AVC engineering
technology designs for a better tomorrow
DSP, FEC, RF Architect:   Musa Jahanghir
Teardown (www.teardown.com)
11/20/2003 01:49 AM EST
The HP iPAQ1945 illustrates the ongoing progress in shaving cost for color PDA devices. While much of the advance comes in the form of collapsing digital IC content, an intriguing mix of mixed-signal integration and still-prevalent discrete power management tell the rest of the story.
Introduced in June 2003, the HP iPAQ 1945 uses Microsoft's Pocket PC 2003 Pro operating system. The PDA design is centered around Samsung's 266 MHz S3C2410X02 ARM920T-core based RISC processor which also supports on-chip cache, memory management, expansion memory interface, and an LCD controller. Additionally, the Samsung part targets squarely at PDAs, and as such integrates several analog supporting roles. An internal 8- channel 10-bit A/D converter is used for voice note capture in the iPAQ and the resistive touch screen is interfaced directly to a built-in controller. An internal phase lock loop is also provided for assisting with system clock generation.
Not all analog content is cooked into the Samsung part however. To support a fairly rich audio capability, the iPAQ uses a Philips UDA 1380 combination stereo CODEC and headphone amplifier chip, with a National Semiconductor LM4890 audio power amplifier further boosting signal for the built-in speaker. Local area wireless for the iPAQ is handled with a Bluetooth module manufactured by Zeevo / Broadcom. Both digital baseband and transceiver radio circuitry are combined on a common IC"only a separate flash memory is paired with the Zeevo chip in the ceramic module.
Despite all this integration, the iPAQ continues the trend of discrete power management. A Semtech battery charger chip, TI DC/DC converter, and Maxim white LED driver are joined by an array of LDO regulators and their related passive components. On balance, a distributed, small-scale integration design addressed system unique power management needs for the iPAQ"simple, safe, and sometimes cheapest. Rapidly evolving handheld designs often demand the design flexibility made possible by taking the road less integrated.
So just how Analog is your Personal Digital Assistant? Of the roughly 600 electronic components used in the HP design, only a small fraction formed the binary heart of the system"testimony to the challenges of analog design and related opportunities in the component space. With design needs ranging from amplification to regulation to EMI control, it seems unlikely that small-scale analog devices will disappear any time soon.
David Carey is President of Portelligent. The Austin, Texas company produces teardown reports and related industry research on Wireless, Mobile, and Personal Electronics.

DirecTV digital audio-video-comm satellites
Compression Labs, Chief Architect: Musa Jahanghir

PALO ALTO, CA, Feb. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced that the THOR 7 satellite, designed and built for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc), is ready for launch and will ship to the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana later next week, for launch aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle by Arianespace.
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150210/174727)
THOR 7 is a multi-mission satellite equipped with Telenor's first high performance Ka-band payload, designed to serve the maritime market. The HTS Ka-band payload on THOR 7, designed specifically for the mobility VSAT market, will provide cost-effective solutions and offer high powered coverage over the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the Red Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean. The satellite also has a Ku-band payload for broadcast and television services in Central and Eastern Europe.
"SSL and Telenor Satellite Broadcasting share a commitment to providing satellites and services that improve the human experience," said John Celli, President of SSL. "We are pleased that THOR 7 is ready to ship and we look forward to working with TSBc and Arianespace on the final preparations for launch."
THOR 7 was designed with up to 25 simultaneously active Ka-band spot beams and a steerable beam for flexibility in meeting changing market requirements.  Its Ku-band payload includes 11 transponders, which will enable expanded services in the region as well as back-up to ensure uninterrupted service. 
"The satellite built by SSL will deliver a very bandwidth efficient and flexible service for major shipping routes and recreational vessels," said Morten Tengs, Vice President and CEO of Telenor Satellite Broadcasting. "With the launch of THOR 7, our growth satellite, we look forward to further extending our position in the market and expanding our European coverage."
THOR 7 is based on the highly reliable SSL 1300 platform, which provides high-power and the flexibility to support a broad range of applications and technology advances. When launched, THOR 7 will be positioned at 1 degree West longitude and is designed to provide service for 15 years or more.
About Telenor Satellite Broadcasting
Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc) is a major European satellite provider of broadcast and broadband services for customers in the media, maritime, and oil and gas sectors. Utilising a hybrid network that comprises our satellite fleet, teleports and a terrestrial fibre network, TSBc delivers turnkey broadcasting solutions, end-user connectivity and application services via satellite throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  From the distribution of digital TV and radio content to millions of European homes to the provision of reliable communications in remote locations on land and at sea, we are committed to keeping our customers connected via satellite. Visit the company's website at www.telenorsat.com.
About SSL
SSL has a long history of delivering reliable satellites and spacecraft systems for commercial and government customers around the world. As a leading provider of commercial satellites, the company works closely with satellite operators to provide spacecraft for a broad range of services including television and radio distribution, digital audio radio, broadband Internet, mobile communications, and Earth observation. Billions of people around the world depend on SSL satellites every day. For more information, visit www.sslmda.com.
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