What's New on Embedded.com (11-10-11) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (11-10-11)


Embedded Newsletter for 11-10-2011

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November 10, 2011

New on Embedded.com


Jean Viljoen, Azoteq

Design capacitive touch systems for robustness and manufacturability

Mohit Arora, Freescale

Understanding the security framework behind RSA SecurID

Adam Folts, Microchip Technology

Add graphics without using a dedicated graphics controller


Vampire power

Put the engineers in charge

Opinion: Assembling Economic Growth

Ten quotes on parallel programming

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

On Embedded.com this week, three hands-on articles are my Editor's Top Picks :

Add graphics without using a dedicated graphics controller,” by Adam Folts, will be useful to developers looking to reduce component cost and size in a variety of embedded and mobile graphics designs.

In “Design capacitive touch systems for robustness and manufacturability,” Jean Viljoen describes some of the daunting EMI, parasitic capacitance and enclosure effects that can sidetrack designers of capacitive touch user interfaces.

Mohit Arora's article “Understanding the security framework behind RSA SecurID” provides a short tutorial on this deceptively simple encryption scheme for connected embedded devices, along with some tips on when and where to use it.

Our newest regular columnist Mike Hogg's “Agile embedded ” presents the case for the use of Agile software development techniques to improve code quality. If you find his arguments convincing be sure to read an article on an Agile related technique by Jeffrey Grady titled “Hardware/software design requirements planning .

Jack Ganssle's “Vampire power ” will motivate you to walk around your office or home and count the many electronics devices that suck up an amazing amount of power even when not active. I spent about an hour doing this and I don't think I spotted all of the power vampires that have found their way into my life.

Design How Tos

Design capacitive touch systems for robustness and manufacturability

In this Product How-To design article, Jean Viljoen of Azoteq, details the EMI and other challenges of designing capacitive touch user interfaces and how to use the company's ProxSense auto tuning technology to negate the need for calibration.

Understanding the security framework behind RSA SecurID

This article takes you through the two-factor authentication-base RSA SecurID security protocol – not to be confused with the RSA public key cryptographic mechanism – and how to use it for providing secure remote access for a user to a network resource as well as some potential vulnerabilities to guard against.

Add graphics without using a dedicated graphics controller

The author describes the various means by which integrated peripherals on a microcontroller along with graphics libraries enable embedded designers to push down costs by driving an LCD display without a graphics controller.

Using hardware to save energy in MCU-based sensing applications

Here is how to offset the energy cost of implementing functions in software by extracting relatively complex functions or algorithms and embedding them in hardware designed for low energy consumption.

Hardware/software design requirements planning: Part 1 – Laying the ground work

In this series of articles, Jeffrey O. Grady, author of “System Verification,” delineates the basics of requirements planning and analysis, an important tool for using Agile programming techniques to achieve better code quality and reliability in complex embedded systems software and hardware projects.

Energy harvesting and renewable energy sources

Energy harvesting is hot, and the Power Solutions: Smart Energy Technologies and Techniques Virtual Event by EETimes will address major issues associated with the design and integration of solar- and wind-harvesting systems.

M2M communications ties to smartphones

The divergent wireless technologies that enabled the expansion of machine-to-machine communications have now been merged onto a single platform: the smartphone.

Improve the tracking performance of the PWM voltage-controlled buck converters by using a passive pre-filter

Understand how the addition of this filter can enhance standard compensation techniques

Simple ways to manage different clock frequencies of audio codecs

By proper reconfiguration of the digital filters, sample rate conversion and flexible clock frequency choices, a wide range of audio-video applications can be supported with modern audio codecs.

Test MIMO over-the-air with a two-stage method

One way to accurately predict the real-world performance of a mobile device is through the use of over-the air (OTA) testing, or in the case of LTE, Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) OTA testing.

Embedded Systems Bookshelf


Embedded Books Reading Room
Bernard Cole's favorite links to book excerpts.


Engineer's Bookshelf
Airport fiction blows. A look at books other engineers are reading and why you should read them, too. Recommend and write a review yourself. E-mail Brian Fuller.

Jack Ganssle's Bookshelf
A list of book reviews by Jack Ganssle, contributing technical editor of Embedded Systems Design and Embedded.com.

Max's Cool Beans
Clive “Max” Maxfield, the editor on Programmable Logic DesignLine, often writes about interesting books.

Product News

Microchip debuts small, low-cost PIC32 micros

Devices include I2S interface for audio playback plus capacitive touch, USB 2.0, and digital pin remapping.

Apache comes out with an RTL power flow

Power has moved from being a secondary design consideration to a primary one and that requires some new tools and techniques…

Latest and greatest Quartus II design software from Altera

In addition to supporting Arria V and Cyclone V FPGAs, the latest version of Altera's Quartus II version 11.1 also offers productivity improvements.

ST sensor embeds complex motion-recognition capabilities

STMicroelectronics is touting its latest sensor as the industry's first three-axis high-resolution accelerometer with two embedded finite-state machines.

LVDT linear position sensors operate in hazardous locations

Macro Sensors' upgraded HLR series LVDTs operate in critical applications for gas/steam power plants, chemical process plants, paper mills, gas pumping stations, refinery ops.

u-blox expands family of Automotive Dead Reckoning GPS receivers

u-blox has launched the NEO-6V GPS module and UBX-G6010-SA-DR single-chip deliver drop-in, self-calibrating GPS Dead Reckoning performance for high precision vehicle navigation systems.

Epiq Solutions announces first handheld software defined radio

Matchstiq from Epiq Solutions is, according to the company, the world's smallest commercially available software defined radio (SDR) capable of tuning between 300 MHz and 3.8 GHz.

EE Times' Virtual Event
Power Solutions: Smart Energy Technologies and Techniques
Thursday, November 10, 2011 11am-6pm EDT/8am-3pm PDT

Today, energy-efficient design is the number one concern of design engineers, whether working on low-power wireless sensor nodes or HB- LED lighting networks. Whether you're focused on prolonging the battery life of your standalone system or reducing the cost of running a server farm, this virtual event will introduce you to new smart energy technologies and techniques that can save you time and money.
Register now!

From the Experts

Break Points

By Jack Ganssle

Vampire power

Vampire devices suck up an awful lot of power, often for no good reason.


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