Electronics Design

Acceleration of program execution

Current design methodologies, whether for software or hardware, are in constant pursuit of making applications faster. In the office PC environment there is more than enough power for typical business applications, and they can be written using tools that are not the most optimized for execution speed (for example Java, .NET, scripting languages, web application

How low can 32 bits processors go?

Moore’s Law observes that the number of transistors doubles for the same area every two years. Strange that this law has hold for a long time. This has made some people to predict that that 32-bit processors will replace 8-bit processors. The argument starts with the fact that the relative size difference between an 8-

Unbalanced to impedance balanced

Just about all professional equipment uses balanced audio lines, which, if properly executed, will eliminate the hum completely. They help especially with long interconnects where earth loops can be a real pain. Circuits driving balanced lines must themselves be balanced to maintain the benefits of balance. This may be achieved by differential signaling, transformer coupling

OLED display is not dead

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are solid-state devices composed of thin films of organic molecules that create light with the application of electricity. OLEDs are a promising technology for flat panel displays. Compared to standard LCDs (including those with LED backlighting), OLED displays offer better contrast ratios (no trouble producing ‘true’ black’), require no backlighting at

Burn out: Weak links affect HB-LED lifetime

High-brightness LEDs for solid-state lighting can last 50,000 hours or more, but the components surrounding them generate heat that can cause early failures. The early failures can be seen on many LED products, especially the cheap ones. Lighting products have historically been reliable, but as electronics-rich CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) began to replace incandescent bulbs,

Mini Amiga

Minimig (short for Mini Amiga) is an open source re-implementation of an Amiga 500 using a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The original Minimig prototype is based on the Xilinx Spartan-3 Starter Kit, the Original Amiga Chipset is synthesized in the FPGA. The prototype was shown at an Amiga meet and loads most Amiga programs although

Look inside Logitech Squeezebox Boom

White paper: Logitech Squeezebox Boom audio design is an interesting in-depth look behind the design of an all-in-one network music player from one of its lead designers. This device includes amplifier and speakers and other music player electronics in one box. One of its lead designers tells the story. Image source: http://www.logitechsqueezebox.com/product_matrix.html

High Speed Lightning Videos

Lightning Reveals Its Power in Slow Motion article on Wired has a series of videos that combines severe weather, electricity, and technology. The maker of those videos, Tom Warner, documents the powerful beauty of lightning with an array of optical and electromagnetic sensors. “Lightning is one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena,” says Warner. “I want

Extremely simple stepper driver circuit

The normal way to drive a stepper motor is to use switched-dc voltages to energize the stepper motor coils one by one after each other. But a stepper motor will run off ac lines if you introduce a 90° phase shift between the voltages applied to the motor’s two windings. The extremely simple circuit in