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Solving resource problems

Distributor broadens its horizons through a reference design. By Graham Pitcher.

Semiconductor distribution companies aren't the most likely source of reference designs, although their principals may well be. One of the reasons why GDTechnik has dipped its toe in the reference design water is simply as a means of increasing its business. But it is also responding to what it sees as growing pressure on the design engineer.

Steve Duckworth, one of the company's field application engineers, said: "Every company I visit has projects on hold or on the shelf because of resource problems. We can give them something that gets things moving."

That something is AT91-NET, a reference design that brings Ethernet connectivity to Atmel's ARM based processor. "What's been missing from the ARM environment is Ethernet connectivity," said Andy Gayne, another GD Technik fae. "Industry and new buildings are featuring CAT5 networks, so people are looking at industrial applications for Ethernet."

Atmel has a reference design for the AT91: the EB40A evaluation board. This has an ARM based microprocessor, flash and sram. "You could use it as the basis for a system," Gayne thought, "but we've taken it a bit further by adding 10/100 Ethernet connectivity."

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Graham Pitcher

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