects and filtering capability. Contact the company for volume pricing. S3 Graphics Co. Ltd. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D69:1001CD ***ISA Committee Focuses On Wireless Technology A new Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society (ISA) standards committee, ISA-SP100, will work to create standards, recommended practices, and/or technical reports to define procedures for implementing wireless systems in the automation and control environment. The committee will address various aspects of wireless manufacturing and control systems technology, including the environment in which it is deployed, the technology life cycle, and applications. The committee chair explains that the new standards will ensure successful system deployment, address any vulnerabilities, and improve overall system performance by eliminating failure modes. Committee members include representatives from Adaptive Instruments Corp., Honeywell, Motorola Labs, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oceana Sensor, Omnex Control Systems Inc., Shell, and a variety of other companies. ISA ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D66:1001CD *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Tektronix Timing Error Challenge Put your EE skills to the test in the Tektronix Timing Error Challenge! Simply answer our five quiz questions and you'll have a shot at swapping the regular button-down for a classy Electronic Design t-shirt. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D63:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. March 31, 2005: * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- Getting To A Higher Level As SystemVerilog and SystemC embrace system-level verification, they bring broad implications for design methodologies and tool flows. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D59:1001CD * Technology Report -- Smarter Antennas Breed Success In Wireless Arena Spatial-diversity, MIMO, and advanced-array techniques juice up wireless performance. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D5E:1001CD * Leapfrog: First Look -- Build A Board In-House Without The Mess Novel technology moves pc-board prototype creation into the office. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D5D:1001CD * Design View/Design Solution -- Roll Your Own Custom x86-Based Embedded Systems http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D5C:1001CD For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D60:1001CD ***** BE SURE TO VISIT Electronic Design's Web site, where the power of Electronic Design is a mouse click away! Read our Web exclusives, enjoy our Quick Poll, discover Featured Vendors, access our archives, share viewpoints in our forums, explore our e-newsletters, and more. ***** Overcoming "The Fiefdom Syndrome": How to Conquer the Turf Battles that Undermine Companies Can your organization benefit by overcoming turf battles? Don't miss this opportunity to hear Robert J. Herbold, former COO of Microsoft and author of "The Fiefdom Syndrome," and Jim Davis, Senior VP, SAS. Join Business Finance in welcoming these thought leaders on Tuesday, April 19 at 11 a.m. EDT. Register here: http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D5F:1001CD ***** THOUGHT YOU'D MISSED THEM? DON'T WORRY, THEY'RE ARCHIVED Electronic Design's webcasts are available online: COM Express -- Emerging Standard: Explore the new Computer-on-Module standard from the PICMG. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D67:1001CD Next-Generation In-House PCB Prototyping: Produce your own PCB prototypes without the use of hazardous chemicals. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D61:1001CD Advances In Signal Integrity Testing: Michael Lauterbach of LeCroy Corp. describes advances in testing for signal integrity. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D67:1001CD **************************************************************** SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TO ELECTRONIC DESIGN If you're reading this e-newsletter, then you are either a current Electronic Design subscriber, or should be (145,000 of your peers are). To apply for or renew a subscription to Electronic Design absolutely FREE and without paperwork or hassle, click on the link below. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=6D64:1001CD ****************************************************************

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CONTACTS: Electronic Design UPDATE e-NEWSLETTER

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Editorial: Mark David, Editor-in-Chief mailto:[email protected] Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities: Bill Baumann, Publisher: mailto:[email protected]

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