Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: Augst 24, 2005

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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com August 24, 2005

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*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** NEW - National Instruments MXI-Express With a National Instruments MXI-Express kit, you can control PXI and CompactPCI systems from any PCI Express slot in your desktop, server, or workstation PC. You can achieve up to 110 MB/s of sustained throughput between your computer and PXI/CompactPCI system. Pricing starts at $995 USD for a complete MXI-Express kit. Click here for an online demonstration now. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=11516:1001CD **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Editor's View *MEMS Accelerometers Set To Invade Consumer And Medical Electronics 2. Focus On DSP *Ultra-Thin DSP Caters To Mobile Wireless Apps 3. News From The Editors *Build-to-Spec Linux Targets Roll-Your-Own Developers *Best Microdevice Designs Win Free Prototyping *CCFL Inverters Resist Moisture, Shock, And Vibration 4. Magazine Highlights: August 18, 2005 *Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- Get Up Close And Personal With Silicon Foundries *Technology Report -- Synthesis Attacks The Abstract *Leapfrog: Industry First -- Signal-Conditioning IC: A Low-Cost ASIC Alternative *Design View/Design Solution -- Power-Management ICs Are Ideal For DDR-SDRAM Memories 5. Electronic Design Helpline *Rotation Sensing Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor mailto:[email protected] **************************************************************** 2005 Engineering Hall of Fame The members of Electronic Design's Engineering Hall of Fame are those men and women whose accomplishments have shaped the electronics industry and, by extension, our world. It's time to vote for the 2005 slate of inductees. Give us a few minutes of your time to browse through our list of nominees and tell us who you think should be honored this year. Your vote counts! Go to http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=EB97:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** MEMS Accelerometers Set To Invade Consumer And Medical Electronics By Roger Allan, Contributing Editor For the last several years, MEMS accelerometers have been making themselves present in many automotive applications, primarily for triggering airbags during crashes. Most of these sensors have been two-axis models, sensing motion in the x and y axes, and they have commanded prices too high for consumer electronics and computer gadgets. Within the last few months, however, lower cost and higher performance have changed that. Tri-axis MEMS accelerometer sensors that can sense more sophisticated functions in the x, y, and z axes are now widely available. They sense more complex and subtle 3D movements. Also, they cost $2 to $5 each, which is an attractive price for a wide variety of consumer electronics applications as well as some medical electronics uses. Freescale Semiconductor inspired this trend three months ago with a product that provides inexpensive low-g sensing for portable handheld consumer electronics (see "Accelerometer Offers Economical Low-G Sensing" at http://www.elecdesign.com , ED Online 10221). Many other sensor manufacturers have thrown their hats into this market, including Analog Devices, STMicroelectronics, Hitachi Metals, Kionix, and Oki Electric. The most recent entry is Bosch's Sensortec, which announced a product this month. EmTech Research sees this market expanding from last year's sales of 48 million units to about 52 million units by 2009. While this level doesn't match the growth of other types of semiconductor ICs, the new lower-cost and more capable accelerometers may yet create the market conditions needed for an even broader application of these devices. If that happens, prices might drop down to about $1 per axis of sensing. Current applications include protecting hard drives in computers and cell phones from data loss due to shock from rapid movement or a fall. They're also being used in audio and video recorders and players, PDAs, gaming controllers, MP3 players, inclinometers, and more. Beyond the benefits of hard-drive data protection, tri-axis MEMS accelerometers may serve in a number of yet-to-come user interfaces for consumer electronics. For example, a user might be able to "tilt" a PDA and have it scroll through a list of contacts. Cell-phone users may be able to use gesture recognition like issuing a command quickly, for instance inside a theater, to turn off the cell phone without having to touch the phone at all. Samsung Electronics already markets a cell phone for the Asian market, the SCH-310, that responds to several complex movements. It recognizes numbers that users dial in the air. Shaking the phone twice deletes a message or ends a call. And by giving the phone a sharp flick to the left or the right, users can make its MP3 player skip tracks backward or forward. Beyond this lie applications like GPS enhancement for navigation inside tunnels when the satellite signal is not available and compass-tilt correction. Even more promising are medical electronics applications like metered drug delivery, drug bio-analysis, and health and recreational devices like pedometers. **************************************************************** ********************** 2. Focus On DSP ********************** ***Ultra-Thin DSP Caters To Mobile Wireless Apps Aimed squarely at the Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) market, the LSI403US digital signal processor from the DSP Products Division of LSI Logic is a natural for dual-mode handsets. It delivers the appropriate mix of performance and small footprint needed for cell phones, PDAs, and other handheld wireless devices. The 16-bit, fixed-point DSP is based on the company's low-power LSI403LC processor. As a result, it draws very little power per voice or audio channel. Other features include dual time-dvision multiplexing ports for audio analog-to-digital converters/digital-to-analog converters, 48 kwords of on-chip RAM, and two on-board 16-bit timers. The processor also sports high-bandwidth interfaces for additional wireless devices, such as wireless local-area network and Bluetooth products. The Z.Voice software library provides industry-standard Voice over Internet Protocol algorithms. The LSI403US comes in an ultra-thin LBGA package that measures 7 by 7 mm. It's available now for less than $4.00 in 100,000-piece quantities. DSP Products Division of LSI Logic ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=11517:1001CD ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Build-to-Spec Linux Targets Roll-Your-Own Developers While having control over one's development tools and platform may have long-term benefits, building and configuring a Linux platform isn't easy. TimeSys now has Built-to-Spec Custom Linux Distributions for embedded developers using Linux in device designs based on PowerPC, Intel XScale/IA-32, MIPS, and ARM architectures. Using the Timesys customization Web site, developers pick and choose the platform and other specifications they need. Then, Timesys delivers a custom version of Linux for a particular processor and board configuration. Developers get back a custom, cross-development tool chain, a prebuilt target root file system, a Linux kernel, and a 14-day evaluation version of the Eclipse 3.0-based Timestorm Linux development suite. The package comes with source for all of the Linux components. It provides developers with a quick and efficient way of getting started with Linux. Pricing starts at $499. TimeSys ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=11518:1001CD ***Best Microdevice Designs Win Free Prototyping Microfabrica and MOSIS have launched the EFAB Access design competition for microdevices. EFAB Access is a prototyping service offered by MOSIS for MEMS and microdevice development that includes Microfabrica's 3D micromanufacturing technology. The three winning microdevice designs will be built for free. In addition, the top three contestants will receive MEMS-related prizes: a Segway i180 (first place), a Segway p133 (second place), and a Toshiba TDP-T90U DPL projector (third place). The competition is open to all individuals who have a commercial or research interest in microdevices, and there's no limit to the number of entries that can be submitted. Entries must be submitted by November 11, 2005. Winners will be announced in January 2006. Visit the competition's Web site for more information and full contest rules. EFAB Access Design Competition ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=11519:1001CD ***CCFL Inverters Resist Moisture, Shock, And Vibration Harsh environments don't have a chance against a family of dc-ac inverters designed for powering CCFL-backlit (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) LCDs. The E200II and SE/SE2 series inverters from ERG employ a vacuum-encapsulated design to ensure reliable CCFL ignition despite moisture, shock, or vibration. ERG's inverters operate at high efficiencies, typically 80 percent to 85 percent, and are designed and tested using the actual LCD assembly to ensure system compatibility. All magnetics are self-shielding to minimize electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference. The company offers standard units for a range of displays and applications. The E200II can power one or two CCFLs with up to 8 W of output power, while the low-profile SE/SE2 series provides up to 5 W of output power for one or two CCFLs. Pricing for the E200II and SE/SE2 series dc-ac inverters starts at $8.55 in production quantities. Delivery is four weeks ARO. Endicott Research Group ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=1151A:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. August 18, 2005: * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- Get Up Close And Personal With Silicon Foundries To battle escalating chip design costs, designers forge deeper relationships with manufacturing partners to ensure "right first time" success. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=1151B:1001CD * Technology Report: Synthesis Attacks The Abstract Interest is growing in design at levels of abstraction above RTL, and synthesis tools seem to be meeting the challenge. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=1151C:1001CD * Leapfrog: Industry First -- Signal-Conditioning IC: A Low-Cost ASIC Alternative Looking to penetrate high-volume applications, this standard part offers smart-sensor and multisensor compatibility. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=1151D:1001CD * Design View/Design Solution -- Power-Management ICs Are Ideal For DDR-SDRAM Memories Switching-type voltage regulation is the way to go, but don't forget to consider static, transient, and standby operating modes. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=1151E:1001CD For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=1151F:1001CD ********************** 5. Electronic Design Helpline ********************** ***Rotation Sensing An Electronic Design reader asks: "I have a data logger that works from 0 to 5 V dc that I'm using in a race-car application. I want to be able to convert ground distance to a 0- to 5-V dc scale. I can create any hardware needed for this application. I was thinking in terms of having a wheel on the ground and a sensor or trigger that will step voltage from 0 to 5 V. I can calibrate it to find that x voltage is equal to y feet, for example. Would an optical sensor work? I want to record a distance of 0 to about 350 ft. It would also be great to be able to get a speed out of this (0 to about 30 mph). I have a time frame on the logger, so I guess I could calculate speed from that." Do you have any tips, ideas, or resources to offer? Please e-mail your ideas to Lisa Maliniak mailto:[email protected] for posting on the Electronic Design Web site. Readers seeking help with design problems, looking for parts, or in need of advice on tips and techniques are encouraged to e-mail us at mailto:[email protected] for posting in future editions of the ED Update newsletter. **************************************************************** Embedded in Electronic Design (EiED) Online is your source for technical insight and hands-on reviews. Read one of Technology Editor Bill Wong's latest EiED Online columns, "CAN 201: CAN Controllers." CAN 101 introduced controller-area networks. It's finally time to take a look at how the CAN controllers operate. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=11520:1001CD ********************** TAKE A POLL! The face of radio is changing. If you're a listener, which best describes the current state of your radio technology? -- Subscribe to Sirius/XM satellite radio -- Plan to subscribe to satellite radio -- Own an HD (high definition) radio receiver -- Plan to buy an HD receiver -- Listen to AM or FM broadcast/other Vote at Electronic Design ==> http://www.elecdesign.com **************************************************************** Designing With Video Signals Dealing with digital video signals in the analog world can be tricky. Arm yourself with knowledge and download our eBook, "Analog/Mixed-Signal Components For 21st Century Video," by Analog/Power Editor Don Tuite. Chapter 1 covers the basics, Chapter 2 discusses interfacing video amps to digital-to-analog converters, and the recently added Chapter 3 looks at video multiplexing and driving unshielded twisted pairs. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=8725:1001CD **************************************************************** Need To Go Green? We Can Help! The European Union, as well as Japan and China, are about to restrict the use of environmentally hazardous materials in electronic components and systems through the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. Electronic Design's RoHS Reference Center has the information you need to make the shift to green designs. The fourth chapter of our eBook, "Electronic Design's Guide To New International Environmental Laws," is now available for download. And don't miss our comprehensive list of industry and government Web sites and contacts. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=E2D8:1001CD **************************************************************** Submit Photos And Get Paid! Grab some photos showing the "guts and glory" of you (and your team) at work. We need them for our "Day in the Life of an Electronic Designer" photo essay, which will appear in Electronic Design's Oct. 20 special issue. There's a $500 Grand Prize for best photo series and $250 prize for best photo, and we pay $50 if we use any of your photos in the issue. Please include the names and titles of all photo subjects, as well as company name and the type of work-in-process illustrated by the photo. Digital photos should be in .tif or .jpg formats and must have resolution of at least 300 dpi. Deadline for submission is Sept. 15. E-mail digital photos to Richard Gawel at mailto:[email protected] Mail hard-copy photos to: Richard Gawel Electronic Design Managing Editor 45 Eisenhower Dr., 5th Floor Paramus, NJ 07652 **************************************************************** 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=2B24:1001CD ****************************************************************

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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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