Electronic Design UPDATE: May 25, 2005

May 25, 2005
News Focus: Smart Interface Connects Sensors To Web In Minutes
The first of a new family of standalone network-enabled equipment monitor (NEEM) products is designed to simplify a variety of remote-sensor monitoring applications...

Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> www.planetee.com May 25, 2005


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** First network-optimized ARM9-based core module Now you can quickly and easily design in core processing and integrated network connectivity in a single powerful solution with Digi's ConnectCore(TM) 9C. Built on NetSilicon's 32-bit NS9360 processor and supported by NET+Works(R) software, it offers seamless migration to a chip-based solution. It is ideal for access control and POS systems, RFID readers, medical devices, instrumentation and more. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAEE:1001CD **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. News Focus *Smart Interface Connects Sensors To Web In Minutes 2. News From The Editors *Wafer-Level Packaging Offers Flexibility *Variable Gain Amplifier Boosts Bandwidth, Cuts Power *Digital Down Converter Swallows Data At 1 Gsample/s 3. TechView Scope *Robots Swarm Over Chemical And Biological Hazards 4. Upcoming Industry Events *Sensors Expo and Conference *Supercomm *International Microwave Symposium Electronic Design UPDATE edited by Lisa Maliniak, eMedia Editor **************************************************************** Get The Lead Out! The European Union, as well as Japan and China, are about to restrict the use of environmentally hazardous materials in electronic components and systems through the Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. Check out Electronic Design's new RoHS Reference Center with links, articles, and more. Take our RoHS quiz to see how much you really know about this new EU directive. Then download the first chapter of our eBook, "Electronic Design's Guide To New International Environmental Laws." And stay tuned for more chapters to learn everything you need to know about this important emerging topic. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF5:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 1. News Focus ********************** Smart Interface Connects Sensors To Web In Minutes The first of a new family of standalone network-enabled equipment monitor (NEEM) products is designed to simplify a variety of remote-sensor monitoring applications. The NEEM Model 112 generates live Web views of data from common analog sensors. Connecting sensors to the Internet can be a costly, engineering-intensive process. This unit combines the key hardware features of a data-acquisition system, a data logger, and a network server with a browser-based data viewer interface. Up to 10 sensors can be monitored, with initial installation in as little as 30 minutes. The NEEM is powered by smart sensing technologies and includes a software development kit with modifiable examples, such as an open-source data logger. Through the use of patent-pending "smart-interface" technology, the NEEM 112 provides electronic data sheets and Web-log information to supplement the remote user's interpretation of the raw sensor data. This unit is self-contained, with no subscription fees, programming, or dedicated data-acquisition computer required. Low current drain suits the NEEM well for remote sites. Real-time data from multiple sensors can be accessed securely by a standard Web browser from anywhere in the world. One NEEM can support 10 external sensors. The NEEM also supports various signal formats, including +/-10 V, thermocouples, strain gauges, 4-20 mA, and 5-V pulses from event counters. Threshold levels can be set to automatically send an urgent alarm e-mail or provide an onscreen alert. A software toolkit can customize data acquisition and integrate digital values of sensor data into software applications such as spreadsheets, presentation software, or custom programs. For example, real-time sensor data can be captured and displayed in a continuously updating Excel spreadsheet on a remote Internet-connected PC. Attach virtually any analog sensor to the unit, connect to a nearby Ethernet line, and plug in the power cable. A configuration program and an internal micro-Web server launch sensor data onto the Web within minutes of first setup. The sensor data is stored inside the NEEM unit for a year. The Model 112 Sensor-to-Network interface is available for immediate delivery. Prices for individual units start at $1995. Quantity pricing and OEM versions are available. Sensor Synergy Inc. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF7:1001CD **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Take the Infineon Memory Challenge We have a new pop quiz to test your memory skills! Take a crack at the five memory-related questions, and you'll be in with a chance to win a super-duper Sony Playstation Portable device. We'll also be throwing a few Electronic Design t-shirts into this month's quiz, so put your knowledge to the test and hit that submit button! http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF0:1001CD **************************************************************** **************************** 2. News -- From The Editors **************************** ***Wafer-Level Packaging Offers Flexibility ASIC or system-on-a-chip packages created with LSI Logic's enhanced wafer-level packaging (WLP) technology are completely manufactured and tested at the wafer level. Then, they're mounted directly onto pc boards or on discrete package substrates. WLP offers low-cost packaging in an ultra-small form factor with improved electrical performance. The flexible WLP design methodology enables a single design to accommodate a variety of package technology formats. By modifying the top metal layer, the chip design can be reconfigured for flip-chip, wire-bond, or direct chip-attach interconnect options. With this approach, system designers gain considerable flexibility and intellectual property (IP) reuse with minimal development effort. In addition, because the die can be connected directly to the host system board, traditional packaging parasitics are eliminated. This electrical performance enhancement enables more flexible system-level design when dealing with stringent timing budgets. LSI Logic Corp. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAFA:1001CD ***Variable Gain Amplifier Boosts Bandwidth, Cuts Power Targeted at industrial and instrumentation applications. Analog Devices claims its high-bandwidth, low-power per-channel, dc-coupled variable gain amplifier (VGA) is 50% faster and one-third smaller than competing solutions. Excellent dc characteristics and high speed make the AD8337 VGA well suited for a wide range of high-channel-count industrial and instrumentation applications, such as PET medical imaging, industrial ultrasound, and RF test instruments. The single-ended, linear-in-dB AD8337 VGA provides low noise (2.2 nV/rtHz) at frequencies up to 250 MHz for improved signal control. In addition, it offers very low power per channel, requiring 25% less power than other devices. The AD8337 is housed in a 3- by 3-mm, eight-lead chip-scale package (CSP). The AD8337 is sampling now and costs $2.49 per unit in 1000-piece quantities. Analog Devices Inc. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAFC:1001CD ***Digital Down Converter Swallows Data At 1 Gsample/s Available as a block of intellectual property (IP), the FC104 quad digital down converter (DDC) core from Sundance Digital Processing Inc. claims the speed crown by operating twice as fast as any other DDC core. Targeted for use on Xilinx FPGAs, it accepts 16-bit complex data and can process continuous data flows at up to 1 Gsample/s. All four stages of the DDC are fully programmable, and four 16-bit complex samples can be loaded in parallel at up to 250 MHz. The core's output can be decimated by factors of two ranging from two to 16,384. The input gain and the output stage are both user-programmable. The FC104 can be used with Xilinx Virtex and Spartan-3 FPGA families. The company also offers FPGA-based modules -- the SMT398, 338, and 368 -- that contain memory, I/O interfaces, and other resources. A license for the FC104 core IP costs about $8000. Module prices start at $2385 in small quantities. Sundance Signal Processing Inc. ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF9:1001CD **************************************************************** ********************** 3. TechView Scope ********************** Robots Swarm Over Chemical And Biological Hazards A team of researchers at the University of Wyoming will use a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop swarms of mini-robots that can detect the sources of chemical or biological hazards. Led by Diana Spears of the university's Department of Computer Science, the team already has demonstrated that its robot sensor network can trace the sources of chemical plumes in simulated environments. Next, the team hopes to enable the robots to identify these chemical substances as well. "The ultimate goal would be remediation, which would either be to encapsulate the source or extinguish it," said Spears. Such an ability would be key in stemming the damage from accidental and intentional biological and chemical threats to safety and the environment. Each robot will be equipped with a sensor that can detect a specific chemical as well as an anemometer to determine wind direction and velocity. The robots continually sense the chemical concentration and the airflow. Then, they perform calculations that allow them to quickly form a geometric lattice formation. After "talking" to each other, they move as a group toward the source of whatever they have been programmed to investigate. Known as fluxotaxis, this system was developed by Spears, UW Department of Physics and Astronomy lecturer David Thayer, and doctoral student Dimitri Zarzhitsky. "The technology is adaptable to any size, shape, and number of robots in any physical environment: land, air, water, even outer space," said William Spears, an associate professor in UW's Department of Computer Science and project team member. "This flexibility adds perimeter defense, search and rescue, space telescopy, and medical nano-surgery to the robots' potential task list." University of Wyoming ==> http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAFD:1001CD *************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Red-Hot Deals: Flash Design kits at 50% off! 'Spring into action' with ZiLOG and take advantage of special red-hot deals focused around our critically acclaimed development kits for the 8-Pin Z8 Encore! XP Flash MCU. Act now and purchase our Flash design kit valued at $99.95 for the low price of $49.95. No strings - just amazing value. Also, be sure to register to win a trip to Cancun, Mexico. Catch the fever and get your kit today! Visit http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF1:1001CD **************************************************************** **************************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events **************************** June 6-9, Sensors Expo and Conference Chicago, Ill. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF8:1001CD June 6-9, Supercomm Chicago, Ill. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF6:1001CD June 12-17, IEEE MTT-S 2005 International Microwave Symposium Long Beach, Calif. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAFB:1001CD **************************************************************** Embedded in Electronic Design (EiED) Online is your source for technical insight and hands-on reviews. Read William Wong's latest EiED Online column, "A Butterfly Or USB Arm: You Choose," at http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAEF:1001CD ********************** TAKE A POLL! What's your preferred tool for engineering calculations? -- Specialized math software -- Spreadsheet -- Your old HP RPN calculator -- Slide rule -- Pencil and paper Vote at Electronic Design ==> http://www.elecdesign.com ******************************************************************** Free Showcast: Design Automation Conference Friday, June 10 at 2 pm ET It's a highly coveted honor to be on the "What to See at DAC" list compiled for each year's Design Automation Conference by Gartner Dataquest's Gary Smith. Those EDA tool vendors who make the cut have been singled out by the EDA industry's leading analyst as having one of 2005's hottest EDA tools or technologies. The "What to See at DAC" list will make its debut in Electronic Design's DAC ShowCast when Smith, along with EDA Technology Editor David Maliniak, will offer a preview of the best of this year's DAC. Take a virtual tour of the show floor and get an advance glimpse of EDA's premier technology showcase. Register today at: http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF3:1001CD **************************************************************** A Closer Look At Video Signals Nowadays there are numerous standards for the digital video signals widely used in such products as game players and cell phones. Tough design questions arise, however, because those digital signals must be dealt with in an analog domain. Get the answers in a new eBook, "Analog/Mixed-Signal Components For 21st Century Video," by Analog/Power Editor Don Tuite. http://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF2:1001CD **************************************************************** 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://nls.planetee.com/t?ctl=AAF4:1001CD ****************************************************************




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

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