Tackling Next Generation CPS Design Challenges

System design and even system integration have taken on a whole new meaning with the latest trends in mobile and wearable computing. Integrating the compute power formerly associated with super-computers into a wrist band puts entirely new challenges on engineers, as they struggle with ensuring  signal and power integrity, as well as controlling the thermal profile. For these next-generation designs, full system analysis in the form of a Chip-Package-System (CPS) co-analysis is not an option anymore — it is an absolute necessity in order to achieve convergence. Continue reading

Speeding Innovation For IoT Electronics

In the U.S., CES 2015 kicks off today. You can bet we’ll be watching the trends with a proud eye knowing ANSYS was used in the design of some of the most forward-thinking IoT products.

Hardly a day goes by when I don’t come across an updated industry forecast related to the Internet of Things opportunity. The latest forecast from Radiant Insights predicts that there will be over 100 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. This figure is 4 times higher than previous estimates by Cisco Systems. Continue reading

There’s a Power Battle Going On with the Internet of Things

What do antennas, sensors and integrated circuits all have in common in an IoT-connected device? They are all fighting for the same power supply resources. Indeed, power consumption may be the biggest challenge facing designers of mobile devices for the Internet of Things. As battery sizes shrink to allow for smaller form-factors, battery lifetime becomes critical to meeting cost, performance, and reliability requirements. Continue reading

Internet of Things is Going to Rain Money!

Raining money on a businessman…or so one of my friends, Professor Mark Bachman of UC Irvine said.  “It’s up to you to know where to place the buckets” he continued.  He made this clever comment at a recent presentation at the University of California Irvine’s Calit2 “Igniting Technology” event on the Internet of Things (IoT) November 13th.

There were presenters delivering corporate insights from Broadcom, Cisco, Frost Data Capital, and several others. The buckets comment was quoted often during the evening to a crowd that numbered well over 100. The other oft-quoted number that evening was $19 trillion in opportunity by 2020. So where are you going to place your bucket? Continue reading

Designing Products for the IoT Economy

image of Mike North Discovery Channel

Last month I had the pleasure of attending the Designers of Things  conference in San Francisco.  One of my favorite presentations came from Dr. Mike North — host of Discovery Channel shows Prototype This,  Outrageous Acts of Science and In The Making — where he discussed the vast scope of technology’s reach in the modern world. In the video he presented, a sensor-loaded unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) responded to a cell-phone call to pin-point a swimmer in distress and deliver a life jacket to them. What we could only imagine a decade ago, is now fast becoming a reality – intelligent, autonomous, helpful machines.

The connected era, known as the Internet of Things (IoT) is here. Continue reading

Enabling EMI Clean Design: Starting with PCB SI & PI Analysis

With the trend to more high-performance and compact systems, EMI compliance has become a critical metric for system success in the automotive, computing, and aerospace industries. EMI issues discovered late in the design cycle can result in the entire system failing to meet regulatory EMI/EMC requirements. Addressing regulatory compliance and product debug can cost not only engineering time to investigate and mitigate issues, but can also threaten product release dates. PCB designers, therefore, need a strategy to address potential EMI issues early in their design, to ensure the system meets EMI compliance. Continue reading

Coupling Piezoelectric and Fluid Simulations

ink jet nozzle

Ink jet nozzle

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

System-level Approach to Robust ESD Design

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