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The Energy Imperative

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    SiC technology shrinks charger 10x, cuts weight by 80%

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    Remember the “Little Box Challenge”?

    Sponsored by industry and IEEE, the Challenge spurred power and system design engineers to explore new and emerging wide-bandgap semiconductor materials like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) to shrink the size, and boost the output of power inverters.

    Engineering teams from around the world rose to the challenge; one walked away with $1 million in prize money.

    The Connected Automobile

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      U.S. presses for safer autonomous vehicle technology

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      Autonomous vehicles have been involved in some serious road accidents recently, most newsworthy: two widely reported driver deaths earlier this year in technology-packed, auto-piloted Teslas.

      No technology is perfect, but, inexorably, improvements and refinements will follow, and the benefits of self-driving vehicles, especially when it come to improved safety, will outweigh the risks – in theory.

      Efficiency: The First Fuel

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        Solar inverter: Before and after GaN

        The inherent low switching losses of the GaN power stage make it possible to reach efficiencies of 99% and higher. Higher efficiencies mean smaller heat sinks and less need for cooling, and facilitate designs that are more compact and very cost-effective

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        Rethink your solar inverter with GaN – On the Grid – Blogs – TI E2E Community

         

        Solar inverter: Before and after GaN

        “PG&E has called a SmartDay event for Thursday, 07/28/2016 for your residence.

        The Battery Chronicles

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          Keep the power on with the right battery holder design

          September 15, 2016

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          The tiniest parts in electronic systems need extra scrutiny these days.

          The reason is that the Internet of Things is creating important new uses for all kinds of small sub-assemblies, like the battery holders that house millions of coin-sized Li-Ion batteries packs in often-remote IoT network nodes everywhere.

          Until recently, these tiny assemblies went largely unnoticed, but today coin batteries are being used in everything from RFID tags, to toll tags, Bluetooth receivers, bank security tokens, and smart locks for hotels and home automation, where they provide critical power.

          Internet of Things

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            IoT, chip design services drive India technology acquisitions

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            The Internet of Things is a powerful driver of semiconductor and electronic design technology. It’s also a powerful business driver, which these days means consolidation, merger, and acquisition for many old-line, and new, chip makers.

            The same inexorable forces behind consolidation in the chip business are also at work in the third-party semiconductor and VLSI design sector – otherwise know as the design outsource business.

            The Battery Chronicles

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              When it comes to battery holder design, don’t just flip a coin

              September 12, 2016

              screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-1-44-57-pmElectronic design challenges come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors when it comes to the Internet of Things. That’s because end markets like security, surveillance, healthcare, transportation, and product safety, all have unique requirements for systems development.

              Not all design challenges are this lofty however, but no matter. The art of design is about mastering detail, often to the nth degree, sometimes in strange places, often using new technology.

              The Battery Chronicles

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                Nothing grounds you faster than bad battery design

                Fire video

                This video made the FAA nervous enough to issue a warning

                As frequently noted here, bad battery design can bring down the Internet of Things or any critical, sensor-based system that relies on internal power to supply DC voltage to circuits. A bum battery can even ground your flight.

                After photos were published this week of a burned and melted Samsung Galaxy Note 7 handset, the FAA advised passengers ‘don’t turn it on, don’t charge it, don’t pack it in your luggage.’

                The Battery Chronicles and other recent articles about battery systems underscore the critical nature and urgency of better battery design – especially, noted by Quartz, for a growing class consumers who want to stay connected to their always-on mobile devices, even at 30,000 feet.

                Innovation

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                  Hey Apple – What took you so long?

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                  Waiting is part of the Apple experience. This week, patient consumers got an iPhone7 with a new wireless audio controller chip that eliminated the earphone jack, among other things.

                  Wireless earphones are nothing new, but what is a big deal for users – and for iPhone’s very patient semiconductor engineering team – is the W1 chip, Apple’s first ever designed in-house wireless semiconductor device.