Design Con 2015

Systems Design

Stephen Evanczuk
Contributing Editor
A 50,000-foot view of system technological advancements, design tips and news that will give designers solid technical advice and information for robust system-level designs. This site also covers the latest board-level embedded hardware, development tools, and related software.

Profiles in Design: Thomas Lee, Ph.D.

“Learn to be your own teacher. The profession changes at such a velocity that many things you learn in school will be obsolete before too long.”—Tom Lee Read More...

Can initial position detection help my AC unit run more quietly?

Bad control techniques at low speed have a higher chance of contributing to vibration noise during startup, more so than good control techniques. So what separates the two? Read More...

Getting Started with the MSP430 Launchpad: The Languages of LaunchPad, Part 5

In this detailed guide to the TI LaunchPad, the authors break down hardware circuits and walk through MCU-based projects designed to help users work with the LaunchPad development kit. Read More...

10 tips to accelerate your engineering career

When the doldrums of an engineering career arrive, here are ten things you can do to take stock and accelerate or jump start your career growth. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014: Boards & Development Tools

This section of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014 includes development tools - both hardware and software based - and system-level components. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014: EDA Tools, IP & Memory/Storage

This section of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014 includes design automation tools and memory/storage products. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014: MCUs, Processors & Programmable Logic

This section of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014 includes microcontrollers and processors, as well as programmable logic devices. Read More...

Cross-phase signal coupling in powerline communication

In powerline communication (PLC), severe signal attenuation and considerable can affect the communication performance; here’s how to address that. Read More...

Getting Started with the MSP430 Launchpad: The Languages of LaunchPad, Part 4

In this detailed guide to the TI LaunchPad, the authors break down hardware circuits and walk through MCU-based projects designed to help users work with the LaunchPad development kit. Read More...

Silicon platform optimization: A top-down methodology

The continuing advance in both silicon modeling, circuit simulators and 3D EM simulators has meant that design teams increasingly have access to tools that allow for a robust co-design of silicon, PCB and system design. Read More...

Expanded MCU peripherals support closed-loop digital control and safety monitoring

At Electronic 2014, Microchip Technology has announced new members of its 8-bit MCU series designed to simplify design and reduce external components required for motor control designs and closed-loop control in general. Read More...

Freescale pushes Thread beta program

Freescale Semiconductor announced a new beta program designed to jump start early adopters of the Thread IP-based mesh networking protocol. Read More...

Industrial MCUs integrate precision analog features

Designed for industrial and smart grid applications, the 16-bit MSP430i204x MCUs integrate precision analog capabilities and offer a temperature range from -40º to +105º Celsius. Read More...

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3 pins, 3 LEDs, 3 buttons

This LED multiplexing scheme allows for switches in the matrix too. Read More...

Facilitate oscilloscope debug of small microcontroller systems

A probe-to-the-metal approach is often the best way to debug a small µC system, and here’s some code to help out. Read More...

LabVIEW real-time seismic alert system

National Instrument’s LabVIEW has uses beyond instrument control, as demonstrated by this Web app. Read More...

Zener level-shifter drives high-side switch

Simplify a high-side driver by replacing a transistor with a Zener diode. Read More...

Replace a rotary switch with a potentiometer

Why use an expensive rotary switch with your microcontroller when you can use a cheap pot instead? Read More...

One wire brings power & data to LCD module

If you need to connect a small remote LCD display, or your µC has run out of I/O pins, here’s a good, cheap solution. Read More...

Single-cycle logarithms & antilogs

Here are some very fast log (and antilog) blocks well-suited to FPGA implementation. Read More...

Double-speed interpolation

Low-end micros can still benefit from little coding tricks. This one lets you "pan" between two signals or values more quickly than an explicit solution. Read More...

Adaptive rotary encoder distinguishes fine from coarse

Need a rotary panel control that automatically switches between fine and coarse adjustment? It's here. Read More...

Microcontroller drives piezoelectric buzzer at high voltage through one pin

If you're short on I/O pins, this circuit might solve your problem. Read More...

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EDN Hot 100 products of 2014: Boards & Development Tools

This section of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014 includes development tools - both hardware and software based - and system-level components. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014: EDA Tools, IP & Memory/Storage

This section of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014 includes design automation tools and memory/storage products. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014: MCUs, Processors & Programmable Logic

This section of EDN's Hot 100 Products of 2014 includes microcontrollers and processors, as well as programmable logic devices. Read More...

Triple output lab power supply offers paralleling & tracking

This 315W power supply power supply has three outputs, each with multiple ranges. Each output can provide 0 V to 35 V at 0 to 3 A. Read More...

8-bit MCUs take on industrial apps

The PIC16F161X family features peripherals that offload the CPU for common industrial control functions. Read More...

Expanded MCU peripherals support closed-loop digital control and safety monitoring

At Electronic 2014, Microchip Technology has announced new members of its 8-bit MCU series designed to simplify design and reduce external components required for motor control designs and closed-loop control in general. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Teardown Preview: Inside the Apple iPhone 5

Until we can lay our hands on a real iPhone 5 and do a real teardown, let's take a look at what others are saying and render an opinion on the reliability of their comments. Read More...

Teardown: High-voltage Li-ion battery stack management - the drive for safe power

At the heart of the Chevrolet Volt, a sophisticated Li-ion battery stack management system ensures the safety and reliability of a multi-cell Li-ion battery stack capable of delivering power on demand to the Chevy Volt drive system. Read More...

Teardown: iPhone 5s

Go inside the iPhone 5s to see the tech, the parts, what's better, and what's the same, as iFixit tears it down. Read More...

Teardown: The power inverter - from sunlight to power grid

This teardown of a solar inverter card traces the path of harvested DC power from the photovoltaic panel, through boost conversion, power inverter and massive filtering of the created AC power signal required by the power grid. Surrounded by monitoring and microcontroller magic along with safety standard adherence, we uncover the mysteries of solar energy harvesting electronics. Read More...

Teardown: Analog rules over digital in noise-canceling headphones

Dig deeper into these headphones that deliver decent audio at relatively low cost and better yet, effective active noise reduction. Read More...

A closer look at LSI’s MegaRAID SAS 9260CV-4i controller

The MegaRAID controller's innovative use of CacheVault technology solves the problem of system reliability during power outages with a greener solution that uses existing power instead of batteries. Read More...

Integration amassed: analyzing a NAS

This hands-on project showcases the second generation of Western Digital's My Book World Edition NAS (network-attached storage) device, so named because it is potentially accessible by a user from anywhere in the world. Read More...

Tiny computer holds embedded treasure

The Waysmall series from Gumstix offers designers a line of Linux-based computer systems that easily fit into the palm of your hand. Housed in an 83×36×15-mm plastic case, these miniature systems provide XScale processing power along with an MMC (MultiMedia Card) slot, two serial ports, one USB client port, a power interface, and general-purpose I/O pins. Read More...

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Getting Started with the MSP430 Launchpad: The Languages of LaunchPad, Part 5

In this detailed guide to the TI LaunchPad, the authors break down hardware circuits and walk through MCU-based projects designed to help users work with the LaunchPad development kit. Read More...

Touchdown! ESA lands on comet

See how a mission 20 years in the making made history when a spacecraft successfully achieved a soft-landing on a comet. Read More...

Getting Started with the MSP430 Launchpad: The Languages of LaunchPad, Part 4

In this detailed guide to the TI LaunchPad, the authors break down hardware circuits and walk through MCU-based projects designed to help users work with the LaunchPad development kit. Read More...

Getting Started with the MSP430 Launchpad: The Languages of LaunchPad, Part 3

In this detailed guide to the TI LaunchPad, the authors break down hardware circuits and walk through MCU-based projects designed to help users work with the LaunchPad development kit. Read More...

Getting Started with the MSP430 Launchpad: The Languages of LaunchPad, Part 2

In this detailed guide to the TI LaunchPad, the authors break down hardware circuits and walk through MCU-based projects designed to help users work with the LaunchPad development kit. Read More...

Getting Started with the MSP430 Launchpad: The Languages of LaunchPad, Part 1

In this detailed guide to the TI LaunchPad, the authors break down hardware circuits and walk through MCU-based projects designed to help users work with the LaunchPad development kit. Read More...

Getting Started with the MSP430 Launchpad: The digital stream, Part 2

In this detailed guide to the TI LaunchPad, the authors break down hardware circuits and walk through MCU-based projects designed to help users work with the LaunchPad development kit. Read More...

Getting Started with the MSP430 Launchpad: The digital stream, Part 1

In this detailed guide to the TI LaunchPad, the authors break down hardware circuits and walk through MCU-based projects designed to help users work with the LaunchPad development kit. Read More...

Fast and effective embedded systems design: ARM mbed analog-to-digital conversion, Part 4

Specialists and beginners alike can quickly engage in successful embedded system design thanks to user-friendly and sophisticated building blocks. In this book excerpt, the authors walk developers through the key elements of embedded system design through the use of one such building block - the ARM mbed. Read More...

Designing for wearables: Tremendous opportunity but not without challenges

The wearables space is wide open and exploding with opportunity, but that does not come without design and sourcing issues – issues some believe could be alleviated in part the strength of the maker community and an open-source approach to this segment. Read More...

Fast and effective embedded systems design: ARM mbed analog-to-digital conversion, Part 3

Specialists and beginners alike can quickly engage in successful embedded system design thanks to user-friendly and sophisticated building blocks. In this book excerpt, the authors walk developers through the key elements of embedded system design through the use of one such building block - the ARM mbed. Read More...

Fast and effective embedded systems design: ARM mbed analog-to-digital conversion, Part 2

Specialists and beginners alike can quickly engage in successful embedded system design thanks to user-friendly and sophisticated building blocks. In this book excerpt, the authors walk developers through the key elements of embedded system design through the use of one such building block - the ARM mbed. Read More...

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Case study: prototyping IoT ideas

Adding connectivity to a product can lead to unexpected feature and revenue benefits, as this case study shows. Read More...

CoAP telecommands breathe life into sensor networks

Twin to telemetry, telecommand involves sending data to IoT devices. The CoAP protocol is a perfect fit. Read More...

Too many IoT standards, or too few?

Do we really need new standards for the IoT, or will existing ones work well enough? It's not an easy question to decide. Read More...

Can initial position detection help my AC unit run more quietly?

Bad control techniques at low speed have a higher chance of contributing to vibration noise during startup, more so than good control techniques. So what separates the two? Read More...

Gateways Aim to Unify the Internet of Things

Gateways hold the promise of unifying heterogeneous IoT devices in functional teams by bypassing interoperability standards. Read More...

10 tips to accelerate your engineering career

When the doldrums of an engineering career arrive, here are ten things you can do to take stock and accelerate or jump start your career growth. Read More...

Bringing up PIC: The agony

In which I discover that choosing and getting up to speed with a new MCU family can be more daunting than expected. Read More...

Make money with the Internet of Things

For the IoT to take off, there must be profit in it somewhere. Here are some tips. Read More...

Welcome to Embedded Insights

Editor Rich Quinnell introduces himself and his new blog on embedded systems development. Read More...

Internet of Tomorrow Tour on the road

Freescale's Internet of Tomorrow Tour launched at ARM TechCon and will be on the move for the next two years. Here's a quick look at what's inside. Read More...

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