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    Guest blog: Electric vehicles: less power to the driver

    February 24, 2017

    By Nagarajan Sridhar

    A couple of months ago, I got a chance to test-drive a new autonomous vehicle. My general observation: it was a computer on wheels! Because of the traction motor (a key characteristic of electric vehicles [EVs]), it was totally silent, with no whirring sound from the integrated circuit-based engine. Also memorable was experiencing autopilot mode, which is the predecessor to the autonomous driverless vehicular concept.

    The Energy Imperative

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      Revisiting motor control in electric and hybrid vehicles

      By Majeed Ahmad | February 24, 2017

      The dedicated motor control circuit in Renesas’ automotive MCUs is aiming to create energy efficiency by offloading static processing operations from the CPU.

      The fuel efficiency demands are pushing carmakers to produce more electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). That, among other things, will require a major design overhaul of vehicle’s electronic building blocks such as ECUs and MCUs.

      The Energy Imperative

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        Collaboration and standards desperately needed for GaN, SiC, power architectures

        Vision Statements: An Interview with Steve Lambouses

        February 16, 2017

        Editor’s Note: The higher switching frequencies, operating temperatures, and voltage-handling capabilities of wide bandgap (WBG) materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) makes them of fundamental importance to any effort to reduce energy consumption. In this Q&A, Steve Lambouses, vice president and general manager for high-voltage power at Texas Instruments explains why they are so important, and what we need to do to deploy devices based on these materials more quickly.

        Efficiency: The First Fuel

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          Smart lighting and the makeover of LED driver ICs

          By Majeed Ahmad | February 7, 2017

          LED driver ICs such as Fairchild’s FL77944 accommodate higher wattage systems like street lights using parallel connections with LEDs.

          American Airlines Center near the Dallas downtown recently replaced the high-pressure sodium and metal halide light fixtures with LED luminaires in its parking garages. And that has allowed the sports and entertainment arena to reduce an estimated 60 percent energy consumption and $1.26 million in total lifetime savings in parking garage lighting.

          The Energy Imperative

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            Engineers: your decisions shape our energy future

            By Richard Wallace | February 5, 2017

            engineers at work

            “The politicians have done their job; now it’s up to the engineers.”

            That sentiment – first expressed by Jeffery Sachs, the director The Earth Institute of Columbia University, following the signing of the Paris Agreement – is resonating with engineers worldwide.

            The Paris Agreement calls for the world to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C) compared to pre-industrial levels, and its political unity reflects a broad consensus on addressing climate change.

            The Battery Chronicles

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              Guest Blog: Calculating the accuracy of a battery fuel gauge

              February 2, 2017

              battery fuel gauge

              By Onyx Ahiakwo

              A battery fuel gauge obtains data from the battery to determine how much juice is left. Do not misconstrue gauging accuracy for measurement accuracy. A gauge’s ability to accurately report state of charge (SOC) and predict remaining battery capacity depends on measurements including voltage (‘V’), current (‘I’) and battery temperature (‘T’).

              Efficiency: The First Fuel

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                Guest Blog : How the IoT — and the smartphone — are enabling the smart home

                January 23, 2017

                 

                 

                 

                A smart home in San Diego, California combines the best of modern architecture with the best in smart home technology.

                By Ajinder Singh

                Providing a comfortable space for its occupants is only the minimum requirement for a habitable building, whether it be a primitive shelter, or modern steel and glass structure.

                A building should be more than just a “container” for its occupants.

                The Energy Imperative

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                  Time to revisit power consumption in home appliances

                  By Majeed Ahmad | January 19, 2017

                  A single-package solution simplifies inverter design and lowers power consumption. Image courtesy of Rohm Semiconductor

                  The notion of smart home has been making headlines for many years, but it’s actually the energy efficiency part where homes are making the most tangible gains through what designers call inverterization of appliance designs.

                  Take the case of home appliances like air conditioners and ceiling fans.