What's New on Embedded.com (7-8-11 to 7-14-11) - Embedded.com

What’s New on Embedded.com (7-8-11 to 7-14-11)


Embedded Newsletter for 07-14-11

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July 14, 2011

New on Embedded.com


Jose Quinones, Texas Instruments

A simple algorithm for microstepping a bipolar stepper motor

Narasimhan Venkatesh, Redpine Signals

Designing Wi-Fi connectivity into your embedded “Internet thing”


The death of the JWST

XML – the embedded industry's not so secret weapon?

My vision for embedded vision

Editor's Note

Bernard Cole Bernard Cole
Site Editor

One of the pleasures I have as the editor of Embedded.com is that I am the first to read some outstanding design articles submitted for publication online or in ESD Magazine. But some weeks, such as this one, are better than others. This week, three hands-on design articles are at the top of my Editor’s Top Pick List.

In “A simple algorithm for microstepping a bipolar stepper motor ,” Jose Quinones details the algorithm he developed for microstepping stepper motors on a conventional MCU.

Next on my list of favorites is “Microcontroller provides an alternative to DDS , ” in which Daniele Danieli describes how to program an MCU as a direct-digital-synthesis device to perform signal generation in audio and low frequency circuit systems.

Satish Sathe’s “Hardware-based virtualization eases design with multicore processors ” is another compelling and informative read. He presents a good case that in multicore-based, data-flow optimized network designs, the best way to manage activities of the multiple cores is to use hardware-based virtualization rather than more traditional software-based methods .

Also worth checking out are a trio of columns: “The death of JWST , ” Jack Ganslle’s response to the proposed cancellation of the James Webb Space Telescope by the U.S. Congress; “My vision for embedded vision ” by Jeff Bier on what it will take to create a next generation of embedded consumer/mobile devices that can “see” us, recognize our touch or voice, and respond via new types of user interfaces; and “ XML – the embedded industry’s not so secret weapon?” in which I put in a word for more serious consideration of this flexible web language as a useful embedded system design tool.

Design How Tos

Designing Wi-Fi connectivity into your embedded “Internet thing”

In this Product How-To, Redpine Signals' Narasimhan Venkatesh provides some basic guidelines to consider when adding Wi-Fi connectivity to an embedded design using a combination of a Cypress PSoC and Redpine-supplied components, including its Wi-Fi Expansion Board kit.

A simple algorithm for microstepping a bipolar stepper motor

This article details a simple algorithm utilizing conventional microcontroller blocks to control commercially available H-bridges to properly commutate a bipolar stepper motor through a microstepping profile.

Hardware-based virtualization eases design with multicore processors

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

Printed non-volatile rewritable ferro-electric memories

Printed electronics has recently moved from a focus on the production of individual components towards the design and initial commercialization of integrated systems. To create such systems, the use of non-volatile random access memory is often essential.

Microcontroller provides an alternative to DDS

Use a microcontroller to generate the codes for a DAC.

Ambient energy stands ready to serve

With electronic circuits now capable of operating at microwatt power levels, it is feasible to power them from non-traditional sources. Hence, the rise of energy harvesting, which provides the power to charge, supplement or replace batteries in systems where battery use is inconvenient, impractical, expensive or dangerous.

3D modeling integrates flexible PCB design

Over the last decade, electronic products have become increasingly complex and dense as they support more functions into dramatically reduced footprints. The need for flexible circuits has grown exponentially, since they are often the preferred solution to achieve package weight-reduction, compared to rigid planar boards.

Leveraging decoupling capacitance of regular power grids

This paper discusses a method for increasing the effectiveness of the power grid mesh and providing additional on die de-coupling capacitance at no extra cost.

Understanding embedded-system-boot techniques

Boot-up, the sequence of steps that a system performs between when you switch on power and load applications, is simple in theory but often complex in reality. The main job of a boot loader is to load the operating system, but software and hardware engineers view this process in different ways.

What is the best PLL configuration for your app–and how do you find it?

This article gives you a method to find all possible PLL configurations (using integer divide PLLs) that meet a given set of I/O frequency requirements. A metric is then applied to the complete list to determine 'best.'

The anatomy of a Human Interface Device

This article describes the basics of a Human/Machine interface and the ingredients of a Human Interface Device (HID).

Simulation techniques test automotive cluster display ECUs

With the automotive display cluster being the main means to convey vehicle status and information, it is of utmost importance to ensure reliable functional testing for cluster devices.

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

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.

New features added to Atmel's 8/16-bit AVR XMEGA MCUs

Atmel Corporation has added unique features to their 8/16-bit AVR XMEGA microcontroller (MCU) family with what the company claims is the industry's lowest power consumption of 100nA with 5µS wake-up time. The new AVR XMEGA family includes full-speed USB, the fastest and highest-precision analog systems, a Direct Memory Access (DMA) controller, and an event system that maximizes real-time performance and throughput while reducing CPU load.

New Fujitsu FRAM devices combine benefits of fast-writing SRAMs with Flash in a single IC

The MB85RSxxx SPI FRAM family from Fujitsu Semiconductor America, Inc. (FSA) is a new series of advanced Ferroelectric Random Access Memory (FRAM) products designed to meet the rapidly increasing demand for FRAM in industrial systems, factory automation, metering, and many other low-power applications that require high-performance, non-volatile memory.

Connect One's Nano WiReach SMT enables 3G routing, access point for wireless devices

The Nano WiReach SMT from Connect One is a 0.8″ x 1.45″ (2.0 x 3.7 centimeter) WiFi module offering 3G routing, WiFi client, and access-point capabilities. The module offers multiple hardware interfaces and extensive firmware functionality for up to eight WiFi users in its router or access point mode.

IAR offers starter kit for STM32 F-2 MCUs

IAR Systems offers a complete starter kit for STMicroelectronics' ARM Cortex-M3 based high performance STM32 F-2 series. The kit contains all the necessary hardware and software to design embedded software applications, integrated and tested on hardware.

Mini-ITX board brings dual-core processing power to small embedded devices

VIA launched the VIA EPIA-M900 Mini-ITX board that features the VIA Nano X2 E-series dual core CPU.

GCT Semiconductor claims world's first with WiMAX 2 solution

GCT Semiconductor lays claim to the world's first 4×4 MIMO WiMAX 2 single-chip solution, the GDM7225, to support worldwide WiMAX ecosystem buildup.


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