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Assembly of Nanowire-Based Computing Systems

A program to develop ultra-dense integrated digital data-processing systems and circuits based on nanowires involves utilization of hybrid top-down and bottom-up assembly techniques to implement designs representative of a highly reliable defect- and fault-tolerant architecture. This program has included fabrication and assembly of molecular- scale logic blocks based on arrays of overlapping semiconducting nanowires, using novel wafer-scale assembly techniques. On the basis of breakthrough addressing techniques, these logic blocks have been connected to ultradense memory blocks and to external complementary oxide/semiconductor (CMOS)-process lithographic interfaces for testing. One of the main underlying ideas is to construct highly reliable components out of high-defect-density logic and memory elements, using recently developed sublithographic-scale programmable- logic-array architectures that incorporate novel reliable-circuit concepts and higher-level redundancy mechanisms. Using state-of-the-art modeling techniques and computational simulations, test designs have been optimized, various defect-tolerance approaches have been developed, and development and optimization of larger systems are continuing.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Integrated circuits, Semiconductor devices, Nanotechnology
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Compensating for Parasitic Effects in Low-Pass Filters

Techniques to compensate for the effects of parasitic inductances and capacitances have been developed as part of an effort to improve the performances of low-pass filters in electronic power circuits. As used here, "parasitic" refers to departure from an ideal inductive or capacitive characteristic. No inductor, capacitor, or other electronic component is ideal: wherever a current loop exists, there is inductance, and wherever two conductors are near each other, there is a capacitance between them. Parasitic capacitances in inductors and parasitic inductances in capacitors degrade the performances of low-pass filters, especially at high frequencies.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Capacitors, Power electronics, Performance upgrades
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Heterodyne RF/Optical Links Utilizing Integrated Photonics

A program of research and development has been directed toward the goals of demonstrating (1) ultra-low-noise communication links in which information is conveyed by phase-modulated radio-frequency (RF) carrier signals that are, in turn, used to modulate laser-generated optical carrier signals and (2) implementation of transmitters and receivers in such links by means of several key integrated optoelectronic and photonic components. Notably, the scheme for integrating these components is based on the use of asymmetric twin optical waveguides (see figure) that afford design versatility in that they enable the use of a broad range of components useful in RF/photonic applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Waveguides, Research and development
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Fast Liquid-Crystal-on-Silicon Spatial Light Modulators

Stressed-liquid-crystal (SLC) light-modulating devices suitable for use as liquidcrystal- on-silicon (LCOS) spatial light modulators (SLMs) that could operate in nearand mid-infrared wavelength ranges have been demonstrated. These SLC devices were conceived to exploit the SLC electrooptical effect, which makes it possible to obtain response times shorter than those of prior infrared LCOS SLMs.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Optics, Semiconductors, Silicon alloys
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Detecting Change in 3D by Use of an Evidence Grid

Astudy has been undertaken to evaluate a method of detecting change in a three-dimensional (3D) terrain map generated from data acquired by an imaging ladar system carried aboard a moving unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) on patrol. The proposed method involves the use of an evidence grid (described below) in comparing data acquired on a second patrol with data acquired on the first patrol along the same route, in order to determine which, if any, volume elements (voxels) in a 3D map representing the terrain have changed from free space to occupied or vice versa. For the purpose of the method, it is assumed that the terrain is static during each patrol and the only changes of interest occur between patrols. It was recognized in the study that these assumptions are unlikely to hold in realistic scenarios. This study was intended to be a precursor to a study of a method for recognizing a moving obstacle C, particularly a moving pedestrian C during a patrol by an autonomous UGV.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Cartography, Lidar, Surveillance, Terrain, Autonomous vehicles, Military vehicles and equipment
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Card Provides PCI-Based Multi-Axis Motion Control

Performance Motion Devices (Lincoln, MA) offers the Prodigy™-PCI motion card for multi-axis motion control. Available in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-axis versions, the card provides trajectory generation, performance trace, on-the-fly changes, and commutation. Motor type can be software- selected on a per-axis basis, and includes DC brush, brushless DC, step, and microstepping. The card communicates via a PCI bus, CANbus, or serial port. Card features include S-curve, trapezoidal, velocity contouring, electronic gearing, and user-generated profile modes. The card accepts input parameters such as position, velocity, acceleration, and jerk from the host, and generates a corresponding trajectory.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Wired and Wireless Connectivity on One Single-Board Computer

WinSystems (Arlington, TX) has introduced the LBC-GX500, a singleboard computer based on the AMD GX500@1W processor, designed for machine-to-machine connectivity. The board is a Pentium-class CPU with an x86- native instruction set and 32KB of integrated L1 cache that runs Windows CE/XP Embedded, as well as Linux, VxWorks, and QNX. It features various wired and wireless connectivity options such as 802.11 wireless Ethernet, GSM/ GPRS cellular modem, CDMA cellular modem, and a ZigBee wireless RF module. It also includes a 10/100 wired Ethernet port, global- compliant dial-up modem, six USB ports, and six COM channels. The LBC-GX500 measures 5.75 × 8" and provides an open platform for management of geographically distributed machinery and sensors that operates over an industrial temperature range from -40º to 85ºC.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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8-Port RS-232 Universal PCI Communication Card

The eAutomation Group of Advantech (Cincinnati, OH) has released the PCI- 1625U, an 8-port RS-232 universal PCI communication card. The PCI-1625U functions as a self-contained computer and features an onboard DSP processor that can take over the processing load from the host PC. The PCI-1625U includes 1 MB of SRAM, which can store serial data and reduce host CPU loading. When the PCI-1625U initializes, it can download the driver software into its onboard DSP. A universal PCI connector is compatible with the 3.3 V PCI bus and 5 V PCI bus. A utility program called ICOM Tools is included that can test the PCI card performance by analyzing the port status.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Backplane and Development Chassis Provide Evaluation Platform

Molex (Lisle, IL) offers a μTCA backplane and development chassis to allow developers to build and debug μTCA designs before going to production. The backplane has a fully redundant dualstar architecture designed to run at 10 Gbps to facilitate the development of μTCA systems. The dual-star μTCA backplane features Molex μTCA press-fit edge card connectors that are combined with launch geometry, minimizing reflections and enabling 10 Gbps over each differential pair to handle up to four times the bandwidth of a backplane wired to meet XAUI specifications. The backplane also features Micro-Fit 3.0™ 14-pin, blind-mate fan tray connectors to mate to hot-swappable fan trays and ensure complete redundancy. The backplane uses single-wide AMC cards, is 0.42 × 0.012 m in size, and bolts into both the Molex μTCA Development Chassis and the Rittal Development Chassis. The backplane and development chassis can be used for developing applications that use off-the-shelf cards to configure systems for telecommunication applications such as access products, especially FTTX, cellular, and WiMAX base stations; industrial and instrumentation applications; and medical applications.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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10-Port Industrial Ethernet Managed Switch Supports Networking Features

SIXNET (Clifton Park, NY) has introduced the ET-10MG, a 10-port industrial Ethernet managed switch offering eight 10/100 Mbps RJ45 ports plus two Gigabit combination ports for copper or fiber connections. All of the RJ45 copper ports support auto-negotiating (10/100 or 10/100/1000), auto-crossover, and auto-polarity for plug-and-play connections. The fiber ports 9 and 10 also accept SFP fiber-optic transceivers for noise-immune links up to 80 km.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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