E-mail, phone, Web browsing, text messaging and even a 35-key QWERTY keyboard are part of the Blackberry mystique. Intelligent light sensing technology automatically optimizes the screen lighting levels for indoor and outdoor viewing of the 320 × 240 pixel LCD color screen. In addition to the lighting technology, the unit has a built-in speakerphone for hands-free usage where an audio power amplifier provides mono and stereo listening. Like other high-functionality portable products, the Blackberry uses several dc-to-dc converters. Efficient design allows the removable/rechargeable Lithium cell to provide up to 16 days standby time and four hours talk time.
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 discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.