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Two Paths Lead to FIR Filters

March 23, 2009 11:07 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Because finite impulse response (FIR) filters use a mathematical algorithm to process information, engineers rely on them when an analog filter just won't do. “FIR filters appeal to people who don't want to become filter designers”, explained Grant Griffin, President, Iowegian International. "They just want to use a filter to solve a problem


Brainstorm: Do-It-Yourself-Power

March 20, 2009 1:10 pm | by Edited by Jason Lomberg | Comments

Moving forward, what technology will dominate energy harvesting?


Audio ADCs Hit the High Notes

March 18, 2009 1:33 pm | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Although engineers have used analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) for some time, newer ADCs aimed at audio applications can put design skills to the test. The audio signal chain in current products and new designs can involve more stringent design requirements than engineers have faced in the industrial world.


Industry Focus: Interaction in Consumer Devices

March 10, 2009 10:34 am | by Christopher Keuling, Associate Editor | Comments

It’s a fact that consumers want end products that give them the most user interaction. Two of the most popular examples on the market are Apple’s iPhone and Nintendo’s Wii. These end products serve very different purposes to their desired consumers, but share electronic advances that make these products, amongst others, an interactive experience for the user. In this month's Industry Focus, we talked to six different companies


Print your own Stormtrooper

March 10, 2009 7:06 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

For those who’ve never been, Electronics West is one of seven shows (including EW, Medical Design and Manufacturing West, Pacific Design and Manufacturing West, Automation Technology Expo West, Plastec West, West Pack, and Green Manufacturing West) co-located within the Anaheim Convention Center. One badge earned admittance to all, so from 10-12 February, I “attended” each.


Enclosure Design: Integrating Aesthetics and Functionality

February 20, 2009 5:22 am | by Dan Farrar, Polycase | Comments

Enclosure manufacturers strive to anticipate the demands of the electronics marketplace with state-of-the-art enclosure designs. The challenge is for designers to develop products with unique features that meet customers’ needs, yet still appeal to the broadest market possible. With this in mind, manufacturers endeavor to engineer enclosures with features, options and accessories that provide a breadth of solutions specific to customers’ applications.


Sensor Zone: March 2009

February 19, 2009 10:37 am | by Tony Beswick, Russ Petrucci and Phil Slater, Morgan Technical Ceramics | Comments

Piezoelectric ceramic components composed of Lead Zirconate Titanates (PZT) have enabled many recent technological innovations in the automobile industry.  PZT components can be found throughout many state-of-the-art vehicles, enhancing safety, performance, energy-efficiency and comfort. For example, you will find PZT sensors under the hood detecting engine knocking, PZT transducers in the gas tank measuring the fuel level, PZT actuators operating valves


Design Talk: Mechatronics

February 19, 2009 8:04 am | Comments

More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. This growth has sparked renewed interest in developing more sophisticated assistive technologies to enable an oftentimes disabling environment. This growth presents semiconductor suppliers with an opportunity to enable this field


Brainstorm: Environmental Issues

February 17, 2009 6:28 am | Comments

Which green technology has the most commercial potential?


Where Do the LEDs Belong?

February 12, 2009 12:14 pm | by Alfred Poor, Contributing Editor | Comments

At CES 2009 in Las Vegas this year, it appeared that every major LCD TV manufacturer had at least one model with an LED backlight. It quickly became apparent that there are some clear advantages to using LEDs as the light source, but a closer look at the way this solid state lighting is implemented raises some interesting questions. First, let’s cover the plus side.


6LoWPAN Goes Where ZigBee Can't

February 12, 2009 8:25 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Many “standard” and proprietary protocols use the media-access controller (MAC) and the physical circuits (PHY) associated with IEEE 802.15.4 radios. Those protocols use their own arrangements of bits and bytes to transfer information between nodes, but none of them use the Internet Protocol (IP). So they cannot directly communicate with Internet-based devices and Web servers/browsers.


Take a Top-Down View of Industrial Imaging

February 12, 2009 8:23 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Before you think about using an industrial imaging system to solve an inspection problem, you must exactly define the problem or problems you need to solve. To start, John Keating, product marketing manager at Cognex breaks vision tasks into four categories: inspection that detects flaws, gauging that performs a dimensional measurement, identification that reads information, and guidance that directs movement.


Achieving High Efficiency with Power Switches

February 12, 2009 8:18 am | by Gwan-Bon Koo, Senior Engineer, Fairchild Semiconductor | Comments

In general, high frequency operation allows the use of small-sized passive components in switch mode power supplies (SMPS), while it causes switching losses to increase in a hard switching mode. To reduce switching losses at high switching frequencies, many soft switching techniques have been developed. Among them, load resonant techniques and zero voltage transition techniques are widely used.


Brainstorm: Technology Obsolescence

February 5, 2009 3:28 am | by Edited by Jason Lomberg | Comments

What technology will become obsolete in the near future?


Interview With CEO of Dialog Semiconductor

February 3, 2009 5:53 am | Comments

Dialog Semiconductor has had a something of a rollercoaster ride in recent times. Once part of the European semiconductor industry’s first order, it suffered many years of poor management and complacency that left it foundering. With the appointment of Jalal Bagherli, the firm is finally back on its feet. He has put together a ‘redeem team’ of executives to aid him in recapturing the glories of the past. ECN’s Mike Green gets some insight on how he is going about it.



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