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Electronic Design UPDATE: July 2, 2003


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine - July 2, 2003


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** JULY ONLY-Electronics Sale at Newark InOne *SAVE 10% on semiconductors & passives in July. Huge selection from 75+ top manufacturers ready to ship today. *SAVE 5% on Fluke & Tenma test equipment in July. Plus trade in for a new Tektronix, and take 12% off *Experience our newly enhanced parametric search feature and find the exact component you're looking for-fast. Receive Frequent Flyer Miles for every online order you place. **************************************************************** HOT TIP: Visit our recently redesigned Web site,, where the power of Electronic Design is a mouse click away! Read our Web exclusives, discover Featured Vendors, access our archives, share viewpoints in our Forums, explore our e-newsletters, and more. Be sure to participate in our current QUICK POLL: Bill Wong, our Embedded Technology Editor, asks: Are you using an open-source operating system in your embedded development project? Go to Today's Table of Contents: 1. Editor's View Adventures In Broadband 2. News From The Editors * Low-Cost Dial-Up Modem Is Tiny * Integrated Motherboard ICs Combine Logic And Graphics * Chip Set Targets Next-Generation DVDs * SBC Aims At Safety-Critical Systems * GIFs Get Green Light 3. Upcoming Industry Events in July * Bio-, Micro-, Nanosystem Conference * IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting * International Conference on MEMS, Nano, and Smart Systems * Pervasive 2003, Voice, Wireless and Identity Technologies 4. Magazine Highlights: June 23, 2003 issue * Cover Story: Technology Report -- High-Speed ADCs Blaze Path To Host Of Performance Advances * Leapfrog: First Look -- Advanced Switching For PCI Express: The Future Looks "Fabric" Fast * Design View: Calling All Test Engineers: Try Visual Studio .NET Edited by John Novellino ********************** 1. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Adventures In Broadband By Louis E. Frenzel, Communications /Networking Editor The latest statistics indicate that over 70% of you still get your Internet access via your 19th century local telephone loop. The rest of you have some kind of broadband service like cable TV or DSL. I used my dial-up modem up until 1998 when Time Warner's high-speed Road Runner service became available in Austin. The price is no bargain, but I jumped at the chance since my dial-up modem would never connect at anything better than 24 kbits/s or 26.4 kbits/s max. I use e-mail and the Internet daily to do my job so I feel the need for speed all the time. The cable modem delivers. I have never actually known what that speed is, but it is fast. The actual throughput varies with the number of users on the line. The connection is a bus for which users contend so if my neighbors are on at the same time, the downloads get very sluggish. During times of inactivity, the speed is spectacular, and I suspect I am getting the maximum speed for which this system is capable. A leading telecom carrier that shall remain nameless recently made DSL available in my neighborhood at a super introductory price, so I decided to try it. The DSL came with a self-install kit that supposedly contains all that you need to do it yourself. What the carrier didn't figure on is that some people have two lines in the house. The DSL was on my second line, which uses the two inner conductors on the RJ11 modular jack and plugs. The cables, filters, and modem are wired for the two outer conductors. It took me a while to figure that out. After agonizing over the possibility of actually having to break into the wall outlet and rewire it, it finally dawned on me that most two-line phones have a line two (L2) only output jack. Plugging into that solved the problem. After I finally got the thing installed, I was disappointed to find that I had about a 50/50 chance of making a connection. Sometimes the thing connects so fast I am surprised, and at other times it just will not do anything. It is also highly unreliable, as it often kicks me off in the middle of an e-mail or download. Infuriating. I am not sure why this is, and the carrier people have been unable to help. They actually told me to go to Radio Shack, which has things that can help. Like many other DSL customers have found, if it doesn't work, you are on your own. So I am stuck with a system that works about 50% of the time, and it would cost me big bucks to back out of the contract. I will say this about the DSL -- it is super fast when it works. It even seems faster than the cable connection when there's no one else on the bus. That's the benefit of having your own dedicated line. I just wish it worked more reliably. One of these days, maybe DSL will be as easy to install and as reliable as a cable modem. That may be one of the reasons that cable modem connections still outnumber DSL connections two to one. So anyway, while I am griping and whining, I am thrilled to have a high-speed connection. So many of you still do not. There is lots of activity going on to make broadband wireless (IEEE 802.16) available to all of you in the smaller cities and rural areas. On top of that, the FCC is pushing the Broadband over Power Line initiative, which could result in high-speed Internet service from your electrical utility in the near future. Hang in there. Help is on the way. To discuss this article, go to Contact Louis E. Frenzel at: mailto:[email protected] ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Low-Cost Dial-Up Modem Is Tiny If you are looking for an inexpensive, all-in-one dial-up modem for embedded or portable applications, check out Cermetek Microelectronics' CH1788. It's a full-function modem housed in a surface-mount 68-pin PLCC package that measures less than one inch square and 0.255 in. high. The modem conforms to ITU V.22bis standards and offers features like AT commands, serial interface, FCC Part 68 approval, low power consumption with 3- or 5-V supply, off-hook detection, 911 override, dual-tone multifrequency detect and transmit, caller ID, and a fast-connect option. Target applications include portable instrumentation and industrial applications like wearable heart monitors, security systems, time clocks, credit verification equipment, remote telemetry, data-acquisition terminals, and time-of-use energy meters. The CH1788 sells for $19.95 in quantities of 500 or more and is available now. An evaluation board costs $99.95. Cermetek Microelectronics ==> ***Integrated Motherboard ICs Combine Logic And Graphics A pair of integrated chip sets, one for desktop and the other for portable PC motherboards, delivers entry-level gaming graphics with up to six times the performance of other integrated solutions when tested with the industry-standard 3DMark03 benchmarks from Futuremark. The Radeon 9100 IGP and Mobility Radeon 9100 IGP, developed by ATI Technologies Inc., include programmable pixel shading technology to provide more realistic images and visual effects without bogging down the host processor. Both chip sets include dual-channel 128-bit memory buses capable of using 400-MHz double-data-rate SDRAMs, frame buffer addressing for up to 128 Mbytes, advanced DVD playback thanks to on-chip inverse discrete cosine transform and motion-compensation support, multiple monitor support, a 10-bit digital-to-analog converter for a high-quality TV-output port, 8X accelerated-graphics-port support, and much more. The Mobility chip set also includes advanced power management to trim power consumption in battery-powered systems. Samples of the integrated chip sets will begin shipping this summer. Contact Philip Eisler at (905) 882-2600. ATI Technologies Inc. ==> ***Chip Set Targets Next-Generation DVDs A co-development project between LSI Logic Corp. and Philips Electronics has yielded a chip set for next-generation DVD players. Based on LSI Logic's ZiVA-5 DVD system processor and Philips' user-friendly interface, the chips will produce DVD systems that offer consumers a wide range of features at an affordable price. The ZiVA-5 employs a 32-bit multimedia RISC CPU with DSP extensions and a high-performance 32-bit 2D graphics processor. This advanced technology enables the Philips DVD systems to offer new value-added features such as Super Audio CD, flash memory capability, and digital photo and music management. With more consumers editing, sharing, and storing files from digital cameras and portable MP3 players, these features will make the systems more attractive. The ZiVA-5 also provides high-quality video features like the company's True Scan progressive scan technology, which will allow DVD players to display highly detailed images that will make movies look sharper and more pleasing to the eye. LSI Logic ==> ***SBC Aims At Safety-Critical Systems Dy 4 Systems's SVME/DMV-181, a 500-MHz MPC7410-based PowerPC single-board computer (SBC) with software support, is designed for customers who need to meet the specifications of the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) DO-178B and the Avionics Application Software Standard Interface (ARINC 653). The Certifiable Foundation Firmware (CFFW) handles initialization and test for the 181 on power-up and to support software development. Dy 4's certifiable board support package accommodates Wind River's VxWorksAE-653 certifiable real-time operating system. The 181 is available for evaluation now. Production quantities will be available in early 2004. Dy 4 Systems ==> ***GIFs Get Green Light Patents eventually expire, releasing sometimes valuable technology for unimpeded use. On June 20, 2003, U.S. Patent 4,558,302 expired. Held by Unisys (, this patent covers the LZW (Lempel-Ziv Welch) compression algorithm that is central to the GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) files used on most Internet Web sites in addition to JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group). The LZW compression algorithm can now be used by anyone, making GIF editors more available to Web page developers. ********************** 3. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** July 7-10, Bio-, Micro-, and Nanosystem Conference, New York City July 13-17, IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 20-23, International Conference on MEMS, Nano, and Smart Systems, Banff, Alberta, Canada July 23-25, Pervasive 2003, Voice, Wireless and Identity Technologies, Denver, Colo. ********************** 4. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue, June 23, 2003. * Cover Story: Technology Report High-Speed ADCs Blaze Path To Host Of Performance Advances Besides getting faster, today's speedy analog-to-digital converters offer reductions in power dissipation, higher levels of integration, and the benefits of LVDS as the digital interface. * Leapfrog: First Look -- Advanced Switching For PCI Express: The Future Looks "Fabric" Fast Now nearing completion, the Advanced Switching (AS) specification brings switch-fabric speed and scalability to PCI. * Design View -- Calling All Test Engineers: Try Visual Studio .NET Become more creative by taking advantage of this open software standard to install, manage, and grow your test-development environment. For the complete Table of Contents, go to




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


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