February Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

The February issue of Circuit Cellar is coming soon! Embedded vision systems, A-D converters, cube puzzle project using Smart LEDs, programming the Arm Cortex-M4, understanding LoRa and more— this 84-page magazine paints a wide canvass of embedded electronics articles for your reading pleasure.

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Here’s a sneak preview of February 2020 Circuit Cellar:


Embedded Computing in Vision Systems
By Jeff Child
As vision systems evolve, they’re leveraging all the latest technology trends in embedded computing. Box-level solutions are keeping pace with AI-level processing, IoT functionality and advanced camera connectivity. In this article, Circuit Cellar’s Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Child, looks at the technology and product trends happening with embedded vision systems.

Shedding Light on Smart LED Design (Part 2)
By Jeff Bachiochi
In Part 1, Jeff introduced a circuit that programs a string of NeoPixel LED strips to specific colors, and is controlled by push buttons. In Part 2, he amps up the fun by using that design to craft a cube puzzle that’s similar to a Rubik’s Cube, but without moving parts! Instead, the colors change using switches and colored LEDs. 

Tunable Spectrum Light Fixture
By Emmett Milliken
Getting the right lighting is tricky, especially when you’re trying to shoot a video. Any given room may have multiple inside light sources combined with sunlight from a window. But what if you could replicate that ambient light by mimicking the spectral power of any light source? In this project article, learn how this Cornell student built a system to do just that using a PIC32 MCU, LEDs and the DMX-512A smart lighting protocol.


Board-Level IoT Solutions
By Jeff Child
The kinds of networking and edge computing required by an IoT implementation can vary extremely from application to application. Especially in harsh environment situations, rugged board-level IoT gateways and edge modules make more sense than office-grade kinds of solutions. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child examines the latest technology and trends in board-level IoT products. 

LoRa (Part 4)
By Bob Japenga
Bob continues his article series on LoRa. In Part 2, he looks at Comcast’s LoRaWAN-based commercial network MachineQ. The article explores what it was, what it is now and how you can leverage what MachineQ has to offer to help you design new embedded IoT systems.


Datasheet: A-D Converters
By Jeff Child
Analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) rank as key chip-level components that enable digital systems to interface with the “real” analog world. Makers of analog ICs are constantly evolving their ADC devices to chips new levels of both resolution and speed. This Datasheet section updates readers on this technology and provides a sampling of representative ADC products. 

Group Delay Basics
By Robert Lacoste
Four years ago, Robert wrote a Circuit Cellar article exploring analog filters, but it left off promising to someday discuss the idea of group delay in filtering. That day has now come as Robert in this article digs into group delay: what it is, why a flat group delay is helpful and for which kinds of designs is it a benefit. He discusses the topic using engineer-oriented explanations—with circuits and simulations—rather than getting into the mathematics. 

Semiconductor Fundamentals (Part 6)
By George Novacek
George continues article series looking at all aspects of the basic structures that make semiconductors work. In Part 6, his final article of the series, he builds on last month’s exploration of MOSFETs by this time examining MOSFETs designed specifically to handle high power. Such devices are suited for various applications like switching power supplies, motor controllers and analog amplifiers.


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Programming the Cortex-M4 in Assembly
By David Ludington
Many beginning programmers seek to embark on programming Arm-based devices, but don’t know how to start. With that in mind, David wrote an article that should help such beginners to establish a good foundation in the basics of Arm and understand the key technical documentation. David recently went through this process himself, and is eager to share his insights. 

System Controller Manufacturing Test (Part 2)
By Nishant Mittal
This two-part article by Xilinx’s Nishant Mittal discusses the design of an FPGA-based system controller built for testing and managing complex platforms. Part 1 focused on the hardware aspect of the system. In Part 2, he dives into the software side of the design, including the system’s power management and clock management. 

Build a 4-DOF Robotic Arm (Part 2)
By Raul Alvarez-Torrico
In Part 1, Raul discussed the general hardware and software aspects of his 4-DOF robotic arm project. In Part 2, he covers the topics related to the mathematical foundations of robotics, such as: configuration and task spaces, robot pose representation in three dimensions, homogeneous transformations, the Denavit-Hartenberg convention and forward/inverse kinematics. He then wraps up by talking about the testing and debugging the robotic arm and sharing his thoughts on future improvements.

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February Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 3 min