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The greatest advancement in software simulation in the next decade

October 2, 2014 10:20 am | Articles | Comments

The future of software simulation is driven by the increasing wish of engineers to simulate a specific device in its real world, working environment where different physical phenomena occur. The increasing simulation complexity, driven by the multiphysics nature....

The biggest challenge for designers as handheld devices become smaller

September 9, 2014 4:41 pm | Articles | Comments

From a design standpoint, one of the biggest challenges is power consumption and battery life....

What‘s the biggest challenge for designers as handheld devices become smaller?

September 8, 2014 10:41 am | Articles | Comments

As handheld devices become smaller, designers will continue to face the challenge of adding...

August 2014: Motion Control

August 6, 2014 2:56 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

In this day and age, anywhere you have a large crowd of people, you will have a large crowd of...

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What board-level technologies will be game-changers in the near future?

August 6, 2014 11:02 am | Articles | Comments

In the case of long-term infrastructure planning, it is essential to consider how network function virtualization (NFV), will impact and enable data centers in the next five to 10 years. NFV is an ideal alternative to traditional networking solutions, as it allows organizations to upgrade infrastructure....

How has rapid prototyping affected your job or industry?

July 15, 2014 10:51 am | by ECN Staff | Articles | Comments

The need for rapid prototyping has always existed, however with the development of new tools and technologies, many of the traditional hurdles of prototyping have been eliminated. For instance, LCD display design, GUI development, MEMS sensing, motor control, RTOS or OS usage, and cap touch sensing are just a few of the obstacles....

With decreasing prices and increasing efficiency, are LEDs finally poised to gain universal acceptance?

June 10, 2014 12:58 pm | Articles | Comments

Prices have been falling dramatically for LEDs. As recently as two years ago, a 60W consumer LED bulb cost between $40 and $50, but today buyers can find them for as little as $13. The dramatic decrease in prices is due to several factors — some related to technological advances in LED design....

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What technology creates the biggest challenge for cooling and thermal management?

May 28, 2014 9:13 am | Articles | Comments

As far as products are concerned, all design engineers are under pressure to create solutions that are smaller, more powerful, and can operate faster. In a way these three elements are the perfect storm relative to all of the thermal management issues engineers need to work through....

How is rapid prototyping affecting engineering?

May 27, 2014 6:30 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

We have a VERY exciting Brainstorm about Rapid Prototyping for our July issue. Nothing has the potential to change the landscape of design engineering (and every other industry) like rapid prototyping. Now that the technology is rapidly gaining traction, we want to know how it’s really affecting your job or life.

What’s the best implementation of smart energy strategy that you have seen?

May 21, 2014 12:14 pm | Articles | Comments

When you hear smart energy, you immediately think about things like smart meters, Wi-Fi thermostats, turning on and off appliances during peak hours to save on energy costs, basically communications with devices creating smart power loads. What about taking the concept of “smart energy”....

Are LEDs poised for success?

April 21, 2014 10:59 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

We have a VERY exciting Brainstorm about LEDs for our June Issue.  This technology has been a really hot topic over the past few years with arguments about efficiency, price, preference and even environmental factors of utilizing different types of bulbs taking center stage.

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

April 17, 2014 8:27 am | by ECN Staff | Keysight 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....

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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 chosen to recognize the top products, tools, and services from 18 categories across the electronics design engineering field. The finalists were picked by our panel of esteemed judges selected for their expertise in one or more product category. We’ll announce the winners on May 6 at the EDS Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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 create dangerous situations and increase the risk of product failure. In this March issue of ECN, we identify the key battlegrounds in the fight against fake components.• Seeing through the lies explores the idea of using x-ray techniques as a way of identifying counterfeit components, walking readers through the most common indicators of a counterfeit. • Invisible bar codes offers up a solution to counterfeit components in the form of a covert micro-bar code that are virtually indestructible and invisible to the naked eye. • Counterfeit mitigation looks at a report by the Semiconductor Industry Association detailing the ideal defensive maneuvers against counterfeit components.

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 system-on-chip (SoC) architecture in order to enable a vehicle platform that adapts to evolving content delivery providers and cloud-based services.

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?    

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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.

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.

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...

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...

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