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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.

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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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What technology changed board-level assembly in 2013?

October 18, 2013 2:54 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Articles | Comments

Here at ECN we're always looking for what's going to change the world of electrical design. This month we're focusing on board-level assembly. From adhesives to thermal gap pad management, we want to know what's happening in your lab and on your benches! We know our readers have varied opinions and valuable experiences...

Engineering Update #29: Brain-reading devices and interactive paper generators

October 17, 2013 11:51 am | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

In this week's headlines: DOD promotes development of brain-reading devices: The US Department of Defense is working to develop a cheap, wearable system that can detect a person's brain waves and display the data on smartphones and tablets.

Q&A with Karim Wassef of GE Energy Management

October 15, 2013 3:11 pm | Articles | Comments

Our increasingly connected world and the oceans of data we generate has put the datacenter under tremendous pressure to accommodate our demands efficiently and reliably. ECN recently interviewed Dr. Karim Wassef, general manager of the Embedded Products business unit for GE’s Critical Power business about the trends and the challenges facing designers of datacenter devices.

RapidFIRE: Top ten 3D printers

October 15, 2013 2:41 pm | Videos | Comments

PD&D recently had the opportunity to review a couple of desktop 3D printers, the LulzBot TAZ and the Afinia H479 from Saelig. The review, while enlightening, only left us thirsting for more. Now that TAZ has shipped out, all that remains is a hole in a cube that begs to be filled.

How test instrument manufacturers can design to meet the expectations of new and experienced engineers

October 14, 2013 2:36 pm | by Jonathan Tucker, Keithley Instruments, Inc. | Articles | Comments

A recent industry study indicates one out of five electrical engineers now in the global workforce has started his or her career within the last 10 years. These newer engineers tend to be more software-oriented than some of their more experienced colleagues due to recent changes in universities’ electrical engineering curricula.

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Reference platform capable of securing any distributed node in the smart grid

October 14, 2013 1:10 pm | Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Designers of smart meters can now reduce time to market, raise the bar for higher accuracy, and secure their designs with Capistrano, a smart grid reference platform from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. Powered by the company’s Zeus metering SoC, Capistrano protects designs with advanced cryptography, physical attack detection, and life-cycle security schemes.

JTAG/Boundary Scan – a method for eliminating access problems in electronic assembly development

October 11, 2013 10:20 am | by Enrico Lusky and Mario Berger, Goepel | Articles | Comments

JTAG/Boundary Scan has become an increasingly valuable application, in particular in the development departments of small and large companies. On the one hand, this is due to the enormous potential the technology provides and, on the other hand to the problems increasingly compact assemblies and components place on test technologies with respect to mechanical access.

Engineering Update #28: The car designed for a zombie apocalypse

October 10, 2013 1:31 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

If you're worried about the impending Zombie apocalypse have we got a car for you. The zombie-pocolypse prototype car was designed by a Walking Dead fan via the Walking Dead Chop Shop app, which allows users to customize three Hyundai models into the perfect anti-zombie car.

NREL releases roadmap to reduce solar PV 'soft costs' by 2020

October 8, 2013 4:49 pm | by EurekAlert! | News | Comments

The Energy Department's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently issued a new report, "Non-Hardware ('Soft') Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential and Small Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, 2013,"PDF funded by DOE's SunShot Initiative and written by NREL and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

Software helps build machine-to-machine applications

October 8, 2013 12:39 pm | Wind River Systems | Product Releases | Comments

Wind River introduced the latest version of Wind River Intelligent Device Platform, a complete software development environment used for building machine-to-machine (M2M) applications and devices that communicate with the cloud. The platform provides ready-to-use components to secure, manage, and connect Internet of Things (IoT) gateways.

Precision signal viewing

October 8, 2013 12:16 pm | by Joel Woodward, Agilent Technologies | Agilent Technologies | Articles | Comments

The need for seeing additional current and voltage detail is increasing.  Many scope users want better ability to see small signal changes on a large signal (high dynamic range measurements). Power rails, biomedical technology developed to interact with human physiology, high-energy physics experiments that produce small pulses....

High-speed data streaming with PXI Express platforms

October 8, 2013 11:08 am | by Louis Hsu, manager of Measurement and I/O Platform Verification and Application, ADLINK | Articles | Comments

Electronic systems, both analog and digital, are processing and managing increasing amounts of information at continually increasing data rates. The information age continues to amplify demands on developers of high accuracy and reliability systems and subsystems.

Top 10 must-see stories for September

October 3, 2013 3:30 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 and follow us on Twitter @ecnonline for our most up-to-date articles.

Engineering Update #27: The world's most powerful electric car

October 3, 2013 12:54 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

This episode of ECN's Engineering Update is brought to you by SanDisk. In this week's headlines: Venturi unveils world's most powerful electric car: Ohio State University and French manufacturer, Venturi Automobiles is out to set a new record with what will be the most powerful electric car ever made.

E-Meters turn to smart relay drivers for remote grid management

September 26, 2013 4:20 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

Smart meters have been touted to consumers as being integral in helping them lower their utility bills. Armed with accurate information – such as consumption pertaining to specific times of day – consumers can then adjust their behaviors to shrink their bills and their carbon emissions and, if regulations allow, even select from different pricing structures....

Episode 26 bloopers: The dreaded Bloomberg report

September 26, 2013 3:24 pm | 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 #26: Apple's latest security failure

September 26, 2013 1:53 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

This episode of ECN's Engineering Update is brought to you by Skyworks Solutions. In this week's headlines: The security concerns about the iPhone 5s fingerprint scanner appear to be legitimate with the first report of hackers beating the system.

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