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posted in March 2011
8-bit MCUs provide cost effective, efficient high-brightness LED control
Design How-To  
3/31/2011   6 comments
High-brightness LEDs are rapidly gaining popularity in the automotive, consumer, and industrial markets. But controlling luminosity efficiently and reliably is not an easy task—power stage efficiency, thermal design, and EMC are some of the most critical design challenges.
Modern automotive voice control offers HMI convenience with safety
Design How-To  
3/28/2011   3 comments
When dense and hectic traffic situations do not permit any distraction to drivers, voice control is a useful complement to conventional HMIs. It can even give drivers control of an indispensable device for many—the smart phone—without compromising safety.
The eyes reveal all: ultra-fast logic analyzer tackles DDR, other high-speed, multichannel challenges
Product News  
3/28/2011   Post a comment
Agilent U4154A AXIe-based unit captures 4 Gb/s; 68 channels, sees 100 ps/100mV eyes; adds advanced probe sets
Measurement systems analysis is a key to world class manufacturing
Design How-To  
3/28/2011   Post a comment
Assessing the accuracy, repeatability, and precision of your measurement system is the vital role of MSA
Platform design for testing vibration to electrical power generators
Design How-To  
3/25/2011   4 comments
Recently, the use of sensor networks has expanded into all sorts of applications to collect ambient or industrial data such as temperature, humidity, acceleration, pressure and any other relevant process information. Thanks to a new breed of microcontrollers that rely on partial circuitry activation or watchdogs to achieve power consumptions of only a few microamperes, battery size can be reduced or their operational life can be extended for a given size.
The uncertainty principle
Engineering Pop Culture!  
3/24/2011   25 comments
The more we know, the less we know, and that's a problem for electronics and society
Plan strategies for adopting Model-Based Design for embedded applications: Part 3—Migration plan; requirements and the design phase
Design How-To  
3/24/2011   Post a comment
When transitioning to Model-Based Design for embedded systems development, it is essential to consider an overall plan spanning people, development processes, and tools.
PHEV charging scheme could ease 'hybrid penalty'
Design How-To  
3/22/2011   11 comments
Plug-in users can mitigate grid demand in exchange for payment, which offsets high Li-ion battery cost.
Wireless sensor system for industrial measuring and control
Product News  
3/20/2011   Post a comment
At the centre of the Wireless Sensor System is a simple-to-use Base Station designed to receive data from remote wireless devices.
Capacitive sensing applications widen
Design How-To  
3/18/2011   3 comments
HMI technologies have gone through a paradigm shift. This article highlights the importance of capacitive sensing in HMI evolution as well as applications beyond automotive infotainment systems.
An IP network testing technique aids development of high-bandwidth radio network equipment
Design How-To  
3/16/2011   Post a comment
This article proposes a test set-up – already in use successfully by network engineers developing and using IP/Ethernet equipment – that will detect scheduling errors in fine detail, down to the level of individual Transmission Time Interval.
S-parameter measurements for the masses
Test & Measurement Designline Blogs  
3/15/2011   1 comment
S-parameters were king at this year's DesignCon, dominating many of the talks new products on display.
Vishay PLT series thin film resistors
Product News  
3/14/2011   1 comment
Vishay enhanced its PLT series of precision low-TCR thin film resistors with improved tolerances down to ±0.01 %.
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and measurements - Part 2: NFC RF measurements
Design How-To  
3/14/2011   7 comments
Part 2 of this white paper reviews RF tests on NFC enabled devices and looks at some example setups for tests on NFC phones in polling and listening mode.
Some (components) do like it hot, and that's good for extreme designs
Blog  
3/10/2011   11 comments
If you have to stand the heat, and can't get out of the kitchen, there are some new IC options
Fragmented frame buffer graphics ease cluster display requirements
Design How-To  
3/10/2011   6 comments
A new approach removes the need to store complete frame buffers in RAM, thereby reducing RAM size needed to support large displays. This method also allows images to be stored at an optimum resolution, thus reducing the non-volatile memory requirement as well.
Why you should use LXI instruments in your next T&M system
Test & Measurement Designline Blogs  
3/9/2011   Post a comment
Once, combining separate instruments into an integrated test system meant GPIB interfaces. Today, a world of interface options are available, including Universal Serial Bus (USB) and LAN eXtensions for Instrumentation (LXI). Although there’s definitely a role for USB in T&M system integration, from the perspective of a test system integrator, I think LXI offers an edge.
Test tools to empower engineers for PCIe 3.0 designs
Design How-To  
3/9/2011   3 comments
The introduction of PCI Express 3.0. will mean that new test tools will be needed to ensure the hardware and software are functional and work together and here is a survey of the hardware and software tools for validation, compliance and general testing.
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and measurements - Part 1: Overview
Design How-To  
3/7/2011   8 comments
Part 1 of this white paper gives an overview of NFC uses, NFC technology and signals.
Study highlights model-based benefits, caveats
Design How-To  
3/4/2011   Post a comment
What is the real benefit of this approach? This article provides a detailed discussion of benefits and caveats, based on a recent global study.
Plan strategies for adopting Model-Based Design for embedded applications: Part 2—Strategy for change
Design How-To  
3/3/2011   Post a comment
When transitioning to Model-Based Design for embedded systems development, it is essential to consider an overall plan spanning people, development processes, and tools.
The pain of the blame was mainly on the plane
Engineering Investigations  
3/3/2011   12 comments
Things work out much better when H/W and S/W developers work together in mutual respect as a team.
Arbitrary waveform generator goes precise, fast, and long
Product News  
3/2/2011   Post a comment
Agilent M8190A AWG pushes performance envelope in multiple dimensions
Agilent adds geolocation for RF sensor networks
Product News  
3/1/2011   Post a comment
The new Agilent N6854A-AG1 software estimates position of a non-cooperative intermittent or short-duration RF signal using measurements from the sensor network and calculations using enhanced time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) and received-signal-strength (RSS) techniques


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Max Maxfield

Are Today's Designs Bound by the Constraints of Yesteryear?
Max Maxfield
22 comments
As part of my ongoing Pedagogical and Phantasmagorical Inamorata Prognostication Engine project (try saying that 10 times quickly), I'm working with Jason Dueck from Instrument Meter ...

Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock

Jolt Awards: The Best Books
Jolt Judges and Andrew Binstock
1 Comment
As we do every year, Dr. Dobb's recognizes the best books of the last 12 months via the Jolt Awards -- our cycle of product awards given out every two months in each of six categories. No ...

Engineering Investigations

Air Conditioner Falls From Window, Still Works
Engineering Investigations
2 comments
It's autumn in New England. The leaves are turning to red, orange, and gold, my roses are in their second bloom, and it's time to remove the air conditioner from the window. On September ...

David Blaza

The Other Tesla
David Blaza
5 comments
I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...