Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: November 9, 2005

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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com November 9, 2005

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*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Network-optimized ARM7 & ARM9 based core modules Digi International offers the widest range of core modules - ARM7, ARM9 and XScale solutions. The ConnectCore family provides core processing and integrated network connectivity in a single powerful solution. Built on NetSilicon's 32-bit processors and supported by royalty-free NET+Works software, ConnectCore modules provide a seamless migration path to a fully integrated chip-based solution. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C41:484C79 **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. News Focus *Tunable "Slow Light" Heralds Optical On-Chip Interconnects 2. News From The Editors *ABS Speed Sensor Shrugs Off Micro-Vibrations *Mobile Workstations Exploit High-Speed Drives *Electrical Interface Projects Reach For 25-Gbit/s Transfers 3. TechView Scope *Bacteria Drive Ultra-Sensitive Humidity Sensor 4. Upcoming Industry Events *2005 IEEE Int'l Electron Devices Meeting *Int'l Conference on Lead-Free Electronic Components *Interop New York 5. Book Review *"The Outsourcing Revolution" Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor mailto:[email protected] **************************************************************** ********************** 1. News Focus ********************** Tunable "Slow Light" Heralds Optical On-Chip Interconnects Through use of a channel of perforated silicon, IBM researchers have for the first time developed a means of controlling the speed of light in on-chip interconnects. The design of what's being called a photonic crystal waveguide allows the speed of light passing through it to be varied over a wide range (down to 1/300 of its usual speed) simply by applying a voltage to the waveguide. Scientists have known for some time how to slow light under laboratory conditions. It's been a goal of researchers to harness light-based interconnects as a means of alleviating overburdened traditional electrical on-chip buses. But actively controlling the speed of light on a standard-silicon chip, built with standard fabrication technology, is a first. To be truly practical, a light-based on-chip interconnect system must fulfill certain requirements. For one, the components used in such an optical network must provide excellent control over the light signals. For another, they must be very small and inexpensive to manufacture. The photonic crystal waveguide is a thin slab of silicon punctuated by regular arrays of holes that scatter light. The pattern and size of the holes give the material a very high refractive index; the higher the refractive index, the slower the light. Heating the waveguide locally with a small electrical current alters the refractive index, allowing the speed of light to be quickly tuned over a large range with very little applied power. The active area of the IBM device is microscopic, indicating the possibility of complex light-based circuits with footprints not much larger than semiconductor circuits. Manufacturing processes used to build the device are available in nearly any semiconductor factory. The capabilities demonstrated could be applied to create a variety of nanophotonic components such as optical delay lines, optical buffers, and even optical memory, all of which would be useful in building computer systems knitted together by optical communications networks. IBM Research ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C42:484C79 **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Your easiest way to control display brightness. Microsemi visible light sensors mimic human eye response. Breakthrough technology enables automatic brightness control that's not fooled by infrared or ultraviolet wavelengths. Easy design-in needs no optical filters. Integrated high gain photo current amplifiers, temperature stable, and RoHS compliant. No lead, no cadmium. Four models to meet your specific LCD or LED display design requirements. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=15403:484C79 **************************************************************** *******************Live on ElecDesign.com*********************** Pop Quiz: Wireless Communications Take the Lantronix wireless pop quiz for your chance to win an iPod and maybe even $5000 for your design! http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C43:484C79 Free Web Seminar: Techniques To Improve Measurement Accuracy Join LeCroy and Electronic Design as we focus on best practices to improve the accuracy of measurements when using any brand of digital oscilloscope. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C44:484C79 Free Web Seminar: RoHS -- The Manager's Role Register now for this important Web seminar that will help you identify and explore the decisions your company will need to make to ensure RoHS compliance. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C45:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***ABS Speed Sensor Shrugs Off Micro-Vibrations Thanks to algorithms that keep it calibrated in running mode, the ATS642LSH two-wire, dual-element, Hall-effect sensor is a good candidate for use in anti-lock braking systems and two-wire industrial speed-sensor applications. The device switches in response to differential magnetic signals from a ferrous target. The ATS642 centers an internally processed differential signal upon power-up. It immediately begins to track the differential signal and enters the calibration phase. Once calibrated, the device moves into the running-mode phase, where it looks for three consecutive out-of-range peaks. Should this occur, it assumes miscalibration, potentially on micro-vibration of the target. It then recalibrates in running mode to adjust for any offset, all without missing a transition and while maintaining a very tight duty cycle over speed and temperature. Supplied in an SH package, the ATS642LSH carries a 16-week lead time and costs $2.06 for quantities of 10,000. Free samples can be ordered at the company's Web site. Allegro MicroSystems Inc. ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C46:484C79 ***Mobile Workstations Exploit High-Speed Drives Equally facile as a server and workstation, the FleXtreme NextDimension is a high-end, reconfigurable mobile computer that targets demanding applications in digital animation, software development, data streaming for security, and seismic-data analysis. The flexible platform is offered in customizable configurations with from two to eight Fujitsu 80-Gbyte 2.5-in. SATA hard disks. Still other configurations support up to five Fujitsu SAS hard disks with storage capacities up to 73 Gbytes. Also featured in the FleXtreme NextDimension is a PCI Express 16x bus that transfers up to 8 Gbytes/s between components and two dual-core AMD Opteron processors that support simultaneous 32- and 64-bit computing. Together, these technologies eliminate bottlenecks and take full advantage of the high data-transfer rate of the SATA and SAS hard-disk drives. NextCOMputing ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C47:484C79 Fujitsu Computer Products of America ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C48:484C79 ***Electrical Interface Projects Reach For 25-Gbit/s Transfers Two new Physical and Link-Layer (PLL) Working Group projects under the aegis of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) seek to address electrical interfaces with data-transfer rates of from 20 to 25 Gbits/s in both chip-to-chip and backplane applications. The Common Electrical Interface (CEI) 25 project is a first step toward addressing the ultra-high-bandwidth requirements presented by the OIF's Physical Layer User Group at the forum's July meeting. In addition, the PLL Working Group will develop an implementation agreement targeting 120-km reach lengths using alternate signaling transmitter technology. The new implementation agreement will support ITU-T Study Group 15 work on future application codes. Such technology will enable carriers to leverage and extend the lifecycle of existing fiber and provide support for bandwidth-intensive applications such as video. Optical Internetworking Forum ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C49:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 3. TechView Scope ********************** Bacteria Drive Ultra-Sensitive Humidity Sensor Most researchers try to eliminate bacteria from their lab environments. Ravi Saraf, a chemical engineering professor with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, puts his bacteria to work. He has deposited samples of bacillus cereus onto a standard silicon chip inlaid with gold electrodes to create an ultra-sensitive humidity sensor. The university says that this is the first time scientists have created a biolelectronic device that uses a live organism. The bacteria form bridges between the electrodes on the chip. The process deposits 30-nm gold nanoparticles on the bacteria and introduces an electric current. Filaments on the bacteria's surface then grab the nanoparticles. When humidity increases, the bacteria swell as they absorb moisture. When humidity decreases, the bacteria contract. The distance between the nanoparticles increases or decreases accordingly. This distance affects the particles' ability to exchange electrons and therefore their ability to pass on electric current. Saraf and his researchers discovered that a decrease of less than 0.2 nm between the nanoparticles, reflecting a humidity decrease from 20 percent to essentially 0 percent, yielded more than a 40-fold increase in electrical current. In fact, the device's sensitivity increases as humidity decreases. This differs from typical humidity sensors, which work best when humidity is high. "In the low-humidity range, our device is a factor of four to five times better than anything out there in microelectronic devices," Saraf says. He also says that this development could lead to devices ideal for low-humidity extraterrestrial environments and high vacuums. Next, Saraf believes live cells could be employed to drive nanodevices, as microorganisms open and close electronic circuits or even power them. "You're powering (the device) by giving microorganisms food," Saraf says. "Instead of using batteries, which are caustic and environmentally unfriendly, you give it carbonaceous food, which is biodegradable." University of Nebraska-Lincoln ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C4A:484C79 **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Work Together Better with Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Teamwork just got easier. Combine multiple file types into a single, searchable document. Share critical information more securely. View and respond to project feedback seamlessly. And get everyone on the same page. Acrobat 7.0. Try it for free at adobe.com/collaborate and see how much more your team can do. Better by Adobe. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=15408:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** December 5-7, 2005 IEEE Int'l Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) Washington, D.C. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=1772B:484C79 December 6-8, IPC/JEDEC International Conference on Lead-Free Electronic Components Boston, Mass. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=15FF2:484C79 December 12-16, Interop New York New York, N.Y. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C4B:484C79 **************************************************************** ********************** 5. Book Review ********************** "The Outsourcing Revolution: Why It Makes Sense And How To Do It Right" By Michael F. Corbett The practice of global outsourcing has been hotly debated for years. But the reality is that it's here to stay. So with that in mind, why not make it work for you? Michael Corbett, industry expert and author of "The Outsourcing Revolution," contends that we're just now seeing the tip of the outsourcing iceberg. He states that over the next decade, as much as 80% of a typical executive's budget will be outsourced... Read the full book review at http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C4C:484C79 **************************************************************** EiED Online -- RoboNexus and ARM Conferences 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, "RoboNexus and ARM Conferences." Bill takes a trip out west to the ARM Developers Conference and Robonexus. Guess what he finds there -- ARMed robots and a new ARM architecture. http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=18C4D:484C79 ********************** TAKE A POLL! What's your take on VoIP phone service? -- I've already adopted it -- I'm thinking about using it -- Tried it and didn't like it -- Not interested Vote at Electronic Design ==> http://news.electronicdesign.com/t?ctl=15410:484C79 ****************************************************************

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