by Rob Matheson @ phys.org:
Stream video on your smartphone, or use its GPS for an hour or two, and you’ll probably see the battery drain significantly. As data rates climb and smartphones adopt more power-hungry features, battery life has become a concern. Now a technology developed by MIT spinout Eta Devices could help a phone’s battery last perhaps twice as long, and help to conserve energy in cell towers.
Beating battery drain: Power-conserving chip may increase smartphone battery life - [Link]
Focus a beam of sound at objects or into your head!
The Soundlazer directional audio project is the continuation of my first and very successful project here on Kickstarter. I developed the Soundlazer “Snap” during my quest to lower the cost of this amazing technology and give backers the opportunity to explore new possibilities in directional audio.
Parametric speakers like the Soundlazer are directional speaker systems. They use ultrasonic carrier waves to transmit audio to listeners in a focused beam of sound that acts like light from a laser. Generally speaking, only the person standing in front of a parametric speaker can hear the audio being transmitted. People to the sides of the directional audio source hear little or no sound.
Soundlazer “Snap” – The Directional Parametric Speaker - [Link]
by David Szondy @ gizmag.com:
Getting into the Guinness Book of World Records isn’t just about who can eat the most hotdogs or fly a paper airplane the highest. Sometimes it involves technological breakthroughs with huge potential. Guinness has handed DARPA’s Terahertz Electronics program the award for the fastest solid-state amplifier integrated circuit. Developed by Northrop Grumman, the Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIC) is a ten-stage common-source amplifier that cranks speeds of one terahertz (10^12 Hz), or one trillion cycles per second.
DARPA circuit smashes electronic speed record - [Link]
by Jeff Murchison @ murchlabs.com:
I finally finished the next version of my TinyLoadr AVR programming Shield – and it’s not a shield. It’s a standalone USB programmer, so you no longer have to have an extra Arduino laying around. The best part? It’s the same price as the shield was!
TinyLoadr AVR Programmer - [Link]
In this Tech Lab, we look at the evaluation board for Micrel’s MIC45212, the 14 amp variant from their line of integrated medium voltage DC-to-DC power modules.
The MIC45 205, 208, and 212 modules integrate the inductor, PWM controller, power MOSFETs, and passives into the package. This integration reduces the total application size, simplifies the design and PCB layout, and improves reliability.
By integrating the passives, Micrel is able to effectively reduce the AC loop size when compared to a traditional regulator with passives routed on the PCB.
Tech Lab – Micrel MIC45212 Evaluation Board for Medium Voltage DC to DC Power Modules - [Link]
LED matrices are a popular mean of displaying text, graphics, and animated information at gas stations, convenient stores, and many other public places. Raj’s new project is about making a Bluetooth-enabled 8×64 LED matrix display, where you can send the text messages through a smartphone over a Bluetooth connection. He used Arduino as the main controller and an HC-06 Bluetooth adapter to receive data from the smartphone. He has shared all of his design files and Arduino firmware on his blog.
DIY LED Matrix Display with Bluetooth support - [Link]
by Steve Taranovich @ edn.com:
With many switching buck regulators on the market today that are capable of improving an automotive system design it is hard to choose the optimum one for your design. I patricularly like a new Linear Technology solution, the LT8609, a 2A, 42V input synchronous step-down switching regulator because it is unique in that it does not require an external flyback diode (sometimes called a snubber diode, freewheeling diode, suppressor diode, suppression diode, clamp diode or catch diode) which is a diode used to eliminate flyback, which is the sudden voltage spike seen across an inductive load when its supply voltage is suddenly reduced or removed. This makes for less external components.
Linear Technology 2A buck converter is 93% efficient at 2MHz - [Link]
This project is designed to operate with minimum of external components. This amplifier offers high quality and high performance audio at very low distortion. Project is based on nationals LM1875 IC. The IC is thermal and short circuit protected.
The LM1875 is a monolithic power amplifier offering very low distortion and high quality performance for consumer audio applications, the project work on single supply. Device overload protection consists of both internal current limit and thermal shutdown.
20W Audio Amplifier - [Link]
Banguino brings the most popular hobby and DIY development platform in the world into a single chip DTX module and offers full backwards compatibility with the most used worldwide Arduino board – the model ‘Uno’.
Bonus features include an on-board power supply to generate +5V and +3.3V to the user’s external circuit, a microSD connector and additional 10 configurable digital I/O ports. There are also two software controllable LEDs on board as well as a USB-to-UART bridge. Banguino provides a highly integrated solution for building simple or complex circuits and benefiting from the large variety of already existing Arduino-compatible code.
Banguino – 8-bit Processing Module - [Link]
by aehparta @ tldr.fi:
My lifetime project: building an 8-bit computer using Z80 CPU. This week I had a bad flu and could not do anything useful so I decided to dig up my old plans for this project. I first re-designed many things, like power, CPU-board, IO-board and so on (my old plans were around 10 to 15 years old). After some thought I realized: When I get even the CPU-board working, I want to display some stuff! So why not build the display adapter first. Plus I planned to build the adapter in a way that it can be used separately from the computer itself. Easy thing to start with.
Building a simple VGA-adapter for 8-bit self made computer - [Link]