Tech Notes

Teaming Up with the Right Partner for Enabling Next-gen Enterprise Mobility

As a CIO, all these years you have been managing a huge onus of myriad of IT goals and challenges. You have been instrumental in a slew of tactical and operational responsibilities that include developing an IT policy, administration of IT platforms, supervising technical infrastructure, managing business delivery solutions and mentoring other critical activities such as maintaining web systems, customer management platforms, workflow applications and the like. Also you have been expected to ensure adequate management of IT services, safeguard system health and smooth execution of projects. Phew! Seems you have been spreading yourself too thin. But is it over? Not really. With smartphone saga ushering in an avalanche ...

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Engineering with EMC Awareness

Any electromagnetic or radio frequency energy that unintentionally disturbs the functionality of an electrical or electronic equipment is termed as Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). This interfering energy can be produced by a device or equipment itself or by other devices within close proximity. But if the equipment can function without loss in quality or reliability under influence of such an EMI, then the equipment is said to have Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) or to be under EMI control.   Some common examples of Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) are  

  1. Surge & Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
  2. RF electromagnetic field disturbances (both conducted & radiated)
  3. Electrical Fast Transients (EFT)
  Electronic design engineers have long been puzzled by various ...

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Smart Enunciator for Automobiles

In recent times there has been tremendous growth in the market for smart devices. Not only have they become entrenched in our daily lives but are also becoming very powerful and business oriented. Indeed we depend on our smart devices for everyday tasks more than ever—and for tasks that didn't ven exist only a year or two ago. And the possibilities that make the smart device ‘smart’ are continually changing. Automotive telemetry, for example is one such domain where smart devices are unlocking unprecedented levels of innovations, usefulness and benefits (safety, guidance, convenience & the like) for car drivers.   Given their processing power, versatility, popularity, and relatively low cost (compared to other monitoring ...

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The Life Saver – An In-vehicle Accident Safety Device

On a slow, hot April afternoon I was heading to my Koba office. My car had juggled for a good 30 minutes through a maze of bumpy, crowded Ahmedabad roads and as I approached Avani circle I had felt a sense of relief – the rest of the road would be an uncluttered highway which meant smooth sailing and I could focus on my work in my driver driven vehicle. As we cruised along the highway, a myriad of thoughts occupied my mind – on consolidating marketing and sales at Ascenten, on test results of our recent metering project and on my impending trip abroad. In a few minutes I ...

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USB 2.0 to Ethernet Converter

The market today is inundated with various converters and one can find a multitude of USB to Ethernet converters - those that work in the temperature range of -25 to +50 degree Celsius and can convert USB 2.0 to Ethernet and vice versa. In other words, these are more like one-way conversion units and generally suitable to use with laptops or general computers only.   However, a converter that can work on an industrial USB 2.0 port and function in the temperature range of -40 to +85 degree celsius is not easily available in the market. An industrial USB port is by design different from the normal USB ports of computers.   Ascenten has ...

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X-Ray Inspection of a BGA

Ease or Dis-Ease of Miniaturization

In today’s world, miniaturization may be the holy grail of success in designing and building certain portable electronic equipment. A mobile phone is expected to substitute a laptop in functionality without growing a bit in size and weight. Many times design engineers can face an arduous task of increasing product features while reducing form factor and may need to use miniaturized BGA packages when available. For many types of ICs, such as FPGAs and high performance processors, BGA is the only package choice available these days.   However, a BGA cannot be hand-soldered and a manual pick and place machine may not be able to handle this ...

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FPGA Bridge

FPGA as a Bridge between 400 MSPS ADC and 10 MHz Throughput DSP

  When we talk of precision instrumentation, we are looking at a system that can manage highly complex math-intensive tasks, since the data collected from physical sensors need a complex degree of calculations to be measured. Although a DSP is well suited for extremely complex math-intensive tasks, it cannot process high sampling rate applications due to its serial architecture.   ASIC does meet all the constraints of digital signal processing, however, it lacks flexibility and requires long design cycles. FPGA overcomes the disadvantages of ASIC and DSP with flexibility, time-to-market, risk-mitigation and lower system costs. FPGA  is ideal for implementing ...

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Before the Heat Kicks in

Heat Sink Calculations

Today's demanding applications require components and systems to work under intense environmental conditions. Survivability is critical, as features are only as good as their ability to operate without fail.   Innovation in thermal management has become essential to meeting the requirements for fault-free performance. The choice of an appropriate thermal management system depends on cost and development time of a product. The techniques for heat dissipation include heat sinks and fans for air cooling, liquid cooling and peltier cooling (Thermoelectric cooling) etc. Designing a cost competitive electronics system requires careful consideration of the thermal domain also. To find the most optimized solution requires a good understanding of thermal properties of ...

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Battery Life in Years

Measuring Microamps

With portability and ever shrinking form factors being tremendously sought after by consumers all over the world in electronic products, a major challenge lies ahead for designers in terms of developing ultra-low power designs to aptly complement the market expectations. This makes the battery life of a product an extremely crucial factor in its success and bounteous adoption. When the life of the battery is expected to be for a few days or months, it is easy to measure the battery life practically. But if the product is required to work for a few years on the battery, then the only way is, to measure the average current and ...

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Embedded FPGA Development

From the time Alan Turing came with the idea of Turing Machine it has been mathematically proven that any calculation can be performed using a Turing Machine. Also given the fact that current generation of computers are running at 3 GHz, it is still difficult to perform certain calculations on time and thus a greater impetus has gone into Parallel Processing, Superscalar Processors, SMP (Symmetric Multi Processing) and Hyper Threading. However all these solutions are limited by the type of problems they can address. Problems require to be NC hard to utilize hardware advantages, fulfill processing requirements to offer enough time slicing, at the same


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