MEMs

How to Design an Embedded RDBMS Search

As the cost of micro-disk and NAND Flash continue to drop, devices are storing more and more data. It is common now for a person's MP3 player to have more storage than their laptop. But this increase in storage capacity has not been matched with advances in the user interface. Typically, users still wrestle with a folder-based interface to find the data they want, searching by a few vendor-defined categories such as artist, album, and genre. But a new class of embedded database manage- ment systems (DBMS) is emerging to allow end users to search the way people think, rather than in this stat- ic manner. With a RAM footprint ranging from a few tens to a few hundred kilobytes, these products enable developers to deliver this sophisti- cated search on mobile devices. So how do they work? How do you write an embedded application to use a relational DBMS (RDBMS)? While there are a few kinds of DBMS, the relational model has tri- umphed over all the others, largely because it abstracts the data struc- tures so that applications don't have to know them. A relational database management system offers a standard, high-level query language that allows access to data by content, not by pointer or location and offset.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Human machine interface (HMI), Data management
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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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Beamforming System Eases Crowded Wireless Spectrum

Beamforming is critical to enable initiatives by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase spectrum capacity and provide additional cellular service and coverage through satellite and terrestrial systems. The key technology for this application is beamforming, which electronically steers data streams to and from a satellite via a combination of an array of antennas on the satellite and very sophisticated, ground-based computational engines.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Antennas, Telecommunications, Waveguides, Satellites
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SOA in Practice: Model-Driven Repositories Fill the Gap Between Concept and Implementation

In the past, network-based applications were pretty simple. A networked server ran a monolithic application that users accessed via a basic GUI (graphical user interface). Today, organizations struggle to develop feature-rich, network-based applications while also facing business pressure to minimize timescales, maximize quality, and work with legacy systems hosted on different platforms.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Design processes, Architecture, Human machine interface (HMI)
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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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Graphical Dataflow Environment for RTOS (National Instruments)

National Instruments (Austin, TX) and QNX Software Systems (Ontario, Canada) have collaborated to extend the LabVIEW graphical dataflow environment to the QNX®Neutrino® real-time operating system (RTOS). Engineers now can use the NI LabVIEW Embedded Development Module with the QNX Neutrino RTOS to add comprehensive support for multicore processors and target any supported hardware platform for QNX Neutrino.

Posted in: Products, Products, Board-Level Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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MPEG Decoder (STMicroelectronics)

STMicroelectronics, Inc. (Lexington, MA) has released the STi5107, a new MPEG decoder for standard definition TV. It is designed to address the require- ments of the mainstream STB market, where it provides a unified, single-device platform for set-top boxes ranging from basic low-cost products up to MHP (Multimedia Home Platform) applications, for satellite, cable, and terrestrial servic- es and plug-in TV modules.

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