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Content posted in December 2013
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Probing the PICAXE, Part 4
12/31/2013   8 comments
David Ashton experiments with I2C communications using his PICAXE MCU development system.
3D Non-Volatile Memory at IEDM 2013
12/31/2013   6 comments
Ron Neale reviews the papers on 3D NV memory matrix isolation that were presented at IEDM 2013.
Christmas Roll Call: What Electronic Gifts Did You Receive?
12/30/2013   39 comments
This year, Adam Carlson received a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet with 64 GB of internal storage running Windows 8.1.
Make More, Know Less
12/30/2013   25 comments
Basic math shows that the less you know, the more money you make.
Would You Drive a Stop-Start Vehicle in 2014?
12/30/2013   52 comments
So, what do you know about stop-start technology? Ever driven a stop-start car?
Welcome to the Xmas Return Line
12/30/2013   38 comments
The last two consumer electronics products I bought failed miserably. Is it just my bad luck or has quality gone to hell?
Sales for Engineers
12/27/2013   16 comments
The stereotypical "sales professional" is often seen to be a supreme manipulator with no scruples. You know, kind of a badly dressed, cartoonish fellow, trying to scam you at a used car lot.
Seeing FPGAs Though Nemos's Eyes
12/26/2013   38 comments
Until recently, I had questions like "Why should one consider FPGA technology when we have well-known microcontrollers available to us?"
Will You Take the Password Pill?
12/26/2013   23 comments
The password pill and the display-cover display are two of the stranger extreme features on the way for differentiating mature mobile devices.
Creating an Inamorata Prognostication Engine, Part 1
12/25/2013   45 comments
It is an undeniable fact that man is a simple creature, while women are far more sophisticated and complex.
Power Tip 66: Reduce EMI From an Offline Power Supply Cost-Effectively
12/24/2013   Post a comment
The obvious ways to reduce emissions are to reduce the amplitude of the switching voltage waveform, to divert the current with a shield or capacitor, and/or to add a series impedance. We apply the first two techniques to demonstrate we can build a low-power, AC input adapter to meet EMI emissions without a common-mode inductor.
Doing Math in FPGAs, Part 2 (BCD)
12/24/2013   20 comments
Binary coded decimal is not used as much as it once was, but we can still find it hither and yon -- mostly in applications where the data will be directly driving a display.
Has Signal Integrity Killed the Breakout Box?
12/24/2013   8 comments
The trusty breakout box, once common for RS-232 testing, has fallen victim to the high-speed digital signal.
2.5-D Stacks Pile Up at Event
12/24/2013   6 comments
More than a dozen companies presented results of test chips or support capabilities for 2.5-D and 3-D chip stacks at a recent event.
Semiconductor Ecosystem Tangles Into Sparse Matrix
12/23/2013   6 comments
The semiconductor ecosystem itself is shifting toward an increasingly complex yet transparent Internet. That's making it harder for upstart companies to get into the microprocessor business.
Building a Mind-Boggling Infinity Mirror, Part 2
12/23/2013   7 comments
You can find all sorts of images and descriptions of infinity mirrors on the web, but most of them are rather vague when it comes to nitty-gritty details.
Hiring the Right Team
12/23/2013   5 comments
"Time spent on hiring is time well spent." This familiar marketing slogan is true for all companies and critical in the case of a startup. Who you hire defines your company.
Marketing for Engineers
12/20/2013   21 comments
Many engineers see marketing professionals as people trying to sell snake oil -- replete with overblown promises, misstatements, and outright lies.
Space Flight Revs Up in 2014
12/20/2013   30 comments
Virgin Galatic is gearing up for the first commercial space flight in 2014 with 660 tickets sold at $250,000 each for four minutes in microgravity.
Red Pitaya Becomes a Kickstarter Success Story
12/20/2013   28 comments
How could a humble laboratory instrument be such a draw on Kickstarter to raise over a quarter of a million US dollars with more than 800 backers?
The Self-Driving Car Will Watch Your Every Move
12/20/2013   28 comments
The biggest hurdle for autonomous cars is not whether a car can drive itself from point A to B, but if we can strike a balance in extending human driving abilities into the world of AI.
Probing the PICAXE, Part 3
12/19/2013   3 comments
We learn how to use the PICAXE to control a family of devices that support bidirectional communication with an MCU using a single wire.
The History of Programmable Logic Technology
12/19/2013   23 comments
Ron Wilson, Altera's editor in chief, has written a three-part series on the history of programmable logic technology.
Making a $3 SRF04 Ultrasonic Sensor Act Like a $55 SRF08
12/19/2013   32 comments
This small board, which costs only around $3 fully populated, can be used to make a $3 SRF04 or SRF05 ultrasonic sensor behave just like a $55 SRF08 module.
Mobile Phone Evolution Needs a Zippier Name
12/19/2013   4 comments
How long can the stream of Gs go on whenever a new cellular technology appears?
Introducing CERN's Open Hardware Repository
12/18/2013   14 comments
The Open Hardware Repository has proven the feasibility of its open-and-commercial vision. It now hosts more than 100 projects and is promoted by 11 research institutes and 16 commercial companies.
X || A vs. X & A (Using FPGAs From Multiple Vendors)
12/18/2013   8 comments
Are there realistic reasons to design with FPGAs from multiple manufacturers?
Become a Decoupling Capacitor Network Guru, Part 2
12/17/2013   9 comments
It's common knowledge that decoupling capacitors should be placed as close to the device as possible, but at what point does close enough become too far away?
All About Batteries, Part 2: Specifications & Terminology
12/17/2013   14 comments
We seem to always want a battery that has the biggest "wallop." But at what cost? For what size? And at what weight? Let's start by considering specifications and terminology.
Datacenters Drive Switch, ODM Growth
12/17/2013   1 comment
Big cloud computing datacenters are driving growth in Ethernet switching and white-box servers, according to a quarterly update from Dell'Oro Group.
Resistive Non-Volatile Memory at IEDM 2013
12/17/2013   6 comments
Here’s a review of the recent IEDM 2013 papers on resistive non-volatile memory.
How Do I...?
12/17/2013   16 comments
What happens when design engineers get fed up with the hacked-together code or process they’ve used for the past two projects, and want to find a better way to do it?
Momentum Builds for Monolithic 3D ICs
12/16/2013   1 comment
The door has started to open for alternative technologies that might help to maintain the IC industry's overall momentum, and monolithic 3D ICs seem well positioned to do so.
Using Blender to Achieve the Golden Promise of 3D Printing
12/16/2013   9 comments
The golden promise of 3D printing is not realized when the printer is used only for blindly creating plastic tchotchkes.
‘Electrification Factor’ in Transportation
12/16/2013   24 comments
Electric vehicles currently on the market represent a beneficial new direction in terms of sustainable, low-impact transportation. Yet the EV market today tends to obscure a much bigger picture as we pursue the "electrification of transportation."
Silicon Photonics to Ride Interposers
12/16/2013   12 comments
A rising tide of Internet data is shifting networks toward optical links, driving toward an electro-optical nexus on future 2.5D silicon devices, researchers said.
Memory Companies Seek Approval
12/13/2013   2 comments
This week, one company sought the approval of Wall Street, another passed advanced testing, and a third issued a reminder to use approved parts in Intel motherboards.
Use Your Budget Before Year's End
12/13/2013   7 comments
Engineers often buy parts and equipment at year's end if funds from the year's budget remain.
Mining Litecoins: ZedBoard vs. Raspberry Pi Faceoff
12/13/2013   14 comments
Blogger Adam Taylor investigates how the Zynq-based ZedBoard and the Raspberry Pi perform when mining Litecoins, which are an adaption of Bitcoins.
R U Bold Enough to Join the EE Live! 2014 Precision Walking Squad?
12/11/2013   23 comments
I just saw the most amazing thing. I don’t know how to describe it, but it started me thinking...
Video & Slideshow: Draw Your Calculations
12/11/2013   Post a comment
Using screen images and a video, EE Times demonstrates the MyCalculator iOS app.
The 13-Step EMI Mitigation Program for Switching Power Supplies
12/11/2013   2 comments
Ac/dc supplies and dc/dc converters are among the chief causes of EMI. Here are 13 key steps that can help eliminate this issue from your designs.
Why There's No Need to Fear JESD204B
12/11/2013   4 comments
The JESD204 interface was originally rolled out several years ago, but has undergone revisions that are making it a much more attractive and efficient converter interface.
Mobile Maturity Leads to Extremes
12/11/2013   7 comments
The commoditization of the smartphone is driving innovation to extremes and creating a new class of wearable devices, according to market watcher Bill Boldt.
Become a Decoupling Capacitor Network Guru, Part 1
12/11/2013   17 comments
A decoupling capacitor network serves multiple purposes: minimizing the effects of AC signals and noise and acting as a local energy store close to the device being decoupled.
That A-Ha Moment
12/10/2013   17 comments
Larry Desjardin asks the readers about their moments of sudden insight.
Slideshow: Nissan's BladeGlider EV Aims for Efficiency, Performance
12/10/2013   Post a comment
Nissan Motor Co. is taking the electric vehicle into new territory, rolling out an exotic-looking three-seat concept car that combines sustainability with racecar-like performance.
NXP’s JV Bets on China’s Tenuous EV Market
12/10/2013   3 comments
Given China’s strong government support for new energy technologies, and the fact that China has the biggest, fastest growing automotive market in the world, a plan by the joint venture between NXP and China’s state-owned Datang Telecom Technology Co. to go after automotive is a no-brainer.
Cloud Giants Rain on Washington
12/10/2013   4 comments
When Apple, Google, and Microsoft lecture the government on how to handle personal data, the best comedians listen intently.
Preserving Data Books From Yesteryear
12/9/2013   93 comments
In order to preserve my old data books and application notes, I've now scanned well over 300,000 pages, all of which translates to 107 GB of data.
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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