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20 Nov, 2014

Michael Ford “Big Data” is one in a series of buzzwords that has come along recently. Bigger is better in many respects, but how does it work when it comes to shop-floor data? Consider the millions of dollars spent on the analysis of data in the manufacturing world related to sales, marketing, finance and the business performance of products. Is there a potentially comparable value when it comes to data gathered … Read More

20 Nov, 2014

John Day Infiniti is turning 25, and it took the opportunity to look back on all it has accomplished in that time. What caught my eye was how many of those accomplishments – industry firsts – had to do with electrical/electronic systems: Rear and Around View Infiniti’s RearView Monitor, or backup camera, debuted on the 2002 Q45. The automaker first offered a 360-degree Around View® Monitor on the 2008 Infiniti … Read More

20 Nov, 2014
Mechanical Analysis

Help from Above

Posted by Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye Drones have been around for quite some time now. More often than not, they are used for surveillance.  One major retailer has also toyed with the idea of delivering goods door to door with drones. With each announcement I can’t help but see in my mind’s eye the overcrowded skies as depicted in the Fifth Element. But I recently read a piece about drones that absolutely fascinated me. Drones for … Read More

19 Nov, 2014

John McMillan Technology companies have been using 3D printers for years now for everything from rapid prototypes, product development and data visualization. Models for everything from industrial electronics, to fashion jewelry to teeth have been 3D printed. Since 2005, versions of 3D printers have even become available and affordable for the serious hobbyist.  Imagine, instead of having to run to the store to buy … Read More

19 Nov, 2014

Paul Johnston Capital software covers the automotive electrical design process from early conceptual architectural design through product engineering. And onwards too through manufacturing engineering to manufacturing assembly. In this entirety one would expect sophistication is needed the ability to handle complexities, nuances and variations. Doing this while sustaining a user-friendly reputation has to be achieved … Read More

18 Nov, 2014

Vern Wnek In my last post I mentioned my recent conversation about autorouting with several PCB designers at the IPC Council meeting in Irvine, California. Take a look at the previous post, Auto Assisted Routing: “I ain’t got time for that!” You will see that there are mixed feelings about autorouting, and many think we needed something better. The IPC meeting that I’m referring to happened to be all about routing … Read More

18 Nov, 2014

John Day Prospective car buyers in California will have an opportunity next fall to own or lease a Toyota Mirai, the hydrogen-powered four-door, midsized sedan the company announced this week. The Mirai (a Japanese word that means “the future”) uses no gasoline and emits nothing but water vapor. It refuels in about five minutes and can go up to 300 miles on a tankful. It will be available outside California … Read More

18 Nov, 2014

Don Miller If we transport back to 1950s, we would find ourselves at the brink of a substantial shift in the world’s energy needs.  The current power station units simply weren’t large enough, and to meet the population’s need for power, new designs were delivering ever increasing unit sizes.  This continued until the mid-60s when the sizes stabilized but at nearly ten times the 1950s designs. As you can imagine … Read More

17 Nov, 2014

Joe Hupcey III Few verification tasks are more challenging than trying to achieve code coverage goals for a complex system that, by design, has numerous layers of configuration options and modes of operation.  When the verification effort gets underway and the coverage holes start appearing, even the most creative and thorough UVM testbench architect can be bogged down devising new tests – either constrained-random … Read More

15 Nov, 2014
IC Manufacturing

Testing Your Limits

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker Are you a calm person? Or are you easily irritated? We all have our limits and pressure points—just like a design layout. Certain geometries may have a high failure rate in production. Circuitry may fail when confronted with an ESD event. When your design passes verification, does that mean it’s all good? In theory, yes. In reality, everyone knows that the real world is a tough place for electronics. … Read More

14 Nov, 2014

John Day There is a bit of a disconnect between automotive technology and our – or at least my – desire for immediate gratification. For example, the car I drive, as nice as it is, doesn’t have a rearview camera with or without cross-traffic alert. Recently I had the opportunity to drive a 2015 Subaru Outback, which does have such a camera (more about that in a future post). It’s true that walking down to the … Read More

12 Nov, 2014
PCB Design

Length matching for 10GHz links

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier For most busses, length-matching a group of signals to 5 mils is a bit of overkill.  But, if length-matching to 5 mils is as easy for your layout personnel as length-matching to 100 mils, why not get the extra margin?  However, for very fast serial links, length-matching the two side of a differential pair is absolutely crucial.  That is one of the key steps I discuss in my article “Ten Steps … Read More

12 Nov, 2014

John McMillan Raleigh, NC — The premier show for printed circuit board design and manufacturing in the Southeast, PCB Carolina Conference & Exhibition, returned to the McKimmon Center at NC State University on November 5 and what an eventful day it was! The standing-room-only keynote address was delivered by Dr. Eric Bogatin whose talk entitled “The Future of Circuit Boards in the 28 Gbps Regime: Is the … Read More

10 Nov, 2014

Colin Walls I am continuing to catch up with highlighting articles that I have had published at embedded.com. This time they are focused on C++ and on multicore embedded applications … Overloading or obfuscation? Operator overloading is a powerful feature of the C++ language. Used with care, it can yield readable, maintainable and efficient code. However, it is just as easy to write “clever” code … Read More

6 Nov, 2014
PCB Design

DO sweat the small stuff

Posted by Patrick Carrier

Patrick Carrier My grandma always told me not to sweat the small stuff, and since she just celebrated her 100th birthday, I am inclined to take her advice.  Unfortunately, that advice does not extend well to 10GHz serial links on a PCB, where you really DO need to sweat the small stuff.  With edge rates on the order of 50ps (that’s about 300 mils long on a PCB), 10GHz signals get affected by almost any discontinuity … Read More

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