The huge role of microcontrollers in new cars continues to grow. Volkswagen’s 2009 Golf platform will extend its networking capabilities, implementing a communications gateway with six CAN interfaces and at least two LIN interfaces for simple elements like windows and door locks. The gateway is based on a 16-bit microcontroller from Infineon Technologies, the XC2200. The gateway handles all of the internal interfaces, including the engine, entertainment systems, instrument clusters and body and convenience control units. The chips also open the door to external communication so future software updates can be installed by auto dealerships.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
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