From the control standpoint, semiconductors provide the starting point for improved motion control performance. The trends in this area include increased integration in microcontrollers developed specifically for motor control applications. In high voltage motor controls, advances in IGBTs provide improved power dissipation in power devices and allow higher current capability. Bringing both the control and power switching together in a reference design provides a systems approach with improved performance.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
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