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posted in November 2010
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Falling IC development productivity means lost engineering jobs
Blog  
11/30/2010   23 comments
Steadily declining IC development productivity means more job losses for engineers in the U.S. and Europe to their less expensive counterparts in second-world economies. And the trend is accelerating as chip design complexity outpaces gains in productivity.
Report: Broadcom acquires Israeli firm
News & Analysis  
11/30/2010   1 comment
Broadcom last week acquired Israeli image processing vendor Sightic Vista for between $10 million and $20 million, according to the online, English-language version of Israeli business daily Globes.
Soitec, Sumitomo to develop GaN substrates
News & Analysis  
11/30/2010   Post a comment
Semiconductor manufacturing materials vendors Soitec and Sumitomo Electric Industries said they are working together to develop engineered gallium nitride substrates.
Semtech rolls industry's first smart current sink LED backlighting platform
Product News  
11/30/2010   Post a comment
Semtech Corp. has launched industry’s first smart current sink LED backlighting platform with on-chip digital lighting effects for high-end handheld displays. The new platform incorporates Semtech’s smart Automatic Dropout Prevention (ADP) technology for high-quality current sink drivers that can replace boost converters and charge pumps in high-end handhelds, while providing high-quality display backlighting.
Setting up power-supply OR'ing controllers (Part 3 of 3)
Design How-To  
11/30/2010   Post a comment
This book excerpt explains approaches and algorithms when using redundant controllers, in the context of Lattice Semiconductor's just published book on power-supply issues
QuickLogic’s DPO technology extends single-charge battery life by up to 36% in handheld devices
Product News  
11/30/2010   1 comment
Display Power Optimizer (DPO) technology from QuickLogic increases battery life in every system tested, regardless of form-factor or display size.
VLSI cuts estimates for chip, tool markets
News & Analysis  
11/30/2010   Post a comment
This year has been a "two for one deal," with both semiconductors and chip manufacturing equipment cramming two years of growth into one year, resulting in overcapacity and declining chip prices, according to market research firm VLSI Research.
Awesome! Two amazing books for free!
Blog  
11/30/2010   14 comments
Did you see my reviews of the books uC/OS-III The Real-Time Kernel by Jean Labrosse and uC/TCP-IP by Christian Légaré? Well, I just heard how you can get FREE copies of both these works…
Bridging the gap between custom ASICs and ARM-based MCU designs
Design How-To  
11/30/2010   2 comments
Mark Saunders of Cypress reviews the advantages of combining features of ASIC-based System-on-chips and MCU-based application specific standard products and how programmable SoCs can be used to achieve this goal.
Book Review: uC/TCP-IP by Christian Légaré
Engineer’s Bookshelf  
11/30/2010   2 comments
I have to say that I am very, VERY impressed with the quality of books that are being written by the folks at Micriµm – the one I just finished reading on TCP-IP still has my head buzzing!
Intersil Li-ion battery manager IC ensures performance and safety
Product News  
11/30/2010   Post a comment
Device emphasizes accuracy, diagnostics, and robust communication.
Maxim's MAXQ7670A lowers cost for precision sensor apps in automotive and industrial
Product News  
11/30/2010   Post a comment
The MAXQ7670A from Maxim Integrated Products is a mixed-signal microcontroller that integrates all the functions needed to accurately measure small-amplitude differential analog input signals.
'Universal' memory? Not exactly...
News & Analysis  
11/30/2010   8 comments
With DRAM and flash scaling set to hit a wall, the race is on to find the all-purpose memory. But the contest is shaping up to be a marathon.
Big score for TriQuint GaN program
RF & Microwave Designline Blog  
11/30/2010   4 comments
I just heard from TriQuint that they scored a $17.5M GaN manufacturing development contract form the US Air Force Research Laboratory.
AMS, NXP team up for RFID authentification
Product News  
11/30/2010   6 comments
Analog chip company Austriamicrosystems AG and Dutch company NXP Semiconductors NV have announced that they have developed a reference design for product authentication in embedded consumer applications.
Built-in MEMS resonators beat quartz
News & Analysis  
11/30/2010   6 comments
SiTime is offering world's first real-time clock resonator that can be wirebonded inside a semiconductor vendor's package thereby eliminating the need for external quartz crystals.
COM Express FPGA Starterkit enables extremely flexible I/O
Product News  
11/30/2010   Post a comment
Kontron's COM Express FPGA Starterkit features the Altera Cyclone IV GX FPGA and provides all the required components to evaluate board designs with open-definable I/Os.
Linear Technology's LTC2165, LTC2185 and LTC2195 analog-to-digital converters
Product News  
11/30/2010   Post a comment
Linear Technology launched three families of low power 16-bit, 25Msps to 125Msps ADCs that it claims dissipate approximately half the power of competing 16-bit products.
The 450-mm development dilemma
Blog  
11/30/2010   3 comments
The semiconductor capital equipment industry has still not recouped $14 billion in investment in 300-mm wafer processing technology and is not prepared to develop 450-mm tools.
What comes next after smartphones?
Blog  
11/30/2010   8 comments
Where will the underlying wave of technological and commercial innovation strike next in smartphones?
Active balancing boosts HEV/EV Li-ion battery utilization: Part 2—Methods
Design How-To  
11/29/2010   5 comments
Popular active balancing methods are reviewed and details given of a unique active cell balancing battery management system.
Active balancing boosts HEV/EV Li-ion battery utilization: Part 1—Range anxiety alleviated
Design How-To  
11/29/2010   Post a comment
Passive balancing has dominated Li-ion battery packs in the past. Economic pressures are forcing automotive OEMs to choose more advanced, active balancing systems to squeeze out every drop of energy from the battery pack to mitigate range anxiety.
ESL, FPGAs, and configurability
Blog  
11/29/2010   1 comment
Here’s a taxonomy for ESL and FPGAs that will hopefully prevent definitions from becoming as word- distorted and confused as they have become in so many other areas of EDA.
From RTL to GDSII in Just Six Weeks!
Blog  
11/29/2010   37 comments
The amazing story of how one man single-handedly invented a new computing architecture, designed a multi-million-gate SoC, and went from RTL to GDSII tapeout in just six weeks.
austriamicrosystems AS1310 DC-DC converter
Product News  
11/29/2010   2 comments
austriamicrosystems has introduced the AS1310, an ultra low quiescent current hysteretic step-up DC-DC converter optimized for light loads (60mA) and the highest efficiency – up to 92 %.
Allegro Microsystems SX68000M series motor drivers
Product News  
11/29/2010   Post a comment
Allegro MicroSystems is housing its latest high voltage three-phase motor driver family in a small package that minimizes board space and expands the use of inverter technology in low power motor drivers.
LatticeECP3 low-cost FPGA supports Broadcom HiGig protocol
Product News  
11/29/2010   1 comment
The folks at Lattice Semiconductor have just announced the immediate availability of the HiGig MAC IP core for their low-cost LatticeECP3 FPGA family.
NIST aims quartz microbalance at nanotech
News & Analysis  
11/29/2010   4 comments
Using a new twist on the traditional thermogravimetric analysis technique, the National Institute of Standards and Technology demonstrated a new method for taking Nanoscale measurements of the purity of carbon-nanotubes, coated-nanoparticles and surface features on thin films.
Marvell claims victory over Jasmine Networks
News & Analysis  
11/29/2010   Post a comment
A California jury rejected misappropriation of trade secrets allegations against Marvell Technology Group in a suit brought by Jasmine Networks nearly 10 years ago, Marvell said .
Inside Xbox 360’s Kinect controller
Teardown  
11/29/2010   7 comments
The Kinect sensor peripheral for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 puts players in the game by eliminating the game controller, thanks to PrimeSense’s reference design.
Analyst: NAND flash market to grow 16% in 2011
News & Analysis  
11/29/2010   6 comments
NAND flash memory sales revenue will grow 16 percent to reach $21.5 billion in 2011, according to DRAMexchange.
Wireless for medical applications
Design How-To  
11/29/2010   3 comments
Providing better healthcare, for more patients, at lower cost is an ongoing mission. It sounds simple, but as we’re all well aware, it’s a daunting task.
Inside offers NFC system-in-package for mobile
Product News  
11/29/2010   1 comment
Smart card IC company Inside Contactless SA has launched its SecuRead system-in-package for NFC mobile devices.
Altium expands European team
News & Analysis  
11/29/2010   Post a comment
Altium Ltd. announced it has strengthened business activities across EMEA.
Texas Instruments 12-bit, 8-channel DAC7678 DAC
Product News  
11/29/2010   Post a comment
TI’s 8-channel DAC from TI provides low power and high accuracy in a small package.
Intuitive HMI designs – microcontroller solutions optimized for touch and display control
Design How-To  
11/29/2010   5 comments
There is an increasing demand to improve the human machine interface (HMI) design with innovative touch control to make it more intuitive, robust and cost efficient. With inTouch Infineon provides cost-effective and optimized microcontroller solutions for fast time-to-market HMI designs.
Diagnostic, patient monitoring, and therapy applications guide
Design How-To  
11/29/2010   Post a comment
This whitepaper features technical information for various patient monitoring, diagnostic and therapeutic applications including digital stethoscopes, patient monitors, ECG, EEG, pulse oximetry, ventilation, CPAP, dialysis machines, infusion pumps, and AED.
CEA-Leti unveils HgCdTe array for defense, security apps
Product News  
11/29/2010   Post a comment
CEA-Leti has developed an infrared imaging array in the 8-10µm band capable of returning an image with a minimum temperature difference, or thermal resolution, of 1 to 2mK, at ambient temperature and with traditional image cadences of 25-50 Hertz.
CTO confirms IBM's PCM expectations
News & Analysis  
11/29/2010   17 comments
Jai Menon, an IBM Fellow and chief technology officer with IBM's systems and technology group, has confirmed that IBM believes that phase-change memory (PCM), a non-volatile technology, could scale beyond where flash memory can go and could be of use in server computers in three to five years.
Rockchip, SMIC make 65-nm consumer SoC
News & Analysis  
11/29/2010   6 comments
Fabless chip company Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co. Ltd. has started commercial production of a mixed-signal ARM9-based consumer processor using a 65-nm CMOS process from Chinese foundry SMIC.
Debug: More return for less clicks
Blog  
11/29/2010   6 comments
The tremendous growth of the semiconductor industry over the past 40 years is in part attributed to advancements of the EDA industry that caters to chip design companies. Although most design steps have been automated, a significant aspect that still remains primitive is that of RTL debugging.
Duo designs ultrasound platform
News & Analysis  
11/29/2010   Post a comment
Samplify Systems and Telemed Ltd. announced an alliance to jointly develop and market an ultrasound system for medical electronics companies.
Social media for engineers: good or garbage?
RF & Microwave Designline Blog  
11/28/2010   31 comments
Two weeks ago, I attended an EDAC panel session on Social Media for emerging companies to learn from the big guys.The insightful take-away… Engineers hate Twitter!
Interworking between WLANs and 3G - Part 4: Local and multichannel multipoint distribution service
Design How-To  
11/28/2010   Post a comment
Part 4 of an excerpt from the book "Wireless Communications & Networking" concludes with a discussion of the local multipoint distribution system (LMDS) and multichannel multipoint distribution system (MMDS).
Move over RC: silicon timing has you beat
Design How-To  
11/27/2010   Post a comment
Using an RC-circuit comes with a number of significant limitations. This, however, is about to change with the emergence of a new class of timing devices, based on silicon oscillator technology.
Boeing Dreamliner's travails yields lessons for most engineers
Blog  
11/27/2010   18 comments
The technical challenges and problems of the Boeing 787 show that progress can't be scripted
Establishing industry endurance standards for solid-state storage
Design How-To  
11/27/2010   6 comments
While HDDs use standard methods for determining overall reliability ratings based on mean time between failure (MTBF) or annualized failure rates (AFR), SSDs are just now establishing a standardization process. Testing with a validated format is critical for any OEM provider of enterprise servers or client-based systems that will integrate SSDs.
Toshiba to source rare-earths from Mongolia
News & Analysis  
11/26/2010   17 comments
Toshiba Corp. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mongolia's MNFCC LLC agreeing to discussions on cooperation in the development of Mongolia's mineral resources, including uranium, rare earth and rare metals products.
Lockheed Martin uses ALT Software's safety critical graphics SW
News & Analysis  
11/26/2010   Post a comment
ALT Software Inc. said it has signed a contract with Lockheed Martin to provide embedded graphics display drivers and hardware support for the company's next generation avionics hardware.
Infineon supplying power chips to Tesla, says report
News & Analysis  
11/26/2010   13 comments
Infineon Technologies AG is supplying power chips for electric cars from 2003 startup Tesla Motors Inc., according to a Bloomberg report that quotes Infineon CEO Peter Bauer.
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Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer

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Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer
7 comments
A future engineer shares his impressions of a recent tour of top schools and offers advice on making the most of the time-honored tradition of the college road trip.

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Max Maxfield
20 comments
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Larry Desjardin

Engineers Should Study Finance: 5 Reasons Why
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41 comments
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Karen Field
151 comments
Steve Jobs allegedly got his start by dumpster diving with the Computer Club at Homestead High in the early 1970s.

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