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Counterfeit devices take us all the way to the scene of the crash

March 22, 2013 10:44 am | by George Karalias, Director of Marketing & Communications at Rochester Electronics | Rochester Electronics, Llc | Comments

In early January 2013, the CBC News concluded its investigation about Canada’s new Hercules C-130J aircraft military transport aircraft containing counterfeit Chinese parts in the cockpit instrumentation. The report confirms what a leading U.S. testing lab has known since 2010 — that the parts are fake and could leave pilots with blank instrument panels in mid-flight.

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Five things you really want in a digital oscilloscope (but didn’t know you needed)

March 21, 2013 9:00 am | by Faride Akretch, Tektronix | Tektronix | Comments

For anyone designing, manufacturing, or repairing electronic equipment, a digital storage oscilloscope is a must-have tool. It lets you see high-speed repetitive or single-shot signals across multiple channels to capture elusive glitches or transient events. An oscilloscope is equally as useful a tool for qualifying elements of a new design....

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Design for testability

March 19, 2013 9:41 am | by Holger Goepel, CEO, GOEPEL electronics | Goepel Electronics Llc | Comments

Since the very early days of electronic components, failures have continuously been appearing. In spite of enormous development and production improvements, this situation has not changed. The increasing circuit density and board complexity are critical factors for producing faults.

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A fireside chat: Counterfeit components in the military

March 15, 2013 1:16 pm | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Comments

Driven by financial gain and opportunism, counterfeiting is not new, or uncommon. Recently, counterfeited products have been appearing in the military and aeronautics marketplace as counterfeiters take advantage of profitable components. PD&D caught up with Mark Bollinger, Vice President of Marketing at Smith & Associates, to learn more about this trend....

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The philosophy of embedded design

March 12, 2013 12:42 pm | by Carl Cohen, Director, Embedded Marketing Programs, Avnet Electronics Marketing, Americas | Comments

As technology has become more pervasive in our day-to-day lives, easy adoption is a critical factor in the overall success of a product release. To achieve this, embedded designers must first determine the practical problem the application will solve or the tangible life enhancement it will offer.

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FPGA debug using high-bandwidth, mixed-signal oscilloscopes

March 11, 2013 2:35 pm | by Daniel Ruebusch, Agilent Technologies, Inc. | Comments

How do you test and debug a device with hundreds of thousands of internal logic cells and transceiver speeds up to 28 Gbps? Such is the challenge facing designers of today’s industry leading FPGAs. From the perspective of digital debug, the biggest challenges arise from the inaccessibility of critical logic nodes and a limitation on the number of available physical pins.

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Optimizing high-speed, embedded memory interface designs

March 4, 2013 2:00 pm | by Steve Durnal, Micron | Micron | Comments

Designers of energy-efficient, high-speed memory subsystems for small form factor or power-sensitive embedded and wireless products are often making the shift from traditional DDR2/DDR3 to low power (LP) DDR2/DDR3 memory solutions. This is largely in response to the ever-challenging power reduction requirements....

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Maximizing solid-state storage capacity in small form factors

March 4, 2013 10:38 am | by Kent Smith, Senior Director of Marketing, Flash Components Division, LSI | Lsi Corporation | Comments

Users want ever-smaller and lighter devices but also demand ever-increasing storage capacity to keep more apps and data loaded on their mobile computing platforms. To accommodate these two competing objectives, solid-state storage form factors will need to get smaller, while NAND flash memory geometries will be shrinking and storing more bits per cell.

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Agita over 3D printed guns is absurd

March 1, 2013 4:26 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Hobbyists, tinkers, and DIYers are the unsung heroes of our industry — "hackers" in the original sense of the word. But conflating "hobbyists" with "guns" causes fits of hysteria. And it’s entirely unwarranted. The handwringing over the imagined capability to print 3D guns and the associated moral implications is absolutely absurd and betrays a basic misunderstanding of firearms and physics.

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Balancing reliability and availability

March 1, 2013 9:28 am | by Chris Hobbs, Senior Developer, Safe Systems, QNX Software Systems Limited | Comments

On 14 September 1993, Lufthansa Flight 2904 overran a runway in Warsaw because the reverse thrust deployment system operated exactly to specification. Unfortunately, the Airbus designers had not anticipated conditions during a cross-wind landing. In an analogous incident, on 11 July 2011, a Victoria underground train in London moved off with the doors open....

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Big Brother makes our rational choices less rational

February 28, 2013 3:13 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

While writing my February 2013 column about EDRs (event data recorders, AKA “black boxes”), I came across an article on the same topic (http://bit.ly/12YX4Fe) by one of my colleagues. She commented on the reservations I share with many others about the use of the data derived from the black boxes.

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Migrating legacy M2M systems to the cloud

February 27, 2013 4:51 pm | by Chris Downey, Laird Technologies | Comments

The rapid pace of technological change means that, even before a system has matured, it often is replaced or enhanced with new technologies.  Such is the case with machine-to-machine (M2M) applications and their migration to the cloud, or what sometimes is called the Internet of Things (IoT). 

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Broadening horizons in the alternative fuel vehicle market

February 26, 2013 11:38 am | by Anu Cherian, Energy & Environment senior industry analyst, Frost & Sullivan, www.frost.com | Comments

The automotive sector continues to research ways of saving on traditional fuel and expanding alternatives. However, this change has not really moved forward due to the cost-prohibitive nature of new technology. Some of the most commonly discussed alternatives are battery-powered cars, namely electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles.

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Do drone pilots deserve higher medal than combat vets?

February 20, 2013 3:32 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Since when did waggling a joystick become more valorous than pulling a trigger? It hasn’t, you say? The newly-minted Distinguished Warfare Medal — created to honor cyberwarriors and drone pilots — would rank above the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and the military community is incensed.

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What role will sensors and controls play in emerging solid state lighting applications? (Part II)

February 15, 2013 2:41 pm | Comments

Q: What role will sensors and controls play in emerging solid state lighting applications? Solid-state lighting technology is a natural fit in our digital, wireless world. Adaptive control and wireless sensor networks are the key to ever more sophisticated LED lighting schemes including dimming,

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