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For electronic developers, 2019 was another stellar year. In addition to ongoing challenges and successes in areas such as embedded systems, hardware chips-board systems and system-of-systems (like satellites), there were new materials, evolving design approaches and insights to be considered. Here are the best stories that covered these issues from the 2019 Design News arhives.
- Top 10 2019 engineering, science and technology awards – Each year reveals further advances in the disciplines of technology, engineering and science. This year, luminaries were awarded for their work in cosmology, photonics, GPS systems, video processing, semiconductors, brain neurons and more.
- Who’s left to make chip development tools? –Electronic design automation (EDA) are the software tools used for designing electronic systems, such as system-on-chip (SoC) integrated circuits and printed circuit boards. The tools work in a design-verification flow that chip designers use to analyze and develop semiconductor chips. Here’s a look at the remaining major EDA tool companies after years of consolidation.
- Complete integrated circuits fabricated using printing press – Researchers have for the first time printed complete integrated circuits that have more than 100 organic transistors, a breakthrough in the quest to use printing to create complex next-generation electronic and computing devices. The breakthrough eliminates the need to use multiple manufacturing methods to create an integrated circuit with more than 100 organic transistors.
- 2 game-changing trends that will define embedded systems in the 2020s – The last decade has seen an amazing advancement in embedded system development techniques, tools and technologies. The next decade has the potential to dramatically change the way that products and embedded systems are developed.
- Developing an embedded software build pipeline – One interesting fact that I’ve noticed about embedded software development is that development processes and techniques tend to lag the general software industry. Developing a more sophisticated build pipeline can have dramatic effects on the embedded software development life cycle.
- 8 criteria to evaluate when selecting an RTOS – Real-time operating systems (RTOS) are finding their way into nearly two-thirds of all applications. Cost is a factor. But there are more important things to consider when choosing a real-time operating system.
- Old 3G battle shifts to 5G struggle – The old 3G battle between communication and computational industries has been replaced with the 5G struggle between nations and sub-6 vs mmWave global spectrums.
- Internet of Space or Space Junk?– When bad movies make good predictions and how to lessen the Kessler Syndrome with everything from AI to space harpoons.
- Did Edison Really Lose a Non-Existent ‘Current War?’ – The recent movie, The Current War, dramatizes the struggles between Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla to bring electrical power to the US. But was the “war” actually fabricated?
- 3 Do’s and Don’ts for Medical Device Software Development – Medical devices are one of the fastest growing areas of embedded hardware and software development. Here are some successful strategies – and potential pitfalls – gleaned from real-world medical device development projects.
- Microorganisms Provide Solar Energy Independent of Using Solar Cells – The concept of solar energy usually inspires images of long rows of solar panels lined up in a vast field. Researchers in Sweden achieved production-potential amounts of butanol using carbon dioxide and sunlight
- Beware the Hidden Costs of a Free Embedded RTOS – If you’re basing your selection of a real-time operating system (RTOS) solely on initial cost, then you may be in for a rude awakening.
- 8 RISC-V Companies to Watch – The open source nature of RISC-V promises to enable companies to create custom chip hardware specifically tailored to their products and devices. These eight companies are developing their own RISC-V technologies and are committing to helping third parties do the same to help push adoption of the open-source chip architecture. April 2019
- New Material Could Transform How Electronics Are Built – A new family of crystal materials can serve a dual purpose in electron movement in electronic devices, potentially changing how they will be designed in the future.
- Biocompatible Transistor Invented for New Devices – Researchers have developed what they said is the first biocompatible ion-driven transistor fast enough to enable real-time signal sensing and stimulation of brain signals.
- Efficient Fabrication Method Achieved for Nano-Sized Processors – A new rapid fabrication method for nano-scale semiconductors could help advance the design of next-generation processors.
- The Biggest Embedded Software Issue Is … – There are many different problems and challenges that embedded software developers are facing today. One of the biggest and least spoken about issues is that too many developers are writing software code without considering what could go wrong.
- Smart Manufacturing Expert Says It’s Time to Embrace Fuzziness – Combining fuzzy sensing technologies with artificial intelligence, manufacturers can learn more about their enterprise for less cost.
- 2019 Will Be the Year of Open Source – After decades of being looked at as more of a subculture (or arguably counter-culture) in the larger technology landscape, open source is finally getting its due. From software and even hardware, we saw more activity in open source than ever before in 2018.
John Blyler is a Design News senior editor, covering the electronics and advanced manufacturing spaces. With a BS in Engineering Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering, he has years of hardware-software-network systems experience as an editor and engineer within the advanced manufacturing, IoT and semiconductor industries. John has co-authored books related to system engineering and electronics for IEEE, Wiley, and Elsevier.