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Sensors Expo 2010 Recap

June 22, 2010 12:58 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

The 2010 Sensors Expo & Conference was held June 7-9 in Rosemont, IL. Rain put a damper on things outside the Donald Stevens Convention Center on Tuesday. But inside, the sun, wind, and all manner of alternative energy sources were on the minds of attendees as products based on energy harvesting continued to play a prominent role at the show.

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Vertical Flash Platform Increases Memory Density

June 22, 2010 5:56 am | Comments

Floating gate Flash memory has been scaling at a tremendous pace in recent years to arrive at a startling density of 32 gigabit (4 gigabyte) on a single die today, using 30nm technology and below.

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Nintendo's 3DS: First-hand impressions

June 22, 2010 5:49 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

At the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Nintendo officially unveiled the 3DS. And from the media’s reaction, you’d think Nintendo reinvented the electron. The 3DS uses autostereoscopy to produce 3D images without the need for special glasses—or so claim their marketing gurus. Does it live up to the hype? Read on for my first-hand impressions.

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Techniques to Avoid the White Screen of Death in Smartphones

June 21, 2010 9:03 am | by John Whalen, Business Development Manger, Fairchild Semiconductor | Comments

An emerging trend in the mobile handset 3G space has been the adoption and expansion of user friendly applications, nowadays called ‘Apps’. These ‘Apps’ are custom software program applications that are written for a very specific function within a handset.

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ESC 2010 Update

June 17, 2010 4:37 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

In late April I visited the exhibits at the annual Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, CA. For the most part, people I met with discussed microcontrollers, communication, and development kits.

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Tools Correlate Code and Current

June 9, 2010 5:18 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

The emphasis on low-power embedded systems can give engineers heartburn. They must strive to enhance a system's performance, add capabilities, and make its battery last for as many as 10 years. A combination of hardware and software tools now help engineers understand power consumption without the antacids.

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Tablet Computers vs. Netbooks

June 4, 2010 7:28 am | by Peter A. Khairolomour, Technical Marketing Manager, Fairchild Semiconductor | Comments

It’s really not a question of whether or not the tablet computer will displace netbooks and laptops. What it comes down to is what functions the tablet computer will take over and what functions netbooks/laptops will retain.

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Design Considerations for Pressure Sensing Integration

June 4, 2010 6:35 am | by Tim Shotter and Dan DeFalco, All Sensors Corporation, www.allsensors.com, and Molly Chamberlin, Embassy Global PR | Comments

A handheld battery operated spirometry device, for example, must be able to be turned on and off quickly and instantly, while continuously recording data over a 20-second period with optimized use of available power, thus requiring a low-voltage pressure sensor which is able to use power only as needed.

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Brainstorm: Optoelectronics

June 3, 2010 7:25 am | by Edited by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

What will be the next big advance in touchscreen technology?

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The High Speed Data Race

June 3, 2010 5:32 am | by James O. “Jim” Farmer, Enablence Systems | Comments

The bottom line is that nothing, and I mean nothing, can beat a fiber connection, not now and not in the foreseeable future. Fiber offers the highest speeds you can achieve, not to mention its other advantages such as extremely low operational costs and versatile high quality transmission.

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A remarkable display: SID 2010

June 2, 2010 12:46 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Seattle: home of Microsoft, Starbucks, grunge rock, the Mariners, and in 2010, the Society for Information Display (SID) Conference. This year’s show was a remarkable display (no pun intended) of eye candy and emerging technologies. Among the many developments, 3D, energy efficiency, and advanced touchscreens took center stage.

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Changing times

June 1, 2010 5:12 am | by Alix Paultre, Editor in Chief | Comments

The good news is that the current business in the electronic component and subsystem industry will probably continue to improve, but the bad news is most of the jobs lost in the Great Recession aren’t ever coming back. At recent events such as Embedded Systems and the Electronic Distribution Show, every company I spoke to was doing double-digit business percentages over last year...

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Reverse Dimple Compensates for Tactile Metal Dome Switch Misalignment

June 1, 2010 4:37 am | by Jon Mullett, New Product R&D, Snaptron (www.snaptron.com) | Comments

Smaller tactile domes bring with them manufacturing challenges when it comes to aligning them with the keypad overlays.

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The ECN Roundtable - Mixed-Signal ICs

May 24, 2010 8:05 am | Comments

This month's question, "In what area of development do you feel the most progress in mixed-signal ICs will occur?" was answed by Raymond Lee of MagnaChip, Stephen Kempainen of National Semiconductor, and John Whalen of Fairchild Semiconductor.

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3D IC Development Needs Innovative Socket Solution

May 24, 2010 6:49 am | by Ila Pal, Ironwood Electronics | Comments

Evolution from cell phones with only a base-band processor and limited memory to today's high-end phones with an additional applications processor and memory has driven the industry to 3-D packaging solutions. 3-D packaging can be achieved via die stacking in one package, package-in-a-package stacking or package on package stacking.

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