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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)...
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Swift time to market and product performance are essential to success in electronics manufacturing. The foundation of a reliably performing product is a robust design. Since the overall cost and quality of a product is most influenced by decisions made early in the design stage...