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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.

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...

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

Achieving Product Reliability with Automated Design Analysis Software

August 5, 2011 8:06 am | by Nathan Blattau, Chief Technologist, DfR Solutions | Articles | Comments

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...

Meeting Tough LTE Standards by Aligning Algorithm Design and Physical Testbenches

August 4, 2011 10:14 am | by Dr. Markus Willems, Senior Product Marketing Manager, System-Level Solutions, Synopsys | Articles | Comments

LTE, the next-generation wireless standard, promises to serve the surging demand for mobile broadband data by increasing peak and average data throughput, as well as significantly reducing latency. When designing an LTE or LTE-Advanced device...

Advanced TVS Construction Improves Lightning Protection

July 18, 2011 8:41 am | by Kent Walters, Director of Technology, Microsemi Corporation | Articles | Comments

Lightning strikes on military and commercial aircraft are common, and today’s structures and systems are required to withstand such events and continue operating. Lightning protection is particularly important for fly-by-wire systems that move primary flight control commands...

What Operators Should Know About Testing Converged Data Centers

July 15, 2011 7:10 am | by Tara Van Unen, Senior Manager, Ixia | Articles | Comments

Network management has changed with the rapid adoption of network-based services, which has placed an unprecedented strain on servers and storage, and launched a new era in data center management. Solutions include virtualized servers, high-capacity switching frameworks, LAN and SAN convergence.

Oscilloscope Performance & Digital Triggering

July 13, 2011 10:59 am | by Michael Schnecker, Business Development Manager, Rohde & Schwarz | Articles | Comments

Triggering is a critical factor in the measurement performance of oscilloscopes. Triggering enables an oscilloscope to acquire a signal at a specific point in time on the signal waveform. Originally, the trigger function allowed the user to view a signal on the oscilloscope...

Using PXI to Reduce RFIC Characterization Time

July 12, 2011 8:25 am | by David A. Hall, Sr. RF Product Marketing Manager at National Instruments | Articles | Comments

As today’s wireless handsets continue to support more wireless standards, the components that go into handsets must undergo more testing than ever before. In the old days, it was sufficient to test a GSM power amplifier (PA) by doing a few simple GSM measurements in one or two frequency bands.

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