naperlou, I agree. The ability to package a complete system on a chip (SoC) is very impressive. With consumer electronic devices being small in size, microcontroller manufacturers are designing and packaging complete product designs on a piece of silicon. The Silicon Lab's Precision32 MCU is quite impressive because a complete barcode scanner is placed into a small iC package. This article is definitely worth sharing with my ITT Tech Students. Great article Parker!
I am impressed too - especially by the thorough but easy to understand technical explanations provided to explain barcode scanner technology. Thanks for a very interesting article that just added to my understanding of this extremely utilized technology that is often taken for granted as well as the possibilities, something that I had not given much thought to before your very well-written article.
Parker, I am very impressed by your ability to implement this unit with a single MCU. This is becoming the trend. MCUs with 32-bit processors and lots of supporting functionality (e.g., ADCs) on chip are making it much easier to implement designs quickly and more reliably. I wonder how much of this implementation is in the software as oppossed to discrete logic as in the past.
The legacy endpoint devices that control our critical infrastructure (utility systems, water treatment plants, military networks, industrial control systems, etc.) are some of the most vulnerable devices on the Internet.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.