title title title title

News Bus: September to December, 2013 Issue

Return to current Blog Page

What's happ'n Now.

This is a news article for the site that will be posted "often" if not monthly for the purpose of keeping you up with the news of what's going on in the microcontroller world. There will be articles from various folks, you are welcome to post. Wolf Den will select what's posted and what's not to keep some semblance of order. Send me your ideas for a post via the contact page, and I will respond with a request for what I need to do the post. What follows is an example.

John Wolf

John is a retired engineer enjoying a second childhood by tinkering with electronics.

There has been a great reduction in the price of Arduino(like) boards and associated hardware from a company called SainSmart. You might want to check them out. Not only are the prices enticing, but their other support hardware is competitively priced well. For example, the Arduino Uno sells for $18 and the Mega2560 for $24! Other prices for familiar items, like shields, are much less than the norm. Why, you ask? SainSmart has taken advantage of the open source design and builds the boards themselves to the exact specs. I can't see any difference in quality, layout, or performance in the boards I've purchased so far. I bought of couple of their kits, which are even better bargains. Enjoy.


Amazon.com plans to deliver products via drones.

Massive cost reduction for complex deliveries, i.e., urban areas.

Jeff Bezos revealed to the world via CBS 60-Minutes article this weekend the new plans to deliver product via drones. The only thing holding this back is currently it is against FAA regulations to fly drones for commercial propose. The new FAA regulations are being drafted as I write this. The new rules are expected to be in place by 2015.

This will not only revolutionize business practices in the future, but increase Amazon's bottom line and their ever increasing hi-tech competitive edge.

Source: CBS 60-Minutes, Sunday 1 Dec, 2013.


New Intel processors are to compete with Qualcomm and Samsung ARM-based chips, which account for most of the mobile market.

The new technology delivers a 50% performance boost with much less heat being produced, which allows for a fan-less design that sell for under $100.

ARM architecture is a RISC-based set of computer processors designed originally by a British company called ARM Holdings. It was first used in a desktop machines made by Acorn Computers Ltd. Eventually, the ARM type of processors were made under the original label of ARM Holdings. In 2013, it is become the most widely used 32-bit instruction architecture chips made, representing 95% of smartphones, 35% of digital televisions and 10% of mobile computers.

The implications are that Intel is in a competitive struggle to catch up and surpass this dominate position of the other manufactures. Stay tuned for dramatic changes on the horizon and the lower of costs to consumers.

Source: EDN online magazine Sep 10 issue.


Scientists use DNA approach to shape graphene into the transistor of the future.

Now we are talking quantum computing, and it's not far off with working models already.

Scientists at Stanford are using a technique based on how DNA replicates to make graphene transistor that have proven to switch at hundreds of gigahertz. Not bad for the next increment of Moorse Law.

Check out the entire articles at Graphine Story

Source: The Spark Newsletter Sep 17 issue.


Texas Instruments invent a new type of technology for sensors.

TI has a new device called an Inductance to Digital Converter.

These devices can be used to measure position, motion, composition of a metal, as well as detect the compression, extension or twist of a spring.

Check out the entire articles at LDC Chips

Source: Embedded Newsletter.

Code Corner

Tricks and tips.

When working with interrupts, you might consider using a Real Time Clock (RTC) or the internal timers in the microcontroller when something in your code that has its own timing sequence once triggered by the interrupt. The RTC can provide a great time stamp for recorded data.

Video of the Week

Check it out.

Sep9: Boston Robotics has an incredible robot that jumps up on roofs! Here's the link: Sand Flea Jumping Robot

Sep16: Fascinating Look at Technology at Work. Here's the link: Best Inventions of 2012