Special Coverage

Transducer-Actuator Systems for On-Machine Measurements and Automatic Part Alignment
Wide-Area Surveillance Using HD LWIR Uncooled Sensors
Heavy Lift Wing in Ground (WIG) Cargo Flying Boat
Technique Provides Security for Multi-Robot Systems
Bringing New Vision to Laser Material Processing Systems
NASA Tests Lasers’ Ability to Transmit Data from Space
Converting from Hydraulic Cylinders to Electric Actuators
Automating Optimization and Design Tasks Across Disciplines
Vibration Tables Shake Up Aerospace and Car Testing
Supercomputer Cooling System Uses Refrigerant to Replace Water

Programming Network Processors Made Simple

The telecommunications industry’s continuous strive for higher performance has spurred innovations in processor architectures. The general trend has been to go parallel; adding more cores to a single processor device and then dividing tasks between them. This has resulted in a more complex environment for software engineers to master. But does this mean that the programming of next-generation network processors (NPUs) has to be difficult? Not necessarily.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware
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Designing Solid State Drives Into ATCA-based Platforms

Due to the growth of video on demand (VoD), IPTV media content, and embedded database applications, AdvancedTCA (ATCA)-based storage capacity requirements continue to increase exponentially. In addition, storage requirements have become more complex and varied for ATCA designs that have expanded beyond the central office to include network data center and general data center applications that need to handle a wide variety of server platforms. The advancements and general availability of new storage solutions, particularly solid state drives (SSDs), enables ATCA platform developers to meet the design metrics of a broader range of markets where distributed data storage and management become increasingly required. The continual evolution of SSD storage technology, with its improved capacity, performance, and cost reductions, provides additional opportunities for integrating storage directly into the ATCA platform, allowing new designs to gain the benefit of high performance and availability provided by ATCA-based systems.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Architecture, Computer software / hardware, Computer software and hardware, Data management
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Achieving Embedded Software Safety with Agility

Safety-critical development standards, such as DO-1781, have been very successful in guiding the production of reliable software. These standards assist developers in applying good software practices during development, ensuring, as much as possible, the absence of errors. Compliance with these stringent standards involves a high cost because of their labor-intensiveness and high levels of know-how.

Posted in: Articles, Articles, Electronics & Computers
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Optimizing the Interoperability of Military Satellite Communications

Satellite communications offer mobility and communications for military operations in remote locations where terrestrial-based connectivity is not available, or is too expensive. Unfortunately, satellite connectivity brings many challenges that can impair network performance in delivering mission-critical information and applications. High-latency transport and application protocol inefficiencies, adverse weather, and interference are just a few of the causes that slow the delivery of applications and limit the amount of traffic that can run over a satellite link. Compounding these problems is interoperability among disparate military networks that can jeopardize mission-critical communications.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Application Briefs, Electronics & Computers, Optimization, Communication protocols, Satellite communications, Communication protocols, Satellite communications, Defense industry, Satellites
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12-Volt System with Mini-ITX Motherboard

ITOX (East Brunswick, NJ) has partnered with Systium® Technologies to introduce the Model 132 “mini” series 12-volt system utilizing the ITOX NP101-D16C Mini-ITX motherboard. The Systium Model 132 “mini” series system platform is designed for cost-sensitive applied computing and x86 embedded systems applications requiring high-quality, long-life modular computing solutions. This is particularly applicable to medical electronics, industrial control, security and surveillance, telecommunications, ATM/POS, digital signage, gaming, and kiosk systems fields. The motherboard utilizes the 45nm 1.6 GHz Intel® AtomTM N270 processor with Intel 945GSE Express chipset and ICH7M I/O controller hub. The platform exhibits a thermal design power of less than 15 watts, delivering higher performance-per-watt than previous platforms. A single 12 VDC power input also reduces overall system configuration and operating costs.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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DB9 Adapter

Sealevel (Liberty, SC) has developed a compact, rugged DB9F-to-5 screw terminal block adapter that allows users to connect their field wiring to DB9 connectors on USB Serial adapters, Ethernet Serial servers, and other Sealevel RS-485 products with a DB9M connector. It is RoHS compliant, works with 2- and 4-wire RS-485 networks, and can be secured to the serial port with thumbscrews to prevent accidental disconnection. The screw terminals accept 16-28 AWG gauge wiring.

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Embedded Virtualization Manager

TenAsys® Corporation (Beaverton, OR) is now shipping eVMTM for Windows®, an embedded virtualization manager software product that enables different real-time operating systems (RTOSes) to run alongside Windows on the same multi-core processor platform. Using eVM, applications that have been developed for standalone RTOSes such as QNX®, VxWorks®, and Windows CE, can be run on multi-core Windows platforms with full native performance. eVM utilizes hardware-assisted features built into Intel® processors to allocate hardware resources and ensure that time-critical I/O processes are not interrupted.

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Rugged Waterproof Computer

SmallPC.com (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) has released its latest waterproof computer. The SC240ML is designed and tested for reliable operation in the most extreme wet, dirty, and dusty environments, hot or cold. The SC240ML’s rugged aluminum chassis uses a unique heat pipe
assembly along with a set of specialized I/O connectors and cables to provide a high performance computer that is sealed to IP67/NEMA 6 standards. The operating temperature range
is -20°C to +60°C.

Posted in: Products, Products, Electronics & Computers
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Ternary Content Addressable Memory

Renesas Technology America (San Jose, CA) now offers the TCAM (Ternary Content Addressable Memory) Series of memory products to enable high-speed packet processing for networking equipment such as routers and switches. The first product in the series is the R8A20410BG TCAM, which has a capacity of 20 Mbits and delivers high-speed search performance of up to 360 MSPS (mega-searches per second)/Table. TCAM memory cells can store three data states: 0, 1, and X (“Don’t Care”). It is suitable for applications such as networking equipment because it achieves deterministic, high-speed searches by using simultaneous parallel operation to compare data strings input from an external device with data strings stored in the memory and outputting the matches.

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LPDDR2 Compliance and Protocol Test Tools

Agilent Technologies Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced a new comprehensive low-power double data rate 2 (LPDDR2) compliance and protocol test application package and industry-first LPDDR2 ball-grid array (BGA) probes. The Agilent N5413B LPDDR2 test application, which runs on Agilent Infiniium 9000 Series oscilloscopes, provides LPDDR2 physical-layer compliance measurements. The Agilent B4623A LPDDR2 bus decoder and the B4622A DDR protocol compliance tool, which run on the Agilent 16900 Series logic analyzers, provide debug and protocol compliance measurements.

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