Credit is due to former-Intel chairman, Andrew Grove, who, according to the Wall Street Journal, is pushing Intel Corp. to diversify itself and become a manufacturer of batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles. Grove’s idea isn’t just smart, it’s in the best interest of the country. Many in the auto industry are currently worried that by breaking our oil dependency and moving toward electric cars, the U.S. may be exchanging one imported dependency for another. The reason: Japanese and Chinese companies appear to be positioning themselves to dominate the emerging EV battery market.
The only downside to Grove’s idea is the difficulty of the task. Scores of companies have tried and failed over the past 80 years. MIT-based battery expert Donald Sadoway has described EV battery design as “the scientific equivalent of quicksand, deceptively simple, yet enormously complex.” Still, Grove’s idea is apparently to target the plug-in hybrid market, rather than the pure EV market, which makes the task decidedly easier.
The Chicago Auto Show has long been a haven for truck introductions, and this year’s edition was no exception. Chevrolet, Nissan, and Toyota all showed off new trucks, while competitors rolled out concept cars and production vehicles.
A tiny new MEMS-based reed switch may enable engineers to reduce the size of the electronic circuitry in devices ranging from ingestible endoscopes and hearing aids to insulin delivery systems and brake fluid monitors.
Visitors to this year's Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show will have an opportunity to boost their electronics acumen, thanks to a series of Learning Labs covering topics ranging from medical sensors to smart packaging.