Electronics & Computers

JEDEC-Compliant Double-Data-Rate-Configurable Integrated Register Device

Inphi® (Westlake Village, CA) released the INSSTE32882, a JEDEC compliant Double Data Rate (DDR3) Configurable Integrated Register device from the Inphi ExacTik® Family of timing devices. The INSSTE32882 supports all existing DDR3- 800, DDR3-1066, and DDR3-1333 standards as well as proposed standards for server memory operating at DDR3-1600 rates.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers

Mini PCI Fieldbus Cards for Industrial PCs

Beckhoff Automation (Verl, Germany) has released Mini PCI fieldbus cards for PROFIBUS, CANopen, DeviceNet and Ethernet networks. With the Mini PC cards, the newest Beckhoff Industrial PCs, including the C69xx cabinet PCs and the CP62xx or CP72xx Control Panel PCs, are equipped to integrate additional fieldbus technologies.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers

SMP vs. AMP: How Homogenous Is Your Embedded System?

Multiprocessing system architectures come in all shapes and sizes, so it is dangerous to make any generalizations. But perhaps there's agreement that most systems can be classified as either symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) or asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP).
Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Embedded software

Secure Partitioning Safeguards Real-time Performance

High performance multi-core processors are providing opportunities to consolidate multiple applications into a single system. However, embedded applications often have real-time requirements that cannot be put in jeopardy by other software clamoring for the same system resources such as CPU cycles and memory.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Reliability

Visualization Tools Aid Multi-core Development

Multi-core processing is a "disruptive technology", transforming the way embedded systems are architected, developed, and debugged. With greatly improved performance and lower power, multi-core processors have caught the attention of designers who don't think twice about putting two, four, or even eight processor cores into a system. But many software developers are playing catch up, working hard to quickly parallelize code. They are finding traditional debug methods aren't sufficient to profile the complex interactions between concurrently running tasks. "In a system with interacting applications running simultaneously on multiple processor cores, breakpoints have reduced applicability as a tool for understanding system behavior," says Rob McCammon, Director of Advanced Technology Planning at Wind River Systems.

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

Dense Functionalized-Nanowire Biosensor Arrays

Progress has been made in the development of compact sensor arrays containing molecular electronic devices for detecting molecules of interest (especially biomolecules) with high sensitivity and selectivity. As described in somewhat more detail below, the sensory devices in these arrays are based on chemically functionalized semiconductor nanowires. Because of the small sizes of nanowire-based devices, these arrays could be extremely dense, enabling simultaneous detection of multiple molecular species of interest. In addition, in some cases, it should be possible to extend the limits of detectability to quantities as small as a single molecule.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductor devices, Sensors and actuators

Nanowire-Based Chemical and Biological Sensor Arrays

Acontinuing effort that supplements and complements the one summarized in the immediately preceding article is dedicated to the development of nanowire-based sensor arrays, with emphasis on maximizing the utility of such arrays for real-time sensing of molecular species associated with chemical and biological threats. Like the sensors described in the immediately preceding article, most of these sensors are based on chemically functionalized semiconductor nanowires that are parts of fieldeffect transistors. In addition, some of these sensors are based on piezoelectric nanowire resonators.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Sensors and actuators, Biological sciences, Chemicals, Nanotechnology

Improved Magnetic Sensor Based on Giant Magneto-Impedance

A low-power, highly stable electronic sensor circuit for measuring a small change in the ambient magnetic field with high sensitivity exploits the giant magneto-impedance (GMI) effect, in which the radio-frequency (RF) impedance of a fiber made of a suitably formulated material varies with the externally generated magnetic field to which it is exposed. The GMI effect has been observed in fibers thinner than a human hair made of amorphous (in the sense of lacking crystalline structure) alloys of cobalt, iron, silicon, and boron.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Sensors and actuators, Fibers

Progress in Canted Sector Antennas and Non-Periodic Arrays

Progress has been made in a continuing effort to develop low-geometricprofile, wide-frequency-band microwave antennas intended for incorporation into wide-band aperiodic arrays for use in high-speed communications. The effort has produced improved designs for canted sector antennas, cost-effective approximations of random arrays of such antennas, and software for simulating the performances of such antennas and arrays.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Telecommunications

Photonic Analog-to-Digital Converters

Early steps have been taken toward the development of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) that would incorporate photonic quantizers based on the technology of InP semiconductors. These photonic ADCs are intended to overcome the sampling speed and temporal resolution limitations of state-of-the-art all-electronic ADCs, so that outputs of radar and other sensor systems at frequencies as high as tens of gigahertz could be sampled directly, without need for analog signal processing to effect down-conversion in frequency prior to sampling.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Radar, Sensors and actuators, Semiconductors