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Gifts for geeks

December 11, 2009 8:02 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Geeks, the most misunderstood of all species (yes, I’m a member), are notoriously difficult to shop for. We don’t bow to the fashion gods (to put it kindly), our literary tastes are unpredictable, and as for electronics, forgetaboutit—only geeks know what other geeks want. Thus, I present Gifts for Geeks. If you’re a parent/friend/relative with one of these eclectic individuals on your shopping list, take note.

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Shielding Materials Help Prevent Last-Minute Test Failures

December 9, 2009 12:17 pm | by David Garagnani, Application Engineer, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., www.gore.com | Comments

Electronics packaging solutions are developed on many levels, from the board architecture all the way up to the mechanical enclosure. The individual elements that compose these solutions need to work together so that the device can pass compliance tests.

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Human Fall Detection Using New MEMS Accelerometer Technology

December 9, 2009 6:10 am | by Ning Jia, field applications engineer, Analog Devices, Inc., www.analog.com | Comments

For humans, an unobserved fall can have very serious consequences. In some cases, the initial injury can become more traumatic if not treated within a short time. In other cases, an individual can suffer an accidental fall as the result of weakness or dizziness due to a diminished self-care and self-protective ability.

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Ultracapacitors Make Battery Modules Greener

December 9, 2009 5:18 am | by Michael Tentnowski, vice president of marketing and business development of Ioxus, www.ioxus.com | Comments

In order to see how ultracapacitors make battery modules greener, one needs to have a basic description of the devices.  Batteries rely on a chemical reaction to dissipate stored energy. There is no chemical reaction in ultracapacitors, as they store energy in an electrostatic field.

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System Optimization for Netbooks, Ultra-mobile PCs, and Mobile Internet Devices

December 9, 2009 5:07 am | by Jinrong Qian, Battery Charge Management Manager, Distinguished Member Technical Staff, Texas Instruments, www.ti.com | Comments

Small-size and low-cost netbooks, ultra-mobile PCs (UMPC) and mobile internet devices (MIDs) are becoming more popular and gaining wide user acceptance. The Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery charging system used in these portable devices is much more sophisticated than that used in cellular phones.

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Optimizing Multicore for Networking Applications

December 9, 2009 4:44 am | by Millind Mittal, Sr. Director of Technology, AppliedMicro, www.appliedmicro.com | Comments

Today’s high-performance processors for networking applications utilize a multi-core approach that benefits from packet and flow level parallelism inherent to network processing. Multicores optimized for networking applications typically augment general-purpose processor cores...

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Enhancing Automotive Embedded Systems with Mixed-Signal Microcontrollers

December 8, 2009 10:25 am | by Keith Odland, Product Marketing Manager, Silicon Laboratories, www.silabs.com/mcu | Comments

Automotive applications are becoming more sophisticated as different in-vehicle systems are networked together to share information, monitor performance and enhance safety. In addition to growing more complex, automotive systems demand more cost-efficient electronic components with smaller footprints for space-constrained applications.

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Design Talk: Year in Review

December 8, 2009 9:31 am | Comments

When designing displays for mobile applications it’s often a balancing act between increasing ruggedization and keeping the product’s weight down.  These two seemingly opposite ideas can be solved by optically bonding substrates to the LCD front surface thereby eliminating the air gap which increases ruggedization without adding weight.

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Designing a Buck Converter

December 8, 2009 9:20 am | by Tamara Schmitz | Comments

Designing a buck converter isn’t easy. Most users want a box that works—taking in one DC voltage and delivering another. This box can take various forms. It can be a step-down to generate a lower voltage or step-up to generate a higher voltage. There are also plenty of special options...

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Brainstorm: Optoelectronics

December 7, 2009 5:09 am | Comments

What is your opinion on the incandescent ban?

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Circuit Protection Considerations for USB 3.0

December 2, 2009 10:44 am | by Kedar Bhatawadekar, Technical Marketing and Product Application Engineer, Tyco Electronics’ Raychem Circuit Protection Products, www.tycoelectronics.com | Comments

The new USB 3.0 – or “SuperSpeed USB” – protocol was developed to provide higher transfer rates, increased maximum bus power and device current draw, and new power management features, as well as new cables and connectors that are backward-compatible with USB 2.0 devices.

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Power Management Design for Portable and Battery Powered Systems

December 2, 2009 9:26 am | by Jacques Lavernhe, System Engineering Manager, ON Semiconductor, www.onsemi.com | Comments

Integrating the maximum number of functions plus power management into the main chipset for portable, battery powered devices such as mobile phones with capability such as MP3, Mpeg4, and TV, would seem to be critical if an acceptable length of battery life is to be achieved.

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Power MOSFET Design Considerations

December 2, 2009 5:50 am | Comments

The power MOSFET transistor, along with the decades of continuing device design optimization, has enabled new circuit topologies and improvements in power supply efficiency. The conversion from current-driven to voltage-driven power devices resulted in a rapid market adoption of these devices.

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Optimizing Touch Panels for the Industrial Environment

December 2, 2009 4:33 am | by Bruce DeVisser, Fujitsu Components America, http://us.fujitsu.com/touchpanels/ | Comments

In the industrial environment, touch panels, or touchscreens, facilitate operator input in a very simple, yet reliable, way. As touch input-based handheld and mobile devices enter more industrial applications – such as portable flow controls and handheld terminals for field testing – companies need to protect and extend their investment.

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Industrial-Strength Features Make a Difference in Embedded Processing

December 2, 2009 4:20 am | by David Katz and Rick Gentile, Analog Devices, Inc. | Comments

Many general-purpose signal processors are acceptable for industrial applications based on their computing performance and baseline connectivity features. However, there are important peripheral enhancements that can significantly upgrade the processor’s capabilities for more demanding industrial systems.

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