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Season's Greetings

Dear Readers/Patrons,

The year is coming to a close and the time has come to look back on what new Technologies have made their mark and how this Blog has impacted our lives. It has been a successful year. Our focus and our efforts regarding reliability, commitment and quality have been acknowledged and honored by you. Thank you. For now, it is time to let go, to enjoy the quiet time of the year and to find new strength and energy for the tasks ahead. This is the time for family, children and friends. And this is also the time to thank our families and friends for their support.

Have a cheerful, successful, healthy and happy year's ending, and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to those who celebrate it.

Thank you very much!

The Digital Electronics Blog

Top 10 predictions for the wireless industry

Originally from EE Times -- and followed by our reader comments

They are as follows:

1. High-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), a third-generation cellular phone technology, will flourish.

Its a speculation. The infrastructure and inadequate popularity will push this to 2009.

2. The upcoming 700-MHz spectrum auction in the U.S. will provide an opportunity for a new wholesale carrier that will not sell services directly to consumers. This model will be driven by Google and similar companies, and will employ technology such as software-based radios, Wi-Fi, and femtocells.

This is also a speculation. I dont see any connection between 700MHz spectrum and software-based radios, Wi-Fi, and femtocells.

3. Open access and competition among chipmakers will drive device makers to bypass carriers. Open access will give birth to new services, but on the downside, subsidies that carriers currently provide on devices will be eliminated. There will likely be advertising-supported subsidies, meaning that instead of carrier contracts, consumers will have to agree to receive ads in order to get low-cost or free phones.

This is sure to be a reality.

4. With a move to Internet Protocol-based networks and open access, there will be an opportunity for real quality of service distinctions for carriers. On the low end, consumers will be able to bring their own devices to a carrier's network without receiving subsidies or the kind of support they currently expect by subscribing to carrier's services. On the high end, consumers can get high reliability, priority access, and quality of service guarantees on applications like voice over IP. Customers will self-select service based on their preferences, including the performance and the price they want.

This will be mainly dependent on the cloud comprising the government bodies, the service providers, the content providers and the customers. We have to wait and watch.

Verizon Wireless last month shocked the U.S. wireless industry, announcing that starting next year it will open up its nationwide network to mobile devices, software, and applications not offered by the carrier. The carrier said it will have two categories of customers: full-service customers -- those who purchase devices and services from Verizon and receive technical support, and bring-your-own customers -- those who bring their own devices to the carrier's network without full service.

This indeed will be a bold move if true.

5. Wireless broadband will continue to be the fastest-growing service. HSDPA will dominate until LTE goes commercial, and it will be embedded in laptops for wireless connectivity. Meanwhile, WiMax will be embedded in some consumer devices. As a result, the laptop market will get a boost because consumers will want to buy laptops that are better connected.


6. Peer-to-peer will hit the mainstream as a technology. U.S. distributors will start using next-generation, secure, and DRM-protected P2P to distribute content. Additionally, studios and broadcasters will increase offerings of over-the-top services. Over-the-top refers to being able to download video on-demand and other content over the Internet on mobile devices.

There have been talks about this for a while but we dont think this will happen anytime in 2008.

7. Providing wireless coverage inside buildings will become a large part of carriers' strategy, especially when it comes to service enterprise customers. Carriers will enable coverage for their enterprise in-building customers, which bring in a lot of profit, instead of blanketing cities with coverage. Low-cost, low-power femtocells will be a key technology used by the carriers. Technical issues, however, will not take this technology into full swing next year. (Femtocells are small base stations designed for use in homes and offices to help spread cellular coverage inside buildings. They will attract more than 100 million users in the next 5 years, according to ABI Research. Potentially, the use of femtocells can improve indoor wireless coverage and help reduce "in-home" call charges on mobile devices.)

Very unlikely. Companies will still prefer their own private wireless networks.

8. As the carriers roll out 3G networks and introduce bandwidth-intensive services, they will have to optimize and upgrade the backhaul portion of their networks to ensure that service quality is not compromised. Backhaul will be a significant operational expense for carriers, often totaling nearly 30% of a carrier's annual network operating expense budget.

Quite possible.

9. Mobile advertising will drive content and innovation, even causing carriers to give up their subscription-based business models. Advertising-based models will win over subscription-based models, similarly to what happened on the Internet. Intelligent search, location-based search, and other tie-ins with content and products will generate sizeable advertising revenues for carriers.

Mobile advertising sales in the U.S. accounted for $421 million in 2006. That number is expected to reach nearly $5 billion by 2011 in the U.S. alone, according to market research firm eMarketer. Global mobile advertising sales will reach $11.3 billion by 2011.

Will happen.

10. A major iPhone security incident will occur in the enterprise, raising awareness of and need for mobile device security. A new market will evolve for mobile device security software and mobile device management software and services.

This is being very pessimistic.

Comments by Murugavel Ganesan

Intel to delay Yorkfield chips because of AMD's struggles?

Chalk this one up to wild unsubstantiated rumor, but Digitimes is reporting that Intel may hold off on launching its 45nm quad-core Yorkfield chips -- which were supposed to hit on January 20th -- because it's not facing any threat from AMD's delayed Phenom chips, and launching now would just eat into existing 65nm chip sales. That means we wouldn't see the Core 2 Quad Q9300, Q9450, or Q9550 until Intel feels the heat from AMD, which seems like a pretty timid strategy for a company whose former CEO's motto was "Only the paranoid survive." Add in the fact that a certain fruit company is rumored to be launching new Mac Pros with some version of 45nm Penryn chips next month, and we're really not feeling this one, but only time will tell.

AMD launches "unlocked" Phenom 9600 Black Edition CPU

The fury has really been unleashed over at AMD, as the cats in 2nd place take aim at the pocketbooks lowdown, dirty overclockers. Feeling like getting into it? Then you'll probably want to get your hands on the extra-special Phenom 9600 "Black Edition" quad-core processor, which allows brave souls to tweak (i.e., overclock) to their hearts content by utilizing the company's OverDrive utility. It's not all rainbows and unicorns, however, as these chips apparently contain a bug which under extreme conditions can cause the CPUs to perform in a less than stellar manner. AMD says that it hasn't witnessed any of its production installations exhibit the errata, and that only its internal stress-tests have pushed the processor into the danger zone (cue Loggins). If you're really concerned, a BIOS patch will circumvent the issue, but may suck away 20-percent of your delicious speed. The choice is yours.

Exclusive Interview on GLS (Gate level simulation)

A Verification engineer claiming mastery in Gate-level simulation is coming for an Interview.
Interviewer: Welcome
Job Seeker: thanks
(aliasing I for Interviewer and J for Job-seeker)
I : In your resume you had mentioned that are an expert in GLS(Gate-level simulation), how comfortable are you.
Read further Here

Quotes worth recording - Jules Renard

There is a common phrase used to describe some job candidates - "I don't know whether he has 10 years of experience or 1 year of experience repeated 10 times". It is just not how many years of experience you have that matters. "What" that experience was becomes important. Here is a quick quote that summarizes this brilliantly

"It is not how old you are, but how you are old" - Jules Renard

How are YOU impacting your team members and vice versa?

Every significant project that you undertake will transform every team member by the end of that project. The right project and the right team will lift every team member up. This is unavoidable and has to be dealt with. If you are leading the project, you have a huge influence (in turn, a huge responsibility) on the lives of individual team members of the project. In fact, you determine the location of the "fulcrum" of this project lever.

[Note: A lever has three parts - effort arm, fulcrum and resistance arm. Generally speaking, you can do more work with the lever if the fulcrum is closer to the resistance arm] If you are a better leader than Bob, you move the "fulcrum" farther away (closer to the resistance arm) - resulting in lifting your team members higher than Bob's team members.

However, the leader is not the only person who has a say on the position of the fulcrum. Every team member (with reasonable influence) will help to move the fulcrum to left or right or hold it in the same place. As a leader, you have to get help from people who are trying to move the fulcrum towards the resistance arm and fight (in a nice way) with people who are trying to move the fulcrum away from the resistance arm.

Imagine a dream team - where every team member participates to move the fulcrum towards the resistance arm. Life would be fun there.

Whether you are a leader or a team member, think about your own team today. Is the fulcrum moving in the right direction? If not, what are you doing today to move it in the right direction?

India, China are shaping the digital convergence

India and China are playing a major role in shaping the digital convergence, a much-hyped concept that is nevertheless proving to be a big opportunity and challenge for the global electronics industry. It is no doubt reshaping the entire electronics industry. The shift will be characterized by lower power consumption, higher processing capacity, greater functionality, interoperability and wireless access to information from myriad sources along with rapid introduction of new products. Though India's penetration in terms of Broadband affordability with breakthrough speeds are not fast enough with which pace Europe and china are headed but the pragmatic approach in the economic behavior of the indian middle class and the policy makers are greatly applaudable.

For technology managers and visonaries, the challenges presented by digital convergence include: more expensive designs as they are moved to 45-nm and lower process technologies; coping with changing technology standards while meeting time-to-market requirements; and managing rapidly rising processing needs.Digital convergence is shaping vertical markets from wireless to aerospace and in the wired market, it is forcing the retooling of packet processing, serial backplanes and interfaces. In the consumer market, it is reshaping digital displays and smart handheld devices.

The prediction and premise is that China and India will and are playing a key role in shaping digital convergence, primarily through the purchasing power of each nation's rising middle class. From an industry standpoint, Chinese hardware OEMs will play a larger role while R&D contributions from India will shape the development of new devices. India is beginning to show its mettle in terms of homegrown semiconductor products and other device solutions. In the upside, Asia as the whole will also help determine the pricing of digitally converged networks and devices, but "these two countries will set the norm for digitally converged applications in their own markets as well as globally.

Mark Stiles,
Senior Editor, The Digital Electronics Blog

ST manufactures first 45nm CMOS RF chips in Crolles

STMicroelectronics NV (Geneva, Switzerland) announced it has manufactured its first functional devices using the CMOS 45-nm Radio Frequency technology.[Read Further]

Microsoft Giving Away Vista Ultimate, With a Catch

In case you haven't heard, Microsoft is giving away copies of Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit or 64-bit DVD), Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007, Microsoft Money Plus Premium, Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008, or Microsoft Streets and Trips 2008 — you can choose any one. The caveat is that you have to let them monitor your use of the program.

Intel Chips 1971 to 2007

Intel Chips from 1971 to 2007:

Check the link Here

Analog and Digital Circuits for Electronic Control System Applications: Using the TI MSP430 Microcontroller

Analog and Digital Circuits for Electronic Control System Applications: Using the TI MSP430 Microcontroller
by Jerry Luecke (Author) "Designers of analog electronic control systems have continually faced the following obstacles in arriving at a satisfactory design: 1. Instability and drift due to temperature..."

Book Description
Todays control system designers face an ever-increasing need for speed and accuracy in their system measurements and computations. New design approaches using microcontrollers and DSP are emerging, and designers must understand these new approaches, the tools available, and how best to apply them.

This practical text covers the latest techniques in microcontroller-based control system design, making use of the popular MSP430 microcontroller from Texas Instruments.

The book covers all the circuits of the system, including:
· Sensors and their output signals
· Design and application of signal conditioning circuits
· A-to-D and D-to-A circuit design
· Operation and application of the powerful and popular TI MSP430 microcontroller
· Data transmission circuits
· System power control circuitry

Written by an experienced microcontroller engineer and textbook author, the book is lavishly illustrated and includes numerous specific circuit design examples, including a fully tested and documented hands-on project using the MSP430 that makes use of the principles described. For students, engineers, technicians, and hobbyists, this practical text provides the answers you need to design modern control systems quickly and easily.

* Seasoned Texas Instruments designer provides a ground-up perspective on embedded control systems

* Pedagogical style provides a self-learning approach with examples, quizzes and review features

* CD-ROM contains source code and more!

Download Description
Embedded systems are ubiquitous; they are all around us, doing things for us without our awareness or involvement, like applying our brakes optimally in ABS systems, adjusting our environments in HVAC systems, and landing our aircraft in fly-by-wire systems. As these examples show, one of the most important functions of most embedded systems designs is the measurement, processing, and adjustment of real-world analog data (such as temperature, pressure, or humidity); these functions are generically known as control systems. In today's systems, the processing must be made at increasing speeds yet with the utmost accuracy and lowest possible power consumption. This practical book, written by a longtime designer and endorsed by Texas Instruments - who make the popular chip on which the book's examples are based - explains the latest techniques in microcontroller-based control system design, covering the fundamentals of sensors, and circuit design.

Analysis and Design of Analog Integrated Circuits (4th Edition)

Analysis and Design of Analog Integrated Circuits (4th Edition)
by Paul R. Gray (Author), Paul J. Hurst (Author), Stephen H. Lewis (Author), Robert G. Meyer (Author) "The analysis and design of integrated circuits depend heavily on the utilization of suitable models for integrated-circuit components..."

Book Description
The fourth edition features coverage of cutting edge topics--more advanced CMOS device electronics to include short-channel effects, weak inversion and impact ionization. In this resourceful book find: * Coverage of state-of-the-art IC processes shows how modern integrated circuits are fabricated, including recent issues like heterojunction bipolar transistors, copper interconnect and low permittivity dielectric materials * Comprehensive and unified treatment of bipolar and CMOS circuits helps readers design real-world amplifiers in silicon.

Book Info
Comprehensive and in-depth treatment of analog integrated circuit analysis and design, featuring new and expanded coverage of CMOS circuits and other key advanced technologies. Also includes new information on fully differential amplifiers and common-mode feedback, as well as two-port feedback analysis. Previous edition: c1993. DLC: Linear integrated circuits--Computer-aided design.

The Art of Analog Layout

The Art of Analog Layout
by Alan Hastings (Author), Roy Alan Hastings (Author)

Book Info
(Pearson Education) Provides layout designers with broad coverage of the issues involved in successfully laying out analog integrated circuits. Keeps mathematics to a minimum, provides a carrier-based model for understanding device operation, and offers many exercises that can be done with paper and pencil instead of software. DLC: Integrated circuits--Design and construction.

From the Back Cover

Based on the author's extensive experience as a circuit designer and a layout designer, The Art of Analog Layout takes a practical and authoritative perspective, providing the reader with broad coverage of the issues involved in successfully laying out analog integrated circuits. Topics range from the mechanics of layout to essential information about many related areas, such as device physics, processing failure modes and effects, device operation, parasitics, and matching. The emphasis throughout is on practical knowledge.

  • Written for layout designers, the mathematics is kept to a minimum, requiring only a familiarity with basic algebra and elementary electronics.
  • Provides a carrier-based model for understanding device operation.
  • Focuses on three processes: standard bipolar, polysilicon-gate CMOS, and analog BICMOS, enabling the reader to comprehend most new processes.
  • Discusses the ways in which variations in layout geometries affect the performance of devices fabricated in silicon.
  • Many exercises can be completed using pencil and paper for those who do not have access to layout editing software.

Analog Circuit Design: Art, Science and Personalities

Analog Circuit Design: Art, Science and Personalities (EDN Series for Design Engineers)
by Jim Williams (Editor) "Some time ago I received a call from a colleague, who asked if I would be the referee on the grading of an examination question..." ( more)

Analysis is a science: there's a right answer out there, and we can all agree when it's found. Troubleshooting is the same way: when the broken bit is found and fixed, the circuit starts working properly.

Design, on the other hand, is an art; there's always more than one way to do it, and the individuality of the designer has a strong influence on the way the design turns out: hence "Art, Science, and Personalities".

This isn't to say that a good designer does unusual things without a good reason, or adds expensive bells and whistles because he happens to like them. What it means is that for designs that are not routine, the designer's personality has a lot to do with how it comes out.

To become an expert designer, you need a well-developed technical taste. Once you have a design that works at some level, it's that sour feeling in the back of your mouth that will tell you that it isn't right yet, that it can be simpler, cheaper, or more reliable. There aren't a lot of other sources of that information.

Arts are taught by apprenticeship. But where are you going to go to get taught this stuff nowadays? EE departments are going more and more to software, as shown by the vast number of graduate EEs who don't know which end of a soldering iron to hold. Jim Williams can't be everybody's mentor, but in this informal (and sometimes whimsical) book, he and his friends show us how the best analogue designers in the business go about things. You know what? One of the most important elements in the art of design is *play*.

Maybe listening in on these guys playing at being analogue designers isn't quite the same as sitting elbow-to-elbow with them, but it's as close as most of us are going to get, and it's terrifically valuable. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to become a better analogue designer, and who is not easily put off by whimsy in technical writing. (I find it refreshing and fun, myself.) I've owned this book for 6 or 7 years, and it's about ready to fall apart from rereading.

Analog Circuits Cookbook

Analog Circuits Cookbook
by Ian Hickman (Author) "negative components may not be called for every day, but can be extremely useful in certain circumstances..." ( more)

Book Description
Analog Circuits Cookbook is a collection of tried and tested recipes form the masterchef of analog and RF design. Based on articles from Electronics World, this book provides a diet of high quality design techniques and applications, and proven ciruit designs, all concerned with the analog, RF and interface fields of electronics. Ian Hickman uses illustrations and examples rather than tough mathematical theory to present a wealth of ideas and tips based on his own workbench experience.

This second edition includes 10 of Hickman's latest articles, alongside 20 of his most popular classics. The new material includes articles on power supplies, filters using negative resistance, phase noise and video surveillance systems.

Essential reading for all circuit design professionals and advanced hobbyists
Contains 10 of Ian Hickman's latest articles, alongside 20 of his most popular classics.

Book Info
Offers expert advice on aspects of analog design, from direct digital synthesis to radio frequency measurements, and from optoelectronics to logarithmic amplifiers. Provides high quality design techniques and proven circuit designs, all concerned with analog, RF or interface fields of electronics. Softcover.

ASIC and FPGA Verification: A Guide to Component Modeling (Systems on Silicon)

ASIC and FPGA Verification: A Guide to Component Modeling (Systems on Silicon)

by Richard Munden
"As large and complex as today's FPGAs are, they always end up on a board..." ( more)

Key Phrases: path delay section, negative timing constraints, skew violation, Free Model Foundry, Output Glitch Detection Variables, Vital Memo (more...)

Today it is still very difficult to verify board or larger system designs through simulation or any other technique. This important book addresses the largest ingredient needed to make simulation possible the availability of integrated circuit component models. Addressed inside is how to use VITAL extensions and other conventions with VHDL to develop inter operable, reusable models. Only by adopting the standards and practices described in this book can the industry benefit and make system simulation feasible.

Randy Harr, Sevni Technology

This book provides not only an excellent reference for those who write component models for board level verification, but also a much needed introduction to SDF and VITAL for timing simulation.

Hardy Pottinger, University of Missouri-Rolla

Book Description
Richard Munden demonstrates how to create and use simulation models for verifying ASIC and FPGA designs and board-level designs that use off-the-shelf digital components. Based on the VHDL/VITAL standard, these models include timing constraints and propagation delays that are required for accurate verification of todays digital designs.

ASIC and FPGA Verification: A Guide to Component Modeling expertly illustrates how ASICs and FPGAs can be verified in the larger context of a board or a system. It is a valuable resource for any designer who simulates multi-chip digital designs.
  • Provides numerous models and a clearly defined methodology for performing board-level simulation.
  • Covers the details of modeling for verification of both logic and timing.
  • First book to collect and teach techniques for using VHDL to model "off-the-shelf" or "IP" digital components for use in FPGA and board-level design verification.