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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Mouser at "electronica 2016" Andréa Catel
Four days of coffee beans, lottery tickets, virtual journeys, and the most famous back scratchers. For Mouser Electronics and its employees, the days from November 8th to 11th, 2016 were long and a little exhausting—but also a lot of fun. It is not every day we get to talk to long-time customers in person, tell potential new customers all about Mouser, or even chat with our colleagues from our different offices all over Europe. For Mouser, the show was a big success and our stand offered many things to discover. Here are some impressions from Mouser employees working the floor

Cybersecurity and the Internet of Industrial Things Mike Parks
The Internet was not built with security in mind. It was built predominantly by researchers looking to pass around scientific data. The assumption was that only good players would ever have access to the systems that eventually gave rise to the Internet we all know today. We have made significant progress with security in the decades since the Internet first became accessible to the public, but the cat and mouse game between the good guys and bad guys continues.

Will the Auto Industry Ever Get Telematics Right? Barry Manz
Few other human-machine interfaces (HMIs) present as many challenges as the modern automobile, so have pity on the weary auto industry designer tasked with trying to come to grips with telematics. It’s only rival in complexity is the commercial airliner, whose flight deck remains chock full of knobs, dials, and switches even after wholesale changes that migrated functions to large touch screen displays like those in the Airbus 380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. At least pilots are highly trained, technically astute professionals, however, while drivers range from being technology haters to “enthusiasts” who like to tweak engine control modules for higher performance. Designing an interface that is usable by such a spectrum of drivers has got to be insanely difficult.

IoT Security: Place Your Trust in a Module Mark Patrick
Data security is a very hot topic at the moment. It’s rare to get through a day without hearing news of a large corporation or an individual getting ‘burnt’. That’s hardly surprising when virtually every facet of our lives involves technology and the storage of data: the streets of every town are thronged with people glued to their smartphones, just managing their daily existence. Of course, the more reliant on technology we become, the more complex the picture becomes, with increasing levels of product interconnectivity. Nowhere is this more evident than with the Internet of Things (IoT).

Spinning Discs and Solid States: A Brief Walk Down Memory Lane Benjamin Miller
Non-volatile storage is a key component in any computer system. Traditionally a computer will contain a hard disk drive (HDD), a rotating disk with data magnetically written on it. Disk drives were invented over half a century ago and have since become small and cheap. Enter the new kid in town, the solid-state drive (SSD). Solid-state drives use non-volatile flash memory to write and read data at speeds far greater than an HDD. Although SSDs have existed for a couple of decades, only recently have they become cheap enough with enough storage space to become mainstream. SSDs are increasingly common in modern computers, especially in tablets and laptops. With this in mind, in what ways are SSDs better than HDDs, and is the difference significant enough to signal a complete revolution in the storage industry?

Arduino 101: Pattern Matching on the Intel® Quark™ SE Microcontroller Lynnette Reese
Machines have never been as good as the human brain for sensing, perceiving, thinking about, or interpreting visual images. The human brain is also quite effective at “filling in the blanks” by making assumptions about the world around it. In some circumstances, the brain falls prey to a phenomenon referred to as an “optical illusion” in the common vernacular.

Formula E Spikes Interest in Electric Vehicles Steven Keeping
Electric vehicles feature some impressive technology but suffer from an image problem that’s proving to be a drag on popularity. Sales of EVs (cars driven by one or more electric motors powered by batteries recharged from an external electricity supply) are tiny compared to consumption of conventional autos. Although over a million EVs have been sold since 2008, the entire fleet makes up just 0.1 percent of global vehicle numbers.

Digital Power and Power Sequencing: Mostly Good News with some Cautions Bill Schweber
In most multi-rail systems, sequencing and relative timing of power-up or power-down for each supply rail is done by a specialized sequencer function, which can be implemented as part of a PMIC (power management IC) or a dedicated sequencer IC. Either way, the DC regulator that provides those rails and the sequencing functions are generally separate entities. Even if they are part of the same IC—which they often are in high-volume applications—they operate independently of each other.

Here Comes the Sun Mark Patrick
A team of engineers in Germany is addressing the challenge of getting enough light with a new, app-controlled intelligent lamp. The HEAVN One is a desk lamp, a daylight lamp and a room illuminator, all in one. It takes the well-established idea of the health benefits of light, and expands it in three different ways.

Imposter Syndrome and Engineering Students Benjamin Miller
How long do you think you’ll last before they find out that you are a fraud? The first quiz? The first exam? Do you think you might make it all the way to graduation on a fluke before they realize that you don’t deserve to be there?

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