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Is solar power a viable energy option?

November 13, 2013 2:33 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

It's about to be a new year at ECN and we're looking forward to the future with a Brainstorm about alternative energy! It's a hot topic in engineering and around the world as researchers, designers, and politicians try to figure out what the energy of the future will be. This month, we're focusing in on SOLAR POWER with a question for our readers

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Polycarbonate vs. fiberglass and stainless steel

November 13, 2013 2:02 pm | by Jim McWilliams, president of Integra Enclosures | Comments

When choosing an enclosure to protect sensitive electrical and electronic components, remember this: Not all enclosure materials are equal to the task. Some materials surpass the performance of others in keeping out moisture, dust and other foreign matter, resisting corrosion and the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays....

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The largest, most ambitious challenge to Net Neutrality

November 13, 2013 8:42 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

This summer, I learned one of the few cable TV channels I sometimes watch is no longer available to me without upgrading to another “tier” of channels. None of those other channels appeal to me, so I simply decided I would do without the channel. My decision was pretty sound, but I believe my choice was not a choice at all.

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Keep it simple: The role of switch selection in simplifying electronic designs

November 12, 2013 4:42 pm | by Marty Arch, National Sales Manager, NKK Switches | Comments

Albert Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Whether in architectural design, software coding, engineering discipline or even managing people, simplicity is an overriding goal and success is achieved when a product or process is at its maximum simplicity.

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Versatility of ultra-miniature detect switches on display

November 12, 2013 4:32 pm | by Kyle Peterson, Product Management, C&K Components | Comments

Ultra-miniature detect switches are playing a significant role in a number of applications today. The miniaturization of key components, including switches, has enabled the continued trend towards end-products getting smaller and smaller.

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What advances in circuit protection are having the biggest impact on the industry?

November 12, 2013 12:30 pm | Comments

The advancement of the ultra low resistance Polymer Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) resettable fuse will impact the industry moving forward. Innovations in material science over the last few years have allowed PTC component makers to reduce the resistance of PTC’s....

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The 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us

October 29, 2013 4:20 pm | by John Donovan for Mouser Electronics | Mouser Electronics | Comments

The first Industrial Revolution was driven by the steam engine and mechanization, the second by Henry Ford’s assembly line and the third in the 1970s, when computers revolutionized the workplace. Now the three have coalesced, putting us at the dawn of Industry 4.0....

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Filtering out of all that ‘noise’

October 29, 2013 2:58 pm | by Bob Ydens and Brett Robinson, PhD, EMI Solutions, Inc. | Comments

As processing speeds in electronics continue to rise, and packaging continues to shrink, sensitive internal components are located closer and closer together. Higher clock speeds coupled with increased density of components leads to increasing amounts of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) noise.

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More than just parts: Distribution in the e-commerce age

October 29, 2013 2:39 pm | by Dave Doherty, Digikey Corporation | Comments

Electronic component distributors historically have simply been an outlet from which to source parts. Not so long ago, customers paged through gigantic catalogs searching for specific parts by category. Then, orders were often placed with multiple distributors selected by order type – a single part or a volume order.

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Distribution keeps automotive moving

October 28, 2013 12:52 pm | by Rondekka Moore, Vice President, Demand Creation Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas | Comments

The automotive industry is undergoing two major paradigm shifts that each will demand more involvement from the distribution channel. The first of these is the race to more fuel efficiency for vehicles that will be coming down the pike in the future. By 2025, automotive fuel efficiency must reach an average of 54.5 miles per gallon.

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PoP-based PCBs move to center stage

October 28, 2013 12:32 pm | by Syed W. Ali, C.I.D+. PCB layout engineer, Nexlogic Technologies, Inc., www.nexlogic.com | Nexlogic Technologies | Comments

Package-on-package (PoP) technology is coming on strong and continues to overshadow the ever popular system-on-chip (SoC) and other similar packaging types. The rationale behind PoP is simple.  More OEMs are miniaturizing their products, but are intent on adding more functionality.

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Creating innovative, precise, and specialized medical equipment enclosures

October 28, 2013 12:19 pm | by Ken Tumblison, President of Buckeye Shapeform | Comments

Advances in medical technology in the past century alone have made possible what was previously considered unfeasible. Where once certain illnesses caused the deaths of millions worldwide, medical innovation has now eliminated many dreaded diseases.

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FAQ: The infrared motion sensor

October 28, 2013 12:08 pm | by Aiman Kiwan, Senior Product Manager, Panasonic Corporation of America | Comments

Many of the automation systems that increasingly appear in our daily lives have a fundamental need to sense the presence and movement of human beings. Whether that system simply shuts off the lights to save energy at home or triggers an emergency response in a health care facility, accurate motion sensing is a crucial requirement.

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Growing sensors: Agriculture meets technology

October 28, 2013 11:50 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Agriculture is arguably one of the most important industries in the world. After all, with an estimated population of over 7 billion people, there are a lot of mouths to feed. Unfortunately, agriculture is also one of the most unpredictable industries. Crops are subject to the whims of nature with droughts, fire, rain, sun, and hail.

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Sensors in energy harvesting

October 28, 2013 11:08 am | by Armin Anders, Vice President Business Development, EnOcean | Comments

Global challenges in energy generation and consumption motivates governments worldwide to set ambitious goals for increased energy efficiency, which results in a fast growing need for energy efficient buildings. Therefore, innovative, sustainable technologies that can be easily installed, especially in retrofit projects, are a necessity if the governments’ ambitious objectives are to be realized.

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