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Self-Powered Intelligent Keyboard Could Provide Additional Security

By analyzing such parameters as the force applied by key presses and the time interval between them, a new self-powered, non-mechanical, intelligent keyboard could provide a stronger layer of security for computer users. The self-powered device generates electricity when a user’s fingertips contact the multi-layer plastic materials that make up the device.

Posted in: News, Board-Level Electronics, Computers, Electronic Components, Electronics, Electronics & Computers, Power Management, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Semiconductors & ICs

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Public Lighting System Runs on Solar and Wind Energy

A researcher at the Barcelona College of Industrial Engineering, in collaboration with the company Eolgreen, has developed the first autonomous industrialized public lighting system that works with solar and wind energy. This system, developed after four years of research, is designed for inter-urban roads, motorways, urban parks, and other public areas. It is unique in the world, and reduces the cost by 20% compared with conventional public lighting systems. The prototype is 10 meters high and is fitted with a solar panel, a wind turbine, and a battery. The turbine runs at a speed of 10 to 200 rpm and has a maximum output of 400 watts. Work is being done on a second prototype generator that runs at a lower speed (10 to 60 rpm) and has a lower output (100 W). An electronic control system manages the flow of energy among the solar panel, the wind turbine, the battery, and the light. Source:

Posted in: News, Batteries, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Lighting

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Zinc Oxide Materials Power Tiny Energy Harvesting Devices

Many types of smart devices are readily available and convenient to use. The goal now is to make wearable electronics that are flexible, sustainable, and powered by ambient renewable energy. This last goal inspired researchers to explore how the attractive physical features of zinc oxide (ZnO) materials could be used to tap into abundant mechanical energy sources to power micro devices. They discovered that inserting aluminum nitride insulating layers into ZnO-based energy harvesting devices led to a significant improvement of the devices’ performance. The group’s findings are expected to provide an effective approach for realizing “nanogenerators” for self-powered electronic systems such as portable communication devices, healthcare monitoring devices, environmental monitoring devices, and implantable medical devices. Source:

Posted in: News, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Harvesting, Renewable Energy, Materials, Metals, Nanotechnology, Semiconductors & ICs

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Glass as Electrode Makes Batteries More Efficient

Today’s batteries provide a reliable power supply for our smartphones, electric cars and laptops, but are unable to keep up with the growing demands placed on them. Researchers have discovered a material that may have the potential to double battery capacity: vanadate-borate glass. The glass is being used as a cathode material, which is made of vanadium oxide (V2O5) and lithium-borate (LiBO2) precursors, and was coated with reduced graphite oxide (RGO) to enhance the electrode properties of the material. The vanadate-borate glass powder was used for battery cathodes, which were placed in prototypes for coin cell batteries to undergo numerous charge/discharge cycles. In tests, the glass electrodes demonstrated a vast improvement in these batteries’ capacity and energy density. Source:

Posted in: News, Batteries, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Materials, Semiconductors & ICs

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Digital Controller

ZMDI, Dresden, Germany, released the ZSPM2000 configurable digital PWM controller with integrated MOSFET driver for smart digital point-of-load (POL) solutions. The controller operates as a synchronous step-down converter in a single-rail, single-phase configuration. It features an integrated power-stage driver, and digital communication and control via the PMBus™ interface. Other features include digital-control algorithms, anti-cross-conduction, and power-saving features.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers, Software

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Serial Communication Cards

ACCES I/O Products, San Diego, CA, announced mPCIe-ICM Series PCI Express Mini Card isolated serial communication cards that measure 30 × 51 mm and feature a selection of four or two ports of isolated RS-232 serial communications. Features include 1.5kV isolation provided port-to-computer and 500V isolation port-to-port on all signals at the I/O connectors. The cards provide ±15kV ESD protection on all signal pins, and use 128-byte transmit/receive FIFO buffers to decrease CPU loading and protect against lost data in multitasking systems.

Posted in: Products, Communications, Electronic Components, Electronics & Computers

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Source Measure Instrument

Keithley Instruments, Cleveland, OH, introduced the Model 2460 SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface. It offers power sourcing up to 105V, 7A DC/7A pulse, 100W max, with 0.012% basic measurement accuracy and 6½-digit resolution. It combines the functionality of a power supply, true current source, 6½-digit multimeter, electronic load, and trigger controller in one half-rack instrument. Other features are a full-color 5" touchscreen, graphical plotting, quickset modes, and instrument control software.

Posted in: Products, Electronics & Computers, Instrumentation, Software

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