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    More overheating problems loom large as devices shrink

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    Lithium-ion batteries are on the hot seat following reports of explosions and fires caused by the power packs in Samsung Electronics Note 7 smartphones.

    But according to a new MIT study reported by eengineering.com, potential heat problems with electronic devices are lurking even deeper, inside semiconductor devices themselves. The study suggests that as electron concentrations rise due to the ever-decreasing size of transistors, electronic devices of all kinds may face an increasingly high risk of overheating.

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      Micromirrors shrink near-infrared spectrometer

      Create miniaturized, portable, near-infrared (NIR) spectrometers and data collection/analysis systems with TI’s DLP® NIRscan™ Nano Evaluation Module.

      Nano, a compact battery-operated evaluation module for the development of wireless, cloud-based commercial applications.

      The kit employs TI’s proprietary digital micromirror device technology to detect and sample wavelengths, while the reference design supports Bluetooth low energy and both iOS and Android applications for mobile lab measurements.

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        Application processing gets heterogeneous silicon boost

        June 28, 2016

        Heterogeneous computing, a long-time feature of graphics-intensive desktop devices, is making its way into application processing, specifically on mobile devices, Internet of Things applications, wearables, secure Point-of-Sale equipment, smart home controls, and industrial products.

        Heterogeneous computing refers to an emerging design architecture that incorporates more than one kind of processor, or core, for handling varying system computing tasks.

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          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.

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

            May 8, 2016

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            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.

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              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.  

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                Intel’s $15 computer board targets low-end IoT developers

                April 17, 2016

                Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 8.23.58 PM

                Intel has introduced a tiny $15 computer, the Quark Microcontroller Developer Kit D2000, that targets entry-level applications in the Internet of Things.

                The D2000 is intended for embedding in wearables, smart appliances, home automation products, and industrial equipment. The single-board board features a Quark D2000 micro controller running at 32MHz, a six-axis accelerometer, a magnetometer, a temperature sensor, a single USB 2.0 port, a coin cell battery slot, and a 5-volt power input.

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                  At $5 and $9, the world’s cheapest computers

                  December 7, 2015

                  Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.22.47 PM
                  Seven months ago, the notion of a 1GHz, fully functional computer selling for under $10 would have seemed crazy. But back then, no one had seen PocketCHIP, the $9 portable computer from China, or the $5 Pi Zero, from Wales; the world’s cheapest computers.

                  Then suddenly last week, before you could blink, all available inventory of these devices was sold out everywhere, within hours.