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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk

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Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics


Sensors Are a Primary Source for Big Data Ian Chen
Consider a conference that is simultaneously transmitted to audiences in three cities. When a presenter asks the audience a survey question, they can respond by simply raising their hands. The total vote is tallied across all three cities and displayed to the presenter and the audience in real time.

Buying From Independents Carries Problems and Risks Chuck Amsden
Last week I had a prime tell us they preferred to buy a part through an independent rather than directly from Mouser, an authorized distributor. I’ve been told this is for the convenience of the prime. They want to keep their suppler base low and they don’t have an account with Mouser. So they add an extra link to the chain by having the independent buy it from us and then the independent turns around and brokers it to the prime.

Workbench for the Road: Mouser and LEMO at Le Mans 2014 Erik Smith
For those who don’t know, “24 Hours at Le Mans” is the oldest active sports car race in endurance racing. Think of it as the ultimate test lab for advanced technology. And there’s no trick to that name, this year’s race starts June 14th, 15:00 CEST (9:00am EST / 8:00am CST) and ends 15:00 CEST on June 15th. Driver, Crew and vehicle need to be at the top of their game to compete in this grueling test of racing and engineering.

Tesla Motors Embraces Open Source Philosophy Erik Smith
Elon Musk and Tesla Motors made a HUGE announcement today, stating in a blog post that they "will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology."

How to Crash an Engineering Course at Rice University Lynnette Reese
I never thought that I would be sitting in on an EE class, years after graduating, taught by a Professor Emeritus at Rice University. I snuck in at the tail end of the course when he was in the middle of discussing op amps. I feel so guilty; I haven’t paid the university a dime, but I am excited to be here. I settle in and listen for a while. No one asks any questions; I assume they are all busy taking notes. Then I sped up time a bit so things would go 25% faster, since I had seen most of this before. It’s handy, but you have to have a MOOC to do that.

From a Little STEM Grows an Exciting Future Caroline Storm Westenhover
I got to the end of my last blog and found myself so excited about the possibilities of Radio Frequency Identification that I could not help but sit down and do some thermal engineering to satiate my desire for some math and physics, the foundations of engineering.

New Ultra-Low-Power Benchmark John Donovan
As an editor I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of specmanship, which is why I always look to datasheets, though meaningful comparisons of seemingly similar MCUs between different vendors are hard to construct, especially since overall energy consumption is so application specific. As Markus Levy of the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC) remarked to me last week, “Datasheets don’t lie, they just present [information] the way they want to present it.”

A Brief History of Robots Justin Risedorf
Since Karel Capek first introduced the world to robots in his 1920 Czech play, R.U.R.: Rossum’s Universal Robots, people have been fascinated by robots (and slightly afraid that they might take over the world). Thirty years later, American author Isaac Asimov began to popularize robots through his science fiction books including I, Robot and The Bicentennial Man. While actual working robots have a long way to go before they live up to their science fiction personas, many exciting advancements in robotic technology have been made. Here are a few of our favorite moments in the brief history of robots...

APEC 2014 – Download the Presentations Today Landa Culbertson
Nearly 4000 power professionals and knowledge-seekers converged at the Fort Worth Convention Center in March for the twenty-ninth annual IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC 2014). There was something for everyone it seemed, from hot topics such as high-density power supplies, wide bandgap semiconductors for power electronics applications, wireless charging for electric vehicles, advances in nanotechnology, energy harvesting and 3D packaging to standard subjects such as dc-dc converters, power factor correction, controls, and passive components.

Part Traceability Needs to be Taken Seriously Chuck Amsden
I was on a standards writing committee call two weeks ago discussing part traceability with customers on the committee. I wanted them to accept this requirement in the standard “c. Maintain inventory control of received parts sufficient to have positive traceability as to the supplier of the parts. Parts from different suppliers will not be comingled.” The thinking here is that by having this traceability, customers will know whose product is giving them problems. I was amazed by the response.

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