Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: April 7, 2004

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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> http://www.planetee.com April 7, 2004

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Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Industry View * "Human" Technologies Will Improve Quality Of Life 2. Focus On ASICs * Embedded Flash Cells Enhance 130-nm ASIC Library 3. News From The Editors * Structured ASIC Series Adds Vertical Market Platforms * Real-Time Windows System Enhanced * Develop A Compact Web Server * Sixteen-Bit MCU Gives More Bang For The Buck 4. Upcoming Industry Events * International Symposium on Physical Design * Semicon Europa, including MEMS Manufacturing and Packaging Forum * IEEE Workshop on Electronic Design Processes * Reconfigurable Architectures Workshop 5. Magazine Highlights: March 29, 2004 * Cover Story: Engineering Feature/Success Story -- The BlackBerry Reaps The Fruits Of Innovation * Technology Report -- Take The PGA Tour Through Analog-Digital Interfacing * Leapfrog: First Look -- "Arm"-ing Analog Microcontrollers * Leapfrog: First Look -- Latest Linux Kernel Is A One-Stop Solution * Design View / Design Solution -- Learn "The Rules Of The Game" For Powering Today's Processors Electronic Design UPDATE edited by John Novellino

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Distributed Power Architecture Emerges for the Telecom Central Office Attend the PowerDesign365 Webcast on April 22 at 12:00 EST

Al Cioffi will discuss how advances in power conversion and battery technology promise to drastically reshape the telecom central office. He'll discuss how switching from centralized to distributed power could save as much as 40% of the initial cost of an installed power system, while improving reliability and safety. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BF3D0Ap

**************************************************************** ********************** 1. Industry View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE **********************

"Human" Technologies Will Improve Quality Of Life

By Bert Gyselinckx, Manager, Human ++ Program, IMEC

Society is aging and spending more money on healthcare. These changes are creating tremendous opportunities for technology companies to vastly improve the functionality of therapeutic and diagnostic equipment by designing devices that more closely match the needs of an older population.

By 2010, technology will enable people to carry their own personal body-area network (BAN), which will provide medical, sports, or entertainment functions. The BAN will comprise a series of miniature sensor/actuator nodes, each of which with its own energy supply consisting of storage and scavenging devices. Each node will have enough intelligence to execute a set of tasks, including storing and forwarding algorithms as well as complex nonlinear multiparameter data analysis. Also, each node will be able to communicate with other sensor nodes or with a central node worn on the body. The central node will communicate with the outside world by using a standard telecommunication infrastructure, such as a wireless local area or cellular phone network. Using the BAN, the network will deliver services that will include the management of chronic disease, medical diagnostics, home monitoring, biometrics, and sports and fitness tracking.

The successful realization of this BAN will require innovative solutions to remove some critical technological obstacles. First, the lifetime of battery-powered devices must be extended. Next, interaction between sensors and actuators should be enlarged to enable new applications like multiparameter biometrics. Intelligence should be added to the device so that it can store, process, and transfer data. In addition, the device must include chemical and biological measurement features. Add a thorough understanding of medical phenomena to the system as well.

Experience and expertise in various technology domains must be combined to cope with these exciting challenges. For one, semiconductor technology scaling will produce smaller electronic devices that require less power and permit the development of therapeutic and diagnostic devices with enhanced functionality. Microsystem technology, in particular micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) technology, also will permit devices that combine electrical and mechanical properties. A first application of MEMS technology is the development of energy scavengers to power the autonomous medical systems. For example, energy scavengers could generate micropower from body heat based on the conversion of thermal energy to electrical energy.

Because this energy source is continuous, the systems always will be on and will have an almost infinite lifetime. The challenge will be to prove that such devices can extract enough power from the human body -- 100 microwatts or more -- to supply the systems of the future. Sensor and actuator systems that provide the interface to the outside world as well as to the mixed-signal circuitry that surrounds it are other potential MEMS applications. Finally, MEMS will permit the creation of components (e.g., resonators) for ultra-low-power (ULP) radio transceivers, which could be used to communicate between sensor nodes and the central node while consuming an average of 50 microwatts.

The development of ULP radios additionally will rely on the expertise of wireless technology. Generally, wireless technology enables the gathering of internal and external body data and the communication of this data to a relevant node for further action. Better packaging techniques will permit the easy wear of mobile, wireless medical devices by enabling the integration of complex heterogeneous systems, such as fluidic biosensors, radios, microprocessors, and batteries, into small devices. Nanotechnologies allow the direct interaction of a body's biological system, like cells, antibodies, or DNA, by the use of miniature interconnecting devices. Possible applications are new biosensors and implants.

Processor architectures designed for low power consumption will increase the intelligence of the sensor nodes. Consequently, the sensors themselves will be able to perform more complex data processing. This will require the development of ULP architectures, application-specific instruction-set processor (ASIP) architectures, and data-memory architectures that can run biomedical applications that today require 20 million to 100 million operations per second on non-optimized processors. Design technology will be needed for the efficient modeling, simulation, and design of all of the above.

Bert Gyselinckx can be reached at mailto:[email protected] The Human++ Program at the Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC), in Leuven, Belgium, is a cross-divisional initiative aimed at integrating diagnostic and therapeutic functionality in highly miniaturized autonomous wireless nodes.

To comment on this Industry View, go to Reader Comments at the foot of the Web page:

Electronic Design UPDATE ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BG6m0Aa

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********************** 2. Focus On ASICs **********************

***Embedded Flash Cells Enhance 130-nm ASIC Library A split-gate SuperFlash memory cell added to Samsung's 130-nm ASIC design library targets applications that require significant amounts of embedded flash memory. The memory cells will create flash memory arrays with fast erase times, small sector erase capability, and low programming currents. Based on a license from Silicon Storage Technology Inc., the cells offer an endurance of over 100k erase/program cycles, access times as fast as 25 ns, and a data retention time of 100 years. The company's LF13 process allows the memories to be embedded on the same chip as logic, SRAM, analog, and RF functions, permitting true system-on-a-chip integration. Design tools are available now, and the process will be released for mass production in the third quarter.

Samsung Semiconductor Inc. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BG6n0Ab

********************** 3. News -- From The Editors **********************

***Structured ASIC Series Adds Vertical Market Platforms The AccelArray structured ASIC family has five new members. Some of the new platform chips from Fujitsu Microelectronics incorporate an ARM926 embedded processor that runs at 200 MHz. The platforms also include up to 4 Mbits of memory, 16 kbytes of dedicated instruction and data cache, and up to 3 million gates. Other new family members will incorporate pre-diffused high-speed GigaPHY macrocells that provide point-to-point full-duplex, differential serial communications links with transfer rates from 622 Mbits/s to 3.125 Gbits/s. The GigaPHY macro offers physical-layer (PHY) support for high-speed protocols in high-bandwidth applications. Aggregate bandwidths of up to 150 Gbits/s are possible on one chip. The AccelArray platforms also take advantage of the company's double-data-rate (DDR) memory interface technology, which is production-ready and implemented in the company's 110-nm process. The company's design compiler will support DDR II interfaces in late 2004.

Fujitsu Microelectronics America Inc. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BG6o0Ac

***Real-Time Windows System Enhanced VenturCom Inc. released Version 6.0 of RTX (Real-Time Extension) for Windows. RTX adds real-time scheduling and resource allocation to Windows NT, 2000, and XP. This latest release also implements deterministic memory allocation and USB 1.1 and 2.0 support. New Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC) HAL supports uniprocessor and multiprocessor platforms. Additionally, Version 6 supports Visual Studio .Net 2002 and 2003. VenturCom also sells a real-time TCP/IP stack that works with RTX.

VenturCom Inc. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BG6p0Ad

***Develop A Compact Web Server A 16-bit, TCP/IP development board from Nu Horizons makes for a compact Web server. Based on a 22-MHz Renesas H8/S 2329 microcontroller and the SMSC 91C96 Ethernet media-access controller with integrated physical layer, the board has 4 Mbytes of DRAM, two serial ports, an RS-485 port, a six-channel analog-to-digital converter with temperature sensor and potentiometer, and digital I/O with status LEDs. The system can interface to the Horizons Bus and the optional Xilinx Virtex2 FPGA development board. Software includes the Renesas Embedded Workshop development suite and demos for the CMX MicroNet TCP/IP Stack from CMX Systems Inc. and XMK RTOS Kernal and TCP/IP (uIP) stack source code from Shift-Right Technologies. The TCP/IP Development Kit costs $122.93.

NuHorizons ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BG6q0Ae

***Sixteen-Bit MCU Gives More Bang For The Buck The M32C/8x line of 16-bit MCUs from Renesas Technology incorporates a 32-MHz core. These MCUs target automotive systems and communication equipment that require a wide temperature range (-40 degrees C to 125 degrees C). They come in versions with up to 512 kbytes of single-voltage-programmable flash memory and a second 4-kbyte data block. Each includes one or two controller-area network (CAN) controllers compliant with the Bosch v2.0B specification, plus high-level data link control (HDLC) and intelligent I/O functions. The MCUs include a fast 10-bit analog-to-digital converter. Prices for the M32C/84 with 24 kbytes of RAM start at $27.51.

Renesas Technology America Inc. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ08hC0AN

********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events **********************

April 18-21, International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD) Phoenix, Ariz. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BGmd0AM

April 20-22, Semicon Europa, including MEMS Manufacturing and Packaging Forum Munich, Germany http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BGZY0Aq

April 25-27, IEEE Workshop on Electronic Design Processes Monterey, Calif. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BG6r0Af

April 26-27, Reconfigurable Architectures Workshop (RAW) Santa Fe, N.M. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BG6s0Ag

********************** 5. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue.

March 29, 2004:

* Cover Story: Engineering Feature/Success Story -- The BlackBerry Reaps The Fruits Of Innovation Quickly becoming the medium of choice among professionals from many backgrounds, Research in Motion looks to vault the BlackBerry into ubiquity.

* Technology Report -- Take The PGA Tour Through Analog-Digital Interfacing As real-world analog signals close in on the ubiquitous digital world of computing, a host of PGA and supporting products is being honed to meet data-acquisition needs.

* Leapfrog: First Look -- "Arm"-ing Analog Microcontrollers

* Leapfrog: First Look -- Latest Linux Kernel Is A One-Stop Solution

* Design View / Design Solution -- Learn "The Rules Of The Game" For Powering Today's Processors

For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efN70Gl4E70EmQ0BG6t0Ah

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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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