Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: March 8, 2006


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine Electronic Design ==> www.electronicdesign.com March 8, 2006


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Learn to use your logic analyzer more effectively! Get a series of FREE application notes and measurement tips from Agilent that will help you make the most of your logic analyzer. Topics include integrated analog/digital debug, FPGA-system debug, vector signal analysis on digital baseband and IF signals, probing innovations, and more. Plus, you can ask our logic experts questions. Click here to learn more. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F3F:484C79 **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Editor's View *Wal-Mart Takes Role In RoHS Compliance 2. Focus On ASICs *Improved Infrastructure Simplifies ARM7-Based Embedded Design 3. News From The Editors *Metal Composite Helps Flip Chips Beat The Heat *Turn A Profit With Excess Inventory *Capacitive Tactile Sensors Send Digital Feedback 4. Magazine Highlights: March 2, 2006 *Cover Feature: Engineering Feature -- Digital Versus Analog Power Control: A Fight To The... Draw? *Technology Report -- Power-Management ICs Fuel Smarter Battery-Based Designs *Leapfrog: First Look -- Vector-Processing MCU Skimps On Power Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor mailto:[email protected] **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Wal-Mart Takes Role In RoHS Compliance By Ron Schneiderman, Contributing Editor You know you're behind the curve when Wal-Mart says it's on top of the European Union's Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) program and you're not. With less than four months to go before the July 1, 2006 deadline for RoHS compliance, Wal-Mart has partnered with Toshiba America Information Systems to develop what it calls the first RoHS-compliant laptops available in U.S. retail channels... Read the full article at http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F40:484C79 **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Simplify waveform analysis with Wave Inspector The new Tektronix DPO4000 oscilloscope family offers groundbreaking Wave Inspector for viewing, navigating, and analyzing waveform data. Models range up to 1 GHz, 5 GS/s and 10 M record length/ch, USB, 10.4" XGA display, serial triggering and a small footprint. Free application note through TestEquity describes how to simplify analysis of long-record acquisitions using Wave Inspector. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=216D7:484C79 **************************************************************** *******************Live on ElectronicDesign.com***************** 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=22425:484C79 *** National Semiconductor/Electronic Design Video Quiz Bob Pease and Howard Johnson challenge you to take the National Semiconductor/Electronic Design video pop quiz. They'll test your electronic engineering skills and knowledge with five quick, but not easy, questions. Get the questions right and you'll be duly praised. Get the questions wrong and you'll feel the wrath. Think you're up for the challenge? Click here to see how you measure up! http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F41:484C79 *** Free Webcast: Low-Cost FPGAs Deliver Design Encryption, DDR, and DSP for $0.50 per 1000 LUTs Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 2:00 pm ET Lattice Semiconductor's low-cost 90-nm FPGA family delivers high-end FPGA features for about $0.50 per 1000 LUTs in volume. The LatticeECP2 chips have built-in nonvolatile encryption security, a flexible and easy-to-use double-data-rate (DDR) memory interface, 400-Mbit/s DDR1/2 memories, and DSP blocks. Join us and learn how to design with these new devices. One lucky participant will receive a free ispLever development tool and LatticeECP2 evaluation board. Register now! http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F42:484C79 *** Free Web Seminar: Troubleshooting Common Circuit Problems Using Digital Oscilloscopes Thursday, March 23, 2006 at 2:00 pm ET Due to overwhelming demand, Electronic Design is rebroadcasting this event LIVE! 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. Register today! http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F43:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 2. Focus On ASICs ********************** ***Improved Infrastructure Simplifies ARM7-Based Embedded Design An improved design infrastructure simplifies the creation of mixed-signal embedded systems using Actel's M7AFS ARM7-enabled version of the company's Fusion programmable system chip. Infrastructure improvements include the CoreAI (analog interface) IP core, as well as optimized versions of the company's CoreConsole IP deployment platform (IDP) and Libero integrated design environment (IDE). The CoreAI IP block enables the CoreMP7 soft ARM7 processor core to interface with the analog resources on the M7 Fusion devices through the advanced peripheral bus. CoreConsole 1.1 IDP simplifies the assembly of IP cores within M7AFS designs. In addition, the Libero 7.1 IDE Gold supports implementation of designs up to 1 million system gates. CoreAI will be available for free in April. The CoreConsole 1.1 IDP and Libero 7.1 IDE, also free, will be available in April for download via Actel's Web site. A Platinum edition of Libero 7.1 IDE costs $2495. Samples of the M7AFS600 will be available in April, while the M7AFS1500 begins sampling in the second half of 2006. Actel Corp. ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F44:484C79 ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Metal Composite Helps Flip Chips Beat The Heat The aluminum-silicon-carbide (AlSiC) metal matrix composite from CPS Corp. produces reliable low-cost lids, or heat spreaders, for the flip-chip IC packaging and optoelectronics market. Unlike traditional packaging materials, AlSiC's isotropic coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) can be adjusted for specific applications by modifying the Al-metal/SiC-particulate ratio. This CTE matching capability eliminates the need for thermal interface stacking, increasing reliability in the field. AlSiC also exhibits a high thermal conductivity that results in very efficient thermal dissipation. Coupled with its CTE matching, AlSiC's high thermal conductivity prevents the bowing and flexing of packaging and substrate material that can lead to failure. The company's net-shape fabrication process both produces the composite material and fabricates the product geometry. AlSiC's unrestricted geometry enables the inclusion of complex features, such as capacitor or resistor pockets, in the flip-chip lids. CPS Corp. ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F45:484C79 ***Turn A Profit With Excess Inventory Surplus inventories of components can stem from inaccurate forecasting, changes in business direction, product aging, or environmental directives. These inevitable surpluses needn't be a financial drain, and they may even yield a profit through the help of recycling firm BCD Electro. The company offers custom programs tailored to connect buyers with inventories of electronic and computer components. For example, BCD recently teamed with a large telecom company under a consignment arrangement in which the telecom OEM would receive a split on sales. BCD Electro increased its sales of excess inventory by 100 percent over the following 12 months. The same OEM also used BCD to dispose of environmentally sensitive electronics: The material was decommissioned, non-proprietary parts were resold, and the balance was refined into raw material feedstock for reuse. BCD's 80,000-square-ft secure warehouse can house inventories of any size. Contact the company for more information on its custom programs. BCD Electro ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F46:484C79 ***Capacitive Tactile Sensors Send Digital Feedback The newest capacitance-based DigiTacts sensors differ from earlier versions by providing direct digital outputs (3.3 or 5 V) rather than raw analog voltage levels. Measuring less than half a millimeter thick, the devices provide pressure readings from 0 to 140 kPa (0 to 20 psi) in 0.7-kPa (0.1 psi) increments. An evaluation kit consists of a sensor, an interface board with a USB connection and an LCD readout, PC software, and technical support. The sensors have I2C serial interfaces and are available with either solder pads or a standard connector for 1-mm ribbon cable. They can be configured as 10- or 25-mm squares or as a 10-mm diameter circular pad. Evaluation kits cost $995, a pair of matched sensors costs $895, and a set of any five sensors costs $1795. Pressure Profile Systems ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F47:484C79 **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Accelerate your PCB component placement process with CircuitSpace The award winning PCB design software from DesignAdvance delivers user-assisted automation to the current manual process of PCB component placement, reducing design time by weeks and pushing products to market faster. Visit our website to learn more and while you're there take our brief survey and be entered to win a Sony PSP! http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F8C:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. March 2, 2006: One Powerful Issue * Cover Feature: Engineering Feature -- Digital Versus Analog Power Control: A Fight To The... Draw? They're different, but by borrowing some digital approaches to design simplification, analog can play nicely with digital in many vendors' portfolios. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F49:484C79 * Technology Report -- Power-Management ICs Fuel Smarter Battery-Based Designs The mounting avalanche of sleek battery-powered applications requires innovative power-management schemes. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F4A:484C79 * Leapfrog: First Look -- Vector-Processing MCU Skimps On Power The ARM9-based LTC3180 combines 208-MHz, 228-MIPS performance with fine-tuned power control. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F4B:484C79 For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F4C:484C79 **************************************************************** Design Briefs Wanted! Send us your ideas for design. We'll pay you $100 for every Design Brief that we publish. You can submit your ideas to: mailto:[email protected] For submission guidelines, go to http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F8D:484C79 **************************************************************** EiED Online -- Five Tiny SBC Modules 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, "Five Tiny SBC Modules." Bill takes a look at offerings from Systronix, NetBurner, Silicon Labs, Gumstix, and Kontron. These development kits include small, low-cost modules that can be incorporated into products or used to develop applications for small custom platforms. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=22F4E: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=15410:484C79 ****************************************************************




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

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