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Articles & Papers

NXP and Mouser Electronics Launch Dual PCB Configurable Logic Design Contest

The Dual PCB Configurable Logic Design Contest will be this year’s entry in Convergence Promotion’s 2015 Big I.D.E.A. (International Design Engineering Award). The contest will feature Dual PCB Configurable Logic, Load Switches, Protection and Filtering, Small Signal MOSFETs, and Small Signal Diodes. With merchandise awards worth a total of $12,000  for the most creative designs using the NXP products together in one application solution, and prizes at every stage in the contest, there will be dozens of winners.

Register Now

Easy Methods to Improve Code Quality and Reduce Bugs

Almost all software products contain errors. If you think your product is an exception it probably means you are just not aware of the bugs yet. Modern embedded systems contain hundreds-even thousands of KB of code. As code size increases, so does system complexity and errors. Today there are affordable IDEs like Atollic TrueSTUDIO that can help you reduce the number of errors in your code early on-before you get to the debugging stage.

Case Study- External USB Protocol Decoders for the Total Phase Data Center

Learn how MCCI utilized Total Phase’s Beagle™ USB 480 Protocol Analyzer and Data Center software with their own custom application to decode RNDIS protocol and meet their advanced debugging requirements. While this case study focuses on RNDIS decoding; it also serves as a template for developers to implement their own custom decoding applications.

The Wireless Car: Multiple Interfaces Provide Safety, Security and More

The car has evolved from a basic transportation machine into a full-fledged mobile entertainment and communications platform. Today’s feature-rich cars pack multiple wireless radios to stream entertainment from outside the vehicle, provide location information via embedded GPS navigation systems, and offer keyless entry/starting systems, and wireless tire-pressure sensors. In the future we will see wireless capabilities such as car-to-car communications to help smooth traffic flow and further reduce accidents.

NXP's Complete Solution for Motion-based, Always-on Sensor Processing Applications

This all-in-one solution, based on the ultra-low power LPC54102 microcontroller, provides everything needed to bring sensor-based motion and other sensor-processing applications to market quickly. NXP has partnered with Bosch Sensortec to offer an integrated solution that makes it easy to incorporate motion/inertia and other sensor data into a variety of end applications.

Atmel Expands QTouch Safety Platform for Home Appliance User Interfaces

Atmel’s new QTouch Safety Platform for capacitive touch-enabled user interfaces supports Atmel SMART ARM Cortex-M0+ based MCUs for safety critical home electronics applications. The most recent QTouch capacitive touch platform is based on the Atmel SMART SAM D20 integrating an on-chip peripheral touch controller (PTC) to deliver EMC robustness, short response times and combines self- and mutual capacitance sensors for up to 256 channels.

The Basics of Designing Wearable Electronics with Microcontrollers

Wearable devices are miniature electronic devices worn on the body, often integrated with or designed to replace existing accessories such as a watch – thus the need for smaller, more intuitive devices. The most important electronic component in wearable devices is the microcontroller. As these MCUs need to be small and at the same time perform more functions, integration becomes an important factor.

Microsemi- New Security Features Deliver Industry's Most Secure FPGAs

Microsemi has unveiled its new ultra secure SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs and IGLOO2 FPGAs – offering more advanced security features at the device, design and system levels than any other leading FPGA manufacturer. The new data security features allow developers to leverage the device’s lowest power consumption in its class, high reliability capabilities and best-in-class security technology to build highly differentiated products.

Enabling Better Touch Panels for Embedded Devices - Renesas Solutions: Part 3

The continuing evolution of human-machine interfaces (HMIs) raises the expectations users have for both appearance and performance. Implemented on sleek touch panels, they look good, eliminate protruding knobs and switches, and provide better operational experiences. Such HMIs offer multiple types of touch controls—single keys, wheels and sliders, among others- and can be created in a variety of forms that aid in product differentiation.

Which ARM Cortex Core Is Right for my Application: A, R, or M?

The ARM Cortex family of cores encompasses a very wide range of scalable performance options offering designers a great deal of choice and the opportunity to use the best-fit core for their application without being forced into a one-size-fits-all solution. The Cortex portfolio is split broadly into three main series: Cortex-A, Cortex-R, and Cortex-M.

Should You Buy or Build?

Does using a module let you save costs over the complete lifetime of the project?

Design Calculator

1. Concept phase: Feasibility study, analysis of components, time and personnel requirements is approximately $70,000 for an i.MX6 based project. This can be reduced to $27,000 if using an embedded module.

2. Circuit diagram: Preparing a circuit diagram with an integrated processor and memory is going to cost $30,000. Using an embedded module reduces the complexity and can bring this cost down to $6,500.

3. Layout: Since the application board is simpler to put together with a modular design, $13,500 to $15,000 will usually suffice. With an integrated processor costs can be double.

4. Software: The module is delivered with  BSPs for a number of different OSs and/or RTOSs. If these have to be developed then the cost can be at least $50,000.

5. Testing: As a rule integrated designs require more complex testing and cost difference can be as much as $30,000.

Bottom Line: The additional costs for an integrated design can amount to $300,000 not counting the costs of redesigns and interest charges. Comments

Power Supply Chips Get Smart

Renesas has recently introduced a number of new ICs for microcontroller power supply systems. When you have an MCU with standby modes in the nanoamp range, how much energy does that save when the multiple switching and LDO supplies that support it stay fully powered up? Not so much. That’s the problem that Renesas’ new Simple Power Supply ICs address. More


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