Category Archives: Low-Power

Low-energy microprocessor operates 40nm transistors in near-threshold mode to run on 0.4V@1MHz

Late last month at ISSCC, Belgian research center imec and its affiliated Holst Centre in The Netherlands discussed a microprocessor that can run at 1MHz on a 0.4V power supply with the processor’s CMOS transistors operating in near-threshold mode. The … Continue reading

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Can a miniature xenon flashtube find its way into smartphones because of a new miniature capacitor?

Associate Professor Lee Pooi See at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University has developed a high-voltage, miniature, multilayer polymer capacitor with the hope of producing a power source small enough to operate a xenon flashtube in a mobile phone. The work is … Continue reading

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Boeing isn’t the only one with Li-ion battery problems. Me too, with my Panasonic shaver!

As I write this, the entire worldwide fleet of fifty Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is grounded thanks to a problem with a Li-ion battery pack in the planes. The planes are grounded because of two incidents where smoke and fire … Continue reading

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Out, out damn halogen. My LED replacement story.

About ten years ago, my wife bought a fancy china cabinet with a pair of halogen display lights recessed into the top of the cabinet. The halogen down lights highlight two compartments with glass shelves containing pieces that have special … Continue reading

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Timepieces behaving badly: A Tale of Two Clocks (and two bad capacitors) and a Tale of Redemption for the New Year

Let’s start the New Year with a tale of redemption. We have two bedrooms in our condo and in each bedroom you will find what eBay might call a “vintage” LED clock. One is a Timex T133T electronic desk clock … Continue reading

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PowerPot: Cook dinner and power your USB device in the wild

The latest issue of my wife’s university alumnus magazine, Utah Engineering from the College of Engineering at the University of Utah (yes, I married an engineer), has a back-page article on two students who developed a way to charge and … Continue reading

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Hands-on Review: $12.95 Freescale Freedom Platform for Freescale Kinetis L microcontroller based on ARM Cortex-M0+ processor

I received a new low-cost microcontroller development board only a few days after writing up the Ti Stellaris LaunchPad Eval board last month. (See “Hands On Review: Texas Instruments’ Stellaris ARM Cortex-M4F LaunchPad Eval Board—$4.99!!! (sort of)”) The new board, … Continue reading

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Will your low-power design run on batteries for 30 years? This design from 1981 did.

I hang out on the discussion forum for the hpmuseum.org Web site, mostly to soak up the ambiance of people who really love old HP calculators. I own an original HP 35 (the world’s first pocket scientific calculator) that I … Continue reading

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Hands On Review: Texas Instruments’ Stellaris ARM Cortex-M4F LaunchPad Eval Board—$4.99!!! (sort of)

This is truly a bargain-of-the-year kind of story. A few months ago, I ordered two of the new TI Stellaris LaunchPad Eval Boards, which incorporate a TI Stellaris LM4F120H5QR microcontroller. I ordered one for me and one for my new … Continue reading

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Replace an old IDE HDD with an SSD emulator to cut noise and power? The Korg D8 experiment, Part II—Compact Flash

Earlier, I reported on my attempt to swap in a solid-state disk emulator for a small IDE hard drive in an old Korg D8 multitrack audio workstation. (See “Replace an old IDE HDD with an SSD emulator to cut noise … Continue reading

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