Month: October 2019

Electronic Design Automation

EDA domain is purely in software. It is how software are used to help integrated circuit (IC) designers to design ICs. These software are referred to as EDA tools.

While the high level stage of the IC design requires a lot of creativity, but the low level and details part of IC design can be very repetitive, tedious and boring. The EDA tools help the designers in doing the repetitive and tedious tasks.

While in collage, students majoring in electronics learn basic electronic system design using small number of components called gates. Basic system can be construct with less than 10 gates. By their final year, the students will learn how to construct larger system which consists of up to hundreds of gates. This is not how it is done in the real world.

In the real world, a system such as the Intel Pentium 4 chip is constructed from 14 million gates. And with the current trend, it will not be long before we pass the one billion gates (in one chip) mark. This is so much different from what is thought in college. That is why in the real world, IC is design using different method.

On the very high level a system can be described using special languages, called hardware description language (HDL). Two most prominent HDLs are Verilog and VHDL. Verilog is widely used by designers in North America, and VHDL is widely by the european designers.

Instead of designing a system on gates level, using these languages a system is described at a higher level. Then a software is used to translate this high level description into gates level. This process is called synthesis, and the software is referred to as a synthesis tool. One line in HDL can be translated by the synthesis tool into few gates. Synthesis tool is one of the examples of EDA tool.

Even before a design using HDL is processed by a synthesis tool, there are other EDA tools that can be used by the designers to check if their HDL codes follow certain rules and guidelines. These EDA tools are called rule checker software. The HDL design is check again good circuit design guideline in order to catch possible error which can caused circuit failure when it is converted into gates.

Network of connected gates which are synthesized are called netlist.There are various verification EDA tools can be used to analyze a netlist. The tools can be a static tools which can look at a netlist and resolve it functionality mathematically. There are also dynamic tools such as simulators which look at how the circuit behave virtually when it is operating. Simulated input voltages and currents are fed into the netlist, and the simulated output is shown to the designer.

Using these verification tools, designers can verify that their design work – at least in controlled simulated environment. Final verification of the actual chip is still needed because the long and intricate manufacturing process can cause problem to a circuit which not counted in during a simulated verification.

Using various EDA tools,such as synthesis tools,rule checkers and verification tools today designers have been able to create a chip which contains multi million gates in it. Other than synthesis, there are also other EDA tools that help designers with other process of an IC design such as layout tools, and timing verification tools.

Building DVR and HTPC

  • Case
    Your case is important because it is going to be sitting in your living room alongside your television, DVD player, stereo and so on. You don’t want some beige office PC cluttering up your home theater. Here you can either splurge on a custom, HTPC case or you can paint and customize your own. I went with contact paper and acrylic paint as a cheap solution to decorating a beige case.
  • Video Card
    Incredibly, your video card is a place you can save some money on your homemade Tivo. Unless you plan on playing some serious high-end computer games, all you need is an appropriate video out (s-video, DVI, or HDMI depending on your needs).
  • Tuner Card
    Make sure you don’t go cheap here. Go with a Hauppauge brand tuner card. At least the PVR-150. These are quality cards that take a load off your main processor.
  • Sound Card
    You can get a card with 5.1 surround sound for about $50 (maybe cheaper on eBay). If you want to hook up with your existing stereo system, you’ll want to spend a little more on a card with an S/PDIF out.
  • Memory
    To be safe, you should probably get 1GB of memory for your HTPC. Unless you want to play high end games, 1GB will be great and provide plenty of room for your programs.
  • Hard Drives
    Hard drive space is getting cheaper by the second, so you can choose to save or spend here. I have 300gb and it’s plenty for music and some TV shows. If you want to store all your DVDs, then start looking for some more space.

Basics of VoIP

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol but is more commonly know as Digital Phone, Broadband Phone, or even internet Phone service. Simply put, it refers to using your internet connection to talk to people. The people you talk to can be across the world or even just down the block.

Although there are free programs to let your computer act like a telephone, it is more common for people to purchase specially made devices that are separate from their computers but still use their internet connections. These devises then also plug into your homes telephone wiring system. This has the advantage of allowing people to use the phone equipment they already own.

To make a call, just pick it up, dial a number and talk just like you would with a traditional phone service. It does not matter if the person receiving the call has VoIP or not, because that is taken care of by your VoIP service provider.

Compared to traditional phone services, VoIP is often more cost effective. And because it is not yet regulated like the traditional phone industry there are no unexplained taxes or mysterious service charges. Because all calls on a VoIP phone are the same, there are no long distance charges. This can make international calling especially cheep.

VoIP really is the technology the world is moving to. And with its ease of use, feature rich service, and simple set up it is easy to see why. So if you would like to save a significant amount of money each year you need VoIP.

Protyping Made Easy

Prototypes are an important step in the manufacturing process. It is in this process that we will encounter computer numerical control or CNC prototyping. In CNC prototyping, a computer controller basically translates the design data and produces a 3D output of that data through a mechanical device.

This whole process has revolutionized the manufacturing process because previously, prototypes were difficult to produce because it consumed a lot of time, effort and cost to make. Now with CNC prototyping, complex 3D virtual designs by design engineers are easily translated actual 3D models with straight and curved lines easily replicated automatically. With CNC prototyping machines, producing prototypes are fast, easy and cost effective.

Now that CNC prototyping processes are available for most prototyping problems, the manufacturing process is greatly sped up. The savings in time and effort allow greater productivity by allowing design engineers to work on more with less time needed. This means a greater and faster turn over within a shorter amount of time. This of course then directly translates into the bottom line and profits for the business.

Sometimes, there is need for more than one CNC prototyping machine to produce the various components of a prototype. In this case, a series of CNC prototyping machines are grouped together and in most cases, these CNC prototyping machines are controlled by computer aided manufacturing or CAM software packages.

It is this CAM software package that aids the design engineer in deciding what types of tools, processes and paths in manufacturing are to be used. After this, the process becomes almost completely automated.

With continuous technological advancements in this area of CNC prototyping, it won’t be long before the whole process is made even easier and more convenient. Thanks to the aid of machines run by computers, there won’t be much need for too much human interference in the prototyping process. This in turn, speeds up the actual manufacturing process. Which in turn, makes things easier for everyone.

Electronic Medical Billing

Since 1997, all practices which involve patient interaction should pass HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Under HIPAA, most of the billing claims for the service are required to file via electronic means. HIPAA was enforced in order to prevent fraud and abuse in healthcare delivery and health insurance. While manual filing is time consuming, electronic billing is fast and accurate. With the usage of electronic billing, the rejection and denial has reduced drastically and the percentage of reimbursement has improved.

Electronic medical billing is nothing but the combination of IT and health care sector. Medical practices have been using software to manage their finances for several years. However, the present electronic medical billing programs are well known as medical management practice software. Electronic medical billing software covers a wide range of functions including tracking patient demographics, scheduling appointment, tracking billing information and insurance payments, patient’s visits, diagnosis and generating records.

Electronic billing is easy to use, thus helps the staff to improve their productivity. They have also made entire billing much faster .With the electronic billing, any error in the claims are notified to the billing center in minutes, so corrections can be made immediately. Healthcare providers are also satisfied with this system, because electronic billing makes the reimbursement very quick. This software is very friendly to the patients and customers as they give flexibility in scheduling appointment and easy access to the personal information. The cost of electronic claiming is less when compared to the claim submitted on paper. So, insurance carriers encourage electronic medical billing. Electronic billing also helps to eliminate the hassle of posting, printing and sorting the mail.

USB Flash Pen Drives

Being about the same size as the standard pen, USB pen drives, most popular added feature to date is its MP3 playback function. A lot also have an LCD display for track browsing, and audio input jack and a rechargeable battery. The newer models also offer up to 10 hours voice recording and may even come with tiny speakers for added functionality.

Further, a lot of pen drives come with card reader support for portable memory formats. Some of the newer pen drives can double as a Web cam and a still camera because they have tiny camera lenses for snapping low resolution pictures. These units also come with mountable stands and for greater functionality as Web cams.

USB pen drive applications may also be used to allow the user to save desktop configurations, documents and even bookmarks and makes for easy accessibility and transfer from one computer to the next. It only takes a minute to display the personal settings and data from the previous changes including the updates and changes that you have saved in the USB pen drive.

LCD Monitor vs CRT Measurements

Now take a ruler or tape measure, and measure the actual image you are viewing, measure diagonally, and you will see that the actual measurement is smaller than the monitors claimed size. For example, my 19 inch CRT monitor, measuring the actual image from the bottom left hand corner of the picture to the upper right hand corner is actually 17.25 inches, or in other words, only .25 inches larger than 17 inches, if the monitor measurement were the actual viewing screen this 19 inch monitor would only qualify as a 17 inch LCD monitor. This is where the LCD measurement comes in.

LCD monitors are measured by actual viewable area of the screen. They do not have a large rounded out tube beyond the screen, it is a flat panel of Liquid Crystals behind which are a series of tube lights that shine through the color crystals to illuminate your display. A 17 inch LCD monitor is 17 inches diagonally, a 19 inch monitor is 19 inches diagonal or about 1.75 inches larger than my example of the CRT tube.

Another little known glich in monitor measurements is how the diagonal measurement of a widescreen monitor reduces the overall height of the monitor which in turn reduces the actual size of a standard 4:3 to a smaller size. Example: If you purchase a 32 inch widescreen TV and watch a standard broadcast movie in it’s original format, you in essence are watching a 26 inch television. A more in depth look at how this measurement effects the full screen format, please read my Widescreen article. [http://www.thegourdreserve.com/dailysaleswidescreen.shtml]

My name is Dan Dunkin, I have been working on computers, building and upgrading as well as programming computers since the first tandy Color computer came out in 1980. Originally I programmed in QBasic, later I explored OS9 which was basically a Pascal based language, then with the technology increases into the pentium chips I finally merged this into the Visual Basic fields. My latest hobbies in electronics are dream shopping and finding answers to some of the seldom asked questions like monitor measurements, solid state hard drives, how to tweak and streamline computers to make them run more efficiently and more. Basically I am one who likes to ask the questions no one else thought to ask and finding the solutions to those questions.

Google’s Pixel 4

The Pixel 4 adds some more AI-powered smarts, relying increasingly on its software to determine the overall look of the final image. And while the camera has some moments where it’s truly excellent, I ran into a few growing pains as Google tries to calculate its way to perfect photos.

What’s new?

On paper, the Pixel 4’s camera doesn’t seem all that different from the hardware that came before it. The primary exception is the notable addition of a telephoto lens, which Google intends to improve performance specifically when it comes to zooming and portrait mode. The shooter’s competition, however, is stiffer this year: Apple seems to have corrected some the over-zealous HDR tech that made iPhone XS images look unrealistic and unnatural at times, and the Cupertino company promises to further improve the iPhone 11 Pro’s already-very-good camera when its detail-enhancing Deep Fusion tech arrives in the next iOS update.

Image quality

Google doesn’t pull punches when it comes to computational photography, which relies more on processing power and algorithms than pure hardware performance. The company makes it abundantly clear that the software magic that happens during and after you press the shutter has become extremely important in determining the look of the final image

Like almost every smartphone camera at this point, pressing the shutter doesn’t simply take one photo. Instead, it captures a burst and combines information from those images into one finished file. This “smart HDR” tech does a lot of good: It can prevent highlights from getting blown out, or flatten out a super-contrasty scene that could lose crucial details. But, as with iPhone 11 Pro, it can be unpredictable.

In good conditions shooting with the main wide-angle camera, I prefer the images that come out of the Pixel 4 to those from the iPhone 11 Pro. It’s close, but the Pixel’s camera still feels more neutral and natural to me. I don’t notice the HDR effect that can make subjects look unrealistic—and sometimes even cartoonish—as much as I do with the iPhone. This is especially useful for users who edit their photos after taking them (something very few typical users do).

Google made a few welcome improvements to its overall HDR experience as well. When you tap the screen to focus on an object in the image, two sliders now pop up for adjusting the brightness of the scene. One slider affects the overall exposure (how bright or dark everything looks) in the scene, while the other simply affects the shadows. That second slider is extremely useful. It allows you to do things like taking silhouette photos in which the subject is virtually blacked out while the background (usually the bright sky) stays properly exposed.

You can also achieve the opposite effect in which you can brighten up a dark foreground subject without blowing out a bright sky in the background. In a situation like the one pictured below, you’d typically lose some of those nice yellow leaf details to shadow unless you brightened the whole image and blew out the sky. Adjusting the shadow slider allows you to bring up the exposure on the leaves while leaving the sky alone.

That slider is one of my favorite additions to the Pixel 4 camera, and it’s a trend I’d love to see continue as we go forward into the future of HDR all the time on everything.

When the shooting conditions get tricky, however, the Pixel 4 has some real quirks.

The flickr effect

Most artificial lighting flickers, but your brain does a good job of making the glow seem continuous. The pulsing effect, however, is more difficult for digital cameras to negate, and the Pixel 4 seems to have more trouble in this arena than its competition.

In the video above, you’ll notice some dark bands going across the image. This kind of thing isn’t out-of-the-ordinary with artificial light sources, which have a generally imperceptible flicker to coincide with the 60 Hz electrical current flowing through them. Dedicated digital cameras, however, typically have “flicker detection” to help combat it, and even the iPhone 11 Pro does a better job of mitigating the effect.

With the Pixel 4, I noticed it in a variety of locations and artificial light sources. It’s subtle, most of the time, but if you have a bright light source in the frame of the picture or video, it can push the shutter speed faster than 1/60th of a second, which is when the bands start to creep in.

When I switched to a manual camera mode in the Lightroom app and used a slower shutter speed, it disappeared. In scenes like this, the iPhone seems to use its HDR+ tech to keep at least one frame in the mix with a shutter speed slow enough to stop this from happening. Once I figured out the circumstances that brought it on, I shot the example below, which shows it very clearly.

The flaw isn’t a deal breaker since it only appears in specific circumstances, but it’s very annoying when it does.

White balancing act

Another area where our brains and eyes routinely outperform cameras: color balance. If you’re in a room with both artificial light and a window, the illumination may look fairly consistent to your eye, but render as orange and blue, respectively, to a camera.

Smartphones often try to split the difference when it comes to white balance unless you mess with it on your own. The Pixel 4, however, analyzes the scene in front of it and uses AI to try and recognize important objects in the frame. So, if it notices a face, it will try and get the white balance right on the person. That’s a good tactic.

Generally, I think the Pixel 4 does an excellent job when it comes to white balance, except when it gets it very wrong. Move around the iPhone 11 Pro camera, and the scene’s overall color cast tends to stay mostly consistent. Do the same with the Pixel 4, and its overall white balance can shift drastically, even when you only slightly move the camera. Above, the grid-style screenshot show a series of photos I took in succession under unchanging conditions. I moved the phone subtly as I shot, and you can see the really profound color shift. Again, this primarily happens when shooting under artificial light.

As long as you pay attention and notice the change before snapping the shot, it’s totally fine and the Pixel does a great job. It’s also easy to correct later on if you’re willing to open an editing app. But, on a few occasions, I ended up with a weirdly yellow photo I didn’t expect.

Telephoto lens

The new telephoto lens is roughly twice the focal length of the Pixel’s standard camera, which effectively gives you a 2x optical zoom. It has an f/2.4 aperture, compared to the improved f/2.0 (lower numbers let in more light) portrait lens on the iPhone 11 Plus. It’s only a fraction of a stop, however, so it’s unlikely to make a huge impact, but it’s a reminder that Apple has been doing telephoto lenses for some time now and is already refining while Google is just getting started.

Like we said earlier, the telephoto lens counts zooming as one of its primary functions. The phone gives you the option to zoom up to 8x by combining digital and optical technology. Google claims pinching to get closer now actually gives you better image quality than simply taking a wider photo and cropping in, which has historically provided better results. I found this statement accurate. “Zooming” has come a long way on smartphone cameras, but you shouldn’t expect magic. You’ll still end up with ugly choppy “artifacts” in the images that look like you’ve saved and re-saved the photo too many times as a JPEG.

When you peep at the images on a smaller screen, like Instagram, however, they look impressive, and that’s ultimately probably the most important display condition for a smartphone camera in 2019.

If you zoom a lot, the Pixel beats the iPhone on the regular. It’s even slightly easier to hold steady due to the improved images stabilization system when you’re zoomed all the way to 8x.

Portrait mode

The other big draw of the telephoto lens comes in the form of improved portrait mode. Even with the single lens on the Pixel 3, Google already did a very impressive job faking the background blur that comes from shallow depth of field photography. Predictably, adding a second lens to let it better calculate depth in a scene improves its performance.

If you really want to notice the jump, try shooting a larger object or a person from farther back than the simple head-and-torso shot for which portrait mode was originally developed. Using portrait mode for larger objects is a new skill for the Pixel 4 and it does a good job of mitigating the inherent limitations of the tech. Any weirdness or artifacts like oddly-sharp areas or rogue blobs of blur typically tend to show up around the edges of objects or in fine details like hair or fur. The closer you get to your subject, the harder you’re making the camera work and the more likely you are to notice something weird or out of place.

Overall, the Pixel 4’s portrait mode looks more natural than the iPhone 11 Pro, but it struggles more with edges and stray hairs. In headshots, the areas around the hair typically give away the Pixel 4’s tricks right away. (The iPhone 11 Pro gets around those edge issues by adding a “dreamy” blur across most of the image.) The Pixel’s overall colors and contrast are generally better because they don’t try to emulate different types of lighting like the iPhone does. But, when you get a truly ugly edge around a subject’s face or hair with the Pixel 4, it can quickly ruin the effect.

If you’re only posting your portrait mode shot on Instagram, those rough edges may not really play for your followers. Viewing them on a laptop screen or larger, however, makes them obvious.

The Pixel 4 does give you almost immediate access to both the fake blur images and the regular photo in your library. Portrait mode takes a few seconds to process, so you can’t see those immediately. Considering the amount of processing it’s doing, that’s understandable—and also the case with the iPhone—but if you’re trying to nail exactly the right expression, you can’t really check your results in real time.

Night Sight

When Google debuted its impressive low-light shooting mode, Night Sight, in the Pixel 3, it was incredibly impressive. Google has clearly continued to refine its performance and, even with the iPhone 11 Pro adding its own version of the tech, the Pixel 4 still maintains a considerable advantage.

You’ll still have to swipe over to the Night Sight mode in order to enable it, as opposed to the iPhone, which springs it on you automatically when it thinks the conditions are right. I like having more control over what I’m doing, so I prefer the Pixel’s approach, especially since these night modes require long exposures that can result in blurry photos if you—or the objects in the scene—can’t hold still.

Compared to the iPhone’s Night Mode, the Night Sight’s colors are more accurate and the scenes just look more natural. Ultimately, this one will come down to personal preference, but I prefer the Pixel 4’s results over the iPhone 11 Pro’s.

During the camera presentation, Google flat-out said that it hopes you’ll only use the camera “flash” as a flashlight. I abided by this rule. The flash is not good, just like every smartphone camera flash photo that came before it. It’s useful if you really need it—especially if you don’t mind converting images to black and white after the fact—but you can ultimately just leave it turned off forever.

As an addition to Night Sight, Google also added functionality that makes it easier to shoot night sky photos that show off stars and the Milky Way—if you know what you’re doing. I didn’t test this feature because I didn’t have access to truly dark sky, and the weather hasn’t really cooperated. If you’re planning to use this feature, you should plan to use a tripod—or at least balance the phone on a stable object—since it still requires long exposures. Ultimately, I love that the company added this feature and I look forward to seeing what people create with it, but it’s a specialized thing that I imagine most users won’t try more than a few times.

The case of the missing super-wide-angle lens

When the Pixel 3 shipped without a telephoto lens, I didn’t really miss it. I do, however, have to wonder why Google would ship the Pixel 4 without the super-wide lens found on the iPhone 11 Pro and other high-end smartphones.

The super-wide is easy to abuse if the unique perspective blinds you to the inherent distortion and overall just kinda wacky perspective it offers. But, there are times when it comes in really handy. If you’re trying to shoot a massive landscape without creating a panorama, or you’re just taking a photo in really tight quarters, the extra width makes a tangible difference.

Ultimately, I advocate that people do the vast majority of their shooting with the standard wide-angle camera no matter which phone they choose, because the overall performance and image quality are typically far better than the other lenses. But, I like options, and a super-wide lens lets you achieve a perspective you physically can’t get by simply backing up.

So, what’s the best smartphone camera?

The Pixel 4 has left us in a tough situation. The image quality, color reproduction, and detail are really excellent—most of the time. The quirks that pop up, however, really do have a tangible effect on the overall usability of the camera as a whole. If you’re the type of shooter who is careful to pay attention to your scene and edits your photos after you shoot, then the Pixel is the best option for the most part. The more neutral colors and contrast take edits better than those on iPhone files, which come straight out of the camera looking more processed.

Ultimately, though, we’re in a time when smartphone camera quality has largely leveled off. I haven’t mentioned the Samsung cameras in this review for the most part, because I find their files overly processed with too much sharpening and aggressive contrast and saturation levels. But, a large contingent of people like that. At this point, there isn’t enough difference between overall performance and image quality on the Pixel 4 to jump ship from your preferred platform—only to eek out a slight edge on images that come straight out of the camera.

Electronic Personal Organizer

Early versions of these electronic personal organizers had features like an address book, pocket calculator and a calendar. The electronic organizer, being pocket-sized, was more portable compared to the traditional organizer, which made the former more convenient.

Now, electronic organizers are available in all sorts of sizes and have many functions and capabilities. Cheaper electronic organizers are smaller in size, or have less functions. High-end electronic personal organizers are built like mini-computers, with a memory storage large enough to accommodate huge files and loads of data. The HP iPAQ 111 (Hewlett Packard) and Palm Tungsten Handheld are just two examples of the many models and brands of electronic organizers. The two are both equipped with Bluetooth technology, WiFi capacity, as well as the capability to create Word and Excel documents, PowerPoint presentations, photo sharing and music streaming. PDA is the term used to call high-end electronic organizers.

The ability to synchronize information with a personal computer is considered as one of the most important capabilities of an electronic personal organizer. This ability allows the electronic personal organizer to connect easily with any computer, and thereby can update all schedules, files, and other data stored in the organizer quickly. Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and other programs can be synchronized from the organizer to the computer and vice-versa.

For a business person, an electronic organizer is somewhat like a personal assistant. The electronic organizer makes it easy to keep track of appointments, meetings and to-do lists. It is an important tool for busy individuals to manage time effectively. An electronic personal organizer shines when it comes to systemizing, planning, setting one’s goals as well as tracking down one’s progress towards the completion of their goals. Aside from business, it is also an important tool for goal setting and organizing in terms of personal development.

Almost all electronic organizers can perform mathematical equations because the calculator feature is available in both low-priced and high-end models and brands. The Sharp Wizard OZ -590A is an example of the more low-priced electronic organizer. It includes many basic functions minus a color display and other additional features usually found in high-end and more expensive organizers. The Sharp Wizard comes with an address book, calculator, a to-do list, a Spanish-English translator and an alarm function. It has a memory capacity of 8MB and can synchronize with Microsoft Outlook.

Gadgets like electronic personal organizers are of great help. They are a very convenient way of storing information. The functions of personal digital organizers and cellular phones are merged into one device: the smart phone. When choosing a new electronic personal organizer, make sure that you shop for functions that you want while meeting your budget. When you have one of your own, you’ll wonder how hard life without it can be.

Automotive Electronics Plug

Some gadgets and gizmos, like nose hair trimmers, could easily disappear without much fuss. There are many intelligent tools, on the other hand, that make our lives more convenient and safer on a daily basis.

Our enormous world of “smart” technology is ruled by new automotive electronics. Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and other indispensable features are excellent examples of smart and safe automotive electronics.

Through recent developments within the automotive industry, there has been a huge increase in the number of electronic devices installed at assembly plants. Here’s an example of how quickly cars have evolved electronically: the Apollo 11 traveled to the moon and back again, using just 150 kilobytes of onboard memory. Today’s typical CD player, however, uses a whopping 500 kilobytes of memory just to keep our favorite songs from skipping. That uninterrupted music is an iota of how electronics impact a car’s performance to benefit drivers.

The term used to describe the technology involved in automobile communication systems is “Telematics”, and it was first used to describe the blending of telecommunications and “informatics”, or information technology. The telematics industry recently commanded an increased amount of attention from car manufacturers. Industry insiders predicted that telematics would become “the” go-to technology as early as the mid-1990s. Telematics was expected to increase overall sales and transform the automotive industry into a major player in mobile technology.

In reality, these optimistic forecasts panned out to be a little less than initially predicted. As more conservative measures came in to play, the initial industry projection of more than $40 billion dollars has been whittled nearly in half.

By no means do these numbers indicate an abandonment of the development of telematics technology. Automobile manufacturers have, in fact, invested an average of $2000 on electronic systems for every vehicle coming off the line. That’s a huge increase over the $110-per-car budget set in the early 1970s. The spending increase is reflected in everything from better engine performance and improved entertainment systems, to security features and safety devices. All of the electronic components work together to provide drivers with more comfortable, better performing and safer automobiles.

Here are some of the most common safe and smart automotive electronics systems:

CAN, or Controller Area Network

Your car doesn’t run on one computer; it operates with a network of computers. The Controller Area Network links all of the computers together. This type of system is similar to those used in home and business computers, known as Local Area Networks (LANs). The Controller Area Network in your car links the many separate computer systems together and allows them to communicate with each other. These interconnected systems incorporate critical systems like engine management, cruise control and anti-lock brakes with less demanding applications like seat controls and automatic windows.

Increased Fuel Efficiency

Shrinking resources and soaring fuel prices have forced automotive manufacturers to increase their supply of fuel-efficient vehicles. Smart auto makers are using new automotive electronics to create cars that burn fuel more efficiently. This is most evident with the common EFI, or electronic fuel injection system. Hybrid vehicles have taken this technology one step further, with electronic devices that allow drivers to switch automatically between gas and electric engines.