Mar 21 10:44 AM PDT

More on Battery Protection

I recently came across two interesting blog posts on The Connecting Edge technology forum, about lithium batteries, the ubiquitous and sometimes misunderstood technology that keeps popping up in the news. The posts, called “The Care & Feeding of Lithium Batteries,” are by Todd Marcucci, VP Research & Development, Good Earth Energy Conservation, Inc.

The first post (Part 1, March 5) offers a helpful primer on the types of existing technologies since, as Todd says, many design engineers aren’t aware of all the lithium battery chemistries that are available. But it was the second post (Part 2, March 6) — which points out differences between rechargeable batteries — that really caught my eye. In it he concludes: “In all, lithium chemistries offer some great advantages over others, but at a cost of greater care and management.” This got me thinking about circuit protection for lithium batteries. Keep reading…

Mar 07 10:41 AM PDT

Tablet Battery Protection Design Challenges – And the Cure

An interesting article in Electronic Design magazine by Robin Tichy of Electrochem Solutions describes how tablets using battery packs with non-standard form factors can present a variety of design challenges. In addition to the issues that Robin mentions in her article, I’d like to add that designers also need to be aware of issues related to thermal and overcurrent protection in these applications. Keep reading…

Feb 28 09:02 AM PDT

The wireless market is heating up, and so are the devices — literally

In a recent issue of Wireless Design and Development (WD&D) magazine, Barry Brents, Field Application Engineer, offers his take on the challenges of designing for today’s smaller and thinner smart phones, tablets, and other wireless devices. According to Barry, overtemperature, overcurrent and other potential problems need to be taken into consideration since they can negatively affect battery-operated devices — and their users. See Barry’s full opinion piece here. Keep reading…

Dec 11 10:53 AM PDT

Weight Watchers for Consumer Electronics – You Can’t be Too Thin or Too (Feature) Rich

When I recently watched the sci-fi classic “Blade Runner,” I was struck by how the movie’s special effects team in 1984 got one aspect about the future so wrong: the big and boxy computer screens. Funny, I thought, they could envision flying cars and lifelike robots, but not flat screen monitors.

Now, of course, flat screens and thin products are everywhere. From TVs and cell phones to electronic readers and tablets, it seems today’s gadgets can’t be too thin or too rich in features. The proliferation of smart mobile appliances with smaller form factors, increased power densities, faster processors, and extended battery life is a trend that presents many challenges for consumer electronics designers. Keep reading…

Oct 18 07:00 AM PDT

Charging Standards Will Help Pave the Way for EVs

In the electronics industry products are constantly evolving and presenting new challenges for design engineers, my customers. For instance, little did I expect when I began my career as a salesman more than 20 years ago that we’d be designing circuit protection devices for electric vehicles (EVs). Keep reading…

Oct 06 09:36 AM PDT

The Black Swans of Circuit Protection

Reading Nicholas Taleb’s “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable” (Random House 2007), the definition of a Black Swan caught my attention.

“…an event with the following three attributes. First it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme impact. Third, in spite of its outliers status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.”
Could this description be relevant to circuit protection designs? I suggest that it can, based on these observations. Keep reading…

Sep 29 04:09 PM PDT

TE Circuit Protection at CEATEC 2011

CEATEC is one of the largest IT and electronics trade shows in Japan where hundreds of leading innovative companies gather to showcase their latest product and technology offerings. This year TE Connectivity will be showcasing the TE Copter which is a human powered helicopter capable of hovering about 10 feet in the air The TE Copter was built using nearly 100 different TE Connectivity products including some of our own circuit protection devices. By empowering the human body to lift above the melee the TE Copter symbolizes the strength of the Japanese people persevering though the Tsunami disaster. CEATEC 2011 will be held from October 4th – 8th at Makuhari Messe in Tokyo, Japan. You can find us at booth No. 8G86 in hall 8. Keep reading…

Aug 23 11:44 AM PDT

When Lightning Strikes

When I took over the beat of a salesman for Africa little did I realized that part of my role would be governed by a force of nature – lightning. Africa, in general – and Southern Africa in particular—is one of the world’s hot spots for lightning storms, making protection against damage from lightning strikes of paramount concern for wireless telecoms.
Keep reading…

Aug 09 07:12 AM PDT

Is Anybody Building Telecom Equipment Anymore?

Anyone over the age of 15 should remember the horrible sound of a thousand angry crows screeching and scratching their talons on a chalkboard. I am not talking about real crows; I am talking about the sound of a dial-up modem establishing an internet connection. We were all happy to listen to that, because it meant a fountain of internet would soon be flowing into our computers. In those days, the telecom business was growing quickly because everyone wanted to get as much data as they could, and the only way to do it was through the phone lines. Keep reading…