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The Lead

BLDC controller features reliable sensorless startup

December 17, 2014 2:02 pm | Allegro Microsystems, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Allegro MicroSystems, LLC (Worcester, MA) announces a new three-phase, sensorless, brushless DC (BLDC) motor controller for use with external complementary P-channel and N-channel power MOSFETs. Reliable sensorless startup and run commutation can ...

The best apps for holiday shopping

December 17, 2014 1:09 pm | by Janine E. Mooney, Editor in Chief, WDD | @JMooneyWDD | Blogs | Comments

I’m all for keeping my apps to a minimum—and I delete apps...

Resistor saves space with 7 W rating and resistance to 1 mΩ

December 17, 2014 11:43 am | Product Releases | Comments

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. (Malvern, PA) announced a new surface-mount Power Metal Strip...

HotSpot: Stuffing bras with actuators and sensing tech

December 16, 2014 9:32 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Researchers at the University of...

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Here's how engineers feel about conflict materials

December 16, 2014 7:56 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor and Eileen Whitmore, Art Director | Blogs | Comments

Conflict materials are a big deal in the electronic components world. Not only has there been a major increase in the amount of legistlation surrounding the controversy, the social awareness aspect of conflict materials has raised the issue’s profile. The social responsibility ...

Magnetometer 2D calibration for accurate angle computation

December 15, 2014 1:04 pm | by Jacques Trichet and Benoit Marchand, Freescale Semiconductor | Articles | Comments

In the last couple of years, magnetic sensors have emerged in consumer electronics end products such as smart phones, computer tablets, gaming accessories, audio/video devices and personal electronics. This proliferation was enabled by advances in ...

Engineering Newswire: The 10 worst toys for kids

December 11, 2014 12:27 pm | by Alex Shanahan, Manager of Multimedia Production | Videos | Comments

Today on Engineering Newswire, the World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., released its 42nd annual 10 Worst Toys report … So we bought them … It was near impossible to secure a Catapencil or Bottle Rocket Party, so if you have a bead on ...

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Engineering Update #89: The newest solar power plant

December 11, 2014 10:37 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The tulip concentrating solar power plant is officially opening its first commercial site in Ethiopia. This will be the third tulip site to be created. There is one in Israel and one in Spain, but the previous operations have been focused on research and ...

Bra stops sexual assault with 3,800 kilovolt electric shock

December 10, 2014 8:49 am | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

I’ve seen numerous devices and ideas for empowering women — pepper spray, tasers, self-defense courses, firearms — but I can honestly say I’ve never seen a bra used as a weapon. Engineering students Manisha Mohan, Niladhri Basu Bal, and Rimpi Tripathi ...

Bionic Bra proves necessity is apparently not the mother of invention

December 9, 2014 11:12 am | by Melissa Barnes, Associate Editor, MDT | Blogs | Comments

The recent story about a “Bionic Bra” from the University of Wollongong had me wondering ... why?! Of all the medical devices we have a dire need for, a sensor-equipped, “smart yarn”-infused, automatic-tightening bra certainly isn’t one of them....

Wearable fitness software automatically senses and interprets activity

December 8, 2014 1:15 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Performance Lab (San Francisco, CA) unveils the ARDA Coaching Engine, a new, patented software platform that will redefine the wearable fitness tracker market by bringing real time context and intelligence to wearable fitness devices. The ARDA ...

The danger of drones in an unlicensed airspace

December 4, 2014 9:43 am | by Meaghan Ziemba, Editor, WDD, @MZiembaWDD | Blogs | Comments

I was recently in Barnes and Nobel (I still like to read words on paper), and I had the opportunity to purchase a quadcopter. With very little experience of flying one, I was tempted, but ultimately declined because it was a holiday shopping trip for ...

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Infographic: Smart Appliances & The Kitchen of Tomorrow

December 4, 2014 9:32 am | by Pennywell | News | Comments

From dishwashers with digital interfaces to smartphone apps that can manage entire home heating systems, this shift in home appliances means that the household of tomorrow will be drastically different to that of today. Enjoy this Infographic, courtesy of Pennywell (www.pennywell.ie)....

Metal film resistors now available with a 100 ppm TCR option

December 3, 2014 3:25 pm | Stackpole Electronics, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Stackpole's (Raleigh, NC) RNV Series high voltage anti-moisture metal film resistors now offer a 100 ppm TCR option. This enables the RNV to be used for high-voltage requirements in harsh environments and applications with low TCR needs. The ...

TVS diode array provides superior ESD Protection

December 3, 2014 3:17 pm | Littelfuse, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Littelfuse, Inc. (Chicago, IL) has introduced the SP3022 Series Low Capacitance ESD Protection TVS Diode Arrays (SPA Diodes). These robust 0.35pF, 20kV bidirectional (back-to-back) discrete TVS diodes can safely absorb repetitive ESD strikes over ...

Smartgun system calls for police backup in dire situations

December 2, 2014 3:55 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor, @JasonECNMag | Blogs | Comments

Previous smartguns have focused on personalization options that restrict the weapon to authorized users or require a companion bracelet or other trinket to operate it. But Yardarm Technologies is taking a slightly different approach — a tracking module ...

Hotspot: Making nuclear weapons uncrackable

December 1, 2014 12:18 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Mark Hart, a scientist and engineer in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) Defense Technologies Division, has been awarded the 2015 Surety Transformation Initiative (STI) Award from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) ...

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Engineering Update #87: Virtual reality beach vacations

December 1, 2014 8:13 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Last week, we talked about a system of targeted advertising very similar to the film Minority Report, based on the short story by Phillip K. Dick. And this time, we shine the spotlight on a famous hotel chain — rhymes with “chariot” — that’s introducing ...

Engineering Update #86: A biodegradable drone

November 20, 2014 10:10 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

A team of students from Stanford, brown, and Spelman college have created a biodegradable drone. The drone is made from fibrous mycelium, which is a root-like material found in fungi. The material is covered in cellulose and all the circuits are ...

Airport parking valet robots take flight

November 19, 2014 10:41 am | by Chris Warner | Articles | Comments

It’s no secret to travelers that navigating the airport can be a stressful experience, and perhaps the biggest reason is because time is in very short supply. From the long lines to check in and pass through security to the congested highways nearby, many ...

32-bit microcontroller series features scalable memory configuration

November 18, 2014 2:07 pm | Microchip Technology Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Microchip Technology Inc. (Chandler, AZ) announced a new series of its low-cost, high pin count 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers (MCUs). By blending the key features of Microchip’s existing PIC32MX1/2 and PIC32MX5 MCU families, this latest ...

HotSpot Episode: A digital 6th sense

November 17, 2014 1:30 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

LTE Direct, Qualcomm’s device-to-device proximal discovery product, will be available commercially in 2016, according to the senior director for Qualcomm Research. The company refers to LTE Direct as a “digital 6th sense.” It essentially turns ...

Pure copper conductive ink offers cost-effective design flexibility

November 17, 2014 8:57 am | Dupont Microcircuit Materials | Product Releases | Comments

DuPont Microcircuit Materials (Research Triangle Park, NC) is introducing its first pure copper conductive ink for photonic curing, DuPont PE510 copper conductor. DuPont PE510 is a cost-effective alternative to silver conductor inks for a variety ...

Kasey's Korner: Affordable, inflatable incubator

November 14, 2014 11:18 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Dyson just handed out their James Dyson award and this year it’s going to a young inventor who created an inflatable incubator. Incubators, though widely available in modern hospitals, continue to be outrageously expensive, to the tune of up to $45,000...

Engineering Update #85: Close-air support in only 6 minutes

November 13, 2014 9:37 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Since the early days of aerial warfare, infantry has relied on close-air support to even the odds and save their proverbial bacon. But aerial backup often takes a while to arrive — 30-60 minutes on average — and that’s where Raytheon and DARPA ...

Wearable device punishes you for slouching

November 10, 2014 2:29 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Digital Editor | Blogs | Comments

One of the first skills they teach you in the military — if you haven’t mastered it already — is correct posture. If you slouch, a loud, angry man with a Smoky Bear hat will give you a gentle reminder to stand up straight. But even the United States Military stops short....

Kasey's Korner: A new treatment for bone fractures

November 10, 2014 12:07 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials have come up with a solution that uses anchors made from biodegradable materials via a powder injection molding process. The advantages to using this process means that the researchers can adjust the density and porosity of the anchors, which is imperative to their structural integrity.

Watch a drone take off from another drone

November 10, 2014 8:45 am | by Kasey Panetta, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN, we like to think you can never have enough drones. So, in the spirit of our drone obsession, I would like to present you with a drone taking off from another drone. It's very meta. I like to think if Isaac Newton was still around, he would ...

The only 3D printer you'll ever need to buy

November 10, 2014 8:40 am | by Melissa Fassbender, Editor, PDD | Blogs | Comments

With myriad 3D printers seeking funding on Kickstarter, it is hard to discern what makes each one unique. Calling itself the first “one size fits all” model, the MakerMex stands out with modular add-ons that allows the printer to adapt to future technologies.

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