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Is solar power a viable energy option?

November 13, 2013 2:33 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

It's about to be a new year at ECN and we're looking forward to the future with a Brainstorm about alternative energy! It's a hot topic in engineering and around the world as researchers, designers, and politicians try to figure out what the energy of the future will be. This month, we're focusing in on SOLAR POWER with a question for our readers

What advances in circuit protection are having the biggest impact on the industry?

November 12, 2013 12:30 pm | Articles | Comments

The advancement of the ultra low resistance Polymer Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) resettable fuse will impact the industry moving forward. Innovations in material science over the last few years have allowed PTC component makers to reduce the resistance of PTC’s....

Does 3D printing represent a shift in time-to-market strategies?

October 24, 2013 3:04 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

3D printing has been used for years in larger companies, like the one I work for now. It is incorporated into the mechanical design process as part of the overall development and is optionally tailored out if not necessary or particularly useful. When end customers, as well as designers, see a plastic mock-up of the widgit they desire...

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What technology changed board-level assembly in 2013?

October 18, 2013 2:54 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design. This month we're focusing on board-level assembly. From adhesives to thermal gap pad management, we want to know what's happening in your lab and on your benches! We know our readers have varied opinions and valuable experiences...

Will vehicle-to-vehicle communication ever be a thing?

September 20, 2013 3:38 pm | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN, we love hearing from our own readers about different trends and new technologies you guys are working with! We like it so much we're devoting an entire issue to what our readers think about the impact of different technologies on their jobs and projects. Our forth and final category is automotive technology.

What's the best technique for temperature management of sensitive components?

September 16, 2013 9:13 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design and make life better for our engineers. For November 15, we're focusing on Temperature Management.  We know our readers have varied opinions and valuable experiences – now here’s a great opportunity to showcase them.

What’s the biggest breakthrough in new material technology this year?

September 11, 2013 2:32 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Paul Kierstead, Director of Marketing, Cree SiC Power With its proven ability to sustain high power densities in smaller devices, silicon carbide (SiC) material based power devices are now poised to replace silicon (Si) components, creating the potential to revolutionize energy efficiency and system performance in many types of power electronics systems.

The next big thing in circuit protection

September 3, 2013 3:39 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design and make life better for our engineers. For November, we're focusing on circuit protection. We know our readers have varied opinions and valuable experiences – now here’s a great opportunity to showcase them.

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Will 3D-printing change the world of engineering?

August 12, 2013 2:33 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design and make life better for our engineers. This month we're focusing on Time-to-Market strategies. We're looking at it a little bit differently and discussing the issues from the viewpoint of 3D printing and rapid prototyping.

What is the “next big thing” in near field communications?

August 7, 2013 3:30 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Mike Kabala, ECN Reader The next advance in NFC will be in the area of multi-factor authentication.  The current forerunner in this area is the Yubikey Neo, which contains both USB and NFC interfaces. Further advancement should eliminate the need for the USB connection, allowing a contact-free way of generating a one-time password for use in authentication.

What is the “next big thing” in near field communications? (Part II)

August 7, 2013 3:27 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

V.Kadal Amutham, Reader: Already many countries are implementing mobile payment for ticketing in the bus / train and purchases at stores avoiding credit cards.Another possibility for this technology is as follows. The mobile phone will store any personal data like, size of cloth, preferred brand of many household items.

What remains as the biggest challenge for current LED technology? (Part II)

July 31, 2013 10:00 am | Articles | Comments

The biggest challenge is that LED chips are quickly approaching their theoretical limits for efficient light output. As they do, incremental improvements to the LED die are providing diminishing returns on investment. Fortunately, innovations in optical silicone packaging materials are introducing new, more cost-effective ways to enhance efficiency (lm/W), as well as cost (lm/$) and light density (lm/cm2).

What remains as the biggest challenge for current LED technology?

July 31, 2013 9:46 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

Adeline Chan, product marketing manager, Cree, Inc.: LED technology has been evolving rapidly over the years. From a performance perspective, lumen output and efficacy numbers have been improving. Other “areas” of the LED technology have also progressed such as thermal properties, substrate materials, light distribution pattern,

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Advances in new material technology, according to engineers

July 15, 2013 9:42 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design. This month we're focusing on new material technology. From adhesives to thermal gap pad management, we want to know what's happening in your lab and on your benches!

What feature or trend will become hot technology in automotive infotainment the next year? (Part II)

June 13, 2013 3:37 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

What feature or trend will become hot technology in automotive infotainment the next year? Tullio Cettolin: Consumers love the world of apps and instant Internet connectivity, and now they want it in their cars, too. Maybe they want to listen to their favorite Hawaiian music station via Tune-In during their daily commute on the U.S. continent.

What feature or trend will become hot technology in automotive infotainment the next year?

June 13, 2013 3:35 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

What feature or trend will become hot technology in automotive infotainment the next year? The next wave of innovation in automotive infotainment will center around connectivity and personalization. As more cars are enable to connect to cloud based applications via the internet, more features will be added allowing passengers to engage with their social network, update location and access specific content.

What's next for near field communications? Engineers speak out

June 13, 2013 3:23 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for the "next big thing" and this month we're focusing on near-field communications. NFC only seems to be increasing in popularity and usage across the electronics board, but we want to know what's happening in your labs and on your benches.

What steps are necessary to keep counterfeit components out of the supply chain?

May 21, 2013 3:36 pm | Articles | Comments

What steps are necessary to keep counterfeit components out of the supply chain? Are more industry standards needed? Stop having unrealistic pricing expectations. Understand and qualify quality vendors of all kinds. Allocations and obsolescence are part of our industry....

What improvements would you like to see from distributors in the next 12 months?

May 16, 2013 2:29 pm | Articles | Comments

We asked our industry experts and ECN readers to weigh in on our  distributors question: What improvements would you like to see from distributors in the next 12 months? Here is what they had to say about the current state of the industry and hot it needs to be improved...

An engineer's wishlist for car infotainment systems

April 5, 2013 2:51 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

With Google's self-driving car hitting the road and all sorts of driver-assistance features hitting the showroom, it's a crazy time for drivers and designers alike. Cars are practically overflowing with (good and bad) attempts to integrate outside technology (smartphones, weather apps, virtual assistants) into vehicles interfaces.

The best way to improve distributors, according to engineers

March 22, 2013 4:43 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

How do you deal with distributors? Distribution is a key aspect of the engineering process, and it's important to choose the right distributor. You need dependibility, reliability and transperency to make the relationship between distributor and manufacturer work. 

Smart grid technology of the future

March 22, 2013 2:53 pm | Articles | Comments

We asked our industry experts to weigh in on our Smart Grid question: What home energy technology do you expect to see as a breakthrough in the next 12 months?

What home energy technology will break through in the next 12 months?

March 22, 2013 2:41 pm | Articles | Comments

Our energy and Smart technology experts weigh in to answer our smart grid question for this month: What home energy technology do you expect to see as a breakthrough in the next 12 months?

Reader's Response: What energy management technology will generate the most buzz over the next 12 months?

March 22, 2013 12:31 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

We wanted the lowdown on Smart Grid and the future of the engineering, so we asked our readers to answer a question: What energy management technology will generate the most buzz over the next 12 months?

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.

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