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Electronic Design UPDATE: October 13, 2004


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> October 13, 2004


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Samtec Offers PADS Libraries for High-Speed Connectors PADS libraries are now available on-line for Q-Series (R) high-speed and SamArray (R) high-density connectors. They allow Samtec recommended footprints and schematics to be directly imported into complex PCB layouts. **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Industry View * Robust Technical Support Is Critical To A Project's Success 2. Focus On Power * High-Voltage Regulator Boasts 100-microA Quiescent Current 3. News From The Editors * Software Simplifies Multichannel Data Acquisition * High-Stability OCXOs Offer HCMOS Or Sine Outputs * PC/104 Embedded Design Contest Looking For A Few Good Ideas 4. Upcoming Industry Events * International Test Conference * Americas Display Engineering and Applications Conference * Optics East * Lab-On-A-Chip Conference 5. Magazine Highlights: October 4, 2004 * Cover Story: Technology Report -- LCDs Breakout In New Dimensions * Leapfrog: First Look -- PC-Based HW/SW Tools Aid Design And Test * Leapfrog: First Look -- Portable DSOs Measure Up To Industrial Power Market * Design View / Design Solution -- Brighten Up Your Bluetooth Designs With High-Quality Audio Electronic Design UPDATE edited by John Novellino, Senior Technology Editor **************************************************************** THOUGHT YOU'D MISSED THEM? DON'T WORRY, THEY'RE ARCHIVED Electronic Design's two latest webcasts are available online: COM Express -- Emerging Standard: Bill Wong examines COM Express, the new Computer-on-Module standard from the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group. Wong looks at what's inside the standard, its effect on high-speed serial technologies, and how it's changing the embedded landscape. Selecting the Best ASIC Solution: Dave Bursky discusses the ASIC selection process, exploring the decision points you should consider in determining the right ASIC design route. Bursky and a panel representing leading ASIC manufacturers explore the issues you face when planning a new chip design. ***** YOUR CHANCE TO WIN $500! Take our ISSUE POLL and win a $500 gift certificate. The editors would like to know what you think of the OCTOBER 4 ISSUE of Electronic Design. Your feedback will help us better understand your critical information needs and provide valuable guidance for developing future editorial content. It's also your automatic entry into our drawing for a $500 American Express gift certificate. Go to ==> ***** 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. How do you use SystemC in your current design methodology? -- For early system architecture analysis/partitioning -- To create "golden" functional reference models used throughout the flow -- I don't use it yet but plan to adopt it -- I tried SystemC and didn't like it -- I've never used it and don't plan to Go to Electronic Design ==> ***** And for expanded coverage of embedded systems design, take a look at EiED Online by Bill Wong. Go to ==> **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Industry View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Robust Technical Support Is Critical To A Project's Success By Eric Smith, Director, Design of Engineer Marketing, Newark InOne Now more than ever, design engineers are facing extreme time-to-market pressures. With the need to complete more projects in less time, engineers are looking for more value from their electronic components distributors. To be considered a primary source, today's distributor must be a trusted partner that understands the needs of the customer and can offer a variety of capabilities to make specifying, procuring, and applying electronic components faster and easier. Some of these capabilities include dynamic Web-based parametric search to find components easily the first time, live technical support, easily accessible datasheets, and links to manufacturers' Web sites for when more information is required for design specification and application work or to make a buying decision. Distributors are seeking to provide a one-stop resource so engineers can spend less time searching for what they need. If it sounds like a lot to ask for, it is. Yet increasingly, distributors of electronic components must offer these capabilities and more to remain a preferred distributor for the engineer. One-to-one technical support -- whether via the web, phone, e-mail, or fax -- is a key to fast and accurate completion of a project. Frustration occurs when delays are caused by a lack of good product information and support from the distributor that provided the components. Questions that arise during a project are as varied as the projects themselves. The multiplicity of possible questions should equal, not exceed, a distributor's ability to either answer them directly or assist the customer in quickly finding the answer. Whether an engineer is looking for help in selecting a specific component or a number of modules for a control system, the technical support team should have the depth of knowledge to respond accurately. That's why it is critical to have engineers staffed as part of the technical support team. Similarly, the team should be familiar with the "latest and greatest" components and related technologies. It should also be able to advise on areas such as the unique applications enabled by the newest microcontroller or the wisdom of selecting a capacitor with a higher Q value for its size. With the need for ongoing general and specialized knowledge, the most effective tech support teams are regularly trained by a distributor's suppliers. This fosters a closer distributor/supplier relationship, a sharing of the technical support function, and better service for their mutual customers. Like any other customer request, technical support is a test of a distributor's abilities. Successfully addressing application questions and identifying parts for any category of products, from semiconductors to test equipment, can be pivotal to the on-time completion of a project. Today's most successful distributors understand this. The best-trained technical support team, however, doesn't make up for the service gap created when an engineer cannot easily and quickly search the distributor's Web site for products and information. Parametric search, or search by product attributes and parameters, enables customers to use technical product specification (such as voltage or package type) in their searches. This is important for the engineer, but it's just the beginning. Web-based distributor search engines should also: -- match products based on partial or complete stock numbers/part numbers, attributes, manufacturer names, and descriptions; -- offer a simple one-box entry for criteria, with the search engine itself using internal logic to complete the search; -- provide side-by-side product comparisons; -- continually sort results by price, availability, attributes, part numbers, and description or filter them by manufacturer; -- provide a relevant, ranked order of products in the results; -- and provide regularly updated inventory and pricing. The high level of these search features is one result of distributors coming to fully understand and be aware of the issues that engineers face every day. Customers must be able to look to distributors as not mere distributors of products, but as true partners that can assist them in meeting and exceeding the professional challenges they face every day. Eric Smith holds an engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Newark InOne, he worked for several high-tech manufacturers in engineering, sales, and marketing positions. He can be reached at mailto:[email protected] To comment on this Industry View, go to Reader Comments at the foot of the Web page: Electronic Design UPDATE ==> **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT*************************** Ultracapacitors Improve Wind Turbine Reliability Today's modern wind turbines use pitch control systems to adjust the blade angles for optimal performance. Traditionally, these pitch control systems have been powered by lead-acid batteries but the long life, high reliability and maintenance-free characteristics of BOOSTCAP (R) ultracapacitors offer a more reliable and cost effective solution for this application. Get the free technical paper at: **************************************************************** ********************** 2. Focus On Power ********************** ***High-Voltage Regulator Boasts 100-microA Quiescent Current The LT1977 step-down switching regulator features an input voltage range of 3.3 to 60 V, suiting it for use in load dump or cold-crank conditions in automotive applications. Its 1.5-A internal switch supplies up to 1.25 A of continuous output current at voltages as low as 1.25 V. The device comes in a thermally enhanced TSSOP, which combines with its 500-kHz switching frequency to allow small external inductors and capacitors. The use of Burst Mode operation keeps quiescent current to under 100 microA. The internal switch is a high-efficiency 60-V, 1.5-A, 0.2-ohm type that integrates its associated control and logic circuitry onto one die. Features include a power-good flag with programmable threshold and time-out, a soft-start capability, and thermal shutdown. The LT1977EFE starts at $4.00 each in 1000-piece lots. The LT1977IFE, which is tested and guaranteed to operate from -40 deg. C to 125 deg. C, starts at $4.60 each in similar quantities. Delivery is from stock. Linear Technology Corp. ==> ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Software Simplifies Multichannel Data Acquisition By combining a number of elements and functions developed around Acqiris' advanced software tools into one executable file, AcqirisMAQS (Multichannel Acquisition Software) presents a simple tool for organized setup, control, and acquisition of signals from any number of digitizer channels. Users can interactively manage complex experiments through a familiar Windows-based environment. They can create new configurations, update existing ones, visualize any combination of signals by using drag-and-drop techniques, and auto-store or analyze data by exporting it into other software applications. A remote-control interface lets users control and monitor data acquisition from multiple locations simultaneously. Users can employ an Ethernet connection, a simple crossover cable, or any networked environment over the Ethernet. A single-user PC license costs $1990. A demo version is available without charge. Acqiris USA ==> ***High-Stability OCXOs Offer HCMOS Or Sine Outputs The FTE family of oven-controlled crystal oscillators (OCXOs) uses SC-cut resonators for lower phase noise and better g stability. These devices come with HCMOS outputs for telecom and switching applications (AH series) or sine-wave output for wireless, satellite, and navigation use (AS). All models range in frequency from 5 to 50 MHz, with a +5-V dc supply. Frequency stabilities of plus-or-minus 7, 10, or 15 ppb are available, as are operating-temperature ranges as wide as -40 deg. C to 75 deg. C. Typical offset phase noise for a 10-MHz unit is -120 dBc for 10 Hz, -140 dBc for 100 Hz, -155 dBc for 1 kHz, and -158 dBc for 10 kHz. Both series come in a Euro Package (nominally 1.0 in. by 1.42 in. with varying heights). Pricing for a 10-MHz FTE 501-AH device with plus-or-minus 7-ppb stability is $94.23 in quantities of 1000. Delivery is 10 to 12 weeks for sample quantities. Fox Electronics ==> ***PC/104 Embedded Design Contest Looking For A Few Good Ideas Want to show off an OEM product incorporating PC/104, PC/104-Plus, PCI-104, or EBX technologies? Or are you a student who has completed a PC/104-based research project? You can enter it in the Third Annual PC/104 Embedded Design Contest. Entries will be judged by industry-recognized authorities, including Electronic Design's Embedded/Systems/Software Editor William Wong. Entries will be judged in three categories: commercial for industrial/medical/transportation/other; commercial for military/aerospace/commercial-off-the-shelf; and research project. Winning products will be displayed in the PC/104 Embedded Consortium exhibit booth at the 2005 Embedded Systems Conference in March. Winners will be flown to San Francisco for to receive their awards at the conference. The entry deadline is Dec. 10, 2004. PC/104 Embedded Consortium ==> *************************ADVERTISEMENT*************************** Catch the PLX (R) PCI Express ExpressLane (TM) Seminar PLX invites you to attend our FREE tutorial on the "Essentials for Building a PCI Express (TM) System" which includes an introduction to PCI Express (PCIe) technology; building blocks for storage, communications and other embedded systems; our PCIe switches and bridges; practical design considerations; a demonstration of the PLX PCIe switch and our FastLane (TM) family of PCI and PCI-X bridging devices. To register for the "PLX ExpressLane Seminar Series: Essentials for Building a PCI Express System", please go to **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT*************************** Constrained By Design Options? Get RapidChip! Find out how Trimble broke through the barriers with RapidChip(R) Platform ASIC technology. LSI Logic's 3.5 million gate IC is embedded into a multi-chip module at the heart of Trimble's next-gen military GPS receiver. By combining the high-density, high-performance advantages of cell-based ASICs with the fast time-to-market and customization benefits of FPGAs, Trimble created a state-of-the-art 24-channel product. Experience the power and performance of RapidChip Platform ASICs. View Trimble's case study now at: Isn't it time to see what RapidChip technology can help you accomplish? **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** Oct. 24-29. International Test Conference (ITC) Charlotte, N.C. Oct. 25-27, Americas Display Engineering and Applications Conference Fort Worth, Texas Oct. 25-28, Optics East Philadelphia, Pa. Oct. 25-29, Lab-On-A-Chip Conference Philadelphia, Pa. ********************** 5. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. October 4, 2004: * Cover Story: Technology Report -- LCDs Breakout In New Dimensions Liquid-crystal flat-panel displays continue to advance on all performance fronts, with gains in size, brightness, response time, viewing angle, and color brilliance. * Leapfrog: First Look -- PC-Based HW/SW Tools Aid Design And Test DAQ hardware and test software in PC-based instruments raise performance levels yet still lower costs. * Leapfrog: First Look -- Portable DSOs Measure Up To Industrial Power Market A new DSO class, with isolated channels and eight-hour battery operations, expedites design validation and equipment maintenance in the lab and the field. * Design View / Design Solution -- Brighten Up Your Bluetooth Designs With High-Quality Audio For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> **************************************************************** 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). To apply for or renew a subscription to Electronic Design absolutely FREE and without paperwork or hassle, click on the link below. ****************************************************************




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