Home

Making Sense Out of SOUP (Software of Unknown Pedigree)

Software test tools have been traditionally designed with the expectation that the code has been (or is being) designed and developed following a best practice development process. Legacy code turns the ideal process on its head. Although such code is a valuable asset, it is likely to have been developed on an experimental, ad hoc basis by a series of “gurus” — experts who prided themselves on getting things done and in knowing the application itself, but not necessarily expert at complying with modern development thinking and bored with providing complete documentation. That doesn’t sit well with the requirements of standards such as DO-178B.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Documentation, Quality standards, Test procedures
Read More >>

Multicore Processing: A Technological Dead End?

The computing press is full of discussions about multicore systems, defined here as single-chip computers containing two or more processing cores each connected to a common shared memory (Figure 1).

These devices are being presented as the solution to the performance problems faced by embedded systems, but in fact, multicore may be more of a problem than a solution.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Architecture, Computer software / hardware
Read More >>

Understanding Virtex FPGAs

With each new generation of FPGA devices, Xilinx continues to push the performance envelope to match the ever-increasing requirements of target applications. The recent announcement of the Virtex-6 is no exception. More processing power, lower power consumption and updated interface features to match the latest technology I/O requirements are all part of the new devices. While it might be easy to assume that faster, bigger, more powerful is better, it’s important to understand how the latest FPGA innovations actually deliver this higher performance to best match the device to the specific requirements of the application.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Integrated circuits
Read More >>

Applying Embedded Form Factors to Wireless Systems

Wireless connectivity is merging with technological advancements in silicon, signaling, mass storage and software to meet the high-performance, ultra-low power requirements for next-generation wireless systems. Embedded form factors, seeking to utilize these developing technologies to the best advantage of system designers, continue to evolve by providing enhanced capabilities while simultaneously reducing form factor footprints. As wireless connectivity becomes increasingly ubiquitous, the volume of embedded systems that utilize wireless is expanding. This perpetuates the demand for higher processing power with minimal power draw and size.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Embedded software, Wireless communication systems
Read More >>

Clock Oscillator

Crystek Crystals (Fort Myers, FL) has released the CCSO- 014-1090, a 1.090-GHz surface acoustic wave (SAW) clock oscillator that produces low-noise, low-jitter performance with true SineWave output, and -138 dBc/Hz phase noise at 10 kHz offset. It comes in a 14 PIN DIP hermetically sealed package, features a 12V input voltage, and generates a true sinewave with +12 dBm minimum output power. It has no sub-harmonic, and the second harmonic is -40 dBc max. Operating temperature is -55 °C to 105 °C.

Posted in: Products, RFM Catchall
Read More >>

Gain Horn Antennas

The 600 Series standard gain horn antennas from Narda, an L-3 Communications company (Hauppauge, NY), are suitable for EMI and EMC testing applications covering waveguide bands from 2.6 to 40 GHz. Seven models cover 2.6 to 3.95 GHz, 3.95 to 5.86 GHz, 5.4 to 8.2 GHz, 8.2 to 12.4 GHz, 14 to 18 GHz, 18 to 26.5 GHz, and 26.5 to 40 GHz. Directivity patterns for all models include a beamwidth in the E and H planes from 23° at 40 GHz to 34° at 2.6 GHz. Weight ranges from 6 pounds for the 2.6 to 3.95 GHz model to 4.5 grams for the 18 to 40 GHz model. They are supported by waveguide-to-coax adapters from either Type-N female or SMA/3.5/2.9-mm female connectors.

Posted in: Products, RFM Catchall
Read More >>

Microwave Power Sensors

Anritsu (Morgan Hill, CA) offers MA24108A/ MA24118A microwave USB power sensors that provide average power measurements from 10 MHz to 18 GHz over 60 dB of dynamic range. Employing a dual-path architecture, they can measure CW, multi-tone, and digitally modulated signals used in aero space/defense systems. They have built-in external trigger circuitry and an MCX connector interface to receive triggers from external stimuli. They also include a microcontroller, signal conditioning circuitry, ADC, and power supply.

Posted in: Products, RFM Catchall
Read More >>

Compact Antennas

Antenna Factor (Merlin, OR) offers the HW Series 1⁄2-wave center-fed dipole antennas and 1⁄4-wave monopole antennas that attach using an FCC-compliant RP-SMA connector or standard SMA connector. The 1⁄2-wave dipoles are available in standard center frequencies of 868 and 916 MHz, while the 1⁄4-wave monopoles are available in 315, 418, and 433 MHz.

Posted in: Products, RFM Catchall
Read More >>

Microwave Signal Generators

The 2500B series of microwave signal generators from Giga-tronics (San Ramon, CA) covers 100 kHz to 50 GHz with low phase noise, high rejection of harmonics, sub-harmonics, and spurious, high output power level. Six models cover 2.5, 8, 20, 26.5, 40, and 50 GHz. Accumulator High Frequency Feedback (AHFF™) technology delivers a switching speed of typically less than 500 μs for a 1 GHz step and as fast as 100 μs for small steps. Close to carrier phase noise is -90 dBc/Hz at 100 Hz. Generator noise performance is 10 kHz offset with a typical performance of -110 dBc/Hz. This series is suitable for radar and EW applications.

Posted in: Products, RFM Catchall
Read More >>

Antenna Design Simulation

Magus (Stellenbosch, South Africa), in conjunction with FEKO (Hampton, VA), offers Antenna Magus, a design simulation software solution for antenna design and placement analysis. It offers a searchable collection of antennas, which can be explored to find, synthesize, and export antenna models. It can export synthesized antennas as FEKO models, which may then be refined, customized, analyzed, and optimized in FEKO. The software can also analyze electrically large structures, such as the MLFMM and hybrid asymptotic methods (MoM-PO, MoMGO, and MoM-UTD).

Posted in: Products, RFM Catchall
Read More >>