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24 Dec 2011

IBM formally unveiled the sixth annual “IBM 5 in 5″ (#ibm5in5) – a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years:

  1. People power will come to life
  2. You will never need a password again
  3. Mind reading is no longer science fiction
  4. The digital divide will cease to exist
  5. Junk mail will become priority mail

The next IBM 5 in 5 is based on market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s research labs around the world that can make these transformations possible.

IBM claims to bridge the gap between science fiction and science fact on a daily basis. Here are how, IBM say, five technologies will define the future.. [via]

Five innovations that will change our lives within five years – [Link]

24 Dec 2011

Scientists at Chalmers, Sweden, have succeeded in creating light from vacuum – observing an effect first predicted over 40 years ago. The results have been published in the journal Nature. In an innovative experiment, the scientists have managed to capture some of the photons that are constantly appearing and disappearing in the vacuum.

The experiment is based on one of the most counterintuitive, yet, one of the most important principles in quantum mechanics: that vacuum is by no means empty nothingness. In fact, the vacuum is full of various particles that are continuously fluctuating in and out of existence. They appear, exist for a brief moment and then disappear again. Since their existence is so fleeting, they are usually referred to as virtual particles.

Chalmers scientist Christopher Wilson and his co-workers have succeeded in getting photons to leave their virtual state and become real photons, i.e. measurable light. The physicist Moore predicted way back in 1970 that this should happen if the virtual photons are allowed to bounce off a mirror that is moving at a speed that is almost as high as the speed of light. The phenomenon, known as the dynamical Casimir effect, has now been observed for the first time in a brilliant experiment conducted by the Chalmers scientists. [via]

Light created from vacuum – [Link]

21 Dec 2011

embedded-lab.com writes:

The use of a graphical LCD (GLCD) drastically changes the look of your project. It provides more freedom for presenting data than the HD44870 based character LCDs. Today we will see how to interface a KS0108 (name of the display controller chip) based GLCD to a PIC microcontroller. This experimental tutorial is divided into two parts. In the first part, we will see how to write a firmware for the PIC microcontroller to initialize the GLCD and send data to plot points and lines on the screen. The second part will focus more on exploring the built-in GLCD Library of mikroC Pro for PIC compiler to display more complex texts and objects. Since GLCDs are real resource hungry devices (in terms of required I/O pins and memory), a bigger size PIC microcontroller (PIC16F887, which has 36 I/O pins and 14KB flash memory) is selected for this experiment. I am using MikroElektronika’s UNI-DS6 development board to demonstrate this project, but the circuit setup can also be made on a breadboard.

Interfacing a KS0108 based Graphics LCD (Part 1) – [Link]

21 Dec 2011


SAN FRANCISCO – Apple Inc is famous for relying on low-cost Asian manufacturers to both source and assemble its popular gadgets, but the consumer device giant recently started receiving a critical component in its iPad and iPhones from closer to home – Texas.

The A5 processor – the brain in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 – is now made in a sprawling 1.6 million square feet factory in Austin owned by Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics, according to people familiar with the operation.

One of the few major components to be sourced from within the United States, the A5 processor is built by Samsung in a newly constructed $3.6 billion non-memory chip production line that reached full production in early December.

Nearly all of the output of the non-memory chip production from the factory – which is the size of about nine football fields – is dedicated to producing Apple chips, one of the people said. Samsung also produces NAND flash memory chips in Austin…

Made in Texas: Apple’s A5 iPhone chip – [Link]

20 Dec 2011

If you have a micro-controller based application and you face the problem with insufficient memory space, the micro-drive uSD-G1 may be an ideal solution for you.

The micro-DRIVE uSD-G1 is an extremely compact high performance “Embedded Disk Drive” module that can be easily added to anymicro-controller design that requires a DOS-compatible file and data storage system.

Most micro-controllers have small and limited on-chip memory. For those applications that require large volumes of data, the uSD-G1 with the GOLDELOX-DOS chip is a simple solution in a form of a tiny ‘drop-in- module’. A simple serial interface is all that is required to take away the burden of low level design that would otherwise be required for the host controller. The micro-DRIVE module utilises common microSD memory cards of up to 2GB of capacity as its medium. A handful of straightforward commands provide direct access to the onboard memory card or storing and retrieving any size or type of data. Access to the card can be at (FAT based) file levels or at raw disk byte levels.

You can use the micro drive uSD-G1 in applications like data logging (GPS, medical, industrial, security), program storage, music files, image and video files or any type of general purpose data storage. So next time your host micro-controller application requires a file/data storage, the micro-DRIVE maybe the ideal solution. Detailed information will provide you the uSD-G1 datasheet.

Don´t be limited by a memory space! – [Link]

20 Dec 2011

Currents, at which it is possible to weld, usual thin wires are melting,… this is the environment, which appears in the automotive industry and other low-voltage applications very often. Automotive relay V23071-A1009-A132 from TE Connectivity is designed for these purposes. 

Relay V23071-A1009-A132, marked also as 1393276-3, is a 12V relay with 1 contact (NO) handling continuous current up to 70A/23°C. Moreover a switching current can be up to 300A/13,5V. Inspite of a big power rating the relay has relatively small dimensions. This relay is, thanks to a very high continuous current, suitable for usage in automotive industry at places with very high current demands like: ABS, cooling fan, rear window heating, heating systems and main switch. Another suitable field of use is also in solar energy applications, backup power supplies and other.

Detailed information wil provide you the V23071A1009A132 datasheet as well as aplikačné poznámky. If a smaller relay with a lower max. current would be more convenient for you, then you can use for example the V23084C2001A303 double relay.

Automotive relay handling 70 Ampers – [Link]

20 Dec 2011

With transformers for switch-mode power supplies from company Myrra you can avoid a demanding high frequency transformer design and you can focus only on a design of an SMPS according to your own specific demands.

For a power supply solution it is often more effective to use ready-made DC/DC or AC/DC modules. However if you need a power source with non-standard output voltage or if you decide from any reason for your own design of an switch- mode power supply (SMPS) like flyback or push-pull, you will need a suitable high frequency transformer.

Transformers of the 740xx series from company Myrra offer advantage in a fact, that they are optimized directly for usage with a certain control circuit (chip). That´s why they eliminate a necessity of relatively demanding design of custom transformer, or extensive comparing of parameters according to which you´d have to choose a suitable type. All you need is to choose a transformer of desired power rating and in its datasheet you will find a recommended SMPS control circuit. With some transformer types you can use more types of SMPS control circuits. Transformers provide a high level of safety – they are made of exclusively UL94-V0 listed materials and they feature a high primary/secondary insulation of more than 4000V. You can find appropriate datasheets at given transformer types listed under this article.

To design your own transformer? – No! – [Link]

20 Dec 2011

Imec and Holst Centre announce that they have made a micromachined harvester for vibration energy with a record output power of 489 µW. Measurements and simulation show that the harvester is also suited for shock-induced energy harvesting in car tires, where it could power built-in sensors. In a tire, at 45 mph, the new device can deliver a constant 42 µW, which is enough to power a simple wireless sensor node. These results, obtained within the research centre’s program for Micropower Generation and Storage, are presented at the 2011 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in Washington (December 7-9).

Imec’s innovative harvester consists of a cantilever with a piezoelectric layer sandwiched between metallic electrodes, forming a capacitor. At the tip of the cantilever a mass is attached, which translates the macroscopic vibration into a vertical movement – putting strain on the piezoelectric layer and generating a voltage across the capacitor. As piezoelectric material, AlN (aluminum nitride) was chosen. The harvesters are packaged with a 6-inch wafer scale vacuum packaging process. The micromachining production process is compatible with low-cost mass-production fabrication. [via]

Car tires harvest energy – [Link]

20 Dec 2011

Micropelt has launched compact thermogenerator package (TGP) devices that makes thermal energy harvesting ready for mass production. The devices enable automatic assembly of autonomous DC power supplies for ultra low power wireless sensors and actuators. Battery maintenance, a stumbling block in the deployment of wireless sensor networks, can be eliminated by TGP autonomous DC power modules whenever a temperature difference of 5 °C or more is available.

Output power ranges from 100 microwatts to over 10 milliwatts, sufficient to replace most batteries. Micropelt’s standardised TGP package comes in two interchangeable versions: TGP-651 and TGP-751. This allows output power and cost to be matched to target applications and markets without any changes to the PCB design. [via]

Surface-mount thermogenerators supplant batteries – [Link]

20 Dec 2011


Gabotronics’ Xminilab is a mixed signal oscilloscope with an arbitrary waveform generator in a DIP module. It measures only 3.3 x 1.75 inches, and can be mounted directly on a breadboard. The Xminilab can also be used as a development board for the AVR XMEGA microcontroller. [via]

This remarkable new product features a mixed signal oscilloscope for simultaneous sampling of analog and digital signals. Some tech features:

  • Advanced Trigger: Normal / Single / Auto, with rising or falling edge and adjustable trigger level.
  • Meter Mode: Average, Peak to peak and Frequency readout.
  • XY Mode (Plot Lissajous patterns or see the phase difference between two waveforms).
  • Spectrum Analyzer with different windowing options and selectable vertical log.
  • Horizontal and Vertical Cursors with automatic waveform measurements.
  • Arbitrary Waveform Generator with Frequency Sweep.
  • Display options: Persistence, Different grid options, and more.

An oscilloscope for 64 dollars – [Link]





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