Modern doctors now have a high-tech complement to the stethoscope. They can buy palm-sized personal ultrasound systems that weigh about half a pound and are small enough to wear around their neck like a stethoscope. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently gave Signostics Inc. the green light to begin selling its gear in the U.S. The Australian company uses Analog Devices' AD9245 14-bit ADC to give doctors a high-resolution view of fetal positioning and assess abdominal issues, among other uses. The Personal Ultrasound System awakes from its sleep mode in just one second.
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.