Electronic Design

Electronic Design Update: June 11, 2008

Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter |   June 11, 2008
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National Instruments introduces Source Measure Unit (SMU) for PXI
The NI PXI-4130 Power SMU provides 4-quadrant operation on a 20V, 2A programmable channel. When combined with LabVIEW or LabVIEW SignalExpress software, this flexible module can be used to generate and measure precise voltage and current sweeps for curve tracing applications and device validation.
Click here to view specs and pricing.


analog/mixed-signal design |
Squeeze 10-Bit Performance From An 8-Bit ADC, Part 2: Triangular Dithering
By Dave Van Ess, Application Engineer, MTS, Cypress Semiconductor

Part 1 of this column showed how designers can use additive dither and oversampling to increase the resolution of an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). In this edition, we will illustrate a practical way to implement triangular dither.

Read the full article...


engineer's resource |
SID 2008

Display Week, also known as SID 2008, left some clear impressions about the state of display technologies. Various forms of LCDs created most show activity. This mature and dominant technology is widely used in television sets, computer displays, and handheld products.

Rev Up Fuel Efficiency And Win $10,000
Take the "green challenge" and design a solution using Infineon products that enables or improves energy efficiency for automotive applications. You could win the grand prize of $10,000, second prize of $5000, or third prize of $2000.

Your Ideas For Design Can Win $500
Send us your Ideas for Design and we'll pay you $150 for every Idea for Design that we publish. In addition, the year's top design as selected by our readers will earn an additional $500, with two runners-up each receiving $250. You can submit your Ideas for Design via e-mail to [email protected], or mail your material to:
Electronic Design
Ideas for Design
45 Eisenhower Dr., Suite 550
Paramus, NJ 07652

Click here for our guidelines on Ideas for Design...


IFD of the week |
Use PWM To Maintain Motor Speed And Phase While Eliminating Loop Filter

In designing a simple spectroscopy setup, we needed to synchronize the speed of a small, inexpensive dc motor precisely to 6000 rpm (100 Hz). Our first idea was to take a phase-frequency detector type of phase-locked loop (PLL), the CMOS 4046, to maintain not only the speed, but also the phase to the reference signal.

Read the full article...


focus on embedded hardware |
DSC Development Kits Jumpstart Digital Power Designs

Promising to accelerate 32-bit, digital power and embedded control designs, Texas Instruments offers five experimenter and application-specific development kits for its TMS320F28x digital-signal controllers (DSCs).

Read the full article...


Engineering TV |
Magnetically Actuated Micro-Robots

Students at Carnegie Mellon University have employed external magnetic fields to controllably position and orient a magnetic micro-robot. They demonstrated this approach in the 2007 and 2008 RoboCup Nanogram Demonstrations. The CMU team uses five electromagnetic coils to surround a working volume, wherein the magnetic micro-robot resides. Four of the coils are in-plane with the micro-robot, and one coil provides an orthogonal clamping force. Large magnetic field gradients are developed using the coils, which employs a force onto the micro-robot. The robot also experiences a magnetic torque; combined with a pulsed magnetic field, the micro-robot experiences a continuously rocking motion. This, in effect, induces stick-slip behavior in the robot resulting in translation. By varying the pulsing frequency, control of micro-robot velocity is achieved.

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Live date – Weds June 11th at 2:00pm ET
Hosted by: Electronic Design
Sponsored by: Micro Power & Panasonic


Aftermarket Battery Packs - Revelations from Product Tear-Downs

Aftermarket battery packs are available for most portable devices. This webcast presents the results of several product tear-downs on aftermarket battery packs, and explains how substandard aftermarket packs can cut corners on cost, safety mechanisms, and battery performance. These tear-downs expose electronic & mechanical design issues, as well as good manufacturing and regulatory violations. Then, this webcast provides solutions for OEMs to manage and control their ecosystem of aftermarket battery pack suppliers. This webcast is applicable to OEMs of consumer and industrial electronic products susceptible to aftermarket batteries, such as medical, handheld radio, and data collection devices.
Register here



news from the editors |
MELs Make Power-Source Testing Faster And Easier

How do you test a very high-current and/or high-voltage power source? You measure the voltage, current, and power, but you need to test the source under typical and maximum load conditions. So what do you use for a load, especially if it must dissipate up to tens of kilowatts? The MEL series of modular electronic loads from PPM Inc. can handle up to 60 kW in one 8-ft rack.

Read the full article...

GPS Satellite Signal Generation Simplifies Nav Receiver Testing

GPS technology is everywhere today, from your dashboard to your cell phone. According to ABI Research, more than 550 million GPS cell-phone handsets will be shipped in 2012, and more than 1 billion GPS receiver chips will be shipped in 2013. But before all of those products roll off the assembly line, someone has to implement a practical test for them.

Read the full article...

Solar-Array Simulator Imitates Satellite Environmental Conditions

Some things are really tough to test. For example, how do you simulate the solar panels on a satellite under varying light and orientation conditions? Well, Agilent’s E4360 Solar Array Simulator accurately simulates the I-V curve of a solar panel’s array under various environmental conditions .

Read the full article...

Handbook Provides The Fundamentals Of Switching In Test Systems

Most test systems today require switching to reconfigure the test setup to make multiple different tests and measurements. This isn’t something you learn in school. Fortunately, Keithley Instruments’ Switching Handbook: A Guide to Signal Switching in Automated Test Systems consists of up to 180 pages of practical tutorial information on how to set up and optimize switching test systems.

Read the full article...


quick poll |
Dubai plans to invest $2 billion to build a "technology city" catering to semiconductor companies and their engineers. Will it succeed?

  • No. It won't catch up with other established regions.
  • The city will become a tough competitor with other regions.
  • Invest now, since it will be a world leader someday.

Click here to take the poll. Remember to scroll down. The poll is at the bottom of the page.

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Webinar: Supercharging Products with Embedded RFID
June 26 @ 2 pm ET
Sponsored by SkyeTek

They may still look the same on the outside, but embedded RFID readers and software can transform products from the inside, offering manufacturers, OEMs, and product designers new opportunities for competitive advantage through increased efficiency, accuracy and product differentiation. With an seemingly unending list of products, RFID is a key technique to adding new functionality, increasing reliability and enhancing the user experience. At this webinar and interactive Q&A session learn the difference between RFID and existing barcode and contact technologies; and how embedded RFID has new applications in disposable authentication, smart shelves and cabinets, contactless payments, tracking, inventory and stock, and customizable configurations. Also catch up on unique technical and business considerations for embedded RFID and companies that are already implanting the technology.
Register now!



product picks online |
Power MOSFETs Measure 2 By 2 mm



Signal Record/Playback Instrument Streams Data At 500 Mbits/s



MIL-COTS DC-DC Converters Feature Wide Inputs



Drum Heaters Distribute Heat Evenly



Mini Power Transformer Enlists For Military Apps




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Our editors have been busy! Come read their commentaries and check out exclusive videos from SID 2008, IEF, ESC, CTIA, Mobile World Congress, APEC, and Embedded World and see the technology of tomorrow from major players in the electronics industry.

upcoming industry events |
Freescale Technology Forum
Orlando, Fla.
June 16-19





NXTcomm 08

Las Vegas, Nev.
June 16-19




Microsoft Windows Embedded Acceleration Workshops
Boston, Mass.
June 24





ED bookstore |
Linear Circuit Design Handbook
Compilation, Analog Devices, Inc.; Hank Zumbahlen, ed.

What Zumbahlen did here is basically give order to all those ADI app notes and technical articles. He also tagged related ideas to such content in a coherent sequence. If you need to know something with this kind of treeware, you can be your own search engine using the table of contents and index in the rear of the book. Or of course you can skim for the stuff you don’t already know.

Read the full article...

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