ESC 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.

FTC sets watch on the Internet of Things

A new division within the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Affairs has been established to keep an eye on the IoT. Read More...

Don't give in to the quality, speed, cost tradeoff

Traditional wisdom says pick two, but you can have all three. Read More...

MCU blends low power and high performance

An upgrade path for MSP-430 users, the MSP-432 uses a Cortex-M4F processor to combine high performance with low power. Read More...

Multicore comes to IoT connectivity and audio applications

Next-generation xCore devices offer gigabit Ethernet or high-performance audio. Read More...

Up Against The (Power) Wall: Power Management And The Path To Exascale Computing

Exascale computing? It's the next big goal in supercomputer performance – and power management is one of the main obstacles to getting there. Read More...

Defend encryption systems against side-channel attacks

Systems using encryption can still leak information that compromises data security unless properly protected. Read More...

Security needs more than checklist compliance

Following a checklist of requirements is only a start for designing security into electronics products. Read More...

Linduino Power System Management (PSM)

While many engineers use a dongle and tools to configure Power System Management devices via PMBus, a growing number of designs are adding Board Management Controllers, or connecting their PMBus to an existing microcontroller or application processor. Read More...

Vendors fielding end-to-end IoT support

Vendors are realizing that to gain IoT design wins they need to provide more than device support, and responding with end-to-end design packages. Read More...

High-speed RAM leverages HyperBus interface

High-speed, low pin-count RAM suits pin-limited microcontrollers Read More...

Product how-to: Build your own designs on flexible circuit boards

Flexible PCBs are becoming low-cost and accessible even to hobbyists. Read More...

Farewell, Leonard Nimoy

EDN bids farewell to the actor who inspired many to become engineers and scientists. Read More...

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Circuit gates pulse train without truncating

This Design Idea accomplishes asynchronous gating without the worry of shortened pulses. Read More...

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...

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MCU blends low power and high performance

An upgrade path for MSP-430 users, the MSP-432 uses a Cortex-M4F processor to combine high performance with low power. Read More...

Multicore comes to IoT connectivity and audio applications

Next-generation xCore devices offer gigabit Ethernet or high-performance audio. Read More...

Service speeds industrial IoT development

Industrial IoT developers can get a helping hand through FastTrax. Read More...

Serial flash devices boast fast erase time

According to Microchip Technology, the SST26VF series of 3-V Serial Quad I/O (SQI) CMOS SuperFlash memory devices provides the fastest erase times in the industry, minimizing the time required for testing and performing firmware updates. Read More...

PCB design tool links Altium & SolidWorks

PCBWorks is a PCB design tool created by Altium to enhance workflow collaboration between electrical and mechanical designers. Read More...

High-speed RAM leverages HyperBus interface

High-speed, low pin-count RAM suits pin-limited microcontrollers 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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Defend encryption systems against side-channel attacks

Systems using encryption can still leak information that compromises data security unless properly protected. Read More...

PIC32 microcontrollers and the Digilent chipKIT - Projects, Pt 2

Taken from the latest book on how to program the PIC32 series, this excerpt describes how to use the popular chipKIT MX3 development board to build simple projects. Read More...

How to ground and power complex circuits

IDT’s Nicholaus Smith takes an in-depth look at application-based methods for grounding and powering complex circuits, specifically looking at how to optimize complex circuits from the point of view of power delivery, improved signal integrity, and properly grounded functional blocks to implement the final system. Read More...

PIC32 microcontrollers and the Digilent chipKIT - Projects, Pt 1

Taken from the latest book on how to program the PIC32 series, this excerpt describes how to use the popular chipKIT MX3 development board to build simple projects. Read More...

PIC32 microcontrollers and the Digilent chipKIT - The chipKIT MX3 development board, Pt. 2

Taken from the latest book on how to program the PIC32 series, this excerpt describes details of the popular chipKIT MX3 development board and associated Pmod peripherals modules. Read More...

PIC32 microcontrollers and the Digilent chipKIT - The chipKIT MX3 development board, Pt. 1

Taken from the latest book on how to program the PIC32 series, this excerpt describes details of the popular chipKIT MX3 development board and associated Pmod peripherals modules. Read More...

Solving the riddle of IO OBE/IBE timing

Timing of OBE and IBE pins of a pad has always intrigued design engineers for a multiple number of reasons. An incomplete understanding of the role played by OBE/IBE in an IO protocol can lead to catastrophic results. Read More...

Top systems design articles of 2014

Here are some of the most popular design articles and blog posts from EDN's Systems Design center during 2014. Read More...

Embedded security rises and falls with crypto key management

Embedded systems face unparalleled security threats, requiring solutions that extend more broadly into the system life cycle. Read More...

Multi-protocol, host-to-host communications enhanced by PCI Express-based fabrics

While tunneling a software protocol over any fabric can be an easy task, tunneling a hardware protocol such as Ethernet poses some new challenges. Read More...

Demonstrating ASIC IP performance and quality demands an FPGA-neutral design flow

Building IP into an FPGA demonstration platform can help convince designers to try the IP but only if that platform can move easily across different FPGAs and eventually into ASICs. Read More...

Authentication methods protect 3D printer integrity

The success of this disruptive technology depends on strong IP protection schemes implemented on the disposable media. Read More...

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Beware licensing issues when using open source

Just because something is open source doesn't mean there aren't any restrictions. Read More...

FTC sets watch on the Internet of Things

A new division within the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Affairs has been established to keep an eye on the IoT. Read More...

Don't give in to the quality, speed, cost tradeoff

Traditional wisdom says pick two, but you can have all three. Read More...

7 Silent Project Killers

Is your project doomed? Here are 7 warning signs of potential disaster. Read More...

10 tips for commenting C code

Commenting your code can be a chore but it can pay off handsomely. Here are some tips on how to make commenting C easier and more effective. Read More...

Security needs more than checklist compliance

Following a checklist of requirements is only a start for designing security into electronics products. Read More...

Linduino Power System Management (PSM)

While many engineers use a dongle and tools to configure Power System Management devices via PMBus, a growing number of designs are adding Board Management Controllers, or connecting their PMBus to an existing microcontroller or application processor. Read More...

Vendors fielding end-to-end IoT support

Vendors are realizing that to gain IoT design wins they need to provide more than device support, and responding with end-to-end design packages. Read More...

Ensuring power efficiency in variable-frequency A/C systems

Active power factor correction can ensure that more of the power delivered to a home is used productively. Read More...

Data-acquisition: The key to a smart electrical grid

Data acquisition of voltage, current, and power has become essential to the operation of today's smart-grid power distribution network. Read More...

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