Electronic Design

Electronic Design Update: August 20, 2008

Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter | August 20, 2008 | FREE magazine subscription digital or print!
As a leading manufacturer of custom switch technology, Molex can deliver whatever your application requires — from simple printed flex circuits to complex control-panel assemblies. Plus, we support you with engineering expertise and a wide range of manufacturing capabilities. So the next time you need advanced switch technology, turn to Molex.
Click here.

scope |
DNA In Your Gadgets?
By Roger Allan, Contributing Editor

FREE magazine subscription digital or print!

We all know how DNA technology has revolutionized forensics as the unique identifier for organic life. Now here comes DNA technology for automobiles, motorcycles, marine equipment, clothing, laptops, building materials, packaging, industrial goods, construction equipment, etc.

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industry view |
A Summary Of The DDR Memory Controller Standard—Wait, There Isn’t One!
By Graham Allan, Synopsys

The number of systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) that require an interface to off-chip memory is increasing. As a result, more and more designers are turning to double-data-rate (DDR) SDRAM interfaces such as DDR, DDR2, and DDR3 to address their low-cost, security of supply, storage capacity, and performance requirements. Fortunately for those designers, DRAMs have been standardized since the 1970s. But this still leaves a challenge that most SoC engineers don’t recognize until things start to go wrong.

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engineer's resource |
New Product Showcase: Texas Instruments' Step-Down Converter

  Doug Phillips, Worldwide Marketing Manager for Power Management at Texas Instruments, discusses the ultra-thin, 6-MHz, 500-mA TPS62601 step-down converter. Watch it now...
(Note: Video may take a minute to download; click only once.)

One of the best conferences I go to each year is NIWeek. Another has come and gone, but like always I got a glimpse at some solid technology from the mega-company. National Instruments has been sponsoring their own conference here in Austin, TX for several years now, and it has become a solid industry event. Why? Simply because NI's products like LabVIEW software, data acquisition hardware, and virtual instruments have become so widely used.

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 you can mail your material to:
Ideas for Design
Electronic Design
45 Eisenhower Dr., Suite 550
Paramus, NJ 07652
Click here for our guidelines on Ideas for Design.

IFD of the week |
Add On-Board Power Measurement Capability To Telecom Equipment
By Samuel Kerem,

This idea shows how to monitor input voltage and current consumption for telecommunications equipment powered by two independent feeds: -48 V (A) and -48 V (B). Each feed supplies at least -42.5 V to -56.5 V, and for redundancy the feeds are ORed on the module. For maintenance and support purposes, it’s important to monitor input voltage, the feeds’ presence, and the module’s power consumption.

Read the full article...

Looking for the latest design techniques and technology in your market? Check out Electronic Design's Design Hotspots. Here you'll find exclusive content from our editors in Embedded, Power, and Analog technologies as well as Green Design and ROHS. We've also compiled Ideas for Design schematics here for your circuit design sweet-tooth. These spots are chock-a-block with information, so don’t delay!

video of the week |
NIWeek: NI's RF Vector Signal Analyzer And Generator

Richard McDonell, Senior Group Manager for Test Product Marketing at National Instruments, talks about the new NI PXIe-5663 6.6-GHz RF vector signal analyzer and the NI PXIe-5673 6.6-GHz RF vector signal generator.

electronica 2008 - 11-14 Nov - Munich, Germany
As the international trade show for the electronics industry, electronica reveals the complete spectrum of all areas - in all of its variety, breadth and depth. Showing components, systems, applications and technologies in their relevant contexts reflects the great innovative power of electronics. Components, systems, applications and technologies - get the whole picture at electronica 2008.
Click here to register now.

Engineering TV |
Heavy Fuel UAV Engines

Orbital, an international developer of engine and related technologies, provides research, design, development and testing services to many of the world's powertrain producers, regulatory authorities and research institutions. Orbital's patented air-assisted direct injection system is currently used on 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine applications to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy and on military applications to enable spark ignition operation of heavy fuels. The technology enables one engine to utilize a number of fuels (LPG, CNG, ethanol, methanol, hydrogen, kerosene, diesel and gasoline) with minimal changes and development.

news from the editors |
NVIDIA Showing Fully Interactive GPU-Based Ray Tracer

NVIDIA is demonstrating what it says is the world’s first fully interactive graphics processing unit-based ray tracer this week at SIGGRAPH 2008 in Los Angeles. Based on NVIDIA GPU technology, the ray tracer shows linear-scaling rendering of a highly complex, 2 million polygon, anti-aliased automotive styling application.

Read the full article...

Programming Environment Featured On CUDA U Site

Classes have already begun at CUDA U, a new section on the CUDA Zone Web site where users can find instructional material, syllabuses and curricula, and information on schools and programs that offer instruction on NVIDIA’s CUDA programming environment.

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Report Cites Chip Programming For iPhone 3G Problems

Problems involving dropped calls and the inability to receive faster 3G service on Apple’s new iPhone 3G may be related to a communications chip made by Infineon Technologies. Sources quoted by BusinessWeek said that faulty software on the chip causes problems when the iPhone needs to switch from wireless networks that allow faster downloads to slower ones.

Read the full article...

quick poll |
The federal government is tapping advanced technologies for homeland security applications. Do you feel safer?

  • Yes. High-tech fills in the gaps in human intelligence.
  • Somewhat, but we can't forget the human component.
  • No. The bad guys will always find a workaround.

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

focus product |
Multi-Protocol SERDES Transceiver Packs Waveform Viewing Technology

Crowned as the industry’s first multi-protocol, 6.375-Gbit/s multi-rate serializer/de-serializer (SerDes) transceiver, the VSC3441 also integrates Vitesse Semiconductor's patented VScope waveform viewing technology.

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Digital Power Forum – Sep. 15-17, Burlingame CA
This focused three-day international conference will serve an audience of decision makers who are interested in learning about and contributing to the latest practical advancements related to the use of digital power control techniques in electronic systems and in power converters, and digital energy management and power management in enterprise-level installations and related digital equipment.
Click here to register.

product picks online |
Ambient Light Sensor Reduces Power, Improves Display Visibility

PCIe XMC Module Packs Powerful ADCs/FPGAs

Li-ion Cell Cuts Charging Time

Network Analyzers Now Extend To 20 GHz

Modular Connectors Save Space, Foster Flexibility

upcoming industry events |
International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Computing Systems
Aug. 29-31

IMTS 2008
Chicago, Ill.
Sep. 8-13

Salt Lake City, Utah
Sep. 8-11

ED bookstore |
Lessons Learned From A Lean Consultant
By Chris A. Ortiz

Want some insights into “lean” manufacturing? Want to learn from the mistakes made when companies failed in their quest for more efficient manufacturing? Then this is the right book to read.

Read the full article...

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