Design Challenges Of Next-Generation AESA Radar


Phased-array antennas, first used in military radar systems, are gaining in popularity for a variety of applications with new active electronically-scanned arrays (AESAs) being used for radar systems in satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles. As these systems are deployed, meeting size and performance requirements are critical. To support AESA radar development efforts, electronic design autom... » read more

Quality Issues Widen


As the amount of semiconductor content in cars, medical and industrial applications increases, so does the concern about how long these devices will function properly—and what exactly that means. Quality is frequently a fuzzy concept. In mobile phones, problems have ranged from bad antenna placement, which resulted in batteries draining too quickly, to features that take too long to load. ... » read more

The Path To (Virtually) Zero Defective Parts Per Million


Despite thorough wafer and package testing, a small number of defective ICs can make their way into systems. These test "escapes" often return as field failures, increasing costs and eroding profit margins. They can also present a hazard if deployed in safety-critical systems, which is why companies purchasing semiconductors for automotive, medical, or aerospace applications often demand a zero... » read more

DO-254 Explained


This white paper, the first in a series of DO-254-related white papers, will explore the high-level concepts and activities within the DO-254 Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware specification, why they exist, and what they mean. In this paper, we will explore the safety-related concepts of requirements traceability, design assurance levels, the overall DO-254-compliant fl... » read more

RF GaN Gains Steam


The RF [getkc id="217" kc_name="gallium nitride"] (GaN) device market is heating up amid the need for more performance with better power densities in a range of systems, such as infrastructure equipment, missile defense and radar. On one front, for example, RF GaN is beginning to displace a silicon-based technology for the power amplifier sockets in today’s wireless base stations. GaN is m... » read more

Systems Engineering Approach To Electrical Wire Interconnection System (EWIS) Development


The development of the Electrical Wire Interconnection System, or EWIS, for today’s advanced aircraft is one of the most complicated engineering activities around. In addition to having to respond to very high rates of change during development, the aircraft are continually evolving in electronic and electrical content through their entire lifecycle. Relatively new mandates, such as the CFR P... » read more

Executive Insight: Raik Brinkmann


[getperson id="11306" comment="Raik Brinkmann"], president and CEO of [getentity id="22395" e_name="OneSpin Solutions"], sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to discuss where and why formal verification is gaining traction, and how it fits alongside other verification approaches. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: [getkc id="33" kc_name="Formal"] has been around for a whi... » read more

Planes, Cars, And Lagging Standards


Automotive and aerospace standards are struggling to adapt to pervasive connectivity, increased functionality, and new packaging approaches and architectures, leaving chipmakers and systems vendors unsure about what needs to be included in future designs. Each of these markets has a reputation for being lumbering and unresponsive, in part because they deal with safety-critical issues and i... » read more

Developing High-Reliability FPGAs For DO-254


You have been developing FPGAs for a long time, and you know your designs from top to bottom. You know every interface protocol, configuration and optimization. You can visualize your timing diagram like you can visualize your upcoming vacation in Hawaii. You can manually write down your memory mapping accurately while under oath. You can pinpoint all CDC paths and emulate metastability in your... » read more

New Approaches For Reliability


The definition of reliability hasn’t budged since the invention of the IC, but how to achieve it is starting to change. In safety-critical systems, as well as in markets such as aerospace, demands for reliability are so rigorous that they often require redundant circuitry—and for good reason. A PanAmSat malfunction in 1998 caused by tin whisker growth wiped out pagers for 45 million use... » read more

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