A History of Early Microcontrollers, Part 3: The Rockwell Microelectronics PPS-4/1

Now that we’re well into the 21st century, most people rarely think of Rockwell Microelectronics in connection with microprocessors and microcontrollers. The parent company, North American Rockwell (renamed Rockwell International in 1973), was a major military/aerospace contractor. Rockwell built the Apollo spacecraft, the B1 Lancer bomber, and the US Space Shuttle. Rockwell’s Rocketdyne engines were used … Read More → "A History of Early Microcontrollers, Part 3: The Rockwell Microelectronics PPS-4/1"

Fish Fry 500: The Best of Photonics (Now on Youtube!)

I have been fascinated by the manipulation of light since I was a kid. In another Fish Fry podcast playlist on Youtube, I investigate a variety of innovations in photonics. I chat with Dr. Eyal Cohen (Co-founder and CEO of Cognifiber) about Cognifiber’s glass-based chips, proprietary fibers, and embedded waveguides, and why the advancement of this kind of technology could revolutionize the world of edge computing. I also … Read More → "Fish Fry 500: The Best of Photonics (Now on Youtube!)"

A History of Early Microcontrollers, Part 2: The Texas instruments TMS1000

As with many first-of-a-kind devices, the Texas Instruments (TI) TMS0100 calculator chip family was a narrowly defined microcontroller, mostly good for making calculators. However, the first chip in the TMS0100 family, originally called the TM1802NC and later renamed the TMS0102, incorporated everything a microcontroller requires to be a microcontroller: a CPU, RAM, ROM, and I/O. Granted, it was a specialized microcontroller. Its I/O … Read More → "A History of Early Microcontrollers, Part 2: The Texas instruments TMS1000"

The Evolution of Always-On: How Image Sensors and AI are Changing the Always-On Landscape

In my Fish Fry podcast this week, Amol Borkar from Cadence Design Systems joins me to discuss the evolution of always-on devices, the role that AI and sensors are playing in the trajectory of always-on device development and the requirements needed for the next generation of always-on devices.

Read More → "The Evolution of Always-On: How Image Sensors and AI are Changing the Always-On Landscape"

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featured chalk talk

DIN Rail Power Solutions' Usage and Advantages

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and MEAN WELL

DIN rail power supplies with their clean installation and quiet fanless design can be a great solution to solve the common power supply concerns that come along with industrial and building automation applications. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Kai Li from MEAN WELL and Amelia Dalton discuss the variety of benefits that DIN rail power supplies can bring to your next design. They examine how these power supplies can help with power buffering, power distribution, redundancy and more.

Click here for more information about MEAN WELL DIN Rail Power Supplies

featured paper

How SHP in plastic packaging addresses 3 key space application design challenges

Sponsored by Texas Instruments

TI’s SHP space-qualification level provides higher thermal efficiency, a smaller footprint and increased bandwidth compared to traditional ceramic packaging. The common package and pinout between the industrial- and space-grade versions enable you to get the newest technologies into your space hardware designs as soon as the commercial-grade device is sampling, because all prototyping work on the commercial product translates directly to a drop-in space-qualified SHP product.

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How to Harness the Massive Amounts of Design Data Generated with Every Project

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

Long gone are the days where engineers imported text-based reports into spreadsheets and sorted the columns to extract useful information. Introducing the Cadence Joint Enterprise Data and AI (JedAI) platform created from the ground up for EDA data such as waveforms, workflows, RTL netlists, and more. Using Cadence JedAI, engineering teams can visualize the data and trends and implement practical design strategies across the entire SoC design for improved productivity and quality of results.

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discussion
Posted on Nov 28 at 4:43pm by wally
Steven, Another great one. In 1978, while at TI, I was part of a team that was asked by an unnamed U.S. government agency to do an analysis of a calculator chip that was manufactured in Russia. When we examined the chip, we found that it was an exact reverse ...
Posted on Nov 22 at 7:47am by Max Maxfield
Hi there -- no worries -- I'm just happy to hear that you are reading my columns (as an FYI, Part 9 contains links to all the earlier ones https://www.eejournal.com/article/ultimate-guide-to-switch-debounce-part-9/). Re the diagrams, I create them all in Microsoft Visio -- I'm using the old Visio ...
Posted on Nov 22 at 2:54am by Berger
Sorry, but I have a question for Max that is not related to this article. I read max's Switch debounce series with interest, for example https://www.eejournal.com/article/ultimate-guide-to-switch-debounce-part-4/ In what program are the diagrams and time courses created for this text? Thanks for the information
Posted on Nov 18 at 9:15am by SmithChart
Great story, Steve. Dave was a lovely guy. I got to know him a bit at the Computer History Museum, where we have a 55-page oral history (which you reference) and a Case Study on the HP-35, written by Dave, available here: https://www.computerhistory.org/collections/catalog/102746048. Summary: "The ...
Posted on Nov 15 at 7:06am by Max Maxfield
Hi Steve -- this is awesome -- I was aware that the first commercial microprocessor (the Intel 4004) came about as part of a calculator project, but I had no idea that the first commercial microcontroller started out the same way -- I can't wait to read Part 2!
Posted on Nov 14 at 2:37pm by Steven Leibson
Thanks Wally. I really enjoyed writing this 9-part series. I hope you like it.
Posted on Nov 14 at 2:27pm by wally
Steve, You've done a terrific job of documenting a very obscure history of the calculator chip evolution. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. Wally
Posted on Nov 11 at 9:29pm by JohnBirkner
Great story! Thank you.
Posted on Nov 11 at 8:08am by traneusee
The light bulb does have a short-term memory, as the filament's resistance depends upon the average RMS sinewave power over a fraction of a second, rather than upon the instantaneous power. This averaging is why the light bulb can regulate the oscillation amplitude without distorting the sinewave.
Posted on Nov 10 at 8:13am by ronl@youknowsolutions.com
“not quite a processor, Cochran programmed his algorithms into the state-machine ROM using graphical flowcharting.” Although a flowchart is not a state machine, it appears that Dave Cochran was on the cusp of a new computational programming paradigm modeled as propagating parallel asynchronous flowcharts now called a Flowpro Machine. I ...
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featured blogs
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Join us for a CadenceTECHTALK (aka webinar) to learn how the upcoming release of Fidelity CFD software significantly extends the capabilities of our pre-processing and unstructured meshing solutions. We'll demonstrate: Better performance for large geometry models Improve...
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DIN Rail Power Solutions' Usage and Advantages
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and MEAN WELL
DIN rail power supplies with their clean installation and quiet fanless design can be a great solution to solve the common power supply concerns that come along with industrial and building automation applications. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Kai Li from MEAN WELL and Amelia Dalton discuss the variety of benefits that DIN rail power supplies can bring to your next design. They examine how these power supplies can help with power buffering, power distribution, redundancy and more.
Nov 28, 2022
12 views
Johnson RF Connectivity Solutions
The growing need for remote patient monitoring and wireless connectivity has made RF in medicine applications more important than ever before. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Ketan Thakkar from Cinch Connectivity Solutions about the growing trends in medicine today that are encouraging the use of RF, why higher frequency, smaller form factor, cable assembly expansion and adapter expansion are vital components in today’s medical applications and why Johnson medical solutions could be a great fit for your next medical design.
Nov 28, 2022
24 views
Flexible Development with the PSoC 62S2 Evaluation Kit
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics
In order to get a successful IoT design launched today, we need a robust toolbox of cloud connectivity solutions, sensor interfaces, radio modules, and more. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Paul Wiegele from Infineon investigate the PSoC™ 62S2 Evaluation Kit from Infineon. They take a closer look at the key features included in this kit and how it can help jumpstart your next IoT design.
Nov 11, 2022
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Traction Inverter
Sponsored by Infineon
Not only are traction inverters integral parts of an electric drive train and vital to the vehicle motion, but they can also make a big difference when it comes to the energy efficiency and functional safety of electric vehicles. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Mathew Anil from Infineon about the variety of roles that traction inverters play battery electric vehicles, how silicon carbide technology in traction inverters can reduce the size of electric car batteries and how traction inverters can also help with cost reduction, functional safety and more.
Nov 9, 2022
2,622 views
Series Five Product Introduction
Size and weight are critical design considerations when it comes to military and aerospace applications. One way to minimize weight and size in these kinds of designs is to take a closer look at your choice of connectors. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Anthony Annunziata from Amphenol Aerospace about the series five next generation connectors from Amphenol Aerospace. They investigate the size and weight advantages that these connectors bring to military and aerospace applications and how you can get started using the series five in your next design.
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3,324 views
In-Cabin Monitoring Systems (ICMS) Using Automotive Short Range Radar
Sponsored by Infineon
Worldwide regulation and legislation is driving a demand for automotive in-cabin monitoring systems. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Michael Thomas and Amelia Dalton investigate how short range radar can be utilized for a variety of in-cabin monitoring systems. They also examine the implementation of these different systems and how Infineon’s low-cost and low power radar solutions could make our vehicles safer than ever before.
Nov 1, 2022
3,629 views