The wonderful communications technology infrastructure we have created has given everyone the power to communicate with anyone else on the planet at a moments notice with images, text, voice, and video. All of the focus is on the software tools such as Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube that are at the forefront of the societal sea change, but it is the newly-risen global information network that is the real hero.
Hardware design in high performance applications such as networking, wireless/RF transmission, broadcast video and test and measurement is becoming increasingly complex as hardware designers grapple with the need to support a growing number of standards, protocols, and specifications within a single hardware design. A few examples illustrate this trend.
In the development cycle, where does test play the most important role?
What is the most pressing issue concerning the deployment of autonomous military robots?
What do you think is the chief factor preventing the mainstream adoption of solid-state lighting?
Computer hard disk drive storage has an impressive history of technological advances, from the RAMAC storage systems in the 1950s to perpendicular recording introduced a few years ago. The advancement of these technologies has increased the density of today’s hard disk drives to the terabyte range. Along the way frustrations with new storage technology have been proprietary equipment formats, initial high investments, and failed expectations of reliability.
Energy harvesting technology took center stage at this year’s Sensors Expo in Rosemont, IL. Whether the solution obtained its power from the sun, heat, vibration, wind, RF or magnetics, there was a device at the show to take advantage of many of these or other ambient conditions. Infinite Power Solutions’ THINERGY thin micro-energy cells (MECs), in capacities of .0 mAh and 0.4 mAh initially, are positioned as the world’s most powerful batteries for their size and outperform all other micro-batteries.
An application does not have to be in the arctic or a desert waste to be considered operating in a harsh environment.
Autocratic nations rarely feel the need to justify their actions. So China’s recent defense of its new internet filtering software was extraordinary. It also rings hollow. Starting July 1, the “Green Dam Youth Escort” software must be pre-installed on all computers sold within mainland China. The net-filtering software is aimed at protecting users from “harmful content.”
What is the primary consideration when developing a new product? For this Brainstorm question we asked people at ITT Interconnect Solutions, CoActive Technologies KDM, Knight Electronics, Orchid Technologies, and AVX.
Whenever a new standard is adopted or starts to gain some ubiquity in the marketplace, I always have to ask, “So what? What does this new stuff give me that I don’t already have?” It’s an important question. If there is not any difference, then there is no reason not to just keep on using known and proven technologies. If there are differences, then knowing what these differences consist of can enable the appropriate business and design decisions.
Here are some essays on design for you on Power over Ethernet (PoE), Transformer Basics, and info on the REACH chemical regulations.
This Month's Question: What do you think is the chief factor preventing the mainstream adoption of solid-state lighting?
One of the most difficult electronics design challenge is to track down and eliminate electromagnetic interference (EMI). Switching regulators, a common source of EMI, continue growing in usage due to their space and efficiency advantages over linear regulators. For the designer, however, the EMI and associated regulatory requirements can present a significant challenge. To specifically address EMI in switching regulators, a multi-phase, spread-spectrum silicon oscillator is an appropriate solution.
Once upon a time, if you wanted to know the future you went to a colorful character who told you your fortune by examining bird guts, tea leaves, or other obscure random pattern generator. They were called witch doctors, clairvoyants, and fortune-tellers. Today we call them business analysts.