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System-on-Module for Pre-Packaged Convenience

Increasing design complexity, coupled with compressed time to market, has been an engineering reality for some time. A system-on-module (SOM) addresses both of these real engineering issues. An engineer who chooses to use a SOM trades a very complex, chip-down circuit design for a much simpler SOM connector interface.

Posted in: Features, Articles

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Measuring Motion with Imaging Software

High-speed photography is as much of an engineering tool as an oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, or logic analyzer. The photographic technique enables us to visualize and analyze motion, especially motion that is too fast for the human eye or conventional cameras to perceive.

Posted in: Imaging, Articles

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LED Illumination in Simulation and Training

Since its inception, projection has been the dominant technology for displaying large, high-resolution images. Over the years, projectors have evolved to keep pace with advances in computer graphics and video sources, following the trends toward ever higher resolutions and ever larger screens.

Posted in: Imaging, Articles

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Collaborative Platforms Aid Emergency Decision-Making

Real-time data from NASA satellites enables public agencies to better prepare for natural and manmade disasters. NASA runs and partners in many missions dedicated to monitoring the Earth, and the tools used in these missions continuously return data on everything from shifts in temperature, to cloud formation, to pollution levels over highways. The data are of great scientific value, but they also provide information that can play a critical role in decision-making during times of crisis. Real-time developments in weather, wind, ocean currents, and numerous other conditions can have a significant impact on the way disasters unfold.

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Industry Roundtable: Design and PLM Software

As traditional Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software expands with more simulation capabilities and wider enterprise data management, software vendors are meeting customers’ demands with solutions that encompass the entire product development process, from initial design through end of life. In our annual poll of executives at leading CAD software companies, we learned how CAD continues to evolve, and what some of the important trends are for 2014.

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Moving Magnet Voice Coil Actuators Offer Controllable Movement for High-Duty-Cycle Applications

There are two types of voice coil actuators: moving coil and moving magnet. The materials of construction are similar, since they both use rare earth magnets, steel, copper wire, and basic insulation materials. There is a tendency to want to say one type is better suited for certain applications; however, there are many different sizes and shapes of voice coil actuators, making it difficult to make blanket statements about which type of actuator works better, and where.

Posted in: Features, Motion Control, Articles

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Testing Today’s Most Complex Consumer Device: The Ubiquitous Smartphone

We’ve come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell’s famous words, “Mr. Watson, come here” were spoken and the telephone was born. The simplicity of use of today’s smartphones, tablets, and similar smart devices belies the underlying complexity of creating a device that can connect virtually anywhere, at anytime. While there are other consumer electronic devices that have increased in complexity and capability, the majority of the smartphone’s complex structure is completely hidden from the user. At the same time, “when can I upgrade” is a common mantra of users. The fast-paced and high-volume production required in this environment continues to add complexity to mobile device testing, and has necessitated the rethinking of traditional test methods.

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