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Design Talk: Elegant Design

June 16, 2008 5:04 am | Comments

Design is a balance struck between style, functionality, technology, and construction (often as a compromise). But what makes a design “elegant”? The iPod is inarguably an elegant design, but then again so is the standard wooden mousetrap. This month we’re running some articles on design and comments on “elegant” design. Let us know if you agree with the authors or add comments of your own at


Design Talk: Technology Applied

June 13, 2008 5:13 am | Comments

One issue facing design engineers is echnology selection. Choosing a device today is more than just an exercise in packaging and pin out, there are often multiple technologies and/or methodologies to choose from. Here is a collection of viewpoints from a group of engineers on how they select tech.



May 27, 2008 6:15 am | Comments

American EE students need exposure to new technologies and design techniques that did not exist 10 to 15 years ago, but are also under fire for not having a solid grasp of basic science and math skills. How do you feel the issue can be addressed to create engineers able to deal with competition and design pressures in the new disruptive engineering environment?


ESC Update(2)

May 19, 2008 1:45 pm | Comments

DSP: From Ideas to Implementation

May 19, 2008 5:08 am | Comments

A variety of tools simplifies the trip from abstract DSP models to real signal-processing hardware.

ECN Brainstorm: Near-field Communications

May 16, 2008 8:14 am | Comments

For line of sight near-field bidirectional wireless communication applications would you rather use IrDA light-based methodologies or RF?


Thermal Concerns in LED Lighting

April 28, 2008 11:40 am | by Steve Bowling, Microchip Technology Inc. | Comments

While LEDs offer mainstream lighting applications benefits such as long life, durability and high efficiency, the lifetime of an LED product may be significantly shortened without proper thermal management safeguards in your design.


Kits for Kids 2008

April 28, 2008 10:55 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

With summer vacation on the way, keep kids occupied with engineering-like activities and projects.


When Do You Work with a Contract Manufacturer?

April 28, 2008 7:41 am | by Jon Titus | Comments

Engineers at start-up companies and even some larger companies don’t want to go to a contract manufacturer that also builds zillions of complex boards and products for big companies. Instead, these engineers want the daily hand holding associated with building prototypes.

PCB Prototype Success Is In the Cards

April 28, 2008 6:33 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Fabricators can quickly deliver high-quality PCB prototypes. To ensure success you must play your cards right.

Protecting intellectual property by design

April 25, 2008 9:36 am | by Leon M. Attarian, ECN Editorial Advisory Board, Director of Marketing for PennEngineering | Comments

Industrial intellectual property (IP) offers a powerful tool to communicate and reinforce expectations associated with product quality, consistency, and performance. In all forms (whether brand names, patents, trademarks, design markings, or others), IP additionally can help point the way to reputable “tried-and-true” product solutions and draw clear distinctions in an increasingly complex global marketplace.


Digital Power Management and the PMBus

April 25, 2008 5:50 am | by Torbjorn Holmberg, Ericsson Power Modules | Comments

As systems that incorporate low-voltage logic become ever more complex, the power supplies necessary to correctly operate multiple-voltage chips such as DSPs and FPGAs similarly increase in complexity. For example, it’s now commonplace for an FPGA’s core to operate at 1.2 – 1.8V, while its I/O banks run from multiple levels to interface with external logic families. Most often, chips that have core power supplies that are independent from I/O and auxiliary levels require careful power sequencing to ensure they start up and operate correctly.


Low-loss IGBTs Improve Switching In Sub-2.5 kW Inverter Applications

March 26, 2008 12:51 pm | by Vijay Bolloju, International Rectifier | Comments

Traditionally, IGBTs have addressed applications requiring high-voltage and -current ratings and relatively slow switching frequencies. When the switching frequency is low, the inherently low conduction losses resulting from the device’s low VCE(on) (collector-to-emitter saturation voltage), which derive from the IGBT’s minority carrier operation, outweigh the


Talking in turbulent times

March 26, 2008 6:44 am | by Alix Paultre, Editor in chief | Comments

Anyone who has survived the last several years in the electronic industry know what I mean when I say that these are very turbulent times. Disruptive technologies in both the hardware and software arenas combined with the relentless pressure of convergence in functionality, marketplace, and the business itself have made life very interesting for electronic design engineers.



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