Holiday Gift-Giving Guide: 5 Hot Tech Gadgets for Engineers

December 19, 2019

Jim Harrison  By: Jim Harrison
 Guest Blogger, Lincoln Technology Communications 


Miracle-Gro Twelve

The trouble with liking technology stuff is it keeps changing. Every year, there's something new you've gotta have. This winter, as we approach the end of the decade, there are, once again, lots of interesting tech items to consider for holiday gift-giving or just to buy for yourself. Here are just five of the best gifts for the engineer in your life.

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Experience Wireless Battery Management at CES 2020

December 18, 2019

Tamer Kira  By: Tamer Kira
 Executive Director, Automotive Business Unit, Maxim Integrated 


Wireless and wired battery management systems

More vehicle manufacturers are moving toward electrification, and sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are continuing to rise. While only 12% of the U.S. population, California provides nearly 50% of all EV sales in the country. Globally, China remains the leader in development and sales of EVs. By 2040, 57% of all passenger vehicle sales will be electric, according to BloombergNEF's analysis.

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Ask Michael: Swipe Right for the Isolated Gate Driver That’s a Perfect Match for GaN/SiC Switches

December 17, 2019

Michael Jackson  By: Michael Jackson
 Principal Writer, Maxim Integrated 


Isolated Power Converter Circuit

Hi Michael,

I've heard that gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) could replace MOSFET and IGBT power switches in the near future. The fact that they are smaller and faster sounds great, but as always, I suspect there's no such thing as a free lunch. Are there any pitfalls that I need to be aware of before I start looking at using GaN and SiC in my designs?

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Learn How You Can Design a Power Supply in 5 Minutes

December 12, 2019

Oliver Jakobi  By: Oliver Jakobi
 Member of the Technical Staff, Field Applications, Maxim Integrated 

How much time do you spend designing power supplies? In this video, I will teach you how to design a power supply in five minutes or less using the online EE-Sim® Design and Simulation tool. The MAX17506 Evaluation Kit is used to compare efficiency simulation results from EE-Sim with the actual hardware. The results are nearly identical, which means designing hardware just got a whole lot easier. Don't believe me? Then have a seat, and enjoy the video!

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Why New ICs Are Needed to Bring Intelligence to the Edge

December 10, 2019

Anil Telikepalli  By: Anil Telikepalli
 Managing Director, Core Products Group, Maxim Integrated 


Object identification application

Computing has seesawed between centralized and distributed models, from mainframes to enterprise servers and then to cloud computing. Each of these cycles has not completely replaced the previous architecture, but, rather, added to it to cater to differing needs past the hype cycle. With edge sensors and AI inferencing, we are now moving past the hype cycle for data centers towards increasing intelligence at the edge and processing the resulting data right there. With billions of edge devices, the demand for low latency has increased. It is incredibly inefficient to collect data from billions of edge devices to a central data center for computation when there is no inter-relationship among the data. Not to mention large, inefficient data pipes and high latency. This has opened the door for low-power, low-latency, distributed edge-computing devices.

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Intelligent Buildings Get Smarter and Smarter

December 5, 2019

Jim Harrison  By: Jim Harrison
 Guest Blogger, Lincoln Technology Communications 


Salesforce Tower

Everyone is hoping that making buildings 'smart' will make them more environmentally sound, more livable, and more comfortable. About 40% of total U.S. energy consumption was attributed to buildings last year. Lower cost sensors and easier to implement networking are making a difference–especially in skyscrapers.

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3 Ways an Integrated Bio-algorithm Sensor Hub Simplifies Wearable Designs

December 3, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Blood Pressure Monitoring from Smartphone

So you've got an idea for a new type of wearable, something that will accurately measure parameters such as blood pressure, heart rate, and blood-oxygen levels (SpO2). The market for these devices is hot, so you and your team want to time the launch of your device to the most opportune market window.

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How GSEE-TECH Cut 6 Months from Analog Input Module Development Cycle

November 26, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


GSEE-Tech analog input module

GSEE-TECH, based in Tianjin, China, develops, produces, and sells industrial automation products. Its extensive portfolio of industrial Ethernet communications products include switches, gateway modules, I/O modules, and industrial wireless blocks.

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Can a Supercapacitor Replace Your Battery for Backup Power?

November 25, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Portable barcode scanner

From smart meters to machines to vehicles, supercapacitors are popping up in a variety of applications. Will they replace batteries? Perhaps not in every application at the moment, but supercapacitors do provide an advantage over batteries in certain designs.

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Reference Designs with ECAD Files Mean Faster Circuit Design

November 21, 2019

Joe McClean  By: Joe McClean
 Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Maxim Integrated 
Anders Reisch  and Anders Reisch
 Managing Director, Maxim Integrated 


MAXREFDES1177 reference design with ECAD files

Circuit design is time-consuming, often reliant on a trial-and-error process. And those iterations can result in delayed product introduction. So, with ever-present time-to-market pressures weighing on your shoulders, any tools or techniques that shorten your design process are welcome.

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How Analog ICs Support Seismic Signal Detection

November 19, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


GTI NuSeis seismic recording technology

Every micro-movement deep beneath the earth's surface is important to note for applications such as resource extraction and substance sequestration. High-quality seismic data acquisition calls for recording technology that is precise and efficient—two characteristics that mark the solutions developed by Geophysical Technology, Inc. (GTI).

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PUI Audio Delivers Clean, Clear Sound from Tiny Speakers

November 14, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


PUI Audio's micro speakers can be used in portable devices like electronic toys

More portable devices are being designed with sound, yet not all engineers developing these systems have audio expertise. This is where a company like PUI Audio can step in. A family-owned business in Dayton, Ohio, PUI Audio is North America's largest, broadest audio components provider. Starting from its early days, the company has built its business on a foundation based on listening to its customers. In addition to its vast product portfolio, the company also provides upfront design support, turnkey engineering capabilities, on-site production assistance, and functional and environmental testing.

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Ask Michael: How Do I Make My High-Current Sensor IO-Link Compatible?

November 13, 2019

Michael Jackson  By: Michael Jackson
 Principal Writer, Maxim Integrated 


Maxim Integrated MAX22513 dual-channel IO-Link transceiver Diagram

Hi, Michael:

I'm having a problem you might be able to help me out with. I'm designing an industrial sensor, but I'm struggling with the power budget to make it work with the IO-Link® connectors. The problem is that the regulators and LDOs on the IO-Link transceivers I've been looking at aren't efficient enough for the amount of current I need. Also, the sensor enclosure is too small for me to use a separate DC-DC converter. Any ideas?

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What Can You Create with Frequency Synthesizers?

November 12, 2019

Ben Smith  By: Ben Smith
 Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Applications, Maxim Integrated 

In the mid 1970s I had the best job an aspiring engineer could hope for: I worked the sales floor at a well-known national electronics retailer. And at that time, there were just three products that kept us all in business: eight-track tape players, citizen's band radios, and police scanners.

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Keep Perishables Safe with Reliable Temperature Monitoring

November 7, 2019

Venkatesh Karra  By: Venkatesh Karra
 Member of the Technical Staff, Applications, Maxim Integrated 


Accurate, reliable temperature monitoring is key to keeping perishables such as food and pharmaceuticals safe. Thermochrons are cool iButton® devices. They can efficiently log temperature in harsh environments and store the readings in protected memory. The stainless steel enclosure makes the thermochron physically robust.

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Why Long Battery Life is the Lifeblood of Thread IoT Sensors

November 6, 2019

Anil Telikepalli  By: Anil Telikepalli
 Managing Director, Core Products Group, Maxim Integrated 


Layers governed by the Thread wireless networking standard

By providing secure IPv6-based low-power wireless technology, Thread® enables tamper-proof home sensors for comfort, entertainment, security, and energy efficiency. With its origins in home and building automation, Thread enables IoT applications in diverse consumer, wearable, medical, and industrial markets. Google has also released a lightweight open-source implementation of Thread called OpenThread. While it is not exactly akin to what Android was for smartphones, OpenThread promises to be an excellent enabler for Thread adoption. Thread joins several other networking standards including Zigbee, NB-IoT, LoRa, SigFox, and Bluetooth LE.

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How Wearables Can Become a More Integral Part of Healthcare

November 5, 2019

Ian Chen  By: Ian Chen
 Executive Director, Industrial & Healthcare Business Unit, Maxim Integrated 


Healthcare Wearables

The future of healthcare could be even more data-driven and personalized than it is today. Instead of determining that a patient has a light fever based on a thermometer reading of 37°C, a diagnosis would be based on a comparison of an elevated resting body temperature against a similarly observed baseline from that individual. Rather than an arbitrary (or worse, financially driven) model where patients visit their doctors for sparsely scheduled checkups, people may receive care based on a cadence optimized to their own unique situations.

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Scare Up Some Electronic Tricks and Treats This Halloween

October 31, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Pumpkin Pi Halloween Jack-o-Lantern

With ghosts and goblins roaming the streets in search of treats, Halloween might be the perfect time to channel your inner maker and show off your DIY skills. From robot candy dispensers to scary electronic pranks, the creative engineers in the Hackster.io community have shared some interesting ideas that might just inspire you to design something frightful.

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How to Get Accurate In-Ear Heart-Rate and SpO2 Monitoring

October 29, 2019

Jim Harrison  By: Jim Harrison
 Guest Blogger, Lincoln Technology Communications 


The MAX30208 10-pin thin LGA package

Engineers designing the next generation of wearable health and fitness applications need high accuracy along with very low power for applications such as wrist-band wearables. The wrist is not an ideal location for clinical monitoring of body temperature, but gives a good relative and daily trend indication. Accuracy is still very important here.

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How to Drive Micro Speakers to Their Maximum Power Rating

October 24, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Getting great audio quality from micro speakers calls for a smart amplifier with Dynamic Speaker Management technology.

Want to get louder sound and more bass from your micro speakers—without blowing them out? Dynamic Speaker Management (DSM) technology could be your answer.

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Stress Your Power Supply, Not Yourself

October 22, 2019

Erin Mannas  By: Erin Mannas
 Senior Manager, Applications, Maxim Integrated 


Stressed Integrated Circuit Engineer

Have you had that bad dream about your new design yet? You know, the one where it's almost done and you bring up the power supply and then…disaster! All because you didn't vet the power supply thoroughly enough.

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Air Guitar Gets Real with These Electronic Instruments

October 17, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Guitar

Do you break out into air guitar solos when you hear your favorite rock or metal tune? For real serious enthusiasts, there's even a competition to crown a national air guitar champion. But if you prefer to experience a slightly more tactile experience, well, there's an app and tool for that. What if you're ready to take it a step further and actually learn how to play the guitar, but at your own pace and without having a teacher lecture you about getting enough practice? There's an app and tool for that, too.

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CCCamp Badge is More than an Entry Ticket – It’s a Sensor-Rich Reference Design

October 15, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Ole Dreessen and card10 from CCCamp

When hackers get together, it's not always for nefarious reasons. Good things can happen, especially when those hackers are part of the revered Chaos Computer Club, Europe's largest association of hackers.

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How an Old Digital Dog Can Learn New Analog Tricks

October 10, 2019

Ben Smith  By: Ben Smith
 Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Applications, Maxim Integrated 

I have a confession: I'm not really an analog person.

For pretty much my entire career, I've been working with microcontrollers and hooking them up to other, mostly digital, blocks. Freed from the uncertainties that plague the analog world, I could build large, complex systems out of digital logic, content in the knowledge that as long as I didn't push things too far, I could connect pretty much any digital output to pretty much any digital input, and the system would "just work."

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