Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: January 15, 2003


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine - http://www.elecdesign.com January 15, 2003


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Sponsored by: Complete Your Bench with Agilent Scopes Agilent digital and analog oscilloscopes offer bandwidths from 60 MHz to 2.25 GHz and up to 16 MB deep memory. Mixed signal scopes seamlessly integrate up to 20 channels. Also check out Agilent's function & pulse generators to complete your design bench. See selection guide, specifications & application notes at: http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=ePD70DJhUf0EmQ07Lb0AB **************************************************************** You've received this e-newsletter for one of two reasons: 1) you are a subscriber of Electronic Design magazine 2) you've signed up for it at http://www.planetee.com Please see below for unsubscribe and address-change instructions. Today's Table of Contents: 1. Welcome! 2. Editor's View -- Commentary 3. News -- From The Editors 4. Announcements: Opportunities not to be missed 5. Magazine Highlights ********************** 1. Welcome! ********************** Welcome to Electronic Design's UPDATE e-newsletter. The editors of Electronic Design will be sending you this newsletter every other week, in between the arrival of our regular issues, to enrich your reading experience. We'll use this ongoing contact to keep you abreast of the latest and the greatest. Our UPDATE e-newsletter will alert you to important events and developments that broke after our issue closed. In addition, the editors will share their views of technology, industry trends, and happenings from their unique vantage points. We'll also include any information that we believe you'll find interesting. ********************** 2. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Emphasis On Low Power At Upcoming ISSCC By Dave Bursky, Editor-in-Chief Power is the life source of everything electronic. But we want the systems we build to use as little of it as possible. Producing power-aware designs that can operate with low supply voltages is essential for next-generation portable electronic appliances, including cell phones, personal digital assistants, laptop computers, digital cameras, and devices not yet named. At next month's International Solid-State Circuits Conference, to be held in San Francisco, Calif., Feb. 9-13, a number of sessions are devoted to low-power design techniques that help extend the battery life of many systems. In fact, a plenary presentation by Professor Takayasu Sakurai of the University of Tokyo, which happens to open the conference, examines the various approaches to implementing power-aware systems. His presentation is followed by a full session (Session 6) devoted to low-power digital designs. One exciting development is a 400-MHz, 16-bit RISC processor able to operate with a supply voltage of merely 500 mV. Created by a trio of Tokyo-based research teams (KDDI, NEC Corp., and the University of Tokyo), the processor uses a fully depleted silicon-on-insulator technology and employs dual-threshold transistors to minimize any subthreshold leakage currents. Another ultra-low-power development is a 3.6-GHz frequency divider developed by Tokyo's NTT. The chip consumes just 300 microwatts and operates from a 0.3-V supply. Its power is kept so low by employing a differential enhancement/depletion mode CMOS circuit design on a silicon-on-insulator substrate. Developments described in other sessions feature the design of specialized processors for power-critical applications. For example, in Session 2, Toshiba Corp., Tokyo, shows off an MPEG-4 audio-visual processor that consumes just 160 mW when active and only 160 nW on standby. The chip includes four 16-bit RISC processors, 16 Mbits of embedded DRAM, and dedicated hardware accelerators, including a 5-Goperation/s post-filtering engine. In Session 15, new building blocks for cellular communications promise to bring power down for future generations of cell phones. For instance, Stanford University describes a Cartesian-feedback power amplifier that will improve overall power efficiency by consuming just 8.5 mW from a 2.5-V supply. Similarly, Mindspeed Technologies, Newport Beach, Calif., in conjunction with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, have developed a 1.9-GHz image-rejection front end that keeps receiver power low by drawing just 19 mW from a 1.5-V supply. Additionally, a 1.5-V direct conversion WCDMA receiver made by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland, trims overall receiver power by consuming a mere 45 mW. Of course, ISSCC offers plenty of outstanding technology advances beyond low power -- plenty of papers detail advances in DRAM, flash, and magnetoresistive storage, as well as next-generation CPUs and interfaces, analog-to-digital converters, digital-to-analog converters, amplifiers, imaging devices, and even organic and nanoscale technologies. There's more information about the entire conference program at http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=ePD70DJhUf0EmQ0qFd0A4 ********************** 3. News - From The Editors ********************** *** "Cellular camcorder" records 20 minutes of action By Dave Bursky, Editor-in-Chief A recent announcement was particularly impressive -- the first combination cell phone and camcorder by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea. The SCH-V310 cellular phone is equipped with a 300,000-pixel camera. It can record and play back up to 20 minutes of motion-picture clips and handle two-way video calling. The main screen is a TFT-LCD display that can reproduce 262,000 color shades, while a 256-color organic electroluminescent display is on the outside. The camera can take pictures at a rate of up to 11 frames per second and includes a two-power zoom lens with nine settings. By the end of 2003, Samsung predicts the camcorder phones will make up 10% to 15% of the Korean mobile phone market. For more information, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=ePD70DJhUf0EmQ07MA0Ad *** Low-power RS-232 transceivers have auto-power-down By Tets Maniwa, Analog /Mixed-Signal Technology Editor Improved battery life for small handheld devices, such as PDAs, digital cameras, and data cables, is possible with the ISL4238 from Intersil Corp. of Milpitas, Calif. This addition to the company's expanding Linearlink high-performance RS-232 interface line features an enhanced automatic power-down function, which powers down the on-chip power supply and driver circuits. This occurs when all receiver and transmitter inputs detect no signal transitions for a period of 30 seconds. These devices power back up, automatically, whenever they sense a transition on any transmitter or receiver input. The power-down circuitry can also be configured for manual operation. The ISL4238 has five transmitters (drivers) and three receivers. The new RS-232 family uses regulated on-chip dual charge pumps as voltage doublers and voltage inverters to generate ±5.5-V transmitter supplies from a VCC supply as low as 3.0 V. As a result, these devices can maintain RS-232-compliant output levels over the ±10% tolerance range of 3.3-V powered systems. The efficient on-chip power supplies require only four small, external 0.1-microfarad capacitors for the voltage doubler and inverter functions. To help save power, the charge pumps operate discontinuously; they turn off as soon as the V+ and V- supplies are pumped up to the nominal values. The transceiver's quad-flat no-lead (QFN) package at 5 by 5 by 0.9 mm provides near-chip-size packaging, requiring 60% less board space. Yet it still offers improved thermal performance over the TSSOP package that it replaces. A central land on the underside provides efficient heat transfer to the circuit board along with small lands on the underside perimeter, which also provide circuit connection. The ISL4238E is available immediately. List prices for the ISL4238EIR, with industrial temperature rating in a QFN package, is $2.76 each in 100- to 999-unit quantities. Contact Intersil at (888) 468-3774 or http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=ePD70DJhUf0EmQ0qFn0AF ********************** 4. Announcements: Opportunities not to be missed ********************** ****WIRELESS SHOW**** Plan to attend the 2003 Wireless Systems Design Conference & Expo, to be held Feb. 25-27 at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, Calif. This year, the show features a new systems-level view of the wireless world -- that is, the development of wireless systems from a true system-level. It will focus equally on hardware and software and delve into the technical details of what today's wireless engineer needs to know to be successful. As such, WS 2003 will continue to cover technology pertaining to the traditional wireless staple -- the cell phone -- but also broaden its scope to cover various other topics contained under the wireless umbrella. Some of these areas include basestations, software-defined radios, antennas, digital signal processors, and the wireless Internet as they pertain to such applications as medical and automotive. For more information, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo?y=ePD70DJhUf0EmQ07MC0Af ****DESIGN BRIEFS WANTED**** Send us your ideas for design. We'll pay you $100 for every Design Brief that we publish. You can submit your ideas for Design Briefs via: * E-mail mailto:[email protected] Or by: * Ground mail Design Briefs Editor Electronic Design 611 Route 46 West Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604 Go to http://www.elecdesign.com for our submission guidelines. ********************** 5. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue, January 6, 2003. * Publisher's Foreword: Moving Past A Year Of Uncertainty To An Era Poised For Opportunity Last year, maybe the toughest ever in the electronics industry, proved that innovation never takes a holiday. * Editorial: Fresh Starts Herald A Promising Year For Both Of Us The new year brings broader industry coverage and an easier-to-read graphic design. * Cover Feature: 2003 Top Ten Technology Forecast A Torrent Of Advances Is On Tap For The Entire Industry The coming year will bring many exciting developments across all segments of the electronics industry. Our sector by sector coverage from our own staff experts and industry experts provides details. ***Digital ICs*** The "faster, denser, and more complex" mantra catapults digital circuits to amazing heights. ***Analog/Mixed Signal*** Diverse trends shake up product portfolios. ***Components*** Interconnects and packaging plant seeds for breakthroughs. ***Power*** Greater complexity shapes power designs. ***Communications*** The new paradigm for communications: networking everything. ***EDA*** Designers begin tooling up for a nanometer world. ***Embedded*** The innovation scale tips to hardware in embedded technology. ***Test & Measurement*** IC complexity and new applications drive advances in test equipment. For the complete Table Of Contents, go to http://www.elecdesign.com




Editorial: Lucinda Mattera, Associate Chief Editor: mailto:[email protected] Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities: Bill Baumann, Associate Publisher: mailto:[email protected]


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