Articles

Using IC Sockets in an LED Test System

By Ila Pal, Ironwood Electronics, Eagan, MN For more than half a century, the semiconductor industry has been governed by a commonly known principle described as Moore’s Law. This “law” predicts that through technological advancement a doubling of the number of transistors per integrated circuit will occur within a given geometric area on regular 18 month intervals. The realization of this doubling effect over time has resulted in an ever-widening range of semiconductor (IC) devices exhibiting increases in functionality and processing speed, combined with an increased demand for power and effective thermal management. This doubling effect has also driven a matching rapid evolution in IC package types (microprocessors, LEDs, memory packages, etc.) and I/O interface configurations.

Posted in: Articles, Lighting, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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LED Light Engine Standardization

By Ben Swedberg, Ideal Industries, Sycamore, IL After Nick Holonyak invented the practical visible LED in 1962, the first commercial products were limited in brightness and only to applications such as red indicator lights and seven segment displays. In the 1970’s, yellow and green LEDs joined the family and were designed into products such as calculators, but still were not able to produce ambient light.

Posted in: Articles, Industrial Lighting, Lighting

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3D Printing Gets Real

3Dprinting grabs a lot of attention — as much for its futuristic potential as for what it can do today. Send a 3D printer to the Moon, some imagine, and print out a city. Is your coffee maker dying? Just print yourself a new one.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping

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Implementing PCI Express on PC/104-Size Modules

As PC/104 celebrates its 20th anniversary as an open standard this year, it continues to grow in terms of new design-ins, applications, and integration of the latest technology. In today’s fast paced, throw-away world, this is a remarkable achievement. PC/104 users typically demand a long product life cycle of seven years or more, so for two decades, these small, stackable, embedded computer systems have found applications in military, medical, industrial, transportation, communications, pipelines, mining, utilities and a host of other industries. However, as technology changes and becomes more powerful and complex, challenges arise in implementation. This has never been truer than for the different implementation strategies for PCI Express on PC/104 size modules.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

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COM Express Revision 2.0: What’s new in the latest specification?

The COM Express specification was first released in 2005. Its main target was, and still is, to define the mandatory requirements of COM Express modules and carrier boards as far as it is necessary to ensure interoperability between the products of different vendors. Nevertheless, with continuous technical progress, there is also the need for adjustments of the common interface — that being the COM Express connector.

Posted in: Articles, Articles

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Underwater Autonomous Vehicles Combine Robotics and Vision to Inspect Oil Pipelines

Among the various components of a submarine pipeline, the vertical section known as a riser is critical to managing the pipeline. This section connects the piping that runs along the bottom of the sea with the floating production platform.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control, Imaging and visualization, Robotics, Inspections, Autonomous vehicles, Marine vehicles and equipment

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Automotive Engineering: The Future is Today

Recycled Plastic Bottles for Seat Fabric The Ford Focus Electric is the industry’s first car to feature 100 percent sustainable clean technologies in interior materials, including seat fabrics with Unifi’s REPREVE®-branded fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. Ford, through the use of REPREVE, plans to divert about 2 million post-consumer plastic bottles for use in the new Focus Electric and other new vehicles for this model year. The Focus Electric contains REPREVE-based fabrics that are made from the equivalent of about 22 recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles in each car.

Posted in: Articles, Automotive

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