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New PICMG 2.30 Draft Standard for cPCI Can Extend Legacy System Life

May 22, 2009 10:14 am | by Charles Staley and Lindsay Powell, 3M Electronic Solutions, www.3m.com | Comments

To take advantage of advances in high-speed serial data transmission technologies, PICMG is releasing a new option for its popular CompactPCI standard. The new PICMG 2.30 Compact PCI PlusIO standard is based on PICMG 2.30 core specification and defines the migration path from parallel PCI to the serial PCI Express.

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The Climate is Right for Wireless Environmental Sensors

May 21, 2009 2:39 pm | by Sol Jacobs, Tadiran Batteries, www.tadiran.com | Comments

The effects of man-made climate change, once seen as a problem for future generations, is now viewed as an immediate threat, have led to significant technological investments to build a more sustainable future. From measuring the decline of snow packs in Antarctica and the North Pole, to measuring the impact of man-made dams on salmon migration patterns, to the development of systems that better predict natural disasters, remote wireless sensors are playing an increasingly critical role in advanced scientific technology.

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Wireless ICs in Automotive Security Applications

May 18, 2009 1:01 pm | by Gilles Cerede, Melexis Technologies, www.melexis.com | Comments

Let's start with a tough question: What is the difference between TPMS system and PKE system? Nothing! A TPMS system is placed inside the wheel and composed of a sensing device that measures temperature and pressure. When appropriate, for example before starting the engine, the car requests a measurement through a wireless link. If a pressure default occurs in one of the wheels, the car warns the driver through a signal on the dashboard. In PKE applications, the user carries a key fob device which contains an encoded identifier (ID). When the driver enters their car, the car requests the key fob ID through the wireless link. If the ID matches the ID stored by the car,

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A Visit to the 2009 Embedded Systems Conference – Part II

May 18, 2009 11:37 am | Comments

With over 8,000 attendees, this year’s Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) was a pleasant surprise to an industry expecting a low turnout. Held in San Jose from March 30 to April 2, the event had a nice assortment of new tech and devices. Here is our second portion of our two-part coverage of the event.

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Making lemonade

May 18, 2009 11:21 am | by Alix Paultre | Comments

There's an old saying, "you can even get used to hanging, if you hang long enough". This industry has been on a rollercoaster for over a decade, between the Dot-Bomb, the Telecom collapse, the Internet, the housing bubble, the bank crisis, and disruptive technologies, we've been beaten about like a Pinata on Cinco de Mayo.

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Design Talk: Prototyping and Design

May 18, 2009 10:29 am | by Edited by Alix Paultre | Comments

There are always things to consider when prototyping a design. Here are a few essays on the subject to aid you in your efforts.

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Comprehensive System Solutions

May 4, 2009 1:56 pm | by Peker Arkadly and Tom Kapucija, Microsemi Corporation | Comments

Comprehensive System Solutions Drive LED Backlight Units in TV Displays By Peter Arkadly and Tom Kapucija, Microsemi Corporation Although the LCD TV display market has not experienced as quick a conversion rate to LED backlighting as the laptop notebook segment

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Brainstorm - Military Electonics

May 4, 2009 9:46 am | by Edited by Jason Lomberg | Comments

This Month's Question: Will autonomous devices supplant remote-controlled in the area of military applications?

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Sensor Zone May 2009

April 30, 2009 5:45 am | by Steve Tomko and Helge Hornis, Ph.D, Pepperl+Fuchs | Comments

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) are at the heart of any fully automated warehousing system. As in all automated solutions, users demand nearly perfect, (i.e., 100%) availability and exceptionally fast operation at the lowest possible price point. While the raw speed of an ASRS along each axis of motion is limited by the selected drives’ components, modern sensor technology

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Autonomous military robots: A short survey

April 10, 2009 8:18 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

The four soldiers move from their concealed position and “stack” themselves, one behind the other, parallel to the door. The #2 man throws an M84 grenade (flashbang) into the room, then yells “frag out!” The flashbang detonates, and the fire team storms through the “fatal funnel” (door). In those first moments, the #1 man must instantaneously...

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Broadband at Light Speed

April 7, 2009 5:35 am | by Alfred Poor, Contributing Editor | Comments

Netflix is rapidly changing its movie rental business from sending polycarbonate discs through the mail to streaming bits across the Internet. Skype typically has about 15 million people making voice and video calls over the Internet at any given time. And more than 5 million people watch more than 5 million hours of free online video coverage

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Brainstorm: Do-it-Yourself-Power Page 2

April 6, 2009 11:21 am | by Edited by Jason Lomberg | Comments

Moving forward, what technology will dominate energy harvesting?

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GaN based Power Devices Make Possible A New Paradigm in Power Conversion

March 25, 2009 8:30 am | by Michael A. Briere, Executive Scientific Consultant, ACOO Enterprises LLC, under contract to International Rectifier Corp. | Comments

From planar HEXFETs to TrenchFETs and superjunction FETs, silicon power MOSFETs have continued to evolve for the last 30 years to satisfactorily serve numerous markets. In fact, during that period, there have been some two orders of magnitude improvement in performance. However, this silicon power device is rapidly approaching maturity

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Design Talk: Digital & Analog

March 25, 2009 7:16 am | Comments

Typically, industries use standards to improve product quality and enable component sharing across projects. In practice, such standards achieve wide acceptance since the synergistic effects provide significant benefits to the user community. The hardware and software industry is full of such standards, but there is an exception: the deeply embedded microcontroller market

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Sensor Zone: April 2009

March 24, 2009 1:25 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

For the last half-century, sensors based on the Hall effect have provided a low-cost, solid-state option for sensing any object that incorporates a magnetic field. Hall effect sensors are based on the discovery by Dr. Edwin H. Hall in 1879. He found that a thin conductive material, placed in a magnetic field, formed a difference in potential (voltage) at the opposite edges that was

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