Electronic Design


Flashback > 10 Years Ago

SEPTEMBER 17, 1992
As the result of a VMEbus committee meeting held last June, the VMEbus will see some significant changes in the near future. Those changes are among the topics that were discussed at the Buscon '92 East trade show.... Other areas covered at the show... include SCSI, embedded PCs, application-oriented tutorials, and all of the popular bus architectures.

Back in that June meeting, the VMEbus group defined and completed the multiplexing specification for the P1 connector on the 3U boards, an arrangement that provides 32 bits of data and 40 bits of addressing on one 3U card. This means that 3U and 6U boards can be mixed within a system without incurring any problems due to the configuration registers. The group also tackled some complex issues, such as serial lines on the VMEbus.

In addition, the VMEbus group decided to implement a version of the multiplexed block transfer, known as the 32-bit SSBLT (source-synchronized block transfer). Typically, a 32-bit block transfer... takes place at 40 Mbytes/s. By going to SSBLT, 3U boards will run at 80 Mbytes/s. (Technology Analysis, p. 57)

Flashback > 25 Years Ago

SEPTEMBER 13, 1977
The home computer is about to become a major consumer item—like televisions, microwave ovens, and videotape recorders.

This forecast as well as the developments in the home computing field itself will be covered at Session 22 of the Western Electronic Show and Convention (Wescon)....

Introduced just three years ago, home-computing systems are

  • Evolving into complete, ready-to-use systems.
  • Declining steadily in price.
  • Creating a market for software and maintenance services.

Originally, home computers were available as a bag of parts that had to be assembled. Two years ago, assembled and tested boards became available. Now, assembled systems that can simply be plugged into the wall are beginning to appear. The latest entry in the home-computing market costs $600.

Personal computers are the natural outgrowth of existing markets for programmable desk-top calculators, hobby computer kits, and even programmable video games. (News At Wescon '77, p. 36)

Flashback > 40 Years Ago

SEPTEMBER 13, 1962
The entire frequency range for ionospheric bounce communications is expected to shift downward in the 1963-1965 period due to a decrease in sunspot activity....

Although there is some disagreement about the exact frequencies that will be involved, and the extent of communications difficulties, designers already are at work planning how to cope with the expected problems. Present ionospheric telegraphic and voice communications use the band from about 4 to 28 Mc. With the lower sunspot activity, communication specialists expect to have the upper frequency limit reduced to about 20 Mc.

Recent increases in the density of world-wide traffic will make the sunspot cycle problem a more serious one this time than it has ever been before. Several possible approaches to minimizing the effects of the phenomenon are being evaluated. These include narrower band channels... communications satellites... underwater transoceanic cables... and tropospheric scatter techniques. (News, p. 8)

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