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Side Bar: Get a Trusted Security Certificate

March 24, 2008 6:46 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Jon Titus exlains that you can buy digital certificates to identify your products and provide a public/private key for each.

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Brainstorm - Communication Buses

March 20, 2008 10:26 am | Comments

As electronic networks become more data-intensive and intelligent subsystems increase in number and complexity, bandwidth limits, signal interference, and device compatibility issues become important concerns. What are some ways that an electronic circuit designer can address these challenges?

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Security Goes Beyond Cryptography

March 20, 2008 9:45 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

“When engineers start to network devices, security becomes a top design requirement,” said Tim Stapko, lead software engineer at Digi International. “But many designers of embedded systems just don’t think about security. When they do, they might consider security as an add-in option or think of security as simply encrypting communications.”

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GPS Modules put Products on the Map

March 20, 2008 9:42 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

When a product such as a child locator, surveying instrument, or autonomous vehicle requires position information, a GPS module can provide it. Prices for devices that provide this information range from less than a dollar for chips used in cell phones to hundreds of dollars for modules and boards that offer high accuracy. Cell-phone GPS receivers might get you “close enough,” but higher-end modules can offer centimeter accuracy. “At its simplest, a GPS receiver acquires satellite signals, decodes their information, and calculates a position, time, and velocity,” explained Joel Avey, director of marketing at Trimble for the company’s advanced devices.

Designing Appliances that Communicate

March 19, 2008 10:03 am | by Bob Gohn, vice president marketing, Ember Corporation | Comments

The need for our appliances to be networked is rapidly emerging, and fortunately, so are the means with the advent of ZigBee low-cost wireless platforms.

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Switch Requirements for Medical Applications

March 14, 2008 10:05 am | by Jerome Smolinski, Senior Product Manager, C&K Components | Comments

In the area of  medical switch components, current trends continue to call for further miniaturization to meet the needs of space-saving applications like hearing aids.

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Books and Boards 2006

March 5, 2008 5:56 am | Comments

Jon Titus reviews Silicon Labs ToolStick Starter Kit and Robert Oshana's DSP Software Development Techniques for Embedded and Real-Time Systems.

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Confidence as world commodity

February 29, 2008 8:58 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Comments

For all the new component demos I see each year, particularly those with applications for consumer electronics, I often wonder whether the latest whiz-bang feature that a particular component is intended to deliver for the end-product is really satisfying some sort of demand. In other words, does the end-user have an appetite for that revolutionary new feature?

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Battery and IC Products Enable Portable Consumer-Electronic Devices

February 26, 2008 11:21 am | by Kevin Tretter, Senior Product Marketing Engineer, Analog & Interface Products Division, Microchip Technology Inc | Comments

In the world of portable consumer-electronic devices, manufacturers are faced with a challenging prospect — creating physically smaller devices that have enhanced performance while maintaining or extending operating battery life. These requirements have rippled throughout the entire electronics industry, forcing battery and Integrated Circuit (IC) manufacturers to constantly push the boundaries of technology.

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Select the Optimal Power Management IC

February 26, 2008 6:25 am | by Bob Lyle, Intersil Corp. | Comments

Managing power is a critical requirement for all electronic equipment from notebooks to PDAs to storage peripherals. Power management ICs can optimize power usage to match the constantly changing demands of whatever task the device is carrying out. There are several important criteria to consider when selecting the best IC for an application.

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Small Logic Analyzers Pack in the Bits

February 25, 2008 10:09 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Small logic analyzers put many digital channels, trigger options and I/O capabilities in an instrument that engineers can consider as their own. These small analyzers connect through a USB port to a host PC that controls functions and displays, and saves information.

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Instruments Scope Out Bus Details

February 25, 2008 9:48 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Although serial ports may seem like antiques, for many years ahead, equipment will continue to rely on serial communications via RS-485, I2C, SPI, SATA and 10-Gigabit Ethernet links, for example. But testing and troubleshooting communications on these and other serial buses can get ugly. No one wants to sit in front of a scope to try to make sense of endless streams of 1s and 0s.

Brainstorm - Military & Aerospace Electronics

February 11, 2008 6:14 am | Comments

We asked industry leaders what key technologies will enhance thermal management in military/aerospace equipment in the next three years?

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People are talking

February 11, 2008 5:23 am | Comments

If you’re like most people living in the “digital home,” you have a plethora of those bulky, brick-like power adapters — wall warts as they’re commonly known — connected to a wall and one of perhaps a dozen or more electronic devices, each with its own unique DC power requirement. Whether to power a laptop, cell phone, computer and peripherals, games or power tools...

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Silicon Temp Sensors Measure by Degrees

January 25, 2008 6:05 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

People measure temperature more than any other physical characteristic. As a result, semiconductor vendors offer a large variety of silicon-based temperature sensors that usually operate in a range from -40°C to 125°C, although vendors sometimes tailor sensor spans for specific applications. Sensors used in PCs and servers, for example, may measure in a narrower range — about 75°C to 110°C. Depending on your application and budget, you can purchase inexpensive sensors with an accuracy of ±1°C to ±2°C.

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