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<p>The tool finds the optimum mapping of the architecture, which will give the minimum power,” said Wolfgang Nebel, professor of VLSI and vice chairman of embedded-system design for Offis. With a small modification, we can do a calculation of the maximum power. That gives a complete range of optimizations possible.”</p>

Continue reading on EE Times’ sister site, Planet Analog.

MANHASSET, N.Y. — Compaq Computer Corp. introduced a digital jukebox on Tuesday (June 12), the first consumer electronics product from its Home Entertainment Products Group. The Ipaq Music Center delivers Internet radio, plays CDs and lets users rip CD music files, all without the help of a PC.

Compaq went to great lengths to design the device as a consumer appliance, rather than as a repackaged PC, said Rob Masterson, manager of product marketing for the Home Entertainment Products Group. The toughest, most time-consuming part of the system's development involved the user interface, which was jointly developed with OpenGlobe Inc. (Indianapolis), an audio systems design firm.

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Designed to fit into a stereo rack, the VCR-shaped, 4-inch-tall Ipaq Music Center will play, store and organize more than 400 CDs or 5,000 songs on its 20-Gbyte hard drive. The system is the first of many products Compaq will introduce over the next 18 months in an effort to expand digital audio technology into mainstream use.

The unit's non-PC nature is evident in some of its capabilities. It does not have a browser and cannot download digital music files directly from the Internet. The jukebox must be connected to a stereo to get high-quality audio output, and to a TV to view a menu of stored music selections. Digital music files can be transferred from a PC to the jukebox through version 2.0 of a HomePNA home network, or from the jukebox to a Compaq Ipaq portable music player via a USB connection. The PowerPC-based Ipaq Music Center has three USB ports, runs Wind River's pSOS real-time operating system, and uses Texas Instruments Inc.'s TMS320C5416 DSP to encode and decode MP3 and Windows Media Audio files.

Masterson said some functionality was intentional excluded from the jukebox because Compaq didn't want to get involved into a Napster-like debate with the recording industry. Characterizing himself as a cynic, Masterson said he didn't expect the issue of protecting digital music to be resolved this year, and wanted to stay on the good side of the music industry.

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The music industry is not expected to select a standard method for protecting copyrighted music for some time. Last month the Secure Digital Music Initiative, a group with strong backing from the recording industry, said it could not agree on a specification for a screening technology to protect copyrighted music from piracy, but said it planned to revisit the issue later this year. In the meantime, the world's five major record labels have chosen proprietary digital rights management technologies to protect content they will deliver in music services that debut later this year.

Once a standard to protect digital music is chosen, Masterson said Compaq would support it and implement it in the Ipaq Music Center (if no hardware is required), or in future home entertainment products.

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The Ipaq Music Center will be available in July for $799.

LAS VEGAS — Simulation will be much on the minds of many participants at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) next week, thanks to announcements from a handful of companies of advances in analog and other simulation tools.

As a first step to locking in a long-term production relationship, Altera said it will be the preferred supplier of programmable logic chips used to develop Motorola's cdma2000 1xEV-DV basestation products, supporting high-speed wireless voice and data transmission. Altera will place an unspecified number of engineers at Motorola's Arlington Heights, Ill, research labs to assist with system design.

Eventually Altera hopes to win Motorola's volume business by offering hardwired versions of its PLDs at a price competitive with ASIC or standard-product versions-including those Motorola currently sources from its internal semiconductor unit.

The move comes as part of Altera's broader goal to elevate the standard supply relationships it has with many of its top customers to what it called full partnerships, encompassing shared R&D, design collaboration, and an optimised supply chain.

The challenges of time-to-market, scarce engineering resources, and increasingly complex system and performance attributes almost merit that we become an extension of our customers' engineering teams,” said Mike Jacobs, senior vice president of worldwide sales at Altera, San Jose.

As with the Nortel deal, distributor Arrow Electronics Inc will continue to act as Altera's primary logistics arm, though Arrow's design-in resources won't come into play, Jacobs said.

Beke added: The C language is an important catalyst. With code for Real, a lot has started in the form of C code.”

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