Electronics & Computers

RapidIO vs. Ethernet A Practical Technical Comparison

Ethernet is currently the incumbent backplane technology across a wide range of storage, wireless, wireline, military, industrial, and other embedded applications as developers move away from proprietary implementations in an effort to reduce development time and cost while increasing performance and functionality. However, as data rates increase, it has become apparent that many high-performance applications exceed the limits of this traditional protocol. Designing an efficient embedded backplane interconnect with excellent performance requires addressing a number of key design challenges, including header efficiency, protocol processing efficiency, effective bandwidth, and quality of service while strictly managing cost. To meet these challenges, many developers are turning to RapidIO® technology as an alternative to Ethernet.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Data exchange, Embedded software, Data management, Technical reference
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Designing Software Radio Systems With FPGAs

Software defined radio technology has been widely adopted for new military and aerospace platforms, government signal intelligence and homeland security systems, and now more extensively in commercial wireless voice and data networks as well. These modern communication systems need to squeeze more channels of traffic into an expensive slice of precious radio spectrum. Military and government requirements for secure communications mandate real-time encryption and decryption schemes that must be increasingly more resistant to interception. In multinational theater of war combat operations, communications systems must selectively ensure certain specific links and reliably deny others.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Communication protocols, Cryptography, Integrated circuits, Radio equipment, Defense industry
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Front Panel Hardware Considerations For ATCA, AMC, and MicroTCA Telecom Equipment

Acceptance of telecom industry standards for rack-mounted server equipment — in the form of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturer’s Group (PICMG) standards — is gaining momentum throughout global market channels. The objectives of those standards are certainly attractive in terms of streamlining economy and efficiency for both carriers and telecom equipment manufacturers across a number of areas. Their aim is to reduce development time and costs, as well as to help reduce the total cost of ownership. They are also intended to offer high levels of modularity and configurability while delivering high levels of service availability (99.999% and greater) and supporting appropriate scalability of system performance and capacity.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Telecommunications systems, Market research, Standardization
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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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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 highpower 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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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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