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.

Security architecture for automotive microcontroller flash memory

Read about various ways flash memory can be secured against malicious or accidental modification. Read More...

TI integrated high speed SoC including Digital Front End and JESD204B

Throughout my 42 year career in electronics, I have seen the battle of portions of FPGA solutions in telecom infrastructure being replaced by Graychip’s Digital Pre-Distortion IC solution, saving power, cost and size in highly dense base station PC cards. Then, years later, emerging FPGA technology replacing such optimized IC solutions as the Graychip Digital Pre-Distorion IC as that technology leap-frogged the customized solution. Read More...

Saving the bees using the IoT

Much of our food depends on bees for pollination, but they're dying off. The IoT is offering a solution. Read More...

7 tips for designing a robust Bootloader

Today's embedded systems often need field updates. A properly-designed bootloader is the answer. Read More...

Engineering school never taught you this

In his presentation at the upcoming ESC Boston, Dave Nadler will show how failures can help point the way to success. Read More...

Confessions of a low power addict

Figuring out how to triple battery life using only software changes can get you hooked on low-power design techniques. Read More...

Run two PANs with one transceiver

Dual-antenna diversity allows this transceiver to support two personal area networks simultaneously. Read More...

Processor and radio module makes BLE design a snap

This self-contained module already has all its qualifications and approvals, making BLE a drop-in feature. Read More...

Altera’s new Power Management team kicks it into high gear

Who would know how to optimally power Altera FPGAs better than their own power management team? Read More...

10 Questions to ask during code reviews

Large companies and small all seem to run into the same problems in code development. These questions to ask during code review can help catch a lot of problems. Read More...

RTOS simplifies IoT endpoint development

Release 2.12 of the TI-RTOS includes drivers and integrated power management features to ease the IoT device developer's task. Read More...

Simplify complex control problems using disturbance rejection

Control systems that must handle changing parameters can benefit from using disturbance rejection in place of standard PID control. 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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TI integrated high speed SoC including Digital Front End and JESD204B

Throughout my 42 year career in electronics, I have seen the battle of portions of FPGA solutions in telecom infrastructure being replaced by Graychip’s Digital Pre-Distortion IC solution, saving power, cost and size in highly dense base station PC cards. Then, years later, emerging FPGA technology replacing such optimized IC solutions as the Graychip Digital Pre-Distorion IC as that technology leap-frogged the customized solution. Read More...

Run two PANs with one transceiver

Dual-antenna diversity allows this transceiver to support two personal area networks simultaneously. Read More...

LEDs battle ebola and climate change while boosting the economy

This week's Semi-Coherent Emissions top story: The LED lighting industry's performance provides compelling evidence that strong economic growth and high environmental quality aren't mutually-exclusive. Read More...

Processor and radio module makes BLE design a snap

This self-contained module already has all its qualifications and approvals, making BLE a drop-in feature. Read More...

MCUs bring high-performance graphics to IoT devices

Leveraging STMicroelectronics’ Chrom-ART Accelerator and a MIPI Display Serial Interface (DSI), the STM32F469/479 series of microcontroller chips delivers smart phone-like graphics and intuitive user interfaces to wearable devices, smart appliances, and other Internet of Things applications. Read More...

RTOS simplifies IoT endpoint development

Release 2.12 of the TI-RTOS includes drivers and integrated power management features to ease the IoT device developer's task. 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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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...

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...

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Saving the bees using the IoT

Much of our food depends on bees for pollination, but they're dying off. The IoT is offering a solution. Read More...

7 tips for designing a robust Bootloader

Today's embedded systems often need field updates. A properly-designed bootloader is the answer. Read More...

Manchester Coded Bit Streams

A look at Manchester coding of a bit stream. Read More...

Designing your first PXI test system? Start inside out.

Larry Desjardin gives first time PXI users tips on selecting modules, chassis, and controllers for a successful integration. Read More...

Engineering school never taught you this

In his presentation at the upcoming ESC Boston, Dave Nadler will show how failures can help point the way to success. Read More...

Confessions of a low power addict

Figuring out how to triple battery life using only software changes can get you hooked on low-power design techniques. Read More...

10 Questions to ask during code reviews

Large companies and small all seem to run into the same problems in code development. These questions to ask during code review can help catch a lot of problems. Read More...

Simplify complex control problems using disturbance rejection

Control systems that must handle changing parameters can benefit from using disturbance rejection in place of standard PID control. Read More...

4.9 Billion Reasons To Celebrate World IoT Day 2015

April 9th is the 5th annual World IoT Day. By the end of 2015, Gartner estimates that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use. If you haven’t planned to host an event or grab coffee with your favorite collaborator, don’t worry. Here are three important ways you can get involved Read More...

Open source electromagnetic trackers

Preview an ESC Boston presentation on what electromagnetic trackers are as embedded systems, the basic operating physics, and the unusual requirements placed on the embedded processor and architecture. Read More...

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