DSP Meets FPGA: Is Massive Parallelism Enough? Design How-To 11/25/2003 Post a comment The wireless communications technology explosion came at a near-perfect time for FPGA companies with access to leading-edge fabrication technology. Reductions in FPGA feature size to 0.18 micron and below made more gates available as well as less expensive on a per-gate basis. Tighter geometries also gave significant performance boost. Lower operating voltages made the chips less power hungry. But is massive parallelism enough? Jack Shandle takes a look at the advantages and disadvantages of DSP
Reusable architecture is DSP framework Product News 11/24/2003 Post a comment Over a decade ago, fixed-point digital signal processor implementations became available, enabling easy software programmability for different DSP algorithms. Those early DSPs offered limited processing capabilities that could have been used for specific uncomplicated tasks such as voice compression and decompression. Over the years, DSP usage has spread to other applications including audio decoding and encoding, signal modulators and equalizers, different video applications, and advanced vocod
Questions swirl around India's digital-TV road map News & Analysis 11/24/2003 Post a comment The Indian government's decision two years ago to allow the uplink of satellite television broadcasts from within the country is one of many factors driving India toward greater use of digital TV, but opposing factors standing in the way are equally strong and numerous. That's put a good deal of uncertainty, and guesswork, into this country's conversion to DTV broadcasts. K.C. Krishnadas has this report.
First AE-5 Series 32-Bit Smart Card MCU from Renesas Product News 11/24/2003 Post a comment The AE57C is the first product from Renesas Technology Corp.'s AE-5 Series of 32-bit smart card microcontrollers. According to the company it offers approximately four times the , but offers approximately four times the processing performance of the AE-4 Series as it executes one instruction per cycle instead of one instruction in two cycles. The chip comes with 132 KB of EEPROM, the largest memory capacity of any of the company's smart card microcontrollers.
Modular units speed DSP/ARM solutions Product News 11/24/2003 Post a comment LSI Logic Corp.'s newest ZSP processor core module boards are aimed at SoC and platform developers that want to integrate a ZSP500 or ZSP400 based subsystem with any available ARM processor core module. These board-level solutions are said to provide for seamless integration and a rapid prototyping environment for shortened time-to-market for voice, multimedia or wireless applications.
Reaching for the top News & Analysis 11/24/2003 Post a comment Even as demand explodes for flash memory, the technology underlying it is expected by many in the industry to hit a technological wall when scaling to finer widths.
Flextronics unit working on structured array News & Analysis 11/24/2003 Post a comment Flextronics Semiconductor is contemplating a move into structured ASICs to give its customers another avenue to reduce system development costs.
The fabless ASIC company has partnered with start-up eASIC Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based developer of a one-mask metal programmable array that can either be embedded in a cell-based design or used as the base fabric for fast-turnaround ASICs.
ADI's revenue, profits better than expected News & Analysis 11/24/2003 Post a comment Analog Devices Inc. rode the fledgling electronics industry recovery to a solid performance in its latest fiscal quarter, with all segments of the company's operations recording higher-than-expected sales.
AMD makes splash on MPU, fab fronts News & Analysis 11/24/2003 Post a comment Last week was a big one for Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
At Comdex early in the week, Sun Microsystems Inc. announced it has adopted AMD's 64-bit Opteron for new single- and dual-processor servers. According to analyst Nathan Brookwood of Insight64, Saratoga, Calif., Sun executives hinted that the company might use Opteron for Sun workstations, of which roughly a million units are sold each year.
ARM to add software licensing to embedded processor lineup News & Analysis 11/24/2003 Post a comment The company whose name is almost synonymous with 32-bit embedded processors is out to prove it can do more than spin licensable cores for the chip industry. ARM Ltd. said last week it will start licensing software for Java-based smart cards. The company separately announced it had donated transaction-level models for its ARM11 core to the Open SystemC Initiative.
2-mm connector delivers high bandwidth Product News 11/24/2003 Post a comment Designed for 100-ohm differential pair signal transmission, ITT Industries, Cannon's new Tempus-HS 4000 2-mm backplane connector delivers increased bandwidth and reduced crosstalk for high-speed systems such as Serial ATA II. Produced under license from FCI, the new series is a second-source drop-in replacement for FCI's HS4000 products.
Connectors offer safety Product News 11/24/2003 Post a comment Designed for applications where user access to an energized connector is not otherwise protected, the new Powerpole 15/45 Finger Proof connectors from Anderson Power Products (APP) minimize potential contact with live contacts by preventing finger access when the connector is unmated. The connectors meet the accessibility protection requirements of IEC IP20 and UL1977 sec 10.2.
Film cap offers wide capacitance values Product News 11/24/2003 Post a comment A new series of compact, lead (Pb)-free electromagnetic interference suppression film capacitors from Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. combines a wide range of capacitance values with pitch sizes down to 7.5 mm.
RF SAW filter touts small size Product News 11/24/2003 Post a comment AVX Corp. claims its new series of surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters for mobile phones features the industry's smallest chip scale package (CSP) RF SAW filter. The SF16 device measures 1.6 mm x 1.4 mm x 0.6 mm.
Enter the Inner Sanctum of RapidIO: Part 2 News & Analysis 11/24/2003 Post a comment Since its inception, the RapidIO specification has evolved and undergone a number of enhancements to meet the ever more sophisticated control and data plane interconnect needs of today's communication designers. This two-part set provides an updated view of the spec, highlighting traditional and new RapidIO capabilities.
Processors Begin 64-bit Push Product News 11/23/2003 Post a comment At the Microprocessor
Forum IBM unveiled its first 64-bit PowerPC microprocessor,
one of 18 new computer, embedded or network processors
detailed the event.
Choosing the Best Microcontrol Solution Still Requires Flexiblity Product News 11/22/2003 Post a comment As embedded applications become more complex and offer more functions, microcontrollers makers need to
keep up with the changes. In the past, the answer has been to integrate as much
as possible on to a single chip and drive the process technology smaller to keep
cost under control. But as Microchip Technology's Fanie Duvenhage explains, this philosophy does not always provide the best
and most cost-effective solution for embedded control.
Intermediate bus converters roll on 8-, 9.6-volt routes Product News 11/22/2003 Post a comment Celestica Inc. touts its IBC series as the first off-the-shelf DC/DC converters to provide 8- and 9.6-volt intermediate bus voltages for computing and telecom applications. Working from a 36-55 volt input, the IBC series provides 4:1, 5:1, and 6:1 step-downs, thus establishing 12, 9.6, and 8-volt outputs, respectively.
Modular power system steps up to the central office Product News 11/22/2003 Post a comment Valere Power's new Modular DC Power System, the first product of its kind for the company, is targeted at central office and wireless telecom applications that require from 800 to 20,000 amps. Leveraging the company's patented high-efficiency power conversion technology that, overall, delivers systems that are half the size of typical installations and cut heat dissipation by one-third, the Modular DC Power System can be configured to offer 800 amps in half a telecom rack.
Flextronics unit working on structured array News & Analysis 11/22/2003 Post a comment Flextronics Semiconductor is contemplating a move into structured ASICs, and has partnered with start-up eASIC Inc., developer of a one-mask metal programmable array that can either be embedded in a cell-based design or used as the base fabric for fast-turnaround ASICs.
Power chip drives point-of-load applications Product News 11/22/2003 Post a comment Texas Instruments' TPS54350 is the newest addition to the company's SWIFT (switcher with integrated FET technology) family, a 3-amp, nominal 15-watt DC/DC (non-isolated) PWM buck converter suitable for point-of-load applications. Working from a 4.5- to 20-volt input, the converter is especially useful for powering DSP, FPGA, and microprocessors directly from a mid-voltage bus, versus an additional low-voltage bus.
QuickLogic touts products as resistant to reverse engineering News & Analysis 11/21/2003 Post a comment With increasing amounts of intellectual property being put into FPGAs, QuickLogic Corp. is attacking the question of design security on two fronts.
Touting its antifuse-based FPGAs and Embedded Standard Products as resistant to reverse engineering, QuickLogic has set up a Website to promote awareness and offer potential solutions to IP theft.
FPGA configures DSP core in imaging app News & Analysis 11/21/2003 Post a comment When Intevac developed the embedded electronic systems for NightVista, a compact, high-performance, ultralow-light camera, the first approach was built around a Texas Instruments DSP.
FPGA algorithm tunes gray, color images Design How-To 11/21/2003 Post a comment For both gray-scale and color image applications in an FPGA, we have implemented block truncation coding (BTC), a lossy image-compression algorithm with proven value in applications that don't require exact reconstruction of the original image.