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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How to Increase Safety of Automotive Li+ Battery Packs

October 8, 2019

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


Electric Vehicle

Nerves get rattled with every headline about electric vehicle (EV) battery fires. But the risk of a fire or explosion for EVs is actually similar or potentially a little lower than such a risk for gas or diesel-fueled vehicles, according to a 2017 report commissioned by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In EVs as well as hybrids, the lithium-ion battery is the workhorse, keeping the vehicle running smoothly, safely, and efficiently. So it's essential to carefully manage the voltages across the hundreds or even thousands of cells inside each vehicle's battery pack. Overvoltage and undervoltage conditions, for example, can weaken performance or, worse, lead to some catastrophic failure.

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How to Safely Demagnetize Your Inductor When Using Switching Inductive Loads

October 3, 2019

Andrew Escamilla  By: Andrew Escamilla
 Associate Business Manager, Industrial Communications, Maxim Integrated 


For many industrial applications, engineers use a high-side switch to control the inductive load. The challenge lies in discharging the energy in the inductor when the switch opens and the current is no longer sourced to the load. If the energy isn’t discharged correctly, this could lead to a variety of negative effects, such as potential arcing of relay contacts, big negative voltage spikes that could damage sensitive ICs, and the generation of high-frequency noise or EMI that can hamper system performance.

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Look Ma, the Battery Has Wheels!

October 1, 2019

Reno Rossetti  By: Reno Rossetti
 PhD., EE, Maxim Integrated 

Electric Car and Its Battery Pack

Remember the line in the Crocodile Dundee movie: “That’s a knife? This is a knife!” In the electric vehicle world that line translates to “That’s a battery? This is a battery!” Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by huge battery banks, constructed of long strings of batteries in series. These battery banks, typically made up of lithium-ion (Li+) cells, can achieve operating voltages higher than 800V. However, the materials of this battery chemistry can be damaged if overcharged. Each cell voltage must be monitored and, if necessary, appropriate control methods must be applied to avoid overvoltage. Excessive cell leakage current, overvoltage, undervoltage, and extreme temperature can all lead to weaker performance or even catastrophic failure

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Simple Yet Effective – Never Underestimate the Usefulness of the Humble Comparator!

September 26, 2019

Michael Jackson  By: Michael Jackson
 Principal Writer, Maxim Integrated 


Smartphones

GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 4G, cameras, etc., etc… Mobile phones (and other smart devices) have so many different features, it’s a testament to their high standard of design that they don’t overheat when running all these tasks simultaneously. However, nobody expects them to overheat when they’re in a power-saving (or sleep) mode. Well, recent events have taught us otherwise— a simple battery fault has the potential to cause irreversible heat damage (or worse) to the device. For this reason, you need to have some sort of failsafe temperature monitor in place, even in sleep mode. Of course, this requires some power to be burned (excuse the pun!) and throws up the conundrum: how can a device really be asleep if it’s still awake? Let’s have a look at the options to monitor temperature in sleep mode and you might just be a little bit surprised.

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5 Ways a MyMaxim Account Enhances Productivity

September 23, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Electrical Engineer

You browse vendor websites searching for information or the right products for your design. Is this research as fast and productive as you’d like? If you’ve already got a MyMaxim account, you know how quickly you can access what you need to push your projects along. But if you’re not yet in the Maxim community, consider these five ways that a MyMaxim account can enhance your productivity:

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Like a Good Wine, These Industrial Communications ICs Get Better Over Time

September 19, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Factory Robotics

Earlier this year, Andrew Smith, a product manager on Maxim’s industrial communications team, blogged that “These Industrial Communications ICs Are Oldies but Goodies for Good Reason.” His point was that innovation isn’t only about the latest and greatest products, but it is also exemplified by creating something that is lasting and continues to address emerging requirements for years. In his post, Smith highlighted several interface and signal routing ICs that continue to help engineers simplify their designs, reduce costs, and miniaturize their end products.

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Deliver Accurate Battery SOC Data from Your Wireless Android Headphones

September 18, 2019

Bakul Damle  By: Bakul Damle
 Director, Maxim Integrated 
Sagar Khare  and Sagar Khare
 Executive Business Manager; Battery Management, Maxim Integrated  


Wireless earbuds

Settling into your seat for a five-hour flight, you pop in your Bluetooth earbuds to listen to some podcasts. Will the device’s batteries and charging case have enough juice to deliver lasting run-time? Before long, the answer to this question will be much clearer. That’s because Android has announced plans to make it easier to manage battery life on wireless Android headphones.

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Smartphone for Seniors Gets Smarter with Health Monitoring

September 17, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Smartphone

Smartphones are typically designed to be somewhat intuitive and easy to use. But is this truly the scenario for everyone? In many cases, the settings of popular phones on the market need to be adjusted to accommodate users of different capabilities. Then there are models like the Raku-Raku Smartphone F-01L. Developed by Fujitsu Connected Technologies Limited, the Raku-Raku Smartphone is designed from the ground up to be easy to use, particularly for those who are new to touchscreen operations. So it’s no surprise that it is considered ideal for first-time smartphone users and popular with seniors. In fact, “raku-raku” translates to “easy to use” in English.

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nanoPower Technology Translates into Happy Users

September 12, 2019

Carlos Alberto Rodriguez  By: Carlos Alberto Rodriguez
 Business Manager, Micros, Security & Software Business Unit; Maxim Integrated 


Whether you look at the IoT, industrial, consumer, or medical markets, there are always applications where less power consumption is needed. This is especially of more importance when the end product is a portable device which requires a battery to power up the system. Users don’t want to go through the hassle of charging their devices every few hours. Ideally, they would like to not charge their devices at all! But, of course, this is not realistic. Instead, companies and their designers must try to get as close as possible to this ideal scenario by creating long-lasting digital systems. And while it’s easy to say, it’s certainly not easy to do. There are different points which need to be taken in consideration to achieve the minimum battery life requirements.

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Drive HB LEDs to Brighter Heights for Automotive Applications and More

September 11, 2019

Yin Wu  By: Yin Wu
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


LED headlights

Walking through New York City’s Times Square is an illuminating experience, to say the least. Adorning buildings on every block are walls of LED displays promoting products, entertainment options, financial services, and more. Compared to conventional lighting, LED lighting is much more energy efficient, robust, and longer lasting, and it enables the bright, vivid colors that make commercial and industrial applications shine.

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How Analog ICs Fuel Wireless IoT Sensors

September 10, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 

Radio Bridge

Radio Bridge

Buildings are becoming smarter than many people give them credit for. Maybe we’ve come to take for granted all of the things that these structures which house our workplaces and homes can now do without our intervention. From lighting and heating/cooling to security systems, many of the functions that keep us comfortable and safe now operate autonomously thanks to internet of things (IoT) technology.

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How Power Management ICs Support Smart Buildings

September 05, 2019

Anthony T. Huynh  By: Anthony T. Huynh
 Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Applications, Industrial Power, Maxim Integrated


Building automation technology

Thanks to modern control and automation techniques and technologies, smart buildings can yield significant energy savings, protect the environment, improve the health and safety of their occupants, and enhance quality of life.

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See If You Can Steal These Keys

September 03, 2019

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

 


When Maxim’s Embedded Security group asked me to create a 30-second video explaining their new ChipDNA physically unclonable function (PUF) technology, I have to admit, I was caught on my back foot just a little. Not because ChipDNA isn’t important – it is, and will become increasingly important as security becomes more critical in the coming years.

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The Ins and Outs of Voltage Supervisor ICs

Aug 29, 2019

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


I was asked recently, what kind of applications need a voltage supervisor? A silly question. All apps need a supervisor. Certainly, any design with a processor—which is almost every design. That processor can start acting very strangely when its power supply falls below spec. All engineers abhor the thought of the catastrophic design failure this can cause, and in some cases, it can be a serious safety issue.

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Why Shrinking Sizes of RTCs Is Good News for Your Portable Designs

Aug 27, 2019

Tawni Lisseth Henderson  By: Tawni Lisseth Henderson
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Smartwatch clock

A common thought comes to mind every time a new version of a phone is released: it is even SMALLER? The same goes for new medical devices, smart watches, wearables. They’re really all getting smaller? How can technology that must perform so many functions, with new capabilities being added in almost every new update or version, keep getting SMALLER? It seems like a contradiction: shouldn’t a device get bigger with every new function that is added to it?

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RS-485 Just Got a Major Stamina Boost!

August 22, 2019

Michael Jackson  By: Michael Jackson
 Principal Writer, Maxim Integrated 


Industrial Control System


Hey Michael,

I’ve been asked to design the RS-485 interface for our latest industrial controller. I’ve not been given exact specs yet, but I’m told it needs to be “as fast as possible” over the “longest possible distance.” I’m a graduate just out of college, so I’m not overly familiar with the interface. Any chance you could answer a few questions for me, so I can tie down what these things really mean? Anon

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Breakout Boards Give You a Head Start on Your Design

August 20, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


ProtoCentral MAX30003 breakout board

So you’ve got a cool idea for a design. There isn’t anything else like this on the market. Maybe this could be the start of something big, a product that launches your side hustle into a thriving new business.

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What’s Driving Industry 4.0?

August 15, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Industrial IoT application

Industry 4.0 is no longer a concept; it’s been happening, and it probably has been happening for longer than you realize. According to Suhel Dhanani, the questions now are, how can we best implement the infrastructure for Industry 4.0 and what are the technology drivers?

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Maxim Summer Interns Showcase Their Technical Talents

August 14, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Maxim Summer 2019 Interns

Every summer, the vibe at Maxim’s San Jose headquarters gets a fresh injection of energy as summer interns fill the campus with their enthusiasm, ideas, and perspectives. In August, 39 interns showcased their work during the annual Intern Symposium. Here’s a look at how a handful of them contributed to the company and also to their own portfolios.

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Are Sensor Clones Stealing Away Your Customers?

August 13, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Cyber security

Walkways toward many of America’s baseball stadiums are lined with merchants hawking team caps, T-shirts, and other “branded” gear. They’re available for a fraction of the cost that you’d pay for similar merchandise inside the gates. And, at least at quick glance, you can’t really tell they’re not authentic. Counterfeit products are everywhere and, in cases like sports apparel, they’re not particularly harmful to the buyers. But when the cloned product is something like a medical or industrial sensor, then there are dangerous risks to patient safety or factory operations.

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How to Minimize Power in Clocking Applications

August 8, 2019

Kyle Johnson  By: Kyle Johnson
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Laptop clock

Time is the driver of all actions in the technology industry. Technology today relies on extremely accurate measurements of time by real-time clocks (RTCs) to perform certain actions, whether this action is something as complicated as sending communication signals or as simple as telling the date and time on a phone or computer.

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How Secure Authenticators Prevent Counterfeiting of Medical Disposables

August 6, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Pulse oximeter

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 10 medical products in developing countries is either substandard in quality or falsified and up to 8% of medical products in the supply chain is counterfeit. In 2017, the World Customs Organization, Interpol, and law enforcement from more than 123 countries seized more than $50 million in counterfeit medicines and medical devices. These are scary statistics for patients and should be just as sobering for manufacturers of medical disposables.

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3 Reasons to Use a Discrete Real-Time Clock in Your Wearable Design

August 1, 2019

Binay Bajaj  By: Binay Bajaj
 Director; Core Products Group; Maxim Integrated 


Clock

Sure, a real-time clock (RTC) is considered a commodity product. But not all RTCs are made the same. In fact, you don’t even have to use a discrete RTC in your design. After all, microcontrollers have the function built in. But I’d like to argue that using a discrete RTC can actually be more beneficial in terms of your overall solution size and power management efficiency, especially if you are developing space-constrained applications like wearables.

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When Is a Digital Output Not Just a Digital Output? When It’s Also a Digital Input!

July 30, 2019

Michael Jackson  By: Michael Jackson
 Principal Writer, Maxim Integrated 


Automated factory

When you hear about Industry 4.0, do you envision robots busy at work inside factories, picking and packing products in a warehouse or manufacturing cars? Indeed, Industry 4.0 defines the modern factory environment. It consists of dozens of networked controllers continuously monitoring inputs from hundreds or even thousands of sensors such as switches and level detectors. Simultaneously, signals are sent to a similar number of output devices such as valves, solenoids, or motor drives. Electronic marshalling has simplified the process of connecting this expanding set of field wiring back to the controller. However, problems can still occur. Let’s have a look at how these can happen and show you a quick and easy way to resolve the issues if they occur.

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How to Get Louder, Richer Sound from Micro Speakers

July 25, 2019

Greg Mow  By: Greg Mow
 Business Manager, Maxim Integrated 
Michael Tuason  and Michael Tuason
 Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Mobile Solutions Business Unit, Maxim Integrated 


Smartphone playing music

As you’re getting ready for work, you start streaming your favorite tunes from your smartphone. You brush your teeth, get dressed, and let the music transport you to the concert venue where you last saw this band play. The sound is so rich, so loud that you almost forget it’s coming from your phone.

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