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GlobalSpec: DirectU2 Solutions for Industrial Computing
June 20, 2008 - Volume 3 Issue 6
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Solutions for Industrial Computing products and services.
Industry Trends & Events . . . Forward to a Friend Forward to a Friend
Memristors to Make Future Computers Faster

Memristors to Make Future Computers Faster Once only theorized as the fourth basic element of electric circuits, "memristors" or memory resistors are now fact, yielding properties that cannot be attained by any capacitor, inductor, and resistor combo. In effect, a memrister remembers data. One promising potential application is non-volatile random access memory (NVRAM) to replace DRAM and flash memory. Memristor-based integrated circuits could significantly boost both energy efficiency and performance of PCs and data centers. In fact, it may be possible for future computer systems to retain data after a power loss, require no boot up, and organize data like the human brain does. The latter would be of great benefit to technologies like facial recognition. "Cloud computing" could also benefit.

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Compact PC/104 Cougar Tames Power Draw
VersaLogic Corporation

Compact PC/104 Cougar Tames Power Draw The Cougar (EPM-14) from VersaLogic features an AMD LX 800 processor with fanless operation and combines great performance with low power draw. Designed for extended (-40° to +85°C) temperature operation and rugged computing applications, the RoHS-compliant Cougar boasts 256MB soldered-on SDRAM, dual Ethernet, four USB ports, and a CompactFlash® socket.

The Balance of Power Has Shifted

The Balance of Power Has Shifted Only Molex offers the broadest line of superior power products with some of the highest current density ratings available. Our new EXTreme Power® products feature flexible designs and are easily customized for your applications. So, when you need to pack maximum current capacity into a small space, turn to Molex.

Industrial Computers, Systems & Controllers . . .
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Smaller, Faster Chips Thanks to
Carbon Nanoribbon

Smaller, Faster Chips Thanks to Carbon Nanoribbon Researchers have fabricated field effect transistors — a crucial computer chip component — using 10 nm wide graphene nanoribbons, which allows them to function at room temperature. What matters is that the narrower versions are all semiconducting, as opposed to previous, thicker nanoribbons that functioned only at -452F, some of which were conducting. Since carbon-nanotube transistors are twice as fast as silicon versions, they hold the possibility of "ever-smaller transistors for faster processing."

Numbercrunching DNA Computer

Numbercrunching DNA Computer Researchers have demonstrated that complicated mathematical problems can be solved by inserting DNA into a bacterial cell. Such DNA computers hold the promise of being able to solve complex computations faster than silicon-based computers because the number of processors keeps on increasing via DNA recombination. Putting computers in living cells may also have an advantage in parallel processing.

Control & Networking . . .
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Wireless Sensor Network Generates Its Power

Wireless Sensor Network Generates Its Power Enter the world's first self-powered wireless sensor network. Designed to power big wireless sensor networks, it utilizes energy-harvesting technology plus supercapacitors to preclude problematic battery power. Reduced energy and operational costs are prime benefits — in fact, wireless sensor nodes are powered ad infinitum. In use, a microgenerator (shown) converts mechanical vibrations into electrical energy, which the supercapacitors store.

Networking Laptops for Quake Warnings

Networking Laptops for Quake Warnings By utilizing laptop accelerometers, researchers are putting together a network to collect much more earthquake data and eventually create an early warning system for damaging quakes. Here, even a few seconds warning could give people enough time to find a safer location. Now in beta testing with hundreds of laptops, the Quake Catcher Network utilizes software to report only "big shakes."

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Keyboard with Front-Mounted Sealed USB-Port
Indukey North America LLC

Keyboard with Front-Mounted Sealed USB-Port InduKey® introduces a sealed, front-mounted USB-port option for its TKS industrial keyboards. The sealed USB-port allows for the connection of external USB devices in industrial environments when computer systems are situated behind closed panels or in sealed enclosure. The keyboard is IP65/NEMA4 protected against dirt, dust, and spray water.

Single Board Computers

Industrial PC

Single Board Computers Industrial PC, Inc. offers superior Single Board Computers at an excellent value without compromise. Select from 80486 to Dual P-III's and single P4's to suit your application. They provide SBC's in three basic form factors: full length cards, half-size cards, and embedded boards (EBX, PC/104 Etc.)

Embedded Systems . . .
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Palm-Sized Computer Delivers 100 GFLOPS

Palm-Sized Computer Delivers 100 GFLOPS Weighing less than 10 lbs and fitting in the palm of your hand, a compact embedded computer is optimally designed for real-time image, sensor, and signal processing applications. Intrinsically rugged to handle tough environments, the liquid-cooled system incorporates more than 100 GFLOPS of process power in a 4 x 5 x 6 in. package. The engineering development kit is suitable for a lab or software development environment.

Low-Power FPGA for Handheld Devices

Low-Power FPGA for Handheld Devices Bound for battery-powered handheld devices, a new family of FPGAs was designed from the ground up to deliver the long awaited logic capacity, power, and size reqs not previously met. The new devices embed NVCM (non-volatile configuration memory) into an SRAM-based FPGA, which makes the one-chip solution cheaper than the conventional two-chip SRAM-based FPGA plus flash memory alternative.

Single Board Computers & Motherboards . . .
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One-Chip Computer Targets Graphics

One-Chip Computer Targets Graphics Smaller then a U.S. dime, new single-chip computers have been designed from scratch to deliver enhanced Internet and computing visuals on mobile devices like smartphones, pocket computers, navigational devices, and more. Sporting 10x the power efficiency of current battery-powered computers, the latest computer-on-a-chip features include an ARM CPU, HD video, and support for 1080p HDMI display, audio, WiFi, and Web 2.0.

DSP Embedded Instrument Board

DSP Embedded Instrument Board Sporting a 250 x 170 mm footprint, an embedded SBC (single board computer) features a COM Express CPU module and dual XMC modules. The rugged, customizable board, which can run diskless via a flash drive, is recommended for embedded control, remote DAQ, industrial test/measurement, and OEM instrumentation. It runs Windows or Linux with a CPU scalable from Celeron up to dual-core Pentium.

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Sample Code for Embedded Applications
Moxa Inc.

Sample Code for Embedded Applications When developing embedded applications, using sample code can save time and keep bugs to a minimum. Learn more by reading Moxa's white paper, Sample Code for Embedded Applications. Moxa also offers a rich selection of embedded computing products, including wireless models.

FX Monitor Series
Ann Arbor Technologies

FX Monitor Series The DYNIpanel Series Flat Panel TFT (thin film transistor) video or touchscreen monitors offer ultra-high resolution and modular design for quick installation and removal. Touchscreen models are offered with five wire resistive technology.

The FX Monitor Series is the latest series released and is designed as a compact, drop-in replacement for competitive products.

Careers & Commentary . . .
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How Much Energy Does Your Data Center Use?

How Much Energy Does Your Data Center Use? Now you can tell the powers that be how to save energy in your company's data center with an online software tool that may be just the ticket. Using DOE's Data Center Energy Profiler (DC Pro), in an hour you can create a data center profile that includes energy purchases, energy use, and what to do to realize potential savings. Download the beta version. [A short registration may be required.]

Diversions . . .

Computer Bugs Invade Houston, Literally

Computer Bugs Invade Houston, Literally Strangely attracted to electrical devices, "crazy raspberry ants" in the millions have wreaked havoc in Houston, TX destroying computers and electrical equipment including fire alarms, gas meters, and sewage pumps. Apparently the hard-to-kill insects arrived on a cargo ship and have been invading homes and offices ever since.

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Join a Conversation About This Month's Topic...

Join a Conversation About This Month's Topic... Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Computers and Cellphones?

Hydrogen fuel cells of all sorts have been proposed for applications ranging from laptops to portable electronics. Do you think this is practical given that fuel cell technology for autos is still in its infancy?

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