Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: April 23, 2003


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine - http://www.planetee.com April 23, 2003


Today's Table of Contents: 1. Editor's View School Days: Turn Unemployment Into A Learning Opportunity 2. News From The Editors * 12.5-Gbit/s Equalizer Extends Data-Transmission Distance On PC Boards * Measurement Filter Targets Audio Switching Amps * Flash NOR Memories Trim Operating Voltages To 1.8 V * Securing Compute Data Just Became Easier 3. Upcoming Industry Events In May * Networld + Interop * NanoBusiness Spring * SID2003 4. Magazine Highlights * Cover Feature: Engineering Feature -- Approving A Standard Is Anything But Standard * Leapfrog: Industry First -- Multi-Threading Hardware Revs Up Internet Edge Processor * Conference Preview: Embedded Systems Conference * Embedded in Electronic Design: Java Technology * Design View -- Use 1TRAM Blocks To Embed More Memory On Logic Chips ********************** 1. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** School Days: Turn Unemployment Into A Learning Opportunity By Lisa Fakhry, Associate Editor Out of work? Are promising interviews few and far between? Wondering when this recession will lift and the economy will take a turn for the better? You're certainly not alone. Many engineers today are facing these same circumstances, unemployed after years of hard work and good performance. So, what is there to do? One option is to go back to school. That's right -- make the most of this hard time and strengthen your position for when the economy does improve. As of March 2003, the unemployment rate for college graduates aged 25 or older was 3.1%, up from 1.5% in December 2000. The average number of weeks unemployed has also risen from 12.5 weeks to 18.0 weeks in the same time. In short, this economy has meant that more engineers are out of work and many are staying unemployed for a considerable amount of time. Going back to school, whether part time or full time, can be a great way to turn the negative impact of unemployment into a positive career move. Returning to school can mean taking one refresher class at a community college. It can be updating your skill set with another programming language or learning more about an emerging technology. Or, it can mean going the distance and trading up your EE bachelor’s for a master’s, or your master’s for a doctorate. Any of these scenarios will certainly add sparkle to your resume and even bump it up a bit higher in the pile. The IEEE ( http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08CR0AX ), electrical engineering's leading trade association, is a great place to start for those considering a boost to their educational background. For information on professional courses and other educational opportunities, visit the IEEE Center for Education and Training (ICET) at http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08vV0AS . There, members are treated to a wealth of information as well as discounts on selected courses from IEEE's educational partners. The ICET homepage contains direct links to presentations by IEEE experts, online forums, articles and papers, and career information. The site also lists universities approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). If individual learning is more your speed, check out the Digital Library Network for Engineering and Technology (DLNET) at http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08vW0AT . This network, of which IEEE is a founding member, offers a host of peer-reviewed, noncopyrighted materials that engineers can use for continuing education purposes. The site holds course materials on aerospace, computational methods, information and communications technology, and engineering education. The materials, called learning objects, can include lecture and lesson notes, PowerPoint presentations, graphs, illustrations, or self-assessment tools like tests. If a full degree program is your bag, check out U.S. News and World Report's 2003 America’s Best Colleges issue online at http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08v20Aq . This publication ranks colleges and universities on the basis of peer assessment, retention of students, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and graduation rate. U.S. News ranked the top schools for electrical engineering degrees (bachelor’s or master’s) as Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN), Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), Harvey Mudd College (CA), Cooper Union (NY), Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (CA), and the United States Air Force Academy (CO). The top schools offering EE doctorates include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University (CA), University of California-Berkeley, and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Good news for those looking to further their education without breaking the bank: Several of these schools (Cal Tech, Stanford, MIT, and UC-Berkeley) are listed as "Best Values." These schools have an exceptional quality-to-price ratio judged by the amount of financial aid received by the average student. Whether it’s a single seminar, a couple of classes, or a journey toward an advanced degree, think about using this rough time for a better purpose. Make lemonade out of lemons, so to speak. Knowledge is power, and everyone can use a bit of an edge in today’s job market. Contact Lisa Fakhry at: mailto:[email protected] To discuss this article, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08vR0AO ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***12.5-Gbit/s Equalizer Extends Data-Transmission Distance On PC Boards Frequency-dependent problems generally make it impossible to route today's common 10-Gbit/s data over distances longer than 1 ft on a pc board without equalization techniques. Placing Maxim Integrated Products’ MAX3804 12.5-Gbit/s receive equalizer at the receive end of a pc-board transmission line can extend the line to as much as 30 inches (0.75 meter) on a 6-mil FR-4 pc board. The device uses separate supply voltages for the chip logic and the current-mode logic I/O and will operate from 1.8, 2.5, or 3.3 V. Eight discrete levels of equalization are selected via a 3-bit digital control input. Therefore, the quality of the signal can be optimized to the line length and configuration. Operating power is 115 mW. It’s compatible with 8B10B, 64B65B, and PRBS error correction and detection formats. Jitter after equalization is typically less than 30 ps peak-to-peak. The chip, housed in a 3- by 3-mm thin QFN package, is available now, starting at $10.95 in quantities of 1000. For more information, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ07jI0A1 ***Measurement Filter Targets Audio Switching Amps The outputs of Class D, I, S, and T and digital switching amplifiers contain out-of-band switching carrier components that greatly reduce the accuracy and predictability of noise and distortion measurements. The Audio Precision AUX-0025 filter instrument attenuates these signals and reduces the steepness of fast switching edges by reconditioning the signal before presentation to an analyzer. The instrument's frequency response is within +/-0.05 dB from 10 Hz to 20 kHz. Insertion loss is 0.05 dB. High-frequency rejection is typically more than 50 dB over 250 kHz to 20 MHz. The unit accepts up to +/-200 V peak and has low distortion (under 110 dB harmonic at 70 V p-p and 1 kHz, and less than 100 dB IMD at 70 V p-p with 18- and 20-kHz dual tones). Priced at $875, the AUX-0025 switching-amplifier measurement filter is available now from authorized Audio Precision distributors and representatives. For more information, call (503) 627-0832 or (800) 231-7350 (U.S. only) or go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08vS0AP ***Flash NOR Memories Trim Operating Voltages To 1.8 V In an effort to extend battery operating time in cell phones and other portable devices, a family of 1.8-V NOR-based flash memories developed by Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. drops the standby current to just 25 microamps. Read current is 55 mA, and program/erase current is 15 mA. The flash memories are available in capacities of 32 (the TC58FYM5), 64 (TC58FYM6), and 128 Mbits (TC58FYM7), with either top or bottom boot blocks. The flash devices can be had in either TSOP or BGA packages or as bare chips combined in multichip stack packages with SRAM, pseudo-SRAM, or other chips. The memories have a random-access time of 65 ns. Once a page is accessed, data within the page can be transferred at 19 ns per word. Prices for the flash memories in sample quantities are $5.50 for 32-bit device, $11.00 for the 64-Mbit chip, and $22 each for the 128-Mbit memory. For more data, e-mail [email protected] or call (949) 455-2000. ***Securing Compute Data Just Became Easier Two hardware products introduced recently at the RSA Data Security Conference in San Francisco promise to keep data as secure as can be. The first is Stonewood Electronics' Flagstone secure hard drive. The drive performs on-the-fly in-line data encryption/decryption and employs hardware-based AES (FIPS197) algorithms (CBC mode). The Flagstone drive directly replaces a standard 2.5-in. laptop hard drive or a 3.5-in. drive used in desktops or servers, plugging directly into an ATA-5-, 4-, 3-, or 2-compliant interface. The first version will hold 10 Gbytes and cost $299. A later, 20-Gbyte model is expected to sell for about $399. For more information, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08vT0AQ or call +44 (0) 1929-554400. Offering either a chip or board-level solution, eNOVA Technology delivers a chip dubbed the X-Wall SE that resides between the integrated development environment (IDE) host controller and the IDE hard drive. The chip can be included on a laptop or desktop motherboard or assembled on a PCI add-in card. The circuit intercepts and translates IDE commands and encrypts all data in real time. Throughputs of 712 Mbits/s or 1.1 Gbits/s are possible. USB-based security keys supplied with X-Wall SE-based products are available with 40- or 64-bit DES encryption, or 128- or 192-bit triple DES. The company also offers PCI add-in cards that are operating-system and software independent and do not require device drivers to be installed. For more data, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08vU0AR or call (408) 956-8100. ********************** 3. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** April 27-May 2, Networld + Interop, Las Vegas, Nev. One of the largest networking conferences and expositions of the year will feature workshops and testing lab demonstrations. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08Se0A7 May 11-13, NanoBusiness Spring, New York Marriott Financial Center, New York. Produced in association with the NanoBusiness Alliance, the show will feature presentations, demonstrations, networking, and business deals covering the emerging business of microsystems and nanotechnology. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ0plc0AR May 18-23, SID2003, Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md. Society For Information Display: International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition. The industry's premier gathering for display technology. Symposium: May 20-22; seminars, applications, tutorials, and short course: May 18-23; exhibition: May 20-22; business conference: May 19. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08CL0AR May 27-30, 53rd Electronic Components Technology Conference, New Orleans, La. Organized by the IEEE/CPMT (www.ieee.org), the conference focuses on electronic components, with a concentration on packaging. It includes sessions on optical and fiber-optic components. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eQcE0DJhUf0EmQ08CM0AS ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue, April 14, 2003. * Cover Feature: Engineering Feature -- Approving A Standard Is Anything But Standard Standards represent one of the most elusive issues in the industry, and the politics behind them often strangles their adoption. * Leapfrog: Industry First -- Multi-Threading Hardware Revs Up Internet Edge Processor Deterministic eight-way hardware multi-threading and a memory-to-memory instruction set yield a fast, efficient, 32-bit embedded network processor. * Conference Preview: Embedded Systems Conference A plethora of technologies make this month's Embedded Systems Conference one of the most intriguing to date. * Embedded in Electronic Design: Java Technology * Design View -- Use 1TRAM Blocks To Embed More Memory On Logic Chips Data-refresh and cell-layout issues must be addressed to optimally implement this space-saving alternative to SRAM technology. For the complete Table of Contents, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/ePk30GmPTq0EmQ07xN0AY




Editorial: Lucinda Mattera, Associate Chief Editor: mailto:[email protected] Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities: Bill Baumann, Associate Publisher: mailto:[email protected]


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