Electronic Design

Electronic Design Update: June 18, 2008

Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter |   June 18, 2008
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True Circuits, Inc. offers a complete family of clock generator, deskew, low bandwidth and spread spectrum PLLs and DDR DLLs. These high quality, low jitter, silicon proven hard macros are available for immediate delivery in a range of frequencies, multiplication factors, sizes and functions in TSMC, UMC, CHRT, and Common Platform processes from 180nm to 40nm.
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scope |
Hydrogen Cars Break Into The American Market
By Richard Gawel, Managing Editor

Powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, Honda’s FCX Clarity began rolling off the assembly line this week in Tochigi, Japan. The company also announced a Southern California dealership network as well as its first customers, who will get their cars next month.

Read the full article...


commentary |
A 45th DAC Post-Mortem
By David Maliniak, EDA Editor

Last week’s 45th Design Automation Conference (DAC) in Anaheim was my twelfth consecutive DAC, and it was surely the most interesting and different I’ve experienced in journalistic terms. Yeah, that was me traipsing around the show floor with my colleague Damian Mendez in tow, toting a great big video camera. It was my first experience in documenting DAC in video, and I would term it a success.

Read the full article...


mark david's roadmap |
It's A Rat Race To The Best Mobile Innovation
By Mark David, Group Editorial Director

In a sort of American Idol for the mobile technology world, the GSM Association held its American leg of the 2009 Mobile Innovation Global Award Competition in Atlanta on June 3-4. This was a cool event bringing together top innovators in the mobile market space, and I enjoyed the chance to see so many new technologies on one stage.

Read the full article...


engineer's resource |
Rev up fuel efficiency and win $10,000

Infineon and Auto Electronics invite you to participate in the “REV UP FUEL EFFICIENCY” design contest. Take “the green challenge” and design a solution using Infineon products that enables or improves energy efficiency for automotive applications. You could win a grand prize of $10,000, a second prize of $5000 or a third prize of $2000. The three winners will get an all-expenses-paid trip to the Infineon and Auto Electronics Contest Award Ceremony at Convergence 2008. In addition, your winning design will be featured at the Infineon booth during the show. Submit your entry by August 15.

Your Ideas For Design Can Win $500
Send us your Ideas for Design and we'll pay you $150 for every Idea for Design that we publish. In addition, the year's top design as selected by our readers will earn an additional $500, with two runners-up each receiving $250. You can submit your Ideas for Design via e-mail to:
[email protected] or, mail your material to:
Ideas for Design
Electronic Design
45 Eisenhower Dr., Suite 550
Paramus, NJ 07652

Click here for our guidelines on Ideas for Design...


IFD of the week |
Simple Circuit Uses FET To Protect Car's Video Driver From Overvoltage
By Marvin Lee, Ron Koo
Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.


In a typical automotive video application, the video digital-to-analog converter (DAC)—from a rear camera or DVD player, for example—is followed by a low-pass reconstruction filter and an amplifier that transmits a video signal to the LCD. This amplifier, and all such similar automotive circuits, must be protected from direct connection to the car’s battery voltage.

Read the full article...

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WORLD'S SMALLEST LOW FREQUENCY OSCILLATOR OFFERS LOW CURRENT
Micro Crystal has combined its smallest 32,768Hz timing crystal with a complete CMOS oscillator circuit into a ceramic SMD package measuring only 3.2 mm x 1.5 mm x 1.0mm. Its high stability and very low current consumption are ideal for today's high-performance portable equipment. Fully RoHS Compliant and 100% lead-free. Wide operating voltage, from 5.5V down to 1.2V. Maximum current consumption is just 0.5µA at 3V…up to 10 times lower than comparable products and 10,000 times lower than typical AT-based oscillators.
Click here for more info.



focus on embedded hardware |
SWIR Sensor Will Run Cool On Little Power

In partnership, Nextreme Thermal Solutions and Princeton Lightwave are developing a short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) focal plane sensor using extremely efficient thermoelectric cooling. Based on Nextreme’s thermal bump technology and Princeton's indium-gallium-arsenide (InGaA) focal plane arrays, the sensor promises to dramatically reduce power consumption and weight while improving overall performance.

Read the full article...


Engineering TV |
Autonomous Quadrotor Helicopters

The Stanford Testbed of Autonomous Rotorcraft for Multi-Agent Control (STARMAC) is a multi-vehicle testbed used to demonstrate new concepts in multi-agent control on a real-world platform. In order to make such a testbed easy to use, the Stanford team focused on a small, light, low-cost design, which presented numerous opportunities for innovative work. STARMAC consists of up to eight quadrotor vehicles that autonomously track a given waypoint trajectory. On-board components include: Robostix for inner loop control from Gumstix, a Stargate single-board computer (SBC) from Crossbow (based on the Intel Xscale PXA255 microprocessor) with a Netgear MA701 Compact Flash Wi-Fi card, PC104 for high-level planning and automation, a Superstar II Differential GPS receiver from Novatel (outputs 10-Hz carrier phase measurement data), a 3DM-GX1 Inertial Measurement Unit from MicroStrain, a Sonic Rangefinder from Acroname, and caps, resistors, and voltage regulators from Digikey.


news from the editors |
Nanotubes Sniff Out Deadly Gases

MIT chemical engineers used carbon nanotubes to build an ultra-sensitive electronic detector for deadly gases such as the nerve agent sarin, mustard gas, ammonia, and VX nerve agents. The technology shows potential for environmental or security applications. For example, it can be designed into a low-cost, low-energy device that’s carried in a pocket or deployed inside a building to monitor hazardous chemicals.

Read the full article...

Freescale Launches Independent MRAM Company

Freescale Semiconductor and several venture capital firms have launched EverSpin Technologies, an independent company focused on magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM) products. MRAM uses magnetic materials combined with conventional silicon circuitry to deliver the speed of SRAM with the nonvolatility of flash memory in a single, high-endurance device.

Read the full article...

Universities, Industry Team In Microelectronics Manufacturing R&D

It’s getting harder for U.S.-based industries to maintain competitiveness in business segments that have been moving offshore. But a collaboration between two universities and a maker of electronic interconnects has resulted in a pioneering microelectronics manufacturing research and development center.

Read the full article...

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Webinar: Supercharging Products with Embedded RFID
June 26 @ 2 pm ET
Sponsored by SkyeTek

They may still look the same on the outside, but embedded RFID readers and software can transform products from the inside, offering manufacturers, OEMs, and product designers new opportunities for competitive advantage through increased efficiency, accuracy and product differentiation. With an seemingly unending list of products, RFID is a key technique to adding new functionality, increasing reliability and enhancing the user experience. At this webinar and interactive Q&A session learn the difference between RFID and existing barcode and contact technologies; and how embedded RFID has new applications in disposable authentication, smart shelves and cabinets, contactless payments, tracking, inventory and stock, and customizable configurations. Also catch up on unique technical and business considerations for embedded RFID and companies that are already implanting the technology.
Register now!



quick poll |
The latest Apple iPhone will hit the market on July 11. Will you get one?

  • Yes! I can't wait for its 3G services.
  • I'll wait for prices to come down and/or the bugs to reveal themselves.
  • No. My current cell phone works just fine, thanks.

Click here to take the poll. Remember to scroll down. The poll is at the bottom of the page.


product picks online |
Angular Rate Sensors Extend Voltage Range



Small Motherboards Offer I/O Options



2-W DC-DC Converters Brandish Reinforced Insulation



Thermocouple/RTD Probe Assemblies Go Wireless



M12-Style Connector Line Adds Panel-Mount Versions




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Our editors have been busy! Come read their commentaries and check out exclusive videos from the Design Automation Conference (DAC), International Electronics Forum (IEF), and Display Week (SID)exhibitions and see the technology of tomorrow from major players in the electronics industry.

upcoming industry events |
SEMICON West 2008
San Fransisco, Calif.
July 14-17




LinuxWorld Conference & Expo
San Franscisco, Calif.
August 4-7




NIWeek 2008
Austin, Tex.
August 5-7




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