MEMs

Techniques for Cooling Power and Other Electronic Devices

All electronic devices generate heat due to their unavoidable internal losses and inefficiencies. The higher the efficiency rating of the device, the less internal heat is generated within it. If we could achieve 100% efficiency, and technology is getting ever closer to that elusive goal, no heat would be generated within the device and, therefore, no cooling would be required. Until then, the generated heat must be dissipated to maximize the end product's reliability and prevent its premature failure.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Power electronics, Cooling
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Prototyping PMC Daughterboards

The PMC, or PCI Mezzanine Card, follows the IEEE P1386.1 standard for printed circuit boards. PMCs combine the electrical characteristics of the PCI bus with the mechanical dimensions of the Common Mezzanine Card, or CMC, format. Within the PMC format single PMC boards measure 74mm × 149mm. While the standard also defines a double-sized card, this format is rare. For PMC cards, as defined by the standard, connector configurations can be:

2 bus connectors (P1 and P2) supporting 32-bit PCI signals, 3 bus connectors (P1, P2 and P3) supporting 64 bit PCI signals, and/or 4th bus connector (P4) supporting non-specified I/O signals.
Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Integrated circuits, Standardization
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Touch Screen Technology 101

What makes the iPhone so great? Touch screen technology. Touch screens are changing the way we interact with technology and with iPhone, Apple has opened the floodgates of innovation for the function and design of handheld devices.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Human machine interface (HMI), Displays
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The Virtual Becomes Reality at Iowa State University

The colonel has a problem. He has eight unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) flying over the outskirts of Baghdad, looking for potential insurgent activity. Are those people he sees moving through the streets insurgents or are they a US infantry patrol? If he alters the flight path of one UAV to loiter over the suspicious activity, how should he deploy the other seven UAVs to pick up the first's original mission? How does he keep track of the positions of the eight UAVs, what they are seeing, and the locations of nearby US troops, all in real-time?

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Embedded Technology, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Virtual reality, Human machine interface (HMI), Defense industry, Unmanned aerial vehicles
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Data-Based Paradigm for Rapid Development of Advanced Avionics Displays

The database concepts, tools, and runtime software described in this article provide a methodology for creating advanced avionics human-machine interfaces (HMIs), such as those found in modern flat-panel display systems. The key innovation described is the ability to treat the avionics displays as databases rather than as compiled and linked software. This new technology facilitates the goals of open architecture for avionics, a key avionics industry trend.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Aircraft displays, Avionics, Computer software / hardware, Human machine interface (HMI)
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FPGA-Based Communication Channel for Digital Signal Processor Chips

A method for networking, and a network of, digital signal processors (DSP) via at least one field-programmable gate array (FPGA) enables the simultaneous broadcast of data from a DSP to a number of DSPs. The apparatus comprises a host DSP, at least one FPGA in communication with the host DSP for receiving a digital signal from the host DSP, and at least one non-host DSP in communication with at least one FPGA for receiving the digital signal.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Communication protocols, Integrated circuits, Wireless communication systems
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Applying Reconfigurable Computing to Acoustic Sensors Using FPGAs

A novel microsensor processing architecture allows a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) to act as a reprogrammable preprocessor or coprocessor to a general-purpose processor (GPP). The FPGA does most of the computationally complex pieces of the algorithm, while the GPP is lightly loaded, performing control, communications, and housekeeping tasks (Figure 1). The flexible architecture supports a wide range of low-power applications, while still being able to leverage emerging commercial technology.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Delta-Sigma UHF Digital Waveform Generator

A prototype Digital Waveform Generator (DWG) in the ultra-high-frequency (UHF) range uses Delta-Sigma (Δ−Σ) modulation techniques, which permit arbitrary and accurate waveform generation. The DWG meets the demanding and diverse waveform requirements of future radar applications, including linear-FM (LFM) and continuous wave (CW) signals. This DWG also allows for the generation of waveforms at other frequencies by up-conversion or down-conversion.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Network-Enabled Resource Devices

Network Enabled Resource Devices (NERDs) combine the most common electronic components used in robotic applications into a standard electronics box with "plug-n-play" capabilities. Risk reduction efforts, systems testing and integration, and modifying the functionality of evolving systems becomes greatly simplified by standardizing core hardware and software components; in many cases, minimal software modifications are required to adapt an existing NERD for an emergent application.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronics & Computers
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Cleaning and Protecting Large Mirrors Using a Polymer Solution

Cleaning and protecting optics is a challenge — contamination must be removed without damaging the surface. Preventing recontamination for extended periods of time after cleaning was unattainable prior to use of polymer strip coat films. The SLRSC Western Range Depot Optics Group, WRDOG, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, is a pioneer in the cleaning and protection of precision glass optics, lenses, and large mirrors using polymer solution technology.

Posted in: Briefs, Photonics, Mirrors, Coatings Colorants and Finishes, Polymers
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