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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


Make it Happen: The Maker Movement Justin Risedorf
“They don’t make things like they used to.” But there may still be some hope; today’s maker movement, helped along by open source hardware, may be able to replenish some of the awe that the Industrial Revolution took from us. Not to disrespect mass production, I’m as much a fan of affordable goods as the next person, but it seems sterile now. Products seem manufactured, not thoughtfully designed and crafted.

The Internet of Saving Things Warren Miller
The Internet of Things is going to dramatically change the ways in which we manage the many Things in our lives. Just look at the changing nature of our personal possessions. One of the biggest changes for me is reflected in the size of my book, CD and DVD cases.

Everyone Huddle Around the Toasty Firewall Arden Henderson
Let's talk about firewalls. Let's say the reader is working on something very cool in her garage and worried about industrial spies stealing her ideas right off the hard drive. Let's say the reader is ordering pizza with a smartphone app. Perhaps the new TV sitting over there next to the bookcase is one of those smart TVs that can be controlled by voice, which means it is listening all of the time even when "off." (Think about that for a moment with the aforementioned state-of-mind.)

Timing is Everything:  A Look at Oscillators, Clocks, Buffers and Redrivers Mike Parks
In the space it takes us to blink an eye (300 to 400 milliseconds is the average) a modern embedded core can perform millions of operations. It’s almost unfathomable for us to perceive such tiny fractions of time, especially since the evolution of timekeeping began with sundials and water clocks, with the first (fairly) accurate clock arriving in 1656. Modern digital technology operates very comfortably at these breakneck speeds because of decades of advancements in timing technologies such as crystal oscillators and clock generators.

5G: Tall Order or Tall Tale? Barry Manz
If you believe what the wireless industry is saying about 5G, the fifth generation of cellular technology, you’d think it was the equivalent of landing a man on the moon. Not only will we have lightning-quick data rates and expanded coverage, 5G will make it possible to connect everyone with every “thing” that needs to be connected. That’s a tall order that could wind up being a tall tale, for several reasons.

Power Tips: The Ground Plane – A Critical Element in Noise Management of Switching Regulators Texas Instruments
Last month, I received a customer complaint about high-frequency spikes on the output of a DC/DC converter. I first reviewed the part’s schematic locations, and all of the necessary noise filtering was in place. High-quality input bypass caps were right at the power train, the correct main waveform snubber was in place, and the output had the needed high-frequency bypass caps.

Bioenergy Harvesting: Bringing the Search for Alternative Energy to Life Justin Risedorf
Alternative energy has been a buzzword for quite some time, so most of us are aware of planet Earth’s well-known alternative sources like solar panels and windmills. On the horizon now, though, is a wave of energy science that captures energy from living sources. Meaning, quite possibly, your backyard plants could power a Wi-Fi chip and your own beating heart could charge a battery.

The Internet of Finding Things Warren Miller
To me, the projections for the number of Things we will have in the Internet of Things is mind boggling. Cisco projects that there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020. That’s a big number. How are we going to keep track of all our IoT ‘Things’ when there are that many of them? I have trouble keeping track of my phone, car keys and TV remote control.

Standards Fight Holds Back Wireless Charging Steven Keeping
Today’s wireless charging is like commuting to work by bicycle: great in principle but a pain in practice. Cycling promises fitness, no gas bills and freedom from public transport schedules but the reality involves dodging cars, inhaling truck fumes and arriving in the office disheveled. Similarly, wireless charging has the potential (excuse the pun) to free consumers from the tedium of finding the correct charger from the dozens of incompatible units in the kitchen drawer and to cut through the Gordian knot of power cables lurking under the office desk. Yet wireless charging systems remain thin on the ground and compatible mobile devices are rarer still.

5G: Not Your Average Upgrade Barry Manz
The evolution of wireless (that is, cellular) capability has promised more than its predecessor. At a high level, 2G transitioned from analog to digital modulation and added modest data to voice capability, 3G added a faster but still iffy data rates, and 4G (LTE) represented a massive improvement in speed with data rates adequate for streaming video without hiccups.

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