Sunday, June 26, 2011

Intel’s Thunderbolt Technology In Action [VIDEO]

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Texas Instruments Announces New C2000 Concerto Dual-Core Microcontroller (MCU) Series

Texas Instruments Incorporated announced its new C2000™ Concerto dual-core microcontroller (MCU) series. The new Concerto 32-bit microcontrollers combine TI’s class-leading-performance C28x core and control peripherals with an ARM Cortex-M3 core and connectivity peripherals to deliver a clearly partitioned architecture that supports real-time control and advanced connectivity in a single, cost-efficient device. To make them easy to use, Concerto MCUs are supported by an intuitive software infrastructure as well as application and connectivity libraries within controlSUITE™ software. The series includes multiple safety and security features and is code compatible across the C2000 platform to enable scalability and code reuse in green applications such as intelligent motor control, renewable energy, smart grid, digital power and electric vehicles.

Greener applications require the performance of a real-time control MCU to execute complex algorithms needed for precise, efficient power conversion, which is the essence of efficient motor control, renewable energy and smart grid technologies. But to take that efficiency to new levels that can dramatically save energy, these applications must also be connected for remote data sharing, diagnostics, monitoring and control. Concerto MCUs enable developers to do both real-time control and connectivity within one microcontroller, eliminating the traditional need to choose between optimal performance and advanced connectivity.
Concerto F28M35x microcontroller series features and benefits:
  • Real-time control subsystem based on TI’s C28x core with floating point and the Viterbi Complex Math Unit delivers 13X performance over existing MCUs as well as industry-leading control peripherals required to design the most reliable, efficient green applications
  • Robust host communication subsystem based on Cortex-M3 and connectivity peripherals such as Ethernet, USB On-The-Go, dual CAN, and multiple serial communication ports
  • Performance can be tailored to different applications with options for 150/75 MHz, 100/100 MHz or 60/60 MHz on the C28x and Cortex-M3 cores, respectively
  • Safety and security features, including up to 1 MB of flash and 132 KB RAM with error correction, parity on CAN and interrupt registers, redundancy for functions, and lock protection
  • Free turnkey application and connectivity software libraries, including Ethernet and USB (Digital power, motor control and renewable energy libraries will be available in 3Q11)
  • Speeds design with simple development environment that supports programming each subsystem independently
  • Roadmap for tailored devices to meet specific smart grid applications, such as smart electric meters and concentrators
The new Concerto F28M35x Experimenter Kit includes a F28M35x controlCARD and docking station to enable developers to easily begin evaluation and development. The modular controlCARD is hardware compatible with TI’s C2000 application-specific development kits, and software to further support development on the kits will be available later this year. Free, on-demand training for Concerto MCUs is immediately available online, and is a great way for developers to begin further exploring the optimized architecture, tailored features and easy-to-use software infrastructure of the devices.
Available in a 144 QFP package, Concerto MCUs now start at $6.99 at 1K and samples can be immediately ordered at The Concerto F28M35x Experimenter Kit is priced at $139. The Concerto F28M35x controlCARD is also available individually for $99. Both are immediately available to order at There is an estimated 4 week lead time for samples and kits.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Texas Instruments Introduces 2.4 GHz CC8530 PurePath Wireless Audio

Texas Instruments introduced the second device in the family of PurePath™ Wireless audio products for consumer, portable and high-end audio applications. The 2.4 GHz CC8530 radio frequency (RF) system-on-chip transmits uncompressed wireless audio over a robust RF link, and supports digital streaming for up to four audio channels. TI also introduced the CC85XXDK-HEADSET development kit and reference design as part of the PurePath Wireless audio family. As the market’s most cost-effective offering for high-quality headsets and headphones, the design has a total electronic bill-of-material cost of less than USD $5 in high-volume production, and achieves a 22-hour life on a 465 mAh battery – a 100 percent increase as compared to currently available headsets.
“PurePath Wireless audio represents TI’s industry leading expertise in digital audio and wireless connectivity markets,” said Erling Simensen, product marketing manager, wireless audio, TI. “We’ve done all back-end work with the new wireless headset reference design, so engineers can build a prototype in less than one day. With the ability to stream two stereo streams from one audio source to several receivers, the CC8530 will enable exciting new use cases for wireless headsets and multichannel home audio applications, such as surround sound speaker systems with no need to pull wires across the house, and headphones that easily switch between two audio streams coming from one stereo system.”
“TI’s PurePath Wireless technology enables us to design cutting-edge wireless audio products,” said Robert Wills, president, InterSource OEM Inc. / Claridy Amps, a design house specializing in audio products. “Thanks to PurePath Wireless technology, our high-quality designs offer unwired multipoint audio streaming, and our audio systems can expand to up to four speakers and cover two stereo-audio listening zones. Products such as Sound of Lights wireless speakers are sparking tremendous interest with great customer feedback, and we look forward to continued work with the TI team.”
Key features and benefits of CC8530 solution
  • Multichannel audio streaming capability:
    • Four speakers receiving independent audio streams from wireless base station
    • Up to four headphones receiving either stereo A or stereo B audio from the same base station
  • Complete solution: RF protocol, microcontroller, audio codec setup support, application designs
  • No required software development: Free Configurator PC software tool for easy configuration
  • High quality-of-service for digital wireless audio transmission:
    • Excellent coexistence with Bluetooth® technology, WLAN and other 2.4-GHz devices
    • Distributed audio clock for synchronized wireless speakers
    • Low latency for better synchronization between audio and video
    • No unwanted noise (clicks or pops)
    • High mean time between dropout (MTBD) as compared to existing solutions
    • Eliminates the sound distortion typically found in competing proprietary systems
    • Support for 16-bit, 44.1-KHz or 48-KHz audio without any compression
  • Compatible with various TI audio codecs: TLV320AIC3204, TLV320AIC3254, TLV320AIC3256, TLV320AIC3101, class D amplifiers TAS5708, TAS5710, TAS5713, TAS5727, CC2590 range extender and BQ25015 power management device
Key features and benefits of CC85XXDK-HEADSET development kit:
  • 22 hours on 465mAh battery: 100% longer battery life compared to today’s standard headsets
  • Consists of all-TI components
  • Cost-effective design for high-quality wireless headsets and headphones
  • Enables easy testing of complete headphone and headset functionality
  • Fully programmable with PurePath Wireless Configurator PC tool.
  • Includes TI’s BQ25015 power management device, the low-power TLV320AIC3204 audio codec and CC2590 range extender
The multi-channel CC8530 is available today from TI and through authorized TI distributors. The solution is packaged in a ROHS-compliant, 6 mm x 6 mm QFN-40. Pricing starts at $3.95 in 1,000-unit quantities. Future devices in the family will include the CC8521 (two channels with USB) and CC8531 (four channels with USB).
The new CC85XXDK-HEADSET development kit is available today for USD $149 on TI’s e-store, and comes with a free reference design for wireless headsets.
The CC85XXDK development kit, introduced last year for the CC85XX product family, provides all hardware and software necessary to evaluate the CC8530. This kit is available on TI’s e-store for USD $299.

Samsung's 30nm DDR3 DRAM boosts speeds, cuts power consumption

Samsung has been taunting us with the promise of 30nm DRAM for quite sometime, and when the tiny chips went into mass production last year it was the world's servers that got first dibs. The average consumer stuck with that aging 40nm stuff -- blech. This summer though, you'll finally be able to snatch up some of Sammy's latest tech in the form of two and four GB DDR3 1600 sticks for both laptops and desktops. The company claims that its new RAM modules are up to two-thirds more energy efficient than more common 60nm chips and 20 percent faster that its own 40nm ones. Both solo and dual packs will be hitting retailers soon starting at "less than $30." Check out the PR after the break.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Analog Devices Releases the ADIS16407 iSensor IMU

ADIS16407 iSensor IMU Functional Block Diagram(Photo from Analog Devices Website)

Analog Devices released the ADIS16407 iSensor® IMU (inertial measurement unit) which integrates a tri-axis gyroscope, tri-axis accelerometer, tri-axis magnetometer and a pressure sensor into a single package. Each sensor in the ADIS16407 combines ADI’s industry-leading iMEMS® technology and signal conditioning expertise to optimize the IMU’s 10- DoF (degrees-of-freedom) dynamic performance. Every IMU is factory calibrated for sensitivity, bias, alignment, and temperature. As a result, each sensor has its own dynamic compensation formulas, maximizing accuracy of sensor measurements.

“Emergency first responders, unmanned vehicles, and precision autonomous instruments often require the merging of multiple sensors to accurately track location in office buildings, warehouses, tunnels, caves, mines, ‘urban canyons’ and other GPS-denied environments,” said Bob Scannell, iSensor business development manager, MEMS/Sensors Technology Group, Analog Devices. “All existing 10-DoF IMUs for these applications are significantly larger, with less factory calibration, and do not adequately address the price-performance requirements. The ADIS16407 combines all of these sensors in a single package, fully integrated and calibrated at the factory, at a low system price.”
ADIS16407 Inertial Measurement Unit Key Features
  • High performance triaxial, digital iMEMS gyroscope with digital range scaling: ±75°/sec, ±150°/sec, ±300°/sec settings
  • High performance triaxial, digital ±18 g iMEMS accelerometer
  • Triaxial ±2.5 gauss digital magnetometer
  • Digital pressure sensor rated at 10 mbar to 1200 mbar
  • All sensors aligned and calibrated at the factory
Sample Availability: Now
Full Production : Now
Price per 1 k Units : $444.00
Package(MSPS): 23 mm × 23 mm × 23 mm module

Skyworks Introduces Series of Ultra Low Current LNAs for Diverse Wireless Applications

Skyworks Solutions introduced the first in a series of ultra low current, general purpose low noise amplifiers (LNAs) for diverse wireless applications including satellite receiver set-top boxes, Bluetooth® headsets, medically prescribed hearing aids, advanced meter reading devices and 2.4 GHz wireless local area networks. These high performance LNAs deliver enhanced receiver sensitivity and wide dynamic ranges facilitating improved signal reception, increased design flexibility and reduced part counts

The miniature SKY67014-396LF is an advanced gallium arsenide pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (pHEMT) enhancement mode process LNA with an integrated active bias and on-die stability structures enabling simple external matching and stable performance over temperature. Skyworks’ enhancement mode pHEMT process allows the device to offer excellent return loss (15 dB typical), stable gain (12 db), low noise (<1 dB) and high linearity (+18 dBm OIP3) while drawing <6 ma of bias current. The SKY67014-396LF offers the designer the ability to externally adjust the supply current to further optimize the amplifier linearity performance for the chosen application. The supply voltage is applied to the RF-OUT/VDD pin through an RF choke inductor and through the VBIAS pin through an external resistor. The supply voltage is adjustable over a range of 1.5 to 5V. The LNA is manufactured in a compact, 2 x 2 millimeter, 8-pin dual flat no-lead, restriction of hazardous substances compliant, surface mount technology package.
The device is the first in a series of high performance, low power LNAs targeting broadband wireless applications. Additional footprint compatible LNAs for the 100 – 700 MHz and 700 – 1500 MHz bands will be launched later this year.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Building the Ultimate Computer, Jeremy Blum !!


Processor Intel Core i7 930
Graphics Card EVGA 470GTX
Motherboard EVGA X58 Classified
System Case Silverstone Temjin TJ09 Black
Power Supply Silverstone 1000W Modular Active PFC
Optical Drives 2x Samsung Lightscribe
Hard Drives 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black
2TB Western Digital Caviar Black
Cooling System Xigmatek Dark Knight CPU Cooler
6x Scythe Slipstream 120mm fans
Additional Components Sabrent Media Card Reader
Peripherals Logitech MX5500 Keyboard
Logitech MX Revolution Mouse
Logitech 2MP Webcam
Samsung T220HD Monitor
CPU Clock Speed 3.4GHz
CPU Voltage 1.117V
Bus Speed 161.6MHz
CPU Multiplier 21x
RAM Clock Speed 2GHz
RAM Timings 9-9-9-28
RAM Voltage 1.5V


CPU Idle 30C
CPU Load 50C
GPU Idle 45C
GPU Load 75C
System Idle 35C

Dual-armed Teutonic robot plays pool, carefully learns to hustle foolish humans

Sure, we've created interactive pool tables and digitally assisted billiards, but isn't it time we completely outsourced our pool-playing to brutally efficient robots? The Germans obviously think so, using this year's International Conference on Robotics and Automation to debut a dual-armed poolbot able to make "easier" shots about 80 percent of the time. Those misses sound a bit like hustling to us, and unlike Willow Garage's friendly PR2 robot, the German version has a suitably intimidating, industrial look. It's also a bit of a cheat, using an overhead camera to plan its shots. For the full lowdown on this shark, check the video after the break.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Flexible wireless charging sheet could eventually turn your skinny jeans into power pants (video)

If you haven't already heard, wireless charging is all the rage -- cars, cameras, and, of course, cellphones have all benefited from the burgeoning technology. Now a team of researchers at Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) are showing off a 2D power transmission system that could turn your pockets into wireless charging stations. According to its creators, "When a 2.4GHz high frequency signal is transmitted through the sheet, it becomes a wireless conductive object." Electromagnetic waves are captured in the sheet and can be concentrated in particular areas, allowing for individual activation of multiple devices, and thus increasing efficiency -- systems like Qi currently require a dedicated transmitter per device. The NICT says the power it provides is still relatively weak -- about 1W -- but it has plans to eventually bring the technology to soft fabrics. So maybe that Snuggie charging station you've been dreaming of isn't so impractical after all.