Pentek today released a development platform containing hardware and tools necessary for software-defined radio development compliant with the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) mandated for all future U.S. military radios.

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Pentek today released a development platform containing hardware and tools necessary for software-defined radio development compliant with the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) mandated for all future U.S. military radios.

In that context, the T2 series addresses various power management issues associated with digital type loads. Architecturally, these include accomodating a wide-input bus source (where unregulated, fixed-ratio input/output transformer-based systems are the usual solution to high efficiency). Operationally, TI's main emphasis is on securing much higher transient response from the POL, which in turn plays a big part in maximizing the system's power density and conserving board space, ultimately translating into a substantial reduction in overall system cost.

High-digital loads demand higher levels of transient response,” said Brian Narveson, marketing manager for Power Management Products. The T2 utilizes two proprietary schemes to achieve this level of performance: TurboTrans and SmartSync. TurboTrans circuitry essentially enables the POL itself to respond quicker to a demand for current without the need to increase switching frequency or storage capacitance. There's up to an 8x reduction in the amount of output capacitance to save cost and space, according to the company, and a claimed 40 percent reduction in the peak deviation of output voltage following a load transient.

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In more practical terms (i.e., a typical application), the POL (with TurboTrans) and two 470-microfarad capacitors reduce typical voltage transients to below 50 mV in a system undergoing an instantaneous 8-amp surge (at greater than 5 amps per microsecond) and an accompanying 84-mV voltage spike. By comparison, six additional 470-microfarad capacitors would be required by the traditional POL. Output voltage is adjustable with a single resistor.

The stability of the TurboTrans is also unencumbered (and indeed, is enhanced) by low-ESR caps; the systems designer can apply a wide range of types, including organic semiconductor (Oscon) electrolytics, polymer tantalums, or all ceramic output capacitors. Further, the POL's DC tolerance (regulation) is 1.5 percent and AC variations due to transient loading are also less than 1.5 percent according to the company in order to meet the overall core voltage tolerances of today's advanced DSPs (presently 3 to 5 percent of Vcc ). The T2 module is the first to meet these specifications, according to TI.

The Smart Sync feature has been used in bricks, but not previously in POLs, says TI. This feature brings an additional advantage: unlike traditional systems, the synchronization frequency can be set lower (higher is usually the case) than the nominal system module's frequency requirements, thus maximizing overall power efficiency, and with synchronization ultimately reducing beat frequency and thus EMI filtering requirements. Again with a focus on reducing input capacitance, the modules can be synchronized at different phase angles (additional circuitry is required).

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The T2 retains all the features of the first generation PTH modules: the company's Auto-Track sequencing, start-up into a pre-biased load, differential remote sense, on/off inhibit control, and over-current, under-voltage lockout, and thermal protection.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. &#151 Semiconductor-equipment maker Semitool Inc. said revenue for the fourth quarter was $47.8 million versus revenue of $49.8 million in the comparable quarter of fiscal 2004.

Net income was $1.1 million, or $0.04 per share, versus net income of $4.3 million, or $0.14 per share, in last year's comparable quarter. Fourth quarter net income was significantly impacted by Sarbanes-Oxley compliance costs, which totaled $2.2 million and reduced earnings by approximately $0.05 per share.

Even Gary Smith, chief EDA analyst at Gartner Dataquest, is having trouble figuring it out and is threatening to drop DFM as a category. We're going to wait a year, but if something doesn't come up, I think we'll change our DFM subapplication to DFY [design-for-yield] and drop the term DFM. It's causing too many problems with data gathering,” Smith said.

The last thing chip designers need is to have to become manufacturing experts. Designers want their chips to yield, but they'd like existing tools to handle this problem as transparently and automatically as possible. A technology file for a router might do fine.

DFM point tools are everywhere, but where's the flow? Coming up with one will require a broad-ranging effort rooted in standards such as OpenAccess and Oasis-not a crazy quilt of point tools whose only commonality is the DFM label.

Richard Goering () is group editorial director for design automation at EE Times.

London – Qualcomm Inc. is making a foray into microprocessors with the Scorpion, a 1-GHz device developed for mobile phones under an architectural license from ARM Holdings plc. As of last week, however, Qualcomm (San Diego) had not made it clear whether it has produced working silicon or only a design. Neither had it said whether the core is intended for internal use only or might be marketed to other phone makers.


Engineering any complex object requires programmability,” said Teig, who noted that even the most complex man-made objects pale in comparison to those found in nature. To illustrate this, he illustrated how a single-celled paramecium is considerably more complex and adaptable to its environment than a Boeing 777.

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