Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: June 8, 2005

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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com June 8, 2005

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*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** First network-optimized ARM9-based core module Now you can quickly and easily design in core processing and integrated network connectivity in a single powerful solution with Digi's ConnectCore(TM) 9C. Built on NetSilicon's 32-bit NS9360 processor and supported by NET+Works(R) software, it offers seamless migration to a chip-based solution. It is ideal for access control and POS systems, RFID readers, medical devices, instrumentation and more. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB21:1001CD **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. News Focus *Tiny Wireless Sensor Module Runs On Solar Power 2. News From The Editors *Free Software Helps Eliminate Oscilloscope Errors *Upgraded Xeon Processors Increase Server Throughput *High-Transparency Touchpanels Improve LCD Viewing 3. TechView Scope *Consultant Fees Rise, But Overall Wages Drop 4. Upcoming Industry Events *International Microwave Symposium *PEDAC 2005 *SEMICON West Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor **************************************************************** Free Showcast: Design Automation Conference Friday, June 10 at 2 pm ET It's a highly coveted honor to be on the "What to See at DAC" list compiled for each year's Design Automation Conference by Gartner Dataquest's Gary Smith. Those EDA tool vendors who make the cut have been singled out by the EDA industry's leading analyst as having one of 2005's hottest EDA tools or technologies. The "What to See at DAC" list will make its debut in Electronic Design's DAC ShowCast when Smith, along with Electronic Design Automation Editor David Maliniak, will offer a preview of the best of this year's DAC. Take a virtual tour of the show floor and get an advance glimpse of EDA's premier technology showcase. Register today at: http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB27:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 1. News Focus ********************** Tiny Wireless Sensor Module Runs On Solar Power A tiny, solar-powered wireless sensor module overcomes many of the challenges associated with efficient wireless sensing, such as power-hungry radios and limited battery life. The STM100 module from EnOcean works without cables or batteries and supports a wide variety of sensors, including temperature, gas, humidity, illumination, and location devices. Within a custom, two-stage solar cell, one stage provides quick startup energy while the other charges an onboard energy reservoir. Designed to work indoors, the STM100 needs just 200 lux to generate energy. Typical indoor lighting ranges from 200 lux in hallways to 1200 lux in display cases. Each module consists of a solar cell energy source, an energy reservoir, analog and digital sensor connections, a microprocessor for sensor control, and a radio transmitter. The footprint measures only 0.8 by 1.6 by 0.4 in., and the STM100 stores enough energy to operate continuously for up to five days in complete darkness. Wireless communication is implemented with sophisticated RF protocols, including multiple broadcasts and unique addressing. The proprietary radio technology, which is approved for use in Europe, Canada, and the U.S., delivers a relatively long-range radio signal with a very small amount of power. Using 50 microwatts, the transmitter will send a signal 300 meters outdoors and 30 meters indoors through walls. The secret to EnOcean's patented technology is its short signal duration -- the entire process is initiated, undertaken, and completed in about 1/1000 of a second. The STM100 modules are available in OEM quantities for less than $25 each. EnOcean ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB2E:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Free Software Helps Eliminate Oscilloscope Errors Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created software for correcting common timing errors in high-speed oscilloscopes. The Timebase Correction software is available from NIST free of charge. It works by constructing an alternative time base and analyzing an oscilloscope's measurements of both a signal of interest and two reference waves that are offset from each other. Measurements of the reference waves are compared with a calculation of an ideal wave to produce an estimate of total time errors due to distortion and jitter. These errors then can be corrected automatically for each oscilloscope measurement. The NIST correction method works with older standard equipment, corrects time records of almost any length, and can be applied to electromagnetic signals of almost any frequency. It also provides the user with an estimate of the residual timing error after the correction process has been completed. Download the Timebase Correction software package at http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB23:1001CD NIST ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB30:1001CD ***Upgraded Xeon Processors Increase Server Throughput To deliver higher levels of server throughput, Intel Corp. has released a handful of upgrades to its single-core Xeon processor family. The E8500 motherboard chip set supports all the upgraded chips. They include 64-bit addressing capability and 13 new streaming SIMD instruction extensions. Two of the CPUs offer 8 Mbytes of level 3 cache and run at 3.33 and 3.0 GHz, respectively. Expect to pay for that performance, though. The 3.33-GHz CPU costs $3692 while the 3.0-GHz unit goes for $1980, both in lots of 1000 units. A version that runs at 2.83 GHz and offers 4 Mbytes of level 3 cache costs $1177 apiece in similar quantites. Two additional Xeons that have 1 Mbyte of level 2 cache and no level 3 cache are available for cost-sensitive applications. The 3.66- and 3.16-GHz versions cost $963 and $722 each in lots of 1000 units. The E8500 chip set supports system configurations with up to four CPUs, each being either a single- or dual-core Xeon chip. It includes a 667-MHz dual, independent, front-side bus and delivers a system bandwidth of up to 10 Gbytes/s using DDR2-400 memories. The memory controller detects single- and double-bit errors and automatically corrects single-bit errors on internal data paths. A new feature on the controller is a memory RAID capability that partitions the system memory as independent, redundant, data stores to allow the reconstruction of the system data even in the event of a memory board failure. The chip-set throughput is about triple that of the previous-generation chip set. In 1000-unit lots, the chip set costs $255 apiece. Intel Corp. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB2F:1001CD ***High-Transparency Touchpanels Improve LCD Viewing Fujitsu Components America has added to its family of high-transparency touchpanels for transmissive LCDs. The new touchpanels, which are part of the company's four- and seven-wire resistive offerings, enhance the image contrast and clarity of low-power LCDs in high-ambient-light applications. All of the touchpanels feature 86% transmissivity and target a variety of applications ranging from tablet PCs to test instrumentation. To achieve the transmissivity, Fujitsu used a special index-matching coating on the panel's glass and film layers to lower reflectance losses. The company added 12.1- and 15-in. high-transparency panels to its standard seven-wire product line and 3.9-, 10.4-, and 5.7-in. high-transparency panels to its standard four-wire product line. Estimated pricing ranges from $9 to $140 in OEM volumes. Lead time is stock to 12 weeks. Fujitsu Components America Inc. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB2B:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 3. TechView Scope ********************** Consultant Fees Rise, But Overall Wages Drop Leaving your firm and going solo as a consultant may seem like the path to fame and fortune. But the 2004 IEEE-USA Consultants Survey shows that this isn't the case at all. While median consultant fees increased an average of $10 to $110 per hour since the 2002 survey, median income dropped $20,000 to $100,000. That's a much larger drop than the $1500 median decrease reported in the IEEE-USA Salary and Fringe Benefits Survey. Consulting incomes fluctuate because hours vary widely, with nearly half of the respondents working 20 hours or less. Most consultants, 57%, charge between $75 and $150 and hour. Expert witnesses and forensic experts charge the highest rates, with an average of $217. While these rates are substantially higher than typical engineering wages, consultants have to cover expenses such as health care. These high wages also are justified by experience, as 72% have 20 years of engineering experience or more. Also, 40% have a master's degree or PhD. The majority, 61%, have been consulting for less than 10 years. This suggests that many engineers become consultants after retiring from salaried positions. The Alliance of IEEE Consultants Networks conducted the survey, which tallied the responses of 756 independent consultants. The survey report can be found at http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB24:1001CD IEEE-USA ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB2C:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** June 12-17, IEEE MTT-S 2005 International Microwave Symposium Long Beach, Calif. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB2D:1001CD June 27-29, International Conference on Power Electronics for Distributed and Co-Generation (PEDAC) 2005 Novi, Mich. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB29:1001CD July 11-15, SEMICON West 2005 San Francisco, Calif. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB25:1001CD **************************************************************** Embedded in Electronic Design (EiED) Online is your source for technical insight and hands-on reviews. Read William Wong's most recent EiED Online column, "@Intel.ISEF," at http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB22:1001CD ********************** TAKE A POLL! Do you think RFID applications such as smart cards, passports, and driver's licenses are an invasion of privacy? -- No, it's a great boost to security -- Yes, but it's a necessary evil -- Yes, we should preserve privacy rights -- Don't know Vote at Electronic Design ==> http://www.elecdesign.com ******************************************************************** Get The Lead Out! 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. Check out Electronic Design's new RoHS Reference Center with links, articles, and more. Take our RoHS quiz to see how much you really know about this new EU directive. Then download the first chapter of our eBook, "Electronic Design's Guide To New International Environmental Laws." And stay tuned for more chapters to learn everything you need to know about this important, emerging topic. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB2A:1001CD **************************************************************** A Closer Look At Video Signals Nowadays there are numerous standards for the digital video signals widely used in such products as game players and cell phones. Tough design questions arise, however, because those digital signals must be dealt with in an analog domain. Get the answers in a new eBook, "Analog/Mixed-Signal Components For 21st Century Video," by Analog/Power Editor Don Tuite. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=BB26:1001CD **************************************************************** 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=BB28:1001CD ****************************************************************

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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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