Medical Device Design

October 18, 2018

Designing a new product that benefits the society is very rewarding, but it faces multiple obstacles before it can move into production and land in the hands of your end-users. For most devices, regulatory approval is often required before deploying a product to market. Medical devices are notorious for strict… Read more

Ingress Protection Codes and Ratings

March 7, 2018

Ingress Protection Codes and Ratings Regardless of how smart your electronics are, they need protection against the elements and daily handling, which comes in the form of an enclosure that provides mechanical and/or water protection. Some recent notable devices are the water-resistant Samsung Galaxy S8, iPhone X and wearables such… Read more

Effects of EM radiation on the human body from nearby communication devices

July 18, 2017

There is increasing public concern that adverse health effects may arise from exposure to radiofrequency (RF) sources, particularly due to the increasing use of mobile and wearable devices with growing radio-communication capabilities such as GSM, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. This is particularly true with wearables, which are usually worn on the… Read more

Designing with Bluetooth 5

April 13, 2017

One of the ubiquitous wireless communication methods has gotten even better. Bluetooth SIG has released Bluetooth 5 (BT5), an enhancement to the current Bluetooth Low Energy v4.2. The key updates to Bluetooth 5 are 8x data, 4x range, and 2x speed, as well as improved interoperability and coexistence with other wireless… Read more

Gerbers to Footprint!

March 24, 2017

Foreword This post is excellent for those who are looking to extract reference designs (in Gerber files) from silicon manufacturers. In this example, I am trying to save myself from having to draw a PCB trace antenna from scratch! We will copy the reference antenna design from Dialog Semiconductors for… Read more

Technology Readiness Levels

November 21, 2016

We develop ideas and build solutions to solve tomorrow’s problems. Often, many come to us with promising ideas, in need of technical help to develop their concepts. The challenge with idea development is that innovation initiatives frequently fail, falling short of the idealized goal. Several reasons include a lack of… Read more

External Memory for Microcontrollers

October 14, 2016

Engineers have a wide variety of microcontrollers to choose from for various application needs. While microcontrollers have come a long way with lower power and faster clock speeds – program memory (RAM/ROM) is often still very limited. There are several reasons for this. First, memory requires a lot of silicon… Read more

Introduction to electronic jigs

July 21, 2016

The final step in an embedded system typically occurs when the firmware or code is flashed into the micro-controller/processor on a PCB and the process almost always requires some sort of physical connection. There are two main methods of momentary contacting assembled electronics – flying probe testing (woodpecker) or a… Read more

We need more USB ports

February 16, 2016

  In the pursuit for ever slimmer laptops, manufacturers are removing what appears to be “bulky” USB ports from their new product releases. That may result in a slimmer notebook, but more often than not, individuals end up adding dongles and further bulk so that existing peripherals can still be… Read more

Intro to Eddystone – Google latest proximity beacon protocol

January 10, 2016

During the height of iBeacon, google released a similar and more powerful proximity beacon protocol called EddystoneTM in July 2015. The protocol was designed to be platform agnostic and more flexible in the data that can be broadcast. The key features were designed to make it a better platform than… Read more

Understanding Ethernet Cables

January 9, 2016

It binds us. It connects us. It gives us knowledge. It’s omnipresent and omniscient. It’s… Wi-Fi. Well.  Sometimes we forget that Wi-Fi signals and connectivity still require a much underappreciated and most needed component – The Ethernet cable. Your mobile connectivity has to come from some sort of wireless hub,… Read more

Bluetooth Low Energy – iBeacon basics

January 8, 2016

iBeacon is a protocol developed by Apple Inc. in 2013. In short, iBeacon technology allows mobile applications to understand their position on a micro-local scale, and deliver location-specific contextual content to users based on their proximity. The underlying communication technology is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The protocol take advantages of… Read more

BLE introduction: Notify or Indicate

November 21, 2015

What are the differences between Notify and Indicate? The short answer is that they both basically do the same thing, except Indicate requires acknowledgement, while Notify does not. For the longer answer, please read the rest of my post. By default, you cannot push data to your remote client whenever… Read more

GATT it man

October 23, 2015

Hey folks, I am back with another article on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). In my previous article, I addressed some common misconceptions between classic Bluetooth and BLE. This time, I will be talking about one of the most commonly used profiles for a BLE device – the GATT, also known as… Read more

Teardown of the low-cost No.1 Sun 2 smartwatch

October 1, 2015

Overview We have already done a teardown on the LG watch R and today we will tear down the Sun S2 to see what lessons we can glean from this low-cost smartwatch from China. A review on the watch has already been done and we are not making a head-on comparison… Read more

Bluetooth: should you go low energy?

September 26, 2015

Bluetooth today is understood by many as a convenient connectivity solution. Yet there are limitations regarding its flexibility and this entry serves to discuss some misconceptions over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE or Bluetooth Smart) and classic Bluetooth. We often receive projects that involve Bluetooth communication, yet many of our clients specify… Read more

When USB lights get too hot

September 21, 2015

USB powered lights are convenient for reading, off-center lighting for mobile photo-taking and the like and on the market are some low-cost and simple USB-powered reading lights such as the S$2 Xiaomi Mi LED light. Unfortunately, we found that the light output is not sufficient for certain conditions. A quick… Read more

Portable light prototyping for smart-phone photography

July 25, 2015

We love taking photos. Wefies. Selfies. You name it. But if you’ve ever tried to use a smartphone camera in less than optimal lighting conditions, you’ll find your pictures poor and unworthy of that coveted Facebook post. A conundrum we often face when taking a selfie is that besides having… Read more

Empower your projects with Bluetooth Smart

July 19, 2015

An even smarter Bluetooth You’re likely to own a Bluetooth-enabled device by now – your phone is one. Bluetooth-enabled connectivity exists in a variety of consumer electronics and has become a socially understood means of convenient wireless communications. Bluetooth capability can be found in almost every decent smartphone, tablet, wireless… Read more

The Gwinstek GDS-307 portable oscilloscope unboxing

May 12, 2015

From time to time, our engineers hit the roads to deploy technology, and to meet those needs, the Gwinstek GDS-307 portable oscilloscope was procured. Our trusty Agilent oscilloscopes in the lab cost about six thousand dollars but aren’t portable at all. Our unit was purchased from Element14 and features a… Read more


The LG watch R teardown

March 31, 2015

Here at Thesis, we’re all fans of the latest and coolest gizmos and [smart]watches. The announcement of the new LG Urbane, the successor to the LG watch R was a surprise owing to the fact that the watch R was relatively new on the market. I got the opportunity to… Read more