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Are LEDs poised for success?

April 21, 2014 10:59 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Blogs | Comments

We have a VERY exciting Brainstorm about LEDs for our June Issue.  This technology has been a really hot topic over the past few years with arguments about efficiency, price, preference and even environmental factors of utilizing different types of bulbs taking center stage.

Auto elocution: Vehicle-to-vehicle communication mitigates driving hazards

April 18, 2014 11:55 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Articles | Comments

It’s not often that in-vehicle technologies take a sudden step. The automotive industry is, historically, quite conservative. However, in February, the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA) announced its vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication initiative....

AC/DC Hall effect measurement system includes 7-inch magnet

April 18, 2014 10:52 am | Lake Shore Cryotronics | Product Releases | Comments

The new Model 8407 Hall effect measurement system from Lake Shore Cryotronics (Westerville, OH) features a 7-inch magnet for measuring mobilities at the low end of the DC field measurement range, from 1 to 106 cm2/V s. Like Lake Shore’s existing Model 8404 with 4-inch magnet, it can be ordered with AC field measurement capabilities....

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Engineering Update 54: NASA to send flying saucers to Mars

April 17, 2014 10:25 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Future voyages to Mars would need to address the physiological strain on the astronauts, the length of the trip, itself, and ferrying the necessary payload to sustain human life for a protracted mission. The first two problems could be insurmountable, but to deal with the latter, NASA is currently testing its own prototype for a hypersonic flying saucer....

Please retain the packaging for future reference

April 17, 2014 9:14 am | by Marc Harvey, Verotec Inc. | Verotec Electronics Packaging | Articles | Comments

There is an urban myth that the US standard width for railroad track can be traced back to the Roman chariot, where the distance between the ruts was determined by the width of the back-end of two horses. The truth is in fact stranger – the 4 foot 8½ inches that was adopted had previously been used by Stephenson in the UK....

Integrating physical security at the rack level inside the data center

April 17, 2014 9:03 am | by Steve Spatig, General Manager, Electronic Access Solutions | Articles | Comments

As strict enforcement of data protection regulations continues, data centers require an increased level of physical security in order to ensure full compliance and avoid costly penalties. Protecting assets within the data center is a crucial aspect of the overall security system....

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

April 17, 2014 8:27 am | by ECN Staff | Keysight Technologies, Equipto Electronics Corp., Honeywell Sensing And Control, Newark | Articles | Comments

Design engineers must take into account the type of harsh environments to which end-products may be exposed. In several industries, harsh environments are inherent with every-day operation, and not having the proper preventive measures in place could mean thousands of dollars lost in maintenance repair costs....

5 engineers with fatally terrible inventions

April 16, 2014 2:19 pm | by Aubrey Schaefer, Engineer Jobs | Blogs | Comments

If I stopped to count how many engineers have positively affected my life, I would have no time for anything else. Instead, let’s look at those other engineers – the ones with fatally terrible inventions.The staggering talent of thousands of engineers bears fruit with every processor cycle of the slick little laptop I’m typing this on....

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Solar-powered plane can "fly forever"

April 16, 2014 8:25 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Aviation pioneers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg — who previously had circumnavigated the globe in a balloon — plan to make history again with the Solar Impulse 2, which will undertake the first solar-powered flight around the world....

Infographic: The impact of electrical engineering on 21st century innovation

April 11, 2014 2:41 pm | News | Comments

Check out this informative infographic that tracks the impact of electrical engineering on 21st century innovation. Starting back in the 1830s, when a telegraph used electric currents to communicate a message for the first time to iPhones and everything in between, the infographic relays a ton of useful information....

Engineering Update #53 bloopers

April 10, 2014 12:51 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Who says ECN's editors can't have a bit of fun? Enjoy these bumbles, stumbles, and hilarious outtakes from the latest edition of ECN's premier video series, Engineering Update. Thanks to David Mantey, Jason Lomberg, and Kasey Panetta for being such great sports....

Engineering Update #53: A guide to charging your phone in 30 seconds

April 10, 2014 10:38 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

Israeli startup StoreDot is taking the lead on shortening the amount of time it takes to charge your phone from a few hours to about 30 seconds by creating chemically synthesized bioorganic peptide molecules—called nano dots—that—as the name suggests—are really tiny....

Renewable energy market share climbs despite 2013 dip in investments

April 7, 2014 1:39 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Renewable energy's share of world electricity generation continued its steady climb last year despite a 14 per cent drop in investments to US$214.4 billion, according to a new report released today. According to Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014....

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Photos of the Day — BAT: The Buoyant Airborne Turbine

April 4, 2014 2:27 pm | by ECN Staff | News | Comments

The Altaeros Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) integrates a shell, turbine, tethers, and a ground station to combine aerospace and wind turbine technology and solve many of the problems associated with wind energy. Floating at a height of 1,000 feet...

April 2014: Digital ICs

April 4, 2014 12:17 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

In the April issue, ECN is proud to announce the 2014 ECN IMPACT Award Finalists chosen to recognize the top products, tools, and services from 18 categories across the electronics design engineering field. The finalists were picked by our panel of esteemed judges selected for their expertise in one or more product category. We’ll announce the winners on May 6 at the EDS Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials

April 3, 2014 4:06 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

In a recent advance in solar energy, researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible. This breakthrough by chemical engineers at Oregon State University could soon reduce the cost of solar energy....

Engineering Update #52: Secret Pentagon spacecraft stays in orbit for 469 days

April 3, 2014 11:00 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

In December of 2012, the Pentagon launched the X-37B unmanned spacecraft into orbit, where it remained for more than 469 days, breaking its own longevity record. Since the X-37 has always been shrouded in secrecy, savvy observers posited all sorts of potential applications....

DC/DC converter available in ultra-compact SIP-8 package

April 2, 2014 2:06 pm | XP Power | Product Releases | Comments

XP Power (Sunnyvale, CA) today announced the ITX series of 6 Watt DC/DC converters encapsulated in an industry standard SIP 8-pin package measuring just 0.86 x 0.44 x 0.36 inches (21.85 x 11.1 x 9.2 mm). Delivering a power density of up to 46 Watts per cubic inch...

Wind energy: On the grid, off the checkerboard

April 2, 2014 9:46 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

As wind farms grow in importance across the globe as sources of clean, renewable energy, one key consideration in their construction is their physical design -- spacing and orienting individual turbines to maximize their efficiency and minimize any "wake effects"....

Engineering Update Episode 51: Hypersonic weapons needed to defeat advanced anti-aircraft systems

March 27, 2014 12:29 pm | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The Cold War officially ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but old habits die hard, and since the fall of the iron curtain, Russian-American relations have been a tad ... frosty. This led a senior Pentagon staffer called for hypersonic weapons....

Top three reed switch no-no's

March 26, 2014 10:02 am | by Lawrence McClure, HSI Sensing | Blogs | Comments

The reed switch: A simple electro-mechanical device with a contact area and two to three leads that, when the correct magnetic or electrical force is applied, facilitates continuity through the switch. Although simple in nature and application, we engineers sometimes can get a little creative....

Robotic arm probes chemistry of 3-D objects by mass spectrometry

March 26, 2014 9:09 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

When life on Earth first started, simple molecules bonded together into precursors of modern genetic material. One theory is that the catalytic minerals on a meteorite's surface jump-started life's first chemical reactions. But scientists need a way to directly analyze these rough, irregularly shaped surfaces....

Solar…toilet?! Zap waste into fuel

March 26, 2014 8:04 am | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Human excrement is probably one of the most embarrassing and least glamorous topics out there. But the Sol-Char Toilet is starting a conversation that’s hard to miss. That’s right, it’s a solar-powered toilet. This toilet turns poo into power, and the most astounding part is that it’s 100% sanitary.

Engineering Live: The Internet of Things (On Demand)

March 25, 2014 3:03 pm | by ECN Staff | Videos | Comments

Check out the On-Demand version of The Internet of Things Engineering Live. IoT thought leaders from leading organizations, including Libelium, IBM,Texas Instruments, and Sierra Wireless, team up with ECN Editor-in-Chief David Mantey to discuss the present and future....

Parallel programming may not be so daunting

March 24, 2014 4:22 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

'Lock-free' parallel algorithms may match performance of more complex 'wait-free' algorithms: Computer chips have stopped getting faster: The regular performance improvements we've come to expect are now the result of chipmakers' adding more cores or processing units....

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