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Teardown of a Blu-ray Drive

An optical pickup head unit from a Blu-ray writer drive.

How accurate and robust is this optical system? Imagine travelling in a car going over 40 million miles per hour and never straying outside of your lane. That is the feat that a Blu-ray drive does every time you put a disc in, hour after hour. Optical drives achieve this amazing feat with a well designed optical system known as the optical pickup head. How a complete optical system with real-time feedback fits within such a tiny package is a feat of engineering that took the pioneers of optical data systems decades to develop and perfect, and deserves a closer look.

Components Spotlight10

The Best Arduino Shield

Thursday April 17, 2014

The abundance of Arduino shields has made the Arduino platform a great way to learn electronics and rapidly build a product prototype. One of the challenges in such development is the number of shields that might be needed and their mutual compatibility. Ideally a shield which offered the capabilities of every single shield available would be the best shield available. That shield is almost here. The 1Sheeld makes all of the capabilities of an Android phone available on the Arduino platform, effectively making it the ultimate Arduino shield. The 1Sheeld has been a project since early 2013 and was a successful Kickstarter project in December of 2013. It should be available, baring and production slips, in the summer of 2014.

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Fast Product Development

Monday April 14, 2014

Developing a product quickly is a big challenge. The fastest way to develop anything is to only build what you absolutely have to and leverage development platforms and other systems to rapidly put together a basic working system before refining the design further.

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Application Engineers

Thursday April 10, 2014

One of the most valuable resources in designing a product are the engineers who work exclusively with each component you are using, application engineers. Application engineers built up an amazing level of knowledge and experience designing and troubleshooting their employers products for customers like you. Tap in to their knowledge to make your designs better the first time.

Datasheets

Monday April 7, 2014

Component datasheets are one of the most important documents when designing a circuit. A datasheet will provide all of the critical information on how to use a component and what behavior you should expect from the component.

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