The creation of every new smartphone, portable medical device, or automotive driver assist feature serves as a constant reminder of how technology never stands still. “Quickly innovate or risk being left behind” is the industry maxim heard everywhere. And nowhere is this cry more prevalent than among design engineers faced with complex task of delivering the next technological wonder or “it” item.
As the convergence of communications and computing functions within components continues to advance, embedded systems are transforming into complex systems. Major components of embedded systems are microcontrollers (MCUs), digital signal processors (DSPs), analog, real-time operating systems (RTOS), industry-specific protocols and interfaces. Embedded systems also span digital and analog, sensors and actuators, software, mechanical items and other components.
Ever present are new opportunities to develop and build more powerful, energy-efficient solutions around minimization of size and low cost. Important design characteristics at work are low power, real-time responsiveness, low thermal dissipation, small physical form factor, memory, regulatory concerns, ruggedness in design and other factors. All of this creates a major design challenge for engineers when it comes to the selection of processors, operating systems, etc., as demands for functionality increase with rising time-to-market pressures.
“In today’s world, convenience means portable, which in turn means low power systems running on batteries for sleep mode,” explains Kevin Hess, Mouser Vice President Technical Marketing. “Although low power has always been a goal, the trend towards microcontrollers with ultra-low-power consumption has accelerated in recent years.”
Mouser Electronics stands at the forefront in embedded processors and development tools, stocking and quickly shipping the latest, leading-edge solutions that are smarter, greener and more convenient. With its eight Customer Support Centers across Europe’s largest technology hubs, it’s not surprising to learn that Mouser has rapidly grown into a global engineering resource and leading worldwide distributor for advanced semiconductors and electronic components among design engineers across Europe.
Being green doesn’t necessarily mean low power, Hess adds. To reduce the carbon footprint, engineers need to make the most efficient use of power consumed. Embedded system engineers also face the need to update their programming, debugging and testing skills to draw the best out of designs. Thus, many semiconductor companies are aligning with third-party development tool manufacturers for their expertise. Hess says open source technology is greatly influencing the design of low-cost, highly functional and adaptable solutions.
Mouser has established itself as the go-to source for the latest MCU and embedded products from the world’s leading manufacturers, including Texas Instruments, Microchip Technologies and Freescale Semiconductor, to name a few. Mouser also stocks the newest embedded products from Laird Technologies, Olimex, Digi Int’l, Lantronix, Netburner and Roving Networks, carrying a full suite of development tools, including starter kits, evaluation boards, programmers, debuggers and emulators for rapid evaluation and testing of designs. Product numbers are updated daily on www.mouser.com and labeled as new technology or flagged NRND (Not Recommended for New Design) and/or EOL (End of Life) and made available via online, catalogue or mobile.
“With the requirements of both the end consumer and electronics industry need for embedded design increasing so rapidly, every link in the chain – from semiconductor manufacturer to development tool maker to distributor – must constantly be on the cutting edge,” explains Hess. “Our goal is to help design engineers around the world get their products to market faster. We do that by supplying the most advanced products from the top suppliers. Therefore, customers can count on Mouser to deliver What’s Next in authorized embedded processors and development tools.”
Mouser Electronics UK
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