Over recent years, embedded systems have gained an enormous amount of processing power and functionality. Embedded computing is seeing a definite trend in migrating to 32-bit, 64-bit and from single to multicore processors. Embedded systems meet their performance goals, including real-time constraints, through a combination of special-purpose hardware and software components tailored to the system requirements..
View the full article at http://tinyurl.com/3vr6hy6.
Element14 study lists design engineer’s “Pain Points”
A new element14 sponsored study entitled “Design with Efficiency: Toward a Streamlined Process for Electronics-Industry Design Engineers” listed the following “pain points” for design engineers as they embark on new projects or incorporate new technologies into their designs:
1. Initial design stages (before prototype assembly and testing) typically require the most time and effort to gather all the necessary information. 2. There’s never enough time to properly utilize every relevant source. 3. Incomplete information is common across relevant sources. 4. Managing customer and vendor relations throughout the design process can be complicated, consuming even more time and resources.
Do you agree or disagree with the items on this list, and, if you agree, would you change the order of the “pain” elements listed?
Read the study (http://tinyurl.com/3k6xjqh) and let us know what you think.
Handheld and Battery Powered Devices:
The pace as which the handheld and battery powered devices market has evolved is quite incredible, and not just for consumer equipment, which is more noticeable to the average person. Medical, test, retail and industrial devices are also becoming much more common as well as boasting new features.
The technology that initially drove cell phone adoption is the same technology that is driving these new devices; efficient batteries and power conversion, touchscreens, low-power processors, cheap storage and high performance sensors are just some of these innovations.
In general the time lapse between the technology use in cell phones and adoption in other devices means that the technology is cheaper, smaller and more energy efficient when it is transferred to next generation devices.
To read the full article Handheld and Battery-Powered devices click here (http://tinyurl.com/18r).
Scavenging is in!
Energy scavenging systems are devices that convert solar power, thermal energy, wind power, mechanical energy and electromagnetic energy into electrical energy. This energy is then stored in batteries. Benefiting from the latest developments in semiconductor technology, such energy scavenging schemes are getting increasingly easier to develop and implement. Looking for a fun weekend project? Why not build your own energy scavenging system. Learn how here: http://tinyurl.com/435zjnj
Discrete converter design http://tinyurl.com/3jfsa5b
An article from Texas Instruments discusses the use of isolated 3.3 to 5V converters in long distance data-transmission networks.
The article states that although isolated DC/DC converter modules for 3.3 to 3.3V and 5 to 5V conversion are readily available on the market, 3.3 to 5V converters in integrated form are still hard to ﬁnd. Even if a search for the later proves successful, these speciﬁc converters— in particular, those with regulated outputs—often possess long lead times, are relatively expensive, and are usually limited to certain isolation voltages.
A low-cost alternative to integrated modules is a discrete design, if an application requires isolation voltages higher than 2kV, converter efﬁciency higher than 60%, or reliable availability of standard components. The drawback of designing a discrete DC/DC converter is that it requires a great deal of work: choosing a stable oscillator structure and break-before make circuit, selecting good MOSFETs that can be driven efﬁciently by standard logic gates, and performing temperature and long-term-reliability tests. This entire effort costs time and money. Therefore, before rushing into such a project, the designer should consider that integrated modules have usually passed temperature tests and have met other industrial qualiﬁcations. These modules not only represent the most reliable solution, but also provide a fast time to market. The see the entire article at “discrete converter design shortens time to market.”