Because of its inherent benefits including decreases to development times and increases in component compatibility, COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) has been adopted by a vast number of industries, including the aerospace, military and space exploration markets. Most embedded systems within aerospace and military applications perform a function in some way related to mission-critical operation of the larger system and/or platform, making performance, reliability and functionality imperative to the design and manufacture of the embedded computing system. These systems must therefore operate flawlessly in very specific and defined ways while exposed to extreme environments, including high shock and vibration resistance, wide, dynamic temperature ranges, high humidity (or immersion), and the absolute vacuum of deep space.
In today’s world, wireless networks are becoming more ubiquitous, and they are implemented using a variety of protocols that are specifically designed for radio frequency systems. Some protocols that are in use are proprietary to individual vendors, while others are industry standards. Recently, a lot of attention has been given to 802.15.4 and ZigBee, but there is still some ambiguity as to what is different about 802.15.4 and ZigBee and what kind of networks or systems would benefit from these particular protocols.
If you got a head start on your holiday shopping in the days before Thanksgiving, you were greeted at Amazon.com with a message by founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announcing the release of Kindle, the company’s handheld e-book reading device. I have to admit, when a colleague first told me about Kindle, I reacted with a great big yawn.
Allegro MicroSystems introduced two automotive grade (temperature and voltage rated) three phase BLDC motor controller integrated circuits. These control ICs integrate the commutation logic on-board, which lessons the burden on the system microprocessor. If desired, the Hall sensor inputs can be driven directly by a microprocessor, which makes
Jon Titus provides tips aimed at helping embedded-systems designers save power. Areas covered are peripherals, power sources, memory and more.
Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing announced the availability of the CHAMP-AV5, its first P.A. Semi-1682 Power Architecture-based DSP VME compute engine. The 6U board combines dual low-power 2 GHz dual-core 1682 processors with a reconfigurable Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA co-processor to
In the rush to get a product out the door, programmers often ignore code maintenance — a key aspect of application development. For applications with short lives, this rush may not pose a significant problem because once deployed, no one will touch the code again. Embedded systems applications, however, may have lives that span decades, and early coding mistakes can result in significant bug-fix and update costs later on.
For PC-based control and automation of sensors, switches, and security controls, the Omega Engineering OMG-PIO-24-LPCI low-profile PCI board provides 24 channels of buffered digital I/O, emulating 8255 mode zero. The board is CE-compliant and compatible with the MD1 low-profile and universal bus (3.3V and 5V) and ships with a ribbon cable terminating in a standard 50-pin insulated displacement connector.
Elma Electronic Inc. announced a second Generation AdvancedTCA (ATCA) handle that does not require assembly. The one-piece handle simply has two screws to attach it to the panel/PCB. The handle's alignment pin is part of the handle mold, making it sturdier and increasing drop-test survivability. The handle is engaged/disengaged with a unique slide-motion which prevents the handle from being accidentally tripped or bumped into and broken. The slide-motion switch opens the handle
Pepperl+Fuchs' RAL series photoelectric sensors feature a multiple-beam light grid and one-piece metal slot housing in widths from 50 mm to 150 mm, 5 kHz switching frequency, a one-shot timer, beam suppression and sensitivity adjustment, and can detect targets as small as 0.5 mm with response times as fast as =0.1 ms. The sensors require just one transistor with N/O or N/C PNP output.
Acopian's 720W power supplies can be used to provide either a constant voltage or a constant current. Models with wide output voltage ranges can be adjusted down to 0V, and both voltage and current can be programmed with 0V to 10V control voltage inputs. Voltage and current monitor outputs and an inhibit terminal are included on the pluggable connectors that enable easy wiring of the control and input leads.
As I watched the evening news on Thanksgiving weekend, I was struck by how much politics and the upcoming Presidential race is interwoven with the way Americans are celebrating the holiday this year. Even as lawn signs continue to dot every landscape in the wake of Election Day 2007 (everyone will take down all those signs they put up, right?)...
Productive Product: The Wall Street Journal (may require site registration) has a story about Aurora, Ohio's TCP Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of spiral compact-fluorescent light bulbs. TCP was the idea of a Chinese immigrant who is now benefitting from the Western energy-efficiency push -- they had sales of $300 million this year
Energy News: What's worth $1 million, shines with 9,576 Philips Luxeon LEDs, and is built from 672 Waterford crystals? It's the 2008 New Years Eve ball to be dropped in New York's Times Square next week. This year is the 100th anniversary of the famed ball, now controlled by computers
Op-Ed: We searched and searched, and came up with perfect holiday gifts for environmentally conscious technophiles. Here are 10 in no particular order. It doesn't matter if you celebrate a belated Bodhi, Chanukah, Christmas, Diwali, Eid-Ul Adha, Festivus, HumanLight, Kwanzaa, or anything else -- every earthy engineer loves a present. Try LED holiday lights, solar chargers, practical books, recycled wrapping, a high-tech energy meter, low-power PC, or digital ornaments.