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Forget the "smart home": These homes are micro-sized

February 17, 2014 11:52 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Cubicles have a bad rap: They’re tiny, humiliating work spaces reserved for monkeys who push buttons all day long. I don’t have to sit in one, so maybe I’d speak differently if I were stuck in a bathroom-sized box all day, but I do live in a one-bedroom apartment with my significant other. And if there’s one good thing about having less room to stretch out in, it’s that you’re forced to use it more wisely.

The five best apps to plan your perfect Valentine’s at the last second

February 14, 2014 4:19 pm | by Daniele DeAngelis Walker, Editorial Intern | Blogs | Comments

Waited till the last second to make your Valentine’s Day plans? Forgot about the day of love entirely? Or maybe you’re snowed in and have to rethink your plans? Not to worry — these five apps, free or inexpensive for multiple operating systems, are ready to save the day. No matter what kind of day you want.

Red laser diode delivers 100mW single-transverse-mode optical output

February 14, 2014 12:37 pm | Product Releases | Comments

The Optoelectronics Company has announced the launch of the Oclaro HL63163DG: a tiny red laser diode that delivers 100mW single-transverse-mode optical output power at 633nm in the visible wavelength band. The Oclaro HL63163DG presents system designers with a long-awaited and realistic alternative....

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For DARPA’s next trick: Things that disappear

February 14, 2014 12:16 pm | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Blogs | Comments

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), through its Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR), is working on what it calls “transient” electronics that can disappear when activated remotely. The BBC recently reported that DARPA awarded a $3.5 million contract....

Relay system promises increased flexibility

February 14, 2014 12:14 pm | Phoenix Contact | Product Releases | Comments

Phoenix Contact (Middletown, PA) introduced RIFLINE Complete, a modular ice cube-style relay system with a broad range of accessories. The system is available as either completely assembled modules, which can save assembly time and labor costs, or as individual components, to

4:1 input, 1" x 2", 50-W DC/DC converters target applications requiring very wide inputs

February 14, 2014 11:12 am | MicroPower Direct, LLC | Product Releases | Comments

MicroPower Direct’s (Stoughton, MA) MB5000RU Series delivers 50 W of isolated, tightly regulated output power in a 1 x 2 x 0.4 inch case. The converters are designed for applications requiring very wide inputs, compact size, high

Coax connector targets high frequency applications where spacing is critical

February 14, 2014 10:48 am | Emerson Network Power Connectivity | Product Releases | Comments

Emerson Network Power (Bannockburn, IL) announced an addition to the Johnson line of coax connectors, SMPM for applications such as radar, satellite, high density packaging, and applications requiring higher frequencies up to 65 GHz. These subminiature connectors feature

Thin-film chip resistor laboratory sample kits aid prototyping in automotive applications

February 14, 2014 9:29 am | Vishay Intertechnology | Product Releases | Comments

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. is offering laboratory sample kits of its automotive-grade precision thin film chip resistors. The MCW 0406 AT (LCW AT 96/4) and MCT 0603 AT (LCT AT 96/4) kits aid engineers in prototyping, and speed time to market in a wide range of electronic systems. The two new

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How far should the 1st Amendment protect domestic drones?

February 14, 2014 9:27 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Does the “right to know” trump privacy rights? Should journalists exercise restraint in coverage of sensitive topics? At what point does a slavish devotion to the 1st Amendment absolve the press of any moral responsibility? These are very old questions, but they’ve become particularly relevant in the age of 24/7 citizen journalism....

Engineering Update Episode 45 bloopers

February 13, 2014 2:28 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

Hey, even journalists have a sense of humor! Enjoy these bumbles, stumbles, outtakes, and bloopers from the latest edition of the Engineering Update. Special thanks to Managing Editor Kasey Panetta and Technical Editor Jason Lomberg for being such good sports!

Engineering Update Episode 45: The most advanced British aircraft ever built

February 13, 2014 2:05 pm | by Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development | Videos | Comments

The Taranis, an unmanned combat demonstrator aircraft being billed as the most advanced aircraft ever built by British engineers took it's first 15-minute test flight under the command of test pilot Bob Fraser, a few months ago at a super top secret location.

Development platform for NFC/RFID tags promises to jumpstart IoT designs

February 13, 2014 11:51 am | Stmicroelectronics | Product Releases | Comments

STMicroelectronics (Geneva) announced an easy-access development platform for its M24SR dynamic NFC tags that are now entering volume production in all memory densities and package options. Aiming to accelerating the design of IoT applications, the M24SR Discovery Kit contains

3D-printed drones: The future of warfare?

February 13, 2014 9:46 am | by Allegra Sparta, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

It’s like learning about the newest celebrity couple. The only difference is that you won’t read about this development in the tabloids. The United States didn’t really need any more incentive to outdo other countries in military technology, but 3D printing is an attractive avenue to further enhance our growing preference for drone warfare.

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The microcontroller as metaobject

February 13, 2014 6:28 am | by Joshua Israelsohn, Director, JAS Technical Media | Articles | Comments

Pretty much everyone in our industry is familiar with the long evolution of microcontrollers. So familiar that it’s easy to miss changes in our industry and society, both positive and negative, that accompanied that evolution just as we tend not to see daily changes in our own aging faces.

2100 watt DC/DC converter offers efficiency up to 97%

February 12, 2014 4:40 pm | Calex Mfg | Product Releases | Comments

Calex Mfg. Co., Inc. (Concord, CA) introduces the MBH Series DC/DC Converters. The MBH offers up to 2100 Watts in a low-profile 9.0" x 6.5" x 1.25"H ruggedized chassis mount package. The module weighs only 3.3 lbs. making the MBH ideal for harsh shock and vibration environments in both COTS military and industrial applications.

Introducing ECN's Editorial Advisory Board

February 12, 2014 3:47 pm | by ECN Staff | Articles | Comments

We’re always looking to expand our expertise and knowledge base here at ECN, and our new board is made up of the industry elite with a broad range of engineering expertise that we’ll be utilizing throughout the year. These industry experts will serve as advisors, writers, industry contacts and a plethora of other roles....

Development tools enable Kinetic Open Storage-based systems

February 12, 2014 3:02 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Seagate Technology plc delivered two new development tools related to its Kinetic Open Storage platform— the Seagate Kinetic Ethernet Drive interface and the Seagate  -Card development adapter. Both tools have been accepted by the Open Compute Foundation....

Plug-and-play position detection prototype kit aims to speed time to market for instrument development

February 12, 2014 2:48 pm | Calsensors | Product Releases | Comments

Cal Sensors (Santa Rosa, CA) launched a new Position Detection Prototype Kit, a plug-and-play tool designed to accelerate prototyping and product development for position or flash detection instruments. Applying PbS and PbSe detector technologies, the kit allows engineers to

Single element, tooth-detecting speed sensor IC

February 12, 2014 12:36 pm | Allegro Microsystems, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Allegro MicroSystems, LLC (Worcester, MA) introduced an addition to its camshaft sensor family of products. As a single element, non-TPOS sensor it provides first falling edge detection, high running-mode edge accuracy, and direction/orientation insensitivity over the full operating range of air

Automatic code review and validation tool presents flexibility and efficiency to Ada software developers

February 12, 2014 12:11 pm | Product Releases | Comments

AdaCore (New York, NY) announced the release of CodePeer 2.3, the latest version of its static analysis tool for the automated review and validation of Ada source code. CodePeer assesses potential bugs before program execution to find errors efficiently and

Interior permanent magnet (IPM) brushless motors cover a wide range of applications

February 12, 2014 11:50 am | Applimotion, Inc. | Product Releases | Comments

Applimotion’s (Loomis, CA) ULT, UTH, UTS, and UTO frameless motor kits cover a wide range of applications in direct drive motion control with their large through-hole surface permanent magnet (SPM) rotor configurations.

GaN-based transistors take to the sky to capture the action

February 12, 2014 11:25 am | by Chris Warner, Executive Editor | Articles | Comments

When Ray Breslin and Emil Rottmayer attempted a highly daring escape from a super-high security prison in this fall’s thriller Escape Plan, audiences got up close to see (spoiler alert!) our two heroes — played by Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, respectively — engage in a gunfight with the prison’s “crew”....

50 Watt Zener diodes provide voltage regulation protection

February 12, 2014 10:53 am | Product Releases | Comments

America Semiconductor (Union, NJ) announces the availability of a full series of power Zener diodes (part numbers: 1N3305 thru 1N3350) packaged in a DO-5 case. The robust 50 Watt devices are engineered to provide voltage regulation protection in a broad array of alternative energy....

Power inductors offer current ratings to 98.8 Amps

February 12, 2014 10:32 am | Coilcraft Critical Products & Services | Product Releases | Comments

Coilcraft (Cary, IL) introduces the XAL1010 Series of high-temperature, shielded power inductors which combines excellent current handling and exceptionally low DC resistance in a rugged, molded package. Features include thirteen inductance values from 0.22 to 15 µH.

All-in-one cellular router starter kit aims to jump-start industrial M2M network designs

February 12, 2014 10:28 am | Product Releases | Comments

B&B Electronics (Ottawa, IL) and RacoWireless announced they offer a Spectre cellular router packaged with a prepaid wireless data plan as a starter kit for customers who are developing industrial M2M monitoring and control applications. Included with B&B Electronics’ rugged Spectre 3G cellular router is a

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