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Content posted in July 2010
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Do we still have the patience and stamina for deep-space missions?
7/31/2010   15 comments
The challenges of these amazing, incredibly distant missions has obstacles beyond the obvious technical ones
Maiden voyage
The Entrepreneurial Engineer  
7/30/2010   4 comments
Sean Murphy returns to EE Times as a regular blogger after a 16 year absence.
Cut down a tree with a herring?
7/30/2010   4 comments
The Ethernet community needs to expand its perspective and look at other application spaces.
Student Entrepreneur shakes to charge
7/30/2010   9 comments
PhD student Simon Barker is pleased to see his topic of interest, energy harvesting, make it in to mainstream consciousness.
Napoleon's buttons and other tales of materials failures
Engineer’s Bookshelf  
7/30/2010   3 comments
An entertaining look at the unintended consequences of the chemical properties of materials
DSP: Beyond the theory, straight into practice
Engineer’s Bookshelf  
7/30/2010   3 comments
A must-have book for the EE who needs to shake off some of the DSP rust
We're sorry, the host system isn't responding
Engineering Investigations  
7/29/2010   5 comments
An engineer battles network problems while a grumpy new bride is getting impatient
Hot on the trail of an elusive current fluctuation
Test & Measurement Designline Blogs  
7/29/2010   6 comments
An engineer relies on first principles to troubleshoot a solar cell testing system
Disk drives fail in a particularly annoying way
Engineering Investigations  
7/29/2010   3 comments
Body parts prove the inspiration in a case involving a disk drive emulation system
Apple iPhone 4: Can't engineers just say no?
7/29/2010   16 comments
Apple’s recent troubles raise questions about who exactly is empowered to stop-ship when a product doesn’t conform to design requirements
RFID privacy concerns are overblown
7/29/2010   7 comments
Wal-Mart last week kicked its on-again, off-again RFID tagging program into higher gear. We're still standing.
Spoof: Top 10 fears of today’s engineers
7/29/2010   1 comment
It’s that time of the year again when engineers air their most secret fears in the darkest corners of the forest. This time, though, a journalist was lurking in the woods and heard the secret whispers of some engineers, including an unidentified freshly minted engineer and a mid-career engineer at an unknown company.
15 unknowns for electronics companies
7/29/2010   15 comments
Electronics sales are surging, further lifting profit margins and boosting cash piles. Still, unease continues. We identify 15 unanswered questions for vendors.
TSMC forecast indicates chip cycle nearing its peak
7/29/2010   2 comments
TSMC's Q2 financial results show that the wild swings of the last two years are over along with signs that the chip market cycle is nearing its peak.
Welcome to the changing face of digital signal processing
Signal Processing DesignLine Blog  
7/29/2010   3 comments
The world of DSP has undergone a massive shift, from the use of well-defined, math-oriented architectures to a more holistic approach that looks at the problem and selects any combination of available architectures, DSP, RISC or FPGA, to solve it. We've changed our approach too, to help you navigate these new waters more effectively.
The ripple effect
7/29/2010   8 comments
Part of the reason so many semiconductor projects miss schedule is that staffing levels are not aligned with the level of complexity that the design team needs to undertake. This is solvable problem.
Phase-change memory: A rebuttal of Micron’s article
7/28/2010   23 comments
Ron Neale writes about issues of scalability for phase-change memory technology and challenges Micron to provide more details of its progress.
I'm starting to feel sorry for and worry about Apple--not because of their iPhone RF problem
7/28/2010   15 comments
Now that Apple is a wireless connectivity company, they're getting "friends" they don't need
Intel architecture and wire-speed packet processing
7/28/2010   Post a comment
Maury Wright discusses applications for products tied to 3G or 4G wireless networks or even high-speed wired networks.
Shanghai Embedded Systems Design Contest - Part 2
7/28/2010   Post a comment
After a long and arduous process the winners of the Intel Cup Embedded System Design Contest were announced on Saturday afternoon, at Shanghai's Jaio Tong University.
Musings about Tabula and other FPGA startups
7/28/2010   6 comments
It has been a bad few weeks for FPGA startups. Tier Logic and Abound Logic (M2000) closed the doors, both apparently unable to get funding to continue. After some prodding from several high tech journalists, some bloggers, and a slew of calls from investor/wall street types, I started looking into the Tabula FPGA technology.
Space Log: Sally Ride and engineering
7/28/2010   5 comments
Astronaut Sally Ride is working to promote U.S. engineering education. Tech companies should do the same by hiring engineering graduates.
Rambus prevails over Nvidia. So what?
7/27/2010   2 comments
Rambus scored a victory over Nvidia at the International Trade Commission. But what will it mean?
Where's a good calibration lab when you need one?
Test & Measurement Designline Blogs  
7/27/2010   10 comments
An exasperated engineer struggles to troubleshoot a scope with a funky frequency response
“Time out” for a teaching moment on mobile-device antenna issues, especially as wireless moves to 4G smartphones
7/23/2010   1 comment
Let's step back to take a broader view of the iPhone and related situation
Why legislative mandates of engineering goals are a bad--and even dangerous--idea
7/23/2010   27 comments
I am frustrated by these progress-by-fiat actions, and what they imply about engineering effort
Employers getting more picky hiring engineers
Engineering Pop Culture!  
7/23/2010   41 comments
Engineering positions are getting even more specialized, which doesn't bode well for job seekers
Android app book for hardware types
Engineer’s Bookshelf  
7/23/2010   8 comments
No need for prior experience, though a little Java might come in handy
Show notes: Conversation Central with Brian Fuller
7/23/2010   Post a comment
Karen Bartleson and Rick Jamison interview Brian Fuller, the new product strategist for EE Times Group, about social media for engineers.
Do we have to make the reliability versus repair tradeoff?
7/22/2010   9 comments
Today's products are much more complicated and reliable than their predecessors, in many cases, but when it comes to fixing them, well. . . .that's another story
Lead times: Damned if you do, damned if you don't
7/22/2010   8 comments
Some chip makers are pulling in lead times, others are pushing them out. At least one Wall Street analyst sees both as red flags.
Optimizing your system through careful resistor choices
7/22/2010   1 comment
Careful resistor evaluation in light of improving materials science and manufacturing processes can serve to optimize a system design in terms of cost, size and performance.
Consulting engineer sinks teeth into problematic ultrasonic toothbrush
Engineering Investigations  
7/22/2010   7 comments
Technical solutions abound, but the fix must meet cost constraints
SunFab's end bodes ill for future of U.S. energy tech
7/21/2010   7 comments
The exit of an influential technology company like Applied Materials from the thin-film solar market can only be seen as a serious setback for the sustainable energy industry.
Audio cable break-in, analog vs. digital nonsense
Audio DesignLine Blog  
7/21/2010   26 comments
A couple of recent examples of audio silliness show how two groups - audiophiles and popular "audio" columnists - seem to remain immune to any increased technical understanding of audio.
Make a list, check it twice
Engineer’s Bookshelf  
7/21/2010   5 comments
A book about improving medical outcomes has lessons for engineers
Y4G came before Y2K
Engineering Investigations  
7/21/2010   9 comments
Software engineers are perplexed when a wave of customers start reporting server outages
The 3 reasons engineers will (eventually) love Twitter...
7/21/2010   2 comments
Eric Mantion is convinced that Twitter is an "undiscovered gold mine" for engineers and offers 6 simple steps to getting started with Twitter.
Lost in translation: Shanghai Embedded Systems Design Contest - Part 1
7/21/2010   Post a comment
Stewart Christie reviews some highlights - and some lowlights - from his trip to Shanghai Jiao Tong University to be a judge in the 2010 Intel Cup Embedded System Design Contest.
Applemania drives iPad-alikes
7/20/2010   2 comments
Apple's quarterly results announced today included a clarion call to hoards of iPad product imitators in and beyond Taipei.
Deciphering TI’s Q2 results, investor reaction
7/20/2010   7 comments
Texas Instruments is adding capacity to whittle down analog lead times and boost market share. Are investors buying it?
The scope of energy savings in LCD TVs
7/20/2010   3 comments
New trends on LCD backlighting will change the power-consumption tradeoffs
Why nuclear reactors and cold medicine don't mix
7/20/2010   19 comments
A physicist is horrified to discover a reactor running at full power
Protect your goal with post-silicon formal verification
7/20/2010   5 comments
SoC designers are learning the benefits of applying high-capacity formal verification techniques at every stage of the design. Our formal tools are powerful and versatile enough for a wide variety of tasks such as architectural exploration and RTL verification, all the way through post-silicon debug.
Mobile application platforms: A developer's perspective
7/19/2010   7 comments
A technology and product developer examines the challenges of designing mobile applications.
Space Log: U.S. goes big, Japan small on propulsion
7/19/2010   2 comments
The U.S. wants to speed up development of a new, big rocket. Japan is taking a different approach to propulsion: solar power.
China passes U.S. in on both energy fronts: use and renewables
SmartEnergy Designline Blog  
7/19/2010   9 comments
China passed the U.S. in energy used, but what's not noted is that it's also passed the world in net renewable energy generated.
Finding the video signal gremlin
Engineering Investigations  
7/18/2010   2 comments
An engineer battles time zones and a customer who isn't talking to investigate a problem with an application involving a high-speed D/A converter
Emerging trends in embedded systems and applications
7/18/2010   5 comments
The embedded systems industry was born with the invention of microcontrollers and since then it has evolved into various forms, from primarily being designed for machine control applications to various other new verticals with the convergence of communications.
How to get an "A" in music
Engineering Pop Culture!  
7/18/2010   8 comments
An EE undergrad exploits his knowledge of engineering to meet girls, ace a class in analog synthesizers
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Aloha from EEWeb
Max Maxfield
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Just a few minutes ago as I pen these words, I posted this blog about this month's Cartoon Punchline Competition over on