Design Con 2015

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.

Help save a part of engineering history

The first house to have a telephone is up for sale. You can help turn it into a museum. Read More...

Top consumer electronics design articles of 2014

Here are some of the most popular design articles and blog posts from EDN's Consumer Electronics Design Center during 2014. Read More...

Apple iPod antitrust suit strikes a sour note

The case seems to be more about garnering a fat paycheck for class-action lawyers than it does about protecting consumers. Read More...

Sir Clive Sinclair interview, ZX Spectrum relaunched for retro gameplay

We talk with Sir Clive Sinclair about his latest project, a dedicated game machine that comes with 1,000 classic Spectrum games. Read More...

Circuit simulates a loudspeaker's impedance curve

Testing an audio amp, and want a better test load than just a resistor, or an actual speaker? Read on. Read More...

Death to "half-power handsets"

Here are the technical reasons why handset designers and RF engineers should be turning the transmit power up, not down, to extend battery life and optimize LTE network performance. Read More...

Profiles in Design: Karen Bartleson

“Learn how to negotiate effectively. It’s amazing what you can do when you can resolve conflict and bring people together in agreement.”—Karen Bartleson Read More...

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...

Mobile payment technology reaching critical mass?

Long predicted but always seeming to be "just around the corner," mobile payments may finally have arrived. Read More...

A stroll through microcomputer evolution

A look at microcomputer evolution, through the lens of the machines I've owned & used. Read More...

Kit eases design of Rezence-ready wireless charging products

The WiT-5000C3 development kit from WiTricity enables the creation of Class 3 wireless charging systems for smart phones, tablets, and wearable electronic devices that conform to the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) Rezence specification. Read More...

Silicon platform optimization: A top-down methodology

The continuing advance in both silicon modeling, circuit simulators and 3D EM simulators has meant that design teams increasingly have access to tools that allow for a robust co-design of silicon, PCB and system design. Read More...

Well marked yet mysterious coin cell teaches a small lesson

Sometimes what you think will be an easy problem to solve, especially with the power of Internet search, turns out to lead to a dead end; the constant lesson and reminder is "don't assume anything." Read More...

The sense of touch: Will we lose it?

If consumer electronics manufacturers genuinely want us to go beyond consuming media via their device and truly interact with it then they need to address touch. Read More...

Teardown: Lightning strike explodes a switch's IC

In this case, there is no doubt as to the reason for a GbE switch's demise after a quick teardown. Read More...

Audio bus technology from ADI takes on MOST, Ethernet AVB

An audio signal distribution system for automotive use developed by Analog Devices could emerge as a strong competitor to established infotainment bus systems like MOST and Ethernet AVB. Read More...

Design strategies for the wearables market

This article looks at the user-experience-driven design methodologies being used to create some of the most successful wearable products on the market and considers the features and functions that drive a wearable product's energy budget and computational requirements. Read More...

Failure modes of wearable electronics

This article will provide insight into the environments and issues that can specifically impact wearable electronics and provide guidance on methodologies for assuring reliability. 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...

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...

>> SEE ALL

Tact switch combines resilience, excellent operating feel

In response to the strict robustness and resilience requirements in the automotive industry, component manufacturer, ALPS Electric has developed and commenced mass production of the SKTH Series TACT Switch. Read More...

Digital TV demodulator boasts worldwide broadcast standards

Silicon Labs' next-generation digital TV demodulator family has expanded support for the latest satellite, terrestrial and cable standards. Read More...

12-V motor driver family simplifies tuning

Adaptive current regulation and enhanced fault protection help systems spin stepper motors smoothly and reliably; TI has added a 12-V motor driver family that claims to reduces spin-up time to seconds and simplifies tuning stepper and brushed DC motors. Read More...

10-W wireless power solution promises faster, cooler charging

TI's receiver and transmitter system efficiently charges one- and two-cell battery-powered applications, and supports any Qi-compatible 5-W wireless charging system. Read More...

EDN Hot 100 products of 2014

Of the many thousands of products announced during the past year, these are 100 that especially caught the attention of our editors and our readers. Read More...

Apps help identify mobile code 'energy hotspots'

A software startup company based on a Purdue University innovation is helping to extend the life of smartphone batteries by helping application developers identify code that drains batteries quickly. Read More...

Chip power inductors suit power circuits of portables

ALPS Green Devices has developed the "GLCLK Series" and "GLCLM Series" Liqualloy Power Inductors, suitable for power supply circuits of displays for smartphones and other compact mobile devices, such as tablets and digital cameras. Read More...

Ultra-low-power touch button controller for battery-powered applications

The ATB352 expands Aito's touch technology into low-energy personal device and home automation markets. Read More...

Smart MEMS mic hears better in loud environments

STMicroelectronics' MP23AB02B MEMS microphone maintains ultra-low distortion at less than 10% up to very high external sound-pressure levels. Read More...

Dolby-certified SHARC DSPs target home theaters

Analog Devices's SHARC 214xx family of processors is the company’s first line of digital signal processors to be certified by Dolby Laboratories, Inc. for the decoding of Dolby Atmos content. Read More...

IR sensor array sees a wider field of view, with low-noise imaging

Low-cost infra-red (IR) arrays provide precise imaging data and detailed heat signatures for both static and dynamic objects can be derived, and find applications in security, automotive, building automation and consumer electronics. Read More...

Programmable wireless charging ICs & ref designs target consumer, automotive

Freescale claims that in contrast to some competing products that restrict customisation, its new offerings allow design innovation and enable the rapid development of differentiated wireless charging systems. Read More...

IoT dev kit enables rapid prototyping

Broadcom Corporation has introduced a development kit into its Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices (WICED) family to enable developers to rapidly prototype ideas and concepts for IoT devices and applications. Read More...

Multiband automotive tuner ICs deliver best-in-class radio performance

The Si4790x automotive receiver family scales from economical, single-tuner designs to premium, multi-tuner car radio systems. Read More...

Audio hub codec puts high-quality sound in mobile devices

Wolfson Microelectronics’ latest Audio Hub, the WM8998, offers hi-fi playback and recording to mobile phones and tablets across the product price tiers. Read More...

Sub-1V BLE RF transceiver IP targets wearable sensors, IoT

CSEM (Switzerland) has announced IcyTRX-65, a 2.4-GHz silicon RF IP optimised for low power Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth Low Energy) circuits. 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: Dissecting an under the weather weather station

Keeping a solar-powered temperature sensor in the dark puts it to sleep for good. What better way to find out why than to take it apart? Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Top consumer electronics design articles of 2014

Here are some of the most popular design articles and blog posts from EDN's Consumer Electronics Design Center during 2014. Read More...

Death to "half-power handsets"

Here are the technical reasons why handset designers and RF engineers should be turning the transmit power up, not down, to extend battery life and optimize LTE network performance. Read More...

Mobile payment technology reaching critical mass?

Long predicted but always seeming to be "just around the corner," mobile payments may finally have arrived. Read More...

Silicon platform optimization: A top-down methodology

The continuing advance in both silicon modeling, circuit simulators and 3D EM simulators has meant that design teams increasingly have access to tools that allow for a robust co-design of silicon, PCB and system design. Read More...

The sense of touch: Will we lose it?

If consumer electronics manufacturers genuinely want us to go beyond consuming media via their device and truly interact with it then they need to address touch. Read More...

Design strategies for the wearables market

This article looks at the user-experience-driven design methodologies being used to create some of the most successful wearable products on the market and considers the features and functions that drive a wearable product's energy budget and computational requirements. Read More...

Failure modes of wearable electronics

This article will provide insight into the environments and issues that can specifically impact wearable electronics and provide guidance on methodologies for assuring reliability. Read More...

Use a temperature detection bridge for fan control

This article illustrates the importance of temperature detection in circuit cooling, and the effectiveness of NTC thermistors in fan control for consumer end products. Read More...

Sounds good: The science behind audio compression

SBCs and perceptual coding are bringing high-definition audio to the masses, mitigating amplitude masking, and contributing to the rise in free lossless audio codecs. Read More...

iPhone 6 infographic: Most wanted features

On his Blog, Alex Hillsberg from Finances Online, shares with us an infographic about the features evolution of Apple's smartphones since the company’s first iPhone launch in 2007. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

8 open-source holiday gifts

Complete your holiday shopping with these 8 open-source, out-of-the-box devices, kits, and components for DIY designing. Read More...

Help save a part of engineering history

The first house to have a telephone is up for sale. You can help turn it into a museum. Read More...

LED-lit urban farms aim to transform blighted cities with jobs, fresh food

A group of high-tech urban pioneers is using LEDs to power an indoor vertical farming system that will create good paying jobs and delicious pesticide-free greens. Read More...

Contest winners target environmental problems

Participants in the North Texas Apps Challenge talk about the winning ideas that scored $80,000. Read More...

Apple iPod antitrust suit strikes a sour note

The case seems to be more about garnering a fat paycheck for class-action lawyers than it does about protecting consumers. Read More...

Tale of two thermostats: Nest teardown

I conducted a side-by-side teardown of two IoT thermostats to compare how they were made. This is a summary of those results. Read More...

Sir Clive Sinclair interview, ZX Spectrum relaunched for retro gameplay

We talk with Sir Clive Sinclair about his latest project, a dedicated game machine that comes with 1,000 classic Spectrum games. Read More...

Circuit simulates a loudspeaker's impedance curve

Testing an audio amp, and want a better test load than just a resistor, or an actual speaker? Read on. Read More...

7 steps to security for the Internet of Things

Keeping IoT devices and their data secure will be essential as the IoT grows. The principles of enterprise security are a good approach to take. Read More...

iPhone updates: restraint continues to pay off

A transition from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S may seem modest at first glance, but the payoff was well worth the moderate effort and financial outlay. Read More...

Obscure AC line connectors challenge designers, consumers

Basic plugs and connectors are standardized, but there are many specialized ones you'll run into that are a problem when they need to be replaced. Read More...

12 top crowdfunded IoT devices and what became of them

Ever wonder what happened to those nifty IoT devices that got over-the-top crowdfunding? Here's the story. Read More...

A stroll through microcomputer evolution

A look at microcomputer evolution, through the lens of the machines I've owned & used. Read More...

Choosing your car by the data plan it offers

In addition to car brand loyalty, the consumer community now has to contend with "cross over loyalty" on cellular providers. Read More...

Case study: prototyping IoT ideas

Adding connectivity to a product can lead to unexpected feature and revenue benefits, as this connected washing machine case study shows. Read More...

7 weird IoT applications

With all the potential and creativity in play with the IoT, it is not surprising that every now and then you will come across an application that is simply weird. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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