Smart motes mean new life for 8-bit MCUs Blog 1/31/2005 Post a comment Consider, if you will, the lowly 8-bit microcontroller. To many designers, it is the epitome of the bad old days-the days when not only performance, but I/O configurations and even processor architecture were dominated by the constraints of a minuscule transistor budget. "Never again" might well be the vow of hardware designers and programmers who have wrestled a slow and helpless 8048 or 6805 MCU into a mildly demanding application.
Pocket Convergence Blog 1/27/2005 Post a comment What was once a cell phone is now a cell phone, address book, portable game player, digital camera, camcorder, and GPS location device. Audio MP3 jukebox will be next, followed by video multimedia jukebox, and TV.
Saving energy Power DesignLine Blog 1/25/2005 Post a comment The California Energy Commission (CEC) opened a Rulemaking Proceeding to consider amendments to its current Appliance Efficiency Regulations. Know what your designs need to meet?
Intel's reinvention Blog 1/24/2005 Post a comment Chip giant Intel Corp. went back to the future in a reorg last week that effectively returned the company's ambitions in communications silicon to about 1998. Tucking its wireless and wired comms business units inside the more traditional and successful notebook and server groups, Intel once again looks like a PC giant dabbling in related comms businesses.
Backwards to the future? Power DesignLine Blog 1/24/2005 Post a comment Dr. Frank says that it is inevitable that designs will run out of materials improvements that can be cost-effectively integrated into the manufacturing process, which means we will run out of ways to keep logic voltages from decreasing in proportion to device size. This has some strange implications such as the smallest transistors may not be the most power efficient. What to do?
The Fruits of Networking Automotive DesignLine Blog 1/21/2005 Post a comment I discovered a CD-ROM that should be of interest to just about anyone who drives or has aging parents that drive.
Embedded systems disaster stories Blog 1/21/2005 Post a comment To err is human, to learn from other's mistakes divine. Here in the Soapbox you can go one step further -- learn and share. We challenge you to share your embedded systems programming mistakes, disasters, and near misses whether they pertain to team miscommunication or technical errors.
Opinion Blog 1/17/2005 Post a comment A growing chorus of informed voices is calling for change in the U.S. patent system. Some charge that huge companies protect their markets with massive portfolios of broad patents. A newcomer with limited legal resources, facing the threat of perpetual litigation, could feel compelled to cross-license or even abandon its technology. That punishes innovation instead of rewarding it, violating the very purpose of patents.
Saving the Universe Power DesignLine Blog 1/13/2005 Post a comment Dr. Frank takes us on a journey from the evolution of technology into the distant future, and talks about what life will be like in dozens, hundreds, or billions of years. Is energy finite? Will technology become stagnant? What can we do? Is there hope? He takes us through all these questions and brings us back safely. Good food for thought.
LEDs are Everywhere Power DesignLine Blog 1/13/2005 Post a comment Light emitting diodes were once almost exclusively used as status indicators on circuit boards or control panels. Green was "good," red was "bad." Today LEDs are everywhere. The real question to consider is what new emerging technologies and control schemes will be used to drive these new applications.
It's not a straight line: Computing the Correct Drain to Source Resistance from V-I curves Blog 1/12/2005 Post a comment Is the V-I curve of a MOSFET switch really a straight line as we imagined? The RDSON is clearly a function of the current through the MOSFET. But with the device alternating between peaks and valleys, what current value do we use? We can do a "worst-case analysis" based on the highest RDSON (an instantaneous value) along the V-I curve. But is that value really "worst case", or is it even worse than "worst-case"?! Power supply guru Sanjaya Maniktala celebrates his ann
A fresh perspective Blog 1/10/2005 Post a comment Yes, we do look a little different this week. It's the culmination of a year's worth of hard work and decades of evolution in the information publishing business.
Looking glass Blog 1/10/2005 Post a comment Another year, and January dawns foggy, gray and drizzly. The rebound we enjoyed (did we really enjoy it?) was about as fast as that blackbird that zips by and disappears into the mists.
What's up down the road Automotive DesignLine Blog 1/7/2005 Post a comment The New Year offers anticipated developments in automotive electronics as well as driving the latest offerings that embody them.
How much Moore? Power DesignLine Blog 1/6/2005 Post a comment It's 2005 and blogger extraordinaire Dr. Michael Frank, gazes into his crystal ball and sees a new crop of product and process announcements. He pays homage to Gordon Moore saying "chalk up another success to the Moore-meister," if Intel meets its newest target for the Montecito processor. But, are we ready to move from CMOS processes? None of the candidate post-CMOS technologies seem to be on track to become an economically viable solution. Still, Dr Frank says there are reasons for hope.
The State of World Power Power DesignLine Blog 1/3/2005 Post a comment I must share with you some research information that came across my desk recently from Databeans on the state of power ICs and power management. It just reinforces the raison d'etre of this Power Management DesignLine site and the need for current information and in-depth articles.
A plague on the industry Blog 1/1/2005 Post a comment For years, the semiconductor industry coped with counterfeiting by burying its head in the sand. The word was rarely uttered in the boardroom or to suppliers, and never within earshot of a customer. It was the industry's version of "Don't ask, don't tell."
China's challenges Blog 1/1/2005 Post a comment Founded a mere 20 years ago, Cisco Systems Inc. is an adolescent compared with its older siblings in the electronics industry. But when president and CEO John Chambers speaks, many in the global manufacturing economy pay close attention.
Virtual companies, virtual profits Blog 1/1/2005 Post a comment The primary reason for operating a for-profit enterprise is profit, which is defined as the difference between a product's manufacturing cost and its selling price. Therefore, at least in theory, reducing product costs generates additional profit-and generating profit is a good thing, isn't it?
5 forecasts for '05 Blog 1/1/2005 Post a comment We're midway through the first decade of the new millennium, but first a bit of recent history. 2004 picked up where 2003 left off: The economic recovery continued, with strong corporate earnings and a surging job market. However, unlike '03, political concerns, high oil prices, inflation and the war on terror held equity markets back in '04. Nevertheless, Bush was re-elected and Martha Stewart went to jail, so we're hopefully safe from terrorists and homemaker merchandise moguls.