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Beyond Silicon

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    Wireless charging: A wide-bandgap sweet spot?

    Wireless power transfer eliminates worries over compatible connectivity

    By Alix Paultre | June 28, 2017

    wireless chargingExcept for those closeted away in secure labs, working on top-secret projects, electronics engineers (EEs) know by now that wide-bandgap semiconductors outperform silicon devices in just about every way. But, figuring out what actual performance benefits might accrue to a specific application is still something of a mystery. A look at the challenging world of wireless charging might illustrate how next-generation solutions can deliver performance benefits unmatchable in silicon.

    Smart, safe, comfortable

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      Software-defined radio SoCs remaking car infotainment

      Simplifies the design, lowers the cost, and shrinks the size of the head unit.

      By Majeed Ahmad | June 26, 2017

      Infotainment—the unsung hero of automotive electronics—is continuously making strides while more chic technologies like ADAS and automated driving are stealing most of the headlines. A single piece of infotainment hardware covering multiple broadcast radio requirements simplifies the design, lowers the cost, and shrinks the size of the head unit.

      Car infotainment is still a major differentiator amid a strong consumer demand.

      Autonomy

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        Flexing its technology muscle, TI plays a strong hand in automotive radar

        Sensor portfolio addresses long range, short range and in-vehicle applications

        By Patrick Mannion | June 23, 2017

        By integrating a variety of RF, analog and digital components (including DSP and MCU) onto a single CMOS chip, Texas Instruments has staked a claim to all automotive radar applications, both outside and inside the vehicle.

        Primary automotive radar applications can be broadly grouped into corner radars and front radars. Corner radars (rear and front) are typically short-range radar sensors that can be used for blind-spot detection (BSD), lane-change assist (LCA) and front/rear cross-traffic alert (F/RCTA), while front radars are typically mid- and long-range radars responsible for autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and adaptive cruise control (ACC).

        Beyond Silicon

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          Which is better? SiC or GaN?

          Proper device selection ensures optimal performance

          By Alix Paultre | June 17, 2017

           

          It is all well and good to point out that wide-bandgap materials like silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are superior performers to legacy silicon, but what does that really mean to the designer? What application spaces can best benefit from the next generation of semiconductors? There is a difference between frequency-oriented applications like RF and LiDAR and energy-oriented applications like power electronics; wide-bandgap devices, properly chosen, can serve both well.

          The Connected Automobile

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            V2X communications: A pointless wait for 5G?

            DSRC is here, now, and could be saving lives

            June 12, 2017

            V2X communications — the ability of a vehicle to communicate with another, or with ambient infrastructure – could vastly enhance transportation safety if deployed on a mass scale. But it remains an unfulfilled dream because there isn’t a universal agreement on communications protocols.

            There are two leading contenders for such a communications standard: Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) and Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology that leverages the commercial cellular network and field equipment managed by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)

            The 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), whose founding members include Ericsson, Intel, Huawei, Nokia, Qualcomm, Audi, BMW Group and Daimler AG, is lobbying for C-V2X, claiming superior capabilities over DSRC, on more than one front.

            Electrification

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              Renault to sell electricity from recycled EV batteries

              Creating a market for used power cells

              June 11, 2017

              Renault-Nissan, the strategic partnership between France’s automobile manufacturer Renault and Japan’s Nissan, is working with energy storage specialist The Mobility House to develop a ‘mega battery’ built from new or used electric car batteries. The move has the potential to effectively reduce the ownership cost of electric vehicles (EV) by creating a secondary recycling market for used lithium-ion batteries that might otherwise be scrapped.

              Beyond Silicon

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                What is the difference between GaN and SiC?

                Each material has its pluses and minuses

                By Alix Paultre | June 5, 2017

                Characteristics of SiC, GaN and Silicon

                The wide-bandgap revolution is still in its infancy, but we have finally reached the point where promise is being followed by product. Every major embedded manufacturer now has a wide-bandgap play, if only to demonstrate to the marketplace that they are players. Partnerships between the technology developers and mainstream semiconductor companies are coupling disruptive tech with trusted sources to ease migration pains.