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Battery harvesting versus energy harvesting

August 6, 2013 3:06 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

Should you use primary batteries or energy harvesting for your low power isolated from the grid application? Are primary batteries better or worse than energy harvesting? Can you use one or the other or do you need both? Neither? It is an interesting question depending on the application, the power required, and the costs involved.

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Making aviation history: A solar-powered plane

August 6, 2013 2:01 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

While most of the country is still struggling with the concept of solar power on land, one team was busy using the panels to power something a little more ambitious: a plane. The program, called Solar Impulse, is devoted to designing a plane powered entirely by solar panels, in hopes of demonstrating the potential of alternative energy.

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New approach to reducing standby power

August 6, 2013 1:03 pm | by Tim Kaske, Product Marketing Manager, ON Semiconductor | On Semiconductor | Comments

Figures published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that US electricity usage is more than double what it was back in the mid 1970s, however it has started to plateau in recent years due to increasing awareness of energy efficiency and more stringent government regulations.

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Now’s a good time to "reclaim your name" from data brokers

August 6, 2013 12:12 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

What’s in a name? Juliet Capulet didn’t see much value in a name in her famous, fictional dialog with Romeo Montague but in the age of “big data,” try telling that to today’s big data brokers. As our modern, personal conveniences put more of our information out there to be gathered and sold, a consumer’s confidence that information or misinformation isn’t going to harm them is usually limited....

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What remains as the biggest challenge for current LED technology? (Part II)

July 31, 2013 10:00 am | Comments

The biggest challenge is that LED chips are quickly approaching their theoretical limits for efficient light output. As they do, incremental improvements to the LED die are providing diminishing returns on investment. Fortunately, innovations in optical silicone packaging materials are introducing new, more cost-effective ways to enhance efficiency (lm/W), as well as cost (lm/$) and light density (lm/cm2).

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What remains as the biggest challenge for current LED technology?

July 31, 2013 9:46 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Adeline Chan, product marketing manager, Cree, Inc.: LED technology has been evolving rapidly over the years. From a performance perspective, lumen output and efficacy numbers have been improving. Other “areas” of the LED technology have also progressed such as thermal properties, substrate materials, light distribution pattern,

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Wi-Fi for embedded Internet of Things applications

July 30, 2013 12:39 pm | by Dana Myers, Channel marketing manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, Texas Instruments | Comments

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic these days and for good reason — the market offers a tremendous opportunity to create products that make consumers’ lives easier and will touch many things in our daily life with over 30 billion Internet connected devices expected by 2020.

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Multilayer Organic (MLO) technology for RF/wireless components in multiband applications

July 30, 2013 11:43 am | by George White, PhD, and Michael Ulrich, AVX Corporation, www.avxcorp.com | Comments

Today, low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC), multilayer ceramic (MLC) and ceramic mono-block technologies are the dominant choices for the implementation of surface mount components for RF passive filters, diplexers, baluns and front end modules. LTCC is the most popular ceramic technology since it uses miniature lumped components....

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Solve high power consumption challenges in active RFID systems

July 30, 2013 11:12 am | by Shawn Rezaei, ams, www.ams.com | Comments

Active RFID usually operates at 455 MHz, 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz. It is suited to applications such as asset and people tracking, access control, passive keyless entry in cars, parking management systems and temperature monitoring. Active RFID tags have greater transmission power than passive tags.

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A guide to ZigBee device developers for the smart connected home

July 29, 2013 11:15 am | by Cees Link, CEO of GreenPeak Technologies, www.greenpeak.com | Comments

For decades, technology experts and home automation enthusiasts have been talking about and promising the emergence of the smart, connected home. They have foretold a home connected by multitude of sensors, monitoring applications such as HVAC, home security, and even the health of the inhabitants, and all controlled remotely over the web via a smartphone or a tablet.

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MEMS Innovations in Semiconductor Testing

July 25, 2013 2:02 pm | by David Schroll, Field Applications Engineer andJeff Rumowski, Assistant Manager – Test & Measurement market Omron Electronic Components LLC | Comments

In the semiconductor industry, precision testing is key to ensuring proper functionality and quality.  Two types of testing are traditionally performed: 1) wafer testing 2) chip set testing Both types of tests require the use of relays with fast switching speed to carry various types of signals.  Test boards are designed with as few as two relays or as many as several thousand per board. 

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The truth about test and measurement

July 16, 2013 2:41 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

Test and measurement starts with standards. You have to have standards for mass, distance, charge, and time (plus a few others) so all standards refer back to those fundamental unit standards. But you don't measure volts in units of amps, kilograms, meters, and seconds, that requires something more convenient (i.e. measuring volts in volts).

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Select the right power system to optimize availability and efficiency needs

July 16, 2013 10:34 am | by Peter Panfil, Emerson Network Power, www.emersonnetworkpower.com | Comments

When it comes to power system design, there are many options to consider that affect efficiency, availability and scalability. In most cases availability and scalability are the primary considerations for data centers. The data center is directly dependent on the critical power system, and electrical disturbances can have disastrous consequences....

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Datacenters look to the moon to meet the cloud’s requirements

July 15, 2013 10:42 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Texas Instruments | Comments

When technology experts talk about the “Internet of Things,” it’s not an understatement. The sheer number of connected devices is growing at an unprecedented rate. IDC estimates mobile devices will total 1,832.3 million units in 2013 while predicting the total mobile phone shipments will reach 2,281.4 million units worldwide in 2017.

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Non-contact infrared temp sensors monitor heat sinks and pipes

July 15, 2013 9:13 am | by Vasco Polyzoev, Systems Engineer, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Comments

Measuring temperatures using infrared (IR) sensors without direct contact with an object, is the new paradigm in optimizing thermal monitoring and control. In this article we introduce the idea of this approach by taking advantage of new and very small IR temperature sensors available on the market.

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