Electronic Design

Electronic Design Update: October 15, 2008

Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter | October 15, 2008 | FREE magazine subscription digital or print!
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Simplify Remote Monitoring with NI LabVIEW 8.6
Take your data acquisition applications beyond the wire with National Instruments LabVIEW software and WiFi daq devices. Visualize live data with 3D sensor mapping, stream data, and share with web enabled applications with LabVIEW graphical programming.
View demos and evaluate LabVIEW online at ni.com/labview86.


scope |
As Robots Get Smaller, Potential Applications Get Bigger
By John Edwards, Contributing Editor

Step inside the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland. Here, in a country perhaps best known for its fine chocolates and wristwatches, engineers are building awesome robots with formidable powers. But you may have to squint a little to see them at work, because the Swiss bots can be kind of hard to see.

Read the full article...


commentary |
RTI, DARPA Up The Ante In Energy Conversion Efficiency
By Don Tuite, Analog/Power Editor

Ever drive by a power plant, gaze at its obtrusive cooling towers and think, “There goes a monument to wasted thermal energy?” Well, RTI International is heading a project to push the fold in thermo-electric power conversion and turning the ecosystem’s frown upside down.

Read the full article...


design hotspots |


Analog · What's All This Analog Engineering Stuff, Anyhow? | By Bob Pease
Analog · Heart Monitor Uses Quickfilter Signal Converter

Power · Filter Trims Ultra-Precision Voltage Reference | By Alfredo Saab, Randall White, Maxim Integrated Products

Embedded · 3D Imaging: You've Just Got To See It | By Bill Wong

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Embedded Interconnect Solutions from Samtec
Samtec has a broad range of high speed, micro pitch and rugged interconnects for embedded applications. Popular examples include Emerging Next Generation PC/104, PC/104, PC/104+, the new SiliconBlade USB Blade Socket, Emulation Cables, Rugged, Vita 57 and Test & Debug cables.
Click here for more information.



engineer's resource |
Vote For The Best IFD And Leapfrog

We’re wondering which IFDs and Leapfrogs are your favorites. What articles do you consider to be the most innovative, or the most helpful to you from the past calendar year? Just take a look at the list of IFDs and Leapfrogs and pick the ones that you think are worthy of recognition. The ballot closes on October 17. The winning IFD and Leapfrog will be presented in our December 1st Best Electronic Design Issue, where our Technology Editors will offer added commentary on each article.

Webinar: One Powerful Day
Power Electronics Technology and the Electronic Design Group bring the latest in power design information direct to you, the power designer, with the premier of One Powerful Day, a free online conference with a full day of top speakers on top topics via Web conferencing. The conference brings you up to date on the latest in power design, and you can pick and choose the free sessions that benefit you the most.

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 you can 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 |
Use Inexpensive Components To Create An Infrared Close-Object Alert Circuit
By T.K. Hareendran, Betron Technical Services

Many robotic applications require a sensor to detect close or very close obstacles. Typically, reflective-type infrared sensors are used for this task. But the circuit in the figure shows an infrared close-object alert system built around two popular and less expensive integrated circuits: the LM555 timer and CD4060 CMOS, 14-stage, ripple carrying binary counter/divider and oscillator.

Read the full article...

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Put a bench in your bag
Agilent’s paperback-sized USB modular instruments make it possible. With a scope, a DMM, a function generator and the familiar software interface, you’ll be ready for measurements at a customer site, an outsourced manufacturing operation, and beyond.
Get the full story.



video of the week |
Agilent's N9912A FieldFox RF Analyzer

Henri Komrij, R&D Manager for Agilent Technologies' Component Test Division, shows off the N9912A FieldFox RF Analyzer. Watch it now...




Engineering TV |
DARwIn IIIx Soccer Playing Robot

DARwIn is a fully autonomous humanoid robot capable of bipedal walking and performing human-like motions. Developed at the Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa) at Virginia Tech, DARwIn is a research platform for studying robot locomotion and autonomous behaviors, and is also the base platform for Virginia Tech’s entry to the RoboCup competition.


news from the editors |
PCI Express Switch Gains DMA

PLX Technology’s ExpressLane PCI Express switches not only incorporate a four-channel DMA engine that can offload memory transfer chores from the host, they also eliminate the need for DMA support on the host or its support chips.

Read the full article...

USB-IF Gets Ready To Ratify 3.0

It looks like the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) will issue the final ratification of the new USB 3.0 standard soon. It is an amazing advance from the current standard, which has near universal adoption as a PC peripheral interface.

Read the full article...

Smart Camera Runs Graphical Applications

The National Instruments Smart Camera line now has three new family members— the NI 1744, NI 1762, and NI 1764.

Read the full article...

Fanless PC/104+ SBC Uses 8 W

Versalogic’s Cheetah PC/104-Plus single-board computer (SBC) takes advantage of Intel’s Ultra Low Voltage 1-GHz Celeron M to come in under 8 W.

Read the full article...

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Watch Live Webcast Motion Control Cards: Options and Architectures
Advanced Features and Application Design Challenges
There have been a lot of improvements in motion control cards’ capabilities and performance that allow for much better system optimization. This presentation we will explore these advances in card technology and how it affects motion control system architecture and design. The presentation will cover motion control card basics, programmability, maintainability and reliability issues, time-to-market factors and much more.
Watch this live Webcast tomorrow 10/16 at 2pm ET / 11am PT.
Sponsored by PMD.



quick poll |
Laptops and smart phones are just the beginning. Mobile Internet devices, specifically designed for Web connectivity, are on their way. Will you be getting one?

  • Yes! I can't wait to surf anytime, anywhere.
  • If the right device comes along, I might get one.
  • No thanks. I don't need any more gadgets.
Click here to take the poll. Remember to scroll down. The poll is at the bottom of the page.


focus product |
DSP Integrates Three 1-GHz Cores

For applications integrating multiple DSPs on a board, the TMS320C6474 DSP integrates three TMS320C64x+ cores running at 1 GHz on a single die, delivering 3 GHz of performance and 24,000 MMACS (16-bit) or 48,000 MMACS (8-bit), while consuming one-third less power over discrete processing solutions.

Read the full article...


product picks online |
Step-Down Converter Doubles Up Transient Response



VPX Card Supplies FPGA Computing In A Small, Rugged Form Factor



5.5-Digit DMM Is No Bigger Than A Paperback Book



240-W Switching Supplies Are 50% Smaller Than Previous Versions



Multi-Tap Attenuator Offers Four Attenuation Values On One Chip




upcoming industry events |
Why Vent? Improve Reliabilty For Rugged Electronics
Webinar
Oct. 22




Application Workshops For High-Performance Electronic Design
North Amerca, Asia, Europe
Oct. 9 - Nov. 12




Scaling Engineering and Scientific Performance for the Workgroup – What’s the Best Infrastructure for You?
Webinar
Nov. 6




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