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The Lead

What’s a “must-have” for harsh environment equipment protection?

April 16, 2014 4:27 pm | by ECN Staff | Agilent Technologies, Equipto Electronics Corp., Honeywell Sensing And Control, Newark | Articles | Comments

Design engineers must take into account the type of harsh environments to which end-products may be exposed. In several industries, harsh environments are inherent with every-day operation, and not having the proper preventive measures in place could mean thousands of dollars lost in maintenance repair costs....

April 2014: Digital ICs

April 4, 2014 12:17 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

In the April issue, ECN is proud to announce the 2014 ECN IMPACT Award Finalists ...

March 2014: Counterfeiting

March 13, 2014 4:23 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Digital Editions | Comments

Counterfeit components cost the electronics industry billions of dollars each year. They also...

What will be the “must-have” in automotive infotainment in the next five years?

March 10, 2014 10:47 am | by ECN Staff | Articles | Comments

Automotive infotainment systems of the future will benefit from a low-cost, low-power, flexible...

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What’s the biggest challenge for designs that utilize touch-enabled displays?

February 10, 2014 3:35 pm | Ocular, Inc., Applied Materials | Articles | Comments

Take a look at virtually any new smartphone or tablet device, and whatever the brand or size, they likely have one thing in common — touch screen displays. This ubiquitous level of adoption comes with challenges, particularly pricing and volume yields to meet mass market needs. The touch-enabled display represents one of the largest cost factors....

What’s a “must-have” for harsh environment equipment protection?

February 6, 2014 3:23 pm | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

There are all sorts of harsh environments where electronic components need to function perfectly regardless of the temperature, dirt, weather, or other challenges. So what's the best way to protect them? Here's a great opportunity to showcase your opinion and knowledge on the topic by answering the question below. Ready to give it a try?    

Will solar energy ever be a viable alternative to traditional power?

January 14, 2014 10:13 am | Apc- Schneider Electric | Articles | Comments

Solar is already a viable alternative to traditional carbon based and nuclear thermal power plants. In 2012, over 31 Gigawatts (GW) of new PV generation went online globally including 3.5GW in the United States alone. In 2013, that number in the United States is expected to grow by 28% to reach 4.9GW.

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December: Test and Measurement

January 9, 2014 9:55 am | Digital Editions | Comments

The December issue focuses on Test and Measurement and the challenges in the community when it comes to the push in the consumer market for faster, smaller, better electronics. The cover story focuses on predicting end-of-life for future mobile devices and is accompanied by a story exploring the options for reducing the effects when the systems do fail. The issue also featured our first OnDesign column by our newest writer Joshua Israelsohn who focused on Smart Grid technology.

What role will unmanned aerial systems play in America’s future warfighting arsenal?

December 23, 2013 3:35 pm | Littelfuse, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Many of our aerial warfare and surveillance operations are now conducted in regions where we might not necessarily have air support operations near-by or they are in countries where we do not want the world to know we are conducting operations. The loss of a pilot is never something an air-wing wants to hear about....

How will/has 3D printing changed the world of design engineering?

December 23, 2013 11:55 am | Littelfuse, Inc. | Articles | Comments

3-D printing is spurring a new industrial revolution that is enabling design engineers to achieve new innovations in design and significant time and cost savings. The technology allows design engineers to build parts that cannot be made via traditional manufacturing, which in turn encourages heightened creativity and innovation.

What’s the most innovative aspect of vehicle-to-vehicle communications?

December 20, 2013 4:25 pm | Freescale Semiconductor | Articles | Comments

I have the latest ACC with radar in my car, camera, lane departure warning, and what have you. Still, I need to watch out all the time, analyze the situation, engage, disengage, set a new setpoint, and so on. If I don’t do that, it can still become dangerous or at least uncomfortable, because the still relatively dumb system does not understand all it “sees”.

The design challenges of capacitive displays

December 16, 2013 3:41 pm | Articles | Comments

Capacitive screens have become fairly ubiquitous in the world of electronics. You can find them in tablets, cell phones, medical devices, and pretty much anywhere else you look. But using capacitive displays in designs can still be challenging. We want to know what you (or your company or your fellow engineer) struggle with when it comes to designing with touchscreens.

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What changes in board level-assembly made the biggest impact in 2013?

December 13, 2013 1:15 pm | Articles | Comments

Machine assembly technology for all size orders (especially small sizes) and related advances in stencil printing capability significantly impacted board level assembly in 2013. The auto assembly field has benefited tremendously from this progress. A major driver for these auto assembly changes came from advances in board packaging from active components like semiconductors....

What’s the best technique for temperature management of sensitive components in extreme environments?

November 22, 2013 4:33 pm | Articles | Comments

When it comes to environmental monitoring, most designers focus on temperature sensing for which there are a multitude of options. Few designers consider the benefits of including relative humidity (RH) sensing in their systems, which can be added to temperature sensing solutions without compromising board space and at very little additional cost.

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.

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,

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.

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