'Missing link' memristor created: Rewrite the textbooks?
News & Analysis 4/30/2008 10 comments
HP Labs' Stanley Williams has invented the world's first memristor, the 'missing link' in circuit theory--a fourth passive-device type after resistors, capacitors and inductors--as predicted by University of California at Berkeley professor, Leon Chua.
Researchers claim photovoltaic cell advance
News & Analysis 4/30/2008 Post a comment
Scientists at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel claim they have found a way to construct efficient photovoltaic cells costing at least a hundred times less than conventional silicon based devices, and with similar or better energy conversion efficiency.
Ensuring low power in wireless mesh sensor networks
Design How-To 4/29/2008 Post a comment
Wireless sensor communications and low power go hand in hand. In fact, low power is just as important as the reliability of the communications itself. Before the advent of wireless sensor communications, low power was synonymous with low current consumption.
Teridian launches third generation power meter ICs
Product News 4/29/2008 Post a comment
Teridian Semiconductor has launched its third generation of electricity metering chips that includes residential single phase, commercial and industrial three phase ICs, offering up to 256K bytes of storage with 10 MIPS processing power, advanced power management, LCD contrast adjust, and 0.5 second/day hardware RTC which consumes only 0.5µA.
Power management in mobile devices--A view of energy conservation--Part III
Design How-To 4/25/2008 Post a comment
The gaps grow larger between what mobile devices can do and the amount of energy engineers can deliver. Chapter 2 from Power Management in Mobile Devices: Hierarchical View of Energy Conservation is an in-depth look at the power consumption, energy types, process and transistor technology, and packaging issues inherent in mobile device design. Part III discusses the hierarchy of energy conservation techniques.
Prius technology primer
Design How-To 4/23/2008 2 comments
With record U.S. fuel prices, the automotive electronics technology in Toyota's hybrid Prius is still efficient and even timelier. Here's a rundown, and teardown, of its major systems--as well as a take on the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid.
LED drivers provide 32 dimming levels
Product News 4/22/2008 Post a comment
Catalyst Semiconductor has expanded its line of Quad-Mode fractional charge pump LED drivers with two high-resolution brightness devices that offer 32-dimming levels to provide enhanced LCD backlight control in emerging portable product applications.
Small fuel cells are a long time coming
News & Analysis 4/22/2008 Post a comment
A top issue at the Hannover Industry Fair (HMI) are innovative power sources. Under the umbrella of the Hannover Fair, a special trade show is dedicated to this topic. For the time being however, industrial designs of mobile fuel cells remain a vision for the future.
UPA targets 400Mbps+ powerline technology
News & Analysis 4/21/2008 Post a comment
The Universal Powerline Association is gathering industry consensus round an effort to develop the PowerMAX specification for powerline communications technology that will deliver 400Mbits/ second and beyond.
Solar industry challenges semi equipment manufacturers
Design How-To 4/21/2008 Post a comment
The solar photovoltaic industry might be a seller’s market for equipment manufacturers but representatives of the world’s leading photovoltaic product manufacturers are calling for suppliers to better address their needs. PV industry demands came across loud and clear at conferences running alongside the Photon Technology Show in Munich earlier this month.
Power management in mobile devices--A view of energy conservation--Part II
Design How-To 4/16/2008 Post a comment
The gaps grow larger between what mobile devices can do and the amount of energy engineers can deliver. Chapter 2 from Power Management in Mobile Devices: Hierarchical View of Energy Conservation is an in-depth look at the power consumption, energy types, process and transistor technology, and packaging issues inherent in mobile device design. Part II of this multi-part series looks at power vs. energy types.
Scientists channel lightning with ground-based lasers
News & Analysis 4/15/2008 1 comment
European scientists, working in New Mexico, have triggered lightning strikes with ground-based lasers. The goal is to create miles-long plasma filaments that would extend from clouds to the ground, providing an economical conduit to channel surefire strikes for the purposes of studying lightning's effects on infrastructure.
Designing a stable DC/DC control loop
Design How-To 4/15/2008 6 comments
Designing the compensation network in a DC/DC converter can be a mystery if one does not know where to place the poles and zeros of the error amplifier and how much gain the error amp needs. Here's a systematic approach to getting the job done.
Under the Hood: GPS Special - Garmin nuvi 750 vs. HP iPaq 310
Teardown 4/14/2008 2 comments
TechOnline's Greg Quirk went inside the Garmin nuvi 750 and HP iPaq 310 GPS navigation systems to find that while they did have some crossover in terms of components, such as the use of chips from SiRF and Wolfson, they both came up with their own distinct approach to how a GPS navigation system should be designed.
Trina Solar scraps $1B polysilicon plant
News & Analysis 4/14/2008 Post a comment
China's Trina Solar Ltd., a manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products from the production of ingots, wafers, cells and modules, has discontinued the development of its previously- announced $1 billion polysilicon production facility.