Semiconductors & ICs

Putting FPGAs to Work in Software Radio Systems

FPGAs have become an increasingly important resource for software radio systems. Programmable logic technology now offers significant advantages for implementing software radio functions such as DDCs (Digital Downconverters). Over the past few years, the functions associated with DDCs have seen a shift from being delivered in ASICs (Application-Specific ICs) to operating as IP (Intellectual Property) in FPGAs.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs


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


32-Bit MCUs

Mouser Electronics, Inc. (Mansfield, TX) is now stocking the MSP432 mixed-signal microcontrollers from Texas Instruments (TI). TI’s MSP432 microcontrollers are based on a powerful, 32-bit ARM® Cortex®‑M4F core with a floating point unit and memory protection management. The microcontroller includes two 16-bit timers, four 32-bit timers, and a 14-bit analog to digital converter (ADC) that converts at 1MSPS. The microcontroller also boasts four high-drive input and output (I/O) pins that can support up to 20mA. The microcontrollers support capacitive touch capability, as well as digital glitch filtering on some I/O pins.

Posted in: Products, Products, Semiconductors & ICs


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


Semiconductor Test System

Marvin Test Solutions, Irvine, CA, released the TS-960e PXI Express semiconductor test platform that features test capabilities for RF devices and SoC applications. It features 256 125-MHz digital I/O channels with per-pin-PMU, and multiple RF and analog test instruments in a single, 21-slot PXIe chassis. It incorporates the GX5296 digital subsystem, software test suite, and RF instrumentation option.

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Semiconductors & ICs, Test & Measurement


The Economics of Accuracy in Low-cost, High-volume Sensing Applications

Various research firms forecast the market for portable medical devices to be somewhere around the $20 billion-range within the next several years. Part of the increased demand is due to an aging population with more chronic conditions. These smaller portable units requires devices with smaller footprints. By the same token, smaller devices need to provide adequate levels of care to ensure patient safety and comfort. Thus, functionality cannot be sacrificed for space.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs, Data Acquisition, Sensors


A Soft Control Architecture: Breakthrough in Hard Real-Time Design for Complex Systems

How to cut costs, improve quality, and differentiate your products with a software-based approach to machine automation OEMs have long relied on expensive, cumbersome hardware like FPGAs and DSPs for precision motion control. But new advances in software-based machine automation are changing that paradigm, with huge potential benefits.

Posted in: White Papers, Electronics & Computers, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Automation, Robotics, Semiconductors & ICs, Software


Power Control for Automotive Applications

This article discusses the requirements and design considerations for automotive applications, including those for engine control, infotainment, and body electronics. It also discusses several Maxim devices that are ideal for automotive power applications.

Posted in: White Papers, Automotive, Semiconductors & ICs


Noise Analysis in Precision Analog Designs

There are articles explaining component-level noise analysis for amplifiers or for analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), but very few that explain how to budget noise or analyze noise from the system level. This paper reviews the basics of noise analysis in precision designs, relates those calculations to system-level specifications such as sensitivity, dynamic range, and resolution, and answers some of the big questions about low-noise design.

Posted in: White Papers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Semiconductors & ICs


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