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posted in May 2012
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Slideshow: Pinpoint splashdown ends first visit to space station
News & Analysis  
5/31/2012   27 comments
The Dragon cargo ship returned to Earth on May 31 after completing a nearly flawless first mission to the International Space Station. We present a mission summary.
Aurix architecture enhances power train and safety applications
Design How-To  
5/31/2012   1 comment
Infineon recently introduced its 32-bit multicore architecture Aurix. This new high-performance MCU platform meets the requirements for automotive power train and safety applications. The first devices based on three TriCore cores not only excel with outstanding performance data but also with sophisticated test and debug tools.
Back to Basics: Wireless charging
Design How-To  
5/31/2012   6 comments
The concept of wirelessly charging devices has been around for a while, but is now rapidly gaining interest to make it more flexible and useable. But what are the different techniques available, and what are the design challenges an engineer needs to deal with?
Freescale pushes wireless recharge
News & Analysis  
5/31/2012   15 comments
Freescale Semiconductor's reference designs for recharging tablets and smartphones allow automobiles, airports, coffee shops and other public areas to supply almost invisible recharging stations built into tables, kiosks or nearly any horizontal surface.
Invisible bike helmet protects with air-bag shell
News & Analysis  
5/30/2012   31 comments
Motion sensors and microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics enable the operation of the airbag bicycle helmet invented by Hövding, a Swedish design house.
Dresden sets up 5G communications research lab
5/28/2012   1 comment
The Technical University of Dresden in Germany is setting up a laboratory to explore technologies for 5G wireless systems beyond LTE-Advanced.
VTT claims silicon MEMS microphone progress
5/28/2012   5 comments
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, a government funded research agency, is claiming it has developed an improved form of silicon MEMS microphone.
Mentor, ST support French nanoelectronics research
5/28/2012   1 comment
EDA company Mentor Graphics and chip firm STMicroelectronics are joining with French government agencies and a number of companies with operations in the Grenoble region of France to form a nanoelectronics program within the Grenoble Institute of Technological Research.
MEMS wafer maker Okmetic outsources amid SOI push
News & Analysis  
5/28/2012   1 comment
Okmetic Oyj a manufacturer of silicon wafers for sensor, semiconductor and solar applications, has begun outsourcing wafer manufacture even as it is expanding its factory at its Finland headquarters to make more silicon-on-insulator wafers.
Magnetic sensor features discrete protection components integrated into IC package
Product News  
5/25/2012   1 comment
Ruggedized packaging obviates the need for a conventional PCB arrangement.
'Berthing' a commercial space industry
5/25/2012   6 comments
The spectacular success of the first commercial cargo flight to the International Space Station ushers in a new era in spaceflight.
Murata completes takeover of VTI with name change
News & Analysis  
5/25/2012   2 comments
The takeover of MEMS manufacturer VTI Technologies Oy here by Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. was completed with a name change to Murata Electronics Oy.
Update: Dragon docked to space station
News & Analysis  
5/25/2012   30 comments
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station reached out and grabbed a U.S. commercial spacecraft in darkness over Australia on Friday (May 25).
Easing IEC 62304 Certification for Medical Devices—Part 2
Design How-To  
5/24/2012   Post a comment
Integrating requirements traceability with legacy and third-party software is a key to device success
Intel to spend $40 million on international university research
News & Analysis  
5/24/2012   4 comments
Intel CTO Justin Rattner announced that the company plans to plow more than $40 million into a worldwide network of university research centers over the next five years in an international counterpart to the Intel's U.S.-based university research program.
High-G MEMS help detect concussions
News & Analysis  
5/24/2012   8 comments
Analog Devices has crafted a MEMS sensor that is says can help detect concussion symptoms when they happen, giving doctors time to administer preventative therapies.
Dragon cargo ship, space station fly in formation
News & Analysis  
5/24/2012   8 comments
SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship has completed a series of rendezvous maneuvers that have placed it within sight of the International Space Station. An historic docking is planned for Friday (May 25).
SRC clears path to 14-nm with directed self-assembly litho
News & Analysis  
5/24/2012   13 comments
Researchers at Stanford University claim to have perfected a novel self-assembly lithography technique for creating the irregular patterns necessary to build semiconductors with 14-nm linewidths.
Analog Devices ADXL377 analog 3-axis, high-g MEMS accelerometer
Product News  
5/24/2012   Post a comment
ADI's MEMS accelerometer accurately measures concussive forces in contact sports and high impact events in industrial equipment.
Advanced power switches boost micro hybrid emissions gains
Design How-To  
5/24/2012   2 comments
Packaging and circuit integration deliver improved performance for start-stop automotive applications.
Can advanced tools actually slow us down?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
5/23/2012   15 comments
Too much of a good thing can be counterproductive, in life and in engineering
IndyCar safety harnesses MEMS
News & Analysis  
5/23/2012   9 comments
IndyCar designers are improving safety using MEMS sensors fitted in a driver's ear piece to record crash data. The resulting analytics could help reduce injuries like concussions for astronauts as well as race drivers.
IndyCar electronics drive cars to be lighter, faster
Design How-To  
5/23/2012   Post a comment
While having fewer electronic systems than many road cars, IndyCar chassis run with specialized electronics, with features geared for safety, reliability, and data acquisition.
Memristor is 200 years old, say academics
5/23/2012   8 comments
Professor Leon Chua, the originator of the term memristor, has joined forces with Professor Christofer Toumazou and Themistoklis Prodromakis, both of Imperial College London, to demonstrate that such variable resistance behavior has been observed for more than 200 years.
Next stop for SpaceX is space station
News & Analysis  
5/22/2012   25 comments
SpaceX and NASA engineers are preparing a series of navigation checks prior to the first attempt to send a commercial cargo ship to the International Space Station.
ST works with startup on 'permanent' in-ear audio
News & Analysis  
5/22/2012   14 comments
STMicroelectronics has announced that it is working with startup company Soundchip on an in-ear audio accessory that allows the wearer to switch between multiple audio sources – such as music, phone calls and real-world ambient sound or conversation – using voice commands or gesture recognition.
Qualcomm offers $250,000 funding for best startup
News & Analysis  
5/22/2012   3 comments
Qualcomm Ventures has launched its third annual QPrize seed investment competition by opening it up to eight regions.
UK researchers follow silicon-oxide ReRAM route
News & Analysis  
5/22/2012   23 comments
Researchers from University College London have developed a silicon oxide based resistive RAM by following a promising line of research similar to that pursued by teams at Rice University and the University of Pennsylvania.
How's this for adroit engineering?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
5/21/2012   4 comments
Algorithm detects drowsy driving.
Slideshow: Team readies lunar rover for Google space contest
Engineering Pop Culture!  
5/18/2012   8 comments
A German team competing in Google's Lunar X-PRIZE competition plans to land its "Asimov" lunar rover on the surface of the Moon in 2014 in a bid to claim the contest's $20 million grand prize.
Purdue researchers use AZO for optical metamaterials
News & Analysis  
5/18/2012   2 comments
Researchers at Purdue University have shown how to create metamaterials without the traditional silver or gold previously required for creating optical metamaterials.
NASA, SpaceX lower expectations for historic flight to space station
News & Analysis  
5/18/2012   10 comments
SpaceX and NASA managers sought to dampen expectations in advance of the scheduled launch of a commercial spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Easing IEC 62304 certification for medical devices
Design How-To  
5/18/2012   Post a comment
Properly applying the standard to medical development and integrating third-party software will pay dividends down the road.
Living virus generates electricity
News & Analysis  
5/18/2012   6 comments
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have discovered a way to genetically engineer a living virus to be piezoelectric, enabling self-assembling arrays of them to produce enough electricity to power small electronic devices.
Samsung researchers propose graphene barristor device
News & Analysis  
5/18/2012   8 comments
A research team from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (Yongin, Korea) has proposed a novel three-terminal device that could overcome previous problems integrating graphene into circuits. The term barristor comes from running together "variable barrier transistor."
ST sues InvenSense alleging patent infringement
News & Analysis  
5/18/2012   5 comments
STMicrolectronics NV has filed a complaint in the Northern District of California alleging that InvenSense Inc., a supplier of motion tracking components based on MEMS technology, infringes nine ST patents, InvenSense said Thursday (May 17).
NASA, commercial space industy brace for critical test
News & Analysis  
5/18/2012   7 comments
The upcoming launch of a new rocket to the International Space Station will test NASA's strategy of relying on commercial carriers to launch cargo and crews to orbit.
PPS messaging connects HTML5 and hardware
Design How-To  
5/17/2012   Post a comment
HMIs developed with HTML5 reside in a high-level, virtualized environment but still need to access hardware. In mobile devices, for example, they need to retrieve the device orientation and, if there are GPS or accelerometer chips, information these chips provide for applications that use geo-location. In-vehicle systems need to retrieve even more information from low-level components such as the CAN bus, GPIO pins, and I2C and SPI devices. Persistent Publish/Subscribe (PPS) provides a simple, e
Intel's FinFETs are less fin and more triangle
News & Analysis  
5/17/2012   19 comments
Reverse engineering and analysis consultancy Chipworks Inc. has posted cross-sections of parts of the 22-nm Ivy Bridge processor that has revealed that the FinFETs, which Intel calls tri-gate transistors, are in fact trapezoidal, almost triangular, in shape.
The automotive graphical user interface—compromise or opportunity?
Design How-To  
5/17/2012   Post a comment
Traditional automotive switch, button, and analog gauge HMIs are becoming GUIs (graphical user interfaces) offering enormous flexibility. The scope and variety of information that can be displayed are almost limitless and can be changed dynamically while in use.
"Hi, I’m your data; can you hear me now?"
Engineering Pop Culture!  
5/16/2012   13 comments
Extracting insight from mounds of data may benefit from using old techniques
Former Apple, Google, Facebook engineers launch IoT startup
News & Analysis  
5/16/2012   30 comments
One-year old startup Electric Imp has developed a Wi-Fi node in a memory card physical format that it hopes will become a standard way for things to be given an IP address and linked to the Internet to form a Wi-Fi mediated Internet of Things.
NSF's I-Corps targets 'innovation ecosystem'
News & Analysis  
5/15/2012   1 comment
The National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps is designed to create an agile technology ecosystem that can transform basic research into value-added products.
802.11ac Wi-Fi: Benefits of a Revolutionary Technology Leap
5/15/2012   3 comments
With the new 802.11ac standard, we’ll be able to give the smartphones, tablets and notebooks we use everyday more breathing room through Gigabit-capable Wi-Fi networking. Get ready – it’s happening sooner than you think.
IMEC to detail memristor progress at VLSI Symposia
News & Analysis  
5/14/2012   17 comments
The Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) will report next month on progress to make its memristor variation, called resistive-RAMs (RRAM), the dominate memory technology in four papers at the VLSI Symposia in Honolulu.
Autonomous cars: Sooner than we think?
Automotive DesignLine Blog  
5/14/2012   15 comments
In the short term, vehicles will be able to take over many driving functions—but full autonomy may be farther down the road.
Understanding wireless charging configurations
Design How-To  
5/14/2012   Post a comment
What techniques and ways are there to implement wireless charging, which holds great potential (sorry for the pun)?
Choose the right touch technology for your display
Design How-To  
5/11/2012   1 comment
Understand the various touch technologies and consequent tradeoffs when decided pn the "best" choice.
ST shines in MEMS rankings, says IHS
News & Analysis  
5/11/2012   Post a comment
Texas Instruments and Hewlett Packard Co. retained the number 1 and 2 positions in the ranking of MEMS suppliers by sales revenue in 2011, despite each suffering sales slides of 4 percent, according to market research company IHS.
IDT 4M piezoelectric MEMS oscillators
Product News  
5/11/2012   2 comments
Integrated Device Technology has announced what it claims to be the world's first crystal free piezoelectric MEMS LVDS/LVPECL oscillators for high-performance communications, consumer, cloud, and industrial applications.
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