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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

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


Barry Manz is president of Manz Communications, Inc., a technical media relations agency he founded in 1987. He has since worked with more than 100 companies in the RF and microwave, defense, test and measurement, semiconductor, embedded systems, lightwave, and other markets. Barry writes articles for print and online trade publications, as well as white papers, application notes, symposium papers, technical references guides, and Web content. He is also a contributing editor for the Journal of Electronic Defense, editor of Military Microwave Digest, co-founder of MilCOTS Digest magazine, and was editor in chief of Microwaves & RF magazine.


Biggest Tech Flops of All Time: The Picturephone Barry Manz
Flops in technological development are nothing new, but how do they relate? They were led by bright minds who ignored customer sentiment.

The Origin and Need for Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) Barry Manz
If you’re fortunate enough to have multiple choices for providing broadband considers yourself lucky. Millions of people living in rural areas have only one option: Wireless Internet Service Providers, which serve fixed locations (rather than mobile devices) and transmit to and receive from multiple locations. A little history of this arcane industry reveals why WISPs continue to fill a need.

The Mysterious Case Of The Missing Mobile Wallet Barry Manz
Near-field communications (NFC) is one of the world’s most useful wireless technologies and is extremely well suited for mobile payment processing. Despite it having all the ingredients for success, it remains woefully under used, with retailers opting for retailer-specific apps.

Bluetooth Takes a Hit. Design Engineers to the Rescue? Barry Manz
Bluetooth BlueBorne is just one of many security issues making the news headlines. Hardening security in embedded systems is a tall order, yes, but paramount. For designers of Bluetooth-enabled components, subsystems, and systems, BlueBorne poses the question of how to harden Bluetooth in future products against such threats.

Long Range and Mesh? A Viewer’s Bluetooth Question Answered Barry Manz
In April 2017, Mouser hosted the webinar "Bluetooth 5: Reinventing Connectivity and Advancing Industrial IoT." This is one of the many great questions that came from that webinar.

Shaping Smarter Cities: Sigfox and LoRa: Missing from the Autonomous Vehicles Barry Manz
Autonomous vehicles could benefit from low power wireless area networks (LPWANs); however, only IEEE 802.11p and narrowband Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standards are being considered.

Solid-State RF Power is Coming to Industrial Systems. Slowly. Barry Manz
Industrial RF heating systems commonly use a magnetron for power amplification, but solid-state solutions are becoming a more viable solution.

Your Microwave Oven May Soon Become Obsolete Barry Manz
Microwave ovens use magnetrons because they're cheap and robust. But RF power transistors are overcoming the limitations that keep them out of microwaves. Solid state power could transform the microwave into a full-fledged cooking appliance.

Millimeter Wavelengths, The Next Wireless Frontier Barry Manz
The use of very high frequencies for communication has always been "just around the corner," where, because of significant technical challenges, it's remained for 50 years. Now, faced with scarce spectrum available at lower frequencies, the wireless industry is determined to overcome those challenges.

Will the Auto Industry Ever Get Telematics Right? Barry Manz
Few other human-machine interfaces (HMIs) present as many challenges as the modern automobile, so have pity on the weary auto industry designer tasked with trying to come to grips with telematics. It’s only rival in complexity is the commercial airliner, whose flight deck remains chock full of knobs, dials, and switches even after wholesale changes that migrated functions to large touch screen displays like those in the Airbus 380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. At least pilots are highly trained, technically astute professionals, however, while drivers range from being technology haters to “enthusiasts” who like to tweak engine control modules for higher performance. Designing an interface that is usable by such a spectrum of drivers has got to be insanely difficult.

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