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Duane Benson
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Duane Benson   2/13/2014 4:27:20 PM
I'm enjoying watching the transition from exclusively hobby to a mix of hobby and commercial application. I wonder if the Arduino folks ever thought their education board would become a viable commercial embedded platform.

It's not totally totally there yet, but it's getting closer.

David Ashton
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Arduinos et al
David Ashton   2/13/2014 4:18:19 PM
I used to think that a lot of the fun had gone out of electronics because it had gone so far beyond taking (eg) a 555 and a handful of components and making them do something good on a PCB or veroboard.  But really, things like the Arduino are today's 555s.  They're a component in themselves and if you treat them as such you can have just as much, if not more, fun.  And as pointed out above, their universality and the heaps of code written for them makes them just as good for professional applications.

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"...or do you think they belong only in hobby projects?" Don't denigrate hobbyist
paul.dillien   2/13/2014 3:36:37 PM
How many readers of these pages started out playing with electronics as a hobby and then went on to "catch the bug" and are now professional engineers?

Max The Magnificent
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Re: It's the economy stu#%&d!
Max The Magnificent   2/13/2014 12:40:17 PM
@Garcia: ...we are talking about open-hardware designs. In this way, if the production volume increases to a high enough level, you can always take the design files and build your own PCBs.

That's a really good point -- I'd forgotten that all of the Arduino hardware was open-source.

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Steampunk exhibit
alwaysalearner   2/13/2014 12:22:16 PM
I just finished up your blog article, Using Arduinos for Real-World Embedded Applications. Great article and thank you for including the tip about the Steampunk Springfield exhibit. I have to admit I don’t know much about Steampunk but my motto is life is about continuous learning. I’m always on the lookout for cool and different exhibits and I’ll have to try to coordinate a day trip to Springfield.

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It's the economy stu#%&d!
Garcia-Lasheras   2/13/2014 12:18:44 PM
I think Mark is really pointing in the right way when talking about the problem of building your own custom PCB when there is not a huge production involved.

When the number of units to be built is low, not only you cannot justify the manufacturing costs, but also the R&D and testing process too.

But, of course, we are talking about open-hardware designs. In this way, if the production volume increases to a high enough level, you can always take the design files and build your own PCBs.

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As data rates begin to move beyond 25 Gbps channels, new problems arise. Getting to 50 Gbps channels might not be possible with the traditional NRZ (2-level) signaling. PAM4 lets data rates double with only a small increase in channel bandwidth by sending two bits per symbol. But, it brings new measurement and analysis problems. Signal integrity sage Ransom Stephens will explain how PAM4 differs from NRZ and what to expect in design, measurement, and signal analysis.

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