Advertisement
Features
Subscribe to Features
View Sample

FREE Email Newsletter

Design Talk: Mechatronics

February 19, 2009 8:04 am | Articles | Comments

More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. This growth has sparked renewed interest in developing more sophisticated assistive technologies to enable an oftentimes disabling environment. This growth presents semiconductor suppliers with an opportunity to enable this field

Electric Vehicles on Cell Phone Contracts

February 18, 2009 11:15 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Shai Agassi, CEO of Better Place, wants to make electric cars viable. His solution? Spread battery-swapping stations throughout the world, using a fee structure similar to cell-phone contracts. According to Better Place’s site, “The batteries of a zero-emission vehicle need three things in place for optimum functionality: charging spots, battery switching stations, and software that automates the experience.” Their solution is a network of stations where depleted batteries can be swapped out for fresh ones.

Brainstorm: Environmental Issues

February 17, 2009 6:28 am | Articles | Comments

Which green technology has the most commercial potential?

Advertisement

Clean Coal and Nuclear Funding Cut from Stimulus

February 13, 2009 7:13 am | by Alix Paultre | Blogs | Comments

This "compromise" is an example of the misguided cuts that have been made in the stimulus package in the name of savings. "Clean Coal" and Nuclear power are among the best alternatives to oil we have, and to cut funding for these important technologies is shortsighted. "Clean Coal" and Nuclear power are among the best alternatives to oil we have, and to cut funding for these important technologies is

6LoWPAN Goes Where ZigBee Can't

February 12, 2009 8:25 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Many “standard” and proprietary protocols use the media-access controller (MAC) and the physical circuits (PHY) associated with IEEE 802.15.4 radios. Those protocols use their own arrangements of bits and bytes to transfer information between nodes, but none of them use the Internet Protocol (IP). So they cannot directly communicate with Internet-based devices and Web servers/browsers.

Achieving High Efficiency with Power Switches

February 12, 2009 8:18 am | by Gwan-Bon Koo, Senior Engineer, Fairchild Semiconductor | Articles | Comments

In general, high frequency operation allows the use of small-sized passive components in switch mode power supplies (SMPS), while it causes switching losses to increase in a hard switching mode. To reduce switching losses at high switching frequencies, many soft switching techniques have been developed. Among them, load resonant techniques and zero voltage transition techniques are widely used.

Next Stop, the Twilight Zone

February 7, 2009 9:22 pm | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Obama’s position on tailpipe emissions presents a strange paradox: traditional supporters of states’ rights are clamoring for one national standard, while federalists want the states to decide. It seems that we’ve entered bizarro world. But it goes deeper. Allowing states to set their own emissions standards is a thinly-disguised attempt to impose higher national standards through backdoor means.

Brainstorm: Technology Obsolescence

February 5, 2009 3:28 am | by Edited by Jason Lomberg | Articles | Comments

What technology will become obsolete in the near future?

Advertisement

Interview With CEO of Dialog Semiconductor

February 3, 2009 5:53 am | Articles | Comments

Dialog Semiconductor has had a something of a rollercoaster ride in recent times. Once part of the European semiconductor industry’s first order, it suffered many years of poor management and complacency that left it foundering. With the appointment of Jalal Bagherli, the firm is finally back on its feet. He has put together a ‘redeem team’ of executives to aid him in recapturing the glories of the past. ECN’s Mike Green gets some insight on how he is going about it.

The Dangers of Exporting E-waste

January 30, 2009 11:27 am | by by Ken Manchen, Newark & Premier Farnell | Blogs | Comments

As readers of ECN well know, Americans are purchasing new and improved electronic products faster than ever—and thereby creating a record amount of electronic waste. What you may not know is that 50% of the e-waste generated in the European Union and North America is now exported to developing countries such as India, China and Africa.

State vs. Federal Emissions Standards

January 27, 2009 10:39 am | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

President Obama has ordered the EPA to “review” its denial of California’s request for exemption to federal emissions standards. On Monday, January 26th, Obama gave a press conference relating to, “Jobs, Energy Independence, and Climate Change.” Among other things, he spoke about America’s dependence on foreign oil, the proposed American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, and the aforementioned EPA denial.

Linux Update

January 20, 2009 6:19 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

A view of Linux from several perspectives will help embedded-system designers better understand how they can use this open-source operating system. Experts at Eurotech, Texas Instruments, and Rowebots share their approaches. "Contrary to what some engineers might think, Linux provides a mature operating system," said Arlen Nipper, president and CTO at Eurotech. "You can obtain best-in-class security, TCP/IP stacks, and support for wireless networking, for example. The associated code drops into Linux and works right away."

Semiconductor Highlight: Standards for Embedded Microcontrollers

January 20, 2009 6:00 am | by Reinhard Keil, ARM | Articles | Comments

Typically, industries use standards to improve product quality and enable component sharing across projects. In practice, such standards achieve wide acceptance since the synergistic effects provide significant benefits to the user community. The hardware and software industry is full of such standards, but there is an exception

Advertisement

Industry Focus: Automotive Electronics

January 20, 2009 5:14 am | by Akio Nezu, Fujitsu Microelectronics America | Articles | Comments

Despite recent economic challenges facing the auto industry, many leaders are moving forward with new and innovative systems for in-vehicle entertainment, and sophisticated audio-video capabilities.  Industry analysts such as iSuppli Corporation have cited significant consumer demand for audio-video connectivity and networking in the vehicle, noting that the industry is at a point where A/V connectivity clearly influences sales.

Energizer to Release OEM Version of Zinc/Air Battery

January 14, 2009 10:14 am | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The history of portable electronics is one of decreasing size, both for the devices themselves and the batteries to power them. A while back, I reported on the Quad A battery—specifically, Energizer’s push to make the Quad A more commercially available. The Quad A was commercially available (though not prevalent) since 1989. Similarly, the technology behind Energizer’s latest offering, the Zinc Air Prismatic Battery (or ZAP for short), has been around since 1991.

Mini-E is Highway Legal Pure Electric Vehicle

December 31, 2008 9:23 am | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Hipsters of the world rejoice! Mini has announced the greatest thing since arthouse theater—an electric version of the Mini Cooper. Unveiled at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Mini-E is the first highway legal all-electric vehicle. Amazingly, the Mini-E is heavier than its internal combustion engine (ICE) counterpart (curb weight of 3,230 vs. 2,546 for the ICE). This will satisfy those who feel greater mass equals greater safety. Despite its added bulk, the Mini-E has even greater front/rear weight balance than the ICE.

Sensor Zone: January 2009

December 23, 2008 11:59 am | by Valerie Rothermel-Nelson, Honeywell Sensing & Control | Articles | Comments

When considering a relative humidity sensor for one’s application, the selection process involves a series of choices to meet application requirements and key parameters while, at the same time, insuring that the product selected delivers the lowest total cost solution. Despite the diversity in humidity sensor applications and specifications, the desire

Embedded Systems: Ethernet Modules Act Like SBCs

December 23, 2008 8:45 am | by Jon Titus, Senior Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers offer a variety of small modules that let engineers easily add an Ethernet port to a design. They may need only a UART or I2C port in a main system to communicate with and control one of these modules. But if engineers stop there they will miss many other capabilities offered by these modules--actually single-board computers (SBCs).

Industry Focus: Planning for End-of-Life in Mil-Aero Markets

December 23, 2008 6:06 am | by George Karalias, Rochester Electronics, LLC | Articles | Comments

Although the ramifications of end of life (EOL) announcements have long been an issue for OEMs in the mil/aero marketplace, many still fail to put a workable plan in place to face this reality. As a result of the increase in end-product programs for these industries, long-term support requirements can sometimes extend for decades, leaving customers in a difficult position as they source components for ongoing production, maintenance and repair.

FPGAs Offer More Flexible, Affordable Embedded System Solutions

December 23, 2008 5:51 am | by Stephen Cunha, MEN Micro, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Potential solutions for providing application-specific functionality in embedded systems typically come with trade-offs in terms of cost and time to market. With few projects having the lead-time, budget or high-volume payback potential to tool-up for custom chip or hardware production runs, the best answers often revolve around "modular" solutions.

Semiconductor Highlight: ZigBee Radios and ICs Gain Momentum in Industrial Control Applications

December 23, 2008 4:52 am | by Rich Howell, California Eastern Laboratories | Articles | Comments

Riding an elevator is typically a mundane exercise - you push a button, you wait, you get off at your floor. Few give any thought to the workings outside the metal box you’re riding. But behind the scenes a lot of technical communication takes place between the elevator car, the controller at the top of the elevator shaft, and the call button you’re patiently pushing in the lobby. Today that communication is typically conducted over high-grade RS-485 twisted pair serial cable.

Design Talk: Batteries

December 22, 2008 11:34 am | Articles | Comments

Portable electronics are evolving so quickly that one can barely keep up with the new devices available to end-users. Regardless of the system, consumers expect more functionality in a smaller device that operates for a longer period of time between charges.

Brainstorm: Advanced Technology Vehicles

December 22, 2008 9:08 am | Articles | Comments

How can Advanced Technology Vehicles penetrate the mainstream automotive market?

European Union to Phase Out Incandescent Bulbs by 2012

December 11, 2008 4:42 am | by by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

In a move sure to ignite debate on this side of the Atlantic, the European Union approved the phasing out of incandescent bulbs by 2012. Here in the US, we’re debating which technologies should be allowed to earn a label (Energy Star). Over in Europe, they’ve ended the discussion with multinational governmental action. By following the commission’s proposal, EU citizens will save close to 40 TWh per year, and emissions will go down by 15 million tons of CO2 (according to the European Commission). But there’s a larger issue at hand: should government have such control of industry?

Semiconductor Highlight: Power Management for Low-Power IP Phones and VoIP Devices

December 8, 2008 9:19 am | by Rich Nowakowski and T.Y. Chan, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Now that power via media-dependent interface (MDI) was added to the IEEE 802.3af Standard, data terminal equipment (DTE) can receive power over existing data transmission cables. The IEEE 802.3af Standard defines the requirements associated with providing and receiving power over the existing cabling. The power sourcing equipment (PSE) provides the power on the cable, and the powered device (PD) receives the power.

X
You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
Loading