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Element-14: An Electronic Engineering Resource

Photonics.com
Aug 2009
Aug. 19, 2009 — A few weeks ago, my good friend, Ravi Pagar, managing director, Farnell India, invited me for an extensive discussion on Element 14 (www.element-14.com)!

If you are wondering what's Element 14, well, it is a is an information portal and community specifically built for electronic design engineers, developed by Farnell, and meant to be an electronic engineering resource.

As usual, I tried my hand at searching for optoelectronics and LEDs, lasers, etc. And, I have always had mixed feelings about the results. Maybe, because my expectations of such portals are immense!
Nevertheless, what's interesting is that a search result throws up several pieces of content related to that particular subject. For instance, I started by typing LEDs! Within seconds, the results page was displayed, but my attention was drawn toward related content, which provided a lot of options.

Under the optoelectronics and displays category, it threw up immediate results such as LEDs (4767), LEDs - high brightness, high power (1607), indicators (470), lamps (263), accessories (152), LED arrays and bar graphs (85), display - LEDs (78). Not only this, the results included those from within the semiconductors categories, where I received the following results -- ICs > driver & interface (76), discretes > TVS -varistors, MOVs and MLVs (67), and display - OLEDs (48).

Besides these related products, it also gave me the option of looking at 10 other datasheets. That's quite a lot of reading material!

This isn't all! There's Application Notes, Comparison Tables, Spice Models, Block Diagrams, and Technology Primers as well, besides Design Tips, Media – featuring webcasts, podcasts and videos, and Selection Tools -- including Selection Guides, Tech Primers, Product Guide, Comparison Guide, Linecards.

Anyone with an interest in LEDs will be immersed for hours on stretch on this huge basket of content.

What disappointed me a bit was the timeliness of the news and other information. Here's where I had mixed feelings, since there's always been a preference for reading latest content!

If one were to keep this small hiccup aside, there's still a lot of content within that news, which is extremely relevant. For instance, I was delighted to see another friend – Farnell's Gary Nevison's article on LEDs and EU legislation.

This particular article touches on how the development of LED lighting will affect the EU legislation in the future in a variety of ways. This includes things such as RoHS directive, Energy using Products (EuP) directive and REACH regulations.

A similar search for optoelectronics led to discovering some great articles such as how semiconductors 'will be driven by optoelectronics from 2010, and how nanophotonics is predicted to grow to $3.6 billion by 2014.

Worth a try, folks!

Pradeep


Aug. 17, 2009














GLOSSARY
optoelectronics
A sub-field of photonics that pertains to an electronic device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
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