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Circuit Cellar's editorial team comprises professional engineers, technical editors, and digital media specialists. You can reach the Editorial Department at editorial@circuitcellar.com, @circuitcellar, and facebook.com/circuitcellar

Eight-Core 64-bit Processor for Mobile Devices

MediaTek has announced the MT6795, which the company is targeting at the high-end Android 4G smartphones and tablet segment. According to the press release, the eight-core processor also supports 2560 × 1600 resolution displays, FDD/TDD LTE technology, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, and 2G and 3G wireless networks.mediatek

The chip also supports video recording and playback at Ultra HD (4K2K) resolution using the H.265, H.264 and VP9 formats, supporting high-speed 1080p video recording at up to 480 frames per second allowing slow-motion playback on screens with 120 Hz refresh. An integrated 16-MP camera image signal processor handles video input and MediaTek’s ClearMotion technology eliminates motion jitter to ensure smooth video playback at 60fps.

The MT6795 uses eight ARM Cortex-A53 processors, based on a 28-nm process that clocks at 2.0 GHz and a Mali-T760 GPU to handle display control. MediaTek also supplies its CorePilot technology, which provides multicore processor performance and thermal control of the chip. The MT6795 also supports dual-channel LPDDR3 memory at 933 MHz.

According to MediaTek, we can expect to see 4G smartphones using MT7695 chips before the end of  2014.

[Via Elektor]

 

Embedded SOM with Linux-Based RTOS

National Instruments has introduced an embedded system-on-module (SOM) development board with integrated Linux-based real-time operating system (RTOS).NIsom

Processing power in the 2” x 3” SOM comes from a Xilinx Zync-7020 all programmable SOC running a dual core ARM Cortex-A9 at 667 MHz. A built-in, low-power Artix-7 FPGA offers 160 single-ended I/Os and Its dedicated processor I/O include Gigabit Ethernet USB 2.0 host, USB 2.0 host/device, SDHC, RS-232, and Tx/Rx. The SOM’s power requirements are typically 3 to 5 W.

The SOM integrates a validated board support package (BSP) and device drivers together with the National Instruments Linux real-time OS. The SOM board is supplied with a full suite of middleware for developing an embedded OS, custom software drivers, and other common software components.

The LabVIEW FPGA graphical development platform eliminates the need for expertise in the design approach using a hardware description language.

[Via Elektor]

 

New GaAs MESFET Chips

BeRex recently began shipping the BCF-series family of GaAs metal–semiconductor field effect transistor (MESFET) chips. According a press release, the family “addresses the need for low phase noise with high gain and power in applications such as single and multistage amplifiers, oscillators, synthesizers, etc. ranging in frequency from DC to 26.5 GHz.”

You can use the MESFET chips for both broadband and narrow-band applications from DC to 26.5 GHz. A typical application requires a high level of Output Third-Order Intercept Point (OIP3) linearity and a low phase noise that cannot be easily achieved with other technologies, BeRex announced.

Seven devices comprise tje BCF-series family. Each device is built utilizing a 0.25-µm gate length and with a gate width of 200, 300, 400, 600, 800, 1,200, or 2,400 µm, depending on gain and power requirements (up to 1 W for the largest 2,400-µm device).

[via BeRex]

Elektor I/O Shortage & Complexity

One of the many projects featured in the double-sized July/August edition of Elektor magazine is an I/O Warrior Expansion Board. The article outlines how to create a multifunctional board sporting a vast number of inputs and outputs, making it ideal for a variety of industrial control applications via a PC.

The small universal interface card uses the IO-Warrior56 Module from Code Mercenaries. You can add it to an old PC, notebook, or laptop in order to convert it into a measurement-and-control hub, making good use of any redundant hardware you have in storage. The versatile chip enables you to automate a building (e.g., your home, greenhouse, microbrewery, etc.) or any quasi-industrial process you’ve always wanted to put into operation.

Available in the Elektor Store, the preassembled IO-Warrior56 Module provides an easy-to-use, full-speed USB interface and a built-in temperature sensor. It is uncomplicated to talk to using a Visual Basic or C/C++ program. No complex programming! Source code is available that works with the free version of Visual Studio.

The Elektor-designed IO-Warrior Expansion Board is spaciously laid out with through-hole components for easy reproduction at home or in the lab.

Detailed instructions on how to program the IO-Warrior board’s peripherals in Visual Basic are found in the Elektor magazine article that’s dedicated to the IO Warrior project.

CircuitCellar.com is an Elektor International Media website.

Teaching Photonics with Lego Bricks

To inspire children to get involved in science you need low-cost, open-source, learning-by-doing projects with a high cool factor. A Lego-based Michelson Interferometer developed by the University of Osnabrück is all that. Professor Mirco Imlau presented their project at the open hardware fest EHSM.

Source: EHSM

Source: EHSM

The second edition of the Exceptionally Hard and Software Meeting (EHSM) took place in Hamburg June 27-29. True to its tagline “pushing the frontiers of open source & DIY,” the meeting drew a crowd of people doing remarkable things in the field of open science and open soft and hardware. Subjects ranged from learning how to make synthetic diamonds which are used in experiments for quantum computing, the presentation of the first mostly open source hardware camera and an introduction to a DIY device to produce printed circuit boards.

One of the speakers was Mirco Imlau who heads the Ultrafast Physics Research Group at University of Osnabrück. Imlau explained he is looking for ways to playfully teach kids about photonics so that by the time they’ll join his classes they already have internalized knowledge about the field.

Imlau and his collegues did some serious research about what a project needs to appeal to kids and came up with a set of basic rules. Children aren’t the most affluent of citizens so the project needs to be low-cost. The required components for photonic experimenting also need to be easily available. That’s why the team turned to Lego. A third important factor is appeal and lastly the project needs to based on the principles of open hardware. That means a rich environment of instruction manuals and video’s, platforms to exchange ideas and the possibility to look under the hood. All that is available at the MyPhotonics website.

Combining all these principles the team developed a project for kids to build a historic optical experimentation device: the Michelson Interferometer. A tool to measure the qualities of optical beams. Imlau pointed out that another important aspect between failure and success is that the project once constructed should function properly. So for instance, the Lego mirror mount has the same functionalities as its professional counterpart, like 2-axis adjustment and reflection suppression. The result is a fully functional Lego-based Michelson Interferometer with a price tag of approximately $194 (€142) against approximately $3900 (€2,870) should professional components be used.—Tessel Renzenbrink, TechTheFuture.com

[via TechTheFuture.com]

TechTheFuture.com is Elektor International Media publication.