Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: March 24, 2004

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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com March 24, 2004

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*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Introducing MAX II: The Lowest-Cost CPLD Ever Building on more than a decade of CPLD leadership and innovation, Altera introduces MAX II devices. Featuring a groundbreaking new architecture, MAX II CPLDs deliver all the ease-of-use benefits of industry-leading MAX devices at half the cost and one-tenth the power consumption. Meet Altera's new MAX II family! http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BGZX0Ag **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Editor's View * Your Tax Dollars At Work: NSA Makes Linux More Secure 2. Focus On Power * Hot-Swap Power Controllers Aim At Telecom, Networking Apps 3. News From The Editors * Quad-Data-Rate SRAMs Deliver Highest Capacity, Bandwidth * Name Change Helps Define Change In Product Direction * Robots Lose, But Technology Wins 4. Upcoming Industry Events * 3D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging * International Symposium on Physical Design * Semicon Europa, including MEMS Manufacturing and Packaging Forum * IEEE Workshop on Electronic Design Processes 5. Magazine Highlights: March 15, 2004 * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- Design Autopsy: Dissecting The Costs * Conference Preview -- Boards, Software, Serial Buses -- A Busy ESC Covers It All * Technology Report -- New Breed Of ASICs Melds The Best Of Two Worlds * Leapfrog: First Look -- Adaptive Logic Molds Faster, More Efficient FPGAs * Leapfrog: First Look -- Go Concurrent, Not Sequential, In ESL SoC Design * Design View / Design Solution -- When Is It Best To Use VXI, PXI, Or GPIB For Your System? Electronic Design UPDATE edited by John Novellino **************************************************************** 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. Go to: http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ05Am0AE TAKE OUR CURRENT QUICK POLL: Do you agree with this issue's Editorial, "Protect American Jobs By Winning At Global R&D"? Post your comments at http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BGCQ0AC Go to Electronic Design ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ05Am0AE ***** TOMORROW! Attend the PowerDesign365 "Why Factorized Power Architecture?" webcast on March 25 at 12:00 p.m. EST. New distributed power technology has raised interest and questions in the industry. What are the real benefits of this new system? Will OEMs take a risk on the new technology? This will be the first open forum for a discussion on this topic. Only PowerDesign365 registrants will be able to attend this webcast. To join now, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BFSC0AD ***** Can't get to the Embedded Systems Conference? Bring the ESC show to your desktop via Electronic Design's Inside Embedded webcast. Embedded/Systems/Software Editor William Wong gives you the ESC lowdown, direct from the show. Sign up now to join the FREE webcast. Hear the hot market trends and see the showstopping new products direct from the Embedded Systems Conference on April 1 (no fooling!) at 12:00 noon EST. Go to: http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BFpF0Aj ***** Also, visit our Job Board at http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BEmq0AO which ties to the Defense Talent Network for thousands of defense, aerospace, and homeland security postings. **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Your Tax Dollars At Work: NSA Makes Linux More Secure By William Wong, Embedded/Systems/Software Editor The National Security Agency (NSA) has its own brand of Linux called SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux). It is actually an ongoing research project to enhance the security of the Linux kernel to meet the NSA's demanding requirements. The latest release brings this support to the current 2.6 Linux production kernel. Prior to this, SELinux was based on the 2.4 kernel. Although SELinux is a research prototype, Linux distribution companies have indicated they will deploy these enhancements in future products. For example, Red Hat will implement this functionality in its next Red Hat Enterprise Linux release. SELinux is distributed using the open-source GPL (General Public License). SELinux is significant from a couple of standpoints. It is a major improvement over Linux's standard security mechanism. It adds mandatory access controls and access control policies. It also delivers multilevel security support, providing system managers more control when partitioning a system. It is designed to prevent malicious and accidental security breaches. SELinux features are critical in enterprise systems, but they also can be used in embedded systems. To some degree, it is comparable to the software partitioning provided by Arinc 653. This standard includes an application partitioning scheme that is more static than SELinux, but the importance of Arinc 653 in safety-critical and high-reliability environments highlights the need for SELinux type features in networked, embedded applications. Given Linux's importance in the embedded arena, designers would do well to investigate the NSA version's features. Security provisions in most embedded devices are still in their infancy, but with increased connectivity via the Internet and the use of downloaded applications it is imperative that developers provide the kind of partitioned security that SELinux offers. SELinux foregoes the standard Linux root superuser account. Those unfamiliar with SELinux should keep in mind that it is not designed to be distributed for general use like SuSE, Red Hat, or Mandrake. Rather, SELinux focuses on a narrow aspect of security. In fact, the SELinux additions are delivered as source code that will take a Linux expert to install on a standard Linux system. Embedded developers needing this type of support will have to turn to embedded Linux distributions like those from Monta Vista and Timesys. Of course, there is always the option to roll your own. How will this impact other embedded operating systems? In some instances, features similar to this are already available. But for most, this level of partitioning and policy-based security will have to be added. Developer demand will drive enhancements in this area. There remains much to do in the SELinux project. As with most open-source projects, a wide range of developers is working on various aspects of the project. Using the latest version of Linux as a base is key to keeping SELinux relevant, so this latest announcement is very good news. Following the SELinux project has been interesting. There are some who feel that the project competes with commercial interests, but the government supports a wide range of research projects. Many bear fruit that is often far removed from its original intent. The Internet is a key example of this. For more information, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BGZO0AX . To comment on this Editor's View, go to Reader Comments at the foot of the Web page: Electronic Design UPDATE ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BGZP0AY *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** SPONSORED BY: TRUE CIRCUITS, INC. True Circuits, Inc. offers a family of award-winning clock generator, deskew, low-bandwidth and spread-spectrum PLLs and DDR DLLs that spans nearly all performance points and features typically requested by ASIC and FPGA designers. These high-quality, low-jitter, silicon-proven hard macros are available for immediate delivery in a range of frequencies, multiplication factors and functions in TSMC, UMC and Chartered processes from 0.25 to 0.09 micron. Call (650) 691-2500 or visit http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ07EG0Ag . **************************************************************** ********************** 2. Focus On Power ********************** ***Hot-Swap Power Controllers Aim At Telecom, Networking Apps A family of eight highly integrated, hot-swap power controllers specifically targets telecom, networking, and datacom line card applications. The MIC2589 and MIC2595, which come in 14-pin SOIC packages, operate from -19 to -80 V with 100-V surge protection. The devices control an external N-channel MOSFET to provide inrush-current limiting and overcurrent protection with a minimum of other components. They also provide separate "power-is-good" control outputs for multiple dc-dc power converters. These outputs are time-staggered and programmable by an external capacitor. The MIC2589R and MIC2595R versions have an auto-retry feature that will continue to attempt to restart the load in the event of a fault condition. Two versions with reduced feature sets, the MIC2588 and MIC2594, come in space-saving eight-pin SOIC packages. The 14-pin controllers cost $2.38 each in 10,000-unit lots. Micrel Semiconductor ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0qFZ0Ay ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Quad-Data-Rate SRAMs Deliver Highest Capacity, Bandwidth The highest-bandwidth, highest-density static RAMs are now sampling. The family of 72-Mbit quad-data-rate II (QDR II) and double-data-rate II (DDR II) SRAMs deliver up to 50% more system-level bandwidth and accelerate read/write capabilities in a variety of data-intensive applications. Storage capacity is more than twice that of previous QDR II/DDR II SRAMs. The memories come in speed grades from 167 to 200 MHz (eventually 250 MHz). Versions will be available in 4-Mword by 18-bit, 8-Mword by 9-bit, and 2-Mword by 36-bit organizations. The 4-M by 18 and 8-M by 9 versions are available with a burst of 2 words interface, the 2-M by 36-bit version with a burst of 4 capability. The DDR II version is available with a burst of 2 and separate I/O options. The CY7C15XXV18 family supports the LA-1 bus interface, which is used by a wide array of network processors, and the DDR-II SRAM interface, which is used by most of the remaining network processors. Housed in 165-contact FBGAs that measure 15 by 17 mm, the memories consume between 1.5 and 2 W when powered by a 1.8-V supply, depending on speed grade and I/O option. In lots of 10,000, prices start at $145 apiece for the CY7C1512V18 4-Mword by 18-bit device. Cypress Semiconductor Corp. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0pcG0A8 ***Name Change Helps Define Change In Product Direction In an effort to redefine its ASIC product capabilities and implementation services, Chip Express has renamed itself ChipX to indicate its ability to provide ASIC design on a family of structured ASIC platforms. The company has moved away from its initial fast-turnaround ASIC service using laser configuration and now is focused on supporting companies implementing designs with families of structured ASICs. The latest such devices are its CX5000 family of 180-nm based chips, which offer from 44k to 1.8M useable gates and up to 2.6 Mbits of memory. To date, the company has implemented 34 structured ASIC designs for customers, and many more designs are in the pipeline. ChipX ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BGZQ0AZ ***Robots Lose, But Technology Wins It was a bold idea. Offer a million dollars to the first team to build an autonomous vehicle that could race from California to Las Vegas in less than 10 hours. Unfortunately, no one claimed the prize. Twenty-five teams entered DARPA's Grand Challenge, which took place on March 13. However, only 15 actually qualified to tackle the 142-mile course from Barstow, Calif., to Primm, Nevada. None came close to finishing the course. Two withdrew prior to the start of the race. Three didn't even make it out of the starting area. The others had varying degrees of success. The "Sandstorm" from the Red Team, a group of students from Carnegie Melon, got the farthest. It crossed 7.4 miles before veering off course and getting stuck on a berm. While nobody took the prize, the event was "a most important first step in a long journey," said Anthony Tether, director of DARPA. "We learned a tremendous amount today about autonomous ground vehicle technology." This truly is significant, as the Department of Defense aims to convert a third of all ground combat vehicles to unmanned vehicles by 2015. DARPA expects to hold the Grand Challenge again. ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** Apr. 13-15, 3D Architectures for Semiconductor Integration and Packaging San Francisco, Calif. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BGCY0AK Apr. 18-21, International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD) Phoenix, Ariz. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BFpM0Aq Apr. 20-22, Semicon Europa, including MEMS Manufacturing and Packaging Forum Munich, Germany http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BGZY0Ah Apr. 25-27, IEEE Workshop on Electronic Design Processes Monterey, Calif. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BGZS0Ab ********************** 5. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. March 15, 2004: * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- Design Autopsy: Dissecting The Costs Using a cell phone as an example, this teardown analysis reveals opportunities to cut expenses from the bill of materials, despite the seemingly endless parade of new features. * Conference Preview -- Embedded Systems Conference Boards, Software, Serial Buses -- A Busy ESC Covers It All * Technology Report -- New Breed Of ASICs Melds The Best Of Two Worlds Thanks to faster turnaround times and lower development costs than full custom ASICs, platform/structured ASICs bring stiff competition to FPGAs and ASICs. * Leapfrog: First Look -- Adaptive Logic Molds Faster, More Efficient FPGAs With a 50% speed hike and 25% boost in logic efficiency over previous Stratix devices, the Stratix II family of FPGAs lets designers cram more high-performance logic into less logic area. * Leapfrog: First Look -- Go Concurrent, Not Sequential, In ESL SoC Design Virtual platforms are proving to be an adept means of driving true hardware/software co-design. * Design View / Design Solution -- When Is It Best To Use VXI, PXI, Or GPIB For Your System? For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/efAw0Gl4E70EmQ0BGZT0Ac

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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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