Features

Track-and-Hold Amplifiers For Advanced Test Equipment

The GigaTrack™ family of 2-GS/s track-and-hold amplifiers (THA) from Inphi® Corp. (Westlake Village, CA) delivers ultra-wide 18-GHz analog bandwidth. The bandwidth, sample rate, and linearity make direct conversion and software-defined receivers possible, and help advance highsample- rate test and measurement equipment. The GigaTrack amplifiers operate from a single -5.2 V power supply and dissipates 1.3 W. They are available in a 49-pin ceramic ball-grid array and in 24-pin QFN packages. The devices are designed for engineers designing next-generation instrumentation, ATE, and military equipment. They enable engineers to replace numerous components in heterodyne receiver architectures with a track-and-hold and a high-samplerate ADC. A direct conversion receiver can serve multiple applications with system differentiation occurring in software or firmware. The GigaTrack family consists of four track-and-hold amplifiers with 2-GS/s sample rates. The ball-grid-array versions offer 18-GHz (small signal) and 15-GHZ (0.5V pp) input analog bandwidths, with settling times >60 ps and power consumption of 1.3 W. Plastic QFN versions offer 13-GHz analog bandwidth (100mV pp).

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Single-Chip Embedded Chipset Integrates Video, Audio, and Display

VIA Technologies (Taipei, Taiwan) has introduced the VIA CX700 digital media IGP chipset for VIA C7® and Eden® processor platforms.

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Removable PMC Storage In a Two-Part Mezzanine

ACT/Technico (Warminster, PA) offers the PMC Shuttle- Stor, a removable PMC storage solution that enables the removal of vital data for safe-keeping without requiring removal of the host board. The PMC ShuttleStor is a two-part mezzanine consisting of a shuttle and a receiving canister.

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Embedded Motherboard for Industrial I/O Uses ETX and PC/104 Modules

ACCES I/O Products (San Diego, CA) has released the NANO I/O Server, an embedded motherboard system designed to support the company’s line of USB and PC/104 I/O modules, along with the performance of ETX.

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Liquid Cooling Takes Aim at Gamer PC Applications

Recent technical advances in graphics processing units have accelerated the proliferation of high-power graphics processing units (GPUs) and multiple GPUs in high-end gamer PC applications. Characterized by very high heat loads, this application is causing increasing numbers of OEMs to investigate alternative methods, such as liquid cooling, to achieve the level of thermal management needed for dramatically higher systempower levels. Traditional GPU cooling strategies, such as those combining a heat pipe, heat sink, and fan, provide diminishing thermal performance at 120W per chip. Alternatively, the aggressive cooling requirements of gamer PCs and other high heat-flux processor applications are proving to be fertile ground for “non-traditional” approaches that offer at least 25% better thermal performance, as typified by advanced liquid-cooling systems (LCS) (see figure 1).

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MILS: An Architecture for Security, Safety, and Real Time

The unrelenting growth and integration of embedded controls, information processing, and communications has created a need for systems that provide robust protection for resources and services in the face of serious threats. Formerly diverse requirements for different kinds of systems are now being merged into combined requirements to be met by a single system. To address this trend, a partnership of government, industry, and research institutions are developing the MILS (Multiple Independent Levels of Security/ Safety) architecture. Although being pursued initially for defense applications, MILS provides a foundation for critical systems of all kinds. Its security, safety, and real-time properties make it suitable for such diverse applications as financial, medical, and critical infrastructures. Based on a new breed of commercially available high-assurance products, MILS provides a modular, flexible, component- based approach to high-assurance systems.

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Embedded Databases: Data Management for Real- Time and Embedded Systems

The term embedded database was coined in the 1980s to mean a database management system (DBMS) that is embedded into an application, in contrast to large central databases (nowadays, usually client/server DMBSs a la Oracle). The first embedded databases had little or nothing to do with embedded systems, which were largely 8-bit, or possibly 16-bit, devices that performed a very specific function. Any data processing requirements were promoted to a higher layer in the system architecture. Embedded systems, like all other facets of computing, have matured and gained faster (32-bit) processors, memory, and more complexity. This has further confused conversations about embedded systems and embedded databases. Today, the term embedded database encompasses databases embedded into software applications, as well as the more modern client/server database design (although embedded client/several varieties are much smaller than their enterprise-level DBMS cousins such as Oracle or DB2). In fact, while embedded databases comprise a sizeable chunk of the overall database market, they show remarkable diversity in important respects such as programming interfaces, storage modes, and system architecture. This article examines some of these differences to help in choosing the right embedded database system for a given project.

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