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Electronic Design UPDATE: October 27, 2004


Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter Electronic Design Magazine PlanetEE ==> October 27, 2004


*************************ADVERTISEMENT************************** Tiny foot print, high-endurance socketing for 27-mm BGAs Using a spring pin (pogo) contactor with a cycle life of 500,000 insertions, Ironwood Electronics' new socket accommodates ICs with a 1.0-mm pitch such as the Xilinx FG600/676. For more information or a FREE full-line IC sockets and adapters catalog, go to **************************************************************** Today's Table Of Contents: 1. Editor's View * Early-Bird Predictions For Comm Technology In 2005 2. Focus On FPGAs * Generic Framing Procedure Mapper Runs On FPGAs 3. News From The Editors * New T&M Standards Group Gains A Member * Aluminum Electrolytics Target Auto Use * OLED Market Up, Though Not As Much As Thought 4. Upcoming Industry Events * Next Generation Networks * Embedded Systems Conference * Electronica, including The World of MEMS at Electronica * Wireless Congress 2004: Systems & Applications 5. Magazine Highlights: October 18, 2004 * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- The Ballot Is Open On Electronic Voting * Technology Report -- Evolving PoE Promises Rich Landscape Of Power Innovation * Technology Report -- Architectural Advances Propel FPGAs Into High-End ASIC Turf * Leapfrog: Industry First -- 32-Bit Architecture Challenges 8-Bit Processors * Leapfrog: Industry First -- Power Supply Eyes Next Generation Of Blades * Design View/Design Solution -- Design Great Interconnects By Treating FPGAs Like Software Electronic Design UPDATE edited by John Novellino, Senior Technology Editor **************************************************************** THOUGHT YOU'D MISSED THEM? DON'T WORRY, THEY'RE ARCHIVED Electronic Design's two latest webcasts are available online: COM Express -- Emerging Standard: Bill Wong examines COM Express, the new Computer-on-Module standard from the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group. Wong looks at what's inside the standard, its effect on high-speed serial technologies, and how it's changing the embedded landscape. Selecting the Best ASIC Solution: Dave Bursky discusses the ASIC selection process, exploring the decision points you should consider in determining the right ASIC design route. Bursky and a panel representing leading ASIC manufacturers explore the issues you face when planning a new chip design. ***** YOUR CHANCE TO WIN $500! Take our ISSUE POLL and win a $500 gift certificate. The editors would like to know what you think of the OCTOBER 18 ISSUE of Electronic Design. Your feedback will help us better understand your critical information needs and provide valuable guidance for developing future editorial content. It's also your automatic entry into our drawing for a $500 American Express gift certificate. Go to ==> ***** BE SURE TO VISIT Electronic Design's Web site, where the power of Electronic Design is a mouse click away! Read our Web exclusives, enjoy our Quick Poll, discover Featured Vendors, access our archives, share viewpoints in our Forums, explore our e-newsletters, and more. How close is your company to complying with the upcoming European directive banning the use of lead and other hazardous materials in electronic equipment? -- Done -- Not yet, but soon - -We'll make it somehow -- It'll be close -- What directive? Go to Electronic Design ==> ***** Join Electronic Design and LeCroy for a free, one-hour webcast discussing Advances in Signal Integrity Testing, starting at 2:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 11. Topics covered will include methods engineers can use to test the effect of probe loading on signal shape, techniques for checking the effect on signal integrity of some new scopes that use DSP to boost bandwidth, and next-generation capability to deskew both timing delay and dc gain/offset at the probe tip when testing multiple signals. Examples of real signals in practical applications, including serial data streams and microprocessor/memory systems, will be provided. Reserve your seat now! **************************************************************** ********************** 1. Editor's View -- Exclusive to Electronic Design UPDATE ********************** Early-Bird Predictions For Comm Technology In 2005 By Louis E. Frenzel, Communications/Networking Editor I do not write for ED UPDATE very often, so I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you my crystal-ball predictions for the coming year -- just some thoughts on what's in store for you as far as wireless and networking technologies are concerned. See the future here and now. -- Broadband over power line (BPL): Neat idea, but my gut tells me that this is a loser. It's being tested and it does work, but the speeds are low (less than 500 kbits/s) and the side effects aren't pretty. Even though the FCC and NTIA gave their full blessing recently, look for this technology to die quietly. There's too much competition from the forthcoming superior broadband wireless services and passive optical networks (PONs). -- Cell phones: Expect a continued rollout of the 2.5G quasi-3G technologies like EDGE and cdma2000 EV-DO with higher data rates and more multimedia options. Higher-res cameras and built-in Wi-Fi will show up. But look for only a fraction of the 3G we were all expecting. -- Mesh networks: Lots of R&D is going on worldwide. There are gobs of potential uses for the motes (tiny wireless nodes), but the whole technology is not yet ready. We do have some low-cost mesh radios in the form of ZigBee chips ready to do this service, but the real problem comes in the infrastructure needed to deal with the firestorm of data these things will generate. It is a back-office type of software nightmare. I do believe mesh will eventually be excruciatingly useful, but not next year. Yet ZigBee will be super hot and grow in double digits. -- Passive optical networks: This is the ultimate fast broadband connection that will do almost anything. It is expensive, and the carriers have held off on big deployments for that reason. But my guess is that they are running scared because of the rush of Voice over Internet Protocol on cable and Wi-Fi. In addition, WiMAX, the broadband wireless technology, is almost here to do the same thing. I bet that some if not all of the major RBOCs will start rolling out PONs in selected areas not just to stay competitive, but to survive. -- RFID: The tags are still too expensive for cheap and common items, but the prices are coming down and the technology is developing so that the nickel tag is almost here. Look for continued growth but no real big breakthrough. -- Wi-Fi: The chips are now more fully integrated and prices keep declining. Cell phones are getting Wi-Fi. More and more hot spots are showing up everywhere. I'm not sure anyone is making any money, but the growth will continue. The super-fast version (100+ Mbits/s) of wireless local-area networks dubbed 802.11n by the IEEE will linger in development with ratification beyond next year. -- WiMAX: This is the IEEE's 802.16 broadband wireless standard. It is ratified, and several companies are making chips and equipment. This technology offers lots of promise for wireless consumer broadband access, but it remains to be seen how well it does in non-line-of-sight environments. Look for chips and equipment next year but the real rollout to come in 2006. -- Ultra-wideband (UWB): The vote is still split in the IEEE 802.15.3a standards task group between the direct-sequence (DS) CDMA-like technology (Freescale) and the Multiband OFDM Alliance (MVOA) model (everyone else). Each will probably go its own way. Freescale already has real product and is selling it. Look for it in consumer products next year. The MBOA group is still wrestling with its designs, although some do have first silicon. I see some chips showing up next year and a few end products. To wrap up, I might as well go out on a limb and predict the presidential election. I believe it will be Bush by a miniscule majority but with chad-less recounts in some states. That means we will surely get Hillary in 2008. I hope these outcomes will be good for the electronics industry. Let me be the first to wish you a happy 2005, too! To comment on this Editor's View, go to Reader Comments at the foot of the Web page: Electronic Design UPDATE ==> **************************************************************** *************************ADVERTISEMENT*************************** Advance Your Career at DiceEngineering is one of the leading engineering job boards for highly qualified engineers. Today you can search more than 11,000 challenging, interesting, high-paying jobs from leading companies including IBM, Aerotek and Motorola. These top companies are searching for high-level engineers like you. They can only find you if you're registered. For your next big career advancement, go to **************************************************************** ********************** 2. Focus On FPGAs ********************** ***Generic Framing Procedure Mapper Runs On FPGAs A programmable generic framing procedure (GFP) mapper is now available as a block of intellectual property for Xilinx FPGAs. The mapper block complements the legacy Sonet/SDH framers and allows customers to enhance the capabilities of their systems. For example, a line card based on the Virtex 4 platform can be used to encapsulate and transport Fibre Channel, Ethernet, or video data at multiple rates over exisiting Sonet/SDH networks. The GFP core fully implements the ITU-T GFP recommendation (G.7041/Y.1303). Protocol support includes Ethernet, PPP, RPR, GE, Fibre Channel, FICON, ESCON, and DVB-ASI. The core is available for the Virtex 4, Virtex II, Virtex II PRO, and Spartan 3 devices. The programmable fabric of the FPGA allows the core to be configured for frame-mapped, transparent, or mixed-mode operation on a per-channel basis, enabling multiline, multiservice cards and systems in Ethernet-over-Sonet or Data-over-Sonet applications. The Xilinx CORE Generator tool lets designers easily configure the GFP core to support specific system requirements, including individually optimized cores for OC-48 and OC-192 applications. Available under the terms of the SignOnce license agreement, the license cost of the core is $18,000. Xilinx ==> ********************** 3. News -- From The Editors ********************** ***New T&M Standards Group Gains A Member Keithley Instruments has joined the LXI (LAN Extensions for Instrumentation) Consortium, which will hold its first membership meeting Nov. 17-18 in Salt Lake City, Utah. LXI was introduced last month by Agilent Technologies and VXI Technology Inc. as a next-generation, LAN-based (local-area network) modular platform standard for automated test systems. The goal is to combine built-in measurement science and PC-standard I/O connectivity from rack-and-stack instruments with the modularity and size reduction of card-cage-based systems. The LXI Consortium was formed to develop, support, and promote the LXI standard. The first meeting will focus on the LXI specifications, membership recruitment, and technical discussions, as well as the establishment of working groups. LXI Consortium ==> ***Aluminum Electrolytics Target Auto Use A series of large aluminum electrolytic capacitors is well suited for automotive applications. A special corrugated design allows the devices to pass vibration tests at up to 30G and 2 kHz, after being stressed at 125 deg. C for more than 2000 hr. Units rated to 40G are available on request. Capacitance ranges from 1100 to 6800 microF at 25 to 63 V. Maximum continuous operating temperature is 150 deg. C. The capacitors offer a ripple current capability of 13 A at 10 kHz and 105 deg. C, at which their service life is 20,000 hr. The capacitors come with either snap-in terminals or terminal wires suitable for welding or soldering. Prices vary by type and quantity. Orders can be placed immediately. Epcos Inc. ==> ***OLED Market Up, Though Not As Much As Thought The future looks bright for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), although strong competitive pressure from LCDs will keep a lid on unit sales and pricing. The good news for OLEDs is that the global market will hit 35.3 million units this year, up 110% from 16.8 million units in 2003, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp., El Segundo, Calif. Revenue will rise 74%, from $246 million in 2003 to $429 million this year. Earlier predictions were for 36.2 million units and $470 million in sales. The major reason for the lower numbers is strong pressure from super-twisted nematic (STN) LCDs, which grabbed some business from OLEDs as mobile-phone makers sought to reduce materials costs. OLED makers responded with price cuts that will recoup sales in the fourth quarter, according to iSuppli's report, "Organic Light-Emitting Diode Displays--Semi-Annual Report--H2 2004." iSuppli Corp. == ********************** 4. Upcoming Industry Events ********************** Nov. 1-5, Next Generation Networks Boston, Mass. Nov. 8-10, Embedded Systems Conference Munich, Germany Nov. 9-12, Electronica, including The World of MEMS at Electronica Munich, Germany Nov. 10-11, Wireless Congress 2004: Systems & Applications Munich, Germany ********************** 5. Magazine Highlights ********************** In case you missed them, here are some of the high points of our most recent issue. October 18, 2004: * Cover Story: Engineering Feature -- The Ballot Is Open On Electronic Voting E-voting will play a key role in the upcoming U.S. national election, despite ongoing charges that electronic voting machines are rife with security flaws and may be susceptible to EMI. * Technology Report -- Evolving PoE Promises Rich Landscape Of Power Innovation Developments surrounding Power over Ethernet include a number of unexpected apps, many spec-compliant products from chips to midspan hubs, and efforts to boost the maximum current that's deliverable via Ethernet cable. * Technology Report -- Architectural Advances Propel FPGAs Into High-End ASIC Turf Finer features and architectural enhancements let the latest-generation FPGAs deliver high gate counts and application-targeted resources to implement complex systems-on-a-chip. * Leapfrog: Industry First -- 32-Bit Architecture Challenges 8-Bit Processors * Leapfrog: Industry First -- Power Supply Eyes Next Generation Of Blades * Design View/Design Solution -- Design Great Interconnects By Treating FPGAs Like Software For the complete Table of Contents, go to Electronic Design ==> **************************************************************** 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). 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