EDA / PCB Design

The world of electronic design automation is broad, covering everything from the simplest PCB to the most complex custom device. But without such tools, designers would be unable to create innovative consumer and industrial products.

In this section, New Electronics provides technical insight on the latest PCB design packages, as well as on the design tools essential to the creation of devices such as FPGAs and ASICs.

Core to the fore

What's so special about Intel's Core i7 processor and why is it finding a lot of industrial applications?

Simulation solution:

Mainstream high speed pcb design has long followed in the slipstream of rf and microwave engineering. Of necessity, techniques have been simplified and made applicable to wider use: for example, IBIS models that describe input/output behaviour without revealing internal design details are published for most high speed ics.

Modelling parasitics in sub-micron IC designs

IC designers who work at the deep submicron level know that smaller process size means lower per unit costs, higher performance, and lower power consumption. However, as nets get closer together, parasitic capacitance becomes a design consideration.

Extending the COM definition to small and mobile systems

Since the first computer on module (COM) definition appeared in 1999, the technology has found its way into most embedded computer applications. Following the introduction of the Intel Atom, pc technology became less power hungry and this trend continues in new COM developments. However, not every COM concept is optimally suited and, to accommodate mobile and power saving technologies, a new COM definition – Qseven – was adopted in July 2008.

The high cost of low cost development kits

A major challenge for any business, particularly in the current economic climate, is how much do you invest in staff and equipment to achieve your profitability goals. Overdoing that spending will wipe out the potential increases in profit, yet under investing leaves you ill equipped to capitalise on the market possibilities or even exposed to a risk of not achieving them.

Solving the DFM puzzle

Until now, design for manufacturing has been all about the individual processes. If it is to be successful, it must be applied on a broader scale.

Is the writing on the wall for the discrete dsp?

The wealth of features supported by the latest MP3 players is only possible because of the widespread adoption of digital signal processing, yet you will not find a standalone dsp within an MP3 player. Instead, an SoC includes hardware support for dsp.

Custom boards for universal use

Sophisticated image processing systems are becoming an increasingly indispensible part of quality control on automated filling and packaging lines that require zero failure tolerance.

Multicore processing for embedded systems

Dual cores have been around for some time in several application spaces. In order to deliver the kind of performance predicted by Moore in the 1960s this appears today to be the only direction to go. They bring with them significant challenges and problems but also some major advantages and benefits. There are two basic software paradigms in the market today AMP and SMP. In SMP the burden of task allocation lies on the OS but in AMP this allocation is done by the software engineer at the outset of the project. The SH7205 is the latest SuperH device from Renesas containing two SH2A cores and provides a new solution to an old problem by boosting the performance available in the embedded space.

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