Op-Ed: Want to save $119 and deprive Earth of 1,405 pounds of CO2? Then all you have to do is activate your computers' power management settings, tech writer Larry Magid notes (but you'll have to register to read this one.) Computers and other common home electronics
Energy News: Yesterday was Independence Day here in the US, which serves as a nice reminder that we're all free to be foolish from time to time. On the energy front, some people do this conspicuously, such as driving large SUVs for no particular reason. Others are more subtle: would you believe that some people still go for perpetual energy?
Energy News: AgriPower Inc. is preparing to commercialize its biomass burners. These aren't quite the Mr. Fusion gadgets commonly found on your time machine, but the idea is similar: rather than paying to haul away your trash, why not
My neighbors, who live almost a hundred yards and up a hill away from me, love their SUV’s, monster trucks and electricity. During the Christmas season, the illumination from their myriad of Christmas lights and blow-up, lighted lawn Santas and Frosties alone allow me to keep my flood lights off for most of December.
If you spend time on the Internet, you may have noticed a subtle but important shift in the way web sites are beginning to interact with visitors. Web sites that feature static content have faded away and are being replaced by interactive web sites that engage the user. This recent shift in content — termed Web 2.0 — reflects the idea that the web is moving into its next generation of interactivity. The electronic component industry is certainly not exempt from this recent web trend. Many distributors have already done a considerable amount to beef up their web sites in response to engineers’ changing preference of obtaining information on the Internet in recent years. As distributors are quickly learning, they must do even more to keep engineers engaged and returning to their web site
Small high voltage loads are found in abundance. Be they actuators, motors, solenoids or transformers, power supply or power conversion circuits, all are subject to the relentless quest for better energy efficiency, improved reliability and reduced cost and footprint. For the power switching element within such loads, these technical demands appear to manifest themselves as simply “increased switched power density!” In practice, how can this be best achieved?
More times than designers might like to admit, they wish for just one more I/O pin on a microcontroller. Three chip-to-chip serial buses can help overcome I/O pin limits. The following information provides a quick overview and points you to sources of more information.
Energy News: Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps is a simple way to save energy, but a new technology using microwave power may soon lead to traditional(-ish) bulbs that last for thousands of hours. According to The Economist, researchers at Ceravision are perfecting a bulb with no filament, and therefore
Productive Product: Solar power worked pretty well for calculators in the 1980s, and now it's available in cell phones from China's Hi-Tech Wealth company. Like any other new technology, this does not come cheap: think about the $500 range and for now it's only available in China. But it's a great way to show off your green-friendliness to friends and colleagues without having to invest in a hybrid car
Productive Product: Google.org is giving up to $11 million for hybrid vehicle research, with the goal of developing plug-in vehicles capable of reaching 70 to 100 miles per gallon. Google also hopes the project, dubbed RechargeIT, will lead to development of
In this Interview Stephen Wong, Regional Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) for the Americas, discusses the state of distribution in Hong Kong and touches on key topics such as the impact of China's membership in the WTO, RoHS and Hong Kong's strategies to strengthen their global position.
Op-Ed: It happened a month ago: two months after founding The Efficiency Zone, someone in readerland finally posted a reply. They said, "You're an idiot. Energy efficient design is not about saving mother earth. It's about delivering a device that lasts on a battery all day such as a cell phone. All the new devices stress low power needs to keep the battery going, not because an extra mWh is gonna lessen the carbon foot print on Motorola."
Productive Product: Try, try again: it might work for solar thermal technology, which unlike traditional solar power can still generator power in the evening. A 64-megawatt plant just opened outside of Las Vegas, but even at that scale it may not be efficient enough to offer mainstream cost savings.
Energy News: Energy efficiency is vital if the world's leading nations want to curb global warming, officials at the Group of Eight summit said last week. The necessary long-term steps are to "promote the appropriate policy approaches and instruments, including inter-alia economic incentives and sound fiscal policies, minimum standards
Productive Product: Texas Instruments announced a line of floating point digital signal controllers. The TMS320F2833x devices provide 300 million FLOPS at 150 MHz at costs typically associated with fixed point processors, which means developers can accomplish more tasks using fewer chips, and thereby consume less energy. Software development is also simplified. Technology from solar power inverters to automotive radar
Productive Product: Efficient power supplies warm our heart. Synergistic Technology Solutions's latest models, in its BlueCube series, are the 3 W LX3i and 5 W LX5i. Neither requires any additional components. They offer input voltage ranges
What does the Society for Information Displays (SID) and Dodger Stadium have in common? A lot of displays and the fact that I was at both venues on the same day last month, giving me a unique opportunity to see the digital signage on the show floor and in action at the ballpark. Having attended hundreds of trade shows and not one single baseball game until that point...
In January 2007, Bluetooth SIG, the member-supported trade organization that defines and enforces Bluetooth wireless technology standards, celebrated a major milestone -- total worldwide shipment of Bluetooth chips surpassed the one-billion-unit mark. Since to make Bluetooth work there must be a Bluetooth protocol stack either embedded on the Bluetooth chip or running on a host processor that communicates with the Bluetooth chip, this milestone also celebrates the shipment of over a billion Bluetooth protocol stacks.
Years ago, designers involved with high-performance computer systems realized the parallel-bus structures found in most computers had run their course. New computer systems, such as those based on VME64x, move data across switched-fabric networks. Unlike a bus that connects all boards to all signals, a switched-fabric network routes communications through switches. Thus communications can take one of several high-speed paths and no longer create a bus bottleneck. In this context, "fabric" implies a point-to-point network that designers can "scale" to accommodate thousands of nodes. But a fabric does not imply the use of a specific hardware or software architecture.
New low power 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers designed for portable and battery powered handheld products include an impressive set of new features, including low power capabilities. To optimize performance and take full advantage of these MCUs, designers must understand the flexible clocking systems, resource event-driven features, and — perhaps most important — the way to transition to and from standby and other low power modes.
Op-Ed: Exxon Mobil Corp. shareholders voted yesterday to keep the world's largest oil company focused on fossil fuels. Some institutional investors and individual stock holders raised strong objections, saying that Exxon's focus on R&D is not enough for a company if its size and scope.
Op-Ed: What is "green fatigue"? It's when ordinary people "just want to go about their lives, avoid cancer and feel like responsible citizens," blogger Hemal Vasavada Gill explains. As for constant media attention to green-ness (are we guilty here at ECN?), it "might make us replace a few light bulbs and recycle more frequently, but it will ultimately leave us overwhelmed
Energy News: Explained at BurningMan.com: "This year our art theme will express the immanence of nature in our lives The Burning Man will stand atop a structure that resembles green mountain peak. Nestled at its base, will be the Green Man Pavilion
Productive Product: Texas Instruments announced a new low-power control chip, the UCC28060, features an interleaved transition-mode power factor correction circuit. The two-phase high-performance controller for 75W to 800W applications
Energy News: New York City will require all new vehicles entering the taxi fleet after October 2008 to get at least 25 miles per gallon; to get 30 miles per gallon and be hybrid by 2009; and all taxis must be hybrids by 2012, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today.