Electrical/Electronics

Putting VPX and Open VPX to Work

Before the advent of OpenVPX, designers of embedded systems took advantage of the extreme connectivity offered by VPX (VITA 46), but were faced with a virtually unlimited number of possible implementations. Specific choices for the control and data channel assignments for each slot, the backplane connectivity, and serial fabrics were often made somewhat arbitrarily to suit the particular needs of the current system. Although following the general framework of VITA 46, each system tended to be so unique, that the boards and backplanes designed for one system were seldom usable in other systems, even from the same vendor.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Electronics & Computers
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Is nine hours a day too much "screen time?"

This week's Question: A recent study from Common Sense Media found that parents spend more than nine hours (9:22) a day with screen media, with the vast majority of that time being spent with personal screen media (7:43) and only a little more than 90 minutes devoted to work screen media. Most parents surveyed (78 percent) believe they are good media-use role models for their kids.

What do you think? Is nine hours a day too much "screen time?"

Posted in: Question of the Week, Computers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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CoaXPress Frame Grabber

Responding to the need to create a cost-effective, high-speed interface to fully leverage CXP cameras, BitFlow (Woburn, MA) has introduced the Aon-CXP single link CoaXPress frame grabber. The Aon is powerful enough to support camera speeds up to 6.25 Gigabits/second, which is almost twice as fast as USB3 and over six times the speed of current offerings of GigE Vision. While capturing video at those speeds, it is simultaneously sending control commands, triggers and up to 13 W of power over a single piece of 75 Ohm coaxial cable.

To learn more, click here

Posted in: Products, Data Acquisition, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronics & Computers, Imaging, Video
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Edge-Connect SBC

ADL Embedded Solutions Inc. (San Diego, CA) has announced its compact ADLE3800SEC SBC with Edge-Connect. This ultra-compact 75mm x 75mm form factor is a full-featured, standalone SBC for rugged, embedded applications. The ADLE3800SEC is ideal for rugged, extended temperature intelligent systems with stringent size, weight, and power (SWAP) requirements. It boasts a wide thermal junction temperature (Tj) range (-40°C to +85°C), wide input voltage (20-30 VDC), DisplayPort, USB2.0, USB3.0 and two GLAN ports with support for DirectX 11, Open GL 4.0, and full HD video playback. The Edge-Connect architecture allows for added I/O expansion and connectors in a variety of baseboard/breakout board configurations (flat, vertical, odd-shapes, etc.).

Posted in: Products, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers
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MP3 Audio DSP Microcontroller

VLSI Solution (Tampere, Finland) has introduced the VS1010 MP3 Audio DSP Microcontroller, a highly integrated all-in-one MP3 player system-on-a-chip. VS1010's I/O system includes support for Hi-speed USB (both host and device operations are supported), SD/SDHC cards, 2xSPI, MEMS microphones, S/PDIF, I2S, 2xUART, RTC clock, SAR inputs, a PWM output, GPIOs. It also contains a 24-bit stereo DAC and an integrated earphone amplifier with a dynamic range of 100 dB(A). VS1010 runs VLSI Solution's VSOS operating system. For those who want to program the VS1010, VLSI Solution's Integrated Development Environment VSIDE is available for free.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs
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Novel Computer Chips Could Bridge Gap Between Computation and Storage

Software written by Jing Li, right, and her students — including Jialiang Zhang, left —allows programmers to directly use existing coding languages with the new Liquid Silicon chips. (Credit: Stephanie Precourt/UW–Madison College of Engineering)

Computer chips in development at the University of Wisconsin–Madison could make future computers more efficient and powerful by combining tasks usually kept separate by design. Jing Li, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UW–Madison, is creating computer chips that can be configured to perform complex calculations and store massive amounts of information within the same integrated unit — and communicate efficiently with other chips. She calls them “liquid silicon.”

Posted in: News, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Semiconductors & ICs
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Supersonic Spray Yields New Nanomaterial for Bendable, Wearable Electronics

Left, photograph of a large-scale silver nanowire-coated flexible film. Right, silver nanowire particles viewed under the microscope. (Credit: S.K. Yoon, Korea University)

A new, ultrathin film that is both transparent and highly conductive to electric current has been produced by a cheap and simple method devised by an international team of nanomaterials researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Korea University. The film is also bendable and stretchable, offering potential applications in roll-up touchscreen displays, wearable electronics, flexible solar cells and electronic skin.

Posted in: News, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Materials, Sensors, Transducers
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SWaP-C and Why Your Component Partner Matters

The military is continually pushing to decrease the size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) of its electronics, particularly for items carried by the troops. To meet these goals, everyone involved in designing and manufacturing the device needs to work together closely to ensure maximum efficiency of every component. This makes choosing the right partner crucial. Our white paper explores why SWaP-C is so important and includes information on:

Posted in: White Papers, Aeronautics, Defense, Electronics, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Carbon Nanofibers Synthesized on Selective Substrates for Nonvolatile Memory and 3D Electronics Applications

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has developed a nano-electro-mechanical resonator (NEMR) based on vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (CNFs) that is suitable for applications requiring high sensitivity, broad tenability, low loss (high Q), low power consumption, and small size. Other nanoscale resonators have been demonstrated using top-down fabrication approaches, but these generally involve complicated and expensive electron beam lithography. JPL’s bottom-up fabrication approach yields robust, vertically oriented CNFs that can be used to form high-Q, high-frequency NEMRs. In addition, the resonant frequency of these NEMRs can be tuned by selecting the length and diameter of the CNFs. This allows for a highly integrated, ultra-low-power, high-data-rate, and wide-bandwidth NEMR-based transceiver architecture.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Architecture, Electronic equipment, Nanomaterials
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A Nanotube Film Electrode and Electroactive Device Fabricated with the Nanotube Film Electrode and Methods for Making the Same

Applications include optical devices, electromechanical energy conversion, medical devices, sonar, and transducers.

NASA’s Langley Research Center offers an all-organic electroactive device system fabricated with single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT). The enhanced design offers higher electroactive performance in comparison with conventional electroactive device systems fabricated with metal electrodes or other conducting polymers. The new structure allows for significant improvement of the electroactive strain due to relief of the constraint on the electroactive layer. It exhibits superb actuation properties and can withstand high temperatures with improved mechanical integrity and chemical stability. In addition, the electroactive device can be made transparent, allowing for use in optical devices. NASA is seeking development partners and potential licensees.

Posted in: Briefs, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Electronic equipment, Optics, Nanomaterials
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