tag 标签: technology

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  • 热度 4
    2015-12-1 12:57
    1139 次阅读|
    2 个评论
    Over the past decade the embedded world has undergone tremendous change. With the advent of mobile phones, smart lifestyle gadget like wearables, health and wellness devices, on the consumer front, users are demanding smaller and thinner gadgets. This has lead in turn to designs that increasingly need efficient memory architectures such as high memory capacity and high performance in small area and multiple bus issues that call for high scalability.  The designs demand compact and more densely populated electronic assemblies. Package on package (PoP) is one of the techniques to address the demand for compact assemblies. PoP is a stacked packaging method to have two ball grid array (BGA) packages mounted one above the other with a standard interface to route signals between them. The most widely used integration components for stacking are the processor and memory. The combination of RAM Flash memory in single chip BGA solution is also available, which allows a much higher component density on smaller form factor PCB design through the PoP assembly.   Stacking memory is one way to achieve the dual goals for enhanced functionality and greater packaging density of a product. It is fast becoming a promising solution, offering high integration that leads to product miniaturization. Mobile applications can benefit from the combination of this stacked package, offering small footprint and minimal PCB space. Other portable electronic products such as •      mobile phones (baseband or applications processor plus combo memory), •       digital cameras (image processor plus memory), •       PDAs, portable media players (audio/graphics processor plus memory), gaming and others also benefit from this design approach. Benefits of PoP Technology Using PoP technology in a design offers many advantages. The most obvious is the reduction in the PCB size or the small footprint of the PCB. Using PoP technology also ensures a reduction in the no. of layers of the PCB as the connection lines between the processor and the memory are minimized. This also improves signal integrity on the board by minimizing trace length between different interoperating parts, such as controller and memory. The direct interconnections between the circuit yields reduced propagation delay, noise and cross-talk.  Using PoP technology also makes for easy memory scalability on the hardware. This is because most of the memory modules for PoP design come in multi-chip packages (eg: Flash + DDR). Hence, both the Flash and DDR memory can be upgraded by replacing the single PoP memory package. And finally, there is the reduction in BoM cost achieve as a result of elimination of termination discretes on the PCB. The ARM advantage PoP technology is most popularly being used with ARM chipsets. Texas Instruments was one of the first semiconductor companies that adopted this technology. This is now being followed by other silicon vendors like Freescale etc. ARM chipsets are known for low power and are popular for small footprint, portable applications. The low power ensures less thermal radiation to the memory; when it is placed over the processor in the PoP technology. In comparison, Intel SoCs and other DSP are high power and have high thermal radiation. Therefore, there is a possibility of the memory to stall during operation, if the PoP technology concept is used for these chipsets.   An important point to note for product developers is that assembly of PoP PCBs requires special skillset and the need to follow a defined assembly process. The PCB manufacturer should follow the required methodology to ensure minimal yield issues for a successful implementation to take advantage of the benefits of such a design.   Contributed By, S Vijay Bharat, Associate Vice President - Hardware Design, Mistral Solutions
  • 热度 2
    2015-5-26 19:04
    890 次阅读|
    0 个评论
    There are a few people I consider visionaries of their times. In the 15th century, we had Leonardo da Vinci. He was centuries ahead of his times and unmatched in his abilities, talent and knowledge of subjects as varied as science, arts, materials, structures, aeronautics, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, medicine etc. A true multi-faceted genius. In our times, we have had Steve jobs. His mix of technology business acumen and knowing what people want has made Apple what it is today. Alas, we lost Steve..... I guess many will partially blame him for some wrong choices he made treating his illness. All said done, he was a genius of our times. He dared to dream and dream crazy dream big...... or as my good friend, Verne Harnish, would say he had a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Moving ahead, I think we now have a living genius among us today..  ELON MUSK . He has achieved what people considered the impossible. He has a vision for the future that bridges the gap between science fiction reality. He is changing the dynamics of technology and business. All he needs to do is dream and investors will write him a Billion Dollar check to experiment with his dream..... till he goes to sleep and dreams again.  Since he sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5B, Elon has forged ahead to bigger ideas. He built the All Electric  Tesla  car. No one imagined that such a car can roll out from Silicon valley. I have driven the Tesla and I consider it the best most advanced car in the world. From cars to Rockets seems like a logical step for Elon. But I think the big disruption that he will cause in our times is in the area of Solar energy battery technology. He will find ways that will disrupt systems that we have got accustomed to over the last 100 years. I am sure we will see many new ventures from him stable in our lifetime. Tesla Energy has already gathered a big buzz. I just can't wait to get  a  Tesla Power Wall. Over the last 10 years, Steve Jobs enticed everyone in our homes to have 2-3 of his products which averaged a price of about $400. In the next 10, we will be buying products from Elon's companies. The only difference is that the product prices will be anything from $3500 to $100,000. The volumes will still be in high millions. So get ready to be mesmerized! Anees Ahmed, President, Mistral Solutions
  • 热度 1
    2015-3-5 21:52
    636 次阅读|
    0 个评论
    Don’t worry: This blog is not about giving you tips to start saving money for your retirement. This post is addressing the difficult subject of how the CEO of a startup might try to balance between saving –– in other words, minimizing the risk of running out of cash –– and spending. That is, investing into building new technology that presumably will propel his or her company to great success.       I’m sure I’m not alone when I confess to having had more than one sleepless night worrying about the company’s cash balance as a startup CEO. The situation we are discussing here is the early stages when the company is not yet break-even and is burning its precious cash resources. During those early stages, one number is omni-present in the CEO’s mind: The “out of cash date.” It is also sometimes measured as the “runway” or length of time to reach the out of cash date. A pretty self-explanatory concept that investors track almost as closely as the CEO and gets reviewed at the board meetings. It also gets scary once the runway drops below six months.   I always found it difficult and struggled with whether to focus on immediate needs (saving) versus investing in the future (spending). For example, if I choose to preserve cash today, I need to do so while looking ahead to the future to keep pace with the industry and customer needs, not an easy balance.   As a startup, the objective is to survive through the release and initial sales of the first product. These days, many startups have bootstrapped themselves or taken small seed funding to get them through this period. The runway is typically one to two years at the start of the product development. At this stage, the “spend or save” dilemma is focused on how many resources to deploy for the product development. Hire one or two more engineers? Buy more licenses of a critical software tool? Get more compute power?   Once the product has been released, the objective moves to selling it and investing in the channel, and here it starts to get trickier with the addition of this new parameter. If the startup is in Silicon Valley, it’s a reasonable assumption that someone in the company knows a project team in need of this kind of technology. Quickly, though, there will be an international pull because of big development clusters in Asia or Europe and the attraction to travel overseas or even open an office in one of those regions becomes irresistible. Often the team finds out that the product is not quite perfect and another round of product improvements is required to meet the customer needs.   The sales channel needs leads to fill the pipeline and that means marketing and promotion, visibility and awareness through the website and content creation, advertising, events and public relations. All valuable activities that should accelerate the revenue ramp.   Costs skyrocket and the company begins to run out of cash. All of a sudden, the ‘out of cash date’ completely overwhelms your kids’ birthdate in your mind!   It’s at this point where I wish I could pull out a magic template to avoid the often-made mistakes of startup founders who squander venture capital investment, but I don’t. Instead, I’ll offer a few observations on sound investment management efforts I’ve witnessed over the years.   As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, startup executives would be well advised to not make those critical decisions in isolation. Board members are the first place to look for help; mentors can also be a great resource. An experienced board member or mentor can serve as a good sounding board because he or she will have a global view of the industry and a wider perspective. Consultants, customers and partners could be sought out as well.   Next up is the budget. Judiciously setting goals and objectives that are tied to measurable results is important for all companies, but especially startups. I would recommend a systematic assessment to determine the outcome of every line item expense in the budget. Cost overruns should not be tolerated.   Working smart is important: Some founding technologists fall in love with technology and insist of building it when it can be outsourced or a “ready-to-use” solution exists. A perfect example of this concept is IP. An entire industry has grown up around supplying design pieces that can be used by other chip companies to shorten the development cycle and conserve cash.   Balancing spend versus save when building a business is a difficult problem and one that that has no easy, pre-packaged answer. While I struggled with this balance as a startup CEO, I also reached out to trusted advisors for help and worked hard at maintaining a reasonable budget that met objectives.   Michel Courtoy is a former design engineer and EDA executive who sits on the board of directors at Breker Verification Systems.
  • 热度 2
    2015-3-4 14:53
    1174 次阅读|
    0 个评论
      In 2014, wearable technology saw an enormous increase in popularity with Internet searches for related terms increasing ten-fold and over $1 billion invested towards development in this domain.  While the technology is still in its infancy, experts predict that wearable devices will rise at a 154 percent annual compound rate through 2017 with over 110 million devices being sold. Analysts at Morgan Stanley believe it will become a $1.6 trillion business in the near-future. Crowdfunding has become the source of choice in bringing creative ideas to the wearable market, and 2014 saw crowdfunding companies like Kickstarter and Indiegogo raise money with high success and delivery rates.    There are several technologies that revolutionize wearable devices; few of them are Sensors, Form factor, Display and software. At present motion sensors like accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, pressure sensors are the dominant type of sensors used in wearables. UI-related MEMS sensors microphones for voice control will be integrated to wearables soon. Form factor also plays a major role in wearable technology; not just with respect to the SoC but also for the entire system. Packages like quad flat no-lead (QFN), micro-chip-scale packaging (uCSP) and wafer scale chip packaging (CSP) are popular solutions for power management, microcontrollers and wireless functions due to their small form factors which can be used on small PCBs or integrated with the use of flex-based circuits. Android Wear OS brought Google into the software world of wearables when it was launched on March 18, 2014. There is also Tizen, the open-source by Samsung and Intel, MediaTek’s LinkIt and the Wearable OS expected from LG.   The focus in the current wearable market is clearly on wrist-mounted devices like smartwatches, fitness bands or a combination of the two. But, the future of wearables is not limited to our wrists alone. There are plenty of places like Medical and Banking that manufacturers are keen to venture into with their desirable tech pieces. Google, Apple and  Microsoft have launched their own health Wellness platforms to extract data from people who are having a health conditions about what they have done or to measure essential data. Doctors have increasingly shown interest in using these wearables to give regular information to the patients about health; by tracking and providing corrective inputs on the fly. A few Canadian banks are exploring the option of using a wrist band made by a startup “Bionym” that will measure ECG pattern to authenticate payments.   Cambridge Consultants are working on a UV hair slide that would tell how much UV exposure you have had on a summer day! A pair of headphones could monitor your heart’s electrical activity and feed the data to your smart phone. Several developers are working on a tattoo that will be implanted on the skin of the hand and would interact with everything that a person touches like locking/unlocking doors, protecting credit card information and so on. These new gadgets are just around the corner. Some of the other product trends that are emerging in the wearable world are:     Sensors and Glasses – There are already a host of photo-snapping life-loggers available in the market such as the OMG Life Autographer and the Narrative Clip. They will take pictures throughout your day and keep a log of your movements to build sharable photographic memory of the day. Then there are devices like the Sony Core which is a waterproof sensor and can pair with a camera to keep track of special moments or a fitness band to give your workout a new dimension.   Tech-Woven Clothes - Implanted technology will likely be the preserve of medical applications, at least in the new future. But not so for tech-woven clothes. Fashion giant Ralph Lauren recently took the initiative by announcing The Polo Tech Shirt. This shirt is designed to be used when exercising; embedded with various sensors that would collect the user’s biometric data, heart rate, how much calories burned, distance traveled and intensity of movement. Dolce Gabbana in collaboration with Motorola are also working on a tech-woven clothing indicating that this may definitely emerge as a huge trend.   Automobile – BMW showcased their research vehicle i3 at CES 2015 that could lead to collision free driving in the near future. Smartwatch can be used by the driver to park the vehicle through the remote-control valet parking system developed by BMW.  According to the company, a driver can activate the “Remote Valet Parking assistant” through an app, which would guide the vehicle to a parking spot all by itself. This car works with the help of laser sensors that scan the surrounding environment so it can move without running into anything.   Home Automation - Soon, switching on the lights in your house will involve a simple wrist-and-hand gesture as you walk through the door and another gesture would turn on the HDTV and Xbox while dimming the den lights. When you are set to go out, another hand gesture would switch off all your home’s lights and lock all the doors. Playtabase wristband “Reemo” would make all of this possible.   Aviation - Japan Airlines ensures that its gate agents are equipped with smartwatches at the Tokyo Haneda Airport’s Terminal 1, enabling them to receive location-specific tasks from the control desk which can track their whereabouts using iBeacons.   While a lot of new trends and opportunities are opening up in the wearable technology space, there is one simple fact that will be key for this technology to move from a few experimental low volume products to mass market. This make-it-or-break-it element is that consumers want wearable devices to be such a seamless experience that they can forget they are even wearing it. They look for devices that are unobtrusive and blend into the fabric of the physical appearance.  Achieving this seamlessness is still a way away. A couple of technical challenges that stand in the way of many of these futuristic ideas are the limiting battery life and circuit shrinkage. But both of these aspects will inevitably improve over time and allow manufacturers to integrate them into their wearable devices. Wearable technology may not take off as quickly as some are expecting. But, if the above points are addressed, wearables will be on the rise, which means they could be on their way to the enterprise.   - Authored by Sachidananda K, Mistral Solutions
  • 热度 4
    2011-9-29 18:04
    954 次阅读|
    3 个评论
            9月27日上午去北京国家会议中心参加TI Technology Day 北京站活动。这是一个工程师的盛宴,还不到九点钟展厅里签到处和各个展台都挤满了人。阿牛哥看到了TI的领取资料处,有高速放大器,TI旋转电机, 医疗电子产品汽车电子的方案,面向平板电脑及电子书的TI解决方案等等,真是琳琅满目。 突然阿牛哥眼睛一亮看到了TI-EEWORLD 联合制作的电子小强TI MCU 不能不说的故事,前几天只是看到TI的官方微博上有介绍,这次是看到很好看轻松有知识有品味的六联格漫画了。             阿牛哥参加平板电脑,工业电机,安防监控,无线通信和 EMI ESD保护技术培训,发一些资料和大家分享一下!TI平板电脑方案里有讲到TI OMAP3 和OMAP4, 还有有很多从笔记本开发生产转型和手机设计转型做平板电脑对于电池充电要求不一样,TI 的1S2P 和2S1P电池充电方案是很有针对性 !            阿牛哥参加工业电机研讨会,对于电机的PID控制,奈奎斯特图分析还能听明白。TI的无线通信在基站和微基站产品方案讲座难度很大,参加会议的工程师踊跃提问! 阿牛哥看到 TI 的工程师演讲,都提到了TI的中文社区。他们可以及时答复工程师提出的技术问题。       在展台演示区域,阿牛哥看到很多来自TI美国的朋友。 阿牛哥和TI 公司的Leigh File Ph.D ,沟通一些高清监控和手持识别技术问题,没有英文翻译,也基本都听懂了! 这次参加TI TI Technology Day 北京站有很多是TI 授权代理商,增值分销商和第三方设计公司的技术支持朋友, 有安富利科技, 合众达, 文晔科技,闻亭科技的安防监控, 消费电子和汽车电子,医疗电子产品演示。 阿牛哥看到很多的新鲜产品,小投影仪, 无线充电,入侵检测预警器 和高清监控产品,收获很大 。    
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