30 Sep '12, 10pm

Design Challenge. Design a barcode scanner with reduced bill of materials (BOM), not reduced functionality.

Barcode scanners are a ubiquitous technology that touch our lives on an almost daily basis. Despite the prevalence of these scanners in commercial and industrial settings, it’s easy to take the complexity of their underlying designs for granted. Barcode scanners require multiple discrete ICs and an array of passive and active circuitry to provide the functionality and reliability that end users have come to expect. Many barcode scanners use an optical sensor, such as a charge-coupled device (CCD), which outputs an analog representation of what’s visible to the sensor to an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) controlled by a microcontroller (MCU). The MCU interprets the ADC’s output as a sequence of thick and thin black and white bars, and processes this sequence further to derive a string of characters from the pattern. The character sequence may be encoded in any one of a n...

Full article: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1365&doc_...

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