Electronic Design UPDATE e-Newsletter | December 3, 2008 | FREE magazine subscription digital or print!
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Register for the 6th Annual IEEE Consumer Communications & Networking Conference in January 2009 in Las Vegas!
Themed “Empowering the Connected Consumer,” IEEE CCNC will include presentations of nearly 300 technical sessions, workshops, and demonstrations exploring the advance of on-demand networking systems used by consumers to access entertainment and information services, anytime, anywhere, regardless of time or locations. Keynote addresses by noted industry experts as Youngky Kim (EVP, New Generation System Technology & Products, Samsung), Jim Battaglia (VP, Strategic Business Development, Panasonic), and Fred Kitson (VP of Applications Research, Motorola). Register and receive a free tutorial!


engineering essentials |
Switch-Mode ICs Promote Efficient Power Management, Part 1: Switch-Mode Fundamentals
By Sam Davis, Contributing Editor

A switch-mode converter circuit uses a controlled power semiconductor switching technique along with an inductor, transformer, or capacitor as an energy-storage element to transfer dc power from its input to its output. In a basic switch-mode converter, a dc-to-pulse-width converter IC accepts a dc input and produces square waves applied to a power semiconductor switch.

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editor's view |
Parts Add Up To Home Theater PC
By Bill Wong, Embedded/Systems/Software Editor

Home theater PCs aren’t new. But getting one that works, especially with HDTVs and HDMI, is now a lot easier with AMD’s Maui AMD Live! This platform is designed for Microsoft Vista Media Center and AMD Athlon processors.

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industry view |
Ubuntu Goes Embedded
By Colin McCraken, Adlink

There are hundreds of versions of Linux, including embedded-specific distributions like TimeSys, MontaVista, and Wind River Linux, and well-known desktop/server distributions such as Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux and Novell’s SUSE.

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design solution |
The ABCs Of Fiber Bragg Gratings
By Fredrik Sjostrom, Proximion Fiber Systems AB

As the demand for bandwidth and high-speed transport grows, so does the use of fiber-optic based transport. One of the enabling technologies associated with optical transport are Fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs). This tutorial will introduce the concept of FBGs and describe the advantages provided by use of FBGs for chromatic dispersion compensation.

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design hotspots |


Analog · Multiservice Router Clock Circuit Design Challenges | By Don Tuite

Power · Low Stored Charge Separates Diode From The Pack | By Sam Davis

Embedded · Top FPGAs Excel While Best Chips Simplify Design | By Richard Quinnel

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Video Coverage of electronica 2008 – watch now on electronicdesign.com
Editor-in-Chief Joe Desposito was in Munich to report on many of the new announcements from top companies. Visit www.electronicdesign.com/electronica to watch his video reports from the show floor.



engineer's resource |
Download Agilent White Paper: Achieve Cleaner Power Signals by Minimizing Common Sources of Noise

Noise in low-level measurements can come from a number of different sources, including motors, office machines, power demands, and the switching supplies found in office equipment. Learn tips on what features to look for in the power supply, and how to minimize the noise in your test setup.

Your Ideas For Design Can Win $500
Send us your Ideas for Design and we'll pay you $150 for every Idea for Design that we publish. In addition, the year's top design as selected by our readers will earn an additional $500, with two runners-up each receiving $250. You can submit your Ideas for Design via e-mail to dbs@penton.com, or you can mail your material to:
Ideas for Design
Electronic Design
45 Eisenhower Dr., Suite 550
Paramus, NJ 07652
Click here for our guidelines on Ideas for Design.


IFD of the week |
10-GHz Divide-By-100 Prescaler Connects To 100-MHz Counter
By Wayne Ryder, SRI International

The prescaler described here connects to the front end of a 100-MHz frequency counter to extend its coverage range to 10 GHz. The circuit is a far less expensive way to measure frequencies above 100 MHz than buying a 1- or 10-GHz frequency counter.

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video of the week |
Big Stage Entertainment @ctor

Big Stage Entertainment recently launched BigStage.com, a Web site where anyone can create a free, animated 3D "Digital You” for instant projection into the online landscape.

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lab bench online |
USB Makes A Move Inside The Box
By Bill Wong, Embedded/Systems/Software Editor

USB is ubiquitous, but it’s usually used to connect boxes like PCs and laptops to other devices. The type of USB hosts are changing already, with USB sockets on printers and even HDTVs providing access to USB flash drives. Playing a hi-def movie from a flash drive is no longer a goal but a reality. But USB inside the box is a much different story.

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Engineering TV |
.NET Microframework Devices - Part 1

The .NET Micro Framework is a platform that enables developers to more quickly develop embedded systems that are smart, securely connected and easier to manage. Jonathan Kagle, Microsoft's .NET Micro Framework Senior Program Manager, introduces us to some of the hardware developers are using in Micro Framework devices, including entries from SJJ Embedded Micro Solutions, Crossbow, GHI Electronics, Atmel, and Digi International.

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news from the editors |
BASF, OSRAM Make A Breakthrough In OLED Lighting

BASF and OSRAM have created the first organic LED (OLED) to achieve a light yield of more than 60 lumens/W while also meeting the international Energy Star SSL Standard for color requirements.

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JEDEC Seeks Participation In SSD Standard

With work progressing rapidly on a standard for solid-state drives (SSDs), JEDEC is inviting companies worldwide to participate in the process.

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quick poll |
What gadget do you hope to get this holiday season?

  • A smart phone (iPhone, G1, etc.)
  • A flatscreen TV
  • A GPS system
  • A game console (X-box, Wii, etc.)
  • A laptop or notebook
  • Other
  • None of the above
Click here to take the poll. Remember to scroll down. The poll is at the bottom of the page.

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Get Smart! Get Wireless! with Infineon’s SmartLEWIS™ RX TDA5230 Design Contest
Co-sponsored by Penton Media and LS Research, Get Smart! Get Wireless! lets you showcase your innovative thinking - just design a wireless application using Infineon’s TDA5230 and win $2,000, $3,000 or $6,000 in cash prizes! To help get you started, we are offering a free design kit (est. $100 retail value) to qualified registrants. Entries are due by April 15, 2009 and will be judged on innovation, use of the TDA5230’s feature-set, cost effectiveness, and consumer benefit.
Register today to Get Smart! Get Wireless! with Infineon Technologies!



focus product |
Optically Isolated Sigma-Delta Modulator Fortifies Industrial Motor Designs

Announced as one of the industry’s first optically isolated sigma-delta modulators using an external clock to provide direct measurement of motor phase currents in power inverters, the CMOS-based ACPL-796J uses an external clock that allows synchronized data conversion between the current sensor and controller.

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product picks online |
Current-Sense Amp Integrates Reverse-Battery/Load-Dump Protection



Video Processing Mezzanine Card Basks In Harsh Environments



100-W, 30-A Quarter Brick Sports Wide Input Range



Digital Radio Test Set Delivers Comprehensive 3G LTE Capabilities



CRO Raises Performance And Efficiency Bars




upcoming industry events |
IP Based Electronic System Conference & Exhibiton
Grenoble, France
Dec. 3-4




2008 International Electron Devices Meeting
San Francisco, Calif.
Dec. 15-17





ED bookstore |
Mobile Antenna Systems Handbook, 3rd Ed.
By Kyohei Fujimoto

I had fun just looking through this one. It’s an excellent up to date reference on the black art of wireless antenna design.

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