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Russians beat us to Holy Grail of drone pizza delivery

June 27, 2014 9:21 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

We won the Cold War and Space Race for this? We’ve discussed drones, the attendant privacy issues, and their commercial potential exhaustively, but a recent event serves as a cruel mockery of the freedoms we cherish. While the Federal Aviation Administration, politicians, and privacy advocates continue to squabble over domestic drone regulations ...

Low power MCU integrates hardware encryption engine

June 25, 2014 12:49 pm | Microchip Technology Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Microchip Technology Inc. (Chandler, AZ) announced the expansion of its eXtreme Low Power (XLP) PIC microcontrollers (MCUs) with the PIC24F “GB2” family.  This new family features an integrated hardware crypto engine, a Random Number Generator (RNG) and…

Seven-channel, NMOS low-side driver targets high-voltage systems

June 25, 2014 11:15 am | Texas Instruments | Product Releases | Comments

Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX) introduced what it asserts is the industry’s first seven-channel, NMOS low-side driver. The TPL7407L is positioned to replace half of the transistor arrays required to drive high current loads, providing a new option for high voltage systems.

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Module integrates a BLE 4.1 stack for use with or without a host MCU

June 25, 2014 10:26 am | Microchip Technology Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Microchip Technology Inc. (Chandler, AZ) announced its first Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy module.  The RN4020 builds on the Company’s Bluetooth Classic experience and carries both worldwide regulatory certifications and is Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) certified. 

Photos of the Day: Lego's mixed digital-physical blocks

June 25, 2014 8:12 am | by PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

On the heels of success with "The Lego Movie," the Danish toy company is giving kids a chance to put their own blocks on the screen, with a new product line that copies their creations into phone and tablet games. The Lego Fusion line will launch in August. Each $35 box will contain some 200 bricks and a special plate to build on....

Phase-control stud-style thyristors offer current-handling capability to 25 Amps

June 24, 2014 4:09 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Announced today by America Semiconductor, LLC (Linden, NJ) is the 25RIA Series of medium-power, phase-control thyristors. The single-phase Silicon Controlled Rectifiers (SCR) are supplied in a standard TO-48 package with a current handling capability to 25 Amps....

Engineering Newswire: Urinal videogame is controlled by user's 'stream'

June 19, 2014 1:33 pm | by Alex Shanahan, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

A new videogame has hit the market, and while it doesn’t require a controller, it’s not quite hands free. Yup, this video game is controlled entirely by your urine. After experimenting with many ideas including lasers, ultrasound, induction sensors, and even cameras which were ruled out on privacy grounds ...

Global flat-panel TV shipments enjoy sound growth in Q1; South Koreans top field

June 19, 2014 10:57 am | by Jusy Hong, Principal Analyst, IHS Technology | News | Comments

Worldwide shipments of flat-panel televisions rose convincingly in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year, a stronger-than-expected showing that puts the industry on firm footing for the year, according to a new report from IHS Technology....

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Engineering Update #63: Boeing's newest space ship

June 19, 2014 9:57 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

On June 9th, Boeing unveiled its CST-100 commercial space taxi. The company’s main goal is to restart the U.S. ability to get to the ISS and beyond without spending 60 million for a seat on a Russian soyez. The company is referring to this capsule as a “space taxi” due to its simplicity and cost effectiveness....

Obama pets a giant, laughing robotic giraffe

June 19, 2014 9:40 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

While the Obama administration has been dealing with a lot of heavy topics lately, the White House also had time to push policy on innovation and creation. Part of the campaign was the White House Maker Faire, designed to celebrate “all things built-by-hand and designed-by-ingenuity.” It featured 30 projects from more than 100 students, engineers, creators and researchers from 25 different states.

Semi-shielded power inductor series targets DC/DC converter power management applications

June 19, 2014 9:09 am | Bourns, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Bourns, Inc. (Riverside, CA) announced a new series of semi-shielded power inductors.  The semi-shielded SRN model series combines the features of non-shielded and shielded inductors, making them suitable for use in DC/DC converters.

Making smartphones smarter with see-through sensors

June 19, 2014 8:17 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Your smartphone's display glass could soon be more than just a pretty face, thanks to new technology developed by researchers from Montreal and the New York-based company Corning Incorporated. The team has created the first laser-written light-guiding systems that are efficient enough to be developed for commercial use....

AEC-Q101-Qualified proximity and ambient light sensor is fully integrated

June 18, 2014 8:17 pm | Vishay Intertechnology | Product Releases | Comments

A new AEC-Q101-qualified, fully integrated proximity and ambient light optical sensor with an operating temperature range to +105°C was announced by the Optoelectronics group of Vishay Intertechnology, Inc.

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This drone is made from chocolate

June 18, 2014 3:31 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Yes, someone actually built a chocolate quadcopter. And no, the DoD hasn’t investigated potential military applications (that I know of). A flying treat like this probably wouldn’t survive harsh environments (greater than 20°C) or soldiers’ stomachs, but it could redefine the “candygram”....

Photos of the Day: Building a chocolate drone

June 18, 2014 12:32 pm | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

An intrepid DIYer built a quadcopter made of at least 40% chocolate. The best part is: This chocodrone actually flies! The unnamed artiste filmed the creation process – and the ensuing flight – using a GoPro Hero 3. She coats the wings in a thick layer of cocoa and uses molded chocolate for the lower frame....

HotSpot: How your private data is used online

June 16, 2014 4:33 pm | Videos | Comments

Researchers in the Decentralized Information Group (DIG) at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are developing a new web technology that would allow you to track how your private data is used online. The new protocol, “HTTP with Accountability,” or HTTPA ...

These E Ink shelf labels could save retail

June 16, 2014 1:18 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

E-commerce has many intrinsic advantages over brick-and-mortar, but the fundamental difference is similar to print vs. online journalism — the ability to make dynamic changes. One can, and one can't. Which makes electronic shelf labels — incorporating E Ink and similar technology — a paradigm shift for retail....

3 reasons you’d kill yourself with a lightsaber

June 13, 2014 11:02 am | by JF Stackhouse, Engineerjobs.com | Blogs | Comments

When I was eight years old, there was only one thing I wanted more than for someone to invent the lightsaber. I wanted one to fall off the back of a truck and land in my front yard.Fortunately, neither occurred; lightsabers are dangerous, poorly designed, and unstable. Here are three of the many reasons they should be preemptively outlawed....

Engineering Newswire: DARPA’s air-to-ground warfare

June 13, 2014 9:38 am | by Alex Shanahan, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

DARPA’s new Persistent Close Air Support program is providing warfighters with advanced digital tools for situational awareness and targeting in place of legacy communications systems and traditional paper maps. The system safely coordinates troop positions, while simultaneously providing close air support for ground forces....

The role of smart TVs in gaming

June 12, 2014 4:52 pm | by Chad Lucien, SVP, Sales & Marketing, Hillcrest Labs, www.hillcrestlabs.com | Articles | Comments

TVs have long been at the center of the video game industry. From first person point-and-shoots to family-friendly tennis matches and high-speed racing games, game consoles connected to TVs have dominated the gaming scene for decades. This has changed now that smartphones and tablets have become gaming platforms....

Down with pink: The rise of female STEM toys

June 12, 2014 3:09 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

You may have noticed my habit of blogging occasionally about how gendered toys have the ability to affect children. Whether the topic is limiting the skills sets girls develop while playing or failing to introduce STEM as a career option because those are “boy’s” toys....

Engineering Update #62: The first commercial drone

June 12, 2014 11:20 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration approved the first commercial drone, AeroVironment'S RQ-20A Puma AE, a small hand-launched UAS with endurance of 3.5 hours and the capability to extend its range with solar or fuel cell options. It also includes electro-optical and infrared cameras....

Processors target industrial imaging, audio and automotive applications

June 12, 2014 11:15 am | Analog Devices, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Analog Devices (Norwood, MA) introduced the ADSP-BF70x Blackfin processor family that provides 800 MMACS of processing power at less than 100 mW. The eight-member family includes up to 1 MB of internal SRAM, eliminating…

Photos of the Day: SID Display Week 2014

June 11, 2014 1:29 pm | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

SID Display Week is the industry’s annual celebration of all things optoelectronics, and this year the wagon train rolled in to sunny San Diego. (I was suffering. Seriously.) Here’s a handful of highlights from SID 2014, including a laptop utilizing QDEF quantum dot technology, Color IQ TVs, and E-Ink applications....

High-density card edge connectors are offered in low profile, ultra-thin, and high temperature versions

June 11, 2014 11:43 am | Sullins Connector Solutions | Product Releases | Comments

Sullins Connector Solutions, Inc. (San Marcos, CA) announced the expansion of their portfolio of high-density 0.050" (1.27 mm) contact center card edge connectors to include the FMBx Series. The new series features high-temperature and low profile ultra-thin devices accommodating…

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