Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: December 20, 2004


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com December 20, 2004


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Quartus II Software v4.2 - #1 in Performance Get the highest performance for high-density FPGAs, low-cost FPGAs, and CPLDs: Quartus (R) II software v4.2 delivers an average of 39% higher performance on Stratix (R) II devices compared to ISE 6.3i software on Virtex-4 devices. The new Quartus II PowerPlay technology enables accurate analysis and optimization of dynamic and static power consumption. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNgv0AW **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Industry View * The Right Switches Let Users "Converse" With Machines 2. Focus On Analog * MCM Holds Two 14-Bit Sampling ADCs 3. News From The Editors * 1.2-kW DC Supply Is Compact * Java-Based Software Customizes Copiers * Micron Regains No. 2 Ranking In DRAMs 4. Upcoming Industry Events * IEEE International Conference On Consumer Electronics * 18th IEEE International Conference on Micro-Electronic Mechanical Systems * Enterprise Linux Summit 5. Magazine Highlights: December 16, 2004 * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- A Bright Outlook For Solar Power Generation * Leapfrog: First Look -- DDS V1.0 Standardizes Publish/Subscribe * Design View/Design Solution -- Wireless Systems Are Great -- If They're Secure Electronic Design UPDATE edited by John Novellino, Senior Technology Editor **************************************************************** Webcast Panel: Selecting the Best ASIC Solution, II January 27 at 2:00 EST An important consideration when starting an ASIC design is which platform to use. Options include a full-cell-based design, a structured or platform ASIC, or a field-programmable gate array. If you know the performance requirements and your needs for specialized intellectual property, you are halfway there. This panel, moderated by Digital ICs/DSP Editor Dave Bursky, will examine selection issues and design/performance tradeoffs. Panelists from Fujitsu, NEC, and Toshiba will provide their views and answer questions regarding the various design approaches. To register, go to: http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ05Am0AE ***** TechCast: Next-Generation Physical Verification -- Beyond DRC to Yield Enablement January 19 at 2 p.m. EST Sponsor: Synopsys Physical verification (PV) is already one of the most tangible links between design and manufacturing. But at 90 nm and below, designers want more direct control over the overall yield. Here, a PV tool will be the key component of the overall methodology, encompassing design and manufacturing. The requirements of such a methodology as well as the fundamental change in the physical verification process itself will shape next-generation PV tools. This TechCast will explore how today's PV tools can answer such challenges. To register, go to: http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ05Am0AE ***** THOUGHT YOU'D MISSED THEM? DON'T WORRY, THEY'RE ARCHIVED Electronic Design's webcasts are available online: Signal Integrity Testing: Michael Lauterbach of LeCroy Corp. describes advances in testing for signal integrity. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ05Am0AE COM Express -- Emerging Standard: Bill Wong examines the new Computer-on-Module standard from the PICMG. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BMBG0A6 Selecting the Best ASIC Solution, I: Dave Bursky discusses the selection process with a panel of ASIC manufacturers. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BMVH0AS ***** 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. Are you considering use of system-in-a-package technology in your upcoming design projects? -- Yes -- No -- Thinking about it -- Never heard of it Go to Electronic Design ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BGmZ0A2 **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Industry View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** The Right Switches Let Users "Converse" With Machines By Alfred Woo, Technical Marketing Manager, Synaptics Touch has long been the primary mode of interaction between people and devices. From early stone tools to modern devices such as toasters and calculators, the operator's touch has been the basic means of controlling a device. Over time, a wide range of mechanical touch controls -- buttons on calculators, levers on toasters, knobs on audio amplifiers -- has been developed to simply and efficiently interact wih devices. Simple control paradigms work well with these simple machines. Basic off-on is easily controlled with a switch, and simple audio volume is easily controlled with a rotary knob. As machines get more complex, simple control paradigms become inadequate. Our needs transcend merely controlling the device. We need to converse with it. Since touch is the language used to talk to machines, we now need a more expressive language than basic buttons and knobs. Today, we converse with cell phones, portable music players, digital cameras, and even smart wristwatches. In modern devices, more functionality is heaped into ever smaller form factors while the physical interface is evaporating. Interfaces need to become far richer to keep up. In this environment, electrical touch sensors become more cogent than mechanical controls. Of the two general classes of electrical touch sensors, capacitive sensors are by far more expressive than resistive sensors. Capacitive sensors can capture subtlety of position to 1/1000 of an inch, sense close proximity as well as direct touch, and gauge pressure by measuring user contact area. Capacitive sensors are also very adaptable. They can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all operate on the same basic principles. An electrode array in the sensor forms one plate of a capacitor, while the user's finger forms the second plate. A thin insulating material acts as the dielectric between the two. The electrode shape, array layout, and dielectric thickness are all variable, yielding a sensor technology that is adaptable to a wide range of size, industrial design, and functionality constraints. This adaptability is evident in the marketplace. Capacitive sensor technology can be found in notebook PCs, portable audio players, PDAs, and ATM touchscreens. Within this extended family of capacitive sensors is enabled a rich set of interaction modes. Capacitive sensors can be designed to accept off/on button actions, 1D scrolling control, 2D cursor control, text entry, and gesture recognition. Moreover, a single physical sensor can be multilingually conversant in all modes, enabling a very rich and fluent language between the user and the machine. Capacitive sensors, however, lack tactile feedback. Unlike mechanical controls, there are no tactile cues when actions have been performed. While capacitive sensors present great industrial design opportunities for sleek interfaces, usability can suffer if they're poorly designed. Smart design choices can overcome the shortcomings. Physical bumps should delineate capacitive buttons. Like the bumps on the "F" and "J" keys on a keyboard home row, these "braille bumps" effectively guide the users' sensitive fingertips to specific locations. In a capacitive button layout, interior buttons are less accessible. It can be useful to size interior buttons larger than buttons on the periphery. Additionally, a button's accessibility should be matched to its function. Commonly used controls should be larger and placed closer to the fingers, while less used controls can be placed in less accessible locations. Ridges or texture changes should tactilely delineate other sensing areas. This feature type is useful in bounding active areas used for scrolling or 2D cursor control. Designers should also be keenly aware that approximately 8% of the population is left-handed. Optimal interface design will permit easy-to-use operation with either hand. Optimizing the interface is a matter of matching interface technology to the device's fluency requirements. The emerging need for extremely rich interfaces, however, has certainly tipped the balance toward electronic touch sensors. Good interface design, paired with the appropriate touch technology, enables people and their devices to fluently speak a common language and ensures a satisfying user experience. Alfred Woo previously held positions at Pulse Interactive, Dub Media, and Seagate Technology. He received a BS in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He can be contacted at mailto:[email protected] To comment on this Industry View, go to Reader Comments at the foot of the Web page: Electronic Design UPDATE ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNgw0AX **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT*************************** Physical verification is one of the most tangible links between design and manufacturing. The change in the physical verification process will shape the next generation PV tools. This webcast will explore how a PV tool like Hercules PVS (Physical Verification Suite) from Synopsys can answer such challenges. Register now: http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNgx0AY DATE: Wednesday, January 19, 2004 TIME: 2:00 p.m. EST **************************************************************** ********************** 2. Focus On Analog ********************** ***MCM Holds Two 14-Bit Sampling ADCs The ADSD-1410 is a multichip module (MCM) that houses two 14-bit, 10-MHz analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), two 30-MHz sample-hold amplifiers, two edge-triggered start-convert functions, and a digitally multiplexed 20-MHz output buffer. The two ADCs can run independently at 10 MHz each. Alternating blocks of data can be clocked from the three-state output buffer continuously at 30 MHz. Optimized signal-return and analog/digital ground paths, as well as localized capacitive decoupling, offer a 150-microV rms noise level. Signal-to-noise ratio is 78 dB, and total harmonic distortion is -80 dB. The device runs on plus-and-minus 5 V and +15 V, consuming 1.7 W. It comes in a 28-pin, double-DIP, ceramic package. A commercial version (0 to 70 deg. C) costs $482 for 500 pieces. A military version (-55 to +125 deg. C) costs $732 for 500 pieces. For sample quantities, delivery is in two weeks. Production quantities require four to six weeks. Datel Inc. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0qyb0Ax ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***1.2-kW DC Supply Is Compact A 19-in. rack-mounted chassis just 1U (1.75 in.) high houses a dc power supply capable of delivering 1.2 kW at 30 V. The Model VSP4030's output ranges are 0 to 40 V and 0 to 30 A. Users can control the unit via front-mounted 10-turn potentiometers and three-digit meters or by computer through an RS-232 interface. Future models will include a GPIB interface. Analog remote sensing automatically maintains desired voltage. Up to nine supplies can be cascaded, for a total of more than 10 kW. Cooling is by front-to-back airflow, so no space is required between supplies. The Model VSP4030 dc power supply costs $1725 and is available for immediate delivery. ***Java-Based Software Customizes Copiers Embedded processors and Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) software are turning next-generation copiers and scanners into documentation-management centers. Canon USA's latest systems manage multidepartment document needs through MEAP (multifunctional embedded application platform), a programmable software application platform. MEAP was written in Java using the J2ME environment. Canon can use the platform to customize applications that can run inside the copying system, tailoring the system to meet specific workflow processes or unique industry requirements. Each MEAP-based application might typically appear as a soft button on the unit's LCD panel. When the soft button is selected, the system shifts to a customized interface with tabs that correspond to specialized applications developed to support the workflow required by the system's owner. The software runs on a 30-MHz processor with 512 Mbytes of RAM and a 20-Gbyte hard drive. Prices for the systems start at about $5800. Canon USA ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNgy0AZ ***Micron Regains No. 2 Ranking In DRAMs DRAM sales grew by a mere 0.7% in the third quarter compared to the second quarter to reach a total of $6.7 billion. But sales at Micron Technology rose by 4.4%, allowing the Boise, Idaho-based company to regain the number two spot from Hynix, a South Korean manufacturer. The figures, from market research firm iSuppli Corp., show that Samsung retained its commanding lead in the market with a 29.8% share. Samsung's sales grew by 8.1%. Hynix had overtaken Micro in the second quarter, but Micro's strong performance gave it a 15.9% to 15.5% edge in the third quarter. Infineon ranked fourth at 14.3%, giving the top four companies a total of 75.6% of the DRAM market. iSuppli Corp. ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BCl80AO *************************ADVERTISEMENT*************************** New for 2005! Order your FREE copy of the industry's best electronics catalog -- 425+ top manufacturers -- Huge selection of passives, semis, test equipment, power, wire/cable, connectors & more -- Same-day shipping/next-day delivery http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNgz0Aa **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** Jan. 8-12, IEEE International Conference On Consumer Electronics Las Vegas, Nev. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNg10AN Jan. 30-Feb. 3, 18th IEEE International Conference on Micro-Electronic Mechanical Systems Miami, Fla. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNg20AO Jan. 31-Feb. 2, Enterprise Linux Summit (OSDL-ELS) Burlingame, Calif. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNg30AP ********************** 5. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. December 16, 2004: * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- A Bright Outlook For Solar Power Generation A revolution is under way as new solar generation systems support an overburdened power grid. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNg40AQ * Leapfrog: First Look -- DDS V1.0 Standardizes Publish/Subscribe Connectionless data-conversion middleware promotes data-centric applications. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNg50AR * Design View/Design Solution -- Wireless Systems Are Great -- If They're Secure http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNg60AS For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BNg70AT **************************************************************** 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. http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eijK0Gl4E70EmQ0BEE30Ag ****************************************************************




Editorial: Mark David, Editor-in-Chief mailto:[email protected] Advertising/Sponsorship Opportunities: Bill Baumann, Publisher: mailto:[email protected]

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