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Industry Focus- Wireless USB's Easy Data Transfer in Consumer Electronics

July 2, 2008 6:51 am | Comments

The growing multimedia capabilities of consumer electronics are placing new demands on bulk data transfer between devices. Now WiMedia-standard Ultra Wideband (UWB) is entering the mainstream in laptops and computer peripherals, so consumers can easily transfer files without complex network configuration, and without cables.


Embedded Systems: ESC Update

July 1, 2008 12:50 pm | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

If you have not recently--or ever--attended the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, you owe it to yourself and your company to go. This conference and its many exhibits give you opportunities to talk with colleagues and technical experts. Unlike some shows, vendors send their engineering gurus to ESC, so when you stop at an exhibit you can talk about hardware and software with fellow engineers who speak your languages. You will get a taste of some of the products introduced at ESC in this column. Our online column includes information about more new products announced at the show.


On acronyms, jargon, and terminology

July 1, 2008 11:38 am | Comments

Every special-interest group has their own language, and only part of the reason is to exclude others from the conversation. Jargon also helps define common terms necessary to conduct business or discuss philosophies and procedures within the group. Engineering is a very special discipline, and EEs are a further esoteric subset with its own plethora of acronyms, slang and terms.


Embedded Systems: Two Routes Lead to Software Defined Radio

June 30, 2008 6:35 am | Comments

A bit of C code that runs on a microprocessor does not create a software-defined radio (SDR). Most SDRs use a traditional signal-sampling technique, followed by much software massaging of data. But semiconductor companies can now put more of the analog signal-handling elements on a chip. This column provides an update on both techniques.


Brainstorm: Environmental Design

June 27, 2008 7:54 am | Comments

What is the balance, for the engineer, between an environmentally efficient vehicle in operation, and the other aspects of manufacturing, material, and their environmental cost and impact?


Design Talk: Elegant Design

June 16, 2008 5:04 am | Comments

Design is a balance struck between style, functionality, technology, and construction (often as a compromise). But what makes a design “elegant”? The iPod is inarguably an elegant design, but then again so is the standard wooden mousetrap. This month we’re running some articles on design and comments on “elegant” design. Let us know if you agree with the authors or add comments of your own at


Design Talk: Technology Applied

June 13, 2008 5:13 am | Comments

One issue facing design engineers is echnology selection. Choosing a device today is more than just an exercise in packaging and pin out, there are often multiple technologies and/or methodologies to choose from. Here is a collection of viewpoints from a group of engineers on how they select tech.



May 27, 2008 6:15 am | Comments

American EE students need exposure to new technologies and design techniques that did not exist 10 to 15 years ago, but are also under fire for not having a solid grasp of basic science and math skills. How do you feel the issue can be addressed to create engineers able to deal with competition and design pressures in the new disruptive engineering environment?


ESC Update(2)

May 19, 2008 1:45 pm | Comments

DSP: From Ideas to Implementation

May 19, 2008 5:08 am | Comments

A variety of tools simplifies the trip from abstract DSP models to real signal-processing hardware.

ECN Brainstorm: Near-field Communications

May 16, 2008 8:14 am | Comments

For line of sight near-field bidirectional wireless communication applications would you rather use IrDA light-based methodologies or RF?


Thermal Concerns in LED Lighting

April 28, 2008 11:40 am | by Steve Bowling, Microchip Technology Inc. | Comments

While LEDs offer mainstream lighting applications benefits such as long life, durability and high efficiency, the lifetime of an LED product may be significantly shortened without proper thermal management safeguards in your design.


Kits for Kids 2008

April 28, 2008 10:55 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

With summer vacation on the way, keep kids occupied with engineering-like activities and projects.


When Do You Work with a Contract Manufacturer?

April 28, 2008 7:41 am | by Jon Titus | Comments

Engineers at start-up companies and even some larger companies don’t want to go to a contract manufacturer that also builds zillions of complex boards and products for big companies. Instead, these engineers want the daily hand holding associated with building prototypes.


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