Peeking inside an HDD

I’ve expressed no shortage of admiration in past writeups (stretching back…oh…a quarter century or so…) for the flash memory industry’s incremental cost, capacity, performance and reliability accomplishments over the years. I suppose I’m (more than) a bit biased because my post-college (not including during-college-co-op) engineering “origin story” involves eight years with Intel as an applications … Read more

Xiaomi taps Keysight to accelerate 5G device validation

Xiaomi has selected Keysight’s 5G device test platform to validate its smartphones in accordance with 5G Release 16 specifications. The world’s third largest smartphone vendor measured by units shipped, Xiaomi chose Keysight 5G test cases to capture early revenue associated with 3GPP Release 16 opportunities. Keysight’s collaborations with major 5G modem platform vendors enable Xiaomi … Read more

N-channel trench MOSFETs eases thermal management for wearables

With their low on-resistance, Nexperia’s 12-V and 30-V N-channel trench MOSFETs minimize energy losses and increase efficiency. The 30-V PMCB60XN and PMCB60XNE come in ultra-compact wafer-level DSN1006 (SOT8026) packages, while the 12-V PMCA14UN is housed in a DSN1010 (SOT8007) package. Nexperia reports that the MOSFETs’ RDS(on) is up to 25% better than competing devices. Simplified … Read more

Sleeping with the Google nest hub

Back in October 2020, EDN published my teardown of Google’s then-named Home Hub smart speaker and display, originally introduced two years earlier and subsequently renamed the first-generation Google Nest Hub. The second-generation iteration of the concept, unveiled in March 2021, notably added support for Project Soli, a low-power “miniature radar” also found in Google’s soon-obsolete … Read more

Dissecting a deceased Insteon power line modem

Long-time readers may recollect my past series of posts covering the testing and more general ongoing use of SmartLabs’ (also known by its Smarthome online retail brand) Insteon home automation technology and products. Insteon primarily leveraged powerline communications between a hub and adapters—light dimmers, switches and more general power outlets, thermostats, and the like, in … Read more

Ultra-low power memory targets the metaverse

sureCore, an embedded IP specialist, reports that its ultra-low power memory designs need up to 50% less power than standard off-the-shelf memory. The company’s memory technologies reduce both dynamic and static power across a range of devices and aim to improve wearable metaverse hardware. sureCore offers a variety of power-optimized standard products that deliver market-leading … Read more

Preventing a tarnished reputation caused by partners’ poor performance

Sometimes when a customer has a problem with your product, the blame lies with someone(s) at your company. Maybe, for example, your firm shipped out a smartphone with a cracked display straight from the factory. Maybe it pushed a bad firmware update to users’ routers, bringing down their networks. Or maybe the marketing department went … Read more

200-Mpixel image sensor shrinks pixel size

Samsung’s latest 200-Mpixel image sensor, the ISOCELL HP3, touts a pixel size of 0.56 µm, 12% smaller than its predecessor. At 56 µm, Samsung believes the sensor has the industry’s smallest pixels, packing 200 million pixels in a 1/1.4-in. optical format. Further, ISOCELL HP3 can reduce camera module surface area by up to 20%, allowing … Read more

Technology bets don’t always pan out

 I’ve mentioned several times in the past, most recently (I think) in August 2019, my “MacPro3,1” early 2008 model Apple Mac Pro: It’s been a trusted workhorse for many years. Ever since I bought it used in September 2011, I’ve successively upgraded many elements of it; adding expansion cards, updating the graphics subsystem, expanding its … Read more

Coin/button-cell holders can be functional, reliable, and even elegant

Over the years I have replaced coin- and button-cell batteries in countless products and have had to fix or improve the marginal battery holders used in many of them. It’s understandable but frustrating that many low-end products use cell holders with an absolute minimum of electrical-contact and mechanical-attachment surface area, which is never good for … Read more