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Electronic Design UPDATE: June 22, 2005


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> June 22, 2005


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Your easiest way to control display brightness. Microsemi visible light sensors mimic human eye response. Breakthrough technology enables automatic brightness control that's not fooled by infrared or ultraviolet wavelengths. Easy design-in needs no optical filters. Integrated high gain photo current amplifiers, temperature stable, and RoHS compliant. No lead, no cadmium. Four models to meet your specific LCD or LED display design requirements. **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. News Focus *Trap-Charge Technology Doubles Memory Density 2. News From The Editors *Nanotechnology Transmits Signals At 10 GHz *Free CD-ROM Helps With Digital Debug *Lithium Battery Pack Eliminates Defects 3. TechView Scope *Undergrads' Wireless System Spots Empty Parking Spaces 4. Upcoming Industry Events *SEMICON West *International Symposium on Low-Power Electronics and Design 2005 *LinuxWorld Conference and Expo 5. Book Review *"Wiley Electrical And Electronics Engineering Dictionary" Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor **************************************************************** Designing With Video Signals Dealing with digital video signals in the analog world can be tricky. Arm yourself with knowledge and download our eBook, "Analog/Mixed-Signal Components For 21st Century Video," by Analog/Power Editor Don Tuite. Chapter 1 covers the basics, and recently added Chapter 2 discusses interfacing video amps to digital-to-analog converters. **************************************************************** ********************** 1. News Focus ********************** Trap-Charge Technology Doubles Memory Density A new nitride-based multiple bits/cell technology from Macronix offers double the storage capacity of conventional nonvolatile memory without increasing die size. The trap-charge technology, dubbed Nbit, stores two bits of information in each cell to produce dense, cost-effective NOR flash and Mask ROM memories across a wide range of sizes. Conventional silicon-based floating-gate NOR flash memories can physically store one bit of information in each cell, whereas Nbit physically stores two bits. In Nbit technology, the nitride-based cell "traps" the charge on one side of the cell. Unlike floating-gate devices, the charge does not flow to the other side of the cell. Consequently, another charge can be physically stored on the other side of the cell. Without a floating gate, the process technology is simpler and easier to scale down to smaller geometries. In addition, process development time is shorter. Some other memory technologies achieve 2-bit/cell storage using a multilevel cell with voltage dividers to store more than one bit in each cell. This technique requires several more layers of processing and generally isn't as scalable as the Nbit method. With Nbit, cell size is compact and data storage is reliable. Programming of each bit is performed by hot electron injection, an erase is done by band-to-band tunneling, and a read operation is accomplished by the reverse read mechanism. Macronix is currently offering the Nbit technology in 32- to 128-Mbit flash memories that operate over a 2.7- to 3.6-V range. The Nbit products are available in boot or uniform sector architectures in x8, x16, and x8/x16 selectable configurations. They have 20-year data retention and a minimum of 100,000-cycle endurance over the life of the device. The 64-Mbit parts are shipping in volume, and the 32- and 128-Mbit products are currently sampling. Macronix International ==> **************************************************************** ********************** 2. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***Nanotechnology Transmits Signals At 10 GHz Using nanotubes instead of conventional copper wires, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have demonstrated the ability for 10-GHz IC signal propagation. A nanotube is normally made from carbon and consists of a graphite sheet seamlessly wrapped into a cylinder only a few nanometers wide. Prior research showed that nanotube transistors can operate at extremely high frequencies, but the traditional copper or aluminum connections between the transistors were a bottleneck. Now, the researchers have showed that carbon nanotubes can route electrical signals on a chip at speeds of up to 10 GHz, eliminating the bottleneck. They plan to integrate the transistors and connections into an ultra-high-speed all-nanotube electronic circuit, which would be faster than any of today's semiconductor technology. University of California, Irvine ==> ***Free CD-ROM Helps With Digital Debug A "Digital Debug Solutions" CD-ROM is available free of charge from Agilent Technologies. The CD-ROM offers design engineers measurement-based insight into solving their digital debug problems with information about the tools that can help minimize project risk and drive products to market faster. Engineers can see these tools in action through video demos and tutorials for Agilent logic analyzers, oscilloscopes, and probing solutions. The CD also provides quick access to application notes, product data sheets, and Web links. Engineers can order the free "Digital Debug Solutions" CD (part number 5989-0941EN) by filling out the online order form at . Allow 10 working days for delivery. Agilent Technologies ==> ***Lithium Battery Pack Eliminates Defects A new lithium battery pack is designed to virtually eliminate in-the-field risk of unwanted chemical reactions and other electrical and mechanical malfunctions for both primary and rechargeable sources that power mission-critical portable and handheld equipment. The SecuraPack battery system complies with all safety requirements and test guidelines of the IEEE-1625-2004 standard. SecuraPack provides statistical analysis and sample testing of up to 100% of cells for each production lot to confirm that cells perform to manufacturers' specifications. Tests verify that the lithium-ion and lithium-thionyl-chloride packs operate properly for their respective -40 to 60 degree C and -40 to 70 degree C ranges. Each SecuraPack is private-labeled for the OEM and costs between $10 and $200. Micro Power Electronics Inc. ==> **************************************************************** ********************** 3. TechView Scope ********************** Undergrads' Wireless System Spots Empty Parking Spaces Nobody likes driving around crowded parking lots looking for empty spots. A team of four Boston University undergraduates has found a solution to this typical commuting nightmare, and their design took the top honor in the fifth annual IEEE Student Design Contest at Rochester Institute of Technology this spring. Known as iPark, the team's wireless and vision-based system uses commercially available digital cameras and team-developed detection, management, and visualization software to locate empty parking spots and alert parking attendants or incoming drivers of their locations. The use of wireless cameras eliminates the need to rip up concrete or pavement to embed sensors or pressure plates. With the layer of supervisory software, information gathered by the cameras can be fed to a central location and "mapped" with lights or other visual cues. This would enhance the system's visibility in large, complex parking structures. Drivers would find these spaces via a display posted at the lot's entrance. The competition featured 24 teams from 16 universities. BU's team included Ido Hochman, Ken Lopez, Mike Mole, and Patrick Ward. Associate professor Janusz Konrad and professor W. Clem Carl of BU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering advised the team. The students will share the $5000 cash award. Boston University ==> Rochester Institute of Technology ==> **************************************************************** ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** July 11-15, SEMICON West 2005 San Francisco, Calif. August 8-10, International Symposium on Low-Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED) 2005 San Diego, Calif. August 8-11, LinuxWorld Conference and Expo San Francisco, Calif. **************************************************************** ********************** 5. Book Review ********************** "Wiley Electrical And Electronics Engineering Dictionary" By Steven M. Kaplan Do you know what a megger is used for? Or how many bits are in a pebibit? It's not surprising if you don't. Electrical engineering is one of the largest professional disciplines in the world, and it has accumulated a vast assortment of technical terms and jargon. To help you sort through it all, the "Wiley Electrical And Electronics Engineering Dictionary" presents over 35,000 definitions of the terms and acronyms used in electronics... Read the full book review at **************************************************************** Embedded in Electronic Design (EiED) Online is your source for technical insight and hands-on reviews. Read one of Bill Wong's latest EiED Online columns: "Debugging Is Job One" -- According to recent surveys, most programmers place debugging at the top of their list. So what has changed in the last 20 years? ********************** TAKE A POLL! What is your personal outlook for design projects in the next quarter? -- Concerned about slowdown/layoffs -- Fewer projects, but still feel secure in my position -- Good, stable workflow continues -- Increased number of projects -- Lots coming down the pike, maybe more than I can handle Vote at Electronic Design ==> **************************************************************** Need To Go Green? We Can Help! The European Union, as well as Japan and China, is about to restrict the use of environmentally hazardous materials in electronic components and systems through the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. Electronic Design's RoHS Reference Center has the information you need to make the shift to green designs. The second chapter of our eBook, "Electronic Design's Guide To New International Environmental Laws," is now available for download. And don't miss our comprehensive list of industry and government Web sites and contacts. **************************************************************** 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. ****************************************************************




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

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