Piezoelectric devices surround us in our everyday life. Our cars and trucks contain many piezoelectric devices, including fuel level sensors, air bag deployment sensors, parking sensors and piezoelectric generators in the wheels to power the tire pressure monitoring system. Your smartphones or tablet contains piezoelectric sensors that detect the motion and orientation of the device, which my kids were using to good effect to play “Need For Speed” yesterday. Many of us have ink jet printers at home, which can use piezoelectric printer heads to eject thousands of drops per second. Continue reading
The battle is on for manufacturers of automotive, medical, industrial and consumer electronics to drive new innovations, deliver exciting products, and ensure safety and reliability of the devices that proliferate our world. Mobile devices that are intended to interact with our world face unique reliability challenges such as electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection, making a robust ESD design a necessity. While we want our mobile phone, tablet and smartwatch to be “connected” and “interactive”, the number of interface ports on these devices make them vulnerable to an ESD event. Interfaces such as network connectors, USB ports, and antennas need careful planning of the location and size of ESD protection structures. Continue reading
Cell-culture bioreactors lie at the heart of the processes used to produce large-molecule, protein-based therapeutics. In cell culture, mammalian cells are grown outside the human/plant body. These cells produce therapeutic proteins and antibodies. This is much easier said than done. In fact, cells do not cooperate much when they are grown outside the (human or plant) body. The question then is: Why is it so difficult for cells in culture to have the same physiological function in laboratory as in our body? Continue reading
There are already 1.9 billion devices connected to the internet — from home thermostats to fitness bands and refrigerators — with that number slated to reach over 9 billion by 2018. In terms of dollars, according to the latest forecast from IDC, the Internet of Things (IoT) market will grow to more than $7 trillion, up from $2 trillion today with wearable technology leading the way. Continue reading
As a new member of the ANSYS family, via the Reaction Design acquisition, I thought I would take the opportunity to give you a little background on the product line I represent — CHEMKIN.
The software had its beginnings at Sandia National Laboratories, as part of the U.S. Government’s response to the oil crisis of the 1970s. Scientists at Sandia began studying how to make more efficient, cleaner-burning engines, and they created software to simulate the complex molecular-level chemical reactions that take place during fuel combustion. In 1997, Reaction Design licensed that software from Sandia and evolved the technology into a commercial-quality software suite that enables engineers and scientists in microelectronics, combustion and chemical processing industries to develop a comprehensive understanding of chemical processes and kinetics. Continue reading
Modern high-tech products using chips that are designed with the latest deep sub-micron process technologies (28nm and below) and FinFET technology offer higher performance, smaller footprint and lower power. However, power integrity analysis and reliability challenges become increasingly complex for chip package designs using these devices.
More stringent manufacturing rules present basic layout challenges and new design innovations require careful consideration of effects such as electromigration (EM), electrostatic discharge (ESD) and noise coupling through substrate, signal and power rails. Even the most thorough sign-off process can often fail to prevent tape-out hurdles or extensive redesign. Therefore, forward-thinking design teams need to address reliability and power integrity long before final sign-off, accounting for their impact during the design process itself. Continue reading
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Pictures, or model-based designs, as engineers refer to them, provide a natural means of communication. With the newest release of ANSYS SCADE System 15.2, systems engineers can use models and interface control documents (ICDs), rather than text files and long lists of data, to create and manage their systems designs.
However, when precision and complexity come forth, “data dictionaries” enter the game. A dictionary is a way to manage information in an exhaustive way but without the model, it’s not easy to get an overview of your system. The issue you’re then faced with is the consistency between the model and the dictionaries — if inconsistent, the situation is worse than without the model. Continue reading
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released new Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE standards for light duty cars and trucks. These standards are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel economy, leading to model year 2025 vehicles that will emit just one-half the greenhouse gasses that model year 2010 vehicles do.
To reach these ambitious goals, the new CAFE standards mandate that automakers raise the average fuel efficiency of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. These are lofty and commendable goals. But for engine designers and automakers, are the new standards even feasible for real-world vehicles? The EPA believes they are, and has established a new program to prove it. Continue reading