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What will be the “must-have” in automotive infotainment in the next five years?

March 10, 2014 10:47 am | by ECN Staff | Comments

Automotive infotainment systems of the future will benefit from a low-cost, low-power, flexible system-on-chip (SoC) architecture in order to enable a vehicle platform that adapts to evolving content delivery providers and cloud-based services.

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Currently sensible

March 10, 2014 9:47 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Comments

Sensing physical phenomena and preserving the fidelity of the resulting, often-tiny, sensor signals is a craft of its own within the broader discipline of analog circuit design. One of the most common and, counter intuitively perhaps, more challenging sensing tasks is that of measuring electric current.

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"Invisible bar codes": The next generation of product identification?

March 7, 2014 2:23 pm | by Kent Mansfield, TruTag Technologies, Inc., www.trutags.com | Comments

Electronic manufacturers have long battled counterfeit goods where billions of dollars are lost each year to fake and substandard products. One solution on the horizon to help manufacturers combat this growing problem — whether in the supply chain or during the products’ natural lifetime....

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How to please everybody - ECN's new Editor-in-Chief

March 7, 2014 10:54 am | by David Mantey, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

You can’t ... thank you for reading. Before I begin shooting down the theory of every shiny, happy person in tireless pursuit of a society built upon shiny, happy people, let me formally introduce myself. I’m David Mantey, ECN’s new editor-in-chief, and, to exhaust the word in the second sentence, I couldn’t be happier to be here.

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Class-D amplifiers keeps evolving

February 27, 2014 3:54 pm | by Jun Honda, Director Audio Systems Engineering, International Rectifier | International Rectifier | Comments

Class D is redefining the trade-offs in audio power amplifier design, simultaneously delivering smaller size and higher power density with better sound than Class AB audio systems. Class D also has the advantage of offering low distortion and more stable dynamic response....

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Hints to help ensure multi-vendor interoperability in PXI-based systems

February 25, 2014 2:39 pm | by Alan Lesko, Agilent Technologies | Agilent Technologies | Comments

To meet a specific need, system creators often assemble test solutions that incorporate a variety of hardware and software elements. One key benefit of accepted industry standards is the ability to pick and choose among elements offered by multiple vendors. Achieving success with—and confidence in—the integration of a multi-vendor solution depends on compatibility at the mechanical, electrical and software levels.

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Comprehensive design environments cut through the clutter for power system designers

February 19, 2014 8:19 am | by Mike Model and Anurag Jagota, Application Engineers, GE Critical Power | Comments

Meeting the unrelenting demands of tight design schedules will always be a challenge for developers of board-mounted power architectures with point-of-load (POL) DC-DC power modules. As board complexities grow—driving drastic increases in the number of POL power rails—designers must rapidly respond....

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When the going gets tough, rugged connectors deliver

February 18, 2014 11:58 am | by David Cianciolo, Director of Engineering, Fischer Connectors | Fischer Connectors | Comments

When you’re designing equipment for extreme conditions or critical situations, high performing components are essential, and rugged connectors offer a reliable solution for the toughest situations. Rugged connectors are engineered for a variety of demanding applications, including extreme temperatures....

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Eco-cables: The next generation of control cabling

February 18, 2014 11:17 am | by Rob Toenies, product manager at Newark element14 | Newark | Comments

Eco-material cables, or eco-cables, are the next generation in control cabling. Poised to replace standard polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cables, eco-cables are becoming more and more popular due to the performance and environmental benefits they provide.

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The microcontroller as metaobject

February 13, 2014 6:28 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Comments

Pretty much everyone in our industry is familiar with the long evolution of microcontrollers. So familiar that it’s easy to miss changes in our industry and society, both positive and negative, that accompanied that evolution just as we tend not to see daily changes in our own aging faces.

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Introducing ECN's Editorial Advisory Board

February 12, 2014 3:47 pm | by ECN Staff | Comments

We’re always looking to expand our expertise and knowledge base here at ECN, and our new board is made up of the industry elite with a broad range of engineering expertise that we’ll be utilizing throughout the year. These industry experts will serve as advisors, writers, industry contacts and a plethora of other roles....

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GaN-based transistors take to the sky to capture the action

February 12, 2014 11:25 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

When Ray Breslin and Emil Rottmayer attempted a highly daring escape from a super-high security prison in this fall’s thriller Escape Plan, audiences got up close to see (spoiler alert!) our two heroes — played by Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, respectively — engage in a gunfight with the prison’s “crew”....

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Obtaining low power for industrial devices: Energy harvesting, batteries or hybrids?

February 11, 2014 8:03 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

The concept of energy harvesting has been around for as long as windmills and waterwheels were used to harness energy. In the last decade, the possibilities of using low-power harvested energy have greatly expanded in the industrial market as devices became smaller, autonomous and required less power.

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What’s the biggest challenge for designs that utilize touch-enabled displays?

February 10, 2014 3:35 pm | Ocular, Inc., Applied Materials | Comments

Take a look at virtually any new smartphone or tablet device, and whatever the brand or size, they likely have one thing in common — touch screen displays. This ubiquitous level of adoption comes with challenges, particularly pricing and volume yields to meet mass market needs. The touch-enabled display represents one of the largest cost factors....

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Google tries ferry service for workers in East Bay

February 3, 2014 3:51 pm | by AP | Comments

Google workers who live in the East Bay can now make the commute to the company's Silicon Valley campus by sea. For a week, anyway. Starting Monday, the agency that operates San Francisco Bay Ferry says Google will provide a private ferry service between Harbor Bay terminal in Alameda to the Port of Redwood City.

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