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The Buzz Around Next-Gen AI Powered Laptops

ELE Times - Fri, 05/24/2024 - 09:51

AI laptops have been gaining traction in recent years. These laptops are equipped with artificial intelligence capabilities, typically in the form of AI-powered assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, or Cortana. They can perform tasks such as voice recognition, natural language processing, and even machine learning computations.

One of the key advantages of AI laptops is their ability to enhance user productivity and convenience. Users can interact with their laptops using natural language commands, sometimes allowing for hands-free operation. Another interesting aspect is the potential for AI laptops to adapt and learn over time. As users continue to interact with their devices, AI algorithms can analyze their preferences and habits to provide increasingly tailored experiences.

However, it’s worth noting that the term “AI laptop” is somewhat broad and can encompass various levels of AI integration, from simple voice assistants to more sophisticated machine learning algorithms. As technology continues to advance, we can expect AI laptops to become even more capable and intelligent, further blurring the line between human and machine interaction.

AI Laptop Working at a Glance

AI laptops work by integrating artificial intelligence algorithms into various aspects of the device’s functionality. A simplified breakdown of how they work: AI laptops continuously gather data from various sources, including user interactions, system performance metrics, sensor inputs, and external data like weather forecasts or traffic conditions. The collected data is then processed by AI algorithms further moving towards advanced machine learning models. The algorithms analyse data to identify patterns, trends, and correlations. The models then also undergo training on large datasets to learn specific tasks, if need be. The final step is to then integrate the models into the laptop, where they perform inference tasks in real time using learned patterns to make predictions based on new data inputs.

To enable efficient use of AI-driven features, AI algorithms are integrated into the laptop’s hardware and software components. With complex integrations and working comes into play the role of data security and privacy. Hence, the data channels working on personal details etc. should be well-encrypted.

Building Blocks of AI Laptops

AI laptops incorporate several essential components to support their AI-driven functionalities. Here are some key components typically found in AI laptops:

  1. Central Processing Unit (CPU): The CPU is the brain of the laptop and handles general-purpose computing tasks. In AI laptops, the CPU may be optimized for running AI algorithms efficiently, such as those used for natural language processing or image recognition.
  2. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU): The GPU is essential for accelerating computations required by AI algorithms, especially deep learning models. Many AI laptops feature dedicated GPUs with parallel processing capabilities, which are well-suited for tasks like training and inference in neural networks.
  3. Memory (RAM): Adequate RAM is crucial for AI laptops to store and access data efficiently during AI computations. AI workloads, particularly those involving large datasets or complex models, can require significant amounts of memory to perform optimally.
  4. Storage (SSD or HDD): Fast and reliable storage is essential for storing datasets, models, and AI-related software. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are preferred for AI laptops due to their faster read and write speeds, which can improve the performance of data-intensive AI applications.
  5. Sensors: Sensors such as cameras, microphones, accelerometers, and gyroscopes enable AI laptops to perceive and interact with their environment. These sensors are crucial for tasks like image recognition, voice recognition, and gesture control.
  6. Connectivity: AI laptops require robust connectivity options to access cloud services, download updates, and interact with other devices. This includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and potentially cellular connectivity for remote access to AI resources and data.
  7. Operating System (OS): The choice of operating system can impact the availability and compatibility of AI software and tools. Many AI laptops run operating systems like Windows, macOS, or Linux, which offer extensive support for AI development frameworks and libraries.
  8. AI Software Frameworks: AI laptops come pre-installed with or support the installation of AI software frameworks such as TensorFlow, PyTorch, or scikit-learn. These frameworks provide the tools and libraries necessary for developing, training, and deploying AI models on the laptop.
  9. AI Middleware: AI laptops may include middleware or AI-specific software components that facilitate tasks like data pre-processing, model deployment, and inference optimization. These middleware solutions streamline the development and deployment of AI applications on the laptop.
  10. Security Features: Given the sensitive nature of AI-related data and applications, AI laptops often include advanced security features such as hardware-based encryption, secure boot, and trusted execution environments. These features help protect AI models, datasets, and user privacy.

These components work together to enable AI laptops to perform AI-related tasks efficiently and provide a seamless user experience for AI development and deployment.

Difference Between Traditional and AI Laptops

AI laptops differ from traditional laptops primarily in their integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.  Unlike traditional laptops, AI laptops are equipped with features like performance optimisation, intelligent assistants, predictive capabilities, adaptive functionality, and continuous learning capabilities.

AI laptops offer smart features that adapt to user behaviour and preferences over time. They use AI algorithms to optimize performance and power efficiency dynamically. They can adjust CPU and GPU usage on the demands of running applications, resulting in smoother performance and longer battery life as compared to traditional laptops.  One can find smart features like voice recognition, facial recognition, and behavioural biometrics for authentication. The intelligent assistants utilise AI and can perform tasks like scheduling appointments, searching the web, or controlling smart home devices, making them more versatile than traditional laptops.

Top Laptop Picks for Unmatched User Experience

AI laptops are usually best suited for data scientists, engineers, or people in research and development roles working on critical mathematical concepts and applications. We have curated a list of top AI-powered laptops with high-end designs and features.

  • ASUS Zenbook Duo
  • ACER Swift Go 14
  • ASUS TUF Gaming A15
  • Lenovo LOQ AI Powered
  • HP Spectre x360 14
  • Dell XPS 14 (9440)
  • ASUS ROG Zephysrus G14
  • Dell XPS 16 (9640)
  • ASUS TUF Gaming A15

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Why HBM memory and AI processors are happy together

EDN Network - Fri, 05/24/2024 - 09:18

High bandwidth memory (HBM) chips have become a game changer in artificial intelligence (AI) applications by efficiently handling complex algorithms with high memory requirements. They became a major building block in AI applications by addressing a critical bottleneck: memory bandwidth.

Figure 1 HBM comprises a stack of DRAM chips linked vertically by interconnects called TSVs. The stack of memory chips sits on top of a logic chip that acts as the interface to the processor. Source: Gen AI Experts

Jinhyun Kim, principal engineer at Samsung Electronics’ memory product planning team, acknowledges that the mainstreaming of AI and machine learning (ML) inference has led to the mainstreaming of HBM. But how did this lover affair between AI and HBM begin in the first place?

As Jim Handy, principal analyst with Objective Analysis, put it, GPUs and AI accelerators have an unbelievable hunger for bandwidth, and HBM gets them where they want to go. “If you tried doing it with DDR, you’d end up having to have multiple processors instead of just one to do the same job, and the processor cost would end up more than offsetting what you saved in the DRAM.”

DRAM chips struggle to keep pace with the ever-increasing demands of complex AI models, which require massive amounts of data to be processed simultaneously. On the other hand, HBM chips, which offer significantly higher bandwidth than traditional DRAM by employing a 3D stacking architecture, facilitate shorter data paths and faster communication between the processor and memory.

That allows AI applications to train on larger and more complex datasets, which in turn, leads to more accurate and powerful models. Moreover, as a memory interface for 3D-stacked DRAM, HBM uses less power in a form factor that’s significantly smaller than DDR4 or GDDR5 by stacking as many as eight DRAM dies with an optional base die that can include buffer circuitry and test logic.

Next, each new generation of HBM incorporates improvements that coincide with launches of the latest GPUs, CPUs, and FPGAs. For instance, with HBM3, bandwidth jumped to 819 GB/s and maximum density per HBM stack increased to 24 GB to manage larger datasets.

Figure 2 Host devices like GPUs and FPGAs in AI designs have embraced HBM due to their higher bandwidth needs. Source: Micron

The neural networks in AI applications require a significant amount of data both for processing and training, and training sets alone are growing about 10 times annually. That means the need for HBM is likely to grow further.

It’s important to note that the market for HBM chips is still evolving and that HBM chips are not limited to AI applications. These memory chips are increasingly finding sockets in applications serving high-performance computing (HPC) and data centers.

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📋 Газета "Київський політехнік" № 19-20 за 2024 (.pdf)

Новини - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 21:07
📋 Газета "Київський політехнік" № 19-20 за 2024 (.pdf)
Image
kpi чт, 05/23/2024 - 21:07
Текст

Вийшов друком 19-20 номер газети "Київський політехнік" за 2024 рік

Demo board provides dual-motor control

EDN Network - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 20:03

ST’s demonstration board controls two three-phase brushless motors using an onboard STSPIN32G4 controller with an embedded MCU. The controller’s integrated MCU is based on a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M4 core, which delivers the processing power to manage both motors simultaneously.

The EVSPIN32G4-DUAL demo board can be used for developing industrial and consumer products, ranging from multi-axis factory automation systems to garden and power tools. It is capable of executing complex algorithms, like field-oriented control (FOC), in real time. MCU peripherals support sensored or sensorless FOC, as well as advanced position and torque control algorithms.

Along with the integrated gate driver of the STSPIN32G4 controller, the board employs an additional STDRIVE101 gate driver. The two power stages deliver up to 10 A with a maximum supply voltage of 74 V. Built-in safety features include drain-source voltage monitoring, cross-conduction prevention, several thermal protection mechanisms, and undervoltage lockout.

The EVSPIN32G4-DUAL demo board is available now with a single-unit price of $177.62.

EVSPIN32G4-DUAL product page

STMicroelectronics

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Microchip grows rad-tolerant MCU portfolio

EDN Network - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 20:02

Offering high radiation tolerance, the SAMD21RT MCU from Microchip is capable of operating in the harsh environments found in space. The device, which is based on a 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0+ core running at up to 48 MHz, also meets the stringent size and weight constraints critical for space applications.

The SAMD21RT operates over a temperature range of -40°C to +125°C and tolerates up to 50 krads of total ionizing dose (TID) radiation. It also provides single event latch-up (SEL) immunity of up to 78 MeV.cm2/mg. Operating voltage is 3 V to 3.6 V.

Occupying a footprint of just 10×10 mm, the SAMD21RT MCU packs 128 kbytes of flash memory and 16 kbytes of SRAM in its 64-pin plastic or ceramic QFP package. It furnishes multiple peripherals, including a 12-bit ADC with up to 20 channels, a 10-bit DAC, 12-channel DMA controller, two analog comparators, and various timer/counters. To conserve power, the SAMD21RT offers idle and standby sleep modes.

Limited samples of the SAMD21RT microcontroller are available by contacting a Microchip sales representative.

SAMD21RT product page

Microchip Technology 

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Dual-channel gate drivers fit IGBT modules

EDN Network - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 20:02

Scale-iFlex XLT plug-and-play dual-channel gate drivers from Power Integrations operate IGBT modules with blocking voltages of up to 2.3 kV. These ready-to-use drivers work with LV100 (Mitsubishi), XHP 2 (Infineon), and equivalent IGBT modules used in wind, energy storage, and solar renewable energy installations.

Each driver board features an electrical interface, a built-in DC/DC power supply, and negative temperature coefficient (NTC) readout for isolated temperature measurement of the power module. According to the manufacturer, NTC data reporting increases reliability and module utilization by as much as 30%. It also reduces hardware complexity, eliminating multiple cables, connectors, and additional isolation circuitry.

The dual-channel gate drivers support three IGBT voltage classes: 1200 V, 1700 V, and 2300 V. They have a maximum switching frequency of 25 kHz and operate over a temperature range of -40°C to +85°C. Output power is 1 W per channel at maximum ambient temperature. Protection features include short circuit, soft shutdown, and undervoltage lockout.

Scale-iFlex XLT gate drivers are now available for sampling.

Scale-iFlex XLT product page

Power Integrations

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SiC MOSFETs reside in 7-pin D2Pak

EDN Network - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 20:02

Nexperia now offers 1200-V SiC MOSFETs in 7-pin D2Pak (TO-263-7) plastic packages with on-resistance values of 30 mΩ, 40 mΩ, 60 mΩ, and 80 mΩ. With the release of the NSF0xx120D7A0 series of SiC MOSFETs, the company is addressing the need for high-performance SiC switches in surface-mount packages like the D2Pak-7.

The N-channel devices can be used in various industrial applications, including electric vehicle charging, uninterruptible power supplies, photovoltaic inverters, and motor drives. Nexperia states its process technology ensures that its SiC MOSFETs offer industry-leading temperature stability. The parts’ nominal RDS(ON) value increases by only 38% over an operating temperature range of +25°C to +175°C. In addition, tight gate-source threshold voltage allows the discrete MOSFETs to offer balanced current-carrying performance when connected in parallel.

The MOSFET’s TO-263 single-ended surface-mount package has 7 leads with a 1.27-mm pitch and occupies a footprint area of 189.2 mm2. A Kelvin source pin speeds commutation and improves switching.

For more information about the NSF0xx120D7A0 series of SiC MOSFETs in the TO-263-7 package, click here.

Nexperia

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Gate driver duo optimizes GaN FET design

EDN Network - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 20:01

A two-chip set from Allegro delivers isolated gate drive for e-mode GaN FETs in multiple applications and topologies. Comprising the AHV85000 and AHV85040, the pair of ICs is the third product in the company’s high-voltage Power-Thru portfolio, transmitting both the PWM signal and bias power through a single external isolation transformer. This eliminates the need for an external auxiliary bias supply or high-side bootstrap.

Expanding on Allegro’s Power-Thru technology, the combo chipset offers the same benefits found in its existing gate drivers, but relocates the isolation transformer from internal to external. By doing so, the AHV85000 and AHV85040 afford greater design flexibility for isolation, power, and layout, as engineers can choose a transformer based on their design requirements. They are well-suited for use in clean energy applications, such as solar inverters and EV charging, as well as data center power supplies.

The AHV85000 and AHV85040 form the primary-side transmitter and secondary-side receiver of an isolated GaN FET gate driver. Together, they simplify system design and reduce EMI through reduced total common-mode capacitance. The chipset also enables the driving of a floating switch at any location in a switching power topology.

The AHV85000 and AHV85040 are sold as a two-chip set. Each chip comes in a 3×3-mm, 10-pin DFN surface-mount package. The parts are available through Allegro’s distributor network.

AHV85000/40 product page

Allegro Microsystems 

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GSM/4G Remote Control with DTMF Commands

Open Electronics - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 18:33

Two-way remote control system, based on the GSM/4G A7682E module from SIMCom, which utilizes the GSM network for activations and controls. All settings are made via SMS or locally via PC (using the optional FT782M interface). It has two relay outputs with monostable or bistable operation and two opto-isolated alarm inputs. It can store up […]

The post GSM/4G Remote Control with DTMF Commands appeared first on Open Electronics. The author is Boris Landoni

Кандидати на посаду ректора Національного технічного університету України «Київський політехнічний інститут імені Ігоря Сікорського»

Новини - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 17:24
Кандидати на посаду ректора Національного технічного університету України «Київський політехнічний інститут імені Ігоря Сікорського»

Зустрічі з кандидатами відбуватимуться в залі Вченої ради о 16.00

kpi чт, 05/23/2024 - 17:24

Analog TV transmitter—analog problem

EDN Network - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 16:25

In the late 1980s the television station I worked at was still using an early 1970s transmitter, an RCA TT-50FH (50 kW, Series F, High-band VHF).

The transmitter was made with three cabinets: two 25 kW amplifiers, A and B, on the left and right, and a control cabinet with aural and visual exciters and intermediate power amplifiers (IPAs) in the center. The amplifier outputs were combined externally to produce the full 50 kW (Figure 1).

Figure 1 The TV transmitter was made with three cabinets: two 25 kW amplifiers, A and B, on the left and right, and a control cabinet with aural and visual exciters and intermediate power amplifiers (IPAs) in the center. 

Every four or five months we’d notice intermittent black lines running through the video. Apparently, this had been an ongoing problem for several years, with the problem originating in the A amplifier. The transmitter supervisor brought me out to the transmitter site, and we’d use his standard procedure, as follows:

  • Split the transmitter, so amplifier B fed the antenna and amplifier A fed the dummy load.
  • Slide the IPA chassis out from the center cabinet and remove its top.
  • Turn all of the adjustments on the IPA to a minimum.
  • Follow the IPA procedure in the maintenance manual to set up the IPA for proper operation.
  • Close up the IPA, slide the chassis back in place, and recombine the transmitter amplifiers.

This worked every time, eliminating the black lines for another few months.

After I saw this happen two or three times, I got a little suspicious, especially since the IPA adjustments always ended up exactly where they had started. I asked the transmitter supervisor how he came up with the fix. He learned it from his predecessor, who probably learned it from his predecessor.

This fix didn’t seem right.  It had more of a feel of a bad connection than an electronic component failure.

I took a look in the back of the transmitter, at the IPA’s connections. The IPA used a loop-through input, which allows a one signal to feed multiple devices. If that’s not necessary, the output is terminated with a 75-ohm resistor matching the characteristic impedance of the coax cable.

In more modern equipment, if you consider the 1980s modern, the loop-through is made with a pair of BNC connectors on a circuit board. In this transmitter, RCA built the device with N-connectors on a bracket. See Figure 2.

Figure 2 The IPA used a loop-through input, which allows a one signal to feed multiple devices. This was built with N-connectors on a bracket where the output is terminated with a 75-ohm resistor

When I checked the connections, I found the cables were tight on the chassis-mounted jacks, but the jacks themselves were not. The hex nuts on the rear of the bracket had loosened up over the years, so the ground connection, which depended on the metal bracket, was poor. We tightened the nuts, and the transmitter behaved itself for the rest of its life, well into the 1990s.

So why did the standard procedure fix the problem for a while each time? It didn’t, of course. It was the sliding back and forth of the chassis that was shaking up the cables and connectors and restoring a good ground connection, even if only slightly and only for a while.

Those were the good old days. With analog TV you could see the problem in the video or hear it in the audio. HDTV transmitters, on the other hand, just go dark and silent when there’s a problem. But those are stories for another day.

Robert Yankowitz retired as Chief Engineer at a television station in Boston, Massachusetts, where he had worked for 23 years. Prior to that, he worked for 15 years at a station in Providence, Rhode Island.

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Infineon launches new NFC I2C bridge tag for contactless authentication and secured configuration of IoT devices

ELE Times - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 14:52

The number of IoT devices is rapidly increasing, and they have already become a part of every industry. However, as the number of smart devices increases, so do the demands on the user experience in terms of simplicity of device configuration and pairing. To address this, Infineon Technologies AG launches the OPTIGA Authenticate NBT, a high-performance NFC I2C bridge tag for single-tap authentication and secured configuration of IoT devices. It is the only asymmetric cryptography tag for sign and verify operations in the market certified as a Type 4 Tag by the NFC Forum. OPTIGA Authenticate NBT enables ultra-fast and seamless data exchange even with large data volumes. It enables contactless NFC (Near Field Communication) communication between IoT devices and contactless readers such as smartphones. It can be used for various applications, such as secured configuration of electronic devices without a display, activation of shared mobility vehicles, passive commissioning of unpowered smart light bulbs prior to installation, and data logging on patient health monitors.

OPTIGA_Authenticate_NBT_USON-8-6

OPTIGA Authenticate NBT offers superior security with Infineon’s Integrity Guard 32 security architecture, and the EAL6+ certification for both the hardware and the crypto libraries. The tag supports both symmetric and asymmetric cryptographic authentication as well as pass-through and asynchronous data transfer modes.

The device uses TEGRION™ hardware and enables a contactless interface speed of up to 848 Kbit/s and an I2C interface that supports up to 1 Mbits/s which results in the best performance values, particularly important for demanding applications. The NFC I2C bridge tag offers 8 KB of generous memory to store customer and application-specific configuration information. In addition, the high on-chip capacitance enables smaller antenna designs, optimizing both BOM costs and space requirements.

Availability

Samples of OPTIGA Authenticate NBT are available now, and the devices will become available to the broader market in August 2024. The OPTIGA Authenticate NBT Development Shield and the OPTIGA Authenticate NBT development kit are also available to facilitate evaluation and design-in. In addition, developers can access technical documentation and extensive host-side integration support without having to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Infineon also offers training for the security products. More information is available at www.infineon.com/OPTIGA-Authenticate-NBT.

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Modern embedded design: Sustainability throughout the lifecycle

ELE Times - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 14:31

The environment, the protection of nature, a shift in demographics, skilled labor shortages, challenges to security – our society is facing fundamental change. Key technologies like digitization and artificial intelligence can smooth the path for change by enabling smart edge devices that promote a green, sustainable, and livable future. Embedded systems are at the core of all these applications, and their use is rapidly increasing – as is the speed of innovation. Given this, it is all the more important to design, develop, and produce these systems in a more sustainable manner.

Embedded systems and edge servers collect, analyze, and transmit data as an integral part of the telecommunications and 5G infrastructure. Used across all industries and application areas, they act as a driver for future technologies and greater sustainability. Providing ever higher performance in an ever more compact design, they enable autonomous mobile robotics, more advanced medical diagnostics and therapies, as well as innovative solutions for the automation industry. All these applications serve to optimize industrial processes and controls and save resources. As this improves both the profitability and efficiency of applications, embedded systems can help solve our societal challenges.

Shorter development cycles and replacements mean more e-waste

Rapid technical advances, increasingly powerful processors, and specialized processing units like GPGPUs (General Purpose Graphics Processing Units) and NPUs (Neural Processing Units) on the one hand, and ever higher data processing requirements for IIoT-enabled, networked devices, and AI-driven applications on the other, are leading to shorter and shorter development cycles. To stay competitive in the face of such rapid innovation, secure their position as trend setters, and develop new business models, companies must regularly invest in new systems. Experts have already been witnessing this trend in recent years and expect it to continue. For example, as per a recent global server market study, data research institute International Data Corporation (IDC) expects the market to grow by almost 12% in the coming year compared to this year (source: IDC Quarterly Server Tracker, 2023Q1).

 With standardized Computer-on-Modules, customized designs can also be upgraded with new technologies at any time. Thanks to the precisely specified height, cooling in a completely closed system is no problem.Image 2: With standardized Computer-on-Modules, customized designs can also be upgraded with new technologies at any time. Thanks to the precisely specified height, cooling in a completely closed system is no problem. The alternative: Modular Computer-on-Modules and Server-on-Modules

Any data center modernization that involves the replacement of entire rack systems creates massive amounts of e-waste – the exact opposite of sustainable and efficient use of resources. The good news is that there is another way. Modular designs based on Computer-on-Modules and Server-on-Modules offer a cost-effective and attractive alternative that avoids the need for complete rack replacement. Such platforms make it possible to upgrade existing hardware with the latest processor technology, while retaining all other components such as the carrier board, power supply, and housing. This reduces the number of components that must be replaced and disposed of or recycled at great expense. It also saves end customers money: Server manufacturer Christmann cites 50% cost savings for upgrades using standardized Server-on-Modules versus full server replacement.

 COM-HPC is the most widely scalable Computer-on-Module standard. Five different footprints cover almost the entire range of sustainable embedded designs, from extremely compact low-power applications to high-performance client designs to highly powerful embedded servers.Image 3: COM-HPC is the most widely scalable Computer-on-Module standard. Five different footprints cover almost the entire range of sustainable embedded designs, from extremely compact low-power applications to high-performance client designs to highly powerful embedded servers. More computing power – less energy consumption

The same arguments that apply to servers are true for other application areas: Robots, medical devices, and industrial applications also gain from higher performance and innovative technologies when outfitted with the most advanced modules, such as those needed for processing complex AI algorithms. Modular systems offer a distinct advantage for upgrading to new technologies and performance levels: Replacing just the Computer-on-Module is far more efficient than replacing entire devices.

In view of rising energy costs and the proliferation of mobile systems, the fact that new processors and modules are generally more energy-efficient is another compelling argument for upgrades. More efficient use of resources and energy is particularly important for fixed 24/7 installations. And shorter charging times and cycles increase the availability of mobile applications like autonomous robots and driverless vehicles.

Advantages for new business models

Upgrading with the latest modules also holds great promises for pay-per-use and as-a-service providers. They can offer cutting-edge hardware platforms with maximum performance for lower upfront investment. This secures a competitive advantage for providers as well as their customers. It also reduces total cost of ownership for the hardware and maximizes return on investment. This makes the subscription economy model lucrative for both providers and customers. Utilized optimally, server installations featuring the latest hardware will ultimately also promote sustainability and efficient resource use.

 Modular edge servers such as the Christmann t.RECS server with three COM-HPC Server and Client slots to plug in suitable modules can save massive costs and materials when an technology upgrade is needed, compared to a complete system replacement.Image 4: Modular edge servers such as the Christmann t.RECS server with three COM-HPC Server and Client slots to plug in suitable modules can save massive costs and materials when an technology upgrade is needed, compared to a complete system replacement. Longer lifecycles for industry

Modular designs are particularly crucial in industrial applications: Longevity often plays a key role here – especially if the embedded system was customized or adapted specifically for the application. In a worst case scenario, a discontinued processor can require an entirely new development or a costly redesign. However, modular designs using application-specific carrier boards and standardized Computer-on-Modules allow even decades-old applications and designs to be upgraded with new processors. Proven legacy applications can be kept up to date through continuous processor upgrades to provide advanced features and computing performance. As software defines much of the functionality today, module upgrades extend the lifecycle of entire applications. The result is greater environmental sustainability.

COM-HPC: Standard for modular electronics design

Theory shows that modular electronics provide enormous potential for increased performance, cost savings, sustainability, interchangeability, and upgradeability. COM-HPC Computer-on-Modules from congatec exemplify such scalable designs in practice. They are specifically developed for high-bandwidth, high-performance client and edge server applications that earlier Computer-on-Module specifications cannot address. For this purpose, the COM-HPC modules support a wide range of processors besides GPGPUs, AI accelerators, ASICs and FPGAs. This guarantees maximum flexibility, scalability, and upgradability for current and future designs. High I/O bandwidth and transmission speeds are other crucial features. This includes PCIe up to the current 5th generation, USB 4/Thunderbolt 4, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet. The COM-HPC standard was created by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG), with congatec as co-initiator, and is designed specifically for embedded edge applications. The module standard is available in several form factors – from the upcoming COM-HPC Mini standard with a footprint of just 95×70 mm, and the COM‑HPC Client standard with three different PCB sizes and up to 49 PCIe lanes, to the COM-HPC Server in footprints D (160×160 mm) and E (160×200 mm).

Server capabilities for embedded designs

COM-HPC Server is the first standard expressly developed for edge server requirements. The modules combine server-level computing power, up to 64 PCIe lanes, and high Ethernet bandwidth with the advantages of ruggedness. Unlike conventional servers, which are confined to air-conditioned server rooms, these embedded servers can be installed near the applications themselves, even in harsh ambient temperatures and operating environments. This makes them ideal for edge applications needing high power, huge data flows, and high-speed processing with low latencies. Up to 1 TB of SDRAM memory facilitates this. Systems utilizing congatec COM-HPC Server modules are perfect for edge data processing in autonomous vehicles, collaborative robots, smart infrastructure applications, and performance-hungry factory automation.

Product series, easy upgradability, and the pursuit of even greater sustainability

Christmann t.RECS servers provide an excellent example of how to optimally utilize scalable COM-HPC modules. Thanks to the wide module selection, it is possible to optimally adapt the servers to specific requirements and to develop entire product series with scalable functionality. Upgrading the servers to add more performance as requirements increase, or to instantly leverage new processor features, is easy – a simple module swap will do the trick. This makes the t.RECS servers a prime example of how a modular design strategy helps to maximize sustainability. These edge servers not only deliver the necessary computing power for AI applications and other future technology innovations that make our lives more sustainable; they also check every box in terms of sustainable design and optimal resource utilization.

The goal is to continue along this path to find other ways to improve sustainability even further – e.g., by using more eco-friendly materials and additive technologies in PCB manufacturing, shortening supply chains, improving electronics recycling, and reducing e‑waste overall. congatec continuously works to optimize its own offerings in all these respects.

The post Modern embedded design: Sustainability throughout the lifecycle appeared first on ELE Times.

TimeProvider 4100 Grandmaster Version 2.4 Firmware Offers Embedded BlueSky Firewall Technology to Detect Security Threats

ELE Times - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 14:09

Adds IEEE 1588 standard profiles to meet power and 5G private network synchronization requirements

Critical infrastructure such as public utilities, transportation and mobile networks depend on time to synchronize their networks. The primary source of time comes from national timing systems like Global Position Satellite (GPS), but GPS signals are susceptible to jamming and spoofing attacks. To continue to provide critical infrastructure operators with a secure timing solution, Microchip Technology today announces the release of version 2.4 of the TimeProvider 4100 grandmaster firmware with an embedded BlueSky firewall function to detect potential threats and validate GNSS before using the signal as a time reference.

“Security is of utmost importance to operators; it is critical to make sure that the time reference used by a grandmaster is a valid signal and can be trusted,” said Randy Brudzinski, vice president of Microchip’s frequency and time systems business unit. “The TimeProvider 4100 grandmaster, with its embedded BlueSky GPS firewall, offers our customers a cost-effective solution that provides highly effective protection against spoofing, jamming and other threats that could compromise the validity of the GNSS signal.”

The TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 also implements IEEE 1588 power profiles, which enables gateway capabilities between PTP telecom and power profiles. With this device, utility companies can connect the communication and substation networks to support the convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) networks as operators continue to modernize.

The growth of emerging private networks continues to increase in a variety of locations like factories, stadiums and mines. These private networks can now be synchronized with the TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 equipped with the Time Sensitive Network (TSN) profile 802.1.AS. This functionality provides private networks with a more accurate and autonomous time system to coordinate private network Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Depending on their unique deployment requirements, operators need grandmasters that can scale to support very few clients up to many clients. The TP4100 v2.4 can serve 2,000 Precise Time Protocol (PTP) clients, providing the capability to synchronize a large number of base stations with precise time without having to deploy multiple grandmasters.

As existing legacy communication signal deployments age, there is a need to migrate these installations to a modern and modular architecture. The TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 provides a new operation mode that includes the filtering of legacy input signals and provides the ability to serve as a Synchronization Supply Unit (SSU), enabling the migration of large SSU environments to a TimeProvider server architecture. This presents a combination of new protocols such as PTP, NTP, SyncE and legacy signals at a large scale, allowing operators to ensure legacy services remain, while affording the capability to provide modern synchronization signals to support the newer network architectures.

Resiliency is necessary for synchronization solutions serving critical infrastructures. A failure can lead to degradation or a complete loss of service, thereby affecting customer satisfaction. Software redundancy contributes to the resiliency of the TimeProvider 4100 series because it enables two grandmasters to be synchronized in an Active/Standby model so network clients can be served by the Standby unit if the Active unit encounters a disruption. Another important and valuable feature of the TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 is the additional model for redundancy, allowing two units to operate in Active/Active mode, providing flexibility depending on the customer’s preference. Customers employing the Active/Active mode can benefit from the two grandmasters designed to operate at all times, as compared to the Active/Standby configuration where one device is not used while remaining in the standby mode.

The TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 is integrated with the TimePictra Synchronization Management System to provide users a complete view of their synchronization operation and health across their network.

Pricing and Availability

The TimeProvider 4100 v2.4 grandmaster is now available for purchase. For additional information and to purchase, contact a Microchip sales representative or an authorized distributor.

Performance levels may differ depending on usage, system configuration, and other influencing factors.

Resources

High-res images available through Flickr or editorial contact (feel free to publish):

  • Application image: flickr.com/photos/microchiptechnology/53662329147/sizes/l

Video link: https://youtu.be/md7fV6pgGI4

The post TimeProvider 4100 Grandmaster Version 2.4 Firmware Offers Embedded BlueSky Firewall Technology to Detect Security Threats appeared first on ELE Times.

КПІшник в ефірі Українського Радіо

Новини - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 12:14
КПІшник в ефірі Українського Радіо
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medialab чт, 05/23/2024 - 12:14
Текст

У ранковому ефірі Українського Радіо відбулась цікава розмова щодо перспективних досліджень і розробок у сфері автономних систем.

STM32 Series is Cost-Effective and Fastest STM32 MCUs and First STM32 to Support Bootflash: STMicroelectronics

ELE Times - Thu, 05/23/2024 - 07:30

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in the semiconductor space developing customer-centric and sustainable products. Their STM32 Portfolio is a hugely popular highly reliable and scalable solution that caters to areas including Smart homes and cities, Industrial, Medical, and Robotics. Further expanding and innovating on this series, ST has introduced a line of STM32H7R/S high-performance and graphics MCUs that leverage technology to become the best-in-class platform for graphics applications and much more.

The STM32 launch event happened at ST’s Greater Noida campus in the presence of technology experts and media.

Sridhar Ethiraj, Sr. Technical Marketing and Applications Manager, Microcontrollers- India (APeC Region), STMicroelectronics

Rashi Bajpai, Sub-Editor at ELE Times, spoke with Sridhar Ethiraj, Sr. Technical Marketing and Applications Manager, Microcontrollers- India (APeC Region), STMicroelectronics about the latest launch of STM32H7R/S Series and discussed the many features and USPs of the product portfolio.

This is an excerpt from the interview.

 

 

 

 

ELE Times: What kind of support does ST provide for IoT projects based on the STM32 platform?

Sridhar Ethiraj: ST provides large number of solutions and reference designs for IoT applications based on the STM32.

Sridhar Ethiraj:

Our STM32 Open Development environment is an open, flexible, easy and affordable way to develop innovative devices and applications based on the STM32 32-bit microcontroller family combined with other state-of-the-art ST components connected via expansion boards. It enables fast prototyping with leading-edge components that can quickly be transformed into final designs.

We also offer complete reference designs for IoT applications.

An example is the cost-effective and highly integrated AWS IoT qualified Alexa Voice Service design – This Amazon-qualified solution allows the rapid integration of Alexa Voice services into embedded devices. It enables end products to deliver enhanced user experience through best-in-class natural language-based voice user interface and additional Amazon AWS based services. The solution is based on the STM32H7 high-performance MCU complemented with other ST components in a reference design.

ELE Times: What are the key features of the H7R/S microcontroller compared to other STM32H7 Series?

Sridhar Ethiraj:

  • 600MHz Arm Cortex-M7
  • Cost effective (lowest cost H7 to-date)
  • Neochrome GPU, JPEG Codec and LTDC Accelerating MPU-like GUIs
  • Cost effective boot Flash MCU with high-speed external memory interfaces for real time XiP, with state-of-the-art security.
  • Advanced security: authenticated debug, life cycle, secure key storage, immutable root of trust
  • I3C with DMA
  • 2xUSB HS/FS with PHY & UCPD

ELE Times: How easy is it for the developers in creating applications that utilize external memory for STM32H7R/S series with STM32 Ecosystem?

Sridhar Ethiraj:

H7R/S enable simpler development thanks to our MCU ecosystem:

Free STM32CubeMX software enables to simplify development using external memories (Bootmode configurator, External memory management and External memory protection management). Additionally, the tool enables users to initialize projects by configuring pinouts, clock trees, MCU peripherals, and middleware. It also facilitates the development of a boot project, which includes access management for the selected external memory, with options for Load-and-Run or Execute-in-Place boot options.

ELE Times: How the graphics capabilities of the STM32H7R/S series enhance user graphics applications? (The Volt Post)

Sridhar Ethiraj:

The Neochrome graphics accelerator in the STM32H7R/S series offloads graphical computations from the CPU, which frees up CPU resources and enhances performance. This series also includes a JPEG Codec for video animation. Moreover, it offers high flexibility in framebuffer strategies, supported by high-speed external memory interfaces, to accommodate growing memory needs for high-end graphical user interfaces.

The post STM32 Series is Cost-Effective and Fastest STM32 MCUs and First STM32 to Support Bootflash: STMicroelectronics appeared first on ELE Times.

Засідання організаційного комітету з проведення виборів ректора [20.05.2024]

Новини - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 23:25
Засідання організаційного комітету з проведення виборів ректора [20.05.2024] kpi ср, 05/22/2024 - 23:25

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