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Integrated Aircraft Oxygen Sensor

Shortly after its takeoff from New York City on July 17, 1996, Trans World Airlines (TWA) Flight 800 exploded over the Atlantic Ocean and crashed. The accident investigation board determined that the center wing fuel tank caught fire and exploded. Although the ignition source remains unknown, it was unquestionably the presence of a combustible fuel/air mixture in the center wing fuel tank that caused the resulting

explosion.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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Multi-Fabric Switching Enables New Architectures for Military Systems

With multiple switched interconnects gaining momentum in the embedded space, selecting just one to address a wide range of military systems requirements is not easy.

Individually, switched fabrics such as Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), Serial RapidIO (SRIO), and PCI Express (PCIe) have their own particular technical merits, and each is poised to carve out a piece of the interconnect market. However, when combined in nextgeneration Serial Switched Backplanes (SSB) like VPX (VITA 46/48), multi-fabric switching can enable powerful new military architectures by leveraging 'best of breed' interconnect technology to address specific application requirements ( Figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Embedded software, Switches, Military vehicles and equipment
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Multicores Affect Algorithm Choices

Design engineers soon will need to bridge the growing gap between hardware reality and software capabilities in the highperformance computing (HPC) realm as the use of multicore microprocessors grows. If your software development or sourcing plans haven't anticipated these development situations, your applications may have a shorter life than you had planned.

The 2006 version of technical computing "reality" is an inexpensive dual-core processor from AMD or Intel on a desktop system, or a dual- or quad-core RISC processor from Sun or IBM running on a server. In 2007, we should expect to see inexpensive quad-core processors from AMD and Intel, and processors with up to eight or more cores in 2008. These small symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems will be a far cry from the proprietary $500,000+ SMP systems of a few years ago. This technology transition has big implications for the "democratization" of computing power. On the horizon are four- to eightcore systems that cost only a few thousand dollars and sit on the desk of every design engineer.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Mathematical models, Computer software / hardware, Systems engineering
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Multi-Processor VME64x Computer With PowerPC Processor

Themis Computer (Fremont, CA) has introduced the TPPC64 multi-processor VME64x computer using IBM's 970FX Superscalar RISC processor. It can be configured with one or two 1.8-GHz PowerPC 970FX processors. The 970FX features VPX SIMD Vector Processing Units, bringing enterprise server-class processing power to bandwidth-intensive VME64x applications.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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High-Speed Ethernet Communication for PLCs

AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) has released the H4-ECOM100 Ethernet communication module for the DirectLOGIC DL405 PLC. The H4-ECOM100 can be inserted into any I/O slot of any local DL405 base, including expansion bases when using the DL450 CPU and -1 bases to implement master/slave Ethernet communication at 10 or 100 Mbit data rates. The module supports the industry-standard MODBUS TCP/IP Client/Server protocol, and IP and IPX protocols. This allows a DL405 PLC with an H4-ECOM100 module to serve as a client (master) or as a server (slave) on a MODBUS TCP/IP Ethernet network.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Graphics Card for Advanced Visualization Systems

The NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 X2 graphics card from NVIDIA Corp. (Santa Clara, CA) is designed for advanced visualization systems requiring scalable graphics performance, such as CAD and geo-seismic applications. The card features two NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 graphics processing units (GPUs) in a dual-slot configuration. Multi-GPU rendering enables maximum performance and image quality, leveraging 32x full-scene antialiasing for graphics-intensive applications.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Ultraminiature Microswitches Offer Long Life Ratings

ALCOSWITCH ultraminiature SPDT microswitches from Tyco Electronics (Harrisburg, PA) have extended cycle life ratings up to 1 million cycles. The PC-mount product is available with straight or right-angle PC terminals, allowing for multiple mounting options.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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FPGA-Based Carrier Card Reduces Processor Board Count

TEK Microsystems (Chelmsford, MA) has announced the PowerRACE® 3A carrier card combining highdensity FPGAs, an onboard switched fabric, PowerPCs, and PMC interfaces. High-speed I/O and image processing are performed in one slot. The PowerRACE-3A uses two 800-MHz 440GX PowerPC processors to support throughput without incurring host processor overhead. Currently supporting the RACE++ interconnect fabric, future implementations will be fabric-agnostic. An onboard fabric allows each PMC site to transfer data concurrently to off-board RACE++ ports, FPGA processing, or memory, eliminating fabric contention and maximizing system performance. The card can be configured with one of the more than 30 available TEK PMC modules.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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PowerPC Single-Board Computer for Mil/Aero Applications

Cornet Technology Communications (Springfield, VA) has introduced the Celero CVME-7448S PowerPC single-board computer available for the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) VersaModule-Eurocard (VME) community. The computer provides a single-board solution for embedded military and aerospace designers.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Load Switches Offer Thermal & Packaging Performance for Portables

Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland, ME) offers the FPF100x family of IntelliMAX™ load switches featuring WL-CSP or MLP packaging, integration (slewrate control, ESD protection, and load-discharge capability), and lowvoltage operation of 1.2V. The FPF1003, FPF1005, and FPF1006 are designed to enhance thermal and electrical performance in portable applications such as cell phones, cameras, PDAs, peripheral ports, and hot-swap supplies.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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