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Design of Medical Devices: Batteries Designed to Accommodate Sterilization

May 15, 2007 11:22 am | by Robin Sarah Tichy, Ph.D., Technical Marketing Manager, Micro Power Electronics | Comments

Many medical devices, such as those used in surgery, must be sterilized prior to use. The operating table is surrounded by a sterile zone; untethering surgical devices increases the ease of maintaining and simplifying the sterile area, but battery packs, especially rechargeable battery packs, present unique challenges for sterilization.


New-Generation Cartesian-Loop Transmitters for Software-Defined Radio

May 15, 2007 10:20 am | by C. N. Wilson and J. M. Gibbins, CML Microcircuits Ltd. | Comments

A key problem facing software-defined radio (SDR) designers occurs if the system must support linear-modulation schemes, i.e., modulations which have significant amplitude content. Such modulations present a challenge: either the power amplifier (PA) must be inherently very linear — which generally involves a very high power consumption — or some form of linearization scheme needs to be used.


Got A Plan?

May 15, 2007 9:39 am | Comments

I've been fortunate in my career to have met and worked with talented engineers from all over the world, associated with a broad range of organizations, and involved in a wide variety of applications and technologies. Though some can trace their career paths with a straight edge, many have found twists and turns among their professional experiences that have led them along rewarding, if far less intuitive, routes.


Integrated Control of LEDs in Display and Indication Applications

May 2, 2007 6:47 am | by Andy Fewster, austriamicrosystems | Comments

LEDs are increasingly being specified as replacements for traditional incandescent light bulbs in a variety of general illumination, display and indication applications. As solid state devices, LEDs exhibit much higher reliability, longer life and significant energy efficiency. Integrated control of LEDs is crucial to the design of new solid state arrays for illumination and specialized lighting applications employing multiple LEDs.


Execute Your Specs

May 2, 2007 6:37 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Many engineers use MATLAB and Simulink to help them develop signal-processing and communication applications. They want to simulate their algorithms and processing steps first, and implement them only after they have confidence that the designs will work as expected.

Serving up a site

May 2, 2007 6:25 am | by Aimee Kalnoskas, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

I emailed a friend of mine about a week before April 1st lamenting the fact that we had a massive server migration coming up and the preparations were giving me a migraine. It turns out that he got stuck with the same April Fools event, and the Fortune 500 company that bought the Fortune 500 company he currently works for had also planned an April 1 switchover between servers.


Emerging Trends in Mil/Aerospace Embedded Systems: The new VPX backplane architecture, multi-core processors and the emergence of FPGA-based systems

May 2, 2007 5:22 am | by John Wemekamp, VP Strategic Planning/CTO, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing | Comments

Several emerging new trends promise to shape the future direction of embedded system design for rugged, high performance defense and aerospace applications. In response to the ever increasing amount of high speed sensor data that systems are being tasked to process, in applications such as radar and signal processing, a new bus architecture, VPX (VITA 46) has been developed that goes far beyond the long popular VMEbus, providing the bandwidth required to support serial switch fabrics and


Timeless Sensor Sources

May 2, 2007 5:12 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Over the years, I have accumulated articles, books and application notes that relate to sensors and measurement techniques. In this column – a change of pace from ECN's usual Embedded Systems column format – I share many of those resources with you. Some of this information may seem "old," so you may not know about these sources or an Internet search will not find them.


DSP Tools Cut Development Time

May 1, 2007 7:30 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

A few years ago, if you needed to perform digital signal-processing tasks, you could use a brute-force method in a microprocessor or use a digital signal-processor (DSP) chip. Designers now have choices that range from microcontrollers with DSP functions to DSP elements that drop into FPGAs. To help engineers get the lay of the land, we talked with vendors at several points across the DSP spectrum. Unfortunately, we cannot cover every company, chip and tool.

Primary Lithium Cells Run Hot, Go Deep

April 20, 2007 11:11 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Not all lithium-chemistry batteries go into consumer electronics or portable equipment. Primary lithium batteries, which users cannot recharge, pop up — or down — in unusual applications. Electrochem Commercial Power manufactures primary lithium cells, some of which go "down hole" in oil and gas drilling equipment that on occasion can reach 200°C.

Charge Batteries with Care

April 20, 2007 10:26 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Engineers who have applied nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries use a constant current to charge them. They detect the end-of-charge point in an alkaline-battery system by monitoring for a temperature rise in the battery. But lithium-ion batteries charge at a constant voltage with a current limit.

April Product Technology Review - DC/DC Converters

April 2, 2007 10:52 am | Comments

Ericsson added three DC/DC converters to its PKJ 4000 Series for RFPA (radio frequeenc power amplifier) applications. The PKJ 4316 API is rated at 350W, 48V in/28.2V/12.4A. It is joined by the PKJ 4316 P rated at 48V in/28.2V/11A 310W out, and the PKJ 4216N PI that is rated at 48V in/30.2V/8.3A 250W out. Available in t


Good things in smaller — and safer packages

April 2, 2007 9:57 am | by Aimee Kalnoskas, Editor-in-chief | Comments

Believe it or not, I empathize with an inanimate device, and that device is the Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. It recently received some bad press because of a relatively small number of instances of exploding laptops using Li-ion batteries manufactured by Sony and shipped between April, 2004 and July 18, 2006.


Power Train Integration for 2007 and Beyond: The True Dawn of Multi-Chip Modules

April 2, 2007 8:04 am | by Roberto Guerrero, Fairchild Semiconductor | Comments

Lower output voltages, higher current densities, increasing switching frequencies and smaller real estate are well-known trends in applications such as desktop PCs, servers, telecom point of load (POL) as well as other, similar DC/DC converter systems. Simultaneously, designers have strived to increase system efficiency, reduce total solution cost and simplify their designs. To this end, several design approaches implementing discrete components have been tried and tested. This article follows the evolution of this approach and describes the latest adoption of multi-chip modules for solving these design challenges.


The Evolution of Wireless Distribution

April 2, 2007 7:24 am | by Maria Gelphman, Marketing Manager, Richardson Electronics | Comments

Historically, the role of a distributor was a company who took orders and stocked parts. In the wireless world, the OEM customer had the ability for marketing, sales, engineering as well as manufacturing residing under their own roof. The wireless distributor played in niche markets such as defense, where RF and Microwave were born and design cycles were lengthy. Wireless distributors were not expected to provide the engineering interface that is so critical today. It was about inventory turns, price and delivery.



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