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posted in June 2012
How to select power line polarity protection diodes
Design How-To  
6/30/2012   1 comment
Diode rectifiers are ideal solutions for automotive electronic power line protection and have several important parameters for these applications, including: Forward current, repetitive reverse voltage, forward surge current, and fusing rate.
U.S., European manufacturers join forces to compete with China
News & Analysis  
6/27/2012   56 comments
U.S. and European EMS providers are beginning to join forces as one way to compete with China's electronics manufacturing juggernaut.
PV gross margins fell 75% in Q1
News & Analysis  
6/26/2012   2 comments
Average gross profits of crystalline photovoltaic (PV) industry module manufacturers fell to 9 cents per watt in the first quarter of 2012 and are expected to decline further to 7 cents per watt by the end of 2012, according to IMS Research market report.
Implementing battery charger using Li-ion
Design How-To  
6/26/2012   8 comments
In Part Two of this two-part article, Cypress engineers discuss how to implement a battery charger using Li-Ion technology.
The proving ground for multi-layer insulation materials
Design How-To  
6/25/2012   1 comment
Engineers on a constant quest to reduce the weight of space vehicles will look to next-generation materials, replacing metals with fabrics that provide the same thermal and radiation protection while giving the spacecraft a fighting chance of survival outside the Earth’s atmosphere. This article will address current materials used, as well as a new generation of high-performing materials.
Highly efficient LED drivers provide intelligent lighting solutions
Design How-To  
6/25/2012   1 comment
"Smart home", "smart metering" or "smart grid" are the actual keywords for a new type of intelligent technology. From supply of energy, water and heat to intelligent automation and lighting solutions, an efficient, environmentally friendly but also more comfortable operation can be achieved in many areas with the help of new concepts and advanced components. Especially the lighting sector benefits from these new technologies in several ways.
Software extends hardware-in-the-loop real-time simulation
Design How-To  
6/25/2012   Post a comment
HIL initiative uses the latest generation of symbolic modeling technology to rapidly develop high fidelity, multi-domain models of the planetary rover subsystems.
Switching to smart lighting
News & Analysis  
6/22/2012   9 comments
Lighting is becoming the largest consumer of electricity in buildings, accounting for 25 percent or more of total costs. At the 14th Leti Annual Review, the CEA-Leti research center demonstrated its engagement in research leading to smart lighting systems with adaptive and controllable properties.
Mechatronic approach facilitates automotive electric motor control
Design How-To  
6/22/2012   Post a comment
Mechatronic control architecture simplifies the electrical distribution system, improves quality and reliability, and cuts emissions. Such an integrated and optimized system design includes sensors, actuators, mechanics, electronic components, and all the data processing signals required.
Selecting the right battery
Design How-To  
6/19/2012   21 comments
In Part One of this two-part article, Cypress engineers describe different types of rechargeable batteries, their differences and how to select a battery technology for a specific application.
Optimizing FPGAs for power: A full-frontal attack
Design How-To  
6/18/2012   1 comment
This piece is a hands-on how to optimize FPGA designs for low power operation. This is a universal topic but, of course, it is really important for wireless and mobile military and aerospace applications that run on battery power. Such applications go from planes, to drones to frontline soldier communication equipment.
Emerging battery techs slowly entering mainstream
News & Analysis  
6/18/2012   13 comments
Lithium-ion battery technology was a key focus of an annual energy festival in Wisconsin, but the lack of a equipment infrastructure for applications like electric vehicles is delaying commercialization.
Testing hybrid engine technology
Design How-To  
6/18/2012   Post a comment
Essentially a vehicle's powertrain is the system that powers the car - traditionally a combustion engine - and transfers that power to the transmission, drive shaft and finally to the wheels of the car.
Research project to avoid rare-earth metals for electric motors
News & Analysis  
6/15/2012   12 comments
A three-year research project aims to work on the design of next generation electric vehicle motors that eliminate the use of expensive magnetic materials.
Slideshow: VPT’s point-of-load DC-DC converter for space apps
Product How-To  
6/15/2012   2 comments
VPT Inc. has produced a slideshow that clearly and simply presents the SVGA0515 Series of high reliability radiation-hardened hybrid DC-DC converters for the harsh radiation environment of space applications.
Automotive power MOSFETs come in TO-220 fullpak package
Product News  
6/15/2012   2 comments
Applications include BLDC motors, pumps, and cooling systems.
Imec, Panasonic R&D collaboration to include flexible electronics
News & Analysis  
6/14/2012   1 comment
Nanoelectronics research center Imec (Leuven, Belgium) and Panasonic Corp. announced they have extended a R&D collaboration agreement for a period of three years to include research in healthcare, wireless communication, advanced CMOS process and flexible electronics.
Soitec completes CPV solar plant in Italy
News & Analysis  
6/14/2012   3 comments
Wafer maker Soitec SA announced it has completed construction and grid connection of its 1.17-megawatt-peak concentrator photovoltaic solar power plant in the Belpasso municipality, in Sicily.
Chevy boosts 2013 Volt electric range more than 8%
Blog  
6/12/2012   12 comments
Battery capacity and chemistry changed.
Smart street lighting
Design How-To  
6/12/2012   10 comments
A smart street lighting system allows to remotely control street lights while keeping track of electrical power consumption in the lamps and in the driving circuits
Imec, Kaneka claim 22.68% heterojunction solar cell efficiency
News & Analysis  
6/12/2012   1 comment
Research consortium Imec (Leuven, Belgium) and Kaneka (Osaka, Japan) claimed they have demonstrated a 6-inch semi-square heterojunction silicon solar cell with a certified power conversion efficiency of 22.68 percent with an electroplated copper contact grid on top of the transparent conductive oxide layer.
A123's new battery tech goes to extremes
News & Analysis  
6/12/2012   5 comments
Lithium ion battery developer A123 Systems is targeting the hybrid market with new battery technology that allows improved performance at temperature extremes.
Driving high-power LEDs and charging batteries with 98,5% efficiency
Design How-To  
6/11/2012   1 comment
Airplanes and big trucks with 24V batteries need powerful, efficient and robust headlights and spotlights.
NXP offers driver ICs for non-dimmable LED lamps
Product News  
6/8/2012   1 comment
NXP has announced the launch of two driver ICs in its GreenChip family for retrofit LED lamps.
Ericsson BMR456 3E Advanced Bus Converter
Product News  
6/7/2012   Post a comment
Ericsson's latest fully regulated digital DC/DC converters are based on a 32-bit ARM microcontroller that embeds its most advanced firmware to date.
A design to generate UAV electrical power in flight
Design How-To  
6/6/2012   14 comments
A team of engineers at Electronic Cooling Solutions worked with John Langley and engineers at Ambient Micro to build an exhaust-heat thermoelectric generator that can be incorporated into a UAV design to harvest and convert this waste energy into electrical power in flight.
Supercaps can be a good choice over batteries for backup applications
Product How-To  
6/5/2012   7 comments
The niche that supercapacitors (also known as ultra-capacitors or supercaps) have served in the market space between conventional capacitors and batteries continues to grow as more new applications are found.
Successfully implement remote sensing for power supplies
Design How-To  
6/4/2012   Post a comment
Understand how this technique can solve problems at the load, and how to ensure it works properly.
U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could slow industry
News & Analysis  
6/4/2012   7 comments
U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels could end up harming the entire solar market.
Science behind color mixing
Design How-To  
6/1/2012   2 comments
High Brightness (HB) LEDs continue to increase in popularity due to the numerous advantages they offer when compared to the conventional lighting solutions. This article will explain the science behind color mixing, including the mathematical equations involved and how to implement them efficiently.


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Max Maxfield

The Best of the Best Videos on YouTube
Max Maxfield
4 comments
A couple of days ago, my chum Paul was visiting me in my office. He'd wandered over from his cubicle in the next bay to take a brief coffee break. This week, Paul had been admiring the ...

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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
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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 ...