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Reverse Dimple Compensates for Tactile Metal Dome Switch Misalignment

June 1, 2010 4:37 am | by Jon Mullett, New Product R&D, Snaptron (www.snaptron.com) | Articles | Comments

Smaller tactile domes bring with them manufacturing challenges when it comes to aligning them with the keypad overlays.

LIN Driver Configuration Tool for PIC Microcontrollers

May 25, 2010 4:29 am | Videos | Comments

This video provides an enlightening overview of the LIN Driver Configuration Tool for PIC Microcontrollers from Microchip.

Half-Watt LEDs Fill the Gap Between 0.25 W and 1 W LEDs

May 21, 2010 12:32 pm | by Keat-Chuan Ng and Margaret Tan, Avago Technologies | Articles | Comments

Half-Watt (0.5 W) LEDs are gaining more attention from product designers because they fulfill the need for a device that falls between 0.25 W and 1 W LEDs. As more consumer products become smaller and more energy efficient, more designers are selecting 0.5 W LEDs for use in their designs.

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Create Multifunctional, Flexible, Low Cost, Smart-Sensing Designs

May 13, 2010 5:59 am | by Sudhir Bommena, Applications Engineer, Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division, Microchip Technology Inc. | Articles | Comments

Design engineers are looking at new, low-cost, small and innovative sensing designs for their systems. Sensing applications typically require several analog and digital blocks, such as excitation circuits, an analog front end consisting of signal-conditioning and filtering circuitry...

Correct-A-Chip Adapters Broaden Design Possibilities

May 12, 2010 5:49 am | by Frank Folmsbee, Sales Manager, Aries Electronics | Articles | Comments

A lot has changed in the past 25 years. Technological feats thought to be impossible in the 1980s have been overcome, while other problems and challenges arose in their place. Changing design requirements, technology and applications are nothing new in the world of electronic components.

Comparing the Impact of Different Heat Sink Materials on Cooling Performance

April 30, 2010 7:00 am | by Michael Haskell, Thermal Engineer, Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc., www.Qats.com | Articles | Comments

This article addresses the impact of material choice on heat sink performance. First, we evaluate different materials using mechanical samples and a research quality wind tunnel. This testing compares a constant heat sink geometry made from copper, aluminum, and graphite foam.

No More Silos Allowed for Thermal and EMI Engineers as Frequencies Rise

April 29, 2010 12:58 pm | by Jeff McCutcheon, senior technical specialist,3M Electronics Markets Materials Division | Articles | Comments

Are you a “Themimech” engineer? If not now, you might be soon! As the rising frequencies of many applications are now forcing engineers to be aware of and plan for issues related to rising frequencies in electronic devices and systems, they are now required to participate...

Content Adaptive LCD Backlight Control

April 16, 2010 10:11 am | by Ananth Sankar, VP of Technology, Moxair | Articles | Comments

LCD displays are widely used in cell phones, personal media players, internet tablet PCs, laptops, and large-screen TV sets. These displays account for a major part of the power consumed by these devices. For example, a mobile phone screen may consume upwards of 40% of the system power, while in a large-screen TV, the display may consume 70% or more of the system power.

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Analog Front-End Design for ECG Systems using Delta-Sigma ADCs

April 15, 2010 6:45 am | by Karthik Soundarapandian & Mark Berarducci, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Electrocardiogram (ECG) system analog front-end (AFE) devices are typically designed with discrete off-the-shelf components from various semiconductor vendors. The primary components of a traditional discrete ECG AFE include instrumentation amplifiers, operational amplifiers that implement active filters, and analog-to-digital converters (ADCs).

Optocouplers Protect Patients, Operators Using Medical Equipment

April 15, 2010 6:13 am | Product Releases | Comments

Optocouplers are used in many industries to isolate an electrical signal between two elements of a circuit. There are many situations where signals and data need to be transferred from one system to another within a piece of electronic equipment without making a direct electrical connection.

Biocompatible Materials Drive the Success of Implantable Medical Devices

April 15, 2010 5:11 am | by Tom Kannally, Hypertronics Medical Industry Manager | Articles | Comments

The market for implantable medical devices is estimated at over $40 billion. The recent growth is spurred from significant contributions by the semiconductor industry where new chip technologies revolutionize health care treatments.

Power Packages Unlock Discrete Semiconductor Performance

March 31, 2010 4:47 am | Articles | Comments

An Electronic Engineer builds a system out of components; resistors, ICs, MOSFETs and IGBTs. The Power Electronic Engineer has to go beyond the electrical parameters of components and start looking at thermal resistance and capacity, cooling and parasitic inductance.

Building It Up-Breaking It Down with iSuppli

March 25, 2010 5:42 am | Articles | Comments

Building It Up/Breaking It Down with iSuppli provides a quick look inside the latest products, highlighting some of the components used. Today we take a look inside the Apple iMac Desktop Computer.

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Static Power Path Management (SPPM) to Provide an Effective Handheld Battery Charger Solution

March 12, 2010 10:44 am | by Chuck Wong and Haitao Hu, Intersil Corporation | Articles | Comments

Handheld electronic devices -- regardless of what they are used for or who manufactures them -- share one common denominator: a re-chargeable battery and, in most cases, a built-in charger circuit. When an external power source such as an AC adapter or a USB port is attached at the input terminal, the charger circuit will re-charge the battery.

Simplify Power Designs with an Innovative MOSFET Package

March 4, 2010 10:32 am | by Hawk Lee, Jingen Qian & Kim Norton, Vishay | Articles | Comments

A major challenge facing power engineers today is how to overcome a reduction in board space for the power circuitry in commercial electronic products. A quick walk through any electronics retail store will reveal that personal computers have become smaller and even miniaturized which is a trend for many other types of electronic devices.

Discrete Components Optimize Medical Equipment Performance and Reliability

March 4, 2010 10:16 am | by Steve Wade, VP of Sales and Marketing, TT electronics | Articles | Comments

Medical electronics applications require components that are smaller, more robust, and highly versatile, particularly as medical equipment becomes increasingly portable. Because medical systems often use discrete electronic components in their circuit designs, passive components are critical to optimizing performance and reliability.

MOSFETs Provide Efficient Operation for Battery-powered “Green” Products

March 4, 2010 9:33 am | by Kevin Turchin, FAE Manager, ROHM Semiconductor | Articles | Comments

Portable products increasingly rely on a single 3.7V Li-Ion battery for the energy source. For these and other low-voltage applications, lower gate voltage power MOSFETs improve the efficiency for extended battery life and reduce the heat dissipation involved in switching the loads. In addition, they simplify the design of numerous control functions by allowing direct control / drive.

A Simple Solution for Powering LED Streetlights

February 19, 2010 11:04 am | by Brian King, Applications Engineer, Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

As LEDs continue to penetrate the market and replace last generation light sources, new engineering challenges arise. These challenges come in the form of thermal, optical and electrical issues. For the electrical engineer, maximizing efficiency is usually at the top of the list. However, selecting the proper LED driver topology sometimes can be dictated by the application.

Compact Packaging – Squeezing Every Inch Out of Embedded System Platforms

January 15, 2010 6:10 am | by Justin Moll, Manager of Marketing, Elma Americas, Elma Electronic Inc. | Articles | Comments

Design applications are getting increasingly dense for embedded system platforms. You name the application, and in most cases, space it at a premium. Packaging the boards, power supplies, fans, drives and other components into these smaller spaces can be challenging.

How to Survive the Quest for a Useful Multicore Benchmark

December 15, 2009 4:31 am | by Shay Gal-On, Markus Levy, and Steve Leibson | Articles | Comments

Selecting an optimal multicore chip or SoC architecture is considerably more complex than picking a lone processor chip or core. As with processor selection, benchmarks can help. A good multicore benchmark will identify bottlenecks in the multicore system design including memory and I/O bottlenecks, computational bottlenecks, and real-time bottlenecks.

Optimizing Multicore for Networking Applications

December 9, 2009 4:44 am | by Millind Mittal, Sr. Director of Technology, AppliedMicro, www.appliedmicro.com | Articles | Comments

Today’s high-performance processors for networking applications utilize a multi-core approach that benefits from packet and flow level parallelism inherent to network processing. Multicores optimized for networking applications typically augment general-purpose processor cores...

Designing a Buck Converter

December 8, 2009 9:20 am | by Tamara Schmitz | Articles | Comments

Designing a buck converter isn’t easy. Most users want a box that works—taking in one DC voltage and delivering another. This box can take various forms. It can be a step-down to generate a lower voltage or step-up to generate a higher voltage. There are also plenty of special options...

Circuit Protection Considerations for USB 3.0

December 2, 2009 10:44 am | by Kedar Bhatawadekar, Technical Marketing and Product Application Engineer, Tyco Electronics’ Raychem Circuit Protection Products, www.tycoelectronics.com | Articles | Comments

The new USB 3.0 – or “SuperSpeed USB” – protocol was developed to provide higher transfer rates, increased maximum bus power and device current draw, and new power management features, as well as new cables and connectors that are backward-compatible with USB 2.0 devices.

Power Management Design for Portable and Battery Powered Systems

December 2, 2009 9:26 am | by Jacques Lavernhe, System Engineering Manager, ON Semiconductor, www.onsemi.com | Articles | Comments

Integrating the maximum number of functions plus power management into the main chipset for portable, battery powered devices such as mobile phones with capability such as MP3, Mpeg4, and TV, would seem to be critical if an acceptable length of battery life is to be achieved.

Power MOSFET Design Considerations

December 2, 2009 5:50 am | Articles | Comments

The power MOSFET transistor, along with the decades of continuing device design optimization, has enabled new circuit topologies and improvements in power supply efficiency. The conversion from current-driven to voltage-driven power devices resulted in a rapid market adoption of these devices.

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