30-04-07

Open Source Soft Microprocessors

I found a nice article on Opensource Soft Microprocessors.

 

here is the link:

 

http://www.byte.com/documents/s=10114/byt1173555136952/

 

16:26 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: opensource, softcore, microprocessor, fpga |  Facebook |

26-04-07

MetroPCS Dials Up IPO

source: FORBES.COM

link: http://www.forbes.com/2007/04/19/ipo-wireless-phone-tech-...

 

 

 

Burlingame, Calif. -

Upstart wireless carrier MetroPCS Communications showed Thursday that disrupting someone else's business is one thing. Making money at it, however, is quite another.

The Dallas-based company launched the biggest initial public offering of the year to date on Thursday by selling 50 million shares and raising $1.15 billion. MetroPCS (nyse: PCS - news - people ) shares, initially priced at $23, rose more than 18% to $27.

The secret to IPO success for MetroPCS? Profits, and a business model that relies on tweaking the phone industry, not revolutionizing it. The company has signed up 2.9 million subscribers for its flat-rate, unlimited use phone service. And it's making money by doing it, albeit just barely: For the year ending Dec. 31, the company posted net income of $29 million on revenue of $1.55 billion.

By contrast, two other recent telecom IPOs, Clearwire and Vonage, are pursuing far more ambitious plans--and burning serious amounts of money in the process.

Clearwire is looking to build a high-speed voice and data service based on next-generation wireless standard WiMax. Its shares have fallen 32 percent since its March IPO.

Similarly Vonage is taking on the phone companies with an Internet based calling service. Its shares are down nearly 80 percent since its IPO last year.

21:39 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: metropcs, wimax, ipo, clearwire, vonage |  Facebook |

2 blinking leds on my ATtiny2313 board

I have made an example of an blinking led (programmed in C) for getting someone started for a robot project.

 

I used PonyProg2000 for download the hex file to the ATTINY2313 Microcontroller and used CodeVisionAVR (evaluation version) as an IDE for the C programming.

 

Here is the code (you can consider this as an Hello world for the ATTINY2313 :

 

#include <tiny2313.h> 
#include <delay.h>

// Declare your global variables here

void main(void)
{
// Declare your local variables here

// Crystal Oscillator division factor: 1
#pragma optsize-
CLKPR=0x80;
CLKPR=0x00;
#ifdef _OPTIMIZE_SIZE_
#pragma optsize+
#endif

// Input/Output Ports initialization
// Port A initialization
// Func2=In Func1=In Func0=In
// State2=T State1=T State0=T
PORTA=0x00;
DDRA=0x00;

// Port B initialization
// Func7=Out Func6=Out Func5=Out Func4=Out Func3=Out Func2=Out Func1=Out Func0=Out
// State7=0 State6=0 State5=0 State4=0 State3=0 State2=0 State1=0 State0=0
PORTB=0x00;
DDRB=0xFF;

// Port D initialization
// Func6=In Func5=In Func4=In Func3=In Func2=In Func1=In Func0=In
// State6=T State5=T State4=T State3=T State2=T State1=T State0=T
PORTD=0x00;
DDRD=0x00;

// Timer/Counter 0 initialization
// Clock source: System Clock
// Clock value: Timer 0 Stopped
// Mode: Normal top=FFh
// OC0A output: Disconnected
// OC0B output: Disconnected
TCCR0A=0x00;
TCCR0B=0x00;
TCNT0=0x00;
OCR0A=0x00;
OCR0B=0x00;

// Timer/Counter 1 initialization
// Clock source: System Clock
// Clock value: Timer 1 Stopped
// Mode: Normal top=FFFFh
// OC1A output: Discon.
// OC1B output: Discon.
// Noise Canceler: Off
// Input Capture on Falling Edge
// Timer 1 Overflow Interrupt: Off
// Input Capture Interrupt: Off
// Compare A Match Interrupt: Off
// Compare B Match Interrupt: Off
TCCR1A=0x00;
TCCR1B=0x00;
TCNT1H=0x00;
TCNT1L=0x00;
ICR1H=0x00;
ICR1L=0x00;
OCR1AH=0x00;
OCR1AL=0x00;
OCR1BH=0x00;
OCR1BL=0x00;

// External Interrupt(s) initialization
// INT0: Off
// INT1: Off
// Interrupt on any change on pins PCINT0-7: Off
GIMSK=0x00;
MCUCR=0x00;

// Timer(s)/Counter(s) Interrupt(s) initialization
TIMSK=0x00;

// Universal Serial Interface initialization
// Mode: Disabled
// Clock source: Register & Counter=no clk.
// USI Counter Overflow Interrupt: Off
USICR=0x00;

// Analog Comparator initialization
// Analog Comparator: Off
// Analog Comparator Input Capture by Timer/Counter 1: Off
ACSR=0x80;

while (1)
      {
      // Place your code here
                PORTB=0x01;
                delay_ms(50);
                PORTB=0x02 ;
                delay_ms(50);


      };
}

25-04-07

Actel Announces First Quarter 2007 Revenues Options

Mountain View, Calif. -- Apr 24, 2007 --  Actel Corporation (NASDAQ:
ACTL) today announced net revenues for the first quarter of 2007,
which ended April 1, 2007. No additional financial results for the
first quarter will be available until after completion of the ongoing
review of the Company's historical stock option practices and related
accounting.

Net revenues for the first quarter of 2007 were $48.6 million, up 5
percent from the first quarter of 2006 and up one percent from the
fourth quarter of 2006.

Revenue Outlook - Second Quarter 2007

The Company believes that second quarter revenues will be flat
sequentially, plus or minus two percent. This is a "forward-looking
statement" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995 and should be read with the "Risk Factors" in the
Company's most recent Form 10-Q, which can be found on Actel's web
site, www.actel.com. The Company's quarterly revenues are subject to a
multitude of risks, including general economic conditions and a
variety of risks specific to Actel or characteristic of the
semiconductor industry, such as fluctuating demand, intense
competition, rapid technological change and related intellectual
property and international trade issues, wafer and other supply
shortages, and booking and shipment uncertainties. These and the other
Risk Factors make it difficult for the Company to accurately project
quarterly revenues, and could cause actual results to differ
materially from those projected in the forward-looking statement.
Actel does not assume, and expressly disclaims, any duty to update the
forward-looking statement and Risk Factors.

Stock Option Review

As previously announced:

On September 22, 2006, a Special Committee of the Board of Directors
of Actel, composed of independent directors and assisted by
independent counsel, was appointed to review the Company's historical
stock option grant practices and related accounting.
Actel voluntarily informed the staff of the Securities and Exchange
Commission ("SEC") about the internal review and is cooperating with
the SEC in its informal inquiry.
On January 18, 2007, Actel's management concluded that shareholders
and other investors should no longer rely on the Company's financial
statements and the related reports or interim reviews of Actel's
independent registered public accounting firm and all earnings press
releases and similar communications issued by the Company for fiscal
periods commencing on or after January 1, 1996.
On January 30, 2007, the Special Committee presented its preliminary
findings to the Board of Directors. The preliminary findings are
described in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed by Actel on February
1, 2007.
On March 9, 2007, the Special Committee delivered its final report to
the Board of Directors.
Working with its independent registered public accounting firm, the
Company is evaluating corrections to measurement dates and other
related accounting issues and is quantifying the financial and tax
impact of those corrections and related issues. In lieu of amending
its prior SEC filings to restate financial statements, Actel intends
to include in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2006, the comprehensive disclosure outlined in guidance
posted by the SEC Chief Accountant's Office on January 16, 2007.
The Company has received notices from The Nasdaq Stock Market
("Nasdaq") of staff determinations that Actel is not in compliance
with the requirement for continued listing set forth in Nasdaq
Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(14), under which listed companies must file
all required SEC reports, and Rules 4350(e) and 4350(g), under which
companies must hold an annual meeting of shareholders, solicit
proxies, and provide proxy statements to Nasdaq. On February 16, 2007,
a Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel ("Panel") granted the Company's
request for continued listing, subject to certain conditions.
On April 2, 2007, the Nasdaq Listing and Hearing Review Council
("Listing Council") stayed the February 16, 2007, decision of the
Panel pending a review by the Listing Council of the merits of the
Panel's decision. By June 20, 2007, the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications
Department will provide the Listing Council with an updated
qualifications summary sheet and any additional information that staff
believes would assist the Listing Council in its review of this
matter. The Company may submit any additional information that it
wishes the Listing Council to consider by June 29, 2007.

The Company will not announce full financial results for the first
quarter of 2007 until it files its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for
the fiscal quarter ended April 1, 2007. The Company intends to file
its delinquent SEC periodic reports, including any required
restatements, and solicit proxies and hold an annual shareholders'
meeting as soon as practicable.

21:14 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: 2007, actl, california, actel, revenues, mountain view, fpga |  Facebook |

22-04-07

Be a pioneer to create money

My favorite quote from the man who started IBM (Thomas J. Watson) is:

"Once an organization loses its spirit of pioneering and rests on its early work, its progress stops."

 

 

This quote is so true... Try to be a pioneer and you will create money with your expertise...

 

More information about Thomas J. Watson can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_J._Watson

 

His quotes:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Thomas_J._Watson

 

 

Ow yes and never think he ever told us: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."  he didn't do that....

 

12:22 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: thomas j watson, pioneer, make money, ibm, organization |  Facebook |

Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) with FPGA's

On pldesignline there is an article on BCD code on FPGA's, a must read for all people who work with FPGA's.

 

 

Link:

http://www.pldesignline.com/howto/199001229

 

11:45 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: bcd, fpga, pld |  Facebook |

09-04-07

LG Prada Phone vs Apple iPhone

Judge for yourself there are plenty of video's on youtube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch the flip sensor of the iPhone

19:37 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: apple, iphone, pda, gsm, ipod, lg, prada, mobile phone |  Facebook |

Horay for ST Microelectronics, Horay for Italy, Horay for Intel!, Horay for electronics industry in Europe

Today I readed a nice article on evertiq.com.

Link: http://www.evertiq.com/newsx/read_news.aspx?newsid=7202&a...

 

Titled: 'ST and Intel establish JV in Italy' I will be a 12-inch fab (plant).

 

To see where Catania is on the Map of Italy checkout the following: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=nl&q=Catania&a...

 

 

It's located in Sicilia, maybe I ask my boss to get a job in Catania, I like the food, the fish, the pasta, the women,... over there 

 

 

 

14:47 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: italy, st microelectronics, intel, catania, joint venture, job |  Facebook |

Design example for ACTEL fpga's with ARM Cortex-M1

Link: http://www.electronicstalk.com/news/ank/ank280.html

 

Synplicity and ARM have signed a joint marketing and collaboration agreement that includes a reference methodology for the recently launched ARM Cortex-M1 processor - the first ARM processor specifically designed for implementation on FPGAs.

09:13 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: actel, arm, fpga, reference design, cortex-m1, softcore, processor, synplicity |  Facebook |

06-04-07

3.5 Million Dollar for cognitive radio project

Researchers Win $3.5 Million to Improve Wireless Technology

GeneralAtlanta, GA – A Georgia Institute of Technology research team has received a $3.5 million grant to use tiny, power-saving analog chips to develop portable communications technology capable of scanning a broad range of radio-frequency (RF) bands for open channels.

The resulting analog spectral processors (ASP), to be developed at the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC), would have a range of uses, from aiding battlefield communication to enabling cellular phones to find less-crowded frequencies.

ASP technology is related to the “cognitive radio” (CR) concept, which involves utilizing less-busy frequencies for optimal cell-phone and radio performance.

Farrokh Ayazi
, a GEDC researcher who is co-director of the Center for MEMS and Microsystems Technology (CMMT), is principal investigator on the project. The project, led by BAE Systems Inc, has received $11 million from DARPA, of which $3.5 million will go to Georgia Tech over three years. Purdue University is also on the BAE Systems team.

“The project’s goal is basically to create a small, low-power handheld device that combines a spectrum analyzer and a truly powerful communication device,” said Ayazi, who is an associate professor in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). “The spectrum analyzer would scan the frequency spectrum all the way from 20 MHz to 6 GHz to find empty spots—channels that are receiving less use.”

This extensive range would allow ASPs to be useful in a range of applications, Ayazi said. Such a wide-band spectral processor would help soldiers switch channels quickly to avoid enemy jamming measures at military-use frequencies, while also enhancing military and civilian communications at other frequencies.

"Prof. Ayazi’s award continues to establish the GEDC as a world leader in the development of technologies for cognitive radio applications,” said Joy Laskar, GEDC’s director and the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The GEDC is a major player in the IEEE 802.22 CR standard, and this award will look to provide critical enabling analog-technology blocks that should impact both the DoD and commercial markets.”

Farrokh Ayazi Photo
Farrokh Ayazi, a Georgia Tech professor and research team leader with the Georgia Electronic Design Center, holds prototypes of the reconfigurable narrow-band MEMS filter arrays used in analog spectral processing.
Two other DARPA-funded teams are also working on spectral processors. A Rockwell-led team includes the University of San Diego, Stanford and Cornell University, while Honeywell is leading a team includes the University of California Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania.

Central to the BAE Systems/Georgia Tech/Purdue effort will be extensive use of analog micro- and nano-mechanical circuits, rather than digital circuits, in designing spectral processors. In the analog domain, chips and other devices work by moving between signal levels in a continuous fashion, while digital chips and devices move between separate and discontinuous levels and do not recognize the transition between levels.

Micromechanical circuits have a number of advantages over electronic digital chips. They typically use far less power and run cooler than digital circuits, and are also smaller, offer much better communications quality, and are relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

“What we’re proposing is to solve the cognitive-radio problem in the analog domain rather than the digital domain, with virtually no added power,” Ayazi said.

To develop analog spectral processors, the Georgia Tech team will use micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), which are tiny analog machines that operate at the microscale – one millionth of a meter.

To scan and move swiftly between far-flung frequencies, the researchers will use MEMS technology in constructing arrays of micro-mechanical resonators, also known as bulk acoustic-wave (BAW) resonators. These devices play a role in finding and holding a radio-frequency signal.

In constructing extensive arrays of signal-seeking BAW resonators, researchers must choose between two approaches. One is to use resonators to create an array of many fixed filters—each tuned to a specific frequency—that will cover the entire spectrum. The other approach involves tunable filters that can move back and forth to some degree between frequencies. Ayazi said that further research will determine the optimal approach.

The structural material of choice for acoustic-wave resonators will be nano-crystalline diamond, micro-machined to reach frequencies of up to 10 GHz.

Researchers will also use silver, the highest-conductivity metal, in micro-machining the analog arrays. Silver will aid in achieving high-quality inductors and capacitors, the components that aid tuning to a specific frequency.

“This is a very exciting challenge, and it also involves a lot of advancement in the packaging technology for MEMS,” Ayazi said. “These ultra-small micro-mechanical components must be free to move, so the packaging is totally different than the traditional integrated circuit.”

He explained that the packaging material — the substance that holds and protects the ASPs — cannot come into contact with the vibrating structures of the micro-mechanical resonators. Working at microscale, researchers must create a small cavity on top of the electronics to achieve a hermetic environment that will seal out damaging moisture.

A key to ASP packaging will be advanced organic materials that possess low signal-loss properties and are strong and semi-hermetic. Working with Prof. Paul Kohl of Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Ayazi will use specially-tailored polymers to develop an effective package for the filter arrays.

“The combination of all these elements will eventually produce an array of highly improved tunable filters,” Ayazi said. “We are basically looking for orders of magnitude improvement in performance, size and cost. The ultimate goal is to integrate ASP’s with high-speed electronics on a single chip and bring unprecedented capabilities to the wireless world.”

11:03 Gepost door Mobile blogger in Algemeen | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: cognitive radio, asp, gedc, cr, rf, cmmt, bae systems, darpa, mems, baw resonators, wireless |  Facebook |

Bad periode for european fabs

It seems like it is going worse everyday with the European semiconductor industry.
We have some high-tech research facilities (IMEC, Crolles,...) but we can't produce or own chips in our continent?
Why is this? I don't know... But at the end of the story all the companies that are outsourcing their IC production
are not healthy because the market is like everyone does the same thing.
When you want to be a big good player you must have your own production, engineering and R&D.
When you outsource your production it can be that soon the factory that makes your product comes with the same product with another name 
 
Read the following related story about NXP outsourcing it's production of IC's to TSMC
 

NXP going fabless after 90nm.

NXP has now said that all its production will be sourced from TSMC for chips with more advanced processes than 90nm.

NXP's rationale for the move is that TSMC can provide processes better than 90nm so why go to all the trouble of developing your own?

Funny how quickly attitudes can change. When NXP was part of Philips, when Pasquale Pistorio ran STMicroelectronics, before Freescale was bought by private equity funds, it was held as axiomatic by all three companies that it was an important competitive advantage to have access to the most advanced digital CMOS processes, and that the only way to achieve that was by developing them yourself

That was the rationale for getting the EU to pour hundreds of millions of Euros into Crolles over the years. Now, all three companies have pulled out of doing basic advanced digital CMOS research at Crolles.

Now, it seems, it doesn't matter whether you develop basic advanced CMOS process technology or not. Instead you can go to a public foundry, which is open to all, and have your chips made on the same terms as everyone else.

"If every company goes to foundries, using the same processes and cell libraries as everyone else, what differentiation can a company offer customers?", asks Malcolm Penn, CEO of analysts Future Horizons, "five years down the road, when ST (and for ST read NXP as well) asks: 'Why haven't we got any customers', the reply will be: 'We can get this from loads of other people cheaper, now that they're making them in the Congo

Source:

http://www.electronicsweekly.com/blogs/david-manners-semi...