Trending in Tech

July 2018

July 2018: Welcome to Trending in Tech, a monthly update on the latest advances and innovations in the technology and engineering industries.

The Subscription Model & What it Means for Manufacturing

EBN Online

Volvo, Porsche, and other popular auto companies are embarking on a new type of business model.  Focusing on access rather than ownership, this new model is geared toward the millennial generation and beyond. This new model appeals to drivers who want to pay a monthly rate that includes maintenance and insurance costs – something that the monthly lease/own payment doesn’t cover.

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3D Printing Gains Industrial Momentum

Electronic Products

3D printing has had a rocky start in the industrial arena, but it was front and center at this year’s Hannover Fair, one of the world’s largest electronics trade shows. Once considered a novelty, 3D printing is now considered a viable option in prototyping and product customization. While large-scale 3D printing still has its challenges, the process is becoming an integral part of industrial manufacturing.

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DARPA Unveils $100M EDA Project

EE Times

Congress recently added $150M the Electronic Resurgence Initiative’s annual fund, with $100M of that going into two research programs. These programs are designed to create the equivalent of a silicon compiler that significantly lowers design chip barriers. More than 15 companies and 200 researchers are involved in this new project.

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Is it Time to Say Goodbye to Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors?

 EE Web

There’s a new material on the market that boasts remarkable dielectric capabilities including a high constant, voltage support up to 3,000 V, more energy storage in a smaller package, and a better temperature tolerance. While aluminum electrolytic capacitors are a mainstay of an electronic engineers repertoire, they may become obsolete with the development of this new material. 

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Flex Circuits in Deep Space

Planet Analog

Pioneer Circuits is building the next flex circuits needed for the upcoming NASA Rover mission. Their flex circuits, which have been used on three previous Rovers (Curiosity, Spirit, and Pathfinder), have outlasted the 2-year mission goal on Mars. As the flex circuit powers the Rover’s mast, it must be bendable and strong enough to survive in the atmosphere of the harsh planet. 

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Ask the Engineer: Why Should a Relay Meet the New NEMA 410 Standard?


NEMA is a standard that defines the worst-case inrush current expected from Lighting Control Switches/Relays to be used with electronic drivers and discharge ballasts. This includes both self-ballasted compact fluorescent lamps and integrated LED lamps. NEMA specifies that any 20A devices are tested with a 16A load representing 80% of the branch circuit rating.

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