Low Power FPGA Logic Design

February 27, 2017

In recent years, the need for low power electronic components has grown rapidly. While electronic devices and their power supplies are shrinking, the tasks they are required to execute are becoming more and more complicated and power consuming. Though there are numerous RISC processors on the market, each with its own focus (size, speed, functionality etc.), there are no vendor-specific low power FPGA based RISCs. In this paper, summarize our attempt to design such a RISC processor and present a power comparison between a regular and a low power version of the same RISC processor.

Video Compression

February 04, 2017

Producing a compression unit for digital security video cameras poses a unique challenge; ideally the encoder should be small and inexpensive, yet powerful enough to compress and transmit live video. In this paper, we will present a BTC based video compression algorithm that solves this problem. The algorithm is of low computational complexity, and is suitable for easy implementation in a small FPGA, or other hardware based designs.

The Cellular Modem: More than Getting Rid of All the Cables

February 04, 2017

Most of us would like to get rid of as many cords and cables as possible. Some have said that a goal for this decade is to replace them with wireless connections. We normally distinguish between three types of cords: power cords, cords that connect our equipment to sensors, and cables used to connect us to communication networks. These cords can be replaced by a near infinite number of protocols and methods for wireless systems that allow us to make our measurements from a distance and then send the data to a collector or host. Many companies manufacture chips and chipsets that simplify the process of developing systems that use wireless techniques. In this article, I discuss one of the ways of making a wireless communication link—the cellular modem. In what follows, I give an overview of some ways and means of performing measurements with cellular-modem enabled measurement systems and I describe an off-the-shelf solution to connectivity over the cellular network: the cellular engine terminal.

Methods and Misconceptions in Teaching VHDL

February 04, 2017

The teaching of Hardware Description Languages (HDLs), such as VHDL or VERILOG, has become a part of the curriculum in departments of electrical engineering and in programs that train electronics technicians.  Additionally, there is a trend to teach these languages in technically-oriented high schools.   Many lecturers talk and write about the difficulties and misconceptions in the understanding of HDL's, but only a few of them suggest ways of improving the quality of learning and understanding. This article describes the results of our researches into the reasons for misconceptions about HDLs and ways to avoid having our students develop these misconceptions 

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