4D Systems

<p>Optoelectronic components produce and receive light signals that carry voice and data traffic across fiber-optic networks. The market for such devices increased more than 40% in 1999 to $5.5 billion and accounted for an 80% growth rate within Lucent's optoelectronics business, the company said.</p>

Clearly this new format will have some appeal to musicians and karaoke fans, but I suspect the MP3 file format is safe for now.

Christian Meier, Chief Operating Officer at EBV Elektronik, explains the significance of the tool: There is no disputing the fact, that what we do in our working and private lives make a considerable contribution to climate change. But what people may not know is how much they contribute as an individual? We give visitors to our website the opportunity to gain a concrete, compelling image of their influence on the environment by answering some brief, incisive questions. Initially, the user can do this purely out of interest, but it is hoped it will encourage them to become committed to protecting the environment.”

The EBV footprint calculator has been made available to the public as part of the 'ECOmise it' campaign and can be accessed directly via www.ebv.com/footprint. Why want you wait any longer? Lets go ahead and calculate!

CMF6510R000FKRE_Vishay Dale_Through Hole Resistors

Last week TI announced the C674x, a new DSP family that offers floating-point performance for about the same price and power as fixed-point DSPs. This is a big deal: Historically, floating-point processors were much more expensive and power-hungry than their fixed-point counterparts.

The cost difference has become less of an issue in recent years—both TI and ADI have released $5 floating-point DSPs, for example—but power has remained a stubborn problem. Even the most efficient floating-point DSPs burned over twice as much power as comparable fixed-point DSPs. Thus, the floating-point features were not free.” Designers still had to choose between the superior precision and dynamic range of floating point and the lower power of fixed point. In some cases, this was a difficult decision.

The C674x changes the equation. Its power consumption is nearly identical to that of an equivalent fixed-point C64x DSP. As such, the C674x is the first mainstream DSP with truly free” floating point. (Atmel's mAgic DSP also offers low power floating point, but this DSP is not widely used.) It will be interesting to see how this changes DSP products. In PC's, floating-point went from a high-end bonus to a standard feature. Will we see the same evolution in DSP?

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More importantly, what would you do differently with free” floating point? Would you speed up development time? Add features to your products? Toss your ideas into the comments section—I look forward to hearing them!

(A side note: Floating-point DSPs still have their drawbacks. In some cases, floating-point hardware is actually slower than emulation!)

CMF6510R000FKRE_Vishay Dale_Through Hole Resistors

A few days ago I posed a question from a reader who was having problems understanding CRC-7 for the SD Card. Well, another reader came through magnificently as follows:

Hi Max, I searched Yahoo for crc-7 SD” and found a couple of interesting links to application notes on the MAXIM website: www.maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/an_pk/3969www.maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/an_pk/4068

Making the transition to external storage opens up new options for deploying and managing storage. It becomes possible to cluster multiple servers in a common storage pool, thereby significantly improving the cost and availability proposition while simplifying the manageability overhead. New applications can also be enabled that benefit from extending the clustering concept into a storage area network (SAN). Simply put, a SAN extends the clustering concept by directly connecting multiple servers to multiple storage nodes without network intervention. That can be done in increasingly complex configurations that become networks in their own right, with network-like management, access control and routing concerns.

The growth in the external storage market is largely responsible for an industrywide push toward switched fabric architecture, which solves the problem of poor fault isolation and unpredictable performance inherent in bus-based architectures. Clustering and SANs are the drivers behind the migration from bus-oriented traditional disk-attached I/O to fabric I/O. But as with any new technology, the transition will take time.

In the interim, increasing storage bandwidth requirements will stimulate the industry to adopt PCI-X. This overhaul of the PCI bus is needed to match expected SCSI performance improvements in the near term.

The fastest PCI bus implementation today-64-bit, operating at 66 MHz-allows for a peak transfer of only 528 Mbytes/second. Today's PCI could become the performance bottleneck for a multichannel Ultra320 SCSI performance product one day. Clearly, PCI-X is needed to use the full potential of SCSI in 2001.

As the market moves to fabric I/O, the first new technology that will be deployed is Fibre Channel. It has advantages as a block storage fabric protocol, since its native serial cabling and hub support permit the ideal connection of one or more storage subsystems to multiple computer servers. Fibre Channel should not be viewed as SCSI's competitor for the box-to-box interconnect market, since it solves problems and enables new SAN configurations beyond the scope of SCSI. A more accurate approach is to view it as a complement, allowing for the extension of storage into new configurations that were previously not possible-that is, building SANs that scale across longer distances in more complex cabling configurations than is possible with SCSI.

Negative input impedance This voltage-current line has a slope that essentially defines the dynamic impedance of the power supply. The slope of this line is the negative of the input voltage divided by the input current. That is, with Pin = V • I, we have V = Pin /I; and so dV/dI = –Pin /I2 or dV/dI ˜ –V/I.

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