Electronics & Computers

Accelerated Processing Unit

The AMD (Sunnyvale, CA) Embedded G-Series processor is the world’s first integrated circuit to combine a low-power CPU and a discrete-level GPU into a single embedded Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). The AMD G-T16R APU, with an average power of only 2.3 Watts, enables very small form factor, fan-less and portable applications. APU configurations are available with single or dual x86 cores, at 4.5W, 9W or 18W thermal design power (TDP), and two levels of graphics and video performance. Each APU supports single or dual- independent high resolution displays and exceptional multi-media capability with hardware decode support for H.264, VC-1, MPEG2, WMV, DivX and Adobe® Flash. When paired with the AMD A50M controller hub with support for advanced interfaces such as 6Gb/s SATA, Generation 2 PCI Express®, and HD Audio, the AMD G-Series platform delivers a low power, value-oriented solution for applications requiring a better balance of CPU and multimedia performance.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers

VPX: The State of the Ecosystem

You can never have too much bandwidth. High-speed processing and growing amounts of data to be communicated require generous bandwidth from the board level to the I/O. VPX, with a backplane connector system supporting 6.25 Gb/s in a switched fabric architecture, is the latest generation of VMEbus and offers new levels of performance for embedded computer systems. VPX systems are designed for flexible application of demanding highspeed protocols, such as 10G Ethernet, RapidIO, InfiniBand, and Hyper Transport protocols, in ground, aerospace, and marine applications.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Data exchange, Performance upgrades

Thin Cavity Cooling of Electronic Circuitry

Anovel tested technology for cooling electronic circuitry is also useful in many other industries. The method is called “Thin Cavity Fluidic Heat Exchanger”(TCFHE). Technology details can be viewed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Web site, at application 20100078155.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Product development, Cooling

Embedded Video Requirements Drive New Mezzanine Card Format

Sophisticated graphics have hit the embedded systems world and are increasingly demanded by military, aerospace, industrial, and medical applications. The problem, of course, is that graphics are challenging even in the desktop world. In embedded designs, they present unique issues that include very specific, non-standard functionality.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Embedded software, Displays

Using High-Level Language to Implement Floating-Point Calculations on FPGAs

The scientific community is interested in using field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) for scientific computations because they can be targeted for specific applications and achieve greater throughput at a lower power cost. However, these gains can usually only be achieved by a user with expert knowledge of hardware design. Therefore, despite improvements in FPGA technology that have allowed their use to become attractive for a wider range of applications, inexperience with hardware design remains a barrier for many.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Integrated circuits, Technician training

Managing Security in FPGA-Based Embedded Systems

Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) combine the programmability of processors with the performance of custom hardware. As they become more common in critical embedded systems, new techniques are necessary to manage security in FPGA designs. Because FPGAs can provide a useful balance between performance, rapid time to market, and flexibility, they have become the primary source of computation in many critical embedded systems. However, techniques beyond bitstream encryption are necessary to ensure FPGA design security.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Cyber security, Integrated circuits, Safety critical systems

CMOS-Memristor Hybrid Nanoelectronics

The memristor is the fourth fundamental passive electronic device in addition to the resistor, capacitor, and inductor. By integrating with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices, memristors show promise for development of revolutionary new nanoelectronic computing architectures with significantly reduced size and extremely low consumed power. The proposed effort explores a novel, high-payoff nanotechnology area that exploits crossbar nanoelectronic logic elements as well as the recently demonstrated phenomena of memristance. Specifically, the goal of this project was to explore CMOS-memristor hybrid nanoelectronic circuits for memory, FPGA, DSP, analog, and neuromorphic applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Downsizing, Architecture, Semiconductor devices, Energy consumption, Nanotechnology

Dynamically Reconfigurable Software-Defined Radio for GNSS Applications

Historically, the military has used special- purpose Global Positioning System (GPS) radios for radio navigation. This has the disadvantage of locking users into fixed technology solutions designed to meet a fixed set of requirements. Software Defined Radios (SDR) have the advantage of being able to easily adapt to provide new capabilities using current-generation technology. Continued improvements in SDR technology are enabling their use for Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) applications that require small-form-factor, low-power designs. This has the added benefit of allowing the signal processing algorithms for future GPS signals to be included in the GNSS SDR design without changing or modifying the hardware of the GPS receiver.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Computer software / hardware, Global positioning systems, Global positioning systems (GPS), Radio equipment, Military vehicles and equipment, Satellites

Implementing PCI Express on PC/104-Size Modules

As PC/104 celebrates its 20th anniversary as an open standard this year, it continues to grow in terms of new design-ins, applications, and integration of the latest technology. In today’s fast paced, throw-away world, this is a remarkable achievement. PC/104 users typically demand a long product life cycle of seven years or more, so for two decades, these small, stackable, embedded computer systems have found applications in military, medical, industrial, transportation, communications, pipelines, mining, utilities and a host of other industries. However, as technology changes and becomes more powerful and complex, challenges arise in implementation. This has never been truer than for the different implementation strategies for PCI Express on PC/104 size modules.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Embedded software, Reliability

COM Express Revision 2.0: What’s new in the latest specification?

The COM Express specification was first released in 2005. Its main target was, and still is, to define the mandatory requirements of COM Express modules and carrier boards as far as it is necessary to ensure interoperability between the products of different vendors. Nevertheless, with continuous technical progress, there is also the need for adjustments of the common interface — that being the COM Express connector.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Connectors and terminals, Performance upgrades, Parts, Reliability