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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.


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.


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.


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, | 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.


Pressure sensor construction addresses challenges in wet environments

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


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.


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.


Driving RGB LEDs for interior lighting applications

April 25, 2013 1:42 pm | by Wim Van de Maele, ASSP Marketing Manager at ON Semiconductor | Comments

RGB LEDs are becoming increasingly popular for applications inside vehicles. For reasons of style and personalisation, as well as driver comfort and safety, they present an exciting opportunity for interior designers at major car makers. As multiple light points are required inside the vehicle in order to achieve the implementation of an effective solution....


Schools should take a pass on essay grading software

April 16, 2013 4:16 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

One of the joys of high school and college was receiving my blue essay book back from my teacher or professor. I couldn’t wait to read their comments in the columns of the book, especially when one of my essays was laden with jokes or sarcasm. But that was often a two-way street, as when my thesis statement would indicate my essay was going to go in a direction my instructor found dubious.


The Facebook "phone" that no one wants

April 8, 2013 2:56 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

Well, well, well. It looks like Facebook has finally decided to join the big boys and create their own phone. It’s the phone that absolutely no one was waiting for. To quote the parody video below, “Stop. Don’t do that. Nobody wants it.”


At the core: Mobility continues to drive supply chain growth

April 8, 2013 11:23 am | by Mark Bollinger, Vice President, Marketing, Smith & Associates | Comments

Mobility continues to be the hottest trend for the semiconductor and electronics industry. As though there were any need for supporting data, the major electronics shows from the first quarter of 2013 displayed and demoed the latest array of mobile devices.


Simplify switched-mode power-supply measurements using dedicated oscilloscope software

April 4, 2013 11:25 am | by Art Pini, Technical Marketing Engineer, Teledyne LeCroy | Comments

The analysis of a switched-mode power supply requires the ability to measure device, control loop, and line-related functions.  To this end, most oscilloscope manufacturers have created power analysis software, which combines all these elements into a simple-to-use toolbox.


One accelerometer interrupt pin for both wakeup and non-motion detection

April 2, 2013 4:48 pm | by Jay Esfandyari, Gang Xu, Fabio Pasolini, STMicroelectronics | Stmicroelectronics | Comments

MEMS accelerometers can output different kinds of interrupt signals such as data ready, freefall, portrait/landscape, single-click/double-click, and impact detection, etc. Some accelerometers have built-in wakeup and motionless detection features to automatically switch between lower output data rate (ODR) at low power mode and higher ODR at normal mode....


NTC thermistors versus voltage output IC temp sensors

April 2, 2013 10:05 am | by Brian Gosselin, Jr., Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Comments

Electronic engineers are finding that thermometry is becoming increasingly more popular in modern applications. Two types of commonly used temperature sensing solutions are negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistors and voltage output integrated circuit (IC) temp sensors.


An on-shore wind

March 28, 2013 2:16 pm | by Robert Sergio Simon, USTEK Inc. | Comments

When to choose a contract assembly source in North America five to seven years ago, the push to off-shore contract assembly was at its peak and with good reason. US demand was up, and volumes were increasing. US labor and raw material costs had risen dramatically. Cheap knock-offs from Chinese companies were flooding the market.



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