Electronics & Computers

Data-Centric Network Integration Takes Headaches Out of Avionic Upgrades

Avionics systems are becoming more powerful and more dependent upon data exchanged between instruments. These instruments and subsystems reside on a network and must share time-critical data to achieve their mission. For example, targeting systems require real-time input of aircraft speed and attitude, as well as position and velocity data of the target. At the same time, additional bandwidth is required for data from onboard systems, such as GPS, airspeed and directional gyro, flight control systems, and dozens of other instruments and subsystems. As a result, network traffic is high, and potential data interactions can be highly complex. This complexity makes real-time integration of the data from disparate instruments during operational missions a significant challenge. Furthermore, upgrades of avionics and software applications during the useful life of the airframe means that new subsystems must be seamlessly integrated with legacy subsystems. In other words, data paths, interactions, and integration are not fixed forever. Today, aircraft systems typically are constructed to provide point-to-point communications between instruments and control systems that require realtime data. This approach has a significant impact on the complexity of the system and its subsequent maintainability. If an instrument is upgraded or replaced, the interfaces between it and other directly connected devices have the potential to change, requiring significant recoding and retesting.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Avionics
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Adaptive Quantum Design of Semiconductor Devices

The term "adaptive quantum design" denotes a methodology for systematically seeking robust, manufacturable designs of semiconductor devices — especially semiconductor optoelectronic devices having nanoscale or even atomic- scale features. This methodology has been developed to complement advances in fabrication capabilities that make it possible to tailor semiconductor devices ever more precisely, such that it likely will soon be possible to routinely control the positions of features as small as atoms and molecules within devices. Because the number of atom configurations that could, potentially, be fabricated is almost unimaginably large and quantum fluctuations and collective quantum phenomena become important at molecular and atomic scales, traditional design methods and traditional models of device physics based on classical physics and semiclassical approximations of quantum phenomena are not adequate for exploration of the vast space of design options.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Semiconductor devices
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Real-Time Simulation and Semiautomated Design of Complex ICs

A project called “System on a Chip Real-Time Emulation” (SOCRE) was undertaken to develop and demonstrate a methodology of simulation of operation and semiautomated design of complex mixed-signal (analog/digital) integrated circuits (ICs). The methodology includes the use of a simulation engine (consisting of computer hardware and software) for real-time emulation of a designed IC, in conjunction with an automated design flow that enables automated or semiautomated synthesis of a final design and automated or semiautomated fabrication of the ICs of the designed IC without need for manual reentry of a description of the design.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, CAD / CAM / CAE, Integrated circuits, Test procedures
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A Study of Two Ferrocene-Based Molecular Electronic Devices

Acomputational-simulation study of two ferrocene-based molecular electronic devices was performed as part of a continuing effort to develop a capability for ab initio design of metallocene-based electronic devices in general. In addition to the obvious technological advantage for realization of the potential of molecular electronic devices, such a capability would afford an economic advantage by enabling avoidance of the cost of synthesis of many organic molecules that subsequent testing would show to be unpromising for electronic-device applications.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Simulation and modeling, Electronic equipment
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Transceivers for Multi-Gigabyte Systems (Altera)

Altera Corp. (San Jose, CA) offers the high- density Stratix II GX family designed to provide up to 20 low-power transceivers operating between 600 Mbps and 6.375 Gbps with 127 Gbps of aggregate serial-link connectivity. The Stratix II GX FPGAs can be used to design and manufacture multi-gigabit interconnected sys- tems. Additionally, with the release of the EP2SGX30 and EP2SGX60 devices, Altera has completed the rollout of all Stratix II GX family members.

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Fanless Single Board Computer ( ADLINK Technology)

The NuPRO-796 from ADLINK Technology (Irvine, CA) is a half-size board computer featuring an AMD GeodeTM GX 533 processor. Fanless, the device has a 1.1 W CPU power consumption, and includes an on-board 128 MB memory on a single SODIMM slot, one UltraATA 66 IDE connector, and four Serial ATA connectors with RAID support. With several display options, it supports VGA/CRT monitors (1,600 ×1,200, 16 bbp at 85 Hz or 1,280 ×1,024, 24 bpp at 85 Hz), TFT LCDs, (1,280 ×1,024 bpp), and LVDS. Key I/O interfaces include an ACPI-compliant 10/1000BASE-T LAN port, four USB 1.1 ports (two USB ports on the faceplate, two by the pin header), and integrated audio controllers with an AC'97 interface. Operating temperature ranges from 0 to 60°C (storage temperature is -20 to 80°C).

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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PCI, PCI-X, and PMC Boards (VMETRO)

VMETRO (Houston, TX) has released the VirtexTM-5 LX FPGA-based PCI/PCI-X and PMC board-level products. Designed for high-performance general-logic applica- tions, the Virtex-5 is the second generation of Xilinx FPGA to use the ASMBLTM (Advanced Silicon Modular Block) column- based architecture that enables Xilinx to fabricate four FPGA platforms with varying feature mixes suitable to different appli- cation areas.

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Graphics Display Processor (GE Fanuc Embedded Systems)

GE Fanuc Embedded Systems (Albuquerque, NM) offers the 3U VPX MAGIC1 Rugged Display Processor, an integrated sub- system consisting of the 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor-based SBC340 sin- gle board computer and GRA110 graphics processor. The MAGIC1 rugged subsystem lets system designers develop and deploy more sophisticat- ed display applications than has previ- ously been possible. The graphics dis- play processor supports VAPS, GL Studio, and iData display software, and targets embedded training, digital mapping, and vehicle display applications. The MAGIC1 is the first of several planned system-level 3U VPX platforms from the company, each designed to serve specific functional needs.

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Power-Saving Embedded Board (VersaLogic)

VersaLogic Corp. (Eugene, OR) and General Software, Inc. introduced a power- saving feature on VersaLogic's PC/104-Plus platform, the Puma. The Suspend- to-RAM function (ACPI S3) of General Software's Embedded BIOS®2000 allows the system to wake up and resume processing in seconds. The board consumes less than 1 W of power in Suspend-to-RAM mode.

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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Integration and Communication Software (Mentor Graphics)

The Nucleus®I2C software from Mentor Graphics Corp. (Wilsonville, OR) is now available for developing appli cations needing access to on-board peripherals connect ed via the I2C bus. Demand is increasing for using the low-cost I2C bus to connect peripherals, such as liquid crystal displays (LCDs), light emitting diodes (LEDs), and non-volatile ran dom access memory (NVRAM), with the central processing unit (CPU). The software, when used in conjunction with products from the Nucleus RTOS portfolio, provides a solu tion for device integration and communication for a wide range of applications, such as consumer electronics, medical devices, industrial control, automotive infotainment, and mobile platforms.

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