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10 Companies and Municipalities that Are Harnessing the Internet of Things to Run Smarter Cities

​Many of the devices we interact with today are enabled by computers and connected to the Internet. Much of the popular interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) focuses on consumer electronics, with everything from smart refrigerators to thermostats, personal fitness equipment, cars, and even front door locks that “talk” to each other and their owners. Here, marketers and advertisers are particularly avid for the data that can be gleaned from this interconnectivity.
How does Haptics Fit into System Design?

Haptics technology (from the Greek word haptikos, meaning "to touch") adds tactile feedback to a system so a user can experience additional sensations of being connected to and even part of the system's function. Even though they may not know the term, many consumers are already familiar and comfortable with haptics from mass-market products such as the Nintendo Wii game controllers.
Implementing Haptics: Defining, Driving the Actuator are Major Challenges

For the system designer, adding haptics capability and tactile feedback to a system is both easy and difficult. In general, the sensor has little or moderate impact on the BOM, space, and cost, while the software has no BOM and minimal cost implications. But the embedding hardware drive circuitry and the physical actuator require considerable assessment of design issues, power consumption, PC board and enclosure real estate as well as the cost dimension.
Supercapacitors Charge High-Energy Systems

​Responding to the demand for greater energy storage, component manufacturers have introduced supercapacitors that are bridging the gap between conventional capacitors and batteries.
Using Tagging Technology to Mount a Defense Against Counterfeits

​If a counterfeit component is designed into a defense or aerospace system, the importance of the component’s functionality is literally a matter of life or death. It was a subpar O-ring, for example, that caused the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.
Performance, Functionality Improve Point-of-Load Power Devices

​As increasingly complex system designs dictate more usage of power devices located close to the point of use rather than running lengthy traces to centralized power modules, point-of-load power devices are gaining in popularity among design engineers. These devices enable system designers to achieve tighter control over power supply performance, as shorter wiring traces reduce inductance and subsequent signal degradation.
Accelerating the Motor Control Revolution Using New MCU and FPGA Solutions

​Motors provide the muscle for electronic controls to interact with the physical world. Whether in transportation, process control, robotics, appliances or even just opening a garage door, motors are the primary movers in our connected and controlled world.
Automotive Electronics: Top 5 Tech Trends of Tomorrow’s Smart Cars

​In the United States alone, motor vehicles travel well over four trillion miles each year according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. To gain a sense of this distance, consider that while it takes light approximately eight minutes to travel from the sun to the Earth, it would take well over eight months for light to cover the distance that U.S. vehicles travel each year.
Internet of Things: Using Wireless-Controlled Lighting to Reduce Energy Costs

​Lighting represents a significant fraction of electricity usage in residential and commercial buildings. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lighting accounted for more than 17 percent of residential electrical usage and more than 21 percent of commercial electrical usage in 2013.
Five Reasons to Use an SoC FPGA in Your Next Design

When bringing a new product to market, embedded system designers using advanced processors are often faced with several challenges. These challenges range from meeting performance requirements such as lower power consumption, saving board space, and meeting both cost requirements and time-to-market demands. ​
USB 3.1: A Brilliant Example of What USB Can Be

Developed originally to provide a user friendly way to attach external peripherals to PCs, the Universal Serial Bus (USB) has become the most widely used means of communication between platforms ranging from desktops, laptops and tablets to digital cameras and portable flash drives.
Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS): What’s Really at the Core of the Internet of Things?

Deeply embedded real-time operating systems must keep pace and deliver scalability, rapidly enabling — and securing — intelligent devices
LEDs and Their Rapidly Changing Form Factor

From street lamps to industrial applications, LED use goes well beyond screwing an LED light into a desk lamp. Historically, retrofit LEDs have often emulated the form factor of the lamps they were replacing.
Digital Pots Minimize Design, Assembly, Test and Stocking Headaches

Digital potentiometers (aka digital pots or digipots) can replace many existing electromechanical variable resistors, as well as bring new features and functions to the circuit designer's toolkit.
Don't Let PoE Magnetics Ruin Your Ethernet PHY Design

​Power over Ethernet (PoE) means more than just adding power supplies and handshaking ICs; it also requires understanding the new choices and placement options for the critical magnetic components needed at both ends of the link.
In Embedded MCU Design, Interoperability Is Key

​One of the key challenges embedded systems designers face today is simplifying the 32-, 16- and 8-bit microcontroller software development process. Embedded designers often build their software framework by acquiring the microcontroller, software stack, libraries and development tools from different vendors. However, when something goes wrong in the design, this approach can make it difficult for embedded designers to identify the cause of the problem.
Hard Cores in Soft Logic: Selecting the Best Option between Soft, Firm and Hard Macros

The functional density of the modern FPGA allows the instantiation of several high-gate-count complex blocks. Designers can place one or more embedded microcontrollers on the FPGA, along with the peripherals and special functions for which programmable logic is known.​
Top 5 Myths in Automotive Vision: Designing Embedded Vision Systems Is Easier Than You Think

Vision has always occupied a special place in information science and popular culture. One does not need to be an engineer to appreciate the vast bandwidth available in normal human vision.
Vroom, Vroom: Energy Harvesting Gives New Meaning to Automotive Power

​Energy harvesting involves tapping into readily available energy, converting it and then using it as electrical energy. This application is great for replacing battery power where batteries are either impractical and costly, or hard to replace.
Defense Aerospace, Ipad App for PilotsNew iPad Application Helps Pilots Assess Flying Risks

A new application, the iPad Flight Risk Assessment Tool (iFrat), is making it easy for pilots to assess, document and communicate risks in upcoming flights.
Temperature-Sensing Advancements Increase Efficiency for Better Performance

Sophisticated integration techniques and sensor performance enhancements make it easier for designers to include thermal management
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Here’s how Avnet can help OEMs with their designs

The distribution channel provides tools, services, and training to support our customers’ engineering communities. A question I am often asked is: just how does that help? With the exceptions of pure play engineering design services and reference designs, just how does our contingent of account managers, FAEs, application engineering, web presence, etc. accelerate the success of our customers?​
Internet of Beer? Avnet Helps iKeg ‘Tap’ Into the Internet of Things

SteadyServ Develops RFID-Enabled Beer Inventory Management Solution
How the IoT will Change the Supply Chain?

​The potential applications of Internet of Things (IoT) technology across any industry or sector are vast. Existing and future IoT applications promise new ways of value creation and revenue streams for businesses in a digital world. For supply chains, IoT technologies allow creation of a broad framework within which rapid evolution in an increasingly complex environment can be visualized and implemented.
Avnet: Your Key Enabler for Efficient IoT Product Development

​Beyond the logistic efficiencies and capabilities of being the largest global component distributor, Avnet focuses significant technical resources on the engineering side of the electronic product development business.
Rise of the Machines

​When the news broke in January that Google was buying Nest Labs, Inc. for $3.2 billion, the eye-popping valuation indicated the acquisition was about more than just pretty thermostats and smoke detectors. While speculation about Google’s intentions have run rampant since then, in my mind it’s a clear sign: the Internet of Things (IoT) is finally upon us.
Indispensable Building Blocks of Mobile IoT Devices

​The concept of IoT connected devices connotes many different ideas. Some think of data centers full of servers, network switches and storage arrays aggregating untold gigabytes of random data.
Antennas for RF Designs in the IoT

​The physical connection for many IoT nodes leverages legacy wired networks found in homes, offices, schools, factories and other areas. As we become mobile, wireless physical connections are becoming the norm. Each wireless connection requires at least two antennas: one on both the transmitter and receiver.
Circuit Protection: Helping Drive Reliability and Longer Life

​The primary concerns of engineers designing mobile devices connected to the IoT remain device functionality, performance and feature set.
Powering the Internet of Things via Energy Harvesting

​The push is on to add Internet capability to everything—often called the Internet of Things (IoT)—and the challenge for design engineers is to figure out how to power each of these IoT nodes.
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