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.

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...

A data-acquisition system on a chip

Analog Devices has introduced the AD5592R, which contains all the functions you need to build a multifunction data-acquisition system, including ADCs, DACs, and digital I/O, on a single IC. Read More...

7 tips for creating a reliable embedded system

Creating robust embedded system software can be challenging. Here are some tips to help. Read More...

IoT will dominate Embedded World

At Embedded World the emphasis will be the Internet of Things, stripping the hype away to deal with real-world problems and solutions. Read More...

Avago Tech Note: Optocouplers in intrinsic safety applications

Intrinsic safety applications defined in IEC 60079-11 require careful selection of isolation components. Read More...

Ultra-low power system for wearable devices

While the brains of the typical wearable device might be the embedded microcontroller (MCU), the heart is definitely with power management. Extremely small capacity batteries, diverse array of functions needing power, and the incredibly small solution size force new and innovative power management solutions to make the system work well. But when an ultra-low power optimized MCU and ultra-low power optimized DC/DC converter come together, the result is a well-running, well-oiled machine fit for wearable applications. Read More...

Checklists: Do or die

Do you use checklists as part of your design process? 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...

Safety-critical code verification extended in C++ static-analysis tool

QA and QA++ now include Dataflow, Graphical and Command Line Interfaces, support for Modern C++ features and improved coverage for MISRA C++ and HIC++. Read More...

Security platform targets industrial automation

The integrated solution creates a secure platform for industrial automation and extends the "Internet of Secure Things" initiative into industrial control systems. 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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High-speed RAM leverages HyperBus interface

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

A data-acquisition system on a chip

Analog Devices has introduced the AD5592R, which contains all the functions you need to build a multifunction data-acquisition system, including ADCs, DACs, and digital I/O, on a single IC. Read More...

Security platform targets industrial automation

The integrated solution creates a secure platform for industrial automation and extends the "Internet of Secure Things" initiative into industrial control systems. Read More...

ST harmonizes single coding support platform for all STM32 MCUs

Designers targeting any of STMicroelectronics' STM32 MCUs can now make use of the STMCube software development platform. Read More...

Signal processing VPX module with PCIe interface

This high performance DSP and FPGA board for harsh environments from CommAgility, the VPX-D16A4-PCIE is a rugged card in the compact VITA 65, 3U OpenVPX form factor, with a high speed Gen2 PCI Express (PCIe) interface. Read More...

Wi-Fi equipped 32-bit Arduino board streamlines cloud-powered embedded app development

Digilent's chipKIT WiFire board is an awesome little beastie. Powered by Microchip's powerful 32-bit 200 MHz MCU, the Wi-Fi equipped Arduino-compatible platform has been paired with Imagination Technologies' Flow Cloud service development tools in an effort to make creating cloud-powered embedded applications practical for the average developer. Read More...

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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

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...

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...

>> SEE ALL

Farewell, Leonard Nimoy

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

7 tips for creating a reliable embedded system

Creating robust embedded system software can be challenging. Here are some tips to help. Read More...

IoT will dominate Embedded World

At Embedded World the emphasis will be the Internet of Things, stripping the hype away to deal with real-world problems and solutions. Read More...

Save face with component checklists

Keep egg off your face with these handy component selection checklists. Read More...

An AI apocalypse? Really?

For some AI spells doom and gloom. It's all hype masking a real consideration. Read More...

A powerful power integrity workshop

A DesignCon'15 tutorial covers power integrity & PDN design in-depth. Read More...

Celebrate Data Privacy Day

Wednesday Jan 28 is Data Privacy. Take time to reflect on the issues. Read More...

Let's get LEDucated!

Join me March 5&6 in NY City at the LEDucation conference! It lives up to its name by providing both a chance to kick the tires on the latest LED lighting products and to attend a program of highly-informative panels, seminars and workshops led by some of the industry's top authorities. Read More...

Drone On – Motion control for UAVs

In past Spin Cycle blogs, I’ve focused on motion control as it relates to motors. In this blog, I will focus on advanced motion control techniques that can be used in drones. Read More...

Spin Cycle

Spin Cycle addresses common questions and issues relating to advancements in motor control. We'll highlight applications that benefit from advanced motion control technology, present the realized advantages, and discuss practical tools and techniques that you can easily use to solve your motion control challenges. Read More...

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