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Content by Charles Murray
Charles Murray
Member Since: June 20, 2011
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Blog Posts: 579
Posts: 5416

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Freescale's Pressure Monitors Can Save Lives … and Tires
Automotive News 
4/28/2015  Post a comment
If you’ve ever seen a retread fly off a speeding 18-wheeler, then you’ll understand the value in Freescale Semiconductor’s latest tire pressure monitoring effort.
Learn How to Add Energy Harvesting to Your IoT Apps
News 
4/24/2015  Post a comment
If you’re developing a product with lots of sensors and no access to the power grid, then you’ll want to take note of a Design News Continuing Education Center class, “Designing Low Power Systems Using Battery and Energy Harvesting Energy Sources."
TI's New SoC Replaces FPGAs in Data Acquisition Apps
Product News 
4/23/2015  Post a comment
If Texas Instruments has its way, developers of high-speed data acquisition systems may soon be able to eliminate field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) from their products.
The Best and Greenest Cars of 2015
Automotive News 
4/22/2015  7 comments
If there’s a single theme to Kelley Blue Book’s list of the best green cars -- published just in time for Earth Day -- it’s that fuel efficiency alone isn’t enough.
The EV Taxpayer Shakedown: Time to Reconsider?
Opinion 
4/20/2015  73 comments
If you’ve noticed the recent news about electric cars and batteries, then it’s easy to wonder about the continuing wisdom behind public subsidies for EVs.
Is the Volkswagen Microbus Poised for an Electric Comeback?
Automotive News 
4/17/2015  6 comments
Get your Allman Brothers albums ready. The iconic Volkswagen Microbus may be poised for a comeback, and this time it could be electric.
Nissan's Position Sensor Provides Wake-Up Call
Automotive News 
4/16/2015  3 comments
Using a steering angle sensor instead of a camera, Nissan Motor Co. engineers have introduced a simpler way to monitor driver drowsiness.
Engineering Disasters: Metallurgy, Rivets Sank the Titanic
Blog 
4/15/2015  12 comments
Cold temperatures caused the hull of the RMS Titanic to fail. But with better metallurgy and connector technology, Titanic's hull might have remained intact.
It's Time to Investigate the H-1B Mess
Opinion 
4/13/2015  11 comments
The rancorous annual debate over the H-1B visa program could be definitively resolved if the United States government would commit itself to one difficult act: investigation.
Robotics Week Embraces Autonomous Vehicles
Blog 
4/10/2015  1 comment
National Robotics Week adopted a broader definition of robotics Thursday, as it shifted its focus from factory floor robots to autonomous vehicles and drones.
Robot Manufacturer, Astronomers Battle Over Lawnmower
Electronics News 
4/9/2015  20 comments
Could our view of distant galaxies be obstructed by a lawnmower? That unlikely question is at the heart of a growing debate between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and a robot manufacturer that seeks to build self-guided lawnmowers.
15 Robots That Project a Human Vibe
Electronics News 
4/7/2015  2 comments
Increasingly, a new breed of humanoid robots can walk, run, see, hear, and even think. For some people, it’s too close for comfort.
MCUs Embrace New Demand for Ultra-Low Power Innovation
Blog 
4/6/2015  Post a comment
An emphasis on portability and sensor fusion is creating a need for ultra-low-power MCUs with more processing capability.
Audi's New Controller Will Pave the Way for Autonomous Driving
Automotive News 
4/3/2015  24 comments
Audi AG took a big step forward in autonomous driving technology this week, announcing that it will go to production with a “piloted” driving controller about the size of a tablet computer.
Will H-1B Visas Kill Jobs or Ensure Survival of the Fittest?
Electronics News 
4/2/2015  20 comments
As the annual scramble for H-1B visas begins anew this week, the debate over the viability of the program is heating up again.
Vehicle Reliability Is Up, Especially in Powertrain
Automotive News 
3/26/2015  8 comments
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
Software Tool Aims to Zap ESD Problems
Product News 
3/25/2015  Post a comment
A new software tool enables circuit designers to do a “dry run” on a device’s electrostatic discharge (ESD) performance without building a test board first.
Slideshow: The Best and Worst of Automotive Reliability
Automotive News 
3/24/2015  13 comments
As it does every year, Consumers Union recently surveyed its members on the reliability of their vehicles. This year, it collected data on approximately 1.1 million cars and trucks, categorizing the members’ likes and dislikes, not only of their vehicles, but of the vehicle sub-systems, as well.
TI Boosts Performance of Ultra-Low Power MCUs
Product News 
3/24/2015  4 comments
Texas Instruments will make one of its biggest microcontroller (MCU) announcements in years today, as it rolls out an ultra-low-power platform aimed at sensor hubs and portable applications.
Manufacturing Boom a Fake? No Way
Electronics News 
3/19/2015  14 comments
Design News readers spoke loudly and clearly after our recent news story about a resurgence in manufacturing -- and manufacturing jobs. Commenters doubted the manufacturers, describing them as H-1B visa promoters, corporate crybabies, and clowns. They argued that US manufacturers aren’t willing to train workers, preferring instead to import cheap labor from abroad.
Integrated Motion Platform Speeds Fuselage Positioning
News 
3/18/2015  Post a comment
An integrated programmable logic controller (PLC) and motion platform has enabled an aircraft manufacturer to speed development and cut the costs of a massive fuselage positioning system.
Are AGVs Ready for the Assembly Line?
Product News 
3/16/2015  Post a comment
A Michigan-based company is putting a new wrinkle on the decades-old concept of using automated guided vehicles (AGVs) on the factory floor.
Manufacturers Struggle to Find Trained Tech People
News 
3/13/2015  28 comments
America’s aging manufacturing base may finally be on the rebound, but it still faces an unexpected dilemma -- lack of trained technical people to carry out the work.
Supercars Roll at Geneva Motor Show
Automotive News 
3/11/2015  2 comments
Every year, ultra-luxury automakers roll out their best and brightest at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. This year was no different.
Controller Brings Gesture Control to Factory Floor
Product News 
3/9/2015  Post a comment
Gesture control on the factory floor gained momentum at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show, as Bosch Rexroth Corp. rolled out a controller that allows users to pinch, zoom, and swipe.
Wireless Gaining Momentum in Remote Monitoring
Electronics News 
3/6/2015  3 comments
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
Engineering Disasters: SS Schenectady, a Lesson in Brittle Fracture
Blog 
3/5/2015  27 comments
It took engineers nearly half a century to determine why the SS Schenectady, while docked quietly in a harbor off Portland, Ore. one day, suddenly snapped in half.
New Ford Focus Predicts Spin-Outs
Automotive News 
3/3/2015  14 comments
A few weeks ago, Ford Motor Co. quietly announced that it was rolling out a new wrinkle to the powerful safety feature called stability control, adding even more lifesaving potential to a technology that has already been very successful.
Future City Competition: A Tech Conference for Middle Schoolers
News 
2/28/2015  3 comments
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.
What Will it Take for Apple's Next Big Thing to be a Car?
Automotive News 
2/25/2015  22 comments
If any big company can make a sudden and successful leap into the business of building cars, Apple Inc. would have to be considered the most likely candidate.
Keithley Introduces New Touchscreen Digital Multimeter
Electronics News 
2/23/2015  Post a comment
In an effort to appeal to individuals who don’t consider themselves test experts, Keithley Instruments has rolled out a new digital multimeter that combines a touchscreen interface with a digitizer.
Smartphone App Opens Your Car Doors
Automotive News 
2/20/2015  5 comments
The smartphone may be on the verge of its next great automotive conquest -- the inside of your car door.
Chevy Bolt Announcement Signals Battery Improvement
Automotive News 
2/17/2015  24 comments
Last week’s news that Chevrolet will take its all-electric Bolt concept car to production could be a sign that there's a step-change in EV battery technology on the horizon.
Suppliers Make Manufacturing Smarter With Industry 4.0
Electronics News 
2/13/2015  1 comment
The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” gained momentum this week, as a handful of automation suppliers rolled out products aimed at creating smarter, more flexible factories.
Gadget Freak Workshop Demonstrates the Power of Wireless
Electronics News 
2/11/2015  1 comment
Gadget freaks from around the country this week learned the power of a simple 8-bit microcontroller and a small wireless card.
BMW i3: The 'Most Significant Vehicle Since the Model T'
Automotive News 
2/10/2015  22 comments
A well-known automotive consultant who did an extensive teardown of BMW’s i3 all-electric car said its design is groundbreaking in multiple ways. “We’ve torn down about 450 cars, and we’ve never analyzed anything like this before.”
Start-Stop Gaining Momentum in Cars, Trucks
Automotive News 
2/4/2015  23 comments
With 54.5 mile-per-gallon fuel efficiency standards now just a decade away, automakers and suppliers have begun ratcheting up their efforts to apply start-stop technology to automobiles.
Get Your Wireless Demo Boards at Gadget Freak Workshop
Gadget Freak 
2/2/2015  4 comments
Followers of Design News’ Gadget Freak blogs will have the opportunity next week to take home a wireless remote demo package that can be used to build garage door openers, tire pressure monitors, keyless entry systems, and much more.


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Latest Analysis
If you’ve ever seen a retread fly off a speeding 18-wheeler, then you’ll understand the value in Freescale Semiconductor’s latest tire pressure monitoring effort.
Cost, product development rigor, the patient-as-a-user movement, and consumer electronics that include wireless connectivity are just a few hot topics swirling around medical devices. Each brings challenges that create innovation opportunities. If we briefly look at each one, we can see that one common need will be innovation in simplicity.
Tesla is expected to announce the release of a new battery aimed at powering your entire home.
The supply chain will change significantly over the next 10 years as industry 4.0 technology enhances supply chain performance, according to the 2015 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Supply Chain Innovation — Making the impossible possible.”
Sherlock Ohms highlights stories told by engineers who have used their deductive reasoning and technical prowess to troubleshoot and solve the most perplexing engineering mysteries.
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