July Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

The July issue of Circuit Cellar is coming next week! PCB design tools, MCU projects, ultrasonic sensors, IoT design, battery life measurement, IoT interface modules, FPGAs and GPUs for artificial intelligence, machine learning, old school fault injection, simplifying FMEDAs for automotive designs and more! This 84-page magazine sets a scrumptious table of embedded technology articles for your reading consumption.

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


PCB Design and Verification
By Jeff Child
PCB design tools and methods continue to evolve as they race to keep pace with faster, highly integrated electronics. Automated, rules-based chip placement is getting more sophisticated and leveraging AI in interesting ways. And supply chains are linking tighter with PCB design processes. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child looks at the latest PCB design and verification tools and technologies.

Automotive Design Safety Analysis: Reloaded
By Chuck Battikha and Doug Smith
Failure Modes, Effects and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA) documents are critical tools used to achieve the safety requirements of automotive designs. But writing an FMEDA is a time consuming and difficult task. By automating this task, you can spend more time improving your design’s safety readiness. In this article, Chuck Battikha and Doug Smith from Mentor, a Siemens Business, introduces a push-button solution for creating and automating the FMEDA process.

FPGA and GPU Technologies for AI
By Jeff Child
AI is quickly infiltrating ever corner of embedded system design. But implementing the technology can be challenging. Smoothing the way, processing technologies including FPGAs, GPUs and dedicated AI SoCs are being designed into a variety of solutions in board, box, dev kit and chip IP formats. In this article, Circuit Cellar’s Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Child, looks at these technologies and trends driving AI in embedded systems.


Datasheet: IoT Interface Modules
By Jeff Child
The fast growing IoT phenomenon is driving demand for highly integrated modules designed for the IoT edge. Feeding those needs, a new crop of IoT modules have emerged that offer pre-certified solutions that are ready to use. This Datasheet section updates readers on this technology trend and provides a product album of representative IoT modules.

IoT System Design Challenges
By Nishant Mittal
The IoT has been with us long enough now that it’s easy to think we know everything about it. But designing an IoT product is vastly different from other electronic products. Just the presence of wireless components adds new layers of complexity in terms of testing certifications, PCB design and other hurdles. In this article, Nishant discusses these and other challenges embedded system developers can face during the design cycle of an IoT product.

Tool Estimates IoT Device Battery Life
By Doug Peters
Estimating the battery life of a device can be a daunting task. With that in mind, Doug set out to design and build a tool that quickly and effortlessly provided an estimate of battery life for his projects. He steps through each element of his design process, including current profiling, battery emulation, Python software development and more.


Build an NTSC Racing Video Game
By Brandon Guo, Dustin Hwang and Haley Lee
In today’s digital world, hardly anyone uses analog televisions anymore. In this project article, learn how three Cornell students make use of this antiquated technology in conjunction with the Microchip PIC32 MCU to create their own racing video game.

Calibrating a MCU’s RTC Using GPS
By Stuart Ball
Many embedded applications require an accurate real-time clock (RTC). But calibrating an MCU’s internal RTC often requires expensive test instruments and long runtimes. In this article, Stuart describes how you can use a low-cost GPS module to achieve a good RTC calibration in a short time.

Oil Tank Gauge Uses Ultrasonic Sensing
By Jeff Bachiochi
When Jeff replaced his home heating oil tank a few years ago, he regrets not have a mechanical gauge put in the tank. But that gave him a reason for this new project. In this article, Jeff describes how he conceived and built a system to measure how much oil was left in his tank. It uses Arduino, ultrasonic sensors and a smartphone app.

Building the ChipJabber-Unplugged
By Colin O’Flynn
Voltage glitching might seem like the latest security threat, where attackers are using complicated FPGA and digital logic designs to perform the fault injection. But at its core the idea is simple. In this article, Colin demonstrates how you can build a classic project, using only through-hole ICs and zero programmable logic.

Build a Soundfont MIDI Synthesizer (Part 2)
By Brian Millier
In Part 1, Brian focused on the Soundfont standard. This time, in Part 2, he discusses the Teensy 4 firmware that implements a MIDI wavetable synthesizer. He also details the circuitry of the project—circuitry that is quite simple thanks to the Teensy 4 MCU doing much of the heavy lifting.

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July Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 3 min