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Deadline for 3rd Edition of EN 60601-1 Looms

December 14, 2011 6:32 am | by Jeffrey VanZwol, Micro Power Electronics, jvanzwol@micro-power.com, www.micro-power.com | Articles | Comments

IEC 60601-1 applies to all electrical and electronic medical devices and its accessories. The 3rd edition is in the process of being adopted by global regulatory authorities. But on a national level, regulatory affectivity dates are not harmonized across global jurisdictions.

Power Efficiency Is Key Factor in Device Miniaturization

December 9, 2011 7:52 am | by Stephen J. Swift, Sr. Vice President/General Manager, Microsemi Corporation, Communications and Medical Products Group | Articles | Comments

Reducing the size of electronic products has become an increasingly important system design objective, especially in applications such as medical implantable devices that are used for a variety of new and emerging therapies and diagnostics.

UPS technologies enhance efficiency

December 6, 2011 5:28 am | by David Sonner, Senior Director Product Marketing, Liebert AC Power, Emerson Network Power | Articles | Comments

Today’s data centers are expected to deliver more computing capacity while operating more efficiently, eliminating downtime and adapting to constant change. Infrastructure technologies are rising to the challenge by evolving to support higher density equipment...

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What type of LED driver or power supply do I need?

December 5, 2011 5:16 am | by Mel Berman, TDK-Lambda Americas | Articles | Comments

Conventional AC-DC power supplies and DC-DC converters provide an output that is regulated to provide a “constant-voltage.” However, LEDs work most efficiently and safest with a “constant-current” drive. As a result, many new devices have been developed to provide this type of LED drive.

Accelerating PCB Power Delivery Network Design and Analysis

December 1, 2011 8:54 am | by Dennis Nagle, Staff Product Engineer & Dingru Xiao, Staff Product Engineer, Cadence Design Systems | Articles | Comments

Current design trends have made the power delivery network (PDN) of a printed circuit board (PCB) as critical as multi-gigabit data channels. Continuous increases in clock frequencies have coupled with large increases in power, while voltage levels have trended lower and lower.

Resistors Answer Design Challenges for Harsh Environments

November 14, 2011 6:18 am | by Kory Schroeder, Stackpole Electronics Inc., www.seielect.com | Articles | Comments

Many engineers are surprised to learn that commodity thick film chips, the most commonly specified resistor today, perform well in high moisture environments, but have some long-term reliability concerns in high-sulfur environments. In addition, certain SMD and thru-hole metal film resistors are susceptible to corrosion due to moisture. Fortunately, there are answers to both of these design challenges.

Design Considerations for a Harsh Industrial Environment

November 11, 2011 5:43 am | by Robert Gee, Business Manager, Maxim Integrated Products & Shasta Thomas, Strategic Applications Engineer, Maxim Integrated Products | Articles | Comments

Semiconductor (IC) robustness—what is the operating temperature range? How is high electrical noise handled? What about ESD and fault protection? These issues are not necessarily the first things that a design engineer thinks about when selecting an IC.

Control LED Temperature Rise with Thermal Feedback

November 10, 2011 5:52 am | by John Betten, Application Engineer, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Illuminating an LED at high brightness requires driving it with as high a current as allowed by the manufacturer, but the life expectancy of LEDs is heavily dependent on operating temperature. An increase of only 10°C can cut its useful life in half.

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Harsh Environment Connector Selection

November 8, 2011 7:11 am | by Steven Cooper, Vice President of Engineering, Switchcraft | Articles | Comments

Is it a Harsh Environment or a “Harsh Harsh” Environment? Most connectors designed for conditions such as water spray and intermittent water submission (IP67) are considered Harsh Environment Connectors. “Harsh Harsh” environment connectors...

Designing Data Recorders for Harsh Environments

November 8, 2011 6:18 am | by Justin Graves, Electrical Engineer, Advanced Electronic Systems, Excelitas | Articles | Comments

In many applications, data recorders collect information while being exposed to mechanical and thermal shock, vibration, high humidity, and high Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) environments. Designing data recorders for reliable operation...

Make Sense of Software of Unknown Pedigree (SOUP)

October 27, 2011 11:58 am | by Mark Pitchford, LDRA, www.LDRA.com | Articles | Comments

Legacy software—software of unknown pedigree (SOUP)—forms the basis of new developments which must meet modern coding standards either due to client demands or simply a policy of continuous improvement within the developer organization. The need to leverage the value of SOUP while meeting new standards and further developing functionality presents its own set of unique challenges.

MICE, IP and harsh environments

October 17, 2011 10:08 am | by Tom Williams RCDD, Director New Business Development, METZ CONNECT | Articles | Comments

When today’s communications professionals are faced with designing a system infrastructure that will be placed in a environment that is not suitable for standard cable and connectors difficult decisions must be made. Designers must look to connectors and cable that are specifically designed for harsh environments.

I-O Connectors For Harsh Environments

October 17, 2011 8:31 am | by Fred Kozlof, Tech Support, CONEC | Articles | Comments

Despite all the warnings to avoid use of electrical devices in wet areas, it seems that designers are working at a fast pace to create devices that play well with water. Traditionally, most electronic boxes have been located in a sheltered, controlled environment.

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Reference Circuits Address Practical Circuit Design Challenges

October 5, 2011 1:21 pm | Articles | Comments

With the industrial and instrumentation market becoming more competitive, circuit designers continually face new challenges to design products faster, with fewer iterations, and incorporating a wider range of mixed-signal technologies including analog, digital, power, and RF. In addressing these challenges, reference circuits provide

Controllers Drive Gesture Recognition on Resistive Touch Screens

October 4, 2011 4:58 am | by Javier Calpe, Italo Medina, Alberto Carbajo, and Maria Jose Martinez of Analog Devices, Inc., www.analog.com | Articles | Comments

Although resistive technologies have conventionally been used to detect the position of a single touch on the screen, this article examines a new dual-touch concept that uses a resistive touch-screen controller to detect the most common two-finger gestures (zoom, pinch and rotation) using inexpensive resistive touch screens.

Multicore DSPs, the key to military applications

September 29, 2011 6:18 am | by Hector Rivera, Marketing Manager, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

As signal processing requirements continue to climb in waveform-intensive applications including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), sonar, radar, signals intelligence (SIGINT) and software defined radio (SDR), the use of multiple digital signal processors (DSP) cores is a key enabler.

Ensuring Continuous Availability for Electronic Health and Medical Records

September 26, 2011 10:12 am | by Noel Moss, Senior Professional Services Consultant, Stratus Technologies | Articles | Comments

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are rapidly becoming common-place in the healthcare industry. Organizations such as the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT)...

New Possibilities for P-Cap Touch Sensing in Small Format Industrial Displays

September 23, 2011 11:09 am | by Ian Crosby, Sales and Marketing Director, Zytronic | Articles | Comments

Projected capacitive (p-cap) touchscreens have witnessed overwhelming success in the consumer portable space over the last few years, being specified into highly popular products such as Apple’s iPad and iPod Touch, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy and Blackberry’s Torch smartphones.

To Swipe or Not to Swipe

September 15, 2011 2:52 pm | by Ahsan Javed, Silicon Laboratories, www.silabs.com | Articles | Comments

Unlike human-to-human gesturing, human-machine gesturing does not have a foundation of thousands of years of history to use as a context. This poses a challenge for human interface system designers. If a user performs a gesture, how does the machine know how to react in a manner that is commensurate with the user’s intentions?

Stacked capacitors enable the shrinking of electronics

September 14, 2011 7:33 am | by Ron Demcko, AVX Fellow | Articles | Comments

Size, performance, reliability and cost are the common standards to judge any electronic device. As consumers, we expect smaller, cheaper and more powerful devices that are of high quality and reliability. Within any given system, we can take semiconductors' improved performance, size and cost as a certainty.

The Parts Make the Whole: Aircraft Systems Components

August 17, 2011 7:30 am | by Ken Smith, Product Manager, Meldin, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics | Articles | Comments

According to the Air Transport Association’s 2010 economic report “When America Flies it Works,” operating revenues for U.S. airlines fell by approximately 17 percent in the wake of the 2009 global recession – considered the worst since the 1930s.

Shrinking Electromechanical Components

August 17, 2011 6:34 am | by Jerome Smolinski, Senior Product Manager, C&K Components | Articles | Comments

Intuitively, in order to have a more compact device, the components in the device must all become smaller. However, the aesthetics and functionality of electromechanical components must also be preserved or enhanced in order to meet application requirements.

Connected Devices: A New Era of Electronics Design

August 15, 2011 6:58 am | by Bob Potock, Director, Americas Marketing, Altium | Articles | Comments

According to IDC Research, 15 billion devices will be connected to the internet by the year 2015. That is a big jump from the estimated 3 billion today. When we talk about “connected devices” our minds immediately go to mobile devices.

Software is making hardware easy...ware

August 8, 2011 8:57 am | by Adrian Fernandez, MSP Microcontrollers, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

It’s not uncommon to only think about the simple devices microcontroller enable. However, applications today are becoming more complex as consumers demand more from their products, driving several trends in the microcontroller industry.

Concept Design Methods for Developing Winning Products

August 8, 2011 8:28 am | by Mike Campbell, PTC | Articles | Comments

For many manufacturers, it's new ideas that keep business vibrant and growing. Fresh approaches to design, materials, and manufacturing all lead to more competitive and profitable products.

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