All Blogs

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.

Make sure you keep up to date with what the New Electronics team thinks by bookmarking this page.

UK R&D: is the focus too narrow?

Last week Prof Sir Mark Walport, who will be the first chief executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a new umbrella body that will oversee the distribution of £6bn of research funding, praised the UK government for the additional £4.7billion in funds it has made available for UK Research & Development up until 2020-21.

Will graphene based spinFET break through the CMOS wall?

Graphene has been regarded as a wonder material since Manchester University academics Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov managed to create thin sheets of the 2D allotrope of carbon using adhesive tape. Since then, it seems to have been de rigeur to use graphene for as many applications as possible.

Robotics Week - A Call to Arms

Last week saw the second UK Robotics Week. Coordinated by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s UK-RAS (Robotics and Autonomous Systems) Network it involved 20 universities and over 200 schools and included public lectures, open labs, hackathons, tech weekends, conferences, and a state-of-the-art robotics showcase held at the IET in London.

Living happily ever after?

New research published today by the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) has found that a significant majority of professionals believe that improvements in design, to enable robots to better understand and interact with human behaviour, will be key if we are to reduce the risk of workplace mistakes and accidents that could arise from the introduction of new technologies.

Can Gorillaz’ Noodle help to break the mould?

Readers of New Electronics will be familiar with the continuing expressions of dismay, exhibited by a range of organisations, at the shortage of engineers. Readers will also be familiar with the calls for ‘something to be done’ – whether that’s retraining people from other industries, improving STEM education in schools or refocusing the content of university courses to better suit employers’ needs.

Security flaws continue to be exposed

We all think that connected devices are secure, but one report after another shows the situation is very different. Only recently, New Electronics highlighted vulnerabilities in medical and connected factory devices. Before that, we saw the infamous Jeep hack. And the WannaCry hack affected people and companies alike around the world.

Will Apple buy Imagination?

The ‘For Sale’ sign has gone up outside Imagination Technologies’ Kings Langley headquarters north of London. The news follows quickly after the company said that its MIPS and Ensigma business units were available.

Turning pee into power!

An unexpected energy source, urine could be used to generate enough electricity to ‘slowly’ recharge your smartphone, as well as power smart displays or lights in portable toilets.

Technology to make us super 'men'

What superman could do with his x-ray vision, man can now do with technology. A big leap has been made for 3D through-wall imaging, say researchers at UC Santa Barbara, as it is now possible ‘in flight’ using drones and Wi-Fi.

The battery technology ‘gold rush’

The number of research projects exploring the various aspects of battery technology seems to have increased dramatically over the last year or so. And there’s good reason; pressure from consumers for longer run time, as well as pressure from designers for smaller batteries is demanding new solutions.

Medical devices need better protection against cyberattacks

More than 65% of medical device makers questioned in a recent survey believe an attack on one or more of the products built by or in use in their organisation is likely over the next 12 months. Yet only 17% of respondents are taking ‘significant’ steps to prevent attacks. Alarmingly, 32% of medical device manufacturers believe that no one person or function in their organisation is ‘responsible for device security’.

Post-election the ticking clock of Brexit negotiations grows louder

With the Brexit negotiating clock ticking louder, last week's election has raised more questions than answers for UK business and science. Both have a lot to lose from a hard Brexit and Theresa May's failure to win a majority could mean that a softer Brexit is now more likely. Could her failure have transformed the Brexit negotiating landscape?

Come fly with me – or not

We don’t often get involved in the world of large scale power supplies; our focus is usually at the chip level or at point of load systems. But the recent BA computer outage is worthy of comment.

Education should be all about problem solving, says MIT Prof

There has been much discussion over the years about the relevance of the education system when it comes to producing engineers. A consistent theme has been employers suggesting that graduates don’t have the skills needed for modern engineering roles. Academics counter by saying they need to train students in the fundamentals.

A growing and dangerous threat to our cyber security

Cyber crime is costing the world’s top ten economies more than $250billion per annum and UK business leaders now rate it as being among the top three corporate risks they are confronted by. As if to make the point, what better than the recent ‘WannaCry’ attack? – a cyber attack that has led to a complex world-wide investigation.

Why don’t engineering institutions link up with The Guides?

An alliance of 38 UK professional engineering organisations has called on the next government to harness the full capacity, capability and potential of the UK’s engineering talent. Ahead of the General Election, the group identified five key priorities which it believes the next government must address.

MEMS shut out by Century-old sensor

A few weeks ago, I joined a friend to see the San Jose Sharks play the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup ice hockey playoffs. At each seat, as a fan appreciation gift, the Sharks had placed a PixMob LED bracelet. When the arena lights dimmed, the bracelets started to sparkle.

'1980s technology' still going strong

Who knew pagers were still in use? The news that Vodafone is scrapping its pager service showed that it had around 1000 customers who were still using what could be considered as a legacy communications method.

Tell ‘em, tell ‘em, then tell ‘em again

A manifesto published by 38 professional institutions representing 450,000 engineers spells out to politicians what industry needs. The institutions, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, have to hope that politicians will read it, but it’s not a certainty.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Editor's Choice

Who gives a flick?

Two days ago, reports flooded in about the Facebook ‘flick’ – a new unit of time. ...

Tomorrow's technology?

One of the stock phrases which those commentating on the electronics industry often ...

Semi sales to pass $400bn

In 2002, seemingly back in the mists of time, a semiconductor industry executive ...