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UBM Tech

Consumer

Rich Pell
Editor
A resources site and community for engineers involved in the design and development of consumer home or mobile electronics hardware and software.  Find design tips, new product information and discussion on consumer audio, video, multimedia, gaming, communications, computing, and home appliances.

ULP wireless: over-the-air software upgrades

Revising an ultra low power (ULP) wireless chip’s software in the field has been difficult. But new technology will make it routine - to developers’ and consumers’ benefit alike Read More...

Ternary modulation for Class-D amps

An inherent problem with Class-D amplifiers is the noise generated by the harmonics of the signal. This paper discusses a software-centric noise reduction technique for a single tone which is required when a clean, single frequency is desired when driving an antenna. Read More...

Hybrid vacuum tube/solid-state audio power amplifier

An audio power amp design that combines vacuum tube input circuitry with solid-state output and feedback components. Read More...

Book Excerpt: Sevick’s Transmission Line Transformers, Chapter 9 Baluns

This chapter excerpted from Sevick’s Transmission Line Transformers describes the balun as a subset of transmission line transformers with an in-depth treatment of most used types. Read More...

Wearable computing meets Bluetooth Smart

The increasing popularity of wearable computing devices such as smart watches demands a technology like Bluetooth Smart to power a multitude of applications without draining battery life. Read More...

Designs of small footprint audio distribution amplifiers, Part 2

Sometimes we may need to distribute audio signals to several rooms in the house or in the office. That is useful when we want to mask external noise or when we wish to create an appropriate environment. Read More...

555-based class-D headphone driver makes great practice amp

This class-D audio amp “plays” to the 555’s strengths. Read More...

Designs of small footprint audio distribution amplifiers, Part 1

Sometimes we may need to distribute audio signals to several rooms in the house or in the office. That is useful when we want to mask external noise or when we wish to create an appropriate environment. Read More...

Waterproof phones: What challenges lie ahead?

Mobile device manufacturers are struggling to differentiate their handsets, it's likely that waterproofing may hold the answer. Read More...

Teardown: Looking under the cover of a LCD computer monitor

When a dusty LCD monitor stops working it becomes a perfectly acceptable teardown-surgery patient. Read More...

Cirrus to take half the audio IC market, says report

Price pressure in the growing audio IC market is leading to consolidation and will continue, according to SensiAn Research. And it is happening top-down with the acquisition of Wolfson Microelectronics by Cirrus Logic. Read More...

The G word: Demo project - A balanced volume controller

The final installment of Bruno Putzey's "The G Word: How to get your audio off the ground" presents a complete balanced volume controller demo project that is offered as "the cheapest and best-sounding preamplifier you've ever built." Read More...

Getting low-distortion sine waves from a loudspeaker

Distortion reduction in bass drivers has a long history, but apparently no one thought to try this method. Read More...

Platform hones USB high-fidelity audio design

Based on the xCore XS1-U8-64 eight-core microcontroller, the Multi-Function Audio (MFA) platform from XMOS is a USB Audio Class 2.0 reference design that enables developers to quickly create high-fidelity digital audio products, such as high-end speaker docks, headphone amps, and audio DACs. Read More...

The G word: How to get your audio off the ground (Part 3)

As a means of immunizing your circuit to circulating currents in the ground plane, difference amps and differential circuits are a smashing idea. As a means to building a robust interface with the outside world, they need an extra ingredient. Read More...

EDN Tablet Edition: Engineering state of mind

EDN has launched a new tablet edition, find out more in this editorial note from Patrick Mannion. Read More...

Smartphone Quick-Jack solution adapts 3.5mm audio jack into self-powered data port, universal interface

NXP Semiconductors has introduced a Smartphone Quick-Jack Solution that simplifies connecting a variety of external devices to smartphones for self-powered data communications. Read More...

The G word: How to get your audio off the ground (Part 2)

The biggest overlooked opportunity for differential signalling is *inside* the box where small signals and large currents slug it out in cramped quarters. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Hybrid vacuum tube/solid-state audio power amplifier

An audio power amp design that combines vacuum tube input circuitry with solid-state output and feedback components. Read More...

Low-duty-cycle LED flasher keeps power draw at 4 mW

In situations where a low-duty-cycle blinking indicator provides an adequate indication of the power being turned on, this simple circuit should prove useful. Read More...

Signal-powered switch connects devices

Use a switch to selectively connect a terminal, personal computer, or any other originating device to one of four receivers. Read More...

Measure resistance and temperature with a sound card

Measure resistance and use free software to convert to temperature. Read More...

Send MIDI signals over long distances

A single Category 5 cable links MIDI devices up to 100m away. Read More...

Passive-detector receiver keeps you informed, entertained during flights

Receive HF AM signals without battery power. Read More...

Circuit combines power supply and audio amplifier

This circuit can help if you must transfer DC power and audio over one pair of copper wires. Read More...

Video emitter uses battery power

This hows how to make a cable-free, direct-video system. You can use the small and simple system each time you need to capture image and sound on the run. Read More...

Circuit eliminates PC echoes

Long-distance-telephone services available via the Internet often require the PC user to wear headphones of a headset to prevent echo caused by the microphone's picking up the loudspeaker outputs. The circuit in Figure 1 eliminates the echo while using the existing PC microphone and speakers for a comfortable conversation. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Startup launches miniature gas sensor for mobiles

Cambridge CMOS Sensors Ltd (Cambridge, England) has announced the CCS800 family of miniature gas sensors for use detecting alcohol (ethanol), hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds. Read More...

Color sensor tunes LED light color through smartphone interface

Through the use of its True Color sensor, MAZeT GmbH has demonstrated the accurate colour control of LEDs using a smartphone or tablet as a remote control. Read More...

Chip resistors, diodes are industry's smallest

With its RASMID Series Rohm claims to have the smallest electronic components in the industry; the ultra-compact lines have superior dimensional accuracy, for high density, high-performance mobile and wearable products. Read More...

2-W wireless power receiver targets wearables

Integrated Device Technology's IDTP9026 is what the company claims to be the world’s smallest 2-watt wireless power receiver and battery charger. Read More...

MEMS altitude pressure sensor detects 50-cm changes

A highly-accurate absolute pressure sensor from Omron Electronic Components Europe can detect height differences of as little as 50cm. Read More...

MLCCs feature reduced acoustic noise in 0402 package

A range of MLCCs from Murata have an extra interposer substrate that reduces acoustic "squealing" noise. Read More...

Paper-thin batteries target Internet of Things

STMicroelectronics has announced limited production of its EnFilm advanced rechargeable batteries that are less than 0.25 mm thick. Read More...

Digital pots operate at 36 V

Supporting wide signal swings, these DigiPots also feature high terminal/wiper current support and an extended temperature range. for industrial, automotive and audio applications. Read More...

Fully digital automotive class-D amp shrinks head unit BOM

The STMicroelectronics FDA2100LV automotive power amplifier with full digital architecture helps minimize noise issues and reduce BOM by up to 50% for vehicle head units and sound boosters. Read More...

Switching charger IC targets USB-powered smartphones

Dialog Semiconductor plc has introduced an efficient switching charger IC which features an integrated fuel gauge targeting USB powered smartphones, tablets and emerging wearable devices. Read More...

Audio step attenuator with 47 positions offers precise volume control

Offered as the first in a series of new PCB-based audio switches, the A47 stepped attenuator from Elma Electronic provides 47 positions with selectable end-stops from one to six channels. Read More...

Smartphone Quick-Jack solution adapts 3.5mm audio jack into self-powered data port, universal interface

NXP Semiconductors has introduced a Smartphone Quick-Jack Solution that simplifies connecting a variety of external devices to smartphones for self-powered data communications. Read More...

Nanopower magnetoresistive sensor ICs cut costs

Honeywell has introduced a nanopower anisotropic magnetoresistive sensor IC providing position detection based on magnetic field sensing, using a very small and low-cost package with on-chip integration of level detection and switching. Read More...

Wireless USB transceiver targets 3-year battery life

Cypress Semiconductor says that its ultra-low-power 2.4-GHz WirelessUSB NX transceiver enables three-year battery life for wireless human interface devices, while supporting data rates of up to 2 Mbps, and allowing integration with Cypress’s touch sensing technology. Read More...

Enhanced comparators run at lower voltage

Enhanced versions of the widely-used LMV331 and LMV393 single- and dual-channel comparators, for use in battery-powered portable devices, run at a lower voltage, draw less current and offer smaller package options than most industry-standard alternatives. Read More...

Ambient light, color and proximity sensing in one chip

The ams TMD3782 digital sensor is optimized for use in mobile devices, the 3.9x2.4x1.4mm module combines ambient light, color and proximity sensing. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Teardown: Looking under the cover of a LCD computer monitor

When a dusty LCD monitor stops working it becomes a perfectly acceptable teardown-surgery patient. Read More...

Teardown: Exposing the ASUS EA-N66 potential-versus-reality gaps

The EA-N66 has no shortage of claimed feature set promise, but the implementation is flawed in several regards. Read More...

Teardown: Can pseudo-3D be accomplished cost-effectively?

See if the components inside the IOGEAR GHDSSW4 "3D Complete+" peripheral justify the price tag. Read More...

Teardown: Media adapter receives a limited suite of video streams

NETGEAR's PTV3000 is a streaming media adapter that features a firmware upgrade which enables it to support the WiDi-derived Miracast protocol. Read More...

Teardown: See what's inside Xbox One

Xbox has no surprises in the box, with showings from Marvell, Freescale Kinetis, Nuvoton, SK Hynix SDRAM, among others. Read More...

Teardown: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 still the category leader

TechInsights breaks down the processors, memory, and design wins in this teardown of the Galaxy Note 3. Read More...

Welcoming the son of iPad–introducing the iPad Mini

UBM TechInsights peels back the layers on Apple's initial entry into the 7-inch tablet realm. Read More...

Teardown: Inside the Apple iPhone 5

A complete teardown and close-up look inside Apple's iPhone 5, including teardown images, estimated BOM, and A6 processor analysis. Read More...

Teardown: Inside the Kindle Fire HD

A photographic play-by-play of the UBM TechInsights teardown of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Read More...

Teardown: What's Inside NETGEAR's NTV200 NeoTV?

NETGEAR's NTV200 is a member of the company's NeoTV networked player line, which bypasses the computer, cellphone, or tablet intermediary and directly accesses Internet services such as Hulu Plus, Netflix and Pandora. See how it works. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Ternary modulation for Class-D amps

An inherent problem with Class-D amplifiers is the noise generated by the harmonics of the signal. This paper discusses a software-centric noise reduction technique for a single tone which is required when a clean, single frequency is desired when driving an antenna. Read More...

Wearable computing meets Bluetooth Smart

The increasing popularity of wearable computing devices such as smart watches demands a technology like Bluetooth Smart to power a multitude of applications without draining battery life. Read More...

Waterproof phones: What challenges lie ahead?

Mobile device manufacturers are struggling to differentiate their handsets, it's likely that waterproofing may hold the answer. Read More...

The G word: Demo project - A balanced volume controller

The final installment of Bruno Putzey's "The G Word: How to get your audio off the ground" presents a complete balanced volume controller demo project that is offered as "the cheapest and best-sounding preamplifier you've ever built." Read More...

The G word: How to get your audio off the ground (Part 2)

The biggest overlooked opportunity for differential signalling is *inside* the box where small signals and large currents slug it out in cramped quarters. Read More...

Portable and scalable solution for off-screen video frame composition and decomposition using OpenGL ES (Part 2)

This paper discusses an efficient, portable and scalable solution for off-screen video frame composition and decomposition functionality in embedded multimedia systems. It briefly explains the use case scenarios, exemplifying the need for it in video communication applications, and also discusses the different implementation techniques. Read More...

The G word: How to get your audio off the ground

I am trying to expunge my language of words that aggravate, cause hurt, misunderstandings or that are just meaningless blather. The one I find most troubling though is the G word. I'm talking about ... "GND." Read More...

Design an ANC headset using the AS3415

This article describes the development steps necessary to design a feed-forward ANC headset based on the AS3415 ANC chipset. Read More...

Simple PS voltage splitters based on audio amplifiers (Part 4)

Sometimes we need to obtain needed voltages from an available single power supply using dc/dc converters or voltage splitters. In this series of articles we examine some applications of the latter, based on standard power audio amplifiers and op amps. Read More...

Simple PS voltage splitters based on audio amplifiers (Part 3)

Sometimes we need to obtain needed voltages from an available single power supply using dc/dc converters or voltage splitters. In this series of articles we examine some applications of the latter, based on standard power audio amplifiers and op amps. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

The connected car and congested traffic

A recent road trip from the SF Bay Area to San Diego demonstrated how new automotive technologies can be tripped up by a simple traffic hiccup. Read More...

Tattoo bio-batteries produce power from sweat

Researchers University of California San Diego have designed a sensor in the form of a temporary tattoo that can both monitor a person's progress during exercise and the tattoo biobatteries can also produce power from the perspiration. Read More...

ULP wireless: over-the-air software upgrades

Revising an ultra low power (ULP) wireless chip’s software in the field has been difficult. But new technology will make it routine - to developers’ and consumers’ benefit alike Read More...

Rear-view cameras make the standards list

Unlike most regulated technology that does not appear until the year it is required, rear-view cameras have now passed the 50% point on cars that have them available as either standard equipment or options. Read More...

Are your batteries ready to fly?

High-density lithium-based batteries are both a big boon and a large risk; on aircraft, the risk part becomes a larger factor. Read More...

Intro to LTE-Advanced

How do we achieve higher capacity mobile phone performance with the LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) specification from the 3GPP? Read More...

Synth startup looks to the cloud

A team of UK engineers is aiming to create a world-leading audio company making a new generation of cloud-connected music synthesizers. Read More...

Electric drive moves to two wheels

Just as Tesla brought style to the electric car market, the entry of electric vehicles from Zero and Harley Davidson promise to move the electric motorcycle market away from the traditional scooter look. Read More...

Don't major in CS: 5 reasons why

Mommas, here are the top 5 reasons why your babies should NOT grow up to pursue degrees in computer science. Read More...

Cirrus to take half the audio IC market, says report

Price pressure in the growing audio IC market is leading to consolidation and will continue, according to SensiAn Research. And it is happening top-down with the acquisition of Wolfson Microelectronics by Cirrus Logic. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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