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It might have to do with governm

It might have to do with government restrictions on devices that can be used for targeting people – the Panasonic GridEYE is considered a “controlled device” here in the USA. I was going to do a product based on it (i.e. it can tell you how many people are in a room) but the usage restrictions made it too difficult to sell.
So, I just open-sourced the project
http://bit.ly/1clb03r
and people can build their own if they want to try it out.

Read More → "It might have to do with governm"

Mysterious IR Array

Our bodies have evolved on practical, not principled, grounds. So we have one sensor for photons in the visible spectrum, and we have a completely different sense for photons at wavelengths just longer those in the visible range. One we perceive as light; the other as heat.

But in fact, we now know, intellectually, that they’re just different frequencies of the same thing. It just doesn’t feel that way.

Well, Bosch has taken a page out of the physiology book with its recent infrared detector array. Instead of detecting photons, it … Read More → "Mysterious IR Array"

IntrinsicID and InsideSecure Come to DropBox

We’ve taken an occasional look at physically-unclonable functions (PUFs), and, in particular, IntrinsicID’s implementation of them, as they seem to have gone further in productizing their technologies than others have. As we’ve noted before, PUFs rely on intrinsic physical variation from chip to chip. While this variation may drive IC designers and EDA guys nuts, it’s leveraged in PUFs so that a unique key can be created for each individual machine or USB dongle. The key is … Read More → "IntrinsicID and InsideSecure Come to DropBox"

A New Piezoelectric Oscillator

A few months ago, we looked at Sand 9’s initial announcement. They had laid out 3 families at that point: a basic resonator (TM061), a temperature-sensing resonator (TM361), and a “roadmap” family for temperature-sensing oscillators. Well, they recently announced a new device that goes in yet a new family: temperature-compensated oscillators – the TM651. When chip-scale packaged, they claim it’s the smallest oscillator in the world (although an LGA is also available).

They’ve come out swinging at their performance … Read More → "A New Piezoelectric Oscillator"

Sorting Cells

Lens-free technology has poked its head up in a few places, but one of the more frequent views you may have of it is an application that Imec appears particularly fond of: a cell sorter.

The whole idea behind the contraption is to isolate abnormal blood cells from a sample. So they built a microfluidic device that delivers a flow of blood cells. Each cell passes over a lens-free aperture … Read More → "Sorting Cells"

Automotive IMU

At the recent MEMS Executive Congress, Bosch Automotive announced a new 6-axis automotive IMU. It’s not for use as part of the automotive control systems, but rather for the “infotainment” infrastructure – the so-called center stack – and other non-safety-critical applications.

It may not be obvious that Bosch has two different sensor groups. There’s an automotive group which focuses strictly on – you guessed it – cars; then there’s Bosch Sensortec, which handles other consumer and industrial sensors. (There’s also Bosch Akustica for microphones.) So… does … Read More → "Automotive IMU"

Next-Generation Image Signal Processor

Imagination Technologies has announced a new image signal processing architecture that they’re calling “Raptor.” The overarching concept is that the image signal processor (ISP) should no longer be a separate chip: it should be integrated into the main system SoC, along with the other related accelerators, CPU, and GPU. Raptor is IP that allows such integration. It’s targeted at next-generation image processing applications like feature identification, scalable for both low- and high-end applications.

The benefits they tout come both from this integration and the fact that they provide all of the … Read More → "Next-Generation Image Signal Processor"

Pressure Sensors for Harsh Environments

Pressure sensors have been gaining some general visibility, as they are seen as probably the next big-volume sensor to go into cell phones. But most pressure sensors these days aren’t targeted at such consumer applications.

At the recent MEMS Executive Congress, I met with Merit Sensors, a maker of pressure sensors intended for harsher environments. We looked at one such application for a differential pressure sensor earlier this year. In that case, Sensata was putting their device into the highly-acidic automotive exhaust … Read More → "Pressure Sensors for Harsh Environments"

Supreme Court to Take On Software Patents

One of the big bugaboos in the software world over the years has been the question over whether or not software can be patented. It’s generally thought that algorithms in the abstract can’t be patented. Software can be copyrighted, but that’s no help if someone can just take your basic brainstorm and rewrite the code so it’s not a copy. They’ve still taken your intellectual property.

Patents were “invented” in the era of mechanical contraptions. Well, we’re beyond those times now. I’ … Read More → "Supreme Court to Take On Software Patents"

An Accelerometer GUI

Including an accelerometer in your system is easy these days, right? Heck, they can trigger interrupts in your processor, so just toss it in, wait for the fateful interrupt, and let your handler do the rest. Right?

Actually… no. There are numerous controls that you have – and will likely want to take advantage of – to optimize how your accelerometer works. Those settings have a significant impact on noise and power. Sampling rate is a good example: the faster you sample, the more accurate your reading will be (i.e., lower noise). But that also … Read More → "An Accelerometer GUI"

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