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Computer Productivity Tools

Computer Productivity Tools

Controllers take over consumer electronics

By 2010, the average person will run into 351 embedded processors per day, says Paul Grimme, VP and GM of Motorola's 8/16-bit Products Division.

A lot of those will be grouped together: the BMW 7-series relies on 60 to 70 microcontrollers, and even a mid-market Ford needs 12 to 15, he says. Heck, even your refrigerator networks its collection of microcontrollers, as thermostats begin to use chips instead of a sensor and electromechanical control.

So Motorola is introducing the Nitron-a bid to capture the low-end of mass-market products with an 8-bit, flash-based microcontroller for cost-sensitive embedded systems. The company is pitching applications ranging from light dimmer switches and digital keypads to windshield wiper motor controllers and washing machine controllers.

"Hey, silicon's cheaper than copper," says Motorola's Jim Farrell, Marcom Manager for the Microcontroller Division.

The Nitron series includes six units, based on the HC08 architecture, with 8- or 16-pin packages. Their on-chip flash memory allows developers to reprogram the systems during the development cycle, manufacturing cycle, and even remotely in the field. Their system-on-chip (SOC) methodology supports a low-power-consumption design, so they're appropriate for battery-operated and portable applications, too.

Launching Sept. 23 will be the HC908-QY2, QT2, QY4, and QT4. They will ship with Metrowerks CodeWarrior(TM) Development Studio, and a collection of reference designs and applications library.

Motorola, www.motorola.com. Enter 576

CAID software

StudioTools(TM) 10 is the company's latest computer-aided industrial design (CAID) software, complete with integrated paint tools for design-specific sketching. New features include 3D models, reportedly increased modeling efficiency, Undo functionality, and a Pro/Engineer(R) interface. The software offers paint and shape capabilities to achieve tighter 2D drawings and to flow into 3D modeling workflow.

Alias/Wavefront, www.aliaswavefront.com. Enter 577

Simulation software

MSC.visualNastran for Windows (MSC.vN4W) 2002 allows users to reduce physical prototyping and verify designs, for the analysis of dynamic, vibration, stress, nonlinear and heat transfer of mechanical components and structures. Offering finite element modeling, the software has a customizable Application Programming Interface, an improved render mode for a better graphic display, and a Parasolid replacement function.

MSC.Software, www.mscsoftware.com. Enter 578

Disc drive

Offering 120 Gbytes using two discs, the Barracuda ATA V disc drive features the Serial ATA interface, designed to replace the Parallel ATA hard drive interface. With an internal transfer rate up to 570 Mbits and a 9-msec seek time, the disc drive is suitable for applications such as home entertainment PCs, high-performance PCs, Network-Attached Storage and entry-level ATA servers.

Seagate Technology; www.seagate.com. Enter 579

Digital asset retrieval

FindView(R) PROFESSIONAL v3.0 is a digital asset retrieval engine that permits any networked repository to offer access to corporate data, regardless of the authoring application. Its revised architecture includes Oracle's 9i Database and reportedly gives users immediate data access, retrieval, and delivery from their desktop.

Maxim I/T, www.maxim-IT.com. Enter 580

Data sharing

Alibre Design 4.0 offers users a 3D mechanical design, real-time collaboration and peer-to-peer data sharing application in a new multi-window user interface. Software features enhanced part and assembly modeling, automated capture and definition of sketch constraints, better interoperability with support of STEP standards for surfaces and solids, and improvements in graphics performance, drawings, and file loading and saving.

Alibre Inc., www.alibre.com. Enter 581

Expertise location solution

Organik software is designed as an expertise location solution that, by integrating access to internal and external information sources, provides answers for users' questions. Used in corporate research and development organizations, the software gathers employee questions and answers for reuse and expert advisory. Unanswered questions are linked to analysts equipped with research tools and electronic and human answer sources.

Sopheon Corp., www.sopheon.com. Enter 582

Software

VERICUT NC verification/optimization software, intended for use by mold makers, finds mistakes in NC programs and corrects areas of inefficiency. This new mold and die machining program supports 3-axis milling, drilling, and EDM operations, and ultimately offers longer tool life, improved surface finish quality, and less machine wear and tear. After determining the amount of material removed, the software automatically calculates and inserts improved feed rates where necessary.

CG Tech, www.cgtech.com. Enter 583

KBE solution

As the company's latest Certified Gold Product, DriveWorks is a knowledge-based engineering (KBE) solution that offers users the capability to capture product design rules and create personalized design-to-order products. The solution allows for multiple product iterations in little time. Reportedly inexpensive, the KBE solution features 3D models, drawings, and a customer quotation.

SolidWorks Corp., www.solidworks.com. Enter 584

3D digitizing product

The MicroScribe G2 line of 3D digitizing products reportedly allows game developers, design engineers, industrial designers, and animators to transform the properties of 3D objects into digital 3D models within minutes. Compared to previous models, these products have faster data transfer and feature two communication ports, USB and RS-232 serial.

Immersion Corp., www.immersion.com. Enter 585

Storage device

The 512 Mbyte capacity DiskOnKey personal storage device saves audio, video, graphic and other files by plugging into the computer's USB port, without requiring external readers. The extra storage space allows for 355 diskettes of saved information, 128 4-minute songs, 10-minutes of compressed video, e-books, and MIS personnel help files. The device is suited for users with legacy-free systems, in addition to graphic designers, photographers, educators, and MIS personnel.

M-Systems, www.m-sys.com. Enter 586

Solid modeling

Pro/DESKTOP(R) Express is the latest version of parametric solid modeling software built on the company's Granite(TM) One modeling technology. Supporting native file geometry transfer, the software is intended for designers, students, engineers, and home engineers working within the Pro/ENGINEER(R) product development environment.

PTC, www.ptc.com. Enter 587

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