Systems Design

EDN Staff

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.

MCU power logger spans nanoamps to milliamps

The STM32 Power Shield expansion board from STMicroelectronics lets developers check the power consumption of their embedded designs. Read More...

QSFP-DD pluggable modules boost data density

An array of high-speed, high-density solutions revolving around various small form-factor pluggable modules gained considerable traction in datacenter switch and networking devices. Thermal management strategies are critical as the industry is readying for the launch of next-generation copper and optical QSFP-DD transceivers. Read More...

Edge servers ease network congestion

A new generation of standard COM Express modules offer server power for “edge” computing while reducing network load and centralized computational requirements. Read More...

IoT & cloud security overview

An overview of WiFi, Bluetooth, and cloud security. Read More...

Design and test strategy for IoT connectivity challenges

Many IoT design challenges can be avoided using an informed design and test strategy. Attend this course to learn what’s required to produce a connected device on time and within budget. Read More...

SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition: design from creative young minds, Part 1

Arizona students developed an economical, sustainable, and scalable pod for the SpaceX Hyperloop transit system concept. Read More...

SFP optical modules: Legacy compatibility vs. improved performance

Two options have emerged to get datacenter electrical and optical signals to support higher speeds. The choice of microQSFP or SFP-DD connectors comes down to thermal issues and legacy cable support. Read More...

How to build a city

Promising opportunities abound across the globe for smart policy makers to join with enterprising and civic-minded members of the local engineering, design chain, and supply chain communities. Read More...

Reading the signs: 5G is coming

A surge of recent developments in the 5G space suggest that real work on actual 5G products is beginning in earnest. That includes real jobs in the 5G space. Read More...

Nixie clock: Tearup

Enjoy this photo essay of a Nixie clock build, and a look at the design. Read More...

IoT: We aren’t as ready as we think

Are you really ready for the IoT? This online course will help developers understand how to secure a device, provision it, and get it safely communicating on the internet. Read More...

$199 wireless oscilloscope needs a few enhancements

The Aeroscope 100A lets you troubleshoot and monitor circuit performance from a smartphone or tablet, but needs a few more features in its app. Read More...

Mushrooming PoE use cries out for true standardization

PoE standardization has unfortunately lagged. With renewed efforts and resources, there’s no longer any excuse to use proprietary designs. Read More...

Ternary DAC: Greater resolution, less bits

A base-3 DAC? Sacre bleu! Read More...

Audio analyzer module adds new Bluetooth codecs

The Bluetooth Duo module from Audio Precision adds new codecs for Bluetooth 4.2, plus it's now a sink/source module. Read More...

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1-bit PROM programmer shows status

The intuitive user interface of this PROM programmer is bound to impress. Read More...

One wire controls LCD module

This one-wire LCD interface DI generates all the signals required to control the ubiquitous character display. Read More...

Line receiver provides self test

Use a quad differential comparator to provide adequate self-test for systems using line receivers for differential input signals. Read More...

AVR takes under 1µs to process quadrature encoder

A good example of tight interrupt coding to interface to a quadrature encoder. Read More...

Isolated USB-to-UART converter builds in 20 minutes for $20

This Design Idea describes a simple project that embedded developers will love for keeping their computers safe from rogue USB devices. Read More...

Software PLL syncs to line using moving-average filter

A software PLL with a jitter attenuator lends itself to AC-line filtering and many other applications. Read More...

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...

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MCUs bring extensive features to smart objects

STM32L4+ microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics deliver 150 DMIPS at 120 MHz, while executing from up to 2 Mbytes of internal flash memory. Read More...

MCU power logger spans nanoamps to milliamps

The STM32 Power Shield expansion board from STMicroelectronics lets developers check the power consumption of their embedded designs. Read More...

Multicore audio processor chip has machine-learning aptitude

The IA8508 quad-core, context-aware audio processor from Knowles improves voice recognition, especially in far-field and noisy environments. Read More...

Generate four channels of high-speed data

The ADNT_MPSG from Adsantec can produce standard or customer bit patterns at 40 Gbps over four channels. Read More...

Wireless transceiver supports dual standards

The ML7404 RF transceiver from Lapis Semiconductor boasts LPWA (low power wide area) dual-mode functionality for new IoT applications. Read More...

Audio analyzer module adds new Bluetooth codecs

The Bluetooth Duo module from Audio Precision adds new codecs for Bluetooth 4.2, plus it's now a sink/source module. Read More...

BLE SoC senses tire pressure

The SmartBond DA14585 BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) SoC from Dialog Semiconductor monitors the air pressure and temperature of automotive tires. Read More...

8-bit MCU offers flexible interfacing

Housed in an economical SO-8 package, STMicroelectronics’ STM8S001 microcontroller provides I2C, UART, and SPI interface options. Read More...

GigE cameras deliver up to 5 Mpixels

FLIR Systems’ Blackfly S GigE POE machine-vision cameras offer CMOS image sensors with resolutions of 1.3 Mpixels, 3.2 Mpixels, and 5 Mpixels. Read More...

Bench supplies sense loads, log data

Keysight's E36300 Series of power supplies feature output lists and a datalogger for controlling outputs and storing power measurements. Read More...

32-bit MCU delivers MPU-like graphics

Microchip’s 32-bit PIC32MZ DA microcontroller not only packs a 2-D graphics processing unit, but also up to 32 Mbytes of DDR2 memory. Read More...

ECAD virtual assistant lends a hand

EE Concierge from Upverter allows engineers working with any ECAD or EDA tool to request any part be built, verified, and delivered on-demand. Read More...

Analog or digital: Choose your oscilloscope inputs

The MSO5 series mixed-signal oscilloscopes from Tektronix provide 4, 6, or 8 flexible 12-bit analog inputs, but you can choose between analog logic inputs. Read More...

Tektronix enters VNA market with low-cost USB models

The Tektronix TTR500 series features two models with bandwidth to 3 GHz and 6 GHz. Read More...

Bridge chip simplifies audio data transfer

Silicon Labs’ CP2615 bridge chip transfers digital audio data between USB and I2S serial bus interfaces without any code development. Read More...

RF MCU packs sub-GHz radio

The SAM R30 system-in-package from Microchip meets the power-conscious needs of battery-powered wirelessly connected systems. Read More...

Midrange oscilloscope provides 1 GHz bandwidth

The WaveSurfer 510 from Teledyne LeCroy also provides a league-leading 10 Gsamples/sec per channel sample rate. Read More...

Motor driver fits small IoT devices

A single-chip 2.6 A driver for brushed DC motors, STMicroelectronics’ STSPIN250 targets battery-powered portable and wearable applications. Read More...

GigE chips ease network design

A suite of 48 Gigabit Ethernet chips, Microchip’s GigEpack lineup includes switches with integrated HSR/DLR redundancy. Read More...

10-bit oscilloscopes fill gap between lower and higher models

The RTB2000 series from Rohde & Schwarz covers 70 MHz to 300 MHz with a 10-in. capacitive touchscreen display. Read More...

Power-saving MCUs boost memory

STMicroelectronics’ STM32L496 and STM32L4A6 team an ARM 32-bit Cortex-M4F core with large memory, extra peripherals, and low-power operation. Read More...

MCUs pack lots of memory, peripherals

Microchip’s PIC18F K42 series offers the largest memory of any 8-bit PIC MCU, along with an extensive array of core-independent peripherals. Read More...

Keysight adds 50/70/100 MHz oscilloscopes for educators, small labs

The InfiniiVision 1000 X-Series brings higher-end features within budgets of educators, small labs, and even individuals. Read More...

64-layer flash IC enables 1-Tbyte chips

Toshiba has added a 512-Gbit, 64-layer flash memory device that employs triple-level cell technology to its BiCS Flash product line. Read More...

Bluetooth 5 SoC maximizes battery life

A multiprotocol, Bluetooth 5-certified radio Soc, On Semiconductor’s RSL10 requires just 62.5 nW in deep sleep mode and 7 mW in receive mode. Read More...

Small spectrum analyzer uses both samples and sweeps

The MS2760A from Anritsu uses a combination of traditional and real-time techniques to produce bandwidths to 110 GHz. Read More...

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VoIP phone teardown

This 2011 VoIP office phone shows some thoughtful acoustic and mechanical design. Read More...

Myo armband: Wearables design focuses on packaging

Thalmic Labs’ Myo gesture-control armband combines electromyography with IMUs and exposes difficulty of implementing a true wearable. Read More...

Teardown: Behind the ESC collector's badge

The flashy networked attendee badge appearing at this year's ESC Boston gets a close look by EDN editor Rich Quinnell. Read More...

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: 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: 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: 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...

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Edge servers ease network congestion

A new generation of standard COM Express modules offer server power for “edge” computing while reducing network load and centralized computational requirements. Read More...

IoT & cloud security overview

An overview of WiFi, Bluetooth, and cloud security. Read More...

Wireless & IoT protocols & their security tradeoffs

How to choose amongst the various security options in a number of wireless & IoT protocols. Read More...

Industrial IoT to gain traction in 2017

Long predicted but slow to arise, the Industrial Internet of Things may finally be poised to gain momentum in 2017. Read More...

Make SoCs flexible with embedded FPGA

Embedding an FPGA array can add vital flexibility to SoC designs. Read More...

Distributed measurements unlock the future of design

Distributed physical measurements are the key to working with new materials and state-of-the-art mechanical design. Read More...

Providing USB Type-C connectivity – What you need to know

The reversible cable of USB Type-C needs smart interfaces, but the right chips are available. Read More...

Engineering the future of space exploration

The days of disposal launchers may be approaching an end as a new group of entrepreneurial space companies seek to apply Silicon Valley innovation and scaling to human exploration of the solar system. Read More...

Look Inside Fiber Optic Sensing

Improvements in fiber optic sensing technology can help engineers solve complex system sensing problems. Read More...

Loop tuning controls transient response in point of load power modules

To restore responsiveness when adding load capacitance to POL power modules, re-tune the control loop. Read More...

Partial and Pretended Networking Reduces CAN Power Consumption

Saving power by turning off subsystems is a challenge for CAN networks, until you redefine the network a little. Read More...

Data choices help compress 8051 code

The limited memory resources of 8-bit architectures like the popular 8051 are often seen as preventing programming them in C, but the right choices in the type and location of data can shrink C code to better fit. Read More...

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Design and test strategy for IoT connectivity challenges

Many IoT design challenges can be avoided using an informed design and test strategy. Attend this course to learn what’s required to produce a connected device on time and within budget. Read More...

How to build a city

Promising opportunities abound across the globe for smart policy makers to join with enterprising and civic-minded members of the local engineering, design chain, and supply chain communities. Read More...

Reading the signs: 5G is coming

A surge of recent developments in the 5G space suggest that real work on actual 5G products is beginning in earnest. That includes real jobs in the 5G space. Read More...

Nixie clock: Tearup

Enjoy this photo essay of a Nixie clock build, and a look at the design. Read More...

IoT: We aren’t as ready as we think

Are you really ready for the IoT? This online course will help developers understand how to secure a device, provision it, and get it safely communicating on the internet. Read More...

$199 wireless oscilloscope needs a few enhancements

The Aeroscope 100A lets you troubleshoot and monitor circuit performance from a smartphone or tablet, but needs a few more features in its app. Read More...

Mushrooming PoE use cries out for true standardization

PoE standardization has unfortunately lagged. With renewed efforts and resources, there’s no longer any excuse to use proprietary designs. Read More...

Ternary DAC: Greater resolution, less bits

A base-3 DAC? Sacre bleu! Read More...

Tesla backlash shows misunderstanding of reality

Software-enabled hardware features, over-the-air updates, and common-platform design are becoming the rule, not the exception. Good or bad? Discuss. Read More...

Conductive paint is not just a toy

Conductive ink’s fluidity—both literally and figuratively—adds an unconventional process to circuit building that may open up a host of possibilities in how to incorporate electrical circuit into system design. Read More...

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