The standard RapidIO protocol provides for serial and parallel communication between chips, boards, and systems. The serial version of the standard has gained acceptance among chip vendors as a proven way to communicate information rapidly over just a few connections. To help ensure the compatibility between products, three companies, Freescale Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, and Xilinx sent representatives to meet at Tundra Semiconductor (Ottawa, ON, Canada) to test the compatibility between products. Tests involved Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMCs) from Freescale and Texas Instruments, an ML32x FPGA development board from Xilinx, and a development baseboard from Tundra. The latter board provided communications to the Xilinx board through coaxial cables and linked to the AMC boards through standard connectors. The tests aimed to ensure “Device A” would work properly with “Device B.”
According to Tom Cox, executive director of the RapidIO Trade Association (RTA), the tests built on the association’s RapidIO Interconnect Specification Device Interoperability and Compliance Checklist (1.3 specification). Tests checked device-to-device electrical connections as well as how well devices met the RapidIO specification. These collaborative efforts uncovered a few minor problems and differences the companies quickly corrected. The meeting of the RapidIO group has inspired Tundra to establish the RapidIO Interoperability Lab, or RIOLAB, at its facility. The Tundra staff will work with vendors of standard devices, FPGAs, and ASICs to test and ensure compatibility of products that include RapidIO interfaces. Although the lab will operate at first under the auspices of Tundra, it will maintain an unbiased approach to testing and will provide standardized test results to all vendors who request testing. And the lab will operate as a not-for-profit organization in association with the RTA. Both Tundra and the RTA plan to spin off the lab as an independent entity within 12 to 24 months. Designers can find out more about the lab and about the RTA at www.rapidio.org.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
Some humanoid walking robots are also good at running, balancing, and coordinated movements in group settings. Several of our sports robots have won regional or worldwide acclaim in the RoboCup soccer World Cup, or FIRST Robotics competitions. Others include the world's first hockey-playing robot and a trash-talking Scrabble player.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.