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Hardware Design

  • Counterfeit electronic parts interview with Stan Salot and Todd Kramer,

    Interesting interview with Stan Salot and Todd Kramer. They talked about the Counterfeit electronic parts situation, how come 80% of all parts ordered in the US come from Asia, growing concerns about counterfeit parts in military, and how counterfeit components get into the supply chain.

  • What Is Raspberry Pi?

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    So there have been a lot of hypes around this Raspberry Pi thing for a while now, for those of you that are not in the tech business, exactly what is Raspberry Pi and what does it do?

    The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools. It can be used in electronics projects, and for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games.

    The Raspberry Pi is manufactured in two board configurations through licensed manufacturing deals with Newark element14 (Premier Farnell), RS Components and Egoman.

    And while RS and Farnell sell the Raspberry Pi online, its distribution in China and Taiwan is done by a company called Egoman. The Egoman version can be distinguished from other Pis by their red coloring and lack of FCC/CE marks but the hardware is essentially the same across all manufacturers.

    The Raspberry Pi has a Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and was originally shipped with 256 megabytes of RAM, (it was later upgraded to 512 MB). It does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, but uses an SD card for booting and persistent storage.

    The Foundation provides Debian and Arch Linux ARM distributions for download. Tools are available for Python as the main programming language, with support for BBC BASIC  (via the RISC OS image or the Brandy Basic clone for Linux), C, Java and Perl.

  • The Growing Of Web Based Hardware Design Collaboration Tools

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    Collaboration tools in the hardware design space are building steams. At the first glance, hardware development collaboration tools has similar features as software development collaboration tools like asset management and version control, however, its proprietary formats and complicated data structures makes building these tools a lot more difficult.

    The good news is: as they gain wider adoption, they keep getting better and we are starting to see a lot of efficiency gains in the hardware development process. Teams collaborate more effectively, less time wasted on repeating mundane tasks like footprint drawing and simulation model building.

    Few examples of these tools?

    EDA tools: Upverter, circuits.io, Scheme-it

    Circuit simulation tools:CircuitLab, PartSim, DoCircuits

    PLM tools: like Autodesk PLM360, Arena