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Turn to Embedded Passive Layers for Smaller, Lighter and More Efficient Devices

November 11, 2010 4:27 am | by John Geissinger, Applications Engineer Senior Specialist, 3M Electronic Solutions Division | Articles | Comments

Nearly every electronic device – be it for a consumer, medical or military application – can benefit from a reduction in weight or form-factor size and increased efficiency, performance and functionality. Sounds too good to be true, but in fact, many applications could realize those benefits...

Maximizing the 3D Experience: Don’t Overlook the Batteries

November 5, 2010 10:39 am | by Eric Lind, VP Business Development at Contour Energy Systems | Articles | Comments

Imagine your disappointment when your 3D glasses fail just as the action peaks in a movie or during a game. With rechargeable batteries you’re stuck waiting for the glasses to recharge (having a spare pair is just too difficult to justify given the current high price).

Accurate Compassing in Harsh Environments

November 2, 2010 6:57 am | by Andrew Leuzinger, PNI Sensor Corporation, www.pnicorp.com | Articles | Comments

Today’s electronic compasses are built to withstand harsh environments – mechanical shocks, extreme temperatures and battlefield conditions. Yet the most challenging environment for electronic compasses is transitory magnetic field distortion encountered in everyday situations.

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Ethernet Ports in Harsh Environments

October 29, 2010 9:36 am | by Fred Kozlof, General Manager, CONEC | Articles | Comments

The RJ45 connector is commonplace on computer systems in offices and homes, but there is often a need to network industrial equipment as well, resulting in a growing need for an Ethernet connector that can withstand harsh environments.

Motion Measurement in Unmanned Systems

October 25, 2010 9:15 am | by Matt Liberty, Hillcrest Laboratories, www.hillcrestlabs.com | Articles | Comments

Autonomous systems that navigate their surroundings are becoming more viable as sensor technology improves and computing power increases. Google’s car is the most recent high-profile system, but even vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers now drive themselves.

New Generation of Development Tools Empower Designers

October 25, 2010 6:16 am | by Ben Papps, PLX Technology | Articles | Comments

Designers today are faced with ever-increasing complexity in both the silicon at the heart of a system and the applications it serves.  First for SoCs and now for bridging silicon, development tools are now catching up with advances in silicon and helping designers realize improved time to market.

Inertial sensors enhance autonomous systems

October 25, 2010 5:47 am | by Fritz Martin, Senior Product Design Manager, MicroStrain | Articles | Comments

The adoption rate for unmanned systems continues to increase in the military, defense, aerospace and robotics industries, and is now also being embraced in many new markets across a variety of applications. The benefits of autonomous mobility...

Integrating Intelligent Electronic Access Systems

October 14, 2010 6:22 am | by Steve Spatig, Southco, Inc. www.southco.com | Articles | Comments

As security requirements become more stringent, engineers are looking to integrate electronic access systems (EAS) into cabinets, racks and other enclosures.

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The current state of digital power

October 7, 2010 11:13 am | by Deepak Savadatti, International Rectifier | Articles | Comments

Digital power today is a small fraction of overall power industry revenue but is commanding a large share of industry attention and discussion. Traction for digital power solutions is evident based on a slew of product announcements from a multitude of suppliers, all playing to their strengths.

Securing Information in your Microcontroller Core

October 5, 2010 9:34 am | by Oyvind Strom, Director, AVR Products, Atmel Corporation | Articles | Comments

For years, system designers have been trying to find a way to improve the microcontroller—the heart of their system designs. Improvements can range from increasing performance, lowering power consumption, increasing clock speeds and much more.

Protecting FPGAs from Power Analysis

October 4, 2010 5:34 am | by Pankaj Rohatgi, Cryptography Research | Articles | Comments

The advantages of FPGAs include reduced time-to-market, field-reconfigurability, and lower up-front costs. These benefits, together with recent gains in size and performance, make FPGAs ideally suited for many commercial and government applications.

The Video Surveillance Problem

October 1, 2010 10:07 am | by Sean Gardner, Business Development Mgr, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Video surveillance is everywhere today, and the rise in camera deployments is making a big financial impact on the public and private sector’s IT departments’ operating expenditures. Storage costs are the main culprit and can add up to 50 percent of the cost of a new surveillance installation.

Securing Connected Systems

September 17, 2010 12:27 pm | by Chris Tapp, LDRA | Articles | Comments

The adoption of networking in embedded systems is widespread and includes everything from domestic audio/video systems to SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems. Users are generally aware that viruses, worms and malware are attempting to infiltrate their personal computers...

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Enhancing Simulation Studies with 3D Animation

September 17, 2010 7:27 am | by Saurabh Mahapatra, MathWorks | Articles | Comments

The use of simulation studies to better understand the dynamic behavior of a system under investigation is at the core of verifying designs early in the development process. Despite the amount of data that such studies produce, a 3D representation of the system creates a more complete understanding of system behavior.

Lithium-ion Batteries Target Temperature Extremes

September 16, 2010 12:17 pm | by Jeffrey VanZwol, Micro Power Electronics | Articles | Comments

OEMs are requesting rechargeable Lithium-ion battery packs for portable devices that operate in explosive, as well as extreme hot and cold environments. Many portable military devices are used in very cold (-40º Celsius) environments, and many medical devices need battery packs that operate after exposure to 137º C steam sterilization...

Making a Big Difference with Micro Clinch Fasteners

September 16, 2010 7:01 am | by Brian Bentrim, Penn Engineering | Articles | Comments

Today’s wireless electronic devices from cell phones to e-readers exemplify ideal marriages of user-friendly form and function integrated into ever-smaller packages. The trend toward highly compact designs, however, presents an array of issues relative to component attachment...

High-Speed Load-Disconnects in Redundant Power System Architectures

September 14, 2010 7:44 am | by Chester Firek, Product Marketing Manager, Picor Corporation | Articles | Comments

Designers of high-availability systems understand that the costs of system down-time can have a devastating impact on their end-customer’s business. For critical business and information systems such as data centers...

The True Meaning of MultiTouch

August 31, 2010 12:17 pm | by Larry Mozdzyn, Ocular Inc. | Articles | Comments

Despite what you may read in articles or hear in advertisements, typical gesturing on most smartphones is not a true multi-touch implementation. The touch controller for a gesture only interprets relative movements of one or two touches on the panel and reports these movements as predefined gestures.

Achieving Zero Defect Software Development

August 17, 2010 9:37 am | by John Greenland, Senior Sales Manager, LDRA Technology | Articles | Comments

Zero Defect Software Development (ZDSD) is a results-oriented process that emphasizes the analysis, testing and reporting of the causality of defects. This process, which has evolved from the commitment to providing “five-nines” (99.999%) reliability for mission-critical applications...

Software-Development Planning is Critical to Product Success

August 6, 2010 5:57 am | by Keith Curtis, Technical Staff Engineer, Microchip Technology, keith.curtis@microchip.com | Articles | Comments

Let’s face it, all of our product design cycles are accelerating. To stay competitive, your company needs the next big thing, they need it yesterday, and it can’t cost any more than it has to if you are going to compete.

Motivation for graphical development on DSPs

July 28, 2010 11:44 am | by Joe Coombs, Applications Engineer, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Digital signal processors (DSPs) have become ever-present in today’s world, populating everything from stereo systems and cell phones to automobiles and industrial equipment. Despite this proliferation, relatively few embedded developers are DSP-focused.

Powering Backlit Displays in Severe Environments

July 26, 2010 5:48 am | by Bill Abbott, Endicott Research Group, www.ergpower.com | Articles | Comments

When removed from the comfort of a controlled indoor environment, LCDs can be subjected to a variety of stressful conditions. Extreme temperatures, shock, vibration and variances in ambient light can impact backlight performance and lifetime.

Designing for Magnetostrictive Linear Position Sensors

July 8, 2010 11:47 am | by Matt Hankinson, Technical Marketing Manager, MTS Sensors | Articles | Comments

Today’s high-performance equipment calls for innovative components designed specifically to meet their market demands. The developments in linear-position sensors have proven to be an effective means for increasing productivity, quality assurance, and profitability in many industrial applications.

Scopes Deliver Advanced JTAG Debug Capabilities

July 7, 2010 6:01 am | by Joel Woodward, Agilent Technologies, Inc. | Articles | Comments

JTAG, also known as IEEE 1149.1, is one of the most successful electronic standards of all time. Invented over 20 years ago to uncover printed circuit board manufacturing, JTAG is now used in nearly 100% of printed circuit boards and has become a critical part of many integrated circuits.

High-Voltage Capacitors: Design and Testing

July 7, 2010 5:45 am | Articles | Comments

There are many industries that depend on the proven design concepts that require high voltages to operate. Radar, X-ray machines, traveling wave tubes, down-hole logging, particle accelerators, aerospace ignition systems, partial discharge detection, power utilities and welding equipment are some examples.

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