Exploring Optical and Magnetic Sensors News & Analysis 6/30/2003 Post a comment Sensors provide the windows through which microprocessor-based systems can observe their environment. Optical and magnetic sensors are used to detect the
presence, absence, or motion of an object. Stuart Ball
looks at these two broad classes of sensors, their applications, and how they interface to processors.
Intel upgrades server processors News & Analysis 6/30/2003 Post a comment Intel Corp. is shipping on Monday (June 30) its first Itanium 2 processor to be made in the company's 130 nanometer process technology. The so-called Madison chip hits 1.5 GHz speeds and packs a whopping 6 Mbytes of integrated level three cache.
AMD rolls out expanded Opteron processor line News & Analysis 6/30/2003 Post a comment Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Monday expanded its Opteron 64-bit server line to include for the first time processors for four-to-eight way servers, as well as a low-end uniprocessor family for workstations and one-way servers.
Intel's new Itanium 2 gets 0.13 treatment News & Analysis 6/30/2003 Post a comment Intel Corp. today will commence shipping its first Itanium 2 processor to be made in the company's 0.13-micron process technology. Called Madison, the chip hits 1.5GHz speeds and integrates a whopping 6Mbytes of Level 3 cache.
IR to offer entire product line in die form News & Analysis 6/30/2003 Post a comment International Rectifier Corp. last week moved to increase revenue by offering to make all its power management ICs and discrete products available to customers in die form. A dedicated business group will support the new program.
Hynix exercises modesty before ITC News & Analysis 6/30/2003 Post a comment Two weeks ago, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. was touting its 512Mbit DDR400 as the first such memory chip to win validation from Intel Corp. However, last week in a turnaround, Hynix was telling the U.S. International Trade Commission that it was "further behind in technology" than any of its three major DRAM rivals.
Chips sales higher as SARS effects wane News & Analysis 6/29/2003 Post a comment The global semiconductor market grew 10% in May from the year-ago month as the Asia-Pacific market began shaking off the disruptive effects of the SARS virus, which curtailed sales in the prior months.
Military Technologies: The Push and the Challenge News & Analysis 6/27/2003 Post a comment Military budgets are growing at rates not experienced since the Cold War, rooted in concern over world events and potential threats to US and international security. This article provides an overview of the trends in Military systems spending that is driving the procurement of sophisticated systems. These systems create challenges for military systems designers, with system testing being paramount to maximizing mission success.
Ethernet hits the auto factory floor News & Analysis 6/27/2003 Post a comment General Motors Corp.'s decision to use Ethernet on the floor of a new automotive engine plant opening in July in Tonawanda, N.Y., points to the incremental progress of Ethernet in factory automation, but also to its shortcomings.
Sun seeks new route to real-time Linux News & Analysis 6/27/2003 Post a comment A Sun Microsystems spin-off is rolling out embedded software that puts Linux on the same board with a real-time microkernel. Jaluna, thus, can deliver "real-time [capability], availability and security," three ingredients now missing from the Linux operating system, said chief executive officer Michel Gien.
Microstepper chip handles autocruise Product News 6/27/2003 Post a comment AMI Semiconductor's AMIS-30621 is a microstepping motor driver for remote and multiple-axis positioning applications such as those involved in automotive headlamp leveling and swiveling, cruise control and idle control.
Dc/dc boasts 5% boost in efficiency Product News 6/27/2003 Post a comment Fairchild Semiconductor's FDS7066SN3 is the first in a new family of MOSFETs using the company's flip-leaded molded package and SyncFET technology to improve overall efficiency in synchronous dc/dc buck converters by up to 5 percent.
Full-bridge driver tuned for auto apps Product News 6/27/2003 Post a comment Targeting automotive and industrial markets, Allegro Microsystems Inc.'s A3940 predriver IC for large-brush dc motors provides four high-current gate-drive outputs capable of driving a wide range of n-channel power MOSFETs.
IPv6 on a Microcontroller News & Analysis 6/27/2003 Post a comment One of the driving forces behind the move from IPv4 to IPv6 has been low-cost embedded devices, which are going
online at an accelerating pace. But shoehorning the full IPv6 suite of protocols
into a small 8-bit microcontroller is an extreme sport of the first order. Here
are some tips from someone who's done that successfully.
Hynix adopts modest demeanor before ITC hearing panel News & Analysis 6/27/2003 Post a comment Hynix Semiconductor downplayed its market and technology strengths during a hearing of the International Trade Commission in an effort to convince the ITC that a series of loans alleged to have been orchestrated by the Korean government did not give it an unfair advantage over U.S. DRAM makers. The hearing will determine whether a nearly 45% tariff assessed by the U.S. Commerce Department earlier this month should be upheld.
Advanced DSP Supports Home Theater and Surround-Sound Audio: Part 1 News & Analysis 6/27/2003 Post a comment All home theater systems depend on some form of DSP to increase fidelity, expand the number of audio channels, and enhance the "you-are-there" experience of DVD movies and audio. Analog Devices' engineers explain the decoding algorithms the processor must handle in part one of this two-part tutorial.
Techniques to make clock switching glitch free News & Analysis 6/26/2003 1 comment Clock switching can cause glitches, but there are ways to avoid them. Rafey Mahmud, applications engineer at Altera, presents two methods for avoiding glitches at output clock lines in this tutorial article.
Using "Empty Space" for IC Congestion Relief News & Analysis 6/26/2003 Post a comment In past technologies, the ratio between device size and minimum wire width
and spacing was large enough to reserve enough routing resources, so the
fixed-die approach yielded nearly 100% utilization. However, in today's deep
submicron technologies, shrinking device size no longer reserves enough wire
tracks to complete the routing. Hence, wire area has become a major factor in
completing a design. It is not uncommon that more than half of the modern chip
is occupied by "white space" or "in
I2C Bus Controller News & Analysis 6/26/2003 Post a comment A new parallel to serial interface I2C bus controller introduced by Royal Philips Electronics operates at 400 kHz and at voltages of 3.3V to 2.5 V. Designated PCA9564 it is optimized for interfacing microprocessors (MPUs), microcontrollers (MCUs) and DSPs with multiple I2C devices or SMBus components.
IPv4 Benchmarking: Fairly Comparing NPU Beasts News & Analysis 6/26/2003 Post a comment To help vendors fairly evaluate NPUs from different vendors, the NPF has standardized an IPv4 benchmarking scheme. Here's a look at why IPv4 was chosen as well as a look inside the key parameters laid for evaluating NPUs.
Serial 8-bit data programs digital pot for logarithmic control News & Analysis 6/25/2003 Post a comment The Winbond WMS720x series is a family of 256 linear step, software controlled digital potentiometers. Some applications require logarithmic steps however, for example an audio volume control. The relatively large number of steps available in the WMS720x series allows us to use software to approximate logarithmic operation in that kind of application. This feature will investigate how this may be done, present a solution and will analyze the step accuracy inherent in the application.
Programmable power manager IC sequences multiple voltages News & Analysis 6/25/2003 Post a comment Increasingly, inter-device communication standards also require the use of a variety of I/O supply voltages - all different from the core operating voltage. These factors result in devices, cards and systems with multiple power supply requirements. Sequencing becomes an issue. A Lattice Semiconductor engineer shows how multiple supply rails can be ramped up using a programmable analog device.
Lattice Spins 10-Gbit Transceiver Chip News & Analysis 6/25/2003 Post a comment Lattice Semiconductor Corp. this week will unwrap a transceiver chip that moves data at 10 Gbits/second, considered the luxury class among off-the-shelf
transceivers. Lattice becomes the second programmable-logic vendor, after Xilinx Inc., to move into standalone serializer/deserializer transceivers as a way to gain
sockets in networking equipment.
Jury Still Out for EDA Industry on Structured ASICs News & Analysis 6/25/2003 Post a comment Structured ASICs are generating an enormous buzz in the silicon design world,
promising lower mask and tool costs, faster time-to-market and performance
comparable to standard-cell ASICs with the design simplicity of FPGAs. But it
remains to be seen whether the new business will prove to be the next big avenue
of growth or a dead end for electronic design automation.
EDA Quality Remains Elusive Goal News & Analysis 6/25/2003 Post a comment Like jumbo shrimp and military intelligence, the term "EDA quality" is an oxymoron for most working
engineers. Electronic design automation companies are forever trying to catch up
with Moore's Law by writing quality code to address the complex nuances of chip
design. But for many tool makers today, the quality summit remains as elusive a
goal as Mount Everest's peak once was for climbers.b
AMD cuts 2Q revenue forecast 14%, blames SARS News & Analysis 6/24/2003 Post a comment Advanced Micro Devices Inc. today slashed its second quarter revenue forecast 14% blaming the poorer-than-expected performance on the SARS virus outbreak, which led to weak PC and wireless handset sales in Asia.
Analog Devices makes wireless play News & Analysis 6/23/2003 Post a comment Analog Devices Inc. last week rolled out new versions of its TigerSharc DSPs that it said combine the raw performance and embedded memory necessary to build the "first true software-defined radio" for wireless basestation applications.
In conjunction with unveiling of EE Timesí Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. One of Silicon Valley's great contributions to the world has been the demonstration of how the application of entrepreneurship and venture capital to electronics and semiconductor hardware can create wealth with developments in semiconductors, displays, design automation, MEMS and across the breadth of hardware developments. But in recent years concerns have been raised that traditional venture capital has turned its back on hardware-related startups in favor of software and Internet applications and services. Panelists from incubators join Peter Clarke in debate.