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.

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...

32-bit PIC MCUs feature wide peripheral set and scalable memory

This latest PIC32MX1/2/5 MCU series offers a rich peripheral set for a wide range of cost-sensitive applications that require complex code and higher feature integration at a lower cost. Read More...

ARM Cortex-M0 MCU enhances integration

STMicroelectronics' STM32F091 ARM Cortex-M0 MCU provides large on-chip memories and up to eight USARTs that save multiplexing communication ports in applications such as in-car audio or three-phase power metering. Read More...

Debug probes support 8051 MCUs

Segger has added support for Silicon Labs' 8051 family of 8-bit MCUs to its J-Link family of debug probes. Read More...

Design tools provide MIPS software life-cycle development environment

Codescape MIPS SDK Essentials and Codescape MIPS SDK Professional tools are designed to provide everything needed for MIPS software development across the entire product lifecycle from SoC design and integration through SoC bringup to end product. Read More...

Processors for industrial automation include built-in networking

Renesas' RZ/T1 Real-Time Processor comprises a real-time CPU and the R-IN engine, offering real-time control and deterministic network connectivity. Read More...

Cortex-M debug probe gives full instruction trace in real time

I-jet Trace from IAR Systems is a probe providing extensive debugging and trace functionality, delivering large trace memory capacities and high-speed communication via USB 3. Read More...

VxWorks adds Profile to speed development of safety-critical systems

The profile adds safety features to VxWorks 7 aimed at development of safety critical systems in industrial, medical, transportation, aerospace, and defence. Wind River has also enhanced its Virtualization Profile for VxWorks Read More...

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...

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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...

>> SEE ALL

32-bit PIC MCUs feature wide peripheral set and scalable memory

This latest PIC32MX1/2/5 MCU series offers a rich peripheral set for a wide range of cost-sensitive applications that require complex code and higher feature integration at a lower cost. Read More...

ARM Cortex-M0 MCU enhances integration

STMicroelectronics' STM32F091 ARM Cortex-M0 MCU provides large on-chip memories and up to eight USARTs that save multiplexing communication ports in applications such as in-car audio or three-phase power metering. Read More...

Processors for industrial automation include built-in networking

Renesas' RZ/T1 Real-Time Processor comprises a real-time CPU and the R-IN engine, offering real-time control and deterministic network connectivity. Read More...

VxWorks adds Profile to speed development of safety-critical systems

The profile adds safety features to VxWorks 7 aimed at development of safety critical systems in industrial, medical, transportation, aerospace, and defence. Wind River has also enhanced its Virtualization Profile for VxWorks 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...

>> 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...

>> SEE ALL

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...

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...

>> SEE ALL

Stovetop computing puts a DIY twist on the Thanksgiving turkey

Trey German used an inexpensive microcontroller board to create a open-source Wi-Fi-controlled sous vide cooker which makes perfectly-cooked poultry that's even juicier, tastier and tenderer than a deep-fried bird. Better yet, he's publishing the design so you can build one too. Read More...

Connecting correctly in MQTT

MQTT is becoming popular as an IoT protocol, but you need to connect correctly to avoid problems. Read More...

Avoiding MQTT pitfalls

The MQTT protocol is of great interest in the IoT community for its lightweight connectivity, but there are some dangers for the unwary. Read More...

AI for software development

A new research project aims to apply artificial intelligence to software development, but is that really a good idea? Read More...

12 top crowdfunded IoT devices and what became of them

Ever wonder what happened to those nifty IoT devices that got over-the-top crowdfunding? Here's the story. Read More...

A stroll through microcomputer evolution

A look at microcomputer evolution, through the lens of the machines I've owned & used. Read More...

Case study: prototyping IoT ideas

Adding connectivity to a product can lead to unexpected feature and revenue benefits, as this connected washing machine 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...

>> SEE ALL

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