Ethernet and USB On-the-Go peripherals, coupled with compact size, are the key features of two 68K/ColdFire families from Freescale Semiconductors. Though the chips are designed for applications like industrial control, home automation and environmental monitoring that require small size and low pricing, they still have 256 Kbytes of Flash. The two, 32-bit families run at 60 and 80 MHz, delivering 2.1 MIPS. One version offers a USB 2.0 full-speed Host/Device/On-The-Go Controller, while the other provides a10/100 Fast Ethernet Controller with Ethernet PHY. In volume quantities, the 3.3V lines list for $5.49 and $7.99.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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.