These Industrial Communications ICs are Oldies but Goodies for Good Reason

March 19, 2019

Andrew Smith  By: Andrew Smith
 Product Manager, Industrial Communications, Maxim Integrated 


Inventory management

Innovation is often associated with the latest and greatest, but this isn’t always the case. There’s a reason for the (old) saying, “oldies but goodies.” Sometimes, a product that was considered ahead of its time remains so for many years. Being innovative isn’t only about creating something new and unique for a particular moment; it’s also about creating something lasting by anticipating and addressing future requirements. Let’s take a look at a few interface and signal routing ICs that can help you simplify designs, cut costs, and miniaturize end products. These ICs have been around for a while, but are still helping users working on a variety of end applications meet their design targets.

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Cook Up Something Yummy for Pi Day

March 14, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Gingerbread robot

According to the folks at PiDay.org, you only need 39 digits past the decimal to accurately calculate the spherical volume of our entire universe. But when Pi Day rolls around on March 14, some math enthusiasts get their kicks by going beyond 39 and reciting the infinite digits that mark the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. In March 2015, Rajveer Meena at VIT University in Vellore, India, set a record for reciting the most number of decimal places of Pi. At 70,000 decimal places, Meena’s feat took 10 hours…and he did it blindfolded.

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Squeeze More Out of Your Portable Electronics

March 12, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Electronic gadgets that fit in the palm of your hand—with plenty of room to spare—perform an array of fairly complex functions. From wrist-worn fitness bands that continuously monitor vital signs to hearables that conduct on-the-spot language translation, these sophisticated devices come with some tough design considerations around.

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Committed to a Smarter, More Sustainable Future

March 7, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Race to End Hunger

In our digital age, a brand’s standing among consumers can change as swiftly as the new ad campaign hits the streets, or the company’s commitment to a particular cause becomes known. You have a lot of choices in who you conduct business with, or even consider as a prospective employer. Chances are, if you’re like most consumers, you’ll be influenced by a company’s commitment to social and environmental issues.

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How Manufacturing Systems Can Evolve to Enable the Industrial IoT

March 5, 2019

Suhel Dhanani  By: Suhel Dhanani
 Director of Business Development, Industrial & Healthcare Business Unit, Maxim Integrated 


Manufacturing is undergoing a transformative revolution as we recognize that the data inherent in the manufacturing flows can be analyzed to benefit overall efficiency and productivity. This will require changes to the automation systems being deployed in the factories—these range from small, connected, and intelligent sensing systems to distributed control at the edge to embedded hardware security and even adaptive manufacturing systems. This post examines different industrial internet of things (IIoT) use cases and explores how systems must evolve to enable this phenomenon.

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Fish Tanks Don’t Need Security—Unless They’re Part of the IoT

February 28, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Industrial sensors


Normally, you wouldn’t expect that a fish tank would need to be secured from hackers. But what if that fish tank is a smart one, with its temperature and lighting controlled by an internet of things (IoT) system? In this case, a hacked fish tank presents an avenue into the larger network…and troves of sensitive data. This is what happened to a Las Vegas casino, whose smart fish tank was not protected by a firewall, giving the bad guys access to its database of high-roller clients.

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How IoT Sensors Help Ensure Freshness and Quality of Perishables

February 25, 2019

Jim-Anderson  By: Jim Anderson
 Sr. Business Manager, Micros, Security & Software 

Freshness and quality of perishable goods during transport


When you’re handling long-haul transport of perishable goods, such as produce or medications, you want assurance that the products will arrive at their destination safe to consume. Even though the insides of shipping containers are temperature-controlled, there are enough unknowns during a lengthy ride to cause some uncertainties. The internet of things (IoT), however, is transforming a wide range of industries, and cold-chain logistics is no exception. By enabling continuous monitoring and data logging of key environmental factors, IoT solutions are helping companies identify and address issues affecting their supply chain.

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How LED Backlight Drivers Enable Bigger, Higher Resolution Automotive Displays

February 21, 2019

Szu-Kang Hsien  By: Szu-Kang Hsien
 Executive Business Manager, Automotive Business Unit 

Automotive display


Step inside a new car today and you’ll be greeted with sharp screens that help you navigate, provide entertainment, and keep you up-to-date on your vehicle’s performance. Like the TV screens inside our homes and offices, automotive displays are getting bigger and delivering higher resolution, thanks to the infotainment and instrument cluster systems driving this trend.

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Get Inspired to Think Big and Design Small

February 19, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 

Embedded World 2019


Today’s embedded systems are expected to deliver rich functionality while sipping miniscule amounts of power from their compact form factors. Underlying technologies to help you achieve these hallmarks will take center stage at this year’s embedded world conference in Nuremberg, Germany, from February 26 to February 28.

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DIY Engineering Projects for Your Valentine

February 14, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 

Some people enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day with flowers, candy, and a romantic night out. But if you’re a maker at heart who gets more excited about voltage regulators, LED displays, and sound boards, you’ve come to the right place. The inventive engineers on Hackster.io have created a variety of projects that you can tackle—and maybe even share with that special Valentine.

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Makers Make the Most of Analog ICs

February 12, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 

Fish tank lighting controller


Do you think, talk, live, and breathe analog integration? There’s a community of nearly 1,500 makers on Hackster.io who feel the same way. The creations that these engineers come up with using Maxim analog ICs and solutions from Raspberry Pi and Adafruit are inspiring—and fun. Let’s take a look at some of their projects.

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Why Embedded Systems Designers Should Care About OpenSSL

February 7, 2019

Christophe Tremlet  By: Christophe Tremlet
 Executive Business Manager, Maxim Integrated
Stephane di Vito  Stephane di Vito
 Sr. Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Embedded Security, Maxim Integrated

embedded systems


You might be designing a component for a piece of industrial automation equipment, a digital thermostat, or some other connected embedded system. You’ve thought about features to include to make it stand apart from other devices on the market. But have you thought carefully about its security?

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Want Your Battery-Powered Devices to Run Longer? Here’s How.

February 5, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 

Smart watch

Lithium-ion batteries are being asked to do a lot these days. With capacities limited by their small sizes, these batteries power the compact electronics that keep us entertained and informed, give us insights into our vital signs, control the lights and security systems in buildings, and much more. The challenge is, as the electronics become more sophisticated while shrinking in size, their advanced features will require more power. So, how can a designer provide the maximum run-time that consumers expect?

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Want Traffic Updates from Your Toilet?

January 31, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Smart mirror

Looking at how the incorporation of sensors and intelligence has transformed electronic devices over the years, it’s hard not to think about how strange our world has become. You can now get a response after asking, “Mirror, mirror on the wall?” If you’re so inclined, you can enjoy a fully immersive experience from…your toilet. Got a cat who tips the scales? Maybe your corpulent kitty would benefit from a smart treadmill.

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University Students Gain Industry 4.0 Experience with Smart Factory Demo

January 29, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Soccer ball factory demo

One of Maxim’s most popular demos, showcased at the last two electronica tradeshows in Germany, has been its soccer ball factory. Designed with industrial internet of things (IIoT) technologies, the smart factory now has a new home: University College Dublin.

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Balancing Power Demands of High-Voltage Automotive Power Applications

January 24, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


High-voltage automotive power

The smartphone-like experience inside today’s vehicles comes at a computing power price. From always-on digital instrument clusters to infotainment hubs and fusion electronic control units (ECUs), these applications rely on sophisticated algorithms and computations that need high levels of compute power from the processors. In the recent past, a typical automotive system-on-chip (SoC) consumed 20W of power. Now, you’ll need to be prepared to support hundreds of watts of power from multiple chips. This means that managing their power supplies requires a delicate balance that addresses demands such as low power consumption, high efficiency, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) mitigation.

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Secure Provisioning Platform Makes it Easier to Protect IoT Designs

January 22, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


IoT-applications

As the things around us get smarter and connected, they can also become more vulnerable to security breaches. While a hacked thermostat might not sound like too big of a deal, this type of breach can open up a path into the larger network. And that’s where hackers can potentially access more valuable data and also more critical functions. In one of the more unique incidents of the recent past, hackers broke into an Internet-connected fish tank at a North American casino and, through this channel, were able to access other areas of the casino’s network, including its database of high-roller clients. Unfortunately, with pressure to deliver differentiated products to the market quickly, design security isn’t always given the attention it deserves. Or, less secure routes are taken because they’re perceived to be faster and easier to implement.

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Simpler, More Efficient Secure Companion ICs For The IoT

January 17, 2019

Christophe Tremlet  By: Christophe Tremlet
 Executive Business Manager, Maxim Integrated
Stephane di Vito  Stephane di Vito
 Sr. Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Embedded Security, Maxim Integrated


Security Keys

Safeguarding internet of things (IoT) applications from security threats involves device and server authentication, protection of sensitive data and intellectual property, and preservation of confidentiality and device and communications integrity. For example, consider an IoT node device. Such a device needs to have a secure bootloader and up-to-date secure firmware in order to safely send sensor data to a server over a TLS connection and to store sensitive data in flash memory. A key component in this equation is a security IC, used as a companion IC to application processors to ensure secure data exchange and to protect the data.

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A Simple Way to Increase Factory Uptime

January 15, 2019

Anthony T. Huynh  By: Anthony T. Huynh
 Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Applications, Industrial Power, Maxim Integrated


A Simple Way to Increase Factory Uptime

In states that experience a lot of lightning strikes—like Florida and Oklahoma—extra care must be taken to prevent this electrical activity from damaging and even shutting down critical industrial equipment. Fortunately, modern protection circuits, which are robust, highly integrated, and easy to implement compared to their predecessors, can help you protect against such faults.

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How Secure Authenticators Ensure Patient Safety

January 9, 2019

Christine Young  By: Christine Young
 Blogger, Maxim Integrated 


Protect medical devices with secure authenticators
The things around us—including medical devices—are getting smarter. There’s good and bad to this. On one hand, it’s hard to argue with the advantages of being able to be more proactive about healthcare. A patient with a smart, WiFi-enabled implanted pacemaker can, for example, send the wealth of useful data that the device continually collects directly to his or her doctor via a smartphone. Armed with this information, the doctor can more quickly (and remotely) evaluate the patient and potentially detect issues of concern. At the same time, however, connected pacemakers are vulnerable to hackers, who, with remote control over the devices, could create dangerous situations for the patients.

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