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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


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

Smart Power-Supply Designs for Smart Factories Texas Instruments
Designing power supplies for factory-automation equipment such as programmable logic controllers , transmitters, automation machinery and human machine interfaces can come with a lot of challenges. Even as processing power continues to increase, printed circuit board (PCB) area and overall equipment sizes tend to remain the same. To meet these strict space constraints, power-supply designs should be compact but also operate efficiently and quietly; heat and noise are absolutely not permissible. In addition, there are multiple industrial power-supply requirements, including a wide-input voltage range, a small solution size and the ability to operate at a high temperature range. Power-supply designers must keep component counts and costs down while providing a reliable solution that doesn’t require a lot of debugging. So starting with an integrated and robust device is a high priority.

ASI and the Death of Mankind: What, Me Worry? Paul Golata
Some people see Artificial Superintelligence (ASI) ultimately bringing into play human immortality—making it possible to enable a variety of human or technological enhancements that counteract the aging process. Doing so will increase human life expectancy, possibly very significantly. However, if ASI is ultimately realized and becomes part of the human condition, what is the potential for human extinction based upon the actions of an ASI? It is conceivable that an ASI may one day view human life as unacceptably inefficient and without significant purpose in relationship to any programmed goals.

APEC 2016 – Powering the Electronics Industry Aimee Kalnoskas
The invention of the humble thyristor 60 years ago ushered in a new field of electrical engineering area called power electronics. At a little over half that age, the 31st Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) continues to give prominence to what can only be described as a new industrial revolution. The demand for increased energy conservation, utility energy storage, renewable energy systems, electric and hybrid vehicles power, in addition to high-efficiency energy systems across the board – it’s enough to keep a designer awake at night.

Stunning Increases in Processing Explained for Normal Humans Barry Manz
Intel founder Gordon Moore’s “Law” has gained legendary status for its prescience and ability to stand the test of time. What’s not so apparent is what this has translated into from the perspective of the devices in which processors are used. Fortunately, the number-crunchers at Experts Exchange have taken the time to determine the 1-trillion-fold increase in processing power between 1956 and 2015 and present it in simple terms.

Were Those Boots Really Made for Walking? Or for Talking? Mark Patrick
One of the great things about being human is man’s unfailing curiosity and desire to solve problems. Even though sometimes that ability can take us a bit too far so that we end up with things that really don’t get us anywhere. While humans may be good at solving problems, they’re also pretty good at reinventing the wheel, or even at solving one problem only to find they’ve created another. You only have to look back through history to find it littered with examples.

Creating a Sound People Can't Resist: MELF Resistors Paul Golata
As a Senior Technology Specialist, I am always interested and looking at the most advanced technologies and applications. When it comes to audio, I recently became aware of something that I had never really spent any time on considering, the ubiquitous resistor. I had soldered oodles of them on to various guitar effects and amplifier repairs over the years, but have never spent much real time investigating their sonic qualities.

A DIY Starting Guide with the Arduino 101 Warren Miller
I have been toying with the idea of diving into the Do It Yourself (DIY) and Maker communities, well maybe more like getting my toe in the water, for a while now, but I just couldn’t find the right project to get started. Then just a few weeks ago I saw the Arduino 101 (Genuino 101 outside the U.S.) and was intrigued by this ‘upgrade’ of the familiar Arduino platform using the low-power Intel Curie™ module.

Tesla Fails to Power the World without Wires Barry Manz
All the hoopla about wireless charging doesn’t hold a candle to what Nikola Tesla had in mind: Providing alternating current through the ground and air and into the world’s products, eliminating transmission lines. If this sounds like fantasy, it indeed turned out to be, but the story of his scheme makes interesting reading.

Walking Ham: A Day in the Life of a “Walking Dead” Amateur Radio Operator Mike Parks
“CQ CQ CQ. This is November One Hotel November Papa. Anyone got their ears on?” I ask the ether. Still, nothing but static. It’s been like this for months now. My stomach is grumbling but my desire to find someone, anyone, is too strong to breakaway from my radio. Not to mention the fact that those roaming monsters scare the heck out of me. Leaving the relatively safe confines of my ham shack is decidedly unappealing except for the annoying little fact that my food supplies are running low. Very low.

The Internet of Controlling Things Warren Miller
The ability to track energy use on almost a device-by-device basis and use energy when it is least expensive is another potential for significant savings. Controlling things seems to be a compelling application for the Internet of Things.

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