Microwaves & RF UPDATE: October 23, 2003

Oct. 23, 2003
============================== Microwaves & RF UPDATE PlanetEE - www.planetee.com October 23, 2003 ============================== Greetings and welcome to your personal copy of PlanetEE's Microwaves and RF UPDATE e-newsletter. Please see below ...

============================== Microwaves & RF UPDATE PlanetEE - www.planetee.com October 23, 2003 ==============================

Greetings and welcome to your personal copy of PlanetEE's Microwaves and RF UPDATE e-newsletter. Please see below for address-change or subscribe/unsubscribe instructions.

Today's Table of Contents: 1. Viewpoint: Software Performance Engineering for Real-Time Embedded Systems 2. Fairchild Semiconductor Purchases Raytheon's RF Components Business 3. Silicon Frequency-Control Devices Gain on Crystal Oscillators 4. Wi-Fi Users Admit Interest in Accessing Neighbors' Wireless Networks 5. Miniature Microwave Furnace Aids Materials Research 6. HTS Technology Advanced for Government/Military Applications 7. M/A-COM Introduces P5100 - P25 and EDACS Digital Radio 8. Happenings 9. Product Snapshots

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************* 1. Viewpoint ************* Software Performance Engineering for Real-Time Embedded Systems By Rob Oshana, Engineering Manager for Texas Instruments (TI)

Regardless of the type of software application you may be developing, many of us in the software development world face a similar set of challenges and goals; - High quality applications - Fast time to market - Lower cost

If you are lucky enough to be in the real-time software application space, the list does not stop there. Additional challenges include; - Response time and latency requirements - System throughput requirements - Availability

Further, if you are in the embedded real-time application space (an embedded is a system whose primary function is often not computing), the list grows; - Tight physical constraints (such as size, weight, and power) - Asynchronous and simultaneous events - High reliability requirements

In the embedded real-time world, resources like CPU, memory, and power are scarce because customers do not want to pay for large amounts of memory or CPU power. Neither do customers want to carry portable devices that weigh too much or consume large amounts of battery power. Performance must be managed. The goal is to fit as much application processing as possible onto as little hardware and software as possible!

If the embedded application is a programmable device, the performance of the software will be instrumental in overall system performance. However, it is common to ignore performance related issues until late in the life cycle, after the application is up and running. This "fix it later" approach often leads to substantial redesign and refactoring at later stages of the project, such as integration and test, a time where the project is already on the critical path. These performance concerns transcend the software engineering and performance evaluation communities.

A disciplined approach to managing system performance throughout the lifecycle is needed to insure systems achieve full "performance entitlement" and meet performance objectives when the product is delivered. Software Performance Engineering (SPE) is the systematic process for planning and evaluating a system's performance throughout the life cycle of its development (1). The goals of SPE are to enhance the responsiveness and usability of systems while at the same time preserving quality.

The overall approach to SPE is straightforward; consider quantitative behavior from a system's requirements stage through maintenance and enhancement stages. The process consists of the following steps; - Assess the performance risk; not all real-time embedded systems have a performance risk. Soft real-time systems (a soft real-time system is a system where missing a deadline will degrade the system but it will not fail) may have less overall risk that a hard real-time system (a hard real-time system is one where missing the deadline causes the system to fail). The amount of risk drives how much effort should be expended on the SPE effort.

- Identify critical use cases and performance scenarios; a use case is a "typical course of events" that describes the external behavior of a system from one particular viewpoint. There can be many uses of the system. A "critical" use case is one that is important to the responsiveness or performance of the system. A performance scenario represents an interaction with the system that drives the performance of the system.

- Establish performance objectives; it is not good enough to state, "the system must be fast" or "the responsiveness must be good." Performance objectives must be quantitative and measurable, such as "the total CPU utilization should not exceed 75%." These objectives need to be established early and managed throughput the lifecycle.

- Construct performance models; there are many modeling approaches for embedded systems, including software-modeling languages such as the Unified Modeling Language (UML) (2). When analyzing systems for performance, modeling approaches are used that focus on system performance scenarios identified earlier. Common modeling approaches for performance engineering include software execution models which provide a static analysis of the best and worst case execution times in the absence of external factors (if there are performance issues with these simple models, these must be resolved before going to more detailed models), and system execution models which are dynamic models that consider competing workloads or delays due to contention for shared resources.

- Determine software and computer resource requirements; during this phase, the computational needs of the software (how many CPU instructions are required, network messages) and the corresponding computer resource requirements (a mapping of the software resource requirements onto the amount of "service" they require from the key hardware devices in the system such as CPUs, Disks, etc) are determined. A "What-if" analysis is performed to determine the best mapping to meet the system requirements for performance as well as cost and power.

- Validation, verification, and evaluation; modeling requires a verification phase (Have I built the model right?) and a validation phase (Have I built the right model?). If the models have indicated a performance problem, the product concept can be modified or the performance estimates can be revised.

Modeling is iterative. The steps above may iterate several times as the product is being developed. As the lifecycle proceeds more accurate estimates are obtained and fed back into the models. Following this process, system problems are discovered earlier and can be addressed when the costs to fix or modify the system are relatively low because all that exists at this stage are models, not the product. Addressing performance problems after hardware and software are already developed is much more expensive.

Embedded system complexity is growing. Software technologies continue to evolve rapidly, time to market is getting shorter, documentation is incomplete or absent, and system performance, power, and resource constraints are always a challenge. These factors necessitate the need for performance engineering of embedded systems. Texas Instruments (TI) --> http://www.ti.com

References 1. Performance Solutions, A Practical Guide to Creating Responsive, Scalable Software, by Connie Smith and Lloyd Williams, Addison Wesley, Reading, MA, 2002

2. The Unified Modeling Language User Guide, by G. Booch, J. Rumbaugh, and I. Jacobson, Addison Wesley, Reading MA, 1999


Please share your thoughts about this feature article with our readers by contacting the editor at: [email protected]

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******* 2. News ******* Fairchild Semiconductor Purchases Raytheon's RF Components Business

Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland, ME), a name long synonymous with the history of semiconductors, has boldly entered the wireless marketplace through its acquisition of the RF Components Division Commercial Business Unit of Raytheon Co. (Andover, MA). Fairchild, a leader in power and interface devices and integrated circuits (ICs), immediately adds capabilities in cellular and wireless-local-area-network (WLAN) devices and ICs. The purchase agreement also adds GaAs millimeter-wave ICs to Fairchild's product mix. The former Raytheon business unit, which will be led by Russ Wagner, previously Raytheon RF Components Vice-President of Business Development, will report to Fairchild's Power Discrete Group, under Dr. Izak Bencuya, Vice-President and General Manager. As part of the acquisition, Fairchild also takes on Raytheon's foundry partnership agreement for the supply of GaAs wafers and an equity stake in WIN Semiconductor, as well as access to foundry and support services at Raytheon's Andover, MA facility. As part of the asset purchase agreement and transfer of intellectual property, more than 30 Raytheon design engineers, test engineers, and business development employees will join Fairchild. Both sides are enthusiastic about the acquisition, according to Bencuya, "the addition of RF power amplifiers to our current power product offering strengthens Fairchild's presence in the wireless communications markets, while enabling expanded design opportunities in the areas of WLANs and handsets." Wagner acknowledged the synergy between the two groups: "This acquisition strategically aligns the global, commercial capabilities of power components industry leader Fairchild Semiconductor with the RF Components Division. We look forward to leveraging new opportunities in product development and customer support as part of Fairchild's Power Discrete Group." Fairchild employs 10,000 employees worldwide, while Raytheon Co. employs more than 76,000 people worldwide.

Fairchild Semi --> http://www.fairchildsemi.com Raytheon --> http://www.raytheon.com

******* 3. News ******* Silicon Frequency-Control Devices Gain on Crystal Oscillators

Silicon timing devices represent a rapidly growing portion of the total market for frequency-control/timing devices, according to forecasts by technology research firm ABI Research (Oyster Bay, NY). Such devices represent a cost- effective and reliable alternative to quartz crystal oscillators and resonators and are having a major impact on the market for quartz crystals and oscillators. Quartz crystal oscillators have suffered a steep decline in sales due to the weakening of telecommunications markets in recent years. And, although silicon-based technology is replacing quartz-based timing products in many applications, the research firm projects future growth for quartz oscillators in some niche markets, including in wireless base stations, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), space-based systems, and military applications. The total value of the crystal-based oscillator and silicon timing device market in 2002 was $3.53 billion, according to ABI, and will expand slightly to $3.64 billion in 2003, although much of this growth is for newer silicon timing devices, with traditional crystal-based oscillators having reached a market peak in 2000. According to ABI analyst John Marino, "Moderate growth will return to the market by 2005." He adds, "A portion of this new growth will be derived from new product solutions, such as silicon timing." The report, entitled "Quartz Crystal Oscillators and Silicon Timing Devices: Global Market Analysis of Silicon, SAW, and Crystal Technologies," identifies key trends in the market for oscillators and timing devices and projects how consolidation and restructuring will ease the competitive landscape. ABI Research --> http://www.abiresearch.com/reports/OSC.html

******* 4. News ******* Wi-Fi Users Admit Interest in Accessing Neighbors' Wireless Networks

Some 44 percent of Wi-Fi wireless network users would enjoy the opportunity to access their neighbors' wireless networks, according to a poll by leading intelligent gateway solution provider 2Wire, Inc. (San Jose, CA). The poll, conducted in October 2003, was based on 200 consumers as part of a study into home networking trends. The results of the poll show that, unless security measures are in place, even the most well-meaning neighbors might be tempted to access a wireless network. The poll showed that 21 percent of Wi-Fi users can access their neighbor's wireless local area network (WLAN), and one in 25 even admitted to having accidentally logged onto a neighbor's network. Most could only see device names, but some were able to freely access files or the World Wide Web by means of their neighbor's network. According to Jaime Fink, Director of Product Management at 2Wire, "most wireless access devices have built-in security features such as encryption and password protection. However, users don't always activate these features or know where to find them." Fink notes "the survey shows that it's not enough to rely on neighborly spirit to avoid a security breach, whether accidental or deliberate. The responsibility lies with manufacturers and service providers to provide guidance and ensure users are properly protected." 2Wire, Inc. is a leading supplier of intelligent service delivery platforms for the DSL broadband market. The company's products include broadband residential gateways, which are distributed by major DSL service providers. 2Wire, Inc --> http://www.2wire.com/

******* 5. News ******* Miniature Microwave Furnace Aids Materials Research

The ThermWAVE laboratory-scale microwave-sintering furnace is ideal for small- scale firing of ceramic materials, melting of small amounts of precious and non- precious metals and glass, curing, forming, and joining materials. Developed by Research Microwave Systems LLC (Alfred, NY), the low-cost system can achieve temperatures exceeding +1500{DEG}C in less than 30 minutes. The ThermWAVE system features an integrated computer controller with iSeries ActiveX control for Microsoft Excel files. The water-cooled system is powered by a standard 120- VAC electrical outlet. A high-performance version of the furnace is also available with thermocouple assembly that allows for the introduction of inert gases during operation. Research Microwave Systems LLC --> http://www.thermwave.com

******* 6. News ******* HTS Technology Advanced for Government/Military Applications

In December 2002, Superconductor Technologies (Santa Barbara, CA) acquired high- temperature-superconductor (HTS) company Conductus. Although both companies at the time were focused on providing solutions for cellular base-station customers, such as the SuperLink receiver from Superconductor Technologies (over 3000 systems are currently employed in cellular base stations to extend range and increase capacity), the former Conductus facility (Sunnyvale, CA) is now targeting government and military applications. During a recent visit with Joe Madden, President of the facility now known as STI Government Products, the results of funding from such organizations as DARPA and the Naval Research Laboratories (NRL) were evident in a variety of fixed-frequency and tuned filters, low-noise amplifiers, and cryogenic-packaged front-end assemblies. Designed to extend the range of ELINT surveillance receivers, these HTS products include fixed-frequency filters at center frequencies from 157 MHz to 6 GHz and fractional bandwidths as narrow as 0.016 percent, LNAs with noise figures of 0.5 dB and less, and cryogenically cooled tunable filters with as much as 100 dB signal rejection as close as 400 kHz from a 2-GHz band edge.

STI Technologies --> http://www.suptech.com

******* 7. News ******* M/A-COM Introduces P5100 - P25 and EDACS Digital Radio

M/A-COM, Inc. a business unit of Tyco Electronics and leading manufacturer of critical radio systems deployed around the world, recently announced the P5100 portable radio. The P5100 is ideal for public service and utility customers and represents another expansion of M/A-COM's line of Internet Protocol (IP)-based two-way digital voice and data radios. As a software-defined radio, it can be programmed to operate on a variety of networks including P25 digital, Enhanced Digital Access Communications System (EDACS) and ProVoice digital trunked networks, as well as conventional analog systems. The P5100 features durable and lightweight construction designed to deliver exceptional voice quality and high performance in demanding environments. M/A-COM --> http://www.macom.com

*************** 8. Happenings *************** Risk Analysis for Hardware-Software Designers Hayden's, Century Hotel, Tualatin, OR November 20, 2003 http://www.cecs.pdx.edu/systems/risk

Intern. Symposium on Microelectronics (IMAPS) Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA November 16-20, 2003 http://www.imaps.org/

Software Defined Radio (SDR) Conference November 17-19, 2003 Disneys Contemporary Resort, Orlando, Florida www.sdrforum.org/sdr03/main.html

62nd ARFTG Microwave Measurements Conference (co-sponsored by MTT-S) Hotel Boulderado, Boulder, CO December 2-5, 2003 http://www.arftg.org/

Wireless Systems Design Conference & Expo San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA March 8-10, 2004 http://www.wsdexpo.com/

******************* 9. Product Snapshots ******************* CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) recently announced that its BlueCore solution will be incorporated into Taiyo Yuden's latest Bluetooth embedded serial port modules. The EYMF2CAMM-XX and EYSF2CAXX-XX embedded serial port modules are aimed at industrial applications such as POS (point of sale), telemetry and factory automation and can be utilized simply for cable replacement. Enabled by CSR, the embedded serial port modules are available now via CSR's dedicated support site for designers or Taiyo Yuden's distribution channels (see below). CSR --> http://www.btdesigner.com Taiyo Yuden --> http://www.ty-top.com

Ansoft Corporation has announced the release of Ansoft Designer v1.1, software for the design of high-frequency electronic components, circuits and systems. The new version features a Solver on Demand link between Ansoft Designer and Ansoft's HFSS, the industry-standard 3D electromagnetic (EM) design tool. Designers and engineers can now dynamically incorporate the effects of arbitrary 3D structures within their high-frequency electronic simulations. Ansoft --> http://www.ansoft.com

LPKF Laser & Electronics, the providers of PCB prototyping solutions, recently announced the release of the Chip Packaging Toolkit option for Pulsonix PCB design software. With the release of this option, Pulsonix is now able to target chip packaging and chip-on-board designers. Pulsonix Chip Packaging Toolkit provides the option to create and annotate die, bond pads and bond wires, and also allows the automatic placing of bond pads around bare die components. Online DRC (design rule check) and batch design rules can be set for minimum and maximum length of the bond pad from the die pad, and for crossing over of insulated and non-insulated wires. LPKF --> http://www.lpkfusa.com

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MICROWAVES AND RF (MWRF) UPDATE e-NEWSLETTER CONTACTS ==================================================== Executive Editor: Jack Browne mailto:[email protected] Senior Editor: John Blyler mailto:[email protected]

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