ECE110 Community Blog

ECE110 Community Blog
Place for ECE110 students (and staff) to discuss topics pertinent to the study of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

In the first homework, we asked the students what they wanted to know about ECE...even if it were not a topic to be covered in class. In this blog, we provide many opportinities for students to discuss relevant topics among themselves in order to increase their awareness of how the materials studied in ECE110 are applicable to the world around them. We hope you find this enjoyable!

blog posts

• Relating E = 1240/lambda to Physics 212's equation

In class, we learned that the energy (in eV) in a photon of wavelength lambda (in nanometers) is given by

E = 1240/lambda

In physics 212, it is given by E = h_bar nu (Greek symbol, looks like a v). We can get from this equation to ours by first replacing nu (radian frequency in rad/s) with 2*pi*f (f is frequency in cycles/s). Now replace f with c/lambda (speed of light over wavelength). Since h_bar is a modified Planck's constant (h/(2*pi)), the 2*pi cancels giving:

E = h_bar v = h_bar (2PIf) = h c/lambda = 1240/lambda

• Two Informational Videos about Transistor Physics

Good BJT video, 7 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ukDKVHnac4

• Projection Mapping

I saw this video on YouTube of some research going on in the University of Tokyo in projection mapping. Pretty cool stuff!

• Converse All Wah

I really liked the whole idea of the Converse All-Wah, because not only was it aesthetically pleasing, but it also seems much more useful for the guitar player.  With the wah-wah integrated into the shoe, the guitar player has much more control over the sound he/she is creating and has more mobility, as they are not planted to the spot with the wah-wah pedal.  I was wondering how long the flex sensor lasted and how far the shoe could bend without the flex sensor breaking.  If the shoe becomes ineffective after a while, would you have to replace the whole shoe or can you just replace the flex sensor easily?

• Converse sneaker's wah-wah petal

https://www.elektormagazine.com/news/wah-wah-in-converse-sneakers?utm_source=Elektor+United+States+%28English%29&utm_campaign=57ece155b9-Pimped_sneakers_Magic_Eye_for_Win_10_Shi9_29_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b7374950c-57ece155b9-234900001&mc_cid=57ece155b9&mc_eid=89b3c2149f

"Aptly named All Wah, the sneakers type "high-top Chuck Taylor" function just like a traditional wah-wah pedal, and can be connected to an amp and guitar using the dual plugs on the side of the shoes. It then uses microsensor technology [...]"

This is a great example of using sensors and an understanding of electronics to do something cool! Final design project, anyone?!

• Ohm or Cavindesh?

https://www.elektormagazine.com/news/ohm-s-law-revisited

"Who doesn’t know Ohm’s Law? I am not sure, but I think it is taught to (and immediately forgotten by) most children of around 14, 15 years old. Georg Simon Ohm, born in Germany in 1789, published his now famous findings in 1827. Some forty years later the unit of electrical resistance became the ohm and it stuck so well that we still use it today. But did you know that... "

• Holoportation!

Put your engineering caps on...How could this be made even more cool?

http://www.geek.com/microsoft/holoportation-microsoft-creates-living-memories-with-virtual-3d-teleportation-1650777/

• Engineering Open House (EOH) 2016

Engineering Open House 2016: The STEM of Innovation http://eoh.ec.uiuc.edu/

Recommended sites to see:

2015-16 ECE110 Honors ProjectECE110 Honors Class Projects from the ECE110 Honors Section.

29th Annual Mid. Robotics Creative Design Competition. Location and Time:March 11 (9 AM - 4 PM),March 12 (9 AM - 3 PM) Kenney Gym Annex

The Six Minute ECE BoothThe Six Minute ECE BoothEta Kappa NuJoin HKN’s exciting introduction to the world of Electrical and Computer Engineering! Try our hands-on demos covering a whole range of topics--circuits, motors, and optics. ECEB First Floor AtriumECEB First Floor Atrium

Project Andy - 3D Printed RobotsProject Andy - 3D Printed RobotsIEEECome interact with Andy, a life-size 3D printed humanoid robot. Control a prosthetic hand, learn about rapid prototyping robots, and take home your own Andy keychain!ECEB First Floor AtriumECEB First Floor AtriumTAG-EnergyTAG-Energy

Are you involved in others you would like to mention?!

• No, NASA did NOT confirm that the EMDrive is legit

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/outthere/2014/08/06/nasa-validate-imposible-space-drive-word/#.Vjx__vmrTWI

Remember when it was reported scientists had discovered faster than light neutrinos a few years ago? Except they didn't, since they used a slightly shorter cable in one of their instruments? This is basically that all over again.

I don't mean to offend anyone, it's just I'm sick of seeing this story sensationalized by the Daily Mail, Popsci, and other online sources, and then seeing it leak onto more reputable media.

NASA is trying to distance itself from this, which is kind of how the scientists behind the debunked FTL neutrinos handled it. They let people know they did an experiment which doesn't seem quite right, and now they want to make sure everything checks out. Because odds are very likely that the laws of physics are in fact sound. And "NASA" isn't behind this. It's 5 guys who work for NASA.

Can't we all speculate about Star Wars 7 first, and come back to this after it's been reviewed and put under some more scrutiny?

• Nasa confirms 'impossible' EmDrive thruster is legit

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nasa-latest-tests-show-physics-230112770.html

What were everyone's thoughts on further confirmation that the proposed EmDrive at NASA actually works? For those of you who don't know, the EmDrive is basically a proposed engine proposed by a physicist that works by bouncing microwaves off the small end of a cone, which creates thrust without a reaction occuring, breaking the laws of physics.

Initial lab tests of the drive were performed over a year ago to positive results, but of course, the scientific method tells us that an experiment must be repeatable. This past week gave us a little bit more hope that the proposed drive could be practical. If it were, trips to Mars could take weeks rather than the months, and the next solar system could be reached within 30 years time. What a wonderful time to be alive.

• iRobotics at University of Illinois

Since there seemed to be some talk of robotics on this board, and it's pretty related to some topics in ECE I figured I would talk about the Combotics branch of iRobotics.

Combotics is the shortened name for Combat Robotics. In Combots we (as the name suggests) fight 30 lb robots. The season is split into the design season which is first semester. And the build season second semester. In the first season, research is done to find what materials and components are best for the robot. This usually requires some research into yield strength and cost-analysis as the robot can only weight so much and cost so much. Along with finding the correct materials, CAD (Computer-Aided Designs) models are made for the robot to show how we will distribute the materials across the robot, and give an image for what our robot will look like.

In the second season, we actually construct the robot. This part of the season is done in the Engineering Student Project Lab (ESPL). The lab hosts many tools needed to actually build the robot. This includes mills,grindstones,welding machines,a computer lab, an assortment of drills,wrenches,screws and many other basic tools. The electronics are usually soldered and wired up to work. To be honest, there wasn't that much electronics stuff that had to be done. The challenge lies more in actually hooking everything up and getting the electronics to work.

After all this work is done, the robots are fought on the engineering open house. The event usually runs both days and have a fight about once every hour.

I apologize if I write poorly, it wasn't ever my cup of tea. If you have any interest in iRobotics, this is our website: http://irobotics.illinois.edu/

• Top 5 Awesome Things About the Webb Telescope

There is a lot of technical detail we can pick apart regarding this telescope. Watch this video first to see why it is awesome...

• What is a MebiByte?

Explore the abuse of the SI units and the confusion that continues to stem from the misuse of kilo for 2^10 = 1024 (and not 1000).

• High Performance CMOS talk April 16 at 4pm in 1002 ECEB

Join Dr. Devendra Sadana of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in 1002 ECE Building for a presentation on High Performance CMOS.

Abstract:

Major challenges exist to scale performance in 10 nm and beyond CMOS due to shrinking device footprint and disproportionately reduced volume available for performance enhancing elements. In particular, application of stressors, such as e-SiGe, e-Si:C, and dielectric layers that allowed performance scaling of CMOS since 90 nm node is no longer sufficient to meet the required performance target of future CMOS. This talk will discuss materials and process options for future CMOS.

Bio:

Devendra Sadana is a Distinguished Engineer and the manager of the Advanced Substrate Research Group at IBM TJ Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights. He has been at IBM Research for over 28 years. Prior to IBM, he worked at Oxford University, UC Berkeley, Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, and Philips Research Labs. His research spans a wide spectrum of advanced materials targeted for a variety of products including Si CMOS, Si and III-V PV, phtotonics, and flexible electronics. He has published over 200 papers in journals/conference proceedings and is a co-inventor of over 400 issued/submitted patents. He is a fellow of SPIE.

• Audio Sampling Rate: Some History of 44.1 kHz

I thought it would be interesting to make a post on the ECE110 blog which talked about the history of the 'standard' 44100hz. sampling rate for audio. Since it seem that students do not have permission to create new posts, I have written the following about it and emailed it to you.

• Articles on MOSFETs

There are many interesting articles on the challenges of MOSFET design.

Understanding and Mitigating Soft Errors in Semiconductor Memory

Near-Threshold Computing:Reclaiming Moore’s LawThrough Energy EfficientIntegrated Circuits

comparison of mosfet with bjt

• Robotics

Many students tell me they are interested in "robotics". The area of robotics actually crosses many disciplines, although you will often find ECE right in the middle of the team! What problems might someone involved in robotics need to solve? Do we do any tasks related to robotics in ECE110?