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.

Vote for the Best Products of 2014

At DesignCon 2015, the Best in Design & Test Awards will be awarded in the ChipHead Theater at 5PM on Wednesday January 28th, 2015 in the Santa Clara Convention Center at DesignCon 2015, please cast your vote now! Read More...

Vote for the Engineer of the Year

DesignCon2015 has announced the finalists for the Engineer of the Year Award (sponsored by National Instruments). The award includes a $10,000 grant that will be given out at DesignCon. Read More...

Help save a part of engineering history

The first house to have a telephone is up for sale. You can help turn it into a museum. Read More...

Rambus announces DesignCon highlights

In addition to its space in the expo hall, Rambus will also be presenting four papers in the conference’s technical program and delivering a full-day training session. Read More...

Testing your motor control algorithms

How can you go about testing your control capability across the operational range (+/- torque generation) and with various loads (+/- load)? Read More...

Mobile multi-core ARM processors augment PMIC family

AMS has added to the company's family of PMICs for mobile multi-core ARM processors with the AS3722, which provides a power-control solution for Nvidia's Tegra K1 mobile SoC. Read More...

High reliability 8-Mb SRAMs achieve zero soft-error-rate

Renesas has grown its Advanced Low-Power SRAM series, with the RMLV0816B and RMLV0808B devices, which have a density of 8 Mbits and are built with a fabrication process technology with a circuit linewidth of 110 nm. Read More...

Field-programmable clock generators in multi-output variants

IDT has grown its VersaClock 5 series of low-power programmable clock generators, featuring low jitter, and different combinations of outputs and output types, to meet exact timing needs for various applications. Read More...

Software-centric approach for complex SoC verification

Cadence's Perspec System Verifier claims up to ten-times productivity improvement in system-on-chip verification and marks a shift towards software-driven verification. Read More...

Cortex-A9 processors integrate data-mining features

Toshiba's new ARM Cortex-A9 based application processor series offers enhanced sound and image data-mining and security functions. Read More...

8051-based MCUs get a development tool upgrade

IAR Systems' latest release of its IAR Embedded Workbench for 8051 development toolchain includes high-performance compiler and debugger tools with extensive support for a wide range of MCUs. Read More...

Basics of the IEEE Standardization process

Here's a look at the seven steps in the production of a typical IEEE standard. Read More...

Silicon photonics: What are the advantages?

Sneak peak at "Perspectives on silicon photonics (an honest forum)" at DesignCon 2015 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

Mobile multi-core ARM processors augment PMIC family

AMS has added to the company's family of PMICs for mobile multi-core ARM processors with the AS3722, which provides a power-control solution for Nvidia's Tegra K1 mobile SoC. Read More...

High reliability 8-Mb SRAMs achieve zero soft-error-rate

Renesas has grown its Advanced Low-Power SRAM series, with the RMLV0816B and RMLV0808B devices, which have a density of 8 Mbits and are built with a fabrication process technology with a circuit linewidth of 110 nm. Read More...

Field-programmable clock generators in multi-output variants

IDT has grown its VersaClock 5 series of low-power programmable clock generators, featuring low jitter, and different combinations of outputs and output types, to meet exact timing needs for various applications. Read More...

Cortex-A9 processors integrate data-mining features

Toshiba's new ARM Cortex-A9 based application processor series offers enhanced sound and image data-mining and security functions. Read More...

Catapult 8 a major HLS upgrade

Calypto is calling Catapult 8 "third generation" high-level synthesis technology, and it supports both C++ and SystemC. Read More...

Low-power FRAM with integrated counter function for energy harvesting apps

Fujitsu's MB85RDP16LX FRAM incorporates multiple optimizations to reduce energy consumption to less than 10% of that required by standard FRAM solutions. 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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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...

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...

>> SEE ALL

Vote for the Best Products of 2014

At DesignCon 2015, the Best in Design & Test Awards will be awarded in the ChipHead Theater at 5PM on Wednesday January 28th, 2015 in the Santa Clara Convention Center at DesignCon 2015, please cast your vote now! Read More...

Vote for the Engineer of the Year

DesignCon2015 has announced the finalists for the Engineer of the Year Award (sponsored by National Instruments). The award includes a $10,000 grant that will be given out at DesignCon. Read More...

Help save a part of engineering history

The first house to have a telephone is up for sale. You can help turn it into a museum. Read More...

Rambus announces DesignCon highlights

In addition to its space in the expo hall, Rambus will also be presenting four papers in the conference’s technical program and delivering a full-day training session. Read More...

Testing your motor control algorithms

How can you go about testing your control capability across the operational range (+/- torque generation) and with various loads (+/- load)? Read More...

Software-centric approach for complex SoC verification

Cadence's Perspec System Verifier claims up to ten-times productivity improvement in system-on-chip verification and marks a shift towards software-driven verification. Read More...

Tale of two thermostats: Nest teardown

I conducted a side-by-side teardown of two IoT thermostats to compare how they were made. This is a summary of those results. Read More...

5 rules for playing nice with IoT gateways

Here are some design considerations that might help avoid mass confusion in the IoT. Read More...

7 steps to security for the Internet of Things

Keeping IoT devices and their data secure will be essential as the IoT grows. The principles of enterprise security are a good approach to take. Read More...

HyperCat spec seeks to simplify IoT device interactivity

Repurposing data from IoT devices is a great idea, but first you have to find the devices and understand their data. Enter HyperCat. Read More...

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