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Researchers demonstrate 'avalanche effect' in solar cells

June 12, 2008 10:55 am | Blogs | Comments

Researchers at TU Delft (Netherlands) and the FOM Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter have found irrefutable proof that the so-called avalanche effect by electrons occurs in specific, very small semiconducting crystals.


May 27, 2008 6:15 am | Articles | Comments

American EE students need exposure to new technologies and design techniques that did not exist 10 to 15 years ago, but are also under fire for not having a solid grasp of basic science and math skills. How do you feel the issue can be addressed to create engineers able to deal with competition and design pressures in the new disruptive engineering environment?

ESC Update(2)

May 19, 2008 1:45 pm | Articles | Comments

“Challenge X” Vehicles Strut Their Stuff In Manhattan

May 19, 2008 6:56 am | by Alix Paultre | Blogs | Comments

It may have been a cold and damp morning in Manhattan, but that didn’t damp the passions of the participants in the Challenge X national collegiate engineering competition. This year’s challenge, sponsored by the US Department of Energy and General Motors, focuses on technology integration and full-vehicle development of advanced alternate-technology drivetrain and subsystems. By participating in the Challenge X program, the students gain real-world engineering skills and hands-on learning to better prepare them for a future career in engineering.

ECN Brainstorm: Near-field Communications

May 16, 2008 8:14 am | Articles | Comments

For line of sight near-field bidirectional wireless communication applications would you rather use IrDA light-based methodologies or RF?

Printed Flexible Solar Cells Provide Embedded Renewable Power

May 12, 2008 6:43 am | Blogs | Comments

With the cost of energy approaching the insane, new and improved methods of creating better and more easily deployable solar power cells are very welcome. This advance in manufacture by Konarka Technologies promises to deliver cheaper power cells in large quantities. I hope they can commercialize the technology to the point we can use solar as a tricke-charge backup in every powered application exposed to the sun.

Thermal Concerns in LED Lighting

April 28, 2008 11:40 am | by Steve Bowling, Microchip Technology Inc. | Articles | Comments

While LEDs offer mainstream lighting applications benefits such as long life, durability and high efficiency, the lifetime of an LED product may be significantly shortened without proper thermal management safeguards in your design.


Kits for Kids 2008

April 28, 2008 10:55 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

With summer vacation on the way, keep kids occupied with engineering-like activities and projects.

Digital Power Management and the PMBus

April 25, 2008 5:50 am | by Torbjorn Holmberg, Ericsson Power Modules | Articles | Comments

As systems that incorporate low-voltage logic become ever more complex, the power supplies necessary to correctly operate multiple-voltage chips such as DSPs and FPGAs similarly increase in complexity. For example, it’s now commonplace for an FPGA’s core to operate at 1.2 – 1.8V, while its I/O banks run from multiple levels to interface with external logic families. Most often, chips that have core power supplies that are independent from I/O and auxiliary levels require careful power sequencing to ensure they start up and operate correctly.

Green is also the Color of Money

April 9, 2008 10:08 am | Blogs | Comments

Improving the environment is always a good idea, but wireless companies are finding ways to go green while bringing more “green” to their bottom lines.

New Record: Wind Powers 40% Of Spain

April 4, 2008 11:50 am | Blogs | Comments

Wind power is breaking new records in Spain, accounting for just over 40 percent of all electricity consumed during a brief period last weekend. As heavy winds lashed Spain on Saturday evening wind parks generated 9,862 megawatts of power which translated to 40.8 percent of total consumption.

Low-loss IGBTs Improve Switching In Sub-2.5 kW Inverter Applications

March 26, 2008 12:51 pm | by Vijay Bolloju, International Rectifier | Articles | Comments

Traditionally, IGBTs have addressed applications requiring high-voltage and -current ratings and relatively slow switching frequencies. When the switching frequency is low, the inherently low conduction losses resulting from the device’s low VCE(on) (collector-to-emitter saturation voltage), which derive from the IGBT’s minority carrier operation, outweigh the


Side Bar: Get a Trusted Security Certificate

March 24, 2008 6:46 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Jon Titus exlains that you can buy digital certificates to identify your products and provide a public/private key for each.

X PRIZE Group Offers $10 Million Challenge to Auto Industry for 100-MPG Car

March 21, 2008 10:54 am | Blogs | Comments

The goal is to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices.

Brainstorm - Communication Buses

March 20, 2008 10:26 am | Articles | Comments

As electronic networks become more data-intensive and intelligent subsystems increase in number and complexity, bandwidth limits, signal interference, and device compatibility issues become important concerns. What are some ways that an electronic circuit designer can address these challenges?

Security Goes Beyond Cryptography

March 20, 2008 9:45 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

“When engineers start to network devices, security becomes a top design requirement,” said Tim Stapko, lead software engineer at Digi International. “But many designers of embedded systems just don’t think about security. When they do, they might consider security as an add-in option or think of security as simply encrypting communications.”

Designing Appliances that Communicate

March 19, 2008 10:03 am | by Bob Gohn, vice president marketing, Ember Corporation | Articles | Comments

The need for our appliances to be networked is rapidly emerging, and fortunately, so are the means with the advent of ZigBee low-cost wireless platforms.

Switch Requirements for Medical Applications

March 14, 2008 10:05 am | by Jerome Smolinski, Senior Product Manager, C&K Components | Articles | Comments

In the area of  medical switch components, current trends continue to call for further miniaturization to meet the needs of space-saving applications like hearing aids.

One Step Closer to Making OLEDs a Viable Option

March 12, 2008 7:46 am | Blogs | Comments

GE Global Research announced the successful demonstration of “roll-to-roll” manufactured OLEDs. The company claims that this process is a key step toward lower costs of the technology.

Books and Boards 2006

March 5, 2008 5:56 am | Articles | Comments

Jon Titus reviews Silicon Labs ToolStick Starter Kit and Robert Oshana's DSP Software Development Techniques for Embedded and Real-Time Systems.

On the Spot: Digital Power Management Drives Energy Efficiency

February 27, 2008 11:27 am | by Jim MacDonald, Zilker Labs, Inc. | Blogs | Comments

Jim MacDonald, Zilker Labs, Inc. comments "The need for higher energy efficiency in embedded systems continues to rise on the priority list of systems developers and end users alike"

Trend Report: Energy Conservation and Sustainable Design

February 27, 2008 11:23 am | by by Jeff Uden, Newark, | Blogs | Comments

The concept of sustainable design started, not as a way of conserving the environment, but to prolong battery life in portable consumer goods such as cell phones, laptops and PDAs.

Battery and IC Products Enable Portable Consumer-Electronic Devices

February 26, 2008 11:21 am | by Kevin Tretter, Senior Product Marketing Engineer, Analog & Interface Products Division, Microchip Technology Inc | Articles | Comments

In the world of portable consumer-electronic devices, manufacturers are faced with a challenging prospect — creating physically smaller devices that have enhanced performance while maintaining or extending operating battery life. These requirements have rippled throughout the entire electronics industry, forcing battery and Integrated Circuit (IC) manufacturers to constantly push the boundaries of technology.

Select the Optimal Power Management IC

February 26, 2008 6:25 am | by Bob Lyle, Intersil Corp. | Articles | Comments

Managing power is a critical requirement for all electronic equipment from notebooks to PDAs to storage peripherals. Power management ICs can optimize power usage to match the constantly changing demands of whatever task the device is carrying out. There are several important criteria to consider when selecting the best IC for an application.

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