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Electronic Design UPDATE: January 4, 2006


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine Electronic Design ==> January 4, 2006


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Design Once for Both FPGA & Structured ASIC Only Altera allows you to develop high-density logic design using Stratix II FPGAs and then seamlessly migrate to a HardCopy II structured ASIC without any need for redesign or additional timing closure efforts. Learn how Stratix II FPGAs and HardCopy II structured ASICs together provide a unique synergy from design to production. **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. News Focus *Ultra-Thin Hard Drive Helps Shrink Consumer Devices 2. News From The Editors *LEDs Will Light Next New Year's Eve Ball *Enclosure Doesn't Need Customizing *Post Amplifiers Serve Growing PON Market 3. TechView Scope *Pacemaker-Like Device Treats Depression 4. Upcoming Industry Events *IPC Printed Circuits Expo *DesignCon 2006 *PCB Design Conference West 5. Book Review *"The Reasoned Schemer" Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor mailto:[email protected] **************************************************************** ********************** 1. News Focus ********************** Ultra-Thin Hard Drive Helps Shrink Consumer Devices Increasingly tiny mobile phones, audio players, and other consumer devices will benefit from a micro hard drive unveiled by Cornice this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. Measuring just 3.5 or 4.75 mm thick, the Dragon Series micro hard drives store from 8 to 10 Gbytes of data in a 1-in. form factor. The company achieved this size by narrowing the casing around the disk and by shrinking the "z" height. The Dragon Series drives are Cornice's first two-headed micro storage devices, and they're 40 percent smaller than the company's previous drives. In addition to their size, the drives offer the capacity, durability, and low power required by portable consumer electronics. Current storage capacity is 8 Mbytes, with a 10-Mbyte version expected in the near future. Power consumption is 4.5 mW during a typical audio playback, which represents only 5 percent of the total battery consumption within a typical MP3 player system. In addition, the company's Crash Guard technology protects the Dragon Series drives, which can withstand excessive shaking, extreme drops, and other abuse without skipping, stopping, or crashing. Crash Guard consists of three features: active latch, skip control, and drop safe. When dropped, the most common damage to a hard drive occurs when the head scrapes across the surface of the disk. Active latch securely locks the head in place with a latch mechanism. Skip control lets the drives withstand harsh conditions while providing continuous playback without skipping or restarting. Drop safe allows the drive to actually sense when it's dropped. This means that even if the drive is in the middle of reading or writing data to the disk, it can immediately react and place the head safety under the active latch well before the unit strikes the ground. The Dragon Series drive is available in volume quantities this quarter. List price is $85 each in quantities of 10,000 per year. Cornice Inc. ==> **************************************************************** *******************Live on*********************** Free eBook: Black-Box Approach To ADCs This eBook provides a black-box approach to the traditional analog-to-digital coverter (ADC) tutorial. It concentrates on the common characteristics of all ADCs and what they imply for the system-level designer. The second chapter is now available. Download the first two chapters today! **************************************************************** ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***LEDs Will Light Next New Year's Eve Ball This past Saturday night in Times Square marked the end of an era -- the final New Year's Eve ball lit with traditional bulbs. After an almost 100-year history, the traditional light bulbs used in the Times Square New Year's Eve ball will be replaced in 2006 by Philips Electronics' environmentally friendly and more advanced LED technology. Philips has supplied the bulbs for the past five years, and it's auctioning off 90 of the bulbs used to light the famous ball. The date-inscribed bulbs will be up for sale on eBay, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The charity auction ends on January 6, 2006. In addition, 10 more bulbs will be awarded to 10 winners of the 2006 Philips New Year's Eve Sweepstakes. Enter the sweepstakes at the Philips site through January 6, 2006. Philips Electronics ==> ***Enclosure Doesn't Need Customizing A new type of electronics enclosure from CircuitShell does not require customization of any kind, eliminating the nonrecurring-engineering, tooling, setup, and profiling charges (and associated delays) of a custom enclosure. The CircuitShell enclosure consists of two identical rectangular covers that fasten to opposite sides of the pc board. Both high-impact polycarbonate covers protect circuits and components but leave board-mounted switches, connectors, and other I/O devices accessible. The enclosures are ready to use right out of the box. They also are reusable and interchangeable across a broad range of products, simplifying inventory management. Transparent versions are available for viewing board-mounted displays and indicators, and gaskets are available for harsher environments. A powerful general-purpose microcontroller board is available to demonstrate the CircuitShell concept. Pricing is consistent with traditional small plastic electronics enclosures. CircuitShell ==> ***Post Amplifiers Serve Growing PON Market Micrel's newest limiting post amplifiers are 1.25- to 3.2-Gbit/s devices featuring high gain and high sensitivity for either signal or loss-of-signal indicators. Post amplifiers are optimized for detecting wide variations in input levels and for sensing the low input signal levels typically encountered in optical network and passive optical network (PON) applications. The ICs run off a single 3.3-V power supply and work with Fast Ethernet, OC3 to OC48, and parallel 10GE data rates. They're offered in small-form-factor packages and suit optical modules in datacom, telecom, and PON systems. The SY88903ALKG, SY88149CL, SY88313BLNG, and SY88343BL ICs are all available now with pricing starting at $1.95 each in 10,000-unit quantities. Micrel Inc. ==> **************************************************************** Give us your view and we may give you a t-shirt! Take our short "Industry Barometer" online survey to give us your unique view of the electronics industry. Five minutes is all it takes to answer eight short questions and enter to win one of five stylish Electronic Design t-shirts. Go to **************************************************************** ********************** 3. TechView Scope ********************** Pacemaker-Like Device Treats Depression Since 1997, epileptics have been using vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) to reduce the frequency and duration of seizures. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved the procedure to treat chronic recurrent treatment-resistant depression as well. VNS Therapy depends on a pocketwatch-sized device implanted in the patient's chest that sends precisely timed and measured mild electrical pulses to the left vagus nerve, which then activates various areas of the brain. Developed and patented by Cyberonics, the therapy begins with the pulse generator. Three models are available, ranging in size from 6.9 by 52.2 by 51.6 mm to 10.3 by 54 by 54 mm and from 25 to 38 g. All three come in a titanium case and operate from a lithium-carbon monofluoride battery. The battery offers three to eight years of operation depending on stimulation parameters, though the Model 101 provides up to five to 11 years of operation. Surgeons implant the generator during an outpatient procedure that takes just 45 minutes to an hour. Small wires run under the skin from the generator to the left vagus nerve in the neck. Using an external programming system, physicians can adjust the timing and amount of stimulation the patient receives. The external system requires a handheld computer with the Microsoft Pocket PC operating system, 16 Mbytes of memory, a Type 1 flash card, and serial communications capability. Researchers associate the therapy with increased alertness, reduced daytime sleepiness, improved mood, and improved memory. Side effects include voice alteration, tickling in the throat, cough, and shortness of breath, though they only occur only during stimulation. Pulses stimulate the left vagus nerve, which then activates areas of the brain that regulate mood and affect the production and activity of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. These pulses, which range from 0.25 to 3.5 mA, last for about 30 seconds and occur every five minutes. Once the doctor adjusts the pulse generator, stimulation is regular, automatic, and generally unnoticeable. VNS Therapy is typically painless, since the vagus nerve does not contain pain fibers. Psychiatrists diagnose chronic recurrent treatment-resistant depression as a major depressive episode where the patient has not responded to at least four adequate antidepressant treatments over the course of two years. The FDA also has approved VNS Therapy for patients with unipolar or bipolar depression in a major depressive episode. Its effectiveness does not diminish over time. More than 32,000 epilepsy and depression patients have used the therapy since its approval in 1997. Cyberonics ==> **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** February 5-10, IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX, and the Designers Summit Anaheim, Calif. February 6-9, DesignCon 2006 Santa Clara, Calif. March 26-31, PCB Design Conference West Santa Clara, Callif. **************************************************************** ********************** 5. Book Review ********************** "The Reasoned Schemer" By Daniel P. Friedman, William E. Byrd, and Oleg Kiselyov For a small book (169 pages), "The Reasoned Schemer" will make you think. It's a must-read for anyone interested in relational programming and artificial intelligence (AI), but I think the mental gymnastics it generates will appeal to embedded developers looking for a challenge... Read the full book review at **************************************************************** EiED Online -- Best Computer of 2005 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, "Best Computer of 2005." Building the Best Computer of 2005 requires the best components and a bit more. Check out Bill's holiday project, which takes gaming and multimedia entertainment to the max. Find out why this system is twice as good as others. ********************** TAKE A POLL! How do you see your career path changing in 2006? -- I'm looking for a new engineering job -- I'd like to move into management -- I might start my own firm or consulting business -- No change, I love my career as is -- I'm thinking about leaving the engineering field Vote at Electronic Design ==> ****************************************************************




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

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