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Smart electronics reduce energy consumption and improve performance of piezoelectric ultrasonic motors

May 16, 2013 2:10 pm | by David Henderson, co-CEO, New Scale Technologies, Inc., www.newscaletech.com | Comments

Piezoelectric ultrasonic motors (piezo motors) are a distinct class of rotary and linear actuators requiring unique driving circuits to achieve practical, reliable, precise and efficient operation. A piezo motor uses the ultrasonic vibrations (greater than 20 kHz) of a “stator” structure that is frictionally coupled to a moving slide or rotating shaft. Piezo motors with operating frequencies from 40 to 700 kHz are commercially available.

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Simplifying BLDC motor control: A tailored solution delivers precision and efficiency

May 16, 2013 2:04 pm | by Wen Chien, Fairchild Semiconductor www.fairchildsemi.com | Comments

From the small vibrating motors in cell phones to the more complex motors used in household washing machines and air conditioners, motors have become everyday fixtures in the consumer world. The energy consumed by all these motors is significant...

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Faster FET testing with SMUs

May 16, 2013 11:12 am | by Mary Anne Tupta, Senior Staff Applications Engineer, Keithley Instruments | Keithley Instruments | Comments

Field effect transistors (FETs) are important semiconductor devices because they are fundamental components of many devices and electronic instruments. Some of the countless applications for FETs include their use as amplifiers, memory devices, switches, logic devices, and sensors.

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Implementing remote tamper detection with wireless and capacitive sensing technologies

May 8, 2013 1:51 pm | by Parker Dorris, Senior Applications Engineer, Microcontroller Products, Silicon Labs | Silicon Laboratories Inc. | Comments

The advent of wireless connectivity in the home automation market has enabled developers to create many innovative products that make end users feel safer and more aware of their personal property. Remote tamper detection is one example of innovation made possible through wireless connectivity.

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A modern solution for multi-aperture and phased-array antenna characterization

May 7, 2013 1:03 pm | by Alex Dickson and John S Hansen, Agilent Technologies | Agilent Technologies | Comments

Forming a beam or multiple beams with an electronically scanned array antenna has found utility in a number of applications. These include radar, communication systems, radio astronomy and others. An array antenna consists of multiple antennas or radiating elements that each transmits a signal....

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To break down the digital divide, target relevance and affordability

May 6, 2013 1:23 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

It’s hard to believe some 20 years after Internet became available to most Americans that many of our neighbors are still not only offline but computer illiterate as well. I was reminded of that fact in March when the Governor of New Jersey proposed that the unemployed in the state, as a condition to receive their benefits, use the state’s jobs listing web site each week.

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Consider IEC61000 EMC performance criteria when selecting your power supply

May 2, 2013 11:30 am | by Lorenzo Cividino, SL Power Electronics, www.slpower.com | Comments

Choosing the right power supply design is imperative for an overall successful product. With the ongoing goal of increased density, reliability, and efficiencies, power ratings need to be reviewed carefully. Product life, temperature, input voltage, load, and cooling are vital considerations,

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ECN's interview with the Wireless Power Consortium

May 1, 2013 4:51 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

The Qi standard is the only non-proprietary solution for wireless charging available in products today. It works by generating a safe electromagnetic field between a charger and a device through a well-established process called magnetic induction. Qi chargers have a built-in transmitting coil, so any Qi device will work with any Qi charger, now and in the future.

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Wireless charging: An interview with the Alliance for Wireless Power

May 1, 2013 4:38 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

Wireless power is slowly evolving to help make charging second-nature to the consumer. In Japan, for instance, several portable devices are available that support wireless charging.As more portable devices that offer wireless charging capabilities enter the market, the need for standards naturally will follow.

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Cutting the fat: The case for a microcontroller-less capacitive touch screen controller

May 1, 2013 12:13 pm | by Eric Siegel, Touch Screen Control Business Development Manager, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Comments

Touchscreens are everywhere! While the means by which they detect a touch has evolved over the years, more recently you might say they have revolved as old technologies are reopened and rechristened anew. (I’m looking at you, optical touch.) Touchscreens are finding their way into our homes and our everyday consumer devices.

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Integrating sensors into mobile devices

April 30, 2013 3:34 pm | by Jim Steele, Ph.D., Vice President of Engineering, Sensor Platforms | Comments

Sensors have been an important addition to smartphones ever since accelerometers were first used to determine screen orientation. Now a wide variety of sensors, including magnetometers, barometers, and gyroscopes, are found in many other devices, such as watches, glasses, headsets, and shoes.

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New construction materials and techniques enable LVDT linear position sensor operation in diverse environments

April 30, 2013 3:04 pm | by Lee Hudson, Applications Engineer, Macro Sensors, www.macrosensors.com | Macro Sensors | Comments

The LVDT Linear Position Sensor is a robust sensor adaptable to a variety of applications. A very reliable sensing device with no moving parts, LVDTs are often the best linear feedback technology when it comes to reliability and longevity. However, in the past, LVDTs were limited by its own sensitivity to the environment that caused errors in linear feedback.

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Pressure sensor construction addresses challenges in wet environments

April 30, 2013 2:09 pm | by Karmjit Sidhu, Vice President Business Development, American Sensor Technologies, www.astsensors.com | Comments

Accurate measurement of low pressure with respect to atmospheric reference (typically called vented or gauge reference) requires that pressure sensors breathe under dry, humid and wet conditions. In humid and wet environments, challenges are posed on how to operate the pressure sensor without allowing water into the back end of the sensors....

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ECN's exclusive interview with Digikey on LEDs and the state of the marketplace

April 29, 2013 4:16 pm | by Robbie Paul, Lighting Sales Director, Digikey | Comments

Solid state lighting is continuing its solid growth across a range of industries and applications. ECN recently spoke to Robbie Paul, Lighting Sales Director at Digikey to discuss the solid state lighting market and the latest LED trends.

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A look back at Lightfair 2013

April 26, 2013 4:54 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

Cold weather has been hanging on well into April here in the northeast. But if you were in Philadelphia this week, you would be forgiven for walking around wearing sunglasses – especially indoors at the Pennsylvania Convention Center – a sure sign that Lightfair is in town.

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