Networking the Digital Factory

Yesterday’s desk had its stand-alone PC. Today’s factory floor is still dominated by the stand-alone PLC — the “programmable logic controller,” a computer that controls a machine.

A Sense of Power

The Pentium is all brain, no muscle. The powerchip is all muscle, no brain. Connect them up, and you get intelligent power, highly ordered power — digital power.

The Powerchip Paradigm II: Reliably Green

Power is the planet’s worst enemy. The fossil fuel combustion engines that provide most of our transportation and generate most of our electricity release trace pollutants into the air, combine the air’s own nitrogen and oxygen to form smog, and convert carbon into atmospheric carbon dioxide that warms the whole plant. Or that, at least,…

Silicon and Lead

The company owns no Nobel-Prize-worthy science, and isn’t likely to be developing any. It’s headquartered in Blue Bell, PA, no Silicon Valley. It’s products begin with one of the most reviled materials in widespread use today.

Photon Power

Got a laser? You’re a telecom company. Or so Wall Street seems to have concluded in the last couple of years, in the case of Coherent Inc. (COHR)