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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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Time flies and after 23 years, it’s time to move on

When I started covering this industry as a reporter with Electronics Times in 1980, we were getting excited about things like the Intel 80286, which integrated 134,000 transistors and was produced on a 1.5µm process. We saw the beginning of the PC era with the launch of the IBM PC and Japan threatening to dominate the electronics industry.

Future proofing the economy

The first anniversary of the UK's Digital Strategy has seen the Government announce the winners of a £25million competition to pave the way for a future rollout of 5G technology in the UK.

Apple audit spots more violations

According to Apple’s latest audit of its suppliers it has found an increased number of serious violations of its labour and environmental policies. The company had recently extended the scope of its annual audit and has found that some suppliers have been falsifying work hours data.

This girl can and did

Gender parity is said to be 200 years away and much progress still needs to be made. However, changes are happening and on International Woman's Day, we wanted to celebrate the progress we have made.

UK must do more to attract engineering talent

Engineering remains a key sector of the UK economy employing 5.6million people, that’s around 19 percent of the total workforce, and it turns over in excess of £1.2trillion a year, according to a new report from EngineeringUK.

Maplin a victim of a changing world

Many electronics engineers in the UK will be shedding a virtual tear at the news that Maplin Electronics has gone into administration. It’s likely that a significant proportion of them will, at some time in the past, have walked into a Maplin store to buy the various bits and pieces they needed.

Safety and Security survey paints a troubling picture

Coinciding with the opening of Embedded World in Nuremberg, Barr Group's Embedded Systems Safety and Security Survey – now in its fourth year – paints a gloomy picture in which little progress has been made to improve the safety of devices that can kill or injure.

Another achievement for EUV

I asked in January, with a degree of uncertainty, whether EUV lithography had finally come of age. I based the question on a number of developments that, together, pointed to EUV making it into mainstream semiconductor production in the next year or so.

NXP, Qualcomm, Broadcom set to run and run

With the left hand, Qualcomm is trying to fend off unwanted advances from Broadcom. With the right hand, it’s trying to complete its planned acquisition of NXP; a transaction which has been dragging on since the offer was first made in October 2016.

Will you get the chips you need this year?

Demand for semiconductors has never been spread evenly across the globe. The Far East, for example, has been a large purchaser because it’s the main manufacturer of consumer electronics. Europe, in contrast, has generally represented around 10% of chip consumption.

As robot density rises, is the UK lagging behind?

With South Korea, Singapore, Germany and Japan leading the way, according to the 2017 World Robot Statistics, issued by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the UK doesn’t even make the top 20 when it comes to robot density.

Is voice driving better product performance?

Out of the endless opportunities presented by AI, machine learning, and analytics, voice recognition software may be a business’ best prospect when it comes to understanding – and vastly improving – digital experience for users.

Are we destined to become part robot?

I remember thinking some time ago: ‘there is an app for everything’. And now it seems there is also a wearable for everything. And it’s not just wearables; everything is becoming ‘smarter’ and more convenient. Keys, headphones, music, sex toys. And what’s more exciting, or scarier – depending on how you view it – is that these devices are starting to communicate with one another. I mean, there’s actually a sex doll on the market that can control Amazon’s Alexa.

Eating the crumbs left on the top table?

Just as the top 10 semiconductor companies account for 41.6% of global revenues, so the top 10 OEMs purchase 40.1% of the devices produced, according to market watcher Gartner. It’s a tidy balance, by the look of things.

Supply and demand sees advertised engineering salaries growing

The number of jobs advertised in the engineering sector grew by 16% in 2017. And advertised salaries rose faster than any other sector, according to data published by recruitment specialist Reed Engineering. In particular, design manager positions saw salaries increase by 8%, compared to the national average of 2.3%.

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