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Engineering in the Cloud: From Simulation to Storage

Engineers have one very keen sense in life, and that is to ferret out usefulness from perceived buzz. Trained as such, unless we are reading the weather report, the word “cloud” sends our buzz-o-meters into an alarm-sounding red zone. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at how the cloud might apply to us. Clearly, it has taken hold in the consumer world, and has possible compelling uses in many engineering domains.

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Adhesives for Optical Assembly

Adhesives deliver excellent performance on a range of materials used to manufacture optical components, including glass, metal, ceramic and most plastics. By their very nature, adhesives allow devices to be made stronger, faster, and more cost-effectively, living up to the most basic demands of the marketplace.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics

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Motion Control Requirements for Medical Instruments

Medical equipment motion control runs the gamut from electric wheelchair motion to heart assist pumps. This article will focus on the segment consisting of medical laboratory instruments. Even in this segment, motion control ranges from precision liquid handling and dispensing, to sample- handling robotics and automated sample storage and retrieval systems. We’ll delve into precision liquid handling and dispensing and related functions, and the interaction between the mechanical system and the motion control system. High-pole-count permanent magnet AC servo motors can simplify system design and improve system performance and reliability when mated with control systems capable of bringing out their full potential.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control

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Stackable Computer Architecture Moves to 3rd Generation

Change is a concept that is well known in the computer industry. Designers and manufacturers alike have embraced this trend in an ongoing race to increase computing power while reducing size, weight, and power and cost (SWaPaC). With the latest round of ultra-low power processors from Intel, VIA, AMD and DMP, stackable computer systems need to adapt as well, especially with respect to I/O, while striking a balance between new and legacy technology.

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Small Form Factor Computing in OpenVPX

The new OpenVPX™ (VITA 65) standard helps military system designers build compatible embedded systems by defining “profiles” to which vendors can adhere when designing boards, and system integrators can use to locate available COTS solutions. The market is seeing a proliferation of 6U VPX boards, which have numerous interconnect pins and are able to support many more simultaneous external connections with a single profile. In comparison, 3U VPX boards have fewer interconnect pins available, resulting in a far wider fragmentation of profile support, since vendors can support fewer external connections with a single 3U card profile. That makes it all the more important for designers of small form factor VPX systems to understand how to effectively use OpenVPX profiles.

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Using FPGAs to Improve x86 Processor I/O Flexibility

By offering the ability to update application functionality, provide a reconfigurable solution and enable easy design customization, Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology has long been known as a cost-effective design resource. Similarly, x86 processor architectures share many of the same extended ecosystem, installed base, and multi-functionality benefits as FPGAs.

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From Aircraft Wings to Wind Turbine Blades: NASA Software Comes Back to Earth with Green Energy Applications

You might think a wind turbine would have more in common with a plane’s propeller than an aircraft wing, but wind blades actually behave a lot more like wings than props. This fact has enabled a valuable spinoff from aerospace to wind energy involving the first software that NASA ever allowed to be commercialized as part of the Agency’s ongoing effort to transfer technology to U.S. business and industry.

Posted in: Features, GDM, Articles, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Wind Power

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