iOS 5: Complete list of 200+ Features

If you are an Apple fan like i am, own an IOS device and are curious to know what the full list of features on the new IOS 5 are, then follow the hyperlink!

R.I.P: Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

You defined how products should be made and brought to the masses. You re-iterated that successful technologies are which deliver and refine user experience.

IBM, Intel Start $4.4 Billion Chip Venture in New York

Kudos to IBM, Intel and New York state for putting together a deal that will make upstate New York the center of R&D work for chip production on 450-mm and the development of 22- and 14-nm process technology for IBM's so-called "fab club," the Common Platform Alliance. According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the deal, which involves $4.4 billion of investment, will create about 4,400 jobs and help the region retain another 2,500. Many of those jobs might just have easily have ended up in Taiwan, South Korea, Abu Dhabi or elsewhere. The deal is a coup for New York, which is presumably offering the companies tax breaks or other incentives to locate the projects there. (New York state itself is kicking in some $400 million over five years, but Gov. Cuomo made it clear in a statement announcing the projects that no private company will receive any state funds as part of the agreement.) Albany, already home to the semiconductor research consortium Sematech, the Albany Nanotech Complex and, soon, the Global 450 Consortium, increasingly appears to have surpassed the Silicon Valley as the place to be for semiconductor industry R&D. [More]

Intel Medfield Atom based Android Tablet in 2012

Intel is one of few companies that was given access to the Google Android Honeycomb source code–which Google has to this date not made public yet because the company is still optimizing Honeycomb for future phone releases–and it took Intel a few weeks to re-compile the code to make it compatible for its x86 architecture–the code was originally written for ARM chipsets. "It is HOT" [More here]

The wireless generation dance - 1G, 2G, 2Gt, 3G, 3Gt, 4G

The worldwide communication technology thirst and demands in bringing digital information to widespread end users have pushed innovation to extremes. Each successive generation of cellular technology has been based on a new enabling technology. By new, i mean the availability of an existing technology at low cost, or, for handset designers, the availability of a technology sufficiently power efficient to be used in a portable device.

Too often we fail to learn from lessons of the past. As an industry, we have over 20 years of experience in designing cellular handsets and deploying cellular networks. The past tells us precisely what is and what is not possible in terms of future technology deployment. This allows us to detect when reality gaps occur. Reality gaps are those between technical practicality and wishful thinking. They happen all the time and can be particularly painful when technically complex systems are being deployed. Almost all technologies start with a reality gap. The technology fails to deliver as well as expected. Some technologies never close the gap and become failed technologies. Some people can make money from failed technologies, but the majority doesn’t. Failed technologies ultimately fail because they do not deliver user value. We also tend to forget that user expectations and customer expectations change over time. A technology has to be capable of sufficient dynamic range to be able to continue to improve as the technology and user expectations mature. Failed technologies often fail because they cannot close the reality gap and cannot catch up with changing user expectations. One example of a failed technology is WiMax!

Successful technologies are that which deliver along the whole industry value chain—device vendors, handset manufacturers, network manufacturers (software and hardware vendors), network operators, and end users. I aim to show in this article how different generations of wireless technology has been evolving to become a successful proposition, both technically and commercially. I hope you enjoy reading this article and hope to get your feedback.

The cellular wireless communications industry witnessed tremendous growth in the past decade with over four billion wireless subscribers worldwide. The first generation (1G) analog cellular systems supported voice communication with limited roaming. The second generation (2G) digital systems promised higher capacity and better voice quality than did their analog counterparts. Moreover, roaming became more prevalent thanks to fewer standards and common spectrum allocations across countries particularly in Europe.

The two widely deployed second-generation (2G) cellular systems are GSM (global system for mobile communications) and CDMA (code division multiple access). As for the 1G analog systems, 2G systems were primarily designed to support voice communication. In later releases of these standards, capabilities were introduced to support data transmission.

However, the data rates were generally lower than that supported by dial-up connections. The ITU-R initiative on IMT-2000 (international mobile Telecommunications 2000) paved the way for evolution to 3G. A set of requirements such as a peak data rate of 2 Mb/s and support for vehicular mobility were published under IMT-2000 initiative. Both the GSM and CDMA camps formed their own separate 3G partnership projects (3GPP and 3GPP2, respectively) to develop IMT-2000 compliant standards based on the CDMA technology. The 3G standard in 3GPP is referred to as wideband CDMA(WCDMA) because it uses a larger 5MHz bandwidth relative to 1.25MHz bandwidth used in 3GPP2’s cdma2000 system. The 3GPP2 also developed a 5MHz version supporting three 1.25MHz subcarriers referred to as cdma2000-3x. In order to differentiate from the 5MHz cdma2000-3x standard, the 1.25MHz system is referred to as cdma2000-1x or simply 3G-1x.

The first release of the 3G standards did not fulfill its promise of high-speed data transmissions as the data rates supported in practice were much lower than that claimed in the standards. A serious effort was then made to enhance the 3G systems for efficient data support. The 3GPP2 first introduced the HRPD (high rate packet data) system that used various advanced techniques optimized for data traffic such as channel sensitive scheduling, fast link adaptation and hybrid ARQ, etc. The HRPD system required a separate 1.25MHz carrier and supported no voice service. This was the reason that HRPD was initially referred to as cdma2000-1xEVDO (evolution data only) system. The 3GPP followed a similar path and introduced HSPA (high speed packet a
ccess) enhancement to the WCDMA system. The HSPA standard reused many of the same data-optimized techniques as the HRPD system.

A difference relative to HRPD, however, is that both voice and data can be carried on the same 5MHz carrier in HSPA. The voice and data traffic are code multiplexed in the downlink. In parallel to HRPD, 3GPP2 also developed a joint voice data standard that was referred to as cdma2000-1xEVDV (evolution data voice). Like HSPA, the cdma2000-1xEVDV system supported both voice and data on the same carrier but it was never commercialized. In the later release of HRPD, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) capabilities were introduced to provide both voice and data service on the same carrier. The two 3G standards namely HSPA and HRPD were finally able to fulfill the 3G promise and have been widely deployed in major cellular markets to provide wireless data access.

A quick summary of the different generations!
First generation (1G).
AMPS/ETACS handsets in the 1980s required low-cost microcontrollers to manage the allocation of multiple RF (radio frequency) channels (833 × 30 kHz channels for AMPS, 1000 × 25 kHz channels for ETACS) and low-cost RF components that could provide acceptable performance at 800/900 MHz.

Second generation (2G). GSM, TDMA, and CDMA handsets in the 1990s required low-cost digital signal processors (DSPs) for voice codecs and related baseband processing tasks, and low-cost RF components that could provide acceptable performance at 800/900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 1900 MHz.

Third generation (3G). W-CDMAand CDMA2000 handsets require—in addition to low-cost microcontrollers and DSPs—low-cost, low power budget CMOS or CCD image sensors; low-cost, low power budget image and video encoders; low-cost, low power budget memory; low-cost RF components that can provide acceptable performance at 1900/2100 MHz; and high-density battery technologies.

Beyond 3G systems While HSPA and HRPD systems were being developed and deployed, IEEE 802 LMSC (LAN/MAN Standard Committee) introduced the IEEE 802.16e standard for mobile broadband wireless access. This standard was introduced as an enhancement to an earlier IEEE 802.16 standard for fixed broadband wireless access. The 802.16e standard employed a different access technology named OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) and claimed better data rates and spectral efficiency than that provided by HSPA and HRPD.

Although the IEEE 802.16 family of standards is officially called WirelessMAN in IEEE, it has been dubbedWiMAX (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) by an industry group named theWiMAX Forum. The mission of theWiMAX Forum is to promote and certify the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless access products. The WiMAX system supporting mobility as in IEEE 802.16e standard is referred to as MobileWiMAX. In addition to the radio technology advantage, MobileWiMAX also employed a simpler network architecture based on IP protocols.

The introduction of Mobile WiMAX led both 3GPP and 3GPP2 to develop their own version of beyond 3G systems based on the OFDMA technology and network architecture similar to that in MobileWiMAX. The beyond 3G system in 3GPP is called evolved universal terrestrial radio access (evolved UTRA) and is also widely referred to as LTE (Long-Term Evolution) while 3GPP2’s version is called UMB (ultra mobile broadband). It should be noted that all three beyond 3G systems namely Mobile WiMAX, LTE and UMB meet IMT-2000 requirements and hence they are also part of IMT-2000 family of standards.

Long-Term Evolution (LTE) The goal of LTE is to provide a high-data-rate, low-latency and packet-optimized radioaccess technology supporting flexible bandwidth deployments. In parallel, new network architecture is designed with the goal to support packet-switched traffic with seamless mobility, quality of service and minimal latency. The air-interface related attributes of the LTE system are summarized in Table 1.1. The system supports flexible bandwidths thanks to OFDMA and SC-FDMA access schemes. In addition to FDD (frequency division duplexing) and TDD (time division duplexing), halfduplex FDD is allowed to support low cost UEs. Unlike FDD, in half-duplex FDD operation a UE is not required to transmit and receive at the same time. This avoids the need for a costly duplexer in the UE. The system is primarily optimized for low speeds up to 15 km/h. However, the system specifications allow mobility support in excess of 350 km/h with some performance degradation. The uplink access is based on single carrier frequency division multiple access (SC-FDMA) that promises increased uplink coverage due to low peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) relative to OFDMA. The system supports downlink peak data rates of 326 Mb/s with 4 × 4 MIMO (multiple input multiple output) within 20MHz bandwidth. Since uplink MIMO is not employed in the first release of the LTE standard, the uplink peak data rates are limited to 86 Mb/s within 20MHz bandwidth. In addition to peak data rate improvements, the LTE system provides two to four times higher cell spectral efficiency relative to the Release 6 HSPA system. Similar improvements are observed in cell-edge throughput while maintaining same-site locations as deployed for HSPA. In terms of latency, the LTE radio-interface and network provides capabilities for less than 10 ms latency for the transmission of a packet from the network to the UE.

Evolution to 4G The radio-interface attributes for Mobile WiMAX and UMB are very similar to those of LTE given in Table 1.1. All three systems support flexible bandwidths, FDD/TDD duplexing, OFDMA in the downlink and MIMO schemes. There are a few differences such as uplink in LTE is based on SC-FDMA compared to OFDMA in Mobile WiMAX and UMB. The performance of the three systems is therefore expected to be similar with small differences. Similar to the IMT-2000 initiative, ITU-R Working Party 5D has stated requirements for IMT-advanced systems. Among others, these requirements include average downlink data rates of 100 Mbit/s in the wide area network, and up to 1 Gbit/s for local access or lowmobility scenarios. Also, at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-2007), a maximum of a 428MHz new spectrum is identified for IMT systems that also include a 136MHz spectrum allocated on a global basis. Both 3GPPand IEEE 802LMSCare actively developing their own standards for submission to IMT-advanced. The goal for both LTE-advanced and IEEE 802.16m standards is to further enhance system spectral efficiency and data rates while supporting backward compatibility with their respective earlier releases. As part of the LTE-advanced and IEEE 802.16 standards developments, several enhancements including support for a larger than 20MHz bandwidth and higher-order MIMO are being discussed to meet the IMT-advanced requirements.

Other - NMT · Hicap · Mobitex · DataTAC

GSM/3GPP family - GSM · CSD
3GPP2 family - cdmaOne (IS-95)
AMPS family - D-AMPS (IS-54 and IS-136)
Other - CDPD · iDEN · PDC · PHS

2G transitional (2.5G, 2.75G)
3GPP2 family - CDMA2000 1xRTT (IS-2000)
Other - WiDEN

3G (IMT-2000)
3GPP2 family - CDMA2000 1xEV-DO (IS-856)

3G transitional (3.5G, 3.75G, 3.9G)
3GPP family - HSPA · HSPA+ · LTE (E-UTRA)
3GPP2 family - EV-DO Rev. A · EV-DO Rev. B
IEEE family - Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e-2005) · Flash-OFDM · IEEE 802.20

4G (IMT-Advanced)
3GPP family - LTE Advanced
IEEE family - IEEE 802.16m

AMD processor goes to extremes, gets Guinness World Record

Intel brandishes first Google Android tablet

Openpicus releases new applications

openPICUS is an open source wireless platform that uses Wi-Fi and freeRTOS to connect things to the web. The guys from openpicus have released some new applications. One new feature is hibernation mode for lower energy use with battery-powered applications. The other new feature is integration with ThingSpeak.
All you have to do is download the Library from openPICUS and use it with your FlyPort Wi-fi device. Now, you can use sensors connected to ThingSpeak for data logging, visualizations, and access to all of the ThingSpeak apps, such as ThingTweet and ThingHTTP. Here's the video...

Intelligent 4G basestations to be powered by Intel

The Inquirer reports that Ubiquisys has announced that it will develop WiFi base stations using Intel's processors. The intelligent base stations that Ubiquisys is developing are small cells for use in public spaces and big businesses. The need for Intel's processor comes from the growing need to have content within the principality of the base station rather than pulling everything off the internet.

EEWeb Site of the day - May 25, 2011

We are listed on EEWeb Site of the day - May 25, 2011. EEWeb is a premier electrical engineering community that strives to offer its members the best online resources for hardware designers. EEWeb is independently owned and operated by co-founders Cody Miller and Joe Wolin. The development of the site began in late 2007 and was released in late 2010. We have partnered with Digi-Key Corporation as an exclusive sponsor of EEWeb and we are proud to promote Digi-Key's first-class products and services.

Cyclic Redundancy Checking (CRC) - Part 3

Augmentation is a technique used to produce a null CRC result, while preserving both the original data and the CRC checksum. In communication systems using cyclic redundancy checking, it would be desirable to obtain a null CRC result for each transmission, as the simplified verification will help to speed up the data handling.

Traditionally, a null CRC result is generated by adding the cyclic redundancy
checksum to the data, and calculating the CRC on the new data. While this
simplifies the verification, it has the unfortunate side effect of changing the data. Any node receiving the data+CRC result will be able to verify that no corruption has occurred, but will be unable to extract the original data, because the checksum is not known. This can be overcome by transmitting the checksum
along with the modified data, but any data-handling advantage gained in the verification process is offset by the additional steps needed to recover the original data.

Augmentation allows the data to be transmitted along with its checksum, and still obtain a null CRC result. As explained before when obtain a null CRC result, the data changes, when the checksum is added. Augmentation avoids this by shifting the data left or augmenting it with a number of zeros, equivalent to the degree of the generator polynomial. When the CRC result for the shifted data is
added, both the original data and the checksum are preserved.

In this example, our generator polynomial (x3 + x2 + 1 or 1101) is of degree 3, so the data (0xD6B5) is shifted to the left by three places or augmented by three zeros.
0xD6B5 = 1101011010110101 becomes 0x6B5A8 = 1101011010110101000.

Note that the original data is still present within the augmented data.
0x6B5A8 = 1101011010110101000
Data = D6B5 Augmentation = 000
Calculating the CRC result for the augmented data (0x6B5A8) using our generator polynomial (1101), gives a remainder of 101 (degree 2). If we add this to the augmented data, we get:
0x6B5A8 + 0b101 = 1101011010110101000 + 101
= 1101011010110101101
= 0x6B5AD

As discussed before, calculating the cyclic redundancy checksum for 0x6B5AD will result in a null checksum, simplifying the verification. What is less apparent is that the original data is still preserved intact.

0x6B5AD = 1101011010110101101
Data = D6B5 CRC = 101

The degree of the remainder or cyclic redundancy checksum is always less than the degree of the generator polynomial. By augmenting the data with a number of zeros equivalent to the degree of the generator polynomial, we ensure that the addition of the checksum does not affect the augmented data.

In any communications system using cyclic redundancy checking, the same generator polynomial will be used by both transmitting and receiving nodes to generate checksums and verify data. As the receiving node knows the degree of the generator polynomial, it is a simple task for it to verify the transmission by calculating the checksum and testing for zero, and then extract the data by discarding the last three bits.

Thus augmentation preserves the data, while allowing a null cyclic redundancy checksum for faster verification and data handling.

Will Intel's 3D transistor fuel a tablet fight with ARM?

You can now view and apply for jobs right here on this blog

Please follow the links (View Jobs & Add your resume) on the navigation bar at the top of this Blog. For best results, please fill in form to Add your resume and also e-mail your resume to the contact listed on View Jobs - page. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here. Good Luck!

Developing Silicon IP with Open Source Tools

The electronic design automation (EDA) tool industry is big business, and commercial licenses are extremely expensive. Open standards have driven many proprietary EDA technologies to be publicly released as free/libre open source software (F/LOSS) and some have become IEEE standards. In this article, author Arthur Low reviews the history of key advances in ICs and EDA tools. The common theme presented in this article for the driver of technology innovation is the requirement to develop the most advanced microprocessor possible. Today, a low-cost, high-value-added business model can efficiently serve the market for IC subsystems licensed as intellectual property (silicon IP) in the form of compilable source code. Alternatively, for larger SoC designs, engineering budgets can be shifted from the purchase of a relatively small number of high-cost EDA tool licenses to open source EDA technologies that can be run on massive compute-server farms. The two business models are not theoretical, but realistic. The author explains how his company (Crack Semiconductor) developed commercially successful cryptographic silicon IP using entirely open source EDA technologies and how another company (SiCortex) pushed the limits of IC design and open source EDA tools by simulating and verifying a massively parallel supercomputer.

Is Intel Really Rewriting Moore's Law With Atom?

Texas Instruments(TI) to buy National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that TI intends to buy National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion, $25/share. These two semiconductor firms are analog semiconductor powerhouses with large businesses in non-analog markets as well. TI says that this move will immediately grow National’s sales team by 10x.

The article also states that TI has pulled out of the recession with a sharp rebound in orders while National Semi has not done as well. This apparently created a big acquisition opportunity for TI.

The bid's hefty premium casts light on a large but unglamorous semiconductor business—chips based on analog technology and used for such duties as amplifying radio signals in cellphones and managing power consumption in computers.

Intel Mobile Communications (India) - Job Openings

Study gives 4G data performance high marks

Handsets operating on 4G cellular networks offer significant improvement in data transfer performance compared to their 3G predecessors, according to a study evaluating the performance of smartphones available from U.S. national carriers conducted by consulting firm Metrico Wireless Inc. More Here.

ZTE claims 10-Tbps data transmission record

Chinese telecommunications equipment company ZTE Corp. claims to have broken the world record for a single-channel data transmission with a rate of 10 terabits per second over 640-kilometers of optical fiber. This is the equivalent of sending 160 high definition movies every second. More here.

Six ways to manage a side hustle without going insane

A side hustle is anything you are doing outside of your full-time job (like building a business or a blog around something you are passionate about), and often involves an entrepreneurial enterprise of some sort. In this article Jenny Blake shares some tips with you to help you keep things together during the exciting pursuit of what you love

U.K. readies for auction of 4G spectrum

Ofcom, the U.K. government's regulatory body for telecommunications, has announced plans for an auction of radio spectrum for 4G mobile services in the U.K. It has announced a consultation procedure as it decides the detailed rules for the auction which is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2012. More here.

Altair, Alcatel-Lucent okay LTE chipset

Mobile communications chip company Altair Semiconductor Ltd. has announced that a combination of its FourGee 4G-LTE chipset and Alcatel-Lucent infrastructure has completed a three-month field trial with a U.S. wireless carrier and is now commercially available. More here

Accelerate product development through codevelopment of Hardware and Software

Rising product complexity and intense market pressures present major challenges to designers of electronic systems. To stay competitive, tight coordination between processes used by hardware and software engineers is critical to optimize product quality. This is especially true while controlling costs and meeting tight timelines.

This whitepaper discusses key elements of development and explores how the use of shared processes between hardware and software disciplines enable teams to develop products more quickly. Once shared processes are established, common tools can drive the next level of efficiency. It also highlights how how IBM has successfully used these techniques across a 25,000+ user base to significantly reduce development costs, increase reuse, and improve quality.

This paper is sponsored by IBM

Moisture Barriers for Flexible Electronics

Defects on plastic substrates such as pinholes, cracks and grain boundaries cause a 'pore effect', where oxygen and water molecules are able to seep through and penetrate through the plastic barrier and into the active material. For applications such as flexible OLED displays, organic solar cells, or even electrophoretic displays, sensitivity to oxygen and moisture compromises device lifetime significantly. This means that in order to achieve adequate lifetime for flexible devices that would make viable commercial products, the pathway for oxygen and moisture down into the active layers must be blocked.

Tera-Barrier Films is a portfolio company of Exploit Technologies Pte. Ltd. (ETPL), the commercialisation arm of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Applied Ventures, LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, Inc. as of August 2009. The company was incubated by Exploit-Technologies Pte. Ltd. as a Flagship programme for two years prior to spin-off.

Current barrier technologies focus on reducing these defects by using alternate organic and inorganic multilayers coated on plastic. In contrast, Tera-Barrier has taken an innovative approach to resolve the 'pore effect' by literally plugging the defects in the barrier oxide films using nanoparticles. This reduces the number of barrier layers needed in the construction of the barrier film down to two layers in this unique nanoengineered barrier stack. Tera-Barrier's barrier stack consists of barrier oxide layers and nanoparticulate sealing layers. The nanoparticles used in the barrier film have a dual function - not only sealing the defect but also actively reacting with and retaining the moisture and oxygen.

The result is a moisture barrier performance of better than 10-6 g/ which satisfies even the most stringent requirements for flexible organic device substrates. The barrier film also has a lag time of more than 2,300 hours at 60 ⁰C and 90% RH (i.e. the time required for moisture to pass through the barrier film under those conditions).

It's also important to point out that the barrier layer on its own is not an adequate way to keep oxygen and moisture away from the active materials. Moisture ingress can also occur from the side of the device if it is not adequately sealed. This leads to specific requirements in water vapour transmission rates for the sealants used in electronic devices.

Two of the main companies developing these types of adhesives are Henkel and DELO, Henkel focused mainly on thermally-cured solutions while DELO is focused on UV-cured adhesives.

A trade-off becomes apparent when trying to find the right balance of permeation rates and flexibility. The adhesives that are characterised by the best performance in terms of water vapour transmission are more rigid and would compromise the overall flexibility of the final device. This means that in order to manufacture devices of a given flexibility, permeation performance needs to be sacrificed. Hence, a lot of research and development effort is focused into the development of systems that would lead to a good balance between permeation performance and flexibility.

For more in-depth presentations from Henkel, DELO and Terra Barrier as well as breakthroughs in other materials, manufacturing and novel devices, don't miss the opportunity to attend Printed Electronics/Photovoltaics Europe, in Dusseldorf, Germany on the 5th and 6th of April 2011.

For more information, visit the website

Best known modelling practices for gigabit serial design - Live Webcast

This presentation will go over some of the common issues encountered when setting up performing circuit simulation of high speed serial designs. Topics will include s-parameter passivity and causality, frequency sampling and bandwidth and how they relate to simulation accuracy, model concatenation, and correlation between the time and frequency domains.

This webcast is Hosted by EDN and Sponsored by ANSYS.

Register Now - Click Here

Daniel Dvorscak,
Senior Application Engineer,ANSYS, Inc.

Date: March 25, 2011
Time: 3:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM PT

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Semiconductor Industry - Salary & Opinion Survey with statistics

Intel's new 4G acquisition is Sysdsoft

Intel has made a purchase to bolster its 4G wireless platform, buying Egypt-based Sysdsoft, a maker of 4G software stacks. Sysdsoft has been more closely associated with MIPS than Intel architectures, having created an LTE protocol stack for the MIPS/Android platform, with which the processor core maker hopes to penetrate the mobile sector. It may have to look for a new ally now, with Intel taking over most of the assets of the privately held Egyptian company, and hiring about 100 of its engineers and computer scientists.

Printed Electronics - Europe is Different

Printed electronics is one of the most important new enabling technologies. It will have a major impact on most business activities from publishing and security printing to health care, automotive, military and consumer packaged goods sectors. It is now recognized that commercialization can and should take place in very disparate applications, contrasting with the rather narrow view of possibilities in the past.

However, the regions of the world see printed electronics differently. For example, the USA focuses on the military applications among others. For example, Dr Brian Fuchs of the US Army describes printing processes and novel ink development for armament applications. He notes that,

"Through the advancement of materials printing, superior capabilities can be added to military assets".

Also in the USA, the now Taiwanese-owned E-Ink has recently progressed to colour versions of its electrophoretic displays, interestingly seeing them as useful for textbooks first.

East Asia wishes to use printed electronics to reinforce its dominance in electronic displays such as flat panel television screens and e-readers - for that is where most of the leading brands are made - and generally in consumer electronics and photovoltaics.

Broad approach in Europe

Europe has interest in a very wide range of potential applications, with consumer packaged goods being just one of many applicational sectors prioritized. Peter Johansson of In-Core Systems of France develops vision inspection for the typical roll-to-roll coating manufacturing processes employed. He has practical experience of metal film coating for batteries for electric cars, for example. Flexible Electronics Concepts in the UK has major contracts to make innovative designs of smart label and smart packaging for both the electrical and consumer packaged goods industries.

Leader in paper electronics

It is in Europe where most of the successes in printing electronic and electrical components onto paper takes place. Professor Arved Huebler of Chemnitz University of Technology Institute for Print and Media Technology in Germany puts it this way,

"Printed electronics is the upcoming big innovation for the traditional paper based print media market - with a strong economic impact. This ten years old statement is still very true, but do we need another ten years for finding the killer application? For a lot of reasons, mass printed photovoltaics on paper could become a hot candidate, outpacing the trusty old printed RFID vision."

Security printing

Security printer De La Rue of the UK is about to reveal, "Power into Paper - a New Paradigm". The European Commission FACESS project is progressing a basic building block of printed electronics that puts organic photovoltaics, printed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and associated electronics all on one small piece of flexible polymer film, with paper a possibility later.

The USA, Europe and East Asia are all working hard on printed Organic Light Emitting Diode technology for lighting and signage and on rechargeable laminar batteries. Many of these are now at the tipping point of commercial production. Gary R. Johnson President and CEO of Blue Spark Technologies in the USA, which prints disposable batteries for interactive media - modernizing paper magazines, point of sale and so on - observes that,

"Exciting applications for printed electronics lie in interactive packaging, ubiquitous sensor networks for health care, RFID and other areas. Today, the value proposition is mainly based on the value of uniquely thin, flat, flexible product forms not otherwise achievable. Moreover, as yet, they are still partly based on traditional silicon and other technologies, such as silicon chips, with a clear roadmap to fully printing components such as printed transistors and OLEDS."

Certainly , Europe is looking at a far broader range of printed components than is pursued in East Asia. To take one example, Professor Werner Jillek of the Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences in Germany finds that Inkjet printing of nano-particles is a novel technology for manufacturing electronic devices. With silver inks, conductive lines are printed which after a sintering process exhibit sufficient conductivity for various applications. As a demonstrator, the double-sided layout pattern of an FM radio is printed with discrete components attached by conductive glue. In addition, resistors are integrated by inkjet printing as well, using dispersed carbon nanotubes. The sheet resistance can easily be adjusted by repeated printing and the saturation settings in graphic programs.

Whereas laminar lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are made by many companies in North America, Dr Kari Ronka VTT Finland has recently claimed to be printed them. Such truly solid state batteries are the future vision for both large traction batteries and small laminar batteries.

David Lussey of Peratech in the USA is involved in "Quantum Tunnelling Composites (QTC) in Textile and Film Touch-screens, Controls and Sensors" In a printable electronic ink form QTC now allows the construction of sensors, switches, touch controls and touch-screens without the need for air gaps or stand-offs. Over in Europe, Bayer MaterialScience AG has created what it calls a "New dimension for touch screen applications with fidelity haptics using dielectric actuators".

Commercialization must now be the priority

Raghu Das CEO of IDTechEx notes that, "Certainly Europe now has a huge variety of printed electronic technologies - organic, inorganic and composite - and a rapidly broadening vision of how widely they can be applied. Newly printed components are announced al the time. However, the Europeans must work to commercialise as effectively as the Americans and East Asians. That is why our forthcoming event Printed Electronics Europe strongly emphasises commercialisation. It benchmarks best practice from outside Europe in aspects where the Europeans are laggards. This year, we even have an End User Forum - something more appropriate to Europe's needs than peer reviewed academic papers."

The largest event on the subject

All the organizations mentioned above will be presenting at Printed Electronics Europe in Düsseldorf Germany which takes place April 5-6 ( Another annual IDTechEx event is Printed Electronics USA which takes place at the end of the year. Both have streams on the new flexible photovoltaics in the two day conference and exhibition and they have optional masterclasses and visits to local centers of excellence on the day before and the day after and both have an awards dinner. These events vie for the title of world's largest event on the subject each year.

Infineon's work in progress - The story for our time

How massive restructuring has created a novel business model at the semiconductor stalwart. If there has been a constant at Infineon, it has been change. From a division of giant Siemens, to a broad-line integrated semiconductor device manufacturer (IDM), to an IDM without a DRAM business, to a bankruptcy candidate, to a fabless powerhouse in smart-phone silicon, to what may be an entirely new model for a semiconductor company, Infineon has illustrated the maxim that a company's only real intellectual equity is its ability to change. In conversation with EDN, Infineon CEO Peter Bauer sketched out a fascinating trajectory.

"Today, the competition is not between companies. It is between countries. For instance, China is investing, I believe the figure is, $20 billion in electric cars. But in Germany, even more than in the USA, the notion of subsidy is disliked. The government believes in the operation of free markets. Perhaps the future is coming down to differences in industrial policies. - Peter Bauer, CEO - Infineon Technologies AG"

Interview Question on Power Analysis

Your task is to do power analysis for a circuit that sends out a one-clock-cycle pulse on the done signal once every 16 clock cycles(done is ’0’ for 15 clock cycles, then ’1’ for one cycle, then repeat with 15 cycles of ’0’ followed by a ’1’, etc). You have been asked to consider three different types of counters: 1. Binary counter, 2. Gray-code counter, and 3. One-hot counter. (The table below
shows the values from 0 to 15 for the different encoding schemes) What is the relative amount of power consumption for the different options?

Additional Info:
Your implementation technology is an FPGA where each cell has a programmable combinational circuit and a flip-flop. The combinational circuit has 4 inputs and 1 output. The capacitive load of the combinational circuit is twice that of the flip-flop.

1. You may neglect power associated with clocks.
2. You may assume that all counters:
(a) are implemented on the same fabrication process
(b) run at the same clock speed
(c) have negligible leakage and short-circuit currents

The columns below represent, Decimal Gray One-Hot Binary in order
0 0000 0000000000000001 0000
1 0001 0000000000000010 0001
2 0011 0000000000000100 0010
3 0010 0000000000001000 0011
4 0110 0000000000010000 0100
5 0111 0000000000100000 0101
6 0101 0000000001000000 0110
7 0100 0000000010000000 0111
8 1100 0000000100000000 1000
9 1101 0000001000000000 1001
10 1111 0000010000000000 1010
11 1110 0000100000000000 1011
12 1010 0001000000000000 1100
13 1011 0010000000000000 1101
14 1001 0100000000000000 1110
15 1000 1000000000000000 1111

This question is asked widely in interviews worldwide with varying levels of difficulty. Please start discussing.

Tip: Capacitance is dependent upon the number of signals, and whether a signal is combinational or a flop.

Cyclic Redundancy Checking (CRC) - Part 2

Modulo two arithmetic is simple single-bit binary arithmetic with all carries or borrows ignored. Each digit is considered independently. This article talks about how modulo two addition is equivalent to modulo two subtraction, and can be performed using an exclusive OR operation followed by a brief on Polynomial division where remainder forms the CRC checksum.

For example, we can add two binary numbers X and Y as follows:
10101001 (X) + 00111010 (Y) = 10010011 (Z)
From this example the modulo two addition is equivalent to an exclusive OR operation. What is less obvious is that modulo two subtraction gives the same results as an addition.

From the previous example let’s add X and Z:
10101001 (X) + 10010011 (Z) = 00111010 (Y)
In our previous example we have seen how X + Y = Z therefore Y = Z – X, but the example above shows that Z+X = Y also, hence modulo two addition is equivalent to modulo two subtraction, and can be performed using an exclusive OR operation.

In integer division dividing A by B will result in a quotient Q, and a remainder R. Polynomial division is similar except that when A and B are polynomials, the remainder is a polynomial, whose degree is less than B.

The key point here is that any change to the polynomial A causes a change to the remainder R. This behavior forms the basis of the cyclic redundancy checking.
If we consider a polynomial, whose coefficients are zeros and ones (modulo two), this polynomial can be easily represented by its coefficients as binary powers of two.

In terms of cyclic redundancy calculations, the polynomial A would be the binary message string or data and polynomial B would be the generator polynomial. The remainder R would be the cyclic redundancy checksum. If the data changed or became corrupt, then a different remainder would be calculated.

Although the algorithm for cyclic redundancy calculations looks complicated, it only involves shifting and exclusive OR operations. Using modulo two arithmetic, division is just a shift operation and subtraction is an exclusive OR operation.
Cyclic redundancy calculations can therefore be efficiently implemented in hardware, using a shift register modified with XOR gates. The shift register should have the same number of bits as the degree of the generator polynomial and an XOR gate at each bit, where the generator polynomial coefficient is one.

Cyclic Redundancy Checking (CRC) - Part 1

Error detection is an important part of communication systems when there is a chance of data getting corrupted. Whether it’s a piece of stored code or a data transmission, you can add a piece of redundant information to validate the data and protect it against corruption. Cyclic redundancy checking is a robust error-checking algorithm, which is commonly used to detect errors either in data transmission or data storage. In this multipart article we explain a few basic principles.

Intel announces first Multistandard GSM Baseband chip and the much awaited Medfield processor

Intel has started production of its Medfield Application processor for smartphones and is sending samples to phone manufacturers. Intel also announced a low power, multi-standard baseband processor, samples of which would start shipping in the second half of this year. The new baseband processor will support LTE, a fourth generation, high-speed network technology currently being deployed by carriers, as well as older 3G and 2G technologies. Intel expects to make this chip widely available in the second half of next year.

Medfield is Intel's second smartphone processor. The first, Moorestown, did not have much success in the market due to power consumption too high for smartphones. Medfield and Moorestown are based on Intel's Atom processor. Medfield, which is built on the company's latest 32-nanometer manufacturing process, is expected to be better equipped for smartphones. Smaller in size and consuming less power than the 45-nm Moorestown, the new chip is expected to enter mass production later in the year. Intel has said Medfield-powered smartphones will hit the market this year. The company has not named the manufacturers. Intel dominates the processor market for PCs, but is playing catch up in the smartphone market, which is ruled today by processors based on the designs of ARM Holdings in the U.K. ARM processors are used by all the major smartphone makers, including Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Research In Motion, and others.

Intel's biggest advantage over ARM is in manufacturing. Intel is expected to move to a 22-nm manufacturing process next year, which is when ARM is headed to where Intel is today -- 32 nm. Size matters because reducing the size of circuitry on a chip boosts performance and lowers active power consumption. Therefore, Intel in time could produce a higher performing chip that's less expensive than ARM's. ARM is expected to stay on top at least till end of next year.

The LTE chip stems from Intel's acquisition last month of Infineon Technologies' Wireless Solutions business. Intel's strengths in communications before the acquisition was in Wi-Fi and WiMax chips. The acquisition has added 2G, 3G and 4G LTE technologies.

On 20th Jan 2011: OpenPicus IDE and Framework

OpenPicus, the open source hardware and software platform for wireless Apps, reaches the biggest milestone on 20th January at 10am Italian time. The new IDE and the software Framework will be available for download on

This is a great step for the project, as FreeRTOS was ported on the FlyPort Wi-Fi module and the Framework lets you develop your apps even without any experience in embedded programming or communication protocols.

The core team from Rome declares : “we have finally completed our IDE and our Framework. It has been tested from November by several Universities around the world that joined our Campus program. We’ll also have a website restyling and a surprise for our community”.

Stoke Technical Seminar Series - Wireless

If you live in Bangalore, India this might be of interest to you.
Stoke Technical Seminar Series focus on 3G Mobile Data Offload, Emergence of LTE Technology, Integrated WiFi and Seamless Mobility, Stoke SSX Product Family Evolution.

A Must Attend For:

* Telecom Service Providers
* Cellular Service Providers - GSM & CDMA
* VAS Technology & Platform Companies
* Content Aggregators
* Content Owners
* Entertainment & Electronic Media
* Next Generation Mobile Content Solution Providers
* Telecom Associations & Regulators
* Handset Manufacturers - GSM & CDMA
* Portal Providers
* VAS Consulting and Research Organisations
* Venture Capitalists
* Multimedia Service Providers
* Software Developers
* System Integrators
* Mobile Internet Applications & Solution Developers
* DOT, DIT, Ministries & Regulatory

More details here..

Effective communications skills for the Industry - Transactional analysis

According to wikipedia Transactional analysis, commonly known as TA to its adherents, is an integrative approach to the theory of psychology and psychotherapy. It is described as integrative because it has elements of psychoanalytic, humanist and cognitive approaches. TA was developed by Canadian-born US psychiatrist Eric Berne during the late 1950s.

The three ego states that a human being communicates from are -
1. Parent state - I am OK but you are not OK.
2. Adult state - I am OK and you are OK.
3. Child state - I am not OK and you are OK.

The ideal interaction in a professional environment is from the adult state to the adult state.

An angry person shouting is in the child state trying to stimulate your child state.
In such a situation..
1. You should not respond from the child state, which would be to get angry and shout back.
2. You should empathize with the child and elevate them to the adult state.
3. The a fruitful adult to adult communication can occur.

Often positive attitudes and interactions can be achieved by identifying what state you are transacting from and transacting to and recognizing the others ego state and communicating accordingly. The adult to adult states are the most effective

Effective communications skills for the Industry - Complaint handling

It has been a while since i posted an article in this series. Here is the next in that direction and it is on complaint handling. As usual i will highlight only the important points and leave the rest to your interpretation. If you have any questions please leave a comment below and i will try to respond.

1. Listen with a positive attitude
This can be through verbal communication or body language.

2. Empathize - Show concern
Of complainers feelings and situations.

3. Apologize - With sincerity

4. Offer a solution

5. Solve the problem

6. If you cannot solve the problem, minimize the damage and offer alternate solutions

7. Follow-up on feedback from complainer whether problem has been satisfactorily solved

8. Check if you can offer or do anything further to excel in customer satisfaction

9. Conduct a proactive exercise to check why the service went wrong

10. Ensure that similar complaints do not recur

Intel, Nvidia ends legal battle with $1.5 billion cross-licensing deal

Intel and Nvidia announced Monday they are dropping their respective lawsuits with the signing of a six-year agreement to exchange patent rights. Under the deal, Intel will pay Nvidia $1.5 billion for the right to use the latter’s graphics processing units technology. Intel will pay the amount in five annual installments starting on Jan. 18, according to Nvidia.

“This agreement ends the legal dispute between the companies, preserves patent peace and provides protections that allow for continued freedom in product design,” said Doug Melamed, Intel senior vice president and general counsel. “It also enables the companies to focus their efforts on innovation and the development of new, innovative products.”

"This agreement signals a new era for Nvidia," said Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's president and CEO. "Our cross license with Intel reflects the substantial value of our visual and parallel computing technologies. It also underscores the importance of our inventions to the future of personal computing, as well as the expanding markets for mobile and cloud computing."

Both companies are based in Santa Clara, Calif. One of Intel's largest chip manufacturing plants is in Rio Rancho, N.M., just northwest of Albuquerque.