The World Is Analog

KingetTTF

The world we live in is analog. We are analog. Any inputs we can perceive are analog. For example, sounds are analog signals; they are continuous time and continuous value. Our ears listen to analog signals and we speak with … Continue reading






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The Future of Temperature-Compensated Crystal Oscillators

EsterlineFigure1

Most modern digital and analog electronic devices require a time base to perform their intended function. Found in everything from cell phones to smart munitions, quartz crystal oscillators are widely used in many embedded applications. Quartz resonators’ high Q, excellent … Continue reading






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The Future of 3-D Printed Electronics

Photo 1: 3-D PE demonstrator—Tank-filling sensor produced in the FKIA project funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation (Courtesy of Neotech AMT GmbH)

Three-dimensional printing technology is one of our industry’s most exciting innovations. And the promising field of 3-D printed electronics is poised to revolutionize the way engineers design and manufacture electrical systems for years to come. In the following essay, Dr. … Continue reading






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Self-Reconfiguring Robotic Systems & M-Blocks

Source: Kyle Gilpin

Self-reconfiguring robots are no longer science fiction. Researchers at MIT are rapidly innovating shape-shifting robotic systems. In the August 2014 issue of Circuit Cellar, MIT researcher Kyle Gilpin presents M-Blocks, which are 50-mm cubic modules capable of controlled self-reconfiguration. The … Continue reading






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Wearable Medical Computing and the Amulet Project

Dr. Vivian Genaro Motti

Health care is one of the most promising areas for employing wearable devices. Wearable mobile health sensors can track activities (e.g., count steps or caloric expenditure), monitor vital signs including heart rate and blood pressure, measure biometric data (e.g., glucose … Continue reading






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Bluetooth Low Energy Changes the “Wireless Landscape”

The Mooshimeter displays a car startup transient.

In 2010, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) took Nokia’s existing Wibree standard and renamed it Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). In doing so, it combined the latest in a series of evolutionary engineering improvements with brute-force market pressure to change … Continue reading






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The Future of Monolithically Integrated LED Arrays

A prototype emissive LED display chip is shown. The chip includes an emissive compass pattern ready to embed into new applications.

LEDs are ubiquitous in our electronic lives. They are widely used in notification lighting, flash photography, and light bulbs, to name a few. For displays, LEDs have been commercialized as backlights in televisions and projectors. However, their use in image … Continue reading






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The Future of Small Radar Technology

Small radar devices such as the RFBeam Microwave K-LC1a radio transceiver cost less than $10 when purchased in quantity.

Directing the limited resources of Fighter Command to intercept a fleet of Luftwaffe bombers en route to London or accurately engaging the Imperial Navy at 18,000 yards in the dead of night. This was our grandfather’s radar, the technology that … Continue reading






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3-D Integration Impact and Challenges

silicon chip

People want transistors—lots of them. It pretty much doesn’t matter what shape they’re in, how small they are, or how fast they operate. Simply said, the more the merrier. Diversity is also good. The more different the transistors, the more … Continue reading






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The Future of Inkjet-Printed Electronics

This single-sided wiring pattern for an Arduino microcontroller was printed on a transparent sheet of coated PET film, (Photo courtesy of Georgia Technical Institute)

Over the past decade, major advances in additive printing technologies in the 2-D and 3-D electronics fabrication space have accelerated additive processing—printing in particular—into the mainstream for the fabrication of low-cost, conformal, and environmentally friendly electronic components and systems. Printed … Continue reading






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The Future of Nanotube Computing

Max Shulaker, a graduate student at Stanford University and author of this essay, holds a wafer filled with CNTs. (Photo: Norbert von der Groeben )

For decades, silicon-based transistors have been the workhorse of the semiconductor industry, achieving remarkable advances in computational power. While advances continue to be made, alternative technologies are being explored to increase computational power and efficiency beyond the limits of silicon. … Continue reading






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Low-Cost SBCs Could Revolutionize Robotics Education

rover_web

For my entire life, my mother has been a technology trainer for various educational institutions, so it’s probably no surprise that I ended up as an engineer with a passion for STEM education. When I heard about the Raspberry Pi, … Continue reading






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Natural Human-Computer Interaction

This shows the hand tracking result from Kinect data. The red regions are our tracking results and the green lines are the skeleton tracking results from the Kinect SDK (based on data from the ChAirGest corpus: https://project.eia-fr.ch/chairgest/Pages/Overview.aspx).

Recent innovations in both hardware and software have brought on a new wave of interaction techniques that depart from mice and keyboards. The widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets with capacitive touchscreens shows people’s preference to directly manipulate virtual objects … Continue reading






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3-D Printing with Liquid Metals

3-D printing with liquid metals: a line of dolls

by Collin Ladd and Michael Dickey Our research group at North Carolina State University has been studying new ways to use simple processes to print liquid metals into 3-D shapes at room temperature. 3-D printing is gaining popularity because of … Continue reading






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The Future of Very Large-Scale Integration (VLSI) Technology

Chris Kim

The historical growth of IC computing power has profoundly changed the way we create, process, communicate, and store information. The engine of this phenomenal growth is the ability to shrink transistor dimensions every few years. This trend, known as Moore’s … Continue reading






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