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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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Does 3D printing represent a shift in time-to-market strategies?

October 24, 2013 3:04 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

3D printing has been used for years in larger companies, like the one I work for now. It is incorporated into the mechanical design process as part of the overall development and is optionally tailored out if not necessary or particularly useful. When end customers, as well as designers, see a plastic mock-up of the widgit they desire...

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Saving time and money on testing embedded hardware - putting design and production tests in their place

October 24, 2013 2:23 pm | by Dunstan Power, Director of ByteSnap Design | Comments

Recent high-profile product recalls and failures have shown that even the most experienced and well-funded company can fall down when it comes to product testing. A product goes through two fundamental types of test. The first is of the design itself and the second is production testing of the product.

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Reconfigurable heterogeneous architectures deliver flexibility and performance for complex applications

October 23, 2013 4:47 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

Embedded systems designers, more than ever, are seeking flexibility in how they work with processing elements to help keep risks low, speed time to market and control cost. Traditional embedded systems often rely on general-purpose processors and microcontrollers or multicore processors.

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Building digital video encoding systems: What’s your approach?

October 23, 2013 2:51 pm | by Mike Perkins, Ph.D, and Mike Deeds, Cardinal Peak | Comments

Since its humble beginning more than 80 years ago in Farnsworth’s lab, video has grown to be a ubiquitous part of life. Devices like HDTVs, smartphones, and tablets coupled with services like YouTube, Netflix, and Facebook have put video near the center of most people’s lives.

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What technology changed board-level assembly in 2013?

October 18, 2013 2:54 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design. This month we're focusing on board-level assembly. From adhesives to thermal gap pad management, we want to know what's happening in your lab and on your benches! We know our readers have varied opinions and valuable experiences...

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The challenges and increased demands of the datacenter

October 18, 2013 9:36 am | Comments

Our increasingly connected world and the oceans of data we generate has put the datacenter under tremendous pressure to accommodate our demands efficiently and reliably. ECN recently interviewed Ajith Jain, Vicor’s director, global communications and computer unit about the trends and the challenges facing designers of datacenter devices.

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Mastering virtualization challenges

October 17, 2013 12:29 pm | by Alastair Waite, Head of Enterprise Data Center Business, EMEA & India TE Connectivity | Comments

While cutting costs, and without increasing physical resources, companies can exponentially increase workload capacities by virtualizing their existing servers. However, despite the many obvious benefits of virtualization, it can also present challenges regarding the actual location of data on servers....

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Projected capacitive touch panels designed for marine applications

October 16, 2013 12:47 pm | by Tony Gray, Director of Product Technology, Ocular | Comments

As projected capacitive (PCAP) touch panels continue to gain market share in the industrial and embedded markets, they are also branching out into new markets, including the marine industry. The marine environment presents unique challenges to a PCAP sensor, requiring specialized designs to overcome these challenges and provide optimum performance.

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Cloud computing: The next frontier for silicon photonics

October 15, 2013 3:52 pm | by Arlon Martin, VP of Marketing, Contracts & Government Affairs, Kotura | Comments

The movement to tap silicon photonics as an underlying technology for higher performance, low-power consumption data centers is well underway. In fact, fast interconnects have become a pacing factor for the industry, particularly as data centers become the backbone for cloud computing, which continues to accelerate with market demand.

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Q&A with Karim Wassef of GE Energy Management

October 15, 2013 3:11 pm | Comments

Our increasingly connected world and the oceans of data we generate has put the datacenter under tremendous pressure to accommodate our demands efficiently and reliably. ECN recently interviewed Dr. Karim Wassef, general manager of the Embedded Products business unit for GE’s Critical Power business about the trends and the challenges facing designers of datacenter devices.

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Faster network processing and throughput with C-RAN

October 15, 2013 1:45 pm | by Gilad Garon, CEO, ASOCS | Comments

Video traffic from a myriad of devices, including smart phones, tablets, laptops and other devices, is overloading today’s networks. What’s more, the increased traffic must co-exist with legacy 2G and 3G protocols and anticipated new standards as the industry moves forward to 4G and beyond.

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How test instrument manufacturers can design to meet the expectations of new and experienced engineers

October 14, 2013 2:36 pm | by Jonathan Tucker, Keithley Instruments, Inc. | Comments

A recent industry study indicates one out of five electrical engineers now in the global workforce has started his or her career within the last 10 years. These newer engineers tend to be more software-oriented than some of their more experienced colleagues due to recent changes in universities’ electrical engineering curricula.

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