GPS and GNSS positioning technology is such an integral part of our lives today that we rarely stop to think about where it all came from. When we do, we usually picture men in white shirts and dark glasses hunched over calculators and slide rules. In fact, one of the early pioneers behind GPS and GNSS technology was Gladys West - a black woman.
The electronics industry has a major role to play in helping to save energy, by enabling better equipment and new ways of working and living that that are more efficient and environmentally friendly. Maintaining the pace of technological progress is key, but improvements become both smaller and harder to achieve as each technology matures. We can see this trend in the development of power semiconductors, as device designers seek more complex and expensive ways to reduce switching energy and RDS(ON) against silicon’s natural limitations.
A combination of environmental awareness and consumer demand is driving the automotive industry to produce ever-more efficient vehicles. Whether this is the highly-publicized Electric Vehicles (EV) / Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) or simply updates to the existing internal combustion engine (ICE) based vehicles, modern vehicles are bristling with technology – and this is only set to grow in the future.
Tick-Tock: What Your Engineers Could be Spending Time Doing if They Weren’t Stuck Designing a Display?
As soon as any design project is embarked upon, the clock starts ticking. The length of time needed to develop a system can impinge heavily on its commercial success. Windows of opportunity could be missed if it takes too long to complete, with products from rival companies gaining greater market share.
Automated imaging technology is everywhere we look. As cameras and their processing units get ever smaller, they are moving into ever more industries - from speed cameras and factory production lines to diagnostic medicine. For many of these applications, image quality is critical - but what does image quality really mean? Different applications will require quite distinct performance characteristics. Understanding camera specifications, differences between CCD and CMOS sensors, and features such as real-time processing or near-infrared (NIR) can help guide the camera selection process to produce better imaging results.
Machine vision - the ability for computers to see and recognise the world around us - is becoming more important for a variety of fields, from IoT and manufacturing through to augmented reality.
As road freight transport levels continue to grow, concerns about the impact on the environment and human health come sharply into focus. Fossil fuel dependency makes it a leading source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but shifting freight to other transportation modes will prove challenging. Solutions that will improve the efficiency and performance of road freight transport are therefore essential to achieve defined environmental goals. In this blog, we will explore a potential solution that has been pioneered by Siemens - called eHighway. This combines the efficiency of electrified railways with the flexibility of trucks in order to form an innovative, next generation freight traffic system that is efficient, economical and environmentally friendly.
Efficiency is at the heart of automation, and that is nowhere more apparent than in the manufacture of automobiles. The Ford Motor Company is widely credited with inventing the moving assembly line, but the concept of moving the assembly, rather than the worker, dates back centuries.
With hardware being deployed in a wide variety of different application settings, many of them exhibiting harsh environmental conditions, ensuring that the operational reliability of the interconnection components utilised can often prove to be a challenging task.
Behind every display based system is the CPU which acts as the brain of the entire module creating the data that is presented as well as driving the I/O peripherals, display and touchscreen. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right CPU for your project, including whether you pick a complete Single Board Computer (SBC) or a stripped back core module (COM).
Medical services the world over are coming under great pressure to deliver high-quality healthcare and, at the same time control costs. Alongside this, patients are becoming far more involved in their wellbeing as well as wanting a high standard of healthcare with even greater convenience than before. As people are more mobile these days, mobile healthcare (mHealth) avoids the need to visit the doctor’s office and allows patients to provide health data to providers, as well as receive care, anywhere on the planet.
Wireless communication is part of the critical infrastructure of our lives, enabling services as diverse as TV and radio, smartphones, remote monitoring, garage-door openers and a rapidly expanding family of Internet of Things devices.
These days we are all used to computer technology, but there were times when it was new and and really cutting edge. Looking back, the Hewlett Packard HP35 was an iconic calculator with its reverse Polish notation.
Display designers should seek out solutions like this letterbox type display rather than be constrained by the standard display form factors
Electromagnetic components like transformers and chokes are considered unglamorous, so frequently insufficient thought is given to their selection. Engineers will often simply re-use a device or even a power supply from a previous project, ignoring the fact that new and better components are available, allowing them to save weight, improve efficiency or reduce size. This article reviews some recent developments that are creating new optimised solutions across a range of applications.
The Internet of Things, IoT is coming to fruition even now, but what will it look like when it fully appears and what components will be needed for all the different nodes, sensors and actuators being developed.
Consumer preferences drive the silicon industry. Each generation of mobile phones has to be thinner than the last. The same scenario happens with computers, as consumers demand more speed. These market forces have led to further and further shrinkage in silicon geometries, as consumer device manufacturers try to push the boundaries of silicon performance.
Jeff Hastings of BrightSign has some interesting ideas on why fans should not be used in digital signage, and how to avoid using them.
Maxine Hewitt of Alpha Micro Components looks at how ready designed and built RF modules can help bring connected products for the Internet of Things to market faster.
Gone are the days of rotary switches, push buttons and seven segment displays. Incorporating touch screen displays into embedded designs is the trend, accelerated of course by consumer adoption of the smartphone.
Scott Soong of Pervasive Displays discusses how e-paper technology is contributing to the world of makers rather than just major companies enabling makers to utilise its advantages in projects based around Raspberry Pi and other single board computers.
The issue of counterfeit electronic components is one that has troubles the electronics industry - using them can have some major issues, everything from being removed from a preferred suppliers list to a reduction in quality.
The Internet of Things, IoT is destined to affect many areas of everyday life - we expect it will include many areas like smart meters, remote control of lighting, but what about the healthcare market . . .
Security on many issues is of paramount importance - poor security can lead to embarrassing outcomes as discovered on some digital signage in Washington DC, but it emphasises the issue that security on any item connected to the Internet including signage is very important.
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