Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: August 31, 2005

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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com August 31, 2005

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*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Design engineering help only engineers could design Join the Minco E2E "Engineer to Engineer" Community and tap into a virtual human library of engineering knowledge and expertise. This dynamic community of engineers knows what you deal with day-to-day and are willing to offer helpful insight and guidance. E2E Community tools for learning: Discussion Forum, Most Popular Questions, Ask the Experts, White Papers, and Engineering Tools. Join today! Go to: http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125BD:1001CD **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. News Focus *Disposable Cartridge Creates Hydrogen For Portable Fuel Cells 2. News From The Editors *Perpendicular Recording Is Now Commercial Reality *Future Processors Will Produce Ultra-Low-Power PCs *Tiny Slide Switches Fit In Tight Spots 3. TechView Scope *Wireless Hotspots Go Airborne On Multiple Airlines 4. Upcoming Industry Events *Embedded Systems Conference *DesignCon East *ARM Developers' Conference 5. Book Review *"What The Dormouse Said" Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor mailto:[email protected] **************************************************************** Submit Photos And Get Paid! Grab some photos showing the "guts and glory" of you (and your team) at work. We need them for our "Day in the Life of an Electronic Designer" photo essay, which will appear in Electronic Design's Oct. 20 special issue. There's a $500 Grand Prize for best photo series and $250 prize for best photo, and we pay $50 if we use any of your photos in the issue. Please include the names and titles of all photo subjects, as well as company name and the type of work-in-process illustrated by the photo. Digital photos should be in .tif or .jpg formats and must have resolution of at least 300 dpi. Deadline for submission is Sept. 15. E-mail digital photos to Richard Gawel at mailto:[email protected] Mail hard-copy photos to: Richard Gawel Electronic Design Managing Editor 45 Eisenhower Dr., 5th Floor Paramus, NJ 07652 **************************************************************** ********************** 1. News Focus ********************** Disposable Cartridge Creates Hydrogen For Portable Fuel Cells Purdue University researchers have developed a novel way of generating hydrogen for fuel cells to recharge batteries in portable electronics: pellets of hydrogen-releasing material contained in disposable credit-card-size cartridges. Target applications include portable devices such as cell phones, notebook computers, and handheld medical diagnostic devices. In addition, the technology offers promise as an energy source to power hardware in spacecraft. Hydrogen produced by the method could be used to drive a fuel cell, which then would produce electricity to charge a battery. A computer chip would automatically detect when the battery needed to be recharged, activating a new pellet until all of the pellets on the cartridge were consumed. Byproducts from the reaction are environmentally benign and can either be safely discarded or recycled. The new technique combines two existing methods for producing hydrogen. Both methods have limitations that make them impractical when used alone. However, those shortcomings aren't really an issue when the methods are combined. One of the current techniques combines sodium borohydride with water and a catalyst. This method, however, requires expensive catalysts such as ruthenium. The other method produces a chemical reaction in which tiny particles of aluminum are combined with water so the aluminum ignites, releasing hydrogen during the combustion process. This method does not require an expensive catalyst, but it yields insufficient quantities of hydrogen to be practical for fuel-cell applications. Arvind Varma, head of Purdue's School of Chemical Engineering, explains that the new solution combines both methods by using a triple borohydride-metal-water mixture, which does not require a catalyst and has a high enough hydrogen yield to make the method a promising solution. Experiments have shown that 6.7 percent of the mixture can be converted to hydrogen. The researchers have filed a provisional patent application for the technique and hope to increase the yield to about 10 percent through additional experiments. A key step in the hydrogen-producing reaction is the use of 100-nm particles of aluminum. Large lumps of aluminum only produce reactions on their outer surfaces. Subsequently, they don't produce enough hydrogen. Yet the tiny particles have a high surface area that enables them to completely react, leaving no waste and producing more hydrogen. Another crucial component is a special gel created by combining water with a material called polyacrylamide. The gel helps to both raise the boiling point of water and decrease the ignition temperature of aluminum, making the reaction possible before the water evaporates. The researchers believe they will be able to safely dissipate the heat produced by the reaction so the technology is practical for portable electronics. Purdue University ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125B6:1001CD .html **************************************************************** ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Perpendicular Recording Is Now Commercial Reality Perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) is now commercially available with the initial shipments of a 40-Gbyte 1.8-in. hard-disk drive from Toshiba Storage Device Division. The MK4007GAL drive is built into the company's new Gigabeat F41 MP3 player, enabling the device to store up to 10,000 songs. Conventional longitudinal recording faces limits on storage capacities. Crowding degrades recorded bit quality when the magnetic bits repulse each other due to in-plane alignment. By standing the magnetic bits on end, perpendicular recording reinforces magnetic coupling between neighboring bits, achieving higher and more stable recording densities and increasing storage capacity. Toshiba plans to introduce an 80-Gbyte 1.8-in. drive with PMR technology later this year and will apply PMR technology to its 0.85-in. drive in 2006. Toshiba Storage Device Division ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125C3:1001CD ***Future Processors Will Produce Ultra-Low-Power PCs At last week's Intel Developer Forum, Intel CEO and president Paul S. Otellini said the industry is on a new "performance per watt" course that will deliver computers that are increasingly smaller, sleeker, and more energy-efficient. Otellini unveiled the company's next-generation, power-optimized microarchitecture planned for the second half of 2006. It combines the strength of the company's current Intel NetBurst and Pentium M microarchitectures with new features. According to Otellini, energy consumption could be reduced tenfold. Attendees were treated to the first public demonstration of the upcoming Merom, Conroe, and Woodcrest processors designed with Intel's advanced 65-nm manufacturing process. Otellini predicts the forthcoming low-power products will lead to a new category of ultra- energy-efficient "Handtop PC" devices that combine communication and PC functonality but require less than 1 W of processing power and weigh under a pound. In an environment of rising global energy use and prices, Otellini explained that significant decreases in a computer's power consumption could save billions of dollars in electricity. Intel Corp. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125BA:1001CD ***Tiny Slide Switches Fit In Tight Spots The SM ultra-miniature slide switches, which measure 10 mm long by 2.5 mm wide by 6.4 mm high, feature side-by-side or end-to-end mounting to fit into tight spots. The twin sliding contact mechanism ensures self-cleaning with every actuation. It also provides smooth actuation and high contact reliability. The detent mechanism supplies positive feedback to indicate circuit status. A visible position indicator is created with a spot on top of the red actuator. The actuator has a window on the side to allow an angled view of switching status. Terminals conform to standard 2.54- by 2.54-mm center-to-center spacing. They're insert-molded to lock out flux, solvents, and other contaminants. The SM is a single-pole double-throw slide switch with an on-on circuit. Electrical capacity is 500 ma at 12 V dc. Pricing for the RoHS-compliant SM switches is $1.89 in 1000-piece quantities. Delivery is stock to eight weeks. NKK Switches ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125C4:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 3. TechView Scope ********************** Wireless Hotspots Go Airborne On Multiple Airlines A deal between Connexion by Boeing and Intel will enhance and promote high-speed, in-flight wireless Internet service. The companies have completed compatibility testing with common Intel Centrino mobile technology-based laptop configurations, making Connexion by Boeing the first in-flight Internet service to be verified through Intel's Wireless Verification Program. The Connexion by Boeing service is the only high-speed wireless Internet, data, and entertainment connectivity service for commercial airlines and their passengers. It's also the only service available for operators of private and government executive jets. It's designed to provide a consistent, high-quality, in-flight Wi-Fi experience. Passengers can surf the World Wide Web, watch live global television, or connect to a corporate virtual private network. The companies will work with the airlines to increase awareness, trial and adoption of in-flight Internet access through co-branding, promotions, and educational efforts targeting business and leisure travelers. Through the Wireless Verification Program, Intel works with wireless service providers to identify and minimize issues related to quality of service, site coverage, and downtime that may negatively impact the end-user experience. The program has verified 103 service providers that operate more than 70,000 hotspots worldwide. The Connexion by Boeing service is currently available on 70 planes and more than 100 daily routes worldwide on Lufthansa Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Japan Airlines, ANA, Singapore Airlines, and China Airlines. Austrian Airlines, Korean Air, El Al, Asiana, and Etihad plan to offer the high-speed service on their long-range aircraft. The cost per flight for most international routes is $29.95, or $19.95 for flights of less than six hours. A pay-per-minute option includes a 60-minute starter package priced at $9.95, with rates of $0.25 per minute thereafter. Connexion by Boeing also offers a high-speed connectivity solution for the business aviation market. And, it recently announced its launch customer for the maritime market. Connexion by Boeing ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125C0:1001CD Intel ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125C5:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** September 12-15, Embedded Systems Conference Boston, Mass. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125C1:1001CD September 19-21, DesignCon East 2005 Worcester, Mass. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125B9:1001CD October 4-6, ARM Developers' Conference '05 Santa Clara, Calif. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125BC:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 5. Book Review ********************** "What The Dormouse Said" How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry By John Markoff It's tempting for many of us to date the origins of the "personal computer era" to IBM's 1981 introduction of the PC. Of course, the concept of the personal computer is much older, dating to at least the early 1970s. But what is lesser known to many computer enthusiasts is just how that concept came about, and even more compellingly, just what a product of its times the concept of "personal computing" really was.... Read the full book review at http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125B8:1001CD **************************************************************** Embedded in Electronic Design (EiED) Online is your source for technical insight and hands-on reviews. Read one of Technology Editor Bill Wong's latest EiED Online columns, "CAN 201: CAN Controllers." CAN 101 introduced controller-area networks. It's finally time to take a look at how the CAN controllers operate. Visit http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125B7:1001CD ********************** TAKE A POLL! Which project should take top priority in NASA's future plans? -- International space station -- Manned flights to the moon -- Manned flight to Mars -- Unmanned space exploration -- None of the above Vote at Electronic Design ==> http://www.elecdesign.com ******************************************************************** Designing With Video Signals Dealing with digital video signals in the analog world can be tricky. Arm yourself with knowledge and download our eBook, "Analog/Mixed-Signal Components For 21st Century Video," by Analog/Power Editor Don Tuite. Chapter 1 covers the basics, and Chapter 2 discusses interfacing video amps to digital-to-analog converters. The recently added Chapter 3 looks at video multiplexing and driving unshielded twisted pairs. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125BE:1001CD **************************************************************** Need To Go Green? We Can Help! The European Union, as well as Japan and China, are about to restrict the use of environmentally hazardous materials in electronic components and systems through the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. Electronic Design's RoHS Reference Center has the information you need to make the shift to green designs. The fourth chapter of our eBook, "Electronic Design's Guide To New International Environmental Laws," is now available for download. And don't miss our comprehensive list of industry and government Web sites and contacts. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125C2:1001CD **************************************************************** SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TO ELECTRONIC DESIGN If you're reading this e-newsletter, then you are either a current Electronic Design subscriber, or should be (145,000 of your peers are). To apply for or renew a subscription to Electronic Design absolutely FREE and without paperwork or hassle, click on the link below. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=125BB:1001CD ****************************************************************

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CONTACTS: Electronic Design UPDATE e-NEWSLETTER

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

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