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Opening the door to smart battery design

May 21, 2013 12:02 pm | by Robert Rozario, Application Engineering Manager, Infineon Technologies | Comments

The worldwide transition to ever smarter mobile devices, including phones or connected tablets, has obliterated the line that once existed between phones and computing devices. Today’s multitasking devices enable work, finance, entertainment and social interaction on the go like never before.


Evolution of light sensor integration

May 21, 2013 10:59 am | by Darrell Benke, Sr. Marketing Manager, Opto Sensors and Lighting, ams AG | Comments

Light sensing technology, in the form of photodiodes and phototransistors, was invented around the 1950s. Since the inception of the first optosensors, the devices have gradually found their place in commercial and industrial applications, but their adoption was limited due to the size, cost and overall performance.


Certifying industrial systems using IEC 61508

May 21, 2013 10:52 am | by Shrikant Satyanarayan, LDRA, Inc., | Ldra Technology, Inc | Comments

The IEC 61508 standard is a risk-based approach for determining the SIL (Safety Integrity Level) of safety instrumented functions. If computer system technology is to be effectively and safely exploited, it is essential that the available guidance on these safety-related aspects is adequate to make correct decisions.


Designing for heat

May 21, 2013 9:53 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

I want to start off with a look at the four methods of cooling: conduction, convection, radiation, and pumping. What? They don't teach the four methods of cooling in physics class? Only the first three? The fourth method is a combination of the first three with the addition of pumps.


Wireless networks balance military’s defense-in-depth, custom requirements

May 20, 2013 4:44 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Ultra Electronics Ems Development Corp. | Comments

Wireless and wired technologies have advanced to the point where automated control systems are routinely networked together. Information can be shared and tasks performed across long distances, via the Internet, linking systems in large industrial spaces, or across remote or rugged areas. Networked control systems (NCS) offer many benefits such as far greater efficiency than manual controls....


What improvements would you like to see from distributors in the next 12 months?

May 16, 2013 2:29 pm | Comments

We asked our industry experts and ECN readers to weigh in on our  distributors question: What improvements would you like to see from distributors in the next 12 months? Here is what they had to say about the current state of the industry and hot it needs to be improved...


Precision Resistors: From the drawing board to reality

May 16, 2013 2:18 pm | by Yuval Hernik, Director Application Engineering, Vishay Precision Group (VPG), | Comments

Commercial and military aircraft manufacturers are promoting the replacement of older hydraulic and pneumatic control systems by lighter and more efficient, electrically-driven systems through a trend known as MEA, or More Electric Aircraft.


Hybrid capacitor characteristics, performance, and applications

May 16, 2013 2:15 pm | by David A. Evans, Evans Capacitor Company, | Comments

An electrolytic capacitor has two electrodes, one with a dielectric, that relies on electrostatic charge storage. A battery has electrodes that store energy faradaically in electrochemical reactions involving the electrodes and electrolyte. A hybrid capacitor is the combination of two electrodes, one that stores charge electrostatically, and the other storing charge faradaically. 


Smart electronics reduce energy consumption and improve performance of piezoelectric ultrasonic motors

May 16, 2013 2:10 pm | by David Henderson, co-CEO, New Scale Technologies, Inc., | Comments

Piezoelectric ultrasonic motors (piezo motors) are a distinct class of rotary and linear actuators requiring unique driving circuits to achieve practical, reliable, precise and efficient operation. A piezo motor uses the ultrasonic vibrations (greater than 20 kHz) of a “stator” structure that is frictionally coupled to a moving slide or rotating shaft. Piezo motors with operating frequencies from 40 to 700 kHz are commercially available.


Simplifying BLDC motor control: A tailored solution delivers precision and efficiency

May 16, 2013 2:04 pm | by Wen Chien, Fairchild Semiconductor | Comments

From the small vibrating motors in cell phones to the more complex motors used in household washing machines and air conditioners, motors have become everyday fixtures in the consumer world. The energy consumed by all these motors is significant...


Faster FET testing with SMUs

May 16, 2013 11:12 am | by Mary Anne Tupta, Senior Staff Applications Engineer, Keithley Instruments | Keithley Instruments | Comments

Field effect transistors (FETs) are important semiconductor devices because they are fundamental components of many devices and electronic instruments. Some of the countless applications for FETs include their use as amplifiers, memory devices, switches, logic devices, and sensors.


Implementing remote tamper detection with wireless and capacitive sensing technologies

May 8, 2013 1:51 pm | by Parker Dorris, Senior Applications Engineer, Microcontroller Products, Silicon Labs | Silicon Laboratories Inc. | Comments

The advent of wireless connectivity in the home automation market has enabled developers to create many innovative products that make end users feel safer and more aware of their personal property. Remote tamper detection is one example of innovation made possible through wireless connectivity.


A modern solution for multi-aperture and phased-array antenna characterization

May 7, 2013 1:03 pm | by Alex Dickson and John S Hansen, Agilent Technologies | Keysight Technologies | Comments

Forming a beam or multiple beams with an electronically scanned array antenna has found utility in a number of applications. These include radar, communication systems, radio astronomy and others. An array antenna consists of multiple antennas or radiating elements that each transmits a signal....


To break down the digital divide, target relevance and affordability

May 6, 2013 1:23 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

It’s hard to believe some 20 years after Internet became available to most Americans that many of our neighbors are still not only offline but computer illiterate as well. I was reminded of that fact in March when the Governor of New Jersey proposed that the unemployed in the state, as a condition to receive their benefits, use the state’s jobs listing web site each week.


Consider IEC61000 EMC performance criteria when selecting your power supply

May 2, 2013 11:30 am | by Lorenzo Cividino, SL Power Electronics, | Comments

Choosing the right power supply design is imperative for an overall successful product. With the ongoing goal of increased density, reliability, and efficiencies, power ratings need to be reviewed carefully. Product life, temperature, input voltage, load, and cooling are vital considerations,



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