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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.
2011 Rube Goldberg winners announced
Engineering Pop Culture!  
3/28/2011   13 comments
Teams from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and New Auburn (Wisc.) School won the 2011 Rube Goldberg Machine competition
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.
Superconductivity: New phase of matter?
News & Analysis  
3/28/2011   8 comments
A new theory that superconductivity is rooted in an undiscovered phase of matter could be the key to room-temperature superconductors.
Missing sensor hits global automakers, say IHS
News & Analysis  
3/28/2011   17 comments
Japanese and global automotive production is being hit by the lack of an airflow sensor, according market research firm IHS Automotive. Global automobile production is likely to see a further marked drop in vehicle production – beyond that due to missing Japanese production – within a matter of weeks, the analyst said.
Plastic memory hopeful raises $500,000 with PARC
News & Analysis  
3/28/2011   1 comment
Thin Film Electronics ASA, a long-time developer of plastic electronic memory, has raised 2.8 million Norwegian Krone (about $500,000) from Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).
MEMS market to approach five billion shipped in 2016, says ABI Research
3/27/2011   Post a comment
New data from ABI Research indicates that strong growth in the MEMS market over the next five years will result in nearly five billion MEMS being shipped during 2016.
Motion sensing for smart consumer devices
News & Analysis  
3/27/2011   1 comment
STMicroelectronics has released the first details of its iNEMO Engine, which features advanced filtering and predictive software engine to integrate the outputs from a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis magnetometer.
Self-adaptive MEMS vibration energy harvester targets low frequencies
Design How-To  
3/25/2011   6 comments
CEA-Leti researchers are developing an innovative energy-harvesting technology that collects vibrations from the environment and converts them into electricity to power a variety of sensors
Researchers integrate silicon, III-V
News & Analysis  
3/24/2011   3 comments
Toyohashi University of Technology researchers claim to have solved the lattice mismatch problem between silicon and III-V materials, thereby enabling future integration of optics onto silicon chips.
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
Wireless BAN research project aims at health
3/23/2011   2 comments
A European consortium lead by CSEM (Neuchatel, Switzerland) has launched the WiserBAN project, with the objective of developing ultra-miniature RF microsystems for wireless Body Area Networks (BAN). The work is aimed primarily at wearable and implanted devices for health-care, biomedical, wellness and lifestyle applications.
ZTE claims 10-Tbps data transmission record
News & Analysis  
3/23/2011   2 comments
Chinese telecommunications equipment company ZTE Corp. claims to have broken the world record for a single-channel data transmission with a rate of 10 terabits per second over 640-kilometers of optical fiber. This is the equivalent of sending 160 high definition movies every second.
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.
Expanding options for design with SiGe
Test & Measurement Designline Blogs  
3/21/2011   Post a comment
When it comes to developing the highest performance, most reliable, yet cost-effective products for leading-edge applications, design engineers in the RF/microwave industry need and want options
Organic photovoltaic startup appoints CEO
News & Analysis  
3/19/2011   6 comments
Eight19 Ltd., a spin-off from the University of Cambridge chartered with producing organic photovoltaic (OPV) solar cells, has announced the appointment of Simon Bransfield-Garth as its chief executive officer.
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.
Intel ramps hardware-software codesign research
3/17/2011   5 comments
A hardware-software codesign project being conducted within Intel Labs Europe is going well – so well that Intel is not prepared to say much about it but has quadrupled the number of researchers on the project.
Lemelson awards 2011: Why the future will rock
Engineering Pop Culture!  
3/16/2011   3 comments
The 2011 Lemelson prizes awarded last week help us envision a bright future for innovation
Hybrid sales shrink while diesel grows
Automotive DesignLine Blog  
3/15/2011   24 comments
The current fuel price spike not withstanding, sales of hybrid cars dropped last year while diesel-powered purchases grew.
Academics scale PCM with carbon nanotubes
3/14/2011   5 comments
Non-volatile memory bits can be made by applying phase-change memory material to previously created gaps in carbon nanotube filamentary conductors, according to a paper published by researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
Supercomputers meld with high-end servers
News & Analysis  
3/12/2011   13 comments
High-end server models, called cluster computers, are melding with supercomputers.
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.
Bridgelux claims 'silicon' LED is commercial
News & Analysis  
3/9/2011   1 comment
Bridgelux Inc., a developer of semiconductor technology for solid-state lighting, has said it has demonstrated a light output of 135 lumens per watt from a GaN-on-Si LED. The company claimed that this is the first achievement of "commercial grade" performance from a silicon substrate LED, but said it may take two to three years for products based on the technology to come to market.
Why hasn't that steering wheel gone away?
Engineering Pop Culture!  
3/7/2011   111 comments
There's no reason the ubiquitous steering wheel can’t be replaced by a joystick—or is there?
TI growing large-area graphene
News & Analysis  
3/4/2011   17 comments
Preparing the way for carbon-based semiconductors, Texas Instruments is perfecting the growth of graphene sheets.
Senate tables patent reform amendment
News & Analysis  
3/3/2011   18 comments
The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to table an amendment proposed by Senator Diane Feinstein that would have largely defeated a major patent reform bill being debated in Congress.
Motion control set to transform next generation consumer devices
3/3/2011   19 comments
Motion sensing and control is clearly going to be the enabling technology for a whole new generation of consumer devices, just how easy is it to implement in practice?
Momentum builds for directed self-assembly
News & Analysis  
3/2/2011   8 comments
Directed self-assembly—a technology that was virtually unknown outside of research labs a few years ago—has emerged as a legitimate contender for use in future semiconductor manufacturing.
Intel's Gargini sees tunnel FET as transistor option
3/1/2011   7 comments
Paolo Gargini, Intel Fellow and chairman of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) used a talk at the Industry Strategy Symposium Europe held here by the SEMI industry organization, to discuss the prospect of a field effect transistor combined with quantum tunneling as a means of reducing power consumption while maintaining adequate performance.
Fiber optics boosted by crystalline core
News & Analysis  
3/1/2011   Post a comment
Penn State researchers led by professor John Badding demonstrated what they said are the world's first optical fibers to harbor a compound semiconductor core.

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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