Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: March 1, 2006


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine Electronic Design ==> www.electronicdesign.com March 1, 2006


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Ultracapacitors pick up where batteries leave off. Battery deficiencies, such as limited lifetime, ongoing maintenance needs and poor burst power performance, mean that ultracapacitors offer a realistic alternative for energy storage and power delivery due to their long lifetime over 500,000 cycles, high reliability and wide operating temperature range. Read the free white paper discussing the benefits of using ultracapacitors. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22558:484C79 **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. News Focus *16-Bit Flash MCUs Boost Power/Performance Ratio 2. News From The Editors *Ultra-Miniature Crystal Oscillators Suit Low-Power Apps *Biometric Authentication System Discerns Cardiac Patterns *PARC Technology Helps Cut Solar Power Costs 3. TechView Scope *Sensor Network Aims To Improve First Response 4. Upcoming Industry Events *APEC 2006 *PCB Design Conference West *Embedded Systems Conference 5. Book Review *"Embedded Media Processing" Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor mailto:lmali[email protected] **************************************************************** ********************** 1. News Focus ********************** 16-Bit Flash MCUs Boost Power/Performance Ratio Targeting the consumer electronics, household appliance, and industrial systems markets, NEC Electronics' 78K0R series of 16-bit microcontrollers delivers six times the power/performance ratio of the company's 8-bit MCU series. The flash-based MCUs consume 1.8 mW/MIPS. Designers have a large variety of design options with the 78K0R series, which consists of 30 devices in packages with 64 to 100 pins and flash memory configurations ranging from 64 to 256 kbytes. A three-stage pipeline supports performance up to 13 MIPS, while voltage-control circuits and other CPU features help suppress power consumption to levels approximately half those of many comparable 16-bit MCUs. As a result, designers can develop more complex systems with advanced functionality while still meeting the rigorous requirements for low power consumption. The series also features power-on reset functions, voltage-detection circuits, on-chip oscillators, calendar timers, and low electromagnetic interference. The 16-bit 78K0R instruction set includes the 8-bit 78K0 instruction set to allow for upward compatibility. Built with NEC's 0.15-micron process technology and SuperFlash embedded flash memory, the MCUs are priced competitively with 16-bit mask ROM devices. The company's development tool suite includes on-chip debuggers and the Minicube2 debugger/flash programmer combination, as well as a software simulator and Applilet sample code-generator program. NEC Electronics America offers both its own flash programming services and services provided by a number of third-party vendors. Samples of the 16-bit series are expected to be available starting in April 2006, with volume production scheduled to begin in October 2006. Pricing for the 100-pin 78K0R/KG3 MCU with 256 kbytes of memory is $5 in 1000-unit orders. NEC Electronics America ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22551:484C79 **************************************************************** *******************Live on ElectronicDesign.com***************** Free Web Seminar: Troubleshooting Common Circuit Problems Using Digital Oscilloscopes Thursday, March 23, 2006 at 2:00 pm ET Join us to learn about the techniques available in modern digital oscilloscopes for troubleshooting circuit problems. This seminar will focus on practical, real-world examples showing how to troubleshoot common failure modes of circuits and components. Topics discussed will include finding small signals in the presence of noise, EMI/ESD tests, and troubleshooting crosstalk. Register today! http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22550:484C79 QuickLogic Pop Quiz Test your knowledge with QuickLogic's short FPGA pop quiz. You'll be eligible to win an iPod Nano no matter what your score, so don't forget to enter your contact details and hit submit! http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22556:484C79 Free eBook: A Black-Box Approach To ADCs This eBook provides a black-box approach to the traditional analog-to-digital converter (ADC) tutorial. It concentrates on the common characteristics of all ADCs and what they imply for the system-level designer. The third chapter is now available. Download it today! http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22554:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Ultra-Miniature Crystal Oscillators Suit Low-Power Apps The SaRonix S1643 and S1644 series quartz crystal clock oscillators, which come in an ultra-miniature 3.2- by 2.5-mm ceramic package, are an excellent match for low-power applications. AT-cut quartz produces a specified output clock signal between 1.8432 and 106.25 MHz. The crystals run off a 3.3- or 2.5-V supply and use a non-PLL (phase-locked loop) clock circuit to achieve low output jitter and 8- to 15-mA current consumption -- ideal for battery-operated or low-power systems. Moreover, the products achieve a +/-25-ppm total accuracy over commercial operating conditions and +/-50-ppm total accuracy over industrial operating conditions. Lead times range from stock to 10 weeks. Prices start around $1.10 each in 1000-piece quantities. The devices are available on tape and reel for automated pick-and-place assembly. They comply with the European Union's Restrictions on Hazardous Substances. And, they're compatible with lead-free reflow soldering guidelines. Pericom Semiconductor Corp. ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=2255C:484C79 ***Biometric Authentication System Discerns Cardiac Patterns Every individual has a distinctive cardiac pattern that lends itself to use in biometric authentication. Aladdin Knowledge Systems has demonstrated a biometric authentication technology that uses a person's natural biodynamic signature (BDS), an electro-bio signature that is unique to each individual. Unlike other biometric technologies that use fingerprints, pictures, or static bio-signals to identify a person, BDS is based on intrinsic human electro-biometric dynamic signals acquired by merely touching a small conductive surface. The signature is based on the electronic signals humans produce from their body, including the heart. This new biometric technology is highly accurate, user friendly, and difficult to deceive. Aladdin may offer the authentication technology as early as 2007. Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd. ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=2255F:484C79 ***PARC Technology Helps Cut Solar Power Costs The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and SolFocus are working together on a solar-power system that will cut costs by as much as half. PARC is contributing core patents and long-term technology-development support for SolFocus' current and next-generation product lines. The venture builds on the original SolFocus design for concentrator photovoltaic technology, which creates electricity by using precision optical components to direct and concentrate sunlight onto high-efficiency solar cells. The venture is a result of PARC's "clean technologies" initiative, a research program designed to focus on key areas of renewable energy. The innovative module design is based on a solid-state concept featuring small reflective concentrator elements housed in a flat molded glass tile with mirrors on each side. Each tile will be pressed from molten glass and will contain 160 individual cells, generating a total of 30 W. Several tiles can be joined together to deliver the desired total electrical output. Palo Alto Research Center Inc. (PARC) ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=2255D:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 3. TechView Scope ********************** Sensor Network Aims To Improve First Response First responders have to be ready for anything -- chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats. Early identification is the key to success. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a detection system that operates on a citywide level. This system integrates a 911 dispatch system with sensors, alarms, and video surveillance. The SensorNet system is on trial at Fort Bragg, a military base in North Carolina. The base is home to more than 30,000 residents, with 11 shopping centers, 28 restaurants, a major medical center, 11 churches, and 183 recreational facilities. It also covers more than 20 million square feet of office buildings. Protecting such a large area may seem like a demanding task for a new system. Yet the system is quite simple. It relies on plug-and-play sensors in applications that are invisible to users, unlike conventional public-safety mass-notification networks. It doesn't require any complicated computer programming. Also, it sends information directly to command centers or emergency responder dispatchers in real time. Most importantly, it's easy to operate. "Any sensor can talk to any application," says Bryan Gorman, a researcher with Oak Ridge's Computational Sciences and Engineering Division. "Just like with the Internet or with telephone systems, it doesn't matter what kind of computer or telephone you have, where you are or what application you're running. The system just works." The trial will assess how well the system integrates its chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear sensors with meteorological sensors, intrusion detectors, and access control technologies. The sensors that emerge as the best in class will be incorporated in SensorNet installations around the United States. Funded by the Department of Defense, the project is scheduled to last five years. Oak Ridge National Laboratory ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22560:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** March 19-23, APEC 2006 Dallas, Texas http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22555:484C79 March 26-31, PCB Design Conference West Santa Clara, Calif. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=2255E:484C79 April 3-7, Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley San Jose, Calif. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=2255A:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 5. Book Review ********************** "Embedded Media Processing" By David. J Katz and Rick Gentile Although multimedia processing is very common, getting started in this arena is not as simple as churning out some dialog boxes and some Java code. Check out this book and you will have a good idea of both the topic areas and methods that will prove very useful. You won't find a detailed implementation of a Hough Transform, but that is something you can often find in a runtime library. What you really need to know is where it is used... Read the full book review at http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22552:484C79 **************************************************************** EiED Online -- Bus and Board Show: Part 2 Embedded in Electronic Design (EiED) Online is your source for technical insight and hands-on reviews. Read Technology Editor Bill Wong's latest EiED Online column, "Bus and Board Show: Part 2." This year's Bus and Board show brought out a range of issues, from the European Union's Restrictions on Hazardous Substances to VME's 25th anniversary. Hear about the new Aurora fabric, and find out what else Bill discovered at the show. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22553:484C79 ********************** TAKE A POLL! As Internet traffic increases, speeds decrease, causing bothersome delays. Telecom companies have proposed a fee-based system to deal with the problem. Should Internet users be charged for sending e-mail? -- Yes, charges may reduce overuse that clogs the system -- Users should have the option to pay for faster service -- There should be an e-mail limit at which charges begin -- No, it should stay a free method of information exchange Vote at Electronic Design ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=2255B:484C79 ****************************************************************




Editorial: Mark David, Editor-in-Chief mailto:[email protected] Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities: Bill Baumann, Publisher: mailto:[email protected]

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