Some further comments:
Recently, NASA Tech Briefs (June 2010) published an article on a fully printed phased array antenna which used FETS based on carbon nanotubes (CNT's). These operated at 5.2GHz, but were capable of ~100GHz operation at high power. Switching voltage was a low 1.8V while previous flexible FET's required ~50V. The article contained a wealth of performance data. You can find the link here:
Kind of like the "Replicator" of Star Trek fame.
Punch in a demand for a particular part, and wait for it to appear. In this case, the raw materials can be pretty much limited while getting a wide variety of functions out. While the size is currently large, we can expect reductions over time. I would like to see some performance data published on what can be made now.
Way-back-when, I remember getting my first schematic capture program from a company called DataNet. It ran on my IBM AT, and was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
A few years later, I was able to create a state machine in schematic form and receive a simulation, and a file suitable for programming something like an 18CV8. Total magic: stepper motor controller in two (software) steps.
Now it sounds as though we are closing in on the following work flow: define the design via VHDL, schematic, tables; simulate; send it to your desktop printer to be realized in a few minutes in hardware.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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