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<p>Market access to industry-leading processor cores has been restricted to alimited number of companies because of the terms and conditions typicallyassociated with core licensing models,” said Rodney Smith, Altera chairman,president and CEO. With Excalibur, Altera is able to provide apre-licensed and complete SOPC solution that is readily accessible to allsystem designers. These new offerings can be used in a wide range of endapplications, and offer a unique and powerful combination of time-to-market,flexibility, and integration when compared to ASICs, ASSPs, or stand-aloneembedded processors.”</p>

As for the MPC7410, Wilkie said it represents the regular evolution of feature sets for the G4 core, which already had AltiVec instructions added for the first time in the MPC7400. Addition of the MPX bus was an important feature for the 7410, due to the growing use of parallel router processor architectures. It is the first such G4 chip to use Motorola's 0.18-micron copper interconnect process. The MPC7410 does not have Level 2 cache on board, something that will await the next generation, though there is an interface for external Level 2 cache.

This is a relatively new market that is enjoying rapid growth, but it's not far off from being Flipped” by convergence.

According to an industry survey conducted by Pacific Media Associates, the worldwide market for pico projectors—small handheld projectors, many of which are powered by Texas Instruments Inc.'s DLP technology—is expected to grow from about 700,000 units in 2010 to 22 million units in 2014.

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But there are already several handsets that feature an integrated pico projector, and more are on their way. It's hard to imagine the standalone pico projector market to become truly sizeable when many people will end up having one in their smartphone, almost by default. Standalone pico projectors appear destined to be cut down before their prime by convergence.

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This has the potential to provide a better system view of design problems and promises to drive better system design and better end products.

When it came time to select my senior design project it seemed fitting to do something along the lines of avionics since I had been working as a software engineer at an avionics manufacturer for four years. So I chose to design a rocket avionics card that would monitor flight characteristics, deploy two parachutes at the proper time, and help you find the rocket once it returned to the ground. Once the design was done and made it through the standard review process design by my professor, it was time to build and test the system. Due to the usual issues associated with supply chains I was already well behind schedule by the time the parts arrived and I began assembling the hardware. It basically came down to having 48 hours to assemble the circuit, test the software that I had mostly completed but never tested, and package the system into a payload bay for a high powered rocket launch. Since the launch event was coordinated with a local amateur rocketry club and the next event was well after my project due date, I could not miss the deadline or I would not be graduating that year. Needless to say, the phrase failure is not an option” was forefront in my mind over that 48 hour period!

Once I had the circuit assembled and had the USB communication link between it and my computer, I thought the rest was going to be smooth sailing. Any engineer reading this is probably laughing hysterically at this point since smooth sailing” prior to an upcoming deadline is a fantasy held only by overly optimistic junior engineers. With only a day left, I began working the bugs out of my code and got the various features of the device working. After a short time I could save data from the pressure sensor and accelerometer to the EEPROM and dump that data over the USB port to the PC and I could manually force the electrical outputs that were designed to ignite the parachute deployment charges to cycle on and off. Everything seemed to be working great so off I went to the university's physics department to use the pressure chamber to test my system.

Upon arriving at the pressure chamber I learned that it had broken the day before and it was the only chamber on campus. I now had no way to test if my algorithms to convert the sensor data through the ADC inputs were correct. If they were wrong then the parachute charges would be ignited at the wrong time which would present a serious safety threat to launch attendees. If I could not find a way to test the system then I would not be able to launch it and graduate the following month. So I did what any smart engineer would do at this point; ask an even smarter engineer for their advice.

In this specific case, I drove over to my parents' house and consulted with my dad who was designing circuits long before I was even born. We needed to find or create a pressure chamber of some sort that would fit my circuit card and test it from ground level up to at least 20,000 feet ASL (which, in Central Florida, also happens to be 20,000 feet AGL). While we were sitting at the table brainstorming ideas my mom was working on canning (i.e. jarring) tomatoes from the recent harvest of their garden. Tomatoes… Jarring… Glass Jars… Eureka!