Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: Feb. 1 - 5, 2010 - Embedded.com

Embedded.com Weekly Newsletter: Feb. 1 – 5, 2010



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The market is still giving analysts mixed signals about its health withchip salesfalling 9% in 2009 , but also indications of a 30% chipmarket boom in 2010 with chip makersslowly swinging into profitability. And even though ARM reported fallingsales and profits last year , plansare in the works forthree new ARM processor cores in 2010 .

Let's hope that no one has to go through a repeat of anything like Toyota's gaspedal nightmare. Thecompany still can't determine whether it is a mechanical or a softwareproblem. For columnist Michael Barr's take on this issue check out hisblog: “Is Toyota'sAccelerator Problem Caused by Embedded Software Bugs ?”

Among the many design article submissions this week, one that caughtmy attention was When good compilersgo bad, or What you see is not what you execute ,” on how toget rid of the mismatch between source and compiled machine code andthereby eliminate having to debug the machine code. I learned a lotfrom reading it and I think you will too.

The Design Focus in thisweek is on communications and networking with contributions on differential signal chains incommunications systems design, network engineering foraudio engineers, using SerDesin fourth generation wireless infrastructure and automating networkdesign.

You will also enjoy Jack Ganssle's Remembering theMemories ,” inwhich he analyzes how radically memory design has changed the nature ofdigital electronics. Dan Saks has a new C/C++ column: Variationson aflexible array theme .” Good reading! (Embedded.com Editor Bernard Cole,bccole@acm.org )

NEWS ANALYSIS – ARM lays out roadmap with three more cores
ARM Holdings plans to launch three processor cores during 2010. The cores, codenamed Eagle, Heron and Merlin, all have lead licensing customers and deliveries of intellectual property will start either in 2010 or early in 2011 depending on the core, said ARM CEO Warren East.
NEWS FEATURE – ASIC pioneer reinvents 3-D FPGAs
By building a three-dimensional field-programmable FPGA with an ultra-dense anti-fuse interconnect, NuPGA claims to be able to achieve the density of an ASIC at a fraction of the cost.
NEWS – Dash7 sensor network alliance rolls working groups
The Dash7 Alliance, a coalition of organizations promoting a standard for wireless sensor networks based on the ISO18000-7 standard, has announced it now has more than 40 participating organizations, including leaders from the semiconductor, supply chain and RFID industries.
  BREAK POINT by Jack Ganssle
Remembering the memories
A trip down memory lane reveals more about how memory radically changed the nature of digital electronics.
Variations on a flexible array theme
Different dialects of C and C++ support different forms of flexible array members. Unfortunately, the more expressive forms are the less portable ones.
MARKET NEWS – ARM's weak Q4 outperforms the market
Processor IP licensor ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England) reported falling profits and sales for the fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31, 2009, but the company said it expects to see improving conditions in 2010.
MARKET NEWS – Chip makers swing to profitability
Chip makers including Sandisk, Maxim Integrated Products, Cypress Semiconductor and Lattice Semiconductor swung to profit in the calendar fourth quarter of 2009—compared to losses suffered at the height of the downturn in late 2008. But memory technology licensor Rambus posted a wider loss after retroactively recognizing previously withheld royalties in the year-ago period.
MARKET NEWS – Full-year chip sales fell 9% in 2009, says SIA
Global semiconductor sales were $226.3 billion in 2009, a decline of 9 percent from 2008 when sales were $248.6 billion, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). The full-year decline was as had been expected in the last month but much less than had been predicted in the first months of 2009.
MARKET ANALYSIS – Future Horizons sees 30% chip market boom
The worldwide chip market is set for at two years of more than 20 percent growth and could even hit more than 30 percent growth in a single year, according to Malcolm Penn, the principal analyst and founder of the U.K. market analysis company Future Horizons (Sevenoaks, England).
COMMENTARY – Toyota's nightmare
We're about to see whether Toyota really does have a handle on its gas pedal problem.
  ESD MAGAZINE: On Line Exclusive
When good compilers go bad, or What you see is not what you execute
Getting rid of the mismatch between source code and compiled machine code may mean having to debug the machine code. Here's some of the latest research on finding a tool to combat the problem.
  DESIGN FOCUS: Networking/Communications
Automating next generation network design tasks
In the new next generation multitechnology network environments, the design and optimization required to meet emerging subscriber demands are increasing operational complexity to levels never before encountered, requiring the use of a new generation of network design tools
The differential-signal advantage for communications system design
Understand how differential signal chains and architectures can improve system performance in challenging applications
Network engineering for audio engineers – Part 1: IP/Ethernet networking basics
Part 1 of an excerpt from the book “Audio Over IP” looks at basic IP/Ethernet networking fundamentals from an audio-over-IP-specific perspective.
Using SerDes in Fourth Generation Wireless Infrastructure
As the network equipment infrastructure is built up for 4G there will be an demand for high serial data rates between the main control radio equipment and that in distributed base stations. Here is how to meet the high serial data rate by only ugrading the Serdes through the use of a discrete solution
Fundamentals of designing with MOSFET power switches
Understand how to use these basic, versatile, essential discrete components
Intelligent Interleaving: improving energy efficiency in AC-DC power supplies
From Fairchild Semiconductor, a how-to on improving energy efficiency in your power supply design using the FAN9612 Interleaved Dual Boundary Conduction Mode PFC controller.
  EDITOR'S NOTE: Continuing Education
ESC Silicon Valley is increasingly the place to get hands-on training. In the past, we told you how to develop your system, then you went back to your lab to make it work. Now, we're bringing that lab to you, giving you the hardware and software you need to design, develop, and debug your system. Find out more here. Note: Early-bird registration expires February 19th.

Finally, as the deployments of 3G Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks accelerate, engineers have their hands full developing and testing handsets to meet the extreme performance requirements these networks demand. Our online course, the Fundamentals of LTE Physical Layer and Test Requirements will take you through the LTE standard and show you how to set up to test user equipment using the latest test systems and techniques.

  Career Center
Now Hiring 02-03-2010

  1. L-3 seeking I.A. Sales Engineer in Annapolis Junction, MD

  2. Ascension Health seeking Solutions Development Lead in St. Louis, MO

  3. Gentex Corporation seeking Software Test Engineer in Zeeland, MI

  4. Covance seeking Manager of QA in Greenfield, IN

  5. NAVTEQ, Inc seeking Data Warehouse Architect in Chicago, IL

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit: EETimesCareers.www.EETimesCareers.com

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