Electronic Design

Electronic Design UPDATE: January 24, 2007

Electronic Design The Authority on Emerging Technologies for Design Solutions
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Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter  |  January 24, 2007

Synplicity Revolutionizes ASIC Verification

The combination of FPGA-based prototyping, assertion synthesis to hardware, and the TotalRecall technology enables designers to find bugs far more quickly and with more confidence than any other method. What makes this technology exceptionally powerful is its ability to embed assertions in the design, find errors (as a result of the failing assertions) in a live FPGA, and trace the bug in a familiar logic simulator environment with complete visibility of signal states.

Click here for more information about the TotalRecall technology from Synplicity.

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Today's Table Of Contents:

Featured Story:  Mass-Market Applications Push MEMS Into Mainstream

  • Editor's View: Whatever Happened To Analog Computers?
  • Industry View: Before Selecting A Microcontroller, Ask Yourself These Seven Questions
  • Now on electronicdesign.com: Engineering TV Episode 6: Beemers and Vipers
  • Focus On Wireless: Chip-Scale Package Slashes UWB Footprint By 70%
  • Quick Poll:
    In a recent editorial, wireless technology editor Lou Frenzel says that there is a real need for a good networking technology that can handle video. Which technology do you think has potential to suit this kind of application?
  • News From The Editors:
    16-kbit SPI Memory Meets Automotive Stress Standard
    18X SATA Rewritable Drive Includes Engraving Capability
    Full Software Line Now Supports ARM Cortex Family
    Toggle, Rocker Switches Meet International Standards
  • Upcoming Industry Events:
    DesignCon 2007
    Design Automation Conference 2007
    The International Robots & Vision Show
  • Product Picks Online:
    3GPP LTE Library Speeds Development Of Next-Gen Devices
    WiMAX Tester Now Supports Three Bands
    Math Software Receives Major Enhancements
    PFC Controller ICs Meet Regs For Low Standby Power
    Graphical IDE Aids Control-System Design
Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Christine Hintze, Associate Editor

...featured story

Mass-Market Applications Push MEMS Into Mainstream
By Roger Allan, Contributing Editor


As the technology matures, designers are finding use for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) in automotive, cell-phone, and consumer applications. But there are still challenges ahead. Manufacturing, testing, and cost issues are just some of the many obstacles that must be addressed for the technology to become mainstream.

Click here for full article.


...editor's view

Whatever Happened To Analog Computers?
By Lou Frenzel, Wireless/Communications/Networking Technology Editor


I have sometimes wondered if we shouldn't bring back a modern version of an analog computer. Maybe it could be a solution to some ugly calculus-intensive problem like in a research situation. A special analog computer could be built to simulate the equations quickly and with the ability to play around with the various variables and so on. It would certainly be smaller, cheaper, and more precise than the monsters of yesteryear...

Click here for full article.


...industry view

Before Selecting A Microcontroller, Ask Yourself These Seven Questions
By Roland Gehrmann, Manager of Business Development-ASSP Business Unit, Toshiba


Engineers often get more than they bargained for when they’re specifying microcontrollers (MCUs). Considering the thousands of MCU varieties available, it can be difficult to figure out which MCU is right for an application. MCUs range from products that cost less than 20 cents for very simple home applications to $20 32-bit MCUs that control major components of industry machinery.

Click here for full article.


...focus on wireless...

Chip-Scale Package Slashes UWB Footprint By 70%

With a footprint of only 7.5 by 7.5 mm, the Ripcord WCSP (wafer chip-scale package) offers the smallest form factor of any Certified Wireless USB-based solution available, according to Staccato Communications. The device, based on the company’s single-chip, all-CMOS SC3500 family, reduces the space needed to implement an Ultra-Wideband (UWB) wireless system in mobile products by 70%.

Click here for full article.


...live on electronicdesign.com

Episode 6: Beemers and Vipers

Engineering TV is back at the North American International Auto Show with Lee Teschler. In part 1, Lee chats with BMW about its up-and-coming clean diesel cars using SCR technology. In part 2, he looks at some of the engineering that went into the new Dodge Viper SRT10...

Click here to view the video.


...news from the editors

16-kbit SPI Memory Meets Automotive Stress Standard
The FM25C160—a 16-kbit ferroelectric RAM (FRAM)—has been qualified to AEC-100, the Automotive Electronic Council’s Stress Test Qualification for ICs. The device is the third FRAM to receive AEC-Q100 qualification, according to Ramtron International Corp.

Click here for full article.


18X SATA Rewritable Drive Includes Engraving Capability
With its Serial ATA (SATA) interface, the SH-S183L 18X DVD burner eliminates the need for master-slave jumper settings and provides thinner data cables, improving airflow and cable routing. The drive’s 150-Mbyte/s, 300-Mbyte/s, and 600-Mbyte/s transfer rates make it one of the fastest drives on the market, according to Samsung Electronics Ltd.

Click here for full article.


Full Software Line Now Supports ARM Cortex Family
The complete product suite from Green Hills Software Inc. is now available for the ARM Cortex family of processors. The products involved include the MULTI integrated development environment, a DSO tool set for embedded software developers; compilers; the Integrity, velOSity, and μ-velOSity real-time operating systems, which support applications from the most resource-constrained and cost-sensitive devices up to systems requiring the ultimate in reliability and security; the Green Hills probe and SuperTrace probe for debugging using the ARM CoreSight debug port; and the TimeMachine tool suite, which uses the ARM CoreSight trace port to allow debugging forward and backward in time.

Click here for full article.


Toggle, Rocker Switches Meet International Standards
International certifications of the P series of toggle and rocker switches from NKK Switches include approvals from UL, CSA, C-UL, VDE, SEMKO, and SEV. The standard-size devices feature silver alloy contacts that resist arcing and guarantee stable electrical contact and long life. Toggles have a mechanical life rating of 100,000 operations minimum, while rockers are rated for 50,000 operations minimum. Both have electrical life ratings of 25,000 operations minimum.

Click here for full article.


...quick poll

In a recent editorial, wireless technology editor Lou Frenzel says that there is a real need for a good networking technology that can handle video. Which technology do you think has potential to suit this kind of application?
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11n
  • Ultra-Wideband (UWB)
  • WirelessHD
  • A combination of two or more technologies
  • None of these
Let your voice be heard. Vote now on www.electronicdesign.com.The Quick Poll is located at the bottom of the page, so don't forget to scroll down!

...embedded in electronic design online

All Aboard The 2007 Bus And Board Show

The 2007 Bus and Board Show played host to a number of announcements, including the first production VPX system from Curtiss-Wright. Check out the latest in Serial RapidIO and more.

Click here for full article.



...product picks online Check all of our online product picks at www.electronicdesign.com.

...book review

The Book of JavaScript, 2nd Edition
By David Thau
ISBN: 1-59327-106-9

Review by Bill Wong, Embedded/Systems/Software Editor

This JavaScript overview provides the basics in a fashion that any embedded developer will appreciate. It covers JavaScript along with the more advanced AJAX. The book offers practical examples that can be tried with most Web browsers and servers...

Click here for full article.


...upcoming industry events

DesignCon 2007
Jan. 29 - Feb. 1
Santa Clara, Calif.

Design Automation Conference 2007
June 4-8
San Diego, Calif.

The International Robots & Vision Show
June 12-14
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Click to see more industry events.



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