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US Department of Energy cracking down on idle adapters

December 13, 2013 4:24 pm | by Michael O’Loughlin, Senior Systems Solutions Engineer, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Portable devices such as cell phones, MP3 players and tablets have become popular over the years. Most people own at least two of these devices. Each device requires a power adapter to charge and provide power for these portable electronics.

Understanding the ambiguity of the peak power rating of TVS devices

December 13, 2013 3:55 pm | by Robert Ashton, Sudhama Shastri, ON Semiconductor | On Semiconductor | Articles | Comments

All electrical systems, including computers, entertainment systems, mobile phones, medical instrumentation and automotive electronics, need to be immune from damage due to electrical transients encountered on a day-to-day basis. Electrical transients can come from many sources.

What changes in board level-assembly made the biggest impact in 2013?

December 13, 2013 1:15 pm | Articles | Comments

Machine assembly technology for all size orders (especially small sizes) and related advances in stencil printing capability significantly impacted board level assembly in 2013. The auto assembly field has benefited tremendously from this progress. A major driver for these auto assembly changes came from advances in board packaging from active components like semiconductors....

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Engineering Update #37: A drone-hacking drone

December 12, 2013 2:00 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

This episode is brought to you by Components Corporation. In this week's Engineering Update: A drone that hijacks other drones, mid-air: The Skyjack seeks out wireless signals of other UAVs and take control of them, even while in flight.

Semiconductor parts: Distinguishing real from fake requires a trained eye

December 5, 2013 1:40 pm | by Steve Martin, EVP of Sales for Components Direct, an Avnet Company | Components Direct | Articles | Comments

Detecting counterfeit electronic components is not easy — if it was, our industry would not be suffering the $160 billion in annual risk identified by IHS Research. The industry is being forced to take action, with recent federal legislation setting an example for the entire supply chain....

Engineering Update #36: Amazon's new drone delivery system

December 5, 2013 10:40 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

If you're already signed up for Amazon prime for its next-day delivery, you might want to get onboard the drone trend since Amazon says that's the next big thing in sales. The drones would be capable of carrying packages and orders under 5 pounds to any site within 10 miles of a fulfillment center.

CPV technology today and tomorrow

November 27, 2013 1:25 pm | by Anco S. Blazev | Articles | Comments

Modern CPV equipment consists of a metal pedestal cemented into the ground onto which a large metal frame is mounted on pivoting supports thus enabling it to move on an x-y axis with the help of a gear-drive assembly. Many CPV modules, mounted on the frame, contain a dozen or more highly efficient multi-junction interconnected CPV cells....

Engineering Update #35: The E-Volocopter and Spark-Renault's Formula E race car

November 27, 2013 11:20 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

This episode is brought to you by SanDisk (http://www.sandisk.com/business). In this week's headlines: Spark-Renault debuts the Formula E car: The all-electric Formula racer by Spark-Renault will soon begin racing in 2014. The 18-rotor electric Volocopter: E-volo's Volocopter resembles a quadcopter with 18-rotors.

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Protecting industrial PCs: Early discovery and containment with CIFS monitoring

November 26, 2013 1:59 pm | by Dan Schaffer, Phoenix Contact | Articles | Comments

A large number of legacy industrial PCs (IPCs) are still deployed in active control and monitoring roles. Most of these IPCs are running older, out-of-support operating systems such as Windows 2000 or XP. Microsoft Windows 2000 support expired July 2010, and Windows XP support ends April 2014.

What’s the best technique for temperature management of sensitive components in extreme environments?

November 22, 2013 4:33 pm | Articles | Comments

When it comes to environmental monitoring, most designers focus on temperature sensing for which there are a multitude of options. Few designers consider the benefits of including relative humidity (RH) sensing in their systems, which can be added to temperature sensing solutions without compromising board space and at very little additional cost.

Episode 34 Bloopers: You're a long sentence!

November 22, 2013 8:38 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | 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 Managing Editor Kasey Panetta for being such a great sport!

Engineering Update #34: The world's fastest jet luge

November 21, 2013 3:46 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Welcome to Engineering Update, brought to you by Mouser Electronics (http://www.mouser.com). I'm Kasey Panetta, managing editor of ECN. In this weeks episode: Daz Fellows has a custom jet luge, which features twin-turbines with a combined output of 537 pounds of thrust and a custom board made from carbon fiber, and next year, he will attempt to reach a speed of 300 mph.

Engineering Update #33: BearTek wireless gloves and Hirobo's unmanned helicopter

November 14, 2013 10:17 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

This episode of ECN's Engineering Update is brought to you by SanDisk (http://www.sandisk.com/business). In this week's headlines: Hirobo's HX-1 unmanned electric helicopter: Japan's HX-1 from Hirobo is a personal manned BIT electric micro helicopter.

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Is solar power a viable energy option?

November 13, 2013 2:33 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

It's about to be a new year at ECN and we're looking forward to the future with a Brainstorm about alternative energy! It's a hot topic in engineering and around the world as researchers, designers, and politicians try to figure out what the energy of the future will be. This month, we're focusing in on SOLAR POWER with a question for our readers

Keep it simple: The role of switch selection in simplifying electronic designs

November 12, 2013 4:42 pm | by Marty Arch, National Sales Manager, NKK Switches | Articles | Comments

Albert Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Whether in architectural design, software coding, engineering discipline or even managing people, simplicity is an overriding goal and success is achieved when a product or process is at its maximum simplicity.

New solar cell is more efficient, less costly

November 12, 2013 3:41 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

American innovators still have some cards to play when it comes to squeezing more efficiency and lower costs out of silicon, the workhorse of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules worldwide. A recent breakthrough — the product of a partnership between manufacturer TetraSun and the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)...

What advances in circuit protection are having the biggest impact on the industry?

November 12, 2013 12:30 pm | Articles | Comments

The advancement of the ultra low resistance Polymer Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) resettable fuse will impact the industry moving forward. Innovations in material science over the last few years have allowed PTC component makers to reduce the resistance of PTC’s....

Plant fuel project moves to second phase under US Energy Department grant

November 12, 2013 9:49 am | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy is making good on the second phase of a plant fuel research project, pumping another $3 million into the study led by Dr. Joshua Yuan, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist. Yuan, who was granted $1.8 million for Phase I by the DOE in 2012, is focusing on tobacco as a potential fuel source.

Engineering Update #32: The world's fastest civilian aircraft

November 7, 2013 11:26 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

The Cessna citation X was recently confirmed by the FAA as the fastest civilian aircraft in the world blowing past the current record holder, the Gulfstream G650 at a speed of mach .935 to the Gulfstreams unimpressive Mach .925. On the other side of the speed scale, the town of Milton-Keynes in England is replacing its public buses with a pod system that will rocket passengers around the city at a whiplash-inducing 12 mph.

MOSFET boasts an Rds(on) of only 19 mΩ in a TO 247 package

November 4, 2013 9:13 am | Mouser Electronics, Infineon | Product Releases | Comments

Mouser Electronics announced the availability of the CoolMOS C7 MOSFET from Infineon Technologies, with 650V Superjunction MOSFET technology and one of the lowest Rds(on) specs in the industry. A MOSFET behaves like a voltage controlled switch or resistor. The lower the on‑state resistance (Rds(on)), the more current flows through the switch and therefore the higher the efficiency of the circuit.

Engineering Update #31: A 5kW handheld laser torch and the Lexus portrait painter

October 31, 2013 1:22 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week's headlines: TWI develops a handheld 5kW laser torch: The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has developed a powerful laser projector that resembles a rifle. Lexus creates a portrait painting system: Lexus has turned the art of automobiles into a reality with the Art is Motion system.

Sensors in energy harvesting

October 28, 2013 11:08 am | by Armin Anders, Vice President Business Development, EnOcean | Articles | Comments

Global challenges in energy generation and consumption motivates governments worldwide to set ambitious goals for increased energy efficiency, which results in a fast growing need for energy efficient buildings. Therefore, innovative, sustainable technologies that can be easily installed, especially in retrofit projects, are a necessity if the governments’ ambitious objectives are to be realized.

Does 3D printing represent a shift in time-to-market strategies?

October 24, 2013 3:04 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

3D printing has been used for years in larger companies, like the one I work for now. It is incorporated into the mechanical design process as part of the overall development and is optionally tailored out if not necessary or particularly useful. When end customers, as well as designers, see a plastic mock-up of the widgit they desire...

Engineering Update #30: The McLaren P1 is the hybrid supercar of the future

October 24, 2013 11:27 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Welcome to Engineering Update. I'm Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor of ECN. In this week's episode: The McLaren p1 is a long-awaited supercar featuring a hybrid engine and, luckily for us, the company has just released the specs for this ridiculous machine.

Photos of the Day: Cleaner and greener cities with integrated transparent solar cells

October 21, 2013 10:37 am | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

Imagine buildings in which the windows allow the sun's light to enter, and at the same time capture the energy from the sun needed to meet all their energy needs. In this seemingly futuristic scenario, the windows become productive solar cells that help us decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and advance towards a greener and cleaner environment.

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