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posted in April 2011
Multiphase boost converter eases 12V battery 'cranking deep'
Design How-To  
4/29/2011   4 comments
Auto start-stop systems offer improved fuel efficiency and emissions, but vehicle electronics need to be protected from cranking transients. A multiphase boost converter is ideal for this function and can also simplify supplying power audio components in the infotainment system as well as isolating regenerative braking energy storage.
Electric hub motor improves EV range: Part 1—Technology basics
Design How-To  
4/28/2011   18 comments
"Electronic gearbox" control circuitry requires less power, boosting range.
Top 20 MEMS foundries ranked
News & Analysis  
4/27/2011   3 comments
MEMS foundries shared unequally in the MEMS market's 25 percent growth in 2010.
MEMS mics enhance audio in mobile devices
Product News  
4/26/2011   Post a comment
STMicroelectronics has introduced two digital MEMS microphones - one designed for mobile phones and the other for laptops and tablets.
New ST MEMS Microphones enhance audio in mobile phones and portable computers
Product News  
4/26/2011   Post a comment
STMicroelectronics has introduced two new digital MEMS microphones, the MP34DB01 and MP45DT02, claiming superior sound quality, robustness, and reliability at reduced size and cost.
Nanotube-based solar cells harness viruses
News & Analysis  
4/26/2011   5 comments
Living viruses pattern dye-sensitized solar cells by keeping nanotubes conductors in line while secreting a coating of titanium dioxide to make them work.
Developing the world’s first real-time 3D OCT medical imaging system
Design How-To  
4/25/2011   18 comments
Using LabVIEW and NI FlexRIO, a team met the challenge of creating a medical instrument that can detect cancer during medical checkups without requiring the patient to undergo a biopsy
Tools spur ECU CAN/LIN communications
Design How-To  
4/22/2011   Post a comment
With the increasing use of in-vehicle networks, the development of automotive electronic control units must not only consider the software requirement, but also the implementation of the embedded software via a data bus such as CAN or LIN.
Broadcom joins GreenTouch comms consortium
News & Analysis  
4/21/2011   2 comments
Fabless chip company Broadcom Corp. has said it has joined GreenTouch, a global industry consortium formed by Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs that is focused on improving the energy efficiency of IT and communications networks.
ST's new LSM303DLM geo-magnetic module extends battery life, boosts accuracy in mobile compassing apps
Product News  
4/20/2011   1 comment
The LSM303DLM geo-magnetic module from STMicroelectronics is an ultra-low-power device that provides advanced navigation and location-based services in portable consumer applications by integrating high-resolution three-axis sensing of linear and magnetic motion in a 5x5x1 mm package.
China develops phase-change RAM
Research  
4/20/2011   18 comments
The Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences – working with foundry chipmaker SMIC and Microchip Technology – has announced it has developed phase-change random access memory (PCRAM) that is based on Chinese intellectual property, according to a Xinhua report.
Quantum dots enable plasmonic semiconductors
News & Analysis  
4/19/2011   2 comments
Plasmonics merges with quantum dot semiconductors that couple electronics and photonics to speed up electronic interconnects, create a new generation of super-efficient LEDs, supersensitive chemical and biological detectors as well as metamaterials that can bend light around object to create invisibility cloaks.
Researchers unlock spintronics in graphene
Research  
4/18/2011   2 comments
A research team from the University of Manchester has shown that an electric current can magnetize graphene, with potential applications in spintronics.
Magnetic graphene harnesses Kondo effect
News & Analysis  
4/15/2011   7 comments
Defects in the crystalline lattice of pure sheets of carbon—graphene—enable magnetic moments that researchers hope to harness to make sensors and memories.
Cardiac waveform: key to efficient heart rate monitoring
Design How-To  
4/15/2011   8 comments
Understand this critical waveform and the circuitry and software needed to capture and assess it
Inside a CFL bulb – Less power, longer life
Teardown  
4/15/2011   5 comments
A non-dimmable CFL demonstration lamp made by Chinese manufacturer, Baishi, offers insight into a new generation of smart-energy lighting
Power Line Communication integrates electric vehicles with the Smart Grid
Design How-To  
4/15/2011   6 comments
A compatible charging infrastructure and communication between an EV and any potential "charging spot" is required for easy and practical use. The established Power Line Communication (PLC) standard in the Smart Power Grid offers a robust and long term available setup—and the prospect of grid stabilization (charging back to the grid).
ISPD reveals 3-D, maskless-lithography trends
News & Analysis  
4/13/2011   7 comments
Next generation trends in the physical fabrication of semiconductors, including 3-D and maskless lithography, were recently laid out at this year's 20th annual International Symposium on Physical Design in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Cadence IP targets DDR4 in SoCs
Product News  
4/13/2011   Post a comment
Earlier this week, Cadence announced some new intellectual property (IP) that aims to streamline the incorporation of DDR4 memory into system on chip (SoC) designs. I spoke with Neil Hand, group director of marketing for SSD realization group, at length about the announcement.
Growth seen for CPU cores in 'smart' systems
News & Analysis  
4/13/2011   2 comments
A new report by IDC's semiconductor research team predicts that "smart systems"—those with programmable processor cores, high-level operating systems and Internet connectivity—will consume more than 12.5 billion processor cores representing more than $100 billion in revenue by 2015, more than double the number of cores that shipped in 2010.
Biodegradable replacement proposed for indium tin
News & Analysis  
4/12/2011   2 comments
A new mixture of carbon nanotubes and a conductive latex polymer could replace the increasingly short supplies of indium tin oxide.
Sales boom for opto, sensors, discretes says analyst
News & Analysis  
4/12/2011   Post a comment
Record sales will continue for optoelectronics, sensors, actuators and discrete semiconductor devices in 2011, coming off the back of boom in the 2010 recovery year, according to market research firm IC Insights.
Top 50 contract manufacturers ranked
News & Analysis  
4/12/2011   4 comments
Manufacturing Market Insider, a paid-for newsletter focused on contract manufacturing, has ranked the top 50 electronics manufacturing services based on 2010 revenue in its March edition.
Tech Tutorial: Transient voltage suppressors
Design How-To  
4/12/2011   1 comment
A major challenge in automotive design is protecting electronics against damaging surges, voltage transients, ESD, and noise that are present on the power line.
Kyoto Prize laureates predict future
News & Analysis  
4/8/2011   2 comments
Recipients of the prestigious Kyoto Prize described their work for a U.S. audience, plus made predictions about the future.
Kilopass tests antifuse on TSMC's 28-nm CMOS
Research  
4/6/2011   4 comments
Claiming that test chip results have proved the scalability of its two-transistor antifuse memory element, Kilopass Technology Inc. has announced it is working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. on the 28-nm CMOS node.
Culture shock: Driving an electric car
Design How-To  
4/5/2011   69 comments
A few days of driving, and under the hood of, the Nissan Leaf EV shows the energy saving technologies in the car require a new driver mindset.
Fuel-cell-on-a-chip demonstrated
News & Analysis  
4/5/2011   13 comments
Fuel cells on-a-chip could replace small batteries, according to Harvard University researchers who showed a wafer containing 145 solid-oxide fuel cells.
IBM uses chip engineering to beat MRSA
Research  
4/5/2011   1 comment
IBM Corp. and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore have shown that nanometer-scale polymeric chemicals can seek out and destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria and infectious diseases such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
E-field sensing startup raises $4 million
News & Analysis  
4/4/2011   3 comments
Ident Technology AG, a developer of proximity sensing and gesture recognition ICs, has received 2.9 million euro (about $4.1 million) to fund the development of its GestIC three-dimensional (3-D) gesture control chip using a fabless semiconductor business model.
Phase change memory (PCM) progress report, part 2
Design How-To  
4/4/2011   3 comments
In his second PCM Progress Report, we invited Ron Neale to comment on and explore PCM related activities over the first quarter of 2011.
Globalfoundries joins IMEC's CMOS club
News & Analysis  
4/4/2011   1 comment
Abu Dhabi owned foundry chipmaker Globalfoundries Inc. has signed a "strategic, long-term" partnership with European research institute IMEC on sub-22nm CMOS scaling and GaN-on-Si technology.
Atomic superconductor one-ups squid
News & Analysis  
4/1/2011   6 comments
Circulating ultra-cold atoms around a ring exhibits superfluidity—the atomic version of superconductivity—potentially enabling sensors capable of tracking rotational motion in gyroscopes of unparalleled accuracy, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Technology.
Motion sensor makers must move on ‘function delivery’
News & Analysis  
4/1/2011   1 comment
Several levels of competition characterize today's motion sensor market.
EXCLUSIVE! I'm driving a Nissan Leaf EV for a few days
Automotive DesignLine Blog  
4/1/2011   36 comments
If you have any questions about the Nissan Leaf, leave a comment here and I'll try and answer it.


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5 comments
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Vincent Valentine is a man on a mission. He wants to make the first house to ever have a telephone into a telephone museum. Without help, it may not happen.

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Rich Quinnell
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As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

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