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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


OTA Software Updates for Your Car?! John Donovan
Now here’s a scary thought: You’re driving down the freeway in heavy traffic when the LCD screen in your dashboard that was previously displaying a song title suddenly informs you that the firmware for your car’s 100+ electronic control units (ECUs) has been updated wirelessly and you need to reboot your car for them to take effect. What happens if you’re distracted and don’t press the No button soon enough? If your car were my PC it would reboot automatically. Not so good at 70 mph.

Year End Project Puts Sights and Sounds into Perspective Caroline Storm
My telecoms class had an end of the year project. You know it is interesting how you do not really think about all you have learned and how fascinating and wonderful it is until the end of the semester. This telecoms project is a great example of making students think about what we learned. It involved suppressing photos and video. We had talked about bandwidth suppression all semester. It made sense. A smaller channel transmitting the same amount of information is always desirable. It was interesting to learn that since our ears, unlike our eyes, are insensitive to phase distortion it is possible to design cheaper filters that allow phase distortion to slip through.

Make Your Own Job with Open Source Hardware: What Students Don’t Know Lynnette Reese
When jobs are scarce, open source hardware is opening doors for young engineers to gain experience, offering an alternative to simply waiting in between job searches. In slow economic times, engineers (and non-engineers alike) can go straight toward working for themselves, designing custom electronics systems for low volume applications such as vending machines, environmental data logging, drones for police, or designing custom solutions as consultants.

MultiSIM BLUE Raymond Yin
I think we’d all agree that there never seems to be enough time to get everything we want to do….done. Engineers especially, face the double time pressure of meeting current project deadlines while at the same time keeping up with new technology and new products for the next project down the road. One of the things we at Mouser pride ourselves on is in making it easier for engineers stay up to date on new products and technologies through our website, technical articles, and newsletters. With the recent announcement of our MultiSIM BLUE tool, Mouser will now be able to directly help engineers with the first part of the equation: reducing their current time-to-market pressures.

For Today’s Telecom Boom, Thank Judge Green Barry Manz
In 1982, telecommunications in the U.S. changed forever when U.S. District Court Judge Harold Greene ruled in United States vs. AT&T that the industry was a monopoly. Like smashing an ice cube, this single action created seven regional holding companies within which were 22 Bell local operating companies along with AT&T, which retained Bell Laboratories. Judge Greene’s ruling, his first case after taking the bench was, to say the least, a monument in anti-trust litigation, but is also largely responsible for today’s booming telecommunications industry.

My Two Bits About 8 Bits John Donovan
OK, time to own up: With 32-bit MCUs becoming so inexpensive as well as capable, I figured 8-bit MCUs were hanging in there for extended legacy designs. I mean, who would base a new design on a 35-year old 8051 architecture? As it turns out, plenty of people.

Illuminate, Inspire, Lead Paul Golata
It is typical at a trade show to see an extensive number of product and application breakthroughs. However, some companies go out of their way to focus on the betterment of mankind and our environment, where great obstacles exist. A few of these new developments are truly illuminating. One such company that I became acquainted with at the show is Nokero.

Picking The Right Tool For The Job: MCU, SBC or FPGA? Mike Parks
Let’s face it; we’ve all tried to use the wrong tool for the job at hand at least once in our lives. Using a hammer on screws comes to mind as the most common misuse of tools and technology. I will admit it, guilty as charged. Picking the right Open Source Hardware tools and platforms is similar to the picking the right hand tool from our toolbox. Though there is typically enough crossover of functionality between the different types of tools, some are better suited for certain tasks than others. With increasingly more variety of affordable hardware tools coming to market, many makers are starting to ask, “What’s the right tool for the job?”

Circuit Protection without Circuit Protection Components Kelly Casey
Have you ever thought about circuit protection as analogous to fire protection? There are lots of ways to prevent fires. There are active systems (fire sprinklers, automated extinguisher systems) and passive systems (self-extinguishing materials, self-closing fire doors) and safety-by-design systems where careful selection of non-flammable and insulating materials as well as physical layout make fire propagation nearly impossible. As it turns out, circuit protection has similar options. Here is an example of circuit protection via a safety-by-design technique...

Internet’s Benefits Can Far Outweigh Its Downsides Caroline Storm
Some days I just stare off into space and think about the impact the Internet has on our lives. I recently took a break to listen to a song. The fascinating thing is the comments below the song. They, at the time I was listening, were encouraging. You hear all about stupid people on the Internet, but there are also encouraging people. How different was it before the Internet?

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