Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: April 20, 2005


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com April 20, 2005


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Automated Test Summit 2005 Learn about the new trends and techniques across design validation and manufacturing test at the NI Automated Test Summit 2005. This FREE, full-day event features product training, demonstrations, industry experts, NI developers, and local integrators. Network with colleagues, hear case study presentations by leading manufacturers, and learn about the latest automated test strategies through sessions for test, design, validation, and manufacturing managers and engineers. Click here to sign up today! http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F1E:F6E03 **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Industry View *Residential Ethernet: Unifying Consumer A/V And Information Technology 2. Focus On Test & Measurement *DAQ I/O Board Features On-Board DSP 3. News From The Editors *Very Small LEDs Shine Very Brightly *LVDS Chips Shape High-Speed Signals *Debug Tool Upgrades For Xtensa-Based Designs 4. Magazine Highlights: April 14, 2005 *Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- IP That Fits *Technology Report -- DRAM Advances Splinter To Meet Many System Needs *Leapfrog: First Look -- First Serial RapidIO Switch Arrives *Leapfrog: First Look -- Audio DSP Perks Up Sound-Quality Perception *Design View/Design Solution -- Adaptive Radios Abet Wireless Connectivity Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor **************************************************************** Free Webcast: Maximize System Mobility By Selecting The Best Memory Options April 21, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. EDT Mobile systems such as cell phones, handheld media players, and PDAs depend on both volatile and nonvolatile memory to store ever increasing amounts and types of data. But choosing the best memory for your next design can be a confusing, time-consuming proposition if you don't know how to sort through all of the options and understand which memory best suits your application. Join Samsung Semiconductor Inc. and Electronic Design's Editor-at-Large Dave Bursky for this one-hour webcast that will help you cut through the confusion to choose the optimal memory solution. To register, go to: http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F1D:F6E03 **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Industry View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Residential Ethernet: Unifying Consumer A/V And Information Technology By Michael Johas Teener, Plumblinks While it's been extraordinarily successful as a computer network, Ethernet hasn't been widely adopted for real-time streaming of audio or video. There are two primary reasons for this. First, Ethernet doesn't provide the kind of isochronous and deterministic low-latency services these applications require. Second, the market wasn't large enough to justify the work necessary. As a result, designers use other technologies -- either IEEE 1394 (FireWire, iLink, etc.) for the local cluster or a variety of point-to-point or proprietary systems for longer distances. Times have changed. There is a growing awareness of the need for a network that can distribute high-quality digital audio and video. More than that, the industry knows this will have to be a heterogeneous network that supports both wired and wireless components. Oddly enough, the wireless networks (IEEE 802.11 and the various versions of Ultra-Wideband, or UWB) have made strong efforts to provide these media-friendly services even though the wireless environment is much more challenging. The missing link in this is the wired component. It's possible to use Ethernet without any changes for A/V networks. Yet to get to an acceptable level of service, designers must limit the amount of traffic offered by each device. They also must limit the topology of the network (number of devices, number of hops). They must require the network to have much higher bandwidth capabilities. And, they must limit the use of priority services to only A/V streams. These restrictions make it unlikely that any particular queue on the network will get too long and drop packets or add excessive delay. However, there is no way of enforcing the constraints. One PC with unusual but perfectly standards-compliant software would cause unacceptable delays and dropped packets. Similar problems could result from "too many" devices or an unexpected configuration of switches or hubs. One alternative, IEEE 1394, provides all the services an A/V requires. The recent 1394b and 1394c efforts extended 1394 networks to 100-m hops, just like Ethernet, and the 1394.1 specification facilitates 1394 scalability, just like 802.1D does for 802 networks. But there is one very important challenge to using 1394 as the backbone of an A/V network: 1394 is not Ethernet. For almost all existing computer applications, the existing and planned wired network is (or will be) Ethernet. So even though 1394 is a perfectly adequate (arguably, even superior) A/V interconnect, Ethernet's market lead makes it unlikely that 1394 will become the only network in the home. Another alternative, USB, is used in most low-end point-to-point computer applications. But it is a master-slave peripheral connection inappropriate for multipoint peer-to-peer connections. The various 802 wireless networks all have some kind of "isochronous-like" services. Indeed, 802.15.3a/b, WiMedia, and 802.11e have completed (or nearly completed) "protocol adaption layers" to enable them to carry 1394 data. Perhaps these networks are the correct path. Unfortunately, the quality of service for wireless is not adequate for HD-quality video. The average data rate of the proposed 802.11n and UWB nets is okay, particularly at short ranges. It's not "reliably reliable" (there are too many normal home environments that will result in momentarily excessive packet loss rates), though, and latency is often excessive (frequently tens of milliseconds). For example, an 802.11g wireless local-area network (LAN) will drop its rate whenever someone picks up a 2.4-GHz cordless phone. Wireless is an important part of the home A/V network, but it is not the solution for the backbone. Consequently, the IEEE 802.3 working group has created the Residential Ethernet study group to set the objectives and study the feasibility of bringing isochronous transport to Ethernet. Several approaches have been discussed in the group. My favorite describes a way to extend existing Ethernet technology at the MAC and bridging levels and still offer almost the same isochronous quality of service provided by IEEE 1394 ( http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F13:F6E03 ). Indeed, this method enables a very simple and low-cost hardware-based bridging between Ethernet and 1394, something that should be a requirement for any network that is intended to work with consumer A/V ( http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F12:F6E03 ). The hardware cost of this approach is minimal, and all the fundamental inventions are already part of the IEEE 802 and 1394 families. So the work remaining, while subtle and nontrivial, is straightforward engineering. The standardization effort is just starting, but the existence of IEEE 1394 and the media streaming capabilities of the wireless networks are providing a strong incentive to accelerate the process. Given the basic simplicity of my preferred approach, we might see prototype silicon in only one year. Michael Johas Teener is currently an independent consulting engineer. Prior to that he was plumbing architect at Apple Computer, a title he also held from 1988 to 1996. He was the chief architect of Apple's FireWire effort. Teener has been a major contributor, editor, and chair of the original IEEE 1394-1995 standard and the 1394b and 1394c supplements, as well as a major contributor to the Residential Ethernet Study Group. He can be reached at mailto:[email protected] To comment on this Editor's View, go to Reader Comments at the foot of the Web page: Electronic Design UPDATE ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F18:F6E03 ********************** 2. Focus On Test & Measurement ********************** ***DAQ I/O Board Features On-Board DSP The DT9841E supplies two input and two output channels of real-time processor-based data acquisition via the USB 2.0 port. The latest in the Fulcrum II series of DSP-based data-acquisition boards offers measurement and control performance up to 1000 times faster than that of a PC-only system. The board contains two 24-bit delta-sigma analog input channels with built-in anti-aliasing filters and two 24-bit delta-sigma analog output channels to stimulate systems under test. It also has 24 digital I/O lines for control and monitoring and three 32-bit counter-timers. All subsystems can be run simultaneously and monitored in real time with the on-board 32-bit floating-point processor. The DT9841E features sampling rates to 100 kHz and uninterrupted data transfer. The included DT Dynamic Signal Analyzer software enables users to stream real-time data without programming. Graphical programming also is available through the DT Measure Foundry/RT-Streaming application. The DT9841E costs $1495 and is available for immediate order. Data Translation ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F23:F6E03 ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Very Small LEDs Shine Very Brightly Three exceptionally bright red, soft orange, and yellow LEDs are available in ultra-compact surface-mount packaging. The AlInGaP-based (aluminum indium gallium phosphor) ultra-miniature LEDs have dimensions of just 1.6 by 0.8 by 0.6 mm and are compatible with the industry-standard 0603 footprint. Typical applications for the new series include backlit keypads, indicator and backlighting for audio and video equipment, and displays for mobile phones. The red TLMS1000 (628 nm), orange TLMO1000 (605 nm), and yellow TLMY1000 (588 nm) LEDs feature luminous intensity of 4, 7.5, and 7.5 mcd, respectively. The luminous intensity ratio is less than 1.6 per packing unit. Samples and production quantities of the new surface-mount LEDs are available now with lead times of six weeks for larger orders. Pricing for U.S. delivery in 100,000-piece quantities starts at $4.00 per 100 pieces. Vishay Intertechnology Inc. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F25:F6E03 ***LVDS Chips Shape High-Speed Signals Two high-speed, low-voltage differential-signaling (LVDS) analog interface chips extend the reach and drive of high-speed analog interfaces. The SCAN921821 dual 18-bit LVDS serializer features pre-emphasis, JTAG, and 15,000-V electrostatic-discharge (ESD) protection. The SCAN90CP02 1.5-Gbit/s, 2-by-2 LVDS crosspoint switch also provides JTAG and ESD protection and configurable pre-emphasis. In addition, the DS90LV110AT 1:10 LVDS repeater now offers a failsafe mode. Each of the two serializers in the SCAN921821 handles payloads up to 1.188 Gbits/s for a total of 2.376-Gbit/s throughput. The SCAN90CP02 2-by-2 LVDS nonblocking crosspoint switch operates at speeds up to 1.5 Gbits/s. The SCAN921821, in a 10- by 10-mm FBGA, costs $9.95. The DS90LV110AT, in a 28-pin TSSOP, costs $5.24. The SCAN90CP02, in a 28-pin LLP and 32-pin LQFP, goes for $4.75. All prices are for 1000-unit quantities. National Semiconductor ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F24:F6E03 ***Debug Tool Upgrades For Xtensa-Based Designs First Silicon Solutions (FS2) and Tensilica Inc. have joined forces to reinvigorate the FS2 System Navigator. The tool now debugs and supports the system integration of system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs with Tensilica's Xtensa V and Xtensa LX configurable and extensible processors. The FS2 System Navigator handles designs that employ multiple Xtensa processors -- a hallmark of the Tensilica architecture. System Navigator is available with a USB 2.O PC host connection and an optional 10/100 Ethernet connection. Because the Ethernet solution lets the FS2 tools appear as a node on the network, remote use of the tools is possible. Both the USB and USN/Ethernet tools connect to the Tensilica SoC target via a 14-pin JTAG connector. The System Navigator tools cost $2495. First Silicon Solutions Inc. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F26:F6E03 *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Tektronix Timing Error Challenge Put your EE skills to the test in the Tektronix Timing Error Challenge! Simply answer our five quiz questions and you'll have a shot at swapping the regular button-down for a classy Electronic Design t-shirt. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F20:F6E03 **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. April 14, 2005: * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- IP That Fits Choosing the right IP will make or break your design... and deadline. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F16:F6E03 * Technology Report -- DRAM Advances Splinter To Meet Many System Needs Designers can choose from different strengths of SDRAM, RDRAM, DDR1/2, GDDR, and XDR to fit specific applications. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F17:F6E03 * Leapfrog: First Look -- First Serial RapidIO Switch Arrives Switch fabrics need switch chips -- let the melee begin. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F14:F6E03 * Leapfrog: First Look -- Audio DSP Perks Up Sound-Quality Perception http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F1A:F6E03 * Design View/Design Solution -- Adaptive Radios Abet Wireless Connectivity http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F19:F6E03 For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F1B:F6E03 ***** BE SURE TO VISIT Electronic Design's Web site, where the power of Electronic Design is a mouse click away! Read our Web exclusives, enjoy our Quick Poll, discover Featured Vendors, access our archives, share viewpoints in our forums, explore our e-newsletters, and more. ***** Embedded in Electronic Design (EiED) Online is your source for technical insight and hands-on reviews. Read Bill Wong's recent EiED Online column: "ZigBee Kit" http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F15:F6E03 ***** THOUGHT YOU'D MISSED THEM? DON'T WORRY, THEY'RE ARCHIVED Electronic Design's webcasts are available online: Next-Generation In-House PCB Prototyping: Produce your own PCB prototypes without the use of hazardous chemicals. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F1C:F6E03 Selecting the Best ASIC Solution, II: Panelists from Fujitsu, NEC, Toshiba, Actel, and Xilinx provide their views on the selection process. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F22:F6E03 Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Showcast: Take a look at the new products introduced at last month's show. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=7F1F:F6E03 **************************************************************** SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TO ELECTRONIC DESIGN If you're reading this e-newsletter, then you are either a current Electronic Design subscriber, or should be (145,000 of your peers are). 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Editorial: Mark David, Editor-in-Chief mailto:[email protected] Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities: Bill Baumann, Publisher: mailto:[email protected]

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