The latest from TI experts on our innovative industrial systems designs and solutions.
    • Apr 3, 2017

    Smart sensing with ultra-low-power MCUs – part 1: glass break detectors

    Modern day life demands smarter sensors which provide more accurate data about an event that we want to both detect and measure with ultra-low power consumption. In this series, I will discuss some smart sensing applications and how to use TI’s MSP430™ microcontroller (MCU) as a platform for implementing them. The first smart sensor I...
    • Mar 31, 2017

    EV range anxiety and addressing the need for more EV chargers

    One of the main concerns with electric vehicles (EVs) is their ability to travel long distances without running out of “gas” – in this case, charge. There are two main factors associated with this concern: battery capacity and where to charge the EV. You might be surprised to learn that this isn’t a new problem. EVs have been...
    • Mar 27, 2017

    The power to innovate industrial design

    Ten years ago, after years of constant urging from colleagues and customers alike, I realigned my calendar and headed to my first ever Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC). I will be on hand this week in Tampa, which I believe marks the event’s 32nd year. In reviewing my last decade of participation, I have two notable observations –...
    • Mar 22, 2017

    Cool down your industrial system design with integrated data and power isolation

    Winters are getting shorter and temperatures are on the rise, and I think you’ll agree with me that overheating is never a good thing. Whether it’s human beings, equipment or pizza, you never want anything to be too hot. As the demands on industrial applications – such as factory automation and grid infrastructure equipment –...
    • Mar 20, 2017

    Common challenges when choosing the auxiliary power supply for your Server PSU

    High-power converters used in server, telecom and industrial systems need auxiliary power supplies to support the housekeeping needs of the power-supply unit (PSU). Due to the ever-growing need for higher power density, these PSUs use an additional add-on card to support their auxiliary needs. An auxiliary power supply commonly powers the internal...
    • Mar 14, 2017

    Exploring high-voltage transmission – part 2, voltage-source converters

    The first installment in this two-part series covered line-commutated converters (LCCs). In this installment, I will discuss voltage-source converters (VSCs) and compare the two topologies. The VSC has become the preferred implementation for several reasons. VSCs have lower system costs because their stations are less complicated. VSCs enable a bidirectional...
    • Mar 7, 2017

    Exploring high-voltage transmission – part 1, line-commutated converters

    According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average retail price for energy in the U.S. in 2014 was 10.44 cents per kilowatt hour, and estimated transmission and distribution losses were 5%. That seems pretty low until you consider that the total net generated power in the U.S was 4.1 trillion megawatt hours. A 5% loss in that case...
    • Jan 25, 2017

    Automation and Gateways with Scalable Sitara Processors

    As connectivity between devices continues to rise, there is a clear need for centralized data collection and processing gateways. Central networking hubs not only need to make local decisions and provide instruction to end node devices, but they must also access the vast computer power of cloud networks. Take for example the case of existing smart...
    • Jan 11, 2017

    How to design with isolated LVDS in your industrial system

    Isolation, as you know, is used in a wide variety of applications: to protect human operators and low-voltage circuitry from high voltages, to improve robustness to noise, and to handle ground potential differences between communicating subsystems. A myriad of isolation products exist in the market: digital isolators, isolated controller area network...
    • Jan 4, 2017

    IoT is making buildings greener and more intelligent. Value versus affordability

    At a basic level a building -- whether it was a primitive shelter or a modern steel and glass structure -- is expected to provide a comfortable space for its occupants inside. The Internet of Things (IoT) transforms buildings from just being a ‘container’ for its occupants to being more cognitive and thus helping the occupants be more productive...