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What feature or trend will become hot technology in automotive infotainment the next year? (Part II)

June 13, 2013 3:37 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

What feature or trend will become hot technology in automotive infotainment the next year? Tullio Cettolin: Consumers love the world of apps and instant Internet connectivity, and now they want it in their cars, too. Maybe they want to listen to their favorite Hawaiian music station via Tune-In during their daily commute on the U.S. continent.

What feature or trend will become hot technology in automotive infotainment the next year?

June 13, 2013 3:35 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

What feature or trend will become hot technology in automotive infotainment the next year? The next wave of innovation in automotive infotainment will center around connectivity and personalization. As more cars are enable to connect to cloud based applications via the internet, more features will be added allowing passengers to engage with their social network, update location and access specific content.

What's next for near field communications? Engineers speak out

June 13, 2013 3:23 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for the "next big thing" and this month we're focusing on near-field communications. NFC only seems to be increasing in popularity and usage across the electronics board, but we want to know what's happening in your labs and on your benches.

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Renewable energy: World invests $244 billion in 2012; shift to developing countries underway

June 12, 2013 4:33 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

For only the second time since 2006, global investments in renewable energy in 2012 failed to top the year before, falling 12% mainly due to dramatically lower solar prices and weakened US and EU markets. However, 2012 was the second highest year ever for renewable energy investments, which total $1.3 trillion since 2006.

Smart Grid: The future of energy

June 12, 2013 11:23 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Articles | Comments

The Smart Grid is coming. It is needed in order to raise or lower prices for consumers depending on the time of day. It is needed to control consumer loads to better integrate intermittent alternative energy into the grid (industrial loads are already demand controlled by the grid operator depending on the type of service contract they have).

Energy, cost-efficiency biggest concerns for LEDs, sensors

June 7, 2013 10:53 am | by Editors | Articles | Comments

LEDs are a hot topic in the world of electronic components. Ardent supporters claim LEDs are the future while other designers cite cost and environmental impact as negatives. We turned to our readers for the inside scoop on LEDs and the industry. When asked about the biggest trend impacting specifications for lighting components, readers were torn....

Engineering Update 12: A beer-pouring robot ... finally

June 7, 2013 10:22 am | Videos | Comments

In this week's headlines: Computer scientists at Cornell are in the process of producing a robot with anticipatory cognitive abilities. They've programmed a PR-2 robot to accomplish typical robotic tasks, as well as the ability to pour you a drink ... and anticipate when you want another.

Top 10 must-read posts from May

June 4, 2013 12:04 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Here’s a rundown of the most read, most popular, most awesome articles on the web. Take a look at what you missed the first time around or check up on an old favorite to see the conversation in the comments. Keep checking out the Lead at www.ecnmag.com....

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Smart grid sensor market set to double in size by 2014

May 31, 2013 1:12 pm | News | Comments

The market for smart grid sensors in North America is expected to grow dramatically during the next two years, according to a new study published by IMS Research, now part of IHS. The report, entitled “The North American Market for Smart Grid Sensors – 2013,” shows a major change is occurring in the feeder line sensing market in North America....

Japan set to become world’s largest solar revenue market in 2013

May 30, 2013 3:58 pm | News | Comments

Japan’s solar installations surged by a stunning 270 percent (in gigawatts (GW)) in the first quarter of 2013, positioning the country to surpass Germany to become the world’s largest photovoltaics (PV) market in terms of revenue this year. Although Japan is forecast to install fewer GW than China (which is forecast to be the largest market in GW installation terms) in 2013...

Resolve signal integrity issues in cloud computing platforms

May 29, 2013 4:10 pm | by Bill Weir, Pericom, www.pericom.com | Articles | Comments

While the cloud promises to reduce enterprise network infrastructure and operating costs, the remote execution of applications makes factors such as latency, performance, and reliability critical considerations in the design and deployment of cloud computing platforms. A key factor determining server performance, cloud or not, is maintaining a bit error rate (BER) on the order of 1.E-12 for the overall system.

Engineering Update #11: Navy launches drone from aircraft carrier

May 23, 2013 10:42 am | Videos | Comments

In this week's headlines:  For the first time ever, the Navy has launched a drone the size of a fighter jet from the USS George H.W. Bush warship. Scientists at Germany's Max Planck Institute have created polymer-based flexible circuits, able to withstand high temperatures. These flexible paper circuits are so efficient, low cost, and versatile that they promise to open doors into new possible electronic applications.

What steps are necessary to keep counterfeit components out of the supply chain?

May 21, 2013 3:36 pm | Articles | Comments

What steps are necessary to keep counterfeit components out of the supply chain? Are more industry standards needed? Stop having unrealistic pricing expectations. Understand and qualify quality vendors of all kinds. Allocations and obsolescence are part of our industry....

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Opening the door to smart battery design

May 21, 2013 12:02 pm | by Robert Rozario, Application Engineering Manager, Infineon Technologies | Articles | Comments

The worldwide transition to ever smarter mobile devices, including phones or connected tablets, has obliterated the line that once existed between phones and computing devices. Today’s multitasking devices enable work, finance, entertainment and social interaction on the go like never before.

Evolution of light sensor integration

May 21, 2013 10:59 am | by Darrell Benke, Sr. Marketing Manager, Opto Sensors and Lighting, ams AG | Articles | Comments

Light sensing technology, in the form of photodiodes and phototransistors, was invented around the 1950s. Since the inception of the first optosensors, the devices have gradually found their place in commercial and industrial applications, but their adoption was limited due to the size, cost and overall performance.

What improvements would you like to see from distributors in the next 12 months?

May 16, 2013 2:29 pm | Articles | Comments

We asked our industry experts and ECN readers to weigh in on our  distributors question: What improvements would you like to see from distributors in the next 12 months? Here is what they had to say about the current state of the industry and hot it needs to be improved...

Faster FET testing with SMUs

May 16, 2013 11:12 am | by Mary Anne Tupta, Senior Staff Applications Engineer, Keithley Instruments | Keithley Instruments | Articles | Comments

Field effect transistors (FETs) are important semiconductor devices because they are fundamental components of many devices and electronic instruments. Some of the countless applications for FETs include their use as amplifiers, memory devices, switches, logic devices, and sensors.

Project aims to track big city carbon footprints

May 14, 2013 9:46 am | by ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Every time Los Angeles exhales, odd-looking gadgets anchored in the mountains above the city trace the invisible puffs of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases that waft skyward. Halfway around the globe, similar contraptions atop the Eiffel Tower and elsewhere around Paris keep a pulse on emissions from smokestacks and automobile tailpipes.

Engineering Update #10: Smart home robots & the printable bionic ear

May 9, 2013 11:20 am | Videos | Comments

This episode of Engineering Update from ECN is brought to you by Mouser Electronics. In this week's headlines: Honda has recently announced that it is teaming up with Japan's Sekisui to design model households using smart technologies. So far, the robotics program has created humanoid robots and a personal mobility vehicle.

Implementing remote tamper detection with wireless and capacitive sensing technologies

May 8, 2013 1:51 pm | by Parker Dorris, Senior Applications Engineer, Microcontroller Products, Silicon Labs | Silicon Laboratories Inc. | Articles | Comments

The advent of wireless connectivity in the home automation market has enabled developers to create many innovative products that make end users feel safer and more aware of their personal property. Remote tamper detection is one example of innovation made possible through wireless connectivity.

New technology propels 'old energy' boom

May 6, 2013 10:16 am | by JONATHAN FAHEY, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

Technology created an energy revolution over the past decade - just not the one we expected. By now, cars were supposed to be running on fuel made from plant waste or algae - or powered by hydrogen or cheap batteries that burned nothing at all.

The green death

April 30, 2013 3:45 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Being "green" has gone from a technical effort to economically reduce energy use and avoid waste where such avoidance makes sense to actively reducing our effectiveness to show how committed we are to the Green Religion. And there is so much of this going on. In my opinion we would be much better off worshiping trees. Or cows.

Integrating sensors into mobile devices

April 30, 2013 3:34 pm | by Jim Steele, Ph.D., Vice President of Engineering, Sensor Platforms | Articles | Comments

Sensors have been an important addition to smartphones ever since accelerometers were first used to determine screen orientation. Now a wide variety of sensors, including magnetometers, barometers, and gyroscopes, are found in many other devices, such as watches, glasses, headsets, and shoes.

New construction materials and techniques enable LVDT linear position sensor operation in diverse environments

April 30, 2013 3:04 pm | by Lee Hudson, Applications Engineer, Macro Sensors, www.macrosensors.com | Macro Sensors | Articles | Comments

The LVDT Linear Position Sensor is a robust sensor adaptable to a variety of applications. A very reliable sensing device with no moving parts, LVDTs are often the best linear feedback technology when it comes to reliability and longevity. However, in the past, LVDTs were limited by its own sensitivity to the environment that caused errors in linear feedback.

Pressure sensor construction addresses challenges in wet environments

April 30, 2013 2:09 pm | by Karmjit Sidhu, Vice President Business Development, American Sensor Technologies, www.astsensors.com | Articles | Comments

Accurate measurement of low pressure with respect to atmospheric reference (typically called vented or gauge reference) requires that pressure sensors breathe under dry, humid and wet conditions. In humid and wet environments, challenges are posed on how to operate the pressure sensor without allowing water into the back end of the sensors....

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