patrick.mannion

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Founder, CEO

Hi, I'm brand director for UBM Tech, Electronics, including EETimes, EDN, Planet Analog, EBN, Embedded, TechOnline,& Datasheets.com, where I'm responsible for ensuring the brands remain true to their promise to the communities they serve, both sponsors and members/users. Since graduating with an National Diploma in Electronic Engineering in 1987 (Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland), I've been either doing or covering technology, design, and learning and have a passion for developing ideas, content and platforms that help engineers and innovators connect and get from concept to reality as quickly as possible -- and have a little fun in the process. When not thinking about that, I like to explore the boundaries of my wife's patience and tease my two little ones til they cry'uncle'and can't take it anymore. That makes business travel a lot more attractive for everyone involved. I also like running, lots of music, reading (philosophy, biographies, mostly), hiking, home improvement (technology and reconstruction), playing with media, and gadgets.

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    • The ADE7953 energy metering IC for single-phase meter configurations measures active, reactive and apparent energy along with rms voltage and current. It also provides neutral-current measurements that help designers develop tamper-proof smart meters.

    • The FitBit personal fitness monitor combines wireless, MEMS and cutting-edge algorithms and packaging to keep us in shape, but behind its sleek design are lessons for any designer and aspiring inventor looking to turn what seems to be a simple idea into a truly viable, competitive end product.

    • The good folks at Prosig, a data capture and analysis systems company, compiled a collection of what they consider to be the most interesting examples of noise, vibration and acoustic examples and applications. We happen to agree! A couple are educational, some are of technical interest and some are just LOUD! Enjoy!

    • The team at Prosig compiled 10 great links on Fourier transforms, starting with a classic intro by their technical editor Dr. Colin Mercer. The series covers everything from beginners' guides to reference pages. Enjoy!

    • Microchip Technology and Cymbet have partnered to provide the XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit, a customizable energy-harvesting application development kit with a modular development board populated with the PIC24F16KA102 microcontroller—featuring eXtreme Low Power—and the capability to add PICtail daughter boards for the rapid evaluation of a wide variety of system functions, including ZigBee and proprietary wireless connectivity, and SD memory cards.

    • Microchip Technology and Cymbet have partnered to provide the XLP 16-bit Energy Harvesting Development Kit, a customizable energy-harvesting application development kit with a modular development board populated with the PIC24F16KA102 microcontroller—featuring eXtreme Low Power—and the capability to add PICtail daughter boards for the rapid evaluation of a wide variety of system functions, including ZigBee and proprietary wireless connectivity, and SD memory cards.

    • It started well: Wade Patterson, president and CEO of Synapse Wireless, used his opening remarks at Wednesday’s ESC Chicago keynote address to outline how a wireless embedded network OS has fundamentally changed the game with regard to ubiquitous wireless connectivity, thus enabling 27.6 billion devices to talk to each other, potentially via 140 characters or less a la Twitter. Then reality set in.

    • It’s funny how you never realize how much something has woven itself into the fabric of your life until you sit down and try and figure out the best way to smash it to smithereens.

    • A casual encounter at the right time sends an imaginative and driven, out "of-shape engineer on a journey of passion, frustration, learning, marriage, birth " and the on-going struggle for mental and emotional survival against all the odds. There are many like him, but help is available.

    • From debatable audiophile psychoacoustics to the realizable goal of 40-Gbit/second mezzanine interfaces, the electromechanical innovations required to transfer charge efficiently and reliably are matched only by the questionable marketing necessary to maintain differentiation in an area that is at once both critical and commoditized.

    • We were brainstorming on ideas for the up-coming EETimes Digital Edition on Alternative Energy (mark your calendar: it debuts June 7th) and I realized after just a few minutes that it's really hard to discuss Alternative Energy without raising political hackles, no matter how much you try and focus on the engineering aspects.

    • Recent moves regarding ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Google have greatly increased the opportunities for designers of embedded systems, once they overcome the many issues associated with embedded wireless, from determinism to FCC regulations to rising concerns regarding security.

    • Few areas have the ability to turn the cold science of metrology into pure art as quickly as medical diagnostics, and few systems embody the essence of this art as the Radical-7 Signal Extraction Pulse-CO Oximeter from Masimo. We go deep inside to uncover some of the secrets and design choices, that transform a box of ICs into a cutting-edge, life-saving system.

    • While the new multicore system on chip (SoC) signal-processing architecture announced by Texas Instruments this week at Mobile World Congress hits all the right notes with respect to what's needed in next-generation basestation designs, it rings a bit hollow given how sketchy the architectural details remain when contrasted with more 'real' announcements from the likes of Freescale.

    • To support his update on the state and future of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for automotive and consumer applications, Jiri Marek, senior vice president of Bosch's sensors division (Germany) used his opening slot at ISSCC's Monday plenary session to describe the first integrated inertial sensor modules, combining yaw rate and acceleration sensor stacked on an ASIC in a molded SOIC16w package.

    • The ethereal concept of cognitive radio will be seeking paths to corporeal form among the many wireless breakthroughs being presented at ISSCC 2010 conference in San Francisco. From highly integrated SAW-less front ends to multistandard, multiband systems on chip to emerging 60-GHz interfaces , the foundational elements of our ubiquitous wireless future will be on display for all to see.

    • The Texas Instruments product management team knew they were on to something as they prepped for the November '09 launch of the eZ430 Chronos low-power wireless MCU development kit, but they had no idea that within weeks it would surpass the 5,000-unit mark and in doing so leave previous kit-launch records in the dust.

    • Pre-CES is always a heady time in the wireless home video space, but never so much as this up-coming event, what with wireless LAN, 60 GHz, ultrawideband, standard and non-standard multimedia distribution schemes vying for attendees' attention--and dollars. So I sat down Asaf Avidan, VP of marketing for 'long-time' UWB chip provider, Wisair, to see where UWB stood--or if it even could find a toehold--in the fray.

    • The top ten EETimes design features of 2009 show the conflicts inherent with grip of C on embedded programmers, the popularity of teardowns and the need for further education, both on the basics as well as cutting-edge design issues such as HDMI/DVI handshaking.

    • To get around the dynamic range issues of current microphone pickups, Schwartz Engineering and Design has devised a laser-based pickup that detects voice-induced 'distortions' in a flowing stream of smoke and that then relies on proprietary digital signal processing to translate those distortions into audio. And it works!

    • Open hardware and software platforms are critical, but Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Networking & Multimedia Group, will use her keynote at this week's EETimes Virtual Conference: Connected Devices to make the case for interface standards between these open platforms to fully enable connected-device developers and their applications.

    • With all the additional multimedia and work-saving functionality smartphones bring to the table, it's easy to lose track of the one basic requirement by which all handsets are ultimately judged: how well they keep that all-important voice link. It turns out that Apple and its iPhone 3G has that angle covered too: better than anyone.

    • Intel faces a tough uphill battle if it wants to compete with ARM in the embedded systems-on-chip applications arena, yet the ultimate winner may be the design and development community where increased levels of abstraction are reducing classic instruction-set independencies.

    • Using the principal of hydrophobia, scientists at IMEC have overcome the problem of making their ultra-low-power 'inch-worm' micro-actuator watertight, thereby opening up a wide range of in-vivo biomedical applications, including recording the activity of individual neurons in the brain.

    • Between government stimulus packages, an aging population, exploding healthcare costs and increasing need for better remote diagnostics, it's understandable that engineers looking for the next big opportunity would look up and cry: "Thars gold in them thar [medical] hills." But not so fast.

    • Between government stimulus packages, an aging population, exploding healthcare costs and increasing need for better remote diagnostics, it's understandable that engineers looking for the next big opportunity would look up and cry: "Thars gold in them thar [medical] hills." But not so fast.

    • The next time you have a great idea for an end product, you should look at bit more closely at your choice of IC: the vendor-as-partner model can do more to realize your idea than any venture capitalist or angel investor ever could--without eating into your long-term profits.

    • In a remote region of Ireland last week I happened upon a monument to Guglielmo Marconi's first commercial wireless transmission: between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle in North Antrim on July 6th. 1898.

    • Buzz Aldrin wasn't the first to "McGuyver" a solution to a difficult problem, but his use of a felt-tip pen to activate a broken circuit breaker to enable the Eagle to blast off from the moon surely ranks as one of the most dramatic.

    • To address better the issues of cost, connectivity, power efficiency and ease of development for industrial, medical, communications and audio applications, Texas Instruments has announced four new processors that add SATA and uPP support and dynamic voltage and frequency scaling to fixed- and floating-point capabilities--with code reusability.

    • Hearing Buzz Aldrin talk at a book signing last night did little to relieve the nagging concern that there may be better ways to invest in our future than space exploration.

    • Tensilica Inc. has announced the ConnX family of DSPs that it is positioning as the best solution yet to meet the performance and cost requirements of 3G and 4G system-on-chip designs. Leading the family out of the gate is the ConnX Baseband Engine for wireless infrastructure, featuring an optimized instruction set with 200 new instructions.

    • Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT) announced the PanelPort VMM1300 ViewXpand chip, claiming the title as the first VESA DisplayPort-based controller providing complete high-definition multi-monitor capability without the need for an additional graphics card.

    • Analog Devices' digital signal processing group has jumped into the vendor-driven engineering community fray with an online community center where designers can get answers to their technical questions either from ADI specialists or their peers.

    • There's been a miracle at Computex: It seems there's have been enough prayers to breath life back into UWB, at least according to second-hand accounts by a remote witness reading show lineups.

    • Emphasizing low power, low cost and greater integration, Texas Instruments has added two devices to its 'C5000 line of digital signal processors that are aimed squarely at battery-driven applications such as headphones, voice, biometrics and portable medical devices.

    • This weekend we go back to the future with the launch of a reinvigorated Star Trek. By all accounts it has most of not all of the elements of the original, amplified by special effects. But can we really go back?

    • For high-end audio it's typically been a choice between Freescale's Symphony, Cirrus Logic's lineup, TI's C6000 or ADI's TigerSharc, but with the OMAP and Blackfin processors getting faster, might they also now be encroaching upon that space and becoming viable options?

    • For years the two excellent architectures from two great companies have vied for your attention. You've looked at them, evaluated them, used them and even (though rarely) crossed back and forth between them. What's your verdict?

    • The general response to any political commentary in a technical outlet is that politics should be kept out of engineering. As one reader put it, engineering is his 'refuge' from the political fray. Amen to that! But not so fast... We're shooting ourselves in the foot!

    • After all the research, development, marketing and debates, Bluetooth was successful. But only as a mobile headset cable replacement. So, is that it?

    • IMEC, the famed Belgian research group is working on new, more-efficient approaches to dynamic, heterogeneous processing across distributed systems and is actively soliciting any and all suggestions as to how it should be done.

    • The TMS320C6743 DSP from Texas Instruments brings floating-point precision and fixed-point performance to energy-efficient, connected applications, all within a single DSP that combines integrated EMAC, increased on-chip memory and offers 100 percent code compatibility with TI's TMS320C6000 devices.

    • Being able to see and resolve the nature of things through a kaleidoscope of mathematical equations is a gift that few of us have. Sure, most engineers have a 'knack' for math. Many of us even enjoy it and spend many hours noodling over arcane matrices, integrals and differentials. But how many truly view the world as a set of math equations?

    • DSP and martial arts have a lot in common. It doesn't matter what tool, hardware or environment you use, having a vision and an understanding of the underlying mechanics needed to get you there is all that matters.

    • Emphasizing low cost, small size, low power and flexibility, Microchip's GS Series digital signal controllers is its effort to increase its share of a digital power market that it believes is going mainstream and will grow at a compound annual rate of 40 percent.

    • Where is $3 trillion in global stimulus money is going? How will it impact and change the mega trends shaping the future of electronics industry? What are the fundamental technologies upon which the success of that industry will depend? Which technologies will lose out? Lisa Su, Freescale's CTO, believes she knows.

    • Broadcom's BCM8727 dual 10 GbE SFI-to-XAUI PHY and BCM8750 dual 10 GbE SFI-to-XFI PHY are DSP-based, low-power, dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) SFP+ physical-layer (PHY) devices in 65-nm CMOS. The devices are designed to enable a low-cost fiber infrastructure upgrade path from 1 to 10 GbE.

    • The WiMedia Alliance is handing over all current and future specification development of its version of ultrawideband to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the Wireless USB Promoter Group and the USB Implementers Forum, then shutting down.

    • After a record-setting 2008, numerous corporate and executive-level awards and then a drop in revenue in Q1 as the downturn hit hard, TriQuint's CEO Ralph Quinsey spent time with EETimes' TechOnline to discuss the company's success and the future of wireless and innovation.

    • It's portion of a $250 billion semiconductor market is marginal, it has only two fabless startups, its innovation record as measured by the number of patents granted is dismal, it suffers from a dearth of Ph.Ds and high attrition rates, what talent it does have is undisciplined and it let China dominate completely in systems manufacturing. But the outlook is good.

    • For many, the concept of energy harvesting is tightly associated with the 'green' movement. While that's certainly one aspect, it overlooks a whole range of applications that have less to do with solving the world's so-called energy crisis and more to do with solving the problem of powering remote or embedded devices -- indefinitely. That is, without wires and without potentially expensive battery replacement, thereby truly cutting the wire.

    • The next time you find a USB memory stick in a parking lot or outside your house, think twice before plugging it in: It could cost you your intellectual property or personal identity. That was the startling alert put out by Adriel Desautels, chief technology officer at anti-hacking specialist firm NetraGard. And it's only the start.

    • Green Hills Software's Integrity-178B operating system has achieved EAL6+ certification, the highest level of proven security for any OS to date. The company is launching Integrity Global Security, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary, to market the OS to the enterprise and government.

    • In his brilliant book "The Post-American World," Newsweek international editor Fareed Zakaria explains how the global attitude toward the United States is changing: "Countries are increasingly interested in themselves—the story of their rise—and pay less attention to the West and the United States. The world is moving from anger to indifference, from anti-Americanism to post-Americanism." That may be an overstatement.

    • The combination of high-power-density piezoelectric element design with a high-efficiency converter takes energy-harvesting out of the lab to address the problem of powering remote and embedded devices.

    • Seventy-six U.S. Nobel Laureates have endorsed Sen. Barack Obama as the U.S. presidential candidate who best understands the importance of science and technology in boosting U.S. competitiveness.

    • With the launch of the Chandrayaan-I lunar module, India demonstrated its geopolitical and economic strength and its potential as a business partner.

    • TechInsights used its Embedded Systems Conference: Bangalore to launch TechOnlineIndia.com amid an ongoing push by that region to develop the hardware design and manufacturing expertise needed to expand beyond its historic dependence on software development—and possibly to compete with China.

    • Connectors, batteries, LCDs and component placement top the failure modes for the Apple iPod and iPhone, as well as the Microsoft Zune, according to mobile device repair specialists Rapid Repair.

    • China's forced deployment of the TD-SCDMA standard is a face-saving effort that will extend the wireless dark ages for its populace, and may, in the end, go down as one of the greatest wastes of engineering capital and resources in the history of wireless.

    • China's forced deployment of the TD-SCDMA standard is a face-saving effort that will extend the wireless dark ages for its populace, and may, in the end, go down as one of the greatest wastes of engineering capital and resources in the history of wireless.

    • For some observers, the performance of the athletes next month will take a backseat to the performance of China's much-anticipated, homegrown 3G wireless network. The time-division, synchronous code-division multiple-access (TD-SCDMA) 3G network began commercial trial rollouts in earnest on April 1. It is scheduled to cover at least 10 Chinese cities in time for the Games, Aug. 8-24

    • China's forced deployment of the TD-SCDMA standard is a face-saving effort that will extend the wireless dark ages for its populace, and may, in the end, go down as one of the greatest wastes of engineering capital and resources in the history of wireless.

    • A close analysis of iPhone 3G's insides shows major wins for Infineon and TriQuint, though it's clear that much of the emphasis this time around less on reinventing the wheel and more on user experience and applications development.

    • Unattractive pricing models from Rogers Wireless and suspicion toward operators in general, combine to drive Canadians away from Apple's 3G iPhone on eve of launch, despite last-minute plan restructuring.

    • When engineers at Pure Digital Inc. sat down a few years back to lay out their next project, they had many of the typical design criteria in mind: low cost, high quality, reasonable size and low power.

    • It was clean-sheet thinking that drove the engineers at Sonos Inc. to brainstorm on a multizone digital music system with a wireless, full-color LCD screen controller.

    • At this week's Freescale Technology Forum, Rich Beyer laid out the corporate, business and technology plans he believes will push the company forward, including a strong emphasis on consumer electronics and embedded processing, pointed particularly at green, health and network-processing applications.

    • If you had the will, the resources and the political clout to build a new Silicon Valley from scratch, how would you do it?

    • I was pretty skeptical about Dubai's efforts to transform itself into a technology hub as I departed for the recent International Electronics Forum . So imagine my surprise when, the very night of my arrival, my conversion began.

    • NXP's Theo Claasen said at the International Electronics Forum in Dubai that there should be at most 50 IC companies, down from the current 450, and that differentiation between them will come not through advanced processes, which should be left to foundries to develop, but through system know how.

    • The 17th International Electronics Forum kicks off today in Dubai, an Emirate energetic in its efforts to become a high-tech hub in a region stereotyped as awash with oil.

    • During the recent Embedded Systems Conference, it occurred to me that twice in as many days I'd heard offhand remarks that slammed home the long-discussed prospect of silicon's irrelevance.

    • Texas Instruments has leveraged its Digital RF Processing (DRP) technology to integrate assisted GPS (A-GPS) capability with Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, ULP and FM to lower power and space requirements on handsets starting in the $70 to $100 range.

    • The designers of the Sonos Digital Music System made four inspired design decisions early on to realize its ground-breaking, multi-room digital audio system, but deep into the design process, even they were humbled by the intricacies of effective wireless system design. See why.

    • There's semiconductor gold to be found in medical, energy and safety apps, and Texas Instruments intends to go after it with a laser-sharp focus on low-power processing and advanced analog/mixed-signal building blocks.

    • The designers of the Flip Ultra digital camcorder turned ease of use into a fine art in this high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost digital video recorder that makes video sharing with sites such as YouTube and MySpace a snap. See how they did it in this feature and accompanying TeardownTV video.

    • From dissertations on the future of the Internet to turning a USB port into an Internet-based wine tap, this selection of both useful and not-so-useful video content should appeal to designers, hobbyists, students and everyone who's ever been ripped off by an auto mechanic.

    • Four weeks from now, the wireless world will have put the horizontal lunacy of CES behind it as it ramps up for its own, vertical show: the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

    • Given their sheer volume, wireless handsets are clearly today's golden socket: One good win and a startup can go strato- spheric, or an established company can write off at least two other losses.

    • While there was a strong demand from readers across the DesignLine network in 2007 for tutorials on electronic fundamentals such as IGBTs, MOSFETs and ADCs, a compilation of the top 10 design features shows an emphasis on wireless applications such as WiMAX and Wi-Fi, as well as video and DSP.

    • Atheros Communications bought all-CMOS GPS chip specialist u-Nav Microelectronics, together with its access to over 175 SiRF patents, for $54 million. The move expands its current portfolio of WLAN, PHS and Bluetooth offerings and allows it to now offer personal navigation and asset-tracking solutions.

    • Engineering interests historically haven't been at the forefront of the political debate, at least not compared with those of, say, farming, law or health care.

    • While digital SLR cameras have drastically improved, a look inside the Sigma SD14 shows what can be done through the blending of advanced image-sensor technology with high-performance, low-power digital signal processing.

    • Ruling that copyright laws do not extend to the functionality of application programming interfaces, an arbitration panel threw out an injunction sought by Express Logic against sales of Green Hills Software's real-time operating system.

    • The reality of an unmanned air vehicle based on a Lego kit was used by the editor in chief of Wired magazine to illustrate the democratization of technology, a phenomenon described in his book The Long Tail.

    • Non-overwriting back-up, simplified distributed computing and better paths to incorporate user-generated customizations are among the improvements to LabView software.

    • An unmanned air vehicle was constructed from a LEGO kit for under $1,000 by the child of Chris Anderson and of Wired Magazine to show how the long-tail effect described in his book of the same name is democratizing technology and changing the very nature of innovation.

    • Non-overwriting backup, simplified distributed computing through better management of shared resource connections and better paths to incorporate user-generated customizations are but three of the improvements to LabView currently swirling around the brain of National Instruments Corp. co-founder and idea man Jeff Kodosky.

    • The designers of the Pioneer VSX-1016-TXV receiver used advanced design techniques and heavy optimization at every stage to realize a mid-range audio/video receiver's quality at the cost of an entry-level system. Find out how.

    • In a competitive landscape with accelerated time to market pressures, increasing cost and performance requirements and global patent-protection concerns, teardowns of ICs and systems have moved from being a hobby or a back-room skunks works activity to being a critical part of the electronics company's 'business intelligence'.

    • Underscoring an industrywide move toward full-platform solutions for handsets--a trend that could have serious implications for second- and third-tier chip suppliers--Texas Instruments Inc. and Ericsson AB have announced that they will co-develop custom 3G handsets that leverage TI's Omap processor line and Ericsson's 3G RF and modem technology.

    • Analysts at Semiconductor Insights (SI) and Portelligent went inside the iPhone to uncover the technologies and companies behind the hottest consumer device on the planet.

    • The semiconductor industry's global opportunities are shifting to "green everything," an aging population and broadband, ubiquitous connectivity, Freescale Semiconductor CEO Michel Mayer said during a keynote address at the company's technology forum here last week.

    • In a time of industry maturation and consolidation, going private made sense for Freescale Semiconductor Inc.--but it's not a permanent situation.

    • Semiconductor Insights kept the video cameras rolling as they dove inside the just-released Apple iPhone to find out what technologies and companies Apple relied on to create what has become the single hottest consumer device on the planet.

    • The next round of game platform redesigns may be four to five years out, but chip and software designers in the areas of wireless, microelectromechanical systems, displays, miniature cameras, sensors, actuators and storage have an opportunity to be part of those multihundred million shipments as platforms respond to user demands by converging on interactivity, connectivity and information display.

    • After tearing down the latest crop of advanced gaming platforms, from the Playstation 3 to the Xbox 360 Elite, analysts at Semiconductor Insights took a scalpel to the original game console: the Atari 2600. See just how far the technology and business models have come.

    • A comparison of gaming platforms, from the original Atari series through to the current crop of Playstation 3s, Wiisand Xbox 360s, shows just how far gaming has come, what the future holds and where the chip and software opportunities may lie.

    • The announcement this week by Sequoia Communications of a single-chip HEDGE transceiver based on polar modulation calls out for an explanation of what polar modulation is all about and how it varies. Find out more in this special feature compilation.

    • In the wake of its Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii video teardowns, Semiconductor Insights kept the cameras rolling as it took apart the new Xbox 360 Elite to see just how Microsoft plans to stay competitive in the hotly contested, three-way gaming platform market.

    • The tearing down of a fully loaded Toyota Prius gets compressed from 7 hours to 1 minute of streaming video.

    • The SDR Forum is now accepting entries for its second annual Smart Radio Challenge, a worldwide competition in which student engineering teams design, develop and test a software defined radio.

    • Nokia has announced the availability of the Open C plug-in extension for the S60 third edition software development kit (SDK). The plug-in simplifies the porting of Linux-targeted open-source projects to Symbian OS-based S60 smartphones and enables increased productivity for developers of mobile applications running on S60 devices.

    • A teardown of the Toyota Prius stole the spotlight last week at the Embedded Systems Conference here, with the culmination of a multistage project that exposed the electronics and design techniques used to create one of the most advanced alternative-energy vehicles to date. Attendees were treated to a dissection of six of the vehicle's most critical electronic subsystems--from the inverter to the entertainment system--to give designers insight into what makes the Prius tick and how its engineers overcame challenges related to energy conversion, heat dissipation, safety, cost, weight, efficiency and navigation.

    • Tatara Systems and picoChip will collaborate on and jointly market all-Internet Protocol solutions for the emerging femtocell market. The deal adds momentum to a fast-rising technology that could compete with cellular-handset-based voice-over-Wi-Fi and upend future cellular basestation deployment and revenue models.

    • Tatara Systems and picoChip today announced a partnership to collaborate on and jointly market all-IP solutions for the femtocell market. The deal adds momentum to a growing femtocell market that could seriously impact cellular-handset-based voice over Wi-Fi as well as future cellular basestation deployment and revenue models.

    • The poor performance of the Wi-Fi network at this year's 3GSM conference was an affront to the many engineers who gave life to the IEEE 802.11 standard.

    • The decision by the Federal Communications Commission last week to let Modeo ratchet up its transmit power gives the U.S. mobile-TV broadcaster new ammunition in its battle with MediaFLO.

    • The FCC gave mobile TV broadcaster Modeo permission to increase its transmit power by up to a factor of 20, greatly increasing Modeo's coverage economics and lessening the potential impact of AT&T joining Verizon as partners with Qualcomm on MediaFLO, a competing mobile TV technology.

    • Freescale used the 3GSM conference to drop hints toward a new front-end architecture that will get rid of bulky and expensive SAW filters.

    • TriQuint has announced a pair of highly integrated modules for WEDGE (WCDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE) and HEDGE (HSDPA/WCDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE) handsets that can shrink the RF front end board space by up to 40%.

    • Avago Technologies has announced the HLMP-Exxx series of low-power high-performance extra-bright round through-hole light emitting diodes (LEDs) for portable and solar-powered outdoor electronic signs and signal applications.

    • iPhone critics are missing the point: It's all about the man-machine interface. That's one of the things I'll be looking at next week at 3GSM in Barcelona.

    • Predictions are always precarious but it's clear that 2007 will be a wireless wonderland with emerging cellular technologies competing with the likes of mobile WiMAX and merging with other networking technologies such as Wi-Fi. But the emergence of IMS will play a major role in determining what wins out.

    • Samsung made its case for mobile WiMax as the future of wireless today at its second annual Mobile Summit in New York City.

    • Samsung predicts that 4G will be based on mobile WiMAX, though dual-mode Wi-Fi/cellular, EVDO Rev A and the various other cellular technologies will co-exist for some time to come.

    • Only days after tearing down Sony's Playstation 3, Semiconductor Insights went inside the Nintendo Wii, with its three-axis-motion signal-processing technology and 90-nm IBM Broadway processor.

    • Semiconductor Insights got hold of some of the first PS3s and videotaped as they took it apart. Find out what they discovered inside.

    • With the announcement of its intention to have a single-chip Edge-enabled multimedia phone chip on the market next year based on its DRP technology, TI has yet again laid down the wireless gauntlet—and may have set itself up for a fall.

    • When a group of large consumer-oriented companies announced last week that they would back millimeter-wave radio technology in the 60-GHz band for short-range video connections (see lead story, page 1), skeptics noted the technical difficulties of developing such radios cost-effectively.

    • Telegent Systems' combination of analog TV reception with digital on a single chip won't kickstart the still-floundering mobile TV market.

    • A real-world comparison of an implementation of an external antenna on an inexpensive Motorola V180 and a Samsung SGH X507 showed them both to have greater range than the Nokia E70 with internal antenna--at almost one third the cost.

    • Emphasizing a modular yet flexible approach to quickly building out a WiMax network, Intel has announced the NetStructure baseband card that combines transport, control and baseband processing in a standards-based AdvancedMC form factor.

    • The launch of the Wibree technology initiative is the boldest move yet in Nokia's drive to make the cell phone a gateway to a whole new range of applications, from health care and sports monitoring to ad hoc self-configuring device networks. While the goals are lofty, Nokia may fall short if it has piggybacked on the wrong wireless interface. In this case, the Finnish telecom giant has placed its bets on Bluetooth.

    • Picture a group of college students hanging out in their dorm--or at an arcade, or in a park--each plugged into a media player. One of them takes the role of DJ for the tiny virtual radio station they have assembled ad hoc, playing a song list that everyone shares. At the same time, the kids are talking about the music, and their lives, over a wireless Internet telephony channel supported by the media players.

    • Intel Corp. used the Embedded Systems conference here this week to announce expanded life-cycle support for its newly enhanced dual-core E6400 and T7400 for embedded applications, ranging from bank ATMs to point-of-sale cash registers.

    • Chappell Brown snuck up on people. An award-winning EE Times editor for more than 20 years and a nimble-minded mathematician, Brown was quiet and reserved, speaking softly when he chose to speak at all. But when he did speak and when he wrote, everyone noticed. His knowledge of advanced technology was among the deepest and broadest in the industry, and it came through in the thousands of articles he wrote over the course of his career and in a Web site on analysis, limit.com, that he developed and maintained as a forum for others likewise consumed with solving mathematical conundrums.

    • With a $5,000 scholarship, headhunter firm Kelly Engineering Resources is hoping to encourage junior and sophomore students to complete their engineering training in order to offset a growing backlog of engineering job vacancies.

    • With exponentially increasing transistor counts required to meet the processing demands of next-generation multimedia and gaming platforms, panelists at this week's Design Automation Conference predicted the rise of new architectural approaches to IC design that go way beyond the scaling approaches that they said only provided a temporary solution.

    • Call me a Luddite, but my eyes glaze over whenever someone shows me the latest doodad that does everything a marketing exec might imagine a potential customer could want. I don't have an MP3 player, videogame machine or Slingbox. My cell phone doesn't have a camera. A brand-new Roku SoundBridge--a gift--sits idly on top of my similarly idling next-gen 802.11n router.

    • Intel Capital, the investment arm of the chip-making giant, announced last week that it was making a strategic investment in Zensys, developer of Z-Wave, the wireless mesh-networking technology. The move comes only days after Intel Corp. joined the Z-Wave Alliance home automation group.

    • Vendors targeting the next-generation wireless-LAN standard went on the defensive last week after the first tests of draft IEEE 802.11n clients and routers indicated poorer-than-expected performance, a lack of interoperability and, in one case, inadequate security. The chip and equipment companies questioned the testing methods, saying they suspected preproduction systems and software versions had been used, and quoted higher performance numbers based on their own tests.

    • The first round of IEEE draft 802.11n-compliant wireless networking equipment from Netgear and Buffalo Technology proved disappointing in terms of performance and interoperability, according to independent tests.

    • Der Halbleiterhersteller Freescale Semiconductor zieht sich aus dem UWB Forum zurück, das er einst gemeinsam mit Motorola und Pulse-Link gegründet hatte. Auch Motorola kehrt dem Gremium den Rücken.

    • After 25 years of research and experimentation in ultrawideband communications, John Santhoff, chief technology officer and founder of Pulse~Link Inc., felt vindicated upon winning the Innovator of the Year Award at the first EE Times ACE Awards last year. Since then, the accolades have come in a different form: customers.

    • The Serial RapidIO (SRIO) interface got a boost last week at the Texas Instruments Developers Conference, held here, with the announcement of an interoperability lab and the successful completion of the first round of tests. Those trials used devices from Freescale, TI, Xilinx and Tundra.

    • Texas Instruments hat die Hauptelemente seiner OMAP-3-Architektur für Mobiltelefone offen gelegt. Kern der neuen Plattform ist ein Applikationsprozessor, der erstmals mit ARMs Cortex-A8-Superscalar-Technologie arbeitet und mit einem 65-nm-Prozess gefertigt wird.

    • Texas Instruments has unveiled the main elements of its OMAP 3 architecture for mobile phones centered round an applications processor that will be the first to use ARM’s Cortex-A8 superscalar technology and one of the first to be made using a 65-nm process.

    • Im Jahr 2009 soll weltweit eine Milliarde Handys ausgeliefert werden. Ohne tiefgreifende Innovationen in den Bereichen HF-Technik und digitales Design werden diese Geräte jedoch nicht die Multimode- und Multimedia-Fähigkeiten bieten, die ihre Benutzer erwarten, sagt Infineon-Vorstandsmitglied Hermann Eul.

    • Researchers from IMEC used the International Solid-State Circuits Conference conference here to describe an impulse ultrawideband receiver that could enable so-called body-area networks.

    • Predicting that 1 billion handsets will ship in 2009, Hermann Eul, a member of Infineon Technologies management board, acknowledged that those handsets would not achieve the Holy Grail of multimode, multimedia functionality without serious innovation in the realm of RF and digital design.

    • Die Arbeitsgruppe zur Normierung des Ultrawideband-Standards 802.15.3a hat sich bei ihrem Treffen in dieser Woche aufgelöst. Damit enden drei Jahre voller erbitterter Debatten und kostenträchtiger Dienstreisen.

    • Der Halbleiterhersteller Analog Devices verkauft mehrere Produktlinien für die Datenkommunikation an das kalifornische Unternehmen Ikanos Communications. Für 30 Millionen Dollar erhalten die Kalifornier die Rechte an dem Netzwerkprozessor 'Fusiv' und den anwendungsspezifischen Schaltkreisen für ADSL-Zwecke.

    • When the highly contentious IEEE 802.11n task group meets in Hawaii next week, it had better be to finalize the minutiae of how to get a 75 percent majority behind the much-awaited next generation of wireless-LAN technology.

    • In an effort to provide reliable and highly available battlefield communications at low system cost, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has launched a program based on the premise that low-cost handsets or nodes can be effective if combined with intelligent, adaptive networks.

    • Wisair has announced a wireless USB dongle and hub reference design that will allow consumer devices such as printers, scanners and cellular devices to connect to a USB-enabled PC at rates of up to 480 Mbits/s.

    • Firm in the belief that 2006 will be the year ultrawideband finally takes off, WiQuest Communications Inc. will unveil a WiMedia compliant 1-Gbit/second chip set this week that it expects will open up applications from simple cable replacement to streaming video. Armed with a complete solution — from the antenna through full media-access control — WiQuest is looking to grab its share of a total available market that analysts predict will reach $2.4 billion by 2009.

    • The sky isn't falling. Contrary to Chicken Little's apocalyptic hypothesis, there is no shortage of available spectrum upon which to deploy next-generation wireless services. In fact, there's an abundance. Study after study shows that only 2 to 6 percent of all available spectrum in the United States is being used at any one time.

    • Software radio is here. Long sought after for its economics, the technology has been stymied by engineers' inability to make it consistent, reliable and cost-effective.

    • Eschewing the complexity of the various polar modulation schemes in favor of solid knowledge of linear transmitter and receiver architectures, Quorum Systems Inc. has developed a single-chip Edge transceiver that it believes is the lowest-power design to date.

    • So, what about Bob? Engineer-scientist, early Internet developer, Ethernet inventor, entrepreneur, pundit, a man who eats his own words — and, now, a venture capitalist: Bob Metcalfe has seen it all in 40 years on the front lines of engineering and technology.

    • Analog Devices Inc. this week will announce a single-chip, quad-band transceiver chip that will capitalize on the rapidly rising interest in the once-moribund cellular standard known as Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution, or Edge. Based on the company's direct-conversion Othello radio architecture, the transceiver keeps the component count to 27 and, by using direct polar modulation, claims a power amplifier efficiency of as much as 33 percent. "Almost everything is on-chip," said Doug Grant, director of wireless business development at Analog Devices (Norwood, Mass.). "The [fractional-N] synthesizer, the loop filter, tank circuitry and voltage regulators are all there." In particular, Grant pointed to the integration of a logarithmic RF power detector, or log-amp, that makes it possible to implement a closed-loop polar modulation scheme to improve power amplifier (PA) efficiency.

    • Three prominent U.S. engineers and researchers have delivered a brief asserting that the unlicensed use of white space in the TV bands will not interfere with digital-TV transmissions.

    • As two startups fighting to be heard above the big WiMax guns of Intel and Fujitsu, Sequans Communications and Wavesat Inc. this week will separately announce a chip set and a mini-PCI card reference kit designed to accelerate WiMax development and deployment.

    • The big news from the IEEE last week — that the 802.11e task group had finished its work and that we now have a standardized quality-of-service mechanism for wireless local-area networks (WLANs) — was an anticlimax.

    • Silicon Laboratories Inc. will move further up the integration food chain with the unveiling today of an almost completely integrated GSM/GPRS phone for entry-level, low-cost applications.

    • Six years after the emergence of the IEEE 802.11b/a standard, wireless and wired carriers and operators alike are moving en masse toward converged services over cellular and Wi-Fi networks. A few prescient carriers, such as Telia-Sonera in Norway, dove head-first into Wi-Fi technology early on and today lead the pack in terms of integrated services in northern Europe. Now, T-Mobile, Cingular, Vodaphone and France Telecom are following suit.

    • Analog Devices Inc. a annoncé son intention de fermer d’ici quatre mois son centre de conception, ouvert il y a dix ans à Herzliya, en Israël, lieu de conception de son architecture DSP TigerSharc.

    • Analog Devices will sein Designzentrum für die DSP-Architektur 'TigerSharc' in Israel schließen. Branchenkenner bewerten als Hinweis darauf, dass die Architektur nun ausgereizt ist.

    • In a move signaling the maturing state of the architecture, Analog Devices Inc. has announced it will close its ten-year-old Herzliya, Israel design center, the birthplace of its TigerSharc DSP architecture, within four months.

    • Mit einem neuen Ansatz für die polare Modulation hat Sequoia Communications einen Prototyp-Transceiver für GSM, Edge und WCDMA entwickelt, der den Stromverbrauch von Leistungsverstärkern (PA) gegenüber linearen Architekturen um 40 bis 50 Prozent senkt. Das Startup-Unternehmen gesellt sich damit zur wachsenden Zahl der Unternehmen, die mit der polaren Modulation die Akku-Laufzeit von 3G-Handys verbessern wollen.

    • ou're 55, and the odds are against you. Your 30 years of high-energy design experience are eclipsed by the allure of younger, cheaper labor domestically and abroad. Technologies and tools are racing ahead at a numbing pace. Your personal responsibilities make risk-taking a no-go, and stagnation steals in. For good measure, health issues may loom, compromising your ability to stay at the top of your game.

    • Armed with its own ideas on how polar modulation should be implemented, Sequoia Communications is sampling a GSM, Edge and wideband-CDMA transceiver that can reduce power consumption in power amplifiers by 40 to 50 percent over linear designs.

    • Intel geht in die Opposition: Jenseits der etablierten IEEE-WLAN-Arbeitsgruppe hat der Chipriese die Halbleiterhersteller Broadcom, Atheros Communications und Marvell Semiconductor in sein Lager geholt, um gemeinsam einen Vorschlag für eine interoperable Physical- und MAC-Schicht für drahtlose PC-Netze zu erarbeiten. Im November soll der Vorschlag der IEEE präsentiert werden.

    • Working outside of an established IEEE wireless-LAN task group, Intel Corp. has convinced fellow chip makers Broadcom Corp., Atheros Communications Inc. and Marvell Semiconductor Inc. to team with it on an interoperable physical and media access control layer that would be submitted to the IEEE by November.

    • After emerging before its time with a novel Polar Impact modulation technology for Edge handsets, Tropian Inc. has reemerged with its first full-fledged multimode GSM/GPRS/Edge transceiver based on that technique.

    • Hoping to ease operators' migration to next-generation Internet Protocol-based networks while supporting their legacy nets, Convergin Inc. this week will announce the Accolade Wireless Convergence Server.

    • In 2001, the Federal Communications Commission allocated 7 GHz in the 57- to 64-GHz band for unlicensed use. That action, combined with advances in process technologies and wireless communications techniques, has rekindled interest in a region of the spectrum once reserved for expensive point-to-point links. Now that region is being seen as prime waterfront property for next-generation wireless personal-area networks and backbone nets.

    • Freescale Semicondutor setzt für die Zukunft auf Integration, Ultrabreitband - und einige wenige strategische Akquisitionen. Auf dem Freescale Technology Forum in Orlando präsentierte Franz Fink, der Chef von Freescales Wireless Group sein Konzept, wie dem er sich gegen gewichtige Wettbewerber wie Analog Devices, Intel, Renesas, STMicroelectronics oder Texas Instruments durchsetzen will.

    • For Franz Fink, the future holds integration, a big bet on ultrawideband and a strategic technology acquisition or two. At the first Freescale Technology Forum here recently, the general manager of Freescale Semiconductor Inc.'s wireless group laid forth the arsenal he believes will stave off competition from wireless behemoths Analog Devices, Intel, Renesas, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.

    • The WWiSE and TGn Sync camps that have been dueling within the 802.11n high-speed wireless LAN task group have agreed to formulate a joint proposal to end their stalemate.

    • Reef Point Systems has modified the hardware and software in its Unlicensed Mobile Access security gateway to allow it to meet carrier-class requirements that will enable it to handle up to 500,000 Wi-Fi calls.

    • Wer sich nach dem Wechsel von Apple Computer ins Intel-Lager um die Zukunft von PowerPC-Prozessoren sorgt, kann aufatmen. Auf dem Freescale Technology Forum beruhigte Freescale-CEO Michel Mayer höchstpersönlich die Gemüter: Die PowerPC-Roadmap des Chipherstellers bleibt intakt.

    • Das britische Unternehmen Picochip, das programmierbare HF-Schaltungen entwickelt, hat eine neue Finanzierungsrunde erhalten. An der Finanzierung in Höhe von insgesamt 20,5 Millionen Dollar beteiligt sich auch Intel.

    • Freescale Semiconductor Chairman and CEO Michel Mayer used the first Freescale Technology Forum to reassure developers of the chip maker's commitment to the PowerPC microprocessor.

    • Inspired by Thomas Edison, he built his first radio at the age of 10, fascinated by the fact that he couldn't see the radio waves, yet the information was still there.

    • Ganz in CMOS und 90-Nanometer-Technologie hat Intel einen WLAN-Transceiverbaustein konzipiert und alle Funktionen als System-in-Package (SiP) in ein Gehäuse gesteckt. Vorgestellt wurde der Transceiver, der sowohl das 2,45- als das 5-GHz-Band abdeckt, auf dem VLSI-Symposium in Kyoto.

    • When it comes to stability for EDA, tool integration, support for mission-critical enterprise applications and binary compatibility, Linux has a long way to go, according to a panel discussion at the Design Automation Conference.

    • Mettant l’accent sur la faible consommation d’énergie et la sécurité, la société Freescale Semiconductor annonce le lancement d’un processeur d’applications censé redéfinir le divertissement multimédia mobile.

    • Ember Corp. will use this week's Sensors Expo & Conference in Chicago to launch what it calls the first fully integrated ZigBee chip.

    • Moving to speed the design of wireless sensor networks for industrial automation, Sensicast Systems Inc. will introduce a modular platform this week that offers multiple radio and mesh-networking protocol options.

    • Convinced that Wi-Fi is too costly and that existing ultrawideband offerings are a long way from meeting the needs of consumer equipment vendors, Artimi Inc. has announced a UWB chip that it believes solves the dilemma.

    • Convaincu que le Wi-Fi est trop coûteux et que les offres d'UWB (ultra-large bande) actuelles sont loin de répondre aux besoins des équipementiers en termes de coûts, de performances et de mise sur le marché, Artimi Inc. annonce une puce UWB unique qui, selon la société, devrait mettre fin au dilemme.

    • Eighteen months after its founding, eSilicon Corp. hit rock bottom. The tech bubble had burst, the market had collapsed, venture capital had all but dried up.

    • Geht es nach den Einschätzungen der Chip-Branche, so werden neue Anwendungen wie Video, VoIP und andere Embedded-Consumer-Applikationen vom Handys bis zu Digitalkameras nach Wachstum im WiFi-Markt gewalting ankurbeln. In dieser Woche stellen daher gleich drei Anbieter neue WiFi-Chips vor.

    • Metalink, SyChip and Atheros will all announce Wi-Fi-based chips this week, in the belief that video, voice-over-Internet Protocol and embedded consumer applications will supercharge the growth of Wi-Fi wireless networking.

    • Deep within the layered structure of the IEEE 802 standards body, a small, low-key task group has made a giant leap forward in its efforts to derive a wireless physical-layer standard that will combine low-power communications with precise locationing and high mobility. The result will enable a wide range of applications, from factory floor control, sensors and tracking to body-area networks.

    • On a conceptual level, the announcement last week that the Bluetooth Special Interest Group would work with ultrawideband proponents to make its technology compatible with UWB is a win-win collaboration.

    • Standard Microsystems Corp. has added infrared capability to its line of flash-card reader chips in a bid to satisfy the converging requirements of cell phone users, who want quick and easy photo file downloads, and printer manufacturers looking to boost their aftermarket profits.

    • In 1978, a four-man team of designers at Texas Instruments Inc. combined semiconductor design expertise with advanced algorithmic know-how to create the first "talking IC."

    • In a turnabout, Intel and the WiMedia Alliance have agreed to sponsor and attend a meeting in San Diego later this month in an effort to accelerate the move toward international rules for ultrawideband signaling.

    • After three years in incubation, Extricom Ltd. is emerging with a novel approach to wireless-LAN switching architectures.

    • WiMax, die drahtlose Breitband-Verbindung für die letzte Meile, gewinnt an Gestalt: Rechtzeitig für die Mitte 2005 geplanten Interoperabilitätstests hat Intel seinen ersten WiMax-Chip und der Hardware-Anbieter WiLan ein WiMax-System vorgestellt. Komplett zertifizierte Systeme sollen zum Jahresende folgen.

    • Forty years ago a bright engineer at Fairchild Semiconductor sketched out on graph paper an optimistic observation that has today become the mantra of the semiconductor industry: The number of transistors that can be packed on a slice of silicon doubles every year.

    • Die ZigBee Alliance hat die ersten vier Plattformen vorgestellt, die sämtliche Interoperabilitätstests dieser Nahbereichs-Funktechnologie erfolgreich bestanden haben. Die Plattformen sollen künftig für den Test von ZigBee-Produkten dienen, mit denen in den kommenden Monaten zu rechnen ist.

    • Calling Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act a draconian set of requirements that is disproportionately costly for their organizations, representatives of a flotilla of small to midsize companies will converge on Washington this week to lobby for changes in the code at a roundtable hosted by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    • The ZigBee Alliance has announced the first four platforms to successfully complete interoperability testing for the short-range wireless technology.

    • Das Drehbuch könnte nicht besser sein: Betrachtet man die verbitterten Auseinandersetzungen der beiden UWB-Lager aus der persönlichen Sicht zweier Kontrahenten, erinnert das Ganze schon ein wenig an 'Krieg und Frieden'.

    • It's a saga of love and loss, of kidnapping, ransom and industry rivalries, but one with a happy ending that finds an engineer reunited with a crucial piece of equipment once lost amid the collapse of his first startup. It also shows just how far a man will go for a good cup of coffee.

    • Angling for a slice of an overall market that could reach 1 billion units by 2008, Silicon Laboratories Inc. has corralled its RF, mixed-signal and digital processing and control expertise to create a single-chip FM tuner for cellular handsets and other portable devices.

    • With an eye on the emerging Internet Protocol TV market, startup WISchip International Ltd. has announced a system-on-chip audio/video encoder to address the increasingly demanding multimedia data storage and transmission requirements of next-generation home entertainment systems.

    • After years of wandering in the backwaters of wireless communications, the Personal Handyphone System has resurfaced in developing markets from China to South America as a vibrant, low-cost wireless option for the hundreds of millions who cannot afford 3G or even GSM.

    • Since PHS is still used as a niche data service in Japan, chip makers in that country have been some of the key suppliers of silicon for the China market.

    • Confident that voice-over-wireless LANs will drive WLAN chips into mobile handsets, Texas Instruments Inc. has announced what it calls the first single-chip 802.11a/b/g offering in a 90-nanometer CMOS process. Using the same Digital RF Processing technology that went into TI's single-chip GSM phone, the device integrates almost all of the radio functions and combines them with advanced voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) software and a "thick" media-access controller.

    • When we first wrote about what was then the upcoming Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we were hopeful. With a swoop of the pen, the Securities and Exchange Commission would excise the possibility that CEOs could claim ignorance of errant financial reports. Shareholders and stock speculators would return to the faith; corporate America would bounce back. At least, that's what we thought.

    • After two years of hype, WiMax broadband access technology is being realized in chips now and will be in systems by midyear.

    • Sealing a short courtship, the Multiband OFDM Alliance Special Interest Group and the WiMedia Alliance have merged in an effort to streamline their complementary operations and drive the standardization and adoption of the multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MB-OFDM) flavor of ultrawideband communications.

    • China beschuldigt die International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) der Parteilichkeit: Weil die Chinesen die ISO verdächtigen, in den Verhandlungen über die Erstellung internationaler Standards für die WLAN-Sicherheit das amerikanische Verfahren gegenüber dem chinesischen zu bevorzugen, ließ die chinesische Delegation in dieser Woche die Verhandlungen platzen.

    • Broadcom Corp.'s summer 2004 acquisition of Zyray Wireless has borne fruit in the form of a complete UMTS W-CDMA modem chip.

    • Texas Instruments Inc. is reinforcing its wireless infrastructure lineup with the announcement of an enhanced DSP and a low-noise digital-to-analog converter.

    • King Solomon was inspired when he resolved an argument over who was the true mother of an infant by threatening to divide the child in two.

    • Throwing down the gauntlet to the established ultrawideband powerhouses, Pulse-Link Inc. has announced chips and details of its own UWB architecture, and formed an alliance to promote it.

    • The Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC) has initiated a three-year program for ubiquitous, high-bandwidth, low-latency wireless connectivity with wireless handsets.

    • Analog Devices Inc. said it has shrunk its GSM/GPRS radio transceiver down to 5 x 5 mm, allowing for a complete radio that measures 1.8 x 0.85 cm.

    • Jumping on the accelerating interest in voice-over-Internet Protocol for the enterprise, Broadcom Corp. is sampling what it says is the first Gigabit Ethernet Internet Protocol phone chip.

    • Being called crazy didn't really bother the ragtag cadre of wireless pilgrims. Indeed, the disparaging term was a badge of honor for a tight-knit group born of its members' willingness to attempt a feat that had been broadly assumed impossible.

    • Judging by the flurry of announcements in the lead-up to the recent Consumer Electronics Show, it may seem that the era of ubiquitous "fat pipe" wireless communications through ultrawideband signaling is upon us. From chip and development-kit announcements to demonstrations and partnerships, both sides in the long-running UWB debate-the Multiband-OFDM Alliance and the UWB Forum-have exposed their respective hands, making 2005 the year of truth for a technology that has long captured the imagination of the wireless, personal computer and consumer electronics industries.

    • After launching 17 high-speed converters in 2004, Analog Devices Inc. will kick off the new year with two of its highest-performing devices to date. The first is a 14-bit, 80-Msample/s analog-to-digital converter with a 5- to 7-dB improvement in spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR); the second is a 16-bit, 1-Gsample/s digital-to-analog converter with power consumption of 1 watt. Both target such applications as wireless infrastructure, broadband wireless and communications test equipment.

    • Wavesat Inc.'s launch last week of a WiMax-capable baseband chip, coinciding with the entry of Ericsson and Sprint into the WiMax Forum, point to 2005 as a seminal year in the development of broadband wireless solutions based on the WiMax specification.

    • Atheros Communications kombiniert einen Netzprozessor mit 802.11g-WLAN-Funk-, Basisband- und MAC-Funktionen kombiniert und damit den ersten Einchip-Access-Point für den WLAN-Standard 802.11g geschaffen.

    • Nach zweieinhalb Jahren Arbeit hat die 'ZigBee Alliance' die endgültigen Spezifikationen für eine Funksensornetz-Technologie verabschiedet, die wahrscheinlich Anwendungsbereiche von der Haustechnik bis hin zur Fabrikhalle beeinflussen wird.

    • Atheros Communications has combined a network processor with an 802.11g wireless LAN radio, baseband and media access control to realize the first single-chip 802.11g access point.

    • The ZigBee Alliance has released the final specifications for a wireless sensor networking technology that is expected to permeate applications from home automation to the factory floor.

    • Pulse-Link Inc. has achieved data rates of 667 Mbits/s for a wireless ultrawideband (UWB) link using an architecture that it said is capable of surpassing gigabit/second rates.

    • Ahead of interoperability tests on the path to official certification, Waveset Inc. announced that it is shipping what it claims is the first WiMax baseband chip.

    • Staccato Communications Inc. says it has successfully demonstrated the first single-chip, all-CMOS ultrawideband radio that complies with the Multiband-OFDM Alliance's physical-layer specifications. Scheduled to sample by the end of the first quarter, the chip comprises an RF front end with baseband processing. According to the company, it has been shown to operate at the full 480-Mbit/second MBOA-specified data rate.

    • Trumpeting low power and simplicity, Cypress Semiconductor Corp. has developed a star topology protocol to go on top of its WirelessUSB line of 2.45-GHz system-on-chip radios for wireless sensor networks.

    • Mit der Übernahme des WLAN-Switch-Anbieters Chantry Networks erweitert Siemens Communications sein HiPath-Portfolio und trägt zugleich zur weiteren Gesundschrumpfung des aufkeimenden WLAN-Switch-Markts bei.

    • Extended Systems Inc. this week will announce a software development kit that lets manufacturers embed client-side device-management protocols in cell phones. The kit leverages the company's expertise in compact code generation for Bluetooth and IrDA wireless devices and complies with Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) SyncML-based specs.

    • Just as the Zigbee Alliance prepares to formally introduce its finalized standard, Microchip Technology Inc. this week will announce a Zigbee demonstration and development platform that combines its PIC18 microcontroller and a homegrown Zigbee protocol stack with Chipcon AS' 2.4-GHz RF transceiver.

    • So what do you do after founding Atheros Communications, the world's most successful standalone wireless-LAN IC company? For Teresa H. Meng, the Reid Weaver Dennis professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University, the answer is simple: monkey brains.

    • Beneath all the aspects of wireless design in which Teresa Meng has been immersed lies one unshakable belief: The unlicensed bands are the great equalizer. That idea is partly what drove Meng to explore wireless LANs and to found Atheros Communications. It's also why the Stanford professor continues to slay sacred cows, dismissing as myths the notion of a spectrum shortage and the idea that third-generation cellular technology can enable high-speed data connectivity. Borrowing a quote from FCC chairman Michael Powell, Meng calls on unlicensed bands to " 'free us from the shackles' imposed by our lack of understanding of wireless communications."

    • Trapeze Networks Inc. will announce an upgrade today to its Mobility System Software that will let networks deliver stratified public and private wireless-LAN services over a single infrastructure.

    • Wireless-chip startup Provigent Inc. is aiming to lower the cost of establishing a point-to-point broadband wireless connection with the PVG310, a single-chip modem that uses cross-polarization interface cancellation (XPIC) technology to double channel capacity.

    • Texas Instruments Inc. is taking aim at China's TD-SCDMA basestation market with an 850-MHz digital signal processor that will improve network coverage and signal clarity while enabling video delivery and real-time videoconferencing, the company said.

    • Joe Mastroianni is living his childhood fantasy. After stints at Intel, Cadence and a failed startup, the 45-year-old engineer, inventor and author is plying his electronics and computer-programming skills in one of the most brutal environments on the planet: Antarctica.

    • Fabless semiconductor company Integration Associates Inc. is sampling a low-power RF transceiver that integrates the separate transmitter and receiver chips the company announced in February.

    • Analog Devices Inc. has entered into an agreement with Siworks Inc. to implement the physical layer of a WiMAX basestation on ADI's TigerSharc DSP using Siworks' IEEE 802.16 system expertise and intellectual property.

    • Cognitive radio's knowledge of dead zones, interference and usage patterns promises intelligent communications.

    • Researchers at the University of Alberta have successfully implemented a form of low-density parity-check (LDPC) coding on FPGAs that could greatly enhance the architectural efficiency of streaming data and packet-switched systems, such as those designed for voice-over-Internet Protocol or Ethernet.

    • Startup Q-Track Corp. has homed in on an oft-ignored phenomenon of RF transmissions and leveraged it as the basis of what has been demonstrated to be an accurate but relatively simple tracking scheme.

    • Voice-over-IP (VoIP) ist stark im Kommen. Das belegt das explosionsartig wachsende Interesse an entsprechenden Fachmessen wie etwa der 'Voice on the Net Conference' (VON), die derzeit in Boston stattfindet. Auch außerhalb der Messehallen verdichten sich die Anzeichen auf eine bevorstehende VoIP-Welle.

    • Foundry Networks Inc. and Extreme Networks have extended their wireless LAN switch lineups with an emphasis on simplified deployment, voice-over-IP support, security and lower cost products for remote offices.

    • The Fall 2004 Voice on the Net Conference in Boston this week expects to draw twice as much interest as it did last year, one of many signs that suggest voice-over-Internet Protocol technology is surging.

    • As the cell phone continues in its role as the quintessential consumer device, it is also being primed to form the foundation of a global, always-connected voice-and-data platform that will eventually integrate any or all of a plethora of wireless connectivity options. These range from Bluetooth and ultrawideband out to Wi-Fi, GPS, DVB-H and FM radio. While the concept and applications of such a multifaceted device sound attractive, the trick is choosing the right combination of interfaces to implement the multimode design at minimal expense, power consumption and space.

    • In a deal that will accelerate deployment of ZigBee-based wireless mesh networks, Ember Corp. and Arcom have partnered to link ZigBee networks to IBM's WebSphere MQ Integrator.

    • Alereon said it has demonstrated an ultrawideband baseband chip capable of processing Multiband-OFDM Alliance-compliant signals running at between 55 and 480 Mbits/s.

    • In a move to convert the residential phone into an Internet appliance capable of handling voice and data traffic, Broadcom Corp. has condensed all of its Wi-Fi and voice-over-Internet Protocol hardware and software technologies into two chips. A phone equipped with the chip set could replace a consumer's cordless phone, but would also browse the Web, and send e-mail or instant messages, without compromising voice quality or battery life, Broadcom said.

    • Der einst bejubelte Kurzstreckenfunk Bluetooth ist umzingelt: Im High-end hat sich Wi-Fi etabliert, im Low-end blasen Zigbee, Near-Field Communication (NFC) und RFID zum Angriff. Während Industrieanalysten noch von einem Millarden-Markt sprechen, zeichnet sich breits der Ersatz von Bluetooth durch diese Konkurrenten ab. EE Times lud Paul Marino, General Manager Connectivity beim Bluetooth-Chip-Hersteller Philips Semiconductors, und Craig Mathias, Principal Analyst der Farpoint Group und ausgewiesener Bluetooth-Skeptiker, zu einem Streitgespräch.

    • Der Ersatz von Pin-Dioden und Galliumarsenid-Chips in Mobiltelefonen durch preisgünstige CMOS-Bauelmente könnte schon bald Realität sein. Der kalifornische Halbleiterhersteller Peregrine Semiconductor hat mit seiner proprietären Saphir-SoC-Technologie (Silicon-on-Insulator) einen CMOS-Umschalter entwickelt, der dafür in Frage käme.

    • The longevity of Bluetooth is a divisive topic. Hurt by overhyping and higher-than-expected costs, the wireless communications technology is now being squeezed on the high end by pervasive Wi-Fi and on the low end by Zigbee, near-field communications and RFID.

    • Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. has leveraged its proprietary sapphire-based silicon-on-insulator technology to build a CMOS switch that it says can displace PIN diodes and gallium arsenide devices in GSM handsets.

    • Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. has leveraged its proprietary sapphire-based silicon-on-insulator technology to build a CMOS switch that it says can displace PIN diodes and gallium arsenide devices in GSM handsets.

    • Erneut konnte die IEEE-Arbeitsgruppe für den 802.15.3a-Standard keinen Kompromiss erzielen. Auch beim jüngsten Treffen vergangene Woche fiel keine Entscheidung für einen der beiden Vorschläge für den Ultrabreitband-Physical-Layer, der die Wireless-Welt mit hohen Datenraten über kurze Entfernungen beglücken soll.

    • The beleaguered IEEE 802.15.3a task group failed once again last week at its latest meeting to select one of two competing proposals for the ultrawideband physical layer for high-rate, short-range wireless connectivity.

    • Citing its new system's density, determinism, repeatability and reconfigurability, startup Dyaptive Systems Inc. has introduced a software-defined test rig that it believes will lower the risk and cost of CDMA basestation testing. Based on a shared-physical-layer approach, the system obviates the need for banks of discrete handsets and allows CDMA vendors and operators to optimize their equipment for a market where the users' quality experience is everything, the company said.

    • Finalization earlier this month of the Unlicensed Mobile Access specifications marks a turning point in the drive toward seamless wireless networks.

    • The underlying philosophy behind Unlicensed Mobile Access is that it's not always necessary to reinvent the wheel. Instead, UMA leverages the current infrastructure and access ports that are out there already.

    • The beleaguered IEEE 802.15.3a task group failed once again last week at its latest meeting to select one of two competing proposals for the ultrawideband physical layer for high-rate, short-range wireless connectivity.

    • Breaking from the traditional intellectual-property licensing model, DSP core provider Ceva Inc. will launch a new division that will provide silicon-to-IP services to licensees of its cores.

    • The race to market ultrawideband-enabled devices will accelerate this week when Freescale Semiconductor Inc. announces that three companies will develop Mini-PCI modules incorporating its UWB technology for use in TVs, media servers and storage devices.

    • Philips Electronics und Samsung Electronics machen bei der Handy-Entwicklung gemeinsame Sache: Künftig wird Samsung einen Philips-Chip für die Near Field Communication (NFC), eine Spielart der RFID-Technik, in seinen Handys verbauen.

    • The Multiband-OFDM Alliance said it has formed a special interest group to develop technical specifications based on its version of ultrawideband high-rate, short-range wireless communications.

    • Silicon Valley startup Berkana Wireless Inc. has unveiled an all-CMOS single-chip transceiver that it believes will address the power, performance, space, cost and multimode flexibility requirements of GSM handsets.

    • Silicon Valley startup Berkana Wireless Inc. has unveiled an all-CMOS single-chip transceiver that it believes will address the power, performance, space, cost and multimode flexibility requirements of GSM handsets.

    • Last December, the FCC opened wide what many believe will be the next frontier in wireless communications. In a notice of proposed rule making (NPRM), it asked how cognitive radio could best be implemented. That action brought to the fore founding research by Joseph Mitola, who coined the term cognitive radio (CR), and sparked a flurry of activity among industry and academic wireless systems designers and researchers.

    • Freescale Semiconductor has become the second company to have its ultrawideband transmitter technology certified by the Federal Communications Commission. The certification opens the door for the company to begin commercial shipments of its 110-Mbit/second chip set for consumer applications within the United States.

    • Freescale Semiconductor became the second company to have its ultrawideband transmitter technology certified by the Federal Communications Commission for communications applications.

    • Atheros Communications has extended its wireless LAN chip set for high-definition TV and other multimedia distribution throughout the home.

    • Mit einem hauchdünnen Vorsprung haben sich die Anhänger des Direktsequenz-Ultrabreitbands (DS-UWB), angeführt vom Chiphersteller Freescale, vergangene Woche in einer Kampfabstimmung gegen die Multiband-OFDM-Allianz durch. Damit steckt der Normierungsprozess in einer Sackgasse, denn zur Verabschiedung ist eine Dreiviertel-Mehrheit nötig.

    • The Freescale-led direct-sequence ultrawideband (DS-UWB) camp wrested the lead from the Multiband-OFDM Alliance by a narrow margin in down-selection voting Wedensday (July 14) morning.

    • Fabless startup Artimi Ltd. has raised $14 million in Series A funding that it will apply toward further research, development and marketing of its flexible, adaptable approach to ultrawideband radios. This adds to the more than $1 million in funding the company received in October 2003.

    • Streaming Audio und Video für drahtlose Netze stehen im Mittelpunkt der Diskussionen, wenn sich die IEEE-Arbeitsgruppe 802.11n in der kommenden Woche in Oregon trifft. Durch 61 Normierungsvorschläge muss sich die Gruppe durcharbeiten – eine Rekordzahl, die die Bedeutung dieser Technik für künftige Consumer-Märkte ahnen lässt.

    • AbsoluteValue Systems Inc., an early supporter of IEEE 802.11-compliant chips on open-source platforms, is offering an embedded-software package that will support .11a/b/g chip sets on any Linux platform.

    • The IEEE 802.11n task group will start sorting through 61 proposals for next-generation wireless LANs in Portland, Ore., next week.

    • AbsoluteValue Systems Inc., an early supporter of IEEE 802.11-compliant chips on open-source platforms, is offering an embedded-software package that will support .11a/b/g chip sets on any Linux platform. The AVS 802.11 WLAN Development Platform marks AbsoluteValue's turn away from original design manufacturers to a different customer base.

    • Dernier exemple de la consolidation du marché cellulaire, Verizon Wireless annonce son accord pour acheter les actifs spectre et réseau de Qwest Communications International pour un montant de 418 millions de dollars.

    • The IEEE 802.11n task group will start sorting through 61 proposals for next-generation wireless LANs in Portland, Ore., next week.

    • In the latest example of cellular market consolidation, Verizon Wireless agreed Thursday (July 1) to buy the spectrum and network assets of Qwest Communications International for $418 million.

    • Dreieinhalb Jahre wälzte die IEEE komplexe, oftmals schier unlösbare technische Fragen. Mit der Verabschiedung der Sicherheitsänderungen für den 802.11-WLAN-Standard - die Grundlage für Wi-Fi-Netze - scheint das Standardisierungsgremium jetzt auf einen grünen Zweig gekommen zu sein.

    • Three new parts in Texas Instruments Inc.'s C5000 DSP lineup are the first standard products to implement the company's full bag of power-management tricks, the company said. Targeting power-sensitive applications ranging from wireless communications to portable media, the chips are supported by a tool set that grew out of a partnership with National Instruments Corp. that lets designers model and adjust a chip's power consumption on an application-by-application basis.

    • Atmel Corp. will serve as an alternate source for Cypress Semiconductor Corp.'s proprietary WirelessUSB interface chips, supporting Cypress' goal of making the technology an open, de facto wireless standard for consumer and computer products.

    • Atmel Corp. will serve as an alternate source for Cypress Semiconductor Corp.'s proprietary WirelessUSB interface chips, supporting Cypress' goal of making the technology an open, de facto wireless standard for consumer and computer products.

    • After three and a half years of wrestling complex and sometimes seemingly intractable technical issues, the IEEE Standards Association adopted the security amendment to the 802.11 wireless LAN standard upon which Wi-Fi networks are based.

    • Wi-LAN Inc.'s announcement this week that it would be it would be escalating its patent-enforcement program by commencing legal action against Cisco Systems sent messages flying between members of two ultrawideband communications camps over whether or not similar action loomed there as well.

    • Bedenken des Militärs verhindern in den USA die Nutzung eines bereits freigegebenen Teils des WLAN-Spektrums. Das Militär befürchtet Störungen seines Radarbertriebs. Die Hersteller von WLAN-Chipsets müssen deswegen Abstriche bei Durchsatz und Störsicherheit machen.

    • Aiming to add smart-antenna capability to WiMax equipment, the Intel Communications fund contributed to Motia Inc.'s third round of funding, bringing the total to $12 million.

    • Defense Department security concerns have denied wireless-LAN chip vendors an additional 255 MHz of spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission opened up last year to boost WLAN throughput and reduce interference in the United States.

    • Defense Department concerns over radar system security have prevented wireless-LAN chip vendors from utilizing an additional 255 MHz of spectrum released by the government more than a year ago to boost WLAN throughput and reduce interference.

    • In a move that will expand its product portfolio into 3G cellular, Broadcom Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to buy Zyray Wireless Inc., a manufacturer of wideband-CDMA baseband coprocessors.

    • In a move that will expand its product portfolio into 3G cellular, Broadcom Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to buy Zyray Wireless Inc., a manufacturer of wideband-CDMA baseband coprocessors.

    • To hear visitors at the recent Wireless Communications Association conference tell it, the broadband-wireless world has finally united under the International Federation of WiMax and is primed to go forth and prosper.

    • Philips Semiconductor announced separate, integrated single-package Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips for smart phones and portable devices that include hardware and software for a four-wire interface that will allow both radios to coexist when co-located.

    • Auf der Wireless Connectivity World Expo kommende Woche in Amsterdam wird Freescale Semiconductor seine aggressive Chip-Roadmap für Ultrabreitband-Verbindungen mit 1 Gbit/s vorstellen. Eine zentrale Rolle spielt dabei die Direktsequenz-Technik, mit der Freescale im zweiten Halbjahr 2005 auf den Markt kommen will.

    • Freescale Semiconductor Inc. will use the Wireless Connectivity World Expo in Amsterdam this week to unveil an aggressive silicon roadmap to 1-Gbit/s ultrawideband connectivity, based on its direct-sequence technology, by the second half of 2005.

    • Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has launched two low-power, 2.45-GHz integrated radios — one for proprietary applications, the other with a full Zigbee protocol and network stack, IEEE 802.15.4 compliance and support for star and mesh topologies.

    • The once-ailing broadband wireless industry has become a new front in the drive toward ubiquitous broadband access, complete with voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other data services, through low-cost last-mile pipes for both homes and businesses.

    • Freescale Semiconductor Inc. this week will announce two low-power, 2.45-GHz integrated radios-one for proprietary applications, the other with a full Zigbee protocol and network stack, IEEE 802.15.4 compliance and support for star and mesh topologies.

    • The once-ailing broadband wireless industry has become a new front in the drive toward ubiquitous broadband access, complete with voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other data services, through low-cost last-mile pipes for both homes and businesses.

    • Startup Quorum Systems Inc. (San Diego) leveraged its staff's expertise in converter, filter and synthesizer design in developing a Wi-Fi and quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge transceiver.

    • With the introduction of a single-chip wireless-LAN and cellular RF transceiver, a small startup may have laid the fundamental hardware building block for ubiquitous wireless connectivity.

    • With the introduction of a single-chip wireless-LAN and cellular RF transceiver, a small startup may have laid the fundamental hardware building block for ubiquitous wireless connectivity.

    • Mit einer neuen Technik sucht Motorola die Grenzen für Push-to-Talk- (PTT)-Verbindungen zwischen verschienden Drahtlos-Netzen niederzureißen. Damit ist es möglich, für die in den USA so populären PTT-Gespräche in GPRS-, CDMA2000 1x- und WLANs geichzeitig zu nutzen.

    • Intent on enhancing wireless multimedia and modem processing, StarCore LLC has equipped the latest version of its digital signal processor architecture with 25 new instructions, a partially interlocking pipeline, memory protection and an extended interrupt scheme.

    • Innovation in the ultrawideband realm is accelerating, as designers at universities as well as corporations around the world try to get a handle on what is proving to be a wireless communications scheme that is extremely challenging to implement.

    • To lower the cost and power consumption associated with placing global-positioning system functionality on mobile handsets, Ceva Inc. is adding GPS capability to its DSP-centric Xpert development platform.

    • To lower the cost and power consumption associated with placing global-positioning system functionality on mobile handsets, Ceva Inc. is adding GPS capability to its DSP-centric Xpert development platform. A deviation from the company's traditional CPU-centric hardware, the Xpert-GPS platform is said to improve sensitivity and accuracy and, as a bonus, adds signal-processing capabilities for multimedia.

    • Cette semaine, Atmel Corp. présentera en détails ses projets concernant le sans fil, à commencer par un jeu de composants complet appelé Zigbee comprenant un émetteur-récepteur intégré, un microcontrôleur optimisé et une pile de protocoles IEEE 802.15.4 complète et Zigbee pré-standardisée. La société entend bien exploiter son expertise dans le domaine du silicium germanium et du RF CMOS pour concentrer ses activités sans fil autour du Wi-Fi, de l’utralarge bande et du WiMax.

    • Synopsys-Anwender können im Rahmen künftig Philips' neuen DSP-Core 'Coolflux' in ihre Designs einbeziehen. Eine entsprechende Übereinkunft haben die beiden Unternehmen im Rahmen von Synopsys' Programm 'DesignWare Star IP' abgeschlossen. Über 25 000 Designer können von dem Abkommen profitieren.

    • CoWare Inc. has joined the UWB Forum and added direct-sequence ultrawideband (DS-UWB) support to its Signal Processing Worksystem (SPW) system-level development library. The company — which in December announced library support for the competing OFDM ultrawideband scheme — said it is the first to support both UWB proposals and the only one supporting the Common Signaling Mode component of DS-UWB.

    • Atmel Corp. will flesh out its wireless plans this week, starting with a complete Zigbee chip set comprising an integrated transceiver, highly optimized microcontroller, and full IEEE 802.15.4 and prestandard Zigbee protocol stack. The company intends to leverage its silicon germanium and RF-CMOS expertise to hone its wireless focus in key areas that include, along with Zigbee, Wi-Fi, ultrawideband and WiMax.

    • CoWare Inc. will announce today that it has joined the UWB Forum and added direct-sequence ultrawideband (DS-UWB) support to its Signal Processing Worksystem (SPW) system-level development library.

    • Atmel Corp. will flesh out its wireless plans this week, starting with a complete Zigbee chip set comprising an integrated transceiver, highly optimized microcontroller, and full IEEE 802.15.4 and prestandard Zigbee protocol stack.

    • Determined to end the ad hoc and custom nature of wireless-LAN testing, VeriWave Inc. will introduce hardware and software Monday (May 3) that tests WLAN conformance and reliability at all stages of system development.

    • Determined to end the ad hoc and custom nature of wireless-LAN testing, VeriWave Inc. this week will introduce hardware and software that tests WLAN conformance and reliability at all stages of system development.

    • Ericsson has shifted to a DSP-only, software-defined approach to basestation design in response to the cost, processing and flexibility requirements of third-generation wireless infrastructure.

    • Ericsson has shifted to a DSP-only, software-defined approach to basestation design in response to the cost, processing and flexibility requirements of third-generation wireless infrastructure.

    • Ericsson has shifted to a DSP-only, software-defined approach to basestation design in response to the cost, processing and flexibility requirements of third-generation wireless infrastructure.

    • Auf Druck von US-Unternehmen hat China seinen proprietären WAPI-Standard für die WLAN-Verschlüsselung zurückgezogen. US-Branchenvertreter zeigten sich hoch erfreut.

    • Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of Intel Corp., will announce Wednesday (April 21) that its $200 million Digital Home Fund has invested in four more companies it believes will help realize its vision of a digitally-connected, streaming-multimedia home.

    • Intel Capital, Risikokapital-Ableger des gleichnamigen Chipherstellers, investiert in vier weitere Unternehmen, die seiner Vision vom digital vernetzten Streaming-Multimedia-Home auf die Sprünge helfen sollen. Die Kapitalmittel stammen aus dem 200 Millionen Dollar schweren Digital Home Fund, der von Intel Capital verwaltet wird.

    • Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of Intel Corp., will announce Wednesday (April 21) that its $200 million Digital Home Fund has invested in four more companies it believes will help realize its vision of a digitally-connected, streaming-multimedia home.

    • Nanotron Technologies said it attracted $9.5 million in fourth-round funding for its multidimensional multiple access wireless technology.

    • The WiMedia Alliance board has endorsed the Multiband-OFDM Alliance's ultrawideband media-access control and physical layers as the foundation for its common radio platform for personal-area networking.

    • After years of disparaging the IEEE 802.16 standard upon which the WiMax Forum is based, Navini Networks has done an about-face and opted to ditch the competing 802.20 spec it previously backed and join WiMax.

    • Wisair is using the Intel Developers Forum in Tokyo to unveil and demonstrate the first ultrawideband transceiver to meet the physical-layer requirements of the upcoming multiband-OFDM specification.

    • A seismic shift in radio design could break the spectrum-availability bottleneck, proponents say, and open up a new frontier of opportunities for radio designers and wireless application developers.

    • Though cognitive radio opens up possibilities for spectrum reuse, from 300 MHz at the low end right up to 100 GHz at the high end, opinions vary as to the optimum path. Intel, Microsoft and others are excited about the lower bands, where they could take advantage of TV spectrum to reuse "white" space for data services while also creating an interactive TV experience for mobile users.

    • Intel Corp. et Alcatel ont allié leurs forces afin de définir, standardiser, développer et commercialiser un accès à large bande sans fil WiMAX, ciblant le deuxième trimestre 2005 pour la fourniture de systèmes complets.

    • Intel Corp. and Alcatel have allied to define, standardize, develop and market WiMAX-based wireless broadband access, targeting the second half of 2005 for the delivery of complete systems.

    • Agere Systems Inc. will announce a line of lead-free overmolded plastic-packaged LDMOS transistors this week that it believes will reduce the cost of RF transistor packaging by up to 25 percent.

    • Agere Systems Inc. will announce a line of lead-free overmolded plastic-packaged LDMOS transistors this week that it believes will reduce the cost of RF transistor packaging by up to 25 percent.

    • The Multiband-OFDM Alliance has thrashed out a new media-access controller (MAC) for ultrawideband networks, underscoring the diminished influence of the IEEE 802.15.3a task group in setting the pace on UWB technology.

    • For the fourth consecutive time, the IEEE 802.15.3a task group on ultrawideband technology failed to break a protracted deadlock. What little progress was proprietary rather than within the standards process itself.

    • Une alliance industrielle a défini un nouveau contrôleur d'accès au support (MAC) pour les réseaux à ultra large bande qui, aux dires des membres de l'alliance, permettra de répondre aux multiples besoins des marchés du PC, de l'électronique grand public et de la téléphonie mobile.

    • An industry alliance has forged a new media-access controller for ultrawideband networks that proponents said will meet the myriad needs of the PC, consumer electronics and mobile markets.

    • MeshNetworks has gathered its Layer 2 mesh-networking protocols and repackaged them as a set of libraries that can be licensed for use on standards-based platforms, starting with the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard.

    • SiGe Semiconductor Inc. has introduced a line of silicon germanium power amplifiers this week that it believes will break gallium arsenide devices' lock on CDMA cellular handsets.

    • SiGe Semiconductor Inc. will bring out a line of silicon germanium power amplifiers this week that it believes will break gallium arsenide devices' lock on CDMA cellular handsets.

    • In a matter of days the leading minds in the international electronics industry will gather for electronicaUSA with the Embedded Systems Conference, a four-day extravaganza that promises to be North America's largest confluence of electronic systems engineering, business, exhibitions and open-forum discussions this year. The conference, organized by Messe Munchen International and CMP Media LLC, which publishes EE Times, will be held at San Francisco's Moscone Center March 29-April 1.

    • Motorola Inc. will bring a revised ultrawideband (UWB) proposal to a meeting of the IEEE 802.15.3a task group in Orlando, Fla., this week, along with what it says is proof that the new scheme offers a tenfold efficiency improvement--at very short ranges--over a competing technology vying for the nod as the IEEE UWB standard.

    • Motorola Inc. will bring a revised ultrawideband (UWB) proposal to a meeting of the IEEE 802.15.3a task group in Orlando, Fla., this week, along with what it says is proof that the new scheme offers a tenfold efficiency improvement — at very short ranges — over a competing technology vying for the nod as the IEEE UWB standard.

    • The IEEE 802.15.3a task group took two days last week to sketch out a framework under which the two remaining physical layers for ultrawideband short-range wireless communications — currently deadlocked — can coexist peacefully.

    • The IEEE 802.15.3a task group took two days last week to sketch out a framework under which the two remaining physical layers for ultrawideband short-range wireless communications — currently deadlocked — can coexist peacefully.

    • Texas Instruments Inc. used last week's 3GSM conference in Cannes, France, to launch its Omap 2 architecture for 2.5- and third-generation phones.

    • A number of key U.S. government and industry bodies are behind an effort to squelch a proposed Chinese wireless encryption standard that they believe will undermine the World Trade Organization's crucial trade efforts with China.

    • Um den Ansprüchen künftiger Digitaler Signalprozessoren (DSPs) gerecht zu werden, muss Texas Instruments engere Geschäftsbeziehungen mit Toolanbietern, Software-Entwicklern und Systemherstellern etablieren, meint der künftige CEO und President des Unternehmens, Richard K. Templeton.

    • With the mantra "all-in-one entertainment" Texas Instruments used this week's 3GSM conference in Cannes to launch its OMAP 2 architecture for 2.5 and 3G phones. The company is betting that advanced signal processing combined with extensive video and graphics support will transform "trendy" wireless devices into a full-featured entertainment experience — and stimulate a demand for smartphones.

    • Citing CMOS power-amplifier technology advancements that go way beyond anything Silicon Laboratories — or anyone else — has accomplished, Axiom MicroDevices refuted a lawsuit filed today by Silicon Labs.

    • With wireless technologies seemingly multiplying faster than microbes in a petri dish, the consumer electronics industry is desperate for a viable approach that will help it meet time-to-market deadlines for the expected launch of wireless delivery of audio and video content to the home by next Christmas.

    • With wireless technologies seemingly multiplying faster than microbes in a petri dish, the consumer electronics industry is desperate for a viable approach that will help it meet time-to-market deadlines for the expected launch of wireless delivery of audio and video content to the home by next Christmas.

    • A radio maker says it has found a way for ultrawideband systems based on differing technologies to get along. PulseLink Inc. is preparing to detail for members of the IEEE 802.15.3a task group a Common Signaling Protocol that allows coexistence of multiple UWB physical layers that would otherwise obliterate one another.

    • A radio maker says it has found a way for ultrawideband systems based on differing technologies to get along. PulseLink Inc. is preparing to detail for members of the IEEE 802.15.3a task group a Common Signaling Protocol that allows coexistence of multiple UWB physical layers that would otherwise obliterate one another.

    • Vernier Networks Inc. has rearchitected its Caliper enterprise wireless-LAN security and management platform to emphasize scalability, visibility, reliability and fine-grained, real-time control of individual users.

    • Hey all, Part 1 went really well and we got to most of your questions: Thanks for submitting and for joining in during the event. We're lining up Part 2 now, so let us know what you'd like to see addressed as we get more specific on items such as thermal management, optics, lighting design etc..

    • Hi Deepskiri, thanks for your support! We're looking to do a follow-up to this Android course, so if you or anyone else have suggestions on what Part 2 should discuss, please, let us know. Very best regards, Patrick.

    • Hi Steven, delighted you enjoyed the course! Unfortunately we don't make it available as a downloadable file, but as a registered user you can jump in at any time and pick up the course in its entirety or at specific points as a refresher. Best regards, Patrick

    • Hi all: We're delighted you're enjoying the Fundamentals of USB course, but unfortunately we can't make it downloadable at this point, for many reasons. We hope that doesn't detract too much from the learning experience. Keep in mind, that you can pause and come back to the course at your leisure. Best regards!

    • Hi all, we're delighted you've enjoyed the course. Due to copyright issues we cannot distribute the course per your requests, but it will be here on EETimes whenever you need it. Best regards to all. Patrick

    • Duane, I echo your sentiment, regarding TI's courage to publish this and I am excited to have just posted Part 2 of this two-parter here: http://www.eetimes.com/design/signal-processing-dsp/4209479/Go-beyond-the-datasheet--Part-2--Understand-the-considerations Ivan and Gene go deeper the design considerations and how best to go about reaping the rewards of pushing the envelope. It comes with a disclaimer, however. As it should. Enjoy!

    • Jobs may come and go, but the engineering creativity remains. I think the onus is upon communities (including EETimes) to help engineers make that mental shift from "Oh my God, how do I find a job (which may not be there)" to "Oh my God, I have a great idea, how do I get it to market" (identifying opportunities, patenting, getting financing, marketing, war stories, and even how to tap into the global engineering design community and outsource on a micro scale to get your idea realized and production ready). Thoughts?

    • Great discussion! Three quick points that need to be factored in: 1: Sarbanes-Oxley (particularly section 404). Right or wrong (and engineers can rightly argue that finance heads and CEOs need the same level of controls as, say, a MIL-STD xyz spec' compliance), SOX has affected a public company's distribution of resources. If you have x amount of $, and you need to spend more on achieving compliance, then some of that $ has to come from other departments. Engineering comes to mind. Also, going public used to be the Holy Grail, but not so much anymore: the costs of 404 compliance in the aftermath need to be carefully weighed up before taking the plunge. And of course there's the Fear Factor: CEOs are rightfully a lot more cautious than they used to be. Caution is good, but sometimes risk-taking has benefits too. 2: Politics and engineering. The ability of engineers to control the destiny of their profession is in direct proportion to their ability to self-organize and effect that change -- both locally and in the halls of power. Engineers tend to eschew politics. The IEEE has to practically beg engineers to get involved. You don't have to beg lawyers and doctors to organize politically. My brother-in-law is a programmer and we debate the ins and outs of this topic all the time. He was so hopping mad and so against 'the system' that in the last election he didn't vote. He's still hopping mad. And probably will remain so. 3: We talk a lot about education in America. But what made the U.S. a beacon for the rest of the world and what made it stand out was not just technical ability. It was attitude. The confidence to go out and make things happen: to follow our passions, regardless of the obstacles. The spirit of entrepreneurship. For whatever the reasons may be, and their are many, that confidence and "I can do that!" attitude is greatly diminished, and that may be the saddest aspect of all.

    • In many ways I'm reminded of Cypress's PSoC architecture (programmability + analog/mixed-signal). Microsemi isn't going into the FPGA business. It's going into the 'best platform from which to launch the next generation of integrated solutions' business. FPGAs have improved dramatically in terms of power consumption over the past four of five years. Together with the migration of late toward integrated RISC and DSP-like processing capability,they're a good hook upon which to hang great analog/M-S expertise. Sidenote: Maxim showcased some great technology as a result of its $4 billion investment in R&D over the past 9 years. One item that stood out was the 2079 analog front end that could be applied for high-end and low-end ultrasound systems. So, it serves high end and low end systems -- at the same cost per component. That sounds awfully like a resistor. It's a great part, for sure, and has great specs, but integration around a good programmable platform is necessary for analog vendors. In the case of Microsemi, Actel's lineup is a pretty good base upon which to build added value.

    • I'm with Nic on this one: Given the evolutionary path of FPGAs and how they've evolved to encompass a widening range of processing applications, combining them with analog/mixed signal, especially for sensing, measurement and control applications, is a smart move! It also is another round of consolidation that is trending toward 'one size fits all' with regard to hardware and its suppliers.

    • Hi mrwonderful. Course materials, as a general rule, are not downloadable due to internal copyright as well as distribution agreements we have with many presenters. Best regards, Patrick

    • While going beyond the datasheet (overclocking) is exciting and will work for custom applications, engineers clearly face liability issues if something should fail, so they're obliged not to take 'risks' -- for their own sake and the sake of the company they work for. But again, it's exciting to operate at the envelope, where appropriate. What's been your experience?

    • Hi Sheetal, glad you liked the course. For SI issues with PCBs, I'd recommend you take a look at Fundamentals of PCB Design here: http://www.eetimes.com/electrical-engineers/education-training/courses/4000356/Fundamentals-of-PCB-Design Best regards, Patrick

    • What's described here is the fundamental technology and reasoning behind Fairchild's FAN9612 series of interleaved boundary conduction mode (I-BCM) integrated circuit controllers. These offer a topological solution to the reverse recovery losses in the CCM boost diodes and eliminate the need for SiC diodes in many applications from 200 to 800W. While the approach sounds promising, what has been your experience with this topology and the overall system implementation requirements..and results?

    • Hi again. The article was originally submitted by Numonyx prior to the finalization of the acquisition. It entered the queue here (we get a lot of submissions). When it came time to post it, the acquistion had closed and we sent the article back for revision, with Micron. The version you see now, is the version Micron sent back to us.

    • Hey all, let's take it easy on Greg here. This was simply a typo. The article was originally submitted to EETimes shortly before Micron sealed the deal on its purchase of Numonyx. (Yes, Numonyx was formed through a joint venture between ST and Intel in 2008.) In the revised version sent to EETimes shortly after the deal was sealed and right before article posted, a global substitution of 'Micron' for 'Numonyx' had been implemented, which caused the error. I should have caught it, for sure, but these things happen. I have now fixed it. Thanks for spotting this, guys! Much appreciated, as always.

    • After years of navel gazing and whining over too few chip starts, it's good to finally see the EDA community step back and act upon what it has known for years: there's more to electronic design automation than 'chips'.

    • There's an interesting debate internally at Powercast. While Ostaffe is convinced the best source of ambient RF power is from mobile basestations, one of his colleagues believes it's from nearby cellphones, and they did a demo when the first iPhone came out in 2007 to show that effect. However, I'd side with Ostaffe: the basestations are a more reliable and ubiquitous source. What do you think?

    • It was, like you said, a pretty mind-bending discussion. I was going to ask him afterward: If we invent time travel in the future, how come no-one's coming back to tell us about it? Of course, then he brought up the whole grandfather paradox (if you prevent your grandparents from getting hitched, you can never be born) and the notion that if you travel back in time you're actually in a parallel universe. What happened before, continues to happen in the 'other' universe, but in your 'new' universe, things happen differently. So, I guess people are by now (define 'now'?) bouncing all over time in different parallel universes, so I guess they can't tell us 'here' about it. We'll have to figure it out ourselves... Does anyone see light at the end of the time-tunnel here?

    • Hey Rick, I just did one myself, but as it happens it's more coincident with your comment above on batteries being greener. I'm still not convinced that's the case. The batteries still have to be charged. Where's the power going to come from? A coal-fired plant in Pennsylvania. http://www.greensupplyline.com/blogs/224900247 Note, however, the column also highlights an interesting piece in the Economist lately on a side benefit of EVs: Hub Motors. http://www.economist.com/science-technology/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15949099 There's a really interesting discussion at the end of that one too. Thanks! Patrick

    • The Wi-Fi security scares of the early years have subsided, for sure. However, with embedded Wi-Fi-enabled devices now possibly connecting to potentially less secure ZigBee (and cellular) networks, combined with the Google-enabled Internet access to all, does security now loom large again, or is it just not an issue? It's a new space for embedded systems designers used to 'standalone' systems.

    • Great comments all 'round here. Two more to add: In some ways, we bring this upon ourselves. Engineers are slow to self promote and almost take pride in being 'different' (aka: nerdiness is a badge of honor). Being sidelined socially is a natural consequence. When I heard Buzz Aldrin was going on Dancing With the Stars, I finally had to break down and watch the show (but only for his appearance). It was good to see an engineer (and true hero) have a bit of fun too. On a sadder note, I went to our local school district budget meeting on Tuesday night. Cutbacks are looming, like anywhere else, and advanced placement programs are on the list of things to be dropped, in favor of an International Bacculaureate program (I won't get into that, that's a whole other issue). My point is this: A young girl, a middleschooler of maybe 10 or 11 years of age, walked up, took the microphone and begged the panel of supervisors/principals/accountants/superintendents to not get rid of the advanced math program. She loved it, the teacher, the projects, her fellow math buffs, everything about it. Her enthusiasm infected everyone in the audience. When she was done, the panel smiled and clearly thought it was 'cute' and didn't respond to her pleas. I didn't think it was cute. It pulled at my heartstrings. The passion was there, and the adults laughed it off. I just came away saddened.

    • The opportunities for embedded wireless are manifold, but so too are the security issues associated with it. For many applications, it's not a concern, but with Google now in the monitoring game and Internet access ubiquitous, should designers really start to get concerned? Where's the cut-off between caution and paranoia -- and what should we do about it?

    • I'm currently looking for a robotic teardown candidate for an EETimes robotics special edition. Any and all suggestions welcome, here or by email or twitter at patrick.mannion@ubm.com and @Patrick_Mannion, respectively. Thanks!

    • I know I'll never read all the papers on the subject, pro or con. If so many smart people spend so much time on the matter and still can't reach an definitive conclusion, then I'm not going to waste my time retreading their steps. Like most of us, I have a fulltime job and a family. However, I do know the climate has always been changing, warming and cooling. The question, which is getting lost here a little, is to what degree are humans causing these changes, and is it harmful. By campaigning under global warming' Greenies made the mistake of hitching their wagon to the weather and now it's turned on them (ask the folks in Washington when they dig out of their igloos). The Greenies underlying intent is admirable and worthy, but it gets marred by the extremists and the politics and economics that go along with it, with oft-times misleading statements and arguments to push an agenda. It becomes a full-time job just to sort through the B.S. Every statement that comes from either camp has to be viewed with a jaundiced eye. It's a mess. However, I do think we spend so much time arguing for or against climate change, that we miss the opportunity to do more on a day to day basis. As one commentator said in this chain, we have done tremendous work on the ground so far in raising the social conscience and changing attitudes. But there's so much more to do. I live on Long Island, and I don't bring my kids fishing as we can't eat what we catch. Especially not the local fresh-water fish. The last time I swam in Long Island Sound, I got a rash all across my abdomen. Every year, we close a majority of the beaches due to human fecaes in the water. When trying to enjoy the ocean from the confines of the beach, I run my fingers through the sand only to pick up two or three cigarette butts. I fly in to major cities every other month and I get nauseated looking at the waterways and what we've done to them, knowing that little or nothing will ever get done because so much energy is spent on the climate agenda. I have my thoughts on what energy options should be explored, but if I voice them here, it'll incite another round of hate mail and the point will be lost again. There's so much more to be done at a local level to 'save the earth'. Efforts with clear goals and concrete, absolute results (what engineer or scientist doesn't like the sound of that??). Conserve energy, pick up your garbage, don't waste water, get active in local clean-up operations and push your local politicians to do the same (find out who's dumping mercury in your water!) etc. etc. The list at this level is endless and the results will change the environmental impact for the better at a grassroots level. But while finding alternative energy is an important goal, arguing for/against climate change is so much more fun...academically speaking.

    • PS: meant to add -- nice piece. I'm all for recognizing the global nature of our design environment and enabling those designers around the globe to exercise their skills on a contract basis.

    • Is there a platform or a tool available that will allow me to contract with engineers around the globe on pieces of a design I want done for which I don't have in-house capability? This applies to both system and IC design. Thanks for any help on this.

    • Right, so companies will outsource where they can: if they outsource too much or it's too deadline or quality dependent, they may get burned, and pull that back in-house again.They'll find the balance themselves -- not with legislative interference.

    • Hey Bill, well said. Truly, we've been squeezed down a funnel of diminishing returns. So much more can -- and could still -- be gained from cross-pollination into other scientific disciplines, like you alluded to. For example, IMEC's research into organic circuits. Bioelectronics. Nanonelectronics. These areas are being researched, to be sure. But very much peripherally, yet the benefits to be had are so vast. It's a shame our industry is myopically focused on silicon. Are we offering silicon -- or solutions?

    • Nice story, and true in many ways. However, engineering suffers from more than gaps in education: it suffers from stagnant or falling compensation in the developed world as more and more design goes off-shore. Until the status and pay of engineers starts to rise in line with the work required to become an engineer, other professions will continue to be alot more attractive for those who don't have the visceral 'calling' to be an engineer.

    • Thanks George. One other thing: I think it's a tad ironic that the engineering community, which (in my opinion) wrongly considers itself to 'above' the political fray (vs., say, other professionals such as doctors and lawyers who regularly get involved in the political arena) now have the chutzpah to suddenly go with their hand out.

    • Hey George, nice column. But something about this statement always irks me (as it's a frequently voiced sentiment): "Then GM and the others can begin again to build cars that energy-conscious consumers want to buy." It seems to me everyone's blaming GM for making the big cars and making big profits off them -- but they wouldn't have made those profits if people (consumers) weren't eager to get their hands on them. Now, I'm no Detroit apologist, but isn't that good business sense? Make cars that maximize profits. Everyone blames for doing that. What they should be blaming them for is for not investing those profits in more green R&D. That's the flaw. Not the profit making.

    • Not much to what seems the obvious shared antenna for GPS, WiFi, and BT. Just a little bent strip of metal a couple cm. long, down at the opposite end from the planar internal antenna for cellular comms.

    • I just bought another (yes 'another') Flip Ultra. Plugged it in, and it worked perfectly. There are variables on the respective laptops too that make these so difficult to get perfect, but the Flip comes pretty close. Sorry to hear about your frustrations, but I got a USB flash card the other day -- and that didn't work. Had to ditch it. How simple is that -- and it still got messed up.

    • Are you serious? That headline makes absolutely no sense! It's a deceptive, sensationalist headline meant to attract eyeballs. Flatwire has nothing to do with replacing wireless anything!

    • you say early in the story: "It was the natural evolution for us to move up to support our customers who wanted to be on that path." That's always a good thing (responding to customers' needs). But why now? What took so long? People have been doing 32-bit for years. did they only now realize that they were going to get their lunch eaten if they didn't cave and get off the 8-bit rock?