Technology Filtered by - Systems Management

New Electronics strives to bring you all the latest technology news from the Systems Management sector. Advances in electronics are often fast-paced and innovative, so we know that as a design engineer you want to be kept up-to-date with current developments.

Below is a comprehensive list of all the latest electronics technology news from New Electronics.

When it comes to designing a clock tree, what do you need to take into account?

A clock tree is intended to generate the reference timing required by all the ICs in a PCB design and the challenge for an engineer is to design one with the fewest number of components possible, while at the same time meeting system-level performance requirements. Design engineers need to take into account real estate restrictions – can they simplify complex PCB layouts? – and they have to be clear as to whether the clock generation IC is expected to do jitter attenuation or clock synthesis.

The importance of thinking thermal early in the design process

Thermal management is often left until pretty near the end of the design engineer's checklist of elements to cover off on a project. There are often reasons offered for this, some being more logical and valid than others. But by building an understanding of heat management techniques and working with experts in what still remains a somewhat mysterious aspect of electronic product design, there are significant performance, cost and reliability benefits to be had. These can prove to be crucial differentiators in the final design specification and be the difference between a compelling, high selling idea and a 'me too' product that may be late to market and taken an inefficient and torturous route to get there.

Complex devices require complex packaging

Packaging a semiconductor component is becoming an increasingly complex business. It's never been an easy task, even for simple devices, but when it comes to leading edge products, there is more than a degree of boundary pushing involved.

Process aims to take the thermal stresses off the electronics

'Big Data' is big and getting bigger. As the world moves from analogue to digital, all of that data passes through and is stored in data centres. And on top of the data stored there is also the move to do more computation in the cloud. The more data going in and around, the bigger the data centres get, the more power they use and the more heat is generated – although data centres that are devoted to storage do less processing and generate less heat than a centre whose main function is cloud computing.

Solving the system architecture jigsaw

Is a system architecture created from the apocryphal clean sheet of paper any longer? No, according to design consultancy Plextek's chief technology officer Paul Martin. "Have I ever had a clean sheet of paper to design on?" he wondered. "If I did, what was I guided by and what were the design constraints?" Pushed, he admitted he'd probably done it once, with a telecoms system.

An engineer's guide to selecting and using a resonator

Increasing demand for complex and compact consumer electronics applications is driving the need for low power, small and reliable components. The Internet of Things is driving the need for connectivity of the simplest devices, while wearable applications are becoming popular.

Can intermittent faults in operation be cured at the design stage?

Intermittent faults can be irritating. Often attempts to repair them will result in the phenomenon of NFF – No Fault Found – as the product fails to reproduce its failures when sent for service or repair. Such problems cease to be irritating and start to become very expensive and potentially dangerous when they start to appear in safety critical systems like aircraft or trains.

Quiet, low power cooling technology is only 1mm thick

Users don't like fans because they are noisy. Designers don't like them because they are greedy consumers of both power and space. But as more processing power is piled into all sorts of electronic equipment, particularly mobile devices, the choice becomes simple – have a noisy device with active cooling, like a typical laptop, or one with passive cooling that can get almost too hot to handle, like some tablets.

Sub miniature atomic clocks enable greater precision

Every electronic product or system needs a clock to keep it working at the level of performance which its designers intended. And there's a number of approaches available, ranging from humble quartz crystals operating at 32.768kHz, to very high frequency devices at the other end of the scale.

Smart metering needs smarter test

In the next few years, homes and business across the UK will receive a Smart Meter: a device that will provide detailed information on how energy is being used, helping to reduce consumption, bills and their carbon footprint. The rollout of smart meters is also a major step towards realising the Smart Grid and utility companies are racing to update systems and infrastructure to deliver this massive change to electricity, water and gas metering and billing.

It's worth investing the time to draw up an accurate specification document

Nearly everything in the electronics world has been developed from a specification – a clear and unambiguous statement of what a product or system does or should do. But there is a wide variation in the structure and format of specification documents and no universally correct way to put one together. However, guidelines and best practice methods exist that can benefit any organisation.

OCXOs aren't crumbling under pressure from other approaches

Playing a vital role in everything from mobile phones to military systems, crystal oscillators come in many forms depending on the properties and tolerance required. From basic clock oscillators to temperature compensated devices (tcxos), customers want cheaper products and higher levels of accuracy. Targeting more niche applications, oven controlled oscillators (ocxos) tend to be immune from many of these pressures, but there are still demands being placed on their functionality.

Adapting to ever changing standards helps consultancy improve efficiency

Just a stone's throw away from the River Mersey, specialist consultancy LDRA provides automated analysis and testing tools for software applications – a service it has offered for nearly 40 years. In recent times, as well as asking for software verification tools, its engineering management customers are calling for clearer defined verification techniques. This increase in the need for traceability has forced LDRA to change the way in which it works.

Quartz crystals clocking off?

The exceptional mechanical and piezoelectric properties of quartz crystal oscillators have, for decades, ensured their success for frequency generation in a range of consumer, computing and communication applications.

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