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Getting Real-Time Performance From A Full-Featured OS

Spend a few minutes at your local electronics store and it's obvious — the mobile phone is a device that far surpasses its original intent. With respect to functionality, today's mobile phone goes well beyond the ability to make calls and store phone numbers. It also synchs up with your desktop's calendar and address book, it can take pictures, play and store music, and receive emails.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Electronic equipment
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Laser-Based System for Measuring and Analyzing Vibrations

A system for noncontact measurement and analysis of vibrations of an electronic circuit board or a similar lightweight, nominally flat, rectangular object has been developed. This system, which utilizes laser displacement sensors, offers an important advantage over a traditional vibration- measurement system that utilizes accelerometers mounted on the vibrating object under test: Accelerometers are not suitable for vibration testing of a lightweight object because they contribute mass to the object and thereby alter the dynamic behavior of the object and thereby, further, give rise to errors in vibration-test data. In contrast, the laser displacement sensors in the present noncontact system do not contribute mass and do not significantly alter the dynamics.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Testing Silver-Coated Nylon Fibers as Electrical Conductors

Tests have been performed in an effort to gain understanding of electrical and mechanical properties of silver-coated nylon fibers subjected to stresses and strains and exposed to various environmental conditions. This effort is part of a larger effort to develop electro-textiles ("e-textiles") [electrically conductive textiles] that could be incorporated into future Army combat uniforms and used therein to couple electrical power and signals between electronic devices. Understanding of the effects of stresses, strains, and environmental conditions is important because of a need to ensure adequate performance of e-textiles under the widely varying, harsh conditions to which military uniforms are exposed when worn in extreme climates, during laundering, and during storage at high temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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Improvements in Measurement of Permeability and Permittivity

The two-transmission method is an improved method of determining, from microwave measurements, the complex permeability and complex permittivity of a sample of a material typified by a lossy dielectric or a magnetic radar absorbing material. The two-transmission method is so named because it involves two microwave transmission- measurement runs: one on the sample alone and one on a two-layer stack comprising the sample plus a layer of an acrylic material that has known permittivity and permeability. The name of the two-transmission method also serves to distinguish it from a prior method that involves microwave-reflection measurements with which errors have been associated.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences
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Biaxial and Shear Testing Apparatus With Force Controls

An apparatus for in-plane biaxial tension/compression and in-plane shear testing of fabrics, other flexible sheet materials, or relatively rigid thin plate materials has been invented. The apparatus is capable of applying, to a sheet material specimen, a controlled tensile or compressive force along each of two directions in the plane of the specimen. The force along each direction can differ from the force along the other direction. The directions of the applied forces can be orthogonal or can be set at an oblique angle, depending on the combination of stresses required to be applied to the specimen. Thus, depending on the angle between the applied-force directions, the sense (tensile or compressive) of each applied force, and the magnitude of each force, the specimen can be subjected to almost any combination of in-plane shear and biaxial tension/compression loading.

Posted in: Briefs, Mechanical Components
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Effects of High-Power Microwave Pulses on Electronic Systems

A five-year program comprising several coordinated research efforts was devoted to increasing understanding and developing capabilities for computational modeling of the effects of high-power microwave (HPM) radiation upon electronic circuits and upon systems that comprise or include electronic circuits. The HPM radiation of primary interest in

this program included both narrow-band and ultra-wide-band (UWB) pulsed radiation. Whether aimed at electronic equipment deliberately or inadvertently, either type of radiation can, potentially, cause damage and/or adversely affect operation. The knowledge gained from this program can help in designing future electronic circuits and systems to be less vulnerable to damage and disruption by incident HPM/UWB radiation.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Near-Field Light Lenses for Nano-Focusing of Beams of Atoms

Near-field light lenses for focusing beams of light and beams of atoms to spots having a width of no more than several nanometers are undergoing development. There are numerous potential applications for such lenses:

•A capability to focus beams of light to nanometer-sized spots is essential for development of proposed nanoscale optical devices (e.g., optical switches and logic gates) based on near-field optical interactions.

•A capability to focus beams of atoms to nanometer-sized spots could contribute to the development of nanophotonic devices, including quantum dots, which must be sized and positioned with precision.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Glass, Nanotechnology, Refractory materials
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Developments in Adaptive Filtering and System Identification

Progress has been made on several fronts in a continuing program of research oriented toward the development of real-time algorithms, and computer and control systems that utilize the algorithms, for adaptive filtering, prediction, and system identification with improved efficiency and numerical stability in applications that involve large numbers of channels and high filter orders. Potential applications include adaptive optics, optical communications, target tracking, image processing, blind identification and deconvolution in wireless communications, and active control of noise and vibration.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics
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Electrochromic Devices for Controlling Infrared Emissivity

Electrochromic devices that exhibited adjustable infrared emissivity were developed in a research program that was part of a larger effort to develop adaptive infrared camouflage. Inasmuch as objects that one seeks to conceal by use of camouflage are generally hotter than their surroundings, the basic idea of adaptive infrared camouflage is to reduce the infrared emissivity of an object of interest by a controllable amount so that, as viewed via an infrared camera, the object blends into the background.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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Aligned MWCNTs as Thermal Conductors in Adhesive Joints

A developmental method of increasing the thermal conductance of an adhesive joint in a composite-material structure (or between a composite-material structure and another structure) involves exploitation of the inherently large thermal conductances of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) along their longitudinal axes. A composite material of the type to which the method applies is, somewhat more specifically, a polymer-matrix/fiber composite. Typically, the matrix polymer is an epoxy, and the adhesive used to bond the composite-material structure may not be an epoxy. In any event, the thermal conductivity of the adhesive is about 0.3 W/mK — a value that is insufficient for many applications in which there are requirements for efficient transfer of heat.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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Infrared-Sensitive Photorefractive Polymer Composite Devices

Polymer composites that are photorefractive at visible and near- infrared wavelengths, and devices that exploit their photorefractivity, have been demonstrated. Potential applications for such devices could include real-time holography, medical imaging, imaging through light-scattering media, and beam cleanup in free-space optical communications. Especially notable products of this development effort include devices that exhibit one-photon photorefractivity with high diffraction efficiency at a wavelength of about 1 μm and devices that exhibit two-photon photorefractivity at a wavelength of about 1.5 μm. The polymer composites used in these devices are the first-demonstrated all-organic photorefractive materials suitable for wavelengths >0.83 μm, and are among the best infrared-sensitive photorefractive materials yet demonstrated under similar experimental conditions.

Posted in: Briefs, Physical Sciences, Imaging, Composite materials, Polymers, Refractory materials
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Cooperative Control of Robotic Aircraft

A document reviews a multidisciplinary research program oriented toward development of a rigorous theoretical foundation, and scalable analytical tools and paradigms, for construction of cooperative, networked control for numerous autonomous and semi-autonomous aircraft. This research has addressed issues affecting the design of robust autonomous vehicle systems that could operate in highly uncertain environments, form teams, manage information, and cooperate in deployment, allocation of tasks, and searches. Significant accomplishments are reported in three areas:

Deployment and Task Allocation

Algorithms for deployment of aircraft for surveillance have been developed. The algorithms run in real time aboard the aircraft, routing the aircraft to optimal locations, coordinating among the aircraft, thereby enabling efficient deployment throughout a geographic region.

Verification and Hybrid Systems

Advances have been made in the theory of hybrid input-output automata and in techniques, based on this theory, that enable off-line automatic verification and validation of safety and liveness of cooperative control algorithms.

Information Management for Cooperative Control

An information theory produced in this research has yielded significant contributions to the design of robust communication protocols featuring cooperative routing schemes that take advantage of network layer diversity and delay adaptation to increase reliability over wireless networks with fading channels.

Posted in: Briefs, Information Technology, Electronic control systems, Collaboration and partnering, Research and development, Robotics, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Oxide and Nitride Films for Tunable Capacitors and HEMTs

A report describes research on thin oxide films intended for use as variable-high-permittivity dielectrics in advanced tunable capacitors and on thin nitride films as starting materials for advanced high-electron- mobility transistors (HEMTs). In this research, a custom molecular-beam-epitaxy system was used to grow thin films of TiO2, SrTiO3, Ba1-xSrxTiO3, MgO, and AlxGa1-xN (where 0 ≤ x ≤ 1). Growth parameters and properties of the films were investigated with a view toward developing processes for fabricating HEMTs using epitaxy of AlxGa1-xN, processes for fabricating varactors using epitaxy of Ba1-xSrxTiO3, and processes in which integration of Ba1-xSrxTiO3 onto AlxGa1-xN templates would be facilitated by use of MgO buffer layers. The films were characterized, variously, in situ by reflected-high-energy-electron diffraction, source-flux monitoring, and/or residual-gas analysis. The films were characterized, variously, ex situ by atomic-force microscopy, x-ray rocking-curve measurements, high-resolution x-ray diffraction, Rutherford backscattering, cross-section transmission electron microscopy and diffraction, and/or radio-frequency-loss metrology. In addition, the AlxGa1-xN films were characterized in situ by multi-beam optical stress-sensor analysis.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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Flexible Biohybrid Nanomembranes for Multifunctional Sensors

A document describes recent activities in a continuing effort to develop devices, based on biohybrid nanomembranes, that would perform diverse sensory functions. The term "biohybrid nanomembranes" signifies flexible organic/inorganic composite membranes, of the order of tens of nanometers thick, typically comprising polymeric outer supporting layers and wholly or partly inorganic (e.g., biomineralized) inner sensory layers. This development is envisioned to yield novel acoustic, infrared, and photothermal sensors characterized by extreme degrees of miniaturization and sensitivity. The main focus of recent activities was on (1) synthesis of new branched and peptide-containing molecules to be incorporated into membranes and (2) further development of sophisticated freely standing membranes with micropatterned structures. In addition, membranes encapsulating arrays of carbon nanotubes and gold nanoparticles were fabricated and tested in micromechanical Raman-spectroscopic studies. Recent findings include the following:

Flexible nanomembranes with encapsulated silver nanowires and semiconducting quantum dots exhibit outstanding micromechanical, fluorescence, and conducting properties. Quantum-dot nanomembranes suspended over optical cavities exhibit exceptional backlight enhanced fluorescence intensity. Multifunctional hyperbranched molecules control the growth of monolayers of monodisperse silver nanoparticles at air-water interfaces. Silver-reducing peptides can be encapsulated in ultrathin polymer films and there utilized to effect formation of silver nanoparticles.
Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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Multimedia Host Processor

Renesas Technology America, Inc., (San Jose, CA) has released the SH-MobileR2 application processor for portable multimedia systems. The device enables the design of portable and mobile devices with multimedia capabilities that are suitable for personal navigation devices, portable media players, and video and voice over IP (V2IP) terminals.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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FPGA Processing Engine

The FPE650 from VMETRO (Houston, TX) is a FPGA processing engine with support for the new FPGA Mezzanine Card (FMC/VITA 57) standard. The FPE650 integrates four Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGAs with two FMC I/O sites and VPX high-speed serial backplane connectivity, allowing I/O and processing capabilities in a single 6U slot. The FPE650, available in air-cooled and conduction-cooled rugged versions, tackles demanding digital signal processing applications such as electronic counter measures (ECM), signal intelligence (SIGINT), and electro-optics (EO).

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Graphics-Class System Host Board

The TQ9 graphics-class system host board (SHB) from Trenton Technology (Atlanta, GA) is the latest addition to the PICMG® 1.3 product line. The TQ9, coupled with a PICMG 1.3 industry standard backplane, can support multiple system designs that use the latest PCI Express™, PCI-X, and PCI option cards. A TQ9 and a Trenton BPG6544 backplane support PCI Express, PCI-X, PCI, and legacy ISA option cards.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Microcontroller Evaluation Kit

The Stellaris® LM3S3768 Evaluation Board (EVB) from Luminary Micro (Austin, TX) is a compact and versatile evaluation platform for the Stellaris LM3S3768 ARM® Cortex™-M3-based microcontroller. The Stellaris® USB controller provides full On-The-Go (OTG) negotiation and support for connection to non-OTG peripherals or host controllers.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Power Supplies

Xantrex Technology Inc. (Vancouver, Canada) has launched the 222W linear XBT programmable power supply for laboratory and low power automated test equipment (ATE) applications. The new XBT Series provides higher power with two 32V, 3A outputs, plus one 15V/5A/30W output, offering much more flexibility than typically found with most bench top supplies.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Virtual Machine Manager

TenAsys Corp. (Beaverton, OR) has released the eVM™ virtual machine manager for real-time, missioncritical systems. The eVM platform simultaneously hosts embedded and real-time operating systems (RTOS) along with the Microsoft® Windows® general-purpose operating system (GPOS) on a single hardware platform using multi-core Intel® processors. eVM software partitions hardware resources and provides standard communications channels between the embedded RTOS guest and Windows, while isolating the two environments so that real-time de - terminism and the OS desktop experience are fully maintained.

The eVM virtualization system lets multiple operating systems share a single hardware platform without conflict, by partitioning hardware resources, such as CPU cores, I/O, RAM, and interrupts. By combining their existing embedded applications with Windows, on a single Intel processor-based computer, system OEMs can achieve significant manufacturing cost savings and redeploy existing real-time and embedded IA based applications without costly porting expense. eVM technology is based on TenAsys' real-time virtualization expertise, which enables Windows to run with 100% native performance.

For Free Info Click Here

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Fanless Single Board Computer

VersaLogic (Eugene, OR) has released a new low voltage, fanless version of its Cobra EBX single board computer (SBC). The new model features a low voltage 1.0 GHz Intel® Celeron®-M CPU and is fully RoHS-compliant. The Cobra is appropriate for applications in transportation, indus trial automation, medical equipment, and military/aerospace. Standard on-board features include Extreme Graphics 2 video, dual 10/100 Ethernet, USB, serial communication, and analog and digital I/O ports.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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FPGA-Based Processing Platform

Embedded Systems Design, Inc. (ESD) (Elkridge, MD) has released the StreamBlade™ 5600, a 3U desktop or rack-mount FPGA-based processing platform. The standalone real-time streaming I/O processing system utilizes a combination of FPGA, embedded, and general purpose processing nodes. The platform is well-suited to real-time applications including streaming data (voice, video, and image), telecom/ datacom, symbol-to-bit conversion, algorithm acceleration, data formatting, pattern generation/recognition, and test instrumentation.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Voice Control Processor

Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. (Ottawa, Canada) offers their second-generation Le79114 Voice Control Pro - cessor (VCP II) for communications carriers. The Le79114 VCP II supports 64 simultaneous call control channels and all functionality of the first-generation Le79112 VCP. Linecare, Zarlink's carriergrade line diagnostic software, runs on the voice control processor and exceeds the GR844 standard.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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32-bit Microprocessor

The UT699RH LEON 3FT-based microprocessor from Aeroflex Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs, CO) is designed with Gasiler Research AB GRLIB IP-proven architecture and provides a 32-bit master/target PCI interface, while the AMBA bus interconnects a peripheral rich environment including CAN, SpaceWire, UART, and Ethernet.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Digital-to-Synchro/Resolver Converter

North Atlantic Industries (NAI) (Bohemia, NY) has announced the availability of a 3-channel Digital-to- Synchro/Resolver Converter on a PC-104 card. The DSP-based 73DS2 includes up to three independent, transformer isolated programmable synchro/resolver simulation channels. Each channel has 16-bit resolution, ±1 arcminute accuracy, and a short circuit protected output with 1.2 VA drive capability. The unit requires +5VDC and ±12VDC power supplies, and operates over a frequency range of 47 Hz to 10 KHz. Each unit includes eight programmable digital input/output channels, wrap-around self-test, programmable output angle rotation, and an optional programmable excitation reference supply.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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PXI Embedded Controllers

The PXI-8104 and PXI-8183 embedded controllers from National Instruments (Austin, TX) are suitable for applications including consumer electronics, automotive, semiconductor, telecommunications, aerospace, and defense. The PXI-8104 is an Intel Celeron M 440 processor-based embedded controller for use in PXI and CompactPCI systems. The PXI-8104 controller has a 1.86 GHz processor and dual-channel 533 MHz DDR2 memory.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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COM Express Embedded Modules

VIA Technologies (Taipei, Taiwan) has extended their embedded board portfolio to include COM Express™ modules. Measuring 95mm x 125mm, COM Express is an industry standard embedded form factor developed by the PICMG (PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group). The COM Express specification integrates core CPU, chipset, and mem ory on the mod - ule, providing support for extensive con - nectivity options, in - cluding USB, audio, graphics, and Ether - net, through boardto- board connectors to an I/O baseboard.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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VPX SerDes Test Modules

Elma Electronics Inc. (Fremont, CA) has released the SerDes Test Modules for VPX systems. The modules are being offered in partnership with DFT Microsystems, a leader in high-density test solutions for highspeed semiconductor device interfaces. The SerDes modules are designed to plug into VPX backplanes and directly test the channel compliance. They can be used to test VPX switch and node cards and/or the backplane channels without requiring external equipment or special test fixtures.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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EPIC and EBX Enclosures

WinSystems (Arlington, TX) has released the ENC-EPXG- 1000 enclosure for EPIC (Embedded Platform for Industrial Computers) and the ENC-EBC-G-1000 enclosure for EBX single board computer (SBC) systems. They are designed for embedded applications requiring mounting inside NEMA boxes, OEM machinery, wiring closets, equipment rooms, and other areas where it is necessary to protect an EPIC or EBX Single Board Computer system with PC/104 expansion. The enclosures are made from rustproof, lightweight aluminum. Aluminum is non-combustible, non-magnetic, non-sparking, non-toxic, recyclable, and thermally conductive to dissipate component heat.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Core2 Duo COM Express Module

Ampro Computers Inc. (San Jose, CA) has released a computer- on-module (COM) based on Intel's Core2 Duo processor and GME965 chipset. The COM 840 integrates a single- or dual-core processor, Ram, graphics, networking, and PCI Express expansion in a 3.7 × 4.5-inch module that operates from - 40 to +85°C. The COM 840 has a 1.66Hz Intel® Core2 Duo L7500 processor with 4 MB of on-chip L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB (front side bus), and two SODIMM sockets for up to 4 GB of DDR2 RAM.

Posted in: Products, Products, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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