Recent Posts

The Smarter Grid

Follow

Follow X

Sign up   |   Log in

  • Minimum length of 8 characters

    Soon, the ubiquitous Li-ion battery will be as safe as … a lemon?

    May 31, 2016

    Lithium-ion batteries are popular because of their high energy density, but they’re temperamental. Exploding Li-ion batteries set off an epidemic of spontaneously combusting “hoverboards” last holiday season. Cheaply made batteries, or batteries that are mishandled – subjected either to high temperatures, or excessive charge-discharge cycles — are particularly dangerous.

    Computer Platforms

    Follow

    Follow X

    Sign up   |   Log in

    • Minimum length of 8 characters

      Is there a place for “toys” in industrial automation?

      By Richard Wallace | May 27, 2016

      Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 11.16.01 AM

      It started life as a do-it-yourself, toy computer, primarily for educators and tech hobbyists eager to get their hands on today’s most advanced microcomputer technology.

      Today, Raspberry Pi is shedding its plaything pedigree and breaking new ground in mainstream industrial control markets. Aided by recent connectivity upgrade in the core architecture, Raspberry Pi is quickly, and quietly making inroads into the industrial landscape.

      The Smarter Grid

      Follow

      Follow X

      Sign up   |   Log in

      • Minimum length of 8 characters

        The battery chronicles (part 1): The perilous journey from lab to market

        May 23, 2016

        The race to build a super-battery that would outperform the internal-combustion engine is hardly along a superhighway; in fact it’s a road so twisty that many a promising battery technology has simply “spun out ” in the journey from laboratory to market.

        There are three main options to making better batteries —improve the anode, the cathode or the electrolyte.

        Follow

        Follow X

        Sign up   |   Log in

        • Minimum length of 8 characters

          Power management semiconductors: Addressing climate change

          May 14, 2016

          images

          As you know, efficient power management — the generation and control of regulated voltages – is vital to the operation of modern electronic systems. Power supply design can’t be an afterthought; it has to be integrated with system design, which means a greater reliance on support from the semiconductor manufacturer.

          In that context, please give us your perceptions of the following (and other) manufacturers of semiconductor components used in power management designs.

          Smart Sensor Zone

          Follow

          Follow X

          Sign up   |   Log in

          • Minimum length of 8 characters

            MEMS accelerometers can now measure gravitational attraction

            By Richard Wallace | May 12, 2016

            Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 4.45.41 PM

            The world of accelerometers just got more interesting with reports that researchers at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom have built a sensor that measures tiny fluctuations in gravity. It’s sensitive enough to measure tidal effects at the micro-level.

            Meters that measure gravity are not new, but shrinking one to micro-size through the use of MEMS technology is.

            Internet of Things

            Follow

            Follow X

            Sign up   |   Log in

            • Minimum length of 8 characters

              The IoT Library: Mesh Networks Ideal for Smart Home Control Applications

              By Richard Wallace | May 10, 2016

              The Internet of Things will have an estimated 6.4 billion “connected things” by the end of 2016 according to technology research firm Gartner. Increasingly, mesh networking is emerging as an ideal design solution for interconnecting a large number of network devices, especially for smart home applications.

              Mesh networks rely on wireless nodes rather than centralized access points to create a virtual wireless backbone.

              Computer Platforms

              Follow

              Follow X

              Sign up   |   Log in

              • Minimum length of 8 characters

                New USB-C controllers will not be one-size-fits-all

                May 8, 2016

                Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 2.00.17 PM

                The world of USB cables and connectors can be a compatibility and interoperability nightmare for systems builders as well as users.

                It helps to know the ABCs of these cables: Type-A, Type-B, and the newest, USB-C. The USB standard version, which is currently at 3.1, refers to the speed and functionality of USB cables, while the Type (A,B,C),  relates to the physical shape and the wiring of the ports and plugs.

                Computer Platforms

                Follow

                Follow X

                Sign up   |   Log in

                • Minimum length of 8 characters

                  Smartphone charge technology: is it a bug or a feature?

                  By Richard Wallace | May 2, 2016

                  Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 1.46.43 PMIs there an Achilles heel in the technology ecosystem of ‘next wave’ smartphones?

                  Specifically, a reported incompatibility between a) the latest USB-Type C connector specification and b) a very popular rapid-charging chip used in the latest mobile phones may be potentially dangerous.

                  “Some early USB-C cables aren’t built to specification and could damage your hardware,” warns the website lifehacker.com, noting that as it “turns out, the same may be true of some phones that include a USB-C port and support Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 technology,”

                  But don’t unplug your charger so fast.