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Automation manufacture Industry 4.0
Evolution before revolution: the origins of Industry 4.0
May 27, 2020
We’ve come a long way from the days of Henry Ford famously telling customers that they could have the Model T car painted any colour ‘so long as it was black’ – a quote which reflected the compromise of having to put efficiency before choice.
Product
The evolution of cellular networks
By Martin Keenan   -   April 29, 2020
Since the first 5G services were launched in the USA by Verizon and AT&T, 5G networks have been rolled out in a further 17 countries with South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States leading the charge and China catching up fast.
Autonomous vehicles communicating with each other on roads
How automotive Ethernet and 5G will power autonomous driving
September 22, 2020
Automotive Ethernet and high-performance 5G communication systems will form the backbone of autonomous vehicles, enabling safety, and increased comfort for drivers and passengers.
An x-ray being displayed on a hospital monitor
The application of technology in the connected hospital
By Andrew Hutton   -   August 26, 2020
Professional healthcare has always relied heavily on technology. Medicine went through something of a revolution around 2000 years ago, when observational science started to predominate the way patients were treated. The science of medicine has been devel...
Abstract image of an electronic circuit
How SiC and GaN technology is affecting passive component development
June 19, 2020
To keep up with the semiconductor process innovations, SiC and GaN present some unique challenges to the essential passive components used in power conversion and motor drive circuits.
Satellite in action around the Earth
The future is 5G
By Adam Chidley   -   April 29, 2020
'The explosive growth of the IoT shows no signs of abating, with Gartner forecasting 20.8 billion connected “things” by 2020, and IHS Markit predicting that this number will rise to 125 billion by 2030.'
A technical specialist on solar panels
Extending battery lifetime in wireless applications using supercapacitors
By Martin Keenan   -   April 20, 2020
This article describes how supercapacitors can be deployed in conjunction with batteries to extend their operational life and reduce maintenance and replacement costs.
Engineer using an oscilloscope to test a circuit
Selecting relays for test and measurement equipment
By Shlomo Avital   -   March 30, 2020
Follow Avnet Abacus on LinkedIn  One of the key challenges with developing test and measurement equipment is to ensure that the signal that gets measured is the same as the signal that you want to measure. It sounds obvious, but multiple factors in the ...
Data centre racks
How to approach power design for modern computing systems
By Philip Lechner   -   March 25, 2020
Follow Avnet Abacus on LinkedIn In today’s computing systems, power-hungry components include FPGAs, CPUs, ASICs, SoCs and now the new ACAP devices (Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform) which promise step performance improvements in demanding applicat...
An electric vehicle charging cable being plugged into a charging station
An introduction to EV charging infrastructure design
February 7, 2020
With demand for faster charging of EV vehicles increasing, the design of charging stations and infrastructure becomes ever more important.
Bigger is always better, isn’t it? That’s not necessarily the case when it comes to specifying a power supply.
AC-DC power supply design: how to specify capacity
By Philip Lechner   -   January 15, 2020
AC-DC power supply design - how to pick an AC-DC power supply, and 80 PLUS Certification in context
Inside of a connected car depicting
V2X: The future of vehicle communications
By Martin Keenan   -   December 10, 2019
Vehicles are about to become a lot more communicative: with other road users, with the infrastructure they pass on their journeys, with cloud-based services, and even with the energy grid. This communication should make vehicles more economical to operate...
Solar panels on a solar farm at sunrise
MOSFET relays: Key components in the densification and efficiency of electronics
November 27, 2019
Traditional electromagnetic relays, (EMRs), are still popular choices for certain applications, particularly where high-power switching is required, but increasingly, MOSFETs are being used in modern applications.
A photo of various antennas laid out on a white background
4 keys to selecting antennas for small IoT devices
November 19, 2019
Wireless connectivity is a critical enabler for many IoT applications. While a wireless module can simplify the RF subsystem design, a working system requires careful selection of an antenna as well.
Tesla plugged into charging station
Switching high voltages and currents with PCB-mounted relays
By Martin Keenan   -   November 8, 2019
The growing demand for safe, robust and energy-efficient ways to switch relatively large amounts of power means that relays have an important role to play in a wide range of modern applications.
Avnet Abacus helps engineers to develop smart flow meters for monitoring water and gas consumption. Alan Jermyn, VP Marketing, looks at what’s driving demand for smart meters, how they work and how they’re built.
Taking flow measurement to the next level
By Alan Jermyn   -   October 25, 2019
Avnet Abacus helps engineers to develop smart flow meters for monitoring water and gas consumption. Alan Jermyn, VP Marketing, looks at what’s driving demand for smart meters, how they work and how they’re built.
There are two primary technologies used in detecting the presence of people, pyro-electric / passive infra-red (PIR) and ultrasonic. Alessandro Mastellari takes a look at how they differ and how they work.
PIR and ultrasonic sensors: What's the difference and how do they work?
By Alessandro Mastellari   -   October 21, 2019
There are two primary technologies used in detecting the presence of people, pyro-electric / passive infra-red (PIR) and ultrasonic. Alessandro Mastellari takes a look at how they differ and how they work.
The complex electronic architectures of  hybrid and electric vehicles have required engineers to rethink power requirements. Here's why 48V DC systems are key to modern automotive systems, and some considerations on powertrain component selection.
The shift to 48V in automotive systems: What you need to know
October 18, 2019
The complex electronic architectures of hybrid and electric vehicles have required engineers to rethink power requirements. Here's why 48V DC systems are key to modern automotive systems, and some considerations on powertrain component selection.
As the buzz around the Industrial IoT continues to grow, are manufacturers ready to move beyond the hype? How close are we to extensive IoT implementation and delivering real business value?
These 8 charts will challenge your perspective on the Industrial IoT
October 1, 2019
As the buzz around the Industrial IoT continues to grow, are manufacturers ready to move beyond the hype? How close are we to extensive IoT implementation and delivering real business value?
While connectors are not the most interesting components in automotive systems, they can make or break a design. Here, Mathias Goebel looks at the four main factors affecting connector choices in modern automotive applications.
4 factors steering connector choices in today's automotive applications
September 16, 2019
Connectors are critical components in any automotive systems, and their selection can make or break a design. Here, Mathias Goebel looks at the four main factors affecting connector choices in modern automotive applications.
How are the latest trends in sensing technology enabling the Industrial IoT, and how do you make the right choice for your installation?
Maximise your IIoT installation success by choosing the right sensors
July 19, 2019
How are the latest trends in sensing technology enabling the Industrial IoT, and how do you make the right choice for your installation?
When specifying connectors for IIoT applications, making the right choice is vital to ensuring the integrity of the transmission. Vibration, humidity and environmental stress are regular concerns when specifying any system component for a factory or
Industry 3.0 vs. Industry 4.0: Selecting connectors for the new industrial age
June 17, 2019
When specifying connectors for IIoT applications, making the right choice is vital to ensuring the integrity of the transmission. Vibration, humidity and environmental stress are regular concerns when specifying any system component for a factory or
With more and more applications combining data from multiple sensors, Alessandro Mastellari looks at how sensor fusion is being applied with pressure sensors.
How can combining different types of sensors result in more accurate data?
By Alessandro Mastellari   -   May 9, 2019
With more and more applications combining data from multiple sensors, Alessandro Mastellari looks at how sensor fusion is being applied with pressure sensors.
To give the electronic systems we design the ability to detect changes to what is around them we need analogue sensors. But the processing that sits behind those sensors is in almost every case going to be in the digital domain.
Pressure sensors: Why you should consider going digital
By Martin Keenan   -   May 9, 2019
To give the electronic systems we design the ability to detect changes to what is around them we need analogue sensors. But the processing that sits behind those sensors is in almost every case going to be in the digital domain.
In the second installment of our pressure sensor series Alessandro Mastellari explores how manufacturers are developing smaller and smaller devices.
Pressure sensor miniaturisation: How smaller sensors are enabling better healthcare
By Alessandro Mastellari   -   May 8, 2019
In the second installment of our pressure sensor series Alessandro Mastellari explores how manufacturers are developing smaller and smaller devices.
Pressure sensors became to automotive systems in the early 1990s, but as the rate of adoption of these components increases Martin Keenan investigates why.
What the growing pressure sensor market means for electronics
By Martin Keenan   -   May 8, 2019
Pressure sensors became to automotive systems in the early 1990s, but as the rate of adoption of these components increases Martin Keenan investigates why.
Recent advances in wireless technology have enabled the use of mesh network topologies in home and building control applications, but what are your options, and can you combine them?
A quick guide to multi-standard mesh networking
By Alessandro Mastellari   -   April 11, 2019
Recent advances in wireless technology have enabled the use of mesh network topologies in home and building control applications, but what are your options, and can you combine them?
To mark International Women’s Day, we spoke to two female engineers at different points in their careers – one from the UK and one from Germany – to find out from them what their take is on being a woman in engineering
Women in engineering – where are we now?
By Lisa Rees   -   March 7, 2019
To mark International Women’s Day, we spoke to two female engineers at different points in their careers – one from the UK and one from Germany – to find out from them what their take is on being a woman in engineering and to learn more about t
Learn about the key design considerations and technical trade-offs that you need to know when selecting DC-DC conversion solutions for inverter or motor control HV gate drivers.
How to choose the right DC-DC converter for HV gate driver applications
By Philip Lechner   -   January 31, 2019
Learn about the key design considerations and technical trade-offs that you need to know when selecting DC-DC conversion solutions for inverter or motor control HV gate drivers.
As the world becomes increasingly smart and connected, batteries can be undesirable in some of the use cases. Kinetic energy harvesting is an alternative that can help achieve longer operating lifetimes, relieve ownership costs, and ideally improve r
A quick guide to powering smart objects with kinetic energy harvesting
By Alessandro Mastellari   -   January 22, 2019
As the world becomes increasingly smart and connected, batteries can be undesirable in some of the use cases. Kinetic energy harvesting is an alternative that can help achieve longer operating lifetimes, relieve ownership costs, and ideally improve r
Andy Hutton investigates the problems that LED flicker can cause in day-to-day life and the steps designers can take to prevent it in their lighting applications.
What is LED flicker - and how to prevent it
By Andrew Hutton   -   January 9, 2019
Andy Hutton investigates the problems that LED flicker can cause in day-to-day life and the steps designers can take to prevent it in their lighting applications.
Cars used to be little more than four wheels, four seats, an internal combustion engine, and enough electronics to get a spark to each plug at the right time. Today’s vehicles are radically more complex.
Design trends: Automotive passives
By Martin Keenan   -   November 29, 2018
Cars used to be little more than four wheels, four seats, an internal combustion engine, and enough electronics to get a spark to each plug at the right time. Today’s vehicles are radically more complex.
ENEC (European Norms Electrical Certification) is the European hallmark for luminaires and related products and is used to demonstrate compliance with European safety standards. This certification system also includes LED drivers
Designing safe certified and efficient power solutions for LED lighting system
By Philip Lechner   -   November 22, 2018
ENEC (European Norms Electrical Certification) is the European hallmark for luminaires and related products and is used to demonstrate compliance with European safety standards. This certification system also includes LED drivers - the electronics th
Rapidly increasing market demand and the rationalisation of product offerings from Li-ion cell manufacturers are impacting the choices available to design engineers.
Strategies to combat volatility in the lithium-ion battery market
By Tim Parker   -   November 22, 2018
Rapidly increasing market demand and the rationalisation of product offerings from Li-ion cell manufacturers are impacting the choices available to design engineers. Here Tim Parker discusses the background to these dynamics and how engineers can suc
Transportation vehicles pose a challenging environment for the power supply designer. DC-DC converters are used to power on-board sensors, communication radios, positioning and location sensing, lighting, and information systems. Huge voltage variati
DC-DC power conversion challenges in transportation applications
By Andrew Hutton   -   November 22, 2018
Transportation vehicles pose a challenging environment for the power supply designer. DC-DC converters are used to power on-board sensors, communication radios, positioning and location sensing, lighting, and information systems. Huge voltage variati
Traditionally, system designers try to use ‘off-the-shelf’ standard components, expecting the lowest cost as a result. With power supplies, this is not necessarily the case when a holistic view is taken. A compelling case can be made for cost eff
When configurable power supplies are the best solution
By Hector Garcia   -   November 20, 2018
Traditionally, system designers try to use ‘off-the-shelf’ standard components, expecting the lowest cost as a result. With power supplies, this is not necessarily the case when a holistic view is taken. A compelling case can be made for cost eff
And so electronica 2018 is over. In our final post, we look back on the best bits of day three.
From humanoids to holograms and humanity projects - How Avnet showcased the future at electronica
November 16, 2018
And so electronica 2018 is over. In our final post, we look back on the best bits of day three.
Another day at electronica 2018 has passed and it was arguably even busier than the first. A constant stream of customers and suppliers kept the atmosphere on the Avnet Abacus stand buzzing, and our schedule was packed full of great speakers and demo
electronica 2018 day two highlights
November 15, 2018
Another day at electronica 2018 has passed and it was arguably even busier than the first. A constant stream of customers and suppliers kept the atmosphere on the Avnet Abacus stand buzzing, and our schedule was packed full of great speakers and demo
On a crisp morning at Messe Munich there was an excited buzz around the exhibition centre as electronica 2018 opened its doors. Read what happened on day one.
electronica 2018 day one highlights
November 13, 2018
On a crisp morning at Messe Munich there was an excited buzz around the exhibition centre as electronica 2018 opened its doors. Read what happened on day one.
As electronica 2018 prepares to open its doors, here are three reasons you should visit Avnet Abacus on stand C5 101 this week.
3 reasons to visit Avnet Abacus at electronica 2018
November 12, 2018
As electronica 2018 prepares to open its doors, here are three reasons you should visit Avnet Abacus on stand C5 101 this week.
Traditional battery technologies are being challenged by a relatively new kid on the block, the supercapacitor, and forcing developers across a range of battery-powered applications to examine just what and when power is needed for their system.
A supercapacitor in every system? Potential is turning to probability
By Ekaterina Rachel   -   August 24, 2018
Traditional battery technologies are being challenged by a relatively new kid on the block, the supercapacitor, and forcing developers across a range of battery-powered applications to examine just what and when power is needed for their system.
Thermal runaway can happen as a direct result of component failure and cause a lot of damage, but there are ways to protect against it.
Identifying ‘hot spots’ before they cause thermal runaway
By Juliette Whithair   -   August 16, 2018
Thermal runaway can happen as a direct result of component failure and cause a lot of damage, but there are ways to protect against it.
When faced with the need to make design decisions, system engineers are challenged with multiple options, any of which can have a major impact on the effectiveness of the wireless performance.There are many considerations when selecting RF antennas f
Key design considerations for selecting the right RF antenna
August 7, 2018
When faced with the need to make design decisions, system engineers are challenged with multiple options, any of which can have a major impact on the effectiveness of the wireless performance.There are many considerations when selecting RF antennas f
An ICM, or integrated connector module is a type of connector that integrates all the magnetics required to meet the Ethernet standard for xBASE-T connections. They provide a quick and easy solution for Ethernet connectivity, but how do you know whic
Selecting an Ethernet ICM the easy way
By Marco Enge   -   July 25, 2018
An ICM, or integrated connector module is a type of connector that integrates all the magnetics required to meet the Ethernet standard for xBASE-T connections. They provide a quick and easy solution for Ethernet connectivity, but how do you know whic
The new era of home security won’t just be an alarm that rings when a lock is picked or a window broken. With the rise of new technology comes the added need to protect a home’s hardware and its software.
Security and surveillance: Two sides of the coin in smart homes
By Martin Keenan   -   July 9, 2018
The new era of home security won’t just be an alarm that rings when a lock is picked or a window broken. With the rise of new technology comes the added need to protect a home’s hardware and its software.
You've selected your wireless protocol, and you're ready to start designing. But should you take the modular route or build a discrete solution?
Wireless modules point the way for IoT connectivity
By Martin Keenan   -   June 26, 2018
You've selected your wireless protocol, and you're ready to start designing. But should you take the modular route or build a discrete solution?
The lighting industry is not short of options for digital connectivity, but what it needs is a standard that adapts itself to change. Enter Bluetooth 5.
Future proofing lighting systems with Bluetooth
By Alessandro Mastellari   -   May 9, 2018
The lighting industry is not short of options for digital connectivity, but what it needs is a standard that adapts itself to change. Enter Bluetooth 5.
Wireless technology is endemic in modern society; broadly speaking we rely on cellular technology to stay connected when we’re travelling, and probably WiFi when we’re not.
Choosing the right wireless technology for your IoT end-device
By Adam Chidley   -   May 4, 2018
Wireless communications will connect the IoT, but it’s not quite as straightforward as adding a Wi-Fi access point to your home broadband. Avnet Abacus’ Adam Chidley takes a look at low power WANs and why they will be essential in connecting thin
The role of the battery in product design has become increasingly important. In fact, you could say it has provoked a change in design methodology, albeit with a bit of help from legislative bodies.
Optimising battery designs with supercapacitors
By Tim Parker   -   April 30, 2018
The role of the battery in product design has become increasingly important. In fact, you could say it has provoked a change in design methodology, albeit with a bit of help from legislative bodies.
Just how smart can a smart home get? Tomorrow’s home is a true a brainiac, making decisions for you before you even think to tell it to.
From enabled to proactive: The evolution of home automation
March 29, 2018
Just how smart can a smart home get? Tomorrow’s home is a true a brainiac, making decisions for you before you even think to tell it to.
Man controlling home devices via his watch
Let your home do the work so you don't have to
By Martin Keenan   -   March 29, 2018
Today, we need to interact with connected products in the home deliberately. But it does not have to stay this way.
The passive infrared sensor (PIR) seems so familiar that it is easy to miss the many applications that exist for it and the subtleties of engineering that guide the best ways in which to use it.
Adapting PIR sensor technology to new applications
By Martin Keenan   -   February 7, 2018
The passive infrared sensor (PIR) seems so familiar that it is easy to miss the many applications that exist for it and the subtleties of engineering that guide the best ways in which to use it.
Numbers of EV charging points are set to increase dramatically under a draft EU directive expected to come into effect in 2019, but the design challenges for EV charging solutions are many and varied.
EV charging points set to rapidly increase in numbers
By Marco Enge   -   January 18, 2018
Numbers of EV charging points are set to increase dramatically under a draft EU directive expected to come into effect in 2019, but the design challenges for EV charging solutions are many and varied.
Electronics used in outdoor locations have to contend with harsh weather conditions, including direct sunlight, rain, ice, and even earthquakes. But that’s not the whole story.
Protecting outdoor electronics against vandals
By Jerry Moss   -   December 18, 2017
Electronics used in outdoor locations have to contend with harsh weather conditions, including direct sunlight, rain, ice, and even earthquakes. But that’s not the whole story.
Giving machines the power of vision gives them the ability to interact with people in a much more natural way, but integrating this capability was previously a complex and difficult task.
I recognise that face: Machine vision with Omron's HVC
By Giovanna Monari   -   November 14, 2017
Giving machines the power of vision gives them the ability to interact with people in a much more natural way, but integrating this capability was previously a complex and difficult task.
Connector manufacturers are working hard to enhance the performance of rugged connectors, writes Martin Keenan, Avnet Abacus
Balancing performance, speed and cost for rugged interconnect technologies
By Martin Keenan   -   November 2, 2017
Connector manufacturers are working hard to enhance the performance of rugged connectors, writes Martin Keenan, Avnet Abacus
RF When considering the exponential growth of transferred data, most headlines are captured by wireless innovation, but advances continue to be made in the wired domain, not least in RF connectors.
Advances and trends in RF connection
By Marco Enge   -   October 19, 2017
When considering the exponential growth of transferred data, most headlines are captured by wireless innovation, but advances continue to be made in the wired domain, not least in RF connectors.
Do you know where your product has been and where it is going right now? This is the challenge that many manufacturers and logistics companies face in the management of their supply chains, but how can RFID technology solve it?
Enabling smart tracking for the supply chain and Industry 4.0 with RFID
By Adam Chidley   -   September 27, 2017
Do you know where your product has been and where it is going right now? This is the challenge that many manufacturers and logistics companies face in the management of their supply chains, but how can RFID technology solve it?
As pressure on the world’s lithium reserves increases, wireless power transfer simplifies charging and enables designers to use lower-capacity batteries and create new types of smart devices.
How wireless power transfer can help make the world’s lithium go further
By Martin Keenan   -   September 19, 2017
As pressure on the world’s lithium reserves increases, wireless power transfer simplifies charging and enables designers to use lower-capacity batteries and create new types of smart devices.
The market for consumer robots aimed at learning and education is growing rapidly, but selecting the right battery can make or break a companion robot's design.
Consumer robot designs present a challenge for Li-ion batteries
By Tim Parker   -   September 18, 2017
The market for consumer robots aimed at learning and education is growing rapidly, but selecting the right battery can make or break a companion robot's design.
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