Thursday, December 08, 2011

Xilinx ships the first parts in its Zynq-7000 extensible processing platform for industrial and test customers

Xilinx ships the first parts in its Zynq-7000 extensible processing platform - EETimes Europe

Xilinx has demonstrated its Zynq-7000 Extensible Processing Platform (EPP) for the first time as it starts shipping devices to customers. The platform combines 28nm FPGA fabric with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processing system, with the 30K logic cell Zynq-7000 EPP shown running a Linux-based application.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Silicon Labs claims lowest power wireless microcontroller

Silicon Labs claims lowest power wireless microcontroller - EETimes Europe

Silicon Labs is aiming to have the industry’s most energy-efficient microcontroller and wireless MCU with several architectural and technology innovation in its C8051F96x
The 8bit core uses a 32bit wide interface to flash for the first time so that multiple instructions can be accessed quickly and the flash shut down between operations to save power, and it uses hardwired accelerators for key functions to reduce the energy consumption and allow the core to stay in sleep mode as long as possible. Silicon Labs has also designed an on-chip DC-DC buck converter to improve the conversion efficiency to 85% and has used dedicated high voltage standard cells to reduce the static and leakage power. This converter can supply up to 250 mW to the core and other circuits in the system such as an RF transceiver and can be controlled independently of the core to shut down multiple power planes.
All this allows 40% lower system current and a 65% higher battery life in a range of applications, mostly wireless metering with a battery life of over 20 years, but also wireless security, home and building automation, portable medical and asset tracking products, says Ken Odland, director of marketing for MCUs at Silicon Labs.

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Entry-level 32bit microcontroller for consumer applications

Entry-level 32bit microcontroller for consumer applications - EETimes Europe

Atmel has launched an entry-level 32bit microcontroller for designs requiring low-power capacitive touch as well as other consumer and industrial applications.

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CEVA invests in gesture recognition software firm

DSP core designer CEVA has invested in an Israeli gesture recognition company. The software from eyeSight Mobile Technologies will run on CEVA's MM3000 ISP and video platform to add gesture recognition applications for mobile, digital home and automotive markets with the potential to improve power efficiency by a factor of 20.

CEVA invests in gesture recognition software firm - Electronics Eetimes

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Renesas and Hilscher to develop 40nm high end ARM chip for industrial automation

Renesas Electronics Europe has teamed up with industrial communication systems company Hilscher to develop a customisable 40nm system-on-chip (SoC) based around a combination of the ARM Cortex-A9 and R4 processor cores.

Renesas and Hilscher to develop 40nm high end ARM chip for industrial automation - Electronics Eetimes

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

FPGA module for SERCOS III industrial bus - Electronics Eetimes

FPGA module for SERCOS III industrial bus - Electronics Eetimes

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

£20k audio power cable introduced - E & T Magazine

An audio power cable costing over £20,000 has been described as "the most advanced cable technology ever developed."
£20k audio power cable introduced - E & T Magazine:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Aeroflex launches new S-Series Digital Signal Generators and Vector Signal Analysers

Aeroflex launches new S-Series Digital Signal Generators and Vector Signal Analysers

Aeroflex is launching two new 3GHz and 6GHz digital signal generators to fill out its S-series as well as two new vector signal generators ranging from 6GHz to 13GHz.

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Magma tool speeds board-level failure analysis - Electronics Eetimes

Magma tool speeds board-level failure analysis

Magma Design Automation has launched a design tool that extends CAD navigation and circuit debug from integrated circuits to stacked die, printed circuit boards and multichip modules.


By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Freescale develops ARM9 'Home Health Hub' for telehealth

Freescale develops ARM9 'Home Health Hub' for telehealth

Freescale Semiconductor has developed a home health hub (HHH) reference platform to help medical equipment manufacturers quickly and easily create remote-access devices that can collect, connect and securely share health data for improved healthcare management.

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

World’s First 802.11ac chipset for Gigabit-Wireless Wi-Fi Routers and Consumer Electronics - Electronics Eetimes

World’s First 802.11ac chipset for Gigabit-Wireless Wi-Fi Routers and Consumer Electronics - Electronics Eetimes

US chip designer Quantenna Communications has launched the first 4x4 gigabit-speed IEEE 802.11ac wireless local-area networking (WLAN) chipset.

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Altera Launches Industry’s First OpenCL Program for FPGAs - Electronics Eetimes

Altera Launches Industry’s First OpenCL Program for FPGAs - Electronics Eetimes

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

Thursday, November 03, 2011

VIA Brings Fanless Dual Core Computing and USB 3.0 to Thin Embedded Devices

New slimline Em-ITX form factor board
By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

VIA Technologies has launched its latest Em-ITX form factor board, the VIA EITX-3002, which combines rich I/O with multimedia. Partnered with the new VIA AMOS-5002 industrial chassis kit, the VIA EITX-3002 provides a wide range of durable and fanless next generation devices in medical, healthcare, industrial and building automation, digital signage, kiosk, POI/POS, gaming and surveillance applications.
The VIA EITX-3002 combines the VIA VX900H media system processor with the choice of a 1.2GHz VIA Nano X2 E-Series or 1.0GHz VIA Eden X2 dual core processor offering advanced multimedia capabilities for a wide range of costumer needs. When combined with the rugged VIA AMOS-5002 Industrial Chassis kit, absolute stability is provided within a wide temperature range in a low profile system less than 36mm high for fanless devices.
"With the VIA EITX-3002 we're offering a full-featured board with industry leading power efficient dual core computing ideal for slim, fanless and rugged devices," said Epan Wu, Head of the VIA Embedded Platform Division at VIA.

VIA EITX-3002 - Angle with Heat Sink
EITX-3002 Em-ITX Mainboard

The VIA EITX-3002 is based on the unique 17cm x 12cm Em-ITX form factor, and is powered by a choice of a 1.2GHz VIA Nano X2 E-Series or 1.0GHz VIA Eden X2 dual core processor. The VIA EITX-3002 takes advantage of the VIA VX900H media system processor, a feature packed all-in-one digital media chipset that brings excellent hardware acceleration for the latest HD video formats including MPEG-2, H.264, VC-1, WMV9 and HDCP for Blu-ray content protection in stunning 1080p display. The VIA EITX-3002 supports dual independent display, allowing different content to be shown in different resolutions for superior digital signage displays.
The design of the Em-ITX form factor places the VIA processor and VIA VX900H MSP on the reverse side of the board, optimizing the available real estate for a rich I/O configuration and facilitating slim fanless chassis designs. The VIA EITX-3002 includes an onboard DC-to-DC converter supporting both AT and ATX power modes, and power input voltages of DC 7V to DC 36V. An on board built-in 5-wire/4-wire USB Touch interface makes the EITX-3002 highly suited for high-end interactive touch screen multimedia applications.
I/O support in dual I/O coastlines include an HDMI port, VGA port, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, dual COM ports supporting RS-232/422/485 jumper-less by BIOS setting, two USB ports, two USB 3.0 ports (optional), and power and HDD activity LEDs. Onboard connectors included 2 RS-232, four USB 2.0, 8-bit digital I/O, one parallel port, 24-bit LVDS interface, 5-wire resistive touch sensor interface and a thermal sensor by pin headers. The VIA EITX-3002 supports Windows 7, XP, Windows Embedded Standard 2009 and WES7 as well as Debian Linux 6.0 and Android 2.2 operating systems.

AMOS-5002 Industrial Chassis Kit
The VIA AMOS-5002 modular industrial chassis kit is an ultra compact solution designed to take full advantage of the VIA EITX-3002 board, making it easy to create a broad spectrum of easy to assemble fanless system designs for a wide variety of embedded applications.
Systems built using the VIA AMOS-5002 chassis kit are completely fanless and the innovative de-thermal design utilizing blade style thermal fins for the dual core processors can withstand a wide temperature range of -20°C to 55°C. Capable of sustaining a g-force of up to 50, the slim, rugged VIA AMOS-5002 chassis kits are easily assembled and maintained, using only four mechanical pieces to form a robust, fanless system with extensive I/O options.
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Monday, October 31, 2011

TSMC ships production wafers at 28nm as tapeouts double

Altera, AMD, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Xilinx lead as tapeouts double

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

The march of Moore's Law continues as TSMC starts shipping production wafers from its 28nm process technology. 
TSMC's 28nm process offering includes 28nm High Performance (28HP), 28nm High Performance Low Power (28HPL), 28nm Low Power (28LP), and 28nm High Performance Mobile Computing (28HPM). The 28HP, 28HPL and 28LP technologies are all in volume production and 28HPM will be ready for production by the end of this year. The production-version design collateral of 28HPM has been distributed to most mobile computing customers for their product-design use.
The number of customer 28nm production tape outs has more than doubled as compared with that of 40nm with over 80 customer product tape-outs. The TSMC 28nm process has surpassed the previous generation's production ramps and product yield at the same point in time due to closer and earlier collaboration with customers.
"Building on TSMC and Altera's 18 years of established technology partnership, TSMC's comprehensive 28nm process offerings and Altera's leading-edge FPGA technology complement each other perfectly, enabling us to uniquely tailor our 28nm product portfolio to best meet our customers' diverse design requirements," said Vince Hu, Vice President of Product and Corporate Marketing at Altera. "In our 28nm generation, TSMC's 28LP process fits the requirement of Cyclone V and Arria V families with the lowest power and costs, and we have utilized the 28HP process for the industry's first delivered high-end 28nm FPGA, Stratix V with the highest performance and the lowest power in high-performance systems."
"We applaud TSMC's success bringing a robust 28nm process to market, and we look forward to leveraging the benefits of this new process when we ship our next-generation discrete graphics products," said Matt Skynner, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, GPU Division, AMD. "The combination of AMD's industry-leading graphics IP and TSMC's manufacturing prowess will enable the next big leap in graphics performance with the parallel compute horsepower and power efficiency designed to meet the needs of even the most demanding gamer."
"NVIDIA and TSMC have a history of delivering the most complex GPU architectures on state-of-the-art process nodes. This partnership has been among the industry's most prolific, resulting in more than one billion GPUs shipped. Our close collaboration in developing 28nm processors will once again deliver the most energy-efficient GPUs and highest-performance graphics processors on the market," said Jeff Fisher, Senior Vice President, GeForce Business Unit, NVIDIA.
"Qualcomm and TSMC have a long history of collaboration to bring to market the latest in mobile semiconductor technology on the most advanced silicon manufacturing processes, and we are excited to be introducing the first integrated smartphone processors at the 28nm node," said Jim Clifford, senior vice president and general manager of operations at Qualcomm. "The Snapdragon S4 class of processors are manufactured in TSMC's highly sophisticated 28LP process, enabling Qualcomm to deliver the breakthrough combination of high performance and ultra low power to mobile devices."
"Building our 7 Series FPGA and processing families on the 28nm HPL process in collaboration with TSMC is enabling Xilinx to lower static power by 50% while also increasing both raw performance and usable performance ," said Vincent Tong, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Quality and New Product Introductions at Xilinx. "Xilinx has delivered several industry-firsts to our customers, including the first 28nm FPGA to begin shipments and the industry's highest capacity FPGAs with the lowest power."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Top ten posts this month on the Embedded blog

By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk

The multi-gesture touchscreen continues to be the most popular story on The Embedded blog in October, but recent stories on the ARM Cortex-M4 and ST's ultra-low power microcontroller research have made an interesting entry into the list. With 9,800 views this month, these are just a small fraction of the stories that were of interest to the embedded community.



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