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Vote for your Favorites in the ECN Readers Choice Tech Awards

September 17, 2010 10:48 am | Comments

This has been a good year for the electronic design community, with advances in hardware, software, materials, and technology. Take a moment to nominate your favorites for the 2010 ECN Readers Choice Tech Awards.

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Enhancing Simulation Studies with 3D Animation

September 17, 2010 7:27 am | by Saurabh Mahapatra, MathWorks | Comments

The use of simulation studies to better understand the dynamic behavior of a system under investigation is at the core of verifying designs early in the development process. Despite the amount of data that such studies produce, a 3D representation of the system creates a more complete understanding of system behavior.

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Lithium-ion Batteries Target Temperature Extremes

September 16, 2010 12:17 pm | by Jeffrey VanZwol, Micro Power Electronics | Comments

OEMs are requesting rechargeable Lithium-ion battery packs for portable devices that operate in explosive, as well as extreme hot and cold environments. Many portable military devices are used in very cold (-40º Celsius) environments, and many medical devices need battery packs that operate after exposure to 137º C steam sterilization...

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Making a Big Difference with Micro Clinch Fasteners

September 16, 2010 7:01 am | by Brian Bentrim, Penn Engineering | Comments

Today’s wireless electronic devices from cell phones to e-readers exemplify ideal marriages of user-friendly form and function integrated into ever-smaller packages. The trend toward highly compact designs, however, presents an array of issues relative to component attachment...

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High-Speed Load-Disconnects in Redundant Power System Architectures

September 14, 2010 7:44 am | by Chester Firek, Product Marketing Manager, Picor Corporation | Comments

Designers of high-availability systems understand that the costs of system down-time can have a devastating impact on their end-customer’s business. For critical business and information systems such as data centers...

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Consumer rights: Court rules against used software sales

September 13, 2010 10:42 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

The 9th Circuit of Appeals has reaffirmed the right of software companies to circumvent the first-sale doctrine by “licensing” rather then “selling” its products. The significance of this ruling cannot be overstated—it could singlehandedly destroy the used software market.

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Thermal Management of Visible LEDs

September 10, 2010 12:50 pm | by Walter Garcia Brooks, OPTEK | Comments

LEDs fulfill a growing number of applications. Visible LEDs have a high luminous efficacy as compared to incandescent and fluorescent bulbs – and while incandescent and fluorescent bulbs have already reached near-maximum luminous efficacy...

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Critical Demands on Ruggedized Wireless Systems

September 10, 2010 5:21 am | by Gregory Powers, Market Development Manager, Tyco Electronics | Comments

Wireless systems are now fully mainstream in our lives, not only in the consumer world of cell phones, wifi enabled laptops and satellite television, but also in the mission and life critical world of aerospace and defense. Recent applications such as ADS-B (Automatic Dependant Surveillance - Broadcast) managed commercial airline flight...

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Electrical Safety Production Testing on Power Supplies

September 7, 2010 8:32 am | by David Norton, V.P. – Marketing, TDK-Lambda Americas | Comments

One area of production safety testing that TDK-Lambda routinely gets inquiries on is the dielectric withstand test, sometimes known the as dielectric strength test or “hi-pot” test. Hi-pot testing, derived from “high potential”, ensures that good isolation exists between parts of the system.

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The Roundtable - Solid-State Lighting and the Marketplace

September 7, 2010 6:30 am | by Alix Paultre | Comments

This month's question is, “What barriers still exist between solid-state lighting and mainstream acceptance in the marketplace?”

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Climate and Trends in Solar Cell Technologies

September 7, 2010 6:09 am | by Jan-Gustav Werthen, Director of Photovoltaics for JDSU | Comments

As solar energy systems evolve, there is a tendency amongst investors and industry pundits to look for “the winning technology” that has the highest efficiency and the lowest production cost. However, winning solutions for solar energy are, in fact, as diverse as the earth’s climates.

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The Big Switch-Off

September 7, 2010 5:56 am | by Edward Ong, Product Marketing Manager, Power Integrations | Comments

The most effective way to mitigate the impact of man’s energy use is to reduce power consumption. The need to reduce active-mode power consumption is obvious. Not so obvious is the need to minimize power drain in standby mode — when products are essentially doing nothing.

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The True Meaning of MultiTouch

August 31, 2010 12:17 pm | by Larry Mozdzyn, Ocular Inc. | Comments

Despite what you may read in articles or hear in advertisements, typical gesturing on most smartphones is not a true multi-touch implementation. The touch controller for a gesture only interprets relative movements of one or two touches on the panel and reports these movements as predefined gestures.

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The Benefits of TRIAC-based Control

August 31, 2010 9:43 am | by Geoff Garcia and Alfonso Camacho-Carrillo, ON Semiconductor | Comments

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in a broad spectrum of different industry sectors all face the same basic challenges when developing products that will be attractive to their customer base, and gain them market share.

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The Benefits of Digital Power Conversion Using DSCs

August 31, 2010 5:05 am | by Magal Srinivasprasad and Mohammad Kamil, Microchip Technology | Comments

Power supplies have been an integral part of many telecom, consumer and industrial products for many years. The power supplies in these products must work to the peak of their performance, without compromising on extensive reliability to ensure proper end-equipment functionality.

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