Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: March 26, 2003


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine - http://www.planetee.com March 26, 2003


Today's Table of Contents: 1. Editor's View -- Commentary 2. News -- From The Editors 3. Upcoming Industry Events 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** 1. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** MY WISH LIST FOR WIRELESS By Louis E. Frenzel, Communications/Networking Editor Are we experiencing a wireless glut or what? Don't get me wrong. I love wireless. I got into electronics the old-fashioned way, by wireless--that is, ham radio (W5LEF for the curious). Let me tell you, we love all of our wireless stuff. My favorite is the cell phone, but none of us would be willing to go on living without our precious TV remote controls and garage door openers. Is there anyone who doesn't have a cordless phone? We also now have wireless local-area network (LAN) capability. It's the basic nature of mankind to communicate. That's why communications was initially, is now, and always will be the killer app for electronics. Most of us will buy anyting that's wireless because this technology indeed provides the freedom and mobility we crave and, ultimately, get addicted to. Giving it some thought, here is my wireless wish list for chip and equipment product managers looking for new projects. 1. Improve cell phones. Cell phones work well, but they aren't perfect. There are still giant blank spots in cell coverage. I can drive less than a half hour from my house and lose coverage. Huge areas of the U.S. still aren't covered. Furthermore, my phone won't work in many areas when I roam. But while these real problems aren't being addressed, wireless carriers are hell-bent on selling us 2.5G and 3G services that provide always-on packet data service for e-mail and Internet access, gaming, still-color photo transmission, and eventually video. Most of us don't want or need this. Just make my cell phone work when I roam through the dead zones. 2. Give me a wireless cable TV box. One cable box serves one TV. You can get another cable box, but you also have to have another cable connection where you want it. Give me a wireless cable transmitter that connects to the cable and then transmits wirelessly to receivers connected to any of my TV sets. 3. Fix the wireless-LAN (WLAN) interoperability problem. The 802.11b WLANs have become ubiquitous, but many interoperability problems still exist. The Wi-Fi certification process was supposed to fix that, and it helped considerably. Yet I bought three different systems over the past year or so, and none of them work together. None! So after spending big bucks on this, I'm still unconnected. Hey WLAN vendors, fix this problem before you roll out the higher-speed 802.11a and 802.11g hardware. Higher speeds won't help if different units won't work together. 4. Give us a wireless broadband link. While a high-speed broadband connection like cable or DSL is available in most major cities for those who want and can afford it, folks in small towns and rural areas have nothing. Some areas have implemented 802.11b WLAN broadband systems, and that may be the path to low-cost broadband for everyone. With the new 802.11g systems and all of the efforts to bring WLAN hot spots to many areas, it seems possible to bring a variation to those who want broadband wherever they are. Boring list, huh? Give us ease of use, reliability, low cost, and wireless functionality rather than the leading-edge stuff, and we'll buy it. Contact Lou Frenzel at: mailto:[email protected] ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***High-Performance, Low-Cost DSPs Target Handheld Systems A family of enhanced Blackfin digital signal processors offers increasing amounts of on-chip memory (from 53 to 148 kbytes) and includes resources targeting portable multimedia and communication products. The first three chips in the family, unveiled this week by Analog Devices, include the ADSP-BF531, 532, and 533. The processors are available with core clock speeds to 600 MHz and deliver throughputs from 600 to 1200 million multiply-accumulates while consuming just a few hundred milliwatts at top speed. At 300 MHz, the ADSP-BF533 consumes only 90 mW. In lots of 10,000, the prices range from $4.95 for the 300-MHz BF531 to just under $20 for the 600-MHz BF533. For full details on the architecture and features, check out Electronic Design's March 31 cover story or contact Analog Devices at http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ05Tq0AY ***Module Speeds Adoption Of Digital Broadcast Radio Incorporating a complete software-defined FM radio and front end, the RS200 module from RadioScape cuts development time and costs for development of radio and stereo sound products compatible with the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) standard. The module, based on the Texas Instruments TMS320C5000 DSP platform and using a TI DRE200 DSP chip, is programmed to handle all baseband chores, such as IF filtering and demodulation, as well as all of the related audio functions, including an integral MP3 player plus radio data service (RDS) operations. The module conforms to the Eureka 147 DAB standard, which is popular in the U.K. and spreading rapidly into Germany and Asia. For more details, contact RadioScape Ltd. at +44 20 7317 1969 or go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08Sa0AK ***C/C++ Gets Eclipsed The Open Source Eclipse Project was never just for Java, even though the Eclipse framework is written in Java and initial support was for Java. The integrated development environment (IDE) now supports C and C++ courtesy of the C/C++ Development Tools (CDT) project team. The Eclipse IDE and CDT 1.0 are now available as a free download at the Eclipse Consortium's Web site. The CDT includes two main components. The CDT Core includes support for a syntax sensitive code editor, wizards, and GNU tools including compilers. The CDT Debugger works with the gdb debugger. QNX Software is delivering C/C++ support in Momentics, its Eclipse-based IDE. IBM and TimeSys also utiliize Eclipse as their IDE. For more information, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08Sb0AL ***Registered DDR DIMM Density Hits 4 Gbytes By using its high-density 1-Gbit double-data-rate (DDR) SDRAMs, Micron Technology has developed the first 4-Gbyte DDR DIMMs for Intel PC/Server platforms. The 4-Gbyte modules meet the standard 184-pin PC1600 and PC2100 specifications and will initially operate at speeds up to 266 MHz. The 1-Gbit DRAMs used on the modules are fabricated using 0.11-micron design rules and stacked-capacitor memory cells. The 0.11-micron process produces a chip small enough to fit in a JEDEC-standard 400-mil, thin small-outline packages. For more information, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08Sc0AM ***Micromodule Approach Promises Revolution In 10 Gbit/s Optical Networking Modules A novel micromodule assembly approach for building blocks used in 10-Gbit/s optical modules allows Network Elements Inc. to customize and optimize the optical module design for Sonet and 10-Gbit Ethernet applications. Unveiled this week at the optical fiber conference in Atlanta, the initial micromodules include a PIN-based, high-sensitivity receiver and an uncooled 1310-nm DFB-based transmitter with double-digit mask margin. These 10- to 12-km optics integrate the photodiode, transimpedance amplifier, laser, and laser driver, all while dissipating less than 1 W. Designed for fully automated assembly, the micromodules meet Telcordia standards. For more information, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08Sd0AN ********************** 3. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** April 7-9, Ceramic Interconnect Technology: The Next Generation, and Tabletop Exhibition, the Westin Tabor Center Hotel, Denver, Colo. Sponsored by IMAPS and the Ceramic Interconnect Initiative. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08CE0Aa April 7-12, World Fair for Applied Microsystems Technology, Hannover, Germany (part of Hannover Fair). Technical presentations and exhibits on microsystem and nanosystem technologies. Contact Angela Dessables at (609) 987-1202 or go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08CF0Ab or http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08CG0Ac April 22-24, Third International Conference on Lead-Free Components and Assemblies, Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, Calif. Jointly sponsored by IPC and JEDEC, this conference offers technical presentations, tutorials, guest speakers, and educational classes. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08CH0Ad or http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08CI0Ae April 22-26, Embedded Systems Conference, San Francisco, Calif. This show will present more than 140 conference sessions, including tracks concentrating on system-on-a-chip designs and consumer electronics. Topics will include security, Wi-Fi, audio and video, Linux, and real-time design. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08CJ0Af April 23-24, Military and Aerospace Electronics East Show with COTScon, Baltimore, Md. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08CK0Ag or call (603) 891-9267. April 27-May 2, Networld + Interop, Las Vegas, Nev. One of the largest networking conferences and expositions of the year will feature workshops and testing lab demonstrations. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08Se0AO May 11-13, NanoBusiness Spring, New York Marriott Financial Center, New York. Produced in association with the NanoBusiness Alliance, the show will feature presentations, demonstrations, networking, and business deals covering the emerging business of microsystems and nanaotechnology. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ0plc0Ah May 18-23, SID2003, Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md. Society For Information Display: International Symposium, Seminar, And Exhibition. The industry's premier gathering for display technology. Symposium: May 20-22; Seminars, Applications, Tutorials, and Short Course: May 18-23; Exhibition: May 20-22; Business Conference: May 19. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08CL0Ah May 27-30, 53rd Electronic Components Technology Conferfence, New Orleans, La. Organized by the IEEE/CPMT (www.ieee.org), the conference focuses on electronic components with a concentration on packaging. Includes sessions on optical and fiber-optic components. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08CM0Ai ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue, March 17, 2003. * Cover Feature: Technology Report -- Cryptochips Help Eliminate The Security Bottleneck Hackers are hyper to steal your sensitive data. Terrorists wish to bring your network to its knees. Sound paranoid? Not necessarily. * Leapfrog: First Look -- Advanced TCA: A High-End Switch Fabric That Costs Less Design by committee resulted in a range of standards with a common backplane and support for Gigabit Ethernet, InfiniBand, StarFabric, and PCI Express. * Design Solution -- Wring Out Better, Faster Results Through System-Level Design Time-to-market pressures coupled with design complexity caused by converging technologies leave companies facing a host of challenges. For the full feature, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/eQCu0DJhUf0EmQ08Th0AS * Beyond Technology -- Terrible Events Sometimes Usher In New Opportunities For the complete Table of Contents, go to http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/flo/y/ePk30GmPTq0EmQ07xN0AY




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


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