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December Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

The December issue of Circuit Cellar magazine is out next week! Artificial intelligence, controlled circuit breaking, quadcopter drone project, near field magnetic probes, build your own I-V curve tracer, DC-DC converter roundup and more—this 84-page magazine paints a stunning mural filled with embedded electronics articles for your reading pleasure.

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Here’s a sneak preview of December 2019 Circuit Cellar:


AI in Embedded Systems
By Jeff Child
There’s a big difference between AI in the abstract sense and AI implemented in embedded systems. Smoothing the way, processing technologies including FPGAs, GPUs, NPUs 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.

Helping Cars Think for Themselves
By Bryce Johnstone
There’s no doubt that cars are becoming smarter, but if the automotive industry is going to achieve its goal of fully autonomous vehicles, then they still have a long way to go. Clearly AI and, in particular, neural networks, will play a key role. In his article, Imagination Technologies’ Bryce Johnstone explains how GPUs and neural network accelerator chips provide an intelligent edge for automotive applications.


Product Focus: DC-DC Converters
By Jeff Child
DC-DC converters must juggle a lot of masters to push the limits in power density, voltage range and advanced filtering. Issues like the need to accommodate multi-voltage electronics, operate at wide temperature ranges and serve distributed system requirements all add up to some daunting design challenges. This Product Focus section updates readers on these technology trends and provides a product gallery of representative DC-DC converters.

Smart Circuit Breaking
By Jeff Bachiochi
Electrical systems for the home have come a long way from the days of old fashion fuse boxes. Today’s modern circuit breaker panels are designed to keep you safe. In this article, Jeff tracks the evolution of home circuit management, examining full featured intelligent panelboard solutions like Powerlink, and embarks on a project that puts Powerlink through its paces and leverages MQTT for remote control.


Test and Measurement
By Jeff Child
The form vs. function tradeoff has always been key concern when choosing test and measurement equipment. Products such as oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, signal generators and others are important tools for embedded systems developers. At today’s state of electronics technology, it’s quite feasible to have an all-in-one test system. But there’s still a desire by many to have a stand-alone box to serve as their oscilloscope, for example. Circuit Cellar Chief Editor Jeff Child examines the latest technology and product trends in test and measurement.

Near Field Magnetic Probes
By Robert Lacoste
Robert Lacoste’s very first topic covered in his Circuit Cellar column back in 2007 was electromagnetic interference (EMI). Coming full circle, this month he examines EMI once again, but this time from a different standpoint. Robert explain what near field magnetic probes are and how they can help you in your designs. More importantly, he shows how to build one at virtually no cost.

Create Your Own I-V Curve Tracer
George R. Steber
Curve tracing is a classic way to learn more about many electronic components. Instead of relying on the documentation of electronic component manufacturers, it’s useful to do the curve tracing yourself. In this project article, George presents an inexpensive curve tracer that plugs into the USB port of your computer. It enables you to obtain and compare the I-V curves of many devices such as signal diodes, LEDs, Zener diodes, transistors, ICs, optocouplers and many more.


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Build a Simple Quadcopter Drone
By Yijia Chen, Stewart Aslan and Thinesiya Krishnathasan
Small quadcopter-style drones represent one of the most exciting areas of embedded system design in recent years. Learn how these three Cornell students design, construct and test an autonomous quadcopter that uses a Microchip PIC32 MCU as its flight controller and acquires data from an onboard IMU. They also build a ground station with PIC32 to downlink the IMU data through radio and send commands to control the quadcopter’s flight time.

Build a 4-DOF Robotic Arm
By Raul Alvarez-Torrico
When it comes to building your own robotics systems, the future is truly now thanks to inexpensive hardware and software tools available today. In this project article, Raul explains how he built a robotic arm with four degrees of freedom and revolute joint. For anyone interested in introductory robotics, this low-cost hardware and software platform enables easy experimentation with forward and inverse kinematics algorithms, PID control and controller/computer interfacing.


LoRa (Part 2)
By Bob Japenga
Bob continues his article series on LoRa. In Part 2, he looks at The Things Network: the Long Range (LoRa) Community based and open source middleware network for LoRa. He discusses what it is, what kind of security it provides, its advantages and disadvantages, and how you can get started using it.

Semiconductor Fundamentals (Part 4)
By George Novacek
George continues article series looking at all aspects of the basic structures that make semiconductors work. In Part 4, he shows you some useful discrete transistor circuits and then zeros in on the field effect transistors: Junction FETs and MOSFETs. The discussion includes an examination of some fundamental structures like cascode amplifiers and Darlington transistors.

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Note: We’ve made the Dec 2022 issue of Circuit Cellar available as a free sample issue. In it, you’ll find a rich variety of the kinds of articles and information that exemplify a typical issue of the current magazine.

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December Circuit Cellar: Sneak Preview

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 4 min