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March 2013: Automotive

March 11, 2013 4:25 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

This issue delves into automotive electronics. Associate Editor Kasey Panetta discusses advanced driver assistance systems, M. Simon goes into sensors in humid conditions, and Executive Editor Chris Warner opines about the possibility of large-scale free WiFi.

Solving the counterfeit crisis, engineers weigh in

March 11, 2013 9:57 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

How would you stop counterfeiting? One of the hottest topics in electronic components--and basically every other industry-- is how to deal with the issue of counterfeiting. So we put it to the readers to come up with the best solutions for the counterfeiting crisis.

University of Washington EcoCAR 2 Team midpoint update

February 28, 2013 10:40 am | by Communications Manager, UW EcoCAR 2 Team | Blogs | Comments

We’re now at the midpoint of Y2 of the 3 year EcoCAR 2 competition. In the last few months, the 2013 Chevy Malibu was disassembled– almost to the point of body-in-white. Further, much of the rear sub-frame was

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Varistor series provides excellent ESD protection for automotive applications

February 27, 2013 10:58 am | Avx Corporation | Product Releases | Comments

AVX Corporation has introduced a new series of automotive sub pF varistors. Based on reliable zinc-oxide varistor technology, AVX’s new AEC-Q200-qualified Automotive Sub pF AG Series varistors provide ultra-low capacitance, bi-directional ESD protection in the sub 1pF range for automotive circuits sensitive to capacitance.

Digital, 1.8-V humidity sensor touts compact size

February 27, 2013 10:23 am | Measurement Specialties | Product Releases | Comments

Measurement Specialties announced the HTU21D, an ultra-compact, low power digital humidity/temperature sensor. The self-contained sensor interfaces directly with a microcontroller, ensuring a better signal path as well as

Broadening horizons in the alternative fuel vehicle market

February 26, 2013 11:38 am | by Anu Cherian, Energy & Environment senior industry analyst, Frost & Sullivan, www.frost.com | Articles | Comments

The automotive sector continues to research ways of saving on traditional fuel and expanding alternatives. However, this change has not really moved forward due to the cost-prohibitive nature of new technology. Some of the most commonly discussed alternatives are battery-powered cars, namely electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles.

Lessons from cockroaches could inform robotics

February 26, 2013 11:23 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

ANN ARBOR—Running cockroaches start to recover from being shoved sideways before their dawdling nervous system kicks in to tell their legs what to do, researchers have found. These new insights on how biological systems stabilize could one day help engineers design steadier robots and improve doctors' understanding of human gait abnormalities.

Music service Spotify hooks up with Ford in first vehicle foray

February 25, 2013 2:34 pm | by Reuters | News | Comments

Streaming music service Spotify has partnered with Ford Motor Co (F.N) to allow its subscribers to listen to music in more than one million Ford vehicles in North America. Owners of Ford models with SYNC AppLink can access Spotify's catalog of more than 20 million songs through voice activation using its smartphone app. The deal, announced by both companies on Monday, is Spotify's first collaboration with an automaker

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Smart agriculture: Using intelligent system to improve age-old farming techniques

February 22, 2013 12:23 pm | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Climate change, population growth and increasingly scarce resources are putting agriculture under pressure. Farmers must harvest as much as possible from the smallest possible land surface. Until now, the industry confronted this challenge with innovations in individual sectors: Intelligent systems regulate engines in order to save on gas, for instance. With the aid of satellites and sensor technology, farming equipment can automatically perform the field work; in doing so, they efficiently distribute seed, fertilizer and pesticides on the arable land.

Multi-core microcontroller (MCU) family aimed at functional safety applications for car electronics

February 21, 2013 3:55 pm | Stmicroelectronics | Product Releases | Comments

STMicroelectronics announced a new member in its multi-core microcontroller (MCU) family aimed at functional safety applications for car electronics. The new device combines compliance with the most stringent automotive safety standards (ISO 26262)...

Greater security in the subways

February 20, 2013 8:56 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Tecnalia is participating in the SECUREMETRO project which is aimed at the development and investigation of protective systems for metro vehicles that can enable us to travel with a greater level of safety in the case of a disastrous event.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

February 19, 2013 4:18 pm | by Polygon Solutions Inc. | Blogs | Comments

On February 21, 2013, women engineers, along with their male counterparts, will engage and mentor as many as one million girls around the country during National Engineers Week Foundation’s 12th Annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.

Low power sensors consume only 300 µA of current at a power supply level of 3.3 V

February 11, 2013 4:47 pm | Novotechnik U.S., Inc | Product Releases | Comments

Novotechnik U.S. introduces the Contelec Vert-X 21 LP Series of low power sensors. These non-contact angle sensors consume only 300 µA of current at a power supply level of 3.3 V. Other key specifications for Vert-X 21 LP include 0 to 360° measurement range, 12-bit resolution, repeatability to 0.1°,

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Automotive electronics in 2013 and beyond: Batteries bear a burden

February 7, 2013 2:58 pm | by David Carey, Mouser Electronics | Mouser Electronics | Blogs | Comments

This year will see automotive electronics designers approach power management (PM) more like their mobile industry counterparts. While it may seem a fringe concern, the burgeoning security, convenience, connectivity, safety, and infotainment features of tomorrow’s vehicles will drive design and component choices that address standby power consumption.

Why your car is a better driver than you

February 7, 2013 2:06 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

It came to my attention while working on an article about intelligent systems in cars that people might be a tad touchy when it comes to talking about letting cars do the work when driving.  I’m not talking about infotainment systems or fancy doodads, I’m talking about systems that could greatly improve the safety of cars....

Mechatronics security by design

February 6, 2013 12:06 pm | by Peter Thorne, Managing Director, Cambashi Ltd. | Articles | Comments

Engineers responsible for mechatronics development have always known that it’s not just PCs that can suffer from malware. A study in 20111 used experiment rather than theory to identify vulnerabilities of in-vehicle automotive systems. Not only was this a strong reminder of the seriousness of the issue...

Automotive display demand to reach 70 million by 2016

February 1, 2013 9:16 am | News | Comments

Shipments of TFT-LCDs (thin film transistor-liquid crystal display) used in automobiles for devices such as navigation and rear seat DVD players increased 16% Y/Y to 49 million in 2012, according to the NPD DisplaySearch 2012 Automotive Displays Report. Shipments are expected to increase to 70 million by 2016.

Ultra-flexible flat silicon cables designed for telepresence robot applications

January 31, 2013 2:43 pm | Cicoil Corp. | Product Releases | Comments

Designed for today’s demanding Mobile Video-Conference & Telepresence Robot applications, Cicoil's ultra-flexible flat silicone cables are halogen-free, flame retardant and perform exceptionally well in confined area environments.  In addition, Cicoil’s unique designs provide premium current carrying capacity,

Light yet safe contender for city streets

January 30, 2013 1:05 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Up to now, it has been a case of "either/or." On the one hand, we have the typical ultra-compact, lightweight electric car, where designers have had to compromise on safety. With larger e-cars on the other hand, the heavier frames and crumple zones come at the expense of battery range.

DC/DC converters with an internal driver capable of 18V operation

January 28, 2013 1:06 pm | Product Releases | Comments

The XC9248 series are bootstrap-type Nch-Nch drive step-down synchronous DC/DC converters with an internal driver Tr that is capable of 18V operation. The input voltage range is 4.5V to 18V and the maximum output current is 2.2A. A 0.8V reference voltage supply is incorporated, and the output voltage can be set using an external resistor ladder.

Fame and fortune await the inventor _ along with angry mobs, burnings, exile. A brief history

January 25, 2013 9:04 am | by BERNARD CONDON AP Business Writer | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) -- For every clever man who invents a labor-saving machine, it seems a crowd of angry men rises up to destroy it. The most famous of the machine haters were the Luddites, the skilled weavers of England who, in 1811, began smashing power looms that were threatening to take their jobs.

Meet the Luddites: They fought the future with hammers and lost, but their legacy lives on

January 25, 2013 9:02 am | by PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Their name is synonymous with futile attempts to roll back technology - and with fuddy-duddies who can't figure out how to use the iPhone. The Luddites were British textile artisans who 200 years ago smashed the mechanized looms they thought threatened their jobs.

Preparing for the worst: Author Martin Ford imagines a future when machines have all the jobs

January 24, 2013 9:38 am | by PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

Martin Ford saw it everywhere, even in his own business. Smarter machines and better software were helping companies do more work with fewer people. His Silicon Valley software firm used to put its programs on disks and ship them to customers. The disks were made, packaged and

Vibrating steering wheel might prevent car accidents

January 23, 2013 9:12 am | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

I’ve talked a lot about intelligent systems in cars that are steering the industry towards a safer overall product by allow computers to take over where human error would mean an accident.There has been talk of new seatbelts, new braking system, and sensors that communicate with traffic lights and other cars,

Developing quality electronic systems for cars

January 22, 2013 10:20 am | by Anthony Le, Windbond Electronics, www.winbond.com | Winbond | Blogs | Comments

Different systems in the car have varying quality requirements. The engine, safety and mission critical systems have the highest and most stringent specification. However, this doesn’t mean the infotainment system and connectivity systems skimp on quality. The environment in a car is harsh — road conditions and simple wear-and-tear use take their toll — so the goal is to

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