naperlou, I agree. The ability to package a complete system on a chip (SoC) is very impressive. With consumer electronic devices being small in size, microcontroller manufacturers are designing and packaging complete product designs on a piece of silicon. The Silicon Lab's Precision32 MCU is quite impressive because a complete barcode scanner is placed into a small iC package. This article is definitely worth sharing with my ITT Tech Students. Great article Parker!
I am impressed too - especially by the thorough but easy to understand technical explanations provided to explain barcode scanner technology. Thanks for a very interesting article that just added to my understanding of this extremely utilized technology that is often taken for granted as well as the possibilities, something that I had not given much thought to before your very well-written article.
Parker, I am very impressed by your ability to implement this unit with a single MCU. This is becoming the trend. MCUs with 32-bit processors and lots of supporting functionality (e.g., ADCs) on chip are making it much easier to implement designs quickly and more reliably. I wonder how much of this implementation is in the software as oppossed to discrete logic as in the past.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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