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An uncertain future for lighting

October 22, 2013 1:14 pm | by Clifton Lemon, Marketing Communications Manager, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

All of us in the lighting industry today face daily decisions—allocating resources, making specifications, calculating ROI, planning product roadmaps, and a host of other things—that rely on our best judgment about an increasingly uncertain future. “Uncertain” means in ways both bad and good, for we all know some kind of shakeout is pending....

How will ZigBee open up the Sentroller markets for Smart Home device developers?

October 11, 2013 12:53 pm | by Elly Schietse, General Manager GreenPeak Belgium | Blogs | Comments

The smart home device is about to explode. According to a recent report from Nextmarket Insights, the current home automation systems and services market is about 3.6 billion and is forecast to grow to around 15 billion by 2017. This market growth will be driven by a newly emerging homes service market....

NSA just needs a better name, new service offerings

September 9, 2013 9:50 am | by Andy Marken, President, Marken Communications | Blogs | Comments

The National Security Agency (NSA) isn’t doing much more than any red-blooded, we’re-in-this for-the-money cloud service or social media organization is doing. They’re scrounging through all the information that just happens to pass their way to find something of interest, something useful.

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Engineering American energy independence

August 20, 2013 9:37 am | by Bill Kerney, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Fracking is dramatically increasing the recoverable reserves of America carbon-based energy supplies. but yesterday I just paid $4.15 to fill up my car at the USA gas station in Cardiff, Calif. There is a huge disconnect between supply and the price at the pump. Bottom-up solutions need to scale to make an impact.

Beach-goers: You're standing in a key ingredient for semiconductors

July 26, 2013 12:37 pm | by George Karalias, Rochester Electronics | Blogs | Comments

As temperatures in Newburyport, Mass., skyrocket to triple digits and the humidity has us gasping for air; it is hard not to find yourself adhering to the beach-seeker mentality. As members of the semiconductor industry, we look at the beach a little differently than most.

Has solar power reached cost parity with other sources of electrical energy?

July 16, 2013 12:35 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Blogs | Comments

The solar-cell pushers have been touting for quite some time the fact that the costs of solar cells have now nearly reached capital-cost parity with other sources of electrical energy. Parity is assumed to be a dollar a peak watt of capacity or thereabouts. But is that really true?

Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #5 – “LEDs color-shift with time”

July 2, 2013 8:31 am | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

In the early days of white-emitting LEDs, the available chip packaging materials were ones developed decades earlier for use with red- and green-emitting devices. Unfortunately, when using those materials for blue-based white LEDs (blue LED + phosphors), unexpected problems arose.

Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #6 – “LEDs can't run hot”

July 1, 2013 12:03 pm | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

Standard incandescent lamps convert almost all the power they consume into radiation (basically, heat). Unfortunately, only about 5% of this emission is in the visible spectrum, making them very inefficient light sources. On the other hand, since almost all the power is radiated away, there is little need for thermal management.

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Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #7 – “LEDs have high glare”

June 28, 2013 9:04 am | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

I’m standing in the taxi queue at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, having to squint ahead to gauge my wait. The cause of my discomfort: a horrible, blue-LED array-based outdoor luminaire ahead of me and above, spilling light in all directions and casting a putrid smear of yellow-green color against a nearby wall of the terminal, and directly into my eyes.

The kill decision shouldn't belong to a robot

June 27, 2013 10:25 am | by Daniel Suarez, TED Talk | Videos | Comments

As a novelist, Daniel Suarez spins dystopian tales of the future. But on the TEDGlobal stage, he talks us through a real-life scenario we all need to know more about: the rise of autonomous robotic weapons of war. Advanced drones, automated weapons and AI-powered intelligence-gathering tools, he suggests, could take the decision to make war out of the hands of humans.

The most plausible Hollywood fictional gadgets

June 26, 2013 2:06 pm | by Darren Douglas, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

If we want our opinions to be easily influenced by something, watching movies is the solution. Movies are a form of art that is globally used for entertainment purposes. Science fiction films that exhibit unusual and odd actions and gadgets are the ones doing big businesses on the box office.

Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #8 – “LEDs are best left to China”

June 26, 2013 8:49 am | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

I have been in the LED business for almost twenty years, and each year I hear a comment along the lines of “LEDs are a commodity product”. What’s the definition of a commodity product? It’s one that is very cheap, undifferentiated, anybody can make it, and margins are low.

Tesla & the ethics of publicity

June 24, 2013 12:47 pm | by Karl Stephan, Consulting Engineer, Texas State University, San Marcos | Blogs | Comments

A few weeks ago I mentioned that an eminently qualified historian of technology has written a biography of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the inventor of the eponymous Tesla coil, the induction motor, and numerous other ingenious contraptions. While Tesla has been the subject of numerous popular biographies and even a film or two...

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Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #9 – “LEDs are expensive”

June 24, 2013 9:00 am | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

“Ten bucks for a light bulb?!”, exclaims my daughter in response to my estimate of the ‘tipping point’ price for LED-based lighting products for the residential consumer. She, like many consumers, has yet to internalize that the real cost of ‘inexpensive’ conventional light bulbs is energy consumption, and that LEDs pay back on this aspect right away.

Top Ten Myths of LEDs: #10 – “LEDs are dangerous”

June 21, 2013 2:06 pm | by Mike Krames, CTO, Soraa | Blogs | Comments

Any time a new, disruptive technology enters the public sphere, concern is raised about almost every conceivable aspect. This is especially the case for lighting wherein each and every one of us has a base of experience and, likely, some opinions. While it is certainly prudent to scrutinize any new technology from a health and use perspective...

Google Glass meets “smart” health

June 18, 2013 9:24 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

Google Glass is a huge step forward, but trendy eyewear isn’t everything. Sometimes, you gotta think about health. “Smart” eyewear has just collided with smart vision correction — and no, I’m not talking about the prescription-based versions of Google Glass that are in development.

The everyday usefulness of the problem statement

June 10, 2013 1:32 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Blogs | Comments

Last week, I wrote about how our continuous improvement and process improvement tools and methods can be used any time and discussed the Parameter Diagram or P-diagram as an example. Let’s continue that thread and look at the ubiquitous usefulness of the problem statement.

Yes, manufacturing is back in the U.S.

June 10, 2013 10:56 am | by Harry Moser, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

PD&D Executive Editor David Mantey recently published the article “Is It Possible to Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S.?” The article offers some good insight on the reshoring debate, as well as some common misinterpretation of the subject. Mr. Mantey and his subject Mr. Young acknowledge that reshoring, or not offshoring, has become a viable alternative in the consciousness of the business world.

Capturing lost revenue: 5 steps for semiconductor companies

June 5, 2013 9:17 am | by Greenberg, senior director of business development at Model N Inc. | Blogs | Comments

The global economy is on the upswing in 2013, which means semiconductor companies have a great opportunity to reap the benefits. According to analyst firm IHS, revenue is expected to grow 6.4 percent this year after two straight years of decline.

Lower healthcare costs could mean less human interaction

May 20, 2013 3:23 pm | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

For those who live alone, good medical care is all the more important. The machine-to-machine (M2M) communications business is growing, and the prevalence of wireless connectivity could push down the price of healthcare for the elderly, especially — but at the greater cost of human interaction.

Dealing with counterfeits in the market

May 16, 2013 2:53 pm | by George Karalias, Director of Marketing & Communications, Rochester Electronics | Blogs | Comments

Counterfeiters are adaptable and constantly incorporating solutions that can void the latest countermeasures adopted by the electronics manufacturers and their supply chain. In some cases, the counterfeits are very hard to differentiate from the original component.

Welcoming grandma into our virtual future

May 16, 2013 1:27 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Blogs | Comments

A virtual reality (VR) headset by the name of Oculus Rift made a big splash on Kickstarter, raising a stellar $2.43 million to get development kits into the hands and on the noggins of game developers. And now that the units have started to ship, people in the gaming community are getting treated to video after video of people wearing the goggles and trying to explain just how floored they are....

Much ado about nothing: The impact of the medical device excise tax

May 15, 2013 1:32 pm | by Michael Lewis, Writer, Money Crashers Personal Finance | Blogs | Comments

Students of military strategy learn quickly the advantages of choosing when and where to fight, rather than wasting resources on trivial issues. An impartial observer would wonder about the wisdom of the excessive rhetoric, over-the-top hyperbole, and political posturing surrounding the medical device excess tax.

Open innovation spurs ultimate American success

May 14, 2013 4:35 pm | by Louise Rainone, Vice President of Marketing, PCDworks | Blogs | Comments

Under Armour is always a great example of innovation as a whole. The company began with an idea, a need and pure hunger to be the best, and it has become the ultimate American success story. UA has a candid approach to roundtable conversations. They sit down and talk about a technology’s strengths and weaknesses; ponder the potential length of time-to-market; and have heart-to-heart conversations to explain the contract.

Syria’s Internet silence could happen to us

May 14, 2013 10:08 am | by Stephanie Carmichael, Contributor | Blogs | Comments

On Tuesday, May 7, Syria disappeared from the Internet. It went offline in a targeted act of censorship, yet the blanket of silence fell over the entire country. While severe government crackdowns often happen halfway across the globe, the ripple effect is spreading farther all the time.

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