Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: August 10, 2005

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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com August 10, 2005

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*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Tektronix -- The Next Generation On August 23, Tektronix is launching the Next Generation of Signal Generation. Arbitrary/function generators take a very large leap forward into a new era of ease and usability. Be the first to see the instrument power up, and enter to win an iPod. Your signal generator: is it old generation? Click here to make sure it's not: http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106C1:1001CD **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Industry View *Embedded Linux Offers New Opportunities In Comm Access Arena 2. Focus On Analog *Miniature Linear Regulator Boasts Low Output Noise 3. News From The Editors *High-Power IR LED Fits In 0805 Package *Future Memory Must Be Universal *Machine Vision Board Works Solo 4. Magazine Highlights: August 4, 2005 *Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- Nano's Success Depends On A Rock Solid Foundation *Technology Report -- Platforms Strive For Virtual Security *Leapfrog: First Look -- Bipolar Process Puts The Squeeze On Die Size, Noise *Leapfrog: First Look -- Versatile ExpressModule Invigorates Servers *Design View/Design Solution -- Simulation Mismatches Can Foul Up Test-Pattern Generation 5. Electronic Design Helpline *Soft-Start Circuit 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=106C6:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Industry View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Embedded Linux Offers New Opportunities In Comm Access Arena By Rakesh Tiwari, Staff Software Engineer, IDT Inc. The communications access arena is rapidly changing. This highly dynamic market, with its many emerging standards and protocols, has become increasingly cost-sensitive. Developers must not only bring to market lower-cost solutions, they also must do so extremely quickly to take advantage of rapidly shrinking market windows. Today, total development cost and time-to-market are every bit as important as system performance. By bringing together a highly configurable feature set with the extensive software resources of the open-source community, embedded Linux running on off-the-shelf silicon offers designers of access equipment an unprecedented opportunity to develop high-performance systems at low cost. Traditionally, communications equipment designers have relied on proprietary embedded operating systems. By fine-tuning a proprietary operating system to an application, developers can minimize image footprint and maximize performance. So why switch from the comfortable and familiar to Linux? Because more often than not, designers have had to pay more to achieve these capabilities with a proprietary system. With the continual evolution of open-sourced Linux and the declining cost of off-the-shelf silicon, developers now have a highly attractive, low-cost option. Off-the-shelf communications processors running embedded Linux can perform both data-plane and control-plane processing. Semiconductor vendors also can optimize the latest versions of Linux to offer new device drivers and a compact footprint. The operating system brings proven reliability and scalability from the server/desktop arena. Furthermore, because it was built on the extensive resources of the open-source community, Linux offers well-documented kernels and development tools. Loadable modules now help developers quickly tune the Linux image footprint and runtime memory requirements to a specific application. Networking resources have grown increasingly extensive, offering support for IPv4 and IPv6, routing protocols, stream-control transmission protocol, network file systems, point-to-point protocols, stateful firewalls, packet filtering, quality of service, network address translation, and IP compression. To maximize design flexibility, Linux supports a growing range of hardware platforms including the popular MIPS, ARM, PPC, and x86 processors. Developers also can take advantage of both native and cross-platform development tools to simplify the porting of applications from one platform to another. Through the POSIX/BSD application programming interface (API), developers using Linux can easily integrate many open-source applications, such as open SSL, open SSH, Snort (IDS/IPS), and Samba server, and make use of commercial networking stacks. For security, Linux provides complete IPsec and file system encryption support. Finally, unlike with proprietary embedded operating systems, developers using Linux have free access to source code. Gaining access to another vendor's source code is usually prohibitively expensive, if not impossible, simply because no vendor wants to give up control of its primary competitive secrets. With Linux, all developers gain access to the source code. That key distinction not only allows developers to easily debug and modify their system, but by allowing a large number of developers access to the source, it also ensures the bugs are quickly eliminated. The existence of this large, worldwide development community additionally leads to faster support of new protocols than any single proprietary embedded operating-system vendor can provide. That doesn't mean Linux is free. While the Linux kernel comes at little or no cost, developers must pay a runtime royalty fee per unit for third-party technology components and intellectual property. The cost of development tools, while low, is still a consideration too. But the support and tool environment for Linux has grown so dramatically over the past few years that overall development costs are rapidly shrinking. The rapid convergence of communications and computing is placing a new premium on cost and development speed in the access market. While developers have relied on proprietary embedded operating systems in the past, these changing market conditions are forcing designers to seek out new ways to meet performance goals while reducing cost and development time. While Linux is not the panacea for the communications access software market, its highly customizable feature set and increasingly broad selection of open-source software and tools provides an exciting opportunity to address these new requirements. Rakesh Tiwari, staff software engineer with IDT's serial-switching division, has more than eight years of experience in the field of networking and embedded software development. Previously, Tiwari worked at Pluris Networks, Hughes Research Labs, and Sun Microsystems. He holds a bachelor of engineering degree in electronics and a masters degree in computer science with a specialization in networking. **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Electronics can never be too powerful. You're forever striving to make the products you create more compelling. With a broad portfolio that covers the vast spectrum of memory ICs including DRAM, specialty RAM, memory modules, flash components and cards, we help you succeed. See how our Smart Chip solutions can make your design even more innovative. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106C8:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 2. Focus On Analog ********************** ***Miniature Linear Regulator Boasts Low Output Noise Using a patent-pending architecture, a miniature CMOS linear regulator from National Semiconductor conducts very little output noise and features high power-supply ripple rejection (PSRR) while consuming only 25 microamps of quiescent current. The LP5900 is a 100-mA low-dropout linear regulator optimized for powering analog and RF signal-path ICs, including low-noise amplifiers, voltage-controlled oscillators, and RF receivers. It emits 6.5 microvolts (RMS) of noise and achieves a PSRR of 75 dB without the use of a bypass capacitor. The LP5900 is available in a lead-free, four-bump micro SMD package that measures 1.1 by 1.1 mm. It requires just two 0.47-microfarad ceramic chip capacitors, which reduces component count and form factor. An 80-mV dropout voltage improves system efficiency by regulating from the lowest possible voltage source. The LP5900 is available now in multiple output voltages ranging from 1.5 to 3.3 V. Pricing is $0.55 in 1000-unit quantities. A six-lead LLP will be available later this year. National Semiconductor Corp. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106C3:1001CD ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***High-Power IR LED Fits In 0805 Package According to its manufacturer, it's one of the smallest surface-mount infrared (IR) LEDs available. The OP200 is a high-power device mounted in an 0805 chip package. This ultra-miniature LED enables designers to incorporate IR sensing into portable electronics that require smaller surface-mount components, such as mobile phones. Other applications include noncontact position sensors, machine automation systems, and miniature optical encoders. The OP200 LEDs are gallium-aluminum-arsenide (880-nm wavelength) devices with a flat molded lens that provides a wide beam angle and an evenly distributed emission pattern. They're RoHS-compliant, and they're compatible with high-temperature lead-free soldering processes. Typical pricing for the OP200 IR LEDs starts at $0.20 each in quantities of 2500 pieces, with samples available immediately. Production quantity lead time is four to six weeks. Optek Technology ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106CA:1001CD ***Future Memory Must Be Universal The race is on to develop the first truly universal semiconductor memory, one that can fulfill all needs and be used in all products. According to a speculative, long-range forecast from market researcher iSuppli, a few emerging technologies are vying for control of a market that could expand to $76.3 billion, or 80 percent of all memory chip sales, by 2019. An ideal universal semiconductor memory device would combine a number of traits, including the highest density, the fastest speeds, nonvolatility, zero power consumption, and fundamental scalability. It's doubtful that existing memory technologies can combine even three or four of these ideal traits on a single die. However, efforts are under way to close or eliminate the gap between today's products and the dream of tomorrow's universal memory. These products, which are in various states of development or commercialization, include ovonic unified memory (OUM), magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM), ferro-electric RAM (FRAM), and nanotube RAM (NRAM). iSuppli Corp. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106CB:1001CD ***Machine-Vision Board Works Solo Machine-vision systems built with National Instruments' PCI-8254R image-acquisition board can trigger and synchronize up to 16 IEEE 1394 (FireWire) cameras without additional digital I/O or custom circuitry. The board combines a FireWire host adaptor with the digital I/O required for industrial control and communication. Designers can access 29 I/O lines for synchronizing vision components such as cameras, triggers, and lights. In addition, they can use quadrature encoder inputs, pulse generation lines, and general-purpose digital I/O to communicate with actuators, planar lightwave circuits, and programmable automation controllers. Customization using the company's reconfigurable I/O technology enables the I/O lines to perform a wider variety of packaging inspection, assembly verification, and robot-control tasks. The PCI-8254R image-acquisition board includes two IEEE 1394a ports and driver software to access, configure, and acquire images. Pricing is $895 with a two- to three-week lead time. National Instruments ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106C9:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. August 4, 2005: * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- Nano's Success Depends On A Rock Solid Foundation Building a strong infrastructure and using selected silicon methods helps bridge the gap to the mass manufacture of nano devices. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106BE:1001CD * Technology Report: Platforms Strive For Virtual Security With partitioning and virtualization, platforms can run multiple environments securely. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106BD:1001CD * Leapfrog: First Look -- Bipolar Process Puts The Squeeze On Die Size, Noise A new fab process for 36-V bipolar chips aligns analog densities more closely with Moore's Law for logic. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106BF:1001CD * Leapfrog: First Look -- Versatile ExpressModule Invigorates Servers The hot-swapping PCI Express module standard targets server expansion. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106BB:1001CD * Design View/Design Solution -- Simulation Mismatches Can Foul Up Test-Pattern Generation When timing information is considered, the results generated by your ATPG tool may not agree with what your simulator tells you. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106C0:1001CD For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106C2:1001CD ********************** 5. Electronic Design Helpline ********************** ***Soft-Start Circuit Electronic Design reader Marilyn Jayachandran asks: "I am driving MOSFETs in a half-bridge configuration at 540 Hz with signals from an external unit (PWM controller is not being used to generate the switching pulse). Is there a soft-start circuit that ramps up the duty cycle from 0 to 50 percent that I could use to control the FETs and regulate the current over a period of approximately 150 ms?" 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, "Embedded AI?" This year's AAAI/IAAI conference shows that artificial intelligence has a place in today's production environment. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=106BC: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=106C4:1001CD **************************************************************** 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 third 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=106C7:1001CD **************************************************************** 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=106C5:1001CD ****************************************************************

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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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