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Thermal Management Strategies for Extreme 3U cPCI Embedded System Applications

August 5, 2009 6:47 am | by Barbara Schmitz, MEN Mikro Elektronik | Comments

As the cooling challenges of 3U CompactPCI (cPCI) embedded system applications multiply due to increased processing power, reduced package sizes and more hostile environments, new thermal management options and industry standards continue to evolve. Chip and board manufacturers have already done a vast amount of work to mitigate thermal management concerns.

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Modules Simplify RF Designs

August 4, 2009 10:01 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Comments

Ready-to-use wireless modules provide a way to quickly get a design "on the air" when engineers find RF circuits and communication protocols fall outside their areas of expertise. Even when engineers have RF experience, a module still might make sense from the perspective of saved time and money.

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Government intervention may stifle tech industry

August 4, 2009 7:18 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

On October 20, 2005 Congress passed the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. The act mandated the cessation of analog broadcasting by February 18, 2009, and the subsequent reign of digital. The program floundered, leaving the public woefully unprepared for the February deadline. This example illustrates how badly the government can mangle an enterprise.

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Brainstorm: Alternative Fuels Part 2

August 3, 2009 12:59 pm | Comments

What’s the best way to advance alternative energy research? With government grants, free market solutions, or something else?

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Brainstorm: Alternative Fuels

July 31, 2009 4:52 am | by Edited by Jason Lomberg | Comments

What’s the best way to advance alternative energy research? With government grants, free market solutions, or something else?

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Failed at Physics, Successful in Publishing?

July 30, 2009 8:05 am | by Allie Bochicchio, Editorial Intern | Comments

While a student at Susquehanna University for the past 3 years I have often had reservations regarding my decision to major in creative writing.  The inevitable question ‘What am I going to do with my degree?’ has been on my mind more intensely as I approach my senior year.

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Nanofilms to the Rescue

July 28, 2009 12:12 pm | by Alfred Poor | Comments

A company called Uni-Pixel Displays has developed a novel display technology that they call “Time Multiplexed Optical Shutter” or TMOS. This uses a light guide with a special film suspended above its surface. An electrical charge draws the film down into contact with the light guide...

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Who owns your books?

July 27, 2009 6:29 am | by Alix Paultre, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

“Do you own your books?” sounds like a stupid question, doesn’t it? It’s like asking “do you own your socks?”  Yet the recent actions by Amazon to reclaim books literally from their owner’s hands have demonstrated that in the digital economy, it isn’t a stupid question at all. We are giving up our ownership of information for temporary ethereal possession, and are at the mercy of those who “rent” that content to us.

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Nickel-Zinc: Recharging Battery Performance and OEM Design Opportunities

July 23, 2009 10:02 am | by Joseph Carcone, Vice President, Business Development, PowerGenix | Comments

Technology is driven by many factors, and the reinvention of existing technology products to new higher levels of performance requires innovations in materials and science. Critical components in the design of portable electronics, batteries, in the eyes of many, have not kept pace with innovations in their electronic counterparts. Is it time for the reinvention of one of electrochemistry’s oldest technologies to fulfill the needs of a new power market

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Internet-Based Data Acquisition with Web-Enabled Sensors

July 23, 2009 8:23 am | by Ramiro Garcia, Automation Products Group | Comments

Recent years have seen what can only be described as a wave of hyper-development in web technology.  Concurrently, the ubiquitous Internet is quickly becoming the backbone of our communications infrastructure. Enter the web-enabled sensor.  The marriage of common sensing technologies with the power of the Internet offers dramatic benefits for companies looking to remotely monitor levels or other parameters.

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Two Current Sense Amps Solve Single Amp Limitations

July 23, 2009 7:51 am | by Greg Zimmer, Linear Technology Corporation | Comments

Each new generation of automotive and industrial designs have been faced with an increasing demand for precision control and diagnostic capabilities, as well as for reliability and safety features. Achieving these new features often requires precision current sensing, and as result, the demand for precision high-side current sense amplifiers has steadily increased in recent years. The applications for high-side current sense amplifiers

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Data Acquisition Bridges the Analog and Digital Worlds

July 23, 2009 7:19 am | by Doug Trujillo, BSEE Colorado State University | Comments

In our solid state society today, daily advances in technology have set the standard in many applications to that of excellence when compared to only a few years ago. This new standard of living has benefited today’s consumer in many ways that were only dreamt of years ago. Whether it is driver assistance controls that provide increased safety and convenience for your drive to work

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Maximizing Eight-Channel Data-Acquisition System Performance Using a Single ADC Driver

July 23, 2009 6:59 am | by Jakub Szymczak [jakub.szymczak@analog.com], Analog Devices, Inc. | Comments

The principal factors that affect data acquisition systems are: speed, accuracy, power dissipation, package size, and component cost, with varying factors becoming critical depending upon the application. This article shows how a single op amp can be used to drive the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) in an 8-channel data-acquisition system, reducing the cost and size of the overall system.

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Where do we go from here?

July 23, 2009 6:46 am | by Alix Paultre, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

America finds itself at a juncture of many roads, with no clear map on which way to turn. The role of government, health care, energy, race, and disruptive technology have presented us with a myriad of choice on which road to take to the future. The important thing to remember is that we are all in the same boat together.

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Low-Cost, High-Resolution Time-Measurement Application

July 16, 2009 10:11 am | by Jim Bartling, Microchip Technology | Comments

Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) is a measurement of the impedance of a transmission line using the reflected energy of a pulse sent down that transmission line.  As a pulse is sent down a transmission line, it travels at the speed of light for the media it is in (typically, 60% to 80% of the speed of light in free space). As the pulse arrives at an impedance, mismatch energy is reflected back to the pulse source and arrives at a time

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