Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let's talk DC

Sure... we're RF and microwave guys but we still have to power our devices with DC. So it is of interest that Energizer (the bunny people) are introducing a new premium alkaline battery sized for several of the wireless devices, which our industry is responsible for. The new Energizer AAAA premium alkaline battery targets bluetooth headsets, noise canceling headsets and remote controls/sensors among various miniaturized consumer electronics. Since we have been asked to shrink the size of our components for years, it's nice to see our counterparts from the battery world step up to the plate to do likewise.

These ultra-small batteries are designed specifically for single purpose devices with generally decreasing power requirements (50mw or lower). Whereas Li Ion and AAA alkaline batteries are used in many of these devices today, the new AAAA lowers cost for devices required to reach the mass consumer market while decreasing size and power requirements.

How small? Hey, what can we say, these guys are tiny: 40% smaller than AAAs at 2.3 cc's, 20% thinner with diameter at 8 mm, 43% lighter at 6.5 grams. They offer 11 hours of runtime vs. 28 hours for the AAA (operating at 50mW). Several OEMs have already adapted the batteries in their products (ex. the Jabra BT2040 Bluetooth Headset, which doesn't rely on charging).

The Energizer folks are focused on "targeted" global distribution, looking to achieve broad distribution as rapidly as possible, working with OEM partners to lead consumers to the AAAA at the retail level.

The AAAA battery, coming to a wireless consumer product near you?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

IEEE EMC 2008 - Detroit, MI

I am here at the IEEE EMC 2008 Symposium in Detroit, MI and the attendance seems relatively light but the quality of attendees very good. Three companies are anchoring the exhibition as you enter; AR, ETS Lingren and Rohde & Schwarz. From a RF/microwave perspective, AR is featuring its high power amplifiers such as its 700 W .8 to 4.2 GHz CW, 120 W 4 to 8 GHz CW and 20 W 10 to 20 GHz CW units. ETS Lingren and R & S are actually overlapping their booths showing how they can combine their hardware and software to create complete system solutions for various industries such as automotive EMC solutions. ETS Lingren also is featuring their wide range of antennas and R & S is showing off their ESL EMI test receiver for cost conscious users who want to perform precise precompliance and diagnostic measurements up to 3 or 6 GHz.

The technical program is very strong with various workshops and a wide range of technical conference subjects including design, modeling/simulation, measurement/test, shielding and product safety. Next year the event will be in Austin, TX and hopes to expand more each year.