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.

Integrating safety into connected medical devices

Using ARM virtualization modes to facilitate safe and secure code. Read More...

A Chimera of Standards, or the Challenges of Adapting Prototyping Standards

“The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.” Grace Hopper Read More...

PIC32 microcontrollers and the Digilent chip - 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...

ARM-based MCU builds on sub-threshold technology for 10-fold power reduction

The ARM Cortex-M4F-based MCUs are based on subthreshold voltage technology to deliver breakthrough improvement in battery life. 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...

GaN technology will transform the future

If we will look out 5 to 10 years we can easily see how a transformative change in semiconductor technology can transform our everyday world. Read More...

Serial Quad I/O SuperFlash memory in low-power 4-Mbit and 8-Mbit

Microchip Technology has added to its 1.8V Serial Quad I/O (SQI) SuperFlash Memory with the SST26WF080B and SST26WF040B devices. Read More...

Static analysis tool focuses on code security

The latest release of GrammaTech's Static Analysis Tool gives developers tools to ensure embedded software quality and security, and will feature 64-bit binary analysis, distributed analysis and with check for tainted buffer accesses. Read More...

High reliability embedded memory; security on micro SD

Swissbit announced its first DDR4 DRAM module, which delivers significantly higher data rates without equivalent increases in power consumption and micro SD security series memory cards. Read More...

Extensible processor IP offers up to 75% memory power and area savings

Xtensa LX6 and Xtensa 11 processors enable users to create innovative custom processor instruction sets with up to 25% less processor logic power consumption and up to 75% better local memory area and power efficiency. Read More...

Timing challenges for serial flash interface

This paper not only covers the timing challenges in every mode (SDR, DDR, DQS) of external serial NOR flashes, but also talks about the specific timing requirements to be used in closing the static timing in all these modes, independent of flash vendor. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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...

>> SEE ALL

ARM-based MCU builds on sub-threshold technology for 10-fold power reduction

The ARM Cortex-M4F-based MCUs are based on subthreshold voltage technology to deliver breakthrough improvement in battery life. Read More...

Serial Quad I/O SuperFlash memory in low-power 4-Mbit and 8-Mbit

Microchip Technology has added to its 1.8V Serial Quad I/O (SQI) SuperFlash Memory with the SST26WF080B and SST26WF040B devices. Read More...

High reliability embedded memory; security on micro SD

Swissbit announced its first DDR4 DRAM module, which delivers significantly higher data rates without equivalent increases in power consumption and micro SD security series memory cards. Read More...

Extensible processor IP offers up to 75% memory power and area savings

Xtensa LX6 and Xtensa 11 processors enable users to create innovative custom processor instruction sets with up to 25% less processor logic power consumption and up to 75% better local memory area and power efficiency. Read More...

Cortex-M7 MCUs are structured for real-time tasks

Atmel has introduced ARM-based MCUs that feature an optimized memory architecture and connectivity for automotive, IoT and industrial markets Read More...

SSL/TLS secure-socket code for embedded devices

Segger's emSSL is a ground-up implementation of secure sockets that are the backbone of secure communications on the Internet today. 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

PIC32 microcontrollers and the Digilent chip - 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...

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...

>> SEE ALL

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...

GaN technology will transform the future

If we will look out 5 to 10 years we can easily see how a transformative change in semiconductor technology can transform our everyday world. Read More...

Designer's Notebook: Hot & cold running oscillators

Being a light overview of ways to generate accurate frequencies. Read More...

Tips to optimize high-speed serial design

Papers and presentations at DesignCon 2015 address critical areas of high-speed design. Here’s a preview of some of them. Read More...

Get a closer look at parallel and DDR interfaces

Want the latest design techniques to meet the performance requirements for chip-to-chip interfaces? Check out this DesignCon track. Read More...

S-parameter puzzles for engineers

Every engineer loves technical puzzles. If you also are familiar with S-parameters, what could be more exciting than S-parameter puzzles? Read More...

AMD teases Carrizo processor

While specs were scarce at International CES, officials trumped the single, scalable architecture and video processing capabilities of Carrizo and Carrizo-L. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

FEATURED RESOURCES