Ever ask the Great Pumpkin for a reconfigurable printed circuit board (PCB) on a chip? Well, unlike Linus in the pumpkin path. Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector (Phoenix, AZ) developed a reconfigurable embedded system process. Its new CORE+ technology, according to company officials, is the world's first--combining standard, diffused components, and field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) on a single silicon substrate. "We've identified a niche opportunity for this advanced product," says Ron Lipinski, director of operations. Motorola took their in-house know how of microprocessors, microcontrollers, and digital signal processors and merged this with their FPGA ingenuity. "We can put whatever a customer wants on silicon," Lipinski adds. Existing processes require at least two chips. This not only means more money, but you lose performance because electrons take longer to move between them. The first product, expected out by the third quarter of 1998, will be "the industry's first hard diffused core." The MPACF250, designed with Motorola's 68K-compatible Cold-Fire architecture, combines 32-bit RISC with a memory-saving, variable-length instruction set. The CORE+ family will be supported by schematic capture, sim-ulation, logic synthesis, compiler, code debuggingand in-circuit emulation tools from several vendors. Contact Connie Schultejans at (602) 732-2852.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
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.