Friday, January 28, 2011

VHDL 101: Everything you need to know to get started

VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language) is a hardware programming language commonly used for FPGA (Field Programable Gate Array) or ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) designs. FPGAs and the like are often found within larger applications such as cell phones, medical imagers, and personal media devices. As these devices are becoming more ubiquitous so the need for engineers fluent in VHDL design grows.

Engineers commonly face an immediate need to learn a language or technique quickly and this book answers that requirement. Bill Kafig of industry leader Xilinx, swiftly brings the reader up to speed on techniques and functions commonly used as well as commands and data management.

Extensive simple, complete designs are accompany the content for maximum comprehension. The book concludes with a section on design re-use which is of utmost importance to today's engineer that needs to meet a deadline and lower costs per unit.

Download (For All Countries)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Writing tweet messages with telegraph

How to brake the limit of tweet messages. Typing with keyboard eats it very fast. The only solution to make this limit too bit is to change typing habits. What about telegraphing a Morse code? This should do.

So here it is – a Tweetargraph that captures dots and dashes from telegraph line. I wander if you can find a working telegraph these days. Building one would be faster than finding. Another part of this device is an Arduino that talks to Processing. Processing is used for communicating with Twitter API. Once set up you can start real twittering like its been during World War II.

Friday, January 21, 2011

OpenPicus IDE and Framework to be released

OpenPicus, the open source hardware and software platform for wireless Apps, reaches the biggest milestone on 20th January at 10am italian time.
The new IDE and the software Framework will be available for download on

This is a great step for the project, FreeRTOS was ported on the FlyPort Wi-Fi module and the Framework let you develop your apps even without any experience in embedded programming or communication protocols.
The core team from Rome declare : “we have finally our IDE and our Framework. It has been tested from November from several Universities around the world that joined our Campus program. We’ll also have a website restyling and a surprise for our community”.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Micrel Launches 4/5-port Layer-2 Switch-on-a-Chip ICs

Micrel launched the KSZ8895/8875/8864 series. The devices are low-power, highly integrated, 4/5-port Layer-2 switch-on-a-chip ICs. Leveraging Micrel’s latest green physical transceiver and switch technology, the product family achieves a 50 percent reduction in power consumption compared to the previous generation. Meeting the increasing demands for Ethernet connectivity in consumer and industrial applications, the family features advanced power management and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities. Pricing and samples are available upon inquiry with volume production starting in Q1, 2011.

The devices support a single 3.3V power supply with an internal 1.2V LDO, with options for 3.3V, 2.5V or 1.8V IO voltages. Further power savings are supported by advanced power management, including the device’s “Energy Detect Power Down” mode. This mode is activated when the cable is unplugged, and the “slow oscillator” mode is activated when the device is not in use.

The product family provides flexible host processor and PHY interfacing via MII or RMII. Flexibility is also provided in terms of copper or fiber media interfaces. On-chip termination, and internal generation of the 50MHz RMII clock further reduces bill of materials cost and enables a small package size (64-pin QFN for KSZ8864RMN).

More information about 4/5-port Layer-2 switch-on-a-chip ICs can be found at Micrel Website

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Join the global science fair!

To help make today’s young scientists the rock stars of tomorrow, the first global online science competition is live: the Google Science Fair!

It’s open to young people around the world between the ages of 13-18. All you need is access to a computer, the Internet and a web browser!

In partnership with Google, Inc., Scientfic American, National Geographic and CERN the LEGO Group today Tuesday 11 January took part in the launch event in New York.

See videos about the science fair here.

More news will follow about this great project!

Play well,

Toshiba Announces LINUX-Based Embedded Systems for ARM9 Microcontrollers

Toshiba Electronics Europe and open source development and integration specialist kernel concepts have announced a range of free resources that will simplify the design of LINUX-based embedded systems built around ARM9 microcontrollers.

The free resource of kernel concepts are targeted at applications built on Toshiba’s TMPA9xx family of microcontrollers. They can also be used to speed development of applications based on the ARM9 CPU module from specialist distributor Glyn. Through access to these resources, and
the professional engineering support offered by kernel concepts, even engineers with little or no previous LINUX experience can rapidly implement LINUX systems - leaving them more time to concentrate on the application-specific aspects of their designs.

Toshiba’s TMPA9xx family of microcontrollers feature a 32-bit ARM926EJ-S core and offer a variety of peripherals and interfaces that make them ideal for industrial multimedia and human machine interface (HMI) applications. The new BSPs are designed for use with the respective microcontroller Starter Kits and provide a complete environment for building the LINUX system. Packages include the LINUX kernel, bootloader and ready-made root file system images.

More information about ARM-based LINUX systems can be found at Toshiba Components Website

Friday, January 7, 2011

Analog Devices Announces the ADP1850 Synchronous DC-to-DC Switching Controller

Analog Devices announced the ADP1850 synchronous DC-to-DC switching controller that is easily configurable as dual output or interleaved two-phase controller for a wide range of high-current, high-efficiency applications. 
The ADP1850 offers more flexibility than other DC-to-DC controllers by providing a wider input voltage range of 2.75 V to 20 V, as well as easy configuration for dual-output (up to 2 x 25 A) or single interleaved-output (up to 50 A) systems.
The ADP1850 provides accurate tracking capability between supplies and includes independent, precision ENABLE and accurate POWER_GOOD functions that allow simple, precise, and accurate daisy-chain sequencing between channels or another device – an important feature for powering multi-input voltage FPGA, DSP and ASIC devices.
 ADP1850 Functional Block Diagram
(Picture From Analog Devices Website)

The ADP1850 controller’s high-level of integration includes a start-up linear regulator and a boot-strap diode for the high-side drive, which is ideal for high-density designs.
The ADP1850 operates in current mode for improved transient response and uses valley-current sensing for enhanced noise immunity. 
The ADP1850’s advanced architecture enables accurate current sharing between interleaved phases for high-current outputs up to 50 A. For low-load operation, the ADP1850 can be configured to operate in power-saving mode by skipping pulses and reducing switching losses to improve the energy efficiency at light load.
Additional flexibility is provided by externally programmable loop compensation, soft start and frequency, current limit and current-sense gain settings.

More information about Synchronous DC-to-DC Switching Controller can bae found at  : Analog Devices Website

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Serial Port Complete By Jan Axelson

Requirements: PDF Reader, 40 MB
Overview: The part of the book I liked most comes in the section that describes how to connect serial devices. Axelson covers not only RS-232 communications but also RS-485, a serial standard that allows for party-line or multi-drop connections. You would spend a lot of time looking for all the information that the book collects in one place. If you plan to use a serial port in any sort of application, buy this book. It should go on your bookshelf alongside Axelson's earlier book, Parallel Port Complete.

download :

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Marson Technology Launches MT7930T, Dual Light Source (Bi-Color) CCD Barcode Scanner

The MT7930T dual light source barcode scanner is capable of reading the barcodes (e.g. colored or normal barcodes with various colored background) that are hard to be read by traditional red LED CCD scanner, providing excellent decoding efficiency to users. The Bi-color® scanner’s patent has been filed in many countries, such as Taiwan, Japan, Germany and China.

The MT7930T dual light source barcode scanner is in auto mode, which automatically switches its LED back and forth between green and red, illuminating by green LED if the barcodes are unable to be read under red light, and vise versa. Users can also configure the scanner into single light mode as appropriate.

More information about Bi-Color CCD Barcode Scanner can be found at Marson Technology website .