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Whether it's comment on a recent story, a slightly irreverent look at the latest news or an expression of complete disbelief, New Electronics' editorial team brings you its views on the latest from the electronics industry, putting these developments into context.

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The heat's on to get the power down in the microserver market

Server farms and data centres are 'out there' somewhere. But if it wasn't for them, we'd have no internet, no online shopping and no cloud computing. As demand for bandwidth continues to grow, the number of data centres needed to satisfy demand increases. But providing bandwidth and the instant access to data and services that we crave needs more and more data centres – and they consume huge amounts of energy.

Cracking the industrial nut

Programmable logic manufacturers have had their collective eyes on the industrial, or embedded systems, market for some time, but have yet to break through in any meaningful way. There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from cost to suitability via all points in between.

Highlights from embedded world 2011

This week we're in Nuremberg, Germany, celebrating the world's biggest exhibition and conference for the international embedded community. Have a look at some of the pictures we've taken so far.

NXP gives Cortex another vote of confidence

NXP's extension of its Cortex-M license is another vote of confidence for what is rapidly becoming the mainstay of the 32bit mcu market. The 32bit core has been licensed by more than 40 companies, including such names as Analog Devices, Freescale, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Toshiba.

Merger means more opportunities

When is an acquisition not an acquisition? When it's a merger. Despite CSR paying close to $680million in stock for multimedia chip developer Zoran and maintaining the chairman, chief executive and chief financial officer positions, the deal is, officially, a merger. CSR says the deal has to potential to double its revenues in the next few years.

Can Carl Icahn change the eda world?

The electronics design automation – or EDA – world is complex, but for one reason and another, it's a world that changes little with time. The big three companies in the EDA industry – Mentor Graphics, Cadence and Synopsys – have been around for years, growing their empires through acquisitions and sniping at each other with predictable regularity. Change, when it does come to the chip design software world, is usually through the removal of competition or innovation; over the years, EDA companies have operated pretty ruthless acquisition strategies .

New Electronics announces embedded world zone

The embedded world Exhibition & Conference is the world´s biggest exhibition of its kind for the international embedded community. Taking place from 1 to 3 March, this year could be the biggest yet, with a record 790 companies from all over the world showcasing their latest products and services.

Freescale looks to raise $1billion to pay down debt

When private equity investors acquired NXP and Freescale a few years ago, the cost of the deals was placed on the acquired company's balance sheet. In that way, NXP and Freescale paid for the privilege of being bought. This approach worked in good times; unfortunately, the timing of the deals was bad.

Experiment brings new meaning to satellite phone

Do we place too much store on technology? More accurately, do we place too much store on processing power? Yes, it's certainly a bonus to have as much processing as you can afford when it comes to a desktop pc or a mobile phone. But after that, you get the feeling that designers are coming up with additional functionality just to use up the excess MIPs.

First in, Best Dressed ...

We look back fondly to when we were fresh faced, would be engineers. Nothing fazed us. We were invincible, adept at facing anything our professors set before us. Attending lectures by day, juggling multiple course projects by night – and even managing to squeeze in a visit or three to the campus bar! No doubt many of us have attended a class reunion in some shape or form since leaving university or college.

Happy New Year UK electronics – now get off your backside?

In my mind, 2011 brings a wealth of opportunities for "UK electronics", especially for those involved in design and innovation. So far, indicators are looking good and the general climate is one of growing optimism. Even the press are speaking about manufacturing-led recovery (even if they don't really know what manufacturing is).

Nothing new under the sun?

The recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was the site of a 'tablet frenzy' as some 80 devices were launched by product developers desperate to cash in on the phenomenal success of Apple's iPad. But those with a longer memory will know that, while the technology the powers the iPad is certainly new, the concept is anything but. In fact, one of the first suggestions for such as device came in the mid 1990s from National Semiconductor, which floated the idea of the information appliance (IA): a low cost, high performance device that would sell in its 'hundreds of millions' and which would 'displace the pc'.

JTAG testing for everyman (and everywoman)

Believe it or not JTAG testing (the original purpose for the now venerable access port on many of today's micros, DSPs, FPGAs and CPLDs) has finally come of age (21 this year). Yet there still exists a divide in the knowledge of those working in our industry. I have lost count of the amount of times, when manning exhibition stands, that engineers (from all disciplines) have asked: "JTAG ! What's all that about then?"

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