Consumer

EDN Staff

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.

Teardown: Dead GbE switch

Another day, another dead GbE switch. Maybe a decade of service is asking too much, but let's see what went wrong. Read More...

ICs of the 1930s & 1940s

Check out this amazing integration ca. 1940. Read More...

The eventual demise of your current business

Sooner or later, a competitor is going to successfully enter your market, to your detriment. Or the fundamental forces that created your business in the first place are going to shift dramatically enough to topple it. How will you respond? Read More...

A spare part beats a full replacement any day

The next time your residence co-inhabitants grumble about all that "junk" you keep stockpiling, feel free to pass along my happy tale of hardware resurrection. Read More...

What's your company's sustainable niche?

Is your company's core business a sustainable niche, or is it fundamentally in ongoing danger of evaporating due to evolving market and customer dynamics? Read More...

What's wrong with this MacBook Pro battery?

This laptop battery works fine to a point, and then flat-out fails, when disconnected from its AC adapter. Read More...

Teardown: Wireless keyboard and remote senses motion

The Mohu Channels wireless keyboard is also a remote control with motion-activated on-screen cursor capability; see how it works. Read More...

Moto 360 smartwatch lacks backwards compatibility

That Google seems to have broken backwards compatibility with the initial firmware release of its most successful Android Wear watch to date blows one engineer's mind. Read More...

Augmenting storage doesn’t go according to plan

Does it make more sense to roll out a half-baked software feature now, with the intention of further fleshing it out over time, or wait until the feature is more complete? Read More...

Teardown: Streaming device marred by glitches

Mohu Channels had an abundance of hardware potential as a streaming device that also offers over-the-air TV, but software glitches led to a premature product demise. Read More...

Marketers talk funnier than ever

As we keep coming up with new buzzwords, marketers keep misusing the English language. Read More...

Building the AV room: Part 1 – The Room

Garner some tips from my own long journey to AV room bliss. Read More...

How one researcher cracked the iPhone 5c

Larry Desjardin describes how one researcher cracked the iPhone 5c using test and measurement equipment. Read More...

The trouble with relying on the cloud

A cloud-centric product strategy delivers an abundance of benefits for developers and purchasers alike ... until the cloud goes down, that is. Read More...

Chrome OS still struggles with the basics

Chrome OS has come a long way, but it's still not "there." At the end of the day, I still miss my MacBook Air. Read More...

Did power problems help kill the modular smartphone?

Modular, flexible, and expandable sound like great product attributes, but they bring a large list of electrical, power, mechanical, and software headaches to a design. Read More...

Why is everything junk? (Heat-pump edition)

No matter how wonderful today's high-technology products seem to be, they're almost invariably hobbled by design faults. I ponder why that might be, and discuss a specific product. Read More...

Windows 10 update gobbles up disk space

How can Microsoft plan to achieve "Windows 10 on 1 billion devices" in the absence of a reasonable means for low-end system owners to upgrade to and maintain it? Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Bad-bulb finder fixes Christmas lights

15 years later, here’s a new take on one of our most popular Design Ideas ever! 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...

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...

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

Rx/Tx converters span 800 MHz to 4000 MHz

The HMC8100 and HMC8200 Rx/Tx converters from Analog Devices replace multiple discrete parts in microwave backhaul applications. Read More...

Wireless charger fits sealed wearables

STMicroelectronics’ STWBC-WA/STWLC04 miniature chipset for wireless battery charging allows smaller, simpler, and sealed sports wearables. Read More...

Valencell and Jabra team up to create the most accurate wireless earbud device

Next generation earbuds are going truly wireless to provide accurate and convenient health insights during your workout. Read More...

Wireless transmitter is QI-certified

The bq501210 is a WPC V1.2-compliant wireless power transmitter from Texas Instruments that delivers up to 15 W. Read More...

Bluetooth module enhances IoT security

Laird’s BLE652 Bluetooth V4.2 and NFC certified radio module offers robust security and easy programming for enterprise IoT applications. Read More...

Stereo audio chips leverage Bluetooth V4.2

Microchip’s IS206X family of audio SoC devices and modules is qualified for Bluetooth V4.2 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) links. Read More...

Kit demos multimode wireless charger

EPC’s 9121 wireless power-charging demonstration system simplifies the evaluation process of using eGaN FETs and ICs for multimode charging. Read More...

IC manages battery power in wearables

Highly integrated, the STBC02 chip from STMicroelectronics embeds numerous features for energy management in wearable and portable devices. Read More...

Tiny motion sensor fits wearable devices

Bosch Sensortec’s BMX160 is a 9-axis motion sensor touted as the smallest in the industry for wearable and augmented/virtual-reality devices. Read More...

Another strong voice chimes in for remote control

Voice control is ever increasing in popularity and the technology is now moving further towards ubiquity with Texas Instrument’s voice remote control solution. Read More...

Portable e-car charger leverages SiC MOSFETs

Thirty-two SiC MOSFETs from STMicroelectronics perform efficient power conversion in the ZapCharger portable electric-car charging station. Read More...

SAG taps STMicro for IoT NFC tags

STMicroelectronics and Securitag Assembly Group (SAG) have announced a tiny NFC ferrite tag based on the ST25 NFC tag IC for IoT applications. Read More...

MEMS sensors empower smart phones

Low-power 6-axis inertial modules from STMicroelectronics, the LSM6DSL and LSM6DSM, pack a 3-D digital accelerometer and gyroscope. Read More...

TVS device protects NFC and RF interfaces

The single-line RClamp1851ZA from Semtech has a working voltage of 18 V for use on NFC resonator and RF circuits without signal clipping. Read More...

Conexant takes sound and voice control to the next level

New audio solutions announced at CES 2016 will be important in the growing smart home industry. Read More...

NFC transponder teams with automotive SoCs

A dynamic NFC transponder from Texas Instruments, the RF430CL330H-Q1, is AEC-Q100-qualified for use in automotive infotainment systems. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Teardown: Wireless keyboard and remote senses motion

The Mohu Channels wireless keyboard is also a remote control with motion-activated on-screen cursor capability; see how it works. Read More...

Teardown: Streaming device marred by glitches

Mohu Channels had an abundance of hardware potential as a streaming device that also offers over-the-air TV, but software glitches led to a premature product demise. Read More...

Teardown: A tiny camera drone

Is it worth it to upgrade to a drone with a 0.3 Mpixel image sensor-and-lens assembly, mated to a microSD flash memory card slot? Read More...

Teardown: Today’s ATSC converter box

Several ICs from previously unknown (at least to this engineer) companies form the silicon foundation of a multi-branded ATSC PVR reference design. Read More...

Teardown: Inside Toshiba's Chromebook 2

An exposed screw presented an opportunity this engineer couldn’t resist. What's inside Toshiba's high definition display-enhanced Chromebook? Read More...

Teardown: Bluetooth controller for low-cost VR

You can get VR on a budget with a smartphone, an inexpensive Google Cardboard headset, and an even more inexpensive Bluetooth controller ... if the controller works. Read More...

Apple MacBook gets a new battery

Replacing a laptop's built-in battery often isn't hard, and can tangibly extend its usable life, just make sure you've got decent tools and instructions on your hands. Read More...

Teardown: A tiny drone and its controller

See what you get when you spend $10 on a tiny drone. Read More...

Teardown: Buggy software brings down hardware

WD showed its design chops on the My Net N900 router's hardware, but the software wasn't similarly up to the task. Read More...

Teardown: Inside a DSL gateway

An aversion to integrated gateways presents a teardown opportunity and a good look at the PCB that makes the unit go. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

The next 60 years in consumer electronics

As we celebrate 60 years of EDN, we look forward to the overarching themes and specific technologies that will be the future of consumer electronics. Read More...

10 drones you’ll want to own

Drones are the hottest thing in consumer electronics at the moment, and they're increasingly inexpensive as more suppliers enter the market, so which one(s) should you get? Read More...

What level of smartphone should you buy?

To understand the differences between phones and ranges of phones, see how the Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy A9, and Huawei Mate 8 compare. Read More...

CES 2016: It’s all about smartphones

Smartphones were at the center of many innovations at CES 2016. Read More...

NASA’s Mars Orion program featured at CES 2016

See where NASA’s plans for a mission to Mars stand with a look at its CES 2016 booth, featuring rockets, 3D printers, and robonauts. Read More...

Smartphone receiver to connect cars unveiled at CES 2016

Pioneer Electronics released AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) which brings the use of cloud and device sourced content from compatible iOS, Android, and MirrorLink-enabled devices to your car. Read More...

8 wearables beyond the Fitbit for health and fitness

Bluetooth, algorithms, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and more make these 8 wearables work for health and fitness. Read More...

CES Unveiled NY: What consumer electronics will 2016 bring?

See some of the up-and-coming consumer electronics that were on display at CES Unveiled, a preview event for CES 2016. Read More...

All you need to know about MIPI D’PHY RX

MIPI D’Phy, a physical serial communicating layer connecting the application processor to the display device or the camera, offers advantages as the physical layer. Learn about those and implementation here. Read More...

Sensors combinations make for more intelligent mobile devices

Smartphones can be remarkably dumb. Learn how sensor combinations can bring about more intelligent mobile devices. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

ICs of the 1930s & 1940s

Check out this amazing integration ca. 1940. Read More...

The eventual demise of your current business

Sooner or later, a competitor is going to successfully enter your market, to your detriment. Or the fundamental forces that created your business in the first place are going to shift dramatically enough to topple it. How will you respond? Read More...

A spare part beats a full replacement any day

The next time your residence co-inhabitants grumble about all that "junk" you keep stockpiling, feel free to pass along my happy tale of hardware resurrection. Read More...

What's your company's sustainable niche?

Is your company's core business a sustainable niche, or is it fundamentally in ongoing danger of evaporating due to evolving market and customer dynamics? Read More...

What's wrong with this MacBook Pro battery?

This laptop battery works fine to a point, and then flat-out fails, when disconnected from its AC adapter. Read More...

Invisible controls you can touch

A new interface system generates virtual controls in mid-air, that you can actually feel. Read More...

Moto 360 smartwatch lacks backwards compatibility

That Google seems to have broken backwards compatibility with the initial firmware release of its most successful Android Wear watch to date blows one engineer's mind. Read More...

Augmenting storage doesn’t go according to plan

Does it make more sense to roll out a half-baked software feature now, with the intention of further fleshing it out over time, or wait until the feature is more complete? Read More...

Building the AV room: Part 1 – The Room

Garner some tips from my own long journey to AV room bliss. Read More...

How one researcher cracked the iPhone 5c

Larry Desjardin describes how one researcher cracked the iPhone 5c using test and measurement equipment. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

FEATURED RESOURCES