IEEE - CAS Bangalore Chapter, India     CAS Chapter - Region 10
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - Circuits and Systems Society
Goals: To conduct seminars, workshops, and other events pertaining to all aspects of electronic circuits and systems

Event Reports - 2011
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November
Two-day Conference on Architecture, Programming and Applications of Stellaris (ARM Cortex-M3) Microcontroller
19-20 November 2011
Texas Instruments India, Bangalore
Report by C.P.Ravikumar

Stellaris (ARM Cortex-M3) Microcontroller IEEE CAS cooperated with Texas Instruments India University Program (UniTI) to organize a two-day conference on Architecture, Programming and Applications of Stellaris (ARM Cortex-M3) Microcontroller. The conference was held at Texas Instruments India campus in Bangalore during Nov 19-20, 2011. About 25 teachers from various engineering colleges took part in the event. Many participants are members of IEEE.

Inauguration
Dr. C.P. Ravikumar, secretary of IEEE CAS Bangalore Chapter, welcomed the participants and explained the intent of the conference. System design has become the need of the hour for the electronics industry. In order to reduce the time to market, modern day electronic systems are based on SoC platforms such as Stellaris. These SoC integrate several IP cores such as the ARM processor cores, memories, and I/O controllers. The aim of the two-day conference on Stellaris Cortex-M3 has been to provide the teachers a hands-on introduction to system design.

Shailesh Thakurdesai (Texas Instruments, India) spoke about the ARM-based microcontrollers from TI, branded Stellaris family of microcontrollers. Stellaris Cortex-M3 is an SoC famly with the a number of IP cores. The processor core in Stellaris is an ARM Cortex-M3 that can work at 80 MHz. On-chip memory (up to 256 kB Flash memory, up to 96 kB SRAM, and built-in ROM which comes pre-loaded with Stellarisware library is included. Stellaris includes system peripherals such as DMA, GPIO, timers, watchdog timers, Systick timer, PWM, and power management circuits. Serial interfaces, such as UART, SSI/SPI, Ethernet, USB, CAN, IIC and IIS, are also integrated. Analog and Mixed-Signal blocks, such as LDO regulators, analog comparators, ADC and temperature sensors come with the chip. Stellaris also includes specialized interfaces for motion control which are useful in robotics applications.

Shailesh spoke about the different applications of Stellaris Cortex-M3, such as connectivity, security, energy, industrial automation, robotics, point-of-sale terminals, and so on. Embedded system development on Stellaris platform can be carried out using platforms such as TI Code Composer Studio, Keil, IAR, Code Red, CodeSourcery G++. He mentioned the real-time OS support available on Stellaris platform from several sources.

Dr. Sadanand Gulwadi, University Program Manager, ARM India, spoke about the Architecture and Programming of ARM processors. He emphasized that low power consumption is an inherent feature of ARM architecture and instruction set. He illustrated several ARM assembly language instructions to bring out this fact.

N. Kavitha of STEPS talked about her experiences as a user of different embedded processors such as DSP, Microprocessors, Microcontrollers, and FPGA based platforms. She gave a historical overview of different processor platforms that have been used to build embedded systems and explained how the processors have become more and more powerful over time. She felt that industry-academia interaction is essential to bridge the gap between industrial practices and the skill level of graduating university students.

Hands-on Workshops
Two hands-on workshops were held as part of the conference. The first workshop was on Network Connectivity and included a number of labs based on LMS8962 development kit and Texas Instruments Code Composer Studio. The lab exercises brought out the use of the Ethernet controller and CAN controller. The workshop was coordinated by Pranav Mahajan. He also demonstrated a way to remotely control the LMS8962 from a PC using the Internet browser interface.

A second workshop on EVALBOT was conducted by Saurabh Rathor. EVALBOT is a robotics development kit based on Stellaris Cortex-M3. The workshop included several hands-on experiments which allowed the participants to learn about programming the EVALBOT. A demonstration was made of remotely controlling the movement of EVALBOT using a wireless interface from the Chronos watch. The Chronos watch is based on the CC430 embedded platform from Texas Instruments.

Exhibits
On Nov 19, Cranes Software displayed a number of embedded system platforms based on ARM processors. Among others, the exhibits included the Panda board (based on Cortex-A9) and Beagleboard (based on Cortex-A8). The exhibits attracted the attention of participants.

Valedictory Function
A valedictory function was held on Nov 20. Dr. C.P. Ravikumar spoke about the necessity of industry-academia interaction and how it is useful for both industry and academia. There was lively interaction during the session and several suggestions were made by the participants. The participants provided a very positive feedback to the event. One of the teachers from B.V. Raju Institue of Technology (Hyderabad) appreciated the role of IEEE CAS Society in bringing such an event to the teachers. Certificates of participation were distributed to all participants.

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July

DC Nano-grid: Concept to Realization
19th July 2011
Texas Instruments India, Bangalore
Report by C.P.Ravikumar

Prof. Santanu K. Mishra, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT Kanpur, delivered a talk entitled DC Nano-grid: Concept to Realization under the aegis of PragaTI (TI India Technical University) and IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (Bangalore Chapter). The venue was the TI India Bangalore campus.
Prof. Mishra started with an overview of our 100 year old grid system and discussed the various advantages & disadvantages of AC systems. He then explained the idea of DC nano grid wherein a DC battery is used to run household appliances (lights, fans etc.) & the battery is being by solar panels & wind turbines. The idea is to make a household self sustained in its electricity needs.
He gave a brief review of his projects (Variable Phase Input Power Plant Design for Telecom Application, Bi-directional Battery Charging System), collaboration with different industries and facilities available at their institute. A number of questions were raised by the participants. Mr. Biranchinath Sahu, introduced the speaker and offered the vote of thanks. About 30 participants attended the seminar, including IEEE members and non-members.

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May

Zigbee Development on TI Platform
20th May 2011
Texas Instruments India, Bangalore
Report by C.P.Ravikumar

Zigbee Development on TI Platform by Adithya Gajulapally, TI India Under the aegis of PragaTI (TI India Technical University), VLSI Society of India and IEEE CAS Bangalore Chapter a short course on Zigbee Implementation on TI Platforms was held on May 20, 2011. The speaker was Mr. Adithya Gajulapally (Consultant, TI India). The venue was TI India Bangalore campus.
Zigbee is a wireless communication protocol suitable for applications such as Wireless Sensor Networks. It achieves low power due to low datarate and smaller range. Zigbee is being used in applications such as home automation, smart metering, m-commerce, and so on. The short course included a theoretical overview of Zigbee protocol stack and its implementation on TI platform. There was also a demonstration of sample applications and hands-on practice on platforms such as MSP430F5438 and CC253x.
12 participants attended the hands-on course.

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An Overview of ARM Architecture and Technologies
18th May 2011
Texas Instruments India, Bangalore
Report by C.P.Ravikumar

An Overview of ARM Architecture and Technologies by William Hohl, ARM William Hohl is the Worldwide University Relations Manager at ARM, where he has been working for the past 14 years. He is the author of the bestselling book ARM Assembly Language - Fundamentals and Techniques. He delivered a talk on An Overview of ARM Architecture and Technologies under the aegis of PragaTI (TI India Technical University), VLSI Society of India, and IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (Bangalore Chapter). The venue was the TI India Bangalore campus.
Bill started with an overview of ARM company and shared some interesting historical tidbits. Did you know that ARM was originally conceived by Acorn Computers for its personal computers? Did you know that 96% of mobile devices have an embedded ARM processor? Or that Apple iPAD-2 uses a Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor? "Although ARM is called a Reduced Instruction Set architecture, the modern versions of the processor have hundreds of instructions," he shared. "The latest ARM processors have 600+ instructions."
His talk examined the ARM architecture, including the programmer's model, instruction sets, pipelines, AMBA bus, and development tools and resources that are available. About 100 participants attended the seminar. A number of questions were raised by the participants. Dr. C.P. Ravikumar, Secretary of VSI and CAS Bangalore Chapter, introduced the speaker and thanked him for his valuable seminar. Refreshments were served to the attendees.
The seminar received excellent feedback; on a scale of 1-5, the quantitative rating for the seminar was 4.45.

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April

Next-Generation Ultra-Low-Power System Design
28th April 2011
Texas Instruments India, Bangalore
Report by C.P.Ravikumar

Next-Generation Ultra-Low-Power System Design by Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan of Massachusetts Institute of Technology delivered a seminar which outlined the trends of things to come in the area of low-power electronic systems. "The area of semiconductors has matured", he pointed out. "This may be a controversial statement to make, but I feel the next generation of innovations will come not at device-level or circuit-level, but at system-level of abstraction". The seminar was organized by PragaTI (TI India Technical University) in collaboration with VLSI Society of India and IEEE CAS Bangalore Chapter. The seminar took place at Texas Instruments, Bangalore campus and was attended by more than 150 participants who packed themselves into the seminar room some stood and others squatted on the floor. The audience included members of VSI, IEEE, and employees of semiconductor companies in Bangalore.
"Since the next-generation handheld devices and wireless sensors for health and environmental monitoring will require dramatic reduction in energy consumption, we will have to power these devices using energy-harvesting techniques such as vibration-to-electric conversion, or through body heat", said Prof. Chandrakasan. We will have to use a system-level approach to optimize such devices. He illustrated this with several examples of systems built at MIT Microsystems Technology Labs.
"Some of the system-level considerations include ultra-low-voltage digital circuit operation, application-specific digital and mixed-signal architectures, extreme parallelism, computation vs. communication trade-off, and integrated energy-processing circuits", explained Prof. Chandrakasan. "While we have heard of digitally assisted analog circuits, there will be a case for analog-assisted digital circuits such as embedded switched capacitor power management, and offset compensation in sense amplifiers in order to deal with device variability and low-voltage operation". He described some circuits where device variability has been exploited for low-power operation.
At the beginning of the seminar, Dr. C.P. Ravikumar, secretary of VSI and IEEE CAS Bangalore Chapter, welcomed everyone to the seminar and introduced Prof. Chandrakasan. Anantha P. Chandrakasan received the B.S, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989, 1990, and 1994 respectively. Since September 1994, he has been with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, where he is currently the Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering. He is the Director of the MIT Microystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) which has over 700 users.
The feedback for the seminar has been excellent it received an overall rating of 4.73 out of 5.0. Qualitative comments included, "It was an awe-inspiring seminar", "Truly inspirational talk", etc.

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March

yukTI A smart & economical domotic solution
23rd March 2011
Texas Instruments India, Bangalore
Report by C.P.Ravikumar

yukTI  A smart & economical domotic solution Home Automation is a booming market sector with a lot of potential for innovation and exploration. Presently, electrical/electronic appliances need to be controlled individually and require the presence of a user near the device to control it. While remote control can address this problem, existing home automation solutions use one remote controller per device (or a set of devices) and prove costly. When a new device is introduced by the same company, it cannot be controlled with an existing remote controller. Presently, there is no unified definition of standards and protocols and the time is right for defining a standard.
A seminar entitled yukTI - A smart & economical domotic solution was organized jointly by PragaTI (TI India Technical University), IEEE Circuits and Systems Bangalore Chapter, and VLSI Society of India, and presented by Amogh N, Joseph John, Lee Aby Zachariah and Mohan Arun Kumar, members of the DLP Tools Software Team at Texas Instruments (India).
The speakers presented a solution called yukTI to overcome these problems. The solution is based on Universal Plung and Play (UPnP).
The seminar was highly interactive and attracted 24 participants, including members of VSI, IEEE-CAS, and several students from engineering colleges in Bangalore. Refreshments were served after the seminar.
Some of the feedback received:
  • I'm really happy because it was a nice experience to share the information - overall it was a nice seminar. I request TI to inform me about other seminars in the future.
  • Topics and the material were quite good!
  • Using WIFI needs Internet - hence user needs an Internet connection, which many homes don't have - this makes yukTI interesting.
  • You could go deeper into the technology in your explanations.
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    February

    Op-Amp Noise Calculation and Measurement
    3rd February 2011
    Texas Instruments India, Bangalore
    Report by C.P.Ravikumar

    Arthur A.Kay, Texas Instruments Arthur A. Kay delivered a seminar on Op-Amp Noise Calculation and Measurement at Texas Instruments, Bangalore campus. Arthur Kay is the linear applications manager at Texas Instruments. He specializes in the support of sensor signal conditioning devices, and industrial applications. He works from Tucson, Arizona. The seminar was organized by PragaTI (TI India Technical University) in collaboration with IEEE Circuits and Systems Bangalore Chapter and VLSI Society of India.
    Art began with an explanation of what intrinsic noise and extrinsic noise are, and how they are modeled statistically. He then explained a way to calculate the noise in Op-Amp circuits through TINA SPICE simulation. He also explained how a lab setup can be made to measure noise in Op-amp circuits and how equipment such as oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers can be used to measure noise.
    The seminar was highly interactive and there were a number of questions from the audience. The seminar attracted excellent feedback. There were 37 attendees, including members of IEEE and VSI. C.P. Ravikumar, secretary of IEEE CAS Bangalore Chapter and VSI, introduced the speaker and delivered the vote of thanks. Refreshments were served after the seminar.

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    Fundamentals of the ECG Signal Chain
    2nd February 2011
    Texas Instruments India, Bangalore
    Report by C.P.Ravikumar

    Matthew Hann, Texas InstrumentsMatthew Hann delivered a seminar on Fundamentals of the ECG Signal Chain at Texas Instruments, Bangalore campus. Matt is the manager for Precision Analog Products in the High Performance Analog business unit at Texas Instruments. He works from Tucson, Arizona. The seminar was organized by PragaTI (TI India Technical University) in collaboration with IEEE Circuits and Systems Bangalore Chapter and VLSI Society of India.
    The speaker started with the basics of ECG terminology and then went into the details of the ECG signal chain. He explained the design considerations that must be taken into account when designing the analog front end, input filtering and protection, discrete gain and band pass filtering, and A/D conversion in an ECG data acquisition system.
    The seminar was highly interactive and there were a number of questions from the audience. Matt also interacted with many visitors from other organizations who had come to attend the seminar. The feedback for the seminar was excellent. Some qualitative comments we received:
  • Very informative knowledge- sharing session
  • Excellent presentation
  • Quite Impressive
  • The presentation was very nice. The explanation was clear and concise. Thanks
  • Good and informative

  • There were 32 attendees, including members of IEEE and VSI. C.P. Ravikumar, secretary of IEEE CAS Bangalore Chapter and VSI, introduced the speaker and delivered the vote of thanks. Refreshments were served after the seminar.

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