Electronics technologies for 2012

Product engineering organizations face the incredible challenge of ever shrinking market windows for innovation in 2012. Due to globalization, increasing competition and rapidly changing technology, there are many risks and uncertainties facing the new product development path. These opportunities if missed, can lead to huge costs and overwhelming complexity that can compromise quality and lead to very expensive recalls. Innovating in the face of these pressures requires organizations to rethink how they work.

Learn the most important new technologies and start designing next-generation equipment early if you are working on real technology company. The real technology companies asks are Amazon, Facebook, eBay, and Google good technology companies or good applications-of-technology companies? Applications-of-technology could also be a good position to be. No matter where you are differentiate to dominate. No more lame “me too” products. CES is over; it’s time to start designing. Here are some material to fuel up your innovation.


EE Times’ 20 hot technologies for 2012 article is a list of 20 technologies EE Times editors think can bring big changes, and that EE Times will be tracking during 2012. Hot technologies: Looking ahead to 2012 article: EDN magazine editors reflect on some of the hot trends and technologies in 2011 – and look ahead to 2012.

Top 12 Hot Design Technologies for 2012 article mentions MEMS, Wireless sensor networks, Internet of Things starts with lightbulbs, new flexibility via organic materials for electronics, Near Field Communication (NFC) is becoming available in many mobile phones, Printed electronics, power scavenging methods for low power electronics, Graphene, conversion of solar energy, Ethernet displaces proprietary field buses, 40/100 Gbit/s Ethernet Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays and Smart Grid technologies (power management and architecture system components). We are nearing the point where some microelectronics systems can be made sufficiently low power – requiring microamps rather than milliamps – that scavenging methods can produce enough power to enable them to be autonomous.


Home electronics is expected to become a new status symbol (Kodinelektroniikasta uusi statussymboli) article tells that consumer electronics demand will increase further in 2012 according to market research by Deloitte. Latest digital technology will also become a status symbol in homes. In particular, tablets, and smartphones Deloitte expects record sales.

Mobile phones with advanced features start to replace traditional separate devices for different functions. This is happening for small digital cameras and video cameras. 2012 At the end of 2012 there is the more navigation capable mobile phones than the stand-alone GPS navigators according to Berg Insight. Berg Insight calculates that the sales of separate GPS navigators started to decline already in 2011. Nav equipment manufacturers have responded to the situation by bringing the software to mobile devices.

How apps for your appliances represent the next opportunity article tells that Samsung Electronics not only pushed its smart TVs at CES, but a whole line of smart appliances, including washers and refrigerators. If Samsung Electronics is right, developers may flock to smart appliances as the next opportunity. That included music apps such as Pandora on the refrigerator and an app on the washer that can ping you when a load is done.

IPv6 is becoming more important. One of the driving forces behind the move from IPv4 to IPv6 has been low-cost embedded devices, which are going online at an accelerating pace. Support for this technology will be crucial for the success of many forthcoming connected embedded devices. IPv6 on a microcontroller article gives some tips how to implement IPv6 on small microcontroller.

The science fiction future of medical implants is here article tells that semiconductor solutions contained in hand-held consumer product innovations are now finding their way into medical implantables: wireless data and power transmission as well as analog, microcontrollers and transducer capabilities.

App Servers and Lua Scripting Speed Rich Web Applications for Small Devices article tells that with ever more smart devices connecting to the web, even small embedded devices must be able to serve up rich graphical presentations of the data to satisfy user expectations. This creates a new challenge for designers of small embedded systems as a new task. With time and space at a premium, a scripting approach can be invaluable. LAMP (Linux, Apache, mysql, PHP) setups work well in full-up web server implementations (at least around 65 Mbyte of memory), but for small embedded system we need something that uses less resources. Smartphones have set the bar ridiculously high when it comes to how sophisticated the application interface should be.

We’re on the cusp of an era that offers better-than-ever display technologies for an excitingly immersive viewer experience. Just as we’ve seen the emergence of 3DTV for consumers and higher than HDTV resolutions are to be tested in 2012 London Olympics. Xilinx Making Immersive 3D and 4K2K Displays Possible with 7 Series FPGA System Integration press release tells that Xilinx just introduced new 28nm Kintex™-7 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-based targeted reference designs and a new development baseboard for accelerating the development of next-generation, 3D and 4K2K display technologies at 2012 International CES. The network infrastructure will need an overhaul in 2012 due to the increasing amounts of high-definition video and other traffic.


ARM processor becomes more and more popular during year 2012. Power and Integration—ARM Making More Inroads into More Designs. It’s about power—low power; almost no power. A huge and burgeoning market is opening for devices that are handheld and mobile. The most obvious among these are smartphones and tablets, but there is also an increasing number of industrial and military devices that fall into this category. ARM’s East unimpressed with Medfield, design wins article tells that Warren East, CEO of processor technology licensor ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England), is unimpressed by the announcements made by chip giant Intel about the low-power Medfield system-chip and its design wins. Android will run better on our chips, says Intel. Look out what happens in this competition.

Bill McClean: Don’t broad-brush the semiconductor market article tells that year 2011 started off great, full of optimism and high growth expectations for the semiconductor industry. But that mellowed as the year progressed (total semiconductor market at 2% growth for this year, although smartphone increase very much). Going into 2012, there’s not a lot of optimism. Any thoughts on 2013? A: We’re thinking it’s going to be a little slower than 2012. So, we’re looking to a slower market—not a disaster.

Chip sales flat in 2011, will grow (a wee bit) in 2012 article tells that the prognosticators at Gartner have ranked the chip makers of the world by 2011 revenue and are calling the market for 2012, with a reasonably upbeat forecast for next year’s chip sales, but (paradoxically) a dreadful forecast for companies that make the gear to bake the chips. Disk shortages are expected to slow down PC sales for several quarters. Smartphones, tablets, and flash will represent more than three-quarters of the revenue growth between now and 2015.

There are also some more optimistic predictions for chip sales. Malcolm Penn, founder and chief analyst with semiconductor market analysis firm Future Horizons Ltd, is more bullish than most other market analysts. Bullish Penn sees chip market growth of 8% in 2012 article tells that Malcolm Penn has predicted that the global chip market will rise on an annual basis by 8% to $323.2 billion in 2012. Penn said that after a flat first quarter he expected the chip market to bounce back in the second half of the year. He considers that 8% growth is a “safe bet,” and indicated that annual growth “could easily be 20%.” For 2013 Future Horizons forecasts 20% annual growth.


EDN magazine writes in PC boards: Materials and processing are now a hot technology article that exotic substrates and fabrication methods are now commonplace. A dozen layers, thick copper, fine lines, and buried vias are just the processing side of the modern high-tech PCB. There are many processing options that have made PCBs truly a hot technology. Also the substrates themselves are now high tech. Traditional FR-2 (phenolic resin bonded paper) or FR-4 (glass-reinforced epoxy laminate) are not the only widely supported choices anymore. You could always specify Teflon or polyamide substrates for high-speed circuits. In addition to the old high tech like flex circuits, there are a host of improvements that make a whole new set of high-tech PCB designs that are truly a hot technology.

EDA industry predictions for 2012 mentions that 28-nm design starts will increase by 50% in 2012 and more people will be dabbling with 20 nm. The increased design sizes and complexity will create all kinds of pressure in the verification and test fields.

The rise in fake parts is also contributing to engineers’ fears that their products will be corrupted. Counterfeit electronic components were big issue in 2011, and the problem does not go away this year.

EDA industry predictions for 2012 mentions a trend, and one that has been going on for some time, is a continued migration of functionality from hardware to software. Dr Markus Willems of Synopsys attributed this to “the needs to support multiple standards simultaneously (wireless, multimedia), use the same hardware platform for product derivatives (automotive), quickly adjust to evolving standards (wireless), and react to changing market demands (all applications).” Increased rate of adoption of new technologies such as tablets, ultra-books, and their inherent demand for low-power solutions will help the EDA industry improve their importance. Electronic system-level design tools (ESL) continues to be an important thrust for the EDA industry. Increased adoption of the TLM 2.0 (Transaction-level modeling) standard is a popular theme. Several EDA companies have been busy writing books recently and self-publishing them.

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tools are taking product design to the next level (especially in automotive, aerospace, and defense). PLM was launched more than a decade ago with the lofty vision of creating an enterprise-wide, central repository for all product-related data, from the earliest customer requirements feedback through quality and failure data collected in the field by maintenance and support personnel. Product lifecycle management, sometimes “product life cycle management”, represents an all-encompassing vision for managing all data relating to the design, production, support and ultimate disposal of manufactured goods. What 2012 holds for Product Lifecycle Management? article tells about current PLM trends.

The prototype comes of age article tells that a radical change is about to happen in the typical development of an electronic system. The hardware-development flow will no longer be the center around which everything else revolves. The rising size and complexity of systems and the limitations of using a single-purpose model—the hardware-design model—have fueled the growth of new prototyping technologies. Among the changes now taking place in this area is the migration to higher levels of abstraction for hardware design. The ability to derive several implementations from a single high-level description is also desirable. Many hardware blocks now come with sophisticated software stacks, and they also must be integrated into the software flow.


‘KISS’ Among Engineers’ Top 2012 Concerns article tells that Rich Merritt agrees that we’ve forgotten the KISS principle especially in automation sector. “We’ve made everything so complicated, complex, and convoluted that we’ve entered the age of ‘transoptimal engineering,’ ” he says. “That is, things are so advanced and have so many features, they don’t work anymore.” Business development manager Herat Shah sees the pressures for complexity and price converging in an unhealthy manner. “The biggest issue for the automation and control supplier is to design and engineer something that’s the cheapest and the best,” he says. “Practically, this is not possible.” In addition to this there are security concerns: Stuxnet targeted controllers, and made engineers realize that factories aren’t immune to security threats.

How do you manage the Internet of you? article claims that electronics has gotten to the point (in the consumer space) where the only innovations are the mundane, the enhancements, the extensions. A computing device today (whether a tablet, a phone or a PC) can do what telephony, typewriters, pen and ink, film (motion and still), cameras, television, radio (basically all major mediums) did a generation ago. And yet… And yet we still innovate. We still build. We still buy. The devices in one sense feed the worst part of a personality: compulsiveness. They suppress pause and reflection. Think about it.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Designing low-energy embedded systems from silicon to software

    Low-energy system design requires attention to nontraditional factors ranging from the silicon process technology to the software that runs on microcontroller-based embedded platforms. Closer examination at the system level reveals three key parameters that determine the energy efficiency of a microcontroller: active-mode power consumption; standby power consumption; and the duty cycle, which determines the ratio of time spent in either state and is itself determined by the behavior of the software.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The electronic brain gets closer

    An IBM supercomputer has achieved a new milestone toward DARPA’s vision – as called for in its Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program – of developing electronic neuromorphic (brain-simulation) machine technology that scales to biological levels. At the recent Supercomputing 2012 conference, IBM announced it had simulated an unprecedented scale of 2.084 billion neurosynaptic cores containing 53×1010 neurons and 1.37×1014 synapses running only 1542× slower than real time.

    The DARPA SyNAPSE program ultimately calls for building a cognitive computing architecture with 1010 neurons and 1014 synapses – a number inspired by the estimated number of synapses in the human brain.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LG seeks to be major fabless chipmaker

    LG Electronics is moving to transform itself into a major fabless chipmaker by hiring more qualified chip designers and giving authority to related divisions.

    The Korea’s technology giant has strengthened fabless semiconductor manufacturing in a bid to gain a competitive edge in core technologies.

    Under “fabless” production, instead of making the chips in-house, manufacturers farm out the manufacturing to outside fabrication facilities, many of them in Asia.

    On Friday, LG officials said that the combined number of its chip designers for use in smartphones and Web-connected televisions exceeded 900 because the company’s chief executive Koo Bon-joon has stressed the importance of more independence and dignity in the parts and finished-goods businesses.

    But it seems unclear how soon LG Electronics will be able to compete with major fabless chipmakers such as Broadcom.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EE Times 40th: 10 electronics visionaries to watch

    Predicting the future is always fraught with peril, but the visionaries featured here are boldly going where no one has gone before.

    To be sure, the personalities featured in this slideshow are not unique–in each category dozens of other pioneers could have been used in lieu of those chosen. Nevertheless, the pioneering vision and unflinching dedication of those featured in this slideshow serve as a shining example of how to “do” the future right.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Gadget that Makes You the Doctor

    Scanadu hopes its tricorder-like device and a smartphone will help people track their health and diagnose problems.

    De Brouwer is the founder and CEO of Scanadu, a company that plans to sell a consumer-geared gadget that, along with a smartphone, tracks vital signs like blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate. If the device sounds a bit like the fictional tricorder from Star Trek, it should: Scanadu’s team is among those competing in the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, a multiyear, $10 million challenge to build such a device for the health-care field.

    The smartphone app—currently just for iPhone, though an Android version is in development—will keep a record of your vital signs and data from any Scanadu test you take.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Automating communications measurement

    Automating communications measurement involves more than merely creating a push-button interface to control instruments. An ideal automated system combines data analysis, instrument control, and reporting.

    For example, such a system might fit a model to measured data, compare model predictions to new measurement data, and summarize the results in a document. Most currently available automated systems are good at one of these tasks but not others—for example, a solution might offer excellent instrument control but poor data analysis abilities.

    This article shows how you can automate the entire measurement process in MATLAB.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    My Opinion on PLM in the Cloud

    We’ve been talking lately about designing in the cloud. It can be a nice productivity enhancer, especially for a geographically dispersed design team. Taking this concept one step beyond simply designing in the cloud, I’m now looking at cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) software.

    Depending on the software that you choose — and there are a few variants — it could be available on any type of device. And depending on how you choose to manage that software, it could be available to anyone in the organization (or whomever management chooses).

    PLM software has been with us for a long time. If you include the old manual methods, PLM has been around as long as manufacturing has been around. But the PLM that we are familiar with today dates back about 25 years. That’s the software that’s used to guide products through their lives and to build value around those products. The roots of PLM go back to the aerospace and automotive OEM industries — the large Boeing-type companies of that generation.

    Though many improvements have come to PLM software over the years, the overall framework hasn’t changed much. Cloud-based PLM offers a significant change.

    The alternatives to traditional PLM aren’t very pretty. In most cases where the specialized software is not deployed, a manual approach is in place. Some places use conventional Microsoft Office tools, like Outlook, Excel, or Project. This is certainly one way to manage data and processes and to try and get people to collaborate. But as you might expect, it’s quite difficult to implement across multiple departments, disciplines, and/or geographies. Unless it’s a single person who doesn’t need any collaboration, this method is generally not recommended.

    In general, a manufacturer of any size that needs to conceive, engineer, manufacture, sell, maintain, renew, etc. would benefit from PLM software, whether it’s cloud-based or not. The parties that really need access to information include engineering, research and development, operational management, quality compliance, supply management, sales, field service, manufacturing, and maintenance. In some cases, that information needs to flow externally to suppliers and customers.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Synthesis no longer the killer app

    Synthesis was the killer app in the transition to the RTL design paradigm. It provided a significant increase in design productivity and provided a level of abstraction that was highly suited to standardization and interoperability. When it became clear that a new level of abstraction had become necessary, everyone expected that it would again be synthesis that would be the killer app, but as so often happens – they were wrong. History never really repeats itself. This time it is not the design flow that is the bottleneck in the process, but has been supplanted by two other areas whose needs are much more dire, namely verification and software.

    Both of these application areas are helped by a single application – the virtual prototype. But why is design no longer the bottleneck. Simply because the majority of the area on a chip is being taken up by IP or reuse.

    But software has also risen to become one of the biggest expense areas of systems. Without software a chip is well – just a chip. Software used to be developed on prototype chips or systems, but this is way too late in the development cycle these days. Not only do they have to be done in parallel, but software needs to be able to influence the hardware design and specification. This is where companies can now differentiate themselves. In addition, software has become a lot more difficult with multiple heterogeneous processors and debug is just not possible on real systems in many cases.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Press Release:
    Tensilica Licensees Ship Two Billion IP Cores; License Revenue Now Larger than Any Other DSP Licensing Company

    Run Rate of 800 Million Cores a Year is up 50 Percent Over 2011

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. – October 10, 2012 –Tensilica, Inc. today announced that its licensees have recorded shipments of over two billion Tensilica DPUs (dataplane processor units). Tensilica’s licensees are now shipping at a run rate of approximately 800 million Tensilica DPU IP cores per year, which is more than a 50 percent increase over the run rate announced in June 2011, when the company reached its one billionth core shipment.

    “IP companies get revenue from two sources: licensing and royalties,” stated J. Scott Gardner, senior analyst at The Linley Group. “Licensing revenue is a leading indicator of future royalty revenue. Often it takes two to three years for royalties to come in after a new design license is signed. So this rise in licensing revenue bodes well for future royalty revenue for Tensilica.”

    Tensilica attributes the growth in unit shipments to new designs ramping to volume production in smartphones, digital televisions, tablets, personal and notebook computers, and storage and networking applications. To see some of the products currently shipping that include Tensilica’s DPUs, please see Tensilica’s web site.

  10. Free codes says:

    My brother recommended I may like this web site. He was entirely right. This publish actually made my day. You can not consider just how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Antitrust: Commission fines producers of TV and computer monitor tubes € 1.47 billion for two decade-long cartels

    The European Commission has fined seven international groups of companies a total of € 1 470 515 000 for participating in either one or both of two distinct cartels in the sector of cathode ray tubes (“CRT”). For almost ten years, between 1996 and 2006, these companies fixed prices, shared markets, allocated customers between themselves and restricted their output. One cartel concerned colour picture tubes used for televisions and the other one colour display tubes used in computer monitors. The cartels operated worldwide.

    The infringements found by the Commission therefore cover the entire European Economic Area (EEA). Chunghwa, LG Electronics, Philips and Samsung SDI participated in both cartels, while Panasonic, Toshiba, MTPD (currently a Panasonic subsidiary) and Technicolor (formerly Thomson) participated only in the cartel for television tubes. Chunghwa received full immunity from fines under the Commission’s 2006 Leniency Notice for the two cartels, as it was the first to reveal their existence to the Commission.

    The two CRT cartels are among the most organised cartels that the Commission has investigated. For almost 10 years, the cartelists carried out the most harmful anti-competitive practices including price fixing, market sharing, customer allocation, capacity and output coordination and exchanges of commercial sensitive information.

    For instance, in a document found during the Commission’s inspections, a warning goes as follows: “Everybody is requested to keep it as secret as it would be serious damage if it is open to customers or European Commission”.

    “Please dispose the following document after reading it”.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Challenge: Internal Optical Links in CE Devices–Are We There Yet?—Part II

    Ultra-Low Power Optical Links – A Valid Alternative

    An ideal alternative able to eliminate all the shortcomings of electrical cables is ultra-low power optical links. They are very small in size and come in the form of active optical cables. Active optical cable basically means that there is no optical connector involved but the conversion from electrical to optical signals and vice versa happens within the electrical connectors assembled at the ends of the optical cable.

    Ultra-low power optical links for portable consumer devices are readily available from several manufacturers in Asia, Europe and North America. Dependent on the application, they come based on polymer optical fibers or as planar optical waveguides. They may be embedded within FPC or are available as super thin hybrid cables that combine electrical low-speed wires with optical waveguides. They are available as uni-directional or bi-directional solutions.

    Such short-haul optical links exhibit a number of benefits, since photons are constrained by a different set of physical considerations to those of electrons. Interestingly the key benefit gained from optical links is the low-power consumption needed to transport high-speed data.

    Today there is a new series of ultra-low power VCSEL drivers and photodiode transimpedance amplifiers with maximum data rates ranging from 3 Gbps to 12.5 Gbps. For example, operating a 3Gbps-link at below 10 mW, equals an energy of 3.3 pJ per bit! At 3 Gbps this energy might be comparable to that of electrical links going a few centimeters. However, here the interesting aspect is, that just the same energy is needed to go several meters. Moreover, it is almost the same energy needed to go with 12.5 Gbps over several meters. In this case an active optical cable based on this chip set requires 4 pJ per bit, only!

    Polymer optical fibers or planar optical waveguides do have a few more notable features that are pretty interesting and make them superior over their electrical counterparts.

    For example, if such an optical waveguide is mechanically stressed with a bending radius of only 1mm, then, even after 1 million bending cycles, there is no real measurable increase of the insertion loss.

    One of the most important advantages that optics has to offer for mobile and consumer electronic devices is its immunity against EMI.

    The elimination of EMI and many physical constraints have granted liberties to system designers that they did not previously have.

    Not all electrical signals may easily be transported via optics, especially raw video data can present long sequences of consecutive “zeros“ or “ones“ essentially resembling a DC signal.

    Signal encoding schemes, like 8B/10B encoding can alleviate this problem

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Electrical design is getting more complicated—the electronics on even the “simplest” machines are sometimes beyond what the big carmakers were doing 25 years back with big engineering teams and the best CAD tools available.

    Today’s electrical engineers need more than basic electrical drawing
    software; they need tools that take the complexity out of the task—helping them work smarter and faster.

    Source: Electronics Development Bulletin http://subscriber.emediausa.com/Bulletins/BulletinPreview.aspx?BF=1&BRID=43435

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Will Samsung’s next Galaxy phone have an unbreakable, flexible screen? Analysts claim ‘Project J’ handset could be on sale in April

    Samsung is believed to be secretly preparing a new version of its Galaxy handset that uses a radical ‘bendable’ screen that is virtually unbreakable.

    Codenamed ‘Project J’ after mobile division chief JK Shin, development of the new Galaxy S IV could be released as early as April, according to analysts and tech blogs.

    Experts believe that as smartphones increasingly look alike, an unbreakable screen could be a big selling point for the Galaxy, which is battling Apple iPhone to lead the $200 billion plus smartphone market.

    Samsung, a major backer of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, is a frontrunner in developing unbreakable screens, as OLED panels can replace glass substrate with plastic material. Down the road, mobile gadgets could be flexible as well as unbreakable.

    “Eventually, they’ll have unbreakable and flexible displays”

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Global Semiconductor Sales Increase in October, Remain Above Seasonal Rate

    Americas spur October growth; industry projects slight decrease in global sales in 2012, followed by moderate growth in 2013 and 2014

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Dec. 4, 2012—The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design, today announced that worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $25.22 billion for the month of October 2012, a 1.7 percent increase from the prior month when sales were $24.79 billion. Monthly sales topped $25 billion for the first time in 2012 and remained above the seasonal growth rate in October. Total year-to-date sales in 2012 were down 3.7 percent compared to the same time last year, but the deficit was smaller than it has been all year. Regionally, sales increased in the Americas by 8.1 percent, marking the region’s largest sequential monthly upsurge in the last decade. All monthly sales numbers represent a three-month moving average.

    “The global semiconductor industry has demonstrated impressive resilience this year, despite operating in a challenging global macroeconomic environment,”

    Beyond 2012, the industry is expected to grow steadily and moderately across all regions, according to the WSTS forecast. WSTS predicts 4.5 percent growth globally for 2013 ($303 billion in total sales) and 5.2 percent growth for 2014 ($319 billion).

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A shortage of components bully cell phone manufacturers

    Shortage of the most important components difficult for new generation of smartphones. This slows down the new Nokia Lumia 920′s asset sales, 3T estimate of analysts interviewed. Equipment manufacturers are fighting foe the same components.

    The most critical factor is to get the ARM-architecture processors and graphics processors, as well as display panels and 4G-LTE chips.

    There is biggest lack of a camera and display component.

    Research firm Gartner research director Carolina Milanesi believes that many semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm’s chips are in short supply.

    “Component shortages have plagued Apple and Samsung also throughout the year,” says Strategy Analytics director Neil Mawston.

    Apple has already reduced its dependence on rival Samsung by increasing the number of component suppliers.

    Source: http://www.tietokone.fi/uutiset/komponenttipula_kiusaa_kannyvalmistajia

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Imagination ups MIPS bid in embedded processor takeover battle

    The UK’s Imagination Technologies is back on track to buy the operating business and some intellectual property of US chip designer MIPS, whose architecture is found in a variety of embedded systems.

    Imagination had already said in early November that it would spend $60m (£37m) on the deal, only for mobile chip firm CEVA to step in with a counterbid of $75m.

    Imagination is best known for its PowerVR graphics technology, which is frequently used in mobile devices and embedded systems. MIPS-based processors have powered all kinds of devices over the years, ranging from the PlayStation 2 to supercomputers, but are these days most frequently found in digital televisions and set-top boxes, including those running Android.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New transistor tech could beat silicon and save Moore’s Law
    Indium gallium arsenide tapped for smaller, faster chips

    Boffins at MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories have developed the world’s smallest transistor made of indium gallium arsenide, a substance they say could replace silicon as the go-to material for building tomorrow’s ultra-fast, ultra-small microchips.

    The tiny transistor is just 22nm in length, according to a report by MIT’s in-house news agency, but it offers good logic performance.

    That may not sound so impressive on first take, considering that Intel already uses a 22nm process to fabricate its newest-generation Core processors, with 14nm on the way.

    But etching transistors much smaller than that using today’s silicon-wafer processes will be tricky, because the smaller the transistors get, more difficult it is for them to handle current efficiently. Researchers believe we are fast approaching a “brick wall,” after which point shrinking silicon transistors any further will be infeasible.

    Indium gallium arsenide has long been a promising candidate, however, because its ability to conduct electrons is superior to silicon’s at the nanometer scale – about five times better, in fact.

    The material is already widely used in fiber-optic applications and in radar systems. The trick, however, has been figuring out how to create transistors with it that are small enough to be usable in microprocessors.

    According to del Alamo, the group’s next step will be to try to shrink the size of the transistors it can produce even smaller than 22nm, with the ultimate goal of reducing them to below 10nm.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tiny compound semiconductor transistor could challenge silicon’s dominance
    MIT researchers develop the smallest indium gallium arsenide transistor ever built.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Intel says on track to launch smaller mobile chips

    Intel presented new manufacturing technology that it said keeps it on track to launch a new generation of chips for smartphones and tablets as it rushes to catch up with Qualcomm and other rivals in the fast-growing mobile market.

    “Intel’s 22 nm SoC technology will be ready for high volume manufacturing in 2013,” Intel said in a copy of the presentation.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Accuracy or fidelity?

    Let’s face it – everything in the EDA industry is based on simplification, estimates and experience. If we took the time to deal with all of the data, all of the time, we would never get anything done. The industry has grown up, particularly in the digital domain, by taking ever more high-level views of the system that take into account 90 or 95% of the issues that would be encountered in the real silicon and dealing with the remaining issues in a more ad-hoc manner, such as timing closure, optical proximity correction, and more recently by pushing rules higher up into the development process.

    But chips are subject to random variability and because of the geometries these days, those random variations are becoming a bigger issue. We are creating devices where we can count the number of electrons or atoms that make up an active region of a device in the single digits. A difference of one atom suddenly makes a big difference in gate thickness and a corresponding change in its performance. In some cases it will result in a defective chip that impacts your yield and profit margin.

    So while the smaller geometries are implying that we must take more detail into account, the size of the chips and systems is pushing us in the other direction. We must start designing systems at a much higher level of abstraction and by definition, abstraction is the removal of detail that is not necessary for that level of decision making. Removal of detail is a reduction of accuracy in that particular domain.

    Consider two design options yield a value for A of 5 and for B of 18 based on runs using a virtual prototype and that a smaller number is considered better. The analysis is showing that A is clearly the better choice. Very little faith can be placed on the value of 5 being accurate, but there should be a high level of confidence that A is the better solution.

    If the differences between them are small, and within a certain level of tolerance, then it may be telling you that the two design options are undifferentiatable at that level and the choice is somewhat arbitrary.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Toshiba reveals spin transfer RAM
    Beats SRAM power consumption by 90% thanks to perpendicular magnetization

    Toshiba has revealed it has developed a model for transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory (STT-MRAM) and has claimed it has, for the first time, beaten the power requirements of static random-access memory (SRAM).

    STT-MRAM has been on memory-makers’ radar for a few years, and works by imparting spin – the angular momentum possessed by an electron – to a storage medium. Controlling spin, rather than the state of a transistor, becomes the way to store data. It’s then possible to read the spin, which can go either left or right and therefore represent zero or one. STT-RAM is non-volatile.

    there’s no word on just when STT-MRAM might appear in a device

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Long-Familiar Name, Data I/O, Will Show Off Azido

    In the era 20 to 25 years ago, as FPGAs were first taking over from Programmable Logic Devices, the name Data I/O was everywhere (www.dataio.com). The Redmond, Wash. company specialized in programming PLDs with desktop hardware.

    Its core programming talent has shifted to flash memory and microcontrollers, though the company’s latest moves could take it back into the center of FPGA development.

    The company will be demonstrating its work with a new graphic-based programming language, Azido, which is being touted by several players as a replacement for text-based languages such as Verilog and VHDL.

    In April 2011, Data I/O acquired Azido technology from an undisclosed developer for $3 million in cash and shares. The technology supposedly has its roots in a supercomputing language called Viva.

    Data I/O may face an uphill battle to get Azido more widely accepted among FPGA developers and EDA software specialists.

    But given the limitations of Verilog and VHDL, many FPGA users and designers may be happy to take a look at graphical alternatives.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IBM achieves 25Gbit/s photonics breakthrough
    Shines a light into the future of chip development

    IBM has made a breakthrough in nanophotonics research that it claimed will enable it to integrate optical components with electrical circuits on silicon chips.

    Now the firm says it has made a breakthrough in sub-100nm chip geometry that allows optical components to be built alongside traditional semiconductor circuits that use electrons to transmit signals.

    IBM said its 90nm process node was able to produce chips that have optical channels with bandwidths greater than 25Gbit/s per channel. The firm also said the nanophotonic features can feed multiple parallel data streams on a single fibre by using wavelength division multiplexing.

    “This technology breakthrough is a result of more than a decade of pioneering research at IBM. This allows us to move silicon nanophotonics technology into a real-world manufacturing environment that will have impact across a range of applications.”

    IBM isn’t the only chipmaker looking at photons to transfer signals in chips.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fabrication Technique Gives Graphene the Flexibility for Future Transistors

    In 2012, the IBM Watson Research Center’s 3D transistors featured in the Ivy Bridge design. Researchers worldwide are looking to another medium to take silicon’s place — something that has superior conductivity, produces lower noise, and can operate at astronomical frequencies that silicon could never achieve.

    That material is poised to be grapheme — a one-atom-thick sheet of pure carbon arranged in a honeycomb lattice of bonded carbon atoms. It’s relatively hard to produce in large quantities but has an incredibly high electron mobility rate.

    Attempts to use or implement graphene in electronic components such as transistors has been frustratingly slow.

    The researchers say this method allowed them to create a band-gap with 0.5 electron-volts in 1.4-nm bent sections of the graphene ribbons. This creates not only a fully functional band-gap in the graphene material, but also the possibility of fabricating an entire circuit out of the graphene material. Their method could be utilized in ultra-fast electronics that use all-carbon integrated circuits in the near future.

    Myriad scientists and researchers have explored the use of graphene as a substitute for silicon in electronics since 3D graphite was theorized to have electrical properties in 1947. But only in the last few years or so have great strides been made in graphene’s capabilities.

    The future looks bright for the super-material, it but doesn’t bode well for its silicon cousin. As electronics become smaller and faster, graphene transistors will become the center of attention in helping that transition from old-school to fast future in the coming decade.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Advanced SoC Devices Are Developing in Interesting Ways

    The world of SoCs was once a simpler place. SoCs were a compromise between very general-purpose processors and specialized ASICs where the differences often amounted to a selected mix of peripherals. That is definitely changing.

    Whatever it is, it seems that it will include a 32-bit processor core. But after that, the devices and configurable functions that are showing up in the latest SoCs seem to be aimed at both highly configurable capabilities as well as at certain specialized tasks that some applications will use most frequently. In all cases, the watchword appears to be low power. And increasingly, safety and security are required as built-in features.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Electronics Work Inside the Body, Then Disappear

    When a doctor uses an electronic device to treat a patient outside of surgery, it’s generally used externally on the body. But what if a device could be used internally to treat a patient and then disappear once treatment was over?

    That’s the promise of research by scientists at Tufts University, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana, who have collaborated to build electronic devices that can provide treatment and then dissolve inside the body for safe and effective disposal.

    A transient electronic device is inserted once in what would be a fairly simple procedure given its small size — much thinner than a piece of hair and about as long as a nickel. No surgery is then required to remove the device, making it easier on patients on whom it may be used, Huang told us.

    Removable devices also create excess waste material by going in the trash after they are used, unlike their dissolvable alternatives. This aspect of the devices could one day have a wider impact on how consumer electronics are designed.

    This transience — or existence only for a short time — is contrary to the design of electronics in general, which are built to last, he added. Indeed, the time constraint proved to be the trickiest problem to solve when designing the devices, while deciding on the material for their construction was fairly straightforward. To build the devices, researchers looked for “material that is biocompatible, that is not poisonous to the human body,” Huang said.

    Researchers tried a range of materials, testing their ability to dissolve in water and body liquid, before deciding on magnesium to create the circuit components and silicon for semiconductors, placing the entire system on a thin film of silk. These are all materials that can exist inside the body without doing harm, Huang said.

    “The key word is control — to make it disappear in a controlled way,” Huang said. An electronic material that can dissolve in the body itself has very little control over how long it lasts. However, by putting an encapsulation layer made of magnesium oxide around the device, researchers could control the dissolution time “very precisely… between a few hours or as long as six months.”

    Aside from medical applications and the potential for consumer devices, these types of transient electronics can also benefit other scientific endeavors. “It can be used for environmental health monitoring, such as in an oil spill,”

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Imagination Tech raises MIPS offer to $100 million

    British chip designer Imagination Technologies on Monday agreed to buy MIPS for $100 million after it outbid Ceva Inc for a second time.

    MIPS was a pioneer of 32-bit and 64-bit processing, and its technology is in blu-ray players, digital televisions and video games consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 2.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    10 energy harvesting solutions for 2012

    Biomechanical energy harvesting from human motion offers a promising clean alternative to electrical power supplied by batteries for mobile electronic devices.

    Energy harvesting is the use of ambient energy to provide electricity for small and mobile equipment, whether electrical or electronic. Four main ambient energy sources are present in our environment: mechanical energy (vibrations, deformations), thermal energy (temperature gradients or variations), radiant energy (sun, infrared, RF) and chemical energy (chemistry, biochemistry).

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Leviton bringing wallplate manufacturing back to the U.S.

    Leviton recently announced it is transferring the manufacturer process of its QuickPort data-communication wallplates product line from China to the United States. “Beginning now through early 2013, production will transition from Leviton’s manufacturing plant in China to Leviton’s Network Solutions plant in Bothell, Washington,” the company said.

    The company also noted that for 25 years the Bothell facility has manufactured copper and fiber-optic network connectivity, as well as power-distribution units for enterprise, data center and other commercial markets worldwide.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Open-Source Hardware Hacker Ladyada Awarded Entrepreneur of the Year

    “Limor ‘Ladyada’ Fried of open-source hardware company Adafruit Industries was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur Magazine.”

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why do I need an RTL to GDS flow?

    Do you use flows in your design process? Of course you do – everyone does, and they need to be constantly maintained and updated. As development teams grow and become distributed around the world, it can be hard to ensure that all team members are using, or even aware of, the well tried and trusted methodologies that have been developed within a company or within the industry as a whole. This is where standardized flows can help and can guide the usage of tools to obtain the best possible results based on the experience of the flow developer, methodology creators such as IP vendors and foundries and the internal company knowledge that adds domain specific expertise or custom tools.

    Flows are an important aspect of the design

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RF DACs simplify power and space in downstream cable transmitter systems

    The amount of broadband data used over cable systems has grown tremendously over the last ten years. Since 2003, the number of subscribers to broadband data over cable services has increased at a compound annual growth rate approaching 14%

    These services provide higher downstream and upstream bandwidths for heavy data users. The trend of increased data use shows no signs of slowing, as more and more consumers utilize Web-based services for video streaming, audio-streaming, and gaming.

    Cable service providers are upgrading their distribution systems to stay ahead of the increased consumer demand for data.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The $1 million recall

    This story began in 2003 when a 1000W PM (power module), which just a day before was part of huge optical telecom network, came from the field being heavily burned.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Analog Devices introduces two waveform generators

    Analog Devices, Inc. has introduced the AD9106 quad-channel, 12-bit, and the AD9102 single-channel, 14-bit, 180-MSPS D/A converters, integrating on-chip static random access memory and direct digital synthesis for complex waveform generation.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Stop Expenses From Leaking Away

    As recent extreme weather events have once again demonstrated, water, our most treasured resource, can also be a source of widespread and costly damage to society.

    This is not just applicable to structural deterioration and loss of infrastructure induced by flooding, but equally with technological issues where even the smallest amount of water leaking into an electric circuit can result in a complete shutdown of the system. My concern is that with such extensive use of electronics in business, communications, and heavy industries, the risk of economic loss by water leaks is higher than ever.

    After researching solutions, I discovered a whole range of leak detection systems out there, each designed specifically to suit our needs but all helping us avoid the horrendous circumstances created by water

    It’s possible for businesses to protect themselves against such difficulties by installing water leak detection systems and alarms, whereby special water-detecting equipment is fitted in susceptible zones and connected to audible or visual alerts to incite an immediate response.

    Complete environment sensing is starting to appear everywhere. Attending Sensor Expo earlier this year really showed the initiative in the area. Several companies are showing off their wireless sensor and monitoring services with much gusto. They all make you feel like water, pressure, heat and the like are out to destroy all you design and love. Hopefully, tech like this can be integrated in everything in the future. Every device, a smart monitoring device.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Intel, AMD, Nvidia and ARM: 2012 semiconductor year in review

    Competition heated up as firms tried to cut power and improve graphics performance

    CHIP VENDORS have concentrated their efforts in improving GPU performance in 2012, with AMD, Intel and Nvidia all pushing the graphics – and general purpose GPU computing – capabilities of their products thanks to manufacturing improvements. The INQUIRER has a look at the major semiconductor vendors and how they fared during 2012.

  38. Tomi says:

    Adafruit To Teach Electronics Through Puppets In New Kids Show

    “Wired has an article up about how Adafruit, the kit-based electronics retailer and promoter of hobbyist engineering, is aiming to teach electronics to a younger demographic. So young that they’re enlisting the help of puppets”

  39. Tomi says:

    Adafruit to Teach Electronics Through Puppets in New Kids’ Show

    Adafruit, the kit-based electronics retailer and promoter of hobbyist engineering, is aiming to teach electronics to a younger demographic. So young that they’re enlisting the help of puppets.

    Their new online show, titled Circuit Playground, will teach the essentials of electronics and circuitry to children through kid-friendly dolls with names like Cappy the Capacitor and Hans the 555 Timer Chip. Limor “Ladyada” Fried, Adafruit’s founder and chief engineer (and 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year), will host the episodes, with her team assisting with onscreen and puppeteering duties.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wild rides and hot technologies

    It’s safe to say that 2012 has been a wild ride for all of us.

    The macroeconomic climate, from Europe across the oceans to China, has seen so much uncertainty and stagnation that corporations and analysts alike, for fear of missing their numbers, are making the most conservative forecasts possible. Indeed, many have already ratcheted back their expectations for 2013.

  41. Courtney Reiland says:

    this article is exactly what i have been looking for! found this page bookmarked from a friend of mine. I will also share it. thanks!

  42. sbt66 says:

    When I first saw this title Electronics technologies for 2012 Tomi Engdahl’s ePanorama blog on google I just whent and bookmark it. Stopped working after just two or three weeks. The metal sheathing on the round prong of the plug seems to be loose or damaged. The adaptor was carried in my laptop bag and should have been fine. I don’t have any idea how the plug end could have sustained damage that would have made it stop working. It cost less than $10, so I guess you get what you pay for…

  43. Carolyne Nickson says:

    Great blog here! Also your website quite a bit up fast! What host are you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink on your host? I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  44. Johnathon Szewc says:

    higoodblog thanks for the info.

  45. Lincoln Poletti says:

    Can I just declare exactly what a reduction to discover somebody that really knows just what they are speaking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring a worry for you to light and earn it essential. The best way to must read this along with understand why side of the account. I find it difficult to think youre no more common when you certainly have the gift.

  46. Deon Brinks says:

    Spot up with this write-up, I truly think this site needs considerably more concern. I’ll apt to be once again you just read a lot more, appreciate your that will details.

  47. Veronica Yoshimoto says:

    Thanks for revealing valuable information!!! I found this article and I absolutrly love it. Please post much more articles defintely getting excited about seeing your postings in the furture.

  48. MrWatch promo codes says:

    Hi! Thanks for the nice post, very informative.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *