MEMs

FPGA-Based Carrier Card Reduces Processor Board Count

TEK Microsystems (Chelmsford, MA) has announced the PowerRACE® 3A carrier card combining highdensity FPGAs, an onboard switched fabric, PowerPCs, and PMC interfaces. High-speed I/O and image processing are performed in one slot. The PowerRACE-3A uses two 800-MHz 440GX PowerPC processors to support throughput without incurring host processor overhead. Currently supporting the RACE++ interconnect fabric, future implementations will be fabric-agnostic. An onboard fabric allows each PMC site to transfer data concurrently to off-board RACE++ ports, FPGA processing, or memory, eliminating fabric contention and maximizing system performance. The card can be configured with one of the more than 30 available TEK PMC modules.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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PowerPC Single-Board Computer for Mil/Aero Applications

Cornet Technology Communications (Springfield, VA) has introduced the Celero CVME-7448S PowerPC single-board computer available for the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) VersaModule-Eurocard (VME) community. The computer provides a single-board solution for embedded military and aerospace designers.

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Load Switches Offer Thermal & Packaging Performance for Portables

Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland, ME) offers the FPF100x family of IntelliMAX™ load switches featuring WL-CSP or MLP packaging, integration (slewrate control, ESD protection, and load-discharge capability), and lowvoltage operation of 1.2V. The FPF1003, FPF1005, and FPF1006 are designed to enhance thermal and electrical performance in portable applications such as cell phones, cameras, PDAs, peripheral ports, and hot-swap supplies.

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Gigabit Ethernet Test Solution for Compact Platform

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering (Quebec City, Canada) has launched the FTB-8510 Packet Blazer Ethernet test module for the FTP-200 Compact Platform. The combination of the Ethernet test module with the Compact Platform provides field technicians with Ethernet testing capabilities in a lightweight and compact form factor. Features include RFC 2544 testing (including frame loss, throughput, and latency), multiple-stream generation and analysis, Ethernet quality-ofservice testing, and packet jitter (frame-delay variation).

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Embedded Software Verification for Early Device Testing

S2 Technologies (San Diego, CA) has released the STRIDE 2.0 embedded software verification platform providing infrastructure and tools that enable development teams to perform testing, verification, and integration of embedded software. By using STRIDE, developers do not have to wait until final integration and testing to identify software issues. STRIDE's virtual-platform approach lets developers exercise code without writing test code, remove software dependencies, simulate new or missing functionality, capture internal software transactions or events, leverage scripting for automation, and apply other tools to the embedded software verification process.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Low-Profile Surface-Mount Inductors for Small PCBs

Datatronic Distribution (Romoland, CA) offers the DR331-5 surface-mount inductor for designers of small, compact, or portable electronic equipment with limited printed circuit board (PCB) space. The inductor is 0.39" tall, and measures 0.263 × 0.220".

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Ethernet Switch With Port-Based VLAN Support

The PRV-1059 VLAN-enabled 5-port PC/104 Ethernet switch from Parvus Corp. (Salt Lake City, UT) is designed and tested to MIL-STD-810F, and features low power consumption of 1.5 watts and extended-temperature operation to 85°C.

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Multi-Fabric Switching Enables New Architectures for Military Systems

With multiple switched interconnects gaining momentum in the embedded space, selecting just one to address a wide range of military systems requirements is not easy.

Individually, switched fabrics such as Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), Serial RapidIO (SRIO), and PCI Express (PCIe) have their own particular technical merits, and each is poised to carve out a piece of the interconnect market. However, when combined in nextgeneration Serial Switched Backplanes (SSB) like VPX (VITA 46/48), multi-fabric switching can enable powerful new military architectures by leveraging 'best of breed' interconnect technology to address specific application requirements ( Figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Embedded software, Switches, Military vehicles and equipment
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Multicores Affect Algorithm Choices

Design engineers soon will need to bridge the growing gap between hardware reality and software capabilities in the highperformance computing (HPC) realm as the use of multicore microprocessors grows. If your software development or sourcing plans haven't anticipated these development situations, your applications may have a shorter life than you had planned.

The 2006 version of technical computing "reality" is an inexpensive dual-core processor from AMD or Intel on a desktop system, or a dual- or quad-core RISC processor from Sun or IBM running on a server. In 2007, we should expect to see inexpensive quad-core processors from AMD and Intel, and processors with up to eight or more cores in 2008. These small symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems will be a far cry from the proprietary $500,000+ SMP systems of a few years ago. This technology transition has big implications for the "democratization" of computing power. On the horizon are four- to eightcore systems that cost only a few thousand dollars and sit on the desk of every design engineer.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Mathematical models, Computer software / hardware, Systems engineering
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Composites Design and Structural Analysis Tool

AFRL researchers developed a unique design and structural analysis tool for composite materials, and they subsequently transitioned their product to manufacturers of helicopters and other rotorcraft. The new tool, the B-Spline Analysis Method (BSAM), makes it quicker and less expensive to characterize and predict the behavior of flaws or damage in the structures used to build these aircraft. AFRL developed the technology in coordination with the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) and the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) and then transitioned it to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

Posted in: Briefs, Materials
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