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Engineering Update Episode 45: The most advanced British aircraft ever built

February 13, 2014 2:05 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

The Taranis, an unmanned combat demonstrator aircraft being billed as the most advanced aircraft ever built by British engineers took it's first 15-minute test flight under the command of test pilot Bob Fraser, a few months ago at a super top secret location.

The microcontroller as metaobject

February 13, 2014 6:28 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Articles | Comments

Pretty much everyone in our industry is familiar with the long evolution of microcontrollers. So familiar that it’s easy to miss changes in our industry and society, both positive and negative, that accompanied that evolution just as we tend not to see daily changes in our own aging faces.

50 Watt Zener diodes provide voltage regulation protection

February 12, 2014 10:53 am | Product Releases | Comments

America Semiconductor (Union, NJ) announces the availability of a full series of power Zener diodes (part numbers: 1N3305 thru 1N3350) packaged in a DO-5 case. The robust 50 Watt devices are engineered to provide voltage regulation protection in a broad array of alternative energy....

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Photos of the Day: Wind farms to blink only when necessary

February 11, 2014 9:18 am | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

Like other tall structures, wind turbines use flashing lights to warn low-flying aircraft and prevent accidents. But citizens in Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg, Germany are complaining about the flashing red lights as an annoyance. In addition, the lights attract birds.

What’s the biggest challenge for designs that utilize touch-enabled displays?

February 10, 2014 3:35 pm | Ocular, Inc., Applied Materials | Articles | Comments

Take a look at virtually any new smartphone or tablet device, and whatever the brand or size, they likely have one thing in common — touch screen displays. This ubiquitous level of adoption comes with challenges, particularly pricing and volume yields to meet mass market needs. The touch-enabled display represents one of the largest cost factors....

Wind farms to blink only when necessary

February 10, 2014 12:47 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Wind power has been booming in Germany since the beginning of the energy transition. However, the voices of critics have been growing along with the increasing number of wind turbines. Citizens' initiatives in Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg for instance have founded a umbrella association meant to provide local groups with a political say.

Flat-pack lens boosts solar power

February 10, 2014 12:22 pm | News | Comments

Micro-machining could be used to create almost flat, Fresnel lenses, that boost the electrical efficiency of solar panels, according to researchers in China. Fresnel lenses were invented by French engineer and scientist Augustin-Jean Fresnel in the early nineteenth century....

What’s a “must-have” for harsh environment equipment protection?

February 6, 2014 3:23 pm | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

There are all sorts of harsh environments where electronic components need to function perfectly regardless of the temperature, dirt, weather, or other challenges. So what's the best way to protect them? Here's a great opportunity to showcase your opinion and knowledge on the topic by answering the question below. Ready to give it a try?    

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Engineering Update #44: Robots learn to taste beer

February 6, 2014 1:23 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this episode of Engineering Update, brought to you by Components Corporation: beer-drinking robots, Dr. Mario, and an automotive vending machine. The world of technology hasn't perfected artificial intelligence — thank god — but when it does, a new discovery will ensure....

Sensor system improves air quality while making building ventilation more energy efficient

February 4, 2014 2:16 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

A research consortium being coordinated at Saarland University is developing a novel sensor system for monitoring airborne contaminants that will provide high-quality indoor air without the energy losses typically associated with ventilation. Energy consumption levels can be halved as a result.

Engineering Update Episode #43: A 3-story, 755 passenger concept plane

January 30, 2014 11:16 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week's episode of the Engineering Update: A 3-story, 755 passenger concept plane: The SkyWhale might not sound like the greatest name in the world for an airplane, but it's a pretty apt description for this flying beast. A minesweeping robot: Unfortunately, the task of clearing the mines is often prohibitively expensive or complicated....

Engineering Update #42: The GoPro-carrying Pocket Drone

January 23, 2014 3:05 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week's edition of Engineering Update: The GoPro-carrying Pocket Drone: The Pocket Drone is a miniature, foldable tricopter designed to carry a GoPro camera. SeeThru smart glasses: The newest in smart glasses is called SeeThru, from French company, Laster Technologies.

Linear sensor helps prevent train derailment

January 22, 2014 1:38 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Alliance Sensors Group’s LV-45 series linear sensors is being used in the Metrom Rail LLC SafeStructure System for road and rail bridge monitoring to help prevent train derailment. Bridge expansion and contraction due to seasonal heating and cooling is a common problem found in civil engineering.

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Top flops from CES 2014

January 22, 2014 10:00 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

What’s the only thing dorkier than a Segway? That’s right — Google Glass. They look like the drunken lovechild of the Borg and Jean Claude Van Damme from Universal Soldier. So naturally, they littered the CES show floor like weeds, belying the user’s fashion sense, professionalism, and any semblance of self-respect.

Embedded Tech Trends update: Five reasons to choose MicroTCA over VPX for mil-aero apps

January 22, 2014 8:59 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

When you think of bus architectures that accommodate switched fabrics for military applications, VPX usually comes to mind. However, VPX isn’t necessarily the only choice for mil-aero. During one of today’s presentations at Embedded Tech Trends, Justin Moll, director of marketing for Las Vegas-based VadaTech which specializes in industrial and rugged computing products...

Which way WiFi?

January 20, 2014 3:52 pm | by Joshua Israelsohn, Technical Contributor | Articles | Comments

WiFi users in densely populated urban locales experience signal interference from nearby unassociated WiFi networks. Additionally, significant growth in the number WiFi-enabled mobile devices has added to user dependency on WiFi channels and to the data traffic those channels carry.

Engineering Update #41: Talking to your appliances

January 16, 2014 2:16 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week’s episode sponsored by Mouser: Communicating with your smart appliances: The LG HomeChat service allows homeowners to more or less talk to any smart appliances in their home from a cell phone. NASA’s newest primate robot...

Top 10 from CES 2014

January 15, 2014 1:13 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

CES 2014 broke records, as CES seems to do every year, and with the massive amount of people and the overflowing number of vendors, it’s easy to miss a lot. That’s why editors Chris Fox and Jason Lomberg traveled to Las Vegas and compiled the Top Ten from CES 2014.

Bluetooth Smart for connected gadgets

January 14, 2014 4:56 pm | by Sid Shaw, worldwide business and marketing manager, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

The introduction of Bluetooth low energy technology as part of the Bluetooth specification v4.0 has tremendously expanded the types of products using Bluetooth connectivity. Designed from the very beginning for ultra-low power, Bluetooth low energy uses short bursts of data transmission instead of a continuous stream....

Hot tech at CES: Sensor hub solutions

January 14, 2014 1:34 pm | by Chad Lucien, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Hillcrest Labs (www.HillcrestLabs.com) | Hillcrest Labs | Articles | Comments

Hillcrest Labs believes sensor hubs will be all the rage in consumer electronics this year and will be seen in mobile, wearable and Internet of things (IoT) devices. Let’s explore why. The latest generation of smartphones uses sensor-based functionality such as motion gestures as key differentiating features.

What is the Smart Home? What is the Really Smart Home?

January 14, 2014 11:01 am | by Cees Links, founder and CEO of GreenPeak | Articles | Comments

We are currently experiencing the first phases of the Smart Home with much more to come as the Really Smart Home finally becomes a reality. The adaption of ZigBee remote controls and ZigBee set top boxes by most of the world’s cable TV and broadband service providers is the launching platform for the rolling out of various Smart Home-Connected Home services....

Will solar energy ever be a viable alternative to traditional power?

January 14, 2014 10:13 am | Apc- Schneider Electric | Articles | Comments

Solar is already a viable alternative to traditional carbon based and nuclear thermal power plants. In 2012, over 31 Gigawatts (GW) of new PV generation went online globally including 3.5GW in the United States alone. In 2013, that number in the United States is expected to grow by 28% to reach 4.9GW.

Engineering Update #40: Augmented reality contact lenses

January 9, 2014 2:09 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week’s headlines: Wearable electronics take the spotlight at CES: Several companies are expected to unveil wearable computing devices at CES that are easier to use, extend battery life, and tap into the power of gestures, social networks, and cloud computing.  An open-source platform for mind-machine melding...

December: Test and Measurement

January 9, 2014 9:55 am | Digital Editions | Comments

The December issue focuses on Test and Measurement and the challenges in the community when it comes to the push in the consumer market for faster, smaller, better electronics. The cover story focuses on predicting end-of-life for future mobile devices and is accompanied by a story exploring the options for reducing the effects when the systems do fail. The issue also featured our first OnDesign column by our newest writer Joshua Israelsohn who focused on Smart Grid technology.

Sensor hub offers low-power, flexible option

January 7, 2014 9:05 am | Microchip Technology Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Microchip Technology Inc. announced the SSC7102—a low-power, flexible and turnkey sensor hub that makes implementing sensor fusion easy and provides an extremely large selection of supported sensors.  In fact, Microchip directly partnered with multiple industry-leading sensor manufacturers and sensor-fusion specialists to create this solution, enabling faster time to market without the need for sensor-fusion expertise.

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