The Hot 100 products of 2006

-December 15, 2006

The hot 100 products of 2006

Analog ICs

ASICs, IP, and
process technology



Computers and

Digital and
programmable ICs





Test and

Ongoing product

Past Hot 100 lists:


As the calendar nears January, popular culture inevitably begins to cough up countless "best-of" lists, covering frivolous topics from reality TV to celebrity hairstyles. In an effort to counteract this tide of inanity, we at EDN proudly offer you something of substance: A Hot 100 list built by and for electronics engineers.

Our editors mercilessly cull the herd of new-product announcements they see during the year, resulting in this distillation of the most innovative and significant offerings. You'll find process technologies, power sources, storage devices, processors, IP (intellectual-property) cores, communication controllers, test instruments, embedded boards, EDA tools, and more. If they advanced the state of the art in electronics, they're here. And not a movie star in sight.

Analog ICs

Allegro Microsystems
ACS760 series Hall-effect hot-swap controller
More information: Hall-effect hot-swap controller debuts

Analog Devices
ADA4899-1 ultralow-noise amplifier
More information: Ultralow-noise amplifier is unity-gain-stable

Cirrus Logic
CS3003 chopper amplifier
More information: Chopper amplifier features a 150-dB gain

ISL29001 and ISL29002 light-to-digital output sensors
More information: Light-to-digital sensor uses a 50/60 Hz rejection filter

Linear Technology
LT6244 low-noise CMOS amplifiers
More information: Low-noise CMOS amplifier runs input pairs at higher currents

MAX9982 800- to 1000-MHz mixer
More information: 800 to 1000-MHz mixer features a 2-dB conversion gain

MCP6G01 and MCP6G02 gain-selectable amplifiers
More information: Gain-selectable amps compensate for bandwidth roll-off

National Semiconductor
LM4562 audiophile amplifier
More information: Audiophile amplifier offers 0.00003% THD+N

PC835 JFET amplifier
More information: JFET amplifier drives 4000 pF

Texas Instruments
OPA365 rail-to-rail input amplifier
More information: Rail-to-rail input amplifier has no crossover distortion

Texas Instruments
TPA203xD1 Class D audio power amplifier
More information: Class D audio-power amplifier provides a low A-weighted noise floor

ASICs, IP, and Process Technology

Production Control Core intellectual-property core
More information: IP protects chips from unauthorized manufacture

Infineon Technologies
Disk read-channel intellectual-property core
More information: Fast read-channel IP challenges integration methodology

ASIC service
More information: Fabless-ASIC company tries new model

NEC Electronics
55-nm CMOS process
More information: NEC surprises with aggressive 55-nm process

LX interconnect intellectual property for systems on chips
More information: Light version of IP interconnects hardware blocks

Texas Instruments
45-nm CMOS process
More information: TI lifts curtain on 45-nm process


Cswitch Corp
Configurable switch array
More information: Radical FPGA takes on packet processing

DSS9001 power-line-networking IC
More information: Powerline Followup: Is DS2 For You?

Enigma Semiconductor
EN6100 family packet-switching chip set
More information: Packet switching comes to backplanes

NSP IT310x network-storage processor
More information: Next-Gen NAS

Integrated Device Technology
Serial RapidIO preprocessing switch
More information: IDT adds preprocessing to SRIO switch for base stations

POEM power-line-transceiver chip
More information: Power-line networking demands holistic design

LAN9131 network multimedia coprocessor
More information: Network coprocessor serves as multimedia implant

Texas Instruments
UR8 Universal DSL chip family
More information: Texas Instruments and Ikanos rev DSL chip offerings: Is anyone buying?

Tzero Technologies
TZ7110/7210 ultrawideband chip set
More information: UWB may yet serve whole-house video


Microspreader heat spreader with fluid core
More information: Ultrathin heat spreader uses fluid core to cool processors, displays

Photonics Solution Platform for designing image sensors combining LEDs, photosensors, and simple IC functions
More information: Organic semiconductors shine in LED/photosensor combinations

SiT11xx MEMS oscillators
More information: MEMS-based oscillator threatens quartz; resonator could move on-chip

Computers and Peripherals

EZHR17EN stepper-motor controller
More information: Compact controller eases embedded-system motion

Tetra-PMC+ analog-input board
More information: PMC board unites four ADC channels, FPGA

Dragon series 1-in. hard-disk drives
More information: CES: The deluge begins

Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing
Champ-AV6 DSP engine
More information: Quad DSP engine features switched-fabric data streams

Dust Networks
SmartMesh-XT mesh-networking platform for industrial environments
More information: Rugged wireless-sensor networks suit harsh industrial environments

Extreme Engineering Solutions
XPedite6240 AMC computer
More information: Mezzanine module boosts telecom processing power

General Micro Systems
V469 Patriot computer
More information: Dual computers boost system performance

Netstix 200xm-cf computer
More information: Palm-sized computer features network connectivity

Inova Computers
Hercules CompactPCI system
More information: Embedded computer features conductive cooling

ETXexpress-PM COM Express module
More information: Serial streams shrink embedded-system designs

Mercury Computer Systems
ECV4-RFT remote fiber transceiver
More information: Mixed-signal module boosts wideband performance

Mosaic Industries
Ethersmart Wildcard expansion board
More information: Tiny board delivers Web connectivity

Performance Motion Devices
Ion drive network-motion controller
More information: CANBus, serial networks distribute motion control

Rabbit Semiconductor
RabbitFlex custom computer
More information: Process yields custom boards in five days

Barracuda 7200.10 series 3.5-in. perpendicular recording-based hard-disk drives
More information: Terabyte Flirtations

ST1.3 series 1-in. perpendicular recording-based hard-disk drives
More information: Svelte HDDs: Simultaneously Stocky

Digital and Programmable ICs


More information: Global design & Actel's new sandman FPGA

Stratix 3 65-nm FPGA
More information: 65-nm FPGAs consume less power

Analog Devices
ADE7100 power-meter IC
More information: Mixed-signal integration takes more than glue

ThermalEdge aSC7512 thermal-management controller
More information: Thermal escalation drives need for controlled active cooling

Fujitsu Microelectronics
MBF 320 biometric sweep sensor
More information: Biometric sensor and preboot software lock down laptops

PLX Technology
PEX 8548 PCI Express switch
More information: Flexible switch has 48 lanes

Texas Instruments
SN65LVDS301 FlatLink 3G
More information: Serial links take on roles in clamshell-design connections

Virtex 5 65-nm FPGA
More information: FPGAs balance lower power, smaller nodes drip by drip


Apache Design Solutions
Sahara-PTE power/thermal/electrical analysis tool
More information: Apache hot on IC thermal analysis

Berkeley Design Automation
Analog FastSpice Spice simulator
More information: Speedy Spice-accurate simulator targets analog, RF

Blaze DFM
Blaze MO design-for-manufacturing tool
More information: DFM-tool start-up claims big power and yield gains

Cadence Design Systems
Space-based router (previously known as Precision)
More information: Cadence says 65nm users need CPR: new router to replace IC Craftsman

PCell Xtreme tool for PCell information
More information: Ciranova tool finds way around Cadence SKILL for analog design

Dimension PPC (process- and proximity-correction) patterning-synthesis tool
More information: Startup targets mask-making with "patterning synthesis"

The MathWorks
Simulink HDL coder
More information: Tool generates HDLs directly from Simulink

Mentor Graphics
Calibre LFD (lithography-friendly design) design-for-manufacturing tool
More information: DFM tools help with "lithography-friendly" layouts

Novas Software
Siloti RTL debugging tool
More information: Novas introduces on-the-fly debugging

OneSpin Solutions
CVE (circuit-verification environment) formal-verification product
More information: Startup Brings Mature Property Checker to the Masses

Sierra Design Automation
Olympus-SOC IC router
More information: Lithography-savvy IC router circumvents third parties

Sigma-C (Synopsys acquired in June 2006)
Solid+ microlithography simulator for design and optical-proximity correction
More information: Sigma-C and Mentor make strides in DFM

ChainWorks tool set for asynchronous design
More information: Silistix introduces tools to take asynchronous design mainstream

PrimeTime VX digital statistical-timing-analysis tool
More information: News analysis: Is Synopsys' statistical-timing tool ready for prime time?


AKU2000 MEMS microphone
More information: MEMS Microphones: More Motivations

A1 high-definition-video processor
More information: Tailored Entrant Tackles Tape's Troubles

Texas Instruments
DM6443/6 DaVinci video processors
More information: Platform simplifies video

Toshiba America Electronic Components
TC90400XBG/FG digital-video systems on chips
More information: SOCs support standard- and high-definition decoding


Analog Devices
ADuM524X isoPower family of dual-channel isolators
More information: Device combines signal and power isolation

EP53x2Q 1A/3W buck converter
More information: Integrated buck converter targets low-power and portable applications

MC34703 Quiccsupply 3 power-management IC
More information: Power-management IC suits advanced microprocessors’ power needs

International Rectifier
IR1167 SmartRectifier IC
More information: Chip improves efficiency of flyback-converter circuits

ISL6326 and ISL6327 PWM controllers
More information: PWM controllers drive Intel dual-core processors

DS2790 battery fuel gauge
More information: Chip offers authentication, protection to single-cell battery packs

dsPIC30F1010/202X family of digital-signal controllers for switched-mode power supplies
More information: Digital power controllers offer digital and analog architecture

National Semiconductor
LM5071 power-over-Ethernet controller
More information: Chip enables POE convenience with auxiliary backup

Power Integrations
PeakSwitch power-conversion IC
More information: Power-conversion IC enables average parts to provide above-average power

PX7510/20 digital-power-conversion and -management ICs
More information: Digital power controller is fast and software-configurable

XP Power
RCL175 ac/dc switching power supply
More information: Agency-approved power supply cuts cost, leadtimes

Zilker Labs
ZL2105 IC digital-power-conversion and -management IC
More information: Power-conversion/ management IC squeezes into embedded-system space


Turion 64 X2 mobile CPUs
More information: Turion 64 X2: A Credible Choice?

Nios II V6.0 and C2H (C-to-hardware-acceleration) compiler
More information: Upgrade adds floating-point support and a C2H compiler

AT91SAM7SE512/256/32 ARM7-based microcontrollers
More information: Microcontrollers build in support for off-chip SDRAM and flash

Cavium Networks
CN31XX and CN30XX MIPS64-based processors
More information: Networking processors decrease cost, increase integration

MSC8144 quad-core DSP
More information: Quad-core DSP packs performance and features

Core Microarchitecture CPUs (Merom, Conroe, Woodcrest)
More information: IDF debriefing: Pendulum swings from AMD to Intel

Core 2 Extreme QX6700 Quad-Core CPU
More information: Benchmarking a Quad-Core Beast

Luminary Micro
LM3S101/102 Stellaris 32-bit microcontrollers
More information: $1 microcontroller features ARM Cortex core

PIC18F97J60 8-bit micro controllers
More information: PIC18 processor includes full Ethernet support

VRS51L2070 8051 microcontroller
More information: 8051 core sports hardware arithmetic extensions

SH7785 microcontroller with multimedia support
More information: Microcontroller vendors further encroach on SOCs

STR910F ARM9E-based microcontrollers
More information: ARM9 microcontroller sports connectivity, large on-chip memory

Diamond Standard family of Xtensa processors
More information: Cores lower entry cost for custom SOCs

Test and Measurement

U1250 series handheld digital multimeters
More information: Two suppliers' handheld DMMs offer differing features

WaveSurfer and WaveRunner digital-storage oscilloscopes with WaveScan feature
More information: DSOs find and display anomalous waveforms before you can explain why they are unusual

National Instruments
LabView 8.20
More information: LabView celebrates 20th anniversary with new version, new features

RSA6100A real-time spectrum analyzer
More information: RF-signal-analysis instruments: now faster and smarter

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