When Will the Smart Home Really Be Smart?
Guest Blogs 2/27/2015 3 comments The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Low Power Optimization Is Just Too Complicated
Guest Blogs 2/13/2015 Post a comment Remember when design decisions for optimizing low-power MCU applications were simple? All you needed to do was select when to put the MCU into the low-power mode and when to wake it up. Once it was awake, you just ran the required code as quickly as possible. Simple, right? Well, these days designing for power efficiency isn’t so simple. Why is that the case?
What Do You Want to Know About Motor Control?
Guest Blogs 2/9/2015 2 comments Now is your chance to tell us what you would like to learn during the March 9-13 Continuing Education Center Class, "Implementing Motor Control Designs with MCUs and FPGAs: An Introduction and Update."
The Conundrum of Published Specs Versus Real-World Performance
Guest Blogs 1/23/2015 2 comments What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Decoding Procurement: How It Can Work as Design Engineering’s Ally
Guest Blogs 1/22/2015 Post a comment Procurement actually means well. There is no question that procurement can do a better job of phrasing their questions or making connections between engineering’s goals and the processes underway. And if you are using the right deciphering code, the result can live up to -- or surpass -- your expectations.
How Do You Get Started Designing with FPGAs? Here’s How
Guest Blogs 1/16/2015 2 comments If you are interested in adding FPGA technology to you engineering toolkit, grab some free tools and an evaluation kit and get started on your own FPGA project. It never hurts to expand your engineering toolbox, and FPGAs are only going to become more popular over the next few years.
Design Decisions: Use Epoxies to Protect Against Metal Corrosion
Guest Blogs 1/9/2015 Post a comment With the growing demand for new-age applications, corrosion has become an inherent problem. Not only do epoxies confer excellent corrosion resistance, they are also easy to handle and process. However, one must be mindful of selecting the right epoxy system along with the appropriate application techniques for best results.
Here's Your Chance to Learn About the Secrets of FPGAs
Guest Blogs 1/8/2015 Post a comment The secrets that programmable logic vendors use to create these amazing devices are typically not discussed in much detail by the manufacturers. But if you understand them you can typically figure out why your devices are performing the way they do.
Cold Flow Analysis for Diesel Engine Optimization
Guest Blogs 12/23/2014 3 comments The complexity of diesel engines means optimizing their performance requires a large amount of experimentation. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a very useful and intuitive tool in this, and cold flow analysis using CFD is an ideal approach to study the flow characteristics without going into the details of chemical reactions occurring during the combustion.
What’s Next in Programmable Devices?
Guest Blogs 12/11/2014 4 comments Programmable logic has come a long way from the simple devices we started out with. Remember Programmable Array Logic, or PALs? But where will we be in the next five to 10 years?
Did You Know that Time Constants May Not Be Constant?
Guest Blogs 11/17/2014 Post a comment People usually think of a time constant as the time it takes a first order system to change 63% of the way to the steady state value in response to a step change in the input -- it’s basically a measure of the responsiveness of the system. This is true, but in reality, time constants are often not constant. They can change just like system gains change as the environment or the geometry of the system changes.
The Sound Beneath the Floors
Guest Blogs 11/13/2014 9 comments At its core, sound is a relatively simple natural phenomenon caused by pressure pulsations or vibrations propagating through various mediums in the world around us. Studies have shown that the complete absence of sound can drive a person insane, causing them to experience hallucinations. Likewise, loud and overwhelming sound can have the same effect. This especially holds true in manufacturing and plant environments where loud noises are the norm.
What About Crowdsourcing New Components?
Guest Blogs 11/11/2014 2 comments The tech industry is no stranger to crowdsourcing funding for new projects, and the team at element14 are no strangers to crowdsourcing ideas for new projects through its design competitions. But what about crowdsourcing new components?
Does it Still Make Sense to Go Offshore?
Guest Blogs 11/3/2014 5 comments It has been common wisdom of late that anything you needed to manufacture could be made more cost-effectively on foreign shores. Following World War II, the label “Made in Japan” was as ubiquitous as is the “Made in China” version today and often had very similar -- not always positive -- connotations. Along the way, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Pacific-rim nations have each had their turn at being the preferred low-cost alternative to manufacturing here in the US.
354 Reasons Why Audi's SQ5 Is Worth a Look
Guest Blogs 10/23/2014 1 comment More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Top 3 Reasons to Outsource 3D Printing
Guest Blogs 10/14/2014 2 comments As additive manufacturing (including 3D printing) becomes increasingly popular among businesses as a quick and easy solution to creating and evaluating prototypes and end-use products, the debate about whether to outsource production or to purchase equipment for in-house use is at the forefront of industry discussions.
CFD Analysis: Making Better Buildings
Guest Blogs 10/1/2014 3 comments In the last few years, use of CFD in building design has increased manifolds. Computational
fluid dynamics is effective in analyzing the flow and thermal properties of air within spaces. It can be used in buildings to find the best measures for comfortable temperature at low energy use.
Automotive Subsystems & Network-on-Chip Technology
Guest Blogs 9/19/2014 2 comments Many diverse markets take advantage of semiconductor IP; so many that no one can recite the entire list without leaving off several. So why do we track all the vertical markets? They all have a unique set of requirements and value attributes differently. One major vertical market segment is automotive.
How to Harpoon a Comet
Guest Blogs 9/12/2014 10 comments In November, a European space probe will try to land on the surface of a comet moving at about 84,000 mph and rotating with a period of 12.7 hours. Many factors make positioning the probe for the landing an engineering challenge.
Commonly Found Mistakes in Power Distribution Systems
Guest Blogs 9/10/2014 4 comments Mistakes in power distributions are not all that common, but they do exist. We look at some of these mistakes and disaster scenarios with the intention being to inform readers to be wary of repeating such mistakes when designing their power distribution system.
Understanding Case Hardening of Steel
Guest Blogs 9/4/2014 2 comments What do gears, bearings, and shafts have in common? For one thing, they're often made out of steel. For another, they're subject to a failure mode known as rolling contact fatigue.
Model-Based Design of a Smart Emergency Response System
Guest Blogs 8/28/2014 Post a comment The Smart Emergency Response System capitalizes on the latest advancements in cyber-physical systems to connect autonomous aircraft and ground vehicles, rescue dogs, robots, and a high-performance computing mission control center into a realistic vision.
Top Myths About Stainless Steel
Guest Blogs 8/6/2014 52 comments The properties of stainless steel make it well suited for a wide range of applications, but many of the things engineers think they know about stainless steel aren’t true.
Use CFD to Design an Environmentally Friendly Car
Guest Blogs 6/23/2014 2 comments The use of CFD is more profound in automobile design because of the diverse physics involved. It can be used to optimize components for downsizing and reducing the environmental footprint while maintaining or improving operational efficiency.
Mobile Apps Speed Up Production
Guest Blogs 6/9/2014 4 comments A Detroit automaker was struggling with a semi-manual, labor-intensive parts receiving process. Workers had enter parts into a spreadsheet manually at a stationary workstation. This stopped the receiving process dead in its tracks. A better system was needed.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.