by Suzanne Deffree @ edn.com:
Intel announced its 4004 processor and its chipset through an ad in Electronic News on November 15, 1971, making them the first complete CPU on one chip and the first commercially available microprocessor.
The building-block 4004 CPU held 2300 transistors. The microprocessor, the size of a little fingernail, delivered the same computing power as the first electronic computer built in 1946, which, in contrast, filled a room. Full technical details for the 4004 can be found in this January 1972 EDN story on the technology: One-Chip CPU available for low-cost dedicated computers.
Intel 4004 is announced, November 15, 1971 - [Link]
by Susan Nordyk:
A four-channel PMBus digital power-system manager IC, the LTC2975 from Linear Technology, performs current, power, and energy monitoring of the intermediate-bus input to point-of-load (POL) converters. The device relieves the host of burdensome computation and poling by providing the energy consumed, reported in joules, and the elapsed time through a PMBus interface. When combined with its digital measurements of POL output voltages, current, and power, the input data enables long-term monitoring of a power system’s conversion efficiency.
Monitor IC optimizes board energy consumption - [Link]
The LTC2645 is a family of quad 12-, 10-, and 8-bit PWM-to-voltage output DACs with an integrated high accuracy, low drift, 10ppm/°C reference in a 16-lead MSOP package. It has rail-to-rail output buffers and is guaranteed monotonic. The LTC2645 measures the period and pulse width of the PWM input signals and updates the voltage output DACs after each corresponding PWM input rising edge. The DAC outputs update and settle to 12-bit accuracy within 8μs typically and are capable of sourcing and sinking up to 5mA (3V) or 10mA (5V), eliminating voltage ripple and replacing slow analog filters and buffer amplifiers.
LTC2645 – Quad 12-/10-/8-Bit PWM to VOUT DACs - [Link]
Silicon Labs have introduced a tiny 3 mm square hybrid TV tuner chip which supports reception of all worldwide terrestrial and cable TV transmission standards. According to its preliminary data sheet its design eliminates the need for an external balun, LNAs, SAW filters, and inductive power supply filtering. Some competing TV tuner solutions also eliminate the balun but can suffer from degraded NF and second-order distortion, which compromises reception. A fully-integrated 1.8 V LDO power supply regulator enables single supply operation, while a dual supply option offers additional system flexibility. Increased immunity to LTE interference and a harmonic rejection mixer filters out Wi-Fi interference and eliminates the need for external filtering.
Tiny hybrid TV Tuner - [Link]
by Rob Matheson @ phys.org:
Stream video on your smartphone, or use its GPS for an hour or two, and you’ll probably see the battery drain significantly. As data rates climb and smartphones adopt more power-hungry features, battery life has become a concern. Now a technology developed by MIT spinout Eta Devices could help a phone’s battery last perhaps twice as long, and help to conserve energy in cell towers.
Beating battery drain: Power-conserving chip may increase smartphone battery life - [Link]
by Nancy Owano @ phys.org:
Technology from a Taiwanese semiconductor foundry is to bring considerable benefits in performance and power efficiency to big.LITTLE implementations, in the name of FinFET. Hsinchu, Taiwan-based TSMC announced last month it had successfully produced the first fully functional ARM-based networking processor with FinFET technology and explained how TSMC’s 16FinFET process promises speed and power improvements as well as leakage reduction.
TSMC, ARM see impressive results with FinFET process - [Link]
Ioannis Kedros writes:
It’s been a long time since I’ve post a new hobby project of mine! I decided that is time to upload a new one! Like my Sensor Stick module this project will be about sensors as well.
You can find multiple modules out there with various sensing ICs that almost all of them look exactly the same! They are ugly and without properly markings on their surface.
For example, some of those don’t have the input voltage range on the PCB or the pin out names or even the sensor address (in the case of a digital I2C sensors for example). In order to find that info, you have to download files, unzip them, look the schematics of the module then the datasheet of the sensor etc. A time consuming method especially for a quick and dirty prototype!
embeddedday.com – Sensor Modules - [Link]
The LM43600 SIMPLE SWITCHER® regulator is an easy to use synchronous step-down DC-DC converter capable of driving up to 0.5 A of load current from an input voltage ranging from 3.5 V to 36 V (42 V transient). The LM43600 provides exceptional efficiency, output accuracy and drop-out voltage in a very small solution size. An extended family is available in 1 A, 2 A and 3 A load current options in pin-to-pin compatible packages.
LM43600 – SIMPLE SWITCHER® 3.5V to 36V, 500mA Synchronous Step-Down Voltage Converter - [Link]
A good beginner app note (PDF) from NXP on protecting ICs from ESD.
Integrated circuits are sensitive to electrostatic discharge (a sudden and short-time flow of currents) and electromagnetic fields (at which they can be source or victim of both of it). This application note shall be understood as an introductive basic description of what electrostatic discharge is, how sensitive devices can be protected against electrostatic discharges, what electromagnetic compatibility means and how electromagnetic sensitivity can be tested.
App note: ESD and EMC sensitivity of IC - [Link]
One thing IBM emphasizes about its neurosynaptic chip is that it works like the “right” brain, which means intuition and jumping to conclusions, whereas the “left” brain works more like a traditional computer: R. Colin Johnson
IBM Builds World’s Biggest Brain-Chip - [Link]