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James R. Biard, GaAs Infrared LED Inventor. Part 1
Dr. James R. “Bob” Biard is an American electrical engineer and inventor who holds 72 U.S. patents, including the GaAs infrared light-emitting diode, the optical isolator, the Schottky transistor, and Metal Oxide Semiconductor Read Only Memory...
Thermal design: Get the heat out of the electronics
If you have high-powered LEDS, or a power supply, or are trying to control larger motors, you have to get a lot of heat out of your circuit boards. The classic way to dissipate heat is to bolt your power transistor to an aluminum heat sink. That is a slow, messy, and expensive proposition, especially if you need thermal grease between the transistor and heat sink...
Understanding Polymer and Hybrid Capacitors
Capacitors may seem simple enough, but specifying them has actually grown more complex in recent years. The reason why comes down to freedom of choice. The universe of capacitors has expanded greatly over the past few years, in large part because of capacitor designs that take advantage of advances in conductive polymers. These advanced capacitors sometimes use conductive polymers to form the entire electrolyte...
Simple Change Enhances Safety, Integrity of Isolated Shunt-Regulator DC-DC Converter
This Idea for Design rearranges the schematic and physical layout of an isolated dc-dc converter using a shunt regulator to overcome susceptibility to ESD and electrical overstress...
MAX232: The classic IC lives on since 1988
The June 23, 1988 issue of EDN included a Maxim Design News insert where we asked "Who in their right mind would choose a computer interface standard that uses ±12 V supplies, requires expensive connectors, works over a limited distance, is error prone, difficult to network, and has no current loop isolation?" Yet, here we are 28 years later and the classic interface lives on...
Python is better than C! (Or is it the other way round?)
If you have a quick Google for something like "Python vs. C," you will find lots of comparisons out there. Sad to relate, however, trying to work out which is the "best" language is well-nigh impossible for many reasons, not the least that it's extremely difficult to define what one means by "best" in the first place...
Meet Piccolissimo: The World's Smallest Self-powered Controllable Flying Vehicle
Technology tends to move toward the bigger and better, cramming more and more features into a given product. But sometimes, less is more. Robots are often called on to do the jobs that are too dirty or dangerous for humans, such as examining the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after it experienced multiple meltdowns in the wake of a tsunami...
Choosing a Precision Op Amp? Trust Goldilocks
Choosing the appropriate bandwidth for an application of a precision op amp is a lot like the experience of Goldilocks trying to choose between the three bears’ bowls of porridge – one bowl was too hot, one bowl was too cold, and one was just right...
Crystal orientation a breakthrough for solar tech
Researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Northwestern University and Rice University have tweaked their crystal production method and developed a type of two-dimensional layered perovskite with outstanding stability and more than triple the material’s previous power conversion efficiency, in a step that could bring perovskite crystals closer to use in the burgeoning solar power industry...
World's highest output RF power transistor replaces vacuum tubes in industrial systems
The latest advances in LDMOS technology have allowed RF power transistors to be employed in systems that were formerly the exclusive domain of vacuum tubes, while also expanding their use in new applications. The new NXP MRF1K50H RF power transistor further extends the capabilities of LDMOS, as it delivers 1500 W at 50 V between 1.8 and 500 MHz in either pulsed or CW operation, making it the highest power transistor available in any technology and any frequency...
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