What's New on Embedded.com (7-15-11 to 7-21-11) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (7-15-11 to 7-21-11)


Embedded Newsletter for 07-21-11

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July 21, 2011

New on Embedded.com


Peter Wilson

A guide to VHDL for embedded software developers: Part 1 – Essential commands

Dan Joe Barry, Napatech

Using virtualization to consolidate data traffic on a single network appliance


On design metrics

The next transistor: planar, fins, and SoI at 22nm

Getting re-connected with Tanenbaum and Stallings

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

It has taken a while for the industry to settle down after Intel’s bombshell move to 20-22 nanometer vertical FETs in all its future processor designs, but we’re starting to see the changes competing companies are making to match this aggressive move. This week, for example, Samsung’s foundry is taping out its first 20-nm ARM chip and EDA vendor Synopsys is revamping its chip design tools for 20-nm designs.

Now Intel is planning to shrink its vertical 3-D FET process down to the 7, 10 and 14 nanometer nodes. For what this will mean, read Ron Wilson’s design article: “The next transistor: planar, fins, and SoI at 22 nm.

While not as earth shaking in its impact, design article activity on Embedded.com this week indicates that developers are rolling out designs and ideas to go after a number of more near-term opportunities, including network traffic consolidation with virtualization , 32-bit ARM-based smart-grid data collectors, near-field communications, and low power wireless with Bluetooth 4.0..

In his column “On design metrics,” Jack Ganssle reminds us that the success of companies in such a highly competitive environment depends on highly motivated and well-managed teams of engineers and the ability of companies they work for to correctly measure the effect of their well-intentioned policies.

(P.S. – We have just added a new web site to the UBM Electronics family called Datasheets.com , which gives you access to information about 165 million different electronics parts, their datasheets, inventory from authorized distributors, parametric data, and part comparisons. Check it out.)

Design How Tos

A guide to VHDL for embedded software developers: Part 1 – Essential commands

A series of three articles for embedded software developers unfamiliar with VHDL that is designed to give concise and useful summary information on important language constructs and usage – helpful and easy to use, but not necessarily complete. Part 1: Essential commands.

Using virtualization to consolidate data traffic on a single network appliance

How Napatech used VMWare's virtualization software to consolidate multiple network appliances and their traffic flows onto a single physical platform

High-integrity object-oriented programming with Ada – Part 1

Learn the benefits of object-oriented programming and the pitfalls to avoid.

Hardware-based virtualization eases design with multicore processors

Offloading queue and traffic management to hardware reduces design complexity, improves application efficiency, and maximizes performance.

The next transistor: planar, fins, and SoI at 22nm

We will require a new transistor by 22 nm, or maybe 16 nm. There is a huge debate about what that device will be.

Smart-grid data collectors: 32-bit ARM solutions for residential and industrial applications

For the smart grid to be truly smart, utility companies need to be able to track power consumption, monitor functionality, and analyze operations through intelligent devices called data collectors. 32-bit microcontrollers based on one of several ARM architectures are often a good choice to provide device intelligence.

A19 LED bulbs: What's under the frosting?

Why are A19 LED bulbs so expensive? In a scientific quest for answers, independent lab MuAnalysis tore apart five bulbs.

Near-field communications has far-reaching effects

Ensuring reliability, security and ease of use are crucial goals for any near-field communications solution, since consumer acceptance is at the heart of the NFC's success.

Next-gen thermal and fan management controllers: A Programmable Solution

Here's how the proper use of a programmable system-on-chip can simplify advanced thermal management solutions, save BOM cost by integrating nearly every discrete used in such systems and enable new capabilities to greatly enhance the reliability and marketability of the end products these solutions reside in.

Going through a mixed-signal SOC design, from A to Z: defining the concept

Our ongoing series continues, as the designers take it to the next step

Bluetooth 4.0: An introduction to Bluetooth Low Energy—Part I

Here's Part I of an in-depth 2-part series providing an intro to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for energy-constrained applications.

Power considerations for SDI products and other noise-sensitive devices (Part 1 of 2)

Understand power issues for noise-sensitive, high-speed components

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

McObject's new eXtremeDB Cluster provides distributed database solution for real-time apps

eXtremeDB Cluster manages data stores across multiple hardware nodes, and is designed to dramatically increase the net processing power available for data management, reduce system expansion costs, and deliver a more scalable and reliable database solution for increasingly data-intensive real-time applications.

TI's highly integrated piezo haptic driver sports ultra-fast startup time, wide driving capabilities

The DRV8662 from Texas Instruments Incorporated is a highly integrated piezo haptic driver for mobile consumer and industrial designs. It features an integrated 105-V boost converter, power diode, and 50-V to 200-V peak-to-peak (Vpp) fully-differential amplifier, resulting in a solution size that is 50 percent smaller than leading competitors.

Data logger uses cellular modem for remote monitoring

CAS DataLoggers has worked with dataTaker to introduce the DT85M series 3 intelligent data logger designed for remote monitoring.

IAR releases starter kit for NXP's LPC1780 MCUs

IAR's KickStart Kit for LPC1788 is a complete starter kit for NXP's ARM Cortex-M3 based LPC1780 microcontroller family. The kit includes an evaluation board, software development tools, an IAR J-Link Lite debug probe, and software.

Free WLAN, app for 34972A data acquisition unit

Until the end of 2011, Agilent is offering a free wireless pocket router with the purchase of 34972A data acquisition unit which will it to operate with WLAN capability.

Microchip's Audio Development Board for PIC32 MCUs speeds design of 24-bit audio apps

Microchip Technology Inc. offers a 32-bit microcontroller (MCU)-based development kit for the creation of high-quality, 24-bit audio applications. The Audio Development Board for PIC32 MCUs features an 80 MIPS PIC32 MCU, a 24-bit Wolfson audio codec, a two-inch color LCD Display, a USB interface, and an onboard microphone.

Toshiba claims image sensor has smallest pixel size

Toshiba is getting ready to sample later this month a highly sensitive CMOS image sensor with back-side illumination technology.

Energy Micro adds 12 devices to its Cortex-M3 MCUs for energy friendly apps

Energy Micro has launched the EFM32 Gecko and Tiny Gecko product lines in a QFP64 package. The new 64-pin devices are targeted for the growing smart metering market, in addition to energy sensitive applications like building automation, security systems, and portable health and fitness equipment.

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