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.

Include a remote update boot loader: 5 reasons why

Your embedded system can benefit from remote update capability. Here's how. Read More...

Measure career advancement by blowing your mind

If you can possibly finagle this opportunity, do it right now! Read More...

Serial vs. Parallel interface SRAMs—A Comparison

In high-performance applications where SRAMs are used, a parallel interface has considerable advantages over serial interface options. However, the status quo is about to change. Read More...

Microlocation in IoT can save time, money, and lives

Devices now available can turn any object into an IoT device capable of delivering its identity and location to the network. Read More...

7 tips for writing portable C code

Code re-use is becoming critical, so here are some tips on developing portable C. Read More...

IoT continuous deployment keeps software current

With so much programmability and hardware in the loop, keeping software current will be a constant task. Read More...

How to improve IoT security

There is no such thing as absolute security. Every system has a weakness, it just depends on whether attackers are suitably motivated to exploit them. Read More...

Software verification toolset update adds functions, speeds analysis

More and more systems are becoming safety- and security-critical. The enhanced LDRA tool helps speed compliance testing. Read More...

Security controller simplifies design and product protection

The Optiga Trust E provides a turnkey approach to product security by simplifying authentication. Read More...

What's next for wearables?

Wearables have the power to transform the world around us - to interact on our behalf with other 'smart' devices that are increasingly common. Read More...

ACE Awards honor innovators in engineering and technology

See the engineers, products, and companies that were celebrated at the 2015 ACE Awards, presented as part of ESC Silicon Valley. Read More...

5 lessons on embedded software modeling

Models can aide embedded software development, but generally are not being done well. Here are some tips to help improve modeling. 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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Innovative 8-bit PIC MCU family is tailored for demanding Smart Lighting applications

Microchip has introduced two new families of genuinely innovative 8-bit PIC MCUs, including one specifically designed for Smart Lighting and motor control applications. These minimalist machines are designed to meet the tight cost constraints of IoT applications with elegant architectures which can squeeze out the greatest possible functionality from the smallest possible number of transistors, miliwatts and pins. Read More...

Software verification toolset update adds functions, speeds analysis

More and more systems are becoming safety- and security-critical. The enhanced LDRA tool helps speed compliance testing. Read More...

Security controller simplifies design and product protection

The Optiga Trust E provides a turnkey approach to product security by simplifying authentication. Read More...

MCUs target IoT and industrial applications

Atmel’s ARM Cortex-M7 core-based microcontrollers, the SAM S70 and SAM E70 series, operate at 300 MHz and score a 1500 CoreMark. Read More...

8-bit MCUs expand performance with core-independent peripherals

Core independent peripherals expand the performance of 8-bit micros while the CPU sleeps. Read More...

Interface IC calibrates sensor outputs

A 16:1 sensor-interface analog front-end IC, the XR10910 from Exar, connects multiple sensors and simplifies sensor conditioning. 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...

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How to improve IoT security

There is no such thing as absolute security. Every system has a weakness, it just depends on whether attackers are suitably motivated to exploit them. Read More...

Address E-band cost and reliability issues in MMIC packaging

High component cost and low production yield limit E-band usage in applications like 77-GHz collision-avoidance systems to luxury cars; a new approach can change that. Read More...

Field-oriented control by the numbers

Dave's tutorial on field-oriented control (FOC) for motors covers BLDC and AC inductive motor types used in robotics and industrial systems. 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...

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...

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Include a remote update boot loader: 5 reasons why

Your embedded system can benefit from remote update capability. Here's how. Read More...

Measure career advancement by blowing your mind

If you can possibly finagle this opportunity, do it right now! Read More...

Microlocation in IoT can save time, money, and lives

Devices now available can turn any object into an IoT device capable of delivering its identity and location to the network. Read More...

Meetup at Maker Faire!

My Smart Hat just reminded it's time to invite you to our 2nd annual Reader/Editor Meet-Up at the NY Maker Faire, held Sept. 26 & 27, at the New York Hall of Science. Please join me, and your fellow EDN readers for fun, fellowship and a chance to go backstage at some of the Faire's most interesting exhibitors. Read More...

7 tips for writing portable C code

Code re-use is becoming critical, so here are some tips on developing portable C. Read More...

IoT continuous deployment keeps software current

With so much programmability and hardware in the loop, keeping software current will be a constant task. Read More...

Students aim to reach the edge of space

After a technical setback in May, a group of Boston University students is raising funds to launch next summer the first amateur rocket to reach space. Read More...

Smart cities are coming

A new round of smart cities projects are planned for 2016, according to an ESC speaker from NIST. Read More...

Wearables still provide limited information and accuracy

Wearables are falling short of the goal of delivering medical-grade information in ways useful to consumers, said the co-founder of a startup speaking at ESC Silicon Valley. Read More...

What's next for wearables?

Wearables have the power to transform the world around us - to interact on our behalf with other 'smart' devices that are increasingly common. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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