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Category: Electrical Engineering

Diagnosing Class II MLCC Effective Capacitance and Aging Under DC Bias

For decades, multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) have been the go-to choice for surface-mounted capacitors due to their many advantages, such as wide available capacitance range, non-polarity, low ESR, and low cost. Most designers know that the effective capacitance of Class II MLCCs can be reduced significantly when dc bias is applied across the capacitor. However, in addition to the dc bias effect, other important factors can impact the effective capacitance of Class II MLCCs. These factors include ac bias, signal…

PCIM Europe is Alive, Interactive, and Free in Cyberspace

Although you won’t be able to go to the Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion (PCIM) conference in person at the Nuremburg Messe this year, you can still attend it free of charge as a virtual event from July 7-8, 2020. On top of being one of Europe’s premier power technology events, this year’s conference is a remarkable demonstration of how quickly the technology community has been able to come up with ways to remain productive, innovative, and collaborative in the face of the…

Does deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s increase risk of dementia? — ScienceDaily

There’s good news for people with Parkinson’s disease. A new study shows that deep brain stimulation may not increase the risk of developing dementia. The study is published in the July 1, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. For people with advanced Parkinson’s disease, deep brain stimulation has been shown to be more effective than medication in controlling their movement problems. But research has been mixed on whether the treatment can increase…

Closed Loop Operation a New Big Idea

Step motors are popular first and foremost because they are easy to use. They do not require an encoder to maintain their position, and unlike DC brush or brushless DC motors when used for positioning, they do not require a servo control loop. Their advantages are low cost, high torque output and brushless operation. However, they also have significant drawbacks which include vibration, noise and a limited speed range. A new drive technique called closed loop stepper, also sometimes called…

Streamlining Embedded-Computing Design with COMs

Using computer-on-module (COM) hardware allows designers to concentrate on their applications. It can also simplify the design of the carrier board. To that end, a number of COM vendors provide a range of solutions. I spoke with Daniel Lang, Chief Marketing Officer at Toradex, about COM and system-on-module (SOM) solutions. Also discussed were the challenges faced by designers and how these platforms help streamline the design process. Daniel Lang, Chief Marketing Officer, Toradex What would you say is the most…

Engineering Ethics Blog: A Burning Question: Trees Into Electricity?

Ancient humans probably learned first about fire by watching a forest burn.  One would think that in this era of nuclear and solar energy, the very old-fashioned alternative of burning wood for power is passé, but one would be wrong.  A recent article on the Wired website points out that biomass-fueled power plants are enjoying a comeback both in the U. S. and Europe, but for different reasons.  And the reasons are controversial. Burning wood releases the greenhouse gas carbon…

Reap More Data Security from Memory with an Integrated Secure Element

Car security no longer relates to function alone. Whether an infotainment system, onboard electronics, or system architecture for autonomous driving, a modern car is a rolling IT network. That’s why vehicle manufacturers increasingly need to take data and communication security into account. Specialist memory and security solutions offer new approaches. In 2015, AUDI AG, BMW Group, and Daimler AG paid a total of 2.8 billion euros ($3.02 billion) to take over Nokia’s geodata business. The significance of navigation systems at…

Researchers Control the Movements of Living Cells Using Electric Fields

Many companies are working on parts of patient monitor networks, if not the entire network. They envision secure connections to wireless networks that let healthcare providers remotely track patients’ progress. Today’s wearable medical products can also act as personal emergency-response systems This lets patients them leave hospitals sooner, eliminates many connectors and cables (not to mention clinic visits) and gives doctors reams of accurate data. But as usual, there are some hurdles in going from the concept to a profitable…

Make the Timely Move: Add a UPS to Your Battery/Cell Tester

Electronic selectivity protection of 24-V dc load circuits with fast fault detection offers plant operators with greater simplicity, visibility, and most importantly, reliable disconnection of faulty load circuits while powering other load circuits to limit production disruptions. Nearly 100 years ago, a patent was filed on the forerunner of today’s miniature circuit breakers commonly used by industry today. Fuses date back even further to the early days of electric lighting and telegraphy, with first patent on one filed by Thomas…

Small Robot Makes Great Strides—and Jumps

Robotics is a relatively young field with only about 40 years of deployment history in workplace environments, but technology within this field is advancing incredibly fast. So, compliance needs to keep current with these rapid changes. The challenge is how to convey compliance comprehensibly to end-users and integrators. Among the most common compliance questions : “When is a robot system really compliant?” “What requirements must the robot and robot system comply to?” “Why can’t I just do A, B and…