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What Makes LEDs Different?

Earlier this month, KLA-Tencor released their ICOS WI-2280 inspection tool for LEDs. Reading through all the things it does and the improvements in provides – things like enhanced recipe qualification and reduced setup time – well, for someone like me who doesn’t spend all his time in this world, you start to think… This sounds like a lot of other inspection tools. And there do seem to be a lot of different tools.

It makes you wonder, why can’t one … Read More → "What Makes LEDs Different?"

From Relative to Absolute Altitude

GPS is notoriously inaccurate when it comes to vertical positioning. And it disappears entirely inside buildings. So pressure sensors are used to help calculate vertical positioning.

The thing is, a pressure sensor decides your altitude based on the pressure of the air, so it must be comparing it to some baseline. The problem with that is that there is no firm baseline pressure: weather, as we all know, affects the air pressure.

That means that pressure is, first of all, a moving target. Secondly, we can never really know our absolute altitude, only relative.

< … Read More → "From Relative to Absolute Altitude"

Fusing the Little Details

It’s always struck me that there seem to be two critical elements to sensor fusion. There’s the part that can be resolved with math – for instance, compensating a magnetometer reading to account for the tilt as measured by an accelerometer – and then there’s the heuristic part. The latter deals with, for example, deciding that your gyro reading makes no sense and deferring to the compass instead to give you a heading. And while the math in the first part is more or less universal for all players, the heuristics would provide … Read More → "Fusing the Little Details"

Baby’s Temperature: The Differentiation Paradox

Consumer electronics is a tricky business. The scale is such that the rewards can be huge, but the logistics of manufacturing at that scale can limit who can jump in. Smartphones, however, have provided an opportunity for the Little Guy to leverage the platform by figuring out new and innovative ways to use the hardware that’s already there. The sensors in particular have been a rich source of innovation.

I’ve you’ve got a clever invention, then, assuming it’s all software, all you have to do is make sure it& … Read More → "Baby’s Temperature: The Differentiation Paradox"

The OS is the Standard

There are two widespread myths in the MEMS world. Or so said ST’s Benedetto Vigna, EVP and GM of ST Micro’s Analog, MEMS, and Sensor group, at the recent MEMS Executive Congress.

The first, the primary topic of this note, is that MEMS needs standards. In fact, there has been a hue and cry for MEMS standards for a while now, although there’s less clarity on exactly what needs to be standardized. Discussions are ongoing (and we’ll look more deeply at this in an upcoming article), but it would … Read More → "The OS is the Standard"

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