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Electronic Design

Retooling Electronic Design For 2008

You’ll notice some changes in our first standard issue of 2008. For example, our TechView section is now one department rather than a series of individual columns from our technology editors. This will make it easier for us to provide you with more timely and compelling information.

Your favorite editors will still contribute to this section, so they’re not going away. They also will have a larger role online. You can follow Don Tuite, David Maliniak, and Bill Wong in their Design Hotspots on our Web site.

Speaking of Bill, check out his new column, the Lab Bench. Bill is a phenomenal resource for Electronic Design, with a BEE from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s in computer science from Rutgers University. He also is a hands-on guy, reviewing lots of products in embedded systems. Bill will do his best to give you his insights on microcontrollers, multicore microprocessors, software, and other technologies.

We’d like to welcome a trio of quarterly contributors to our Point of View department, with Micro Power’s Robin Sarah Tichy kicking things off in this issue. You may recognize her from other articles she’s written for us as well as from several of our webcasts. Dave Van Ess of Cypress Semiconductor will cover analog and mixed-signal topics, beginning in the Feb. 28 issue. Dave says that his column will reflect answers to the kinds of questions he often gets from young engineers.

Finally, Tom Curatolo of Vicor will take the department’s reins in our March 13 edition—appropriately enough in our “One Powerful Issue.” We’ll run additional columns from these contributors at And, we’re always looking for more from industry experts and experienced designers alike. Please see our submission guidelines online for more information about how you can contribute.

Starting next issue, we will be printing full Design Solutions rather than the one-page briefs that we’ve been publishing for the past few years. We’ll also publish many more contributed Design Solutions on our Web site in the appropriate Analog, Power, EDA, and Embedded Hotspots. We’ll give you a headsup on any new contributions by letting you know on our Web Table of Contents page and with reminders in our various newsletters. So if you have an article in mind, again, please see our submission requirements.

Our very popular Ideas for Design section will remain the same, and we will make an effort to publish as many of these thought-provoking circuits as possible. The only limitation on our end is availability. If you’ve been thinking of submitting a circuit for this section, I encourage you to do so. Not only will you have the satisfaction of seeing your name in print, you’ll also get $150 to boot and automatically be entered in our Best IFD of the Year contest, with its $500 prize.

You might be wondering what happened to Bob Pease’s column. Many magazines reserve their final page for something offbeat, like an industry gossip column. We couldn’t find an electronics industry equivalent of Suzy, though, so we’ve decided to literally give Bob the last word in each issue. Now, his column will be much easier to find. Just flip open the magazine from the back instead of the front.

We hope these changes will give you a better reading experience as well as introduce you to some new writers in the analog, mixed-signal, and power areas. Of course, we’ll continue to cover all the latest developments in electronics via our Engineering Features and Technology Reports, as well as provide solid information in our Engineering Essentials, Basics of Design, and Design FAQs. Happy 2008!

One of the more interesting meetings I had at the recent 2008 International CES in Las Vegas was with a company called Xceive (, which makes silicon-germanium TV tuners. Neil Mitchell, VP of marketing, says that Xceive’s XC5000 is the only device that can replace conventional CAN tuners in HDTVs.

Xceive told me the same thing last year and showed me some compelling electrical tests to make its point. But this is a tough market to crack. So this year, the company made it as easy as possible for some manufacturers to make the switch.

The new SiliconNOW SN5000 module tuner is a complete hybrid 2-in-1 module containing the XC5000 silicon tuner in a CAN form factor (see the figure). It has the same pin-outs as the Thomson DTT7683x family and ALPS TDQU family, two of the most popular CAN tuners on the market.

TV manufacturers can seamlessly migrate to silicon tuner technology with a market-ready platform. Documentation for the reference design, including schematic, printed-circuit board layout, test report, and pin-out specification, is available from Xceive upon request.

TAGS: Vicor
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