The First ICs on the Moon – The Apollo Guidance Computer, Part 2

Part 1 of this article discussed the Fairchild resistor-transistor logic (RTL) NOR gate ICs used in the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) for NASA’s manned lunar program in the 1960s. Ultimately, NASA ordered one million ICs – so many that Fairchild alone was not able to fulfill the orders, so NASA ordered parts from Motorola Semiconductor, Philco, Texas Instruments, Transitron, and Westinghouse. The AGC Block I computers used Fairchild’ … Read More → "The First ICs on the Moon – The Apollo Guidance Computer, Part 2"

Ceva-Waves Links Multi-Protocol Wireless Connectivity IP

I’m afraid that (what I laughingly refer to as) my mind is wandering (as is its wont). It knows it’s supposed to write about multi-protocol wireless IP, but it’s been beguiled by thoughts of headphones equipped with the latest and greatest in 3D spatial audio boasting state-of-the-art headtracking resulting in a new level of immersive experience.

What … Read More → "Ceva-Waves Links Multi-Protocol Wireless Connectivity IP"

The First ICs on the Moon – The Apollo Guidance Computer, Part 1

In a speech made at Rice University on May 25, 1961, twenty days after Alan Shepard became the first American astronaut to fly into space in the Freedom 7 Mercury space capsule, U.S. President John F Kennedy said:

“Now it is time to take longer strides – time for a great new American enterprise – time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space … Read More → "The First ICs on the Moon – The Apollo Guidance Computer, Part 1"

A Sea Change in Analog RF Architectures: The Future According to Direct RF

What do Direct RF, next generation signal processing, and the acoustic wonder of spider webs have in common? This here podcast! Noah Donaldson (CTO – Annapolis Micro Systems) joins me this week to chat about why Direct RF is a game changer for signal acquisition and processing. We also discuss the challenges inherent with Direct RF, the biggest benefits of this technology, and where Noah sees Direct RF headed in … Read More → "A Sea Change in Analog RF Architectures: The Future According to Direct RF"

Capturing 3D Images from 2D CMOS Sensors (One Sensor, One Frame –> 3D Point Cloud)

A new sensor technology just popped up under my nose shouting “SURPRISE” (metaphorically speaking, of course). In this case, we’re talking about a technology that can take a traditional 2D CMOS camera sensor and use it to generate both 2D and 3D images. This was just when I thought I’d seen it all (no pun intended). Color me impressed!

“What is … Read More → "Capturing 3D Images from 2D CMOS Sensors (One Sensor, One Frame –> 3D Point Cloud)"

June 13, 2024
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June 5, 2024

featured chalk talk

Portable Medical Devices and Connected Health
Decentralized healthcare is moving from hospitals and doctors’ offices to the patients’ home and office and in the form of personal, wearable, and connected devices. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Roger Bohannan from Littelfuse examine the components, functions and standards for a variety of portable connected medical devices. They investigate how Littelfuse can help you navigate the development of your next portable connected medical design.
Jun 26, 2023
Posted on Jun 11 at 8:31am by bpaddock
What really pushed the AVR and the PIC to the forefront of the day was, oddly, Motorola. Motorola had a lot of design wins with the 6805, then one day said "we sold them all to Detroit". The AVR and the PIC were the only available near equivalents then and we ...
Posted on Jun 6 at 9:21am by Max Maxfield
Thanks for sharing this Steve -- Jack is one of my heroes -- plus he's a really nice guy -- I'd not heard the trick about using a 3-bit R-2R ladder DAC to provide the ID of the currently executing task on an analog meter -- VERY COOL!!!
Posted on Jun 5 at 10:59am by traneusee
The Intel 8251 and 8251A differed in ready-pin response time. I made a design that required the 8251A. NEC second-sourced both parts, and NEC 8251A's worked well. Toshiba second-sourced the 8251 but labeled their parts 8251A, causing problems in purchasing and production. Yes, for us old timers the Permanent Embed is not ...
Posted on Jun 5 at 9:34am by traneusee
I started working on embedded systems in 1973, using Intel and second-source Microsystems International 8008 processors. From 1980 to 2010, I worked on hard-real-time math-heavy electromagnetic instrumentation. We coded in assembly language on the bare metal. In 1998, I used one of the first 24-bit audio A/D converters driving an Integrated Device Technology 64-bit ...
Posted on Jun 5 at 9:29am by M. Simon
How time passes. Brain dead processors? Try a 1 bit processor (Motorola) or the more common 4 bitters. I designed the IO board that went into the World's First BBS. Helped Randy and Ward with the dog 8251 serial chip. I never used that one again. TTL was glue logic back then. Great ...
Posted on Jun 5 at 6:02am by Max Maxfield
It's getting to be harder and harder to tell the difference LOL
Posted on Jun 5 at 6:02am by Max Maxfield
Hi there -- thanks for your comment -- I don't do this with all my projects -- but sometimes they are relevant to some new technology. My friend Joe is re-spinning the PCBs -- my VFD tubes have arrived -- Alif are working on tweaking their Vision AppKit to give ...
Posted on Jun 3 at 2:22pm by theboom
Are you bouncing off real walls? Or virtual ones?
Posted on Jun 3 at 10:42am by Steven Leibson
Atanasoff developed the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The machine used a capacitive rotating drum to store data. All of Atanasoff's work predated development of the transistor in 1947 and of the IC in 1959/1960. You could say that Atanasoff was the first to harness capacitive data ...
Posted on Jun 3 at 10:15am by MD
Didn't Atanasoff invent the DRAM in the 1930s?
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featured blogs
Jun 9, 2024
I've seen several do-it-yourself (DIY) miniature versions of the Las Vegas Sphere, but this is the best contender thus far....
ROHM’s 3rd Gen 650V IGBT for a Wide range of Applications: RGW and RGWS Series
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Heath Ogurisu from ROHM Semiconductor investigate the benefits of ROHM Semiconductor’s RGW and RGWS Series of IGBTs. They explore how the soft switching of these hybrid IGBTs contribute to energy savings and power generation efficiency and why these IGBTs provide a well-balanced solution for switching and cost.
Jun 5, 2024
Easily Connect to AWS Cloud with ExpressLink Over Wi-Fi
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and AWS and u-blox
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton, Lucio Di Jasio from AWS and Magnus Johansson from u-blox explore common pitfalls of designing an IoT device from scratch, the benefits that AWS IoT ExpressLink brings to IoT device design, and how the the NORA-W2 AWS IoT ExpressLink multiradio modules can make retrofitting an already existing design into a smart AWS connected device easier than ever before.
May 30, 2024
Infineon and Mouser introduction to Reliable Solid State Isolators
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Infineon
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Daniel Callen Jr. from Infineon explore trends in solid state isolator and relay solutions, the benefits that Infineon’s SSI solutions bring to the table, and how you can get started using these solutions for your next design. 
May 28, 2024
Driving Next-Gen Efficiency and Productivity to the Battery Lifecycle
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Vicor
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and David Krakauer from Vicor explore the evolution of battery technology and the specific benefits that power modules bring to battery cell formation, battery testing and battery recycling. They investigate what sets Vicor power modules apart from other solutions on the market today and how you take advantage of Vicor power modules in your next design.
May 24, 2024
From Sensor to Cloud:A Digi/SparkFun Solution
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton, Mark Grierson from Digi, and Rob Reynolds from SparkFun Electronics explore how Digi and SparkFun electronics are working together to make cellular connected IoT design easier than ever before. They investigate the benefits that the Digi Remote Manager® brings to IoT design, the details of the SparkFun Digi XBee Development Kit, and how you can get started using a SparkFun Board for XBee for your next design.
May 21, 2024
SiC-Based High-Density Industrial Charger Solutions
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and onsemi
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Prasad Paruchuri from onsemi explore the benefits of silicon carbide based high density industrial charging solutions. They investigate the topologies of Totem Pole PFC and Half Bridge LLC circuits, the challenges that bidirectional CLLC resonant DC-DC converters are solving today, and how you can take advantage of onsemi’s silicon carbide charging solutions for your next design.
May 21, 2024